1 Friday, 11 July 2003
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon. Case number IT-02-60-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Before we have the witness, are there any
9 procedural matters that the parties would like to bring to the attention
10 of this bench?
11 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, I believe there was a
12 misunderstanding when Mr. Stojanovic was cross-examining Groenewegen.
13 At the end, the Prosecution moved to introduce their exhibit list into
14 evidence and Mr. Stojanovic introduced an exhibit for the Prosecution, I
15 think it was P48. We do not wish to have that piece of evidence
16 introduced and he withdraws that request to have that exhibit introduced.
17 If that's all right.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's quite all right. I think there was a
19 misunderstanding because we -- I believe that it's a good piece of
20 evidence to impeach the credibility of that witness but if you want to
21 withdraw this evidence, we have no objections.
22 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: So this piece of the evidence is withdrawn from the
24 Defence team's list.
25 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
1 JUDGE LIU: Is there anything else? Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, we had a -- another witness
3 available in case we ended early today with our current witness. However,
4 he has become ill and is now back at the hotel and so we may, if we are
5 able to finish early, we unfortunately won't have a witness for today.
6 JUDGE LIU: I see. I'm very sorry to hear that, that that witness
7 is not in good health, and I wish him a speedy recovery. That means that
8 if we finish that witness, we'll call it a day. And I think we have to
9 make the best use of the time available to us. Maybe we will spend about
10 20 and 30 minutes on the procedural matters. There are several issues
11 that this bench would like to discuss with the parties, concerning the
12 scheduling and the other procedural matters. Is that agreeable to
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President?
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Karnavas?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President?
17 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Sinatra?
18 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. May we have the witness? Yes,
20 Mr. Blagojevic?
21 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
22 Your Honours, I wish to strongly stress my concern here because of the way
23 that the trial is proceeding. As far as I'm concerned, I have to bear the
24 situation that has been imposed on me. The Defence has been imposed on
25 me, which makes it illegal, and there is not even a minimum of
1 responsibility as far as my position is concerned. If we take my
2 situation from the 8th of July, you can see how much that was present then
3 when questions were being asked regarding the witness testimony of
4 Mr. Mandzic. Questions that were being asked were questions chosen by
5 them. These are not as far as I'm concerned essential questions and they
6 do not touch upon the situations that I believe should be the case to
7 represent, to present my role in those times, and the situation began very
8 well to demonstrate to what an extent, through various questions and
9 answers, my situation is obvious and the situation of the people that I
10 had under my command. In order to reduce my concern and anxiety which has
11 been increasing from one day to the next, in order to resolve this
12 situation, which objectively does not depend upon me, the only thing I can
13 do is to come out with this, what I am doing now, because I do not think
14 that currently the way things are proceeding, there will not be an
15 objective impression of my role and the role of people under my command.
16 It will not give the real truth, the real accurate picture. It can only
17 create a series of speculations that are to my detriment and I am sorry
18 but I really cannot accept this. Thank you, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Blagojevic, we have a witness waiting
20 outside the courtroom and we have already decided and agreed by everybody
21 that we'll spend a period of time, maybe 30 minutes, to discuss those
22 procedural matters. I will turn to you at that period. Do you agree with
24 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] I agree with that, Your
25 Honour. Thank you.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation. Now, could
2 we have the witness, please?
3 [The witness entered court]
4 WITNESS: LEENDERT CORNELIS VAN DUIJN [Resumed]
5 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
6 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
7 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to proceed?
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Ms. Issa please continue.
10 MS. ISSA: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Examined by Ms. Issa: [Continued]
12 Q. Now, Captain Van Duijn just to quickly refresh your memory I
13 believe we left off yesterday evening where you indicated that the
14 transport of the refugees stopped in the late evening on the 12th of July;
15 is that correct?
16 A. That's correct, yes.
17 Q. Now, earlier, sir, you had said that you'd heard that the refugees
18 were being forced into the buses, they were being kicked and beaten. Can
19 you indicate who reported that to you?
20 A. A few of my soldiers that were standing near the sides of the
21 buses, but I saw that myself as well, not that they were kicked when they
22 entered the buses but at one stage there was a Serb soldier in black
23 uniform that more or less strangled a young boy from about 13 or 14 years
24 old and only with the help of Captain Mane I could get the Serb soldier in
25 the black uniform to go away so I'd heard some stories from my soldiers
1 but also I'd seen it myself.
2 Q. And can you describe, elaborate a little bit on exactly what you
3 saw, when you say more or less strangled a boy?
4 A. There was a boy standing with his family in the middle of the
5 crowd, waiting to get on to one of the buses and suddenly one of the Serb
6 soldiers in the black uniform came up -- I hadn't seen him there before,
7 and he said something in Serbo-Croatian, I didn't understand it, but I got
8 the impression that he wanted the boy to get out of the crowd so he could
9 single him out as well and he grabbed him by the throat and tried to pull
10 him out of the crowd but there were two or three people in between them,
11 so the boy was being grabbed by the throat and pulled towards the Serb
12 soldier and when I saw that, I took Captain Mane with me and said get this
13 soldier away from here because as we agreed, when the Muslims were
14 standing in a crowd, we would stand in the middle and the Serb soldiers
15 would stand behind us, more or less 15 metres behind our position and
16 Captain Mane said well, you're right and he took the guy in the black
17 uniform away from that position. And the boy was left with his family.
18 Q. Thank you. Now, towards the end you indicated that we were
19 towards the end of the evening. Did you speak with Mane again that
21 A. At the end of the transports, Mane stated to me that that was the
22 end of the night but tomorrow the transports would continue again and
23 that day would go to Bratunac and celebrate, celebrate the victory, and he
24 also said that he wanted my pistol. I hadn't had the pistol with me. It
25 was locked up in the APC like I told before and then we went over to the
1 APCs but the APC was empty already. That's the last conversation I had
2 with Mane. Then I saw that the men were taken away by the little lorry
3 which I'd seen before, bringing the bread, from that stage I went back to
4 the UN compound. Mane had told me that the next day they would be there
5 about 8.30 to continue with the transports again.
6 Q. All right. And when you went back to the UN compound, did you see
7 anything there?
8 A. Just before I arrived at the compound, a little bit south of the
9 compound on the road, there was a roll call being held by the Serbs and it
10 got my attention because the man, the Serb soldier I knew as Stalin by his
11 code name was in front of the Serb troops, must have been about 60 or 70
12 Serb soldiers in that roll call and Stalin was in front of them.
13 Q. Before we move on to the 13th of July, just very briefly, sir,
14 yesterday you mentioned you saw Nikolic speaking to Stalin. Can you
15 explain how you knew it was Nikolic?
16 A. I remember that Mane, because we heard more or less overheard a
17 conversation on the radio, Serb radio, Mane explained to me that that was
18 his commander, Stalin on the radio. Later that day, he said that Stalin
19 was coming to visit, and when Stalin and Nikolic came to that location,
20 I -- there was a sort of combination of recognising Major Nikolic because
21 he was a well known figure in the enclave, and Mane explaining to me that
22 that was his commander Stalin and Major Nikolic.
23 Q. You also said, sir, that after speaking to Captain Groen, you went
24 to Potocari to assist the refugees. Did anyone go with you? This is
25 earlier in the day on the 12th?
1 A. Not that I remember, no.
2 Q. All right. And moving on, sir, to the 13th of July, 1995, can you
3 tell us what happened in that morning?
4 A. After having slept a few hours, I was at the location of the
5 transports where I'd left Lieutenant Koster, which -- who had taken over
6 from me for the night. I met with him and spoke with him about the
7 situation of the night. He told me that the refugees were still very
8 panicky and it was a lot of situations that night that were more or less
9 started by panic, someone would stand up and walk in the direction, and
10 other people would wake up got up as well and walked in the same
11 direction, not knowing what was going on but purely by the panic they
12 felt. There was an incident of a man that had hung himself during the
13 night and another man that had injured himself, hit himself on the head
14 with a rock, to get this injury more or less to be treated as a wounded
15 person so that he hoped that he would get a better treatment out of that,
16 being wounded. So we more or less spoke about the night, spoke about the
17 position of our APCs that we had planned the night before on the first day
18 of the transport, to make a sort of channel on the road to have a little
19 bit of more control over the crowd of refugees so they would not so easily
20 fall down on the ground and be trampled on by the other refugees so that
21 was more or less the discussion that we had.
22 Q. When you say were you going to make a little bit of a channel, can
23 you clarify that? With what?
24 A. With our APCs, we put two APCs on each side of the road, two APCs
25 in front that would form more or less a V shape tunnel which the refugees
1 would enter on the broadside, on the wide side of the channel so that we
2 did not need that much -- that many soldiers to keep the crowd calm.
3 Q. And what happened, sir, when you -- or what did you do when you
4 took over from Lieutenant Koster?
5 A. At that time I just had taken over from Lieutenant Koster. We
6 were surprised that the Serb buses already were arriving and we could see
7 the drivers from the buses gathering together and waiting for things to
8 come more or less asking us for what to do, and at that time I had a short
9 conversation with Koster about this and I decided to already start with
10 the transports, to prevent that the men were separated from their families
11 and to prevent that the buses and the trucks would be crowded with
12 refugees and so that was in my -- was my idea that we could keep the
13 family as best as we could, we keep them together. I remember that
14 Lieutenant Koster more or less asked me, well, is this a good idea? But
15 we, as I remember we left it at that and he left from my location and I
16 decided to go ahead with that plan.
17 Q. Okay. And how long did you do this before the Serb soldiers
18 returned to Potocari?
19 A. As I remember, the Serb soldiers came to our location about 8.30,
20 much like Mane stated before, and it must have been an hour, an hour and a
21 half that we could keep the families together, keep the men with their
22 families and I'm very glad that the Dutch NIOD Report also was able to
23 find men that -- in that precious one and a half hour, were able to get
24 out of the enclave without being singled out by the Serbs.
25 Q. All right. And can you describe, sir, what happened to the
1 refugees and the families when the Serb soldiers returned at 8.30?
2 A. From that moment on, and I remember that Mane was more or less
3 baffled that we already had started, from that moment on, the Serbs took
4 total control again and the men were singled out again.
5 Q. All right. Can you describe the scene, sir, after all the
6 refugees had been transported out of Potocari?
7 A. It looked like the scene I saw on the 11th, the southern part of
8 Srebrenica was totally abandoned. The scene on the factory site was also
9 empty, when you compare it to the days, the two days before, but there
10 were a lot of personal belongings scattered all around the factory site.
11 The refugees had left blankets, had left bags with potatoes, had left
12 photos, all sorts of belongings that they had left there. There was
13 garbage, of course, a lot of garbage but also a lot of personal
15 Q. Were there any refugees at all that were left?
16 A. At that point, the only refugees I knew that were still in the
17 enclave were a few that were walking but that was only maybe five or ten
18 that were still making the route to the buses. And the men that were
19 gathered in the location as we know as the white house, that was just
20 across the road near the entrance of the UN compound.
21 Q. All right. Sir, referring then to Prosecutor's Exhibit 20.6/A, if
22 you can look at that, look at your screen, can you identify what is
23 depicted in that photograph?
24 A. This is the white house I was talking about.
25 Q. Is there anything different that you see in the photograph?
1 A. When we were there, there was a much more bushes and trees and
2 also covered in leaves so you could really see the front lawn. You can
3 now see only the little fence that was standing in front of the white
4 house. There was also a lot of bushes and trees there.
5 Q. And what did you see at the white house on the 13th of July?
6 A. The white house itself was packed with men. I managed to get a
7 peek inside of the house. I could see that the house was really packed
8 with men and a few of them were sitting just in front of the house with
9 their backs against the wall of the house and in front of the house in the
10 lawn, it was covered with also personal belongings, bags, photographs.
11 Q. And can you describe the appearance of the men at the white house?
12 A. They were very scared. Of course it was warm so they were very
13 warm as well. But you could see that they were very scared. They were
14 quiet. And they were -- you could see really see that they were very,
15 very scared.
16 Q. Okay. How old approximately were these men?
17 A. It varied from very young men to men about maybe 60, 65 years of
18 old -- of age.
19 Q. All right. Can you provide us with an age range, just in general?
20 A. Average age must have been around 35 or something.
21 Q. All right. You indicated, sir, that you saw some personal
22 belongings on the lawn of the -- in the front of the white house. Can you
23 describe exactly what it is that you saw?
24 A. I saw bags, I saw pictures, and later on I also saw passports. At
25 first, I thought someone had forgot or maybe lost it so I started to
1 assemble identity papers, the passports, but then later on, when I had a
2 both of my pockets were full with passports, I then went over to Captain
3 Mane who was there as well, and I'd ask him about why the passports were
4 spread on the lawn.
5 Q. All right. And what did Captain Mane say to you when you asked
6 him about the passports on the lawn?
7 A. I confronted him with his explanation about the men being singled
8 out which he had told me the day before, about wanting to check if the men
9 were war criminals, and I confronted him with that, because if they didn't
10 have their passports they could easily have given a false name or
11 something and then his system of trying to check who was a war criminal
12 and who was not would not work, and he more or less laughed at me and
13 said, "Well, don't make a fuss about it because they don't need those
14 passports any more." So that was more or less the moment that I really
15 knew that something really bad was going to happen. Of course, when you
16 see men being teared from their families, you know that that is not the
17 way a normal life should be lived but there was a war going on and
18 terrible things happened there, but at that time when I saw the passports
19 and knew that Mane said that they wouldn't need the passports any more, I
20 knew that they had a very dark future ahead of them.
21 Q. And what -- was there any attempt at this point to accompany the
23 A. At that time, I did two things. I radioed our headquarters and
24 stressed that we really should accompany the buses with which the men
25 would be transported, and I tried to get in the bus myself but that ended
1 when I was being held at gunpoint by the guy that was standing, Serb
2 soldier that was standing near the entrance of the buses, and he pushed a
3 Kalashnikov rifle in my belly and Mane took me buy the soldiers and pulled
4 me away from there and said, just don't do it, you're not going in the
5 bus. So that's not an option.
6 Q. All right. If we can then -- we are almost nearing the end of the
7 examination, sir, if we can then briefly go back to April of 1995, I
8 understand that you were a commander on two observation points at that
9 point; is that correct?
10 A. In the area I was responsible for, we are had two observation
11 posts, Romeo and Quebec. That's correct.
12 Q. And where were these observation posts located?
13 A. In the north eastern part of the enclave.
14 Q. And can you briefly explain what observations you made in relation
15 to Serbian -- the Serb troops that you saw at that time?
16 A. There were a few of bunkers or locations where the Serbs were
17 located and we could see what they were doing over there and that's what
18 my soldiers also reported shootings or whatever happened, they reported in
19 the normal way and we also had contact near OP Romeo with a Serb bunker
20 that was really close to the border of the enclave, and we even visited
21 sometimes that bunker to try and get some information from the Serbs.
22 Q. All right. And did you notice anything different about the
23 Serbian troops during that period?
24 A. In April, we saw that new soldiers, other soldiers than we had
25 seen in the months earlier, were coming to that bunker and the difference
1 between the new and the old soldiers was that the new soldiers were better
2 equipped, they had rifles that were newer, they had complete uniforms on,
3 they were younger, shaven, clean shaven every day so that was really a
4 difference with the older soldiers we had seen in the previous months
6 Q. All right. Now, very briefly, sir, did you observe during that
7 period from your position at these two observation posts Muslim forces
8 within the enclave?
9 A. Yes. We had also next to the contacts we had with the Serb forces
10 we also had contacts with Muslim forces and one of the contacts was
11 Naser Sabanovic who was a commander in the northern part of the enclave
12 and who lived near OP Quebec and I had several conversations with him.
13 Q. And do you know how the Muslim forces were armed?
14 A. They were armed with rifles and occasionally a rocket launcher.
15 Q. Just very briefly, sir, I understand that at one point there were
16 some accusations made that you assisted the Serbs in fact when you were in
17 the deportation and ultimately the separation of men; is there any truth
18 in that allegation?
19 A. No. That is not true.
20 MS. ISSA: All right. Thank you. I have no further questions.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any cross-examination? Mr. Karnavas?
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour, thank you, Your Honour.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Karnavas:
24 Q. Good afternoon, Captain. I'm going to pick up where the last
25 question ended if that's okay with you. I know it's a sensitive area but
1 as I understand it, one of your colleagues made some sort of an allegation
2 in the public forum that by you assisting the refugees, particularly I
3 believe it was on the day of the 13th, the second day, especially during
4 those early morning hours, that you in essence were participating in some
5 sort of war crime; is that correct?
6 A. He made that allegation, yes.
7 Q. And in fact, that was so sensitive, as far as you were concerned,
8 that you even consulted a Prosecutor to see whether you were in any
9 jeopardy; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. And then after that, and you learned that you were not, and -- is
12 that right, you learned that you were not in any jeopardy, in other words
13 there was no foundation to that claim?
14 A. Yeah, more or less the Prosecutor said that he found no ground for
15 trying to prosecute me.
16 Q. Exactly. And then after that, you also took it upon yourself to
17 inquire whether you could launch a civil suit for defamation against your
18 particular colleague who I believe was a lieutenant at the time?
19 A. Lieutenant Rutten, I think you mean.
20 Q. Yes; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that was more or less in the same conversation I had with the
23 Q. Right. Now, before coming here today, you've made several
24 statements, as I understand it, and you've had an opportunity to sort of
25 discuss this issue both before the ICTY and before the parliament, the
1 parliamentary committee here; is that correct?
2 A. I was heard in the parliamentary inquiry, yes.
3 Q. In the inquiry, all right. If I could focus your attention to
4 that inquiry, by the way before coming here today did you have an
5 opportunity to review these documents that were generated as a result of
6 your conversations, your discussions, your testimony?
7 A. I have the documents, all the documents in my possession, yes.
8 Q. Okay. So just to make sure that I'm -- that I have -- that I'm
9 clear in my mind you have the testimony from the Krstic trial?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay and you had a chance to look at that, right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Okay. And you have your testimony from the parliamentary
14 committee inquiry that was on 11 November, 2002?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay. And I believe you filled out a questionnaire for the
17 international criminal Tribunal, the office of the Prosecution, a
18 questionnaire that was handwritten?
19 A. I don't know what questionnaire you mean.
20 Q. Okay. We'll get to that. You did give a statement to the
21 international criminal Tribunal, the office of the Prosecution? Did you
22 give them -- do you recall giving them a statement back in October 25,
24 A. I think that was the statement what -- which was made in Assen.
25 Do you mean that one?
1 Q. Well, I was going to get to that too. Now, the one made in Assen
2 was that by the Royal Netherlands Army?
3 A. By General Van der Windt, the big briefing report, you mean.
4 Q. Okay. Well, and then, as I understand -- I'm going to show you
5 these documents to make sure because we want to make sure that everybody
6 here has them and so when I make reference to them we have a clear record
7 if that's okay with you. Okay? But am I correct to understand that there
8 was also some kind of inquiry or questioning done by the air force, the
9 Royal Dutch Air Force or was that part of the same Assen inquiry?
10 A. I think you mean there was an operational debrief in Zagreb and
11 there was a big debriefing in Assen.
12 Q. Okay. All right. Well, before we get to the questioning, why
13 don't we just get these documents, we'll get it out of the way, make our
14 record and then we can go forward. Perhaps I could show one by one, is
15 that -- would that be okay, Your Honour? Mr. President?
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, whatever you feel convenient.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
18 Q. Let me show you -- and these have not been premarked for
19 identification but this would be marked for identification purposes as D7,
20 Your Honour, we left off at D6. I think there -- if you could look at
21 that, take a look at it, and then while it's being distributed, take a
22 glance and so we can identify it and then we move on.
23 A. I think this is the short version from the big debrief that was
24 made in Assen.
25 Q. Okay. Now, do you know whatever happened to the long version? Do
1 you know whether you turned it over to the office of the Prosecution or?
2 A. I have it in my possession but not here.
3 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I believe that falls under Rule 70 so I
4 would object to that.
5 JUDGE LIU: What's the specific reason for that?
6 MS. ISSA: Perhaps I'll let Mr. McCloskey explain it, Your
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, this it was an internal debriefing,
9 like an internal affairs debriefing, if you would like, and much of the
10 material in it didn't have anything to do with these events. It all had
11 to do with internal issues related to disciplinary issues with people or
12 things not related, and the Dutch government went through this material
13 and provided all the material they felt had any relevance to the war
14 crimes issues and provided that to us for our public use, and restricted
15 and requested that Rule 70 protections be provided to the internal
16 versions of those reports, and so the parts that they are referring to are
17 the internal Rule 70 designated so by the Dutch government which as you
18 know will prevent any distribution of that material.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll accept that explanation.
20 JUDGE LIU: Any response from Mr. Karnavas?
21 MR. KARNAVAS: First I'll accept that explanation Your Honour I
22 think it's a reasonable request by the Dutch government. Surely I don't
23 mean to pry into their internal affairs. The document does refer to
24 Nikolic and Stalin and the other gentleman so I take it I can only trust
25 that they redacted or gave us the portions they thought were relevant but
1 I'll take the explanation given by the Prosecution, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: By the way, on this document, I don't see a date.
4 Could you give us an approximation as to when this might have been
5 generated, if you know?
6 A. I think it was August, late August, of 1995, or September.
7 Q. Okay?
8 A. And the big report I think that was brought out in October or
9 November of that same year.
10 Q. So might I conclude, might we conclude, that this was perhaps the
11 first opportunity that you had to give a debriefing on this matter?
12 A. There had been an operational debrief in Zagreb.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. But that was more directed to the military issues not really to
15 the issues that were around the conflict.
16 Q. I take it the Prosecution doesn't have that document by any
17 chance, the Zagreb one? If that's okay, Your Honour, my asking a question
18 here on the record?
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: We are not aware of it and Ms. Stewart is not
21 aware of it and she's our expert on that manner.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll accept that answer as well, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, the next -- if I could have the assistance of
25 the usher.
1 Q. I want to show you what we'll mark as Defence Exhibit 8 for
2 identification purposes. If you could look at it, please, and if you
3 could wait until everybody has had a chance to look at it then I'll ask
4 you a couple of questions, foundational questions, that is. Do you
5 recognise the handwriting on this, sir?
6 A. I recognise the handwriting as being my handwriting.
7 Q. Okay. Now, if we flip to page 8 of this document, that has been
8 marked for identification purposes as Defence Exhibit 8, there is a
9 signature. Is that your signature, sir, on the very last page at the
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. Now, I also note, and I was trying to figure out when this
13 was generated, and it doesn't -- there doesn't seem to be a date, unless
14 I've missed it somewhere?
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, could I interrupt?
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Sure.
17 JUDGE LIU: I saw confidential on the top of this document. Can
18 you explain the status of this document? Is it still confidential, or is
19 confidentiality lifted?
20 MR. KARNAVAS: As I understand, Your Honour, all of this
21 information has been testified to that's in this document so...
22 JUDGE LIU: So you got this document from the Prosecution.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: From the Prosecution. All of these documents are
24 from the Prosecution.
25 JUDGE LIU: Maybe Mr. McCloskey could explain to me about the
1 status of this document.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Your Honour, these, I believe this was before
3 my time, but I believe the OTP sent out questionnaires to the various
4 members of DutchBat and people like the witness filled out that material
5 to give us some of our initial guidance into the investigation so these
6 were confidential investigative documents and that's why confidential is
7 on the top of them, and we of course have provided them to the Defence and
8 the information in them is still -- has some confidential nature to them.
9 We don't object to counsel using it in his cross-examination in any way.
10 However, Ms. Stewart has reminded me that in Krstic we offered these into
11 evidence at times under seal when they were appropriate to be in evidence,
12 but at this time, I do not have any objection to counsel publicly
13 questioning the witness on these documents. It's his account and his sort
14 of initial response to some questions related to the investigation so it's
15 perfectly appropriate for him to be questioned on it publicly.
16 JUDGE LIU: To my understanding, that the confidentiality is to
17 the public, right? If there is some information you feel that might be
18 confidential, at any time, the parties could ask us to go into the private
19 session. Is that agreeable?
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you very much, Mr. President. And perhaps
21 if when counsel, if it's possible, well we know that he would have --
22 this would have been a primary document that he would ask questions of
23 this witness. We will try to in the future make sure that there is
24 nothing confidential but I don't believe there is, at this time, but also,
25 the witness may help us, if he's put a family address or something on
1 there that he might be concerned about, I'm sure he'll let us know.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may proceed, Mr. Karnavas.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll endeavour to be a
4 little more careful on these matters but I did look at it and I didn't see
5 anything that jumped out to my attention.
6 Q. Sir, is this your handwriting, sir?
7 A. That is my handwriting.
8 Q. Again I don't see a date. Do you have an approximation when you
9 might have given -- put this information down?
10 A. This was made up in Zagreb.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. This is the first time I have seen it since.
13 Q. Okay?
14 A. 1995, so I've never seen it in the meanwhile but it must have been
15 July, at the end of July.
16 Q. Okay. All right. Now, let me show you what we'll mark as Defence
17 Exhibit number 9 for identification and see if perhaps you looked at this,
18 seen this before. This does have a date. It says October 25, 1995.
19 There is no signature to it but have you seen this before?
20 A. I have seen it before. I do not remember if I ever got to see it
21 before it was made, to sign it, so I don't remember if I have signed it on
22 one occasion.
23 Q. But did you have an opportunity to read it, to see whether it was
24 accurate or whether there were some, you know --
25 A. I don't remember if there were inaccuracies, I've seen a lot of
1 reports that had a lot of inaccuracies in it but I don't remember if this
2 was one of them.
3 Q. All right. Let me show you what we'll mark as Defence Exhibit 10
4 for identification and for the record, I'll have you identify it. Do you
5 recognise this, sir?
6 A. I recognise it, yes.
7 Q. And what do you recognise Defence Exhibit 10 for identification to
9 A. This is, like it says, the stenographic report of the hearing of
10 the parliamentary inquiry committee.
11 Q. And I take it you had an opportunity to read this as well?
12 A. In Dutch and English, yes.
13 Q. In Dutch and in English, and did you find anything in this report
14 that misquoted you or that you failed to sort of accurately portray or
15 when you --
16 A. As I remember, this is a stenographic report so --
17 Q. Okay. Finally I do have your -- I have for everybody's
18 convenience, a copy of your testimony from Krstic. As I understand it,
19 Mr. President, that it's not necessary to mark it as an exhibit but I may
20 be making references to it so while I have the usher up here, so that way
21 if I do make reference to it you have it handy and I think we are about
22 ready to begin now. Why don't we begin with the last question that was
23 posed to you by Madam Prosecutor, and that was with respect to that
24 allegation that had to deal with the evacuation? It's my understanding
25 from your testimony before the parliamentary committee that the evacuation
1 was a necessity given the situation on the ground as it existed; is that
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. And in fact you testified that because of the conditions, the lack
5 of food and lack of water, and the hygiene, that an epidemic would break
6 out then if something wasn't done; is that correct?
7 A. There was a great danger of that, yes.
8 Q. It's my understanding that in your testimony you indicated that
9 you were -- it was the best situation of the bad options that were
10 available but nonetheless that you were pleased with the evacuation
11 process, that it had taken place, that these people were able to get out
12 of that miserable situation?
13 A. Pleased is not the right word, I think but --
14 Q. Okay. You indicate -- well, you're right. And that's exactly
15 what you say on page 7, that -- page 17, you say, well, pleased is not
16 quite the right word but then you go on to state, page 17, you'll see, it
17 says -- it says but it was perhaps the best of all bad options. The
18 conditions were poor there. And then you go on to give an example and let
19 me read it for the record: "For example, we - meaning the DutchBat - ate
20 tinned food for four out of seven months to such an extent that people
21 were getting stomach cramps each time they ate anything because of all the
22 preservatives in the food. We also had hardly any fuel." And then you go
23 on to talk about the blocking positions but then you go on to say: "In
24 short our conditions were bad but the refugees had it much worse since
25 they had their houses destroyed by gun fire --"
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down?
2 MR. KARNAVAS:
3 Q. "It was all a source of possible epidemics and diseases." That
4 was your testimony, right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. In fact, you go on in the next paragraph and you continue
7 but by and large, your testimony back on 2002, was that an evacuation was
8 absolutely necessary under the circumstances given the lack of food, the
9 lack of water, the hygiene and what have you, right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Okay. And in fact, you used the word the situation was
12 intolerable at the time, okay? So you would not dispute me on that? You
13 would agree with me on that?
14 A. I would agree with you, yes.
15 Q. Okay. Now, you indicated -- you were asked about whether the
16 refugees, whether the Muslim refugees, showed any resistance of getting on
17 to the buses, and I believe on page 21 at the bottom of it, you say, you
18 say, "I certainly saw," at the bottom, so the second to last, in the
19 middle of the paragraph, "I certainly saw that the Muslim refugees did not
20 show any resistance in getting on to the buses. They really wanted to go
21 away on the buses. They wanted to get away from the enclave of
22 Srebrenica." And then you were asked, you were posed another question,
23 "Did you have to exert any force to get them to go to the buses." And
24 your answer is: "No, we didn't do that either, we did not force anyone to
25 get on to the buses." Right? So that's what you saw and that's what you
1 testified to?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay? And that was correct then and it is correct today, is that
5 A. If you see it in the light of the events that happened in the
6 previous days, if you are a refugee and you are shelled from your house,
7 you have to flee, you have to take everything with you, you are separated
8 from members of your family and you are packed with 20 to 30.000 other
9 refugees in the sun without food and water, then I think it's
10 understandable that you want to get away from that place.
11 Q. Absolutely. But I also from gather -- from the previous passage
12 that I read, it was my impression that you had it tough and you were
13 eating at least three squares, albeit canned foods with lots of
14 preservatives and you were having a hard time and it was my impression
15 that you felt that the people in Srebrenica were also under deplorable
16 situation -- conditions as well, right?
17 A. Worse than our.
18 Q. Worse than yours?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Then you go on to say -- "did you consider stopping making the
21 evacuation?" And your answer is: "No, the picture that I got from the
22 refugees was always -- was always that they wanted to get away from
23 there. We did not force anybody to get on to the buses and to go away
24 from there. In view of the danger of epidemics, breaking out, and the
25 unhealthy situation, if people were allowed to stay there, we concluded
1 that there was no other option than to cooperate," meaning cooperate with
2 the Serb forces that were getting the folks on to the buses; is that
4 A. That's correct, yes.
5 Q. All right. Now, as I understand it, from your testimony, also,
6 that when folks were trying to get on to the buses, initially there was
7 almost a stampede because they were trying to rush and get on; is that
9 A. I have heard that there was a stampede just before I arrived at
10 that location, yes.
11 Q. And as a result of that, measures were taken to sort of slow down,
12 slow folks down from getting on to the buses so they wouldn't hurt
13 themselves; is that right?
14 A. Yes, fall down and be trampled on by others.
15 Q. Now, yesterday I noted, I heard you and again it was pointed out
16 by Madam Prosecutor almost right off the bat, where you indicated that
17 some folks were being, I believe she used the word kick, and you said you
18 didn't see anybody getting kicked but they were being abused as they were
19 getting on the buses, okay? Is that a fair characterisation of your
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. Now, it's my understanding though from listening to you, let's
23 take aside the one incident where you talk about the kid, you did not see
24 any kicking of women or children at that time, did you?
25 A. There were a few incidents, the incidents I remember most clearly
1 is the incident with the kid and most of the time when families were
2 separated, it happened near our location, then you could see that women
3 and the men were at some point pulled out of each other when they tried to
4 hang on to each other and they were pulled to get them.
5 Q. In other words the wife --
6 A. Separation, yeah.
7 Q. But that's a far cry from somebody being shoved and kicked on to
8 the bus?
9 A. Yes, but those were stories I was told.
10 Q. I understand. I understand. But I just want to make sure that
11 you with your two eyes did not see any of that activity or heard about it?
12 A. [No audible response]
13 Q. Okay. All right. And, in fact, you haven't reported it in any of
14 your statements that you saw it so I thank you for that answer.
15 Now, let me move on to another topic. And I want to talk to you a
16 little bit about your mission, all right? And then we will develop from
17 there. You arrive in Srebrenica in January, 1995; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, as I understand it from hearing you yesterday before coming
20 you took an orientation course to be a peacekeeper, not a peacemaker but a
22 A. Training.
23 Q. Training.
24 A. More or less six months of training.
25 Q. Right. Because there is a different sort of mentality that a
1 peacekeeper has to maintain than say a soldier who is battle fit and ready
2 to go. He has to react where a peacekeeper has to stop, to think, maybe
3 negotiate, am I correct on that?
4 A. Yes, more or less you have different materials. You have blue
5 helmets instead of green, white vehicles.
6 Q. Okay. And we are going to get to the blue and the green because
7 I'm glad you mentioned that because at one point, I believe were you asked
8 a question about whether it was a blue mission or a green mission, a blue
9 option or a green option. And blue meaning what?
10 A. UN, UN type.
11 Q. Okay. But at one point, as I understand it, you had to go into
12 the green option, even though you were wearing the blue helmet, in other
13 words you had to shoot at the Serbs because you felt or you were in fact
14 perhaps getting shot at; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that was for the blocking position.
16 Q. Okay. For the blocking position. In fact, you were asked a
17 question whether the blocking position was a mechanism designed to draw
18 heat, to draw fire, as a pretext in order to get the close air protection
19 that was needed that you were asking for during those days when it wasn't
20 coming and eventually when it came it was too little too late; is that
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. Okay. So it would be fair to say that at some point, you use
24 yourselves more as a way of drawing some attention, drawing some fire,
25 almost like a sitting duck, because you got that -- those white vehicles,
1 hard to miss, right, blue helmets, people are shooting at you, then you
2 can radio in to Zagreb, you know, send us close air protection because the
3 situation on the ground was fairly tense; is that correct?
4 A. And also making a statement that the UN was there so they couldn't
5 get past us. That was more or less the statement we had to make.
6 Q. Now, you had a particular function while were you there, a
7 particular mission, and you were placed in a particular area during that
8 period; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And as I understand it, you had some men behind you?
11 A. Behind me?
12 Q. Well, under you, I'm sorry?
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. Because you're an academy man, you went to the -- you're a
15 professional soldier you went through the military academy and so you went
16 there as a first lieutenant?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay. And I believe you're 24 going on 25 at the time?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. All right. So this was probably your first mission where you came
21 under fire?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. All right. Now, one of the objectives for being there was to --
24 well in your own words, was to protect the militarised zone, this area,
25 the militarised enclave, right?
1 A. M'hm.
2 Q. Protect the people inside, right? And also sort of keep the new
3 neutrality between the two acting forces?
4 A. We were peacekeepers.
5 Q. Peacekeepers, not peacemakers.
6 A. Not peacemakers.
7 Q. Right. But you did have a particular function and that is you
8 were there to ensure that the enclave was demilitarised, right?
9 A. That was also the demilitarisation was something which we had to
10 look at. That was being like the two parties, the Serbs and the Muslims
11 had agreed on.
12 Q. Right?
13 A. More or less.
14 Q. Well they had agreed on, thanks to the UN, and the UN got you
15 folks in there and I believe there might have been Canadians before you
16 got there?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Okay. And but the whole purpose was that this area, this enclave,
19 was going to be protected by the UN and the Serbs were supposed to abide
20 that neutrality in that zone, provided of course that that -- the people
21 inside were totally demilitarised, right?
22 A. That was the agreement, yes.
23 Q. That was the agreement. But when you got there on the ground and
24 throughout the whole period that you were there it was never
25 demilitarised, was it?
1 A. Not totally, no.
2 Q. Well, it's like saying a little pregnant, either demilitarised or
3 isn't, right?
4 A. When you want to demilitarise, then you have -- you need a certain
5 amount of soldiers. You look at the area and being that big when you have
6 so little soldiers, then it's not possible to demilitarise it when you
7 only have 200, 300 fighting soldiers.
8 Q. All right. But when you're talking about the 200 or 300 fighting
9 soldiers you're talking about DutchBat, right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. All right. Of course, this is 1995, it was declared demilitarised
12 back in 1993 so I take it - and it's no fault of DutchBats but everybody
13 that preceded you failed to keep that place demilitarised, right?
14 A. We knew that the Muslims had arms, yes.
15 Q. Okay. But my question was everybody that preceded you failed to
16 take away the weapons, right?
17 A. They didn't take the weapons, no.
18 Q. They didn't take the weapons, okay. And in fact, there were
19 overflights coming in, helicopter flights coming in, and I believe that
20 you observed some lights at some point, and reinforcements or at least
21 perhaps ammunition and guns were coming in in this enclave at the same
22 time that were you there to try to demilitarise, right?
23 A. I heard stories about that. I also read the NIOD Report but I
24 don't know that for sure.
25 Q. Okay, you don't know that for sure. However, you were able to
1 view with your own two eyes Muslim soldiers with weapons, right?
2 A. That's correct, yes.
3 Q. And some of those weapons were rocket launchers?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Now, what kind of a damage could a rocket launcher do? Is it like
6 a little pistol that you carry or is it something much more heavier?
7 A. You use it on an APC or a tank. It can do a lot of damage.
8 Q. Okay, so it can take out tanks?
9 A. It can take out tanks when you're close enough.
10 Q. Okay. So it's not light armour, you know, it's not like having
11 just a rifle?
12 A. It's not small calibre.
13 Q. It's not small calibre, okay. But nonetheless --
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm sorry Your Honour. I'm sorry. I truly
17 JUDGE LIU: I think you have to repeat from when you use it from
18 time to time or something like this because the transcript is not quite
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay, Your Honour, I'll slow it down. I'll make a
21 conscious effort. I apologise. And I apologise to the gentleman there
22 who must have a tough job.
23 Q. All right. So, while were you there, you were able to see
24 soldiers, Muslim soldiers, carrying rocket launchers?
25 A. Yes. I have to state that on several occasions, we were able to
1 take weapons from the Muslims but it was also clear to us that we didn't
2 take all the weapons. We knew that the Muslims still had arms.
3 Q. Okay. But that wasn't my question, now was it? My question was
4 from time to time you would see Muslim soldiers with rocket launchers, yes
5 or no?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. Now, you had -- you had contact, not just with the Serb
8 soldiers but you also had contact with the Muslim soldiers, as well,
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And as I understand it from your testimony today, that one of them
12 was Naser Sabanovic?
13 A. Naser Sabanovic.
14 Q. Sabanovic. And what was he exactly again?
15 A. I think he was a commander of northern -- the northern troops from
16 the Muslims.
17 Q. Okay. So here you were having contact with the commander of part
18 of the 28th division that was there, and I understand it in your contacts
19 he tell you about some of the activities that he was carrying out, right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And some of those activities?
22 JUDGE LIU: You're still too fast.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
24 JUDGE LIU: Just make a pause after the witness answers the
1 MR. KARNAVAS:
2 Q. Okay. Now, so when you would meet with this gentleman, on
3 occasions he would tell you about some of his activities; is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And those activities entailed military activities?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Going outside the enclave?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Setting mines, for instance?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Did he ever discuss with you any other activities such as going
12 and burning down Serb villages or killing Serb citizens or was he just
13 telling you about laying mines and what have you?
14 A. It was only about the laying mines because he told me that they
15 had information that the Serbs would try and take over my two OPs and to
16 prevent that, he was placing mines on roads towards the enclave. That was
17 the only stories he had told me.
18 Q. While you were there, did you ever hear of any stories or
19 incidents of these Muslims soldiers going out and burning down Serb
20 villages? Did you hear any of those stories?
21 A. I heard stories about that.
22 Q. Okay. So I take it you didn't -- you don't -- you don't recollect
23 the incident that occurred, I believe it was in June 26th, 1995, just
24 before the events?
25 A. I don't know anything about that.
1 Q. Okay. All right. Now, these soldiers these Muslim soldiers at
2 one time, as I understand it, from reading your testimony even pointed the
3 rocket launchers at you during those events?
4 A. That was in the blocking position.
5 Q. That was in the blocking position. I believe it was the 10th or
6 was it the 11th somewhere around there?
7 A. I don't remember the date.
8 Q. And you folks, meaning the DutchBat, wanted to leave but the
9 Muslim soldiers that were in the enclave pointed the rocket launchers at
10 you to keep you there in that position; is that correct?
11 A. We were not trying to leave or we didn't have -- not have the
12 order to leave there, but the Muslim soldiers there at that location made
13 it quite clear by pointing the rocket launchers at our APCs that they
14 didn't want us to leave.
15 Q. Okay. So even if you had the orders, would you have left and
16 taken a chance at being shot at with a rocket launcher or would you have
17 stayed just to be on the safe side?
18 A. That's a difficult question, I don't know. I did not have that --
19 that's always difficult, you have to see that when the situation occurs.
20 Q. Okay. All right. Now, do you know off-hand by any chance how
21 many Muslim soldiers were in the enclave in total? Because I understand
22 you saw some of them leaving. Do you have an estimation of how many there
23 were? If you don't know that's okay?
24 A. I don't know the exact amount.
25 Q. Okay. And I take it you were never told by anybody?
1 A. I think I was told but I forgot.
2 Q. Okay. All right. Now, you indicated, sort of the last line of
3 the questioning followed very much the same script as your first testimony
4 with Krstic, same outline, you know, they started at the events and then
5 they went back to April, 1995 and they wanted to question you, the
6 Prosecutor here, questioned you about what you were able to observe with
7 respect to the Serb soldiers in that area. Okay?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And if I understand you correctly, your testimony is, back then as
10 it is today, that sometime in the middle of April, you saw fresh troops
11 arriving and I guess the older troops leaving, right?
12 A. The old troops also stayed, a few of the old soldiers went away.
13 We didn't see them again.
14 Q. And then, as I understand it, it was almost like a weekly basis,
15 every Tuesday or something the bus would come?
16 A. There was a weekly basis. I don't know the exact day but they had
17 a continuing rotation, yes.
18 Q. So it wasn't every Tuesday a new batch arrived the old ones stay
19 and so you have an increase of the troops but rather a rotational basis?
20 A. At first it was a rotation, and from April on, we noticed that
21 there was a buildup in the troops. There were more troops there.
22 Q. Okay. Do you know the numbers?
23 A. I don't recollect them.
24 Q. Okay. Now at one point, I was kind of curious about this, maybe
25 you can help me out, you say that you made some inquiries about these
1 folks and they said somebody told you that they were Chetniks; is that
3 A. I cannot remember no, sorry.
4 Q. Okay. You can't remember whether you were told that they were
5 Chetniks or you can't --
6 A. I can't remember if that was told to me. I remember that there
7 were incidents with patrols from our soldiers, from the UN, when they --
8 at the border crossed patrols from the Serbs, that they noticed that there
9 were no longer the patrols they were used to meet but they were young,
10 fresh soldiers and they made like hand signals or waving with the Serb
11 sign of the hand and that they were more or less more aggressive than the
12 older soldiers we were more or less used to.
13 Q. Okay. But my question goes back to the term Chetniks, and if I
14 could refer you to page 2 of what has been marked as Defence Exhibit 9 for
15 identification, that would be your witness statement of 25 October, 1995,
16 you'll see at the second last paragraph, give us a little bit of this
17 description, then you say and I'll read it for the record, "Until April
18 1995 there were somewhat older slovenly dressed Serbian soldiers here.
19 From the end of April, 1995, the posts of the Bosnian Serb soldiers were
20 reinforced with new personnel. This new personnel was more highly
21 disciplined. When talking to our old regular contacts, we heard that the
22 new soldiers were Chetniks," and I'm kind of interested if you could help
23 me out, maybe your memory doesn't serve you well at this point but help me
24 out first who were your old regular contacts?
25 A. Can you please first help me, where I can find that.
1 Q. Well it's on page 2?
2 A. From the witness statement.
3 Q. Witness statement?
4 A. Of 25 October.
5 Q. Okay?
6 A. Okay.
7 Q. And it's the second to last paragraph?
8 A. I have it now, yes.
9 Q. Okay. Take your time, look at it, it's the very last sentence of
10 the second to last paragraph.
11 A. The regular contacts we had from OP Romeo were the contacts from
12 my group commanders with the Serb soldiers, the older Serb soldiers in the
13 bunker that we called the Dragan bunker that was near OP Romeo. I don't
14 remember the names of the Serb soldiers that were in that bunker.
15 Q. Okay. So are you suggesting -- are you -- are you telling us
16 today that it was the Serbs themselves that said these are Chetniks, these
17 new folks are Chetniks?
18 A. Yes. When you say it now, that -- I remember now that they were
19 more or less not that fond of the new soldiers because they made them
20 clean their weapons, polish their shoes and stuff like that, shave.
21 Q. All right. So the old soldiers referred to the new soldiers as
22 Chetniks because they imposed some discipline on them, as far as you can
24 A. I don't know if they called them Chetniks, I cannot remember that.
25 Q. Do you know what a Chetnik is, by the way?
1 A. I've read something about it, yes.
2 Q. All right. Okay. But I was just curious why you characterised
3 them as this in your statement, that's all. All right. So --
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, it's time for a break. Is this
5 the right time?
6 MR. KARNAVAS: It's a wonderful time.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. We'll resume at 4.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.01 p.m.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, before we resume, I think one
11 matter I have to remind the counsels and the witness. Witness, I
12 understand that you are eager to give your evidence, to help us, and I
13 understand it's the weekend, everybody wants an early break but we have to
14 bear in mind that whatever is said in this courtroom has to be translated
15 into the other two languages. I don't know whether anybody in this
16 courtroom follow in French but certainly Mr. Blagojevic and Mr. Jokic are
17 following in B/C/S. They are entitled to understand the questions and
18 answers. So I hope -- I hope between the questions and answers, at least
19 there will be ten seconds pause so that the interpreters and the typists
20 will follow you. I will not act like a symphony conductor or traffic
21 police by giving signals to the parties to indicate when to start and when
22 to stop but I just want the proceedings in good pace.
23 Yes, Mr. Karnavas, you may begin.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. Again I want to apologise
25 to the interpreters and to the gentleman for speaking too fast and not
2 Q. Okay. Now, Captain, I want to focus on the area of your
3 understanding of the troops that were on the ground during the days of the
4 fall of Srebrenica, particularly the 11th, 12th, 13th. It's my
5 understanding from your previous testimony, when asked about the Drina
6 Corps and the Drina Wolves, it was your impression and perhaps that
7 impression you still share today, that they are one and the same. In
8 other words, that the Drina Wolves is a nickname for the Drina Corps; is
9 that correct?
10 A. Of course I have read also the NIOD Report but as I remembered
11 from the things I knew then was that by my understanding, the Drina Corps
12 was the same as the Drina Wolves so the Drina Wolves were more or less a
13 nickname for the Drina Corps.
14 Q. That was your understanding back then?
15 A. At that time, yes.
16 Q. All right. So at some point, I believe it was the 11th, or the
17 12th, the 12th, you met a man by the name of Mane; is that correct?
18 A. On the 12th.
19 Q. On the 12th. And it was your impression from speaking with him
20 that Mane was maybe not a member of the Drina Wolves but attached or
21 associated with or working in conjunction with the Drina Wolves, is that
22 your understanding?
23 A. Yes, he was a member of a military police unit and like you say,
24 attached or associated with the Drina Wolves.
25 Q. Okay. So might I ask where was it that you got the impression
1 that he was a military police? Was it through him or through some
2 independent investigation on the ground at the time?
3 A. No, he told me that he was military police.
4 Q. And so I just want to make sure that we are clear to be
5 distinguished from MUP or police that were associated with the civilian
6 government, not special police associated with the civilian government but
7 military police in the sense of police being within the military?
8 A. Yes, that's what he said, military police.
9 Q. All right. And from reading your testimonies, and your
10 statements, it seems to me that this fellow, this Mane fellow, was quite
11 active at the time on the ground taking care of the situation; is that
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Now, while you were there on the 12th, and perhaps even on the
15 13th, but I know for the 12th for sure, General Mladic showed up; is that
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And you referred to him yesterday as the -- as the senior officer,
19 I believe or the highest-ranking officer. Those were your terms, I
20 believe; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, for those of us who have not spent any time in the military,
23 what did you mean by that?
24 A. That General Mladic was the soldier, the Bosnian Serb soldier,
25 with the highest rank.
1 Q. Okay. Now, before that day, did you know who General Mladic was?
2 A. I had seen him on television, yes.
3 Q. Okay. But did you know what his actual position was within the
4 VRS or the BSA, as you refer to them?
5 A. I cannot recollect what I exactly knew about General Mladic at
6 that time but that I knew that he was --
7 Q. The senior on the spot.
8 A. The senior -- a very high military officer of the Serb army. That
9 was without a doubt.
10 Q. Okay. Now, since then have you been able to figure out who he is
11 or who he was at the time?
12 A. I've read something about him in the NIOD Report, yes.
13 Q. All right. And would it be accurate to say that what you said was
14 that he was the highest, not a high ranking but the highest, the top of
15 the top, of all the officers, in other words, he was the top of the
16 military command structure of the VRS? Would that be a fair
18 A. Yes, that would be.
19 Q. All right. Now, from listening to you, based on what you
20 observed, at the scene, on the 12th, it seems to me, correct me if I'm
21 wrong, that we have the highest military officer on the ground acting like
22 a platoon commander, micro-managing and giving orders to anyone and
23 everyone he could get a hold of. Would that be a fair characterisation?
24 A. He was giving orders when he wanted to, but the process was
25 ongoing and like in every army, when the highest ranking officer comes to
1 the scene and he wants to change anything, he can, because he's the
3 Q. In other words, when the highest commanding officer of the Dutch
4 army comes to the airport where you're working and he can just give you an
6 A. If he does not like things that are happening, he can give me an
7 order, yes.
8 Q. But isn't there some sort of a chain of command that he should go
9 to your commanding officer and maybe give him an order to give you the
10 order? Isn't there sort of like a trickle down approach?
11 A. If he wants to do it in a nice way, he can use the chain of
12 command but he's still a general.
13 Q. All right. Now when you say a nice way, are you -- is it nice,
14 polite, being friendly --
15 A. Without --
16 Q. Or being correct? What is the correct way?
17 A. The correct way is that he is a general and can give orders to
18 anyone he wants.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. If he does not want to go past the chain of command, then he would
21 do it the way you stated and use the chain of command to change things,
22 but when a general comes to Schiphol airport and he doesn't like the way
23 things are happening or maybe some -- even things about discipline, he can
24 give an order. He's still -- he still has a rank of a general.
25 Q. Now, when he gives you that order, he'll take -- you know, you as
1 a hypothetical because I would imagine armies by and large function the
2 same way, they have to, right?
3 A. More or less.
4 Q. More or less. They have to have a structure. And when he's
5 giving you that order, I would imagine that you're subordinated to him for
6 that particular task that he's giving you, are you not?
7 A. It depends on what he's saying.
8 Q. Okay. Well, if he tells to you do something and you do it, and
9 let's say, hypothetically speaking, that he asks you to do something that
10 later on proves to be incorrect. I'm not talking about illegal activity
11 but say for instance incorrect, and there is an inquiry, can your superior
12 officer, the one that he bypassed, be responsible for your conduct because
13 you listened to the commander up above?
14 A. It more or less depends on what the general gives as an order, but
15 if he gives the order, he is also responsible of course.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. But still the person that gets the order is also responsible for
18 what he's doing.
19 Q. Absolutely. But can you, for instance, tell the general, "Why
20 don't you talk to my superior officer? Because I think you need to follow
21 the chain of command here"?
22 A. Of course.
23 Q. You have that option?
24 A. Of course, yes.
25 Q. Okay. Now, being on the ground, do you think the officers that
1 were with Mladic, based on what you saw the way General Mladic acted and
2 behaved, how often did they did up there and contradict him or tell him
3 to just follow the chain of command, the normal procedure? Did you ever
4 notice that?
5 A. I have no idea how the Serb officers gave orders to each other. I
6 don't know how that happened.
7 Q. Okay. But you did see Mladic ordering people, including soldiers,
8 what to do?
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. And when he was on the ground, would it be fair to say that he was
11 in charge?
12 A. Yes, that would be fair to say.
13 Q. Nobody else was in charge but him?
14 A. He was in charge.
15 Q. He was micro-managing, would that be a correct way of putting it?
16 A. I don't know what kind of orders he gave out there, and if those
17 were micro-orders or other orders.
18 Q. When a general, when the highest general, excuse me, and I'll slow
19 down here for a second, but when the highest general of the army is giving
20 an order to a foot soldier, don't you think that's micro-managing, in your
21 opinion as a military officer being trained in the academy, having all of
22 that experience?
23 A. It depends on the order he gives.
24 Q. Okay. And of course you didn't speak any Serbian, right, so you
25 didn't understand what orders he was giving?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Okay. Now, when he wasn't there, there was his second in command,
3 occasionally, sometimes, I believe you referred to him as his -- you
4 thought he might have been his Chief of Staff, gentleman -- Colonel
5 Jankovic; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All right. He made an impression on you especially because of his
8 perverse sense of humour always checking up and saying, well, I see that
9 lieutenant, using the Serbian word for it, you're still alive; right?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And that was sort of an unnerving thing to say at the time and he
12 struck you and he made an impression on you, right?
13 A. Yes, he did.
14 Q. And would it be fair to say that when Mladic wasn't there and he
15 was on the ground, that he was in charge?
16 A. No, because at that time I didn't know what role Colonel Jankovic
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. He told me that he was a logistics officer.
20 Q. Right.
21 A. And of course later on, I read in the NIOD Report something about
22 the role and Colonel Jankovic but at that time, I did not know that his
24 Q. Okay. By the way I appreciate the fact that you're distinguishing
25 what you read and what you observed because I think that's what I'm here
1 for. What you observed on the ground there. So when he was on the
2 ground, if I understand you correctly, from what you were able to observe,
3 you could not distinguish whether he was actually in charge or somebody
4 else was in charge or nobody was in charge or everybody was in charge; is
5 that correct?
6 A. I knew that Mane was in charge and Stalin.
7 Q. Okay. We are going to get to them, we are going to get them. But
8 when he was there, your testimony today is the person that you believe
9 that was Mladic's right-hand man, and was right next to Mladic, when
10 Mladic wasn't there you were not sure whether he was in charge?
11 A. I did not know at the time that he was his right-hand man.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. I only met him when he was alone.
14 Q. Okay. But that's what you've indicated that you thought the
15 impression that he gave you that you were able to observe, the dynamics
16 between Mladic and him, as I understand, you got the sense that he was
17 Mladic's right-hand person?
18 MS. ISSA: Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes.
20 MS. ISSA: I think I'm going to object to this line of
21 questioning. I don't believe that's precisely what the witness said.
22 He is mischaracterising the evidence and perhaps if the witness can be
23 allowed to explain what he said but that in my respectful submission was a
24 mischaracterisation of the evidence.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: I gave the witness an opportunity, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Of course the witness has the opportunity to repeat
2 what he said. If there is a mischaracterisation by the Defence counsel,
3 the witness has a right to correct it.
4 THE WITNESS: Yes. I never saw Jankovic and Mladic together. I
5 saw them on separate occasions so when Defence counsel is speaking about
6 Colonel Jankovic and General Mladic together I don't know what he's
7 talking about.
8 MR. KARNAVAS:
9 Q. Okay. Now, you say when Mladic came twice -- General Mladic came
10 twice on the 12th, right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And when he came, at least, the first time he had an entourage?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And the entourage was basically officers from what you were able
15 to observe?
16 A. I remember that there was one officer that looked a little bit
17 like General Mladic.
18 Q. Right. But were there other officers on the ground at the time?
19 A. I think there was but I don't remember who they were.
20 Q. Okay. Did any of those officers stay there after Mladic left?
21 A. I cannot recall now, can't remember.
22 Q. You cannot remember. But it's your understanding today, as it was
23 back then, and all the times that you've testified, that this individual
24 named Mane was the person in charge when Mladic wasn't there?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. And might I ask was that an impression that you formed
2 based on your experience and your observations or was that something that
3 was told to you by Mane, in other words Mane said to you, "Lieutenant, I'm
4 in charge"?
5 A. Yes, that's what he said.
6 Q. Okay. Now and by that you understood to mean that he was in
7 charge for the situation on the ground at that time?
8 A. Yes, and also from the things that happened, I told you a story
9 about the guy in the black uniform, I wanted to get away from the Muslim
10 refugees, Mane was the man that could do that.
11 Q. Make it happen?
12 A. Make it happen.
13 Q. So when there was a situation --
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, please look at the transcript as
15 well it also applies to the witness. If that sentence is finished with a
16 dot there, you may ask your question, or answer the question. Is that
18 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour.
19 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: That's too fast.
21 MR. KARNAVAS:
22 Q. Okay. Now, at some point, Mane informed you that his superior was
23 someone by the name of Stalin, he had a nickname or code name Stalin; is
24 that correct?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. And as I understand it, Stalin showed up at the time, at
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. Now, did you ever ask Stalin, because as I understand it,
5 you had an interpreter there to assist you, so did you ask Stalin with
6 what unit he was in by any chance?
7 A. I never had a conversation with Stalin, by my recollection.
8 Q. So just to be clear, your understanding that Stalin was Mane's
9 superior was from the information that Mane had given you?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. All right. Now, when he -- when Stalin showed up, did Stalin and
12 Mane interact?
13 A. Not that I remember. Their interaction was through the radio.
14 Q. You mean they were on the ground and they are talking, they could
15 visibly see each other and they are talking on the radio or this is before
16 Stalin shows up?
17 A. Before he showed up and Mane knew that Stalin was coming so they
18 had already had contact by the radio before.
19 Q. Okay. Now when Stalin showed up, if I understand you correctly,
20 Mane didn't go up to Stalin to say, to give him an update and Stalin
21 didn't come up to Mane to get an update? Based on what you were able to
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. But at some point, you were able to see Stalin speaking with an
25 individual? Someone that you had seen before, someone who was well known,
1 and that individual was Major Nikolic; is that correct?
2 A. That is correct. Because Stalin and Major Nikolic were walking
4 Q. Okay. I take it that before this day, you had had some dealings
5 with Nikolic or at least you knew who he was by face, that is?
6 A. I knew who he was by face, and that he was responsible for the
7 checkpoint near OP Papa, where all of our convoys, the few convoys we
8 had, passed through, and as I remember, Mane also told me that -- pointed
9 him out, that was Stalin and that was Nikolic.
10 Q. Did you ever have any actual dealings with Major Nikolic?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you know what his actual function was, who he was subordinated
13 to, who he was attached to, who was his commander, what his title was, any
14 of that?
15 A. I know that he was a major, at least that was his rank, and that
16 he was responsible for OP Papa and that was the only thing I knew about
17 Major Nikolic.
18 Q. Nothing else. So just to make sure that I understand it
19 correctly, you never spoke with Stalin and you never spoke with Nikolic,
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. All right. But you were able to see them on that particular day
23 from afar and you were able to recognise them or it was pointed out to you
24 by Mane that there is Stalin and there is Nikolic, right?
25 A. There were about 25, 50 metres from our location, so it wasn't
1 that far.
2 Q. 25 to 50 metres?
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. Okay. So that would be about twice the distance from this wall to
5 that wall, is that -- or closer?
6 A. I don't know how -- what the distance is in this courtroom but --
7 Q. Well, I'm just asking you to look at it that's why I'm using this
8 as a comparison?
9 A. The distance from the courtroom -- the diameter of the courtroom,
10 more or less something like that.
11 Q. All right. Now you never went up to them, close to them?
12 A. Not closer than that, no.
13 Q. Okay. And I take it you were not able to hear what if anything
14 they were talking about?
15 A. No, did I not hear that.
16 Q. Okay. Now, would it be fair to say that you could not hear
17 because of the distance? Or were you not just paying attention?
18 A. I think that was a combination of the distance, me not talking
19 Serbo-Croatian, and the noise that was on that time.
20 Q. That's right. We got all that crowd, right? Now, when you
21 noticed those two individuals, did you lock your sight on to them to kind
22 of figure out what on earth they are doing or you just sort of looked at
23 them and went about the business that you were attending to because after
24 all, you had other things that were more pressing on your mind? Which of
25 the two?
1 A. I looked at them for a while, because also at that time, Mane was
2 pointing them out to me, so I had a chance to look at them for a while.
3 Q. All right. And what you were able to see was I guess some hand
5 A. And also seeing that Stalin was speaking to Major Nikolic.
6 Q. Okay. So Stalin was speaking to Nikolic, and as I understand it,
7 maybe I have it wrong, that Nikolic was pointing in some direction or
8 making some hand gestures? Or was he just standing there listening
10 A. They were -- they were walking and Major Nikolic was walking in
11 the middle of the road.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. And Stalin was walking next to him, and as I remember, Stalin was
14 speaking to Major Nikolic and making some hand gestures, and that gave me
15 the impression that he was explaining something to Major Nikolic.
16 Q. All right. We are going to get to that but first, would it be
17 correct to say that Major Nikolic was dressed sort of in a well-pressed
18 uniform, Ray Ban sunglasses, sort of looked very officious, strutting a
19 little bit like a peacock there in the middle of the road? Would that be
20 a correct way of putting it?
21 A. It looked like he was inspecting.
22 Q. But he also looked officious, did he not?
23 A. More or less, yes.
24 Q. And from the way he carried himself with this sort of aura glowing
25 about himself from what you could see and from what was happening, you
1 discerned that he must be Stalin's superior; is that correct?
2 A. The way they two were interacting gave me the impression that that
3 was the case.
4 Q. Okay. But you could not hear what they were saying and you never
5 talked to them?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. All right. Now, I notice that in the military, while you were in
8 the military, you've had the opportunity to visit some countries,
9 including Greece; is that correct?
10 A. You are well informed.
11 Q. Okay. And I'm part Greek, well I am Greek but from America, but
12 when I go to Greece I see people talking with their hands, you know.
13 Could you tell me, when you were in Greece, were you able from 50 yards
14 away to discern what the individuals, what people were talking about when
15 they are their gesticulating, waving their hands, acting about?
16 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I'm objecting to that, it's totally
17 irrelevant. It's totally irrelevant.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, drop this question.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
20 Q. All right. Now, let me walk you through some of your statements
21 on this issue because I think this is fairly critical on what has been
22 marked as Defence Exhibit number 7 for identification, that's the one
23 that -- the redacted or the summary from the Royal Netherlands Army, the
24 debriefing, on page number 2, and I believe it says -- it's the third
25 paragraph, it starts with July 12th and it states that you saw Major
1 Nikolic here. At the very last part, the last sentence, within this
2 paragraph, you say, "But Nikolic was Stalin's superior." Now, it doesn't
3 say that you thought it was his superior, that you got that impression but
4 that he was. Do you recall whether that was the statement that you gave
5 or was that the way it was just merely summarised?
6 A. This is a summary, and it also is a translation, and as I try to
7 recall, I think I told that I had the impression that Nikolic was Stalin's
9 Q. Okay. Now, if we could go to Defence Exhibit number 8 for
10 identification purposes, this is the questionnaire that you filled out. I
11 believe you indicated that it was -- when you got to Zagreb, perhaps that
12 early. So shortly after the events. If we flip to page 2, and you can
13 see that there is a list of questions, and I want to take you to the third
14 question from the bottom. And it states, the question is describe anyone
15 who appeared to be in command of them. You're referring to all sorts of
16 people. Including the commanders' name and rank, if you're aware of it.
17 And you say, platoon commander Mane, and this company, company commander,
18 nickname Stalin, of the military police, who arranged the deportation,
19 okay? Now, right after that, there is another question, and this is
20 identify and/or name any other captors, if you can? And you say, "Major
21 Nikolic who was also frequently present." Over here, you do not have him
22 above in the previous question stating that your impression was that
23 Nikolic was the commander of Stalin who was the commander of Mane; is
24 that correct?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Okay. If we could go to Defence Exhibit number 9 for
2 identification purposes, over here I've looked for that to see where you
3 state anything about Mane, and Nikolic, and if we flip to page 8, you talk
4 about Stalin at one point being there where he held the formation I guess
5 at the end of the day, I believe that you saw him making roll call or --
6 but I don't see anything in this statement -- maybe I'm wrong but I don't
7 see anything where you referred to Stalin as Nikolic's subordinate?
8 A. Can you explain to me what exhibit number 9 is?
9 Q. I'm sorry, this was the statement that you provided on October
10 25th, 1995.
11 A. Okay.
12 Q. And if page 7 and 8 is where you talk about Mane and at the last
13 paragraph at page 7, and then page 8 you talk -- you do indicate that
14 Stalin came at one point and had an U formation, the men stood and he took
15 roll call, and I believe that -- this is the -- in this particular
16 statement you have the dates wrong. I think you're a day off.
17 A. The roll call was on the evening of the 12th.
18 Q. Right. Right. Because then you go on the next day, Thursday the
19 14th but the next day was actually Wednesday, the 13th?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Right but here you don't say anything about -- about Stalin being
22 under Nikolic or that being your impression.
23 A. This interview was in a fashion of question-answer.
24 Q. All right.
25 A. I see that I did not mention it.
1 Q. Okay. Now, you did -- when you did testify at the Krstic case,
2 and you have the transcript there available, I'll direct you to page 1746,
3 it was Thursday, 30 March, 2000, and around page -- around line 7, you're
4 asked, or line 6 you're asked -- line 7, now, are you aware -- were you
5 aware at the time who Stalin was subordinated to, who was the commanding
6 officer of Stalin was at the time? And the answer is: "I recall that I'd
7 seen the soldier with the code name Stalin before, together with Major
8 Nikolic. It looked to me that Major Nikolic was the commander of the guy
9 named Stalin because Major Nikolic was in the middle of the road, Stalin
10 was next to him more or less explaining, I couldn't understand what they
11 were talking about because they were talking Serbo-Croat but it really
12 looked to me like Major Nikolic was more or less inspecting what was going
13 on there and Stalin was telling him about everything that happened." So
14 from that, I understand that you -- that was your testimony then and I
15 take it that is your testimony here today; is that correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. But from reading this, it seems to -- you say that you couldn't
18 understand Serbo-Croatian, that doesn't say that they were so far you
19 couldn't even hear what they were talking about, does it?
20 A. I said it was a combination of the distance and the language.
21 Q. All right.
22 A. And the noise.
23 Q. And that's the impression that you have?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Whether it's actual fact or not, that's the impression that you
1 have but you don't know for certain to this day whether Stalin was under
2 Major Nikolic, do you?
3 A. I never looked it up in the NIOD Report. I don't know.
4 Q. Okay. All right. And I believe you also asked later on in the
5 testimony about it and you indicated the same, that basically that was an
6 impression that you had made -- you had formed and that was the end of
7 that; is that correct? Basically, I mean, there is nothing more we can
8 talk about that issue other than it's just an impression that you made and
9 it could be true and it could be false? The impression, that is.
10 A. It was the idea that I got from the things that I had seen.
11 Q. Okay. Now, we talked a little bit about General Mladic and so as
12 you indicated, he was the highest ranks officer or the highest ranking
13 officer on the scene at the time, right? And -- is that correct?
14 A. At the times he was present.
15 Q. At the times that he was present, okay. And you also indicated
16 yesterday that at one point he made a rather racist comment. Do you
17 recall that, with respect to the Dutch and the multi-ethnicity and the one
18 soldier who happened to be black? Do you recall that?
19 A. I recall that, yes.
20 Q. Okay. Now, to be honest with you I was thinking about that last
21 night and I'm wondering whether the reason that it was posed, the question
22 was posed to you was whether -- was because you wanted to give the
23 impression that somehow all the soldiers that were there shared the same
24 sentiments, the same racist sentiments that General Mladic had indicated?
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Issa.
1 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, that's totally inappropriate, it's
2 irrelevant and speculative. I just don't see where all this is going. I
3 think Mr. Karnavas's cross-examination is getting a little repetitive,
4 quite frankly.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I have the same impression, Mr. Karnavas, would
6 you please rephrase your question.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well but for the record, Your Honour, this was
8 raised by the Prosecutor in order to inject the issue of racism into the
9 Court so I'm just merely wanting to get the witness to clear up the issue.
10 Q. Now, getting back to the report, the time that you were questioned
11 before the parliamentary committee, there was one particular issue that
12 you were questioned somewhat about and that was an omission on your part
13 earlier to state that you had seen passports that were being discarded,
14 that you had testified today that you collected. Do you recall that?
15 A. Yes. I recall that. It was no omission on my part because I
16 mentioned it in my debriefing report in Assen. It was an omission to take
17 that from my debriefing report into the big report, the summary.
18 Q. Okay. And I stand corrected on that but as I understand from
19 reading the material and even during the hearing, you were questioned
20 whether on the scene you had brought that to your superior's attention,
21 your commander's attention?
22 A. Whether I have -- that was a question, if I had radioed in and
23 told the story about the passports by radio. That was the question of the
24 inquiry committee.
25 Q. Right. And my understanding was that you had failed to provide
1 that information at the time, on the scene.
2 A. I did not give the information by radio because I thought that was
3 not necessary to give that by radio. I just wanted to stress that we
4 should accompany the buses from the -- and that was my goal and it was not
5 necessary to elaborate on that and tell them about passports or any other
6 things I had seen. That's why I made a choice not to tell the passports
7 because as I stated at the committee, if you talk to each other by radio,
8 you try to keep the message that you are sending as short as possible.
9 Q. All right. But did you tell that to Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans
10 sometime thereafter when you next saw him or was this something that you
11 brought to the attention when you gave your statement at the Assen
13 A. I think that was -- I'm sure I mentioned it at the committee in
14 Assen and I don't know if I have mentioned it earlier to other soldiers.
15 Q. Okay. Now, did Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans get into trouble at
16 all as a result of not having that information passed on to him by you at
17 the time? That's just a question. It's not a trick question.
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Okay, you don't know. Is that something that he should have
20 known, given that he was there on the scene? I mean here was vital
21 information that you had and him being the commander, isn't that something
22 that he should have known?
23 A. I don't think that the question of finding passports changed
24 anything about the men being separated from the women and being --
25 Q. Excuse me, I'm going to interrupt you here. You're not answering
1 the question. The question was --
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, yes, Ms. Issa.
3 MS. ISSA: Well, we actually haven't heard the rest of the answer,
4 Your Honour, so we don't really know if the witness is answering the
5 question. I think he should be given the opportunity to finish his answer
6 before being interrupted.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course, witness you may continue.
8 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour. As an officer I'm trained
9 to think about what a commanding officer should know, what is relevant
10 information for him, and at that time, I did not think that the
11 information about the passports had anything -- any more information in it
12 than the pure fact of the men being separated from the women and the men
13 being transported separately from the women.
14 MR. KARNAVAS:
15 Q. So if I understand you correctly, you made a judgement call at
16 that point in time given your training that this was not relevant
18 A. Relevant information --
19 Q. Or necessary information.
20 A. As to --
21 Q. The situation on the ground.
22 A. It was relevant to know that the buses should be accompanied and
23 to stress that we would do everything we had to try and accompany the
24 buses and to say anything about passports would not make the accompanying
25 of the buses more or less needful.
1 Q. But work with me here for a second. I'm not judging whether what
2 you did was correct or incorrect. I'm merely stating what I seem to
3 understand coming from you. That information wasn't passed on as a result
4 of you thinking given the situation on the ground wasn't that pertinent at
5 that particular moment. You made a judgement call based on your training
6 and based on what was happening, right?
7 A. I made the judgement call to stress that we should accompany the
9 Q. But you also made the judgement call not to inform
10 Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans, right, that it wasn't necessary at that
11 particular time?
12 A. I did not have a direct line with him, with Lieutenant-Colonel
14 Q. Where was he at the time?
15 A. He was at the UN headquarters.
16 Q. Where?
17 A. At our headquarters at the UN compound.
18 Q. And where was the UN compound?
19 A. In Srebrenica.
20 Q. Okay. So he wasn't there in -- he was only a few kilometres away,
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And reachable by radio, right?
24 A. Not direct.
25 Q. Not direct but you could reach him. Now, hypothetically speaking,
1 okay, this is a hypothetical, what if - and I'm not suggesting that it
2 is - but what if that information was critical and I'm not suggesting for
3 one moment that it is, that it was, but what if that information was
4 critical? Given his location, and given where you were, is that something
5 that Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans would have known since he was the
6 commander on the scene at the ground at that time?
7 A. I don't know exactly what you mean about what he would have
8 known. Can you explain?
9 Q. Well, as a commander he's supposed to know everything that's
10 happening, you know, at least that's what some would have us believe, that
11 as the highest commanding officer on the ground he should know what all of
12 his troops are doing at any given time, what information they may be
13 possessing. Given that situation, as it was happening and the judgement
14 call that you had to make and everything else, do you think it would have
15 been possible for Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans to have known that somehow
16 you had that -- you were in possession of that information?
17 A. I don't know where Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans exactly was at the
18 time that I found the passports so you should ask him that.
19 Q. Well, I'm asking you. Is that something that he should have known
20 given where he was located and given the situation on the ground?
21 A. If you look at the information he needed to give orders to the
22 rest of the troops that we still had, then the information of me stressing
23 that we should accompany the buses was enough for him.
24 Q. Okay. And the information regarding the passports you decided he
25 didn't need, at least, at this particular moment?
1 A. Not at that moment, yes.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. I have no further questions, Your
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any cross-examination, Ms. Sinatra?
5 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour I do have cross-examination that
6 should take maybe 30 minutes but I would like to ask the understanding of
7 the Trial Chamber just for a second. I just got passed a message from
8 Mr. Stojanovic with some questions on it that I haven't had time to
9 understand or ask. May we take a ten minute break while I prepare just
10 for one more second? Just to clarify what this is. If it's too
11 difficult, Your Honour, I will try to punt but I really can't decipher
12 what this message is.
13 JUDGE LIU: Any way, we will have our break in about 20 minutes so
14 why don't you go on with the questions you have prepared and then during
15 the break, you could consult with your colleague.
16 MS. SINATRA: That's perfect, thank you, Your Honour.
17 I'm sorry, how does this work because I need something that will
18 catch the papers? I'm sorry, this is arranged incorrectly. Thank you
19 very much.
20 Cross-examined by Ms. Sinatra:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Lieutenant Van Duijn, is that how you pronounce
22 your name?
23 A. Van Duijn.
24 Q. Van Duijn, okay. Thank you very much. I would just like to follow
25 up with a few questions. When you said you were stationed with Charlie
1 company in Srebrenica; is that right?
2 A. Charlie company was stationed at the compound in Potocari and for
3 the last period, I was stationed -- I was under the command of Captain
4 Groen from Bravo company.
5 Q. Bravo company was at OP...?
6 A. The Srebrenica compound.
7 Q. Srebrenica. So if you said you had to establish these blocking
8 positions on the road from the Swedish housing project to Srebrenica, and
9 these blocking positions included cooperation and close air support from
10 UNPROFOR? Wasn't that the original decision?
11 A. We were UNPROFOR, of course, and we had to take up blocking
12 positions so that we would with our APCs and our own weapons, the .50
13 calibre machine gun on the APC, and the rest of our weapons, small calibre
14 and anti-tank rockets, together with air support, try and stop the Serb
16 Q. Well, just to make this clear, D7, which is the parliamentary
17 committee report from November 11, 2002, that has been marked as D7-1, I
18 will be referring to this repeatedly so if you would like to take it out
19 in front of you it may assist in my questions. But you talk about the
20 green versus the blue order. In fact, in your parliamentary questioning,
21 you did state that you were totally undermanned and it was not realistic
22 to have a green order at that time, isn't that correct?
23 A. Where is that in the report?
24 Q. That's on page 5 of the report.
25 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Sinatra, are you sure it's D7?
1 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, it's the stenographic report. I
2 believe it's D7-1.
3 JUDGE LIU: No it's D10.
4 MS. SINATRA: D10, I'm really sorry. D10-1. Thank you for
5 correcting me, Your Honour.
6 THE WITNESS: Can you show me what page or paragraph that was?
7 Q. Yes, well, let's go to page 6 and the question from Mr. Bakker
8 was, "You therefore took up these blocking positions, did you think this
9 was realistic at the time?" And you said, "We -- a green order with the
10 material we had was actually not realistic." That's what you said in the
12 A. That is what I said, yes.
13 Q. Okay. But -- and you didn't have any orders from any superiors at
14 that point and you gave the order to your gunners to open fire when you
15 saw the Serbs at that time, didn't you?
16 A. That was an of course a constant flow of orders and information
17 that was given from me to Captain Groen and the other way around of
19 Q. And your purpose of opening fire at that time even though you were
20 undermanned and this was not realistic was so that you could get the air
21 strike cover, right?
22 A. No. That was to -- that was to make a statement that -- to the
23 Serbs that they would notice that we were there, and that we were not
24 going away and firing for them to stop their advancement.
25 Q. So it's your statement today that you did not use this opportunity
1 as a vehicle to get the air cover that you were -- had been requesting?
2 A. That was not my use of my vehicle.
3 Q. But that was your understanding when you went out there for the
4 blockades, wasn't it, blocking positions?
5 A. No. My order was to take up a position and to stop the Serb
6 advancement and together with air support, make a stand and stop that
7 advancement, and it was not my intention to draw fire with my APC.
8 Q. So if Pieter Boering has stated that that was one of the purposes
9 of the blockades, of the blocking positions, he would be incorrect; is
10 that right?
11 A. No. There were more vehicles in the blocking position and later
12 on, I heard that our battalion had the intention of using our vehicles to
13 draw, more or less, draw fire, but that was not my understanding of my
14 order that I got at that time.
15 Q. So you didn't have good communications with your superiors at that
16 point; is that correct?
17 A. We had communications by radio.
18 Q. But they didn't tell you the true motive of this operation?
19 A. I did not have that order, no.
20 Q. You said that your anti-tank weapons were useless at that point.
21 Is that true?
22 A. They were -- it was more or less a danger to the soldier that
23 would shoot or use the anti-tank weapon because they were indicators on it
24 for humidity and they had passed the accepted level. So it was more or
25 less a danger to fire the anti-tank weapons.
1 Q. So they would have been exploding in your hands, then? Isn't that
2 what you said?
3 A. That was a possibility, yes.
4 Q. Now, on page 11 of your statement -- not your statement but this
5 parliamentary inquiry, last paragraph, you stated that you took over the
6 command from the lieutenant who was sitting on the verge, and I also took
7 over the walkie-talkie that was on the battalion's radio network and I
8 immediately came under the battalion's command. Is that what you said?
9 A. What part of the --
10 Q. The last paragraph on page 11. Actually the last two sentences.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. On the verge, did you mean that he was on the verge of a
14 A. Yes, more or less, yes.
15 Q. And when you say that you took over the walkie-talkies and joined
16 the battalion's radio network, you had a system in place at your battalion
17 command centre that kept you in contact with one another, intercepted
18 radio communications from the BH Army and from the VRS army, didn't you?
19 A. The network we used was the units was divided in units so the
20 Bravo company could talk to each other by radio without Charlie company
21 hearing, and from Charlie company of course the same, and so there was
22 also network that was used only by the battalion headquarters and that's
23 what I meant with the network that was used by the battalion headquarters.
24 Q. And at the battalion headquarters they had telephone operators and
25 equipment for receiving and intercepting other radio communications,
1 didn't they?
2 A. I don't remember, I'm sorry.
3 Q. When you say you came under the command of the battalion's radio
4 network, can you tell me who was in charge of that network? Did you speak
5 to one particular person at that time?
6 A. They were changing operators and at some point I had contact with
7 Major Franken but I didn't have contact with one particular operator.
8 Q. So you don't remember a name that was part of that radio network?
9 A. Major Franken.
10 Q. Major Franken, okay?
11 A. Among others.
12 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you were aware that on the 13th or the
13 12th, a huge Bosnian column formed, right? Of Bosnian men, soldiers,
14 women, that were going to leave the Srebrenica area and flee toward
15 Tuzla? Were you aware of that?
16 A. On the night of the 11th, when we were with APCs near point 02
17 waiting for Sergeant Mulder to come from OP Mike to the compound in
18 Potocari we saw a column of soldiers leaving from point 02 towards
20 Q. Was that the 28th Battalion?
21 A. I don't know which unit that was. It was a combined column of
22 men, I even recognised a little boy from 12 or 13 years old that lived,
23 used to live near OP Quebec.
24 Q. And how many soldiers did you see armed?
25 A. I think that must have been about 30 soldiers that were armed and
1 the rest, like the little boy, were not armed.
2 Q. But from your radio communications, did you have the information
3 that this column was heavily armed in its trip to Tuzla?
4 A. No.
5 Q. You're aware of the agreement that Colonel Karremans entered into
6 with General Mladic that the VRS would provide buses and trucks if the
7 DutchBat commander would provide fuel for the transportation of the
8 refugees? Are you aware of that?
9 A. No. I was not aware of that.
10 Q. Was the only convoy of refugees that was escorted totally out of
11 the area, was that the one that was escorted by Pieter Boering?
12 A. I don't know if that was the only one.
13 Q. You had no knowledge of how many other escorts were given to the
14 refugee convoys?
15 A. No. I have no knowledge about that.
16 Q. Okay. I'm going to go to the 13th. You took the morning of the
17 13th; is that correct, early in the morning, you took it upon your own
18 initiative to go ahead and load the refugees and get things going that
19 morning; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And there were no VRS soldiers around, right?
22 A. No, not at that time.
23 Q. In fact, that night before they told you they were going to go
24 celebrate in Bratunac, didn't they?
25 A. Yes, they told me that.
1 Q. And did it ever cross your mind instead of loading the refugees on
2 to the buses, to let them escape?
3 A. There was no place to escape to, and refugees did not make any
4 effort to walk away. If they wanted to walk away, there was -- there was
5 opportunity for that but they stayed where they were.
6 Q. Are you saying they were like a herd of docile cattle?
7 A. I'm not saying that. No, they were scared and they were panicked
8 and they were in need of water and food.
9 Q. Given the descriptions of incidents that you had heard from
10 Lieutenant Koster, would it have been wise to have tried to get them taken
11 away yourselves on the buses the night before, before the VRS returned?
12 A. With buses? What do you mean with the buses in the evening? We
13 did not have control.
14 Q. Over the buses?
15 A. Over the buses, no.
16 Q. Okay. On page 20 of this statement that you have, the interview,
17 isn't it true that Lieutenant Koster didn't want you to facilitate the
18 loading of the buses?
19 A. I also read in the NIOD Report when it came out so not that long
20 ago, that he was -- he did not want the transport to start. What I
21 remember from our discussion we had, that he asked me, well, do you think
22 it's wise to start? And in my recollection, we left it at that.
23 Q. Isn't that an indication that he was questioning your judgement at
24 the time?
25 A. He was questioning my judgement, yes.
1 Q. Now --
2 MS. SINATRA: I'm sorry, Your Honour, just one second. Give the
3 court reporter a tiny break.
4 Q. You didn't personally see any murders or beatings or mistreatment
5 in the Potocari area, did you?
6 A. Depends on what you understand on the mistreatment. Like the
7 incident I told you about the boy being practically strangled, you can
8 differ about that of course but --
9 Q. I would like to refer you to your statement of October, 1995,
10 which is D7-1. On -- I believe on the last page, page 4, it says that you
11 did not see any men being ill-treated. I believe in your statement before
12 that you said that the only death that you saw on page 3 was a woman who
13 died during child birth in the factory?
14 A. Do you mean the statement of October?
15 Q. I'm sorry, it's this one. It's the summary of your statement to
16 Major Gert [phoen], I think was his name. And on page 3 you said that --
17 page 3, at the bottom, the witness knows a woman who died during child
18 birth but he does not know of any other Muslims who died in the area, and
19 I believe that another one of your statements in your interview says that
20 the only bodies you ever saw were along the road from the blocking area to
21 Potocari and those were casualties of battle. Isn't that what you stated
23 A. Where is that --
24 MS. ISSA: Your Honour, I was just going to say it's a little
25 confusing. I'm just wondering if perhaps counsel can point specifically
1 to the areas where she is referring to and then ask the question as
2 opposed to asking the two questions in the manner that she just did.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, that's the correct procedure.
4 MS. SINATRA: I apologise.
5 Q. If we can go back to your statement to Major Gert that you have in
6 front of you, on page 3, didn't you state that "He does not know if any
7 other Muslims died in the place that you didn't see any other deaths at
8 that time"? And this was debriefing shortly after July 20th, when you
10 JUDGE LIU: This is the fifth line from the bottom. On page 3.
11 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 THE WITNESS: Yes, that's true.
13 MS. SINATRA:
14 Q. And then on page 4, if you go halfway up the page in the text, it
15 says, "He did not see any men being ill-treated here." Is that what you
16 stated shortly after you left Srebrenica?
17 A. That's what I stated, yes.
18 Q. And then I'd like to go to your statement, back to the statement
19 with the parliamentary committee, on page 21, when asked by Mrs.
20 Huizinga-Heringa, "Did you also see such things yourself?" Your answer:
21 "No, I didn't see any massacres or liquidations myself." Question: "Or
22 bodies?" Answer: "I did see bodies lying on the ground but they had
23 nothing to do with these matters. I saw these bodies on the side of the
24 road as a result of the hostilities on returning from the blocking
25 position. In that sense, this had nothing to do with the transportation
1 of refugees."
2 Isn't that what you stated to the committee?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, it's time for a break.
6 MS. SINATRA: Okay, thank you.
7 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at quarter to 6.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 5.13 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 5.47 p.m.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Ms. Sinatra, please continue.
11 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. We were just talking about the bodies along the road from the
13 Swedish housing project to Srebrenica or Potocari. You didn't make any
14 report about that, did you?
15 A. It was from the location from the blocking position back to
16 Potocari, and I don't know if I made report earlier than the debriefing in
18 Q. Thank you. I want to go back to Mr. Karnavas had many questions
19 concerning Mladic, Stalin, Nikolic and Mane. I just want to know if
20 you're clear on the fact that Mladic and Nikolic were part of the military
21 structure of VRS? Were you clear on that?
22 A. I was clear on that, yes.
23 Q. And do you know the difference between the military structure and
24 the military police, which is the ministry of the interior?
25 A. By now I've read a few things about it, in the NIOD Report, but at
1 that time, I all -- I took them all for Serb soldiers, so being part of
2 one big Serb army, more or less.
3 Q. But now you know that Stalin and Mane were part of the military
4 police, right?
5 A. They told me by then they were military police, but like in the
6 Netherlands, military police is also a part of the Defence force.
7 Q. But you know now that that's not true in Republika Srpska, right?
8 A. I read a few things about that but I don't know what -- what is
9 the exact -- what was the exact location of the officers.
10 Q. I would like to ask you also if you've ever heard of this term,
11 Main Staff, in the VRS military structure?
12 A. I've heard of the term General Staff from the VRS. Main Staff
13 I've never heard of that.
14 Q. General Staff was that part of Mladic's domain?
15 A. More or less, the staff from General Mladic, yes.
16 Q. That would be out of Pale?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. I just want to clarify something else. MUP, which I described
19 just then, military -- the ministry of the interior, they are special
20 police, they are not military police, so I made a mistake. I was just
21 informed about that. Do you know the difference? Have you heard the
22 difference between special police and military police? So you may have
23 been correct in your interpretation of that.
24 A. I read a few things about it in the NIOD Report but the only thing
25 I know was that Mane stated to me that they were military police and not
1 what sort of branch or something else.
2 Q. Let me ask you, when you were working with Mane, and I assume that
3 you all had a fairly close working relationship during the last few days
4 of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th; is that correct?
5 A. Only on the 12th and the 13th.
6 Q. But you were working closely with him on those days, right?
7 A. More or less, yes.
8 Q. Can you tell me if they were uniformed personnel that were working
9 under Mane?
10 A. I cannot remember, I'm sorry.
11 Q. You didn't recognise any insignias on their shoulders or anything?
12 A. Not that I remember, no.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, you have been referring to Stalin as a major.
14 Were you familiar with their markings? You've been calling him captain, I
15 think. Were you familiar with the markings on their uniforms?
16 A. I don't know what rank Stalin was. Mane said he was a captain.
17 But I don't know what rank Stalin wore and I did not see it from his
19 Q. So he may have had no markings on his uniform whatsoever, right?
20 A. I don't remember.
21 Q. You stated in your earlier testimony that Stalin and Mane
22 communicated by radio communications, isn't that true?
23 A. Yes, that's true.
24 Q. It's true that Nikolic had a radio communications device also,
25 wasn't it?
1 A. I don't remember if he wore it or not.
2 Q. Or a telephone or a radio that he was using?
3 A. I didn't see that, no.
4 Q. I want to go to the point where all the other refugees were gone
5 but there were, as I think you testified to, 20 or 30 men left at the
6 white house; is that correct?
7 A. What I remember was that the white house was packed and don't
8 know what my other estimations were about the number of men, but when I
9 think about it now, think back, there must have been two, maybe --
10 somewhere between 200 and 300 men.
11 Q. In the white house?
12 A. In the white house.
13 Q. How many men did you see sitting in the front of the white house?
14 A. With their backs against the front of the white house, there must
15 have been around five or ten and the rest were sitting inside the white
17 Q. When they were taken away that evening of the 13th, I suppose, in
18 the truck, that truck was a civilian vehicle that had delivered bread
19 earlier, wasn't it?
20 A. No that was on the 12th, and the men from the white house, the
21 white house was only used on the 13th, and the men from the white house
22 were transported with buses and the men from the front lawn of the two
23 houses adjacent, the zinc factory, they were transported with a lorry,
24 a small truck, that I'd recognise from bringing bread earlier that day but
25 that was on the 12th.
1 Q. So that was a civilian truck that took them on the 12th?
2 A. That was a civilian truck.
3 Q. Thank you. I'd like to go back to your report to the
4 parliamentary committee and if you would look at page 21, please? I
5 believe you stated in the third paragraph up, where it has your name, that
6 the Serbian units were known for their phone tapping techniques. Is that
8 A. That was what we got in the training prior to our deployment in
10 Q. And so if Pieter Boering had said that they didn't have any
11 communications and he didn't know anything about Serbian capabilities, he
12 wouldn't be telling the truth, would he?
13 A. I don't know if he was there during the training when we had that
14 part of the training.
15 Q. Thank you. You stated in your testimony today, going back to
16 Mane, that Mane was baffled that you were loading the buses, isn't that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In fact, Mane, Lieutenant Koster and Lieutenant Rutten were all
20 baffled that you were loading the buses, weren't they?
21 A. I don't know if Lieutenant Koster was baffled but Lieutenant
22 Rutten was and I don't know if Lieutenant Rutten knew about the precious
23 one and a half hour in the morning of the second day, the transport.
24 Q. Well, let's go to Lieutenant Rutten on page 36, please, of your
25 parliamentary report. Not to 36, I'm sorry. I think that it is -- I'm
1 really sorry, I'm jumping way ahead of myself so if you'll -- I want to go
2 to page 26 of your report while we are there. On page 26, you talk about
3 the operation of separating the men from the women, as something that you
4 would do and that is commonly done in military situations such as this.
5 Didn't you say on page 26 halfway up, that if you think about it, this is
6 exactly what we do? If you want to collect information, you have to
7 separate certain groups of prisoners of war and therefore keep the men
8 apart to find out what information they can provide. So separating the
9 men was not such a strange thing to do.
10 MS. ISSA: Your Honour I'm going to object to that. I think
11 that's taken out of context. Perhaps Ms. Sinatra could start reading the
12 question before the remaining answer so we could be put into context.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, maybe you could read this paragraph. This answer
14 again to the witness.
15 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, the witness can verify this one way or
16 the other, and I intend to ask to have this introduced into evidence so
17 the Trial Chamber will be able to see everything in its complete context
18 but if you'd like for me to read the question, I will be happy to.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MS. SINATRA:
21 Q. "The moment which you started to fear the worst for the fate of
22 the Muslim men was when you found the pile of identity cards. Before that
23 you tried to go with them and escort the buses. Did you believe the
24 statements made by the Serbs?" And your answer: "At the time, I believed
25 the statements made by the Serbs --"
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down. Thank you.
2 MS. SINATRA: "-- that they were removing the men to find
3 out whether they were war criminals. If you think about it, this is
4 exactly what we do. If you want to collect information, you have to
5 separate certain groups of prisoners of war and you therefore keep the men
6 apart to find out what information they can provide. So separating the
7 men was not such a strange thing to do."
8 Is that what you testified to?
9 A. That's what I said and you have to see that in the context of when
10 you have prisoners of war, then you put them into groups, you put soldiers
11 together with other soldiers, you put officers together with others
12 officers to find information within that group. So you make groups of
13 the big group of prisoners of war so that was more or less like the
14 instructions we have and we do when you have prisoners of war and treat
15 them according to the convention of Geneva.
16 Q. So it gave you the presumption that this -- or the appearance that
17 this was a legitimate military operation, didn't it?
18 A. That was not the idea I got, but you must not forget that we were
19 no longer in control so the only option I had was to find out what they
20 were going to do and if they had done it in a military operation, it would
21 not be very strange.
22 Q. Isn't that what you said in your statement, right?
23 A. More or less, yes.
24 Q. Thank you. I want to go back to this page 26. You testified
25 earlier about the location and your finding the passports and personal
1 belongings of the men in the white house after the transport had already
2 been completed, right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The rest of your testimony about this, to complete the story, is
5 that you actually went and picked up all these passports and stuffed your
6 trousers full with them, didn't you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And then after that, you went to speak to Mane, didn't you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And then after you spoke to Mane, you left those passports at the
11 house, didn't you?
12 A. I don't know if I did that before I spoke to Mane or after that,
13 but like I stated to the parliamentary inquiry committee, I had no
14 explanation for leaving the passports at the site. I don't remember why I
15 did it.
16 Q. Thank you. Now I want to go back to the part where it's
17 consistent all the way through this document that you found those
18 passports, you had custody of those passports, you spoke to the Serbian
19 commander but you didn't come away with the passports, did you?
20 A. I did not take the passports with me, no.
21 Q. And that you stated today in your testimony that you did not think
22 that it was relevant information for Colonel Karremans to have at that
23 moment, didn't you?
24 A. The story about the passports, you meant?
25 Q. Right. That was your prior testimony today.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you didn't report the story about picking up the passports and
3 having them all in your control when you were debriefed in Zagreb, did
5 A. That was a military debrief and I don't know if I mentioned it
6 there but I assume that was not the case because the debrief was not about
7 the stories around the events but more about the military operation.
8 Q. In fact, in your debriefing in Assen, you didn't exactly tell the
9 whole story about the passport incident, did you?
10 A. I know I told it there, the whole story, I don't know how complete
11 it was getting into the debrief report.
12 Q. So if it was left out of General Van der Windt's report then it
13 was a tactical strategy, strategic decision on the part of your
14 commanders, wasn't it?
15 A. I don't know. I don't know why they left it out of the big
16 report. I only know that it was in my debriefing report.
17 Q. Okay. You testified today and yesterday that once you found these
18 passports that you called to the command centre and you told them that
19 they needed to have an escort for these buses, isn't that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. But it's not in any of your reports about this request, is it?
22 A. I think that was not getting into the -- in my report, no.
23 Q. And going back to your incident with Lieutenant Rutten.
24 Lieutenant Rutten came out the morning you were loading the buses on your
25 own initiative and he asked you why in the world you were cooperating with
1 these Serbs, didn't he?
2 A. He came in the afternoon and by then the Serbs were already there
4 Q. Was that his question to you, though?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And isn't it true that on page 36 of this report, that Lieutenant
7 Rutten had expressed that you had committed a war crime?
8 A. Yes.
9 MS. SINATRA: I have no other questions, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any redirect? Ms. Issa?
11 MS. ISSA: No, Your Honour, thank you.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Yes, questions by Judge Vassylenko.
13 Questioned by the Court:
14 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Have you read the book named "Srebrenica, who
15 cares?" Which was written by Lieutenant Karremans?
16 A. I've read some pieces from the book but not the whole book.
17 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: What is your assessment of these pieces of the
19 A. I've only read a few pieces but what I can deduct from that, it
20 was a very personal story from Colonel Karremans.
21 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: I presume that you're aware of Netherlands
22 institute documentation report on Srebrenica?
23 A. Yes, they have interviewed me as well.
24 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And what is your assessment of this report?
25 A. I think this is a very good report that is very complete and I'm
1 actually very glad that they could find Muslim men that, when I talk about
2 the stage when I started, the transports, on the second day of the
3 transportations, which was worth the discussion to a few of my colleagues.
4 I'm very glad that they found Muslim men that escaped from the Serb net
5 and got away from Srebrenica alive.
6 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: My next question: Captain, could you describe
7 the relations between the DutchBat and -- on the one hand, and the Serbian
8 forces and Muslim forces on the other hand, before the tragic events in
10 A. Those were very difficult relationships. On the one hand, our
11 unit and of course the Muslim refugees were in a terrible situation
12 because of the Serb forces. On the other hand, we were being shot at by
13 both parties, Serb forces as well as the Muslim forces, and we were trying
14 to keep a peace that was not there, and maintain a truce that was no
15 truce, but at the same time, we were speaking and looking at a big group
16 of refugees that we could not help of -- that we could not help, as hard
17 as we tried. So we were in the middle of groups of people that we on the
18 other hand could not help, and the other side were shooting us. So we had
19 difficult relations with both parties.
20 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: And how can you describe the relations on this
21 crucial dates at the beginning, in the middle of July, 1995?
22 A. It was clear to us that the Serb forces at those days were the
23 aggressors and we wanted to stop the Serb advancement. We -- I was
24 confronted with Muslim soldiers when I was standing in the blocking
25 position, which refused to help the Muslim refugees that were not able to
1 walk any more, to flee to the north. So we tried to take as much as we
2 could on our APC and in our APCs, and our main concern on that, in those
3 days, was the fate of the refugees, and trying to keep an area under our
4 control, more or less, as a safe area.
5 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Captain, have you ever met or contacted the
6 accused in this case, Mr. Blagojevic and Mr. Jokic, as well as
7 Mr. Obrenovic and Mr. Nikolic at that time?
8 A. No, not that I remember.
9 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: The last question: Have you any idea why the
10 Serb captain or major or platoon commander was nicknamed Stalin?
11 A. No.
12 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Who nicknamed him? The DutchBat or the Muslims
13 or the Serbs?
14 A. No. He was nicknamed by the Serbs themselves and he used it maybe
15 as it was just a code name on the radio, but the Serbs -- it was a name
16 given by the Serbs themselves.
17 JUDGE VASSYLENKO: Okay. I have no questions. Thank you,
19 JUDGE LIU: Judge Argibay, please.
20 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Good even evening, Captain. I have only one
21 question and it's a clarification. When you were talking about trying to
22 get escort or accompanying the buses in the last day and you said you
23 radioed your headquarters, had you had any answer on that point from the
25 A. The operations officer from our battalion headquarters said he was
1 trying everything he could to escort the buses, and in that chaotic
2 situation, that was the best possible answer I could expect.
3 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Did you get reinforcements or something?
4 A. We did in the get reinforcements. At that time we did not need
5 reinforcements. We just needed vehicles with UN soldiers in them to
6 escort the buses.
7 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Did you get them?
8 A. I did not get them, and I don't know if the buses were accompanied
9 by the UN, but I heard that that was not the case.
10 JUDGE ARGIBAY: Thank you, Captain. No further questions.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any questions out of Judges' questions?
12 MS. ISSA: No, thank you, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Karnavas?
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour, I do have a couple of questions.
15 Further cross-examination by Mr. Karnavas:
16 Q. And this is in respect to the answer that you gave to
17 Judge Vassylenko's question about the relationships and you indicated the
18 situation was bad because of the Serb forces. That's your understanding,
20 A. Because our convoys did not get clearance from the Serb forces,
21 that was the main reason why we had lack of food, medical supplies, and
22 all the things we needed for hygiene and stuff like that.
23 Q. Okay. In the Krstic trial, according to the judgement rendered in
24 that case, in paragraph 30 of the judgement, it indicates that on the
25 morning of the 26th of June, 1995, there was a raid by Muslim military on
1 to a Serb village where they ended up burning some houses and killing some
2 Serbs. Don't you think that that would somehow exacerbate the situation?
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, I gave you a chance to ask some
4 questions but the scope should be within the questions asked by the
6 MR. KARNAVAS: I understand, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: I believe that this question is out of the scope of
8 Judge Vassylenko's question.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well but with all due respect, Your Honour,
10 the answer that was given, there seems to be a total blame of the
11 situation in Srebrenica because of the Serb forces, and obviously his
12 answer is that there was a -- the Serbs were preventing humanitarian aid
13 or food aid from going in. That's one part of the equation. The other
14 part of the equation might be that the Muslim forces were using the
15 enclave as a staging ground to commit atrocities and that might be also
16 the reason why some of the aid wasn't or the food wasn't going into the
17 enclave and I'm merely pointing out whether he was aware of this or not,
18 Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, this issue has been debated for
20 many times and the witness of course has his own view. If you have a
21 different case, I think at a later stage, you may cross other witnesses or
22 you could present your evidence in this aspect.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I have no further
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Ms. Sinatra?
1 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour I have a couple of questions.
2 Further cross-examination by Ms. Sinatra:
3 Q. Lieutenant, based on one of the questions about you moving the
4 refugees from the blocking point to the safety of Potocari, whatever that
5 might have been at the time, you did state just then that the Muslim
6 forces refused to help the refugees fleeing at that time, didn't you?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And going back to the question about your radio contact on the
9 13th, after all of the transport had left, you called back to central
10 command and you said it's very important that we have escorts with these
11 buses; is that right?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. That request was not in any of your reports and at that time, you
14 never mentioned --
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Ms. Sinatra, this question is also outside of
16 the scope of Judge Vassylenko's question. I'm not going to give you
17 another chance for cross-examination.
18 MS. SINATRA: Your Honour, I was just trying to clarify the
19 communications, the time that that telephone --
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, I'm going to object at this point
21 they are using this to grandstand in order to condemn this man personally.
22 It's outrageous, I would strongly object to it. Enough is enough.
23 MS. SINATRA: I'm not going to compete with Mr. McCloskey for
24 grandstanding but I would like to thank the witness I think he's a brave
25 soldier and I really have empathy for the position they were in.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, if I may for the record. I do take
3 offence to Mr. McCloskey's comment. He used "they." Nobody is
4 grandstanding and there is a proper way of objecting and I think it's
5 totally inappropriate and nobody is trying to demean this individual or to
6 embarrass him and if that's his characterisation, then he can keep it to
7 himself or he can object in a proper form.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm not sure whether this "they" is including
9 you or not. Any way, at this stage are there any documents to tender from
10 the Prosecution side?
11 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour. I'll be tendering Exhibits 51
12 through 56 as well as the last exhibit which I think is correctly marked
13 as 2.6/A. I think I incorrectly referred to it as 20.6 earlier. It's
14 actually 2.6/A.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for this correction. Any
16 objections? Mr. Karnavas?
17 MR. KARNAVAS: No objections, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Ms. Sinatra?
19 MS. SINATRA: No objections, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. So those documents are admitted
21 into evidence. Are there any documents that the Defence team would like
22 to tender? Mr. Karnavas?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, in keeping with your earlier --
24 I mean normally I would tender everything I submitted but I leave it up to
25 the Trial Chamber to decide but I understand that your earlier order was
1 that these sorts of documents, because they are quote unquote hearsay,
2 need not come in if the witness has testified from them so the answer is I
3 think I would tender them but I understand your previous ruling and I
4 would abide by that ruling and I suspect that the Prosecution is going to
5 be jumping up and down objecting to the hearsay nature of these documents
6 any way.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any objections? Ms. Issa?
8 MS. ISSA: Yes, Your Honour, on the same grounds we objected to
9 with respect to the other witness. As Your Honour indicated earlier this
10 witness has testified live and it's not necessary to tender these
11 documents at this time.
12 JUDGE LIU: I'm not quite sure it's about that report of the
13 hearings of parliamentary committee.
14 MS. ISSA: There is no objection with respect to that report, Your
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. So this document, document D10/1
17 is admitted into evidence. Any documents that the Defence of Mr. Jokic
18 would like to tender at this stage?
19 MS. SINATRA: No, Your Honour, we would just like the record to
20 reflect that D10/1 would also reflect our impeachment the witness also as
21 a D2 document also.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MS. SINATRA: Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: That's possible. Thank you very much.
25 Witness, thank you very much for coming to give your evidence and
1 we all wish you good luck. The usher will show you out of the room. You
2 may go now.
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, we still have a few minutes left so there are
7 several issues I would like to discuss with counsels. The first matter is
8 about the counsel issues. At the beginning of this sitting, this
9 afternoon, Mr. Blagojevic raised the issue of the fair representation. We
10 believe that this Trial Chamber has made a decision to this effect, and
11 this Trial Chamber has already informed Mr. Blagojevic that if he could
12 seek certification for leave to appeal this decision, if he's not
13 satisfied with it. We also have been informed that the independent
14 counsel will discuss this matter with Mr. Blagojevic on Monday and
15 Tuesday, and we are also informed that the translation into the B/C/S of
16 that decision has been distributed. According to Rule 73, the time period
17 for the application of certification to this Trial Chamber will start from
18 yesterday, which means from yesterday, there will be seven days, within
19 the seven days Mr. Blagojevic, after consulting the independent counsel
20 assigned by this Chamber, could file an application for certification to
21 appeal this decision. And this Trial Chamber will render its decision
22 whether to permit the certification in seven days.
23 After rendering this decision, Mr. Blagojevic and his independent
24 counsel also have seven days to file their appeal to the Appeals Chamber
25 on the substance. So I believe there are plenty of time for them to
1 discuss this matter and to prepare the appeal. After filing of the
2 appeal, I believe, if I'm wrong, somebody could correct me, I believe that
3 Mr. Karnavas also has the right to file a reply to the Appeals Chamber.
4 It is our intention to continue to finish hearing of the witnesses in that
5 witness list before the summer recess, because this Trial Chamber has made
6 a decision in this aspect and will abide by it, unless a decision made by
7 the Appeals Chamber says otherwise.
8 There is one matter I would like to bring to the attention of both
9 parties. That is as we understand it, the first group of witnesses, of
10 sort of the background witnesses, and after the first group of witnesses,
11 we will have some more substantial witnesses in this case. Pending the
12 decision of the Appeals Chamber concerning the counsel issues, are we
13 going to proceed despite any decisions by the Appeals Chamber or we just
14 delay the hearings until the picture is more clear? Any comments from the
15 parties? We are not going to make a decision. I'm just going to hear the
16 initial response from the parties. Yes, Mr. McCloskey?
17 MR. McCLOSKEY: It's clear to the Prosecution that the Trial
18 Chamber and everyone, Mr. Karnavas and all are trying to work a solution
19 to this, and the question you pose is the difficult question. We will
20 give it some very serious thought and try to have a response for you, and
21 I think what is also clear to the record is that Mr. Karnavas is available
22 and ready to speak to his client and that his client would be well served
23 to speak to him, and that what's going on here is the client's, as the
24 Court showed in one of its rulings, is the client has chosen this
25 muteness. The Prosecution, of course, would prefer that they are able to
1 speak to each other so that we can get on with it. Because we would
2 prefer to get on with it. We also do not want to come back again. So we
3 will consider this critical question about the Appellate Chamber and
4 perhaps the Appellate Chamber could give us an idea of how much time it
5 may take them.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Karnavas?
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, in light of the position that I find
8 myself in, when I say I, meaning myself and Ms. Tomanovic, I don't think
9 it's appropriate for me to voice an opinion on this matter. And so I will
10 do whatever the Court instructs me to do.
11 JUDGE LIU: Ms. Sinatra?
12 MS. SINATRA: Yes, Your Honour, the team for Mr. Jokic will take
13 no position in this decision dealing with the counsel for Blagojevic but
14 if the Court would allow me to address the upcoming witnesses, Obrenovic
15 and Nikolic, after you finish this, I would like to address that issue.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes.
17 MS. SINATRA: May I do it now?
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 MS. SINATRA: Thank you. I know that the Prosecution has said
20 that they are going to bring Mr. Obrenovic and Mr. Nikolic to testify
21 after the break in August. As Defence counsels, Mr. Stojanovic and I for
22 Mr. Jokic, we cannot be prepared to cross-examine Mr. Obrenovic at that
23 time. We have not received any funds from the Registry. We cannot pursue
24 investigations in the Zvornik area to find witnesses that will give us
25 information and support any positions that we might have on
1 cross-examination of the most important witness to come to testify against
2 Mr. Jokic. I think that in all fairness and as far as due process goes
3 for Mr. Jokic, we ask and implore this Court to postpone that testimony
4 until we get some funds from the Registry in order to secure
5 investigations back in the Zvornik area and we cannot be prepared between
6 now and then. We have not initiated an investigation at this point
7 because we have no funds.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, that's another matter. I certainly will convey
9 your idea to the Registry but I'm not sure what the results will be. In
10 this case, anyway, I believe that Mr. Jokic is not a party to this dispute
11 but is an affected third party because he has the right to have a fair and
12 expeditious trial.
13 Mr. Blagojevic. Thank you.
14 MS. SINATRA: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Blagojevic? Do you have something to say to this
16 matter? Have you got translation in B/C/S of the decision made by this
17 Trial Chamber?
18 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour.
19 Yesterday I have not had time to read it but I now have enough time in
20 light of the procedure that you have just explained, Your Honour, to do
21 it. I believe I will be able to respect the procedure that you have
22 suggested and I don't think that there is any need to say anything else on
23 the subject, but just to let you know that I still abide by my position,
24 but to be perfectly frank, I have thought about the matter thoroughly and
25 with full responsibility, but at the end of the game, I must say that I am
1 disappointed with the rootless, irresponsible accusation for criminal
2 behaviour on my account by the person who is supposed to defend me in this
3 very difficult and complex case. I know that this feeling of
4 disappointment is a separate issue and have nothing to do with the
5 documents that actually led me to lose my trust in the previously
6 appointed counsel. I have lost all hope in his ability to be objective,
7 reasonable and to lead my defence in a rational and responsible way
8 through this trial. This trust cannot be restored in any way. There are
9 no elements whatsoever for such a position. And in order to clear my
10 mind, in order to dispel this confusion, I am compelled to seek for
11 another solution. I do not intend to defend myself on my own. I'm not
12 qualified for that. I'm not capable for that. I need to choose a
13 professional, a man who will be able to represent me with full
14 responsibility, professionally and with credibility. I do not have
15 anything else to add, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much for your statement. You may
17 sit down, please. You have to remember that this Trial Chamber said
18 clearly that we encourage you to rebuild your relationship with
19 Mr. Karnavas and Ms. Tomanovic because we believe through our decision
20 they are still your counsel. And I would like also to inform you that if
21 you do in the appeal this decision to the Appeals Chamber, our decision
22 will be final.
23 Now, during the past few days, I believe Mr. Karnavas did a good
24 job. He vigorously defended your interests, effectively cross-examined
25 the witnesses, and tendered some important documents into evidence. Of
1 course, there are some problems on his part. I'll come to it later. But
2 I believe that he could do his job well. There is nothing impossible in
3 this world.
4 Well, Mr. McCloskey, you said that you'll come back to this issue
5 later. You mean that you'll file something in written form. The first
6 thing I have to make clear is whenever we finish the first group of
7 witnesses, we will not hear any more witnesses before the summer recess.
8 We are talking about the period after the summer recess. Are you going to
9 file something in this aspect?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, as I've had a chance to just think
11 and sit and listen a bit, and to everyone, and considering the importance
12 of the post-recess evidence, though I also -- we will hear from the
13 survivors in the next few weeks, I think -- as reluctant as I am to stop
14 again, because I think we are beginning to get a good rhythm in going
15 forward, I think out of an abundance of caution and safety for the record
16 I think it would be best to have the Appellate Chamber review this matter
17 and come to the quickest and fairest possible decision.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm asking you whether you're going to file a
19 written comments or statements in this aspect or not.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, should Mr. Blagojevic and
21 Mr. Sjocrona file a vigorous appeal that will address the issues before
22 the Trial Chamber, the Prosecution may not have any need to enter this
23 particular fray. Our concern is that these issues, and they are
24 important, they are serious and they need to be carefully dealt with by
25 the Trial Chamber and our interest of course in it is the fact that we do
1 not want to ask these witnesses to testify again. As for the conflict
2 between counsel and these issues we have made our position initially
3 clear. However, we are not privy to all the important documents, nor do I
4 think it appropriate that we should be. In that respect, we may very well
5 side step -- step aside on this issue and allow the parties to sort it
6 out. If we find that the issue is not going to be appealed or that it is
7 not appropriately dealt with, we may very well want to add something in
8 order that the Appellate Chamber be fully briefed on the issue so that
9 they can make the best ruling possible. We may suggest in that regard
10 that our deadline for filing a request for certification of appeal be one
11 or two days after the deadline of the others, that it would allow us to
12 look at their documents and it would be my feeling at this time, having
13 seen some of the legal work that has come out of Mr. Sjocrona, that he's
14 very capable of filing a response that will cover the appropriate issues,
15 and I know Mr. Karnavas will do the same, and in that case, the Office of
16 the Prosecutor need not be involved, and that would be my first choice.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. McCloskey, maybe I did not make myself
18 clear. I think we are talking about different things. You are talking
19 about the appeal on the Trial Chamber's decision. And I'm talking about
20 the scheduling arrangements after the summer recess. As the first issue,
21 I did not look into the jurisprudence of this Tribunal, but if
22 Mr. Blagojevic or his independent counsel did not appeal, I don't think
23 you have the right to appeal, because you are not a party. The party to
24 this dispute. You are -- I think your status is more or less the same
25 with Ms. Sinatra, with Mr. Jokic. You are affected third party but not
1 the party to that dispute. So I wonder where is your standing to this
2 case, to this issue, if Mr. Blagojevic does not appeal? This is the first
3 issue. Maybe I'm wrong. The second issue is my concern is pending the
4 decision of the Appeals Chamber on the counsel issues, are we going to
5 continue to sit or we just make a short period delay waiting for the
6 decision from the Appeals Chamber? This is the second issue. What I want
7 is your response to the second issue, but not the first one.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Understood, Mr. President. I don't think we need
9 to file anything unless you would like us to on that issue. I can state
10 today that I think it would be best to have a stay of the proceedings so
11 that we can get a clear roadmap from the Appellate Chamber and then go
12 full speed ahead when we get that. That would be my -- we thought quite a
13 bit about this actually and I did want to take into account what everyone
14 is saying and with Mr. Obrenovic and Mr. Nikolic testifying, and other --
15 Mr. Butler and some of the other witnesses, it probably would be the best
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. It's a very clear answer. Thank
19 There are some comments from this bench. Yes, any problem,
20 Mr. Blagojevic?
21 THE ACCUSED BLAGOJEVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I just
22 would like to clarify something for myself. These deadlines that you have
23 listed here, do they obligate Mr. Sjocrona or me, or am I supposed to act
24 upon these deadlines regardless of the obligation of Mr. Sjocrona
25 considering that he's an independent counsel who has been appointed, then
1 he should be -- this should be binding for him. However, if his
2 appointment has ceased because the way I've understood it in a way his
3 appointment has been suspended, the representatives in the Registry have
4 told me that he has stopped acting on my behalf, then am I supposed to do
5 this by myself, to file an appeal by myself? I can try and find my way in
6 this because I would like to appeal but I would like the independent
7 counsel, this one or another one, I would like him to fulfil the task of
8 Mr. Sjocrona, that somehow this can be resolved and terminated.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much to bring to our attention
10 about your concern on this issue. First of all, I can assure you that the
11 independent counsel's mandate will continue and it will cover the whole
12 period of the appeal. I'm pretty sure about it. And you could discuss
13 this matter with Mr. Sjocrona next Monday or Tuesday, and discuss your --
14 any actions you would like to take.
15 Secondly, I can assure you that, as I did before, that this Trial
16 Chamber will extend the period of time for you to seek certification until
17 after you have a chance to read the decision and to discuss it with the
18 independent counsel. So I believe, theoretically speaking, those time
19 limits applied to you and to your independent counsel, but you need more
20 time, please feel free to let us know. We could extend the time period
21 for your preparation of that application for appeal.
22 Thank you. There are some comments from this bench at the
23 conclusion of the four testimonies. Normally we do not make comments
24 about the presentation of the case, the direct examination or
25 cross-examination but we found it necessary to take this opportunity to
1 share some observations and comments with the parties.
2 First, we believe that the witness who came to testify in this
3 Tribunal must be treated with dignity and respect. The Trial Chamber will
4 not tolerate the retraumatisation of these individuals for the purpose of
5 Prosecution or in the names of Defence. I think I have mentioned that
6 before. I will not repeat it. The purpose of this trial is to determine
7 the individual criminal responsibility of two persons, Mr. Blagojevic and
8 Mr. Jokic. While other persons have been indicted for crimes in and
9 around Srebrenica during the course of the war in that area, this trial is
10 to determine only whether the acts and omissions of these two individuals
11 warrant a finding of guilty or not guilty of the crimes alleged in the
13 While the indictment in this case is focused on the summer and
14 fall, 1995, the Trial Chamber appreciates that some historical background
15 and the context may be useful to its full understanding of the charges.
16 It is not however an invitation to raise crimes committed by others or
17 prior events as the justification for any criminal act. Questions to this
18 effect will not be permitted.
19 Finally, this Trial Chamber would like to draw the attention of
20 the counsels from both sides, the differences between this Tribunal and
21 any domestic jurisdictions. In this Tribunal, judges and not jury, are
22 the finders of fact. The Trial Chamber would like to advise all counsels
23 to take this into account when considering the substance and even the
24 style of their submissions, examinations, conduct, before the Trial
25 Chamber. And those comments are applicable to both parties. Later on,
1 we'll have some victim witnesses. I hope both parties will bear that in
3 At this stage, is there anything that the parties would like to
4 bring to the attention of this bench? Mr. McCloskey?
5 MR. McCLOSKEY: Your Honour, is this a good time to talk about the
6 dates for the summer recess? That was something we talked to your counsel
7 about or we can just -- it's getting late, maybe we cannot worry about
9 JUDGE LIU: If you want to say something, yes, say it publicly.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: Okay. Given some of the -- specifically that
11 Mr. Obrenovic now will be testifying after the break, along with
12 Mr. Nikolic and others, I think there is an additional work load on
13 everyone and that I think -- I know that counsel for both Jokic and
14 Blagojevic would appreciate, with the Prosecution, to start up again the
15 first week of September as opposed to I believe August 25th. That would
16 give us all a little more room to get our work done and as you know there
17 has been some additional documents that are being translated that I think
18 all the parties need to take a look at, and I think Ms. Sinatra has
19 mentioned some other work that they need to have done. And that one week
20 would be very helpful for us to get started. Of course this is in
21 addition to the problem we've already discussed.
22 JUDGE LIU: Any comments or response? Mr. Karnavas?
23 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour. I would concur with the
24 Prosecutor on this issue. We do have some additional work. We are --
25 this is the Nikolic Obrenovic issues have put a bit of strain on our
1 resources, physical resources, I should say, not financial, so I think it
2 would be worthwhile and in keeping with what's going to be happening with
3 the appeal, I think it all makes sense.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Stojanovic?
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] We would like to join to what has
6 been proposed, Your Honours, but bearing in mind the importance for the
7 Defence of Dragan Jokic, the testimony of Dragan Obrenovic and the
8 evidence that we received a few days ago from the Prosecutor's Office, it
9 wouldn't be a bad idea to even delay the time even further of starting
10 after the recess. However, considering what you've -- from the --
11 everything that's been said, perhaps this will happen in any case for some
12 other reasons so there could be a solution found in all this when we are
13 speaking about the time that the trial will restart after the recess.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We are not in the position to
16 make a ruling at this moment but we'll take into consideration all the
17 submissions by the parties and we'll render a scheduling order to this
18 effect one week or two weeks before the recess.
19 The hearing is adjourned.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
21 6.54 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
22 the 14th day of July, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.