1 Thursday, 24 June 2004
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.06 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case please, Mr. Court Deputy.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
7 IT-02-60-T, the Prosecutor versus Vidoje Blagojevic and Dragan Jokic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
10 Mr. Karnavas, are there any protective measures for the next
12 MR. KARNAVAS: None were sought, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: I see.
14 So could we have the witness, please.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
17 I can't hear you. Maybe there's a technical problem.
18 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
19 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
20 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.
21 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
22 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: THOMAS KARREMANS
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.
1 Well, Mr. Karnavas.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, Judge Vassylenko.
3 Examined by Mr. Karnavas:
4 Q. Good morning, sir. Good morning, sir. I understand you speak
5 English but you will be speaking in your native tongue, Dutch. Is that
6 right. If you could please tell us your name.
7 A. My name is Thomas Jakob Peter Karremans.
8 Q. Could you please spell your last name for the record.
9 A. K-a-r-r-e-m-a-n-s.
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Karremans, if we could -- first I want to
11 concentrate on your background, so I will ask you a few questions. Could
12 you please tell us a little bit about yourself, where you're from, what
13 line of work have you been in.
14 A. I was born in 1948, in Appledorn in the Netherlands. I attended
15 secondary school. I did my required military service in Seedorf,
16 Germany. In 1970, I entered the royal military academy in Breda. I
17 subsequently completed a programme to serve as an officer in the
18 infantry, and then I successively proceeded through military ranks and
19 functions that are standard for somebody who has graduated from the royal
20 military academy, including programmes, courses, and so on. I was in the
21 first deployment of UNIFIL in Lebanon as a COI commander. I served two
22 functions in the Belgian NATO headquarters. I was subsequently head of
23 the department arms inspections and spent a lot of time in former Warsaw
24 Pact countries. And afterwards I was assigned to an infantry battalion
25 in Assen which was transferred into the air mobile command, where as a
1 commander of DutchBat 3, I went to Bosnia.
2 Q. But I take it your career did not end - your military career,
3 that is - after you left Bosnia. Is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. All right.
6 A. Following my return from Bosnia, I basically had to overhaul the
7 battalion in Assen because many of the higher-ranking staff were
8 transferred elsewhere. Afterwards, I went on several practice sessions
9 with the battalion and transferred the battalion in 1996. We prepared
10 for being stationed in the United States. I spent three years working in
11 the United States. From the United States, I went to Heidelberg where I
12 spent three years as the head of operations at NATO headquarters. And
13 from Heidelberg, I went to Madrid where I served as the head of personnel
14 and logistic affairs at NATO headquarters. And from Madrid last October
15 I retired, which is called functional age dismissal. That's the way the
16 Dutch terminology is for retiring.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I understand that you're eager to give
18 your evidence, but you have to understand whatever you say has to be
19 translated from Dutch to English so that we could catch up with you. So
20 please make a pause after every sentence, or the counsel will lead you
21 step by step.
22 THE WITNESS: [In English] Okay. Understood.
23 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may proceed.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President, for that intervention.
25 I was just about to mention that.
1 Q. All right. Now, before we get more into the substance of today's
2 testimony, if you could tell us first how many times you've given
3 testimony with respect to the events concerning Srebrenica; how many
4 times, where, when, so at least we have a record of that.
5 A. That depends on the context of your question. Do you mean a
6 commission or a small committee? Or do you mean an officially appointed
7 investigation body?
8 Q. I mean everything.
9 A. Do you mean --
10 Q. Everything.
11 A. I did not keep track of how often, but generally I was debriefed
12 on a few occasions, several occasions in fact. This began in Zagreb
13 following my return from Srebrenica; once prior to the battalion going
14 on leave, then the investigation in Assen where some members of the
15 battalion were interrogated more times than other members. Some members
16 were interrogated several times. I probably missed a few in between.
17 Then of course there's the investigation by the state institute for war
18 documentation which changed from the RIOD to the NIOD. I was sent from
19 the United States to the Netherlands a few times for two- to three-day
20 sessions of interrogation. Then I did an interview over the phone with
21 Mr. Von Kemena. I was sent to the investigation in Paris by the Assen
22 Bay for an investigation there. The preliminary discussions meant that I
23 appeared for the Bakker commission, that was a parliamentary inquiry.
24 And I forgot to mention the first one. Immediately after my arrival in
25 the United States, I had to return to the Netherlands to appear before
1 this institute; that was in 1996.
2 Q. Okay. Now, yesterday we had a chance to meet for the first time.
3 Is that right?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. And we had what we call a rather brief conversation lasting about
6 30 minutes --
7 JUDGE LIU: Your microphone, please.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Can I be heard now? No. It's on.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, please.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Can I --
11 JUDGE LIU: But I didn't see the light there.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't see it either, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE LIU: So long as it's working, you may proceed.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
15 Q. So yesterday we spoke for about 30 minutes, 30 to 45 minutes; is
16 that correct?
17 A. Yes, that's right.
18 Q. And during that period of time, you indicated that all of your
19 testimonies and all of the transcripts you had available. Correct?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. And it was your impression that all of this was also made
22 available to the Office of the Prosecution. Is that correct?
23 A. I assumed that, because most of the documents compiled during the
24 interrogations and hearings and conversations are public, in my view, in
25 the sense that the examining magistrate or judicial institution would
1 have access to them.
2 Q. All right. And I understand you also wrote a book about your
3 experience in Srebrenica.
4 A. That's right.
5 Q. And in reading your book, it would appear that you had also made
6 references to another book written about Srebrenica called Endgame by a
7 David Rohde. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes. I refer to two books, one by Rohde and the other title
9 escapes me.
10 Q. By Dutch authors, the other book?
11 Okay. Very well. Let's talk about your mission to Srebrenica.
12 First of all, could you please tell us what sort of a debriefing -- or
13 briefing, I should say, you received prior to going to Srebrenica.
14 A. In preparation for my deployment, as is standard procedure, there
15 were many activities which, as I mentioned, follow a standard protocol.
16 I can put it that way. They need to be done so that a unit where people
17 receive individual as well as group training for their deployment in a
18 relatively short period. They need to be made ready to start the
19 mission. Part of this preparation comprises briefings, briefings about
20 staff, about the situation, documents about culture, history, you name
22 We received debriefings during our preparation period in Assen.
23 We received some documents to read about services that gathered
24 information, that might be useful prior to enduring the deployment
25 mission. We learned about the ongoing operations of the battalion
1 stationed in that area, so we were in contact with people in the unit who
2 were there at that point. And I spent a week in that area with some
3 officers prior to our deployment there.
4 During that week, everybody operates as -- with his counterpart,
5 so a peace commander visits the peace commander who is -- who he will be
6 replacing. A staff officer speaks with his counterpart, the official
7 whose duties he will be taking over when his mission starts. And I spent
8 a week with Colonel Everts. I spoke with him and he showed me a lot, the
9 way he works, the way he worked, how the battalion worked, and he showed
10 me the lay of the land. And he told me how the operations should
11 proceed, and that was how we were prepared, if that's what you mean by
13 Q. Yes, thank you. Now, if we could go into a little more detail.
14 You indicated that you learned about the situation and the ongoing
15 operations. Could you please tell us whether you were informed about the
16 activities of the Muslim army that was operating within the Srebrenica
18 A. Yes, especially during my preliminary visit, the week that I
19 spent there. I spoke with the information officer of the battalion and
20 of course with the battalion commander as well about what was going on at
21 that time. I believe I remember meeting several people in that area,
22 tangentially speaking. And they informed me about the current state of
23 affairs, that is to say both sides explained the situation. Imagine --
24 it follows we knew something and we received quite a bit of information
25 already, but we received the best information on site from the -- from
1 our predecessors. That's how the information exchange was organised. So
2 what you're referring to regarding Bosnian Serbs and Muslims as well, in
4 Q. Okay. I take it then that your predecessor, Colonel Everts,
5 would have received a similar briefing from his predecessor; correct?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And then of course the predecessor of Colonel Everts, which would
8 have been DutchBat I, would have received a briefing from the Canadian
9 Battalion; correct?
10 A. I can't say. I wasn't there, but I assume so.
11 Q. All right. And I take it before going is there, you yourself had
12 an opportunity to read the UN resolutions establishing the enclave.
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Now, did you have an opportunity to meet Naser Oric when you went
15 there for that one-week orientation?
16 A. I can't really say. I thought about who I met during that week.
17 One week is not a very long time. I was inundated with impressions. I
18 spent most of the day on my feet, and in response to another question you
19 asked me I said I met a few people during that week. Whether Naser Oric
20 was among them, I tend to think so but only very briefly. Because -- as
21 I said, in passing.
22 Q. All right. Well, did you meet with any of the Muslim commanders?
23 Because I understand there were quite an if you of them running their own
24 little fiefdoms within the enclave.
25 A. One or two, but also, only in passing. We were introduced and
1 then we just drove on.
2 Q. Were you introduced to any of the Serb counterparts from the VRS?
3 A. No. I believe I was introduced to several people in the --
4 during the days I arrived in January, so during the transfer period.
5 Q. That was the actual period when you got there and they had that
6 big banquet which lasted about eight hours. And I understand
7 General Zivanovic spoke about seven of the eight hours.
8 A. No, not during the period when I was taking over there. That
9 must have happened during a different period.
10 Q. All right. Okay. Now, did you by any chance have a visit of the
11 collection point where the arms were being stored? And I'm speaking
12 about the week that you went there.
13 A. Yes. Yes, there was a collection point.
14 Q. And in listening to your background, you had worked in the
15 department of arms inspection. And I take it you had a familiarity with
16 the weapons that you were able to see at that point in time.
17 A. No.
18 Q. You didn't recognise the weapons, what they were, the
20 A. In my function as the head of the arms inspections department of
21 the army staff, I was involved with implementing a policy based on the
22 CSE treaty. The treaty was signed in Paris by NATO on the one hand, the
23 Warsaw Pact on the other hand, and each country had an organisation to
24 inspect that was agreed in that treaty. That's what we meant by arms
25 inspections. And in that capacity, I visited the former Warsaw Pact
1 countries on a few occasions. That's not the same thing as when you see
2 a few weapons at a weapon collection point which were, in fact,
3 well-maintained of all kinds of makes and brands.
4 Q. All right. But nonetheless part of your mandate was to implement
5 a policy sell up by the UN for a demilitarisation process within the
6 enclave which would require by its very nature some sort of arms
7 inspection, would it not?
8 A. Yeah.
9 Q. All right. Did you recognise the arms when you saw them? Do you
10 know --
11 A. I recognised some of them by type, and I'm referring to the more
12 sophisticated weapons at the collection point. But there were also
13 weapons that looked almost like they had been put together manually.
14 They were really very simple. It was quite ingenious the way they
15 thought about it. They were obviously not from some munitions factory
16 but had been thrown together in a shed somewhere. So there was a wide
17 variety in terms of weapons at the collection point.
18 Q. All right. Do you know whether when you went back to actually
19 take your position, the amount of weapons had increased or decreased in
20 that collection point?
21 A. Increased, but in a limited measure in the sense that I spoke to
22 Colonel Everts about this explicitly and we agreed that it wasn't always
23 easy in the context of demilitarisation to seize weapons from armed
24 Muslim groups if there were large numbers of them. You can disarm an
25 individual; that's not so difficult. But at the end of our period I
1 noticed that there were units there - but I assume we'll get into that in
2 more detail later on - there were units that were fully armed. And in
3 that case, disarming such units is far more complicated.
4 Q. All right. I take it Colonel Everts had impressed upon you the
5 challenges that he had met during the week that you were there.
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Could I ask you: What, if anything, did you do when you came
8 back to meet with your superiors, at least to alert them as to the
9 challenges that awaited you, the challenges, that is, that Colonel Everts
10 was having a rather difficult time, I would suspect, in overcoming?
11 A. I'm not sure I understood the question.
12 Q. Okay. Well, before going there you knew that the place had to be
13 demilitarised. Colonel Everts obviously informed you about the
14 challenges that he had met in this process. When you came back to meet
15 with your superiors, did you alert them that challenges awaited for you
16 with respect to this -- with respect to the demilitarisation aspect in
17 order to perhaps have your superiors assist you in some way to meet the
18 upcoming challenges?
19 A. No. It's only possible to do that by telephone because of the
20 location -- or I should say the dislocation of the safe area. And
21 considering the structure at the time between the battalion and the
22 higher echelons, the fact that when you're talking about superiors we
23 were not in contact with the members of the higher echelons daily or
24 weekly, monthly, which is normal in UN operations. And this is what the
25 commander of DutchBat I had to do and the commander of DutchBat II and I,
1 too. It was basically like reinventing the wheel as far as disclosing
2 something or contributing something to negotiations and trying to make
3 clear what our intentions were based on what we were assigned by the
4 United Nations and I assume disclosed to both parties. So communication
5 was one of the main problems, one of the biggest problems.
6 And talking to superiors about demilitarisation was, at best,
7 going through reports that were issued daily or weekly through
9 Q. All right. Well, actually you anticipated my next line of
10 questioning. But first what I'm interested in: You were in the field,
11 you spent the week in the field, you got debriefed in the field, then you
12 came back to the Netherlands before you and your battalion were to go off
13 to Srebrenica. So my question is: When you came back after having that
14 whole week in situ, as they say, getting an assessment, did you at that
15 time, before heading off with your men, did you contact your superiors to
16 inform them that perhaps part of the mission was going to be very
17 difficult to meet in light of the challenges that Colonel Everts had
18 informed you of and in light of your own observations and assessments?
19 A. Yes, because after a reconnaissance mission we draft a report
20 with some annexes, and the annexes are the individual reports of all
21 members of the team. And we have a few conclusions and recommendations
22 attached to that. That's the report that we send to our boss, the upper
24 But at this time, I'm not sure whether one of the issues, that's
25 demilitarisation, I'm not sure whether that appeared in the report, but I
1 assume it did because that was a very tough issue. But the Netherlands,
2 or rather, our Dutch boss, when we were involved in the preparations
3 can't really help that because it's an UN affair. And we need to mention
4 that to the UN channels. And that means that the commander of DutchBat I
5 and DutchBat II and then subsequently I myself reported in writing
6 through faxes. And as I just said, assess reps and the like, as to
7 whether things are working out or not and whether we can comply with
8 demilitarisation and how it's progressing and so on.
9 Q. All right. Well, if you could please tell us what the goals of
10 the mission were. Perhaps we can start there and take it.
11 A. Well, that forces me to go back in my memory. When I think back,
12 I remember what the afternoon objectives were, and they were to provide
13 protection under the UN to the population within the Srebrenica safe
14 area. The UNHR and other NGOs, we were expected to assist them so that
15 they could perform their duties there.
16 Third, we were expected to help the population, which was the
17 main purpose at the end of the day, and we received certain means to help
18 the population. I believe that demilitarisation is part of the primary
20 Q. Okay. Well, first I wanted to go to your statement -- or the
21 testimony, I should say, that you gave to this Tribunal back in 1996 when
22 things were slightly fresher in your mind, I suspect, since it was 1996.
23 And at that point in time - I don't know if you've had a chance to look
24 at your statement, but I'll just read a portion of it and perhaps we can
25 talk about that a little bit.
1 You were asked on page 603, and at that particular hearing which
2 took place on 3 July 1996, it was the Mladic/Karadzic hearing, Rule 62
3 hearing, you were asked about your mission and you said that on page 603:
4 "I can expand on that, but I have first, let us say, to explain what the
5 mission was of the battalion."
6 And Mr. Harmon from the Office of the Prosecution who is still
7 with us in this building who was questioning you. He says: "Please." Go
8 ahead, in other words.
9 And your answer was: "That was twofold. One was the purely
10 military side of the mission and the other side was the humanitarian
12 And I'm reading from lines 4 onwards, incidentally.
13 And then you go on to say: "The military side was to look to the
14 cease-fire agreement between both warring factions of both parties to
15 assist the civil authorities in the opstina of Srebrenica to maintain
16 negotiations between the BSA and the BiH and of course trying to reject
17 the BSA from attacking the enclave. On the other hand, the humanitarian
18 side of the mission was to support the refugees within the enclave as
19 much as possible on medical by food, by let us say the infrastructure
20 within the enclave to enhance that, and that was, let us say, the second
21 part of the mission of the battalion."
22 So it would appear back in 1996, July 3rd - and perhaps it was
23 out of nervousness or a failure of memory at that point in time - that
24 you didn't see or at least you didn't testify to the demilitarisation as
25 being one of the parts of the mission.
1 A. No, and I don't have to. If the question isn't put to me, I
2 don't have to answer it. I don't need to explain that the execution of a
3 military mission comprises more than just what may be written on paper.
4 And that is linked with the execution of the activities in terms of
5 intelligence, or how you can still perform a military action in a better
6 way when you can prepare it in a military way. When you refer to
7 demilitarisation, then that is only a small part of what needs to be
8 done. I'm not sure if this is an issue which I forgot about at the time
9 or whether I included it in my listing now because you have been
10 referring to it.
11 Q. Okay. Well, if I could just put this on the ELMO, just this
12 page. I just want to make sure that I'm fair with you, sir, because it
13 is you on page 603, line 1, that state that you want to explain what the
14 mission was of the battalion. And then you say "two-fold."
15 Now, on the purely military side of the mission, there's nothing
16 about - if we go on and we look at it, you say it was: "To look to the
17 cease-fire agreement," and that's different than demilitarisation because
18 you can hold a cease-fire and demilitarisation. Correct?
19 A. That's the why you should view it, I think; it's part of it.
20 Q. That's the way we should view it. Okay. But they're not
21 mutually exclusive. I guess that's what I'm asking. In other words, you
22 can have a cease-fire or say when you were the -- implementing the arms
23 inspection, as you know there was an arms buildup between the United
24 States and Russia. They were still -- they were not at war with each
25 other but they were still arm-building. Right?
1 A. No. That's an entirely different issue.
2 Q. Well, I was using that by way of analogy, that you can have a
3 cease-fire and still militarise at the same time. Okay.
4 And then you go on to say that: "To assist the civil authorities
5 in the opstina of Srebrenica," -- okay, nothing about demilitarisation
6 there -- "to maintain negotiations between the BSA and the BiH and, of
7 course, trying to reject the BSA from attacking the enclave."
8 So it would appear, sir, that at least when you testified you
9 failed to mention anything about demilitarisation at that aspect of your
10 testimony, right there?
11 A. Because, as you have just been saying, demilitarisation is only
12 part of the military side of the mission. Intelligence is another part
13 which I didn't mention. And bringing parties together to negotiate when
14 something had happened is part of that side of the mission. And that,
15 too, wasn't mentioned in here. Then I was asked what did the mission
16 consist of; I said two-fold, one humanitarian, second military.
17 Q. And if I understand your testimony, as far as you were concerned
18 the demilitarisation was a minor or small part of the overall mission.
19 A. Minor but important.
20 Q. Right. Okay. Well, I just wanted to refresh your memory perhaps
21 with a debriefing report. Perhaps you can comment on that. This is a
22 report, the Assen report, 4 October 1995.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: If I can get the assistance of Mr. Usher and
24 perhaps we can put page 8 on the ELMO. And if we could -- all right.
25 Q. Now. I just want to look where we see the section on mandate.
1 Page 8, paragraph 2.20. If we go towards the middle of it, it says:
2 "The most important aspect of this agreement was the
3 demilitarisation of the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves. It was intended
4 that all military or paramilitary units would either withdraw from the
5 demilitarised zone or surrender all their arms and all ammunitions,
6 mines, and explosives to UNPROFOR. Furthermore, UNPROFOR would now be
7 authorised to confiscate arms and ammunition in the possession of
8 civilians. UNPROFOR would also be given complete freedom of movement to
9 and from the enclave."
10 Now, just if you could help us out here, Mr. Karremans. Would
11 you agree with this part of the debriefing report, that is, the most
12 important aspect of the agreement that had been reached back in April
13 1993 between the two sides was the full and complete and continuous
14 demilitarisation of the enclave?
15 A. I don't see it here in front of me.
16 Q. Okay. Well, maybe I can -- we can go to it. Again, I'm
17 referring --
18 A. I see a section concerning the mandate, that is 2.20, dating from
19 April 1993. "The enclave was under threat of," et cetera.
20 Q. Okay. And incidentally I'm referring to what has come into
21 evidence as P851. Well, let me ask you: Is it your opinion that your
22 mandate changed? The mandate that you had back in 1995 was different
23 from the mandate back in 1993, that is for the complete and continuous
24 demilitarisation of the enclave itself?
25 A. No, it was not changed.
1 Q. Okay.
2 A. During 1993 to 1995. Only -- I told you that in order to
3 implement it, that that wasn't always very easy, and that it was part of
4 our military mission.
5 Q. I understand that. And I guess I just want to make sure that I
6 understand that you understood that that was the most important aspect of
7 the agreement, the demilitarisation process. Would you agree with this
8 report, or do you think --
9 A. No, I don't agree.
10 Q. Okay. Fair enough. Now, when you came back for that week --
11 from the week of spending in the field, was it your opinion that you
12 could not achieve that aspect of your mandate, that you would not have
13 been able under any circumstances to demilitarise the Muslim army within
14 the enclave?
15 A. Well, it was possible. And, actually, it was executed by my two
16 predecessors, the two commanders, whenever someone or a group of people
17 walked around openly carrying arms. What I explained before is that in a
18 later period, this was no longer possible. There were moments or
19 prolonged periods - I mean days, sometimes a week or two weeks - when
20 shots were fired from or in or around the enclave. But you never saw
21 anyone walking around with arms, whereas we knew that there were people
22 who possessed arms. We were not allowed to order homes to be searched.
23 In other words, one could only seize a weapon in accordance with a
24 standing procedure, when indeed you found someone having such a weapon.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. In the course of my stay with DutchBat III, this became somewhat
2 more difficult, because the number of people having arms in uniform
3 increased. You can try, if you like, but with a patrol of three or four
4 people you cannot disarm a group of 30 or 40.
5 Q. All right. Now, getting back -- if I can dissect this answer of
6 yours. You said that it was possible to demilitarise. If that were the
7 case, do you have an explanation as to why Colonel Everts, DutchBat II or
8 DutchBat I or the Canadian DutchBat [sic], or all three of them together
9 could not demilitarise this rather small enclave prior to your arrival,
10 keeping in mind they had a couple of years?
11 A. I didn't say it was possible to demilitarise an enclave. I said
12 that on the basis of the experience of both my predecessors and our own
13 experience, it was very difficult to seize all arms that were there,
14 because apparently people did not comply with what was contained in the
15 agreement about demilitarisation. I also explained that from time to
16 time it worked, because you never saw anyone walking around with arms
17 because we raised the issue during talks. And we regularly said that
18 they should be handed over, which wasn't done by the way, until we found
19 someone again, and then the procedure of seizure of arms was started.
20 Q. All right?
21 A. Or for a number of people. I want to add one thing. Considering
22 and knowing the area, it is impossible geographically to disarm a
23 population, or whatever you want to call it, because there are so many
24 possibilities of hiding arms. And we cannot compare the area to a Dutch
1 Q. Okay. Well, let me -- I just want to make sure that I understand
2 your testimony. So while you were there you never saw anyone running
3 around with arms? You didn't see any armed Muslim men in the streets all
4 the way to the fall of Srebrenica? Is that your testimony?
5 A. No. That is not my testimony. My testimony is that we regularly
6 stopped people with arms, but it varied. Sometimes we arrested one or
7 two in a week, then things were quiet for a week or two. After that, the
8 number was a little greater. Things varied and sometimes the men were
9 capable of fleeing, leaving their arms behind or with their arms,
10 depending on the current situation. But it was found -- it was seen,
11 numbers have been seized. The weapons collection point grew, but not in
12 the sense as we thought it should have grown.
13 Q. Okay. All right. Now, you said it was impossible to
14 demilitarise this enclave. That's your testimony. Right?
15 A. That is my statement.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. That is also the statement of my two predecessors.
18 Q. Okay. That -- I was going to get to that. So in other words
19 your predecessors knew that impossible to carry out one of the aspects of
20 the agreement, the demilitarisation. Did you become aware that when you
21 were there during that one week, or was it after you got into the field
22 and actually started working in and around Srebrenica that you realised
23 that this was mission impossible?
24 A. I realised it, but not in the sense of a mission impossible. But
25 I realised that it would become very difficult.
1 Q. Well, there's a difference between difficulty and impossibility.
2 Would you agree with me on that?
3 A. Difficult, yes, I agree. Difficult.
4 Q. So do you want to change your testimony to that you thought it
5 was difficult or do you still think it was impossible? I'm just trying
6 -- I'm not trying to pin you down but I'm trying to figure out so we can
7 agree to set terms.
8 A. Don't try to corner we with words, difficult or impossible. It
9 was difficult. And concerning the circumstances and the means, the
10 mandate, and the possibilities, as I just pointed out, we were not
11 allowed to search homes and that sort of thing, it was nigh impossible.
12 Q. All right. Now, in your estimation, were you able to at least be
13 somewhat successful - perhaps not completely but somewhat successful - in
14 carrying out the demilitarisation aspect of your mission?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And how successful? I mean, if you were going to grade yourself,
17 how successful would you say you were?
18 A. That's impossible.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. And the reason why is that in the early period it could possibly
21 have been done, but as time went by and as we saw, as I have stated
22 before, that more as more people started run around with arms and also in
23 uniforms, then at that time one would have to pass from a sufficient mark
24 to an insufficient mark.
25 Q. Okay. Would you say that the demilitarised zone, this enclave,
1 had been more militarised during your -- during DutchBat III or
2 demilitarised. Which of the two?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Well, were there more arms -- let me put it that way, a more
5 simpler way of putting it. Were there more arms in the enclave by the
6 time DutchBat III ended its mission or Srebrenica fell, or were there
7 fewer on account of your, by your terms, modest successes in the
8 demilitarisation process?
9 A. More.
10 Q. Okay. So not only were you not able to demilitarise, you were
11 there -- or while you were there, the enclave was becoming more
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Now, I just want to read a passage to you from a book, the
15 Endgame. I can have it for the ELMO. I just want to get your opinion on
16 whether you agree or disagree with this passage.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll be referring to page -- we need to get an --
18 give this an identification number. D208. And if we could just turn to
19 page 164, 165. It's --
20 Q. I'm getting a little ahead of my direct, but maybe since we're
21 here on this issue you can help us out. Starting on the paragraph, the
22 last -- the second-to-last paragraph. This is on July 11th, 1995. The
23 second-to-last paragraph talks about a meeting that took place between
24 General Delic and others. Apparently there was President Izetbegovic
25 over there and Silajdzic. If we go to the very last paragraph, it says:
1 "Without explaining why the army had pulled out Naser Oric and
2 the enclave's fifteen best officers, he" -- being Delic -- "warned that
3 there was no one strong enough in Srebrenica to create 'cohesion in the
4 resistance.' 'Srebrenica at enough arms," he said. 'The only problem is
5 how to create resistance.' The general pointed out that the army had
6 'made sure over the last few months' that more arms and ammunitions were
7 in Srebrenica than there had been in three years. He mentioned the
8 Chinese-made Red Arrow anti-tank missiles. 'Four tanks mean nothing,'
9 Delic said, referring to the attack from the south. 'If a launcher with
10 enough missiles is present.'"
11 My question, Mr. Karremans, is: Would you agree with what
12 General Delic of the Bosnian Muslim army at the time was saying, that is:
13 While you were there, DutchBat III, Srebrenica had more arms and
14 ammunitions than it had in the previous three years? Including these
15 Chinese-made red arrow anti-tank missiles.
16 MR. WAESPI: Mr. President.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MR. WAESPI: Just to make sure that we all understand, that's a
19 quote in a book. We don't know whether General Delic in fact said that.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. WAESPI: So it's entirely made clear.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you very much.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. I'm just wondering whether you agree with -- assuming that
25 General Delic made this statement, and we have some footnotes to this
1 passage - could you please tell us whether in your opinion General Delic
2 was correct.
3 A. I think every author of a book has the right to write whatever
4 they like. I can give you no statement on this. I wasn't present at
5 those talks. I don't know the man. I don't know how it ended up in this
6 book. So I cannot give you a judgement. So my answer is: I don't know.
7 Q. Okay. But you were present in Srebrenica. And my question is:
8 Would you say that in Srebrenica the Muslim army had the sort of weapons
9 that are being mentioned by General Delic?
10 A. No. I don't know that either, because those arms were not seized
11 over the last period before the enclave was taken over because two large
12 groups were running around with arms. So what type of arms is concerned
13 is something I do not know.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, perhaps that might be a good time, Your
16 Honour, to break.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes. Mr. Karnavas, I think we spent one
18 sitting on the issue of demilitarisation. And it is an important issue
19 in the Srebrenica incidents during that period, but I don't think first
20 it is very relevant to our case.
21 Secondly, I would like to say that this issue has been brought up
22 many times before, and I don't think there are significant disputes
23 between the parties. So my advice is that could we get over this part as
24 soon as possible and come to the specific incidents this witness is an
1 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. I'm laying the groundwork. I
2 know the parties are rather close, but I wouldn't say that close. If we
3 look at the -- that is the Prosecution and Defence on these issues, and
4 because of the way the indictment is drafted I have to cover these
5 points. I will move on as quickly as I can. I don't have much more on
6 this issue, but we will be moving at a rather faster clip. But I'm also
7 keeping in mind yesterday's comments on the record.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
9 And we'll have a break and we'll resume at quarter to 11.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 10.15 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Karnavas.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Mr. Karremans, I want to turn to a section of your testimony at
15 the Rule 61 hearing back on 4 July 1996.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps we can have the assistance of the usher
17 just to -- I guess we lost our usher. He will be coming back. Welcome.
18 If you could put this on the ELMO. Thank you.
19 Q. Now, you were explaining - and I'm just going to go into this a
20 little bit - you were talking about the challenges. And I'll be reading
21 basically from -- picking up more or less where we had left off. You
22 talked about the military aspect, the civilian -- the humanitarian side.
23 And then you go on starting with line 15:
24 "When we took over in January 1995 from, let us say, the
25 2nd Battalion, we were the third there, we had no problems during the
1 rotation. We had no problems in the beginning with the BSA."
2 That would be the Bosnian Serb army. Then you go on to say:
3 "There were some problems with the BiH, the Bosnian forces, in
4 the enclave."
5 And of course that's the end of your answer. And the next
6 question by Mr. Harmon from the Office of the Prosecution goes on: "What
7 problems developed with the Bosnian Serb military?"
8 So in light of the fact that they didn't give you an opportunity
9 to explain what sort of problems you had with the BiH forces, I thought I
10 might give you that opportunity right now, some several years later, to
11 tell us.
12 A. Communication was the problem, both ways. We found it easier to
13 communicate with the people of the BiH, because they were represented in
14 the enclave. And we devised a system of communicating with them. My
15 Section 5 ordinarily did that, including -- which included Vujadin and
16 two others who conducted and attended the weekly meetings. If a logistic
17 problem arose in the enclave and needed to be discussed, then my deputy
18 Franken usually did that or I sat in. If a serious problem arose in the
19 sense of problems we perceived in the enclave as a whole, then I was the
20 one who conducted the discussions.
21 We never really had trouble conducting discussions and
22 communicating with the BiH. On the other hand, some problems did arise
23 with respect to communicating with representatives of the BSA. The
24 discussions always took place on the border or just over the border of
25 the enclave, often at a post that we called Jovo. That was where you
1 entered the enclave. Any agreements reached with one of the BSA members
2 always involved waiting to see if they were there. We never had an
4 Q. If I could interrupt you here for a second. The question was --
5 you said earlier back then in 1996 on July 4th that: "There were some
6 problems with the BiH, the Bosnian forces, in the enclave."
7 And today you said there were communication problems perhaps.
8 And I noticed that nowhere in your testimony were you either asked by
9 Mr. Harmon or did you volunteer any information with respect to the
10 incident in the Bandera triangle or what was known as the Bandera
12 My question is: Is that what you were referring to back when you
13 said: "There were some problems with the BiH forces"?
14 A. Among others.
15 Q. Okay. Is there a particular reason why that escaped you from
16 mentioning it back in July 4th, 1996, when you were testifying on behalf
17 of the Prosecution against General Mladic and President Karadzic?
18 A. I assume you know that there were many problems, and the Bandera
19 triangle was only one of the problems. And the fact that the battalion
20 did not have freedom of action within the Srebrenica enclave to move
21 about on foot or in vehicles because parts or off-limits to us was a
22 problem that we discussed extensively with the BiH during the early
23 period. As I described in my book, several men were held hostage for a
24 period; that was a problem. And the problem concerning the arms that we
25 discussed earlier was also a problem. Later on it was noted that
1 increasing numbers of men were wearing new uniforms; that was a problem.
2 Communication was not actually a problem. And sometimes communication
3 was complicated, but it was generally rather smooth. With the BSA, on
4 the other hand, that was a different situation. There was a
5 communication problem there.
6 Q. All right. We're going to get to that; trust me. But I want to
7 stick with what was happening on the enclave. Now, going back to what I
8 had read earlier, the mandate which you said hadn't changed, included the
9 complete freedom of movement within the enclave by UNPROFOR. And now you
10 just told us that there were some parts that you did not have access to.
11 Question: Were you aware of that before you went to Srebrenica or is
12 that something that was unique to DutchBat III?
13 A. That was unique for DutchBat III.
14 Q. All right. As I understand it - and I don't want to be leading
15 you too much on this, but I'm trying to speed up the process a bit - as I
16 understand it, some 100 of your men were held hostage by the Muslim
17 forces that were supposed to have been demilitarised. The same people
18 that you were supposed to protect were actually holding you -- your men
19 hostage. Correct?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. Could you please tell us, so we have a clear record, why were the
22 UN forces there being held hostage? By whom? For how long? And how did
23 the hostage situation, this crisis, if I may call it that, was resolved.
24 A. As you rightly observed, under the mandate an UN unit in a
25 specific area was supposed to have all possible freedom of movement to
1 perform its duties. Part of the area was -- we were denied access to; we
2 called that the Bandera triangle. During a period when the weather
3 conditions were atrocious, because we anticipated potential problems
4 within the area, we wanted to set up an old existing recon post where the
5 local officer in command - if that's what you would like to call him -
6 was -- he did not like this and he did not allow us to do that. In other
7 words, an UN unit, DutchBat III, did not have complete freedom of
8 movement within its own area. Obviously, I communicated this to my
9 superiors in several telephone calls and reports I told Brussels about
10 this and to break the impasse I conducted a few meetings with Naser Oric.
11 And ultimately through mediation from higher up, negotiations,
12 discussions at higher levels, after a number of days the hostages were
14 Q. All right. How many days were your men held hostage?
15 A. Two or three days.
16 Q. All right. And who did you have to communicate up the ladder to,
17 so we know how high this negotiating process had to go to so at least to
18 get your men released from the Muslim army inside the enclave?
19 A. For the record and for your personal information - I don't know
20 whether I still need to explain this - my point of contact, my commander
21 was in Tuzla. And I was basically not expected to work with anyone above
22 him, because that's the way the military hierarchy works - in the United
23 Nations as well - you negotiate with and operate with and receive
24 guidelines from and submit reports to and so on. I'm sure you're aware
25 that I repeatedly interacted with the chief of staff immediately above
1 Tuzla, General Nikolai, because we knew each other personally. And
2 second, it's easier to arrange things quickly in your own language and to
3 make things clear, knowing that you're skipping a level, the Tuzla level,
4 but either simultaneously or retrospectively informing Tuzla. So
5 basically, I was only required to interact with Tuzla.
6 Q. All right. Well, we're going to get to the chain of command. I
7 just wanted to know who you had to speak with so they could negotiate the
8 release of your men. And if I understand your answer, you just went as
9 high as Tuzla. You didn't bypass Tuzla to go to General Nikolai on this
10 occasion. Is that correct?
11 A. No, I didn't bypass it. Of course some -- what happened was that
12 where the commander in Tuzla or his deputy, when they were not present,
13 then you skip a step and you interact with the level above.
14 Q. On this occasion, did you interact with General Nikolai, who I
15 believe was in Sarajevo?
16 A. No. I believe - and this was taking place in January - I was in
17 touch with Tuzla to bring the matter to their attention there. I may
18 have done this by phone. I may have spoken with CVO [as interpreted].
19 But I can only remember having interacted and communicated with Tuzla.
20 Q. Did you contact the Dutch Ministry of Defence to let them know
21 that at least some of their men who had been sent there for peacekeeping
22 purposes were actually being held hostage by the people they were
23 supposed to be protecting?
24 A. Yes. But the reports, as I did them for communication purposes,
25 was all done through the channel of hierarchy with faxed copies to what
1 we call the royal army crisis staff in The Hague.
2 Q. So you were just keeping them informed, as opposed to seeking
3 guidance from those authorities?
4 A. I kept them informed. Requesting aid is no use because it was an
5 UN operation. And one of the countries applying the troops has no input
6 to the ongoing operation at that time.
7 Q. Are you suggesting that the Dutch government would not have
8 intervened to protect the hundred men that were being held hostage? Is
9 that what you are suggesting? They would just leave it up to the UN to
10 decide their fate?
11 A. I think you should ask that question to somebody else. That
12 undoubtedly would have happened in -- it happened in NATO situations as
13 well. But that happens at an entirely different level. We're talking
14 about an UN operation here, and let's not confuse two things. We're not
15 talking about a country supplying troops that may or may not be able to
16 influence an ongoing UN operation.
17 Q. All right. Now, one of the reasons, as I understand your
18 previous answer, for your men being held hostage or being taken hostage
19 in this area called the Bandera triangle was because you were trying to
20 set up a reconnaissance post. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that's right.
22 Q. And would it -- could you please describe to us what is a
23 reconnaissance post. I mean, I have the impression that it's there to
24 collect information, to observe, to see if the Muslim army, for instance,
25 is militarising in that area, helicopters flying in, people going in and
1 out of the enclave. Would I be correct in that?
2 A. That's right. I just referred to an old arrangement and an old
3 observation post in the Bandera triangle at the edge of the border of the
4 enclave. Based on the information available to us, I decided to include
5 that observation post in some way within the belt of observation posts.
6 But that didn't work out the way we wanted it to.
7 Q. All right --
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes.
10 JUDGE LIU: Would you please show us a map to indicate where this
11 area is located in the safe area.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Certainly.
13 JUDGE LIU: So that we could have our directions.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. With the Court's indulgence I was going to
15 ask a couple more questions to lay the groundwork, but if that would be
16 helpful right now I'll get to the map. I have it right here.
17 Q. If I could show you what has been marked and what has come into
18 evidence as P16.1. if you could just look at this. First of all, could
19 you please tell us whether you identify with you -- whether you recognise
20 what's on this map. Wonderful. Do you recognise it, sir?
21 A. Yes, it does appear familiar.
22 Q. Okay. And what does it appear to be?
23 A. This is a map depicting the boundaries of the safe area
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. And it indicates the observation posts that we set up at a later
2 stage. I mean, this was not the case when I took over the area of
3 DutchBat II, because this reflects more observation posts than were there
4 when we took over the area. There's a reason that I may get into later
5 on. The Bandera triangle is at the left around the Bravo observation
6 post. That's what we call the Bandera triangle.
7 Q. Could you please point it out, sir, for us.
8 A. [Witness complies].
9 Q. In fact, why don't you just mark that so we know what precise
10 area you had no access during the period that you were supposed to be
11 patrolling that area.
12 A. You'll find it in my book as one of the annexes; it's described
13 very clearly there as to the coordinates where we were and were not
14 enter. I could draw a line, but not a specific line as it's stated in my
16 Q. Well, I have your book handy -- you have it, too. If you want to
17 look at your book as a reference. We're not looking at specific
18 coordinates, but if you could keep it in scale so we have some sort of
19 indication of the area of inaccessibility.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps if I could ask the monitor be darkened a
21 little bit.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
23 MR. WAESPI: In fact we do have a map that comes from DutchBat.
24 It's on our exhibit list. If counsel wants to use that, too.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: That's fine, that's wonderful.
1 JUDGE LIU: Which means that you're allowed. So you're going to
2 use this map?
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Certainly, as long as it has that whole area they
4 couldn't access to.
5 Q. Just a second, Mr. Karremans.
6 MR. WAESPI: And I believe it corresponds to the map which is
7 showing the debriefing report Mr. Karnavas has quoted a couple of times.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Fine.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps we can look at that.
11 Q. Now -- all right. So this is -- yes, go ahead.
12 A. [Witness complies].
13 Q. So that's the Bandera triangle. Now, as I understand it you
14 were -- your men were held hostage just about the time that you
15 arrived -- DutchBat III arrived in Srebrenica. Is that correct?
16 A. No, that's not correct.
17 Q. Well, how long had you been there?
18 A. We had been there for several weeks. The transfer of DutchBat II
19 to DutchBat III had already taken place. In other words, I was already
20 responsible for the area and the assignments carried out there. That's
21 why I'm referring to the end of January.
22 Q. When did you arrive?
23 A. Early January.
24 Q. All right. So within less than a month?
25 A. Well, we discussed it -- well, imagine this: We arrived in the
1 area that we would take over from the previous commander. There's an
2 overlap period. So a battalion commander and a company commander arrived
3 there first, in the first stroke -- at the first stage, and they had the
4 most time to take command over from the predecessor who leaves at the
5 last stage. So they have as long as possible to exchange information and
6 to see --
7 Q. Mr. Karremans, I don't mean to interrupt you and I apologise, but
8 it was a very short question and I would like to get you back to Spain by
9 tomorrow afternoon or evening or the next day as opposed to still being
10 here on Monday. So I'm going to try to ask you to keep your answers as
11 concise as possible.
12 My question was: You were there less than a month before your
13 men were held hostage; right?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. Okay. And as a result of this incident, could you please
16 describe to us the relationship thereafter between DutchBat and the
17 Muslim army commanders, because I understand there were several of them
18 in Srebrenica at that time - and correct me if I'm wrong.
19 A. I can't answer that. You need to ask the local commanders.
20 Q. You mean that you had no dealings with the local commanders while
21 you were there?
22 A. Well, I was in touch with them and they're the ones you should
23 ask who did I have contact with, who did I deal with and how did the
24 relations evolve before, during, and after the hostage taking.
25 Q. Where were the helicopter flights coming in to? Where were they
1 landing, inside or outside the Bandera triangle?
2 A. I did not see any helicopter flights, so I can't tell you that.
3 But based on the information I received, from outside.
4 Q. Okay. When you say "outside," so are you saying it's outside the
5 enclave that you were getting information about helicopter flights into
6 the enclave. Is that what you're telling me?
7 A. No. Our own reconnaissance posts told us that.
8 Q. When you say your "own," is that DutchBat or UN? Because I
9 understand there were UN military observers there as well.
10 A. DutchBat.
11 Q. So your own soldiers, the ones that were there that were under
12 you, were informing you of helicopter flights. Correct?
13 A. No. They informed me that they -- that the sounds of helicopters
14 had been heard; not where they landed, not what the intention was,
15 whether the helicopters were loading or unloading. They only told us
16 that helicopter sounds were heard.
17 Q. How frequently were these helicopter sounds?
18 A. I can't say.
19 Q. Were there any -- were these helicopters being shot at?
20 A. By us?
21 Q. I'm not saying by you. I would have asked the question: Were
22 you shooting down any helicopters or did you shoot at.
23 Do you know whether the helicopters were shot at by either the
24 Muslims or the Serbs? I don't know. I wasn't there.
25 A. I don't know.
1 Q. Okay. Do you know whether any helicopters had crashed?
2 A. At one stage I believe one crashed, because we took care of
3 somebody at the infirmary who was probably in one of them.
4 Q. Well, if he was in the infirmary and he was being taken care of,
5 I take it as part of your mission to demilitarise this area you
6 interrogated him, questioned him. I'm not suggesting something like what
7 we're seeing in Iraq today, but you did question him, did you?
8 A. No. It's not a matter of interrogation. It was one of the
9 people in charge of the ABiH who required mild treatment at the centre or
10 bandaging, and he told us something about the helicopter crash. And he
11 said that many people had been killed there, in that. He not -- of
12 course, not him. And in that situation, there's no point to interrogate
13 somebody as might be happening today.
14 Q. All right. Well, obviously you -- well, first of all did he tell
15 you whether the crash took place inside or outside the enclave?
16 A. Outside.
17 Q. And I take it you didn't venture out to see -- you didn't have
18 your men go out of the enclave to see what might have happened.
19 A. Under the mandate, we were not authorised to cross the border of
20 the enclave.
21 Q. Did this gentleman who was -- when you say "ABiH," we're talking
22 about he was military. Correct? Right?
23 A. [No interpretation].
24 Q. He was an officer, was he not?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did you ask him whether that helicopter by chance was carrying
2 arms into the enclave?
3 A. No, no arms.
4 Q. Are you saying that no arms were on the helicopter, or you didn't
5 ask whether arms were on the helicopter, which of the two?
6 A. Neither.
7 Q. All right. Well, if you didn't go to the crash site, you weren't
8 on the helicopter, my question is: How do you know, then, that there
9 were no arms on this helicopter unless you were told by someone and you
10 took that person at their word? So who was it that told you, so at least
11 we know whether we can take his word or not?
12 A. I'm talking about Ramiz, the then-commander of the ABiH under
13 Naser Oric, who was no longer there since April. And any conversation I
14 heard that the helicopter moved personnel, particularly medical
16 Q. That's what -- okay. Go ahead.
17 A. And no arms.
18 Q. All right. That's what this commander of the army told you;
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. And I take it you believed him.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Had you ever been misled by them before, not this individual but
24 by the commanders of the Bosnian Muslim army inside the enclave?
25 A. Misled is not the right word. But one didn't always get the
1 right information that we wanted to have. Sometimes they beat around the
2 bush. Sometimes information was held back, whereas we knew it existed,
3 and then we used to say so in the talks. And then we saw them blushing.
4 That applied to both sides. Usually the communication was open.
5 Q. All right. Now, you mention Naser Oric. Did you get a briefing
6 with respect to this particular individual, Naser Oric, before you got to
7 -- took up your mission? Who he was, his adventures, his...
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And could you please tell us what exactly did they tell you about
10 Mr. Oric.
11 A. At the risk of -- Talking about Mr. Oric, Mr. Oric was written
12 about in various books, including mine and so you can check it. During
13 the period from January until the time I went on leave, I knew him and I
14 experienced him to be a strong military leader who believed in what he
15 did and was supported by most people.
16 Q. Well --
17 A. A lot has been said about him in addition, truths and half
18 truths, whatever one wishes to believe. And I do not really wish to deal
19 with that because I cannot endorse it. I can only say what I think of it
20 and how we dealt with each other during negotiations.
21 Q. Okay. Well, since we're on the gentleman, I thought maybe we
22 could speak a little bit about him because it might become relevant later
23 on in our discussions here today. Again, going back to the book
24 "Endgame." If I could put on the ELMO page 216. And again, this is for
25 identification purposes D208. So if we could put on page 216. And I'll
1 just read it. You can follow along. It says here:
2 "Oric's men did commit atrocities, but how many is unclear. He
3 was cavalier enough to show a video of a burned-down Serb village and
4 headless Serb corpses to foreign journalists visits the enclave in
5 February 1994."
6 And there's a footnote to that. And then it goes on.
7 "Several Muslims and Dutch peacekeepers reported seeing a photo
8 of Oric standing over a Serb corpse in the ruins of a village."
9 And then if I go to footnote number 42, and that would be found
10 on page 419 of the book. It states: "The account was heard by so many
11 different Muslim and Dutch sources that it was judged to be credible."
12 My question to you, sir, is: Either before going to Srebrenica
13 or while you were in Srebrenica, had you heard that Naser Oric was
14 committing these sorts of atrocities, atrocities which we see on
15 television now happening in Iraqi, where the whole world is up in arms
16 about beheading of people. Were you ever informed of that?
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
18 MR. WAESPI: Just entirely proper. I think we heard Iraq three
19 times today. I don't see the relevancy.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Beheading, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: I think there's no need to mention Iraq in these
22 proceedings, which gives people a wrong impression.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I merely pointed it out because of --
24 JUDGE LIU: I know. Just ask your question there.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour. I thought it put some
1 relevance to it, but very well.
2 Q. Were you told that Mr. Oric was beheading Serbs and then
3 displaying them as trophy cases?
4 A. No.
5 Q. And did you hear about that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So it would appear, would it not, that at least while you were
8 there you had learned that he was a war criminal?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Well, help me out here. Do you think it's appropriate for
11 someone to be -- who is a military commander to either give orders to or
12 to actually be himself -- the commander, that is -- behead civilians?
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Waespi.
14 MR. WAESPI: I think it's really an artificial discussion. Let
15 me remind of what the witness said before. He said: "I've heard that
16 but I don't really want to talk about it because I can only base my
17 observation on what I've seen myself and I wrote it in my book."
18 So it would be more appropriate to talk about Mr. Karreman's
19 book, rather than what somebody else wrote.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may briefly respond. First of all, Naser
23 Oric was running this show up until a point and then his other commanders
24 were running the show. We will go through testimony where while
25 Mr. Karremans was there to demilitarise, there were several incidents,
1 especially in June, where soldiers were going out and committing
2 atrocities against the Serbs and then running back into the enclave for
3 protection under the UN blue helmets.
4 Obviously he -- the gentleman had a mandate. I would like to
5 know whether he was carrying out his mandate. If he knew the person was a
6 war criminal or committing war crimes, what, if anything, he or his
7 predecessors, his superiors, did about it, did anything about it.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, first of all I have to say that
9 Mr. Oric is the accused in another case in this Tribunal, not in our
10 case. Secondly, from the previous proceedings we learned that there is
11 some evidence that Muslim troops attacked Serbs outside the safe areas.
12 I don't think there is any disputes on that issue. But as I reminded you
13 yesterday, we have to be very concentrated on the subject matter of our
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree, Your Honour. I'm like a laser beam on
16 this one. Maybe it's not heading in the direction that -- maybe we have
17 different directions but it's -- very well, Your Honour, I take your
18 point. I will move on and try to cover the point in some other way.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please do that.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you.
21 Q. All right. Let me ask you about whether you knew at that point
22 in time about any activity of the Muslim army going out and committing
23 atrocities or going out and actually engaging in military activity. Were
24 you aware of that?
25 A. No.
1 Q. All right. And I just want to be very clear on that, so help me
2 out. During the entire time while you were there as the commander of the
3 DutchBat, you never heard of any activities by the Muslim army going out
4 and engaging in any activities. Is that what you're telling me? I just
5 want to be clear on this.
6 A. I won't talk about war criminals or whatever. I only talk about
7 facts and figures. Observation posts have noted that from time to time
8 Muslim fighters left the enclave and returned the same night. Sometimes
9 one could hear fire exchanges taking place outside the enclave, and
10 usually one or two days later one was informed by the -- one was informed
11 by the other party that something had happened.
12 Q. That's all you heard? You didn't hear any --
13 A. During the night you can only hear things; you can't see much.
14 And you can only see as far as the eye reaches. And no one accompanied
15 the people outside.
16 Q. All right. Did the Muslim soldiers ever impersonate themselves
17 as DutchBat or UN soldiers with blue helmets shooting at the Serbs in
18 order to attract fire?
19 A. No, not that I know of.
20 Q. You never heard of that while you were there.
21 A. No.
22 Q. Okay. And do you know whether the Muslims were digging trenches
23 in front of the post?
24 A. No, not in front of the post but between the posts. In areas
25 where the visibility from an observation post was less, the ABiH have dug
2 Q. And what was the purpose for putting the trenches over there so
3 close to the observation post?
4 A. No, not so close, in between. It is an area with a border of 50
5 kilometres with, initially, a small number of observation posts. So in
6 brief, there were long stretches which could not be monitored, especially
7 during the night.
8 Q. While you were there, what were your relations -- what were your
9 relations with UNMO, the UN military observers? Were they passing on any
10 information to you or were you just relying on your own people?
11 A. Both. Meetings took place in which UNMOs took part, but UNMO is
12 a different organisation. I was not their commander. At best, I had to
13 offer them protection when necessary, and that was what was done at the
14 end. They are not obliged to share information with the unit in the
15 specific area. Of course this depends on the personal relationship with
16 the commander of the UNMO team in order to obtain information anyhow.
17 Q. So my question was: Were you receiving information from them?
18 Did you have good relations with them? One UN group with another UN
19 group, UNMO with UNPROFOR, the DutchBat, however you want to term
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. And I take it they were telling you about the activities
23 of the Muslim fighters going out and trying to provoke the Serbs.
24 A. No. I explained at length that it is not possible when you do
25 not go outside your area, because that was not part of the mandate. So
1 that makes you dependent on the observations of other bodies. That could
2 be the UN military-observer mission.
3 Q. Okay. Well, let me just be more concrete. Were the Muslim
4 fighters, the army that was inside the enclave, were they going out,
5 committing atrocities or engaging in military activity in order to
6 provoke the Serbs?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
8 MR. WAESPI: As far as I recall the witness has been asked that
9 before and I think he answered he heard it.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We could go back to the transcript and to see;
11 this question has been asked.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: I didn't ask the question about provocation, Your
13 Honour. I asked whether there were -- that's why the difference in the
14 question. Whether they were going out provoking, in other words trying
15 to engage the Serbs into responding.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, as for the purpose of those attacks, I believe
17 only those engaged in that type of activity could answer that question.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: I would like to know, Your Honour, whether
19 Mr. Karremans saw that as a -- saw those acts as acts of provocation. If
20 I may be permitted to ask that question.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, you may put this question, but bear in mind
22 that that is a speculative question.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I will bear that in mind, Your Honour.
24 Q. Would you like that answer that question, Mr. Karremans?
25 A. No, it is a speculative question. I won't answer that.
1 Q. Okay. Perhaps I can show you something from the NIOD report. It
2 would be page 5 of chapter 5.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: And I'll give it a D number, an exhibit number,
4 210 for identification. If we could just put page 5, it will be 5 of 7.
5 It's part 3, chapter 5, section 8, marked as Exhibit D210 for
7 Q. And if we look at I believe it's one, two, three, four. It says:
8 "Karremans ended his report by stating that he had repeatedly
9 warned the commander of the 28th Division that actions outside the
10 enclave borders would provoke reactions from the VRS and possibly put the
11 population in danger. If the ABiH had indeed undertaken actions outside
12 the enclave, then it would mean, as Karremans wrote, that the VRS had
13 restrained itself. The only response was from the usual post with the
14 usual weapons. The VRS could have inflicted great damage if that had
15 been ordered."
16 From here, sir, Mr. Karremans, it would appear that you were
17 rather concrete and not speculative. Would you not agree with me, or is
18 it your opinion that the NIOD report is untrustworthy?
19 A. I am being concrete and what is written there is written. But
20 you should not ask speculative questions. Ask me for facts and figures
21 and I will give them to you. Provocation, yes; I mentioned that and I
22 mentioned that in my reports as well, only based on that which
23 observation posts observed, not on what I observed myself because I never
24 once left the enclave. It is logical that when you find that something
25 happens and people leave the enclave, that you discuss that with the
1 leadership of the ABiH and that you point out to them that this might
2 have consequences, particularly toward the population. That is not
3 speculative; that is a fact.
4 Q. So it's a fact that you had warned the 28th Division, that is the
5 Muslim army, that they were engaged in provocative acts by going out and
6 carrying out military activities.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So I --
9 A. Noted by observations from observation posts.
10 Q. But those observation posts, Mr. Karremans, were not foreign
11 observation posts. Right? They were DutchBat observation posts.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And those were your men, trained to provide you with information.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I take it you trusted the information you were receiving.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And having trusted that information, I take it, you then
20 confronted the commander of the 28th Division as a result of what you had
21 been hearing. Correct?
22 A. That's correct, in the sense that information is always checked.
23 So you don't depend on a single information source; you try to base
24 yourself on several sources. And if those converge and you get a clear
25 picture, then that may be a reason for making such a remark and to inform
1 the leadership of the 28th Division.
2 Q. Okay. All right. Now, what was their response?
3 A. In most cases, none. Either it is correct and we are looking for
4 food, period.
5 Q. I guess I'm not quite clear, because I want to go back to
6 what -- earlier when Mr. Ramiz told you there were no weapons on the
7 helicopter you seemed to believe him. You didn't do any checking - not
8 that there was a way you could check - but you believed what you heard.
9 I'm asking you now when you confronted the 28th Division, did they admit,
10 at least to you, that they were going out and committing atrocities or
11 provoking the Serbs? Did they come clean? Or did they deny this action,
12 in which case they would be giving you false information?
13 A. No, they did not deny leaving the enclave, especially during the
14 beginning. There was a route between Srebrenica and Zepa which was
15 frequently used, so we knew that. At a later stage, this changed. You
16 are again mentioning provocations and atrocities, but we have not
17 witnessed those. The fact that in a demilitarised zone, a safer area
18 during the night, people go out, and warning them for this is sufficient
19 to me.
20 Q. All right. Did you ever give the Muslim army any food from the
21 humanitarian aid that was coming in?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Never?
24 A. Not me.
25 Q. Well, not you personally, but DutchBat III?
1 A. No. The food that came in through the UNHCR was for the
2 population and not for the ABiH. How they handled it is something you
3 should ask someone from the ABiH, what they held back for themselves and
4 how the incoming food was distributed.
5 Q. All right. So you're saying as far as you know you never allowed
6 any food to be given to the ABiH, the army itself.
7 A. One of our duties was humanitarian support for the population.
8 If at any time an UNHCR convoy came in, then it was the representative of
9 the UNHCR who did business with the local population concerning the
10 distribution of the food and not the battalion.
11 Q. Okay. I want to show you another map at this point in time, and
12 we'll get back to all of these questions. I want to show you a map.
13 This has been marked for identification purposes -- it's actually -- has
14 come in as evidence, P369. Have you ever seen this map, sir?
15 A. [No interpretation].
16 Q. And do you recognise the area?
17 A. Yes, I recognise part of the area, but the borders are entirely
18 different and probably the intentions are probably different as well.
19 Q. I just want to make sure we go from the general to the specific.
20 Would you say that in this map the enclave would be found somewhere or be
22 A. It's not on the map, but it could be drawn on to the map.
23 Q. That's exactly what I'm trying to get at. Would the enclave be
24 in this -- on this -- you know, on this map? Could it be contained in
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Okay. Now, perhaps you may want to have the other map handy, the
3 one that we showed you earlier that has the enclave, if you want to have
4 that for a reference. And I would like you to please draw on this
5 particular map.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Since this is our copy, we will have to give it an
7 exhibit number as D211 for identification purposes.
8 Q. I would like you to draw on it the enclave, the enclave as it
9 existed pursuant to the UN resolutions and as you had found it when you
10 got there, if you could.
11 A. [In English] No, I couldn't.
12 Q. Is there a reason why, sir?
13 A. [Interpretation] It would be too time-consuming to draw the exact
14 border on this map that I'm not familiar with, given that I'm aware of
15 the dispute during the period of DutchBat I, DutchBat II, and
16 DutchBat III where both parties tried to talk about enclave borders.
17 Q. All right.
18 A. At this point, in my view, it would be too time-consuming to
19 indicate an exact enclave border. There are better maps, military maps,
20 than this one where it is indicated precisely.
21 Q. Okay. Well, first of all let me inform you that we're not really
22 disputing where the borders are between I, II, and III DutchBat, that's
23 not an issue. It doesn't have to be totally precise. Then we can take
24 an early break and you can have 30 minutes.
25 But just in general, and the purpose is for other reasons. So it
1 would be just in general so you could trace it so we could see at least
2 within this geographical region that is marked out where the enclave
3 would be located.
4 A. Well, it's possible but there's no point at this time because
5 there's no difference in interpretation between DutchBat I, II, and III;
6 it's the difference in the dispute between the two parties. So borders
7 differ and have changed over a certain period.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas, you may put a question to this
9 witness to see whether the safe area is within the dark part of this map.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: I was going to do that, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: It's a very simple question.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: We're on the same wavelength on this one, Your
13 Honour. I have to get there, but I'm there.
14 Q. Now, in this -- if you look at this map, the one that I presented
15 you that on the screen, you will see that there is a marked-up area.
16 Could you please tell us whether the enclave itself is included within
17 this bordered area on the map.
18 A. No, I can't, because then I would need to follow the entire
19 enclave border - that would take time - I would need to do that from one
20 place to another, one road to another. I drove around there for six
21 months and I know what the area looked like. I can't do that with this
22 map. I can't transform this map into a much better map.
23 And once again, I'm not sure where you're headed here, but there
24 are very specific maps that indicate the borders agreed at the time and
25 that were subject to dispute.
1 Q. All right. Well, let me help you out here. Let me help you out
2 here. The Prosecution's contention is - if I may speak for them, and I
3 often do in this case, much to their dismay - but it's their contention
4 that this area that you see on this map, the one that's on the projector,
5 was the "zone of responsibility" of the Bratunac Brigade during the very
6 same period that DutchBat I, II, III were there. And -- so that's why
7 I'm asking you. So you could show us where the enclave would fit into
8 this "zone of responsibility," as the Prosecution claims existed at the
9 time that you were there.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the best way is let the Prosecution
11 state what is their position.
12 Yes, Mr. Waespi.
13 MR. WAESPI: Well, the other point is to lay a foundation first,
14 asking him: Do you know what the area of responsibility of the Bratunac
15 Brigade was. And then he can -- if yes, he can compare it to this map.
16 And if no, game over.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I will take part of the suggestion. I don't
18 believe a foundation is necessary, but I can ask him.
19 Q. Assuming, assuming, sir, that what is marked on this map that you
20 see on the screen was a zone of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade,
21 would it not appear on the map that part of its zone of responsibility
22 included the very same zone of enclave which you were responsible for?
23 A. It's possible.
24 Q. Well, not possible. Look at the map. Look at where -- the
1 A. I don't know where you're headed, and I don't want to make the
2 remark that I made. But I have a diploma in map reading; that was part
3 of my occupation. So if you tell me to draw that into that, then I don't
4 do that. I observe specific borders. And of course we'll find a piece
5 that doesn't quite fit in and a piece that doesn't -- that does fit in,
6 and that is what the dispute is about. No. I'll meet you halfway by
7 taking a good long look at it and drawing it in piece by piece, but not
8 just off the bat.
9 Q. Okay. All right. I'll take that. I'll take you up on that.
10 MR. KARNAVAS: If we can have an early break, Your Honour, and
11 perhaps the gentleman could look at it and assist. I don't think it
12 should take too long.
13 Now we have Mr. McCloskey up. I take it this is going to be a
14 procedural issue.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll hear what Mr. McCloskey would like to
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just to try to help and given that the
19 Prosecution's position on all this has been requested. I can just
20 clarify. The Prosecution's position is fundamentally that Potocari on 12
21 July is within the Bratunac Brigade zone of responsibility, as is
22 Bratunac, as is Kravica, as are the key areas. This is the focus of the
23 Prosecution's position. So -- and we do support Mr. Butler's testimony
24 regarding this map and other issues. But this is, if that will help
25 focus the questions, this is the key position of the Prosecution in this
1 matter. This map and all the attention that's being paid to it, I think
2 the Prosecution's position is getting a little bit warped.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: I think I could make the Prosecution's argument
6 for them. I won't, but I can, perhaps not as passionately as they would.
7 But Mr. Butler would have us believe and has been validated at this time
8 that they support that contention, that back in July 1995 the zone of
9 responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade encompassed that -- all of that
10 area. And of course assuming that a brigade had a zone of
11 responsibility - a contention which we don't agree with - but assuming
12 that that is the case, their argument is furthered that he would have had
13 control over that area and he would be subject to or be responsible for
14 any activities, including atrocities, occurring within that area.
15 And what I'm trying to demonstrate here is that at the same time
16 Mr. Butler claims that the Bratunac Brigade has a zone -- this
17 geographical zone of responsibility, it would appear - and you don't need
18 to have a degree in map reading or map making - that the enclave is smack
19 right in the middle of this geographical region which they claim is a
20 zone of responsibility. And that is the contention. And then from there
21 I'm going to ask Mr. Karremans - and I'm hoping he will help me out on
22 this one - whether he and Colonel Blagojevic shared the same area of
23 responsibility at the same time.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think you should put this question directly
25 to this witness. As for the background and the positions of both
1 parties, we believe that we heard a lot of evidence.
2 Well, we'll have our break, and during the break I hope the
3 witness could have a closer look at this map.
4 In the meantime, Mr. Karnavas --
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE LIU: I think you could be thinking well of your questions
7 and line of your questions and have it well organised.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President. I take you -- we are
9 streamlining as we are going along.
10 JUDGE LIU: We come to the subject matter step by step. Now we
11 are at the door of it. We are at the door of it.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: We have to eat a lot of salad before we get to the
13 main course, but we're there, we're there.
14 JUDGE LIU: Sometimes we don't need salad. But we'll resume at
16 --- Recess taken at 12.02 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.32 p.m.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE LIU: Before we resume, could I make some clarification on
21 your position in this very issue.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: My position?
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. And you know, during the proceedings you set
24 July 11th, 1995, as kind of a landmark day in this case. So is it your
25 position that you hold even after the fall of Srebrenica, the enclave,
1 Srebrenica enclave, is still the zone of responsibility of United Nations
2 peacekeepers? Or it falls within the zone of responsibility of the Serb
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, if I may, Your Honour, and with the utmost
5 respect, I don't believe those are the -- that's the universe of choices.
6 But -- and so I can't answer directly. I can state first and foremost at
7 no point in time, at no point in time, that map represented a zone of
8 responsibility or the zone of responsibility for the Bratunac Brigade,
9 because the brigade never had a zone, number one. Number two, we believe
10 that once Srebrenica fell and the enclave was no longer an enclave for an
11 intents and purposes, the line of defence of the Bratunac Brigade changed
12 and continued to change as the days progressed with the searching orders.
13 And then at some point, the Bratunac Brigade went to Zepa and then to
14 Trnovo, so there was no -- there was nothing there in Bratunac as far as
15 we are concerned.
16 So I don't know if I have answered your question, but we want to
17 be clear about that. We believe at all points in time that under the
18 rules the brigade had a line of defence which had a certain length; it
19 went so far forward and so far backwards and that's it. Not a
20 geographical region. Which is exactly why I want the gentleman,
21 Mr. Karremans, to basically give us - in general, for illustrative
22 purposes, not for historical accuracy, so there's no need for you to be
23 concerned that later on someone will come and say "This is what he
24 said" - but for illustrative purposes, to demonstrate that here we have
25 some overlap.
1 Am I making myself clear, Mr. President?
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think so far so good. You may proceed with
3 your questions to this witness.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. Thank you. And I take it I have indeed
5 answered your questions to the extent possible.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm not sure about that.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay. All right. Well, thank you.
8 Q. Mr. Karremans, during the break -- and I apologise for taking up
9 your break when you should be relaxing. But I would suspect someone with
10 your background shouldn't have too much difficulty in looking at the map
11 for illustrative purposes to denote for us the enclave. Did you have an
12 opportunity to do that, sir?
13 Thank you. For the record, Mr. Karremans was shaking his head.
14 If we could go to that. And again we're referring to Exhibit
15 D212. If we could look at that. All right. And could you please
16 explain this to us, Mr. Karremans. Well --
17 A. [In English] All right. Based on -- [Interpretation] Based on
18 this map, I traced the positions of the observation posts, the most
19 obvious sites on the map that were always indicated in that reports, for
20 example, Brkok [phoen] and the like, roads that we use. And eventually I
21 put these dots on the map. These dots are approximately the line of and
22 the area of responsibility of DutchBat during the period that I was
24 This line indicates that in the northern part the Charlie Company
25 was responsible and in the southern part the Bravo Company was
1 responsible. This is Srebrenica. This is Potocari, where the
2 headquarters were. And you'll see that part of the area of the
3 responsibility of the battalion is outside the purported area of
4 responsibility - with which I'm not familiar; this is the first time I'm
5 hearing about it - of the brigade.
6 So it doesn't overlap. It's larger or differently situated than
7 the area of responsibility of the Bratunac Brigade.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, in the transcript I think the witness said that
9 the town of Potocari, but I didn't see it on the transcript.
10 Witness, would you please mark the place called Potocari on the
12 THE WITNESS: [In English] Yes, Your Honour. It's here.
13 MR. KARNAVAS:
14 Q. If you could put a P there, sir, so we could --
15 A. [Witness complies]
16 Q. There you go. And I take it P is within the enclave.
17 A. [In English] Yes.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
19 MR. KARNAVAS:
20 Q. And just for the record C is for Charlie Company and B is for
21 Bravo Company, right.
22 A. [In English] Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. Now, the area that you have indicated was the enclave, who was
24 responsible for that area during the period that DutchBat III were there?
25 A. The dotted area was the area responsibility of the battalion.
1 Q. The DutchBat battalion?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So I take it if that was your area of responsibility, the VRS
4 could not operate in that area.
5 A. The VRS or ABiH?
6 Q. The VRS, the Bosnian Serb army.
7 A. No.
8 Q. All right. So in other words -- go ahead. You want to finish.
9 A. They had no access to the area.
10 Q. That's -- I was going to get to that, you know, because I'm just
11 troubled a little bit. So if you can help me out. And these are not
12 trick questions; these are for some nuances in this trial.
13 Could the VRS come in and command and control what was happening
14 in this area? I know you were supposed to and there were some areas that
15 you didn't have access to. But could the VRS come in and command and
16 control at least the portion that is outlined as this zone of
17 responsibility, a term which I dislike immensely?
18 A. Yes, that was possible, just the same as the AB had the
19 opportunity to go outside at night. There were also opportunities to
20 enter at night. Why? Because the enclave border is 50 kilometres long
21 and there were rather few observation posts. And considering the terrain
22 and the elevations and recesses, it was possible to leave and re-enter
23 the area.
24 Q. Perhaps I inartfully phrased my question. Did the Bratunac
25 Brigade commander have command and control over what was happening inside
1 that portion of the enclave which you at the same time had command and
2 control over by virtue of the UN resolution, the mandate, given to you?
3 A. No, they couldn't control it. But you need to formulate the
4 question more clearly, whether they could enter the area under certain
5 conditions, yes or no, and then I would say yes. Control. The battalion
6 was there. But outside because the battalion wasn't there, I had no
7 oversight of that, I had no view of that, so I don't know what happened
8 there. But within the area, there were a few.
9 Q. Again, maybe I'm not phrasing it right. Let me try it this way.
10 Outside the area, the enclave, did you have command and control of what
11 was happening outside that area?
12 A. No.
13 Q. All right. That doesn't mean that DutchBat soldiers could not go
14 out at night - I'm not saying they did - but they could have gone at
15 night, as we know that the Muslim army was going out wreaking havoc;
17 A. Yes, but for DutchBat to go outside, that was -- that would
18 exceed the mandate, so in other words it wasn't authorised and we did not
19 do that.
20 Q. All right. I'm not talking about authorisation. I just want to
21 make sure that we're clear that in the enclave you had command and
22 control and not the Bratunac Brigade.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: You can object if you want. I heard it.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
25 MR. WAESPI: Yes, before that if we can have a time and a date so
1 it becomes more clear, about the area we are talking about.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm glad.
3 MR. WAESPI: Also an observation. We are comparing apples and
4 oranges if we are talking about an international peacekeeping force on
5 the one side and a local brigade on the other side.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I think the gentleman is perfectly
7 clear to clarify that on cross. I just want to --
8 JUDGE LIU: No, no. I think the first issue is relevant, that is
9 here, are you sure that we are talking about the situation before 11 of
10 July, 1995?
11 MR. KARNAVAS: That part I agree, but the apples and oranges,
12 that portion I didn't agree with. I will rephrase or narrow it again.
13 JUDGE LIU: I think the situation is clear. The problem is just
14 a time frame. Put a time frame there.
15 MR. KARNAVAS:
16 Q. As long as the enclave existed, okay, pursuant to the UN
17 resolution, would it be fair to say that within the borders of the
18 enclave you were supposed to have command and control?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Okay. And are you aware that in that resolution, are you aware
21 of any exceptions, deviations, call it whatever you may, that allowed the
22 Bratunac Brigade to share part of the enclave with you so they could --
23 you could share with them the command and control of that area?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. I don't know the area of responsibility of either of the
3 Q. Well, we're not talking -- I'm just talking about your little,
4 you know, enclave, that area. And if I may use a phrase, I mean from
5 Mr. Ruez, he had indicated that the commander is the master of life and
6 death in an enclave -- in his zone of responsibility. I don't want to go
7 that far. But would it be fair to say that within the enclave, this
8 geographical region, for all intents and purposes you were supposed to
9 have command and control and not share it with either the Muslim army
10 that was supposed to be demilitarised or - and especially - any portions
11 of the Serb army that was located in the area, be it the Milici Brigade,
12 the Bratunac Brigade, the Zvornik Brigade, anyone. Correct?
13 A. No, that's comparing apples and oranges. I was clearly assigned
14 responsibility for what I indicated by dots. And the peace agreement
15 stipulates that both parties agreed that a certain section of this entire
16 area would be a safe area where neither party would do anything. We
17 discussed that extensively at the beginning. Demilitarisation was also a
18 subject of the discussions. But the area of responsibility and who does
19 what, it was the area of responsibility of DutchBat and not of the ABiH
20 or a VRS brigade.
21 Q. All right. I think we --
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Karnavas.
23 MR. KARNAVAS: I think we have a meeting of the minds, Your
25 JUDGE LIU: This question has been asked and answered for three
1 times. It's crystal clear. Let's move on.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: I agree. I believe that was very succinct, Your
3 Honour. I was going to complement the gentleman for his answer.
4 Q. Now, if I can go to another area. I want to speak a little bit
5 about the activities that were known to the VRS during the period while
6 you were the commander of DutchBat. Are you aware of any intelligence
7 with respect to a spring offensive by the Muslim forces against the Serb
8 forces in that area? Were you privy to any information during that
10 A. No, not that I remember. The spring offensive does not ring a
12 Q. Okay. We talked a bit about the provocations or the acts of
13 provocations and I think we agree that at some point you came to realise
14 that the Muslim forces were or the Muslim army inside the enclave were
15 going out and perhaps provoking, at least that's what it would appear
16 from reading the NIOD report, which I think is based on a whole lot of
17 interviews, including interviews from you. So you were aware of
18 provocations, but you're saying that you were not aware of any military
19 offensives that were being geared up by the Muslim army.
20 A. I didn't say that there were provocations; I said that going
21 outside at night on the part of several Muslim men at a time could have a
22 provocative effect. I said that it -- I didn't say they were
23 provocations but they might have a provocative effect. I don't know what
24 they did. I gave an answer earlier and my answer was that they were
25 looking for food. That is a possible explanation. I didn't hear any
1 other explanations. All I said was it's provoking.
2 Q. Okay. All right. And we're going to get to that at some point,
3 but you would agree with me: Killing innocent Serbs and burning down
4 their houses is not the right way to go about looking for food. You
5 would agree with me on that, wouldn't you?
6 A. No.
7 Q. All right.
8 A. I can't prove that because I wasn't there and I didn't observe it
9 myself. So this is a remark on your part.
10 Q. I didn't say that. You said they were looking for food, and I'm
11 saying that when you behead somebody or you kill somebody and you burn
12 down their house or their village, that's not exactly an act of looking
13 for food. It's not the same as breaking into a bakery to get a loaf of
14 bread; right? You would agree with me on that.
15 A. It doesn't sound that way, no.
16 Q. Okay. Again, I want to get back to my earlier question. Were
17 you privy to any intelligence, be it from the UN military observers, your
18 own folks, Sarajevo, Zagreb, New York, anyone, concerning a potential
19 military buildup by Muslim forces for a spring offensive or some sort of
20 an offensive against the Serb forces in that area?
21 A. Not that I remember, no.
22 Q. Okay. Now, I just want to show you some documents that have
23 already come in so at least we have a point of reference. And I'm going
24 to show you documents. I'll start one by one.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Perhaps we'll give the usher all three and he can
1 put them on the ELMO one by one. D194, 195, and 196. We'll start with
2 194. If you could put it on -- the first page so at least everyone can
3 see. This is a document that came in from the head of intelligence of
4 the Main Staff of the VRS who testified in this court in open,
5 Mr. Salapura. And this document is dated 8 February 1995. This is
6 information to the Main Staff. And if we go to page 2 -- You may wish
7 to stand up there for a little bit. I apologise.
8 Q. Page 2. I'm going to read a portion of it. At the last
9 paragraph it says: "Information is confirmed that in Srebrenica enclave,
10 as part of the MV, the Muslim army, general preparation for the spring
11 offensive, Muslim units are being reorganised and trained in order to
12 carry out offensive operations to merge with the 2nd Corps forces on the
13 Drinjaca/Konjevic Polje/Cerska line, thereby intending to establish a
14 territorial link between Srebrenica and the Tuzla region."
15 It then goes on to say: "In connection with that, information is
16 confirmed that five brigades and one sabotage battalion have been formed
17 in Srebrenica. The brigades are of company establishment, 400 to 800 men
18 strong. The most numerous one is the 281 Brigade with a command post in
19 the village of Suceska and the commander is Zulfo Dursumovic," there may
20 be a misspelling of that name, "information is confirmed that the recent
21 contingent that was brought to Zepa by helicopter included a large number
22 of nitroglycerine rifles, a number of mortars, 500 to 800 uniforms and a
23 great quality of infantry ammunition."
24 The date, of course, going back again, is February 1995. And you
25 will agree with me that this is the date when your DutchBat III under
1 your command is in that enclave.
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. And when Mr. Salapura was here, just so you know, I asked him if
4 he was providing false information or misinformation to his superiors,
5 you know. And he sort of chuckled because he thought that would be
6 oxymoronic, for the intelligence officer to be sending his superiors
7 propaganda. So my question is: Were you aware of any of this at that
8 point in time?
9 A. [No interpretation]
10 Q. Okay.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, we don't have the interpretation here.
12 Witness, would you please repeat your answer.
13 THE WITNESS: [In English] My answer was no. [Interpretation]
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 MR. KARNAVAS:
17 Q. Now, let me go through a couple of more and I'll double back.
18 There is another document dated 18 May 1995. It came in as a Defence
19 Exhibit 195. If you just put the front page, first page, so we have a
20 reference on that. This is -- again, came in through Mr. Salapura. We
21 see intelligence information and the date, 18 May 1995. If we were to go
22 to page 3. And I will lead again.
23 Paragraph 3, it talks about: "Muslim propaganda is emphasising
24 alleged VRS operations towards enclaves in the Podrinje region. They
25 have started occupying UNPROFOR checkpoints in the Srebrenica area.
1 While in the Gorazde area, on the Gorazde-Ilovaca road, they are using
2 UNPROFOR vehicles to manoeuvre forces and transport materiel and
3 technical equipment, which all indicates that they were preparing
4 offensive operations from the enclaves."
5 So here it would appear that the head of intelligence is telling
6 his superiors that Muslim forces are posing as members of DutchBat or
7 UNPROFOR and they're using UNPROFOR vehicles and so on and so forth. My
8 question is: Were you aware of that?
9 A. [In English] The answer is no. [Interpretation] No.
10 Q. If we could go to the next document, D196. Again, this came in
11 from Mr. Salapura, the head of intelligence. This one is dated 10 June
13 You're ready to go?
14 A. [In English] Yeah.
15 Q. Good. Now let me show you D196 dated 10 June 1995, again an
16 intelligence report. If you could look at page 2 at the bottom, it says
17 here: "Muslim forces in the Gorazde (81st Division) and Srebrenica (28th
18 Division) enclaves have raised their combat readiness to the highest
19 level and strengthened their forces at the forward line. They are
20 planning to carry out offensive activities in order to insert troops
21 behind your lines and among our ranks."
22 So now this is approximately a month before the fall of
23 Srebrenica. Were you aware of this intelligence report or this
25 A. The same is the case as with the previous two paragraphs or
1 sections I saw. They were written by information from the -- about the
2 VRS, and I'm not familiar with the contents. And I'm not familiar with
3 the background to that information and don't know the source of this
4 intelligence. It was written by intelligence services. I'm not aware of
5 the source of this information.
6 Q. Okay. You would agree with me and I believe you had some folks
7 working for you in intelligence, that usually they work through
8 informants, people who provide them with information. Right?
9 A. It's possible.
10 Q. All right. Now, I'm not asking whether you had seen these actual
11 reports. What I am asking, however, is whether you are aware of what is
12 contained in these reports, that is that there seemed to have been a
13 gradual buildup of the forces inside the enclave.
14 A. No.
15 Q. Can I ask --
16 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. Usher, I don't think we will need this
18 Q. Can I ask whether you have an opinion as to this information. Do
19 you think it's true or false?
20 A. I just answered your question. I can't have an opinion about
21 that because I'm not familiar with the background to this information. I
22 don't know who the sources are and I don't know what this information was
23 based on when it was written up and I'm not going to suggest how the
24 information was obtained. And I prefer not to share an interpretation
25 with you as to whether it's accurate or not.
1 Q. All right. So can -- am I to understand that it is your
2 testimony that you were unaware of any buildup, as is being suggested, in
3 the enclaves in these reports?
4 A. No. There was a buildup, I already said so. Mainly in the month
5 of June we saw a sort of buildup of ABiH, of large groups of armed units,
6 armed people, but not with the suggestion - as I was just told and I just
7 said - to prepare an attack. I hope that you understand me correctly. I
8 would not -- would like to present this suggestion if what it was I can't
9 tell you. Because I don't have an explanation for that. I didn't have
10 an explanation for it at that time from Ramiz who was commander at that
11 time of the 28th Division.
12 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, if I could -- do you know a
13 gentleman by the name of General Smith?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you please tell us who General Smith was.
16 A. In my field, he was commander of UNPROFOR in Sarajevo.
17 Q. Okay. Did you have any interaction with UNPROFOR in Sarajevo?
18 A. No. Once during my stay in Bosnia, I went outside - I mean
19 outside the enclave, outside the safe area - for a leave in the
20 Netherlands. And after I returned, I was the last to enter the area.
21 And on my way back, I stopped at Tuzla. After roaming around for a long
22 time, I stopped there. For the first time to my commander, I gave him a
23 number of suggestions, returned, and I never left the area again.
24 Q. I guess again - and I apologise for inartfully phrasing the
25 question - what I meant was: Did DutchBat interact with UNPROFOR in
1 Sarajevo? I know that you had your immediate commander or up the chain
2 of command was in Tuzla, but did you have any interaction, not personal
3 but professional?
4 A. No. The interaction consisted of communications through the
5 telephone or through the fax.
6 Q. Okay. Do you know whether General Smith or UNPROFOR from
7 Sarajevo would communicate with Tuzla so at least they would know what
8 was going on? In other words, if Sarajevo learned information, they
9 would pass it on to Tuzla so Tuzla could pass it on to you, if indeed it
10 involved your area of responsibility?
11 A. I hope they did. In the normal military hierarchy, it is normal
12 that information goes from the bottom to the top, including analysis of
13 the information goes from the top to the bottom. And that is what
15 Q. Okay.
16 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could now have the assistance of the usher.
17 Thank you.
18 Q. Again, I'm going to go to the part of the NIOD report. I'm going
19 to be showing you -- I have the only copies with me, unfortunately. It
20 would be part 3, chapter 1, section 6, pages 3 and 4. If we could do it
21 in sequence, perhaps -- and again, just for the record, these will be
22 numbered as part of D210 for identification purposes.
23 Now, I've underlined that portion so it would help us focus. If
24 we look at it and if we could perhaps get it focused a little bit. It
25 says here under the one paragraph it says: "The ABiH for getting ready
1 for an offensive." And it says: "Akashi concluded he saw numerous
3 And above it we see about the restrictions on sending fuel
4 supplies to UNPROFOR. It says it was not just the Bosnian Serbs, but it
5 would appear it was the Bosnian Muslims also.
6 If we could go to the next page, same chapter. It says here on
7 the one paragraph, this particular page, "General Smith expected that
8 already by the end of March, the ABiH would take the offensive."
9 And I'm wondering whether any information was being forwarded to
10 you that ABiH was getting ready for an offensive that perhaps might
11 concern the VRS, as we noted from what Mr. Salapura had been informing
12 his superiors at the Main Staff level of the VRS.
13 A. [In English] Answer?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. [In English] I don't know. [Interpretation] I don't know. There
16 was an operation upcoming in the area of the capital of Bosnia far away
17 from the location I was. And that information was based on, say, the
18 daily reports, of which I told you which were passed from the bottom down
19 -- from the top down, sorry. In the preparations for actions in the
20 neighbourhood in -- or safe areas to make a bridge between Srebrenica and
21 Zepa, then my answer has to be no.
22 Q. All right. So I just want to make sure I understand. So as far
23 as you were concerned, you had no information about any activities
24 between Zepa and Srebrenica where the Muslim forces were trying to link
1 A. It happened at the beginning. I told you. There has been
2 contact between the safe areas, physically also. People went out and
3 people came in only. During the period we were there, this was being
4 made more and more difficult, but there have been contacts at the
5 beginning. People have left the area and have returned and stayed in
6 Tuzla. And also, people have entered the area from Tuzla. But during
7 this period, this was being made more difficult.
8 Q. During this period, were there any complaints by the VRS
9 concerning the conduct of the Muslim army in the Srebrenica enclave?
10 A. No, not inside but outside.
11 Q. Well, okay. You're right. They were committing the atrocities
12 outside, but then they were hiding inside. You're right. You're
13 absolutely right.
14 A. [In English] Yes.
15 Q. And the complaints, I take it, were because after they would go
16 out and commit these atrocities, then they could come in for safe harbour
17 under the blue helmet and the blue shield of the UN -- not that that was
18 your intention, but that's what was going on. Right?
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
20 MR. WAESPI: That was a leading question.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: It was slightly leading --
22 JUDGE LIU: Not just slightly leading because you put the answer
23 into your question. We have to hear what the witness is telling us.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: I was trying to streamline, but I was caught on
25 that occasion. I will try to rephrase.
1 Q. First of all, were there complaints by the Serb army, the VRS,
2 concerning activities that were -- and atrocities committed by the Muslim
3 forces in the enclave -- from the enclave, outside the enclave?
4 A. No, not with regard to atrocities. The fact that Muslim fighters
5 left the enclave during the night, that there were exchanges of fire that
6 we could hear from the observation posts and complaints regarding the
7 fact that Muslim fighters stayed in the neighbourhood of an UN
8 observation post and from those positions fired at VRS positions. That
9 is a complaint we also regularly heard.
10 Q. All right. Now, the reason they would be firing -- well, let me
11 rephrase it. They would be -- what's the reason why they would locate
12 themselves, position themselves, at a DutchBat observation point and fire
13 from that point on the direction of the Serbs? Why would they do that?
14 A. I think the answer is clear: To blame someone else, that is,
16 Q. And of course, if the Serbs, Serb forces, were to think that the
17 DutchBat were engaging in those sorts of activities, that is firing at
18 them, what might the Serbs do?
19 A. That's also clear: To fire back.
20 Q. All right. And if the Serbs had fired back directly at the
21 DutchBat, what would the DutchBat then do, under the rules of engagement
22 as the UN had provided at the time?
23 A. Under the rules of engagement, which were extremely restricted in
24 my view, report that what had happened. It's all very local. It's not
25 big; that came later. But we're talking about small, local activities
1 from both sides. And attempts were made on both sides to find out what
2 the reactions would be. And in a number of cases, DutchBat intervened.
3 Q. Okay. Let me -- again, I must be a little tired today. If the
4 Serbs were firing at the DutchBat thinking that the DutchBat had been
5 firing at them, you would not just have a chat with the Serbs, you would
6 be contacting your superiors to see, perhaps, whether you needed some
7 intervention. Correct?
8 A. No.
9 Q. You wouldn't be asking for any air support?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Were you aware that in the course of these proceedings we've had
12 testimony where your men have indicated that they were positioning
13 themselves and trying to draw fire from the Serbs in order so you could
14 have a call-in for air power to come in against the Serbs?
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
16 MR. WAESPI: Just to be fair to the witness - I'm not suggesting
17 Mr. Karnavas isn't - but to put it into a time-frame perspective.
18 Perhaps the witness's response may vary as to when we are talking about.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well. I'll lay a foundational question
22 Q. Did the rules of engagement change at any time while the DutchBat
23 were there?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Okay. Was close air protection ever available to the DutchBat?
1 A. Before the post-air strike guidance somewhere from May 1995 there
2 was. But in the issued post-air strike it was not unless -- and for the
3 remainder, the escape or the way out was always an utmost emergency to
4 utilise that anyway. And that is what happened from July the 6th
6 Q. Okay. But I just want to make sure we have the ground rules set.
7 Correct me if I'm wrong. As I understand it, DutchBat, not just III but
8 II, was rather small in numbers. And part of the agreement was that
9 there would be air support to assist those small numbers, is that
10 correct, in the eventuality it was needed?
11 A. In principle, yes.
12 Q. In principle. So I'm going back to where we were before. If the
13 Serbs think that the Dutch are engaged in battle with them, are attacking
14 them, are on the offensive, this peacekeeping mission which is supposed
15 to be there to demilitarise the area and to keep, you know, the status
16 quo, if you may, and if the Serbs engage back sufficiently enough to
17 cause some alarm, are you telling me, sir, that you did not have the
18 option to call in for the planes to come from Italy or wherever, to hit
19 those positions of the Serbs?
20 A. No. That did not fit into the policy. The UNPROFOR commander
21 and UNPF -- UN protective force commander, Janvier, on the basis of, let
22 me say, a relatively simple attack or an exchange of shots, to apply for
23 air support. Because applying for air support and implementing air
24 support is so incredibly difficult that it -- this is not done simply
25 because fire is being exchanged. But again, on and after July the 6th,
1 things were entirely different.
2 Q. All right. Well, we're going to speak about what Janvier's
3 policies were and the reasons why he had those policies. But do you know
4 whether those Muslims forces that were firing at the Serbs in order to
5 give the impression that it was UNPROFOR firing at them, do you know
6 whether those Muslim forces were aware of the complications of you
7 actually getting air strike support? Had you explained that to them?
8 A. No. For applying for air support under these circumstances was
9 not an issue.
10 Q. I understand it wasn't an issue. Because you knew what the
11 circumstances were. But I'm saying -- what I'm asking is: Do you know
12 for a fact whether the Muslim forces that were provoking the Serbs in
13 order to fire upon the Dutch, did they, in fact, know what degree of
14 attack was needed or required before you could call in for close air
15 support? That's what I'm asking.
16 A. I didn't explain them, but I assume that they were not aware of
17 the post air strike policy unless it was through the ABiH that they had
18 become informed. We also have a completely different idea of the way of
19 operating than the guys in that area. It would take me too far to
20 discuss this at length now, but we tried to explain a number of times how
21 a unit, a DutchBat unit, should function in that area with reference to
22 the utilisation of vehicles and so on. So we don't need to talk about
23 air support at all, because that is far beyond the level.
24 Q. All right. Did you for a fact, sir, at any point in time take
25 any measures, I mean concrete measures, to apprehend or to stop those who
1 were committing those activities, engaged in those activities?
2 A. Yes, but that's difficult in the dark because you can't see them.
3 Secondly, a logical reaction was always to deposit the complaints with
4 Ramiz. And this -- it's the same when the VRS deposited complaints with
5 me during talks after VRS troops have been fired at. And to try to solve
6 it through provocations, that's what I call provocative behaviour to try
7 and stop it, at least to nothing. And at that time there are three
8 parties involved in which DutchBat is located as an independent party
9 between two other parties. I was clear in explaining this type of action
10 towards both sides. And in many cases, this was taken seriously.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. Only indeed in the latter period, final period, a little less.
13 Q. Do you think that perhaps of the continuation of this sort of
14 activity and perhaps the impotence of DutchBat to prevent this activity
15 from continuing, that the VRS may have formed an impression that DutchBat
16 or the UN was giving aid and comfort to the Muslim forces inside the
18 A. That is a question I cannot really answer. At best, I can say
19 perhaps, but no.
20 Q. Okay. No you can't answer it or no --
21 A. I can't answer it.
22 Q. Okay. But their complaints were legitimate, were they not?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, are we going until 1.30? 1.45? I
25 wasn't clear on the time.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you finished that section or if you could
2 not finish your next section in 15 minutes, we could have a break and we
3 could resume at 3.00 and sit until 4.30.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes. I think a break at this point in time may be
5 good so I can even streamline a little bit more, in keeping with the
6 expectations of the Trial Bench.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
8 Well, we'll have a break and we'll resume at 3.00.
9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.29 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 3.02 p.m.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, before we resume, could I ask you a question,
12 Mr. Karnavas. It seems to me that we had a strange menu with a very
13 large appetiser. I believe we had a bite of the main course when we were
14 in our proceedings and then we returned back to the appetiser again. So,
15 Mr. Karnavas, would you please tell me how much this lunch or dinner will
17 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, Your Honour, it's a five-course meal.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: It's a five-course meal. So I wanted to finish up
20 some points and then I would suspect that we're going to be moving right
21 along into some issues. I'm anticipating a lot of the cross, so I'm
22 covering their ground as well. But we're almost there. We're almost
23 there. Delayed gratification is the best gratification.
24 JUDGE LIU: Because of the technical problems, this Bench could
25 not sit next Monday and Tuesday, so we have to finish the testimony of
1 this witness. So could you please indicate how many hours do you still
2 need or whether we have an extra, extra sitting tomorrow afternoon.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, we will definitely need an extra sitting, an
4 extra sitting. At the pace that we're going and -- I'm hoping that we
5 can -- I've streamlined somewhat my cross - my direct, I'm sorry. Slip
6 of the tongue there - of the witness. I've streamlined it so I'm hoping
7 that perhaps I can finish as early as after the third sitting tomorrow.
8 There may be a chance of finishing up after the second sitting. But I
9 would hope that once we hit tomorrow, tomorrow morning, I would suspect
10 the first and second sitting will be very quick and will -- but I'm
11 laying the groundwork. Hopefully we will finish with that. I had
12 anticipated in playing portions of the video. Initially I was going to
13 play almost all of the video with all of the meetings, anticipating that
14 the Prosecution would want the videos in their entirety. They're shaking
15 their head. I don't want to appear as though I'm trying to hide
16 something, so I'll narrow that down. It will be streamlined.
17 I was told by the Prosecutor, they may have changed their mind, I
18 believe they said something to the effect of no more than a sitting. So
19 -- but I hope to give them two sittings. So hopefully at the end of the
20 second sitting tomorrow, I'll be through, Your Honour. But don't hold me
21 to it.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, it is really a five-course dinner. And first I
23 want to say that you still have the chance for re-direct. So I wonder
24 whether there's need for you to anticipate the questions that will be put
25 to this witness by the Prosecution.
1 Secondly, I'm not sure there is a necessity for you to play the
2 video because we have seen this video many, many times. There must be a
3 point in playing that video. Maybe you could ask a question first. If
4 this witness could not remember a certain person or a certain
5 conversation, then you played that fragment of the video.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: There is -- I could isolate it to maybe a minute
7 or two, very small snippets. I did speak with Mr. Karremans yesterday
8 and asked him if he did see the video recently. I want to be fair to the
9 gentleman and give him an opportunity to -- there are a couple of just
10 minor snippets, but essential to the questions. I think it would be
11 helpful to Mr. Karremans, especially in light of the subject matter.
12 JUDGE LIU: But still there's room for improvement.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Always. Always. That's --
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may proceed, Mr. Karnavas.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Karremans. Let me pick up where we left, and
17 I'm going to try to move at a fairly rapid clip. We were talking earlier
18 about some of the incidents that might have occurred and what if anything
19 you had become aware of from intelligence reports or otherwise. And I
20 just want to share with you some information. Perhaps you can help us
21 out here.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: If I could show the gentleman a portion of the,
23 again the NIOD report. And I'm reading from -- this is part 3, chapter
24 5, section 8, and this would be on page 2 of 7.
25 Q. I want to direct your attention to sort of the middle of the
1 page. You see above it there's a subtitle which says: "Actions of the
2 warring factions in the period 25 May to 6 July."
3 If we go down and I'll just read the relevant portion. It
4 states: "In mid-June, the ABiH laid an ambush in inhospitable and
5 difficult terrain, 7 kilometres in a straight line outside the enclave
6 border to the south of Zeleni Jadar. A small lorry that was taking VRS
7 soldiers home on leave from the lines around Srebrenica was caught in the
8 ambush. Three soldiers died and nine were wounded."
9 Mr. Karremans, did you hear of this incident?
10 A. I don't remember. I'm giving you an honest answer. Of course we
11 heard frequent reports of these irregularities, but as far as an ambush
12 is concerned just outside the enclave, I don't remember much.
13 Q. Okay. And this was outside the border of the south of Zeleni
14 Jadar. You know where that area is, do you not, Zeleni Jadar? Is my
15 memory correct in serving me that sometime around that period, perhaps
16 thereafter, there was a clash between the VRS and the -- or the VRS
17 advanced to take a portion of the road, cutting --
18 A. I'm not sure quite what you mean by the -- advanced VRS. Of
19 course these incidents were commonplace and I don't remember all of them.
20 I don't remember this one, especially because you say people were injured
21 and there were even some casualties. So I don't remember.
22 Q. Well, at one point OP Echo was pushed, was it not? That's the
23 Observation Post Echo. Right around June.
24 A. No. In early June after I received a warning that I discussed
25 with the battalion staff, OP Echo was attacked. It was not advanced, it
1 was attacked, and it was taken by the VRS.
2 Q. Is that by Zeleni Jadar, by any chance?
3 A. Yes, around that neighbourhood.
4 Q. Okay. And around that neighbourhood it seems where the ambush
5 took place, where Serbs were ambushed by the Muslims and were killed and
6 were wounded. Now, does that refresh your recollection that perhaps that
7 might have been the reason why there was that attack?
8 A. No. Considering the time frame, that's possible. But we -- in
9 fact, we moved OP Echo back. So the piece that you saw at first, we lost
10 that -- from our perception, that is.
11 Q. Okay. And that piece that was lost. Well, let me ask you this:
12 During the period that you were there and perhaps even before you, there
13 was always a dispute, was there not, as to the actual boundaries. You
14 know, the Serbs had their vision of where the boundaries were, the
15 Muslims had theirs, and of course the UN had their own. Correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And that area the -- there was a road that apparently -- where
18 the attack took place, was there not, where the Serbs wanted to control a
19 certain portion of the road?
20 A. That's true.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. But we're assuming the border of Buljim from 1923. That's the
23 base for exactly where the border is. That's why I was talking this
24 morning about the ongoing, interminable dispute between parties about the
25 exact location of the border.
1 Q. But that attack that we were speaking about, the one with respect
2 to capturing OP Echo, that was because the VRS wanted to control the --
3 or to link up with Milici, the part of that road. Is that correct?
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Waespi.
5 MR. WAESPI: That's leading.
6 MR. KARNAVAS: It is leading, but I'm actually pointing him in
7 that direction and asking him.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. But you may proceed. It is a leading question,
10 MR. KARNAVAS: It's slightly overboard.
11 JUDGE LIU: But here I'll let you go.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. Do you know what the objective of the VRS in capturing OP Echo
15 A. Well, you just indicated that yourself. They wanted a connecting
16 road between the area that they controlled on the side of OP Echo toward
17 the bauxite mines so they could have unhindered access to the road
18 network there.
19 Q. Okay. And now if we could go back to the document that we have
20 in front of us. And again for the record that would be for
21 identification purposes as D201 -- 210, I'm sorry. The next paragraph it
22 says: "On 14 June, three soldiers of the VRS Milici Brigade went to pick
23 up berries in the areas outside the minefield."
24 Apparently it was berry season, as we've learned throughout the
1 "They were caught in an ambush in the deserted village of Bozici,
2 to the west of the enclave. Two of the three soldiers died and the third
3 managed to escape. According to the VRS, the bodies of the two who died
4 were mutilated. According to the Drina Corps, five soldiers of the VRS
5 Milici Brigade had already died earlier in the same way."
6 Mr. Karremans, were you aware of this incident? Did you ever
7 learn of it?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Okay. Now, there was another incident that got some prominence.
10 Perhaps you can tell us whether you've heard of this one, and this is the
11 incident called Visnjica incident. Did you ever hear of that one?
12 A. I don't know what it's about. What was the incident?
13 Q. Okay. Well, let's see if we could perhaps refresh your memory.
14 If I could refer to -- again, to a portion of the NIOD report, for
15 identification purposes, as D210. And now we're looking at part 3,
16 chapter 5, section 8. It's a rather lengthy piece but in light of the
17 time constraints and given that we can read it at our leisure and pluck
18 whatever we need from it for our respective sides, I just want to point
19 you to page 3. I'll just read the first paragraph because I think it's
20 rather interesting.
21 It says -- it starts with: "What became known as the Visnjica
22 incident was an important catalyst for the later events in East Bosnia.
23 This incident, which was given much publicity, was the final and most
24 extensive of the whole series of incidents in and around the enclave
25 before the attack on Srebrenica and is also the one that penetrated the
1 deepest into Bosnian Serb territory."
2 Then it goes on: "Whereas in the years 1992 and 1993, raids from
3 the enclave were mainly intended to acquire food, in 1995 the raids had a
4 mainly military objective which was to tie up the VRS around the enclave.
5 In this way, the ABiH wanted to prevent reinforcements from East Bosnia
6 influencing the conflict in Sarajevo. In addition, the action was
7 intended to influence the morale of the VRS by creating panic and causing
8 a feeling of uncertainty."
9 And if we go on to the next few pages which I won't read, but am
10 tempted, it talks about this particular incident. Do you recall any
11 incident at or about that time where approximately 150 men took part in
12 it, penetrating very deep with Bosnian Serb territory?
13 A. No. I recall one incident, which we called the tunnel incident,
14 which involved shooting inside the enclave and it's possible that this
15 incident involved the tunnel. When I read this, this sounds like
16 something different where people went outside. And my answer is no.
17 Q. Okay. All right. Well, a tunnel might have been involved in
18 part of the incident, but it says here that this incident received
19 special attention because the New York Times devoted an article to it so
20 it attracted the interest of the UN headquarters in New York and a
21 Security Council briefing had to be given. I guess it perked up their
22 interest. It says that the newspaper wrote that "The incident
23 illustrated UNPROFOR weaknesses because the UN troops had not succeeded
24 in keeping the ABiH within the area that had been demilitarised."
25 Then if we go -- and I'm reading from page 6 incidentally. And
1 then it goes on: "The following day" -- before I go there. Does this
2 ring a bell at all? Does it seem a little familiar to you? Okay.
3 A. [No interpretation]
4 Q. It goes on: "The following day the International Herald Tribune
5 printed an article and Karremans responded and defended himself in a
6 letter to the Crisis Staff of the army. In his view the article
7 illuminated the situation in and around the enclave in a one-sided way.
8 It would be advisable to spend some time in an enclave before writing
9 about" and then that's the end of the sentence.
10 But I guess my question now is: Mr. Karremans, do you recall
11 writing about this incident which got notoriety?
12 A. I do not remember it at this time. Again, I'm referring to
13 something that was a major tunnel incident, but I think you're talking
14 about something entirely different.
15 Q. Well, I'm talking where -- the tunnel incident was a rather, I
16 believe, unsuccessful mission. And on their way back, it would appear,
17 according to the NIOD report, that the Muslim group opened fire on a part
18 of this village Visnjica and an older woman was hit in the leg. The
19 village itself -- they set fire to five houses, as was confirmed by an
20 ABiH source. So it seemed like -- as if they were probably frustrated
21 that they were not able to succeed in their military mission so they took
22 it out on the houses. And this poor old woman who was going about doing
23 her business, which is why the "New York Times" wrote about it. And I'm
24 wondering whether now this helps you remember the specific incident.
25 A. Yes. That one I do remember with respect to the woman and the
1 weapons that we found the remainders of weapons, the remainders of mortar
2 shells. And if I remember correctly, this took place on June 24th. In
3 the morning we performed an investigation. I inquired at any rate at
4 Ramiz al-Sadric [phoen] and he denied anything. And we never really
5 found out who was responsible. Listening to your version, it sounds like
6 the ABiH might have used its own people, for example, to shoot that old
7 woman and to have set the part of the village or some houses on fire out
8 of frustration. And I know that to this day I have not -- I have no
9 suspicion that they are responsible for this.
10 Q. All right. Well, it's not my version; it was the NIOD report
11 that I was reading from, first of all. I'm not necessarily saying that
12 everything they write is correct, but it is from their report. And so
13 perhaps there may be something to it.
14 But can I ask you: Is it that because Mr. Ramiz informed you or
15 denied having anything to do about it that you believed that they had
16 nothing to do about this particular incident?
17 A. No. I could not get a clear answer. I couldn't really get my
18 foot in the door regarding the day that it happened. After we conducted
19 the investigation, that we had the investigation conducted by Section 5
20 of the battalion representative -- the royal military constabulary, I
21 could not ascertain who was responsible for this incident. When people
22 say "we don't know about anything" doesn't necessarily mean that I'll
23 believe that. I've always had doubts as to who was responsible for that
25 Q. Okay. But other than that incident, am I correct in
1 understanding that you didn't hear of any other incidents?
2 A. I don't recall, but I don't believe that I was aware of them.
3 Q. Okay. Because when Mr. Franken was here, who I believe he was
4 your chief of staff, and I had the opportunity and privilege to question
5 him - and this can be found on his -- in the transcript, it's on page
6 1540 - I asked him a question and I said: "You learned of two particular
7 incidents with respect to Muslims going out and committing atrocities
8 upon the Serbs. Is that correct?"
9 And I've just read from line 2, page 1540. And he was questioned
10 on September 15th, 2003. His answer was: "That's correct."
11 So I asked him if this was a form of provocation. That's on line
12 14, and his answer, again, was "yes."
13 So it would appear that your chief of staff, who is your number
14 two, had learned of these incidents, but you, the commander, was not
15 aware of them?
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
17 MR. WAESPI: I don't have the Franken testimony here, but if
18 Mr. Karnavas could point out when these incidents occurred, the ones that
19 Franken talks about.
20 JUDGE LIU: There are two incidents I believe.
21 MR. KARNAVAS: There are two incidents; it's in his transcript.
22 And I don't -- I'd have to go through the particular dates, but again if
23 you look at my question posed earlier, the foundational question, I asked
24 him other than the one incident. And Mr. Karremans said he hadn't heard.
25 In here there were two incidents referred to by Mr. Franken but I can
1 find that at some point for the record. I just don't want to waste
2 precious time.
3 MR. WAESPI: Yes, but I believe Mr. Karremans said earlier that
4 the incidents were common. So if you now refer him to two specific
5 examples, I think it would be fair just to tell him -- maybe it can be
6 done later. It doesn't need to be done now.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
8 MR. KARNAVAS: If I can look through it during the break, Your
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: I certainly don't want to leave the impression
12 that I'm being unfair to the gentleman.
13 Q. Now, I asked you earlier another question about BiH soldiers
14 posing themselves as DutchBat or as UN soldiers. And you said that you
15 had no knowledge of that. Correct?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And now I want to at least point -- perhaps we can look at the
18 debriefing, which is Prosecution Exhibit 851 for identification. If we
19 could look at page 45, paragraph 4.13. If you could put that on the
20 ELMO. I'll just read. I'll go slowly. It says: "BiH soldiers,
21 complete with blue caps or blue hats, came within a distance of 15 metres
22 from one of the observation posts. Resembling UN personnel, they opened
23 fire from this position in the direction of the BSA front line, so that
24 it seemed as if the UN had opened fire. In this way, they attempted to
25 draw fire from the BSA on the OP" -- observation post -- "and thus
1 involve DutchBat in the combat actions."
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I haven't posed a question yet, so perhaps he may
4 wish to wait for the question before he gets excited.
5 Q. Now, earlier you indicated that they -- that Muslim forces or
6 soldiers were firing near the observation post in the direction toward
7 the Serbs. Here it also appears, however, that they were posing
8 themselves as if -- you know, dressed in or resembling UN personnel in
9 blue caps or blue hats. Did you notice that, sir?
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Waespi.
11 MR. WAESPI: It appears that this is a specific incident they are
12 talking about, you know, with a distance of 15 metres. Again, it would
13 be fair to point out when this incident occurred so the witness can
14 respond properly.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm reading from the debriefing report, Your
16 Honour, which the Prosecution has been trying to get in for months now.
17 That's all I have. I'm just asking the gentleman whether he heard of
18 this. He was on the ground. The debriefing is during the period of, I
19 would suspect, DutchBat III, but this is -- and the title is: "Misuse of
21 And just to be fair, on point 4.11 it says: "Both BSA and BiH
22 soldiers have worn UN uniforms or at least uniforms bearing a strong
23 resemblance to these."
24 So this is -- and I'm wondering whether he was aware of it, he
25 indicated no. I'll move on.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Witness, you may answer this question first.
2 If there's any problem, Mr. Karnavas, I believe you have to
3 furnish the witness with a specific date later on.
4 MR. KARNAVAS: I'll try to dig one up from this report. My
5 general question is -- and if he was not there, I would like to know
6 whether he learned that this was going on with DutchBat I or DutchBat II.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'll try to keep the answer brief.
8 During DutchBat I as well as during DutchBat II and III military clothing
9 was stolen, particularly in the part where the soldiers' laundry was done
10 by local staff. So we noted that especially young people in Srebrenica
11 sometimes walked around in army green shirts or wearing blue caps.
12 It says here under item 4.13, though I can hardly believe it,
13 that these people wore specifically a cap over their beret to transmit --
14 to make an impression to the ABiH. That later happened. I already said
15 that this morning.
16 The second thing I want to say is that during the final period
17 and also during the fall of Gorazde, the VRS or the BSA often made use of
18 those articles which had been stolen and so on. I am referring to the
19 robbery at OP Echo. They had a few minutes, because they were under
20 fire, to leave the observation post. They had to leave behind most of
21 their personal belongings, of course which clothes were part of but it
22 also included arms, ammunition, and communication material. All of that
23 was taken away. Later possibly it was used. But the same happened also
24 in the Gorazde area where the French and the British suddenly had to
25 leave observation posts.
1 So in short, it is possible and possibly it happened on both
2 parts, as it says under 4.13, quite close to an observation post. But
3 shooting while wearing these clothes, no.
4 MR. KARNAVAS:
5 Q. No, it didn't happen? No, you're not aware of it? Which of the
7 A. I should have been aware if disguised ABiH personnel were
8 shooting at the VRS near observation posts. The latter I know, as I said
9 this morning, but the latter wearing a disguise, no.
10 Q. I just want to be clear that I understand you. You're not
11 suggesting is that it wasn't happening; what you're suggesting -- what
12 you're telling us is you were not aware of this activity.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. So you're not necessarily challenging what is in the
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Okay. All right. If we could move on to another area. I think
18 we covered that fairly nicely. I want to talk a little bit about the
19 humanitarian situation or the situation in the enclave. And if you could
20 be -- I understand there came a point in time when there was a shortage
21 of food and fuel in the enclave. Is that correct?
22 A. Everything a military man needs to perform his military duty was
23 not present there and was intentionally kept behind. At General Mladic's
24 staff, they knew exactly what our applications were and what our needs
25 were with regard to fuel, food, ammunition, communication materials, and
1 bandaging and drugs. And for a long period, none of that all ever
3 Q. All right. Is there a particular reason, in your opinion, why it
4 did not arrive?
5 A. I think you should put that question to somebody else.
6 Q. Well, we spent a lot of time so far describing the situation that
7 you were there -- while you were there. You've informed us that it
8 wasn't demilitarised. In fact, it became more militarised. You've told
9 us, or at least we covered, the fact that there was increased activity as
10 far as military action outside the enclave. And it would appear from
11 NIOD it wasn't for food but rather, these were military objectives. I
12 asked you earlier about the perception of the Serbs -- of the VRS, that
13 perhaps they may perceive or they may have perceived that you were giving
14 aid and comfort to the very same soldiers that you were supposed to
15 demilitarise. Do you think that might have been perhaps a reason why
16 they were restricting the aid to the enclave? Could that be a
18 A. No. You are using the word "perhaps," so therefore I can answer
19 this. I know some explanations, but all of that was with hindsight. The
20 explanations -- I may have discussed at the time with Franken about why
21 could they possibly do it, about all of that I can say only one thing,
22 namely that it wasn't smart for them to do so. Because of this and
23 because of restricting all means that you need to keep running a large
24 unit with a specific duty is that in the end they succeeded in preventing
25 us from doing our duty. So in that respect you have to say in conclusion
1 that in that respect only one side is to blame.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. I mean to say, if I may say some more --
4 Q. Please.
5 A. Consciously and intentiously [as interpreted], materials were
6 held from us in order to prevent us from doing our work.
7 Q. All right. Perhaps we could go back to the NIOD report if you
8 could help us out with that one. Again for identification purposes as
9 D210. I'm going to point you to part 3, chapter 1, section 14.
10 Incidentally, the side that you indicated was to blame - I take it you're
11 -- that's the Serb side.
12 A. Across the board and in a great many cases, yes.
13 Q. Okay. Across the board. So the Muslim side was not to blame at
14 all in spite of the activities that we spoke of. You said across the
15 board; that's why I'm going that route.
16 A. I mean if the VRS or the BSA had allowed the DutchBat, the Dutch
17 Battalion, to normally do its job - that means that instead of
18 doing -- patrolling on foot, doing these by vehicle - that we could have
19 sent out larger patrols more frequently, thereby, in fact, the BSA from a
20 military point of view has inversed [as interpreted] the situation with
21 the consequence that we could do less and the ABiH could afford to do
22 more. In other words, they finally shot themselves in the foot.
23 Of course, the ABiH is also to blame somewhat. I referred this
24 morning to the provocative behaviour such as digging trenches and openly
25 running around with arms after the demilitarisation period and so on.
1 Q. All right. What about the converse? Had DutchBat done its job -
2 the UN, I don't want to blame the DutchBat - but had the UN done its job
3 and had Srebrenica been demilitarised as it had been agreed upon, do you
4 think perhaps it would never have been attacked? There would have been
5 no need.
6 A. This is an if question.
7 Q. Well, I'll back it up afterwards.
8 A. I can't answer that.
9 Q. All right. Did you have a conversation with General Mladic at
10 any point in time with respect to that?
11 A. The very last time just before the departure of the battalion
12 from the enclave, I asked him this question.
13 Q. Yes. And the answer that you got was, if you recall?
14 A. It was not really clear.
15 Q. Okay. It wasn't really clear. All right. Well, we'll get to
16 that at some point. But let me go back to the NIOD report. If there's
18 MR. KARNAVAS: What's the objection? Mr. McCloskey, I seem some
19 commotion going on. I don't see the problem. I'm going to get to it. I
20 will put my case to the witness, Your Honour. They need not worry.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
22 MR. WAESPI: The point is if there is an issue which can be dealt
23 with right now, I think it should be done for the sake of time.
24 MR. KARNAVAS: Well, I think that I'm going to move at my pace,
25 Your Honour. And we will get to it, because he indicated the last time
1 he saw General Mladic - and as we will find out it was after the fall of
2 Srebrenica - so chronologically speaking we're going to get to that.
3 JUDGE LIU: Up to now we have many issues that we need to come
4 back. I just want to remind you about that.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may proceed.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Just one second, Your Honour. There's so many
8 documents around. If I could have the Court's indulgence.
9 Q. Maybe we can look at your book, page 239. It's in Dutch, and I
10 can put it on the ELMO, although there are few of us - the usher being
11 one - who could read it. But I believe there is a reference in your book
12 on page 239 about the last meeting in Fontana with Mladic where you asked
13 him whether the enclave would still exist if the ABiH had not been
14 carrying out the attacks, and that Mladic said yes.
15 Is that on that page, by any chance?
16 A. That's right.
17 Q. Oh, okay. So there -- in your book there's no equivocation.
18 A. [In English] It's yes, for what it is.
19 Q. Yes, I appreciate that, and I guess that Mr. Waespi got his
20 answer. There's no need to go back to that point.
21 Now, if I could go back to where I was before the objection, the
22 NIOD report, part 3, chapter 1, section 14; again, D210 for
23 identification. I would like to show you page 1 and 2. If we go down to
24 the last two paragraphs, and we're going to go on to the next page as
25 well. It states here: "Early June: Smith arrived at a new estimate of
1 the objectives of the warring factions."
2 Okay. And we see at the top of the page we're talking about the
3 spring of 1995, and that would be June of 1995. So there's no dilemma as
4 to the date or period.
5 "Objective of the VRS with regard to UNPROFOR was to neutralise
6 it by regulating or denying reapply, in particular for fuel. That would
7 affect UNPROFOR's power to such an extent that the safe-area concept
8 would be emasculated after which the VRS could freely attack the
9 opponents. From a military viewpoint, the objective of the VRS would to
10 keep existing pressure on the enclaves to be able to reduce their size.
11 The underlying objective was to release manpower for operations around
12 Sarajevo, because to the VRS, Sarajevo maintained the centre of the
13 activities. Yet Smith did not think the risk of offensive operations to
14 take all of the eastern enclaves particularly great at the moment. Its
15 political implications, the negative publicity and a lack of infantry
16 made it unlikely, according to Smith. Rather, the VRS tactics seemed to
17 aim at besieging the ABiH troops in the enclaves to exhaust them, and to
18 force them to surrender."
19 Then it goes on and says: "Smith was convinced that the VRS was
20 counting on it that actions against the enclaves would not invoke a
21 response from NATO, therefore the VRS would continue shelling military
22 targets within the enclave. The ABiH in the enclaves were going to lose
23 ground. The defenders would gradually run out of ammunition and would
24 have to find refuge in more densely populated areas. Conversely, Smith
25 thought that the Bosnian Muslims would do anything to get UNPROFOR, NATO
1 and the international community on their side. Smith expected that the
2 ABiH would be going to use UNPROFOR as a protective shield. The result
3 would be that the VRS could be shooting at UNPROFOR as a deterrence.
4 That way, the ABiH would try to drag UNPROFOR into the conflict. In this
5 scenario, the safety of the UN soldiers was not directly at risk, but
6 casually through crossfire was possible."
7 So my question now, Mr. Karremans, is: Do you agree or disagree
8 with this passage from the NIOD report?
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
10 MR. WAESPI: Now -- yes, it's a ten-time compound question. What
11 he asked is now basically Mr. Karremans to comment on about five, six
12 different points Mr. Smith made at some time, and we don't even know
13 whether -- we don't have the source whether it was Mr. Smith who said. I
14 think it's improper to ask Mr. Karremans to make a comment on that,
15 unless he has talked with Mr. Smith about that.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, here we are talking about the facts, so I just
17 want the witness to see whether the facts are true or not, whether he
18 knows something about what's written here.
19 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
20 Q. If I could go to the first paragraph, because we're talking about
21 supplies now coming in and out of the enclave. And the first part talks
22 about the objectives of the VRS not allowing the resupplying. Getting
23 back to what I was saying earlier, do you know why the VRS was not
24 allowing all of the supplies to come into the enclave?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, I believe you testified at the Rule 61
2 hearing that - if I could put my hand on it - that no convoys, after a
3 certain point, no convoys at all were coming in, either for DutchBat or
4 UNHCR. Is that correct?
5 A. That's right.
6 Q. All right. And just so my learned colleagues know exactly what
7 I'm referring to, let me read a portion of your testimony, and we'll take
8 it from there. This would be found on page 636, line 2. I'll start with
9 actually line 1.
10 "That could explain something on the circumstances up to 6 July.
11 Those, let us say miserable circumstances in April, May, June were
12 caused, what I said yesterday, by refusing the incoming convoys, either
13 by the battalion or by UNHCR, for the refugees. Thus, we had to do with
14 a strangulation of the entire -- of the enclave or so to call an
15 isolation, a total blockade."
16 Do you recall making that statement, sir?
17 A. Yes, I made that statement.
18 Q. And do you --
19 A. I don't remember -- I said this. It's written there. I don't
20 remember saying why. At best after a number of suggestions about why
21 they should do that, but we don't want to respond to reactions. The fact
22 is that during a prolonged period but also the population during a
23 prolonged period have been strangled and were cut off from everything a
24 population and a unit need in human terms. The fact that this is
25 connected with what you were referring to in the first instance, namely a
1 higher objective of the VRS, or possibly a higher objective - and I'm
2 referring to Sarajevo - attacks by the ABiH, to the extent I could judge
3 at that time is a separate thing.
4 Q. All right. But that wasn't my question, but thank you. I think
5 that is a useful answer anyway. But I just want to make sure that you
6 stand by your response that there were no incoming convoys, either for
7 the battalion or by UNHCR for the refugees.
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Very well. Now, do you recall the yellow bridge that's
10 separated --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In fact, there was a rather colourful character there by the name
13 of Jovo who was sort of the komandir. Do you recall that -- do you
14 recall that gentleman? He spoke Russian.
15 A. Very well.
16 Q. Yes, in fact we -- he was here and he testified. And while he
17 was here, he was shown several documents. And I thought I would take
18 this opportunity to share them with you and perhaps you may comment on
19 them. I'm going to start with --
20 MR. KARNAVAS: And if the usher could just kind of keep himself
21 strategically there so he doesn't have to walk back and forth too much.
22 Q. If we go to D177, Defence Exhibit 177. If you look at that. And
23 it's dated May 19, 1995. It would appear that we have a convoy going
24 into Srebrenica, do we not?
25 A. [In English] Are you still waiting for my answer?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. [Interpretation] I think this question should be put to the
3 representatives of the units who worked in my area, because they may have
4 a different opinion about the number of convoys that entered the area in
5 the final period, if I -- if you understand what I mean.
6 Q. Okay. Well, just for --
7 A. May I add something?
8 Q. Please. Please do.
9 A. Things tended to disappear on the way.
10 Q. You mean sort of in this way?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. And by that I mean theft.
13 Now --
14 A. Much was handed in also in terms of Dutch convoys which entered
15 the area, and it had to be paid for in terms of fuel, in terms of money,
16 and in means of goods.
17 Q. All right. But -- and I don't want to go through all these
18 documents unless we have to, and I was going to refer just for the record
19 to D173, 174, 175, and of course 177. If we look at all these documents
20 which were brought in through Jovo, that particular individual who was
21 the komandir at the yellow bridge, his testimony was - and it would
22 appear that the documentation reflects - that humanitarian aid was indeed
23 coming in, which is remarkably different from your testimony under oath
24 back in July 1996 where you said after a certain point there -- you
25 said, and I read again, that: "Let us say, miserable circumstances in
1 April, May, and June were caused, what I said yesterday, by refusing the
2 incoming convoys, either by the battalion or by UNHCR for the refugees."
3 And if we look at other material, it would appear that April -- I
4 think it's April 26th is the date when convoys supposedly no longer came
5 in to Srebrenica. So here we have documents dating -- showing that they
6 came. You're saying nothing came in. What are we to make of this?
7 Who's right? Who's wrong?
8 A. I stick to my point of view. I don't know these documents. I
9 don't know their content. I stick to my point of view based on my own
10 observations and the observations of my UNHCR representatives and the
11 battalion and people from the population that nothing or hardly anything
12 came in.
13 Q. Okay. Well, now you're switching it to hardly. You're giving
14 yourself some room. What if I were to say - and we can go through this
15 in great detail - but what if I were to say in my hands I have portions
16 of the NIOD report from part 3, chapter 4 in sections 2, sections 3,
17 sections 9, all of which reflect that convoys and humanitarian aid,
18 albeit restricted, was coming into the enclave? And if you want, I can
19 go through them in great detail; it's up to you.
20 A. No, you don't have to go into detail. I don't know who wrote
21 these documents; I don't know where the information came from. I gave
22 you what I know and what I noted in discussions, hearing that nothing
23 came in. And you say that I alleviated by saying hardly. I can say it
24 more strictly. Next to nothing came in. If these documents say that
25 there was sufficient supply arriving, then I doubt the contents of these
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Just one moment, Your Honour.
3 Q. Well, maybe we could just look at one of these. And if I could
4 refer you to part 3, chapter 4, section 2. And again this would be D210
5 for identification, and we'll be looking at page 3.
6 Now, this was a portion, I believe, that might have been read
7 when Jovo was here. I'm going to read from the bottom of the page, last
8 paragraph, and the top of the next page. It says here: "In the
9 meantime, in the meantime, the ABiH in Sarajevo -- I mean in Srebrenica,
10 I apologise, in Srebrenica appeared to be taking good care of itself. In
11 May, the ABiH separated approximately 40 tonnes of goods from UNHCR aid
12 that had reached the enclave from the aid to the population."
13 And now we're talking about May. We're talking about 40 tonnes
14 of goods from the UNHCR.
15 "This implied a considerable risk. If the Bosnian Serbs were to
16 find out the aid to the population could be limited even further."
17 So we don't have what you indicated, "next to nothing," but it
18 seems that some aid or a considerable amount actually is coming in.
19 It goes on to say: "It was also noteworthy that the chief of the
20 defence sector in the enclave, Professor Suljo Hasanovic, reported from
21 the enclave to the defence secretariat of the Ministry of Defence of the
22 Tuzla canton that the ABiH had also received some food from DutchBat.
23 For the same reason, if the Bosnian Serbs were to intercept this message
24 traffic - which was not unlikely - and irrespective of whether this
25 message was true, it could have given the VRS an additional reason" to
1 tighten "the thumbscrews on DutchBat."
2 Now, it would appear here from the NIOD report from the Dutch
3 government that, one, 40 tonnes was being stolen, and I'll use that word,
4 by the ABiH from UNHCR aid to the people, to the refugees. So this was
5 not Serbs steeling it but rather Muslim fighters. And also it seems that
6 this professor here reported that DutchBat had given food to the ABiH.
7 Do you have an opinion regarding this?
8 A. [In English] Sure, I have an opinion. [Interpretation] I don't
9 know about over 40 tonnes, because 40 tonnes is an awful lot of food. We
10 discussed this morning that parts of incoming food aid did go to the
11 ABiH. Food that the battalion provided was discussed in advance by
12 Mr. Franken and myself because during a period with a certain surplus of
13 some types of food, we were unable to refrigerate it because we -- it
14 didn't have any diesel. So we gave parts of the food away to -- at the
15 outside. But we didn't -- we said we can't give it to one side and not
16 to the other side. It was never the idea for leftovers of food supplies
17 for the battalion, for the reasons I just mentioned, to end up with the
18 ABiH. The food that was given away was for the population. The
19 population suffered the most, not for the combating parties.
20 Q. All right. If we could turn to page 5 and just check the
21 footnote. This is footnote 18 to that section. It may help us out here
22 a little bit. And footnote 18 notes that this information or some of it
23 at least. It says: "ICTY," that's this place here, "IT-98-33," a
24 reference to a case, D55. Then it states, "Chief of the defence sector,
25 Professor Suljo Hasanovic to the Defence ministry Tuzla defence
1 secretariat, department Srebrenica municipality, 05/06/95, number
3 And then there is a list and the list shows: "2.500 kilograms of
4 four, 596 kgs of sugar, 1423 litres of cooking oil, 619 kgs of salt,
5 5.000 kgs of beans, 17.020 of cold cuts, 100 kgs of powdered milk, 62 kgs
6 of juice, 7.780 tins of fish, 1290 kgs of cauliflower, 90 kgs of kale,
7 150 kgs of carrots, 240 kgs of green beans, 171 litres of heating oil,
8 and one litre of motor oil. So it's a rather detailed list of items.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
10 MR. WAESPI: I'm sorry Mr. Karremans can give an explanation, but
11 it would have been proper to dig up this exhibit, since it is a Defence
12 exhibit --
13 MR. KARNAVAS: It's a footnote.
14 MR. WAESPI: [No audible response]
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I don't understand the objection. Maybe I'm
16 tired. I don't know what it is.
17 JUDGE LIU: The problem is we don't have that document as well as
18 the footnote. We don't know where it comes from. That's the problem.
19 Maybe you could give more indications on this respect.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honour. I apologise if we haven't
21 provided copies. I'll apologise in advance. Normally this is not what
22 we do. This is from the NIOD report and we can make copies -- it's on
23 the Internet. That's where we pulled it out, but it is from the NIOD
24 report. This particular section, as I understand, was already discussed
25 when a previous witness was here. This is from chapter 4 -- part 3,
1 chapter 4, section 2 of the NIOD report, and that's a report that was
2 prepared by the Dutch government. It's about 8.000 pages. I've been
3 contemplating to bring the whole report in or whether to just streamline
4 it as I'm doing.
5 JUDGE LIU: Now, the case that you mentioned, is that Krstic
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Oh, that particular case? I have no idea.
8 JUDGE LIU: You have no idea.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm told that it is. I am told that it is, Your
11 JUDGE LIU: I believe that there is an identification number --
12 MR. KARNAVAS: 98 --
13 JUDGE LIU: On that case, you know. Could you please find that
14 document if possible.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: I can. I can. But perhaps my learned colleagues
16 would know it off the top of their head.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
18 MR. WAESPI: It is certainly the Krstic case and all exhibits of
19 the Krstic case have been disclosed to the Defence.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: So what's the problem?
21 MR. WAESPI: This is the examination-in-chief, Mr. Karnavas, and
22 you're supposed to give us the exhibits or whatever you are putting to
23 the witness in advance.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I think that's the point.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: But you may proceed. Maybe tomorrow morning we could
2 get the related documents.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well.
4 JUDGE LIU: But you can move on.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: Things do fall through the cracks. I apologise to
6 my learned colleagues. I trust they've had all the other portions of the
7 NIOD report that I've been reading from.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, there's thousands of documents of this case.
9 If you don't give them the number or the name of the document, how could
10 they know which document are they going to need? Although we see several
11 trolleys of documents there.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Very well, Your Honour.
13 Q. Getting back to the question. It would appear, would it not,
14 sir, that from this rather detailed list - from a -- what would appear to
15 be a Prosecution witness, might I add - that food was coming in and food
16 was taken by the ABiH. But also food was given to ABiH by the
17 DutchBat --
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Waespi.
19 MR. WAESPI: I'm not sure why Mr. Karnavas uses Prosecution
20 witness perhaps to enhance the credibility of what he's saying, but there
21 was no Prosecution like that in the Krstic case.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think this issue was mentioned from that
24 report. You just quote the report and put your question to this witness.
25 MR. KARNAVAS: Okay.
1 JUDGE LIU: My advice is try to avoid any unnecessary mentioning
2 of the Prosecution.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: I'm doing my best, Your Honour. I think I'm doing
4 fairly well.
5 Q. Getting back to my question and I'll ask it again. It would
6 appear from reading the NIOD report that a fairly large quantity of food,
7 foodstuff that came into the enclave was taken by the ABiH or stolen, but
8 also that the DutchBat had been giving foodstuff to the ABiH. That's
9 what the NIOD, the Dutch government, is stating. So would you please
10 give us your opinion.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
12 MR. WAESPI: I believe it has been asked and answered many times
13 and we can go on forever on this point.
14 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, Your Honour, Your Honour --
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think at the beginning this question was
16 asked but the context is a little bit of difference. So you may proceed.
17 Witness, you may answer that question.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. What you just heard seems
19 probable, gigantic quantities. But I would recommend that in the months
20 April, May, June, early July, an account of what actually arrived for a
21 population 40 to 50.000, because what you have here in front of you can't
22 even feed 5.000 people properly for a week. This is just a drop in the
23 bucket. And I get the impression that matters are being discussed behind
24 my back or presented or referred to that I have not seen before because
25 you're producing all kinds of documents. I can't answer your question.
1 All I can say is I suggest that you check the entire supplies of the
2 population from a humanitarian perspective and see exactly what arrived
3 because I seriously doubt this information.
4 Second, the idea that the battalion received surplus food is
5 something I explained and I told you why as well.
6 MR. KARNAVAS:
7 Q. All right. But if we were to look at that particular document
8 that I just showed you, does it not contradict your testimony under oath
9 back in 1996 where you said no convoys were coming in, either for
10 DutchBat or UNHCR? It does -- would you concede that point at least?
11 A. Maybe I said none too explicitly. I said none or hardly any just
12 now, and I'm inclined to say none because this is a load of two or three
13 or four vehicles, and that's just a drop in the bucket. And I'll correct
14 my statement: Hardly anything arrived.
15 Q. All right. Well, I guess we'll have to go to one more of these.
16 If I can get the assistance of the usher. I want to go to part 3,
17 chapter 4, section 9, and again this would be D210. And if we could
18 start with page 4. Just for the sake of time, I just want to go through
19 this rather quickly. Page 4 if we look at in the middle of the page it
20 says: "The convoy left Belgrade on the 17th of June, about 13 kilometres
21 before Srebrenica on the Bosnian Serb territory, it was stopped because
22 of an unsafe situation." And then it goes on.
23 The next paragraph it says: "The convoy did indeed return to
24 Zvornik and stayed there overnight. The VRS arranged a guard and shared
25 their rations with the convoy supervisors. Although safety could still
1 not be guaranteed, no prohibition on continuing was forthcoming."
2 Then the next paragraph, the last paragraph of the page.
3 "At yellow bridge, the VRS both on the outward and return journey
4 carefully checked the quantity of fuel in the vehicle's tanks. The VRS
5 soldiers appeared friendly, but the convoy leader could not say that
6 about DutchBat. The DutchBat soldiers were instructed to check the
7 vehicles, which was done conscientiously." And in fact there's a
8 reference there about Major Franken.
9 Now, if we go down to the middle of the page, this would be page
10 5, part 3, chapter 4, section 9. It says: "On 20 June, another UNHCR
11 convoy arrived in the enclave, this time with 56 tonnes of sugar, beans,
12 salt, fish, flour, soap, powdered milk, and biscuits. Again, DutchBat
13 searched the convoy more thoroughly than the VRS had done. What is more,
14 the VRS had first tapped some fuel from each tank until 100 to 150 litres
15 remained. According to the UNMO present on the site, the convoy
16 commander now again objected to the check by DutchBat, and informed his
17 headquarters. The result was that a convoy planned for the next day
18 would be cancelled unless DutchBat changed the procedure. UNHCR had no
19 objection to a check of the identity papers on the entering the enclave,
20 but the most logical place for the load was the unloading point in
21 Srebrenica itself."
22 And then it goes on. It appears from the NIOD report, the report
23 prepared by the Dutch government, that not only convoys were coming in,
24 the DutchBat were inspecting those convoys and in fact it would appear
25 that the DutchBat were irritating UNMO in the manner in which they were
1 being checked. Were you aware of that, sir, you being the commander of
2 the DutchBat at the time?
3 A. I don't know the source of this statement by the NIOD. The NIOD
4 interviewed many, many different people at all sides. I do know that the
5 VRS or the BSA responded to allowing convoys to enter, both at the start
6 with the staff and throughout the period in later no longer. Convoys
7 containing food and other products such as fuel and the like, they would
8 perform a check, a second check, a third check. And as I says here,
9 occasionally they would take something away along route. The account
10 about convoys being attacked en route by the ABiH outside the area that
11 was under the battalion's responsibility is something that I cannot
12 confirm. It may have been said; it may have been made up. But that
13 unethical practices took place from the area where they entered the --
14 where the convoys entered until the date of Ipapa where the convoys
15 entered the enclave, during -- along that stretch many things undoubtedly
16 happened. And it might be advisable to consult the representative of the
17 UNHCR whose name I've seen and to ask him exactly what happened with the
18 convoys and the numbers and the way the staff were treated and the like.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. Second, I believe that checking -- the checks by DutchBat staff
21 of the convoys was not so bad. We agreed that convoys, especially
22 humanitarian-aid convoys, such as there were, would be accompanied,
23 escorted from the entrance of the enclave, up to the city of Srebrenica,
24 where the contents would be distributed for several reasons. You may not
25 be able to imagine this, but 40.000 people with little or no food for
1 weeks can do all kinds of things to get food along a stretch of a few
2 kilometres. So that's what I agreed with the -- one of the people I
3 agreed about this with was the UNHCR representative.
4 Q. All right. Well, we're not talking about the regular folks;
5 we're talking about the ABiH, the Muslim army. And it appear they were
6 well-fed and they certainly had fuel for their needs. Correct?
7 A. I don't know where the ABiH obtained their fuel. I didn't have
8 any, that's a well-known fact. And what is more -- then I might have
9 been led down the wrong path about who the VRS is. But it wasn't the
10 ABiH that removed fuel from the convoys.
11 Q. All right. Well, before I just move from that area, would you
12 agree with me or perhaps you could share your opinion with us. If the
13 ABiH was going out committing atrocities against civilians and if, as it
14 would appear in these documents, the DutchBat was giving food to the
15 ABiH, could one draw the conclusion that perhaps there was some aiding
16 and abetting between DutchBat and the ABiH? I'm not saying that that was
17 the case, but could someone draw that wrong conclusion?
18 A. No. The conclusion is reached with people sitting around the
19 table. It starts with a breakout of the ABiH for the wrong reasons or
20 words to that effect. And the second suggestion presented would be to
21 say that we fed the Muslim combatants or the ABiH so that they were able
22 to fight with full stomachs. And I take issue, I disagree, with both
24 Q. All right. Finally, you said that you had a loss of -- you had a
25 shortage of fuel. I thought I just wanted to share this one part with
1 you. This is from the NIOD report, part 2, chapter 8, section 11.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Again for identification purposes, D210. If I
3 could get this on the ELMO, page 5, I guess. Part 2, chapter 8, section
5 Q. It states here, again this is from the NIOD report in the middle
6 of the page: "On 10 May 1995 DutchBat entered the state of
7 superminimise, which meant that all lights were turned out (the dark
8 ages). There was no more TV and hot water and neither were there any
9 normal meals."
10 And then it goes on. In the next paragraph it states
11 "Paradoxically enough, the Serbs in Bratunac supplied diesel to the
12 battalion so that DutchBat would continue to drive to Bratunac in a
13 4-tonner to buy beer."
14 Do you know whether this was going on, you didn't have fuel to do
15 patrolling, but the Serbs were giving you diesel so they could do beer
16 runs into Bratunac?
17 A. No, I'm not really interested in beer anyway in this context.
18 What is at issue here is the intent, the underlying intent, how we
19 handled the diesel problem. I wrote about that at length in my book. I
20 don't mean that people were almost killed to get it, but the way that a
21 unit was stationed under UN authorities to perform an assignment and was
22 under such pressure in part through a diesel shortage, that we had to
23 impose a regime and observation posts and vehicle commanders for the
24 compounds and regulate the use of diesel, at a certain point nobody
25 drove. I didn't even command as the commander. The only vehicles
1 driving were Red Cross vans in case of emergencies. And this story about
2 4 tonnes to Bratunac for BSA or VRS that Nikolic might have arranged, no.
3 Up to a certain point there was an opportunity to do business in Bratunac
4 where two men did that, and of course at a certain point that ended, too.
5 And it all coincides with the early period that I mentioned. And then we
6 said: Okay, we're going to discontinue this because we're not getting
8 Q. I know we're just about out of time but I want to go back to this
9 point. Here it talks about the Serbs supplying the DutchBat with diesel
10 to make beer runs into town. That would be about 10 kilometres, or 5 if
11 you're from Potocari. Were you aware of that?
12 A. No.
13 Q. And with respect to the business that you talked about, and I
14 think we had this when Major Franken or I believe he's lieutenant colonel
15 now, there were some efforts, were there not, for there to be some
16 trading between the Serbs and the Muslims in the enclave that Nikolic was
18 A. Suggestions had been made during the early period that led us to
19 check via a medium called Nikolic to see whether it would be possible to
20 do business between the battalion unit and the people or a few businesses
21 in Bratunac on the other hand. So that effort was made in the beginning.
22 Q. Okay. And as I understand it, Nikolic was interested in the
23 business because of his fondness for money, while the ABiH was not
24 interested in having any business. And that's why the trading never took
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes?
2 MR. WAESPI: Nice question to finish today.
3 MR. KARNAVAS: That is the last question.
4 MR. WAESPI: I said nice. It's improper.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Well, I don't think this question as you put it
6 is proper, you know.
7 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour --
8 JUDGE LIU: You asked this witness to speculate. How could he
9 know Nikolic was interested in business?
10 MR. KARNAVAS: He writes about it in his book.
11 JUDGE LIU: Because of his fondness of money. How could his
12 witness know that? That's ridiculous.
13 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, it's in his book, that's how I know.
14 He knows that Nikolic was interested in money. And in fact, he has a
15 rather unkind characterisation. It's on page 121.
16 JUDGE LIU: I don't think this question is necessary. Please
17 drop it.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: All right.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could just have a moment, not long, after
21 the witness leaves, if I could address the Court briefly.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
23 MR. KARNAVAS:
24 Q. In your book you did write about the trading issue.
25 A. [In English] Yes.
1 Q. Okay. I think that's it for today and tomorrow we're going to
2 pick up right around the events concerning Srebrenica, right around the
3 9th, 10th, more like the 10th, 11th so we all know where we're going to
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I think you have to say here for
6 another night and we'll continue the proceedings tomorrow. So during
7 your stay here, you have to understand that you are under oath, so do not
8 discuss the testimony or do not let anybody talk to you about your
9 testimony. And I'll see you tomorrow and I wish you a good rest tonight.
10 The usher will show you out of the room.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Karnavas, I think we need the document D210,
14 which is the NIOD report prepared by the Dutch government tomorrow
15 morning. I hope you could furnish us with that document, since this
16 document was extensively used in this proceeding, as well as the exhibit
17 D55 in the Krstic case which you used, listing all those items.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: That was --
19 JUDGE LIU: And another thing is about this witness's book: "Who
20 cares." If you are going to use certain parts of that book, it's better
21 to have it translated into English so we could not be misled.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honour, I don't want to get into the issue of
23 resources. I think my Court has heard my story on that one. It was just
24 since the gentleman was here he could read a portion for the record. I
25 don't intend to introduce any part of that and since we have some very
1 fine translators. But I take the point.
2 As far as the NIOD portions, I take it the Court only wishes me
3 to make copies of the portions we're referencing, not the 8.000 pages.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, the relevant parts.
5 MR. KARNAVAS: With respect also, Your Honour, and I don't mean
6 to be disputatious at this point, but with respect to the footnote that I
7 read, that was footnote 18 from the Krstic, obviously it was in the
8 footnote. I don't have access to that material, so it's an impossible
9 task, if I could use that word, since we talked about impossibility today
10 at some point. So I don't think I can provide that information, though I
11 can -- it's in the footnote, in the NIOD report, and I can certainly get
12 it at some point. But by tomorrow morning, that's beyond a Herculean
14 JUDGE LIU: Try your best. You may ask assistance from the other
15 party or from the registrar. We cannot accept anything that only has a
16 list. Maybe there's something more in that document.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: We'll try.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
19 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just on that last point, that was a Defence
21 Krstic exhibit and the Defence had been provided with all the Defence
22 Krstic exhibits. We understand the problem and there's -- they got a lot
23 of stuff, so do we. But we will assist them, though I know Ms. Tomanovic
24 is very well organised. So perhaps if she needs our help, please let us
25 know but I know they have that.
1 In addition, I just wanted to point out what I -- is obvious, but
2 Mr. Karremans was not called as a Prosecution witness. He is a Defence
3 witness and he is clearly being impeached, which is fine. But, for
4 example, the issue is not part of the Prosecution's case that all aid was
5 cut off. I think the Court remembers the famous VRS documents where they
6 wanted to restrict the aid. So this point that -- where Mr. Karremans
7 said about no convoys, that can go to his credibility. But to take a
8 Defence witness and to take his credibility down on -- when he hasn't
9 been offered by the Prosecution to provide anything, really doesn't have
10 a whole lot of relevance to anything.
11 Now, had he testified about substantive matters in direct
12 examination that caused -- that Mr. Karnavas wanted to attack, then his
13 credibility is open at all levels. But to start him out by just
14 attacking his credibility, it is really not proper adversarial process
15 and it gives the strong appearance that Mr. Karremans is on trial.
16 And perhaps I wouldn't have said anything except that as we could
17 see the insinuation or the -- it wasn't -- it was more than an
18 insinuation, that because DutchBat didn't have any diesel, their freezers
19 didn't work, their food was going to go to waste, so they gave some food
20 to the Muslims. That's what he said. And Mr. Karnavas suggested that by
21 giving food to the Muslims he was participating in or assisting in the
22 atrocities created by the Muslims. Not only is that six jumps ahead of
23 rationality, but that will inflame the witness. It puts him unfairly on
24 trial. I believe it's what the Court was referring to the other day when
25 it spoke let's show respect to the witnesses.
1 Then we went into the whole beer thing and Momir Nikolic, which
2 again seemed to be taking us down into this gutter, which if we put this
3 witness on as a Prosecution witness, there's a certain amount of fair
4 game to that. But to put him on and then take him to the gutter, it
5 seems gratuitous to me. And I just wanted to point that out. I don't
6 think it is the proper way.
7 And also the continual reading of document. In his own witness
8 he can use it to refresh the recollection of the witness if he doesn't
9 remember or to specifically impeach him on a point if he can be
10 determined adverse. Long readings of a complicated ten-point thing and
11 asking him to comment on it, it leaves the record very confused and will
12 go on and on and on. So those would be my comments.
13 I do appreciate Mr. Karnavas has not put the Prosecution in his
14 sights today and we're very happy about that. And if Mr. Karremans is
15 going to be put in his sights, fine. But if it can be put on a relevant
16 issue where Mr. Karremans has done something to the case that's being
17 brought forward. But those would be my points.
18 MR. KARNAVAS: If I just --
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. KARNAVAS: Briefly respond.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, very briefly. We are running out of time.
22 MR. KARNAVAS: Yes, Your Honours. First of all, Mr. Karremans
23 did testify as a Prosecution witness back in 1996 and he made some
24 comments. I don't know whether the Prosecution is going to go to those
25 documents or not. Obviously I have some concerns.
1 Also, the gentleman does seem to have a particular slant on the
2 events, so I do need to make sure that we start with a proper foundation.
3 And I believe he had indicated on several occasions one thing and then
4 later on when shown documents at least he's come closer to where the
5 document is or he has maintained his position.
6 Secondly, I don't think I'm treating the gentleman unfairly.
7 Even though I called him does not mean that I cannot, in a very gentle
8 fashion as I have been doing, perhaps point him in the right direction or
9 point him the errors of his ways. I don't think that's improper, and
10 I've done this on many occasions. He's not exactly a neutral witness or
11 a Defence witness in the classical sense, and that's the dilemma that I'm
12 in. So I'm trying to do the best I can under the circumstances. And I
13 do appreciate the Prosecution giving me some leeway. That has been
14 noticed, although I'm a little disheartened by their recent remarks. It
15 pains me to hear these sorts of things that somehow I'm being unfair and
16 unkind to a witness.
17 As far as putting him through the ringer and trying to embarrass
18 him, that's not the intention. All of this is background information.
19 It goes to the theory of the case. The Prosecution has repeatedly argued
20 that this was an operation that ultimately had its designs to meet the
21 six or seven points, that is to ethnically cleanse the area. And what
22 I'm trying to demonstrate is that this is a far more complex picture and
23 we can't just look at the surface of it. So that's all.
24 Now, tomorrow we're going to go right into the heart of the
25 matter and we're going to move along. And if I need to sort of correct
1 him, I'm going to have to do that. I do it in a most gentle fashion. I
2 think I'm being very mindful of our host, the Dutch government, who has
3 been kind enough to assist us. And I want to commend them. I think
4 they've done a marvelous job trying to bring out the truth in the Dutch
5 report. It's a public document. If they felt comfortable and publishing
6 it so the whole world can see it in a very transparent matter which
7 should be done elsewhere, specifically in places of the world where
8 issues are ongoing, I won't mention the place.
9 In any event, I will be very gentle and streamline and I take Mr.
10 McCloskey's comments to heart. I take them to heart. And I will do my
11 utmost to abide within the good atmosphere that we have in this
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, thank you very much for your attitude.
14 Well, I think this witness is important since he's an eyewitness
15 to many events, and there are many publications nowadays on the
16 Srebrenica massacres. But we have a witness, an eyewitness here. He
17 could give some evidence with the probative value, and there's no doubt.
18 Secondly, I would like to say that maybe, Mr. Karnavas, you are
19 used to cross-examination, maybe not quite used to direct examination.
20 And this is a witness called by you, and I don't see this witness as
21 hostile to your case. He just tells you the truth. It is very helpful
22 for the Judges, for this Bench, to know what was really happening on the
23 spot. This is the main purpose. There is no difference between the
24 Prosecution's case -- Prosecution's witness and the Defence witness in
25 terms their testimony. Because the only purpose for them to come here is
1 to help us, the Judges, to have a better understanding of the situation.
2 But there is some differences between the direct examination and the
3 cross-examination. I believe that Mr. Karnavas will understand that.
4 The third point is that there are some questions which are really
5 not proper. For instance, you couldn't blame the DutchBat as aiding and
6 abetting for all those crimes. The best way is to put the facts there
7 and let the Judges, the Bench, draw the conclusion. The witness is a
8 military man; he is not a legal expert. Up to now, the Judges are
9 starting the meaning of aiding and abetting this minute, so I don't think
10 this witness could appreciate your question at all. And there is some
11 implied meaning by your question to blame the DutchBat for some criminal
12 activities, which is, if I could say, out of the scope, out of the scope.
13 So lastly, I'm very glad to hear that tomorrow we'll come to the
14 more substantial matters. And I only hope that tomorrow we could finish
15 the testimony of this witness on time. This is all I could say for this
17 Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just a housekeeping case. Your Honour,
19 Mr. Karnavas and I have spoken of this one last 92 bis witness, and I
20 went and I did read him over again. And unless the Court wants us to
21 call him, at this point I can -- would be satisfied by not calling him.
22 I think perhaps we'll go interview him and see if he has anything else to
23 say that may be of relevance through another 92 bis comment. But at this
24 point unless the Court wants us to cross-examine that witness, I'm fine
25 not calling him. And I just wanted to mention that to the Court.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, could I regard it as an oral motion to withdraw
2 your request for the cross-examination of that 92 bis witness?
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Yes, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE LIU: Oh, thank you very much. But we have to inform the
5 registrar as soon as possible because everything for the preparation is
6 in process at this moment.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: We can --
8 MR. KARNAVAS: We can do that. We can do that, assuming that
9 it's a done deal --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: Assuming that this is -- that the Court makes a
12 ruling, we can contact to put a halt to the process.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
14 So this request is granted by this Bench.
15 Well, we are 20 minutes past the time allocated to us, so I would
16 like to thank the interpreters and the court reporter and the other
17 technicians to allow us to sit a little bit longer. I apologise for
18 that, and I promise that tomorrow we'll finish on time. So the hearing
19 for today is adjourned.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.53 p.m.,
21 to be reconvened on Friday, the 25th day of June,
22 2004, at 9.00 a.m.