1 Monday, 28 November 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon, everyone.
7 Mr. Tieger, you have a new team member.
8 MR. TIEGER: Not new, Mr. President, but you correctly noted here
9 today I'm joined by Ms. Kimberly West.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
11 How are you, sir? Did you have a good weekend?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, good afternoon, Your Honour.
13 I got some very good rest. I certainly did.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 Yes, Mr. Harvey. My apologies.
16 MR. HARVEY: [Microphone not activated]
17 I can try again with this microphone.
18 Good afternoon, Your Honours. May I introduce Mrs. Sofie Breslau
19 who has been with my team for many months. Thank you.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
21 Yes, Mr. Karadzic. Please continue.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Excellencies. Good
23 afternoon to all.
24 WITNESS: KDZ039 [Resumed]
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic: [Continued]
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness.
3 A. Good afternoon.
4 Q. It seems that we don't have much time today, so I will have to
5 move on to a few key matters straight away. Is it correct, have you
6 noticed, that people who looked for their acquaintances -- actually,
7 people who looked for someone by their names and their surnames, were
8 they looking for their enemies or their acquaintances or their friends?
9 A. I have no idea. I have no idea whether they were enemies or
11 Q. Thank you. Now we have to move on to the main event that you
12 described. You were at that school and then they drove you on the small
13 TAM truck; right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Just one thing. You feel free to remind me too. Let's just wait
16 for the interpretation and the transcript to finish. So when you see the
17 letter A, you can start giving your answer. How far away is that meadow
18 where they were carrying out these executions, how far away from the
20 A. I cannot say exactly, but gun-shots could be heard at the gym
21 where we were sitting, and they said, "Look, they killed all of those
22 people who were taken out ."
23 Q. And in which TAM truck were you in?
24 A. Of that, I don't know. It was perhaps two hours before dark that
25 my turn came, but I don't know in what order the TAM trucks were taken
2 Q. Thank you. There were 296 of you there, right, or more than
4 A. 296 of us were brought in from Bratunac, and then people were
5 brought on trucks, buses, whatever, I don't know. Started at daybreak
6 until about 10.00 until the gym was full. Once the gym was full, they no
7 longer brought any people there.
8 Q. Thank you. Tell us, then, you were being blindfolded in the gym
10 A. Yes, as we were walking out of the gym, they put blindfolds on
11 our faces.
12 Q. Thank you. They did not tie your hands?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you. In one of your statements you said that there were
15 different blindfolds, but what were they usually made of?
16 A. Thin cloth, that's what it was, in different colours. The width
17 was about 10 centimetres and the length was sufficient to be able to tie
18 it around the head.
19 Q. Thank you. And then did they take off those blindfolds there?
20 A. No.
21 Q. All right. When you arrived, you saw that two pits had been dug;
23 A. There were two excavators that were digging two holes there at
24 two different places. Now, whether they had been dug that night or not,
25 that I don't know.
1 Q. Thank you. Now, to a certain point you came on this TAM truck
2 and from there onwards you walked?
3 A. No. I came on the TAM truck to the very end.
4 Q. Didn't you say at some point that the TAM truck could not go any
5 further but that you had to walk a bit?
6 A. No, I never said that.
7 Q. All right. And when you arrived and you were not on the first
8 TAM truck, what did you see? Where were these people who had been
10 A. In front of me, there was this field there, a lot of pastures,
11 actually, and they were killed as they stood in lines, and that's where
12 they got us off the truck and then they shot people in the back. And
13 when everybody fell, then individually they went around to see who was
14 still moving and then they would kill such persons. They would go on
15 shooting for as long as anybody was moving.
16 Q. And they did not take off anybody's blindfolds, all the
17 blindfolds were still on these people?
18 A. They didn't take anybody's blindfold off.
19 Q. Thank you. So that blindfold should be found during the
20 exhumation; right?
21 A. Unless it rotted away, that would be right.
22 Q. Thank you. You said that General Mladic was following these TAM
23 trucks in a red car; right?
24 A. These TAM trucks were followed -- were followed by a soldier all
25 the way up until they were unloaded, and it was in this red car. And the
1 red car would return before the TAM would go to follow another TAM that
2 was being taken to another place. When they unloaded me there and when
3 they carried out those executions, a few other TAM trucks came. And then
4 General Mladic came with this same red car. He sat in the back seat and
5 he walked out with this soldier who was sitting next to the driver. They
6 were watching the unloading, the killing. The TAM truck left and the red
7 car and Mladic waited until everybody was killed, all the people who were
8 brought in on the TAM trucks. And then they got into the car and went
9 back the same way.
10 Q. And that was on the 14th of July; right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Well, do you know that Mladic was with Carl Bildt and
13 President Milosevic at Dobanovci on that day attending a meeting?
14 A. At what time was he there?
15 Q. Well, he was there almost all day, he was there almost all day.
16 MR. NICHOLLS: Could we have the basis for that, please.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The basis is the report from
18 Mr. Bildt's book and other reports, Akashi 's report. This is a
19 well-known meeting that was held on the 14th of July and on the 15th of
20 July. They had meetings then as well, but the 14th of July was most
21 certainly the case.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Perhaps they met during the night.
23 During the day he was by the school, by that gym, Mladic was.
24 JUDGE KWON: Could you hold a minute.
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And when did you leave Bratunac? When did you go to that school,
5 on the 13th in the evening; right?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have a look at 65 ter 22396
9 and could it not be broadcast.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. When did you first see General Mladic on that day at the meadow
13 A. No, in the gym. I watched him from the gym as he came to the
14 door and we were all shouting, all of us together, "Why are you making us
15 suffer here? Why don't you get us out of here?"
16 Q. You're talking about the gym in Bratunac?
17 A. No, in Orahovo, the place where we were there. And then he said:
18 "Had it been possible to reach an agreement, you wouldn't have been here.
19 Some of you are going to Kladusa to Fikret Abdic and others will go to
20 Bijeljina. Your transportation will arrive now and they'll take you
22 Q. And in which village were you?
23 A. You mean where that hall was?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. I think the name was Orahovo.
1 Q. On page 2 of this statement, you said that it was the village of
3 A. Near Krizevici.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the next page.
5 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Do you see here, it's line 15 from the bottom, it says
7 "Krizevici"? And you say -- actually, how many people were standing in
8 the TAM truck?
9 A. We didn't count, but perhaps it was 25 to 30. It couldn't have
10 been more than that, and we were sitting, we were not standing.
11 Q. Ah-ha. And you say that they took people, 25, 30 of them, and
12 you say that there were how many of you there?
13 A. Well, we weren't counting. No one could do any counting in
14 there, but everybody's estimate was about 2500, over 2.000, up to 2500.
15 Q. And when did they start taking people away?
16 A. I cannot remember exactly when that started.
17 Q. And when did Mladic appear in that hall?
18 A. I cannot remember that now either. If I said something in
19 particular, then that's the way it was; if not, I really cannot remember
21 Q. And when did they stop taking people away? When did it stop?
22 A. Well, during the night. I'm not sure about that either, but say
23 between 11.00 and 12.00.
24 Q. And all of it was over; right?
25 A. Well, that's what they said. When the last TAM truck came, then
1 the driver from the TAM truck said, "There's no one left. Everybody has
2 been brought in and killed." And then they asked him, "Are we going to
3 come with you?" And he said, "No, not with me." And then they said,
4 "What are we going to do here, wait?" And he said, "I don't know.
5 Nobody told me to drive you." The TAM truck left and then they stood
6 there by the excavators and waited while the other TAM truck showed up.
7 Later they turned off the lights on the excavator. They got onto the TAM
8 truck and they all left.
9 Q. And where were you all that time?
10 A. When night fell, I crawled out from beneath the dead and I went
11 behind some bushes and hid there.
12 Q. This is what you said here on this page. You say that on the
13 14th of July in the afternoon hours Mladic came again and said from the
14 door, "Some of you are going to Fikret Abdic and some of you will be
15 going to Bijeljina," so it was the afternoon; right?
16 A. Well, I cannot tell you what time. I've described it. I have
17 already described it. I described this before, when it was, roughly.
18 I'm not sure.
19 Q. Thank you. All right. And in your opinion how many tours were
21 A. I don't know.
22 Q. And how long did it take for a whole round to be completed, for
23 the people to be killed, and for the truck to go back?
24 A. It wouldn't be enough time for you to smoke a cigarette before
25 the second tour arrived, but I didn't look on my watch.
1 Q. And you said that there were between 100 and 120 such tours?
2 A. I don't know. You know that.
3 Q. Well, if there were 20 or 30 people in each truck and it all
4 started after Mladic's arrival and ended at around 11.00, can you now see
5 how this arithmetic of yours works? What is wrong with it, Mr. Witness?
6 A. Two trucks drove people away. Now, you do the counting. I am
7 not a mathematician.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this statement be admitted into
10 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we shall put it under seal for the moment. I
11 think we -- Defence can produce a public, redacted version easily. We'll
12 admit both versions.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The under seal version will be
14 Exhibit D1944 and the public redacted version will be Exhibit D1945.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we briefly move to private
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
18 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, we are now in open session.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Mr. Witness, on various occasions you were shown various
20 photographs. I'm interested to hear what did you learn in Tuzla before
21 the first interview. Who was it who told you about the gym, about the
22 hedge, what kind of information was given to you in Tuzla?
23 A. Well, I cannot remember at the moment.
24 Q. But somebody must have gave you this description.
25 A. I described how the gym looked like and then the people who used
1 to play basketball in that gym during peace time confirmed that that was
2 the same gym.
3 Q. But concerning the meadow and the hedge and the fly-over, you
4 inquired about that and somebody else described these issues to you?
5 A. Well, they asked me where the shooting was and I said that all I
6 could see was a fly-over and the people would say, "Oh, well, we know
7 exactly the place. This is the railway that leads to Zvornik and it must
8 have been close to the railway."
9 Q. Thank you. Did you see Mladic only once on that meadow?
10 A. Yes, only once.
11 Q. But in one of your statements you said that you had seen him five
13 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry.
14 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry. I want some references. It's an extremely
16 misleading way of putting questions to say: You said you saw him on the
17 meadow once and in the statement you said you saw him five times, trying
18 to imply to the witness that he said: I saw him five times at the
20 JUDGE KWON: [Overlapping speakers] -- sorry, I overlapped.
21 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think this is his second
23 statement given on the 25 June [as interpreted] 1995. ERN number is
24 017222 to 7225, lines 6 and 7 --
25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters didn't get the page number.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] You said four or five times: I saw
2 Ratko Mladic coming in a red car behind the truck and he was watching the
3 shooting with no hat on his head.
4 JUDGE KWON: Why don't you upload it. Do you have a
5 65 ter number for that, Mr. Nicholls or Mr. Karadzic?
6 MR. NICHOLLS: [Overlapping speakers] --
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll find it right away.
8 MR. NICHOLLS: Sorry, Your Honours, it's 22398 and it's page 3 of
9 the English that Mr. Karadzic is referring to.
10 JUDGE KWON: It's a statement given in July.
11 MR. NICHOLLS: Yes, Your Honour.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, that's the 25th of July. Can
13 we have page 3. It's page 3 in English, definitely, but in Serbian, it
14 might be page 2:
15 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. [In English] "I saw Ratko Mladic, bare-headed, come up behind the
17 tamic four or five times in a red car and watch the executions."
18 [Interpretation] You say that Ratko Mladic spent the entire
19 afternoon and the evening of the 14th of July watching the executions
20 about which he actually said that you would go to either Fikret Abdic or
21 to Bijeljina, but now you say that he was watching it.
22 A. I don't know how it was interpreted, but in total I can say that
23 I saw him for six times, not five times, from Potocari to Orahovo.
24 Q. What do you mean interpreted? You gave your statement in
25 Serbian, in our own language.
1 A. Well, I don't know how it was noted down.
2 Q. Did anybody change your statements?
3 A. I don't know about that.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have the next page in the
5 Serbian for the benefit of the witness, and I kindly ask for this not to
6 be broadcast. No, the previous one. Maybe number 2 in Serbian. We have
7 found the exact portion in English and now we're going to find the
8 corresponding one in Serbian. It's on page 3. Page 3, please, tenth
9 line from the bottom -- eighth line from the bottom.
10 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. And this is what you said in our language.
12 "As I was lying there, I saw Mladic coming in a red car,
13 bare-headed, four or five times, and watched the execution. I saw the
14 five Chetniks who had been carrying out the executions leave in the tamic
15 and then I shouted, 'Is anybody alive?' A young man responded."
16 So you were lying underneath the dead bodies for the whole time?
17 A. Yes, until darkness fell.
18 Q. And only then did you come out and went in hiding behind the
19 bush. There was no one there?
20 A. No, they were still killing people but there were no lights on.
21 I was in the darkness. I was not in the spotlight.
22 Q. But this is what you said; right?
23 A. I said that they brought people four or five times, after which
24 time Mladic arrived in a red car. I didn't say that Mladic came four or
25 five times, but after four or five trips by the truck people asked me how
1 many TAM trucks had been driven before Mladic arrived and I said four or
2 five TAM trucks had arrived. And then Mladic arrived with the next TAM
4 Q. How many dead bodies were on top of you? How did you manage to
5 hide and you escaped being noticed?
6 A. When they moved away, I see that they were lining people one next
7 to another in four rows. So as they were falling down, they were falling
8 on top of each other. The first one then the second one and the third
9 one, and so on, the fourth one.
10 Q. Thank you. And how many dead bodies hide you?
11 A. I was hidden by one body and he was hidden by another body.
12 Q. So you're saying that there were at least two or three layers of
13 bodies on top of you?
14 A. There were three layers, and I was the closest one to the dead
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this statement be admitted into
18 JUDGE KWON: We'll do the same exercise.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The under seal statement will
20 be Exhibit D1946 and the public redacted version will be D1947.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. So, according to your knowledge, not about -- not according to
23 your opinion, how many people were killed on that meadow?
24 A. I have never learned that.
25 Q. Why did they dig those holes up?
1 A. In order to put the dead people into those holes, to bury them
3 Q. But they didn't do it in front of you; is that right?
4 A. No, they didn't.
5 Q. So the dead people were left on the meadows, the holes had been
6 dug up, but they nevertheless went away in a TAM truck; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. Do you know if those people were buried there?
9 A. Most probably they did because they had dug up those holes.
10 Q. When you described this murder, I examined the transcript and you
11 said that you saw the man who had been killed with an iron bar being
12 taken out; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, they took him out behind the warehouse in Bratunac.
14 Q. Thank you. So they went behind the warehouse; is that right?
15 A. Immediately to the left as you go through the doorway. They
16 didn't go behind the warehouse. They went to the left and I was coming
17 back from the right.
18 Q. Now a minute ago in line 10 you said "behind the warehouse."
19 Now, tell me, you remained in the warehouse, didn't you?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. So how then did you find out about his killing?
22 A. The one that had been hit with an iron bar and an axe, you mean
23 that one? Well, I saw it.
24 Q. Well, you were inside the warehouse and they were behind the
25 warehouse; is that correct?
1 A. If you walk into the warehouse, this corridor went all the way to
2 a small room. As we were walking to the right from the warehouse to the
3 room, they would take people only to the left, not behind the warehouse.
4 They remained there. It was only to the left of the warehouse. It was
5 just off the corridor. They didn't go behind the warehouse and that's
6 why I was able to see it. They put a hand on their shoulder, and I think
7 that two or three men were standing on both sides. One of them had an
8 automatic rifle and he was turned to the man who was approaching him and
9 he was shouting, "Come closer, come closer." He started towards the
10 soldier, and from the left one of them hit him with an iron bar on the
11 back and he fell down. The other one on the right had an axe and hit him
12 on the spine. He left the axe there. He couldn't or wouldn't take the
13 blade out. After that I went into the warehouse and this is how this
14 incident ended.
15 Q. Did you see the rails from the meadow or not?
16 A. I just saw the fly-over and the iron fence next to it. I only
17 know that we passed underneath in the TAM truck, but I didn't know what
18 was there above. Later when I asked people, others told me that there
19 was a fly-over and the rails go over it and you passed underneath.
20 Q. Thank you. In one statement, and that's 65 ter 22396, page 2,
21 paragraph 2, you said you had been brought there -- you had been taken
22 away at what time?
23 A. I can't tell you what time it was now. I remembered it then and
24 I said it then and that's correct.
25 Q. 8.00 p.m.?
1 A. Certainly not. Must have been earlier.
2 Q. In this statement you said around 8.00 p.m.
3 A. I can't remember now in which statement I said what, whether
4 everything was recorded properly. I don't know.
5 Q. If it was July and if it was earlier, it was still daylight or
6 was it already dark?
7 A. When I got to that meadow, the sun was still shining.
8 Q. In your statement 1D4875 you said it was already dark and the
9 only light were the headlights on the bulldozer.
10 A. It was getting dark. The bulldozer came, turned on its
11 headlights, and the light was reflected, but they didn't use the
12 headlights while it was still light.
13 Q. Can we look at this statement 1D4875, and we'll see that on
14 page 4, paragraph 7:
15 [In English] "The only light was from the bulldozer. After the
16 shooting, if the Serbs heard voices of people who were still alive, they
17 looked for them and shoot them ...," and so on.
18 [No interpretation]
19 [In English] "At 7.30 p.m., we left the gym and were blindfolded
20 as we left from the left door of the gym. I removed my blindfolds
21 immediately (apparently he pushed them up a little) so I could see what
22 was going on. The Serbs were busy hurrying us up. They said 'hurry,
23 hurry.' We got into trucks and I saw the little red car following
24 behind. At every turning I saw dead bodies on the road. Then the Serbs
25 opened the back side ..."
1 [Interpretation] So you saw dead bodies even as you were
2 travelling there?
3 A. At one juncture I saw as many dead bodies as on the site where I
4 was taken. Not all the way along the road. At one point, in one place,
5 which was a grazing ground, there were as many bodies as I saw later.
6 The TAM truck continued until it came to the second heap of dead bodies,
7 then we were unloaded, the truck turned around, and we were all killed.
8 Q. And nobody tried to run?
9 A. They were all exhausted. Nobody could run and there were people
10 all around waiting with automatic rifles.
11 Q. You said it took only five to ten minutes there and it was
12 already dark, and the only light was from the bulldozer?
13 A. I didn't say it was dark when I arrived. I said they turned on
14 the headlights for the killing only when it got dark.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this statement be admitted.
16 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit both versions, in public and under
18 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The under seal version will be
19 Exhibit D1948 and the public redacted version will be Exhibit D1949.
20 JUDGE KWON: Who was this interview given to?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let us see the last page, please,
22 [In English] "David Rohde, the Christian Science Monitor, the
23 Pulitzer Prize Winner ...," and so on.
24 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
25 Do you have many more questions, Mr. Karadzic?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'll make it short. Just a few
2 more questions.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. When you were hesitating to testify, it was because your expenses
5 were not paid; correct?
6 A. When?
7 Q. Earlier in the report dated 11 October 1998, ERN 0067-6051, it's
8 only one page, it says you were reluctant to testify because your
9 expenses were not paid.
10 A. I'm hearing this for the first time from you. I wouldn't be
11 coming here if something like that had happened.
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Nicholls.
13 MR. NICHOLLS: I have no objection. Just maybe Mr. Karadzic
14 could read out exactly what's said in the information report. It's not a
15 statement, it's an info report, so the witness knows. He's paraphrased a
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no reason to doubt that the
18 Prosecution recorded exactly what the witness said. It says --
19 JUDGE KWON: No, if you are not going to pursue that matter
20 further, we can continue leaving it at that.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we call the document. I
22 would --
23 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- like to tender this 65 ter 22400
25 without broadcasting. Not be broadcast. It says:
1 "The witness expressed reluctance to come to The Hague to testify
2 because of the problems last time related to the reimbursement of
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Did you say that?
6 A. Me?
7 Q. Did you say it the way they recorded it?
8 A. I don't remember that.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted.
10 JUDGE KWON: If you need to be fair, you have to read out the
11 remaining paragraphs and put it to the witness.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can, I can read it out. He
13 claimed that he heard heavy machinery working when he was at the school,
14 but that doesn't matter. I'm interested in the first paragraph.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you. I have now followed. Yes, we can admit
16 this --
17 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1950 under seal.
18 JUDGE KWON: And we can -- yes, that's then -- may be sufficient.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. So you were in the hangar when they took away this man. How far
21 were they from you?
22 A. You mean in Bratunac; is that what you're asking?
23 Q. Yes, you saw one murder.
24 A. I did.
25 Q. How far away from you were they?
1 A. Not more than 5 or 6 metres.
2 Q. Ah-ha. However, in your statement dated 22nd July, 1995 - and
3 that's your first statement, right? - you said they were 2 metres away?
4 A. Two metres from the door leading to the left. That's what I may
5 have said, not that it was 2 metres between me and them.
6 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, it's now for you to come to your last
7 questions. Conclude in two minutes, please.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I'm a bit nonplussed, Witness, because you say about the
10 statements you have given, if that's what is written then you reckon it
11 is correct. Is everything you've ever said correct, accurate?
12 A. If I quoted any figures, that's accurate. Whenever I made
13 assumptions about something, it could be more but not less.
14 Q. What about things other than figures?
15 A. Depending on what you mean. If I assumed something was true,
16 that's certainly true. If I made assumptions about quantities or
17 estimated quantities, I cannot guarantee for the accuracy.
18 Q. Okay. We'll leave it at that.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have finished, Your Excellencies.
20 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Thank you, Witness. Thank you for your testimony.
22 A. Thank you, too.
23 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Nicholls.
24 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours.
25 Re-examination by Mr. Nicholls:
1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Witness.
2 A. Good afternoon.
3 Q. Just very quickly, sir.
4 Could I have P01488 up on the screen. That's one of
5 General Mladic's notebooks.
6 Witness, at page 5 today it was put to you that Mladic was with
7 Carl Bildt and President Milosevic at Dobanovci on the 14th of July and
8 you asked:
9 "Well, what time was he there?"
10 And Mr. Karadzic said:
11 "Well, he was there almost all day, almost all day."
12 And a few lines later on you said:
13 "Perhaps they met during the night. During the day he was by the
14 school, by the gym."
15 MR. NICHOLLS: Could I have the English page 2, please. And if
16 we can just actually scroll so we can see the top of the page.
17 Q. This is from the 14 July 1995 meeting with President Milosevic,
18 Bildt, and General de Lapresle. So you haven't seen this before, sir,
19 but it is a notebook, a diary kept by General Mladic. If you could see
20 it on the right, just below where it says 14 July 1995, could you read
21 out what time the meeting was. If it's too small, let me know.
22 Well, I'll read it out for you. It says 21.15 hours, so after
23 9.00 p.m. and my question is, Witness: After you'd been lined up in a
24 line with other men and they had shot at you and you had fallen under a
25 pile of bodies and you were lying there and the trucks were coming and
1 leaving, were you checking your watch? Were you trying to keep track of
2 every second and how many times the trucks were coming?
3 A. No. But I saw that when they had killed one batch they would
4 light a cigarette, and before they were done with one cigarette a new TAM
5 truck would come and they would throw the unfinished cigarette on to the
6 ground. That's how much time it took.
7 MR. NICHOLLS: Thank you, Your Honours. I have no further
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I just ask one additional
11 JUDGE KWON: No, Mr. Karadzic. You asked --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] About timing. It's a new thing
13 that arises from redirect.
14 JUDGE KWON: No, you raised this question and -- I will consult
15 my colleagues.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE KWON: No, Mr. Karadzic. The Chamber will not allow you to
18 put further questions.
19 Well, Mr. Witness, that concludes your evidence. On behalf of
20 this Chamber and the Tribunal as a whole, I would like to thank you for
21 your coming to The Hague yet again to give it. Now you are free to go.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE KWON: We have about 20 minutes before the break. Shall we
25 continue or do you suggest having a break now?
1 MR. TIEGER: Ms. West will call the next witness. She indicates
2 it's fine to continue.
3 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
4 Please call your next witness.
5 MS. WEST: Good afternoon, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon.
7 MS. WEST: The next witness will be Colonel Johannes Rutten.
8 [The witness entered court]
9 JUDGE KWON: Good afternoon, sir.
10 THE WITNESS: [Microphone not activated]
11 JUDGE KWON: Would you kindly make the solemn declaration.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I state that I will tell the truth,
13 the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: JOHANNES RUTTEN
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Colonel. If you could make yourself
17 Yes, Ms. West.
18 MS. WEST: Thank you.
19 Mr. Registrar, may we have 65 ter 90296, please.
20 Mr. President, I understand the Srebrenica trial video booklet
21 has been distributed to the Bench and to the Defence. That is a
22 compilation of all the Srebrenica-relevant videos. I'll be using one of
23 them today. I will give the time-codes, but it's not our intention to
24 admit each video separately. We'll just authenticate each video with the
25 witnesses and then it's our intention at the end of the case to admit all
1 the videos as one exhibit.
2 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
3 Examination by Ms. West:
4 Q. Good afternoon.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. What is your name and your current rank.
7 A. My name is Rutten and my current rank is lieutenant-colonel.
8 Q. Sir, you have testified in the Krstic case, the Popovic case, and
9 the Tolimir case; correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. And an amalgamated statement was prepared containing the relevant
12 portions of your prior testimonies, and this statement you reviewed and
13 signed on the 8th of November; is that correct?
14 A. [Interpretation] That's correct.
15 Q. Is this the statement on the screen in front of you the one you
16 reviewed and signed?
17 A. [In English] Yes, that's also correct.
18 Q. Can you confirm that this statement accurately reflects an
19 amalgamation of the testimonies that you've previously given?
20 A. [Interpretation] Yes, I can confirm that.
21 Q. Sir, if you were asked today about the same matters contained in
22 the statement, would you provide the same information to this
23 Trial Chamber?
24 A. [In English] Yes, I would provide the same information to the
1 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I would tender the statement and the
2 associated exhibits.
3 JUDGE KWON: 65 ter 90296 will be admitted.
4 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P3948, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE KWON: And as for -- can I hear from the Defence as to the
6 admission of associated exhibits.
7 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President. We don't have any objection
8 to any of the associated exhibits.
9 JUDGE KWON: And you have no objection to the -- to adding these
10 to the 65 ter list of 23512?
11 MR. ROBINSON: No, we don't, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE KWON: That's granted.
13 In relation to 65 ter number 3233, 3233, which is being dealt
14 with in the para 4.13, I'm not sure how it forms indispensable,
15 inseparable with his statement. It's para 12.
16 MS. WEST: Your Honour, in this part of his statement he was
17 asked -- excuse me, in this part of his testimony he was asked in
18 comparison between the ABiH and the VRS and he was talking about,
19 particularly here, whether he had ever seen BiH soldiers with UN
20 equipment. And he indicated that he had not. I would submit that that's
21 an indispensable part of the statement that he's given in the past
22 because it shows that there had been no occasion in which he believed
23 that he, himself, had ever seen BiH posing as UN.
24 JUDGE KWON: Why don't you deal with it directly in -- if you are
25 to tender this document - with the witness now.
1 MS. WEST: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour. Should I read a
2 summary of the statement first?
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please proceed.
4 MS. WEST: Lieutenant-Colonel Johannes Rutten joined the
5 Royal Dutch Army in 1979 as a conscript and served as a non-commissioned
6 officer in a variety of posts before entering officers' training school
7 in 1991. He completed his studies two years later and was commissioned
8 as a 2nd lieutenant.
9 From January through July 1995, the Colonel served with
10 DutchBat III in Potocari as a 1st lieutenant, during which time he was a
11 commander of an anti-tank platoon, patrol co-ordinator, and intelligence
13 During the spring of 1995, the food situation in Srebrenica
14 became increasingly dire because the Bosnian Serbs did not allow
15 humanitarian aid convoys permission to enter the enclave. These
16 difficulties forced desperate Muslim civilians to rummage through the
17 DutchBat garbage dump in search of anything edible. Colonel Rutten took
18 photos of what he described as an unbelievable event. According to the
19 colonel, the Muslims in Srebrenica had no real army structure, possessed
20 only small armaments, and almost no ammunition. In contrast, the VRS was
21 well structured and well equipped. By the end of June 1995, there was a
22 build-up of VRS forces, including more tanks and more artillery on the
23 hills around the enclave.
24 On July 10th, the Colonel heard severe impacts behind the
25 Potocari compound from a rocket-launcher based in Bratunac. Following
1 the shelling, DutchBat found an unexploded rocket just behind the
2 compound. The shelling became heavier on the following day and stopped
3 during the late evening. The shelling did not target military
4 objectives, but instead seemed intended to keep DutchBat soldiers from
5 patrolling outside of the compound. As a result, the Dutch soldiers
6 would not be able to witness VRS actions.
7 In the evening, the Colonel heard that the situation in
8 Srebrenica was getting out of hand and that refugees were on the move
9 towards Potocari. He then received an order to cut a hole in the rear
10 side of the compound fence to let the refugees in, if necessary. The
11 first refugees began to arrive but remained at the bus remise just
12 outside the southern border of the UN compound. By the end of the
13 evening, the Colonel closed the compound fence again.
14 On the following day, July 11th, large refugee groups began
15 making their way to Potocari from Srebrenica. DutchBat sent trucks from
16 the compound to Srebrenica. The trucks returned full of refugees. The
17 Colonel opened the hole in the compound fence again and refugees entered
18 the UN compound. By the end of the day, 4- to 5.000 refugees were inside
19 the compound and plenty more outside of it in the area of the bus remise.
20 Three groups of ten DutchBat soldiers each, one group which was led by
21 the witness, secured the perimeter of the refugees outside the compound
22 with red and white tape, which was the only means available to make it
23 clear that the area was meant to be secure under UN surveillance.
24 On the morning of July 12th, the Colonel heard small arms fired,
25 followed by mortar fire. There were houses burning around the bus remise
1 and in other places as well. This, coupled with the arrival of
2 Bosnian Serb "Rambo-type" soldiers, led to a feeling of panic among the
4 More VRS soldiers arrived at the compound. General Mladic also
5 came with a film crew. The distribution of bread, water, and candy from
6 the Bosnian Serb soldiers to the refugees was filmed. Immediately after
7 the filming stopped, the handing out of the bread, water, and candy also
8 stopped. At one point in the day, the Colonel and his men were detained
9 by the Bosnian Serbs for a few hours after the Bosnian Serbs had stolen
10 the Dutch soldiers' equipment. The Colonel had refused to give up his
11 equipment and a gun was put to his head by a Bosnian Serb soldier as
13 THE INTERPRETER: Thank you for reading a little slower.
14 MS. WEST: The buses arrived on the 12th and stopped in the early
15 evening. Almost all men, with the exception of the very elderly, were
16 separated from the other refugees and were sent to what became known as
17 the "White House." On the morning of the 13th, two buses loaded with men
18 left the "White House" and was followed by a DutchBat escort. When the
19 escort was hijacked by the Bosnian Serbs, the Colonel decided to go to
20 the "White House" himself to see what was taking place there.
21 At the gate at the entrance to the "White House," he saw a huge
22 pile of rucksacks and belongings. A few metres further were all kinds of
23 identity cards and passports on the ground. Although he was initially
24 refused entry, the Colonel eventually was able to get inside the
25 "White House." He saw a Muslim man hanging from the staircase by one arm
1 and the Colonel asked a Serb soldier to lower the man to the ground. The
2 Colonel tried to enter a room from which he had heard voices, but another
3 Bosnian Serb used his gun to prevent the Colonel from doing so.
4 At one point, the Colonel managed to get upstairs, where he found
5 two rooms filled with 50 men and boys from ages 55 to 12. He
6 photographed the group but stopped because a Bosnian Serb soldier arrived
7 with more men. The witness then left the house. Later that evening, the
8 Bosnian Serbs set fire to the belongings and IDs which were outside the
9 "White House." The fire burned for two days.
10 The Colonel was later informed by a local interpreter of rumours
11 that Muslim men had been killed in the vicinity of a well somewhere
12 nearby. The Colonel and two other DutchBat soldiers went to the area and
13 saw nine male bodies in civilian clothing lying on the ground with their
14 faces towards a stream. All had small-calibre gun-shots to their backs
15 or sides. The men were approximately 45 to 50 years old. The Colonel
16 touched the bodies, which were still warm. Blood was still running from
17 the corpses and they were no flies. In his view, the men had been shot
18 recently and there was no evidence that the bodies had been moved to that
19 location. The Colonel took a photo of the bodies while another soldier
20 collected the identification cards that were scattered on the ground
21 nearby. The Colonel and the soldiers were forced to abandon the
22 identification cards and flee the area after shots were fired in their
23 direction. The Colonel reported what he had seen to his higher-ups.
24 When the Colonel ultimately returned to the Netherlands, he turned the
25 film roll over to the Dutch army intelligence branch for developing. He
1 was later informed that an error had occurred during the development
2 process and that the photos were mis-developed.
3 After photographing the bodies, the Colonel went to the area
4 where the refugees were being ushered to the buses. There he took
5 pictures of the Bosnian Serb soldiers' interactions with the refugees
6 along the line of buses. The Colonel saw the Bosnian Serb soldiers
7 separate men from their families. The Colonel also observed what he
8 believed to be a DutchBat lieutenant and some DutchBat soldiers assisting
9 in the deportation of the population by helping the Muslim refugees leave
10 the area. This resulted in a confrontation between the Colonel and the
11 lieutenant, but the process continued.
12 Before attempting to escort the last bus leaving the compound,
13 the Colonel went back to the "White House." By that time, the pile of
14 belongings out front was even bigger than before and many more IDs and
15 passports were scattered on the ground. The Colonel and another DutchBat
16 soldier went to the previously empty left side of the house and saw that
17 the staircase was filled completely with Muslim men. The Colonel could
18 see the total fear on the faces of the Muslim men. The Colonel then
19 walked to the front of the house and saw that the balcony completely
20 filled with men and boys. He estimated that almost 300 men were in the
21 house and on its balcony.
22 He attempted to escort the last bus containing male refugees, but
23 was stopped by Bosnian Serb soldiers threatening him at gunpoint. He
24 then accompanied a truck and some medical personnel who were going into
25 Srebrenica to pick up the last elderly people left behind. Again, he was
1 accosted by Bosnian Serb soldiers. They took his car and he was forced
2 to continue to Srebrenica in the truck he was meant to accompany. In
3 Srebrenica, the Colonel saw Bosnian Serbs looting the compound and
4 driving a Dutch APC filled with stolen material. The Bosnian Serbs had
5 also emptied the weapons collection point where DutchBat had stored
6 weapons it had confiscated from the Muslims in an effort to keep the
7 enclave demilitarised.
8 Your Honour, that concludes my summary.
9 Q. Colonel, was my statement an accurate summary of your testimony?
10 JUDGE KWON: I'm not sure that this has been ...
11 JUDGE BAIRD: Are you hearing anything at all, Colonel --
12 THE WITNESS: No, no, it was a correct translation. Thank you.
13 JUDGE KWON: I think the Dutch interpretation took a bit more
15 MS. WEST:
16 Q. Colonel, may I ask you this: Would you prefer to do this in
17 English or in Dutch?
18 A. I get a little bit confused by hearing Dutch and reading English.
19 I would rather speak in English then.
20 JUDGE KWON: It's up to you, Colonel.
21 THE WITNESS: It's no problem to me, sir.
22 JUDGE KWON: So would you like to change the channel into
24 THE WITNESS: Yes.
25 JUDGE KWON: That can be ... [overlapping speakers]
1 THE WITNESS: [Overlapping speakers]
2 MS. WEST:
3 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I will ask you again. Was my statement an
4 accurate summary of your testimony?
5 A. Yes, it was an accurate summary.
6 Q. Colonel, sir, what is your current position in the military?
7 A. My current position is lieutenant-colonel, and I am head of
8 personnel affairs in the Dutch army.
9 Q. Where are you posted?
10 A. I am now posted in Muenster, Germany.
11 Q. Colonel, I am now going to show you a short video-clip.
12 MS. WEST: Your Honour, this is part of 65 ter 40582, the
13 compilation of Srebrenica videos, and it's clip -- it's the clip at 20
14 minutes and 39 seconds and it will go to 24 minutes and 48 seconds.
15 [Video-clip played]
16 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I think I misspoke. The codes are
17 20 minutes and 39 seconds to 24 minutes exactly.
18 Q. Colonel, is this footage consistent with your memory?
19 A. Yes, it is consistent, yes.
20 Q. And the red and white tape that we saw around the people, is that
21 the tape that DutchBat put up?
22 A. Yes, that is the tape we used.
23 Q. What was the purpose of the tape?
24 A. The purpose was to mark what was guarded by DutchBat personnel.
25 Q. Did the image of the handing out of bread and candy create an
1 accurate impression of the way the Bosnian Serb soldiers were treating
2 the refugees at the time?
3 A. It looks here on the video if this was the standard procedure,
4 but you see a total different view on the ground at the moment that I was
5 there. It was only a short instant that it -- that this happened and
6 shortly afterwards, after the cameraman stopped filming, the bread and
7 the handing out of the candy stopped immediately.
8 Q. And what was your impression as to the purpose of the filming of
9 those moments?
10 A. With my knowledge of the day --
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Objection, please.
12 JUDGE KWON: What -- I don't see any leading question. What is
13 your objection, Mr. Karadzic?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The objection is that what is being
15 sought is an impression, whereas we are seeking facts here.
16 JUDGE KWON: She's asking his opinion of what he saw. So I
17 take -- I took the question to be asking that.
18 Let's continue, Ms. West.
19 MS. WEST: Thank you.
20 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Witness, Colonel Rutten, would you like the
21 question to be interpreted in Netherlands?
22 THE WITNESS: No, no, it's perfectly in English.
23 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: I understand it perfectly.
25 JUDGE KWON: So we don't need the English translation -- Dutch
2 Yes, let's continue.
3 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Colonel, I'll ask the question again. What was your impression
5 as to the purpose of the filming of those moments?
6 A. I started my answer, with the knowledge of today, I would say
7 that was perfect info operation, but with the knowledge from them, I saw
8 it as a purely propaganda moment because as I earlier stated it stopped
9 immediately after the filming had stopped as well.
10 Q. Colonel, at the time, did you have access to Dutch news at
12 A. No, we had no access in that time I was outside, but a few days
13 later we had satellite communication on the compound, and we saw Dutch TV
14 where we saw these special filming, what we just saw here on the tape, on
15 the TV and we were wondering that that was that fast, that we saw what
16 happened on the ground on the Dutch television.
17 Q. And at the time, were there any refugees left at the compound?
18 A. At that time there were no refugees left anymore.
19 MS. WEST: Mr. President, would this be a good time for a break?
20 JUDGE KWON: I think we passed the time.
21 MS. WEST: Oh.
22 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll have a break for 25 minutes. Thank you
23 for your reminder, Ms. West. We'll resume at ten past 4.00.
24 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
1 JUDGE KWON: Where were we? Let us continue, Ms. West.
2 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE KWON: Colonel, you talked about your impression, but
4 that's the one you formed at the time, not the one you make now with
6 THE WITNESS: No, no, no. It's the -- the word "impression," it
7 looks a little bit strange now, but it was the situation on the ground as
8 I described in my answer.
9 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
10 Ms. West.
11 MS. WEST:
12 Q. Colonel, in paragraphs 46 and 47 of the statement, you speak
13 about being detained by VRS soldiers on the 12th of July at the Potocari
14 compound and you talk about having your headsets and your weapons taken
15 from you and then you and your men were detained for a few hours. Were
16 there other occasions where DutchBat soldiers had material, including
17 uniforms and hats, stolen from them by the VRS?
18 A. There were other occasions that were reported to the company and
19 to the battalion, that's right.
20 Q. And why were you concerned when uniforms were taken?
21 A. My concern was that when uniforms are taken or our equipment, VRS
22 soldiers could then disguise themselves to UN personnel.
23 Q. And why was it important that they not be able to disguise
25 A. We were, at that point, very few of DutchBat personnel, so our
1 position was that we were impartial to the -- to the refugees and to the
2 population of Srebrenica. And by having our uniforms or our equipment,
3 it could be the case then that VRS personnel would then be as seen as
4 DutchBat personnel.
5 Q. Sir, I'm going to -- we're going to show you 65 ter 03233 and you
6 mentioned this in paragraph 12 of the statement, and this was a report
7 that you had been asked about in one of your earlier testimonies. And in
8 paragraph 4.13 of this report, this is a debriefing of the Srebrenica --
9 of Srebrenica by the Dutch military. In paragraph 4.13 it says:
10 [As read] "BiH soldiers, complete with blue caps or blue hats,
11 came within a distance of 15 metres from one of the observation points.
12 Resembling UN personnel, they opened fire from this position in the
13 direction of the BSA front line, so that it seemed as if the UN had
14 opened fire. In this way, they attempted to draw fire from the BSA on
15 the OP and thus involve DutchBat in the combat actions."
16 Colonel, when you were asked about that in the Krstic case, you
18 "I was not aware of this kind of incident."
19 I'll ask you now, is this the type of incident that you would be
20 concerned about when anyone stole your uniforms?
21 A. It could be the type of incident, but this particular situation,
22 what described, here is not known to me specifically, no.
23 Q. And were you aware of any other incidents where BiH soldiers
24 tried to impersonate UN soldiers?
25 A. No, I'm not aware of that, no.
1 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I would tender this exhibit.
2 JUDGE KWON: Very well. That -- yeah, that will be admitted as
3 one of the associated exhibits, yes.
4 MS. WEST: Thank you.
5 Q. Colonel, in the days after the event, you were interviewed
6 several times. And first you were interviewed in Zagreb. Do you
7 remember while in Zagreb filling out an ICTY UN questionnaire?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And one of the questions in that questionnaire regarded the
10 identity of the soldiers who detained you, the incident we were just
11 talking about. Did you have a conversation with those soldiers, those
12 VRS soldiers, about their uniforms?
13 A. Yes. We had a conversation because I tried to speak with more
14 VRS personnel or what seemed to be VRS personnel. Later on it was -- it
15 seemed to me that they were police units because -- and they spoke that
16 they were from Belgrade and they were not normal VRS soldiers or
18 Q. Did they use a particular word to describe themselves?
19 A. Yeah, they said that they were belonging to a special unit. They
20 call that "specijalna." And we describe that normally in the army
21 special units or commando units or special fighter units, fighting units
22 tasks. But these were clearly, as what they described to me, police
24 Q. And what did they -- what did they tell you as regards to their
25 relationship with the Bosnian Serbs' military forces?
1 A. They had no real relationship. They said they were from a
2 special unit and they had a special task on the ground in Srebrenica.
3 And I asked how many were there from them, I asked more questions, where
4 they specifically came from and what their task was. I got no any more
5 specific answers because then it became clear to them that I was asking
6 more and more.
7 Q. And what language did you use in speaking to them?
8 A. I spoke German. They could speak German perfectly well.
9 Q. Colonel, I have no more questions. Thank you.
10 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I just want to make one clarification.
11 On the associated exhibits list, we list a video. But since -- and that
12 is 65 ter 40044 --
13 JUDGE KWON: 40044.
14 MS. WEST: Since we will be using the compilation of the
15 Srebrenica trial video, I will not move to admit 40044.
16 JUDGE KWON: Just for -- we also already noted the time clip of
17 that -- time for that clip and so that can be removed --
18 MS. WEST: Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE KWON: -- from the associated exhibits.
20 One question for you, Ms. West. I know that -- and I have to
21 note that your summary does not form the part of evidence, but in one of
22 your summary in -- from line 24, page 30, you referred to a confrontation
23 between the colonel and the lieutenant. I read out:
24 "The colonel also observed what he believed to be a DutchBat
25 lieutenant and some DutchBat soldiers assisting in the deportation of the
1 population by helping the Muslim refugees leave the area. This" --
2 THE INTERPRETER: The Prosecution mike should be off, please.
3 JUDGE KWON: "This resulted in a confrontation between the
4 colonel and the lieutenant, but the process continued."
5 What paragraph do you refer to in this summary, paragraph in the
6 amalgamated statement?
7 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I'm referring to paragraphs 80, 81, and
9 JUDGE KWON: Do you see a confrontation there?
10 MS. WEST: Mr. President, perhaps that is not clear. May I ask
11 the witness a few questions about that?
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, please.
13 MS. WEST: Thank you.
14 Q. Colonel, you've heard the concern of the President. In your
15 amalgamated statement you spoke about interactions with
16 Lieutenant van Duijn. Can you tell us what that's about?
17 A. I looked through my camera alongside the line of buses, and it
18 was not a good sight what I saw through the camera lens because it looked
19 like DutchBat was assisting in the deportation. And that was what I
20 spoke with my colleague about. He was not -- he was not at the same
21 opinion as I had. He said there is no problem. We are not assisting.
22 And we got a little bit of confrontation because it's not important, said
23 to him, what you -- what your opinion is, but it gives a -- not a best
24 view on what the UN is doing here on the ground, and that's more
25 important than what your opinion was. So this confrontation ended
1 because another colleague came along and the confrontation stopped.
2 Q. And is this the difference of opinion that you spoke about in
3 paragraph 81?
4 A. Yes, that was a difference of opinion, yes.
5 Q. And after that confrontation, did the bussing continue?
6 A. Yes, it continued. It continued almost immediately.
7 JUDGE KWON: And both of you are at the same rank, weren't you?
8 THE WITNESS: Yes -- no, he was a lieutenant 1st class and I was
9 a lieutenant 2nd class at the moment.
10 JUDGE KWON: Please forgive my ignorance, who was higher?
11 THE WITNESS: 1st class, of course.
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
13 MS. WEST: I have no further questions, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
15 Yes, Mr. Karadzic -- just a second.
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
17 THE INTERPRETER: The witness is kindly requested to speak closer
18 to the microphone.
19 JUDGE KWON: To be clear, all the associated exhibits will be --
20 had been admitted and given -- will be given a number in due course.
21 Yes, Colonel Rutten, as you see your previous documents,
22 statements, i.e., amalgamated statement, has been admitted in lieu of
23 your examination-in-chief and you will be further asked by Mr. Karadzic
24 in his cross-examination.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
2 Cross-examination by Mr. Karadzic:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. von Rutten. I hope you have
4 heard me. Have you?
5 A. Yes, I heard you perfectly well, sir.
6 Q. Thank you. I wanted to ask you, do you still stand by your
7 positions that you are not willing to make your diaries accessible to us
8 or to disclose them to us?
9 A. Yes.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please call up confidential
11 proofing note if it hasn't been tendered -- if it hasn't been tendered by
12 the Prosecution already, it's 1D04724. Can we have page 2.
13 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You see that this is the first time when you refused to make your
15 diaries available; is that right?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Has this been admitted into
19 evidence? If not, I would like to tender it.
20 MS. WEST: Mr. President, may I be heard?
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 MS. WEST: Your Honour, this is a several-page statement in which
23 the witness has now authenticated one statement within this very large
24 document, and I think the entire document has not been authenticated and
25 should not be admitted.
1 JUDGE KWON: What do you mean by not having been authenticated?
2 The witness was not asked about this document as a whole?
3 MS. WEST: As I understand it, Mr. Karadzic has asked him about
4 one sentence in this document. He's indicated that that sentence is
5 correct. I suspect if the witness were asked about the document in full,
6 he would not authenticate it, and so I don't think at this point it
7 should be admitted.
8 JUDGE KWON: But, first of all, have we seen the sentence yet?
9 Where do you have it, Mr. Karadzic?
10 THE ACCUSED: "Still has some photographic material. Is willing
11 to make this available if some indication could be given of what is being
12 looked for. Has photos ..." and so on. "Has a diary containing personal
13 notes which he would rather not make available."
14 [Interpretation] But I'm going to revisit this document at a
15 later stage. However, if this is a problem, let us stick to page 1 for
16 the moment, which is R0138820.
17 JUDGE KWON: So, Ms. West, you would not oppose to admitting that
18 one page --
19 MS. WEST: No, that's fine.
20 JUDGE KWON: -- together with the first page.
21 Let's do that.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1951, Your Honours.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Can we now have 1D04884.
25 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. You have provided this this month, or at least very recently, and
2 you have confirmed there that you are not prepared to make your diaries
3 available to us; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this please be admitted.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Robinson, I have to ask you. If witness
8 confirms the content of this document, is there a point of admitting this
9 document separately?
10 MR. ROBINSON: No, Mr. President, it doesn't need to be admitted.
11 Perhaps it would be better if we clarified the date of this document,
12 which is the 16th of November, 2011, and reflects a conversation on the
13 14th of November, 2011, but with that addition I think everything in the
14 document has been on the record.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
16 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Earlier today in -- on page 34 you said - and that was in
20 response to a question by Judge Kwon, exactly what I would have wanted to
21 ask you - you said: From what I know today and then you stated your
22 opinion. I'm concerned, Mr. von Rutten, how are we going to distinguish
23 between what you knew then and saw then and can confirm as a fact from
24 that time on one hand and what has changed in the meantime and under the
25 influence of the media and other developments on the other?
1 A. First, Mr. Karadzic, my name is Rutten and not von Rutten. I am
2 not of a German noble family, I am a Dutchman. And that is the first
3 thing I want to clarify on that. And next thing is my answer to your
4 question. I answered your question because with the knowledge of today
5 we have far more knowledge on how we perform also in the military in info
6 operations and psychological operations. Then my second sentence was in
7 my clarification to that answer that with -- back then, my opinion was
8 that it stopped immediately after handing out the water and the bread and
9 the candy to the children and what we saw two days later. Because what
10 we saw two days later on -- through satellite communication, on the TV,
11 was a image of perfect -- of a perfect situation of treating the Muslim
12 population in the enclave. And that was not the real situation on the
13 ground in 1995.
14 Q. Thank you. I'm not interested in that point now. We'll come to
15 that because you've spoken about that more than once. Do you understand
16 why the Defence needs your diary? Because the diary is contemporaneous,
17 whereas your current views and opinions are amalgamated with everything
18 that you've read and seen since. Do you agree that your diary would be
19 of great assistance to us because it reflects what you saw at the time?
20 A. Mr. Karadzic, I'm not a perfect person in my remembrance, but
21 since 1995 there have been so many statements on my name in the different
22 documents laid down, so this is the situation that it was. It is not a
23 specific, personal diary; it's just a small book with my notes what
24 happened every day, and that's the small book that I read out before I go
25 to a next -- to make my next -- testify in the next case, nothing more
1 and nothing less. And there are some personal notes to it and that's the
2 reason that I wanted to keep it personal.
3 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President, maybe I could intervene
4 and ask if the witness could be asked whether or not if he would be
5 allowed to redact those personal notes that don't pertain to observations
6 what was happening in Srebrenica, whether he would be willing to give us
7 access to the remainder of the diary other than those that -- items that
8 are personal.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Why don't you put your -- put the question
11 MR. ROBINSON:
12 Q. Okay, so Colonel Rutten, I'm Peter Robinson, I'm the legal
13 advisor for Dr. Karadzic and I think you heard my question. What is your
14 answer to that?
15 A. No, I would not make it available.
16 Q. And why not?
17 A. Why not? Because what I stated earlier. This is a personal
18 document and I want to keep it personal. And the reason for that is, as
19 I stated earlier, that there have been so many documents on my name
20 shortly after the collapse of the enclave that these are specific enough
21 and were in -- put in the time-frame where my memory was fresh enough to
22 clarify all specific events. Thank you.
23 Q. Okay. Thank you. And when was the last time you looked at that
24 diary before coming to court today?
25 A. I looked in the diary last week.
1 Q. Okay. In preparation to refresh your memory for your testimony
2 here today?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Okay. Thank you.
5 MR. ROBINSON: Yes, Mr. President, I would like to be heard on a
6 motion to compel the witness to produce the diary, but perhaps we can do
7 that outside of his presence or at a later time.
8 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
9 MR. ROBINSON: Thank you.
10 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Mr. Rutten, sorry for bestowing upon you this noble title. It
14 was not intentional, but there are many Dutch people who do have a "van"
15 in front of their surname. Have you been promoted in the army since
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. From 2nd lieutenant you have become lieutenant-colonel; correct?
19 A. You're correct, sir.
20 Q. Could you tell us what became of your other colleagues,
21 Colonel Karremans and the others, have they remained in the army? Have
22 they been promoted?
23 MS. WEST: Mr. President, may I be heard? I don't understand the
24 relevance of any promotion.
25 JUDGE KWON: Agreed.
1 Please continue, Mr. Karadzic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think it is relevant because
3 there have been differences of opinion in fates and in careers between
4 Mr. Rutten and others.
5 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, please continue. Move on to your next
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. What was your main role in Srebrenica?
10 A. My main role was commander of an anti-tank platoon, and since my
11 personnel was working on the observation post my role and task was patrol
12 co-ordinator in the northern part of the enclave and intelligence officer
13 from the company to the battalion.
14 Q. Thank you. That's exactly what is written in paragraph 4 of your
15 statement. That was your second duty. Your first duty was as commander
16 of the anti-tank platoon; correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. But as an intelligence officer you should have knowledge about
19 the situation and the forces in your surroundings that you were reporting
20 to your superior; correct?
21 A. If we had any sight on them, more than the lines of sight that we
22 had in the enclave, since the enclave is in a much deeper part than the
23 mountains -- up the mountains there where the Serbs were, the VRS were,
24 we should have known more about the specific situation where we had been
25 left in, yes.
1 Q. Thank you. You've spoken in the Krstic case and in the Tolimir
2 case. I'll tell you the reference now. In Tolimir case on the 12th of
3 September, this year, page 17835; in the Krstic case, 5 April 2000,
4 page 2173; and in the Krstic case again on the same page, you spoke about
5 the inspection of convoys, saying that you have never seen any weapons
6 detected. Did you believe that the inspections should stop because no
7 weapons had been found?
8 A. To my knowledge, there were never weapons found on those convoys.
9 It's not to my jurisdiction at the moment that -- to stop the VRS from
10 checking the convoys.
11 Q. But you are stating that as your objection, grudge, against the
12 Serb side?
13 A. The situation was on the convoys, they came in very less convoys
14 in that period of time. The convoys were checked as they came in through
15 OP Papa in the enclave by the VRS and were checked by us at the moment
16 they were unloaded near the warehouse in Srebrenica city itself. We
17 never saw any weapons came out of these UN convoys.
18 Q. Thank you. I'm asking rather about your attitude to those
19 inspections. Do you know that according to the Geneva Conventions, the
20 Army of Republika Srpska had the right to inspect not only the transports
21 but also the way the aid was distributed? Are you aware of that?
22 A. Yes, I was aware of that.
23 Q. Thank you. As an intelligence officer you've stated your opinion
24 that some military equipment had arrived but not in major quantities.
25 You say that in Krstic, on page 2174, so you were aware that some
1 military equipment was coming in but not in large quantities; is that
3 A. We saw some materiel equipment later on during my tour in
4 Srebrenica, that was in the spring-time, but we never could check where
5 it came from exactly. At least, we never saw it come along through one
6 of the UN convoys.
7 Q. And what about the new uniforms and new Kalashnikovs?
8 A. There seemed to be a line through the mountains, through the
9 southern part of the enclave, by the Muslim army, but that happened
10 during the night and we were not in the situation to fully control the
11 southern part of the border of the enclave.
12 Q. Thank you. You've also said that you were only half successful
13 in disarming the people within the demilitarised zone of Srebrenica. Do
14 you agree that it was one of your missions to disarm the protected area
15 and make sure that there are no troops and no weapons inside?
16 MS. WEST: I'm sorry to interrupt. If I can just have a page
17 cite for that.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, if the witness confirms, I
19 don't see why I should waste time on that. It was in the Krstic trial,
20 2166 is the page number.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. It was your understanding that they had a small amount of
23 weapons, hand-held launchers, and some mortars. And then at a later
24 point you said that you were only half successful in disarming them?
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes, can you answer the question?
1 THE WITNESS: This will always be a problem of disarming the
2 people of the former Republic of Yugoslavia because there are still
3 weapons in former Yugoslavia and we never will manage to disarm this --
4 these people. Also, we were at that point never in a situation to
5 totally control the disarmament of the Muslim population in the enclave.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Thank you. Do you agree that according to the international laws
8 of warfare and the regulations governing protected areas, somebody must
9 be in charge of disarming protected areas, making sure that there are
10 only civilians inside?
11 A. Having weapons does not mean that there are military personnel
12 inside of the enclave. We know the history of former Yugoslavia all very
13 well and I read a lot about it, that the people of former Yugoslavia were
14 always well armed in all these decades before it came through the war in
15 former Yugoslavia.
16 Q. Thank you for that explanation. We will be offering documents
17 about that. But my question was: Once when an agreement is made on a
18 protected area, it implies that there are only civilians inside being
19 protected, that there are no military and no weapons that can be used?
20 A. Yes, you're right.
21 Q. Thank you. Who was supposed to disarm them, the
22 Army of Republika Srpska or the UNPROFOR?
23 A. That was UNPROFOR.
24 Q. But UNPROFOR hasn't done it; right?
25 A. We were working on that in the period that we were in the
1 enclave, and we never stated nor my commander stated that we were --
2 fully completed this task.
3 Q. Thank you. You said a moment ago that the presence of weapons is
4 not the same as the presence of an army. Do you believe that the
5 28th Division with thousands of troops was not present in Srebrenica?
6 A. There were parts of the 28th Division under the command of
7 Naser Oric present in the enclave.
8 Q. How many of them were there, in your view, or rather, to the best
9 of your knowledge, because you are an intelligence officer you should
10 know that?
11 A. I don't have any specific figure on that.
12 Q. All right. You said at some point that these were refugees, that
13 they were not army units; right?
14 A. Most of the people were refugees, yes.
15 Q. And if I were to tell you that there were seven formations there
16 within the 28th Division and that they had a communications system and
17 that they communicated every day with the Main Staff and received weapons
18 and assignments, what do you say to that?
19 A. That could be possible.
20 Q. Thank you. And if I say to you that immediately after the
21 demilitarisation there were 12.000 soldiers left and that to July 1995
22 the figure went down to 6.000 soldiers, what would you say to that?
23 A. If that's the figures that you have present, that could be the
24 situation. We had no specific figures on that.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have 1D4880 in e-court.
2 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Did you exchange your information with your colleagues? Were
4 there any briefings at your staff meetings?
5 A. Yes, there were briefings during the staff meetings. Yes.
6 Q. So, for example, what Mr. Franken would know is something that
7 you should be aware of as well; right?
8 A. I was -- that should be, but I was not always present during
9 those briefings because I was patrol co-ordinator as well and I was
10 regularly on foot in the enclave.
11 Q. Thank you. Fair enough, as we say. But then I have to establish
12 what it is that you can testify about in a sovereign manner as opposed to
13 some kind of collateral information. Tell me, have you heard of
14 Sefer Halilovic?
15 A. No, it's not known specifically to me, no.
16 Q. I'm going to put this to you. Sefer Halilovic was the first
17 commander of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- well, not the supreme
18 commander because that was Mr. Izetbegovic. He was the Chief of Staff.
19 And please take a look at this. In line 5 this is what he writes in
20 numerical terms. He says its numerical size was reduced from 12.000 to
21 about 6.000 soldiers. And further on, he objects on account of that.
22 He's complaining why they reduced the numbers so sharply.
23 But please take a look at this other paragraph. [In English]
24 "Since 1993 ..." [Interpretation] Did you know that the Muslim government
25 was not really interested in Srebrenica and Zepa?
1 A. No, it was not to my knowledge at that point.
2 Q. Are you surprised then if you read that they kept trying to have
3 this exchanged for the Serb suburbs of Sarajevo?
4 A. This document -- I see this document for the first time. Now you
5 ask me for a statement. I have to read the full document to give a real
6 explanation to that.
7 Q. All right. Take a look at the last sentence.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we have the next page, then.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Did you know that there was a large offensive of the Muslim
11 forces against the Serbs that was launched on the 15th of June?
12 [In English] "The operation of deblocking," [Interpretation] Can we have
13 the next page, [In English] "Sarajevo began on the 15th June, 1995, and
14 the Chetniks entered Srebrenica on July 11th ..."
15 [Interpretation] Did you know that there was this large-scale
16 offensive in Sarajevo and that the 28th Division had reinforced its
17 attacks in order to spread out the Serb forces? From the 15th of June
18 onwards they kept attacking the Serb forces. There was a large-scale
19 offensive going on.
20 A. If that's the thing is that herein document, must be, but it is
21 not in my knowledge back then and not now anymore, no.
22 Q. Well, that worries me. If you were an intelligence officer and
23 if you were co-ordinator there, a co-ordinator of the observers, how was
24 it that you did not notice that the 28th Division was fully operating
25 against the Serb forces from mid-June until the 11th of July?
1 A. I must say, this was not happening in the lines of sight of the
2 enclave. What you are referring to is not directly in the enclave or at
3 the borders of the enclave. There we have not seen this -- these kind of
4 activities against the VRS.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this be admitted.
7 JUDGE KWON: But could you tell us first what this document is
8 about? It's allegedly says Mr. Halilovic's book, but in English.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, this had already been
10 admitted somewhere. It has some designation. It has an ERN number, so
11 that is one chapter or one topic from Sefer Halilovic's book
12 "A Cunning Strategy." That was the title of the book. And he touched
13 upon what happened in Srebrenica, inter alia, and he was the supreme
14 commander, or rather, the military Commander-in-Chief.
15 JUDGE KWON: I'm not asking who Mr. Halilovic was.
16 Yes, Ms. West.
17 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President. In the first instance, the
18 witness has said he's never seen this before. He, in fact, said he
19 didn't know who Halilovic was. One of his answers on page 54, line 15,
20 "If that's the thing herein the document, that must be, but it was not in
21 my knowledge back then and not now anymore."
22 He has in no way authenticated anything at all in this document
23 and should not be admitted through him.
24 JUDGE KWON: It relates to the existence of the 28th Division and
25 as well its number and witness dealt with it. Does it relate to his
1 credibility at all? You do not challenge the authenticity of this
2 document, do you?
3 MS. WEST: I honestly can't say anything about that because this
4 witness has offered us no information as to the authenticity of this
5 document. I'm -- in fact, in regard to the size, he was asked earlier
6 about another part of that document early on, 12 to -- 12.000 to 6.000
7 soldiers and he said again that it was not within his knowledge at that
8 point. So he can't say anything about the authenticity and nor can the
9 Prosecution at this point.
10 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to add anything to this in -- with
11 respect to the authenticity of this document? Where does it come from?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Obviously the OTP got a hold of
13 this and put it in the ERN system and it has to do with paragraph 9 of
14 the amalgamated statement, military forces in and around the enclave, and
15 that is what the witness has dealt with. And he says that there was no
16 real military structure -- rather, he said that there was some groups,
17 several hundred men --
18 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, I'm asking about the authenticity, not
19 the content of this document. You said -- I take it that from your words
20 you have no idea what this document is about or where it came from?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] EDS, Excellency. It has its
22 number. But I know the book too. It's a well-known book, and I will be
23 using that book frequently. However, this was found in EDS or maybe it
24 was even disclosed to me by the OTP.
25 JUDGE KWON: And you have no information that you can offer as to
1 this document, Ms. West?
2 MS. WEST: I don't.
3 MR. ROBINSON: Well, Mr. President, I think the Prosecution can
4 be asked to provide information on this document because it's in their
5 collection. The R number tends to indicate that they received it from a
6 Rule 70 provider and that -- we don't have the ability to track --
7 backtrack through their evidence collection as to where they got it but
8 they can do that.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
10 MR. TIEGER: I'm just wondering why the need for this discussion
11 and this additional burden on the Prosecution to check the provenance of
12 a document which purports to be an excerpt from a book which the Defence
13 says it has and which it could have used in the first place in this
14 effort and then we would be back to the original question of whether or
15 not the information provided by the witness is sufficient to either
16 properly contextualise or to authenticate the assertions made in the book
17 or whether or not it provides impeachment of the witness's testimony.
18 But why we're focusing on this document instead of the book itself is a
19 little bit of a mystery to me.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I say a word or two?
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I asked the witness about the
23 strength of the Muslim army and the enclave. Paragraph 9 of the
24 amalgamated statement --
25 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic --
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- subparagraph (c) --
2 JUDGE KWON: -- the issue I'm dealing with at this moment is only
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we mark it for identification
5 then and we'll show the book; however, we received this from the OTP.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE KWON: This document deals with events, according to the
8 accused, which the witness should have known or events that took place
9 while the witness was there. So in that regard, we can -- we have a
10 basis to admit it, but pending the -- we are satisfied as to its
11 authenticity, we will mark it for identification.
12 THE REGISTRAR: As MFI D1952, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Can we briefly take a look at 1D4885.
16 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Do you see this, Mr. Rutten, the 8th Operations Group Srebrenica
18 and on the 17th of August, 1994, that is to say a year and a half after
19 it was declared a safe haven. Look at what the structure was. Then the
20 280th, the 281th, the 282nd, the 283rd, the 284rd Brigade and an
21 independent battalion in Srebrenica and the 285th Brigade is in Zepa, but
22 that is beyond your area. Look at these units of the
23 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, seven of them, and in your paragraph 9 you
24 said that there wasn't any real structure there; right?
25 A. There wasn't any structure there at the moment we were there. I
1 never saw this document before. I said we had a very poor information
2 position in the enclave and also through the UN we got very less
3 information on intelligence matters.
4 Q. Thank you. However, you said that you never knew where their
5 headquarters were and that you never visited their headquarters; right?
6 A. That's right.
7 Q. Was that the case because you did not want to do that or because
8 they had placed some restrictions upon you in that respect?
9 A. We weren't aware where their headquarters was. This document,
10 what you just showed to me, doesn't indicate that their -- that their
11 headquarters was known by us, meaning DutchBat. What you are showing me
12 here is that there were units in the enclave. But this document is new
13 to me; I've never seen it before.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now take a look at 65 ter --
16 sorry, actually, can this be admitted, this telegram?
17 JUDGE KWON: What's the origin of this telegram?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My Defence got this from the
19 collection of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the telegram is
20 Naser Oric's response to his Main Staff. The 20th of August, 1994, is
21 the number and there is a number here and everything else. It also has
22 an ERN number in the OTP collection, but I haven't found that.
23 JUDGE KWON: I don't see any ERN number and it looks rather new.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's a telegram that we got from
25 what my Defence had obtained, but I'm sure that the OTP has this too.
1 You can have it MFI'd and we are going to tell you once we found the
2 Prosecution number.
3 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. West.
4 MS. WEST: Mr. President, we are looking as well. If we could
5 just hold off on this and we can get some more information.
6 JUDGE KWON: We'll mark it for identification.
7 THE REGISTRAR: MFI D1953, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE KWON: And we'll proceed.
9 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Can we now take a look at 65 ter 03231. Let's look at
12 paragraph 2.34. It reads:
13 [In English] "The BiH forces in the enclave were organised into
14 four brigades with a combined strength of 3- to 4.000 men. Their weapons
15 consisted almost exclusively of light arms, supplemented by, among
16 others, a limited number of heavy machine-guns, anti-tank weapons, and
17 mortars. Despite the fact that DutchBat, in accordance with its mission,
18 did everything to disarm the BiH, the battalion was only partly
19 successful. The regular BiH units were reinforced by local militia.
20 Operations were relatively unpredictable, because the units were barely
21 trained and rather undisciplined ...," and so on.
22 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Do you know that this was said at one of the debriefing session
24 at a Dutch ministry or wherever? Are you familiar with this information?
25 A. I could have read it through the last 16 years, it could be
1 possible, but there is some information and it supports my remark that
2 there were separate groups because the last sentence says what I stated
3 earlier, and that was what we saw on the ground, barely trained and
4 rather undisciplined units.
5 JUDGE KWON: Ms. West, since the Prosecution as well tendered
6 just one paragraph of this Dutch debriefing, could you tell us what that
7 Dutch debriefing is about? Whose debriefing it was.
8 MS. WEST: I can. It actually -- we have tendered I think three
9 paragraphs of this debriefing, and this is the Assen debriefing that was
10 conducted by the Dutch government in September of 1995, where a number of
11 people were interviewed in support of that debriefing and it's over a
12 hundred pages long.
13 JUDGE KWON: In the future, why don't you include the first page
14 so that the Chamber can know what that document is about.
15 MS. WEST: We will.
16 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
17 Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Now, in paragraph 9 of your statement is somewhat flawed. There
20 was a structure in existence, but in that paragraph you said that you
21 didn't have information to the effect that the BH army was leaving the
22 enclave and carrying out operations outside of it. From here we can see
23 that they had taken actions that were unpredictable because they were not
24 disciplined; is that correct?
25 JUDGE KWON: Would you like to see para 9 of your statement?
1 THE WITNESS: Okay. Yes.
2 JUDGE KWON: Why don't we upload it.
3 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I have an extra copy. Would that be
5 JUDGE KWON: That would be more convenient. Thank you.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. If I may draw your attention to the fact that you heard of it
8 from Major Nikolic, and from other paragraphs in your statement one can
9 see that you didn't believe a thing that the Serbs said and you didn't
10 check this; is that correct?
11 A. That isn't correct completely because we were not simply in the
12 position to check this because we could not wander over the border of the
13 enclave because that was all -- we had no freedom of movement outside of
14 the enclave, so we -- weren't even possible to check it for us.
15 Q. Did you send a report about what Major Nikolic told you, which
16 was that the previous night they went out of the enclave, killed some
17 people, and set some villages on fire? Did you report this to anyone?
18 A. What you're now doing is that you are putting a statement to a
19 certain date or moment, but that was not the case. Constantly the VRS
20 was speaking to us about situations that might have happened, but since
21 we were not in control or had no freedom of movement to check it, it had
22 no sense of checking all these rumours from all kinds of people to us.
23 Q. Are you disputing that these forces that you were supposed to
24 disarm and that you were supposed to turn this area into a demilitarised
25 zone had set fire on numerous Serb villages and killed around 4.000
1 people, mostly civilians, and that only a few of them were soldiers? Are
2 you disputing or denying that you knew this?
3 A. I'm not disputing that. I'm not denying that. We were at that
4 point not aware what happened out of our lines of sight. As I stated
5 earlier in my earlier answers, we could only see, and that is also in
6 paragraph 9 of the document that it was handed to me, what I said right
8 "Even standing at the border of the enclave, for example, at
9 OP Oscar in November, it was not possible to see Serb villages in our
10 line of sight, thus we would have not been in the position to see any
11 attacks on these villages."
12 So it's in the document that it's provided. I don't see the
13 relevance of this question.
14 Q. All right. But are you aware that those were the units that were
15 under your protection? How was it possible that you didn't see them
16 going out, plundering, and being involved in various activities?
17 A. Our battalion had only three and a half hundred soldiers -- I
18 mean infantry personnel. That means that a lot of them was not in the
19 enclave itself because the VRS had not let them go back, after leave, go
20 into the enclave again. So we had a very difficult situation inside of
21 the enclave to even man the OPs at that point with a very few personnel
22 left - I mean and then personnel left, not logistic personnel but
23 infantry personnel left in the enclave. So we weren't simply -- it
24 wasn't simply possible to have a clear look on the borders itself. So I
25 don't see -- also again you know -- you knew the situation of the
1 DutchBat. I don't see again no relevance of this question.
2 Q. Thank you. Did Mr. Akashi know about this? If you didn't know,
3 how come that Mr. Akashi knew about it?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have 1D4882, please.
6 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. This is from January 1994, a telegram sent by Mr. Akashi to the
8 Secretary-General and for information of Kofi Annan.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we look at the next page,
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Can you please look at paragraph 4 where Mr. Akashi explains that
13 rotations are not the problem that the Serbs see as such, but rather
14 control and proper usage of the airfields and the safe haven. And if you
15 look at the paragraph at the bottom, it says that the Bosnian government
16 has taken tactical advantage of the presence of UNPROFOR beyond the
17 stated objectives of the relevant Security Council Resolutions. And the
18 last two lines on this page:
19 [In English] "While this objective has been achieved by
20 UNPROFOR's presence, the Bosnian Muslim forces have recently embarked on
21 an increasingly offensive approach, partly using the safe areas as a
22 staging ground. For the Bosnian Serbs this is a cause of great concern
23 which has led them to question UNPROFOR's impartiality increasingly. In
24 the political preparations for the two operations, therefore, it has to
25 be kept in mind that the situation has changed as regards
1 Security Council Resolutions 836 and 844."
2 [Interpretation] So, Mr. Rutten, can you see that His Excellency,
3 Mr. Akashi, had information that this area was being abused as a
4 spring-board or as a basis for mounting attacks on the Serbian positions,
5 whereas you knew nothing about that? How is that possible?
6 A. You better ask Mr. Akashi, because he is in command. I'm not in
8 Q. There are other crucial elements here; however, I don't have
9 sufficient time.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have this tendered into
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Ms. West.
13 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I don't doubt the authenticity of this,
14 but this witness can't affirm anything in this document. I would also
15 point out that this document is dated January 26, 1994, and this witness
16 has only gotten to Srebrenica a couple weeks before. So this is just not
17 the appropriate vehicle for this document.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I apologise. I misspoke. This is a
20 1994 document, not 1995. So the witness wasn't there until over a year
22 JUDGE KWON: Well --
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I respond to this?
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The issue concerning the abuse of
1 safe haven was even worse in 1995 than in 1994. That was an ongoing
2 practice. Therefore, this reflects the situation that persisted with
3 regard to the abuse of safe areas.
4 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, having heard that Colonel Rutten
5 arrived in Srebrenica only in 1995, we can't say this relates to his
6 credibility. We'll not admit this.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 JUDGE KWON: If it is convenient, we'll take a break now.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Excellency, I kindly ask you
10 to reconsider the issue of time allocated to me. I would like to have
11 more time because there are quite a few paragraphs here that can be
13 JUDGE KWON: You have to focus on important issues. Still you
14 have more than an hour. I think that may be sufficient for you. We'll
15 take a break for 25 minutes and resume at ten to 6.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 5.26 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 5.54 p.m.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic, please continue.
19 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Rutten, I must show you quickly a number of documents that
21 might refresh your memory with regard to the events that took place
22 whilst you were there.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have 1D04699.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Is it true that the Muslim forces in Srebrenica were very hostile
1 towards you, they used to stop you, to restrict your movement, et cetera;
2 is that correct?
3 A. We never had directly problems with the Muslims in the enclave,
4 so what you're stating is, to me, not correct in the period I was there.
5 Q. Can we please have the English translation of 4699 or can it be
6 shown in some other way? Perhaps to put it on ELMO. This document is
7 dated the 28th of January, 1995, when you were there and it says that
8 your movement is restricted in the general area of Suceska and Podgaj.
9 It also says here that the commander of the DutchBat in Srebrenica order
10 his patrols to enter the area which was off limits for movement.
11 Therefore, is it true that there were areas to which you were denied
13 A. This is known to me because this was a period in January where
14 there were some problems with the BiH commander in that area. And
15 finally it resolved sometime later in January 1995, yes.
16 Q. Thank you. But did you have access to the Bandera triangle?
17 A. That was the triangle near OP Alpha. That was -- that we had
18 some restriction in movement for a short period of time.
19 Q. Are you trying to say that you had free access everywhere around
20 the enclave?
21 A. Yes, we had free access, except this -- what happened in early
22 January 1995 because it was shortly after we were -- we were in command
23 of the enclave because the former battalion had left, and shortly
24 afterwards they more or less tested us whether -- how we would react if
25 they would restrict our freedom of movement.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can this document be admitted into
4 JUDGE KWON: Which is the original? Do you have any idea,
5 Ms. West, as to --
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In e-court.
7 JUDGE KWON: The B/C/S version is a translation of English
8 version or the vice versa?
9 MS. WEST: Your Honour, I understand that this is in the system
10 and the B/C/S is the original.
11 JUDGE KWON: The B/C/S what -- that we are seeing now?
12 MS. WEST: Correct.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see the whole page because
14 there's a number at the top. This is the original. It's a telegram sent
15 by the 8th Operations Group, and we have a translation on the ELMO.
16 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
17 Yes, we'll admit it.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D1956, Your Honours.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Can we have now 1D04701 and we have the translation as well.
21 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Do you recall that the Serbian side had asked for Zepa to be
23 declared not a demilitarised zone because we were exposed to attacks
24 coming from it?
25 A. This is all about Zepa area, and I'm not familiar with this kind
1 of information, nor was I at that point, in 1995.
2 Q. But look at this order which pertains to the 8th
3 Operations Group, not only to Zepa, and under 2 or in paragraph 2 it says
4 that --
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters cannot find the particular
7 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Then there's a mention of helicopters, that they have to be
9 disguised, and in talks with UNPROFOR a position should be taken,
10 maintaining that the helicopters were used for the transportation of
11 political representatives of Srebrenica and Zepa, et cetera.
12 Don't you see that they have made a plan to conceal their
13 activities in the safe areas and that they successfully have hidden their
14 military involvement?
15 A. This is about the Zepa area. I'm not familiar with the things
16 that happened in the Srebrenica itself because it isn't mentioned in this
17 document specifically. They are speaking here about the
18 Ukrainian Battalion that was stationed in Zepa.
19 Q. With all due respect, Mr. Rutten, if you look at items 1, 2,
20 and 3, it refers to the entire 8th Operations Group and there is mention
21 of Srebrenica. It also says these units are going to be placed in
22 combat-readiness in order to act in co-ordination with Zepa and that that
23 should be kept secret. So this entirely refers to Srebrenica as well.
24 Under number 6 it says:
25 "The command of the 2nd Corps will carry out the preparatory
1 activities given in the Directive, in connection with the engagement of
2 forces in the direction towards the protected areas of Srebrenica and
4 Were you aware that right next to you military operations were
5 being carried out and that it particularly involved Srebrenica and Zepa?
6 In addition to that, do you know that for that reason the Serbian army
7 wanted this designation "demilitarised" to be removed? Here we have an
8 admission on the part of the BH army and a statement that they were
9 carrying out these activities as clandestine activities.
10 A. We had no possibility to see these documents, at least not to my
11 knowledge. And I think that they have succeeded in -- to keep it of --
12 to do this operation secretly because we weren't aware of that.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Rutten. I don't expect you to know the document.
14 I expect you to know about the event that it describes, but anyway I'm
15 happy with the answer.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I tender this?
17 JUDGE KWON: Before that.
18 Mr. -- Colonel Rutten, did you say that you were not there at the
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, I was not there and -- because I see this
21 document for the first time. We were not aware that these - that's these
22 activities - were happening.
23 JUDGE KWON: Just a second. This document is dated as
24 17th of February, 1995, and --
25 THE WITNESS: Yes -- sorry, sir, I was there, but I said also
1 they succeeded in -- to do this operation secretly because we as DutchBat
2 weren't aware of these activities.
3 JUDGE KWON: Very well.
4 Ms. West.
5 MS. WEST: No objection.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE KWON: That will be admitted.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1955, Your Honours.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now see 1D4704. I think
10 there is a translation.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Please look at this, Mr. Rutten. This is from 8 July, the
13 command of the 28th Division, or rather, the command of the 2nd Corps
14 writes about the combat performance of the units and commands of the
15 28th Division. And although encircled, it says they decided to
16 contribute to the maximum to the fight against the aggressor so they
17 increased their activities deep in the temporarily occupied territory.
18 Their purpose is to prevent enemy forces from sending additional troops
19 to the Sarajevo theatre of operations from the area around Srebrenica and
20 Zepa by causing losses, primarily human losses, which would force the
21 aggressor to tie-up troops in the wider area of Srebrenica and Zepa. And
22 then it says that their successful sabotage actions behind enemy lines
23 achieved the following: 60 Chetniks were liquidated and a lot of
24 materiel was seized, 16 automatic rifles, three light machine-guns,
25 et cetera:
1 "In the village of Visnjica, large quantities of ammunition was
2 seized, but the soldiers were so exhausted that they could not remove it,
3 so the ammunition was destroyed, as were all the facilities that the
4 aggressor could possibly use for military purposes."
5 Do you believe that such a weak and disorganised army can make
6 excursions behind the lines of the Serb army, burn down villages, seize
7 dozens of enemy soldiers, seize materiel, et cetera? Were you aware of
8 these operations? Is this this weak force you're talking about?
9 A. This document is new to me because it's -- it was not in our
10 possession during the period that I was in the enclave, and we were not
11 aware. I tried to explain you earlier that we only had our lines of
12 sight. We were poorly equipped and we had a very poor information
13 situation with UNPROFOR, so we were not aware what was happening next to
14 our lines of sight. You speak of a wider area around the enclave of
15 Srebrenica and Zepa. Our battalion had no information whatsoever on
16 these activities.
17 Q. Mr. Rutten, these are forces that went out of the protected area,
18 killed people, burned down all the buildings that the army could possibly
19 use, and when it says "buildings" it means houses; and they were doing
20 that in co-ordinated action with the 1st Corps in Sarajevo -- it doesn't
21 say explicitly the 1st Corps, but we know what it means, so that Serbs
22 could not send their soldiers to the area of Sarajevo. And the last
23 lines say: Use this information only for internal information to the
24 commands and units of the 1st Corps of the Army of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina, that means it was to be kept from you and it was kept from
2 I'm trying to say, Mr. Rutten, that your positions and your
3 statements are not based on facts. I'm not criticising you or blaming
4 you, but the fact is that this did happen on the 8th of July, as recorded
5 by this document of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those are the
6 forces, Muslim forces, that went out of the protected area and launched
7 attacks; correct?
8 MS. WEST: Objection, Your Honour. What we see are several lines
9 of the accused just making a statement. And the only question at the end
10 is: Is my statement correct? I don't see this as a legitimate question
11 to the witness and it should be excluded.
12 MR. ROBINSON: Well, Mr. President, I disagree. You can ask --
13 you can put an assertion and ask a witness: Isn't that correct? We're
14 taught to do that in cross-examination. That's what even Judge Morrison,
15 I think, has been suggesting to Dr. Karadzic to make his question more
17 JUDGE KWON: Ms. West, could you expand on --
18 MS. WEST: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
19 This is not only just an assertion, but this is more in lines of
20 a closing argument and the defendant is just looking for the witness --
21 to make his closing argument and whether the witness says "yes" or "no,"
22 I would submit, is not his reason for the question.
23 JUDGE KWON: Yes, there are some points which are rather
24 argumentative in your question, Mr. Karadzic. While I see the point of
25 putting your case, I think you could have been a bit simpler. But can I
1 ask whether you can answer the question, though?
2 THE WITNESS: This -- the problem is that if any army or group of
3 people who want to do secretly actions and they do it during the night in
4 a very big area, in fact, where only less than 400 UN personnel, infantry
5 personnel I mean, are available to guard this total enclave in a
6 mountainous area, it's simply not possible to guard such an area and that
7 was also stated at the moment we came into the enclave, that we had too
8 less troops to not only safe-guard the Muslim people, but also to have a
9 good situation on the ground itself. So this is -- this is giving
10 someone a job that he -- with no equipment and no personnel enough to do
11 this job properly. This -- that is what you see right here.
12 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, Mr. Karadzic --
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm not disputing that. I'm just
14 going to make it simpler, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE KWON: -- you heard the witness's answer to the effect that
16 he did not know the whole situation. This -- I don't see any point of
17 your keeping asking similar questions. Your time is limited. I think
18 it's time to come to the real issues about the refugees, separation of
19 male, and the nine bodies, et cetera. There are many important issues
20 you can focus.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will move to that
23 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Let me just simplify my question. Mr. Rutten, if you had seen
25 that action and if you had known what they were doing, would your
1 conclusion about their force and capabilities have remained the same as
2 recorded in the statement?
3 A. No, it would not have been the same.
4 Q. Thank you. If I have enough time at the end I'll come back to
5 this subject, but now I have to move as quickly as possible to this
6 event, the month of July. You described your meetings with the civilian
7 leadership of Srebrenica. Did you also meet with the military leadership
8 and were you quite clear about who was the chief there, who was the
9 commander, who the deputies were?
10 A. We had an overall picture of -- at least we had on the northern
11 part of the enclave.
12 Q. Does that mean I should ask you only about the northern part of
13 the enclave?
14 A. Yes, because my company was -- that was the area of
15 responsibility of the Charlie Company.
16 Q. Thank you. What's the name of that locality where you were? Is
17 it Suceska? What is the name of the broader area?
18 A. I don't know what you exactly mean right now.
19 Q. Which Muslim brigade covered that area where you worked as its
20 own area of responsibility?
21 A. I'm not exactly -- it's not exactly in my recollection right now.
22 Q. Did you meet with the commander of that brigade?
23 A. No. Only the second in command, Sabanovic.
24 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat the name.
25 THE WITNESS: Sabanovic.
1 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Thank you.
3 I have to move quickly now but you know your statement well,
4 don't you. At that time you saw some Dutchmen helping the evacuation of
5 refugees and then you assaulted Serb soldiers, you said it was
6 inappropriate, et cetera, and that was in the presence of Mr. van Duijn.
7 A. I never assaulted Serb soldiers. I don't see where you read
9 Q. Well, you perhaps didn't assault them, but you protested with
10 them, you said it was inappropriate, you expressed your disagreement.
11 A. No, Mr. Karadzic, it's not perhaps. I never assaulted a Serb
12 soldier, so let's be clear about that. I protested not to the Serb
13 soldier because that so-called Mr. Mana [phoen], who was near
14 Mr. van Duijn - it was a nickname, Mr. Mana - was not in the conversation
15 with me and Mr. van Duijn. I had a conversation with a fellow lieutenant
16 and he was intervening. That was the situation on the ground.
17 Q. Very well. Perhaps I was not precise enough. In any case, you
18 had a dispute with Mr. van Duijn about whether it was a good idea for the
19 Dutch Battalion to be involved in that; correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Do you know why Mr. van Duijn had a different opinion? Or to put
22 it differently, do you know what the United Nations demanded from us as
23 far as the refugees are concerned?
24 A. Not at that point. Later on I saw some documents -- I saw a very
25 new document to me in the case Tolimir, but at that point I wasn't aware
1 of the documents from the United Nations. Mr. van Duijn and I had a
2 different opinion on the role of the UN at that very point.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we briefly look at D1039.
4 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. You did not participate in negotiations at the level of Akashi,
6 Karadzic, Mladic. You came and expressed your opinion without knowing
7 anything that preceded these actions?
8 A. No. I was -- Lieutenant van Duijn was involved in the
9 negotiations at the level of Akashi, Karadzic and Mladic. It was the
10 situation what we had on the ground and he was trying to help the
11 refugees to get quickly out of the enclave. And to me it was that the
12 situation that we more or less helped with the transportation, or rather,
13 deportation of the Muslim population out of the enclave. And that was
14 what we knew at the ground at that point. We were not aware of the
15 document that has been shown here on the computer.
16 Q. Thank you. In that case your qualification of that evacuation
17 would not be accurate, absent this information? In other words, if you
18 had known what Mr. Akashi was demanding from us, you would not have
19 called the evacuation what you called it?
20 A. I'm arguing that because Mr. Akashi - and I'm not questioning
21 Mr. Akashi's documents -- but he had no clear view on what was really
22 happening on the ground on the activities of the VRS army. And that was
23 something completely different from what was told in the negotiations to
24 Mr. Akashi. And earlier I stated about the distribution of bread and
25 water and candy to the children, that also gives a different situation
1 than what -- than what --
2 Q. We'll come to that --
3 A. Please let me conclude my answer. That gives also a completely
4 different situation -- view on the situation on the ground. So that is
5 what was different.
6 Q. Please look at the passage relating to Dutch troops number 2.(a),
7 where it says Dutch troops will be ordered to do so and so. Did you
8 receive these orders?
9 A. I never received these -- those orders, no.
10 Q. Did anyone else receive orders? Was Mr. Akashi the supreme
11 commander, the civilian head of your army, the army of United Nations?
12 A. Yes. I'm not questioning the authority of Mr. Akashi. What I
13 was -- what I'm trying to say is that we were not aware in the early days
14 of July what was happening and what was stated here in the document.
15 That came later on, probably to my commander, but I wasn't aware of this
17 Q. That means you were not well-positioned to make any comments
18 about the evacuation of the refugees. You should have left it to
19 Mr. Franken and Mr. Karremans, who did have this document.
20 MS. WEST: Mr. President, if I can just note, there's no evidence
21 that Franken or Karremans had this document.
22 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Karadzic, move on to your next question.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] All right.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. We've established that you, Mr. Rutten, were not at the top of
1 the chain of command in order to receive documents like this; right?
2 A. I think you're right.
3 Q. Thank you. Do you know that the Muslim army asked the
4 United Nations to talk us into evacuating the entire population of
6 A. No, I was not aware of that.
7 Q. It was never mentioned at your briefings, was it?
8 A. This is the first time I hear about it.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we see the next page.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Let's look at the second paragraph:
13 [In English] "Following consultations with the Bosnian
14 government, and in order to avoid a continuing humanitarian catastrophe,
15 agreement will be solicited from the Bosnian Serbs to allow all residents
16 of Srebrenica, including all men, to leave for Tuzla if they so wish."
17 [Interpretation] You did not know about this, did you?
18 A. No, I was not aware about this.
19 Q. And the next.
20 [In English] "The Dutch will be instructed to remain in the
21 Srebrenica enclave at least until arrangements have been negotiated and
22 finalised with Bosnian Serb authorities for the departure from the
23 enclave of those people."
24 [Interpretation] You did not know that those were your orders;
1 A. I was not aware of that, no.
2 Q. Did you attend two meetings, there was one meeting on the 11th
3 and another on the 12th, between Mladic and your representatives as well
4 as the representatives of the Muslims at the Fontana Hotel? Were you
6 A. No.
7 Q. And did you hear that on the 12th Mladic stated that he had no
8 buses and he asked the United Nations to provide them?
9 A. At that point in 1995 I was not aware of this information.
10 Q. You found out later?
11 A. Yeah, we heard about it. Years later we heard about all these
12 happenings, but not -- not in the sequence that you are telling right
14 Q. And do you recall that Mladic had not even prepared the fuel and
15 that he asked for you, the UN, to provide fuel for the evacuation?
16 MS. WEST: Mr. President, if I can just intervene here. The
17 witness has indicated that he did not attend those first two meetings,
18 but nonetheless Dr. Karadzic asked him a question about the meetings. He
19 said he wasn't aware, and now he's asking further questions. I would
20 like to clarify if these are statements made by Mladic at those two
21 meetings and if they are, this witness is not in a position to answer
23 JUDGE KWON: Agreed.
24 Mr. Karadzic, your time is limited. Please move on.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that these questions are
1 legitimate because they have to do with the unit, the one that this
2 officer belonged to. All right. We'll move on.
3 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Rutten, who brought the civilians to Potocari?
5 A. Mostly the civilians were forced to walk up to Potocari, and our
6 battalion tried to help the people who were not able to walk up to
7 Potocari. And the force that came from the VRS army who was pressing
8 from the south part of the enclave up to the northern part and the people
9 tried to save themselves from the hostile fire of the VRS army.
10 Q. So when you say "forced," was it the developments themselves that
11 forced them to act in this way or did someone come and tell them they
12 should go to Potocari? Who was it, if so. And did they arrive in
13 Potocari considerably before the Serbs entered Srebrenica?
14 A. The Serbs had already or at least the VRS army had already
15 entered the enclave in the southern part some days earlier by overrun
16 OP Echo. So, in fact, they were in UN territory. Later on there came
17 heavily fire in the southern part, also to our blocking, to the UN
18 blocking positions, and at a certain point to the city of Srebrenica. At
19 that point, the civilians in the town of Srebrenica had to leave the
20 town. At that point, we gave the order, at least the battalion gave the
21 order, to get as much support to the civilian population and the refugees
22 of Srebrenica to safe hold them near Potocari.
23 Q. Do you know, Mr. Rutten, that the civilian authorities informed
24 the citizens and told them to go to Potocari considerably before the Serb
25 army got close to these villages and significantly before the Serb army
1 entered Srebrenica, the town itself?
2 A. That seems very reasonable that the Muslim authorities did that
3 because of the happenings in the other parts of former Yugoslavia. That
4 was the experience they worked on because the VRS army didn't go very
5 softly on the Muslim population.
6 Q. That's not what I'm asking you, Mr. Rutten. I'm asking you
7 whether you know that this was ordered by the civilian authorities. Your
8 expansion is not well-intentioned and it is partial at that. So you
9 accept that this could have been done by the civilian authorities, that
10 it was ordered by the civilian authorities who did the right thing by
11 doing that; right?
12 A. It's not only what I knew at that time, what the civilian
13 authorities ordered, but also at this point. If you saying that I am
14 partial, that is an estimation from your side and I would like to leave
15 it to that. The only thing that I have to say is if you are in a
16 civilian governance of saving your own people by an army who is coming
17 up, then as early as possible you have to safe hold your civilians or
18 your refugees. And that is, in my opinion, what they did.
19 Q. Thank you. As regards your differences with Mr. van Duijn, did
20 you know -- actually, you say here that -- let's just find where you said
21 this. You actually called it something very unpleasant, the word that
22 you used for this evacuation. Did you know what the position of the
23 Muslim leadership was vis-a-vis the evacuation?
24 A. What's your exact question? I don't understand your question.
25 Q. You and your colleague had different views with regard to the
1 evacuation. Did you know whether the Muslim civilian authorities would
2 have agreed with you or with your colleague? Did you know what their
3 position was?
4 A. That's not of any interest to me because I have my own
5 responsibility as a member of the UN forces on the ground.
6 Q. Well, this opposition to evacuation, was that part of your duty?
7 A. I already gave you an answer.
8 Q. You say that you saw nine persons killed. Did you see the
9 killing itself?
10 A. No, we didn't see the killing itself. Shortly afterwards we came
11 to the site where the people were killed.
12 Q. And how do you know where they had been killed?
13 A. We could see at the point where they were lying that they hadn't
14 been moved since they were shot.
15 Q. Well, you saw it just like that. But do you know that it is
16 necessary to conduct an investigation in order to reach such a
17 conclusion? Did you carry out an on-site investigation with regard to
18 these killings?
19 A. There was no marks of transporting these people. They were shot
20 at that -- at that point and they hadn't been moved. We had no time to
21 carry out an on-site investigation because shortly after I had made some
22 pictures we were shot at by the VRS army.
23 Q. Well, that's what I'm asking you, Mr. Rutten. In order to
24 present this before a court of law, that people had been killed on that
25 site, that had to be subjected to an on-site investigation. Is that what
1 you did or did you rely on your own impression?
2 A. The short period of time that we had on this specific spot, we
3 had to rely on our own impression. And we were with two other colleagues
4 and they had the same impression as I had.
5 Q. Thank you. You took documents and when some Serb soldiers got
6 close to you, you ordered to have these documents thrown away; right?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Why?
9 A. We were, in fact, after the blocking positions, so if we had to
10 go back through the blocking positions and through the lines where the
11 VRS military personnel were around, they could discover then what we have
12 been doing.
13 Q. Aha. Thank you. So you didn't want to have the documents found
14 on you. Now I'm going to ask you about the documents that belonged to
15 the prisoners. I'm saying that it was not in the interest of the Serb
16 army for the documents not to be associated with a particular person.
17 The interest in getting rid of the documents was the interest of those
18 prisoners who could have expected an investigation. Did you find out who
19 it was that got rid of their documents?
20 A. If you referring to the documents that were piled up in front of
21 the white house, I expect?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. In earlier case, in the Tolimir case, I explained extensively how
24 we work in the military when we want to discover whether civilians are
25 military personnel or not. We do that according to the
1 Geneva Convention, and we save all documents belonging to the people that
2 we detain. In this specific case in front of the white house all
3 civilians were forced to leave their belongings and to get rid of their
4 documents, and that documents are passports, working permits, and so on.
5 So there was no reason for that to get rid of these documents. The only
6 reason I can imagine is that you don't want any identification of the
7 personnel you are detaining.
8 Q. Well, Mr. Rutten, were we not interested in having them
9 identified, whereas they were not interested in being identified. So
10 it's actually the other way around. The investigation organs want to
11 have them identified and the possible perpetrator is trying to get rid of
12 his documents so that he could not be identified. Did you see who it was
13 that was throwing documents away?
14 A. VRS military was standing in front of the white house, forcing
15 with weapons, pointing with weapons, that they had to get rid of their
16 ID, I mean Muslim civilians, also youngsters, boys from aged 12 years
17 old. And then they were held in the house and later on transported. So
18 I don't think that this is the other way around. VRS was clearly
19 undertaking an operation that is not accordingly to the
20 Geneva Convention.
21 Q. Did you see them taking their documents from them and throwing
22 them away? Did you see that with your very own eyes?
23 A. I saw with my very own eyes that VRS military pointed at
24 person -- at civilians with their weapons that they had to get rid of
25 their personal belongings and their IDs. That is what I saw,
1 Mr. Karadzic.
2 Q. However, your description was that by the time you arrived there
3 the IDs were already on a pile; right?
4 A. I was on several occasions outside and inside the white house.
5 These pile of IDs and belongings grow -- was growing every time I was
6 around, and the next day the whole pile was burning. So there was no
7 reason to take these IDs from these civilians.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have a look at 65 ter 19458.
9 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you know, Mr. Rutten, that the Serb military intelligence had
11 a list of almost 400 persons -- actually, 387 war criminals who had
12 committed specific crimes against Serb civilians. They were members of
13 the 28th Division. Did you know that?
14 A. I was not aware of this list in 1995.
15 Q. Please take a look at the list and look at the last page, and you
16 will see that this was compiled on the 12th of July, 1995, and here you
17 can see that the assumption is that they are still in Srebrenica. Do you
18 agree that many had left through the forest. You, yourself, saw them
19 parting with their families; right?
20 A. One night earlier I was aware of the fact that large quantities
21 of Muslim men, some with family, left the enclave. It is under the
22 assumption then that these people were still around the Muslim population
23 who was still in the enclave and was transported or deported by the VRS
24 army then. It was not to my knowledge then that these people were under
25 the population that was left in the enclave.
1 Q. So far, Mr. Rutten, you've never said that Serbs used weapons to
2 take IDs away from Muslim prisoners. You never said that, not a single
3 time. This is the first time you're saying it. So you saw this thrown
4 onto a pile and you think that you saw this being set on fire, but so far
5 you have not said that the IDs were taken away by having weapons used;
7 A. The VRS military was carrying weapons in front of their chests,
8 so they don't have to point whether they were saying that to the
9 civilians and they did not did that at gunpoint. That wasn't necessary
10 because all these -- the total population was in total fear. And then
11 there is something you are saying that this is the first time that I said
12 that it was being set on fire. I even gave to this Court a picture that
13 I made myself of the pile burning, and that picture I made from out of
14 the enclave you could see the pile burning in front of the white house.
15 So I think there is enough said on this point.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have this image
17 displayed. I think that we know what the number is. 65 ter 2733.
18 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. In the meantime, let me ask you, Mr. Rutten, is it correct that
20 Muslim detainees were not only getting rid of their documents but also
21 their money and everything else so that the Serbs would not find them?
22 MS. WEST: Your Honour, I just intervene here that the way this
23 is said:
24 "Is it correct that Muslim detainees were not only getting rid of
25 their documents but also their money ..."
1 That would suggest that these detainees are themselves
2 jettisoning their IDs on their own volition, and that's not been the
3 evidence. The evidence is that they were forced to give up their IDs as
4 they were coming up to the house because the Serbian soldiers were making
6 JUDGE KWON: Was he referring to the evidence in formulating his
7 question, Ms. West?
8 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I can be corrected on that if that's
9 not the case.
10 JUDGE KWON: Let us proceed.
11 Can you answer the question, Colonel Rutten?
12 THE WITNESS: The only thing I witnessed in getting rid of the
13 money was that one moment I was around with the sergeant-major. Some VRS
14 personnel were standing under the staircase asking for money and they
15 stopped giving money the moment we arrived. That was the only time that
16 I saw something happening with money.
17 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Did you know that the Muslims themselves were trying to get rid
19 of their money so that it would not fall into Serb hands?
20 A. That is a statement from your side. I'm not aware of that, as I
21 stated earlier.
22 Q. Well, take a look at what you said in your statement.
23 [In English] Royal Netherlands Srebrenica debriefing.
24 [Interpretation] This interview was conducted on the
25 6th of September, 1995. ERN number is 013889 up until 883 on page 11.
1 You said that they had informed you from the 108th - I don't know what
2 this 108th is - that the Muslims had offered them money but that they
3 would not take it because they wanted -- or actually did not want that
4 money to fall into Serb hands. Is that what you stated?
5 A. One on the date were two soldiers from the commando company,
6 commando platoon, in fact, that were around the house, they informed me
7 about that, that's right. But they hadn't accept the money from the
9 Q. That's what you state and that they didn't take it. They
10 wouldn't accept it, but the Muslims did want to get rid of the money;
11 whereas you believed that they did not want to get rid of the documents
12 that could identify them and expose them to danger if they are on the
13 list; right?
14 A. Now you are connecting getting rid of the money not by force
15 together with get rid of your documents by force, and force does not
16 always mean force by hand but just being around as the VRS and then in
17 control of the total area and in control of the deportation. The people
18 were in total fear this, so they weren't -- they themselves don't want to
19 get rid of them -- of the documents they were giving the order to get rid
20 of the documents. That's something different.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we have that picture returned,
23 2733, that's the one.
24 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Rutten, they didn't want the Serbs to take Srebrenica either,
1 but that happened nevertheless. Did you see that anyone was frightened
2 in those images that were displayed during your direct examination?
3 A. I don't -- I don't understand your question. Is it what you mean
4 what happened in the white house or what do you mean?
5 Q. What we saw. The people who are receiving bread and who are
6 discussing things with Serb soldiers, did you see any fear there or was
7 this just normal behaviour?
8 A. These people hadn't been fed for days, so they were gladly
9 accepting anything. Where I saw total fear along the bus line, where
10 people were forced into buses, I saw total fear in the white house, where
11 I took pictures of all the men and very young men, even youngsters.
12 Q. This is the photograph, and you claim that it's documents that
13 are on fire here; right?
14 A. Yes. I had to take this picture from some distance because near
15 the gate itself it wasn't very appropriate to take that picture, but I
16 saw that the pile that was burning over there was the pile of documents.
17 Q. Is there a date anywhere, a date for this photograph, and did you
18 see who it was that set this pile on fire?
19 A. This happened in the day after the 13th, after the -- most of the
20 Serbs had left already. And this pile was already burning during the
21 night, and during the day I made this picture.
22 Q. Did you see who had set it on fire?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Since today was the first time that you expanded your accusations
25 levelled against the Serbs - I hope that the Trial Chamber will give me
1 more time tomorrow - is it possible that as time goes by you keep making
2 stronger accusations against the Serbs? What is this affected by, the
3 media furor and everything that is happening in courts?
4 A. In all my earlier statements are the words that I already used.
5 If you see all my statements since 1995 you see a strong line of what I
6 earlier stated. These lines are consistent and are being given to
7 different hearings in the Netherlands and abroad. So this is the only
8 answer I can give to you on your estimation on what I'm just right saying
9 on the VRS military personnel.
10 Q. Did you see the Serbs commit any war crime?
11 A. I don't know what you specifically aim at at this point, because
12 you are quitely broadly and generally speaking about war crimes.
13 Q. Did you at that time see with your very own eyes the Serbs
14 committing any war crime?
15 A. I was around in the white house where I saw a man - and I'll just
16 give you one simple example - who was hanging on the staircase at one
17 arm. I asked the VRS soldier to lower that man. It was a civilian to my
18 eyes, at least he was in civilian clothes, and there was no real reason
19 to keep him there. I saw also very young people in custody in the white
20 house. These were boys from 12 till 15 years old, all in civilian
21 clothes. So I don't see why an army is keeping civilian personnel into
22 custody and transport them with buses out of the enclave to an uncertain
24 Q. And do you know that right now in Sarajevo there is a protest
25 taking place by the persons who were minors then and were soldiers,
1 nevertheless, and had not received compensations? Do you know that it is
2 precisely today and yesterday that the former 14- and 15-year-olds are
3 protesting in Sarajevo and they were fighters at the time, 15 and 14
4 years old?
5 MS. WEST: Objection.
6 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
7 MS. WEST: Relevance.
8 JUDGE KWON: Absolutely.
9 Mr. Karadzic, your time is up. And the Chamber is not minded to
10 give you extra time. Further, separate from the fact, I was advised just
11 now that the witness would not be available tomorrow.
12 Is that information correct?
13 THE WITNESS: That is correct, Your Honour.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Then I might put a last question
16 JUDGE KWON: I would allow you to continue till ten past with the
17 indulgence of the staff.
18 Yes, Mr. Tieger.
19 MR. TIEGER: I was going to leave it to Ms. West, but I was a
20 little quicker on my feet. I think she may -- would be requesting at
21 least a modicum of time for re-direct. I suppose no more than -- well,
22 I'll let her speak on that issue.
23 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President. I would need only five
25 JUDGE KWON: No, the -- that also relates to the UNDU. There's
1 some certain time Mr. Karadzic to be there, the dead-line, and the -- we
2 cannot go over past ten minutes. So if you could divide into two
3 minutes, two and a half minutes, let's do that.
4 Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Can we have a look at 65 ter 19717.
7 JUDGE KWON: Just for information, the picture is one of the
8 associated exhibits dealt with in his amalgamated statement.
9 THE REGISTRAR: It's Exhibit P3961, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
11 MR. KARADZIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Did you give this interview to the Dutch parliamentary group --
13 sorry, I guess the number is not the right one. This is not the
14 document. 65 ter 19717. In 2002 did you talk to a Dutch parliamentary
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. I am going to read this to you now while we're waiting for it.
18 Mr. Koenders asked you:
19 [In English] "Did you observe any violation of human rights
20 committed in the compound by Bosnian Serbs.
21 "Mr. Rutten: No."
22 [Interpretation] And then further on -- I think this is it, this
23 is the document. Can we look at the next page now.
24 Do you remember this conversation?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Further on -- well, I guess it's the next page then, the next one
3 Did you say there that you had not seen -- at that location you
4 say the president is ask you.
5 [In English] "But you, yourself, did not see war crimes committed
6 at that location"?
7 A. It's speaking about inside the compound, inside our area, inside
8 our camp. So I think you're a little bit off line here because this is
9 what I stated then and it's right and it has nothing to do what I earlier
10 stated in this statement just right now here.
11 Q. [Interpretation] Talking about bus depot as well, you're not only
12 talking about the compound. You are talking about a broader area. Is
13 that right? I simply cannot find the page but this is what you say.
14 [In English] [As read] "The Potocari compound was a section in
15 which the UN was housed as well as the remains of the battalion. The bus
16 depot was to the south of this. Obviously things were going on there.
17 We did try to prevent some of this happening, but I personally did not
18 see any direct violation of human rights, only threats."
19 A. Again, this is right because this is speaking about the bus
20 remise or where the bus -- former bus station and not about other areas
21 where I was during the last days of the enclave -- before the fall of the
22 enclave. So there is nothing in conflict in between the statement right
23 here and what I did in front of the hearing committee in the Netherlands.
24 MS. WEST: Mr. President, I'm sorry to interrupt. I just don't
25 want to lose my time.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'd like to tender this
2 page, or rather -- or rather, these paragraphs if not the entire
4 JUDGE KWON: Very well. There --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We'll find the page and we'll let
6 you know which page it is. I'm done. Thank you.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes. That will be admitted.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D1954. And just to correct the
9 record, Your Honours, previously 1D4880 was assigned MFI D1951, it
10 should, in fact, be MFI D1952. Thank you.
11 JUDGE KWON: And list of war criminals can be admitted.
12 Ms. West.
13 MS. WEST: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE KWON: We will give the number then.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D1957, Your Honours.
16 MS. WEST: Thank you.
17 Re-examination by Ms. West:
18 Q. Colonel, on line 50 of today's transcript, the accused asked you
19 about your Krstic testimony in which you talked about the type of
20 ammunition -- excuse me, the type of munitions that the BH army had. He
21 did not ask you about the ammunition that the BH army had which was in
22 your Krstic testimony. Can you tell us how much ammunition the BH army
24 A. Yeah, it was very scarce what they had, at least what they told
25 me and what we saw from them. So there wasn't much around. Now -- and
1 the main part of what they had, at least what they said to us and what we
2 find out, was that they had been given into our weapons collections
4 Q. Also in today's transcript, page 90, when you were talking about
5 the photo of the burning IDs, line 10, you said:
6 "This happened in the day after the 13th, after most of the Serbs
7 had left already."
8 Did you mean Serbs or Muslims?
9 A. Muslims had left already.
10 Q. Thank you. And we're going to call up D1039 on Sanction. This
11 is a document that Mr. Karadzic showed you. It's dated July 11th, 1995.
12 If you look at the first page, you had indicated that at the time,
13 whatever this said, this was not what was going on on the ground and he
14 read to you a portion of this document. I'll just note it's July 11th
15 and the stamp indicates that it was received at 2200 hours, so it's late
16 in the night. Number 1:
17 "The purpose of this message is to inform you of plans I am
18 making to deal with the situation in Srebrenica ..."
19 And then if we go to page 2, which is section (b) you were asked
20 about this section as well. And I'll read it out for the record. This
22 "Following consultations with the Bosnian government and in order
23 to avoid a continuing humanitarian catastrophe, agreement will be
24 solicited from the Bosnian Serbs to allow all residents of Srebrenica,
25 including all men, to leave for Tuzla if they so wish."
1 Colonel, you were on the ground as this was going on that night
2 and the following day, is this what was happening on the ground, were all
3 residents of Srebrenica, including all men, allowed to leave for Tuzla if
4 they wished?
5 A. No.
6 Q. What was happening on the ground?
7 A. On the ground men were separated and by portions in buses leaving
8 from the white house out of the enclave through OP Papa.
9 Q. And just page 3, the bottom of page 3 of this document, it says,
10 "Actions from the Security Council." And this is what Akashi is
11 requesting from the Security Council. When you go to 4(e), which is --
12 apologies, but this is the last page, 4(e) says:
13 "All those wishing to leave Srebrenica for Tuzla must be allowed
14 to do so under UNHCR care."
15 Now, this is something Akashi was asking for. Did this ever come
16 to fruition?
17 A. No.
18 MS. WEST: I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE KWON: Well, that concludes your evidence, Colonel Rutten.
20 Thank you on behalf of the Chamber and the Tribunal for your coming again
21 to the Tribunal.
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
23 JUDGE KWON: You are free to go and have a safe journey back to
24 your place.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE KWON: We will resume 9.00 tomorrow. I thank all the staff
2 for their indulgence.
3 [The witness withdrew]
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.13 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day of
6 November, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.