1 Tuesday, 21 March 2000
2 [Closed session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.38 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court].
13 pages 878-944 redacted - closed session
20 --- Recess taken at 12.05 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 12.24 p.m.
22 [Open session]
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I can see
24 that Mr. Cayley is about to take the floor.
25 MR. CAYLEY: I'm getting no sound at all, so
1 I will change headsets. I think that's fine. My
2 apology for that.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Is it okay
5 MR. CAYLEY: It's perfect. Thank you,
6 Mr. President. With your permission, if I could call
7 the Prosecutor's next witness, which is Mr. Nesib
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Could the
11 usher please help the witness with the headphones.
12 Can you hear me, Mr. Mandzic?
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You're now
15 going to read the solemn declaration, please.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I, Nesib
17 Mandzic, solemnly declare that I will speak the truth,
18 the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: NESIB MANDZIC
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may sit
22 down, Mr. Mandzic. Thank you. Are you comfortable,
23 Mr. Mandzic?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could I have
25 translation into Bosnian, please.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] But you
2 understand French; is that the case?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Could the
5 usher please check the channel.
6 Can you hear me in your language now?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, I
8 understand now.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well,
10 then. Thank you very much for coming here,
11 Mr. Mandzic. First of all, you are going to answer
12 questions put to you by Mr. Cayley, who is representing
13 the Prosecution.
14 Mr. Cayley, you have the floor.
15 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Examined by Mr. Cayley:
17 Q. Now, Mr. Mandzic, I think you were born on
18 the 12th of November, 1962; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. And I think by profession you're a
21 schoolmaster; is that correct?
22 A. Well, by profession I'm an electrical
23 engineer, but prior to the war I used to work in a
24 secondary school as a teacher in Srebrenica, and also
25 during the war I stayed in the same school, the
1 secondary school in Srebrenica, for a year and a half.
2 Q. And I think at the time of the events with
3 which this court is interested, in July of 1995, you
4 were the head teacher at that school in Srebrenica.
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Until January of 1993 you were a member of
7 the Territorial Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in January of 1993 I think you left the
11 Territorial Defence.
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. And you are a Muslim by faith?
14 A. Yes. I'm a Bosniak by nationality.
15 Q. Yes. What is your present position within
16 the municipal government in Srebrenica?
17 A. At present I'm the president of the
18 Srebrenica municipality. After the legal -- in
19 accordance with the results of the legal elections that
20 took place in 1997.
21 Q. I want to now take you back to July of 1995,
22 and it's important, as we've already discussed, that
23 you, in response to my questions, you tell the Judges
24 exactly what you heard and saw at the time, how you
25 felt about things, and your perceptions about the
1 feelings about the population in Srebrenica while these
2 events in July of 1995 were taking place. Let us go to
3 the 8th of July, 1995. Where were you on that day?
4 A. On that day, the 8th of July, 1995, I was in
5 Srebrenica, in the central area of the town, in the
6 Petrica Street. This is actually where I lived as a
7 refugee for more than three years.
8 Q. Now, on that day, can you tell the Judges
9 what you saw taking place?
10 A. On the 8th of July, 1995, late in the
11 afternoon I saw columns of people, columns of refugees
12 who had fled a temporary settlement, a temporary
13 shelter that was conducted by the Swedish government in
14 the place called Slapovici. The place was attacked by
15 the artillery of the Serb forces as well as the
16 infantry, and was exposed to an aggression by foot
17 soldiers who entered the said village. They started,
18 according to what those people had said, they started
19 burning down the houses, that is, the temporary shelter
20 that they were using at the time.
21 So on that day in the afternoon, in the
22 street where I used to live, I saw thousands of
23 displaced people who were terrified. There were quite
24 a few elderly people, very weak people, lots of women
25 with small children who were crying. They were in a
1 state of shock. They were looking for some kind of
2 accommodation, some food, clothes, and so on, but that
3 could not be found in Srebrenica in those days, nor
4 could it be found before that, in the previous months.
5 I have to stress that on that day, although a
6 number of columns of refugees were pouring in, the
7 artillery fire of the Serb army never stopped. Shells
8 were falling in the town area, including the places
9 where the refugees were staying, looking for some
10 accommodation that could not be provided.
11 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown
12 Exhibit 4A, Mr. Dubuisson.
13 Q. These individuals, Mr. Mandzic, were they
14 residents originally from the area where the Swedish
15 Housing Project was located or were they from other
16 parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Mr. Mandzic, if you could
17 answer that question first.
18 A. Yes. These people were mostly refugees,
19 displaced persons who, due to aggressive actions of the
20 Serb army, had been expelled from their homes in 1992
21 and 1993. By a decision of a Swedish government in
22 1993, some kind of temporary accommodation, a camp, was
23 built for that particular group of refugees.
24 They had come from a number of
25 municipalities, Srebrenica, Bratunac, Vlasenica, and so
1 on. However, the majority of the people who were
2 temporarily accommodated in that housing project were
3 from the area of the Srebrenica municipality, from the
4 inhabited areas that were exposed to the actions of the
5 Serb army units.
6 As a result of those operations, the
7 population was expelled. A number of people had also
8 died in those operations but quite a few of them,
9 therefore, found themselves in Srebrenica.
10 At the beginning of 1993, they were all
11 staying in this shelter project in the village of
13 Q. Could you point to the village of Slapovici
14 on the map in front of you?
15 A. Here it is in the upper left corner
17 MR. CAYLEY: Could the exhibit be moved up.
18 I see. And let the record show that the witness is
19 pointing to the bottom left-hand square where it says
20 Slapovici. That is Exhibit 4A.
21 Q. Thank you very much indeed. Let's now move,
22 Mr. Mandzic, to the 9th of the July. First of all,
23 could you look at the map that is behind you, and if
24 you could point to your location on the 9th of July in
25 Srebrenica. Just an approximation would be fine, so
1 the Judges can orient themselves as to where you were
2 on that day.
3 A. Yes. What I'm showing here [indicates] is
4 the town area of Srebrenica.
5 Q. Let the record show that the witness is
6 pointing to an area just below and to the right of
7 where it says "UN Bravo Company" on Prosecutor's
8 Exhibit 1E, and in particular where there is a very
9 sharp, hairpin bend in the road going into Srebrenica.
10 A. Yes. So this is the road leading up to
11 Bratunac, and it goes further down to Potocari,
12 Srebrenica, Zeleni Jadar, south-east, leading up to my
13 birthplace, the village of Skelani.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mandzic. Could you tell the
15 Judges what you saw taking place from your advantage
16 place on the 9th of July, 1995?
17 A. Aggressive activities of the Serb army
18 continued on the following date, that is, the 9th of
19 July, 1995. The military forces of the Serb army
20 entered the areas inhabited by the people I mentioned.
21 They started setting their houses on fire. As a result
22 of that, the population was forced to flee so as not to
23 end up in the hand of the soldiers of the aggressor.
24 The offensive of the Army of the Republika
25 Srpska continued and moved further to the town area of
2 On the following day, on the 9th of July,
3 units of the Army of the Republika Srpska continued
4 with their offensive and entered a number of Bosniak
5 villages such as Pusmulici, for example, Bajramovici.
6 These villages are situated less than a one-hour walk
7 from the centre of town.
8 This again complicated the humanitarian
9 situation in the town itself. All of these people
10 needed some kind of accommodation. They needed food,
11 medicines, all of which was impossible to obtain.
12 I personally was convinced, as well as the
13 majority of the population, that due to the fact that
14 Srebrenica had been declared by the United Nations a
15 safe area, that such aggressive acts and offensives of
16 the Republika Srpska army would be stopped and that the
17 humanitarian catastrophe would be prevented. What we
18 feared most was a massacre of the civilian population
19 and we hoped that this would be prevented.
20 Unfortunately, the acts of the Army of the Republika
21 Srpska continued, and in the late afternoon of the
22 9th of July, the situation was the same.
23 On the next day, the 10th of July, in the
24 evening, units of the Republika Srpska army approached
25 the town area from the south and south-east side.
1 May I show this on the map, please? This
2 would be the area in question [indicated], the area
3 south-east and south of the town. They came very close
4 to the town itself.
5 Q. [Previous translation continue] ...
6 Mr. Mandzic. Could you please demonstrate again where
7 the VRS was on the 10th of July, on that exhibit?
8 A. Yes, I can show you that. This grey line
9 here [indicated] marks, I believe, the area in
10 question, that is, the boundaries of the safe area.
11 Approximately one or two kilometres away from that,
12 depending on the features of the terrain, prior to the
13 6th of July, units of the Dutch Battalion had been
14 stationed. They were there as part of UNPROFOR
16 The offensive of the VRS was such that those
17 points had to be moved further on. The Dutch troops
18 had to withdraw. You know very well what the reasons
19 for that were. The Serb forces continued along this
20 line, and on the 10th of July, they reached the first
21 street of the town, the Petrica Street. This is the
22 south-east part of the town. They also came from the
23 direction of the village of Slapovici, from the south
24 side of the town. The VRS army entered the village of
25 Slapovici on the 11th of July. So the VRS practically
1 captured the town from the southern part of the area,
2 and they forced the population to flee.
3 Q. Mr. Mandzic, just again don't say anything,
4 allow me to speak, because I need to indicate in the
5 record where you're pointing to on the exhibit.
6 On the 10th of July, could you point on
7 Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E where the location of the VRS
8 is in Srebrenica?
9 A. These are the -- this is where the units
10 were, and this is the area of Zeleni Jadar
12 MR. CAYLEY: Let the record show that the
13 witness again is pointing to the area just to the right
14 of where it says "UN Bravo Company" within the area
15 marked as the UN enclave at the point in the road where
16 there is a hairpin bend.
17 Q. Now, Mr. Mandzic, I'd like to show you some
18 footage, a very short clip.
19 MR. CAYLEY: If the video booth could show
20 Prosecutor's Exhibit 3, the section from -- I think
21 it's 10 seconds in to 31 seconds.
22 Q. Say nothing, Mr. Mandzic, while the video is
23 playing, and then I'll ask you some questions after
24 you've seen that video footage. Thank you.
25 MR. CAYLEY: I apologise for the delay,
1 Mr. President.
2 Q. Mr. Mandzic, if you watch the screen in front
3 of you.
4 [Videotape played]
5 MR. CAYLEY: That's fine. Thank you. We can
6 stop now.
7 Q. Mr. Mandzic, did you witness those events?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Could you explain to the Judges what you saw
10 and heard on the 10th of July where that event was
11 taking place and what the feelings of the population
12 were at the time?
13 A. Yes, I can do that. The video that we just
14 saw was taken on the 10th of July, 1995. As we can
15 see, there were thousands of residents of Srebrenica
16 there. They were all terrified at that time because,
17 as I have already told you, late in the afternoon of
18 that day, the VRS had already entered the first street
19 of the town from the south-east.
20 What I saw there was thousands of terrified
21 people who felt helpless. They were asking for help.
22 They turned to the military representatives of the
23 United Nations, that is, to the Dutch soldiers who were
24 there. They were asking for protection, but they
25 didn't get any answer, any response in terms of
2 On that night, approximately 40.000 people in
3 Srebrenica could have no sleep at all. I couldn't
4 sleep either, of course.
5 Q. Mr. Mandzic, could you just indicate on the
6 map behind you the location of that large group of
7 people that we've just seen on the video?
8 A. Yes. This gathering took place in front of
9 the compound of the Vezionica factory in Srebrenica,
10 and it is marked on the map here [indicated]. It's
11 this area that I'm pointing now [indicated].
12 MR. CAYLEY: Let the record show that the
13 witness is pointing to the blue square marked "UN Bravo
14 Company" within the Srebrenica enclave on Prosecutor's
15 Exhibit 1E.
16 Q. Mr. Mandzic, let's move ahead in time to the
17 11th of July, 1995. You were still in the town of
18 Srebrenica. Can you tell the Judges what you saw and
19 heard on that day?
20 A. If we are talking about the urban area of
21 Srebrenica, from that area more than half of the
22 population had been expelled, forced out due to the
23 military activities of the VRS, who, as early as the
24 10th of July, started setting Bosniak houses on fire in
25 the Petrica Street. They were still firing from
1 infantry weapons and so on.
2 On the 11th of July, after 11.00 a.m., the
3 situation got further complicated, because the VRS
4 opened fire from their artillery, targeting the
5 population itself and opening fire on the area where
6 the population had gathered on the 10th of July, late
7 in the afternoon.
8 I was very close to the area, some 70 metres
9 as the crow flies, on the other side of the street. I
10 was standing next to a building, and I could hear very
11 well the sound of shells, artillery shells coming in.
12 Immediately after that, I would actually see the shell
13 fall on the group of between 5.000 and 10.000 refugees
14 who were staying there, expecting some kind of response
15 from the UNPROFOR forces. They somehow felt safer in
16 the vicinity of UNPROFOR.
17 Immediately after this shell had fallen, I
18 happened to see a terrible scene. I saw a column of
19 smoke rising from the spot where the people had
20 gathered. I heard screams, moans. There were some
21 wounded people there.
22 Q. On that day, I think there was an expectation
23 that there would be airstrikes. How did the population
24 in and around the UN Bravo Company react to these
1 A. Yes. It is true that we expected the NATO
2 air force to prevent the capture of the enclave and the
3 exodus of the population. Until 11.00 a.m. those were
4 some unreliable pieces of information that people
5 accepted in those situations, as a drowning man is
6 looking for a straw to hold on to to save himself. So
7 on that day for us, the only possibility, the only way
8 out was for this type of action. Only in this way
9 could the VRS be stopped.
10 In the afternoon of the 11th of July, I could
11 see, as far as I can remember, two aeroplanes in the
12 skies above Srebrenica, which did drop several bombs
13 on, I believe, Serbian artillery positions. And as far
14 as I can remember the area in question was south-east.
15 It was here [indicates], but it's not indicated on the
17 There is a feature there called Kvarc, and I
18 believe that that was the area where a radio
19 transmitter was stationed. My feeling is that this
20 was -- this area was the target of the NATO Air
21 Force. At any rate, this was close to the boundary of
22 the safe area.
23 Q. Let's move on in time, Mr. Mandzic. The
24 population started to move towards Potocari. Can you
25 tell the Judges when that happened and why it happened?
1 A. The population was forced to move. This
2 happened on the 11th of July, around 4.00 p.m. The
3 residents of the town started to move towards
4 Potocari. They were actually forced to leave the last
5 part of the safe area, because the VRS had continued
6 with its offensive activities. So the population was
7 actually being pushed from the area. They couldn't go
8 back. They couldn't go back to the enclave itself,
9 because everybody could see Bosniak houses on fire at
10 that time. So in view of the situation, in view of the
11 fear and feeling of helplessness, residents started to
12 move towards Potocari, which was the last safe haven in
13 the area, that is, the command of the Dutch battalion.
14 Q. Mr. Mandzic, are you aware as to whether or
15 not any senior member of the population, or members of
16 the population, took a decision that the population
17 would move to Potocari from Srebrenica?
18 A. It was no higher representative who would be
19 inviting people to head for Potocari. It was all
20 civilian population and they all thought about
21 Potocari. The majority of the civilians thought about
22 Potocari, because the major part of the enclave had
23 already been physically taken by the troops of the VRS
24 and there was nowhere else to go. We could only
25 withdraw by a couple of kilometres further on towards
1 the Dutch compound at Potocari.
2 So the passage of the civilian population
3 through the area, even those areas that were inhabited
4 by Bosniaks before the war, but they had been taken by
5 the armed forces of the Republika Srpska, so it was
6 impossible to go through those places. Both the Serb
7 artillery and infantry fire were targeting the
8 population directly, and it seemed that their objective
9 was to kill as many civilians as possible, to sow as
10 much panic, to sow as much chaos amongst them.
11 And I can also corroborate by saying the
12 following: On the 11th of July, I happened to be in
13 the column of the civilian population on the road to
14 Potocari. At that time the Serb artillery fired at
15 us. From the neighbouring hills we could clearly see
16 that there were -- they could see that there were tens
17 of thousands of refugees who were on their way to
18 Potocari, to the Dutch battalion. But they were so
19 aggressive that they simply opened direct fire on this
20 stream of refugees which was several kilometres long.
21 Q. Mr. Mandzic, try and speak more slowly,
22 because there are interpreters that have got to keep up
23 with you. I know it's difficult to speak about these
24 events, but stay calm, and we'll get through your
25 testimony as quickly as I can.
1 Let's move to the evening of the 11th of
2 July, 1995. Where do you find yourself?
3 A. I found myself at Potocari, or to be more
4 accurate, within the compound of the 11 of March
6 Q. Could you point on the map that's behind you
7 the approximate location of where you were on the
8 evening of the 11th of July?
9 A. Here [indicates].
10 Q. Let the record show that the witness is
11 pointing at Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E, to the
12 red-coloured triangle, just below where it's marked "UN
13 base," within the area marked as the Srebrenica
15 Can you tell the Judges the scene on the
16 evening of the 11th of July in and around the UN
17 compound at Potocari?
18 A. Yes, indeed. The scene was hair-raising.
19 Something about 25.000 of those expellees [Realtime
20 transcript read in error "ex-police"] were crowding in
21 a very small, in a very tight space. They tried to
22 find some accommodation in some ancient factory.
23 Q. Mr. Mandzic, if you could stop there.
24 There's a mistake in the transcript and then you said
25 the scene was hair-raising and then you said,
1 "Something about 25.000 of those..." Twenty-five
2 thousand of whom?
3 A. The expellees, the expelled refugees, Bosniak
4 people who had been expelled from the largest part of
5 the enclave, because only a minor part of the enclave
6 was surviving, and that was Potocari.
7 Q. Please continue with your testimony.
8 A. At that very small space of perhaps less than
9 one kilometre square, there were some 25.000 expelled.
10 Most of them were women with small children, elderly
11 and emaciated people. We were all without food or
12 water or medicines or clothing or footwear,
13 accommodation, or anything. We expected that the
14 International Community would give us protection,
15 fearing the worst from the Bosnian Serb army, and
16 indeed I do remember that 11th of July, sometime around
17 2100, the Bosnian Serb army launched an operation. As
18 far as I can remember, they opened artillery fire at
19 this crowd, this multitude of people forced into that
21 Q. Did you see the artillery firing?
22 A. Well, they fired over my head, over the heads
23 of 25.000 people.
24 Q. Do you know roughly how far away they were,
25 the VRS artillery, when they were firing at this huge
1 multitude of people?
2 A. Some 300 to 500 meters. From different
3 places, so I say it was 300 meters was the closest and
4 500 meters was perhaps the site furthest away.
5 Q. How did the population react to this
6 artillery fire?
7 A. We all tried to find some shelter, but there
8 was none, so we simply threw ourselves down on the
9 asphalt, somewhere in the street, that is, on the road
10 from Potocari to Bratunac, because they couldn't find
11 any shelter whatsoever. So panic again started,
12 screaming, and so --
13 Q. Do you know of any deaths or injuries that
14 were caused by that artillery fire?
15 A. As soon as this artillery fire stopped, the
16 Dutch battalion called me, and so that night I could
17 not really hear if there had been any wounded, because
18 that night, between the 11th and the 12th, I spent in
19 the camp of the Dutch soldiers.
20 Q. And now we very neatly move on to the next
21 part of your testimony. I think at about 9.30 that
22 evening you were called by a representative of the
23 Dutch battalion to act as a representative of the
24 civilian population. Could you tell the Judges about
25 that, please.
1 A. Yes. Sometime around half past 9.00 that
2 evening, between the 11th and the 12th of July, I was
3 asked over the PA system to report to the Dutch
4 battalion command. So I went to the commander of the
5 Dutch battalion. I did not know him before that, nor
6 did I know any of their officers, except Major Boering,
7 who used to come to the secondary school.
8 So after I was introduced to the commander of
9 the Dutch battalion and his officers, the Dutch
10 battalion commander, showing major concern, major
11 anxiety, and sounding very pessimistic, said that, as
12 he saw the situation, the Dutch soldiers, and he as a
13 commander, could do very little at that particular
14 point in time to help all those population who had
15 gathered force in Potocari; and also, as the commander
16 said, the situation was also highly unfavourable for
17 Dutch soldiers as well.
18 According to the commander of the Dutch
19 battalion, the only way out would be the negotiations
20 with the army of the Republika Srpska, and as far as I
21 can recall, that the army of the Republika Srpska was
22 demanding the Dutch officers to incorporate the Bosnian
23 side in the negotiations.
24 I commented, I said that I was not an
25 official representative of the civilian authorities in
1 the municipality of Srebrenica, and I said so to the
2 Dutch commander, and that I therefore had no authority
3 to represent anyone in a situation which was as complex
4 as that one. And the Dutch battalion commander said,
5 "Yes, we do know that, but the situation is very
6 dramatic. So come on behalf of these expelled people,
7 because they, and we, and everybody, needs help."
8 And having been given a promise by the Dutch
9 battalion commander that if I joined the negotiations,
10 that I would be -- that my requests, that my conditions
11 would be supported: that is, to begin with, to stop
12 firing at the civilian population, to resolve the
13 disastrous humanitarian situation; that is, to supply
14 the population with food, water, other arms of hygiene
15 and so on and so forth. And after I was promised that,
16 on the 11th of July, I set off for the negotiations in
18 Q. Mr. Mandzic, before we get to Bratunac, I
19 want to go back to the conversation that you had with
20 the Dutch commander. Did the Dutch commander, Colonel
21 Karremans, state to you what General Mladic had said to
22 him about the refugees in and around Potocari and about
23 his own soldiers that were, in fact, hostages at that
25 A. As far as I can remember, I know that the
1 Dutch battalion commander said that the situation was
2 also highly unpropitious for the Dutch soldiers who
3 were on the UNPROFOR mission in Srebrenica.
4 Q. Did he state to you whether Mladic had said
5 anything about the safety of the civilian population in
6 and around Potocari?
7 A. I don't remember. I do not know really what
8 you have in mind.
9 Q. Let's move on. You then went with the Dutch
10 officers to Bratunac. How did you feel at that time?
11 A. Right below the camp of the Dutch soldiers in
12 Potocari was the checkpoint of the VRS, and it was
13 right there at this first checkpoint that we were
14 stopped. And they asked who was I, I mean the soldiers
15 of the army of the Republika Srpska, and it was all in
16 rather threatening tones. And even as I was on the
17 road, I already was quite fearful. I didn't know what
18 might happen to me. And I was thinking about the worst
19 possible outcome, that I might be arrested and forced
20 to -- I don't know what. But I thought one thing, and
21 one thing only, and that was to try, to try to do my
22 best on behalf of the population which was left
23 completely without any protection, because I could
24 really see that the enclave was being taken and that an
25 area which had been protected by the United Nations was
1 being taken.
2 On the other hand, the United Nations kept
3 silent. And even the mildest type of reaction that
4 they could have done, they could have sent in teams of
5 the International Red Cross at least there, or the
6 UNHCR, to try to mitigate, to allay, to ease this
7 difficult, this horrible situation, especially the
8 humanitarian disaster. And in such good faith, to try
9 to alleviate the suffering of the population, is that I
10 went to Bratunac, but I was really frightened.
11 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, at this point
12 we're going to move into some video evidence, and if
13 it's your wish, we might take a short break at this
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes,
16 Mr. Cayley. Very well. We shall then make a break,
17 20-minute break.
18 --- Recess taken at 1.20 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 1.43 p.m.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley,
21 you may continue.
22 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Mr. Mandzic, if we can just reorient the
24 Court where we were. You left the Potocari compound at
25 about 2200 hours on the night of the 11th of July, and
1 you find yourself with members of the Dutch Battalion
2 driving towards Srebrenica?
3 A. Towards Bratunac.
4 Q. My apologies. You're quite correct. Towards
5 Bratunac. What time did you arrive in Bratunac?
6 A. Within approximately ten minutes.
7 Q. Where did you go within Bratunac?
8 A. We went to the Fontana Hotel in Bratunac.
9 Q. And I think it was there that you attended a
10 meeting with members of the VRS and the Bosnian Serb
11 civilian authorities; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. CAYLEY: At this point, Mr. President,
14 the Office of the Prosecutor would like to play a video
15 of that meeting. That video is a new exhibit. It's
16 Exhibit 4D. My apologies. It's Exhibit 40. It's
17 Exhibit 40. There are three transcripts of that
18 meeting, in English, French, and in B/C/S.
19 I would ask that the interpreters please
20 remain silent during the video, because I think it's
21 important for the Court to get a sense of that meeting
22 and the tone and intonation of the individuals who
23 speak at that meeting. So if you don't mind, Your
24 Honours, following in that transcript. It's an
25 accurate transcript of what was said at that meeting.
1 There are also some external noises that are actually
2 quite important that need to be heard, and they would
3 not be heard if the interpreters were speaking over the
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Okay. We'll do so.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President. If
7 the video booth could please play Exhibit 40.
8 [Videotape played]
9 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. Mandzic, first an obvious
10 question but for the purposes of legal foundation of
11 the video: Is this a video recording of parts of the
12 meeting that happened on the 11th of July, 1995, in the
13 evening at the Hotel Fontana?
14 A. Yes. I think it reflects the essential part
15 of what was being discussed at the meeting.
16 Q. Are there parts of the meeting that are not
17 on that video recording?
18 A. Yes, there are certain parts. For example, a
19 part when General Mladic addressed me in a threatening
20 way, speaking about the genocide committed against the
21 Serbian people. He also referred to the fate of the
22 Bosniaks in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he blamed
23 high-ranking Bosniak politicians for that. He said,
24 General Mladic, "You see, they're unable to help you
25 now, neither Ganic, nor his people."
1 Q. Could you explain to the Judges who Ganic
2 was? Who was Mladic referring to?
3 A. Professor Dr. Ejub Ganic was a member of the
4 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina as of 1992 until
5 1995. It was a collective body, leadership that was in
6 charge of the community as was Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 at that time.
8 Q. Do you recall anything else that
9 General Mladic said at that meeting which is not on
10 that video recording?
11 A. Yes. At several points, General Mladic
12 mentioned the fact that the VRS had completely defeated
13 the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He was referring
14 to the areas around Tuzla or Sarajevo. I'm not sure.
15 He wasn't very explicit.
16 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, we've taken a
17 number of stills off the video which I'd like to show
18 the witness because that's the easiest way of having
19 him identify various individuals, rather than go back
20 through the video which will be a very lengthy
21 process. So we if we would make available, please,
22 Prosecutor's Exhibits 41 to 46 and also 48, please, to
23 the witness.
24 A. May I add something, please?
25 MR. CAYLEY:
1 Q. Of course you can, Mr. Mandzic.
2 A. According to my recollection from that first
3 meeting, most of the people present were high-ranking
4 officers of the VRS, and I did not notice
5 representatives of the civilian government.
6 Q. You're now referring to the meeting on the
7 11th of July?
8 A. Yes, I am. Yes, the first meeting.
9 MR. CAYLEY: If the Exhibit 41 could be
10 placed on the ELMO, please. We'll do this very
12 Q. This is Exhibit 41. Can you identify this
13 individual, please, Mr. Mandzic?
14 A. Yes. This is the commander of the Dutch
16 Q. What was his name?
17 A. Karremans. I don't know whether my
18 pronunciation is correct, and I don't know whether this
19 is his last name or first name.
20 Q. That is just fine, Mr. Mandzic. Exhibit 42.
21 Who is this individual, Mr. Mandzic?
22 A. The individual here is Petar, the
23 interpreter. Today he's working as an interpreter for
24 the UN in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the area of
25 Zvornik, and you can often see him in Bratunac and
1 Srebrenica. He's working for the IPTF mission there.
2 MR. CAYLEY: The witness can be shown
3 Exhibit 43.
4 Q. Do you recognise this gentleman?
5 A. Yes, I do. This is an officer of the VRS.
6 As far as I can remember, he was the one who mentioned
7 the towns of Vlasenica, Rogatica, and Han Pijesak, and
8 this is how I concluded that he must have been from
9 that area or that the area in question was his zone of
11 Q. Do you recall where he was sitting during
12 this meeting?
13 A. He was sitting next to General Mladic.
14 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown
15 the next exhibit.
16 Q. This is Exhibit 44. Can you identify that
17 individual in that photograph?
18 A. General of the VRS, the Commander of the VRS,
19 General Mladic, Ratko Mladic, whom in those days, from
20 the 11th until the 21st of July, I saw four times.
21 Q. If the witness could now be shown Exhibit
22 45. Do you recognise this individual?
23 A. Yes, I do. General Krstic, who is sitting
24 here on my left. On the 11th of July, General Krstic
25 was introduced by his commander, General Ratko Mladic.
1 He also introduced other officers from his command.
2 Q. Can you please identify. You said that
3 General Krstic is sitting here on my left. Could you
4 point across to the person that you recognise as
5 General Krstic in this courtroom.
6 A. Yes. He's sitting on my left. He's wearing
7 a blue shirt and a tie [indicates].
8 MR. CAYLEY: Let the record show,
9 Mr. President that the witness has identified the
10 accused, General Krstic.
11 Q. And where was General Krstic sitting at this
12 meeting on the 11th of July?
13 A. Next to General Mladic. As far as I can
14 remember, he was sitting on his right-hand side. There
15 was another meeting where he also sat next to General
17 Q. Now, when you say, Mr. Mandzic, that he was
18 sitting on General Mladic's right-hand side, you are
19 saying that as if you were General Mladic, from General
20 Mladic's perspective?
21 A. If I understand you correctly, and according
22 to my recollection, at the table where we were sitting
23 in the Hotel Fontana in Bratunac, General Krstic was
24 sitting on General Mladic's right-hand side.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 A. Am I any closer in my description now?
2 Q. That's fine, and I think the video was very
4 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could now be
5 shown Prosecutor's Exhibit 46.
6 Q. Now, Mr. Mandzic, what is this object which I
7 think is in fact in front of you on the video?
8 A. This is a board carrying the inscription,
9 first of all, the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina; underneath, Municipal Assembly of
11 Srebrenica; and at the bottom, in the last line,
12 Srebrenica. As I have said, this was on the municipal
13 building, on the town hall, and it marked the centre of
14 the municipal administration. And General Mladic
15 showed me this inscription and he asked me whether I
16 could recognise it, and I said, "Yes, I do recognise
18 Q. This broken sign that was placed before you,
19 at the time what significance did you feel that it had
20 that it was placed in front of you?
21 A. It was a clear message that the enclave had
22 been taken, that is, that the protected area had been
23 taken; a clear message that the civilian population
24 which had lived there could no longer stay there; a
25 clear message that in the days to come, the operations
1 of the VRS would target other enclaves; that is, first
2 of all, most of the population in those enclaves, such
3 as Gorazde, Bihac, and Sarajevo. And it was also a
4 clear message that that could well be the end of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the order it represented. And
6 that after that, the army of the Republika Srpska would
7 make it possible to create a mono-ethnic state product
8 without the participation of the other two constituent
9 ethnicities, Croats and Bosniaks.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mandzic. On the video, on the
11 soundtrack of the video, near the beginning, there were
12 some screams that were heard. Can you tell the Judges
13 what those screams were and how you interpreted that at
14 the time of this meeting?
15 A. Yes. One could hear a pig screaming, or
16 rather that night, or at that moment, I thought that
17 perhaps some Serb soldiers were celebrating the taking
18 over of the protected area and the expulsion of
19 Bosniaks. And to be quite honest, that was the first
20 thing that I thought of. I did not attribute any
21 particular significance to the slaughter of that pig or
22 the festivity. But after all these years, I still
23 remember those screams. It was a message that the same
24 procedure would be applied, the same method, to also
25 bleed the Bosniaks, the Muslim Bosniaks.
1 Q. Very briefly, Mr. Mandzic, can you tell the
2 Judges the atmosphere at that meeting, how you felt in
3 front of General Krstic, General Mladic, these VRS
5 A. Very afraid, very ashamed, defenceless,
6 especially when I noticed that the commander of the
7 Dutch battalion could not properly voice, articulate
8 the needs of the expelled population, civilian
9 population. And also when General Mladic interrupted
10 me when I requested -- when I asked General Mladic and
11 the commander of the Dutch battalion whether all the
12 needs of the civilian population and the status of the
13 enclave had been reported to the civilian and military
14 structures of the International Community. And when
15 General Mladic cut me short and would not allow me to
16 continue speaking about that need, his tone was
17 threatening, he focused his eyes at me, he stared at
18 me. I think he wanted to frighten me. And he
19 frequently used the word that the fate of my people,
20 the people that I originated from, was in my hands.
21 Q. Briefly, Mr. Mandzic, I just want to address
22 with you some of the language that was used by General
23 Mladic at the meeting, and this is on page 8 of the
24 English transcript, line 3, when Mladic states:
25 "I need to have a clear position of the
1 representatives of your people on whether you want to
2 survive, stay, or disappear, and I am prepared to
3 receive a delegation tomorrow of responsible people
4 from the Muslim side here, at 1000 hours, with whom I
5 can discuss the salvation of your people from the
6 enclave, the former enclave of Srebrenica."
7 How did you interpret this when you heard
9 A. Major anguish, scared, really scared. I
10 really was very concerned what would happen to those
11 several dozen thousand of refugees, because General
12 Mladic repeatedly said "vanish or survive." And he
13 also used the word "the former enclave." And I
14 responded that same moment, because indeed the army of
15 the Republika Srpska, or rather the command of the VRS,
16 had decided to deport the Bosniak population by hook or
17 by crook. And that word, "to survive or to vanish," it
18 really frightened me, because he seemed to be
19 announcing already some steps, some measures which had
20 little to do with civilisation or with humanity.
21 Q. Do you recall him saying to you, "Do you
22 understand me, Nesib? The future of your people is in
23 your hands"?
24 A. Yes, yes, yes. Yes, I remember that. I do
25 indeed. I do not know what General Mladic wanted from
1 me. He wanted to demonstrate the force of his own, of
2 the power of his army on a civilian, saying that I
3 would be representing 30.000 other people. But yes,
4 indeed, during that meeting and during that night, from
5 what I heard from General Mladic, I was very
6 pessimistic as to the positive, as to the favourable
7 outcome for those 30.000 expelled.
8 Q. And I think he finally said to you, when you
9 advised him that you were an accidental representative,
10 he stated, "That is your problem. Bring people who can
11 secure the surrender of weapons and save your people
12 from destruction." And that, I think, was the end of
13 the meeting.
14 A. Yes. General Mladic was well aware that
15 there were between 25 and 30.000 of those expellees in
16 Potocari and that they were, by and large, women, small
17 children, elderly, sick people, and that there were no
18 armed groups amongst them. He also knew that his units
19 were a few steps away from that expelled population,
20 about a hundred or perhaps 200 meters, and that during
21 the night they would reach that expelled population of
22 -- those units of the VRS would reach that
23 population. He knew that, but insisting by saying, by
24 pointing out to me that the fate of the Bosnian people
25 was in my hands. I believe he wanted to discourage me
1 in voicing any other requests in the first place, to
2 treat that expelled population humanely, not to turn it
3 into a ghetto. And that indeed was a ghetto for all
4 those people.
5 I can confirm it now, and I was quite clear
6 then, that it had been a planned operation of the VRS
7 for those several days to force the civilian population
8 to leave their homes, to leave all their belongings
9 behind, and to be forced into a small place, into a
10 small compound, such as Potocari, and that the control
11 over that area should be taken over by the units of the
12 VRS and which would then turn it into a ghetto.
13 Q. At what time did you leave this meeting on
14 the 11th of July?
15 A. I think it was sometime between 11.00 and
16 half past eleven.
17 Q. Where did you go when you left?
18 A. I left the meeting together with the officers
19 of the Dutch Battalion, and I spent that night with
20 them at their headquarters in Potocari.
21 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, if you wish, I
22 can move on to the 12th of July or we can finish here,
23 however you wish.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So,
25 Mr. Cayley, there is still yet another exhibit, which
1 is 48, which I think was not shown the witness. Would
2 you please do that?
3 MR. CAYLEY: I'm sorry, Mr. President.
4 You're quite right. If the witness could be shown --
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And after
6 that we could, yes, adjourn for the day. But now I
7 believe we could really benefit from this occasion and
8 show the witness that exhibit.
9 MR. CAYLEY: If Exhibit 48 would be placed in
10 front of the witness.
11 Q. Mr. Mandzic, do you recognise this
13 A. I do. Yes. This is Major Boering, if I'm
14 pronouncing his name well, the liaison officer of the
15 Dutch Battalion. He came several times to the
16 secondary school where I worked, where I was the
17 principal, and I repeatedly informed Major Boering
18 about the needs of the pupils in that school, that they
19 needed various school aids and appliances because we
20 did not have that and we could not get any school aids
21 because the convoy couldn't enter Srebrenica because it
22 was prevented from doing so by the units of the VRS.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
24 We shall adjourn and tomorrow we shall resume at half
25 past nine. Until tomorrow then.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
2 at 2.30 p.m. to be reconvened on
3 Wednesday, the 22nd day of March, 2000
4 at 9.30 a.m.