1 Tuesday, 6 December 2016
2 [Prosecution Closing Arguments]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
8 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you. Good morning, Your Honours. This is
10 case IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
12 Before we start, there are two small issues I'd like to raise.
13 The first one is that it was reported to the Chamber yesterday that some
14 inappropriate gestures were made from the public gallery into the
15 courtroom. The Chamber took it seriously. We have adequately dealt with
16 it. I think, Mr. Lukic, you are aware of how we did that. It may be
17 clear that we expect from the audience, as well, a proper behaviour.
18 We'll -- you are aware of the -- of what the Chamber exactly did in order
19 to prevent it to happen again, and I'll leave it to that at this very
20 moment. That's one.
21 The second issue is that yesterday I think the Defence filed a
22 motion for the admission of three more documents, statements, in relation
23 to sentencing, and I wonder when the Prosecution would respond to that
24 because if there would be an expedited response, that may make it easier
25 to deal with those matters during final argument.
1 MR. TIEGER: And we will indeed expedite our response,
2 Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And what does that actually mean, Mr. Tieger?
4 MR. TIEGER: What about -- well, certainly depends on how soon
5 you want it, but I would think close of business Thursday.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's okay. Then both parties still have an
8 opportunity -- if we would grant to address the matter in final arguments
9 finally at the very late stages; and if we would not grant it, it would
10 be clear as well before we finish the final arguments.
11 MR. TIEGER: Certainly, and we'll do our best to make any
12 submissions even prior that, if we can.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, if that would be possible, that would be
15 Any other matter to be raised? Not.
16 Then, Mr. Traldi, would you please proceed.
17 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President, and good morning.
18 The Defence claim the VRS protected Muslim villages in several
19 municipalities, including Sanski Most, Kljuc, and Rogatica. The
20 municipalities they refer to compellingly demonstrate the pattern of
21 crimes which comprised the cleansing campaign. For instance, the Defence
22 claims in paragraph 686 of its brief that 3.000 non-Serbs remained in
23 Sanski Most and "no hostile actions were taken against them," citing
24 6th Brigade officer and Crisis Staff member, Nenad Davidovic.
25 Now, first, that's 3.000 out of a pre-war population of more than
1 28.000. When you're thinking about how that dramatic demographic change
2 was achieved, consider Davidovic himself admitted at transcript pages
3 31550 and 31557 that Serb authorities in Sanski Most took the position
4 that anyone considered "unloyal to the Serb authorities should be
5 expelled with their families."
6 And you see now on your screens P7418, page 24, Davidovic's own
7 notes of a Crisis Staff meeting, on the 8th of June, 1992, referring -
8 among other things - to the need to move the Muslims and Croats out of
9 Sanski Most, to the extent that it would ensure a steady control over
11 As in other municipalities --
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, when you're reading it's -- I'm looking
13 at what I see on my screen; it doesn't say "out of Sanski Most." Is the
14 quote "out of Sanski Most" or is the quote is without "out of Sanski
16 MR. TRALDI: The quote from the document is:
17 "Move the Muslims and Croats to the extent that would ensure a
18 steady control over power."
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. So without the "out of Sanski Most"?
20 MR. TRALDI: Yes, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please proceed.
22 MR. TRALDI: In Sanski Most, as in other municipalities, these
23 people were moved out through terrible crimes, including mass arrests,
24 five charged massacres, and the destruction of their homes, villages, and
25 sacred places.
1 [Technical difficulty]
2 MR. TRALDI: We've -- I've lost my LiveNote connection for a
3 moment and I think we generally have, which is why I'm pausing, Your
5 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Once you're re-connected -- we all have. Oh,
6 and let me see -- yes, it stops there. Let's wait for a second.
7 COURT REPORTER: I'm just re-starting.
8 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Apparently the transcription is functioning again.
10 As always, it emphasises how much we depend on the good services of our
11 transcriber, which is highly appreciated.
12 Mr. Traldi, would you please resume from where the transcript
13 stopped, that is, "in Sanski Most as in other municipalities." I take it
14 these people were moved out and then take it up from there.
15 MR. TRALDI: They were moved out through terrible crimes,
16 including mass arrests, five massacres charged in the indictment, and the
17 destruction of homes, villages, and sacred places.
18 Catholic Bishop Komarica described the "almost horrific massive
19 evacuation by my faithful, especially from the Sanski Most and Prijedor
20 regions in an effort to save their bare lives." And that's P7011, page
22 Defence Witness Kupresanin admitted he knew about these crimes
23 and so did the 1st Krajina Corps, and that's at transcript page
25 Now, perhaps the most terrible of the crimes in Sanski Most was
1 the massacre of at least 29 Muslim women and children in a garage in
2 Hrustovo on the 31st of May, 1992. The women and children killed in the
3 garage included a 75-year-old woman and children under 10 years old. The
4 6th Brigade then took credit for "successfully clearing Hrustovo," and
5 that's P2365, page 3.
6 And we see here, P2409, the Sanski Most Crisis Staff's decision
7 just days after the Hrustovo massacre to send to Manjaca politicians,
8 nationalist extremists, and those simply unwelcome in the municipality,
9 which P2362 reflects meant non-Serbs generally. So the removal of
10 non-Serbs from Sanski Most was a matter of policy.
11 Similarly, the Defence claims in paragraph 687 that Muslim
12 villages were protected in Kljuc, but when GRM14 claimed Muslims were
13 able to remain there and were protected, he was forced to admit Muslims
14 left Kljuc because of the crimes against them - that's transcript page
15 30397 - and villages where he and other Defence witnesses claimed Muslims
16 had "remained untouched" Republika Srpska records from the war showed
17 that no Muslims, or very few, remained there at all, and you can see
18 that, for instance, in P4071 and P3769.
19 And you've seen entries in General Mladic's notebook tracking
20 Kljuc's Muslim population through 1992 from 17.000 in January to 5.000 in
21 September and 2.000 in November.
22 In Rogatica, the Defence refers to villages, including
23 Satorovici, which they claim in paragraph 689 was a "particular example
24 of peace between Muslims and the VRS." But you've seen too what happened
25 in Satorovici. In October 1994, after Tolimir ordered the various VRS
1 corps to implement an exchange, soldiers rounded up the Muslims of
2 Satorovici from their homes and shipped them to Sarajevo. We discuss
3 this in paragraph 345 of our brief and in the Rogatica summary, and it's
4 clear from Defence witnesses Veselinovic and Sokolovic's admissions that
5 when General Mladic entered Zepa in fall -- or in July 1995, he and his
6 subordinates were in the process of shipping out almost all the remaining
7 Muslims in Rogatica municipality.
8 Now, Mladic's response to ethnic cleansing reflects he shared the
9 common purpose and contributed to its implementation.
10 The Defence claim Mladic tried to punish his subordinates when
11 they committed crimes, and he ordered disciplinary proceedings a number
12 of times. You can see that in paragraphs 117 to 119 of our brief;
13 paragraphs 795 to 796 of the Defence brief, among other places. He had
14 both the formal and functional authority to order disciplinary measures
15 against subordinates, and as a commander who prized obedience and the
16 proper functioning of the chain of command, who told the 16th Assembly at
17 P431, page 42: "We need to have absolute obedience. Without discipline,
18 we have nothing ..." he used that authority.
19 The thing the parties dispute is what Mladic used this authority
20 for. The Defence claims Mladic issued orders to punish soldiers who were
21 "behaving irresponsibly and committing offences," but the evidence shows
22 those orders were not issued for JCE crimes and that his subordinate
23 officers applied this policy of impunity for crimes against Muslims and
24 Croats down the VRS's ranks.
25 As we've done through our argument --
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. -- what was this authority used for if it
2 wasn't used for JCE crimes?
3 MR. TRALDI: So first and foremost, Your Honour, you've seen the
4 military justice system deal with crimes like desertion, crimes like
5 armed rebellion. The Defence witness named Radulj, a Banja Luka Military
6 Court prosecutor, admitted crimes against Serbs and crimes against the
7 army came -- and what was put to him was first, last, and only, in the
8 work of the Banja Luka Military Court and he acknowledged that. And
9 that's the type of crime that you see prosecuted in the system.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
11 MR. TRALDI: As we've done throughout argument, we'll look at one
12 of the examples the Defence gives. They cite P4453 in footnote 1674 of
13 their brief to support their claim Mladic issued orders to punish crimes
14 against non-Serbs. You see it on the screen now. It's a warning by
15 then-SRK command Tomislav Sipcic to Rogatica Brigade Commander
16 Rajko Kusic. And Sipcic writes on the 26th of June, 1992, that:
17 "For the last time, I'm warning you to refrain from massacre,
18 rampaging, abusing the innocent population of any nationality."
19 Whatever this order says about the officer who issued it, it
20 illustrates the problem with the Defence attempt to give Mladic credit
21 for every seemingly humanitarian action taken by any VRS soldier. Soon
22 after it was issued, Sipcic - the general who issued the warning - was
23 replaced as SRK commander by Stanislav Galic, under whose command the
24 30th Division had already ethnically cleansed Muslim areas of Kljuc, as
25 we set out in our Kljuc summary. Kusic and his units, on the other hand,
1 continued committing crimes against non-Serb civilians as part of the VRS
2 all the way up to 1995. As you see here, he openly reported to the
3 Drina Corps command in P1064 on 7 August 1995 about the five remaining
4 "balijas" who had been liquidated and the "unarmed Ustasha" who was
5 liquidated, who had said before he died that he had fallen behind and was
6 looking for food.
7 Now by the time he reported on the liquidation of those he called
8 balijas, Kusic was a lieutenant-colonel. And you see here on your screen
9 P3684 Mladic providing just one of Kusic's several promotions during the
10 war. Despite the massive and notorious Rogatica Brigade crimes against
11 non-Serb civilians, P3689 gives you an audio recording of what Mladic
12 thought of Kusic and I'm going to ask Ms. Stewart to play that now.
13 [Audiotape played]
14 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover]
15 "It would be very unfair if I didn't mention other important
16 soldier of our army an officer, and that is Rajko Kusic, the commander of
17 the Rogatica Brigade who has been and remains, I believe, the alpha and
18 omega of the peaceful sleep of Serbian children in this area. You, too,
19 deserve every honour, Rajko."
20 MR. TRALDI: So looking at this document reveals that the way to
21 move up in the VRS was to be a successful ethnic cleanser, like Kusic was
22 in Rogatica. Rogatica had more than 13.000 Muslims in 1991. By the end
23 of 1992, they were crammed into three small enclaves, and as I mentioned
24 earlier, by the time Zepa fell, they were essentially all gone. And
25 Kusic's brigade had led this cleansing campaign. It was organised an
1 armed by the JNA and SDS in March 1992. As we set out in our summary,
2 from its inception it was under the JNA 216th Brigade and
3 Dragomir Milosevic. As Kusic stated in P6931 and Defence witness Djeric
4 confirmed, the Rogatica Brigade was incorporated into the VRS on or about
5 19 May 1992, and then committed crimes against innocents at places
6 including Rasadnik camp and the Veljko Vlahovic school, both under
7 Kusic's control. Rasadnik detainees were tortured, sexually assaulted,
8 humiliated, beaten, used for forced labour. Some detainees died from the
9 beatings and the harsh conditions, including 101-year-old Hanka Kustura.
10 Similarly at the Vlahovic school, both brigade soldiers and Serb police
11 beat, tortured, raped, and robbed detainees. Other detainees could hear
12 both men and women screaming during the night as they were sexually
13 assaulted, and that's in P309, paragraphs 69 to 77; and P2223, page 4.
14 I detail these because the Defence suggest in their Rogatica
15 section of their brief that non-Serbs went voluntarily to Rasadnik and
16 the Vlahovic school and argue that references on VRS lists to prisoners
17 being held at Rasadnik were fictions to facilitate the exchange of those
18 people. But the non-Serbs at Rasadnik and the Vlahovic school were, of
19 course, not there voluntarily, as demonstrated not only by documents like
20 P6804 and P6805 and by the evidence of the survivor witnesses you have
21 heard from, but by the simple logic that people do not tend to
22 voluntarily remain in places where they and others are being regularly
23 assaulted, raped, and otherwise tormented.
24 You saw Mladic promoting Kusic in P3684 - that's one of his
25 exercises of his personal power - and you see some examples in his
1 notebooks, Main Staff meetings to discuss promotions and commendations of
2 subordinates. For instance, at P360, pages 149, 150, where we see him
3 noting considerations about the appointments of Radmilo Zeljaja and
4 Vladimir Arsic, who had led the 43rd Brigade during the ethnic cleansing
5 of Prijedor in 1992. Both were promoted during the war. Arsic ended the
6 war a general, as Defence witness Rade Javoric admitted at transcript
7 page 31424.
8 And we set out at the end of our municipality narratives as well
9 as paragraph 487 of our brief the notoriety of the cleansing campaign in
10 a given municipality and evidence that Mladic and other VRS officers or
11 JCE members expressed approval, often by promoting the people who had led
12 that cleansing campaign in the municipality. And so you see Kusic's rise
13 paralleled throughout the charged municipalities. Arsic ends the war a
14 general; Galic is appointed SRK commander; Radislav Krstic becomes
15 eventually Drina Corps commander after the 2nd Romanija Brigade cleanses
16 Sokolac, as I discussed yesterday; Andric, who we also looked at
17 yesterday, becomes Drina Corps Chief of Staff after the Birac Brigade
18 cleanses Eastern Bosnia; Manjaca camp Commander Bozidar Popovic is
19 promoted to full colonel.
20 The VRS simultaneously attempted to conceal crimes. You see it
21 here in Mladic's notebook, where he directs that information about the
22 huge numbers of Muslims buried in the Tomasica mass grave be "retained
23 well so that unauthorised people don't find out." P358, page 155.
24 You see it in Vlasenica Battalion Commander Slobodan Pajic's
25 order that the public be prevented from finding out about the conditions
1 Susica prisoners lived in and prevented from bringing the detainees food,
2 P193, page 4. And you see it in the mass grave burials we discuss in
3 paragraphs 492 through 498 of our final brief. As they covered up the
4 crimes, Mladic and other JCE members praised the success of the cleansing
5 campaign; and as Mr. Tieger mentioned yesterday, worked to make this
6 ethnically cleansed factual situation a permanent one.
7 Naturally, then, they did not punish perpetrators. Now, the VRS
8 acknowledged officers' responsibility to prevent crimes and punish
9 perpetrators and that where VRS officers didn't punish the perpetrators
10 of crimes they knew about:
11 "This in itself makes them answerable for these criminal
13 That's P3352, page 8.
14 Now, contrary to the Defence suggestion in paragraph 2902 [sic]
15 of its brief that the Main Staff wasn't involved in the military justice
16 system where such cases were to be tried, Mladic and Gvero sent
17 instructions to the military justice system, Milovanovic testified Gvero
18 and his sector monitored controlled and analysed the system's work.
19 That's transcript page 16919. And we set out the Main Staff's
20 relationship with the military justice system in paragraphs 110 through
21 120 of our brief.
22 The Defence argues in paragraph 678 that at times soldiers who
23 committed crimes were sent to the front lines, and the record is clear
24 that this facilitated more crimes. You heard it from VRS officers,
25 RM802, from Military Court staff like Radulj, and from Defence witness
1 Matijevic, that if you arm perpetrators and send them out to fight, it's
2 no surprise, of course, when they re-offend.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, I was a bit puzzled to your reference to
4 Defence final brief 2902. I find something what seems to be unrelated
5 and I'm looking at the corrected version; it's about a Fontana meeting.
6 MR. TRALDI: I had not intended to discuss the Fontana meeting,
7 Your Honour. I'll check it at the break.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please do.
9 MR. TRALDI: It's in the course of the discussion of the Velagici
11 The Defence also rely on Mladic's and other JCE members'
12 toothless cosmetic orders to follow the laws of war. Karadzic's order
13 purportedly to protect non-Serbs in municipalities including Sokolac,
14 which they cite in paragraph 1502, is one example. And they ignore
15 Tupajic's response, P3181, explaining that the 2nd Romanija Brigade and
16 the Sokolac MUP answered to their own chains of command, the
17 republic-level leadership, Mladic, Mico Stanisic, Karadzic; and they
18 ignore, of course, what happened - the reality on the ground - that the
19 2nd Romanija Brigade continued cleansing Sokolac municipality. Its
20 commander was promoted. Mladic and Galic and Karadzic, as we note in our
21 narrative, commended the brigade.
22 And Brown explains such orders are meaningless without
23 prosecutions and may indeed lead to more crimes, and that's transcript
24 page 19536. And you can see one vivid example in the case of
25 Directive 1, where the Defence refer to boilerplate language at the end
1 of the directive to obey the Geneva Conventions, but we've shown the
2 directive was implemented through several ethnic cleansing operations in
3 different municipalities.
4 Now on the other hand, sending the right message a message that
5 the VRS was serious about enforcing the law of war you've heard wouldn't
6 have required prosecuting every crime by a soldier. So while the Defence
7 focuses on logistical problems in the military justice system, they
8 didn't have to prosecute all the cases, just enough to send a message.
9 The fact that there was no intention to prosecute such crimes is
10 reflected most clearly in the cases where you can tell from the evidence
11 in the record there was enough evidence to go forwards. For instance,
12 Defence witness Radulj again admitted at transcript page 35582 that where
13 victims' bodies were available, the murder weapon was known, and the
14 perpetrators confessed, there was no reason the military prosecutors
15 couldn't get a conviction. For the massacres at both Velagici and
16 Skrljevita two of the very small number of crimes where any perpetrators
17 were ever arrested, nobody was punished for those crimes in the military
18 justice system during the war, even though the bodies were available, the
19 murder weapon was known, and the perpetrators had confessed. So any
20 challenges the military justice system faced weren't the reason soldiers
21 were weren't prosecuted for crimes against non-Serbs; if they were,
22 Amidzic at Velagici, Kajtez at Skrljevita, and others would have been
24 The Chamber has received evidence indeed that the military
25 justice system had prepared thousands of cases in 1992, P3535; and that
1 cases involving Serb victims were aggressively prosecuted and
2 perpetrators convicted. The Defence nonetheless asserts that the
3 military justice system didn't work, citing among other documents P3560.
4 But in P3560, page 4, the military justice system notes that despite
5 difficult conditions, the courts had achieved what they considered "good
6 results" in 1995. Though you've gotten evidence that in that year, as
7 throughout the war, no soldiers were prosecuted for crimes against
8 non-Serbs. The reason those counted as good results was that the
9 soldiers were doing what they were supposed to, ethnically cleansing the
10 territory that the VRS was responsible for making Serb.
11 And, Your Honours, I would ask to briefly go into private
13 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
14 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
6 MR. TRALDI: The Defence alleges in paragraph 134 of its brief
7 that when VRS officers became aware of killings in the municipalities,
8 they took steps to conduct investigations in order to arrest and punish
9 the perpetrators. The Defence relies on evidence about massacres in
10 places, including Brisevo, in Prijedor, and several sites in Sanski Most.
11 In Brisevo, you've received evidence everyone knew about the
12 massacre - the VRS, civilian authorities, MUP authorities - but no
13 perpetrators were punished. Defence witness Kupresanin gave evidence he
14 went there with 1st Krajina Corps officers after the massacre. He
15 acknowledged Brisevo had been an unarmed village. And though he was
16 inconsistent about which high-ranking VRS officers he told, you can see
17 Talic knew about the massacre from, for instance, P7477, page 2. And
18 Radulj admitted his office didn't prosecute anyone from Sanski Most for
19 crimes against non-Serbs.
20 The Defence also argues in paragraphs 866 and 867 that the VRS
21 investigated and punished the murder of Manjaca detainees Omer Filipovic
22 and Esad Bender, even though Manjaca guard Radinkovic admitted at
23 transcript page 31734 that no one was prosecuted until more than a decade
24 after the murders, long after Mladic was no longer in charge of the VRS.
25 Radinkovic also admitted that VRS military police committed the murders,
1 contrary to the Defence suggestion in its brief that it was unidentified
3 Indeed, the Defence tries to muddy the waters at times about who
4 committed the crimes at Manjaca and what more senior VRS officers
5 knew, but the sources they cite, like P229, a Manjaca camp report to the
6 corps level security and intel department that military policemen "just
7 don't understand that the prisoners are human," these reports reflect
8 both that VRS soldiers perpetrated much of the abuse and that more
9 senior-level commanders were aware of. Far from prosecuting
10 perpetrators, the camp command covered up crimes. As one witness
11 explained, he was ordered by camp Commander Popovic to falsely certify
12 that a detainee from Kljuc who had been beaten to death, in fact, had
13 died from pneumonia. And that's P3124, pages 9 and 10.
14 So the military justice system didn't prosecute the perpetrators
15 of crimes against Muslims and Croats. We see the next line of defence in
16 paragraphs 132 and 133 of the brief. Mladic did not know about or was
17 selectively or partially informed about many of the charged crimes in the
18 case. Now, we don't assert - nor do we need to prove - that Mladic was
19 notified of every single crime through which his subordinates and those
20 of other JCE members achieved the common purpose. But the very examples
21 that the Defence refers to reflect the weakness of this argument. I want
22 to focus on three incidents the Defence both suggests were investigated
23 and that they suggest were partially or selectively reported.
24 First, you've heard about the cleansing campaign in Kotor Varos
25 beginning with the first witness in the trial. Elvedin Pasic talked
1 about how his village was -- of Hrvacani was shelled on Bajram 1992 as
2 Serbs announced on a megaphone: "Balijas, we're going to be there soon."
3 His family fled as Serb forces entered the village, burning
4 houses, fled from village to village, eventually tried to return to
5 Hrvacani, only to find that everything in the village including their own
6 home had been burned and wound up in besieged Vecici.
7 Now, you see in our Kotor Varos narrative that Vecici had become
8 strategically important and it had captured Mladic's attention. And what
9 the VRS then did reflects several of the key patterns of the cleansing
10 campaign: Mladic's unquestioned command; the VRS's implementation of the
11 cleansing campaign through all the crimes that together comprised it,
12 including mass murder; Mladic's knowledge that the campaign was being
13 implemented through such crimes; and the VRS's attempt to cover the
14 crimes up while failing to punish the perpetrators. Mladic issued an
15 ultimatum: No man, woman, or child could leave Vecici unless all weapons
16 were surrendered, P2884, page 3. That's the order Slobodan Zupljanin was
17 testifying about that I mentioned yesterday, when he testified it wasn't
18 up to him to support Mladic's decision, just obey it. The men in Vecici,
19 including Bosnian Muslim fighters but also teenage boys and a few women,
20 formed a column and headed out at night through the woods trying to reach
21 Muslim-held territory. They were captured by the VRS, brought to the
22 Grabovica school - a barracks for the Kotor Varos Light Brigade - and
23 then the women and children were expelled and the more than 150 men were
24 massacred. And the Defence tries in its brief, paragraphs 1133, 1135,
25 and 1142, to blame unidentified Serb civilians for the massacre, but its
1 witnesses, including Krsic, admitted VRS forces took the prisoners to the
2 Grabovica school and that the prisoners were the VRS's responsibility,
3 that prisoners were separated, men from women and children at Kotor Varos
4 Brigade Commander Novakovic's order. And Pasic saw a soldier who carried
5 out the separation tell the detained women and children nothing would
6 happen to them, but - as Pasic put it - "our men will pay." That's
7 transcript page 577. And the evidence shows the women and children were
8 then expelled and the men massacred.
9 Now, I led into this by mentioning the Defence claim that this
10 was partially or selectively reported. You see here the 1st Krajina
11 Corps report to the Main Staff from the 4th of November, 1992. You see
12 the Main Staff knew that there had been a "brutal massacre" of the
13 captured prisoners, and you see here that the 1st Krajina Corps reported
14 the next day that 150 so-called extremists had been killed in combat. As
15 Brown told you, the 1st Krajina Corps is changing the story. That's
16 transcript page 19561.
17 Can we briefly go into private session again.
18 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
19 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
20 MR. TRALDI: Now, the Defence also refer to the massacre of about
21 80 Muslim prisoners at the Velagici school in Kljuc. You've received the
22 whole Military Court file, P3528, and that file shows the perpetrators
23 were VRS soldiers, contrary to the Defence claim in paragraph 64 of their
24 brief that the Velagici perpetrators were JNA soldiers not under Mladic's
25 effective control. You've heard witnesses and higher-level VRS
1 commanders who weren't in Kljuc knew about the massacre. 1st Krajina
2 Corps Chief of Staff Kelecevic knew, that's transcript page 37242.
3 Radulj knew when he was still in Prijedor in the summer of 1992, that's
4 transcript 35538-35539. And you can see from the Military Court file
5 that Talic knew because the perpetrators wrote him and asked to be sent
6 back to their units. As we set out in our Kljuc summary, after they
7 wrote Talic they were released without a trial. So while the Defence
8 also cite Velagici as an example of a case where a crime against
9 non-Serbs were investigated, and indeed - remarkably - the perpetrators
10 were arrested for the crime, both their release after writing Talic and
11 their subsequent re-release in 1993 in consultation with -- when two were
12 re-arrested reflect that higher levels of VRS command had no interest in
13 punishing them for massacring almost 80 unarmed prisoners.
14 Similarly, we set out in our brief that no one was ever punished
15 in the Military Court for crimes at Batkovic the Defence referred to, and
16 that's even though the camp administration and the Military Court were
17 aware of the brutal murders of detainees, including those killed on work
18 detail at the Zitopromet facility. In that instance the camp
19 administration falsely reported to the Red Cross that the victims were
20 exchanged rather than killed.
21 Now, the Defence cites that evidence, alleging crimes at Batkovic
22 were only partially reported to Mladic. But the witness you heard that
23 from, RM088, testified the VRS concealed crimes from the Red Cross and
24 explicitly testified he didn't know of any false reports the camp sent to
25 its superior command.
1 Returning for a moment to the Defence attempt to take credit for
2 Sipcic's order to Kusic not to massacre innocents, you see a similar
3 attempt in Banja Luka. The Defence relies in paragraphs 832 to 834 of
4 its brief on witness Solaja's claim that there was no policy to expel
5 non-Serbs from Banja Luka. Even though - as Mr. Tieger mentioned
6 yesterday - Solaja admitted that Predrag Radic, who he claims did not
7 have a policy of expelling non-Serbs, was under constant pressure from
8 those "at the political top" because non-Serbs had not yet been expelled
9 in great enough numbers and the mosques in Banja Luka had not yet been
10 destroyed. Now, this evidence demonstrates the JCE, the power was with
11 those at the top who shared the common purpose. They criticised Radic
12 for not expelling non-Serbs. Eventually the non-Serbs in Banja Luka were
13 expelled. They complained that the mosques were still standing; and as
14 you've heard, eventually all the mosques in Banja Luka were destroyed.
15 And the Manjaca evidence is similar. The Defence take credit for one VRS
16 soldier essentially shouting into the wind that the mass detention of
17 non-Serb civilians at Manjaca was not in the interests of the Serb
18 people. And he told his superior command prisoners were being "brought
19 in massively and in large quantities, no selection has been made." P220.
20 And "such people cannot be treated as war prisoners nor be brought to the
21 POW camp. Incidentally, this camp can be considered as a detention camp,
22 i.e., a camp for segregation of Muslims and Croats which history will not
23 forgive us." P221.
24 The Defence suggests this shows the VRS was seeking not to detain
25 non-combatants at Manjaca. What it shows instead is that one person
1 expressed concern about this, and the corps command knew perfectly well
2 they were detaining people they shouldn't have been detaining; and as the
3 evidence shows, they kept doing it. We cite the evidence of this, for
4 instance, in paragraphs 28 to 29 of our narrative. And the reason they
5 would commit resources, space, guards, including corps-level military
6 police, food, though not very much, to detaining civilians becomes clear
7 from Solaja's evidence again. As he admitted, the Bosnian Serb
8 leadership conditioned the closing of the camp on the conveyance of the
9 remaining detainees to third countries. That's why it was worth the
10 resources to detain them, because the camp was part of the process of
11 collecting and expelling them and - like the other crimes we've been
12 discussing here - part of the common purpose.
13 Your Honours, I see we're at the time for the break.
14 JUDGE ORIE: We are, Mr. Traldi. We'll take a break and we'll
15 resume at ten minutes to 11.00.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.52 a.m.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, you may proceed.
19 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Before I turn to my next topic, two quick transcript corrections.
21 First, today at temporary transcript page 7, line 8, as you pointed out I
22 referred to paragraph 2902 of the Defence brief, and I should have
23 referred to paragraph 1277 at footnote 2902.
24 And yesterday at transcript page 44379, we had referred to P976
25 and that reference for Directive 4 should be P2217 or P1968 for the two
1 copies in evidence.
2 Mladic and the VRS led the military implementation of the
3 cleansing campaign. They incorporated Serb TO units and paramilitary
4 groups into the chain of command, resubordinated RS MUP units during
5 cleansing operations, and worked together with MUP units and Crisis
6 Staffs to implement the common purpose.
7 Now, for instance, in Kotor Varos, which I discussed last
8 session, non-Serbs were expelled through crimes, including VRS-led
9 cleansing operations with RS MUP support at times; mass murders at
10 Grabovica, Hanifici, and elsewhere; roundups of non-Serbs by soldiers and
11 police; abuse of those detained; dismissals of non-Serbs from their jobs,
12 mostly by civilian authorities; and convoys out of the municipality
13 ordered from the republic level. The Defence claims in paragraph 1164
14 that there is no evidence of a common plan to remove non-Serbs from
15 Kotor Varos. In fact, these things all happening together is explained
16 only by the common purpose and common plan charged in the indictment.
17 I want to turn now to Mladic's and the VRS's interactions with a
18 couple of those other organs. As we set out in our brief, Territorial
19 Defence units were generally quickly incorporated into the VRS; that's
20 consistent with the decision creating the VRS, P2799, by which the
21 Assembly abolished the TO and made it part of the VRS. Milovanovic
22 explained that Mladic had identified making SDS-formed TO units part of
23 the VRS command structure as one of the first priorities on the 11th of
24 May, 1992. And Mladic ordered his subordinates to secure command and
25 control over TO and volunteer units the same day, and that's P3032.
1 And several Defence witnesses, including Milorad Sajic, Milenko
2 Jankovic, and Rade Javoric admitted their TOs were under VRS command
3 immediately or almost immediately after the VRS was established. And as
4 Hanson explained at transcript page 4162, her review of Crisis Staff
5 documents showed right after his appointment Mladic hit the ground
6 running and assumed command. We looked at a few examples of that
8 And on the 12th of May, when the Assembly's decision was issued,
9 there were two relevant types of Territorial Defence units. There's
10 Serb-controlled units of official Republic of BiH Territorial Defence,
11 like Rade Javoric's unit in Prijedor and Milorad Sajic's unit; and
12 SDS-created Territorial Defence units, like Rajko Kusic's unit that I
13 talked about this morning or Slobodan Kuruzovic's, also in Prijedor. We
14 set out in our brief how many such TO units would have become part of the
15 official RS TO when it was declared on the 16th of April, 1992. And as
16 we set out in the our municipality narratives, the three units I just
17 mentioned were VRS units by about the 20th of May.
18 The Defence gives some specific examples of Territorial Defence
19 units they say were not subordinated. I'm going to go through a few now.
20 And can we go into private session for the first.
21 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
22 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
13 MR. TRALDI: Next the Sanski Most TO was subordinated to the VRS
14 during cleansing operations in Sanski Most in late May 1992. 6th Brigade
15 Commander Basara had placed all armed forces in Sanski Most under his
16 single command by June 1992, and we give you the evidence for that in our
17 municipality narrative. And this arose from corps Commander Talic, then
18 as JNA 5th Corps commander, already taking measures to ensure that all
19 the TO Staffs in the ARK were loyal to the JNA in mid-April. And so days
20 after he issued that order, you've seen the Sanski Most TO Staff was
21 replaced and a new staff created right when the municipality was taken
22 over, and the commander of the new staff was Anicic, Colonel Anicic, who
23 had been the commander of the Serbian Sanski Most TO that was formed
24 months earlier. And you heard Defence witness Kelecevic, the 5th Corps
25 and then 1st Krajina Corps Chief of Staff, testify that by the 5th of
1 May, TO units in the ARK were under the then-5th Corps.
2 And P3294, Sanski Most Crisis Staff President Rasula's diary,
3 reflects that on 21 May Basara told a Crisis Staff meeting that pursuant
4 to Talic's order the TO had "been given the status of an army under a
5 single command" and some TO members were to become VRS officers. The VRS
6 then led cleansing operations in Sanski Most. And you've seen evidence
7 TO units participated pursuant to orders from 6th Brigade officers, and
8 in P2411 you see TO Commander Anicic order his units, resubordinated to
9 the 6th Brigade, for the 26 May attacks in Sanski Most, including the
10 Mahala attack.
11 And Defence witness Vinko Nikolic, one of the leaders of the
12 Sanski Most SOS - which you've seen had been made part of the Sanski Most
13 Territorial Defence in late April - explained that when his unit
14 participated in the operations in late May in Mahala, Vrhpolje, Hrustovo,
15 which I mentioned earlier, it was under 6th Brigade command. And then as
16 both parties refer to in our briefs, on 8th of June, 1992, the Sanski
17 Most TO is abolished. The 6th Brigade sets up a forward command post in
18 Sanski Most and appoints Anicic as its commander.
19 And similarly, you see in Prijedor that by 17 May, Mladic could
20 pass orders down the chain of command - the then-JNA chain of command -
21 to Slobodan Kuruzovic and his SDS-organised TO unit -- I say
22 "SDS-organised" because it's not a unit from the official BiH TO, but as
23 we set out in our brief the JNA played a significant role in the unit
24 being organised and Kuruzovic was of course a JNA officer before.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You may proceed.
1 MR. TRALDI: I'm just waiting for the transcript to catch up,
2 Your Honour, and I see it has.
3 And you can see the orders --
4 JUDGE ORIE: [Previous translation continues] ... the whole of the
5 day already.
6 MR. TRALDI: You can see the orders I just mentioned in Mladic's
7 order P3032; Talic's implementing order P7460; and then Arsic's order to
8 Kuruzovic, P7122. The Defence also discusses Crisis Staffs, and we set
9 out in our brief the co-operative relation between the VRS and civilian
10 authorities, both generally and individual municipalities.
11 I want to focus on one specific example they give, again in
12 Sanski Most. The Defence attempts to distance the VRS from the Sanski
13 Most Crisis Staff, relying on Basara's testimony that he was not a
14 member, despite attending lots of meetings in Rasula's diary and
15 appearing on two lists of Crisis Staff members that are in evidence and
16 despite the fact that three other 6th Brigade soldiers, Nikolic,
17 Boro Tadic, and Nenad Davidovic, were all also Crisis Staff members. And
18 Crisis Staffs functions - as we set out in that section of our brief - as
19 co-ordinating bodies that helped the various Serb organs in a
20 municipality work together. You heard ARK Executive Committee President
21 and Crisis Staff member Nikola Erceg confirm in testimony that that's how
22 the ARK Crisis Staff worked and that Crisis Staff members included the
23 leaders of the various key institutions in the ARK, the army, the court,
24 the prosecutor's office, the police, who would take lead on issues in
25 their particular area of responsibility.
1 I'm going to turn now briefly to the police. Now, the RS MUP
2 played a critical role in concert with the VRS in implementing the
3 cleansing campaign. RS MUP staff ran many of the worst camps in the
4 Bosnian Serb system, and RS MUP forces participated with VRS forces in
5 brutal ethnic cleansing operations in a number of the charged
6 municipalities. Minister Stanisic described the MUP and the VRS as a
7 single organism, an indivisible force. That's P7214, page 2. And you
8 see that reflected, for instance, in Prijedor where SJB Chief
9 Simo Drljaca lauded the "exceptional co-operation between the VRS and the
10 SJB Prijedor police," and that's P7211.
11 Now the Defence attempts to blame RS MUP units for some crimes
12 and contest resubordination. There are a number of crimes committed
13 together. I'm not go to go into all of the perpetrator ID issues now.
14 But on resubordination, we deal with this, for instance, in paragraph 247
15 of our brief. Now several MUP Defence witness, including Mile Matijevic,
16 Mane Djuric, and Milenko Karisik, made clear that the general practice
17 was for their units to be subordinated to VRS command during joint
18 operations. They confirmed specific instances of resubordination. They
19 also confirmed that they reported after action up their own chain of
20 command. So this isn't an instance where you're picking who’s
21 responsible for any crimes they committed during the operation. Mladic
22 would be liable, in any event, for crimes that one of his fellow JCE
23 members used their subordinates to commit, but it is the case that the
24 record shows the evidence resubordination was the general practice is
1 Turning to paramilitaries. At the initial Main Staff meeting,
2 Mladic, Milovanovic, and other Main Staff officers - as Milovanovic
3 testified - agreed that any paramilitaries who wished would be
4 incorporated into the VRS chain of command. The VRS would assemble, as
5 Mladic put it -- or sorry, as Milovanovic put it in his testimony, the
6 "commanders, dukes, or bosses of those paramilitary forces, talk with
7 them, and ask them to place themselves under VRS command." As he
8 testified, "whoever accepted that was welcome," and that's transcript
9 page 16899.
10 Many paramilitaries were then incorporated into the VRS chain of
11 command, and you've heard from the point they were incorporated, senior
12 VRS officers superior to them in the chain were responsible for their
13 conduct at, for instance, transcript page 5017. Just to take one
14 example, the Defence suggests at paragraph 3366 of its brief that
15 paramilitaries under "Duke Alexis" were not incorporated. That's clear
16 Duke Alexis refers to Slavko Aleksic, based on a review of the relevant
17 part of the transcript. That's transcript page 18241. Aleksic was one
18 of Seselj's men. Seselj in P4013, page 6, explained his men were all put
19 under VRS command.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Could we also ask you to check your reference to
21 paragraph 3366 of the Defence brief. It's only two lines, 333 -- oh no,
22 let me check. I may have made a mistake myself. I may stand corrected.
23 Yes, I stand corrected.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Traldi, at page 24, line 15, you have
25 mentioned he was one of Seselj's men and then you made a sentence
1 thereafter which has not been recorded. Can you repeat that please.
2 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll pick up there.
3 Seselj, in P4013, page 6, explained his men were all under VRS
4 command. Defence witness Ratomir Maksimovic, an SRK officer, confirmed
5 at transcript page 26815 to 26816, Aleksic was part of the SRK and acted
6 pursuant to corps command instructions. And Defence witness
7 Zdravko Salipur testified about Aleksic:
8 "I know for sure that the unit he commanded was part of the VRS
9 as a company. They were definitely part of the VRS as a military
11 That's transcript page 37452 to 37453.
12 And they similarly claim in paragraph 1432 Mladic had no control
13 over paramilitaries in Rogatica, though Rogatica Brigade Chief of Staff
14 Ujic admitted his brigade incorporated paramilitaries at transcript page
16 Now the Defence credits Mladic for actions the VRS took against
17 some paramilitary groups in paragraphs 745 through 753 of its brief. In
18 P2931, Karadzic makes clear the JCE members never intended to prosecute
19 paramilitaries who subordinated themselves to VRS command for crimes they
20 had previously committed against non-Serbs.
21 And you see here a VRS officer celebrating paramilitaries' role
22 in removing non-Serbs. This is a Drina Corps Colonel Miladin Prstojevic
23 in December 1992 writing:
24 "With the arrival of paramilitary organisations to the Zvornik
25 municipality, particularly the arrival of Arkan and his people, this
1 territory was liberated from the Turks. Turks made up 60 per cent of the
2 municipality's population and it has now been cleansed and replaced with
3 an ethnically pure Serb population."
4 As we set out, the measures against paramilitaries had nothing to
5 do with disagreements about the common purpose; they had to do with
6 ensuring and cementing chain of command. And so, as Karadzic said in
7 P2931, they didn't apply to paramilitaries that had subordinated
8 themselves to the chain of command.
9 Now, Arkan's contribution and those of other Belgrade-based
10 organs that contributed to implementing the JCE, like the JNA, the VJ,
11 and DB Serbia, were organised under the authority of Slobodan Milosevic.
12 By the time Mladic was appointed VRS commander on 12 May, Milosevic had,
13 among other things, taken control of the JNA, MUP Serbia, and the SFRY
14 Presidency; contributed substantially to the arming and training of Serb
15 forces that carried out ethnic cleansing in Croatia; initiated the
16 transformation of the army, that I mentioned yesterday, led to the
17 establishment of the VRS; and attended the meeting at which Mladic,
18 previously a JNA officer under his control, was chosen to head the VRS;
19 and shared the Bosnian Serb leadership's goals, including having all
20 Serbs in one ethnically homogenous state, which would include most of
21 BiH's territory and which required forcibly removing non-Serbs from the
22 areas they all targeted through the charged crimes.
23 Now, those shared goals are reflected in Milosevic's
24 contributions, his meeting with Tudjman in 1991 about dividing BiH, and
25 his statement to Babic that Babic should not "stand in Radovan's way"
1 when Karadzic would expel Bosnian Muslims into the river valleys to link
2 up Serb territories. And you see the same shared goals in December 1993,
3 when Milosevic met with Mladic, Karadzic, Krajisnik, Mico Stanisic,
4 Jovica Stanisic, and other leaders from the RS and Serbia in Belgrade.
5 Mladic's notes reflect the group discussed the Strategic Objectives and a
6 forthcoming military operation. And Milosevic, reflecting his authority
7 and his continuing contribution, agreed, adding: General Perisic will
8 give everything that does not jeopardise combat-readiness of units here.
9 And that's his authority, of course, over the military support that the
10 VJ was providing.
11 And the evidence for all this is set out in paragraphs 516 to 520
12 of our brief. It shows long after Milosevic began to try to curry favour
13 with internationals by telling them he condemned VRS crimes, like the G1
14 bombardment, he continued to provide the military support which Harland
15 explained allowed the Bosnian Serbs to continue their cleansing campaign.
16 That's P1.
17 While later in the indictment period he sometimes disagreed with
18 the Bosnian Serb leadership about how much seized land they would
19 practically be able to hold on to or whether to seize more, these
20 tactical differences do not negate his commitment to the common purpose.
21 I raise this as an example because the Defence argues in
22 paragraphs 818 through 822 that we have not provided enough evidence
23 about other JCE members identified in the indictment. Now, Mr. Tieger
24 addressed President Karadzic at some length. I here discuss Milosevic.
25 The various JCE members are dealt with thoroughly in our brief,
1 particularly in paragraphs 499 through 528.
2 I'm going to turn now to a few issues related to specific counts
3 in the indictment, beginning with Counts 7 and 8, deportation and
4 forcible transfer. Now first throughout the municipalities the Defence
5 have attempted to characterise the departures of almost all the non-Serbs
6 who lived there as voluntary. But looking at the facts and looking often
7 at the very evidence the Defence cite, reveals that the people who fled
8 had no genuine choice, that they were victims of forcible transfer.
9 For instance, in paragraph 1386 of its brief, the Defence cite
10 P6568, paragraph 10, to show that Bosnian Muslims purportedly voluntarily
11 left Pale "without hindrance and in an organised manner." And you see
12 here that proposal from Muslim citizens in Pale and Koran communes to the
13 Pale Crisis Staff. The next line of the proposal is critical and you see
14 it now. It explains why they were asking to leave.
15 "Due to reasons such as abuse, unlawful arrests of only Muslims,
16 break-ins into apartments, disarming Muslim police officers, seizing
17 personal weapons with permits, and similar."
18 And you've received evidence that, for instance, all the Muslim
19 police in Pale had been dismissed days before this.
20 So, in short, the Muslims of Pale wanted to leave because they
21 were being persecuted. It's an example of having no genuine choice. As
22 we set out in our Pale summary, as that persecution excalated, two
23 members of the Bosnian Serb Presidency, Radovan Karadzic and
24 Nikola Koljevic, reaffirmed - publicly in Karadzic's case and to a group
25 of Muslims in Koljevic's - that Muslims were not welcome in Pale and then
1 virtually Pale's entire remaining Muslim population left on convoys in
2 early July 1992 as Sulejman Crncalo testified they believed they had to
3 leave in order to "save their heads." And that's transcript page 3296.
4 The Defence argues, similarly, people left Kotor Varos
5 voluntarily, as one witness gave evidence: "There was no possibility for
6 us to survive in Kotor Varos." That's P3303.
7 Similarly in Sokolac, the Defence cite P6639, a report from
8 2nd Romanija Brigade Krstic on the 4th of August, 1992, that Muslims from
9 Parzevici village had been, in his words, deported. "At the explicit
10 request of the Muslims." What they leave out is what the record reflects
11 what was happening in Sokolac at the end of July and beginning in
12 August 1992 and continuing through Novoseoci, as I mentioned yesterday.
13 But beginning at the end of July, just before this request from the
14 Parzevici villagers, Krstic's brigade was attacking and destroying Muslim
15 villages and places of worship. And you can see the evidence in
16 paragraphs 11 and 12 of our Sokolac summary. And so, of course, at this
17 point months after Muslims had been fired from their jobs in Sokolac,
18 including all the Muslim police officers, and as the 2nd Romanija Brigade
19 was destroying Muslim villages, some thought it was better to leave
20 before their village was the next to be cleansed. And Tucker explained
21 how a similar cleansing campaign in Eastern Bosnia in early 1993
22 conditioned Muslim villagers to flee their homes. The UN
23 Military Observers would see villages shelled and then attacked by
24 infantry and so would the villagers in the next village. So they knew
25 the pattern, knew they were about to be cleansed, and "packed up whatever
1 they could carry and then fled away from Bosnian Serb forces."
2 The VRS intended this removal to be permanent. The Main Staff
3 noted on 30 May 1993, after leading the implementation of Directive 4,
4 that "Muslim forces in Podrinje have been routed. The majority of their
5 population has fled." And noted - as one of the main problems for future
6 VRS operations - "preventing the Muslim population from returning to
7 previously abandoned villages and towns."
8 The Defence cite in paragraph 813 to Boro Tadic's evidence,
9 denying the VRS or the SDS had a policy of permanently removing Muslims
10 and Croats, ignoring that the Sanski Most Crisis Staff he served on
11 required people leaving to attest they were leaving permanently. P3256.
12 Ignoring the document I just mentioned where the Main Staff set out
13 preventing return as a military objective. Tolimir's discussion of the
14 importance of preparing non-Serbs from coming back in P6723. And the
15 voluminous evidence of the JCE members' policy we referred to in our
16 brief, some of which Mr. Tieger also referred to yesterday.
17 The Defence further argues people moved to get away from the war
18 and simply to get out of the area of legitimate combat operations; but
19 the evidence shows over and over again the way the VRS conducted its
20 operations was designed to ethnically cleanse the areas it targeted, like
21 Mladic called for in Directive 4, like Andric called for in the order we
22 saw yesterday from May 1992. So the fact they were fleeing the war was a
23 result of the way the VRS was conducting it, burning houses, detaining
24 non-combatants, expelling women and children, murdering prisoners,
25 treating entire communities as enemies, that's a result of the decisions
1 taken at the strategic level to separate the population through military
2 force and the commission of crimes.
3 One of the most visible ways the JCE members sought to remove not
4 only non-Serbs but the evidence that their communities ever existed was
5 the destruction of their sacred places. Serb witnesses, including
6 Predrag Radic, Milan Tupajic, RM015, RM016, and RM513, all told you the
7 message destroying mosques sent Bosnian Muslim communities was that the
8 people who worshipped there, who grew up there, who got married there,
9 who celebrated their children there, who mourned their dead there, they
10 and their communities were no longer welcome. And you see that, for
11 instance, in P4333, transcript pages 7468 to 7470.
12 Now, this was JCE members' policy, this destruction, and you can
13 see that in republic-level officials criticising Radic because the
14 mosques in Banja Luka had not yet been destroyed. You can see it in
15 Mladic's statement to the Assembly that "we cannot allow leaving the
16 mosques with two minarets" standing in the Tesanj pocket, P2508. And can
17 you see it in the pattern, as Riedlmayer testified, no mosque survived
18 the war intact in any of the indictment municipalities, and that's
19 transcript page 17933. As one witness explained:
20 "The destruction of mosques was to delete all traces of Muslim
21 influence in the area and to intimidate the remaining Muslims into
22 leaving the area. The ethnic cleansing was the reason for the
23 destruction of the mosques ..."
24 Now, the Defence cite witness Gojkovic to try to distance the VRS
25 from mosque destruction. Gojkovic's evidence is not reliable. Among
1 other things, he first admitted he did not study the sites that are charged
2 in this case, beyond looking at the pictures collected by the Prosecution
3 expert. Second, could not explain - either generally or by reference to
4 specific sites - his conclusion that ten sites had been destroyed during
5 combat and 84 destroyed after the VRS had left the area, a conclusion the
6 Defence cites in its brief at paragraph 1156. And, in fact, Gojkovic
7 admitted at transcript page 37609 that some sites didn't fit in either
8 category. And he replicated most, but not all, of Riedlmayer's entry for
9 a Srebrenica town mosque in a way that concealed the date of its
10 destruction at a time he admitted the VRS had control of the area and
11 without attributing the material he did choose to use to Riedlmayer.
12 Now turning to Counts 4 to 6, extermination and murder. I'm
13 going to start with extermination. The Defence says that the various
14 massacres that we charge can't be aggregated to meet the mass scale
15 requirement for the killings to constitute extermination. Two quick
16 points on that. First, a number of the charged massacres plainly meet
17 the mass scale requirement on their own. I won't give a full list, but
18 it includes certainly B16.2, the murder of the remaining Susica prisoners
19 in Vlasenica at the end of September 1992; A3.3, the murder of more than
20 200 Muslims at the Biljani school; A4.4, the massacre of more than 150
21 Muslims detained at the Grabovica school I discussed this morning; B13.1,
22 the massacre of more than 150 Muslims in Room 3 at Keraterm camp; and
24 Second, this Tribunal's jurisprudence is clear, different
25 killings may be aggregated for purposes of extermination if based on a
1 case-by-case analysis of the circumstances in which they occurred, they
2 are part of one and the same operation. For instance, you can see in
3 paragraph 1027 of the Stanisic/Zupljanin appeal judgement, the murders
4 committed in a single camp during the period of its operation may be
5 aggregated. And so you see in our brief, in our victim list, in our
6 Scheduled Incident chart the mass scale of the killings in several of the
7 Schedule B facilities, including, for instance, Omarska and KP Dom Foca.
8 I'm going to turn finally to remaining issues in a few of the
9 individual municipalities; but before I do, I want to make clear that
10 Mladic is not charged with participating in separate joint criminal
11 enterprises for each of the municipalities that was subjected to the
12 cleansing campaign. The crimes against the Muslim and Croat populations
13 in these municipalities are part of one overarching joint criminal
14 enterprise to ethnically cleanse this territory of its non-Serb
15 populations through the commission of crimes. I'm going to focus here on
16 Eastern Bosnia and the ARK and on municipalities that I have not fully
17 covered during the more thematic discussion earlier.
18 I'll start in Eastern Bosnia with Vlasenica. Thanks to an ethnic
19 cleansing campaign led by Svetozar Andric's Birac Brigade and RS MUP
20 forces under SJB Chief Mane Djuric, by fall 1992 Vlasenica's remaining
21 Muslim population had been forced into the Cerska enclave; and we talked
22 about what happened in Cerska in the Directive 4 operations yesterday.
23 Members of Bosnian Serb forces were instructed to burn Muslim houses to
24 stop them from coming back. MUP forces killed Muslims in their homes.
25 The clear policy to ethnically cleanse the non-Serbs from the
1 municipality is reflected in Andric's order and in SAO Birac decisions,
2 like P3737, to move out the Muslim population from Birac. And Defence
3 witnesses who claimed that Muslims had been intimidated, harassed, fired
4 from their jobs, disarmed, and subjected to ethnic-based arrest, they
5 left Vlasenica voluntarily, these claims are simply not credible.
6 We set out in our narrative the evidence that Susica camp was a
7 key part of this campaign, and our Scheduled Incident chart sets out how
8 detainees there were held in terrible conditions, beaten, raped, and some
9 killed. The Defence argues, first, that Susica was a humane transit
10 facility, not a camp; and second, that the VRS didn't perpetrate or know
11 about the crimes there.
12 As you've seen throughout the last two days, the same witnesses
13 the Defence cite prove our case. In paragraph 1666, they claim:
14 "Civilians and people who just found their accommodation passed
15 through Susica, including refugees."
16 What the evidence they cite actually says is:
17 "There were civilians at Susica from the surrounding villages but
18 they did not come of their own accord. There were a few cases when
19 people came of their own will, but a large number of civilians, men and
20 women alike, were taken prisoner in the surrounding villages and in the
21 town itself and they were brought to Susica."
22 Their arguments that Susica was a humane place ignores the
23 evidence of massive and brutal crimes there. Prisoners were beaten to
24 death, women were raped in the guard house, that's transcript page 5346
25 and 47; and the conditions they were held in were brutal. As to their
1 argument that the VRS didn't know about or perpetrate the crimes, they
2 ignore their evidence of their own witness SJB Chief Djuric, who
3 testified at transcript page 27709, that the VRS did know about beatings
4 and killings there; and ignore the uncontroverted evidence that the
5 Vlasenica Battalion command knew about the massacre of the remaining
6 detainees at the end of September 1992 in order to cover it up.
7 Now, one part of the cleansing campaign in Vlasenica was the
8 massacre at Drum charged in Scheduled Incident A9.1. This was just one
9 joint VRS/RS MUP cleansing operation. We refer you in our brief to
10 Djuric's evidence about how such operations worked. Both P3391 and P182
11 identify VRS soldiers as well as RS MUP personnel among the attackers;
12 and P7352, the Birac Brigade's own report, refers to the brigade reaching
13 Drum and Gradina, which was cleansed in the same operation, at the end of
14 May or beginning of June 1992, when the crime was carried out.
15 Now, like Vlasenica, Foca became almost entirely Serb during the
16 war. We set out in our brief the shocking transformation of Foca's
17 demographics from a majority Muslim municipality to the point where in
18 September 1992 Mladic noted Foca was 99 per cent Serb. That's P355, page
19 66. That transformation which the JCE members, including Karadzic and
20 Krajisnik, repeatedly celebrated was achieved through large-scale ethnic
21 cleansing including the detention and abuse of thousands of non-Serbs at
22 KP Dom Foca and through a pattern of particularly brutal sexual violence
23 against the few remaining Muslim women in Foca. The consequences of the
24 campaign were devastating: Hundreds of KP Dom prisoners were killed. We
25 set out in our brief the formation of the Foca Tactical Group which
1 carried out significant parts of the campaign, beginning with SDS-formed
2 units in 1991 and then being incorporated into the VRS in June 1992.
3 Now, one of the commanders of the SDS organised TG Foca units who was
4 incorporated into the VRS TG Foca under Marko Kovac, was Pero Elez. Elez
5 and his unit were, as the Defence brief concedes, responsible for a
6 number of serious crimes in both Foca and Kalinovik municipalities. Now,
7 the Defence attempts to distance General Mladic from those crimes by
8 denying Elez's incorporation into the VRS. But evidence is clear, Elez
9 was one of Mladic's subordinates when he committed the crimes. For
10 instance, you see here an order from the Main Staff to TG Foca dated 6th
11 of July, 1992, directing TG Foca to "attack the general
12 Ustikolina-Gorazde axis with the following task: Tie down enemy forces
13 as strong as possible on the Osanice river - Drina to Ilovaca village
15 And here you see a portion of an order from TG Foca commander
16 Marko Kovac the next day. Looking at point 2, we see Kovac is ordering
17 TG Foca to attack "in the general Ustikolina-Gorazde direction with the
18 task to maximally engage the enemy forces on the front line from Osanice
19 village from the confluence into the Drina river to Ilovaca village."
20 So he is implementing Mladic' order.
21 And here you see page 3, Kovac's order to the "Serbian Army
22 Miljevine Battalion" which Defence witness Pljevalcic confirmed was
23 Elez's unit at transcript page 27221. So Elez was clearly part of
24 Mladic's chain of command.
25 And lower on the page we see a reference to the Dragan Nikolic
1 detachment under Brane Cosovic. Just before this order was issued but
2 after Kovac took command of TG Foca, members of that detachment had
3 murdered a group of Muslim civilians hiding in the woods near Mjesaja
5 And can we briefly go into private session.
6 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
7 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session, Your Honours.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
4 MR. TRALDI: As we set out in our Foca summary in the Scheduled
5 Incident chart, KP Dom Foca was jointly run between the VRS and the
6 Ministry of Justice. As I mentioned, large numbers of detainees were
7 killed. The Defence argues that conditions in KP Dom were fine, and if
8 they are weren't it was because there weren't enough supplies; the
9 detainees weren't beaten, but if they were it was by paramilitaries or
10 rogue actors; and that Mladic didn't know about the crimes - reflecting
11 the overwhelming evidence of criminality at KP Dom, not of all
12 of which I'll repeat here. The Defence notes in paragraph 1530 that one
13 witness escaped beatings during his detention, though the witness's own
14 evidence reflects many other detainees were beaten and murdered while he
15 was held there.
16 Turning now to Kalinovik. Remember those Muslims that the
17 Defence cites from the 16th Assembly that Mladic said did not have to be
18 expelled or drowned because they had been neutralised in other ways. As
19 we set out in our brief, thanks to a cleansing campaign led by the VRS
20 Kalinovik Tactical Group, by September 1992 Kalinovik's population of
21 several thousands Muslims was essentially gone and Defence attempts to
22 avoid VRS responsibility for this campaign are meritless.
23 As in Foca, Defence attempts to exculpate Mladic depend on
24 denying Elez's incorporation, because in Kalinovik Elez's unit is again
25 responsible for terrible crimes. For instance, the murder of more than
1 20 Muslim men at a stable in Ratine in early August 1992. Just days
2 before the crime, Elez met with Mladic personally, P353, page 394.
3 Immediately thereafter, his unit took part in VRS operations to take the
4 Rogoj pass as part of the Foca Tactical Group, P6684. There's no
5 question he was incorporated at the time of the crime.
6 Similarly, the Defence concedes Elez's units was involved in
7 crimes against detainees at the Miladin Radojevic school in Foca, and the
8 evidence of those crimes shows they were committed after Elez was
9 incorporated into the VRS.
10 Now, the prisoners Elez's unit murdered were taken out of an
11 ammunition warehouse at the TG Kalinovik barracks at Jelasacko Polje.
12 Detainees there were held in inhumane conditions and regularly and
13 severely abused. The Defence alleges that the RS MUP was responsible for
14 detention and the VRS was "not even present at the warehouse," citing
15 Fejzija Hadzic's testimony. Not only does Hadzic not say the VRS was
16 absent, he clearly identifies the commander of the facility, Djordjislav
17 Askraba. And P7748 shows that Askraba was seconded by the RS MUP to the
18 VRS during the relevant period. Notably at paragraph 1592, the Defence
19 cites P4073, page 4, to suggest the RS MUP was detaining Muslim men at
20 the Kalinovik primary school, then transferred them to military prison,
21 where the TG Kalinovik command took control of securing them. The
22 evidence set out in paragraphs 12 and 13 of our summary makes clear that
23 the military prison referred to in P4073 was the warehouse at the
24 Jelasacko Polje barracks that they tried to blame the RS MUP for as well.
25 And Defence suggestions that there was no plan to remove
1 Kalinovik's Muslims or that the reason they left was an "unfortunate but
2 inevitable consequence of war," are simply incredible in light of the
3 universal detention of Kalinovik's remaining Muslims during cleansing
4 operations in early August, the abuse of those detained, the murder of
5 many, and the pattern replicated in Kalinovik as well as other
6 municipalities throughout BiH.
7 I'm going to turn finally to the ARK. I'm going to discuss one
8 issue before we break. Many of those removed from the ARK were detained
9 in Manjaca as part of the process that eventually culminated in their
10 removal, many of them across national boundaries into Croatia. The
11 Defence challenges at times the VRS's role in getting detainees to
12 Manjaca, but the Hasan Kikic school transport is a good example of how
13 the VRS didn't just hold detainees at Manjaca, it was critical to getting
14 them there in the first place.
15 Now, detainees at the Kikic school in Sanski Most were rounded up
16 by Serb forces during the VRS-led cleansing operations in the
17 municipality in late May 1992. Groups were taken to the school by VRS
18 soldiers. You can see that, for instance, in P3426, including military
19 police and members of the SOS who, as we discussed, were operating under
20 VRS command at the time. They were transferred on the 6th of June to
21 Manjaca. Crisis Staff documentation reflects that the transfer was
22 co-ordinated with the 1st Krajina Corps chief of security and
23 intelligence, at the time Colonel Stevilovic. When they arrived at
24 Manjaca, those who abused the detainees and murdered several of them on
25 arrival included Danilusko Kajtez, a member of the SOS which was again
1 operating under the 6th Brigade; and the evidence for that is in
2 paragraphs 28, 29 of our Sanski Most summary and the B1.1
3 Scheduled Incident chart.
4 So VRS units rounded up many of these detainees, the VRS
5 co-ordinated their transfer to Manjaca with civilian authorities, soldiers
6 who were conducting operations subordinated to the VRS at the time abused
7 them and murdered several on arrival, and then the VRS continued
8 detaining people that it knew to be merely civilians in Manjaca for
9 months. So the VRS was integral to how they got to the camp, as well as
10 to their abuse and continuing unlawful detention once they were there.
11 You see the same thing in other ARK municipalities, detainees transferred
12 from Prijedor generally originally rounded up in VRS-led cleansing
13 operations. Detainees transferred from Kljuc generally rounded up in the
14 VRS-led cleansings in late May and some in late June before being shipped
15 to Manjaca from detention facilities in their home municipalities.
16 With that, Your Honour, I see we are at time for the break.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Traldi. One second, please.
18 Mr. Traldi, the Chamber would like to be informed again on
19 whether you are still on track as far as timing is concerned.
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 MR. TRALDI: We believe so, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. What you believe, verify whether it's
23 objectively clear as well.
24 We take a break and we resume at quarter past midday.
25 --- Recess taken at 11.52 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 12.19 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Traldi, you may proceed.
3 MR. TRALDI: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 The cleansing campaign reached its most brutal apex in Prijedor
5 municipality. Before the war, evidence shows Prijedor was a vibrant
6 community with more than 50.000 non-Serbs, P7029; a symbol of brotherhood
7 and unity in the region, according to Radulj; and the last place where
8 anyone thought ethnic conflict could happen, that's RM065. And after the
9 vicious cleansing campaign lead by the 43rd Brigade and the Prijedor SJB,
10 as Radulj admitted, that symbol of brotherhood and unity didn't exist
11 anymore. Arsic, Zeljaja, and Drljaca's forces achieved that through
12 widespread destruction of Muslim and Croat villages, homes, mosques, and
13 Catholic churches, through killing more than 1500 Muslims, and detaining
14 thousands more in brutal and inhumane conditions.
15 Now, because both parties have led such detailed evidence about
16 Prijedor, I'm going to go through it in some detail now to conclude my
17 portion of the presentation.
18 By the time the VRS was formed, Prijedor authorities, together
19 with the JNA and Prijedor SJB staff, had seized control of the organs of
20 government in the municipality, taking over power in what Defence witness
21 Mandic acknowledged was an implementation of the second level of
22 Variant B. Beginning just days after the formal transformation of the
23 JNA into the VRS, the VRS's 43rd Brigade led attacks on Prijedor's Muslim
24 and Croat communities. Huge numbers were killed during cleansing
25 operations and in the Prijedor camps.
1 The initial attacks beginning around the 23rd of May, 1992, were
2 on Hambarine and Kozarac villages. These were co-ordinated at higher
3 levels of command. The 43rd Brigade reported to the corps command about
4 the "ciscenje" of Hambarine, that's P3942, page 139; and corps Chief of
5 Staff Kelecevic confirmed that, transcript page 37253. And Kelecevic
6 admitted during the cleansing Hambarine was massively shelled and Muslim
7 civilians were killed, that's 37254. One survivor explained what that
8 looked like. Constant shelling, people packed into basements, airplanes
9 flying overhead, and then she and other civilians fleeing as attacking
10 infantry shelled private homes with tanks and burned them down, that's
11 P3234, page 7.
12 At P7364, page 2, the 43rd Brigade's bulletin described the
13 attack's purpose, the punishment of Hambarine residents for an armed
14 incident at the Hambarine check-point.
15 Similarly, the 43rd brigade was in contact with the corps command
16 in the lead-up to the attack on Kozarac. Zeljaja predicted to Talic, the
17 corps commander, that 1.000 Muslims would die. Talic, in turn, reported to
18 Milovanovic that Kozarac was surrounded and blocked and would fall by the
19 next day, P7475. The VRS then shelled and attached Kozarac for two days
20 and a large number of Muslims were killed, as Defence witness Javoric
21 admitted. And we lay out in paragraph 281 of our brief and our Scheduled
22 Incident chart for Kozarac the clear evidence that a large number of
23 these killed Muslims were civilians or persons hors de combat.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Traldi, page 4, line 1, I thought you gave a
25 number of people killed. Just before the sentence: "As Defence Javoric
1 admitted ..."
2 MR. TRALDI: I'd said Zeljaja had predicted that a thousand would
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Yeah, that was much earlier.
5 MR. TRALDI: And then Javoric admitted -- oh, I think I said just
6 a large number of Muslims were killed --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: A large number, okay.
8 MR. TRALDI: -- was his admission. I don't believe he gave a
9 specific number.
10 Now, CSB Banja Luka Agent Radulovic gave evidence that this was a
11 "classic scorched earth military action," that's P3207, paragraph 85.
12 COURT REPORTER: Can you say the number again, please.
13 MR. TRALDI: P3207, paragraph 85. And indeed, on the 26th of
14 May, CSB Banja Luka reported to the RS MUP about Hambarine and Kozarac:
15 "Several hundred inhabitants of these villages were killed or
16 wounded during the attacks" - that's P3434 - "thousands more were rounded
17 up and detained."
18 Days later, a group of Muslims tried to re-take Prijedor town.
19 43rd Brigade Chief of Staff Zeljaja called Talic and informed him that he
20 was "cleansing everything" and would not spare women or children. One
21 survivor explained that this was the closest to the reality of the Muslim
22 and Croats' treatment in Prijedor, and that's P3273.
23 And that day, the VRS destroyed the Muslim Stari Grad
24 neighbourhood in Prijedor and rounded up the civilians who lived there.
25 Two days later, the 1st Krajina Corps reported to the Main Staff 7.000
1 non-Serbs had been detained in Prijedor, that's P2875.
2 As they were rounded up, Talic commended the 43rd Brigade in
3 writing for its operations in Hambarine, Kozarac, and Prijedor, while the
4 1st Krajina Corps reported to the Main Staff that:
5 "Conscripts of Muslim nationality have asked to be released from
6 the units. They expressed their dissatisfaction with the massive
7 destruction of their towns," referring to places including Kozarac.
8 That's P151, page 2.
9 These thousands of detained non-Serbs were held primarily in
10 Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje. The Defence tries to blame the
11 civilian authorities for the Prijedor camps and distance Mladic from
12 them, and this effort fails. First, the VRS brought thousands of
13 detainees to Omarska, Keraterm, and Trnopolje. Kelecevic, again,
14 acknowledged the VRS took large numbers of prisoners to these
15 facilities, that's at transcript pages 37257 to 37258. You can find
16 more evidence in our Prijedor narrative.
17 Second, Trnopolje commander and sexual violence perpetrator
18 Slobodan Kuruzovic was incorporated into the VRS under the 43rd Brigade,
19 as we discuss in our Prijedor summary and as I mentioned earlier.
20 Bosnian Serb reports on the camp system, while whitewashing the crimes,
21 acknowledged Trnopolje was VRS-run, and that's P2900, page 28; and P5149,
22 page 3.
23 The VRS also helped operate Omarska and Keraterm camps by
24 providing external and some internal security. Military police served as
25 part of the mixed interrogation teams who categorised detainees there.
1 And most fundamentally, of course, the camps were part of the
2 implementation of a common purpose that Mladic shared with the leaders of
3 the RS MUP and the other Bosnian Serb organs.
4 The crimes committed in these camps were terrible. According to
5 the Serb Red Cross, over 23.000 people, as many as 8.000 at a time,
6 including women, children, and elderly, had passed through Trnopolje by
7 September 1992, that's P7199. Those people were subjected to abysmal
8 conditions and treatment, many living outside in the elements in shelters
9 made of sticks, plastic sheeting, and blankets; using self-dug latrines
10 and foraging for their own food. As described in our brief, VRS soldiers
11 raped women and girls as young as 12 at the camp, and camp commander
12 Kuruzovic himself perpetrated particularly brutal crimes of sexual
13 violence. Men detained there were brutally interrogated, beaten with
14 baseball bats, iron bars, rifle-butts, table legs, shot, cut with knives,
15 and otherwise abused.
16 Keraterm, as Safet Taci described, it was a torture camp, that's
17 transcript page 2104. Detainees there were held in inhumane and wretched
18 conditions, they were viciously beaten on arrival before being locked
19 into crowded blood-stained rooms without enough space to lie down on the
20 bare concrete floors, with no ventilation, little access to hygiene
21 during the hot summer months. They suffered from malnutrition and
22 starvation. Guards and soldiers, including VRS soldiers you've heard
23 about, Zoran Zigic and Dusko Knezevic, beat many detainees, some of them
24 to death, and soldiers and others raped female detainees there.
25 In Omarska detainees held there were, as P3414 tells you, afraid
1 of dying every minute, every second. They were afraid of dying because
2 they knew, they saw, heard, smelled and felt the suffering caused by the
3 thousands of cruel and abusive criminal acts directed at their fellow
4 detainees. They watched as fellow detainees were humiliated, threatened
5 with death, beaten, forced to drink motor oil. They saw and heard crimes
6 of sexual violence. They were afraid to fulfil everyday human needs,
7 like eating or going to the restroom, because they were beaten when they
8 did so. And detainees were murdered. Muslim and Croat, political,
9 professional, and intellectual leaders, police and businessmen were
10 particularly targeted for liquidation. Others categorised as being of no
11 security interest were not released, but the lucky ones were transferred
12 and ultimately expelled.
13 Beatings during interrogation by the mixed teams were frequent,
14 resulting in broken bones and deaths. Other detainees could hear the
15 moans and the cries of the people suffering. VRS soldiers entered the
16 camp and beat and tortured detainees, killing some. Other detainees were
17 forced to carry dead bodies to the lawn by the white house, where almost
18 daily they lay in heaps for other detainees to see before they were
19 eventually taken away. One detainee, when asked about crimes against her
20 and her family in 1992, gave evidence:
21 "My life stopped in 1992. Probably my suffering will never come
22 to an end."
23 That's P3242, transcript pages 6237 and 6254.
24 Finally, I want to focus on the week of the 20th to the 25th of
25 July, 1992, when the ethnic cleansing of Prijedor, as we set out in our
1 brief, came to a particular head.
2 Before I go into the details of the evidence about that week, the
3 Defence claims that no VRS personnel were involved in burials of people
4 killed during the week of 20th July at the Tomasica mass grave; instead,
5 the mass grave has the VRS all over it. Company records reflect
6 machinery was being used by the VRS at the grave-site on key days during
7 the week when massacres happened, that's P7422 and 7423.
8 And can we briefly go into private session.
9 JUDGE ORIE: We move into private session.
10 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: We're back in open session, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
5 MR. TRALDI: I started with Tomasica because Tomasica and
6 Jakarina Kosa are where so many of the people killed during the week of
7 the 20th to the 25th of July were eventually found. This was a week in
8 which almost a thousand people were killed in nine different charged
9 incidents. This slide made from P2441 highlights the areas that were
10 cleansed. On the left, you see Croat villages including Brisevo and
11 running up to Miska Glava, where a group of more than a hundred people
12 was taken to the cultural centre, abused, some killed, before the rest
13 were taken to Ljubija stadium and eventually another part of the Ljubija
14 mine and almost all murdered.
15 Next to it you see the Brdo and Biscani areas, where hundreds of
16 Muslims were murdered, including in Carakovo, in Rizvanovici, in Biscani
17 itself. In the centre, a circle around Prijedor town where 200 Muslims
18 who had just been rounded up in the Brdo area were murdered in Room 3 at
19 Keraterm camp. On the right, Omarska, where another 200 Muslims from
20 Brdo were murdered. And then at the bottom in the centre, Tomasica where
21 so many were buried. And to understand the impact of this cleansing, it
22 helps to recall that the green dots not circled in the upper right
23 portion cluster around Kozarac which had been cleansed already at the end
24 of May and beneath it, Jaskici and Sivci which I won't address today but
25 which you've received evidence were cleansed in mid-June.
1 Operations in which these people were murdered in July, going
2 back to that week, were ethnic cleansing operations. As the week began,
3 the 1st Krajina Corps reported to the Main Staff that Prijedor was fully
4 under VRS control, P7476; with Muslim fighters only appearing "singly or
5 in small groups around the Kozarac and Kozarusa villages," P2892.
6 Kelecevic admitted Prijedor was under VRS control at this time, that's
7 transcript 37273. Indeed, weeks earlier the corps had informed the
8 Main Staff there were only about a hundred alleged rebels left in the
9 Prijedor area "broken up into smaller groups of five to ten people,
10 hiding in basements, woods, and underground shelters. They were most
11 often detected either attempting to pull out or searching for food; and
12 if they don't surrender, they are eliminated."
13 With Prijedor under total VRS control, VRS officer Slobodan Cumba
14 visited Trnopolje and told a detainee, Brdo and Biscani surrendered their
15 weapons but they would still be "ethnically cleansed" pursuant to
16 "policy," that's in paragraph 284 of our brief. The Defence claims the
17 hundreds of non-Serbs killed during this week were largely the result of
18 legitimate combat, paragraph 933 of their brief, and to do that they
19 repeatedly attempt to turn these remaining alleged rebels into a real
20 army, far different from how the 1st Krajina Corps depicted them at the
21 time, and often based on propaganda published by Kozarski Vjesnik, but
22 you've received evidence of massacre after massacre during this week in
23 Brisevo, in Hegici, in Mrkalji, in Carakovo, and throughout the
24 Brdo and Biscani regions, as well as the camps to which these people were
1 Official Serb records after the cleansing was over confirm
2 Radulj's admissions that Prijedor multi-ethnic community didn't exist
3 anymore and its Muslim community was devastated. P3598, an October 1992
4 CSB Banja Luka report, noted: "Dozens of villages have been almost
5 completely destroyed and left uninhabited," specifying Carakovo, Zecovi,
6 Rizvanovici, Biscani, Rakovcani, all of which you see circled in front of
7 you here, and Hambarine, Kozarusa, Kozarac, Kamicani, which had been
8 cleansed in late May.
9 The CSB noted: "This destruction saw the beginnings of the mass
10 exodus of both Muslims and Croats."
11 Like other Serb records that claimed the destruction was as a
12 result of combat, but you know from all the evidence about what happened
13 that week, from Kupresanin's admission Brisevo was unarmed, from the
14 witness evidence about massacres throughout the area, from the 1 KK
15 documents reflecting minimal Muslim forces left in Prijedor, that is a
16 euphemism, that these were brutal ethnic cleansing operations, brutal,
17 systematic, comprehensive.
18 What you see on this next slide is those villages mentioned in
19 P3598 which are most relevant to the cleansing campaign in Prijedor and
20 included in both P7029, the 1991 census, and P7126, the 1993 Prijedor
21 portion of the Republika Srpska census. As you see, many of the
22 communities I've just been talking to you about by 1993 genuinely,
23 literally, chillingly, no longer existed. Down the column on your left,
24 over and over more than a thousand people in the Muslim community in
25 1991, and on the right, no one; in 1993, one person. Village after
1 village that did not exist anymore.
2 With that evidence in mind, Your Honours, Mr. Tieger will now
3 address you on Count 1.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Traldi.
5 Mr. Tieger, please proceed.
6 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Your Honours, the crimes about which you have just heard were
8 part of the organised effort to demographically reconfigure Bosnia, to
9 create a factual situation that would ensure a Bosnian Serb state in the
10 areas they claimed, free of historical enemies. The crimes they used to
11 achieve these results, including genocide, were part of the common
13 As the Prosecution brief details in paragraphs 167 through 174,
14 paragraph 282:
15 It was clear that ethnically reconfiguring Bosnia's intermingled
16 population would not happen, as we've heard, by magic, but would require
17 great crimes.
18 Separating people from everything they have, from their homes,
19 from their communities, possessions, livelihoods, cannot realistically be
20 accomplished without crimes at a level sufficient to overcome people's
21 natural resistance to abandoning everything they have, know, and love.
22 JCE members were well aware and indeed threatened the level of violence
23 that would be used to achieve the objective, up to and including
24 "disappearance" and "extinction."
25 They prepared their followers to use the necessary force and
1 violence, imbuing the message that Serbs faced a genocidal attack. By
2 way of just one of many examples, General Mladic told a VRS symposium:
3 "Ustasha and Islamic hordes which have for decades in secret and
4 from within the bosom of our people been preparing its extermination."
5 You will recall that Ambassador Okun recognised the relation
6 between such characterisations and a "pre-emptive genocide."
7 These crimes became almost instantly notorious and known to the
8 world, and internationals protested repeatedly to Mladic and Karadzic
9 about them. And knowing how the forcible removal was being implemented,
10 JCE members deflected criticism, defended the crimes, praised the
11 results, promoted rather than punished the perpetrators, and worked to
12 cement the results of those crimes. Threatened it, implemented it,
13 maintained it, praised it, rewarded it, cemented it, why? Because these
14 crimes, including genocide, were necessary means to achieve the desired
15 permanent removal of unwanted Serbs [sic] from coveted territories.
16 [Prosecution counsel confer]
17 MR. TIEGER: And I should be corrected to say "unwanted non-Serbs
18 from coveted territories, the transcript should read.
19 Your Honours, I will be discussing Count 1, genocide, in the
20 context of the crimes against Prijedor's Muslim community, and I do so
21 because - as you have heard - the level and intensity of the crimes
22 deployed in Prijedor strikingly illuminate the factors bearing on
23 destructive intent as well as their existence. Now, that same analysis
24 applied to the facts in Prijedor can then be used by the Trial Chamber to
25 assess the inferences that can be drawn from events that occurred in
1 other charged genocidal municipalities and of those groups. And while
2 the Trial Chamber may find that Count 1 has been established by taking
3 the six genocidal municipalities in the aggregate, it must otherwise
4 consider each municipality on its own.
5 Now, as which see on the screen and as we know, genocide is the
6 convergence of these listed prohibited acts under Article 4, and in
7 Section 2 or Article 4, with an intent to destroy the group in whole or
8 in part. 4(2)(A), killings, in this case, as you know, in the context of
9 a community of 49.000 Muslims, more than 1500 civilians were killed.
10 That's at least what has been shown by the evidence related to the
11 Scheduled Incidents and the demographic evidence, but recall also that
12 General Mladic understood in 1993 that 5.000 Muslims had been killed and
13 no one appeared to blink at that number at the time, and that's found in
14 our brief at paragraphs 350, 376, and in the Prijedor summary at
15 paragraphs 1 and 57.
16 (4)(2)(B) and (C), as you've heard many thousands were rounded up
17 and held in detention, as many as 7.000 in Omarska and Keraterm, two
18 terrifying facilities where murder and torture were commonplace, where
19 detainees were slowly starved, crammed together in filthy conditions
20 without sufficient water or medical care, terrified that they would be
21 the next to be beaten, tortured, or killed, fearing death, as we learned,
22 "every minute, every second."
23 That's at paragraphs 357 through 58, 362 and 364 of the
24 Prosecution brief.
25 After a matter of weeks in these facilities, they were emaciated
1 even skeletal, as you've seen from the evidence; and this descent towards
2 death was halted only by the fortuitous exposure of the camp by the
3 international media. Now this saved the lives of many prisoners, as
4 recognised by Paddy Ashdown when he saw the detainees who had been
5 transferred to Manjaca, which was itself a brutally substandard facility
6 but a "hotel" in comparison. That's at paragraph 365 of the Prosecution
8 Many thousands more were held in Trnopolje, a way station of
9 despair, prior to being shipped out to an uncertain fate and a facility
10 with his own horrors, where rape was rampant, food uncertain, hygiene
11 intolerable. Thus, Your Honours, against the brutal backdrop of a
12 pattern of serious physical harm, that's (4)(2)(A), and the even more
13 pervasive, serious mental harm arising from day after day of torture,
14 terror, and deprivation inflicted in the prison camps, (4)(2)(B),
15 thousands of people were also subjected to acts falling within (4)(2)(C)
16 which concerns "methods of destruction that do not immediately kill the
17 members of the group, but ultimately seek their physical destruction."
18 That's at the Tolimir appeals judgement, paragraph 225.
19 So thousands and thousands and thousands of crimes, each one of
20 which satisfied the actus reus of genocide. This leaves the question
21 whether the acts occurred with genocidal intent, with the intent to
22 destroy the group as such in whole or in part. The Defence argues that
23 the targeted portion of the group, either individually or in the
24 aggregate, is not a sufficiently substantial part of the Bosnian Muslim
25 or Croat population of BH. That's found at paragraph 55 of their brief.
1 To the contrary, Your Honours, as outlined in paragraphs 383
2 through 389 of our brief, the Tribunal has found that the object and goal
3 of the Genocide Convention admit a finding of genocide even when the
4 intent extends only to a limited geographic area, such as a municipality.
5 And that's found at paragraph 385 of our brief.
6 And when you look at the Prijedor, you see the following. Its
7 Muslim community was roughly the same side, indeed larger than
8 Srebrenica. Further, just as Srebrenica was powerfully emblematic toward
9 the end of the war as a beleaguered hold out observed by the
10 international community, Prijedor at the beginning of the war was a
11 powerful symbol of World War II to the Bosnian Serbs, and thus of the
12 vulnerability of Muslim-majority areas claimed on the basis of that
13 rationale, and it was also powerfully emblematic of brotherhood and
14 unity, as you heard from Mr. Traldi. The very concept that the
15 Bosnian Serb leadership sought to replace with ethnic division.
16 Prijedor, therefore, falls squarely within the Tribunal's jurisprudence
17 as a cognisable part of the group, protected by the Genocide Convention.
18 And I direct your attention also to our brief at paragraph 384.
19 Now moving on to the Defence arguments about intent. The Defence
20 asserts that what happened to Prijedor and the intent behind it does not
21 constitute genocide because any "discriminatory approach" to killings
22 contradicts an intent to physically destroy the group. That's found at
23 their brief at paragraph 52. In other words, if the perpetrator doesn't
24 intend to kill every individual member of the group, genocidal intent is
1 Now, this is a somewhat common misunderstanding arising from the
2 general association of genocide with the best known destructive attacks
3 on groups, such as the Holocaust or Rwanda. But contrary to this
4 misimpression, as the list of genocidal acts itself makes clear, killings
5 represents only one potential aspect of destructive attack on a group.
6 For example, Article (4)(2)(E), forcibly transferring children of the
7 group to another group, does not result in the physical demise of any
8 group member, indeed does not impact the physical or biological capacity
9 of the individual members. Its destructive effect, its destructive
10 impact, is that effect on the group's capacity to "renew itself," that
11 is, renew itself as a group, a separate and distinct entity, which is
12 what the Genocide Convention protects, the group. And you can see that
13 in the application of Genocide Convention in the ICJ, the Croatia versus
14 Serbia case in February of 2015, that judgement at paragraph 136.
15 Now, a related misconception is that forcible transfer is
16 incompatible with destructive intent because people who are transferred
17 are not killed. To the contrary, as the jurisprudence again makes clear,
18 when forcible transfer accompanies an attack which includes acts
19 prohibited under the Genocide Convention and under Article 4, it may be
20 "an additional means by which to ensure physical destruction." And
21 that's found at the time Krstic appeals judgement at paragraph 31, and it
22 is a powerful indicator of the intent to destroy the group as such, as
23 Krstic also makes clear.
24 So while it is true that forcible transfer in and of itself does
25 not constitute genocide, this is not a case of pristine forcible
1 transfer. Expulsion operations, as you vividly heard, were generally
2 preceded by violent and inevitably terrifying attacks on homes, villages,
3 and towns. Family members were wrenched from their homes and from each
4 other. Many victims were then detained in horrific conditions for long
5 periods prior to being expelled. They were then cast into the anguish of
6 exile, trying somehow to cope with the loss of their homes, their
7 communities, their livelihoods and too often with the additional pain of
8 losing or not knowing the fate of loved ones. Tribunal case law has
9 recognised the harm caused to victims of forcible transfer in traumatic
10 circumstances such as these as genocidal acts, and that's at the Tolimir
11 appeals judgement paragraphs 210 through 212.
12 Your Honours, forcible transfer is an additional means of
13 destruction because it undermines the long-term ability of the group to
14 "reconstitute itself" as a community, that's Krstic appeals judgement
15 paragraph 31. And that finding, once again, reflects that destruction
16 within the meaning of the Genocide Convention and Article 4 turns on the
17 intended impact of the genocidal and other acts, that impact on the
18 capacity of the group to survive as a group, and not necessarily on the
19 physical destruction of individual members. Attacks on the group that
20 are not aimed at the physical destruction of group members may and often
21 do contribute to the destructive effect, to the destructive effort, and
22 reflect very clearly the genocidal intent.
23 The Defence also argues that targeting leadership could only
24 affect the "functionality" of a national group and could not affect its
25 "physical survival." That's found at paragraph 53 of their brief.
1 Now, again this erroneously equates genocidal intent with an
2 intent to physically destroy all members of the group and it also ignores
3 the jurisprudence which has recognised that targeting leaders may indeed
4 "amount to genocide and reflect genocidal intent." You can find that at
5 the Tolimir appeals judgement at paragraph 263, also the Jelisic trial
6 judgement at paragraph 82.
7 And this is due, as the jurisprudence explains, to the impact
8 that elimination of the leadership has on the "fabric" of society, that
9 is, the bonds that hold the group together as such, that make it a group
10 as such. And for that, can you see the final report at the Commission of
11 Experts, established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780, that's
12 at paragraph 94, relied upon by the Tolimir appeals judgement. And why
13 is that the case? Because a group is not a physical or biological
14 entity; it exists by virtue of the bonds between its members, the
15 cohering factors that allow it to exist as a group, as such. That's
16 exactly the point of the Genocide Convention, and you can find reference
17 to that in the Krajisnik trial judgement at paragraph 854, footnote 1701.
18 For the same reasons, Your Honours, the jurisprudence has
19 recognised - as you will be aware - that sexual violence has a
20 destructive impact on not only the direct victims, but also their
21 families, communities, and the "group as a whole." And see
22 paragraphs 360 and 368 and paragraph 731.
23 Once again this --
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: Sorry, are those paragraphs --
25 MR. TIEGER: In the Prosecution brief.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
2 MR. TIEGER: Once again -- I'm sorry, it's paragraph 360 and 368
3 and I also want to direct your attention to Akayesu at paragraph 731.
4 Thank you.
5 And once again, this broader destructive impact is not a matter
6 of physically destroying individual group members, but it's a matter of
7 the rupturing or undoing of family and community bonds that results from
8 sexual violence.
9 Now, it's important to note that this is distinct from "cultural
10 genocide," which is concerned with attacks merely on cultural or
11 sociological characteristics of the group and, as we know, does not
12 represent destruction within the meaning of the Genocide Convention. But
13 conduct that includes specified genocidal acts under the convention and
14 that is intended to prevent a group from continuing to exist as a
15 separate and distinct entity is distinct from conduct that instead
16 targets the cultural or sociological characteristics of a group but
17 allows for its continued existence as a separate and distinct entity.
18 The Defence also asserts at paragraph 88 of its brief that "the
19 intent" of the accused did not extend to the destruction of the Bosnian
20 Muslim/Croat peoples. Rather, the Defence claims, his "primary
21 objective" was defending the Bosnian Serb people against "subjugation."
22 That's at paragraphs 87 through 88 of their brief.
23 This claim which focuses on the alleged reasons behind
24 General Mladic's conduct represents a conflation of motive and intent.
25 As the Stakic Appeals Chamber made clear, goals, objective, motive - that
1 is, the reasons that prompt someone to act - are distinct from the means
2 intended to bring that about, and Stakic Appeals Chamber held:
3 "In genocide cases, the reason why the accused sought to destroy
4 the victim group has no bearing on guilt."
5 And that's at paragraph 373 -- that's -- excuse me, the Stakic
6 Appeals Chamber paragraph 45.
7 The existence of personal motive, whether hatred or greed or the
8 desire to protect your own group from the alleged threat of subrogation,
9 simply "does not preclude the perpetrator from also having the specific
10 intent to commit genocide."
11 And that's from the Jelisic Appeals Chamber, paragraph 49.
12 A similar risk of conflation can arise in cases involving a JCE
13 to permanently remove through crimes including, genocide. It is
14 erroneous to suggest that destructive intent is negated because the
15 "intent" was to permanently remove instead. In fact, the objective of
16 permanent removal merely begs the question of the means employed to bring
17 that about, to achieve that goal. So by way of a fairly elementary
18 example, if I desire someone's apartment and one night throw in a
19 canister of poison gas, it is no defence to a murder charge to say, I
20 didn't intend to murder him. I only intended to get him out. Getting
21 him out may have been my reason, my motive, but the means employed, the
22 means purposefully employed, clearly reveal my intent. So the question
23 is not whether the means reflect an intent to destroy the group -- excuse
24 me, the question is whether the means reflect an intent to destroy the
25 group as such and not the objective which the means seeks to fulfil, and
1 those should not be confused. And as charged in this indictment, there's
2 a common purpose "to permanently remove Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Croat
3 inhabitants by means which included the commission," and it goes on, "of
4 a number of crimes, including genocide."
5 In short, General Mladic way not find refuge in any of the
6 reasons that led to, that motivated, the murders, detentions, burnings,
7 expulsions to which the Prijedor Muslim community was subjected; and that
8 given their magnitude, pervasiveness, brutality, reflected nothing short
9 of an intention to destroy that community. And that intent, Your
10 Honours, is reflected not only by the repeated expressions of JCE members
11 about the level of force that would be employed if the Muslims and Croats
12 continued to pursue independence, force that would result in their
13 disappearance or extinction or vanishing, but in the expression of
14 satisfaction at the results.
15 In late October 1992, a relatively short time after the most
16 brutal phases of the destruction of the Prijedor Muslim community had
17 been implemented, General Mladic and other members of the Bosnian Serb
18 leadership gathered in Prijedor for an Assembly session. As Mrs. Plavsic
19 said, it was no accident that Prijedor had been selected.
20 "We had in mind everything that had happened in Prijedor."
21 General Mladic considered that the people of Prijedor had "every
22 right to be proud of their fighters."
23 And he expressed his pride in their efforts by approving the
24 promotions of some of the key implementers, including General Talic and
25 Colonel Zeljaja, who as you heard threatened to raze Kozarac to the
1 ground unless non-Serbs complied with his demands. You can find that at
2 the Prosecution brief paragraphs 281 and 487 and the Prijedor summary at
3 paragraphs 56 through 58.
4 The Bosnian Serb leadership took the position that Prijedor had
5 to be theirs because it had been a Serb-majority area before World War
6 II. You can find that at transcript 34091 through 92 and at the
7 citations in paragraph 387 of the Prosecution brief. Given Prijedor's
8 demographics in 1992, that objective required the army to produce a new
9 factual situation, a new factual situation that the international
10 community and the Muslims would be forced to accept. The means to
11 achieve this factual situation were brutally effective. And when, in a
12 community like Prijedor, more than 1500 people are murdered in a short
13 time, thousands and thousands more starved, degraded, abused, humiliated,
14 tormented in abominable detention facilitates, either slowly sliding
15 toward death or brutally killed, when most of their homes are destroyed,
16 when their mosques are reduced to rubble, and when they are scattered to
17 an impoverished exile, the intent to destroy that community and prevent
18 it from reconstituting itself is unmistakable. And the word for those
19 crimes, with that intent, is genocide.
20 It's time for the break. When we resume, Mr. President,
21 Mr. Weber will address the Chamber on the terror JCE in Sarajevo.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, so you have finished your presentation on this
24 We take a break and we resume at 25 minutes to 2.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 1.14 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.36 p.m.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, you may proceed.
3 MR. WEBER: Thank you and good afternoon, Your Honours.
4 For over three and a half years, the world watched as
5 General Mladic subjected Sarajevo civilian population to a ruthless
6 campaign of shelling and sniping. Throughout this campaign, no one was
7 spared from the impact of the SRK's bullets and shells, since everyone
8 knew either they or someone they loved could be hit at any time.
9 The point of this campaign was to cause terror, to instill the
10 immense fear of not knowing when or how the next shell or bullet would
11 tragically change lives forever. This Trial Chamber heard from witnesses
12 who told you what it was like to survive within the SRK's encirclement.
13 Witness after witness described the terror caused by the shelling and
14 sniping. These witnesses came from all walks of life and many of them
15 possessed significant military experience. They all had the opportunity
16 to observe and experience the daily conditions, whether it was the UNMOs,
17 other internationals, journalists, police investigators, or the residents
18 of Sarajevo themselves. These witnesses all described to you the
19 prolonged and violent VRS campaign directed against the civilian
21 One of those witnesses was Sulejman Crncalo. As Mr. Traldi told
22 you about earlier, Mr. Crncalo and his family were forcibly expelled from
23 Pale in July 1992 in order to "save their heads." They left only to find
24 themselves trapped in Sarajevo for the next three years. Over those
25 years, he and his family endured what so many others had to go through in
1 the city. They lived without electricity and running water. To keep
2 warm, they started burning wood, and when that became hard to find, they
3 burnt floorboards, doors, and even shoes. When humanitarian aid was cut
4 off, they were forced to eat boiled grass and leaves. The difficulty of
5 all of this was compounded by the sight of blood and corpses in the
6 street from the constant shelling and sniping. Mr. Crncalo himself often
7 wished for rain, just to wash away the blood from these streets.
8 Like so many others, he lived with the constant fear that when he
9 left the house he would not return alive, or that those he left behind
10 would not be alive when he returned. When shells fell like hailstones,
11 he explained: "We thought that nobody would survive."
12 If they would have had an opportunity to leave, he told you they
13 would have left. But at no time during the siege did he or his family
14 have that opportunity.
15 Only a few months before the war ended, his wife went to the
16 Markale market on 28 August 1995 after she heard a rumour that powdered
17 milk might be available. After she failed to return, Mr. Crncalo learned
18 about what we are now going to see.
19 At this time, could Ms. Stewart please play a brief portion of
20 Exhibit P446.
21 [Video-clip played]
22 MR. WEBER: Once Mr. Crncalo heard about this shelling, he
23 followed his wife's route to the market. He searched for her in the
24 bloodied streets we just saw. When he couldn't find her, he then went to
25 the hospital and checked its list of wounded. Then he found his wife -
1 she was in the morgue - lying beside six other deceased women. After all
2 this, and after years of surviving in Sarajevo, he went home to have a
3 conversation that for so many living in the city was all too familiar.
4 He told his children what happened to their mother. They then buried her
5 under the cover of darkness with the other victims of the shelling
6 because daylight funerals were too dangerous.
7 Pasa Crncalo was one of 43 people killed by the SRK shell that
8 was fired from the area of Trebevic on 28 August 1995.
9 The Markale II shelling was one of the last in an all too long
10 list of shellings and snipings of civilians and civilian areas in
11 Sarajevo. The Chamber has received many other videos showing the
12 aftermaths of shellings and snipings in the city, including P136, P864,
13 P7551 and P7566. While these videos are not going to be played during
14 these submissions, they also show the havoc and carnage that was caused
15 by the SRK's bullets and shells.
16 In our final trial brief, the Prosecution has laid out the
17 shelling and sniping campaign from its inception in April 1992 through
18 its intensification and continuation under General Mladic between
19 May 1992 and November 1995. Today, and for portions tomorrow, the
20 Prosecution's final remarks concerning the Sarajevo terror JCE will first
21 focus on General Mladic's responsibility for the charged crimes of
22 terror, unlawful attacks, and murder. These submissions will then
23 address the SRK's shelling and sniping campaign. And, lastly, I will
24 address particular Defence submissions from its final brief. Most of the
25 Defence's arguments in relation to the Sarajevo JCE are addressed in
1 paragraphs 1034 to 1057 of the Prosecution's final brief.
2 General Mladic is responsible for the campaign because he is the
3 one who was in charge of it and the one who directed the forces who
4 implemented it. From May 1992 to late 1995, Mladic terrorised the
5 civilian population of Sarajevo with a campaign of shelling and sniping
6 that was implemented by SRK forces under his command and control. And it
7 was Mladic who was in command of this campaign, ratcheting the terror up
8 and down as it suited his own aims and those of the Bosnian Serb
9 leadership. In this way, he used Sarajevo as a pressure point, where
10 Bosnian Serbs could exert, or reduce force, in an effort to achieve their
11 overall objectives. These overall objectives, as you have heard,
12 included the cementing of the ethnic separation they were either seeking
13 or had already accomplished in large parts of Bosnia.
14 From the moment of his arrival in Sarajevo in May 1992, Mladic
15 eagerly participated in the terror JCE through his direct involvement in
16 attacks on the civilian population. At that time, he established his
17 absolute authority and unquestioned control over the SRK. He then
18 continued his hands-on approach to the SRK throughout the campaign and
19 deeply involved himself in the things they did. From the beginning until
20 the end, Mladic knew exactly what he wanted from his subordinates and he
21 approved of the ones who implemented his orders. This is evident from
22 the fact that key implementers and fellow JCE members Galic and Milosevic
23 were rewarded by him from the brutal manner in which they implemented the
24 campaign of terror on the ground.
25 Mladic's authority was also well-known throughout the SRK's chain
1 of command. This is apparent from the regular way in which he made it
2 absolutely clear to his subordinates that he was the one who was in
3 charge of what happened in Sarajevo.
4 For example, in D75, a 24 May 1992 intercepted conversation,
5 Mladic reinforced his authority to one of his subordinates in Ilidza. He
6 made it perfectly clear that "I am in charge of giving orders to fire."
7 The message Mladic was conveying was simple: When the SRK fired
8 its guns, Mladic fired those guns.
9 Mladic's authority throughout the campaign was manifestly evident
10 to internationals as well. Based on his personal experiences with both
11 SRK commanders Galic and Milosevic, General Fraser concluded they both
12 were following Mladic's orders and they had almost no latitude in making
13 their own decisions but that in some cases they had a little bit of
14 flexibility on maybe some sniping.
15 Similar experiences were conveyed by other witness, including
16 Tucker, Abdel-Razek, Harland, Rose, Smith, Wilson, and Thomas, among many
17 others. References to these comments can be found in paragraph 714 of
18 the Prosecution's brief.
19 There are many other examples of General Mladic's active and
20 engaged command over his SRK troops. In addition to his frequent orders
21 that he gave related to all facets of SRK operations, he was also often
22 present on the Sarajevo front visiting SRK positions. One of these
23 visits was during an interview in 1992 when he proudly toured the
24 dominant positions he held above Sarajevo.
25 Ms. Stewart will now play you a portion of that interview,
1 Exhibit P76.
2 [Video-clip played]
3 "He gives us a rare chance to accompany him to front line
4 artillery positions where the UN observers are conspicuous by their
5 absence. High up from the wind swept hills, the 100-millimetre guns are
6 dug deep into the rocks directly overlooking Sarajevo, an overwhelming
7 position of strength which is obviously to the General's satisfaction.
8 As he says, he holds the city in his palm and many of the buildings in
9 the haze below bear testimony to that power."
10 As we have just seen, Mladic and his forces control the dominant
11 positions around Sarajevo. And he clearly knew that he held the city's
12 population captive and could do what he wanted with them from the very
13 beginning. This fact was reflected in many of Mladic's early statements
14 in May 1992. He confidently stated, "I have blocked Sarajevo, the city
15 is trapped, there is no way out."
16 During another conversation in May, he told a subordinate to
17 inform his men that "entire Sarajevo is blocked. There's nothing they
18 can do. They can only breathe and birds can fly around Sarajevo."
19 These are intercepted conversations P327 and P323.
20 With the city at his mercy, General Mladic became entrenched in
21 the activities of the SRK during the months of May and June 1992. His
22 campaign against the civilians of Sarajevo began shortly after he
23 received his appointment as commander of the VRS Main Staff and promised
24 during the 16th Assembly Session that he would ratchet up the ongoing
25 attacks on the city. Only two days after the 16th Assembly Session, on
1 14 May 1992, his forces launched a large-scale artillery attack with many
2 of the shells falling on residential areas in the eastern parts of the
3 city. This massive bombardment even affected Biljana Plavsic who revved
4 to the shelling in P2733 as a horror and asked "do they really have to
5 shell civilian targets?"
6 In the weeks that followed, Mladic repeatedly threatened that he
7 would destroy the city if his demands were not met. He promised that he
8 would retaliate against the town and told his subordinates "make sure
9 your soldiers are aware that Sarajevo is going to shake ... Sarajevo will
10 shake, more shells will fall on per second than in the entire war so
12 That's Exhibit P327.
13 General Mladic made good on his threats and promises --
14 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, if I could just briefly interrupt you.
15 Mr. Mladic should refrain from any facial expression, gestures,
16 whatever, and is invited to focus on what happens here in the courtroom
17 rather than in the public gallery. This is a small warning. I leave it
18 to that. No, you are not supposed to speak. If you want to respond, you
19 can tell counsel and then you have an opportunity to ...
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 JUDGE ORIE: And no speaking aloud.
22 Mr. Mladic, I said you should refrain from gestures. The first
23 thing you are doing now is to repeat them. And perhaps you'd turn in
24 such a way that can you focus on what happens in this courtroom.
25 Mr. Weber, please proceed.
1 You are again speaking, Mr. Mladic. This is the last warning, so
2 refrain from gestures, from facial expressions, or from speaking aloud.
3 There's nothing, when listening to the final argument, that urges you to
4 consult with counsel. You can do it in the next break, if there's any
5 need to do that.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Weber.
8 MR. WEBER: General Mladic made good on his threats and had his
9 promises. This was vividly demonstrated during Scheduled Incident G1.
10 On the evening of 28 May, Mladic decided to exercise his authority and
11 ordered the SRK to indiscriminately bombard civilian areas throughout
12 Sarajevo. These orders can be heard by everyone here in the courtroom on
13 the recording admitted as Exhibit P105 where General Mladic calmly,
14 repeatedly, and deliberately instructs his subordinates to fire on
15 civilian neighbourhoods, including Bascarsija, and also Velesici and
16 Pofalici because there aren't many Serbian inhabitants there.
17 Ms. Stewart will now play a portion of this from.
18 [Audiotape played]
19 "Mladic: Don't do that. Why do you want to go for Pofalici?
20 "Mirko: Well ... because ... we only fired one volley at it.
21 "Mladic: Fire at Velesici. Velesici.
22 "Mirko: Velesici?
23 "Mladic: Velesici, yes.
24 "Mirko: Understood, sir.
25 "Mladic: Fire at Velesici and at Pofalici. There aren't many
1 Serbian inhabitants there.
2 "Mirko: Yes.
3 "Mladic: And then fire around that Dobrovoljacka Street around
4 there, Humska Street, up there.
5 "Mirko: Around Humska?
6 "Mladic: And Djure Djakovica Street, up there.
7 "Mirko: Understood, sir.
8 "Mladic: Is that clear?
9 "Mirko: Understood, sir.
10 "Mladic: But go on artillery surveillance so they can't sleep so
11 we drive them out of their minds.
12 "Mirko: Understood, sir."
13 MR. WEBER: As further detailed in the Prosecution brief at
14 paragraphs 925 to 930, Mladic took over direct command of the SRK
15 operations during this bombardment in the neighbourhoods and locations
16 ordered to be shelled where in fact shelled. The attacks were ferocious,
17 there were casualties across the city, and damage was extensive.
18 General Wilson explained what he saw that night. He stated: "It
19 appeared the whole city was being engaged, not just particular areas but
20 there was an emphasis of fire on the old city."
21 And Wilson continued: "It was a really horrendous experience
22 for the inhabitants of Sarajevo on that particular night."
23 Wilson saw exactly what General Mladic had ordered, and the
24 accused accomplished his stated purpose: To terrorise the people of the
25 city or, in his words, to drive them out of their minds.
1 The Defence feebly argues in paragraphs 1906 to 1910 of its brief
2 that the SRK only engaged military targets in the city during the G1
3 bombardment. The Defence relies on the testimony of Fadila Tarcin, which
4 they argue somehow shows that there were military targets in Sirokaca.
5 The Defence significantly distorts her evidence. In fact, Tarcin said
6 that there were only unarmed guards in her neighbourhood and that on one
7 or two occasions she saw a few reserve policemen pass through. She
8 testified she never saw ABiH forces, check-points, or artillery weapons
9 in Sirokaca at the time, and there were never any outgoing attacks from
10 there. Also, the Defence ignores the witness evidence on page 5 of P1596
11 and transcript pages 4995 and 5048 to 5053.
12 Only a week after G1, Mladic's forces launched another series of
13 large-scale bombardments in early June as part of Scheduled Incident G2.
14 During these bombardments, recurring waves of SRK artillery shells were
15 fired into the city for days. Civilians across the city were killed and
16 wounded, and civilian neighbourhoods experienced widespread destruction
17 as described in paragraphs 933 to 937 of the Prosecution's brief.
18 In the city throughout this attack, journalist Aernout van Lynden
19 said that the early June shelling of Sarajevo was the heaviest he
20 experienced in his time there. Positioned with his cameraman on top of
21 the state hospital in the centre of town, Van Lynden reported on the
22 attacks, and he described the wild scattered shelling, with shells
23 raining down over the city with no particular target. There's no
24 military purpose, he reported, but only to bring terror to the lives of
25 everyone living in the city. That's at transcript page 1322.
1 The Defence argues in paragraph 1920 of its brief that the SRK
2 was not responsible for the G2 attacks because "they were under strict
3 orders that fire had to be restricted." For support, they rely on VRS
4 Directive 1, which General Mladic issued on 6 June 1992, suggesting
5 somehow that this directive contains an order to restrict fire. But
6 there is no order in Directive 1. To the contrary, General Mladic
7 ordered the SRK in this directive to use offensive actions to improve its
8 positions in and around the Sarajevo area.
9 But even apart from the actual language of Directive 1, the
10 Defence's claim that the SRK was not responsible for the G2 bombardments
11 is contradicted by the four videos admitted as P72 to P75 which show what
12 it actually looked like in the city during the G2 bombardments.
13 Ms. Stewart will now play a portion of one of those videos,
14 Exhibit P75.
15 [Video-clip played]
16 "Suddenly on Sunday night, the whole city becoming the target.
17 No district spared. All shaking as every ten seconds the rockets, shells
18 and mortars land. The fire so heavy, so incessant, that the deadly
19 streams of light criss-cross each other."
20 MR. WEBER: As we have just seen, this was not an exchange of
21 fire across the confrontation line as the Defence attempts to allege in
22 paragraphs 1918 to 1921 of its brief, nor was it an example of the SRK's
23 purported "restricted fire." It was an outright attack on the entire
24 city, including its civilian population.
25 Shellings like G1 and G2 set the tone for years to come, and the
1 evidence shows that over the three years the campaign was intentionally
2 designed to terrorise the city's residents. The Defence brief simply
3 denies that there was ever a SRK shelling and sniping campaign at any
4 point in time. This is proven wrong by the overwhelming volume of
5 evidence in this case which has been set out in paragraphs 760 to 1033 of
6 the Prosecution's brief.
7 This evidence shows that the objective General Mladic and the SRK
8 pursued remained the same. It was to make every inhabitant of Sarajevo
9 feel that nobody was sheltered from the shooting or shells. The
10 objective of terrorising the city's civilian population was obvious from
11 the constant targeting of civilians, civilian objects and
12 civilian-inhabited areas for years on end. These activities were done in
13 order to increase the helplessness of the population and served no
14 legitimate military purpose. Based on the duration of the campaign and
15 the accused's central role in all of the SRK's activities, there is no
16 other reasonable conclusion that General Mladic intended the shelling and
17 sniping of civilians in Sarajevo and he was the one who, in fact, ordered
19 For the over 300.000 blockaded and trapped civilians in Sarajevo,
20 the risks of being targeted by sniping or shelling transformed everyday
21 decisions into ones that could mean life or death. Civilians could not
22 even walk down their streets of their own city. They had to run and take
23 cover from the SRK bullets.
24 The Chamber has multiple videos in evidence that show you this,
25 and at this time, Ms. Stewart will play one of them, Exhibit P836.
1 [Video-clip played]
2 "Snipers corner, Sarajevo, as dangerous today as it has ever
3 been. People taking a back road to work were open to sniper fire from
4 Serbian positions in the hills. The Serbs had promised as part of their
5 new peace initiative that from now on they would be engaging only
6 military targets. In this part of Sarajevo, the promise was not kept,
7 for these were civilians, in civilian vehicles. One of them with
8 Red Cross markings. It may be the order did not get through but indirect
9 Serbian fire, mortar or artillery, was also reported overnight from other
10 parts of the city, the UN commander did not hide his dismay."
11 MR. WEBER: As this last video from late June 1992 demonstrates,
12 the SRK gunners effected civilians in civilian clothing and people riding
13 bicycles. Cars had to swerve and they even targeted civilian vehicles
14 bearing Red Cross markings.
15 SRK shells fell on certain neighbourhoods with such regularity
16 that one witness, in P2453, described it as "like drops of rain."
17 Civilians adapted to the hostile environment by closing schools,
18 living at night, hiding during the day in their apartments or cellars,
19 moving containers and erecting barricades to provide shelter against the
20 sniping, but they still were not safe from the SRK's bullets.
21 The facts in this case show that no civilian activity and no area
22 of Sarajevo within the confrontation lines was safe from the shelling and
23 sniping of the SRK. As also explained by Van Lynden, the reality for the
24 civilians of Sarajevo was that inside the Serb blockade any one of them
25 could be killed by shelling or sniping at any time. That's P66,
1 paragraph 24.
2 The record in this case demonstrates that civilians were targeted
3 almost every day --
4 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Weber, if you continue, I think your reference,
5 for example, is now missing from the transcript because you restarted, I
6 think, your last reference to the P number.
7 MR. WEBER: Your Honour, thank you very much for catching that.
8 The reference that I made was to Exhibit P66, paragraph 24.
9 The record in this case demonstrates that civilians were targeted
10 almost every day. The shelling and sniping campaign preyed upon the most
11 vulnerable of Sarajevo's population. Snipers struck children as they
12 crossed the street with a parent or while they walked home from school.
13 SRK shells landed on children playing outside in the snow and hit their
14 school buildings as students attempted to learned amidst the explosions
16 At this time, I'm going to ask Ms. Stewart to please play a
17 portion of Exhibit P420.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 "Muhamed received severe injuries in his jaw and leg by a shell.
20 We were at the shed skating. All of a sudden a shell fell. We started
21 running, in front of us, we started running towards the house entrance,
22 and as Danijel and I started running, a shell landed between the two of
23 us. He was killed on the spot, and I was wounded in four places."
24 MR. WEBER: That was Muhamed Kapetanovic. One of the victims of
25 Scheduled Incident G6. In this video and here in this courtroom, this
1 Chamber heard him describe how he was injured and how his friend Danijel
2 was killed during the SRK shelling of Alipasino Polje on 22 January 1994.
3 By 1994, UNICEF reported that at least 40 per cent of the
4 children in the city had ...
5 MR. LUKIC: I'm sorry for interrupting. I was just informed that
6 there is no translation at all.
7 JUDGE ORIE: There's no translation. I suggest that we stop a
8 bit earlier, perhaps, Mr. Weber. I had, and I hope that translation will
9 be there again. I have a very small leftover on translations which I
10 would like to deal with for a second.
11 Is translation now restored? Still not.
12 MR. LUKIC: Obviously not.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Is there any reason known?
14 MR. LUKIC: Although I can see the microphone in the translator's
15 booth is on, there is nothing on channel 6.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And let's just check whether we have French
17 translation. Yes, French translation is there. B/C/S still not. I do
18 not hear anything ... I don't know what caused it.
19 Mr. Lukic, perhaps you -- you explain to Mr. Mladic later that
20 we'll just adjourn for the day and we'll leave then the translation issue
21 until tomorrow morning first thing to deal with.
22 MR. LUKIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Therefore, we adjourn for the day, and we'll
24 resume -- it's back. Apparently the translation is back. Then I would
25 prefer to close with the very small item I have still on my desk which
1 deals with Exhibit P7366.
2 On the 4th of May in 2015, the Chamber admitted Exhibit P7366
3 into evidence.
4 On the 18th of October, 2016 the Prosecution e-mailed the Chamber
5 and the Defence advising that a revised English translation had been
6 uploaded into e-court under doc ID 0147-1724-1ET. The Chamber hereby
7 instructs the Registry to replace the existing translation of
8 Exhibit P7366 with the revised one, and the Defence has one week to
9 revisit the matter, if necessary.
10 We'll adjourn for the day. We'll resume tomorrow, Wednesday, the
11 7th of December, 9.30 in the morning, in this same courtroom, I.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.15 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th day of
14 December, 2016, at 9.30 a.m.