1 Friday, 30 March 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 [The Accused Beara not present in court]
6 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: So good morning, everybody, and welcome.
8 Madam Registrar, could you kindly call the case.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
10 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Popovic et al.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. For the record accused Beara is not present
12 today. He's still sick. I take it the waiver carries on today as well?
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Good morning, Mr. President. I spoke to him this
14 morning and we're supposed to get a second waiver soon, sometime this
16 JUDGE AGIUS: But you are confirming it, in other words.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: I am, yes. I spoke to him this morning and he has
18 given his consent to proceed without him.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you.
20 I see that Mr. Meek is absent. That's about it. Prosecution,
21 it's Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Nicholls, Mr. Thayer. The witness is also present
22 in the courtroom.
23 Now, as you may have noticed, Judge Stole is not with us today for
24 personal reasons, therefore, we are proceeding with the sitting pursuant
25 to Rule 15 bis.
1 Mr. Thayer.
2 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President, thank you. Good
3 morning, Your Honours.
4 WITNESS: HAMDIJA TORLAK [Resumed]
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
7 MR. THAYER: And good morning to you, Witness.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: You are testifying pursuant to the solemn
10 declaration that you made yesterday that you will be speaking the truth,
11 the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
12 Mr. Thayer.
13 Examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]
14 Q. Witness, good morning. I want to turn your attention to July
15 1995. Can you estimate approximately how many able-bodied Muslim men
16 there were in the Zepa area at that time?
17 A. Well, in July 1995, if we say that men between 18 and 60 are
18 able-bodied men -- well, according to the information that I have,
19 according to the situation that prevailed, there were about 1.200 men,
20 perhaps a little more.
21 Q. And how many of those men would you say were armed at this time?
22 A. Well, again I don't have precise and detailed information, but I
23 would say that there were between 6 and 700 armed men.
24 Q. And Colonel Avdo Palic was their commander; is that correct?
25 A. That's correct. Avdo Palic was the commander.
1 Q. And when the Zepa safe area was established in 1993, it was
2 supposed to be militarised; is that correct? Or demilitarised. Forgive
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. But it wasn't fully demilitarised, was it, sir?
6 A. As far as I know, most of the weapons were handed over, but since
7 many of the weapons were the personal property of certain individuals, I
8 assume that they were retained and weren't handed over to the UNPROFOR
9 base in Zepa. Only light infantry weapons were concerned.
10 Q. And were you aware, sir, that arms and ammunition were reaching
11 the enclave despite the demilitarisation agreement?
12 A. According to the information I had, in the second half of 1994,
13 weapons were delivered by helicopter, as well as ammunition. They were
14 delivered to the Zepa sector. I don't have any information about the
15 quantity of weapons concerned or the kind of weapons, but I'm aware of
16 this fact.
17 Q. Now, prior to the VRS assault on the Srebrenica enclave, did you
18 learn about certain military operations which were undertaken by Commander
19 Palic's men?
20 A. Yes, I know about one such operation. I can't remember the exact
21 date, but I think it was in mid-June. There was an attack outside the
22 Zepa area.
23 Q. And did you become aware as to what the objective of that military
24 operation was at the time?
25 A. According to my information, it was to take the pressure off the
1 Sarajevo battlefield. As far as I know, action was carried out to lift
2 the blockade of Sarajevo.
3 Q. Sir, I want to get a little bit more specific concerning the
4 events following the fall of Srebrenica. Do you recall the date that the
5 enclave fell, sir?
6 A. Srebrenica.
7 Q. Correct.
8 A. Yes, yes. It was on the 12th of July, 1995.
9 Q. And did you attend a meeting with VRS officers shortly after that?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Could you please describe how that meeting came about and the
12 details of that meeting for the Trial Chamber, please.
13 A. After the fall of Srebrenica, on the 12th of July, 1995, in the
14 evening hours and through UNPROFOR, or to be more precise, through
15 Mr. Dudnik, I think that Avdo was informed that the Serbian side was
16 interested in discussions. We as the War Presidency tried to agree on
17 what to do that night. We asked the Main Staff of the army of the
18 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina for authorisation, and we also asked
19 the political leadership in Sarajevo for such authorisation. And we
20 agreed to hold discussions with the Serbian side.
21 Q. So what did you do?
22 A. It was agreed that I should go to the meeting, and Mr. Mujo
23 Omanovic. The meeting was to be held and was held at check-point number 2
24 at Boksanica.
25 We reached Boksanica in an UNPROFOR vehicle, and General Tolimir,
1 Zdravko Tolimir, was there to greet us from the Serbian side, and the
2 commander of the Rogatica brigade of the army of Republika Srpska. I
3 think his rank was that of a Colonel, and his name was Rajko Pusic [as
5 Q. If I may just interrupt you, sir, with a couple of follow-ups, and
6 I see that the translation here has translated the Colonel's name as Rajko
7 Pusic. Is that the correct name, sir?
8 A. No. It's a K, not a P. Kusic.
9 Q. And just briefly, sir. If you could just orient the Trial
10 Chamber. Where in relation to the town of Zepa is Boksanica located?
11 A. Boksanica is to the south of the Zepa enclave. It's in the
12 direction of Rogatica.
13 Q. And Mr. Omanovic whom you mentioned, what position, if any, did he
15 A. I think he had a position of some kind in the Executive Board, in
16 one of the bodies, but I can't remember. He held a position of some kind
17 but it wasn't a high-level one. But he was a local man from Zepa.
18 Q. Okay. If you would please continue describing for the Chamber
19 this meeting that was held on the 13th of July.
20 A. At that meeting General Tolimir more or less said that Srebrenica
21 had fallen and that it was Zepa's turn now. He put forward, so to speak,
22 two options: The complete evacuation of the entire population, or if we
23 didn't agree to that the military option or, rather, a military solution.
24 Q. Now, did you have any questions for General Tolimir about who was
25 included in the whole population?
1 A. Yes. That was the key issue. As far as I can remember, I asked
2 General Tolimir if that meant that a 35-year-old man could get on a bus
3 and leave the Zepa enclave together with his family, and General Tolimir
4 said, "Yes, of course."
5 Q. And how was the departure of the entire population of Zepa
6 supposed to occur according to General Tolimir?
7 A. As far as I can remember, the people would be evacuated in buses
8 from Zepa to territory under the control of the ABiH. I don't know if any
9 locations were mentioned. It was Olovo or Kladanj, something like that.
10 Q. Do you recall whether he made any references to Srebrenica?
11 A. I can't remember, apart from the fact that at the beginning he
12 said that Srebrenica had fallen and that it was now Zepa's turn. It was
13 said that Zepa was no longer to remain such as it had been up until that
14 point in time.
15 Q. Can you clarify that at all, sir, what you mean by "such as it had
16 been up until that point in time"?
17 A. Well, I meant that it had the status of a protected area, a safe
19 Q. Now, can you estimate how long this meeting lasted?
20 A. I can't remember exactly. It didn't last for very long. I think
21 it lasted between 40 minutes and 1 hour. That's a guess, but it was a
22 long time ago so I really can't remember.
23 Q. And if you could characterise, sir, who did most of the talking in
24 this meeting?
25 A. General Zdravko Tolimir did.
1 Q. Now, were you authorised to provide an answer at that time?
2 A. No, we weren't authorised. We agreed to see what was correct and
3 to see what the Serbian side was asking for or proposing. I informed
4 General Tolimir of this fact, and we agreed that we would return to Zepa.
5 I and Mr. Mujo Omanovic would return. And this request or proposal would
6 be relayed to the Zepa War Presidency.
7 Q. And did you in fact meet with the War Presidency, sir?
8 A. Yes. Upon returning from the meeting, we met with the Zepa War
9 Presidency and conveyed this request made by Mr. Tolimir to them.
10 Q. And what did you decide to do?
11 A. As far as I can remember, the discussion went on for a long time,
12 and in the end the proposal wasn't accepted, and as far as I can remember,
13 I don't remember all the details, but people were worried about whether
14 what General Tolimir had promised would actually be done. Finally Colonel
15 Avdic -- Alic Avdo, I apologise -- Palic Avdo conveyed this information to
16 the UNPROFOR commander. He conveyed the information on the fact that the
17 proposal had not been accepted. Mr. Dudnik, the UNPROFOR commander in
18 Zepa, went to check-point number 2 and informed the Serbian side of the
20 Q. Okay. Sir, I just want to go back. Why didn't you agree? What
21 concerns, if any, did you have about whether General Tolimir would make
22 good on what he had told you?
23 A. Well, look, at that time Srebrenica had fallen and the overall
24 situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina was such that few people trusted
25 others to make good on their word. This was the general atmosphere, so to
1 speak, among the population.
2 Q. And at this time, sir, had you and Zepa received any reports or
3 rumours of what had happened at Srebrenica?
4 A. On that first day and on the second day, I think, there was no
5 information until people started returning. They had tried to get through
6 to Kladanj. They failed to do so, and then rumours started spreading
7 among the population in Zepa. I never spoke to those people from
8 Srebrenica directly, but through others I heard about those events and the
9 attempt to move over from Srebrenica to Kladanj or Olovo, and this made
10 the population of Zepa even more afraid. But as far as I can remember, on
11 the 13th and the 14th none of those people had yet arrived in Zepa.
12 Q. Now, when you conveyed the War Presidency's decision to Colonel
13 Dudnik, what was his reaction?
14 A. I heard about that too. According to what those who were present
15 said, he seemed quite afraid. He thought that this was the wrong decision
16 and that we should have agreed to General Tolimir's request.
17 Q. So what happened next, sir?
18 A. Military attacks on the Zepa enclave were soon launched, were
19 rapidly launched by the Republika Srpska army. There was shelling, and
20 there were infantry attacks.
21 Q. And what was being struck by the shelling, sir?
22 A. Well, as far as I can remember, practically everything. The
23 defence lines, the houses, the inhabited areas, the villages. Everything
24 was shelled.
25 Q. And how long did it continue?
1 A. The attacks continued until the 19th of July, 1995.
2 Q. And during this period of time where did you stay?
3 A. For the most part I was the centre of Zepa at my workplace, so to
4 speak. I had contacts with UNPROFOR because it was fairly close to the
5 UNPROFOR headquarters in Zepa.
6 Q. And during this period of time, sir, was there armed resistance by
7 the Muslims of Zepa?
8 A. Yes. Resistance had been organised.
9 Q. And during this period of time what was your role, if you could
10 describe it for the Trial Chamber, please.
11 A. Well, according to some distribution of assignments in the War
12 Presidency I was put in charge of liaising with UNPROFOR. And as things
13 went on, I had to liaise with the Serb side in order to find out a way in
14 which we could evacuate and save the people. So I was in constant contact
15 with UNPROFOR on a daily basis.
16 Q. So did you attend another meeting, sir?
17 A. Yes. On the 19th of July, the Boksanica check-point issued some
18 kind of summons - in fact, General Mladic did so - for us to come and
19 negotiate. This was done over UNPROFOR radio.
20 Q. So what did you do?
21 A. Well, we agreed that we should attend this meeting, and I and
22 Mr. Benjamin Kulovac went to this meeting.
23 Q. And who is Mr. Kulovac, sir?
24 A. Mr. Kulovac is a doctor, a medical doctor. He was born in Zepa,
25 and before the war he worked and lived in Rogatica as a doctor, and before
1 the war he came to Zepa to his house, and in fact he ran the hospital. He
2 took care of the wounded and the sick and everybody who needed medical
3 treatment. So he was a local man.
4 Q. Now, do you know whether or not General Mladic had summonsed
5 Colonel Palic to this meeting?
6 A. Yes, that's correct. That was the request. It was addressed to
7 Colonel Palic. I don't know if my memory will serve me right. I'm not
8 sure whether Palic was actually there at the UNPROFOR base or not, but the
9 two of us were appointed to participate in this meeting with Mladic. In
10 other words, I and Mr. Kulovac were chosen to go.
11 Q. Were you aware, sir, of whether Colonel Palic had any concerns
12 about appearing in person at negotiations with the VRS outside the centre
13 of Zepa?
14 A. I know that he did have concerns. In fact, I don't know whether
15 he was there for this meeting at all, but for the first negotiations with
16 General Tolimir I do know that Avdo said he was afraid to go to this
17 meeting, and that is why I and Mr. Mujo Omanovic were finally chosen to
19 Now, as for this meeting with General Mladic, I can't recall
20 whether he was in the UNPROFOR compound at all when we were arranging for
21 our departure.
22 Q. Okay. Well, let's talk about this meeting a little bit, sir. Can
23 you tell the Trial Chamber who on the VRS side was there?
24 A. As far as I can remember, this meeting was attended by General
25 Mladic, General Tolimir, Colonel Rajko Kusic.
1 Q. And -- and what happened, sir, at this meeting?
2 A. Well, at this meeting Mladic dictated the terms for the evacuation
3 of the population from Zepa. He said it will be done in this order:
4 First the wounded, the women, the children, and the elderly. And as for
5 the men of military age or able-bodied men, he wanted them to lay down
6 their arms and to come to the UNPROFOR compound or something like that.
7 This is how this particular request was worded. And then they were to be
8 exchanged for the Serb soldiers. So these were his general terms dictated
9 by General Mladic.
10 Q. Did he tell you where he wanted the civilian population to go?
11 A. Could you please be more specific or clarify your question.
12 Q. Did General Mladic identify anywhere in particular that he had in
13 mind that the civilian population was to be transported to out of Zepa?
14 A. Yes, yes. Olovo or Kladanj were the two locations, and this is
15 where people were later evacuated to. The civilian population, I mean.
16 This territory was controlled by the BH army.
17 Q. And did he say anything about buses, sir?
18 A. Yes. As far as I can remember, he said that he would provide the
19 buses to transport the population the very next day. I think that's how
20 it was.
21 Q. So what did you do after this meeting?
22 A. After this meeting we went back to Zepa, and at that time we
23 realised that we had nothing else to do, so it was quite clear that we
24 would have to accept the evacuation of the civilian population. And from
25 that time on until the 27th of July, the key problem was in fact the fate
1 of the men of military age.
2 We went back to Zepa, and we immediately got in touch with our
3 leadership, the political leadership of the Republic of Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina at the time in Sarajevo. We relayed to them Mladic's demands,
5 and we asked them to find some way to ensure that the military age from --
6 men from Zepa would be exchanged with the captured Serb soldiers. And the
7 military-aged men from Zepa were not supposed to go to UNPROFOR and
8 surrender there, but they were supposed to be taken out of the enclave by
9 helicopter and then exchanged for the Serb soldiers who had been captured.
10 Q. So after this meeting on July 19th, do you recall what answer, if
11 any, the leadership from Zepa gave to the VRS?
12 A. I don't really remember that any written or oral reply had been
13 made, at least not for my part, but these delaying tactics and failure to
14 create the conditions for the evacuation as requested by General Mladic,
15 this was taken as our refusal of their proposal by the Serbs. Up until
16 that time the Serbs did not really advance that much in military terms.
17 The lines that were established at the beginning on the 13th of July
18 remained in place, but then the attacks continued.
19 Q. Sir, you're saying then, just to be clear, that the attacks
20 continued after the 19th; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. And can you --
23 A. Well, in fact they may have been even more intense on some axes
24 than they had been until that time.
25 Q. And do you recall approximately how long this attack lasted?
1 A. Well, this attack lasted for the next three days, three or four
3 Q. And again, sir, what was being struck during this attack?
4 A. Well, family houses, apartment buildings were targeted, as well as
5 lines held by the soldiers. I even saw that at one point, I don't know
6 what date it was, that the UNPROFOR headquarters in Zepa was hit.
7 Incendiary bullets hit the roof of the school building where UNPROFOR had
8 its headquarters.
9 Q. Now, I want to turn your attention to the 24th of July, sir. Did
10 you attend a third meeting?
11 A. Yes. I attended the third meeting too. This time I was on my
13 Q. And can you describe for the Trial Chamber that meeting and how it
14 came about and what happened?
15 A. Well, sometime around the 23rd the key summit defending Zepa from
16 the southern side Brezova Ravan fell. The Republika Srpska army for all
17 intents and purposes established new lines that were very close to the
18 centre of Zepa, and in military terms it was impossible to organise the
19 defence to defend the centre of Zepa any more, and the request to renew
20 negotiations came through UNPROFOR from General Mladic, and all attacks on
21 all front lines ceased in this period. And this time I went to attend
22 these negotiations alone.
23 Q. And who was there on the VRS side, sir?
24 A. Well, the VRS side was again represented by General Mladic,
25 General Tolimir, as far as I can remember. I think Colonel Rajko Kusic
1 was also there, and some other officers whom I did not know. I had never
2 seen them or encountered them at any of the meetings that preceded this
4 Q. So please tell us what happened.
5 A. Well, I arrived at the same check-point where I had already been
6 twice. That was an UNPROFOR check-point, and there at the table -- in
7 fact, this all took place outdoors. It was not inside any building.
8 There was some tables there, and there was a piece of paper on the table.
9 General Mladic sat at the other side. He was quite angry. He said that I
10 had to sign this piece of paper, that there was no other solution. I
11 can't remember some of the details because I was rather stressed.
12 I read what was on the paper, and there were two key demands in
13 this document, the evacuation of the population and the surrender of men
14 of military age. Now, as to whether they should first surrender to
15 UNPROFOR or directly to the Republika Srpska army, I can't remember this
16 aspect, but I said that I was not authorised to sign anything on behalf of
17 the army. I don't recall all the details, but it was our goal to start
18 evacuating the population because it was impossible to defend the area any
19 more. The population had already gone to the mountain. They retreated
21 I signed this document.
22 Q. Okay. Sir, by the time of this meeting on the 24th, what
23 information had you received, if any, about the events following the
24 collapse of Srebrenica?
25 A. Well, yes. Rumours had already begun circulating among the people
1 there about the terrible events as they described it. I don't remember
2 the details, but I did hear some of the stories. And this made the people
3 in Zepa even more afraid, so the overall atmosphere in this period was one
4 of fear almost bordering on panic among the population. People didn't
5 know what to do.
6 Q. Sir, let's take a look at this agreement that you signed.
7 MR. THAYER: And if we may have 6D00030 on e-court, please. And
8 if it's possible to have the English translation on the split. Okay.
9 Perhaps we can -- can we use the ELMO at the same time?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the problem?
11 MR. THAYER: It seems that we can't do a split scene, Your Honour,
12 for the English and the B/C/S.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Why? All right. Okay. Okay. All right. Okay.
14 Okay. It's okay. No problem. Let's put the English version on the
15 ELMO. It's on the ELMO.
16 MR. THAYER: Now, if we could please move up the document on the
17 ELMO, please, to show...
18 Q. Sir, do you see the document in front of you on the screen?
19 A. Yes, I do. Are we looking at the English version or -- okay. I
20 can see the -- I can see the translation too.
21 Q. Sir, do you recognise this -- this document?
22 A. I think I do, because I was given a copy after it was signed, but
23 I don't remember what happened with it afterwards. I don't know if I gave
24 it to somebody in the War Presidency in Zepa.
25 Q. So is it fair to say that since that day you've never seen an
1 original signed version of the document? Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Okay. Does this appear to be, though, a fair translation,
4 reproduction of that agreement, sir?
5 A. Well, it's difficult to say. The key points are here, but I don't
6 know whether any corrections had been made. I couldn't really tell you
7 without first looking at the original.
8 Q. Okay. Well, I want to show you paragraph 7 of this document,
9 sir. If you would just take a look at that.
10 MR. THAYER: And if we could do a -- can we do a split screen with
11 the B/C/S or no split screen period? Okay. Then --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: There is a problem, a technical problem, that Madam
13 Registrar is encountering. So I think we need to work with the ELMO as
15 MR. THAYER: Okay. We'll take it one paragraph -- or one page at
16 a time and perhaps I can facilitate it by just reading. It's a short
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Usher, you need to move.
19 MR. THAYER:
20 Q. And, sir, paragraph 7 -- paragraph 7 begins on the English
21 translation: "The civilians from Zepa shall enjoy freedom of choice of
22 place of living and," this continues onto the second page, "residence in
23 accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and the
24 Additional Protocols from 1977."
25 Sir, based on your meeting that day with General Mladic, is that
1 paragraph 7 true, that the civilians from Zepa were to enjoy freedom of
2 choice of place of living and residence?
3 A. Well, this was not discussed at all as things progressed. No one,
4 in fact, even mentioned this possibility. But I do have to say that
5 this -- the atmosphere there was quite specific among the people in Zepa.
6 There was this fear. So that's -- this paragraph was there. It was put
7 on the paper, but at that time and at that place it didn't really mean
9 Q. Okay. I think we're done with this document for the time being.
10 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would like -- I'm sorry, but in
12 this document my name is misspelled. I will not now mention my name, but
13 in the heading itself my first name is misspelled, and then in the body of
14 the text my last name is misspelled. So I would just like to -- for that
15 to be on the record.
16 MR. THAYER:
17 Q. Okay. Thank you for that clarification, Witness.
18 During this -- during this meeting on the 24th of July, did
19 General Mladic tell you anything else about how matters were going to
20 proceed from that point on, particularly in terms of your role, sir?
21 A. Yes. What he said, and it's not in this document, is that the
22 entire operation relating to the evacuation of the population from Zepa
23 would be carried out by General Tolimir together with Colonel Avdo Palic.
24 They would be in the centre of Zepa and organise things so that the
25 population could be transported. As for the security for the life of
1 General Tolimir, well, I was supposed to go to check-point 2 and spend the
2 entire period of time at that check-point as a guarantee for his security.
3 Q. And with -- with all the military advances that the VRS had made
4 up to this point, sir, why did General Tolimir need any guarantees for his
6 A. Well, I have to say that on the 24th there was a cease-fire, too,
7 but the Republika Srpska army, as far as I know, hadn't entered the centre
8 of Zepa. So there was that area in which there were no VRS soldiers. So
9 reaching the centre meant passing through territory that wasn't under the
10 control of the VRS of the Republika Srpska army. That's probably why
11 things were done in this way.
12 Q. So what did you do next, sir?
13 A. I returned to Zepa, conveyed the information to the War
14 Presidency, and that evening I think we had contact again with local
15 leadership of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo. We informed
16 the population. I'm not quite sure of the course of events, but we
17 informed the population that an agreement had been reached on the
18 evacuation of the civilian population and that those who wanted to could
19 appear on the following day, on the 25th of July, in the centre of Zepa in
20 order to be registered before entering buses and before being moved to
21 territory outside of Zepa, to Kladanj or Olovo, to the places that had
22 been agreed upon.
23 Q. Now, one of the terms that you said General Mladic had dictated to
24 you was that the wounded were to be taken out first. Did you take any
25 measures upon your return to Zepa in that regard, sir?
1 A. Yes. I conveyed this information to Benjamin Kulovac, a doctor,
2 and he immediately -- or, rather, on the following morning organised the
3 transport of the wounded who weren't in the centre of Zepa. There was a
4 makeshift hospital in the centre of Zepa. It was the clinic building, and
5 these wounded were outside the centre of Zepa in a village or house which
6 was somewhat sheltered from the shelling.
7 Q. And do you know why this hospital was located outside the centre
8 of town, sir?
9 A. Well, because of the shelling of the centre. It wasn't possible
10 to get through and establish contact with the wounded normally.
11 Q. And do you have any idea when that hospital was -- was moved out
12 to this other location?
13 A. I really don't know the exact date. I assume it was at the same
14 time as the fall of Srebrenica. Perhaps on the 13th or 14th of July.
15 Q. Well, this brings us to the 25th of July, sir. Can you tell the
16 Trial Chamber what happened that day?
17 A. On that day, as far as I can remember I was in Zepa, and General
18 Tolimir also came escorted by two soldiers or officers. I can't remember
19 exactly. And then there was a team from the International Red Cross that
20 was also present. Technical details were discussed with General Tolimir
21 by our Colonel Palic Bata [as interpreted], and the first buses arrived in
22 Zepa. I think it was in the afternoon about 12.00, and the evacuation
24 The names of the people getting on the buses were recorded, were
25 put on a list, and I believe that the list was also provided to the
1 representatives of the International Red Cross.
2 Q. Now, did you, sir, in fact see Generals -- General Tolimir and
3 Colonel Palic moving about freely in the centre of Zepa at that time?
4 A. Yes, I did see them on several occasions.
5 Q. And did they in fact leave on one of the convoys on the 25th, sir?
6 A. Yes. That was the last convoy that was organised that day.
7 Colonel Palic evacuated his family in that convoy, his wife and children,
8 and as far as I know, he also escorted that convoy as far as Kladanj, and
9 on the following day he returned to Zepa.
10 Q. And how about General Tolimir, sir? Do you know how he left in
11 that convoy?
12 A. Yes. General Tolimir, together with Colonel Avdic [sic], left
13 Zepa in that same convoy. Night was falling. It was already dark at the
14 time. So it was in the same convoy. It's possible that [sic] sat down
15 together with General Tolimir in the vehicle that Tolimir was in at least
16 when leaving Zepa.
17 Q. And just what type of vehicle was it, sir, if you recall?
18 A. I think it was a personnel carrier. It was an armoured vehicle
19 but not a heavy armoured vehicle.
20 Q. And, sir, I see in the transcript a couple of references to a
21 Colonel Avdic. Were you referring to Colonel Palic, sir, just so the
22 record is clear?
23 A. Yes, that's a mistake. I apologise. Colonel Avdo Palic. I must
24 have got a bit mixed up. I apologise.
25 Q. Now, I just want to ask you some more specific questions about
1 what you observed with respect to these convoys on the 25th. Do you
2 recall seeing any VRS soldiers participating in or assisting these
3 transportations on the 25th, sir?
4 A. In the very centre of Zepa?
5 Q. That's correct, sir.
6 A. Well, I can't remember. I can only remember the individuals who
7 were escorting General Tolimir. As far as I can remember, they were
8 wearing uniforms of the VRS. As to whether they were assisting or not, I
9 really can't remember since I did not really participate much in the
10 process of preparing the population for their evacuation.
11 Q. Okay. On the 25th do you recall whether you saw any UNPROFOR
12 soldiers participating in these transportations?
13 A. I think so. They were there.
14 Q. And, sir, did you observe any mistreatment of the Muslim civilian
15 population as they boarded these vehicles?
16 A. No, there was no mistreatment, apart from the fact that sometimes
17 the desire to come first caused a bit of a shuffle, but there were no
18 cases of abuse. Everything went smoothly.
19 Q. And who supplied these vehicles? And if you could also describe
20 what kind of vehicles we're talking about.
21 A. All the vehicles for the evacuation were provided by General
22 Mladic. The evacuation was carried out as follows: As far as the type of
23 vehicle is concerned, from Zepa to Boksanica - Boksanica's a check-point
24 to the south of Zepa in the direction of Rogatica - transport on that
25 route was carried out -- or, rather, the people were transported in buses
1 and open lorries along that route. And from Boksanica the people who were
2 in these open lorries were put onto buses. So from Boksanica they were
3 evacuated in the direction of Kladanj in buses alone.
4 Q. Now, on the 25, sir, did you attend yet another meeting?
5 A. Yes. In the afternoon I met General Mladic again, this time at
6 Brezova Ravan, a location closer to Zepa.
7 Q. And what happened at the meeting, sir?
8 A. Well, as far as I can remember nothing of much significance
9 happened. There was some discussion about the evacuation, and after that
10 I returned to Zepa again.
11 Q. And do you have any recollection of meeting General Rupert Smith
12 at some point on the 25th?
13 A. Yes, I do. I remember two meetings. I'm sure of one at a meeting
14 with General Rupert Smith -- there was a meeting at Boksanica with General
15 Rupert Smith at the same location where we had previously had meetings.
16 MR. THAYER: Okay. At this time if we could be shown P02493.
17 It's a map. It -- if it gets shrunk on the e-court we have a copy for the
18 ELMO if we need to resort to that.
19 Q. Sir, do you have an image in front of you on the computer?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And can you read it adequately, or would you prefer to have it on
22 the ELMO? It's up to you at this point.
23 MR. THAYER: And I'd also ask if anybody else is having any
24 problems with legibility.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: It's very difficult to read except what appears to
1 be in bold letters. This is better.
2 MR. THAYER: That's perfect, I think.
3 Q. Sir, do you recognise the areas this map depicts?
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. I'd just like to ask you to mark two locations, if you would, with
6 the help of Mr. Usher.
7 A. Which locations should I mark?
8 Q. Do you see a location marked Brezova Ravan? And before you mark
9 anything, I'd just ask you --
10 A. I can see it.
11 Q. Do you recall with any more precision where this location in which
12 you met General Mladic on the 25th of July was? Can you mark that on the
14 A. It was somewhere here.
15 Q. Okay. If you can just mark that with an X, please.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. And you may need to -- we may need to move the image slightly, but
18 I would also ask you to mark the location of the Boksanica check-point
19 where you attended these meetings.
20 A. I don't think I'll be mistaken. It's this point here at the very
21 border between this precipice and plateau.
22 Q. And you've marked that with a --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Witness, to the right of where you put
24 an X near Brezova Ravan, could you please write the initials RM.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: And where you put the other sign, could you to the
2 right please put the initials CK -- BCK [sic]. Yeah, BCP. CP.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] BCP.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks] Sorry.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. Don't worry about it.
7 MR. THAYER:
8 Q. And, sir, the -- the dotted line on which you've laid this oval
9 where you've marked this check-point at Boksanica, can you just indicate
10 what that is? The dotted line that runs from the marking at Brezova Ravan
11 down to that check-point.
12 A. It's a local road that one drives along. It was part of the route
13 used to move the population out.
14 Q. Okay. And if you would just put today's date in any of the
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Now, we don't broadcast -- from this
17 point onwards we don't broadcast. He puts his signature -- he puts his
18 signature and the date, please, but we are not broadcasting it.
19 So in any of the corners, I suggest bottom right corner, you
20 put -- you sign your name and put the date, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] [Marks]
22 MR. THAYER: Thank you, sir.
23 I think we can save this document and move on.
24 Q. Sir, this brings us to the 26th of July. Can you describe what --
25 what happened that day?
1 A. On the 26th of July in the morning, Colonel Avdo Palic came to see
2 me and said he had returned from Kladanj where he had evacuated his
3 family, and when returning he had a brief meeting with General Mladic at
4 Boksanica. Mladic had requested that I go to check-point number 2, the
5 guarantee for the safety, for the life of General Tolimir, who was
6 continuing with the evacuation of the population from Zepa on that day.
7 I went to Boksanica with the first convoy and stayed there for the
8 following two days until the 27th of July, until the end of the 27th of
10 Q. Now, prior to leaving Zepa for Boksanica can you describe for the
11 Trial Chamber what was going on with the civilian population in the Zepa
12 area and what you saw happening in Zepa town?
13 A. On the 25th quite a few number of civilians or only a few
14 civilians had decided to move out. They went to certain closer -- areas
15 closer to the centre of Zepa and followed what was going on on the 26th
16 before I went to Boksanica. A significant part of the population of Zepa
17 had gathered their most essential items, put them in bags of various kinds
18 and came to request that they participate in the evacuation. There was a
19 big crowd, and it was difficult to witness all these events.
20 So this was on the 26th. Everyone wanted to leave as soon as
22 Q. And prior to congregating in the centre of Zepa, where had the
23 civilian population been for the last several days?
24 A. Well, this was to the north if you have a look at the map. To the
25 south of the river of Zepa there were these people who had to leave these
1 places because they'd been taken by the VRS. They were in the mountain or
2 three, four, five kilometres from the centre of Zepa. There was some
3 caves or huts or other buildings for accommodation, and part of the
4 population had not yet left their houses, so those inhabitants left their
5 houses and came to the centre of Zepa.
6 Q. And to your knowledge had -- had there been any larger gathering
7 area outside of Zepa town where civilians had gathered?
8 A. Outside of the centre of Zepa, no.
9 MR. THAYER: Okay. I see it's 10.30. I don't know if this is a
10 good time to take the first recess, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: You shouldn't think, you should know that it is the
12 right time. So we'll have a 25-minute break starting from now. Thank
14 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Sir, is it -- is it fair to say that the bulk of the
19 transportations really began and happened on the 26th of July?
20 A. Well, bulk of the transportations, yes, but there were one or two
21 convoys on the 25th of July, as far as I know. The first convoy was the
22 convoy with the wounded, and its destination was Sarajevo. The second
23 convoy was the convoy with the civilian population, and it headed towards
25 Q. And, sir, from what you saw on the 25th and the 26th, can you
1 describe the -- the emotional state of the civilians as they were getting
2 onto the buses? I think you've spoken a little bit about it already, but
3 just briefly if you can could encapsulate the emotional state that you
5 A. Well, all the people that were to be transported were afraid.
6 There was a lot of uncertainty because families got split. In other
7 words, men of military age did not accompany their wives and children, and
8 I'm sure you will understand that this was a very difficult situation in
9 emotional terms for everybody involved. And generally speaking, all of
10 them were afraid, in fear of what would happen to their fathers,
11 husbands. So fear, uncertainty, perhaps even some panic. So that was the
12 emotional state, in general terms, of the population that was to be
14 Q. And again, sir, on the 26th of July did you observe any
15 mistreatment of the civilian population as they were being transported?
16 A. No. The transportation went on smoothly, and there was no
17 mistreatment. Everything was done in accordance with the agreement that
18 had been reached -- or, rather, that had been dictated by General Mladic
19 and then put on paper. There was no mistreatment. Everything went
21 Q. Now, during this period of time from, say, the 13th all the way up
22 to the next day, the 27th, can you describe how often you were in contact
23 with Colonel Palic?
24 A. Well, I had contact with him a few -- few times. Three or four
25 times. I saw him very briefly, in fact.
1 Q. So you've already told us that on that day, the 26th, you went to
2 Boksanica. What did you do when you got there?
3 A. Well, I spent most of the time there in General Mladic's company.
4 We were sitting there at this table, and there was some general discussion
5 on other topics, and every convoy that would arrive from Zepa, as far as I
6 can remember, was visited by General Mladic. He would get on the buses.
7 There was a relaxed atmosphere throughout this day. I'm talking about the
9 Q. And do you recall whether you met with General Smith at all on the
11 A. Yes. Yes. The meeting that I can confirm was the meeting on the
12 26th. That was a meeting with General Smith. The -- we actually
13 discussed the options for the removal of the men of military age from
14 Zepa, because at previous meetings with General Smith, dealing with this
15 topic should have been organised by the authorities in Sarajevo, the
16 authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Q. And did you actually meet General Krstic that day?
18 A. Yes. I actually was introduced to General Krstic that day.
19 Q. By whom, and if you'd just describe that encounter for the Trial
20 Chamber, please.
21 A. I was introduced to General Krstic by General Mladic. We were
22 sitting at the table, and General Krstic was at another table, and at one
23 point Mladic told me, pointing with his hand, this is General Krstic. And
24 then he says, "Come here, Krle," which I guess was the nickname for him
25 that General Mladic used. Krstic came to our table, and there we were
1 introduced to each other, and General Mladic said that General Krstic was
2 in charge of the military operations against Zepa.
3 We exchanged a couple of sentences, something to the effect that
4 we were from the same area because I, too, was born in the Han Pijesak
5 municipality, and I think I recall that General Krstic told me that he
6 was -- had been born in the Vlasenica municipality, which is the
7 municipality -- the neighbouring municipality. This lasted for just a
8 very brief time and General Krstic went back to his table.
9 At that time I didn't know who General Krstic was at all. Only
10 later did I learn more about that.
11 Q. And just briefly, did you notice anything about him physically?
12 A. Yes. He had a problem with his leg. I don't know whether it was
13 the right or the left leg, and he had difficulty walking.
14 Q. Where did you spend the night of the 26th of July, sir?
15 A. I spent the night at the check-point number 2, in a room where
16 UNPROFOR soldiers slept. So I slept there together with them. Those were
17 Ukrainian soldiers serving with UNPROFOR.
18 Q. So that brings us to the 27th of July. Can you tell the Trial
19 Chamber what happened that day?
20 A. The evacuation continued that day, and the last convoy to leave
21 Zepa for Boksanica arrived, if I'm not mistaken, at around 1.00, 1.00
22 p.m., and the situation got tense then. General Mladic demanded that the
23 troops surrender, and he detained the convoy there at Boksanica and
24 refused his permission for the convoy to move on.
25 And on this last convoy from Zepa there were the president of the
1 War Presidency of Zepa, Mr. Mehmed Hajric, and the head of the civilian
2 protection, Mr. Imamovic.
3 We were asked -- so the three of us were now all in the same
4 place, so the relaxed atmosphere was no more. The situation was now very
5 tense, and a demand was made for one of us to go to the -- into the
6 mountain near Zepa where there was a mass of men of military age. They
7 were concentrated there. And they were to be told that they should
8 surrender. And the person who got appointed to do this task, I don't
9 remember whether General Mladic appointed the president of the War
10 Presidency, Mr. Mehmed Hajric to do so or somebody else, but as far as I
11 can remember, he went towards Zepa in an UNPROFOR vehicle.
12 Q. And what happened next, sir?
13 A. The convoy was there all the time, and then around 6.00 or 7.00
14 p.m. I was ordered to go to one of the buses used to transport the
15 civilians. This bus was there at Boksanica, and I spent maybe three hours
16 there on this bus. And then at around 20.30 [as interpreted], in other
17 words, in the evening, I was told by a soldier to come. And Amir Imamovic
18 was on another bus, and we both were taken to the same room where I had
19 spent the night in the UNPROFOR compound. There were already some
20 UNPROFOR soldiers there.
21 As far as I can remember, an approval was given at that time for
22 the convoy to move on. The convoy was allowed to go. And then that night
23 at around 11.30 p.m., soldiers came, Republika Srpska army soldiers, and
24 told me and Amir that as of now we had the status of prisoners of war. We
25 were handcuffed. They put a handcuff to one of my hands and then
1 handcuffed Amir at the end other, and they took us out of this room. And
2 during our arrest I really want to note that there were four or five
3 UNPROFOR soldiers there, and the UNPROFOR commander for Zepa, Colonel
4 Semjon Dudnik, was also there. Of course, they didn't do anything.
5 We were first taken towards the woods and then we did a little
6 detour and were finally taken back to the road to Borike where we got into
7 a Republika Srpska army vehicle, and we were then taken to the hotel at
8 Borike. And we slept there in a room. We -- the handcuffs had not been
10 In the morning the handcuffs were removed and we were given some
11 breakfast, and we were taken back to Boksanica.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Page 30, line 17, it
13 should read "around 22.30."
14 MR. THAYER:
15 Q. Now, before we move on, sir, can you just describe generally and
16 briefly where Borike is located?
17 A. Borike are halfway between Zepa and Rogatica. To the south of
18 Zepa but further down from Boksanica. A lot farther down than Boksanica.
19 Borike used to be a well-known tourist resort before the war.
20 Q. So that brings us to the 28th of July. What happened that day,
22 A. Well, on that day in the morning we were again taken back to
23 Boksanica. I saw General Mladic there again, but this time he didn't even
24 say hello to me because I was already a prisoner. And then a security
25 officer called me and he started asking me questions, where I was born,
1 things like that. We had a little talk. It lasted maybe 20 minutes to
2 half an hour. And then he was called away, and some 10 minutes after that
3 we were put back in the car and Amir and I were then taken again to the
4 hotel where we had spent the previous night.
5 Q. And you spent a couple of days at the hotel; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, yes. We spent the next couple of days at the hotel at
8 Q. And then what happened?
9 A. I don't know the exact date now, whether it was the 30th or
10 sometime around the 30th of July, we were under VRS military police
11 guard. They took us out, and they drove a Golf Mark 2, as we call it in
12 Sarajevo, and Mehmed Hajric was taken out of another room, and Amir and I,
13 we didn't know that he had been there. And so the three of us were taken
14 to the prison in Rogatica.
15 Q. And how long were you at this prison in Rogatica, sir?
16 A. The prison -- in fact, we left the prison in Rogatica on the 11th
17 of January, 1996, and from there we went to Kula. It's yet another
18 prison, this time in the vicinity of Sarajevo, controlled by the Republika
19 Srpska army. We spent four days there before we were exchanged or
20 released or whatever. I don't know what -- what definition was actually
21 used in the Dayton agreement.
22 Q. Now, when you were first brought to this prison you told us that
23 Mr. Hajric and Mr. Imamovic were brought there with you. Were they there
24 for some period of time?
25 A. Yes. We were in the same room, I, Hajric, and Imamovic. As far
1 as I can remember, in mid-August 1995, they were taken out of the room and
2 they never got back.
3 Q. And have you received any information concerning the fate or
4 whereabouts of Mr. Imamovic and Mr. Hajric, sir?
5 A. Yes. According to information at my disposal, they were killed,
6 and about a year ago their bodies were found and they were buried in
7 Sarajevo. So both Mr. Imamovic and Mr. Hajric.
8 Q. Now, sir, the last thing I'd like to do is view some video clips
9 that we have available on e-court.
10 MR. THAYER: And if we could call up V000-1355, and that's P02489,
11 for the record. The segment begins at 9 minutes, 22 seconds.
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, at this point I would ask that the
14 video not be broadcast. I've had some consultations with my learned
15 friends. I think that we'll have some identification issues.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Mr. Josse.
17 MR. JOSSE: That's clearly no problem so far as this is concerned
18 because the protection that's been put in place means that it clearly
19 can't now be broadcast. Let's perhaps take it in stages. So I've got no
20 objection to that, and as I've said, I've discussed it with my learned
22 JUDGE KWON: Do we have the transcript.
23 MR. THAYER: Yes, Your Honour. We have transcripts in English and
24 B/C/S. P02490. To this point there has not been any substantive
25 discussion of any kind that's been transcribed. There are a couple of
1 lines. The substantive translations begin at this point.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I just want to clear another thing. You've all
3 heard Mr. Josse's statement. Does any other member of the Defence teams
4 wish to comment? Okay. So we can proceed, and the rest of the video will
5 not be broadcast.
6 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I think --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: The reason is that we have granted face distortion
8 for -- for this witness, and it wouldn't make sense to show his face on
9 video and then ask him if he recognises himself.
10 Yes, Mr. Thayer. Sorry for interrupting you.
11 MR. THAYER: That's all right, Your Honour. I'll just move on.
12 JUDGE KWON: And we are on page 2 of the transcript?
13 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, we are on page 1 of 4 of the English
14 transcript at line 16 is where the next segment begins.
15 JUDGE KWON: Thank you.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Sir, we're at -- we're at 11 minutes, 53.4 seconds. Just a couple
19 of quick questions before we move on to the substance of the video. Can
20 you tell the Court what day this footage is being shot?
21 A. 19th of July, 1995.
22 Q. And the location, sir?
23 A. UNPROFOR check-point at Boksanica.
24 Q. Now, there are three figures visible in this particular clip. Do
25 you recognise any of them?
1 A. Yes. Mr. Benjamin Kulovac in the middle. I'm on the left, and on
2 the right I think this is Colonel Semjon Dudnik, but this screen shot is
3 not very good so I can't really claim that.
4 Q. That's fine, sir. Now, the individual you've identified as
5 Dr. Kulovac appears to have a white object in his hand. Can you just tell
6 us what that is?
7 A. Well, I don't know. It's a white object. I don't know if it was
8 a white cloth or anything -- or something like that, because as we
9 approached the UNPROFOR check-point an agreement had been made before we
10 actually headed out. This was to be a sign, a white flag.
11 Q. And just so -- just so the record is -- is clear, you are in the
12 lighter coloured shirt to the left, facing the screen, of the individual
13 with the white object; correct?
14 A. Yes. Yes.
15 Q. Okay. Let's continue.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Sir, can you identify, based on your recollection of this meeting,
19 who the individual wearing the cap with his back to the camera is?
20 A. Yes. It's General Zdravko Tolimir.
21 Q. And this probably needs no real identification, but just for the
22 record and -- can you identify the man at the far right of the frame?
23 A. General Mladic.
24 Q. And we are at 12 minutes, 18.4 seconds. And we can continue,
25 please. Thank you.
1 [Videotape played]
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. Sir, we've stop at 14 minutes, 57.9 seconds.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Just one moment, Mr. Thayer.
5 Yes, Madam Fauveau?
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I believe there
7 is a mistake in the transcript. It's page 35, line 12. I'm sorry to have
8 to go back somewhat.
9 What is mentioned in the transcript is this was supposed to be a
10 sign, a white flag, and what the witness said, I believe, is that it was a
11 signal of recognition, that the white flag indicated that they were
12 prepared to surrender.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Witness, have you followed -- thank you, Madam
15 Have you followed what Madam Fauveau has just stated? Didn't you
16 receive interpretation?
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I believe there's a
18 mistake here. What the witness had said was that it was a signal of
19 recognition and not a white flag, which would have been to indicate that
20 they were prepared to surrender.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Have you received interpretation?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. And you agree with what Madam Fauveau has
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Should I clarify this?
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. The last interpretation was
4 the correct one. It wasn't a white flag as a sign of surrender. It was a
5 sign of recognition. That's what I had in mind, and that's what I said.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Witness.
7 Mr. Thayer, we have frozen the video at 14 minutes, 57.9 seconds.
8 If you could proceed with your question, please.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Sir, do you recognise the individual in the middle of this frame
11 with his hand raised?
12 A. Yes. This is Colonel Semjon Dudnik, the UNPROFOR commander in
14 MR. THAYER: Thank you. Let's continue, please.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MR. THAYER:
17 Q. Now, sir, we've stopped at 15 minutes, 17.7 seconds. Can you
18 indicate any individuals whom you recognise in this still?
19 A. General Mladic is to the left. On the same side and by his side
20 is General Tolimir. The others I cannot identify, but to the right
21 there's Benjamin Kulovac, and I am sitting next to him.
22 MR. THAYER: Okay. Let's continue. Thank you.
23 [Videotape played]
24 MR. THAYER:
25 Q. Now, if we may turn to V000-3412. That is P02491, and the
1 transcripts for that are at P02492, and those transcripts will pick up
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. THAYER:
5 Q. Sir, we've stopped at 45 minutes, 30 seconds. I ask you if you
6 recognise any particular individual in this frame.
7 A. Yes. Somewhere in the middle you can see Colonel Avdo Palic.
8 Should I point him out?
9 Q. Well, if you can identify any article of clothing he appears to be
10 wearing, sir, that would distinguish him from people around him.
11 A. He has a military uniform -- or, rather, the top part of a
12 military uniform on him.
13 Q. And in the frame's perspective is he standing to the right of a
14 woman in a purple coloured kerchief or head wrap?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. THAYER: Okay. Let's move, please.
17 [Videotape played]
18 MR. THAYER:
19 Q. Sir, we've stopped at 46 minutes and 1 second. Do you recognise
20 anyone in this frame?
21 A. Yes. You can see the then president of the War Presidency of Zepa
22 municipality, Mr. Mehmed Hajric. He's in the foreground.
23 Q. Wearing a light blue shirt or jacket of some kind, sir?
24 A. Yes, yes. I think he's wearing a shirt.
25 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber where this footage was taken?
1 A. This footage was taken in the centre of Zepa, which is where the
2 buses with the population departed from.
3 Q. And do you know what day this footage was taken?
4 A. I think it was on the 25th or on the 26th. In the first part of
5 the footage where you can see the wounded, I'm sure that was on the 25th
6 of July. But as for the part that was shown a little later, perhaps it
7 was on the 26th of July, 1995.
8 Q. Okay.
9 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, if we could not broadcast the
10 following portion, which will involve some meetings.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objections?
12 MR. JOSSE: No, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse.
14 Yes. We will not broadcast the following sequence.
15 MR. THAYER: Thank you.
16 [Videotape played]
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. Sir, we've stopped at 46 minutes, 11 seconds. From viewing this
19 video clip do you recognise anybody in this frame?
20 A. Yes. Mr. Benjamin Kulovac is in the left-hand corner. He is the
21 only person I can recognise in this footage.
22 [Videotape played]
23 MR. THAYER:
24 Q. And how about now, sir?
25 A. General Rupert Smith at the extreme right.
1 Q. And we're at 46 minutes, 13.7 seconds. And that's the individual
2 with the full profile to the camera; is that correct? Seated.
3 A. Yes, yes. That's the person.
4 MR. THAYER: Okay. Let's continue.
5 [Videotape played]
6 MR. THAYER:
7 Q. We're at 46 minutes, 25.4 seconds. Do you recognise anybody in
8 this frame, sir?
9 A. Yes. General Rupert Smith is to the left. In the middle it's
10 General Krstic. And to the right, in the foreground, the person is
11 General Ratko Mladic. Those are the persons I can identify in this frame.
12 Q. Now, sir, what's your best recollection as to when this meeting
13 was held?
14 A. This meeting was probably held on the 26th of July, 1995, at
15 Boksanica. It's the 26th in my opinion, but I'm not a hundred per cent
16 certain, but it's certain that it was when the evacuation had already
17 started. So it was around the 25th, 26th, or 27th, but now I believe that
18 it was the 26th of July, 1995.
19 Q. Now, you haven't identified yourself in this video segment.
20 What's your best recollection as to whether you were actually present for
21 this meeting or not?
22 A. I think I was present. I can't be seen in this video footage, but
23 I'm fairly certain that I also attended this meeting.
24 MR. THAYER: For the record, we're going to pick up at 49 minutes
25 and 15 seconds, or as close thereto as we can get.
1 [Videotape played]
2 MR. THAYER:
3 Q. Sir, we're at 50 minutes, 14.8 seconds. Were these the types of
4 buses and trucks that you testified seeing arriving at Boksanica on the
5 26th and 27th of July?
6 A. Yes. These are the trucks and buses. You can see a truck in this
8 MR. THAYER: Okay. Let's continue, please.
9 [Videotape played]
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. Sir, we're at 51 minutes, 23 seconds. What is your best
12 recollection as to the day on which this footage was being shot?
13 A. My first question is, is this something that should be removed,
15 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I believe this is still not being
16 broadcast based on the prior request.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what I imagined. I mean -- okay. Thank you.
18 MR. THAYER:
19 Q. So, sir, what's your best recollection as to the day this footage
20 is being filmed?
21 A. I think this was on the 26th of July, 1995, when CNN was one of
22 the teams that came to Boksanica. My surname has been misspelled here.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to redact.
1 MR. THAYER: Sorry, I was in the old mode, Mr. President, forgive
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So let's redact and proceed, please.
4 MR. THAYER:
5 Q. Sir, do you recognise anyone in this still, 51 minutes, 23
7 A. Yes. I am to the right, and the person to the left of me is a
8 gentleman from CNN. He was the head of some sort of a team, a journalist.
9 MR. THAYER: Okay. Let's keep moving.
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. THAYER:
12 Q. Now, sir, at 53 minutes, 15.5 seconds, can you recognise who the
13 man is sitting to General Mladic's left or to the right of the frame?
14 A. I think it's Colonel Semjon Dudnik. The colonel and the UNPROFOR
15 commander in Zepa.
16 Q. And to the best of your recollection, sir, were you alone by
17 yourself on the other side of this table from General Mladic and Colonel
19 A. Yes. I was sitting opposite General Mladic, directly opposite
20 General Mladic, and this last question was put to me by General Mladic.
21 MR. THAYER: Okay. Let's keep going.
22 [Videotape played]
23 MR. THAYER:
24 Q. Sir, just a couple of final questions.
25 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, if -- we can go back into full
1 broadcast, or if there's anything else we need to do, but I think we're --
2 we've remained in open session so, as I understand it, there's nothing
3 more to make it public.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly.
5 MR. THAYER: Okay.
6 Q. Sir, during these clips, for example when you're alone across the
7 table from General Mladic, were being interviewed by the reporter by
8 yourself, what were your -- what were your concerns? What were your --
9 your main worries at that time?
10 A. At the time my main concern was about the fate of the able-bodied
11 men of Zepa. All the negotiations, everything what General Mladic also
12 said had to do with finding a solution or a way of exchanging the
13 able-bodied men from Zepa for members of the VRS army. But there was one
14 condition that the able-bodied men from Zepa always established. They
15 wouldn't first surrender to the VRS army. The idea was that helicopter
16 transport should perhaps be organised by UNPROFOR, but obviously this
17 remained just an idea. The main problem was what would happen to the
18 able-bodied men from Zepa.
19 Q. And why wouldn't they first surrender to the VRS army, sir?
20 A. Well, it's clear there was fear. They were afraid that people
21 would be killed, that they wouldn't survive. That's clear.
22 Q. And, sir, during this entire period of time from the -- let's say
23 the 19th through the 27th when you were at this UNPROFOR check-point in
24 Boksanica, who appeared to you to be in control of that check-point?
25 A. Officially it was an UNPROFOR check-point, a check-point that was
1 manned by the international forces, but it was actually under the control
2 of the VRS army with General Mladic at its head. The UNPROFOR soldiers
3 would move away, and the check-point was in fact used as a temporary
4 headquarters for General Mladic when he was present in the area.
5 Q. Thank you, sir. I have no further questions at this time.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you, Mr. Thayer.
7 Before you start, Mr. Josse - I take it that you are going first -
8 let's try and revise the time estimate required for cross-examination. I
9 have listed you as requiring two and a half hours.
10 MR. JOSSE: I think I need at least that, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And I have the Miletic Defence team require two
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. For now we are
14 still estimating two hours.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: And I have the Beara team asking for one hour.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: Slightly under one hour, Your Honour, but I think if
17 we could be safe, as an estimate, 45 minutes to an hour, but it all
18 depends on obviously the other questions. It may get shortened.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: And the others I'm not worried about. Ten minutes,
20 10 minutes, and 20 minutes.
21 All right. Mr. Josse. We will have a break in 20 minutes' time,
22 and then you have the last session all for yourself, and we will continue
23 on Monday.
24 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:
1 Q. I'd like to begin, Witness, if I may, asking about the actual
2 evacuation on the 25th, 26th, 27th of July that you've just been
3 describing to the Trial Chamber, and you have been at pains to point out
4 in answer to questions from Mr. Thayer that there was no maltreatment of
5 those that were leaving. That's right, isn't it?
6 A. Yes, that is right.
7 Q. But what I'm going to ask you is to paint us a picture of who
8 exactly was there, and let's begin with who was there from the VRS.
9 You've told us that General Tolimir was there, wasn't he?
10 A. Yes. General Tolimir was in the centre of Zepa, and the convoys
11 first came to Boksanica. They stopped there for a while, and then they
12 continued on to Kladanj.
13 Q. And it was in the centre of Zepa that the evacuees boarded the
14 buses; is that correct?
15 A. Buses and open trucks because the road to Zepa is quite bad, quite
16 rough. So there were both buses and open trucks in Zepa, and when they
17 came -- when the open trucks came to Boksanica, they were transferred onto
18 buses, which means that from Boksanica on, all the people were transported
19 on buses.
20 Q. So General Tolimir was there and he was accompanied by some
21 lower-ranking officers of the VRS; is that correct?
22 A. Yes. I didn't know these persons. I didn't know their ranks or
23 anything, but I think he had two junior officers of the VRS as his
25 Q. Were there any other VRS soldiers in the centre of Zepa at that
2 A. Well, as I left around midday on the 26th of July, I don't recall
3 any other VRS soldiers being there, and I can't say anything about their
4 presence afterwards because I had left by that time for Boksanica. But up
5 until midday on the 26th of July, I don't recall having seen any VRS
6 soldiers in the centre of Zepa.
7 Q. That will do fine for my purposes. Therefore the only people who
8 could have mistreated the evacuees, remembering Mr. Thayer's question, was
9 General Tolimir or these two junior officers. There was no one else from
10 the VRS there up to the point that you left; correct?
11 A. I don't remember anyone else being there, but let me just note
12 that the mistreatment could have occurred at other places, not just in
13 Zepa. In Han Pijesak, Vlasenica, Rogatica along the way. So what I mean
14 when I say that there was no mistreatment, I was -- I'm referring to the
15 whole process in Zepa from the time when they were put on the buses in
16 Zepa and until their arrival at the final destination in Kladanj when they
17 got off the buses.
18 Q. Thank you for that clarification. Continuing to paint the
19 picture, were the Ukrainian battalion representatives present during the
20 evacuation period prior to your departure from the centre of Zepa?
21 A. I think so, but now as to their number and as to what they did I
22 can't really tell you, but they were there because most of the UNPROFOR
23 soldiers had come to the UNPROFOR base in Zepa from their various
25 Q. Were there any armed Muslim men in the centre of Zepa at that
2 A. I don't think that any one of those people who had come there to
3 say good-bye to their families had been armed. I really can't tell you.
4 Perhaps somebody may have carried a pistol or something like that, but I
5 didn't see any rifles or any such weapons on those people who had come to
6 say good-bye to their wives and children. I didn't see any weapons on
7 them, and it is not quite logical at any rate.
8 Q. Do you know where the bulk of Colonel Palic's brigade were at that
10 A. As far as I know, they were at the Zepska-Planina, the Zepa
11 mountain, which is a mountain to the north of the centre of Zepa. Q.
12 I'm asking you that question because in your witness statement - and if
13 need be I could show it to you - but for the benefit of others it's at
14 page 8 towards the bottom of the page in English. You said: "On the 26th
15 July, the military-aged personnel from Zepa withdrew to the mountains, and
16 that day around noon I went to the check-point at Boksanica, and I
17 exchanged myself for Tolimir, complying with Mladic's request."
18 Firstly, is that sentence from your statement? And perhaps I
19 should say for the benefit of the record that's a statement dated the 19th
20 of January of 1998. Is that sentence from your statement correct?
21 A. Well, at a later stage I realised that this sentence has been
22 mistranslated and that it does not really correspond to the state of
23 affairs, and I have already pointed out that the real -- the whole truth
24 is what I now stated in my evidence regarding my presence at check-point
25 number 2.
1 Q. Perhaps it's my fault, Witness, but it's really the date that I'm
2 particularly interested in. You say there that on the 26th of July the
3 military-aged personnel from Zepa withdrew to the mountains. Two
4 questions, and I'll ask them together if I may. The first is is that
5 correct? And if it is correct, where were they on the 25th of July?
6 A. Well, I was occupied by with completely -- with other things in
7 that period. This thing that I put in here is based on the things that I
8 heard from others. On the 25th of July, this is the date when the
9 hostilities or when armed combat ceased in and around the Zepa enclave,
10 the morning of the 25th. So it follows that all those who were of
11 military age and who had weapons, they first went to see their families to
12 organise things and to say good-bye, to see their wives and their
13 children, because at that time an arrangement had already been made, or an
14 agreement had already been made that they should be evacuated on buses.
15 But generally speaking, it was, I don't know, the 26th. I assume that by
16 that time most of them were already at the Zepa mountain. I don't know
17 what's incorrect here in this statement.
18 Q. One last question in relation to this area. You've told us that
19 General Tolimir was there with two of his junior officers. You were there
20 till midday on the 26th of July. Who was guaranteeing General Tolimir's
21 safety for the first 24 hours or so?
22 A. Well, the situation was as follows: General Tolimir arrived with
23 the representative of the International Red Cross, that was on the 25th.
24 The UNPROFOR soldiers or some of their officers, and as far as I know
25 throughout this time he was escorted by Colonel Avdo Palic. And in the
1 evening of the 25th, General Tolimir left Zepa on a convoy and came back
2 that morning maybe an hour or two hours before I left for check-point
3 number 2 where I was to guarantee his safety. So this is how it all
5 Q. You've just mentioned the International Red Cross. It's right
6 that you recall representatives from the ICRC arriving in Zepa on the 25th
7 of July to monitor the evacuation?
8 A. Yes, that's correct. I remember that this was a team, three staff
9 members of the International Red Cross. So I can confirm that on the
10 first day they were there. The next day I left for Boksanica. So I don't
11 know whether they monitored the remainder of the evacuation. But on the
12 first day, the 25th, they were there.
13 Q. I'd now like to change the subject, please, and return to the
14 beginning of your evidence. Am I right in saying that you moved to Zepa
15 in the early part of 1993?
16 A. Yes, you are right.
17 Q. When you moved there did you have any relatives who lived there?
18 A. No. I lived as a refugee in a house of a local resident - but he
19 was not a relative of mine or anything like that - because I didn't have
20 anywhere else to leave.
21 Q. Was there anyone in Zepa, to the best of your knowledge, who had
22 the same name as you?
23 A. The first name, yes, I guess. There must have been other
24 (redacted). At least one.
25 Q. I meant to -- perhaps I should have been clear. I meant your
1 first name with your surname. I think you've answered the question by
2 saying no to the best of your knowledge.
3 A. Nobody had the same first and last name. There was a relative of
4 mine, but he was not in Zepa during the war, and -- but his -- he -- so he
5 was not in Zepa. He was in Sarajevo, and his name is also (redacted).
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's redact as well, please.
7 Please, Witness, I mean --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: You must be feeling -- or start feeling tired now,
10 because everyone else is, but let's try to work a little bit less.
11 Yes, Mr. Josse.
12 MR. JOSSE: For obvious reasons the other members of our team are
13 about five minutes ahead of me. They have somewhat of an advantage.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
15 MR. JOSSE:
16 Q. Witness, in your evidence and in the witness statement that I have
17 already referred to, you make no mention of having done any army service.
18 Was that because you weren't asked, or was it for some other reason?
19 A. Well, in the first period when the military activities started my
20 mother was sick, and I did not do the national service in the former JNA,
21 so that I spent this initial period taking care of my mother. So I was
22 not serving in the army in any capacity at the beginning of the war.
23 Q. Were you in the army at all at any stage during the war?
24 A. Well, not in the proper way.
25 Q. Tell it us about the improper way, then, please.
1 A. Well, I mean, socialising with these people and Colonel Avdo
3 Q. Were you part of Colonel Palic's brigade in any sense at all as
4 far as you were concerned?
5 A. Well, I don't know what to tell you. Not officially.
6 Q. Did you carry or use a gun or any other weapon during the period
7 either before or after the demilitarisation?
8 A. No, never.
9 Q. Did you have any official role, specific task in Colonel Palic's
10 brigade assigned to you?
11 A. Well, I remember that at the beginning Colonel Palic had some
12 radio stations, and because I am an electrical engineer he had me look at
13 them. So that may have been a period of 15 or 20 days before we were
14 forced to leave the place where we lived at the time. I went to Zeleni
15 Jadar then, and I returned, as I indicated at the beginning. I returned
16 to Zepa in early March.
17 Q. And why do you mention that now?
18 A. Well, could you please clarify your last question?
19 Q. Yes. Are you saying that you performed some role in the brigade?
20 A. Well, your question was whether I did anything or had any
21 contacts, and that is my response. Avdo called me at one point regarding
22 some radio stations. I had a look at them, but that was it. That was the
23 extent of it.
24 Q. And it was not official as far as you were concerned? That's your
1 A. As far as -- yes -- no. It was not official.
2 MR. JOSSE: Perhaps this is a convenient moment, Your Honour.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: The witness can be escorted out of the courtroom.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Two things before we have the break. One is the
7 following: You know that there is pending a decision that we need to hand
8 down on the remaining -- no. The witness can be escorted out. He doesn't
9 have to listen. Yes. About the three remaining witnesses from the list
10 of 12 that the Prosecution asked or sought to have converted into 92 ter
12 Now, we've been going through this amongst ourselves, and the
13 conclusion that we come to is that it's difficult for us to decide one way
14 or another unless we have at our disposal the proposed 92 ter statements.
15 As soon as we have those available and we find the time to go through
16 them, we will be in a position to hand down our decision. Since the first
17 of these witnesses is expected to start testifying pretty soon, I would
18 suggest that these be handed at the earliest possible.
19 The other thing is the following: Yesterday, I asked you to
20 possibly come back this morning with your response in relation to the
21 Prosecution motion for protective measures for Witness number 135. Are
22 there any objections from any of the Defence teams for the protective
23 measures sought, which are pseudonym and facial distortion?
24 Mr. Haynes?
25 MR. HAYNES: I don't believe so, no.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. So we with grant the motion
2 here and now without much formality. It's being granted already. Thank
4 We'll have a 25-minute break.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 1.01 p.m.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
9 MR. JOSSE:
10 Q. Following on from my questions before the break, could we now look
11 at 6D83, please. Whilst this is being put up on the screen, I can say
12 that this is a document dated the 2nd of February of 1994. It's signed by
13 Avdo Palic from the 1st Zepa Light Brigade, and it's to the 1st Corps of
14 the armed forces of Sarajevo. It's quite a long document which deals with
15 the organisation of the brigade and to some extent its history. And I
16 would like to ask you, first of all, Witness, if you could have a look at
17 the third page in your language.
18 MR. JOSSE: It should not be broadcast, please. Sorry, I should
19 have made that clear.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you for pointing that out, Mr. Josse.
21 MR. JOSSE:
22 Q. Middle of that third page, fourth page in English, it says: "On
23 18 October 1992, Avdo Palic was appointed commander of the Zepa region
24 armed forces." I'm going to summarise here: Names a deputy, names
25 someone as an assistant commander, then names an individual called
1 Hasanovic for intelligence and security, and then it names someone as
2 chief of communications. That's your name, isn't it, Witness?
3 A. Yes, that's my name, and that tallies with what I previously said,
4 but no particular activities are mentioned. This document is not familiar
5 to me. It was drafted in 1994, as you said, and this is my name.
6 Q. Well, let's look at the passage just above the one I have referred
7 to on the same page. It describes there the fact that two detachments
8 called 4 Juni, and I quote, "were formed." It talks about the 2nd Zepa
9 Detachment, names again Mr. Palic as the commander, and has you as the
10 chief of communications.
11 This suggests, does it not, that you were part of Commander
12 Palic's armed formation?
13 A. That's the conclusion one might draw from this document, that the
14 actual state of affairs was such as I have already described it.
15 Q. And then if we scroll down, we see that on the 27th of January of
16 1993, the actual 1st Zepa Brigade was formed from the two detachments, and
17 again you're there as chief of communications. This is making it clear
18 that you were part of the brigade and its activities. You weren't there
19 in some unofficial position as you are trying to suggest. Isn't that
21 A. I wasn't aware of this document, and as I have already said, the
22 actual state of affairs was as I have described it, but this document
23 seems to indicate that I was present over there and involved in certain
24 activities. But let me repeat this. At the time it I wasn't even in
25 Zepa. I was mostly in Zeleni Jadar looking for food. That was the actual
2 Q. I'll ask you one other thing about this document. Could you have
3 a look at the very top of page 3, please.
4 This is page 3 in the English, at the bottom of the page.
5 And we see the description of the 1st detachment and the units
6 that were formed, and we see that a Cavcici company had been formed and it
7 gives the name of the commander. I'm not going to read the name. You can
8 read it, and perhaps you can read it to yourself.
9 How many people with that name did you know in Zepa?
10 A. Let me just find that. I don't have the English version.
11 Q. No. I want you to have the one in your own language. It's the
12 fourth line down at the top of page 3. That's the entry I'm interested
14 A. Mm-hmm.
15 Q. There's a name there begins with a letter "D" second name has a
16 letter "M" on it. As I say, let's not read it out, please, but how many
17 people did you know with that name in Zepa?
18 A. I think just one person. I didn't know those people very well,
19 but on the whole, just one person.
20 Q. And did that person have any connection with the army, the police,
21 or both? When I say the army, I mean the brigade, the SJB, or both?
22 A. As far as I know, the person concerned was in the police force,
23 performed certain duties within the civilian police. When I arrived in
24 spring and got to know those people a little better, well, up until that
25 point in time I hadn't been in Zepa at all, and I practically knew no one
2 Q. That leads me on conveniently to the relationship in Zepa in
3 really 1993, 1994, and 1995 between the police and the army. We know that
4 there was ill feeling between Mr. Sahic and Mr. Palic; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that's correct. There was a personal disagreement. We could
6 put it that way. Or perhaps something worse, and that's in fact related
7 to that period of time in Zepa.
8 Q. You shared a building with them, namely the farm cooperative
9 building in the centre of Zepa. Isn't that right?
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
11 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just a point of clarification. We've
12 been talking about both Commander Palic and this other individual,
13 Mr. Sahic. So I just wanted to clarify, when you say when you were with
14 them, were you referring to the army and the police, in the same
15 building? That's all.
16 MR. JOSSE: Let me rephrase the question.
17 Q. The army namely the brigade and the police namely the SJB, and the
18 municipal authorities, in a fewer part, shared the same building in the
19 centre of Zepa. Is that right?
20 A. Yes, but there is something that should be explained. The
21 Executive Board was located there. I think they were on the first floor,
22 in the basement -- or, rather on the ground floor the civilian police had
23 its premises, and for a while Colonel Avdo Palic had his office on one of
24 the floors.
25 Q. When did Colonel Palic have his office on one of the floors?
1 A. Perhaps it was the second half of 1993 and in 1994. I really
2 can't remember all the details, but I think it was in the second half of
3 1993 and in 1994.
4 Q. Well, you were there. You knew both of these individuals, Colonel
5 Palic, Mr. Sahic. Tell the Trial Chamber what their dispute was all
6 about, please.
7 A. When I arrived there and got to know those people -- but I should
8 point out that I had met Mr. Palic a lot earlier, and it was only then
9 that I met Mr. Sahic. The way I saw things is that in psychological
10 terms, they had very similar personalities. Everyone thought he should be
11 the number one person. Everyone thought he should be in charge, and
12 that's what gave rise to misunderstandings, and perhaps at a certain point
13 in time misunderstandings arose with regard to the sharing of
14 responsibility. The question was whether the police should be under the
15 control of the army or not. I think that was the main reason for this
16 misunderstanding or disagreement between Avdo Palic and the chief of
17 police, Hurem Sahic.
18 Q. What about the division of resources between the police and the
19 army? By resources I mean money. Can you comment on that?
20 A. What money do you have in mind?
21 Q. Deutschmarks, Witness. That's what I have in mind.
22 A. Yes, yes, German marks, but from where?
23 Q. You tell us. As far as you were aware, was Colonel Palic
24 enriching either himself or his brigade at the expense of everyone else in
1 A. No. At least as far as I know, no one was enriching himself. The
2 money you have in mind was sent from Sarajevo, I believe, according to the
3 information I have. This was done on one occasion in 1993. And as to
4 whether it was done again in 1994, I don't know. I really don't know how
5 much money was sent, but I do know that the money was distributed to army
6 members, but it was so long ago that I can't remember everything.
7 Q. Well, let's see if I can help jog your memory and show you 6049, a
8 document that's already in evidence.
9 This is a series of documents, all of which come from Mr. Sahic
10 and are basically a collection of remarks, or perhaps complaints, that he
11 sent to various high officials within the BiH organisation collectively,
12 and I'd like you to have a look, please, at page 2 in your language. Page
13 2 in the English as well. And if you could go to the bottom of the page,
15 I'm not going to read this out because it's already in evidence,
16 but I'd like you to read it to yourself from the word Jedani [phoen],
17 which basically the various forms of disinformation spread by the people.
18 If you could read that to yourself to the end of that paragraph.
19 I beg your pardon. My fault entirely. Sorry, Witness. Well,
20 I -- I've shown you that passage, so let's deal with it now.
21 This is at page 3 in the English. I do apologise to the Court and
22 to you, Witness.
23 This is a passage that deals with a proposal for what is called in
24 inverted commas, "The autonomy of Zepa." This was sometime in late 1994.
25 What do you know about that?
1 A. I don't know anything about this. It's the first time I've heard
2 about a document and seen such a document. When I was in Zepa, I had no
3 information about what is stated here.
4 Q. So you have no knowledge of discussions along those lines by
5 Colonel Palic. That's your evidence; correct?
6 A. Yes. I have absolutely no knowledge. This is the first time I've
7 heard about this.
8 Q. Thank you. I wanted to ask you that anyway, so let's go back to
9 the point that I was at a moment ago. Towards the top of the second page,
10 same page, the paragraph that starts "Razne dezinformacije." Could you
11 read that to paragraph yourself, please.
12 MR. JOSSE: And that is the passage I alluded to earlier, Your
14 Q. Was it true, Witness, that the 1st Zepa Brigade received 400.000
15 Deutschmarks and kept it to themselves?
16 A. I can't confirm this amount since I don't know anything about it,
17 but I said that I did know there were resources that were sent to the Zepa
18 Brigade. As for the way in which it was spent, as for the amounts
19 concerned, I didn't know anything about that, so I can't confirm anything
20 with regard to the amount itself.
21 Q. Did your Executive Committee receive any of that money?
22 A. It didn't, no. As far as I can remember, no.
23 Q. There's one other part of this document I'd like to ask you
24 about. It's the next page in the B/C/S where we see numeral 1. In the
25 English it's on the third page. And I am going to read this out. It
1 says: "In October 1993, on his way back from Sarajevo as a member of the
2 Zepa delegation, the commander of the aforementioned brigade stole 5.000
3 Deutschmarks from the money which he was bringing to the Zepa RP."
4 You were with him on that journey to and from Sarajevo, weren't
6 A. Yes. It was towards the end of September, and we returned at the
7 beginning of October. As for the amount of 5.000 marks, well, I can't
8 confirm whom he received that from, whether he received it, how he spent
9 it. I really have no such information, but we were in Sarajevo together.
10 Q. Do you have any idea on what basis Mr. Sahic made that very
11 serious allegation?
12 A. Well, I think it was the result of the misunderstandings between
13 Mr. Sahic and Colonel Avdo Palic, and as a result this document was
14 drafted which he sent to Sarajevo. As to all the details that Mr. Sahic
15 has referred to, I haven't got any precise information. So I know that
16 some money was received, but as to whether anything was stolen, I can't
17 confirm that. That wasn't my field of responsibility.
18 Q. As one of the senior municipal representatives in the enclave, did
19 you try to keep the peace between the military and police leaders?
20 A. When pursuing my duties, I had -- I was on good terms with
21 Mr. Sahic and with Colonel Avdo Palic. Could this be described as
22 reconciling people? Perhaps in certain situations.
23 Q. I'm going to move on to another topic, if I may, and that's this:
24 Was there any attempt by the authorities - and for this purpose again I
25 mean either the police or army or civil authorities - to stop the local
1 population leaving the enclave should they choose to do so?
2 A. I can't remember any particular activities in that area. There
3 were attempts to leave the enclave, the Zepa enclave. These duties were
4 police duties, and given the time that has passed, well, I know there were
5 some stories, but I can't remember all the details. According to the
6 decision of duties, this should have been the police's responsibility, but
7 as to what activities they were involved in, as to what was done in that
8 area, I really can't remember the details.
9 Q. Did you have any problem with people who wanted to leave
11 A. Could you clarify that? Which problems? What kind of problems?
12 Q. Did it concern you? Personally.
13 A. Yes, I can confirm that some wounded and sick people tried to find
14 a way of getting out of Zepa. As far as being concerned goes, again given
15 all the time that has passed it's difficult for me to go into any
16 details. I can't remember.
17 Q. Why in the answer you've just given did you specify wounded and
18 sick people?
19 A. I meant just the sick, because I remember that some people tried
20 to find a way to move out, those who got sick in 1993 or 1994 and who had
21 serious health problems.
22 Q. I'm talking about able-bodied people who wanted to leave. And let
23 me make it clear I mean civilians who wanted to leave. Did it concern you
24 that these people wanted to leave, and were you part of any attempt to
25 stop them leaving?
1 A. Well, the people could go to Srebrenica, to the Srebrenica area,
2 without any problems if you could say that, but further afield the whole
3 territory was controlled by the Republika Srpska army, and you could not
4 go there. But this whole story about people leaving Zepa, I don't really
5 understand fully what you're driving at. In fact, everybody as a rule
6 wanted to get out of Zepa, but there was no way that this could be done.
7 It just couldn't be done.
8 Q. Could we have a look at 6D39, please. This is a document from
9 Brigadier General Hadzihasanovic, dated the 26th of May, 1995, to Colonel
10 Palic, and it says: "In order to prevent certain civilians and any
11 members of the BH army from leaving the territory of Zepa without
12 permission and illegally, it will be necessary to exercise the following
13 measures." And then the first dash it basically says cooperation with the
14 SJB, a plan to prevent people from leaving.
15 Second dash, and I quote again: "In addition to guarding certain
16 routes and areas, it will be necessary to conduct political work among the
17 Zepa's town people and soldiers pointing out the danger of leaving the
18 area. For this purpose, engage the assistance for morale, the imam and
19 all prominent people who could have an influence on anyone from Zepa
20 intending to leave the area."
21 Firstly, Witness, would you accept that you were one of the
22 prominent people in Zepa?
23 A. I don't really know what General Enver meant when he said
24 prominent people. This is, I believe, the first time that I see this
25 document, and the leaving of Zepa is here described in way that would
1 suggest that all it took was to get on a bus, scheduled bus service, and
2 just leave. This whole idea is quite unclear to me, because how could one
3 leave Zepa? There was just no way to do it except if you wanted to go to
4 the Srebrenica area. And that is why this order that relates to people
5 leaving Zepa is in fact a little bit exaggerated. The wording is a bit
7 I can confirm that perhaps a dozen or so members of the army
8 managed to cross through the territory of -- held by the Republika Srpska
9 army and into the territory held by the BH army, but this was very risky,
10 and I don't think that this instruction -- I don't know whether this
11 instruction actually refers to this incident, but at any rate, it sounds
12 as if one could just get on a bus and leave Zepa, and that was just not
13 the case.
14 Q. So Hadzihasanovic's order or instruction never filtered down to
15 you in any way at all. You knew nothing about this. Is that your
17 A. Well, let me just see this instruction. He suggested that 285th
18 Brigade -- I don't think -- I don't recall knowing anything about this.
19 Q. And finally on this, as far as you were concerned, it was not an
20 issue that any of the authorities in Zepa was concerned about.
21 A. Could I please ask you to clarify your question, because I just
22 don't understand the gist of it.
23 Q. I'm going to move on if I may. Earlier today you were asked by
24 Mr. Thayer, at page 3, line 7, as to whether you were aware of arms and
25 ammunition reaching the enclave despite the demilitarisation agreement,
1 and this was your answer and I quote: "According to the information I had
2 in the second half of 1994, weapons were delivered by helicopter, as well
3 as ammunition."
4 A. Yes, I can confirm that.
5 Q. You -- am I right to infer from that answer that you know nothing
6 about deliveries of weapons in 1995?
7 A. I do know. The helicopter deliveries went on in the second half
8 of 1994 and in early 1995. So that was a period that actually covered
9 those two years.
10 Q. Why didn't you tell the Trial Chamber about 1995 when Mr. Thayer
11 asked you that question?
12 A. I don't know. Perhaps it's simply a matter of my answer not being
13 precise enough. But there is no problem, and this is not at issue at
14 all. It was the second half of 1994 and 1995. I assume that I was just
15 not precise enough in the answer that I gave you -- that I gave.
16 Q. At the time as a municipal leader, how did you view this illegal
17 arms supply in clear breach of the agreement?
18 A. Well, this was not something that I was supposed to deal with or
19 that I had any control or influence over in accordance with the
20 distribution of tasks that we had. This was something that the army was
21 in charge of, and all the information that I gave are -- that's the
22 information that I learned from others. I never had any documents or any
23 papers about that.
24 Q. Well, let me help you a bit. Did you view it as the road to
25 disaster in the sense that in due course armed hostilities were bound to
1 follow from this arming?
2 A. Well, the fate of Zepa was something that had to be resolved in
3 some way. The situation as it was was not something that could continue
4 endlessly. I don't remember what my views were of this matter, but at any
5 rate this is something that everybody was worried about, how we could get
6 out of this situation.
7 Q. And is it right to assume, Witness, that you knew full well that
8 those arms that were being supplied to Palic and his men were being used
9 for sabotage operation by Palic and his men on Serbs outside the enclave
10 throughout 1994 and 1995?
11 A. I know about one such military action in 1995. Now, as for any
12 such actions in 1994 or from May 1993 onwards, I don't remember, and I
13 don't think that there were any. But I can confirm that there was one
14 such action in 1995.
15 Q. And I think my last question for the day: The one in 1995 was
16 when and where, please? The one that you knew about.
17 A. Yes. First of all as to when it happened, it was in mid-June
18 1995. I don't know about the details of the action. And I think it was
19 carried out in the north-eastern part of the enclave, but I really don't
20 know what the objective of the action was and things like that.
21 MR. JOSSE: If that's a convenient moment for Your Honour. I will
22 have to conclude there for the day.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse.
24 Witness, we'll continue on Monday, Monday morning at 9.00 in this
25 same courtroom. In the meantime may I just repeat what I had told you
1 yesterday, namely that you are not to contact or allow anyone to contact
2 you and discuss matters related to your testimony.
3 So have a nice weekend, everybody, and please, we'll meet again on
4 Monday morning.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Monday, the 2nd day
7 of April, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.