1 Thursday, 1 July 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom. The
6 witness should be brought in, please.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 WITNESS: ROBERT FRANKEN [Resumed]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please be seated. Good morning, sir.
10 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell
12 the truth still applies, and Mr. Tolimir is continuing his
14 Mr. Tolimir.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
16 like to greet everyone in the courtroom. May the Lord bring peace to
17 this court, and I hope that today's proceedings will conclude in
18 compliance with divine providence and not according to my wishes. And I
19 would like to wish the witness a nice and pleasant stay in The Hague.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
21 Q. [Interpretation] Yesterday we looked at the map and you drew a
22 triangle to which you were denied access. Today let's continue the
23 problems that you faced with regard to the access that you were denied.
24 First of all, can you tell us first why were you forbidden to
25 move within the Bandera Triangle?
1 A. Well, that -- that was arranged with the DutchBat II. They had a
2 problem there. The reports were that the VRS came forward in that area.
3 Bravo, the observation post I showed you yesterday was not manned, and
4 ABiH wanted DutchBat to man that OP. CO of DutchBat II decided he was
5 not able to do that due to the weather. There was a hell of a lot of
6 snow, and that was the trigger, in fact, that they said, Okay. If you
7 don't man it, then we'll man it ourselves and you're not allowed to come
8 in that area. That's, in short, the reason why there was no freedom of
9 movement in that area.
10 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Chamber, please, the date when this
11 blockade was imposed, and if you cannot remember the exact date, can you
12 just tell us the month.
13 A. Yeah. This would have been about a week after I arrived, so it
14 would have been the end of January. More or less around the 20th or
15 25th of January, 1995. And I take it that you refer to the blockade of
16 the patrols we spoke about yesterday.
17 Q. That's right. Thank you. Let me remind you of an event, but I
18 would like you to tell us what you know about it. Was that event related
19 to the activities that we discussed yesterday?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] For that purpose can we please have
21 document 1D32 in e-court.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you give the number again?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. It's
24 1D32, 1D32. Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Registrar gave a number, but it was not heard.
1 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit D16.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Can you please look at it and as soon as you see the English
6 version, I'm going to read page 1. It actually has only one page. It
7 was drafted on the 17th of February, which is after the date that you
8 mentioned, that is after January, and it reads as follows, and I'm
9 reading the first paragraph:
10 "According to intelligence information, the aggressor is grouping
11 forces and equipment around the demilitarised zones of Srebrenica and
12 Zepa, particularly in the sector of Milici and Vlasenica."
13 This is what you mentioned in your answer as reported to you.
14 This document was signed by Brigade General Enver Hadzihasanovic.
15 Second paragraph reads:
16 "We estimate that the aggressor will start offensive combat
17 operations with the aim of completely overpowering the Milici-Podravanje
18 road and then attempt to seize the territory of the demilitarised zones."
19 The second sentence in the second paragraph:
20 "On the 16th of February, 1995, the aggressor filed a request
21 with UNPROFOR to declare Zepa a non-demilitarised zone with the following
23 "... helicopter flights have been registered, and I repeat,
24 helicopter flights have been registered.
25 "BH Army have been bringing in ammunition and weapons; secondly,
1 movement of the BH Army have been registered in the Zepa sector.
3 "Accusing members of the Ukrainian Battalion, they're covering up
4 for the activities and intentions of the BH Army, which is why they're no
5 longer guaranteed safety."
6 And the next bullet point:
7 "On the night between 15th --" I repeat. "On the night between
8 15th and 16th February, 1995, our helicopters were seen flying over and
9 that infantry fire was opened on them."
10 I'm going to skip the next paragraph, and I'll move to the next
12 "On the basis of the aforementioned, the aggressor informed the
13 Sarajevo sector and UNPROFOR command that unless Zepa was declared a
14 demilitarised zone, they would start offensive combat operations within
15 seven days. The ultimatum is for 23rd of February, 1995.
16 "According to report of the Ukrainian Battalion from Zepa, the
17 UNPROFOR BH command took the following actions:
18 "Helicopter reconnaissance of the protected Zepa zone was
19 scheduled for 17 February 1995, but the aggressor did not allow it.
20 "A visit by the Ukrainian Colonel Kozub, deputy commander of," I
21 repeat, "a visit by the Ukrainian Colonel Kozub, deputy commander of the
22 UNPROFOR Sarajevo sector, was announced for 18 February 1995."
23 And so on and so forth.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please scroll down so that
25 we can see what it reads. Thank you.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Now, he's issuing an order as
3 "Units of the Operations Group 8," which was your zone, "are to
4 be in full combat readiness enabling them to be fully prepared to resist
5 a possible attack by the aggressor.
6 "Units of OG 8 deployed in Srebrenica to be on standby for
7 co-ordinated action with the 1st Zepa Light Brigade."
8 We'll skip number 3 and go to number 4 which reads:
9 "Until the helicopter is evacuated, take full measures for
10 camouflaging it, and security measures as ordered."
11 Number 5:
12 "Should the helicopter be found, in your contacts with UNPROFOR
13 representatives, take the position that its purpose was to transport
14 political representatives of Srebrenica and Zepa who were to take part in
15 the work of the political organs." Full stop.
16 Thank you. Now, I purposefully read out this order in order to
17 see that there is a connection between Srebrenica-Zepa, because some of
18 the measures pertain to one and some pertain to the other. Were you
19 informed by the UNPROFOR command in Sarajevo that the VRS had requested
20 or wanted an ultimatum to seize and suspend all flights, otherwise combat
21 operations would be launched? Thank you.
22 A. I did not. I was not informed.
23 Q. Thank you. Have you seen in this order that the forces deployed
24 in Srebrenica were tasked with launching a co-ordinated action in the
25 event of an attack?
1 A. Yes, I just read that. That's correct.
2 Q. Can one infer from this order that the VRS did not lie when they
3 said that supplies had been brought in by helicopters, because this
4 helicopter crashed in the area of Zepa, and that there was also an
5 instruction here to the effect of how to camouflage the helicopter.
6 A. Well, you can infer anything, but I did not know anything about
7 that, so I can't really answer your request.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me were there any helicopter flights
9 from Tuzla to Srebrenica? Thank you.
10 A. I don't know the exact date, but there was a report of, if I
11 remember it correctly, OP Mike, by night there should have been passing a
12 helicopter. We had been looking for that helicopter or that place where
13 it should have been landed. We couldn't find it. We searched the old
14 area directly eastly of Slatina. It's a village at the western border of
15 the enclave. But I don't know exactly the date anymore.
16 Q. Thank you. Please, can you tell us if there were any attacks, as
17 you said, by the VRS on the enclave which prompted you to set up your
18 OPs? And I'm talking about the month in which blockade was imposed on
20 A. So we are talking about, say, January, and just for the record,
21 to set up my OPs, my OPs were all 24 hours, seven days a week
22 operational. So there's no question of setup.
23 You could refer to an incident that took place in that period as
24 well, again a report that the VRS came forward opposed to the
25 Bandera Triangle, and we then sent in to the northern border of that
1 Bandera Triangle because there is the location we were told that the VRS
2 came into the enclave. We made a blocking position with two APCs.
3 Arriving there, nothing was seen. There was no contact. We left them
4 there about two, three days and then withdrew it.
5 Q. Thank you. Thank you.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please now see document
7 1D30, 1D30, in e-court. Thank you.
8 We can see the document in both languages. I'm going to read it
10 "Due to the situation in the sector of Podgaj, created on the
11 9th of 1995, of which you were informed in a timely manner, the command
12 of the 8th Operations Group has restricted the movement of the UNPROFOR
13 forces in the wider region of Suceska and Podgaj.
14 "At 1100 hours today, the commander of the Dutch Battalion in
15 Srebrenica ordered his patrols to enter the movement restriction area in
16 co-ordination with the commander of the 8th Operations Group. Respecting
17 the agreement reached with the UNPROFOR liaison officer after the warning
18 was issued not to move in the aforementioned area, the commander of the
19 281st Eastern Bosnia Light Brigade blocked all UNPROFOR controls and is
20 still keeping them blocked. It was requested by the Dutch Battalion
21 commander that this area immediately be visited by the UNPROFOR commander
22 for the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and representatives of the
23 Army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Main Staff and the
24 2nd Corps command in order to find a peaceful solution to the situation
25 which has developed in the Podgaj village sector and the wider area of
1 Suceska, i.e., the area of responsibility of the 281st Brigade.
2 "We kindly ask that you immediately instruct us on further steps
3 to take regarding UNPROFOR.
4 "Commander, Naser Oric."
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. This letter was drafted on the 28th of January, 1995, and my
7 question is as follows: Does this refer to the situation that you
8 described yesterday when you were ordered to leave the triangle?
9 A. That's correct, that refers to the patrols I described yesterday.
10 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us now how important that was for ABiH
11 army in Srebrenica, because it appealed to the highest authority in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that they requested military structures to come
13 and solve this problem. Why didn't they take up this problem with you?
14 A. I do not know how important it was for the ABiH, because I think
15 you should ask them. And they did take up the problem, because yesterday
16 I told you when I proposed my CO that I would go in more massively after
17 that I withdrew on OP Charlie, he said -- he told me to stay in place,
18 and he was negotiating with Naser Oric. So they took it up with us, but
19 I understand now that he asked for instructions at his higher echelon as
21 Q. Thank you for this caution and recommendation. At your level and
22 at the level of your commander, did you manage to solve this problem?
23 A. Well, I was not a part in that negotiation, because I was
24 isolated on OP Charlie, of course, but my CO succeeded in the end to get
25 the freedom of movement for the blocked patrols, and the end of the story
1 was that the freedom of movement in the Bandera Triangle, that is what is
2 referred to in your document as the area Podgaj-Suceska, was not
3 restored. And as I told you yesterday, during that negotiations UN
4 withdrew his order to restore that freedom of movement. So we were back
5 at the status quo before the patrol started.
6 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what do you mean when you say the
7 "United Nations"? Are you referring to your superior commander or maybe
8 some higher echelons?
9 A. I'm referring to higher echelons. And I'll try to define that:
10 In this case that was directly Sarajevo who was interfering, but normally
11 our next higher echelon was the HQ of Sector North-east in Tuzla, but
12 the -- Sarajevo oftenly took over from the Sector North-east decisions
13 and guidelines.
14 Q. Thank you. Since you were told not to enter the triangle
15 anymore, can you tell the Chamber who took this decision and who it was
16 that was entitled to order UNPROFOR not to carry out all its duties
17 within the area that they were deployed for the purpose of controlling
18 the BH Army?
19 A. As I understood it, that decision was taken on high level, but
20 then again I don't know. I suppose that it was in Sarajevo that they
21 accepted the lack of freedom of movement in that angle. And if your
22 question is who was entitled to order UNPROFOR, in fact, nobody. Only
23 UNPROFOR itself.
24 Q. Thank you. We are going to ask your superiors when they appear
1 Yesterday, you mentioned that you were unable to enter houses and
2 other premises to seize weapons because in such instances you had to seek
3 assistance from the police. Can you describe in more detail to the
4 Chamber how all this was carried out?
5 A. Yes. I'll try to make it a short story. We had patrols in the
6 area and we discovered armed men. We tried to stop them and confiscate
7 their weapons. In a couple of cases that we succeeded, but when they
8 were succeeding in entering a house, we were not allowed to enter that
9 house. That were guidelines from the UN, and then again I'm probably
10 referring to Sarajevo. So we blocked a house like that. Then we had to
11 call in, and that means to send a car to Srebrenica, pick up some local
12 police who came to the house, then entered the house, searched it for
13 weapons, I was witness at two of these events, came out and reported,
14 "We couldn't find anything." So when that happened again and again, we
15 in fact more or less stopped pursuing armed patrols when they were in the
16 neighbourhood of houses 'cause that was their tactic every time, and the
17 local police never found anything.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us, did you reach that agreement
19 with the local authorities or with the OG Srebrenica command, or did you
20 receive instructions from your higher command to act in that manner when
21 you were searching for weapons?
22 A. Of course we did not have any agreement on that subject, being
23 demilitarising personnel, with local authorities or the 8th OG. We did
24 not receive instructions. We reported that to our higher echelon, and,
25 well, they took it for granted more or less in a way when -- when it is
1 impossible, yeah, okay, it's impossible.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you have information about the arrival of weapons
3 for that period, 1995, when you were down there, how weapons and
4 ammunition were coming in to the area under your control? Thank you.
5 A. Well, if I recollect correctly, somewhere in April and May we saw
6 in the distance armed men, and our patrols reported that there were new
7 weapons. The problem was that if a patrol -- an ABiH patrol armed was
8 about 4 or 500 metres away, we could only pursue them by foot and they
9 ran just as hard, as fast as we could so that was quite a problem. If we
10 had vehicles, we probably could have blocked them from entering houses
11 and we could have done our job better. That's the only sign or the only
12 report to which we concluded that obviously there had been some new
13 weaponry in the enclave. And sorry, how they came in we could only
14 guess. It could be pony express or whatever.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we now have on e-court
17 Exhibit 1D31, page 1 both in English and in Serbian. Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please don't remove this document from the
19 screen. Judge Mindua has a question related to this document first.
20 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes, I do. Thank you,
21 Your Honour. I do have a question to put to the Defence.
22 The document which is currently on the screen, 1D30, dated the
23 28th of January, 1995, is not signed. Do you have an explanation to give
24 us and why this document is not signed, and what is the source of this
25 document? This is an extremely important document.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. Mindua -- could the document be
2 moved slightly left on our screens so we can see the upper right-hand
3 corner of that document, and then I'll answer your question after that's
4 been done. Thank you.
5 We received the document from the database of the Prosecution, of
6 the OTP, and the number is DA17-2418 there, so I can't tell you, because
7 the document took over -- the Defence took over that document from the
8 database of the OTP. Thank you. And it's probably not signed because
9 this is an incoming document being sent by Paket radio link from
10 Srebrenica to the centre, where it says "Command Kakanj-Tuzla." So they
11 got it from Tuzla and Kakanj, and that's why they don't -- it doesn't
12 have a signature, because you can't send a signature through Paket link
13 or encoded. Thank you.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes. I understand now. Thank you
15 very much.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir. You were asking
17 for another document.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's right, Mr. President. I was
19 asking for document ...
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 1D31.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's right. Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the record, 1D31.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. We have the document in both languages on our screens. This is
25 an order written -- or, rather, it's an interim report of the
1 13th of July, 1995, sent to the 1st Corps command and forwarded to the
2 president of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Izetbegovic, and it
3 was sent by the intelligence administration from Sarajevo, the department
4 for electronic counter-measures section, et cetera, and I'm going to read
5 the contents.
6 "Dear Mr. President," it says.
7 "In view of the situation of our enclaves during the preceding
8 period, the army General Staff has undertaken a series of military
9 activities and procedures to organise the members of the army in the
10 enclaves and prepare them for possible developments, primarily the
11 defence of the existing free territory and planned engagement and
12 preparations for future joint operations and planned operations.
13 "Specifically, the following has been done for Srebrenica and
15 And then he goes on to list what has been done.
16 "To start with, lethal assets and materiel and technical
17 equipment were brought in on foot in fairly small quantities." That's
18 the first bullet point.
20 "Seventeen helicopter sorties were carried out, in each of which
21 a helicopter was hit.
22 "We sent another helicopter with engineers and mechanics for one
23 of the helicopters that was shot and had remained in Zepa and repaired it
24 successfully, and they both -- both helicopters, returned successfully.
25 The last sortie, unfortunately, ended tragically with the helicopter
1 coming down near Zepa heliport, where we lost the crew of the helicopter,
2 nine passengers and the helicopter itself. Among the passengers of the
3 four physicians killed, three were specialists.
4 "That is how in this way we brought back a number of seriously
5 wounded and brought in and took back 15 from Srebrenica and five from
6 Zepa, men who had graduated from the Officers' War College.
7 "In preparations for future operation --" let me repeat. "In
8 preparation for a future operation to link up the enclaves, we brought in
9 and took back four brigade commanders, two brigade chiefs of staff, and
10 the 26th Division Chief of Staff. The division commander who was meant
11 to go on the next helicopter flight did not return.
12 "After the final flight ended tragically, Naser remained."
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we turn to the next page,
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry for interrupting you. Your procedure to
17 read the whole document is very time-consuming. Is there perhaps another
18 procedure which would shorten taking note of such a document? If perhaps
19 you indicate which passage is relevant and then the witness could read it
20 in a shorter way, because it is not necessary to have every document as a
21 document and again the content on the screen. It's only because of the
22 time you will lose for your cross-examination by reading the whole
23 document. It's more important to get answers from the witness.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Mr. President. I
25 have understood your guideline. I'd just like us to look at page 2 where
1 the assets are listed, the technical -- the materiel and technical
2 equipment. So could we look at the columns there, where it says "Zepa,"
3 "Srebrenica," and then "Total" in the third column.
4 In the first seven points we can see that what was coming in --
5 that weapons were coming into Srebrenica and Zepa.
6 May we see the whole of that document on page 3 of the English so
7 that the witness can see everything listed. So the first column is Zepa,
8 the second is Srebrenica, and the third is the total. And can we also
9 have page 4 displayed, the last page where we can see the signature.
10 There's the signature. "Commander, army General Rasim Delic." Of course
11 there's no signature there because the document was sent out in encrypted
12 form from the Main Staff of Srebrenica, and they did not have any other
13 means of communication.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now, my question to you is this: Does it follow from this
16 document that weapons did come in to Srebrenica where you exerted
17 control? Thank you.
18 A. What I see here is an amount of ammunition, et cetera, which is
19 said to be brought to the enclave of Srebrenica. So yes.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, since the army commander is informing the head
21 of state that what we've just said -- seen, all this list, arrived in
22 Srebrenica and Zepa, could you tell us how this materiel came into Zepa
23 in the first place, and could that many weapons have been transported by
24 an individual or must it have been an organised form of supply? Thank
1 A. You are asking me how the materiel came into Zepa. Well, I
2 really don't know because I was in Srebrenica and did not have contact or
3 any information from Zepa. And if these are the real amounts that were
4 resupplied, you can't do that. You have to organise it. It's quite
6 Q. Thank you. I said "Zepa," but I omitted to add the word
7 "Srebrenica." But you saw that there were two columns, Zepa and
8 Srebrenica, which means that it arrived in both places, more to
9 Srebrenica than to Zepa because they probably had more need of it. Thank
11 My next question is this, but --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, first of all, I'd like to
13 have document 1D129 displayed, please. Thank you. Thank you.
14 This is the wrong document, but anyway, to save time we'll make
15 use of it. Well, actually, we have the right document on our screens
16 now, and this is the first page of it. Final analysis of the Srebrenica
17 and Zepa air-lift, and this analysis was carried out on the
18 17th of February, 1996, that's the date of it, in Zenica. I apologise.
19 It's the 17th of February, 1995, not 6. And this was later in the -- in
20 the communications centre where the date is different.
21 May we have page 2 of this document displayed?
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the record, we should -- can't do it. In the
23 original version we have two different years on the first page, 1996, in
24 the heading of that page, and 1995 below this line. Both 17th of
25 February. And we have the same in the English translation. Perhaps
1 there is just a typo, but you could clarify that perhaps.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Most probably this
3 document went to the communications centre of the command headquarters in
4 Kakanj, where the people carrying out the intercepts and the department
5 for analysis were -- it reached them. So they might have put 1996
6 instead of 1995, but we see that this was carried out on the
7 17th of February, 1995, and that it was strictly confidential under the
8 following number, from the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was
9 compiled by the representative of the commander, Colonel Edin Hrustic,
10 Edin Hrustic. And when we turn to page 2, we shall see that it says
12 "Between the 27th of February, 1993, and the 7th of May, 1995,
13 from the territory of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina there was an
14 air-lift to meet the needs of the enclave of Srebrenica, Zepa, and
16 And now the third line:
17 "The main aim of introducing and maintaining the air-lift was to
18 transport and ensure combat equipment and the evacuation of the wounded."
19 I'm not going to quote from the document anymore. So may we now
20 please have page 7 of this document called up. Thank you.
21 And we see at the bottom down there -- or, rather, under (B), the
22 penultimate paragraph, it says: 10.025 hours of flight, 10.25; GMI fuel,
23 use approximately 8.000, et cetera, transported to Zepa UBS 17 tonnes,
24 [indiscernible] from Zepa, 46 passengers and five wounded. So this is
25 from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Zepa. That -- you might conclude that, but if
1 we look at the document further down, or rather, on page -- let me just
2 take a moment to find the page so that you can all see it.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 10.
5 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President. Just a couple of
6 observations about the document. The first is, I think we have an answer
7 as to whether this document was created in 1995 or 1996 based on the
8 first page we just saw, which described the air-lift operation lasting
9 through May of 1995. So I hope the record's clear that we're not talking
10 about a document from 1995 but one that was created after the fall of
11 Srebrenica sometime in 1996 as part of an assessment of -- of what
13 I also note that the hours of flight, as I read it, is 10.25, not
14 a thousand hours of flight as the General suggested or at least was
15 interpreted on our LiveNote.
16 Thirdly, I don't know if there is a supplemental Defence exhibit
17 list for this witness, but I think this is about the fifth document in a
18 row which we've seen which is not on the list that we received. It's not
19 a big deal. We can follow along, but if there is a list, we'd appreciate
20 having it so that we know what's coming down the line. I like to work
21 with hard copies myself. It's a little bit more difficult to see one
22 page at a time. So if there is a supplemental list, we'd appreciate
23 getting that because we haven't had any notice of the last four or five
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the Chamber is in the same position.
1 I didn't find these documents we have seen on the screen in your Defence
2 list of exhibits, and therefore we are a little bit lost as well. We
3 would appreciate to be informed in time about the exhibits you will use
4 with the witness.
5 Now please carry on, and indeed, we made the same observation
6 about the time covered by this document until May 1995.
7 Please carry on. Especially put questions to the witness.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. For the record, this --
9 let me say that this record was obtained from the database of the OTP and
10 we took it over as such, and so I'm now asking questions on the basis of
11 what we see here. So on page 7, I said that the hours of flight was
12 10.25 hours. The fuel consumed about 8 tonnes, 200 litres, and that it
13 was transport -- and that to Zepa there were 7 tonnes of lethal weapons
14 transported. I apologise if I misspoke.
15 Now may we turn to page 10. The ERN number is 10 -- 10185442.
16 It says here: "Attachment 1, Flights to Srebrenica." And now in the
17 final analysis it says, on the 17th of October, [indiscernible] in
18 flight, it says transported outgoing and incoming, lethal weapons, so
19 many tonnes and then 20 tonnes below that.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we can't follow your citation
21 because we don't have such a date, 17th of October, on the screen. You
22 should have a look on the screen yourself to find out if this is the
23 right document or right page number.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. That's why I read out
25 the ERN number of the page. 01854422 is the number. And I read it from
1 the document that we were provided with.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: On the left side on the screen, but there is no
3 date of October.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we look at page 9 of the
5 English, then, please. Thank you. It says: "Attachment number 1,
6 Flights to Srebrenica." And it is enough for us to look at the lower
7 column where it says that lethal weapons were transported, 10 outgoing,
8 and then 20 tonnes underneath that. So 10 and 20 tonnes. The last
9 column. And on the way back, 10 tonnes, 20 wounded, and 29 passengers.
10 The total that was.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Now, my question on the basis of that is as follows: Do you
13 know -- are you aware this was -- that this was transported to Srebrenica
14 as it says in this attachment number 1 relating to materiel going into
16 A. The only thing I am aware of is that -- sorry, we -- I described
17 that before. On one occasion we got a report from Mike, and as I
18 recollect, we had couple of times, two or three times, reports of
19 overflying helicopters, but of course, I was not -- at least I did not
20 know what was in the helicopter, even not if it landed and if where. One
21 occasion we suspected that to have landed east of Slatina, but I
22 described to you that before. Problem again was we had to do approaches
23 like that by foot. If we had vehicles, we could have been quick and
24 perhaps see or establish what happened with that helicopter, but if you
25 try to walk about 5, 6 miles through hilly territory and you try to find
1 a helicopter just unloading and flying away, that is impossible because
2 you're about two hours with full equipment on your way to get to the
3 possible spot where the helicopter landed, and then the bloody thing is
4 gone already, of course.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Witness, Mr. Tolimir was asking you about
6 attachment 1. The dates I see are from the 27th of February, 1993,
7 through the 30th of March, 1993. Can you explain anything about this
8 time period?
9 THE WITNESS: About -- sorry, Your Honour? I did not see that,
10 bit stupid, but no, about the period 1993, of course, I don't know
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 Mr. Tolimir.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. So here we see the final analysis of flights resupplying the
17 enclaves, carrying lethal weapons, and we have the number of tonnes,
18 whenever the equipment was brought in. And finally I just said and I
19 asked you to answer this: Is it possible that part of the flights, the
20 17 that we read out earlier on, from Zepa, were bringing in materiel from
21 the federation to Zepa and that later on it was transported by convoy to
22 Sarajevo precisely where you were forbidden movement; right?
23 A. Sorry, I'm a bit puzzled now. Probably you mean that materiel
24 was brought to Zepa by helicopter and then by convoy on the ground to
25 Srebrenica, because you said Sarajevo. And then you asked me would it
1 have been possible that it came in the enclave through the
2 Bandera Triangle. Yes, it is possible, because as I stated before, I did
3 not have any control over the area called Bandera Triangle. So what
4 happened there and what the possibilities were, I can't -- can't deny
5 that it would have been possible. That's correct.
6 Q. Thank you for correcting me on that point. You're quite right.
7 Did the helicopters come from the federation to Zepa and then from Zepa,
8 by convoy, lethal weapons taken to Srebrenica. I misspoke if I said
9 Sarajevo. I meant Srebrenica. You said it was possible, because you
10 weren't able to control the area. So thank you for your answer.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'd now like to ask the
12 Presiding Judge to admit these documents, 1D30, 1D32, 1D31, and the last
13 document that we're looking at now, that's on our screens, which was the
14 final analysis, and it was 1D129, which was marked for identification.
15 It was MFI'd as D63.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's correct. It was identified -- marked for
17 identification because the previous witness couldn't say anything about
18 its content and source.
19 Don't you think that we are in the same position now, because
20 this witness is not able to say anything about this content of the time
21 period February and March 1993? I don't see a background for now
22 tendering and admitting this document.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can you please look at
24 page number 10 in English, because you didn't allow me to show the whole
25 document to the witness. But before that, can you please look at page 9.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To make it very clear, Mr. Tolimir, you say I
2 didn't allow you to show the whole document. Of course you are in the
3 position, you have the right to show a document, the whole document, to
4 the witness. I was giving guidance not to read the whole document
5 because it's time-consuming and you will lose your time for
6 cross-examination. Just to make that very clear.
7 Let's have that page, yes, page 10 --
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- and the corresponding page in B/C/S.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We need the next page in B/C/S,
11 number 11, and the number 10 in English.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's on the screen now.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We can see here from this survey
14 that the air-lift was in operation in 1995 as well. We have 31st of
15 December, 1994; 11th of January, 1995; 6th February, 1995; 11th February
16 1995; 19th of April, 1995; 21st of April, 1995; 30th of April, 1995; and
17 7th of May, 1995.
18 And if we turn to next page and so on and so forth, we can see
19 what happened afterwards, but I think this will be sufficient to
20 demonstrate that the air-lift was in operation while the witness was
21 there. That's why I asked him this question, was it possible that
22 helicopters provided supplies to Zepa and then that convoys carried them
23 to Srebrenica through the Bandera Triangle from which they were banned
24 from carrying out control. And that was the reason why I wanted this
25 document to be tendered into evidence as an illustration of the
1 activities that were taking place in the zone. It's not my fault that
2 they were unable to control everything. All he said was they did notice
3 something going on.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You repeated your question, but there is a
5 certain omission. You didn't repeat the answer of the witness. The
6 witness told us that he doesn't know anything about that and therefore he
7 can't deny that it is possible, but I didn't hear that he has any
8 personal knowledge about that.
9 Could you tell us what is your personal knowledge about that.
10 THE WITNESS: If we are referring to the possible move by foot
11 from Zepa into the Bandera Triangle in order to bring in ammo -- sorry,
12 ammunition or weapons, I wouldn't know. The question was, is that
13 possible or would that have been possible, and that is where I said yes,
14 it would have been possible. But do I not have knowledge of actual
15 weapon transports in the period I was in Srebrenica through the
16 Bandera Triangle.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And therefore again, Mr. Tolimir, what is the
18 basis of your move to admit this document through this witness? You
19 should choose another occasion to do that.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I don't
21 need to enter this document into evidence at all. I cannot get anyone
22 from the air force to confirm that, but the witness said that he was able
23 to see helicopters. He also saw armed groups of men who would flee to
24 houses whenever they were spotted. I only asked him about the supplies
25 arriving in the enclave, and I asserted that there was a particular area
1 in the enclave that was off limits for this witness, and it should have
2 been controlled under the agreement. This is all I was asking for, but
3 it's up to you to decide. It's all the same to me. But I think it's in
4 the interests of all of us involved, including the witness, to arrive at
5 the truth.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, what is the position of the
8 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, the position of the Prosecution remains
9 the same. This issue is not in dispute. It has never been in dispute.
10 I can tell the Trial Chamber that if -- if General Tolimir wishes to
11 offer this document and any similar document in a bar table motion, for
12 example, the Prosecution will have absolutely no objection to that. As I
13 stated a couple of days ago when we saw a similar document concerning the
14 helicopter air-lift, this is wasting time to go over and over this
15 material which is not in contest in this case, at least as far as the
16 Prosecution is concerned. We don't have an objection to the document
17 coming in today, tomorrow, yesterday, or any other day. We -- we just
18 don't care about it that much, because it is not in contest.
19 Again, as Your Honour has pointed out, it is General Tolimir's
20 decision how to conduct his cross-examination, but I'm appealing on
21 behalf of this witness and future witnesses that we are wasting time. We
22 just spent 45 minutes on this issue. He has received the answer that he
23 has received, and again perhaps this is best addressed in a bar table
24 motion or something to that effect, and again we have no objection to
25 this or similar documents. It's not an issue that weapons were coming
1 in. They were coming in by helicopter, they were coming in by pony, they
2 were coming in on foot to both enclaves.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Document D63, marked for identification, will now
6 be admitted as an exhibit, D63.
7 Could we have the other two documents or even three, 1D31. It's
8 for us a problem not to have your move for tendering them at the time it
9 is on the screen. So that we should have them back. 1D31, and then we
10 can make a decision.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can you please not
12 remove the document until I've finished my questions.
13 Thank you, Mr. Thayer, and I'm grateful to the witness as well.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we have now to deal with your
15 request to admit the other documents, and we shall do that now.
16 Otherwise, we forget about that.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ...
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I had moved for three documents to
20 be admitted that we had previously on our screens.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now -- yes, wait, please. Wait, please. Now I
22 would like to have the English translation.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D66.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now, please, 1D31. This one will be received,
2 but we take into account that there are some problems with the date, but
3 it is referring to the time until May 1995.
4 THE REGISTRAR: 1D31 will be Exhibit D67.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the third one was, if I remember correctly
6 1D32. Let's have it on the screen again, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This is already in evidence as Exhibit D16.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we have received your -- the documents
10 you tendered. Please carry on now.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we please now --
12 D63 that we had on our screens a moment ago, and that -- I'd like to look
13 at page --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please repeat the number of
15 the page.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 5. Thank you.
17 Thank you. We see page 5 in Serbian. Can we have the
18 corresponding page in English, please. That's most probably page 6.
19 Thank you.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. We see here note in English, which reads:
22 "The air-lift to Zepa was also used to supply the Srebrenica zone
23 and can be considered as an extension of the air-lift for Srebrenica."
24 Thank you. My question is the following: Since this is
25 indicated in the final analysis prepared by the ABiH army, the president
1 of the War Presidency, can you tell us how it was possible that this
2 should have been considered as an extension of the air-lift from Zepa to
3 Srebrenica? How was it possible for it to be used for a continuation of
4 providing supplies to Srebrenica?
5 A. I take it that I, in fact, answered that before and that was when
6 you asked me to the possibility that air-lift operations into Zepa with
7 supplies for Srebrenica and then by foot coming in to Srebrenica, and
8 then I said that that would have been possible, especially through the
9 Bandera Triangle, because that was an area which I did not control.
10 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us was there a land corridor
11 connecting Zepa and Srebrenica and you were in the latter enclave? What
12 do you know about that?
13 A. What do you mean with a land corridor? There was a land --
14 sorry, could you tell me what you mean with a land corridor. Of course
15 there was land. There was normal terrain between Zepa and Srebrenica.
16 If you mean, "Did you know about a certain route they took?" Well, I
17 answered that before. I do not, and the only thing is that we had once
18 or twice contact with a pony express coming into the enclave in the
19 south, and I pointed out on the map that that was the reason we
20 established OP Kilo and OP Delta. I wanted another one but that wasn't
21 possible because we didn't have the material.
22 Is that an answer, sir?
23 Q. Thank you. You have answered my question.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at document D61,
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before this document will be removed,
2 Judge Nyambe has a question for the witness.
3 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you, Mr. President. Actually it's a
4 clarification. What is a pony express?
5 THE WITNESS: Sorry, I -- and I understand your question. We
6 discovered that the ABiH or arranged by the opstina, the civil so-called
7 government of the enclave, there was more or less regularly a kind of
8 supply convoy in the direction of Zepa and then after they -- it came
9 back, and they used ponies to carry the load they had. So we called that
10 the pony express. I hope that answers your question, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. It does.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Microphone not activated] ... asked for.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Q. We can see document D61 on our screens, and can you please look
15 at paragraph 3. I'm going to quote only portion of it.
16 The division command issued a strictly confidential order
17 01-33/95, on 18th of May, 1995, to the units that belonged to it. They
18 were ordered to carry out specific combat tasks in the corridor between
19 Srebrenica and Zepa. According to this order, the 282nd Mountain
20 Light Brigade, the 283rd, also Mountain Light Brigade, and the
21 285th Light Mountain Brigade shall carry out daily reconnaissance and
22 patrol activities in the corridor in order to protect the corridor from
23 being intersected by the aggressor. This will be carried out by armed
25 This order was drafted by the commander or the Chief of Staff,
1 Ramiz Becirevic, who took over the duty of commander on the 27th of May,
2 1995, and he sent it the command of the 285th Zepa Brigade.
3 My question is: Was the Zepa Brigade securing this corridor as
4 far as the Bandera Triangle, and from then on it was taken over by the
5 units from Srebrenica? Although you didn't have access to this triangle,
6 do you know in what way this triangle was secured? And I'm asking for
7 your opinion as an expert in these matters.
8 A. I do not know whether the Zepa Brigade was securing any corridor
9 because I had no contact with that. I take it that that brigade was
10 stationed in the Zepa enclave. Again, again you say, asking my opinion
11 as an expert, that they would come in with that, with contraband and
12 weapons, et cetera, in the Bandera Triangle. As an expert, I take that
13 highly not impossible but not very likeable because our OP Charlie and
14 the VRS positions were very close together in that area. We had line of
15 sight in a small valley, and that meant that those transport had to pass
16 that valley. Unless they came from the south, as I pointed out, one on
17 the many routes in the south, directly north of that mining area, and
18 entered there the Bandera Triangle out of southern direction, which, as
19 an expert, I think is more possible and -- and stop -- is a better
21 Whether units from the 28th Division took over securing a
22 corridor, I do not know. Problem is that we found out that they -- when
23 they moved out or in, they did that by night, and it was, by the UN and
24 then again probably Sarajevo, forbidden to us to operate in patrols by
25 night. We had to stay home. So I can't answer that in the sense that I
1 do not know of units of the 28th Division securing any corridor between
2 Zepa and Srebrenica in the area you meant.
3 Q. And you don't know that that was maintained during the daylight
4 while you were on the ground, but as I said, do you know if that was
5 going on during the night as well? And if necessary, I can show you the
6 map again.
7 A. No, I know the map so that wouldn't be necessary. Sure it was
8 maintained during the daylight, but we had no access to Serb territory,
9 and the -- mentioned by you, corridor to Zepa was for us in Serb
10 territory. So the only thing we could see was the line of sight out of
11 our OPs or what our patrols saw -- said. And in the south it is a very
12 hilly territory, you know, so my line of sight was very short. So if
13 they were there in that area, I wouldn't have noticed as long as there
14 was no fighting.
15 Q. Thank you. But why do you say that that was the Serb territory
16 of Zepa, because it was the Muslims who were passing through this area
17 trading goods and doing all other kinds of things.
18 A. Well, then you misunderstood me. I meant to say that the area
19 between the enclave of Srebrenica and the enclave of Zepa was
20 Bosnian Serb territory. We were not allowed to patrol in that area, as
21 you know. So that's why I said when they were busy there and did not
22 actually have fire contact, I wouldn't know because I couldn't see. I
23 could not observe that area.
24 Q. Thank you. I understand what you told us about what you were
25 capable of doing. I think that with this we have concluded the
1 discussion about these two subjects. Now we are going to move to another
2 topic with which you are familiar. So we have finished with the subject
3 of the supplies coming into the demilitarised areas. And we are going to
4 conclude the subject of air-lift supplies of weapons for Srebrenica and
6 Can you tell me are you aware that the Main Staff was sending to
7 UNPROFOR command in Sarajevo protest letters because of the helicopter
8 flights that were going on, and against providing supplies to these
9 zones, and I'm talking about the year of 1995, while you were there.
10 A. I take it that you mean with the Main Staff, the Main Staff of
11 the VRS, and I am not aware or was not informed that protests like that
12 were sent.
13 Q. Thank you. Therefore, you were never told from Sarajevo about
14 the reasons that the VRS was alleging that these zones were not
15 demilitarised and why they were putting up ultimatums that they were
16 going to secure demilitarisation of these zones themselves. So you are
17 saying that you know nothing about that.
18 A. That's correct. Just -- I have to add something, sorry. In
19 the -- I take it it was the 10th or 11th of July, there was an ultimatum
20 from the -- to the -- sorry, from the VRS to DutchBat which started with
21 the verb: "You did not demilitarise the zone, so we are taking up that,"
22 but that's the only time I was confronted with these words and they came
23 not from UN Sarajevo. They came from the VRS, by radio, during the end
24 phase, so to say, in the enclave.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, do you believe that combat
1 operations were conducting there precisely by the army of the VRS in
2 order to separate these two enclaves? Can you also tell us in what way
3 did you receive information from your command regarding reactions from
4 the parties involved?
5 A. Just to be sure that I understand the question well, which period
6 do you mean that these actions by the army or operations, combat
7 operations, by the VRS in order to separate those two enclaves? Do you
8 refer to the period before the end of attack or do you refer to the
10 Q. Thank you. Can you please answer the second part of my question.
11 In what way did you receive information about the response by the parties
12 involved to the activities in the zones under your control? And I'm
13 talking about the protests that were being sent to your command in
14 Sarajevo. Thank you.
15 A. Again, I told you that I didn't know about the protests, so I was
16 not informed by my higher echelon, the UN, about protests. And as a
17 consequence, I did not know what measures they took. If the question
18 goes that far that you ask, "Did you get special guidelines about the
19 contents of protests," no, but again, I didn't hear about those protests.
20 Exchanged between Main Staff and UN Sarajevo, I mean.
21 Q. Thank you. Now, could you tell us whether the Dutch Battalion
22 had information about the fact that there was an imminent attack against
23 the enclave?
24 A. In fact, no. We got a report -- the only thing that pointed in
25 that direction was a report by UNHCR who came in pretty nervously with a
1 convoy and told us that they saw three Tango 55s and some artillery
2 moving along the road with amount of troops. And that's the only thing I
3 knew or, say, more or less warning I got. We didn't get that far that,
4 as a consequence of the movement of three main battle tanks and some
5 artillery, we did not conclude that there was an attack imminent.
6 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that you didn't have a plan, or
7 perhaps you did have a plan, in case there were to be an attack against
8 the enclave? Thank you.
9 A. There was a plan but not triggered by -- by any events. Pretty
10 early we already made a plan where, for instance, the blocking positions
11 Bravo A1 till 4, we'll speak of that, I suppose, later, were reccy'd and
12 planned but that's about it. Oh, no, there was a blocking position
13 planned at the north side, say, just north of the HQ of the DutchBat in
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we now have on e-court D20,
17 page 17, paragraph 248. Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think this could be a convenient
19 time for the first break before we move to the next document. If you
20 agree, we should have the first break now, but before we do that, I have
21 to correct myself. My comment on different dates, on page 26, lines 9 to
22 10 was related to document D67, but that was a mistake. It -- the
23 problem with the dates was in the document D63.
24 We have our first break now and resume at 11.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I asked
4 for a document on e-court. D20 was the number, page 17, paragraph 2.48.
5 It's a report on Srebrenica based on debriefing conducted in Assen in
6 1995. And there we have the paragraph, 2.48, and this is what it says:
7 "The commander of the Dutch Battalion assumed that the BiH forces
8 in the event of a large BiH offensive would try, when DutchBat left the
9 observation posts, to confiscate weapons and vehicles with the use of
10 force if necessary. He expressly requested the BH Army in the enclave,
11 after the aforementioned loss of the observation post, for sufficient
12 freedom of movement to be -- to implement DutchBat's operation plan in
13 the event of a BSA offensive. The plan consisted of falling back to
14 blocking positions which were to seal off the access roads to the towns
15 of Srebrenica and Potocari. These blocking positions, incidentally, were
16 only able to discourage the BSA and had scarcely any military import as
17 the white infantry fighting vehicles stood virtually in the middle of the
18 road without any other form of protection.
19 "Apart from an arrangement that the BiH would occupy positions
20 between the observation posts, no co-ordination took place between
21 DutchBat and the BiH regarding the response in the event of an offensive
22 by the BSA. The aforementioned arrangement was to prevent the BiH from
23 taking up a position immediately in front of or behind an observation
24 post, thus attracting BSA fire and endangering the observation post."
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Now, my question to you is this: From what we've just read out,
2 from this paragraph, we can see that there was an operation plan on the
3 part of the DutchBat if there were to be a BSA attack on the enclave.
4 Can you tell us when this plan came into being, what period of time?
5 Thank you.
6 A. If I -- as I stated before, that would have been made somewhere
7 around March. Not with the direct cause but just what you do is, in a
8 situation like that, being a soldier, you look for eventualities and try
9 to prepare a response on that. And in that sense, one of the
10 eventualities was an attack by the VRS, and that's why we -- did --
11 sorry, did reconnaissance, the positions Bravo 1 till 4 and a position
12 north of the HQ as mentioned before.
13 Q. Thank you. Would you please tell us now whether during the
14 attack by the Army of Republika Srpska in Srebrenica, whether that
15 UNPROFOR operative plan was put into effect. Thank you.
16 A. In fact, it was. At least we tried, but due to hostile fire we
17 had to adjust some positions.
18 Q. Thank you. Could you tell us now whether you had any knowledge
19 or tell us about what you knew then between the clashes between Muslim
20 armed formations amongst themselves, what you knew about that and if you
21 did, and whether there was any mention of that during the debriefings.
22 Thank you.
23 A. To answer your first question, yes, I was aware, and I knew there
24 were clashes between Muslim armed formations and the VRS. OPs reported
25 to me battle noise in different -- in several areas. Personally, we
1 could report or see artillery impacts, artillery firing, mortar firing.
2 That was mentioned, as far as I know, during the debriefings, if you mean
3 the debriefings that took place in Holland afterwards, after we returned
4 from Bosnia.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we now have page 38 displayed,
8 please, of this same exhibit, D20, that we see on our screens. Thank
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Before we deal with the next paragraph, just tell me this: The
12 UNPROFOR command, with whom did it reach an agreement about this plan to
13 block the axes of attack from the Army of Republika Srpska? Thank you.
14 A. If you mean by the UNPROFOR command, the staff in Sarajevo, I
15 don't have a clue. And I doubt whether there was an agreement with
16 anybody, because it was a battalion plan, and just in the -- in the
17 course of what we call contingency planning. You -- as I said, you
18 considered possibilities or possible events and tried to plan and make a
19 reaction on that, whether they come, these events really will occur or
20 not, that's a normal military procedure.
21 And again to be clear, in that period I was, in fact, on an
22 island, away from any information or very little information. So my --
23 my helicopter view, so to say, was very limited, limited to the area of
24 Srebrenica, and I don't have any idea what UNPROFOR staffs discussed with
25 whoever, VRS or even BiH. I was not informed about that. So again, it
1 was contingency planning, and there was not an agreement with anybody
2 about that. It was an order within the battalion, and I don't have the
3 custom of discussing that with half the world.
4 Q. Thank you. I quoted the last portion of the paragraph we looked
5 at a moment ago, and I needed that for me to be able to ask my question,
6 and I'd like to repeat the following sentences: Except for the
7 arrangement for the BH Army to take up positions between the observation
8 posts, between the DutchBat and the BH Army there was no co-ordination.
9 So did I understand this correctly? Was there an agreement
10 whereby they would occupy positions, and if so, who was the agreement
11 reached between, because that's what this seems to refer to? Thank you.
12 A. There was an agreement that they would take positions between the
13 OPs, and the agreement was between me, being the DCO of DutchBat by
14 consent of the CO, of course, and the Chief of Staff of the
15 28th Division, Mr. Ramiz.
16 Q. Thank you. It says here that there was no longer any
17 co-ordination as far as possible attacks against the enclaves existed,
18 that there was no co-ordination with the Muslims. Is that right?
19 A. The only thing we agreed upon was that in case of that attack,
20 they would take positions between our OPs, our observation posts, and the
21 very moment they would leave their positions they would inform the local
22 OP commander. That's all. Further co-ordination didn't take place.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we now have on e-court 1D29.
25 Thank you. Thank you. We can see it now.
1 This is an order of the 4th of June, 1995, that is to say, a
2 month before the events we're talking about took place, written by -- or
3 signed by corps command -- the corps commander and sent to Srebrenica to
4 the 28th Division, and I'm going to read its contents out.
5 "I hereby command," point 1 -- "I hereby order:
6 "Occupy the unoccupied and abandoned Dutch Battalion observation
7 posts with our forces and establish defence lines behind them on the same
8 level facing the aggressor forces."
9 So that is linked to your observation post. Now:
10 "2. Monitor the Dutch-controlled observation posts and organise
11 elements of defence, combat formation, behind them in order to eliminate
12 potential negative consequences which might arise should the aggressor
13 take control of the observation posts.
14 "3. Continuously monitor the activities of the aggressor and the
15 Dutch Battalion and immediately inform the 2nd Corps Command of any
16 changes or new intelligence.
17 "5. The tasks shall be carried out immediately ..."
18 And the signature is Commander Brigadier Sead Delic.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Now, my question is this: Did you know, were you aware of the
21 fact that the agreement you had was in part contained in this order on
22 taking over your positions and observation posts by the BH Army? Thank
24 A. I was not aware that they had ordered to occupy abandoned Dutch
25 observation posts, but in that time, the only observation post that was
1 abandoned or was taken over by the VRS was, in fact, Echo, because the
2 day before Echo fell. More or less the agreement I had with the Chief of
3 Staff of the 28th Division is contained in this order. There's just one
4 annoying detail that he orders them to take positions behind us while we
5 co-ordinated they would have the positions on our flanks, so in the same
7 Q. In the second line of this point it says:
8 "To set up a defence line behind or in the same line with -- on
9 the same level facing the aggressor forces," at the level of your
10 observation posts.
11 Can you see that that is what it says there? Thank you.
12 A. Yes, I can.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to tender document
15 1D29. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D68.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber now if, on the same level as you
21 you have the BH Army forces, can the Army of Republika Srpska, at the
22 time of the attack, differentiate between you and members of the BH Army;
23 and how would it know what your intentions were and what the BH Army's
24 intention were? Thank you.
25 A. They could differentiate because there it was obvious that we
1 were just confined to the location of the OP and that was obvious what
2 was OP and not. I described to you before that they were painted white,
3 et cetera, and open and bare. The trenches of the ABiH were not exactly
4 next to the OPs. There was always a space about 20, 50 metres, and
5 sometimes they were behind us. So I don't think it would be -- it would
6 have been a big problem to see what is ABiH and what is an OP. Whether
7 they were aware of our intentions, as far as I know, the VRS knew that we
8 would defend our OP in case of an attack. I suppose that answers your
10 Q. Thank you. Just tell us, for the purposes of Trial Chamber and
11 the record, whether BH Army members were on the same level or same
12 defence line with your observation posts according to the plan that was
13 compiled in March, as early as March.
14 A. That co-ordination about being in line with us was later than
15 March, and March was our contingency plan for the blocking positions,
16 just for the record. On some spots they were on the same line, but for
17 instance, Echo and Foxtrot, they were not in the same line and not even
18 within 100 metres of the OP. Echo, there was BiH position on the high
19 grounds directly left of the OP. But then again, the ABiH fought out of
20 trenches and we did not.
21 Q. Thank you. I asked you this in view of the fact that your
22 operations plan provided for you to be in the middle.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, may we have 1D20 once again on
24 our screens, please. Paragraph 13. It's page 46 of this debriefing.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the paragraph number be repeated. Thank
2 THE REGISTRAR: For the record, this is D20.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. You have -- you have been able to read this. I'll read it for
6 the record.
7 "At 15 metres from -- BiH soldiers complete with blue caps or
8 blue hats came within a distance of 15 metres from one of the observation
9 posts. Resembling UN personnel, they opened fire from the position in
10 the direction of the BCA [as interpreted] front line so that it seemed as
11 if the UN had opened fire. In this way, they attempted to draw fire from
12 the BSA on the observation post and thus involve DutchBat in the combat
14 So this is from the debriefing report. Could you now tell us
15 whether you have information on what observation post this is here.
16 Which one does it refer to, for the record? Thank you.
17 A. Yeah. First the period was before, as far as I can see, because
18 I can't see that the contacts are not -- this is not given a time or a
19 period that it happened, but I think it refers to some incidents that
20 happened mostly at OP Alpha where, before the attack, the ABiH some -- at
21 some occasions did this trick. I was witness of one -- one time that it
22 happened. But as far as I know, this was before the attack.
23 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us roughly how many days before or
24 was it during combat action? Why would they do this if there wasn't any
25 combat action? There must have been some combat situation. Can you
1 remember anything about that? Thank you.
2 A. To answer your first question how many days, well, incidents like
3 this happened in April and May, and the incident I described at OP Alpha
4 would have been end of April, probably, but then again I do not remember
5 the exact date. And why they did that, I don't know. Probably to -- to
6 bring DutchBat in a bad position towards the VRS or what, but that is
7 guessing. I don't know. Ask them.
8 Q. Thank you. I'd like you to tell us whether there were persistent
9 endeavours on the part of the BH Army in Srebrenica to involve UNPROFOR,
10 as you said a moment ago, in the conflict with the Army of Republika
11 Srpska. Thank you.
12 A. Well, the endeavours they did were creating incidents like this,
13 and there was not a pattern. It happened once in awhile, but there was
14 not a clear pattern as far as the location where it happened or the
15 period or the amount of incidents. It was random.
16 Q. Since in battle death can occur within moments, can you tell us
17 what you did to prevent this from happening, and did you take any steps
18 to prevent it? Thank you.
19 A. Yes, of course, we protested at the staff of the 28th Division
20 with, as far as I could see, no result. In the case I was witness of an
21 incident like that, I had one of my machine-guns open overhead fired from
22 a flank and they ran away. The VRS did not respond on that, because
23 probably they could see what was happening.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we now have page 2478
1 displayed, please.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Or, rather, I'd like to draw your attention to what I'm going to
4 read out from page 278 from the Popovic trial, lines 19 to 23, and I'm
5 going to quote what you said there in the transcript.
6 "Foxtrot -- after the Foxtrot incident -- or, rather, the killing
7 [Realtime transcript read in error "willing"] of one of my soldiers, we
8 ordered the observation posts to -- and positions to withdraw only when
9 given permission to do so. Only if there were some sort of agreement
10 reached with the local Muslim commanders, because we wished to prevent
11 any more soldiers being shot by the Bosnian Army."
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think there is a correction needed in the
13 transcript on page 42, line 23, the first word should read "killing"
14 instead of "willing."
15 Please continue.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. My question was this: When this was going on -- or, rather, when
19 did this happen? Was it before or after the green order had been given?
20 A. It was before the green order had been given. Yes, the day
22 Q. Thank you. Now, a moment ago, in that quotation I read out, you
23 said that some sort of agreement with the -- you mentioned some sort of
24 agreement with the local Muslims. Did you mean to say that you had
25 co-ordination with them, that you co-ordinated your activities with
1 theirs, and didn't you think that that might be suspect, this
2 co-ordination of activities in the field? Thank you.
3 A. Well, I meant to say exactly what I said. After the event of the
4 killing of one of my soldiers and immediately -- having experience with
5 lack of discipline of commanders, local commanders, to obey orders from
6 the 28th Division, I gave that order to the OP commander that if he, on
7 that spot, on that very moment, could co-ordinate with the local BiH
8 commander that he was starting to move, that was one of the conditions
9 that he could get permission to withdraw.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. The transcript says, "this is one of the positions," the
12 "positions" must be "conditions."
13 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us if this movement on the battle-field
14 between you and the Muslims, if you are advancing, they're advancing, and
15 vice versa, could be perceived as if you were conducting a joint action
16 against the VRS and that the VRS was actually your target?
17 A. First a remark. The question is not advancing but withdrawing,
18 and, of course, it could have been seen as a joint action, and in case of
19 an attack by the VRS, don't let that be any misunderstanding, the VRS was
20 our target.
21 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us this: When this soldier of yours was
22 killed by the Muslims, how far was the killer from him? Thank you.
23 A. About 3, 4 metres, as was reported to me. It happened when they
24 crossed the obstacles the Muslim forces had laid on that road, and the
25 Muslim soldiers were quite close next -- or standing at that barrier.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you please now look at paragraph 4.14. Thank
2 you. It reads as follows:
3 "It also transpired that the BiH soldiers were not always
4 recognisable as military personnel. Men who had previously been seen in
5 uniform fighting in the southern section of the enclave were recognised
6 by DutchBat personnel, when the former had mingled, in civilian clothing,
7 among the refugees moving from Srebrenica to Potocari or when they were
8 on the compound in Potocari. Local women, known to be members of the
9 BiH, were also seen later in civilian clothing."
10 Thank you. Can you please explain to the Trial Chamber what kind
11 of difficulties you encountered because these individuals appeared in
12 your vicinity in civilian clothing, including women who were members of
13 the BH Army and who also appeared attired as civilians? Can you tell us
14 something more about this situation?
15 A. Yes. Well, simply it is what the -- what the document says. I
16 was reported by soldiers of B Company that men they saw before fighting
17 the VRS, they recognise -- in partial uniforms, they recognised them
18 in -- when the civilian people came to Potocari, they recognised them in
19 the crowd. Then they were in civilian. And as far as the women are
20 concerned, as I remember well, it concerned two young women who were seen
21 in uniform before and later on when, well, Srebrenica -- I'm sorry. When
22 Srebrenica was -- had fallen, they were seen in civil clothes in the
23 crowd at the bus station. So it's just what the document says.
24 Q. Thank you. We shall go back now to this event regarding
25 co-ordination and co-operation. It is obvious that you were forced to
1 co-ordinate and co-operate on the ground, and in that respect I would
2 like us to look at paragraph 3.58. It's on page 38. Thank you.
3 "On Monday, 10th of July, the commander of the OP M received
4 orders from the C Company commander to co-ordinate with the BH. That
5 evening, fighting broke out amongst the BiH soldiers, resulting in dead
6 and wounded. At around noon on Tuesday, the 11th of July, a number of
7 shells struck the area near the armoured vehicle. The abandoned OP was
8 also shelled. Chaos prevailed among the BiH forces. Internal fighting
9 broke out once again.
10 "That evening, the OP crew were permitted to leave because they
11 were willing to take the wife and children of a local BH leader with
12 them. When the two BiH soldiers with the antitank weapons attempted to
13 prevent their departure, they were shot in the head by the BH Army
14 leader. This led once again to fighting between the BiH soldiers.
15 "On the route to Potocari, they picked up many refugees. They
16 came under fire on two more occasions. At 01.30 hours on Wednesday, the
17 12th of July, they arrived in Potocari where they joined the B Company
18 positions to the south of the compound."
19 After reading this paragraph, I will kindly ask you to tell me
20 what you know about this fighting which resulted in the killing of your
21 soldier and which was described in the debriefing report, based on what
22 you know about the incident?
23 A. Well, it's exactly the text in that debriefing report. That is
24 what I know about it. That's the same content as was reported by
25 C Company commander to me.
1 I have one remark. Your conclusion was that it was necessary for
2 me to co-ordinate and co-operate on the ground. Just to be clear, that
3 co-operation existed purely by an OP commander who saw or called the
4 local BiH commander and said, "I want to go there. Do you agree?"
5 That's it. So there's not a big meeting or -- just one remark or two
6 questions of an OP commander.
7 But again, back to your last question, I knew about this event
8 and it was reported to me exactly as written down here.
9 Q. Thank you. Is it then true that the C Company commander
10 co-ordinated his activities on the battle-field and his movements in
11 agreement and with co-ordination with members of the ABiH?
12 A. Now, again, the level of co-ordination is here the OP commander
13 of OP Mike, and to make clear why that happened, a period preliminary to
14 this event, the OP Mike was shelled by the VRS, and they got my
15 permission to withdraw about 4, 500 metres to the edge of the village, as
16 I remember well, in Jaglici. And that is where this happened, because
17 C -- commander C Company wanted that APC on another position as it was,
18 but then he was not allowed in the beginning by the local BiH to do so
19 and threatened with the two antitank guns where the message speaks about.
20 So again, here it was a co-ordination. A big word for just a question of
21 the OP commander to the local BiH commander, "I want to move down there.
22 Do you agree?" Or just the message that, and then you saw the reaction
23 of the local BiH.
24 Q. Thank you. This might become clear if you look at a practical
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please look at P567, page 2
2 in English, last paragraph. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you repeat the number, please.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. It's -- it's P607,
5 P607. Thank you.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please switch on your microphone, Mr. Tolimir.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Can you please look at page 2. Last paragraph in English, and
11 page 3 in Serbian, where you say as follows:
12 "The BH members threatened to shoot at our soldiers if they left
13 their observation post, which then happened. That was how a Dutch
14 soldier came to be killed by the BH Army. It happened with a dumdum
15 bullet. I believe that shooting at UN personnel with a shotgun is a war
16 crime. It was clearly proven what kind of ammunition was used in the
17 shooting of the soldier. I gave the X-ray pictures to the military
19 This is my question: Was the Dutch Battalion exposed to threats
20 from the BH Army, and whether they used weapons, I mean BH Army members
21 used weapons in order to threaten lives of the UN personnel?
22 A. On several occasions in the end phase where we tried to move our
23 APCs to positions we thought were correct, and one of the situations was
24 just described at Mike, OP Mike, we were threatened by the local BiH
25 soldiers with mostly an antitank weapon or with light weapons. That is
2 Q. Thank you. When you speak here about dumdum bullets and after
3 that about a shotgun, are you referring here to dumdum bullets whose use
4 was prohibited by -- by the first Hague conference, 1899, because this is
5 the bullets that disintegrate within a human body, or are you talking
6 about something completely different?
7 A. No. I'm talking about dumdum bullets. And how the word
8 "shotgun" came in, because shotgun is something else, I do not know. I
9 got reports from my dressing station, my hospital, when van Renssen died.
10 They made X-ray pictures, and their conclusion was that it had to be done
11 by not normal ammunition. We looked at that and with a demolition
12 expert, and we came to the conclusion that they used dumdum bullets.
13 Being convinced of the fact that that should be considered as --
14 as a war crime, I handed the X-rays to the military police detachment.
15 Q. Thank you for this clarification, because I didn't quite
16 understand what the correlation was here, but earlier on I asked you
17 about the green order. Now I'm asking you was it you who issued this
19 A. Within the battalion it was, but the base of that order was the
20 order of the UN, being Sarajevo, to defend Srebrenica with all means.
21 And translating to my level, that order, the written green order to
22 B Company went out.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber whether the
24 issuing of the green order implies that UNPROFOR soldiers simply took
25 sides, and that is to say they took side with those who were defending
1 Srebrenica. Yes or no?
2 A. I did not take side. I was ordered as a UN unit to defend the
3 city, and there was a party that was doing the same, of course, but we
4 didn't take side in the literal word or meaning of those words. I had --
5 I could not order the means of the ABiH or anything. I had just my own
6 means to defend the city according to the order of UN Sarajevo. And
7 that -- we had a common enemy, common, I mean the ABiH and the UN at that
8 time, is correct.
9 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that UNPROFOR and ABiH fired each from
10 their own weapons at the VRS?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Thank you. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber, did the green
13 order mean that an engagement in combat operations should be undertaken
14 regardless of what was contained in blue, red, and other orders?
15 A. I do not know whether I understand your question correctly, but
16 it meant that, for instance, the rules of engagement given to us before
17 as a UN unit, one of our problems we were only to use our weapons in
18 self-defence, were ruled out and we went back to the rules of engagement
19 of an army, any army, in combat.
20 Q. Thank you for clarifying this. Can you tell us now, please, were
21 you already a legitimate target of those whose lives you threatened
22 through these combat operations, as you described them?
23 A. As of the issuing of the green order, we were in combat with the
24 VRS, and the VRS was a target for us, and in fact the opposite is -- is
25 realistic and true as well.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please switch on your microphone, Mr. Tolimir.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Thank you. You have explained this in a fair and correct way,
5 meaning that one side is entitled to use weapons against the side
6 threatening their lives.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please now tender
8 Prosecution document 65 ter 104.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let us know which document this is. We have
10 another document on the screen. Are you tendering that?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 65 ter 104, Prosecution document.
12 Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And what is it about? I don't know if you have
14 it on the screen. I have no idea.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I meant to have it on e-court.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You mean the document on the screen now?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, no. Instead of this document,
18 can we now please have on e-court 65 ter 104. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. That was perhaps a misunderstanding
20 because you said, "I tender this document."
21 You have it now on the screen. Please carry on.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. We have the document here, the document which was sent to the
25 Drina Corps -- or, rather, by the Drina Corps, on the 8th of July, to all
1 its units that were engaged in operations in Srebrenica. It reads:
2 "The UNPROFOR command in Sarajevo has filed a protest note with
3 the Main Staff over operations against UNPROFOR observation point 652808
4 (UNPROFOR map, near Zeleni Jadar). They emphasised that their point was
5 captured by artillery and tank action. The Main Staff of the VRS
6 answered that the Drina Corps command had been informed that the Muslims
7 were using six armoured personnel carriers painted white and bearing
8 UNPROFOR markings and that the Muslims were -- had started offensive
9 operations from Srebrenica in order to join up the enclaves of Srebrenica
10 and Zepa.
11 "The RS Main Staff demanded that UNPROFOR warn the Muslim forces
12 to withdraw to within the borders of the demilitarised zones and stay
13 marked on the map in accordance with the agreement, and disarm them in
14 accordance with the agreement. The Main Staff also demanded that
15 UNPROFOR not set up observation points outside the marked demilitarised
17 "The Main Staff has ordered you not to attack UNPROFOR but to
18 prevent any possible surprises and stop the Muslims in their intention to
19 link up Srebrenica with Zepa.
20 "Good luck in war and best regards from General Tolimir."
21 This is a telegram of the Main Staff conveyed by General
22 Milenko Zivanovic to all units and signed by him.
23 Can you tell us whether you were aware of the fact that the
24 Main Staff had sent a protest note to UNPROFOR about the use by the
25 Muslims of vehicles painted white and bearing UNPROFOR markings? Do you
1 know anything about that?
2 A. No, I do not know anything about that protest.
3 Q. Thank you. So you know nothing about the protest. That means
4 that from the sector command, because our headquarters had links with
5 your command, I assume -- well, did they convey anything to you as
6 observations made from the Main Staff of about the -- what was going on
7 in the area that you controlled and their conduct?
8 A. If you mean our headquarters being the Main Staff, again I did
9 not get any information that there -- of allegedly offensive of the ABiH
10 in the area south of the enclave, nor did I get any reports from my OPs
11 that could indicate that.
12 Q. And can you tell us whether you knew anything at all or whether
13 any checks were carried out on your part to the effect that the
14 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska was issuing warnings that the
15 Muslims were using six APCs painted white?
16 A. I do not recollect that that incident within this -- this
17 framework. I know that in -- anywhere in April, I got a report of one of
18 my OPs. They reported two BTR-60s, being eight-wheeled APCs, painted
19 white, coming out of southern direction and driving into the enclave at
20 pretty high speed. We tried to catch them but -- or to confirm that they
21 were there, but we -- afterwards we never found them again, and during
22 the attack we never ourselves saw that the ABiH used APCs. But this
23 story about the, what was it, six APCs, armoured vehicles, is unknown to
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we now have on e-court 1D207,
2 please. It's a document entitled "Interview with Franken," dated the
3 31st of March, 1999. The document exists only in English, and it was
4 disclosed to the Defence by the Prosecution a few days ago.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering the last document
6 as an exhibit?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Yes, I
8 am tendering it.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D69.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Please carry on.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's now see document 1D207,
13 please. We have it on our screens. Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now, since the document is in English and you were able to see
16 what it's about, I said it was your interview, can you tell me if you
17 remember having given that interview and, if so, to whom? Thank you.
18 A. I'm sorry, but I don't have the faintest idea. I see here a
19 text, probably gave that interview, but be aware of the fact that when we
20 came back there were numerous committees, investigations, et cetera, so I
21 do not know - I can't see it on the document as well - to whom this
22 interview is given. I see that the tape recording failed and the text is
23 a reconstruction of the discussed, but I'm sorry, I can't recollect to
24 whom this was.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps we can see the headline and the last page
1 of it.
2 THE WITNESS: I can see the headline, and as far as I can see the
3 first page until point 13.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That you. That's sufficient for
5 the Defence.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
7 MR. THAYER: I can provide some background to this document,
8 Mr. President, and this was also clarified for the Defence when we sent
9 it over. Pursuant to a specific request from one of the accused in the
10 Popovic case, we undertook considerable effort to obtain various
11 interviews from the Dutch Institute for War Documentation. You're heard
12 references to the NIOD report. That's the acronym for the Dutch version
13 of the name I just stated. So in connection with that specific request
14 in the last case, we obtained various statements that were disclosed to
15 us by NIOD. NIOD went ahead and deleted certain sections of various
16 interviews based on their own criteria, and those interviews turned up
17 during the course of our regular database searches in preparation for the
18 witnesses so we turned that over. But this is a NIOD apparently
19 conducted interview from March of 1999.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that clarification.
21 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you to Mr. Thayer, and thanks
23 to the witness, because even before I asked my question, he said that he
24 did have some knowledge about these two transporters. I'm not going to
25 debate the point, because he was sincere and frank in his answer. But
1 can we take a look at paragraph 1 now, please.
2 It says here:
3 "The BH Army smuggled two armoured transporters, armoured cars,
4 BTR armoured cars, into the enclave via the north."
5 It says "north" here.
6 "There was notified by a Dutch OP, observation post. They were
7 never found, those two vehicles. Later it became clear that the
8 Ukrainians in Zepa were missing a total of five. Bought or stolen by the
9 BH Army?"
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you. Yes, I understand you. I don't even have to ask the
12 question. What you -- I'm sure you want to say something and comment on
13 it. Thank you, go ahead.
14 A. Well, as I found out that -- that because I see that this
15 reconstruction has some faults. For instance, smuggled them not
16 allegedly through the north but through the south, of course. And I saw
17 that the Ukrainian unit in Zepa, in a logistic report, because that's the
18 kind of information we got from the UN, reported the missing of five
19 armoured personnel carriers. And the last remark is a cynical assumption
20 which I would not repeat in court.
21 Q. Thank you. I understand you, but this isn't a document
22 introduced by the Defence. I'm just making use of it to look at certain
23 elements necessary here for us to learn what happened. From this we can
24 see, and you yourself say that these vehicles were never found. Is that
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Were they white vehicles? Thank you.
3 A. Yes. They looked like -- no looked like. They appeared to be
4 UN vehicles. So all white and the U and N letters on it.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. As you said that you'd seen them in Srebrenica and that they
9 passed through at great speed --
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May we now look at P581, please.
11 Thank you. Thank you.
12 We have here a note compiled by Louis Fortin on talks between
13 General Gobillard and General Gvero. May we turn to page 2, because I'd
14 like us to look at a paragraph there that I'm interested in, and it reads
15 as follows. Next page, please, page 2.
16 He claimed -- he claimed, General Gvero:
17 "That a large number of vehicles, UN vehicles, stolen by
18 BH troops, which were still painted white, were used against the Bosnian
19 Serb army. He said he had no absolute knowledge of who the troops in the
20 vehicles belonged to but drew the general's attention to the BSA reliable
21 information that those were BH Army troops."
22 Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Now, from this note and from what you've already said and what we
25 read out in that first document, do we see that General Gvero pointed to
1 what was happening on the ground, that is to say, five vehicles
2 disappeared. You said they appeared and that you saw two of them in
3 Srebrenica, and that they had been painted white and had UN markings. So
4 is it possible that those vehicles went into action, as the BSA army
5 claims, according to General Gvero, and that we had reliable information
6 telling us that they were BH Army forces? Thank you.
7 A. First, you concluded that I saw those vehicles in Srebrenica,
8 which is incorrect. My OP only saw them entering the enclave at the
9 south border. That is just a remark for the question before.
10 And I didn't get exactly when, in what period or where those
11 large number of vehicles, UN vehicles, were seen. Is that referring to
12 the Srebrenica area or any other area?
13 Then again, we only saw two and never saw them again, but if you
14 ask me if anything is possible, I can confirm that. In battle, anything
15 is possible.
16 Q. Thank you. Yes, you were right to correct me. That's very
17 proper of you. And when I said "you," I meant UNPROFOR, not you
18 personally. So I'm grateful for you -- to you for pointing it out that
19 that was an observer who saw this. But anyway, it was five vehicles
20 which the Army of Republika Srpska noticed and told UNPROFOR about it.
21 Now, were you ever asked to verify this, to check it out, by the UNPROFOR
22 command after these protest notes by General Gvero?
23 A. No, did I not.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Document P581. Oh, it's already an
25 exhibit I'm told. Thank you. So I don't need to tender it. But now may
1 we look at an earlier document that was on e-court before this one, which
2 was 1D207. Thank you. Thank you.
3 We have it here again. Now, what we saw in the interview and the
4 description of what was happening on the ground, without going into how
5 they wrote this, that these APCs were bought or stolen from Zepa, and
6 further down, in paragraph 6, they go on to say:
7 "Weapons were regularly smuggled --" this is from your interview,
8 "from Zepa straight through the Serbian lines and local BSA commanders
9 were richly rewarded for this. Occasionally, an ABiH smuggling team ran
10 into an ambush and several Muslim fighters were shot. But after this,
11 the smuggling carried on as normal. Horses were sometimes used for
13 Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. My question on the basis of that is this: Did the UNPROFOR
16 command in Srebrenica know about what you say here, that there was
17 smuggling going on from Zepa to Srebrenica, and that that was -- that
18 horses were used for that, horses and vehicles such as the two
19 transporters that passed by at great speed? Thank you.
20 A. We knew about that information that we got from -- out of our
21 personnel, and then I mean the local personnel. We had quite some locals
22 working at our -- our camp site, at our HQ, and they were a good source
23 for information. The horses I related to here is that so-called pony
24 express, which I explained to Your Honour what it was.
25 You said "vehicles." I do not know of any vehicles, especially
1 not those BTRs, being used for smuggling. That's not what I said there
2 as well.
3 That probably will answer your question. Is that correct, sir?
4 Q. Thank you. They came from the south to the enclave, as you said.
5 BTRs are combat vehicles; right?
6 A. Well -- sorry. Not in the military sense of the word. BTRs are
7 APCs, armoured personnel carriers. They're not fit to go in combat
8 because they're too poorly armed and not armoured enough to see upon them
9 as an infantry fighting vehicle. That is a vehicle that you can bring in
10 fighting as well, but it is an armoured personnel carrier, yes, and there
11 is heavy machine-gun on the top of it.
12 Q. Thank you. Thank you for that fair and correct answer. Just
13 tell me this: Did you send out information to your superior command in
14 Sarajevo about what was going on linked to this smuggling and the entry
15 of these vehicles that were observed at your observation posts? Thank
17 A. Yes. In fact, you're talking about two events. The information
18 we had about smuggling and once in awhile confirmed by seeing that all
19 kind of things were offered at the black market in Srebrenica was
20 reported to the UN. The fact that the pony express paid local BSA
21 commanders just for -- to let them through was reported to the UN. And
22 the second case, the two vehicles, the two BTRs, was of course reported
23 to the UN. That's correct.
24 Q. Thank you. You're quite right. Now, on transcript page 2438,
25 lines 14 to 16, in the Popovic Defence case, you talk about the changes
1 which took place in the enclaves in May 1995, and you say, I quote:
2 "Suddenly we saw that members of the BH," Bosnia and Herzegovina,
3 that is, "wore new uniforms and new combat uniforms."
4 Now, my question is this: Does that confirm that this was
5 smuggled in or arrived into the enclaves in some other way? Thank you.
6 A. It did arrive in some way, because I was not aware that there
7 was -- they were capable of making them themselves. So probably smuggled
8 in or whatever. They came into the enclave, and in May we saw them
9 walking around in combat suits.
10 Q. In paragraph 7 you say the following, and I quote:
11 "Weapons were also regularly brought into the enclave from
13 And now paragraph 41. May we turn to that, please. Paragraph
14 41, quote -- it says that you said in your interview:
15 "Franken is certain that there were American weapons deliveries
16 to the BH Army. These weapons were delivered in Tuzla and transported
17 further from there."
18 I went on to the next question, but let me stay with my first
19 observation. Could I have your comments to that portion of your
20 interview to this agency?
21 A. Concerning page [sic] 41, as I said before, they comprised
22 themselves, the taped one again, and I am certain, as it said here, that
23 means that I had proof for it. It is an assumption that there were
24 weapons coming in through -- American weapons coming into the ABiH. That
25 assumption was based on reports I got from my A Company, and our A
1 Company was in the area of Tuzla and had a station on Tuzla, our
2 3rd Company as a self-supporting detachment, about lending -- what do you
3 call them? Yeah, aircraft, but Hercules aircrafts [indiscernible]
4 identified. Pretty shortly after that, we saw that there, as reported
5 before, there were new Kalashnikovs in the area. So I did the assumption
6 that that had a connection, these two, but again it is a personal
7 opinion. It is not proven. I don't have proof of it, and I didn't have
8 any evidence to show that did happen. In this interview, I gave an
9 opinion and I don't know exactly what I said, but I saw other points that
10 are absolutely not true, and that it wasn't said by us. But they lost,
11 as I saw, the tape, and they made it themselves out of the memory.
12 The idiocy that UNHCR, in point 40, smuggled batteries for us is
13 in -- untrue, and I never said that, for instance. And point 41 is a
14 personal opinion, but again an assumption, and I didn't have any proof or
15 evidence for that.
16 Q. Thank you. Now as far as this is concerned, for the Trial
17 Chamber and these proceedings, can you give us your analysis as to how it
18 was possible that weapons arrived from Tuzla to the enclave. How was
19 that possible?
20 A. Well, in fact we discussed that before, and in any way brought
21 in, being by, on some occasions, the -- signalled by us a helicopter or
22 through Zepa and through the south by foot. They are the most obvious
24 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether you had any knowledge of the
25 fact that in humanitarian convoys weapons were being brought into the
1 enclave for the Muslims to use? Thank you.
2 A. No. And if I would have, I would have taken them out.
3 Q. Thank you. Now in paragraph 29, which we can't see on our
4 screens at the moment, paragraph 29, your relations with Charlie Brantz
5 were mentioned. Can you tell the Trial Chamber whether you know who that
6 man is, the one referred to in paragraph 29, Charlie Brantz. Thank you.
7 A. I see a paragraph 29 now in front of me where the colonel Brantz
8 is not mentioned, but ...
9 Q. Thank you. Yes. That was my mistake. Not 29 but paragraph 10.
10 Thank you. Charlie Brantz.
11 A. Charlie Brantz, you want me to describe who he was and what my
12 relationship with him was or what?
13 Q. Well, we can narrow that question down. I'm not interested in
14 your relation with him. All I'm interested in is what he could have had
15 to do with Zepa and Srebrenica and the people from Zepa and Srebrenica?
16 Thank you.
17 A. Okay. Charlie Brantz was a colonel, a Dutch colonel, being one
18 of the chief of staffs of the command in Sector North-east. So he was,
19 in fact, our next higher echelon, Chief of Staff of the unit that was our
20 next higher echelon, and because we knew each other out of Holland,
21 former times, it was easy or easier to discuss or to speak with him than
22 with unknown international staff. Does that answer your question?
23 Q. Thank you.
24 A. Sorry. In the transcript it said Dutch colonel being one of the
25 staff commands, must be Chief of Staff in Sector North-east.
1 Q. Yes. Thank you. Would you now take a look at paragraph 12 of
2 your 31st of March statement, 2010. It's not very clear, so if I may,
3 I'm going to read it out because I wasn't able to fully understand it.
4 It is this witness's statement -- or, rather, the previous witness's
5 statement that we quoted earlier on. P607 is the document number.
6 In the statement you gave to the Tribunal, here's what you say:
7 "When Franken required air support in Tuzla --"
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please give the page or paragraph
9 number in English and B/C/S so that we can follow.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It was the previous document. P --
11 what number? 207.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was referring to P607. You asked for that. Or
13 to 1D207.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D207. Thank you. Thank you. We
15 have paragraph 12 on our screens now, of your 31st of March 210 [as
16 interpreted] statement. I'll read it out and you can clarify what you
18 "When Franken requested air support in Tuzla, he got through to a
19 Pakistani officer who repeatedly insisted that Observation Post Mike and
20 OP Echo were not on his map. In other words, there could be no air
21 support because the BSA could not carry out attacks on OPs which did not
22 exist. Franken then asked if he could speak to the superior of the
23 Pakistani. This turned out to be another Pakistani, and he also
24 repeatedly insisted that the OPs in question were not on his map in
25 Tuzla. In short, the BSA could not attack OPs which did not exist. As a
1 result, the request for air support was flat-out rejected by the two
3 Thank you. Have I read that out correctly and is what it says
4 here correct? And what can you say to explain all this to us, because it
5 doesn't seem to be very clear.
6 A. Well, to me it's quite clear. You read it correctly. It's
7 exactly what it said. The first officer I got on the radio was the
8 acting chief OPS room of the Sector North-east, and because I, let's say,
9 almost lost my temper, I asked for his superior, which was the G-3 head
10 of the section, G-3 head of the section operations of the Sector
11 North-east in Tuzla. But he also stated that I didn't have these OPs,
12 et cetera, et cetera. So what is mentioned there, what is written down
13 there is correct.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is that perhaps a convenient time for the second
16 break? We are over time already.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then we will have our second break now, and
19 resume at 1.00. Perhaps before we rise, could you indicate if you could
20 conclude your cross-examination today of is it not possible?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
22 believe that we shall have to continue tomorrow, because I still have
23 some questions to ask. That is to say, we'll continue on the next
24 working day.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That is next week. We resume at 1.00.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.36 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir. Please proceed.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Based on what we saw a while ago in e-court, I would like to ask
7 you this: Did you, as the deputy battalion commander of UNPROFOR in
8 Srebrenica, have the right to request air support?
9 A. As a deputy commander, I would have had when the commander was
10 not present, but as being the acting S3, which means operations officer,
11 of the battalion, I had.
12 Q. Thank you. Was the battalion the level that decided on air
13 support or did they -- that have to be decided by some other command
14 level in UNPROFOR?
15 A. No. The battalion was a level that asked for it because they
16 needed it and the decision whether it was given or not is a higher level
17 within UNPROFOR.
18 Q. Thank you. How much time elapsed between your request and the
19 decision to launch air-strikes against the forces that you had requested?
20 A. In the UN situation, at least hours, because this decision had to
21 be made on very high level. I understood that even the Secretary-General
22 had to give his opinion or his consent. So that took at least hours
23 before there was a consent for air support.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, I apologise. I didn't see you
1 MR. THAYER: That's quite all right, Mr. President. I was just
2 going to suggest if these types of questions proceed further along this
3 line, then perhaps a reference to a particular occasion might be more
4 helpful. I understand the last question may have been general and
5 generated a general answer, but as we've heard, there were several
6 requests for close air support during the course of these events. So if
7 we're going to go further, I would just suggest that maybe the Colonel's
8 attention be pointed towards a specific request.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Thayer.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. In compliance with the request by the Prosecution can you tell us
12 when was the first time when you requested close air support and on which
13 targets was it directed specifically?
14 A. First time we requested air support was during the attack of the
15 VRS on OP Echo, the observation post in the south that fell on the
16 3rd of June. Target was the main battle tank and the infantry then more
17 or less gathered in the -- in the wood factory and the surroundings of
18 OP Echo.
19 Q. Thank you. Did you ask for support on the 3rd, and did that
20 occur on that same day or did that happen later?
21 A. Of course I asked for the support on the 3rd, the very moment
22 that attack showed or occurred. That's an answer to your question, I
24 Q. Thank you. Was there an immediate air support against those
25 mortars? Again, I'm asking you how long was it between your request and
1 the air-strikes that ensued?
2 A. If you're referring again to the situation on OP Echo, there was
3 no air support. It was denied. And in general, I could say the only
4 time that it was we got air support was much later, on the 11th of July,
5 in the area of the city of Srebrenica. Every request we did before was
6 denied with various reasons.
7 Q. Let us now move to the one that wasn't denied. At what time did
8 you file this request on the 11th?
9 A. The -- I must stretch my answer a bit. On the 10th we got the
10 message that we would be supported by massive air support on the 11th. I
11 then had my ops officer make a request for an air-strike on the 11th.
12 Air-strike is what I pointed out before. Not one target but trying to --
13 to fight all known targets in one time.
14 The first message was that we would get that air-strike supported
15 by 44 aeroplanes. Then the very moment that it would be effective,
16 0600 hours in the morning of the 11th, they didn't come. The close air
17 support that was, as far as I recollect, on the 11th, about 1300 hours,
18 that came in, was the remains of that manned air-strike. So I didn't
19 specifically ask for that close air support mission, but we found out,
20 and that's the procedure, our forward air controller got contact with two
21 F16s and led him -- led them to the target on the ground. Is that an
23 Q. Can you tell us now, what was the reason for not using on a great
24 scale the aircraft starting at 0600 hours?
25 A. I do not have the faintest idea. It was announced to us. We
1 took measures to support that, to facilitate that, and then they didn't
2 come. The message we got, mission aborted. That's a technical --
3 military technical word, but that meant the order to all the planes to
4 return home. And how later on those two Dutch F16 fighters did come in
5 and did one CAS mission, close air support mission, I didn't know, but we
6 were happy with it.
7 Q. Thank you. Please -- can you please tell us, was that pursuant
8 to your request that the operation would start at 0600 hours, or was it
9 something that they decided? And I'm talking about this time line.
10 A. On my request was ASAP, that means as soon as possible, because
11 our modern means can perform actions like that by night as well. And
12 they, meaning higher command UN, made the deadline 600 hours.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you ask for specific targets to be stricken or
14 did you just ask for a blanket support?
15 A. On the risk that it is getting technical, but we did both, in
16 fact. We gave all the hardware -- sorry, all the known targets being
17 guns and artillery and mortars and tanks, et cetera, we put them on the
18 list and gave them a free-for-all, a killing zone, so to say, directly
19 south of Srebrenica, and that is the area between the city of Srebrenica
20 and generally Zeleni Jadar.
21 Q. Thank you. This means that it did not pertain to the then
22 current situation, but you wanted massive strikes against the targets
23 that you perceived as being dangerous for you.
24 A. Well, that was not in contradiction with the current situation.
25 My aim with the targets I gave with the air-strikes is to take out all
1 known VRS artillery and tanks positions, and being the approach from the
2 south, the main approach, the main effort of the VRS in our direction,
3 that's why I gave that area to the planes, just to fight and destroy
4 anything they found there. Does that answer your question?
5 Q. Thank you. Tell me, when did you issue the green order?
6 A. That must have been the evening of the 9th of July.
7 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that, from then on, your soldiers had
8 no restrictions with respect to the use of the weapons that they had at
9 their disposal?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Thank you. Did you inform the Muslims that you had issued such
12 an order on the 9th and that your army was to be engaged alongside them
13 in the defence of Srebrenica?
14 A. We did inform the Muslims that we would take or would start
15 actually to defend Srebrenica. And the second remark, that our army was
16 engaged alongside them in the defence of Srebrenica, was not said to
17 them. The CO of DutchBat had a meeting with the staff of the
18 28th Division that night and he informed them, not only about our
19 defending the city but as well about the air-strike who, in our opinion,
20 was evident.
21 Q. Thank you. Starting from the evening of the 9th onwards, you
22 acted alongside them against the same targets; is that correct?
23 A. We acted occasionally alongside them, but we acted against the
24 same targets, yes, that's correct.
25 Q. Thank you. In that period until the 11th, when the first
1 air-strikes occurred, did you suffer any losses in the activities
2 launched by the VRS in self-defence? And I'm talking about the period
3 between the 9th and the 11th.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you be more specific with regard to the losses?
6 A. Yeah. Well, we had several injured, lightly injured. We had, as
7 I recollect well, three APCs not operationable anymore by fire, and as I
8 recollect well, about two light vehicles destroyed. Or destroyed is the
9 wrong way. Damaged in a way that they were not usable anymore.
10 Q. Thank you. Apart from those lightly injured and the damaged
11 vehicles, were any losses incurred by you by the VRS between the 9th and
12 the 11th, when the first air-strikes were launched and when you issued
13 the green order?
14 A. If I understand the question correctly is whether I have
15 knowledge of losses at the side of the VRS in that period. I do not.
16 Q. No. I didn't ask you about the losses incurred by the VRS. I'm
17 asking about your losses in the period between the 9th when you issued
18 the green order and NATO strikes against the Army of Republika Srpska.
19 Thank you.
20 A. No. As I stated before, I had some injured men, but I had no
21 deadly losses, if that is the question.
22 Q. Thank you. Thank God that that is what happened, because you
23 were engaged fighting the VRS for the whole of two days; is that right?
24 A. Yeah. That's correct. We were lucky.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether the UNPROFOR forces became a
1 legitimate target starting from the 9th? Were they entitled, did they
2 have the right to shoot at you? Did you realise that you would become a
3 legitimate target once you opened fire on them together with the Muslim
5 A. Sorry, you said "were they entitled, did they have the right to
6 shoot at you?" I'm a very happy guy. UNPROFOR didn't shoot at me, but
7 you mean probably the right to shoot at the VRS.
8 Well, I stated that before. Yes, we were in a state of war
9 towards the VRS, and we opened fire together with the Muslim army.
10 You're saying that again and again. The Muslims were fighting the VRS as
11 well, but this supposes some kind of co-ordination on any level, and
12 again there was no such co-ordination otherwise as the initial
13 appointment we made -- agreement we made in March.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you realise at that point that the VRS had issued
15 an order not to shoot at UNPROFOR? Did you know that that was the case
16 before you issued your order, and that is to say that they had issued
17 their order on the 8th?
18 A. No, I did -- I do not realise that, and I must say that not
19 everybody followed that order. That's clear. And I mean, not everyone
20 followed the -- not all the of the VRS followed that order, if it was
22 Q. Thank you. That's possible, but did you know that
23 General Gobillard talked to the Main Staff, and was information provided
24 by the Main Staff to Gobillard to you, passed on to you, and that the
25 Main Staff asked our forces to describe those locations and that they
1 were told to target them --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the accused please repeat the question?
3 It was not clear to the interpreters. Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you were asked by the interpreters
5 to repeat your question because it was not clear to them, for proper
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Were you, as members in -- of UNPROFOR in Srebrenica, informed by
9 your Sarajevo command that the Main Staff was claiming that their
10 soldiers were being shot at from UNPROFOR vehicles and from observation
11 posts of UNPROFOR? Thank you.
12 A. No, I was not. I was not informed that way. But they didn't
13 have to inform me, because I knew.
14 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what was it that you knew.
15 A. Well, a situation like that, your command radio only gives you a
16 tactical information. So if the company, B Company, for instance, gave
17 the message, "We have contact at position whatever," that meant that
18 there was fire contact not only with the VRS but in probably in any or
19 many or all cases, which I didn't know of because I wasn't present on
20 every spot, fire was responded by us.
21 Q. Thank you. Since we heard from you earlier, as you said
22 yourself, you were at war with the VRS starting from the 9th of July
23 until the withdrawal to Potocari, and you said that the only losses you
24 incurred was a number of lightly injures -- injured soldiers and that two
25 armoured vehicles and three light vehicles were damaged. So after that
1 period, were you informed by your Sarajevo command and General Gobillard,
2 who maintained communication with the Main Staff of the VRS, about the
3 guarantees given by the VRS that they would not be targeting you any
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you. And did you see an order that we looked at a moment
7 ago which Ivanovic directly forwarded to all the units, which I wrote, to
8 tell them not to shoot at UNPROFOR members? So did you see that the Army
9 of Republika Srpska issued such orders? Thank you.
10 A. Yes. That's one of the documents I saw before, but then again
11 obviously not everybody obeyed those orders.
12 Q. Thank you. And did we have -- did you have reports from your
13 observation posts that they were being -- that they weren't targeting
14 them despite your green order on the 9th, 10th and 11th?
15 A. You mean that my observation posts or positions reported that
16 while being under fire of the VRS they didn't reply -- respond that fire?
17 Is that your question?
18 Q. You issued an order, and you said that it was a state of war.
19 However, what I'm asking you is whether there were any cases, specific
20 cases, whereby you received reports from the OPs that the Army of
21 Republika Srpska wasn't killing them, wasn't shooting at them, but was
22 passing by and leaving them behind their own positions because they
23 didn't want to kill them or inflict losses. That's what I'm asking.
24 Thank you.
25 A. Okay. I understand the question now. Yeah, there were several
1 reports that OPs, without knowing that the ABiH left their positions,
2 were amidst the VRS forces, and then the situation came that they
3 surrendered to the VRS. And there was in those cases not an attempt to
4 kill them or shoot at them, because they were outmanoeuvred and, in fact,
5 militarily seen, useless, and they became POW.
6 Q. Thank you. Tell us now whether the VRS took them -- captured
7 them when they surrendered or were they allowed to go to the base at
9 A. No. They were not allowed to go to Potocari. They were taken,
10 escorted by the VRS to the area of Bratunac in most cases. Couple of
11 other crews were held in the mining area, and then through -- as far as I
12 know, through Milici to Bratunac. But they were not free to go. The
13 only event where that happened was at OP Foxtrot, when they were
14 surrounded and they tried -- they waited for a pause in the firing to
15 withdraw. They were too late and they were surrounded by VRS, and then
16 they said, We want to go back. And they had to leave their light weapons
17 and could return, and that's when, in their return, the killing of
18 soldier van Renssen took place. But the rest all was escorted to
19 Bratunac or another location.
20 Q. Thank you. For the record, could you just tell us -- well, you
21 said the killing of soldiers. Who killed them, the BH Army or the VRS?
22 A. I referred to the -- the killing of soldier van Renssen, being a
23 member of the crew of OP Foxtrot who was shot by the ABiH in -- during
24 the retreat to the camp in Srebrenica. We spoke about that before.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, the Army of Republika Srpska, did it demand that
1 any UNPROFOR members who were there from the 9th, when you issued the
2 green order, to the end in the conflict with the army, did they ask that
3 they be prisoners of war or not?
4 A. Sorry, the question is that -- whether the VRS asked to whom,
5 whether those crews of the OPs in Bratunac were POWs; is that correct?
6 Is that your question?
7 Q. My question was this: Did the Army of Republika Srpska demand of
8 UNPROFOR that these soldiers in Bratunac that were excluded from the
9 fighting should be held accountable as prisoners of war for the losses
10 they inflicted in their actions on the 9th, 10th and 11th to the Army of
11 Republika Srpska?
12 A. You can't account or -- sorry. You can't hold a POW accountable
13 for the losses he inflicted on you. So I don't understand what that
14 question should be. And they were declared POW literally by the VRS in
15 one of their ultimatums after the air attack on the 11th. They
16 themselves declared them POW. And "they themselves," I mean the VRS.
17 Q. Thank you. Is it logical for you to exclude somebody from combat
18 so that they could not incur losses and to proclaim them prisoners of
19 war? Was that legitimate? Or should they have freed them and allowed
20 them to go back to their positions and back into combat and do some more
21 shooting? That's my question and I'd like your answer.
22 A. Okay. Of course a POW, you keep them and you don't send them
23 back to your opponent. So it's legitimate to declare them POW and keep
24 them in custody according to the rules like Geneva Convention, et cetera.
25 There's no question about that.
1 Q. Thank you. Could you just tell me this, please: When those
2 air-strikes occurred on the 11th, and when the Dutch planes went into
3 action, those that set out at 6.00, were they in the air?
4 A. I did not have contact with them, but I understood that somewhere
5 in the morning afterwards, when I was back in Holland and had my own
6 debrief with the air force, I understood that during the morning the rest
7 of the planes were aborted mission. That meant they had to return to
8 their original airfields. So the other planes were, as far as I know,
9 not in the air. And again, it was not -- that action was not an
10 air-strike, but just for the record, that is a close air support mission
11 of those two fighters.
12 Q. Thank you. So those are the two Dutch planes. But when there
13 were mass strikes, they said -- you said they gave up and returned. When
14 they returned, it means they went back to base, to the destinations they
15 were located in to begin with. Do you know anything about that? Thank
17 A. No, I don't know exactly where they went, but that is the normal
18 procedure. Just to be sure to be clear for the Court as well, if you
19 plan an air-strikes, you plan a holding area. All the planes committed
20 in that air-strike gather there. They're flying around, in fact. And
21 then on command or on the time ordered, they leave that holding area and
22 perform or execute that action.
23 During the stay in the holding area of those 44 planes, I
24 understood the order was given to those planes abort mission. That means
25 that they flew out of the holding area and went back to their respective
1 airfields where they came from.
2 If the next question is why those two F16s stayed and performed
3 that close air support mission, I really don't know. I was happy with
4 it, but I don't know why they stayed, whether that was on order. It must
5 have been. I don't know.
6 Q. Thank you. Could you now tell us, because we're drawing to a
7 close, the end of the working day and this session, that had there been
8 mass support by planes, as you put it, would you then consider that
9 UNPROFOR, honing positions in Srebrenica, Zepa and other places, had
10 taken sides, and would that have violated the mandate you were given?
11 Thank you.
12 A. I tried to make that clear before. The fact that I was ordered
13 to defend the city of Srebrenica and that area, in fact, has nothing to
14 do with taking a side. If I had that order to defend it to the ABiH, I
15 would have done that as well. The eventuality that the ABiH in this case
16 had the same enemy is as it is. So if those air-strikes were performed
17 as planned and as asked for by me, the only result would have been that I
18 think that I would have been able to defend the city of Srebrenica at
19 least longer as I could now. Is that an answer?
20 Q. Thank you. Now, during your mandate, did you have the task of
21 defending one of the parties in the conflict? Thank you.
22 A. No. My original orders were to deter any party for military
23 action by presence and so on, facilitate the work of -- facilitate
24 humanitarian air -- aid, et cetera, improve the condition within the
25 enclave. So that was my original order.
1 Q. Thank you. During the trial so far, we were told that it -- that
2 the Muslim army was given to understand in Srebrenica that there would be
3 a mass aeroplane operation and that they should clear out a certain area.
4 Can you tell us more about that?
5 A. The exact words I do not know, because that was given to them,
6 told to them by my CO, Colonel Karremans, at night, somewhere in the city
7 of Srebrenica itself, and he did. That is what I know --
8 Q. Give us the date, please.
9 A. That must have been the late evening of the 10th that he was
10 there and that he informed them about the air-strike situation. And I
11 presume, but it is a presumption, that he informed them that they better
12 had to be away from the killing zone, and pointed out to them, otherwise,
13 they would have a problem.
14 Q. Can you tell us whether that was co-ordination and co-operation
15 between your command and commanders with the forces of one of the parties
16 to the conflict? Thank you.
17 A. I see it more as information about things to happen. We did
18 not -- or did he not suggest or make mutual plans, so plans for both
19 parties, to cope with the problem we were both facing, being the VRS.
20 Then it, in my view, would be co-ordination, co-operation. He just
21 informed them what UNPROFOR was -- sorry, what our battalion was doing --
22 was going to do, and informed them about the air support and consequences
23 for the killing zone, and it wouldn't be wise to be there.
24 Q. Thank you. As they were told that, after you issued the green
25 order and when you became involved in the war conflict with one of the
1 sides, can that then be considered to be co-ordination and harmonisation
2 of action in the air and on the ground? Thank you.
3 A. Well, it's more or less the same case that you put in your former
4 question. No. We informed them that we are going to defend the city of
5 Srebrenica, and as far is there any co-ordination or whatever, it's only
6 the consequence of the agreement we made in March. At that very moment,
7 there hasn't been any military co-ordination, because that would mean,
8 for instance, that on the ground -- I'm getting technical now, but on the
9 ground we would say, okay, this house is the left border of our defence.
10 You take the next house. That is your sector where -- in which you fire.
11 This is my sector, et cetera. You got antitank weapons. Okay.
12 Concentrate them on that road. That is co-ordination. The simple fact
13 that we informed them that we are going or we were ordered to defend the
14 city of Srebrenica has nothing to do with co-operation or co-ordination
15 in my view.
16 Q. Very well. Thank you. And before we conclude, I have one more
17 question. One of your mandates was to disarm the BH Army. Just give me
18 a short answer, please. The BH Army in Srebrenica that is. Yes or no.
19 Thank you.
20 A. That was one of my missions, and we failed to do that, to be
22 Q. Thank you. And was it within your mandate to destroy the weapons
23 of the Army of Republika Srpska and to go to war with the VRS after the
24 green order had been issued? Thank you.
25 A. No, not within the mandate, but then again, my mandate was
1 changed significantly the very moment the UN ordered me to defend
2 Srebrenica, and that was the cause why I gave that green order in that
3 sequence it was. So there's a period of mandate being till the order of
4 the UN to my battalion to defend the city, and after that, the rules of
5 engagement, et cetera, all restrictions on the use of weapons, were gone
6 because that goes with the order to defend something. I can't defend
7 something by sweetly talking with everybody and standing -- just standing
8 there. I had to use and was authorised to use my weapons.
9 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether that mandate was changed by
10 the United Nations in the Security Council giving you the right to go
11 into action against one of the parties to the conflict? Thank you. And
12 was that verified by any Resolution that followed? Thank you.
13 A. I do not know, and to say bluntly, I don't care. I got my
14 orders. I am a soldier. I'm on the ground. I got orders from my next
15 higher echelon. Obviously legitimate orders, and then I follow my
16 orders. And whether the Security Council or whoever wants to speak about
17 it, discuss it or whatever, I did not care in that very moment. Simply,
18 soldier follow orders. As long as the orders doesn't, for me, obvious,
19 make me -- in any way make me doing criminal acts, I followed those
20 orders and I perform them as best I can. It is as difficult and as
21 simple as that.
22 Q. Thank you for that answer. As a number of acts were committed,
23 some people were killed, some suffered in another way and so on and so
24 forth, does that imply that this must have been backed up by somebody
25 having given a verification, corroboration? I understand you. You went
1 into action, as you said, because you were in a conflict of war with the
2 VRS, and it's commendable that as an officer you carried out our orders.
3 But I would like to know who it is who was responsible for issuing the
4 order and for the fact that UNPROFOR was placed or took sides, that
5 UNPROFOR took sides and went into action together with one side against
6 another side? Thank you.
7 A. Again, I do not agree with you concerning your conclusion that
8 UNPROFOR took side, as far as my battalion is concerned. I explained
9 that again and again that I don't think what we did was taking a side.
10 And I do not know what level or who did initiate the order to DutchBat to
11 defend the city. The only thing I know is that my next higher echelon
12 ordered me to do so, et cetera, et cetera. I explained how I think about
13 that before to you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In order to prevent a repetition of these
15 questions again, at least today, we are running out of time and we have
16 to adjourn, Mr. Tolimir and everybody else.
17 We will adjourn and resume next week on Tuesday, in the
18 afternoon, in this courtroom, 2.15.
19 I would like to remind you again not to contact the parties on
20 the content of your testimony. Thank you very much.
21 THE WITNESS: You're welcome, Your Honour.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.51 p.m.,
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 6th day
24 of July, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.