1 Thursday, 16 September 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 10.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody.
6 Today, we have a quite unusual scheduling of our hearing, due to
7 problems with courtrooms this morning, and another Chamber needed this
8 courtroom for the first session, so that we start with a certain delay.
9 Yesterday, Mr. Tolimir, I asked you, at the end of our hearing,
10 do you have any estimation about the time you need with this witness. Do
11 you have now any indication, for planning purposes? And, again, I don't
12 want to put any pressure on you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May God's peace reign in this
14 house, and may God's will be done in these proceedings and not
15 necessarily mine.
16 Your Honours, if the witness does not take up more than 50 or
17 60 per cent of the time, then we will finish today. But if he does, if
18 he takes up more than 60 per cent of the overall time, we'll not be able
19 to finish today, despite our fondest wish to do so.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
21 The witness should be brought in, please.
22 MR. THAYER: If I may, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
24 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President.
25 While the witness is being brought in, just a housekeeping matter
1 with respect to translations which are now up-loaded.
2 We can advise the Court that the following exhibits have been
3 up-loaded with translations: P766B, P804, P836A, P849, P852, and P987.
4 [The witness takes the stand]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. These exhibits will now be
6 admitted into evidence.
7 Good morning, sir. Welcome back to the courtroom. We have a
8 slight change of hearing time today, due to other matters.
9 May I remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth still
10 applies, and Mr. Tolimir has some more questions for you.
11 Mr. Tolimir asks you to be as short as possible in your answers,
12 but as precise as possible. I know this is not very easy, but I think,
13 due to the Court time for Mr. Tolimir, we all should take measures to be
14 as precise and as short as possible.
15 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
16 WITNESS: JOSEPH KINGORI [Resumed]
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
19 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
20 Q. [Interpretation] I would like to welcome the witness. Please
21 bear in mind what the Presiding Judge has told you. I'll do the same.
22 We'll now follow your statement, which contains 14 pages. And in
23 it, you said what you know and what you meant. I'll have questions for
24 you. Please do not expand, because I may have questions to cover exactly
25 what you want to say.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness's statement
2 please be brought up in e-court. 5992 is the document number. Thank
4 We can now see it. And could the Court please produce page 2 in
5 the Serbian language, paragraph 3, line 3 -- page 2 paragraph 3, line 3,
6 in Serbian. It's page 4 in English in e-court. This is what my
7 Legal Adviser has just told me.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You said this, and I'm reading from line 3:
10 "The food convoys of the UNHCR did not always receive permit to
11 pass through, but even when they did, lots of the food-stuffs would be
12 seized by the VRS at Bratunac."
13 Based on what you have stated, I would like to ask you the
14 following: Do you remember, when was it that the VRS seized goods, and
15 did anybody bother to write a protest to the Main Staff in respect of
16 such an event?
17 A. Your Honour, my statement here is very correct, in that UNHCR
18 convoys were being robbed, and that that is by the BSA, and we used to
19 report about it.
20 Q. Thank you. If this completes your answer, could you please tell
21 us: Why did VRS seize convoys in Bratunac, and whose convoys were those,
22 and who were they intended for? Thank you.
23 A. The UNHCR convoys were for food and some non-food items meant for
24 the residents of the enclave; that is, the Muslims who were living inside
25 there. Yes, they were refugees in their own country.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Can we now look at D70.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. While we are waiting for the document to be displayed, could you
5 please tell me whether those convoys ever brought food for the Muslim
6 army? Thank you.
7 A. As far as I knew, there is no food that was meant for the Muslim
8 army. The food was all meant for the residents of Srebrenica who were
9 displaced and who had no other source of income or even food.
10 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us whether the DutchBat ever
11 provided food to the BiH army, or any other necessities that were
12 supplied by means of humanitarian convoys? Thank you.
13 A. Not as far as I know.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the Court please produce D70.
15 Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
17 MR. THAYER: I'm not sure, but I think General Tolimir may be
18 wanting D80, not D70, if I've got the document in mind. I think we were
19 just showing a statement from General Nicolai. I don't know if that's
20 the statement he wants to show, but I suspect it may not be. If it is,
21 I'll sit down. But I think it may be D80. D70 wasn't on our list, but
22 D80 was.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is that correct, Mr. Tolimir?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Let's then look at D80.
25 And I would like to thank Mr. Thayer for his assistance, although I'm not
1 looking for a document signed by Mr. Nicolai. I'm looking for something
2 else. In any case, this is the document that I wanted to show to the
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is, indeed, D80.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. I'm going to read what I need to read. This is a document which
8 was sent by the department in Srebrenica municipality. It was the
9 Defence Secretariat, and its chief was Professor Suljo Hasanovic.
10 Let's first ask the witness whether he knows who Suljo Hasanovic
11 was and who -- and whether that person discharged the duties of the chief
12 of the Defence Sector while he was deployed in Srebrenica.
13 Just yes or no. Thank you.
14 Can you tell us if you know this gentleman, Suljo Hasanovic, who
15 was the secretary of defence in the municipality of Srebrenica
16 A. Your Honour, I don't remember this person very well. I don't
17 remember knowing him, but my memory could be failing me. But also, the
18 letter in question, I've never seen it. It's the first time I'm seeing
19 it. And if it is from -- I can see it's from Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Federation of Bosnia, Defence Ministry, but then
21 this -- if it is from the Muslim military to their headquarters, really,
22 I'm not privy to what information is therein, nor was I supposed to know
23 these things, because I didn't.
24 Q. Thank you. I'm not accusing you of anything. I'm just asking
25 you whether you know him or not. I'm happy with your answer. Thank you
1 very much. I understand that you never saw the man. I'm not blaming you
2 for that. I'm just asking you whether you knew him.
3 Since you think that this was sent from Bosnia-Herzegovina, look
4 at line 5, where it says "Department in Srebrenica municipality." And
5 then it says "Srebrenica," and then there, a number, and again
6 "Srebrenica, 5th of June, 1995."
7 Were you in the enclave on that date, on the 5th of June, 1995?
8 Just briefly answer, please.
9 A. Yes, I was there.
10 Q. Thank you. And here you can see that he is sending this to
12 "We hereby submit a list of the quantities of food, materiel, and
13 technical equipment, and fuel issued to our military units in our area
14 for the month of May 1995."
15 And what follows is a list of things that the military units
16 received; 25.900 kilograms of flour; 596 kilograms of sugar; 1.423 litres
17 of cooking oil --"
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The poor interpreters. If you're reading from a
19 document, you should slow down. It's impossible to translate that. It's
20 really impossible. Please slow down. And continue.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
22 apologise to the interpreters.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. In other words, he's submitting an overview of the quantities of
25 food, materiel, and technical equipment, as well as fuel, that were
1 issued to the military units in the area for the month of May 1995:
2 25.900 kilos of flour; 596 kilos of sugar; 1.423 litres of cooking oil;
3 619 kilograms of salt; 5.000 kilos of beans; 17.020 pieces of cold cuts;
4 and so on and so forth. Tinned food, and the rest. I don't want to go
5 on reading. I'll skip until the last line, where it says:
6 "Some of the food was obtained from the Dutch Battalion."
7 And above that, you can see that it says:
8 "We wish to note that the above quantities have been separated
9 out of the humanitarian aid contingent which arrived in the area through
10 UNHCR ..."
11 And now I would quote word for word:
12 "We wish to know that the above quantities have been separated
13 out of the humanitarian aid contingent which arrived in the area through
14 UNHCR, while some of the food was obtained from the Dutch Battalion.
15 "Until our ultimate victory!"
16 Chief of Defence Sector, Suljo Hasanovic.
17 Thank you. And now my question --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I would like to give you some
20 This is not appropriate use of time. Everybody can see the
21 document in B/C/S and in English. Then you are reading it, then you are
22 quoting from it, and then you are repeating some parts of the content of
23 this document. If you want to speed up your examination, the witness can
24 see that, and it's not necessary to put it twice on the record. Please
25 be, yourself, a little bit more careful with time.
1 Carry on, please.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness, could you answer briefly, bearing in mind the words that
5 I just heard from the President.
6 Does it transpire from the document that the BiH army in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina was provided food by the Dutch Battalion? Thank you.
8 A. Your Honour, my interpretation is not that way. The -- the kind
9 of food we are talking about here, the supplies from UNHCR, and they are
10 cited, are not -- were not meant for the Muslims' army. It's only that
11 they're saying they separated the humanitarian aid. So they removed
12 and -- you know, the aid and put it, like, is their supplies. That's my
13 interpretation of the whole thing.
14 And that can happen, because the supplies were coming to the
15 stores in Srebrenica. If the authorities, that is, the opstina, if they
16 vote it is better, instead of giving those it was meant for, and they
17 take it for their own use, as a military, really we had not much control
18 over that.
19 Secondly, I don't think the Dutch Battalion were bringing
20 supplies for the Muslim Army. So officially, me, as far as I know, there
21 was nothing like that, that they would supply the Muslim Army.
22 Q. Thank you. Please, did you know where that warehouse was, the
23 warehouse where humanitarian aid was off-loaded?
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you ever carry out any checks, or controls, or an
1 inspection as to who the recipients of the humanitarian aid were?
2 A. Your Honour, we used to go there when they were giving out the
3 supplies to the locals. We used to go there, in most cases.
4 Q. Thank you. When were the supplies provided to the army, since
5 you couldn't see it? Do you know how were the troops supplied? Because
6 I can tell from this document that they were. Thank you.
7 A. No, I never witnessed any supplies being given to the military at
9 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us, can everything listed in
10 this document arrive in one convoy?
11 A. I think that calls for a bit of a calculation, because one convoy
12 is not one vehicle and convoys differ in terms of the supplies they are
13 bringing. There could be several trucks or just a few trucks. So it is
14 possible it can be one convoy or an accumulation of several convoys. In
15 this case, I do not know. We made a [indiscernible] calculate, and so
16 the number of kilos and litres which are here.
17 Q. Thank you, thank you. Could that have been a reason to restrict
18 the passage of convoys, the fact that they were abused by the Muslim
20 A. Your Honour, that is far-fetched, as far as I'm concerned. Try
21 to relate the two issues. The food supplies which were supposed to come
22 in, what would happen the local people who had no other source of
23 livelihood, and saying you can -- you know, you can restrict so that the
24 food is not taken by the military, I think it's -- it's a bit selfish, in
25 that the food distribution was being done in a proper manner and,
1 secondly, there was a list kept by the UNHCR on who the recipients of
2 these food items were and the next resupply. And always we used to
3 request for authority for the UNHCR convoys to be allowed into the
4 enclave in advance, because these people had no other source of resupply,
5 so you cannot relate the two.
6 Q. Thank you. I am not looking for any justifications as to why the
7 aid was provided to the army. Did the VRS ever complain about that, did
8 they protest? Did they let you know that the BiH Army was abusing those
9 convoys, especially fuel, and that is why there were restrictions on the
10 supplies of fuel? Thank you.
11 A. Maybe a bit of correction before I answer that.
12 Where you've said that you're not looking for any justification
13 as to why the aid was provided to the army, I did not mention anything
14 like that, that the aid was being provided to the army.
15 Secondly, now coming to your question, there was no way that we
16 knew that the Muslim Army was abusing the food convoys. On the contrary,
17 the Bosnian Serb Army are the ones who are abusing these convoys, in that
18 they were getting hold of the supplies before they enter Zvornik, and
19 they get -- they remove whatever they want. Sometimes they could take
20 whole convoys and they [indiscernible] them. Whole convoys and they
21 [indiscernible] them, including even fuel, meant for the use by UNHCR and
22 ICRC. So here we are looking at a very small quantity that is written
23 here as compared to the amount that was taken by the Bosnian Serb Army.
24 Q. Thank you. Did you ever see, or did you ever hear, or did the
25 humanitarian aid -- the so-called UNHCR ever report to you that the
1 entire convoy had been seized?
2 A. Entire convoys, in the sense that we're talking about even the
3 vehicles, no. What I'm talking about is the supplies therein would be
4 taken by the Bosnian Serb Army. It used to happen.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
6 MR. THAYER: While we're on this page, Mr. President, I just note
7 there are two indiscernibles on the transcript at lines 15 and 17, and --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 16.
9 MR. THAYER: I beg your pardon. I couldn't hear what the words
10 were. I think it was the same word said twice, and it's not on the
11 transcript. So if we could just have that clarification now, I think
12 that would help the record, please.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You can look at the transcript. Now, nearly on
14 the top, do you see that on lines 15 and 16? What were you saying? Do
15 you remember?
16 "Sometimes they could take whole convoys, and they ... them."
17 What was the word you used?
18 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I think what I meant was they could take the
19 whole convoys, in terms of the amount inside.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just what was the word you used?
21 THE WITNESS: I can't remember it.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It sounded like "vet" or something like that, but
23 I don't know exactly.
24 THE WITNESS: Yes, it is gone now.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay.
1 At this point, I would like to give Judge Mindua the opportunity
2 to put a question to the witness.
3 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 Witness, since we are on this very important document, dated the
5 5th of June, 1995: Yesterday, you specified that you were unarmed and
6 that you lived among the people. The UNMOs, I'm talking about the UNMOs.
7 This document states that a large quantity of food had been withdrawn or
8 separated for the benefit of the ABiH Army. I would like to ask you two
9 short questions.
10 Who was in charge of the distribution of the humanitarian aid
11 that came from the UNHCR? And I shall now put my second question so that
12 I don't need to take the floor again. Was it at all possible, at the
13 time of the food distribution, to make a distinction between the Muslim
14 civilians and the Muslim military, according to what you know?
15 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, the people who were to distribute the
16 food were the UNHCR, themselves. They're the ones who are -- who had the
17 total authority of distributing the food. They're the ones who kept the
18 list of the recipients of the food items.
19 On the issue of whether it was easy to distinguish between
20 soldiers and non-soldiers during distribution is not a very easy thing to
21 do. Definitely, they were not -- you know, when everybody lined up for
22 food, it's those who need the food, as per the list that was being kept
23 by UNHCR, so those are the ones who were entitled to get the food items.
24 So it is very difficult to distinguish whether this one is a soldier.
25 Provided they are not armed, they are not in uniform, they are just the
1 normal people living in the village, they'll be given food. If one
2 happens later on to have been a soldier, that is a different thing, but
3 it was very difficult, actually, I can understand, for the UNHCR to
4 distinguish who is a soldier and who is not when giving the supplies.
5 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
6 As an UNMO, when you were in Srebrenica, or in Tuzla, more
7 specifically, you were unable to mark a distinction between the civilians
8 and the military?
9 THE WITNESS: For sure, I was not in Tuzla. I was in Srebrenica.
10 Secondly, I said we are not the ones who were giving out the food. It
11 was the UNHCR, not UNMOs. Ourselves, we just go there to witness that
12 the food distribution is taking place and that people are being given the
13 right quantities of food items, and report on the same.
14 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] I've understood that perfectly
15 well. I've understood that it was not the UNMOs who distributed the
16 food. But it was to move on to the question put by the Defence, because
17 the Defence said that food supplies were carried out for the Army of
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina. I wanted to know from you, as an UNMO in the
19 field, whether you were able to distinguish between these aid
20 beneficiaries, whether you were able to make the difference between those
21 people who were part of the military and those people who were civilians.
22 I didn't say that you were actually distributing the food.
23 THE WITNESS: I get your point, sir.
24 The issue at hand is distribution of food to the Bosnian Serb
25 Army. That, for sure, never happened. As far as I know, it did not
1 happen. There was no distribution of food to the Bosnian Serb Army.
2 What I said thereafter is that when people are lining up to get
3 the food supplies, sometimes you can have somebody who could be a soldier
4 and get the normal food package. That does not mean that you are giving
5 food supplies to the Bosnian Serb Army, because this is an independent
6 person coming for his entitlement of food supplies, because the locals
7 actually needed that food supply. But for -- the supply to the Bosnian
8 Serb Army, as far as I know, never happened.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I clarify two matters.
10 Are you really referring to the Bosnian Serb Army or to the
11 Bosnian Muslim Army?
12 THE WITNESS: Sorry, I meant the Muslim Army. There were no
13 supplies being given to the Muslims' army.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. I think everybody realised what you
15 are referring to, but you said "Bosnian Serb Army." That was a mistake.
17 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, sir.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's the first point.
19 The other is: While you were answering, we had a short
20 discussion among the Judges. On page 12, lines 2 and 3, there is a
21 sentence in the question of Judge Mindua:
22 "This document states that a large quantity of food had been
23 withdrawn or separated for the benefit of the ABiH Army."
24 Reading this document on the screen carefully, we don't see a
25 clear reference to this statement "for the benefit of the ABiH Army," but
1 I just wanted to clarify that for the record and not to continue with
2 this discussion. I think your position is quite clear.
3 Judge Mindua.
4 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] The Presiding Judge was
5 undoubtedly right to say something. But on looking at this document,
6 dated the 5th of June, 1995, I can see -- I can read "Subject: Record of
7 donation to the ABiH Army." That indicated that the food supplied were
8 made for -- were intended for the ABiH Army --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
10 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] -- in my view.
11 MR. THAYER: And, again, Mr. President, there is no contest from
12 the Prosecution that portions of the humanitarian aid made it to ABiH
13 fighters who were in the Srebrenica enclave, and again that's Adjudicated
14 Fact 47. That's not a contest. We don't view that as anything
15 particularly, you know, like a big deal. Again, just so you know, that's
16 not an issue, as far as the Prosecution is concerned. So we obviously
17 recognise this refers to the BiH Army, and we understand that some of
18 this food made it to fighters in the 28th Division in Srebrenica.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
20 And I think now we should give Mr. Tolimir the opportunity to
21 continue with his cross-examination.
22 Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 This says clearly, in line number 2 -- sorry, first line, it
1 "We hereby submit a list of the quantities of food, materiel and
2 technical equipment and fuel issued to our military units ..."
3 So not individuals, but military units for the month of May.
4 It's a whole month. And please take into account another statement that
6 "We wish to note that the above quantities were separated out of
7 the humanitarian aid consignment which arrived in the area through UNHCR,
8 while some of the food was obtained from the Dutch Battalion."
9 This aid was not given to individuals waiting in a line. They
10 were issued to a military unit. But I can't spend any more time on this.
11 I have to move on to a different question.
12 I suggest that this document be admitted into evidence, D70.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It was D80. I was told it was only marked for
14 identification because a previous witness couldn't identify anything of
15 the content of this document. Are you tendering it now?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Thank you.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Taking into account what the witness was able to
19 testify about, he couldn't say anything about the document, he has seen
20 it today for the first time, he didn't remember Mr. Hasanovic, and,
21 therefore, it will stay as marked for identification and not admitted
22 into evidence.
23 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Please, Witness, let us now look in e-court at your statement.
1 It's P992, page 4, paragraph 2, line 4. It's about one-and-the-same
2 problem. In English, it's page 5.
3 We have this page now. We see the paragraph 2 and line 4:
4 "He often demanded to convey to the BiH the message that the VRS
5 is proposing to the Muslims to leave the enclave safely, with the escort
6 of the VRS."
7 Then on the same page, and that's the next page in English:
8 "On another occasion when Vukovic was present, there was air
9 activity heard in the area, and he told us to inform the UN not to
10 attempt to antagonise them. He told us to report to the Muslims that
11 they had to pack up and go, and if not, he would kill them all."
12 You say that Vukotic and Nikolic more than once told you such
13 things. Do you remember that? Do you remember saying that?
14 A. Yes, Your Honour, I did. I remember very well.
15 Q. Did you ever convey these things to the Muslims, what they said?
16 A. Yes, Your Honour.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you ever put that forward at an official meeting,
18 when all the three parties were present, the two opposing parties and the
19 UNMOs and the UNPROFOR?
20 A. Which opposing parties? I don't get the make-up. You are saying
21 which opposing parties in the present -- when they are present?
22 Q. I mean the Muslims and the Serbs. If they ever had a meeting
23 together in your presence during your tenure, was that conveyed to the
24 Muslims, what the Serbs said, and did the Muslims give any answer? Was
25 this ever conveyed, these messages traded between the parties?
1 A. During my tenure there, we never had a meeting of both sides
2 present at one meeting. I don't remember at any time having met both
3 sides together. But at least we could convey what we are told from one
4 side to the other, because most of this information was meant to be
5 conveyed through us to the other party.
6 Q. Thank you. Please, did this threat by Vukovic ever materialise,
7 the one you state in paragraph 5? It's actually Nikolic's threat to the
8 Muslims, that they had to pack up and go, and if not, he would kill them
10 We should look now in e-court at 65 ter 1407, page 37 in Serbian
11 and page 52 in English. That's the meeting in Fontana. Let us hear what
12 the authorised person, the person with most authority on behalf of the
13 VRS, says, and that's General Mladic.
14 And my question is: Were these unofficial exchanges with Vukovic
15 and Nikolic, who falsely represented themselves as commanders, ever
16 comparable with the authorised view of the VRS? Were they ever
17 understood as the official position of the VRS?
18 THE REGISTRAR: This is P1008, marked for identification.
19 THE WITNESS: If I can answer your question.
20 For one -- for one, these are -- Major Nikolic and
21 Colonel Vukovic were, as far as we knew, representatives of the Bosnian
22 Serb Army. And even in meetings, like they could come in full army
23 combat armed and with other senior officers, so we had no question -- we
24 could not question whether they were part of the army. We knew they
1 Secondly, these threats of wiping out the Muslims from the
2 enclave actually happened. They ensured it happened, and that was
3 through the whole process of bombarding the enclave from somewhere on the
4 6th. After that time, they cleared the whole enclave of the Muslims. So
5 it was not just a threat. They ensured they achieved their objective.
6 Initially, we were taking it as just a threat, and we conveyed the same
7 to the Muslim side. We conveyed the same to our headquarters. But later
8 on, it turned out, actually, it was a plan, it had already been
9 pre-planned, and they ensured that they wiped or they removed the Muslims
10 out of Srebrenica enclave.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. We'll now see the words of the person who was responsible, in the
13 eyes of the law and in the eyes of the Court, to represent the Army of
14 Republika Srpska. We have even seen the film where this can be seen, and
15 now we can see the transcript. General Mladic says -- look at the last
16 paragraph in Serbian, and in English that's the paragraph indicated as
17 General Mladic speaking at the top:
18 "You are in a position to know ..."
19 I'm quoting General Mladic, and it's also on the film:
20 "You are in a position to know ... You can, if everything is
21 ready ... The rest of your army can disarm and surrender their weapons to
22 UN officers -- to my officers," that is, "in the presence of UNPROFOR
23 officers. You can choose to stay or you can choose to leave. If you
24 wish to leave, you can go anywhere you like. When the weapons have been
25 surrendered, every individual will go," will go, he guarantees this,
1 "where they want to go. The only thing is that petrol must be provided,
2 and I'll provide the vehicles. You can't provide the petrol. You can
3 pay for it if you have the means."
4 This meeting was the third meeting in Fontana between Mladic,
5 Karremans, and the representatives of the Muslims. Did you know that
6 this third meeting took place in Fontana, have you ever seen that film,
7 and do you remember the words of General Mladic?
8 A. For one, I don't remember attending that meeting. Secondly,
9 I think I've seen this film. And, thirdly, this is not the first time
10 that General Ratko Mladic was saying that he'll provide a safe passage
11 for these people to get out. To me, I think it was the second time,
12 because he had earlier on told me that he has no problem with the people
13 if they can move out of that enclave. That had also been conveyed
14 earlier to us by Colonel Vukovic, who told us that he would like the
15 Muslims -- the Bosnian Serb's army would like all the Muslims to leave
16 the enclave, and if they agree to do that, they'll be given a safe
17 passage out of the enclave, and that if they don't do that, he will wipe
18 them all out. So that was the first time that we were told that.
19 The second time is what I mentioned, when General Ratko Mladic
20 told me that he will allow the people to get out of the enclave, and now
21 I think this is -- at that time, he's saying that. But, of course, you
22 are giving people safe passage after you've already bombarded the whole
23 place, after you've already killed many of them, after you've harassed
24 them with a lot of fire-power, artillery, tanks, and all that. That is
25 the time you are trying to prove like you're being a bit humanitarian. I
1 don't think that is the point. I don't think that shows a humanitarian
2 face. You kill people, you bombard them throughout, harassing fire, and
3 then after you have displaced all of them, that's the time, you know, you
4 try to be a better humanitarian and tell them you can give them a safe
5 passage out? I don't see any humanitarian face in the whole of that,
6 that act.
7 Q. Thank you. Please give me shorter answers.
8 Did Mladic give this statement -- make this statement before the
9 Muslims left or did he say that in his talks with the Muslims?
10 A. Some of your questions require a bit of clarification, because
11 like that one, you know General Ratko Mladic did not arrive in the
12 enclave before the onslaught. He arrived, actually, almost after; that
13 is, after the place had been softened and all the people had come to the
14 DutchBat compound. That is when he came in. So already all these
15 bombardments had already been done, and that is the time he was talking
16 like this. This was much, much later.
17 Q. Thank you. We'll come to that issue of how people arrived at the
18 base and who brought them.
19 But let us now show in e-court P992. That's the statement of
20 this witness, page 9 in Serbian, paragraph 5, where the witness describes
21 his meeting with General Mladic on the 12th of July, 1995.
22 We can see it now. In English, it's page 11.
23 I will quote what you said:
24 "The soldiers of the VRS patrolled among the refugees along the
25 road --"
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It would be better for everybody if you indicate
2 which paragraph you are quoting. You are always indicating the --
3 [Overlapping speakers]
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In English, it's page 11, third
5 paragraph. And in Serbian, it's the fifth paragraph.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It would save time if you, just from the
7 beginning, could indicate the right document number, the right page
8 number, and the right paragraph number. We are now waiting for page 11.
9 Is that page 11? I see "9." Okay, it might be page 11. Thank
11 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it is page 11 in
12 e-court. The statement in English contains two pages which are not
13 contained in the Serbian version of the statement.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I'm quoting what you said in your statement:
16 "VRS soldiers patrolled the refugees around the road. Around
18 soldiers as well as UNPROFOR troops. I recognised Mladic among them
19 talking with refugees. I approached him, and he started to talk with me
20 informally about Kenya
21 that I was from Kenya
22 assist in the evacuation of the refugees by providing transportation. He
23 answered that he didn't need the UN because he had enough vehicles for
24 those people and that the buses were on their way already. He said that
25 all the refugees would be transported to Tuzla. Then we stopped the
1 conversation, and I continued to take care of the refugees."
2 Sir, did I read out correctly what you stated about what the
3 conversation between you and Mladic was about? Was your statement
4 correct or is what you're saying here correct? Are you interpreting
5 something or misinterpreting, or what happened? Why the discrepancy?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
7 MR. THAYER: If there is some alleged discrepancy, if
8 General Tolimir could indicate what this alleged discrepancy is, between
9 what and what. He's just read him a part of the statement, but he's not
10 referring the witness to anything when he suggests that there's some
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Let's take things at a time with brief questions and brief
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please don't interrupt me. If I give you the
16 floor, then you may proceed.
17 I think this witness is capable and able to answer the question.
18 I was astonished by your -- by the way you put the question to the
19 witness, but I think he will manage to answer.
20 Please answer the question.
21 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, this statement is correct.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Q. Did this happen on the 12th? Thank you.
25 A. Yeah, I think it was on the 12th. I'm not very sure of the date,
1 but I think it's the 12th.
2 Q. Thank you. And before that, did a meeting take place between
3 Karremans and General Mladic? Thank you.
4 A. Yes, I think there was a meeting that had taken place.
5 Q. Did you learn anything about that meeting, and is that why you
6 offered transportation and help with the evacuation, or did you receive
7 an instruction from your superiors?
8 A. Your Honour, we were doing our work as military observers, people
9 employed by the United Nations, and we had to get further people who were
10 already displaced. We had requested -- we were informing our
11 headquarters of everything that was going on, and we used to request
12 whatever we need for the people of the enclave. In this particular
13 circumstance, we knew, actually, the people had to be evacuated from
14 Srebrenica to a safer place, so we had requested for transport. And the
15 UN had agreed that they were going to send buses to transport the people
16 from the enclave so that they can get out of that misery. And so I was
17 just telling General Ratko Mladic how it was; that the UN is prepared to
18 get the Muslims out of the enclave because it was no longer tenable, it
19 was no longer safe for them to continue staying there. They were no
20 longer living in their houses. They had been displaced. It was a
21 humanitarian catastrophe, and the UN could not just watch that continue,
22 since the Bosnian Serbs' army were already all over the enclave. They
23 had even started occupying -- and it is in my statement. They had
24 already started occupying some of the houses. They had already
25 started -- you know, I don't know the right word, but taking away - I
1 want to say stealing - but taking away even cows, going as far as even
2 removing the cows, the beddings, the mattresses all that, from those
3 houses, taking them all the way towards Bratunac. In fact, that is they
4 were vandalising everywhere, they were taking everything. So it was no
5 longer, as far as we observers were concerned, tenable for the Muslims to
6 continue staying there.
7 And the last part of it I can say was that this was just a
8 confirmation of the initial threats that we had received of removing
9 every Muslim person from the enclave, from Colonel Vukovic and also from
10 Major Nikolic, so we knew they were just acting -- they were just doing
11 what they had planned.
12 Q. Thank you. We have your statement. We know what you stated.
13 Just tell us now: Did VRS troops, before the evacuation, carry
14 mattresses and blankets and enter the houses, or were they outside of any
15 Muslim settlements, without any contacts with the Muslim population
16 there? Thank you. You have just told us that you saw them patrolling.
17 Thank you.
18 A. For sure, this was happening, it was ongoing; that is, the taking
19 away of household items, taking away of cows and goods. We could see
20 them, you know, moving along the main road heading towards Bratunac.
21 That was --
22 Q. Very well, very well. But was that before this event or after
23 this event? Thank you.
24 Thank you. Please, tell us, and I apologise to the interpreters
25 and everybody else, was this before your conversation with Mladic or
1 after? This is all I'm interested in. Before or after, before or after,
2 just say "before" or "after," that's it.
3 A. Your Honours, it was during and after.
4 Q. Thank you. Were you able to observe that or did you hear about
5 that? If that taken place before, could you have warned Mladic about
6 that? You stated that you only saw the soldiers patrolling and that you
7 heard about Mladic coming. That's all you stated.
8 A. If you look at some of our sitrep situation reports, that is
9 indicated, that that was happening, and it continued.
10 Q. Thank you. Well, it doesn't really matter that much. We don't
11 want to dwell upon that any longer.
12 And now, let's see, who was it who insisted on what you heard --
13 told Mladic? Where you authorised to tell him that? Did you receive an
14 instructions to that effect from your superiors? You offered him to
15 evacuate the people. Who instructed you to offer that to Mladic on the
16 12th? Thank you.
17 A. I've already said much earlier that we were in direct
18 communication with our headquarters, and we told them what was going on.
19 We advised them that there is need to evacuate the Muslims, and they
20 advised that they are going to send the buses to evacuate the Muslims
21 from the enclave.
22 Q. Thank you. When did you agree to that with your superiors? When
23 did you learn that? When did you receive that, what you later on
24 conveyed to Mladic, that information? Thank you.
25 A. That was before I informed General Mladic.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 And now could the Court please produce 65 ter 1407. That's from
3 the first meeting at Fontana Hotel.
4 In order not to waste time with watching the video, because there
5 is a video and the sound recording, I'm just displaying the transcript of
6 what had transpired at that meeting.
7 Page 16 in Serbian; 19 in English. Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it would be helpful and save time to
9 indicate and -- to ask the witness to read that for his own, and not to
10 quote the whole part of that, because we have, I suppose, much of them
11 already in evidence.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
13 It is very important for me to quote the first sentence here.
14 In his statement, the witness said that he did not remember who
15 was it who asked for the meeting, whether it was Karremans or Mladic.
16 That's what the witness said in his statement. Later on, we'll see where
17 that is. That's why I have to read to him who it was who asked for the
18 meeting to take place.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. General Mladic, the last paragraph on the right-hand side in the
21 Serbian language, and it says, and I quote:
22 "What do you want?"
23 He says:
24 "What do you want? You asked for a meeting. Speak up."
25 That's what General Mladic said. And then -- he said that to
1 Colonel Karremans, of course. And then Colonel Karremans replied to
2 General Mladic:
3 "I had a talk with General Nicolai two hours ago ..."
4 And I'm reading just this sentence here:
5 "... and also with the national authorities about the request on
6 behalf of the population."
7 And then perhaps the witness can go on reading the text for
8 himself, and then I'll have a question for him. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, your question, please. The witness
10 is waiting for your question.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. My question is this: In your statement, you said that you didn't
13 know who asked for the meeting to take place between Karremans and
14 Mladic. And now, based on this, what you have before you, can you tell
15 us who requested for the meeting to take place? Was it Karremans or was
16 it Mladic? Thank you.
17 A. This is the first time I'm seeing this write-up. But from the
18 write-up, you can see it's Karremans -- Colonel Karremans who requested
19 further meeting.
20 Q. Thank you. It's clear from the contents, is it not? And now
21 there is no need for me to display a statement. It's on page 8 in the
22 Serbian version, paragraph 6, where you say, and I am going to quote, and
23 if you don't agree, you tell me:
24 "I wanted to have a meeting with the VRS in the evening. That's
25 why I contacted Peter. I don't know who asked for that meeting. Was it
1 the VRS of Colonel Karremans?"
2 Do you remember that, and did I quote your statement correctly,
3 the two lines that I've just read?
4 Page 8, paragraph 6, lines 1 and 2, for the record. Thank you.
5 A. As we have said -- as I have said, I said that this meeting was
6 called by Colonel Karremans, and he had the right to call a meeting. Me,
7 I was not sure whether it's him who had called for the meeting, when I
8 was writing this statement, or not. But now we can see it's him who had
9 requested for the meeting.
10 Secondly, the issue you have brought out, that of the request for
11 the buses, we, as military observers, and I need to repeat that,
12 requested through the normal channels. It was not in reference to this
13 meeting. It was through our own channels that we did that.
14 Q. Thank you. If you look carefully at your words, and I will quote
15 your words again:
16 "I contacted Peter to organise the meeting in the evening with
17 the BSA."
18 That you means that you also participated in the organisation of
19 this meeting; yes or no? That's an inference I'm making from this
21 A. I request you bring that one here so that I can see it.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is P992 again.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Thank you. Can the Court please display, firstly, the witness's
25 statement, which is P992, page 8 in Serbian and page 10 in English. The
1 first sentence in the sixth paragraph. Thank you.
2 We still don't see the English version of the document.
3 And now we can see the fourth paragraph from the bottom, the
4 first sentence:
5 "I contacted Petar to organise a meeting in the evening with the
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Did you state that? Did you organise the meeting that Karremans
9 called for, the meeting with Mladic? Thank you.
10 A. Your Honour, the most important thing is to interpret the whole
11 thing as it is. For the UNPROFOR to have meetings, most of that time
12 they had to go through us to organise the meeting through Peter, so what
13 I meant here is that I could not remember whether it is the BSA side who
14 had requested for this meeting or Colonel Karremans. Colonel Karremans
15 could not -- you know, could not be able to organise the meeting unless,
16 you know, they went through us to organise with Peter, because he had our
17 communication. And so the issue on whether I can remember who did this
18 or that, it's true, I could not remember who it was, Colonel Karremans or
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
21 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, while we're on this topic - I love a
22 good mystery as much as the next person - I'm just wondering if
23 General Tolimir can tell us what the relevance of this line of
24 questioning is. I'm mean, I'm happy to hear it, but I'm just wondering,
25 like, who cares who called the meeting, and why is it important? Maybe
1 that would help in some way. But if we could just have some idea of why
2 we're spending so much time on the topic of who called for the meeting,
3 it might be helpful.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I am emphasising the
6 contradiction in the statement. In the first statement, he says that he
7 called Peter to arrange the meeting, and then in the third sentence he
8 says that he doesn't know who called the meeting. This is a
9 contradiction. I want to clarify things, just as the witness, himself,
10 said here, that things need to be clarified.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you may make your conclusions as you
13 want, but to put it to the witness in that way, I think it's not correct.
14 The witness has answered and explained from his point of view. You may
15 have another point of view, but I think it is quite clear what the
16 witness was able to provide, and you should leave that point and continue
17 your cross-examination.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 It's very important because of the things that he was saying. He
20 said that he spoke to General Mladic on the 12th, and he told us what
21 General Mladic had told him. And before that, he was the one who called
22 the meeting on the 12th. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it is not helpful to have this kind
24 of discussion between the parties and the Chamber. You are
25 cross-examining the witness, and you should do that.
1 Please carry on, and don't explain always why you are putting a
2 question. Please just carry on.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Q. We heard from your answers that VRS soldiers contacted the
5 civilians and to the village even before the evacuation. Could you
6 please tell us this: Did VRS soldiers contact with the refugees in the
7 base in Potocari while men were being separated from the women, while
8 women went their way, and the men, on the other hand, started preparing
9 their breakthrough on the other side? Thank you.
10 A. Maybe you can start by explaining what this separation was all
12 We had two groups. In fact, I can call them three groups of
13 IDPs. One was inside the Dutch compound, inside the warehouse. There
14 was a smaller group outside the compound, but still within DutchBat. And
15 that and the biggest group was in the warehouse just before you get to
16 the DutchBat compound on your way from Srebrenica. Going down, it was on
17 the right-hand side. So these were the three groups. But the biggest,
18 as I said, was that one, you know, outside.
19 The BSA soldiers, after the, you know, the enclave was
20 overwhelmed and everybody had been brought to Potocari, they started
21 patrolling the streets, going up -- all the way up to Srebrenica and
22 occupying those areas. This was -- that was the final assault, actually,
23 by the infantry; that is, the mopping up to ensure that there are no
25 So after that, the separation of the men from the women and
1 children started. This was being done by the BSA soldiers. They removed
2 the men from the women and children and sent them to a house, a white
3 house. And because this is all listed here, I don't know whether you
4 still want me to continue with the same thing, because it's all written.
5 They were separated from the women and kept in one house.
6 Q. Thank you. I have that. I'm going to ask you something about
7 that so-called white house, but I'm asking you this before that: Muslim
8 women and men, when they left their houses, were they separated? Did
9 women and children go one way and did men go another way? Just tell me
10 that, if you know. Thank you.
11 A. What the we saw is women -- in fact, family units going together
12 with their belongings to Potocari. Those who managed to go inside the
13 DutchBat went there. Those who could not sat outside there as family
14 units, even when they were out there, they were sort of organised in
15 family units, together with the men, those family units which were headed
16 by men, or just women and children. So they were there as units.
17 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that Muslim civilians were not
18 separated, women and children were not separated from men, that they all
19 arrived in Potocari? We had witnesses here who testified that they had
20 been separated from their families, that they had been brought to a
21 different place - thank you - and that from that place they started to
22 organise a breakthrough. Do you know anything about that breakthrough?
23 Thank you.
24 A. Your Honour, you can't rule that out. It's not possible for all
25 of them to have gone there as single units, complete units. Maybe some
1 of them joined them later. That is possible. In any war -- in any war
2 scenario, that is possible. But the way we saw them outside there before
3 the separation by the Bosnian Serb Army, they were together, all of them,
4 you know, together, both men, women, and children.
5 Q. Thank you. Can we then conclude that the VRS carried out the
6 separation, and that before that, women were not separated from men in
7 Srebrenica? Yes or no? What can the Trial Chamber conclude? What kind
8 of conclusions can they make? Thank you.
9 A. The conclusion that can be made out of that is that the BSA
10 soldiers separated the men from the women and children and took them to
11 one definite house. The separation that could have been there earlier --
12 Q. Thank you.
13 A. If you give me one second.
14 The separation that could have been there before they arrived at
15 Potocari, that was because it's unavoidable. During war, some people can
16 run faster than others. But later on, they regrouped and became one,
17 until they were separated by the BSA.
18 Q. Thank you. Where did Becirovic go? Did he also arrive in
19 Potocari? Thank you. Since you said that all of them found themselves
20 together eventually? Thank you.
21 A. Really, I would be unable to understand where we are heading to
22 here, because if you're going to talk about each and every individual, I
23 did not know these people, all of them. If you're going to ask whether
24 so-and-so was there or whatever, I do not do that, I could not have been
25 able to know all that. But the point is that we could see men, women,
1 and children together. Do not expect me to know whether each man that I
2 saw was the head of that family. It is difficult for me to know that.
3 Q. Thank you. My question to you is this: Did you hear that
4 Becirovic also had provided a statement, just like you, that he said that
5 he was not alone, that there were 11.000 people with him who had left
6 Srebrenica? Thank you. Are you aware of that? Did you hear of that at
7 all - thank you - at previous trials or during your stay in
8 Srebrenica - thank you - did you know that men, soldiers went a separate
9 way and that they had sent their women to Potocari? Thank you.
10 A. When you say men left Srebrenica in a separate way, I'm unable to
11 understand what you mean, because even in the video, in my statement, and
12 in all documentation, there were men in Potocari, there were men who came
13 there. It is evident.
14 Q. Thank you. I don't need any more explanation. I just asked you
15 whether everyone came to Potocari, men and women and children, men who
16 did fight and men who didn't fight.
17 Let's go back to that house. That's page 9 of your statement,
18 paragraph 6 - that's in Serbian - lines 1 and 2, and in English it's two
19 pages further. It's page 11 in English. This is the right page.
20 I will quote from your statement:
21 "I began to notice that BSA --"
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May we get the paragraph number of the English
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In Serbian, it's 9; in English,
25 it's 11.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm asking for the paragraph number in English.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My legal assistant will tell you in
3 a moment, because I don't know English.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the witness doesn't know B/C/S. That's the
5 problem. And if you want to show him the relevant part of the statement,
6 you should indicate which part he should read in English.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Third full paragraph in English on
8 this page we are looking at. Thank you, Aleksandar. Thank you,
9 Mr. President. I'm not going to ask my question before the witness has
10 had a chance to read it, and I will read it myself.
11 I quote:
12 "I began to notice that BSA soldiers were separating men from
13 their families and were leading them towards a white house located just
14 in front of the compound, slightly on the left ..."
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. On the same page, you go on to say that you went to that house
17 with Mladic, followed by a camera. It's paragraph 7. You say he was
18 accompanied by a TV crew. My question is: Did I read this out
19 correctly? Were you, indeed, in that white house with General Mladic?
20 A. Yes, it's correct.
21 Q. Did a TV crew follow you into that house?
22 A. Yes, they did.
23 Q. Inside the white house, did you see any children, little
24 children? Because you say that even boys were separated. That's in your
25 statement. Were any boys inside the white house, and did the camera
1 record that?
2 A. I think you are taking it out of context. These are two
3 different sections of my statement. The one you quoted earlier, that is,
4 concerning General Ratko Mladic in the house, and that of when I noticed
5 some boys being taken to the white house or being removed from the buses,
6 those are two different scenarios, and I'll start with the first one.
7 When I went to talk to General Ratko Mladic outside there -- now,
8 when I went to talk to him and discuss about the white house, he said
9 that, actually, those people have got no problems. And he agreed, after
10 a request, to escort me there to see that there were no problems with
11 those people in the white house. That is when the TV crew followed us,
12 but that was after some time. It delayed a bit. At that time, I could
13 notice they were taking some supplies, that of soft drinks and some beer,
14 to the white house. And then upon arrival, when we arrived there, they
15 already were distributing, and the crew was filming, and
16 General Ratko Mladic was telling me, Can't you see they are okay? They
17 are feeling good? And it was true, when you look at them at that
18 particular time when they were receiving those supplies, they look happy,
19 but it was because they were very hungry, very thirsty, exhausted, and
20 uncertain of their future. So whatever little they are given, they
21 appreciate, and, you know, they look like they are okay.
22 And I've already mentioned it here, but according to me, this was
23 like acting in a film. You know, it's like you want to portray you're
24 doing something good to the people. Yet, these are the same people you
25 have harassed.
1 So the second one, the separation you are talking about -- I
2 hasten to add that inside the house or within that house, I did not see
3 boys, and I've not mentioned it anywhere.
4 After that, during when the men -- the families, that is, the
5 children and the women, and the older group of men, were being loaded
6 into the buses, that is when the BSA soldiers started even picking some
7 boys who were as young as about 14 years, and I even asked one of them
8 how old he was, and he said, Fourteen years. From that time, I started,
9 you know, telling them to go back. I started, you know, trying to
10 communicate with the BSA soldiers, and they refused to let the boys go
11 back. But when I hold one of the boys and tell him to go back to the
12 bus, somehow the soldiers allowed that to happen. They went back to the
13 buses, most of them went back, managed to go back. But as I turned to
14 another direction, I could see some of those boys I had told to go back
15 being still taken back to the white house. So for sure I do not know how
16 many of those boys were taken back, but I know some were removed from the
17 buses. And my intervention helped some, but not all of them.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think we are running out of time.
19 The tapes have to be rewound and we need a technical break.
20 We will have our first break of today, and we will resume a
21 little bit earlier than usual. That means, in this case, 12.30, half
22 past 12.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.07 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You spoke on several occasions about separation and about some
4 warehouse premises where Nikolic ran checks; that you went inside there
5 and that you looked at him while he was checking on some lists, whether
6 those separated people had participated in certain actions where war
7 crimes had been committed. Do you remember that?
8 A. I remember talking about Major Nikolic going into DutchBat
9 compound, into the warehouse where some of the IDPs were, and was
10 checking the men against a list that he had.
11 Q. That's correct. Did you have access there? Did anyone enable
12 you to see the men he was checking against that list?
13 A. Yes. I was there. I was there, physically. I could see him
14 going to the men. Then he could call one man, then ask his name, you go
15 through the list that he had and check whether -- I think the main aim
16 was to check whether they were soldiers or not, because that list,
17 I think, contained a list of those they knew as soldiers from the Muslim
19 Q. Thank you. That's page 11 on your statement, paragraph 1. Line
20 9 in Serbian, and that's page 11 in English. I'll give you the number of
21 the paragraph when it shows up on the screen.
22 Can we have in e-court your statement P992.
23 We see it on the screen now. Let's just have page 11 in Serbian
24 and page 13 in English.
25 Here, you say in line 1:
1 "Since the VRS asked to check inside the base to see whether
2 there were any armed soldiers inside ..."
3 And then in line 5 -- in English, it would be paragraph 2,
4 I think -- no, in English it's the first one we see, where it says how
5 Nikolic was running checks inside the compound, and in line 9 in Serbian
6 you say:
7 "The name of every person checked was sought in the list that
8 Nikolic had."
9 Just tell me, did Nikolic separate any of those people who were
10 under the control of the UNPROFOR after checking their names against that
12 A. If I remember very well, I think there was only one person that
13 he took who was injured. I think -- I think there's only one person that
14 he took, nobody else, if I can remember very well.
15 Q. Thank you. Did he take that person away because they were
16 injured or because that person was for some reason suspect, and what
17 happened later to that person?
18 A. He was taken due to both reasons. That is, he was injured.
19 Secondly, he was suspected by Major Nikolic, you know, according to the
20 list that he had, to be a soldier on the Muslim side, so he took him out.
21 Q. Thank you. Do you know what happened to that man or do you know
22 his name so we can check whether he is among the missing persons, because
23 everyone was registered as missing?
24 A. I can't remember his name.
25 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 2 on page 11 in the Serbian version, you
2 "Major Nikolic also requested we provide him with the list of the
3 local staff who would be evacuated together with the DutchBat.
4 "The list was prepared by MSF ..."
5 My question is: First of all, have you found it in the English
7 A. Yes, I have. Yes, I have.
8 Q. Correct, that's paragraph 2. Did Major Nikolic separate anyone
9 from that list of local staff that you gave him, the local staff that was
10 supposed to be evacuated together with the Dutch?
11 A. We gave him the list that was prepared by MSF and us and is
12 available somewhere here. That was included all the local people who
13 were working with the NGOs. And the list, I think we went through it
14 yesterday or the day before. So the -- he did not -- there's nobody who
15 was removed, as far as I can remember, from amongst those who were in
16 that list.
17 Q. Thank you for this answer. Do you know that the OTP has a list
18 of missing persons who were reported as gone missing during the
19 separation and from the column that went with Becirovic, trying to break
20 out towards Tuzla
21 A. Yes, I've heard of such a list. I've heard of it. I've never
22 seen it, but I've heard about it.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you know that this list contains indications of
24 who went missing, where, and who went missing in Potocari, because the
25 families reported when they last saw them? And do you have any knowledge
1 whether there are children under 15 on that list, because you said a
2 moment ago there were boys of 14?
3 A. I do not know that list. I have not seen it, that's what I said,
4 so I do not know what is contained there.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you know that we have heard witnesses here whose
6 children had gone missing, and that they testified about the way their
7 children went missing, and they said nobody detained children, but they
8 released them instead? And do you know that one such child at the time
9 testified in this case?
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
11 MR. THAYER: Honestly, Mr. President, we need some basis for
12 this, what witness are we allegedly talking about, so we can have some
13 sense of where this comes from. I mean, this is such a general question.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the Chamber would appreciate more
15 details as well.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 I cannot give names because these are protected witnesses who
18 testified here. There was even one witness, if you remember, whom I
19 didn't want to question. I'm not giving the witness names and details,
20 to ask him about the identity of the person. I'm just asking him this in
21 order to ask later whether he had seen someone killed on the 12th or the
22 13th, the time he describes as the time of separation of refugees.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
24 Mr. Thayer.
25 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I don't know if General Tolimir is
1 changing his question, but the prior question had, as one of its
2 components, referring to some witness or witnesses, "they said nobody
3 detained children, but they released them instead." We're simply asking
4 General Tolimir what the basis is for that statement in his question.
5 And then he referred, as another component of the question:
6 "Do you know that one such child at the time testified in this
8 So if he has evidence that there was somebody who testified about
9 a missing relative or something like that, and then there was that
10 relative actually testifying, allegedly, according to General Tolimir,
11 we'd like to know who he's talking about. If he's moving on,
12 Mr. President, then I'll sit down and stay down.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed -- [Overlapping speakers]
14 Mr. Tolimir, wait, please.
15 If you are referring to a witness we have heard in closed
16 session, then you can't put a question to this witness, if he knows that
17 there was a witness testifying in closed session. This makes no sense,
18 so that perhaps you'll rephrase your question or carry on with another
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I thank
21 Mr. Thayer. I have no time for this. I will move to another topic. And
22 I cannot name them because they were protected witnesses, except by the
23 numbers, but these were witnesses who testified in this trial.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You spoke in your statement, on page 8, paragraph 2 in Serbian,
1 line 5, that --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please give us the English version, including the
3 paragraph, for the sake of the witness and the interpreters and the
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In Serbian, it's page 8,
6 paragraph 2, line 5 and 6. And in English, it's page 10. When we see
7 the text on the screen, I will tell you which line it is. Line -- sorry,
8 paragraph 4 in English.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Do you see paragraph 4, where you say, in lines 5 and 6:
11 "At that time, a river of refugees arrived at the compound in
12 Potocari. Very soon, the base was full, and people had to remain
14 Do you see that?
15 A. I can't see that.
16 Q. Can you see the paragraph that begins with:
17 "In the afternoon, I was in Potocari. Emir had returned the
18 previous evening. We had no communication about the situation in
19 Srebrenica. The information in the sitrep originates from the DutchBat"?
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It would be helpful to give a correct reference.
21 We found now a paragraph on I think it's page 8:
22 "During the morning, I was in Potocari."
23 Are you referring to that passage? In that case, you should
24 quote correctly and not say "in the afternoon" instead of "in the
25 morning," or there is a problem of translation. I don't know.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 The original in Serbian says:
3 "During the morning, I was in Potocari."
4 I'm sorry, I don't speak English. I'm not paraphrasing; I'm
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Carry on.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Can you tell us on which day that was? Was it in the morning or
9 the afternoon? What does it say in English, because I can't understand
10 it? Can you tell us the exact date and time?
11 A. This was in the morning. For the day, I can't remember whether
12 it was the 11th or 12th. I'm not very sure. But it was in the morning,
13 as indicated here.
14 Q. It must have been on the 11th, and that's why I asked you,
15 because in the previous paragraph you say that the DutchBat received
16 another ultimatum on the 10th of July, and the UN sent an ultimatum to
17 the Army of Republika Srpska that by 0600 hours they must withdraw from
18 the base; otherwise, there would be air-strikes. That's page 8 in
19 Serbian and page 7 in English. It's on the screen. It's the paragraph
20 where the first sentence refers to the DutchBat.
21 A. I can see that, I can see that.
22 Q. Now, on the basis of the fact that this happened on the 10th, can
23 you determine that the next paragraph refers to the 11th? And when was
24 it that the refugees arrived at the base, on the 10th or the 11th?
25 Shall I rephrase the question? Can you tell me when the refugees
1 came for the first time to the base in Potocari?
2 A. I'm not very sure, but I think it was on the 11th, either 10th or
3 11th. I'm not very sure of that, but it's indicated somewhere in my --
4 in my report.
5 Q. Thank you. Was the Muslim population arriving at the base before
6 the meetings between Mladic and Karremans on the 11th, and before you
7 called Peter to organise the meeting?
8 A. If you allow me to explain a bit on this.
9 This meeting that Colonel Karremans talked about at the
10 ultimatums, it was held at night, and that is the time we were told about
11 those ultimatums and what they mean, because the ultimatums were from
12 both sides, the BSA and also from the UN. And the Muslims actually heard
13 about them, and they gave their concerns as indicated.
14 As for the meeting with General Mladic and Colonel Karremans,
15 that was held, I think -- I think later, because by the time we were
16 holding that meeting with -- that meeting was being held with
17 General Mladic, the IDPs were already -- had already gone to Potocari.
18 They were already in Potocari at that time.
19 Q. Thank you. In order for us to be able to follow the chronology
20 of your statement, tell me, first, what you know about the meeting with
21 Karremans where those ultimatums were presented by the Muslims and the
22 Serbs and the UNPROFOR. That was on the 11th. What do you know about
23 that, so we can follow the events chronologically?
24 A. Now, these ultimatums, if I can explain, the one from the BSA
25 side, they had said that the Muslims and UNPROFOR should lay down their
1 weapons, and then the Muslims would be allowed a safe passage out. There
2 would be no more bombardment of the enclave. Then the UN ultimatum was
3 for the Muslims -- for the Bosnian Serb Army to stop shelling the
4 enclave. Otherwise, there would be air-strikes on their positions.
5 I think those were the main -- the major ultimatums that were there.
6 I think there was another one on who was to go to DutchBat compound. The
7 BSA had said that only the UN people, that is, UNMOs, UNPROFOR, UNHCR
8 and, I think, Red Cross, would go there, but no Muslims should be allowed
9 to go there. That was -- those were the ultimatums that were given.
10 But in this meeting, this is not the meeting that
11 General Ratko Mladic was in. This is a different meeting.
12 Q. Thank you. I know that it was not that meeting. First of all,
13 there was a Karremans meeting with the Muslims --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You are not giving evidence. The witness is
15 giving evidence. What you knew, it's not important at this point in
16 time. You should put questions to the witness.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Let's begin like this: Page 7 of the witness's statement,
19 paragraph 10, the last three lines in Serbian, that's where it begins
20 with the words "Colonel Karremans," and in English it's page 9. Page 7
21 in Serbian, and page 9 in English. It's the right page on the screen.
22 I quote:
23 "Colonel Karremans informed those present that he had received an
24 ultimatum the previous day from the Army of Republika Srpska and
25 explained its terms to the local officials, telling them that he had
1 rejected it. I learned about this ultimatum just before the meeting --
2 just before the meeting. He then explained ..."
3 And then let's move to the next page, page 8 in Serbian -- 8, not
5 "He then explained that --"
6 It's page 8 we need, not 9:
7 "He then explained that the Dutch battalion received another
8 ultimatum on the 10th of July, which was also rejected, and that in its
9 turn the UN sent an ultimatum to the VRS to withdraw from the enclave by
10 0600 hours. If they do not, there would be air-strikes."
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
12 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just so the witness can follow along,
13 we need to be on page 9 of the English, which is page 7 of the document,
14 itself. So if we're looking at the lower right-hand page number, we need
15 to go just one more in the English to page 7, and we're talking about the
16 large paragraph a couple of paragraphs up from the bottom.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think page 9 of the document should be
18 page 11 --
19 MR. THAYER: No, it's --
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Page 7 of the statement --
21 MR. THAYER: Is page 9 in e-court, yes. It's always going to be
22 two pages off because there were two pages of another matter, a related
23 matter, at the front of this statement.
24 So there we are. We're talking about the paragraph that begins:
25 "In the night, there was a problem ..."
1 THE WITNESS: I can see that now, thanks.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for your assistance,
3 Mr. Thayer.
4 Mr. Tolimir.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness, did you hear what I have just read in your own language,
7 in English, and were you able to read in your statement what you
8 previously stated, and did you understand it so as to be able to answer
9 when I put my question to you; yes or no? Thank you.
10 A. Yes, I understand it.
11 Q. Thank you. Did you attend that meeting when Colonel Karremans
12 was speaking about the various ultimatums? Thank you.
13 A. Yes, I was there.
14 Q. Thank you. Did it say then, clear and loud, that one of the
15 ultimatums was not to allow the Muslim population to enter the base in
16 Potocari; yes or no?
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness was waiting until you are able to
18 listen to his answer.
19 THE WITNESS: Yeah. Your Honour, that was one of the conditions
20 given at that time from the BSA side.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Q. Does that mean that, in addition to that condition that Karremans
23 rejected, or despite that condition, as a matter of fact, the Muslim
24 population was able to enter the DutchBat base in Potocari; yes or no?
25 A. It's true, and I said that earlier, that the Muslims had nowhere
1 else to go. They had to go to a safer place, and the only safe place at
2 that particular moment in time was in DutchBat compound. Do not forget
3 that that is also where we went to because we were no longer safe in
4 Srebrenica town.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 And now could the Court please produce D70 -- no, no, no, not
7 D70. I apologise. 1D72, page 3. The document number is 1D72.
8 Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4, please. The same page in English.
9 And I'm reading for the transcript just one part of paragraph 2,
10 where it says:
11 "On the 10th of July -- on the 10th of July, around 1600
12 hours --"
13 THE WITNESS: I can't see that.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The last paragraph in English, the
15 last paragraph on page 2 that we see in front of us. And I'm reading
16 from page 3, for the record, page 3, paragraph 2, in Serbian. And in
17 English, it's page 2, in the last paragraph, where it says:
18 "At about 1600 hours on 10 July 1995, Sergeant-Major van Schaik
19 ordered us to leave the shelter. We were told to form a line together
20 with the infantry in order to lead the refugees who were starting to
21 arrive in the base. I will draw a green dotted line to demonstrate the
22 line where we were standing. When I say 'refugees,' I mean Muslim
24 Can we have the following page in English. Thank you.
25 And now we are moving on to the fourth paragraph:
1 "On the same day --"
2 The third paragraph only has one sentence, and that's why I'm
3 moving on to paragraph 4. And the third one says:
4 "At that moment, the BSA was not in the compound in Potocari.
5 "On the same day, four-ton UN trucks arrived from the direction
6 of Bravo Company. The trucks were packed with refugees, men, women,
7 elderly people and children. In one day, the compound filled up with
8 refugees. I estimate the total at something like 2.000 people.
9 Bravo Company is stationed at Srebrenica."
10 Thank you, end of quote.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, for the record, it would be
12 necessary to indicate this is a statement of a witness,
13 Colonel Groenewegen, given to the OTP. I don't know the date.
14 Mr. Thayer.
15 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 29th September.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, before we get too bogged down in the
20 witness statement of another witness who's already testified here, I
21 would ask that General Tolimir provide for the Trial Chamber some idea of
22 where he's going with this line of questioning. If it is to somehow
23 impeach the witness's recollection of certain dates or events, that's
24 fine. We've got no problem with that, obviously. But if General Tolimir
25 is going to be challenging certain historically-established, fundamental,
1 and, as I understand it, heretofore unchallenged elements of this case,
2 for example, that the VRS entered Potocari for the first time in the
3 morning of 12 July, that the buses arrived in the afternoon of 12 July,
4 that the removal of the Muslim population began sometime in the afternoon
5 of 12 July and continued to the 13th of July, if he is going to be
6 challenging those fundamental elements of this case, we need to know that
7 now, because -- and I don't want to say much more in front of the
8 witness. But I think we need to hear from General Tolimir where he's
9 going with this line of questioning, because I can get up and do a lot
10 more stuff in redirect, as I know the Trial Chamber prefers, but at the
11 same time I think we can possibly save a lot of time if we just
12 understand what he intends to do with a witness statement of a witness
13 who's already been here and testified.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I asked the witness
16 whether he remembered if Muslim civilians had been in the base before
17 General Mladic asked for nobody to enter the base. If you remember, the
18 witness could not know exactly -- could not remember whether that was on
19 the 10th or the 11th, before or after the meeting with Karremans. Now I
20 quoted from a document to jog the witness's memory that that was on the
21 10th, and that in the morning the Muslims were still in the base in
22 Potocari, or, rather, they had already arrived in the base in Potocari.
23 Now I'm going to ask him whether they were or whether they were not.
24 And I would kindly ask Mr. Thayer not to put 20 questions in his
25 objection, because that has an impact on the further course of my
1 cross-examination of this witness.
2 Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The problem is that you are using a document -- a
4 statement of another witness. I don't know if that is the right way to
5 jog the memory of the present witness, Mr. Kingori, here in the
7 Mr. Thayer.
8 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, this is precisely my point.
9 If we look further into this witness statement, it is crystal
10 clear that in his OTP witness statement, Mr. Groenewegen was off by one
11 day about these fundamental events. He has chosen a witness statement in
12 which there is an obvious error that I don't think anybody disputes here,
13 and he's using that to cross-examine this witness to challenge his
14 credibility. That is why I objected when I did, Mr. President, before
15 this goes any further.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber is of the view that we have to be
18 very careful, if we put statements of other witnesses to a present
19 witness, because we are not in the position to check if there is a
20 mistake in this statement of the previous witness, Groenewegen, if he
21 testified in the same way when he was here testifying in this trial. We
22 can't do that, and this is not the proper way to challenge the
23 credibility of the present witness.
24 If you doubt what Mr. Kingori is telling you after your
25 questions, then you should put documents related to him as a witness;
1 perhaps his own statement, as you did before, or previous testimony in
2 another trial. But it is not appropriate to put this statement another
3 witness gave to the OTP to this witness to jog his memory, because we
4 can't check, at this point in time, which one is correct, and it's not
5 the duty of the Chamber to do that. We will give weight to all these
6 documents and all the evidence at the end of the trial.
7 I would like to ask Mr. Tolimir to remove this document from the
8 screen and go ahead with his questioning with this witness, in order to
9 save time.
10 Mr. Thayer.
11 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, again, I want to make the
12 Prosecution's general position clear from our perspective.
13 We don't have a problem, as we have not had a problem during the
14 trial, with General Tolimir using somebody else's statement. As we've
15 seen, he's done that with testimony, he's done that with witness
16 statements, and we have no problem with him doing that. That's fine with
17 us. As I said, the problem here, as I see it, is that we are dealing
18 with such central issues that simply cannot, under any reasonable
19 interpretation, as I see it, be in dispute, and I'm inviting the Defence
20 to let the Chamber know whether those issues are in dispute. I mean, if
21 it is in dispute in this case that the VRS entered Potocari on another
22 day, other than the morning of the 12th, or that the transportations
23 began on the 12th continued on the 13th and were completed by the end of
24 the 13th, then that really affects how we, to some degree, need to gauges
25 how to present our evidence, if that's in context. And, again, that's
1 part of the mischief I wanted to avoid with the use of -- the choice of
2 this particular document, and I just wanted to make our position clear
3 with respect to both of those matters, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
5 At this point in time, our position was a little bit different,
6 but that doesn't matter. We kindly ask Mr. Tolimir to proceed without
7 this document.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 We will introduce this document through other witnesses who were
10 there together with this witness. But I had to jog the witness's memory,
11 because he claims that he doesn't know when the refugees arrived in
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the Chamber has ruled on that. Jog
14 the memory of the witness with other documents, if you want.
15 Continue your cross-examination.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Q. My question for the witness: Were the United Nations involved in
18 transporting the refugees to Potocari in their vehicles before the 11th,
19 before the Karremans-Mladic meeting took place? Thank you.
20 A. There was no involvement of the UN transport in bringing
21 people -- the IDPs to Potocari.
22 Q. Thank you. And now can you please say what was it that
23 Colonel Karremans said at the meeting that you attended, together with
24 the Muslims? What did he say? What would transpire on the 11th, how the
25 developments would evolve? We heard about the ultimatums. What
1 ultimatum did he address at the army, and what were the contents of that
2 particular ultimatum; do you remember?
3 A. Your Honour, I believe I've already said about the ultimatums.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed, we have this answer on page 48, line 14,
5 to 49, line 6. Sorry. 46, line 14, through 47, line 6.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 I asked the witness everything else, not about the ultimatums. I
8 wanted to know what Karremans said to the Muslims, because that was a
9 meeting with the local Muslims. What else did he tell them about what
10 would happen on the 11th? Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just to clarify, Mr. Tolimir, this is now a new
12 question. The previous one was exactly related to ultimatums. This is
13 now a new question, and we would like to hear the answer of the witness.
14 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, when the Muslims were told about the
15 ultimatums in this particular meeting, they were a bit apprehensive.
16 They were not sure that the BSA side was sincere in what they were
17 saying, that they would give a safe passage if they hand over all their
18 weapons. And I remember -- I think it was Ramiz Becirovic asking
19 Colonel Karremans whether he actually believed what the BSA have said.
20 For sure, even for us, we could not believe, you know, what they had
22 The other concern that the Muslims had was on the air-strikes.
23 When Colonel Karremans told them that the UN had given the BSA an
24 ultimatum of stopping to shell Srebrenica -- that they stop shelling
25 Srebrenica, that they withdraw to the former positions beyond the
1 cease-fire line, the Muslim -- and that if they don't do that by the next
2 morning, at around 6.00 a.m.
3 aircraft to come and attack their positions. And I remember the Muslims
4 doubting whether the UN would be able to do that. First of all, whether
5 the BSA will withdraw; secondly, whether, if they refuse to withdraw,
6 whether the UN will be able to carry out the air attacks. So these were
7 some of the main concerns.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 Q. Was there an agreement reached between the United Nations and the
10 Muslims about co-operation during the NATO aviation air-strikes? Did
11 Karremans say anything to the Muslims about that?
12 A. Maybe you may explain a bit. Co-operation in what terms?
13 Q. Well, for example, that Muslims should be allowed to pull out
14 from the positions that the NATO would bomb, that a death zone would be
15 created around Srebrenica. Did you hear any such thing? Thank you.
16 A. I don't remember -- I cannot be able to recall any co-operation
17 in the way that you are putting it. All I know is that we had given the
18 grid references to the UN of the BSA positions that we already had. That
19 included the artillery weapons, the tanks, and all that. So the UN
20 headquarters already had those. But as to whether the Muslims would
21 co-operate with the UN, I do not -- I do not recall that very well.
22 Q. Thank you. Did Karremans try to convince the Muslims to try and
23 pull out from a certain area because the NATO aviation would turn such
24 zone into a death zone? Do you remember that?
25 A. Your Honour, I don't remember that.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Could the witness please be shown 1D239, 19239. It's an excerpt
3 from a show that was broadcast by the Radio Television of Serbia.
4 Do we need to see the clip once again, Your Honours? The time is
5 very restricted. Would it suffice for me to read the transcript of the
6 show? Maybe the witness can read the transcript for himself, because the
7 transcript is in English. Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The transcript is on the screen now. Could you
9 indicate which part of the English version the witness should read?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 He can read the entire transcript, and I would like the second
12 paragraph to be entered into the record because I'm going to read it,
13 with your leave, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should decide what you want to do. You asked
15 the witness to read it. Then you should wait a moment and then put a
16 question to the witness.
17 The witness has read it. Put a question to the witness.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. Does information conveyed by Meholjic and Nuhanovic in the
20 passage you just read about the so-called death zone tally with your
21 statement? Thank you. Does this reflect what you know and what you
22 heard at the meeting? Thank you.
23 A. Your Honour, it does not. There's nowhere that we were told
24 about a death zone where two, four, a hundred feet, or whatever, would be
25 bombarded. We were not aware of that. All I know is that we had clearly
1 given the grid references of the BSA positions, the tanks and all that.
2 Secondly, there was another British officer who was also
3 giving --
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If you want an answer then you should listen to
6 the answer. The witness stopped because you were in discussion with your
7 legal adviser.
8 Please continue your answer.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
10 They also saw another officer from, I think, the British Army.
11 We used to call them --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you,
13 Mr. President.
14 THE WITNESS: [Overlapping speakers] ... who actually was also
15 giving the same grid references, in as far as he could be able to get the
16 BSA positions. So the UN headquarter, as such, or the NATO had those
17 grid references. We do not require to declare one area a death zone, or
18 death trap, or whatever, and there is nothing like that normally in such
19 a condition, and especially where the UN attacks are concerned. The
20 bombardment these days is not on how big an area you bombard. It is on
21 how accurate you hit the target that you want.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 Q. Please tell the Trial Chamber, what was your source of
24 information about the upcoming bombardment of the VRS positions around
25 Srebrenica? Thank you.
1 A. Your Honour, I hope you're talking about the air-strikes, which
2 we actually got from the UN headquarters. We are talking about through
3 the chain all the way up to Zagreb
4 Colonel Karremans also had gotten the same, and that is exactly what he
5 was conveying to both sides. He had conveyed the same to both sides,
6 that is, to the Muslim side and to the BSA side, that if those conditions
7 were not met, there would be air-strikes. And, in fact, we had requested
8 for air-strikes much, much earlier, when the attacks started on the
9 enclave, so we thought -- to us, we thought the UN had let us down, in
10 that could they have come earlier and in full force, that we had
11 requested, maybe the attack -- or the suffering of the people there could
12 have been minimised, or the BSA could have been forced into a negotiating
13 table so that we stop the war on Srebrenica. So it was -- it was a
14 surprise that it delayed. Secondly, even when it happened, it did not
15 hit the proper targets that we had given. Thirdly, it was almost --
16 well, you know, it was of little or no consequence.
17 Q. Thank you. Were the Muslim soldiers withdrawing from the area
18 denoted by Colonel Karremans as the area that would come under
19 air-strikes? Thank you.
20 A. I think my answer here would be: I do not know, because I was
21 not in those areas that you are talking about. I don't know whether they
23 Q. Thank you. Did Muslims ever request to be evacuated from
24 Srebrenica and Zepa? Thank you.
25 A. Your Honour, during my stay there we never received any request
1 from the Muslims to be evacuated from Srebrenica, not any time -- not
2 during meetings, not even when we were discussing at higher levels. No,
3 there's no single time that the Muslims expressed their desire to be
4 removed from the enclave. In other words, the only issue that we got
5 were from the BSA side, saying that the Muslims should leave the enclave,
6 and if they don't, they will remove them from there.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Could the Court please produce P990, marked for identification.
9 P990, marked for identification. Thank you.
10 Here we have it in Serbian and in English.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. This was written on 9 July 1995
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina, personally to Alija Izetbegovic and to Rasim Delic,
14 the general, by the president of Srebrenica municipality, Osman Suljic.
15 Did you know Osman Suljic? Did you have any contacts with him?
16 A. Yes, I had.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the record, this document is in evidence and
18 not marked for identification. It was received.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I didn't
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Go ahead, please.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. You see what Mr. Osman Suljic says here. Did you know him or did
24 you hear of him; yes or no?
25 A. I knew him.
1 Q. Here is what he writes to Izetbegovic and Rasim Delic:
2 "Since the aggressor army entered at 1800 hours into the town
3 from the direction of Zeleni Jadar, and our military command is
4 dissolving, as are the members of the 28th Division of the land force,
5 and they are no longer able to do anything to prevent the aggressor
6 forces from entering the town, chaos and panic reign, so it is up to the
7 civilian authorities to make the last unpopular step to save the
8 population. And it is urgent that a meeting be arranged at the highest
9 state and military level of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina with
10 the Serbian aggressor side, with the view to finding a possibility to
11 open a corridor for evacuating the population to the nearest free
12 territory under the control of international organisations. We need an
13 urgent answer, not later than by 2400 hours."
14 My question is: Did you, the UNMOs and the UNPROFOR, know that
15 the Muslim authorities had requested an urgent meeting with the Serbs to
16 arrange the evacuation of their population from Srebrenica already on the
17 9th of July?
18 A. Your Honour, we were not aware of that.
19 Q. Is it possible that the Sarajevo Sector headquarters knew or
20 Colonel Karremans -- is it possible they knew about this demand by the
21 civilians from Srebrenica addressed to Alija Izetbegovic and Rasim Delic?
22 A. Your Honour, that would be speculation. But also during the
23 meeting that we had with Colonel Karremans, he never mentioned about
24 evacuation requested by the Muslims to this Republic of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. We were not aware of that, and it was not mentioned.
1 Evacuation was becoming, obviously, an automatic thing to do,
2 because already the whole place had been bombarded. And as he says in
3 this letter, they are left with no option other than to evacuate the
4 people. And it's during this time that, really, we were looking for
5 alternatives so that we could save a lot of people from further problems.
6 So it is in order. The request, I think, as far as I'm
7 concerned, was okay, though we never got to know it.
8 Q. Did you know that in this period on the 9th, when this letter was
9 written, there was an agreement between the civilian and military
10 authorities on the separation of the population, that they would send to
11 you, to the UNPROFOR, and another part of the population that would go
12 with Becirovic to attempt a breakout? Did you have that information?
13 A. Your Honour, the way these things happened is in a way that I
14 don't think there was ever a meeting or people sat down; that is, the
15 Muslim side sat down and discussed and agreed that, You people follow
16 this route, You people follow this route. If there was such an
17 arrangement, it was that automatic response to a situation which was
18 deteriorating by the day, in that those who were able and those who knew,
19 and especially the men, if I may say that, those who knew that if they go
20 towards the BSA side, obviously they'll be eliminated, they had to find
21 their own way out of that problem.
22 Now, for the others, you know, to say that they had agreed that
23 the others relocate to Potocari, that, to me, would be actually -- I
24 would not be able to say that is exactly what happened, because the way
25 they came in from all the villages, it was not like it was pre-planned.
1 Those coming from the Swedish shelter came after their place had really
2 been fully -- almost fully bombarded and taken over by the BSA, so they
3 started streaming into Srebrenica village, itself, thinking that it was
4 safer. Then it became very unsafe. And later on, now they had to go
5 down all the way to Potocari. So I think it was a reaction to an
6 already-existing problem caused by the BSA, that the Muslims had no
7 alternative. In fact, they were left with no alternative.
8 Q. Thank you. But that's not what I asked you, whether they did or
9 didn't. I want to discuss your statement again.
10 We need P992, page 6, relating the events of 9 July 1995.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which page is it in English?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's page 6 in English as well, or,
13 rather, 8. We're reading paragraph 9, line 11, in English. And in
14 Serbian, it's page 6, the last paragraph:
15 "From our information, there were no military targets in town."
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't have the right page, I think.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's the previous page in English.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which paragraph?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Line 7 of the paragraph that begins
20 with the date "9 July," which is bolded.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I didn't receive --
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The mike was not on:
25 "According to our knowledge, there were no military targets in
1 town. I did not understand why they were bombarding the town in such a
2 way, and the only explanation I had is that it was aimed to harass the
3 population to bring them to flee."
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And now your question.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. My question is: Did you have occasion to see in the town any
7 military from the BH Army?
8 A. Yes, I saw them.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness please repeat?
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: He said:
11 "Yes, I saw them."
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. "Could they be a target," was my question. I'm sorry, I had to
14 consult my legal advice.
15 A. Your Honour, this is just what we saw. And our reports were,
16 I think, about five or so who had uniform, and we reported that we saw
17 them. And, really, for any army, that would not form a lucrative target,
18 where you could use all your artillery, about 250 shells of artillery
19 weapons or in a place just because you want to kill five soldiers.
20 Secondly, some of the targeted areas, like the hospital and the
21 market, really there were no soldiers, as far as we knew. So that is why
22 I discount what you have said, because if you're directing towards that,
23 the five soldiers that we saw, or whatever the numbers, the few soldiers
24 we saw and reported on, that cannot form a lucrative target for any army.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether the BiH Army used any targets
1 or any facilities in the city of Srebrenica
2 A. The only thing that I can say they had in Srebrenica was the
3 Communications Centre above our PTT building, which was, I think, about a
4 room or one and a half rooms, just small rooms up there with some
5 communication gadgets, VHF radios, just that. There was practically
6 nothing else.
7 Q. Thank you. And if that room is used to maintain communications
8 with Sarajevo
9 room and a half, that that is not a command; however, they could still
10 hear the conversation between Becirovic and Izetbegovic? Thank you.
11 A. That is okay, sir, and what I can add is that before I always
12 conducted, as a general you know this -- before it was conducted, there
13 was a lot of intelligence worked carried out. And when you're hitting a
14 target, you already know the kind of target you're hitting. And if that
15 communication equipment could be confused for a bigger area or a bigger
16 communication equipment or communication centre, maybe that was wrong on
17 the BSA side. But the kind of attack that occurred in that enclave, and
18 especially if I can zero on to Srebrenica town itself, was really more
19 than what could have been necessary to dismantle a communication centre.
20 Secondly, the extent to which the BSA went with their own
21 soldiers on the enclave really needed they needed much more than
22 dismantling that communications centre, because there was no point of
23 bombing the Swedish shelter village, there was no point of bombing the UN
24 compound in Potocari, there was no point in bombarding all the other
25 villages in Srebrenica enclave.
1 Thirdly, and that is maybe the last part of this, the onslaught
2 on Srebrenica was pre-planned, as is evidenced by the reports that we
3 already have and in the meetings that were already there, so -- and they
4 had made their aim very, very clear. They want to remove the Muslims
5 from amongst the Serbs. They want the Serbs to remain there alone.
6 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell the Defence and the
7 Trial Chamber what documents are you talking about? Maybe you can show
8 them to us. It seems that you've been quoting and basing your
9 assessments and evaluations on some documents, so could you please show
10 them to us? Thank you.
11 A. Maybe you can say which documents you are talking about. If you
12 say a particular, maybe we can request it be shown here. Which one do
13 you have in mind?
14 Q. You have just said that things had been planned in advance. Are
15 these your assessments, or evaluations, or do you have more specific
16 knowledge and information about that? Thank you.
17 A. Your Honour, it's all documented, and it can be shown. We had
18 meetings, we had -- we had previous meetings with Colonel Vukovic and
19 even Major Nikolic, where they indicated the same, and it's documented in
20 my statement and also in some of the situation reports that we sent.
21 Secondly, it's when Colonel Vukovic said that they do not want
22 Muslim fundamentalists to live in their midst. He's quoted as such, and
23 we wrote it as such. It is available.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us whether Vukovic said that he
25 didn't want fundamentalists or Muslims to live in their midst? Do you
1 know if Colonel Vukovic lives in a mixed marriage or not; do you know
3 A. That may not be in my interest to know. But what I know is that
4 he mentioned that, that Muslims would not be allowed to live amongst the
5 Serbs and that Srebrenica cannot be left to stay with the Muslims. That
6 is well documented.
7 Q. Thank you. You've just told us that a reference was made to
8 fundamentalists. I'm asking you now: Was there any way for you to learn
9 that neither Major Nikolic or Vukovic were either -- not even commanders,
10 but at much lower level in the Bratunac Brigade, and that the only person
11 who had command responsibility in the Bratunac Brigade and who only
12 appeared as an accused at this Tribunal is Blagojevic? Thank you.
13 A. What we knew was that Colonel Vukovic was a senior officer in the
14 BSA hierarchy, and also Major Nikolic was also a local commander and he
15 represented the interests of the BSA. Thirdly, even when
16 General Ratko Mladic came in, he was accompanied by these senior
17 officers, so he had no reason -- we had no reason at all to doubt that
18 these were senior officers in the BSA hierarchy. And, also, whatever was
19 being passed through Colonel Vukovic and Major Nikolic to us from the BSA
20 side, because we had reason to believe that it was coming from the BSA
21 Command, actually is exactly what happened. So even now, I've got no
22 doubt that they're working for the upper hierarchy. You may not be able
23 to have every general coming to tell you something, but he has these
24 lower people who can be available and can communicate to the relevant
25 people, and that is what Colonel Vukovic and Major Nikolic were doing.
1 Q. Thank you. General Mladic spoke to the Muslims, and he told them
2 that he could choose where to go, any of the four sides of the world. We
3 heard that here. Was his decision more important than Vukovic's or
4 Nikolic's opinion? And the latter two communicated with you -- were in
5 contact with you while you were in Srebrenica, so whose opinion is more
6 important, theirs or General Mladic's opinion?
7 A. Your Honour, General Ratko Mladic's decision and order came --
8 you know, or request came much later, after what we had discussed with
9 Colonel Vukovic and Major Nikolic. So what came later is what we can
10 take, but we cannot ignore what had been told to us earlier by the two
11 senior officers. And, furthermore, when General Ratko Mladic is talking
12 about this, we need to ask ourselves, when was it, was it before, during,
13 or after the onslaught to the enclave, because if it is coming after the
14 onslaught on the enclave, surely, here these guys had no choice at all
15 other than to get out of the enclave.
16 Q. Thank you. The Trial Chamber here in the Tribunal is best suited
17 to be the judge of that, because they've been privy to all the cases.
18 My question now is this: Did you have a language barrier when
19 you spoke to Nikolic and Vukovic? And if that was the case, who was your
21 A. Your Honour, whenever we met with the BSA side, we had Mr. Peter,
22 who was our interpreter.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 And can we now look at the Serbian language version, page 5,
25 paragraph 5.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you move to the next topic, I would like
2 to ask a question to make something more clear.
3 Sir, you answered one question - it is on page 67 - in the
4 following way:
5 "Secondly, it's when Colonel Vukovic said that they do not want
6 Muslim fundamentalists to live in their midst."
7 Then Mr. Tolimir asked you:
8 "Can you please tell us whether Vukovic said that he didn't want
9 fundamentalists or Muslims to live in their midst?"
10 And then your answer was that:
11 "But what I know is that he mentioned that Muslims would not be
12 allowed to live amongst the Serbs."
13 There's a slight change from the words "Muslim fundamentalists"
14 to "Muslims." Did Mr. Vukovic refer to Muslim fundamentalists or to
15 Muslims; do you recall?
16 THE WITNESS: He mentioned both.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And he used the word "fundamentalist"?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, he used the point "fundamentalist," and it's
19 somewhere where it can be gotten.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
21 Now, it's the end of the second session. We must have the second
22 break now, but before we rise, I would like to ask the Registrar to make
23 one additional remark for the record about one exhibit.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 P85 -- I apologise. P845B and C have been provisionally
1 admitted, pending translation, as two separate exhibits by mistake.
2 P85B -- I'm sorry, P845B is the translation of P845C. Therefore, P845C,
3 65 ter 3006D, has now been renumbered as P845B, and the former P845B,
4 65 ter 3006C has been attached as a translation. The number P845C has
5 been erased from the record.
6 Thank you.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I see agreement from the bench of the Prosecutor.
8 We have to adjourn now, and we'll resume at half past 2.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 2.02 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Let us continue where we left off. In e-court, page 5 of this
14 statement we're looking at, paragraph 5 in Serbian. And in English
15 kindly show page 7, and then we'll identify the paragraph. It's about
16 the PTT. In English, it's paragraph 3.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. I will quote to you what you said:
19 "That day, as indicated in the attachments 4 and 5, we indeed had
20 a meeting held in our office at the PTT building, at the request of Chief
21 of Staff Ramiz Becirovic. He requested from Major Franken, deputy
22 commander of DutchBat, to recover the small arms held by DutchBat in
23 order protect themselves. He did not request access to their heavy
24 weapons. He added, according to the notes I have kept, that his forces
25 would refrain from any provocative activities and that they do not intend
1 to fight. He also requested air-strikes."
2 Did you find this passage?
3 A. Yes, Your Honour, I've read it.
4 Q. Did you give these small arms to Ramiz Becirovic that he asked
6 A. In the first place, he was not asking us, as observers, to give
7 him the small arms, because they were kept by DutchBat. So it is not us
8 that he was requesting. Secondly, the request was turned down.
9 Therefore, they could not be given the small arms.
10 Q. Thank you. Did he ask for air support instead of heavy weapons?
11 Because it says here he did not request access to heavy weapons, but he
12 did ask for air-strikes. Was that a trade-off?
13 A. Your Honour, the way you use the word "trade-off" is not
14 applicable here, in that requesting for air-strikes, there was nothing
15 wrong with that at all, as far as we were concerned, because it was
16 already desperate -- getting desperate in the enclave. And, furthermore,
17 we had already considered about air-strikes, as I mentioned earlier. So
18 it's not an issue of trade-off. Furthermore, trade-off between what and
20 Q. Thank you. I did not ask you what you thought. I am asking
21 about what he thought. He didn't ask for heavy weapons, but he did ask
22 for air-strikes. Which force is greater, air-strikes or heavy weapons,
23 in terms of fire-power? Just tell me your opinion, as observer.
24 A. Your Honour, mine is not exactly an opinion, it's a reality, in
25 that the UN was there to ensure Srebrenica was safe -- to ensure safety,
1 or the people who were inside that enclave. And so when it got to a
2 situation whereby these same people are being bombarded by the BSA from
3 all sides, it was a concern for both the UN and even the people we were
4 to protect inside Srebrenica. So for them to request for air-strikes,
5 really, there was nothing wrong with that. They are not the ones who are
6 coming to make the air-strikes. If it was for the heavy weapons, they're
7 the ones to use the heavy weapons. But at this time it is the
8 air-strikes from the UN aircraft.
9 Secondly, you asked about the fire-power of aircraft and heavy
10 weapons. It depends on what type of aircraft and what type of ground --
11 that is, artillery power. So as far as I am concerned, the aircraft have
12 got heavier fire-power, but I said it depends on -- I dare to say you
13 cannot compare directly just like that.
14 Q. Did you convey Ramiz's request to your command, the request for
16 A. Your Honour, if I may say it a second time, we, as observers, had
17 already considered that; not the request from the Muslim side, but the
18 need for air-strikes against the BSA positions. So we didn't need to be
19 probed by anybody.
20 Q. Does that mean that your reports do not reflect what Ramiz said
21 at that meeting to you, to the other people who were there at the meeting
22 in the PTT building? You can tell me which day it was. Was it the 6th?
23 A. Your Honour, the -- I can't remember what was put in the
24 situation reports, but at least these requests, we got it, and I think we
25 conveyed to the higher headquarters. But I'm not sure which report we
1 put it in.
2 Q. Thank you. We can see here that the PTT could arguably be a
3 target if meetings are held there with Muslims and there are meetings
4 held there and there are also premises of the various organisations.
5 Could the PTT be a military target?
6 A. Your Honour, the PTT could not have formed a lucrative target for
7 the BSA. But according to the way they were bombarding the place, any
8 place -- anything was, to them, a target, and that is why they were
9 bombarding everywhere else, including the market, including the hospital,
10 including the villages. So anything to them was -- as far as we were
11 concerned, was a target. They wanted to destroy the whole place.
12 Secondly, the fact that we were holding meetings there, actually,
13 should have informed them not to target that particular building, because
14 they know UN personnel are also in those areas. They are holding
15 meetings with the Muslims, with an aim of ensuring that the situation
16 does not deteriorate. And even some of those meetings, obviously, we
17 were conveying issues given to us by the BSA in meetings with them, so
18 they knew that we were going to hold meetings with the BSA, so they
19 didn't have to target that particular building, well knowing very well
20 UNMOs who are staying there. Secondly, we would hold meetings, unless
21 they wanted us to be target and so on.
22 Q. Thank you. Since the post office, in your view, is not a
23 military target, and we will look at all kinds of military targets in
24 another area, tell me, how is it possible that three years later, in the
25 aggression of NATO against Yugoslavia
1 proclaimed to be a military target by NATO and a large number of
2 civilians was killed? How come that the post office is not a military
3 target, because it serves as a hub of communication between the military
4 command in Srebrenica and the command in Sarajevo? Following your logic,
5 could I say that all the casualties in Iran, in Afghanistan
6 theatres of war, were planned by the Muslims, because you stated a moment
7 ago that Serbs pre-planned everything? Could that logic be applied,
8 then, to NATO?
9 A. Your Honour, the reasoning I have, and the one I've already used,
10 is that considering the fire-power that was used there and the targets
11 which were being aimed at by the Bosnian Serb Army, it's difficult to
12 tell whether they were targeting that building just because of the
13 communication equipment which were there. You talked about a
14 television -- television equipment in Afghanistan and all that, but for
15 sure that kind of bombardment did not -- was not warranted, and
16 especially considering the situation in the whole of that enclave, that
17 these people did not have the arms and they actually were not even
18 resisting. The resistance that was there was actually minimal. So,
19 really, the point of bombarding heavily that particular place was not
21 Q. How many days did they resist, and did the UNPROFOR help them
23 A. Sir, what I can say is that I don't think the UNPROFOR was there
24 to help the Muslims resist the attack from the BSA. Secondly, they tried
25 to resist for some time, but, of course, they did not have the fire-power
1 that the BSA had. So it was a resistance that was a difficult world.
2 And they give in after, I think, four days -- two, three, or four days or
3 so, and that is the time the enclave fell. And the rest is well
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Can we now see P957 [Realtime transcript read in error "P977"].
7 That refers to military targets and the post office. And then we will
8 come back to the issue you just mentioned, the Muslim resistance and the
9 support of the UNPROFOR in that, if any. Thank you.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. We now see a document sent by the Defence Ministry, the Defence
12 Ministry's section in Srebrenica, on 22nd February 1995, to the
13 Secretariat of Defence in Tuzla
14 "Subject: Overview of business premises used by the Army of
16 It refers to the premises used by the military forces in
18 Could you please bring back the previous document so the witness
19 can follow.
20 I'm repeating for the record. This is a document from the
21 Department of Defence in the municipality of Srebrenica
22 February 1995 to the secretariat in Tuzla, where they report which
23 premises in town they're using for the purposes of the army. And they
25 "In accordance with your document, we hereby send you a list of
1 office space used by the Armed Forces of the Republic of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the territory of Srebrenica
3 I'll just indicate a few buildings in Srebrenica and in Potocari,
4 because you spoke mostly about the shelling of Srebrenica and Potocari.
5 This is old town Srebrenica:
6 "Lovac feature."
8 "Command of the 8th Operative Group, Srebrenica."
9 And C:
10 "UPI Enterprise
11 "D. Total area covers 275 square metres, and the whole area is
13 And then the next one says:
14 "Future is used as command's command base."
15 And, second:
16 "All headquarters of the Territorial Defence ..."
17 Then let's move to Potocari:
18 "280th Mountain Brigade is using a family home owned by
19 Meho Hrvacic in Potocari."
20 Another family home, another family house.
21 And then you say you can't understand why they targeted Potocari
22 and Srebrenica when there were no military targets there.
23 Can you see, from this document, that there were military targets
24 in Srebrenica and Potocari?
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just for the record, there was a minor mistake
1 with the number in the transcript, although Mr. Tolimir has indicated the
2 right number. On page 75, line 15, it is said "P977," but, in fact, it
3 is P957, what we are looking at.
4 And now Mr. Witness.
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
6 The list is self-explanatory. I've never seen it before. This
7 is the first time I'm seeing it.
8 Secondly, even the way he's explained, like in Srebrenica,
9 itself, we have the operations room, which was actually a communications
10 centre, but I still maintain what I said earlier, in that some of these
11 targets really, according to my own assessment, according to how I would
12 operate as a military person, these would not form a basis of bombarding
13 the whole place and actually shelling it throughout to finish the whole
14 enclave. It won't, it won't.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Was this document shown to you in the Popovic case?
17 A. Your Honour, it may have been shown. I'm not very sure. I can't
18 remember it.
19 Q. Thank you. Before testifying here, did you review all the
20 documents you had the Popovic case? I think the Prosecutor asked you the
21 same thing in direct examination.
22 A. Yes, I did, I reviewed all of them. And I would like to add,
23 because you're asking questions on the same issues, these ones, that is,
24 the communication area in PTT building, compare it -- being a military
25 person, compare it with a unit, that is, a battalion, and then see the
1 difference that I'm actually talking about, in that this, to me, does not
2 even come to even a section. There may be a section, yeah, a section
3 plus, a company -- no, not even a company; it cannot. And for a whole
4 army to come and combat and bombard a place because of a few
5 communication gadgets, as far as I knew about them, because I saw that
6 place, I have been up there, to me it did not make that much sense.
7 Secondly, if you hear of a command or a headquarter being in a
8 certain family house, really, what are we talking about? A family house?
9 What would be there in such a headquarter? We're talking maybe, if
10 there's anything, just a few people, maybe two, three, four, five, or
11 something like that. Does that warrant these kind of bombardment? Those
12 are some of the questions we need to ask ourselves, instead of just
13 targeting the areas which are listed as headquarters. Headquarters of
14 what? What are the number of people who could be expected in that
15 particular house at any moment? What kind of equipment would be there?
16 Then compare with a regular army, with a battalion, surely. And these,
17 the BSA, were not even their own battalion, because they had the support
18 of all the heavy weapons. It was more than a brigade. So because of the
19 heavy weapons that they had, they had tanks, more than a troop of, you
20 know, tanks, artillery. You know, it was heavy, a lot of it.
21 Everything -- they had everything. And you cannot compare that
22 organisation, that equipping, with what you are showing us here.
23 I know it is very difficult to understand some of these things,
24 but it is not fathomable, you know, to equate something like this. The
25 feature, you know, if I got the feature of the Territorial Defence Staff
1 of Srebrenica, how many soldiers were in Srebrenica, itself? Very few,
2 if any, very few.
3 You know, the reason why -- if you allow me just to explain a
4 bit. If you go to the BSA side, they had everything.
5 Okay, carry on.
6 Q. Thank you. I am aware of your position and your opinion, as
7 presented in this court, but I asked you about something entirely
8 different, and that's why we'll move on.
9 You said a moment ago that the Muslims were putting up
10 resistance. Now, I'll read to you from the transcript of evidence given
11 by members of the UNPROFOR, who stated -- testified they participated in
12 the war on the Muslim side.
13 Page 3475, lines 7 and 8, evidence given by Mr. Franken on 9
14 July. He says:
15 "I said it earlier. We were in a state of war with the VRS, and
16 we opened fire together with the Muslim Army."
17 You can check that on the transcript. It's on the left side.
18 You can check it.
19 And if it's not, can it be shown to the witness?
20 Further on, when the Defence asked:
21 "Was it your mandate to destroy the weapons of the VRS and go to
22 war with the VRS after the green order."
23 The response on page 3484, he said:
24 "No, it was not within our mandate. Still, my mandate changed
25 significantly from the moment when the UN ordered me to defend
1 Srebrenica, and that was the reason why I gave the green order to that
3 Now, based on what I just put to you, since Major Franken
4 commanded UNPROFOR forces in Srebrenica in the absence of Karremans, does
5 his evidence about the green order and that he was in war -- at war with
6 the VRS run counter to the evidence you gave here?
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We'll have that part of the transcript on the
9 THE WITNESS: I don't have it.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Not yet, but it will come up immediately.
11 Mr. Tolimir was referring to page 3475, lines 8 and 7. 3475.
12 But, in fact, it is line 8 and the next lines.
13 Sir, do you see that part? It is now marked in yellow.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can see it.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you firstly comment on this first part, and
16 then you will be shown the other part of that answer.
17 THE WITNESS: Yes. Your Honour, I can comment and say that this
18 was given by -- if it is -- because I've never seen this -- is given by
19 Major Franken, as we have been told, and if they decided to fight
20 together with the Muslims, that was not communicated to us. We were not
21 privy to this information. And, secondly, I don't think it was in their
22 mandate, but at least they had a mandate to protect the enclave.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let's see page 3484.
24 Mr. Tolimir, which line are you referring to?
25 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it's lines 1 and 2.
1 On 3483, it's line 25, and up to page 3484, line 3 or 4.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
3 Now the witness has the opportunity to read that part.
4 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, I think the one who was answering this
5 question has answered everything. They said the mandate changed and they
6 were ordered to do something, and they continued to do it. So I don't
7 see now the question I should answer there. It's so answered. There was
8 a change in mandate.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
10 Mr. Tolimir.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. Are you aware that the UNPROFOR and the Muslims acted together
13 against the VRS and VRS targets, beginning with the 5th of July, as
14 evidenced by the testimony of certain witnesses?
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
16 MR. THAYER: Once again, Mr. President -- pardon the frog in my
17 throat. If we could have a citation, which witnesses he's talking about
18 when he refers to the 5th of July as evidenced by the testimony of
19 certain witnesses. Again, we have no problem with cross-examination,
20 General Tolimir pursuing whatever line he wants, but we just want to know
21 what the basis is for this question that he's putting to the witness, if
22 he's going to be referring to certain witnesses.
23 And, again, I just want to refer back to some prior questions.
24 There was a line of questions about private testimony that was before the
25 Trial Chamber, and again we don't want to restrict General Tolimir's
1 testimony. If he can just give us, for example, the PW numbers of those
2 witnesses, we've got no problem with him putting questions. I understand
3 we don't want to put the names, but I just want our position to be clear.
4 We don't want to cut off that cross-examination. We just want to know
5 what the basis is, that's all.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
7 Mr. Tolimir, can you help the Chamber and the Prosecution with
8 more detailed information?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Certainly. Thank you,
10 Mr. President. Thank you, Mr. Thayer.
11 This was said by a witness who was an UNPROFOR commander, and he
12 said "beginning with the 5th," and that was in corroboration with
13 Franken's evidence. I agree with that. He was confirming Franken's
14 testimony, and he said "the 5th." I think Mr. Thayer will remember who
15 he was, and we can see that from the transcript of his cross-examination.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please tell us the name of this witness. We have
17 heard lots of witnesses, and we would like to know the name, if you --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] General Nicolai.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And where do we find that part in the transcript
20 of his testimony?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My adviser will find it and give
22 you a reference while we continue working. I do not speak English. I'm
23 working from my memory. I think I remember he said the 5th. It's in the
24 transcript. Whether he was mistaken or not, I really don't know. I can
25 ask the witness.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. When was the green order given, if he knows? When was it given,
3 and when did it come into force?
4 A. Your Honour, I'm not aware of a green order, whether it was given
5 or not.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 I understand the answer. Regardless of the answer, my assistant
8 will find these references and provide them to the OTP and the
9 Trial Chamber. The witness doesn't need them, because he doesn't know
10 about the order anyway.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Go ahead, please.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You said here, in your statement, that a helicopter crashed. You
14 said you heard about it and then you saw it, and Ramiz Becirovic was
15 somehow involved. Can you tell the Trial Chamber all that you know about
16 this incident? And if you can't find it, I'll -- and if you can't
17 remember, I'll find it in your statement and quote.
18 You said it on page 4 of your statement, paragraph 6, lines 1
19 through 7. That was in Serbian. Sorry, in Serbian, that's page 4,
20 paragraph 6, lines 1 through 7; P992.
21 Can it be shown to the witness, if necessary? If not, the
22 witness can just answer. In English, it's page 4, paragraph 3.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's on the screen now. And what is your
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] My question is -- perhaps the
1 Prosecutor should have the floor first.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think, Mr. Tolimir -- [Overlapping speakers]
3 I think Mr. Tolimir is expecting that Mr. Thayer knows exactly to
4 which part of the document he's referring.
5 MR. THAYER: If it's the portion referring to the helicopter
6 crashing, which Colonel Kingori has testified about already, it's two
7 pages from this one, page 4 of the document, itself; page 6, I guess, of
8 e-court. So if we just go forward two pages, it's the fourth paragraph
9 down, I believe.
10 There it is, the sentence: "Once he called for a meeting ..."
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Thayer.
12 Mr. Tolimir.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. You've already read it. I don't need to quote.
15 Colonel Vukovic had told you that a helicopter crashed and what
16 happened happened, and you said you later heard it from the people, and
17 you later saw Becirovic injured. Can you tell us if you reported to your
18 superiors about it, and did you make inquiries about what this helicopter
19 flight was all about?
20 A. Your Honour, we reported about all this. After we were informed
21 by Colonel Vukovic and got to know that Ramiz was injured, we realised,
22 actually, a helicopter must have crashed, and we conveyed this to our
24 Q. Thank you. Were you aware that the Muslims were arming
25 themselves by air-lifts, using helicopters, at the time when this
1 helicopter crashed, and that the command in Srebrenica kept in touch with
2 the command in Tuzla
4 A. Your Honour, we were not aware. But Colonel Vukovic and,
5 I think, Major Nikolic brought these issues to us, and we started the
6 investigations so that we could convey the same with a bit of certainty.
7 But we could not be able to get to know whether it was true. There was
8 re-arming going on of the Muslim side. We could not for sure know
9 whether it was happening, because we never witnessed any.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir and all others, we have to adjourn
11 now for the week. I'm very sorry, Witness. The cross-examination hasn't
12 finished, and the Prosecution has certainly the opportunity for
13 re-examination, so that it is necessary that you come back on Monday for
14 the continuation of your examination.
15 Have you any idea, Mr. Tolimir, about the remaining time for your
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 We will finish the cross-examination within the first session of
19 the first following day.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. This is encouraging.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I was just told that your expectation was to be
23 able to leave today, but it is not possible, and we can't sit a longer
24 time today because of other commitments, so that there is no other option
25 as to continue your examination on Monday. I'm very sorry for that.
1 On Monday, in the afternoon, 2.15. We adjourn.
2 [The witness stands down]
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.16 p.m.
4 to be reconvened on Monday, the 20th day of
5 September, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.