1 Monday, 23 January 2012
2 [Pre-Defence Conference]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.59 p.m.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom and
7 outside the courtroom who are listening to these procedures. Due to a
8 technical problem we have a delayed start today. I hope the system is
9 now working well.
10 As this is the beginning of the Defence case, I would kindly ask
11 The Registrar to call the case.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
13 number IT-05-88/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Zdravko Tolimir. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
15 Mr. Tolimir, are you receiving the translation, the
16 interpretation in a language you understand?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you, Mr. President. I
18 am receiving interpretation in a language I understand; that is to say,
19 the Serbian language.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I would kindly ask for
21 appearances because it's the beginning, commencement of the Prosecution
23 The Prosecution first, please.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.
25 Good afternoon to General Tolimir, Mr. Gajic, everyone. My name is
1 Kweku Vanderpuye. I am here today with Peter McCloskey,
2 Senior Trial Attorney, and Ms. Janet Stewart.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 Mr. Tolimir, and for Defence.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. May
6 there be peace in this house for all those present, and may God's will be
7 done in these proceedings as well as today, and may the outcome be as God
8 wishes and not as I wish. I hope we will all benefit from these
10 The Defence is represented by Mr. Gajic, myself, as well as other
11 team members who are not present in the courtroom, such as Mr. Todrovski
12 and Stefanovic - thank you - as well as Kojnovic.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir.
14 This Pre-Defence Conference is being held pursuant to Rule 73 ter
15 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence of our Tribunal. The Chamber
16 notes that the Defence's 65 ter list of witnesses and exhibits was filed
17 in English on the 5th of December, 2011. The Defence notified the
18 Chamber and the Prosecution of an intention to call a total of four
19 witnesses; three fact witnesses, and one expert witness. All of these
20 witnesses are proposed to be called viva voce. None of them have
21 protected measures. The estimate of the total time to be used during
22 examination-in-chief of these witnesses is 36 hours.
23 Pursuant to Rule 73 ter, the Chamber may call upon the Defence to
24 reduce the number of witnesses and shorten the estimated length for
25 examination-in-chief for some of the witnesses. The Chamber sees no need
1 to use its discretion to do either. The Defence is hereby granted leave
2 to call the four proposes witnesses and use the estimated 36 hours.
3 The Chamber wishes to remind both parties that the revised order
4 concerning guidelines on the presentation of evidence and conduct of the
5 parties during trial, issued on the 4th of February, 2011, applies
6 equally to the Defence case as it did to the Prosecution case.
7 I turn now to pending motions. The Chamber is currently seized
8 of three motions, since some decisions were filed last week and this
9 morning. The Defence has submitted two motions for admission of
10 documents from the bar table filed in English on the
11 7th of December, 2011. Responses were filed by the Prosecution on the
12 21st of December. The decisions on these motions will be issued in due
14 The Prosecution's motion to admit one document from the bar
15 table, pursuant to the testimony of Ramiz Dumanjic filed on the
16 22nd of December, 2011, was provided to the accused in B/C/S on Monday,
17 the 16th January, 2012. A response by the Defence, if any, is due on
18 Monday, the 30th of January.
19 I turn now to other pending matters. Duplicate exhibit issues.
20 The parties were informed by an e-mail from the Court officer on the
21 17th of January that there were several duplicate exhibits in evidence.
22 The parties have agreed via a Defence e-mail on the 18th of January on
23 which duplicates should be removed. The Chamber has considered these
24 information and hereby orders the Registry to make the necessary changes
25 as agreed by the parties to remove the duplicates and file a memo on the
1 record detail these corrections.
2 I will now deal with one document in the custody of the Registry,
3 but we have first to go into private session.
4 [Private session]
22 [Open session]
23 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours. Thank
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
1 Mr. Tolimir, as usual, this is the right moment to raise any
2 matters you wish to raise to health problems or detention matters, if you
3 so wish.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. No
5 issues to raise concerning my health situation, as I do not use any
6 medication; hence, I have no requests. And other than that, there are no
7 problems to mention.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that. Are there any
9 other matters to be discussed or raised during the
10 Pre-Defence Conference? Nobody wants to have the floor.
11 In that case, this concludes the Pre-Defence Conference.
12 Since we had a delayed start today, I think there is no need for
13 any break. I take it that there will be no opening statement so that we
14 should immediately commence with the evidence of the first Defence
15 witness. He should be brought into the courtroom, please.
16 [The witness entered court]
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir. Welcome to the Tribunal.
18 Please read aloud the affirmation on the card which is shown to you now.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: SLAVKO KRALJ
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down and make
24 yourself comfortable.
25 As you will certainly know, first the Defence and then the
1 Prosecution has the opportunity to put questions to you. Mr. Tolimir
2 will now commence his examination-in-chief and has the floor.
3 Please, Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Examination by Mr. Tolimir:
6 Q. [Interpretation] I'd like to greet Mr. Kralj and thank him for
7 coming here to testify. I wish him a pleasant stay in The Hague and may
8 he provided with all he needs by God in the future life.
9 For the transcript, Witness, I'd like to ask you to tell us your
10 first and last name.
11 A. My name is Slavko Kralj.
12 Q. Thank you. Please tell us, in brief terms, something about your
13 military education, military background.
14 A. I completed, firstly, a school for non-commissioned officers in
15 armoured units in Banja Luka in 1967.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. Following that, after five years, I passed the exam to achieve
18 the rank of lieutenant of armoured units and was consequently promoted to
19 officer rank of the then JNA.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. Next, I completed a professional officer school for staff duties,
22 followed by a course for battalion commanders. Then, I had an exam to be
23 assigned to the rank of major. Next, I completed an English language
24 course in Belgrade which lasted for a year. I completed a preparatory
25 course for members and participants of peacekeeping missions. I also
1 underwent a course in diplomacy and a course for military attaches.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I intervene for a moment. I just want --
3 like to know when this happened. When? Because you told us quite a lot
4 about your career but not about the time. Could you tell us when did
5 that happen?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. My exam to be promoted
7 to the rank of major took place five years later, after 1967.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And when did you take part in this training about
9 peacekeeping missions?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Once I completed the English
11 language course, it was between February 1989 and February 1990.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: In the previous
13 answer, the witness referred to the rank of "second lieutenant" rather
14 than "major."
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kralj. Since you mentioned you attended a course
19 in 1989 and 1990, can you tell us something about your career after 1989?
20 A. Between February 1989 and February 1990, I was a member of the UN
21 in the UNIMOG peacekeeping operation in Iran.
22 Q. Thank you. Were you only on that mission or some others as well?
23 A. During that period of time, it was the only mission, following
24 which I returned to my home unit.
25 Q. Can you tell the Chamber what were your duties in the UN
1 peacekeeping mission after 1990?
2 A. As part of the UN mission, I was one of the 12 JNA members who
3 were there alongside other members stationed in Iran. The task was to
4 monitor the implementation of an agreement signed between Iraq and Iran
5 along their 1.200 kilometre border. It was a multi-ethnic mission,
6 comprising members of other armed forces, from a number of countries who
7 were accredited by their hosts in order to take part in the mission. I
8 was an observer along the border, and we were in charge of monitoring the
9 implementation of a peace agreement and the truce that was in place in
10 keeping with relevant UN resolutions.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Kralj. Can you tell us something about your
12 career once the mission with the UN was over?
13 A. Upon completion of the UN mission, I returned to my home unit,
14 which is the training centre for armoured units in Banja Luka. My duty
15 there was that of desk officer in charge of finance in the curriculum
17 Q. Thank you. What happened after that?
18 A. After that, I was seconded in October 1991 to the Knin Corps,
19 where I spent around four months.
20 Q. Thank you. Please tell the Chamber whether in that territory,
21 which saw combat in the former SFRY in Croatia or elsewhere, you met any
22 of your former colleagues from the UN mission?
23 A. While I was in Knin during the period I specified, I came across
24 a Swedish major who wore plain civilian white clothes as part of the
25 European Community mission. We met at a number of meetings in the
1 village of Pakovo Selo. That was the first person I met. I met another
2 major subsequently, who was part of UNPROFOR. His unit was stationed in
3 Croatia in Slavonia. I even recall his name, Raul Costa [phoen], from
5 Q. Thank you. Can you tell the Chamber whether you exchanged your
6 experiences and impressions of the Iran and Yugoslavia peacekeeping
7 missions, and did you discuss your points of view given the different
8 roles you assumed at the time?
9 A. The Swedish major whom I met in Pakovo Selo, while I was in Knin,
10 pretended not to know me. He never returned to any negotiations in
11 Pakovo Selo following that. In Gradiska, I met Raul Kosta, the
12 Argentinian major. He commanded a communications battalion of UNPROFOR
13 in Daruvar. It was a warm encounter. Following a number of dangerous
14 joint patrols in Iran, it was exiting to run into an old mate from the
15 UN, and it happened in a friendly way. I was surprised by something,
16 though. Major Kosta took off his blue UN beret and literally told me
17 this: Slavko, this is not a neutral UN mission such as the one we were
18 participants of in Iran. This mission is here with the excuse of
19 protecting the Serbs in the area; whereas its true goals are quite
20 different. If these people are not helped they will have to go, whether
21 they want it or not. And they are very scared. Just in case, you should
22 have my address, my telephone number. And if you are ever in need of
23 assistance anywhere in the world as a refugee, I will help you.
24 His service lasted for about half a year, and I did not manage to
25 see him again.
1 Q. Thank you. I thank the interpreters. Tell us if the population
2 of Daruvar who are of Serb ethnicity remained in that area under the
3 protection of the UN members, one of whom was this man Raul? Thank you.
4 A. In the general area of Daruvar, Okucani, Gradiska, no one Serb
5 stayed. There was a military campaign and they were all driven out of
6 the area across the river Sava.
7 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, your colleague said that he was on a
8 neutral mission in Iraq. What were the differences between that mission
9 and the mission of the UN in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina? What are
10 your impression and your opinion, based on your experience?
11 A. Let me first say that I am proud -- or, rather, that I was proud
12 to have the opportunity to meet anybody in a UN uniform again, because I
13 considered any such person as a member of my wider family. I was very
14 disappointed by the role of the UN in Croatia, especially disappointed by
15 the military monitors who, in accordance with the agreement on the
16 withdrawal of weapons and control, engaged more in reconnaissance than in
17 the mission assigned to them. Let me immediately add that the monitors
18 were not accredited in the Republika Srpska, but there was an agreement
19 that they were to be allowed to control the positions of deployment of
20 some kinds of weapons that had been withdrawn from Slavonia to the south
21 of the river Sava.
22 As a liaison officer, with other officers who were in Slavonia, I
23 sensed that the officers who -- that the officers on the other side were
24 partial, that they had side with Croatia. In other words, they were not
25 neutral and they acted more for the benefit of the Croats than they --
1 more than reporting on the events on the ground. I was taught when I was
2 to become a UN monitor that I was supposed to be the eyes and the ears of
3 the Secretary-General who, based on information received from me, should
4 be in a position to take the right decisions.
5 Q. Thank you. Tell us more about your experience with the attitude
6 of the UNPROFOR toward the Army of Republika Srpska and the other warring
7 parties in the areas relevant for this trial, such as Srebrenica, Zepa,
8 and others. Did you notice any differences there?
9 A. There was a huge difference. My mission in Iran was an unarmed
10 monitoring mission. The only weapons we had were UN emblems and the UN
11 flag; that is, the officers from various countries who were monitors
12 there didn't carry any weapons. UNPROFOR had a different mandate.
13 UNPROFOR was an army with fully armed units, with materiel and technical
14 equipment. And they acted from the position of power.
15 I never understood a rule they cherished; namely, shoot [Realtime
16 transcript read in error "should the"] first and ask questions later. In
17 subsequent conversations with UNPROFOR members, I came to understand that
18 the members of the VRS were depicted to them in a very different way.
19 Many of them didn't even believe me that I had been a UN mission member
20 until I spoke to them in English and explained some procedures of ours.
21 Later on they showed more respect.
22 They advocated the thesis of freedom of movement, that they had
23 the right to go wherever they wanted in whichever way they chose,
24 although that was not their mandate. The original mandate was for them
25 to be stationed in protected zones such as Gorazde, Srebrenica, Zepa, and
2 Q. Thank you. Now please tell the Trial Chamber, as an UN
3 members --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: As an UN member --
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. -- in 1989 and 1990, and a member of the VRS later, what were the
7 differences in the use of UN forces for the prevention of conflicts and
8 improving the relations between the warring parties? Thank you.
9 A. We had a clear mandate from the UN in Iran; whereas, here the
10 first thing to do was to make peace, because without peace there can be
11 no other activities. If the warring parties fail to agree on a
12 cease-fire, any activities can be hazardous for the UNPROFOR itself, so
13 the first thing to do was to make peace between the warring parties under
14 the auspices of the UNPROFOR command.
15 Q. Thank you. What was your first duty when the war began in
16 Croatia? You mentioned the Knin Corps. Thank you.
17 A. I was recognised by Colonel Mesud Hasotic [Realtime transcript
18 read in error "Mishud Hasodic"] of the Knin Corps who was chief of morale
19 and legal affairs at the Knin Corps. He asked me, Do you speak English?
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I may interrupt you for a moment, sorry for that.
21 Mr. Gajic.
22 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, on page 12 of the
23 transcript, in line 13, the name was incorrectly recorded. It should be
24 "Mesud Hasotic."
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Hasotic. This is it.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this correction.
2 Please go ahead with your answer. Sorry. Go ahead, please.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Colonel Mesud Hasotic asked me if I
4 spoke English. I smiled and answered, Yes, why? He replied, Tomorrow,
5 the corps commander, General Vukovic, is receiving the ambassadors of the
6 European Community, and I have a big problem. The interpreter who was
7 supposed to attend the meeting suddenly had to leave for some private
8 reasons. Can you interpret simultaneously from English into our language
9 and back? Of course I asked him to give me some more detailed
10 information, what they wanted to discuss at that meeting, Colonel Hasotic
11 trusted me, and on the follow day I interpreted at that meeting.
12 The participants of the meeting were the corps commander,
13 General Vukovic; Colonel Hasotic; and Colonel Tolimir, which was his rank
14 at the time, and that was the first time I met him.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Thank you. Since you have mentioned me, and I stand accused
17 here, could you please specify the exact date and what those talks what
18 the ambassadors of the European Community were about so that the
19 Trial Chamber gets a complete picture?
20 A. General, sir, that happened on the day following my arrival in
21 Knin. The month was October and the year 1991. At the meeting, they
22 discussed the military political situation in the region. The two
23 ambassadors, and I remember that one of them was Italian and the other
24 Belgian, they represented the European Community and they were dressed in
25 white. They were stationed in Split. They had a number of questions
1 about the military political situation, the situation in that part of the
2 territory. And let me add that the corps at that time had JNA insignia.
3 Q. Thank you. If you remember, tell us where the other units of
4 UNPROFOR or the forces' representatives of the UN were stationed during
5 the war in Croatia? In which territories, in which towns, if you can
6 remember? Thank you.
7 A. UNPROFOR units were stationed in Knin, Daruvar, and in Slavonia.
8 I returned from Knin after four months, and I rejoined the
9 1st Krajina Corps, and I had contacts with the personnel in Slavonia and
10 in the wider surrounding of Okucani.
11 Q. Thank you. Were there representatives of the UN in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina during the war in Croatia? Thank you.
13 A. The first representatives came to the Republic of Croatia. I had
14 the opportunity and the pleasure, I may say, to witness the arrival of
15 the forward detachment of the Canadian Reconnaissance Battalion. I was
16 in Gradiska at the time, pursuant to the approval of the Main Staff
17 commander. And there was also an approval given over the phone from
18 Geneva by President Karadzic, that UNPROFOR units should be allowed to
19 enter the territory of the RS.
20 Q. Thank you. What was the status or the position of UNPROFOR
21 members in Bosnia during the war in Croatia? Thank you.
22 A. Officially, those were two missions. However, logistics and
23 supply went through Croatia because there was a base there already, the
24 UNPROFOR had developed infrastructure already, and they used Zagreb
25 airport for supply. There was also a UNHCR base there. They also
1 sported UN insignia. Small convoys travelled from Slavonia through
2 Banja Luka to territories controlled by Muslims or Croats rather
4 Q. Thank you. This will be useful later once we start discussing
5 other matters, I mean the movement of these convoys. But let us finish
6 with the following: What was your duty during the war in Croatia, and
7 later on as a member of the VRS? Thank you.
8 A. In the Knin Corps, following the meeting organised by the corps
9 commander, he ordered that I be assigned to Hasotic's department as
10 interpreter, as there was a lot of need for translation and
11 interpretation and there was no one else in the corps who could speak
12 English. I remained in that position for about four months, as it was a
13 secondment. After the four months, I was replaced and I returned to
14 assume the duties of communications officer in the 1st Krajina Corps in
15 Banja Luka in the civilian affairs sector. I performed the same duties
16 until the 3rd of November, 1994, when I was seconded again to the
17 Main Staff of the VRS. There, I was appointed to act as interpreter
18 until the end of the war.
19 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us what were your duties in the civilian
20 affairs sector in the 1st Krajina Corps, and what were your duties in the
21 Main Staff of the VRS?
22 A. In the civilian sector of the 1st Krajina Corps I was an
23 interpreter and a liaison officer. As the liaison officer, I was in
24 contact with UNPROFOR representatives as well as military observers who
25 came from Slavonia to control the territory. I took part in receiving,
1 escorting, and monitoring UNHCR and UNPROFOR convoys through
2 RS territory, from Gradiska via Banja Luka, Jajce, and on to Travnik.
3 Q. Thank you. What year were you seconded from Banja Luka to the
4 Main Staff of the VRS, and what were your duties there?
5 A. The secondment took place on the 3rd of November, 1994. Upon
6 arrival in the Main Staff, I received an additional duty, in addition to
7 being interpreter, who was in charge of liaisoning with UNPROFOR and
8 international organisations as the civilian affairs sector. I was also
9 supposed to act as deputy chief of sector, Colonel Djurdjic [Realtime
10 transcript read in error "Djuric"], Milos Djurdjic.
11 Q. Since you were also deputy chief of sector, can you tell us
12 whether you were privy to Mr. Djurdjic's affairs, to his tasks?
13 A. With time I became acquainted with all administrative matters
14 that Mr. Djurdjic was in charge of in the Main Staff, such as UNPROFOR
15 co-operation as well as co-operation with the humanitarian
16 administrations. He we focussed particularly on the administrative part.
17 I need to say that he was the only person in that sector when I arrived.
18 I could act in his stead in case of his absence, be it because he was on
19 regular or sick leave. I was completely familiar with the procedure,
20 although it took some time for me to be completely acquainted with it.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One moment, please. Just for the sake of the
22 record, could you please repeat the name of Colonel Djurdjic, to have it
23 clear on the record.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Colonel Milos Djurdjic.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I heard "Djurdjic" instead of "Djuric." Could
1 that be corrected, please. Not "Djurdic" but "Djurdjic."
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Precisely.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, this is not precise. I said not "Djuric" but
4 "Djurdjic." Could that be corrected, please. The name is Djurdjic. I
5 think in line 21, at the end it is correct, but it should not be recorded
6 as "not Djurdic." We will not manage that, I am afraid. So please
7 continue, Mr. Tolimir.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Tell us, please, what was Mr. Djurdjic's position? And his
11 sector for civilian affairs, did it exchange information with the
12 security and intelligence sector of the Main Staff?
13 A. Mr. Djurdjic's sector, in terms of organisational structure, was
14 directly under the Main Staff commander. The tasks of the sector were
15 co-operation with UNPROFOR as well as co-operation with international
16 humanitarian organisations and other civilian organisations.
17 Mr. Djurdjic was in charge of all that. It had nothing to do with the
18 security and intelligence sector. There was no direct connection in
19 terms of line of command.
20 Q. Thank you. Previously, you mentioned the agreement on cessation
21 of hostilities and freedom of movement.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we then see P101, which is
23 the agreement itself. Sorry, it is P1011, dated the
24 31st of December, 1994.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we had a delayed start today.
1 Therefore, I would propose that we have our first break now, resume at
2 4.30, then sit for one hour again, and then again a break so that our --
3 for three hours hearing would be from 3.00 to 4.00, from 4.30 to 5.30,
4 and from 6.00 to 7.00. If you agree with that, then you should continue
5 with this document after the break.
6 We have our first break now, sir, and we will resume at half past
8 --- Recess taken at 4.02 p.m.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 [The witness takes the stand]
11 --- On resuming at 4.31 p.m.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to make one correction of the
13 transcript. On page 11, line 12, it should read, I quote:
14 "I never understood a rule they cherished; namely, shoot first
15 and ask questions later."
16 Mr. Tolimir, please continue your examination-in-chief.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 I would like to show Exhibit P1011 in e-court. This is the
19 agreement on a general cessation of hostilities of the 31st of December,
21 THE INTERPRETER: 1994, interpreter's correction.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And we do have the agreement. We
23 see it on the screen.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Are you familiar with the text of the agreement? Thank you.
1 A. Yes, I am familiar with it.
2 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at paragraph 2 where it states, I
4 "The cessation of hostilities will be supervised and monitored by
5 UNPROFOR through the establishment of joint commissions. A central
6 joint commission shall be established under the chairmanship of UNPROFOR,
7 with initial meetings at the Sarajevo airport, and regional joint
8 commissions shall also be established in permanent session as needed and
9 as determined by the central joint commission."
10 My question is: Can you please tell the Trial Chamber whether
11 you know whether the central and regional joint commissions were actually
12 formed on the territory of the warring parties? Thank you.
13 A. A central joint commission was formed, as well as a regional
14 joint commission on the territory of the warring parties.
15 Q. Thank you. If you remember, can you tell us who were the members
16 of this central joint commission from the Army of Republika Srpska and
17 from the other parties to the conflict? Are you able to tell us who the
18 members of that central joint commission were? Thank you.
19 A. At the beginning, for a time, General Gvero was a member of the
20 central joint commission, as well as General Tolimir. Sometimes I also
21 took part in these joint commissions as an interpreter. From the other
22 side, there were also representatives by the Muslims and the Croats. I
23 cannot recall their names right now.
24 Q. Thank you. Are you able to explain, briefly, what this
25 central joint commission actually was, what it means? What did it
1 comprise of? What were all the parties that were in it?
2 A. The central joint commission was chaired by the UNPROFOR, and it
3 also included the parties to the conflict, representatives of the Army
4 of Republika Srpska and representatives of the Croatian and the Muslim
5 ones, too.
6 Q. Thank you. Can we now look at paragraph 5 of this agreement,
7 please, the paragraph that we can see on the screen, which states, I
9 "Full freedom of movement with appropriate procedures shall exist
10 for UNPROFOR and other official international agencies, in particular
11 UNHCR, in order to implement this agreement, to monitor human rights, and
12 to deliver humanitarian aid, including medical supplies and evacuations.
13 The parties commit themselves to full respect for the security and safety
14 of UNPROFOR members and related personnel. UNPROFOR shall continue to
15 prevent any abuse of freedom of movement by its personnel or convoys
16 which might be of military benefit to either party."
17 My question is: This provision that we've just read in
18 paragraph 5 refers to two things; first of all, it talks about freedom of
19 movement and it also talks about preventing any abuse of freedom of
20 movement. Are you able to tell us if you had any knowledge about the
21 abuse of or misuse of the UNPROFOR convoy and the humanitarian aid
22 convoys, since that is something that is noted in this paragraph as one
23 of the obligations of UNPROFOR?
24 A. When the UNPROFOR was moving or the UNHCR, there were cases,
25 first of all, when video equipment was carried, especially cameras, which
1 were used to film the territory through which the convoy was passing. As
2 a rule, the equipment was not announced previously, pursuant to
3 procedures that were already agreed on.
4 Q. Thank you. Since you talk here about this equipment being used
5 by convoys and UNPROFOR in order to gather data about one of the sides,
6 do you know whether UNPROFOR took measures to prevent such activities, as
7 it was duty-bound to do according to what it states here, any abuses by
8 its members or humanitarian organisation personnel, as they were passing?
9 Thank you.
10 A. The UNPROFOR would give explanations how the equipment was
11 allegedly being used as personal equipment by individuals. They didn't
12 take this seriously and did not prevent this. They allowed this policy
13 to continue until instructions were received at the check-points to
14 confiscate this equipment.
15 Q. Thank you. Since these misuses were repeated in a number of
16 convoys until confiscation of equipment was introduced, were there any
17 requests by the UNPROFOR staff regarding freedom of movement and requests
18 not to hinder their activities in relation to the parties? Thank you.
19 A. UNPROFOR tried, in all possible ways, to enjoy full freedom of
20 movement which to me, as a soldier and a former UN member, meant that
21 this was just another name for spy work or the intelligence service which
22 actually was demonstrated in quite few instances. Freedom of movement in
23 this case indicates freedom of movement along pre-approved routes and
24 providing security by the Army of Republika Srpska. The UNPROFOR did not
25 have a mandate to be on the territory of Republika Srpska but to be in
1 safe areas.
2 Q. Thank you. Please, are you aware if there was a particular
3 procedure that was established to secure this freedom of movement that we
4 talked about earlier? Thank you.
5 A. Procedures were agreed for the movement of UNPROFOR during
6 meetings of the central joint commission. This included convoys as well
7 as individuals. In order to move around in the territory of
8 Republika Srpska at all, UNPROFOR, through certain means of
9 communication, was supposed to notify about the movement of convoys or
10 UNPROFOR vehicles; for example, it was supposed to announce a convoy 48
11 hours in advance, and individual UNPROFOR vehicles were to be announced
12 24 hours in advance. Medical evacuations were urgent and as needed.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's now look at D250. Can we
15 look at D250 in e-court now, please.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. This is a report by Zdravko Tolimir on a meeting of the
18 central joint commission, which was held on the 4th of January, 1995.
19 The date on the actual report is the 5th of January, 1995. Thank you.
20 You see the document in front of you. Can we now look at paragraph 5,
21 please. This is on the second page. We can see paragraph 5 which
23 "UNPROFOR will prepare a draft agreement on 'complete freedom of
24 movement,' which will be agreed bilaterally with the parties."
25 My question is: Do you know whether the Serbian side entered
1 into an agreement with UNPROFOR pursuant to a draft prepared by them?
2 A. The Serbian side signed an agreement on freedom of movement which
3 implied appropriate procedures which were referred to in the agreement.
4 Q. Thank you. And did the other parties also sign the agreement,
5 and do you know if they adhered to the agreement that they signed, if
6 they did sign it? Thank you.
7 A. As far as I know, the other side - I am thinking of the Muslim
8 Croat side - never signed the freedom of movement agreement, and if they
9 didn't sign it then they couldn't have adhered to it either.
10 Q. Thank you. If you remember, are you able to tell us briefly why
11 they didn't want to sign the agreement, if you know this through the work
12 of the central joint commission? Thank you.
13 A. First of all, UNPROFOR was stationed on their territory. They
14 believed that they shouldn't sign it, and they even offered - and it
15 surprised me, the statement by a certain Mr. Muratovic - that the airport
16 which at that time was under our control, they leased out to UNPROFOR in
17 return for money. I cannot state whether this was accurate or not, but
18 all of these things indicate that, according to my knowledge, the
19 UNPROFOR and the Muslim and the Croat side agreed amongst themselves what
20 was supposed to be done before the central joint commission convened.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have D77, next.
23 The title is: "The Principles of the Freedom of Movement." [Microphone
24 not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we also see the second page of
2 this document. We be see the signatures. On the left-hand side we have
3 General Brinkman on behalf of UNPROFOR. On the right-hand side we have
4 Major-General Zdravko Tolimir, as a representative of the VRS.
5 Could we now go back to page 1, please.
6 Thank you.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Who or what convoys did these principles apply to?
9 A. This agreement pertained to UNPROFOR convoys, as well as to
10 individual movements of the UN military observers.
11 Q. Thank you. To your knowledge, was this agreement honoured in
12 practice by the signatories; that is to say, UNPROFOR and the VRS?
13 A. The agreement was honoured in full by the VRS.
14 Q. Thank you. Can you explain the procedure of approval for
15 UNPROFOR convoys or, rather, what was the procedure like in practical
17 A. In keeping with the agreement on the principles for freedom of
18 movement, UNPROFOR forwarded notifications of convoys. There was an
19 UNPROFOR office in the territory of the RS at Pale. They had a telefax
20 which was used to forward notifications of convoy movements to
21 Colonel Djurdjic's office. There was a telefax machine on the other end
22 which used a civilian number. It was on around the clock; in other
23 words, messages could be sent and received automatically, nonstop.
24 Originally, notifications were sent in both English and in translation
25 into Serbian.
1 Due to poor communication links or illegible fax messages, it
2 happened that the notifications had to be cross-referenced or compared,
3 since, under the agreement, the English text had precedence. Once the
4 office was in receipt of an accurate notification of UNPROFOR movement,
5 it was put in the mail, sent to the commander for his attention. The
6 commander, as part of his regular daily reading of mail, reviewed the
7 document, initialled it, and introduced remarks if he deemed it
9 Through operational channels, the document was then returned to
10 Colonel Djurdjic's office. What followed was a document which was used
11 to notify UNPROFOR -- or, rather, its office at Pale, that there were no
12 specific issues concerning the requested movements of convoys or
13 observers. Another such document was sent to the unit in charge of
14 monitoring the movement of the convoy in question.
15 Q. Can you tell us whether this central joint commission had
16 anything to do with these convoy movements?
17 A. The central joint commission set up procedure, the procedure that
18 had to be respected by Colonel Djurdjic and others on the part of the VRS
19 involved in such movements.
20 Q. Concerning these UNPROFOR convoy notifications, was there an
21 arrangement or an agreement reached at the level of the central
22 joint commission?
23 A. It was the starting point. The arrangement at the level of the
24 CJC was the starting point of the whole thing.
25 Q. Since you say it was the starting point, did your sector for
1 civilian affairs receive information on the work of the
2 central joint commission?
3 A. We had the final document produced by the
4 central joint commission; that is to say, we knew of the things that were
5 supposed to be implemented.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we next have D254.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. While we are waiting for it, can you tell us this: Were specific
9 amounts and cargo discussed at the level of the central joint commission,
10 as per individual convoys?
11 A. There was discussion about the items which could be transported
12 by trucks at the level of the central joint commission. Quantity was
13 discussed as well, given the fact, in particular, that there was an
14 embargo on the import of weapons and ammunition into Bosnia-Herzegovina.
15 We had verified information that UNHCR and UNPROFOR convoys were being
16 used to supply ammunition and even weapons, as well as fuel, to the
17 enclaves or protected areas.
18 If I may add, when I was still with the 1st Krajina Corps, one
19 entire UNHCR convoy from Gradiska, once checked, returned to Zagreb
20 airport without any explanation. There was a lot of effort invested in
21 the convoy arriving, but once the checks and controls were set up at
22 certain points along the route, the convoy turned back to Zagreb and
23 never attempted to use the same route with the bills of lading they had
24 at the time; although, I remember that it included food, flour, and other
1 Q. Now that you mention it, can you tell the Chamber why the convoy
2 turned back of its own accord so that I wouldn't have to speculate?
3 A. While I was the liaison officer of the 1st Krajina Corps, we
4 checked documents and the drivers. We did not inspect the convoys in
5 detail because this was a sealed cargo, followed by notifications and
6 documents, and we still trusted them. However, once we began requesting
7 that the cargo be inspected by way of random samples, and when I say that
8 I mean that the personnel at the check-point would choose one or two
9 trucks at random and use metal detectors to check the cargo, the convoy
10 leader called his office in Zagreb and refused to submit to such an
11 inspection. Since we were in a large parking area, he ordered that the
12 convoy turn back, and they went back to Zagreb.
13 Q. I called up a document which is now in front of you. It is dated
14 the 12th of February, 1995, by the Main Staff. It was signed by
15 General Tolimir. We'll see that later on. It was forwarded to all the
16 commands of the VRS, as well as their -- as well as to the organs of the
17 interior. It involved UNPROFOR movement in the territory of
18 Republika Srpska and a certain procedure mentioned. I will read the
19 first paragraph:
20 "Through the regional joint commissions, UNPROFOR representatives
21 are constantly bringing up the issue of greater freedom of movement for
22 UNPROFOR across the front line with the aim of getting authorisation to
23 cross the front line and move in the territory Republika Srpska on the
24 lower regional levels while not having to notify the Main Staff of the
25 VRS of all movements and not to having to wait for authorisation by the
1 Main Staff of the VRS before doing so.
2 "This is how UNPROFOR representatives wish to avoid complying
3 with the obligation they undertook when they signed the obligations set
4 out in the agreement on Principles of Freedom of Movement signed on
5 31 January 1995 by the Main Staff of the VRS
6 (Major-General Zdravko Tolimir) and the UNPROFOR command for the former
7 BH (General Brinkman). We hereby forward the entire text of the
9 What followed is a number was procedures. Are you familiar with
10 such UNPROFOR attempts as referred to in the first paragraph? Thank you.
11 A. I am familiar with these intentions of UNPROFOR for two reasons,
12 one of them being the fact that Colonel Djurdjic informed me of that. He
13 received relevant information and was in constant contact with the units
14 that conducted checks at check-points. Also, the duty officer of the
15 Main Staff, received reports from units about UNPROFOR activities. That
16 was supplementary information that was included in such reports, but I
17 paid special attention to it.
18 Often times there were instances when UNPROFOR requested that
19 military monitors for smaller convoys be led to pass. However, that was
20 not covered by the agreement on the central joint commission, nor did
21 they honour the -- the notice period, that is 24 or 48 hours in advance,
22 without there being an urgent need for that. There were even attempts at
23 bribing the personnel at the check-points with the fuel and other stuff
24 for them to let them pass.
25 Q. Thank you. Please explain, briefly, why UNPROFOR tried so hard
1 to pass the check-points and cross the front line which was not in
2 accordance with the agreements reached at the central joint commission
3 and without a permission to move about in the territory of the RS?
4 A. There was intelligence about what was going on and what the
5 situation was like under UNPROFOR control. This intelligence shows that
6 they also had -- also engaged in other activities; namely, supplying or
7 informing the Muslim or Croatian side of what the VRS were doing.
8 Specifically, the military observers needed some time to pass through a
9 certain territory. They could observe military positions or carry or
10 deliver something to the opposing side, for example, ammunition. And I
11 am talking about extensive territories and unit movements.
12 Q. Thank you. Since you were on a UN mission in Iraq, as you said,
13 and you also took part in the war and carried out some duties that had to
14 do with the UN and UNPROFOR, can you point out the differences with
15 regard to the freedom of movement of UN forces in the RS as compared to
16 the situation in Iraq or Iran where you were on mission? Thank you.
17 A. There was a huge difference. I was in Iranian territory as an
18 observer, but we were unable to go anywhere, officially or not, without
19 being escorted by some people that were called liaison officers. There
20 was a check-point and you couldn't pass there to go to a sector without
21 an escort, let alone to the demarcation line or any other place. You
22 always needed their military escort and a liaison officer who, of course,
23 spoke English.
24 Here, UNPROFOR had a much greater freedom of movement. All that
25 was required was a check at the point of entry and another at the point
1 of exit from the territory in question. They also had to move along a
2 certain route. It happened very rarely that they had an armed military
3 escort, but they didn't want one, either, because they were armed
4 themselves. Their military observers were armed; whereas, over there,
5 the only weapons that we had were the UN insignia and the UN flag.
6 Q. Thank you. You said that they didn't want an armed escort. Did
7 they have any kind of escort while moving through RS territory, armed or
8 unarmed? Thank you.
9 A. The UNHCR was escorted in the territory of the 1st Corps. They
10 were escorted by the military police and sometimes, if necessary, by the
11 civilian police. Since we are talking about a territory that stretches
12 from Gradiska to Travnik, that is, it's rather extensive. That escort
13 was to vouch, say, for the security of the convoy and make sure that it
14 really reaches its destination. As a liaison officer, I had very
15 unpleasant experiences. There were instances when the local population
16 accused the VRS of nurturing them while their sons were dying on the
17 battle-field. I am talking about convoys that were supposed to cross the
18 demarcation line.
19 Q. Thank you. We saw that agreement on the cessation of
20 hostilities. I quoted from it. The UNPROFOR was duty-bound to sanction
21 any misuse on the part of their members. Was the VRS in the position to
22 do anything of the kind in the territory through which they moved?
23 A. The VRS could step up the controls at the check-points. They
24 could inspect their cargo, and they could compare the amount of cargo to
25 some standards that apply to the unit -- to the respective unit in the
1 field. There are some standard requirements for provisions of food or
2 fuel or ammunition for units of various types.
3 Q. Thank you. Please tell us who it was in the VRS who checked
4 UNPROFOR convoys to prevent a misuse?
5 A. The first -- the first level was Colonel Djurdjic's office. He
6 would study each notification, and in his absence I would do it, and
7 check if it was in line with the provisions of the agreement reached by
8 the central joint commission. Of course, it was impossible for
9 everything to be agreed upon there. Then estimates were made whether the
10 goods transported were something that UNPROFOR needed or, possibly, the
11 population, or, in the worst case, military units; that is, the Muslim
12 army in the enclave, such as Gorazde.
13 Q. Thank you. When Djurdjic gave approval for the passage of a
14 convoy which was announced to the Main Staff, did he do it arbitrarily or
15 were there any criteria that Djurdjic had to honour in the process? In
16 other words, did Djurdjic make a proposal which had to be approved by the
17 commander? Thank you.
18 A. In the office, aggregate statistics were made about the
19 quantities of the sensitive goods, such as fuel, ammunition, and
20 suspicious materials. The data was collected at the check-points, and
21 through a liaison officer or another person at the corps command, relayed
22 to the operative component of the command and also to Colonel Djurdjic's
23 office. Colonel Djurdjic was able to give information to the commander,
24 how much of a certain type of goods entered any particular enclave in a
25 period of time, especially Srebrenica, Zepa, or Gorazde, and he was in a
1 position to suggest that the quantities received during a certain period
2 were sufficient or insufficient. However, those quantities were
3 invariably two or three times greater than what was necessary for the
4 units that were there, although their standards were somewhat different
5 from ours, but not that much.
6 Colonel Djurdjic received notifications in due time, and he had
7 time enough to visit our logistics organs who were in charge of feeding
8 the army. He gained immediate knowledge of the standards of the --
9 applicable to food or fuel required per soldier or per unit in a certain
10 period of time. Consequently, he was in a position to make a suggestion
11 to the commander that certain quantities should be reduced.
12 Q. Thank you. Let us go to the last page of document D254, in
13 paragraph 2. I read:
14 "You need to send us a list of goods whose transport should be
15 prohibited. You are to prepare this on the basis of past experience with
16 fraudulent dealings and abuses by UNPROFOR. After your proposals have
17 been reviewed, you will be given a list of goods whose transport is
18 prohibited unless expressly approved by the Main Staff of the VRS and
19 announced to you."
20 Here is my question: Since you've just spoken about Djurdjic's
21 detailed analysis of the requirements of the opposing side or UNPROFOR,
22 can you tell us whether the Main Staff took care of -- or, rather, the
23 Main Staff had a relevant knowledge of what could or could not be let
24 pass to go to enemy territory? Thank you.
25 A. Once we learned of the misuse of UNPROFOR and UNHCR convoys, more
1 attention was being paid by the Main Staff to the cargo itself that was
2 being transported by those convoys, particularly if it was assessed that
3 the cargo in question was not something that was needed for UNPROFOR or
4 the civilians in the enclaves, but, rather, the military forces there.
5 Careful records were kept of what and how much cargo was transferred into
6 the enclaves which should allow for a normal functioning of UNPROFOR.
7 Weekly plans were drafted and agreed with UNPROFOR, and they were planned
8 for a few weeks in advance.
9 Q. Thank you. [Microphone not activated]
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is time for a break, and with
12 your leave, Mr. President, I will wait with my next question until later.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is a good proposal, indeed. We need the
14 second break and we will resume at 6.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 5.32 p.m.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir. Please continue your
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Could we look at 1D874 in e-court now, please. This is a
23 memorandum to the Drina Corps command on the 29th of July, 1993. Can we
24 please rotate the document.
25 In the second paragraph, it states, I quote:
1 "We have information that UNHCR officers engage in intelligence
2 and reconnaissance activities which should be kept in mind during checks
3 and other activities at your disposal."
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 My question is: In the 1st Corps, at the time did you receive
6 similar memos and information, and did you receive information like that
7 later at the Main Staff in relation to conduct by UNPROFOR?
8 A. While I was in the 1st Krajina Corps, I did not receive the
9 document, the complete document, but we would get excerpts from some data
10 relating to misuses by UNPROFOR and the UNHCR. We were given guidelines
11 to conduct special checks, at that time, of the UNHCR which was passing
12 through the Gradiska territory towards the line of separation and towards
13 the Muslim side.
14 Q. Thank you. And do you have information about intelligence
15 activities conducted by UNHCR members during their passage to the
16 enclaves of Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde? Do you have any information
17 about that?
18 A. Members of UNHCR and UNPROFOR sought, very often, ways, how to
19 pass through the territory. There were instances when their officers
20 were sent, and military observers, to carry out some reconnaissance
21 activities, mostly recording and monitoring positions of the VRS that
22 were registered earlier or noted earlier. This was supplied to the
23 UNPROFOR command, and according to some data that I had at my disposal,
24 this data was also made available specifically to those in Srebrenica,
25 Muslim forces there.
1 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us whether that was one of the
2 reasons to ban the movement of unannounced convoys and to prevent
3 bringing in technical and other equipment which could be used for
4 intelligence activities? Thank you.
5 A. That was the only and the main reason why something was not
6 permitted. This applied to anything that could be used in intelligence
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED [Interpretation] Can we have this 1D874 admitted? I
10 would like to tender that. And can we -- I'm sorry.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, this document shall be assigned
13 Exhibit D325. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please continue.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Can we now look at Exhibit D73. D73. Well, we can't see it yet.
17 Thank you.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. We can see the document now. The title of the document is:
20 "Movement by Convoys, Teams, and Individuals from UNPROFOR and
21 Humanitarian Organisations." Can we now look at the last page of the
22 document so that we could see who drafted it. Here is a name and surname
23 written in the Latin alphabet in the Serbian. Could you please read that
24 and tell us whether you know the person who wrote and drafted this
25 document. Thank you.
1 A. It says clearly here "Kapetan," Captain Slavko Novakovic.
2 Q. Thank you. Now that you have read this, tell us, do you know who
3 Captain Slavko Novakovic is, whose signature we see here, and can you
4 tell us what was his post at the time? Thank you.
5 A. Captain Novakovic was in the logistics sector of the Drina Corps,
6 and besides carrying out his regular duties he was also carrying out the
7 job of liaison from the corps with the UNPROFOR and the UNHCR, and he
8 also kept a record of the quantities and problems that he had with the
9 UNHCR and UNPROFOR during their passage throughout the territory. He was
10 also in charge of organising and overseeing the work of the check-points.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 2, please.
13 Paragraph with the title: "Behaviour and Abuse of Mandate by UNPROFOR
14 and Humanitarian Organisations." This is marked C.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Could you please look at the document. The first paragraph --
17 you can look at the whole document as well, I don't mind at all.
18 A. Could you please zoom in a little bit on the paragraph at the top
19 in the heading.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, what is your question?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. My question is this: You have now looked at the document. Did
24 you receive these documents and was your sector aware of this information
25 from subordinate units, such as this report by Captain Slavko Novakovic?
1 Thank you.
2 A. These reports were sent to Colonel Djurdjic's office. He
3 reviewed them in detail, as needed. And if needed, he would even go to
4 Captain Novakovic to clarify some details from certain documents with him
5 in person. These were abuses that are referred to in the text below,
6 which required a particular kind of action in the process of approving
7 the passage of the convoys -- in the process of the passage of the
9 Q. Thank you. Were you aware of information about abuses of
10 humanitarian aid convoys in the Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde enclaves?
11 Did your office have this information?
12 A. Our office received relevant information to the effect that
13 certain quantities of assistance were being delivered to the army of the
14 Muslims in Srebrenica. They didn't specify concrete quantities. And
15 Colonel Djurdjic, since I was busy with other tasks, always used the
16 opportunity to inform me about these cases. I didn't receive information
17 as such. I received information from Colonel Djurdjic and he, in turn,
18 received the appropriate information from the intelligence service.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please look at the last
21 paragraph. Can we scroll the document up so that we could see the whole
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I am going to read it. It's quite small type. I quote:
25 "Understandably, most cases of attempted smuggling of goods were
1 in the convoys for Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde, which had the fewest
2 possibilities for being provisioned apart from humanitarian aid. The
3 following goods were those that were most smuggled: Video cameras,
4 cameras, film, weapons, radio sets, satellite equipment and antennae,
5 signaling apparatus, optical devices, night vision apparatus, motor oil,
6 various parts for devices, anti-freeze, chemical manure, oxygen
7 cylinders, flak jackets, helmets, sleeping bags."
8 My question is: Is this equipment for the needs of the civilians
9 or for the use of the army that is being referred to here in this
10 paragraph, and can it be used for military purposes?
11 A. This equipment can be used both for civilian and military uses;
12 however, a flak jacket can only be used by a soldier, and all UNPROFOR
13 members had a sufficient number of flak jackets for their needs. Other
14 equipment, especially for night recording, was of exceptional importance
15 to the other side so that they could use infrared devices for night
16 monitoring in the area under the control of the Army of Republika Srpska
17 or to infiltrate their own special units. If they were equipped with
18 this infrared equipment, the binoculars, they could, unhindered, from a
19 certain distance, safely observe and gather data about what was being
20 done in the territory that was under the control of the
21 Army of Republika Srpska.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I stop you for one short moment.
23 Sir, have you any idea when this document was written and sent to
24 the recipient? Can you take that from the text or from somewhere else?
25 Or do you recall this specific document?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We can see a date in the heading.
2 Generally speaking, I recall such reports as some of the reports which
3 arrived from Novakovic were archived in Colonel Djurdjic's office. I
4 can't say exactly which report this is, though, but they were similar in
5 terms of content.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please help me. Where do you find the date, as
7 you said? You said, "We can see a date in the heading." What do you
8 mean by that?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had in mind the time
10 the document was drafted.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can you see the date? Shall we go back to the
12 first page, or what is your proposal?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is not the first page.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now we have the first page.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] We do not see a precise date, but
16 the document refers to 1994.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is it correct that in the one, two, three --
18 fourth longer paragraph in the middle, it says -- it speaks about
19 personnel who have been working at this task since August 1993. Do you
20 see that? Is that correct? I am asking you because the document itself
21 doesn't bear any specific date when it was drafted.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It mentions the Drina Corps and a
23 reserve captain thereof. In this case, it is Slavko Novakovic who was a
24 reserve captain. He was assigned to monitor all UNPROFOR-related
25 matters. This references to him.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And the next -- and the last paragraph on this
2 page, you will see a reference to August 1994; is that correct?
3 Especially to instructions of August 1994.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: What would be your conclusion when this document
6 was drafted?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please bear with me, I'd like to
8 read it more carefully.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then I take you back to the first paragraph on
10 this page. In the first paragraph, it says:
11 "Convoys, teams, and individuals from UNPROFOR and others
12 entered the Drina Corps zone of responsibility and moved about therein on
13 a daily basis during 1994 using the following roads:"
14 Can I take it that this must have been drafted sometimes in 1995
15 as it relates to the whole year of 1994; is that correct?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This seems to be a summary report
17 of convoy movements in this period up to August 1994. Obviously the
18 document was drafted on Djurdjic's request for a specific information and
19 issues. It was in a collated summary form.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that.
21 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Slavko, please tell us whether, save for the procedure reported
25 here, was it also known in the Main Staff that the BH Army was also
1 supplying itself by way of humanitarian aid convoys as well as UNPROFOR
3 A. General, sir, this was one of the specify sources. The
4 Main Staff had a number of other sources and possibilities at their
5 disposal as well as other information about the use of UNHCR and UNPROFOR
6 convoys in order to supply military assets and cargo that is not
7 permitted to those in the enclaves. Bihac was another problematic area
8 in that regard.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have 1D458 next.
11 Thank you.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. We can see it here. I will quote, briefly:
14 "We forward an overview of the amounts of food, materiel, and
15 technical equipment, as well as fuel, issued to the military units in our
16 area in March 1995: Flour, 18 tonnes; beans, 6 tonnes; kitchen salt,
17 450 kilogrammes; sugar, 470 kilogrammes; edible oil, 1.2 tonnes; canned
18 food, 9.900 pieces; powder milk, 750 kilogrammes.
19 "We also draw your attention to the fact that the specified
20 quantities were taken out of the contingent of humanitarian assistance
21 which arrived in this area via UNHCR and it is our only source of
23 The document was drafted by Mr. Sulejman Hasanovic, who was chief
24 of the defence secretariat in Srebrenica, and he forwarded this letter to
25 the defence secretariat in Tuzla. Can you tell us what this data is all
1 about and it comes from their source?
2 A. This data, without a doubt, show that the Muslim army was
3 supplied by way of UNHCR contingents delivered to Srebrenica, and we have
4 the specific amounts for a specific period of time.
5 Q. Can such quantities of food be used to feed the unit, as it was,
6 in Srebrenica?
7 A. In addition to UNPROFOR within the protected area of Srebrenica,
8 there were armed Muslim units which, to my -- well, first of all, to my
9 knowledge that unit was supposed to have been demilitarised in the first
10 place; however, they had standing units which received part - a
11 significant part - of their supplies from the UNHCR. We can see they
12 received oil -- well, we can't really see if it's engine oil or cooking
13 oil, but we see some other items as well. In other words, this enabled
14 the army in the enclave to provide food for themselves and even to store
16 Q. We can see that this refers to the 31st of March, 1995, and it is
17 in reference to the register of donations to the Army of BiH. We can see
18 that it arrived by way of convoys?
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] I seek to tender this document into
20 evidence. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Since there is no translation available yet, it
22 will be marked for identification pending translation.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 1D458 shall be
24 assigned Exhibit D326, marked for identification pending translation.
25 Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
2 We have just seen this document D325 about how the UNHCR, in
3 March 1995, supplied the Army of BH.
4 Could we next have D80 in e-court, please.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, to avoid any complications with
6 numbers, you just referred to document P325, but what we have seen was
7 D326. So I misspoke. I meant "D325."
8 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please continue.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. We have D80 in front of us. It is another document of the
13 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It's Tuzla defence secretariat, or
14 rather, department of that secretariat in the municipality of Srebrenica.
15 The document is dated the 5th of June, 1995, two months following the
16 previous document. Subject: Records of donations to the BH Army. It
18 "We hereby submit a list of the quantities of food, materiel, and
19 technical equipment and fuel issued to our military units in our area for
20 the month of May 1995."
21 We see that it refers to 25.900 kilogrammes of flour; 596
22 kilogrammes of sugar; 1.423 litres of cooking oil; 619 kilogrammes of
23 salt; 5 tonnes of beans; 17.020 cold cuts; 100 kilogrammes of powder
24 milk; 62 kilogrammes of juice; 7.780 tins of fish; 117 pieces of breaded
25 fish; 480 kilogrammes of ground meat, et cetera. Signed by chief of the
1 defence sector Professor Suljo Hasanovic.
2 Towards the bottom, the penultimate line, we see the following:
3 "We wish to note that the above quantities have been separated
4 out of the humanitarian aid contingent which arrived in the area through
5 the UNHCR, while some of the food was obtained by the Dutch Battalion."
6 Did Colonel Djurdjic's office have information about an increase
7 of food supplies carried by UNHCR convoys with an aim of supplying the
8 BH Army? And we also see here that even UNPROFOR provided some of the
10 A. We had information that the UNHCR convoys, and also the
11 Dutch Battalion, partly supplied the Muslim army, especially in
12 Srebrenica. To my mind, and I am well acquainted with the principles
13 governing the work of the UN, it is conspicuous here that anything that
14 bears the UN logo is somehow co-ordinated. Most probably the UNHCR
15 transported larger quantities of flour, so it was them rather than
16 UNPROFOR, and the same applies to any other goods because the observers,
17 based on their estimates, would be able to see that the Dutch Battalion
18 didn't need so much flour. It isn't stated here who transported the
19 goods, it is only mentioned that both gave as much as they could spare.
20 And I'm particularly referring to the Dutch Battalion here.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see D197.
23 Thank you.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you. You can see a document of the Bosnia and Herzegovina
1 embassy and the Republic of Croatia, more specifically its military
2 economic mission in Zagreb. They sent a document to the Bihac office to
3 the attention of the commander of the BH Army 5th Corps. All these items
4 are about military assets, exclusively lethal assets; fuses, ammunition,
5 grenades, large quantities of all these. And the last sentence reads:
6 "Please provide confirmation of received MTS," which stands for
7 materiel and technical equipment, "or problems concerning reception."
8 And the following line identifies the UNHCR truck. It says that
9 it's license plate number is 10379. It is signed by Hajrudin Osmanagic
10 for the military attache. This document is from 1993 at which time you
11 were in the zone of responsibility of the 1st Corps. Tell us first what
12 this means, truck number UNHCR-10379? Thank you.
13 A. This number is the license plate on the truck, UNHCR plus a
14 five-digit number. Such trucks passed through the zone of responsibility
15 of the 1st Krajina Corps. They bore the same license plates. Trying to
16 refresh my memory now. When the UNHCR convoy returned from the
17 check-point at Gradiska, I am fully certain that it was at the time
18 stated here. The difference may have been a few days earlier or later.
19 The UNHCR convoy turned around when we wanted to inspect it thoroughly,
20 especially when they saw that there were metal detectors available at the
22 Q. Thank you. During that period you are referring to, what about
23 the convoys that were not to be thoroughly inspected? Could they
24 transport military equipment that was declared as humanitarian aid?
25 A. Yes, it was possible for them to pass.
1 Q. Thank you. Were there other means of supply of military
2 equipment such as the equipment stated here? Could such equipment pass
3 through check-points in UNPROFOR vehicles?
4 A. General, sir, at that time there was a no-fly zone over BH
5 territory. There were also clashes between Croatian and Muslim forces.
6 Let me add that the supply of Bihac went mostly from Croatia to that
7 area, and they did not go through RS territory. I am talking about
8 humanitarian aid.
9 Probably, taking into consideration the opposites of supplying an
10 army, there was intelligence and there were observed flights, illicit
11 flights, to Tuzla airfield.
12 Q. Thank you. What about the enclaves Srebrenica, Zepa, and
13 Gorazde, could they receive supplies through these convoys or were there
14 other options available?
15 A. There were other options.
16 Q. Thank you. Which other options do you know of that could be used
17 to supply military units in the enclaves of Srebrenica, Zepa, and
19 A. There were also instances of smuggling. There were instances of
20 dropping equipment from planes. I think those were C-135 planes. This
21 plane was identified a couple of times based on the specific sound it
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see document
25 65 ter 04911. Thank you.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. We can see it. This is a document of the Main Staff of the VRS.
3 It's dated 9 January 1995, and addressed to the UNPROFOR command in
4 Sarajevo. It was signed by Chief of Staff,
5 Lieutenant-General Manojlo Milovanovic. I don't think I need to read it.
6 You can see it.
7 What is this document about?
8 A. This is a document sent by the Main Staff to the UNPROFOR command
9 in Sarajevo. To be more precise, to the UNPROFOR office at Pale. And
10 they forwarded it to their command in Sarajevo. The document is
11 marked 06. These are the first two digits, which means that it was
12 entered in the list of documents of the office of Colonel Djurdjic.
13 Could we please zoom in on the letterhead? Could we scroll down?
14 Here we see 18 activities of convoys, 18 crossings that were approved to
15 go through the territory of the RS; for example, convoy number so-and-so,
16 its route, and the time-frame, for example, 10 January, 1995.
17 Q. Thank you. Apart from travelling through RS territory and having
18 the approval to cross the front line to go to BH Army controlled
19 territory, that is an army that was at war with the VRS, and go into
20 enclaves such as Sarajevo, Srebrenica, which means that they had to cross
21 more than one front line; is that correct? Thank you.
22 A. Each convoy is different. The one going from Kiseljak to
23 Srebrenica or Gorazde or Zepa had to cross two demarcation lines.
24 Q. Thank you. Tell us, who has the authority in an army to
25 authorise a convoy to cross the front line from enemy-held territory to
1 your own territory or in the opposite direction? Thank you.
2 A. For crossing from one side to the other, that kind of authority
3 is only with the commander or with a person authorised expressly by him,
4 personally by him.
5 Q. Thank you. When you say "commander," do you mean the commander
6 of the army or a lower-level commander? Thank you.
7 A. General, sir, this is a document of the Main Staff. It's the
8 commander of the Main Staff of the VRS who has that authority.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see page 16 of this
11 document in the Serbian language. Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, I have a question for you. You said on
13 page 46, lines 7 through 8:
14 "The document was sent by the Main Staff to UNPROFOR command in
15 Sarajevo. To be more precise, to the UNPROFOR office at Pale."
16 This was what was recorded. Where did you take that from, that
17 it was sent to Pale and not to Sarajevo?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the normal procedure
19 for communication - and the only one - was between the office and the
20 liaison officers of UNPROFOR at Pale who had equipment and interpreters.
21 One of their basic tasks was to maintain communication with
22 Milos Djurdjic's office regarding these convoys.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is your recollection and not what was
24 written in the document; correct?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, Mr. President. We had no other
1 means of communication. The only link we had was with the office and the
2 office went about this work, which means that the document had to go
3 through the office toward the UNPROFOR command, because they translated
4 the document and forwarded it to UNPROFOR command using other channels of
5 communication. I personally was in that office a couple of times, and I
6 knew how they were able to communicate. I mean, the office with the
7 UNPROFOR command.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
9 Mr. Tolimir, your last question for today.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. I called up this document that we have on the screen which speaks
13 about the movement of UNPROFOR on 10 January between Kiseljak and
14 Srebrenica and its return on 12 January, 1995. This is all stated in the
15 document. And then underneath we see a handwritten part:
16 "Last time in Srebrenica, 34 cubic metres of diesel transported
17 on 3 January 1995. Requested quantity in line with agreed weekly
18 quantities. Verify quantities."
19 What does this tell you as a person who was appointed to the
20 office where you worked? What is this document about?
21 A. I can tell that this is an original document, signed by the chief
22 of the BH command, General Brinkman. This is a regular convoy
23 notification that we routinely received; whereas, the handwritten part is
24 also signed or, rather, initialed. It's initialed by Zdravko Tolimir.
25 In the upper part, that is the first line of the handwritten part, "last
1 time we transported 34 cubic metres of diesel to Srebrenica," and there
2 is a date, 3.1.95, probably, the last digit isn't legible. 35 cubic
3 litres, that 34.000 litres. It was Djurdjic's job to estimate whether
4 these were appropriate quantities required for the transportation. I am
5 not sure whether it's for the UNPROFOR or the UNHCR.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Could we please scroll up so we see
7 the top of the page.
8 Q. Have a look at number 2, please.
9 A. We see in item 2 that the requested amount was sufficient for
10 five days, but I am wondering - as a military man - why they needed so
11 much for only five days.
12 Q. Was this approved, then? I mean, please have a look at the
13 handwritten note at the bottom of the page.
14 A. Could we see the bottom of the page, then, please. We see here
15 that the requested amount was within the weekly arranged amounts. This
16 was obviously previously agreed upon.
17 Q. Can you tell us where it was agreed upon, if you know?
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have to stop you. You have time
19 enough for tomorrow. I said just some minutes ago the last question, now
20 you have had four questions. We have to stop.
21 But I would like to ask you, Mr. Tolimir, you said this is at
22 page 16 of a lengthy document. Was the document signed by
23 Mr. Milovanovic, the first page of it? Just a clarification, please,
24 since I can't read it. There is no translation available.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, precisely. On page 1 we
1 have a list of documents and what was approved, and on page 16 is the
2 document I requested. Thank you. It is on page 16 of the English
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There is no English version. But we may deal
5 with that tomorrow. We have to adjourn for the day, and we will resume
6 tomorrow morning in this courtroom at 9.00.
7 And sir, please take note that it is not allowed to have contact
8 to either party during the break.
9 We will resume tomorrow morning.
10 [The witness stands down]
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.06 p.m.,
12 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 24th day
13 of January, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.