1 Tuesday, 8 February 2011
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE KWON: Good morning, everyone.
7 Good morning, General. If you could kindly take the solemn
8 declaration, please.
9 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
10 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: RUPERT SMITH
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, General.
13 Yes, Mr. Tieger. Good morning to you.
14 MR. TIEGER: Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honours, and
15 everyone in and around the courtroom.
16 MR. ROBINSON: Good morning, Mr. President.
17 If I could just intervene for a moment before Mr. Tieger begins
18 his direct examination to put something on the record.
19 Yesterday, during our interview of General Smith, it was
20 indicated to us that he has given two statements previously to the
21 Royal Canadian Mounted Police and given testimony on one occasion in a
22 preliminary examination in a case in Canada involving the hostage-taking
23 that's the subject of Count 11, and I just wanted to indicate to the
24 Trial Chamber that we think that the prior statements and testimony of a
25 witness is an important tool for the Trial Chamber to use in assessing
1 the credibility of a witness. And we're taking steps today to obtain
2 that information from Canada, but we're not likely to receive it in time
3 for General Smith to complete his testimony. And when we do get it, if
4 we believe there's something in there that we thought should be brought
5 to your attention, we'll take steps to do that, but I wanted to put it on
6 the record now that that information is not in our possession at this
7 time. Thank you.
8 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, Mr. Robinson.
9 While I note your submission, I wish to say something about this
10 matter, Mr. Karadzic, in general, of your efforts to obtain previous
11 statements of testimony provided by General Smith in domestic proceedings
12 before we begin to hear his evidence.
13 The Chamber has previously advised you that there comes a point
14 in every case where responsible Defence has to focus on the evidence and
15 material before it and its position, rather than constantly searching for
16 more information that may be of marginal importance. We understand that
17 you feel that you must have it in your possession, every document bearing
18 the slightest connection to your case, and that it may be a feature of
19 your self-represented status that you do not fully appreciate that there
20 is no Defence or Prosecution team at this Tribunal or in any domestic
21 jurisdiction in the world that can have access to or to have analysed all
22 such material. While at the same time complaining over and over again
23 that you don't have sufficient resources to analyse the material
24 disclosed to you by the Prosecution, Mr. Karadzic, you keep using the
25 substantial resources that you have; so to speak, seven Defence team
1 members remunerated by the Tribunal, in addition to your pro bono
2 associates and interns, to pursue additional material that, in the end,
3 may not be of much use to you. Therefore, I suggest that you take heed
4 of this advice, speak to the experienced Defence counsel who are
5 available to you, who know how the trial process runs, and think
6 carefully about your strategy in this case.
7 That said, sorry for the inconvenience, General.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I say a word or two?
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Good morning to you all.
11 Your Excellency, I am very grateful for this well-intentioned
12 advice. However, the position of this Defence is that it has to be
13 different from the Defence cases in other trials. We saw how they
15 Secondly, five team members are the number that I'm being
16 remunerated for, but it's seven of them who are sharing this money.
17 There are other things involved. I have to find documents that
18 previous Defences had not found, and I have to complete the picture.
19 Otherwise, it would be pointless for me to mount a defence if it were to
20 be identical to the ones mounted before me.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE KWON: I take it that you take into account what I have
23 said to you.
24 That said, Mr. Tieger, please.
25 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Speaking of pragmatism, I just want to note that our LiveNote
2 crashed, at least mine and Mr. Reid's, I believe, but we'll press on,
3 nevertheless, and hopefully the technical people can offer some
4 assistance and at a timely moment.
5 Examination by Mr. Tieger:
6 Q. Good morning, General.
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. Can were begin by asking to you state your full name, please.
9 A. Yes. My full name is Rupert Anthony Smith.
10 Q. General, let me try to, however inadequately, briefly summarise
11 some of your background. And, please -- I'll try to do that in a summary
12 fashion. Please correct me if I've misstated any of the details.
13 You graduated from Haileybury and the Imperial Service College in
14 Sandhurst. You enlisted in the British Army in 1962, and you were
15 commissioned into the Parachute Regiment in 1964. Your service and
16 during the course of your career, and I believe that's approximately a
17 40-year career, has brought you to Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the
18 Caribbean, and Asia. And just looking at your last 10 years of service,
19 you were the general officer commanding the 1st Armoured Division from
20 1990 to 1992, which included the Gulf War. You also served as assistant
21 chief of Defence Staff for Operations and Security from 1992 to 1994.
22 I'll speak about that more in a moment. You commanded UNPROFOR,
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, during the year of 1995. You were general officer
24 commanding in Northern Ireland from 1996 to 1998. You served as deputy
25 supreme commander, Allied Powers Europe, from 1998 to 2001, and covered
1 NATO's Balkan operations. And in January of 2002, you retired at the
2 rank of general. Is that basically a correct summary, sir?
3 A. Yes, with two very minor points. I got further east than you
4 described, to Australia and Malaysia, and the assistant chief of the
5 Defence Staff job was in the Ministry of Defence in London.
6 Q. Now, our focus during this proceeding will, of course, be your
7 service as UNPROFOR commander during 1995, but I wanted to ask you if,
8 prior to assuming those duties, you had the benefit of work that provided
9 some knowledge and context of events in Bosnia and Herzegovina that
10 preceded your assuming command.
11 A. Yes. My responsibilities as the assistant chief of the Defence
12 Staff for Operations and Security in the Ministry of Defence in London
13 was essentially that of being the operations officer for the
14 United Kingdom. And all the operations being conducted by the forces of
15 the United Kingdom, the files, as it were, went over my desk, and so I
16 had an understanding of the UN operations and the involvement of NATO in
17 the Balkans from that capital's point of view and had been involved in
18 some of the debate, and that was part of the decisions for the
19 United Kingdom to be part of those operations and in the development of
20 those operations up to the end of 1994.
21 Q. And I indicated earlier that your service as commander was during
22 1995. Do you recall precisely or approximately when you took command of
24 A. I'll try and be precise. I think it was the 24th of January, but
25 it was in January 1995.
1 Q. General, where were your headquarters?
2 A. The headquarters in Sarajevo.
3 Q. And was that in a particular building or buildings?
4 A. Yes, it was in the residency, it was called, in Sarajevo.
5 Q. And who was your predecessor, sir?
6 A. General Michael Rose.
7 Q. And your immediate superior, your military superior?
8 A. General Janvier of the French Army, who was based in the UN
9 headquarters in Zagreb.
10 Q. And was there also a UN civilian leadership to whom you reported?
11 A. Yes. There was a -- there was the SRSG, Mr. Akashi, who was also
12 up in Zagreb, and to him you went to the Department of Peacekeeping and
13 the Secretary-General in New York.
14 Q. General, you indicated you were headquartered in Sarajevo, and so
15 the UNPROFOR Bosnia-Herzegovina Command was there. Was there also a
16 subordinate sector command located in Sarajevo?
17 A. Yes. Based on a French Brigade headquarters, there was a
18 Sector Sarajevo, and then there were two other sectors as well in Bosnia.
19 Q. Now, General, let me take you back to your assumption of command
20 in late January 1995 and ask you to briefly describe the circumstances
21 and your primary responsibilities.
22 A. My -- I took over command not long after the signing of what had
23 been -- what was called the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. This had
24 been signed right at the end of 1994. And the immediate circumstances
25 was one of setting out to implement the essence of this agreement or for
1 the UN and UNPROFOR to play its part in implementing the essence of this
2 agreement and the items in it. The -- my prior -- or the role of my
3 command, the UNPROFOR, itself, in Bosnia-Herzegovina can be summarised,
4 in that our purpose was to secure and support the UNHCR in the delivery
5 of humanitarian aid and to play its part, the UN part, in the -- what had
6 come to be called the safe areas and exclusion zone policy or
7 resolutions. And -- but in the circumstances of the Cessation of
8 Hostilities Agreement, it was the former one that was very much the
9 primary concern when I took over. More immediately, on my own part, I
10 wanted to get 'round my command and, of course, meet the Bosnian Serbs
11 and the Federation parties and get to know them.
12 Q. In that connection, then, let me turn your attention quickly to a
13 couple of exhibits reflecting meetings almost immediately after you
15 And can I first have 65 ter 04754, and it would be page 11 of the
16 English, please.
17 And in this agenda book or diary, we see a notation for the
18 27th of January for 1200 hours: "General Smith." And let me show you
19 next, and I'll advise the Court about both the nature and providence of
20 this exhibit in a moment.
21 The next exhibit will be 65 ter 04754 -- excuse me, P1487 and
22 page 183.
23 And, General, P1487 has been admitted into evidence as the
24 note-books of General Mladic. Here, for the entry for the 27th of
25 January, 1995, we see notes under the heading "Reception of
1 General Smith." First entry:
2 "He was greeted by Radovan."
3 General, before I ask you about the nature of this meeting, let
4 me ask you if the two notebook entries are consistent with your
5 recollection of the timing of a meeting with General Mladic and
6 Mr. Karadzic.
7 A. Yes, this would connect with my memory, yeah.
8 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, with respect to 65 ter 04754, that was
9 a notebook that was seized from Mr. Karadzic's Belgrade flat at the time
10 of his arrest. I don't believe there's any -- given the nature of the
11 document, I don't believe there's any objection to its admission, but I
12 would move it into evidence at this time.
13 JUDGE KWON: Can we hear from the Defence?
14 MR. ROBINSON: We have no objection, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE KWON: Probably it would be wiser to admit it in its
16 entirety --
17 MR. TIEGER: I think so, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE KWON: -- given the nature of --
19 MR. TIEGER: Yes.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit it.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2242, Your Honours.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I ask something?
23 There are a few volumes involved. Are all the diaries of my
24 secretaries being admitted or just one particular volume for one
25 particular year?
1 JUDGE KWON: How many volumes do you have, Mr. Tieger?
2 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, frankly, I don't know what this
3 particular exhibit represents. I would presume that they are up-loaded
4 as discreet volumes, given separate 65 ter numbers, and this one would,
5 presumably, represent the agenda or notebook from that time. But we'd
6 have no -- we can check, and of course we'd have no objection to -- since
7 as the Court has indicated they're useful in their entirety, to doing so
8 if this document doesn't represent the full duration.
9 JUDGE KWON: The Chamber is minded to admit it in its entirety,
10 but at this moment we'll admit this exhibit and we'll see what we can do
11 later on.
12 Yes, let's proceed, Mr. Tieger.
13 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I -- may I just explain to the
15 Chamber what this is all about?
16 These are the diaries of my secretaries who recorded, who was
17 visiting me, and how much time I was spending in the office.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
19 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. General, as we see from the notes of General Mladic, he has
21 indications that you presented your team. You explained that your
22 mission had two directions, including the delivery of aid to all those
23 who need it, and to do the best you could to play your role in the UN for
24 peace, et cetera; then raised questions about the shelling of Bihac and
25 the exchange of liaison officers, one of whom, on the Bosnian Serb side,
1 was in Gornji Vakuf. General, with respect to those particular comments
2 attributed to you, are those in keeping with your recollection of the
3 information you provided and -- well, let me ask you that first.
4 A. That would be the sort of thing that I would have discussed, I
5 expect. I have no -- beyond the fact that this meeting took place, it
6 was the first time we all met, I'm -- I probably did raise those things,
8 Q. Now, you indicated, General, that you wanted, from the outset, to
9 meet with the parties to the conflict. Perhaps it's obvious, but can you
10 tell us why you met immediately with Mr. Karadzic and General Mladic;
11 that is, who they were and what their significance was?
12 A. Mr. Karadzic was the president of the Bosnian Serbs, and
13 General Mladic was the commander of their army. And I -- just as my
14 predecessors had felt necessary, so did I, that if we didn't have a
15 dialogue between us, the UN, and the commanders and political leaders of
16 the factions in this conflict, then we were not going to achieve our
17 objectives as the UN.
18 Q. We'll be touching on this issue during the course of your
19 testimony in various ways, General, but briefly and generally, I wanted
20 to ask you this: You indicated that you met with them because of your
21 understanding about their leadership roles. During the course of your
22 work as commander, your dealings with -- over time with General Mladic
23 and President Karadzic, did you have the opportunity to observe the
24 extent to which your understanding at the outset of their leadership
25 roles was accurate?
1 A. It was quite plain to me that they were, as it were, who they
2 said they were, that they were performing those roles, and that as -- and
3 in establishing this dialogue, one's purpose is to understand the
4 intentions and path that the various factions were setting out to conduct
5 themselves into the future. And in doing that, one starts to form an
6 opinion as to how well or effectively these leaders are performing that
7 function, and I came to the judgement that both Mr. Karadzic and
8 General Mladic were very clearly in command of what they were doing.
9 Q. And were you able to determine the extent to which they either
10 worked together or separately toward the intentions and objectives that
11 you spoke about?
12 A. At this time or as the -- as the year developed?
13 Q. Over time, sir.
14 A. Over time. The -- they were clearly operating together. They
15 were there along with Koljevic and Krajisnik, at the same table. They
16 were all as one in the meeting. And, indeed, that was what -- how we
17 were told by them, that they operated together as one. This you could
18 see developing -- you could see examples of it as the year developed.
19 There were occasions when you detected a degree of tension between the
20 political and the military. I think we were detecting some in April.
21 But there was little doubt in my mind, and it evaporated quite quickly,
22 as to that they were not, as it were, joined at the hip as the
23 Bosnian Serb leadership and they were conducting themselves on a single
25 Q. Did the existence of any tensions that you did observe strike you
1 as unusual or noteworthy in the context of a political and military
3 A. Well, there are always, speaking from my own experience, tension,
4 not necessarily destructive tension, but, nevertheless, tension between
5 political and military when you're conducting these major endeavours.
6 The military are trying to turn a political intention into a military
7 act, and the consequences of that military act may have political effects
8 that were unwanted. So there's a constant tension between the two. So
9 it's not surprising to me if you see this tension in existence. It's
10 when it becomes destructive to that group of people that it matters. I
11 never saw it reach that stage. When I saw tensions, I assumed that this
12 was, as I've tried to describe, the normal, what you might expect from --
13 in these circumstances.
14 Q. Now, with respect to the military, itself, the -- that is, the
15 Bosnian Serb Army, did you have an opportunity to observe the nature of
16 its command structure and command-and-control relationships?
17 A. Yes, I did. And, again, speaking from the impression formed over
18 time, here was an army from -- in which orders were obeyed, in which
19 instructions were -- if they were given at the top, you saw action being
20 taken on them at the bottom. Equally, you could -- I mean, something
21 could happen at the bottom and you could see the communications going to
22 the top. And I had -- can give you one example.
23 On one occasion, the -- in fact, when I was visiting Srebrenica,
24 we got lost. We finished up at a check-point and were held at the
25 check-point. My -- this was in Bosnian Serb territory. My liaison
1 officer was able to go into the check-point, pick up the telephone, and
2 talk directly to Mladic, who gave orders for us to be cleared to go
3 through and down this route and rejoin the correct route.
4 Q. And, General, we'll be looking at a number of documents during
5 the course of your testimony, and you may have an opportunity to amplify
6 on some of the observations and experiences you just related in that
8 Let me turn our attention next to a meeting that took place with
9 General Mladic again relatively shortly after your arrival, this one on
10 the 14th of February, 1995, which is 65 ter 21988.
11 And, General, let me -- you'll see the documentation to which
12 your attention will be drawn on screen. Please feel free at any point,
13 if you wish, to ask to have either a section --
14 A. It would be a great deal better if it was made a little larger.
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. That's it.
17 Q. And then you can control the scrolling down if you need to review
18 the document.
19 A. Can I -- with this? What do I do, just --
20 Q. If you just ask the Registrar to do so.
21 A. We can make it smaller. And you've gone -- that's about right,
22 that's fine.
23 And could we go down the page, please.
24 Q. All right. General, I'm going to ask you a couple of questions
25 about some -- a couple of questions about some particular portions of the
2 First, let me ask you at the outset if you recall, generally,
3 what the focus of this meeting was.
4 A. I remember those issues, yes.
5 Q. Now, with respect to the entry at paragraph 2:
6 "The purpose of the meeting was to see how a cease-fire could be
7 achieved in Bihac, how the clearances or humanitarian convoys could be
8 freed up, and then whether a CJC in Bihac was a start. We emphasised the
9 dire humanitarian situation in Bihac and the international profile which
10 it was receiving. Mladic's response was to describe the imbalance of the
11 system which, in his view, denied aid to the Bosnian Serb citizens but
12 sent food and military supplies to the Muslim enclaves."
13 Can you tell the Court, please, what your concern was at the time
14 about the humanitarian convoys, the nature of the situation that prompted
15 that concern, and the nature of the response you received from
16 General Mladic?
17 A. I don't have a very clear recollection of the details of the
18 situation around Bihac at the time, but it -- to some extent, it had been
19 the poor relation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement. And the --
20 and the fighting in that area had either never really stopped or had
21 flared up again, and I can't remember which it was, but there was a clear
22 need to get some convoys of aid into the Bihac -- to the population in
23 Bihac and to resupply the UN battalion that was there, which from my
24 memory came from Bangladesh. The -- and that was -- it was the
25 juxtaposition of all those events, the fighting, the resupply of the
1 humanitarian aid, and the resupply of the UN battalion, that had, as it
2 were, made this issue a big one in comparison to everything else at the
4 The commentary of the exchange was that you see here a
5 characteristic of these meetings, I will only do this if you do that;
6 negotiation, as it were, against the previous agreement. And so you see
7 that in this case with the, People have got to withdraw before I let
8 anything in, and then you -- and you get this comparison that, If you're
9 supplying those people, you must supply me. And we have this continuous
10 fundamental point that keeps coming through is, if you like, the
11 difference between impartiality and neutrality.
12 MR. TIEGER: In that connection, if we can look quickly at
13 paragraph 8 or point 8 of the document, which is on the next page.
14 Q. That reflects a complaint by Tolimir about reciprocal delivery,
15 matching in quantity, and then a response that this was "not the basis
16 for the UNHCR's well-proven assessment system, but he was adamant."
17 First of all, very quickly, who was Tolimir?
18 A. He was -- he frequently -- he was a general. He was one of the
19 chiefs of staff, if my memory serves me right, for security in the
20 Bosnian Serb headquarters, and he frequently accompanied Mladic.
21 Q. And does the complaint that he registered and the response that
22 he received reflect what you were trying to describe earlier?
23 A. Yes, and it's a theme that runs through these meetings.
24 Q. And because we may have occasion to address or rely upon this
25 distinction, you mention the difference between impartiality and
1 neutrality, perhaps you could amplify on that a bit in this context.
2 A. This was how I understood it, or, rather, I still understand it
3 and understood it at the time, and I would use an example which, from
4 memory, I used at the time as well; that if I was a doctor in the
5 British Army on operations, I would not be neutral. I would be a member
6 of the British Army, and I would be wearing the uniform of the
7 British Army. But if, in my dressing station, a casualty of the enemy
8 was brought in along with a casualty from my own army, and the enemy
9 casualty was much more severely injured than the soldier from my own
10 army, then my duty, as a doctor, was to act impartially and to treat the
11 enemy soldier not only with more medicine and so forth because his wounds
12 and injuries needed it, but to treat him first because he was the more
13 urgent case, and there I was behaving impartially. And I used that
14 difference and that understanding in trying to explain the difference
15 between the UN being neutral and the UN being impartial in these
16 circumstances of Bosnia in 1995.
17 Q. General, you distinguished -- or made a distinction between
18 humanitarian aid to civilians and convoys that were resupplying UNPROFOR
19 forces. Did both of those issues continue to be a source of concern for
20 you during the course of your service and a source of tension or friction
21 between UNPROFOR and the Bosnian Serbs?
22 A. In Bihac or --
23 Q. Overall.
24 A. In Bihac, certainly. And overall, certainly.
25 MR. TIEGER: Let me turn next, then, to P14 -- 01470, which
1 reflects a meeting between yourself and -- or notes of a meeting --
2 JUDGE KWON: You're minded to tender the previous document?
3 MR. TIEGER: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE KWON: That will be admitted.
5 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2243, Your Honours.
6 MR. TIEGER:
7 Q. P01470, General, is a document, and if we turn the page, it is
8 dated the 6th of March, 1995, and reflects a meeting between yourself and
9 General Mladic on the 5th of March, 1995. And you can just take a glance
10 at that. I'll direct your attention to certain portions of it.
11 Turning your attention immediately to the first paragraph, it
12 indicates, in the middle of -- again, it indicates General Tolimir's
13 presence, as you noted earlier, and indicates, in the middle of the
14 paragraph, that:
15 "It was clear that there had been a high-level meeting at the
16 resort over the weekend involving Karadzic, Krajisnik, Koljevic and
18 And that:
19 "Several officials from Belgrade were observed when you arrived,
20 including one identified as Mr. Budimir Kosotic ..."
21 And so on. We'll see a reference in the latter part of the
22 document to a discussion with Professor Koljevic and, again, a reflection
23 of major discussions before that meeting, but I wonder if you could
24 indicate to the Court what you learned about a high-level meeting that
25 had been conducted over the weekend at Jahorina.
1 A. I have difficulty, in that I now know what happened, but my
2 understanding -- I think my understanding at the time was that there had
3 been this high-level meeting and that they had had it. It had been
4 decided that the -- that the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement was
5 breaking down and that they would now try and achieve the object intended
6 for the Bosnian Serbs by force of arms, that they would be ready to fight
7 to achieve their objectives.
8 Q. Let me turn you next to paragraph 3 of the meeting. There, it
9 indicates that you questioned General Mladic on the reason for the
10 up-surge in sniping attacks in Sarajevo.
11 First of all, General, when you raised the issue of sniping
12 attacks, what kind of -- sniping attacks on whom, by whom?
13 A. The -- again, I can't remember the details, but there had been,
14 during the end of February - I couldn't tell you when it started - but an
15 increase in sniping across the confrontation line between the defenders
16 of Sarajevo and the Bosnian Serbs. The -- some of this was clearly, if
17 you like, military in its -- it was soldier on soldier. Others was
18 sniping of civilian population.
19 Q. And was your concern, in raising this with General Mladic,
20 focused on one or the other --
21 A. I see, yes. No, the concern was focused on the -- on the latter,
22 the sniping of the civilian population.
23 Q. And did you make that clear to General Mladic?
24 A. I think I must have, yes.
25 Q. And what was General Mladic's response to you in -- when you
1 raised your concerns about an up-surge in sniping attacks on civilians?
2 A. Well, you -- you get the -- there were two things, and again this
3 applies -- this is a frequent theme that runs through these exchanges.
4 The response is that, We are doing it because they're doing it, and,
5 secondly, And you're not stopping it. So I had to do it.
6 MR. TIEGER: If we could turn next to paragraph 4.
7 Q. That indicates that:
8 "The bulk of the meeting and evidently the main issue Mladic
9 wished to discuss was the effect of sanctions on the Bosnian Serbs."
10 And then there's a discussion about that. At the bottom of that
11 first paragraph, before the subsections, it indicates:
12 "General Mladic then threatened a blockade of all enclaves,
13 including Sarajevo, if sanctions were not lifted."
14 And then it indicates what you explained in response.
15 Can you indicate to the Trial Chamber what the nature and
16 significance of that exchange was?
17 A. Although this didn't precisely distill in my mind at this stage,
18 we're getting very close to the realisation that the enclaves, in which I
19 included Sarajevo, was the -- going to be, as it were, the key to the --
20 what the Bosnian Serbs were going to be attending to in the immediate
21 future, and that the -- they saw this as a way of bringing pressure upon
22 us, the UN, and as a way of relieving pressure on themselves, both by
23 punishing the United Nations and, therefore, the international community,
24 who were sanctioning them, but also, as I came to realise within a few
25 days of this, that this would be a way of freeing up their own forces and
1 resources for their own operations.
2 MR. TIEGER: And if we could turn to paragraph 6. That will be
3 on the next page.
4 Q. That indicates a discussion between you and Professor Koljevic,
5 who arrived late, toward the end of the meeting, and who was extremely
6 irritated and agitated about a letter that Mr. Karadzic had received from
7 Mr. Akashi. What was the nature of -- or the cause of or focus of
8 Koljevic's irritation? What did he say about it?
9 A. If I remember, the burden of the letter was about the delivery of
10 the aid. But there was a paragraph in it drawing Karadzic's attention to
11 the International Law on Non-Combatants, if I remember the bit correctly,
12 and this had been interpreted as a threat.
13 Q. The document indicates that Koljevic said:
14 "If he goes, we all go, and we don't mind how many we take with
16 Was that, as you recall the discussion a reflection -- an
17 accurate reflection of Koljevic's attitude toward what he considered the
18 threat of war crimes trials for humanitarian abuses?
19 A. Bearing in mind that I was talking to a man manifestly hung over,
20 I can't remember more. I just took it at face value that that's what he
21 was saying.
22 MR. TIEGER: If we may, let's take a quick look at the letter
23 that was the subject of Koljevic's ire. That would be 65 ter 01322.
24 And if we could see the next page, please.
25 Q. In this document, General, we see, and we can see on the next
1 page, it's from Mr. Akashi, writing Dr. Karadzic, explaining that it's
2 his solemn obligation to write on the subject of the highest humanitarian
3 nature that has generated serious concern. And then it continues to
4 describe the nature of the problem. As we see in the third paragraph:
5 "The reports of the international humanitarian organisations and
6 our own assessments depict a gruesome picture of complete lack of basic
7 medicines, including insulin, cardiac drugs, anti-inflammatories, basic
8 antibiotics, and even aspirin."
9 It talks about the effects on the civilian population and, in
10 particular, the most vulnerable groups of elderly and children.
11 And if we could just continue to scroll down so we can see the
12 signature page. That would be the next page, please.
13 And if you look at the penultimate paragraph, indicating that:
14 "The responsible authorities need to be reminded of the relevant
15 provisions of Security Council Resolution 771 ..."
16 And, in particular, the Geneva Conventions, and concludes that
17 suspected violations of International Humanitarian Law are subject to
19 Was that the paragraph that you understood Professor Koljevic --
20 A. Yes, it's that penultimate paragraph that I'm -- that I'm
21 recalling, yes.
22 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, if this document could be admitted,
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2244, Your Honours.
1 MR. TIEGER: And in that connection, if we could perhaps look at
2 65 ter 13390.
3 Q. General, as we're able to see from the signature page, this is a
4 letter from Mr. Karadzic to Mr. Akashi, responding to Mr. Akashi's letter
5 of the 4th of March, which we just looked at.
6 The second paragraph, as you can see, notes the language of the
7 letter asserts that Mr. Akashi greatly exaggerates the difficulties
8 concerning medical supply of the eastern enclaves; asserts that his
9 information or "our information," as it says there, is that problems are
10 not of that magnitude. And:
11 "Where problems genuinely exist, we shall strive to eliminate
13 And then it goes on, if you'll look at the letter, to raise a
14 number of points, including the alleged violations of the Cessation of
15 Hostilities Agreement.
16 And then if we'll continue to the next page, please.
17 Alleged arms supply to the Muslims, UNPROFOR's failure to face up
18 to the real issues, and so on.
19 First of all, General, let me ask you: In -- there are a number
20 of issues raised in this letter, including the alleged double standards
21 which the international community maintains. In light of your
22 experience, is -- can you tell us whether that response by Dr. Karadzic
23 to Mr. Akashi represented something unusual or whether it was -- it
24 raised issues and was the kind of response you saw during the course of
25 your service?
1 A. It's an example of what I was describing; that there is an
2 acknowledgment that -- of the specific issue raised, and then you get the
3 complaint that everyone else is -- You're not being fair, you're not
4 treating everybody else the same as you're treating me, and, You -- if
5 you like, You, UNPROFOR, are part of the problem, not part of the
6 solution to this particular issue. And the major issue in this case, the
7 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, in general.
8 Q. In the document, Mr. Karadzic seems to assert some knowledge of
9 what's happening in the enclaves. In your experience, did Mr. Karadzic
10 claim, during your dealings with him, to know what was happening in the
11 enclaves or to be unaware of what was happening in the enclaves?
12 A. I was never in any doubt that he knew what was going on. What
13 I'm -- I don't know at this range how I formed that opinion or if there
14 was a particular case where he clearly knew the precise details of
15 something, but I was quite confident he knew what was going on, or, put
16 another way, could quickly find out if necessary.
17 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I tender this document for admission.
18 JUDGE KWON: Yes, that will be admitted.
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2245, Your Honours.
20 MR. TIEGER:
21 Q. General, earlier you mentioned a visit to Srebrenica. Did you,
22 in fact, visit the enclave in the early part of March 1995?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. And can you describe for the Court, briefly, what you observed
25 during the course of that visit?
1 A. Yes. The visit to Srebrenica followed shortly after this -- the
2 meeting in Jahorina we've just been talking about, and the journey to and
3 from Srebrenica was very instructive to me, in that this was the first
4 time, apart from driving up to Pale, that I had covered any appreciable
5 length of Bosnian Serb territory, and I was very struck how empty it was
6 of people or any signs of economic activity. I was also struck at -- on
7 getting to Srebrenica and entering the pocket or enclave, that the
8 isolation of the place and the palpable sense of this isolation within
9 the enclave -- amongst the people within the enclave, itself.
10 Q. Were you able to observe or experience the -- any aspect of the
11 control over the enclave exercised by the Bosnian Serb forces?
12 A. Yes. The -- there was a series of check-points around the
13 enclave. There was evidence of defensive positions and so forth around
14 the enclave, and there was a comprehensive search conducted of vehicles
15 going into the enclave. There was a couple of humanitarian aid vehicles
16 who were coming into the enclave at the same time as my vehicles,
17 although we hadn't followed the same route, the same route to get there.
18 Q. And within the enclave, were you able to see the conditions that
19 existed for the inhabitants and the conditions for UNPROFOR personnel?
20 A. Yes. The -- it was very crowded. There was clearly a shortage
21 of fuel. A lot of trees had been cut down for firewood. The levels of
22 food and so forth were reported to me as being very low, and the -- and
23 in particular, and this applied to the UN battalion, was the shortage of
25 Q. General, let me turn next to P00877 [Realtime transcript read in
1 error "P8077"]. This document reflects a meeting between you and General
2 Mladic on the 7th of March, 1995, which, as we can see from the notations
3 in paragraph 4, took place after your visit to Srebrenica.
4 Before scrolling down the page, if we could look at an entry on
5 paragraph 2, the last sentence:
6 "The major issues that emerged from the meeting were, firstly, a
7 repetition of the linkage in the mind of the Bosnian Serbs between an
8 UNPROFOR withdrawal from the UNPAs in Croatia and a demand that the UN
9 withdraw from all enclaves in Bosnia, and, secondly, Mladic's explanation
10 of his military concerns with the eastern enclaves."
11 And if we could turn to the next page, please.
12 JUDGE KWON: Just for the record, this is P877 --
13 MR. TIEGER: I'm sorry if I misspoke, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE KWON: -- for the transcript.
15 MR. TIEGER: I see how it's written. Right.
16 Q. In paragraph 5, it indicates that General Mladic questioned you
17 on the military situation and the activities of BiH within the Srebrenica
18 pocket, and you reported that you had not seen any weapons within the
19 town and that you had inspected the WCP. Again, although I believe the
20 Court is aware, what is the WCP?
21 A. Weapons Collection Point. It's associated with the exclusion
22 zone -- I'm not quite sure what I'd call it. Exclusion zone regime.
23 Q. And then the paragraph goes on to describe Mladic's request to
24 you to order the withdrawal of UNPROFOR units from the area, his concern
25 about a particular road, and his presentation of an interpretation of
1 what the boundaries of the safe areas of Srebrenica, Gorazde and Zepa
2 were or should be. And can you explain to the Court, please, what that
3 was about?
4 A. The -- what he explained to me was that he had a different
5 understanding as to what the safe area was within an enclave, that the
6 boundaries of the enclave were not necessarily coterminous with the safe
7 area, and we -- he, as I recall it, and I think that's what's written
8 here, he got a map, and he explained that, in his view, when these things
9 were agreed, this was the area, and he then drew a much smaller lozenge,
10 as described here, a limited area in Srebrenica of about four and a half
11 kilometres by a kilometre centred on the town, itself. That was his
12 understanding, he said, of his -- of the safe area, and that's what had
13 been agreed to. And that if he attacks, then he would respect that
14 lozenge, but nothing else.
15 Q. What was your response to that, General?
16 A. Well, was to say that that wasn't how it was and that we'd
17 actually -- the establishment of the enclaves had preceded the
18 establishment of the safe area - he got things in the wrong order - and
19 that the -- and that I wasn't about to move, which is what he wanted me
20 to do, the UNOPs that were along the line of the existing confrontation
22 Q. General, here in the middle of the -- approximately the middle of
23 paragraph 5, there's a sentence that reads:
24 "These concerns --"
25 Referring to the concerns expressed above:
1 "These concerns had led him to restrict the amount of food,
2 medicine and fuel destined for the enclaves."
3 General, by this time in early March, did you have any doubt
4 about whether the restrictions on humanitarian aid or resupply for
5 UNPROFOR were the result of local initiatives, or ad hoc determinations,
6 or were centrally controlled?
7 A. If not on this specific conversation, but it is about this point
8 that I come to an understanding, which I subsequently referred to as my
9 thesis, that not only were these punitive measures centrally directed and
10 part of the overall scheme of the Bosnian Serbs, but we were also, the
11 UN, in a situation which I came to call of the hostage and the shield.
12 And this particular example was the decider, if you like, in me coming to
13 that understanding, this particular trip into Srebrenica and coming out
15 Q. General, perhaps I could ask you to amplify on the concept of
16 "hostage and shield."
17 A. Well, we -- let's use Srebrenica as an example. You -- the UN
18 were there ostensibly to provide the humanitarian aid and to deter, by
19 its presence, the assaults on the enclave, but we were -- in that role,
20 we were, to some extent, a shield for the Bosnians on the inside, because
21 they were able to then mount attacks out from the enclaves. And in the
22 same token, we became a hostage to fortune. And you can see this thing
23 here, that we stopped the -- the Serbs then stopped the aid coming in,
24 the supplies to the unit, the UN unit in the enclave. And then you can
25 find other examples where the situation is turned over and you are being
1 used by the Bosnians as a hostage, as a -- to persuade the international
2 community to take some action, and as a shield for taking that action by
3 the Serbs because you're held there, and they -- you then become stuck in
4 the middle again as one or the other.
5 Q. General, in connection with the understanding that you referred
6 to about both central direction and part of the overall scheme with
7 respect to the intentions toward the enclaves and restrictions of
8 supplies, I'd like to direct your attention next to P838. And this
9 exhibit reflects directive for Further Operations 7, and I'd like to
10 direct your attention to further portions of that document.
11 First, if we could turn to page 10, please, of the English.
12 And directing your attention to the last paragraph, which begins
13 speaking about enemy breakthroughs along selected operative-tactical
14 lines should be prevented, and then continues about tying down as many
15 enemy forces as possible, and then states:
16 "... while in the direction of the Srebrenica and Zepa enclaves,
17 complete physical separation of Srebrenica from Zepa should be carried
18 out as soon as possible, preventing even communication between
19 individuals in the two enclaves. By planned and well-thought-out combat
20 operations, create an unbearable situation of total insecurity, with no
21 hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and
23 And before I solicit a comment about that, General, let me also
24 turn your attention to paragraph 14 -- page 14, excuse me, and the last
25 paragraph shown on screen, which is the third-to-last paragraph on that
1 page, states that:
2 "The relevant state and military organs responsible for work with
3 UNPROFOR and the humanitarian organisations shall, through the planned
4 and unobtrusively restrictive issuing of permits, reduce and limit the
5 logistics support of UNPROFOR to the enclaves and the supply of material
6 resources to the Muslim population, making them dependent on our
7 goodwill, while at the same time avoiding condemnation by the
8 international community and international public opinion."
9 General, if you can tell us whether those entries were consistent
10 with your observations of the -- of how the enclaves and the issue of
11 humanitarian assistance was dealt with, and your observations about the
12 central direction of Bosnian Serb activities toward those issues.
13 A. Well, I'll take the first -- the last point first.
14 It's clearly a central direction. Here is a high-level order
15 being issued to carry this -- these actions out. I didn't recall the
16 date or the -- who signed it when you put the first page up, but --
17 MR. TIEGER: Sorry. Let me go to page 15, the last page.
18 There's the signature page and --
19 THE WITNESS: It's signed by the supreme commander, Mr. Karadzic,
20 or, rather, Dr. Karadzic. And the -- and, secondly, that -- and page 10,
21 the point on page 10 is -- I used the word at the time that the enclaves
22 would be squeezed, and there is a paragraph describing squeezing and what
23 you do to achieve squeezing of an enclave. And, indeed, that was
24 starting to happen then, although one didn't see it in quite the way it
25 was described and it was going to go, and then it was seen to continue
1 during March and April and on into the year.
2 The second thing you showed me on I think it was page 14 is, if
3 you like, the orders to do the "hostage and shield" thing with UNPROFOR.
4 We've got 14 back, yes.
5 You see them here. You are to restrain, in so many words, by
6 limiting the logistic support and so forth, on the one hand, but you're
7 not to do it in such a way that we get ourselves into a position where we
8 could be attacked. So we hide behind UNPROFOR, on the one hand, and we
9 control UNPROFOR with the other hand.
10 Q. I had asked you earlier about the nature of the relationship
11 between political and military structures, and the nature of the
12 command-and-control relationship within the VRS.
13 If I could quickly turn you to a couple of documents before the
14 break. The first is 65 ter 03993.
15 General, this is a document dated the 31st of March, 1995, very
16 urgent, to the commands of the various corps, referring to a directive
17 for Further Operations 7.
18 And if we could continue down the page and turn the page, please.
19 It goes on to describe the task of the VRS.
20 And the next page, please. And if we can continue quickly to the
21 signature page, please.
22 And, again, in connection with that document as well, I wanted to
23 also show you 65 ter 18968. That's also a document of the 31st of March,
24 1995, confirming receipt of the earlier document.
25 General, can you tell us what those two documents, the first one
1 signed by General Mladic, referring to the earlier Directive 7, and the
2 Zivanovic receipt, sent to the Main Staff, of Mladic's 31 March
4 A. The -- as I've understood, the three documents that we've seen,
5 you see the political direction being matched by the military direction
6 and then starting to cascade down the military chain of command. And in
7 this case, we have the next level, the Drina Corps, receiving their copy.
8 And there, I could recognise bits from the very first document appearing
9 in the -- in the second, in its -- in the intent and so forth.
10 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, if I could tender those two documents,
12 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
13 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibits P2246 and P2247 respectively,
14 Your Honours.
15 MR. TIEGER: And, Your Honour, noting the time, it probably
16 wouldn't be prudent to move to another document.
17 JUDGE KWON: Yes. It's time to take a break.
18 We'll have a break for half an hour and resume at 11.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
21 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
22 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. General, in connection with some of your earlier observations
24 concerning orders, and beginning at the top, going to the bottom,
25 reporting from the bottom to the top and so on, I wanted to show you a
1 series of documents and ask you about those. And perhaps it's most
2 useful if I show them to you one after another before attempting to
3 elicit any comment.
4 So if we could first turn to 65 ter 01326.
5 Let's try, instead, 19008.
6 General, this is a document dated the 26th of March, 1995, signed
7 by Mr. Karadzic, and ordering, as we see if we scroll down, the
8 "mobilisation of the complete human and material resources of
9 Republika Srpska in order to finally crush and defeat the enemy."
10 And if we could next turn to 65 ter 0315. I'm sorry if I
11 misspoke. It was 06315.
12 And if we could scroll down.
13 This is a document dated the 28th of March, 1995, ordering the
14 mobilisation of the entire manpower and material potential of
15 Republika Srpska, with the objective of ultimately crushing and defeating
16 the enemy.
17 And if we could turn to the signature page, please. And that's
18 issued by General Mladic.
19 And next, 65 ter 13449. It's a document with two dates on it,
20 the 27th of March and the 28th of March. Scrolling down, please:
21 "We have received a document from the Main Staff ...," it reads,
22 and then continues about receiving an order from the supreme commander,
23 and ordering, therefore -- and containing the order to mobilise that we
24 saw earlier from Dr. Karadzic:
25 "With regard to the foregoing," it states at the bottom of the
1 page and on the screen:
2 "The commands and units of the Drina Corps shall continue to
3 carry out combat assignments as set out in the previously received orders
4 and will organise the admission and assignment into units of the
5 additionally mobilised men."
6 And if we could turn to the signature page of that document,
8 And it's signed by General Zivanovic.
9 And, finally, 65 ter 13439. It's from the Command of the
10 1st Podrinje Light Infantry Brigade, dated March 29th, 1995, referring to
11 the delivery of the order of the president of Republika Srpska on the
12 mobilisation of the entire human and material resources, et cetera, and
13 states that:
14 "Through the Drina Corps Command, we have received an order of
15 the president of Republika Srpska ...," et cetera.
16 Referring in the first paragraph of what is ordered, that is:
17 "I hereby order," it states, "the mobilisation of the entire
18 human and material resources ...," et cetera.
19 And the signature page, please.
20 And that's signed by Major Rajko Kusic, commander.
21 General, having seen those documents, can you tell us if that's
22 consistent with your observations of the relationship between the
23 political and military authorities, the command and control of the VRS,
24 and your observations of the movement toward the implementation of the
25 achievement of intentions via military means at that time of 1995?
1 A. It's a good example of what I talked about the political and
2 military being joined at the hip. It is a -- although I wasn't aware
3 that this was going on in this way at the time, you -- it gives an
4 explanation as to why the -- you got the same political message, as it
5 were, at a number of levels of command at the same time, because, of
6 course, they were all being informed directly of the political setting of
7 their military acts down the military chain of command by this sort of
8 cascade of instructions.
9 And, yes, here you see what I alluded to earlier, that they'd
10 reached a decision in -- at the time of that meeting in Jahorina about a
11 month before this, and here you see this total effort being prepared.
12 MR. TIEGER: And if I could refer your attention --
13 Sorry, Your Honour. I'd like to move those documents into
14 evidence, please.
15 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we will admit these four documents, but I'm
16 wondering if there's a typo, in terms of date. I'm wondering how the
17 Drina Corps document could be dated as the 27th, while the Main Staff
18 document was dated as 28th of March. I checked the B/C/S version of the
19 Main Staff. It was maybe the 26th. Could you check it right now?
20 MR. TIEGER: We will do so, Your Honour. Thank you.
21 JUDGE KWON: We'll give the number.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. The four documents will be
23 Exhibits P2248 through P2251.
24 MR. TIEGER: And similarly, General, I wanted to show you three
25 additional documents. The first is 65 ter 8961.
1 That's not it. If that could be removed from the screen, please.
2 It would be 18961. Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
3 Q. General, this is a document dated the 29th of March, 1995, an
4 order issued by the president of the republic, Dr. Karadzic, and it calls
5 for the setting up of ambushes immediately along the possible axes of
6 withdrawal of units, and increasing the number of patrols controlling the
7 area referred to above.
8 And if we could next see 65 ter 07004.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excellencies, just one observation,
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, I am afraid that this is
13 expert based. It's not factual testimony. However, if the Trial Chamber
14 allows this, I hope that we are allowed to do the same thing when we
15 question our own witnesses, because the witness does not actually know
16 about these documents. He is giving an ad hoc interpretation, and the
17 distinguished Mr. Tieger is bordering on leading questions now. And the
18 witness is speaking about documents that he is not aware of.
19 JUDGE KWON: I disagree, Mr. Karadzic. The witness was the
20 commander of the UNPROFOR Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time, and he's
21 testifying about his understanding, his understanding about these
23 Please proceed, Mr. Tieger.
24 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. This document, General, is dated the 30th of March, 1995. And if
1 we scroll down, it's to the Drina Corps commands. It refers to similar
2 information. It refers to the order that we saw a moment ago, and then
3 continues without stating -- if we could continue to the bottom of the
4 page -- to the next page, please.
5 It continues to issue orders -- or a series of instructions in
6 reference to that order.
7 And one more, please, and that would be 65 ter 08162.
8 I believe we saw the previous order was to the Drina Corps
9 Command. This is the Drina Corps Command document, dated the 30th of
10 March, 1995.
11 And if we scroll down to the next -- go to the next page, please.
12 Again, at the top of the page, reference to the order of the
13 president of the 29th of March, and ordering, among other things, in
14 paragraph 2, the setting of ambushes in a particular sector.
15 And again, General, I'd ask you if this series of orders is
16 consistent with your observation of the relationship between the
17 political and military authorities and the command-and-control structure.
18 A. Yes, it is. And you can see, in the first one, that it's also
19 directed to the Ministry of the Interior, and you can then see the
20 liaison being required at the next level down the chain of command on the
21 military orders.
22 MR. TIEGER: Mr. President, I tender those documents for
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll admit those three documents.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibits P2252 through P2254, Your Honours.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. General, I'd like to return to some of the meetings that were
3 taking place during that period.
4 And in that connection, I'd like to bring on screen 65 ter 13126.
5 And if we could go to the next page, please.
6 This is a meeting that was conducted with Bosnian government
7 officials. If we go quickly to the -- through the document, I wanted to
8 indicate to you I don't believe there's a signature page, and I'll be
9 asking you who the "I" is in this document.
10 Scroll down to the bottom, please.
11 And if we could then return to the previous page. I'm sorry, the
12 first page, please.
13 Looking at the first paragraph, General, and the date of the
14 meeting, and you're certainly welcome to look at any other portion of the
15 document for purposes of this question or any other, this indicates that
16 the protagonist of this note was met first with Minister Muratovic and
17 General Delic, was accompanied by the force commander, et cetera, and
18 that his arrival in Sarajevo was marred by the apparent killing of two
19 young girls, the closure of the blue routes across the Sarajevo Airport,
20 et cetera, and the fact that his aircraft was hit by machine-gun fire as
21 it taxied after landing in Sarajevo. The purpose of the meeting was in
22 connection with the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, and that he would
23 be travelling to Pale the next day to likewise encourage Serb authorities
25 Do you know who this refers to?
1 A. I think the "I" is Mr. Akashi. It certainly isn't me, because
2 I'm commander of BHC, and it's -- nor is it my delegate in Bosnia and my
3 political adviser. So I think it's Mr. Akashi, and he would refer to his
4 aeroplane -- it was his. And we were all in it when it was hit by
5 machine-gun fire that afternoon.
6 Q. And since that incident came up in connection with identifying
7 who was being referred to in that document, can you tell us, quickly,
8 what that incident was about and who fired on Akashi's plane?
9 A. The firing was by the Bosnian Serbs, and my -- I recall that
10 Mladic acknowledged as much subsequently. And my recollection was that
11 it was actually -- we were in the process of landing, as opposed to
12 taxiing, when a round or two of a burst of fire went through the back end
13 of the aircraft, and one round, at least, was found in -- embedded in
14 someone's baggage.
15 Q. In paragraph 2, there is a reference to "the shelling of Sarajevo
16 last night."
17 And if we could turn to paragraph 4.
18 We see references to both the killing of the two young girls
19 referred to earlier in the document and to the fact later in the
20 paragraph, that at a press conference:
21 "I," that is Akashi, as you've identified him, "condemned the
22 shelling and sniping incidents and also successfully urged
23 Minister Muratovic to condemn the killing of the two young girls."
24 And there's also reference to the issue of the closure and the
25 hoped-for reopening of the blue routes.
1 Do you recall either these particular incidents of shelling and
2 sniping referred to in this document or the general occurrence of
3 shelling and sniping on Sarajevo during that period of time?
4 A. As we -- in an earlier question, you asked me about sniping in
5 February. There was a general increase in the incident rate of shelling
6 and sniping that continued. And I've forgotten the date of this meeting,
7 but we're at the end of -- we're about the middle of March, if I remember
8 the front page or the date on this. And there was this incident of these
9 two girls being killed by sniper fire, and very shortly after that, as I
10 remember it, the blue routes were shut and there was an increase in
11 shelling and so on, and that's what we're referring to here.
12 Q. And just to make it completely clear: The two girls who were
13 killed by sniper fire, were those girls Bosnian Serb or Bosnian Muslim
15 A. They were -- the victims were Bosnian Serb.
16 Q. And when you refer to the blue routes being shut and an increase
17 in shelling, who shut the blue routes and who engaged in the shelling?
18 A. The Bosnian Serbs' reaction was the shutting the routes and the
20 Q. And was that shelling a shelling of military targets or civilian
22 A. A bit of both, as I recall.
23 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I tender this document.
24 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2255, Your Honours.
1 MR. TIEGER:
2 Q. And, General, for further clarification --
3 JUDGE KWON: Before we go on: General, do you, by any chance,
4 know the nature of this document?
5 Can we see the first page of this document.
6 THE WITNESS: I can't, no.
7 JUDGE KWON: In e-court, did we have another page? This is
8 page 2 of a document of eight pages.
9 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I believe that it has been missing, the
10 cover sheet, for some -- since we received it.
11 JUDGE KWON: So I was about to ask whether it is a kind of
12 correspondence. It looks like a letter, if you see the previous page.
13 But if -- I'm fine. Let us proceed, because we have heard already the
14 witness cannot help us in this regard.
15 MR. TIEGER: The most amplification I can offer at this point,
16 Your Honour, is this -- we received this document attached to a cover
17 sheet which disseminated the document, but not a separate cover sheet for
18 this -- that referred to this document in particular.
19 Q. General, you referred to the general increase in the incident
20 rate of shelling and sniping that continued during this period of time,
21 and I wanted to ask you whether -- first of all, what was the object of
22 that shelling and sniping, military targets, civilian -- civilian areas?
23 And, secondly, who was engaged in the shelling and sniping that was
25 A. I'm referring to Sarajevo here, the -- where I have slightly more
1 of a memory, if only because I was in Sarajevo. You could -- and, again,
2 the -- this is -- both sniping and shelling fell into two piles, if you
3 like, of incidents. There were those that were clearly involved by
4 location and target along the front-line or the confrontation line, and
5 then there were those that occurred along particular roads. There was
6 one in Sarajevo - known as Sniper Alley - where we -- where civilian
7 movement took place, but it was in view -- or at stretches of that road
8 or area were in view of the confrontation line, and you got sniping in
9 those sorts of places. And we -- as I remember it, we had a soldier
10 killed who was putting up, I say, containers in order to screen the --
11 this sort of area from view of the -- of the confrontation line. The
12 shelling also occurred in those two groups of incidents. There, that was
13 clearly related to the confrontation line, and then that that fell in
14 amongst the rear areas, amongst the civilian population, and that tended
15 to be -- appeared to be, at least, random and tended to occur on an
16 intermittent basis.
17 Q. The shelling of civilian areas, who was that -- who was doing
18 that shelling?
19 A. The bulk of the shelling was coming -- both mortar fire and
20 artillery fire was into Sarajevo, into the Bosnian-held bit of Sarajevo
21 itself --
22 Q. And by --
23 A. -- from the Bosnian Serbs.
24 Q. During the course of your service as commander, were you able to
25 identify the effect or objectives of shelling civilian areas?
1 A. The objective, that appeared to me to be to harass the population
2 at large. The -- there was no specific target and there was no -- and as
3 I say, these events occurred, as it were, randomly. You couldn't see
4 them being connected to an event that was actually happening on the
5 ground where this shell or shells landed.
6 Q. And does the random nature that you just described advance or
7 under-cut the attempt that you mentioned, to harass the population?
8 A. It is, to put it mildly, extremely wearing to live in
9 circumstances where you don't know where the next shell is landing and
10 you don't know when it's going to land, so you spend all the time waiting
11 for this bang to occur. It's very exhausting.
12 MR. TIEGER: If we could turn next to 65 ter 13126. And if we
13 could continue, this may reflect the meetings with -- that were referred
14 to earlier, the intended meetings with the Bosnian Serb officials.
15 I'm sorry. We can continue on to the next page, please, to --
16 and further. And continue, please.
17 Q. General, here we see a meeting of the 14th of March, 1995, and
18 the indication, that Mr. Akashi has travelled to Pale, where he met with
19 Bosnian Serb leaders, including Dr. Karadzic, General Mladic,
20 Mr. Krajisnik and Professor Koljevic, again accompanied by the force
21 commander and by his delegate in Bosnia. And it referred, at the outset,
22 to the relatively combative mood of the Serb leadership.
23 And if we could turn to paragraph 6.
24 There, it is a reference to the subject of freedom of movement,
25 particularly with regard to the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and
1 General Mladic's insistence on absolute parity between what was delivered
2 to the Bosnian Serbs and what was delivered to the enclaves, a reference
3 to sanctions. And, finally, toward the bottom of the paragraph, the
4 subject of the blue routes is raised with Mr. Karadzic informing
5 Mr. Akashi that his authorities had previously communicated to the
6 Bosnian government the Serb position, that they would close the routes
7 for one month for every Serb that was killed by sniping in the Sarajevo
8 area, a position from which it was impossible to dissuade them.
9 General, if I could ask for your comment, please, about that
10 particular meeting and where it fit into the issues with respect to
11 humanitarian assistance, freedom of movement, and the general objectives
12 that you've outlined.
13 A. This meeting was part, as you can see, of a whole series being
14 conducted by Mr. Akashi and continued into other subsequent meetings to
15 try and get the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement back on track, but in
16 each case you just -- you come back down to the specifics of a particular
17 case where -- and every -- so you can see you're going from blue routes
18 around Sarajevo to Bihac, and specific details, as opposed to dealing
19 with the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement as a whole. And the
20 particular attempt that we're trying to do is to get the Joint Commission
21 up and running so that some of these particular issues could be dealt
22 with in detail in such a commission, rather than preventing all progress
23 in the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement from taking place. The -- and,
24 again, you get this continuing demand that, If X is provided with stuff,
25 then I must be provided with the same amount of stuff.
1 Q. Did the reference by Mr. Karadzic to the closure of the blue
2 routes, in response to the sniping killing of a Serb, indicate to you
3 anything about the awareness of the political or military leadership
4 about events in the Sarajevo area?
5 A. Yes, but I -- I mean, that was all the effect of -- the killing
6 of the two girls had become a political issue, if you like, the day,
7 almost as if it occurred, so it was such a shocking event, as it were,
8 and this -- that didn't surprise me in the reference there to the -- to
9 the closing of the blue routes. All of that was connected with the --
10 with the snipers killing the two girls.
11 MR. TIEGER: And in connection with that, if I could quickly show
12 you two documents. The first is P879. This is a Main Staff -- VRS
13 Main Staff document, dated March 11th.
14 And if we could go to the next page, please, to paragraph 6. I
15 guess that would be on the following page.
16 And if we look at paragraph, it looks like it would be, 6(C)
17 (II), or, sorry, that would be item 2, which states:
18 "Due to sniper fire and the death of the two girls, any movement
19 of humanitarian organisations and convoys is prohibited until further
21 And if we could turn next to 65 ter 12301. This is a
22 Sarajevo Romanija Corps Command document, dated the 12th of March, 1995.
23 And if we could go to paragraph 3.
24 Again, the situation in the territory, the order about closing
1 "... the blue roads has been delivered or issued to the units,
2 and it is being implemented in practice."
3 Q. And, General, were these -- these two documents, do they reflect
4 events consistent with your observations at the time?
5 A. Yes, they do.
6 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I tender the second document.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2256, Your Honours.
9 MR. TIEGER: If we could turn next to 65 ter 10616. This is a
10 weekly situation report for the period 12 through 18th of March, 1995.
11 And if we could turn to paragraph 3, please, which states:
12 "Bosnian Serb leaders, including Karadzic and Mladic, in a
13 meeting with Mr. Akashi in Pale on 12 March, also made clear their
14 intention to pursue their objectives through military means if they were
15 not able to achieve them at the negotiating table. Based on recent
16 developments, there is no reason to believe that the Serbs are any closer
17 than in the past to attaining their objectives through negotiations."
18 And if we could turn to paragraph 7 quickly. And that reflects,
19 again, the closure of the blue routes and the Bosnian Serb pledge to keep
20 them closed, based on the killing of -- the sniping killing.
21 And, finally, if we could turn to paragraph 10, which indicates
23 "The situation in the eastern enclaves has not improved.
24 UNPROFOR is having grave difficulty in obtaining clearance for resupply
25 convoys, particularly for fuel. UNPROFOR troops in Zepa currently have
1 no fuel stocks left; those in Gorazde and Srebrenica are on the verge of
2 running out."
3 Q. And, General, I apologise for moving quickly and drawing your
4 attention to three different items, but first, as a general matter:
5 Do -- were the circumstances outlined in this document consistent with
6 your understanding and observations at the time?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. TIEGER: And then I tender this document, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes, this is admitted.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2257, Your Honours.
11 MR. TIEGER: I'd like next to turn quickly to 65 ter 01684.
12 And I just wanted to show you a couple of additional
13 March-related documents. This is one of them.
14 Q. General, this is a document from the Office of Civil Affairs
15 Command, Sarajevo, dated the 27th of March, 1995. It refers to a meeting
16 in Pale on the 25th of March that you and "I" -- presumably that's the --
17 I don't know if that's the releasing officer or someone else mentioned in
18 the cover sheet, had a meeting with Professor Koljevic and
19 Jovan Zametica, during which Koljevic stated that the Serb intention was
20 now to pursue an end to the war through military means, and it contains
21 further elucidation of that discussion, including, at the end of
22 paragraph 2, the direct question:
23 "Now, although you wish to have a cessation of hostilities and a
24 peace plan, you wish to achieve a cessation of hostilities by fighting?"
25 "Koljevic: Yes, exactly."
1 "Smith: So, Enrique's and my role is thus extremely limited. If
2 I understand you, you are now set on a course to fight to a conclusion."
3 "Koljevic: Yes, absolutely."
4 And at the end of paragraph 3, Professor Koljevic, referring to
5 the fact that:
6 "It is quite obvious, from the military point of view, that time
7 does not favour the Serbs."
8 In paragraph 4, your serious and formal protest for an artillery
9 attack that day by the VRS or the BSA, the Bosnian Serb Army, from within
10 Gorazde Exclusion Zone; a reference to the fact that this could hardly be
11 in the Bosnian Serbs' interest, and Koljevic asserting that he believed
12 that "we know our interests best."
13 And finally in paragraph 5, a further reflect of, what is
14 referring to here as:
15 "The continued commitment by Pale to the closure of the blue
16 routes for 30 days for every Serb killed by sniping in Sarajevo."
17 General, is that an accurate account of that meeting, is it
18 consistent with your recollection of events at the time, and do you have
19 any additional comment about the positions taken by Professor Koljevic?
20 A. It fits with my recollection. You will see - I think it's in
21 paragraph 3 - that it is -- Enrique is the "I." Or somewhere in there,
22 I'm quoted and saying in -- that Enrique and I, What am I to do about it?
23 Q. And it certainly seems clear enough on the cover page as I look
24 at it now to Mr. Akashi from Enrique --
25 A. This -- as I said before, that my thesis had started to form at
1 the end of February/beginning of March, and here was added evidence that
2 only confirmed me in my view that we were heading down this direction
3 in -- of war. And to try and resolve this matter by force of arms was
4 the determination of the Serbs.
5 Q. I'm sorry, did you --
6 A. And the other point was, of course, we've just had this
7 Bosnian -- these, if I recall, two attacks, one in the north-east, if I
8 recall correctly, and the other to the west, which had been fairly
9 substantial attacks by the Bosnian Army, and they'd had some success
10 against the Bosnian Serbs.
11 Q. Thank you, General. In paragraph 4, you're recorded as
12 indicating that a serious -- or a formal protest would ensue for an
13 artillery attack.
14 I wanted to look quickly at 65 ter 01326.
15 The cover page indicates a document from you, dated 25 March
16 1995. The subject is: "Protest letter - Gorazde. Letter sent to
17 General Mladic."
18 And if we could turn the page.
19 It indicates that you write to express your profound concern over
20 the actions of General Mladic's army, and then refer to an incident in
21 Gorazde where initial reports indicate that seven civilians were severely
22 injured, and the second paragraph indicating a similar attack around the
23 same time in Mostar, where a further six civilians were wounded and one
24 child killed.
25 Is this document -- and there's a copy to Professor Koljevic at
1 the bottom.
2 Was this the protest referred to in the previous document?
3 A. Yes, yes. I think it is, yes.
4 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I tender this document, please.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes. Have we admitted the previous document?
6 MR. TIEGER: Then both, Your Honour. Thank you.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibits P2258 and
9 P2259 respectively.
10 MR. TIEGER:
11 Q. General, did the month of April, as we're moving into that, mark
12 an improvement or a further deterioration of the situation?
13 A. A steady deterioration.
14 MR. TIEGER: If we could turn to 65 ter 01327.
15 JUDGE KWON: I have left it in your hands, Mr. Tieger, but the
16 general referred to his thesis a couple of times while giving testimony.
17 You'll come to that later on?
18 MR. TIEGER: Well, Your Honour, there's -- well, you're correct
19 and I would have. But it seems to me there's no time better than when
20 it's raised by the Court, so I'll be more than happy to ask the general
21 to illuminate that now.
22 Q. General, you certainly heard the Court's question, and I
23 apologise for not earlier asking you to explain what you meant by that.
24 Perhaps you could do so now.
25 A. It's been my -- it is my practice, it was my practice at the
1 time, as a commander, when faced by an uncertain set of circumstances,
2 and in order to focus the collection of information, to understand the
3 questions you're trying to answer and so forth, to follow the basis of a
4 hypothesis, collect some information, and arrive at a thesis which then
5 became your -- the idea against which you then assessed information. If
6 other information reinforced it, then the thesis continued to stand. If
7 things came up that denied it, then you began to resynthesise into
8 another thesis.
9 The result of this thought process during my first, roughly, four
10 to six weeks in command arrived at my understanding that the -- both
11 sides were seeking a military solution.
12 I should explain one point slightly more. The purpose of doing
13 this is, for me, as the UN commander standing in the middle, to
14 understand the context in which I was functioning. This is the need for
15 such a thing -- such a thesis in these circumstances. The -- I had come
16 to the conclusion that we -- both sides, the Federation, on the one hand,
17 and the Bosnian Serbs, on the other, were intent on resolving this matter
18 by force of arms and not by negotiation.
19 The purely military reasoning -- argumentation for this was that
20 the Bosnians were now in such a small area, but had such a majority of
21 people and were, I could observe, increasing in their weapons and
22 organisation, so they had the manpower advantage. And the Bosnian Serbs
23 had expanded to the point that they had so much territory and so few
24 people that they had a -- that they could not properly defend what they
25 held, and they were not inclined, and gave every indication of not being
1 inclined, to trade territory for advantage in negotiations. So I -- this
2 produced me another set of deductions, which was that the Bosnian Serbs
3 were going to rely on fire-power rather more than manpower, and the need
4 to move their manpower about while the Bosnians, the Federation, had the
5 advantage of manpower and would be, therefore, much more likely to take
6 the offensive. It was on that basis that I was viewing the world and
7 writing what I was writing and saying what I was saying during March.
8 And much of March's events, as some have been shown in these documents,
9 reinforced that thesis, and the events by both sides reinforced that
11 Is that enough of an explanation or would you like me to expand?
12 JUDGE KWON: Thank you, General. I'll leave it in the hands of
13 Mr. Tieger.
14 MR. TIEGER:
15 Q. And I don't want to usurp the Court's inquiry, but just by way of
16 further specifics: How did the thesis, as you've outlined it -- what
17 conclusions did you reach with respect to the enclaves and/or Sarajevo?
18 A. Well, as we've already shown, that the enclaves was a means of
19 bringing pressure on the UN and the Bosnians in the forces that were in
20 the enclaves, but the reason for doing this, from the point of view of
21 the Bosnian Serbs, was tied in with my point about there being a lack of
22 manpower. Because these enclaves were - here I'm referring particularly
23 to Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde - were, as it were, in their rear area,
24 they required manpower to guard them and maintain them, manpower that
25 would be better used, as it were, on their front-lines and in defence
1 against these rather more threatening and major attacks by the Bosnian or
2 Federation Army elsewhere. And so it was for that reason that I talked
3 about them being squeezed. The need to squeeze them was not only to stop
4 them raiding out, but to reduce their size and their significance so that
5 you could use less forces in guarding them and could redeploy those
6 forces to other -- other activities.
7 Q. General, I had -- after you mentioned the further deterioration
8 of the situation in April, I had moved your attention to this document,
9 and this is dated the 5th of April, 1995, referring to a meeting between
10 you and Dr. Karadzic on the 5th of April, 1995.
11 The beginning of the summary indicates the meeting took place
12 that day, that is, the 5th of April, at a hotel near Pale. It was secret
13 and private:
14 "Attendance was limited to one aide per party. Dr. Zametica
15 accompanied Dr. Karadzic."
16 Who was Dr. Zametica?
17 A. My memory is he was an adviser and spokesman to the president, to
18 Dr. Karadzic.
19 Q. And then the second paragraph goes on to describe the general --
20 some general aspects of the meeting. And I'd like to turn to some of the
21 specific points, beginning at paragraph 3, during which the current
22 situation was discussed, and indicates that you pointed out your serious
23 concerns with some recent actions attributed to the Bosnian Serb Army.
24 Specifically, these were an increasing number of attacks on safe areas
25 and breaches of the total exclusion zones, direct targeting of UNPROFOR
1 personnel, and the disruption of humanitarian aid convoys, particularly
2 in Sarajevo, and that collectively these actions were creating a rising
3 climate of tension. And eventually you would be forced to respond by
4 NATO air-strikes, and this would not be in the interests of the Bosnian
6 It goes on to state that Dr. Karadzic stated the Serbs are going
7 to start a counter-offensive, and he wanted the UN clear of areas of
9 There is further discussion on paragraph 4, on the next page,
10 where you explain, as a NATO commander, you had to ensure that the
11 mandates on the safe areas were applied; a discussion about the safe
12 areas. Further discussions, as we see from the paragraphs, about links
13 between Pale and Knin, the UN mandate for Bosnia, political solution,
14 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, and so on.
15 Also a discussion at paragraph 10 -- excuse me, paragraph 9,
16 concerning, in part B, Dr. Karadzic's intended response if the Bosnians
17 launched an offensive.
18 And at paragraph 10, further discussion about NATO --
19 Dr. Karadzic expressing no concern about the threat of NATO, announcing a
20 clear preparedness to take NATO on:
21 "At this stage, he said he would employ weapons the BSA had not
22 used yet. He said he had resources 'not under our but paramilitary
23 control which would be used if municipalities were squeezed.'"
24 General, I'll ask you about that meeting generally in a moment,
25 but what did you understand Dr. Karadzic to be referring to when he said
1 he would -- he had resources under paramilitary control which he would
2 use if municipalities were squeezed?
3 A. Well, I don't think we were clear. The -- but it wasn't the
4 first time that some, you know, indeterminate threat had been made, but I
5 don't know, as I think we say there, yeah. We were not very clear what
6 all this was about.
7 Q. And otherwise, the nature of this meeting with these issues
8 raised, that is, issues of Muslim activity and UNPROFOR assisting and so
10 A. Yes. I mean, I cannot recall whether this -- and it may have
11 said it at the beginning of the document, whether the meeting was at our
12 request or Dr. Karadzic's. I think it came about because I couldn't meet
13 or wasn't able to meet Mladic. We -- I am -- as I said, the situation is
14 deteriorating, and here's the evidence of it being so, and there was a --
15 sooner or later, we were going to come to a point where NATO would have
16 to react because of the safe areas and so forth. And I wanted to be sure
17 that that was understood.
18 The, We are doing this because the Bosnians are doing that, was,
19 if you like, more of the same of these type of exchanges, and I don't
20 think I was particularly -- I mean, I knew that the Bosnians had carried
21 out this attack, and so on and so forth, so I don't -- I wasn't surprised
22 by that.
23 Q. And with respect to humanitarian aid, was the matter raised?
24 A. I'm sure we raised it.
25 Q. Let me direct your attention, then, to paragraph 3, the last
1 portion of paragraph 3.
2 A. Yeah, there we are.
3 Q. With Dr. Karadzic saying he would not --
4 A. Yeah.
5 Q. I'm sorry, you were -- please.
6 A. Well, I was just going to -- you get this, We are under
7 sanctions, and so you are, and we are not going to -- until our sanctions
8 are lifted, you're not going to be able to supply anyone in the enclaves.
9 Q. Apparently, Dr. Karadzic added that he had information that the
10 enclaves were well supplied and that aid was being used to sustain ABiH
11 units. Were the enclaves well supplied, and was aid being used to
12 sustain ABiH units?
13 A. No, we were not well supplied. I mean, I've -- we've seen the
14 reference to -- already that we were low on fuel and things, and, no, we
15 were not supplying the Muslim army.
16 MR. TIEGER: I'd like to move to a couple of documents toward the
17 end of April, one for April 22nd, one for April 30th. The first is
18 65 ter 03888.
19 JUDGE KWON: In the meantime, we'll admit this one.
20 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2260, Your Honours.
22 MR. TIEGER:
23 Q. And, General, this document is, as indicated, dated the 22nd of
24 April, 1995. It reflects meetings in Sarajevo and Pale on the
25 20th of April, 1995. The first portion of the document deals with a
1 meeting with Bosnian government officials, and the second half of the
2 document, a meeting with Bosnian Serb officials.
3 If we could turn, then, to page 2.
4 And I should have indicated, for the record, that the summary
5 indicates that Mr. Akashi was accompanied by you and met with officials
6 of both the Bosnian government and with Bosnian Serb officials in Pale.
7 The document indicates that at the meeting, three major issues were
8 addressed: the extension of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement; the
9 safety and resupply of UNPROFOR personnel; and the Sarajevo Airport. And
10 at the beginning of the discussion about the Cessation of Hostilities
11 Agreement, it reflects Dr. Karadzic saying:
12 "It has been breached so massively by the Muslims that it does
13 not exist, and that the Serbs will no longer enter into arrangements
14 which would be detrimental to ourselves."
15 With respect to the safety and resupply of UN personnel, that's
16 reflected in paragraph 9. Mr. Akashi raised the issue of direct attacks,
17 with Dr. Karadzic denying responsibility but accepting that there had
18 been mistakes, and indicating that if an escalation occurs, "we will not
19 be able to respect the safe areas." And, finally, with respect to the
20 Sarajevo Airport, a discussion and your protest, along with Mr. Akashi,
21 about the situation at the airport. It indicates, in the final sentence,
23 "Dr. Karadzic refused to sanction the resumption of the blue
24 routes, stating that the 'routes and the tunnel are special problems for
25 us' and that 'they will remain closed at the end of the war as long as
1 sniping against Serbs continue.'"
2 First of all, General, to the best of your recollection, is this
3 an accurate summary by Colonel Baxter of those aspects of the meeting?
4 A. Yes, to the -- yes.
5 Q. And what did this signal for you about the viability of the
6 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, and what did you consider that this
7 meant in regard to the possible upcoming events and actions you might
8 have to take as UNPROFOR commander?
9 A. The -- it's -- it shows the situation we're in. We're trying to
10 extend -- we're still, as the UN, trying to advance or at least not let
11 the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement collapse completely. Each side is
12 taking actions and making demands that are so contrary to each other that
13 there's no meeting ground, common ground.
14 We must also understand that at this stage, the -- there is
15 another factor running, which is the report to the Secretary-General in
16 the UN, and so there's another, What is UNPROFOR, what should be the
17 future of UNPROFOR, and so forth, is being discussed at the same time,
18 and I suspect that each party is playing to that, to some degree or
19 other. And it is getting harder and harder to resupply people and to use
20 the airport, which was important to the resupply of Sarajevo.
21 Q. And just to clarify: What role did the airport play, and its
22 opening or closure, in the supply of humanitarian aid to the people of
24 A. Aid came in on the aeroplanes, and you also had -- and the blue
25 routes. And I can't remember the exact numbers of them and their exact
1 location, but one, at least, crossed the end of the airport and linked
2 the -- Butmir, which was on the Igman side of the airport, with the city.
3 And it was those blue routes and the airport through which everything
4 that Sarajevo needed came -- came with the UNHCR and the UN. The closure
5 of the airport and the blue route, from the point of view, it stopped the
6 UN being able to bring its supplies into Sarajevo, itself.
7 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, General.
8 I tender that document, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE KWON: That will be admitted.
10 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2261, Your Honours.
11 MR. TIEGER: Next, General, I'd like to turn to 65 ter 211 --
12 well, 21110.
13 Q. And at this stage, General, are you and Mr. Akashi, and, as it
14 indicates here, General Janvier -- is this in the middle of a continuing
15 series of efforts related to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement or
16 are you getting toward the end of the effort to breathe life into the
17 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement?
18 A. If this isn't the last, it's close to the last of this series of
19 meetings. I don't -- there may be one after this, but I'm not sure there
21 Q. And, again, this effort finds you and Mr. Akashi, and in this
22 case General Janvier, meeting with both Bosnian government officials and
23 Bosnian Serb officials.
24 Turning to the third page of the document, paragraph 9, that
25 indicates that the three of you met with Dr. Karadzic,
1 Professor Koljevic, Mr. Krajisnik, Mr. Buha and General Tolimir to
2 discuss the extension of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the
3 Sarajevo Airport Agreement.
4 And looking at the discussion of the Cessation of Hostilities
5 Agreement reflected in paragraph 10, it indicates, in the middle of the
6 page, that Dr. Karadzic referred to the -- referred to his view that a
7 temporary cease-fire was contrary to Bosnian Serb interests, but he would
8 consider some form of announcement to that end, provided that all Muslim
9 attacks cease and the Bosnian Serbs are given, quote, "equal treatment"
10 by the international community, and that to withhold his military, he
11 must be rewarded with a full sanctions lift for Republika Srpska.
12 What did that signal to you, General, about the prospect of
13 extending or breathing life into the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement?
14 A. I think that I didn't expect it to survive. It wasn't viable
16 Q. And the reference to the linkage between the Cessation of
17 Hostilities Agreement and equal treatment by the international community
18 and a full sanctions lift was a reference to what?
19 A. Well, I think my understanding of it at the time was that this
20 was connected with this continual demand that the -- that all pressures
21 should come off Republika Srpska before anyone was prepared -- in
22 Republika Srpska was prepared to have any negotiation at all.
23 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, General.
24 And, Your Honour, I'm in your hands. I can move on to the next
25 document or we can --
1 JUDGE KWON: Yes, that will be admitted as Exhibit P2262.
2 I'm sorry, I misunderstood. I note the time.
3 It's time to take a second -- another break for half an hour.
4 We'll resume at 1.30 -- I beg your pardon, at 1.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
7 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Tieger.
8 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Q. General, when you looked at the document reflecting the meeting
10 of April 30th, you mentioned you thought that there might have been
11 another meeting after that.
12 And in that connection, let's turn to 65 ter 03890. That's a
13 meeting of the 1st of May, 1995, which indicates at the beginning that:
14 "Mr. Akashi, accompanied by General Smith, had a second round of
15 meetings at Sarajevo and Pale today in a final attempt to reach an
16 agreement to an extension of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement."
17 And, again, it reflects meetings with the parties separately, in
18 this case first with the Bosnian Croats briefly, as reflected in
19 paragraph 2, then a meeting with Bosnian government officials, and then a
20 meeting with Bosnian Serb officials in Pale. As indicated at
21 paragraph 7:
22 "A meeting was held at Pale between Mr. Akashi and Dr. Karadzic.
23 Karadzic's party included Mr. Krajisnik, Dr. Zametica and
24 General Subotic."
25 And at the beginning, it suggests that there wasn't likely to be
1 much movement from the previous day, with Dr. Karadzic stating that he
2 had nothing to add to the conversation he and Mr. Akashi had had on the
3 previous day, and then proceeded to refer to the situation in
4 Sector West. That would be a reference to Croatia; is that right,
6 A. Yes, yes. I think it's this day or the day before that the --
7 that sector was attacked. I'm not sure that I remember that absolutely
8 correctly, but I think that's what is the background to this.
9 Q. And specifically now turning your attention to paragraph 8:
10 "Karadzic said that Akashi could count on the goodwill of the
11 Bosnian Serbs, but that, as the situation deteriorated, so, too, was a
12 deterioration likely in their relationship. He said that if the
13 international community treated the Serbs like 'beasts in a cage,' then
14 that is how they would behave."
15 With Akashi then expressing the hope that they would, in fact,
16 act with dignity and awareness of the consequences of their actions.
17 And then, General, I see at the end of this meeting you have a
18 comment, and we'll direct our attention to that shortly, but let me ask
19 you if, first of all, this was the meeting that you referred to earlier
20 in your testimony as one of the last phases of trying to extend the
21 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, and then, more specifically, what
22 the -- what you took from this meeting.
23 A. Yes, I think this is the last, and what I took from it is there
24 at the commentary at the end. And as I recall it, after my military
25 assistant had finished drafting the report on the meeting, I had asked
1 him to give it to me because I wanted to add what I've put on the end
2 there, which, if you were to connect with the previous bit of my -- what
3 I've said, is, if you like, the distillation of the thesis as it stood at
4 that point.
5 Q. And specifically I'm referring now to the bottom of page 3:
6 "The Serbs are harder to read. Nevertheless, they appear to have
7 decided to be about to seek a decision by military means, the decision
8 would seem to have the support of all at Pale. They are isolated and
9 increasingly unworldly. Their only ways of striking against their
10 'international enemy' are to sanction the UN in the enclaves, to target
11 the UN, and to take hostages."
12 And you continue:
13 "To strike the BiH, they must concentrate and co-ordinate with
14 their allies, the RSK and possibly JNA."
15 And the RSK would be a reference to the Bosnian Croatian -- Serb
17 A. Correct, the Croatian Serbs in the "krajinas."
18 Q. And you continue:
19 "In taking the offensive, they will seek to bring NATO into play
20 at the earliest opportunity so as to gain Serbian sympathy and to have
21 the excuse to seize hostages and possibly punish the UN by fire: methods
22 that have always neutralised NATO in the past."
23 Does this commentary reflect your concerns at the time, General,
24 and is it an accurate reflection of what transpired at that meeting?
25 A. It certainly reflects my concerns and the -- and is the record of
1 the meeting as I -- as I understand them, and the concerns as to where we
2 were going in the future as much as what was actually happening at the
4 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I tender this document, please.
5 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2263, Your Honours.
7 MR. TIEGER: I'd like to turn next to a meeting that took place
8 on the 9th of May. That's reflected in 65 ter 01334.
9 Q. General, as indicated, this document reflects a summary of a
10 meeting between you and Dr. Karadzic on the 9th of May, it indicates in
11 the first paragraph, at a hotel near Pale. The meeting was secret and
12 private, and again Dr. Zametica accompanied Dr. Karadzic. The discussion
13 included, as indicated in the second paragraph:
14 "The recent Bosnian Serb Army attacks on Sarajevo and press
15 reports of a possible NATO response, during which Karadzic made it quite
16 clear that in the event of a NATO attack, the UN would be treated as
18 He also confirmed that the Bosnian Serb Army had decided to put
19 the UN under sanctions. And there was a further discussion of future
20 options and strategy open to Republika Srpska.
21 Now, turning to paragraph 3, General, under the broad topic of
22 "Main Issues Discussed," and under the specific topic of NATO
23 air-strikes, the first sentence indicates that you explained why you had
24 recommended that NATO air-strikes in response to the Bosnian Serb Army
25 mortar and artillery attacks on Sarajevo on the 7th and 8th of May, and
1 it states that you made clear that your recommendation was not as a
2 consequence of the specific attack on Butmir, but as a result of a
3 concentrated attack by heavy weapons on the Sarajevo safe area and the
4 civilian population.
5 First of all, can you explain to the Court what it was you
6 explained to Dr. Karadzic on that occasion and what the backdrop was to
7 this discussion?
8 A. The discussion of the air-strikes, you mean?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. Yes. The -- there had been an incident - my memory, again, is
11 that it's about midday or shortly afterwards - when there was a tunnel
12 under the airport. It was dug by and run by the Bosnians. The -- its
13 exit on the Igman side of the airport was at Butmir. The -- a group of
14 Bosnians, some, at least, if not the great majority, in uniform, were
15 attacked by shell fire at the entrance to this tunnel, and a number of
16 them were killed. I think this had a big reaction, so I suspect to this
17 day -- I don't know who was killed, but I suspect somebody or somebodies
18 were quite important were amongst those that were hit, and we are
19 immediately being -- the Bosnians were immediately demanding of us that
20 air-strikes should be called, as this was an attack on a safe area. I
21 declined to do such thing on the grounds that I considered that this was
22 on the confrontation line and was -- I considered it to be, on balance, a
23 legitimate military target and that the -- particularly, some of the
24 casualties were in uniform. The -- but subsequently -- and I had
25 explained my -- because all of this demand had also reached Zagreb, I had
1 explained to Mr. Akashi and his headquarters why I was declining to call
2 this air attack. But subsequently, during the evening, the civilian
3 areas of Sarajevo -- not all of them, but some or a civilian area in
4 Sarajevo was attacked by shell fire, at which point I did request an air
5 attack, on the grounds that we were now having the civilian population
6 shelled and there was no military justification, it was not a military
7 target. And -- but this request was denied. And it's that that I'm
8 explaining. There was then much talk about it in the press, and that's
9 what I'm explaining to Dr. Karadzic in this meeting.
10 Q. First of all, General, what was Dr. Karadzic's response to your
11 explanation about your recommendation for air-strikes and about the --
12 about the shelling of civilian areas?
13 A. As I recall it, the differentiation was not made. The point that
14 was reacted to was that there would -- if there were air attacks, there
15 would be retribution.
16 Q. And did -- did Dr. Karadzic deny that the Bosnian Serbs had
17 shelled the civilian areas?
18 A. Not that I recall, no.
19 Q. Did he, as you indicated he had on previous occasions, explain
20 his view of how the UN was -- what the UN had done to trigger this, or
21 his dissatisfaction with the UN generally?
22 A. He may have done. I don't remember that, and I can't -- I
23 haven't got that far down the paragraph.
24 Q. Okay. And if I could ask you to, why don't you take a look at
25 paragraph 3.
1 A. Ah, yes, you have -- we go back to Western Slavonia, yeah.
2 Q. And did Dr. Karadzic warn you about what would happen if there
3 were NATO air attacks at some point?
4 A. Yes. I mean, that's what I meant by "retribution." There would
5 be -- we would -- we would be sanctioned in some way. Yeah, We'd treat
6 you as an enemy.
7 Q. Looking at paragraph 4, it reflects that you explained why there
8 had been a decision not to employ NATO air-strikes in that particular
9 instance. You made it clear that international pressure as a result of
10 issues such as the airport and the enforcement of safe areas is likely to
11 increase. Dr. Karadzic said:
12 "The Security Council is the enemy of the Serbian people and the
13 instrument of hostile US policy."
14 That he would not respect any international bodies or
16 "I will only comply with decisions that are in the interests of
17 the Serbian people."
18 And that:
19 "We have turned over a new leaf. We will not co-operate any
21 And confirmed the decision -- that decision had been made prior
22 to events in Croatia.
23 First of all, General, is that an accurate reflection of what
24 Dr. Karadzic conveyed to you at that meeting?
25 A. I -- it's -- I'm confident it's an accurate record, yes.
1 Q. And particularly in regard to the commentary you had -- we looked
2 at earlier, what did this indicate to you, in terms of the likelihood of
3 future events?
4 A. Oh, those comments I put on the previous report were -- you know,
5 this was all in line with those comments.
6 Q. And, finally, one more question with respect to paragraph 5 and
7 sanctions and humanitarian aid. Does the last -- the last sentence of
8 this paragraph indicates:
9 "When questioned about food, leave and mail convoys, he confirmed
10 that the Serbs have imposed their own 'resolutions' (sanctions) against
11 the UN."
12 And was this a further reflection of the restrictions on
13 humanitarian aid, resupply and so on, linked to the sanctions on the
14 Bosnian Serbs?
15 A. Yes, and the whole of that paragraph is more about the
16 sanctioning of the UN than anything else. The whole discussion was to
17 try and get more fuel and so forth into the enclaves.
18 Q. General, in -- I just want to return to the issue of the shelling
19 attack on the civilian area or areas that had prompted your
20 recommendation for an air-strike. You had indicated earlier, when
21 talking about one of the previous months, that there was a steadily
22 progressing or increasing rate of shelling and sniping. By May, how
23 would you describe the frequency or regularity or normality of shelling
24 of civilian areas by the Bosnian Serb forces?
25 A. I think -- I think, from memory, it was at a fairly -- somewhere
1 around towards the end of April, it became -- there was a sort of steady
2 state developed. I don't -- and that -- so I would think that by now,
3 things aren't much worse than they were in late April, but we're -- it's
4 been going on all the time, and -- but I don't recall a particular rate
5 of escalation at this time, other than the specific incident of, say,
6 the -- this particular request for air-strikes.
7 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, General.
8 And I tender this document, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2264, Your Honours.
11 MR. TIEGER: If we could turn next to 65 ter 01333.
12 And if we could go to the next page, please. And the subject is:
13 "Observations following the meeting with Dr. Karadzic on the
14 9th of March, 1995."
15 And if we could go to the next page.
16 Q. You recall this document, General?
17 A. Yes, yes. I wrote it. I wanted to make a couple of points to
18 Mr. Akashi.
19 Q. And you're welcome to read over the document quickly, or as much
20 time as you feel you need, but if you could tell the Court what points
21 you were -- you wished to make by submitting this letter.
22 A. Just let me refresh my memory a moment more.
23 And could we go down the page. Yes.
24 And then if we turn over.
25 Yes. My purpose in writing it was to be confident that the
1 significance of what we were about to face was drawn to the attention and
2 I was confident people understood what I thought we were about -- was
3 about to happen; that we were about to find ourselves in a very difficult
4 position. As the probability that we were about to have to use armed
5 force was becoming more and more evident, and that we needed to make sure
6 that the troop-contributing nations and the -- those, as it were, behind
7 us were ready and prepared for what this event might lead to, and that
8 this -- we were going to find ourselves in the position where we were
9 attacking one party, which would inevitably benefit another. And I think
10 I used the word "partial" somewhere. Yes, I did.
11 Q. And you had drawn our attention earlier to paragraph 5 of the
12 previous document and indicated that the discussion was about restricting
13 aid to UNPROFOR. Is that reflected in the fourth paragraph here, where
14 you indicate that:
15 "He," I gather from context meaning Dr. Karadzic, "was explicit
16 in his explanation that the almost total restriction of movement was to
17 sanction the soldiers of the Security Council, and that to lift his
18 sanctions, he would need fuel"?
19 A. Yes, I found the paragraph. My reason for raising these two
20 points, which are not new but have not been so clearly stated to me
21 before, is that I think they highlight the dilemma that results from our
22 many and various mandates. And then when you turn over the page, I'm
23 saying I think we ought to make sure that we know that we have the
24 backing and confidence of those behind us.
25 Q. And the reference you made to "partial" was -- the word "partial"
1 was it seen in the last paragraph?
2 A. It's in the last paragraph.
3 Q. "Therefore, we should ascertain whether or not the nations and
4 particularly the TCNs --"
5 A. "Troop-contributed nations."
6 Q. "... are prepared to start a process which, if it is to succeed,
7 must be expected to involve escalation and be seen to be partial."
8 Thank you. I tender this document, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2265, Your Honours.
11 MR. TIEGER: General, I would like to turn your attention next to
12 a meeting later in the month -- almost two weeks later, and that's a
13 meeting of the 21st of May, 1995, with Dr. Karadzic in Pale. And that
14 would be at 65 ter 1338.
15 Q. Again, this document reflects, as noted, a meeting in Pale, again
16 secret and private, and again Dr. Karadzic accompanied by Dr. Zametica,
17 and you are accompanied in this case by Deyan Mihov, acting Civil Affairs
19 The second paragraph indicates, General, that:
20 "Karadzic still appears confident. However, he gave the
21 impression of being out of touch and rather unworldly. It appears that
22 isolation continues to have an effect on him and he shows an increasing
23 conviction in his own arguments."
24 General, although you may wish to refer first to the rest of the
25 document, I just wanted to ask you if you could amplify or clarify a bit
1 about what was the nature of the interaction with Dr. Karadzic on this
2 occasion that prompted this observation.
3 A. Well, this is a view that I have been forming. I don't think
4 it's the first time that I report about unworldliness. I had the opinion
5 that Dr. Karadzic and others were very largely out of touch with -- and
6 unaware of the world outside them, of the world they -- of the little
7 world of Pale and the Bosnian Serbs, were very largely unaware and, I was
8 increasingly of the view, uncaring of the world outside, and of what
9 people perceived of them, but also what their actions might provoke in
10 way of a reaction by the outside world in a different understanding, and
11 it's that that I'm referring to.
12 Q. And just to be clear, is that a reference to an inability to
13 access information about the world outside or what others thought or
14 said, or a rejection of that information?
15 A. Oh, I think it's an inability to look for the information, rather
16 than it being denied. And there was -- there was all the media that
17 could be drawn on to learn of these things. It just wasn't being
18 interpreted or looked for, I don't think.
19 MR. TIEGER: I'd like to turn to a couple of specific paragraphs.
20 First, paragraph 4.
21 Q. There, we see a discussion of the enclaves, and as we see toward
22 the end of the paragraph, Dr. Karadzic said the enclaves are "a time bomb
23 about to explode." Was this -- first of all, what did you understand it
24 to mean? Was it a new idea broached for the first time? Did it signal
25 any -- what was the significance to you when you heard it?
1 A. I think I understood it as the fear of a large-scale Bosnian Army
2 attack from outside -- from inside the enclave into Bosnian Serb
3 territory. I think that's what he was talking -- meant, but I -- you
4 know, beyond what's written there, that's my memory of how it was
6 Q. And in paragraph 7 -- it indicates that Dr. Karadzic made clear
7 that the Bosnian Serbs could not sustain a prolonged, low-intensity
8 conflict. And if war continues, he made it clear his preference is for a
9 military solution, even with a UN withdrawal.
10 Was that a new concept, and how did you understand that in the
11 context of the information you were getting about the peace process,
12 generally, and the unfolding events with respect to either humanitarian
13 aid, the eastern enclaves, or Sarajevo?
14 A. I'm not sure what I knew about the peace process with the contact
15 group. At that time, we were wholly focused on the Cessation of
16 Hostilities Agreement, which wasn't the same thing as the Contact Group
17 Plan and so forth, but it entirely fitted with my understanding of the
18 intentions of the Bosnian Serbs and my assessment that they -- that they
19 couldn't hold what they held, if I'm not being contradictory, and sustain
20 this for a long time with a long low-intensity conflict. It had to be
21 brought to a head, and they had to win it militarily this year. That's
22 what I was assessing, and this fitted with that.
23 MR. TIEGER: Thank you, General.
24 I tender this document, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE KWON: Yes.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2266, Your Honours.
2 MR. TIEGER:
3 Q. General, this meeting we just look at took place on the 21st of
4 May, in the context of what you have described as a regular kind of --
5 I'm not trying to re-characterise your words, but a regular kind of
6 shelling of the city. Between this meeting and within the next few days,
7 do you recall events deteriorating further and resulting in
8 recommendations for action?
9 A. Yes. There's a -- there are two incidents in a series, and I
10 can't remember the dates, but I'm also out of the theatre at -- for -- at
11 one stage while the first of these incidents is running at a -- if I
12 remember rightly, it was a NATO meeting. The first is -- they all take
13 place around Sarajevo. The first is a series of -- an outbreak of
14 fighting on the confrontation line, if I recall correctly, in the
15 vicinity of the Jewish cemetery, which leads to increasing shelling,
16 which includes shelling of the civilian areas. But after about a night
17 of this, this has calmed down and things -- the intensity of the day --
18 the events fall back. And it's while this -- this particular 24 hours is
19 when I'm out of the theatre. But during it, if I recall correctly, we
20 have certain weapons being taken out of the weapon collection points or
21 firing -- or weapons being used while in a collection point to engage
22 targets in Sarajevo.
23 Q. And although I think -- I don't want to over-elaborate this, but
24 perhaps it's useful if you could quickly tell us what the weapons
25 collection points were and how large an area that they might have
2 A. As part of the -- after the safe areas were established, then
3 a -- this idea was added to by what we called exclusion zones. And
4 around a safe area came an exclusion zone which was to be -- which was to
5 have no heavy weapons in or the heavy weapons in the area were to be
6 collected into weapons collection points. This applied to both those in
7 the safe areas in the enclave and those on the outside.
8 The weapons collection point could be quite a large area, and I'd
9 have to go and look at a map to tell you how many there were and the size
10 of them, but you would certainly find these weren't a whole load of
11 vehicles and guns in a car park or a football pitch, necessarily. They
12 could be in quite a large area, and it could be possible to be -- for
13 people to use the weapons from those positions.
14 We had UN detachments in and monitoring some of the more larger
15 and more significant weapons collection points, so we knew what was
16 happening in them and whether a weapon was fired or not.
17 Q. And, General, what was the concern and what was the response, if
18 any, to the VRS removal of the weapons from the weapon collection points?
19 A. Well, this then runs into the second of these two incidents.
20 I've now returned, and again the exact timings of this and dates, I don't
21 immediately recall, but it's three or four days later from that first
22 incident I described with the outbreak of fighting; that there is an
23 increase in the shelling of civilian areas and fighting and a -- and if I
24 remember correctly, more weapons are removed, or weapons are removed
25 again from a collection point.
1 After attempts to get them back had failed, I recommended that we
2 resort to air power and conduct -- and asked NATO to conduct an air
3 attack. And I made that recommendation - again, I'd have to check the
4 date - and it was approved by the -- by Mr. Akashi.
5 MR. TIEGER: Let's turn next to 65 ter 01340.
6 And if we could turn the page, please.
7 Q. This document reflects a record of a telephone call between you
8 and General Mladic at 2045 hours. And I think the previous page
9 indicates May 24th, if we want to go back to that. A telephone call
10 referring to "last night," so it would have been the 24th.
11 And if we could turn to the next page again.
12 And, General, if you could walk us through this conversation,
13 please, using the document to the extent necessary.
14 A. Well, here's the culmination of the events I described earlier.
15 I'm sorry, I'm not by the microphone.
16 And we've asked for the weapon -- the weapons to be returned to
17 the weapon collection points, and they haven't been. And I've issued a
18 warning to both parties, and I would release it to the press. And then
19 put it to General Mladic. It doesn't actually spell out what the warning
20 is at that point, but my recall of it is that I say, If the weapons
21 aren't back by a time, which I think was the next day by 12.00 then air
22 attacks would commence. And I think -- I beg your pardon. I think I
23 said that fighting had stopped by about -- by sometime the next day,
24 I think 12.00, midday, and then 24 hours after that the weapons had to be
25 back in the collection point. And I did -- I put it out both direct to
1 the -- to General Mladic, I also did it direct to the Bosnians, and then
2 put it over the -- I had a press conference and it was broadcast, so on
3 all television channels. And then -- and then he proposes a meeting. He
4 would not agree to the warning. He wanted me to show restraint. And I
5 explain that I'm not responsible for West Slovenia, I'm responsible in
6 Bosnia, and I needed to meet with him sooner than the end of the month.
7 And I make the point that whether or not force was used was entirely
8 within the hands of General Mladic. If he returned the weapons, it would
9 not be used.
10 Q. Did he return the weapons?
11 A. No, they were not returned, and so the -- NATO was authorised by
12 the UN, by the Secretary-General, so a representative, Mr. Akashi, to
14 Q. And was there an air-strike on the 25th --
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. -- and if so, where was it?
17 A. The target was an ammunition depot -- or, rather, a couple of
18 bunkers in an ammunition depot near Pale. It was chosen because it was
19 an ammunition depot and, therefore, there was an assumption that it
20 was -- ammunition was significant, and, therefore, losing it would
21 matter. And it was close to Pale, so everyone could hear it being
22 attacked, and that being an ammunition depot and a military facility, it
23 was unlikely to have civilians around it, and, therefore, we would not
24 have civilian casualties.
25 Q. And following that air-strike on the 25th, did the Bosnian Serb
1 authorities respond by returning the weapons or in some other fashion?
2 A. They didn't return the weapons. And during that evening, the
3 safe areas were all shelled, all within about an hour of each other, and
4 the attack on Tuzla killed some 70 people in the -- in the main square of
6 Q. Were you able to make any determination about whether or not
7 these attacks were local initiatives or centrally directed?
8 A. Oh, my -- I believe them to have been centrally directed. The
9 fact that they all hit safe areas and the fact that they were all in --
10 within an hour of each other leads me to that deduction.
11 Q. And had -- well, in the face of this, what happened the next day?
12 A. We attacked again the -- in that the first requirement of
13 returning the weapons hadn't been complied with. And I don't recall
14 whether it was four or more, but more bunkers were now attacked in the
15 same depot by NATO. And this -- the immediate reaction to this was the
16 seizure of the UNMOs that were in Pale by the Bosnians. And I was rung
17 up and told that if this didn't stop, the man they had would have his
18 throat cut.
19 Q. Let me take you through the events of the 26th and, in
20 particular, some of the telephone conversations you had.
21 I'd like to begin with 65 ter 0686 [sic].
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If the Prosecution is not going to
23 tender the previous document, then I would like to.
24 JUDGE KWON: No doubt they will be tendering it. We will admit
25 it as Exhibit 2267.
1 MR. TIEGER: I was going to tender the telephone conversations at
2 once, but that's fine. I'm glad we're doing it now.
3 The exhibit I was referring to next is 01686.
4 Q. This document reflects two telephone conversations that you had
5 with General Mladic on the 26th of May, General, and I would like to turn
6 to the first one, initially.
7 Now, that's a conversation which the document indicates was held
8 at 1000 hours on the 26th of May, and it begins with you stating that the
9 actions taken by the Bosnian Serb Army "yesterday afternoon were a gross
10 violation of the safe areas," which was particularly true of Tuzla, but
11 applied equally to the civilian casualties in the other areas, and so on.
12 And, General, as you did with the previous conversation, perhaps you can
13 take us through that conversation and highlight the salient points.
14 A. I don't recall and I don't see it here which of us initiated this
15 call, but we've -- it is clearly after the people have been taken
16 hostage, and I've got people tied to a bridge or some other facility. I
17 can't remember the exact details of it.
18 And I'm returning to the point that continuing to do what was --
19 keep the weapons out of collection points, continuing to attack civilian
20 targets, and now taking --
21 Q. General, let me -- I'm going to stop you for a second. I'm going
22 to invite you to read the entire document first, perhaps.
23 A. Okay.
24 Q. So, first, the first paragraph reflects the point you made about
25 the safe areas and the casualties, you reiterating what you had explained
1 previously; the opportunity to stabilise the situation if Mladic
2 moderated his actions and returned the missing weapons and cleared the
3 exclusion zone; that Mr. Akashi would also be calling Karadzic to pass a
4 similar message; and the detention of UN soldiers and the frequent
5 attacks on their positions flouted the safety produced by the blue UN
6 flag and the white vehicles. Then Mladic speaks, and I'll allow you to
7 read that, accuses you of being crazy and unreasonable.
8 Again, in the next paragraph, you speak about the fact that these
9 aren't threats; this was a warning based on an ultimatum from a year ago.
10 Again, the discussion about in whose hands the resolution of the problem
11 would lie.
12 A. Indeed. The essential thing I'm trying to get across is that the
13 solution lies in Mladic's hands. I am under the exclusion zones -- the
14 resolutions that underpin the safe area, underpin the exclusion zones,
15 then if these -- I was required to make a judgement as to whether the
16 civilian population were being attacked and the weapons were out of the
17 weapons collection points, and the -- and what I was required to do was
18 in my mandate. It was entirely up to Mladic to recognise that, and if he
19 didn't want it to happen, stop doing it. And that's the point I'm trying
20 to get across.
21 Q. You've already indicated that this second series of air-strikes
22 on the 26th was followed by the taking of UN personnel. Did you or your
23 headquarters receive telephone communication directly in connection with
24 the taking of specific UN people?
25 A. Yes. As I think I said, we were rung up and told that the --
1 We've now taken these people hostage. Look at your televisions. You can
2 see them. They are -- that they are held on potential targets, and they
3 will have their throats cut. They -- we had this message through the
4 liaison officer as well; that is, the Bosnian Serb liaison officer, a
5 Colonel Indic in Lukavica, at some stage during that afternoon.
6 Q. And how many times did you speak to Colonel Indic that day?
7 A. Whether I did the speaking, the message is -- I think we had a
8 couple of messages from him, and it may have been direct to me. I don't
10 Q. And what did you understand Indic's relationship to Mladic to be?
11 Were they --
12 A. Indic was Mladic's liaison officer and was the -- in
13 Lukavica Barracks, which was on the Serb side of the front-line between
14 Bosnian and Serb in Sarajevo, and we -- and it was through him that we --
15 all dealings with Pale were conducted in terms of, you know, getting up
16 to Pale, arranging meetings, and so on and so forth.
17 Q. Now, did -- first of all, did Indic indicate to you or your
18 headquarters what would happen to the hostages if there were further
20 A. Oh, that they would be -- they were already on potential targets;
21 that is to say, what was judged by the Serbs as potential targets, and,
22 therefore, would be killed if the targets were attacked. Secondly,
23 that -- and I can't remember -- there was a Serbo-Croat word used that
24 I think translated as something like "choking" or "death rattle," or
25 something like that, and that that's what would happen.
1 Q. And did he indicate anything to you about whether or not you'd be
2 able to observe this or see it in the media?
3 A. Oh, yes, yes, this was all on -- to be on television. In fact,
4 you know, at the very time there were pictures of at least one of our
5 people on the television.
6 MR. TIEGER: Let me turn your attention next, then, to the second
7 of your telephone conversations with General Mladic on that day, on the
8 26th, which took place at 1450 hours, and is again found -- if we could
9 turn this page.
10 Q. This indicates a further telephone conversation between you and
11 General Mladic, this time at 1450, Bravo. Looking at the third
12 paragraph, General, and I'll give you a chance to comment on the
13 telephone conversation generally, of course, but I wanted to ask you: In
14 the third paragraph, we see a reference to the fact that you had no right
15 to ask General Mladic any questions and that the destiny of the men over
16 there rested completely with you; that he expected there would be further
17 air attacks. He stated his intention to use "ripe" as his answer. When
18 asked what this meant, he replied that:
19 "If there were further attacks, everyone would know the answer
20 from their TV screens."
21 First of all, General, you referred to what you understood -- a
22 Bosnian Serb word which you understood to be "choke" or "death rattle."
23 There's a reference to "ripe" here. Does it reflect your recollection
24 about --
25 A. Yeah, that was the word, and, I mean, that paragraph, what I was
1 trying to describe earlier as a -- as what was happening.
2 Q. And did this conversation take place before or after the
3 conversations with Indic?
4 A. That, I'm not sure of. I think Indic's conversations or the
5 report of those conversations came to me afterwards, but I'm not sure in
6 what order they all occurred.
7 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, I tender this document.
8 JUDGE KWON: Exhibit P2268.
9 MR. TIEGER:
10 Q. General, do you know approximately how many, and this can be a
11 rough estimate, of course, UN personnel were seized and taken hostage by
12 the Bosnian Serb authorities?
13 A. It was up in the 300s by the end, I think.
14 Q. And did you understand this to be a series of local efforts or
15 did you understand it to be a centrally-controlled effort?
16 A. Oh, I was quite clear it was centrally controlled, not least
17 because no Russians -- it was clear that the Russians were being left out
18 and other people were being -- that other people were being picked up.
19 Q. What about during your conversations with General Mladic? We can
20 see what's recorded there, but I wanted to ask you if there was any doubt
21 between the two of you about his role in the hostage-taking.
22 A. Oh, I don't think there was any doubt in either of our minds that
23 he was in charge of this, of the -- of dealing with the hostages, yes.
24 MR. TIEGER: Let me show you -- let me direct your attention to a
25 number of documents quickly, and then a few others as well.
1 First of all, if we can look at 65 ter 08047. It's a document
2 dated the 27th of May, 1995, signed by General Milosevic, and referring
3 to a number of members of UNPROFOR, UNHCR, and other international
4 organisations taken prisoner, and which country they're from, and
5 referring, at point 3, to:
6 "Russian UNPROFOR members not be taken prisoner, and captured
7 Russians to be freed."
8 Q. Was that consistent with what you observed at the time?
9 A. I didn't observe the reporting, but I certainly observed that --
10 I think it was -- and I think we'd learnt it from the Russian unit in
11 UNPROFOR, who told us that they were not going to be picked up.
12 MR. TIEGER: And just three more documents very quickly.
13 First, P02417. It's from the Army of Republika Srpska
14 Main Staff, Intelligence and Security Sector, indicating at the
15 conclusion that air-strikes would continue, and indicating at the bottom:
16 "Familiarise commanders with this information and recommend that
17 captured members of UN forces be placed in an area of a possible
19 Next, if we could turn to P02137. Again, the Main Staff of the
20 VRS, dated 27 May 1995, to the Commands of the 1st and 2nd Krajina Corps,
21 et cetera, again referring at the outset of the document to information
22 alleging that it had been decided that NATO would continue bombing
23 warehouses, command posts, et cetera, and ordering, as we see continuing
24 on in the document, first in number 1, that:
25 "Captured UNPROFOR staff, as well as the staff of the other
1 international humanitarian organisations in their areas of responsibility
2 and sent from the SRK area of responsibility, at the warehouses, in the
3 areas of command posts, firing positions and other potential targets that
4 may come under the air-strike."
5 And if we continue to the next page.
6 We see, in item 8:
7 "The above VRS Main Staff order about the deployment of UNPROFOR
8 staff has been approved by the president of the Republika Srpska, and the
9 local and foreign media was also informed about it."
10 And it continues that the commanders of the units are personally
11 responsible for the execution of the order.
12 Q. General, are those documents consistent with your observations,
13 and of the organisation of the taking and deployment of the hostages, and
14 your conclusions about whether it was locally or centrally directed?
15 A. Well, the last point, it's -- it's clearly directed from these
16 orders, and the acknowledgment that this is approved by the president
17 is -- shows, at the very least, knowledge of and direction of these --
18 the handling of these people.
19 As my observation of it at the time, I know that although I
20 didn't see this happening at the time, when the hostages were recovered,
21 it was -- we knew that they had been moved around in small packets. Some
22 of them were able to work out where they were, and the pattern of this
23 activity became evident. But that was only after the individuals were
24 debriefed on their return.
25 Q. Were you aware that the hostages were being scattered over a
1 number of areas of responsibility of --
2 A. Not, as it were, in the event. It was only subsequently that I
3 learnt that this had happened.
4 MR. TIEGER: And let me turn your attention to one more
5 conversation between you and General Mladic, this one on the 28th of May.
6 It's 65 ter 01345.
7 And the next page, please.
8 Q. Now, the summary here, General, indicates that this was a
9 conversation that you initiated.
10 And, Your Honour, if we could move into private session, please.
11 JUDGE KWON: Yes, we'll go into private session.
12 [Private session] [Confidentiality partially lifted by order of the Chamber]
13 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session, Your Honours.
14 MR. TIEGER: Your Honour, although I've been trying to work out,
15 as clearly as possible, the precise nature of the Rule 70 issue, I am
16 advised that we need to go into private session to discuss or to elicit
17 testimony or -- from General Smith concerning the incident at
18 Vrbanja Bridge. So that's why, out of an abundance of caution, I moved
19 into private session here.
20 JUDGE KWON: Thank you for the information, Mr. Tieger.
21 Yes, Mr. Robinson.
22 MR. ROBINSON: Excuse me, Mr. President.
23 It looks like this document is a UN document. I'm wondering if
24 the Rule 70 request comes from the UN, because if it doesn't, if it comes
25 from another entity, I don't think Rule 70 would apply to a whole subject
1 matter. It's Rule 70 provided can only control those things that they
3 MR. TIEGER: No, it's from the UN, Your Honour. And as I said, I
4 was trying to work it out because I'm not clear on the extent to which
5 this restriction may have been wholly consistent with respect to other
6 documents or witnesses. But it is as it is, and I think we'll deal with
7 it as requested and move into private session for that purpose. But
8 there's no other provider involved.
9 MR. ROBINSON: But excuse me, Mr. President.
10 Am I understanding that the United Nations is the one who has
11 requested that all information about the Vrbanja Bridge incident be
12 provided in private session, as opposed to the French government?
13 MR. TIEGER: Without going into too many details, I can say that
14 my understanding at the moment is that with respect to the testimony of
15 this particular witness, and when we sought Rule 70 clearance, this issue
16 arose, and it remains a Rule 70 restriction in the manner I just
18 MR. ROBINSON: Mr. President, I think that that could actually be
19 moved to the level of depriving Dr. Karadzic of a fair trial, because
20 this particular incident, the UN, at least from Dr. Karadzic's point of
21 view, took four hostages and then exchanged them for the hostages on the
22 18th of June, and part of Dr. Karadzic's argument which he intends to
23 make at the end of the case is that this hostage-taking, being the taking
24 of persons and later on putting a condition on their release, equally
25 applied in the situation of the Vrbanja Bridge Serbs who were detained.
1 And to take this whole subject out of the realm of the public domain, we
2 think, would infringe on his right to a fair trial at this stage, and we
3 think that it's -- this is the first UN document that we've ever seen
4 that Rule 70 -- that had a Rule 70 restriction that this couldn't be
5 discussed in public, so it's not -- it's my understanding that the UN
6 doesn't make those requests of its documents. So, on the other hand, the
7 Vrbanja Bridge incident was a French Battalion incident, and the French
8 government does make these kinds of requests, and so I think it's
9 important that we understand the nature of the Rule 70 condition that was
10 requested of the Prosecutor, who exactly placed that condition on it, and
11 limited its scope to only that material that came from that provider with
12 that condition.
13 Thank you.
19 Q. General, looking at this conversation, I want to give you an
20 opportunity -- I don't know if you've taken the opportunity during that
21 discussion to look at the record of the telephone conversation, but
22 please do so now. And I'll walk through some of the main points
23 discussed with you very quickly.
24 First of all, the summary indicates that during the course of
25 that conversation, Mladic sought to rebuff claims of ill treatment of the
1 detained personnel, accused you of acting at the political direction of
2 the Bosnian government, and demanded immediate cessation of all NATO
3 combat and transport flights and the unconditional release of the
4 detained Serb personnel. The first part of the discussion begins with
5 Mladic speaking to you about the Vrbanja Bridge situation -- excuse me.
6 It consists of you outlining the main points and asking Mladic to
7 restrain his men, and to treat those in detention properly, et cetera.
8 Perhaps you can quickly describe what you were discussing here.
9 A. I can -- again, I need to be -- refresh my -- the dates and the
10 timings, but in the early hours of the morning of one of these days -
11 I think the 28th, but I'm not sure - a group of Bosnian Serbs, dressed in
12 the -- as French soldiers, attacked and took the -- a post on the
13 Vrbanja Bridge that was manned by or had been manned by -- or, sorry, was
14 manned by French soldiers.
15 JUDGE KWON: Can I interrupt you, General Smith.
16 How about hearing this evidence in public session, because we
17 have dealt with the document, and then we can move on to public session
18 and you can ask the question without having to rely on this document?
19 MR. TIEGER: Yeah. As I understand it, Your Honour, and I will
20 seek -- we can return to the entire subject, perhaps, tomorrow, and I'll
21 seek additional clarification.
22 My understanding was that the restriction was not the document,
23 specifically, but with request -- with respect to the testimony
24 concerning or eliciting information about this particular --
25 JUDGE KWON: My understanding is that this witness is not
1 produced by or through the United Nations.
2 MR. TIEGER: It seems -- well, first of all, I'm going to retract
3 much of what was said. It seems to me, as I'm hearing the
4 clarifications, that my understanding of the restriction was erroneous.
5 The best thing to do, I think, is I'll just move past this particular
6 document, raise it again tomorrow with the clarification, and make
7 sure -- I believe we will be discussing the Vrbanja Bridge incident in
8 public. I don't think, as I now understand the circumstances, that will
9 present a problem, but, again, I will -- because of the confusion that
10 has arisen, I'll make sure that's the -- that's the case.
11 JUDGE KWON: In any event, I note the time. Shall we rise for
12 today? It has been a long day for the general, in particular.
13 So we'll --
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] May I? May I say something,
16 JUDGE KWON: Just a second.
17 Shall we go back to open session first.
18 [Open session]
19 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE KWON: Yes, Mr. Karadzic.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] In view of the fact that the
22 Defence believes that it has not been given enough time for such an
23 important witness, we are prepared to make an extra effort to work longer
24 hours every day, if all the participants agree to that and if the
25 courtroom is free. So in case we are given extended hours for
1 cross-examination, we wouldn't have to spill over into next week.
2 However, if the witness could stay on next week as well, that would be a
3 very good thing.
4 JUDGE KWON: The courtroom is fully occupied tomorrow, and we'll
5 look into the matter whether it would be plausible to extend, to some
6 extent, on Thursday and Friday.
7 MR. TIEGER: And, Your Honour, I trust that the witness will be
8 consulted through VWS as well.
9 JUDGE KWON: We'll ask the VWS to contact the witness and to have
10 a word with him about it.
11 We'll rise for today. Tomorrow, 9.00.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.28 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 9th day of
15 February, 2011, at 9.00 a.m.