1 THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL
2 FOR THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
3 IN THE TRIAL CHAMBER
4 Case No. IT-95-18-R61
5 Case No. IT-95-5-R61
8 Monday, 1st July 1996
11 JUDGE JORDA
12 (The Presiding Judge)
14 JUDGE ODIO BENITO
15 JUDGE RIAD
17 THE PROSECUTOR OF THE TRIBUNAL
21 RADOVAN KARADZIC
22 RATKO MLADIC
24 MR. ERIC OSTBERG, MR. MARK HARMON and MR. TERREE BOWERS appeared
25 on behalf of the Prosecution
1 (Open Session)
3 (10.00 a.m.)
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE (In translation): Can everyone hear me? Everything is
5 working all right? The interpretation is coming through loud and
6 clear? Fellow Judges, you can hear me? Registrar, you can hear me?
7 Mr. Ralston, you can hear me, can you? Great. Let us get on with it.
8 Prosecutor, you have the floor to hear the further testimony from Mr.
10 MR. HARMON: Thank you, your Honours, and good morning.
11 MR. JOHN RALSTON, recalled.
12 Examined by MR. HARMON
13 Q. Mr. Ralston, when we left off on Friday, you were testifying about
14 the conditions in the detention facilities that were run by the
15 Bosnian Serb authorities. Let me stay on that subject for a moment
16 and ask you whether high ranking members of the SDS, that is, close
17 associates of Dr. Karadzic, visited these detention facilities while
18 these inhumane acts were taking place?
19 A. Yes, they did. As stated previously, detention of civilians in
20 various facilities followed the political and military takeover by the
21 Bosnian Serbs. The Office of the Prosecutor has evidence to establish
22 that the SDS, the military and the police were formally involved in
23 the operation of the facilities. The existence and operation of these
24 facilities was known to civilian and military leaders of the Bosnian
1 Further, lines of communication within the SDS and the army
2 was such that this information regarding the facilities passed to
3 Karadzic and Mladic. Mrs. Plavsic in late May/June 1992 acknowledged
4 to a senior United Nations military observer that camps existed for
5 prisoners of war on the Serb side, but she alleged that similar camps
6 were maintained by the presidency and Croat forces. The Officer
7 attempted to visit these camps on the urging of both parties, but both
8 parties equally frustrated his attempts to visit the camps.
9 There is also evidence that various high ranking SDS members
10 had knowledge of and visited the detention facilities when the
11 inhumane acts which I have described occurred. Velibor Ostojic,
12 Vojislav Maksimovic and Petko Cancar in Foca and Ratko Dukic in
13 Vlasenica each were involved in the SDS at the Republic level.
14 Witness testimonies indicate that each of these officials were
15 well aware of occurrences at detention facilities in their regions.
16 Ostojic was seen at the Livade detention facility. Miro Stanic, Head
17 of the Crisis Staff and President of the SDS in Foca for a period of
18 time in 1992, had his officer in Velecevo women's prison. Dragan
19 Cancar, a relative of Petko Cancar, was a Commander of Livade
21 Major Radmilo Zeljaja, a Commander of the Prijedor Corps,
22 visited the Omarska camp with a delegation of Serbs from Banja Luka
23 and Prijedor in July 1992. Major Slobodan Kuruzovic, in addition to
24 being a military officer, was a member of the Crisis Staff in Prijedor
25 and the Commander of the Trnopolje camp.
1 Simo Drljaca, Prijedor Chief of Police, was seen on a regular
2 basis in Omarska, Keraterm and Trnopolje detention facilities.
3 Additionally, he played an important role in the negotiations with
4 police in Kozarac and Ljubija in relation to the signing of an oath of
5 allegiance to the Serbs and in the surrendering of civilians after the
6 Serbian attack on Kozarac.
7 Simo Miskovic, Commander of the Crisis Staff and President of
8 the SDS Prijedor, was seen by a number of witnesses in the Omarska
9 and Keraterm camps during their operation between May and August 1992.
10 Srdjo Srdic, President of the Red Cross in Prijedor and an SDS deputy
11 in the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina and later in Republika Srpska,
12 was also seen in Omarska and Keraterm camps during their operation.
13 Q. Mr. Ralston, was Dr. Karadzic ever asked about the camps and
14 conditions in those camps and has he ever expressed an opinion about
15 the camps?
16 A. Dr. Karadzic has been asked repeatedly about the camps. He has
17 denied that abuse took place in the camps and continues to deny wrong
18 doing in the camps. In an interview in the Der Spiegel magazine in
19 May 1995, Karadzic pointed out that "The camps were not for civilians
20 ... they were exclusively for POWs", prisoners of war. As late as
21 February 1996, Karadzic in a reported interview, denied that his army
22 set up detention camps across Bosnia in which tens of thousands of
23 Muslims were imprisoned, tortured or killed. He said that this was
24 Muslim propaganda".
25 Q. Mr. Ralston, are you familiar with the Thompson Commission?
1 A. Yes, I am.
2 Q. Could you explain to the court what it was and what its purpose was?
3 A. Yes. I refer to the exhibit.
4 Q. If you would refer then to Exhibit 61?
5 A. The Thompson Commission was set up under the auspices of the Council
6 for co-operation and security in Europe. It is ----
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am sorry to interrupt, prosecuting counsel. When
8 you are talking about Exhibit 61, is that something that is available
9 for the Judges, or is that something that is in the case file? What
10 is the status of that?
11 MR. HARMON: It should be in the binder that I provided the court, your
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is right. Thank you.
14 THE WITNESS: The Commission I referred to is referred to in the report as
15 an humanitarian mission which was headed by Sir John Thompson of the
16 United Kingdom. The main task of the mission was to survey the human
17 rights situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina through direct observation
18 of the detention camps and centres throughout the country in so far as
19 it could in the one week duration of mission. The team saw places of
20 detention where thousands were held often under conditions of severe
21 hardship and sometimes of terror.
22 Q. When did the Thompson Commission perform its survey, Mr. Ralston?
23 A. It was from 29th August 1992 to 4th September 1992.
24 Q. Could you please read directly from the report some of their
25 significant findings?
1 A. Yes. On page 6 of the report under the heading "Lack of respect for
2 Civilian Population: The mission determined that a complete range of
3 individuals, both males and females, young and old, are now being held
4 throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina in various places of detention. We met
5 with prisoners as young as 17 or even less, and as old as 83.
6 "The crucial point is that thousands are being held against
7 their will, or under conditions which make their departure from the
8 place of their confinement virtually impossible. Legally speaking,
9 the people held in places of detention of various natures fall into
10 three categories:
11 "(A) Prisoners of war. These prisoners have taken an active
12 part in hostilities and can be legally detained as combatants under
13 the Third Geneva Convention of 1949. The Mission saw very few of
14 these. It was our impression that much of the fighting was to the
16 "(B) People who allegedly had been hiding weapons in their
17 homes and/or possessed information of potential military significance.
18 Their civilian non-combatant status should have protected them from
19 military detention although they could, arguably, be subject to
20 judicial proceedings. There were probably a significant number of
22 "(C) People who were taken prisoner because they lived or
23 worked in the zone of combat. These people were not taking part in
24 hostilities but were seen as enemies due to their ethnic origin.
25 Their civilian non-combatant status should have protected them from
1 detention. This category was easily the largest.
2 "Our experience suggests that a comparatively small percentage
3 of prisoners are genuine POWs. The remainder should never have been
4 imprisoned. We are not impressed by claims that they were
5 incarcerated in their own safety or simply because they happened to be
6 resident in a combat zone.
7 "It is impossible to escape the conclusion that most prisoners
8 are innocent people who have been seized as hostages to promote ethnic
9 cleansing. They are pawns in a vicious game played by nationalist
10 politicians. These innocent people should be released forthwith".
11 On page 8 of the report they go to the responsibility of the
12 leaders, I quote:
13 "Despite the existence of war lords, the bulk of the evidence
14 points to the responsibility of acknowledged leaders. The Mission
15 believes that, in general, leaders exercise effective control over
16 their military and civilian structures. Contrary to what is usually
17 accepted, the so-called uncontrolled elements are marginal. They
18 exist, but their importance has been exaggerated by various leaders
19 who find them a convenient explanation for numerous barbarities.
20 "The Mission has seen camps well organised with military
21 personnel or policemen doing what they were told to do. There is no
22 reason for the international community to condone implicitly or
23 otherwise any departures from the agreements signed in London or
25 "The existence of the 22 May agreement shows that all parties
1 have from an early stage been aware of their obligations and have
2 claimed to carry them out. At least some Serb authorities have stated
3 that they observed the provisions of Mr. Karadzic's order of 19th
4 August 1992 which sets out additional obligations.
5 "However, the mission is very conscious that on all sides
6 there have been numerous breaches of the Geneva Conventions and that
7 to a significant extent some of these continue. The most widespread
8 breach by all parties is the long continued detention, in some cases
9 of more than three months, of civilians who cannot possibly be
10 classified as prisoners of war. The largest number of these appear to
11 be in Serb places of detention and, therefore, while the international
12 community should bear down heavily on all parties, it should do so
13 particularly firmly on the Serbs".
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ralston. Now let me ask you with regard to some of
15 the persons who the Office of the Prosecutor has previously indicted
16 for committing serious violations of International Humanitarian Law in
17 these camps, particularly Meakic, Nikolic Jelisic and their
18 subordinates, to your knowledge, Mr. Ralston, have these people been
19 arrested or punished for the crimes which they have committed in these
21 A. To my knowledge, they have not been arrested and punished.
22 Q. Now I would like to turn briefly to another subject area, Mr.
23 Ralston, and that is the issue of the appropriation of property. In
24 the course of your testimony on Friday, you touched upon that topic
25 and I would like to touch upon it again briefly. Could you please
1 explain to the court the process of how property was appropriated?
2 A. The various manners in which property was appropriated, one that I
3 have referred to previously is the seizing of property from the
4 civilians as they were taken to detention facilities. Another
5 significant manner was when people, driven through fear and
6 harassment, moved to leave their municipalities, they were forced to
7 obtain permission to do so through the Crisis Staff, often having to
8 pay large sums of money to facilitate their movement from the area.
9 In addition, they were required to sign a document stating
10 they were leaving of their own free will and stating that they were
11 handing over all of their property to the officials of the Republika
13 Q. Mr. Ralston, do you have a sample of one of those voluntary change or
14 surrender of property?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. That is Exhibit No. 62; is that correct?
17 A. I believe so, yes.
18 Q. Mr. Ralston, could you please read the English translation of that
19 document into the record?
20 A. The document is headed "Republika Srpske, Mrkonjic Grad, reference
21 018021/92. Mrkonjic Grad, 14 October 1992. Statement about voluntary
22 change of residence. I", the citizen is named, "resident of Mrkonjic
23 Grad, on behalf of my immediate family", the members of his family are
24 named, "declare that we decided of our own will without any pressure
25 to change our place of residence. By this statement we agree that our
1 movable and immovable property is left to the competent authorities of
2 Mrkonjic Grad municipality. By expressing my own will and the will of
3 my family, I personally undersign this statement. This statement
4 serves as permission for the Municipal Assembly of Mrkonjic Grad
5 issued to above mentioned persons so that they can freely leave the
6 territory of Mrkonjic Grad municipality". Statement given by,
7 signature, submitted to, person who gave the statement, to Municipal
8 Assembly, Mrkonjic Grad.
9 There is an official seal on the document. The official seal
10 is worded "Republika Srpska, Municipal Assembly of Mrkonjic Grad,
11 Executive Council." There is a footer on the document "Municipal
12 Assembly of Mrkonjic Grad".
13 Q. Mr. Ralston, throughout Friday's testimony you summarised a
14 systematic pattern of conduct that took place in municipalities where
15 non-Serbs formed the majority population. That pattern included the
16 establishment of camps, deportations, murder, appropriation of
17 property, sexual assault and the like. What has been the effect of
18 this conduct in these particular municipalities?
19 A. Yes, I can go through some of the municipalities I have referred to.
20 For example, in Foca there were approximately 21,000 non-Serbs in
21 1991; by August 1993 there were only nine. In Bosanski Samac there
22 were approximately 17,000 non-Serbs; by July '95, 98 per cent had
23 gone. In Vlasenica, the majority of non-Serbs had been expelled. In
24 Brcko, from 79 per cent of the population, or approximately 69,000
25 non-Serbs, the overwhelming majority who were not killed or detained
1 left by any means possible.
2 From Prijedor, of approximately 64,000 non-Serbs, by June
3 1993, 88 per cent had gone. By July 1993, the majority of non-Serbs
4 had been expelled. In Kotor Varos, there were 36,670 non-Serbs in
5 1991. There are few left. In Zvornik, there were around 35,000
6 non-Serbs expelled from that municipality. In Bratunac, approximately
7 20,000 or 92 per cent of non-Serbs were forced into exile. Rogatica
8 municipalities, of approximately 12,000 non-Serb inhabitants, 2,700
9 were forced to flee to Gorazde, 3,700 to Sarajevo, 1200 to Zenica and
10 about 2,500 were forced to move to Zepa before being expelled from
11 that area in 1995. Visegrad, 13,500 non-Serbs have been totally
12 removed from the area. In addition, the non-Serb population of
13 Srebrenica and Zepa, which included many non-Serbs who fled there from
14 other areas, have been expelled.
15 Q. Mr. Ralston, let me refer you to Exhibit No. 63 and ask you to
16 explain it to the court. It will be set up for you in just a minute.
17 A. You will recall from my testimony on Friday I pointed out that these
18 areas, in the areas occupied by the Bosnian Serbs, the shaded areas
19 were areas where the non-Serb population was in a majority as of the
20 1991 census. The areas that I have just given you the population
21 details about show that, as a result of their activities, we have a
22 totally Serb dominated population status in all of these areas.
23 Q. Mr. Ralston, I would like to turn your attention to another subject
24 now and that is the knowledge of Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic with
25 regard to their obligations under International Humanitarian Law.
1 Specifically focusing on General Mladic, what does our evidence show
2 in relation to his knowledge of obligations under the Geneva
3 Conventions and normal customs of war?
4 A. We have evidence to indicate that it is standard JNA military
5 training to include education on the obligations of the Geneva
6 Convention and other conventions in relation to war crimes.
7 Q. Was Dr. Karadzic likewise aware of relevant legal standards that
8 applied in armed conflict?
9 A. Yes, he was.
10 Q. In that regard, Mr. Ralston, let me refer you, please, to Exhibits
11 64, 65 and 66, and ask you to identify each of those exhibits and
12 explain their significance to the court.
13 A. Exhibit 64 is a document which is a declaration which was signed, I
14 think it was, in November, on November 5th 1991. It is a statement on
15 respect of humanitarian principles. It sets out: "We, the
16 undersigned, undertake to respect and ensure respect of International
17 Humanitarian Law and remind all fighting units of their obligations to
18 apply to the following fundamental principles". It included
19 provisions that, "All detaining authorities must ensure the protection
20 of prisoners in the civilian population and civilian property must not
21 be attacked". This declaration was made by the Presidents of the six
22 republics in The Hague, the six republics of the SFRY.
23 Exhibit No. 65 is an agreement on the release and transfer of
24 prisoners. I am sorry, I have the wrong document here.
25 Q. Why do you not turn to Exhibit 66 then?
1 A. Exhibit No. 66, which was signed on 27th August 1992, it is an
2 agreement which was signed by Dr. Karadzic and Mr. Izetbegovic
3 identifying, "The agreement is a programme of actions on humanitarian
4 issues agreed between the co-chairman of the conference and the
5 parties to the conflict on 27th August". The agreement includes at
6 point 3(4): "All practices involving forcible displacement or forms
7 of harassment, humiliation or intimidation, confiscation and
8 destruction of property and all acts involved in the practice of
9 ethnic cleansing are abhorrent and should cease forthwith".
10 Q. Mr. Ralston, we will turn to another area. Exhibit 65, your Honour,
11 should be an exhibit dated May 22nd 1992 in which representatives of
12 Dr. Karadzic agreed in an ICRC agreement to reiterating respect for
13 human rights and ensuring that humanitarian law would be abided by.
14 Mr. Ralston, in addition to those agreements, were Dr. Karadzic and
15 General Mladic actually notified of violations of International
16 Humanitarian Law that occurred or were occurring in Bosnia and
18 A. Yes, they were.
19 Q. Do you have an example of this type of direct notification to them
20 and in that regard would you please turn to Exhibit No. 67?
21 A. Exhibit No. 67 is a document addressed to General Mladic on 2nd March
22 1993 from the European Community Military Monitoring Headquarters. It
23 raises issues such as the deteriorating situation in the Muslim
24 pockets of Eastern Bosnia; reports about the exodus of 3,000 from
25 Trebinje and setting out their reason to conclude that these people
1 did not leave their homes voluntarily. It refers to Muslims, 1500
2 Muslims, being expelled from Sipovo and being forced to cross the
3 front line at Turbe, amongst other things.
4 Q. Mr. Ralston, did the United Nations and the Security Council issue
5 resolutions and statements regarding violations of International
6 Humanitarian Law that were occurring in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
7 A. Yes, it did.
8 Q. Were Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic aware of these resolutions?
9 A. I believe so, yes.
10 Q. Mr. Ralston, I would like to turn to Part III of the indictment which
11 is that part of the indictment describing a offences in relation to UN
12 hostages and their use as human shields. Can you tell me when UN
13 peacekeepers were taken hostage in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
14 A. Yes, I am aware of four separate occasions when UN peacekeepers or
15 military monitors were taken hostages; firstly, on 13th April 1994,
16 secondly, on or about 21st November 1994, again on or about 26th May
17 1995 and, finally, in July '95 in Srebrenica.
18 Q. Can you briefly describe each of those incidents?
19 A. Yes. On 13th April 1994, after NATO attacks on Bosnian-Serb army
20 military targets following shelling of Gorazde, throughout Bosnian
21 Serb held areas United Nations military observers and Canbat soldiers
22 were either apprehended or subjected to restrictions on the freedom of
23 their movement. This action was taken by the Bosnian Serb army.
24 On 21st November 1994 there was a NATO air strike at 13.05
25 against Udbina airfield in response to shelling of the Bihac pocket by
1 Croatian Serb forces. On November 23, 1994, there were NATO attacks
2 against Bosnian Serb army surface to air missile sites in the area of
3 Otoko and Dvor. Following this there was an almost complete block of
4 movement on all UNPROFOR personnel, especially around Sarajevo.
5 In sector South West 55 members of CanBat were detained by the
6 Bosnian Serb army Ilijas Brigade at six locations around Visoko and
7 Breza. All Bosnian Serb army checkpoints in the area of
8 responsibility were closed to UN traffic. The Bosnian Serb army
9 ordered all United Nations military observers to be confined to their
11 Following the NATO air strikes of 25 and 26 May 1995, Bosnian
12 Serb military personnel captured or otherwise detained a total of 284
13 UN military observers and UN peacekeepers in Pale, Sarajevo, Gorazde
14 and other locations, and held them as human shields and hostages in
15 order to prevent further air strikes.
16 Q. In relation to Srebrenica, were UN peacekeepers taken as hostages,
17 Mr. Ralston?
18 A. Yes. Approximately 55 Dutch UN peacekeepers were taken as hostages
19 during the attack by the Bosnian Serb army.
20 Q. That was in July 1995; is that correct?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. Could you please focus your attention to the seizure of UN military
23 observers and peacekeepers by the Bosnian Serb army in May 1995 and
24 explain to the court what happened in that particular series of
1 A. Yes. UN military observers were dispatched throughout the Sarajevo
2 area, according to areas of responsibility, and were supposed to check
3 that heavy weaponry would not be used by the Bosnian Serb army nor by
4 the Bosnian army. The main means to accomplish their duties was to
5 make regular patrols and have contacts with the two armies. The
6 UNMOs were not armed.
7 After seizing UNMOs in the Pale area, Bosnian Serb military
8 personnel selected certain military observers who had been taken as
9 hostages to use as "human shields". There were 35 military observers
10 detained from eight teams. From on or about 26th May through 27th May
11 1995, Bosnian Serb military personnel physically secured or otherwise
12 held these UNMOs against their will at potential NATO air targets, and
13 near previous impact sites including the ammunition bunkers at
14 Jahorinkski Potok, the Jahorina radar site and a nearby communications
15 centre in order to render these locations immune from further air
17 The military observers were detained in various circumstances.
18 Some were handcuffed or otherwise physically retained, and used as
19 human shields at potential NATO air strike targets, while others were
20 under different restrictions, in their accommodation or elsewhere.
21 Bosnian Serb military personnel held the UN peacekeepers
22 throughout their captivity by force or threat of force. In some
23 instances, the UN hostages were assaulted. During and after protected
24 negotiations with the Bosnian Serb leaders, the hostages were released
25 in four ways between 3rd and 18th June 1995.
1 Peacekeepers, not only UNMOs, but also a significant number of
2 UNPROFOR infantrymen, were subjected to detention by Bosnian Serb
3 forces. These soldiers had been posted to a number of checkpoints
4 around the Gorazde and Serb-held suburban areas of Sarajevo in late
5 May 1995. Within hours or even days of the air strikes, each of their
6 checkpoints was captured by the Bosnian Serb military or military
7 police, under force or serious threat of force.
8 All detainees were transported to various locations in Bosnian
9 Serb held territory, where they were held for periods of time up to
10 approximately 18 days.
11 Q. Mr. Ralston, did the taking of these United Nations military
12 observers and peacekeepers appear to be widespread and systematic
13 throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina?
14 A. Yes, it did.
15 Q. Let me refer you to Exhibit No. 69. It will be shown on the elmo;
16 once it is, I would ask you to explain what it means to the court.
17 A. If you see marked on this map, the squares show the locations where
18 either military observers or peacekeepers were taken from. You will
19 note that the localities cover the whole of the area controlled by the
20 Bosnian Serbs at that time, and there is an example in each of the
21 areas under each of the separate Corps commands that I have detailed
22 evidence of earlier. The inset which shows the locations in and
23 around Sarajevo or the Sarajevo opstina where military observers and
24 peacekeepers were taken from.
25 Q. Were Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic informed that taking UN
1 peacekeepers as hostage was a violation of International Humanitarian
3 A. Yes, they were. Senior UN officials protested such actions. In
4 addition, following the May '95 hostage taking/human shields episode,
5 there was widespread public outrage at the practice. This outrage was
6 conveyed to both Karadzic and Mladic.
7 Q. What were their reactions?
8 A. In general terms, their response was that the hostages were being
9 held as hostage against further NATO attacks. They stated that the
10 lives of the hostages were in NATO's hands. An example of Dr.
11 Karadzic's attitude is contained in an interview published on 29th
12 August 1994 in the Der Spiegel magazine.
13 The Der Spiegel interviewer asks: "How do you then assess the
14 proposal by US President Clinton to lift the arms embargo against the
15 Muslims and to thus arm your military opponents?" Karadzic is
16 reported to have stated: "If the arms embargo is lifted, we will not
17 adhere to one single resolution of the UN Security Council any more.
18 Then we will take Blue Helmet troops hostage, we will shoot down
19 innumerable planes, and we will arrest all foreigners on our
20 territory. We will really do everything that is to the advantage of
21 our people without any consideration for anyone".
22 In a 17th May interview with Der Spiegel, Dr. Karadzic is
23 reported to have said: "If NATO were to attack, they would be taken
24 hostages, if they were to attack, they would be our enemy".
25 With respect to General Mladic in a 30th May 1995 article in
1 The International Herald Tribune, he is quoted as follows: "General
2 Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb Commander, said he had stopped chaining
3 hostages to potential targets as human shields against NATO air
4 attack, an act that had prompted worldwide outrage. But he warned
5 that the soldiers would continue to be exposed at the sites, including
6 an ammunition dump and a radar base until the UN backed down".
7 Q. Mr. Ralston, I would like turn now to another topic and that is the
8 lack of cooperation by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in securing
9 the arrests of Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic. Your Honour, we have
10 filed with this court a report describing our efforts to secure the
11 execution of arrest warrants. That report is a matter of record with
12 this court.
13 We have in addition to that requested that the Registrar
14 transmit to the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and to the Republika
15 Srpska publication for newspapers notifying both of the accused of the
16 indictments. The warrants have not been executed in either the
17 Republika Srpska or the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; nor have the
18 advertisements notifying both of the accused that there are
19 indictments for them in The Hague, they have not been published in
20 either the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia or in the Republika Srpska.
21 (To the witness): Mr. Ralston, since Dr. Karadzic and General
22 Mladic have been indicted, have either or both of them been in
24 A. There are numerous reports that both of them have been in Belgrade,
25 and I will take you through those reports. General Mladic is reported
1 to have met with President Milosevic and the Chief of General staff of
2 the Yugoslav Army, General Momcilo Perisic in Belgrade on 3rd August
4 Dr. Karadzic is reported to have met with leaders of the FRY
5 in Belgrade on 29th August 1995. Both Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic
6 are reported to have been in Belgrade for talks on 14th September
7 1995. General Mladic is reported to have been checked into a hospital
8 several days before 19th September 1995.
9 Dr. Karadzic is reported to have arrived in Belgrade on 25th
10 September 1995 for consultations before the New York meeting between
11 Milan Milutinovic, Muhamed Sacirbegovic and Mate Granic. On 19th
12 October 1995, a delegation, including Dr. Karadzic, is reported to
13 have met an FRY delegation at Dobanovici near Belgrade for talks. On
14 29th November 1995, the leaderships of the FRY and Republika Srpska,
15 including Karadzic, are reported to have met in Belgrade.
16 On 7th February 1996, Dr. Karadzic is reported to have held
17 talks in Belgrade with Mr. Milosevic, discussing the new situation
18 that emerged after the arrest of General Djorde Dukic Dukic. General
19 Mladic is photographed in Belgrade attending the funeral of General
20 Dukic on 21st May 1996.
21 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, that concludes the evidence to be presented
22 through Mr. Ralston. We would tender now a single volume of exhibits
23 that we have discussed in the course of this hearing. If the court
24 has any questions of Mr. Ralston, he is available to answer those
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We have taken note of the file and have accepted
2 your statement as such and it has been noted down by the Registrar.
3 Do you have any questions which you would like to ask to the witness?
4 MR. HARMON: No, your Honour.
5 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Have you finished your questions?
6 MR. HARMON: We have finished our presentation, your Honour.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you very much. I now turn towards my
8 colleagues: Judge Odio-Benito, do you have any questions you wish to
10 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Just a clarification. In connection with Exhibit 29,
11 I do not remember if we saw the clip 4?
12 MR. HARMON: Yes, your Honour. We presented those video clips.
13 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Clip 4?
14 MR. HARMON: Clip 4, we did not.
15 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: So are you going to show it or you deleted it?
16 MR. HARMON: We deleted it, your Honour.
17 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you.
18 Examined by the Court
19 JUDGE RIAD (In translation): Mr. Ralston, you mentioned, and I quote you,
20 "High ranking SDS members visited the detention facilities and were
21 well aware of the atrocities committed". You also mentioned that
22 Crisis Staff and President of SDS Prijedor and others were seen in the
23 Omarska camp and in other camps". Could you explain to us the
24 relationship between the SDS, the Crisis Staff and General Mladic and
25 Dr. Karadzic?
1 A. The Crisis Staff were set up by the SDS officials in each of the
2 municipalities. The Crisis Staff was responsible for the overall
3 co-ordination of what happened in each of the municipalities.
4 Q. Did they receive orders from Mladic or were there any signs of
6 A. Given the close co-operation between the military and the police
7 officials in each of the takeovers, it appears to me that, yes, there
8 was direct corroboration -- collaboration between the military and the
9 SDS Crisis Staff.
10 Q. So, in your assessment, they cannot act without the knowledge or the
11 consent of General Mladic or Dr. Karadzic?
12 A. Yes, that is my opinion.
13 Q. You also mentioned that when interviewed Dr. Karadzic denied that the
14 camps detention facilities were not for civilians, but they were for
15 prisoners of war?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Did he make any statement or did he deny also the practice of
18 atrocities and torture in the camps?
19 A. Yes, he has. He has been interviewed many times in relation to the
20 camps by various members of the media. In general, he has denied the
21 atrocities. As early as August 1992 he was interviewed, and I recall
22 one particular interview where he denied atrocities (and he was being
23 interviewed in relation to the Prijedor camps), he denied that
24 atrocities had taken place and further went on to say that if anything
25 had taken place, he would punish the people responsible. However,
1 there is clear evidence that the people responsible have not been
3 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Ralston.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Ralston, I have two questions or perhaps three I
5 would like to put to you. You described -- do you hear me -- for the
6 court the procedure and the methods which were used for the ethnic
7 cleansing taking place by the SDS. You expressed, I think, on Friday
8 the similarities between the one camp and the other camp, the
9 separation, the segregation, men, women, etc.. My question is, did
10 you find any written references or written instructions for this
11 procedure that was similar in its methods and was contemporaneous in
12 time? Did you find any written memos, any written instructions, which
13 described the procedure which took place in several camps at more or
14 less the same time?
15 A. There were numerous reports as to the existence of such a document,
16 and I in fact have had a witness describe it to me, but I have not
17 personally seen a document of that nature.
18 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: As reaction, I would like to know from the
19 Prosecutor, have you looked for any sources, are you looking for any
20 written documentation, or all the documents you have, do you feel that
21 they are sufficient?
22 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, our investigation is ongoing. We continue to
23 investigate each of the allegations and each of the offences
24 described in this indictment.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Yes, I know that we are talking about Rule 61. We
1 want to confirm an indictment and, therefore, I would like to hear
2 that answer, that there is an ongoing investigation, and I think it is
3 an opportune memo to say so. My second question to Mr. Ralston, as
4 regards the Mission of humanitarian organisation, the Red Cross
5 mission, sometimes there were written and visual documentations. Were
6 these missions prepared well in advance and do you have any sources
7 indicating to you how they were received? Did they tell the prisoners
8 what to say? Did they threaten the prisoners if they did not say what
9 they were told to say, so that they would not have too serious
10 repercussions on them?
11 A. Yes, we have discovered evidence along those lines. For example, in
12 the Batkovic camp, which was regularly visited by the Red Cross, I
13 have been told by witnesses that the elderly and the young were
14 removed from the camp before the Red Cross arrived, taken to another
15 location and then ferried back to the camp at night once the Red Cross
16 had gone.
17 I am also aware, particularly in relation to the visits to the
18 Omarska camp, that prior to the international community attending that
19 camp, the majority of the prisoners had been removed. I think it was
20 about 180 of the fittest looking prisoners were selected to remain at
21 the camp for these visits.
22 I have also been told that prior to visits, the prisoners were
23 warned about talking to the people who were visiting and what they
24 should say. I think in the film clip we showed on Friday afternoon,
25 where the journalists were attempting to the speak to the inmates at
1 Omarska facility, it can be seen that they are very reluctant to talk
2 to the people who were visiting the camp.
3 Q. Thank you. My third question, Mr. Ralston: Do you have any
4 documentation, any witness statements, any sources, written or verbal,
5 of the indictment of Mladic and Karadzic after 1992, so between '92
6 and 1995? I know that this morning you have shown us the authority
7 that they had in the negotiations at the international level. That is
8 one thing. I would like to know whether after all these offences this
9 acquisition of territory, the ethnic cleansing which was taking place
10 with a certain degree of efficiency, what was the role of these two
12 Do we have witnesses on their attitudes, on their speeches
13 where they congratulate the actors? Do we have any conferences where
14 they were present? Do we have any information, because we have the
15 impression that after 1992 we see these two leaders in international
16 conferences, but we do not have, it seems to me, any understanding of
17 their role from that moment onwards. Do you have any sources and are
18 you keeping it for the procedure for the future if at any stage there
19 will be a cross-examination of those people?
20 A. Yes, I think I can assist you there. We have conducted numerous
21 interviews with various senior officials in relation to the role of
22 both Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic and their relationship. I think
23 it can be summarised in two to three points: (1) that Dr. Karadzic
24 was the political leader and the supreme commander of the military;
25 (2) General Mladic was the senior military officer in the Bosnian Serb
1 army and responsible for its actions; (3) by way of example, we have a
2 media clip where Dr. Karadzic is reported as promoting various members
3 of the military after the fall of Srebrenica for their activities in
4 that particular action.
5 Q. I just want to add something to that. The Chamber is really
6 wondering that there must have been meetings of the Serbs from 1992 to
7 1995, so there must have been some information made by the Minister of
8 Defence, by Dr. Karadzic. Do you have any minutes of those sessions?
9 There was an official journal. I suppose, there must have been an
10 agenda. If Mr. Ralston is not in a position to answer, perhaps the
11 Prosecution could answer or we could ask your Office to answer that
12 question perhaps?
13 MR. HARMON: Yes. At this point in time, as you have pointed out, the
14 purpose of a Rule 61 hearing that we have taken it in the spirit is
15 not to present all of the evidence available to the Office of the
16 Prosecutor. We do that for reasons that are to us quite obvious. We
17 believe that our burden in the course of a Rule 61 hearing is to
18 present evidence sufficient to show your Honours that we have a
19 reasonable belief that Dr. Karadzic and General Mladic have committed
20 the crimes that are alleged in this indictment. We have specifically
21 not presented other evidence because of reasons of security and
23 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. I have a last question I would like to
24 put. (To the witness): At the end of your statement, I think in
25 order to show us the inadequacies of those who are protecting the
1 suspects, is it confidential or secret if I would ask you if your
2 office has had top level contact with Pale or Belgrade in addition to
3 the publication in the newspapers which we know because that after all
4 started this initial hearing, but in your office have you had any
5 contacts since the indictment at a high level so that you have told
6 the people in Belgrade or in Pale of our intentions.
7 MR. HARMON: We have, your Honour.
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. I think this is probably covered by
9 confidentiality, but I think you could tell the Tribunal that contact
10 has taken place and they have led to the decision of the Prosecution
11 to do something about it, so that they respond to the requests of this
12 court. Thank you.
13 I think there are no further questions. I think we can thank
14 Mr. Ralston for his statements and wish him everything of the best in
15 his future mission with the Office of the Prosecutor. Thank you.
16 MR. HARMON: Thank you, your Honour.
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
18 (The witness withdrew)
19 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Counsel for the Prosecution?
20 MR. OSTBERG: Yes. Your Honour, we now want to call our next witness --
21 if you want to have a recess or something before that, I do not know?
22 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think it might be a good idea that we have a break
23 between the two witnesses before starting the next witness. So, we
24 will adjourn now and start at 11.20.
25 (11.05 a.m.)
1 (The court adjourned for a short time)
2 (11.20 a.m.)
3 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We shall resume the hearing. Please be seated.
4 Prosecuting counsel, please have the next witness brought in?
5 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you, your Honour. We call Mr. Jan Van Hecke.
6 MR. JAN VAN HECKE, called.
7 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Mr. Van Hecke, first you have to put on the head
8 sets and see if you can hear me all right. Do you hear me?
9 THE WITNESS: Yes.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Now you should be given a version of declaration you
11 might read out for us.
12 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole
13 truth and nothing but the truth.
14 (The witness was sworn)
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Van Hecke. Please be
16 seated. You have been called before the International Criminal
17 Tribunal as a witness by the Office of the Prosecutor. Prosecutor, you
18 have the floor, sir.
19 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you, your Honour. (To the witness): Would you please
20 state your name and even spell it for the record, please?
21 A. My name is Jan Van Hecke, that is, J-A-N V-A-N H-E-C-K-E. I am an
22 investigator with the Office of the Prosecutor.
23 Q. Thank you very much. Your Honours, for your information, this
24 examination will deal with the shelling and sniping of Sarajevo and
25 also briefly touch on the shelling of Tuzla. We have prepared some
1 exhibits we are going to introduce to you. I would now ask the usher
2 maybe to give these three binders containing the picture and things we
3 are going to introduce. These binders contain also something
4 pertaining to the next two coming witnesses. There is something in
5 the binders to separate them from what we are going to deal with now.
6 (To the witness): Mr. Van Hecke, you stated that you are a
7 member of the Office of the Prosecutor. How long have you been in
8 that post?
9 A. Well, I have been in this post since April 1995.
10 Q. Could you tell us of your previous occupation?
11 A. Well, I am a Belgian police officer and I have been that for 18
12 years, and I currently hold the rank of Detective Commissaris in the
13 Judicial Police in Belgium, and from 1988 until I joined the Office of
14 the Prosecutor I was the head of homicide and drugs investigations in
15 the area of Leuven in Belgium.
16 Q. Thank you. What kinds of investigations have you been working on
17 since joining our office?
18 A. Well, I have been part of a team investigating allegations of war
19 crimes against the civilian population of Sarajevo. Focusing
20 principally on allegations of sniping and shelling attacks on
21 civilians. These allegations cover the period from April/May 1992
22 when armed hostilities commenced in Sarajevo to the Dayton Accord in
23 December 1995.
24 Q. How many cases would that involve?
25 A. Well, we established at the start that it was impossible fully to
1 investigate every allegation of sniping and shelling over that period.
2 So we, therefore, have had to select a sample of cases from the
3 total. We investigated between 60 and 70 sniping and 38 shelling
5 Q. Can you tell us something about the methods used in doing these kinds
6 of investigations?
7 A. Well, our basic method has been to obtain the investigation files of
8 the Sarajevo authorities who investigated a very large number of
9 incidents. The foundation for investigations was not as readily
10 available in 1992 by comparison to the evidence subsequently gathered
11 by the Bosnian authorities. From their files, we have located and
12 interviewed victims, eyewitnesses and relevant corroborating witnesses
13 and also the investigators, principally those who carried out
14 forensic and ballistic investigations.
15 The methods and conclusions of those experts we have put to
16 independent artillery and ballistics experts for opinion and
17 confirmation of the quality of the forensic conclusions of the Bosnian
18 investigators. In many instances officially produced and certified
19 medical documents and death certificates have been obtained in respect
20 of the wounded and/or killed victims.
21 In every case we investigated we established that the
22 incidents involved civilian or non-combatant witnesses and victims,
23 and that there was no military activity by Bosnian government forces
24 at the relevant place and time. We have also been obtaining evidence
25 regarding the disposition of the respective forces around the city and
1 the chain of command of the Bosnian Serb forces or VRS during what has
2 become known as the Siege of Sarajevo. Essentially, the same Bosnian
3 Serb Corps remained to conduct the siege for its duration.
4 This was the Sarajevo Romanija Corps, as it became known.
5 Formerly, this Corps, already based in the area prior to the outbreak
6 of hostilities, was the 2nd Military District/4th Corps of the
7 Yugoslav National Army, the JNA. Remaining troops of this Corps
8 formed the base of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps and took over the
9 weapons of the former JNA unit. This included some tanks and a large
10 amount of artillery which was already sited around Sarajevo when the
11 armed conflict began.
12 Q. Thank you. I will now ask you to describe the geography of the area
13 and give some description of the city. In doing so, your Honours, I
14 would now introduce Exhibit No. 71 which is an aerial photo taken out
15 of a issue of the National Geographic Magazine and shows the city.
16 You can even see from which angle you look at the city. I will now
17 ask Mr. Van Hecke to describe what we are looking at.
18 A. So, as you probably know, Sarajevo is the capital city of the
19 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the seat of national
20 government. Historically, the city goes back to Roman times and
21 through the ages it has been a major cultural and commercial city in
22 the region. The 1991 census in the city, I am told, recorded a
23 population of about 526,500 people. The ethnic composition of that
24 time was 49.35 Muslim, 29.9 Serb, 6.6 Croat and 10.7 Yugoslav with 3.5
25 described as "other" groups. Can I have the -----
1 Q. You now have it on your monitor -- yes, please.
2 A. As you see, the city occupies a long narrow valley on the banks of
3 the Miljacka River and is dominated by steep surrounding mountain
4 slopes looking down on the city. Sarajevo runs from east to west --
5 Sarajevo runs from east to west along the river and extending up the
6 slopes with a densely built up residential and commercial centre and
7 the "old town" to the east and then spreading westwards to residential
8 and commercial developments in a number of newer municipalities on
9 open ground at the western end of the valley.
10 You will see that through the naked eye the city lies in a
11 "bowl" and it is clearly seen in detail from all sides from the hills.
12 Q. Would you now like to insert the video or would you go on with this
14 A. Well, we have also two photos as exhibits to show Sarajevo from the
15 hills, Exhibits 72 and 73, so maybe we can first show these before we
16 go over to the video?
17 Q. Yes, please. Exhibit 72 and 73?
18 A. So you have a clear view on the city from the hills. The next one,
19 please. So that is about the same as the previous exhibit, so I think
20 we can now insert the video as Exhibit 70.
21 Q. 70, yes, please. When it starts, will you then comment on it for us?
22 A. I will. So when the hostilities commenced in April 92, the forces
23 which were to become the Republika Srpska army occupied the
24 surrounding hills and confrontation lines were quickly established
25 around the city. They have remained substantially unchanged
1 throughout the conflict. From these positions uphill, the VRS had a
2 commanding view of the city and its people. These forces had -- you
3 see here in the picture -- large stocks of both light and heavy
4 artillery and ammunition to turn on the city, and from about May '92
5 Sarajevo has, effectively, remained under siege and been subjected to
6 shelling and sniping. You can see from these hills how they had an
7 overview of Sarajevo. You can stop the video, I think.
8 Q. Thank you. We now may turn to Exhibit 74 which is the map showing
9 confrontation lines without armaments. Will you please comment on
10 that when it appears on your screen?
11 A. Well, I can show the confrontation lines from this map prepared from
12 UN sources, which clearly shows how the city and, therefore, its
13 civilian population were trapped in the "bowl". From these positions
14 all around Sarajevo, the VRS made deliberate attacks on the civilian
15 population without military objectives or justification over and above
16 any legitimate military action on the lines. So you see the red line
17 on the map is a confrontation line.
18 Q. It remained the same all through the period?
19 A. It remained basically the same throughout the period, yes.
20 Q. You told us initially that you have been investigating sniping and
21 shelling incidents. Would you now tell us about this sniping
23 A. Well, I can give an overview of the sniping and I can say that the
24 sniping campaign had been conducted throughout the siege and civilian
25 casualties have included young children and elderly of both sexes. So
1 the campaign has affected a wide number of locations in the city and
2 has been sustained throughout the siege to a greater or lesser degree.
3 Basically, the population could never feel safe in certain parts of
4 Sarajevo, even when indoors in their homes. Certain sniper positions
5 targeted civilian residences and apartment blocks and people have been
6 killed and wounded sitting on their own couch, asleep or performing
7 basic chores.
8 The sniping attacks involved the use of direct fire weapons.
9 This means that the target is selected and deliberately visually
10 targeted. The weapons are directly aimed to the person. So maybe we
11 can show .....
12 Q. Yes, we can present now Exhibit No. 75 which contains a photo of
13 sniping weapons. You will, please, go on and explain to the court
14 what kind of weapon that is?
15 A. You see here three examples of sniping weapons. You will see that
16 these weapons include rifles and automatic small arms, usually fitted
17 with a powerful optical sight. In the case of the campaign against
18 Sarajevo, sniper weapons have included light machine guns and what you
19 see, what you see down here ---
20 Q. The one at the bottom?
21 A. -- the one at the bottom, yes, that is M84 or NSV heavy machine gun.
22 This weapon has a range up to 2,000 metres and is fitted with a
23 powerful optical sight for accurate targeting and is commonly referred
24 to by the local people as a "Death Sower", as it is accurate, powerful
25 and can fire bursts of rounds.
1 The local knowledge of the attackers and their commanding
2 views of the city streets from their vantage points on the hills and
3 in the high rise buildings enabled the snipers accurately to select
4 and target their victims. In many places, the confrontation lines
5 placed the sniper close to civilian areas, for instance, Grbavica -- I
6 want to go back eventually to Exhibit 74 to show you. So you see
7 Grbavica here where the confrontation line is running through the city
8 at the border of the Miljacka River; there were snipers from there
9 targeting the main roads going through Sarajevo from the high rise
10 blocks on the Bosnian Serb side, and this was called, this main road,
11 famous "sniper alley".
12 Q. Could you please tell us about what form or what way this sniper
13 campaign took?
14 A. Well, a number of streets in the city were a source of constant
15 danger. I have myself seen a number of improvised barricades erected
16 to afford some shelter and protection in the city and the suburbs,
17 such as we have Dobrinja here in the west of the city, where the
18 people were very exposed in wide areas between apartment blocks. You
19 see the confrontation line on both sides of Dobrinja. Old damaged
20 buses and other vehicles and containers were widely used for these
21 barricades. We can eventually show these, some of those barricades,
22 in Exhibit 76.
23 Q. Yes, please. 76?
24 A. So, you see, old cars placed here as a barricade to give shelter for
25 the sniping so people could run behind this, let us say, wall of
1 vehicles that could protect them from sniping from the other side.
2 Exhibit 77 is another example.
3 You see here at the end the buses that were placed as sniping
4 protection. Exhibit 78, please. You see again buses that are placed
5 to protect people. Exhibit 80, that is UN anti-sniping position. So
6 they placed themselves often on places where there was a lot of
7 sniping to try to avoid people being sniped there.
8 Q. To block a street?
9 A. To block the street, yes. A number of locations became well known as
10 "sniper nests" and certain streets or crossroads where there was the
11 greatest danger became known as the "sniper alleys". Civilians on the
12 streets or in their homes even were often targeted and were victims.
13 However, and that was one of the main problems, civilians were forced
14 to take risks exposing themselves to snipers in order to perform the
15 basic necessities of life such as fetching water, food and whatever.
16 We investigated cases where people were shot in their own
17 homes and shelters and crowded buses and trams, it was often a target
18 of snipers, and what occurs, of course, inevitable civilian
20 Q. Can you identify some typical patterns that this sniping activity
22 A. To an extent, yes, I can. At some locations it was a regular
23 occurrence with periods of intense fire; on other occasions or in
24 other places, it could be more random. Sometimes there would be bursts
25 of shooting and breaks. The people would come out in a hope they
1 would be safe for a while in a break and the snipers would then open
2 fire again to catch them out. Even during cease-fire snipers would
3 break the agreement and civilians would get killed. It happened often
4 that people who wanted to help a victim could not reach that victim
5 because of continued sniping, or that they tried to reach the victim
6 and because of that they became a victim themselves.
7 There were also examples of victims who could have survived
8 but died because nobody could reach them to help them.
9 Q. Can you give some examples of that?
10 A. Well, most of -- there are a lot of examples already in the
11 indictment, so I will not repeat every little piece of the indictment,
12 but you can be sure that a lot of fatal sniping included children from
13 two, three years, elderly people, women. So, clearly, the sniper could
14 clearly identify his victim and target it deliberately on civilian
15 people, even children, elderly people, women, whatever.
16 Q. The distance was not greater than that they could see it through this
18 A. Optical, oh, no, the distance was sometimes only a couple of hundred
19 metres. When I showed you before the confrontation lines at Grbavica,
20 there were four high buildings in Grbavica on the Bosnian Serb side,
21 and from there they had a clear view of the people walking in the
22 street or running in the streets. With their optical devices, they
23 could easily take out their victim and there was no mistake possible
24 who they were targeting.
25 MR. OSTBERG: Your Honours, as you know from the reading of the indictment
1 which we listened to initially in this hearing, lists of people were
2 given to you, children starting with a boy age two, going on with 15
3 children, then there was a list of female from the age 20 to 50, over
4 50 years old, then there were elderly, a list of 20 persons, females
5 in the ages of 60 and 70 years and of females and males in a mixture.
6 (To the witness): In your opinion, when you have been doing
7 these investigations, were these people listed in the indictment
8 targeted individually and hit individually by these snipers?
9 A. Yes, they were. Without any doubt it was clear that they were
10 civilian people and they were targeted by the snipers. They could very
11 well see who they were targeting.
12 Q. Could you give the court an estimated amount of people killed by
13 sniping fire?
14 A. That is very difficult to say, but in our investigations we included
15 37 people who were killed in sniping and 83 were injured. Of course,
16 this is only a very small sample of the total amount of people that
17 were killed or injured by sniping fire.
18 Q. So you cannot come closer than that? That is your estimation?
19 A. Our estimation will be at least hundreds.
20 Q. At least hundreds?
21 A. At least hundreds, but I do not have the right statistics with me to
22 be closer than that.
23 Q. Thank you very much. We are turning from the sniping to the
24 shelling. I will ask you now to start with telling us what kinds of
25 weapons were used for the shelling?
1 A. Well, there were three kinds of weapons used for the shelling, that
2 means guns, howitzers and mortars. I think we can show Exhibit 81.
3 Q. 81, please.
4 A. But maybe before we go further with 81, I have a video clip prepared
5 too about sniping, so before we go over to the shelling maybe we can
6 first include that video about sniping?
7 Q. Yes, please.
8 A. That is Exhibit 70 too.
9 Q. 70 again, please.
10 (Exhibit 70 was shown)
11 A. I do not have the film on my screen. You can see how the victims try
12 to take shelter and crawl away. Here we can see how people had to
13 cross a street sometimes between barricades or places that were
14 especially exposed to sniping and, as you can see, these people are
15 all civilians. Here you see a woman who was hit by a sniper bullet.
16 Like I said before, people had to come out for their basic
17 necessities. That is an example of a sniper injury. So, you see, it
18 is only a video tape of a couple of minutes, but in Sarajevo this went
19 on for 44 months in a row during the whole siege.
20 Q. We went into the area of the shelling. Did shelling and sniping take
21 place simultaneously?
22 A. Yes, it went on through the whole period of the siege of Sarajevo.
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. 44 months.
25 Q. When they were shelling there was also sniping fire?
1 A. Yes, of course there was. That is right.
2 Q. Could you now tell us something about the weapons used for the
4 A. Yes, I will go back to Exhibit 81. So Exhibit 81 shows us the
5 mortars that were used around Sarajevo. We have the 60 millimetre
6 mortar, the 82 and the 120 millimetre. Exhibit 82 will show us other
7 weapons that were used, again howitzers. So you have starting the 76
8 millimetre mountain gun, 105 millimetre howitzers, the 152 howitzer
9 gun, M84. All these weapons were used around Sarajevo, to target
11 Q. Thank you. You may also tell us about where these weapons were
12 placed in relation to the city?
13 A. Well, then we will have to go to the map on Exhibit 83. So this is
14 basically the same map as we have seen before, but this time with the
15 weaponry deployed around Sarajevo. In the left-hand top corner you
16 will see how to interpret this map with the weapons deployed around
17 Sarajevo. So the green is artillery, pieces of artillery, batteries.
18 You have the mortar pieces and batteries, anti-aircraft weapons and
19 the yellow crosses are tanks around Sarajevo.
20 Q. There is a key in the ---
21 A. There is a key in the left ----
22 Q. -- left upper corner.
23 A. Yes. So, as you see, there was a lot of artillery around Sarajevo.
24 The heavy article was withdrawn in 1994 under the exclusion zone; an
25 agreement which left mainly mortar batteries on sites around the city.
1 The mortars continued to be widely used, many being fired on preset
2 co-ordinates from base-plates in fixed locations. This would provide
3 a consistency in target area and a number were on fixed locations
4 targeted on civilian areas in the city, meaning they were fired time
5 and again on those areas.
6 Q. Can you explain to us what the exclusion zone agreement was all about
7 and when it happened exactly?
8 A. It happened in February '94 when the heavy artillery had to be
9 withdrawn from Sarajevo to a distance of 20 millimetres from Sarajevo.
10 Q. Due to an agreement ---
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- between the parties. You have already told us about the weapons
13 used and now we see where they were deployed. Do you want to make a
14 description of the weapons?
15 A. Yes, I can tell you a bit more about the weapons. It is going to be
16 a little bit more technical, but basically there were these three
17 types of weapons or the guns, howitzers and mortars. Guns fire a high
18 velocity shell from a rifle barrel, making the shell spin and giving
19 it a higher range and accuracy. Guns can fire on a flatter trajectory
20 and be used for direct targeting. Howitzers fire large shells on a
21 high trajectory and are used for air bombardment and suppression by
22 way of indirect fire. So it is capable to fire over a hill or
23 buildings on to unseen targets.
24 Then the mortar operates in a similar way as the howitzer,
25 firing a shell also on a high trajectory. In the case of a 120
1 millimetres mortar shell, it can fly to up to 6.5 kilometres high. It
2 can take 45 seconds before the target is reached. These weapons were
3 also used for the same, for area suppression. The shell explodes with
4 a wide area of fragmentation. The whole shell casing disintegrates
5 into hundreds of pieces of hot jagged metal with considerable killing
6 and wounding potential. A 120 millimetre shell can have a killing
7 radius of 54 metres and a danger area of 500 metres. So it very wide.
8 Mortars are principally in normal warfare intended to pin down
9 troop movements on open ground, but within the confines of city
10 streets and buildings, these weapons have a devastating effect and can
11 inflict heavy casualties.
12 The accuracy of mortars is affected by a number of factors,
13 including the meteorological conditions, of course, at the various
14 heights of the trajectory, the wind speed and direction of the wind
15 and even the effects of the weapon's base-pate, of the "bedding in" of
16 the base-plates when it is fired. The VRS had a number of mortars on
17 fixed "bedded in" plates with settings pre-aimed at the city.
18 Q. VRS is?
19 A. VRS is the Bosnian Serb army, yes. This allowed for a higher degree
20 of accuracy than normally achieved by mortars, because within the
21 base-plate is "bedded in", you have a bit more stable plate to fire
22 from. The Bosnian Serb army used their mortars around Sarajevo often
23 in a very special way.
24 In normal warfare, a mortar is used from a position from where
25 you can see the target, like I explained before, so it is an indirect
1 weapon normally. But around Sarajevo there were mortar positions
2 where the gunner clearly could see the target into the city.
3 So, we can maybe go through and run through rather fast
4 through a lot of exhibits because I will come later on back to the
5 exhibits I will show now. So, starting with Exhibit 84, please? This
6 is state hospital so you see that even hospitals were shelled.
7 The next one, please? Here we have a view on Kosovo Hospital
8 where you see the impact of an artillery shell.
9 86, please? Here is another view on Kosovo Hospital, so also
10 hospitals were often target of shelling.
11 87, please? In this street on the left-hand side was a
12 shelling on 28th August '95. So on the left-hand side, the yellow
13 building is a closed market of Sarajevo. I will come later in time
14 back to these specific files.
15 Next one, please? Here in the middle of the picture you see
16 the crater created by the 120 millimetre mortar shell that landed
17 there. You will see also the bullet all around the place.
18 The next one, please? Can I have the next one, please? Here
19 you see the same place from another angle. Next one, please?
20 Q. And what we see is also blood?
21 A. That is blood, yes. Here you see the result of this shelling, one of
22 the results of this shelling, where 43 people were killed. Here you
23 see how a foot was cut off of a victim.
24 The next one, please? That is part of a hand you see laying
25 in the corner there; so that when investigators came on the site they
1 often found rest of human bodies after the victims were taken to the
2 hospital, to the morgue.
3 The next one, please? These are also victims in the morgue.
4 As you can see, there are women among them.
5 The next one, please? This is a water line that was shelled
6 in Dobrinja in 1993, so you can see all the canisters laying at the
7 left side of the road.
8 Q. These white things are buckets, I suppose?
9 A. Yes.
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Prosecutor counsel, could we turn down the lights
11 just a little bit because it is hard for us to really to see this
12 clearly on our screens? Thank you.
13 MR. OSTBERG: Please.
14 THE WITNESS: Here you see another mortar impact in Vase Miskina Street,
15 one of the pedestrian streets in the city of Sarajevo, where a bread
16 line was shelled in the early days of the war in May, 27th May 1992.
17 The next one, please? That is one of the victims of this
18 shelling, a little child.
19 The next one, please? That is another victim of this
20 shelling, a woman.
21 Can I have the next one, please? This one is a shelling that
22 happened in January '94. Children were sledging in this residential
23 of area of Alipasino Polje in the west of Sarajevo when three mortar
24 shells landed in the neighbourhood of these children.
25 Can I have the next one, please? Here you see a footstep in
1 the snow and blot around the footstep.
2 The next one, please? Here you have one of the sledges of the
3 children who were victims of this shelling. Could I have the next one,
4 please? This is another site in Dobrinja where people in February '94
5 were waiting and queuing for humanitarian aid. You see the mortar
6 impact here.
7 The next one, please? You will see some of the victims of the
8 shelling, so I think we can go through with the photos.
9 The next one? It is another victim clearly in civilian
11 The next one, please? That is a young woman also killed in
12 this shelling.
13 The next one, please? Another woman killed.
14 The next one? That is man killed in the same shelling.
15 The next one? It is another man killed.
16 The next one, please? That is another woman who was killed.
17 Next one -- as you have already seen on the previous photos,
18 they were people from all ages, all sexes, who were victims of this
19 shelling. Here you see a man on his way to a water pump.
20 The next one, please? Here you can imagine how people were
21 queuing to have water at the water pump, so it was a real gathering of
22 people when they had to go for water and these places were often
23 deliberately shelled by the Bosnian Serb army.
24 Can I have the next one, please? This is Simon Boliva
25 Elementary School in Dobrinja. You see it, the second photo, the
1 photo at the bottom. The water pump was placed in the school. People
2 used to come there to get water and were queuing there to get water
3 and this place was shelled in June '95.
4 Can I have the next one, please?
5 Q. Is Dobrinja a suburb to Sarajevo or part of the city?
6 A. Yes. If you want, we can maybe go back here to Exhibit 74, to the
7 map of Sarajevo? So you see Dobrinja here in the south west of
8 Sarajevo. So it was almost a pocket in the siege. West and east from
9 Dobrinja were the Bosnian Serb forces.
10 Can we go back to the previous exhibit, please? So that on
11 the top photo you can see where the shell hit the wall at a height of
12 about four metres. It hit a wall there and on the bottom photo you
13 see the stabilizer of the shell that fell on the other side of wall.
14 In fact, it is a place that is shown by an arrow on the top photo
15 where the shell landed.
16 Can I have the next one? So you see on these photos also the
17 buckets and everything that were standing around this water pump.
18 People were lining up there that day to get water.
19 The next one, please? At the bottom photo you see already a
20 victim, an elderly man. The couple of next photos we will see are
21 also victims of this shelling.
22 Next one, please? These photos will show you that, in fact,
23 shell exploded at a height of a couple of metres so you will see that
24 all these people have wounds in their heads.
25 Next one, please? So you will see how these fragments of this
1 shell, what these fragments can do to people.
2 The next one, please? This is a woman who was killed in the
3 same shelling.
4 The next one? That is also one of the victims. Like you see,
5 all have injuries at their heads.
6 Next one, please? Yes. I will have to present a lot of
7 horrible photos, but it is only a small part of what happened in
8 Sarajevo during this three and a half years.
9 The next one, please? This is a shelling of another water
10 line that we have seen a photo before already when we saw all the
11 cannisters at the left side. This is taken from another angle with
12 some of the bodies still laying on the site.
13 The next one, please? This is the same situation as you saw
14 before. When you see the effect, the explosion of the shell has also
15 on things like glass around the side where it exploded. I think this
16 was it for these exhibits.
17 Q. Thank you. You now have shown us the result of the shellings and you
18 have shown us the weapons used for the shellings. My question to you
19 now is whether other specific weapons were used besides from those you
20 have already shown us?
21 A. Yes, our investigations revealed that in 1995, on a number of
22 occasions, modified air bombs were deployed. Significantly, a number
23 were launched in the direction of the TV building in Sarajevo and
24 always fired over Bosnian held areas. I think this is significant
25 because these weapons hit a number of apartment blocks and other
1 civilian buildings, and they were basically inaccurate weapons,
2 unsuitable for any precision attack on a military target. I will show
3 it again on Exhibit 74, if you want to show it?
4 Q. Can you find 74 for us? There we are.
5 A. So, the first air bombs were launched from this area, firing in this
6 direction -- I am not very good at drawing, but I will try to do my
7 best -- firing in this area, so you see it went all the way over
8 Bosnian government held territory. Then one air bomb was launched
9 from this area, of course out of the confrontation line, and fired in
10 this direction, so it went all the way also over Bosnian government
11 held territory.
12 The majority of the air bombs were launched from the western
13 side of Sarajevo and went into this easterly direction. So these bombs
14 were very unreliable and inaccurate, so they could fall and explode at
15 almost every point of its trajectory, so I think that is why they were
16 fired in these directions.
17 Q. Do you have any pictures of them so we can see what they look like?
18 A. Yes, I have a couple of pictures exhibit and also some results of
19 what happened after an explosion of an air bomb. So if you can give
20 me Exhibit 135, please? So here you see a drawing of an improvised
21 air bomb. So the front part is the actual bomb.
22 Q. Designed orginally to be used to be dropped from an aeroplane?
23 A. Yes, of course. This was a standard 250 kilo bomb, and these are
24 designed to be dropped from an aeroplane to which the Bosnian Serb
25 strapped four 102 or 128 rocket motors and fitted a time fuse in a
1 parachute. The weapon was fired from an angled rail mounted on a
2 truck. These weapons have been really described as inherently
3 inaccurate and indiscriminate. With motors strapped to the casing,
4 the balance of the projectile is uncertain and the rocket engines
5 could burn at different rates and power. There is no guiding system
6 at all or means of control after firing.
7 Accordingly, the weapons are unpredictable for a variety of
8 reasons. Experts have stated that they are unsuitable for specific
9 military targets where you need an accurate hit. Accordingly, they
10 would appear to serve purposes of random targeting and random damage
11 with the consequent fear it creates to the civilian population.
12 So we can maybe go to the next exhibit? Here you see parts of
13 such bomb that was found back on one of the sites where it exploded.
14 The next photo will show you the sites of an explosion where these
15 parts were found.
16 The next one, please? So you will see what damage such a bomb
17 can cause. That is the house where the bomb landed and there wee in
18 total 12 houses very severely damaged in this explosion.
19 Can I have the next one, please? Here you see a photo of the
20 woman that was killed in an explosion of this air bomb, a woman who
21 lived in the house that you saw previous.
22 Can I have the next one, please. This is a site around an
23 apartment block where an air bomb landed when exploded again in
24 Alipasino Polje, you remember of the sledging children, the same
25 residential area.
1 Can I have the next one? You will see the air bomb exploded
2 in this apartment building taking away a couple of stores.
3 The next one, please. This is one of the victims of this air
4 bomb explosion. It is a woman.
5 The next one, please? Here you see another victim of this air
6 bomb. So people are really mutilated by these bombs.
7 The next one, please. This is another boy killed by an air
8 bomb, by fragments of the explosion.
9 Q. Should we dim the light a bit? It would make it easier to see these
10 things or can you clearly see them? Thank you.
11 A. Can I have the next one, please? This projectile is -- people told
12 me that this was a gravity bomb. It was found in Ilijas with the
13 closure of the surroundings of Sarajevo.
14 Can I have the next one, please? You see a number of these
16 Can I have the next one, please? Here you have even a clearer
17 view on the projectile.
18 Can I have the next one, please? Here you can see a photo of
19 the rocket engines without the air bomb itself, so without a 250 kilo
20 bomb. So you see the plates down on the picture. That is where the
21 bomb was attached to the four rocket motors.
22 Can I have the next one, please? Here you have a view from
23 the back of the engines and, to give you a clear view how big it is,
24 the man who took the photo put a box on it. So this motor are
25 generally 122 or 128 rocket motors.
1 Can I have the next one, please? OK, that was it, I think,
2 for the air bombs.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Were the investigators able to determine what
4 types of weaponry that were used at different times?
5 A. Yes. The basic ballistics test you normally do is a crater analysis
6 on site. But, initially by the shrapnel marks on the target, the
7 degree of penetration into the target and the fragments of shell,
8 investigators could determine the nature and calibre of the weapon and
10 Every type of shell has its own characteristic details. You
11 could compare it eventually with the tyre of a car, when you can see
12 the difference between a Goodyear and a Michelin. Other physical
13 features at the point of impact then enable a crater analysis to be
14 done, otherwise the testimony of eyewitnesses give further details to
15 complete the picture.
16 Q. Were these types of crater analyses done in each case of hits on the
18 A. Yes, in almost each case we had the results of the Bosnian ballistics
19 experts and sometimes UN teams also carried out crater analyses. We
20 have had independent experts check the methods and results and in some
21 instances I too have visited the sites and checked the fact alongside
22 the Bosnian investigators.
23 Q. So you could determine the type of weapon or could you also determine
24 the direction of the fire?
25 A. Oh, yes of course. The experts I have spoken to say that, in
1 reality, when you do a crater analysis, it is accurate in between one
2 or two degrees. They always take a margin of plus or minus five
3 degrees to be on the safe side. I think this is pretty accurate, yes.
4 Q. Just to go back to the use of air bombs, is there any account kept of
5 how many air bombs were dropped on Sarajevo?
6 A. Well, we have done investigations on 16.
7 Q. Can you tell us something about the range from which these bombs and
8 the shells were fired?
9 A. Well, that is one of the things you normally cannot reveal from
10 crater analysis. One of the things you investigate when you do a
11 crater analysis is taking the measurements of the angle of decent, so
12 the angle in which the shell came down. When you have determined
13 which shell was used and what the angle of descent was, with a mortar
14 using the shells that were used in the conflict, you have seven levels
15 of propellant charge and along the line of the direction of fire you
16 can plot the points relative to the quantity of charge used. So you
17 have, in fact, seven areas, because a mortar shell is normally
18 delivered with six additional charges and the charge can be clipped on
19 the tail of the shell. There is nothing on the ground or amongst
20 fragments to indicate what charge level was used in a given case.
21 However, these weapons make a very loud noise when fired and,
22 accordingly, if fired close by witnesses would hear the shot and the
23 shell explode. If they did not (which I found to be usual), then it
24 indicated the shot was fired from longer range than rather from
25 shorter range. A complete investigation goes further than a strictly
1 technical investigation, and witnesses are very important. So we have
2 seen both civilian witnesses, UN witnesses and UN military to
3 determine the origin of fire.
4 Q. OK. You told us about these crater analyses. Can you give us some
5 examples of the shelling case you have investigated?
6 A. Well, to talk a bit more of this crater analysis ---
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. -- I visited shelling impact sites in Sarajevo and I followed crater
9 analysis exercise on site, so I can show some exhibits of crater
10 analysis and after that I will give a more technical explanation. The
11 technical explanation will be short on a number of ways to conduct
12 crater analysis because they were not that often used, and I will go
13 deeper into the "Main Axis" method which was the method that was
14 almost every time used in Sarajevo.
15 Q. Yes, please.
16 A. So we can show first Exhibit 122, please? So here you see ---
17 Q. Could you lower the lights again, please?
18 A. -- here you see a crater goes by a mortar impact alongside. We can
19 show how long the crater is.
20 Can I have the next one, please? Here you can see a stake in
21 the tunnel. This is what they called the "Fused Tunnel" method. I
22 will come to that a bit later when I give the technical explanation.
23 But I first prefer to explain the main methods of crater analysis that
24 was used, so we start with Exhibit No. 124, please.
25 So this is a crater analysis done another time because it was
1 already done shortly after the impact by Canadian investigators, but
2 as an exercise we did it over again. You see that technicians from
3 the police first with the liquid tried to clean the crater.
4 The next one, please? Here the technician is with a broom
5 sweeping the liquid away to get traces more clear.
6 Can I have the next one, please? So here you can see that the
7 traces are already more clear.
8 The next one, please? Then they put police car close to the
9 crater and one of the policemen will stand on top of the police car to
10 take photos of everything that happens during the crater analysis.
11 The next one, please? The next thing that the technician
12 will do is mark all the traces on the crater with chalk. We can go to
13 the next one. The man continues on marking it with chalk.
14 Go to the next one, please? Here you see what we have after
15 the technician marked all the traces with the chalk. You see most of
16 the traces are on this side and smaller traces on the other side of
17 the crater. From the centre of the crater, he put two sticks
18 alongside the bigger traces, what is called these big traces, the paw
19 or the rose, you take the two sticks and they form a certain angle.
20 When you take the middle of that angle, that is why it is called Main
21 Axis method, you put a stake there and that stake is in the direction
22 of fire.
23 After determined the middle of this angle, you put on a
24 compass on the crater itself and you can see from which direction the
25 shell had been fired.
1 Q. You said something that where the accuracy of one to two degrees on
2 the compass?
3 A. Yes, that is right, because mortar gives a specific trace like you
4 see, and the middle of that main axis of these traces is the direction
5 of fire.
6 The next one, please? That is about the same as the previous
7 with another zoom.
8 The next one, please? You can see on this photo too that they
9 mark here the north, so the north of the wind rose.
10 Can I have the next one, please? You can see here that a map
11 of Sarajevo and surroundings is placed in the direction of fire and,
12 of course, put right in the right direction, and with compass then is
13 determined from which side the shell came.
14 The next one, please? Here people are cleaning up
15 everything. So that was it for these exhibits. So I will maybe give
16 now a little more technical explanation of the other matters too?
17 Q. Yes, please.
18 A. So we have to see that crater analysis is part of the overall
19 investigation and visual evidence, for example, seeing the flash of
20 gunfire, the sound and any observed time of flight of the shell can
21 all help. Crater analysis follows certain methods for certain types
22 of shells.
23 For artillery pieces and shells with quick fuses, the "Fuse
24 Furrow and Centre of Crater" method requires a stake to be placed in
25 the furrow made by the fuse to the front of the shell crater and
1 another in the centre of the crater. A measuring instrument is
2 aligned with them and the direct calculation is made.
3 The "Side Spray" method involves placing a stake in the centre
4 of the crater and two more at the end of the lines of side spray, that
5 is the pattern of damage to either side of the crater. These have to
6 be equidistant from the centre stake. Using a length of wire, two arcs
7 are struck forward of the fuse furrow and at the point of intersection
8 a further stake is planted. The direction measuring instrument is
9 aligned to this stake and the centre stake and the direction is
11 With regards to mortars, the typical crater has the ground at
12 the front of the crater undercut by the fuse burying itself in a small
13 tunnel. When the mortar shell impacts, it explodes and the tail fin
14 is going further in the same direction due to its kinetic energy. To
15 the back of the crater the ground is scarred by blast and frameworks
16 (what we saw before) into a distinctive pattern of strakes radiating
17 from the point of detonation. It was clear on the exhibits we showed
18 before. Generally, the strakes end on a straight line perpendicular to
19 the line of flight of the shell.
20 So three methods of crater analysis can be used. The "Main
21 Axis" method that I already explained with the previous exhibits; the
22 "Splinter Groove" method that one uses two stakes for that, one along
23 the main axis of the fuse tunnel and another perpendicular to it, laid
24 along the edge of the damaged strakes. The measuring instrument is
25 aligned with the stake from the fuse tunnel forward of the crater and
1 the measurement is taken. The "Fuse Tunnel" method uses a single
2 stake placed in the fuse tunnel, like we saw on one of the first
3 exhibits I showed on mortar impact, and the measuring instrument is
4 aligned with it, froward of the crater.
5 All these methods enable a compass bearing and direction in
6 degrees, like I showed also on the exercise we did, and the direction
7 in degrees or "mils", like it is often used in the military, are
8 determined to a high degree of accuracy.
9 Then examination of all the fragments that are found on site
10 help to determine which shell and which weapon was used for the
12 Q. This all means that you have a clear picture of the directions and
13 where from they come, how far away they were fired, etc.?
14 A. Like I said before, the difficulty is with the range of course
15 because it is important to have witnesses, the sun is important, gun
16 flash, whatever. Crater analysis is very good to have the direction
17 and it is very accurate for direction.
18 Q. Did you combine these different methods, questions with witnesses and
19 doing these analyses?
20 A. Of course. We did a full investigation, that means we do not only
21 rely on technical evidence but we always do like a complete police
22 investigation. So we interviewed witnesses, victims and every
23 possible item we could use to discover the truth.
24 Q. Thank you. I think you have also a set of examples from different
25 times of this siege from mid '92 up to '95?
1 A. Yes, that is right.
2 Q. Would you please go through it and show us what happened in these
3 certain instances?
4 A. Yes. For certain of these files I will go back to some of the
5 exhibits we saw before and go a little more bit into time maybe.
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. So the first shelling we investigated was the shelling that happened
8 on 27th May 1992. I want to show for that Exhibit 93, please. So
9 mortar shell hit a crowded street where a lot of people were in a
10 bread line like I told before. I think it was in Vase Miskina Street,
11 one of the pedestrians streets.
12 Q. Light again, please, to make it easier to see the pictures. Thank
14 A. So this was in Vase Miskina Street, a pedestrian street in the centre
15 of Sarajevo. In this shelling 17 civilians were killed and 111 were
16 injured. The direction of fire was from a hillside position on
17 Trebevic mountain which was VSA or VRS controlled. The confrontation
18 lines were about one kilometre away from this impact.
19 Can I have the next one please. So like I said before, you
20 see that nobody was safe in this indiscriminate shelling. You see the
21 photo of a young child who was killed in this specific shelling.
22 The next one please. A woman who was killed in the same, very
23 same shelling. Like you see, we only show a couple of victims. Like
24 I said, in this shelling there were 17 people killed and 111 injured.
25 Another shelling we investigated happened on 3rd July '92
1 where several rounds were fire by a Bosnian Serb tank at a group of
2 people in and around a cherry in Grbavica. That is in the north
3 Sarajevo. The tank crew had a clear view to the target. Both
4 Grbavica and the place where the tank was placed were on an elevated
5 position. Seven of the people, including children under three, were
6 killed in this incident and three others were injured.
7 Another shelling happened on 1st June 1993 and that was during
8 the Muslim holiday of Bajram. A football tournament was held and
9 organised in Dobrinja, a residential settlement. There were some 200
10 spectators present and about two hours after the start two 82
11 millimetre shells fell on the location. Twelve people were killed
12 here and over 100 injured. You will remember the photos I showed you
13 earlier in my testimony about the crater analysis, the exercise we
14 did. Crater we examined is one of the two craters created by this
15 shelling. People were playing soccer there on the parking lot.
16 On 26th June '93, 120 millimetre artillery shell hit a group
17 of young people in alley between Hendina 6 and Dragice Pravice 5 in
18 the Bistrik area of Sarajevo. Can we maybe go back to Exhibit 74? So
19 that is south of the city here. Seven people were killed and 28 were
20 injured, all under 21. There were reports of shelling the next days
21 during the funerals of the people that were killed.
22 On 12th July '93 a shell was fired on a line of civilians
23 waiting for water at a distribution tap in Dobrinja. Twelve people
24 were killed there and 16 injured. We can maybe go back to Exhibit
25 119, please. So that is the photo you saw before with all the
1 cannisters. So people were on the left side of the road queuing for a
2 water pump that was just behind this house on the left side.
3 Exhibit 120, please. So here at the right-hand side, right of
4 the man standing there, was the entrance to the yard where the pump
5 was. People were queuing here in the street and you see a couple of
6 bodies covered by plastic.
7 The next one please. I explained this exhibit before.
8 The next shelling I want to talk about happened on 28th
9 November'93 when a 120 millimetre shell hit a group of people in
10 Dobrovoljacka Street killing five, injuring six.
11 On 6th December '93, a 122 artillery shell was fired at the
12 Ciglane area hitting an overpass above Djure Dakovica Street and
13 exploding on civilians gathered in a small open air market, an area
14 which was frequently shelled. Six people were killed there and 14
16 On 22nd January '94 -- can I have Exhibit 96? -- around 1
17 o'clock in the afternoon three mortar shells were fired on open ground
18 where a group of children between five and 12 years of age were
19 sledding in the snow. This was in Alipasino Polje. It is a
20 residential area; you see all the apartments around. Six of these
21 children were killed and five were wounded.
22 On 4th February '94, three 120 millimetre mortar shells landed
23 in Dobrinja residential area killing nine civilians, injuring three.
24 These people were waiting at distribution points for humanitarian
25 aid. If I can have Exhibit 99 for this, please. So you will see the
1 place where all the people were waiting for humanitarian aid.
2 The next one, please. I will show you another time the
3 victims of the shelling. Like I said, nine were killed and 23 were
5 The next one, please. The next one. OK, that is enough for
6 this shelling. I do not want to show them all again. I have shown
7 them. The day after on 5th February '94, a 120 millimetre shell hit
8 Markale market in the old town of Sarajevo, the market was crowded
9 with shoppers and 67 civilians were killed and over 200 people were
10 injured. The shell was heard being fired from behind Spicasta
11 Stijena, which is Bosnian Serb held territory, and then exploded down
12 town where there were no military targets, as with the other areas of
13 course referred to in our case investigations.
14 On 30th October 1994, a 120 millimetre shell was fired from
15 Vojkovici -- I can have maybe Exhibit 74 again, that is about here in
16 this area -- fired to two civilians Igman Road in Hrasnica. There was
17 some kind of stop there and people tried to earn some money to get
18 luggage for people. One person was killed here, one civilian, and 15
19 others were wounded.
20 On 8th November 84 an 82 millimetre mortar shell landed at
21 half past 3 in the afternoon, and two more shells landed at about half
22 past 5 in Livanjska Street in Sarajevo. One civilian was killed, seven
24 On 17th November 1994 a 120 millimetre shell exploded in Ulice
25 Partizanska in Hrasnica that you see in the south of Sarajevo here.
1 This was very heavily shelled through the whole siege. That shell
2 killed two children, injuring two adult females and injured another
4 On 12th December 1994 an 82 millimetre shell exploded in the
5 yard of a civilian dwelling at Donji Kartal Street No. 6 which is
6 about here in Sarajevo. One elderly man of about 70 years old was
7 chopping wood, was killed and his wife was injured.
8 On 22nd December '94 two 76 millimetre artillery shells hit a
9 flea market in the old town, in the old town of Sarajevo here in the
10 east, from the direction of Bosnian Serb positions from Trebevic
11 mountain. Two people were killed and seven injured.
12 On 12th March '95, a 120 millimetre shell landed on the yard
13 of the Muslim secondary school, which is about here in the old town of
14 Sarajevo, killing one civilian, this building is clearly in an area
15 exclusively comprised of shops, businesses and cultural buildings and
16 well inside the confrontation line as can you see.
17 On 7th April 1995, if we can go back to Exhibit 136 for that,
18 a modified air bomb was fired from the Bosnian-Serb held Ilidza at 9
19 o'clock in the morning. The weapon impacted in Hrasnica causing
20 extensive damage to a number of civilian dwellings like we see on
21 Exhibit 137. So killing one civilian, Exhibit 138, and injuring three
22 others. Can I have Exhibit 74, again, please? So the air bomb landed
23 here in Hrasnica fired from Ilidza here in the west.
24 On 12th April 1995 at 11.55 a 60 millimetre shell exploded
25 near the railway station which is about here, near the railway station
1 in Sarajevo which was not operating since the start of hostilities.
2 Seven civilians were wounded in this attack.
3 On 18th June 1995 at 11.40 a 120 millimetre mortar shell hit a
4 group of civilians in a water line. We can go back to Exhibit 110 for
5 that. So that is what I told you before about the Simon Bolava
6 Elementary School where a water pump was placed here.
7 The next one, please. To recapitulate, the shell hit the wall
8 here, exploded, stabilized and fell here and you see here the
9 stabilizer. In this shelling seven people were killed and 12 were
10 wounded out of a group of 50 other people.
11 Can I have the next one, please? The next one, please. So
12 you see another time an elderly man is the victim. The next one,
13 please. The next one, please. The next one please. I show you these
14 pictures again to make clear that the shelling was really
15 indiscriminate and everybody was affected by that.
16 On 28th June '95 a modified air bomb was fired at around 9.20
17 and struck the TV building and it had been launched again from Ilidza
18 from the west of Sarajevo. One person was killed and 28 injured. You
19 can maybe show again Exhibit 74. So, it was fired from this area -- I
20 am not all always that handy with these things -- fired from this area
21 and fired to there.
22 On 19th July 1995 a 120 millimetre shell hit close to a
23 private house in Sarajevo and shrapnel killed a 12 year old boy in the
24 bathroom of his house.
25 On 22nd August '95 an observation post was shelled at 10
1 o'clock. The observation post was located in Emerovica north east of
2 Sarajevo. Six Egyptian UN shoulders got injured, two of them very
3 severe. The first shelled landed just outside of the observation post
4 and the following four landed in the observation post, which indicated
5 a deliberate adjusting of fire. The second shell caused injuries
6 while the soldiers were running from the house to the shelter.
7 On 28th August 1995 between 11 and 10 past 11 five 120
8 millimetre mortar shells landed in the old town of Sarajevo. We can
9 go back to Exhibit 87 for that. So one of these shells exploded in
10 the Mula-Mustafe Baseskije Street, so by the entrance of the City
11 Market in the centre of the old town. The market and the streets were
12 crowded with people that day. So the result of this shelling was that
13 43 people got killed and 75 injured. One of the four other shells
14 that landed in the neighbourhood injured eight more people.
15 Can I have the next exhibit please? So again you can clearly
16 see the pattern of the crater of this mortar shell and all the blood
17 around the place of impact. You can imagine when we go back to the
18 previous exhibit, Exhibit 87, like I told before, the 120 millimetre
19 shell has a legal radius of 54 metres and a danger area of 500 metres,
20 you can imagine what happens when a shell explodes in a crowded street
21 and a lot of people are walking into this street.
22 Can I have Exhibit 89, please? The next one, please. So you
23 can see the amount of blood around the place of impact, the rest of
24 the UN bodies because at this moment the victims were already taken
25 away to the morgue and or hospital. The next one please.
1 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Prosecuting counsel, we have already seen these
2 documents I believe?
3 MR. OSTBERG: Yes.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I think that what the witness wanted to show us
5 were the techniques that were used for seeing where these projectiles
6 came from, etc. So, if it is possible and if it in no way impedes
7 demonstration, you would like to carry on, maybe we could just pursue.
8 We have already seen these documents.
9 MR. OSTBERG: Yes, your Honour. We just went through the examples and
10 these were shown again to put them in the context of where things
12 (To the witness): I have some conclusive questions to your
13 presentation about the shelling and sniping of Sarajevo. I note in
14 your description from this example that you say it was a 76
15 millimetre, that it was an 82 millimetre, it was 120 millimetre
16 mortar, etc. Are there any technical problems to determine exactly
17 what kind of ammunition was used?
18 A. No. Most of the time you find or detailing the stabilizing of the
19 mortar shell, you find fragments of the shells and from these
20 fragments you can determine which shell was used by the ----
21 Q. There is no technical problem?
22 A. No, we have people who are specialised in these matters. People who
23 are specialised can easily determine which shell and which weapon had
24 fired these shells.
25 Q. Thank you. Can you just state before we leave this subject, when was
1 the first day of shelling and when was the last day?
2 A. The first day was in May '92 and it ended with the Dayton Agreement
3 in November/December '95.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Your Honours, I have just one subject left, and
5 that is the investigation of the shelling of civilians in Tuzla on one
6 day, 25th May 1995.
7 (To the witness): Could you briefly tell us about that?
8 A. Yes, of course. On 25th May 1995 all the safe areas in Bosnia were
9 shelled by the Bosnian Serb army, probably as a sort of revenge for
10 NATO air strikes. The explosion I investigated was an explosion of a
11 130 millimetre gun shell and the shell landed that evening shortly
12 before 9 o'clock on a square in Kapija area in the centre of Tuzla.
13 It was the day of the youth and a lot of young people were gathered on
14 the square and on terraces. In this shelling 72 civilians got killed
15 and over 100 got injured.
16 Q. Was this the only shelling of that city?
17 A. No. There has been more shelling of Tuzla. Yes. We maybe can bring
18 in another exhibit?
19 Q. Yes, we can conclude the questioning by showing some clips of a
20 video. Can you dim the lights, please.
21 (The video clip was shown).
22 A. Inside a hospital. You can see again these water canisters, people
23 were getting water. This is another site where children were
24 sledding. Victims. You will see again what kind of a view they had
25 from the hills towards Sarajevo. You will see the view you have to
1 the city. There is the sniper alley on the left.
2 MR. OSTBERG: Thank you. This concludes my examination and I thank you
3 Mr. Van Hecke.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. It is 10 minutes past one. So we need
5 not pursue, Mr. Heck, just the questions. Do you have a question,
6 Judge Odio Benito?
7 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you. Mr. Van Hecke, would you say that the
8 Bosnian Serb Army was the organisation responsible the shelling and
9 sniping campaign against the people of Sarajevo?
10 A. Yes, I can say that.
11 Q. The weapons used in this shelling and sniping campaign are normally
12 used only by the regular army?
13 A. Yes, of course, these weapons are used in regular warfare normally,
14 so against enemy troops, but in this case they were clearly used
15 against civilians within the city of Sarajevo.
16 Q. But these kinds of weapons could be also by a paramilitary
18 A. Everyone who has kind these kinds of weapons can use them of course.
19 So it is, let us say, except for the improvised air bomb, these are
20 normal weapons to be used by an army.
21 Q. Where historical or religious monument severely damaged or destroyed
22 in Sarajevo during the siege of the city?
23 A. Well, there were several cultural buildings which were destroyed,
24 like the National Library, for instance, in Sarajevo, mosques,
25 churches, those kinds of buildings, yes.
1 Q. Finally, in your opinion how did the people survive this?
2 A. Well, with difficulty, but I think people are used to improvise, so a
3 lot of people lived almost all through the siege in their basements,
4 in cellars and tried to protect themselves from the shelling and or
5 sniping, but like I said before, they had to come out now and again to
6 have basic things like water, food and whatever. So they had to try
7 to find shelter in their basements and every strong place they could
9 Q. Because, as far as I understood, they were completely isolated?
10 A. Yes, they were completely isolated from the rest of the world.
11 Q. The rest of the world?
12 A. Yes.
13 JUDGE ODIO BENITO: Thank you. No further questions.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Van Hecke, in this very thorough investigation which you
15 undertook, did you come across any indication that some of the sites
16 which were shelled like the secondary school, the hospital, they
17 concealed weapons or ammunition or was there a place from which any
18 resistance could come?
19 A. No, that is a point of our investigation. We investigated very
20 thoroughly that there were no moves by Bosnian government troops, or
21 there was no military target even in the neighbourhood of the places
22 that were targeted by these shellings.
23 Q. There was no firing back from anywhere in Sarajevo during these
25 A. There has been firing from the confrontation lines, but most of the
1 sites we investigated are far away from these confrontation lines and
2 you can miss a target in that distance.
3 Q. The last picture you gave us of Dr. Karadzic, were they on what you
4 called the snipers' line? Where were they from? Was he watching the
6 A. When you see it was taken from the south of the city, and you saw the
7 yellowish building down there, that was the Holiday Inn Hotel and it
8 was laying on what they called sniper alley. So the main road going
9 from the east, from the old city to the west where the new suburbs of
10 Sarajevo were. That is what they called sniper alley.
11 Q. Yes, and the snipers were around in that place?
12 A. Yes, they were.
13 Q. They were still around?
14 A. Yes. We have done investigations of sniping coming from that area.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Just one question on the sources of these pictures,
17 not the video, the pictures. Is it the Sarajevo police
18 investigations? What is the source of those photographs?
19 A. Well, most of the photos are of a source of Bosnian police
20 investigations. Some are taken by myself or my colleagues when we
21 were in Sarajevo. Like we had, for instance, Exhibits 76 to 78 where
22 I showed the barricades that were photos taken by ourselves when we
23 were in Sarajevo to do the investigations. Most of the photos of the
24 shelling files were, of course, photos taken by the Bosnian police
25 investigators. If that answers your question, sir?
1 Q. Yes, absolutely. Finally, prosecuting counsel, you have done with
2 Mr. Van Hecke. The Tribunal would like to thank you for your
3 testimony. Now it is quarter past one. We shall resume at quarter to
4 three this afternoon.
5 (1.15 p.m.)
6 (Luncheon Adjournment)
7 (2.45 p.m.)
8 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Counsel for the Prosecution, would you please
9 introduce the following witness?
10 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honours. The Prosecution would call Tarik
11 Kupusovic to the stand, please.
12 MR. TARIK KUPUSOVIC, called.
13 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Good day to you. Can you hear me, first of all?
14 THE WITNESS (In translation): Yes.
15 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Can you hear me? There is a solemn declaration you
16 will have to read.
17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole
18 truth and nothing but the truth.
19 (The witness was sworn)
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you very much. Please be seated, sir. You, I
21 take it, will be introducing yourself. Before giving the floor to the
22 counsel for the Prosecution, I would like to tell you that you have
23 been called by the Prosecution in the cases relating to Messrs. Mladic
24 and Karadzic.
25 The Tribunal would like to thank you, of course, for coming
1 here at the Prosecution's request. We would also like to tell you
2 that you are here before an international body, before the
3 International Criminal Tribunal, and that you should speak without any
4 fear of any kind and as freely as possible.
5 Counsel for the Prosecution, you have the floor to introduce
6 your witness.
7 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honour.
8 Examined by MR. BOWERS
9 Q. Mr. Kupusovic, would you please state your full name and spell it for
10 the record?
11 A. My name is Tarik Kupusovic, T-A-R-I-K K-U-P-U-S-O-V-I-C.
12 Q. Sir, where were you born?
13 A. I was born in Sarajevo.
14 Q. Is your family from the Sarajevo area?
15 A. Yes. My family has been living in Sarajevo for over 400 years.
16 Q. What did you do before the fighting broke out in Sarajevo in 1992?
17 A. I am a civil engineer and I have a PhD in engineering. I worked as
18 Professor at the Civil Engineering Faculty and Director of the
19 Hydraulics Research Institute.
20 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Counsel for the Prosecution, there does not seem to
21 be any sound in the visitors' gallery. This is a public hearing. We
22 have not taken any special measures. None have been requested on your
23 part or on the part of the witness, so this a public hearing. So I
24 would ask that we stop for the time being; that we see with the
25 technicians exactly what is up.
1 I do apologise, sir. Then we will have ask you to repeat once
2 we get this straightened out. Thank you. There is no transcript on
3 the screens either.
4 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: We are going to have to repeat, Prosecuting counsel,
5 so if you would start from the beginning. I can see the visitors'
6 gallery and I will right away if the sound is not coming through.
7 Please be so kind, sir, as to start from the beginning again. You
8 have the floor, sir.
9 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honour. (To the witness): Mr. Kupusovic,
10 where were you born?
11 A. I was born in Sarajevo.
12 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Apparently, it is still not working, I am afraid. I
13 am afraid we are going to have to adjourn for a few minutes because it
14 would be appropriate for the people in the visitors' gallery to follow
15 these proceedings so the meeting is adjourned.
16 (Adjourned for a short time)
17 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: The Registrar, you said it was working but not
18 perfectly, so perhaps you could explain in particular for the
19 visitors' gallery to make sure everyone hears you.
20 MR. BOS: Thank you. In the public gallery the loud speakers do not work
21 in the public gallery, but the earphones do work so if everyone in the
22 public gallery could put on his earphones, then they can follow the
24 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. You have the floor, counsel.
25 MR. BOWERS: Mr. Kupusovic, would you please tell the court where you were
2 A. I was born in Sarajevo.
3 Q. Is your family from Sarajevo?
4 A. Yes, my family has been in Sarajevo for over 400 years now.
5 Q. What did you do before the fighting began in 1992 in Sarajevo?
6 A. I am a civil engineer, I have a PhD in Technical Sciences and I
7 worked as Professor at the Engineering Faculty in Sarajevo and I was
8 also a Director of the Hydraulics Research Institute in Sarajevo.
9 Q. Where were you living when the fighting began?
10 A. I was living in Dobrinja.
11 Q. Where is to be Dobrinja located?
12 A. Dobrinja is a new part of the city near the airport, built as an
13 Olympic village, as the village for the media people, for the Winter
14 Olympics in 1984 in Sarajevo.
15 Q. Would you please describe for the court the various municipalities
16 that comprise Sarajevo before the war broke out?
17 A. Sarajevo had four urban areas, municipalities, and also six
18 surrounding municipalities, Pale, Vogasa, Hadzici, Trnivo, Ilijas and
19 Hadzici. The urban municipalities were the old town, the centre the
20 new Sarajevo and the new town. That makes up a total of 2,500 square
21 metres; the urban part being about 13 kilometres by four kilometres.
22 Q. Thank you. Before the war, were you involved in any sort of
24 A. I took part in the elections in 1990. I ran for the office on
25 behalf of the Democratic Action Party in the election area of the old
1 town where I was born. I was elected a councillor in the Assembly, in
2 the city Assembly, and I was the chief of the caucus of my party until
3 I was elected Mayor of the City.
4 Q. Before you were elected Mayor what were your responsibilities?
5 A. We had a City Council. We had regular meetings once a month. There
6 were also several meetings and arrangements between the Presidents of
7 the caucuses in the parliament, so I had a lot of amateur activities.
8 I did not work professional in politics, but only as a delegate, as a
10 Q. Before the war started, how many political parties were there in
12 A. There were eight parties. Eight parties were voted into the City
14 Q. Before the war started did these political parties co-operate
15 together in working in the Sarajevo area?
16 A. Of course, naturally, they did both as parties and also as
17 representatives. Members of the City Assembly and the Presidents of
18 the caucuses made arrangements all the time and communicated with each
19 other in preparing the sessions of the City Assembly.
20 MR. BOWERS: Your Honours, at this time we would like to introduce Exhibit
21 176. It is a recently obtained exhibit so it is not in your binders.
22 We have copies. It is a newspaper statement and we have translations
23 on the back of the actual statement itself. If we could distribute
24 those to the court, please? We would like to show the article itself
25 in its Cyrillic version on the overhead projector. (To the witness)
1 Sir, do you recognise Exhibit 176?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. Would you tell the court what it is, please, and then read it into
4 the record and our translators will translate it?
5 A. This is a declaration from the meeting of representatives of all
6 parliamentary parties and Presidents of the caucuses in the City
7 Assembly, issued on 19th April 1992 when shooting had already started
8 in Sarajevo, but we still hoped for a democratic environment in which
9 the situation would resolve itself favourably.
10 "At this meeting", I am reading, "At a session of the Sarajevo
11 City Assembly held on 19th April 1992, attended by representatives of
12 all parliamentary parties whose delegates constitute the city
13 Assembly, chaired by the City Assembly Chairman, Muhamed
14 Kresevljakovic, a joint statement was adopted and signed.
15 "No-one from the City, the Republic or Europe has the right to
16 negotiate the division of Sarajevo on behalf of the citizens of
17 Sarajevo. The City of Sarajevo with a history of more than 500 years
18 of coexistence in a multi-cultural, multi-confessional and
19 multi-national community is indivisible.
20 "A concept of modern European civilian life is being defended
21 in Sarajevo; Sarajevo is the capital of the Republic of Bosnia and
22 Herzegovina where all human rights and freedoms are respected, and
23 because of that we say that no-one has the right to endanger the
24 lives, peace and property of the citizens and the cultural and
25 historical heritage and natural resources of Sarajevo". This was
1 signed by Miodrag Jankovic on behalf of the Reform Party of Sarajevo;
2 Bozidar Popara on behalf of the Serbian Democratic Party as the
3 President of the Party's caucus for the City of Sarajevo; Tarik
4 Kupusovic, that is myself, on behalf of the party of Democratic
5 Action; Anto Zelic on behalf of the Croatian Democratic Party;
6 Slobodan Primorac on behalf of the Party of Democratic Changes; Esad
7 Afgan on behalf of the Muslim Bosniak organisation; Nijaz Nurkovic on
8 behalf of the Liberals; Spahic on behalf of the Democratic Socialist
9 Alliance and Muhamed Kresevljakovic, the then Mayor of Sarajevo.
10 Let me just explain briefly, this text was published in
11 Cyrillic because Oslobodjenje, the main paper of Sarajevo, long before
12 the war and also long time into the war when the technical facilities
13 made it possible, was published so that one page was published in the
14 Latin alphabet and the other one in the Cyrillic alphabet, and
15 individual articles on one page were sometimes published in Cyrillic
16 and sometimes in Latin in order to emphasis the equality of the two
17 alphabets in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 Q. The date of this session mentioned in this statement was 19th April
19 1992, correct?
20 A. Yes, it is correct.
21 Q. The leader of the SDS in Sarajevo was one of the signatories to this
22 particular statement, correct?
23 A. Yes, he signed it himself. But when this was published in the
24 papers, Radovan Karadzic relieved him from that position.
25 Q. When was he relieved from his position?
1 A. Immediately when this statement was made public. Obviously, he had
2 not asked for permission for Karadzic, so when he signed it, it did
3 not fit the policies pursued by the leader of the Bosnian Serbian
4 Party, Serbian Democratic Party.
5 Q. Thank you. After the war began in Sarajevo, did you serve in any
6 public office?
7 A. This meeting was the result of the fact because all the 120 elected
8 representatives could not gather; only representatives of individual
9 parties were able to come to this meeting. So the total number of
10 those who attended the meeting was only 80. By the constitution of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina and by laws that had been adopted from the
12 previous, from the former Yugoslavia, it was stipulated that in case
13 that the City Assembly could not meet, that the presidency should be
14 formed, the Assembly's presidency, so that it is made up of
15 representatives of the parties which participate in the City Assembly,
16 Mayor, the deputy Mayor, the Chief of the Civil Protection and the
18 In this way, the presidency was formed, was set up, of which I
19 was a member until I was elected Mayor of the City. It really took
20 over all the competences of the Assembly and was the highest civil
21 authority in the City of Sarajevo.
22 Q. Were there Serbs and Croatians also serving on the wartime Sarajevo
24 A. Certainly, naturally, there were two Croats, the President of the
25 Croatian Democratic Party and the Vice Mayor, and there were three or
1 four Serbs depending on the time because they took turns among
2 themselves of a total of 11 people.
3 Q. When you became the Mayor did you have Serbs working in the office
4 with you?
5 A. Of course. The chief of my protocol was a Serb because he had done
6 the same office and he continued as a professional. There were four or
7 five Serbs of a total of about 20 people who made up the core of the
9 Q. When were you actually elected as Mayor of Sarajevo?
10 A. After the first ultimatum by NATO in February 1994, there was a
11 peaceful period in Sarajevo and the City Assembly met, had a session.
12 The Mayor before that time, who served before that time, had been
13 appointed on a diplomatic position. In March again new candidates
14 were put up and I was elected as Mayor of Sarajevo.
15 Q. How long did you end up serving as Mayor?
16 A. Almost two years, until March 1996.
17 Q. As Mayor, what municipalities came within your control and could you
18 compare that with what your authority would have been before the war
19 broke out?
20 A. Officially, I kept control over all the 10 municipalities but, in
21 reality, it was reduced to parts of the four of the core, City core,
22 and a part of the fifth municipality, only a small portion of that
23 municipality, Vogasa. The duties of the Mayor normally in peaceful
24 time and in wartime, I continued to do that in wartime, to represent
25 the City, to prepare and chair the sessions of the City Assembly, and
1 also to take care of the international affairs of the City,
2 international relations.
3 The preparation of the City Assembly sessions means
4 co-ordinating of the work directly -- of the people directly
5 responsible for the functioning of the City infrastructure. A large
6 part of my time and effort was devoted to finding alternative
7 solutions to what in all other cities in the world is a routine
8 matter: providing bread, water, power and other basic necessities
9 necessary to the functioning of a City.
10 Q. Sir, would you please just take a few moments and describe for the
11 court what it was like to live in Sarajevo before the fighting began?
12 A. Before the beginning of the conflict, before the beginning of the
13 siege of Sarajevo, Sarajevo was a modern, European City with a
14 contemporary infrastructure. The first town which obtained
15 international loan for the improving infrastructure, about 30 years
16 ago, was Sarajevo when the President of the World Bank was the
17 well-known McNamara.
18 Later on, in the 80s, as part of the preparations for the
19 Olympic games, Sarajevo acquired a very modern system of power supply,
20 water supply was improved, the purification of water was improved, the
21 City transportation and all the other functions of the City were
22 exactly equal to those of any other European City. The inhabitants of
23 Sarajevo were particularly proud of this, because the modern water
24 supply systems and the City transit system and the electric power in
25 Sarajevo were used towards the end of the last century because
1 Sarajevo was an experiment to Austria/Hungary by which Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina and Sarajevo were ruled for over 40 years before World War
4 The democratic processes in Yugoslavia in 1991, at least they
5 looked like democratic processes, reprivatisation of firms and
6 companies and businesses started, and many firms had very high profits
7 and wages and people were very happy indeed.
8 Q. Did the citizens of Sarajevo and, indeed, the citizens of the former
9 Yugoslavia have any special feelings towards the City of Sarajevo?
10 A. Yes, Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina, of the central
11 Republic of the former Yugoslavia, centrally located, where for over
12 400 years both the Bosnian Muslims and Serbs and Croats and Jews lived
13 together, and members of all other nationalities and ethnic groups in
14 harmony and simply happy.
15 It is frequently said that the only place in the world where
16 within an area of 400 metres there is a large cathedral, a Jewish
17 synagogue, an orthodox church and a mosque, where in a sound harmony
18 you can hear the calls to prayer for all these places of worship.
19 Especially the Olympic games lent a modern spirit to the City of
20 Sarajevo, and a feeling of membership in Europe and in the world
21 community, and especially it had a secure place in the future of
22 Europe and the world at large.
23 Q. If we could please have the lights dimmed and we would like to have
24 Exhibit 149 brought up on the screen. It is 3080. Sir, would you
25 tell the court, please, what this view represents?
1 A. This is a view of Sarajevo from Trebevic, Mount Trebevic. It is a
2 small mountain near Sarajevo. It is a favourite resort place for
3 Sarajevans which was accessible by cable car or by road.
4 Q. What was Trebevic like before the fighting began?
5 A. It has a lot of pastures and meadows and woods and many paths,
6 pedestrian paths, benches, picnic areas, to enjoy the view of Sarajevo
7 and several small cafes and restaurants for resting and for recreation
8 and not only for Sarajevans but also the visitors of Sarajevo.
9 Q. Was there a cable car that serviced the area?
10 A. Yes, you can see a pillar of the cable car from the City. It took you
11 12 minutes to go from the down town Sarajevo to Vidikovac which
12 offered the best view of Sarajevo, the old part and the central part
13 of Sarajevo, and the new part closer to the airport cannot be seen in
14 this picture.
15 Q. What happened to Trebevic once the fighting began?
16 A. All of a sudden, we discovered that Trebevic was filled with cannon
17 and artillery pieces, tanks and other weapons which were shooting at
18 the City; not only Trebevic, but other surrounding hills around
20 MR. BOWERS: Your Honours, for point of reference, we would just point out
21 that the video tape that was seen this morning with the accused
22 Karadzic showing a Russian poet how the troops were sniping from the
23 hills is in the Trebevic area, for a point of reference.
24 Sir, did the JNA before the fighting actually began take any
25 actions that eventually led to them participating in the fighting
2 A. Certainly. All the artillery pieces were placed, in fact, by the JNA
3 around Sarajevo, and explained it by saying to those who were
4 interested that this is part of the routine manoeuvres by the army,
5 conducted by the army, especially on Trebevic. In other places, it
6 was in far away villages so it was not seen by citizens of Sarajevo.
7 But, immediately before the hostilities, in March 1992, Trebevic was
8 made off bounds to civilians because of the alleged manoeuvres by the
9 former Yugoslav Army.
10 Q. Before the fighting began did the JNA take any actions with regard to
11 the Sarajevo airport?
12 A. As early as March 1992, the former JNA occupied Sarajevo airport and
13 it stopped being a civilian airport and became a military one. Except
14 for the presence of the weapons the, tanks and the troops, there were
15 only military planes used at the airport.
16 Q. Did you notice any activity with regard to the families of the
17 soldiers and officers of the JNA before the fighting began?
18 A. Yes, I was living in Dobrinja, as I said. I could see from my
19 window, I could see the airport, and I also went to work by car and I
20 passed by the airport. I saw many people who were going to the
21 airport, some of them on foot, others by military buses. Obviously
22 (and this was later confirmed) they were families of the officers of
23 the JNA originally from Serbia who were being evacuated from Sarajevo.
24 Many of the officers of the JNA who had been Bosnian Serbs
25 had already evacuated their families, had also evacuated their
1 families, to Belgrade and further on. At the time, this is before the
2 real beginning of the war, there was an euphoria among those
3 inhabitants as to who will leave the City in a more comfortable manner
4 until the situation calms down again. However, in relation to the
5 other -- in relation to the size of the population, it was a very
6 small number of people who left the City at the time.
7 Q. If you could take a few moments and think back to the days just
8 before the fighting began and the war broke out. What was happening
9 in the City of Sarajevo and what were the people's attitudes?
10 A. We all believed that after the Peace Treaty was signed for Croatia on
11 1st January 1992 by Presidents Tudjman, Milosevic and the
12 international community, a similar war would be avoided in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Sarajevo itself, there were movements in
14 favour of peace, organisations which spread the conviction that there
15 was no reason for war in Bosnia, and that all misunderstandings may
16 and must be resolved peacefully by political means.
17 There was an excitement in the town because of the departure
18 of the members of the families of the JNA officers from Serbia, but
19 this was expressed more as a regret that they do not believe in peace,
20 and that they are victims of a propaganda that causes them to leave
21 the City in which they had been living for over 20 or 30 years.
22 Q. Had anyone enquired with any of the SDS leaders about the artillery
23 that had been placed in the hills surrounding Sarajevo?
24 A. Yes, I know that the President of the municipality of Stari Grad and
25 the then town Mayor also enquired about this, and they received
1 answers that these were exercises and that the Yugoslav People's Army
2 was neutral, that it was protecting the peace and that it would
3 protect Sarajevo from any kind of war or conflict. Whether they
4 believed this or not, I do not know.
5 Q. At some point were barricades erected in the City?
6 A. The first barricades in the City appeared on March 2nd after the
7 referendum on the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they were
8 put up by the activists of the Serbian Democratic Party.
9 Q. What did leaders in the SDS party say about the erection of the
11 A. They said it was in protest on the part of their party against the
12 referendum as such, and they wished to demonstrate their
13 non-recognition of the results of the referendum which gave more than
14 a two-thirds majority in favour of an independent and sovereign
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the basis of which it was recognised after a few
16 days by the European Community and the United Nations.
17 Already at the time there was sporadic shooting when the first
18 barricades were erected, but a large crowd of civilians, children and
19 inhabitants of Sarajevo, carried slogans "We do not want barricades,
20 we do not want war, we want peace". They forced the barricades to
21 come down that very afternoon. Then, for Sarajevo, they were seen
22 only as an unsuccessful demonstration of power on behalf of the
23 Serbian Democratic Party. Then it was only later that we learnt what
24 firing and grenades really meant.
25 Q. When and how did the fighting actually start in Sarajevo?
1 A. Throughout March talks were conducted among party leaders and the
2 Yugoslav People's Army, and the situation was tense but the City was
3 still leading a normal life, one might say.
4 On April 5th or 6th, in the night between 5th and the 6th,
5 barricades emerged again and again a large movement for peace in
6 Sarajevo and many other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina people had come by
7 buses to demonstrate their wish for the preservation of peace, for the
8 preservation of life together and the preservation of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a homeland of all its citizens and peoples.
10 Then there was fire from the seat of the Serbian Democratic Party
11 which was situated in The Holiday Inn, and that was the beginning of
12 sniping and shelling of the City itself.
13 Q. When the fighting actually started, did the people of Sarajevo think
14 that it would last very long?
15 A. No, we all thought that this would be resolved even tomorrow. We
16 thought a meeting or two, and even the worst forecasts expected two
17 months, it to take two months, for as long as Dubrovnik was exposed to
18 attacks and a siege on the part of those who did it. That was the
19 feeling of all of us, in April, in May and several months. We did not
20 expect it to go on more than the autumn. Perhaps that was an
21 indication of our naiveness because it was inconceivable how anyone
22 could attack a City, the citizens, in which there were absolutely no
23 military targets, and we considered this to be madness and that only
24 lunatics could do that.
25 Q. Had the City made any preparations for war or for any type of siege?
1 A. No ---
2 Q. Sorry.
3 A. -- the atmosphere was not such that people believed in a siege or
4 attack against the town, and that was one thing. Secondly, the
5 preparations officially within the military and the civilian
6 structures working for the army envisaged simply the possibility of an
7 external attack and those plans were quite useless for the situation
8 in the City.
9 Q. You speak of the uselessness of the Civil Defence plans; in fact, in
10 the case of an outside attack, it is somewhat ironic, I think, where
11 was the City Hall to relocate from Sarajevo?
12 A. The Municipal Assembly in the event of war was to relocate to Pale
13 where it would continue to function. Actually, Karadzic moved to Pale
14 and it became quite irrelevant.
15 An alternative to Pale or the first mobile spot for the town
16 Mayor and the authorities of the City was Debolo Brdo, a locality very
17 close to the City Hall on the slopes of Trebevic, which was actually
18 under the control of the Yugoslav People's Army at the time and to
19 which also there was no access and, therefore, the Town Hall and all
20 the bodies remained in the City where they had operated in peace time.
21 Q. After the fighting started, were there many Sarajevo Serbs who
22 decided not to join the accused Radovan Karadzic and his party?
23 A. At the very beginning and throughout the duration of the siege, there
24 was 40 to 50,000 Sarajevan Serbs living in Sarajevo who decided not to
25 join Karadzic.
1 Among those 80,000 that left the City, Serbs who left the
2 City, it is estimated that about half joined Karadzic and the other
3 half were refugees who were scattered all over the world. Therefore,
4 out of the total of 120,000 Serbs that used to live in Sarajevo before
5 the war, about one-third joined Karadzic, one-third stayed in the City
6 and a third left the City together with a large number of Bosniaks
7 and Croats and others who simply could not stand all the troubles of a
8 four-year siege.
9 Q. What type of propaganda did the Serbian radio and TV stations
10 broadcast regarding the Sarajevan Serbs who stayed loyal to the
11 multi-ethnic City?
12 A. They called them and they are calling them traitors of Serbs, or
13 servants of the Muslim regime, and various other such epithets which
14 placed them in an even worse position than the other inhabitants of
15 Sarajevo who are not Serbs. Of course, there were many mixed
16 marriages in Sarajevo. 30 per cent were mixed marriages before the
17 war. The children of mixed marriages considered themselves rather
18 Yugoslav, most frequently they considered themselves Bosnian without
19 affiliating themselves with any of the ethnic groups. For Karadzic's
20 propaganda, if one of the parents were Serbs, then those children were
21 also traitors because they had the courage to marry somebody of a
22 different faith.
23 Q. Thank you. If we could move now to another topic, that of the
24 shelling of Sarajevo: would you please tell the court when the
25 shelling of the City actually began?
1 A. The shelling of Sarajevo began in April, but then it was a few
2 incidents, as we thought at the time. It was not on a daily or
3 regular basis, but only on a number of occasions Stari Grad was
4 exposed to shelling, a couple of places in the new part of the City,
5 and this was at the time considered to be incidents provoked by
6 extremists, both by the Yugoslav People's Army which still was,
7 apparently, neutral and by the United Nations forces who were in the
9 Q. In April did the Serb forces damage one of the trolley or tram
10 depots in the City?
11 A. Yes, one night a tram depot, or the garage of the depot, was shelled
12 and the next morning the trams could not work and municipal transport
13 came to a standstill.
14 Q. What did Sarajevo's Director of Transportation do after that incident
15 in April?
16 A. The Director of the Urban Transportation was a friend of Momcilo
17 Krajisnik's before the war. The phones were still operating and he
18 called him up and asked, "Why did you do this? Why were you destroying
19 the tram?" Krajisnik's answer was that this was an act by a lunatic
20 and that he would take care that it was not repeated. When Krajisnik
21 said this, the trams started operating again in the afternoon and for
22 sometime they continued operating until May 2nd. This was mid April
23 we are talking about.
24 Q. Where were you when the heavy shelling began on May 2nd?
25 A. Together with my wife and children, I happened to be visiting my
1 wife's parents in Marindvor which is in the very centre of Sarajevo.
2 Q. What did you do when the shelling started?
3 A. With my family, I was just getting ready to go home to Dobrinja, and
4 when the tram was set on fire at Skenderija and the shelling actually
5 started, I returned immediately to the apartment of my in-laws. We
6 spent the first two-and-a-half months of the war there because there
7 was no City transportation and Dobrinja on that day was on a twofold
8 blockade. Sarajevo as a whole was blocked and Dobrinja was blocked as
9 well within that general blockade.
10 The next day the telephones were still working. In the
11 afternoon the post office burnt down, but we learnt that the City in
12 which we had lived that half the flats had been destroyed and set on
13 fire by an attack from the airport which was held by the Yugoslav
14 People's Army and with several transporters from the other side.
15 Q. What happened to your home and property?
16 A. Everything was plundered and destroyed.
17 Q. How did the people of Sarajevo initially respond to this first
19 A. It was a terrible shock. People just could not understand what was
20 happening. It was inconceivable. It appeared to have no
21 justification. Simply, we could not believe that the war had begun.
22 Most of our time was spent in the basements or in other premises which
23 appeared to be safer. All communication ceased because the City
24 transport stopped. The telephones were not working. We could not
25 walk in the streets because in the sporadic lulls in between the
1 shelling people were simply under shock and they feared what was
2 actually happening.
3 Q. What were some of the first targets of the shelling?
4 A. It was the railway stations -- everything was a target. It was
5 difficult to say what was a target. Occasionally, Stari Grad or the
6 old City was shelled, then the centre, then some new parts of the
7 City, some individual buildings, but not a single part of the City was
8 spared a shell or two or some other fire.
9 Q. Do you think that any of the selected early targets had symbolic
10 value to the City and the citizens?
11 A. Of course, when the national library burnt down it was a great shock.
12 When the hall, both the indoor and outside venue of the Olympic games
13 and the stadium in Kosovo were hit, these had symbolic and actual
14 value. Then again business premises, the premises of the government
15 and the Assembly of Bosnia-Herzegovina, they were among the first
16 targets of shelling. When the Oriental Studies Institute and, in
17 addition to the National Library, several monuments of historic value
18 of Sarajevo burnt down, that was when the word "urbicide" was
19 developed, that is, the killing of monuments, a derivation of the word
21 Q. To your knowledge, did General Mladic ever make a statement regarding
22 why he thought it was necessary to shell the Olympic stadium?
23 A. Yes, when Zetra was shelled, he first said that the Sarajevo
24 authorities were holding captured Serbs there. When the response was,
25 "Surely, then they would not shell Serbs", then the response was that
1 it was an ammunition depot. However, it is a sports hall in which
2 there were four or five sports rifles in a shop selling hunting
3 weapons. This was in the window of the shop. It was not being used
4 and it would not be used anyway.
5 MR. BOWERS: Your Honour, at this time if we could have the lights dimmed
6 again? We have some additional photos. First, if we could have
7 Exhibit 150, No. 3070, brought up on the screen? You also have copies
8 in your binders of these photographs.
9 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: That is in this morning's case file, is it, the one
10 we received this morning?
11 MR. BOWERS: Yes, your Honour. The actual coloured photographs are in the
12 binders by exhibit number. Then we will also be showing them on the
13 computer screen.
14 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: What number was that, please?
15 MR. BOWERS: This is Exhibit 150, 150.
16 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you.
17 MR. BOWERS (To the witness): Sir, would you please take a look at
18 Exhibit 50 and tell the court what this photograph is?
19 A. The photograph is of the Magribija mosque which, during the Ottoman
20 rule, was on the edge of the City and, with the spread of the City, it
21 was in the centre and it was of unique architectural and artistic
22 beauty. You can see the minaret destroyed and the whole roof
23 virtually destroyed.
24 Q. Did you see this mosque shortly after it was destroyed?
25 A. Yes, at the time, in May 1992, I was living with my in-laws and this
1 happened in the night of May 17th, between 17th and 18th May, when
2 from a mortar launcher, a multiple mortar launcher which destroys
3 targets of a larger area, the whole City was shelled, from the old
4 part of the City to the new.
5 We spent all that night until 4 a.m. in the cellars. When the
6 shelling stopped, after a short nap in the morning, I went to get
7 bread with my son. Near the mosque was a place where they were
8 distributing bread. On the way, we were looking at the effects of the
9 shelling. One of the worse shocks I got was when I saw the mosque
10 exactly as it is depicted on this photograph, one of the most
11 beautiful architectural and historical buildings in Sarajevo which,
12 thanks to good men, has already been partly reconstructed, except for
13 the minaret which requires a longer period of time for reconstruction.
14 Q. What were your personal thoughts when you happened upon this
15 destruction of this mosque?
16 A. For me, this was like the end of the world, the end of Sarajevo, but
17 only of course for a few hours, because after all the City is composed
18 of people and the people will rebuild it when this madness of
19 destroying such buildings comes to an end.
20 Q. Thank you. Now if we could have Exhibit 151 brought up on the
21 screen, that is, 3071, Exhibit 151? Sir, what does this photograph
23 A. This is also a mosque, but completely destroyed. It is of a more
24 recent date, maybe 10 or 30 years old. It was built in the old part
25 of the City, and it was obviously a target by the barbarians who were
1 destroying what makes a city a city.
2 Q. Could we please have Exhibit 152, that number is 3072? Sir, what does
3 this photograph depict?
4 A. This is a large catholic church at Stupe, a part of the City of
5 Sarajevo, where several thousand Catholics lived. That church was
6 also virtually burnt down and destroyed in May. All that remains were
7 the walls and the remnants that you can tell it used to be a church.
8 Q. Now if we could have Exhibit 153, please, that is No. 3073? Sir,
9 would you please describe this photograph?
10 A. This is the building of the National and University Library of
11 Sarajevo in flames from inflammable shells and rockets which set on
12 fire the documentation of the library, documents speaking of the
13 history of Bosnia, some of them up to 800 years old, up to the more
14 recent ones. Everything has been destroyed. All that remains are
15 some fragments of documents that happened to be elsewhere when this
16 occurred and only the ruins of the building remain.
17 Q. If we could have Exhibit 154, please, 3074? Is this a shot of what
18 remained of the interior of the library?
19 A. Yes, you can just see the remains of the most beautiful pillars which
20 were a component part of the interior of the library. Let me add,
21 perhaps, that this building served at the beginning of this century as
22 the building of the parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as a separate,
23 autonomous unit within the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was originally
24 built as the Town Hall, the offices of the town Mayor were there and
25 the formal premises for the festive occasions. 30 years ago, the
1 National and University Libraries were moved into this building when
2 the Town Hall moved to another building.
3 Q. Thank you very much, if we can have the lights brought up now for a
4 while? Sir, as the shelling continued throughout the days and then
5 the months and eventually the years, did it develop into any type of
6 pattern during the day?
7 A. Yes, of course. It took us some time, the inhabitants of Sarajevo,
8 to grasp some rules in the shelling. Very often, it was peaceful in
9 the morning and then about 11 o'clock several shells would hit.
10 People would scatter from the streets seeking shelter -----
11 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: I am sorry to interrupt you. The Court Reporter has
12 lost the sound so I think we are going to have to perhaps stop for a
13 few moments -- if the Registry can tell us? So can the Court Reporter
14 hear the proceedings now? No. Let us see now, it is 4 o'clock. I
15 would suggest -- I was hoping to press on for 4.15 but why not have
16 the recess now and then we will pick up at 4.15, 4.20, that is to say,
17 if we can get all these technical matters straightened out. The
18 session is adjourned.
19 (4.00 p.m.)
20 (The court adjourned for a short time)
21 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: You have the floor, Mr. Bowers.
22 MR. BOWERS: Thank you, your Honour. Mr. Kupusovic, when we took a break
23 you were describing the patterns or so-called rules that developed
24 with the shelling of the citizens of Sarajevo.
25 A. Well, after several weeks from the beginning of the shelling we
1 noticed certain regularities which were kept until the end of siege
2 of the city. That meant that early in the morning until 11 o'clock,
3 until about noon, it was quite peaceful. It was rather peaceful.
4 Then between 11.00 and 12.00 three or four shells would explode and
5 people took shelter in basements. Then in the afternoon at irregular
6 intervals when people went out of the basements to bring water or take
7 care of another business, several other, several more shells were
8 fired. During the first two years about 10 people were killed by
9 these shells and several dozens were wounded. The idea was to get the
10 people out of the basements, out of their shelters, after what seemed
11 a relatively peaceful period.
12 Q. In your opinion, did the Serbs seem to target civilian gatherings in
14 A. Yes, very frequently the targets were all civilian gatherings,
15 whether it was at places where they took water or shops, or places
16 where humanitarian aid was distributed, or any other places where
17 people gathered. They could see from the hills quite well and they
18 could target whatever they wanted.
19 Q. What impact did the general shelling and, in particular, the shelling
20 of civilian gatherings have on the citizens of Sarajevo?
21 A. It had a very demoralizing effect. They tried to make the citizens
22 spend as much time as possible in the shelters and, without mutual
23 communication and pressured by the danger, by risk to their lives,
24 began to lose their feeling of security. Elementary needs such as
25 water, or bread or just meet a friend or visit a friend or a cousin,
1 those possibilities were considerably drastically reduced.
2 Q. Whenever the Bosnian and Herzegovinian army engaged in any action out
3 on the frontlines, how would the Bosnian-Serb army generally respond
4 to action on the front?
5 A. Then Karadzic's Serbs would engage in massive shelling of the city.
6 There was hell let loose in the city itself. Whether it was happening
7 in Bihac or in Gorazde or in the surroundings of the city, the
8 response was invariably massive shelling. This was revenge on
9 civilians, reprisals, especially when the Bosnian Army was successful.
10 Q. Sir, just to clarify, not only did the Bosnian Serb army shell the
11 civilian areas of the city when there was action on the frontline
12 around Sarajevo, but they also shelled the city when there were
13 actions outside of Sarajevo in other parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
14 A. Yes, that is exactly so.
15 Q. At this point we would like to move to the next topic which would be
16 the sniping in the city. Sir, when did the sniping begin in Sarajevo?
17 A. There was some sniping on 1st and 2nd March during the first
18 barricades. There were no casualties at the time, but the real
19 sniping began on 6th April. The first victim fell, and that was a
20 student of medicine, Suada Deliberovic, a lady from Dubrovnik, who was
21 doing her studies in Sarajevo. She died. She was killed on the bridge
22 between Marin Dvor and Grbavica in a peace procession which was
23 heading towards the school of the Ministry of the Interior where
24 Karadzic's Serbs were concentrated and the activists of the Serbian
25 Democratic Party. That group wanted to prevent the attack of the city
1 in a peaceful way.
2 Q. Did the sniping continue throughout the entire siege of Sarajevo?
3 A. Yes, there was not a single day without several sniper hits, shots,
4 and every day there were several wounded and many parts of the city
5 were exposed to sniping all the time.
6 Q. Did the citizens of Sarajevo come to notice any patterns with the
8 A. There were no patterns as far as the time of sniping, but in many
9 parts sniping was continual. There were special places that were
10 particularly dangerous. All the localities opened to Trebevic,
11 exposed to Trebevic, or other locations from which sniping occurred.
12 The citizens of Sarajevo, in fact, were lucky when they had fog on the
13 hills around Sarajevo. Then the snipers were fogged in and it was
14 peaceful in Sarajevo. Before the war, the fog in Sarajevo meant
15 unclean air. It was not a sign of good weather, but in wartime it
16 became a sign of security and safety when it was covered with fog.
17 Q. In your opinion, what was the intended purpose of the sniping?
18 A. First, it was to kill people, but we can also say that sniping and
19 shelling could have been used to kill many more Sarajevans than they
20 did. The purpose was to keep the city hostage in a way and hopeless
21 in a situation where everything would be controlled by Karadzic's
22 Serbs and that they be lords of peace and war, war and peace, life and
23 death, of an entire city and all its inhabitants.
24 Q. Who were the victims of the sniping incidents?
25 A. All the citizens of Sarajevo of all ages and of all nationalities
1 were equally the victims of sniping and shelling.
2 Q. Can you estimate how many children were killed or injured by sniping?
3 A. The total number of people killed was 12,000. 12,000 inhabitants of
4 Sarajevo, killed by sniping and shelling and of that number 1,600
6 Q. Were civilian women particularly in danger of sniping and shelling?
7 A. Yes, women had to take over many of the public functions in the city,
8 in medical institutions and all public institutions, and also look
9 after the children a lot more than they used to, so they had to move
10 much more than men and were, therefore, frequent victims of the
12 Q. What psychological impact, in your opinion, did the sniping have on
13 the citizens of Sarajevo?
14 A. It was very hard. In the beginning, people were simply afraid to go
15 out into the street and especially let children go out to play, even
16 the yards around houses, even if it is protected from sniping, they
17 could have been shelled. But after a certain time, we had to get
18 accustomed to that and life simply went on with sniping and with
19 constant danger of being wounded or killed. Psychologically, the
20 hardest thing was when a mother or a child or a father had to stay out
21 for a long period of time and they had no news of anybody, and their
22 relatives did not know whether he or she was wounded or alive until
23 they came back home, because telephones did not operate, did not work,
24 and any stay outside the house or during a visit to friends or
25 relatives meant fear, panic, about the destiny of the person who was
1 not there within the family.
2 Q. If you unexpectedly had to work late on a particular day, what did
3 you have to do in order to be able to work late and not alarm your
5 A. I learnt to tell my wife and children, "I will come when I show up",
6 without my usual time when I came back about half past 7 or 10 o'clock
7 in the evening, if something happened in my work after 8 o'clock.
8 Q. Sir, were there occasional cease-fires when the sniping would stop?
9 A. Yes, there were occasional peaceful days and cease-fires which were
10 generated by negotiations or particular resolutions passed by the
11 Security Council, but usually after several days and in 1994 after
12 several months the old situation resumed.
13 Q. What effect did these broken cease-fires have upon the people?
14 A. The inhabitants of Sarajevo never lost hope and every cease-fire,
15 every improvement in the general situation, raised hopes that peace
16 had finally come. But a return to sniping or the fortification of the
17 blockades and the power failures, the lack of power, water and other
18 services produced a very bad psychological effect, because the worst
19 thing, when you go from a bad situation to an improved situation and
20 then goes back to something that was worse than the previous
21 situation. It was obviously premeditated by those who had put up the
22 siege of the city.
23 MR. BOWERS: Your Honours, if we could please have the lights dimmed? We
24 have two photographs to show, Exhibits 155 and 156. Those are numbers
25 3085 first and then 3086. If we could move to the next photograph,
1 please? Thank you. These photographers depict children who were
2 victims of sniping and shelling.
3 (To the witness): Sir, did the city have adequate medical facilities to
4 treat the victims of the sniping and shelling incidents?
5 A. Sarajevo had two large hospitals and they operated throughout the
6 war, but from the very beginning they were at the border level, as
7 soon as there was a lack of water, a lack of communication, for 2,000
8 or more nurses and doctors to go home and come back to work, there
9 were problems. Soon after that the equipment in the hospitals stopped
10 functioning either because of the lack of power or because the
11 generators operated by gas or diesel, there were failures because of
12 technological problems in equipment. Still, because the hospitals
13 served only the city under siege and before the war it used to serve
14 the entire Bosnia-Herzegovina, we, I might say, were lucky as a city
15 as a whole, thanks mostly to the efforts of the doctors and other
16 medical staff, and the fact that the hospital facilities were much
17 greater than was needed for the city itself. Although they were not
18 war hospitals, they were civilian hospitals, and the doctors were
19 trained during the war for sorting out patients and quick treatment of
20 injuries and saving the lives of the citizens.
21 Q. Did the citizens of Sarajevo encounter special difficulties in
22 rescuing victims of the shelling and sniping?
23 A. Certainly, a victim -- there was always sniping after a victim and it
24 was a joy to help the wounded, pull him into a car which comes by or
25 which is called to the spot, and be transferred to the hospital or the
1 first aid institution. This usually brought people to that locality
2 which was usually identified as the new target of sniping and
4 Q. Were there instances of rescuers actually being wounded or killed
6 A. Yes, there were many instances of that kind. This had a very
7 demoralizing effect on people, but nobody was left in the lurch for a
8 long period of time without a group of people coming to his or her
9 rescue, or at least taking him to a sheltered place, or put him in a
10 car and take him to the hospital.
11 Later, during the war in many parts of the city we developed
12 special centres, emergency centres, where it was easier to bring the
13 wounded to such places so they would not bleed to death, because all
14 the ambulances were destroyed after the first month of the war and the
15 transportation was conducted in ordinary trucks and cars -- anything
16 that was available and could have been used as a transportation means.
17 Q. Did the city erect any sort of barricades to protect people in those
18 areas where sniping was frequent?
19 A. Yes, several crossroads intersections in early May were targeted by
20 snipers. During the night, with the help of the UN forces and their
21 organisations, we placed large containers, large commodity containers,
22 or railway carriages for passive resistance, protection from sniping
23 or shells, the smaller calibre shells, that could not go through that,
24 those protection means. All the dangerous intersections were provided
25 with this passive anti-sniping protection.
1 When we ran out of containers, we used ordinary cloth to
2 protect the people walking across the intersections visually, and
3 people usually ran across those intersections to be exposed to that
4 area as little as possible.
5 MR. BOWERS: Could we please have the lights lowered and Exhibits 157 and
6 158 shown? They would be 3077 and 3078. Thank you. If we could show
7 the next photograph, please? (To the witness): Sir, what do these
8 photographs depict?
9 A. They depict barricades that were erected with lorries or trollies
10 that had been destroyed, reinforced with concrete elements because the
11 tin itself was not sufficient to protect people from sniping.
12 Q. Were these barricades effective for the people or were there still
13 injuries even in the areas where the barricades existed?
14 A. They had an effect, but a small one. Later, we erected more
15 barricades, putting one container on top of another and sometimes they
16 would reach as high as five metres above. That way they became a safe
17 protection, but it was impossible to protect the entire city with
18 these barricades because there were streets and roads that were still
19 exposed to sniping.
20 Q. At this point we would like to move to a new topic and that would be
21 the winter of 1992. The winter of 1992 was actually the first winter
22 the people of Sarajevo spent in a state of siege, correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Would you just take some time, please, and explain to the court,
25 describe to the court, what that first winter under siege was like,
2 A. A large majority of the citizens did not believe in the autumn of
3 1992 that they would survive the winter without electricity and under
4 a complete siege. The greatest problem was the lack of food and
5 heating. Only about 15 per cent of the city, of the houses and
6 apartments, had gas installed, natural gas, which was used as heating
7 for heating. When towards the end of October 1992 electricity was
8 completely cut off, it was hard to imagine how a city of that size
9 could survive without electricity.
10 Then organised and spontaneous felling of trees began. Paper
11 was collected and special fuel was made from that paper and families
12 gathered in flats where there was natural gas. So several families
13 would live in two or three rooms that had the natural gas
14 infrastructure, because these were heated and could be used also to
15 prepare food.
16 As far as the city authorities are concerned, apart from
17 organising such matters, we were involved in maintaining the large
18 bakery. So, although we did not have electricity, we built
19 generators, gas powered generators, to produce electricity. So,
20 throughout the winter every citizen of Sarajevo could have one-third
21 of a loaf of bread, about
22 450 grammes, plus the humanitarian aid through UNHCR which was very bad
23 that winter, was inadequate.
24 So it was really hard to make ends meet with the food that was
25 available. That autumn and that winter, I lost 28 kilogrammes and, on
1 the average, every citizen of Sarajevo lost about 25 kilogrammes of
2 body weight, because of the lack of food, food that was very ordinary,
3 very simple, and because of the psychological condition and the
4 insecurity about the end of the winter, survival through the winter.
5 The repairing of the power lines was in charge of the
6 professionals of the international community and the General who was
7 in charge of the Sarajevo UNPROFOR promised electricity by Christmas,
8 after the Catholic Christmas, we thought he meant the Orthodox
9 Christmas which falls in January the following year, but the
10 electricity came only in March 1993, 12 to 15 megawatts, which is less
11 than 10 per cent of the needs of the town, bearing in mind only the
12 housing units, but enough for the functioning, for the operation, of
13 the bakery and for supplying the water and occasional distribution to
15 So that a citizen would, on average, have electricity about
16 every third or fourth day just to be able to prepare some food, to
17 watch television for a while and so that children could play their
18 computer games or anything else that was powered by electricity.
19 The marketplace did not function. There was no organised
20 supply of food apart from the humanitarian aid, but on the black
21 market the price of the basic food articles was about 10 or 20 times
22 higher than before the war. For instance, sugar was sold at the price
23 of 80 German Marks; coffee was sold at the price of 120 Marks; matches
24 were a big problem because there were no matches to start a fire. So
25 people would carry a flame so that they could make a fire with what
1 little wood they had, firewood, to cook something or just kill the
2 cold which just permeates the entire building, the entire flat.
3 City transportation was completely out, and I personally
4 remember a picture when people who were going to get water were using
5 sledges and some would use their pets as animals to pull the sledges
6 so it reminded me of a scene from the life of Eskimos. But we manage
7 to survive that winter, too. The hope was that after the winter spring
8 was coming.
9 Q. You touched upon it, but could you explain to the court what was done
10 in order to supply the water for the city during the winter of '92?
11 A. The main source for the supply of water to Sarajevo was controlled by
12 Karadzic's Serbs. There was no electricity at the time. There was no
13 water in the distribution system. All the taps were completely dry.
14 The only alternative source of water was old wells of the city
15 brewery. The presidency of the city organised hoses to be placed
16 there so the people could come and fill their vessels with water. The
17 pumps for getting water out of the wells were powered by diesel oil
18 that was provided by the UNHCR. That was the picture of the winter
20 So the people from all parts of the city had to come to the
21 brewery in order to supply themselves with 20 or 25 litres of water,
22 of drinking water. This showed the solidarity among people and the
23 meaning of solidarity because older people were unable to pull those
24 sledges because it is a city, as you saw from the picture, between
25 hills and many people had to go uphill to get the water.
1 But at the same time it was shown how these little things,
2 such as bringing 25 litres of drinking water, meant happiness for a
3 family, because when we have to walk for one or two hours in one
4 direction and then waiting in the queue for a long time and then
5 coming back with drinking water, when the children meet their father,
6 welcome their father, with a happy smile, "Daddy, you have brought
7 water, now we have water for tomorrow too".
8 There was also sniping and shelling and with the help of the
9 UNPROFOR we managed to protect those sources of water, some of the
10 sources of water, from sniping, so that people in the queue would be
11 as safe as possible, although prior to that time many people had been
12 killed in those queues.
13 Q. As we know, the siege continued to last; was the winter of 1993 any
14 better than the winter of 1992?
15 A. Psychologically, it was worse because in the winter of 1992 spring
16 was coming, summer was coming, and there was no possibility to live
17 through another year of -- winter of siege. So, that winter and
18 especially during the summer, the improvised natural gas system was
19 widened because it was the natural gas that really saved the city in
20 1992. This also brought danger in terms of possibilities of explosion
21 of gas, and now there was not enough gas because a lot was lost in
22 these improvised systems and also the supplier of the natural gas, the
23 Russian Federation, was not really disposed to increase the amount of
24 the gas because they were not paid. There was firewood in the city,
25 but in terms of climate, it was a milder winter and was objectively
1 easier psychologically; nevertheless, it was more difficult because it
2 was a repeat of what happened during the first winter of war.
3 Q. Thank you. Now we will move into just some of the general conditions
4 of life during the entire siege and cover a few of the more critical
5 aspects. Throughout the entire siege who controlled the electricity?
6 A. Sarajevo had a very modern system of supply of electricity. Eleven
7 transformer stations around the city enabled triple security for a
8 maximum consumption of electricity during the Olympic Games. All
9 these transformer stations were controlled first by the JNA and then
10 later also by the army of the Bosnian Serbs.
11 Q. Had the JNA secured the important power sites for electricity before
12 the fighting actually began?
13 A. Yes, they simply captured those transformer stations and later they
14 became the army of the Bosnian Serbs. That army kept control of those
15 transformer stations all the time.
16 Q. Could you describe to the court what it is like to be in a large city
17 at night without any electricity?
18 A. Once as the town Mayor I happened to be in Vienna when at the airport
19 there was an electricity failure for a couple of minutes. Of course
20 there was an alternative system but the air-conditioning could not
21 work. You can imagine what it means within a system which must have a
22 power supply when that power ceases. The elevators do not work. The
23 water cannot reach higher than the fifth floor because the water pumps
24 are not operating for supplying from the upper floors. The city
25 transport is not working. You have some batteries for listening to
1 the radio, then you run out of batteries. There are no possibilities
2 for accumulating power. In the autumn of '92 when the electricity was
3 cut for the first time, it was hard to imagine that life could be
4 organised without power, no telephones, special phones or anything, no
5 telephones or anything, the Town Mayor or anyone, because no
6 generators were operating. They worked for a day or two and then they
8 But after that shock one realises that life has to be
9 organised even under such conditions and then, somehow, one survives.
10 Some alternative generator is found. We would pull out our engines
11 from our motor cars, and then we would make small generators for power
12 production to fill in the accumulations or to be able to satisfy our
13 priorities for power. We managed afterwards to bring in several
14 generators as gifts with the help of UNPROFOR or the International Red
15 Cross. As I already said, these bakeries and the brewery with water
16 pumps, they had a constant supply of power for 10 or 12 hours which
17 was the minimum requirement for them to be able to operate.
18 Q. Did Karadzic's Serbs sometimes allow electricity and water to come
19 back into the city?
20 A. Yes, they would always say that they would no longer use these
21 essential needs for the life of the city for military purposes, that
22 they would no longer cut the electricity supply or the gas supply or
23 close the valves for the transport of water. Indeed, occasionally for
24 a month or two the situation was improved considerably. For instance,
25 every day households would have electricity for six hours and every
1 other day they would get water for an hour or two. This was an
2 enormous improvement and people thought that an improvement was coming
3 and the situation would be normalized, but again after a month or two,
4 whatever the occasion may have been, there was a complete stop and
5 this was a psychological blow for us as people. This oscillation
6 between zero and the minimum state of the infrastructure was a tactic
7 which was meant to provoke among people a feeling of hopelessness of
8 continuing life in the city.
9 Q. You have already mentioned that Sarajevo was proud of its
10 transportation system. When the siege began what happened to the tram
12 A. The trams were the pride of the city, because Sarajevo was the first
13 in central Europe to acquire tram transportation 130 years ago. First
14 it was horse drawn and then electric trams. The city transport
15 functioned very well because the city was stretched out about 13
16 kilometres from one end to the other. That was the longest tram line.
17 As of May 2nd the trams came to a halt completely and after a lull in
18 the course of '94 they resumed service, but there were frequent
19 interruptions because of sniping or because of shelling attacks on
20 trams. For many citizens the sound of the tram bells in the morning
21 at 6.30 or 7 a.m. were a sign that the day would probably be a quiet
22 one, because as soon as the trams started working one could go to
23 work. There were no night operations anywhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 to warrant shelling of the city and prevent the trams from working.
25 So that in a way for the citizens of Sarajevo as well as for those who
1 were attacking the city, they were a symbol of the city. That is why
2 they were frequently a target of attack by snipers or shells.
3 Q. As you mentioned there were children within the city during the
4 siege. How did the city handle the educational needs of the children?
5 A. At first it was very hard because after a few days underground or in
6 apartments children wanted to go out, and their parents could not
7 allow them to do that because it was very dangerous. That is when
8 private schools started or actually children from several apartments
9 would get together in a teacher's home or a mother who had talent to
10 amuse children for a time and to organise a game or some form of
11 instruction. With time we managed to mobilize schools somewhere in the
12 early spring of '93 and all children were encompassed by schools that
13 were not organised in actual school buildings, but in basements, in
14 apartments or any other suitable buildings that were safe from sniping
15 and shelling. As there was no electricity, there were several shifts
16 of two or three hours each, so that the children had a feeling of
17 going to school and were given homework to do with their parents, so
18 as to cover the necessary curriculum somehow. With time this
19 organisation of schools was improved, text books were printed in
20 Slovenia and transported to Bosnia and distributed among school
21 children. Many humanitarian organisations assisted, so that the
22 children for those four academic years did not waste them altogether.
23 They did manage to learn quite a lot, but I think they learnt most
24 about the life that was imposed upon them. The time is now coming
25 when the gaps in their education need to be filled, and this is a
1 whole generation, four years of schooling regardless of the level,
2 which has been deprived of a normal education, but it is still
3 fortunate to have survived and to be able to continue a normal
4 education as of this academic year.
5 Q. Sir, you have children that remained with you during the siege. How
6 old were they when the siege started?
7 A. My son was 11 and my daughter 8 when the siege began. They spent the
8 whole time with me and my wife in Sarajevo, together with some other
9 50,000 children of Sarajevo who spent all the time of the war in
10 Sarajevo. That is roughly about one half of the total number of
11 school aged children that we had in Sarajevo before the war.
12 Q. In your opinion, how did the siege affect daily family life?
13 A. Daily family life was simply totally changed during the siege.
14 Children could not go out to play. They could not go to school, and
15 what is important for the life of a family is that children had to be
16 amused somehow, kept busy, because children are very sensitive when
17 they do not know what to do. As there was no electricity then all
18 kinds of games, card games, chess and other games for which
19 electricity is not necessary were popular.
20 However, in the evening when it got dark you could use a
21 candle for a short time because, especially in the first winter and
22 the second too, there was a shortage of candles or any other lighting
23 systems. The winter nights are very long if you go to bed at 7 or 8
24 o'clock, maybe one or two hours after total darkness fell, and if it
25 is a peaceful night one would spend it in a half sleep having
1 psychological problems because the night is too long. Then the next
2 day he is happy. If it is a foggy day, because there will be no
3 sniping even if it is overcast, at least it is an occasion to see
4 friends, shall we say, or organise something for the next day when the
5 danger will be increased for movement in the city.
6 Q. How did the siege affect the daily lives of the women who were
7 trapped in the city?
8 A. The women who were working, who were employed either in companies or
9 in the public services, had to move daily from their apartments to
10 their place of work. They had an extra obligation, that is, to appear
11 to be decently clothed, clean, with the minimum of makeup they had
12 left to retain the dignity of women, and those who stayed at home with
13 their families, their children or elderly parents also had additional
14 obligations to maintain the family, to preserve the family because,
15 after all, life somehow focused on the woman of the family who stayed
16 at home. It was very hard to take care of children, to worry about
17 food or one's husband, to worry whether he will come home alive and to
18 keep in touch, but I think that the women of Sarajevo managed and made
19 a crucial contribution to the survival of the city.
20 Q. Were there special problems associated with caring for the elderly
21 that remained in the city during the siege?
22 A. Yes, many elderly people were alone, and for their most essential
23 needs we organised segments of the civil protection or the young men
24 and women who were not on duty to supply them with water, to bring
25 them food, to provide medical care for the elderly, to respond to
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 359 to 365.
1 their complaints when they were not feeling well, because older people
2 under such circumstances could hardly go out. They simply could not
3 run across a street that was exposed to sniping. So they would not go
4 out at all, or if they were living on the sixth floor, the seventh
5 floor, if they go down and there is no lift operating they cannot get
6 back. So that older people did not leave their apartments for months
7 on end. Then we would organise through these local medical
8 institutions visits to these elderly people when they would take their
9 blood pressure, do the necessary medical check-ups every few months or
10 every few weeks for the ailing, to provide preventative care against
11 other diseases which, due to malnutrition and the poor quality of the
12 treatment, the risk of such diseases was increased during the siege.
13 Many elderly people died, not from shelling or sniping, but simply
14 because the medical protection under those conditions declined. They
15 died of natural causes, but certainly many of them much sooner than
16 they would have done if it had not been for such conditions.
17 Therefore, in addition to these 12,000 victims of sniping and
18 shelling, 4,500 people died of natural causes, but even that "natural"
19 should be in quotation marks because certainly they would have lived
20 longer under normal conditions.
21 Q. Did the citizens of Sarajevo encounter any difficulties with burying
22 the dead?
23 A. Yes, that was one of the ugliest, the darkest things because to bury
24 one's dead -- the burial of dead was also a target of sniping and
25 shelling. Many people would get wounded and then we would postpone to
1 night time the funerals or special places where we organised temporary
2 cemeteries to protect the participants attending such funeral rights.
3 Q. Could we have the lights lowered, please, and if we could have
4 Exhibit 159, 3081, shown on the screen, please? Sir, do you recognise
5 this photograph?
6 A. Yes. It is a small cemetery next to a garage made of concrete. You
7 can see parts of the fence of that garage which provided some
8 protection from sniping and shelling. To the right is a park which is
9 exposed to sniping and which throughout the period from the beginning
10 of the siege served also for local farming. So that on the same spot
11 were remnants of this large garage, a cemetery for 30 or 40 people
12 buried during the night or early in the morning when one expected it
13 would be peaceful, and at night at 10 or 20 metres from this spot
14 onions were raised or other vegetables for elementary survival. This
15 is in Dobrinja.
16 Q. Sir, are you aware of what happened when people actually tried to
17 bury people in this particular narrow plot of land?
18 A. Yes, once the funeral was at 10 p.m. and just as the people had got
19 together they started firing from several hundred metres away, the
20 barracks, Karadzic's Serbs started firing. Then people ran away and
21 the body was left there, and then after midnight they came back to
22 complete the burial ceremony. Later on these burials were carried out
23 at 2 after midnight, at 2 o'clock in the morning, a very strange time
24 but the safest for 50 or 100 people that could come to pay their last
25 respects to a neighbour or relative who had been killed. Of course,
1 these are all mixed inhabitants, and there are both Orthodox and
2 Catholic tombs lying one next to the other.
3 Q. Thank you. When did the refugees first start coming to Sarajevo?
4 A. The first refugees started coming in April 1992 from the small
5 villages or suburbs of Sarajevo where they were the victims of
6 so-called ethnic cleansing by the Serbs. So they came either into the
7 centre of the city or some went elsewhere to the other side of the
8 siege towards central Bosnia.
9 Q. Did the influx of refugees create additional problems for the city of
11 A. Of course, the refugees came to Sarajevo not because they wanted to
12 be refugees or because they wanted to come to Sarajevo, because the
13 conditions of life in Sarajevo were such that it was no good for the
14 inhabitants and still worse for refugees coming without anything, and
15 often bringing a wounded member of the family with them. However,
16 that too was a way to survive. Most of the refugees came from eastern
17 Bosnia, from Foca, Rogatica, Visegrad and other localities a lot
18 closer to Serbia and also from eastern Herzegovina, from parts which
19 were ethnically cleansed of all non-Serbs.
20 Q. When did the siege finally end?
21 A. The siege ended in mid-March this year, when Ilidza was reintegrated,
22 when the road from Sarajevo towards Mostar and Tuzla was opened, that
23 is towards the outside world.
24 Q. So how long did the entire siege last?
25 A. Somebody used the 5th or 6th April as the date of the beginning of
1 the siege when the fighting started, but that siege was not as yet
2 complete. It was complete as of May 2nd 1992, because until May 2nd
3 the last bus and the last local train left Sarajevo from the Sarajevo
4 railway station to a nearby station. So that from May 1992 until March
5 '96, almost four years, that was the duration of the siege.
6 Q. Sir, in your opinion did the political and military leaders of
7 Karadzic's Serbs know what was happening to the civilians in Sarajevo
8 as a result of the siege?
9 A. Of course they did.
10 Q. What is the basis for your opinion?
11 A. The tactics of besieging Sarajevo was adjusted on the one hand to the
12 international situation, the pressure brought to bear on them by the
13 international community, and on the other side to the situation in the
14 city. This stifling of the city was constantly -- there was a
15 dosage. It was greater or lesser so as to show during those four
16 years that the city was under the full control and left at the mercy
17 of the army of Karadzic's Serbs.
18 MR. BOWERS: Thank you. Your Honours, it would be impossible, and indeed
19 presumptuous of the Prosecutor's Office, to attempt to truly recreate
20 what daily life was in Sarajevo, but what we have done is we have put
21 together a brief montage collection of some of the video clips, film
22 clips we have collected as evidence. With the Court's permission, we
23 would like to end the day with showing that montage of life in
24 Sarajevo. If we could have the lights dimmed.
25 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Perhaps, counsel, we could just briefly see how we
1 are going to proceed. I do not know what your plans are in terms of
2 the Mayor of Sarajevo. Could he stay till tomorrow morning because it
3 is now 5.30 and you are going to show us this montage and thereafter I
4 assume my fellow Judges and myself would like to put a number of
5 questions to the witness? Can the witness remain without any
6 difficulties in The Hague this evening?
7 MR. BOWERS: Absolutely, your Honour. We have made provisions for that.
8 We could have questions tomorrow with any follow-up that the Court
10 THE PRESIDING JUDGE: Fine. Well, on that understanding then, I think we
11 are going to adjourn and we shall resume tomorrow morning at 10
12 o'clock. Thank you very much.
13 (5.30 p.m.)
14 (The hearing adjourned until the following day)