1 Monday, 13 March 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [Prosecution Opening Statement]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good
7 morning, ladies and gentlemen. I hope that the
8 interpreters can hear me. Good morning also to the
9 technicians; good morning to counsel for the
10 Prosecution, for the Defence; good morning, General
11 Krstic. Good morning also to the public, who is also
12 going to participate in this hearing.
13 I wish to stress that the hearings are public
14 before this International Criminal Tribunal. We will
15 now be acting in accordance with Rule 84 of our Rules
16 of Procedure and Evidence.
17 I would now like to ask Mr. Dubuisson to call
18 the case.
19 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case number
20 IT-98-33-T, Prosecutor versus Radislav Krstic.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
22 very much, Mr. Dubuisson. Could I have the appearances
23 for the Prosecution please, Mr. Harmon.
24 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President;
25 good morning, Your Honours; good morning, counsel. I
1 am assisted this morning and will be throughout the
2 trial by my colleagues. To my right, Mr. Peter
3 McCloskey; and to his right, Mr. Andrew Cayley; and to
4 my left, Ms. Kirsten Keith. Thank you.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
6 very much, Mr. Harmon. Could I have the appearances
7 for the Defence, Mr. Petrusic, please.
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
9 Mr. President; good morning, Your Honours; good morning
10 also to my learned colleagues from the Prosecution.
11 My name is Nenad Petrusic, I am representing
12 General Radislav Krstic, together with my colleague, my
13 co-counsel Mr. Tomislav Visnjic. Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
15 Mr. Petrusic. We're now going to open the present
16 case, and as I have already stated, I will give the
17 floor to Mr. Harmon for the opening statement.
18 Mr. Harmon, you have the floor.
19 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Again, good morning, Your Honours.
21 Following the conquest of the UN safe area of
22 Srebrenica by the Bosnian Serb army in July of 1995,
23 the victors abandoned all semblance of humanity and
24 committed atrocities of a type and on a scale not seen
25 since the Second World War.
1 Over a period of about five days, thousands
2 of Bosnian Muslim civilians and Bosnian Muslim
3 soldiers, who had laid down their arms, were
4 systematically murdered by members of the Bosnian Serb
6 This is a case about the triumph of evil, a
7 story about how officers and soldiers of the Bosnian
8 Serb army, men who professed to be professional
9 soldiers, men who professed to represent the ideals of
10 a distinguished and Serbian past organised, planned,
11 and willingly participated in genocide or stood silent
12 in the face of it. The authors of these foul deeds
13 have left a legacy that has stained the reputation of
14 the Serbian people and has disgraced ...
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
16 Mr. Harmon, for this interruption, but I think that
17 General Krstic cannot follow us.
18 General Krstic, can you hear me now?
19 THE ACCUSED: Yes.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Okay.
21 Thank you very much.
22 I'm sorry, Mr. Harmon, for this
23 interruption. Please continue.
24 MR. HARMON: I was saying these particular
25 deeds have disgraced honourable profession of arms.
1 In their wake, they murdered thousands of
2 defenceless men and boys and shattered the lives of
3 generations of Bosnians.
4 The only way to attempt to eradicate this
5 stain and to deliver justice to the victims of this
6 tragedy is to expose the individual criminal
7 responsibility of those persons who perpetrated and
8 assisted in the commission of these heinous crimes.
9 The Prosecutor in this trial will prove the
10 criminal responsibility of one of those individuals,
11 General Radislav Krstic.
12 Now, let me put the events described in the
13 indictment in the proper historical context of the war
14 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I'm going to do so in a
15 cursory fashion, because I intend to introduce into
16 evidence the report of the Secretary-General on
17 Srebrenica and copies of all the relevant resolutions
18 relating to the conflict.
19 The Secretary-General's report sets forth in
20 great detail a description of the events and the UN
21 responses to them.
22 The former Yugoslavia was a federal state.
23 It was comprised of six republics and two autonomous
24 provinces. In late June of 1991, Yugoslavia began to
25 disintegrate and a succession of wars was fought first
1 in the Republic of Slovenia and then in the Republic of
2 Croatia as the governments of those republics declared
3 their independence. On the 6th of March, 1992, the
4 government of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
5 declared its independence and a wide-scale war ensued.
6 As in Croatia, the federal army of
7 Yugoslavia, the JNA, fought alongside rebel Serb forces
8 in order to secure territories declared to be part of
9 newly emerging self-proclaimed Serbian entities.
10 The Bosnian Serbs led by Dr. Radovan Karadzic
11 were supported politically and militarily by rump
12 Yugoslavia's government, which was in the hands of
13 Slobodan Milosevic.
14 Because of the combined military superiority
15 of the JNA, paramilitary and police forces from Serbia
16 proper, and Bosnian Serb forces, large areas within
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the newly sovereign state,
18 quickly seized and fell under the control of the Serb
20 The military operations of the entities
21 involved were coordinated and systematic, and by the
22 end of 1992, this campaign resulted in the deaths or
23 forced displacement of approximately two million
24 non-Serbs who had been perceived to be a threat to the
25 creation of an ethnically homogenous Serb-dominated
2 The Security Council of the United Nations
3 adopted a series of resolutions for the purposes of
4 establishing peace commencing with Resolution 713,
5 which implemented an arms embargo on the delivery of
6 weapons and military equipment to Yugoslavia. This
7 resolution, however, had negative ramifications and
8 simply cemented the military imbalance between a
9 well-armed JNA and rebel forces on one side and the
10 poorly-armed forces opposing them.
11 However, as a result of international
12 pressure, the JNA was required to withdraw from Bosnia
13 by the 19th of May, 1992. The actual withdrawal was
14 deceptive as, in reality, substantial numbers of JNA
15 personnel and significant amounts of war materiel were
16 left behind in Bosnian Serb hands. The resulting
17 vacuum was seamlessly filled by the nascent Bosnian
18 Serb army known as the army of Republika Srpska. Its
19 commander, a JNA serving officer by the name of Ratko
20 Mladic, who in 1991 had commanded the JNA units
21 actively supporting Serbian territorial claims in
22 Croatia, took over command of this entity. Many other
23 officers of the JNA, including the accused, Radislav
24 Krstic, became members of the VRS, and I'll be
25 referring to the army of Republika Srpska as "VRS"
1 throughout my remarks.
2 The VRS was the blunt instrument of a
3 political agenda that had as its goal the creation of
4 an ethnically-pure independent Bosnian Serb entity
5 within Bosnia and Herzegovina that would eventually
6 unite with Serbia, Montenegro, and the breakaway
7 republic of Serbian Krajina in Croatia to form a
8 Greater Serbia. Non-Serbs were ethnically cleansed
9 from the territories occupied by the VRS in a
10 systematic and well-organised fashion.
11 Now, let me turn my attention to the events
12 in the Srebrenica area from the outset of the war, and
13 let me first begin by locating for you where the
14 municipality of Srebrenica is in Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina. My assistant has placed on the ELMO for
16 your viewing a map of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and on
17 the right-hand side, you can see, marked in yellow, the
18 municipality of Srebrenica. I see Mr. Dubuisson is
19 handing to you as well hard copies of the items that
20 I'm going to be referring to throughout my opening
22 Srebrenica, according to the 1991 census, was
23 a predominantly Muslim municipality, with 75 per cent
24 of the population being Bosnian Muslims and 25 per cent
25 being Serbs. Despite their numerical superiority at
1 the beginning of the war, the Muslims in the Srebrenica
2 municipality were expelled from their homes and
3 subjected to inhumane treatment by members of Bosnian
4 Serb armed formations. Muslims were driven from their
5 homes, many Bosniaks were murdered, and many other
6 homes burned to the ground.
7 However, the Bosnian Muslims reorganised
8 themselves and took initiatives to reclaim the town of
9 Srebrenica. In May 1992, they succeeded in this
10 endeavour and continued to attempt to expand control of
11 the territory around Srebrenica and were eventually
12 able to link up with Zepa, a town to the south of
13 Srebrenica. During this period of the conflict,
14 Bosnian Serb civilians suffered. Many were killed,
15 many were driven from their homes, and Bosnian Serb
16 homes were destroyed. On the 7th of January, 1993,
17 Serbian Orthodox Christmas, the village of Kravica was
18 attacked by elements from Srebrenica, and according to
19 Serb sources, many civilians were killed.
20 The events at Kravica galvanised the Bosnian
21 Serb military resolve to extinguish the military threat
22 that was in the enclave, and a Bosnian Serb
23 counter-offensive ensued. The counter-offensive was
24 swift, effective, and brutal. As a result, Bosnian
25 Muslim villages were overrun and tens of thousands of
1 Bosnian Muslims sought refuge in and around the
2 besieged town of Srebrenica. The plight of these
3 refugees became desperate as there was inadequate
4 shelter and food for them.
5 With the attention of the world focused on
6 the plight of these refugees and the siege of
7 Srebrenica, General Morillon, the French UNPROFOR
8 commander in Bosnia, arrived to the besieged town on
9 the 11th of March, 1993, and he told the people of
10 Srebrenica that he would not abandon them. Now, this
11 dramatic promise was captured on film and was aired
12 throughout the world.
13 About a month later, Bosnian Serb commanders
14 threatened to enter Srebrenica, and three days later,
15 on the 16th of April, 1993, the Security Council,
16 acting pursuant to Chapter VII of its Charter, adopted
17 Resolution 819. This resolution demanded that the
18 parties treat Srebrenica as a safe area which should be
19 free from any armed attack, and demanded the immediate
20 withdrawal of Bosnian Serb forces from the area around
22 Two days later, the 18th of April, 1993, an
23 agreement was signed between the commander of the
24 Bosnian Serb forces, General Ratko Mladic, and the
25 commander of the Bosnia government forces, General
1 Halilovic. Under the terms of this agreement,
2 Srebrenica was to be demilitarised and UNPROFOR troops
3 were permitted to be deployed into the area. On the
4 8th of May, a more comprehensive agreement was signed
5 by these two Generals covering both the Srebrenica
6 enclave and the Zepa enclave.
7 Now, as a result of these agreements,
8 enclaves were created, and if I could have my assistant
9 place on the ELMO a map, I will show Your Honours where
10 those enclaves were in Bosnia. You'll see from this
11 exhibit, there are three enclaves; the Srebrenica
12 enclave, the Zepa enclave, and the Gorazde enclave, all
13 located in the eastern part of Bosnia and all located
14 within territory controlled by the Republika Srpska.
15 Now, as a result of these events that I have
16 described, Mr. President and Your Honours, the
17 situation in Srebrenica stabilised.
18 On the 18th of April, a small contingent of
19 UNPROFOR soldiers from Canada entered Srebrenica, and
20 their task initially was to oversee the
21 demilitarisation of the town of Srebrenica. They
22 remained deployed in Srebrenica until January of 1994
23 when they were replaced by elements of the Dutch
25 Following these resolutions and agreements,
1 an uneasy calm came over the Srebrenica enclave.
2 However, the enclave itself was never fully
3 demilitarised, and an armed unit of the army of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina remained in it, making forays out of
5 the enclave and attacking Serb targets in order to
6 acquire food and ammunition. Because of the military
7 threat that was posed by the presence of an armed unit
8 within the heart of the Republika Srpska, valuable
9 military assets of the VRS that were needed elsewhere
10 in the war were frozen around the enclave in order to
11 contain the perceived threat that was within the
13 By 1995, the tide of war had changed, it had
14 shifted against the VRS, and the valuable military
15 assets that were frozen around this enclave were needed
16 elsewhere. Therefore, a decision was taken at the
17 highest political and military levels within the
18 Republika Srpska to attack the safe areas. Thereafter,
19 a military plan to attack Srebrenica, code named
20 "Operation Krivaja 95" was prepared by General Krstic
21 and others. It envisioned attacking the enclave
22 through the south.
23 On the 6th of July, 1995, Operation
24 Krivaja 95 commenced and five days later the town of
25 Srebrenica was captured. I'm going to go into greater
1 detail about that attack later, but I want to turn my
2 attention now to the accused and tell you about him.
3 General Krstic is a career soldier who at the
4 time of the crimes described in the indictment was a
5 capable and experienced senior officer who was trained
6 in and familiar with his responsibilities and
7 obligations under international law during the time of
9 General Krstic was born on 15th February,
10 1948 in the municipality of Vlasenica. He was educated
11 in military academies in Sarajevo and in Belgrade, and
12 after he graduated he was commissioned an officer and
13 held a series of positions in the JNA.
14 His first assignment was to the Centre of
15 Military Schools in Sarajevo, where he served from 1972
16 until 1981. Thereafter, he was sent to the General
17 Staff Academy in Belgrade and from there he was
18 transferred to Kosovo where he held a number of command
19 and staff positions. At the time he left the JNA, he
20 held the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.
21 Now, after the war started in Bosnia, the
22 accused, like many other officers of the JNA, joined
23 the VRS. The accused became a brigade commander of
24 the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade which was part of
25 the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. In November of 1992, this
1 unit became part of the Drina Corps, and the accused
2 remained its commander until September of 1994, when he
3 assume the concurrent post of Chief of Staff and Deputy
4 Commander of the Drina Corps.
5 On the 29th of December, 1994, the accused
6 stepped on an anti-personnel mine which resulted in a
7 serious injury to his leg, part of which was
8 amputated. Following his recovery and his
9 rehabilitation, he returned and re-assumed his post as
10 Chief of Staff/Deputy Commander of the Drina Corps. In
11 May of 1995, he was promoted to the rank of
12 General-Major in the VRS.
13 Now, our evidence in this case will show that
14 on the 13th of July, 1995, General Krstic issued orders
15 under the title of Commander of the Drina Corps, and
16 his subordinate units accepted and implemented those
17 orders. Moreover, on the 14th of July, 1995, General
18 Krstic's appointment as commander of the Drina Corps
19 was formalised by the Supreme Commander of the VRS,
20 Dr. Radovan Karadzic. This formal appointment became
21 effective the day after it was issued.
22 General Krstic remained the commander of the
23 Drina Corps until the 21st of November, 1995, when he
24 was then sent to the School of National Defence in
25 Belgrade where he remained until September of 1996. In
1 that same month, he became the Chief Inspector of the
3 In 1998, General Krstic was appointed to the
4 rank of Lieutenant Colonel-General, which is the
5 equivalent rank of a two-star General in the United
6 States army or the British army. At the time of his
7 arrest by SFOR forces, General Krstic was the commander
8 of the VRS 5th Corps.
9 Now, Your Honours, I'd like to turn briefly
10 to describe for you the structure of the VRS and
11 identify some of the personalities about whom you'll be
12 hearing about during the course of this trial.
13 The JNA had been one of the most professional
14 armies in Eastern Europe, and after its departure, the
15 VRS retained its basic structures.
16 So if I could have my assistant put on the
17 board the first exhibit I'd like to show you. Your
18 Honours should have a small copy of this in front of
20 This, as you can see --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel,
23 MR. HARMON: This, as you can see, is the VRS
24 Main Staff structure. The Commander-in-Chief, the
25 Supreme Commander, was Dr. Radovan Karadzic. He's not
1 shown on this. But directly subordinate to him was
2 General Ratko Mladic, who was the Commander of the Main
3 Staff. And the command from the Main Staff went
4 directly to subordinate corps which are identified at
5 the bottom, and you will see in the middle the Drina
6 Corps with the commander being General Krstic. And
7 you'll see this chart has been populated by individuals
8 who have been identified in other responsible positions
9 of command. Now, this chart reflects the structure at
10 or about the 13th of July, 1993.
11 Now, in addition to the direct chain of
12 command flowing from General Mladic to the corps,
13 General Mladic also had a staff at the Main Staff over
14 which he had command. I'd like to identify for you
15 some of the individuals who you'll be hearing about
16 throughout the course of this trial.
17 You will notice in the middle under "Staff
18 Branches," where I am pointing, the name Lieutenant
19 Colonel Ljubisa Beara. Colonel Beara was the Chief of
20 Security for the Security Administration of the Main
21 Staff. You'll be hearing a lot about this man
22 throughout this trial. Another individual about whom
23 you will be hearing is
24 Colonel Jankovic, who was the Assistant Chief of
25 Intelligence Operations for the Intelligence
1 Administration of the Main Staff, and you'll be seeing
2 film footage with Colonel Jankovic during the course of
3 this trial.
4 Now I'm going to show Your Honours another
5 chart, and it will reflect the structure and
6 personalities of the Drina Corps at or about the time
7 of the 13th of July, 1993.
8 Now, Your Honours, coming down from the Main
9 Staff command, from General Mladic, was the Drina
10 Corps, and the commander of the Drina Corps, on or
11 about the 13th of July was General Krstic. He had
12 direct command over his subordinate units which are
13 found at the bottom of this chart, and you will see
14 these are various brigades, the Zvornik Brigade, the
15 Bratunac Brigade, and the like. You will be hearing
16 the names of some of the people who populate this
17 particular exhibit. For example, you will be hearing
18 the name Colonel Vinko Pandurovic. Colonel Pandurovic
19 was the commander of the Zvornik Brigade. And you will
20 be hearing about his assistant Major Dragan Obrenvic,
21 who was his Chief of Staff. You will be hearing some
22 of these other names who were the brigade commanders
23 throughout this trial as well.
24 Your Honours, like the Main Staff, the corps
25 had a staff of its own, and General Krstic had command
1 over the people within his staff. You're going to be
2 hearing a number of these names as well throughout the
4 Let me start with Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic,
5 who was the Assistant Commander for Security. Let me
6 continue with the name Lieutenant-Colonel Kosoric who
7 was the Chief of Intelligence. His assistant, Major
8 Pavle Golic. You will be hearing about Lazar Acimovic,
9 who was the assistant for rear services. You will be
10 hearing the names of, as well, other people who are
11 identified throughout this particular chart.
12 Now, Mr. President and Your Honours, in
13 addition to the structure, the military rules and
14 regulations and doctrines of the JNA were also adopted
15 by the VRS. There was neither the time nor the
16 inclination to reinvent the wheel, if you will.
17 The central tenent of the VRS and the JNA was
18 the concept of senior and superior command, which meant
19 that members of the army were obliged to execute orders
20 of a superior officer, unquestionably, completely, and
21 on time. The only exception to this principle was
22 found in the Laws Governing the Conduct of War, which
23 both the former Yugoslavia and the Republika Srpska had
25 On the 13th of May, 1992, General Radovan
1 Karadzic signed an order obligating the VRS to apply
2 and to respect the international laws of war including
3 treaties signed and ratified by the Socialist Federal
4 Republic of Yugoslavia, Customary International Laws of
5 War, and the General Accepted Principles of
6 International Laws of War. Under the terms of this
7 decree, commanders of all units and members of the VRS
8 were required to abide by these rules and every
9 superior officer was duty-bound to initiate legal
10 proceedings against individuals who violated these
12 Let me give you an example of one such
13 regulation. I'm referring to paragraph 21 of the
14 Instructions on the Application of the International
15 Laws of War on the Armed Forces. This rule states and
16 I will quote:
17 "An officer shall be personally liable for
18 breaches of the Rules of the Laws of War if he knew or
19 should have known that units subordinate to him or
20 other units or individuals were planning the commission
21 of such breaches and at the time, when it had been
22 still possible to prevent their commission, failed to
23 take the measures to prevent such breaches.
24 "The officer will also be held personally
25 liable who, aware that breaches of the rules of law had
1 been committed, fails to institute disciplinary or
2 criminal proceedings against the offender or if
3 instituting the proceedings does not fall into his
4 purview, fails to report the breach to the superior
5 officer in charge."
6 The similarities of this rule to our Statute
7 are quite obvious.
8 Interestingly, paragraph 20 of this same
9 document states, and I quote:
10 "Perpetrators of such criminal acts may also
11 answer before an international court if such a court
12 has been established."
13 From his military education and from the
14 rules and regulations of both the JNA and VRS, there is
15 no doubt that General Krstic was fully aware of his
16 obligations under international law. He chose instead
17 to violate, with impunity, every fundamental duty
18 imposed upon him as an officer and as a commander, and
19 that is the reason he sits before you today in
21 Turning now to the indictment that Your
22 Honours have before you. We have charged General
23 Krstic with eight counts. One count of genocide, one
24 count of the complicity to commit genocide, five counts
25 of crimes against humanity, and one count of a
1 violation of the laws and customs of war.
2 All of the acts described in the indictment
3 occurred within the Drina Corps area of responsibility,
4 the area that was under the command of General Krstic,
5 and all of these acts relate to the events that
6 occurred during and after the fall of the UN safe area
7 of Srebrenica, acts which resulted in the ethnic
8 cleansing of the Bosnian Muslims from the Srebrenica
10 The counts of the indictment can be divided
11 into two broad categories. The first category is the
12 deportation and forcible transfer of an estimated
13 20.000 to 30.000 Muslims from the Srebrenica enclave by
14 members of the VRS on the 12th and 13th of July 1995.
15 The second broad category is the systematic, organised
16 mass murder of thousands of Muslim civilians and
17 soldiers who had laid down their arms by members of the
18 VRS. Most but not all of these executions occurred
19 between the 11th and the 17th of July, 1995.
20 Under Article 7(1) of our Statute, we have
21 charged General Krstic with committing, planning,
22 instigating, ordering or otherwise aiding and abetting
23 and the planning, preparation, or execution of these
25 We've also charged General Krstic, under
1 Article 7(3) of our Statute for failing to prevent his
2 subordinates from committing the crimes identified in
3 the indictment and for failing to punish them for
4 having done so.
5 The direct and circumstantial evidence that
6 we will present to Your Honours will prove beyond a
7 reasonable doubt both forms of this criminal
9 Now, during the course of this trial, you're
10 going to be confronted with a number of issues. The
11 first issue you're going to confront is when did
12 General Krstic become the commander of the Drina
13 Corps. Now, I've mentioned previously in my remarks
14 evidence that we will present that will demonstrate
15 that General Krstic was the commander of the Drina
16 Corps and exercised his authority as commander during
17 the relevant times of this indictment.
18 Another issue, Your Honours, that you're
19 going to confront is did the Bosnian Muslims leave the
20 Srebrenica enclave on the 12th and 13th of July
21 voluntarily or were they forcibly expelled and
22 deported. Our evidence, which I'm going to address
23 shortly, will describe how they were forcibly deported
24 and expelled from the enclave.
25 Another issue that you will face in this
1 trial and must decide is whether thousands of Bosnian
2 Muslim civilians were summarily executed by the VRS as
3 described in paragraph 24 of the indictment and whether
4 those acts constituted genocide. The evidence that
5 these large-scale murders occurred, as described in the
6 indictment, is overwhelming, and we assert that they
7 constituted genocide.
8 Another issue that you will decide in this
9 case is this: Did General Mladic take over exclusive
10 command of the Drina Corps and create a separate chain
11 of command that went around General Krstic for purposes
12 of committing genocide?
13 Now, in this regard, Your Honours, the High
14 Command case from the Nuremberg jurisprudence addressed
15 the question of whether or not a commander becomes
16 responsible for actions committed within his command,
17 pursuant to orders passed down independent of him. The
18 tribunal stated that under such conditions, the
19 commander had four choices: (1) he could issue an
20 order countermanding the order; (2) he could resign;
21 (3) he could sabotage the enforcement of the order
22 within a somewhat limited sphere; and (4) he could do
24 The tribunal went on to say, and I
25 quote: "Under basic principles of command authority
1 and responsibility, an officer who merely stands by
2 while his subordinates execute a criminal order of his
3 superiors which he knows is criminal violates a moral
4 obligation under international law. By doing nothing,
5 he cannot wash his hands of international
7 Our evidence will show that the crimes that
8 were committed by members in units of the VRS Main
9 Staff and the Drina Corps were crimes that were
10 committed jointly. These units were working together,
11 and General Krstic participated in and was fully aware
12 of these crimes when they were being committed and he
13 actively supported their commission.
14 Another issue that Your Honours will face in
15 this case is whether General Krstic was even aware of
16 these killings that are described in the indictment
17 during and after their commission. Our evidence is
18 going to show, Your Honours, that General Krstic was
19 fully aware of these killings while they were being
21 Those are some of the principal issues that
22 you'll face in this case and we'll be addressing
23 throughout this trial.
24 I would now like to return to the invasion of
25 the Srebrenica enclave by the VRS. As I mentioned to
1 you earlier, the invasion started on the 6th of July,
2 1995, and it included attacks on Dutch observation
3 posts that ringed the enclave. As a result of the VRS
4 attacks on these observation posts, Dutch soldiers
5 yielded their positions to the advancing VRS, and many
6 of them were taken hostage by the VRS and later
7 threatened with death if the airstrikes being conducted
8 by NATO continued.
9 Between the 6th of July and the 11th of July,
10 the invasion into the enclave proceeded in fits and
11 starts. The VRS advance met little or no resistance
12 from armed Bosnian elements from within the enclave, or
13 from UNPROFOR soldiers. During the advance into the
14 enclave, soldiers of the VRS systematically burned
15 Muslim homes.
16 Now, as the VRS soldiers advanced into the
17 enclave, the Muslim inhabitants panicked, they were
18 terror-stricken, and they fled to the town of
19 Srebrenica and gathered around the UN compound in
20 Srebrenica. On the 11th of July, the VRS shelled the
21 UN compound. They killed a number of Muslim refugees
22 within the compound and injured a number of them, and
23 this created absolute panic and terror among the
24 thousands of refugees who had gathered in and around
25 the town of Srebrenica. They were terrified, and as a
1 result they fled from the UN enclave in Srebrenica to
2 the UN base in Potocari, a distance of about three or
3 four kilometres.
4 During the course of this trial, we are going
5 to present to Your Honours video footage of these
6 events, and you'll see for yourselves the absolute
7 panic and despair of these people as they fled from
8 Srebrenica to Potocari. It was sheer pandemonium and
9 chaos. But by the morning of the 12th of July, 1995,
10 an estimated 20.000 to 30.000 refugees had arrived
11 around the enclave -- I'm sorry, around the UN compound
12 at Potocari.
13 We are also going to present video footage
14 for Your Honours that was taken on the 11th of July,
15 showing General Mladic, General Zivanovic, General
16 Krstic, and other high-ranking members of the VRS
17 triumphantly entering the deserted town of Srebrenica.
18 During their victory march, a Serb war correspondent
19 interviewed General Mladic, and in that interview,
20 General Mladic said, and I quote only a part of his
21 interview, "that the moment had finally come to take
22 revenge on the Turks here." By "Turks," he meant the
23 Muslims of Srebrenica. General Krstic was present in
24 Srebrenica with General Mladic when he made these
1 We will also present the testimony of
2 Mr. Drazen Erdemovic, who was a member of the 10th
3 Sabotage Detachment, an elite military unit that was a
4 part of the Main Staff. Mr. Erdemovic participated in
5 the invasion of the enclave and entered into the town
6 of Srebrenica itself on the 11th of July, 1995.
7 Mr. Erdemovic will describe to Your Honours the
8 cold-blooded execution of a military-aged, unarmed
9 Muslim who had been captured by his unit, and at the
10 order of his commanding officer, a member of the 10th
11 Sabotage Brigade killed the Muslim. This
12 killing portended the tragedy of things that were to
14 Mr. President and Your Honours, not all of
15 the Muslims who had fled, fled in the direction of
16 Potocari. Another group of approximately 15.000
17 Muslims fled in the direction of Jaglici and
18 Suesnjari. This group of people included members of
19 the armed military formations that were inside the
20 enclave; it included civilians; it included women; it
21 included children, and these people fled in the
22 direction of Tuzla, which is located on this map here
23 [indicates]. This was their ultimate destination.
24 Now, about a third of this column, the people in it had
25 light arms, they had rifles, and the object of this
1 particular indictment deals, in part, with --
2 [Technical difficulty]
3 MR. HARMON: There's a technical problem,
4 Mr. President, so I'll stop. Ready to proceed?
5 As I said, thousands of these people in the
6 column who had fled eventually surrendered or were
7 captured by the VRS and were later murdered.
8 On the evening of the 11th, when the column
9 had departed from the enclave, other significant events
10 occurred. There were two meetings that were held at
11 the Hotel Fontana in Bratunac. The first meeting
12 occurred at 8.30 in the evening, and its participants
13 included General Mladic, General Zivanovic, and Colonel
14 Karremans, who was the UNPROFOR Dutch commander. This
15 meeting was quite short, and at this meeting, General
16 Mladic insisted on knowing whether or not Colonel
17 Karremans had ordered airstrikes against his troops.
18 This was an intimidating meeting. You'll see full
19 footage of it. He also demanded that the Dutch
20 commander return at 11.00 that same evening with a
21 representative of the Muslim people, and we are going
22 to present to Your Honours video footage of that
23 meeting, and you'll see the context, the ambience, in
24 which this occurred.
25 Now, the second meeting did occur, it
1 occurred at 11.00. Colonel Karremans did, indeed,
2 return to the Hotel Fontana with members of his staff,
3 and he brought with him a man who was a representative
4 of the Muslim people, a teacher by profession, a man by
5 the name of Nesib Mandic. This particular meeting was
6 designed to intimidate Mr. Mandic and send a message to
7 the Muslims who were still within the enclave. At this
8 meeting, in front of Mr. Mandic was the town sign of
9 Srebrenica. Symbolically, it was broken.
10 During this meeting, General Mladic informed
11 Mr. Mandic that he wanted a clear position from
12 Mr. Mandic whether the Muslim people wanted to stay,
13 survive, or disappear. He demanded that the Muslims of
14 Srebrenica lay down their arms, and if they didn't do
15 so, he threatened their destruction.
16 Now, to reinforce the import of these remarks
17 and to increase the psychological terror on Mr. Mandic,
18 at the time that General Mladic was making these
19 remarks, a pig was being slaughtered outside the window
20 of this meeting, and its death cries could clearly be
21 heard. Sitting alongside General Mladic when those
22 menacing remarks were made was one of General Mladic's
23 principal subordinates, General Krstic.
24 At the conclusion of this meeting, General
25 Mladic insisted on another meeting the following
1 morning at 10.00, and he insisted that Muslim
2 representatives appear, and he was going to wait to
3 hear their decision. And we're going to present to
4 Your Honour the video footage of this second meeting.
5 The next morning, on the 12th of July,
6 Colonel Karremans and members of his staff returned to
7 the Hotel Fontana, and with them they had three Muslim
8 representatives, including Mr. Mandic. At this
9 meeting, General Mladic again threatened that the
10 Muslim people could either survive or disappear, and
11 once again, at his side when these remarks were made,
12 was the accused, General Krstic. General Mladic
13 insisted that members of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 surrender their arms, and then he informed the Muslim
15 representatives that the civilians within the enclave
16 could stay if they wanted, or they were free to leave.
17 The meeting didn't last long.
18 In the afternoon of the 12th of July, 50 or
19 60 buses and trucks arrived in Potocari and the
20 deportation began. Our evidence is going to show that
21 General Krstic played a central role in ordering and
22 coordinating the arrival of the buses that were to
23 deport the Muslims from the enclave. Our evidence will
24 also show that after the buses arrived, General Mladic,
25 General Krstic, and other high-ranking members of the
1 Drina Corps staff were in Potocari. Members of the VRS
2 included Lieutenant-Colonel Popovic, the Drina Corps
3 Assistant Commander for Security, and
4 Lieutenant-Colonel Momir Nikolic of the Intelligence
5 and Security Service of the Bratunac Brigade, again,
6 names you are going to be hearing throughout the course
7 of this trial.
8 Our evidence will show that in the period of
9 the 12th and 13th of July, members of the VRS
10 terrorised the refugees before they were expelled
11 thereby facilitating their removal from the enclave.
12 During the 12th and the 13th of July, members of the
13 VRS committed indescribable acts upon members of the
14 refugee community, including murdering them, raping
15 them, committing acts of mayhem on them. These
16 barbaric acts absolutely panicked the refugees, and
17 some of them became so desperate that they committed
18 suicide or attempted to do so.
19 As the refugees fled toward the buses, Muslim
20 men and boys were separated from their families and
21 detained in Potocari. The process of collecting the
22 victims had begun. Those who had been separated were
23 robbed, some were beaten, some were summarily executed
24 in Potocari. While these events were occurring,
25 members of the Main Staff and the Drina Corps were
1 present in Potocari. Following their separation from
2 their families, the men and the boys were forced onto
3 buses and they were driven from the enclave to distant
4 locations that their captors did not want the world to
6 This became obvious when DutchBat soldiers
7 who had been assigned to escort these buses on the
8 orders of their commanders, in order that no harm
9 befell the occupants of those buses, were
10 systematically stopped by the VRS. Their equipment was
11 taken, their vehicles were confiscated, and, as one
12 Dutch soldier was to remark later, "it was as though
13 they were trying to remove our eyes and our ears." In
14 retrospect, it is clear from these actions that the
15 Bosnian Serbs did not want anyone to interfere with
16 their genocidal plans.
17 The expulsion of all the Bosnian Muslims from
18 Potocari took a little over a day and was finished by
19 2000 hours on the 13th of July. During this period, an
20 estimated 20.000 to 30.000 Muslims were deported from
21 the enclave. However, a few Muslims did remain in the
22 enclave, hidden in and around their homes. They were
23 hunted down with dogs and they were slaughtered. The
24 grim reality for the Bosnian Muslims was that remaining
25 in Srebrenica was not an option.
1 One of the only Muslims who was permitted to
2 remain in the enclave after the deportations were
3 completed was Mr. Nesib Mandic, the representative I
4 previously mentioned. He remained sequestered in the
5 UN compound in Potocari. On the 17th of July, a
6 Bosnian Serb representative appeared at the UN compound
7 with a prepared declaration, and he insisted that
8 Mr. Mandic and a Dutch officer sign this declaration.
9 It was eventually signed under duress by Mr. Mandic and
10 Major Franken, a Dutch officer.
11 The declaration stated inter alia that the
12 meeting that had been held on the 12th of July was
13 convened at the request of the Muslim civilian
14 authorities, which was patently false. It asserted
15 that, and I quote: "The evacuation was carried out by
16 the Serb side correctly ... that there were no
17 incidents and that the Serbs had abided by the Geneva
18 Conventions and the international laws of war." The
19 declaration identified General Krstic as being present
20 at that meeting. This document was created solely for
21 propaganda purposes. In the days that followed, the
22 VRS and the Republika Srpska propaganda machines
23 attempted to shield their ugly crimes with this false
24 document. It was constantly referred to.
25 Now, Mr. President and Your Honours, I'd like
1 to turn my attention to another subject, and that is
2 the killings.
3 Our evidence will show that a minimum number
4 of 7.574 persons from Srebrenica are missing and
5 presumed dead as a result of the events that I've been
6 describing. Both members of the Bosnian army who were
7 armed and unarmed civilians within the column that was
8 fleeing in the direction of Tuzla were killed by Serb
9 gunners as the column advanced and fought its way
10 through Serb occupied territory. We don't know how
11 many people in this column were killed. The exact
12 number of those killed will never be known to us.
13 These people who were in the column and
14 killed as it advanced towards Tuzla are not, in the
15 legal sense, the victims of the crimes alleged in the
16 indictment. Our indictment, instead, focuses on the
17 fate of thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and boys who
18 were separated in Potocari and were captured by or
19 surrendered to the VRS after they fled from the enclave
20 on the 11th of July.
21 We will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that
22 they were systematically murdered by members of the VRS
23 who were under the command and control of the VRS Main
24 Staff and the accused. The manner in which these
25 people perished and the scale of this atrocity is truly
1 incomprehensible by every standard of humanity.
2 When the Office of the Prosecutor conducted
3 exhumations at various locations, including those
4 associated with killing sites identified in
5 paragraph 24 of the indictment, we found the mortal
6 remains of 1.866 victims. The remains of another
7 estimated 2.571 victims are believed to be in grave
8 sites that have been probed by the Office of the
9 Prosecutor but not yet completely exhumed. In
10 addition, other grave sites remain to be located.
11 In the course of conducting these
12 exhumations, we found a number of pieces of
13 identifications on the bodies confirming that the
14 deceased were from Srebrenica. I'm going to ask my
15 assistant to place an example of one such piece of
16 identification that we found on the ELMO.
17 You will see, Mr. President and Your Honours,
18 there is a name of this individual, the name
19 Srebrenica. The town of Srebrenica is located at the
20 bottom left-hand side of this document. This
21 individual is an individual who is identified as
22 missing on the ICRC list.
23 Now, we also found, in the course of our
24 exhumations, photographs on some of the victims. I'm
25 going to ask my assistant to place one such photograph
1 on the ELMO. Will you lower it, please. Thank you.
2 These artefacts that we found are poignant
3 reminders of happy moments long past. It's images like
4 these, like this one on the ELMO, that touch our
5 humanity and remind us that the victims of these crimes
6 include the living as well as the dead.
7 Now, let me tell you what else we found. We
8 found blindfolds like this. Indeed, Mr. President and
9 Your Honours, this particular blindfold that I am
10 showing you is a blindfold -- is this blindfold that is
11 found on this person who we discovered in a grave site
12 in Kozluk. His hands were bound. He was blindfolded
13 like many of the other individuals who were pulled out
14 of this particular grave site and out of countless
15 others that we exhumed.
16 Contrary, Mr. President and Your Honours, to
17 the VRS and the Republika Srpska propaganda, these
18 individuals were not the collateral casualties of
19 battle. They were people who were liquidated as part
20 of the genocidal plan perpetrated by the VRS against
21 the Muslim population of Srebrenica. These cowardly
22 acts were planned and meticulously organised and
23 executed by members of the VRS Main Staff and members
24 of the Drina Corps in a joint operation that lasted for
25 several days. They weren't simple military operations
1 but actions that involved extensive planning and
2 coordination at a time when active combat was occurring
3 in the Drina Corps area of responsibility, particularly
4 in the Zvornik area.
5 Most but not all of the mass execution sites
6 are located in the Zvornik area. Those sites include
7 the Branjevo Military Farm, Pilica, the Dam, Orahovac,
8 and you can see that these sites are located far away
9 from the enclave in Srebrenica. Not all of the mass
10 execution sites were located so far away.
11 You will be hearing evidence about a mass
12 execution that took place at the Kravica warehouse,
13 very close to the enclave and very close to the town of
14 Bratunac where the meetings with General Mladic and
15 General Krstic occurred. You will be hearing about a
16 mass execution site that occurred in the Cerska Valley,
17 but the bulk, the majority of the mass executions took
18 place far to the north.
19 Now, I'd like for Your Honours to consider
20 for a moment what was required to conduct an operation
21 of this scale. First, it involved the issuing, the
22 transmitting, and the dissemination of orders to all
23 units that participated in the movement, the killing,
24 the burial, and the reburial of the victims. It
25 involved the assembling of a sufficient number of
1 vehicles and buses, trucks, to transport the thousands
2 of victims from the location of their capture and
3 surrender to detention centres that were located near
4 the execution sites. It involved obtaining fuel for
5 these vehicles, and one must bear in mind that at the
6 time there was a fuel embargo and that fuel was
7 extremely precious.
8 This operation involved providing guards and
9 security for each of the vehicles that moved north
10 toward the killing sites. It involved identifying
11 detention centres that were secure enough and in close
12 proximity to the execution fields. It involved
13 providing secure routes for prisoner convoys. It
14 involved obtaining sufficient numbers of blindfolds and
15 ligatures so these prisoners could be bound before they
16 were executed. It involved obtaining sufficient men to
17 secure the actual detention facilities themselves, to
18 guard the prisoners for the days or for the hours that
19 they were kept there before they were executed. It
20 required obtaining transportation to take the prisoners
21 from the detention facilities to the killing sites
22 themselves. It required obtaining the killing squads,
23 organising the killing squads, and arming the killing
25 This operation required, as well, the
1 requisitioning and transportation of heavy-duty
2 equipment necessary to dig the large mass graves, and
3 it required men to bury the thousands of victims who we
4 were later to discover.
5 It also required, Mr. President and Your
6 Honours, preparing and coordinating propaganda from the
7 Drina Corps and at all levels of military and political
8 establishment in order for the Republika Srpska to
9 attempt to refute the well-founded claims that
10 atrocities had taken place.
11 These extermination operations involved the
12 cooperation, knowledge, and participation of countless
13 members of the army. They were known to the civilian
14 population. General Krstic was fully aware of these
15 plans, and he and his subordinates actively assisted in
16 them, even though the evidence may show that General
17 Krstic was, at times, in the area of Zepa conducting a
18 military operation to take over that particular safe
20 Now, when it became apparent, Mr. President
21 and Your Honours, that the International Community was
22 aware that thousands of Muslims were missing and had
23 been executed, General Krstic and his colleagues, units
24 under his command, persons under his command, engaged
25 in a systematic effort to cover up their crimes. What
1 they did was they went back to their original killing
2 fields. Many of the victims of these mass executions
3 were buried at the sites where they had been executed.
4 In September, in that area, these locations
5 were dug up and the bodies from these various locations
6 were transferred a considerable distance to these
7 remote and isolated locations on the Cancari road and
8 the Hodzici road.
9 There are a number of secondary grave sites.
10 We have visited those grave sites, and we have
11 conducted exhumations of some of those gave sites, and
12 Your Honours will also see aerial images of the
13 cover-up in progress.
14 Now, let me show you, Mr. President and Your
15 Honours, a photograph. This is a photograph,
16 Mr. President and Your Honours, that was taken at the
17 Kozluk site. Again, we conducted an exhumation at this
18 site. The earth that was on these bodies originally
19 was taken off, and you will see this photograph
20 illustrates how clumsy and inept they were when they
21 attempted to cover up their crimes.
22 This large trough is a mark caused by an
23 earth digger that was used by the VRS to pull out the
24 bodies. Obviously, as you can see here in this
25 photograph, they missed a significant number of those
1 bodies. They also severed some of the bodies. But our
2 evidence will show that this was part of the effort to
3 cover up the crimes.
4 Now, you'll also note in this picture, and
5 you'll have an opportunity later to study it, but a
6 number of these people have their hands behind their
8 When Your Honours consider the scale and the
9 coordination and the planning of these reburial
10 efforts, it will be apparent to Your Honours that
11 General Krstic was fully aware of this and that this
12 operation required significant logistical support and
14 Now, Mr. President and Your Honours, since
15 one of the issues in this case is whether there were
16 executions that took place at all, particularly those
17 identified in paragraph 24 of the indictment, I'd like
18 to summarise briefly for you some of the evidence that
19 we're going to present in respect of those specific
21 I'd like to turn first, Mr. President, to the
22 execution that occurred at the Kravica warehouse. Now,
23 this execution, our evidence will show, took place on
24 the 13th of July, 1995.
25 Kravica is located near -- let me show you.
1 When the column left in the direction of Tuzla, it fled
2 from the village of Susnjari, and it attempted to make
3 its way in the direction that I'm using my pointer to
4 indicate. The road that you see on this illustration
5 is a road that was ringed with elements of the VRS and
6 other units, and the column had extreme difficulty in
7 penetrating in this iron of steel that was ringing
8 their escape route. Many thousands of Bosnian Muslims
9 surrendered to the VRS at these locations along the
10 road, and they were collected and they were gathered at
11 various sites, including a football field and the
13 A significant number of the people who had
14 been captured and who had surrendered were taken to an
15 agricultural facility located in Kravica, and at this
16 particular location, the individuals were jammed into
17 that particular agricultural facility when the facility
18 itself -- parts of that facility were fully packed, the
19 VRS soldiers opened fire on the people who were inside
20 that facility.
21 I put on the ELMO, for your viewing, a
22 portion of the facade of this particular facility, and
23 you can see the pockmarks of heavy machine-gun fire
24 that was directed into the facility. In addition,
25 grenades were thrown into the facility, and all but a
1 few people in that facility were killed.
2 The few survivors who remained, some of them
3 cried out for help. They were summarily executed. And
4 from this particular episode, only three persons are
5 shown to have survived. Two of them will testify
6 before you. They will testify, among other things,
7 that after these killings took place, heavy equipment
8 arrived at the scene and started to take these people,
9 these victims, these bodies, and bury them. They were
10 buried, many of them, at a location, Glogova, that I'm
11 pointing to.
12 Now, during the cover-up that took place
13 probably in September, the bodies at Glogova were
14 reburied, were exhumed and reburied a considerable
15 distance away. They were hidden along a forested and
16 not-often-travelled mountain road near Zeleni Jadar in
17 five particular secondary sites.
18 The next location that I'm going to describe
19 to Your Honours is Tisca, and I'm pointing to it with
20 my pointer. Now, Tisca was a location where the buses
21 that had taken the people from the enclave drove, and
22 it was at this location where the people on those buses
23 were taken off the buses and permitted to walk six
24 kilometres to Bosnian Muslim-held territory, but Tisca
25 was the final separation and screening point for men
1 who had somehow gotten on those buses and not been
2 detected. At that location, men, and some women, were
3 separated from the people who had disembarked from the
4 buses. The men were put in a school, the Luka school,
5 and they were detained there by the VRS. Then they
6 were taken in trucks to execution fields. Your Honours
7 will hear the testimony of the sole survivor of one of
8 those trucks.
9 The next location, Your Honour, that I'll
10 talk about is Orahovac. Now, Orahovac is a small
11 village north of the enclave, and on the 14th of July,
12 hundreds of Muslim men who had been detained in
13 Bratunac were transported to the school nearby, the
14 Grbavci school and detained in it. They were later
15 blindfolded and transported in trucks to the village of
16 Orahovac, and they were summarily executed. Members of
17 the Zvornik Brigade participated in the executions and
18 participated in the burials of the victims. We will
19 present forensic evidence that will corroborate the
20 testimony of the victim-survivors that you will be
21 hearing from.
22 Our evidence is going to show that this mass
23 grave site was exhumed and the bodies were then
24 transported to various secondary sites along the
25 Hodzici road.
1 The next cited was the Dam, another site of a
2 mass execution. This Dam was located near a village of
3 Petkovci, where on the 14th of July, hundreds of
4 Bosnian Muslims were transported and detained in the
5 Petkovci school. At that location, many of them were
6 summarily executed.
7 During the evening of the 14th of July and
8 the morning of the 15th, VRS military personnel
9 transported those individuals to the Dam, where they
10 murdered them. The victims were buried at the Dam, and
11 they were later reburied in remote locations in order
12 to conceal the crimes.
13 We're going to present to Your Honours the
14 testimony of survivors from that execution.
15 Now, our evidence is going to show,
16 Mr. President and Your Honours, that on the 15th of
17 July, 1995, at 10.00 in the morning, Colonel Beara, who
18 was the chief of security for the Main Staff, had a
19 conversation with General Krstic on an open line.
20 Colonel Beara complained to the defendant that he had
21 "3.500 parcels to distribute and he had no solution."
22 "Parcels" was a codename for Bosnian Muslims, and
23 "distribute" was a code for murdering them. He asked
24 General Krstic for more men for the job and the
25 defendant endeavoured to assist him. At the time of
1 this conversation, there were still thousands of
2 Muslims yet to be executed.
3 Now, the next location that I'll describe to
4 Your Honours is the Cerska Valley, which is located
5 here. Between the 14th and the 21st of July, a mass
6 execution occurred there as well. We will present the
7 testimony of an individual who had fled with the column
8 and who concealed himself in the woods above the area
9 of Cerska. In the time frame -- sometime in the time
10 frame that I have described, he saw three buses full of
11 Muslim men heading up that main road, a small road,
12 into the Cerska Valley. Those buses were followed by
13 heavy equipment. From his advantage point, he heard
14 soon thereafter repeated rounds of small-arms fire.
15 He descended from his position and he
16 discovered the execution site. He directed members
17 from my office to this location, and we conducted an
18 exhumation at that site, and there we were able to find
19 150 bodies of males, aged from approximately 14 to
20 50 years old. Many of the victims were bound with wire
21 ligatures, and I am holding and will present into
22 evidence later, Your Honours, one of the wire ligatures
23 that we recovered from the execution site. Your
24 Honours, I've asked my assistant to place on the ELMO a
25 copy of a photograph that we took at the Cerska Valley
1 site, and Your Honours can see in it the wrist bones of
2 an individual and you can see the wire ligature that is
3 around the wrist bones.
4 Mr. President and Your Honours, I'm going to
5 now tell you about the executions that took place at
6 the Pilica school, the Branjevo Military Farm, and the
7 Pilica Cultural Dom. Now, I'll indicate where those
8 locations are with my pointer.
9 If Your Honours can see, these are extremely
10 north of the enclave [indicates], and these killings
11 that took place at the Pilica school occurred between
12 the 14th and the 16th of July. The murders that took
13 place at the Branjevo Military Farm and the Pilica
14 Cultural Dom occurred on the 16th of July, 1995.
15 We are going to prove that these executions
16 took place, Mr. President, through the testimony of a
17 number of survivors -- not many, but a number of
18 survivors who were able to make their way through to
19 freedom after these executions took place. We're also
20 going to present to Your Honours forensic evidence that
21 will corroborate their testimonies.
22 We will present for Your Honours'
23 consideration the testimony of Mr. Drazen Erdemovic,
24 who was a member of the 10th Sabotage Detachment, who
25 participated in these executions. He also witnessed
1 the executions at the Pilica Cultural Centre.
2 Mr. Erdemovic has been convicted by this Tribunal and
3 he's been sentenced by this Tribunal for his
4 participation in these events.
5 Now, these mass graves that were located at
6 the sites of these particular killings were also
7 exhumed. They were exhumed probably in September, and
8 the remains of the victims from the Branjevo Military
9 Farm were reburied along the Cancari road, far to the
11 After these particular executions at the
12 Branjevo Military Farm and Pilica Dom had been
13 completed, our evidence will show that Lieutenant
14 Colonel Popovic, who was General Krstic's Assistant
15 Commander for Security, called the Drina Corps
16 headquarters and asked for General Krstic. General
17 Krstic wasn't present, and Colonel Popovic left a
18 message for the accused that he had "finished the
20 Lastly, Mr. President and Your Honours, we're
21 going to present evidence of an execution that occurred
22 at Kozluk. I'm indicating that location on the chart
23 [indicates]. That site of that particular mass
24 execution occurred within a kilometre of the
25 headquarters of the Drina Wolves, one of the units that
1 was subordinate to General Krstic in the Drina Corps.
2 At this location, Mr. President and Your
3 Honours, hundreds of Muslims were summarily executed.
4 They were buried there. I've shown you two large
5 images from that particular execution site. In
6 September, the VRS returned to dig up some of the
7 bodies that were buried there and reburied them along
8 an isolated road far from Kozluk.
9 When we conducted exhumations at the Kozluk
10 site, we found the remains of 340 individuals. Most of
11 the victims were bound with ligatures. The remains of
12 another 158 victims related to these killings were
13 found at one of the secondary sites along the Cancari
15 Mr. President and Your Honours, I have
16 concluded my opening remarks. Let me just say in
17 conclusion that the Office of the Prosecutor will
18 present evidence that will prove beyond a reasonable
19 doubt that the crimes alleged in the indictment
20 occurred and that General Krstic was a full participant
21 in each of them.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
24 Mr. Harmon.
25 We are now going to have a break, a
1 half-an-hour break, so that the Prosecutor has an
2 opportunity to prepare himself for the presentation of
3 his evidence. We will be back at 11.30.
4 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Can you
7 hear me, General Krstic? General Krstic, can you hear
8 me? Very well.
9 Now, pursuant to Article 85, we shall proceed
10 to the production of evidence by the Prosecution.
11 Mr. Harmon, you have the floor.
12 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President; thank
13 you, Your Honours. I would like to call Jean-Rene
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good
17 morning, Mr. Jene-Rene Ruez. Can you hear me? You
18 will now take the solemn declaration, please.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear
20 you very well, Mr. President. But I shall testify in
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 This is one of the official languages of the Tribunal.
24 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
2 WITNESS: JENE-RENE RUEZ
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You may be
4 seated. I believe you are already accustomed to this
5 procedure. You will now be invited to answer questions
6 which Mr. Harmon will be asking of you, and after that
7 you will answer the questions that will be posed to you
8 by the Defence. Be at ease. You're a master of
10 Yes, Mr. Harmon.
11 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
12 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ruez.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Could you state your name, please, and spell
16 your last name for the record.
17 A. My name is Jene-Rene Ruez, R-u-e-z.
18 Q. Mr. Ruez, what is your current occupation?
19 A. I'm an investigation team leader at the ICTY
20 since early -- I arrived at the Tribunal in April 1995,
21 and I've been in charge of this investigation since
22 that time. I was officially nominated team leader here
23 in 1987 -- 1997, sorry.
24 Q. Since you have been employed at the Tribunal,
25 the Office of the Prosecutor, have you been working
1 exclusively on the Srebrenica investigation?
2 A. Yes. Exclusively on this topic since July
3 1995. The first mission in the territory was 20 July
4 1995 and arrival in Tuzla 21 July 1995.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Ruez, to your right is Prosecutor's
6 Exhibit number 2. It's a large map. First of all, can
7 you identify that map and can you tell the Judges where
8 it was acquired?
9 A. This map is part of a collection of documents
10 which were seized at the headquarters of the Zvornik
11 Brigade in January 1998. It's one among many other
12 documents which were seized during the search of that
13 headquarters. This map is a description of the
14 military operation as seen by those who did it.
15 Q. Can you please approach the map and with a
16 pointer can you explain significant features about that
17 map to the Judges? There's a microphone there.
18 A. So first of all, this map is not an
19 operational map which was used during the time of the
20 operation. This is a map which has been done
21 afterwards in order to show what happened on a military
22 point of view.
23 The important elements on this map are that
24 it shows the attack from the -- coming from the south
25 of the enclave. As we know, indeed the first
1 operations, military operations conducted there
2 happened in the south. This map is confirming this
4 The arrows show the penetration of the Serb
5 forces towards Srebrenica and the takeover of
6 observation posts. I will not discuss that element
7 now. A military analyst will testify about all these
8 details, as well as Dutch peacekeepers who were in the
9 area at that time.
10 It also shows that after having entered
11 Srebrenica, the operation here stops and then other
12 forces are coming north, from Bratunac, and penetrate
13 the enclave and arrive in Potocari here.
14 Other elements that can be seen is that there
15 was indeed military activities conducted in an area
16 south-west of the enclave, which is called the Bandera
17 triangle. When you look at daily SITREPS, situation
18 reports, from UNPROFOR at that time and also comments
19 which Mladic was making, General Mladic was making,
20 heavy combat apparently was going on in that part of
21 the enclave named Bandera triangle.
22 What it shows also is the concentration of
23 the refugees and military people who tried then to flee
24 the enclave, start to go assemble the 11th, in the
25 evening, in the area north-west of the enclave which is
1 the area of Susnjari, which is the neighbourhood of a
2 little hamlet but it is the entire area here we are
3 talking about.
4 On 11 July, indeed the population understood
5 that the enclave would fall and took two courses of
6 action. The women, the children, and the elderly, but
7 also a certain number of men who decided to take that
8 chance and face the Bosnian Serbs who would enter the
9 area, they probably thought that since they had nothing
10 personally to hide, they would not be harmed, but
11 apparently they made a wrong decision on that.
12 All the other ones who didn't want to face
13 the risk of being captured decided to take off from the
14 area, and following instructions which were in fact to
15 follow the power line which is running all around --
16 all along the stretch of road between Bratunac and
17 Konjevici, the intersection here, decided to go cross
18 country and take the direction of Udrc Mountain and
19 then towards north.
20 These are all elements that we found out from
21 witnesses, and who are now confirmed by the map of
22 those who did the operation. The map is not very
23 precise. The arrow here shows a straight line between
24 Susnjari and the intersection of Konjevici. In
25 reality, the track was different. First the people
1 took the direction a little bit here north-west and
2 were walking closer to the ridge of hills which are
3 along this asphalt road, much closer than it shows on
4 the map. We will return on this later on.
5 The very important detail which is marked on
6 this map is the blocking position that the Bosnian Serb
7 army put in place in this area here, which is an area
8 we call Konjevic Polje, which is in that location here,
9 and Nova Kasaba, a little town a bit more south.
10 On July 12, once the Bosnian Serb army
11 realised what in fact was happening, which was that a
12 huge column of men was trying to flee the area and
13 indeed take this direction. Initially there was an
14 element of surprise, so no possibility to challenge
15 that column. Part of that column was armed. The first
16 group was organised in brigades. The forces inside
17 Srebrenica were quite structured, and they recreated
18 brigades at the moment they were assembling. Those who
19 had weapons were mainly walking in front.
20 So then the blocking position was put in
21 place. The army managed to walk through. When I say
22 the army, it was, in fact, those who were carrying
23 weapons and those who were with them, but once these
24 people passed, then this was completely blocked and no
25 one could walk through any more.
1 Then the map shows that the trail taken by
2 this column goes towards Udrc Mountain. Here also it
3 is not very precise because it goes straight above
4 Udrc, which is quite a high mountain, 1.042 metres high
5 and very difficult to walk through here. Later they
6 made the tour.
7 Here it shows battles which took place in
8 this location. I won't deal with that also but around
9 the 13th and 14th July --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 A. The microphone does not work? Sorry. What
12 did you miss here?
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Just a
14 minute, please.
15 A. I was saying the map is not very precise here
16 because the arrow goes straight above Udrc Mountain,
17 which is not realistic since it's a quite high
18 mountain, very difficult terrain in reality. The
19 movement was much less precise than that. They were
20 turning around.
21 Once they arrived in the area here which is
22 the south-west of Zvornik, ambushes were set to block
23 this column, but these ambushes were not successful.
24 In fact, the column punched through these Serbs
25 positions, managed to capture equipment, anti-aircraft
1 guns, mortars, and even managed to capture Serb
3 More details will probably be given later on
4 about this, but this is really not the main topic of
5 the investigation.
6 The important part here also is that on the
7 16th July 1995, it shows how the column managed to
8 break through the lines. In fact, there was some
9 agreement initially to let the column go through, but
10 very quickly this agreement also was breached and
11 combat had to take place in order for that column to
12 pass the Bosnian Serb lines. The date of that event is
13 marked on it. It's the 16th July 1995.
14 A very important aspect here is the 14th of
15 July and part starting the 13th. The Bosnian Serb army
16 realised that this column was causing a very severe
17 threat to the town of Zvornik. The reason is that all
18 the forces who were in this area, not all of them were
19 but let's say the main forces in this area were down
20 towards Srebrenica to conduct the Srebrenica
21 operation. So there was a decision to mobilise all men
22 who were able to carry a gun, and all these people were
23 then sent under military and police control to a secure
24 Zvornik area.
25 There is an important element. Several
1 witnesses will at some point probably develop on that
2 and explain what consequences they think it has for
4 The important aspect also you will see when
5 we switch on the other map, is that this area here is
6 close to locations where we have detention sites and
7 execution sites. But these sites are not connected
8 with the military operation. The dead bodies that we
9 will talk about in the area are absolutely not
10 connected with these combat activities, but they happen
12 That is all I would say on this map at this
14 MR. HARMON:
15 Q. Mr. Ruez, while you're standing, does this
16 map indicate the boundary of the Drina Corps area of
18 A. Yes, indeed. Critical element. We will
19 notice when we switch on the other map that all the
20 crime scenes we are talking about are within the
21 precise limits of the Drina Corps.
22 This map marks the north limit of the corps,
23 which is here, and you will see that the identified
24 crime scene that we have most at the north of our map
25 is the area of Pilica, which is this area here; so just
1 under the north border of the Drina Corps. All the
2 rest of the crime scenes are indeed within these
4 Q. Mr. Ruez, you can have a seat again. Thank
5 you very much.
6 MR. HARMON: If I can have the assistance of
7 the usher. We have our next exhibit underneath,
8 Exhibit 2, and if I can ask you, Mr. Usher, to remove
9 this exhibit and expose the next exhibit.
10 Now, Your Honours, what's before Your Honours
11 is the large map that I used in my opening statement.
12 It's been marked as Exhibit 1E.
13 Q. Mr. Ruez, what I'd like you to do for the
14 Judges is to summarise the principal events relating to
15 your investigation and use this exhibit as a means to
16 illustrate various points in your testimony. So if you
17 would kindly -- if you want to stand up, use the
18 microphone and the pointer, would you please commence
19 your testimony.
20 MR. HARMON: Mr. President and Your Honours,
21 we have a legend that we're going to identify later and
22 introduce for this particular map that will be marked
23 Exhibit 1E bis. We don't have additional copies. We
24 can put one now on the ELMO for Your Honours, and we
25 will present later to Your Honours a copy.
1 A. So, indeed, this is the map which summarises
2 the view that we have of these events from the
3 investigation. The colour codes are very important to
4 understand, indeed, these locations.
5 The triangles represent areas where prisoners
6 were concentrated. The red triangles mark execution
7 sites, but small-scale execution sites. In reality,
8 what we consider small-scale execution sites in this
9 environment is roughly under 100 individuals. At the
10 red circles, we have mass execution sites. Then we
11 have yellow circles which indicate the locations where
12 mass graves can be found, those that we call primary
13 mass graves, undisturbed mass graves. The ones which
14 have a cross in it are disturbed mass graves, because,
15 as you know, there was a robbing operation of all these
16 graves, which I will not develop at this stage but at
17 the next one. The result of that operation is the
18 creation of secondary mass graves scattered in the area
19 in order -- that in case we would discover some of
20 them, we would never be able to demonstrate how many
21 people, indeed, had been massacred during this
22 operation. So there are a number of them already
23 marked on the map, but we will enter these details at a
24 later stage.
25 So based on this map, the reconstruction of
1 the event is that, as I said, the people from the
2 enclave took two courses of action. The ones who
3 decided to flee towards Potocari and seek the
4 protection of the United Nations at the UN base went to
5 Potocari. The evacuation of this group started on July
6 12, after the meetings which were held in Bratunac
7 between General Mladic, members of his staff, and
8 representatives of the Muslim population, and it
9 started 12.00 -- after 12.00, around 2.00 p.m.
10 The people were taken on board buses, driven
11 through Bratunac, towards Konjevic Polje, then towards
12 Vlasenica, in order to reach the confrontation line
13 which was before Kladanj. The last stop was in the
14 area here [indicates], and then the people had to walk
15 through a canyon towards Kladanj which was, at the
16 time, under the control of the Muslim forces here
18 On the way, a lot of separations took place.
19 There were checkpoints set along the road. The UN
20 personnel who tried to follow the convoys in order to
21 make sure that the people would reach their destination
22 were stopped. The UN personnel was stripped of their
23 equipment and couldn't fulfil their mission and find
24 out exactly what was going on.
25 At many instances, we have witnesses talking
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 English and French transcripts
1 about soldiers checking the contents of the buses and
2 taking out men who were in it, even young boys. The
3 women will tell you that they had to dress kids as
4 girls in order to make sure that they would not be
5 taken off of the bus. Some men still managed to get on
6 board these buses and reach Kladanj, mainly at the
7 beginning of the operation. The more we enter the
8 operation, then the less men would be able to go
9 through, and at one point, no one is going through.
10 The men who tried to get on board of the
11 buses in Potocari had special treatment. They are
12 separated at the moment that they try to get on board,
13 and they are taken to a specific location in Potocari
14 which we call the White House. Inside that house,
15 people were jammed, and once there were enough numbers,
16 specific buses were waiting for them and they were
17 loaded only on these buses, and from there taken to
18 Bratunac. In Bratunac, they were kept in various
19 locations. This lasted during the two days of the
20 evacuation, the 12th and the 13th.
21 We only know these locations from men who
22 managed to survive later on their execution, but we
23 know that a large number of men at one point were,
24 indeed, in Bratunac town. I will have to return to
25 Bratunac later on, since Bratunac will then become the
1 main concentration area for all the prisoners captured
2 in this part of the territory.
3 Those who tried to flee through the woods,
4 approximately 15.000 men, we cannot be more precise
5 than that. This is the number which is given by nearly
6 all the people who were there at the time. It's an
7 assessment which is, indeed, very difficult to make, we
8 cannot either confirm or deny it, but we will keep that
9 figure since it is the one generally considered, as
10 well as the figure of 25.000 people who were taken out
11 of the enclave and bused to Kladanj. That number is
12 also very difficult either to confirm or to deny.
13 The flight through the woods started on the
14 11th, in the evening, during the night. People waited
15 until night-time to try and sneak out, and they had to
16 cross the minefields at the border of the enclave. So
17 first they had to open a one-metre-large path in these
18 minefields, and then it was a very long process to get
19 out of the area. This created a very long column of
20 men which stretched all along the area here
21 [indicates], in order to pass here [indicates], at
22 12.00 -- at the end of the afternoon.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I'm sorry
24 to interrupt you, Mr. Harmon, but it will be perhaps
25 convenient to say the names of the villages that we can
1 find on the map, instead of saying "here" and "there."
2 Because, as you know, we have the transcript, and now
3 that we have a map, it's easy, but if we only look at
4 the transcript without the map, it's going to be
5 difficult. So if you can please state the name of the
6 village as well. Thank you.
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. Mr. Ruez.
9 A. So at 12.00 in the afternoon, one part of the
10 column is already reaching the area of Konjevic Polje;
11 meanwhile, others are still stretched all along the
12 ridge of the hills which is along the asphalt road
13 between Bratunac and Konjevic Polje, just in the area
14 to the south of Kravice.
15 Several ambushes were set on the way, and
16 also shelling of these columns in order to break it
17 into smaller parts. One main ambush occurs at 12.00 in
18 the afternoon, or at the end of the afternoon, just
19 south of the village of Kravice, in a place we call
20 Kamenica, because there's a little hamlet there called
21 Kamenica. Unfortunately, there are many villages
22 called Kamenica, and this can create some confusion
23 with an area north that the people know as being
24 Kamenica. That is the reason why we will call this
25 area here [indicates] Cancari.
1 Following this ambush, a lot of panic is
2 already instilled among the people who were trying to
3 flee. Most of the people don't really know the
4 ground. Most of the refugees who are in the Srebrenica
5 enclave are not from Srebrenica. The population inside
6 of the enclave are people who were "ethnically
7 cleansed" in 1992 and were coming from Bijeljina, from
8 Zvornik, from Vlasenica, and from other municipalities
9 in the vicinity. So they don't know the area and
10 that's the reason why they had this guideline, to
11 follow the power line.
12 But after that, many of these people didn't
13 know where to go. Serb forces begin to infiltrate the
14 column, people talk about the wounded being killed, and
15 no one is trusting anyone. At some point, people start
16 shooting at each other, thinking that they are
17 confronted with enemies. So a huge panic is happening
18 in this place.
19 The consequence of that is that on the 13th,
20 in the morning, all of these people decide, in fact, to
21 surrender. Many try to prevent them from doing so
22 since they witnessed that at the moment of surrender
23 people are executed on the spot. We're talking here
24 about small-scale executions, individuals or groups of
25 two or three. Nevertheless, the decision is made, in
1 fact, and a massive movement of surrender starts.
2 On the 13th, in the morning, the people begin
3 to go down a valley and arrive in the area of Sandici.
4 They also arrive in the area nearby which is not marked
5 on the map which is Lolici. In fact, when surrendering
6 starts, it happens in many locations. We're not only
7 talking about the massive ones.
8 On the 12th, in the evening, I also said that
9 the spearhead of the column managed to pass through the
10 Serb lines, but the rest of it was trapped behind. So
11 we have the same situation on the 13th, in the morning,
12 in the area of Konjevic Polje as we had south of
13 Kravice. Surrendering starts. So we have at that
14 moment, the day of the 13th, in the morning, people who
15 are assembled in meadows; one meadow of Sandici and one
16 soccer field here [indicates] in Nova Kasaba.
17 I also have to say that this movement of
18 surrender was encouraged by the illusion that
19 protection would be provided to those who surrendered.
20 The Bosnian Serb forces who were present in the area
21 and who stripped the UN personnel of their equipment
22 used that equipment to lure the people and make them
23 believe that they would be under the protection of
24 UNPROFOR. Soldiers were wearing blue helmets. Bosnian
25 Serb soldiers who were using UN APCs always gave the
1 feeling to the refugees who were trying to escape that
2 there was some kind of protection which would be for
3 them. Also, soldiers were shouting messages through
4 megaphones, inciting the people to surrender and
5 telling them that they would be under the protection of
6 the International Red Cross, present in the place,
7 according to what they were saying.
8 The fate of those who were on these meadows
9 is that most of them were taken on board of buses or
10 trucks and taken back to Bratunac, but there are
11 exceptions to this. On the 13th, a large group of
12 prisoners is assembled on the meadow of Sandici. At
13 the beginning of the afternoon, the General passes in
14 this area, makes a speech to the prisoners, and then
15 leaves the place. Shortly afterwards, a first group is
16 taken on board the buses and taken to Kravice, jammed
17 inside an agriculture warehouse. A second group,
18 larger than the first one, is then also marched towards
19 the Kravice warehouse and jammed into it. We will
20 return to the events there in detail.
21 But then once the people were inside the
22 warehouse, the soldiers who were guarding them started
23 to open fire from all the openings of the building and
24 throwing grenades inside, and the people who were
25 inside the warehouse were killed, but not all of them,
1 since we have also survivors of this execution.
2 Many small-scale executions happened in this
3 vicinity which are not even marked on the map. The
4 witness --
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness slow
6 down, please.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Ruez,
8 you've been asked to slow down, please. It is
9 necessary to bear in mind all the time that there are
10 interpreters between the two of us. So please slow
11 down. Thank you.
12 A. I'm sorry.
13 The situation at the soccer field at Nova
14 Kasaba is different than in Sandici. There is no
15 massive execution happening at Nova Kasaba. There are
16 few executions happening there. The fate of the
17 prisoners assembled here [indicates] is transportation
18 towards Bratunac.
19 So on the 13th of July, Bratunac begins to be
20 packed with these prisoners. We know that several
21 buildings were used; the Vuk Karadzic school was used;
22 an old school behind the Vuk Karadzic school was used
23 as well; one hangar, which is yet not identified, but
24 the investigation is still ongoing on that and as well
25 as on many other aspects, this warehouse also was
1 used. It seems, in fact, that the few facilities
2 available were jammed with people, since several
3 witnesses will explain that they were staying on board
4 of the buses and trucks which were in lines, and we
5 have three lines of buses and trucks filled with
6 prisoners in Bratunac town.
7 We will pinpoint them on the map later on,
8 but we have one line of trucks waiting in front of
9 Vihor garages, one line of trucks waiting in front of
10 the Vuk Karadzic school, and one line of trucks at the
11 outskirts of Bratunac town, at the west of it.
12 During these days, the 12th and the 13th, the
13 deportation of the population within the enclave was
14 still going on. So you had movements of buses, in
15 fact, going towards Kladanj, but you also had movements
16 of trucks and buses going towards Bratunac.
17 The men who were separated at the last
18 checkpoint, which was in the place called -- little
19 place called Luke, where there is only one little
20 building which is an elementary school, were put inside
21 the school. From there the 13th, in the evening --
22 this process might have happened many times but we only
23 know about once since there is only one person who
24 managed to survive that process -- the men were taken
25 on board of little trucks, driven towards Vlasenica.
1 Vlasenica they turned left, which is, in fact, north of
2 Vlasenica, in an area of hills, of wooded hills, and
3 somewhere in this area the people were executed. We
4 have never managed to find the precise spot where this
5 execution took place.
6 We also know, from witnesses who were blocked
7 on a hill just above Konjevic Polje, that indeed people
8 who were captured or surrendered were executed in this
9 area, but we are talking here about one, two, or three
10 bodies, and we have never found these locations and we
11 will not. The main location, we have found it, but can
12 implement -- the witnesses who talks about these events
13 is one witness who witnessed a massive execution
14 happening here. Not massive according to the code that
15 I previously gave, but still it talks about three
16 groups of prisoners, one group of 30, a second group of
17 30, and then a larger group of about --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness slow
19 down, please.
20 MR. HARMON:
21 Q. Mr. Ruez, will you slow down.
22 A. And he witnessed how these people got shot on
23 a meadow. We will return on that meadow later on. We
24 managed to find this one and process the crime scene.
25 Also, at a date which is still difficult to
1 fix, but it will probably happen at the time the
2 witness will be coming here, several witnesses talk
3 about an event which happened in the valley of Cerska.
4 I will give all the details about it when we will be
5 talking about that precise location, but we have an
6 execution site of 150 people in the valley of Cerska.
7 They were transported by bus into the valley and shot
8 there. I will provide you with the details of that
9 later on.
10 We also have a smaller execution of
11 16 people at the intersection between the Jadar River
12 and the Drljaca River.
13 The situation during the night of the 13th
14 and the 14th is -- in Bratunac is the preparation of
15 the evacuation of all these prisoners towards other
16 locations. There are several versions about what
17 happened at that time, and I must admit it is a bit
18 difficult for us to explain all the details at this
19 moment since indeed the investigation is ongoing and we
20 are, at the moment, in contact with witnesses from all
21 sides. We are still collecting and we are still
22 collecting information from them, and everything we are
23 saying during this proceeding is helping the people a
24 lot. We are trying to find out exactly what their role
25 and implication was in these events.
1 Nevertheless, what can be said on Bratunac
2 was that the version served by those who witnessed the
3 events from the inside is that there was a fear that
4 the town will be captured by all these prisoners who
5 were inside Bratunac town. The alleged reason is that
6 the town is empty of military forces, when we know a
7 lot of forces are in this area. Therefore, the
8 prisoners had to be guarded by old people carrying
9 guns, and by children, and there was a threat that
10 revenge would be taken on them. So that justified the
11 need to evacuate the town.
12 In reality, what happens in terms of
13 evacuation is that the 14th, in the very early morning
14 hours, indeed the first convoy of prisoners is leaving
15 Bratunac town. That convoy does not take the asphalt
16 road that goes towards Konjevic Polje, probably because
17 of still some combat activities and the cleaning of the
18 area going on at that moment, so the convoy took the
19 road that goes north of Bratunac and then recaptures
20 the road that goes towards Zvornik.
21 That first group of prisoners was -- there
22 was a promise of exchange which was done the day
23 before, on the 12th, in the evening, by General Mladic,
24 who went to visit some of these spots, and told to the
25 prisoners that they had nothing to worry about and that
1 they will be later on exchanged.
2 Indeed, this first group of prisoners
3 believes that this is going to happen since they take
4 the direction of Zvornik. They pass Zvornik. They
5 arrive in Karakaj. At Karakaj they turn left, take the
6 asphalt road that leads towards Tuzla, arrived at an
7 intersection which is an intersection that leads to a
8 village which at that time was completely destroyed,
9 the village of Kriljevici, which is not marked on this
10 map. They stop and they unload the buses. All the
11 prisoners have to enter a school which is the Grbavci
12 school, and during the day several convoys are coming
13 from Bratunac and the prisoners are entering the gym of
14 that school.
15 At a later stage of the day, once the gym is
16 full, General Mladic is witnessed coming to the school
17 and gives a little speech to the prisoners. After his
18 departure, the prisoners are taken out of the school,
19 of the gymnasium of the school in little groups, loaded
20 on a little TAM truck -- TAM is a trademark of the
21 truck -- and taken very nearby to a field where an
22 execution squad is waiting for them, and during all the
23 afternoon of the 14th and part of the night of the
24 14th, all the prisoners who were at the Grbavci
25 gymnasium are executed at the site we call Orahovac.
1 That same day, the 14th July, at the same
2 moment probably, other convoys of trucks and buses full
3 of prisoners are leaving Bratunac town, taking the same
4 direction towards Zvornik. They pass Karakaj, and they
5 turn left towards a place called Petkovci where there
6 is a school also. There is no gymnasium in that
7 school. It is just a school building. The prisoners
8 are put into classrooms. Once these classrooms are
9 full -- we know for the first floor for sure because of
10 survivors, but they believe that the ground floor was
11 also full of prisoners.
12 At the end of the afternoon, the prisoners
13 are taken towards the Dam of Petkovci. We will give
14 details about the location. The fact is that from the
15 evening of the 14th, also through part of the night,
16 group after group, an execution squad is waiting for
17 the trucks bringing in the prisoners and all the
18 prisoners are executed there. Luckily also, some
19 managed to survive and will be able to tell you the
20 story of what happened here.
21 During that time, there are still prisoners
22 in Bratunac. Prisoners who are in the old school are
23 not evacuated before the 15th of July, despite all the
24 allegations of officials in Bratunac who declared to us
25 that the town was emptied in one day, the 14th of
1 July. We know it's not true. The 15th, some prisoners
2 were still in the old school and evacuated that day
3 towards Zvornik, going north, passing Kozluk, even more
4 north. And just under the border of the Drina Corps
5 which we saw on the previous map -- the border would be
6 here -- they were brought to a school which is the
7 Pilica school in a hamlet called Kula.
8 They were jammed inside that school. We are
9 suddenly talking here about a large number of people.
10 When we will look into the details of this crime scene,
11 you will see the size of that school. It's a big one
12 which has also the gym and the classrooms. Obviously
13 they were used to kill the prisoners.
14 We believe that for the reason that during
15 the night of the 15th to the 16th, one bus of prisoners
16 came and the prisoners were not taken inside the
17 school. They were executed outside the school. The
18 probable reason for that is there was no space any more
19 to keep them inside.
20 The next day, the morning of the 16th, the
21 people are taken out of the school and driven towards
22 the Branjevo farm where an execution squad composed of
23 members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment and members of
24 another unit are waiting for them and execute them
25 all. The other unit is the Bratunac Brigade. We'll
1 give details later on about the involvement of the
2 Bratunac Brigade in the extermination of all the
3 prisoners of the Branjevo farm.
4 The key witness for this execution, aside the
5 survivors, because here also are survivors, is Drazen
6 Erdemovic, who will again testify about these events.
7 After the execution at the Branjevo farm was
8 finished, the same execution squad was tasked to go and
9 kill prisoners who were inside the house of culture of
10 Pilica. The commanding officer who instructed the
11 squad to go and kill these people mentioned a number of
12 500. We have no idea of how many people were inside,
13 but this man seemed to know how many were in it.
14 That same day, the 16th or the 17th, we
15 cannot be very precise on this, we will explain later
16 on why, we have knowledge also of another execution
17 which took place in this area. We believe that the
18 prisoners who were executed there were initially kept
19 in a school called Orahovac. These prisoners were
20 taken to Kozluk, and at the edge of the Drina River
21 there was also an execution squad waiting for them in
22 that location and the people were killed here. Our
23 figure was 500 people killed here, which was indirect
24 information. We will enter all these details also when
25 we talk crime scene by crime scene, and we can confirm
1 indeed that number here.
2 So this is roughly -- this is a summary of
3 the chain of executions which happened after the
4 takeover. What happened later on, but this also will
5 be part of the separate demonstration, is that before
6 the signature or even -- at the moment, the Bosnian
7 Serb Army realised that the war was going to be ended
8 and not necessarily the way they expected but through
9 an agreement, the decision was made to try to erase the
10 evidence of the crime committed.
11 It was already clear that there would be an
12 investigation on this. Journalists had already started
13 to investigate the place. Some even had tried to enter
14 and have entered the area. So there was no doubt in
15 their mind that there would be a full investigation on
16 such events.
17 Therefore, the decision was made to erase all
18 the evidence from the mass graves and transfer the
19 bodies in hidden locations, which was indeed done, and
20 all the triangles mark the positions of individual
21 graves, each of them having a content between 80 and
22 180 bodies in them. These areas are scattered mainly
23 in the south-west of Zvornik and at the south of the
24 Srebrenica enclave.
25 We'll give details later on about how the
1 secondary sites connect with what we call the primary
3 I think at this stage, that's what we have to
5 Q. Have a seat please, Mr. Ruez.
6 MR. HARMON: Just to inform Your Honours, I
7 intend to call Mr. Ruez back later, at a different
8 stage of the trial, to explain these additional aspects
9 of this, particularly the secondary grave sites.
10 Q. But let me turn now, Mr. Ruez, to a film
11 which I would like you, first of all, to inform the
12 Judges in advance what's on this film, what it shows,
13 where it was acquired, who filmed it. Could you do
14 that, please, and just give a brief summary, and then
15 during the showing of this film, I'd like you to
16 narrate the various aspects.
17 A. Yes. The film we're going to see is going to
18 show several aspects of the operation at the time it
19 was happening. We will see people from Srebrenica
20 leaving Srebrenica town on one piece of that footage.
21 The footage is coming from a journalist named Zoran
22 Petrovic. He was present in the enclave at the time of
23 the events. He was obviously in agreement with the
24 Bosnian Serb Army to be there, since he's driving in a
25 military vehicle and is constantly in the presence of
1 Bosnian Serb military personnel.
2 The fact is that in the film, it doesn't make
3 that very clear, since some people ask him questions
4 about his presence once he presents himself as an
5 independent journalist of Studio B in Belgrade. At
6 another moment, he presents himself like the police.
7 The fact is that he was there and could film quite a
8 lot of interesting sequences. He didn't do that in the
9 purpose of assisting the Tribunal, that's clear, but
10 nevertheless, he sold bits of his film later on to
11 international press journalists.
12 Before doing that, he edited his film in
13 order to make sure we would not get access to pictures
14 that would implicate too heavily the Bosnian Serb
15 Army. So there are some blank spots in this film. One
16 journalist could see the entire version of it. The
17 missing parts are not extremely relevant, in fact.
18 They don't show murders. They don't show a lot of dead
19 bodies, but they show prisoners, as an example, but we
20 will come on it later, in the White House of Potocari.
21 He initially had a sequence showing men sitting on the
22 balcony, which is, in fact, also interesting, because
23 it shows that the house was indeed really packed with
24 people, but that sequence was erased in his film.
25 Nevertheless, the film has been extremely
1 useful for the investigation, both for -- to have a
2 better view of the events but also to identify a
3 certain number of very interesting individuals.
4 Also, this film implements some parts of the
5 stories told by the witnesses, which no one would ever
6 have a chance to implement without live pictures at the
7 time of the events. The film shows, as an example, a
8 Bosnian Serb soldier on the asphalt road between Lolici
9 and Sandici, wearing a blue helmet. This -- we would
10 not have been able to confirm that without this film.
11 In the footage we're going to see, in fact,
12 is a mixture of footage, as there are -- also part of
13 it are extracts of news from RS television. In fact, I
14 discover a bit the synopsis of the tape at the moment
15 I'm talking about it.
16 So we will see refugees leaving the enclave.
17 Then we will also see Serb forces entering Srebrenica.
18 We will see Milan Jojovic, who is the commander of a
19 special force unit the Drina Wolves, which is -- in
20 fact at that time was a unit part of the 1st Zvornik
21 Brigade, giving some instructions to his troops.
22 We can see also General Mladic, General
23 Krstic, General Zivanovic entering Srebrenica town.
24 The piece of footage showing the speech of General
25 Mladic, which is not translated on the tape but I
1 assume you will be provided later with a full
2 transcript of the tape where General Mladic talks about
3 the fact that it is now time to take revenge on the
4 Turks, which is the name a certain number of Bosnian
5 Serbs used to designate Muslims.
6 We will also see films on Potocari, of
7 refugees, of women arriving, of General Mladic talking
8 with these refugees and giving them some reassurances,
9 General Mladic giving an interview also which is not
10 translated on the footage you will see. I will make
11 some comments probably at the moment the film is
12 rolling. And various views of Potocari, which will be
13 interesting, but I think I better make the comments at
14 the moment the film is unfolding.
15 After Potocari, part of the film will be
16 extracts of Zoran Petrovic's videotape, and these will
17 be pictures of military activities going on in between
18 Bratunac and Konjevic Polje. At some points, but we'll
19 return later on on this when we will be talking crime
20 scene by crime scene, we will return to these pictures
21 because for some of them we can identify very precisely
22 the location, and this is an identification we have
23 made very recently and we will expose it to you.
24 Then it will show Srebrenica town, which is
25 also an interesting thing for us to have since you will
1 see on this film how the mosque in Srebrenica, the main
2 mosque of Srebrenica looks like at the moment it was --
3 the place was captured by the Bosnian Serb army, and I
4 will then show you photographs of that same mosque in
5 1996, 1997, and in 1998, and you will see the slow
6 destruction of that building until it is transformed
7 into a parking lot.
8 Then you will have a little piece of footage
9 which is undated, where we can see refugees arriving in
10 Kladanj, and finally the film will end with a piece of
11 footage of BiH television news, which is the arrival of
12 the first military men coming out at the area of Nezuk,
13 where the members of the 28th Division, which was the
14 Muslim division inside the Srebrenica enclave, managed
15 to exit that part of the territory.
16 Q. Now, Mr. Ruez, as we roll the film, if you
17 want to make comments to inform the Judges about what's
18 being seen in the images, please feel free to do so.
19 If we could dim the lights, and if we could start the
20 video, it's Prosecutor's Exhibit number 3.
21 [Videotape played]
22 A. That was the UN compound in Srebrenica called
23 Company B. At this moment, the people ...
24 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters are sorry,
25 but this cannot be interpreted. It needs to be stopped
1 for the interpreters to hear the comments.
2 A. Do you have the sound when the film is
4 MR. HARMON:
5 Q. Could you rewind the film please. Keep the
6 volume down, and we'll start again.
7 A. The first sequence in black and white is, in
8 fact, a moment of panic in Srebrenica town where the
9 population realises the enclave is going to fall, and
10 the men are discussing what to do. And this is, in
11 fact, the key moment where massively the decision to
12 flee either towards Potocari, either towards the woods
13 and try to find a way to exfiltrate the area.
14 Very shortly, in fact, after that, or even
15 before that, the crowd was entering the UN compound,
16 and General Mladic, the day before, had threatened the
17 United Nations that no refugees should be accepted
18 inside the compound. If not, the compound would be
19 shelled. It is hard to say if what happened next is an
20 on-purpose act or "an accident," but the fact is a
21 mortar shell hit in the middle of that crowd, and an
22 unknown number of people were killed and injured at
23 that moment.
24 Q. Mr. Ruez, was this film taken by Zoran
25 Petrovic, or is this additional film footage that's
1 been inserted in this exhibit?
2 A. This is an additional insertion. We would
3 have to double-check where it's coming from exactly. I
4 think it's either coming from a Bosniak Muslim video
5 footage or Dutch footage.
6 Q. All right. Now if we could proceed with the
7 film, and proceed to make your comments, Mr. Ruez, as
8 we progress.
9 [Videotape played]
10 A. The building here is Company B in Srebrenica
11 town. This is a crowd which is at the UN compound.
12 Nearby, they are trying to decide what course of action
13 to take. At that moment, everyone knew it was already
15 These are the first refugees arriving at the
16 UN base. The first ones will arrive in trucks and
17 buses. The United Nations personnel, they are trying
18 their best to go and collect as many people as
19 possible. But the main column arrived walking. Some
20 shelling was happening on the way, but not targeting
21 the population; in fact, channelling the population
22 towards Srebrenica. Several were wounded by the
23 shelling, but the shelling was not designed to kill the
24 people, but to make sure that they would go like
25 organised cattle towards Potocari.
1 This is the commander of the Drina Wolves
2 giving instructions to his troops to yell like wolves
3 in order to scare off probably the opponent.
4 This is the area south of the enclave at the
5 moment the military operation is going on. Probably --
6 the people we just saw were probably in the vicinity of
7 the forward command post of Krivaca, which is a hill
8 just east of Srebrenica town, south-east of Srebrenica
9 town, which enables us to have an overview of this
11 Here you can see the Drina Wolves yelling.
12 This is a picture of a tank. This is
13 probably the Republika Srpska news.
14 This is General Mladic entering Srebrenica
15 town, greeting individuals wearing black camouflage
16 uniforms, which are members of the 10th Sabotage
17 Detachment. We know several of them by name. He's
18 calling General Krstic and General Zivanovic, asking
19 them to speed up. Greeting here, you can see members
20 of the unit of the Drina Wolves. They have this
21 armband with a blue patch with a black wolf yelling in
23 You have here various people, including the
24 brother of General Zivanovic. The identification of
25 faces and names might come at a later stage, when we
1 will discuss, in detail, the responsibilities. When he
2 says "Krle," he refers to General Krstic.
3 An element of the 2nd Romanija Corps, which
4 was also a unit which participated in the takeover of
5 the enclave. Here we can see General Krstic greeting
6 his colleague from the 2nd Romanija Corps. You can see
7 several people of top interest; we will discuss them
9 This is the piece of footage where General
10 Mladic ends by saying that the time of revenge on the
11 Turks has arrived.
12 This is a group of Bratunac Brigade people
13 from the reconnaissance unit who are entering
14 Srebrenica -- Potocari first. Bosnian Serb forces in
15 Potocari, next to the White House. Behind it is an
16 electrical substation. The people are coming from a
17 hamlet above. They are directed towards the asphalt
19 This is a view of a crowd of refugees in
20 Potocari next to the Express Compound. General Mladic
21 explaining to the crowd what is going to happen, that
22 the woman, the children, and the elderly are going to
23 be evacuated first, that the turn of the men will come
24 after that part of the evacuation will be completed,
25 that no one will harm them. The very precise location
1 of that footage is known. I'll show you later on
2 pictures of that location. There are ground features
3 which are easily recognisable.
4 You can see the person wearing the blue flak
5 jacket, this is Major Kingori, a United Nations
6 military observer who was present there and who has a
7 lot of interesting details to give.
8 In this interview, General Mladic is just
9 giving technical comments regarding the ongoing
10 operation, what is going to happen; all the good things
11 that he is currently doing for these people, providing
12 them with water and food. I believe this is also the
13 footage where he explains that the operation is not
14 directed against UNPROFOR, nor the civilian population,
15 but only against army people. The men surrounding
16 Mladic are his bodyguards. You will constantly see
17 them in his presence. In every footage where General
18 Mladic appears, you will see them. They are his
20 This is the separation line which is nearby
21 the Express Compound, just in the area where General
22 Mladic was just giving his interview. At this moment,
23 this is a little piece of propaganda where the soldiers
24 are handing, for the sake of the RS television,
25 chocolate and bonbons to the children.
1 This is a view of the refugees waiting for
2 the buses in the vicinity of the Express Compound, just
3 at the location where General Mladic was talking.
4 These are the faces of men in that little compound.
5 The men will all be separated and taken to what we call
6 the White House.
7 This is a view of the Express Compound, one
8 of the factories in Potocari where the refugees were
9 jammed inside, waiting for a chance to flee that place,
10 and we will explain why they needed to flee.
11 This is a scene where the people are cleared
12 to go on board the buses. Soldiers in the vicinity of
13 the buses. All these buses are coming from all over
14 the area. There was even an appeal to the public to
15 provide transportation.
16 All these men are men who were in the White
17 House and who are going to take separate buses. You
18 will see at one point individuals who try to go on the
19 other side are prevented by soldiers in between the
20 truck to reach the other side of that road. All these
21 men have been identified by face, and they are all
22 missing. Someone will come and testify about this
24 This is the other part where the women, the
25 children, and the elderly could walk and go in buses
1 which were going towards Kladanj. Men were shipped
2 towards Bratunac.
3 You can see some men are still on that part
4 of the road. This means that these men logically will
5 be able to get on board of the bus, but several of them
6 will probably be separated on the way before Kladanj,
7 except the very old ones or the really disabled ones.
8 People know each other, as you can see.
9 This is a discussion between a UN soldier and
10 the commander of special police forces in charge of
11 organising the process here. You can see a lot of
12 clothing lying on the ground. People had to abandon
13 their bags, their belongings, before entering the
14 buses. All the way towards Kladanj, they will be
15 systematically robbed of all their belongings also.
16 This is Major Kingori at this moment
17 complaining about the situation inside the White
18 House. He says that the men are sitting on top of each
19 other, and that this is no good, no good. General
20 Mladic visited, indeed, the White House also.
21 These are belongings of the men who were
22 forced into that White House.
23 That scene is filmed on the meadow of
24 Sandici. At this moment, this man is forced to shout
25 the name of his son who is somewhere in the woods and
1 bring him to surrender.
2 These are soldiers who are guarding the
3 prisoners, and this is most probably also at the meadow
4 of Sandici, since there is no break in the footage.
5 Not "most probably," it is most certainly the meadow of
6 Sandici. The man who is playing with the gun of this
7 soldier is an alleged legal officer.
8 This is a group of prisoners arriving on the
9 meadow. These are the hills which are south of the
10 asphalt road of Bratunac-Konjevici. They were shooting
11 on the column with anti-aircraft weapons. The shells
12 explode when they hit the trees and then they throw
13 shrapnel on all those beyond it. It is totally
14 forbidden to use these kinds of weapons on personnel.
15 It has been a common practice throughout the war to use
16 these weapons on them, that is, anti-personnel guns.
17 This is the road coming from the direction of
18 Konjevici, towards Sandici. Sandici is in the hill
19 just after this stretch of road; behind the hill is
20 Sandici. You can see abandoned clothing at the edge of
21 the road. People were surrendering, sometimes one
22 individual, sometimes two, three, but the main
23 surrenderings were massive. Soldiers were lined up all
24 along this stretch of road.
25 You can see soldiers all along that stretch
1 of road here again. They're waiting for prisoners to
3 In this piece of interview -- you will also,
4 I assume, get a full translation of it -- the soldier
5 is explaining that today they have captured between
6 3.000 and 4.000 prisoners in this location. The
7 journalist asks him, "This is exaggerated," but meaning
8 that this is a lot, and the soldier replies, "Yes.
9 Yes, this is a lot."
10 Here you can see the Bosnian Serb soldier
11 next to the alleged legal officer wearing a blue
13 This is at Sandici meadow. Prisoners
14 arriving from the forest. I mean, at that moment, they
15 become prisoners. This man has a bloodstain on his
16 backpack. This man is asked by the journalist, why is
17 he afraid, and he explains, who would not be? In this
18 picture, there is a dead body lying nearby, and the
19 fact is that at this point, there was no reason to have
20 dead bodies lying on the ground. There is some
21 propaganda saying that some persons who were arriving
22 on the asphalt road, in fact, were willing to pick
23 fights with the people guarding them, but that doesn't
24 seem very serious. Here is the dead body.
25 Still the Sandici -- the arrival towards
1 Sandici. Most of the soldiers stripped themselves of
2 military clothing, not to be identified as soldiers.
3 This one is forced to take off his T-shirt. But in the
4 end, they will all be treated the same way, whatever
5 kind of clothing they were wearing.
6 The soldiers are directing the prisoners
7 towards the meadow at this moment.
8 This is the arrival towards the meadow,
9 trying to take this wounded toward the meadow. The
10 wounded will then be put in some destroyed houses, and
11 no one knows what will be their fate.
12 This is a view of the hills nearby the
13 asphalt road.
14 This is Srebrenica town. The town is empty.
15 There is a car passing by with an individual flashing
16 the Serb victory sign. Zoran Petrovic filming dead
17 bodies in Srebrenica town. We don't know how these
18 people died, if they died because of shelling or if
19 they were executed there.
20 This is a view of the mosque as it was when
21 the enclave was taken by the Serb forces, filmed by
22 Zoran Petrovic.
23 These are women, children, and also some men
24 arriving at the canyon in Kladanj. This is on
25 Muslim-held territory at that time. We do not know if
1 this was filmed on the 12th or the 13th.
2 This is the arrival of members of the 28th
3 Division who managed to break the lines at Nezuk. As
4 you can see, they carry their weapons. It's an
5 absolute fact that the enclave was not demilitarised.
6 But only the first part of the column was organised and
7 properly equipped. Some weapons were among those in
8 the huge crowd left behind, but only hunting rifles,
9 old rifles.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon,
11 I think this is a convenient time to make a break.
12 MR. HARMON: Yes.
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Would you
15 MR. HARMON: Yes.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 We shall now make then a 20-minute break.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.54 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 1.18 p.m.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon,
21 you may continue.
22 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, let me just
23 briefly summarise the manner which Mr. Ruez will be
24 testifying now. We have prepared Volume 1 of the
25 Office of the Prosecutor exhibits. They have been
1 premarked. You should have copies of those, I hope,
2 before you or you will have them shortly. What I
3 propose to do is ask Mr. Ruez to proceed by each of the
4 subparts of this exhibit. He will enter more into the
5 details of this particular series of events.
6 Q. Mr. Ruez, what I'd like you to do now is
7 enter more into the details of the various locations
8 that you have been discussing in your broad overview of
9 the events that took place following the fall of
11 I have before me and you should have in front
12 of you Prosecutor's Exhibit 4, and it is divided into
13 subparts. The subparts specify specific locations.
14 What I would like you to do, first of all, is to begin
15 with this exhibit, the first tabbed item which is
16 Srebrenica, and I'd like you to enter into the details
17 of that.
18 I'm going to start my examination by
19 tendering a film, and I'd like you to inform the Judges
20 what the film will show them first. Will you do that?
21 Then I'll ask you to put on a map.
22 A. Sure. The map first, the video second.
23 First of all, the map of the area of Srebrenica. If it
24 does work on the ELMO -- do I have to press something?
25 Q. It will take care of itself. You're fine.
1 A. Okay. Sorry.
2 MR. HARMON: Okay. Now, for the video booth,
3 we're going to be playing Prosecutor's Exhibit 4/8.
4 Q. Could you, before we play that, Mr. Ruez,
5 could you please explain to the Judges what it is that
6 they will be seeing on the video?
7 A. Yes. The video will be views from Srebrenica
8 town, filmed by myself, but before -- and which will
9 show Srebrenica town from the air first, and then it
10 will show Srebrenica town from the road. The aim of
11 showing you these pictures is mainly to give you a
12 feeling of the ground, how the place looks like. The
13 terrain is changing in this area significantly every
14 30 kilometres. The south of Srebrenica is very hilly,
15 mountainous; the north is entering a plain. So it is
16 important for the good comprehension of the military
17 operation also to know how the ground looks like. The
18 military operation will be developed later by someone
19 else, but this will already give you a feeling of how
20 the area is.
21 You will also be able then to review these
22 pictures and identify precise locations where the
23 perpetrators can be seen.
24 First of all, I start with the Exhibit
25 number 4/A, which is the map of the area. On the map
1 one can already read the ground through the markings
2 but the video will be much better for this.
3 Another element of importance on this map is
4 a little place that you can find just south-east of
5 Srebrenica town. I'm going to circle it on the
6 exhibit. It's Pribicevac. Pribicevac is the location
7 of the forward command post which was set there for the
8 sake of the command and control of the military
9 operation of the takeover of the enclave.
10 Initially, the operation was not designed to
11 take over the enclave but to shrink it to the limits of
12 the town in a way to create a big open-air refugee
13 centre which would then lead to the decision by the
14 UN to evacuate the area. It is only the 11th that the
15 Bosnian Serb army realised that there would be no
16 opponents to challenge their advance towards the town,
17 that General Mladic made the decision to capture the
18 entire enclave, and this is the location from which the
19 operations were directed.
20 We can now have a look at the film. Also one
21 important detail is to see the distance between
22 Srebrenica and Bratunac, which is a short distance as
23 you can see it on the map.
24 Q. All right. Could the audio booth please
25 start the film.
1 [Audiotape played]
2 A. This is the access to Srebrenica to the south
3 of the road. You can see here the road that is at the
4 south of the map. It's on top of a hill, and it will
5 then go down to Srebrenica. This is the road that the
6 Bosnian Serb army took before entering the town and
7 after capturing the observation posts south of the
8 enclave. So here you can see what the ground looks
9 like. It's a very hilly zone.
10 The area you can see in front, these
11 succession of hills, it's the same landscape between
12 Srebrenica and the intersection of Konjevici. All the
13 ground looks the same. It's a succession of huge
14 hills. This is the town sandwiched in between two
15 hills, and from Pribicevac, one can overlook the town.
16 This is approaching towards the centre of
17 town. In the middle of the picture here you don't see
18 any more the location of the mosque. This film is
19 dated August 1999. I filmed it from a helicopter.
20 Here you can zoom-in on what is now a parking lot. I
21 will show you still pictures after this film. There
22 was then the Orthodox church. I will show it to you on
24 This is a soccer field. The concrete
25 playground here is a soccer field. There are two
1 soccer fields in the town, one for which we have a
2 still photograph, and other one for which we don't
4 This is the UN compound for Company B in
5 Srebrenica town. This is the second soccer field. The
6 soccer fields are important because, as Drazen
7 Erdemovic testified, the population which was left
8 inside the town was then directed towards the soccer
9 field. We have not determined with him what soccer
10 field. The fact is, anyhow, that we don't know what is
11 the fate of these people who were then taken to this
12 soccer field.
13 This is the road coming from Potocari towards
14 Srebrenica, and we are just at this moment passing this
15 soccer field which is the most south of Srebrenica
16 town. This is filming the west part of that area.
17 We are going right now from this soccer field
18 towards the centre of town. This lasts approximately,
19 I would say, three to five minutes.
20 The video is filmed by a colleague from the
21 Office of the Prosecutor, Peter Nicholson. This film
22 is dated -- this one is dated April 1996. So nine
23 months after the takeover.
24 Most of the hills are deforested. The reason
25 is that the only heating source inside the enclave
1 since, in fact, 1992, before even the enclave existed,
2 was wood. That's why all the hills look so naked.
3 This is the Company B, the UN compound of
4 Srebrenica. The guardhouse of the entrance. The
5 location has obviously been transformed at that moment
6 into a depot of trash. The town needed a severe
7 cleaning for all these years and, in fact, the
8 municipality was very busy and active cleaning the town
9 still at that moment.
10 The quality of the film is not excellent.
11 It's super -- it's an 8-millimetre video camera, basic
12 device, so there is no steady shot on the picture.
13 This is the reason why the picture moves so often.
14 One thing one can note also, not necessarily
15 on these pictures, but we could have others that can
16 demonstrate it, the place had been subject to quite
17 intense shelling from time to time, but the fact is
18 that the destructions are not extremely obvious. Most
19 of the buildings are standing. Many have shrapnel
20 traces, but it is not a destroyed area. The situation
21 reports number the number of shells at some point
22 during the attack up to 200 a day. There was intense
23 shelling going on, but the result of it is not so
25 This is an area where General Mladic was
1 sighted on film, a film by RS television. We did not
2 show this footage in the film that we previously
3 showed, but this is the south-west part where we can
4 sight General Mladic, the 11th of July.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the sound volume of
6 the film be put down, please?
7 A. [Previous translation continues] ... from the
8 10th Sabotage Detachment. This is entering the centre
9 of Srebrenica. The buildings on the right was made
10 famous when General Morillon raised the UN flag on top
11 of it. I'm not sure if it's this one or the one next
12 to it.
13 This place here was the area where the red
14 vehicle was passing in the Zoran Petrovic video. This
15 is leading to the marketplace where the main mosque of
16 Srebrenica was standing in the Zoran Petrovic video.
17 This is, as I said, footage dated April 1996. You will
18 see that the minaret of the mosque and the dome of the
19 mosque have been dynamited.
20 This road leads now to Zeleni Jadar. We are
21 still in Srebrenica town going to Zeleni Jadar, which
22 is south of Srebrenica. It is an area where we will
23 later talk about secondary mass grave sites. It is
24 still a pile of trash and rubble in the town. As I
25 said, the cleaning process of the garbage was not over
1 at that time.
2 This is an area where Drazen Erdemovic put on
3 fire a haystack to mark a position, a position of their
4 advance. The ones who entered the enclave were the
5 10th Sabotage Detachment and Drina Wolves. Both of
6 them can be seen on pieces of footage that we have
8 This is driving towards Zeleni Jadar,
9 overlooking the town. This is exactly the view that
10 the Bosnian Serb army had when they arrived towards
11 Srebrenica by road.
12 MR. HARMON:
13 Q. Mr. Ruez, if you'd now proceed using the
14 still photographs that are located in Prosecutor's
15 Exhibit 4. Would you kindly put them on the ELMO and
16 explain to the Judges what they represent. Will you
17 move it up a little, please? That's fine. Thank you
18 very much.
19 A. So this is -- this is a photograph from the
20 part of the road that we have just seen, but this is a
21 photo, not an extract from the film. It shows just the
22 town and how it is blocked in between those two hills.
23 No, sorry. There is one important detail on
24 this one. This is so far the only photograph we have
25 of the concrete playground. You can see in the centre
1 of the picture a group of white buildings, and just at
2 the left of these white buildings, behind them is an
3 area of concrete. This is the playground number 1,
4 let's call them like this, of Srebrenica town.
5 Exhibit number 4/2 is, for reference, a
6 photograph of the UN compound of Srebrenica town, the
7 Company B compound. This is the place where the crowd
8 of people was assembled at the beginning of the film
9 that we showed as Exhibit number 3.
10 Q. Is this the location that was shelled and
11 Muslim refugees were killed and injured?
12 A. Yes, definitely this is the place.
13 Q. Please proceed.
14 A. The Exhibit 4/3 is a photograph of the
15 destroyed mosque, which I took in April 1993. No,
16 sorry. This photograph is one dated January 1996.
17 January 1996. It was the first mission we did and
18 where we were unable to enter Republika Srpska in
19 company of Under-Secretary of State John Shattuck at
20 the time. We could visit a few of these locations and
21 have a brief entering of Srebrenica town. This
22 photograph is January 1996.
23 Q. Now, Mr. Ruez, earlier in the Petrovic film
24 that we saw, we saw a mosque that was standing up. Is
25 this the same mosque?
1 A. This is exactly the same mosque. The only
2 changes on this one is that as you can see here, that
3 part is the minaret, and the dome which was on top of
4 the mosque is now destroyed also. These destructions
5 are most probably caused by dynamite.
6 Exhibit 4/4, on this exhibit you can see a
7 view from the main mosque of Srebrenica, in the middle
8 of the picture, and its environment. One detail you
9 can note on this one is that there is also another
10 religious monument in the frame of the picture, which
11 is the Orthodox church.
12 Q. When was this picture taken?
13 A. This picture is dated April 1996. We have
14 never visited the inside of the Orthodox church, but
15 you have to know that during a certain number of years,
16 propaganda claimed that the Orthodox church had been
17 destroyed by the Bosniak Muslims who were inside of the
18 enclave. After the fact, photographs were shown now
19 with the claim that it was not destroyed from the
20 outside, but destroyed from the inside. We never went
21 to check. The only thing we can show is this
22 photograph that shows that the church is standing.
23 This is another photograph, but dated 1997.
24 The difference with the photograph dated 1996 is that
25 you do not have any more the minaret and you do not
1 have any more the dome on top of this rubble.
2 Exhibit 46 is still extracted from the video
3 that I filmed from a helicopter in August 1999, and
4 which was shown to you at the beginning of the film on
5 Srebrenica. On this one, you can see at the precise
6 location where the mosque was standing now is a
7 concrete ground, and vehicles are parked here
8 [indicates]. This has now been transformed into a
9 parking lot.
10 The next exhibit, Exhibit 47, is a view of
11 another mosque in Srebrenica, which is on the way going
12 to Zeleni Jadar, so very south of the town. This
13 picture is dated April 1996. In January, we didn't go
14 so far, so we don't know how it was in January, but in
15 April 1996, at the moment the central mosque of the
16 marketplace was dynamited, we can see that this one has
17 suffered the same treatment as the main mosque. We
18 have no other pictures of this one, we just monitored
19 the destruction of the main mosque, but this one now is
20 exactly in the same state as the main one. It doesn't
21 exist anymore.
22 These are the exhibits I wanted to show you
23 about Srebrenica town.
24 Q. Mr. Ruez, is there any other detail you'd
25 like to relate to the Court before we turn to Exhibit
1 5, which is Potocari?
2 A. No. The investigation does not focus on
3 Srebrenica town, since the only elements we know about
4 the situation at that time, in that place, is that
5 people were still there. According to Drazen
6 Erdemovic, the people who were found in Srebrenica town
7 were directed to the soccer field, but he never went to
8 the soccer field so he doesn't know what was the
9 situation there. He describes one murder committed in
10 Srebrenica, which was filmed by those who committed it,
11 but we never could access that footage.
12 For the rest, in fact, the only elements we
13 have are the destructions of the mosques. And it's not
14 a full survey, we only have photographs on two
15 mosques. As far as I know, there were four mosques,
16 and maybe even five mosques in Srebrenica.
17 Q. All right. Mr. Ruez, let's turn our
18 attention now to Potocari. Would you inform the Judges
19 of the additional details about Potocari?
20 A. This is Exhibit 5A, which is, in fact, a
21 black and white photocopy of a map. That map does not
22 show all the buildings in Potocari, but the main ones.
23 I will show you other products which will enable you to
24 get familiar with the various factories.
25 The important element in Potocari is that
1 when all the refugees came from all the parts of the
2 enclave towards Potocari, there was not enough space to
3 accommodate them, and when I say "accommodate," to give
4 some kind of shelter to them. So they entered these
5 factories, and the factories were completely crowded
6 and packed with refugees. Also, the surroundings were
7 occupied, houses were occupied, and a lot of criminal
8 events are described by the witnesses in Potocari. All
9 of them -- most of them we have only to stand on the
10 declarations of the witnesses because we have no
11 ability to conduct any forensics in that place.
12 Most of the criminal events that the
13 witnesses describe are happening in the vicinity of the
14 factories, people taken by soldiers and led towards
15 hidden directions, and also in little groups of houses
16 which are in the vicinity.
17 One important element about what happened in
18 Potocari is that it was not -- it is not what we could
19 really call an execution area. In fact, murders were
20 committed there. Obviously, there was a kind of free
21 possibility for either the soldiers or locals from
22 Bratunac to come to the place and behave in the way,
23 more or less, they wanted to behave. So it's a very
24 confused situation.
25 A lot of murders are reported. Bodies were
1 left in the open, near water pumps, which is important
2 information, because these bodies were not hidden, and
3 we suppose that this was done on purpose. The reason
4 is that after the night spent in these factories, the
5 main concern the next morning was to try to find water,
6 so the women went to find water pumps in the vicinity,
7 and you will hear many reports about dead bodies lying
8 nearby water pumps.
9 This situation has to be put in correlation
10 with the official declarations of General Mladic and
11 other officials, which is that the population was given
12 a free choice either to stay under the protection of
13 the army of the Republika Srpska and the police of
14 Republika Srpska, and those who have committed no
15 crimes have nothing to fear; either to leave, to leave
16 either towards Muslim-held territory or towards the
17 territory of the Federal Republic, towards Serbia; or
18 even to go to a country of their choice, adding that
19 there was no possibility to meet personal requirements
20 but that that option was even open.
21 The reality behind that alleged choice is
22 that what happened in Potocari was designed not to
23 exterminate the people, but to infiltrate enough terror
24 to force them to flee the place, and you will see here
25 that all the people there, indeed, were very eager to
1 get on a bus and get out of this place, where they knew
2 that they would be killed at one moment or another by
3 staying too long. But I am not going to develop on
4 what the witnesses will tell you in this courtroom.
5 Q. Mr. Ruez, before you move the map, can you
6 tell the Judges the approximate distance between
7 Srebrenica and Potocari?
8 A. Yes. As you can see, the distance from
9 Srebrenica to Potocari is five kilometres on the map,
10 roughly four to five kilometres. Then the distance
11 between Potocari and Bratunac is approximately three
12 kilometres. All these are short distances.
13 Q. And these squares in the map represent
14 one-kilometre square; is that correct?
15 A. This is absolutely correct, yes.
16 Q. Please proceed, Mr. Ruez.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon,
18 sorry to interrupt you, but before we turn to the
19 following issue, I would like to know why we are
20 talking about Potocari, whereas the encircled place is
21 called Pecista.
22 A. The reason is everyone calls this location
23 where the factories are, everyone calls this place
24 Potocari. The reality is that the little hamlet of
25 Potocari, I'm going to check in the map if it is even
1 written on it -- yes, the little hamlet is written on
2 it, but it is not the area of the building. The area
3 where the main factories are has no name.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 MR. HARMON:
6 Q. Please continue, Mr. Ruez. Please explain
7 what this photograph is, if you will.
8 A. Exhibit 51 is an aerial photograph from
9 Potocari, from the area where all the factories are.
10 This photograph is a product of the US government. All
11 the photographs which will be coming from that source,
12 which is, in fact, the State Department, which delivers
13 these products to us, will have white markings on
14 them. You will see later that on these same products,
15 yellow markers are added. All the yellow markings are
16 coming from myself; all that is white is the
17 information provided by the US government. This
18 photograph is dated 13 July 1995. One thing that we
19 won't discuss also is the platform that took the
20 picture, on which we have no information.
21 Here you can see a group of buildings
22 which -- this won't be very meaningful, which is the
23 reason why I'm going immediately to pass to the next
24 exhibit, which is 52, which has markings on it.
25 Q. Mr. Ruez, as you identify these particular
1 locations, can you tell us very briefly what happened
2 in each of these locations and what the significance of
3 these buildings are?
4 A. So we are going to start with the UN base.
5 The goal of this presentation is also, indeed, to get
6 familiarised with the various buildings here. In fact,
7 there are not so many important buildings that the
8 people refer to. The main one, naturally, is the UN
9 base. It is circled and squared in yellow, in a yellow
10 frame. All this area is the area of what everyone
11 refers to also as the Akumulator Factory, which is a
12 former battery factory for ships, and maybe other
13 devices. But it is, in fact, the UN base.
14 In this compound, about 5.000 refugees
15 managed to find shelter on the 11th. Despite Mladic's
16 instruction, order, not to accept any refugees inside
17 the compound, Dutch officers decided to open a fence in
18 a little hidden part of that compound so that refugees
19 could get in, and 5.000 of them could enter.
20 Unfortunately, at some point, the factory was full of
21 people and the order came out not to accept any more
22 refugees inside of it. So once this factory was
23 totally filled in with refugees, other factories
24 started to get occupied.
25 The Blue Factory is not referred to by people
1 for the simple reason that as soon as the Bosnian Serb
2 army arrived in the location, they took possession of
3 this factory and they taped around it; no one could
4 approach. We don't know what happened inside, no one
5 is in a position to tell us at this point, but no
6 refugees was inside this factory. It is called the
7 Blue Factory; it's a generic name that everyone used
8 for it because the building is blue, and I will show
9 you that on photographs where you can see the colour of
11 Just in front of the Blue Factory, parallel
12 to the asphalt road, is a building which is referred to
13 as the Faros Building, because it is written on it,
14 "Faros," it was the name of the company. It's not a
15 factory, it's an administrative building.
16 On the top of the picture, which is, in fact,
17 south, going south, we have the Express Bus Compound.
18 This is the compound of a bus company. The white
19 little bars that you can see in the vicinity are
20 destroyed buses. This is an important location. You
21 will see it in the film which was taken at the time of
22 the events, either by RS news or by Mr. Zoran
23 Petrovic. This place was absolutely packed with
25 Several witnesses talk about groups of
1 soldiers getting inside this compound by night and
2 flashing lights on people to identify them, and
3 separating men out of the crowd of refugees and taking
4 them in unknown directions. It is also the location
5 where people talk about desperate individuals, scared
6 of the way they will die, who committed suicide. One
7 body was found in a little side room, which is behind
8 the factory, he had hung himself in that room.
9 On the top of the picture, but unfortunately
10 under the white frame here [indicates], is another
11 little group of factories which you will see from other
12 pictures. But their names are of interest because the
13 witnesses will refer to them as well.
14 One is the building of Energoinvest, and the
15 other one, which was also absolutely packed with
16 refugees, is the factory of 11 of March, "11 of March"
17 being the name of the factory. We will return to that
18 specific factory for the reason that I told you that we
19 could not conduct forensics about criminal events which
20 happened in this place, this is a fact, but we have a
21 very compelling story from one witness, and we found
22 elements on the ground which we believe entitle us to
23 give credit to this witness. We will talk about that
24 at a later stage. But this is the location where the
25 events will happen, in the vicinity of 11 of March
2 And the factory south of it, the Zinc
3 Factory, this is a huge building. This was also
4 crowded with refugees, and separations took place also
5 in this one. It's always the same process: a group of
6 soldiers getting in and selecting men or taking people
7 out. Murders were committed behind these factories.
8 You will hear about them, depending on the will of
9 these witnesses to come and testify.
10 A very important feature seen on this
11 photograph is the White House. Behind it is the
12 electrical station. It was marked because it is just
13 near it. We have no elements about what happened
14 there, and we forgot to mark -- we will probably need
15 to add that -- an arrow on this building here
16 [indicates], which is a building we call the Blue
17 Building. Everyone refers to it like this. So we have
18 two blue buildings; one is the Blue Factory, not to be
19 confused with the Blue Building, which is much smaller,
20 as you will see on other photographs.
21 The Blue Building is the location where the
22 water tank is on the live footages which can be seen at
23 the time of the events. This is where Zoran Petrovic
24 addresses a Dutch officer, asking him, "What is going
25 on here?"
1 The White House is probably the most
2 important element in this picture. This is the
3 location where the men were taken after separation.
4 You will see in a close-up that this little group of
5 black things here on the picture [indicates] is the
6 crowd which is building up at the location where the
7 separation line is. The men who were then separated
8 here [indicates] walked along the buses, as we could
9 see on the Zoran Petrovic film, the reason why we can
10 hardly say in the Zoran Petrovic film that these men
11 were, in fact, getting out of the White House to be
12 loaded on buses or if they were coming from the
13 separation line and led towards the White House. It's
14 one solution or another. But this is the location
15 where the men were detained and where Mladic went to
16 see how they were doing inside.
17 Major Kingori, the military observer who was
18 present in that location, also had an opportunity to
19 visit the inside of this White House and witness the
20 condition of the people inside.
21 I am done with this one.
22 This is Exhibit 53, which is a blow-up of the
23 previous picture, or of another one, I can't say,
24 because one has an hour, the other one has none. This
25 picture is dated 1400 hours, 13 July 1995. I won't
1 make the comments on the 11th before showing you the
2 next exhibit which has all the markings on it.
3 So we pass immediately to Exhibit 54. Here
4 again we can have as a reference the Blue Factory.
5 Just in front of the Blue Factory, the building Faros,
6 which is not marked here, and just on the opposite
7 side, you have the White House. Next to the house is a
8 bus, which most probably is there to collect prisoners
9 who are still inside the house.
10 At that time of the day the evacuation was
11 not over, and still some number of men were present in
12 the area. So this is a problem we had with the
13 computer. The computer never accepted to print out
14 properly this part. We'll have to redo one probably.
15 This is written "people" here. That circle is a crowd
16 of people. This area here is visible on the Zoran
17 Petrovic film. This is the location or the area where
18 the day before General Mladic was addressing the
19 crowd. This is where his bodyguards were handing over
20 chocolate bars to the children.
21 Just behind this crowd is a separation line,
22 which was also visible on the footage that we saw, just
23 a rope across the street. UN soldiers were at this
24 line in order to make some order in the situation, but
25 the ones who were ruling the show there was the Bosnian
1 Serb army, who did, in fact, exactly what they wanted.
2 The UN soldiers were stripped of their equipment
3 quickly, and on the 13th, no one was in a situation to
4 oppose what was going on, and the separation was still
5 ongoing that day.
6 As you can see, there is a mixture of
7 vehicles going up and collecting the people. You have
8 trucks and buses. The water tank is marked again on
9 this one. What else.
10 Yes. Then I'm going to start talking about
11 another -- no. No. Sorry.
12 On this one also I have marked several things
13 that we won't have pictures after that to show, but
14 here we're already entering, in fact, one criminal
16 We have several features that we can see
17 here, a little wooden share which is at the edge of the
18 zinc factory, another shed which is not visible on the
19 photograph because it's under the tree line, which is
20 on a hill behind this factory.
21 We have this house here, and in front of it
22 is a cornfield, which on the photograph one can see
23 that it is a grown-up, grown cornfield. The black line
24 you can see here is the corn, high corn. The little
25 white spot which is inside the corn is a vehicle, a
1 car. I will have to return on that a bit later.
2 Exhibit number 5/5 is a photograph extracted
3 from the video film from the helicopter in October 1999
4 and shows some of the buildings that we had on these
5 aerial black and white photographs. These ones are not
6 marked yet.
7 This is the zinc factory.
8 Q. For the record, you're pointing to the long
9 rectangle building on the left-hand side of the road as
10 you look directly at the photograph?
11 A. Yes. At the bottom right of the picture, on
12 the east part of the asphalt road that goes from
13 Bratunac to Srebrenica, you have the Express compound
14 building. The location where I was talking about, the
15 body which was found hanged, is in this little
16 extension of the building.
17 Q. When you say "this," you're referring to the
18 long, rectangular, white building on the right-hand
19 side of the road; is that correct?
20 A. This is correct. The White Building which is
21 the Express compound, the bus compound.
22 You can also see on this photograph, on the
23 road just in the direction of Srebrenica, which on this
24 photograph is on the right, you have a group of trees
25 here. This is the location where General Mladic was
1 giving his interview and where his bodyguards were
2 handing over candies to the children. You can see also
3 that just in between the road -- the trees are in
4 between houses. And the road, this is a kind of
5 construction where, in the Zoran Petrovic film, we
6 could see refugees assembled, and men among them,
7 sitting, and one individual, who was wearing a purple
8 bandanna on his head, was looking at the refugees
9 behind the fence.
10 We will return at some point one day on this
11 individual who is a very interesting man for this
13 Q. Now, Mr. Ruez, just so the record is
14 perfectly clear, when you referred to trees where
15 General Mladic gave his interview, you're referring to
16 the large clump of trees that appear in this picture in
17 the upper right-hand corner. They appear to bisect or
18 block the road; is that correct?
19 A. That is correct, yes. Thank you for the
20 precision of the description.
21 Behind these trees, on the top right part of
22 the photograph, are two buildings of interest. One
23 is -- we cannot see his colour on this photograph, but
24 we will see other photographs of it. It's the Blue
25 Building. It's the one we call the Blue Building,
1 which is the location where the water tank was
3 These reference points will be important
4 later on in order to pinpoint precise locations where
5 people were. We will use them as a reference point to
6 identify both the fact that this is the location and
7 the precise spot.
8 On this same photograph, the last building
9 one can see on the upper part of the picture totally at
10 the top right, the White Building. This is the
11 so-called White House in which the prisoners were
12 assembled prior to being transported towards Bratunac.
13 One additional comment. Also on this
14 picture, one can see also the other little
15 constructions which are the houses in the vicinity.
16 The fact is that the main crowd of refugees was
17 occupying the factories, but as I told you, also the
18 houses were occupied, and you might face the situation
19 where people will talk about criminal events in the
20 vicinity of these houses, because the fact is that
21 these type of reports are scattered, and we have a lot
22 of difficulties at this point to identify precisely
24 Another thing that I have to tell you and
25 admit, in fact, is that the investigation on the events
1 in Potocari is the weak point of this investigation.
2 The reason is that we have spent most of our time
3 reconstructing the main criminal events, which are the
4 massive executions. We did not have time yet to
5 finalise the investigation on Potocari. This is
6 something still ongoing. We will do it at the moment
7 the trial continues.
8 Exhibit 5/6 is a view from the hill which is
9 just behind --
10 Q. Mr. Ruez, let me just interrupt you for a
11 moment. Perhaps we have different exhibits. The 5/6
12 that I'm holding has a different set of buildings on
14 A. I have this one.
15 Q. Perhaps they have been misidentified. Go in
16 whatever order you like, but since you're using the
17 official Court copy -- let me just pause for a moment.
18 That's marked 5/19 in the copy that I have. So we're
19 perfectly clear and we're operating off the same
20 photograph, I will change this to 5/6.
21 A. So this picture is taken from mid-height of a
22 hill which is behind the Zinc Factory. The view is
23 turning towards the north, north-east. The asphalt
24 road going --
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 English and French transcripts
1 Mr. Harmon, which number is this photograph exhibit
3 MR. HARMON: In my binder, it was originally
4 5/19, but since Mr. Ruez is testifying from the
5 official Court exhibits, it should be 5/6 and should be
6 marked accordingly. So in your copy perhaps it is
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. HARMON:
10 Q. Mr. Ruez, please continue.
11 A. So on this photograph, the interesting
12 elements are, again in the very centre of the picture,
13 the Blue Building. On this one, one can this time
14 clearly see that it is blue, the small one which is
15 right in the centre. The fact is that from this angle,
16 this building seems melded with the one behind it,
17 which is not the case. The one just behind it is the
18 Feros Building. Behind the Feros Building, the huge
19 blue structure is the so-called Blue Factory.
20 On the left of the Blue Factory is the
21 Akumulator Factory, which is the UN compound. One
22 important element on the UN compound is this
23 structure. On top of it, this is the watchtower of the
24 compound. This is a photograph dated June 1996.
25 The next exhibit number is 5/7.
1 Q. That may be marked in your exhibits as 5/9.
2 So just wait a minute, Mr. Ruez. We will make sure
3 that we all have the same exhibits.
4 A. Do you know what?
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I believe
6 it is 5/7, which before that was numbered differently.
7 It said 5/15 before. These are the numbers that we see
9 MR. HARMON: Well, obviously in preparation
10 for today and with the massive amount of exhibits,
11 there has been some confusion. I apologise. We
12 will -- if I could just have a moment with my
13 assistant, perhaps we could resolve this.
14 A. You have a good order. I have a wrong one.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. Mr. Ruez, we're going to give you a different
17 set of these.
18 A. Now -- mine are mixed, in fact.
19 Q. Don't despair. So are mine.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Now there
21 is no problem. We are now with 5/7, and I believe it
22 is this one.
23 MR. HARMON:
24 Q. Mr. Ruez, if you can put your set that you're
25 working with aside, we'll clear your desk, and you can
1 testify off of the set that I've just handed you.
2 There are two loose pictures that I have taken out of
3 sleeves, but they have numbers that may correspond to
4 the numbers being used by the Judges.
5 A. Okay. I'm just a bit confused now. Is this
6 the one we have shown?
7 Q. I believe we're going to 5/7.
8 A. Which one is the one I'm supposed to put on
10 Q. Mr. Ruez, proceed in the order that you want
11 to proceed in and just identify the photograph as we
12 progress through them.
13 A. This is one we are currently working on?
14 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, this one.
15 MR. HARMON: Perhaps, Mr. President, this
16 might be an appropriate time to take a break, conclude
17 for the day if it's possible. We can sort this out.
18 We'll be far more efficient tomorrow.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think
20 this is a good proposal. We can adjourn for the day
21 and then resume tomorrow after you organise things
22 better. Of course, you are doing your work, and you
23 will do it as you like, but tomorrow morning we shall
24 meet once again at 9.30. Until tomorrow.
25 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
2 at 2.18 p.m., to be reconvened on
3 Tuesday, the 14th day of March, 2000,
4 at 9.30 a.m.