1 Monday, 20 March 2000
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good
6 morning, ladies and gentlemen; good morning to the
7 technicians, to our interpreters; good morning to
8 counsel for the Prosecution, counsel for Defence; good
9 morning, General Krstic.
10 We will resume our proceedings today. We
11 will be sitting in the present composition, as it has
12 been announced, Judge Wald and myself. We will be
13 acting pursuant to Rule 15 bis of our Rules of
14 Procedure and Evidence, but maybe only for today.
15 So without much further ado, we will go on
16 with the testimony of Mr. Jean-Rene Ruez.
17 Is that the case, Mr. Harmon? You have the
19 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President;
20 good morning, Judge Wald. That is the case.
21 Good morning, counsel.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 WITNESS: JEAN-RENE
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good
25 morning, Mr. Ruez. Can you hear me? May I remind you
1 that you are still under an oath. We're going to
2 continue now with your testimony. You will be
3 answering questions by Mr. Harmon. Thank you.
4 Examined by Mr. Harmon: [Cont'd]
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Ruez. If you would
6 approach the Prosecutor's exhibit, the large map, and
7 again orient us to the location of the Pilica Cultural
9 A. I don't have a microphone which I used to
10 have in the other courtroom. I'll just use this one.
11 Q. Now, Mr. Ruez, we concluded last week's
12 session with looking at a film of the Pilica Cultural
13 Centre; is that correct?
14 A. That is correct. And the location of that
15 place on this map is precisely where I'm going to
16 indicate it [indicates]. The purple triangle at the
17 top of this exhibit, just under the border of Drina
18 Corps, the Drina Corps limit, the north limit of the
20 Q. Mr. Ruez, would you start your presentation
21 with Prosecutor's Exhibit 25/A?
22 A. This exhibit is a photocopy of the map of the
23 area, scale 1:50.000, and pinpoints the precise
24 location of the so-called Dom of Culture of Pilica.
25 One can see on this map that it is approximately
1 2 kilometres by a dirt road from the Branjevo Farm to
2 the Pilica Dom of Culture. This is the way that the
3 executioners took that day.
4 The next exhibit, 25/1. It is an aerial
5 photograph of Pilica, and I will show you the
6 Exhibit 25/2, which is exactly the same photograph with
7 markings on it. I would need to enlarge this.
8 So on this photograph, one can first see the
9 national road that goes towards Bijeljina if one takes
10 the north, and Zvornik if one takes the direction of
11 the south. Also, the cafe is pinpointed, the location
12 from which Drazen Erdemovic could witness the events.
13 You can also see on the photograph the
14 cultural hall, which is the main building of that
15 location. There will be also an unidentified vehicle
16 which is visible on this photograph and will be seen on
17 another one. We will comment on this one later on.
18 One can see from that photograph that it is a populated
20 The next exhibit, 25/3, will give a better
21 view of the area. It is a helicopter view, photograph
22 dated 1999, and I will circle both the Dom of Culture
23 and the cafe in front of it on the photograph [marks].
24 I will mark "A" the Dom of Culture and "B" the little
25 cafe. One can clearly see on this photograph that they
1 are houses, and as one could see on the film dated
2 1996, these houses were also occupied at the time.
3 Q. So, Mr. Ruez, these executions took place in
4 a populated area; is that correct?
5 A. This is absolutely correct, yes.
6 The next exhibit is 25/4. It is a closer
7 view of the Dom of Culture in relation with the cafe,
8 which I'm going to again circle "A" and "B", "A" being
9 the Dom of Culture and "B" the cafe [marks].
10 Exhibit 25/5 is a view from above of the same
11 Dom of Culture. It happened at random that day that a
12 double bus, the same ones which are used by the Milici
13 bauxite mine company and which provided also
14 transportation for both people deported or being
15 executed, was standing just in front of the Dom,
16 probably in the same position buses were standing at
17 the time of the events, but this photograph is dated
18 1999. The access to the house of culture, I will mark
19 it with an arrow [marks]. This is the access way to
20 the entrance of the Dom of Culture.
21 Q. Mr. Ruez, let me direct your attention to an
22 object or two objects that appear behind the bus and
23 between the bus and the cultural Dom. Do you see the
24 two objects I'm referring to? Two large objects that
25 appear to be in stone. Can you tell the Judges (1)
1 whether your investigations show that those objects
2 were present at the time of the execution and, if not,
3 what are they?
4 A. Yes. These objects are a monument related to
5 the school but the monument has changed since. Now it
6 is turning into a religious monument in that location.
7 It is under construction. It is not finished.
8 Q. In 1995, were these two large monuments
10 A. They were present but they are getting
11 transformed. There will be another exhibit, 25/7,
12 which will show how these monuments were in 1996, and
13 they are currently under change.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. Exhibit 25/6 is the plaque which indicates
16 the location and which is to be in the front facade of
17 the Dom of Culture. It is seen on the film, and it
18 indicates the location, Pilica.
19 The next exhibit, the 25/7, is a view of the
20 front facade of the building on which the two monuments
21 you were referring to can be seen.
22 Exhibit 25/8 is a view on the entrance door,
23 the main entrance door of the Dom of Culture. There is
24 another door also, and I will mark it with an arrow
25 [marks]. And this is the door from which the witness
1 could see men running out of the building and being
2 shot in the street. As far as we know, there is not
3 one single survivor from this event. We have never
4 interviewed anyone who survived this location, nor have
5 talked with anyone who knew someone who had survived
6 this event. Without the testimony of Drazen Erdemovic,
7 we would not know about this situation. He's the only
8 one who provided information about what happened there.
9 The next exhibit, 25/9, goes in relation with
10 Exhibit 25/10. These two exhibits form a panorama
11 which shows in what state was the door before we
12 entered the place and filmed the piece of footage which
13 we showed to the Court. I have a problem with my
14 device here. Yes, okay. Sorry. So as one can see on
15 this photograph, there are a certain number of spider
16 nests in between these two iron doors. These spider
17 nests seem to indicate that no one has entered this
18 location for a while. This footage was -- our entrance
19 is dated June 1996, so between July 1995 and June 1996
20 most probably no one entered this location before we
21 got in, so we probably were the first ones to get in
22 just after the cleaning process was conducted in 1995.
23 Exhibit 25/11 is a view photographed from the
24 openings in the first floor, these holes which are most
25 probably the holes of the projectionist when they were
1 passing movies inside this theatre. One can also see
2 on this photograph the other door I was referring to,
3 which I'm going to mark with an arrow [marks].
4 Exhibit 25/12 is a close-up on some of the
5 most significant bloodstains that one could see inside
6 this building.
7 25/13 shows one of the walls during a process
8 where samples were taken from the wall.
9 And Exhibit 25/14 is a photograph of the wall
10 at the back of the building where the main destructions
11 occurred, above the stage where probably the people
12 were jammed, trying to avoid the bullets and the
13 grenade explosions.
14 The Exhibit 25/15 is a view of the cafe,
15 which is just in front of the House of Culture.
16 The Exhibit 25/16 is a black and white
17 photocopy of a black and white aerial photograph. The
18 quality of the photocopy is fairly poor, but this is a
19 blow-up of the previous aerial photograph where an
20 unidentified vehicle was marked. We have been told
21 that this unidentified vehicle is indeed a truck. I am
22 going to circle this object on the photograph [marks].
23 The photograph is dated 17 July 1995
24 talking about was 16 July, so this photograph is one
25 day after all the murders happened. One could conclude
1 that this truck is parked here in order to take out the
2 bodies of the victims away from the Dom of Culture.
3 Another element that is visible on the
4 photograph are tyre tracks, which I'm going to mark as
5 well [marks], and these tyre tracks lead to the side
6 door which I marked on a previous exhibit. And I'm
7 going to mark with an arrow the location of the side
8 door. So another vehicle might have got into that area
9 to assist the cleaning process, if not the same one.
10 Q. Mr. Ruez, does that conclude your
11 presentation on the Pilica Cultural Dom?
12 A. Yes, it does.
13 Q. Let's turn our attention next to Prosecutor's
14 Exhibit 26, which is the Rocevici school, and if you
15 would start again by orienting the Judges to that
16 location on the big map.
17 A. The Rocevici school is a school located close
18 to the national road that goes from Zvornik towards
19 Bijeljina. It is located in fact in between Kozluk and
20 Pilica. I'm going to point this detention facility on
21 the main exhibit, where the purple triangle is marked
22 on the main exhibit map.
23 The next exhibit is 26A. It is a photocopy
24 of a map of the area, and the green dot marks the
25 precise location of the school. Seen from the road, it
1 is just on top of the hill that goes in a soft slope
2 uphill, and the school is at the top. We have no
3 indication of how many people were taken to that
4 school, nor how long they were -- they stayed inside.
5 The Exhibit 26/1 is a photograph of that
6 school. The frame could be enlarged so that it only
7 shows this main building. There are other buildings
8 behind, but this is the view one can have by zooming on
9 this building seen from the road.
10 Q. Mr. Ruez, let's turn our attention now to
11 Kozluk. Again, please orient the Judges with the large
12 map and then turn your attention, if you would, to
13 Prosecutor's Exhibit 27A, the small map.
14 A. So Kozluk, as marked on this map, is an
15 execution site and an initial mass grave site. It is
16 located just north-east of Kozluk. One has to drive
17 through the town coming from the south and turn right
18 once inside the town to reach a dirt road that then
19 brings us to a spot which is just next to the Drina
20 Valley. And on the map I pinpoint it [marks], is right
22 Exhibit 27A is a map of the area. I will
23 pinpoint more precisely on this exhibit the location of
24 the execution sites. The black line that turns right
25 towards the Drina River is a dirt road. And where I'm
1 going to mark the cross, or a little circle, is the
2 area where the execution spot was located [marks].
3 We have no survivor from this situation. The
4 information, as we have been told -- sometimes
5 difficulties to reach the area of Zvornik. It has
6 difficulties to reach the headquarters of the Drina
7 Corps located in Vlasenica. But the information we
8 received about the event which happened in Kozluk
9 arrived from this area to the community of refugees in
10 Germany. From the information we received about this
11 location, we could request an imagery check of the area
12 to confirm the event, and that led to the Exhibit
13 27/1. Following the information we received from the
14 rumour I mentioned, we could gain access to these two
15 photographs. The one on the left is dated 5 July
16 1995. The photograph on the right shows the ground
17 17 July 1995.
18 On the photograph which is at the left, one
19 can see an area completely at the left of the picture,
20 which is grey and white. This is the Drina River. The
21 little path, which is going just underneath where the
22 date is written, 5 July 1995, is the little path which
23 I marked on the previous exhibit.
24 As one can see on the photograph on the right
25 hand, there are several areas of disturbed soil, with a
1 main area which I'm going to circle as area "A"
2 [marks]. One can see on this photograph, for example,
3 a pit, a very clean pit, which I'm going to mark "B"
4 [marks]. Just a reference so that you can have an idea
5 of how the things looked from above.
6 This pit has not been used. It was probably
7 used only to cover, to take soil and cover then the
8 victims. "B" is the area of the pit, how the pit looks
9 like as seen from above.
10 The next exhibit is 27/2. It's an aerial
11 view of the area. It shows, on the left of the
12 picture, the area I will mark "A", which is the area
13 where the grave is and the execution site. I pinpoint
14 it with an arrow inside the circle "A" [marks].
15 One can see also on this photograph Kozluk
16 town at the top of the picture, and also at the top
17 right of the picture a building which I'm going to
18 circle and which is a factory of bottles, Vitinka
19 Factory, Kozluk [marks]. It was also the headquarters
20 of the Drina Wolves, which was a unit, part of the 1st
21 Zvornik Brigade at the time. There is only one way to
22 exit this area, which is to pass in front of this
23 factory and in front of the Drina Wolves' barracks.
24 Q. Would you mark the Drina Wolves' barracks and
25 the bottle factory with a letter "B", please?
1 A. The circle is now marked "B" [marks].
2 The Exhibit 27/3 is another view from the
3 site, which is the exact location of the execution site
4 and burial site, and I will circle it [marks]. The
5 circle is marked "A". Just at the opposite side of the
6 river is a territory of the Federal Republic.
7 The Exhibit 27/4 is a photograph of the site
8 taken from the ground the first day we approached it
9 which was in June 1998. This is a scene from the
10 ground. One can see it is also a remote and hidden
12 Photograph 27/5 is a summary of the items
13 which we found the first day we approached the place.
14 The main elements one can see here is broken glass.
15 The area is, in fact, the dump site for broken glass
16 from the factory. All these elements are of interest
17 since they enable you to make the connection between
18 the primary mass grave, which is to be found on this
19 location, which like all the other sites, has been
20 disturbed by the perpetrators before Dayton
21 bodies hidden in remote locations, but these locations
22 were found and partially exhumed.
23 These items were also found inside, glass,
24 shell casings. Here you also have body parts, which
25 I'm going to circle on this photograph [marks], which
1 were popping out of the soil and that we could excavate
2 a little bit that day.
3 The following exhibit is 27/6. The next
4 exhibit is 27/6. It is a photograph of a wall just
5 next to the bottle factory and it shows the trademark
6 of this factory, Vitinka, Kozluk.
7 The Exhibit 27/7 is this factory with, next
8 to it, the Drina Wolves' barracks, you can see a member
9 of the Drina Wolves, and this photograph is dated
11 MR. HARMON: We are now going to show a
12 film. It is Prosecutor's Exhibit 27/18. If the lights
13 could be dimmed and we can play that particular film.
14 Mr. Ruez, would you narrate this as you deem
15 appropriate in the course of the showing of this film.
16 I'm sorry, it's 27/8, not 18.
17 [Videotape played]
18 A. This is an aerial view of the area. This is
19 the Drina Valley. On the left you have -- now in front
20 of the Drina. This is the area of the site, execution
21 site and mass grave. On the opposite side of the river
22 is the Federal Republic. This is the path that then
23 leads towards Kozluk. Zooming towards Kozluk, here you
24 have the buildings which I had marked "B" on an
25 exhibit. This is a view of the environment that shows
1 that it is a deserted area, this kind of -- what one
2 could think of when looking only at the map.
3 This is the area seen from the ground just
4 next to the river. This is the ground, how it was when
5 we arrived the first day on this site.
6 Here at the bottom you can see broken glass,
7 here a piece of human remains. There are several piles
8 of broken glass in this environment.
9 This is at the edge of a slope, and here is a
10 foot, a shoe with still the foot inside. Another
11 shoe. A pile of broken glass.
12 Shell casings were to be found just at the
13 edge of the grave, on the path. Additional shell
14 casings were collected during the exhumation. Shell
15 casings were mixed with the soil and the glass.
16 A vertebra. Another shoe. Trying to remove
17 these shoes, we discovered that, in fact, there were
18 bodies underneath, and that this was a very shallow
19 grave and that the disturbance had obviously been very
20 badly done since body parts were just underneath the
22 This is the area in the vicinity of the
23 execution site and burial site. There were several
24 piles of trash.
25 This area was obviously a former Muslim
1 cemetery. We found one gravestone just in the
3 These are stacks of labels from the bottle
4 factory. We found exactly these same type of labels in
5 a secondary site.
6 This is the exit towards Kozluk, the
7 headquarters of the Drina Wolves, with the bottle
8 factory just next to it. The distance between the two
9 sides is approximately 1 kilometre.
10 This is the patch of a Drina Wolf, a black
11 wolf yelling in a blue circle.
12 This is Kozluk town, and the vehicle just
13 exited the access to the site. This is town centre.
14 According to the rumour, the prisoners had to sing Serb
15 songs. Meanwhile, they were driven on army trucks
16 towards the execution site.
17 Later on, the exhumation took place here.
18 This is another view of the site during the
19 exhumation. This is the entire area of the exhumation
20 site. The exhumation here is over, finishing. The
21 report will be given about this exhumation.
22 Here you have a slope where bodies were
24 Mr. Ruez, I'm going to show you two large
25 photographs that I used in my opening statement and ask
1 you if you can identify the locations where these
2 photographs were taken. Mr. Ruez, the usher will hold
3 it up against the map, and that is Prosecutor's Exhibit
4 1I. Do you recognise that photograph and can you tell
5 the Judges where that photograph was taken?
6 A. Yes. This is a photograph taken during the
7 exhumation at the Kozluk site and which shows an area
8 which is in fact the most north of the site, where
9 bodies were found exactly in the position where they
10 were lying at the time of the execution.
11 Q. Mr. Ruez, let me show you Prosecutor's
12 Exhibit 1H and again ask you if you can identify this
13 particular photograph and tell the Judges where this
14 photograph was taken.
15 A. Yes. This photograph is the photograph of
16 one of the 340 bodies which were recovered from the
17 Kozluk exhumation, 340 being only part of the total
18 number of bodies on this site, like on all the others,
19 most of the others, a disturbance took place. Other
20 bodies to be found in the valley we call the Cancari
22 Q. Keep that photograph there, please,
23 Mr. Usher, and if you would hand Mr. Ruez Prosecutor's
24 Exhibit 27/9.
25 Mr. Ruez, can you identify that particular
1 exhibit and tell the Judges what it is, please.
2 A. Yes. This exhibit is a blindfold which was
3 found during the exhumation at Kozluk; very precisely,
4 on the head of the man who is lying on the ground with
5 his hands attached in the back on this photograph.
6 Q. In photograph Prosecutor's Exhibit 1H?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Ruez, my last exhibit is going to be a
9 map which in many respects is identical in terms of the
10 relevant locations to the large map in front of you.
11 Would you identify this exhibit and explain to the
12 Judges what it is and what it represents.
13 A. So this exhibit is indeed the same one than
14 the main map. The difference between the two mainly is
15 that on the last exhibit you have here, you can see the
16 terrain, and the terrain is a very important aspect to
17 properly understand all these events, due to the fact
18 that all these areas have not been selected at random.
19 Most of them are in remote places, away from populated
20 areas, and this will be made very obvious when we will
21 develop the part regarding the disturbance of all these
22 graves. Then the terrain becomes a very important
24 All the symbols which are marked on the main
25 exhibit are also marked on this one but with different
1 symbols on it. The only confusing element in this map
2 is that on the bottom right of the map you have the
3 border of the enclave, which is marked, with all the
4 observation posts marked in yellow. And this can
5 create a confusion with the secondary sites, which are
6 also marked in yellow, but they are triangles, and you
7 have a concentration of these triangles at the south of
8 the enclave, together also with observation posts. But
9 if not, this map has all the elements we have exposed
10 during these three days. All these elements are marked
11 on this exhibit.
12 Q. And the observation posts, Mr. Ruez, are
13 squares in yellow with a letter in the middle of the
14 square; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, this is correct. These symbols mark UN
16 observation posts.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ruez.
18 MR. HARMON: Mr. President and Your Honours,
19 I've concluded my direct examination of Mr. Ruez.
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Could you
21 please give me the number of this last exhibit,
22 Mr. Harmon.
23 MR. HARMON: Exhibit 29.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
25 Mr. Harmon. Very well. We shall now move on to the
1 cross-examination by the Defence. But perhaps it would
2 be good if we made a short break now so the Defence
3 could organise themselves and prepare for the
5 Mr. Petrusic, would you agree with that?
6 Would it be convenient for you to make a break before
7 you begin?
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes,
9 Mr. President, because we have also to talk to the
10 audio booth. So yes, a few minutes would be very
11 convenient. Thank you.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
13 We shall then make a 20-minute break, and after that we
14 shall resume or, rather, the Defence will begin its
16 --- Recess taken at 10.23 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 10.46 a.m.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 Let us now move on to the cross-examination of the
20 witness, Mr. Jean-Rene Ruez.
21 Mr. Petrusic, you have the floor.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Petrusic:
24 Q. Mr. Ruez, the Defence will begin with the
25 10th of July, 1995. During the examination-in-chief,
1 you said that the crucial moment is when a decision was
2 taken to set off either towards Potocari or towards the
3 woods, towards the forest. Could you please clarify
4 that. Could we now see the film.
5 A. I did not hear a question. I only heard a
7 Q. Do you know who took that decision, who made
8 the decision?
9 A. Negative. We do not know who took the
10 decision. I could develop a bit on this if you want a
11 more complete answer. As far as we know, decisions
12 were already made earlier than the 10th to get out of
13 the enclave.
14 Q. Mr. Ruez, was the decision made by civilian
15 or military authorities?
16 A. Yes. I am also listening to the
17 translation. This is why I take a little while before
18 answering more completely your question.
19 The decision initially was not taken in a
20 concerted effort. Groups of people made the decision
21 by their own. What happened is mainly the 11th of
22 July, once the people were assembled in Srebrenica town
23 -- and they didn't assemble themselves under any kind
24 of instruction; it was a normal movement that they took
25 that day. The reason was that the people understood
1 that day that if nothing happened, the enclave would
2 fall. And that day everyone was expecting the
3 airstrikes. All the population was assembled and
4 waiting for planes to strike in the area. Instead of
5 that, in the morning of the 11th, once the population
6 entered the compound of the United Nations, the Company
7 B, a shell hit the crowd, a mortar shell hit the crowd,
8 and that generated additional panic.
9 After this event, the people were still
10 waiting for the airstrikes, but all of the men took the
11 direction of the woods. And only then, after the
12 failure of the airstrikes, which was observed by the
13 people who were overlooking the situation from uphill
14 -- I correct for the French translation. There was an
15 airstrike. The people were waiting for the airstrike,
16 and the airstrike was inefficient, according to their
17 view. The reason why the final decision was made
18 indeed, for all the men who didn't dare facing the
19 Bosnian Serb army, to flee through the woods.
20 Q. Mr. Ruez, the convoy of the refugees starting
21 from Srebrenica towards Potocari, were they escorted by
22 the members of the Dutch battalion or, rather, the
23 company of the Dutch battalion that was stationed in
25 A. No. There was no escort provided by UN
1 forces to the people at the moment they were leaving
2 towards the woods. At that moment, the UN forces
3 within the enclave were retreating from their blocking
4 positions which were installed at the south of the
5 enclave, and at that moment there was already a free
6 access for the Bosnian Serb forces coming from the
7 south of the enclave.
8 What happened is that the Muslim forces
9 inside the enclave abandoned the responsibility to
10 defend the place to the United Nations. Therefore,
11 they decided to flee through the woods.
12 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] We're still
13 dealing with Exhibit 3. So could the booth please show
14 the film.
15 [Videotape played]
16 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. What we have just seen is when the units of
18 the army of Republika Srpska, General Mladic,
19 General Zivanovic, and General Krstic in the rear are
20 entering Srebrenica. The transcript of this film was
21 not produced, was not submitted to the Chamber, was
23 A. I believe it's going to be done very soon, as
24 far as I understood.
25 Q. Mr. Ruez, would you agree with me when I say,
1 since you must have, during your investigation, heard
2 Mr. Mladic's speech, that when entering Srebrenica,
3 General Mladic says, "Come on. Hurry. Hurry.
4 Direction Bratunac, Potocari."
5 A. Yes. That is absolutely correct. This is
6 what General Mladic is saying to the troops when they
7 enter Srebrenica town the 11 July.
8 Q. Was General Mladic the Commander or the Chief
9 of Staff of the army of Republika Srpska?
10 A. General Mladic was the Chief of the Bosnian
11 Serb army at that time.
12 Q. But on that particular occasion, as we see in
13 Exhibit 3, he has the highest rank of all the present
14 officers and the highest commanding post, doesn't he?
15 A. Yes. Definitely. At this moment, General
16 Mladic is the higher ranked Bosnian Serb officer
17 present in town.
18 Q. And the words which General Mladic pronounced
19 there, could they be interpreted as an order?
20 A. They could be considered as an encouragement
21 to the troops he's visiting that day, which he was
22 visiting that day. Yes.
23 Q. Mr. Ruez, did General Mladic enter together
24 with the units of the VRS in Srebrenica on the 11th of
1 A. As soon as the town was taken over by
2 elements of the 10th Sabotage Detachment and Drina
3 Wolves, then General Mladic and the officers who were
4 together with him at the forward command post of
5 Pribicevac went down from the forward command post and
6 visited the town.
7 Q. From what part of the enclave did the units
9 A. The Bosnian Serb forces entered the enclave
10 from the south, which is the most difficult terrain to
11 conduct such an operation. One could have expected
12 armoured forces to punch through coming from the north
13 but, in fact, the enclave was taken from the south.
14 Q. Mr. Ruez, during your investigation, did you
15 find out that General Mladic was commanding the units
17 A. Negative. We do not have such knowledge. We
18 can say that he had a very tough control on everything,
19 what was going on, but we are not in a position here to
20 say that he was the one giving the orders. I said it
21 in the present. Was giving the orders.
22 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could the
23 technical booth please show the next tape.
24 [Videotape played]
25 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Ruez, are these the police forces which
2 are running -- which are controlling the separation of
3 men from women and children at Potocari?
4 A. Yes. The man that can be see on the film is
5 probably someone from the Special Police, in charge of
6 the deportation of the population. The man which was
7 seen on the left side of the picture is not yet
8 identified. The investigation on him is still
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we see
12 now the third fragment, please.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. There is an error here, but could you comment
16 on this, because it is quite evident that this is one
17 of the Dutch military.
18 A. Yes. The man who was wearing the blue beret
19 is a UN officer. The location is in Potocari, on the
20 parking lot just in front of the so-called Blue
21 Building. It is just north of the separation line,
22 approximately 50 metres north from the separation
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could we see
25 now the next fragment, please.
1 [Videotape played]
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. This was taken in Sandici. The part of the
4 uniform on the man we just saw, was it part of the
5 uniform that the members of the Dutch battalion or,
6 rather, the UN forces wore? I'm referring to the
8 A. The solder who is to be seen on the film is a
9 Muslim soldier. He is wearing a T-shirt, a T-shirt
10 with a camouflage pattern on it.
11 I don't have any sound in French in my helmet
12 at this moment.
13 No. We have a very precise description of
14 the camouflage pattern since we can see it on the
15 film. What I cannot tell you, because we didn't study
16 the question, is if the camouflage pattern is from the
17 Dutch army. I don't believe so, just by looking at it
18 like this, but this could be a possibility. One has to
19 know that in the area, what was mainly making the
20 difference between a soldier and a civilian was not
21 really the way he was dressed. It was, in fact, if he
22 had or not a rifle in the hands.
23 It could very well be that the T-shirt that
24 one can see on this film appeared to be a Dutch army
25 camouflage pattern. It could be that someone had given
1 it to this man as a souvenir, but, again, I don't know
2 if it is a Dutch one or not.
3 The main event, what one can see on this
4 piece of footage, is that, as all the witnesses will
5 come and tell you, most of the soldiers -- most of the
6 soldiers were getting rid of any element which could
7 identify them as combatants. The reason is that they
8 had the absolute certainty that they would immediately
9 be murdered if they were found out being combatants.
10 Most of those who were captured and were dressed in the
11 style this man was dressed were taken aside for special
13 The next step on this film, which is not on
14 film, is that indeed, as you can see, the man is forced
15 to take his T-shirt off so that he has no reason to be
16 proud of being from the army. We don't know what
17 happens to him. The only thing we know is that he is
18 on the list of missing persons.
19 Q. Mr. Ruez, could you tell us which is the
20 camouflage paint on the weapons, on tanks, guns, and
21 other weaponry of the army of Republika Srpska, rather,
22 the Drina Corps? What colour are those weapons?
23 A. If I understand probably the question, the
24 question is -- the question is if I know what kind of
25 camouflage is in use by the Bosnian Serb army at the
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. Okay. So there was no specific camouflage
4 pattern for the Bosnian Serb. The equipment which was
5 used by the JNA at the time, it was the JNA -- the
6 colour was olive-green. Later during the war, you can
7 see a variety of various camouflage patterns appearing
8 on vehicles, in accordance with no harmonised pattern.
9 We could show you photographs of heavy equipment,
10 tanks, and APCs that we photographed in 1996, and one
11 would see that it is, in fact, depending on the
12 artistic skills of the crew.
13 What is translated as an "extract," I was
14 talking about photographs.
15 This was used for the heavy equipment, for
16 what is used by the soldiers. The camouflage pattern
17 is always the same. It's a variety of green and dark
18 green. But the same situation. Some flak jackets were
19 purchased in foreign countries, so you don't have --
20 and you can have situations where various camouflage
21 patterns can be seen also on soldiers. Flak jackets.
23 Q. I'm referring to the heavy equipment. Can
24 one distinguish between the police and purely military
25 means of warfare or, rather, the difference between the
1 military and the police heavy weaponry when we're
2 talking about camouflage colours?
3 A. We didn't see the heavy equipment belonging
4 to police forces. We didn't see any of this on film.
5 And for the rest of the equipment, we have the records
6 of Zvornik Brigade; we have a listing of the equipment
7 of the Zvornik Brigade and the Bratunac Brigade, a list
8 of equipment of; and the material that we can see from
9 time to time on film belongs to the Drina Corps, not to
10 the police.
11 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Could the
12 technical booth now show the next fragment, please.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation].
15 Q. This military vehicle or, rather, this tank,
16 is blue, a camouflage blue.
17 A. I don't see a blue tank on this photograph.
18 I can see a tank of dark colour, maybe grey or dark
19 olive, with indeed some white or dark grey stripes on
20 the barrel of the gun.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ruez.
22 Exhibit 12/5, please.
23 A. I see the one you are referring to.
24 Q. Nova Kasaba.
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Do you know which units were stationed in
2 Nova Kasaba?
3 A. The question would have to be broken in two.
4 Units were permanently residing in Nova Kasaba. The
5 unit which was permanently fixed there at the time was
6 an element of the 65th Protection Regiment, which is,
7 as you know, a unit which is specially attached to the
8 protection of the Main Staff.
9 What you also have in this area is the Milici
10 Brigade. In a very close vicinity, about 10, 15
11 kilometres, the headquarters of the Drina Corps in
12 Vlasenica. Less than 10 kilometres north from this
13 location, at the intersection of Konjevici, was the 5th
14 Engineer Regiment.
15 So there were indeed several units constantly
16 located in this environment. In addition to these
17 elements, you also had reinforcement from the Zvornik
18 Brigade at the time of the events. Reinforcements,
19 reeforcements [French]. Thank you.
20 Q. Can you identify that unit on the photograph?
21 A. I don't know to what unit these dog handlers
22 belonged to. These dog handlers belonged to,
23 maitres-chiens [French]. They were on this soccer
24 field. The first day when we entered Republika Srpska
25 to conduct missions there, you will hear from a Dutch
1 soldier -- no, complete mistranslation. We never heard
2 that from the Dutch soldier. You will hear soon from a
3 Dutch soldier. He will talk about dog handlers who
4 were explaining the use they made of their dogs, and
5 that conversation was overheard in Bratunac, but we do
6 not know if these dog handlers are the same ones. The
7 photograph only shows that these people were in the
8 area, but it doesn't say these were the ones who were
9 operating in July 1995.
10 Q. Mr. Ruez, is it true that in July 1995 the
11 65th Motorised Protection Regiment was under the
12 command of the Main Staff.
13 A. The 65th Protection Regiment is a unit
14 designed to protect the Main Staff. We do not know at
15 this stage if this unit was or not resubordinated to
16 the Drina Corps for the sake of its participation in
17 the operation. So if it did participate, we would make
18 the assumption that it was at that moment put under the
19 authority of the Drina Corps commander.
20 Q. That of course is an assumption.
21 A. Yes. It would only be a supposition.
22 Q. During your testimony, Mr. Ruez, you
23 mentioned a piece of information to the effect that
24 during your investigation you talked to Mr. Miroslav
25 Deronjic. Do you know that on the 11th of July, Mr.
1 Miroslav Deronjic was appointed civilian commissioner
2 for the municipality of Srebrenica by Mr. Radovan
3 Karadzic, the president of the Republika Srpska?
4 A. Yes, we know that, and this is mainly the
5 reason why we interviewed Mr. Deronjic.
6 Q. Mr. Ruez, are you familiar with the contents
7 of the decree whereby Mr. Karadzic appointed Mr.
8 Deronjic to the position of civilian commissioner?
9 A. I did not get the full translation. Yes, we
10 do know about the decree nominating Miroslav Deronjic
11 civilian commissioner for Srebrenica.
12 Q. According to that decree, his
13 responsibilities are as of the month of July, that is,
14 the 11th of July of 1995. Pursuant to the said decree,
15 was Mr. Deronjic authorised to organise civilian
16 authority, both civilian and police authority in the
17 territory of the Srebrenica municipality as of the 11th
18 of July?
19 A. I would like to have the question repeated,
21 Q. Pursuant to the said decree, and you say you
22 are familiar with the contents of that decree, did Mr.
23 Karadzic authorise Mr. Deronjic to organise the
24 civilian authority in the municipality of Srebrenica,
25 including the police forces in the territory of the
1 Srebrenica municipality, which of course encompassed
2 certain rights and obligations?
3 A. The task and the mission which was given to
4 Miroslav Deronjic by his president, Radovan Karadzic.
5 Q. Was the locality of Potocari within the
6 territory of the Srebrenica municipality?
7 A. Potocari indeed belongs to the Srebrenica
8 municipality, the former municipality of Srebrenica,
9 since, as far as I know, once the enclave was retaken,
10 the municipality of Srebrenica vanished and was
11 integrated into the municipality of Skelani. But if
12 not, Potocari indeed belongs to the municipality of
14 Q. Mr. Ruez, in the vicinity of the town of
15 Potocari -- and when I say "vicinity", I have the
16 distance of between 10 and 20 kilometres in mind -- is
17 it true that there is a number of transport companies
18 that are situated there in that area?
19 A. Yes. Yes, there are several. In fact,
20 mainly two: Vihor Transport based in Bratunac, and
21 also the military bauxite mine company has
22 transportation means available which is not for public
23 transportation but for the transportation of the
25 Yes, but I have to say for the French
1 translation that I did not say "Bratunac"; I said
2 "Milici." Bratunac is Vihor; Milici is military
3 bauxite mine transportation.
4 Other companies which had their names written
5 on buses, which is Drina Trans, Central Trans,
6 companies who are covering the nation before the war,
7 and then the buses were used by those who kept them.
8 Q. Therefore it is possible for the buses to
9 reach Potocari from those locations in a relatively
10 short time?
11 A. The buses which are detained by these
12 companies, yes. But for the sake of this operation,
13 more transport means were needed. The army
14 requisitioned materiel. The civilian authorities made
15 an appeal over the radio. Even persons who possessed
16 vehicles who could transport people were requested to
17 provide these vehicles to assist in the process.
18 Q. Mr. Ruez, at the end of your testimony you
19 referred to exhibit number 2. It is a map of the
20 Zvornik Brigade. You said that you will speak about
21 the agreement between the Zvornik Brigade and the 28th
22 Division more later on.
23 A. I'm not sure I know what exhibit we are
24 talking about. Are we talking about the big map?
25 Q. Yes, exactly.
1 A. Yes. In fact, I said exactly the opposite.
2 What I said at that time is that I would not develop on
3 that part. The reason is that the criminal
4 investigation is -- the criminal investigation is
5 focusing on the chain of massacres which constitute the
6 entire extermination of these prisoners. The
7 investigation did not focus on the military aspects of
8 the battle.
9 I was mentioning this event for the sake of
10 the reason that at the moment these intense combat
11 activities were happening in the vicinity of Zvornik,
12 there was a vacuum of forces to protect Zvornik. The
13 reason was that the forces were down towards
14 Srebrenica, to conduct the Srebrenica offensive.
15 This situation had two consequences. The
16 consequence number one is that there was a requisition
17 of all vallied personnel in order to confront the
18 column in the woods and set ambushes on its way. And
19 to set ambushes.
20 The other consequence is that the Serb forces
21 who were trying to oppose this column suffered quite a
22 significant number of casualties. Once you will
23 overlay the Exhibit number 2, which is the map of the
24 extermination operation, when you will overlay this map
25 with the map which was seized at the headquarters of
1 the Zvornik Brigade, you will easily realise that at
2 the same moment, at the same moment people were getting
3 killed in combat in the forest. Forces which could
4 have been used also to fight this column were derouted
5 to conduct exterminations on execution fields. This is
6 the paradox of the situation at that time in that
8 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] This concludes
9 my cross-examination, Mr. President.
10 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Ruez.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Judge Wald,
12 you have the floor. Oh. Excuse me. I apologise.
13 I'm sorry, Mr. Harmon. Of course you have
14 the right to redirect examination. I'm sorry.
15 MR. HARMON: I have no redirect examination,
16 Mr. President. Thank you.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] In any
18 case, it is very important to have that on the record.
19 Thank you very much.
20 Judge Wald.
21 Questioned by the Court:
22 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Ruez, I wonder if you would
23 be able to summarise, on the basis of what you've
24 already testified and on the exhibits that we've
25 already seen, the points on the journey, on the map
1 next to you, where there was visible presence of either
2 elements of the Drina Corps or other elements of the
3 VRS, either people or equipment, after Potocari, after
4 both the column left Srebrenica that went toward Tuzla
5 and the convoys left Potocari?
6 A. Yes, I could do that.
7 JUDGE WALD: Just very briefly the spots, by
8 pointing to the spots.
9 A. In fact, all the spots, in absolutely all the
10 spots, but details about that would come from the
11 witnesses who would say who was guarding them --
12 JUDGE WALD: I understand.
13 A. -- and what was in their environment, but
14 let's take it from south to north. In Sandici,
15 military forces were seen, and as you can see on the
16 film, heavy equipment as well, a tank and an APC
17 In the area of Nova Kasaba also, witnesses
18 talk about presence of forces. When going up to the
19 main execution sites, the personnel guarding and
20 executing the prisoners are elements from the corps.
21 JUDGE WALD: Which location was that? Which
22 location did you just mention?
23 A. The Grbavci School, and attached to the
24 execution sites of Orahovac. A lot of the elements
25 which are connecting these crime scenes to the
1 perpetrators will come from the military analysis
2 conducted from the documents that we seized at the
3 headquarters of the Zvornik Brigade and the Bratunac
4 Brigade in January 1998. This collection of documents
5 is the foundation of all the knowledge, the detailed
6 knowledge that we have about the participants in these
8 We have the same situation also at the Dam.
9 Same thing for the school of Pilica, where elements of
10 the Drina Corps have these people under their control.
11 Then for the execution at the Branjevo Farm,
12 we know from Drazen Erdemovic that the main
13 participants were initially the 10th Sabotage
14 Detachment, very quickly joined by people who arrived
15 late from Bratunac. We know that these same people are
16 the ones who committed the executions at the Dom of
18 Finally, we have the situation of Kozluk,
19 where more details will come and where we indeed know
20 that people were taken in army trucks near this Drina
21 Wolf barracks.
22 So, in fact, on all the crime scenes, we have
23 people who witnessed the presence of the VRS in a large
24 sense for this moment.
25 JUDGE WALD: Thank you. My second question
1 is: Do you have any estimates, reliable estimates, of
2 the number of men who left Srebrenica in the column
3 that moved toward Tuzla? Just a rough estimate.
4 A. Indeed it is a rough estimate. The number we
5 are always using is the assessment of 15.000 men.
6 JUDGE WALD: How many of those do we know
7 survived, got through to the Bosnian side?
8 A. We could have a precise number on this. We
9 know that approximately 6.000 men reached Tuzla area
10 and were then integrated, for most of them, into the
11 2nd Corps of the BiH army. The figure should be quite
12 precise. It should not be difficult to have
13 confirmation about that number from the Bosniak
14 authorities and from the BiH army.
15 JUDGE WALD: The second and last part of my
16 question is: Do we also have any estimates of the
17 number of men who stayed in Potocari and got on the
18 buses or were taken separately in the convoys?
19 A. We have an estimate on this. There was a
20 figure given in the situation reports which were
21 drafted at the time. The person who drafted that part
22 of the report was Major Kingori. His estimate of the
23 number of men present at the time is 3.000 men in
24 Potocari. That figure would have to be double-checked
25 for the reason that the counting system was far from
1 being accurate. So I would take that figure only as a
2 very rough estimate.
3 When we see films taken during these days,
4 the 11 -- mainly the 12th and the 13th, it is obviously
5 that there is still a large number of men in Potocari,
6 but to have a precise figure is something that I would
7 not risk myself to try to give you now.
8 JUDGE WALD: The final part of my question
9 is: Do we have any reliable estimate of how many of
10 those men who were in Potocari and either went on the
11 convoys separately or some with the women and children,
12 how many of those do we know survived?
13 A. We only know about one man who survived after
14 having gotten on board the bus. The reason why he
15 survived is that he knew the driver, and arrived at the
16 final checkpoint and the driver knew a commanding
17 officer there and passed a request for this man to go
18 through and this was immediately done. We have no
19 other example like this.
20 When we look at the video footage of the men
21 arriving in Kladanj the first day of the deportation,
22 some men can be seen. So it seems that men were able
23 to get on board of buses. These men are old men.
24 We also know from all the witnesses from the
25 very beginning of the deportation process, men could
1 get on board of buses but very, very quickly, mainly
2 after the arrival of Mladic in Potocari, that
3 possibility stopped and the men were systematically
5 JUDGE WALD: But do we know whether or not
6 any men got over into Kladanj along with the women and
8 A. As far as we know, only very old men managed
9 to pass through these checkpoints. All the
10 military-aged men and that fork of age is very wide.
11 It goes from approximately 15, 16 to 60 if not above.
12 All these men were systematically separated.
13 JUDGE WALD: Thank you, Mr. Ruez.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Ruez,
15 in order to sum up a little bit your testimony, I would
16 like to ask two questions.
17 As far as I have understood, the initial
18 objective of the army of Bosnian Serbs was not to take
19 over Srebrenica but to reduce the area in terms of
21 A. There has never been any limit fixed to the
22 enclaves. What marks the border of the enclave is the
23 position of the observation posts. Therefore, the
24 intention of the Bosnian Serb army, at one point, was
25 to shrink the enclave and to shrink it at the size of
1 the town. The end result of this would have been that
2 no more combat activities could have been launched by
3 little groups from the inside of the enclave by using
4 this large surface of wooded hills and create what one
5 could call, in brackets, a large open-air concentration
6 camp where people were living in awful conditions, all
7 this in the aim to force the United Nations to take the
8 decision to evacuate all these people.
9 Reputting this in context, one has to recall
10 that any evacuation of victims from an area at that
11 time, an evacuation conducted by the UN, was
12 immediately interpreted as assistance to ethnic
13 cleansing. So that was putting everyone in an infernal
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] My first
16 question, in connection to that, is the following: The
17 objective of the army was to shrink the enclave and not
18 take over the enclave of Srebrenica, which means that
19 the preparations were conducted with that objective in
20 mind. At one point in time, there was a change in
22 Are you in the position to tell us what kind
23 of changes were made in terms of preparations of the
25 A. The main change, as we view it, is that
1 switching from a situation only to shrink the enclave
2 at the size of the town and capturing it militarily
3 didn't make much of a difference on a military point of
4 view. The only tricky part of that was, in fact, the
5 reaction of UNPROFOR. But once it became clear that
6 there would be no strong reaction of the United Nations
7 regarding that element, the main new factor the Bosnian
8 Serb army had to take in consideration, at that moment,
9 was the fate of the prisoners. The fact is that at
10 that moment, the Bosnian Serb army could not anticipate
11 capturing such a large number of men without fighting.
12 So this is indeed the moment all the planning
13 for the part of the operation, which is not recorded by
14 the Bosnian Serb archives and which is the exhibit --
15 the map of Exhibit number 2, this is the moment indeed
16 where these questions started to get raised and where
17 decisions were starting to be made by those who made
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] We can,
20 therefore, conclude that the organisation of the
21 evacuation itself, bearing in mind the scale of the
22 evacuation, that is, the number of persons involved,
23 was not something that had been previously foreseen.
24 The procedure that we can see from that map, among
25 other things, is it something that can tell
1 you -- were there any elements that show you, that
2 point to the fact that there had been some kind of
3 organisation, even at the last minute or not?
4 A. These elements -- unfortunately, I think it's
5 a bit too early for me, at this stage, to disclose
6 these elements, but we have clues, very precise clues
7 which show us that 13 July 1995, all decisions were
8 already made in terms of what to do with these men, and
9 that specialised personnel was visiting the area, the
10 Zvornik area, in order to find the locations where to
11 keep all these prisoners without any anticipation of
12 needs like food and probably also looking for a remote
13 and hidden execution sites.
14 The earliest we can date these activities are
15 13 July 1995. This will come from the analysis of
16 Richard Butler, our military analyst, who will develop
17 it for you at a later stage.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] One other
20 question, Mr. Ruez. You mentioned several times that
21 an execution squad would be waiting for the prisoners.
22 I don't know if I'm correct in thinking that there had
23 already been, on the spot, an execution squad which was
24 supposed to execute the prisoners.
25 Again, in order to sum up a little bit your
1 testimony, could you tell us: What is the explanation
2 of that particular fact in view of the overall
3 organisation of the evacuation of the Srebrenica
4 enclave? Have you understand my question? Thank you.
5 A. The plan related to the enclave, this appears
6 nowhere. This appears as an element of organisation
7 for this extermination process phase. For every one of
8 these detention sites and killing sites, the main
9 elements on which to focus is indeed who was
10 transporting the people to the site, who was guarding
11 them once they were on this site, and then who was
12 executing them on the execution site. But the fact is
13 that there was a clear organisation and distribution of
14 the roles. It's not the same people who are mixing the
15 roles. Some are indeed guarding during the travels,
16 others are guarding in the detention facilities like
17 the schools. During this process, indeed execution
18 squads are still -- are already waiting for their
19 victims on a predetermined execution site.
20 This is the case for the Grbavci school and
21 the attached site of Orahovac. This is also the case
22 at the Petkovci school and the Petkovci Dam. It is
23 also the case at the Pilica school and the Branjevo
24 Farm. It is most probably also the case at Kozluk, but
25 in Kozluk, as I told you, we don't have the information
1 coming neither from the perpetrator, nor the victim, so
2 we don't know exactly what was the scenario on this
4 The only exception to this is the Dom of
5 Culture of Pilica, where the same execution squads went
6 from the Branjevo Farm toward the House of Culture,
7 where a number of 500 people were supposed to try to
8 break out. The reason why? They had to be killed in
9 that location.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] My last
11 question, Mr. Ruez: You happened to mention the fact
12 about the soldiers, members of the VRS, who wore
13 UN uniforms which they had taken from Dutch soldiers.
14 This kind of conduct, could it, from your point of
15 view, be considered as an expression of some problems
16 faced by the Bosnian Serb army to conduct this whole
17 procedure and to facilitate its task by using the
18 uniforms and other things which perhaps might persuade
19 the prisoners to behave in a different manner? What do
20 you think about this, Mr. Ruez?
21 A. The main reason for the use of the equipment
22 was, without any doubt on our side, to lure the people
23 and make them -- bring them to surrender, in order not
24 having to fight them, capture them easily.
25 The way the situation developed might be even
1 more interesting. The reason is that the Dutch command
2 got the agreement that UN soldiers would escort buses
3 and trucks of prisoners towards Kladanj to make sure
4 they would reach their destination. That means all
5 along the way, they could witness already events.
6 There was obviously a blank cheque to kill in this
7 area, and the Dutch soldiers could witness all these
8 events when they were driving alongside the road.
9 As pinpointed on the map, they are sites
10 which we call small execution sites but which are quite
11 massive. Some are above 100 people. All these bodies
12 were to be seen along the road. We didn't say a word
13 about the number of bodies that the people could
14 observe from the windows of the buses by moving out of
15 this area, and it's a clear fact that none of the
16 persons who arrived on the asphalt road had a reason to
17 turn a weapon against anyone. If so, it would be
18 instant death. So maybe some did in order to commit
19 suicide and die honourably, if one can say so. Most of
20 the others didn't but most didn't and were probably
21 killed on the spot. So that generated a lot of
22 witnesses in the area.
23 So there was an absolute need anyhow for the
24 VRS to get rid of these witnesses, these UN witnesses.
25 Steal their equipment was a consequence of this process
1 of removing them from the area, putting them in
2 detention sites like the special -- I mean, the
3 compound of the 65th Protection Regiment in Nova
4 Kasaba, where indeed they have interesting things that
5 they saw and that they heard.
6 Once all this was done, the material was then
7 derouted in order to make the people believe that all
8 this operation was still monitored by the United
9 Nations. This led indeed to the use of this equipment,
10 very obviously in front of commanders passing by.
11 We didn't show that piece of footage, but as
12 soon as the 11th of July, UN equipment was already
13 taken from observation posts, and there is a piece of
14 footage where General Mladic and General Krstic are
15 standing nearby a tank driven by a Bosnian Serb soldier
16 who is standing, with a blue beret slipped in his
17 belt. We don't know what use this one made of this
18 equipment, but we know what the others did with it.
19 Obviously everyone was aware, informed, and no one
20 opposed that.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
22 very much, Mr. Ruez. We're still in the early days of
23 the case and that is why we have so many questions, but
24 I should like to thank you for coming here to testify.
25 We shall move on to another witness, but I
1 believe this would be a good time to make a break. The
2 next witness will be a protected witness, Mr. Harmon,
3 isn't it?
4 MR. HARMON: Yes. That's correct. I have
5 some exhibits I'd like to present before we go into the
6 protected witness mode. We can do that after the
7 recess. I'd also like to move into evidence about
8 various exhibits that were introduced and identified by
9 Mr. Ruez, and I can wait until after the break to do
10 that as well.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me.
12 And you want to do that with Mr. Ruez?
13 MR. HARMON: No. He can --
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] No. I
15 see. Well, in that case, Mr. Ruez is free to go, and
16 you will have the opportunity to introduce those
17 documents and make a break. How long will you need,
18 Mr. Harmon?
19 MR. HARMON: Ten minutes.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 Excuse me. I will, therefore, go back on what I said.
22 I think it is better to make a break and then we shall
24 Mr. Ruez, thank you very much for your
25 testimony before the Tribunal. Lots of success in the
2 Now, we have shall a 20-minute break and then
3 we shall resume.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 --- Recess taken at 11.55 a.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.23 p.m.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
8 We are now resuming the hearing. Mr. Harmon, you have
9 the floor.
10 MR. HARMON: Mr. President and Your Honours,
11 I would like to first introduce a number of exhibits
12 that have been referred to either in my opening
13 statement or through the testimony of Mr. Ruez.
14 I'd like to move into evidence Prosecutor's
15 Exhibit 1A and 1B. Those are two small maps showing,
16 (1) the location of the Srebrenica municipality; and
17 (2) showing the location of three enclaves.
18 I would like to introduce 1E bis -- I'm
19 sorry. 1E, which is this large map that Ruez referred
20 to frequently; 1E bis, which is a separate legend to
21 that map; 1I -- I'm sorry -- yes, 1I, which is a large
22 photograph showing skeletons in a trench; 1H which is
23 another photograph I referred to in my opening
24 statement; Prosecutor's Exhibit number 2, which is the
25 large map, Krivaja 95, the operations map; Prosecutor's
1 Exhibit 3, which is a film used by Mr. Ruez;
2 Prosecutor's Exhibits 4 through 27, which are the two
3 volumes of photographs, as well as associated videos
4 that were played during Mr. Ruez's presentation;
5 Prosecutor's Exhibit 16/6, which is a wire ligature;
6 27/9, which is a blindfold; and Prosecutor's Exhibit
7 29, which is a large map introduced at the end of
8 Mr. Ruez's testimony, showing the contours of the land
9 and relevant sites. So we would move those into
11 In addition, Mr. President, I would now like
12 to distribute to Your Honours and to counsel three
13 separate exhibits: Prosecutor's Exhibit 30 and 30A,
14 which will be the report of the Secretary-General
15 pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 53/35. It's
16 entitled "The Fall of Srebrenica." 30 is the English
17 version of this report and 30A is the French version of
18 the report. In addition, Mr. President and Judge Wald,
19 there are annexes to that report which are found in
20 Prosecutor's Exhibit 31. And the last -- which
21 Mr. Dubuisson will now distribute, and then I'll turn
22 to my last exhibit.
23 The last exhibit is Prosecutor's Exhibit 33A
24 through 38B, and I will identify each of those separate
25 exhibits. These exhibits include reports in French and
1 English. They are the reports on the situation of
2 human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia
3 that were submitted by Mr. Mazowiecki, who was the
4 Special Rapporteur of the Commission of Human Rights,
5 and these reports are a series of reports that were
6 submitted by Mr. Mazowiecki. They start in
7 Prosecutor's Exhibit 33A with a report dated the 28th
8 of August, 1992. There's a series of six reports. The
9 last report is a report that was submitted by
10 Mr. Mazowiecki on the 22nd of August, 1995. Again,
11 this was the final periodic report on the situation of
12 human rights in the territory of the former Yugoslavia
13 submitted by Mr. Mazowiecki, Special Rapporteur of the
14 Commission of Human Rights.
15 So we would move these various reports into
16 evidence as well. And that completes, with the
17 submission of these exhibits, it completes the overview
18 of events that took place in Srebrenica.
19 And now, Mr. President, without further ado
20 I'll yield the floor to my colleague, Mr. McCloskey,
21 who will lead the next witness. And we will proceed --
22 we'd make a request that we proceed in closed session.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Before
24 that, perhaps, Mr. Harmon, I should like to ask the
25 Defence if they have any objections to any one of these
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President,
3 the Defence objects when it comes to Exhibit 14, that
4 is, Nova Kasaba; Exhibit 17, Konjevic Polje; and
5 Exhibit 18, the Jadar River.
6 Let me explain. In Mr. Ruez's testimony, the
7 Prosecutor adduced those exhibits and Mr. Ruez referred
8 to them as places where executions took place.
9 However, if we look at the indictment, and I believe we
10 have to really go by the indictment, these localities,
11 these are not mentioned in counts 24 to 26 of the
12 indictment, and the Defence therefore believes that
13 these exhibits may not be -- may not make part of
14 evidence. They may not be used in the hearing in
15 consideration of the case. Thank you.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon.
17 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, the indictment,
18 paragraph 24, is a list of various locations that is
19 not exclusive. It says in paragraph 24: "The
20 wide-scale and organised killings of Bosnian Muslim men
21 which occurred in several different locations in and
22 around Srebrenica enclave from 11 July 1995
23 July 1995 included ..." It didn't say it was limited
24 to these locations, and therefore we believe that the
25 locations that are described in this are relevant. In
1 addition, I might add that the Jadar River site is a
2 location that the Defence received the discovery from
3 the Prosecution, has received evidence of a statement
4 from the survivor of that location and has been fully
5 aware that we intend to lead that evidence in the
6 course of this trial.
7 Lastly, Mr. President, in respect of the
8 location at Nova Kasaba, I believe there are aerial
9 images of that location that were shown to the Defence
10 prior to the commencement of this trial pursuant to our
11 obligation under Rule 70B, and the location of Konjevic
12 Polje, likewise, we believe are relevant under the
13 terms of paragraph 24.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon,
15 I heard the translation that the sites mentioned under
16 paragraph 24 to 26 are not exclusive. You meant
17 perhaps that this is not the exhaustive list of sites;
18 they are merely some of the places by way of example.
19 MR. HARMON: That's correct, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE WALD: Mr. Harmon, just to make sure I
21 understood your explanation, was the Defence in fact
22 alerted to the fact that the exhibits -- or the
23 locations involved in Exhibits 14, 17, and 18 would be
24 the subject of evidence? I think you mentioned one or
25 two, but I wasn't sure whether you mentioned the
1 third. In other words, was supporting material,
2 various other things, they knew that these would be the
3 subject of evidence?
4 MR. HARMON: That's correct. The first item,
5 which is 14, which is Nova Kasaba, includes -- let me
6 just take a look at this for a minute. Let me return
7 to Nova Kasaba in just a minute.
8 17, paragraph 17, is Konjevic Polje. These
9 items were known to the Defence. Item 18, the Jadar
10 River, was known to the Defence. We provided them with
11 a copy of a survivor's statement from the Jadar River.
12 In respect of the locations of grave sites described in
13 those particular locations, we have provided the
14 Defence with exhumation reports relating to each of
15 those locations where there's a grave site included.
16 JUDGE WALD: You said you'd go back to Nova
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for her honour.
19 MR. HARMON: Just a minute. Let me grab my
20 exhibit binder. Yes, Judge Wald. The Nova Kasaba
21 grave sites were divulged to the Defence. One, there
22 are aerial images that the Defence was shown, and two,
23 Nova Kasaba grave sites are the subject of an
24 exhumation report that was provided to the Defence.
25 JUDGE WALD: Thank you.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So the
2 Defence objects against Exhibits 14, 17, 18, and we
3 heard the explanation of the Prosecution. So now we
4 have to examine it in greater detail, and after the
5 deliberation, the Chamber will pass its decision. At
6 the moment, we cannot really take the decision
7 immediately. We have to go into it and we shall then
8 make our decision, and that will be tomorrow perhaps.
9 So now I think the Prosecution will now continue with
10 the production of evidence, and I believe it was
11 Mr. McCloskey who will take over.
12 Mr. Harmon.
13 MR. HARMON: Yes. We will proceed in a
14 closed session on the next witness.
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Does
16 the Defence know and does it agree with the protection
17 measures for this witness, Mr. Petrusic?
18 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes. We know
19 about that and we agree with the measures as proposed.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon,
21 therefore, we can take all the necessary measures so
22 that we could proceed with this witness.
23 For the public, I need to say we will be
24 hearing evidence with protective measures, and we will
25 now change to a closed session.
1 [Closed session] [Confidentiality lifted by order of Trial Chamber]
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President and Your
3 Honours, I believe I'm waiting for the confirmation of
4 the closed session. This is all new to me, so I hope
5 that I don't slip up.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. We're
8 waiting for the witness. Yes. Here he is.
9 Can you hear me, sir?
10 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can.
11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 Now you will take the solemn declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
16 WITNESS: WITNESS B
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 You may be seated. You will now be shown a small piece
19 of paper with a name, and you will merely say yes or
20 whether this is your name or not. Just yes or no.
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 As you know, for reasons of your safety, the Tribunal
24 has taken protective measures in terms of your
25 identity, and you will, therefore, be addressed as
1 Witness B. Yes, Witness B, you will testify now as
2 Witness B. Thank you for coming to the Tribunal. You
3 will now answer questions which the Prosecution will
4 ask you, and after that, when the time comes, you will
5 do the same for the Defence.
6 So counsel for the Prosecution, you may
7 proceed now. Thank you.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you,
9 Mr. President.
10 Examined by Mr. McCloskey:
11 Q. Would you state your present occupation,
13 A. The place I'm working now or --
14 Q. What you do.
15 A. I'm working in the Dutch army. I'm a Warrant
16 Officer 1st Class. I'm working in The Hague
17 Intelligence Branch.
18 Q. Does that work occasionally take you to
19 sensitive spots and that is basically the reason for
20 your requesting closed session?
21 A. Yes, that's true.
22 Q. All right. Did you participate in the UN
23 peacekeeping mission to Bosnia in 1995?
24 A. Yes. I was there in 1995 with UNPROFOR.
25 Q. What was your rank and position when you went
1 to Bosnia?
2 A. I was a Warrant Officer 2nd Class. I was a
3 liaison officer and advisor of field security from the
4 so-called DutchBat.
5 Q. Where did you go? Where was DutchBat
6 stationed when you first went to Bosnia
7 A. I went there on the 3rd of January to the
8 enclave of Srebrenica, and I was stationed in
10 Q. Can you briefly describe what the UN
11 peacekeeping mission was, based on your understanding
12 of it at the time when you got there?
13 A. Well, when we got there, we had to protect
14 the people inside the enclave, help and protect the
15 NGOs, and the MSF, and the UNHCR, and help them with
16 the food supply and other supplies in the enclave for
17 the civilian population, man the observation posts, and
18 eventually try to deter attacks.
19 Q. What was your responsibility --
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me
21 for interrupting you, Mr. McCloskey, but you should
22 know something about our reality, and that is that
23 there is always an interpreter between you and me, so
24 could you please just make a pause between question and
25 answer to give the interpreters time to interpret both
1 of you. Otherwise, it becomes very difficult. Thank
2 you very much.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Thank you,
4 Mr. President.
5 Q. What were your responsibilities in regard to
6 the Muslim military situation in the enclave?
7 A. Well, we had to negotiate, as the liaison
8 team, with the Muslim military and civilian population,
9 and sometimes there was a mix between civilian and
10 military population because there was not a real army
11 which you had to deal with in the enclave.
12 Q. What kind of army was there?
13 A. Well, it was the 8th Operational Group from
14 the Muslim army which was in the enclave, but it was
15 not really a group. We had to deal with the leader of
16 the group, Mr. Nasir Oric and his Chief of Staff Ramiz
17 Becirovic. Those were the men we had to mostly deal
18 with, and for the rest there was not really a standing
20 Q. Did they have heavy weapons?
21 A. No. They had weapons but not heavy weapons
22 because the two battalions which were before us in the
23 enclave disarmed them for the most part, and most of
24 the heavy weapons in the enclave were collected in the
25 weapons collection point.
1 Q. Where was it and what was in it?
2 A. The weapon collection point was in the
3 compound of the Bravo Company in Srebrenica, and they
4 were mortars, at least two tanks, some heavy
5 machine-guns, and a lot of small arms.
6 Q. Were there small arms that were not stored in
7 the weapons storage centre that were in the hands of
8 the Muslim population?
9 A. Yeah. We had several times during the six
10 months we were there that our soldiers saw Muslim men
11 with arms, and most of the time they succeeded in
12 disarming them, because that was one of our targets.
13 Q. Can you briefly describe what your duties
14 were throughout your stay there and what your rank
16 A. Well, I was a Warrant Officer 2nd Class, and
17 as a liaison officer, we had to keep in contact with
18 the civilian and Muslim population inside the enclave
19 and, of course, with the population outside the
20 enclave, which was for us the VRS.
21 Q. Did you have --
22 A. The BSA, correction.
23 Q. Yes. Either one is fine. Did you have
24 security and intelligence duties associated with your
25 liaison duties?
1 A. Not in relation to my liaison duties. My
2 second job was an advisor of field security for the
3 Commander of DutchBat and to advise him in taking
4 protective measures relating to personnel, materiel,
5 information, and all those kind of things.
6 Q. In the period leading up to the fall of the
7 enclave on July 11th, did you get to know certain VRS
8 personalities or people on the ground in the area?
9 A. Yes. The first time I met the VRS or the
10 Bosnian Serb people in the region was on the 6th of
11 January when we had our first meeting in the Hotel
12 Fontana by the handover from the former battalion to
13 our battalion.
14 Q. Who did you meet there?
15 A. I have to look at my notes. We met General
16 Zivanovic, as the Commander of the Drina
17 Vukovic, as the liaison officer for the battalion;
18 Major Sarkic, he used to work in the western part, in
19 the Milici Brigade; and Major Nikolic was in the
20 Bratunac Brigade; and they had an interpreter called
22 Q. You said that Major Sarkic used to work for
23 the Milici Brigade. I don't know if that's translation
24 or what.
25 A. I think it's the translation. He told me he
1 worked in the Milici Brigade.
2 Q. All right. And Colonel Vukovic, did you know
3 where he came from or what his background was?
4 A. Well, I remember that he worked in the
5 southern part, in the Skelani Brigade, but one of his
6 duties was being the LSO towards the Dutch battalion.
7 Q. LSO meaning?
8 A. The liaison officer. When there was anything
9 to talk about, he was in charge of us, but it was
10 Major Nikolic we would deal with, not Colonel Vukovic,
11 because most of the time he was not available.
12 Q. What was your understanding of Major
13 Nikolic's position in the Bratunac Brigade?
14 A. I had the idea that he was the Chief of Staff
15 in the Bratunac Brigade, not in the Milici Brigade, in
16 the Bratunac Brigade.
17 Q. Sorry. Thank you.
18 A. After several months, he told us that Colonel
19 Vukovic was no longer available and he was the man we
20 had to deal with as the LSO for the whole enclave. So
21 as well the Bratunac, the Skelani, and the Milici
23 Q. So did he hold himself out as the Chief of
24 Staff for the Bratunac Brigade or is that just what you
1 A. I think that's what I thought, because I
2 can't imagine he was the Chief of Staff of the
4 Q. All right. Can you briefly describe the
5 significant events in 1995 that led up to the fall of
6 the enclave on July 11th?
7 A. Yes, and I have to use my notes. Of course
8 there was a tense situation all the time. There were a
9 lot of problems. We had a lot of problems with
10 supplies for ourselves, with diesel, with food
11 supplies. We had problems to go on leave. There were
12 no clearances. There were a lot of problems from the
13 Serb side, that they would like to help us, send us
14 material to build OPs to do our job properly, but at
15 the end it was no cooperation because they didn't
16 support us at all.
17 Most of the time when we would like to have a
18 contact with the LSO, in this case Major Nikolic, it
19 was a problem to come in contact with him because when
20 they didn't like to speak to us, they didn't show up.
21 So there was no real contact. We had no possibility to
22 use the phone and ask for a meeting. We always had to
23 use some soldiers at the checkpoint, Yellow Bridge, as
24 we called it. Mr. Jovo was there and that was the man
25 who normally arranged the meetings.
1 Q. Excuse me. Before you go on, can you briefly
2 describe the chain of command in DutchBat at the time?
3 Who were the top people basically?
4 A. The top people were the Colonel Karremans,
5 who was the battalion Commander. Then Major Franken,
6 the second Command. And for doing the LSO
7 was Major Boering. Major van Alphen when we started,
8 he had to leave after some months, and it became
9 Captain Melchers and myself.
10 Q. And continue your explanation of the
11 situation overall as it led up.
12 A. Well, we had all the time the feeling that we
13 were prisoners or hostages in the enclave and they
14 could decide whether we could go or to stay.
15 The 31st of May, there was a meeting
16 requested by the Colonel Vukelic by Major Nikolic, and
17 he wanted to see us at the OP Echo, and he told us that
18 the Muslim army attacked on several places the Serb
19 side, and that they had problems to use the road on
20 which our OP Echo in the southern part were, because
21 they wanted to use the road from Milici, Milici in the
22 south, in the direction of Han Pijesak.
23 Q. Could you take a moment -- there should be a
24 pointer there -- and show the Court roughly -- well,
25 show them where the OP Echo is. I believe you told me
1 before it is not quite marked on that map. Is that
3 A. No. OP Echo is here on the line. It should
4 be on the crossroad over here. It was just on the
5 crossroad, and the Serb army or the Serb people had no
6 possibility to pass by the OP because it was not
7 allowed to pass this side of the road. And they wanted
8 to use the road. That's what they told us, and that
9 was one of the most important reasons for them to tell
10 us that we had to leave our OP, because they would
11 start using the road.
12 Q. So what happened?
13 A. Well, the situation got a bit tense, and we
14 told Colonel Vukovic that we would not leave the OP
15 Echo because we had to stay there, and I think he told
16 us that he would take the OP with force eventually.
17 After that, we told him that if he would use force, we
18 would ask for close-air support when it was necessary,
19 so it is better for him not to take over the OP.
20 The situation got tense, and on the 2nd of
21 June, we got information that in the southern part, in
22 the vicinity of OP Echo, a lot of BSA soldiers have
23 been seen, that there are tanks in the southern part,
24 in the vicinity of Vukova Glava and Jasenovac. It's
25 south from the OP Echo on this side, the Serb side.
1 And from the Chief of Staff from the Muslims, Ramiz, he
2 told us that he had information that the OP Foxtrot
3 would be taken over.
4 Q. Then what was the next significant thing that
6 A. Well, at the 3rd of June, there was an attack
7 from the BSA at half past eight on the OP Echo with a
8 lot of machine gun and gunfire, using hand grenades,
9 mortars, and they just kicked out our OP.
10 Q. Were any Dutch soldiers hurt?
11 A. No. They tried to succeed and to fly.
12 Q. So the Dutch soldiers were able to leave?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. What's the next significant thing that
16 A. At that moment, of course, several things
17 happened at the same moment. The Muslims asked us to
18 attack the BSA, because they would not allow the BSA to
19 use the road. They said, "You are there to protect us,
20 so please take over the OP Echo again." They asked if
21 we would hand over the weapons from the weapons
22 collection point. Well, we refused it, because we told
23 them that the Serbs did not enter the enclave and this
24 was not the moment to make the situation more tense by
25 handing over the weapons.
1 A new OP was made, the OP Uniform, which was
2 not there before, but it was a new OP. And on the 8th
3 of June we got the information that -- Ramiz told us
4 that he had got some information from his sources that
5 this General Mladic ordered to take over all the OPs in
6 the enclave. Nothing happened, but at the end of June,
7 the situation got more tense and we got more and more
8 information that a lot of men, equipment, tanks, were
9 in the surroundings of the enclave.
10 Then on the 6th of June, a rocket --
11 Q. The 6th of --
12 A. 6th of July. Sorry. 6th of July a rocket
13 attack took place and a lot of fire fights in the
14 western part, as we called it, the Bandera triangle. A
15 lot of fights were going on there [marks].
16 Q. Could the record indicate that he drew just a
17 rough circle just to the right of OP --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel for the
19 Prosecution speak into the microphone, please.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Sorry.
21 Q. That he drew a rough circle to the right side
22 or eastern side of OP B or Bravo?
23 A. Well, it was -- the Bandera triangle is this
24 part of the area in which a lot of fights were going on
25 and a lot of shelling.
1 Q. Basically you went between OP B, C, and the S
2 in Srebrenica, just for the record?
3 A. Yes. That's correct.
4 Q. Okay.
5 A. Also a lot of shooting in the vicinity of the
6 OP Foxtrot. Sierra and Uniform, which were the new
7 OPs. Sierra and Uniform, they were not there before.
8 At 1.00 on the 6th of July, the first tank round hit
9 the defence wall in OP Foxtrot.
10 On the 7th of July, the whole day there were
11 artillery and mortar fires and multiple rocket launches
12 fired all over the enclave.
13 Q. Was this -- could you tell who -- which side
14 was firing these things?
15 A. The Bosnian Serbs. The BSA were firing. I
16 was on Potocari at that moment. In the evening, I saw
17 that 27 multiple-rocket-launcher rounds were fired
18 along the compound. We got a lot of reports that there
19 were wounded in Potocari and Srebrenica, and I saw a
20 lot of impacts in the vicinity of our compound, in the
21 vicinity of Potocari on several houses and the
22 electrician house which was standing there.
23 Q. Who was wounded?
24 A. Civilians. We got the information from the
25 Bravo Company, from the UNMOs, the military observers
1 in Srebrenica, and from the MSF in the hospital.
2 Q. These houses that were fired upon that were
3 near your Potocari base, what kind of houses were
5 A. Well, just normal houses. It was a small
6 village called Budak in which people lived, and they
7 just were attacked.
8 Q. What's the next thing that happens?
9 A. The whole night there was a lot of artillery
10 and mortar fire in the enclave. On the next day,
11 Saturday, the 8th of July, at 2.00, there were three
12 tank rounds that hit OP Foxtrot. And at 3.00, the
13 Commander of the Bravo Company orders if it's possible
14 to leave the OP Foxtrot and go back to the compound.
15 When the people from the OP leave the OP in
16 an APC -- when they leave the OP and come from a dirt
17 road on the main road from Echo, from OP Echo to
18 Srebrenica, some Muslim people tried to stop the APC
19 because they wanted to order them to go forward and
20 defend the enclave instead of going back, and at that
21 moment a hand grenade or a gunshot was on the APC
22 the Muslim side, and one of our soldiers, at the end of
23 the day, died by that incident.
24 That same day we had a lot of meetings with
25 armies from the 8th OG to guarantee our freedom of
1 movement, because one of the problems was all the
2 time -- and we had it before in the vicinity of OP
3 Echo -- all the time when we would like to go backward
4 and after that going forward in another place, which is
5 a normal military strategy, they blocked us and ordered
6 us just to go forward and defend the enclave. And the
7 enemies in front of you don't go back; go forward.
8 That was one of our biggest problems and biggest
9 concerns at that moment. We had no freedom of movement
10 inside the enclave.
11 That same day, the Saturday, the 8th of July
12 between 6.00 and 7.00 in the evening, the BSA is on the
13 OP Uniform in the southern part. And the men from the
14 OP, they only have one possibility: that's going
15 forward and surrender to the BSA, because they were
16 just afraid going backwards, where the Muslims tried to
17 stop them, and they had that incident on the same day
18 some hours before when the soldier Raviv van Rensen was
20 Q. So how many Dutch soldiers were at -- roughly
21 at that OP that surrendered to the BSA or went with the
23 A. I think about ten.
24 Q. And where did they go?
25 A. They surrendered and they went to the south
1 and then via the eastern side, over this road, to
3 Q. And then what happened?
4 A. Well, still a lot of rocket launchers and
5 artillery fire in the vicinity of Potocari. Then
6 Sunday the 9th --
7 Q. Let me ask you: Was there -- besides your
8 military facility that was in Potocari, were you aware
9 of any Muslim military facilities that was in the area
10 where this fire was occurring?
11 A. Yes. When the attacks on OP Uniform and
12 Foxtrot started, the Muslims were in a lot of cases in
13 the vicinity of our OPs, just firing at the BSA and
14 trying to get in fire contact with them in the hope
15 that after that the UN was forced to attack because the
16 BSA attacked the UN.
17 Q. How about around Potocari? You mentioned
18 that there was a firing upon Potocari earlier. Was
19 there any Muslim military facility around Potocari?
20 A. No. In Potocari there was nothing going on.
21 There were only civilians in the vicinity in the
22 village of Budak, in the village of Potocari.
23 Q. All right. And then what's the next thing
24 that occurs?
25 A. Well, the situation is still getting tense.
1 The dead body of Raviv van Rensen should be brought out
2 on the Sunday, the 7th. Well, as I told you before, we
3 always had to ask clearances, and they refused it
4 several times. And so they did it again. The first
5 moment that the dead body should be taken out of the
6 enclave was 9.00 in the morning. At least after a lot
7 of negotiations and a lot of troubles, we managed to
8 get the body out at 3.00.
9 Q. Who were you dealing with? Do you know who
10 your command was dealing with in the VRS in order to
11 negotiate the --
12 A. It was always -- mostly with Jovo. He had
13 telephone calls with his commanders, and I think most
14 of the time was Major Nikolic.
15 Q. Now, this fellow you've nicknamed "Jovo,"
16 what was his rank, if you knew?
17 A. I think he was a soldier, and he was the man
18 who was always occupying the checkpoint.
19 Q. So that was more of a matter of convenience
20 to communicate that developed over time with him?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Okay. And then what happens?
23 A. That same day, the 9th of July, the OPs
24 Sierra and Kilo have to surrender, and they do the same
25 as the man from the OP Uniform. They go forward,
1 because they had no possibility to go backward. They
2 had no freedom of movement. And they also surrendered
3 to the Serbs and were also brought to Bratunac.
4 Q. And then what?
5 A. Well, at that moment, the Swedish shelter
6 project, in the vicinity of OP Sierra and Kilo, in
7 which were approximately 4.000 Muslim refugees, they
8 had no protection any longer and they started moving
9 about to Srebrenica as refugees.
10 Q. I'm sorry. What date did that occur?
11 A. On the 9th of July. Then we got the first
12 information that there was no protection of the Swedish
13 shelter project and that they -- that the population
14 fled to Srebrenica. Of course, it was one of the
15 concerns from the civilian leaders in the enclave that
16 they suddenly would have again 4.000 refugees in the
17 town of Srebrenica, and it was already overoccupied, so
18 there would be a big problem.
19 Q. And what happened after that?
20 A. That same day, a lot of shooting also in the
21 vicinity of Srebrenica. The UNMOs who were stationed
22 in the PTT building in Srebrenica had to leave the PTT
23 building because it was no longer safe for them to stay
24 there, and I got the information from Colonel Karremans
25 that UNPROFOR had an ultimatum. And I don't know
1 UNPROFOR from Zagreb or Sarajevo. I don't know.
2 Q. Let me stop you for a second. First of all,
3 could you tell the Court what an UNMO is?
4 A. UNMO is a UN military observer.
5 Q. And how is that different from an UNPROFOR,
6 your peacekeeping mission?
7 A. Well, we had a peacekeeping mission. We have
8 armed and had also the possibility to deter, if it's
9 possible, to deter attacks on the enclave. The UNMOs
10 just were there for observation in arriving reports
11 directly to the headquarters, and were not armed and
12 had not the facilities we had.
13 Q. And where did the UNMOs stay usually?
14 A. The UNMOs stayed in the PTT building in
16 Q. And that's downtown Srebrenica?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And who were the UNMOs, as best you can
19 recall, that were stationed in Srebrenica at the time
20 frame we're talking about?
21 A. At that moment, I know the major Andre de
22 Haan, the Major Kingori, Josef Kingori, Captain Tetee.
23 I think that that was the only three which were left at
24 that moment. The rest of the UNMOs already left the
25 enclave for going on leave or for rotation, and there
1 should be in some new UNMOs, but they were not able to
2 get in.
3 Q. I'm sorry. I interrupted your testimony just
4 as you were talking about the UNMO situation in
5 Srebrenica. Could you go back a bit and continue that?
6 A. Yes. There were a lot of shootings and then
7 they had to leave the PTT building and to try to get
8 some protection from UNPROFOR, so from us, and they
9 went up to Potocari and stayed in our compound for the
10 rest of the stay there. Well, there was, I told you,
11 an ultimatum from UNPROFOR to the BSA that if the
12 attacks on the OPs -- correction, on the blocking
13 positions would go on, there would be airstrikes
14 against the BSA.
15 Q. You mentioned blocking positions. What do
16 you mean -- can you explain what the blocking positions
17 were and what that is?
18 A. Yes. As I told you, it's usual that when we
19 had to leave an OP, we go backwards, try to find a new
20 position and take a new position. The commander of
21 DutchBat ordered to take some blocking position in the
22 south of Srebrenica, from where you can see what was
23 going on in the southern part, and if the BSA was going
24 forward and attacking the town of Srebrenica
25 Q. And so how many blocking positions did you
1 have about that time?
2 A. At that time at least two blocking
3 positions. That's what I know.
4 Q. And this ultimatum that UNPROFOR delivered to
5 the BSA, what day was that again?
6 A. The 9th of July.
7 Q. And do you know about what time?
8 A. I think it was -- it started at 2100 hours.
9 And after that, when there was an attack on the
10 blocking positions, that close-air support would be
11 used and they would attack the BSA is it.
12 Q. Did anything happen?
13 A. No, nothing happened. Well, something
14 happened. The BSA went forward with their attack,
15 shooting on the town of Srebrenica
16 in the vicinity of our blocking positions. And I don't
17 know if close-air support was demanded. I know it was
18 demanded the next day, the 10th of July.
19 Q. Why don't you continue on with what happened
20 on the 10th of July then.
21 A. On the 10th we took the blocking positions in
22 the southern part of Srebrenica, as I told you, just to
23 block the road to Srebrenica and to see what was going
24 on and eventually try to stop the BSA. Again we had
25 negotiations with Ramiz for the freedom of movement,
1 which was a big problem, and because the BSA still went
2 forward, we asked for close-air support, but it was not
3 available they told us, and we didn't get any close-air
5 Q. And where were you on the 10th?
6 A. Well, on the 10th I was all the time on my
7 way between Potocari and Srebrenica, because the UNMOs
8 went to Potocari. They didn't dare to go back to their
9 office in Srebrenica. And somebody had to deal with
10 the civilian people, with the major, with the president
11 and with the military leaders in the enclave, so the
12 liaison team from the battalion had to go frequently
13 from Potocari to Srebrenica, and all the day I went
14 that road.
15 Q. Can you describe the situation in Srebrenica
16 on the 10th?
17 A. It was --
18 Q. Downtown.
19 A. It was a rather tense situation, of course.
20 A lot of people were going out of the houses, taking
21 all their goods they could carry with them, just like
22 refugees do. They were in the streets that day
23 already. Although there was not a real attack at that
24 moment at Srebrenica, but a lot of mortar and artillery
25 rounds I think landed in the town of Srebrenica.
1 Q. On the 10th?
2 A. On the 10th. In the evening, we had to go
3 with the battalion commander to the PTT building in
4 Srebrenica, and that was in the evening, and then you
5 got the situation that there was no light. A lot of
6 mortar and artillery, firing going on, a lot of people
7 in the streets, and of course women and children very
8 anxious. And all the streets were occupied and
10 Q. Can you give us an idea of how many people
11 were in the streets of downtown Srebrenica the night of
12 the 10th?
13 A. Well, that's difficult to say. In the
14 vicinity of the Bravo Company and PTT building there
15 are, I think, two or three hundred meters between it.
16 In the vicinity of the Bravo Company were hundreds of
17 people. They blocked the road with some trees because
18 they would guarantee that the Bravo Company would not
19 leave and no longer protect them, so they tried to keep
20 the Bravo Company where they were. We had to pass the
21 trees. In the vicinity of the PTT building it was
22 overcrowded, especially with men, at the moment we
23 arrived there, and it was 11.00 in the evening.
24 Q. And did you see any armed Muslim men at that
1 A. Yes, at that moment, outside the PTT
2 building, there were a lot of armed men that were
3 carrying guns, machine-guns, rocket launchers, hand
4 grenade launchers. And when we went into the PTT
5 building, the civilian as well as the military leaders
6 were all there and they were all wearing uniforms and
7 also a lot of them were wearing weapons.
8 Q. And what occurred at this meeting?
9 A. Well, Colonel Karremans told them that the
10 next morning, the 11th, at 6.00, when the BSA did not
11 withdraw, there would be an airstrike in the positions
12 of the BSA, and there would either be a killing box, a
13 certain part of the terrain, which would be completely
14 destroyed. Of course, the civilian and military
15 leaders did not believe him, because we often promised
16 them that we would get close-air support, that we would
17 get some help from outside, and till that moment
18 nothing happened. So they doubted about it if it would
19 happen this time.
20 Q. Was anything resolved from the meeting
21 besides what Karremans said and the disbelief of the
22 other parties?
23 A. No, not really. He just informed them, next
24 morning at 6.00, the ultimatum was -- would end, and
25 after that the problems would be solved by the air
2 Q. And then what did you see happen after that,
3 after the meeting was over?
4 A. Well, after the meeting was over, we went
5 outside and there were still a lot of men in the
6 vicinity of the PTT building. Also a lot of them were
7 already leaving the town, which would go on after, we
8 heard later on. They went in the north-western
9 direction, via a road in the vicinity of the PTT
10 building. Colonel Karremans went back to Potocari and
11 I stayed in the compound of the Bravo Company in
13 Q. Was anyone else with the liaison team with
14 you in the compound in Srebrenica?
15 A. Yes. Major Boering was also there.
16 Q. Okay. So the night of the 10th, early
17 morning hours of the 11th, did anything occur that you
18 noticed, anything specifically?
19 A. Yes. There was frequent shelling of the
20 town. I met a lieutenant who was in the southern part,
21 I think in one of the blocking positions. I met him at
22 1.00 in the night, so at 1.00 on the 11th, and he told
23 me that he had seen the BSA cleansing the houses in the
24 southern part of the enclave.
25 Q. Did he say what he meant by that?
1 A. No, not specifically. They went into the
2 houses, started shooting, burning houses. That's what
3 he told me.
4 Q. What was the name of that lieutenant?
5 A. Lieutenant Versteeg.
6 Q. Could you spell that for the record?
7 A. V-e-r-s-t-e-e-g.
8 Q. And then what occurred?
9 A. That night, the OP Hotel, this one, was also
10 shelled, and also the manning of that OP had to turn
11 back to the base. The next morning at about 6.00 we
12 had to try to get a confirmation that the BSA did not
13 withdraw, so we sent forward -- the commander of the
14 Bravo Company sent forward an APC
15 tank round was fired on the APC, and did not hit him.
16 But we got the confirmation that the fight was still
17 going on, so we ordered -- reported to the OPs room in
18 Potocari that it was still going on and that it was
19 time to try to get the airstrikes.
20 Q. What happened then?
21 A. Well, nothing happened. We had several
22 requests for close-air support and nothing happened. A
23 lot of shelling all over the place, a lot of panic
24 among the population in Srebrenica, which were
25 gathering together in front of the compound from the
1 Bravo Company, asking for help, asking to let them on
2 the compound, because they thought that that was one of
3 the places which would be safe.
4 Q. And what was the atmosphere that day and how
5 did the people feel?
6 A. Well, anxious, screaming, crying; women,
7 children with all their luggage running around and
8 didn't know where to go. And we also did not know what
9 was -- didn't know what was going on, because we had no
10 possibilities to do something ourselves. I think that
11 in the morning, at 10.00 or maybe at 11.00, we got the
12 request from the MSF to support them by getting out the
13 wounded from the hospital when necessary, so we
14 prepared some trucks on the compound of the Bravo
15 Company to support the MSF with the wounded. At that
16 moment, also the refugees broke through the defence of
17 the Bravo Company and came on the compound.
18 Q. Roughly how many people were now around or in
19 the Bravo Company area?
20 A. Well, in and around, I think, thousands. It
21 was all occupied. It was totally overcrowded.
22 Q. And then what happened?
23 A. Well, the patients came out of the hospital.
24 We had no possibility to treat them in any way; just to
25 put them in some trucks we had separated on the
1 compound. The rest of the refugees went onto the
2 trucks and maybe you have seen in the films from the
3 overcrowded trucks.
4 Q. Did any shells land in the compound?
5 A. Yes. I don't know the time, but around noon,
6 I think, a mortar shell landed between two APCs on the
7 compound and we had several wounded. I've seen at
8 least three or four wounded which were brought into the
9 first-aid place from the Bravo Company.
10 Q. So what did you decide to do now?
11 A. At that moment we had no possibility to do
12 anything else other than trying to get the people on
13 the way to Potocari, because that was maybe the only
14 safe place there was for us, because we had the idea
15 that Srebrenica was taken over by the BSA. So we asked
16 them to go up to Potocari. That was a problem. They
17 didn't want to leave the compound, because that was the
18 place where they felt safe. And after, at I think 10
19 minutes past 2.00, we got some airstrikes. There were
20 some planes and some attacks from the air force. After
21 that we got maybe some confidence from the population
22 that something happened, and they tried to go up to
24 Q. Was there a reason for confidence after the
25 air attacks?
1 A. No, because it was maybe 5 or 10 minutes and
2 then it stopped again. There was no follow-up from the
4 Q. The planes left?
5 A. The planes left.
6 Q. And then what did you do?
7 A. Well, I stayed at Potocari -- I stayed at
8 Srebrenica I think till 3.00 in the afternoon, and
9 after that we could do nothing anymore over there, so I
10 got into a Jeep with Major Boering and a lot of
11 refugees, as much as we could take, and went on the
12 road to Potocari. The road was overcrowded and shells
13 were falling at the sides of the road, I think at 100,
14 150 meters.
15 Q. And how did you react to these shells falling
16 on the side of the road?
17 A. Well, we got used to it, I think, because
18 shells were going on for several days and, well, it
19 just happened. But I have the idea they shelled the
20 road to take care that the population would go to the
21 north, to Potocari, because they wanted -- I think they
22 wanted that Srebrenica was left by all the population.
23 Q. So none of the shells hit on the road where
24 the refugees were; just along the sides the road?
25 A. Well, at the moment I drove along the side of
1 the road, I have not seen that any wounded were on the
2 road or dead people were on the road. The only thing
3 left on the road was a lot of luggage. And for the
4 rest, people were marching forwards to Potocari,
5 especially elderly men, women, and children.
6 Q. And about what time did you get to Potocari?
7 A. I think I was at Potocari around 5.00,
8 between 4.00 and 5.00. At that moment Lieutenant
9 Koster was already there, splitting up the refugees to
10 the several factories in the vicinity of our compound,
11 because there were already I think five or six thousand
12 refugees on the compound and it was not possible to get
13 more on the compound. And he told me that there was
14 information that the BSA did not allow us to let the
15 refugees on the compound because otherwise they would
16 start shelling the compound.
17 Q. So at the time that you returned to Potocari,
18 roughly how many Muslims were in and around the
20 A. Well, 10.000, maybe 15.000.
21 Q. Can you describe the atmosphere of the
22 situation then?
23 A. Well, an overcrowded place with refugees
24 carrying the luggage, elderly people, sick people,
25 young children, mothers and children, all anxious and
1 not knowing where to go; only searching for help by the
2 UN. And the only thing we could offer them was some
3 medical help by the MSF which was over there, trying to
4 help and create some places in the factories in the
6 Q. And what did you -- what were your duties?
7 A. At that moment I arranged with Lieutenant
8 Koster that more factories were broken open, that it
9 would be possible to go in the factories. And at, I
10 think, 7.00, I went to the compound in Potocari.
11 Q. And then what occurred?
12 A. I got the order from the Colonel Karremans to
13 accompany him, together with Major Boering, to a
14 meeting which should be held in the Hotel Fontana in
15 Bratunac, and he was ordered to be there at 8.00.
16 Q. Did you have any other information about what
17 this meeting was about or what to expect?
18 A. No, nothing, just that there was a meeting
19 with the BSA and -- well, I think that we expected that
20 there would be somebody who would ask us to surrender
21 and try to arrange something, because at that moment, I
22 think, we had the idea that we lost the war.
23 Q. Okay. Were you able to get to Bratunac with
24 your party?
25 A. Yes. It was no problem. I think that
1 between half past seven and 8.00, we went with a
2 Mercedes jeep to Yellow Bridge, to Jovo, to go to
3 Fontana. We were stopped there. I think that
4 Major Nikolic, in his private car, accompanied us,
5 driving in front of us to the Hotel Fontana in
7 Q. Now you say you think.
8 A. We were accompanied, and the only man I can
9 remember was Major Nikolic, because he also brought us
10 back to Fontana. So I think he brought us there.
11 Q. All right. What time did you arrive at the
12 Hotel Fontana?
13 A. I think it was around 8.00.
14 Q. Can you describe the scene upon entering the
15 hotel and what you learned and who you saw?
16 A. Well, we've been there several times before.
17 We had our first meeting on the 6th of January over
18 there, and when we entered the room, at the right side
19 where we entered the meeting, there were a lot of our
20 soldiers sitting, they were the hostages, a lot of BSA
21 soldiers in front of the hotel and in the hotel, all
22 armed. And we had to go to the back side of the hotel,
23 a small room, which was rather overcrowded, and we saw
24 some people we knew.
25 Major Boering, at that moment, just went to
1 the right and walked to the soldiers who were sitting
2 there in that small room. Although the guards who were
3 around there tried to stop him, well, he just went
4 there, and after some moments he had to leave to that
5 room and went to the same room which we were in, so
6 Colonel Karremans and I.
7 Q. Were you able to make out any insignia or any
8 unit patches from any of the guards, VRS guards that
9 you saw around the hotel or inside the hotel?
10 A. No. I only remember the VRS uniforms.
11 Q. Anything distinctive about them that would
12 indicate unit or -- that you saw?
13 A. No, not something that I can remember.
14 Q. Okay. What happened next?
15 A. Well, when we were in that room, we were
16 rather surprised, because we thought that
17 General Mladic was there, and in the first place we
18 couldn't believe he was there, but afterwards it was
19 General Mladic, because we expected that the
20 General Zivanovic, as Commander of the Drina
21 should be there and he was there, but we did not expect
22 General Mladic over there. But as I said, he was
24 Further on, Major Nikolic, Petar as an
25 interpreter, several civilians which we didn't know,
1 and a camera team, and also some other military men
2 which we did not know at that moment but later on -- I
3 can describe them as Colonel Jankovic, which we had to
4 deal with in the coming days several times, and I think
5 it was Lieutenant but Mr. Korsoric.
6 Q. Jankovic, do you know where he was from, what
7 rank, what unit?
8 A. No. He was just standing there. I did not
9 know his rank. He was introduced as a Colonel, I
10 think, because when we entered the room, the
11 interpreter Petar, which we used before and which was
12 the interpreter from the UNMOs was not there, and at
13 that moment that Colonel Jankovic was the only one that
14 spoke English.
15 Q. Okay. How about Korsoric? Did you know
16 anything about where he was from and what unit he
17 belonged to?
18 A. No. I have no idea, because he was with
19 Major Nikolic in the vicinity of -- in back of the
20 camera team, and I did not know him at that moment.
21 Later, the next two days, I know that's Korsoric but I
22 did not know him before. He was just, for me, a VRS
23 soldier, officer.
24 Q. Something rather unique about him, the way he
1 A. Yeah. His head without any hair at the top,
2 his big moustache, and a tattoo on his arms.
3 Q. Okay. Was General Krstic at that first
5 A. No. I don't remember him.
6 Q. Can you describe what you recall occurring at
7 that first meeting? What happened as you went in?
8 A. Well, the first moment there was confusion,
9 of course. Well, this cannot be true. This isn't
10 General Mladic. Well, it seems to be that he was.
11 We had a little talk, and very soon I came
12 under a lot of pressure. Petar, as interpreter, came
13 in and started to translate what Mladic said.
14 Q. Who started out as the interpreter?
15 A. I think that first Jankovic was an
16 interpreter, in the first talks, and after that Petar
17 came in.
18 Q. You've had a chance to see a video of part of
19 this meeting, I take it.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. We'll get to that a little bit later. Okay.
22 What's the necessary thing you recall happening? Petar
23 comes in to do interpreting now. What happens now?
24 A. Well, pictures are taken, the film crew is
25 active, General Mladic is making a lot of noise,
1 shouting at us, shouting at Colonel Karremans, accusing
2 him that he shot at his soldiers. He asked if
3 Colonel Karremans asked for airstrikes and if he was
4 responsible for what happened that afternoon, and,
5 well, he was there as the man who won, who was on the
6 first place, and he dictated at that moment -- well,
7 that's not the right word, but I think the total show
8 that went on at that moment there.
9 Q. Did he direct his comments to anyone besides
10 Colonel Karremans?
11 A. Yeah. After -- first he asked several times
12 Colonel Karremans if he ordered the airstrikes, and
13 Colonel Karremans told him that he just asked for it
14 but he was not the one who decides that it would take
15 place. After that, General Mladic turned over to me
16 and did the same. After that, he went to the Major
17 Boering and did also the same. So they also asked us,
18 in the same way as he did to Karremans, if we ordered
19 the attacks.
20 Q. What other subjects were discussed at the
21 meeting after that?
22 A. I think after that induction, I think we sat
23 down and we talked about several subjects.
24 General Mladic wanted to have contact with
25 representatives of the civilian population, because he
1 wanted to tell them that they were not his target, that
2 they were free to go, and if they would like to leave
3 it was possible. He also asked for contact with the
4 military leaders inside the enclave or somebody from
5 the military in the enclave, and he especially called
6 for Zulfo Tursunovic. At that moment, he told that
7 Nasir Oric was not in the enclave -- that was what he
8 knew that already -- so he wanted contact with Zulfo
10 Q. Who is Mr. Tursunovic, to your knowledge?
11 A. Tursunovic was one of the military leaders in
12 the enclave, in the western part of the enclave, where
13 he also lived.
14 Q. How concerned was Mladic with the military?
15 What else did he say about the military?
16 A. Well, he just wanted one thing. When we told
17 him that we had no contact with the military leaders,
18 he told us that we had to go there and try to get in
19 contact with the military leaders because they had to
20 lay down the weapons and surrender. And if they
21 surrendered, there was no problem. Then they would be
22 taken prisoners of war and detained.
23 Q. Okay. What other subjects do you recall
24 being discussed, if any?
25 A. Well, he told us that if there should be new
1 airstrikes, then he should shell the compound and the
2 refugees, and also the hostages could be targets, the
3 hostages which were in Bratunac. Colonel Karremans
4 asked for food and medicines for the refugees in the
5 vicinity of Potocari. Well, I can't remember, but I
6 think that Mladic promised us that he would see what he
7 could do, not specifically give any answers on the
9 One of the things I remember is that he asks
10 Colonel Karremans if it was possible for him to arrange
11 buses to transport refugees to places where they would
12 like to go.
13 Q. And Mladic asked that to Karremans?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And what does Karremans say?
16 A. Well, I don't know if he promised, but I
17 think that he promised that he would see if UNPROFOR
18 could provide some buses.
19 Q. What other discussion was there, if any,
20 about the movement of the refugees?
21 A. Nothing else. The only thing that the people
22 were free to go and transport had to be arranged. It
23 was, in that first meeting, the only subject.
24 Q. What would you say the main subject was at
25 the first meeting, as you recall now?
1 A. I think the main subject was making contact,
2 showing who was the boss, and try to get in contact
3 with the civilian and military population, and try to
4 inform the military population inside the enclave that
5 they should be disarmed and that they should
7 Q. Now, you've had a chance to see probably
8 various videos of the various meetings. From your
9 recollection of those videos, did those videos contain
10 everything that occurred at the meeting?
11 A. No. I think -- what I've seen, and I don't
12 know if I've seen everything, but I've seen only the
13 shots on the several Nova programmes, but I don't think
14 everything from the meeting is on the tape.
15 Q. You were able to see some of the video that
16 we showed you before your testimony, on the same
17 meeting; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
20 Mr. McCloskey, sorry if I'm interrupting you, but I do
21 not think we can go on until 2.30 without a break. I
22 believe everybody's tired. So I am going to announce a
23 break of 15 minutes and then we shall proceed until
24 2.30. Will that be all right?
25 --- Recess taken at 1.38 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 1.57 p.m.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
3 Mr. McCloskey, you may continue.
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. We
5 have the tape of the first meeting, which is about
6 40 minutes. So it would run a little bit over, but I
7 would offer to play it at this time after just one or
8 two quick questions.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I think it
10 is acceptable that we work ten minutes later than
11 usual. Thank you very much. The interpreters are
12 always forthcoming. Thank you very much,
13 Mr. McCloskey. You have the floor.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I've been informed, Your
15 Honour, that this witness will be the pseudonym of
16 Witness B, for the record.
17 Q. Now, briefly, before we start the video, can
18 you tell us the people that can be seen? You've seen
19 this video. Can you tell us the people that can be
20 seen on the video as it opens up and as it goes through
21 the video?
22 A. I think when it opens up there is
23 General Mladic; Colonel Jankovic; Colonel Karremans;
24 and myself; and after that Petar is there; Major
25 Boering; and after having a drink, also General
1 Zivanovic is on the tape.
2 Q. General Zivanovic comes in right at the end
3 of the tape?
4 A. At the end when we have a drink.
5 Q. That means who cannot be seen on the video
6 who was present there?
7 A. I think Korsoric and the civilians and the
8 camera team cannot be seen. I told you that
9 General Mladic, Zivanovic, Major Nikolic, Colonel
10 Jankovic were there, and Korsoric, and the civilians
11 camera team.
12 Q. So we won't be able to see Nikolic either on
13 the tape?
14 A. No. I don't think so.
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: All right. Then we have --
16 the tape is Exhibit 39, and I would ask for one pause
17 at a particular point in the tape to ask a few -- one
18 or two questions, and then we'll continue. It
19 shouldn't take long. But if you could play Exhibit
21 [Videotape played]
22 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "NATO planes
23 have bombed us at your request. Whose planes were
24 they? Dutch. Who? Did you order UNPROFOR forces to
25 be active against my army in the area of Srebrenica
11 Pages 871-876 inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
12 English and French transcripts.
1 today? Your forces. Peacekeeping forces in the area
2 of Srebrenica opened fire against my units. Did you
3 order this? Where did you hail from? Translate this.
4 Ask him whether his forces opened fire today on my
5 forces in the Srebrenica area following his orders?"
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: Excuse me. Could we stop the
7 tape for one brief second. Could I ask the interpreter
8 not to interpret over Mladic? I'm sorry we're giving
9 her mixed signals on that, but I think it's important
10 to be able to hear his tone, and if we could follow the
11 transcript for the next few minutes. Thank you.
12 You may continue with the tape.
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, that
15 concludes, obviously, the video, and I suggest we start
16 up again with this witness in the morning.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank
18 you, Mr. McCloskey. So we will continue tomorrow
19 morning with the witness that is here today. So I'll
20 see you again tomorrow morning at 9.30.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
22 at 2.43 p.m., to be reconvened on
23 Tuesday, the 21st day of March, 2000,
24 at 9.30 a.m.