1 Wednesday, 5 April 2000
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning. I would like to
6 greet the parties, the accused, the technical staff,
7 the legal officers, the stenotypists, and the ushers.
8 And I would like to extend my greeting to the public
10 Would you please let in the witness.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning. Before we start,
13 kindly take an oath. We appreciate you very much for
14 coming. Thank you. Now, if you will please take the
15 oath, as he will show you.
16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
19 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you. Please be seated.
20 Mr. Harmon, you are today our Prosecutor.
21 MR. HARMON: That's correct, Judge Riad.
22 Good morning, Judge Riad, Judge Wald. Good morning
23 colleagues from the Defence, and good morning Captain
25 WITNESS: JOHANNES RUTTEN
1 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
2 Q. Could you state your name please and spell
3 your last name for the record.
4 A. My name is Captain Rutten, and I could spell
5 my name, it's R-u-t-t-e-n.
6 Q. Captain Rutten, you're a professional soldier
7 in the Royal Dutch army; is that correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. And you currently hold the rank of captain.
10 A. That's also correct.
11 Q. Now, when you and I speak, in the course of
12 my examination, as I've told you before, it's important
13 that you pause after I ask a question so the
14 interpreters can have time to interpret my question and
15 interpret your answer.
16 A. Okay.
17 Q. Now, you joined the Royal Dutch army in 1981;
18 is that correct?
19 A. That's also correct.
20 Q. And you served in DutchBat III in the
21 Srebrenica enclave from January of 1995 until the 21st
22 of July, 1995.
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Now, one of your mandates while you were
25 serving in DutchBat was to assist in the delivery of
1 humanitarian aid; is that correct?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. And while you were in the enclave, did aid
4 convoys carrying humanitarian aid in the form of food
5 and medicine arrive in the enclave?
6 A. They did -- convoys from the UNHCR arrived in
7 the enclave, yes.
8 Q. Was there any obstruction of those
9 humanitarian aid convoys?
10 A. They had -- first there was a lot of
11 paperwork with the Serbs before any UNHCR convoy was
12 coming in, and during the whole period in the enclave,
13 we saw decreasing, the number of convoys during the
14 seven months we were there.
15 Q. And why were the number of convoys carrying
16 humanitarian aid in the form of food and medicine and
17 the like, why did they decrease?
18 A. The Serbs wouldn't let in more. The
19 situation in the enclave was, at a certain point, real
20 bad and the Dutch LO team, which means the local
21 negotiators, asked for more assistance from the UNHCR,
22 but the Serbs wouldn't let come in no more.
23 Q. Now, what effect, Captain Rutten, did the
24 obstruction of those humanitarian aid convoys have on
25 the population who resided within the enclave?
1 A. Everything that was edible, they tried to
2 get. Even where our garbage was dumped, there was a
3 lot of people when the garbage was really dumped,
4 trying to found something edible in our garbage.
5 Q. Was there sufficient food for the civilian
7 A. No, certainly not.
8 MR. HARMON: Now, can I have Prosecutor's
9 Exhibit 85, which is a photograph, distributed, and if
10 the usher could place a copy of Prosecutor's 85 on the
11 ELMO, please.
12 Q. While we're waiting for the distribution of
13 this exhibit, Captain Rutten, was the obstruction of
14 the aid convoys by the Bosnian Serbs something that you
15 saw on a constant basis or did the obstructions
16 increase as time went on?
17 A. It probably increased because we saw less
18 convoys coming in during the period.
19 Q. Now, Captain Rutten, there's been a
20 photograph placed on the ELMO. Did you take this
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. When did you take this photograph?
24 A. During patrolling in the enclave, on the
25 route to OP Quebec and Romeo, we saw our garbage truck
1 that we hired local, from the local people there, and
2 they had picked up our garbage there. That was dumped
3 on a mountainside, and these are the local people, the
4 refugees that were inside the enclave of Srebrenica and
5 tried to something edible around the garbage that was
6 dumped in the place where you see on the photograph.
7 Q. Did this scene repeat itself every time the
8 UN garbage truck went to the dump site?
9 A. Yes. I'm not the only one that have seen
10 that scene. My colleagues told a lot about it because,
11 yeah, they find it unbelievable that people do that in
12 such a way, as you see here on the photograph.
13 Q. Captain Rutten, when did the attack on the
14 enclave start? What date?
15 A. We had some problems in June, but the real
16 attack on the enclave, from out of the northern side
17 also firing, started on the 10th of July.
18 Q. All right. And tell the Judges what occurred
19 on the 10th of July, as you recall it, and what you
21 A. On the 10th of July, we heard during the
22 night some impact just behind the compound, real severe
23 impacts. Later it appeared to be fired from a rocket
24 launcher, an M-77 Oganj that was placed in Bratunac.
25 We knew that because later on our local negotiators
1 saw, during the negotiations in Bratunac, that the
2 Oganj, the M-77, was still in place there. And the day
3 after the shelling, at night we found one of the
4 rockets that had not gone off just behind the
6 The days after that, the shelling started
7 more heavier during the day and it stopped during the
8 night, in the late evening. They tried to bind us,
9 more or less, on the compound so we couldn't get off.
10 From out of the hills of Birici, that's near OP Papa,
11 at the entrance of the enclave, they shot more or less
12 in a lane, which is the road that leads from Potocari
13 to Srebrenica, also on our vehicles or nearby, just to
14 intimidate us and to try to stay -- to let us stay at
15 the compound.
16 That evening, on Monday evening exactly, we
17 heard about our other company that was at that moment B
18 Company in Srebrenica, that the situation was growing
19 out of hand and people, the refugees itself from the
20 enclave, were on the move to Potocari. At that point,
21 I got the order to make a hole at the rear side of the
22 compound in the fence so that we could let people in,
23 not by the main entrance but just at the rear side of
24 the compound, if there was a necessity.
25 That evening, some soldiers of the B Company
1 came along with the first refugees, and we kept them at
2 the bus remise because we didn't want to have too much
3 refugees at that time at the compound, at least I
4 haven't got an order at that time to let the people
6 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, Mr. Harmon. Captain
7 Rutten just said Monday evening. Was the 10th of July
8 Monday, or was it the 11th?
9 A. I started on the 10th, and that's the Sunday,
10 and the 11th is Monday.
11 JUDGE RIAD: That was the 11th. Thank you.
12 MR. HARMON:
13 Q. Now, Captain Rutten, while you were in
14 Srebrenica, what were your normal duties and functions?
15 A. My normal duty was -- I was commander of an
16 anti-tank platoon, but since the means were on the OPs
17 itself and the soldiers also, my second duty was patrol
18 coordinator in the northern area of the enclave and
19 intelligence officer of the battalion.
20 Q. Captain Rutten, you've described heavy
21 shelling in the Srebrenica enclave. Can you tell me,
22 based on your presence on patrols and your experience
23 in the enclave, were there any military targets in the
24 town of Srebrenica or in the town of Potocari?
25 A. There were no real military targets. The
1 military targets that were there were on the
2 confrontation or border line at that time of the
3 enclave. There were some BiH soldiers still, but not
4 in Potocari or Srebrenica itself.
5 Q. What is your view on the purpose of the
7 A. The purpose of the shelling was, at first, to
8 intimidate us not to leave the compound anymore or to
9 see what was really happening outside of the compound,
10 and to, yeah, more or less it was a terror act because
11 the shelling was not on marked goals, you could say,
12 not on marked military goals, you could say.
13 Q. I'd like to focus your attention on the 11th
14 of July. Tell the Judges what happened.
15 A. The 11th of July, as I told you before, it
16 was in the evening, we made a hole in the fence.
17 Eventually no one came in. We sent out a Red Cross APC
18 because they were shelling on the people that had left
19 Srebrenica, on the way to Potocari. They were
20 accompanied by some Dutch -- by a Dutch group of the B
21 Company that had left Srebrenica to accompany them to
23 Because of the shelling they had to stay and
24 they came no further than the bus remise. We sent out
25 the Red Cross APC to give assistance over there to the
1 wounded, and that was at that time the stage. I was
2 with a group near the rear side of the compound, at the
3 fence, waiting if there were probably refugees coming
5 Q. Captain Rutten, when did the large influx of
6 refugees arrive at the Potocari compound?
7 A. On Monday evening, finally we closed the
8 fence again, the hole that I made, because no one was
9 coming in. Only a heavily wounded woman we carried
10 over the fence because we had closed the fence then.
11 She was cared for at our battalion hospital, you could
12 say, at Potocari, and brought later in the evening,
13 when she was stabilised, back to Srebrenica again, with
14 a Dutch APC, a Red Cross APC.
15 The next day, and I speak of Tuesday, we were
16 all in a bunker because of the shelling and had to
17 wait. In the morning, I was sent out again because
18 someone was at the main gate and waved with something
19 that looked like a card or a map of the area, and they
20 assumed, the guard assumed, that probably that was a
21 Muslim leader of the Muslim party or whatever.
22 I went out with a colleague, a colleague
23 lieutenant, to see what really was happening. But
24 there were no leaders, there were two soldiers. One
25 was wounded who had a shot through the underarm and was
1 taken care of, before when I saw him, by a Dutch
2 soldier, and I could see that there was a card on his
3 arm and on the card you could see what treatment he had
4 given, the Dutch soldier. We asked him where he came
5 from. He came from the surroundings of OP Mike. And
6 we sent him back to Srebrenica because we couldn't help
7 him. We gave him something to drink and that was the
8 whole of it.
9 Q. Let me interrupt you there. Was that a
10 Muslim soldier?
11 A. Sorry. That was a Muslim soldier.
12 Q. Please continue.
13 A. At that time, I went back to the bunker,
14 reported it, what I've seen, to the operations room,
15 and we -- shortly after that we got a new assignment
16 with a group of almost ten men to open the hole in the
17 gate that I made the night before again.
18 I opened it again and we had to wait for what
19 was going to happen. A new group also came out with
20 Lieutenant Koster as leader and had to go to the bus
21 remise to see what was happening over that. At that
22 time, I heard by my communication means that large
23 refugee groups were coming to Potocari, and the B
24 Company had to leave Srebrenica because of the shelling
25 and the total chaos over there.
1 We sent out, from out of the Potocari
2 compound, a lot of trucks so they could assist to get
3 the refugees to the Potocari compound. At that time,
4 the first groups of refugees came by the rear side,
5 sent out by Lieutenant Koster, with his group of men
6 that were, at that time, at the bus remise, sent in at
7 the rear side. That went on almost the whole day,
8 until more or less 5.00, 6.00 in the evening, and more
9 or less 4.000 to 5.000 refugees we held in the compound
10 at that time. At that time also I got the order not to
11 let in more refugees because the factory hall itself
12 was completely filled up with the refugees of the
13 enclave then, and we couldn't have more people over
14 there. There were prepared some meals of the rest of
15 the things we had for the refugees.
16 Still waiting at the fence and had to close
17 it. I got back, and we got with a few colleague
18 lieutenants, from Major Otter, a new assignment to get
19 together three groups of ten men and to secure the
20 refugees during the night that had stayed outside, near
21 the bus remise. We prepared for that, and as it got
22 dark, we went out to secure those refugees that had
23 stayed outside.
24 MR. HARMON: Could I have the usher's
25 assistance, please, and could you place Prosecutor's
1 Exhibit 5/2 on the ELMO.
2 Q. Now, Captain Rutten, you've referred to the
3 bus remise. Would you take a look at Prosecutor's
4 Exhibit 5/2 and can you identify what you have called
5 the bus remise on Prosecutor's 5/2.
6 A. [Indicates]
7 MR. HARMON: Indicating for the record the
8 Express Bus Compound.
9 A. I'm now showing with a pencil where the words
10 say Express Bus Compound. That is that side where I
11 stayed with my group of ten men. In the middle there
12 was another group of Lieutenant Koster's of ten men,
13 and at the Zinc Factory, at the other side, were also a
14 lot of refugees. The group of Lieutenant Schotman also
15 consisted of ten Dutch soldiers with him.
16 MR. HARMON: So for the record, Lieutenant
17 Schotman stayed on the right side of the road that
18 bisects the Prosecutor's 5.2 in the area of the Zinc
19 Factory, and Lieutenant Koster stayed on the left side
20 of the road between the road and the Express Bus
21 Compound on Prosecutor's 5/2.
22 Q. Is that correct?
23 A. That is correct, sir.
24 Q. Now, did you stay there the whole night?
25 A. We had the order to stay there the whole
1 night. We saw that there were very many refugees over
2 there. We tried to organise it more or less by -- had
3 red/white tape around the whole area, that everyone
4 could see that that was the area where the refugees
5 were kept by us, because we had no other means to do
6 that, and so making clear to everyone that that was the
7 secure area that was under UN surveillance.
8 Q. Now, the following morning, what did you
10 A. The following morning, in the early morning,
11 there was again some firing on the hills.
12 Q. When you say "firing," what kind of firing do
13 you mean?
14 A. Small arms, that was the thing that we heard
15 at first, and later on there was some mortar fire, and
16 we saw some houses burning and some pile of hay that
17 were also on the -- that was harvested by the farmers,
18 was also in flames then. That was to -- I think to
19 make the situation look more worse than it really was
20 at that time.
21 Q. Now, Captain Rutten, let me show you another
23 MR. HARMON: And if I could have Prosecutor
24 Exhibit 5/19 placed on the ELMO.
25 Q. Captain Rutten, are you familiar with the
1 area depicted in Prosecutor's 5/19?
2 A. Yes, it's familiar to me.
3 Q. Have you seen this area on the morning you
4 have just been testifying about?
5 A. Yes, I saw that area, yes.
6 Q. Can you tell the Judges what you saw in this
8 A. When you look at this area, it was all filled
9 up with refugees and --
10 Q. Pointing to the blue buildings.
11 A. Pointing to the blue building, yes. It was
12 all filled up around here, almost packed up with
13 refugees. And on the hillside, there were some houses
14 burning. There were harvested crops that day set
15 afire, just to -- and when I mean "they," they were the
16 first Serb soldiers that we saw who came down from the
17 hills. And what kind of types were they? The first
18 one that got to me were more or less the Rambo-types.
19 Q. Captain, let me ask you, did you see anything
20 in respect of the houses in the foreground in this
21 Prosecutor's 5/19?
22 A. Some of the houses were burning too that were
23 here [indicates], around the bus remise.
24 Q. And what effect did these objects that were
25 burning have on the refugees?
1 A. The effect was that there was a total panic
2 then because the shooting, the fire, and seeing the
3 Serb soldiers coming in from all sides, the people
4 thought that this was -- something really bad was going
5 to happen. We tried to calm down everything, and as
6 the first soldiers came down, Serb soldiers, I spoke to
7 the first of them that looked to me like a leader. I
8 didn't know if he was one. And I said to him, "You
9 can't go behind the red/white tape because it's UN
10 territory and there are refugees under our surveillance
11 there." He didn't -- not he, but also the rest of the
12 Serb soldiers were just laughing and trying to step
13 over the red/white tape and do as they please.
14 Q. Did you see any of the soldiers threaten any
15 of the refugees?
16 A. We had, during the night, a man in a
17 wheelbarrow came in. I knew the man because he was in
18 the BiH army. Now he was in civilian clothes, wounded
19 at his leg, he had a shot through his leg. The doctor
20 that was with me that night cared for him near the bus
21 remise. The first Serb soldier that was more or less
22 what I just called the Rambo-type made that sign
23 [indicates], a sign along the throat, to the more or
24 less young Muslim soldier that was in the wheelbarrow.
25 MR. HARMON: Indicating, for the record, the
1 sign being a finger running across the throat.
2 Q. What was your interpretation of that sign?
3 A. My interpretation of that sign, that from
4 that moment on, it was very clear for me that they
5 looked for the man, and it was also very clear to me
6 that the things that were going to happen with the men
7 predicted nothing good.
8 Q. Now, were you still at the same location near
9 the bus remise?
10 A. Yes, I was still at the same location.
11 Q. And you had your squad of soldiers with you;
12 is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did anything happen to your equipment?
15 A. We had between some old buses that were shot
16 and completely torn down, we had to spend the night in
17 shifts, and we had our gear there, our bags, for
18 staying for the night because we didn't know how long
19 we were staying. At that moment, the first Serb
20 soldiers that came in stole a part of the equipment,
21 what they could use, and some personal belongings that
22 were in our equipment. I sent out some soldiers to
23 prevent that, but they were pushed away and sent back
24 to me, and said "Get out of here."
25 At that time that the soldiers were walking
1 back, or tried to walk back, there was some gunfire
2 that came down from the hill, the BiH probably, and
3 then the Serb soldiers fired back using a few of my men
4 as a shield. At that time I walked to the Serb
5 soldiers and said that I had to bring my men back. It
6 was a panic situation, more or less. I grabbed my
7 weapon, I pointed it at the Serbs, and at that time
8 they let go of my personnel so they could get back to
9 me. And then eventually the firing stopped and they
10 went on with the stealing from our gear.
11 Q. Captain Rutten, did you make a complaint
12 about that?
13 A. Later, sometime later, I think one hour, I
14 saw our Dutch Captain Matthijsen, which was on the S-5
15 team, and with him was a Major -- to me known as a
16 Major Nikolic.
17 Q. Was Major Nikolic a member of the BSA, the
18 Bosnian Serb army?
19 A. That is correct, yes. I made a complaint to
20 Matthijsen that we were looted by the Serb soldiers and
21 they were threatening the refugees. I also addressed
22 the BSA Major Nikolic, he said that he could do nothing
23 about it but they wouldn't harm the refugees at that
24 time. And he said that it was very difficult for him
25 to get our stuff back. So I made a complaint but I
1 doubted that that was of any use at all.
2 Q. Now, let me focus your attention on Major
3 Nikolic. Did you know from what unit Major Nikolic
5 A. To me, it was known that Major Nikolic was
6 our contact person of the battalion, at least, of the
7 northern part, and in the northern part the Bratunac
8 Brigade was located.
9 Q. To your knowledge, was there another liaison
10 officer from the Bosnian Serb army?
11 A. There was -- to my knowledge, there was
12 another Bosnian soldier that was also there that was
13 called Jovo at OP Papa. That was the contact, the
14 first contact between OP Papa, the battalion, and the
15 BSA, you could say.
16 Q. So if you needed to make a contact with Major
17 Nikolic, for example, you would go to Jovo, who was at
18 OP Papa, and the request would be communicated to Major
19 Nikolic; is that how it worked?
20 A. That is how it worked, sir.
21 Q. Now, at some point in time, did something
22 happen to you and your men, that same day?
23 A. The time the BSA soldiers came in, we had our
24 vests, we had our weapons, and I had my two
25 communication sets for doing my job over there. During
1 the day I got threatened by the BSA soldiers to give up
2 my weapon, my communication sets, and my vest.
3 Q. Now, when that happened, let me ask you to
4 put it in the context of the time, had buses arrived
5 yet in the enclave, or was this before the arrival of
6 the buses in the enclave?
7 A. The threatening started before the buses
8 arrived, and the real -- the real threat later on was
9 when the buses already were coming in.
10 Q. So the event that you just described occurred
11 as the buses were coming in.
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. Okay. Now, continue, please, if you would,
14 describing what happened to you and to your men at that
16 A. At the point that the buses were coming in,
17 we were threatened, and I at first, had to give up my
18 weapon and my vest and the rest of my things. I sent
19 the men back, because I said, "I don't talk to an NCO,"
20 which he probably was, "I need to speak to your
21 commander." And "This is UN gear so I can't give up my
23 Q. Now, did the same thing that was happening to
24 you happen to your ten men as well?
25 A. Yes. And I ordered them not to give up my --
1 I ordered them not to give up their weapons or
3 Q. Did they give up their weapons?
4 A. Finally they had to because they were
5 threatened with weapons and had to give up their vests
6 and their armoury.
7 Q. Did the same thing happen to you? Did you
8 have to give up your weapon and your armour?
9 A. Yes. Also the doctor that was standing next
10 to me, someone, a BSA soldier, probably the commander
11 at least, he looked to me like one, came to me and
12 said, "I need your stuff." There was a soldier next to
13 him, grabbing my weapon, and I said, "I can't do that,"
14 and I turned away from him, with my back to him. He
15 pulled his gun on my head, at the rear side, and said,
16 "I need your communications set now." I gave him one,
17 and I grabbed my other one and I made my last signal to
18 my superior officer that I lost my weapon now, and that
19 that had been kept now by the Bosnian Serb army.
20 At that time we were taken -- I was at the
21 time at a small bridge in the middle of the bus
22 remise. We were taken to a place next to the bus
23 remise again with the whole group, and we had to stay
24 there, under the surveillance of two Bosnian Serb
1 Q. How long did you stay at the location where
2 you were being detained?
3 A. A few hours.
4 Q. Did that include your other men as well? You
5 and the men?
6 A. Yes, that was including my ten men and the
7 doctor that was with me. At that time I saw someone
8 that looked to me also as an officer, and later on he
9 became known to me as the so-called Captain Mane. I
10 protested with him that we were held there, and I
11 protested to him that we had lost our equipment. He
12 didn't even bother to look at me and sent me back to
13 the rest of the group. Later on when he came back, and
14 I say later on, a few hours later, I protested again
15 and I said that we could do nothing more there and that
16 we had to go back to the compound. And finally he said
17 that we could go back and sent with my group two
18 Bosnian Serb soldiers to escort me to the compound
20 MR. HARMON: Could I have Prosecutor's
21 Exhibit 71, please, and could that be placed on the
23 Q. Captain Rutten, can you identify the
24 individual on the left-hand side of this Prosecutor's
25 Exhibit 71?
1 A. That was the so-called Captain Mane.
2 Q. Now, let me ask you, did you at some point
3 that day, after your release from captivity, did you
4 see General Mladic in the area of Potocari?
5 A. Not the 12th, because the 12th we got back to
6 the compound and we stayed the night over at the
7 compound. But on the 13th, in the afternoon, early
8 afternoon, I saw Mr. Mladic arriving at the compound.
9 And I must correct that. On the 12th, I saw Mr. Mladic
10 for the first time, handing out -- his troops were
11 handing out some bread and water then. That was on the
13 MR. HARMON: Now, let me ask if I could have
14 the lights dimmed and if I could have Prosecutor's
15 Exhibit 78 played, please.
16 The Court has already seen this exhibit, but
17 for purposes of showing this witness and putting his
18 testimony in context, I'm replaying it.
19 [Videotape played]
20 MR. HARMON:
21 Q. Captain Rutten, that was a very brief snippet
22 of a film that you have seen in my office prior to
23 coming here to testify. Did you see that scene?
24 A. Yes, that was the scene near the road, a
25 house near the road that led from Potocari to
1 Srebrenica. That was the moment on the 12th when
2 Mladic came in, with his bodyguards around him, and
3 there was also a truck behind him and also a
4 firetruck. In the first truck there was bread being
5 distributed among the refugees, and in the firetruck
6 they brought along to give the refugees water they had
7 brought with them.
8 Q. Now, tell the Judges what you saw happen --
9 actually, let me ask you another question. At the time
10 the candy was being distributed, we've seen the film of
11 at least a portion of that episode, was the
12 distribution of the bread also filmed?
13 A. Both scenes were filmed, as well as the
14 distributing of the bread, the water, and the handing
15 out of the candy to some children near the house. It
16 was only a short instant that they filmed over there.
17 Q. What happened after the filming stopped?
18 A. After the filming stopped, they stopped also
19 handing out the bread, the water, and the candy. They
20 even took back some of it that they gave to the
22 Q. At any other time while you were in Potocari
23 on the 12th and the 13th did you see the Bosnian Serbs
24 distribute any other bread, water, food, or anything
25 that would help the refugees?
1 A. No, they did not. The only thing that got
2 distributed was given by us, and that was some water
3 and the things that we had left for the refugees on the
5 Q. Did the image that you just saw on
6 Prosecutor's Exhibit 78 of a soldier, a Bosnian Serb
7 soldier, handing out candy and the scenes that you saw
8 of the distribution of the bread and the water, did
9 that create a correct and accurate impression of the
10 way that the Bosnian Serb soldiers in the enclave were
11 treating the refugees?
12 A. No, not really, because it was a short moment
13 that they showed some, you could say, mercy to the
14 refugees, but it stopped at the moment the cameras went
15 away. And from that moment on, they started filling up
16 the buses that had also arrived then, and behind the
17 buses, there you directly saw that the men were
18 separated from the rest of the refugees.
19 Q. Captain Rutten, what's your impression of the
20 purpose of that filming of those generous moments?
21 A. To me it looked more or less like a media
22 campaign or propaganda, whichever word you want to use,
23 because it stopped after a very short time. It looked
24 like, to the world and to us at first, that they were
25 showing, as I told you, some mercy to the refugees, but
1 in fact it was all a big play and well registered.
2 Q. Now, Captain Rutten, did you have access to
3 Dutch national television in your compound?
4 A. Yes, we had.
5 Q. And was that through a satellite
7 A. We had a satellite transmission, but the days
8 that we had to cope with the refugees and when we had
9 to do our task, we couldn't see any of it. But two
10 days later, on Friday, we saw the Dutch news on our
11 TVs, and we saw the same scenes, on which we saw one of
12 them here right now, Mladic with his soldiers handing
13 out candy, bread, and that was what the world saw two
14 days later. We were completely astonished then in our
15 room where we had our TV because, yeah, we couldn't
16 understand that those films were that fast shown to the
17 whole world.
18 Q. And at the time you saw those films, were
19 there any refugees left in and around the compound at
21 A. There were none left then, the moment we saw
22 it. It was Friday then.
23 Q. I'd like to show you Prosecutor's Exhibit
24 28/4, please, and if that could be placed on the ELMO.
25 Before we put that on the ELMO, Captain, did
1 I show you the exhibit that the usher is holding in his
2 hand, this binder with a number of individuals in it,
3 and did you identify somebody in that binder?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. HARMON: Would you place Prosecutor's
6 Exhibit 28/4 on the ELMO, please.
7 Q. Captain Rutten, do you recognise anyone in
8 this particular image?
9 A. Yes. I recognise that man [indicates].
10 MR. HARMON: Indicating, for the record, the
11 second individual from the right-hand side of the
12 image, the man in the foreground with an orange face.
13 Q. Where did you see that individual?
14 A. I saw him in one of the cars that accompanied
15 Mr. Mladic near the compound.
16 Q. Now, let me change the topic and ask you,
17 Captain Rutten, are you familiar with a location known
18 as the White House?
19 A. Yes, I'm familiar with it.
20 Q. Did you go to the White House?
21 A. Yes, several times.
22 Q. When did you first go to the White House?
23 What date?
24 A. First I went to the White House on the
25 Thursday, Thursday morning.
1 Q. Okay.
2 MR. HARMON: Now, could I have Prosecutor's
3 Exhibit 5/17 and then 83 given to the usher.
4 Mr. Usher, if you could place Prosecutor's
5 5/17 on the ELMO, and if the assistant could
6 disseminate Prosecutor's Exhibit 83 to the Judges and
7 to counsel before I show it. Could you place
8 Prosecutor's 5/17 on the ELMO.
9 Q. Do you recognise that particular building,
10 Captain Rutten?
11 A. That was what we all called the White House.
12 MR. HARMON: Now, Mr. Usher, if you could
13 place Prosecutor's Exhibit 83 on the ELMO, please.
14 Q. Now, Captain Rutten, this is a picture that
15 you took; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. Can you identify the location of the front
18 gate of the UN compound and the location of the White
20 A. This is the entrance of the compound
22 Q. Keep your pointer there for just a moment so
23 I can describe it.
24 MR. HARMON: Indicating, for the record, in
25 about the middle of the picture, near the road, there
1 appears to be a road that travels from the middle of
2 the picture diagonally to the left, and there is a
3 bunker facility that has a blue flag atop it.
4 Q. And that's the entrance; is that correct?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. Now, could you move your pointer to the
7 location of the White House?
8 A. This is the White House [indicates].
9 MR. HARMON: Indicating a building with a
10 rusted roof on, looks like, a flat field or a flatter
11 area below the hill, and it's to the left of the
12 entrance to the compound.
13 Q. Thank you very much, Captain Rutten. So the
14 White House really wasn't far from the entrance to the
15 UN compound.
16 A. No. We could see it when we were at the
17 entrance and the guard could see it almost constantly.
18 Q. Why did you go to the White House?
19 A. That morning I had a duty at the operations
20 room, and we heard that -- by transmission, that a
21 colleague had seen two buses leave, and the colleague
22 was a Lieutenant Versteeg who saw two buses leave
23 nearby the White House, filled up with men. We had
24 outside several jeeps in place to accompany or to
25 escort the buses when they left the enclave. This
1 lieutenant saw the two buses leave and asked to our ops
2 room if he had to escort those two buses. I ordered
3 him to immediately follow those two buses because they
4 were separately leaving and not leaving with the
5 greater amount of buses that were also ready along the
7 At that time he accompanied the buses to
8 Bratunac, and the next transmission we got was the bus
9 is going not on the way to Kladanj, but turns another
10 way, "and I am being obstructed now by Bosnian Serb
11 soldiers to follow the bus." I said to him, "Try to
12 stay with the bus," but it wasn't possible at all
13 because the Bosnian Serbs blocked his car and even
14 hijacked his car, more or less. And he and his driver
15 were later on brought back to the compound. So we
16 never knew where those two buses went.
17 Q. So based on that series of events, did you
18 decide to go to the White House personally?
19 A. I spoke to my company commander and I said,
20 "Perhaps it's good to have a look outside, at what's
21 really happening, because if we get everything through
22 transmission, we might not be getting a clear
23 picture." So I went outside, accompanied by a sergeant
24 major. We took with us a wheelbarrow with water,
25 filled up with packages of water, and went to the White
1 House to have a reason to be there, and tried to get
2 into the White House.
3 As we came at the gate, we saw that, on the
4 left side of the entrance, where the pointer is now, a
5 great, a huge pile of rucksacks and another belongings
6 of the refugees. A few metres further on, on the
7 ground there were all kinds of identity cards,
8 passports. And then you get to the house, and that was
9 guarded, well guarded by Bosnian Serb soldiers. We
10 tried to get in at first but they wouldn't let us.
11 There were also, in front of the house, two Dutch
12 soldiers that had been given stars on their soldiers,
13 that were in effect corporals. Why they got stars, it
14 looked better to the Bosnian Serbs that there is a
15 lieutenant around than if there is just a mere soldier
17 We tried to inspect the house but we didn't
18 come in at first. We walked around the house. We got
19 in at the rear side, and I can point it out to you.
20 This is the rear side of the house [indicates].
21 MR. HARMON: Indicating, for the record, it
22 appears the pointer is on the left-hand side of the
24 A. We went in, and that means the sergeant major
25 and I. We had a look around, downstairs and on the
1 first floor, and everywhere, in every room we came, we
2 found on the ground, on the couches, and on the bed,
3 all kinds of photographs laying next to each other. It
4 looked to me whether they were looking for something or
5 some familiar faces or something, and, yeah, the whole
6 house was -- yeah, it looked like if there was just a
7 burglary. And, okay, we couldn't find nothing there.
8 In that part of the house, there was no one around. So
9 we tried to go around the house.
10 I saw behind the house, and that's here
11 [indicates], behind the electricity pole, some --
12 sitting on two chairs, Serb soldiers, two of them. I
13 went to them. They sat in front of a little orchard.
14 I asked them whether I could go further, to have a look
15 around. They wouldn't let me. And if I persisted to
16 go on, one of them pointed a weapon at me and said,
17 "Get the hell out of here," so I had to leave.
18 Coming at the entrance again, or I went back
19 to the house and I heard some voices at the rear side
20 of the house, inside of the house. I couldn't see
21 through the window because it was blinded, more or
22 less. I said to the sergeant major, we tried to get in
23 again. We went to the wheelbarrow, we offered the Serb
24 soldiers some water, and that was the moment we could
25 get in.
1 When we came in the corridor, there was a
2 Muslim man hanging at the staircase with one arm. I
3 asked the Bosnian Serb soldier to lower him so he could
4 reach his two feet to the ground, so he would be more
5 comfortable, and at that time, when I was asking that,
6 I went to the right side of the corridor and that was
7 the room that -- where I heard the voices before, and
8 it looked to me as an interrogation room and I tried to
9 get in. But at that moment, the Bosnian Serb soldier
10 put a weapon in my face and eventually he stuck it in
11 my mouth, so it -- I had to leave, so I had to pull
12 back more or less.
13 At that time it was very clear to me that
14 there was something going on, and I tried to get a
15 better picture of it. We got some new water, and I
16 told the sergeant major that he had to stay on the
17 staircase and that I would go upstairs to have a look.
18 At that moment, as we stepped outside, we saw
19 at the entrance new men coming in. The soldier at the
20 gate, the Serb soldier at the gate, said "Throw down
21 your things," made just an arm gesture, and a few
22 metres further on, they had to throw their identity
24 At that moment I went in again, went
25 upstairs. The sergeant major stayed at the staircase.
1 As I came up to the first floor, there were two rooms.
2 They were filled up with, more or less, 50 men, and by
3 "men," I mean men from 45 to 55, and some children,
4 some 12 to 13 years old, all boys.
5 I made one arm gesture, upstairs in both
6 rooms, meaning that they have to sit next to each other
7 so that I could make a photograph. I had a camera with
8 me. I made a picture, several pictures, in both rooms,
9 to have a picture of them and, yeah, to testify, to
10 clear, or whatever it later may be good for, that those
11 men were in that house on that day.
12 I had to stop because new men came in, and a
13 Serb soldier came up. So I put away my camera and went
14 down again, and we left the house. It was clear to me
15 that the moment we left the house, that this was no
16 normal interrogation, as we normally teach our own
17 soldiers, because we let the ID and the belongings of
18 the soldiers, when we take someone into custody, or a
19 prisoner of war, in an envelope, and we more or less
20 mark the person that goes with the envelope; otherwise,
21 you cannot clear or state later what person belongs to
22 the belongings or to the IDs.
23 So it was to me very clear that they wouldn't
24 be needing it anymore, the IDs and their belongings.
25 Q. Captain Rutten, did you eventually see what
1 happened to those belongings that were in front of the
2 White House?
3 A. In the late evening, on Thursday, and in the
4 early morning, they set all the stuff that was outside,
5 the belongings and the IDs, afire.
6 MR. HARMON: Could I have Prosecutor's
7 Exhibit 84, please, placed on the ELMO.
8 Your Honours have already seen a previous
9 exhibit of these items in front of the White House set
10 on fire, but let me introduce another exhibit, a
11 similar exhibit.
12 Q. Captain Rutten, what is this exhibit?
13 A. This is a photograph that I made, standing on
14 a table, looking over our prefabs that you see in front
15 of the photograph, here [indicates], and what you see
16 is here is the entrance of the gate and here
17 [indicates], what is burning, is in front of the White
18 House, and that is the White House.
19 Q. Right. The smoke.
20 A. You see the smoke of the burning of the
21 belongings and of the IDs of the men that came into the
22 house, of the Muslim men that came into the house.
23 Q. How long do you recall that fire burning?
24 A. It burned almost for two days.
25 Q. Now, let me just clarify just a couple parts
1 of your testimony about your visit to the White House.
2 You said in your testimony that when you
3 first went to the White House, you went to the
4 left-hand side of it, to the rear, and you entered an
5 area that was apparently vacant, there was nobody in
6 it. Was this White House divided into two portions?
7 A. Yes, you could say that it was a -- that
8 there were actually two houses under one roof, two
9 separate houses under one roof.
10 Q. You mentioned, Captain Rutten, that you saw a
11 number of photographs laid out. Were these photographs
12 laid out in an orderly fashion, or did it appear that
13 they were thrown about at random?
14 A. No. They were laying down in an orderly
15 fashion, and the ones that were laying next to each
16 other were all men and not women.
17 Q. Who did you think had laid out those
19 A. I think that it was the men, the Bosnian Serb
20 men that were around there and in the other side of the
22 Q. Now, let me ask you one point of
23 clarification. You said at one point you tried to
24 enter an interrogation room, and a weapon was placed
25 near your face. Could you describe the man who did
1 that? What was he wearing?
2 A. He was a Bosnian Serb soldier. He was
3 wearing a green camouflage uniform.
4 Q. Now, after you left the White House, Captain
5 Rutten, where did you go?
6 A. After we went -- after that we went to the
7 blockade of four APCs. There I spoke to a local
8 interpreter of ours, a Muslim who lived in the
9 enclave. Admir was his name. And he said that there
10 were rumours from the refugees that there were men
11 killed near a well, near the road, on the Budak side.
12 I asked my colleague, who was in charge
13 there, and that was Lieutenant Koster, that it seemed
14 to me that we had a look over there because under our
15 eyes, more or less, was happening something that we
16 hadn't heard earlier about it or, yeah, we hadn't
17 seen. So I went together with Lieutenant Koster and
18 Sergeant Major van Schaik through the blockade, through
19 the APC blockade, that consisted of four APCs where the
20 Lieutenant van Duijn was around, the Dutch Lieutenant
21 van Duijn.
22 MR. HARMON: Captain, let me interrupt you
23 there for just a moment. It will be perhaps easier for
24 you to illustrate with the Prosecutor's next exhibit
25 where you went. And if I can have Prosecutor's Exhibit
1 5/3C placed on the ELMO.
2 Q. If you could use this exhibit, Captain
3 Rutten, to illustrate where you started, where the
4 blockade was, and where you went.
5 A. On this image you see that the blockade was
6 here [indicates] and here were the four APCs --
7 MR. HARMON: Indicating where the yellow line
8 starts, at the other end of the yellow line is an oval
9 shape with the word "bodies".
10 Q. Please proceed.
11 A. Then the three of us went up to where the
12 yellow line starts, go to the right, up along the
13 road. It is a dirt road. Here [indicates] we saw a
14 man running from one of these houses, running down. I
15 tried to speak to him but he ran just away. Further up
16 I saw a woman. I asked her if she heard something
17 about any men or whatever, or a well. I know a few
18 words that I learned during patrolling. She marked at
19 me and pointed further up the road, and what she marked
20 was that there were some killings. She also made that
21 sign along her throat [indicates], that there were some
22 killings up that road.
23 So we went up the road. It's a real bushed
24 area. We saw here [indicates] a small stream at the
25 left side, just behind the house, and there is a
1 meadow. And the moment we saw the meadow, we saw also,
2 along the stream, some men lying there. As we got into
3 the meadow, we saw that the men were shot down. I
4 inspected all the men that were on the ground. They
5 were all civilian men, at least they had civilian
6 clothes on. There were nine of them. They were laying
7 with their faces towards the stream. Two were laying
8 on their sides, as if they had looked back. The rest
9 of them were laying with their faces to the stream.
10 They all had shots at their back, at heart height.
11 They were shots of small calibre weapons. The men were
12 all about 45 to 55 years old. The blood was still
13 running. There were no flies on them. It was very
14 warm that day. So you could easily say that it hadn't
15 been long ago that they were shot.
16 At that moment I said to the sergeant major
17 to pick up the ID that was on the grass in the meadow,
18 in front of the refugees, and I made a photo, one
19 photo, with my colleague, with Lieutenant Koster,
20 sitting on his knees between the dead men, and I made a
21 photo as a whole of the nine men that were laying along
22 the stream.
23 At that moment there was some firing at us,
24 so we couldn't stay any longer there. The moment the
25 firing started, first a shot, I saw a woman running out
1 of the houses that are here [indicates] between the
2 bushes, and she was chased by a Bosnian Serb soldier.
3 At that moment I said to the sergeant major, "Okay.
4 Drop all the ID that you've got in your -- that you
5 picked up, and we have to leave here now." Lieutenant
6 Koster said there was another shot -- we heard
7 something and he said, "The shots are nearby. We have
8 to leave." And at that moment we went again up the
9 dirt -- down the dirt road, to more or less the street
10 from Potocari to Srebrenica. And we tried to get
12 At the blockade we grabbed a stretcher, more
13 or less so it looked like we were helping some
14 refugees, and got back to the blockade, to the Dutch
15 side. Some time later, and I think five or ten minutes
16 later, I spoke to the Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans,
17 that I found nine bodies and that I made a picture of
18 them. And I said, "It is very clear now that they do
19 shoot the men that are around," the Muslim men.
20 Q. Captain Rutten, let me just make a number of
21 clarifications on your testimony.
22 MR. HARMON: For the purposes of the record,
23 in Captain Rutten's testimony, he indicated that on his
24 way up, and before he found the bodies, he saw a man
25 running from the house, and for purposes of the record,
1 Captain Rutten pointed to a number of houses, three
2 houses above the yellow dotted line that are in the
3 centre of the picture, and it was from that location
4 that he said he saw the man running from the houses.
5 Also, when he said the woman near the well
6 who he had talked to who had indicated a direction to
7 travel, it indicated a sign again, the sign that was
8 used by Captain Rutten was a finger going across the
10 When Captain Rutten testified that he saw a
11 woman running out of a house near the trees, he was
12 referring to a location that was in the trees, slightly
13 to the left of the oval shape and before one gets out
14 onto the clear road that leads to the main road to
15 Bratunac and Potocari. I wanted to clarify the record
16 for those purposes.
17 Q. Let me just ask you a couple of other
18 questions in respect of your observations. You
19 personally went down and touched these bodies, didn't
20 you, Captain Rutten?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Were the bodies cold? Were they warm?
23 A. No, they were warm.
24 Q. Were there any boys amongst the nine bodies
25 that you saw?
1 A. No, there were no boys around.
2 Q. Were any of the bodies that you saw wounded
3 in the head?
4 A. No, none. All had back shots.
5 Q. All right.
6 MR. HARMON: Now, let me place on the ELMO
7 Prosecutor's Exhibit 82.
8 Q. Captain Rutten, this was in the area with
9 which you were familiar, because this was an area where
10 you had done your patrols; isn't that correct?
11 A. Yes. I'm very familiar with the terrain over
13 Q. Now, are you aware that other colleagues of
14 yours had also found bodies in that same area?
15 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
16 Q. All right. And one of those colleagues was
17 named "Oosterveen"?
18 A. Yes, that was the Warrant Officer Oosterveen.
19 Q. The diagram that is in Prosecutor's 82 is a
20 diagram that you prepared. Isn't that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you show the Court using your pointer
23 the road that you took, that was indicated on the
24 previous exhibit, in the general area where you found
25 the bodies that you found, using your pointer.
1 A. Okay. This is the road that I used
2 [indicates], and I went up here. This is the meadow
3 that I talked about [indicates], and here are nine
4 little lines, indicating the nine bodies I found.
5 MR. HARMON: For the record, there's a
6 rectangle at the top of the diagram, and there are nine
7 parallel lines, and it is the area that Captain Rutten
8 was just referring to. And the road that Captain
9 Rutten took on Prosecutor's 82 is the road that is seen
10 starting on the right-hand side of that rectangle and
11 going directly down, intersecting with a road that
12 leads from the right to the left of the page.
13 Q. Now, Captain Rutten, was it Lieutenant
14 Oosterveen who discovered the other bodies?
15 A. No, it was a NCO, a warrant officer, a senior
16 warrant officer.
17 Q. Senior Warrant Oosterveen. Show the Court
18 the route that senior officer Oosterveen took in the
19 location where he found the bodies?
20 A. Oosterveen went up here, and that is also a
21 small stream, at least when it had rained, there was a
22 small stream here, and he went up here [indicates] and
23 that's where he made his photograph, he said to me.
24 Oosterveen was a staff NCO, so he was not as much
25 outside as we were. And our bodies, as I call them
1 like that, that I indicated on the meadow, is along a
2 stream that flows from the north to south, and there
3 was a water wheel just behind the house. Here is also
4 a stream, but that stream was also -- only filled with
5 water during heavy rainfall.
6 Q. Now, let me ask you this question, Captain.
7 MR. HARMON: For the record, by the way, the
8 path indicated by Captain Rutten on Prosecutor's 82 is
9 a -- starts to descend below the words "pad Oosterveen"
10 and the line and the route of Warrant Officer
11 Oosterveen again intersects with the same main road in
12 the -- going from the right to the left-hand side of
13 the diagram.
14 Now, could I have Prosecutor's 82 -- I'm
15 sorry, 5/3A placed on the ELMO.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Harmon, do you think 11.00
17 would be a suitable time for a break?
18 MR. HARMON: Yes.
19 JUDGE RIAD: Good. Thank you.
20 MR. HARMON: This is a diagram, Mr. President
21 and Your Honours, that was introduced through
22 Witness F.
23 Q. Do you see the oval-shaped area in -- the
24 upper oval-shaped area in Prosecutor's Exhibit 5/3A?
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. Yes, that area. Now, is that area the same
2 area or a different location where you found your
4 A. To me, when you look at the map, it is a
5 different area because in the drawing that you saw just
6 before, you can easily see that this is the path that
7 I'd drawn there.
8 Q. That was Oosterveen's path.
9 A. That was Oosterveen's path. And I went up
10 here [indicates], where you see the APCs, I went up
11 here and went right at this larger road, went up higher
12 here [indicates], to the meadow that is here just
13 behind the house. And here is the house with -- that
14 house. Just behind that house there was a small stream
15 with a waterwheel.
16 Q. Captain Rutten, do you therefore conclude
17 that the bodies that you saw were different than the
18 bodies that were seen by Warrant Officer Oosterveen.
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. HARMON: I think this is an appropriate
21 time to conclude.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you. We'll be back in 20
24 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.23 a.m.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Harmon, you can proceed.
2 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. Captain Rutten, before the break we were -- I
4 was asking you questions about the discovery of certain
5 bodies, and you had testified that when you returned
6 from the discovery of those bodies, you went, took a
7 stretcher, and returned to the compound, I believe. Is
8 that correct?
9 A. No, we didn't go directly to the compound.
10 At first I saw, a few minutes later, the
11 Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans. I spoke to him and I
12 said that I'd found nine bodies in the meadow and that
13 I made some pictures of it. He said that he would give
14 the report to a higher level. And from that moment on,
15 we didn't go directly back to the compound. We stayed
16 around with the blocking, with the blockade, where the
17 APCs are. There I tried to make some pictures behind
18 the APCs, showing what the Serbs were doing and more or
19 less also what we were doing.
20 Looking through the camera I saw a picture
21 that didn't look that good, because one of our
22 lieutenants and our men were actually assisting the
23 deportation of the Muslims, trying to do their best to
24 help the refugees. But looking through the camera, as
25 I said, it wouldn't give too good an idea of what the
1 UN was doing over there.
2 Q. Let me ask you, Captain Rutten, the pictures
3 that you took in the White House, the pictures that you
4 took of the bodies, were those pictures developed, or
5 did something happen to those pictures in the
6 development process and therefore they were never
8 A. I kept the film with me, until I got back in
9 Holland again, after the 21st of July, 1995. Two days
10 later, a day later, in fact, the 23rd, someone of the
11 intelligence branch of the army came to me and picked
12 up the film, and I gave it to him with the idea that it
13 got developed.
14 Q. In fact, you were informed later that that
15 film, something had happened to it during the
16 development process; is that correct?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. Now, let me focus your attention back, then,
19 to the next set of events in which you were engaged,
20 and that is the request to escort buses. Could you
21 tell the Judges, did you receive that order and what
22 did you do in response to it?
23 A. During the day I got an order to -- from my
24 company commander to escort the last buses that were
25 leaving the enclave. We prepared for it, my driver and
1 I, to get some gear and a jeep, and prepared and placed
2 the jeep next to the entrance to wait until the last
3 refugees had gone.
4 Q. When you say you placed your vehicles next to
5 the entrance, you mean the entrance to the UN compound?
6 A. Yes, I mean the entrance to the UN compound.
7 Q. Now, while you were waiting to escort buses,
8 did you have an occasion to return to the White House?
9 A. As we waited for the last buses to leave, I
10 told my driver, "It's good to let you see what is
11 happening in the White House," to get as many witnesses
12 as possible of the things that were happening over
13 there. He went with me. We walked around the house.
14 At that time there was at the entrance a huge pack of
15 belongings of the refugees. Also many more IDs and
16 passports were laying on the ground. We went to the
17 side that was empty that morning, that same morning.
18 That side there were two Bosnian Serb soldiers on the
19 staircase. On the staircase itself was filled up with
20 Muslim men. The moment I came around the corner of the
21 house, they looked at me and they had a weapon on the
22 Muslims and the Muslims were handing out to the Bosnian
23 Serb soldiers Deutschemarks, which they had with them
24 at that time.
25 They stopped at the moment that I came, and I
1 walked around the house. In front of the house, there
2 was a balcony that was totally filled up with refugees,
3 all men, and boys in fact. We went to the other side
4 of the house. We couldn't get in then. There were
5 more Bosnian Serb soldiers around, and I think that at
6 that moment almost 300 men were in the house itself and
7 on the balcony. It was completely filled up.
8 Q. Can you describe the condition of those men?
9 A. As we were to the place that I told you
10 before, near the staircase, you could see the total
11 fear, and I never thought that it really existed, but
12 you could even smell death there because it was total
13 fear, what you saw on the faces of the men and the
14 young boys. And that was the thing that I wanted to
15 show to my driver too.
16 Then we went around to have a quick look, and
17 seeing that so many refugees were in the house, we said
18 to each other, "They have to go out here. It's no way
19 to stay here." And I talked to the two Dutch soldiers
20 that were still in place in front of the White House,
21 and they said too, "The house is completely filled
23 Then we went back to the entrance and I spoke
24 to some -- one is a Dutch major and a Warrant Officer
25 Rave that was also of the battalion, and we said "Why
1 can't the men go from the house? Because we have to do
2 something at least to get them out of the house,"
3 because there was no way they could stay there. "You
4 have to speak to the Bosnian Serbs over there and see
5 whether you could get them into a bus or whatever,
6 because staying there is no use for them."
7 Finally Rave and Major Kingori went to the
8 White House and spoke to the Bosnian Serbs, and some
9 time later, a bus came to get some of the men out, and
10 later on more buses came to get them out again. And
11 they also drove away and we couldn't escort them
12 because we had to wait until the last buses -- yeah, we
13 had to escort the last buses out, so we had to wait.
14 And no one else could escort them because all of the
15 jeeps and soldiers that were escorting the convoys of
16 buses were either thrown out of the buses or pushed
17 out, and the jeeps were hijacked by the Bosnian Serbs.
18 So if we continued the process of escorting the buses,
19 we had no jeeps left. So more or less it was no use to
20 escort them when you lose all your materiel and are
21 brought back half an hour back to the compound, or a
22 day later. And, yeah, the escort hadn't succeeded at
24 Q. Now, let me ask you, Captain Rutten, when you
25 said you came around the corner of the White House and
1 you saw Bosnian Serb soldiers relieving Muslims of
2 their Deutschemarks, how were those soldiers dressed?
3 A. Those were soldiers dressed in the green
4 camouflage uniform of the Bosnian Serb army.
5 MR. HARMON: Now, can I have Prosecutor's
6 Exhibit 28/8.1 placed on the ELMO, please.
7 Q. You've seen this photograph before, Captain
8 Rutten. Let me ask you to -- as soon as it's placed on
9 the ELMO. Let me ask you, during your second visit
10 when you were at the White House, did you see a man who
11 you see in Prosecutor's Exhibit 28/8.1 at the White
13 A. It was this man I saw at the White House
15 MR. HARMON: Indicating, for the record, the
16 man in the brown T-shirt on the left-hand side of
17 Prosecutor's Exhibit 28/8.1.
18 Q. Now, what did you observe him doing?
19 A. He was talking to the soldiers of the Bosnian
20 Serb army. To me he looked not like a plain soldier,
21 because he spoke to everyone who was around. He spoke
22 not only to the Bosnian Serb soldiers but all men of
23 the Bosnian Serbs that came in front of the house, and
24 I mean also private cars that came along containing
25 also some soldiers but in different uniforms, and by
1 "different uniforms," I mean black uniforms, and spoke
2 to them. Some of the cars were coming out of
3 Srebrenica itself and stopped in front of the White
4 House, he spoke with, and some of them came out of the
5 direction of Potocari, stopped in front of the White
6 House, spoke to each other, spoke to the man here on
7 the photograph, and then leave again with the car,
8 again to Srebrenica.
9 Q. Now, did you ever see the men in the black
10 uniforms go into the White House?
11 A. No, they didn't go into the White House.
12 Q. Describe the people, the soldiers, and how
13 they were dressed, specifically the ones who went into
14 the White House and who were in and around the White
16 A. The ones who were in and around the White
17 House were all soldiers, the Bosnian Serb army, wearing
18 green camouflage uniforms.
19 Q. Now, at some point in time -- let me ask you
20 this question: How long did you observe the man who
21 was in Prosecutor's Exhibit 28/8.1 at the White House?
22 A. Well, sometime it's difficult to say, but he
23 spoke somewhere between 15 to 20 minutes, he was around
25 Q. At some point in time, Captain Rutten, did
1 you leave the area of the White House and did you start
2 your escort duties?
3 A. Yes, later on, when it was clear that the
4 last buses were filled up. The first bus started
5 driving. At that time the battalion had said -- we
6 stopped escorting because it was no use anymore. I
7 asked at my company ops room whether I could go and
8 escort the last to make an attempt to escort the last
9 buses. I got an okay and I drove quickly to the head
10 of the convoy. The first buses were driving. As we
11 got in front of the convoy, we saw in our back mirror,
12 at least the driver saw it at first, that a car, a
13 private car, had come behind us and in the car were
14 three Bosnian Serb soldiers. I instructed my driver, I
15 did it before but I did it again in the car, "The
16 moment we get blocked or whatever or they try to hijack
17 us or whatever, turn the car and drive back because
18 it's no use then to escort the bus or to have an
19 attempt to escort the bus."
20 Q. Captain Rutten, how far had you travelled --
21 first of all, did you travel in the direction of
22 Bratunac with those buses?
23 A. No, I didn't reach Bratunac.
24 Q. Were you travelling, however, in the
25 direction of Bratunac, from Potocari?
1 A. I was travelling in the direction -- and also
2 in the direction of the entrance of the enclave, more
3 or less, and that was with OP Papa.
4 Q. Where did this private car come from?
5 A. One of the small dirt roads between the
6 meadows, along the street, the car drove up, the one
7 behind us.
8 Q. Can you identify or can you describe the
9 people who were in it?
10 A. They were all Bosnian Serb soldiers, wearing
11 also the green camouflage uniform.
12 Q. Okay. And what happened next?
13 A. What next happened was that another car came
14 also from the side of the road and blocked our road.
15 There were two soldiers in it. So we couldn't go much
16 further. And they pointed at us with weapons. At that
17 moment, I gave my driver the sign to make a u-turn and
18 to go back. We hovered more or less along the road,
19 along the side of the road, and got back along the
20 buses that were driving up to OP Papa, and we went back
21 because it was no use getting your car hijacked and not
22 getting your mission completed, more or less.
23 Q. Can you describe the soldiers in the vehicle
24 that blocked your escort vehicle from the front?
25 A. Those were also Bosnian Serb soldiers.
1 Q. Now, as a result of making that u-turn, was
2 there any escort for that bus convoy?
3 A. No, there wasn't any escort left at the
5 Q. Do you know what happened to that particular
7 A. I'm not sure. It went on the route to
8 Kladanj, but I didn't know if it ever reached it.
9 Q. How far away from Potocari was it that this
10 series of events that you've just described took place?
11 A. About a kilometre, a kilometre and a half.
12 Q. Had you reached the location of OP Papa yet?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Captain Rutten, did it appear to you that
15 what was happening to you was organised?
16 A. I think that it was well organised, because
17 having no one on the buses, having no UN car around, it
18 was impossible for us to secure the road to Kladanj and
19 impossible for us to see what happened to the refugees
20 which were on the buses.
21 Q. Now, I take it you returned to the UN
22 compound after that.
23 A. Yes, I returned. And the moment I came to
24 the entrance, the major of the staff guard told me that
25 I had to go with a truck and some medical personnel, to
1 go into Srebrenica and to pick up the last elderly
2 people that were left behind or along the road, or
3 whatever, and to get them also on the remaining buses
4 and trucks that were standing along the road, waiting
5 for the last few refugees.
6 Q. Did you follow that order?
7 A. Yes, I followed the order and I went in with
8 the truck, on the road to Srebrenica.
9 Q. What were you driving?
10 A. I was driving a Mercedes jeep.
11 Q. What happened?
12 A. In a turn, at first I saw on a hill some
13 soldiers. We stopped. There were two soldiers next to
14 the road. I spoke to them. They were BiH soldiers.
15 They had no weapons on them, but certainly they were in
16 the house that was on the hill, where the rest of the
17 soldiers were. I think there were at least ten men.
18 Q. Were these men that you had become acquainted
19 with on your patrols?
20 A. Yes, I saw some of them, yes.
21 Q. All right.
22 A. And I stepped out of the car, spoke to them.
23 I said, "It's not good to go to either Srebrenica," and
24 they shouldn't go to Potocari, because it's an enormous
25 risk to go to Potocari. I said, "It would be better to
1 leave the enclave, and the most possible road then is
2 the Bulijen [phoen] area, which is a very wooded area,
3 so you have a real chance to reach the Muslim
5 Then --
6 Q. What happened then?
7 A. Then we got in the car again. First I
8 grabbed out of the car a few food parcels. I gave them
9 the few food parcels we had left because I -- yeah,
10 it's quite a long distance out of the enclave, through
11 the Bulijen area, to Kladanj itself, so they had to
12 travel for a while.
13 Then we went on, and a few hundred metres
14 further on the road, in a bend, I got stopped by the
15 Bosnian Serb army soldiers again, and they pointed at
16 me with weapons. It all got very hasty. They pulled
17 out the driver and they also said that I had to step
18 out. The sergeant that was in the back of the jeep
19 made the last communication message and turned on the
20 switch to another channel, and that was it, because
21 they hijacked our jeep and we -- they said that we had
22 to go further on the road and complete our mission, or
23 whatever we were doing with the truck. I had to
24 explain that we were going to pick up some elderly
25 people, and so on.
1 Q. Did you continue on in the direction of
2 Srebrenica in the truck?
3 A. Yes, we went on to Srebrenica with the
5 Q. Did you see anything unusual as you were
6 driving in the direction of Srebrenica?
7 A. It was a total mess along the road. But
8 along the football field, I saw next to the hill, and
9 that's quite a distance, I saw some Bosnian Serb
10 soldiers in camouflage uniforms and some civilian
11 people. But there were also some Bosnian Serb soldiers
12 along the road, and they gave me the sign to drive
13 through and not to stop over there.
14 Q. Did you eventually arrive at UN Bravo Company
16 A. Yes. We got stopped on the road several
17 times. They all were men that were asking for all
18 kinds of things from us, and finally we reached the
19 Bravo compound. It was more or less destroyed as a
20 compound itself. The fences were down. There were all
21 Bosnian Serb soldiers looting and stealing the compound
22 of the UN possessions that were around there and Dutch
23 possessions that were around there. They were even
24 driving in Dutch APCs. They were totally filled up
25 with everything that they had stolen. They cleared out
1 the weapon collection point where the materiel was of
2 the BiH that was in the enclave. They drove with a
3 T-54 or 55 tank that they also had picked up out of the
4 weapon collection point on the B Company compound.
5 I spoke to a Bosnian Serb soldier. He looked
6 to me like someone that has any rank whatsoever. I
7 asked him if there were men or women around, Muslim
8 people that were sick or whatever, that I could pick
9 up. They said, "There's one man," and he escorted me
10 on the compound. And as we reached the place where the
11 men could have lain, you could see that they could have
12 had someone laying on a ground. There was a blanket
13 but that was it. There was no man around anymore.
14 So we left. The moment we left, there was
15 also a Bosnian Serb in a black uniform and said, "In
16 the houses are much more people. You have to pick up
17 that people." You know, "We don't go into houses. We
18 just pick up the people that are outside." We found a
19 few people along the road to Srebrenica, elderly
20 people. The medical personnel treated them and laid
21 them in the truck. Some were very old, and they
22 wouldn't leave the enclave anymore because it's no use
23 for them, they said, to leave the enclave.
24 As we drove around in Srebrenica, we saw two
25 dead bodies in the streets. They were completely
1 swollen, probably from the warmth. They were shot
2 earlier, I think.
3 We couldn't stop at all places. At some
4 places I did stop. In front of the great bazaar or
5 supermarket that was in Srebrenica there were some
6 Bosnian Serb men. I spoke to them and they told me,
7 "Don't worry. In a week you'll be in Holland again
8 and you'll forget all about this."
9 Q. Thank you, Captain Rutten.
10 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, I've concluded my
11 direct examination of Captain Rutten.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
13 Captain Rutten, you will now be questioned by
14 the Defence counsel, and I give the floor -- which one
15 of you both will deal with our witness?
16 Mr. Visnjic.
17 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Visnjic:
20 Q. Captain Rutten, you said, during your
21 examination-in-chief, that you recognised the
22 individual shown on a photograph, Exhibit 28/4.
23 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher
24 please place the photograph on the ELMO.
25 Q. Could you tell us where and when did you see
1 that individual?
2 A. Yes. I saw the man, he was accompanying
3 Mr. Mladic when he was in front of the compound, on
4 Thursday, the 13th of July, 1995.
5 Q. Thank you. Captain Rutten, have you ever
6 seen before General Krstic, who is in the courtroom
7 with us today?
8 A. I have seen him before but not when I was in
9 the enclave.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Before I ask
12 you my next question, I should like to tell the Chamber
13 that Mr. Harmon has informed me that the report on
14 Srebrenica, that is, the report on the debriefing of
15 Srebrenica, is a public document, and I shall,
16 therefore, take the liberty of using it in my
17 cross-examination of the witness.
18 MR. HARMON: Yes. I was going to raise that
19 issue at the conclusion of the examination, but Defence
20 Exhibit D1 was the exhibit that was tendered by the
21 Defence, and the acceptance of that as a public
22 document was deferred until I could ascertain whether,
23 in fact, it was a public document. I can tell the
24 Chamber now that it is a public document, and we have
25 no objection to Defence Exhibit D1 being removed from
1 the protection of the seal.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
3 Then you can proceed.
4 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President,
5 from that document, from the same report, I should like
6 to use several fragments during my cross-examination,
7 and I should like to ask the usher to help me.
8 JUDGE RIAD: He will.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Much to our
10 regret, we have the translation only into
11 Serbo-Croatian. But I gave the interpreters the
12 document in the advance, so that I hope there will be
13 no difficulties in this regard.
14 Q. Captain, while you were on duty in the
15 enclave between January and June 1995, did you ever
16 assess the respective strength of the Bosnian Muslim
17 forces and the Bosnian Serb forces who surrounded the
18 enclave at the time?
19 A. I was aware that there was one Bosnian Serb
20 brigade in the north, the Bratunac Brigade, and one --
21 Q. Could you just tell me yes or no now. Answer
22 with yes or no, and then later on we may belabour this
23 point further.
24 So did you make such an assessment of the
25 Bosnian Muslim forces and Bosnian Serb forces?
1 A. Yes, we made some assessments.
2 Q. Thank you. Now I shall read to you passage
3 2.34 of the report on the debriefing, and I shall then
4 invite you to comment on it. "The ABiH forces in the
5 enclave were divided into four brigades with the
6 overall strength of 3.000 to 4.000 men. Their armament
7 comprised almost exclusively light weapons,
8 complemented with inter alia a limited number of heavy
9 machine-guns, anti-tank armourment, and mortars.
10 Although the DutchBat, in compliance with this mission,
11 did all in its power to disarm the ABiH, the battalion
12 succeeded in this only in part. Regular ABiH troops
13 were reinforced by the local police. Their operations
14 were fairly unpredictable because those units had
15 received practically no training and were rather
16 undisciplined. The ABiH forces conducted systematic
17 actions from the enclave, and after that, they would
18 withdraw into the territory protected by the United
20 Captain Rutten, is this correct, what the
21 passage in the report says, passage 2.34?
22 A. It's partly correct because there were that
23 amount of soldiers probably, but you couldn't call them
24 real soldiers because they were refugees, more or less,
25 placed in duty by a man called -- as you speak of the
1 ABiH soldiers, placed in a sort of a brigade system by
2 Mr. Oric. And you can't speak really of any army, real
3 army structure, but more or less about a permanent
4 group of a few hundred men and the rest were all more
5 or less people, refugees, that were ordered into the
6 army, ABiH army, as you could call it like that, by
7 Mr. Oric, more or less forced.
8 The estimation -- sorry?
9 Q. I'm sorry.
10 A. The estimation of the Bosnian Serbs was
11 difficult for us to make because we couldn't see at the
12 other side of the boundary of the enclave --
13 Q. Captain Rutten, I will come to that later
14 on. I'm sorry for interrupting you, but I should like
15 us to keep, for the moment, this subject in mind, that
16 is, your assessment of the strength of the Muslim
18 The last sentence in this passage of the
19 report of the Ministry of Defence says: "The forces of
20 the army of BH conducted systematic actions from the
21 enclave, after which they would withdraw into the
22 territory protected by the United Nations."
23 Is that true?
24 A. I can't say whether that was true or not. We
25 weren't aware of it. We heard some of the stories by
1 the earlier called Major Nikolic, told by our local
2 negotiation team. But we ourselves haven't checked any
3 such information that the ABiH army was having raids
4 outside of the enclave. For us, the ABiH was partly
5 disarmed and the armament was in the weapon collection
6 point, and partly we didn't succeed in disarming the
7 BiH. But what I have seen of the BiH was that they
8 only had small armaments partly and light mortars --
9 that was the only thing I've ever seen by the BiH --
10 and some RPGs, that is, an anti-tank weapon, and that's
11 it. And they had almost no ammunition. Because I
12 spoke to several BiH leaders of the northern part, and
13 I was regularly on patrol, and I never, during my whole
14 period, saw a large amount of ammunition or weapons of
15 the BiH army.
16 Q. Thank you. I should now like to move on to
17 another area, another passage.
18 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Will the usher
19 please help.
20 Q. The passage is 2.35, from the same document,
21 that is, the official report of the Dutch Ministry of
22 Defence, based on the debriefing in Srebrenica.
23 Passage 2.35 addresses the strength of the
24 Bosnian Serb forces and says: "The army of the
25 Republika Srpska had until and ending with June had
1 between three and four battalions belonging to three
2 brigades of the Drina Corps deployed around the
3 enclave. The average strength of the battalion was
4 250 men. The units were well-equipped and had tanks,
5 armoured caterpillar vehicles, artillery, and mortars.
6 Men in the units were mostly made of Bosnian Serb
7 refugees who had lived in the enclave before. One
8 cannot exclude the possibility that the regular units
9 of the VRS had been reinforced by radical police. The
10 area along the southern boundary of the enclave was not
11 occupied by the VRS, and it was manned instead by
12 combat patrols. The only road in that area was blocked
13 by mines. The VRS used infantry, several offensives of
14 lesser importance because of the structural shortage of
15 manpower. The strength of the VRS was in the use of
16 heavy weaponry. The operations conducted by VRS forces
17 were adjusted to the maintenance of the status quo and
18 of the protection of the Bosnian Serb population in the
19 enclave against the army of BH, carried out, launched,
20 from the enclave."
21 MR. HARMON: Judge Riad, may I -- I have a
22 copy of the English translation of this, and if counsel
23 is going to ask the witness questions about this
24 particular exhibit that's in B/C/S, may I provide to
25 the witness the English translation of that so he may
1 refer to it?
2 JUDGE RIAD: I believe that that would be
3 very appropriate. Thank you.
4 MR. HARMON: And then if it can be returned
5 to me, I can later file a copy or give a copy of the
6 English translation to counsel.
7 JUDGE RIAD: You will have to see to that.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very
9 much, Mr. Harmon, for the assistance.
10 Q. Captain Rutten, is it correct what this
11 report of the Dutch Ministry of Defence says, in
12 passage 2.35? Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, sir, that is correct.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Can you read this passage to us,
17 A. You mean passage 235?
18 JUDGE RIAD: Yes.
19 A. "Happening up to and including June, the BSA
20 had between three and four battalions belonging to
21 three brigades of the Drina Corps positioned around the
22 enclave. The average strength of the battalions was
23 250 men. The units were well-equipped and had tanks,
24 tracked armoured vehicles, artillery, and mortars. The
25 units were manned chiefly by Bosnian Serb refugees who
1 had formerly lived in the enclave. It should not be
2 precluded that the regular BSA units were reinforced by
3 radical militia. The area along the southern boundary
4 of the enclave was not occupied by the BSA but was
5 guarded by means of combat patrol. The through-road in
6 the area was sealed off by mines. A structural
7 shortage of infantry men meant that the BSA launched
8 what amounted to minor offensive on foot. The BSA
9 strength lay in use of the heavy weapons. Operations
10 by the BSA troops around the enclave were geared to
11 maintaining the status quo and protecting the Bosnian
12 Serb population in the enclave from offences by BiH
13 from within the enclave."
14 Reading it again, the things that I have saw
15 myself, in regard to the report, is that it is right
16 that there are -- there were some Bosnian Serb people
17 that lived around the enclave and in the enclave
18 itself, formerly, that we saw on the hills and around
19 the enclave. But by the end of June, we saw, from the
20 OPs, regularly movement of regular BSA army; and then I
21 mean well-equipped soldiers as meant in the report, and
22 not poorly equipped. And there were more infantry men
23 than we saw here in this report. And we saw, at the
24 end of the month of June, more tanks and more artillery
25 placed on the hills around the enclave.
1 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. In other words, Captain Rutten, the Serb
3 forces began to receive reinforcements sometime in
4 June, in early June, if I understand you well.
5 A. Yes, that was what we noticed. By the
6 beginning of June to the end of June, we saw a build-up
7 of forces.
8 Q. Captain Rutten, if you could, will you please
9 comment on the last sentence in this passage, 2.35? I
10 mean, operations conducted by the forces of the Army of
11 Republika Srpska, right up to the eve of the attack on
12 the enclave. The sentence is: "The operations
13 conducted by VRS forces were adjusted to maintaining
14 the status quo and protecting the Bosnian Serb
15 population in the enclave against the offensives of the
16 Army of BH launched from within the enclave."
17 Could you tell us something more about that?
18 A. This happened all in the south, and what I
19 know of this is, as an intelligence man of the company,
20 was that I was placed in the north, and I only read the
21 reports during the morning sessions of the battalion.
22 What I know is that there was a build-up of BSA forces
23 not only patrolling in the last phase before the
24 enclave fell, but also really entering the enclave, and
25 we did not know at that time that the BiH was launching
1 raids outside of the enclave. So what I mean to say
2 is, what we saw were BiH soldiers defending in the last
3 phase, trying to defend the enclave, and trying to get
4 us helping the BiH. But we couldn't help them, because
5 we were, as UN soldiers, had to be impartial. And we
6 saw a strong build-up by the BiH, and rolling up, more
7 or less, our OPs in the southern part of the enclave,
8 starting with OP Echo.
9 Q. Captain Rutten, my question related to the
10 period before the build-up of the Serb forces. Did you
11 receive any information prior to that about these
12 attacks which the Army of BH launched from the enclave,
13 after which the ABiH men would go back to the enclave?
14 I'm therefore referring to, say, early June 1995.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. In the transcript,
16 you mentioned the build-up by the BiH. Is that what
17 you said: The build-up by the BiH, the strong build-up
18 by the BiH?
19 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
20 JUDGE RIAD: You said, from something like
21 the seventh line from the bottom, "And we saw a strong
22 build-up by the BiH and rolling up our OPs in the south
23 of the enclave, starting with OP Echo."
24 THE WITNESS: No, no, no, no. That isn't not
25 correct. We saw a strong build-up of the BSA.
1 JUDGE RIAD: BSA.
2 THE WITNESS: And rolling -- and the BSA was
3 starting to rolling up our OPs. Sorry.
4 JUDGE RIAD: I think there is a slight
5 difference between --
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, there is.
7 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
8 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I don't think you answered my question.
10 A. I think that I answered your question in
11 regard of the build-up. In early June there was no
12 real knowledge to us at that moment that the BiH was
13 launching raids from out of the enclave on the BSA
14 villages around the enclave.
15 Q. Captain Rutten, to your knowledge, did anyone
16 else, except your battalion, somebody else from the
17 Dutch army, could acquire such information without
18 being a member of your battalion, or being in one way
19 or another -- having to do with your battalion, being
20 linked to your battalion?
21 A. We couldn't go over the boundary of the
22 enclave. We could only see with our binoculars what
23 happened. And we didn't hear about raids, about the
24 BiH throughout the enclave, on Serb villages around the
25 enclave. And I don't know -- at least to me it is not
1 known if there anyone was that had such information.
2 Q. I'm asking you because this is part of the
3 report of the Dutch Ministry of Defence. But let me
4 move on to another question.
5 Captain Rutten, you mentioned humanitarian
6 convoys arriving through the Serb territory. Did you
7 know that weapons had been found in these convoys? Did
8 you ever receive information to that effect, about
9 weapons and ammunition?
10 A. At the moment the humanitarian convoy came
11 in, the trucks were driven by mostly UN personnel. We
12 escorted the convoys from OP Papa to the warehouse in
13 Srebrenica. At OP Papa I saw several times that the
14 convoys were being checked by the Bosnian Serb army,
15 and the times that I was there, there had never been a
16 weapon found on the UNHCR convoys.
17 Q. You said at the time that you were there.
18 But did you perhaps hear from some other members of
19 Dutch forces that something had been found at some
20 other time?
21 A. To my knowledge, and the other soldiers from
22 other patrols that accompanied UNHCR convoys, I never
23 heard that there were weapons found. It could be, but
24 it's not to my knowledge.
25 Q. Thank you. Captain Rutten, did you know that
1 what we call the Bosnian Muslim army, or the BH army,
2 was being armed by receiving weapons from outside the
3 enclave, and that those weapons were getting into the
4 enclave? Did you receive that kind of information?
5 A. Yes, we got some information that there were
6 some routes that came in from the southern part and
7 that the BH army was getting supplies from those
8 routes. And we saw also that there were some new
9 uniforms coming in for the BH army.
10 Q. Captain Rutten, are you aware that part of
11 those armaments arrived by helicopter, and have you
12 heard anything about that?
13 A. There were some reports of our OPs that
14 mentioned that they had seen a helicopter fly over the
15 enclave, but they didn't actually see that the
16 helicopter landed and got unloaded. So no one of the
17 UN personnel, of the battalion, saw really those
18 helicopters unload equipment for the BH army. We saw
19 what I earlier mentioned, that there came some in, but
20 what we saw were mostly uniforms, because they were
21 brand new and, yeah, appeared to us that some materiel
22 was coming in, but not in a large amount.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] I should now
25 like to ask the usher -- Your Honour, I won't test your
1 patience much longer. I only have another fragment
2 from this report. The passages I'm referring to are
3 4.13 and 4.14.
4 Q. Captain Rutten, I shall read out to you the
5 passage numbered 4.13, and will you please just confirm
6 whether you knew about the event which you described in
7 it. "Soldiers of the army of BH, fully dressed and
8 wearing blue berets or blue caps, arrived within 50
9 metres from one of the observation posts. Operating as
10 UN personnel, they opened fire from that position in
11 the direction of the VRS front line so it seemed that
12 the UN had opened fire. In this manner they tried to
13 draw the fire of the army of Republika Srpska to the
14 observation post and thus embroil the DutchBat combat
15 in operations."
16 Captain Rutten, did you know about this
18 MR. HARMON: I apologise for interrupting my
19 colleague in his examination, but again I have the
20 English translations of that, and if those could be
21 furnished to the witness, it might assist him in
22 answering the question.
23 JUDGE RIAD: That would be very good, thank
24 you, and it would assist the Judges too.
25 MR. HARMON: Perhaps 4.13 and 4.14, which are
1 the excerpts that counsel is referring to could be the
2 only ones shown on the ELMO, since the previous
3 paragraph is not one that has been introduced by my
4 colleague. And I think it would be appropriate, if he
5 wants to introduce it, if we want to introduce it, we
6 make the introduction of that separately. So if the
7 ELMO could only show 4.13 and 4.14, that's the
8 appropriate paragraph.
9 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Captain Rutten, were you aware of the
11 incident which is described in passage 4.13?
12 A. No, not this kind of incident. What I see
13 here is -- yeah, there is no location, real location
14 mentioned in the enclave. So, yeah, it's kind of a
15 vague statement, what's standing here. The only thing
16 I can say about our UN equipment was that every time we
17 missed something at our compound, that had gone or
18 whatever, we had an immediate search action that could
19 bring up the last of the uniforms or berets. So this
20 is a very vague statement to me, and you have to give
21 me a location so that we -- so that I can see where it
23 Q. Unfortunately, the Ministry of Defence says
24 only what it says, I mean, using these broad terms, so
25 evidently we shall have to investigate it further.
1 But Captain Rutten, I should like to seize
2 this opportunity, while we have this English
3 translation available to us, to read also passage
4 4.14. "It also transpired that the BH soldiers were
5 not always recognisable as military personnel. Men who
6 had previously been seen in uniforms fighting in the
7 southern part of the enclave, recognised by members of
8 the DutchBat when they mingled, dressed in civilian
9 clothes with refugees moving from Srebrenica to
10 Potocari, or when they were observed in the Potocari
11 compound. Local women who were known to be members of
12 the ABiH were subsequently also seen in civilian
14 Captain Rutten, do you know anything about
16 MR. HARMON: May I ask that the English
17 translation be provided to the witness so he can review
18 that. That was a rather fast translation, and I'm not
19 sure whether he got it all.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Let's do that, yes.
21 MR. HARMON: If the item on the ELMO could be
22 placed in front of the Captain, he can read it and then
23 perhaps he could answer it.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Whenever there is an English
25 translation, we'd appreciate having it. Thank you.
1 A. I earlier mentioned that I saw a soldier in a
2 wheelbarrow this morning, and it was also a BiH soldier
3 wearing civilian clothes. The same thing I find here
4 now on paper, also that women had been members of the
5 BiH army. Some of them were, really. But in spite of
6 the situation, I would add something.
7 If you know that every BSA soldier looked at
8 the man and makes signs like I made this morning to the
9 throats and had a kind of terror look, and looking
10 through the history, what had earlier happened, about
11 the Bosnian Serb army now facing a problem of leaving
12 the enclave, I myself also would dress up in civilian
13 clothes and leave the army, because what is your
14 chance, really? I would ask the question to you: What
15 is the chance, really, to leave the enclave if you know
16 that you have been shot or will be detained in a house
17 in which you are not being held as a prisoner of war
18 but merely being held up and put on buses and driven
19 out of the enclave?
20 So knowing that, and they also got some
21 intelligence, but knowing that, I would also dress up
22 in civilian clothes and leave the enclave. And what
23 here is on paper, yes, I think that I was in such a
24 situation, I would do the same.
25 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you. So you are confirming that this,
2 indeed, happened.
3 Captain Rutten, another thing. You described
4 the place where you found nine bodies. I do not want
5 us to go back to photographs and a map. But could you
6 tell us roughly how far from the place where you found
7 those nine bodies and where Lieutenant Oosterveen also
8 found nine bodies, could you also tell us the distances
9 between those places?
10 A. If I know my way there, and I do, it's more
11 or less 150 metres, maybe some less even, between the
12 places of the bodies. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I
15 have no further questions.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Visnjic.
17 I think we can continue. I will ask Judge
18 Wald. Would you like to have a break? I would like to
19 ask the interpreters, who are very valuable to us.
20 Would you like to have a rest, or can we continue?
21 I'll suggest a 20-minute break. Thank you.
22 --- Recess taken at 12.28 p.m.
23 --- On resuming at 12.47 p.m.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Harmon, you have the floor.
25 MR. HARMON: I have no questions.
1 JUDGE RIAD: You have no questions. Thank
3 I would now like to ask my colleague, Judge
4 Wald, if she would like to ask some questions.
5 Questioned by the Court:
6 JUDGE WALD: Thank you.
7 Captain Rutten, in the beginning of your
8 testimony, you talked about the fact that there was a
9 gradual restriction in the number of humanitarian
10 convoys that were allowed into Srebrenica during some
11 of those early months that preceded the attack.
12 My question to you is: Was that decrease
13 raised with the Serbian liaisons, and what if any
14 justification or excuse did they give for adopting a
15 tougher policy on letting the convoys in?
16 A. Mostly that information didn't come to us,
17 but what I heard of the battalion was that the Serbs
18 were decreasing the number of convoys by simply not
19 giving them permission to go into the enclave.
20 JUDGE WALD: Yes. But was this raised by
21 your forces, DutchBat forces, or anybody with the
22 Serbs, with a demand for some explanation?
23 A. What I know of is that our negotiation team
24 did discuss that with Major Nikolic and the post next
25 to OP Papa.
1 JUDGE WALD: But you don't know what the
2 reason or the answer that the Serbian liaison people
4 A. No, I don't really know.
5 JUDGE WALD: Okay. When the UN trucks --
6 when some UN trucks carried some of the refugees from
7 the Srebrenica proper up to Potocari, and we saw
8 earlier film clips of people on those trucks, do you
9 know where they took them? Did they take them right
10 inside the compound or did they leave them on the
11 outskirts of the compound?
12 A. The trucks? The UN trucks?
13 JUDGE WALD: Right.
14 A. The Dutch trucks drove up to Srebrenica, near
15 the Bravo compound, picked up there the refugees, and
16 they didn't need to pick them up, really, because they
17 more or less stormed the trucks. They got on the
18 trucks, got even inside the trucks, but up the trucks.
19 The driver couldn't even see where he drove. So they
20 were completely filled up. And then they came to
21 Potocari, and they drove into the factory almost to
22 give them the security that we could guarantee them.
23 JUDGE WALD: Okay. So they were, to your
24 knowledge, mostly taken at least into the factory
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE WALD: At another point in your
3 testimony, you said that you -- I think it was maybe
4 the first night, the second night, were told to secure
5 the refugees on the outside of the UN compound in
6 Potocari. What did "secure" mean? Did it mean simply
7 what you told us about, that you got tapes and tried to
8 tape off the area to at least alert the Serbians that
9 that's where the refugees were, or did "secure" mean
10 something different, that you were supposed to patrol
11 it, to try and make sure that they were not molested?
12 A. With "secure" I meant, and I'll give you an
13 estimate of the total situation, in the south of the
14 bus remise were still remains of the B Company that was
15 securing the south side. At the other side, there were
16 the three groups that I earlier mentioned, the three
17 groups of ten men.
18 JUDGE WALD: Right.
19 A. We patrolled the site that we spoke about.
20 We spoke with the people, we helped them. My team had
21 a doctor, so to give them the first medical aid during
22 the whole night. And more or less we secured them not
23 only by the red/white tape, but just by being there and
24 walking around, and looking up into the hills, that
25 there was no one coming down. And on my side, that
1 night, no one came down.
2 JUDGE WALD: All right. Thank you. At
3 another point in your testimony you told us about being
4 actually detained for several hours by the Serb
5 soldiers before you were allowed to go back to the
6 compound, and that was during one of the days when the
7 busing was actually taking place; correct? Now, when
8 you got back from the period of detention, were most of
9 the buses gone by that time, or did the busing continue
10 for a long period after that?
11 A. The day that you speak about is the 12th, and
12 then during -- in the early evening, the buses stopped
13 coming and there were no buses around anymore. The
14 next day, very early, new buses came and the drivers
15 had to wait for the instructions from the Bosnian Serb
17 JUDGE WALD: Okay. You also told us that one
18 of the pictures that you took, or you almost took, in
19 this case you didn't take it, you thought would have
20 not portrayed a, I think you said, good scene because
21 it would have looked as though the UN people, the UN
22 soldiers were actively participating in the separation,
23 in the evacuation. Can you tell us a little bit more
24 about what that scene was, and what was the reality? I
25 mean, what was the reality of the UN soldiers taking
1 any active part in the actual separation and evacuation
2 of the refugees?
3 A. I did make some pictures. I did that first
4 because it was difficult because around the APCs there
5 were also the Bosnian Serbs around. The situation was
6 that they had taped an area in which you could place
7 more or less 60 to 70 people, and that was the UN, the
8 Dutch UN personnel that did that. Then they came in,
9 60 until 70 people. They were more or less shown the
10 way to the buses, or directed to the buses. And
11 between another line there was standing all the people
12 that were waiting, and in spite of the heat, many
13 people were falling down. Dutch soldiers helped them,
14 stood them up, gave them water, helped women with
15 children, to hand out water and to cool them. So that
16 was the situation at the place.
17 And that didn't give a good estimate of the
18 situation, because what I saw through the camera, and
19 actually I made some pictures, was that the Bosnian
20 Serb army was sitting along the road on all kinds of
21 things, with their weapons in front of them, and we
22 were actually at work there, so more or less helping
23 with the deportation. And I found that not a good way
24 to do that, in spite of the things that I heard from my
25 commander and my other colleagues. Because it looked
1 like we were not an impartial party anymore, and as we
2 had our blue caps on, our blue berets on, we had to be
3 an impartial party.
4 So I told that to my colleague, and that was
5 Lieutenant van Duijn, and, okay, he did see that from a
6 different point of view, but I did discuss that with
7 him. But it went on like this.
8 JUDGE WALD: Were UN soldiers working with
9 the refugees at the point where the men were being
10 separated from the women?
11 A. No. At that point, that was at the other
12 side of the line of the buses, and there were some
13 Bosnian Serb soldiers instructing that the men are --
14 had to be separated from the rest of the family.
15 JUDGE WALD: So there were no UN personnel
16 around that particular operation.
17 A. Right.
18 JUDGE WALD: When you visited the White House
19 on the various times, did you ever see any signs in
20 there of violence, torture, in the sense of -- we've
21 heard in other locations of blood, tissue, anything
22 like that.
23 A. No, we couldn't see any. We tried to avoid
24 that more or less by placing some UN soldiers around.
25 JUDGE WALD: You also identified a man with a
1 moustache in one of the Prosecutor's exhibits as
2 somebody who appeared to be, at least at one point in
3 time, in charge, or of a higher echelon, appeared to be
4 engaging with anybody who came in and possibly giving
5 orders. Was that the only person that you had any
6 information, either from your own observation or from
7 hearing, that was in charge of the operations at the
8 White House, of all the men coming in, later on going
9 out in the buses, et cetera? Was he the only one that
10 you could identify during that whole period as having
11 some position of authority as to what went on in the
12 White House?
13 A. There were some more people that I
14 identified. For instance, the so-called Captain Mane
15 that I spoke earlier off, he was at the blockade but
16 not actually with the White House itself. I couldn't
17 recognise any specific leader that I've shown here on
18 the photographs or on maps or whatever.
19 JUDGE WALD: Two more questions is all I
20 have. As the buses went off, the early buses that had
21 the women and children on them, and went off to
22 Kladanj, did you later on get any reports back from the
23 other side that those buses had actually gotten to
24 their destination and the women and children had
25 actually crossed over into Muslim territory? So that
1 you knew that at least the women and children were --
2 those buses were going to where they said they were
4 A. We had -- some information came in from other
5 colleagues that were brought back, that were on the
6 route escorting some buses. Two days later, some of
7 the -- for instance, Lieutenant Egbers came back, told
8 us about the situation, what had happened there, and
9 also I can refer to our Dutch television, two days
10 later, that we saw actually -- yeah, it's more or less
11 an incident. A woman that we helped, that had
12 something -- a fragment of a grenade in her leg, and
13 she was in a pink training suit. That same woman I saw
14 on television two days later, near Tuzla, and telling
15 that Dutch soldiers had done nothing. So we helped her
16 two days earlier, and she said that nothing had been
17 done. So we knew that the women mostly and the
18 children got to Tuzla airfield. That was more or less
19 two days later.
20 JUDGE WALD: But while the evacuation was
21 going on, in the two days when the buses were leaving
22 Potocari, did you at that point know that the women and
23 children were mostly being allowed to go across the
24 border, or were you still in the dark as to what
25 happened to them?
1 A. We were still in the dark, as you called it.
2 JUDGE WALD: Okay. My last question has to
3 do with the two excerpts from the Dutch Ministry
4 debriefing, because I had a little trouble. I think
5 you, in the main, agreed with these, but I had a little
6 trouble understanding how they came together.
7 In one of those, it was said, I believe,
8 although I don't have the English translation here,
9 that sometimes the Muslims inside the enclave, inside
10 the Srebrenica enclave, were helped by the local
12 And then the second part of my question is:
13 Later on, in the second excerpt that Mr. Visnjic read,
14 it said that some parts of the VRS were, in fact the
15 soldiers, were supplemented by something called the
16 radical police. What I'm trying to get at is, in your
17 observations in Srebrenica, were the local police
18 allied with one side or the other, and if so which
20 A. The local police that were still in
21 Srebrenica, in the enclave itself, consisted only of
22 Muslim people. So there must be some ties there
23 because I can't conclude any other.
24 JUDGE WALD: Okay. So when the second
25 excerpt talked about the Serb army being supplemented
1 by the radical police, that's something different, in
2 your view?
3 A. Yes, that's something different.
4 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Judge Wald.
6 Captain Rutten, I also have some questions to
7 ask you, after listening to your very clear testimony.
8 I would like to make sure that I understood the main
9 lines of your testimony.
10 First, in your answer to the Defence counsel,
11 Mr. Visnjic, you told him that the BiH army, you cannot
12 speak of a real army structure. It was refugees
13 collected by Mr. Oric with small arms.
14 Now, I'm going to ask you the same question
15 concerning the Bosnian Serb army. What would you say?
16 A. I would say totally different. They were
17 well structured. As I tried to say before to the
18 Defence, in the northern part, there was the Bratunac
19 Brigade, for instance; in the south, the Milici
20 Brigade, all parts of the Drina Corps. We had some
21 information about that, but not all that specific. But
22 you could see during the whole operation that -- and by
23 that I meant the things that I really saw myself --
24 that everything was well prepared and a well preplanned
25 machinery that you could see from the moment of the
1 arrival, and the time before you could also see that.
2 Everything was well planned, was well overthought. You
3 could see that everything and every man knew exactly
4 what to do.
5 They even had signs at their -- like me, to
6 show that I'm a captain or whatever. Everyone knew who
7 the other was. In fact, that is the perfect way to
8 work with each other and also is a perfect way that
9 your opponent, or an impartial party, can never
10 recognise any of your people at all, because they all
11 told us all kinds of nicknames. So as I refer to this
12 so-called Mr. Mane. Mr. Mane is a well-known nickname
13 with the Serbs. So you see all kinds of things with
14 the structure, and thinking about it, it's almost like,
15 yeah, that it was all well prepared and preplanned.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Good. Well planned. And what
17 about the chain of command or orders, was it, in your
18 assessment as a military man, conformed to the military
19 rules, obeying the superior and orders going down in a
21 A. The things that I saw were that the ones that
22 were in command only have to say things once, and
23 everyone understood what he meant or what the senior
24 commander meant. So you could easily tell then who was
25 in control. So it was well-structured, as I said
2 JUDGE RIAD: According to your testimony, you
3 went through -- I mean, this is really the thrust of
4 your testimony -- you went through two main difficult
5 experiences. The one is concerning the UN, or the
6 DutchBat, the UN representative soldiers, and I noted
7 sometime some of your descriptions, you said that your
8 soldiers were used as shields sometimes. I'll take
9 them in order. Were any of them killed or touched as
11 A. Not at that moment that I described.
12 JUDGE RIAD: But they were used later. They
13 were touched later.
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE RIAD: And some were hurt?
16 A. No. No one got hurt at that time.
17 JUDGE RIAD: But they were used?
18 A. They were used, yes.
19 JUDGE RIAD: The UN soldiers representing the
20 International Community.
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE RIAD: And I'm now going gradually.
23 You were laughed at when you always interfered and
24 wanted just to put things in order or to request
25 something, you were just laughed at and ridiculed.
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE RIAD: And then going further, you were
4 A. Yes, that's also right, sir.
5 JUDGE RIAD: Your jeeps were hijacked.
6 A. That's also right.
7 JUDGE RIAD: And to go further, you sometimes
8 had a pistol at your neck.
9 A. Yes, also my neck, my mouth, everywhere.
10 JUDGE RIAD: And do you think that was
11 serious, or they were just joking with you? How did
12 you take it then?
13 A. I think that it was serious. Walking around
14 for some time and trying to get some information, as I
15 did, they knew exactly who they had to send away, and
16 some of them they couldn't send away easily just by
17 telling them, so they had to be more specific, if I can
18 call it like that, by placing, for instance, a weapon
19 in their face. And it was serious -- it was serious
21 JUDGE RIAD: Did you consider that your life
22 could be in danger --
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE RIAD: -- if you did your job?
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Now, did you raise the matter to
2 the superiors? And whom did you raise it to?
3 A. The moment that our things at the bus remise
4 were looted, sometime afterward, there was a Dutch
5 Captain Melchers who accompanied this so-called Mr.
6 Nikolic. I said that we were not only looted, but also
7 being threatened by the BSA, and he said, "No, we don't
8 do that, and if you all keep quiet, nothing is going to
9 happen." So more or less he said also the same thing
10 as the other soldiers and the other commanders, that,
11 yeah, he ridiculed it, more or less.
12 JUDGE RIAD: And after your complaints, the
13 same thing was repeated?
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE RIAD: It did not stop?
16 A. It did not stop.
17 JUDGE RIAD: And in other places.
18 A. Yes. It did not stop as well.
19 JUDGE RIAD: So you felt that there was a
20 general attitude systematically applied.
21 A. Yes, it was systematically, yes.
22 JUDGE RIAD: In spite of the complaints.
23 A. In spite of the complaints, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Now, I just wanted to make sure
25 that you were not falling into the hands of some
1 undisciplined soldiers who did not know who you were
2 and whom you represented.
3 A. They knew exactly who I was, they even asked
4 me for my rank, and they knew exactly who was in
5 charge. They could see that. They easily -- they
6 didn't speak to the soldiers. They more or less
7 addressed always the lieutenants that were around. So
8 they knew exactly what they were doing.
9 JUDGE RIAD: The second line, of course, of
10 your experience was the fate of the Muslims of
11 Srebrenica. You were an eyewitness of nine corpses,
12 nine dead people.
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Apparently freshly killed. And
15 you saw in the White House what you called the smell of
16 death, and you saw children of 13 years old. So they
17 reached that age of 13 years old, the children?
18 A. My estimation at that time was 12, 13, some
19 maybe 14, but not all of them. They were also in the
20 house with the older men, yes, that's right.
21 JUDGE RIAD: And you did not know what was
22 their fate afterwards?
23 A. Later on I heard, but not at that moment.
24 But seeing the whole structure of it, when you're
25 standing at the fence in front of the house seeing the
1 steps, one after each other, by throwing off their
2 rucksacks, throwing down on the ground their
3 belongings, and as I said earlier, it's no -- it was
4 very clear that there needn't be any identification on
5 the persons. There just was a point where they
6 collected all men together, and at that point they
7 tried to get them on the buses to anywhere, I don't
9 JUDGE RIAD: But on the face of it, they were
10 supposed to be checked to know -- I mean, apparently
11 they went to the White House for inquiry.
12 A. Yes, that was the story, but this morning I
13 also told that when you do a proper inquiry, you always
14 leave the ID with the person or you mark envelopes or
15 whatever, just to get a system in it, to recognise
16 who's who in the house. And if you only throw back the
17 stuff on the ground and go into the house, then you
18 never can be sure who's in the house or to interrogate
19 or whatever.
20 JUDGE RIAD: So it was indiscriminate, in
21 your opinion.
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE RIAD: Completely.
24 A. Completely.
25 JUDGE RIAD: It was just because they were
2 A. Yes, I think that just -- that was the main
3 reason, and you could see it at the beginning of the
4 line of the buses, the immediate separation of the
5 soldiers -- of the men by Bosnian Serb soldiers, the
6 dividing of the families almost immediately at the
7 moment that they got walking to the buses, to the White
8 House. That was a well-planned and well -- almost, I
9 would almost say well-rehearsed is the word for it.
10 JUDGE RIAD: But the women were left out.
11 A. Women were left out. Women, very old men,
12 and --
13 JUDGE RIAD: And the children?
14 A. -- and the children.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Children under 13.
16 A. Yes, and very young children, yes.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Now, about women, you happen to
18 have seen yourself a woman running, chased by a Serb
19 soldier. Was she running out of her house? Was he
20 dragging her out of her house? What exactly was the
22 A. The scene was that the woman ran out,
23 probably out of her house, I don't know really, but she
24 ran out of the house, and shortly after, almost
25 directly, a Serb soldier came after her, in a
1 camouflage uniform, and chased her around the house.
2 And that was what I saw at an instant. And then we had
3 some shots on the spot where we were taking
4 photographs, so I saw nothing more of it.
5 JUDGE RIAD: That was for looting for rape or
6 for what?
7 A. I couldn't make out of that situation what
8 was really happening. Just a woman being chased by a
9 Bosnian Serb soldier.
10 JUDGE RIAD: Was that the only case you saw
11 during your stay there, the only case where women were
13 A. Yes, that was the only case that I saw that,
15 JUDGE RIAD: Or heard of?
16 A. I heard about some more things, but I can't
17 state them, really, here now.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Perhaps my last question. Of
19 course, you could not follow at all the buses which
20 were taking the refugees, and at a certain moment they
21 would hijack your jeeps. Did you know afterwards where
22 these buses went and what happened to them?
23 A. We were told that all buses were going on the
24 route to Kladanj, but we did never know, because it
25 wasn't a secure route and the men that were on the
1 route of our battalion were held in houses, so we never
2 were really sure what happened with the refugees in the
3 buses because it wasn't a UN-secured road. It was
4 under the surveillance of the Bosnian Serb army. So we
5 had to wait and see who was coming in near Kladanj.
6 JUDGE RIAD: And was there anything? Later
7 was anything found?
8 A. There was -- as we saw later and heard later,
9 there were people coming in finally at Tuzla airbase,
10 and they were all refugees from the Srebrenica
12 JUDGE RIAD: Men or women or old people?
13 A. Only women, children, small children, and
14 some very old men.
15 JUDGE RIAD: But the other men, nothing in
17 A. No. There were -- in the first -- one of the
18 first convoys, you can call them like that, there were
19 two Dutch officers with it, and it was Major Boering
20 and a Captain Voerman, and they saw many refugees
21 coming in at Tuzla airbase, and that was only the
22 women, very old men, and children.
23 JUDGE RIAD: Nothing discovered concerning
24 the men who were taken apart?
25 A. No, they didn't discover anything because
1 they were also held at the convoy route and then at
2 Tuzla airbase, so they couldn't see anything else, just
3 the bus they were riding with.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, Captain
6 I think this ends our witness, and he can
7 walk out.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 MR. HARMON: Judge Riad, I would move into
10 evidence Prosecutor's Exhibits 82 through 85 and
11 Prosecutor's Exhibit 5/3C.
12 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Visnjic, do you have any
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President,
15 no objections, but I would like to use the opportunity
16 also to tender three exhibits which we have offered, as
17 Defence Exhibits 11, 12, and 13.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Harmon?
19 MR. HARMON: We have no objection.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Then we'll accept all these
21 exhibits. Thank you.
22 I would like to thank you again, Captain
23 Rutten, for your help to the Tribunal.
24 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE RIAD: Whom shall we have now?
2 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, our next witness is
3 Captain Vincentius Egbers. And while we're waiting for
4 Captain Egbers, may I tender into evidence Prosecutor's
5 Exhibit 1/E/1. It is an exhibit which is a smaller
6 version of this map, Prosecutor's 1E, minus the various
7 relevant sites that are attached, and I'm tendering
8 this for purposes of convenience for the Court, if the
9 Court may wish to use this exhibit and counsel may wish
10 to use this exhibit for whatever purpose.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
12 Mr. Visnjic, you agree?
13 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Yes,
14 Mr. President.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Good. So we'll tender it into
17 Would you like to call the next witness.
18 MR. HARMON: Judge Riad, I believe that the
19 usher has gone to collect Captain Egbers.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Harmon, perhaps we can have
21 a break at twenty to two for ten minutes.
22 MR. HARMON: Yes.
23 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE RIAD: Yes. Go ahead.
1 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
2 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
4 JUDGE RIAD: Please be seated. Thank you.
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
6 JUDGE RIAD: I would like to thank you for
7 coming to testify and to contribute to justice being
8 done. Our Prosecutor, Mr. Harmon, will ask you some
9 questions before the Defence counsel will also take
10 over. Thank you.
11 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Judge Riad.
12 WITNESS: VINCENTIUS BERNARDUS EGBERS
13 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
14 Q. Captain Egbers, could you spell your last
15 name for the record?
16 A. E-g-b-e-r-s.
17 Q. You are currently serving in the Netherlands
18 Air Force; is that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. And you have the rank of captain?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. From 1988 to 1998, were you serving in the
23 Royal Dutch Army?
24 A. I was, sir.
25 Q. And did you deploy to Srebrenica with
1 DutchBat III in January of 1995, and did you remain in
2 the enclave of Srebrenica until July the 21st, 1995?
3 A. I did, sir.
4 Q. Could you tell the Judges what were your
5 duties and responsibilities within the enclave?
6 A. In the enclave I was a platoon commander.
7 Q. And what did you do as a platoon commander?
8 A. As a platoon commander, I was responsible for
9 a piece of -- the section of our company's terrain.
10 MR. HARMON: Could I have placed on the ELMO
11 Prosecutor's Exhibit 89, please. Mr. Usher, I'm
12 particularly interested in having just the area of the
13 Srebrenica enclave appear on the ELMO; the rest is not
14 relevant for the purposes of the testimony, at this
15 point in time.
16 Q. Captain Egbers, this is an exhibit that I
17 prepared after talking to you. Can you explain this
18 exhibit to the Judges, please.
19 A. You see at the north of the enclave, this was
20 the terrain of the Charlie Company [indicates]; the
21 south of the enclave was the terrain of the Bravo
22 Company, over here [indicates]. My company commander
23 divided his terrain into three sections; the section
24 for the 1st Platoon [indicates], the 2nd Platoon
25 [indicates], and for the 3rd Platoon [indicates], and
1 it was my job to man Observation Post Alpha in the west
2 and to patrol with my platoon in the section of this
3 area. So I was the platoon commander of the 3rd
5 Q. And the 3rd Platoon is in the area in which
6 you patrolled with -- the 3rd Platoon is the area
7 marked in yellow on Prosecutor's Exhibit 89?
8 A. Yes, that's marked in yellow. This is the
9 terrain, sir [indicates].
10 Q. And when you say OP Alpha, that's the spot
11 indicated with the letter "A" next to it; is that
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And the spot marked with "M", was that also
15 in your area of responsibility?
16 A. It was, until the last month of July.
17 Q. And is that OP Mike?
18 A. OP Mike was a non-permanent observation post
19 until June 1995.
20 Q. So your principal responsibilities then,
21 Captain Egbers, were in the yellow, pie-shaped area.
22 A. Yes, sir, it was.
23 Q. In addition, were you also part of a reserve
24 platoon or a reserve unit of the DutchBat?
25 A. Starting in April 1995, we've had a lot of
1 shortage of gasoline, diesel, and we had a big problem
2 with our soldiers who were at leave. The Bosnian Serbs
3 didn't allow them to come back to the enclave. So we
4 were -- my platoon wasn't 30 persons big, but it was a
5 lot smaller. All the platoons had a shortage of men.
6 They were in Zagreb waiting for clearance to come back
7 to the enclave.
8 Q. Just so we're clear, a platoon is normally
9 30 people; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct, sir.
11 Q. And what happened? Why was your platoon
12 reduced in size?
13 A. Well, the Bosnian Serbs had to clearance
14 every transport of troops out of the enclave, and of
15 course clearance them back then. And soldiers were
16 allowed to leave the enclave, but from April 1995, they
17 were not allowed to come back to the enclave. So they
18 were waiting at Zagreb for a clearance to come back.
19 Q. And as a result of the lack of clearance by
20 the Bosnian Serbs, the size of your platoon
22 A. It did, sir, and that's why the officers of
23 the northern part of the Charlie Company were at the
24 main base at Potocari, and the officers had to form
25 with a few soldiers a so-called battalion reserve, four
1 APCs who were under my command.
2 Q. Did those reserve members, including
3 yourself, then deploy to other areas in the Srebrenica
4 enclave in order to fill the gap that was left by the
5 inability to fully man your units?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. Okay. Now, what was the effect of the
8 dilution, if you will, in the number of your soldiers
9 on the ability of DutchBat to perform its mandate?
10 A. It's clear that when you've lost one-third of
11 the platoon, it's very hard to man observation posts
12 and patrol in the area, and so that's why we had a lot
13 of pressure on the men who were still in the enclave.
14 And we had to form this battalion reserve and try to
15 support the Bravo Company, who was in the south of the
17 Q. Were you able to patrol using your vehicles,
18 or is there some reason why you couldn't do that?
19 A. We couldn't patrol with our vehicles because
20 of the lack of fuel. And, for instance, when we had to
21 bring water and food to my soldiers in the west of the
22 enclave, we used some local horses. So we would walk
23 all the way up from Potocari to OP Alpha, which is one
24 day going to OP Alpha and coming back again. So we had
25 some fuel, but we had to keep that in case something
1 happened and the APCs had to drive. So from April,
2 there was a lot of -- we were very short of diesel.
3 Q. Were you short other supplies also as a
4 result of the actions of the Bosnian Serbs?
5 A. Yes, sir. We were very short of food. We
6 only had some rice and some fresh packages left. It
7 was not very good for the morale of the soldiers.
8 Q. What about medicines?
9 A. Well, I don't know anything about medicines,
11 Q. All right. Now, in the time that you were in
12 the enclave, were you able to make an assessment of the
13 Muslim military forces within the enclave?
14 A. During the first six months of my stay in the
15 enclave, the Muslim soldiers, whether you can call them
16 soldiers or not, the Muslims didn't carry their weapons
17 openly. Only until OP Echo fell and we had some
18 threatening in the south, the Bosnian Muslims carried
19 their weapons openly, and I saw them carrying some
20 AK-47s and some machine-guns in the south of the
22 Q. Now, when did OP Echo fall?
23 A. I don't know the exact date, but it was at
24 the end of June or beginning of July.
25 Q. How would you assess the organisation of the
1 Muslim armed forces within the enclave?
2 A. Well, they were not very well-organised.
3 They were badly dressed. They had no uniforms -- a few
4 uniforms, yes. They had only a few weapons. They had
5 no communications, a bad structure. They told us they
6 had a few brigades, but we only saw refugees. And in
7 the end of the month of June, we saw some weapons but
8 not very much.
9 Q. Now, was there a weapons storage depot at
10 UN Bravo Company, and did that location have Muslim
11 heavy weapons?
12 A. Yes, it had.
13 Q. Now, I'm going to get a little bit ahead of
14 the sequence of events, but did you ever see an
15 artillery piece in your entire stay in the Srebrenica
17 A. I did, sir.
18 Q. And without going into details of the
19 circumstances, can you tell us when you saw that
20 artillery piece?
21 A. I saw that piece of artillery -- that was the
22 second day when I took up the blocking position in
23 the -- near the Srebrenica town.
24 Q. Was that during the invasion of the enclave
25 by the Bosnian Serb army?
1 A. It was during the invasion of the south of
2 the enclave that I saw a piece of artillery called a
3 Mike 48.
4 Q. Is that a heavy piece of artillery?
5 A. No, it's just a small piece of artillery.
6 Q. Can you tell the Judges the circumstances,
7 just briefly, about what you know about that particular
8 piece of artillery?
9 A. They had the piece of artillery for a few
10 years in the surrounding of my blocking position,
11 Bravo 1, and they've only had a few shells. I thought
12 they told me about four or five. And there was a
13 commander of this piece of artillery with a few
14 soldiers, and they communicate by writing notes to
15 their bosses.
16 Q. Did you ever see that piece of artillery
18 A. No, sir, I did not.
19 Q. At the time you saw that piece of artillery,
20 were Bosnian Serb army forces advancing into the
22 A. They were.
23 Q. Now, let me ask you, as a professional
24 officer, your overall assessment of the military forces
25 of the Muslims within the enclave as you saw them and
1 experienced them.
2 A. I think it was badly organised, badly
3 weaponed, a group of refugees who had to be soldiers.
4 No training, no weapons. I didn't think of them as an
5 army as well.
6 Q. Turning your attention to the Bosnian Serb
7 forces, can you give me your assessment of the Bosnian
8 Serb forces, as you experienced them and as you saw
9 them in operation?
10 A. Well, I certainly left the enclave in
11 July 1995 with the buses of refugees, and then I saw
12 the military strength of the Bosnian Serb army. They
13 had anti-aircraft missiles, heavy machine-guns, a lot
14 of AK-47s, anti-tank weapons, grenades. They were
15 heavily armed, well-structured. They had communication
16 lines. There were commanders, there were lieutenants
17 who were in charge of a platoon. There was a military
18 structure. That's what I saw of the Bosnian Serb
20 Q. Did you see any tanks?
21 A. I did, sir. I saw tanks, ambulances. I saw
22 troop transport trucks. They had it all.
23 Q. Did the army, the Bosnian Serb army that you
24 saw, can you give us your assessment of how it appeared
25 to you to function?
1 A. Well, we learned that tanks won't operate by
2 itself, but tanks would mostly go in with four tanks
3 and support each other. But the Bosnian Serb tanks
4 entered the enclave by itself, they raised their
5 barrels and fired like a piece of artillery on the town
6 of Srebrenica.
7 Q. Did the various components of the Bosnian
8 Serb army that you saw appear to be functioning in a
9 coordinated fashion?
10 A. Yes, it did so.
11 Q. Overall, how would you make an assessment
12 then of the Bosnian Serb army, the elements that you
14 A. Well, they were well-trained, they were
15 structured, they were well-armed. They were more like
16 an army to me.
17 Q. Do you believe or are you able to make a
18 comparison of the two?
19 A. Well, I think the Bosnian Serb army was a
20 real army, like we know armies, and the Muslims, they
21 were just refugees who were carrying weapons.
22 Q. Do you believe that the armed elements of the
23 Muslims within the Srebrenica enclave posed a credible
24 military threat to the Bosnian Serb army that
25 surrounded the enclave?
1 A. I don't know, sir. No.
2 MR. HARMON: Judge Riad, would this be an
3 appropriate time to take a break for ten minutes?
4 JUDGE RIAD: If it's good for you, it will be
5 good for us.
6 MR. HARMON: All right. Thank you. This is
7 an appropriate time for me.
8 JUDGE RIAD: Just ten minutes.
9 --- Recess taken at 1.40 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 1.50 p.m.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Harmon, you can proceed.
12 MR. HARMON: If I could ask the usher to
13 place Prosecutor's Exhibit 90 on the ELMO, please.
14 Q. Captain Egbers, I'd like to draw your
15 attention to the 9th of July and ask you if, as part of
16 the unit of DutchBat, you took up a blocking position
17 somewhere in the south of the enclave.
18 A. Yes, sir, I did.
19 Q. Could you tell the Judges, first of all,
20 could you indicate where, on Prosecutor's Exhibit 90,
21 you took up the blocking position? If you mark it with
22 a highlighter, it might be more effective, and use a
23 green highlighter for the purposes of the record.
24 A. You see the road going to the west
25 [indicates], this is the road. It makes two angles of
1 180 degrees. I was on this angle here, above the "V".
2 Q. Okay. Now, what I'm interested in, Captain
3 Egbers, is first of all can you tell the Judges the
4 circumstances under which you took up that blocking
5 position, what the purpose of the blocking position
7 A. The circumstances were the following: We had
8 to take a blocking position so we could be seen by the
9 Bosnian Serb army with our white vehicles, and we had
10 to draw a line, a line that couldn't be passed by the
11 Bosnian Serb army. It was approximately this line
12 [indicates], there was a blocking position on this
13 line. So the Bosnian Serbs knew that we were on that
14 line and they can't cross that line.
15 MR. HARMON: So the record is clear, Captain
16 Egbers has indicated a line that appears to be a line
17 that goes from the right-hand side of this exhibit to
18 the left-hand side of the exhibit, and it is the dark
19 line that appears under the word "Srebrenica".
20 A. It is. So these were blocking positions, not
21 as we were taught green, hidden, but now on top of a
22 hill, with white vehicles and blue helmets, so we could
23 be seen by both parties as being a line they couldn't
25 And from this point, I had a good view to the
1 south, because my commander, who was in Srebrenica, on
2 the compound of the Bravo Company, he couldn't see
3 anything in the south of the enclave. His observation
4 post couldn't see a thing, so the blocking positions
5 had to watch the south with their binoculars.
6 Q. At this point in time, the 9th of July, was
7 the invasion of the enclave by the Bosnian Serb army
8 well under way?
9 A. It was, sir.
10 Q. Was the purpose of your blocking position to
11 at least deter the invasion of the enclave beyond the
12 line you've indicated?
13 A. It was. We had to search the terrain for any
14 tanks or Bosnian Serb artillery that were there, and we
15 had to report it.
16 Q. How long did you remain at that blocking
18 A. We stayed there three days.
19 Q. What did you see on the 9th of July?
20 A. I saw a Bosnian Serb tank entering the
21 enclave, firing at Srebrenica, and going back again.
22 And I town called Pusmulici, it's marked yellow here,
23 it's approximately three kilometres away from my
24 blocking position, and with my binoculars I could see
25 Bosnian Serb infantry entering houses, setting them on
1 fire, and stealing stuff out of the houses.
2 Q. Now, you said also that you could see some
3 tanks coming and firing.
4 A. I could, sir.
5 Q. Do you know the direction of their fire?
6 A. Yes, sir, I could. They fired into the town
7 of Srebrenica.
8 Q. Were there any military targets, as far as
9 you were aware, in the town of Srebrenica?
10 A. No, sir. Just refugees and a UN base.
11 Q. Did you have an opinion then as to the
12 purpose of the firing of the tank rounds into the town
13 of Srebrenica?
14 A. I think they wanted to scare the refugees who
15 were in the city of Srebrenica so that they would go
16 north to Potocari and they could enter the town. They
17 were scaring them, and of course they were wounding
18 them, killing them.
19 Q. Now, was it at this particular location where
20 you saw the artillery piece that was the subject of
21 your previous testimony?
22 A. Yes, this was the location. Mike 48 from
23 the -- stood and watched south. Just the group of
24 soldiers stood by the piece of artillery, didn't fire
25 it, and was just there in case they had to fire it.
1 Q. How many Bosnian Serb soldiers did you see
2 advancing into the enclave from your particular
3 blocking position on the 9th of July?
4 A. Well, at first I just saw tanks coming into
5 the enclave, firing, and going back again, but at the
6 end of the day I saw infantry entering the enclave as
8 Q. How were they entering the enclave?
9 A. They were coming with a transportation, an
10 ambulance going after them as well, and they were
11 walking one by one.
12 Q. So walking single file, then?
13 A. You can call it single file, sir, yes.
14 Q. How were they dressed?
15 A. They were in green camouflage.
16 Q. Could you tell from your location how they
17 were armed?
18 A. They were armed with AK-47s and just rifles,
19 so to me it appeared to be one or two infantry platoons
20 heading for the town of Srebrenica.
21 Q. You may have mentioned earlier, but what were
22 you making your observations with? What kind of an
23 optical device were you using?
24 A. We had several binoculars, but we had one
25 special one which could go onto 60 times.
1 Q. Sixty power.
2 A. Sixty power, yes, you could call it that
3 way. So we could see very clearly in the south, and
4 that's what we reported. When we reported that the
5 infantry was heading for the town of Srebrenica, we
6 were ordered to accompany the four APCs that were on
7 the marketplace already.
8 Q. So you then returned to the town of
10 A. We did, sir.
11 Q. What did you see in the town of Srebrenica
12 when you returned?
13 A. When I arrived at the marketplace, I saw
14 thousands of women, children, men. And I saw the men
15 carrying anti-tank weapons. I saw machine-guns and
16 AK-47s. And there was a total chaos at the time
17 because they knew the Bosnian Serbs were entering the
18 town, the south of the town. They were very scared.
19 They were asking me what to do and they were pointing
20 their RPGs on my vehicle. They wanted me to join the
21 other four APCs who were in the south of the town.
22 Q. When you say "they," are you referring to
23 Muslim men who were armed?
24 A. Yes, sir, I am.
25 Q. Okay. Now, had you ever seen so many Muslim
1 men with arms prior to this date?
2 A. I saw prior to this date a few Muslims
3 carrying weapons openly in the south of the enclave.
4 After OP Echo fell, we had two mobile OPs in the south
5 called Sierra and Uniform, so I saw Muslims carrying
6 openly their weapons.
7 Q. Now, did you redeploy to a different
9 A. I did, sir. I did enter the marketplace and
10 I joined the other four APCs, and then I went back to
11 cover the APCs and stood there all night.
12 Q. Now, at some point in time, while you were at
13 that location or near that location, were you aware
14 that close air support was being summoned?
15 A. In the early morning, my forward air
16 controller, who was in my APC, had to go back to
17 position Bravo 1 because at 0700 there would be a
18 gunship firing at all the targets, the tanks,
19 artillery, in the south of the enclave.
20 Q. Do you know what results occurred as a result
21 of any close air support that you received?
22 A. Later on that evening -- that afternoon,
23 there were Dutch F-16 fighters who were attacking one
24 or two tanks that were in my neighbour, that were
25 threatening me, and they carried out well. The tanks
1 disappeared; I don't know whether they were hit. But I
2 could go back to the city of Srebrenica to help Captain
3 Groen with his Bravo Company. So there was a close air
4 support with two F-16s in the afternoon, instead of a
5 gunship promised by us in the morning, the early
7 Q. When you say "the afternoon," do you know
8 which date that was?
9 A. What's the date? Sorry?
10 Q. Which date?
11 A. It was the 11th.
12 Q. Now, you said you returned to Srebrenica
13 town. What did you see and what did you do then?
14 A. Well, there were thousands of people looking
15 at you and asking -- they asked me, "What should I do?"
16 and we tried to move all those people to Potocari
17 because we were certain that the Bosnian Serbs would
18 attack the town real soon. And that's when I told my
19 soldiers to leave the APC, and I got as many wounded
20 and mentally ill people as possible on my APC, and I
21 drove in front of them towards Potocari.
22 Q. When you say you drove in front of "them,"
23 who are you referring to?
24 A. I'm referring to the refugees. I'm not in
25 front of them, I'm driving between them. They are
1 coming with me towards Potocari.
2 Q. Where were you in relation to the column of
3 refugees that were going from Srebrenica to Potocari?
4 What was your position?
5 A. About one kilometre behind them. So I'm not
6 at the front but I'm nearly at the front.
7 Q. Were you the first of the UN armoured
8 vehicles in that column?
9 A. One of the first, sir.
10 Q. When you were advancing toward Potocari with
11 a column, did you see or hear any artillery fire in and
12 around the advancing column toward Potocari?
13 A. I did. I saw some Bosnian Serb artillery to
14 the left and right of the road. All the refugees took
15 to Potocari. I thought they wanted to scare them and
16 wanted to impress them. They didn't hit the road but
17 nearby the road.
18 Q. I'm reminded by my colleague that we have to
19 slow down. So since we speak the same language, if you
20 would pause after I ask a question and I will pause
21 after you answer a question before I give you my next
22 question, then the interpreters would be greatly
23 assisted in their job. We've talked about this
24 before. Let me return to the examination, then.
25 Where was the shelling hitting in respect of
1 the column? And could you tell the type of artillery
2 or weapons used in the shelling?
3 A. I saw some detonations about 100 metres from
4 the road the refugees took. I couldn't see whether it
5 was mortar fire or if it was artillery, but it
6 definitely was one of those two.
7 Q. Okay. What result did that firing of the
8 artillery have on the people in the column of refugees?
9 A. The refugees were very scared, of course.
10 And they saw two F-16s coming over the town to support
11 them, support us, and when they saw the Bosnian Serbs
12 shelling them again, in the nearance [sic] of the road,
13 they were very, very scared, of course.
14 Q. Now, did you eventually succeed in getting to
15 Potocari on the 11th of July?
16 A. I did, sir.
17 Q. What did you do that night?
18 A. When I arrived at Potocari, I took care of
19 all the ill people who were in my APC, and then after
20 four days of blocking position, I took 12 hours off. I
22 Q. So you had been up for four days, the
23 previous four days; is that correct?
24 A. Correct, sir.
25 Q. Okay. Let me turn your attention, then, to
1 the next day after you woke up, which would be the 12th
2 of July. Did you receive any orders from Major Franken
3 that morning?
4 A. I did.
5 Q. What were those orders?
6 A. I had to assemble 12 soldiers and meet him at
7 a conference room.
8 Q. And what were your orders then?
9 A. My orders then were to escort the buses who
10 were appearing nearby the main gate, and take some
11 food, take some water, take a sleeping bag. "We don't
12 know where the buses are going to; we don't know where
13 you're going to. Stay by the buses and try to radio
14 everything you see on your way." That was my order.
15 Q. And who was in the buses?
16 A. In the buses were the women and children, the
17 refugees, the Muslims, who were gathered by the HQ of
19 Q. Did any other Dutch officers accompany you on
20 your escort duty on this occasion?
21 A. I escorted the first convoy of the
22 deportation, and in front of this row of buses there
23 was another UN vehicle, with Major Boering and a
24 captain, and I was at the end of the convoy.
25 Q. Now, I'd like you to describe your journey on
1 that first convoy that left Potocari, and I would like
2 you to, first of all, tell the Judges about what you
3 observed in the town of Bratunac.
4 A. When you leave OP Papa, it's the northern
5 part of the enclave, soon you will be on a road going
6 through Bratunac, and there were Bosnian Serbs,
7 hundreds of them, standing on both sides of the road,
8 partying, celebrating, shouting, throwing things at the
9 buses. I was very, very scared. It reminded me of a
10 video movie we saw a few weeks before called
11 "Schindler's List", and you see there the Jews walking
12 towards trains and a lot of other people standing
13 nearby the road and shouting at them as well. It was
14 the same picture.
15 Q. Did you succeed in -- you succeeded
16 eventually in getting through Bratunac, did you not?
17 A. Yes, I did, sir.
18 Q. Did something happen to one of the buses in
19 the convoy that you were escorting?
20 A. One of the buses, the engine caught on fire.
21 It stopped on the right side of the road. And all the
22 other buses passed this bus and were following the
23 leading bus towards Kladanj. And I stopped nearby this
24 road, I stopped with this bus.
25 Q. What happened?
1 A. There were several Bosnian Serbs coming
2 towards the refugees who were in the bus. I ordered
3 them all out of the bus. I wanted them to be safe
4 because there was a fire in the engine. At that time I
5 handed them over all my food, all my medicine, and all
6 the water I had, because they were very thirsty, very
7 hungry, and very scared, with a lot of headaches of
8 course. Then I ordered them -- I allowed them to go to
9 a river nearby and drink, and I saw a lot of Bosnian
10 Serbs coming towards this group of people, just
11 standing there looking at them.
12 Then a few Bosnian Serb soldiers approached
13 with a photo camera, with some cans of lemonade, and
14 they were giving them to the children and taking
15 pictures of it, for propaganda use.
16 Q. Did the bus eventually -- was it eventually
17 repaired and could it continue on its journey?
18 A. It could not continue.
19 Q. Was another bus brought to bring those
20 refugees on their route?
21 A. The bus driver asked to borrow my Mercedes,
22 UN, to get another bus, but I told him to solve -- to
23 let himself solve this problem. And he managed to get
24 another bus. So there was another bus that the
25 refugees got in, and I followed that bus.
1 Q. Which direction did you take? Could you use
2 Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E, which is to your right, and
3 take the pointer and just indicate on this large
4 exhibit the route which you travelled with that bus.
5 A. I'll talk louder. This is the city of
6 Bratunac [indicates]. So we left from Potocari to
7 Bratunac, towards Konjevic Polje. Here [indicates] we
8 go to the south, crossing Nova Kasaba, Milici, Lazenica
9 [phoen], and heading for Kladanj.
10 Q. Now, can you point -- use your pointer and as
11 best as you can recall, where did that bus break down?
12 A. The bus broke down in this location here
14 MR. HARMON: For the record, the witness has
15 indicated the area on the right and the left side of
16 the town of Glogova.
17 Q. Now, as you -- you can have a seat, Captain
18 Egbers. Thank you.
19 Captain Egbers, as you advanced, then, on
20 your journey, what did you see?
21 A. I saw a lot of infantry -- Bosnian Serb
22 infantry on the road, facing the woods, facing the
23 enclave, and firing at the woods. And they told me
24 there were Muslim fighters in the woods and they would
25 fire on them. So they stopped me -- they would fire an
1 anti-aircraft gun at the woods with great rockets, and
2 then when they got finished, the bus and I could go
4 Q. Did you hear any return fire from the woods
5 in the direction of the Bosnian Serbs?
6 A. No, sir, I did not.
7 Q. How many soldiers would you estimate you saw
8 in the stretch between, say, Sandici and Nova Kasaba?
9 A. Well, I saw hundreds of them grouping with,
10 let's say, five or six together, and then 20 metres on,
11 another group, always facing the woods, nearby --
12 between Sandici, Nova Kasaba, and Milici.
13 Q. How were they dressed?
14 A. They were dressed in green. They were
15 Bosnian Serb infantry. They were well-armed with
16 AK-47s, with machine-guns, and they had vehicles with
17 anti-aircraft guns on it, with four barrels, firing at
18 the woods.
19 Q. Did you have an occasion to pass a football
20 field near Nova Kasaba on your journey toward the
21 drop-off point with that bus?
22 A. Yes, sir, I did.
23 Q. Let me show you Prosecutor's -- I'm going to
24 show you two exhibits.
25 MR. HARMON: So if the usher can be given two
1 exhibits, Prosecutor's Exhibit 12/4, which I should
2 like placed on the ELMO first, and then Prosecutor's
3 Exhibit 12/2. So, Mr. Usher, if we could start by
4 placing 12/4 on the ELMO.
5 Q. Have you seen this picture before, Captain
7 A. This is the football field nearby Nova
9 Q. Now, could you describe to the Judges what
10 you saw at that location on the 12th of July?
11 A. When you drive the car over the road, you
12 see -- you can look through the trees, and I saw this
13 field covered with men, sitting on their knees with
14 their hands on their necks. There was a table on which
15 there were some soldiers, and there were some soldiers
16 around the football field.
17 Q. How many people were there on their knees,
18 with their hands behind their neck?
19 A. Almost the entire football field was covered
20 with men.
21 Q. Now let me show you Prosecutor's Exhibit
22 12/2. Now, this is an aerial image, Captain Egbers,
23 and it is dated the 13th of July, 1995, at
24 approximately 1400 hours. And you will see indicated
25 on the football pitch two ovals and some dark markings
1 within those ovals, which those have been identified as
2 groups of prisoners.
3 Were there more prisoners that you saw on the
4 football pitch than are indicated in Prosecutor's
5 Exhibit 12/2?
6 A. Yes, sir. I saw the entire football field
7 covered with men.
8 Q. All right. Thank you.
9 A. There must have been hundreds of them.
10 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
11 Q. Did you see any -- let me withdraw that
12 question. Were you able to ascertain who those men
14 A. Well, when I drove over this road, towards
15 Nova Kasaba, I saw some groups of Muslims walking
16 towards the football field with their hands on their
17 necks, and those were the Muslim men who were taken
18 from the woods.
19 Q. Now, eventually, Captain Egbers, did you
20 arrive at a destination where the bus stopped and
21 people on the buses were discharged?
22 A. I did, sir.
23 Q. Do you know where that location was?
24 A. It was in the nearance [sic] of Kladanj, near
25 the confrontation line.
1 Q. Did anything unusual happen there, at that
2 location, at that time?
3 A. It was well organised. The buses stopped
4 there. The women and children saw me and they made
5 this sign [indicates] to me, so they were sure they
6 would be killed, because it was in the middle of the
7 woods and all those buses stopped over there.
8 Q. When you say "this sign," you indicated, for
9 the record, your finger went from your right shoulder
10 to your left shoulder, across your neck.
11 A. That's right, sir. They were certain that
12 the journey stopped there for them and that they would
13 be slaughtered.
14 Then I saw three of those buses drive through
15 a point where they could debark, the refugees could get
16 out of the bus, and had to walk towards the road,
17 towards central Bosnia. And when those three buses
18 were empty, another three buses had to drive on. So it
19 was well organised, and in the first convoy, a lot of
20 women and children walked a few miles towards central
22 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. I just want to know
23 what he means by "central Bosnia". To the woods? To
24 the city? What?
25 MR. HARMON:
1 Q. What do you mean by "central Bosnia"? In
2 which direction were they walking?
3 A. They were walking in a western direction,
4 near the confrontation line, in the direction of
5 Kladanj. We were stopped not nearby by the city, but
6 in between -- in the woods. So there was a lot of wood
7 on the left and right of the road, so that's why the
8 women thought that their lives would end there.
9 Q. Now, you returned to Potocari after that
10 debarkation was concluded?
11 A. I did, sir.
12 Q. Did you pass that football field that you
13 previously testified about, that is, the football field
14 near Nova Kasaba?
15 A. I did, sir.
16 Q. What did you see at the football field when
17 you returned?
18 A. I saw that it was covered with a hundreds of
19 men with their hands still on their necks, on their
21 Q. So a scene that was very much similar to what
22 you had seen when you passed by the first time?
23 A. It was, sir.
24 Q. Now, let me focus your attention to the 13th
25 of July. You have returned to Potocari. Did you
1 receive an assignment on the 13th of July?
2 A. There was a captain who ordered me to report
3 at 0600 to escort another convoy, but my convoy, it was
4 convoy number 4, it wouldn't leave until 11.00. So
5 between 6.00 and 11.00, I was in the surrounding of the
6 main gate.
7 Q. Did you have an occasion to see anything
8 occurring at a location known as the White House?
9 A. I saw -- yes, I did, sir. I saw and I heard
10 a woman screaming for help, and I reacted on that.
11 Q. Why was she screaming?
12 A. She was screaming because she had to enter
13 the buses, and her man or the male had to stay in the
14 White House. He was brought there by Bosnian Serb
15 infantry soldiers.
16 Q. Let me just very quickly have you identify
17 the White House.
18 MR. HARMON: And if I could Prosecutor's
19 Exhibit 5/17 placed on the ELMO.
20 Q. I'm going to ask you if you can identify this
21 structure in this exhibit as the White House. Do you
22 see Prosecutor's Exhibit 5/17 that's been placed on the
24 A. I can see it sir. That's the same house.
25 Q. That's the White House that's in the centre,
1 off to the right of this particular exhibit; is that
2 right, sir?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. After you heard the screaming of the woman,
5 what did you do?
6 A. I contacted two corporals who was standing
7 near the White House and I asked them what was going
8 on. They told me they didn't know because they were
9 not allowed to enter the White House. When I asked
10 them, "Why aren't you allowed?" Well, the Bosnian
11 Serbs wouldn't let them. That's when I approached
12 these Bosnian Serb soldiers and I told them that I was
13 a First Lieutenant and that I wanted to inspect the
14 White House, and I went in.
15 Q. How were the Bosnian Serb soldiers who were
16 around the White House dressed; do you remember?
17 A. They were dressed in green, green camouflage,
18 infantry uniforms.
19 Q. What happened when you went?
20 A. I saw men sitting in different rooms, just
21 waiting for things to happen.
22 Q. Did you have a conversation with any of the
23 Bosnian Serb soldiers who were there?
24 A. I did. I asked them, "Why would you separate
25 the men from the women," and he pointed at a lot of
1 knives, just pocket knives that were lying there and
2 said, "Well, you see, they are all armed with knives
3 and we don't want them to attack one of our bus
5 Q. Did they say anything else?
6 A. They told me later on that they would bring
7 them to Kladanj.
8 Q. So the Bosnian Serb soldiers told you they
9 would bring them to Kladanj.
10 A. They did, sir, yes.
11 Q. Did you see anything else in addition to the
12 pocket knives?
13 A. I saw some money from former Yugoslavia. I
14 saw some pictures of families. A lot of luggage left
15 there by the men.
16 Q. Where did you see the photos of the families,
17 the luggage, and the money?
18 A. In the garden of the town -- of the house.
19 Q. In front of the White House? On the side of
20 the White House?
21 A. In front and -- in front of the White House.
22 Q. All right. Now, did you see any buses with
23 men from the White House -- I'm sorry. Did you see any
24 men from the White House board buses?
25 A. I did, sir. There were three buses loaded
1 with men, and it had a number 3. It was escorted by my
2 colleague who had to escort number 3, I had to escort
3 number 4. I was there and I told them that the Bosnian
4 Serbs would bring them to Kladanj, but the men told me
5 otherwise. They said no, and they made the same signal
6 I just described, the same signal. "They will kill
7 them," that's what they said, and they offered me some
8 German marks.
9 Q. Could you just demonstrate for the Chamber
10 the signal that was made to you by at least one or
11 maybe more of the Muslim men you saw within the White
13 A. It was this signal, sir [indicates].
14 MR. HARMON: Again, the record should reflect
15 the finger crossing the neck from the left shoulder to
16 the right shoulder.
17 Q. Now, you say they offered you some
18 Deutschemarks. Who offered you the Deutschemarks?
19 A. The Muslim men, because they said that it was
20 useless to them. I then believed that they would go to
21 Kladanj, they would be escorted. And I said, "No, keep
22 the money. It's your money. I don't want it."
23 Q. How many men did you see get into the buses,
24 or approximately how many men did you see?
25 A. Nearly 200.
1 Q. How did those men look when they were getting
2 on those buses?
3 A. They were very scared. They were mostly
4 elder men. Scared, very scared, yes.
5 Q. We have to slow down once again, I believe,
6 I'm reminded by my colleague.
7 Did you ever see any Muslim men walking in
8 the direction of the White House under Bosnian Serb
9 army escort?
10 A. I saw one man with his hands on his neck,
11 being taken to the White House by a Bosnian Serb.
12 Q. Now, is there anything else you can tell us
13 about the White House that you recall, or have you told
14 us everything you know about the White House, as you
15 remember it today?
16 A. Everything, sir.
17 Q. All right. Do you know what happened to the
18 convoy of three buses that you saw leave with the men?
19 A. I left with convoy number 4 later on, but
20 some days later, I've been told, those three buses
21 never left Bratunac. They went to Bratunac and the
22 escort was stopped there by the Bosnian Serbs.
23 Q. Let me ask you, then, you proceeded then with
24 your convoy; is that correct?
25 A. That's correct, sir.
1 Q. Did you take the same route that you had
2 taken the day before?
3 A. I did, sir.
4 Q. How many buses were -- approximately how many
5 buses were in the convoy that you were escorting?
6 A. About 14 or 15.
7 Q. Now, what did you see that struck you as
8 significant while you were making your journey toward
9 your ultimate destination, near Kladanj?
10 A. We were stopped several times. There were
11 AK-47s pointed at our heads, and we had to hand over
12 our armoured vest, our helmets, and everything they
13 wanted from the car. It happened about seven times
14 that journey.
15 Q. Did you refuse -- apparently you must have
16 refused about six times; is that correct?
17 A. I did. I pointed at my rank and I translated
18 that into their language and told the Bosnian Serbs
19 that I was a First Lieutenant and that I needed it
20 myself, and we drove on.
21 Q. Ultimately did you relinquish your body
22 armour, and did your driver as well relinquish his body
23 armour and his helmet?
24 A. Yes, sir, but that was when there was an
25 AK-47 at our heads.
1 Q. So the items that you relinquished were
2 relinquished under force.
3 A. They were, sir.
4 Q. Okay. Now, could you describe -- did you see
5 any soldiers in the area as you were proceeding toward
6 Kladanj, Bosnian Serb soldiers?
7 A. I saw, from Sandici until Nova Kasaba, every
8 three metres, a few soldiers. So there were a lot more
9 soldiers. They were dressed in green, not as
10 disciplined as the troops who were there the first
11 day. They were heavily armed, firing at the woods
12 where the Muslim men were supposed to be. And they
13 were regular soldiers but not as disciplined.
14 Q. Now, at least on this part of the journey,
15 did you hear any firing coming out of the woods in the
16 direction of those soldiers?
17 A. No, sir, I did not.
18 Q. Did you pass the football pitch again at Nova
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. And the same field that you've identified
22 earlier in an exhibit; is that correct?
23 A. It's the same field.
24 Q. What did you see at that football field, on
25 the 13th of July, as you made your way toward Kladanj?
1 A. It was still covered with men, sitting on
2 their knees, with their hands on their neck.
3 Q. Were there fewer men on their knees? Were
4 there the same amount of men? Were there more? How
5 would you describe the number of men on their knees
6 that you saw at Nova Kasaba football field?
7 A. The same amount.
8 Q. Did these appear to be Bosnian Muslim men who
9 had been taken from the woods?
10 A. Yes, sir, because there were groups of
11 Muslims walking, with their hands on their neck,
12 towards the football field.
13 Q. Who was surrounding these men at the football
15 A. I'm not sure. But I saw a truck with a white
16 wolf's head painted on the doors of the truck. It was
17 a crying wolf. And later on the Bosnian Serbs told me
18 that it was a truck of the Drina Wolves.
19 Q. Now, perhaps --
20 MR. HARMON: Are we going to conclude, Judge
21 Riad, at 2.30?
22 JUDGE RIAD: How long do you have to go?
23 MR. HARMON: I have a considerable time to
25 JUDGE RIAD: So if you have to finish one
1 question, we can conclude after that.
2 MR. HARMON:
3 Q. Well, did you proceed, then, on your journey
4 to Kladanj, after you passed the football pitch?
5 A. I did.
6 MR. HARMON: Judge Riad, I have a number --
7 Captain Egbers has a number of other observations on
8 this particular leg of his journey that he will be
9 describing in his testimony, but this would be an
10 appropriate place to stop.
11 JUDGE RIAD: If it is appropriate for you, it
12 is appropriate for us. Thank you very much.
13 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Captain Egbers, we will request
15 you coming tomorrow, at 9.30.
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
17 JUDGE RIAD: So we'll adjourn until tomorrow,
18 at 9.30. Thank you.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
20 2.30 p.m., to be reconvened on Thursday,
21 the 6th day of April, 2000, at 9.30 a.m.