1 Thursday, 6th April 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning. I would like to
7 greet the parties, the accused, and all the ladies and
8 gentlemen whose cooperation is making this trial
9 possible, and I extend my greetings to the public, who
10 is also making this trial possible.
11 Please call the case, Madam Registrar.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
13 This is case number IT-98-33-T, the Prosecutor versus
14 Radislav Krstic.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Egbers, good morning. We
16 are proceeding with your testimony and, I think, it is
17 Mr. Mark Harmon who is in charge. Please proceed, Mr.
19 THE WITNESS: Good morning.
20 MR. HARMON: Thank you. Good morning, Your
21 Honours. Good morning to my colleagues for the
22 Defence, and good morning, Captain Egbers.
23 WITNESS: VINCENTIUS BERNARDUS EGBERS
25 Examined by Mr. Harmon: [Cont'd]
1 Q. Captain Egbers, when we finished your
2 testimony yesterday, you were describing events that
3 occurred on the 13th of July when you were escorting a
4 convoy of Muslim women and children in the direction of
5 Kladanj, and you had stopped your testimony after you
6 were describing your observations of prisoners held in
7 a football field in Nova Kasaba. That's where we left
9 I'd like you then, please, Captain Egbers, to
10 continue, and would you describe your principal
11 observations that you made on your journey toward
13 A. When I crossed the town Nova Kasaba, I headed
14 south for Milici and then to the west, towards
15 Vlasenica, and it was on this road that one of the
16 buses broke down, from another convoy, I guess. And I
17 managed to stop a red Volkswagen with four military
18 Bosnian Serbs, dressed in black overalls in it. I saw
19 one of the Bosnian Serb military was a colonel of the
20 Bosnian Serb army, and I asked him to arrange an empty
21 bus for the women and children who were in this broken
23 Q. Did he do so?
24 A. Yes, he did, sir.
25 Q. Did the bus and did you then proceed in the
1 direction of Kladanj?
2 A. Yes, we did.
3 Q. Did you arrive at a location where the Muslim
4 women and children were discharged from the buses?
5 A. I reached the same point as the day before,
6 where the women and children had to leave the buses and
8 Q. And was there anything eventful at that
9 particular location, or was it rather uneventful?
10 A. It was the same scene as the day before.
11 Q. Now, after all of the Muslim women and
12 children were discharged from the buses, did you return
13 back along the same route, in the direction of
15 A. Yes, sir, I did.
16 Q. Tell the Judges what happened next.
17 A. I was stopped at a roadblock before entering
18 the village of Nova Kasaba.
19 Q. Now, would you take the pointer that's next
20 to you and would you approach Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E,
21 and can you point on the large map, the location where
22 you were stopped at the roadblock.
23 A. I was stopped at this location [indicates].
24 MR. HARMON: Indicating, for the record, it
25 appears to be south of the town of Nova Kasaba.
1 Q. What happened at that location, Captain
3 A. At that location there were a through
4 infantry men pointing their AK-47s at us and telling us
5 to stop. They had -- they told us to get out of the
6 car. They took our car, drove it away, checked the
7 car, checked our identification, and held us there.
8 Q. When you say "us", who are you referring to?
9 A. Well, at first I thought it was just the
10 driver and myself who were there, but when I checked I
11 saw other Dutch UN troops sitting on the side of the
12 road, guarded by Bosnian Serb soldiers.
13 Q. How many UN Dutch troops were being guarded
14 by UN -- by Serbian soldiers?
15 A. About ten at that time, I thought.
16 Q. And how many UN vehicles were in the area?
17 A. At that time there were four UN Mercedes
18 light vehicles in the nearance [sic] of the roadblock.
19 Q. Were those soldiers and the vehicles free to
20 leave that location or were they being detained?
21 A. We were not free to leave. We had to wait at
22 the side of the road.
23 Q. What did you do next?
24 A. I asked to speak with the commander in
1 Q. The commander in charge of what?
2 A. The commander in charge of the soldiers who
3 were pointing their guns at us, at the roadblock nearby
4 Nova Kasaba.
5 Q. What happened next?
6 A. Then one of the conscripts, a soldier who
7 could speak English, took me to a Major Zoran Malinic,
8 who was in charge of the troops who were pointing their
9 guns at us.
10 Q. Where did he take you in relation to the
11 roadblock? How far away?
12 A. It was about 100 metres from this road.
13 There was a school, and this school was their
15 MR. HARMON: Now, if I could have
16 Prosecutor's Exhibit 87 and then Prosecutor's Exhibit
17 88 given to the usher and also disseminated to the
18 Court and counsel.
19 Q. I'd like to start with Prosecutor's Exhibit
20 87 and place that on the ELMO and ask you, Captain
21 Egbers, you have seen this particular exhibit in my
22 office before coming to testify, have you not?
23 A. I have, sir.
24 Q. And were you able to identify in Prosecutor's
25 Exhibit 87 the location where you were taken?
1 A. I did, sir.
2 Q. Could you take the pointer, please, and
3 indicate where, on Prosecutor's Exhibit 87, you were
4 taken by that conscript soldier?
5 A. Well, this is the road going towards Nova
6 Kasaba [indicates], and the roadblock was over here on
7 the road [indicates]. And this is a small path towards
8 the school [indicates], and this is the school that was
9 used as a headquarters. This is a parking place and
10 this is a small building [indicates].
11 MR. HARMON: For the record, when Captain
12 Egbers has said "this is the road going to Nova
13 Kasaba," he was referring to the large road that goes
14 from the top, toward the right-hand side of the
15 diagram. It's the main road.
16 When he was referring to the building where
17 he was taken, he's referring to the large buildings at
18 the lower portion of this Prosecutor's Exhibit.
19 When he referred to the parking lot, he was
20 referring to the area in front of the large building
21 that appears to have two buses on it, and the small
22 building is at the end of a long road, the main road
23 leading to Nova Kasaba, prior to entering into the
24 parking lot.
25 Q. Now, when you went to this -- let me show you
1 the next exhibit, Prosecutor's Exhibit 88, and if that
2 could be placed on the ELMO. Do you recognise the
3 building in Prosecutor's 88?
4 A. This is the school which I've just mentioned
6 Q. Okay. This is the large building; is that
8 A. This is the large building, used as a
10 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. Usher. I've
11 completed with these exhibits.
12 Q. When you arrived at the large building,
13 Captain Egbers, you said you met a Captain Zoran
15 A. He was a Major and his name was Malinic.
16 Q. Could you describe him, please?
17 A. He was about 40 years old, dressed in a green
18 T-shirt, green camouflage trousers, black shoes, black
19 hair, and one particular part of his hair was grey. I
20 think it was grey from his birth on.
21 Q. How did he identify himself to you? Did he
22 identify himself as being the individual in charge of
23 the roadblock?
24 A. He told me that he was -- that his soldiers
25 were handling that roadblock.
1 Q. Did he tell you where he was from?
2 A. He told me that he was in charge of three
3 battalions that were surrounding Sarajevo, and he had
4 to take one battalion and head for Srebrenica.
5 Q. Now, did you make a complaint to Major Zoran
6 Malinic about your detention and the detention of the
7 other UN soldiers at the roadblock?
8 A. Yes. Not only did I mention the stolen
9 vehicles, but I also mentioned the stolen guns, the
10 stolen body armours, blue helmets, and I asked him to
11 escort us back to Potocari so we could escort another
12 convoy of deported women and children towards Kladanj.
13 Q. Now, let me ask you, Captain Egbers, did you
14 prepare -- was it an oral complaint or was it a written
15 complaint, or was it both?
16 A. I first told this Major that we couldn't
17 accept the things that were going on at the time. Then
18 we had the time to type it all out in
19 Serbian/Croatian. There was an interpreter, he had a
20 writing machine, and he wrote down a statement from me
21 at the time, to be signed by this Major Zoran. And he
22 got a copy of this written letter -- how can you call
24 Q. Your complaint?
25 A. Letter of complaint, yes.
1 Q. Let me ask you, do you know a sergeant Mulder
2 who was a Dutch soldier?
3 A. Sergeant Mulder came to us at the school and
4 he told me about the things he had to be done -- he had
5 to do for his Bosnian Serb soldiers he met on the way,
6 and I complained about that as well.
7 Q. Could you tell the Judges what Sergeant
8 Mulder told you and about what you complained to Major
10 A. Well, he was stopped by Bosnian Serbs. He
11 had to sit on the front of one of the Dutch APCs,
12 driven by Bosnian Serbs who were wearing blue helmets.
13 He had an AK-47 given to him, and at first --
14 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Who was wearing blue
15 helmets, the UN or the Serbs?
16 THE WITNESS: The Serbs were --
17 JUDGE RIAD: Are they entitled to wear blue
19 THE WITNESS: No, of course not, sir.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
21 MR. HARMON:
22 Q. Please continue with your description of what
23 happened to Sergeant Mulder.
24 A. Well, at first he had to sit on the front of
25 the APC and the Bosnian Serbs would drive this APC on
1 the road and through the woods, and he had to call for
2 the Muslims to come to the UN, that it was safe, and he
3 had to shoot them when he saw them.
4 Later on he had to do the same thing but not
5 with an AK-47, but just shouting into the woods that it
6 was safe for them to come out and join the UN.
7 Q. Who told Sergeant Mulder that he had to shoot
8 the Muslims who were coming out of the woods?
9 A. Those were the Bosnian Serbs who were on one
10 side of the road, facing -- facing the woods where the
11 Muslims were at that time.
12 Q. And who told Sergeant Mulder that he,
13 Sergeant Mulder, had to shoot the Muslims?
14 A. Well, he told me that it was told by the
15 driver and the other guys that were on the APC.
16 Q. Now, what did Major Malinic say to that
18 A. Well, he said he wasn't the one who could do
19 anything with this complaint, he had to inform his
20 superior, which was a colonel called Beara.
21 Q. Now, let me ask you this question, Captain:
22 At some point in time, while you were in this vicinity,
23 did you order your soldiers to take the APCs that had
24 been detained and returned to Potocari?
25 A. Well, I asked this Major Zoran why we
1 couldn't go back to Potocari to escort another convoy
2 towards Kladanj, because we were held over there. He
3 told me that there were a lot of other battalions
4 gathering around the area of Srebrenica because there
5 were a lot of Muslims in the woods, that they didn't
6 expect that many Muslims.
7 Q. Did --
8 A. Sorry. I'm just waiting for the
10 Q. All right.
11 A. He told me that it was -- that he didn't have
12 any influence on those troops and it was better for our
13 own safety to stay with him, at his place, at that
15 Q. Did you direct two of your APCs that had been
16 detained at the roadblock, nevertheless, to return to
18 A. Well, there were no APCs, they were just
19 light Mercedes vehicles. We had four Mercedes vehicles
20 with us at that time, and I ordered three of them, with
21 UN troops, to go towards Nova Kasaba and try to reach
23 Q. What happened to those soldiers and what
24 happened to those vehicles?
25 A. Well, about 200 metres, they were stopped by
1 men carrying AK-47s, they were pointed at their heads,
2 and they had to all go back to the school in just one
3 Mercedes instead of three. They took two Mercedes.
4 And they came back with just one Mercedes.
5 Q. What did you then decide to do?
6 A. I decided to stay at the school, report in
7 headquarters at Potocari that another two vehicles were
8 stolen, and I wanted guarantees from this Major Zoran
9 that he would be able to guarantee a safe way back to
11 Q. Now, while you were at the school or in the
12 area of the roadblock, did you see stolen UN APCs
13 driven by Bosnian Serb soldiers, dressed in stolen UN
15 A. Yes. There was one APC that was driven by a
16 Bosnian Serb, wearing a blue helmet.
17 Q. Did you spend the night at the location of
18 this particular school?
19 A. Yes, I did, sir.
20 Q. That night, did you hear any gunfire?
21 A. Yes, there was a lot of gunfire, there was a
22 machine-gun, but they used it not the way we were told,
23 just to make a few rounds. There were about 100
24 rounds, and then they stopped, and then another 100
25 rounds. So it was a long machine-gun fire we heard.
1 Q. Were you able to tell the direction from
2 which that fire was coming?
3 A. No, we were not.
4 Q. How far away from this school, that is
5 identified in Prosecutor's Exhibit 87, was the football
6 pitch at Nova Kasaba?
7 A. About 800, 900 metres, I think.
8 MR. HARMON: Now, let me ask the usher once
9 again to please put Prosecutor's Exhibit 87 on the
11 Q. And let me ask you, Captain Egbers, while you
12 were detained at this school, did you have an
13 opportunity to inspect a small building that was
14 located on the compound where you were being detained?
15 A. Yes, sir. The next day I was able to check
16 this little building for a few minutes [indicates],
17 where they were holding Muslims.
18 MR. HARMON: For the record, Captain Egbers
19 has pointed to a small building. It appears to be a
20 white dot on the road leading from the main road to
21 Nova Kasaba, the road then leads from that main road to
22 the school, there is a small white building in the
23 centre of the page.
24 Q. Now, could you tell the Judges, please,
25 Captain Egbers, your observations at that particular
2 A. Well, there was a fence, and behind the fence
3 there were about 30 Muslim men sitting and waiting, and
4 a few of them were wounded. One of them was wounded in
5 the belly and another one had a blue face.
6 Q. How long did you remain at the location where
7 you made these observations?
8 A. A few minutes. They wouldn't -- in the
9 beginning we couldn't enter the building, and on day
10 number 2, we were allowed to check in for a few minutes
11 because we were complaining about the gunshots.
12 Q. And then what happened?
13 A. Later on that day, when I was making contact
14 with Potocari, the school had been shot by a few rounds
15 of just a rifle. We don't know where it came from, but
16 the Bosnian Serbs certainly reacted on this fire.
17 Q. How did they react?
18 A. Well, at first they fired a few mortars; then
19 they fired with their machine-guns on top of their
20 APCs; and then they took out two boys from this
21 building and forced them as a shield towards, they
22 thought, where the firing was coming from.
23 Q. Were these boys Muslim boys?
24 A. Yes, they were, sir.
25 Q. Did you see these boys return later?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, I saw them return, and they were locked
2 up again. And they told us that they couldn't find the
4 Q. Okay. Now, at some point in time, did a man
5 arrive at this location who was identified as Colonel
7 A. Yes, sir. He drove in a normal, personal
8 car, and I approached him with my letter of complaint,
9 as you call it that way. I introduced myself. I told
10 him that we were held at a location and that we had to
11 go back to Potocari to escort other convoys, and I
12 asked him whether he could take care of the fact that
13 we could be brought back to Potocari or escorted back
14 to Potocari safely.
15 Q. What happened then?
16 A. He said he would look into the matter and he
17 would contact us through this Major Zoran.
18 Q. Were you later contacted by Major Zoran?
19 A. No, we were not. We were just -- we had to
20 stay there, and he didn't say anything to us, so that's
21 when I negotiated with Potocari, our headquarters,
22 because of the fact that we were dressed in green
23 T-shirts and green trousers, and the Bosnian Serbs were
24 wearing our gear, our blue helmets, our armoured
25 vests. So there was no difference between peacekeepers
1 and Bosnian Serbs. I thought we had to leave the place
2 as soon as possible. That's when I asked clearance
3 from Potocari to leave the two UN Mercedes behind at
4 the school and asked for transportation in one of their
5 APCs towards Potocari.
6 Q. Were you transported back to Potocari in a
7 Bosnian Serb military vehicle?
8 A. I was, sir.
9 Q. Now --
10 A. It was a BOV, with four large wheels, and
11 they were bringing us back towards the same road, of
12 course, towards Bratunac and then to the enclave.
13 Q. When you say "BOV," I'm not familiar with
14 that term, and I don't think the Judges are either.
15 Could you explain what a BOV is?
16 A. It's a troop transportation vehicle, armed --
17 armoured, with a machine-gun on top, with no -- with
18 four big wheels they use to transport their troops.
19 Q. Now, in route back to Potocari, did you take
20 the same route up through Nova Kasaba, Konjevic Polje,
21 past Sandici, Kravica, Glogova, Bratunac, and then to
22 Potocari. Let me repeat for the benefit of the court
23 reporter. Did you travel along the route that took you
24 past Nova Kasaba, Konjevic Polje, Sandici, Kravica,
25 Glogova, Bratunac, and then to Potocari?
1 A. Yes, I did, sir.
2 Q. Could you describe to -- first of all, let me
3 ask you this question: Did you pass the football field
4 at Nova Kasaba again?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Could you describe to the Judges what you saw
7 at that particular location?
8 A. There were no men left on the football
9 field. The football field was empty.
10 Q. Did you make any other significant
11 observations in route back to Potocari that you can
12 tell the Judges about?
13 A. I saw a lot of luggage burning on the side of
14 the road. I saw a lot of infantry facing the woods
15 where the Muslims -- they thought the Muslims should
16 be. And I saw one dead body lying on the road we were
17 travelling on.
18 Q. Are you able to describe more fully the dead
20 A. It was an old man, still carrying his
21 rucksack, laying on his back in the middle of the
23 Q. All right. Thank you very much, Captain
25 MR. HARMON: Your Honours, I've concluded my
1 direct examination of Captain Egbers.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
3 Captain Egbers, you will now be asked to
4 answer the questions of the Defence counsel.
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
6 Your Honours, my learned friends.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Petrusic:
8 Q. Good morning, Captain Egbers. On the 8th of
9 July, late in the afternoon, you received the order and
10 started for Srebrenica and the observation post.
11 A. Yes, I did.
12 Q. You set off to identify, to establish, the
13 line of confrontation between the Serb and the Muslim
15 A. That was my first -- that's correct.
16 Q. And at a distance of some four kilometres
17 before that place, Muslim soldiers threw hand grenades
18 at your vehicles.
19 A. That's correct as well.
20 Q. After that you headed for the Bravo Company
21 in Srebrenica.
22 A. That's correct, sir.
23 Q. And there you could see very well what was
24 happening in the area of Srebrenica.
25 A. Well, that's not totally correct. At first I
1 had to tell my Captain Groen at the time where the
2 confrontation line between the Bosnian Serbs and
3 Muslims was, without being taken by the Bosnian Muslims
4 in their blocking position. When they threw grenades
5 at my two APCs, I decided to go back to this Captain
6 Groen and reported that I couldn't stay there without
7 being taken by the Muslims to -- to act in their
8 blocking position. So Captain Groen told me to go to
9 another place nearby, not on his compound but towards
10 the place I've said on the map, it's called blocking
11 position 1, and when I was there I could see in the
12 south of the enclave.
13 Q. That evening you spotted a number of groups
14 of Muslim combatants.
15 A. I did, sir.
16 Q. They were wearing camouflage or Ukrainian
18 A. Well, a few were wearing pieces of Ukrainian
19 uniforms, but most of them were dressed in civilian
21 Q. And your battalion was also a part of the UN
22 mission, wasn't it, the Dutch Battalion?
23 A. The Dutch battalion was a part of UNPROFOR,
25 Q. No, my question was about the Ukrainian
1 battalion, which also made part of the UN mission,
2 didn't it?
3 A. It did.
4 Q. As to the armament of those groups, or rather
5 Muslim soldiers that you could see, they were carrying
6 automatic rifles, AK-47s, and machine-guns, weren't
8 A. They were Muslim fighters who were carrying
9 those guns you've described.
10 Q. Captain Egbers, yesterday in your testimony
11 you mentioned anti-tank weapons. Are these weapons
12 RPG-7s? Is that what you meant?
13 A. Yesterday I testified that when I entered the
14 marketplace, there were anti-tank weapons and those
15 weapons were called RPG-7s.
16 Q. All these happenings you describe now
17 happened on the 8th of July. Now, on the 9th of July,
18 you received the order from your command to provide
19 support for the remaining four vehicles that you had.
20 A. Yes. On the 9th of July I was ordered to
21 support the four APCs who were on the marketplace in
23 Q. As you were leaving that position, the Muslim
24 soldiers opened fire on you, didn't they?
25 A. Yes, that's true. One of the gunners, we had
1 two gunners who were above the armour, was hit, not
2 seriously, but there was gunfire at us from the
3 Muslims. That's correct, sir.
4 Q. Captain Egbers, the Medecins Sans Frontiers
5 evacuated the Srebrenica hospital. Could you tell us
6 if that happened on the 10th of July?
7 A. Well, it happened on the same day the two
8 Dutch F-16s attacked [sic] the enclave and we could go
9 back to Bravo Company. And before the Bosnian Serbs
10 entered the city, we took the sick and ill from the
11 hospital in our vehicle and drove with them towards
13 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. You said two Dutch
14 F-16s attacked the enclave --
15 A. No, they supported us, that is, close air
17 JUDGE RIAD: It says here "Two Dutch F-16s
18 attacked the enclave."
19 A. That was not correct, sir. They carried out
20 a close air support mission. And on that day, when
21 that was finished, we could go to the compound of the
22 Bravo Company, and then at that time Doctors Without
23 Borders, should I call it this way, they told us or
24 they asked us whether it was safe to go to the hospital
25 and take the patients, and asked us to move those
1 patients towards Potocari.
2 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
3 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. And apart from this close air support that
5 day, was that the only air support that was provided in
6 the protected area?
7 A. It was the only thing I saw.
8 Q. In your vehicle you drove some sick. Do you
9 mean the patients who were sick and lying there in the
10 Srebrenica hospital, or were there amongst them also
11 wounded people, people who had sustained woundings
12 during one of those days, as of the 6th of July
14 A. There were only sick people, as well as
15 mentally ill people, as well as women who were carrying
16 babies on my vehicle, and I don't know whether there
17 were wounded from shelling which happened from the 6th
18 of July.
19 Q. Captain Egbers, in your testimony you said
20 that the Serbs -- the Serb soldiers had surrounded the
21 enclave so tightly that even your colleagues, your
22 officers, fellow officers who had been on leave, could
23 not come back to the enclave, that the Serbs would not
24 let them get into the enclave.
25 A. That's correct, sir.
1 Q. Members of two SAS units were not members of
2 the UN peace force, were they?
3 A. I don't know, sir.
4 Q. But the members of these two British special
5 units, do you know, were you aware, of their presence
6 in the enclave?
7 A. Yes, they were in the enclave, sir.
8 Q. Let me just clarify. To my previous question
9 you said that you did not know whether they were
10 members -- whether they were part of the peace corps,
11 of the peace force.
12 A. Well, they were staying at HQ from DutchBat.
13 So they were wearing blue helmets, but of course they
14 were not from our battalion. But they were in the
16 Q. And they arrived in the enclave right before
17 the 9th of July, didn't they, on the eve of the 9th of
18 the July?
19 A. They were for a few months in the enclave.
20 They were -- a few months we've spoken to them, I'd
21 seen them a lot.
22 Q. Captain Egbers, your conversation with Major
23 Malinic -- no. Let me rephrase this.
24 Did Major Malinic wait for Colonel Beara to
25 authorise your departure from Nova Kasaba?
1 A. He only told me that he had to talk with his
2 superior about us and we had to wait for him.
3 Q. So that superior was Colonel Beara.
4 A. I think that this colonel was the chief, the
5 boss, of this Major Zoran. That's what he told me.
6 Q. So you saw Colonel Beara, you talked to him.
7 Did you happen to see the emblem, the insignia that he
8 had, if he had any on his uniform?
9 A. He only wore a green infantry uniform, with
10 his rank in yellow on it. He didn't have any wolf
11 emblems or anything like that on his uniform, sir.
12 Q. You spent quite a long time there, the whole
13 afternoon and the next day. Could you perhaps draw
14 some conclusions as to what unit Major Malinic came
15 from and thereby Colonel Beara too? What unit? Was
16 that some special unit that they belonged to?
17 A. I only saw German Shepherd dogs that were at
18 the school. I've talked to this Major about his unit,
19 and he told me that he was in charge of three
20 battalions that normally would surround Sarajevo, and
21 that he had to take one battalion and report, or
22 something like that, at the surroundings of
23 Srebrenica. He was very well informed. On his desk
24 was a map of the enclave, and all the observation posts
25 were on this map. He knew what he was doing there.
1 But he never told me from which unit he was.
2 Q. Captain Egbers, in your testimony you said
3 that the Bosnian Muslim army was poorly dressed and
4 poorly armed. In your testimony you also drew certain
5 conclusions, since you are an officer yourself. And I
6 should like to ask you something which has to do with
7 those conclusions that you might have drawn.
8 The Bosnian Muslim army was concentrated in
9 Susnjari on the 10th and 11th of July and made a
10 breakthrough the encirclement and reached Tuzla, some
11 4.000 or 5.000 armed combatants. Could you tell us,
12 from your point of view, that is, what do you, as a
13 military man, think? How is it possible that such
14 poorly organised, poorly dressed, poorly equipped
15 troops succeeded in making that breakthrough? How
16 could it do that?
17 A. Well, I think they gathered all of the
18 weapons in front of the party who had left the enclave,
19 and perhaps the Bosnian Serbs weren't prepared for it.
20 I don't know. But what I saw, perhaps it wasn't the
21 head of the men who would leave the enclave, perhaps I
22 saw what was behind it, and they were very badly armed,
23 almost no arms at all, and very -- and dressed in
24 civilian clothes.
25 Q. Thank you, Captain Egbers.
1 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
2 I have no further questions. Thank you.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Petrusic.
4 Mr. Harmon, would you like to respond?
5 Please proceed.
6 MR. HARMON: With just a few questions, Your
8 Re-examined by Mr. Harmon:
9 Q. You were asked by my learned friend about the
10 Ukrainian battalion being part of the UN mission.
11 Within the Srebrenica enclave, was there a Ukrainian
12 battalion that was part of the UN mission?
13 A. No, sir, there was not.
14 Q. Where did the Ukrainian part of the UN
15 mission quarter itself?
16 A. It was in the enclave of Zepa, in the south
17 of our enclave, Srebrenica.
18 Q. You were also asked by my friend a question
19 about your armoured personnel carrier being shot at by
20 the Muslims. I think it was, and correct me if I'm
21 wrong, on the 9th of July; is that correct?
22 A. It was on the first day that I had to go
23 south and make contact with Captain Groen.
24 Q. So you were essentially at a blocking
25 position as the Serb army advanced into the enclave; is
1 that correct?
2 A. That's correct. But before that I -- because
3 OP Echo and OP Foxtrot fell, the company commander in
4 the south didn't know what was entering the enclave.
5 So he told me to take two APCs and try to find the line
6 of confrontation without being taken by one of the
8 Q. Now, let me ask you, the expectation of the
9 Bosnian Muslims within the Srebrenica enclave was that
10 the UN battalion was there for their protection; is
11 that correct?
12 A. That's correct, sir.
13 Q. And as you took your APC from the direction
14 of the southern part of the enclave, did you travel
15 with your APC, then, away from the southern part of the
16 enclave, in the direction of Srebrenica?
17 A. I was -- when I saw those 50 infantry men
18 entering the south of Srebrenica, I reported it to
19 Captain Groen and he told me, "Go into your APCs and
20 try to support them." And I drove away from the
21 Muslims. Perhaps they thought that I was going to
22 Potocari, or anything else, and that I would leave them
24 Q. In thinking about why you received fire from
25 the Muslims, do you have an opinion as to why they
1 fired at you?
2 A. I couldn't explain to them why I was
3 leaving. I had to leave immediately to support the
4 other four APCs, and that's why they thought that I was
5 leaving them alone and we were finishing the blocking
6 positions. But we didn't, we went to the city of
7 Srebrenica. So that's why I think the lack of
8 communication, and they were angry, and of course they
9 were disappointed about what was going on in the south
10 of the enclave, that they would fire a few rounds at
12 Q. So they were angry at you because they
13 thought you were abandoning them at the southern part
14 of the enclave; is that correct?
15 A. That's correct, sir.
16 Q. All right. Thank you very much, Captain
18 MR. HARMON: I have no additional questions,
19 Your Honours. Thank you.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
21 Judge Wald, would you like to ask your
22 questions, if you have some.
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE WALD: Captain Egbers, I want to go
25 back to the incident that Sergeant Mulder reported to
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
1 you when you were in Nova Kasaba. As I recall your
2 testimony, he said that he had been forced to go in a
3 vehicle, with Serbs dressed in blue helmets, and to
4 call out to people that it was okay to come in and
6 Did he tell you, in fact, how many times that
7 he was successful in doing that? In other words, did
8 he give you any notion of how many people did actually
9 come out from the woods and answer to his call, if any?
10 A. He did not succeed. Fortunately no one left
11 the woods.
12 JUDGE WALD: So therefore he never was put in
13 the position of having to shoot any of them if they did
14 come out, even though you reported that that was what
15 he had been told he had to do.
16 A. That's correct, ma'am.
17 JUDGE WALD: Did he give you any idea of any
18 specific threats that were held over his head to do
19 that, such as whether or not they suggested they would
20 kill him if he didn't do that?
21 A. He did, ma'am. They pointed their AK-47s all
22 the time at us.
23 JUDGE WALD: And said, "You do this or
25 A. Yes, ma'am.
1 JUDGE WALD: Did he or any of the other ten
2 UN soldiers that were being held at that time say that
3 others besides him were asked to do that kind of duty?
4 A. No, ma'am, nobody. Only he.
5 JUDGE WALD: Only he was asked. Okay. Thank
7 JUDGE RIAD: Judge Wald.
8 JUDGE WALD: That's all.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
10 Captain Egbers, just to throw some more light
11 on your already clear testimony, I'd like to ask you
12 just a few questions.
13 Just to start where Judge Wald stopped
14 concerning Sergeant Mulder's incident. Did you report
15 this to the higher authorities, to the commanders of
16 the Bosnian Serb divisions?
17 A. I had contact with this Major Zoran, and I
18 complained to him about this action. And it was all
19 filled out on this written statement, in
20 Bosnian/Serb -- so it was in Bosnian/Serb. I
21 complained to him about this incident, but also about
22 the stolen gear from the UN and the use of it by the
23 Bosnian Serbs.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Yes. Was there any action taken
25 by them to restore what was stolen or to answer you
1 about this violation, by calling the Muslims out to
2 shoot them? Did your complaint receive any answer or
3 any action?
4 A. No, sir.
5 JUDGE RIAD: Was it repeated or was it the
6 only incident, where you were being used to -- either
7 your things taken, your clothes taken, or used to
8 bring -- to pull out the Muslims for any purpose?
9 A. The vehicles that were stolen, that happened
10 two days -- during two days. The helmets and the
11 armoured vests, those incidents happened all the time.
12 And the Mulder incident just happened once. But total
13 we lost about 12 or 14 UN vehicles, and APCs were used
14 by the Bosnian Serbs.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Now, to go to the football
16 field, you passed by it, I think, on the 12th, near
17 Nova Kasaba. It was full of Muslims with their hands
18 tied behind their necks. Was that right?
19 A. I couldn't see whether they were tied or not,
20 but their hands were on their neck.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Their hands were on their neck
22 anyhow. All their hands were on their neck, or were
23 just some people brushing their hair?
24 A. All their hands were on their neck, and they
25 were lined up. So it was organised.
1 JUDGE RIAD: It was organised. Then you
2 passed again and you found nobody at the football
3 field. You found it empty.
4 A. I did, sir.
5 JUDGE RIAD: That was a day later, two days
7 A. One day later.
8 JUDGE RIAD: One day later. Was there any
9 sign of what happened there, where these people went?
10 Under the ground? Over the ground?
11 A. It was almost dark and I couldn't see
12 anything unusual on the football field at that time.
13 JUDGE RIAD: No blood, nothing?
14 A. I didn't see that.
15 JUDGE RIAD: You said you saw only luggage
16 burning. Was it on the field or beside it?
17 A. Not only on the field, but the entire road to
18 Bratunac, there was places of luggage burning.
19 JUDGE RIAD: Do you think that that was the
20 luggage of the people in the field?
21 A. I'm sure about that.
22 JUDGE RIAD: But you never inquired about
23 where the people went?
24 A. I did not, sir.
25 JUDGE RIAD: And don't you think how many
1 there were when you looked at the field?
2 A. I saw a few hundred men.
3 JUDGE RIAD: A few hundred. Now, you also
4 mentioned at a certain stage that two Muslim boys were
5 used as shields when they went out, but the boys came
6 back. Was this a recurring incident, where they would
7 use people as shields, Muslim prisoners as shields?
8 A. I've only seen this happening once. I don't
9 know whether they had done it before.
10 JUDGE RIAD: And how old were the boys?
11 A. I think about 14 or 15 years old.
12 JUDGE RIAD: They were prisoners. They were
13 held prisoners.
14 A. They were held prisoners in the house that I
15 pointed out.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Were there many children of that
17 age held prisoner?
18 A. They were the youngest. Most of the Muslims
19 who were in that building were around 30, 40, 50 years
21 JUDGE RIAD: But no women prisoners.
22 A. No, sir, no women.
23 JUDGE RIAD: One of the last questions you
24 were asked by Defence counsel was about what you said,
25 the poor weapons and the poor dress of the Muslim
1 combatants. Being on the area, what was the source of
2 weapons to the Muslims and to the Serbs?
3 A. I saw -- before the enclave fell, I was in
4 the south and I saw there Muslims carrying weapons.
5 They were -- I saw four, five, or six machine-guns; I
6 saw AK-47s; I saw, during the fall of the enclave, I
7 saw RPG-7s, and of course they had hand grenades.
8 Bosnian Serbs, however, had vehicles, with
9 anti-aircraft guns, had troop transportations,
10 ambulances. Every soldier had a weapon. Not all the
11 Muslims carried weapons because there were no weapons
12 for all the men in the enclave.
13 But I saw some Bosnian Muslims, groups, who
14 were armed with the weapons I just told you --
15 JUDGE RIAD: What weapons? Sorry.
16 A. Those AK-47s, a few machine-guns, and this
17 one piece of artillery, which never fired.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Which never fired.
19 A. Never fired, sir.
20 JUDGE RIAD: But there was a prohibition of
21 weapon delivery from outside, wasn't there?
22 A. There was.
23 JUDGE RIAD: For both sides.
24 A. No just -- the Muslims were not allowed to
25 have weapons inside the enclave.
1 JUDGE RIAD: I see. Thank you very much.
2 THE WITNESS: You're welcome.
3 JUDGE RIAD: I think this would be the end of
4 your testimony, and we would like to thank you very
5 much for your contribution.
6 We'll have a break now, and if there are any
7 exhibits, you are welcome to mention them.
8 MR. HARMON: Yes. Thank you very much, Judge
9 Riad. I have four exhibits I would like to tender into
10 evidence. Prosecutor's Exhibit 87, which is the aerial
11 image that Captain Egbers testified about; Prosecutor's
12 Exhibit 88, which is a photograph of the school;
13 Prosecutor's Exhibit 89, which is a large map of the
14 enclave, showing the Charlie Company and Bravo Company;
15 and Prosecutor's Exhibit 90, which is a small map
16 showing the blocking position taken by Captain Egbers.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Petrusic, any comment, or
18 any exhibit you want?
19 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] The Defence
20 does not object to the exhibits tendered by the
21 Prosecutor, and we do not have any exhibits to tender.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Mr. Petrusic.
23 Thank you again, Captain Egbers. And we'll
24 adjourn for 20 minutes. Thank you.
25 --- Recess taken at 10.40 a.m.
1 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good
4 morning. For the record, let me just state that I will
5 resume my capacity as Presiding Judge of the Trial
6 Chamber. Thank you to my colleagues who've enabled the
7 hearing to go on.
8 Witness, can you hear me?
9 THE WITNESS: [No audible response]
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 You are now going to read the solemn declaration that
12 the usher will give you.
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 You may be seated. Good morning to the interpreter,
18 who is also under an oath.
19 Witness, thank you very much for coming to
20 testify before the Tribunal. You are now going to
21 answer questions that will be put to you by
22 Mr. Cayley.
23 Mr. Cayley, you have the floor.
24 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Welcome back to us. Good morning, Your Honours; good
1 morning, counsel.
2 WITNESS: ANDERE STOELINGA
3 Examined by Mr. Cayley:
4 Q. Mr. Stoelinga, before we begin, we spoke
5 before. Between us, there is an interpreter, and there
6 are a number of interpreters, so if you can try and
7 remember to pause between my question and your answer,
8 I will try to pace things quite slowly so that a pause
9 naturally flows from my question.
10 Your name is Andere Stoelinga.
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. You were born in 1973; is that correct?
13 A. That is correct, too.
14 Q. And I think you joined the Royal Dutch army
15 in January of 1994 on a two-year engagement.
16 A. That's also correct.
17 Q. And I think that your specialisation in the
18 army was as a motorcycle dispatch rider; is that
20 A. That's correct too.
21 Q. You left the army in January of 1997 as a
22 private first class, and I think you're now a student;
23 is that correct?
24 A. That's also correct.
25 Q. Did you serve with DutchBat III in the
1 Srebrenica enclave from January of 1995 until July of
3 A. That's also correct.
4 Q. Am I correct to say that in July of 1995 you
5 were the driver of an armoured personnel carrier from
6 the Dutch Battalion, based at observation post Kilo in
7 the enclave?
8 A. Yes, I was.
9 Q. Could you just rise from your seat and look
10 at Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E and just point to the Judges
11 the location of your observation post in the enclave?
12 A. Observation post Kilo is here [indicates].
13 MR. CAYLEY: Let the record show that the
14 witness has pointed to OP Kilo, which is located within
15 the southern portion of the enclave, and the witness
16 has pointed this out on Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E.
17 Q. Am I right in saying that on the 8th of July
18 of 1995 your observation post was overrun by Bosnian
19 Serb forces?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. And I think in accordance with the orders
22 that had been given to your observation post commander,
23 you surrendered to the Serbs and you went with them; is
24 that correct?
25 A. That is also correct.
1 Q. What weapon were you armed with at the time
2 that the observation post was overrun?
3 A. My personal armour, plus an Uzi.
4 Q. And when the observation post was overrun,
5 what happened to that weapon?
6 A. At first I took it with me, and then after
7 300 or 400 metres we had to stop and give our weapons
8 away to the Serbs.
9 Q. Now, I think Serbs escorted you from
10 observation post Kilo to the town of Milici; is that
12 A. That is also correct.
13 Q. And I think that you, in fact, drove the
14 armoured personnel carrier, the Dutch armoured
15 personnel carrier, with the crew of the observation
16 post in it to Milici?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you just point to the town of Milici on
19 the map in front of you.
20 A. It's right here [indicates].
21 MR. CAYLEY: Let the witness show that the
22 witness has pointed to the town of Milici on
23 Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E, which is a town in the
24 southern portion of that exhibit, on the road between
25 Vlasenica and Nova Kasaba.
1 Q. Mr. Stoelinga, where did the Serbs take you
2 in Milici?
3 A. They took us to what they told us was an old
4 police station.
5 Q. What equipment did you still have with you?
6 You've said in your testimony that at this time you had
7 lost your personal weapon. What other personal
8 military equipment did you have with you?
9 A. Everybody still had their flak jackets,
10 helmets, and personal belongings.
11 Q. Can you tell the Court what happened to these
12 when you got to the old police station at Milici?
13 A. I had to park the APC. We got out of the
14 APC, everyone, and there were several Serbs there.
15 They told us to give our flak jackets to them and our
17 Q. What colour was your helmet that you handed
18 to the Serbs?
19 A. It was the colour blue.
20 Q. Now, at the old police station, how many
21 members of the Dutch Battalion were placed there by the
23 A. In the beginning, only the crew of OP Kilo,
24 and those were ten guys of ours.
25 Q. How well did the Serbs treat you at the
1 police station?
2 A. The first time, as we stopped at the parking
3 lot, they made us give up our flak jackets and our
4 helmets. But after that, a commander of them showed
5 and he reassured us that nothing would happen to us.
6 Q. Now, you were the APC driver. Where did you
7 park your armoured personnel carrier?
8 A. I parked the APC on a parking lot in front of
9 the old police station.
10 Q. Did you notice anything about the APC over
11 the next few days?
12 A. After we had gotten out of the APC, three or
13 four Serbs covered it with a plastic cover so it
14 wouldn't be able to be seen from the air.
15 Q. I think around the 12th or 13th of July, you
16 were actually joined by the crew of observation post
17 Charlie; is that correct?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. So how many Dutch soldiers altogether were
20 there at the police station by this time?
21 A. About 20, because I don't remember the exact
22 number of OP Charlie.
23 Q. Do you recall what date OP Charlie joined
25 A. It was after five days, I believe, that we
1 had been there.
2 Q. And you were there on the 8th of July, so it
3 would have been the 13th of July or thereabouts.
4 A. Approximately.
5 Q. Now, after OP Charlie joined you, I want you
6 to recall a time when you were sitting by a river,
7 cooling your feet, it was a hot day, with members,
8 other Dutch Battalion soldiers, and this was a river
9 near to the police station. Can you tell the Judges
10 what you saw from that location?
11 A. While we were sitting there, on the other
12 side of the river there was a road, and on that road
13 there were driving buses and trucks. And in the buses
14 and in the trucks there were only females and
15 children. And there were little convoys, in the
16 beginning, led by a military vehicle of the UN, but
17 after a few hours, there were no vehicles of the UN
18 anymore with them.
19 Q. So I'm right in saying that you saw a number
20 of convoys with women and children on board. The first
21 convoys that you saw had an escort with them from the
22 DutchBat; is that correct?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. And then the later convoys that you saw, they
25 had no escort with them at all; is that what you
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, I think on the 15th of July, you were
4 told, all of the DutchBat soldiers at the police
5 station, to get onto a bus; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Who accompanied you in that bus?
8 A. There was one Serb who accompanied us, and
9 the driver was a civilian.
10 Q. You say there was one Serb who accompanied
11 you. Who was this Serb?
12 A. It was one of the guys of the -- who was also
13 every day at the old police station.
14 Q. Was he armed?
15 A. Yes, he had his AK with him.
16 Q. And by that, you mean an AK-47.
17 A. A 47.
18 Q. Was he in a military uniform?
19 A. Yes, he was.
20 Q. Now, can you describe to the Judges the
21 journey that you took from Milici?
22 A. As we moved, we went from Milici to the
23 north --
24 Q. If you could rise, Mr. Stoelinga, and just
25 show the Judges.
1 A. We moved from Milici, up to the north, on
2 this road [indicates].
3 Q. If you can just wait one moment.
4 MR. CAYLEY: The witness is indicating on
5 Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E that the bus he was on drove
6 north, from Milici, up towards Nova Kasaba and Konjevic
8 Q. If you can sit now. Let's talk about the
9 first part of that journey. Can you describe to the
10 Judges what you saw?
11 A. The bus was driving in the beginning quite
12 fast, but after a while, there was a convoy of tanks
13 and other APC vehicles of the Serbs in front of us.
14 The bus driver tried to get past them, but it didn't
15 work so he had to slow down and we had to follow the
17 Q. Now, on these tanks and APCs, could you see
18 any soldiers at all?
19 A. There were several soldiers who were sitting
20 on the vehicles, and other gear. Some bicycles.
21 Q. Can you describe to the Judges how the Serb
22 soldiers that you saw sitting on these vehicles, how
23 they were dressed?
24 A. Some of them were -- most of them had their
25 own uniforms, but some of them were wearing the Dutch
1 T-shirts and Dutch uniform jackets, and a few of them
2 had on our helmets, the blue helmets, and also the blue
4 Q. Now, when you are referring to these
5 individuals sitting on vehicles, you're referring to
6 the armoured personnel carriers and the tanks that you
7 saw travelling in front of you. Do you recall
8 approximately how many tanks and armoured personnel
9 vehicles were in front of you on this road?
10 A. It's difficult to say because they were
11 driving in front of us, but it was between 10 and 15
13 Q. Now, while you were driving along this road,
14 did you see any other military personnel?
15 A. Yes. Alongside the road there were small
16 groups of Serbs, about two and three, and they were
17 sitting on the side of the road, and it looked like
18 they were having a break, in small groups. And in
19 total, maybe 30 or 40 men.
20 Q. Can you describe their appearance to the
22 A. Well, they were sitting -- they were lying
23 down a little bit, like they had been tired and now had
24 the first time to rest.
25 Q. Now, I think when you got to the junction
1 just before Konjevic Polje you turned off to the right,
2 and if you could indicate to the Judges the route that
3 you took.
4 A. [Indicates]
5 MR. CAYLEY: Let the record show that the
6 witness is indicating on Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E that
7 he took a route which went right at a T-junction,
8 towards the town of Bratunac, after the town, village,
9 of Nova Kasaba.
10 Q. Now, can you explain to the Judges and
11 describe to them the journey that the bus took
12 immediately after it entered the road to Bratunac.
13 A. Would you please repeat the question.
14 Q. You've just described to the Judges, using
15 your finger, that the bus you were on turned right on
16 the road towards Bratunac. Can you describe to the
17 Judges that journey, what you saw from where you were
18 sitting on the bus?
19 A. In the beginning -- at the first point, the
20 Serb who was driving alongside of the bus, he reacted
21 really nervous. He tried to load his weapon, which he
22 didn't succeed in. Then he tried to do it with his
23 feet. And that was a very nervous reaction by him. At
24 that point we thought that maybe something was wrong --
25 Q. If you could just stop there for a moment.
1 You said that the Serb who was driving alongside the
2 bus -- you said there were two Serbs in the bus, the
3 driver and a soldier. Which was it?
4 A. It was the soldier who was in the bus.
5 Q. Please carry on.
6 A. At a given point we smelled something. It
7 was a smell I didn't recall at that point, but
8 everybody knew that something was going to happen. And
9 at that point we saw a big truck, about -- just a big
10 truck with a container on top of it. That container
11 was standing on the right side of the road, I was in
12 the bus on the right side, and the bus overtook the
13 still standing -- the truck which was standing still.
14 I had a good look to the right and saw in the
15 container, on the -- I couldn't look inside the
16 container because it was too high, but I could see the
17 bodies which were in them.
18 Q. Now, Mr. Stoelinga, do you recall how large
19 the container or bucket on the back of this truck was?
20 A. Well, it was a regular truck, so in my
21 recollection, it was about five to six metres long and
22 about two and a half metres wide and about one and a
23 half metres deep.
24 Q. Now, you say that you could see bodies. You
25 couldn't look inside but you could still see bodies.
1 How many bodies did you see?
2 A. I saw about seven or eight bodies. Those
3 were the bodies that were coming on top of -- which
4 were coming out of the container.
5 Q. Can you describe the appearance of those
6 bodies to the Judges?
7 A. The bodies that I saw, they were all swollen
8 and kind of bluish, and none of the bodies were -- all
9 of them were just wearing trousers.
10 Q. Were they male or female?
11 A. The bodies I saw were male.
12 Q. Now, I know it's difficult to assess, in a
13 situation like that, the age of the people that you
14 saw, but can you give an approximate age to the Judges
15 of the bodies that you saw?
16 A. I think the bodies were -- the average age of
17 the bodies that I saw at that point were about from 20
18 years until maybe about 40.
19 Q. Now, you say that they were wearing only
20 trousers, and by that do you mean that they were
21 stripped naked to the waist.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you recall whether they had any shoes on?
24 Do you recall?
25 A. No. I'm sure that -- they did not have any
1 shirts on.
2 Q. Now, you gave an answer no. Do you mean that
3 you can't recall?
4 A. I can't recall.
5 Q. Could you see the nature of any injury on
6 these bodies?
7 A. No, I couldn't.
8 Q. Now, you described a smell, a smell that you
9 could not recall from your memory. How strong was that
11 A. Very strong. It was -- it's a smell I won't
13 Q. Now, at the time, because of the level of the
14 smell, the intensity of this smell, did you make any
15 conclusions about the number of bodies in that truck?
16 A. At that time, not.
17 Q. Did you later think about what you'd seen and
18 what you'd smelled?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And what did you conclude later on?
21 A. My conclusion later on was that the container
22 of the truck probably was filled with bodies.
23 Q. Now, after you passed this truck on the right
24 side of the road, can you describe to the Judges what
25 you saw next?
1 A. The bus kept on driving, and at a given stage
2 he slowed down. There was one body lying on the road,
3 and the driver did not know what to do, to pass the
4 body or to stop. There were also several -- there were
5 two guys who were wearing a yellow jacket, and there
6 were two vehicles there which -- one looked like a
7 bulldozer and the other like a scrapper. And it looked
8 like they were cleaning up the street. So they were
9 standing next to the body and they were about to put
10 the body into the scrapper.
11 Q. When you talk about a scrapper, you're
12 speaking of a vehicle with a mechanical shovel on the
13 front of the vehicle. Can you answer that question?
14 We need to have an audible response.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, when you saw this taking place, you saw
17 this bulldozer and you saw a body on the side of the
18 road, what did you think was happening?
19 A. I thought that they were cleaning up the
20 street from -- they were cleaning up -- not cleaning
21 up, they were getting rid of the bodies.
22 Q. How did the other members of the Dutch
23 Battalion on that bus react when they saw all of this?
24 A. Some of us reacted to themselves, they didn't
25 look outside anymore. Others stood up and also tried
1 to see some more.
2 Q. Did you carry on looking?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, I think the bus then continued on for a
5 few hundred metres. And then can you describe to the
6 Judges what you saw then?
7 A. After that point, it was on the right side of
8 the road, there were small piles of clothing, and on
9 some piles there was a knife or keys and shoes. And
10 all the piles, they were lying in a direct line, with
11 every one in a range of a distance of about one metre.
12 Q. Just to make absolutely clear, for the
13 record, you saw piles of clothing at one-metre
14 intervals; is that correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And on some of those piles of clothing, you
17 saw a knife or keys or a pair of shoes.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. For how many metres did you see these piles
20 of clothing at intervals?
21 A. For about 200 or 300 metres.
22 Q. Were they placed in a messy fashion or were
23 they neatly piled? How did it look to you?
24 A. It looked to me like they were neatly piled.
25 Q. Now, you earlier testified that you'd seen a
1 truck with corpses on the top, and then you saw this
2 clothing neatly piled along the side of the road. What
3 did you think to yourself at the time?
4 A. At the time I didn't put those two things
5 together. That was afterwards.
6 Q. And what did you think afterwards?
7 A. I believe that the bodies in the truck
8 probably could have been the people who had to strip
9 off their clothes.
10 Q. Now, I think the bus drove on for five or ten
11 minutes, and then you saw something else. Can you
12 describe to the Judges what you saw?
13 A. I saw on the left side of the road, in about
14 a distance of 200 metres, other vehicles that were
15 cleaning up. There was a shovel and again a bulldozer,
16 and there was a truck also standing there. But the
17 distance was too great to see something accurate.
18 Q. Now, I want you just to go back for a moment
19 to the truck full of bodies and the piles of clothing
20 at intervals, and I wonder if you could indicate on the
21 map behind you, Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E, to the best of
22 your recollection, where you think you saw the truck
23 and the clothing on the side of the road.
24 A. To my recollection, it was between Kravica
25 and Glogova.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. The
2 interpreters cannot hear that.
3 MR. CAYLEY: I'll read it into the
4 transcript. The witness indicated that the location of
5 what he saw was on the road between -- the road that
6 runs between Konjevic Polje and Bratunac, and
7 specifically what he saw was between the villages of
8 Kravica and Glogova.
9 Q. Is that correct, what I've just said?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. I think you then drove on to Bratunac, and
12 you were eventually evacuated out of the enclave --
13 sorry, from Bratunac to Serbia, and then on to Croatia
14 and back home to the Netherlands; is that correct?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. Thank you very much, indeed, Mr. Stoelinga.
17 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I have no further
18 questions of the witness. I can now offer him for
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
21 very much, Mr. Cayley. You may sit down.
22 I believe it will be Mr. Petrusic who will
23 cross-examine you. Mr. Stoelinga, you will now answer
24 questions which the Defence for General Krstic, that
25 is, Mr. Petrusic, will ask you.
1 Yes, Mr. Petrusic.
2 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
3 Mr. President.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Petrusic:
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Stoelinga. Captain Groen
6 was the commander of the Company B, wasn't he?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Did he advise you that if Serb troops came
9 and took over the observation posts, that you should
10 decide to respond depending on the situation?
11 A. He didn't give that advice to me, but he gave
12 that advice to the observation post commander.
13 Q. I apologise. When I say "you", I mean the
14 unit you belonged to.
15 So in that situation, your commander decided
16 that you should head along together with the Serbs.
17 A. I believe that our captain tried to make
18 clear that -- he wasn't at the scene at that time, so
19 he didn't know what was going on. And he gave the
20 observation post commanders, who had the best insight
21 into the situation, the choice.
22 Q. So was it the commander of the observation
23 post then?
24 A. The commander of our observation post decided
25 to go along with the Serbs.
1 Q. And members of the army of Bosnian Serbs, did
2 they use any weapons or threats to use weapons on that
4 A. We had been under fire by an artillery piece
5 for six hours, and the guys -- the Serbs who overtook
6 our observation post didn't use firing weapons.
7 Q. Mr. Stoelinga, are you aware that at the
8 place where you saw that truck with the container that
9 you testified about, that is, whether any fighting had
10 taken place between the Serb and Muslim forces? Were
11 you aware of that?
12 A. I'm not aware of any fights in that part of
13 the enclave.
14 Q. Mr. Stoelinga, you were a soldier at the
15 time. Do you know what it means to take care of the
16 area, to sweep the area, to clean the area?
17 A. In what way do you mean "to clean the area"?
18 Q. After a combat, after a battle.
19 A. After a battle I think it's common sense to
20 get the people who were killed together and try to bury
22 Q. Mr. Stoelinga, thank you. I have no further
24 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Thank you,
25 Mr. President.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
2 Mr. Petrusic.
3 Mr. Cayley, do you have any supplementary
5 MR. CAYLEY: Just a couple, Mr. President.
6 Thank you.
7 Re-examined by Mr. Cayley:
8 Q. Mr. Stoelinga, my learned friend Mr. Petrusic
9 asked you a number of questions about these bodies that
10 you saw, and he asked you whether or not you'd seen any
11 fighting taking place in the area, to which you
12 answered no. Do you recall just saying that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, his suggestion in the questions that he
15 was asking you is that the soldiers, the individuals
16 that you saw in the back of that truck, those dead
17 bodies, were combatants. At the time of --
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Cayley, excuse me. I
19 see that Mr. Petrusic is on his feet.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President,
21 in my questions I did not claim anything at all. I was
22 not trying to lead or make any suggestions. And I'm
23 objecting to the question asked by Mr. Cayley.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
25 Mr. Cayley.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
1 MR. CAYLEY: If I could respond,
2 Mr. President, I think the inference was very clear to
3 everybody that Mr. Petrusic was suggesting that the
4 bodies that Mr. Stoelinga had seen were combatants. I
5 think that inference was what I understood, and I'm
6 sure that's what everybody else understood in the
7 courtroom, and I would like to ask the witness what he
8 thought at the time, whether or not these were people
9 who had been killed in combat.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 Mr. Cayley, you may ask your question.
12 You understand what Mr. Cayley has just
13 said. I believe that he's right, Mr. Petrusic.
14 Mr. Cayley, you may go on.
15 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 Mr. President, what I objected to was to what
17 Mr. Cayley said, that I claimed. I did not claim
18 that. And that is what I objected against, but of
19 course I shall gladly accept your suggestion.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes,
21 Mr. Cayley. Mr. Cayley, ask your question.
22 MR. CAYLEY:
23 Q. At the time, Mr. Stoelinga, when you saw
24 these bodies and you saw this clothing along the side
25 of the road, did you believe that these individuals
1 that you saw in the truck had been killed in combat?
2 A. No, I don't believe that, because in that
3 case I probably would have seen some weapons.
4 Q. How did you think these people were killed?
5 What did you think at the time?
6 A. I believe that they were executed.
7 Q. And why do you conclude that?
8 A. As part of the piles of the clothing and the
9 shoes, and because they -- none of the bodies was
10 wearing any shirts or anything. And in combat, you
11 would still be wearing something.
12 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President. I
13 have no further questions of the witness.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
15 Mr. Cayley.
16 Judge Riad.
17 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you,
18 Mr. President.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, Mr. Stoelinga.
21 Just to pursue the same question concerning the piles
22 of bodies in the truck, you mentioned that they were
23 swollen and blue. What did you mean by that? I mean,
24 swollen, were they fat people, having drunk a lot of
25 beer or what?
1 A. I believe that the bodies had been lying
2 there for some time, and they were in the heat of the
3 environment, it was about 30 degrees Celsius, and
4 that's the reason that I believe that they were a
5 little bit swollen and turned a little bluish.
6 JUDGE RIAD: So you just think it was the
7 result of the climate and so on.
8 A. Yes, and also because of the time.
9 JUDGE RIAD: And the blue colour did not give
10 you any special impression of torture or anything?
11 A. No.
12 JUDGE RIAD: No, it did not. What about the
13 clothes you found regularly distributed on the road?
14 Were they military clothes, or were they, if you
15 noticed, just civilian clothes.
16 A. They were civilian clothes.
17 JUDGE RIAD: They were civilian clothes. And
18 you mentioned that when you were, I think, sitting by
19 the river, with your feet in the water, you saw a
20 number of convoys with women and children. First with
21 an escort and then without an escort. Did you later
22 know anything about these convoys, whether from the
23 people who escorted them or without?
24 A. Later I heard that they probably were the
25 people who were deported from Potocari to another
1 destination. But I --
2 JUDGE RIAD: Did they arrive and where did
3 they go?
4 A. That I don't know because we saw them only on
5 the road for about 50 metres. So I have no clue about
6 their destination.
7 JUDGE RIAD: But from your colleagues who
8 accompanied them, the first convoys, did they take them
9 to a safe destination?
10 A. At that point we had no radio contact with
11 our own people, so I don't know if they got to where
12 they were going.
13 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned that you saw a
14 body lying on the road. That was the only body you
15 said you saw lying on the road.
16 A. It was the only body which was lying on the
18 JUDGE RIAD: Was he dressed?
19 A. No. He also was just wearing his trousers.
20 JUDGE RIAD: And no upper clothes.
21 A. No upper clothes and no shoes.
22 JUDGE RIAD: And no shoes. Thank you very
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
25 very much, Judge Riad.
1 Judge Wald, do you have any questions?
2 JUDGE WALD: Just a few.
3 As I understand it, when you saw the bodies
4 and you were returning toward Bratunac, this was July
5 15th; is that right? I think you testified to that
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE WALD: So in other words, this was a
9 couple of days after you had seen some of the earlier
10 convoys, when you were at the river.
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE WALD: How were you able -- I'm not
13 quite sure I understand how you were able to see the
14 bodies, the seven or eight bodies that you did, if you
15 couldn't see into the container and your particular
16 vehicle was trying to pass the other side. I know it
17 was on the same side you were on, on the right, but
18 were the bodies you could see coming out on the top?
19 How could you see them?
20 A. The bodies that I could see, they were coming
21 out of the top.
22 JUDGE WALD: They were, in other words, just
24 A. Yes.
25 JUDGE WALD: Okay. And you said that the
1 belongings were still -- or the possessions, shoes,
2 were still in neat little piles every few hundred
3 metres; is that right?
4 A. Yes. It was for about 200 or 300 metres, and
5 then the distance between the piles, they were neatly
6 formed piles.
7 JUDGE WALD: Okay. And it didn't appear that
8 they had been disturbed by anybody. They weren't
9 slopping around. They were all still in neat piles.
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE WALD: Now, Mr. Petrusic asked you
12 whether or not, as a former member of the military, you
13 were familiar with cleaning up operations after you'd
14 had a combat, and you said you were because it was
15 customary after there had been a battle to gather up
16 the dead for burial. In your experience, when that
17 happens, do they take -- do they disrobe or in any way
18 take the clothes off of the dead soldiers who have been
19 in the combat, or do they generally bury them with
20 their clothes they had on at the time?
21 A. I personally have never been in that
22 situation, but I don't presume that people would be
23 stripped of their clothing.
24 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
1 Mr. Stoelinga, I have a question. What time was it,
2 what time of the day was it when you covered that road
3 between Kravica and Glogova, more or less?
4 A. I believe it was around noon, about 12.00.
5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Around
6 noon. Very well. So there was plenty of light and you
7 really could see.
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Another
10 question. You spoke about trucks escorted and other
11 trucks. After you learned -- why were there some
12 trucks that were escorted and why were there some
13 trucks that didn't have any escort?
14 A. As I heard, it was in the beginning, the
15 people in Potocari, my battalion tried to escort every
16 group that was going out, but they were -- after a
17 while they were pulled out of their vehicles, and at
18 that point they said, "Okay. We can't accompany them
19 anymore because we don't have enough vehicles or enough
20 people to get lost in that direction."
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I believe
22 that you said that somebody had told you that. Who
23 were the persons who explained that to you?
24 A. That was after we got back to Holland, and it
25 was in the first debriefings that I heard that.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
2 Mr. Stoelinga, you have finished giving your evidence
3 before the International Criminal Tribunal. Thank you
4 very much. You are still young; you're a student. I
5 think you lived through all these horrible events, and
6 independent of who was responsible for them, yet I
7 believe you are in a very good position to explain to
8 people that injustice, wherever, is always a threat to
10 Are there, Mr. Cayley, any exhibits that have
11 to be settled or not?
12 MR. CAYLEY: No, there are not,
13 Mr. President.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] I should
15 nevertheless like to seize this opportunity to make it
16 quite clear as to the identity of the witness, because
17 at the beginning of the transcript, I saw another name,
18 that is Martin Van der Zwan and I see that this is
19 Mr. Stoelinga -- no. I believe that this has put right
20 already. It is Mr. Stoelinga.
21 Very well. Thank you very much. Thank you,
22 Mr. Stoelinga, once again. Thank you for coming to
24 Usher, could you please help the witness.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Cayley,
2 from the point of view of organisation of our work,
3 merely to know the next witness will be testifying in a
4 public session?
5 MR. CAYLEY: He will, Mr. President, yes.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Right. In
7 order not to make a break at a more inconvenient time,
8 I think we should make a break now and we shall resume
9 in 20 minutes, in an open session.
10 --- Recess taken at 11.55 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 12.20 p.m.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good
14 afternoon, Witness Van der Zwan. Could you please read
15 the solemn declaration that the usher will give you.
16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Please be
20 seated. Let me remind our interpreter once again that
21 he is still under oath. Witness, thank you very much
22 for coming to testify. You will first answer questions
23 that will be put to you by Mr. Harmon, as far as I can
24 see. He is representing the Prosecution.
25 Mr. Harmon, you have the floor.
1 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 WITNESS: MARTIN VAN DER ZWAN
3 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
4 Q. Sir, could you spell your last name for the
6 A. Van der Zwan, Z-w-a-n.
7 Q. You are currently in the Royal Dutch army, I
8 can see; is that correct, sir?
9 A. Yes, I am.
10 Q. What is your rank?
11 A. I'm a Corporal First Class.
12 Q. And you joined the Royal Dutch army in 1992;
13 is that correct?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. You served in the former Yugoslavia as part
16 of two separate missions; is that correct?
17 A. Altogether, three now.
18 Q. Altogether three. Okay. Let's take the
19 first two, if we can, Corporal. When was the first
20 time you served as part of a UN mission in the former
21 Yugoslavia, and where was it?
22 A. That was in 1993, in the part we called
23 sector south, the Krajina, in a place called Benkovac.
24 Q. Okay. And how long did you serve at that
1 A. I served at that location for approximately
2 six months.
3 Q. Where was your actual physical presence?
4 A. It was on the base, the barracks of the
5 Serbian army, in Benkovac.
6 Q. Is that the army of the Krajina Serbs?
7 A. That was the Krajina Serbs, yes.
8 Q. When was the second time you served in the
9 former Yugoslavia, as part of a UN mission? And if you
10 would just wait for just a moment.
11 A. I forgot about that.
12 Q. We talked about that last night that it's
13 important that you pause because we speak the same
14 language. So if you pause after my question. Please
15 proceed. When was the second time that you served in
16 the former Yugoslavia?
17 A. That was in 1995, in Srebrenica.
18 Q. Did you serve with DutchBat III in
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. What were your duties when you were serving
22 in the enclave?
23 A. I was a long-distance rifleman, and I served
24 doing patrols or working on an observation post.
25 Q. Now, I'd like to take you forward in time to
1 a time when you were serving at an observation post, OP
2 Uniform. Did you serve at that particular observation
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. Could you take the pointer, there should be a
6 pointer in front of you, and could you turn to
7 Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E and show the Judges where
8 observation post Uniform was located?
9 A. This point right here [indicates].
10 MR. HARMON: Indicating on -- I can't see it
11 on the monitor, but I can see it in front of me and it
12 indicates that the dot at the southern part of the
13 enclave with the letter "U" next to it.
14 Q. That's the location of observation post
15 Uniform; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Could you tell me and could you tell the
18 Judges, was that observation post taken over by members
19 of the Bosnian Serb army?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Were you present in that observation post
22 with a number of other soldiers at the time it was
23 taken over?
24 A. Yes, I was.
25 Q. How many other Dutch soldiers were present in
1 the observation post at the time it was taken over?
2 A. Six soldiers; one sergeant.
3 Q. Before the observation post was taken over by
4 members of the Bosnian Serb army, was the area around
5 it, or was the observation post itself, shelled by the
6 Bosnian Serb army?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. How long -- what kind of shelling took place,
9 and for what duration did it take place?
10 A. Well, it started out with some rockets going
11 past our observation post. After a brief pause,
12 artillery, and then mortars, small mortars, and then
13 came the infantry.
14 MR. HARMON: Now, if I could have
15 Prosecutor's Exhibit 96 and 93 taken by the usher to
16 the ELMO.
17 Q. Before I show you these exhibits, at some
18 point in time did infantry soldiers from the Bosnian
19 Serb army make contact with you and other members of
20 the DutchBat unit in the observation post?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you describe the first soldiers that
23 made contact with you?
24 A. Yes. They were well-dressed soldiers. They
25 were wearing camouflage uniforms with black chest
1 webbings or flak jackets. They were wearing an armlet
2 with the sign of a -- a round sign with a howling wolf
3 on it.
4 Q. All right.
5 MR. HARMON: Mr. Usher, if you would place
6 Prosecutor's Exhibit 96 on the ELMO, please.
7 Q. Now, you've seen this picture in my office
8 before, have you not, Corporal Van der Zwan?
9 A. Yes, I have.
10 Q. Do you see the armlet type that you described
11 in your testimony in this particular image?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you point out to the Judges what you're
14 referring to when you say an armlet with a wolf's head
15 in it?
16 A. This one [indicates].
17 MR. HARMON: Indicating the badge and the
18 insignia that's a circle with a wolf's head in it on
19 the soldier on the right-hand side of the image --
20 actually, not the far right-hand side, the second
21 individual from the right-hand side.
22 Q. Now, did all of the soldiers who first
23 approached the observation post have this insignia on
24 their arms?
25 A. Yes.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
1 Q. Now, did you see soldiers who also had a
2 different type of insignia appear at the observation
4 A. Yes. Later on, after these people went
5 further into the enclave, there was another group,
6 together with an officer, who came to our observation
8 MR. HARMON: Now, let me have the usher
9 please place the next exhibit, which is Prosecutor's
10 Exhibit 93, on the ELMO. And even though it's not a
11 very clear image on the monitor, could you describe the
12 circumstances of, first of all, observing this arm
13 patch, and tell the Judges whether or not -- what you
14 did in respect of this particular image that's before
16 A. This is the sign that was given to me by one
17 of the soldiers that arrived at our observation post.
18 They came through our fence, started talking to us,
19 gave us some cigarettes, and I asked them -- I asked
20 that particular guy who gave me the cigarettes about
21 these emblem, because I'm a collector of signs and
22 emblems of the army. And when I asked him about it, he
23 ripped this one off his sleeve and gave it to me as a
25 Q. And this is the photograph of the actual
1 patch which you received; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. What happened to you and members of your unit
4 when this officer came up to make contact with you?
5 Did you remain at the observation post?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Tell the Judges what happened next.
8 A. After the officer arrived at our post, he
9 told us that we were given the choice to retreat
10 through the -- back into the enclave, to our own base,
11 or to go with them to Bratunac, phone home that same
12 evening, and fly home the next day.
13 Q. Now, in your opinion or in your commanding
14 officer's opinion, was it a viable option, a good
15 option, to go back into the enclave?
16 A. No, it was no option at all.
17 Q. Why was that?
18 A. Because at that moment the fighting was still
19 going on, and the first group wearing the sign with the
20 wolf on it went further into the enclave. So the front
21 line, the places where the fighting was going on, was
22 at that moment behind us. So to retreat we had to go
23 back through the fighting area to get to our post, and
24 prior to that, one of our soldiers died trying to do
25 that. So for us that was no option at all.
1 Q. And that was Corporal Renssen, wasn't it?
2 A. That was Soldier Van Renssen. Yes. Yes.
3 Q. And he wasn't part of OP Uniform, he was part
4 of another outpost?
5 A. He was part of OP Foxtrot, the one next to
7 Q. Did you accept the offer made by the Bosnian
8 Serb officer?
9 A. Yes, we did.
10 Q. I'm getting a little ahead of your testimony,
11 but were you permitted to make that phone call that
12 night, and did you fly home the next day?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Let me ask you this question: At the point
15 that you accepted to go with the Bosnian Serb officer,
16 what happened to your weapons?
17 A. The first group that arrived took our
19 Q. Okay. What happened to your vests and your
20 helmets? Did they remain with you?
21 A. Yes. We refused to give them off.
22 Q. Did you then leave the outpost -- the
23 observation post? I'm sorry.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Now, could you take the pointer again,
1 Corporal Van der Zwan, and will you show the Judges the
2 direction that you left after departing from OP
3 Uniform. Which road did you take?
4 A. We took this road. This is observation post
5 Uniform [indicates], went into this road.
6 MR. HARMON: Indicating, for the record, a
7 road that leads from OP Uniform to the right of the
8 large Prosecutor's Exhibit 1E, and then proceeding
9 north in the direction of a town called Pribicevic.
10 Q. Now, at some point did you stop, you and your
11 colleagues stop at a location along that particular
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And what did you observe at the location
15 where you stopped?
16 A. We stopped at a height -- a hill. There was
17 a lot of military activity at that place. On the left
18 side, behind us, at the side of some bush, there was a
19 signal vehicle with big antennae on top of it. There
20 were some artillery pieces still firing towards the
21 enclave. There was a tank, a T-55, some troops,
22 soldiers, running around.
23 Q. When you say a "signals vehicle", are you
24 talking about a communications vehicle?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The vehicle looked to you like a mobile
2 communications centre?
3 A. Yes. It was a military signals centre.
4 Q. Now, you said you saw several pieces of
5 artillery. In which direction were they firing?
6 A. In the direction of the enclave.
7 Q. Inside the enclave.
8 A. Inside, yes.
9 Q. Okay. How long did you remain at that
11 A. For about two hours.
12 Q. Can you describe the uniforms that were worn
13 by the soldiers that you saw at that particular
15 A. Yes. There were several sorts of uniforms,
16 mostly the camouflage -- the Serbian camouflage
18 Q. What colour were the uniforms?
19 A. Green, with camouflage spots on it. A lot --
20 correctly dressed soldiers over there.
21 MR. HARMON: Now, let me ask that the next
22 exhibit, Prosecutor's Exhibit 98, be placed on the
24 Q. Before it's placed on the ELMO, I'll wait for
25 it to be distributed, before we place this item on the
1 ELMO, Corporal, you told us earlier in discussing your
2 background that you had served in a UN mission that was
3 located in sector south in 1993, and you were based on
4 a Serb military base at the time of that posting.
5 Now, based on that experience, did you see
6 something that caught your attention when you were now
7 sitting near this communications vehicle and this
8 apparent centre of activity?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. What did you see?
11 A. I saw a couple of soldiers wearing the badge
12 of the Krajina Serbs, the same badge as I saw for six
13 months in 1993 on that base.
14 MR. HARMON: Mr. Usher, could you kindly
15 place Prosecutor's Exhibit 98 on the ELMO.
16 Q. Does that appear to be the type of insignia
17 that you saw at this particular location?
18 A. That's exactly the one.
19 Q. Did you have a conversation with any of those
20 soldiers who were wearing this particular insignia?
21 A. Yes, I did. They were walking in our
22 direction when I saw them, and I was really amazed to
23 see this so I said to one of them, "Is that from
25 Q. And Benkovac was what?
1 A. Benkovac was the place where the barracks
2 were, where I always saw that sign.
3 Q. Was the barracks where you had been housed in
4 1993, when you were serving in sector south?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you get a response?
7 A. Yes. He reacted, he smiled, and he said,
8 "I'm from Knin."
9 Q. How many individuals wearing the patch that's
10 depicted in Prosecutor's Exhibit 98 did you see at that
11 particular location?
12 A. I saw four.
13 Q. Now, you said you remained at that location
14 for a certain period of time. At some point in time,
15 did someone come to fetch you and your colleagues and
16 take you to Bratunac?
17 A. Yes. When it was getting a bit dark, a white
18 Lada Niva, an all-terrain car, arrived, and an officer
19 got out. He told us to get into our vehicle and follow
20 his car.
21 Q. Now, I've shown you Prosecutor's Exhibit 28.
22 MR. HARMON: And if I could have Prosecutor's
23 28/5.1 placed on the ELMO.
24 Q. Were you able to make an identification of
25 that particular officer when you examined Prosecutor's
2 A. That's him.
3 Q. So the individual that's now on the ELMO,
4 depicted in Prosecutor's 28/5.1, is the individual who
5 came to your location and asked you to follow him to
6 Bratunac; is that correct?
7 A. That's absolutely correct.
8 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
9 Q. Did you follow that individual?
10 A. Yes, we did.
11 Q. Where did you go?
12 A. We went down the road and we went to a place
13 called Bratunac, and we arrived at the barracks there.
14 Q. Okay. Did it appear to you to be a military
16 A. Absolutely.
17 Q. After arriving at the barracks, did this
18 individual, who was in Prosecutor's 28/5.1, remain with
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you see another individual -- or I should
22 say -- I withdraw that question. Were you introduced
23 to another individual from the Bosnian Serb army at
24 that location, who you can identify by name?
25 A. Yes. We were brought to a room. A man was
1 waiting there for us. He introduced himself as Major
3 Q. Now, did you see this man in Prosecutor's
4 28/5.1 and Major Nikolic again during the period of
5 your captivity?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you see them together?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. How many times did you see the man in
10 Prosecutor's 28/5.1 and Major Nikolic during the period
11 of your captivity?
12 A. About four times together.
13 Q. Corporal Van der Zwan, you told me that
14 you're not very good at dates, so I'm going to try to
15 put you at certain locations by certain events, okay?
16 A. Okay.
17 Q. Let me ask you, how long did you remain,
18 first of all, at the barracks?
19 A. For a couple of hours.
20 Q. Where did you go next?
21 A. Hotel Fontana.
22 Q. Now, to the best of your recollection, how
23 long did you remain at the Hotel Fontana?
24 A. Three, maybe four days.
25 Q. How many other of your colleagues were with
1 you at the Hotel Fontana?
2 A. Well, we started out with seven, and after a
3 while we had, I think, about 25, maybe 30.
4 Q. Now, at some point in time during your stay
5 at the Hotel Fontana, did you see General Mladic at the
6 Hotel Fontana?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you see your commanding officer, Colonel
9 Karremans at the Hotel Fontana?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. How soon after you saw General Mladic was it
12 that you saw your commander, Colonel Karremans, at the
13 Hotel Fontana?
14 A. Just minutes.
15 Q. Was Colonel Karremans accompanied by anybody
16 when you saw him?
17 A. Yes. There was a tall guy, an officer with
19 Q. Was there anybody else with Colonel Karremans
20 and the tall officer?
21 A. Yes. A sergeant major, but he didn't come to
22 our position so I don't know who he was.
23 Q. Did you see him, the sergeant major?
24 A. Yes. We saw him walking by.
25 Q. Describe him, please.
1 A. A lot smaller than the officer, dark hair, a
2 bit curly, and I think he had a black moustache.
3 Q. All right.
4 MR. HARMON: Now, I'd like to next put on the
5 ELMO, if I could, for your comments, Prosecutor's
6 Exhibit 95, and Mr. Usher if you could also take with
7 you Prosecutor's Exhibit 94.
8 Q. I take it -- once again, when I show you
9 these exhibits, you're not exactly certain of the dates
10 when these particular photographs were taken. But let
11 me first of all put Prosecutor's Exhibit 95 on the
12 ELMO, and ask you, please, Corporal Van der Zwan, can
13 you tell the Judges about this picture? The
14 circumstances under which it was taken and from what
15 location it was taken?
16 A. We were at that moment at the Hotel Fontana.
17 We were still trying to collect as much information as
18 possible because that was the job we were doing. So we
19 made some photos that we thought maybe would be useful
20 later on. This is one of them.
21 MR. HARMON: Now, Mr. Usher, if you could
22 take the next photograph, please, it is Prosecutor's
23 Exhibit 94, and place that on the ELMO.
24 Q. Was this one of the photographs that was
25 taken by one of your colleagues?
1 A. Yes, it's a part of it.
2 Q. Were you present when this photograph was
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What does this photograph depict?
6 A. It's one of our vehicles driving on the road
7 next to the supermarket in town, the town of Bratunac,
8 and there are Serbian soldiers on it.
9 Q. Serbian soldiers wearing what?
10 A. Wearing our stuff, our materiel.
11 Q. When you say "our stuff," what do you mean,
12 our stuff? Can you describe it in colour, for example?
13 A. Our blue helmets. One of them sitting on the
14 back is wearing the blue tank helmet.
15 Q. All right. Now let me ask you, Corporal Van
16 der Zwan, did you then leave the Hotel Fontana and go
17 to yet another location in Bratunac.
18 A. Yes.
19 MR. HARMON: Could I have Prosecutor's
20 Exhibit 6/3 placed on the ELMO, please.
21 Q. Now, Corporal Van der Zwan, could you take
22 your pointer and first point to the Hotel Fontana in
23 Prosecutor's 6/3.
24 A. Here [indicates].
25 MR. HARMON: For the record, Mr. President
1 and Your Honours, there is a triangle-shaped image,
2 bordered by two roads, from the bottom of the picture
3 going to the top, and in the middle -- at the top of
4 the triangle formed by those two roads is a building
5 that the witness has identified as the Hotel Fontana.
6 Q. Could you point to the Judges the location
7 where you were taken after you and your colleagues left
8 the Hotel Fontana?
9 A. Yes. [Indicates].
10 MR. HARMON: Indicating, for the record,
11 Mr. President and Your Honours, a large structure that
12 appears on the right side of that same triangle -- I'm
13 sorry, the left side of that same triangle.
14 Q. Thank you very much. Now, did you remain at
15 that particular location, Corporal Van der Zwan, until
16 the time of your release?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. At that particular location where you and
19 your colleagues were detained, were there Bosnian Serb
20 soldiers billeted at that location or near that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you describe those particular soldiers
24 and how they were dressed?
25 A. Yes. They were -- some of them were wearing
1 camouflage trousers, with a black civilian T-shirt on
2 top of it. They had a chest webbing. Two of them were
3 carrying a small, about 40-centimetre long Samurai
4 knife on that. Some bags, also in black, were hanging
5 on that chest webbing. One of the soldiers was wearing
6 a camouflage tank overall, and another one a normal
7 olive-green overall.
8 Q. How many particular -- how many soldiers were
9 in this particular unit, approximately?
10 A. Ten, maybe eleven.
11 Q. Did this unit have, as part of its component,
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What kind of dogs?
15 A. German Shepherds.
16 Q. At some point in time while you were detained
17 at this location, did you have a conversation with one
18 of the members of that unit?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. Could you describe that conversation,
22 A. It was the second day. We were in the school
23 building, late in the day. As usual, they came into
24 the building making a lot of noise. I was still awake
25 at that time, so I opened the door to see what was
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
1 going on and I saw one of them sitting almost right in
2 front of their door, at the steps going down in the
4 Q. Let me interrupt you there for just a second,
5 Corporal Van der Zwan. Was this a unit that, every day
6 while you were at this particular location, went out
7 into the field and engaged in some kind of an
9 A. That's what they told me. Yes.
10 Q. I'm sorry to have interrupted you. If you
11 would continue with your testimony about the
12 conversation you had with this particular soldier.
13 A. I sat down, next to the person in front of
14 their door, well, just tried to make a chat with him,
15 and I saw that he was, well, tense. So I just started
16 talking about the dogs a bit, because I've got a dog
17 myself, and he was the one always feeding and taking
18 care of the dogs. So he told me that he was a dog
19 trainer before the war and his job was to take care of
20 the dogs now.
21 And, well, he started telling me about the
22 dogs, that they used the dogs to -- well, against
23 people, and he started talking about one event, where
24 they were at a house in the enclave and they thought
25 somebody was in the house. They went in the direction
1 of that house.
2 Then an older man, together with a young
3 girl, came out of a shed behind the house, and they
4 wanted to stop them, so one of the guys turned loose a
5 dog. The dog attacked the older man, bit him. One of
6 the guys of that group, the guy who turned loose the
7 dog, went to the older man, killed him with his knife.
8 And he already started to become emotional while he was
9 telling that, he was really tense, and he told me that
10 he did something sexual with the girl and he killed her
11 by slitting -- cutting her open with a knife, starting
12 between her legs and up to her throat. When he said
13 that, he started to cry, walked outside the building.
14 I went after him.
15 We smoked a cigarette there, and then I went
16 back to my colleagues and told that story, because I
17 was -- yeah, well a bit shook up about the story.
18 Q. Did this soldier identify which of the
19 members of his unit had committed those acts?
20 A. Yes. He pointed them out to me. He was
21 hanging on the stairs completely drunk, a few metres
22 away from us.
23 Q. Was he identified to you in any way?
24 A. Well, he tried to explain to me that either
25 his name or his nickname was "Butcher" or his
1 profession was butcher.
2 Q. Now, Corporal Van der Zwan, the next day --
3 I'm sorry. That evening, did you see any dogs around
4 the compound?
5 A. When we were standing outside, smoking that
6 cigarette, before I went back in again.
7 Q. Describe the dogs that you saw and their
9 A. He was still referring to one of the dogs.
10 He showed me -- I pointed -- he pointed the dog to me,
11 the dog that he was talking about in his story, and at
12 the front side of his left leg, there was a bloodstain,
13 and he showed me that the dog reacted to the sound of a
14 gun loading.
15 Q. Now, this individual who was identified
16 either by profession or by name as "Butcher", did you
17 see him the next day?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What did you see happen the next day with
21 A. He came to the school in a sort of a truck,
22 and there was a calf in the back of the truck. He took
23 the calf out, went to the back side of the building,
24 and one of the guys with him was waving with his hands
25 to me, like he wanted me to come in that direction. I
1 was curious about what they were going to do with the
2 calf, so I went with him.
3 I went around the corner, and "Butcher" was
4 standing there. He had his arm around the calf,
5 petting it, and all of a sudden he grabbed it at the
6 snout, took out his knife, and slit his throat. Then
7 it started bleeding and went down on the ground. Then
8 he cut it open with his knife, like normal slaughtering
9 way, and the other guy standing next to him started to
10 laugh. And he said to the guy who was slaughtering the
11 calf that it was like or just like the girl in the
12 enclave, or in Srebrenica.
13 Q. Now, Corporal Van der Zwan, at some time, at
14 a date unknown to you, you were released and so were
15 your colleagues; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was the date when you were released before
18 the whole DutchBat III unit came out of the enclave on
19 the 21st of July?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you very much, Corporal Van der Zwan.
22 MR. HARMON: I have no additional questions,
23 Mr. President.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
25 Mr. Harmon.
1 Corporal, you will now answer questions
2 which, I see, Mr. Visnjic, counsel for Defence, will be
3 asking of you.
4 Yes, Mr. Visnjic.
5 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you,
6 Mr. President.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Visnjic:
8 Q. Mr. Van der Zwan, you told us at the
9 beginning of your testimony that the observation post
10 where you were was shelled. Could you tell us
11 something more about that? Were the Serb troops aiming
12 directly at the observation post, or was there fire all
13 around it, or perhaps were they targeting some other
14 observation post or posts?
15 A. They were not shelling at their observation
16 post, they were shelling around it, so not directly
17 aimed at their troops.
18 Q. Did the Muslim forces hold positions nearby,
19 in the vicinity of your observation post? Do you know
20 anything about that?
21 A. Yes, they did.
22 Q. And were those Muslim forces resisting the
23 Serb forces when they tried to enter the enclave? Was
24 there any exchange of fire?
25 A. Yes, there was an exchange of small-arms
2 Q. Thank you. Mr. Van der Zwan, I should like
3 to know, when you left with Serb soldiers from the
4 observation post, until the last day of your stay in
5 Bratunac, did you feel threatened personally? Were you
6 concerned about your safety? Did the Serb soldiers
7 threaten you in any way during that period of time?
8 A. There was no direct threat, but there was a
9 lot of tension. I didn't feel safe.
10 Q. How? Why? Was that your impression, or were
11 there some objective indicators of the lack of safety?
12 A. Right outside their room, there were two guys
13 standing with Kalashnikovs. We always had cameras
14 around, asking us questions about military stuff or
15 propaganda things. To me, that's an indicator that
16 we're not a guest of the Serbian army, as they told us,
17 but more like we were being used for their purposes.
18 Q. You described the insignia, the
19 characteristic patches, that the soldiers who came to
20 your observation post wore the insignia of soldiers
21 that you met in Pribicevic. But during your stay in
22 the Fontana Hotel, did you happen to see the insignia,
23 the patches, of the soldiers who were in the same
24 hotel? Did they wear any characteristic patches?
25 A. Well, I did see some soldiers wearing a round
1 patch, with the colours white, red, and blue and some
2 letters around it.
3 Q. Mr. Van der Zwan, did you know if any other
4 Serb units had a similar patch with a similar design as
5 the one shown on Prosecutor's Exhibit 98?
6 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher
7 please put it on the ELMO.
8 Q. The eagle with two heads and a crown, were
9 there any other Serb units using this same coat of
10 arms, this same insignia, except the units from
11 Krajina? Would you know that?
12 A. Yes, I know there are several badges with the
13 eagle on it, or the Cetiris.
14 Q. The unit which was -- which provided guard
15 over you which was in the school, and the members of
16 which you used to see while you were kept in the school
17 at Bratunac, could you identify that unit? Do you know
18 which unit that was?
19 A. No, I can't.
20 Q. Did they have any particular patches?
21 A. No patches at all.
22 Q. And when you talked, did you find out who was
23 their superior? Who did they report to?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And who was that?
1 A. I don't know his name, but he was a very big
2 guy, a lot of muscles. He was wearing camouflage
3 trousers, black T-shirt, with a black chest webbing, a
4 small Samurai knife, and he was wearing a "Zastava 99
5 pistolj," that's what he said. It was the newest gun.
6 Q. The Zastava 99, that is what he said.
7 Did he have any rank insignia?
8 A. No, but it was very clear to me that he was
9 the commander by his behaviour towards the rest of the
11 Q. Mr. Van der Zwan, did any members of that
12 group, of that unit, tell you about their previous
13 missions, about where they had fought before that,
14 before Srebrenica?
15 A. No.
16 Q. And on the basis of your experience with Serb
17 forces that you gained either in Krajina or during your
18 stay in Srebrenica, could you draw a conclusion that it
19 was just a usual rank and file unit, or was it perhaps
20 a special purpose unit, sort of?
21 A. The way I saw it, they were absolutely a
22 special purpose unit.
23 Q. Thank you. Just one question more. You told
24 us that you were at observation post "U", if I'm
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And that combatants from the Bratunac Brigade
3 came to that OP.
4 A. I can't remember saying here that there were
5 people of the Bratunac Brigade being there. I only
6 pointed out some emblems, but I don't know exactly from
7 what brigade they were.
8 Q. They were men who were wearing insignia,
9 patches, as the ones shown in Prosecutor's Exhibit 93.
10 A. Yes. I got exactly that one from one of them
11 at the observation post Uniform.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Van der Zwan. I have no
13 further questions.
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] Thank you,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
17 Mr. Visnjic.
18 Mr. Harmon, do you have any supplementary
19 questions? Yes, please, go on.
20 MR. HARMON: Just a few questions,
21 Mr. President.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Harmon:
23 Q. You were asked by my colleague, Mr. Visnjic,
24 which unit was guarding you, and it's unclear to me at
25 which location Mr. Visnjic was referring to. In your
1 direct examination, you testified you first went to a
2 barracks, you next went to the Hotel Fontana, and you
3 lastly went to an area, a large complex where this dog
4 unit was located.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Your answer to Mr. Visnjic's question, as I
7 understood it was, that the individuals that were
8 guarding you were wearing camouflage trousers, a black
9 T-shirt, a chest webbing, and had a Zastava 99 special
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Were the people who were guarding you who
13 were wearing those kind of clothes guarding you at the
15 A. No.
16 Q. Were the people who were guarding you wearing
17 the kind of clothes you described guarding you at the
18 Hotel Fontana?
19 A. No.
20 Q. So when you answered Mr. Visnjic's question,
21 you're referring to the people who guarded you at the
22 third location where you were detained; is that
24 A. I was referring to the people with the dogs.
25 They were present during the night and in the evening,
1 and, well, also sort of guarding us by their presence.
2 Q. At the third location you've testified about?
3 A. I'm talking about the school behind the Hotel
4 Fontana now.
5 Q. Thank you very much, Corporal.
6 MR. HARMON: I have no additional questions.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
8 Mr. Harmon.
9 Judge Riad.
10 JUDGE RIAD: [Interpretation] Thank you,
11 Mr. President.
12 Questioned by the Court:
13 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, Corporal Van der
15 I would like to ask you some searching
16 questions concerning this extremely painful story you
17 mentioned, or which the Serb officer told you and which
18 you followed almost the next day. Now, this Serb
19 soldier, it was an officer, I understood, told you
20 about the dog attacking the old man and then he killing
21 the man, or the other one, and then I think the other
22 man, his colleague, killed a man, and then he raped the
23 girl, I suppose. Was that right?
24 A. The same man that killed the older man --
25 JUDGE RIAD: Raped the girl?
1 A. -- raped the girl, and it wasn't an officer,
2 it was this soldier who was telling this story.
3 JUDGE RIAD: The soldier was not in it at
4 all. He was just a spectator, a witness of it.
5 A. He was the dog handler.
6 JUDGE RIAD: He was the dog handler. Now,
7 you, after all, were a United Nations representative,
8 and was it so natural that he would tell you such
9 horrible stories about what they were doing? Were they
10 boasting about it? Was it something to be proud of?
11 Was it to frighten you? How did you understand this?
12 And then the second day you said you saw the
13 "butcher" bringing up the calf and then slaughtering
14 it, cutting its stomach to show how he dealt with the
15 girl. They knew you were around. So were they -- not
16 only unaware of your presence, but they didn't care
17 whether you would see it or not.
18 A. Well, to start with, when he was telling me
19 the story, what I saw was, well, a colleague, a
20 soldier, not being able to cope with the things that he
21 had to do. The guy was a dog handler, not a soldier.
22 He was being made part of a group, not as a volunteer
23 or not as a professional soldier. And, well, he just
24 couldn't take it anymore. He was talking about it and
25 crying and, well, yeah, he just couldn't take it
2 JUDGE RIAD: Was it under the influence of a
3 drink or something?
4 A. No, he wasn't drinking at that moment.
5 JUDGE RIAD: He was sober and telling you a
7 A. Yes. It made a lot of impression on me. He
8 wasn't bragging about it or ...
9 JUDGE RIAD: But then when this "butcher"
10 came, this "butcher" was an officer? What was he
12 A. I don't know. He was a part of the group. I
13 didn't see him as in command or --
14 JUDGE RIAD: But this "butcher" was the man
15 who raped the girl?
16 A. He was the one who was being pointed out to
17 me, yes.
18 JUDGE RIAD: And he was boasting about it and
19 showing how he did it.
20 A. No, he was slaughtering a calf, but the guy
21 standing next to him made a comment about it in the
22 Serbian language, not addressed to me but addressed to
23 him, so they were laughing about that.
24 JUDGE RIAD: As a natural event, which they
25 would do naturally.
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE RIAD: How did you understand it if it
3 was in Serb?
4 A. Because of me being placed on the Serbian
5 barracks in 1993 and having Serbs around me all of the
6 time. At that time I picked up a lot of words and I'm
7 able to get a lot of a sentence -- I can understand a
8 lot of a sentence if I can hear it.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Good. Now, the fact that they
10 were doing it and talking about it so naturally, did
11 this mean that they were left free to do whatever they
12 liked? The soldiers could do anything without any
13 restraints or being held responsible?
14 A. The way I saw the group working inside the
15 building, and when they were packing their stuff to go
16 on a mission, it was a very independent group. They
17 didn't get or receive orders from higher rankings.
18 They worked -- it seemed like they were working on
19 their own.
20 JUDGE RIAD: I mean, were they part of the
21 army, or was it a band of outlaws?
22 A. No, they weren't outlaws.
23 JUDGE RIAD: They were part of the army.
24 A. Absolutely a professional branch of an army.
25 JUDGE RIAD: So they had commanders.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
1 A. Yes, they must have had, but I didn't see
2 them receiving orders.
3 JUDGE RIAD: And in their behaviour, they
4 showed that they can do anything. They were not even
5 trying to hide what they did.
6 A. No. They were making jokes about it, Your
8 JUDGE RIAD: And you said that the unit --
9 there was a unit where you were detained, I think ten
10 Serb soldiers, and they used to go every day to the
11 fields for certain operations.
12 A. That's the same unit.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Did you understand what
14 operations it was?
15 A. No, but they were taking dogs.
16 JUDGE RIAD: They were taking dogs.
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Did you understand, more or
19 less, how they were using the dogs?
20 A. That was explained to me by the dog handler.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Which was?
22 A. To cleanse houses or to track down people.
23 JUDGE RIAD: And when you were held by these
24 ten soldiers, your movement was limited, you were
25 almost like a prisoner, were you? Or were you a free
1 man, going around and watching everything?
2 A. We weren't allowed outside the building, not
3 by the Serbs and also not by their own commander. But
4 because of me having a bit of knowledge of the
5 language, my commander let me free. So I was allowed
6 to walk to the main door of the building and to talk to
7 the people.
8 JUDGE RIAD: Did you hear anything else,
9 apart from what you told us? Other people boasting
10 about what they did, and so on?
11 A. Yes. At some time I saw an army vehicle, a
12 TAM-110, driving in the other direction as the convoy
13 of refugees, and I was asking to one of the guards what
14 that was, and he told me that those were men that were
15 being -- that were going to be tried for crimes they
16 committed to the Serbian -- to the Serb forces or to
17 the Serbians.
18 JUDGE RIAD: That's all?
19 A. That's all.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
22 very much, Judge Riad.
23 Judge Wald.
24 JUDGE WALD: Corporal, you said that you had
25 previously served on a Serb -- or around the Serb
1 soldiers on a Serb barracks, a Serb base, and were
2 familiar with some words of their dialect. Were you at
3 all familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet, in other
4 words, with the letters that were Serbian? I mean,
5 could you read any words in Serbo-Croat?
6 A. I cannot read the Cyrillic letters. I can
7 only recognise some signs, so I can make out what it
9 JUDGE WALD: So when you testified earlier
10 that after the people with the wolf patches came in,
11 there were some other soldiers, one of whom gave you
12 his arm patch because you had an interest in and
13 collected arm patches. So there's a lot of writing on
14 that arm patch, which is Exhibit 93, which appears to
15 say "Bratunik Brigada", but you were not familiar then
16 with those letters, or you didn't ask afterwards when
17 you collected the badge what it said?
18 A. No, I didn't.
19 JUDGE WALD: Okay. You testified later on
20 that you saw some other soldiers at a later point with
21 a patch which appeared to be the same as the one you'd
22 encountered in your earlier mission from Krajina;
23 right? You sounded surprised at that. What
24 significance, if any, did it have for you to see that
25 soldier with the Krajina patch here in this new
1 environment? What did you think?
2 A. Well, it struck me being very strange.
3 JUDGE WALD: Why?
4 A. Well, they were far away from home.
5 JUDGE WALD: I mean, roughly how far?
6 Hundreds of miles or fifty miles? Just roughly.
7 A. I cannot make a -- I cannot make up a --
8 JUDGE WALD: But you were surprised. You
9 wouldn't have expected to see them in this particular
10 area; is that right?
11 A. No, I didn't expect them to be there at all.
12 I was very surprised.
13 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Now, you testified, in
14 answering the Defence counsel's question, that you were
15 pretty confidant that this was a special purpose unit
16 that was with you in the end when you were being
17 detained. I want to make sure I understood that. Was
18 that the unit with the dogs, or was it just the unit
19 that was there in either the school or the hotel or
20 some place else that was detaining you? Which unit did
21 you think was the special purpose unit?
22 A. I was referring to the people with the dogs.
23 JUDGE WALD: Right. And was it primarily
24 that reason that you thought it was a special purpose
25 unit, the fact that they used dogs, and generally units
1 that use dogs are special purpose units?
2 A. It's not only that. It's also the materiel
3 they were using.
4 JUDGE WALD: What?
5 A. They had very, very new weapons, good
6 materiel, chest webbings. That all indicates that --
7 yeah, they were better equipped than the normal
9 JUDGE WALD: And in your conversations with
10 the former dog trainer, who recounted this sad story to
11 you, did it ever come up what unit he belonged to? Did
12 he mention it at all by name or designation?
13 A. Not a name. He was talking about him coming
14 from the area of Sarajevo. That's all I can say about
16 JUDGE WALD: Okay. Thank you.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Corporal, I
18 also have a few questions for you. If I have
19 understood you correctly, you collect insignia. You
20 are almost an expert in military insignia, if I can say
22 A. I'm not an expert, but I've got a lot of
23 captions, signs, of the Serbian army, yes.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] When you
25 saw the badge that appears on Prosecutor's Exhibit 98,
1 that is, the insignia from Krajina, were you able to
2 compare it, to make a connection between the insignia
3 and the uniform that was worn by those soldiers? What
4 kind of uniform did they wear?
5 A. They were wearing a new type camouflage
6 uniform of the Serbian army, so the olive-green uniform
7 with brown spots on it, stains on it.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 Do you recall the date when the observation post "U"
10 was shelled, or rather taken over?
11 A. No, I can't recall any dates at all.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] When an
13 officer came in a jeep and when he told you to get in
14 to go to Bratunac, how many were you?
15 A. We were with seven people, so six soldiers,
16 the sergeant, and our own APC, our own vehicle.
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] So the same
18 soldiers as the ones who, at the beginning, had arrived
19 in the Fontana Hotel.
20 A. I don't understand that question, Your
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You told us
23 that at the beginning, at the Hotel Fontana, that there
24 had been seven soldiers, and after that between 25 and
25 30 Dutch soldiers.
1 When you spoke about the officer who came in
2 a jeep, you did not say how many you were. Now what I
3 wish to know is whether the seven soldiers who were
4 transported in that jeep were the same as the ones that
5 you mentioned that were, at the beginning, at the
6 Fontana Hotel.
7 A. Okay. It's about the seven soldiers that I
8 was working with on the observation post, and we were
9 not transported in that jeep, we had to follow the
10 jeep, driving our own armoured personnel carrier, so
11 our own APC.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Now I understand.
14 Another question. At the third location
15 where you were, there was a man with a pistol, with a
16 Zastava 99, and you said that according to his attitude
17 he was a commander, and that it was judging from his
18 conduct that you were able to conclude that he was a
19 commander. Could you describe his conduct which made
20 you reach that conclusion?
21 A. Yes, he was clearly the commander because he
22 was giving out the orders to the other people, the
23 other members of the group. He was telling them what
24 to do, when to pack their stuff, when to get ready to
25 leave, and he was doing that in a very sergeant-like
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You were
3 able to understand a little the Serb language. Did you
4 understand, did you hear the orders that he was giving?
5 A. I cannot recall that. Sorry.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] You told us
7 that while you were there at that particular location,
8 you had seen a truck or a bus passing by with
9 refugees. How many buses or trucks did you actually
11 A. I saw -- at that moment I saw one, and it was
12 an army vehicle, a truck, with a container on the back
13 of it, with a small window in it and some bars in front
14 of it. I could clearly see that there were people in
15 there because the window was gone and there were some
16 arms sticking out of that window.
17 When I heard what was in that truck and what
18 was going to happen with them, I directly went to my
19 commander to tell that. So I don't know if that car
20 was being -- was going to be followed up by several
21 more. I don't know.
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Did you
23 know who was on that truck? Were there women,
24 children, men on that truck? Who was there?
25 A. The guy that was standing next to me, the
1 Serbian man, he told me that they were men that were
2 going to be tried. I couldn't see that myself.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
4 very much for your contribution, Corporal. Thank you
5 for coming here to testify before International
7 As far as I can tell, there are certain
8 exhibits that need to be taken care of, Mr. Harmon.
9 MR. HARMON: Yes. Mr. President, we would
10 seek admission into evidence of Prosecutor's Exhibits
11 93 through 96 and 98.
12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
13 Mr. Visnjic, any objections?
14 MR. VISNJIC: [Interpretation] No, Your
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well,
17 then. The exhibits shall be admitted into evidence,
18 and I hope that the registrar will take care of that.
19 Corporal, you are now free to go. Thank you
20 very much. The usher will help you out of the
21 courtroom. Once again, thank you for coming here, and
22 I hope that you will be able to find peace and joy in
23 this beautiful country of yours.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon,
1 do we have another witness? A protected one or not?
2 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, we have gone
3 through witnesses at a record rate today, so we didn't
4 anticipate having -- ending the day without a witness.
5 We have a witness in the next order of presentation who
6 is an older man who is a survivor of the Branjevo Farm
7 massacre. We decided that we would call him tomorrow.
8 We didn't want to put him through two days of this kind
9 of testimony.
10 However, may I propose to the Court, we have,
11 with the consent of counsel, earlier agreed upon four
12 testimonies that were presented to a Chamber of the
13 Tribunal in respect of the Karadzic and Mladic Rule 61
14 hearing. We have one tape today we're prepared to play
15 for approximately 58 minutes, and it is the testimony
16 of one of a people, a Dutch soldier, who saw an
17 execution in Potocari. We could propose, for your
18 consideration, to play that tape for the remainder of
19 the afternoon.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes,
21 Mr. Harmon, I think this is a very good idea, and
22 congratulations for having heard your witnesses in such
23 a rapid fashion. This is starting to look like a
25 I think that it's a good idea to have a break
1 now. You said the video was 55 or 50 minutes long,
2 more or less, so we will be able to see the video in
3 its entirety.
4 We could perhaps ask the interpreters to stay
5 a bit longer, perhaps ten minutes, because tomorrow
6 they will be compensated, as I have already announced,
7 you will be able to sleep in a little bit tomorrow
8 morning because we are starting at 10.00.
9 We also have to change a courtroom. We will
10 be sitting in Courtroom II, however with the
11 possibility of following the direct transmission, the
12 direct broadcast, in the lobby. So the hearing can be
13 followed in that way.
14 I haven't heard the answer by the
15 interpreters. Yes. Thank you very much.
16 Mr. Harmon, you were about to say something?
17 MR. HARMON: I was, Mr. President. To
18 accompany the tape, we have French and English
19 translations of the testimonies as well, which we will
20 present to Your Honours before the tape is played.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] This is a
22 very good piece of news. We have French translations
23 coming in at the same time, simultaneously.
24 So we shall have a 15-minute break, and after
25 that we will resume with the video.
1 Mr. Harmon told us that the Defence was
2 agreeable to this proposal; however, I should need to
3 hear the formal consent.
4 Mr. Visnjic? Mr. Petrusic?
5 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes,
6 Mr. President.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
8 very much.
9 Quarter of an hour of break, and then we will
10 continue with the video. Can everything be ready so
11 that we can start right away after the break.
12 --- Recess taken at 1.38 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 1.55 p.m.
14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation]
15 Mr. Harmon.
16 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, we propose to
17 introduce into evidence Prosecutor's Exhibit 32, which
18 is a cassette of the testimony of Corporal Groenewegen,
19 taken at the Rule 61 hearing of Karadzic and Mladic, on
20 the 4th of July, 1996. We would also submit
21 Prosecutor's Exhibit 32A, which is the English
22 transcript of that testimony, 32B, which is the B/C/S
23 transcript, and 32C, which is the transcript in
25 The audio booth, I'm told, is prepared to
1 start the film at the Court's convenience.
2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 Mr. Petrusic, you haven't said anything
4 regarding the Exhibits 32B and 32C. Do you have any
5 objections to these?
6 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] No,
7 Mr. President.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well,
9 then. So Madam Registrar, the exhibits will be
10 admitted into evidence. Thank you very much.
11 We can start. If the technicians are ready,
12 we are ready too.
13 [Videotape played]
14 [The accused entered court]
15 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
16 the audio booth. I'm sorry, General Krstic, I actually
17 didn't realise that you were not here.
18 Could we start from the beginning, please.
19 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I would like to
20 introduce as the Prosecutor's next exhibit a video
21 cassette of the testimony of Corporal Groenewegen,
22 which was taken on the 4th of July, 1996, in the Rule
23 61 hearing involving Karadzic and Mladic. I would also
24 tender three transcripts from that hearing;
25 Prosecutor's Exhibit 32A, which is the English
1 transcript, 32B, which is the B/C/S transcript, and
2 32C, which is the French transcript of that hearing.
3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon,
4 I'm somewhat confused. You've already asked for these
5 exhibits to be admitted into evidence, 32A, 32B and
7 MR. HARMON: I thought you asked me to repeat
8 myself, since General Krstic wasn't present, so I
9 repeated what I said in his absence.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, you're
11 perfectly right. Thank you very much, Mr. Harmon. I
12 also think that the Defence will state once again their
14 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Yes,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you
17 very much, once again, and my apologies to General
19 Now I believe that we are ready.
20 [Videotape played]
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon,
22 I believe we have finished too, or haven't we?
23 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well.
25 Having seen this video, we shall adjourn the hearing
1 until tomorrow morning, at 10, in Courtroom II. I
2 hope everyone understands that. We shall be back again
3 tomorrow at 10. Thank you.
4 The session is adjourned.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
6 2.58 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
7 the 7th day of April, 2000, at
8 10 a.m.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.