1 Tuesday, 26 June 2001
2 [Prosecution Closing Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.26 a.m.
5 [The accused entered court]
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Good morning to you all.
7 Madam Registrar, can you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-98-33-T, the Prosecutor versus Radislav Krstic.
10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] May we have the appearances.
11 The Prosecution, please.
12 MR. HARMON: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President; good morning, Your
13 Honours. My name is Mark Harmon, and behind this board are my colleagues
14 who have assisted me throughout this trial; Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Cayley, and
15 Ms. Karagiannakas.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] And for the Defence, please.
17 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours; good
18 morning, my learned friends from the Prosecution. My name is Nenad
19 Petrusic. I have been assisted throughout this trial by Mr. Visnjic as
20 the Defence team.
21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
22 We are here today, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 86, to hear
23 the closing arguments of the Prosecution and the Defence. Therefore, I
24 now give you the floor, Mr. Harmon.
25 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
1 As the curtain drops on this trial that has lasted over 15 months,
2 and before I begin my remarks about the case itself, I would like to
3 publicly acknowledge the contributions of many people who have
4 participated in this trial.
5 First of all, I would like to acknowledge the contributions of my
6 colleagues, Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Cayley, and Ms. Karagiannakas, who have
7 worked diligently in preparing the case for trial and presenting the
8 evidence to you, and in preparing legal submissions and briefs. I would
9 also like to acknowledge the participation of two other members of my
10 staff, Ms. Kirsten Keith, who is behind me, and Ms. Janet Stewart to my
11 right, who have been instrumental in preparing each of the exhibits that
12 have been presented to you and have managed them so capably throughout the
13 course of this trial.
14 In addition, Mr. President and Your Honours, I would like to
15 acknowledge the contribution of Mr. Jean-Rene Ruez and all of the
16 investigators in this case who have worked for many years investigating
17 these tragic events at Srebrenica. They have done a magnificent job in
18 investigating this case. The military analysts in my office who have
19 analysed literally thousands of documents, Mr. Richard Butler, Ms. Amanda
20 Brettell, and others in that section have analysed the evidence that we
21 have presented to you.
22 In addition, I would like to acknowledge the professionalism of my
23 two distinguished colleagues from the Defence, Mr. Petrusic and
24 Mr. Visnjic, who have always shown the highest level of professionalism in
25 dealing with the Prosecution and with the Court.
1 One group of people who deserve a great deal of credit are the
2 people in the language booths because they have one of the most difficult
3 jobs in trying to simultaneously translate for lawyers who like to speak
4 in the first place and oftentimes speak too fast. They have done a
5 magnificent job under difficult circumstances, and particularly under the
6 difficult circumstances during some of the most painful testimonies that
7 we've heard in this case. In addition, the Language Service Section has
8 translated for us a large number of documents and have always done so with
9 great care and attention.
10 The technical booth as well deserves a lot of credit because we
11 sit here in this modern courtroom, a courtroom that has television
12 monitors, has video equipment, audio equipment, and frankly, I'm used to
13 the courtrooms that have merely a board and a piece of paper and a pencil,
14 but these people who work in the audio booth have done a magnificent job
15 as well in preparing the equipment so it's ready for us every day.
16 The court reporters as well deserve credit because they provide us
17 with the simultaneous transcripts that assist us as we review the
18 testimonies of the witnesses. And the members of the registry as well
19 deserve credit for assisting us in this courtroom and managing the
20 paperwork that comes through it.
21 Also, I'd like to acknowledge the Victim/Witness Unit who has
22 dealt very professionally with all of the witnesses for the parties. And
23 I'd like to acknowledge the services of Olivier Fourmy, who is the Trial
24 Chamber's legal officer, and has always been of assistance to both parties
25 throughout the 15 months.
1 And finally, Your Honours, I'd like to thank you for the patience
2 you have shown throughout these proceedings and the dignity in which you
3 have conducted them.
4 I now turn my attention to the case. In 1993, as the Bosnian Serb
5 army conducted a counteroffensive in Eastern Bosnia and swept unchecked
6 through Eastern Bosnia, the UN adopted resolutions and called for the
7 creation of safe areas. After agreement of the parties which called for
8 the demilitarisation of safe areas, three such areas were created. One
9 was in Srebrenica, one was in Zepa, and one was in Gorazde. The UN
10 deployed small contingents of troops to each of these safe areas, and in
11 1995, a Dutch battalion was assigned to the enclave of Srebrenica.
12 Now, the Srebrenica enclave was not fully demilitarised, and on
13 the 6th of July, 1995, the Bosnian Serb army, which I will occasionally
14 refer to as the VRS, attacked the Srebrenica enclave. This operation was
15 known as operation Krivaja, and by the 11th of July, 1995, the enclave had
16 been captured.
17 Now, the Muslims who were in the enclave took two courses of
18 action. Approximately 15.000 Muslims, mostly males of military age,
19 went -- took a northern part of the enclave to an area around Susnjari and
20 Jaglici. There were approximately 15.000 men and boys in that group of
21 people. Approximately a third of that group was armed with small arms.
22 The remaining members of that group were unarmed and were civilians.
23 On the evening of the 11th of July, these people who were in the
24 Susnjari area formed a large column and attempted to break out of the
25 enclave and proceed north to the area, ultimately, of Tuzla. These people
1 in this column were quickly detected, and they were attacked by the
2 Bosnian Serb army, and the Bosnian Serb army set up along this road that
3 I'm indicating that runs from Bratunac through to Konjevic Polje and Nova
4 Kasaba, set up a steel curtain that interdicted this column. Only a small
5 portion of the column was able to succeed in breaking through that line
6 and ultimately proceeded north, and I'll discuss that a little bit later.
7 The remaining Muslims who were members of the column were essentially
8 stuck behind this interdiction line, and they surrendered ultimately to
9 the VRS by the thousands. People who surrendered from the column were
10 later executed.
11 Now, the Muslims who had remained in the enclave during the attack
12 on Potocari took a different course of action. They initially sought
13 refuge from the United Nations Bravo Company base in the town of
14 Srebrenica, and then ultimately they fled en masse to the UN base in
15 Potocari. And ultimately on the 11th of July, there were approximately
16 25.000 to 35.000 Bosnian Muslim women and children, primarily, but some
17 men as well.
18 The Bosnian Serb army arrived in Potocari on the 12th of July, on
19 the morning of the 12th of July, and they started immediately intimidating
20 the refugees. At about noon on the 12th of July, a large number of buses
21 and trucks arrived in Potocari, and before the refugees were permitted to
22 get on those buses and trucks, the men and the boys who were with the
23 refugees were separated, and they were taken aside and they were detained
24 in a location known as "the white house." Thereafter, the women and the
25 children and some men were put on buses and they were deported from the
1 enclave and taken to a location near the front line known as Luke where
2 the women and children and the few men who had managed to get on the buses
3 disembarked. At that location, there was another separation process, and
4 the men were separated, and then the women and children were permitted to
5 cross no-man's-land into the free territory. The men and the boys who had
6 be separated in Potocari and the men and the boys who had been separated
7 at Tisca were later executed.
8 Now, we have charged General Krstic, a senior Bosnian Serb
9 officer, with crimes relating to those tragic events. General Krstic was
10 first the Chief of Staff and later the Commander of the Drina Corps when
11 these crimes occurred. The indictment against him contains eight counts:
12 One count of genocide; and alternatively a second count, complicity to
13 commit genocide; a crime against humanity, murder; a violation of the laws
14 and customs of war, murder; a crime against humanity, extermination; a
15 crime against humanity, persecution; a crime against humanity,
16 deportation; and an alternative count, a crime against humanity, forcible
18 Under Article 7(1) of our Statute we have charged General Krstic
19 with planning, instigating, ordering, and otherwise aiding and abetting in
20 the planning, preparation, and execution of the crimes that are indicated
21 in the indictment.
22 We've also charged him under Article 7(3) of our Statute, which
23 makes a commander responsible for the acts of his subordinates if he knew
24 or if he had reason to know that the subordinates were about to commit
25 criminal acts and he failed to take reasonable and necessary measures to
1 prevent them from occurring or from punishing the perpetrators who
2 committed them.
3 All wars come to an end, and it is in their aftermath that the
4 objective facts relating to the causes and to particular events that
5 occurred in them, particularly shameful and disgraceful events, are
6 distorted and dismissed. This is true with the war in Bosnia, and we've
7 seen a reflection of that in this particular case in the testimonies of
8 two Defence witnesses who testified under pseudonym, Witness DA and
9 Witness DC, both of whom were Bosnian Serbs and both of whom served in the
10 Drina Corps at the time of the events described in the indictment.
11 Despite overwhelming evidence that thousands of Bosnian Muslim men and
12 boys were executed, these witnesses demonstrated a dogged
13 closed-mindedness in accepting this fact.
14 Witness DA was a well-educated Bosnian Serb who had been a
15 journalist before the war. He served in the command of the Drina Corps
16 exclusively with information affairs, and in that capacity he had access
17 to journalists and news media, the media being CNN, CBS, Reuters, French
18 television, and he had access to objective information relating to the
19 events that were occurring in Srebrenica at the time. This was
20 independent, third-party information. He also lived in the area where
21 these crimes had taken place.
22 He claimed, "first and foremost," and I quote, "first and foremost
23 a humanist by vocation and choice." And yet when he was asked by Judge
24 Wald about these crimes, his answer was as follows: "I said I don't wish
25 to believe it, neither can I, because who I am, the personality that I am,
1 can I believe all that." Now, Witness DC echoed those thoughts, and I'm
2 quite sure that those sentiments are not unique to people who remain in
3 the Republika Srpska.
4 As an American Baptist minister, Harry Fosdick, aptly observed, "I
5 renounce war for its consequences, for the lies it lives on and
6 propagates, for the underlying hatred it arouses ... for the starvations
7 that stalk after it."
8 Purposeful ignorance of these terrible deeds and an unwillingness
9 to confront them in a responsible way can only create fertile grounds for
10 future misunderstandings between Bosnian Serbs and Bosnian Muslims and may
11 poison the future for the people of Bosnia who deserve a respite from the
12 ethnic strife that has characterised this conflict.
13 The nations of the world created this Tribunal in an effort to
14 ensure peace in the region, and part of our mandate is to ensure that
15 evidence of crimes is objectively presented, tested in a court of law to
16 ensure that the wrongs committed in the former Yugoslavia do not go
17 unpunished, and to permit future generations to have access to the
18 objective record of these events so that they may be inoculated against
19 the calculated deceptions that thrive in the milieu of chauvinism, blind
20 ethnic pride, and ignorance.
21 The truthful record of these events can assist in the recovery of
22 the victims and also in the future reconciliation of the peoples of
23 Bosnia. This was touched upon by a witness, Ms. Teufika Ibrahamefendic,
24 who was the clinical coordinator from Viva Jene, a non-governmental
25 organisation that has been treating the surviving women and children from
2 In the context of her testimony about treating children, Your
3 Honour Judge Rodrigues asked her if the teaching of history was relevant
4 to their recovery, and she replied and I quote: "An explanation needs to
5 be given as to what happened. Children cannot understand what it is that
6 happened; even adults, many adults don't understand. I know that whenever
7 I had a group therapy and tried to give an historical explanation for what
8 happened, that the rational acceptance of what happened was far more
9 successful and contributed to the recovery of those women. It was very
10 important for them to receive the proper information and to rationalise
11 the events."
12 I will therefore, Mr. President and Your Honours, review in some
13 detail the evidence about where these executions took place, about
14 evidence linking the Drina Corps to these executions, and about the
15 findings of international experts relating to them. I have three purposes
16 in doing this: First, to demonstrate the nature and the scale of these
17 terrible crimes so that General Krstic's responsibility for them can be
18 placed in the proper context; second, I would like to summarise the
19 evidence linking the Drina Corps and the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb
20 army to these crimes; and third, I would like to clearly set forth the
21 objective record of what happened in Srebrenica so that it might assist in
22 the recovery of the victims and might be the basis for permitting people
23 like Witnesses DA and DC to one day, in the words of Mrs. Ibrahamefendic,
24 "be able to speak out so that we all can have a future, so that all can
25 have a basis for a common life together one day."
1 Now, Mr. President and Your Honours, I'm going to concentrate my
2 remarks on the large-scale mass executions that have been identified in
3 this case. I will not go into detail about other killings perpetrated by
4 the VRS about which Your Honours have heard testimony. I don't do so
5 because I don't think they're important, only that time constrains me. We
6 consider these other killings that took place to be an important part of
7 our evidence in this genocide.
8 Let me begin by at least identifying quickly the killings that
9 have been identified in this courtroom and testified about.
10 The first were killings that took place in Potocari on the 12th
11 and 13th of July. A witness by the name of Bego Ademovic testified that
12 in Potocari, in excess of 100 persons were decapitated. He identified the
13 perpetrators of those crimes as soldiers.
14 On the 13th of July, Your Honours have received the transcript of
15 a Dutch soldier, Corporal Groenewegen, who described observing an
16 execution of a refugee who was in Potocari.
17 Your Honours have heard evidence about executions that took place
18 on the 12th of July, the 13th, and the 14th of July in locations such as
19 the warehouse and the Vuk Karadzic school, located in Bratunac. That was
20 Witness N. Those locations, as Your Honours are aware, were locations
21 that were very, very close to the Hotel Fontana and the Bratunac Brigade
22 headquarters, where General Mladic and General Krstic were convening
23 meetings and where they were staying.
24 Your Honours have heard also testimony about a number of killings
25 that took place in various schools that were used as detention facilities
1 in the Zvornik municipality. Again, Your Honours, those testimonies were
2 from the surviving victims from various massacres, and the perpetrators of
3 those killings were described as soldiers.
4 Then Your Honours heard testimony about killings on the 19th of
5 July at Nezuk. Now, there Witness R testified and identified a
6 significant piece of evidence that related to one of the killers. He
7 observed a Krajina patch, a Krajina Corps patch on the sleeve of one of
8 the killers. And as Your Honours are aware, the Krajina Corps was a corps
9 that was from outside the area of responsibility of General Krstic, but
10 one unit from the Krajina Corps had been resubordinated to the Zvornik
11 Brigade so they were acting with the Zvornik Brigade.
12 Your Honours also heard testimony about the separation of men in
13 Tisca on the 12th of July, and Witness D, who testified before you, said
14 that after he had been separated, he and a group of other men were taken
15 to an unknown location and executed.
16 Your Honours have also heard about a series of killings that took
17 place at various sites where the Muslims who had surrendered from the
18 column had been detained. I'm talking about various locations such as the
19 Sandici meadow and other locations along the Bratunac-Milici road.
20 Lastly, Your Honours heard the testimony of a witness who
21 described the killing of 16 men along the Zadar River. One of the killers
22 was identified as belonging to the police. But a study of that execution
23 reveals that not only did the police participate in the killings, but this
24 was well coordinated. Army units were involved in the transportation, the
25 detention of these people, these victims.
1 So these are a series of killings that I could talk about at
2 length but will not. Instead, what I would like to do is concentrate my
3 remarks on the principal known sites where thousands of Muslim men and
4 boys were executed. I should add that all of these execution sites that I
5 will be talking about were within the Drina Corps area of responsibility,
6 in other words, the area that was commanded by General Krstic.
7 Now, let me identify on the board behind me where these executions
8 took place. I'll first discuss the executions that took place in the area
9 of the Bratunac Brigade's area of responsibility, those occurring on the
10 13th of July at the warehouse in Kravica, and on an isolated road in the
11 direction of Cerska. Those executions took place on the 13th of July.
12 Then on the 14th of July, moving north on this map to the area of-
13 the Zvornik Brigade, on the 14th of July mass executions took place at
14 Orahovac and a location referred to as the Dam near Petkovci. Sometime
15 between the 15th and the 17th of July, a mass execution took place at
16 Kozluk, and then further north on the 16th of July, a mass execution of
17 1200 men took place at the Branjevo Military Farm, and that same day in
18 the village of Pilica another 500 men and boys were executed.
19 Now, Mr. President and Your Honours, these locations have been
20 identified by us through a series of sources. First of all, there were
21 survivors from these massacres, and they recounted to us and identified
22 and attempted to identify the locations where these crimes had occurred.
23 Using aerial imagery supplied by the United States, we were able to locate
24 some of these locations. We also received information about them from
25 confidential sources. And lastly, we received informs about these
1 killings from Drazen Erdemovic who was a member of the Bosnian Serb army
2 and the 10th Sabotage Division which was part of the Main Staff of the
3 Drina Corps.
4 Now, I will start by discussing the massacre that occurred at the
5 Kravica warehouse. Earlier in my remarks, I described the large column
6 that attempted to break through to the free territory and that was
7 interdicted along the Bratunac, Sandici, Konjevic Polje, and Nova Kasaba
8 road. Thousands of Muslims were stuck in this area. As Your Honours have
9 heard, it was extremely and unusually hot. These people had been attacked
10 by the Bosnian Serb army. Your Honours have seen footage of anti-aircraft
11 guns being directed into the area where these people were. The army lured
12 the survivors out of the woods, oftentimes using UN uniforms that they had
13 stolen, on UN vehicles that they had stolen, using victims who had been --
14 who had surrendered, forcing them to call into the woods, saying that --
15 to come down, everything was okay.
16 Now, according to film that we submitted to Your Honours, it was
17 an interview of one of the Bosnian Serb military or police persons who was
18 manning the interdiction line, he was interviewed by a journalist and he
19 was asked, "How many people have you captured?" This was on the 13th of
20 July, that interview, and his response was 3.000 to 4.000 people had
21 surrendered that day to him.
22 We also have submitted to Your Honours an intercept from the 13th
23 of July where, and I'll describe this a little bit later, but where the --
24 one of the correspondents says that they had captured 16.000 people on the
25 13th of July, and that they were at various locations such as the
1 intersection at Konjevic Polje and at Nova Kasaba.
2 Now, these people, when they came out of the woods, they were
3 tired, thirsty, they were hungry, and they were frightened. And if we
4 could go to a film, we will see a small piece of evidence we presented to
5 Your Honours, which is a film of a portion of the column surrendering to
6 the VRS.
7 And the booth should have a copy of the transcript of the
8 interview of a man in this film, and if they could read the -- or
9 translate the interview that takes place.
10 So if we could have the film, please.
11 [Videotape played]
12 MR. HARMON: This shows the abandoned goods by the side of the
14 [Videotape played]
15 MR. HARMON: Those are two brothers who have been identified.
16 This is on the 13th of July.
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "... I don't know, from some
18 desert... How long have you been there? We were there two days and two
19 nights. Completely surrounded... What... Where are your rifles? I don't
20 have a rifle, I'm a civilian. Civilian? All right, then have no fear...
21 Were you very afraid? Who wouldn't be afraid... Go ahead freely. Hey,
22 journalist, can you hear that sound? ... how come he already arrived,
23 before they did... Hey, take off that shirt! This one? Yes!"
24 MR. HARMON: As Your Honours know, the young boy in that film
25 survived. He was the only one of the people who have been identified in
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that film to have survived, and he did so only because he used his wits
2 and was able to board a bus that had fortuitously stopped near his
3 detention location.
4 You've heard the testimony, Mr. President and Your Honours, of two
5 witnesses who survived from the Kravica warehouse massacre, Witnesses J
6 and K.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Harmon, excuse me. There
8 seems to be a problem with the transcript. No, it's all right now. I beg
9 your pardon. Please continue.
10 MR. HARMON: Now, both of those witnesses describe surrendering
11 and being taken to the Sandici meadow where thereafter they were either
12 marched to a warehouse, the Kravica warehouse, which was about a kilometre
13 away, or they were transported by bus on the 13th of July.
14 Now, this warehouse is located in the Bratunac Brigade area of
15 responsibility, and if we could have the next image, please. Yes. Now,
16 the area that is going to be circled right here is a picture of the
17 Kravica warehouse, and this was taken by the Office of the Prosecutor
18 investigators and it shows the size of this warehouse.
19 Now, the fact that these witnesses also say that they had been
20 transported by buses was confirmed by an aerial image that was taken, and
21 you will see, first of all, buses in the area of the Sandici meadow. And
22 my colleague will also draw a circle around the area of prisoners, this
23 large body of detainees. And you can see that this image was taken on the
24 13th of July at about 1400 hours, confirming what the witnesses told you.
25 If we could go to the next image, you'll see now an image of the
1 Kravica warehouse on the 13th of July at about 1400 hours, and consistent
2 with what they testified, you'll see two buses in front of the warehouse.
3 Now, at the warehouse, the Muslims were packed into two large
4 rooms. According to Witness J who was in one of those rooms, "The
5 warehouse was completely full. If you had thrown a lighter or match
6 inside, it would have stayed on someone's shoulder or in somebody's lap,
7 it couldn't have fallen to the ground." Witness K, the other survivor
8 from this massacre, testified that he estimated there were approximately
9 1.000 to 1.500 people in the section of the warehouse where he was
10 detained. And after being collected and gathered at the warehouse, the
11 Bosnian Serb army opened fire on the detainees inside the warehouse using
12 machine-guns, automatic rifles, grenades and other forms of explosives.
13 After the initial fusillade, the VRS approached the mass of bodies
14 and called out for survivors, and if any identified themselves, they were
15 taken outside and executed. Shortly after the mass execution had occurred
16 at the Kravica warehouse, heavy equipment arrived. It broke the walls and
17 doors down to part of the warehouse, the bodies were loaded like cordwood
18 into trucks and driven away. Now, only two people survived this
20 This is a location where General Krstic drove by on the 13th of
22 Now, upon learning of this execution from the survivors, the
23 Office of the Prosecutor sent -- first of all, we tried to identify this
24 location and we did, and then we sent investigators to the warehouse and
25 we examined the warehouse, the exterior walls and the interior, and we
1 found that the exterior walls and the interior walls were pockmarked with
2 bullets, and the wall and the door frame of the entrance was missing. And
3 this is a view of the front of the warehouse, showing the pockmarks caused
4 by bullets that were directed towards the warehouse.
5 If we could go to the next image, this is the interior of the
6 warehouse, one of the rooms where the massacre took place, and you'll see
7 the walls, again, are pockmarked with bullets.
8 Now, in inspecting the inside of these rooms where these massacres
9 took place, investigators also found what they suspected was human blood
10 and human tissue adhering to the walls and ceiling of the building, and
11 this is a picture of one of the walls, and you can see the dark stains on
12 the wall are human blood. And if we could go to the next image, this is
13 an image of the ceiling in which you'll see blood on the ceiling.
14 Now, on the 30th of September, 1996, the suspected blood and
15 tissue samples were collected by experts from the United States Naval
16 Investigative Service and they were submitted for analysis to the Ministry
17 of Justice, Netherlands Forensic Institute, for analysis. And the
18 analysis confirmed that the samples that had been taken were of human
19 origin. Both of those expert reports have been submitted to Your Honours
20 as Exhibits 181 and 150 respectively.
21 Exhumations were conducted in the year 2000 at the Glogova 1 site,
22 which is a location about a kilometre or less away from the warehouse. At
23 that site, 191 bodies were recovered as well as painted reinforced
24 concrete that was identical to the front of the warehouse.
25 This site, according to the experts, had been robbed, had been
1 massively disturbed. And when I say "robbed," and I'm going to be using
2 that term through the day, I'm referring to the removal of bodies from the
3 Glogova 1 site to sites unknown. We ultimately were able to discover
4 these secondary sites, the secondary grave sites - I'll discuss that in
5 greater detail - but in one of the secondary sites relating to the Glogova
6 1 site that was located -- and this secondary site was at a place called
7 Zeleni Jadar, we did an exhumation, and 145 additional bodies were
8 recovered from that location.
9 Now, I'll turn now to the next mass execution that took place on
10 the 13th of July at Cerska, and Cerska is a little to the northwest of the
11 interdiction line where the Bosnian Serb army was restraining the Muslims
13 Now, this also is located in the area of responsibility commanded
14 by General Krstic, and we were made aware of this site by somebody who had
15 attempted to flee with the column. In fact, he was on a road on a
16 hillside, trying to figure out how he was going to get across the
17 interdiction line when he saw three buses full of Muslims from Srebrenica
18 driving up a very isolated road in the direction of Cerska. Those buses
19 were followed by an armoured personnel carrier with soldiers on it, and
20 quickly followed by heavy earth-moving equipment following immediately
21 behind. He then heard a series of gunshots consistent with automatic
22 weapon fire, and then he saw the three buses return empty.
23 Ultimately, that witness, Witness M, was able to cross the road,
24 and he lived in the woods around Cerska for a period of time. He came
25 across an area where he noticed there was large amounts of blood on the
1 ground, and then ultimately he told us what he had seen and what he had
3 Using aerial images of this isolated road, again provided by the
4 United States, we were able to pinpoint this location. If you look in the
5 monitors, you will see this isolated road that I'm talking about. In the
6 left image, you'll see an image that was taken on the 5th of July, 1995,
7 where there is no disturbance, and if you look at the image on the right,
8 the 27th of July, you will see that there's been a considerable
9 disturbance of earth.
10 Now, thereafter, we went to that location and it appeared -- we
11 took Witness M to that location as well, and he confirmed that the area
12 that is shown in this next image was the area where -- or on the road, at
13 least, where he had seen these pools of blood. So in this image, it
14 appeared after the investigators arrived at this location, it appeared
15 that heavy earth-moving equipment had taken the bank on the left-hand
16 side - up to the other side of the truck, please, Ms. Keith - had taken
17 this bank and up above off of -- removing earth and dumped it over the
18 edge on top of bodies.
19 As you can see in this image as well, you'll see two investigators
20 on the right-hand side of the image on the down slope, examining. What
21 they found when they arrived, if we could have the next image, please, was
22 this: Human remains.
23 Now, exhumations were conducted at Cerska in 1996 by a
24 multidisciplinary team of international experts, and the bodies of 150
25 males were recovered. Pathologists who examined their remains determined
1 that 149 of them had died as a result of gunshot wounds. Many of their
2 hands were bound with wire ligatures, and you'll see this image taken from
3 the grave site with a wire ligature around the wrist. If we can have the
4 next image. A total of 48 of these wire ligatures were recovered from
5 this site. The exhumation report relating to the Cerska exhumation is
6 Prosecutor's Exhibit 206.
7 Now, it's our submission, Mr. President and Your Honours, that
8 these two early mass executions show both coordination and planning. As
9 Your Honours are aware, on the 13th of July, when the deportations were
10 occurring, buses were at a premium. Both of these executions involved the
11 use of buses, and the use of heavy equipment quickly following the
12 intended victims shows a degree of coordination and planning. It is our
13 submission that both of these killings demonstrate that.
14 Now, by the 13th of July, decisions had been taken to murder the
15 men and the boys from Srebrenica far, far north, far away from the
16 possible intruding eyes of third parties such as members of the Dutch
17 Battalion. The area which was selected was in General Krstic's area of
18 responsibility. It was in an area far north, in the area of the Zvornik
20 Evidence that we've presented to Your Honours show that on the
21 13th of July, vehicle logs of the Zvornik Brigade that were seized by my
22 office in a search show that a vehicle belonging to the Zvornik Brigade
23 and driven by brigade military policemen travelled to locations in the
24 Zvornik area that were later to be used as detention sites, where the men
25 and the boys were held prior to being murdered.
1 I will now turn to the first of the killings, the massacre sites
2 that occurred in the area of the Zvornik Brigade, and that site I'd like
3 to discuss is the massacre that took place on the 14th of July at
5 Again, Mr. President and Your Honours, the first information we
6 had about this killing site was through the testimony or through the
7 statements of survivors. These survivors related the same story. They
8 had been captured along the road, surrendered along the road, or they had
9 been separated in Potocari, and they were transported to the Zvornik area
10 and detained in a school, the Grbovci school. Here they were guarded by
11 VRS personnel. Some were killed at that location. On the 14th, they were
12 summoned out of the gymnasium where they had been held, blindfolded, given
13 a bit of water, and transported to Orahovac, where they were lined up and
14 systematically executed.
15 The testimony of these survivors show that these executions
16 continued late into the darkness of the 14th, and that the headlights from
17 heavy earth-moving equipment was used to aid in spotlighting the victims
18 for their killers. Both Witness L and Witness N, the two survivors of
19 this massacre, testified before you. The exact number of people who were
20 murdered at this location is unknown. When we asked Witness N to estimate
21 how many people had been killed at that location, he estimated 2.500
22 people had been in the gymnasium and at least that many people had been
23 killed. Now, we believe that that estimate is an overestimate. We
24 believe that approximately a thousand men and boys were murdered at
1 Now, again, using aerial imagery in trying to find these
2 locations, you will see in this image the locations of these murders. On
3 the left of this image, taken the 5th of July, you'll see that there's no
4 disturbed earth in the image. But if you turn to the image on the right,
5 on the 27th of July, you'll notice that two large patches of earth had
6 been disturbed. These are what we refer to as the grave sites Lazete 1
7 and Lazete 2.
8 Now, we then went to these locations and did an inspection, and
9 what we found - this is only one of the images - we found human remains on
10 the surface. You'll see a femur in the lower part of the image, and there
11 were bullets and bullet cartridges all around the area. In addition, we
12 found empty ammunition boxes that were at the area of the executions. In
13 probing the site, we found that these contained human remains, both of
14 these sites.
15 Now, in 1996, an international team of experts again went to this
16 location and they exhumed the Lazete 2 site. There the bodies of 165 male
17 victims were recovered. Their ages ranged from 13 to 70. And 158 of
18 those bodies were determined to have died as a result of gunshot wounds;
19 107 blindfolds were recovered from the grave site and another 117 were
20 located nearby on the surface. Investigators also determined that this
21 grave had been robbed and the bodies had been transported elsewhere.
22 Now, three of the secondary grave sites associated with this grave
23 site have been identified and exhumed and revealed an additional 184
24 bodies and 90 blindfolds. Not all of the known secondary grave sites have
25 been exhumed to date, and I'll discuss the secondary grave sites a little
1 bit later in my remarks.
2 In the summer of 2000, international experts again returned to
3 Orahovac and conducted exhumations at the second grave site, Lazete 1, and
4 there they recovered 130 bodies, 129 of which were male; 125 of those were
5 determined to have died from gunshot wounds; 100 of the bodies were found
6 with blindfolds on their heads or near their bodies and 38 additional
7 blindfolds were found loose in the graves. This is an image that was
8 taken from that exhumation, and you will see a blindfold that remains in
9 place on the head of this victim.
10 At the same time, a further exhumation was conducted at the
11 unexhumed portion of the first mass grave site at Orahovac, and 17
12 additional bodies were recovered; 15 were determined to have died from
13 gunshot wounds; eight of the bodies had blindfolds; and 32 additional
14 blindfolds were found loose at the site.
15 Now, the Zvornik Brigade was directly involved in these executions
16 and the Zvornik Brigade is a brigade that was under the command of General
17 Krstic. Witness L, who testified before you and was one of the survivors,
18 identified one of the people who was an executioner, a man by the name of
19 Gojko Simic. Now, Gojko Simic, we know from the Zvornik Brigade records,
20 held a rank of sergeant. He was platoon commander in the 4th Infantry
21 Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade. The survivor, Witness L, had worked
22 with him for 15 years.
23 Witness L also identified by first name only two other of the
24 executioners, and when we went and looked at the roster for the 4th
25 Infantry Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade, we found people bearing those
1 first names.
2 Now, a document that was seized from the Zvornik Brigade pursuant
3 to a search warrant that was executed by my office confirmed that the
4 commander of the Zvornik Brigade Military Police Company and 13 members of
5 his company were at Orahovac on the 14th of July. That particular
6 document had been altered, and it was submitted to the Ministry of
7 Justice, Netherlands Forensic Institute, for an examination. What had
8 been altered from that document, what had been removed from that document
9 was an attempt to erase all traces that that unit had been at Orahovac.
10 That was confirmed then in the expert report that Your Honours will find
11 as Prosecutor's Exhibit 569.
12 In addition, the Office of the Prosecutor seized engineering work
13 logs and engineering daily company orders of the Zvornik Brigade that
14 indicate that the engineering company personnel were operating
15 earth-moving equipment and trucks in Orahovac on both the 14th and the
16 15th of July. You will see that in this next image. If you look at the
17 top long horizontal column, this is a vehicle work record and it indicates
18 that on the 14th of July, this equipment was digging trenches at Orahovac
19 for five hours. This is the work record for what's known as a Torpedo
21 Now, let me turn my attention to the next mass execution that took
22 place on the 14th of July, the execution that took place at the Petkovci
23 Dam, again an area that's in the area of responsibility of General
25 Now, the story of the few survivors from that execution are
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 similar. These people had either surrendered along the Bratunac-Milici
2 road or had been separated from the other refugees in Potocari and had
3 been transported to a school near the execution site, a school that was
4 known as the Petkovci school. This site is only 100 metres away from the
5 headquarters of the 6th Battalion of the Zvornik Brigade.
6 Now, at the Petkovci school, the Muslim men and boys were
7 seriously abused and mistreated; some were executed there. On the
8 afternoon of the 14th and in the early evening of the 15th, the Muslims
9 who had been detained in that school were transported to a nearby dam
10 where they were lined up and summarily executed.
11 Those who had survived the initial fusillade testified that the
12 VRS soldiers then went down and systemically shot in the head the people
13 who were either still warm or who were making and giving signs of life.
14 The two witnesses who testified before Your Honours were Witnesses O and
15 P. According to Witness P, 1.500 to 2.000 men and boys from Srebrenica
16 were executed at the Dam.
17 Now, based on those reports, we attempted to locate the Dam and
18 attempted to verify that there had been traces that an execution had taken
19 place. Now, the image that you see in the monitor, this is an overhead
20 image of the Dam. You'll notice the red colour which is the water. This
21 is an industrial waste dam. The white area directly above the red area is
22 both the Dam and the surface. There's a flat surface where the executions
23 took place.
24 If we can have the next image. You'll see, looking directly down
25 from above, on the far left margin of this image, you'll see the water
1 which is where -- and then you'll see the Dam. This first image was taken
2 on the 5th of July, and you'll see that there appears to be no disturbance
3 on the surface. But on the 27th of July, the same image, the same area is
4 captured in an image, you can see where the area of recently disturbed
5 soil is located.
6 Now, with that information, we then travelled to this location and
7 we did -- we conducted a superficial inspection of the surface, and a very
8 superficial subsurface inspection. And we found one skull at that
9 location, and the surface area of the Dam was littered with literally
10 hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of shell casings, in addition to which
11 we found a ligature on the surface.
12 We subsequently returned to this location with the survivors of
13 the execution, and they confirmed for us that this was the site where the
14 execution had taken place.
15 In 1998, an international team of specialists went to the Dam in
16 order to conduct an exhumation, and they initially conducted a surface
17 investigation, a surface inspection, and what they found on the surface
18 were 464 rectangular and triangular skull fragments, which is entirely
19 consistent with what the victims who survived said, that these Bosnian
20 Serb soldiers were shooting people in the head after the initial
21 fusillade. They also found 750 shell casings on the surface. They could
22 have collected a considered number more, but they only took 750 shell
23 casings. And when they conducted the exhumation, they -- the site itself
24 revealed the remains of 43 persons in the grave.
25 Again, experts informed us that this grave had been robbed. Now,
1 we were able ultimately to locate a secondary grave site, known as the
2 Liplje 2 site, where some of the bodies from this mass execution of the
3 Dam had been taken. And that Liplje 2 site was exhumed in 1998, and 191
4 individuals, bodies -- the remains of 191 bodies were recovered, as were
5 23 ligatures.
6 Now, the majority of the bodies from this mass execution have
7 never been located. The expert reports associated with this exhumation
8 are also part of the trial record.
9 Zvornik Brigade military work logs confirm that on the day of the
10 execution, a TAM 75 truck, a large truck, made four journeys between
11 Petkovci and the Dam, and the engineering company commander's log confirms
12 that heavy earth-moving equipment was sent to Petkovci to work. That's
13 Office of the Prosecutor's Exhibit 584. The people who were operating
14 that heavy machinery were members of the Zvornik Brigade.
15 Mr. President, I don't know what the schedule is in terms of a --
16 when you'd like to break. I'm prepared to continue, but I just -- if you
17 could give me some guidance on that, I would appreciate it.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Harmon. We're going to
19 work for more or less an hour and a half and respect the same timetable
20 that we're used to, unless there are any problems regarding Mr. Krstic.
21 So you can go on until ten to 11.
22 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much.
23 Now, the next mass execution site I will be discussing is the mass
24 execution which took place between the 15th of July and the 17th of July
25 at Kozluk. There are no known survivors from this massacre.
1 We learned about this massacre from a confidential source, that
2 there had been a massacre in the area of Kozluk, and based on that
3 information and the general information that we had received, we again
4 used aerial imagery to locate the site of this massacre. And this image
5 that now is on the monitor shows -- first of all, the Drina River is on
6 the left. So the light area that is being pointed to by Ms. Keith is the
7 Drina River, and along the river banks on the 5th of July, 1995, there was
8 no major disturbance. But on the 17th of July, the image to the right,
9 you will see that there has been major earth disturbance.
10 So members of my office travelled to that location. It was on the
11 Drina River. It was less than a kilometre from the 1995 headquarters of
12 the Drina Wolves. The Drina Wolves, as you know, was one of the units
13 that had participated in the takeover of Srebrenica. And this image shows
14 two features that I'll point out. The building on the right is the
15 headquarters for the Drina Wolves, and on the left you'll see a large pile
16 of boxes because this headquarters was located right next to the Vitinka
17 Glass Factory that made bottles, and they labelled bottles.
18 Now, we went then to the site. We drove past this location, we
19 went to the site, and the site, it turned out, was a refuse dump for
20 broken bottles from the Vitinka Glass Factory, and on the surface we were
21 able to observe human remains. And this is a leg and pants, with bones
22 still intact.
23 And after confirming the existence of human remains at this site,
24 the Office of the Prosecutor exhumed that site in 1999, again using
25 international experts to conduct this exhumation. And when they dug
1 through the site, this is what they saw, this is what they found: This is
2 one small image of a larger image showing a pile of bodies, and above
3 those bodies you'll see broken glass, green glass.
4 Now, the exhumation at this site produced 340 bodies. All were
5 males. 237 of the 292 bodies were determined to have died from gunshot
6 wounds. Fifty-five blindfolds were recovered from the faces of the
7 victims. And this is an image of a body that was taken in Kozluk, and
8 you'll see the blindfold on the face, and you'll notice the positioning of
9 the arms which are behind the body, and you can still actually see a
10 ligature on the arms. Now, 168 ligatures were recovered from this site,
11 137 of which were binding the victims.
12 And this is another image from the massacre site at Kozluk, and
13 what you'll notice on this body, first of all, you'll notice around the
14 arms are the ligatures that bound this victim at the time of his death,
15 and around his head you'll notice that he has been blindfolded.
16 Now, this grave also had been robbed, and the bodies were removed
17 from this grave site and transported and concealed at a grave site on the
18 Cancari road, which was a considerable distance from Kozluk. Only one of
19 the secondary sites associated with the Kozluk massacre has been exhumed.
20 It was exhumed in 1998, and it was found to contain the remains of 158
21 individuals, 126 of whom were males. The remainder were undetermined. Of
22 the 35 complete bodies, 29 had died of gunshot wounds. Four of the
23 victims in the secondary grave were blindfolded, and four other blindfolds
24 were found loose in the grave site. Twenty-six of the victims had
25 ligatures on their hands and arms, and 11 other ligatures were found at
1 the site.
2 When another secondary grave site, that is yet to be exhumed, was
3 probed by members of my office, it revealed both the presence of broken
4 glass, green glass, and human remains.
5 Now, the Zvornik Brigade Engineering Company logs show that a
6 bulldozer, a brigade bulldozer, dug for eight hours at Kozluk on the 16th
7 of July, and the heavy truck was in Kozluk on that same day. The persons
8 who were operating those pieces of equipment were members of the
9 engineering company of the Zvornik Brigade.
10 Now I'll turn my attention, Mr. President and Your Honours, to the
11 16th of July to the Branjevo Military Farm, and the Branjevo Military Farm
12 is located far to the north in the Zvornik municipality, again, an area
13 within the responsibility of General Krstic.
14 This is a very remote area. The farm itself, you can see in the
15 image before you, is a military farm. It's an asset of the Zvornik
16 Brigade. It's a farm that was used to produce food for the Zvornik
17 Brigade, and you can look at the image and you can see how remote this
18 is. And I will be discussing some executions that took place here. They
19 took place to the right-hand side of the last building, last small
20 building on this image.
21 And if we could go to the next picture. This is an area, you'll
22 see the last building, just one of the last buildings I described, and
23 this, again, shows the remoteness of this area, and the area where these
24 bodies were buried my colleague Ms. Keith will circle.
25 Now, we learned of this site through the minuscule number of
1 survivors who miraculously had survived this execution, and they provided
2 to us information about this execution site. Your Honours heard the
3 testimonies of two of those four survivors, Witnesses Q and I. Their
4 testimonies were similar to what Your Honours have heard before. The
5 people who were executed here were from Srebrenica. They had been -- they
6 had either surrendered along the road, the Bratunac-Milici road, or they
7 had been separated from their families in Potocari.
8 They were transported to the area and detained in what was known
9 as the Pilica school, which is a school which is a very short distance
10 from this execution site, and there they were guarded by members of the
11 Bosnian Serb army. They were mistreated; they were abused at that
12 location. And after the gymnasium where they had been kept at that school
13 could not accommodate any additional Muslims, another busload of Muslims
14 from Srebrenica arrived. They descended from the bus, and they were
15 executed at the school. And Mr. Ruez, the Office of the Prosecutor's lead
16 investigator on this case, presented evidence to Your Honours
17 corroborating that account of the massacre.
18 Now, on the 16th of July, the Muslims prisoners who had been
19 detained at the Pilica school were ordered on the buses. They were
20 guarded by Drina Corps military police, and they were driven to the
21 Branjevo Military Farm where they were taken off of the buses. Many of
22 the prisoners were abused before they could walk the last hundred metres
23 to the site of their execution, and once they passed the last of the
24 buildings, they were lined up in rows and they were executed.
25 Your Honours heard the testimony of Drazen Erdemovic who was a
1 member of the 10th Sabotage Detachment who participated in these
2 executions. The 10th Sabotage Detachment is a military formation that is
3 part of the Main Staff. And according to Mr. Erdemovic, between 10 a.m.
4 on the 16th of July and 3 p.m. that same day, busload after busload full
5 of Muslim men and boys arrived at the Branjevo Military Farm.
6 Mr. Erdemovic estimates that 1.200 people were murdered in those five
8 Mr. Erdemovic entered a guilty plea for his participation in those
10 Now, Mr. President and Your Honours, once again when we had
11 received this information, we attempted to corroborate the accounts of the
12 victims and, using aerial imagery, we were able to do so. Now, this image
13 is taken on the 17th of July, the day after the executions took place, and
14 it has been annotated, and you will see the buildings from above, and then
15 to the left of the last building you'll see a large circle that says
16 "bodies," and these are the bodies of the people who had been executed,
17 and their location was consistent with what the witnesses had told us and
18 what Mr. Erdemovic had told us. And then the bodies were transported down
19 to an area where -- you'll see at the bottom of the image a mound of
20 soil. You'll see in this area is the area where these people were
21 ultimately buried.
22 Now, members of my office then travelled to the Branjevo Military
23 Farm and, again, did a surface inspection, initial surface inspection, and
24 what they found were both human remains and clothes and boots and shell
25 casings that indicated that something had taken place at that location.
1 The area was probed. It was found to contain human remains, and in 1996,
2 international experts again travelled to this location and they conducted
3 an exhumation where they recovered the bodies of 132 male victims. The
4 ages of those victims were estimated to be between 15 and 61.
5 When they dug, this is what they found - this is only one image of
6 what they found at the Branjevo Military Farm - of the 132 male victims
7 that were found at this location, 130 died from gunshot wounds.
8 Seventy-six of the victims were bound with ligatures; seven other
9 ligatures were found in the graves. Two of the victims had blindfolds.
10 Now, the experts determined that this grave site as well had been
11 robbed. A secondary grave site that has been associated and identified
12 with this mass execution was located on the Cancari road and was exhumed
13 in 1998. At that location, 171 individuals were recovered, eight
14 blindfolds, 16 ligatures. Your Honours have as part of this trial record
15 the reports of the experts who conducted these exhumations.
16 Now, members of the Bratunac Brigade escorted these prisoners from
17 the area of Srebrenica to the Pilica school. We have that, again,
18 reflected in the records that were seized by my office. The first is a
19 daily log of the Bratunac military police for the 14th of July that
20 indicates that members of the military police from Bratunac were engaged
21 in escorting the refugees. Now, we know, Mr. President and Your Honours,
22 that the deportations of all of the refugees from the enclave ended on the
23 13th of July at 8.00 in the evening. So this record indicating that the
24 Bratunac military police were escorting Muslims can only reflect that the
25 Muslims who were being escorted were being escorted north to the execution
2 And that has been confirmed in another daily log entry for the
3 17th of July that indicates, and I quote -- and it indicates the activity
4 for the day before, and I quote, "One police patrol remained in Pilica to
5 secure and guard the Muslims." That exhibit is Exhibit 404, tab 61.
6 So we know that military police from the Bratunac Brigade were
7 involved in transporting the Muslims up to the area of Branjevo and were
8 involved in guarding them. Furthermore, our evidence shows that members
9 of the Main Staff, the 10th Sabotage Detachment, and -- first of all,
10 members of the 10th Sabotage Detachment participated in the executions;
11 Mr. Erdemovic testified to that effect. And that on the morning of the
12 16th, he and other members of his execution squad travelled first from the
13 area around the southern part of the area of responsibility north to
14 Zvornik where they stopped at the Zvornik Brigade headquarters in Zvornik,
15 and there they were greeted by a Lieutenant Colonel, unidentified, and
16 escorted by two military policemen from the Zvornik Brigade. They were
17 transported and directed from the Zvornik Brigade headquarters to the
18 Branjevo Military Farm. And Mr. Erdemovic testified as well that when the
19 buses transporting the victims to the farm came, they were guarded on the
20 buses by Bratunac -- by Zvornik Brigade military policemen. Now, we also
21 know, according to Mr. Erdemovic, that men from Bratunac came midway
22 during the executions and participated in those executions.
23 After the 1.200 people had been massacred at the Branjevo Military
24 Farm, the unidentified Lieutenant Colonel, again accompanied by military
25 policemen, came to the farm and asked them to participate in additional
1 executions, which I'll describe in a minute.
2 We know, Mr. President and Your Honours, that Drina Corps
3 equipment belonging to the Zvornik Brigade Engineering Company and
4 operated by their personnel buried the bodies at this site. This has been
5 confirmed by the seized vehicle work log records that we recovered in a
7 We also know, Mr. President and Your Honours, that fuel for these
8 vehicles was authorised by Major Basevic of the technical services of the
9 Drina Corps for Department for Rear Services and was provided to
10 Lieutenant Colonel Popovic, General Krstic's direct subordinate and one of
11 the persons whom General Krstic has identified as being responsible for
12 these killings.
13 I'll discuss this particular aspect of the case in a few minutes.
14 Now, as I mentioned -- I see the time, Mr. President. It's a good time to
15 take a recess.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes. We are now going to have a
17 half-hour break.
18 --- Recess taken at 10.51 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.25 a.m.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed, and
21 we'll go on for another period of one and a half hours, unless somebody is
22 in need of a break, in which case you will inform me.
23 Mr. Harmon, please proceed.
24 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.
25 When we had left off before the break, I was describing the mass
1 execution that took place at the Branjevo Military Farm. Now I'll turn my
2 attention to the mass execution that took place on the heels of the
3 Branjevo Military Farm execution, the massacre that took place at the
4 Pilica Cultural Dom. That, Mr. President and Your Honours, is located a
5 very short distance away from the Branjevo Military Farm.
6 Your Honours heard testimony about this massacre. There are no
7 known survivors of this massacre. The Office of the Prosecutor was
8 completely unaware of this massacre and learned about it only through
9 information provided to us by Drazen Erdemovic. Mr. Erdemovic testified
10 before Your Honours.
11 What he testified about is what he told us about previously, and
12 that is that on the 16th of July, at the end of the massacres that had
13 taken place at the Branjevo Military Farm, the unidentified Lieutenant
14 Colonel returned to the Branjevo Military Farm along with Zvornik Brigade
15 military policemen and he told Erdemovic and his fellow executioners that
16 their work for the day wasn't done, that there remained an additional 500
17 Muslims being detained in a nearby village, in a cultural centre, and that
18 they too had to be murdered. Mr. Erdemovic refused to participate in
19 those executions, but his colleagues, particularly those from Bratunac,
20 willingly agreed. So Mr. Erdemovic and the Lieutenant Colonel and the
21 military policemen and the men from Bratunac drove to the village of
22 Pilica, which is a very short distance away.
23 Now, the executions took place in a very public place, and my
24 colleague, Ms. Keith, will illustrate where these executions took place.
25 You can see that this is the main road that travels through the village of
1 Pilica. It's one of the main roads in Eastern Bosnia going between
2 Zvornik and, I believe, Bijeljina.
3 Now, there was no secret in the Republika Srpska, in the village
4 of Pilica; there was no effort to conceal this mass execution. People in
5 this village and the surroundings clearly knew what had happened at this
7 Now, if we go to the next image, this is an aerial image taken by
8 my office of the Pilica Cultural Dom, and you will see that it is the
9 building behind the buses. Now, upon our learning of this mass execution
10 site, investigators from my office went to Pilica, to the village, and
11 tried to find the Pilica Cultural Dom.
12 What they found then - if we have the next image - this is the
13 Pilica Cultural Dom, photographed by members of my investigation staff.
14 In the front, you'll see a large memorial. This is a memorial that was
15 recently put in to honour Bosnian Serb soldiers who had been killed during
16 the war. It sits directly in front of one of the principal mass execution
17 sites in this case.
18 When investigators from my office got to this location, this
19 cultural dom was abandoned and it was locked. After Mr. Ruez and other
20 investigators gained entrance to this building, they confirmed that in
21 fact the massacre had taken place at this location. This is what they
22 saw: The walls of the interior of the building are pockmarked with
23 bullets. There were shell casings on the ground. Human blood and tissue
24 was found adhering to the walls. Empty shell casings littered the floor.
25 This image right here is just one of the very small images that was
1 taken. It shows the pockmarked wall and it shows blood on the wall.
2 The next image you will see is detonation traces, the black area
3 directly in the middle of this. You will see blood traces, splatter marks
4 that go up from that area. As Mr. Erdemovic described in his testimony,
5 the executions that took place at this location were not only with small
6 arms but with -- also with explosives.
7 Now, members of -- on the 2nd of October, 1996, members of the
8 United States Naval Criminal Investigative Service, along with
9 investigators from my office, returned to this location and they collected
10 samples of what were suspected to be human blood and human tissue that was
11 adhering to the walls. This is just one image taken during that
12 collection process. Also collected were human bones that were found in
13 the Cultural Dom. Now, these blood and tissue samples were submitted to
14 the Ministry of Justice, the Netherlands Forensic Institute, for analysis,
15 and they confirmed that the blood and the tissue samples were human.
16 Again, laying out the objective record in this case, Your Honours
17 have received copies of these investigative reports and the expert
18 forensic analyses associated with this particular site.
19 Now, aerial images that were supplied by the United States
20 confirmed that the bodies of this massacre location were probably removed
21 on the 17th of July. And this is an aerial image that is taken of the
22 Cultural Dom - you can see it indicated on the bottom part of the
23 photograph - and you'll notice that there's an unidentified vehicle where
24 my colleague Ms. Keith has circled. And you can see, Your Honours, as
25 well, you can see -- it's hard to see on this image, but there are traces
1 of heavy vehicle tracks that go toward the bottom, around the building,
2 and to the side of the building, where it says "cultural hall." These
3 images then confirm what Mr. Erdemovic said. He was sitting in the cafe
4 that is marked on this image.
5 Now, Zvornik Brigade vehicle work logs that we have submitted to
6 Your Honours show that a TAM 130 truck was in Pilica on the 17th of July,
7 and it's our submission that that is what is depicted in this particular
8 building. That is Prosecutor's Exhibit 647.
9 Now, I'm going to take just a moment, I'm going to remove this
10 large board behind me and replace it with another. Thank you for your
12 Now, in the course of my remarks I frequently referred to the
13 robbing of primary graves. General Krstic's testimony before Your Honours
14 was that he was not aware of this large-scale operation that we know
15 occurred in September and October of 1995 when he was the commander of the
16 Drina Corps. All of the known secondary reburial sites are located within
17 the Drina Corps area of responsibility.
18 Now, as I said to Your Honours, the experts, as they were
19 conducting these exhumations at these various primary grave sites, had
20 concluded that these sites had been robbed. They did that by examining
21 the physical configuration of the grave site, and they could determine,
22 for example, that there were traces left in the earth. And you'll see in
23 this image such an example, because this is a grave site at Kozluk, and
24 after the body -- after the earth had been removed from the tops of these
25 bodies, it was apparent that there was an additional set of trenches, and
1 this is one of the trenches that was made during the reburial process.
2 And we were able to determine, also, that this reburial process
3 had occurred because, if we take a look at the next image, you'll notice
4 this is another trench that was made during a reburial. The heavy
5 equipment blades would cut through the bodies, and these bodies are left
6 in site in the manner in which they fell, and suddenly there would be part
7 of bodies that had disappeared. So these are examples of what our experts
8 found in primary grave -- in a significant number of the primary graves,
9 these kinds of traces.
10 We also found in the secondary graves fragmented body parts that
11 showed that the bodies that had been removed, the parts of the bodies that
12 had been removed, it been disarticulated, and many times there were just
13 fragments in the secondary sites.
14 Now, as we became aware of this massive cover-up attempt by the
15 Bosnian Serb army, we tried to determine when these removals had taken
16 place, and we were able to do so using imagery once again. So this is an
17 image that we have previously seen, and as you can see, this is the image
18 taken on the 17th of July at the Branjevo Military Farm, and it shows the
19 bodies and it shows the general configuration of the area.
20 Now, we know that the bodies were dug down by the area where the
21 mound of soil took place. So if we go from the 17th of July to the next
22 image, which is the 21st of July, one can see in this image that it
23 doesn't appear to be disturbed. This is the burial site that is indicated
24 by the marker, and if we turn to the next image -- and this is dated the
25 21st of September. On the 27th of September, we can see the grave robbing
1 in action. And you will see in this image, Mr. President and Your
2 Honours, at the left-hand side you'll see a newly-excavated trench, and
3 you'll see on the right there's a box in the middle of the image that has
4 been expanded at the bottom, you'll see both a backhoe and a front loader.
5 Now, we know, therefore, from those images that this reburial
6 process, this grave robbing, took place in September of 1995. Let me show
7 you some other examples of how we are able to show and determine when
8 these sites were robbed.
9 In is an image of the Glogova site. The Glogova site was the site
10 where the remains of the people who had been killed at the Kravica
11 warehouse were buried. And on the 30th of October, we can see from this
12 image that the graves are in the process of being robbed. At the bottom
13 of the image, you'll see a front loader that is in the process of digging
14 out the bodies.
15 The next image we'll take a look at is the area of Orahovac.
16 Again, by a comparative analysis, on the left, the image is the 7th of
17 September and there appears to be some disturbance, but if you turn to the
18 image on the 27th of September, you can clearly see additional
19 disturbance. So we know that the Orahovac grave site was disturbed
20 between the 7th and the 27th of September.
21 Now, as I say, all of this activity took place while General
22 Krstic was the commander of the Drina Corps.
23 The next challenge that confronted us was to try to determine
24 where the bodies from these primary grave sites had been taken. Again, we
25 attempted, through imagery, to determine the locations of possible
1 secondary grave sites.
2 Now, we know - and I'll explain this in a few minutes - we know
3 that the mass graves that were in the Zvornik area were robbed and we know
4 that ultimately many of the bodies and many of the locations of the
5 secondary sites were a considerable distance away. They were located on
6 the Hadzici, Liplje, and Cancari roads.
7 This is the Hadzici road where many of the secondary grave sites -
8 seven, to be exact - were located. You can see in this image, although
9 it's a very small image, that this area is isolated, remote. So the
10 bodies that were taken out of the primary grave sites were taken to very
11 remote locations in an attempt to conceal them. We were able to determine
12 these locations because, if you take a look at the arrows, you'll see,
13 although it's very hard to see on this image, but there are sites where
14 the earth has been disturbed.
15 If we go to the next image, these are sites on the Liplje road.
16 Again, it's hard to see from this particular image, but there are
17 disturbances in the earth.
18 If we go to the next site, this is the Cancari road, where 12
19 secondary graves were located.
20 Now, we also went to -- now, these areas, as I say, these three
21 areas are all located in the northern part of the Drina Corps area of
22 responsibility. We were also able, Mr. President and Your Honours, to
23 locate secondary grave sites in the southern part of the Drina Corps area
24 of responsibility, exactly south of the Srebrenica enclave, at a location
25 known as Zeleni Jadar. Here, again, you can see, although it's difficult,
1 that there are disturbances in the area, and these arrows indicate the
2 locations of the six secondary grave sites that were identified.
3 Now, after we were able to pinpoint these locations, investigators
4 from the Office of the Prosecutor went to these various locations and
5 probed these possible secondary sites. When I say "probed," they did a
6 shallow surface examination. If the probe revealed human remains were
7 present, the sites were closed and, later, international experts returned
8 to exhume some of these sites.
9 Now, the next image that's on the screen is an image that shows
10 which of the known mass grave sites, both primary and secondary, have been
11 exhumed to date. On the left-hand column, there is a long list. There's
12 a date. For example, at the top it says "1996," and in that image, you'll
13 see these are the mass graves that have been exhumed in 1996, 1998, 1999,
14 and 2000. The ones that are marked in the dark are primary graves; the
15 ones that are unmarked are secondary grave sites. If you look on the
16 right-hand column, this column shows the location of grave sites that have
17 been examined for human remains and confirmed by our investigators to
18 contain human remains but have not yet been exhumed. You can see from
19 this chart that there are a considerable number of graves that have yet to
20 be exhumed.
21 Now, again, using aerial imagery, it was possible to bracket by
22 time when these secondary grave sites were created. Again, using this
23 image, Prosecutor's Exhibit 166/8, the top image, taken on the 7th of
24 September, shows no disturbances in the earth; the bottom image, dated the
25 12th of October, 1995, has disturbances that are shown with the yellow
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 arrows, ZJ-4 and ZJ-5. So we know, based on this, that the secondary
2 grave sites at Zeleni Jadar, which is south of the enclave, were created
3 sometime between the 7th of September and the 12th of October, 1995.
4 Now, obviously having found grave sites on these isolated roads,
5 the next challenge for us was to try to link those grave sites with the
6 primary sites. In other words, we had to connect the secondary sites that
7 contained human remains to known locations where mass executions had
8 occurred and where the graves had been robbed.
9 We solved this problem by using international experts who came and
10 examined a variety of material related to the primary and the secondary
11 graves. For example, we took the blindfolds that we had found in primary
12 grave sites and compared the textile to the textile of blindfolds found in
13 secondary grave sites, and we were able to also compare ligature material
14 from the primary sites to secondary sites.
15 Those expert reports matching the ligatures and blindfolds from
16 the primary sites to the secondary sites have been presented as exhibits
17 in this case. The Ministry of Justice, again, the Netherlands Forensic
18 Institute, made those comparisons.
19 In addition, we took spent cartridges, shell casings, that were
20 found at the primary mass execution locations and conducted ballistics
21 tests with those spent cartridges that were found in the secondary grave
22 sites, and we were able to match that cartridges found at the primary site
23 with shells that were fired by the same gun and were found in the
24 secondary site. Those comparisons were done by the United States Bureau
25 of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and those expert reports have been
1 presented and are part of this record.
2 In addition, we took samples of the soil from the area of the
3 primary sites and compared the soil with the contents of the soil from the
4 secondary sites, and those also were found to be matching, both the soil
5 type and the pollens within them. That work was done by Dr. Anthony
6 Brown, who was a soil specialist from Exeter University in the United
7 Kingdom. In addition to that, we were able to link physical evidence from
8 within a primary site to a secondary site.
9 This image that is on the screen now is an image from the Kozluk
10 massacre site, and you'll see a body in this image who has ligatures on
11 his wrists. But you'll notice to the left, you'll notice that there's a
12 large amount of broken glass. These people, they were executed on
13 essentially fields of this broken glass, and when the bodies were
14 removed - in this case, the bodies from the Kozluk site were removed to a
15 location on the Cancari road - experts exhuming the Cancari road site were
16 able to find broken green glass. It's hard to see in this image, but it
17 is to the left-hand side. Perhaps my colleague could circle that. You
18 can see the broken green glass at the Cancari road secondary site.
19 Now, through this type of analysis, we were able to link these
20 primary sites to the secondary sites. This image illustrates what primary
21 sites are linked to what secondary sites and what evidence there is
22 linking them. So if, for example, one starts at the left side, the
23 Branjevo Military Farm, what linked the Branjevo Military Farm to the
24 Cancari Road 12 site were soil and pollen samples from the expert who
25 conducted that analysis, and blindfolds and ligatures.
1 As you go through this chart, which is part of Prosecutor's
2 Exhibit 140, you'll see the other connectors, the green glass, the shell
3 cases, the soil.
4 What is evident from all of this effort from these and became
5 apparent to us, knowing where the primary sites were located, knowing
6 where the secondary sites were located, was it was apparent to us that the
7 cover-up operation was a massive operation. It entailed planning and
8 coordination over a large geographic area. It required the transportation
9 of heavy equipment to the primary grave sites for use at those locations.
10 It required locating secondary sites and digging the grave, the new grave
11 sites. It required transporting these bodies across long distances within
12 the Drina Corps area of responsibility.
13 And this chart that is behind me, which is Prosecutor's Exhibit
14 135, shows the scale of this operation. You'll see in this chart the
15 Branjevo Military Farm at the top -- can Your Honours see that? The
16 Branjevo Military Farm. The bodies from this location were transported a
17 considerable distance to 12 locations in the Cancari road. The bodies at
18 the Kozluk mass execution site were also transported down to the Cancari
19 road. The bodies from the Dam near Petkovci were transported to the
20 Liplje area, and the bodies from the Orahovac execution site were
21 transported to the Hodzici road. Now, if we go down to the massacre that
22 took place at the Kravica warehouse, the bodies that were buried at the
23 Glogova site were transported south, below the enclave, to six locations
24 along Zeleni Jadar.
25 This, Mr. President, was no small operation. And when I say the
1 bodies from these various locations, there may be other locations as well
2 where these bodies have been buried and we simply don't know about them.
3 For example, the bodies from the Dam I mentioned earlier, we simply have
4 not found the majority of those bodies.
5 Now, throughout my comments this morning I've been discussing
6 exhumations, and for purposes of the objective record in this case, Your
7 Honours are aware that exhumations were conducted in 1996, 1998, 1999, and
8 2000. The teams that were involved in these exhumation efforts were
9 multinational, multidisciplinary teams. They were composed of specialists
10 in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, pathology, radiology,
11 dentistry, and these locations were also visited by scenes of crime
12 officers of many countries, and forensic photographers.
13 Now, Your Honours have heard the testimonies of some of these
14 experts in this case: Dr. Richard Wright, who was an Emeritus Professor
15 of anthropology from Australia; Dr. William Haglund, who was a physical
16 anthropologist from the United States; Jose Baraybar, who is
17 anthropologist from Peru; Dr. Christopher Lawrence, a pathologist from
18 Australia; Dr. John Clark, a pathologist from Scotland. You've also
19 received expert reports from Fredy Peccerelli, who was the director of the
20 Guatemalan Forensic Anthropology Foundation. And all of these experts who
21 have testified before you were supported by specialists from at least 24
22 other countries.
23 In addition, Your Honours have received expert reports relating to
24 the collection and analysis of evidence retrieved from all of these sites.
25 These reports were prepared by forensic specialists from around the
1 world. I've mentioned many times the Ministry of Justice, Netherlands
2 Forensic Institute, which performed textile analyses, in other words,
3 comparison between the blindfolds found in one site and others, explosives
4 residue analyses, human DNA trace analyses from the tissue samples
5 collected at the Kravica and Pilica Dom; the United States Naval
6 Investigative Service that collected blood and tissue samples from the
7 Pilica Dom and the Kravica warehouse; the United States Bureau of Alcohol,
8 Tobacco and Firearms that did ballistics testing in this case; Dr. Anthony
9 Brown, who is a soil expert from Exeter University; and Mark Mills, who is
10 a horologist or a watch specialist from Seiko.
11 Now, I want to emphasise, first of all, that Your Honours have
12 these reports, and they're part of this record and can be examined by the
13 public if it wishes to know what happened at this -- these terrible crime
15 I emphasise to Your Honours that none of these experts are
16 associated in any way with the parties to this conflict, nor are any of
17 them from the former Yugoslavia. From these expert reports and
18 testimonies, I think it's fair to say that you have received an excellent,
19 objective, and balanced view of the findings at these locations. We
20 certainly are indebted to all of these experts and the countries that made
21 them available to us, and we are indebted to the United States government
22 for aerial images that were made available to us that helped us in our
24 Now, what are the findings of these experts who participated in
25 these exhumations? I mentioned to Your Honours and I've shown Your
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Honours the partial list of known sites that had been exhumed, but thus
2 far, Mr. President and Your Honours, we know that a minimum number, and
3 this is a very conservative number, of 2.028 bodies have been recovered
4 from the sites thus far exhumed. At virtually all of these sites,
5 blindfolds or ligatures were found.
6 Twenty known secondary sites and one primary site have yet to be
7 exhumed. When exhumations are completed on all of these sites, it is
8 quite clear that the number of victims discovered in those sites is
9 certain to increase. Dr. Richard Wright estimated, and a very
10 conservative estimate, that another 2.571 bodies remain in the known,
11 unexhumed sites.
12 Now, there has been some suggestion by Defence witnesses that
13 these grave sites contain battle casualties; in other words, people who
14 lost their lives in active combat or were collateral damage, collateral
15 casualties. Now, as the experts who have testified about their findings
16 have made clear, it's preposterous, utterly preposterous to suggest that
17 the people who were blindfolded and who had their hands bound behind them
18 were battle casualties.
19 It's also complete nonsense to suggest that the Bosnian Serb army
20 would exhume battle casualties two months later in the dead of night and
21 relocate those bodies at small, out-of-the-way, isolated, remote areas.
22 Had these been battle casualties or had there been a justification, any
23 justification to move those bodies from the primary sites, either for
24 hygienic reasons or otherwise, or any other neutral explanation, evidence
25 of that would not have been difficult to present. None was. And the
1 reason none was, was because this was a part of a cover-up operation.
2 Now, it's our submission that the bodies that Your Honours have
3 heard evidence about that have been recovered from these primary and
4 secondary grave sites are the mortal remains of Muslim men and boys who
5 had been executed by the Bosnian Serb army following the fall of
7 It's our further submission that the Bosnian Serb army made a
8 conscious decision to cover up these crimes and executed the cover-up
9 operation in September and October of 1995 in reburying these bodies
10 throughout the area of the Drina Corps area of responsibility. They did
11 so, it's our view, after United States Ambassador Madeline Albright, on
12 October the 10th, 1995, informed the UN, and later the public, that aerial
13 images were available showing massacre locations. She did that on the
14 10th of October -- 10th of August, I stand corrected, 1995, and within a
15 month, the massive cover-up operation took place.
16 Now, Mr. President and Your Honours, I have undertaken this rather
17 lengthy and detailed account of the evidence so that there will be no
18 doubt as to the nature and the scale of these terrible crimes that
19 occurred following the fall of Srebrenica and so that the criminal
20 responsibility of General Krstic can be put into proper context. I hope
21 that the objective record created in this trial will be of assistance to
22 the people in Bosnia, including the victims who need to know what happened
23 to their husbands, their sons, and their brothers. And I hope that an
24 objective record will help them in the healing process.
25 I also hope that the objective findings of the experts will permit
1 people like Witnesses DA and DC and others like them to understand what
2 happened, to confront, deal with this tragedy in a responsible way, and to
3 hopefully assist in the ultimate reconciliation of the Bosnian Muslim
4 people and the Bosnian Serb people.
5 Now that, Mr. President, concludes my description of the findings
6 of the experts and the mass grave and an examination of that evidence, and
7 I would now like to turn to another topic and that is the topic that has
8 been disputed in this case as well, and that is Counts 7 and 8. In Counts
9 7 and 8, we charge General Krstic with crimes against humanity. Count 7
10 is a crime against humanity for deportation, and Count 8 is an alternative
11 count for forcible transfer.
12 The first question that arises in this context is whether the
13 movement of the Muslim people from the enclave and its environs on the
14 12th and 13th of July constitute deportation and forcible transfer within
15 the legal meaning of the terms contained in Counts 7 and 8.
16 We know from the facts that have been presented in this case that
17 between approximately noon on the 12th of July until 8 p.m. on the 13th of
18 July, a period of about 36 hours, 25.000 to 35.000 Muslim women, children,
19 and some men were deported from the enclave. We also know that
20 separations of these men took place, and the men who had been separated
21 were also deported to the areas north of Srebrenica, and they were
23 Now, the law that applies to this case to deportation as a crime
24 against humanity is defined as the forced displacement of civilians from
25 an area in which they are lawfully present without grounds permitted by
1 international law. Under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and
2 under Article 17 of the Second Protocol, the individual, and I emphasise
3 individual, or mass forcible transfers and deportation of civilians is
4 prohibited except in two limited cases: "if the security of the civilians
5 or imperative military reasons so demand."
6 Now, in the context of this case, a number of questions arise.
7 The first question, I think, is whether the movement of the Muslim
8 population from the Srebrenica enclave on the 12th and 13th of July was
9 justifiable under international humanitarian law. It's our submission
10 that it was not. Neither the security of the civilians nor the military
11 situation demanded the forcible movement of civilians.
12 If we look, first of all, at the military situation, the evidence
13 that's been presented to Your Honours shows that by the 12th of July, the
14 Bosnian Serb army was in firm control of the enclave. Hostilities within
15 the enclave had ceased. We know from intercepted radio communications
16 that the VRS was aware of the 15.000-person column that had moved out of
17 the enclave in the direction of the road -- in the direction of Tuzla. We
18 know that. Those exhibits are 501 and 502.
19 Now, by the time the VRS entered Potocari on the morning of the
20 12th, they had an opportunity to assess the composition of the 25.000 to
21 35.000 refugees who were in and around the enclave. They were fully aware
22 that the majority of the people who were around the Potocari UN base were
23 women and children, although they were also aware that there was a limited
24 number of men. These people clearly did not pose a military threat.
25 We've seen film of the desperate condition that these people were in.
1 Indeed, Your Honours, so secure were the Bosnian Serb forces that
2 they, the people in and around Potocari, didn't pose a threat nor did the
3 situation in the enclave pose a threat, that General Mladic ordered the
4 Drina Corps units that had captured the enclave to withdraw to Zepa to
5 start new offensive operations against the Zepa enclave on the 14th of
6 July. Thus, by the 13th of July, the VRS units that had been involved in
7 capturing the enclave were withdrawing and going south to Zepa. So it's
8 our submission that the military imperatives did not warrant deportation
9 of the refugees.
10 Now, if we examine, then, the issue of did the security of the
11 refugees, did that situation justify the deportation of the refugees.
12 Your Honours have heard from the victims who were in Potocari, you've seen
13 film of those dreadful days, and you've heard testimonies of Dutch
14 Battalion soldiers who were present. It's clear that the security -- it's
15 certainly clear that the condition of those refugees was that they were
16 frightened, they were exhausted, and they were in need of proper shelter,
17 food, water, and medical care. DutchBat endeavoured to provide their
18 limited resources to assist the refugees.
19 Now, under the circumstances of that situation, the VRS had an
20 obligation to provide assistance to the refugees who were in and around
21 Potocari. They were in complete control of the area, they had resources
22 at their disposal, and quite frankly, deportation was not an alternative
23 to not providing assistance to those refugees.
24 The other alternative that was available to the VRS was to let
25 these people go back to their homes within the enclave. They certainly
1 weren't a military threat. Their homes were available; they could have
2 gone home and could have had at their disposal the shelter, food, or at
3 least some food, to care for their needs.
4 It's our submission, Mr. President and Your Honours, that the
5 security situation of the refugees didn't justify their deportation
6 between the 12th and the 13th of July.
7 Now, I think the next issue that we have to confront in this case
8 is what is the definition of force within the meaning of the terms
9 "deportation" and "forcible transfer"? And the answer to that, I think,
10 can be found in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 17
11 July 1998, Article 7, where it says that deportation and forcible transfer
12 means forced displacement of persons concerned by expulsion or by other
13 coercive acts from the area in which they are lawfully present, without
14 grounds permitted by international law.
15 Now, one of the commentators on the Rome Statute, a gentleman
16 named Otto Triffterer, has said, and I quote: "Expulsion or other
17 coercive acts must include the full range of coercive measures on people
18 to flee their homes, including death threats, destruction to their homes,
19 and other acts of persecution."
20 So using that framework, we must now look at the facts and attempt
21 to determine whether or not the mass movement of the 25.000 to 35.000
22 women and children from the enclave that occurred was effectuated by
23 force, and whether the movement of the men who had been separated in
24 Potocari or who had surrendered along the road was also effectuated by
25 force. Our submission to Your Honours is that force within the framework
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of these definitions was, indeed, used.
2 Now, to understand, and I have to go back a little bit in history,
3 but to understand the motivation for the deportation of the Muslim
4 population from Srebrenica in 1995, we must first cast an eye on what were
5 the political and strategic objectives of the Republika Srpska.
6 We can take a look at that. It's in writing. It's Prosecutor's
7 Exhibit, I believe, 746. This particular document is a decision that was
8 taken in 1992 on the strategic objectives of the Serbian people in Bosnia
9 and Herzegovina. It is dated the 12th of May, 1992, and you can see that
10 these strategic objectives that have been embedded in law include in point
11 1 to "Establish State Borders separating the Serbian people from the other
12 two ethnic communities." In point 3, to "Establish a corridor in the
13 Drina River valley, that is eliminate the Drina as a border separating
14 Serbian States."
15 Of course, these objectives, as we know, were not achieved. In
16 1993, despite an effort by the Bosnian Serb army to completely separate
17 the ethnic communities in Eastern Bosnia and establish a corridor, the UN
18 established safe areas. As a result, of course, the Bosnian Serb
19 community had in its bosom one of the ethnic groups from which it had
20 hoped to be separated.
21 Now, in March of 1995, the Supreme Commander of the Republika
22 Srpska army, Dr. Radovan Karadzic, issued Directive 7 to the VRS, and in
23 that directive, it included instructions and directions to the Drina
24 Corps. Dr. Karadzic, in this directive, is directing the implementation
25 of the strategic objectives that were announced in 1992. If we examine
1 this directive, which is Prosecutor's Exhibit 425, we can see that
2 Dr. Karadzic specifically directs the Drina Corps - this is a little bit
3 below the middle of the page - "by planned and thought out combat
4 operations, create an unbearable situation of total insecurity with no
5 hope of further survival or life for the inhabitants of Srebrenica and
7 Now, further down in this document, paragraph 6.1, under the area
8 "Support for Combat Operations," 6.1 is "Moral and Psychological
9 Support." This says that the state and military organisations shall do,
10 among other things, they shall "reduce and eliminate logistics support of
11 UNPROFOR to the enclaves and the supply of material resources to the
12 Muslim population."
13 It was thus in 1995, in March, that the enclave was slowly
14 strangled by the VRS. Your Honours have heard considerable evidence about
15 the effects of paragraph 6.1 on both the Dutch Battalion that was serving
16 within the enclave and the occupants who lived there.
17 Colonel Karremans, whose testimony was provided to Your Honours -
18 he testified during a Rule 61 hearing and we submitted the transcript and
19 the film of that testimony - Colonel Karremans characterised what happened
20 from March onwards as "convoy terror," which first restricted the amount
21 of humanitarian aid that came in and then prevented it from coming in.
22 This also prevented the Dutch Battalion from effectively fulfilling its
23 mandate, because every time Dutch Battalion soldiers who were in the
24 enclave rotated out of the enclave, no replacements were permitted to come
25 back in; in addition to which, the convoy of terror, the blocking of
1 terror, blocked the Dutch Battalion from receiving sufficient means in
2 which to fulfil their mandate, that is, equipment, gasoline, ammunition.
3 The other effect that this had on the enclave was that
4 humanitarian aid did not arrive into the enclave. If it did, it was in
5 very small amounts. Indeed, Your Honours have heard testimony that the
6 people within the enclave slowly starved or were starving.
7 Now, this image, Prosecutor's Exhibit 85, is an image that was
8 provided to us by a member of the Dutch Battalion. What it shows is the
9 white truck was a United Nations dump truck, and this picture was taken in
10 winter at the dump site. The people around this dump truck are scrounging
11 for the remains of whatever they could find useful, including food, so
12 they could sustain their lives.
13 Your Honours have received as well internal Bosnian army
14 documents, Prosecutor's Exhibit 898 to 904, describing the effects of this
15 strangulation, including the deaths due to starvation.
16 Now, this kind of coercion was protracted, it was subtle, and then
17 it was a factor that contributed to making life unbearable.
18 Against this, as I say, Your Honours should consider the strategic
19 objectives, then, of Krivaja 95, which was the Bosnian Serb army military
20 plan that implemented Directive 7. It had as its initial goal the
21 reduction of the enclave to the urban areas. In other words, the urban
22 area of Srebrenica was approximately a kilometre square. In reducing the
23 enclave to its urban areas meant that the thousands and thousands of
24 Muslim people who remained in the enclave would be forced to live within
25 that one square kilometre, thus creating a humanitarian disaster.
1 Now, if we focus our attention on the actual attack in 1995,
2 starting on the 6th of July and the attack itself ended on the 11th, we
3 can see that the Bosnian Serb army targeted civilians. There were acts of
4 physical violence which were directed against the civilians that were
5 committed in the presence of thousands of other refugees who were in and
6 around Srebrenica and in and around Potocari. Taken individually and
7 collectively, these acts, which I'll describe in a minute, had the effect
8 of terrorising the civilians who had remained in the enclave.
9 DutchBat soldiers who testified before you testified that these
10 people were so terrorised that some actually committed suicide. They
11 recounted cutting the bodies down of the people who had committed suicide
12 in and around Potocari. And Your Honours heard the testimony of one very
13 courageous woman, Camila Omanovic, who testified before you, about her own
14 attempt to take her life. She had participated in the negotiations with
15 General Mladic and General Krstic on the 13th where the Muslim
16 representatives were intimidated.
17 Now, let me summarise some of this evidence that relates to the
18 use of force, and I'll start first of all by just touching upon the VRS
19 attacks on civilians during the attack. Now, Your Honours have heard the
20 testimony of Colonel Kingori, who was a United Nations military observer
21 from Kenya who was stationed within the enclave, and from Major Franken
22 from the Dutch Battalion, and Your Honours also have before you
23 Prosecutor's Exhibits 898 to 904 and the testimony of a witness General
24 Hadzihasanovic. It is clear from the testimony of those witnesses and
25 those exhibits that the artillery fire during the attack was directed at
1 civilian targets as well as military targets.
2 Captain Egbers, who was a Dutch Battalion representative,
3 testified that the artillery fire that was directed -- it was directed in
4 such a way as to herd the Muslim refugees from Srebrenica to Potocari, and
5 Your Honours have also heard the testimony of both Captain Egbers and
6 Witness B who testified that the UN compound in Srebrenica where the
7 civilians had initially gathered was shelled, causing civilian casualties.
8 Witness C, Nesib Mandzic, Dutch Battalion soldier David Vaasen,
9 and a witness by the name of Hajdarevic testified about the burning of
10 Muslim homes that was particularly evident and in the plain view of Muslim
11 refugees who were in and around Potocari.
12 Drazen Erdemovic testified that he participated in the attack on
13 the enclave, his unit being one of the first, if not the first, to enter
14 into the town of Srebrenica on the morning of the 11th, and he described
15 how his unit came across a young, military-aged Muslim - he was captured,
16 he was unarmed - and how Miso Pelemis, the leader of Mr. Erdemovic's
17 group, gave the order for that man to have his throat slit, and how
18 members -- one member of the 10th Sabotage Detachment did just what
19 Pelemis ordered, and how the body of that victim remained in town for all
20 to see.
21 Now, once the refugees had fled to Potocari and sought protection
22 in Potocari, the VRS directed acts of physical violence against them.
23 First of all, the testimony in this case has been that upon the entry of
24 the VRS units into Potocari, there were verbal threats, menaces, and other
25 intimidation from VRS soldiers to the refugees. In addition, Dutch
1 Battalion soldiers testified -- and Dutch Battalion soldiers were supposed
2 to be the protectors of these people. They had gone to Potocari seeking
3 the protection of the Dutch Battalion. And Dutch Battalion soldiers
4 testified in this case about how they would go out on patrol amongst the
5 refugees to monitor the refugees, and how they were systematically
6 disarmed by Bosnian Serb soldiers in the presence of the refugees. They
7 were held at gunpoint; they were stripped of their blue helmets, their
8 vests, their weapons. And ultimately the command from the Dutch Battalion
9 let the soldiers go out, the Dutch Battalion soldiers go out unarmed
10 because to be armed was only an invitation to take the arms of the
11 soldiers. So these actions in front of these refugees made them certainly
12 feel more vulnerable as their protectors were being slowly and
13 systematically disarmed.
14 In addition, Your Honours have heard testimony about the murder in
15 the presence of the refugees of men and children by members of the VRS.
16 Let me cite some of those examples for Your Honours. There was the
17 testimony of many of the witnesses who were refugees around Potocari who
18 described for Your Honours the constant shooting in and around and nearby
19 the enclave; the testimony of Corporal Groenewegen who actually saw a
20 refugee lined up against a wall by VRS soldiers and executed; the
21 discovery of nine to ten bodies at two separate locations near a river.
22 Those people had been murdered. The testimony that I direct Your Honours'
23 attention to are the testimonies of Dutch Battalion soldiers, Rutten,
24 Witness F, and Major Franken.
25 The decapitation of over 100 Muslim civilians near a hangar where
1 thousands of these refugees were seeking shelter. Bego Ademovic testified
2 to that. He also testified about observing an infant who was taken out of
3 her mother's arms in the presence of the refugees and stabbed to death.
4 Now, fear in this media and the threat of death was omnipresent.
5 These actions that were taken were like eventually throwing a match in a
6 bottle of kerosene.
7 Let me remind Your Honours about the testimony of Witness F who
8 described for Your Honours his encounter with the young Muslim soldier who
9 had been wounded in a fight with the VRS at some earlier occasion and who
10 Witness F knew from his patrols and whom he encountered in Potocari on the
11 12th of July. And I quote Witness F: "He asked me what's going to happen
12 to me? And I couldn't give him a direct answer to that. I could have
13 done so, but it's very difficult to tell him that he, being a man, will be
14 taken away, because separations are taking place. So I didn't tell him
15 much. He said to me, `You don't have to tell me. I know what's going to
16 happen. I'm going to be taken away and killed.' So I just nodded my head
17 and I saw the fear in his eyes. There wasn't much I could do. I stood
18 powerless. And I haven't seen him since."
19 Now, then Your Honours also heard the testimony of David Vaasen, a
20 Dutch soldier, who described coming upon VRS soldiers raping a young girl
21 in the presence of countless other refugees.
22 Your Honours are also aware of the inhumane conditions that
23 existed in and around Potocari. There is no dispute that the temperature
24 was exceptionally hot, and the VRS had absolute control over the environs
25 of Potocari and the area. They were fully aware of the conditions of the
1 refugees, and despite having the ability to provide the basic necessities
2 to them, they only provided one tanker of water and a small amount of
3 bread for the 25.000 to 35.000 refugees. It was quite obviously
4 inadequate. As a result of that, many babies died of dehydration.
5 Now, the VRS did use this situation, however, to callously exploit
6 the refugees for propaganda purposes and to deceive the world about what
7 was really going to happen. I'm going to show Your Honours a piece of
8 what I consider to be a disgusting propaganda film that was filmed on the
9 12th of July. It's a rather benign scene. It's a comforting scene, and
10 it shows the VRS soldiers giving candy to the refugee children. So if we
11 could put that on the film, if we could play it right now. It's very
13 [Videotape played]
14 MR. HARMON: That is a very short clip of film, and it's a very
15 comforting scene. But Your Honours also heard of -- from four witnesses
16 who were present when that rather benign scene was being filmed: Colonel
17 Kingori, who was the Kenyan United Nations observer, and Dutch officers
18 Rutten, Vaasen, and Witness F. All of them testified about seeing this
19 film being filmed in the presence of General Mladic and other members of
20 the Bosnian Serb army.
21 After the cameras were turned off, they all testified about what
22 happened next, and I will only quote from Witness F whose testimony is
23 found at page 1521: "After the camera crew stopped filming, the General
24 turned around and laughed. The soldiers took the candy back, took the
25 cigarettes back. They spit at the children and at the women and they were
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 taken away directly."
2 Now, let me continue describing the force in those days in
3 Potocari. As we know, Mr. President and Your Honours, the men who had
4 accompanied their families to Potocari were separated from their families
5 in the presence of thousands of other refugees. This separation process
6 was terrifying, absolutely terrifying. How terrifying was it? Well, I
7 can never give words to what occurred those five years ago. I can't
8 convey what it was like, but let me play for Your Honours the testimony of
9 Witness DD who was a deportee and who testified about the day the Bosnian
10 Serb soldiers took away her 14-year-old son.
11 [Videotape played]
12 MR. HARMON: Mr. President and Your Honours, you've also heard
13 testimony about the brutal treatment that took place in respect of men and
14 boys who had been separated and who had been detained at the "white
15 house." When DutchBat soldier Rutten, who had gone into the "white house"
16 was asked to describe the condition of the men he had seen in the "white
17 house," he answered, and I quote: "You could see the total fear and I
18 never thought that it really existed. But you could even smell death
19 there because it was total fear, what you saw in the faces of the men and
20 the young boys."
21 Also, Your Honours have heard the testimony of Dutch Battalion
22 soldier Witness F who described observing members of the Bosnian Serb army
23 pushing, kicking, beating, shouting, and spitting at the refugees in order
24 to force them onto the buses.
25 Now, if any doubt remains as to the Bosnian Serb army's intention
1 toward letting the Muslims remain in the enclave, it is clearly dispelled
2 by an intercepted communication in which General Mladic was intercepted.
3 This conversation took place on the 12th of July, if we can have that on
4 next. In this intercepted communication of the 12th of July, you will see
5 that General Mladic is conversing, and in the highlighted portion he
6 says: "Good, excellent. Continue to monitor the situation. Don't let
7 small groups of them sneak in. They've all capitulated and surrendered
8 and we'll evacuate them all - those who want to and those who don't want
9 to." And the other party answers, "I understand, General."
10 Lastly, I would like to draw Your Honours' attention to the
11 testimony of Martin Van der Zwan, who was a Dutch Battalion soldier and
12 who described the conversation he had with a dog handler who was
13 associated with a unit that was trying to find Muslims who had remained in
14 the enclave. This conversation took place after the deportations had
16 Mr. Van der Zwan testified that the young VRS dog handler who was
17 conversing with him was very upset. He was crying, and he described the
18 events of the day. He described how his unit had been in Srebrenica and
19 how they had come across an old Muslim man and a young girl, and how the
20 dogs chased down the old man and how the platoon leader of that squad, a
21 man known as "the butcher" killed the old man with his knife. And then
22 "the butcher" turned his attention to the young girl, and according to
23 the soldier, Mr. Van der Zwan said he told him the following: "He killed
24 her by slitting, cutting her open with a knife, starting between her legs
25 and up to her throat."
1 It's clear from the evidence, Your Honours, that no Muslims were
2 to remain in the enclave. There was no choice. Any attempt to
3 characterise the mass deportation of Muslim women and children and the
4 elderly males from Srebrenica on the 12th and the 13th as a humanitarian
5 gesture designed to avert a humanitarian crisis, or that the refugees had
6 any choice in the matter, that they were exercising their free will, has
7 been starkly refuted by the evidence.
8 Furthermore, any legal justification for the deportation of the
9 men and the boys who had been separated in Potocari, had been captured
10 along the road, or who had been separated at Tisca and transported to the
11 execution fields, utterly fails. Those men, those boys were transported
12 out of the enclave and to the distant killing fields by brutal and raw
13 force and nothing else.
14 As the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata,
15 characterised the removal of the Muslims from the enclave, as found in our
16 Exhibit 113/1, and what she said was that the removal was "one of the
17 most blatant examples of ethnically-motivated forced displacement we have
18 seen yet in the war."
19 It is our submission to Your Honours that, indeed, force within
20 the meaning of Counts 7 and 8 was used to remove the Muslims from the
21 Srebrenica enclave and its environs.
22 Mr. President, perhaps this would be a good time to break because
23 I'm about to go to a wholly different section. I will be addressing
24 General Krstic's role in the deportations.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Harmon, I think that
1 this would be a good time to adjourn for 50 minutes.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.53 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.50 p.m.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Before we resume, I should like
5 to check. I think there was a misunderstanding regarding the timetable.
6 Are we going to respect the normal hours that we had throughout the trial,
7 or are we going to work until 5.00 or 5.30? What is your understanding of
8 the matter, Mr. Harmon, to check with you whether we're going to work
9 longer hours or as we used to?
10 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I had no particular understanding one
11 way or the other. I knew that we would be given two days to complete our
12 summation, but I never gave thought to the number of specific hours.
13 JUDGE RIAD: But two days can be two full days or two days till
14 3.00. What was in your mind?
15 MR. HARMON: Again, Judge Riad, I had prepared what I thought
16 would finish within, reasonably within two days, perhaps less than two of
17 our normal court days.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Mr. Petrusic, your response to
19 the same question, please.
20 MR. PETRUSIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence thought
21 that we would be respecting the normal hours, that is, from 9.20 until 3
22 p.m. during these four days that have been planned.
23 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Having
24 clarified the matter, we can now continue.
25 Mr. Harmon, please go on. We'll be working until 3 p.m. We need
1 maybe ten minutes to deal with a particular point, so perhaps you can work
2 a little longer. We'll go on a little longer than three.
3 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
4 What I'd like now to turn my attention to is the role of General
5 Krstic in these deportations. According to the Prosecutor's military
6 expert, Major General Francis Richard Dannatt, a distinguished British
7 career officer who testified for the Prosecution, General Dannatt
8 testified that the movement of 25.000 to 35.000 people would be "a
9 significant military undertaking and would require significant planning."
10 According to General Dannatt, the quicker it was done, the greater degree
11 of planning that would be involved.
12 When the deportations from Srebrenica, from Potocari were
13 occurring, General Krstic held the position of Chief of Staff of the Drina
14 Corps. According to General Dannatt, such an operation could not have
15 taken place without the involvement or the knowledge of the corps staff or
16 the Chief of Staff. That testimony is found at 5265 and 6.
17 Indeed, our evidence shows that General Krstic played an important
18 and significant role in the deportation of the Muslims from Srebrenica.
19 General Krstic testified under oath in this trial. My colleague,
20 Mr. McCloskey, cross-examined him and asked him about the subject of buses
21 that were used to deport the refugees. That testimony is found at page
22 6584, and this is the question and these are the answers that were
24 Question by Mr. McCloskey: "Do you recall the testimony that
25 numerous buses started arriving in Potocari at 1:00 p.m.?" General
1 Krstic: "Well, I don't know anything about the arrival of the buses."
2 Question: "Is it fair to say that there must have been a lot of
3 organisation going on to get those buses and to make the arrangements to
4 get the people transported?" Answer by General Krstic: "I don't know
5 that. I did not in any way -- I was not in any way included in securing
6 the buses."
7 Now, that testimony was untruthful. General Krstic had a direct
8 role in ordering the buses, and after they left the enclave, he monitored
9 their progress to the destination of Tisca, where the Muslims were
10 disembarked, where the men were separated.
11 Now, if we turn initially to Prosecutor's Exhibit 435, this is an
12 intercepted radio communication. Your Honours received a lot of evidence
13 of intercepted radio communication and Your Honours have heard the
14 testimonies of those radio intercept operators and have seen them, have
15 been able to assess them, and have been able to understand and comprehend
16 the manner and methods that they used.
17 This is an intercepted radio communication from the 12th of July,
18 1995, the day the deportations started. It involves two people: General
19 Krstic and it also involves Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic.
20 Now, Your Honours, this is an organigramme of the VRS Drina Corps
21 structure, and Colonel Krsmanovic, Lieutenant Colonel Krsmanovic, is found
22 here where he is the -- he is in one of the Corps branches, in the
23 Transportation Service. This conversation essentially was a conversation,
24 and you can see it on the monitors and on the board before you, this is
25 General Krstic saying: "Hello, is that Krsmanovic?" And down below,
1 General Krstic, as you can see, is ordering the buses. He's making an
2 order here. He says, "Now: this, from all these places, 50 buses in total
3 are to be at the stadium in Bratunac by 1700 hours." Later he says, "Make
4 very sure this is done! Is that clear?" And Krsmanovic says,
6 Now, if we refer then to the next intercepted radio communication,
7 this at 1210 hours, again between General Krstic and Lieutenant Colonel
8 Krsmanovic, this is a summary of a conversation. As Your Honours heard
9 from the intercept operators, sometimes they would merely summarise the
10 conversations. But at 1210, shortly before the deportation started, it's
11 another intercept, a summary: "Krstic wants the buses to start moving
12 right away."
13 The next intercept, again from the 12th of July, 1995, involves
14 two correspondents, X and Y, and they are unidentified. But if you go
15 down, close to the bottom, you'll see X saying, "I have it from Krsto,
16 where he ... ordered directly. That request went up there and I am
17 thinking that it can't be 200 litres ... 200 tonnes."
18 The last intercept in this series is also from the 12th of July,
19 this at 1305 hours, and it's with General Krstic and an individual Sobot.
20 General Krstic is now monitoring the transportation, making sure that the
21 route to Tisca has been cleared, and he says to Sobot: "Get in touch with
22 those guys from the ... Ministry of the Interior. That means you, your
23 brigade and them." He goes on to say and he directs Sobot to "secure the
24 road first, from the crossroad below ... where you are, 12 kilometres
25 towards ... up to the tunnel." And he says that, while they're
1 disembarking, make sure that nothing must happen to anyone. "Is that
3 Now, this intercept parallels another intercept that we'll see
4 later with General Mladic. And clearly this expression, "make sure that
5 nothing must happen to any of them," is understood in the context of what
6 was happening, because the last thing the VRS wanted was to reveal the
7 plans to annihilate the men. The women had to arrive safely, provided
8 them with cover to conduct the massive killing operation that they had
9 planned and were undertaking at the time.
10 Now, when confronted with this series of intercepts during the
11 course of the trial, General Krstic identified the Krstic in these
12 intercepts as a Lieutenant Colonel in the logistics base at Sokolac. His
13 testimony can be found at 6609. And this, Your Honours, it's our
14 submission, was an attempt by General Krstic to shift the blame, to shift
15 the responsibility, to others. It was a consistent pattern of General
16 Krstic's throughout this trial.
17 Now, when you consider General Krstic's knowledge, his
18 participation in, and his role in these deportations, I would direct Your
19 Honours' attention to closed session testimony that is found at pages 9157
20 through 9161.
21 Lastly, I would like Your Honours to consider the following film
22 clip that I'm going to play in a moment. General Krstic gave a statement
23 to the Office of the Prosecutor in February of 2000, and in that interview
24 he was asked whether or not he was in Potocari, the location where these
25 deportations took place. And if we could play that film, then you will
1 see the questions that were asked of him and his answers.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. HARMON: The answer, "No, absolutely not."
4 Now, let's examine the next piece of film, which is -- and I'll
5 play it in just a minute, which is an interview of General Krstic in
6 Potocari on the 12th of July. And when you look at this film you'll
7 notice behind General Krstic are the very buses that he ordered, the very
8 trucks that he ordered to transport, to deport, these refugees.
9 And if the language booth could also read, translate, the
10 interview of General Krstic. So if we could play that film now.
11 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "This operation was very successful.
12 We didn't stop with the operation. We are going on to liberate the
13 territory of Srebrenica municipality. We guarantee to the civilian
14 population their security. They will be safely transported to where they
15 wish to go.
16 "How do you comment on the NATO plane attacks on the Serb army,
17 though it is well known that the Muslims from this former enclave kept
18 making attacks and inflicting losses on Serb civilian targets?
19 "Regarding the NATO air shelling, the reason is that they know
20 that most of the Dutch Battalion has crossed over onto our territory.
21 They have asked us to guarantee their security. We are not afraid of the
22 NATO planes. We will go on until the end."
23 MR. HARMON: You can see, Your Honours, that General Krstic was
24 not only present in Potocari on the 12th, he was participating in another
25 one of those comforting exercises, assuring the world and assuring the
1 public that the Muslim population would be taken to locations wherever
2 they wanted.
3 Now, the testimony of many witnesses who have appeared in this
4 Chamber before you when the Muslims were being deported on the buses
5 testified about seeing General Krstic in Potocari, testified about seeing
6 General Krstic present when the men were being separated. According to
7 Witness F, who was a DutchBat soldier, Krstic was "at the centre of all
8 the happenings around the refugees, so he was in the centre between the
9 main entrance, the bus complex, and the white house around the compound."
10 Our evidence shows that General Krstic remained in Potocari
11 between one and two hours on the 12th of July. According to United
12 Nations military observer Colonel Kingori, General Krstic was giving
13 orders to his subordinates while he was in Potocari. He was not a passive
14 observer. The film that we've just seen put him right in the heart of the
15 deportations, right in front of the very buses that he ordered.
16 It's our submission to Your Honours that the removal of the
17 civilian population from Srebrenica was consistent with the decision taken
18 in 1992 to separate the Muslim ethnic group from the Serbs and to
19 establish a corridor in the Drina river valley. It's our further
20 submission that force was used by the VRS to remove the men and the women
21 and the children from the enclave, and to remove the men and the boys who
22 had been separated in Potocari and the environs.
23 Further, we submit to Your Honours that General Krstic was
24 untruthful about his involvement in securing the buses, and he was so in
25 order to conceal his involvement in these crimes.
1 Now I would like to turn my attention next to General Krstic's
2 role in the mass executions. First, it's important to address one issue
3 that was contested quite vigorously in this trial, and that is when did
4 General Krstic assume command of the Drina Corps.
5 In brief, General Krstic's position is this: He was formally
6 designated to become the commander of the Drina Corps by a decree of
7 President Karadzic on the 14th of July, his role as commander to be
8 effective the 15th of July, 1995, but he didn't actually assume actual
9 control over the Drina Corps until the 20th or the 21st when command was
10 formally passed over to him.
11 The Prosecutor's position is that General Krstic assumed command
12 of the Drina Corps on the 13th of July, and that that pass-over of command
13 ceremony took place at the Drina command headquarters in Vlasenica.
14 Now, why is that date important? And Your Honours will see on the
15 monitors before you or on the board in front of you a visual aid that puts
16 clearly the matter at issue, because when General Krstic became the
17 commander of the Drina Corps fixes in time who had direct command
18 authority over the Drina Corps units that participated in the mass
19 executions. So on this visual aid, Your Honours will see that General
20 Krstic, according to the Prosecutor's Office, became commander on the 13th
21 of July.
22 Now, you'll see a shaded area above that and the killings that
23 took place before General Krstic actually assumed command of the Drina
24 Corps. It's important to note that at the time that the killings on the
25 12th and 13th took place, those identified in the shaded areas, that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 General Krstic was a Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps. After he became
2 the commander on the 13th of July, you'll see then a series of mass
3 executions that took place while he was the commander.
4 Now, if you take General Krstic's version of when he became the
5 commander, that is, the dotted line at the bottom, and you'll notice that,
6 according to the time period General Krstic says he became commander, all
7 of the mass executions had finished. The only events that remained were
8 the cover-up, the reburials that took place in September and in October.
9 Now, Mr. Petrusic, my distinguished colleague from the Defence,
10 said in his opening statement at page 5955 that the report on the
11 hand-over of duty fixing the date when General Krstic assumed command of
12 the Drina Corps is missing and, "That is why General Krstic is here before
14 The Defence expert witness, Professor General Radinovic, testified
15 in response to a question by Your Honour Judge Rodrigues that the date
16 when General Krstic became commander of the Drina Corps was important
17 because, "The assessment of responsibility depends on that fact." That is
18 found at 8388.
19 Now, let's examine the evidence that supports General Krstic first
20 in his assertion that he only assumed command on the 20th or the 21st.
21 His evidence depends on three pillars. The first pillar is the
22 presidential decree by Radovan Karadzic appointing him formally to that
23 position; the second pillar is his sworn testimony that, following the
24 presidential decree, a period of transition was required before the actual
25 assumption of command was passed from General Zivanovic to him; and third,
1 his sworn testimony again that the pass-over of command ceremony took
2 place in a restaurant in Han Kram on the 20th or the 21st of July, at
3 which point General Zivanovic passed command authority over to General
5 Now, in that latter element, the Han Kram ceremony, the only
6 supporting evidence presented by General Krstic is hearsay testimony of, I
7 believe, two witnesses who came before Your Honours and said they had
8 heard of the ceremony; they had not actually attended it.
9 So let's -- why don't we examine, then, the evidence. We'll take
10 the first pillar of General Krstic's story, that is -- and it is the -- if
11 we could have the next -- on the monitor, I see. This is the critical and
12 immutable starting point on the issue, according to General Krstic, when
13 he became the commander. It is the decree. And you'll see it's dated the
14 14th of July, and it is -- appoints to the command of the Drina Corps
15 General Krstic. It appoints as well, as the deputy commander, Svetozar
16 Andzic. The appointment is to be effective the 15th of July.
17 Now, according to General Krstic, this decree did not confer
18 immediate or actual control of the Drina Corps to him. There had to be a
19 transition period, as I said, and that transition period was required both
20 by custom and required by military regulation. According to Professor
21 General Radinovic, he testified that, before that date, which is the date
22 of the decree, he should not or he is not permitted to take over such
24 Now, we, of course, reject this hypothesis both on the basis of
25 common sense and on the basis of the testimony of General Krstic's own
1 witnesses. His assertion that the assumption of command can only occur
2 after this decree has been issued is illogical, because during wartime it
3 is inconceivable that an individual in command authority could not take
4 over command responsibility prior to the issuance of a piece of paper.
5 Wartime conditions being what they were create exceptional situations.
6 Indeed, Your Honour, battles, wars, campaigns could be lost awaiting the
7 fulfillment of a bureaucratic detail like the issuance of or the signing
8 of a piece of paper.
13 [redacted] One of those examples was not adhering to the
14 formal requirements of a communications plan that would form part of an
15 operational attack plan. He also said that numerical designations of
16 officers' status again wasn't followed because of wartime conditions. But
17 more importantly, Your Honours, he testified that a commander could assume
18 de facto command prior to the issuance of a presidential decree formally
19 designating that individual to the command position.
20 Now, Your Honours should also consider the testimony of General
21 Francis Richard Dannatt, the Prosecutor's military expert. He was asked
22 by Judge Rodrigues at page 5703 and 4 about this very same issue, and he
23 was asked whether in the British Army it was possible for a commander to
24 be appointed by someone else except for the person who was empowered by
25 law to appoint him as the commander, and General Dannatt said yes. And he
1 gave Your Honours an example in his own command when he acted prior to the
2 authorised person issuing the piece of paper, the decree.
3 So it's our submission, Mr. President and Your Honours, that in
4 the Bosnian Serb army, an officer could assume command of a unit before he
5 was formally designated to that post.
6 Now, the next pillar upon which the accused says he couldn't have
7 assumed command until the 21st was the issue of the transition period.
8 Now, what is the transition period that's required? According to
9 Professor General Radinovic, once again, and according to Witness DB, a
10 transition period is a period of time that it takes the new commander who
11 is coming into a new unit to familiarise himself with the elements of the
12 unit, the officers, the operations in which they're involved. He has to
13 go visit the units. He has to become fully acquainted with the unit he's
14 about to command before he can take control over them.
15 Now, we also know that General Krstic had been the Chief of Staff
16 of the Drina Corps since the 28th of September, 1994, and he was
17 intimately familiar with the personnel of the Drina Corps and all of their
18 operations. According to General Professor Radinovic, familiarity with
19 the Drina Corps personnel would permit someone like General Krstic only an
20 "operative pause" in which to effectuate the transition. In other words,
21 somebody who was familiar with a unit wouldn't need a long period of time
22 for transition.
23 Now, it's our submission that with regard to the transition
24 period, that indeed all that was required was an operative pause, given
25 General Krstic's familiarity with the unit. It did not require a
1 transition period of the number of days that General Krstic says was
2 required. From the 14th until the 20th or the 21st of June, he had been
3 the Chief of Staff; he was familiar with the unit and the Corps.
4 The third prong of General Krstic's argument on this issue is that
5 there was a formal pass-over of command ceremony that took place at Han
6 Kram at a restaurant on the 20th or the 21st of July.
7 Now, what is a pass-over of command ceremony? Witness DB
8 enlightened us on that, and he said, "The ceremony is prescribed ... in
9 the rules of the service of the Republika Srpska army and is entitled
10 'Handover of Duty,' handover/takeover of duty. Briefly, it implies that
11 in front of a lined-up unit, the old commander and the new commander shall
12 come, accompanied by someone from the superior command, preferably a
13 commander who is elder to them ..."
14 General Krstic testified that this pass-over of command ceremony
15 at Han Kram was attended by numerous high-ranking VRS military personnel
16 and civilians. He named some of them. General Boric, who was the
17 commander of the military schools in Banja Luka; General Gavric, Chief of
18 Staff of the East Bosnian Corps; General Gvero from the Main Staff;
19 General Skrbic of the Main Staff; General Tolimir; the outgoing commander,
20 General Zivanovic. Not one of those people came before Your Honours to
21 testify; not one of the attendees he identified testified before Your
22 Honours that on the 20th or the 21st of July, there was a formal takeover
23 of command at Han Kram.
24 The only evidence before you, Your Honours, is hearsay testimony
25 of, I believe, two witnesses who said they had heard of this ceremony.
1 One of those witnesses was Witness DB, who was again a senior officer on
2 General Krstic's Drina Corps staff. He did not attend this meeting, this
3 ceremony. He had heard about it.
4 He testified before Your Honours that he heard that that ceremony
5 had taken place on the 20th or the 21st of July. On cross-examination, he
6 was truthful when he said to Your Honours, when he was asked by the Office
7 of the Prosecutor some considerable time before he actually testified, he
8 had researched the problem, he knew he was going to be asked about that,
9 and when asked by the Office of the Prosecutor when General Krstic became
10 the commander of the Drina Corps, his answer to the investigators was on
11 the 13th of July. He also said to Your Honours that between the time of
12 that interview and the time he came to testify in court, he had been given
13 a 30-page summary of General Krstic's statement before -- his interview
14 statement that was part of the Prosecutor's evidence, and he had been
15 given that by his superior officers.
16 In this regard, Your Honour, the characterisation of the event at
17 Han Kram thus virtually exclusively depends on the credibility of General
18 Krstic and the reliability of the hearsay that was testimony that was
19 presented to you.
20 Now, it is going to be our submission to Your Honours that the
21 event at Han Kram was a going-away party for General Zivanovic, and that
22 the formal ceremony, passing over of command, took place on the 13th of
23 July, at the Drina Corps headquarters in Vlasenica.
24 Lastly, I would like to comment on one other item mentioned by
25 Professor General Radinovic when he discussed the ceremony and said that a
1 document was normally executed by both the outgoing commander and the
2 incoming commander. He testified that normally that's a document that
3 should be maintained by the officers involved in the command ceremony. In
4 other words, General Krstic should have that document and should have kept
5 that document.
6 Now, if such a document was actually executed, if such a document
7 exists for this occasion, General Krstic could not and did not produce it
8 to Your Honours. So that, in sum, is the totality of the evidence of
9 General Krstic.
10 I'd like to turn Your Honours' attention to the evidence of the
11 Prosecutor, again our position being that on the 13th of July, at the
12 Drina Corps command headquarters, in the evening, General Krstic became
13 the commander of the Drina Corps.
14 If we could turn to our next exhibit, this is a document,
15 Prosecutor's Exhibit 905, that was submitted late in the course of this
16 trial. This is a document that Your Honours can see is dated the 13th of
17 July, 1995, and it is a notification by Lieutenant Colonel Jovicic, who is
18 of the personnel section of the Drina Corps, to the subordinate units in
19 the Drina Corps, that General Krstic had become the commander of the Drina
20 Corps. It says that in the presence of General Mladic, the hand-over of
21 duties of the Drina Corps was carried out on the 13th of July. It
22 indicates that General Krstic was named the commander and that General
23 Zivanovic was appointed to new duties in the VJ, the army of Yugoslavia,
24 and in the VRS. It is notification that all the members of the Drina
25 Corps should be notified to that effect.
1 Now, this document, you'll see at the bottom, there's a stamp at
2 the bottom, and this document is received on the 13th of July by the
3 person who was to transmit this at 2000 hours, and it was processed on the
4 13th of July at 2035 hours.
5 Now, this document was -- the original document was presented in
6 court. It was a document that was -- we received, the Office of the
7 Prosecutor received, from General Zivanovic after the case closed, the man
8 that General Krstic was trying to say was the commander of the Drina Corps
9 when all of those mass executions occurred.
10 Now, at our request, the original document that we had received
11 from General Zivanovic, bearing the signature of Radenko Jovicic, was
12 submitted for forensic examination to the Ministry of Justice, Netherlands
13 Forensic Institute, for comparison of the signature that appeared on the
14 bottom, of Mr. Jovicic, with Mr. Jovicic's signatures that appear on other
15 original documents we had in our possession; and we asked the Netherlands
16 Forensic Institute to do a handwriting comparison on the document that is
17 Exhibit 905 and the comparison documents. And they concluded that the
18 signatures were identical. Now, those other documents we had seized in
19 searches at the Zvornik Brigade headquarters.
20 In addition, the Netherlands Forensic Institute compared the inks
21 on the stamp of this 905, the comparison of the stamp itself; we compared
22 the typeface; and those comparisons were positive to a varying degree;
23 some were possible.
24 We also compared the signature that appeared in the original date
25 stamp that appears on the bottom of this document with the handwriting
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that appeared in General Krstic's first order, that I'm going to discuss
2 in a minute, that was issued from the Vlasenica headquarters moments
3 later, and the handwriting comparison was considered possible.
4 Now, there's one other fact that needs to be mentioned, and that
5 is the signator of this document is on this organigramme. This is
6 Lieutenant Colonel Jovicic who is the chief of personnel in the corps
7 staff and who is a direct subordinate of the Chief of Staff, and therefore
8 under the commander.
9 Now, the Defence did not contest the expert findings from the
10 Netherlands Forensic Institute about the validity of this document.
11 Now, notifying, of course, the subordinate units before the attack
12 was about to take place on Zepa, which was to occur on the 14th, and after
13 the attack had taken place on Srebrenica was, was normal, frankly. It
14 made eminent sense. Given there was an attack due to start the next
15 morning on Zepa, due to the fact that there had been a large column of
16 people trying to break through the northern part of the Drina Corps area
17 of responsibility, the subordinate units had to know who was commanding
19 Now, despite the irregularities on this document that were
20 identified by Professor General Radinovic, he testified that he didn't
21 feel that this document was "contrived or falsified." Indeed, Your
22 Honours will see that this document acknowledging -- notifying the Drina
23 Corps units that command -- a pass-over of command had occurred on the
24 13th, was corroborated by other evidence that we presented to Your Honours
25 on this issue.
1 One is an intercept, and if Your Honours examine the next
2 document, this next document is an intercept from the 13th of July at 1822
3 hours, and this document -- we know that according to the notification,
4 that General Mladic was at the forward -- I mean, at the command
5 headquarters in Vlasenica. And this intercept indicates that at 1822
6 hours there was a conversation in which General Krstic, who was due to
7 start the operation, to man the operation in Zepa the next morning, there
8 was an inquiry as to whether he was there at the Vlasenica headquarters.
9 And: "Is Krstic there?" Next correspondent: "He's outside in front of
10 the building." "X: Tell him to come. The men can't wait. Night is
11 falling. They have to work. The operation is at stake." The next
12 correspondent: "He is here with General Mladic."
13 Now, I also direct your attention on this point to testimony that
14 occurred in closed session. I won't discuss that further.
15 Let me digress for just a moment, because General Krstic testified
16 about being present in Vlasenica on the evening of the 13th of July.
17 Indeed, he said that General Mladic assembled all of the available staff
18 there and announced to the people at the corps headquarters that General
19 Krstic was to become the commander of the Zepa operation, not commander of
20 the Drina Corps. And again, it's our submission that this testimony was
21 untruthful based on what I just mentioned, and based on the fact that not
22 a single other witness came on behalf of General Krstic to support that
23 characterisation of what happened on the 13th.
24 Your Honours should also again consider the testimony of Witness
25 DB who contradicted General Krstic on this point. According to Witness
1 DB, General Krstic had been present in the Bratunac Brigade headquarters
2 sometime prior to that. General Mladic was present, General Zivanovic was
3 present, Witness DB was present, the brigade commanders of the Drina Corps
4 were present. And it was at that particular meeting that General
5 Krstic -- General Mladic announced to the subordinate commanders that
6 General Krstic was to become the commander of the Zepa operation.
7 Now, let us examine for a moment the two orders. Let's compare
8 two orders. One is the last known written order issued by General
9 Zivanovic, and the other is the first known order issued by General Krstic
10 as commander of the Drina Corps. Both of these orders are dated the 13th
11 of July.
12 And if we take a look at the first of these, this is Exhibit 462,
13 and this is an interesting order because it is, as I say, what we believe
14 or, at least, have in our possession as the last known written order of
15 General Zivanovic. As you can see at the top, it's issued from the Drina
16 Corps headquarters, the command of the Drina Corps. It's dated the 13th
17 of July, and it's an order from General Zivanovic whose signature appears
18 on the right -- on the second page. And he identifies himself as
20 Now, the content of this order is also interesting. I will direct
21 your attention to three points on this order. The first is point 1 where,
22 "The brigade commands in their areas of responsibility will employ all
23 able-bodied men to discover, block, disarm and capture any Muslim groups
24 observed and prevent their crossing into Muslim territory." Point 3, "Put
25 captured and disarmed Muslims in suitable buildings that can be secured by
1 small forces immediately and inform the Superior Command." In other
2 words, inform the Drina Corps command. And point 8 talks about three
3 interim reports, making sure that all the units are kept informed.
4 Now, the other interesting feature about this order by General
5 Zivanovic is the time that appears on the date stamp, and you'll see that
6 it was received at -- on the 13th of July at 1600 hours; in other words,
7 it was received by the person who was to encrypt it and transmit it. And
8 it was processed on that same day an hour and 20 minutes later.
9 Now if we turn to the next order, this is an order that is dated
10 the 13th of July. It is an order from General Krstic, and you will notice
11 that it was first of all issued from the Drina Corps, the headquarters of
12 the Drina Corps on the 13th of July, which is consistent with the
13 notification I've previously discussed; and you will notice that it is
14 signed by Major General Radislav Krstic in the position of commander. Not
15 Chief of Staff, but commander. And if you look again at the date stamp
16 and compare it with the previous exhibit, this exhibit was submitted to
17 the encryptor four hours later, four hours after General Zivanovic's last
19 Another order that demonstrates that General Krstic was the
20 commander of the Drina Corps before the time he testified he became the
21 commander is Prosecutor's Exhibit 481. Again, Your Honours, this was an
22 order that was issued from the Drina Corps command. It is dated the 17th
23 of July, and it is an order in respect of mobilisation. You'll see at the
24 bottom, very importantly, the person who has signed this: Major General
25 Radislav Krstic, as commander.
1 Now, on the lower left side there is a transmission stamp, and
2 you'll notice the disparity between the date in the transmission stamp,
3 the 24th of July, 1995, and the date when this order was initially issued.
4 General Krstic attempted to explain away this order. What he said
5 when confronted with this order was, that he "most probably signed this
6 order on the 22nd or the 23rd of July because the document bears a
7 dispatch stamp dated the 24th of July." However, the disparity between
8 the dispatch stamp and the date the order was issued was explained by
9 General Krstic's own witness, Witness DB, who was an expert in the field
10 of communications within the Drina Corps. What Witness DB said was, and I
11 quote, "The documents not marked as urgent or operational could wait to be
12 dispatched for several days and to be delivered only then." That
13 testimony is found at 7323.
14 Now, if you examine this document, you will note two things: It's
15 not an operational order, nor is it marked "urgent." So this is the kind
16 of a document that could be issued on the 17th, but because it was neither
17 operational nor urgent, it could remain in the dispatch pile until later.
18 Neither one of General Krstic's orders, the one dated the 13th of
19 July nor the order issued the 17th of July, are signed for the commander.
20 Now, if we turn to Prosecutor's Exhibit 830, which is on the screen before
21 you, you'll notice, and my colleague will put a circle around it, the word
22 "Za." We have heard testimony in this trial that under the rules and
23 regulations, when somebody signed for the commander, they had to indicate
24 on the face of the document whether they were signing for the commander,
25 and this is one such example where somebody signed for General Zivanovic.
1 You'll notice that neither the document on the 13th nor the 17th
2 of July has any limitation whatsoever as to the authority of the signator.
3 In other words, it's not signed for the commander; it's not signed as the
4 commander of the Zepa operation; it's not signed as the Chief of Staff.
5 It is signed clearly "commander." That is the role that General Krstic
6 had on the 13th of July.
7 Now, let's take a look at some additional evidence to support the
8 fact that General Zivanovic was no longer the commander, and these --
9 we'll look at a series of exhibits next. The first of these is an
10 intercept, an intercepted radio communication from the 14th of July at
11 9.35 in the morning. This is a portion of that -- or this is the
12 intercept, and it is General Zivanovic who says, "Thank you so much. I'm
13 here at the command post, but I'm slowly packing my backpack. They've
14 already asked me to go somewhere else."
15 If we turn to the next exhibit, which is Prosecutor's Exhibit 467,
16 this is a seized document from the Bratunac Brigade. It was issued from
17 the Bratunac Brigade. You'll notice that the date is the 17th of July,
18 but the transmission stamp at the bottom is the 14th of July. This
19 document was issued on the 14th of July. Your Honours have before them
20 the companion handwritten original document from which this typed copy was
21 taken, and on the handwriting document -- handwritten original, it says
22 that the order was issued on the 14th of July.
23 So let's take a look at this document. This is a document from
24 the Bratunac Brigade headquarters -- I'm sorry, from the Bratunac Brigade
25 to the Vlasenica -- the Drina Corps headquarters referencing an earlier
1 communication. And what they say in this document is that they're
2 informing the command that -- I'll read it: "We wish to inform you that
3 we shall be able to secure the presence of the General and representatives
4 of the municipal authorities for the official farewell of General
5 Zivanovic hitherto commander of the Drina Corps, at 1300 hours on 23 June
7 Now, if we go to the next document, Your Honours, this is a
8 document that is from the 15th of July. It is at 9.52. It's an
9 intercepted -- it's a summary of an intercepted communication, and in this
10 case Colonel Beara from the Main Staff was looking for General Zivanovic,
11 but General Zivanovic wasn't at this location, and he was -- Beara was
12 directed to telephone extension 139.
13 Now, two minutes later, the next intercepted communication has a
14 conversation between General Zivanovic and Colonel Beara in which Colonel
15 Beara -- who, incidentally, was one of the people General Krstic
16 identified as being responsible for the genocide. This conversation with
17 Colonel Beara is a complaint to the person Colonel Beara thinks is still
18 or believes is the commander. He says: "Look, Furtula --" he's referring
19 to a person who was in the Drina Corps -- "didn't send some men to a
20 particular location." And Beara says: "Have him send at least half."
21 Zivanovic says: "Yes, yes." Beara says: "Say again" to Zivanovic. "To
22 send them immediately." Beara: "Yes." And then General Zivanovic says:
23 "I can't decide that anymore," and directs Beara to call 385. "Ask for
24 extension 385."
25 If we go to the next exhibit, and six minutes later there is an
1 intercepted telephone call between General Krstic and Colonel Beara where
2 the same problem is presented, this time to the actual commander of the
3 Drina Corps, General Krstic. I won't go into the content of this
4 particular intercept - I will return to it shortly - but a decision is
5 taken in this intercept by General Krstic to assist Colonel Beara.
6 The last exhibit that demonstrates that General Zivanovic was no
7 longer the commander of the Drina Corps, when General Krstic says he was,
8 is a Defence exhibit. It's Defence Exhibit 181, part 5. This is a
9 document that was issued from the Drina Corps headquarters on the 17th of
10 July by General Zivanovic. You'll note that there is no title over
11 General Zivanovic's name. He has not identified himself as the commander.
12 What this is about, this document, is a send-off ceremony for the
13 corps commander. It's an announcement. It says: "The Bosnian Serb Army
14 General Staff plans to give a send-off to the hitherto corps commander
15 Major General Milenko Zivanovic at noon on July 20, 1995, in Motel Jela
16 located in Han Kram."
17 So this series of exhibits clearly shows again that the commander
18 of the Drina Corps on the 13th of July was General Krstic, not General
20 Another series of exhibits that I will go through very quickly are
21 exhibits that deal with the responses to Commander Krstic's first order
22 issued on the 13th of July. So if we go back to that, it appears on your
23 ELMO -- I mean on your monitors, this is General Krstic's first order
24 issued the 13th of July. It's dated -- it's titled, "Search of Terrain,"
25 and it directs certain units of the Drina Corps to sweep through certain
1 areas within and around the Srebrenica enclave. One of those units that
2 is directed is the Bratunac Brigade. You'll see that in the first
3 numbered item.
4 Now, if we go to the next exhibit, this is dated the next day, and
5 you can see from this exhibit, Your Honours, that Colonel Blagojevic --
6 Blagojevic was the commander of the Bratunac Brigade and he appears here
7 on this organigramme and was in one of the subordinate units to the Drina
8 Corps. In this situation, in this document, Prosecutor's Exhibit 464, you
9 can see that Colonel Blagojevic is responding directly to the order that
10 was issued by Commander Krstic. He references that in the first
11 paragraph, and he then orders his men to act accordingly.
12 If we go to our next document, Prosecutor's Exhibit 536, this is
13 dated the 15th of July, and it is from, again, Colonel Blagojevic, and it
14 is directed first to the command of the Drina Corps, the IKM, which was
15 the forward command post of the Drina Corps, where we know that General
16 Krstic was directing the operation in Zepa. Colonel Blagojevic in this
17 response again refers to Commander Krstic's order of the 13th, and he's
18 acting according to it. You'll see that referenced in item number two in
19 the document: "Our forces are still searching the terrain in accordance
20 with your strictly confidential order ..." and the order number is given.
21 Next, we'll turn to a proposal. The next exhibit is Prosecutor's
22 Exhibit 537, and this is from Colonel Ignjat Milanovic. Ignjat Milanovic
23 appears on this organigramme. At the moment I'm unable to locate exactly
24 where he is, but he's on this organigramme. He was the head of the --
25 chief of air defence for the Drina Corps.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 This document is a proposal from Colonel Milanovic and it is
2 directed to the corps, the forward command post of the Drina Corps, to the
3 attention of the commander. Now, the commander was General Krstic. It
4 says in the first full paragraph, "In accordance with your orders ..." so
5 this is Colonel Milanovic, a subordinate, operating to the orders of his
7 Colonel Milanovic says, lower, he says, "I have ordered," and
8 under point 2, "The assignment you have given to the commanders ..." And
9 then he makes a proposal, and this is a subordinate making a proposal to a
10 superior. You'll see on the right-hand side of this exhibit, point 2, "If
11 you agree with the proposal." So a subordinate is now doing precisely
12 what the chain of command in an army does: Subordinates make proposals to
13 commanders. This proposal has been directed to the commander of the Drina
14 Corps who is at the forward command post in Zepa.
15 Now, all of these documents that I have shown you - and there are
16 many more, I could go on - are documents that have been addressed to
17 General Krstic; they clearly reflect a functioning chain of command with
18 subordinate units operating to his orders, showing subordinate officers
19 are making proposals to him, furnishing him with information, keeping him
20 abreast of what's happening within his area of responsibility. General
21 Krstic acknowledged receiving these reports and issuing orders based on
22 what he had received. That's found at pages 6699.
23 I want to show Your Honours one additional series of exhibits very
24 quickly that demonstrate that General Krstic, during the time he says he
25 was not the commander, was exercising control over units that were clearly
1 outside of the Zepa area of responsibility.
2 You'll recall, Your Honours, that in his statement to the Office
3 of the Prosecutor on the 18th of February, 2000, General Krstic said that
4 from the moment he arrived in Zepa to command that operation, he had only
5 one contact with the Zvornik Brigade. That was on the 14th of July. And
6 he had no contacts with other units outside of the Zepa operation. He
7 contended that he didn't have any authority or need to give orders that
8 were not related to the Zepa operation until after he had assumed command
9 of the Drina Corps on the 20th or the 21st.
10 Now, three intercepts, one dated the 17th of July and two dated
11 the 19th of July, directly contradict what General Krstic told the
12 Prosecutor's Office. If we turn to the first of these, you'll see this is
13 Exhibit 652, and this is an intercept of the 17th of July in which General
14 Krstic orders Colonel Vlacic to return to his units. Your Honours have
15 heard other evidence relating to the identity of Colonel -- I'm sorry,
16 Colonel Veletic, Veletic. Colonel Veletic was the commander of the 4th
17 Drinski Brigade, which was a temporary formation that was operating
18 outside the Drina Corps area of responsibility. He was operating in and
19 around Sarajevo as part of the Sarajevo-Romanija Corps. This intercept
20 shows that the commander of the Drina Corps is asking for one of the
21 personnel from a unit outside of his complete area of responsibility but
22 still attached to his corps command, to return.
23 The next document is Prosecutor's Exhibit 364/2/19 July, tab 1.
24 Now, this is an intercepted communication in which Major Eskic called
25 Colonel Cerovic. Now, Colonel Cerovic is an individual who is the head of
1 one of the Corps branches. He is in charge of moral guidance and legal
2 affairs. And there's a conversation that takes place.
3 Major Eskic called Colonel Cerovic because he was informed that
4 Vinko - and Vinko here is Vinko Pandurevic who was the commander of the
5 Zvornik Brigade - was regularly rotating men up to Trnovo. Now, Trnovo
6 was a location which was outside the Drina Corps area of responsibility.
7 It wasn't anywhere near Zepa. And Colonel Cerovic tells Eskic that there
8 was an order, a commander's order, it says, about rotating men from
9 Trnovo. Colonel Cerovic then at the end of this conversation says that,
10 "I will call the General down there." Now, this intercept is at 8.07 on
11 the 19th of July.
12 The next exhibit, Exhibit 694, is an intercepted communication
13 five minutes later involving the same Colonel Cerovic, and the other
14 correspondent is Vinko, that is, Vinko Pandurevic, the head of the Zvornik
15 Brigade. And you'll see that, first off, Vinko Pandurevic says in a
16 highlighted area that is two lines down from the vertical broken line, "I
17 don't have a shift for Trnovo." And down below, Cerovic says, "I'm
18 telling you, the report he sent, there's no way it can be done. That's
19 Krstic's order, there are no shift rotations until further notice."
20 Now, this is Commander Krstic's order about a unit shifting in
21 Trnovo, far, far, far away from the Zepa area of operations where General
22 Krstic says that was the only area that he operated in and gave orders
23 about, prior to his becoming the commander on the 20th or the 21st.
24 You'll also notice at the bottom of this particular intercept,
25 Cerovic says, "Yes, and I presented that to Krstic and wrote him special
1 report based on your interim and daily reports." In other words, Colonel
2 Cerovic is keeping Commander Krstic fully informed of what's happening in
3 Vinko Pandurevic's area of responsibility by sending him special reports
4 to that effect. So contrary to what General Krstic says, The only thing I
5 heard about outside -- "The only communication I had with units outside of
6 my area of responsibility occurred on the 14th of July," these intercepts
7 prove that's directly contrary to what General Krstic testified.
8 I would also direct Your Honours' attention to the testimony of
9 Chief Warrant Officer Richard Butler, a United States army officer and a
10 military analyst with 19 years of experience, and I'd ask you to review
11 his expert reports as well, because Mr. Butler, after an exhaustive and
12 comprehensive review of all the documents, the VRS documents that were in
13 our possession, opined that General Krstic became the commander of the
14 Drina Corps on the 13th of July.
15 And lastly on this issue, Mr. President, I would like to refer
16 Your Honours to the testimony of General Francis Richard Dannatt who, in
17 response to a question posed by Your Honour Judge Rodrigues at page 5056
18 and 57, the question being, "How is it possible to explain the
19 substitution of General Zivanovic by General Krstic if such a substitution
20 occurred," General Dannatt's answer was as follows: "It would be most
21 unusual to remove a commander in the middle of an operation and most
22 unusual to remove him in the middle of a battle other than if he became a
23 casualty. However, the operation to capture Srebrenica was undoubtedly
24 completed 11th, 12th, in that sort of time frame, and the operation to
25 move to and to try to capture Zepa was going to start 13th or 14th.
1 Therefore, if I was going to change a corps commander, I would do so
2 between these two principal operations. And given that General Krstic, as
3 chief of staff, would have been principally responsible for the planning
4 of the operation in Zepa, he was then very well informed, very well
5 briefed, and very well positioned to become the commander in order to
6 command that operation. So to me, just looking at the practicality of it,
7 once a decision had been made to remove General Zivanovic, the logical
8 military time to put a new commander in place would have been the 13th,
9 14th, in order that the new commander was there at the command post to
10 lead the attack on Zepa. That is my military deduction."
11 Now, General Dannatt's deduction about the optimum time when
12 command should logically take place has been confirmed by witness
13 testimony, by a notification, by intercepted radio communications, all
14 proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the change of command, when General
15 Krstic took command of the Drina Corps, was in that "operative pause,"
16 that period before the Zepa operation took place.
17 And so, Your Honour, it is our submission to Your Honours that
18 General Krstic did indeed take actual command of the Drina Corps on the
19 13th of July, and it's our further submission to Your Honours that when
20 General Krstic testified under oath that he was not the commander in
21 actuality until after the 13th, that his testimony in that respect was
23 Now, Your Honours, I notice the time, and this is a convenient
24 time to break.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: [Interpretation] Yes, very well. So we are going
1 to adjourn for today and resume again tomorrow at 9.20, as usual.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.09 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 27th day of June,
4 2001, at 9.20 a.m.