1 Tuesday, 29 October 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning to everyone in and around this
7 Madam Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 This is the case IT-09-92-T, the Prosecutor versus Ratko Mladic.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Madam Registrar.
11 No preliminaries were announced. Therefore, we can start with
12 the next witness.
13 Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
14 Meanwhile, I used the time to deal with a matter related to the
15 testimony of Emir Turkusic. The Chamber would like to put on the record
16 that the Defence has complied with the Chamber's instructions on
17 transcript page 18196 regarding D351. The Prosecution indicated in an
18 informal communication which was dated the 28th of October of this year,
19 that the revised translation for P2043 has been received and that it will
20 be uploaded and replaced soon.
21 The Chamber instructs the Prosecution to inform the Chamber on
22 the record once this has been done. The Chamber further understands that
23 the parties are in possession of both the 82- and the 120-millimetre
24 rule-books and considers this matter to be resolved.
25 I have another matter in relation to Witness Turkusic, but I'll
1 leave that for a later moment.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ORIE: Good morning, Mr. Rechner, I presume.
4 Before you give evidence, the Rules require that you make a
5 solemn declaration. The text is now handed out to you. May I invite to
6 you make that solemn declaration.
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
8 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
9 and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: PATRICK RECHNER
11 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. Please be seated.
12 Mr. Rechner, you'll first be examined by Ms. Bibles. You'll find
13 her to your right.
14 Ms. Bibles, as you most likely know already, is counsel for the
16 Ms. Bibles, you may proceed.
17 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour, and good morning.
18 Examination by Ms. Bibles:
19 Q. Good morning. Could you tell us your full name, please.
20 A. Yes, Patrick Anthony Rechner.
21 Q. And could you tell us your current rank in the
22 Canadian Armed Forces?
23 A. Major.
24 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I'd ask that the witness statement,
25 65 ter 30416, be brought to our screens.
1 Q. Once the document appears, I'll ask if you recognise it.
2 Do you recognise this document?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And is this your witness statement?
5 A. Yes, it's the amalgamated witness statement.
6 Q. And have you signed this -- or whose signature is on this first
8 A. That is my signature.
9 Q. And did you initial every page in this statement?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I'll advise you that the witness
12 requested a copy of his statement for his use during his testimony. We
13 have provided a clean copy of that document for him, and he is referring
14 to that.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If there's any need to consult your statement,
16 please inform the Chamber that you need to consult it before doing so.
17 Please proceed.
18 MS. BIBLES:
19 Q. Have you had a chance to review this amalgamated statement prior
20 to coming to court today?
21 A. Yes, I have.
22 Q. Are there any changes or corrections that you would make to this
24 A. No.
25 Q. If you were asked about the substance of these matters today,
1 would you give the same answers that are contained in this statement?
2 A. I -- yes, in substance, I would give the same answers.
3 Q. Having taken the solemn oath, do you affirm that the information
4 in this document is accurate and truthful?
5 A. Yes, I do, to the best of my knowledge.
6 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I tender 65 ter 30416.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No objection, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be...
9 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30416 receives number P2554,
10 Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ORIE: P2554 is admitted.
12 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, at this time I would also tender the
13 table of concordance that aligns the exhibit numbers in the statement
14 with the exhibit numbers in this case. That is 65 ter 30164.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document 30164 receives number P2555,
17 Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ORIE: P2525 is admitted.
19 THE REGISTRAR: P2555, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Then I correct myself. P2555 is admitted into
22 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, if I may read a brief summary of the
23 witness's written testimony, the purposes of which has been explained to
24 the witness, and I believe we've provided copies to the booths.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, as you suggest.
1 MS. BIBLES: Patrick Rechner was a Canadian
2 United Nations Military Observer who was posted to Pale on 31 December
3 1994. He worked as a liaison between the parties, and the parties and
4 UNPROFOR. In this capacity he communicated with the primary office of
5 the Bosnian Serb leadership and military. He also assisted in
6 humanitarian efforts for the community, including, securing medications
7 for the local hospital. Mr. Rechner describes that given his background,
8 he was humiliated and betrayed when he was taken hostage on 26 May 1995
9 and, along with other United Nations Military Observers, was threatened
10 with death and used as a human shield. The witness was released on
11 18 June 1995.
12 And this concludes my summary.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you. If you have any further questions to the
14 witness, you may proceed.
15 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Let's direct attention to the events described in your statement
17 in paragraphs 36, 39.
18 Have you had an opportunity to watch a video that captures some
19 of the sequence of events described here on film?
20 A. Yes, I have.
21 Q. Are you depicted in this video?
22 A. Yes, I am.
23 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, before we turn to play the video, I
24 will advise the Trial Chamber and the booth that there is a small amount
25 of discussion captured on these videos. There is no narration.
1 Transcripts of the intelligible sections have been provided to the
2 booths. To assist in the process of playing these videos, we will play
3 this approximate five-minute video in four sections. We would rely on
4 the transcript sections only in the first and the last segments. Because
5 the time code on the transcripts were based on the original video, I will
6 provide some assistance in indicating on the transcripts which sections
7 will be played prior to actually playing those.
8 With that in mind, Your Honours, I'd ask Ms. Stewart to play
9 65 ter 22648A from 0 to 1 minute, 24 seconds. On the transcript's time
10 code it would reflect the section from 38:16 to 39:41.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I might just get clarification, Ms. Bibles.
12 Where is the original?
13 MS. BIBLES: The original video was seized by NATO, I believe, in
14 2009, and it was a compilation of home-type videos. Though it has -- the
15 original video is quite long and has a lengthy segments, we would only be
16 introducing this five-minute segment from that original video.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: And do we know who transcribed this copy?
18 MS. BIBLES: Just to clarify, this segment was transcribed
19 in-house with OTP by language assistants.
20 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you, Madam Bibles.
21 MS. BIBLES: If we could proceed.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Is there any -- has the Defence any problems
23 with the transcription as we have it now? Because then we might be able
24 to play it only once.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. We don't. We
1 have already stated as much.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Then it can be played once and the basis for the
3 translation could be the transcription.
4 Please proceed.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "What's he saying?
7 "I didn't understand them.
8 "Stay here with them. Fuck it. They should all be...
9 "You will die if they bomb. You will die for the good of NATO.
10 "This is 7-9, over. 7-9. We have been instructed to advise you
12 MS. BIBLES:
13 Q. In paragraph 39, you describe that footage is recorded by a
14 lieutenant-colonel in the Bosnian Serb army. Is this a portion of the
15 video that you were referring to?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Directing your attention to the first section of the footage,
18 which depicts three men handcuffed to each other and to a door. Could
19 you please tell us who the men are?
20 A. Yes. As you're looking at the video, the person on the left is
21 myself; in the centre, is the Czech officer in my military observer team,
22 at the time Captain Oldrich, Oli, Zidlik; and then on the right is, at
23 the time, Captain Pavel Teterevsky from Russia.
24 Q. What is the location of that portion of the footage?
25 A. The first images that you saw where we were handcuffed through
1 the door of our UN military observer vehicle, that was just inside a
2 large military facility within which a few kilometres away were located
3 the targets of the actual bombing. And at that time, the bombing was
4 still in progress.
5 Q. Are you also in the video segment that we saw within a vehicle?
6 A. Yes, I am.
7 Q. And could you describe for us what, if anything, you did during
8 that segment of the video.
9 A. That segment depicts us driving from that initial location where
10 we were handcuffed through the door of the vehicle, driving towards the
11 actual ammunition bunkers that were being bombed at the time. And that
12 segment occurred just after we had received over our radio system the all
13 clear from our UNMO headquarters that they had received information that
14 the air-strikes had been called off, so we were just driving towards
15 those targets at that time. We didn't know exactly what was going on,
16 what their intentions were for us. But the clip that you saw, I was
17 asked to contact my headquarters and relay the comment made by this Serb
18 lieutenant-colonel who was the video man saying that if any more bombing
19 occurred, and I changed the words slightly to say that, We've been
20 instructed to inform you that we are to die for the sake of NATO.
21 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, at this time, I'd ask Ms. Stewart to
22 play the segment from 1 minute 24 to 3 minutes in three sections.
23 [Video-clip played]
24 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Here it is. They're still shooting
25 up there.
1 "Wait here. Oh, my dear Russian. Are you Russian?
2 "Call Kozirev. He can save you. To hell with him.
3 "Not the hands.
4 "Find a wire.
5 "There will be a lot of UNPROFOR in this circle this evening,
6 just to let you know."
7 MS. BIBLES:
8 Q. The last segment here, can you tell us who is depicted in the
10 A. This image that's in front of me, that's myself.
11 Q. Can you tell us the -- the structures that surround you at that
13 A. There were four hardened ammunition bunkers located next to each
14 other side by side just across that dirt road that you can see in front
15 of me. Two of them had been destroyed in that morning's bombing and two
16 were still unaffected, so I was handcuffed, as you can see in this image,
17 to a lightening [Realtime transcript read in error "whitening"] rod
18 directly in front of one of those bunker that had not been damaged yet.
19 JUDGE ORIE: When the witness said the image in front of me, the
20 still at 3 minutes, 2 seconds, 2 and a half seconds was shown.
21 Please proceed.
22 MS. BIBLES:
23 Q. Could you tell us which other United Nations Military Observers
24 were depicted in the video segment that we've just watched?
25 A. They were the same ones that I mentioned a few minutes ago.
1 These are the members of my team. The other two were -- that is, the
2 ones I mentioned are Captain Oli Zidlik from the Czech Republic and
3 Captain Pavel Teterevsky from Russia.
4 Q. At some point in time while you were handcuffed in this location,
5 were other United Nations individuals brought to this location?
6 A. Yes, approximately one and a half or two hours later, we saw
7 members of another UN Military Observer team that was also based in Pale
8 that were known by their radio call-sign Sierra Echo 1, and there were
9 five individuals in that team that we saw in the vehicle.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Just a correction. At page 9, line 17, you say,
11 "So I was handcuffed, as you can see in this image, to a whitening rod."
12 That is how you were transcribed as having said. Did you say "whitening
14 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honour. Lightening rod.
15 JUDGE MOLOTO: Lightening rod. I thought that's what you said.
16 Thank you.
17 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I'd now ask Ms. Stewart to play from
18 3 minutes and 2 seconds to 3 minutes and 38 seconds.
19 [Video-clip played]
20 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Let's take a photo. Stand over
22 "Pale innocent civilians were injured and killed... this is an
23 act of... NATO strikes.
24 "Tell him that Milos got injured."
1 MS. BIBLES:
2 Q. Do you know where the bridge that's depicted in this segment is
4 A. Yes, I do. It's in the town of Pale, a few hundred metres from
5 the actual location of our accommodation and office.
6 Q. Do you know who the two men are who are depicted sitting down or
7 kneeling right next to the bridge?
8 A. Yes. Those are two members, that is, two UNMOs from the
9 Sierra Echo 1 team, which is, as I mentioned, the other observer team
10 that was based in Pale.
11 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I'd now ask Ms. Stewart to play the
12 segment from -- this play -- this location at 3 minutes 38 to 5 minutes
13 12 seconds, which is the end of this video segment.
14 [Video-clip played]
15 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Don't film it.
16 "This is for documentation. It isn't going anywhere.
17 "What documentation?
18 "Oh, my God.
19 "Turn around. Let's see. Can you see through this?
20 "He doesn't even know where he is. He is so scared and
21 traumatised. He doesn't know where he is."
22 MS. BIBLES:
23 Q. In the beginning of the segment that we've just watched, we see
24 two men in the back of the vehicle being blindfolded. Do you know who
25 those two men are?
1 A. Yes. That is myself and Major Janusz Kalbarczyk from Poland, and
2 Janusz Kalbarczyk was an UN UNMO from the Sierra Echo 1 team.
3 Q. As you were being blindfolded, could you tell the Trial Chamber
4 what went through your mind?
5 A. We had been told several times earlier in that day -- and, just
6 for reference, this incident when we were blindfolded took place sometime
7 after about 5.00 in the afternoon on the 26th of May, 1995. From the
8 time when the armed men entered our office to when we were taken inside
9 this ammunition storage facilities, we were threatened many times that if
10 there would be any more bombing we would be executed and that included if
11 there was any bombing in other areas of the country, not just around
13 So at around 5.00 in the afternoon, our vehicle driven by a
14 couple of Serb soldiers picked me up and also Major Janusz Kalbarczyk. I
15 asked what was going on, where they were taking us. They didn't say
16 anything. And then we stopped about halfway going up towards an area
17 that Janusz was familiar with called Jahorina where there is also a ski
18 complex, and then all of a sudden they put the blindfolds onto us. So I
19 didn't know what the purpose of the blindfolds was, but I had -- my worst
20 fear was that we were being taken somewhere to be executed.
21 Q. In the last images could you tell us who the man is who is shown
22 next the radar structure?
23 A. The one without the weapon and the balaclava, that's
24 Major Janusz Kalbarczyk, the Polish UNMO, and the one with the weapon in
25 the balaclava is some Bosnian Serb soldier.
1 Q. And, finally, during the time that you were held, given what you
2 were told, what you experienced, what did you understand was the purpose
3 for holding you and the other UN employees?
4 A. Do you mean just on the 26th of May or for the entire time?
5 Q. For the entire time.
6 A. For the entire time, our understanding was that we were to be
7 held in a location where they could -- that is, the Bosnian Serb military
8 could easily move us to some locations if there was any potential bombing
9 from NATO at the request of UNPROFOR, or if something else had occurred
10 and they would wish to start executing us.
11 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I have no further questions for this
13 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Bibles.
14 Mr. Stojanovic, are you ready to cross-examine the witness?
15 Mr. Rechner, you will be cross-examined by Mr. Stojanovic.
16 You'll find him to your left. Mr. Stojanovic is counsel for Mr. Mladic.
17 Cross-examination by Mr. Stojanovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, sir.
19 Could you please first explain what specific tasks you had as a
20 member of UNMO in Pale in 1995.
21 A. The specific tasks of myself was that I was the team leader and
22 chief liaison officer of the UNMO liaison team in Pale. We were known by
23 the radio call-sign 7 Lima, and our primary task was to facilitate
24 communications between the UN, including the UNPROFOR forces, and the
25 Bosnian Serb political and military leadership.
1 We had additional functions as well. That is also to convey
2 messages or information between the warring sides. So, for example, if
3 the Bosnian government or Muslim forces wished to send something to the
4 Bosnian Serb forces, it would normally go through our UN office in
5 Sarajevo, transmit it to us, and then we would transmit that on to the
6 Bosnian Serb leadership.
7 And the third task we had was to assist some of the UN
8 humanitarian agencies, specifically on the medical side, in working with
9 Mr. Kalenic, the minister of health, and also the local hospital in Pale.
10 Q. In the course of your work, did you have any contact with any of
11 the officers from the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 Q. Did you have an opportunity to talk to the commander of the
14 Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska, General Ratko Mladic?
15 A. Not directly. I had only met him once personally. It was in
16 early January 1995 when there was a social function on St. Stephen's Day
17 located in the Panorama hotel where there was also Mr. Karadzic and other
18 Bosnian Serb leaders. So it was -- it was right after the Cessation of
19 Hostilities Agreement had been signed, so the mood was quite positive.
20 So on this occasion, the Bosnian Serb leadership invited my team
21 as well as the representatives of other UN and international
22 organisations to that celebration, so included representatives from the
23 UN High Commissioner for Refugees based in Pale, Medecins Sans Frontiers,
24 Doctors Without Borders, and the Internation Committee of Red Cross. But
25 it was just a social contact. It was just -- said hello and that was
1 about it. Otherwise I had no direct dealings with General Mladic.
2 Q. Do you know how far the place where you were stationed at Pale
3 was the Main Staff headquarters of the Army of Republika Srpska?
4 A. Yes. The Main Staff headquarters, as far as we were informed,
5 was about 60 kilometres away in a town or near a town called Han Pijesak.
6 But we had never actually gone there.
7 Q. In your statement, you speak about one aspect of your activities
8 regarding contacts with Professor Koljevic regarding the status of UNMO
9 observers in protected area. That's paragraph 11 of your statement. Can
10 you please explain to the Chamber what that was actually about?
11 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] And, Your Honours, I would like
12 to have P2554, item 11, on our screens so that we can all see this
13 portion of the witness's statement.
14 Q. Will you please tell the Chamber what this was all about and what
15 was your task.
16 A. Yes. In the safe area of Zepa we had a small UN
17 Military Observer team located there, and the Bosnian Serb military would
18 not -- refuse them to leave for -- I can't remember now if it was for
19 leave or for rotation purposes; that is, to exchange observers. So
20 they're essentially stuck there. And through the Bosnian Serb military,
21 we could not resolve the situation to get them released.
22 Therefore, we took the initiative to contact
23 Professor Nikola Koljevic, who was both the vice-president of the
24 Republika Srpska government and also -- and more specifically the reason
25 we contacted him was because he was the chairman of the Republika Srpska
1 for co-operation with the United Nations and international humanitarian
3 Therefore, we assumed the political leadership was superior to
4 and had some control, at least, over the Bosnian Serb military.
5 Therefore, we contacted President Koljevic to see if at his level
6 he could intervene to get the UNMOs in Zepa allowed to leave or rotate.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, page 15, line 12 and 13, I think I
8 heard the witness say that "Bosnian Serb military would refuse them to
9 leave for" rather than "not refuse." That's what I heard and that's what
10 seems to be logical in the context of the testimony.
11 Please proceed.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] I'm going to clarify this
13 through the question, but I think, Your Honour, that you're absolutely
15 Q. Now, did you receive any information about the reasons that
16 prompted the Army of Republika Srpska to prevent free movement of UNMOs
17 towards the Zepa enclave?
18 A. I cannot recall precisely in this incident what occurred. I know
19 on certain occasions, the UNMOs were accused of smuggling in extra food
20 to help the local population. My understanding in my discussions with
21 those UNMOs is those accusations were absolutely false, but that's all I
22 can say in this matter.
23 Q. Following your request to Professor Koljevic, this problem was
24 resolved; is that correct?
25 A. It was resolved to the point where on this one occasion the UNMOs
1 concerned were allowed to leave [Realtime transcript read in
2 error "believe"] Zepa.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, the answer to your last question is
4 found at the end of paragraph 11, and I noted that approximately 50 to
5 60 per cent of your questions trigger answers which are fully covered by
6 the statement. So if you would please focus on any challenge to the
7 statement rather than to repeat it -- have it repeated.
8 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, if I may, I just noticed a slight
9 error in the transcript at the time, line 19, 10:12:38, it is written
10 "allowed to believe Zepa." It should state "allowed to leave Zepa," as
11 in depart Zepa.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
13 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Can you tell us, please, within the system of the organisation of
16 your work, who did you maintain contact specifically from the UNPROFOR
18 A. From UNPROFOR command, our primary contacts were our immediate
19 headquarters. It's what we called UNMO headquarters BH command, and that
20 was the headquarters of the head UNMO and his small staff for all of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. As well, we had contact directly with commander of
22 BH commander UNPROFOR, that is General Rupert Smith's office. And those
23 are the main headquarters that we dealt with on the UN side in Sarajevo.
24 As well, on occasion, we dealt directly with our headquarters
25 that is the overall UNMO headquarters in Zagreb where the
1 Chief Military Observer for the former Yugoslavia was located, as well as
2 the staff of the Special Representative for the Secretary-General of the
3 United Nations, who was Mr. Yasushi Akashi.
4 Q. Did you, at any point, receive a notice that NATO aircraft was
5 going to bomb positions of Republika Srpska prior to the
6 25th of May, 1995?
7 A. We did not receive any information that bombing would be --
8 occurred. There was a letter that we received from General Smith where
9 there was a threat made but nothing specific about if the bombing would
10 occur, and, if so, what the targets would be.
11 Q. Can you please tell the Chamber what did General Smith tell you
12 in that letter with respect to the threats aimed at Republika Srpska?
13 A. This was not a letter addressed to the UNMOs or my office. It
14 was a letter addressed to General Mladic. And I would need to see it. I
15 believe it is in the court records. It was used when I testified in the
16 case of Radovan Karadzic. But I don't want to rely on my memory to
17 answer that question.
18 Q. Can you recall what the reason was for writing this letter and
19 sending these threats by General Smith to Republika Srpska?
20 A. It was addressed not only to Republika Srpska. It was to all
21 sides in the conflict - that is, also the Bosnian government or Muslim
22 forces and the Bosnian Croat forces - and it was response to escalating
23 conflict throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 So my recollection, in general, is that the letter was addressed
25 to all sides to stop or de-escalate the conflict that was going on,
1 particularly shelling, or else General Smith had no option but to use --
2 or request the support of NATO air-strikes to de-escalate the situation.
3 But more than that, I would have to see the letter to be more specific.
4 Q. Did you, on that occasion, receive any instructions relating to a
5 possible bombing of Republika Srpska?
6 A. No, I had not.
7 Q. Are you personally aware of what was the direct cause for the
8 bombing of Republika Srpska on the 25th of May, 1995?
9 A. No, I am not. I was not involved in those discussions. I
10 assumed it was based on what was contained in that letter, that the
11 Bosnian Serb side had not complied with some of those provisions; but
12 more than that, I was not made aware of anything.
13 Q. When was the first time that you had received information about
14 the impending bombing of Republika Srpska or about the bombing that had
15 already taken place?
16 A. We had not received any information about bombing that would
17 occur prior to the bombing. So when it actually did occur - we're
18 talking about the 25th of May at about 4.00 in the afternoon - we saw two
19 large explosions about 5 to 10 kilometres south of our location in Pale.
20 We contacted our headquarters to find out what had happened; that is, the
21 UNMO headquarters in Sarajevo. They also did not know what had happened,
22 and it was only sometime after that - perhaps one hour later - that we
23 were informed by our headquarters that, in fact, NATO air-strikes at the
24 request of General Smith had occurred.
25 Q. Can you recall if you received any official information from UNMO
1 headquarters that air-strikes had begun at the request of General Smith?
2 A. No, we --
3 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, do you mean when the witness was
4 already taken in custody?
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. I'm referring
6 to the afternoon of the 25th, when he received first information,
7 official information, which was at around 4.00 p.m. on the 25th of May.
8 And we're going to further explore the question on whose request NATO
9 carried out air-strikes, whether it was at the request of Mr. Akashi or
10 General Smith.
11 Q. So, Witness, let me repeat my question: Can you recall that from
12 the UNMO staff you received any official information at around 4.30 on
13 the afternoon of 25th of May that NATO air-strikes were carried out at
14 the request of General Smith?
15 A. The only information we received was either by telephone or radio
16 from our headquarters that, in fact, those were NATO air-strikes.
17 Whether in that communique they mentioned that General Smith ordered them
18 or someone else, I don't recall. It was being -- it was made clear. We
19 only assumed it was requested by General Smith based on the letter that
20 he wrote to all sides the previous day, that is, on the 24th of May,
21 telling them to cease the conflict activity or he would have no option
22 but to call on NATO airpower.
23 So I cannot answer your question precisely.
24 JUDGE MOLOTO: And this question has been answered,
25 Mr. Stojanovic. Page 19, lines 14 to 15:
1 "... perhaps one hour later - that we were informed by our
2 headquarters that, in fact, NATO air-strikes at the request of
3 General Smith had occurred."
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Right now, the witness gave a
5 slightly different answer, hence my question which I put to him again,
6 whether this was his information or whether it was his conclusion.
7 Q. You are giving us a different answer from the one given on
8 page 19, and now you said that it was your assumption that it had been
9 done at the request of General Smith.
10 So which of the two is true?
11 A. I cannot, after all these years, say precisely. I know that we
12 assumed -- or I was led to believe at the time that it was ordered by
13 General Smith. Whether that was just my assumption based on the letter
14 or whether that's what had been communicated to us by our headquarters, I
15 can now not say clearly one way or the other.
16 Q. Did you know that in the Pale area and the broader area of
17 Sarajevo there was a special unit of the British Army deployed there
18 whose task was to identify the targets and to guide NATO aircraft to
19 engage these targets?
20 A. No, we were not aware of such a unit.
21 Q. Do you know where the closest UNPROFOR unit was located? And I
22 mean the one closest to your compound in Pale.
23 A. As far as I recall, that was contingent from the French Battalion
24 at or near Lukavica barracks in Sarajevo, if we're talking about the
25 UNPROFOR peacekeeping forces, not the UNMO teams. Of course, there was
1 the other UNMO team located in Pale.
2 Q. Was the task of this other team in Pale, UNMO team, designed or
3 devised differently from the task that you had?
4 A. Yes. Our UNMO team was the only one in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as
5 far as I know, that had the liaison function as its primary and,
6 essentially, sole role. The other UNMO teams were organised in a way
7 that they could be near the confrontation lines and to investigate
8 violations of the cease-fire agreement or also monitor conflict activity
9 and report information to their sector, Sarajevo headquarters, that is
10 not General Smith's office but subordinate headquarters which is called
11 Sector Sarajevo, commanded, I believe, at the time by a French general,
12 General Soubirou. So it was -- the UNMOs had the task of verifying
13 compliance with the cease-fire agreements and also keeping the UN
14 headquarters informed of the actual situation on the ground.
15 And want to emphasise that everything was done in the open. They
16 were normally accompanied by liaison officers from the respective side,
17 military side, that they were working on.
18 Q. Do you know whether there was a unit within their composition, a
19 British unit, which was designated to identify the targets and guide the
21 A. No, I was not aware of such a unit.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, didn't I hear the same question and
23 the same answer two minutes ago? Or did I miss something? Or is it that
24 you are now focussing on the -- no, it's still about UNMOs. Or is the
25 question different? Please tell us where it is different so that we --
1 that we know what the questions are about.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my last question
4 related to the knowledge that witness had about the composition of the
5 other UNMO team which was also deployed in Pale and who had a different
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. And you asked what the difference was and the
8 witness didn't mention that in this respect it was any different.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ORIE: Now, the question, your previous question was: Did
12 you know that in the Pale area and the broader area of Sarajevo there was
13 a special unit.
14 That question covers also other units, not only the witness's
15 unit. So, therefore, the question was even broader. It's just
16 repetition. You should refrain from doing that.
17 Please proceed.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, after the first wave of air-strikes on the
20 25th of May until the morning hours of the 26th of May, did you get any
21 information about your status or possibly a warning that you were to
22 leave the area to be bombed? I mean information from your command.
23 A. No, we were not informed by our UNMO headquarters or anybody else
24 in the UN that our status had changed and that we were to evacuate.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, the witness told us before that he
1 was not informed about any bombing. So, therefore, a warning that you
2 were to leave the area to be bombed seems to contradict what the witness
3 told us. He only told us that once the bombing had started, he heard
5 So, therefore, would you please be very precise in the questions
6 you put to the witness, avoid repetition, and also listen to his answers.
7 Please proceed.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I now ask the
9 Chamber for a break, and just clarify with -- that I asked the witness
10 whether before the bombing he had such information, and my question just
11 now was whether after the bombing he got any information.
12 JUDGE ORIE: I was not inviting you to enter into a debate with
13 the Chamber on this matter.
14 We take a break.
15 First, could the witness be escorted out of the courtroom.
16 [The witness stands down]
17 JUDGE ORIE: We will take a break, and we'll resume at
18 five minutes to 11.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: I briefly deal with the next matter in relation to
22 Witness Turkusic.
23 With regard to D357 MFI, the Defence considered in an informal
24 communication dated the 28th of October at transcript pages 15810 to
25 15821 were the pages where the witness testified about the map, and I
1 would like it hear - not necessarily immediately - from the parties any
2 submissions on the admission of this document.
3 If you can give your short comment.
4 MS. BIBLES: Actually relating to a different matter,
5 Your Honour. Since we have a moment, I would like to tender the video
6 which was 65 ter 22648A.
7 [The witness takes the stand]
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar, the number would be ...
10 THE REGISTRAR: Document 22648A receives number P2556,
11 Your Honours.
12 JUDGE ORIE: P2556 is admitted into evidence.
13 Mr. Stojanovic, please proceed, and try to be focussed.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness, on the following day, the 26th of May, a group of people
16 came to the facility where you were put up, and you mentioned that in
17 paragraph 21 of your statement.
18 I would like to know the following: When you say that --
19 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, the witness seems to be indicating that
20 he is having some technical problems.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, please.
22 THE WITNESS: I'm not getting the English. It's B/C/S. Okay.
23 I didn't understand anything --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. I had similar problems, as a matter of fact.
25 Mr. Stojanovic, could you please resume.
1 You said:
2 "On the following day, the 26th of May, a group of people came to
3 the facility where you were put up, and you mentioned that in
4 paragraph 21 of your statement."
5 And you were then about to phrase a question. Could you please
6 phrase that question.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. The persons who arrived, according to you, you weren't sure if
9 they were soldiers as they were -- as they all were not wearing proper
11 Could you explain to the Chamber what exactly you meant by that?
12 A. I just observed one of the three individuals in a full military
13 field uniform. The other two individuals had military camouflage pants
14 but just T-shirts. As I recall, one was red, and the other was yellow.
15 When we were driving around -- or going to Pale, we would pass through
16 some Serb positions on the way towards Lukavica barracks, and normally we
17 saw the Serb soldiers dressed in full uniform, not in coloured T-shirts.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask you there, did you gain any impression
19 as to whether these were outsiders? I mean, was it a top part of or the
20 bottom part which made you feel that they were outsiders or that they
21 were together?
22 THE WITNESS: I did not know any of the individuals expect the
23 one whose name was Nicholas Ribic and I mentioned him in previous
24 testimony that he is a Canadian of Serbian origin who had gone over to
25 fight on the Bosnian Serb side. The other two individuals I don't recall
1 having seen before, although Oli Zidlik from my team mentioned later that
2 one of them was an individual who lived not far. So I can't really say
3 if these were top-level or bottom-level but --
4 JUDGE ORIE: No. I meant by top and bottom, I meant military
5 uniform on the bottom, and non-military uniform at the top.
6 THE WITNESS: That's correct, Your Honour. For two of the
7 individuals, they had civilian T-shirts on top and military pants --
8 JUDGE ORIE: But did you gain any impression as to whether they
9 were part of the military or were -- or that they were outsider, more or
10 less, who had joined a military person just at one occasion.
11 THE WITNESS: I -- it's impossible for me to say. My personal
12 impression, and that's all it is, is an impression, is that they appeared
13 to have come up from somewhere else, although Mr. Ribic I had known,
14 although I did not know about his association with the Bosnian Serb army.
15 JUDGE ORIE: And he was the one who was wearing a uniform?
16 THE WITNESS: That's correct, and also a helmet. And all three
17 individuals were armed with Kalashnikovs, and I recall at least one of
18 them had hand grenades as well.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Did you only see them at that occasion, or
20 were they with you in the days following?
21 THE WITNESS: Mr. Ribic was around for much of the first day but
22 those two individuals with the civilian T-shirts, I only saw them at that
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation].
1 Q. You mentioned Nikola Ribic, also known as Nick. Please tell the
2 Trial Chamber about your experiences with Nikola Ribic after these
3 events, and what was his position during the trial in Canada? Did he
4 explain in what capacity he came to see you on that day?
5 A. He never took the witness-stand in the trial in Canada, so he
6 never expressed what he was doing and what his intentions were.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Do I understand he was tried? Was he ... what was
8 the judgement? Could you give us some further information about --
9 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. He was addressed in 1999 in
10 Germany, extradited to Canada, and then there was two trials. The first
11 one was declared a mistrial because some additional information had come
12 to light. So the second trial occurred in 2005 and he was found guilty.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Guilty of.
14 THE WITNESS: I believe hostage-taking was the charge. There may
15 have been some other charges as well.
16 JUDGE ORIE: And he was sentenced.
17 THE WITNESS: Yes, he was. I believe three or four years. I
18 don't recall exactly.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
20 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. The other person you mention in your statement in connection with
23 these events on the 26th of May in the morning hours is one Srdjan. Did
24 you have the opportunity to meet a man by that name before?
25 A. No, I had not.
1 Q. Does the name Srdjan Knezevic ring a bell? Could that jog your
3 A. No. I don't know that name. The only time that I recall having
4 seen this individual or heard about him was on the 26th of May in the
5 morning, when he took us from our office to the ammunition bunkers, and I
6 don't recall seeing him on any other day after that. And I don't know
7 what his last name was.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: But you -- sorry, just a second, Mr. Lukic [sic].
9 Mr. Rechner, I'm a little bit confused by your answer. At
10 page 28, lines 9 to 11, the question to you was:
11 "The other person you mention in your statement in connection
12 with these events on the 26th of May in the morning hours is one Srdjan.
13 Did you have the opportunity to meet a man by that name before?"
14 You said, "No, I had not."
15 Now, at line 15 when you were being asked whether the name
16 Srdjan Knezevic rings a bell, you say you don't know that name. The only
17 time that you recall having seen this individual -- now, or heard about
18 him was on the 26th of May. When you say "this individual," are you
19 referring to Srdjan or are you referring to the person you are mentioning
20 in your statement whose name you don't know?
21 THE WITNESS: They are one and the same. I knew only the person
22 by his first name. I assumed that was his first name, Srdjan. I don't
23 know what his last name was. So I don't recall knowing someone by the
24 name of Srdjan Knezovic. Whether it is the same person, if that is in
25 fact his last name or not, I can't answer. I don't know. I just knew --
1 to put it into context perhaps it's better -- when we were held in our
2 office initially with Mr. Ribic and the other two individuals, later on,
3 Mr. Ribic mentioned that his commander, Srdjan, would be coming, and then
4 this individual showed up. So I'm -- I don't know if he introduced
5 himself as Srdjan. I don't think so. I think -- I just assumed based on
6 what Mr. Ribic told me that this individual's name was Srdjan and I don't
7 know anything more about him.
8 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Rechner, can I invite you to slow down a
10 little bit when answering the question because it's very difficult for
11 the court reporter to follow.
12 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
14 Mr. Mladic, no speaking aloud.
15 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Please tell me, sir, whether before that event you had any
17 contact with Nick Ribic and his mother. Did you ever meet his mother at
19 A. No. I only met Nick or Nicholas Ribic in Pale.
20 Q. Please focus on paragraph 30 of your statement.
21 This Srdjan, is that the individual you saw in the video-clip
22 shown by the OTP who was -- who had a crutch and used it to walk?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And did you conclude that he was Nick Ribic's superior?
25 A. All I know is that Nick Ribic mentioned that his superior,
1 Srdjan, would be coming, and then this individual arrived. He appeared
2 very much to be in charge of the group, and Nick Ribic behaved to him in
3 a subordinate way. So that is all I can say on the matter.
4 Q. The people who were -- took you to the facilities where you spent
5 the following hours, did -- was their impression about them --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Was your impression
7 about them that they were members of the regular army or the regular
9 THE WITNESS: At that time, we did not know. I only knew that
10 one of the members, that is, lieutenant-colonel who was doing the
11 filming, he appeared to be part of the regular Bosnian Serb army based on
12 the fact that he was wearing standard Bosnian Serb army military rank.
13 The other individuals I wasn't sure about at the time.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation].
15 Q. Thank you. I asked you this question because in your statement
16 you say that you could not tell whether those were regular or
17 paramilitary units.
18 According to you, what is the decisive factor in telling that
19 someone is a member of the army or the police or paramilitary unit?
20 What's the critical element?
21 A. Well, for the army and police it's quite clear. There's a
22 specific chain of command and organisation that an individual in a unit
23 falls under. Paramilitary organisations are much more nebulous; that is,
24 at least the way we referred to them in Bosnia. Most of them were
25 grouped around one or two individuals, so it was like a private armed
1 group. Now, what the relationship between some of these paramilitary
2 groups and the actual local police or army varied, and I can't say if
3 they were independent or subordinate or completely subordinate,
4 completely independent. There's a whole range there. And that's nothing
5 that I had visibility on at the time.
6 Q. Were you physically harassed; that is, beaten or injured by any
7 of those persons who escorted you?
8 A. Yes, I was.
9 Q. Can you tell us where and under what conditions.
10 A. When we were driven from our office to this complex where these
11 warehouses with ammunition and the hardened ammunition bunkers were
12 located, on arrival there, the main gate was locked so we were held up
13 there for something like 15 or 30 minutes. During that time, a group of
14 people had gathered and one of them broke away from the group. We were
15 handcuffed inside the car, so he opened the door. I was -- had the
16 misfortune of sitting next to that side of the vehicle, so I got a few
17 punches and kicks. Then he -- the guards pulled him off. He pulled out
18 a pistol and tried the chamber around and what we thought was to get a
19 shot off at least one at us. The guards were able to prevent that from
20 happening, and then later on this individual joined the group of -- I'll
21 refer to them as soldiers that had taken us from the accommodations to
22 the bunkers. So he showed up at the bunkers not at the time that you saw
23 initially in the video-clip but perhaps an hour later with the group and
24 then we saw him also several more times during our captivity dressed in a
25 military uniform.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Could I ask one question.
2 When you saw him later at several times, was that in a position
3 where you would consider that only military would have access? Was it in
4 an environment where outsiders could just walk in and out or ...
5 THE WITNESS: No. Where we were held was under the control of
6 the Bosnian Serb army. It was clearly a Bosnian Serb military facility
7 both where the bunkers were located and where we were used as human
8 shields on the first day, as well as a second facility which I referred
9 to in my statements as the Koran barracks which was a Bosnian Serb army
10 logistical and maintenance -- military equipment maintenance facility.
11 JUDGE ORIE: And that's where you saw him again in military
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, I did.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: Just to clarify, because I mentioned in some of my
16 previously testimony, that -- referred to him as a civilian. When he
17 attacked me he was dressed in civilian clothing, and then subsequently he
18 changed into a military uniform and joined the rest of the soldiers that
19 were -- that had taken to us in front of those bunkers.
20 JUDGE ORIE: Which was a strictly military environment area.
21 THE WITNESS: As far as we could ascertain, yes, definitely.
22 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. The persons who protected you on that occasion and who took away
25 that man in civilian clothes, were they -- did they belong to the group
1 that had come with you or did you meet them by that facility?
2 A. No, those were the same soldiers that had taken us from our
3 accommodations to that facility that I'll refer to as an ammunition
4 storage facility.
5 Q. Do you speak B/C/S?
6 A. I'm very rusty now. At the time, I spoke it reasonably well.
7 Q. Were you able to understand what the soldiers who prevented your
8 harassment were saying to that man in civilian clothes?
9 A. I think they were too far away from me to be able to hear.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we please see
11 Exhibit 03825 from the 65 ter list on our screens. 03825.
12 While we're waiting for it to load, let me add that this is the
13 summary of a note made of the telephone conversation between
14 General Smith and General Mladic, which took place on a the 26th of May,
15 1995, at 10.00. The 26th of May. Around 10.00.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, if we're moving to documents, I was
17 informed that a list of exhibits potentially to be used in
18 cross-examination was not sent, and Madam Registrar informs me that after
19 a reminder, it's still not received.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I don't intend to
21 use any new exhibits except for the ones we got from the OTP during the
22 preparation for their direct examination.
23 This is a document that we got from the Prosecution, and it's on
24 their list.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, nevertheless, it assists the
1 Registry to know what numbers you are likely to use rather than to try to
2 find out which ones from the Prosecution list you might have in the back
3 of your mind.
4 Please proceed.
5 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That is
6 correct. And I believe that we will submit one in due time. I don't
7 know where the problem lies.
8 Could we get the following page, please.
9 Q. Witness, I will merely ask you a couple of questions that have to
10 do with this telephone conversation.
11 The paragraph number is 3, but, actually, it's the second
13 In this conversation, which corresponds in time -- or, rather,
14 which took place at the time you were surrounded and taken away by the
15 persons you have mentioned.
16 In the conversation between General Smith and General Mladic,
17 Mr. Mladic answers to Smith that he was sorry for everything that had
18 happened but he couldn't forgive General Smith his stupidity.
19 General Smith was responsible for the violation of the loose cease-fire
20 and the peace in the area. He accused General Smith of crazy and
21 unreasonable use of NATO air strikes which had put human lives at risk.
22 He had expected General Smith would act in accordance with UN principles
23 for the creation of peace. What was the use of all the ultimatums which
24 had been issued by telephone or in writing?
25 Here's what I want to ask you: At the moments you were talking
1 about, when you spoke to General Smith's staff on that day, and I
2 understand that you spoke to Colonel Baxter, because General Smith was
3 not available or unwilling to speak to you at that moment, were you told
4 anything about there being an ultimatum issued to the RS?
5 A. In that telephone conversation, I was simply acting on
6 instructions from Mr. Ribic to put him in contact with General Smith's
7 office. So I had no discussion about any ultimatums or anything.
8 The phone was answered by General Smith's aide who told me that
9 General Smith was not available, so I suggested that if Colonel Baxter,
10 that's General Smith's Chief of Staff, I understood at the time, if he
11 would be available, he may help. And at that point Mr. Ribic grabbed the
12 handset from me, and I don't know what was discussed, other than
13 Mr. Ribic making the threats that if the bombing would not stop, they
14 would start executing us.
15 Q. In this communication between General Smith and General Mladic,
16 General Mladic goes on to say:
17 "Was General Smith trying to threaten him? He had expected
18 General Smith to behave as a reasonable man and as a human being. He had
19 never initiated provocations nor attacked the UN anywhere, but
20 General Smith had attacked him."
21 Here's what I want to ask you: At any point before the bombing
22 on the 25th of May, 1995, carried out by NATO aviation, did you or the
23 other UNMO team at Pale -- or, rather, were you or the other UNMO team at
24 Pale exposed to any threats or harassment?
25 A. There's a lot in that question. I mean, we were -- I -- at one
1 case we had a robbery, arm robbery, inside of our office. On another
2 occasion, our vehicle had been stolen. In the lead-up to the
3 25th of May, we had come under increasing restrictions of movement.
4 Initially we could go any time outside of Pale into Sarajevo, then we
5 were told, perhaps ten days or so before the 25th of May, that we needed
6 now to get permission from the Bosnian Serb military headquarters to be
7 able to cross the confrontation line to be able to go into Sarajevo, and
8 then it became tighter that we were not to leave Pale. And on the night
9 of the 25th after the bombing we were told not to leave our
10 accommodation, that we understood that we were under -- being put under
11 house arrest.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: On this point, can I just ask a few questions in
13 connection to the clip that we saw earlier before the break.
14 You were driven off in a vehicle when you were put with
15 blindfolds in the car. That vehicle flew an UN flag. Whose vehicle was
17 THE WITNESS: That was my team's vehicle.
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Who was driving it?
19 THE WITNESS: At the time, when the blindfolds were placed on us,
20 it was one of these -- soldiers who had taken us earlier in the day. Not
21 the ones initially at our accommodations but the ones that came with
22 Srdjan later on. So I don't recall specifically which one of them was
23 driving. But it was those -- that was a group of the soldiers that were
24 driving the vehicle and also there's additional ones that were inside the
25 vehicle with us.
1 JUDGE MOLOTO: What finally became of the vehicle?
2 THE WITNESS: We never found out. It was never returned to us
3 when we were released.
4 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
5 Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
6 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Could we get the following page, please.
8 Q. In the last paragraph, paragraph 6 -- I'll first ask you to focus
9 on paragraph 5, however:
10 "Mladic said that General Smith was dealing with fantasy stuff
11 when he spoke of the heavy weapons and it was the cause of the happenings
12 and the destruction of the population. He said General Smith had no
13 evidence and was relying on false information from his subordinates. He
14 accused General Smith of not being an UN man but rather part of NATO in
15 its realisation of dark goals. He asked General Smith to behave in a
16 reasonable manner and to cease attacks on the Serb population. He
17 welcomed everything which undertaken towards a peace settlement, but
18 condemned the actions thus far, which he considered a catastrophic
19 tragedy. He urged General Smith to think of the lives in his hands."
20 On that day, were you ever informed about the whereabouts of
21 General Mladic? And I'm talking about the 26th of May, 1995.
22 A. No. We had no idea where General Mladic was on that day.
23 Q. But, on that day, you had a contact -- prior to your being
24 captured and taken away, you had a contact with the office of
25 President Karadzic; is that correct?
1 A. By telephone, yes.
2 Q. And, on that occasion, you spoke with Mr. Jovan Zametica?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. After you had warned him about the situation that you were in,
5 and you speak about this in your statement, can you just please tell us
6 what was your impression after you had finished your conversation with
7 Mr. Zametica about what they or he himself knew what was exactly going
9 A. Which conversation are you referring to? There was two. There
10 was by telephone initially just after we heard some shots outside of our
11 building, and I saw through the back of our door that there was some
12 armed men, I had called Jovan Zametica then. And then later in the
13 afternoon, he came with a group of other individuals while we were
14 handcuffed in front of those bunkers and he also spoke to me then. So
15 I'm not sure which conversation you wish me to comment on.
16 Q. Thank you. I think I said before you were arrested and taken
17 away from your headquarter. So I'm talking about the first telephone
18 conversation. And then I will ask you later on about what transpired in
19 your direct contact with Mr. Zametica.
20 A. In that first telephone conversation, before I had actually
21 entered our office where the armed men were located, I asked Mr. Zametica
22 if he could send some people, meaning the police or the military, if
23 there's a local detachment, to our accommodation to see what was going on
24 and resolve the situation. And before I spoke with Mr. Zametica, I spoke
25 with Mr. Karadzic's secretary, Mira, who told me that these people had
1 apparently been sent officially. So I asked Mr. Zametica what was going
2 on and all he said was that he heard that something like that was being
3 organised and that we should just be as co-operative as possible with
4 these individuals.
5 Q. Thank you. I'm going to finish now with item 6, which reads:
6 "General Smith closed the conversation by expressing appreciation
7 for Mladic's interest in peace. He reiterated the Serb side must comply
8 with the NATO ultimatums. If they did not, the matter would be out of
9 his hands. He urged Mladic to think deeply, to consult the leadership
10 and to recognise the road to peace began with compliance to NATO
12 What I would like to ask you is this: Had you ever been educated
13 as an UN officer to the fact that in Bosnia it was possible to issue an
14 ultimatum to one of the warring parties?
15 A. Maybe it's a problem with the language, but in English
16 "ultimatum" can mean all sorts of things. So I'm not sure what you mean
17 by "ultimatum" in this case.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Were you ever involved in any putting an ultimatum
19 of whatever kind to one of the parties?
20 THE WITNESS: I or the UNMO organisation was not, no.
21 JUDGE ORIE: So, therefore, whether he was trained in something
22 he never participated in, Mr. Stojanovic, seems not to be very relevant
23 at this moment.
24 Could I ask you, Mr. Stojanovic, the last question about the
25 content of the telephone conversations, you listened to the answer.
1 There were no follow-up questions. Does that mean that the answer
2 satisfies you or ...
3 There are no further questions arising out of that answer?
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. I am going to
5 proceed my -- with my cross-examination, and I'm not going to deal with
6 this document any longer.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, Mr. Stojanovic, your last question about
8 the content of the telephone conversation is literally -- the answer is
9 literally found in paragraph 23. So if you were eliciting that answer,
10 then you just could have read paragraph 23 and avoid any repetition
11 because every single detail of the answer - and apparently you have no
12 follow-up questions - is found in paragraph 23.
13 I again urge you to avoid repetition. Cross-examination is to
14 challenge the testimony given in-chief or to seek support for your own
15 case. Your last question and the answer to it does not, in any way,
16 serve the purpose of cross-examination.
17 Please proceed, and try to be focussed, to challenge what the
18 testimony said, and it's now the fifth time today that I have to remind
19 you of what you're supposed to do.
20 Please proceed.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. I'm going to focus my attention to paragraph 47 of your
23 statement, in which you speak about the second encounter -- or, rather,
24 the first direct contact that you had with Mr. Zametica following the
25 telephone conversation, and this is in relation with your previous
1 answer. You said when you addressed him, he said, Well, times have
3 Now, in the light of your previous answer, I would like to ask
4 you how you understood and what were your feelings regarding this
5 response that you got from Mr. Zametica in this face-to-face contact with
7 A. I expressed to Mr. Zametica my shock at how we had been treated,
8 and that was his answer basically: Well, times have changed.
9 So I took it to mean that he had no respect for us and what we
10 did as UN Military Observers for him, as far as our professional work and
11 also in our humanitarian work with the local population.
12 Q. At the time when NATO force was bombing one of the wars parties,
13 did you see that as NATO siding with one of the warring parties?
14 A. I was not in a position to make that assessment. We were not
15 involved in any consultations regarding any air-strikes before this time.
16 As I mentioned, it also took us by surprise because we had no prior
17 warning, so I can't comment on, you know, what the role of NATO was.
18 This was something agreed at a much higher level, I imagine not only
19 General Smith but probably the Secretary-General Representative,
20 Mr. Akashi, was probably involved as well. But that's only what I assume
21 happened; I don't know that that happened.
22 Q. Do you know whether this took place during the spring offensive
23 of the BH army launched from Sarajevo that was under the control of the
24 2nd Corps of the BH Army?
25 A. In my role as the chief liaison officer and team leader of the
1 liaison team in Pale, we did not follow the events on the ground; that
2 is, the conflict in that detail to be able to comment on that. We knew
3 that there was an escalation of fighting going on throughout Bosnia,
4 including the Sarajevo area, but who started it and who was responsible
5 for it, that's not information that we had; that is, my team. Perhaps
6 other UNMO organisations such as our headquarters in Sarajevo may have
7 that information, but not my team.
8 Q. During your communications with the ICRC, you had a kind of
9 argument with Mr. Bolajic regarding your status. Did you feel yourselves
10 to be prisoners of war?
11 A. No, we did not.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can we now have
13 05738 in e-court. This is yet another document from the Prosecution list
14 of exhibits, and I think it already has -- or been assigned a number.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar tells us that it has not.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Then can we please
17 look at item 5 of this document.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Is that the second page in English?
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] That's correct, Your Honour.
20 Second page.
21 Q. Sir, this is a document issued by the Drina Corps command on the
22 27th of May, 1995. So it corresponds with the time that we are
23 discussing. Pursuant to an order of the Drina Corps commander, it says:
24 "During the capture, the transfer and the detention, treat the UN
25 members as prisoners of war in a soldierly and correct manner. Provide
1 them with the same food and water as the VRS members get."
2 Now, my question is: After the 27th, the 27th of May, and after
3 this order, in view of your statement, were you treated in line of the
4 instructions given in this order?
5 A. I don't believe this order applied to us. As far as I know, the
6 Drina Corps was responsible for Eastern Bosnia, not the Sarajevo and Pale
7 area. So ...
8 JUDGE ORIE: Witness, I think what Mr. Stojanovic would like to
9 know, whether you were treated in accordance with this order, although
10 not given in relation to you, but whether you were treated like prisoners
11 of war in a soldierly and correct manner, provide them with the same food
12 and water.
13 THE WITNESS: Okay. I -- I'm not sure what they mean by POWs.
14 We were provided food and water, but we were refused medical -- contact
15 with medical people that we knew spoke English in Pale until the second
16 week. We were refused contact with the ICRC until two weeks later, even
17 though they were right in Pale. It would have been very easy to
18 organise. We were refused contact with our next of kin, and that was
19 paramount in our minds. And we were never told that our -- that the
20 threats that we would be killed in case there was any NATO air strikes
21 would not be applied. So, I mean, this is not the way you treat POWs in
22 accordance with the Geneva Conventions, so I cannot agree with that whole
24 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, a question to you. Was it also your
25 question whether that part of the treatment where the witness was
1 handcuffed and that he and his team members were chained to military
2 facilities, was that included in your question, that is, to treat the UN
3 members as prisoners of war in a soldierly and correct manner? Is
4 that -- was that included in your question? And is it the position of
5 the Defence that the treatment of the witness as described in his
6 statement [overlapping speakers] --
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [No interpretation]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Please let me please finish. Let me please finish.
9 Whether the way in which the witness describes in the statement
10 how they were treated, that that is in conformity with the treatment of
11 prisoners of war in a soldierly and correct manner?
12 Is that -- was that part of your question? And do you -- is it
13 the position of the Defence that it was, indeed, a treatment as if they
14 were prisoners of war treated in a soldierly and correct manner? Is
15 that -- was that part of your question and do you -- is the position of
16 the Defence that it was, indeed, a treatment as if they were prisoners of
17 war treated in a soldierly and correct manner?
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, page 43, line 4,
19 exactly reflects what I wanted to ask, and it pertains to the period
20 after the 27th, that is to say, after all these ugly events that had
21 taken place.
22 We still claim that everything that happened to this witness took
23 place on the 26th and has nothing to do with the Army of Republika Srpska
24 but, rather, with the paramilitary. Everything else, though, that
25 happened after the 27th is related to the VRS, and that is why I put my
1 question in that manner, and I'm going to further elaborate on this.
2 Q. Let us now take a look at paragraph 52 of your statement, which
3 is P2554, and let me ask you a question with regard to this portion.
4 You say in your statement, and I think you have it in front of
5 you, that on your way to the Jahorina radar site, you overheard a
6 conversation between two VRS soldiers in which one said to the other that
7 Mladic had told them he wanted to have a number of UN people filmed at
8 this location.
9 I'm asking you now, in relation to these events, did you give any
10 statements after you were released on the 18th of June and after you
11 returned to the area where you felt safe and secure?
12 A. Yes. I -- I was debriefed by investigators from the ICTY in
13 Zagreb a few days after we arrived there on the 19th of June, 1995.
14 Q. Did you fill out certain questionnaires about the events that
15 preceded your visit to Zagreb?
16 A. Yes. It was specifically -- the questionnaires were on the
17 events between the 26th -- 26th of May and 18th of June, 1995.
18 Q. Will you agree with me that, at that time, your memory and your
19 impressions were much fresher and more specific than they are today in
20 the light of the time that elapsed since then?
21 A. In general, yes. But, I mean, there's some problems with the
22 questionnaire and the testimony, it was done very quickly. Also, the
23 interview was transcribed not by me but one of the investigators, so I'm
24 not sure if there's any errors that you wish to refer to. I can address
1 But, I guess, in general terms, some of the things are just as
2 clear to me today as they were then.
3 Q. Do you remember whether in that interview and in the
4 questionnaire mentioning your overhearing this conversation between the
5 two soldiers in which the name of General Mladic was mentioned?
6 A. I would have to see that questionnaire. I can't remember if it
7 was one of the questions or if I mentioned this in that questionnaire.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, maybe this is a
9 good time for a break. And my suggestion is that, provided the
10 Prosecution agrees, we give the witness 65 ter 19281 [Realtime transcript
11 read in error "19181"], which is the -- the questionnaire, so that the
12 witness can review it during the break, and then I can put some questions
13 to him after the break.
14 JUDGE MOLOTO: What's the 65 ter number again?
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 19281.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: The record says "19181."
17 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If the Prosecution has no problems with it, so
18 therefore it can be provided to the witness.
19 We take a break. You are invited to read the questionnaire
20 during the break, and we'd like to see you back in 20 minutes from now.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, do you have a copy of that
24 questionnaire to be provided to the witness?
25 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I do have it, but in the
1 B/C/S only. But can I provide an English translation very shortly.
2 I believe the OTP has a translation.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar is kindly offering to print it out,
4 which, of course, I would have expected the Defence to do.
5 You'll be provided with the questionnaire, and we'd like to see
6 you back in 20 minutes. You may follow the usher.
7 [The witness stands down]
8 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, you explained as the position of the
9 Defence that everything that happened on the 26th has got nothing to do
10 with the VRS and everything that happened after the 27th was -- that it
11 was on the VRS -- is related to the VRS.
12 Could I ask you what your position is in relation to the 27th
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence position relating to
15 the 27th is that everything that had been happening had to do with the
16 paramilitary forces until such time when he was taken over by the
17 Army of Republika Srpska.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Just for my information, for example, in
19 paragraph 56 of the statement, the witness describes what happened on the
20 27th of May when he was taken outside the building in the Koran military
21 barracks where -- where we were --
22 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Overlapping speakers] ...
23 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... one second, please.
24 Where the witness was advised to communicate to his headquarters
25 that they were going to be positioned in front of the bunkers again at
1 the same locations as the previous days.
2 So that is within the VRS -- that is what you said falls within
3 the VRS -- is related to the VRS. Is that correctly understood?
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. This event
5 described in paragraph 56 clearly speaks about what we are saying. That
6 is to say, that all the orders were issued by Mr. Ribic. Mr. Ribic was
7 not a member of the VRS. The VRS had nothing to do with him. And in our
8 Defence case, we are going to present his position and his function, as
9 well as that of the man called Srdjan. And this is what our case is
10 going to rely upon.
11 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. So, therefore, if I understand you well, it is
12 the position of the Defence that Mr. Ribic took those actions when the
13 witness was -- had spent the night in the Koran military barracks. Is
14 that correctly understood as your position? But not in any way related
15 to the VRS.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: That is correct, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that information.
18 We will take a break, and we'll resume at 20 minutes past midday.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.00 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.24 p.m.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
22 Could I meanwhile hear from the parties if they can make brief
23 submissions on D357. I would like to hear them. If not, then we'll have
24 to wait.
25 [The witness takes the stand]
1 MR. GROOME: Ms. Harbour is here and will make those submissions,
2 Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Ms. Harbour, yes, I didn't see you but there
4 you are.
5 Any -- it's a D exhibit.
6 MS. HARBOUR: Yes, Your Honours.
7 As you're aware, D357 is a map of Sarajevo on which Mr. Lukic's
8 expert has overlaid a apart of the investigation file for the
9 Simon Bolivar school incident. And the expert also made several markings
10 on the overlay.
11 At transcript page 15944, in arguing for admission of this
12 document, Mr. Lukic asserted that the witness, Mr. Turkusic, had
13 "confirmed the angle of fire" on this document.
14 At the time I requested the transcript pages for this assertion
15 as this did not comport with my understanding of the witness's testimony,
16 and I've now gone back through the witness's testimony and still do not
17 understand him to have provided any testimony to this effect.
18 The transcript pages that the Defence provided via e-mail to us
19 yesterday do not appear to be related to Exhibit D357 at all, so I think
20 there must have been a misunderstanding there.
21 However, from my review of the transcript, the only question the
22 witness answered about Exhibit D357 was at transcript page 15845, where
23 he was asked:
24 "Do you agree that this sketch is correctly laid on the map of
1 And he answered:
2 "Yes, it is. But I think that the input is arbitrary because
3 after so much time, and given the fact that the wall was renovated,
4 nobody can tell that the angle of descent was really 63 degrees. What
5 kind of measurement could have produced such a result?"
6 And after some discussion amongst the parties, not with the
7 witness, Mr. Lukic decided to move on from that document.
8 So, in light of this, I maintain that since this witness had very
9 little to say about the exhibit, it should remain marked for
10 identification until the expert who created it can explain it further and
11 also be subject to cross-examination.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Harbour.
13 I'm hesitant to invite the Defence to -- perhaps you take your
14 time, Mr. Stojanovic, until the next break so that we don't -- are in a
15 position that we have to let the witness wait when dealing with other
17 Would you consider to make short oral submissions after the next
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. Mr. Lukic
20 will also take part in the discussion about that, so we'll formulate our
22 JUDGE ORIE: Then we'll see when Mr. Lukic is available.
23 Our apologies for not paying proper attention to your -- to you
24 re-entering the court, Mr. Rechner.
25 Mr. Stojanovic will now continue his cross-examination.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Sir, I suppose that you had the chance to see the questionnaire
3 you filled in. And let me ask you now whether, at any point, you
4 mentioned that you heard or were able to hear the conversation between
5 the two soldiers.
6 A. Okay. I'm going to have go through this slowly unless you can
7 point me to a specific paragraph.
8 Q. Let me draw your attention to the question on page 2 of this
9 document; item 8.
10 Document 19281 - that's the 65 ter number - item 8.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we have it on the screen.
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. I would like
13 to have that on the screens. The following page in both language,
15 JUDGE ORIE: And the second page in B/C/S as well for -- at least
16 if you want to focus on question 8, Mr. Stojanovic.
17 There we are.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] This is it, Your Honours.
19 Q. And you were asked a specific question:
20 "At the time of your capture, did you hear any communications
21 and/or orders relating to your capture? If so, describe the orders and
22 who was giving them."
23 Is it correct that you did not answer this question? We don't
24 see anything written here.
25 A. That is correct. I did not answer that question because it was
1 not clear to me what exactly the question was asking.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: In any case, this question is asking the question
3 at the time of the capture not on the way to Jahorina.
4 THE WITNESS: I mean, it was -- it's very difficult for me to
5 answer. At the time of my capture which I interpreted the moment when
6 the people came into our room --
7 JUDGE MOLOTO: But that's the point I am making.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes. It was not clear to us who these people were
9 or why other than the telephone conversations that I had with
10 Mr. Karadzic's secretary and Jovan Zametica.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: But what you say at paragraph 52 of your statement
12 you refer to something that happened when you were on your way to
13 Jahorina, which is long after the capture, as I understand it.
14 THE WITNESS: That's my -- that's why I left question 8 blank and
15 did not comment on it at that point.
16 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, you apparently linked paragraph 52
18 to question 8, and that may have caused the confusion. It's not clear,
19 not only to my colleague but also not to me, and to -- I can now say all
20 the members of this Bench.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Let me try and ask you in another way, because you wanted me to
23 draw your attention to similar questions that could follow from this
25 Did you, at any point, while you were filling in this
1 questionnaire or making a statement, mention that you heard a
2 conversation between two soldiers in the course of which General Mladic's
3 name was mentioned?
4 A. I cannot recall exactly when I -- in my amalgamated witness
5 statement, there's a footnote to paragraph 52; footnote 77. So perhaps
6 in that document, I mentioned that.
7 There is -- I -- I don't know if I should be in a position of
8 suggesting, bringing up documents, but there was also an interview
9 conducted by these two investigators from the ICTY a couple of days after
10 I filled out this questionnaire, and perhaps I mentioned it in that
11 interview, but without bringing up that document, I can't tell you for
13 Q. Let me now ask you, Witness, to focus on item 6 of this document.
14 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] In the English version, we
15 should briefly go back to the previous page because that's where it
17 Scroll down, please.
18 Now let us turn the page in English.
19 Q. You say by way of filling in this questionnaire:
20 "Do you have any information regarding your captors (names,
21 ranks, police, military units, persons in charge, et cetera)?"
22 You entered:
23 "Nikola Ribic, some sort of a paramilitary unit in Pale.
24 Then you say:
25 "Srdjan, commander of this paramilitary unit.
1 "Slivo Slivic, member of paramilitary unit who beat me and
2 attempted to shoot me."
3 Can you see that, this text that you entered in handwriting?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. You say that the people who controlled you on the 26th and 27th
6 were members of paramilitary units at Pale.
7 What made you say that or, rather, write that on that day?
8 A. In fact, it only refers to the 26th of May, 1995, not the 27th.
9 We -- it was not myself. It was my team-mate,
10 Captain Oli Zidlik, who after having some discussions with
11 Mr. Sljivo Sljivic a few days after this one, Mr. Sljivic visited us in
12 the Koran barracks where we were then being held, that explained that he
13 was a member of some sort of paramilitary unit. And from that
14 information we surmised that all these individuals, that is, Srdjan and
15 Nikola Ribic, were probably from that same paramilitary unit.
16 Q. Thank you, Witness. Now let me ask you about the 27th.
17 Let us --
18 JUDGE MOLOTO: Can I interrupt, Mr. Lukic [sic], before do you
19 that. Mr. Rechner, there is a handwriting on the left margin next to
20 paragraph 6 with an arrow from the handwritten portion pointing to
21 paragraph 6.
22 Is the person mentioned there who you described as a
23 lieutenant-colonel also part of the answer to question 6?
24 THE WITNESS: Yes. He is a fourth -- and there is also a
25 civilian reporter, Snjezan Lalovic, a fifth person that applied to
1 question 6.
2 JUDGE MOLOTO: But he is not a paramilitary. You say he is a
4 THE WITNESS: Yes. And he explained that he was the press
5 information officer for the Pale military garrison.
6 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Could I also ask you about qualifying your captors
8 as some sort of paramilitary unit in Pale and compare that with your
9 response to question 7, small (a), where you were asked whether you were
10 able to recognise the captors as being Bosnian Serb army or were they
11 disguised, where you said:
12 "Plain uniforms with standard BSA shoulder patch."
13 That seems, to some extent, inconsistent with your answer to
14 question 6. Could you explain why you qualified them as some sort of
15 paramilitary unit and describing plain uniforms with standard BSA
16 shoulder patch?
17 THE WITNESS: Yes. We saw pretty much everybody in military
18 uniform where the shoulder patch which is just rondel with Serbian
19 colours in the beginning, that -- in the centre. So we saw a lot of
20 soldiers wearing that. I cannot now say if all those individuals,
21 five -- well, certainly not Mr. Lalovic but if all four of those had that
22 patch or just some of them.
23 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, you --
24 THE WITNESS: But regarding some sort of paramilitary unit, we
25 really had no idea what the status of that unit was or even if they were,
1 in fact, paramilitary. That information is only based on discussions
2 that Captain Oli Zidlik had with Sljivo Sljivic, so we don't know where
3 they fell into the organisation structure where they were completely
4 independent or subordinated somehow to the BSA.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Nevertheless, you describe Mr. Nikola Ribic as some
6 sort of a paramilitary unit in Pale, where you -- I think you testified
7 today that he was the one who was wearing a normal uniform, a regular
9 Was it on the basis of behaviour or how they operated that it
10 came to your mind that they would be some sort of a paramilitary unit or
11 apparently it was not exclusively uniforms, because, otherwise, they have
12 difficulties in understanding why you qualified Ribic as paramilitary
13 where he was wearing a regular uniform.
14 Could you explain a bit further.
15 THE WITNESS: Yes. This is a complicated matter.
16 Ribic -- and perhaps we could review the video again, if that's
17 an important issue, whether he was actually wearing the -- this rondel
18 BSA patch or not.
19 On -- in the radio conversation and telephone conversations that
20 he had in our office to our own headquarters and to General Smith's
21 office when -- demanded that the air-strikes be stopped or that we would
22 be executed, he always referred to himself as BSA soldier. And then when
23 Srdjan arrived, he appeared to be very much subordinate to him. So I --
24 whether these people were paramilitaries or not, I cannot say with
25 certainty. It's only because what my colleague, Oli Zidlik, the
1 conversation that he had with Sljivo Sljivic, that seemed to indicate
2 that these people were probably some sort of a paramilitary unit, but I
3 cannot say more on the matter. I really don't know who these people
5 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
6 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
7 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I was waiting for
8 the interpretation to finish, Your Honours.
9 Q. Let us now together look at something in this document, I mean
10 your answer to item 20.
11 If I understand correctly, you're there being asked about what
12 you learned in more detail. It says here that:
13 "During your detention, did you hear any communication and/or
14 orders relating to your detention? If yes, please describe the
15 communications/orders and who was giving them."
16 And you answered this question by saying:
17 "During the ICRC visit on 8 June 1995, Mr. Bolajic, who then was
18 president of the Bosnian Serb Exchange Commission, stated to us that we
19 were POWs officially because we were combatants. I had a short argument
20 with him."
21 Could this question also encompass the conversation between the
22 two soldiers in which General Mladic was mentioned?
23 A. Because this question uses the word "detention" rather than
24 "capture," I interpreted that question to meanwhile while we were then
25 kept starting on the -- at the end of the day of the 26th onwards at the
1 Koran military barracks which is where we remained. So I -- it was
2 before -- it was after the incident of driving up to Jahorina. That's
3 why I did not talk about these -- this question of us being filmed at the
4 orders of General Mladic.
5 JUDGE MOLOTO: Am I clear that what are you talking about in this
6 paragraph is what took place on the 8th of June?
7 THE WITNESS: No -- well, yes, my answer is about the 8th of
8 June. But when -- the question what I meant by detention as opposed to
9 in question 8 which states, "time of your capture, detention," I took
10 once the situation stabilised and we were just being held inside the
11 military facility.
12 I mean, there's a lot I could have added, of course, to that
13 question. That wasn't much space, so I just mentioned that point,
14 regarding what Bosnian Serbs considered our official status to be. As I
15 mentioned, I disagreed with that and had an argument.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Then I must ask you the following: How do you see your status on
18 the 26th of July in the early afternoon, when you were being taken to
19 Jahorina, or, that is, to the relay stations? Were you then a prisoner
20 or had you been captured and, therefore, at that time, in detention, or
21 neither one nor the other? How do you understand your status to be on
22 that 26th of July -- excuse me, May?
23 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
24 THE WITNESS: We considered our status to be illegally captured
25 and illegally, of course, used as human shields and hostages.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Does that mean that on the 26th, while you were being taken to
3 Jahorina with the Polish major, were already in detention. You were a
4 detained person at that moment.
5 A. We can argue about the definition of detention, what that
6 encompasses. UN Military Observers are a special category of people. We
7 are protected under the UN or the international convention on the rights
8 and privileges of -- privileges and immunities of United Nations, and in
9 that convention under Article 6, we are protected --
10 Q. Witness, I apologise, but that was not my question. I'm not
11 asking this in the context of a definition of your status as this defined
12 by the one who put together this questionnaire.
13 My question now is: Since you're saying that the 26th -- that
14 is, the afternoon of the 26th was not the moment of your capture, and
15 then it was not the -- during the period of detention because that came
16 later. My question was, rather, what you understood your status to be at
17 that time. That's the question as put by the author of the
19 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's the case or not, Mr. Stojanovic, is
20 still to be seen. You're interpreting the intentions of the -- the
21 intentions of those who drafted this questionnaire.
22 I must say, I'm not fully understanding what the gist of this
23 question is and what it should -- and how it would assist the Chamber. I
24 do understand that if, in the questionnaire, a difference is made between
25 capture and detention, that you, at that point in time, try to understand
1 that and make a distinction.
2 Now your question, whether he was in detention, the ordinary
3 meaning of the word detention is that you're deprived of your liberty.
4 Now is that what you want to know, whether the witness considered that he
5 was deprived of his liberty? Because if it's not the ordinary meaning of
6 the word detention, then, of course, you're asking for exactly what the
7 witness did ask for a definition of what you understand by detention.
8 So you used the word detention. Could you -- did you refer to
9 deprivation of liberty or did you refer to anything else?
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: In addition, Mr. Stojanovic, the question you are
11 putting to the witness here, he has just answered a few minutes ago. The
12 question being: What do you understand -- what -- what you did
13 understood your status to be at that time? And the witness answered you
14 by saying he considered himself as somebody who had been illegally
15 arrested and deprived of his liberty. I'm paraphrasing because I can't
16 find it immediately: We considered our status to be illegally captured
17 and illegally, of course, used as human shields and hostages.
18 He has answered that question.
19 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please rephrase your question or move on.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. With your
21 leave, I would like to consult my client for a brief moment.
22 JUDGE ORIE: If it's done shortly and if it is done at such a
23 level of volume that no one can hear it, you may.
24 [Defence counsel and Accused confer]
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Q. Please take a look at the previous answer. Item 19.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Let's go back one page, please,
4 in English.
5 Question number 20 -- actually, 19 (d).
6 You say there:
7 "How were you forced to make statements?"
8 This was the question as put to you in the questionnaire.
9 And you answered:
10 "No, but during our capture on 26 May and on 27 May, I was forced
11 to" --
12 JUDGE ORIE: We can't see the bottom part of the page.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think it's --
14 JUDGE ORIE: [Overlapping speakers] ... does anyone have the --
15 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] This part is missing.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We only can see the next word which is "to
19 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, if the parties would have a copy
20 somewhere, because this is how it was uploaded, and agree on what the
21 text reads at the last line or the following lines, then I would invite
22 you to read it slowly --
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Rechner, you have a hard copy in front of you
24 of this questionnaire. In that case, you please look at it, if you
25 can see it.
1 THE WITNESS: Unfortunately, Your Honour, it is the same version.
2 What I -- I can tell -- I can tell you what I think it is.
3 It says:
4 "No, but during our capture on 26 May and on 27 May, I was forced
5 to communicate under threat by radio to my headquarters."
6 That's what I was referring to communicate. I think that's what
7 that statement should read.
8 JUDGE ORIE: On the basis of this assumption, Mr. Stojanovic, you
9 may put your next question to the witness.
10 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. These questions from paragraphs 19, 20, and 6, did they create
12 any room in the questionnaire for you or an opportunity to mention the
13 fact that it was General Mladic who requested you to be filmed?
14 A. Nothing that would trigger that specific of a response.
15 I mean, perhaps in question 8, I could have mentioned it but it
16 really doesn't ask that question. Eight says: Did you hear any
17 communications and/or orders relating to your capture, not about filming.
18 So I was at a loss to answer that question.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, can we please look at paragraph 62.
20 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] But, Your Honours, maybe this is
21 a good time for me to tender this document into evidence, which is
22 65 ter 19281.
23 JUDGE ORIE: There are no objections.
24 Madam Registrar.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document 19281 receives number D391,
1 Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: D391 is admitted.
3 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Now we need P2554, paragraph 62.
4 Q. Here, you talk about your conversation, sir, with
5 Professor Koljevic, which lasted about 45 minutes.
6 You say here, and I'm going to focus only and the portion that is
7 going to create the foundation for my question, which is the following,
8 that, on that occasion, Professor Koljevic told you - and this is in the
9 middle of this paragraph:
10 "In contrast, the bombing of 26th of May, 1995, were conducted
11 before a deadline were extremely serious and endangered any future
12 working relationship between the Bosnian Serbs and the UN. Consequently,
13 the Bosnian Serb government would need to establish a completely new
14 working relationship with UNPROFOR. Professor Koljevic explained that
15 the extremely high magnitude of the crisis precipitated by the bombing
16 warranted the response of the Bosnian Serb government to take UN
17 peacekeepers hostage."
18 Do you have any knowledge about what Professor Koljevic is
19 talking about? Firstly, that the bombing of 26th of May, 1995, carried
20 out by NATO took place before the deadline expired? Do you know which
21 deadline he was referring to?
22 A. Roughly, yes. But I cannot quote it without seeing
23 General Smith's letter of, I believe, it was the 24th of May, where he
24 outlined to all the parties his requirements for compliance in order to
25 de-escalate the conflict. I'd have to see the letter. But there was two
1 parts: One was to, I believe, stop shelling of the safe areas; and the
2 second part of the deadline was for the next day at 12.00 noon. But
3 without seeing the letter I can't tell you specifically what it was.
4 JUDGE ORIE: Is your knowledge exclusively based on the content
5 of that letter?
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, I had no other information. It was only
7 second-hand information contained in that letter.
8 JUDGE ORIE: Then I think the letter is in evidence. I think it
9 is. But could we -- or could you please verify, Mr. Stojanovic, because,
10 if it is, then we can look at the letter and don't need to ask further
11 questions to this witness in this respect.
12 Please proceed.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. This knowledge that you have about the letter and the deadline
15 would actually confirm that Professor Koljevic was right when he said
16 that the bombing took place before the expiry of the deadline.
17 A. All I can say about this conversation that I had with
18 Professor Koljevic was that he was surprised that the bombing took place
19 before 12.00 noon. How that is related to a deadline, I cannot comment
21 Q. Were you ever informed that as from the moment when the bombing
22 of the positions of Republika Srpska started, you became an involved
23 party in this conflict?
24 A. As an UNMO, no, I was not informed of that.
25 Q. Was such position ever presented to you by Professor Bolajic in
1 the presence of representatives of the International Committee of the
2 Red Cross?
3 A. Mr. Bolajic explained that we were treated as prisoners of war
4 because we were combatants. And I took issue with that, because we were
5 not involved in any way in the hostilities. UNMOs, as I mentioned, are
6 protected as UN experts on mission from arrest and detention on the
7 convention on the privileges and immunities of United Nations personnel.
8 So how can you consider us to be combatants? And at that point,
9 Mr. Bolajic said, Well, this is something we can discuss later on, and
11 The ICRC -- just to shed some light on this question, we asked
12 the ICRC representatives or delegates, as they were officially called
13 there, what our status was in their eyes, and they said not prisoners of
14 war but persons deprived of liberty.
15 Q. According to you, who was then bombing Republika Srpska at that
16 time? Was it NATO or the United Nations? Who was striking the
17 positions; and whose air force was it that was used to launch air-strikes
18 on the Serb -- Bosnian Serb positions in Republika Srpska? What is your
19 view on that?
20 A. To answer that question, I would have to know precisely what the
21 relationship was between NATO and the United Nations, and the
22 United Nations mission on the ground, and that was not something that we
23 had visibility on, so I cannot answer that question.
24 Q. Thank you. This is in evidence already. General Smith spoke
25 about it and he explained how the bombing happened.
1 Now, can we have in e-court 65 ter document 17701?
2 JUDGE ORIE: While waiting for that document, could I ask one
3 question in relation to paragraph 62.
4 Did Mr. Koljevic use the expression "hostages," that you were
5 hostages and that it was, as your statement says: "It was difficult for
6 the hostages." Did he use that expression?
7 It's the last part of paragraph 62:
8 "Precipitated by the bombing warranted the response of the
9 Bosnian Serb government to take UN peacekeepers hostage while
10 Professor Koljevic understood that it was difficult for the hostages ..."
11 And then he used a analogy. Did he use that term?
12 THE WITNESS: To the best of my recollection, yes.
13 We spoke in English. Professor Koljevic is an expert on English
14 literature. His English was flawless. And I know for myself I never
15 used any other term other than being treated as a hostage. So I cannot
16 imagine that Professor Koljevic would have used some other term,
17 otherwise I would have mentioned it so [Overlapping speakers] ...
18 JUDGE ORIE: So it's your recollection that --
19 THE WITNESS: I understood -- yes.
20 JUDGE ORIE: -- that's the word he used in English.
21 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, yes, my recollection is that
22 Professor Koljevic agreed when I used the term hostages in relation to
23 the way my team and I was treated. He agreed with that term.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you.
25 Please proceed, Mr. Stojanovic.
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Can we have page 5 in both versions, item 4, entitled: Impact of
3 the NATO air-strikes.
4 Q. Witness, this is an internal memorandum as you could have seen on
5 the cover page, issued by UNMO staff in Zagreb, which is entitled: The
6 final report on the detention of UNMOs by the VRS.
7 In the last bullet point, it is stated:
8 "UNMOs stated that due to the targets selected for the
9 air-strikes and also because of the fact that the second air-strike was
10 carried on before the deadline of the ultimatum had expired, the Serb
11 population and authorities perceived them as out of proportion, and as a
12 pure retaliation on the part of UNPROFOR."
13 My question is: This conclusion reached to the effect that
14 certain UNMOs were the ones who reached this conclusion, would you be
15 among those UNMOs?
16 A. No, I was not involved in drafting this report. I don't know
17 where it comes from.
18 JUDGE ORIE: What conclusion are you talking about? Because I
19 see that the UNMOs have given statements reflecting what -- how the Serb
20 population and the authorities perceived the actions. It doesn't say
21 that the UNMOs perceived it as such. So, therefore, I'm a bit lost about
22 conclusions reached.
23 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Well, I did ask the witness
24 whether he, as an UNMO, shared the sentiment and this attitude of the
25 Serbian population and we got an answer from the witness.
1 Q. Can you please take a look at the previous page --
2 JUDGE ORIE: Well, that's not what you asked, Mr. Stojanovic.
3 But if you intended to ask that, I think it's perfectly clear that the
4 witness -- well, we could ask him --
5 Did you consider NATO air-strikes a pure retaliation on the --
6 and being out of proportion? A simple yes or no would do.
7 THE WITNESS: I -- for my part, no. I disagree that I had -- but
8 I had very limited insights.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Please proceed.
10 JUDGE MOLOTO: Mr. Stojanovic, you explained what this document
11 is. Can you, at some stage before you take it off, take us to page 1.
12 Let us see for ourselves what it is.
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
14 Could we please look at this document in e-court that I quoted
15 from. It is an internal memorandum issued by the UNMO staff in Zagreb,
16 entitled as: Final reports on the detention of UNMOs.
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you.
18 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Can we now please have page 4 of this same document.
20 It reads here, in the middle of the page, fourth paragraph from
21 the top reads:
22 "Several UNMOs confirmed during their interview that the guards
23 were placed at the UNMO accommodation to protect the UNMOs from violent
24 reactions from the local population, who were looking for revenge after
25 the air-strikes. These measures were ordered by the local BSA
2 Q. Did you have the same experience and impressions after what you
3 had gone through?
4 A. No. This did not apply to my team.
5 Q. Were you able, at any time, to observe between the
6 28th of May and the 18th of June, when you left for Serbia by bus, that
7 the local population rallied and called for revenge because of the
9 A. No. From the 28th of May until the 18th of June, we were kept
10 inside a military facility. We had no contact with the local population,
11 or the outside world, for that matter. And when we were being released
12 on the 18th, we did not see any hostile crowds along the road as we were
13 leaving Pale for Serbia.
14 Q. Thank you. Between 28th of May and 18th of June, did you
15 experience any unpleasantness by the people who were guarding you in the
16 Koran military facility?
17 JUDGE MOLOTO: Question asked and answered, sir. Much earlier
18 today the witness said yes they were denied contact with next of kin,
19 denied contact with medical people. We're going back to the same
20 question, Mr. Stojanovic.
21 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'll try to
22 rephrase my question.
23 Q. During that period, were you physically assaulted, attacked, or
24 injured, or humiliated? Did you experience anything specific on the part
25 of the people who were guarding you between the 28th of May and the
1 18th of June?
2 A. I -- again, the second part of your question is vague. Regarding
3 physical assault and attack, no. But we did have many arguments with our
4 main captor, Captain Radovan Vojvodic, and his superior about why they
5 refused to give us access to a doctor to see the ICRC and especially to
6 make calls home. Also, we were denied to go -- leave our -- it was a
7 very small guard hut where we were kept after the 28th, and we were not
8 allowed outside so it was very cramped and unpleasant, and it was only, I
9 believe, after the sixth day in our captivity that we were finally
10 allowed outside for a few minutes.
11 JUDGE MOLOTO: If I may just ask, Mr. Rechner, the last we saw
12 you, you were handcuffed. How were you kept for the duration of your
13 detention until you were released?
14 THE WITNESS: So I think the 26th events are quite clear.
15 On the 27th, we did not discuss this yet. In the morning I was
16 taken by a couple of guards downstairs. We were in -- at that night in a
17 different building, a big bare block, and my vehicle was there, and I was
18 asked to radio my headquarters and they gave me a list of locations where
19 UNMOs were being used as human shields and that we would be in positions
20 the same day.
21 Later in the morning, maybe an hour or so later, we were taken by
22 not the people on the first day, but it was the people who were holding
23 us inside this logistics maintenance facility that we understood all to
24 be regular BSA soldiers back to the ammunition site that had been bombed
25 the previous day, and we were kept in a small guard hut there for the
1 duration of the day. We were not tied or handcuffed to the bunkers.
2 However, we saw in a back room they had a whole bunch of handcuffs ready
3 to use, so I think we were brought back there in case there was any
4 threat of resumption of air-strikes to be used as human shields again.
5 And then from 28th of May until the 18th of June, we were more or
6 less left alone with small group of guards. I mentioned already the
7 problems that we had, such as not having access to medical care, ICRC, or
8 contact with next of kin. But as far as that we basically passed the
9 whole time just in that small little guard house, and later on they
10 relaxed the rules on us going outside so we were able to just go out to
11 get some fresh air more freely than initially.
12 JUDGE MOLOTO: Thank you so much. [Microphone not activated]
13 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Now, at the end, can we look at a video-clip, 65 ter 22 --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Stojanovic please read the number
16 slowly. Thank you.
17 JUDGE ORIE: Could you please repeat the number slowly.
18 65 ter number ...
19 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] 225448 [as interpreted].
20 ERN V000-78885. And I would seek assistance from our colleagues from the
22 [Video-clip played]
23 "I cannot make any official statement at this time. I would like
24 to say on behalf of myself and all of my friends and colleagues because
25 we're glad this crisis is now over. After 24 days, we're glad to be
1 going back to our different units, and it's been a difficult time but
2 we're all okay and glad to be going.
3 "How are you feeling, sir?
4 "I'd rather not comment at this time.
5 "Where are you going to be going to? You going home
6 or [indiscernible].
7 "No, I still have some time within the mission. It's up to my
8 headquarters to decide where they will send me.
9 "Would you like to continue work here in the Serbian side of
11 "Yeah, of course, as well as any other side."
12 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Do you recall this event?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Would you agree that I'm right if I say that Professor Koljevic
16 was there with you at the time?
17 A. Yes, he was.
18 Q. And I'll finish with this question: Did you recognise the man
19 standing to his right and wearing a military uniform?
20 A. I did not know who that person was, if that's what your question
22 Q. Thank you. Let me then finish in a different way.
23 Does the name Dragan Kijac ring a bell?
24 A. No, it does not.
25 Q. Thank you, Witness. We have no further questions for you.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Stojanovic.
2 Could I inquire with you, is this any dispute -- and I'm also
3 looking at Ms. Bibles - is there any despite about this event, whether
4 Professor Koljevic was there and whether a Dragan Kijac because that's
5 the clear suggestion that he was there as well.
6 Any dispute about that?
7 MS. BIBLES: With respect to Professor Koljevic there is no
8 dispute. With respect to the other individual, we could not agree -- we
9 could not stipulate to that at this time, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. For lack of knowledge or disagreement?
11 MS. BIBLES: We'll go for lack of knowledge at the moment,
12 Your Honour. But I think there may be some disagreement.
13 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Could I ask you, Ms. Bibles, how much time
14 would you need for the re-examination of the witness?
15 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, about 15 minutes. Over the break I
16 will work to pare that time down.
17 JUDGE ORIE: We will take a break. The witness can be escorted
18 out of the courtroom.
19 We'd like to see you back in 20 minutes from now.
20 [The witness stands down]
21 JUDGE ORIE: We'll take a break, and we'll resume at 20 minutes
22 to 2.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 1.25 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 1.45 p.m.
25 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Ivetic, I see -- Mr. Lukic, I see that you
1 arrived, I take it, in order to make the submissions on D357.
2 MR. LUKIC: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Have you an opportunity to do so. If it can
4 be done briefly so that we do not endanger the conclusion --
5 MR. LUKIC: I think I can do it briefly.
6 JUDGE ORIE: Yes.
7 MR. LUKIC: There was some misunderstanding when reading the
8 transcript because I said before you decide, he confirmed the angle of
9 fire of this one, although today maybe he testified differently.
10 Ms. Harbour thought that I was addressing only the transcript,
11 what is not true. In connection of this document, we have to read the
12 statement of this witness, specifically paragraphs 24 to 27, where he
13 testified in his statement on this issue. And he said, in paragraph 25
14 that his first task was to establish the azimuth.
15 So it was -- then we have P2017, it's an official report, where
16 there is a sketch in which this azimuth was marked, and if you want to
17 look at the transcript, it was discussed not with the document D357, but
18 with another one. And in transcript, it's on pages 15829, line 5, up to
19 transcript 15830, line 1.
20 So to understand the testimony of this witness and our
21 cross-examination, even in -- at this moment, before our experts are
22 here, we think that it's necessary to have this document into evidence --
23 admitted into evidence.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Mr. Lukic.
25 The Chamber will consider the matter. We'll first verify all the
1 sources you have referred to, and then we will decide.
2 Could the witness be escorted into the courtroom.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Harbour, if you wish to respond briefly, then
5 you have an opportunity to do so.
6 MS. HARBOUR: Your Honours, my only response is that in light of
7 the clarification from the Defence that the origin of fire he referred to
8 didn't even pertain to the witness testimony about the exhibit in
9 question, Exhibit D357, then truly no basis has been offered for
10 tendering that exhibit through this witness.
11 So our objection to admission through this witness stands.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Lukic.
13 MR. LUKIC: Yeah, he couldn't address that in his previous
14 testimony, of course, but he was discussing the issue.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Now, of course, the question the Chamber will
16 have to consider is whether the evidentiary sources you referred to
17 whether that justifies the admission of D357.
18 We'll consider it, and we'll decide in due course.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 [The witness takes the stand]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Ms. Bibles, you may re-examine the witness.
22 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, we have
23 apparently an issue --
24 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, Mr. Rechner.
25 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour. Just during the break I was
1 thinking about your last question to me and my answer about whether
2 Professor Koljevic used the term hostage. I cannot say with absolute
3 certainty that he did. But like I mentioned, I had used it, I had
4 described our treatment as human shields, I gave him all the details, and
5 he never disagreed with any of that. So whether he himself used the term
6 hostage, I cannot say with absolute certainty.
7 JUDGE ORIE: He did not contradict your use of that word.
8 THE WITNESS: No, he did not suggest that we were simply prisoner
9 of war or detained, and so on.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, please proceed, Ms. Bibles.
11 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Re-examination by Ms. Bibles:
13 Q. I would first like to go back to a communication which you were
14 shown on cross-examination, a communication regarding a telephone call
15 between General Smith and the accused. That was 65 ter 03825.
16 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, at this point I would like to tendered
17 that 65 ter.
18 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Document 03825 receives number P2557,
20 Your Honours.
21 JUDGE ORIE: And in the absence of any objections is admitted
22 into evidence.
23 MS. BIBLES:
24 Q. We see the date on this communication as the 26th of May, 1995.
25 I would like to now show you another communication between these same two
1 individuals on the 28th of May, 1995.
2 MS. BIBLES: And I'd ask for 65 ter 03520 to be brought to our
4 Q. Looking at this front sheet of this exhibit, which reflects the
5 date of the conversation of the 28th of May, 1995, I would like to now
6 direct your attention to the second page, to the third paragraph. If you
7 look into the third paragraph, down about halfway, does this
8 paragraph appear to refer to the statements made by the accused?
9 JUDGE ORIE: In B/C/S, we're still at the --
10 MS. BIBLES: Sorry.
11 JUDGE ORIE: -- second paragraph, isn't it?
12 MS. BIBLES: Yes, we need the --
13 JUDGE ORIE: Could we -- could we look at the next page in B/C/S.
14 MS. BIBLES:
15 Q. Directing your attention to the section, referring to
16 Ratko Mladic:
17 "He said the Serb treatment of all detained UN personnel was
18 humane and proper, although it was true there were some located in key
19 positions, including his headquarters, which were potential targets of
21 Would you consider that your position on the 28th of May was in a
22 potential NATO target?
23 A. I couldn't say that the logistics facility where we were held
24 would have been a potential target or not, but we were very close to the
25 ammunition warehouses and the bunkers where we were on the first two
1 days. So we consider ourselves being held at that logistics facility to
2 be transported quickly to any potential targets in the area of Pale.
3 Q. Okay.
4 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, I would tender 65 ter 03520.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document 03520 receives number P2558,
7 Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ORIE: P2558 is admitted into evidence.
9 MS. BIBLES:
10 Q. I would next like to turn to the area of cross-examination
11 regarding paragraph 52 in your statement. We don't need to go to that on
12 our screens, but this is the paragraph where you describe hearing
13 soldiers talk about Mladic wanting -- I'm paraphrasing, but Mladic
14 wanting people filmed at Jahorina.
15 You were questioned about not having provided this information in
16 the questionnaire. Do you recall testifying at ICTY in 1996?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And what were you testifying -- do you recall the hearing that
19 you testified in at that point?
20 A. Yes. It was on, I believe, called hearing under Rule 61, where
21 certain individuals were asked to testify, to bring the evidence forward
22 for the benefit of both the Tribunal and also for the benefit of member
23 states of the United Nations to work in concert better in order to arrest
24 some of the indicted personnel.
25 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours, paragraph 52 in the statement refers
1 to the Karadzic 65 ter number. It specifically refers to page 494. I
2 can advise the Court that that is the Rule 61 hearing transcript. It is
3 not currently -- this document is not currently on our 65 ter list.
4 However, Ms. Stewart is prepared to display this transcript and this
5 specific reference on the screen, and we can -- we would then ask to add
6 this to our 65 ter list and upload it.
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic.
8 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No objection, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Then could we have a look at the transcript then.
10 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, it may actually be more efficient to go
11 ahead and pull the transcript to the screen, and I could -- we could read
12 just that small section. I rather --
13 JUDGE ORIE: I see it on the screen at this moment.
14 MS. BIBLES: Thank you.
15 If we could actually go back to page 492, down at the bottom of
16 the page.
17 JUDGE ORIE: We're now at 486.
18 [Prosecution counsel confer]
19 MS. BIBLES: Let's go back to page 494 then.
20 Q. And I'll read the end of the question that you were asked:
21 "Q. Did you hear one of the Serbian soldiers in the car say
22 anything about Mladic?
23 "A. Yes. We had four or five soldiers in the vehicle and they
24 were talking amongst themselves, and one of them asked a question why we
25 were going up to Jahorina and the other one answered that Mladic had told
1 them that he wanted some UN people filmed there."
2 MS. BIBLES: And that would be the end of the excerpt,
3 Your Honour, and I don't believe we needed add that, the entire
4 transcript, if Defence counsel would agree to that section.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Let me just check.
6 That is Rule 61 proceedings against Mr. Karadzic and that was,
7 you said, 1996?
8 MS. BIBLES: Yes, this testimony was on the 2nd of July, 1996.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If there's any dispute about whether this was
10 the testimony of the witness at that time, we'd like to hear from the
11 Defence. Otherwise, at this moment, we'll leave it, because the main
12 issue was whether he -- when he came up with this -- with this -- with
13 this testimony or statement, when he referred to such a conversation
14 it -- at an earlier time.
15 Mr. Stojanovic.
16 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. We accept
17 that this is part of the testimony of this witness in the Karadzic case
18 in 1996. Our questions pertained to the part related to the
19 questionnaire which he filled in immediately after his release.
20 JUDGE ORIE: That's clear. It's -- both events are close to
21 the -- close to 1995 or even perhaps 1995. I don't remember the date of
22 the questionnaire, but we can consider that later.
23 Please proceed.
24 MS. BIBLES:
25 Q. During cross-examination, you were asked whether you and the UNMO
1 team suffered harassment or threats. As part of your description in
2 answer to this question - and this was at transcript page 36, lines 1
3 through 15 - you set out limitations that had been placed on your freedom
4 of movement prior to the 26th of May, 1995.
5 Could you tell us who conveyed the information about your
6 movements being limited to you at those times?
7 A. Yes. That was from the Bosnian Serb army liaison officers in
8 Han Pijesak that we worked with on a regular basis. There were our
9 primary contacts with the Bosnian Serb army. And there were two
10 individuals, in particular: Colonel Milos Djurdjic and
11 Major Kralj [Realtime transcript read in error "Kral"]. But I don't
12 recall his first name.
13 Q. How would they advise you of these limitations on your freedom?
14 A. Usually it was by telephone conversation. We had a telephone
15 connection with them, as well as fax. So it would have been either
16 telephone or fax.
17 MS. BIBLES: And, finally, Your Honours, I would ask that we
18 bring VRS order to -- to the screens. It's been admitted as P02249.
19 THE WITNESS: And if I may just make a correction in the
20 transcript, line 25, "Major Kral," the last name is spelled K-r-a-l-j.
21 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you for that.
22 MS. BIBLES:
23 Q. When this document comes up, I'm asking you to think about the
24 questions with respect to the 26th of May and the VRS intent in response
25 to NATO air-strikes.
1 I would ask you to look at -- first, the date of this order,
2 which appears to be the 9th of February, 1994.
3 And if you could look down now to paragraph 4 which reads:
4 "In the event of NATO air-strikes attack (but do not kill) all
5 foreigners in Republika Srpska, including personnel of UNPROFOR and
6 humanitarian organisations, take them prisoner and hold them hostage
7 until air-strikes are discontinued by NATO."
8 And if we could go to the next page, please, in English:
9 "If necessary, use blackmail and exert pressure in order to have
10 them terminate the air-strikes."
11 Is this order from 1994 consistent with what you experienced in
13 A. In 1995, I think it was much worse. I have -- had been made
14 aware when I arrived in Bosnia on the 31st of December, 1994, that there
15 had been previous occasions when NATO air-strikes had occurred, but they
16 were different in nature. They were normally on just one target, one or
17 two bombs, and that the Serb side had been advised in advance that they
18 would occur.
19 In those cases, as far as the UN Military Observers were
20 concerned, they were simply arrested and taken to a local military
21 facility but had not been treated as human shields or threatened to be
22 executed, like we were.
23 MS. BIBLES: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE ORIE: Thank you, Ms. Bibles.
25 Mr. Stojanovic, any questions arising out of re-examination?
1 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE ORIE: Since the Bench also has no questions, I observed
3 that 65 ter 5738 was not tendered. I do not know whether there's any
4 intention to tender it.
5 The same for 65 ter 17701.
6 And, finally, the video used by the Defence, 65 ter 225448.
7 None of these three are tendered.
8 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, I would tender all of those, all three
9 of those.
10 JUDGE ORIE: Including the Defence video?
11 MS. BIBLES: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If the Defence would not, I would --
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, that's appreciated because it's not in e-court,
15 I do understand, at this moment. But I think the Defence played it, so
16 if the Prosecution would assist in getting it into e-court and then to
17 have it admitted as a D exhibit, that would be the most elegant way of
18 dealing with it. Okay.
19 [Prosecution counsel confer]
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 MS. BIBLES: Your Honours --
22 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Stojanovic, did you want the video to be in
24 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. Let that be
25 a Defence exhibit.
1 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. Okay. We take them one by one.
2 65 ter 5738, Madam Registrar, the number would be ...
3 THE REGISTRAR: The number would be P2559, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE ORIE: P; that's how I understood it.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE ORIE: Could I -- I'm a bit lost, as a matter of fact,
7 which party used the exhibit. The Defence.
8 Would we then not -- would it not be more elegant to have a D
9 number assigned to it.
10 Madam Registrar, the P2559 therefore is vacated and it would be
11 D ...
12 THE REGISTRAR: 392, Your Honours. Therefore, document 5738
13 receives number D392.
14 JUDGE ORIE: Admitted into evidence.
15 65 ter 17701.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Receives number D393, Your Honours.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE ORIE: The previous one, I -- let me see. Yes. D393 is
19 admitted into evidence.
20 Finally, the number to be reserved for the video which is not yet
21 in e-court would be, Madam Registrar ...
22 THE REGISTRAR: Document video number 22544A receives number
23 D394, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ORIE: D394 is reserved for this video. And once it is
25 uploaded, it is in evidence.
1 MS. BIBLES: Thank you, Your Honour. And I will note -- I was
2 going to tendered four associated exhibits, one of them, however, is now
3 D393. So I will move on to the other three.
4 Exhibit 10577.
5 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document receives number P2559, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P2559 is admitted into evidence.
8 MS. BIBLES: 13137.
9 JUDGE ORIE: Madam Registrar.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Receives number P2560, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE ORIE: P2560 is admitted.
12 MS. BIBLES: 11864.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Receives number P2561, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ORIE: P2561 is admitted.
15 MS. BIBLES: Your Honour, from the bar table, following the
16 cross-examination, I would also offer 65 ter 08989, which was an SRK
17 order dated 27 May 1995 regarding prisoners.
18 JUDGE ORIE: No objection.
19 Madam Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document 65 ter 08989 receives number P2562,
21 Your Honours.
22 JUDGE ORIE: P2562 is admitted.
23 MS. BIBLES: And, finally, Your Honour, also from the bar table,
24 an UN communication regarding a conversation between General Smith and
25 the accused from the 24th of May, 65 ter 03516.
1 JUDGE ORIE: 24th of May, 1995?
2 MS. BIBLES: [Microphone not activated]
3 JUDGE ORIE: 1995, yes.
4 Madam Registrar.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Document 03516 receives number P2563,
6 Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ORIE: P2563 is admitted.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: There's one document, this is D394, this is the
9 video shown by the Defence in cross-examination. We have two different
10 65 ter numbers on the transcript. 225448 and 22544A. We should clarify
11 which is the correct 65 ter number.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, if I may be of assistance.
13 Document used and called by the Defence was number 22544A.
14 JUDGE ORIE: And the other one was the video used by the
15 Prosecution --
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE ORIE: Well, now we have a conflict between the Bench
18 and --
19 MS. BIBLES: The video that was actually played in court, I
20 believe, was 22544A.
21 JUDGE ORIE: A and 8 are very similar.
22 Madam Registrar, I think everything is clear now.
23 Yes, it is.
24 Then, having dealt with these housekeeping matters, Mr. Rechner,
25 they were not very exciting for you, but I'd like to thank you very much
1 for coming to The Hague and for having answered all the questions that
2 were put to you, either by the parties or by the Bench, and I wish you a
3 safe return home again.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ORIE: You may follow the usher.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE ORIE: Mr. Groome.
8 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, I see -- I thought we would finish a
9 little bit sooner, but in the remaining minute or so, there are some
10 outstanding exhibits -- associated exhibits connected with Mr. Bowen.
11 There is no objection from the Defence as to the admission of them, so
12 maybe it is something that could be deal with rather quickly.
13 Mr. Jeremy is here in court to deal with that, if that pleases
14 the Chamber.
15 JUDGE ORIE: Wouldn't the most simple way of dealing with it be
16 that Mr. Jeremy puts them on a list and that Madam Registrar prepares
17 already numbers and that just by one sentence we could admit them
18 tomorrow, that is number so-and-so, through number so-and-so, are
19 admitted into evidence.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE ORIE: Yes, when I say tomorrow, of course, I mean the
22 first day on which we are sitting, which is Thursday, not tomorrow.
23 MR. GROOME: Your Honour, then one other last brief matter. It's
24 regarding the lexicon. On the 1st of March, 2013, the Chamber admitted
25 that as a demonstrative exhibit. In preparing our bar table motion it
1 occurs to the Prosecution that if there was agreement with the Defence
2 and it was acceptable to the Chamber that the lexicon would be considered
3 evidence in lieu of the actual tendering of the underlying documents that
4 it would save -- possibly could save some documents.
5 I would also note for the Chamber, in preparing this submission,
6 in looking back at the transcript, I note that both the 65 ter number and
7 the P number are both incorrect. So to avoid confusion I will state the
8 correct ones now.
9 The correct 65 ter number is 28678, and the correct P number, the
10 Prosecution exhibit number, is P1116. They are different in the -- in
11 the original transcript.
12 I don't know if Mr. Lukic is able to state his views now. It is
13 somewhat of a time-sensitive matter, but ...
14 MR. LUKIC: Mr. Ivetic was in charge of this witness, so I think
15 he has more knowledge about. And he is not right now with us.
16 JUDGE ORIE: Yes. If Mr. Ivetic could have a look at it and
17 report if he would disagree with Mr. Groome, well, let's say by Thursday.
18 And I can't say that from the top off my head I have any clear
19 recollection as far as the numbers are concerned.
20 I wanted to read out two decisions. I will have to postpone that
21 until Thursday.
22 We adjourn for the day, and we will resume, Thursday, the
23 31st of October, in this same courtroom, I, at 9.30 in the morning.
24 We stand adjourned.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.17 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 31st day of
2 October, 2013, at 9.30 a.m.