1 Thursday, 14 September 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, good afternoon.
7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is the case
9 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Any problems with interpretation? Let
11 me know. I notice the Defence teams are practically full force. Not so
12 for the Prosecution. I see as the week approaches the end, you're left
13 alone, Mr. McCloskey. Mr. McCloskey, today, is unaccompanied by any of
14 his assistants.
15 Yes, Mr. Meek.
16 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours. We do have an
17 addition to our Defence team, Anika Mulder. She's sitting in the back
18 right now, by Helen. She's a case manager. Just wanted to let you all
19 know. Thank you.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Meek.
21 And welcome, ma'am.
22 Mr. Krgovic.
23 MR. KRGOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to inform
24 the Chamber that Mr. David Josse has been appointed co-counsel in this
25 case, and the gentleman is seated to my right.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you for pointing out that he is seated to
2 your right. We knew of his appointment and we have seen him before.
3 I thank you, Mr. Krgovic.
4 Any preliminaries? I see none.
5 One preliminary. We were handed this before we entered the
6 courtroom. This is something that is prepared by the Prosecution or by
7 the Defence? Could we have that information?
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. We prepared that on your
9 request, I believe, a couple of weeks ago. We will provide you a more
10 detailed document that will have some of the other heavy equipment and
11 things, but I think you mentioned specifically the rifles that are most
12 applicable, and I -- that's our best judgement of most of the applicable
13 rifle weapons.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. And I take it that this was done with
15 the knowledge and consent of the Defence teams?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: I handed them out, the documents, at the same
17 time, and I'm sure they all remembered your request.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Just, for the record, I'm saying this not because I
19 had any thoughts but simply to -- for the record, that they are being
20 received by the Trial Chamber with all transparency.
21 You don't mean to tender it as an exhibit, or do you?
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think later on it's probably a good idea, as we
23 get the other military equipment put together in a more complete binder.
24 The Defence has most of the photos and the material from our previous
25 exhibits, but we wanted to get better quality and put it in a packet,
1 which -- I think it is a good idea. As you also know, we've provided you
2 and everyone informally with a map book, and how you want to handle that
3 formally is another good question, because there is another map book that
4 I think would be helpful as well that's on its way.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I thank you so much. So I suggest we
6 would mark it for identification for the time being.
7 Judge Kwon?
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, let's mark it for identification,
10 and later on we'll decide what to do with it, whether it will remain in
11 the records and become an exhibit or whether it will be substituted by
12 something more comprehensive. Thank you.
13 So the next thing is, we were made aware earlier on in the day
14 that you had filed a response to an application -- to a motion filed
15 earlier on by Mr. Trbic or by his so-called, described, quasi amicus
16 curiae, Mr. Piletta-Zanin. We have handed down the decision. I just
17 wanted to inform you that we were fully aware of the contents of your
18 response. Sorry to disappointment you, but the case goes on.
19 The other thing is, Mr. Ostojic, in the course of the last sitting
20 that was the day before yesterday, while Mr. Ruez was testifying, you made
21 or you tabled orally a request for the -- for the witness to be asked to
22 make available the so-called working papers, which in the transcript may,
23 at some time, been referred to as working statements. We promised you
24 that we will hand down a decision before we continue with the testimony
25 today, and this is our decision:
1 We are guided, first of all, by what is included in -- what is
2 stated in Rule 70(A) of the Rules, namely, that notwithstanding the
3 provisions much Rules 66 and 67 which deal with disclosure, reports,
4 memoranda or other internal documents prepared by a party, its assistants
5 or representatives in connection with the investigation or preparation of
6 a case are not subject to disclosure or notification under those Rules.
7 Mr. Ruez at the time was a member of the Prosecution team, carrying out
8 investigations for the Prosecution. Today he is no longer part of the
9 Prosecution team, but that doesn't change the nature of these working --
10 so-called working papers. If they are not subject to disclosure, equally
11 they are not subject also to production, compulsory production here during
12 the testimony of the person who kept them or may have been involved in
13 their preparation. So that disposes of your request.
14 Mr. Zivanovic, unless there is any other preliminary business to
15 transact, I see, Mr. Zivanovic.
16 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Before I continue with my cross-examination, I would just like to
18 indicate that the last photo that was shown to the witness, which was the
19 photo -- the aerial photo of the town of Bratunac, was number 2103, and
20 that is photo number 272 from the overall collection of photos.
21 WITNESS: JEAN-RENE RUEZ [Resumed]
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Zivanovic: [Continued]
23 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Ruez, I wanted to ask you something about the
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, one moment, one moment, one moment. I
1 don't want to get confused with this, but something tells me in my mind
2 that 2103 is not correct. I think 2103 is the CD that the Prosecution
3 wanted to -- or sought to introduce and which you have objected to. Can
4 someone help me, please?
5 My recollection is the following, Mr. Zivanovic, but
6 Mr. McCloskey, please, and your case manager, try to help me.
7 To me, if I remember well, and I stand corrected -- to be
8 corrected, 2103 is the CD containing the 271 photos. The additional photo
9 of Bratunac, which, according to Mr. McCloskey, is a better photo with
10 also more detail included, was not tendered in substitution of the photo
11 that was already in 2103. That's not how I understood it to be. It was
12 tendered separately. If I am wrong, please tell me so. But I need to be
13 guided here.
14 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I believe --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Especially if you are objecting as a team -- as a
16 group, you are objecting to the admission of 2103. So I don't know. I
17 will not say more than that.
18 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: You had it just -- just right, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yeah, I think so, yes.
22 So let's --
23 Mr. Ostojic, yes.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, if I may add to the debate. If an
25 exhibit is introduced for identification, we -- although we object to that
1 exhibit, we would like to at least expand on that exhibit without waiving
2 our right and indicating that we may accept the exhibit. If we object, it
3 shouldn't preclude us from inquiring about the exhibit because we hope to
4 at least explore why we further think it's inadmissible.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Definitely. Definitely. You must have
6 misunderstood what I said. What I was saying is, I was just opening
7 Mr. Zivanovic's right, that if he thought it was part of 2103, he must
8 keep also in mind that that was, in its totality, a document that you were
9 objecting to. So it needed to be careful, what -- how to put it. But
10 otherwise, of course you are entitled to cross-examine the witness on each
11 one of those 271 pages, without prejudicing your objection that you raised
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So what's the number of that map, 2104?
15 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. McCloskey. Mr. McCloskey, did you add another
17 page, an extra page, to 2103 when you tendered the document, or did you
18 tender it separately from 2103?
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Well, we thought it would be simpler to get it
20 272, but it doesn't really matter.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. So it's page 272 of 2103, and we'll go
22 ahead, we'll proceed along those lines.
23 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Ruez, I won't ask you any more questions about the photo. I
25 would like to direct your attention to the intercepts.
1 Before me I have a statement of yours which is part of the RDS
2 collection, and the number is 02008676. On our list, this is marked as
3 1D00012. Since this document is classified as confidential, I believe we
4 should move into private session.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's go into private session -- private
6 session, please.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 1588-1601 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I would just like to provide an
3 explanation. The document that I presented was marked "Confidential".
4 The Prosecution marked the document as confidential so this is why I asked
5 to be in private session. That was the only reason I did that.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: That's not necessary in this context, but we
7 appreciate the concern.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I would just like to ask you to look at the following four pages
10 of these documents. They are actually the attachments which you signed
11 for. This is the third -- second, third, fourth, and fifth page. Did you
12 have a look at those pages? I don't know if you've had an opportunity to
14 A. Not a perfect look, no.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I just want to make sure that you are looking at the
16 English version, Mr. Ruez. English translation.
17 THE WITNESS: No, it's not but --
18 JUDGE KWON: It's changed.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. You've got it, I believe.
21 A. I recognise the precise way that Sevko Tihic was accustomed to do
22 his logs.
23 Q. Page 2, you will agree, is nothing but a list of documents, a list
24 of the material that should have been handed over to you.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But not the material itself.
2 A. The material goes with the document at the time we sign it. It's
3 a normal procedure. So if I had that list, the material that went with it
4 would -- handed over that day, I would think.
5 Q. But that material was not specified, it doesn't say exactly what
6 it contains. Or maybe you had controlled the material and collated the
7 material with the log.
8 A. As I said, most of the time either the things went on request, or
9 the process was that people of the team, together with officers of 2nd
10 Corps, would go through the material and it was then specified what was of
11 interest for us. Then the 2nd Corps prepared the log of this material.
12 Upon return in The Hague, based on this list, all these items were entered
13 into evidence at the Evidence Unit, so they were given a registration
14 number and a description of what it is.
15 Q. In any case, on the 10th of March, when you provided your previous
16 statement, you still did not have the material that had been handed over
17 to you listed and specified, because I see that in the last paragraph of
18 your previous statement, you indicate that the material is not specified,
19 that it is -- that it is a large quantity of an unspecified material.
20 A. We should have to look at that last sentence in my confidential
21 memo, but this -- I take it, as you say, yes, this is absolutely possible,
22 since, as far as I remember, it was a bunch of computer printouts and they
23 were considered as one item and would have been, let's say, registered in
24 more details once analysed here in The Hague.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. And now I would like to ask you something
1 about an interview of yours -- actually, a conversation, as it is
2 indicated. This is document number 1D0006, and the B/C/S version is
3 0307-4564; and 0307-3101 is the English translation of this document.
4 I suppose that you know what this is all about.
5 A. Yes. This is not a conversation. This is, I think, my hearing at
6 the --
7 Q. That's how it's been translated.
8 A. Translations sometimes create fuzziness.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I believe there's a French version that may
10 actually help him a bit.
11 THE WITNESS: No, no, it's fine.
12 A. No this "conversation" is the transcript of my hearing at the
13 National Assembly in front of the Common Commission of Ministry of Defence
14 and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was an information mission of a
16 Q. I would like to draw your attention to one sentence in this
17 interview which is in paragraph 3, the second sentence thereof. In the
18 B/C/S translation, it reads:
19 "The contents of my presentation have to be taken with a pinch of
20 salt because it has not been presented to the Tribunal for the former
22 Are these your words, sir?
23 A. I will need to tell you what I relate when I say that. It's not
24 for my entire hearing, it's for the, let's say, maybe the three first
25 paragraphs which are related to ethnic cleansing starting in 1992. And
1 there was no -- there was, I think, a trial going on in 2001. But anyhow,
2 this elements related to the 1992 situation. It was not part of the
3 investigation, and this is why I say that:
4 "The first things I'm going to tell you are not part of the
5 investigation. All the rest will be, indeed, results of the
7 You will even note in a later paragraph that there is either my
8 mistake, either a transcription mistake: Paragraph 5 starts with "In
9 April 1995 in Bratunac"; one should read here "In April 1992 in Bratunac,"
10 not 1995. It's the only mistake I have seen in this transcript.
11 Q. But you didn't say then that this was relative only to the year
12 1992 and that's why the contents were not reliable. Is that correct?
13 A. The contents is reliable. There is one mistake on the date. In
14 Bratunac, Vuk Karadzic school event of 1992 was in 1992, not in 1995, as
15 written on this transcript.
16 Q. I didn't ask you that. I'm asking you about the sentence. You
17 didn't say that this caveat is relative to only the year 1992. You've
18 told us that now but you didn't say it then, did you?
19 A. I thought I would be understood when I said that, since the reason
20 why I was called to parliament is that it's a well-known fact I
21 investigated the events from 1995, not from 1992.
22 Q. Thank you. I'm going to draw your attention to a report by
23 Professor Richard Wright about exhumations in Eastern Bosnia in 1998. The
24 report is dated 12 May 1999. It is on the 65 ter list as B00666, and the
25 ERN number is 00848214. I would like to show you pages 28 and 29 of this
2 I apologise. Can you move on to page 29, please? This is the
3 page that I actually wanted, page 29. Yes.
4 Could you please look at the bottom part of this page. Can you
5 look at the table, please. Let me remind you: This is a table reflecting
6 the watches that were found in various locations during this exhumation,
7 and in the first column you will see the locations where the watches were
8 found and in the last column you will see the dates when these wrist
9 watches displayed at the moment of the exhumation.
10 Can we move on to the next page, please. There are two more
11 watches here, the rest of the table.
12 And now I would like to draw your attention to the third paragraph
13 of these findings in which Professor Wright says:
14 "Jean-Rene Ruez, the investigator for the ICTY, tells me that
15 executions at the suspected primary graves took place on the evening of
16 Friday, 14th July 1995."
17 Could you please reply by saying just yes or no when I ask you:
18 Is this what you told Professor Wright?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you. My next question to you is this: On several occasions
21 you inspected all of the places where the detainees had been held,
22 especially gyms and sports halls; is that true?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. In any of these places, and I'm going to specify, the gym in
25 Orahovac, did you ever measure that hall, either you personally or any
1 member of your team?
2 A. Yes, it was done.
3 Q. What about Pilica, the Kula school, actually, near Pilica?
4 A. No, we did not do any -- we did not even enter -- yes, sorry, we
5 entered the gym. We did no specific work on the Pilica school, since an
6 NGO had started renovation in that place as soon as the end of 1996, if I
7 recall well. So there was a brand new gym and new classrooms.
8 And the other point is that we do not consider that school as a
9 crime scene due to the fact that we have no reports of physical abuse
10 committed inside. So there was no necessity to go there in order to make
11 a fine survey to collect whatever samples could be of interest for the
13 Q. Thank you. Mr. Ruez, I'm coming to my last few questions that we
14 should consider. You conducted this investigation on Srebrenica for five
15 years and nine months; would that be correct?
16 A. Absolutely correct.
17 Q. During that time, you had lots of conversations with many people.
18 You contacted a number of institutions, the Bosnian authorities, the
19 authorities of Republika Srpska. Would all that be correct?
20 A. Yes, all this is correct.
21 Q. During your investigation, you must have formed an opinion on the
22 events that had taken place there.
23 A. Yes, that's what one could call my personal speculations.
24 Q. Could you please tell me, did you form any particular prejudices
25 or antagonism towards any of the sides that you spoke to during your
2 A. No, not at all.
3 Q. You treated everybody equally, from the same point of view?
4 A. I would summarise it by: No friends, no foe situation.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you now look at the last document, which is 1D009
6 from our exhibit list. This is an interview that you yourself gave in
7 April, 2001, after having left the Hague Tribunal. We have both a B/C/S
8 and an English version of your interview. This interview was published in
9 the newspaper called Monitor, which is published in Montenegro. It had
10 two sequels, and I'm now going to draw your attention to the second part
11 of this interview that was published on the 21st of April, 2001. I
12 believe you have the translation of that interview before you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I would like to draw your attention to page 43 in the B/C/S
15 version, and in the English version this is on page 6. Immediately below
16 the circled text, in other words, somewhat towards the middle of that
17 page, below the text that is encircled. Can you see that?
18 To the journalist's question, you say:
19 "It should be said that the Bosniaks had reason to conceal that
20 the zone was not demilitarised and that, as they claim, the army did not
21 aid the 28th Division in the enclave. There is a third thing that they
22 want to hide, and that is the command and control of the Main Staff of the
23 BH army over the 28th Division, if its members committed crimes, and the
24 Serbs claim they did from 1992 to 1995."
25 Is this a good translation of your words? Is this what you said?
1 A. So for this one, the opposite of the previous document, this one
2 is a real conversation. It was even held in a restaurant. But yes, these
3 are the words that I used.
4 Q. I suppose that you base the legitimacy for this in the fact that
5 nobody was duty-bound to provide you with any information that might have
6 incriminated themselves, and that's why you believed that it was
7 legitimate for the Bosnian authorities to act the way they did. Is that
9 A. I certainly would not say, if I understood you well, that their
10 behaviour was legitimate. To me it is not. But I can understand the
11 concerns that the people had in the area.
12 Q. In other words, I suppose that you find the reasons for that in
13 the fact that they did not want to reveal information that might have been
14 detrimental for them.
15 A. I mean, this is basic behaviour for whoever or whatever
16 institution or government who has something to hide. He collaborates with
17 you on the aspects of interest for him but certainly not on the other
18 ones. It's human nature.
19 Q. And this is also customary and can be applied to individuals as
21 A. Absolutely, yes.
22 Q. And you, as an experienced investigator, have a lot of
23 understanding for that, don't you?
24 A. No, I would not put it like this. What I have to say also is that
25 I was in no way in charge of the investigation against the Muslim side or
1 the 28th Division. My task was to investigate on the crimes that followed
2 the fall of the enclave. But it's a fact, also, that being a member of a
3 prosecutor, it takes time to gain trust with your contacts in such
4 circumstances, and this time to gain trust is also an explanation for some
5 slowliness that we can regret on the Prosecution side.
6 Q. In other words, what I am saying, as an experienced investigator,
7 you found it understandable that people behaved the way they did, by
8 concealing information from you if they thought that that information
9 would be detrimental for them. I'm sure that you had encountered that in
10 your previous practice, before you even joined the Tribunal.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: This is asked and answered, and also pretty
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move to the next question, Mr. Zivanovic.
15 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I shall move on.
16 Q. Can the witness please look at the -- page 43, the first column at
17 the end, the last paragraph in the B/C/S version, which, in the English
18 translation, can be found on page 5 - just a moment; please bear with me -
19 the last paragraph on page 5.
20 To the journalist's questions, you say:
21 "One thing astounded me. There is an astonishing gulf between
22 what professional officers deem professional honour, duties and activities
23 and the conduct and the mentality of more than 90 percent of the VRS
24 officers we met. They behave like thugs hiding everything, even the most
25 obvious. They don't accuse others, because most of them had not reached
1 that point yet, but most of them would as soon as they felt the smell of
2 prison, even the most modern one, with the most decent guards. Men
3 without honour. They behave like petty thieves, like children caught with
4 their hands in jam jars, totally afraid of the possible repercussions."
5 Were these your words?
6 A. Yes, they were.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Ruez.
8 MR. ZIVANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no further questions for
9 this witness.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Zivanovic. It's five
11 minutes to our break, so I suggest we have the break now. And since we
12 have some matters to discuss, the break will be of 30 minutes. Thank
14 --- Recess taken at 3.40 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 4.16 p.m.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: It's your turn, Mr. Ostojic or Mr. Meek. I don't
17 know who is going to cross-examine the witness.
18 Mr. Ostojic.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President and Your Honours.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Ruez. How are you?
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you a couple of questions, and I plan not to
24 be repetitive, and with the Court's ruling, I will reduce my questioning,
25 based on the Court's earlier ruling regarding your mission statements,
1 e-mails, et cetera, but I may have just a couple points of clarification
2 on that, understanding the Court's ruling.
3 Sir, if I may, by way of personal background, what's your date of
5 A. The 20th of February, 1961.
6 Q. Sir, you testified in your direct examination that when you were
7 working for the French police, that that department was subdivided into
8 five groups, I think you said, the police order, the public security,
9 general information services, counter-intelligence, and judicial police;
11 A. More or less correct.
12 Q. Now, I'm curious about a couple of things. While you were working
13 with the French police, how would a subordinate in one of the other
14 departments, let's say public order or counter-intelligence, referring to
15 you, someone who's working in the judicial police, being a superintendant
16 dant in the judicial police, how would they call you?
17 A. They would call me Monsieur Commissaire.
18 Q. Even those people in the other departments, those five, they were
19 not directly subordinate to you because you were the superinten dant of
20 the judicial police; correct?
21 A. This is correct.
22 Q. And they would still call you Mr. Superintendant; correct?
23 A. Those of a rank under this one would call me like this. In Paris
24 this is a specific expression that is -- but it's specific to Paris. It
25 is patron, that means boss.
1 Q. In Serbian would it be like Chef?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Okay. Now, let me ask you this, sir: During your seven-year
4 tenure with the French police, you worked exclusively for, basically, the
5 Office of the Prosecution; correct?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And during your six years with the ICTY, you've worked exclusively
8 with the Office of the Prosecution; correct?
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. Have you ever worked for the Defence?
11 A. I never did.
12 Q. Let's talk a little bit about your tenure at the OTP, if we may.
13 I think you told us you started basically on the 7th of April, 1995, and
14 ended on the 7th of April, 2001; correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Now, before you started the Srebrenica investigation, were you
17 briefed or given an overview of what it is you were going to investigate?
18 A. No. There was not -- no such briefing. In fact, I already said
19 that the initial mission was to check press rumours.
20 Q. So, is it fair to summarise that your investigation --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could you kindly make breaks between questions
22 and answers for the interpreters, please.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Sorry. I'm sorry, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the interpreter is a hundred per cent right.
25 The one at fault most is yourself, Mr. Ostojic. So if you could --
1 because Mr. Ruez is taking a little bit of a pause, but you're not.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: And I apologise, Your Honour. I will. With the
3 time constraint, I'm trying to rush through it, if you don't mind. But
4 thank you, and I will try to pause.
5 JUDGE KWON: Could you repeat the question.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: I will.
7 Q. If I could summarise, and you correct me if I'm wrong, sir, your
8 initial investigation started as a result of "press rumours"?
9 A. Yes, once these rumours did hit the Office of the Prosecutor, the
10 Prosecutor decided that someone should be sent in the area and start
11 investigating the matter.
12 Q. Well, that's what I'm trying to get to. The Prosecutor then sent
13 you, or you, being in charge of the investigation, decided that it would
14 be worthy of an investigation and went on your own?
15 A. No. There is nothing I would have done on my own. I was tasked
16 to go there and assess the situation; this, for sure, in order for the OTP
17 to decide if an investigation should or not be opened on these events.
18 Q. And who ultimately made that decision, you, that an investigation
19 should be opened?
20 A. Certainly not me. This is the responsibility of the Prosecutor.
21 Q. Were there --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One other thing. I haven't heard the interpreters
23 complain, but I'm sure that when you're moving the papers and the lectern,
24 you're making a noise which would definitely hurt their ears, such as
25 you're doing now. So if you could kindly switch off the microphone when
1 you're moving papers or the lectern, I think you would help them, because
2 it does hurt their ears and disturb them.
3 MR. OSTOJIC: I'll do that, Your Honour. It's just a little
4 awkward. I'll do that, though. Thank you.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: If you think it's more comfortable for you to sit
6 down, please sit down. I think it would be easier because of your size.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: With all due respect, I would rather stand. But if
8 you instruct me to sit down, I will, but ...
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ruez will not be intimidated by your size.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: I don't think so. May I proceed, Your Honour?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Please do.
12 MR. OSTOJIC:
13 Q. Sir, were there any limitations or parameters placed on your
15 A. The answer would be no.
16 Q. Can you describe for us what was the breadth of the investigation
18 A. Can I ask you to -- precisely what you mean by "the breadth of the
20 Q. Sure. Thank you for that. If at any time you don't understand,
21 I'll hopefully try to help you.
22 What was the extent of your investigation initially?
23 A. The extent was to investigate on the crimes committed after the
24 fall of Srebrenica enclave.
25 Q. So the press rumours, you've already concluded that crimes were
1 committed, and you were going to investigate those crimes; is that
2 correct? Is that the way I understand it?
3 A. Yes, since the press people who were in that area, for many of
4 them, since the beginning of the war, though they had no proof about what
5 they were writing, were immediately writing that all the missing men were
6 certainly already dead.
7 Q. And what was the initial goal, sir?
8 A. So the initial goal was to try to find out what happened after the
9 enclave was taken over by the Bosnian Serb army.
10 Q. Did, at any time, you investigate what happened before the enclave
12 A. No, not at all. This was not part of, let's call it, the mandate
13 of this investigation.
14 Q. And that might be precisely what I'm trying to understand better.
15 What was the mandate? And did it have any restrictions? And forgive me
16 if I'm wrong, but I thought you said there were no limitations on that
17 mandate. So if you may clarify it for me, please.
18 A. Yes. The mandate being, at least as I understood it, to
19 investigate the events that followed the fall of the enclave, the criminal
20 events that followed the fall of the enclave. There was no limitation in
21 the frame of that mandate. The investigation about what happened in the
22 area between 1992 and 1995 was the topic of two separate investigations at
23 the Office of the Prosecutor.
24 Q. That helps a little. Was the mandate narrowed further that you
25 would investigate the crimes purportedly committed only by the Serbs, or
1 were you to investigate the crimes committed by any party in the
3 A. The victims of this investigation, being the Bosniak Muslims who
4 were inside the enclave, this investigation was limited to the Bosniak
5 victims. There were other investigations ongoing that were dealing with
6 the aspect of the Serb victims in that area.
7 Q. And you were not involved in that; correct?
8 A. I was not involved in that, but if I came across information
9 useful for other teams and investigations, I was taking what was available
10 and I provided the investigation teams with the material.
11 Q. Thank you. Sir, can you share with us the number of trips you
12 made in Bosnia or in Srebrenica or in Tuzla as a result of your
13 investigation for the six years that you were working as the investigator
14 for the ICTY? And just -- I believe that you've already testified that
15 the first visit was July 20th, 1995. So, if you could just
16 chronologically list that out for me, it might help confine some of my
18 A. I would do it with pleasure, though I never made any summary of
19 all these missions. If I take the year 1996, what I can say is that there
20 was a mission in January, there was a mission in April, there was a
21 mission in June, there was a mission in August. And I should go like this
22 year by year. It would be hard to say. Some missions were for three
23 weeks; others were for three days. I don't have a global survey of all
24 this. It was a constant going back and return from The Hague to the
25 mission area.
1 Q. Well, can you maybe help us? You've done a good job with 1996,
2 and I think in 1995, is it one trip you made in 1995, July 20th?
3 A. No. During all these years, I always tried to make sure we would
4 at least arrive for the 1st of April in the area, and there were many
5 number of -- I'm only talking about my missions. I would say
6 approximately five missions a year. But once the team became what we
7 could really call a team, then you would add the missions of the other
8 team members. So it is a large number of missions, indeed, in that
10 Q. Just so that you're clear, I'm only interested in your
11 investigation that you did, not necessarily as a team.
12 A. Okay.
13 Q. I know we, the other day, had a little discussion about the use of
14 the word "we" or "I" and the collective "we" if you will. I'm only
15 interested in your physical presence and when you went to Srebrenica or
16 Tuzla or to the various areas that you discussed in your direct
18 A. Yes. Is there anything more that I have to add, then, to your
20 Q. Yes. When was your last visit? And we didn't hear anything about
21 1997 or 1998 or 1999 or 2000 or 2001. So there is a little bit more, if
22 you can help me.
23 A. Okay. It would be very hard, because -- let's slice the
24 investigation in several pieces. The first step was mainly to conduct
25 interviews in order to reconstruct the events, so this was mainly the
1 topic of the missions for the years 1996, 1997, 1998, in terms of
2 interviews of victims. But it continued until the end of also but at a
3 smaller pace.
4 1996 was also the year where there was a need to find and process
5 all the crime scenes, so this was done during the years 1996 and 1997.
6 Then there was also the need to identify the locations of the main
7 mass graves and later the secondary mass graves. This was done during the
8 years 1997, 1998, and 1999.
9 There was also a need for missions in order to check some aspects
10 in connection with the trials.
11 There was also an interview process of Bosnian Serb officers that
12 started in 1999, continued in 2000, all this generating a certain number
13 of missions.
14 There was also the need for several missions that started, I
15 think, in 1998, when we were conducting an operation of search and seizure
16 of automatic weapons at the Bratunac and Zvornik Brigades and processing
17 all this material. So that generated missions in 1998 and 1999.
18 So aside giving you my binder of what we call the finance binder,
19 because it's for administration, I would have a really hard time to
20 reconstruct, on top of my memory, all these missions.
21 Q. That's fair. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Ruez. I thought I heard
22 you say yesterday that you went back to the area last year. Did you go
23 back after you left your employment with the Office of the Prosecution?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. And now, can you tell us from April 7th, 2001, to last year, how
1 often would you go back to the area?
2 A. Yes. My first return was in July/August 2001, where I accompanied
3 a crew of two journalists in order to fulfil a promise that had been made
4 to them by the Office of the Prosecutor prior to my departure.
5 Then I returned in 2005, first to give a briefing in Srebrenica
6 town on the request of the Outreach Programme of the Tribunal, and I
7 returned also during that same summer with a French journalist who has an
8 interest on this topic.
9 Q. That's the extent of your return visits?
10 A. As far as I remember, yes.
11 Q. Thank you. Sir, do you agree with me that, as an investigator, in
12 order to maintain your integrity and the reputation of the investigation,
13 as well as the oath of office you may have taken, that you must do a
14 thorough, objective, and complete examination of events; correct?
15 A. Yes, this is correct. Yes.
16 Q. Now, because sometimes we don't understand the meaning of certain
17 words, I'm inviting you to tell me what your opinion, or what your
18 definition, rather, is of the word "objective."
19 A. Yes. I see your point. "Objective" is the opposite of biased.
20 Q. Just so we're talking about the same thing. I agree, and there
21 are other definitions. Now, the term "investigation," do you know if that
22 connotes to confirm or corroborate certain evidence, or does it mean to
23 examine, without bias, certain evidence; and to gather all the evidence,
24 good, bad, negative or positive, before you may reach a conclusion on a
25 certain issue?
1 A. You say that in a better format that I could be able to do, but I
2 buy your words.
3 Q. Well, you're honestly very modest, because those are not my words,
4 as you remember. In fact, in the prior testimonies, you've used those
5 very words and you've shared with us that your first -- in fact, your
6 first priority in the investigation was to confirm the stories about abuse
7 and atrocities; correct?
8 A. Confirm or infirm, assess the situation.
9 Q. And your second priority was to exhume the graves and gather
10 physical evidence; correct?
11 A. Absolutely correct.
12 Q. And the third priority would be to find those culpable and
13 accountable for those crimes and atrocities; correct?
14 A. Totally correct, the three steps of this investigation.
15 Q. What do you mean when you say "confirm or infirm"?
16 A. What I mean with that is that, if -- let's say the example of a
17 witness who we will request for interview based on a summary of
18 information that we received either from AID or from the War Crime
19 Commission, based on the statement we would take from him, we would then
20 either be willing to confirm his information by finding some forensics in
21 connection with what he's saying or, due to inconsistencies or whatever
22 other reason related to this witness, we would disregard this information
23 because we would believe it is not worth being trusted, or we would
24 investigate, again, that same situation, in order to make sure that we
25 reject this witness for good reasons.
1 Q. I'm not an investigator, but would it be fair to summarise that an
2 investigator or a team leader, such as yourself, when you went out to
3 interview various potential witnesses, that ultimately you would render an
4 impression of whether or not you need to confirm or to disregard their
5 testimony -- their evidence, I'm sorry, not their testimony.
6 A. Let's say that it's always the same thing. There's a pyramid of
7 priorities to be done. If there is a possibility to check everything,
8 everything would be checked. If, because of this pyramid of priorities,
9 things have to be pushed aside, we had to push them aside.
10 Q. What is that pyramid? I'm not that familiar with that.
11 A. Let's say that if a witness reports to us a location where he saw
12 three people being shot but we also have to go to another site where
13 someone claims the dead count in the hundreds, we would give priority to
14 assess the situation where the count of hundreds of dead rather than
15 trying to find the location where we could eventually find three bodies.
16 This is, unfortunately, the type of priorities we had to make in this
18 Q. I'm sorry, I don't mean to interrupt. I thought you were
19 finished. I'm not asking you to give me an example. I'm asking you to
20 tell me what was the pyramid that you used when you would confirm
21 witness's statements? Would you go out, for example, looking for other
22 witnesses to corroborate that testimony? Would you go out on the field
23 forensically to try to substantiate what those witnesses may have said?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Tell me more about this pyramid.
1 A. This is exactly what you said at this moment. That was all the
2 things that we -- not only that we had to do but that we did with these
3 witnesses, but then the chronology of how to do it was based on the
4 seriousness of the allegations that were made by these witnesses.
5 Q. Sir, with respect to this priority number 1, I've categorised
6 it "confirm the stories," and if I can briefly, not to recite your entire
7 testimony in other cases, but for my learned colleague at the Office of
8 the Prosecution, at Blagojevic trial, page 612, lines 23 through 25, I
9 believe you said:
10 "Priority number 1 was to interview witnesses and identify
11 possible crime scenes that could then be analysed in order to corroborate
12 their declarations."
13 Do you remember giving that testimony?
14 A. I confirm the entire sentence. What I do not confirm is the way
15 you categorise this step number 1, because I don't really appreciate the
16 word "stories." It's confirm the testimonies. In fact, I call this the
17 period of reconstruction of the events.
18 Q. And I truly, with all due respect, did not mean to categorise it
19 anything different than you may have, so I will change that to "confirm or
20 reconstruct the events." Is that fair enough?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, do you recall also in that Blagojevic trial telling the
23 Honourable Judge Veselenko that your priority was -- number 1 priority,
24 was that you could confirm the declarations of the various potential
1 A. That was absolutely a top priority, especially when knowing what
2 these declarations were. Most of them were declarations of people having
3 survived mass executions. So, yes, it was a top priority.
4 Q. Do you know the difference between the word "investigate" and the
5 word "confirm"?
6 A. Yes, I see your point. I see the point, but it's the same to me.
7 If what we would find would confirm, it's part of the investigation. If
8 it would not confirm, it would also be part of the investigation. When I
9 say we need to confirm, it's either confirm or find elements that lead to
10 reject the witness.
11 Q. Well, do you have a -- did you have a binder or a DVD or some
12 mechanism where you would know, perhaps offhand, the list of witnesses
13 that you had rejected as not being credible for one reason? Because I
14 notice in the witness statements there's never an impression by any
15 investigator of what they thought of a particular witness.
16 A. Very simple answer: The ultimate stage of an investigation is to
17 present the evidence in a courtroom. In a courtroom we show the
18 information that is the result of leads that we have followed and that we,
19 the Prosecutor, believes are positive. We are not exposing to the Court
20 all the dead-ends in which we entered, nor did we expose the wrong leads
21 we are sometimes taking -- taken. So, no, we don't have such a list. I
22 have examples in my memory, but we never made such a list.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Ostojic.
24 Mr. Haynes, I saw you. Do you have a problem?
25 MR. HAYNES: I really didn't want to interrupt, but I think
1 everybody's LiveNote facility has crashed on the Defence side.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: I see a technician working with Mr. Meek. We'll
3 stop, if necessary, because it's important that you are all able to
5 Could you ask the technician whether a five-minute break -- I
6 apologise to you, Mr. Ostojic, but this is something which is important
7 for everyone.
8 Is the problem solved, or not?
9 Let's have a five-minute break, or longer if necessary. We will
10 be outside wait -- I'm sorry, but if your colleagues cannot follow on the
11 screen, that's not the ideal we should be aiming for. Okay. Thank you.
12 --- Recess taken at 4.46 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 5.02 p.m.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I am told that everything is in working
15 order now. I'll just check on mine, at least. It seems to be in working
17 Any of the Defence teams encountering problems?
18 MR. HAYNES: We're able to follow the proceedings. The other
19 facilities that should be available will not be available for the
20 remainder of the afternoon, but that's the best we can go so we'll get on
21 with it.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Which other facilities? Such as annotations?
23 MR. HAYNES: Annotation, the issue of highlighting.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it can be done. At least on our side we can
25 do it.
1 I see, I see, I see. All right, okay. All right. Let's go
2 ahead. I'm sure you will find a way of monitoring what is being said for
3 future reference.
4 Yes, Mr. Ostojic, you may proceed. And sorry, once more, for the
5 interruption, but this was needed.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
7 Q. Mr. Ruez, right before the break we were discussing several
8 concepts. Am I correct, although I'm not an investigator, that the point
9 of an investigation to bring to a courthouse is to bring forth the truth.
10 Would you agree with me?
11 A. Absolutely right.
12 Q. Okay. Now, on page 44, lines 15 through 18, just prior to our
13 break, you said as follows, and I'll quote it, and I have a couple
14 questions on this so bear with me, quote:
15 "The ultimate goal of an investigation is to present the evidence
16 in a courtroom. In a courtroom we show the information that is the result
17 of leads that we have followed and that we, the Prosecutor, believes are
19 Do you remember saying that?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. Okay. When you say that the Prosecutor believes are positive,
22 aren't you, sir, really telling us that you're bringing forth evidence
23 that you deem to be positive to your ultimate goal of convictions?
24 A. What I mean with "positive" is our assessment that the situation
25 we present is the truth, the reason why the Prosecutor decides to present
1 it together with its evidence to the Court.
2 Q. That helps a little. Are you familiar with the forensic or
3 psychiatric term of "confirmatory bias"?
4 A. I'm not in touch with many psychiatrists so I would not comment on
6 Q. I'm not asking you to comment on what you think about it. I'm
7 asking if you've ever heard that use of that word or those words,
8 "confirmatory bias," as it may relate to police officers investigating
9 crimes or prosecutors prosecuting crimes? Have you ever heard that in
10 your 13 years of experience? I don't know why it's funny.
11 A. Because I know where you want to go with this in advance. Yes,
12 for sure I know what this means, "confirmatory bias."
13 Q. Again, just so we're on the same page, why don't you describe for
14 me what confirmatory bias is.
15 A. It would be the case for someone who is so much convinced that
16 someone would be guilty that he would totally disregard anything that
17 would get him out of this obsession. Is that fine with you?
18 Q. Well, hopefully we'll have someone with a little more, with all
19 due respect, expertise share what that is. But if that's your answer, I
20 will accept it at this point.
21 Sir, you testified previously today, in fact, when I was
22 questioning you, that you initially got these press rumours
23 because "they," meaning the press, were at the scene, were there in
24 Srebrenica or Tuzla or wherever. Correct?
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I interrupt you here. He never said so. In fact,
1 the press reports, as he described them earlier on in his testimony, just
2 were in a sense that there were a number of persons unaccounted for and
3 that they -- the conclusion that was being reached in the press was that
4 they had been killed. This is how he described it earlier on.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: If it is, I stand corrected, Your Honour. That's
6 not the point I'm trying to make. I just want to direct his attention to
7 the press releases generally.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: That's what he stated earlier on.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. You heard the President, and you said initially when I asked you
11 about what you were briefed on, you mentioned press releases as a general
12 category; correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, sir, are these the press releases from journalists who were
15 at the scene as the events were unfolding in July of 1995?
16 A. All these press releases would be available at the press office,
17 when looking into the binder of press articles published in end of July
18 1995. These are the ones that prompted not my decision but the decision
19 of the Prosecutor to send an investigator on the scene in order to assess
20 the situation. You will have to check who wrote these articles and
21 inquire on them. But as far as I know, the people who, at least I talked
22 with, were people who were doing their work in that area since many years,
24 Q. And those people you reference, are those journalists? Right?
25 A. Yes, right.
1 Q. I'm not interested so much in the articles. I'm interested in the
2 methodology and the --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers slow down, please.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: -- that the investigator in Srebrenica used.
5 JUDGE KWON: Both speakers are requested to slow down.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Sorry?
7 JUDGE KWON: Both speakers are requested to slow down.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: You're doing again what we told you not to do.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: And again I apologise. The break has given me
10 additional energy, so I will try to maintain and follow your request,
11 Your Honour.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Any time you require further breaks, let us know,
13 Mr. Ostojic.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
15 Q. Mr. Ruez, do you understand my question?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. Okay. And it was the journalists and the press releases that you
18 or the Office of the Prosecutor received, that -- that initiated the
19 investigation on the Srebrenica enclave after the fall of the enclave, as
20 you've testified; correct?
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Now, you worked -- you worked for the Office of the Prosecutor in
23 the ICTY under a United Nations mandate; correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. At that same time, sir, isn't it true that there were United
1 Nations personnel stationed in Srebrenica and in that area that you
2 described during your direct, during the time period after the fall of
3 Srebrenica in 1995?
4 A. Yes, there were.
5 Q. Okay. Well, as an investigator who would do a complete and
6 thorough and objective job, wouldn't it have been more prudent to talk to
7 those UN personnel as opposed to follow leads from the press or
8 journalists who were on the scene?
9 A. Several steps in my answer: The first one is that we didn't
10 follow the leads from the journalists who were on the scene, the scene
11 being the area of Tuzla, not the area where the event happened. We later
12 on -- indeed, each time a press article referred to a potential witness,
13 we systematically approached that witness in order to check the
14 information that was provided to the press. That's the first comment.
15 There was another thing in your question?
16 The UN personnel you referred to exited the area through Belgrade
17 and then directly landed in the Netherlands. The interview of that
18 personnel was the topic of an interview process that lasted for at least a
19 one-year-long period of time, happening little mission after little
20 mission. So this aspect was conducted. But more prudent to start with
21 them? I would say no. The most prudent approach was first to identify
22 among the key witnesses those who would still be serving in the army.
23 Since the war was still ongoing, our concern was that they could be sent
24 back to the front line and that we might, for the future, lose a valuable
25 witness for the Prosecution. That was among the concerns.
1 Q. Okay, thank you. Let me ask you: Did you, at any time in your
2 investigation, seek to obtain the reports from United Nations personnel
3 during the time of your initial or immediate, subsequent visits to the
5 A. We did obtain all the records, not only the reports drafted by the
6 UN soldiers to the UN but also to their own minister -- Ministry of
7 Defence. As well did we receive all the situation reports of the United
8 Nations military observers. So we got all that material, indeed.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
10 MR. OSTOJIC:
11 Q. When?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Ostojic. It seems that we are
13 having problems. I discovered a couple of minutes ago that I was
14 disconnected. I tried to connect again. I was connected again. Now I
15 was disconnected, and it is only now that I am connected again. Judge
16 Prost has lost her connection completely.
17 In the meantime -- are the Defence teams -- you have problems as
19 MR. OSTOJIC: I lost mine but I've got it.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. If we can proceed, we'll try to
21 concentrate on what appears on -- at least you should have the transcript
22 scrolling on one monitor, if not on the other. Is that correct?
23 MR. MEEK: Yes, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's proceed. And if we encounter
25 problems, then we'll try and do something about it, rather than stopping
1 again. I mean, otherwise, Mr. Ostojic will come back with more energy and
2 it will be no fun after that.
3 Mr. Ostojic.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
5 Q. Mr. Ruez, may you answer my question: When? We were discussing
6 the UN files, et cetera. When did you obtain those?
7 A. In several episodes, in fact. What we got first was the situation
8 reports from the UNMOs. I think we got that during the summer 1995. And
9 then it was a more lengthy process with the Dutch military. It took some
10 longer time. But the requests were fulfilled when they were launched.
11 Q. I don't quite understand what that means, "the requests were
12 fulfilled when launched." Immediately? Or did it take some time?
13 A. It means when the requests were made, they were fulfilled. But
14 they were not made at once. It was a process that was several times
15 interrupted. One interruption, for example, was in 1996 that the OTP was
16 running out of money and couldn't pay any more the missions for the
17 investigators. So there was one mission to be conducted in Assen, in the
18 Netherlands, that was called off. Those are things that happen during the
19 course of an investigation here at the ICTY.
20 Q. Thank you. Just give me a date when you thought it was completed.
21 In what year? That's what I'm looking for. 1999? 1998?
22 A. I would say the date of full completion, 1998 -- 1998.
23 Q. Okay. Beginning or late 1998; do you know?
24 A. Could be end of 1997 as well.
25 Q. End of 1997, beginning 1998; correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, how about the Bratunac Brigade? When did you, as the lead
3 investigator on the Srebrenica trial, seek the records from the Bratunac
5 A. I'm sure you have a very precise date of that seizure.
6 Q. That's fine. Let me refresh your recollection, so we can move it
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Sorry, if I may.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Proceed.
10 MR. OSTOJIC:
11 Q. It's not a memory test. So thank you for that. I have that it
12 was approximately December of 1998 that the first request for a seizure of
13 the Bratunac Brigade was made; correct?
14 A. Yes, together with the one of the Zvornik.
15 Q. My next question: With regard to the Zvornik Brigade, it was done
16 simultaneously in the summer of 1998.
17 A. Yes. That was also simultaneous separation, indeed.
18 Q. Approximately in --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers pause a moment between
20 questions and answer.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Please, Mr. Ostojic and Mr. Ruez, please slow down
22 and allow a short pause between question and answer.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Again, I apologise, Your Honour.
24 Q. Share with me the dates in which you, as the lead investigator,
25 initially requested and obtained the Drina Corps documents.
1 A. These ones were obtained in two different moments in time. One
2 part of the archives was seized during the search you are referring to,
3 and the rest of these archives, at least part of the rest, was provided to
4 the Office of the Prosecutor after my departure in 2001.
5 Q. Okay. How about the military personnel files of the military --
6 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
7 JUDGE KWON: Mr. Ostojic, would you repeat your question. The
8 microphone was not on.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: The microphone is on, but I'll repeat it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Your microphone was off so the interpreters couldn't
11 catch what you were saying.
12 MR. OSTOJIC:
13 Q. Tell me when the Office of the Prosecution, or you as the
14 investigator, requested military personnel files on military men who were
15 with the VRS.
16 A. I don't remember that we made such a request. The files I'm
17 talking about were seized, not requested.
18 Q. Well, tell me, if you will, whether or not you ever seized the
19 military personnel files of military soldiers in the VRS, and when that
21 A. Yes, military files, I mean personnel files of military personnel
22 were seized both at the headquarters of the Bratunac Brigade and also at
23 the headquarters of the Zvornik Brigade, as far as I remember.
24 Q. How about those of the Main Staff? Would they also be located,
25 the military personnel files of those individuals, in the Bratunac and
1 Zvornik Brigades?
2 A. No, I don't think they would be part of these archives.
3 Q. When did you request those such documents, if at all?
4 A. I don't remember. If such a request was done, I would think it
5 was done probably in the year 2000, or possibly even after my departure.
6 Q. Now, going back to our little -- complete, thorough, and
7 objective, when did you first obtain the military records from the army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina involving specifically the events as perhaps they --
9 from their perspective, transpired in Srebrenica 1995?
10 A. I don't know any -- of any document that would indicate what the
11 view of the Bosnian Serb army was about these events. The only document I
12 know about is the document that was compiled by the government of the
13 Republika Srpska, dated, I think, in 2001, where indeed the Republika
14 Srpska --
15 Q. We'll get to that. I don't mean to interrupt you, if we can just
16 move along. It was my fault because I used the wrong term, "view." I
17 don't mean necessarily their view. What I'm looking for is, when did you,
18 as the Office of the Prosecutor, and you as an investigator, seek and
19 seize documents from the ABiH in connection with the events that unfolded
20 from July 11th through the 17th of 1995. We'll get to the other issues a
21 little later, hopefully?
22 A. I didn't get that you were talk from the army of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was thinking about the other.
24 No, again, I had no -- I mean, for the sake of this investigation,
25 I had no immediate interest in what happened between 1992 and 1995, so I
1 was not looking for documents about this period of time, on both sides I
2 didn't -- that was not the topic of the investigation.
3 Q. I heard that and I understood it before, actually, and now. I'm
4 really looking for, and we can confine my questions to that period, as I
5 thought I said in my question, July 11th through the 17th, 1995. During
6 that period of time, did you ever seize or request documents from the army
7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina for documents that they may have in their possession
8 from their military men or women who were at or near that enclave at that
9 time? When did you request those documents, if at all?
10 A. I understand better. Yes, it was requested in the first days of
11 our arrival. What we were receiving at the initial stage, and this is
12 anyhow what we got, were summaries of debriefings that were made by the
13 police and by the army; the police dealing with the civilian refugees; the
14 army interviewing their own people about this. And we received the --
15 some summaries of the information.
16 Q. And I thought you said the other day that you, the investigator,
17 were looking for "key" witnesses; correct?
18 A. Absolutely correct, yes.
19 Q. What does that mean?
20 A. That means that when going through the few hundreds of summarised
21 statements we had access to, we separated them in several groups, one
22 group being witnesses of events that happened during the
23 "evacuation/deportation"; the other group were - sorry - witnesses who
24 could talk about the events in Potocari; a third group was witnesses who
25 we named, and you will understand, the "wood walkers", those who went
1 through the forest; and the last and the most tiny group, witnesses who
2 claimed having survived the mass execution.
3 So, to answer your question, the people we call "key" witnesses
4 were a focused group of people who had what seems to be the prima facie,
5 very important information, to communicate to us.
6 Q. Explain to us, if you will, how it is that you came upon to these
7 key witnesses who had important information to explain to you? Did
8 someone bring them to you? Did you, for lack of an example, put an
9 advertisement in the paper seeking these people? Or how is it you came
10 upon them with so many people in the area?
11 A. So I already talked about that aspect, but I will repeat it. Our
12 sources of information during this summer 1995 was: One, the summarised
13 statements taken by AID; two, statements, but not many of them, taken by
14 UN personnel; three, statements taken by the War Crime Commission; four,
15 the spreading among refugees in refugee camps of questionnaires prepared
16 by the OTP; and finally, the last source of information was press people
17 who were in Tuzla at that time.
18 Q. Thank you. A little bit more and then we'll move on to other
19 areas. Professionally, when you told us the other day that there was a
20 process for investigating witnesses, and I summarise it a little so please
21 correct me if I'm wrong, I thought you had said that the process was that
22 one investigator would not investigate more than one witness who happens
23 to be a survivor of the same event or massacre, as you called it.
24 A. Yes, absolutely.
25 Q. Why is that?
1 A. This is for the sake of avoiding what you previously named -- I
2 don't remember the psychiatric term that you were using.
3 Q. I'll remind you a little later.
4 A. Okay. So it is just -- it's very simple. It's to avoid being
5 under the influence of the information already provided by one of these
6 witnesses, and then getting, let's say, influenced by this information
7 later on when questioning the witness.
8 Q. To preserve the integrity of the investigation, basically;
10 A. Absolutely correct, yes.
11 Q. And it's necessary so that it can be maintained at least at some
12 level to give it some objectivity; correct?
13 A. Absolutely.
14 Q. Otherwise, if you had done it with two witnesses, it would have
15 been what I think you called biased; correct?
16 A. No, not necessarily, because getting under influence of biased
17 judgement is a question of personality. Some people are more subject to
18 that than others. And you have understood that I don't put myself in the
19 category of those who are easily subject to bias.
20 Q. And I understand. That's fine. We want to use your definition.
21 It's to avoid being under the influence of the information already
22 provided by one of these witnesses; correct?
23 A. Yes, correct.
24 Q. Now, you had the other day what I call - I don't know how else to
25 call it - but a cheat sheet of witnesses names and description and 65 ter
1 numbers. Do you remember that, in your right breast pocket?
2 A. Yes, the same document that was provided to you by the Prosecutor,
3 I have one.
4 Q. I'm not debating. He did give it to us, and we're grateful to
5 him. It's not a question. But do you have that document?
6 A. Definitely I have it on me.
7 Q. Well, look, can we take it out so we can explore it a little bit?
8 A. Sure we can.
9 Q. Great. Thank you. My learned friend of the Prosecutor's Office,
10 I apologise for having to give this, we kind of agreed that we're not
11 going to reference the names of the individuals, rather their 65 ter
12 number. I think you've done that, but just to remind you of that, and I'm
13 sure you remember it; correct?
14 Okay. Now, if I told you that you interviewed 65 ter number 41;
15 do you see it? What's it say under his name for "description"?
16 A. Orahovac survivor.
17 Q. And 65 ter number 38, which was, I think, PW-101 -- 110, thank
19 A. Yes. Orahovac survivor.
20 Q. And then do you see the last one who doesn't have a 65 ter number?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. He was also an Orahovac survivor; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, do you remember, as you sit here, whether or not you
25 interviewed these three survivors of Orahovac?
1 A. There were four survivors at Orahovac. One additional one --
2 Q. He's up on top there.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. I just don't have a statement from him, but we'll get to it.
5 A. Yes. I think unfortunately he's the one who died recently. The
6 Prosecutor might confirm. I don't know.
7 Q. With all due respect, Mr. Ruez, Mr. McCloskey is not going to
8 testify. If you don't recall, tell us you don't recall. We'll flesh it
9 out with him, I'm sure, later. If you remember something, share it with
10 us, by all means.
11 A. So four survivors for Orahovac. I most probably had interviewed
12 at least two of them. Maybe even three of them. Could be. You have the
13 names on the statements of these four.
14 Q. I do, actually. And what I want to do is -- it's my position that
15 you interviewed all three of the survivors of Orahovac, and that, in fact,
16 if you can reconcile for me -- or do you remember interviewing all three?
17 A. No, I don't, but it's fairly possible.
18 Q. Number -- Witness PW-110, you interviewed him on at least two
19 occasions, 20th of August, 1996.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: Just for the record, if I may, Your Honour.
21 Q. And the 13th of June, 1999. Witness number 41, you testified, 24
22 January, 1996. And witness who doesn't have a 65 ter number, who is the
23 last one on the list, I believe; correct? Yes? The last one on the list,
24 do you see him?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Okay. That person you interviewed the 10th of August, 1995, and
2 the 7th of July of 1996. Do you see that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, help me reconcile your position earlier that in order to be
5 thorough, complete, and objective, that you wouldn't interview the same
6 witnesses from a same potential massacre because it would, as you say,
7 maybe -- or how did you put it, influence? Influence and, the way I put
8 it, compromise the integrity of the investigation. Can you reconcile that
9 for me?
10 A. Yes, I will. Two reasons for that. One point is that during the
11 summer 1995, I already said that we were not so much in numbers. In fact,
12 we were initially -- I mean, I was initially alone at the beginning. Then
13 at the beginning of August, after returning from a short go and return to
14 The Hague, I could have the assistance of one investigator, and at some
15 point around the 10th -- 10 of August, a third -- I mean a second
16 assistant arrived in the area. So when I say -- and not only that, sorry.
17 Then, upon return after that summer in the area, there was no one
18 in charge of the investigation aside myself. That lasted more than a
19 year, nearly, since the first investigator attached, in fact, was attached
20 in April 1996 and permanent staffing arrived only at the end of the year
21 of 1996.
22 So when I say that it's a better policy not to interview people
23 from the same situation by only one person, it is a fact that it is also
24 depending on the material possibility to do so. So that was not always
25 the case, unfortunately, at the start of this investigation.
1 Q. We're always fighting budget problems ourselves, so I understand.
2 Now, help me with this, though: In 1999, having -- since you had
3 interviewed the same witness in 1996, don't you think it would have been
4 prudent and objective and thorough to have another investigator, instead
5 of confirm what the witness said by sending you again, that he would --
6 you would send another investigator in 1999 when you didn't have
7 constraints, perhaps, with personnel or budget?
8 A. Not necessarily for -- not necessarily. Depending on what was the
9 need for the contact, if it was a need to re-contact the witness in order
10 to show him, for example, photographs or a video, my view is that it was
11 better that the person who took the picture and the video and who knew,
12 therefore, the area would be the one who would present that material to
13 the witness. So this is probably the reason why I re-contacted one or
14 several of them.
15 Q. Share with me, if you will, the process that you used as an
16 investigator to verify certain information that was given to you by
17 witnesses, key or otherwise.
18 A. That is very depending on the situation. But the main thing,
19 especially during the summer 1995, as the war was ongoing, was the
20 possibility to have access to the territory of the Republika Srpska. That
21 was not the case in 1995. That started to become the case in 1996. So
22 the first thing we were eager to do was to identify the locations of
23 interest and transport ourselves to these locations in order to check the
24 information and what could be done with the information, depending on what
25 we would find on the ground.
1 Q. I don't know that you answered my question, with all due respect,
2 but I'd like to move on if we may. And I'll look at it again, and if you
3 have, thank you.
4 Just to jump around a little bit, because you're on this list we
5 have, and the witnesses on the list, do you recall your testimony, sir,
6 on the Krstic case, page 538, lines 13 through 21, I believe, and page
7 584, lines 3 through 6, and there you were discussing the Vuk Karadzic
8 school. Just to put it in some context for you. Let me ask you this
10 "Sir, isn't it true that the OTP and you," the collective "we" - I
11 guess, right? - "do not have any survivor who stayed inside the Vuk
12 Karadzic school."
13 A. Yes, this is correct not when we talk about the Vuk Karadzic
14 complex but when we talk about the Vuk Karadzic school. We do not have a
15 survivor who stayed inside the school, indeed. Yes.
16 Q. And when we talk about thoroughness and completeness, you would
17 have probably interviewed Witness 42, on this cheat sheet, as we -- as I
18 call it, 65 ter number 42, and you would have verified that; correct?
19 A. Witness 42.
20 Q. 65 ter 42.
21 A. 42, you say?
22 Q. I did.
23 A. As far as I recall, he was held at the so-called old school, the
24 technical school.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: To be precise, in Bratunac?
1 THE WITNESS: Yes, in Bratunac town.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
3 MR. OSTOJIC:
4 Q. Now, is it true, sir, that you received the information regarding
5 the Vuk Karadzic school that only one room was used for the detainees, if
6 we can call them that, with all due respect?
7 A. In the course of several meetings that I had with Mr. Miroslav
8 Deronjic, if he is the one you refer to with this detailed information,
9 after having, at initial stages, denied any knowledge about anything
10 problematic that might have occurred in his town, he indeed, at one point
11 of our relationship, disclosed during one interview that yes, indeed, the
12 Vuk Karadzic school had been used, but at the end of the interview he
13 modified slightly the information by being more precise and saying that
14 only one school had been used -- one classroom, sorry, had been used.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic, we need to have a break, either
16 now or whenever it's convenient for you.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: Whatever is the pleasure of the Court.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Then we'll have it now. Thank you. Twenty minutes.
19 Twenty minutes. We'll try to recover a little bit of the lost ground.
20 --- Recess taken at 5.45 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 6.12 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Mr. Ruez, I'd like to, if we can, in the interests of time, move
25 to another topic. Can we discuss the aerial images that is in the
1 binder --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let me follow you on the other one,
3 because this is not working again. All right. The LiveNote as such is
4 not working, or at least in mine. It is connected so I don't know what's
6 Yes, go ahead, Mr. Ostojic.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, if I may.
8 Q. I'd like to discuss the aerial images that is in the binder of 271
9 photos, if we may.
10 A. That's fine.
11 Q. Sir, by my count, there's -- 36 or so of the 271 photos in that
12 binder were of aerial images; correct?
13 A. I didn't count them, but you are certainly correct.
14 Q. When did you request them?
15 A. The answer would have to be detailed, because it was not a request
16 that was made in one blow. The requests were made in the process of
17 compiling information that could confirm or infirm the declarations made
18 by the witnesses. So, in fact, each time we encountered a situation where
19 we believed aerial imagery could be useful in order to find out more about
20 the events that were disclosed to us, we were making a request through the
21 US embassy. So for most of the crime scenes we are talking about, it was,
22 let's say, a discovery after a discovery. Until one point that was, as I
23 said, early 1997, when, having found secondary mass graves in Zeleni
24 Jadar, the findings were confirmed by imagery. The imagery even enabled
25 us to find more sites than we were aware of at Zeleni Jadar. And then all
1 the other secondary mass grave sites were provided to us by US government
3 Q. Okay, thanks. So early 1997; correct? That's the answer,
5 A. This is the moment when we received, let's say, on the initiative
6 of the provider, this material. Before that we were the ones requesting
7 the pictures.
8 Q. And how did you request it? What mode did you use? Written form,
9 telephonic, electronic? Which?
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm going to object to that as going to the
11 processes and procedures --
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Do we need to know this, Mr. Ostojic?
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Well --
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Apart from the --
15 MR. OSTOJIC: I don't want to debate it but -- I don't, and that's
16 why I'm asking the witness. But I'll move on, if I may.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
18 MR. OSTOJIC:
19 Q. And when was the last time that you received such aerial images
20 that we're discussing that's in this binder in front of you?
21 A. The very last one might be the picture of the disturbance of the
22 Kozluk site.
23 Q. Just give me a year and a month, if you remember, and we'll look
24 at it in a few months, to the extent that you recall it.
25 A. In that case, that would be 1998.
1 Q. And no pictures after 1998; correct? No aerial images -- I'm
2 sorry, no aerial images requested or received after 1998; correct?
3 A. There were some.
4 Q. Well --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
6 MR. McCLOSKEY: If we could be more specific, because, as we know,
7 he left in 2001. So that would leave a false impression in the record.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: I beg to differ with my learned friend, but if the
9 last time he knows that they were received was in 2001, then it wouldn't
10 leave a false impression because we know he left in 2001. If he says 1998
11 or 1999, then I think we can put it together. He can just tell us
12 whatever year it is. This is really preliminary, Your Honour, and I'm
13 hoping to get to the question, actually.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: The understanding is that whatever answer he gives
15 it will be limited for the period 1998 until the 7th April, 2001, when he
17 THE WITNESS: So as far as I know, and to the best of my
18 recollection, the last one received were probably requested for the
19 preparation of the trial of General Krstic. It was, for example, one
20 picture of Batkovic prison camp. And that would be 1999.
21 MR. OSTOJIC:
22 Q. Okay, thank you. So I still don't what "infirm" means but I'm
23 going to look it up and try to figure that out. You were asking and
24 requesting these documents in order to confirm your investigation;
1 A. Not only in order to confirm, but mainly in order to enable us to
2 continue this investigation.
3 Q. But to confirm, nonetheless, in part; correct?
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Objection. Mr. Ruez has explained what he means
5 by "confirm" and "infirm" repeatedly, and I think the Court understands,
6 and it's a bit of an adaptation to the English language.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Objection sustained.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: May I proceed, Your Honour?
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
10 MR. OSTOJIC:
11 Q. Sir, are you family with the acronym NIMA, N-I-M-A?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What is it?
14 A. There will be an objection, I bet.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: You know ...
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I do not represent the interests of
17 the United States, but if we go into this further, I would need to ask the
18 United States to be present.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: May I briefly respond?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Let me confer with my colleagues
21 because I must express my ignorance about what the acronym stands for.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's start from here, because this is -- presents
24 itself as a delicate matter, in a way: Can we know what NIMA, the
25 acronym, stands for, to start with?
1 MR. McCLOSKEY: I have no objection with Mr. Ostojic telling us,
2 but if --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Maybe then I come to your point. But for the time
4 being, I mean, we all profess our ignorance as to the meaning of this
5 acronym, or what this acronym stands for.
6 MR. OSTOJIC: I would just ask, Mr. President and Your Honours,
7 just to be patient for two seconds and we'll get to it. I just want to
8 know if he knew what it meant. If he knows and then he does want to tell
9 us, we'll get to it in the next two minutes, I promise. And if not, I'll
10 tell you. If you want to know now, I'll tell you now.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: What's this mystery? You tell us because it will
12 help us decide ...
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Do you want me to tell it?
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'll tell him if you won't. It's not a secret
16 MR. OSTOJIC: It's the National Imaging and Mapping Agency, NIMA,
17 National Imaging and Mapping Agency.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: So he now knows about it.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Okay.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: But coming -- I don't know what the series of
21 questions that you have in mind are, but please do keep in mind that we
22 have Rule 70 here that restricts us considerably; and that if, at any
23 time, there is a request from the Prosecution to have either the go-ahead
24 from the United States government -- either the go-ahead from the United
25 States government or the presence of United States government officials
1 here, as has been the case in practically every case I have been involved
2 in, then that would be granted, because that is the practice and the law
3 of this Tribunal. But still I don't want to jump the gun. I don't know
4 what your questions are going to be. At the moment Mr. McCloskey stands
5 up and objects to us proceeding with that line of questions without the
6 presence of the United States government, or consulate, we'll stop.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Forewarned is forearmed.
9 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may proceed.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
11 MR. OSTOJIC:
12 Q. Out of these 36 or so aerial images that we saw, sir, I've seen
13 some - if I can use the word "inconsistent" - some inconsistencies in
14 them. For example, some have the place, some have the place and the date,
15 some have a place, date, and time, and yet others have a place, date,
16 time, and specification within that place. Do you remember those when we
17 went through them the other day or --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Why do you call those inconsistencies?
19 MR. OSTOJIC: I'm sorry?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Why do you call them inconsistencies?
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Because all of them do not contain all the
23 JUDGE AGIUS: They are not inconsistent. "Inconsistent" means
24 something else, at least to me.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: Different, may I use that? I'm leading to a
1 different point so maybe I'm thinking a little ahead.
2 Q. They're different in some way?
3 A. In some way, yes. The markings are not always the same, depending
4 on the pictures we're looking at, indeed.
5 Q. Well, do you know why they're different? Do you know why in some
6 there's a specification of a place and in some there's a time and in
7 others there's not even a time or a date?
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: We're getting into that area, again. Your Honour,
10 both Mr. Ruez and I are under obligation to our agreement with the United
11 States, and under Rule 70, the law of this Tribunal. As you're aware,
12 these documents, while they've been around for a long time, are extremely
13 serious documents, and the United States, I know, takes it very seriously.
14 And we are right at -- we are asking Mr. Ruez to provide information that
15 is -- that may be United States' information, and I -- if you want to get
16 a lawyer from the United States here, okay, but I think we're really on
17 slippery ground.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Our position is a very simple one, and it emerges
21 from the Rule itself that has just been referred to by Mr. McCloskey: Any
22 questions that you would like to put on these images provided to the OTP,
23 or to the Tribunal, let's put it like that, pursuant to Rule 70, would
24 require the presence of at least officers from the United States
25 government here, and the witness will answer the question if they agree
1 that he can answer the question. Otherwise you will have the legal
2 impediment that you are aware of, that I don't need to explain. You're
3 all aware of it.
4 So if you want to pursue this series of questions, I suggest that
5 you stop for the time being and jump to a next series of questions and
6 leave this until we have made -- concluded arrangements for US government
7 officials to be present.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. I respect that, and I
9 will -- if I may be permitted just to ask about one specific photo, at the
10 very least, out of those 36 or so in the binder of 271, obviously, if you
11 don't mind.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll hear the question.
13 MR. OSTOJIC: Okay.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And then I will see what the protection of the
15 Prosecution will be, and we will decide either -- the same as we have
16 already told you or differently if it's -- there's a need to decide
18 MR. OSTOJIC: And I have many questions in this area, but I'm
19 going to limit it to this photo, based on the Court's ruling. Thank you,
20 if I may proceed.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead.
22 MR. OSTOJIC:
23 Q. If you can look at photo 236, I believe. It's in the binder.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: But we don't have the binder, Mr. Ostojic. We need
25 to wait until it shows up on the -- on e-court. Otherwise, if it is
1 readily available -- yes, okay. We can see it now.
2 MR. OSTOJIC:
3 Q. Do you have it yet, Mr. Ruez?
4 A. I don't have numbers on my pages, so if someone could show it to
6 Q. I'm glad to hear that, because neither do I. I had to number
8 A. Okay, fine.
9 Q. Do you see it now, Mr. Ruez?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Do you see that this photo, number 236. It's not a secret where I
12 got the acronym or the words -- the words for the acronym NIMA; right?
13 It's on that photo; correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. This is your binder that you created and you gave to the
16 Prosecutor who gave it to the Court and to the Defence lawyers; correct?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Now, in this one it has the actual symbol of an agency; correct?
19 A. Yes, it has.
20 Q. And no other document has that; correct?
21 A. Could be correct.
22 Q. Well, have you found any in that binder of 271 that have that
24 A. No, you are right. I never noticed that point. This is the only
1 Q. How about on the bottom right-hand corner of that photo? Do you
2 see what that inscription is?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. Don't answer what it is, just tell me if you know what it is, if I
5 may ask that.
6 A. No, I don't.
7 Q. Okay. We'll come back to that, I hope, soon. Do you know why
8 there's a difference in -- in this photo, why there would be a symbol on
9 the description of the place and the specification of the picture and on
10 the right-hand side what seems to be a digitalised or an inscription of
11 some kind? Do you know why this photo has that?
12 A. No, I don't.
13 Q. My concern is that some of the photos, for example, didn't have
14 the date and they had a box that still remained. And my question to you
15 is: Do you know who removed the date, if at all?
16 A. On some of the pictures that I used, not as such, but in order to
17 talk about the different events that -- in an area shown by this imagery
18 but that was not initially designed to present that situation, I am the
19 one who erased the dates so that we keep only, let's say, what can be seen
20 on the picture but not the reason why it was given to us. I take one
21 example --
22 Q. You don't have to give us an example, if you don't mind. That's
23 what I thought too, Mr. Ruez, that in fact you manipulated these pictures
24 by adding or placing certain dates or times on these aerial images; isn't
25 that true?
1 A. No, this is not true. As I said, all the markings in white on
2 these pictures in the entire binder are US government markings. All of
3 the markings that are in colour are markings that I added myself.
4 Q. But when you removed white, that was something that you removed;
6 A. Yes, indeed. When there was a use of the pictures but not in
7 connection with the reason why they were provided, I erased the date,
9 Q. Now, you told us when you started your direct examination that --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Microphone.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
12 Q. You told us, I believe, when you started your direct examination
13 that you have a collection, I think, of 2.000 photographs.
14 A. Yes, this is correct.
15 Q. We've seen 271 of them here. Those are yours; correct? Or ...
16 A. Yes, they are.
17 Q. What happened to the other 90-some per cent -- 80-something per
18 cent, sorry.
19 A. They are in the evidence room with ERN numbers, at least for those
20 who have a direct connection with the investigation, certainly not those
21 that we can call "touristic pictures."
22 Q. And we're not interested in touristic pictures either, quite
23 candidly. But do you know, out of the 2.000 or so collection that you
24 have or had, do you know how many of these, other than these 36, are
25 aerial images?
1 A. When I gave a number of 2.000 and something, I was not talking
2 about aerial imagery. I was talking about photographs I took myself.
3 Q. That very well may be true, and I apologise if I misunderstood it.
4 I thought you were talking about the binder that we have. So tell -- help
5 me with this: How many aerial images do you know were in the possession
6 of the Office of the Prosecution when you were their lead investigator?
7 A. We have a list of all of them, but I don't remember by heart how
8 many we received.
9 Q. Do you know if it is more than 36?
10 A. Yes, for sure. I didn't use all of them for the sake of this
12 Q. How many more than 36?
13 A. Not much more. All those that were relevant to the crime scenes
14 we exposed during this session have been used. I didn't use some related
15 to the situation in Potocari. I didn't use all those connected with
16 secondary sites, since what was shown is aerial photography and not every
17 single grave. So we have at least one picture per secondary grave, and a
18 few like this that I spared in order to win time for the presentation.
19 Q. Sorry. How many more than 36, is really all I wanted to know. Do
20 you think it's more than 50? If you can't recall, that's fine. I'll move
22 A. If we count the photographs showing secondary sites, I would say
23 less than 40, since there are at least 30 of these secondary sites.
24 Q. Now, in your efforts to be objective and a thorough and a complete
25 investigator, did you ask the United States to give you aerial imagery of
1 Potocari, for example, on July 12th, 1995?
2 A. We have one picture for July 12, and we have also one for July 13
3 of Potocari.
4 Q. How about July 11th, 1995? Did you ever request that the United
5 States give you an aerial image of the situation in Potocari on July 11th,
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. McCloskey.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: That is getting into an area of Rule 70
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic, we are unanimously in agreement
12 here that this question should not be put in the absence of US government
13 representatives, and with their consent.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough. I'll proceed.
15 Q. Mr. Ruez, did you request a picture from the United States
16 government of the column that was leaving Susnjari and going towards
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Again, we fall in the same -- this is exactly the
19 same category.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: Okay. If I may -- so I understand, perhaps I didn't
21 understand Your Honour. I thought that question, this whole area, if I'm
22 restricted --
23 JUDGE AGIUS: No, it's not the whole area. Mr. Ostojic, we will
24 let you put several questions that the witness felt comfortable with
25 answering, and Mr. McCloskey, although I could see him toying with the
1 idea of jumping up, failed to do so. So you were allowed to proceed. But
2 you know what the limitations of Rule 70 are. If Mr. McCloskey stands up
3 and says: This is an area covered by the agreement that we have -- the
4 restrictions that we have from the United States government, we have to
5 comply. We get the officials, and if there is no objection, the question
6 will be asked and answered; if there is an objection, the question will
7 not be answered. It's as simple as that.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you for that clarification. I just want to
9 reserve my right to question Mr. Ruez when we reach that period of time on
10 these and similar issues.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: But if the rest of the questions that you may have
12 for today - we only got 20 minutes left - are along the same lines, in
13 other words, let's stop here, it will give time to Mr. McCloskey to
14 communicate with the US embassy here, but they always have someone there,
15 and they will try to have two officials present tomorrow. They usually
16 comply within a very short time, and you will find two legal experts
17 sitting in the courtroom here with us.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: Whatever the Court's pleasure. I can move on or --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not a question of pleasure. I'm quite
20 uncomfortable, actually. It's not a pleasure at all.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Sorry.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: It's a question of, you need to understand that if
23 we have this wall erected, you have to comply.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: I understand the parameters. I'll move away from
25 the aerial images. I understand that area, I understand.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Go to whatever other area you want to ask the
2 witness about. In the meantime, please do confirm to Mr. McCloskey that
3 you require the presence of US government representatives here so that he
4 can start making the arrangements, because there is a protocol to be
6 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough. If I can just confirm it here, in case
7 I lose him at this hour. I'd like them here, and if we can continue
8 tomorrow, that would be fantastic.
9 MR. McCLOSKEY: I haven't been able to get them to respond that
10 quickly, Judge. I'll try.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: If you don't succeed, that will not be the end of
12 the world, Mr. McCloskey, because there are still five other Defence teams
13 that need to put questions. If necessary, we'll have Mr. Ostojic finish
14 the rest of the cross-examination that has got nothing to do with this
15 aerial images, photos, and then can come back to his series of question
16 when is the US government is in a position to provide us with the -- its
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: If I can briefly -- perhaps this will help.
19 Questions about photos we have and whether or not we asked for it or not,
20 I think, is okay. Questions about photos that we don't have and
21 speculation on why we don't have them, or why -- that is definitely in a
22 murkier area that is off limits. I think the Court under -- understands.
23 JUDGE KWON: Speaking for myself, Mr. McCloskey - just a second -
24 the last question asked by Mr. Ostojic may be relevant in a sense. I'm
25 having difficulty finding the page number. If you could help me.
1 MR. MEEK: Page 77, line 8, Judge.
2 JUDGE KWON: So I'd like to make sure that it is not that we are
3 prohibiting you from asking the question. If you need to -- if you find
4 the question necessary, we can proceed with the presence of the US
6 JUDGE AGIUS: The last question is --
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough, Your Honour. I was just mistaken when
8 Mr. President said that question cannot be asked, and I thought he just
9 wanted me to list out the question. But I understand the ruling now and
10 I'm prepared to proceed.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And the last question was, in case Mr. McCloskey
12 wants to go back on his question, Mr. Ruez, answer your question
13 said: "We have one picture for July 12th, and we have also one for July
14 13." And then you ask him: "How about July 11, 1995? Did you ever
15 request that the United States give you an aerial image of the situation
16 in Potocari on July 11th, 1995?"
17 Do you maintain your opposition to that?
18 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Finished.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: I'm not giving anything away --
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Finished. Discussion is over.
22 You will be able to put that question in the presence of the US
23 government, unless there is an opposition to it.
24 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
25 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I wish to intervene in
1 this debate because it is something that affects more than one of the
2 co-accused in this case. I believe it is important for us to go back to
3 the basics when we deal with Rule 70. If we go back to the basics, I'm
4 not even sure that what we're talking about right now is covered by this
5 Rule. When we look at Rule 70, once the Prosecution elects -- the
6 Prosecution has received information in a confidential by a provider.
7 Fine. Nothing we can do about that. And they can even not disclose it to
8 the Defence. That's Rule 70.
9 Then at some point in time, with the consent of the provider, the
10 Prosecution can elect to use that exhibit.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me cut you short --
12 MR. BOURGON: Once --
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me cut you short. Please read paragraph (D) of
14 Rule 70: "If the Prosecutor calls a witness to introduce in evidence any
15 information provided under this rule, the Trial Chamber may not compel
16 that witness to answer any question relating to the information or its
17 origin if the witness declines to answer on grounds of confidentiality."
18 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, I don't know here if the Prosecution
19 is answering or the witness is answering. I haven't heard the witness
20 refuse to answer any question. He might be the investigator. He hasn't
21 refused once to answer any question. He is the investigation -- the
22 investigator in this case. My colleague is quite appropriately asking
23 him: Did you make a request for a picture to so and so. He could say:
24 Did you make a picture -- did you make a request to Judge so-and-so for a
25 picture, and the investigator should be able to answer: Yes, I did make a
1 request, or no, I did not make a request. But what is wrong with that
2 question? I really fail to see how it falls under the umbrella of Rule
3 70. Because the investigator is talk about his investigation, and we are
4 here to investigate into his investigation, to see how it was conducted,
5 what was the methodology, why did he ask for this picture, why he did not
6 have any other means to get the same information. If he had to go through
7 a process of asking the government of the United States for confidential
8 information, that must have been a reason for that.
9 I think it's important for the Trial Chamber to know what these
10 reasons are and for the Defence to know what these reasons are. We have
11 to know what were the limits imposed on this investigator when he was
12 trying to investigate so that we can prepare the case for the Defence.
13 Thank you, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I think you've got it all wrong, Mr. Bourgon.
15 Basically the witness is not testifying on documents that he himself
16 procured with some kind of agreement with the US government. These were
17 procured by the Office of the Prosecutor, and they are the property of the
18 Office of the Prosecutor, in a way. And if there are restrictions from
19 the US government, I can't -- I can't ask Mr. McCloskey to go beyond a
20 certain amount of information, because that would, in itself, be a
21 violation of Rule 70 itself.
22 So, Mr. McCloskey.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President. As you recall in direct
24 testimony, I made reference, and Mr. Ruez confirmed, that we are allowed
25 under this agreement to refer to this material as imagery, US surveillance
1 systems and the information on it. And as for anything else, they may be
2 fine. But I doubt it, based on my knowledge of some of this, and I just
3 want -- as I know your court -- if we could have the United States
4 representing the United States here. That's all I ask. We need to really
5 be careful with our Rule 70 agreement.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: And I would definitely not expose the Prosecution to
7 a possible violation of the agreement reached.
8 [Trial Chamber confers]
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think exactly the decision is on this matter:
10 We'll definitely adjourn until we get the representatives of the US
11 government here, and then you will be able to proceed, to the extent that
12 it will be able to -- possible to proceed. But, of course, you'll have
13 every opportunity to put all the questions that you like, Mr. Ostojic.
14 You and the rest.
15 Incidentally, if there are other Defence teams that will be
16 dealing with the question of these aerial images supplied or provided by
17 the US government, please notify the Prosecutor -- Prosecution accordingly
18 so that arrangements are, again, put in place with the US government.
19 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
20 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. I certainly do indeed
21 intend to go into the aerial imagery.
22 If I can make a suggestion: What is missing in this debate is
23 that the Prosecutor -- Prosecution has obtained consent to use these
24 exhibits as evidence. Now, the provider has also imposed some limits. We
25 don't know what these limits are. If a representative of the US
1 government is not able to come up tomorrow, at least my colleague should
2 provide to this Chamber, in a confidential manner, in an ex parte manner,
3 if need be, what exact limits were placed on these exhibits. Here we are
4 in public session, looking at pictures. Justice must be done, but just
5 must be seen to be done. I'm sure the public out there surely does not
6 understand why we have a picture and that we cannot speak about a picture
7 like this when it's been provided by the Government of the United States.
8 Thank you, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Back to the point, Mr. Bourgon. You've twisted it
10 in a way which does not represent the reality. We have never said that
11 there is a prohibition of discussing these pictures. These pictures can
12 be discussed within the parameters of the agreement that exists between
13 the US government and this Tribunal. We can only know what these
14 parameters are if -- either if Mr. McCloskey obtains the permission of the
15 US government to tell us, or else if the US government officials come over
16 and tell us themselves, failing which you will have to live with the
17 reality of Rule 70; and only those questions that will get the okay of the
18 US government representatives will be allowed to be put and answered.
19 This is the position. And it's not an innovation. I mean, I've had it in
20 Oric, I've had it in Brdjanin, I've had it ...
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE AGIUS: So we will adjourn very soon. The position is as
24 You will make arrangements, as necessary, for the presence in the
25 courtroom of officials of the US government. In the meantime, as has been
1 the case in other cases, that at least I am aware of, whenever there has
2 been an agreement between the US government and the Tribunal in relation
3 to either the testimony of a person or the use of particular documents
4 provided by the US government, usually the parameters of the conditions --
5 the parameters of the agreement or the conditions are incorporated in a
6 written document. In other words, if you have a communication, official
7 communication, by the US government -- from the US government authorising
8 you, under Rule 70, to make use of these aerial images in proceedings, in
9 criminal proceedings, under conditions 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, we would like to see
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: I don't think that should be a problem. I've
12 reviewed that before coming to court, and I don't think the US has a
13 problem with that. But frankly, this has not come up before. We are a
14 bit surprised by this. This is the first time I've seen a challenge
15 that's getting behind the aerial images. It would be nice to have a
16 little bit of notice, especially dealing with the United States. But
17 we'll do our best to get them in here and get you that information.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I appreciate that. On the other hand, Defence
19 teams, you need to be pragmatic and practical, and now that this has
20 arisen, I can't guarantee that the US government officials would be able
21 to be here tomorrow morning. So if that is not possible, the options that
22 remain are the following:
23 Mr. Ostojic, you have the floor, you may continue with your
24 cross-examination on other matters; you can be followed by other Defence
25 teams on other matters; and any Defence team that wishes to question the
1 witness on the aerial images in a way that requires the presence of the US
2 government officials will do so when we have them available here in the
3 courtroom. All right? Clear?
4 MR. OSTOJIC: If I have -- I have two small points, Your Honour,
5 if I may. I just want --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Very quickly, because I don't want to keep the staff
7 more than 7.00.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: I don't think, with all due respect, and honestly
9 I'm speaking, I don't think these questions are covered within a parameter
10 and that's why I asked for them, I'm not looking --
11 JUDGE AGIUS: It's not for you to say, Mr. Ostojic.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Secondly, if I may, Your Honour, I think it's
13 important that we examine the issue, as I mentioned the other day, of
14 waiver. And I think that that's the issue that, if we examine these
15 photographs and all issues relating and questions relating to these aerial
16 images -- I'm sorry, aerial images, will help us to understand that if
17 they produce them and they know that they are going to be used in an
18 exhibit that this witness created, that this witness brought to court, I
19 think waiver is an important issue. So I would like to just add that, if
20 I may, to the issues that the Court may discuss.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
22 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: We stand adjourned until tomorrow morning at 9.00.
24 Yes, Mr. Meek. You disagree with your colleague?
25 MR. MEEK: Of course, I always agree with him. This has nothing
1 to do with that. My colleague Mr. Lazarevic told me that on the website
2 it showed the ground floor is closed from 7 to 9 tomorrow to take out
3 asbestos. So I'm wondering, if that's the case, how do we get in the
5 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't know. I have a status conference at 8.00.
6 So I will face the problem before you do, if that will be a problem. I
7 don't think there should be. I don't know where you come in from.
8 MR. MEEK: Well, there is a ground floor.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: There is a ground floor from this level and a ground
10 floor at the other level. If you come from the main entrance, there is no
11 asbestos that is being removed.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Friday, the 15th day of
14 September, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.