1 Wednesday, 18 October 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Registrar, could you kindly call the case,
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
9 IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam.
11 The situation has slightly changed from yesterday. I see that
12 Mr. Ostojic is back; Mr. Sarapa is not yet. Otherwise there are no
14 Any preliminaries? I understand there are none. I thank you. It
15 was Mr. Josse who was in possession of the floor. He was just starting
16 his cross-examination.
17 Good morning to you, sir.
18 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: We are going to proceed with the cross-examinations
20 today and hopefully finish. We will go our utmost. Thank you so much.
21 Mr. Josse.
22 WITNESS: ROBERT ALEXANDER FRANKEN [Resumed]
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse: [Continued]
24 Q. Does the name Brigadier General van der Wind mean anything to you?
25 A. Yes, it does.
1 Q. Was he involved in the events at all?
2 A. Not in the events. As far as I recollect, he was in charge of the
3 debriefing back in Holland.
4 Q. And in that regard, he produced a report; is that correct?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. As a matter of interest, have you read that report?
7 A. I did.
8 Q. I'd like to ask you to have a look at an extract from it. It's
9 our Exhibit 6D2. As we can see, it actually says that it's an excerpt
10 from page 45 of what is called "The Report Based on the Debriefing on
11 Srebrenica," dated the 4th of October, 1995. I assume that you'll be able
12 to help us since this report was written in Dutch; is that right?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. And we can see that paragraph 4.13 talks about:
15 "BiH soldiers, complete with blue caps or blue hats, came within a
16 distance of 15 metres from one of the observation posts. Resembling UN
17 personnel, they opened fire from this position in the direction of the BSA
18 front line, so that it seemed as if the UN had opened fire. In this way,
19 they attempted to draw fire from the BSA on the OP and thus involve
20 DutchBat in the combat actions."
21 Firstly, were you aware of anything like that happening at the
23 A. It happened a couple of times, yes.
24 Q. I appreciate it's a long time ago, but are you able to recall when
25 those couple of times --
1 A. I recollect one occasion where I was personally involved. It was
2 in the surroundings of observation post Alpha and that must have been in
3 February already. And, well, a couple of times it happened but I can't
4 name dates.
5 Q. Any recollection of it happening around the fall of the enclave,
6 in July?
7 A. No.
8 Q. And when you became aware of it happening in the earlier part of
9 1995, what, if anything, did you or Mr. Karremans try to do about it?
10 A. Well, we protested at the staff of the 28th Division. That's
11 about it.
12 Q. To any avail?
13 A. Sorry?
14 Q. Did that have any effect?
15 A. No, no, no, not that we could discover.
16 Q. Perhaps I could just ask you: You mentioned this occasion in
17 February, that you personally saw this; is that what you're saying?
18 A. Yes, I was at OP alpha and then it happened. BiH soldiers about
19 40, 50 metres away from that observation post started to fire in the
20 direction of BSA positions.
21 Q. And to what extent, in your view, did these ABiH soldiers appear
22 as if they were UN troops?
23 A. I couldn't -- in that case, I couldn't see their outfit. There
24 was -- it was pretty bushy, these surroundings, and there was just firing
25 and we could see there was firing in the direction of the Bosnian Serb
1 positions. And we were very sure we were not doing that, so the only
2 conclusion could be that it would be BiH soldiers.
3 Q. And what about information, either then or subsequently, that BiH
4 soldiers were deliberately putting on blue caps or blue hats to appear as
5 if they were part of your battalion?
6 A. I recollect one or two reports that we saw a couple of BiH
7 soldiers with a blue berets on distance, by which I mean there were
8 patrols that saw them within 400 or 500 metres.
9 Q. And have you any idea how they managed to get hold of those blue
10 hats or --
11 A. I really don't, no.
12 Q. You spent the 10th of July in Potocari; is that right?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. Did you receive any reports from Srebrenica that either ABiH
15 soldiers or alternatively Muslim irregulars were firing from near Bravo
16 Company towards BSA troops?
17 A. Not specific reports that they did because, on the 10th, we were
18 already trying to start up the defence of the city. And on the 10th,
19 there were still BiH forces in these surroundings and, well, they probably
20 shot at the Serbs when they approached. That's quite clear, yes. And
21 will have been done in the vicinity of my position, my blocking position,
22 as well, but it was not reported to me.
23 Q. But you're saying it's obvious that --
24 A. That is obvious, yes.
25 Q. You spoke yesterday about 114 wounded being evacuated from
1 Srebrenica to Potocari on the 11th of July.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Would be I right in saying that you are unable to say how many of
4 those injured had been wounded by reason of the shelling?
5 A. I don't know and I don't know whether they all came from
6 Srebrenica. I stated that yesterday as well. When the situation got a
7 bit stable, we counted them and we came to that amount, and where they
8 came from, et cetera. But the mass of these wounded had flesh wounds, and
9 I'm not a doctor so I don't know what the real cause was.
10 Q. Did you have any knowledge of some of the wounded having come from
11 the Srebrenica hospital and having --
12 A. Yes, some of them came from the hospital because we tried to
13 organise their evacuation. But, again, I don't know numbers.
14 Q. What I wasn't quite clear about is: The number of 114, that came
15 from one of your doctors, counting them.
16 A. Yes. My dressing station reported that to me. I didn't count
17 them myself.
18 Q. No, of course not.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Josse speak closer into the
20 microphone, please.
21 MR. JOSSE: I can certainly try.
22 Q. The 17th of July agreement was signed for what purpose?
23 A. In origin, it was on the wish of the Serb forces, of the Serb
24 delegation. And I already stated why I did sign it.
25 Q. Absolutely. As far as you were concerned, to what extent did it
1 relate to the evacuation of the wounded?
2 A. As far as I can remember, the evacuation of the wounded were in --
3 the total agreement or a total statement were part of it, and the details
4 of the evacuation of the wounded had to be arranged with ICRC.
5 Q. Were any UNHCR representatives involved in that meeting?
6 A. Not as far as I know, sir.
7 Q. I'd like to show you another document that describes what I think
8 is this meeting.
9 MR. JOSSE: But, Your Honour, out of an abundance of caution,
10 perhaps we could go into private session, because it does mention a name.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's go into private session for a while, please.
12 [Private session]
11 Page 2631-2632 redacted. Private session.
1 [Open session]
2 JUDGE AGIUS: We are in open session, Mr. Josse. I thank you so
4 MR. JOSSE:
5 Q. As I said a moment ago, Mr. Franken, what I'm now going to ask you
6 about is how you perceived the relationship between your command in
7 north-east sector and also Sarajevo, the relationship between the various
8 personnel and also command centres.
9 A. Yes, I can only tell you what they are both -- their positions
10 was. In Tuzla there was the Sector North-East which, in fact, was
11 commanded by the UN headquarters in Sarajevo. The only thing I can say to
12 that, that one pays in -- the command line, being the Sector North-East,
13 was pretty often forgotten in the end phase, which meant that the next
14 higher command, being Sarajevo, directly ordered DutchBat things, gave
15 them orders.
16 Q. Just clarify that in terms of personnel. I think my learned
17 friend Ms. Condon mentioned yesterday Lieutenant Colonel Brantz. He was
18 the DutchBat commander in Tuzla; is that right?
19 A. No, no, that's incorrect. It is Colonel Brantz. He was Chief of
20 Staff of the command of sector north-east, so that's the next higher
21 echelon in the UN line seen from my battalion.
22 Q. So he was a full colonel at the time.
23 A. He was a full colonel, yes.
24 Q. And he was based in Tuzla; is that right?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And he was the officer to whom Mr. Karremans was meant to report.
2 A. That was the staff, and he was Chief of Staff of that unit, that
3 we were supposed to report to, yes.
4 Q. And what was his formal line-of-command relationship with General
6 A. It was, in fact, the next higher echelon, which meant that General
7 Nicolai was Chief of Staff in Sarajevo, or one of the Chiefs of Staff, but
8 Chief of Staff in Sarajevo, and the next lower level, being headquarters
9 sector north-east, that is where Colonel Brantz was Chief of Staff.
10 Q. And General Nicolai at the time was a brigadier general.
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. So that's the equivalent to a one-star general in the US Army, for
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And a colonel is the rank immediately below that, a full colonel,
16 that is.
17 A. Yes. That's correct again.
18 Q. Did you perceive various problems with communication either with
19 or on the part of sector north-east in the final phase that you have been
20 describing over the last couple of days?
21 A. As I stated about that before, we had some problems with -- as far
22 as I contacted my higher echelon, it was always the staff of the ops room
23 of the sector north-east, and we had some trouble with them, yes.
24 Q. And the problem was communication difficulties, in particular,
25 because some of the staff didn't speak sufficiently good English.
1 A. I don't know what the reason was, but to be quite clear, once in a
2 while I had the idea that there were no soldiers at the other side but
3 civilians they just took off the street and didn't know what they were
4 talking about.
5 Q. I'm going to quote --
6 A. Just to put it clear.
7 Q. I'm going to quote what you said to the Dutch parliamentary
8 inquiry into the events in Srebrenica on the 11th of November of 2002.
9 You said:
10 "Certainly, in the final stages, HQ in Sarajevo, i.e., General
11 Nicolai, was acting without the knowledge of sector north-east. The
12 problem with the staff at north-east was that it was an internationally
13 composed staff, a lot of whom had very little English. This led to an
14 awful lot of misunderstandings and the most extraordinary arguments which
15 I shan't bother you with now. I, myself, had a terrible row with a head
16 of operations who claimed that I didn't even have any OPs at all,, because
17 of course, he knew far better than I did."
18 And, in fairness, you went on and said:
19 "Contacts with Lieutenant Colonel Brantz went reasonably smoothly
20 but the usual line contacts through the staff were a disaster. I have no
21 other word for it."
22 Do you stand by that?
23 A. In other words, what I just stated, so yes.
24 Q. Did you, in those days in July, personally speak to either
25 Mr. Brantz or Mr. Nicolai?
1 A. I had one conversation with Colonel Brantz, yes, I remember. But
2 now you're going to ask me when exactly. But somewhere in these days.
3 Q. But you didn't personally communicate with Mr. Nicolai --
4 A. No.
5 Q. -- is that right?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And I assume you had no communication with sir Rupert Smith
8 either, no personal communication.
9 A. No, no.
10 Q. I just ask you that for completeness. Did you get the impression
11 that General Nicolai, again towards the end of these events, was giving
12 orders which reflected a slight lack of realism on his part?
13 A. At least I had the idea that the orders we got from the UN - and,
14 again, I do not know whether General Nicolai was the person who gave
15 them - but the orders we got Sarajevo led me to the idea that they did not
16 exactly know what was happening or what the situation was.
17 Q. At a later stage in your evidence at the parliamentary inquiry, I
18 think you said:
19 "During the end phase, the Dutch version of General Nicolai, again
20 first giving the order. And this is quite unusual, to defend the UN unit
21 and its resources, to offer protection or something like it to the
22 population, that you almost got the impression that the man had been out
23 of the picture for a few days, as we say."
24 Again --
25 A. It's the same, what I said, only in these days I was a bit more
1 diplomatic, I understand.
2 Q. And which order specifically are you referring to? Can you
4 A. Well, I remember that it was specifically about the order that we
5 had to defend the city and then we were ordered to, what is called, assist
6 in the evacuation. And then in the morning we got an order to defend
7 again, and two hours later we got the guidelines of how to assist in the
8 evacuation, just one example.
9 Q. Thank you very much.
10 A. You're welcome.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: So I thank you so much, Mr. Josse.
12 I think it's Madam Fauveau who is next. Madam Fauveau is
13 defending General Miletic.
14 Madam Fauveau, you may proceed.
15 Cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Franken, you mentioned the supply of DutchBat
17 or supplies, and you said that your request for supplies was sent to
18 Sarajevo. Is that correct?
19 A. My request went directly to my logistics base in Busovaca and they
20 proceeded that to Sarajevo.
21 Q. Can it be said that you did not send your request for supplies
22 directly to the organs of Republika Srpska?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. And when a request was granted, that supplies would arrive, did
25 you receive notification of this authorisation through your command,
1 through the United Nations command? Is that right?
2 A. No. I got the confirmation of a convoy directly from my logistics
3 base I mentioned before.
4 Q. But, at any rate, you would not receive it directly from the
5 organs of Republika Srpska.
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. Do you know who within Republika Srpska was in charge of granting
8 authorisations for convoys?
9 A. No, I do not.
10 Q. You also stated that the convoys would start from Tuzla or
11 Sarajevo. Is it correct to say that they would leave from territories
12 controlled by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Is it also correct to say that they had to go through a
15 check-point of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
16 A. There was a check-point, but on the Bosnian -- on the BiH side
17 they were not controlled or inspected.
18 Q. Is it correct to say that, at some point, the DutchBat would get
19 supplies from Bratunac, from Fontana Hotel?
20 A. Not that I'm aware of. No, it's not correct.
21 Q. So DutchBat never bought any goods from the Fontana Hotel for the
22 members of the DutchBat?
23 A. Not as far as I recollect.
24 Q. Well, you stated that you had major problems in terms of fuel. Is
25 it right to say that, at the time, the UNHCR had stocks of fuel that were
1 stocked there in the Potocari compound?
2 A. That is correct. UNHCR had fuel and MSF had some fuel.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Can we be more specific as regards the time-frame,
4 please, Mr. Franken?
5 THE WITNESS: Well --
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Was the situation always the same at any given
7 moment, or did it change as we went along or at any other time that you
8 may be able to specify?
9 THE WITNESS: Yes. In March, Your Honour, UNHCR and MSF had
10 stocks of fuel on the compound.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Is it right to say that you used the fuel stocks belonging to the
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. Is it also right to say that the UNHCR and MSF still had fuel in
16 July 1995?
17 A. That is not correct, because we totally used their supplies during
18 March, April.
19 Q. You stated that one of the DutchBat tasks was to facilitate
20 distribution of humanitarian aid in the enclave, and you said that the
21 UNHCR convoys had problems when it came to entering the enclave. But is
22 it not fair to say that, at some point in time, the UNHCR convoys had
23 problems with the DutchBat?
24 A. No, that's absolutely not right, because there were no problems
25 between UNHCR and DutchBat.
1 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown Exhibit
2 5D54. Can we turn to page 4, last paragraph.
3 Q. Can you read the last paragraph.
4 A. Yes, I can. You mean aloud?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: No, no, no. We don't need any reading lessons.
6 Just read it for yourself and then Madam Fauveau will be asking you a
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. That's
9 what I had in mind.
10 THE WITNESS: I did read it.
11 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Is it this a fair description of the events?
13 A. Yes. It has to do with the situation that the BiH wanted to
14 arrange check-points themselves, and I forbid that and gave them the
15 guarantee that we would check all NGO vehicles coming in the enclave. And
16 probably this is the consequence of that. Yes.
17 Q. Is it fair to say that the UNHCR representatives were not very
18 happy with the situation?
19 A. No. That is fair, but we talked about that and they understood.
20 So I do not see that as a problem.
21 Q. But is it right to say, however, that some UNHCR convoys that were
22 destined to the enclave did not arrive in the enclave precisely because of
23 the searches carried out by the DutchBat?
24 A. No, that is not correct.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown page 5 of
1 the same document.
2 Q. Please have a quick look at the paragraph starting with the
3 words "On 20th June ..."
4 A. I read it.
5 Q. Do you remember this convoy that was turned back to Belgrade?
6 A. I do not because I didn't turn back. Probably UNHCR itself did.
7 Q. At any rate, you would allow for the possibility that the UNHCR
8 returned this convoy to Belgrade because of search or searches carried out
9 by DutchBat.
10 A. That's what I read here, yes.
11 Q. With regard to the supplies to the enclave, can it be said that
12 the Serbs offered to come to an agreement with the Muslim authorities to
13 supply the enclave?
14 A. That is correct. There was a proposition of the Serbs to start up
15 some trade.
16 Q. And such proposition would involve all kinds of goods but for
17 weapons; right?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Can it be said that this was never really materialised because of
20 the objections or opposition by the military leaders in the enclave?
21 A. That is correct as well.
22 Q. Is it also right to say that there was a black market throughout
23 your stay in the enclave?
24 A. There were goods sold at the marketplace, yes, cigarettes and
25 things like that.
1 Q. And can it also be said that a large part of the humanitarian aid
2 coming into the enclave was taken by the ABiH?
3 A. I stated that before. When a supply came in, there was a part
4 reserved for the 28th Division, yes.
5 Q. But is it possible that the Serbs knew that part of the
6 humanitarian aid would be directed to the ABiH?
7 A. Everything is possible.
8 Q. You also mentioned MSF, Medecins Sans Frontieres. You said that
9 this organisation was responsible for medical care provided in the
10 enclave. Isn't it fair to say that at some point in time there was a
11 conflict between the town authorities and MSF?
12 A. There was.
13 Q. And this conflict arose in March 1995, didn't it?
14 A. Somewhere in that period, yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Is it also right to say that at that time, because of the
16 conflict, MSF stopped looking after the population, providing medical
18 A. Yes, that's correct as well.
19 Q. Is it right to say that they even refused allowing local doctors
20 to use their medical supplies?
21 A. I do not recollect details like that, but I know they stopped
22 their aid.
23 Q. And is it right to say that, during this conflict, DutchBat
24 doctors also had some problems in terms of providing medical care to the
25 local population?
1 A. Now, yes and no. I'll explain that. My surgeons had problems to
2 go to the civilian hospital, because they tried to join the MSF, in their
3 point of view, but the medical care we directly gave to the population was
4 not stopped for that reason. We had to stop that a couple of weeks
5 earlier because of the lack of fuel. We had our mobile, what do you call
6 it, Red Cross point, aid points, in several villages which were visited
7 each week, but we had to stop that aid. What stopped as a consequence of
8 the conflict were my surgeons who, in fact, refused to go to the hospital
9 because they took the side of the MSF.
10 Q. Is it right to say that, during that period, starting in March or
11 April 1995 until the fall of the enclave, there were enough medicines in
13 A. The answer will be in two parts. One, the medical supplies of the
14 battalion were on the lowest level acceptable. That's why we stopped
15 supporting the civilians as well. I'm not exactly aware of the supplies
16 MSF had, but the hospital stayed open. I do not exactly know with what
17 supplies, or whatever.
18 Q. Are you aware of a problem in terms of medical supplies in January
19 and in February 1995?
20 A. You mean supplies of the battalion or you mean supplies for
21 Medecins Sans Frontieres?
22 Q. I mean medical supplies for the battalion.
23 A. In January, when I arrived, they were at an acceptable -- the
24 necessary level.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
1 5D53. Can we turn to page 4.
2 Q. Please have a look at the paragraph starting with, "On 10
3 April ..." and then the one after that.
4 A. I did read it.
5 Q. Does this paragraph remind you of the events in January 1995?
6 A. Which event do you mean?
7 Q. Well, the lack of medical supplies.
8 A. As I said, in January, we were at an acceptable level, acceptable
9 is that we could support our own battalion, and that altered, obviously,
10 in April. In January, March -- no, wrong. In February, March, we had to
11 stop the support to the local population. And then, as it's stated here,
12 in April we resumed that.
13 Q. However, in this document, the opposite is said. In this
14 paragraph, starting with, "On 10 April," it looks as though after April
15 1995 there were enough supplies, even too many.
16 A. After April 1995. It looks in this paragraph like that, but I can
17 absolutely assure you that we had a level up of the supplies. And in the
18 end we had the iron -- only the iron stock and below that. And the iron
19 stock, I stated above that before, it was the minimum level acceptable to
20 guarantee medical support to the battalion.
21 Q. Is it right to say that, indeed, 90 per cent of medical supplies
22 were used to provide medical care to the local population?
23 A. I wouldn't know. I absolutely not.
24 Q. And do you know that some members of the ABiH were treated in the
25 medical premises of DutchBat?
1 A. Yes, I know. That's correct.
2 Q. You mentioned OP Echo taken by the Serbs on the 8th of June,
3 1995. Is it not fair to say that OP Echo was in a location used by the
4 Muslims to get out of the enclave?
5 A. That is not correct. As far as we know, the area directly -- or 1
6 or 2 kilometres west of OP Echo was used. We didn't have -- in the
7 beginning we didn't have any observation post there.
8 Q. Isn't it fair to say that the Muslims used the people positioned
9 on OP Echo in order to be protected when they would leave the enclave?
10 A. I don't think that is correct. What we know is that they used the
11 location of OP Echo to get wood and things out of the local furniture
12 factory, which was in front of OP Echo.
13 Q. When you said they used the factory, who do you have in mind, the
14 Serbs or the Muslims?
15 A. I had the Muslims in mind, yes.
16 Q. And this factory used by the Muslims, was it in the territory
17 controlled by the Serb army?
18 A. The problem with this factory was that the UN border went right
19 through it. There was a part in the Serb armed area and there was a part
20 in the Muslim area. Above that, there were two other borders. There was
21 a Serb border, which obviously was in that location so that the complete
22 factory was within Serb territory, and there was a Muslim border going
23 further south with the opposite result.
24 Q. Did the Serbs try to intervene in order to solve the problem
25 arising around the factory?
1 A. Well, they protested with us that what the Muslims were looting,
2 that, what they said, Serb factory, and on that occasion, I had contact
3 with Major Nikolic. I said, "Okay, we can stop that but just let me have
4 the gear to stop it." I asked him to allow a convoy coming in with --
5 well, means, like barbed wire, et cetera, to close that factory down at
6 our side, at the north side, so the Muslims wouldn't be able to come in
7 anymore. But I never got that material because a request for resupply
8 with these things was denied.
9 Q. Is it fair to say that the headquarters of the 28th Division was
10 in the very city of Srebrenica?
11 A. They had, more or less, two headquarters. There was one classroom
12 they used in the village of Potocari and they used some rooms in the
13 former post office of Srebrenica.
14 Q. Is it, therefore, fair to say that they used civilian buildings
15 for military purposes?
16 A. Yes, as did DutchBat.
17 Q. Is it fair to say that Lieutenant Colonel Karremans informed you
18 of the fact that, in the evening of the 10th of July, he had seen about
19 1.500 armed men in the centre of Srebrenica?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. You stated that Srebrenica had been bombed on the 10th of July, or
22 shelled. Would you allow for the possibility that these armed men would
23 have been the target of the Serb army?
24 A. Again, possible.
25 Q. And is it also possible that the headquarters of the 28th Division
1 would have been the target of this shelling?
2 A. Yes, it is possible, but I have to make one remark: Then they
3 were very poor gunners because they hit the whole city instead of those
4 two locations.
5 Q. You mentioned some brigades of the 28th Division. Do you know
6 where their HQ was?
7 A. No. It was not recognisable as such.
8 Q. You mentioned an ultimatum delivered by the Serbs.
9 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] It was Exhibit P2264. Can it be
10 shown to the witness.
11 Q. It is, indeed, the transcription of a radio message that you
12 received or that you interpreted as being a Serb ultimatum.
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. What language did you receive this message in?
15 A. By radio, in English.
16 Q. And the individual who delivered the message did not introduce
17 themselves, did they?
18 A. I only, myself, heard a part of -- the last part of that radio
19 message, and I don't know whether he identified himself or what.
20 Q. In reality, you had no possibility, no means, to say exactly that
21 the person delivering the message was a member of the republic -- of the
22 VRS, of BSA.
23 A. No.
24 Q. Therefore, you do not know at all what the origin of this message
1 A. Well, the only thing I knew was that it came through our means on
2 our frequency, and so it is, to use your words, fair to say that it's
3 probably sent out of our APCs taken by the Bosnian Serbs, armoured
4 personnel carriers.
5 Q. Let us assume that it came from your vehicle, but you don't know
6 whether your vehicle had been taken by regular forces or by irregular
8 A. That's correct. We had no possibilities to verify whether this
9 was, by the BSA, an authorised message, if that is what you're looking
11 Q. Is it fair to say that the Srebrenica population wanted to be
12 evacuated out of Srebrenica to Potocari?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And is it also right to say that the DutchBat decided, made a
15 decision, to evacuate the population from Srebrenica to Potocari?
16 A. We led the way to our camp. That is correct, yes.
17 Q. When you decided to evacuate the population to Potocari, did you
18 have any idea of what was to happen, to ensue?
19 A. No. We were not -- we couldn't be sure about what was going to
21 Q. But you knew, at any rate, that these people could not stay in
22 Potocari, didn't you?
23 A. Well, they could stay for a short period, but that was not an
24 issue at that very moment. I had to take, pretty swiftly, measures to
25 stop the situation in the city of Srebrenica.
1 Q. Granted. But, anyway, the shifting of the population to Potocari
2 was a temporary measure, wasn't it?
3 A. Yes. That's correct.
4 Q. Are you aware of the fact that Lieutenant Colonel Karremans turned
5 to the BSA in order to obtain aid in order to evacuate the population from
6 Potocari to territories held by the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
7 A. The only thing I know is that he went there and asked for help, in
8 fact, and the rest I'm not aware of. I wasn't there.
9 Q. Is it right to say that DutchBat members were supposed to help in
10 the evacuation and that they had to check that -- one of their main tasks
11 was to check who, among the population, wanted to remain in the former
13 A. No. That's incorrect. We were supposed to help or to facilitate
14 the evacuation. We spoke to the population through that committee, and
15 they -- it was not our task to ask every individual whether he wanted to
16 go or not.
17 Q. I'm not suggesting that it was your task to ask each and every
18 individual, but at any rate, your task was to see whether there was a part
19 of the population, some people, who wanted to stay. Can it be expressed
20 in this way?
21 A. No. Again, it was not my task to check that. We had
22 representatives, they represented the population, and the wishes of that
23 population came through these representatives. My order to help was to
24 assist in the practical execution of the evacuation.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown Exhibit
1 1D33. This is the prior statement by the witness to the OTP on the 26th
2 and 27th of September, 1995.
3 Q. Can we turn to page 4, last sentence. Please, sir, could you read
4 this sentence, saying, [In English] "We had to check who wanted to stay in
5 the enclave." [Interpretation] It's the last paragraph.
6 A. Yes, I see it. But let me have the context, please. Just hold.
7 I want to read the paragraph above as well. Thank you.
8 As I read this sentence, that it is a wish of Mladic or the
9 Bosnian Serbs that we had to check and it was not in my orders from the
11 Q. Since you had a look at the context, can you confirm that, indeed,
12 you uttered this sentence after the first meeting Lieutenant Colonel
13 Karremans had with General Mladic?
14 A. Just hold, please. I can't find what you're referring to. Just
15 hold. If you mean that I did utter the sentence, "we had to check who
16 wanted to stay in the enclave," then that is correct; that, as stated
17 here, it would have been after the first meeting. Yes.
18 Q. Sorry, maybe there was a mistake. My mistake. It was after the
19 second meeting, but at any rate it was in the evening of the 11th of
21 A. Yes. That is as I read it here, yes, because I do not remember
22 details like that now.
23 Q. Did you personally see or did any Dutch member report that there
24 were people in Potocari who wanted to remain in the former enclave?
25 A. I did not, nor, to my knowledge, did any Dutch member of DutchBat.
1 Q. Do you know or were you made aware of the fact that some people
2 did not want to go to Kladanj, that they wanted to go somewhere else?
3 A. No. I was not made aware of that and I did not know, because
4 there originally was given a possibility. As I recollect, Mladic said
5 that they could point out the direction they want to go themselves, but in
6 later agreement or negotiations or briefings, it was said that they would
7 go to Kladanj. And discussions about the direction or destination I did
8 not take part of, I do not know of.
9 Q. When you say later on, when Kladanj was mentioned, did that happen
10 after the meeting to which some representative of the Muslim population,
11 including Mr. Mandzic, were present together with Mladic?
12 A. I don't know whether Kladanj was mentioned in the second meeting
13 or the third meeting in the morning of the 12th. I don't recollect that
14 anymore, but ...
15 Q. And you personally, you did not attend the meeting, did you?
16 A. No, I was -- no, I didn't.
17 Q. And you don't know whether it is likely that the Muslim
18 representative had requested to go to Kladanj.
19 A. No. That's correct.
20 Q. Can it be said that, on the 12th of July, when the buses arrived,
21 the people, the population, really were in a hurry to get on board the
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Can it also be said that, to your knowledge, nobody was forced to
25 get into buses?
1 A. Not in that stage, at the beginning. There was, later on, some
2 force used by Bosnian Serb soldiers to get a hell of a lot of people in a
3 bus, which we reacted on by preparing busloads, so to say.
4 Q. Indeed, what you say is that some soldiers wanted that to be done
5 more quickly, but nobody was against boarding the buses, were they?
6 A. In general, I didn't experience that they were against bussing,
8 Q. Is it right to say that you personally did not witness the
9 separation of men of able-bodied men from their families?
10 A. That is correct. I only saw the result.
11 Q. You even received reports, for instance, in the evening of the
12 12th or in the morning of the 13th of July, saying that the men, including
13 men, did arrive in Kladanj?
14 A. That was in the late afternoon of the 12th. That's correct.
15 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Could the witness be shown 5 D76?
16 Q. Sir, this is a report dated 12th July 1995 and you had an
17 opportunity to see it during your interview with the OTP in 2003. You
18 then said that this report seemed to be genuine and that it was exact.
19 Could you read it again and confirm that it is a report that is exact?
20 A. Yes. That describes exactly the situation at that moment. That's
22 Q. And during your testimony, you mentioned Mr. Nuhanovic, who was a
23 member of the Muslim delegation. He was the father of one of the UNMO
24 interpreters. Is it fair to say that you saw Mr. Nuhanovic senior go with
25 his family, boarding a bus?
1 A. That is correct. I was -- I accompanied him until about 30 metres
2 out of our main gate.
3 Q. Were you able to see that he got on the bus together with his
5 A. He did.
6 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can the witness be shown -- oh,
7 before I ask for this document I have another set of questions.
8 Q. You mentioned the bodies of nine men you were informed about by
9 Coster. Could you tell me whether, after being informed about the bodies,
10 whether the bodies were buried?
11 A. No. They were out of our UN area and we did not bury the bodies.
12 Q. Isn't it fair to say that at least one person committed suicide
13 during these two days? And the person who committed suicide, was the
14 person buried?
15 A. Sorry. Yes, both are correct.
16 Q. Why did the person who committed suicide get buried whilst the
17 other nine bodies were just left there?
18 A. Because the man was in one of the factory halls within our UN
19 territory and the nine bodies were about, yeah, well, about 100, 150
20 metres out and we couldn't go there freely, because the discovery of these
21 bodies was done by a sneaky patrol. And we were not able to go out there,
22 what do you call it, to bury the bodies in any place or to pick them up.
23 Q. Lastly, I would like to show you Exhibit P453. This is the
24 statement you signed on the 17th of July, 1995.
25 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Can we turn to the last page, just
1 before the signatures. I think this is the last part of page 1, which is
2 the English version. I'm sorry. There is also a signed version. I'm
3 sorry. We can -- then it would be page 3. Can we see page 3.
4 Q. Sir, is it fair to say that you had some comments on this
5 agreement which you added at the end of this statement?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And the Serbs did agree to you mentioning your comments in the
8 body of the statement.
9 A. Well, as I stated before, the lawyer in the Serb delegation got a
10 bit, what do you call that, mad about that, and there was a short and
11 pretty tough discussion within the Serb delegation after my writing that
12 sentence to the ...
13 Q. Sir, is it fair to say that this declaration was not signed by
14 members of the BSA?
15 A. To my knowledge, that is correct.
16 Q. It was, indeed, on the Serb side, signed by Mr. Deronjic, who was
17 the representative of the civilian authorities in Srebrenica, wasn't it?
18 A. He was presented to me as being the new civil authority of
19 Srebrenica, yes.
20 Q. Sir, you made a statement to the OTP on the 17th of October,
21 2003. You then said that the Sector North-East report -- I mean, I can
22 show you this but I don't think it's necessary. You said that those
23 reports were, to a large part, sort of, based on the reports they would
24 get from you. Is that right?
25 A. You mean the report that Sector North-East sent to his higher
1 echelons about the situation in Srebrenica? That was absolutely based on
2 our information, yes.
3 Q. Did you send reports on a daily basis to the Sector North-East?
4 A. Yes, several. There was quite an extended reporting system within
5 the UN channels.
6 Q. And would you also receive information from the Sector North-East
7 as to what had happened on other fronts in BiH?
8 A. Yes, we generally got those. Yes.
9 Q. But for the reports you would send to the Sector North-East, did
10 you also send reports to the Dutch authorities?
11 A. No. There was not a reporting line to the Dutch authorities.
12 Periodically, there was contact to The Hague when it was thought to be
14 Q. And such contacts would be done orally, or was there some sort of
15 written trace of it?
16 A. If you mean the contacts to The Hague, as far as I know, they were
18 Q. When you left the enclave, what happened to the documents you had
19 within DutchBat?
20 A. Well, as stated before, we had the order from the UN to destroy
21 documents and archives and even our computers. We did not complete that
22 task completely, so what was left was brought along to Zagreb and later on
23 to Holland.
24 Q. Did you know why the order had been given to destroy the
25 documents, the archives?
1 A. No. I estimated it as being a form of panic or something.
2 Q. And do you remember who gave you the order? Did it come from
3 Sarajevo, from Tuzla or from Zagreb?
4 A. No. No, I do not.
5 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, sir. I have no
6 further questions.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Madam Fauveau.
8 There are two Defence teams left, Mr. Haynes and Mr. Meek. I
9 don't know who is going first. Have you -- I think if you -- we will have
10 a break in about seven, eight minutes' time, Mr. Haynes. And you -- he
11 broke the lectern now. I think we need a break. I think we need a
12 break. It's all right. Thank you.
13 Mr. Haynes is appearing for General Pandurevic and he will be
14 cross-examining you.
15 Mr. Haynes.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
18 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes:
19 Q. Good morning, Mr. Franken. I'm going to ask you a few quick
20 questions up to the break, and then there will come a natural point
21 because I will need my case manager to go into the front row to show you a
23 I want to ask you a few questions, to start off with, about fuel.
24 You told us on Monday that by July of 1995, the battalion was surviving on
25 250 litres of fuel per day.
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. We've heard from Mr. Boering that none of the OPs around the
3 enclave ever became inoperative in the sense that you weren't able to
4 provide power to them.
5 A. That's correct as well. The OPs had their own stocks and they
6 went down to a minimum level as well.
7 Q. Right.
8 A. And they should think about a daily use of 8 to 10 litres.
9 Q. That's very helpful. Because each of the OPs had its own
10 generator, didn't it --
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. -- to provide it power? And would that have been a similar
13 generator to that which provided power to your headquarters in Srebrenica
14 itself, or would that have been a larger generator?
15 A. In Srebrenica we had very large generators.
16 Q. And the general level of consumption of that generator would have
17 been what?
18 A. I really don't know. I only can -- I knew the figure. We figured
19 out the total use of the battalion a day, what was necessary, and I really
20 don't know the details, how many litres that specific generator used
21 during a couple of hours, or something.
22 Q. Well, you probably pre-empted my next question which might have
23 been a little unfair, which was, I am going to ask you what the total
24 reservoir of your vehicles was in terms of diesel fuel.
25 A. I'm sorry. No.
1 Q. Because you also said that the daily requirement of the battalion
2 was 8.000 to 9.000 litres of fuel.
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Or, putting it another way, 9 tonnes.
5 A. A bit less, because --
6 Q. Yes. And was that the sort of level of order of fuel you were
7 making to your superior command to be delivered to you?
8 A. We ordered amounts, based on experience, of what, when it came
9 through, was allowed by the Serbs, and we tried to make stocks -- to
10 perform stocks on the base for even the worst times.
11 Q. And it's right to say - you've answered this question fairly, I
12 think, to a number of other people - that for the first three or four
13 months of your tour of duty, there were no difficulties with supplies at
14 all, were there?
15 A. That's incorrect.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. February, as I remember, we had a last fuel convoy coming in.
18 That's why I started afterwards using the UNHCR stocks. And, in general,
19 the first couple of months we got regularly resupplied, yes.
20 Q. And the sort of levels of resupply were in many, many tonnes per
22 A. No, it was not constant on the week. That was the strange thing.
23 All at once we got a couple of convoys and then there was a silence of a
24 couple of weeks that we couldn't get anything, et cetera. So it was
25 not -- you couldn't count on when a convoy came in and with what.
1 Q. Okay. Now, you told Madam Fauveau a little while ago something
2 about the black market trade that was taking place between those within
3 the enclave and those outside the enclave.
4 A. Sorry. As I referred to the black market question, I meant goods
5 that were sold in the marketplace in Srebrenica, sold by Muslim people to
6 Muslim people, and I had a question about the offer of the Serbs to start
7 up trade with the Muslims within the enclave. So there are two things.
8 Q. Well, I'm asking you about trade between those within the enclave
9 and those outside the enclave.
10 A. Okay.
11 Q. That began during your tour of duty, didn't it? Or there was a
12 discussion about that --
13 A. There was a discussion. The Serbs proposed that and then we tried
14 to arrange meetings at OP Papa between the Serbs and the Muslims, and they
15 had to come to an agreement.
16 Q. And were you conscious that trade did take place between Muslims
17 within the enclave and Serbs outside?
18 A. Not through these arrangements anyway, because that was stopped by
19 the Bosnian Muslim authorities.
20 Q. Right. I'm going to ask you whether you were ever aware that fuel
21 was being sold by Muslims within the enclave to Serbs outside the enclave?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Okay.
24 MR. HAYNES: Well, in that event, that ends that particular line
25 of questioning, and that may be a sensible moment to take a break.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Haynes and Mr. Franken. We
2 will reconvene in 25 minutes' time. Thank you.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
4 [The witness stood down]
5 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Why is the witness not here? Why is the
7 witness not here?
8 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, I understood that one of the counsel for
9 the accused had an issue they wanted to raise pertaining to a document
10 that I had advised them I wished to use on redirect.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Then why don't we leave that until the witness has
12 finished his testimony? You raise it in his absence, of course.
13 MR. BOURGON: Mr. President, it's a document that the Prosecution
14 intends to use in its redirect with that witness.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Why interrupt the cross-examination? I mean it's --
16 MR. BOURGON: We just believed it was the proper time, to do it
17 now, rather than while he's sitting there, to have those arguments.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's hear the submissions now. Who wishes
19 to make submissions? Mr. Bourgon?
20 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
22 First of all, Mr. President, I'd like to say I'm grateful to my
23 colleague for providing in advance this document that he intends to use
24 during his redirect. This is a new document that is not on the Rule 65
25 ter list.
1 Now, of course, there are competing theories here, whether the
2 Prosecution can use new documents as part of its redirect. We believe
3 that the Prosecution cannot use a document that is not on its Rule 65 ter
4 list, even though it is in redirect, of course, unless we would have used
5 the document during cross-examination, which we haven't done.
6 This is a document, it is in agreement, that the witness referred
7 to yesterday between General Mladic and General Smith. General Smith
8 being a witness in this case, we find that we have problems understanding
9 why this document was not put on the Rule 65 ter list of the Prosecution
10 in the first place, give that General Smith is a witness.
11 Now, this is their choice. When they do that Rule 65 ter list,
12 they elect to take some documents and not to take some documents. Now,
13 this document in this case was disclosed to the Defence at some point in
14 the past during the pre-trial phase, but it was not put on the Rule 65 ter
15 list, and at this point we say that this should not be allowed.
16 Now, with this specific document, the Defence, we spoke amongst
17 each other, and we do not intend to object to this specific document being
18 used in the present circumstances. However, what is important to us is
19 that we want to make sure that we adopt a position and principle about
20 what documents can and cannot be used by the Prosecution as part of
21 redirect when it's a document that has not been used in cross-examination
22 by the Defence and when it's a document that was not on its Rule 65 ter
24 That's the issue that we wanted to bring to the attention of the
25 Trial Chamber. But we understand, given the nature of this document, at
1 one point or another, it will come in as evidence. It is highly relevant
2 and it falls in the category of those documents maybe that, yes,
3 everybody, all parties, have an interest in having on board. But that is
4 not to say that for future documents the same position will be adopted by
5 the Defence.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
7 MR. BOURGON: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Bourgon.
9 Mr. Thayer?
10 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President. I have no explanation
11 for why the document is not on the 65 ter list. However, this, as my
12 learned colleague has already indicated, was disclosed six months ago to
13 the Defence. It is relevant evidence that goes to an issue that I did not
14 lead this witness on. I believe that the door was opened. It's just a
15 short few questions about the document. That is why I supplied it, in
16 advance of his testimony, to the Defence.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
18 Yes, Mr. Josse.
19 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, two points: First of all, I would like
20 to see how my learned friend deals with it in re-examination to make sure
21 that it's strictly relevant and it arises from questions asked by the
22 Defence; and secondly, it is an important document; it's clearly going to
23 be admitted into evidence.
24 What I'd invite the Chamber to do is, if the questions from the
25 Prosecution invite further questions from the Defence, for to us have the
1 right to further cross-examine upon the document and solely upon the
3 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Let's have a very short recess, two
4 minutes or so, to discuss this last point.
5 As regards the guideline that should govern your conduct in the
6 future in such like occasions, we don't need to come down with that today,
7 but we agree with you, Mr. Bourgon, that guidelines are called for. And,
8 mind you, it's a matter of law that we can only repeat to you, because
9 it's not something new that has fallen down on us from heaven today. But
10 we would prefer to formalise it once it has been raised.
11 As regards whether there should be an opportunity for further
12 cross-examination following the re-examination by your learned colleague,
13 I think I need to consult my colleagues. We'll be back with you in a
14 minute or so.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We will be back to you in a minute.
17 --- Break taken at 11.09 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.11 a.m.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. To answer your question, Mr. Josse, our
20 decision is: If it will be the case, we will allow further
21 cross-examination, only limited to the questions and answers that would
22 have followed in relation to this document.
23 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: So, Mr. Haynes -- let's get the witness first, yes.
25 As regards the question you raised, Mr. Bourgon, I mean our
1 position, more or less, is that, as I explained to you before, this is a
2 matter that is generally dealt with under our rules. You know what the
3 position is. Our position is that we will deal with each case as it
4 arises depending on the particulars of each case.
5 [The witness takes the stand]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, thank you, Mr. Franken, for having been patient
7 with us.
8 Mr. Haynes.
9 WITNESS: ROBERT ALEXANDER FRANKEN [Resumed]
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Haynes: [Continued]
11 Q. Mr. Franken, so that you're clear, I think I have four short
12 topics to deal with you and then I'll be done, okay?
13 The first of those is about a specific requirement of your
14 mission. Did you, during the course of your tour of duty, receive regular
15 details from the Muslim forces within the enclave as to where they had
16 placed land mines?
17 A. No, we did not get information like that.
18 Q. So that we are clear, I used the word "regular." Did you receive
19 any reports as to where they had placed land mines?
20 A. No, none at all.
21 Q. Were you aware, for example, through your liaison officers, that
22 land mines were being placed by the Muslim forces around and outside the
24 A. We got information from DutchBat II that there were locations
25 where land mines were.
1 Q. And did you ask the Muslim forces if they would tell you where
2 they had placed them?
3 A. That has been asked but we didn't get an answer.
4 Q. Thank you. Can I take it that land mines were no part of your
5 battalion's arsenal?
6 A. No, absolutely not.
7 Q. And you had no idea where the forces within the enclave were
8 obtaining land mines to place elsewhere.
9 A. No.
10 Q. Thank you very much. That's very helpful.
11 The next point I want to move on to is your knowledge of
12 Srebrenica itself. You're plainly somebody who, between January and July
13 1995, visited many parts, many buildings, within the town.
14 A. Many parts of the town, yes. Buildings is -- I only was in the
15 town hall.
16 Q. Srebrenica wasn't an exclusively Muslim town during the time of
17 your tour of duty, was it? There were some Serbs who lived there.
18 A. We heard that there were still some Serbs, yes.
19 Q. And there was, for example, within the town of Srebrenica an
20 Orthodox church and an Orthodox cemetery?
21 A. There was a church, yes. The cemetery was a bit north of
22 Srebrenica town.
23 Q. Did you visit, yourself, the church and/or the cemetery?
24 A. I did not visit the church. I saw that cemetery every time I went
25 to Srebrenica because it was alongside the road.
1 Q. Right. And what state was it in?
2 A. Not destroyed, if you mean that. Well, poor maintenance, but not
4 Q. Okay. I'll move on from there.
5 Can we move on to the question of arms? When you arrived with
6 DutchBat III at Srebrenica, would you have said your battalion was fully
7 and adequately armed?
8 A. No, it was not.
9 Q. What sort of small-arms provision did you have per man? How many
10 rounds per man did you have?
11 A. We should have had 450, and when we started we had up and about
13 Q. That's the number of rounds per man. And at that time you had, I
14 think, in excess of 400 soldiers.
15 A. Yes, correct.
16 Q. So we can calculate -- I can't, but somebody can calculate exactly
17 how many rounds of small-arms fire you had.
18 A. Yeah.
19 Q. Would you expect that sort of munition to degrade during the
20 course of the time that you were there?
21 A. Yes. It degrades pretty quickly when you use it under, what we
22 call, operational circumstances, which means it is in magazines and in the
23 weapon and carried around.
24 Q. And were there no storage facilities for your small arms
1 A. We had storage facilities, being a sea container.
2 Q. And were they used?
3 A. Yes. As far as we had anything in it, it was used, yes.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Can we move on to, as it were, the lodgeable
5 weaponry you had. You had anti-tank weapons, didn't you?
6 A. We did.
7 Q. And they were still operative in July of 1995.
8 A. Most of them, they were not, which -- I had three kinds, in fact.
9 We had TOW, referred to before.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. We had the Dragan. And we had the 84; it's a portable man-held
13 Q. The essential difficulty with anti-tank weapons in July of 1995
14 was the terrain, wasn't it? They were unsuited to the hilly terrain,
15 particularly to the south of the enclave.
16 A. No, that is not the problem. The major problem was the state they
17 were in technically, the weapons system, and the proper ammunition for it.
18 Q. Right. I mean, speaking generically, if these things become
19 degraded, they are inaccurate and rather dangerous to fire.
20 A. As far as the TOW is concerned, you can't fire it; as far as the
21 Dragon is concerned, as soon as the ammo is not in good quality any more,
22 you can't fire it as well.
23 Q. Right. I'm going to move on to the last topic now.
24 Just to preface it, on the 10th of July, you were in Srebrenica
25 itself, in the town.
1 A. On the 10th, I was in Potocari headquarters.
2 Q. Right. And the 11th as well.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. And so everything that you learned or everything that
5 you've told us about, the battle situation on the 10th and the 11th of
6 July, is what you've gleaned from reports from your subordinates.
7 A. Yes, and direct radio contact with the company commander.
8 Q. Right. I'm going to summarise, as it were, the position at a
9 number of the OPs on the 11th of July. I don't want to take you to the
10 document, but I've taken this from your debriefing document --
11 A. Okay.
12 Q. -- so I hope you'll agree with it. OP Echo found itself in a
13 position where the Bosnian Serb forces had taken the adjacent high land.
14 A. And OP Echo was withdrawn, was not in place any more.
15 Q. OP Foxtrot, the Bosnian Serb army had taken all the surrounding
16 area and there was a tank within 60 yards of the OP itself.
17 A. Yes. At the 10th, OP Foxtrot was abandoned, withdrawn as well.
18 Q. OP Sierra was surrounded.
19 A. Yes, Sierra, in the course of the 10th, was surrounded. Yes.
20 Q. And OP Kilo found the Bosnian Serb forces behind them.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. OP November was surrounded and OP Papa was on the Serb territory
24 A. More or less on Serb territory, yes.
25 Q. You'd agree with that summary.
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Now, the OP offers some form of protection against adjacent fire,
3 doesn't it? It's, to an extent, dug in and it's protected by
5 A. Yes, well, they had a kind of sandbagging. Defence walls, it was
6 called, were big, more or less, containers with sand and stone in it.
7 Q. But it's not such a structure that it would survive a direct hit
8 from a rocket or a shell or mortar fire.
9 A. No. They proved to be not.
10 Q. No. In relation to all of the OPs that I've mentioned, let's not
11 put too fine a point on it, if the Bosnian Serb forces had wanted to blow
12 those OPs off the face of earth, they could have done.
13 A. They could and, in a couple of cases, did.
14 Q. Can we move on to the question of APCs? Your APCs were equally
15 vulnerable, weren't they?
16 A. No, they were not. They were vulnerable for tank fire but less
17 vulnerable for artillery and mortar fire.
18 Q. All right. You've referred to one which was, as it were,
19 hijacked. The only other one you lost was the one that went off the road.
20 A. Yes. And I lost all the APCs off the OPs, of course.
21 Q. Of course. They were abandoned.
22 A. No, they were taken along to Bratunac, the major part of it. So I
23 lost about 15 or 16, and, as I recollect, three by fire.
24 Q. The APC that you referred to that had been driven off the road, I
25 think we have some video of and I'd like you to see it now, please.
1 MR. HAYNES: It's the Srebrenica trial video. It's at 2054.
2 [Videotape played]
3 MR. HAYNES: Thank you.
4 Q. I don't think it gets any more illuminating than that. A few
5 simple points. You'd agree with me that there is no evidence that that
6 vehicle has been hit by --
7 A. No. I don't see holes on this side of the vehicle.
8 Q. And neither did you see, as it were, holes on the road or trees
9 falling across it or anything like that.
10 A. On this picture I did not see that; that's correct.
11 Q. I dare say, down the course of the years, Mr. Franken, soldiers,
12 young soldiers, have told you a number of things to excuse their
14 A. Yes, but -- you mean in that stage?
15 Q. Well, I mean that looks like an APC that's just been driven off
16 the road, doesn't it?
17 A. It looks like an APC that's next to the road, and I can't in this
18 picture see what the cause was.
19 Q. No, okay. Can we move on to the question of your men? You
20 described to us yesterday briefly the injuries suffered by the men under
21 your command. I think you said there were some who had shrapnel
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Do we take it that you had no men who had been injured by
25 small-arms fire?
1 A. Not as I recollect.
2 Q. And can we also take it that the shrapnel injuries you referred to
3 are relatively minor injuries?
4 A. That's what I stated, yes.
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 A. They stayed in position.
7 Q. I have no further questions for you. Thank you, Mr. Franken.
8 A. You're welcome.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Haynes.
10 It's Mr. Meek or Mr. Ostojic? Mr. Ostojic.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: With the Court's permission I'd like to ask, if I
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic, who is representing the accused Beara,
14 will now be cross-examining you.
15 How long do you expect to be cross-examining the witness,
16 Mr. Ostojic?
17 MR. OSTOJIC: About 40 minutes -- 30 minutes, 40 minutes.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. I take it, Mr. McCloskey, that you have
19 the next witness here in line.
20 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, we do, Mr. President. Ms. Soljan has that
21 witness and he is outside, ready to go.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: That's perfect.
23 Yes, Mr. Ostojic.
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
1 Q. Good morning, Mr. Franken.
2 A. Morning.
3 Q. Sir, let me first apologise to you for not being here for your
4 entire testimony. I did have an opportunity, however, to review it, and
5 I'd like to ask you some questions. I hope not to be repetitive, and I'm
6 sure you and the Court will remind me if I am.
7 A. You're welcome.
8 Q. I'd like to focus quickly just on a general theme and that is
9 reporting from subordinates that you received. I know earlier today, on
10 page 30, specifically lines 18 and 19, for my learned colleague, you said
11 that "there was quite an extended reporting system within the UN
12 channels." When you say "extended," it's really "extensive"; correct?
13 A. That's correct, yes. Sorry.
14 Q. I just want to make sure. Now, how about the subordinates, the
15 soldiers within DutchBat III that were immediately under you as the second
16 in charge at that time, what were the reporting requirements for them?
17 A. Well, on company level, we had, in fact, the UN system, a
18 derivative of the system we used to our higher echelons. There was a
19 standard patrol report they had to fill in when they came back from a
20 patrol. It was filled in in a debrief. And they had -- I don't exactly
21 know the interval any more, but the OPs had to report every X hours the
22 situation. That was crossed by incidents, of course. And that, again,
23 was a UN system, close firing, detonations, et cetera.
24 Q. Did you have or put in place any other system, other than that
25 system by the UN?
1 A. No. We used our normal military way of communication, which means
2 they are on a radio net, and as soon as something happens, they come on
3 the net and report it.
4 Q. Well, I understood that. My question was: Did you require any
5 different reporting mechanism or reporting data other than that which was
6 required by the UN?
7 A. No, no.
8 Q. Okay. Now, with respect to why the reporting was necessary, can
9 you explain that to me a little bit.
10 A. Probably everybody had a need of information, and that system
11 tried to supply that information.
12 Q. Okay. And it was significant information; is that we are talking
13 about? That's really what your subordinates were reporting to you, items
14 that were significant; correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And they would report to you if they saw an increase in arms by
17 either one side or the other side; correct?
18 A. Yes, whatever, or firing from a position, et cetera, et cetera.
19 Q. And the purpose of that, of reporting significant information, is
20 so that you, as the second in charge, as well as your commander,
21 Mr. Karremans - I think I'm pronouncing his name somewhat correctly --
22 A. You are.
23 Q. -- is that you could distil that information and make decisions
24 based on that significant information; correct?
25 A. Yes. There was only -- the first analysing of this information
1 was done by the operations room, and if there was something special, they
2 would report to me. I didn't get every detailed information because that
3 was almost impossible.
4 Q. Can you share with us some examples of significant matters that
5 should have been reported by your subordinates to you? Just highlight a
6 few, if you don't mind.
7 A. Yes, I understand. Yes. Close firing was important, which meant
8 that UN locations or patrols were fired at; observations of armed men
9 within the area; shelling of locations or villages; things like that.
10 Q. Would it also -- thank you. Would it also be a significant point
11 to report by your subordinate if they were taken hostage by either one or
12 the other side?
13 A. Yes, of course.
14 Q. That would be very important, in fact; right?
15 A. Yes, yes.
16 Q. Would it be significant to report by your subordinate to you
17 whether or not they found a land mine?
18 A. Yes. I tried to give a summary of all unusual events. Everything
19 which was not usual, they had to report.
20 Q. And that would be highly unusual and very significant and very
22 A. Yes. For instance, mines, I got quite a lot of reports about
24 Q. Now, Colonel, or now Colonel, Boering, he was a subordinate at the
25 time under you; correct?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And did he report to you as well, sir?
3 A. Yes. Summaries of debriefings of talks he had with either side.
4 Q. Okay. Now, that's also significant, meetings that he may have
5 held with either VRS military personnel or ABiH military personnel;
7 A. Or ABiH, the civil opstina, yes.
8 Q. I'm not limiting it outside of military, but thank you for that.
9 And were those reports given to you verbally or in writing?
10 A. Usually verbally. He made notes and that was archived, but I
11 always heard verbal reports. It's quicker and you can ask questions
13 Q. Fair enough. I read in the some of the reports that you believed
14 that Colonel Boering was mistaken about an incident involving the "White
15 House" on or about July 13th as to who ordered UNMO to continue to observe
16 what was occurring at that "White House". Do you remember that at all?
17 A. No, I do not.
18 Q. Well, do you know who ordered the UNMOs to keep an eye on the
19 situation at the "White House" on or about July 13th?
20 A. I did.
21 Q. Okay. Do you have that independent recollection, as you sit here
22 today; correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, do you remember a report from any of your subordinates,
25 including Mr. Boering -- Colonel Boering, excuse me, whether or not he was
1 ever involved in an ambush?
2 A. No. The only thing that could refer to that is the story I heard
3 later on, when he went with the first convoy through the CL, in the area
4 of Kladanj.
5 Q. And that was approximately in July of 1995; correct?
6 A. Well, he went along with the first convoy. It was even on the
7 12th of July.
8 Q. We know exactly --
9 A. But, I mean, I only heard that when I was back in Zagreb.
10 Q. I understand. Aside from that, the reason you may not have
11 received the report of that ambush is because Colonel Boering was
12 escorting that convoy and that he remained and went to Zagreb thereafter,
13 so you --
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. -- didn't have immediate contact with him. That's reasonable;
17 A. Right.
18 Q. So he didn't report that to you because he didn't come back
19 until --
20 A. No, no. I heard that afterwards when I was already out of the
22 Q. How about March and April of 1995? Do you have a recollection,
23 sir, of any subordinate telling you that they were ambushed by either VRS
24 or ABiH soldiers or civilians?
25 A. No, I do not. But I must say that, in March, I was on leave
1 during -- ten days in Holland, so ...
2 Q. How about any time from March to April --
3 A. No.
4 Q. -- of 1995?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Now, let me ask you: Did you ever receive a report upon your
7 return from your leave or while you there, end of March, April, 1995
8 period, of any of your subordinates having been forced to walk across a
10 A. No.
11 Q. And that's something that is so significant --
12 A. Yes. I should remember when it was reported to me, but no.
13 Q. That's fair, and I think I agree with you. Do you recall
14 reporting by any of your subordinates, including Mr. Boering, that he was
15 forced to walk on a plank of wood over a land mine in early March, late
16 April 1995?
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between answer
18 and question. Thank you.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Please allow a brief pause between question and
21 MR. OSTOJIC: I apologise, Your Honour. I thought I paused but
22 obviously not enough.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: But the interpreters require a greater pause or a
24 longer pause. Thank you.
25 MR. OSTOJIC: I understand.
1 Q. Yes?
2 A. To answer that question, no, I do not know of a story like that.
3 Q. How about -- despite the fact that you may have been on holiday
4 for ten or so days in March of 1995, would you have been apprised of that
5 if it occurred upon your return from holiday?
6 A. Yes. I should say I would be very surprised when they did not, if
7 they did not.
8 Q. How about any of your subordinates being kidnapped? Would you --
9 did you know whether or not any of them were ever kidnapped or held
10 hostage in March and April of 1995?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Are you familiar, sir, with the check-point called check-point
14 A. Yes, yes. Yellow Bridge, yes, I know.
15 Q. Yellow Bridge; correct. It was called check-point Jovo because
16 one of the men who actually manned that check-point was named Jovo;
18 A. I know.
19 Q. I wanted to make sure.
20 A. No, no, no, no, no. That's correct.
21 Q. Do you know, have you ever visited check-point Jovo, or the Yellow
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. We are going to slow down a little bit.
25 A. I understand.
1 Q. We will get through this, I think, rather quickly. How often
2 would you say, sir, during your tenure at Srebrenica, did you visit
3 check-point Jovo?
4 A. The inside, as I recollect, only once.
5 Q. Okay. How often would you pass check-point Jovo during your
6 tenure in Srebrenica, from January through July 1995?
7 A. Well, that was coming in, my leave, so to and going out, so it's
8 about four times.
9 Q. Can you tell us, sir, if there were any land mines on or around
10 check-point Jovo?
11 A. Yes. I had a conference -- because I have to correct myself. I
12 was twice in Jovo, or in that check-point, I should say. The last time I
13 came there, they were land mines on the road, yes.
14 Q. And when was that, sir?
15 A. I'm just trying to recollect, sorry. Must be anywhere in -- I
16 wasn't there. Must be somewhere in April, yes.
17 Q. I'd like to direct your attention, sir, to the evacuation in July
18 of 1995, if I may.
19 A. Sure.
20 Q. You testified earlier today, on page 25, lines 12 through 13, for
21 my learned friends, "My order to help was to assist in the practical
22 evacuation --" I'm sorry, I'll start it over. "My order to help was to
23 assist in the practical execution of the evacuation."
24 Do you recall that testimony?
25 A. Yes, I said it, yes.
1 Q. When you say "assist," is it fair to say that you mean to
3 A. Yes, to cooperate with the aim that it would have been done in the
4 most humanitarian and legalised way, et cetera. Yes.
5 Q. Do you also mean to support the evacuation when you use the
6 words "to assist"?
7 A. Yes, supported and then in the extent that we did.
8 Q. Now, the Serbs, during the period of evacuation, were they given
9 permission to evacuate the people out of Potocari?
10 A. I don't know whether I understand your question, but as far as I
11 know, Mladic came to the people and said that they were to be evacuated.
12 That's pretty shortly before the first convoy rolled out. And so they
13 were given permission, yes. They were facilitating it, so that is what I
14 understand as giving permission, yes.
15 MR. OSTOJIC: If I may, with the Court's permission and the
16 assistance of the usher, place Exhibit 2D18 on the ELMO or on the e-court,
18 Q. While they are doing that, sir, if I may proceed with a couple of
19 questions. This is my understanding of a chapter in a book entitled, "In
20 the Name of Peace" that you authored, and it's called "A Retrospective
21 View." Do you see that?
22 A. I see it.
23 Q. Okay. Do you remember that?
24 A. I remember me writing a part of that book, yes.
25 Q. When did you write it?
1 A. Probably in 1996.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. 1996.
4 Q. You're right. I understand. Within a year or so of the events;
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Why did you write it?
8 A. On request of the composer of the book.
9 Q. I'd like to direct your attention to page 3 of this document, and
10 it's the first full paragraph, if I may. I understand and read that this
11 issue was covered by my learned colleagues, but I have a couple of
12 questions, if I may, to ask you about that.
13 A. You're welcome.
14 Q. So I'll give you an opportunity to read it and let me know when
15 you've had that opportunity and I'll proceed.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. I'm directing your attention to the last three or so
18 sentences of that full paragraph, starting with the words, "And then the
19 bomb shell:" Do you see that?
20 A. Okay.
21 Q. You proceed to write, "An order arrived [verbally of course]."
22 Why do you say, "Of course"?
23 A. Being a bit cynical, probably.
24 Q. I thought so, too. I thought so, too.
25 A. Because quite a lot of significant orders in these days coming
1 down from the UN came verbally to me and not in writing. Writing was
2 always later on.
3 Q. And then after the cynical comment, you continued to proceed to
4 say, "to assist Serbs."
5 A. Mm-hmm.
6 Q. And it's the same words you used earlier today on page 25 that we
7 just discussed. And here you also, in 1996, meant to cooperate and to
8 support; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Then you proceed to say, "who had permission to proceed with the
11 deportation of the population with their own vehicles." Correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Who had permission to proceed with that evacuation, or
14 deportation, as you put it?
15 A. Well, it refers to the Serbs.
16 Q. Well, who did they get the permission from?
17 A. I do not know. I know only -- later on, received written
18 guidelines from the UN, and out of that document, I probably concluded
19 that there was an arrangement between the UN and the Bosnian Serb army.
20 And that's what I mean by they "had permission to." You could translate
21 it that "it was agreed upon that they," et cetera.
22 Q. Sir, am I correct that, in fact, the verbal orders that you
23 received were, in fact, to cooperate and support the departure. Those
24 were your orders, were they not?
25 A. That was the extent of my orders, yes.
1 Q. What does that mean?
2 A. It means that I don't recollect the exact verbs that I heard then
3 which were in my orders, but that was the meaning of the orders.
4 Q. If we can just turn to the last page of this --
5 A. Mm-hmm.
6 Q. -- chapter or article that you wrote for the book, and it's the
7 second full paragraph on that fourth page where you were asked the
8 question, or you asked the question yourself, and you answered by
9 saying, "Cooperate, support the departure; those were the orders."
10 A. Mm-hmm.
11 Q. Do you see that?
12 A. I see it.
13 Q. Does that refresh your recollection that, indeed, those were
14 specifically your orders?
15 A. Yes, that's correct. I only tried to make clear that I did not
16 recollect the exact words of my orders.
17 Q. Fair enough. Now I'd like to turn to another topic, if I may, and
18 that is the list of Muslim men that were put together, the 239, I believe
19 it is, that --
20 A. Actually 251, but I did some bad counting then, yes.
21 Q. Okay. 251. Who created that list, sir?
22 A. The committee, so the representatives and the committee that we
23 formed, made that list. They went around and registered the men.
24 Q. Who requested that that list be made, initially?
25 A. I did.
1 Q. Okay. Who was Jan van Hecke? Do you remember the name? Or Jan
2 van Hecke.
3 A. No. Doesn't ring a bell to me.
4 Q. Can you explain to us what the purpose of the list was?
5 A. Yes, because we were looking for a way to give the man a form of
6 more protection. I came to the old -- as I told before, Amnesty
7 International did that before, and it was the only thing I could figure
8 out that we could give them some more protection by making them known,
9 giving them an identity.
10 Q. Would it be correct that you explained the reason you were seeking
11 to obtain those lists of men to the actual population at Potocari?
12 A. I explained it to the committee.
13 Q. Okay. And you would expect the committee to explain it to the
14 rest of the population --
15 A. Yes, I suppose.
16 Q. -- naturally?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, there was an issue of approximately 60 or so Muslim men who
19 refused to place their names on this list. Do you recall that?
20 A. That's correct. That was reported to me by the committee.
21 Q. Okay. Did the committee share with you what reasons they gave for
22 not placing their names on the list?
23 A. No.
24 Q. What, if anything, did you do in response to obtaining that
1 A. You mean the information that those 60 men did not want to be
2 registered? Nothing. It's their own wish.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Wait a minute. Mr. Ostojic, you were not here when
4 the witness was being asked the same questions by other counsel during
5 these past two days; I understand that. That does not provide a
6 justification for us to allow repetitive questions.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: I agree, and I believe that they weren't repetitive;
8 perhaps just for background. But I will move along, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: He's already explained that he can give us no
10 information on that.
11 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you. May I proceed, Your Honour?
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
13 MR. OSTOJIC:
14 Q. Is it reasonable to assume that these 60 men did not want their
15 name placed on the list because they didn't want the VRS or anyone to know
16 that they were actually within the enclave?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Don't answer that question, sir. We don't need
18 assumptions. We need clear, straightforward information from you,
19 informed details and not assumptions.
20 MR. OSTOJIC: I understand that, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Make your submission later on, but you don't ask the
22 witness to answer such a question.
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough.
24 Q. Sir, going back to the reporting, were your subordinates also
25 required to report to you when they met with specific VRS military
2 A. Well, that goes within their obligation to report contact with the
3 parties in any way, so yes.
4 Q. Do you know how many times Colonel Boering was kidnapped or held
5 hostage during the January through July 1995 period?
6 A. I stated before that the kidnapping situation is unknown to me.
7 Q. So other than the one, possibly, in July, none other that you're
8 aware of; correct?
9 A. Not that I'm aware of, no.
10 Q. Specifically with meetings with VRS officers, is that something
11 that you, yourself, as the second in command and in charge of operations,
12 you'd be interested to know who your subordinates met with at any given
13 time; correct?
14 A. That's correct, and they did report when they came back, I told
16 Q. On how many occasions did Colonel Boering report to you that he
17 met with Mr. Beara?
18 A. Doesn't ring a bell to me.
19 Q. Did you, sir, ever meet with Mr. Beara?
20 A. Probably not. I do not recollect a meeting with him, anyway.
21 Q. In fact, in none of your statements from 1995 to the present have
22 I been able to find that you've ever mentioned that you met with
23 Mr. Beara; correct?
24 A. As far as I know, yes. As I said, the name doesn't ring a bell to
25 me. But I'm bad at names, but -- no. That is a no.
1 Q. The meetings that were held at the Hotel Fontana prior to July of
2 1995 with various VRS military personnel, were they regularly scheduled
4 A. No, not regularly.
5 Q. Were they meetings that you, from time to time, attended?
6 A. No.
7 Q. And why not?
8 A. Because it was -- I already, in fact, explained that. We had a
9 system that the S5, then Major Boering, did that. Only when there were
10 problems that he couldn't solve, I came in; and if I couldn't solve it,
11 the colonel came in.
12 Q. And isn't it true, sir, it was within his obligations and duties
13 to report to you with whom he met, when he met, and what was discussed
14 during the meeting with military officers or officials at Hotel Fontana,
15 or anywhere, for that matter; correct?
16 A. Yes, he reported that, whether to the colonel or to me, but then I
17 got briefed by the colonel.
18 Q. Thank you very much. That's all I have.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you.
21 Now, there is re-examination, I take it? Mr. Thayer?
22 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President, thank you.
23 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
24 Q. It's still morning. Good morning, sir.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. Do you recall being asked yesterday a question about an agreement
2 on paper between Generals Mladic and Smith?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And that's at page 33 of yesterday's transcript, beginning at line
5 6. I believe you stated that you discovered that that had been reduced to
6 writing after you returned to Holland.
7 A. That's correct as well.
8 Q. Have you ever seen that actual document, sir?
9 A. Yes. I even had a copy.
10 Q. And who -- can you describe for the Trial Chamber the
11 circumstances under which you were furnished a copy of that document.
12 A. I think it came out of our gear when we were back in Holland, in a
13 way, but I don't know the source. I don't know how I got the copy, but I
14 found it within my extended paperwork I still had; not very organised but
15 it was in between it.
16 Q. I'd like to show you --
17 MR. THAYER: If we can have displayed on e-court - I believe it's
18 in there now; if not, I can just put it on the ELMO - it's P02265, please.
19 Q. Do you have an image on your screen, sir?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. I would just ask you to take a moment to read this first page.
22 MR. THAYER: Perhaps we can - exactly, thank you - scroll down
24 Q. If you would just say when you're ready to ...
25 A. Yes, I'm ready.
1 Q. Okay. If we could see the second page, please.
2 A. I've read it.
3 Q. Now, looking at the signature lines, do you see the dates
5 A. Yes, the 19th of July.
6 Q. Signed by both generals; is that correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. Now, while we have this page here, why don't we just talk about it
9 and then we can go back to the first page. We will just take it out of
10 order for a second, as long as we have it on the screen.
11 The bullet or item at the top refers to what, sir?
12 A. The movement of DutchBat out of -- as far as I can see, the
13 movement of DutchBat out of the enclave into the area of Zagreb.
14 Q. And going back to the first page, if we could, do you know what
15 the first item refers to, sir?
16 A. Yes. That was access to the SLC and the reception points,
17 probably manned the locations where Muslim forces or men were held by the
18 BSA. At least that's what I understood of it.
19 Q. And the second point?
20 A. That refers -- based on the date, it refers to the POWs being in
22 Q. And the date that's referred to there is?
23 A. The 15th of July.
24 Q. And the third item?
25 A. Well, making it possible that UNHCR take up his supply task for
1 the population in Srebrenica.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse.
3 MR. JOSSE: This is pure assumption, in our submission.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Are you assuming, Mr. Franken, or are you being
5 positive in your answers?
6 THE WITNESS: In my answers I used wrongly the word "assume," but
7 I refer to, as far as I know, the facts, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. You may proceed, Mr. Thayer.
9 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Q. Now, with respect to the next couple of items, item 4 and 5,
11 having read those items, do those items apply to the situation that you
12 were facing following the fall of the Srebrenica enclave, sir?
13 A. No, it does not.
14 Q. And how about item 6, sir? Can you describe your understanding of
15 that item, please.
16 A. Well, as far as Srebrenica was concerned, in that phase, that was
17 not applicable any more or not needed any more, and I mean UNHCR coming in
18 with the humanitarian help.
19 Q. And why was it not applicable any more?
20 A. Because the population was already gone then.
21 Q. So, referring to item 7, what is that about, to your knowledge and
22 understanding, sir?
23 A. That concerns DutchBat, as far as it's still within the enclave.
24 Q. And 7(A)?
25 A. That refers to the wounded still in custody of Medecins Sans
1 Frontieres in our compound, as it refers to the wounded in the hospital in
3 Q. And item (B)?
4 A. Yes. Already done, because the women and children and elderly,
5 lots of them who were still there, were in our compound and were a patient
6 or -- yes, were a patient with MSF.
7 Q. So does this document, to your knowledge, include any guidelines
8 regarding transportation or assisting the process?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And that would be the process of evacuation or perhaps
12 A. Yes, I understand that.
13 Q. I want to ask you a couple of questions, sir, about the UNHCR and
14 their policy. On at least one occasion you were asked by my learned
15 colleague about them turning away a convoy that had arrived. Do you
16 recall those questions?
17 A. Yes, I do recall the questions.
18 Q. Now, when you learned that the UNHCR turned back one of their
19 convoys, did you, at some point, also learn what their reasoning was, why
20 they objected or what problem they had such that they turned the convoy
22 A. I remember one occasion where they turned the convoy back when
23 they had to give to -- a Bosnian Serb check-point, they wanted diesel and
24 the UNHCR did not want them to take diesel and then they returned. That
25 was reported to me by the UNHCR representative within the enclave.
1 Q. What other reasons did you learn that they may have turned back a
3 A. That is the only reason I recollect, the only incident I recollect
4 as well.
5 Q. And did you, in fact, have some difference of opinion with UNHCR
6 about their decision to turn back a convoy?
7 A. Yes. I could not understand that. I probably, almost literally,
8 said that, I remember, to that representative, that about 100 litres of
9 diesel is of more importance than a starving 25.000 people. I could not
10 understand that.
11 Q. I want to ask you some questions regarding the attempt at trade
12 between the Muslim population and the Serbs.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You were asked a number of questions about that. Do you recall
15 what the nature of these items that were under discussion for trade were?
16 A. Yes. Anything but military supplies, anything but weapons or
17 ammunition or so on.
18 Q. And that would include basic necessities.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Food.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. As well as amenities.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Sir, what, in your view, in your experience there, would have been
25 the simplest way to supply the civilian population with those basic
2 A. To be general, stop the convoy terror.
3 Q. Finally, sir, you were asked, I believe, by my learned colleague
4 Madam Fauveau about Ibrahim Nuhanovic. Do you recall that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. I believe you testified - I'm sorry, I don't have the cite in
7 front of me - that you saw him boarding one of the last convoys; is that
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. Do you recall whether Mr. Nuhanovic had any military-age sons?
11 A. Yes. He had a son who used to be a BiH soldier, as was told to me
12 by the other son, the interpreter.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Madam Fauveau.
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [No interpretation].
15 JUDGE AGIUS: We didn't --
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] This is out of the framework of the
17 counter, isn't it?
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. The objection is overturned, Madam Fauveau,
20 because the witness was asked on cross-examination by one of you on this
21 specific of Mr. Nuhanovic and his family being -- boarding one of the
23 So you may proceed with your questions, Mr. Thayer.
24 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Sir, you've been asked questions on numerous occasions about your
1 interactions with Mr. Nuhanovic and his son, about decisions you had to
2 make concerning that family. Do you recall the statement you gave or the
3 information you gave to the NIOD investigation?
4 A. Not all of it now, but I know I made statements there.
5 Q. Well, can you describe for the Court the discussions you had and
6 the decisions that you had to make regarding that family?
7 A. Yes, well, two moments that have to be described. One is that his
8 elderly brother, the interpreter, repeatedly came to me and wanted his
9 younger brother on a list that he could get out with the UN; and secondly
10 was the meeting I had with his father who asked me to stop the
11 evacuation. As I remember that, that was on the evening of the 12th.
13 We tried, for individuals, to supply them with -- and that is an
14 answer for the younger brother, individuals to make some UN ID so that we
15 could let them see that they were part of the personnel. The problem with
16 that was we didn't have the means to make things like that; and secondly,
17 the information of who belonged to the local staff had already been
18 presented to the Bosnian Serbs, so I had to make an alteration on that
20 Secondly, the request of Mr. -- the elderly Mr. Nuhanovic to stop
21 the evacuation, I explained to him why I couldn't. So I described to
22 him -- probably he knew already himself. I described to him the problems
23 we had with the refugees, humanitarian way, hygienic supplies, medical
24 support, et cetera. So in the end, I explained to him that I had to
25 choose for those 25.000, up to 30.000, women and children, knowing that I
1 was jeopardising about 800 men.
2 Q. Now, was Ibrahim Nuhanovic's wife also in the compound, to your
3 knowledge, sir?
4 A. She was in the compound but not present at these meetings.
5 Q. What did you tell Ibrahim Nuhanovic or Hasan Nuhanovic about your
6 ability to bring the younger son out with DutchBat forces?
7 A. The only one who came with that question was his brother, and I
8 explained the same story, in fact, as I gave to you in my last answer.
9 And I said that I didn't want to take the risk or jeopardise by not having
10 a good identification of him, a UN identification, take the risk that the
11 other civilians who had to go with us out of the enclave were -- the risk
12 that they were taken out of the column as well. So I didn't want to
13 jeopardise the other, what was it, 29 people in favour of that single boy.
14 Q. And what was the decision that the family made?
15 A. It proved that the family decided that they went together along on
16 the buses. The exception was the interpreter, the elderly son. He stayed
17 in the compound.
18 Q. Do you remember how Mr. Nuhanovic, the elder, the father, said
19 good-bye to you?
20 A. Yes. It was the first time that I was kissed by a man at the
21 gate. He said farewell. He kissed me.
22 Q. And have you received any information about the fate of the
23 Nuhanovic family, sir, whether they are still alive or not?
24 A. No. The only thing is that they are still missing.
25 Q. Thank you. I have no further questions.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Any of the Defence teams that would like to put some
2 questions to Mr. Franken on the document that was made use of?
3 Yes, Ms. Condon.
4 MS. CONDON: Yes, Your Honour, I just seek leave to ask a couple
5 of questions.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Proceed, then.
7 Further Cross-examination by Ms. Condon:
8 Q. Mr. Franken, just in relation to the points at 7(A) and (B) of the
9 agreement that you have in front of you.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, you indicated that, insofar as 7(B) was concerned, that had
12 already occurred at the time that this document was signed.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Because, as we can see, it's signed the 19th of July by both
15 parties. So, on its face, that particular requirement as to 7(A) seems to
16 be superfluous; you'd agree with that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Be that as it may, in your mind, when the evacuation was going on,
19 that was pursuant to an agreement, as you understood it, between UNPROFOR
20 and the VRS.
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. In fact, in your mind, as I think you indicated to me yesterday,
23 there were two steps. There was an agreement, and what you said was "the
24 fact that it was laid down on paper, I discovered when I was back in
1 On that very moment, being at the time the evacuation was
2 occurring pursuant to UNPROFOR and the VRS, you didn't see the piece of
4 A. Mm-hmm.
5 Q. And so when you first saw this agreement --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- back in Holland, I presume -- I'll withdraw that. When you
8 first saw this agreement, no doubt in your mind, that was confirming.
9 A. Yes, confirming the thoughts I had about it, yes.
10 Q. The prior agreement.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Despite the fact that it's dated at a time when it had already
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. You'd agree with that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you. I have no further questions.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Bourgon, you have further questions, too?
19 MR. BOURGON: Yes, Mr. President, just a quick question for the
20 witness concerning the document.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
22 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
23 Q. Sir, can you just look at paragraph 2 of this document.
24 A. I cannot. I can't see paragraph 2.
25 Q. It's on the --
1 MR. THAYER: The P number, Your Honour, is --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: It is. It is there. It's paragraph 2 that wasn't.
3 MR. BOURGON: Just paragraph 2 of the first page, please.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Of the first page.
5 THE WITNESS: I can see it now.
6 MR. BOURGON:
7 Q. Thank you, sir. With respect to paragraph 2, I would like to know
8 if the copy of that document that you found in your material once you were
9 back home, whether it had this word slashed out, "today" replaced
10 by "on"? Do you recall this, by any chance?
11 A. I do not recall that, sorry, no.
12 Q. Now, this document, you said, was signed according to what you saw
13 on page 2, on 19 July.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. If you read this paragraph 2, which says that, "to provide
16 DutchBat soldiers," and I'll read it completely, "to provide that the
17 DutchBat soldiers leave Bratunac with their personal belongings and small
19 Whether we use "today 15 July 1995" or we use "on 15 July 1995,"
20 would you agree with me that this shows that this document, although it
21 was signed on the 19th, those agreements were made long time before?
22 A. It is logical to conclude that, yes.
23 MR. BOURGON: Thank you very much, sir.
24 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you so much, Mr. Bourgon.
25 Any further interventions from the Defence teams? Mr. Josse?
1 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:
2 Q. It follows, Mr. Franken, from what you've said, you have no idea
3 where this agreement was signed?
4 A. That's correct.
5 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. So that's it. There are no questions
7 from the Bench, which means, Mr. Franken, that your testimony ends here.
8 On behalf of the Trial Chamber, and also of the Tribunal, I wish
9 to thank you for having come over to testify in this trial, and I'm sure
10 everyone will join me in wishing you a safe journey back to where you wish
11 to go. Thank you.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right.
14 [The witness withdrew]
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Now, Prosecution, Mr. Thayer, you have -- you
16 can proceed which exhibits or documents do you wish to tender.
17 MR. THAYER: Yes, Your Honour, the first document is P00453.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And this is a declaration signed at Hotel Fontana,
19 dated 17 July 1995.
20 MR. THAYER: Actually, Your Honour, that description is, I think,
21 slightly incorrect. It's a declaration which was signed at the Potocari
22 base, but refers to events at the Hotel Fontana.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
24 MR. THAYER: We'll just make that correction.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it there are no objections from the Defence.
1 I see none. Next?
2 MR. THAYER: Is P01897, that is the colour photograph showing the
3 burning pile of belongings in the vicinity of the "White House".
4 JUDGE AGIUS: No objections? Next?
5 MR. THAYER: Is P02057. That is the handwritten list of 239 or 51
6 names of Bosnian men within the DutchBat compound.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: No objection? Next?
8 MR. THAYER: That is P02263, an order from then Major Franken to
9 Captain Groen, dated 9 July 1995.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: No objections? Next?
11 MR. THAYER: P02264, an order from Major Franken to Captain Groen
12 dated 10 July 1995.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No objection? Yes, next?
14 MR. THAYER: PIC17, that is the overhead view of Potocari, marked
15 by Mr. Franken during his testimony on 16 October.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: No objection? I need a clarification on this by
17 Madam Registrar. Will this be one document, one exhibit, or will it be
19 Because he put marks on the document on several occasions, and the
20 last on the last occasion, I remember you standing up and telling me that
21 will have a different number. So we need a clarification on that.
22 MR. JOSSE: I've been informed that it's IC18, if that helps.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, the Prosecutor asked twice to
24 sign the document -- I mean to make marks on the document. But all marks
25 will be IC17. And then the Defence will make marks as well and will be
1 IC18. So we will have two exhibits.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's fine.
3 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour when it's my turn I was going to ask that
4 IC18 be admitted as well. It can be done now.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's come to that one at a time. All right. This
6 last document that you made use of during your re-examination, are you
7 tendering it or not?
8 MR. THAYER: At this time, Your Honour, I would tender it as
9 P02265, that is, the agreement between Generals Smith and Mladic dated 19
10 July 1995.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: And I take it there are no objections either on the
12 admission of this document. So these seven documents that have been
13 mentioned and tendered by the Prosecution are being so admitted with the
14 respective number, P number, that has been indicated.
15 Defence for Mr. Popovic?
16 MS. CONDON: Thank you, Your Honour. We seek to tender ID35 and
18 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. To be precise, make sure that we are
19 talking of the same documents. First is a code cable from Akashi to Kofi
20 Annan on the situation in Srebrenica; second, UNMO headquarters and the
21 situation in BH.
22 MS. CONDON: Yes, Your Honour, thank you.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Any objection from the Prosecution or any other of
24 the Defence teams?
25 MR. THAYER: Not from the Prosecution.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I see no objection, so these three documents are
3 Borovcanin Defence? Mr. Stojanovic?
4 MR. STOJANOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. We
5 have the text "In the Name of the Peace - A Retrospective," 4D41, for
6 identification, and the order by General Rasim Delic dated 6 August 1995,
7 and the ID number is 4D26. These are the documents that we would like
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Stojanovic. Any objections?
10 MR. THAYER: None, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Objections from the other Defence teams? They are
12 so admitted.
13 Miletic Defence? Miletic. Madam Fauveau? I'm going through them
14 according to the order they have been presented to me. So my apologies if
15 Mr. Nikolic wanted to go first. Yes, Madam Fauveau?
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I seek to tender
17 Exhibit 5D76. It is a report, an UNMO report, dated 12th of July 1995.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you. Any objections?
19 MR. THAYER: No, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. None. It is so admitted.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE KWON: Ms. Fauveau, I remember you asked some questions with
23 respect to passages appearing in NIOD report, or some statements without
24 reading them to the witness, thereby those passages not appearing in the
25 transcript and you are not tendering those documents. How are you going
1 to deal with that case?
2 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] The documents were admitted during
3 the testimony of Mr. Boering. This is the reason why I did not seek to
4 tender them, because they are already in the case file.
5 JUDGE KWON: Thank you very much. That's very helpful.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We take your word for it, Madam Fauveau. And
7 we will proceed.
8 Milan Gvero Defence?
9 MR. JOSSE: IC18.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And that would be IC18, the map on which the
11 witness Franken put further markings.
12 MR. JOSSE: It's the same as IC17 with the addition of the one
14 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you. No further documents?
15 Mr. Haynes?
16 MR. HAYNES: Out of curiosity, I showed Mr. Franken a very short
17 passage of the video of General Mladic and the APC which came from the
18 Srebrenica trial video which I think has now been shown in its entirety in
19 the course of these proceedings but has not been admitted into evidence.
20 That's the position, according to the Prosecution case manager and the
21 court officer.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. You probably are right. From my
23 recollection, in fact, I think you are right. Do you wish to tender the
24 part of the video, the footage that you made use of?
25 MR. HAYNES: I'm happy if we simply redress the position with the
1 video in its entirety. I don't want to put in a little passage just for
2 the purpose of a little piece of cross-examination.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: That's the more sensible way of approaching it, but
4 I have to ask you.
5 Yes, Mr. Thayer.
6 MR. THAYER: Your Honour, the Srebrenica trial video has actually
7 been admitted - it's P2047 - in its entirety, as I understand it. So it
8 is, in fact, in evidence. I think on some occasions counsel for the
9 accused have admitted clips as separate exhibits on their own.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
11 MR. THAYER: Also, for the record, I had no objections to the
12 IC018, I think, or the number of the exhibit.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Thank you. So that concludes this part
14 of the proceedings.
15 We will have the break now, and -- there are no other Defence
16 teams that wish to tender other documents, are there? Okay. It seems
18 So we'll have a 25-minute break, starting from now. Thank you.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.26 p.m.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, sir. Welcome to this
23 Tribunal. We have just over three-quarters of an hour left for today
24 during which we will start with your testimony.
25 But before you start giving evidence, our rules require that you
1 enter a solemn declaration, equivalent to an oath in some jurisdictions,
2 to the effect that, in the course of your testimony, you'll be speaking
3 the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Madam Usher is
4 handing to you the text of the solemn declaration. Please read it out
5 loud, and that will be your solemn undertaking with us.
6 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
7 whole truth and nothing but the truth.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, sir. Please make yourself comfortable.
9 Ms. Soljan, for the Office of the Prosecutor, will be examining
10 you. She will then be followed by the various Defence teams. Expect to
11 be here tomorrow and the day after, at least. Thank you.
12 Ms. Soljan.
13 MS. SOLJAN: Thank you, Your Honour.
14 WITNESS: VINCENTIUS BERNARDUS EGBERS
15 Examination by Ms. Soljan:
16 Q. Good afternoon, Lieutenant Colonel. Before we begin speaking,
17 I'll remind you that, since we are speaking the same language today, we
18 both need to keep in mind to speak slower, and you should pause before --
19 once my question is asked, you should pause a little bit, try to speak
20 slowly, and I'll try to do the same on my end, after you're done.
21 Lieutenant Colonel, could you please tell us your full name.
22 A. I'm Vincentius Bernardus Egbers.
23 Q. Thank you. Could you spell your last for the record, please.
24 A. E-g-b-e-r-s.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, you are currently serving in the Royal
1 Marechaussee; is that correct?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. What is your rank?
4 A. I'm a lieutenant colonel.
5 Q. And from 1988 to 1998, you were serving in the Royal Dutch Army;
6 is that correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Can you tell us, during that time, when you deployed to the
9 Srebrenica enclave with DutchBat III.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers please pause between question
11 and answer. Thank you.
12 A. I went to the enclave at January 1995 and I left the enclave at
13 July 24th, 1995, and I've been there between those two dates.
14 MS. SOLJAN:
15 Q. Thank you. What was your rank during your time of service at
17 A. I was a lieutenant.
18 Q. And what were your duties and responsibilities within the enclave
19 as lieutenant?
20 A. I was a platoon commander of the 3rd Platoon of the Charlie
21 Company who was inside of the Potocari area.
22 Q. And as platoon commander, what was your daily routine like?
23 A. I had 30 soldiers who had to manage up to -- to be at an
24 observation post, Observation Post Alpha. We have to patrol the area.
25 And then, of course, I had some work at the headquarters of DutchBat.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MS. SOLJAN: Madam Usher, if I could ask to you display on e-court
3 the exhibit with 65 ter number 1901, please.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the second microphone for the witness be
5 turned on, please.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Madam Usher.
7 MS. SOLJAN: From what I understand it's a rather large document
8 and takes a while to download. Thank you.
9 Q. Can you see this document, Lieutenant Colonel?
10 A. I can.
11 Q. Could you please describe for the Court what this area is, and in
12 particular the pie-shaped yellow area.
13 A. The north of the enclave, between Observation Post Romeo and
14 Alpha, was the area that Charlie Company had to manage the OPs and
15 patrolling. So the north is the Charlie Company. And we had three
16 platoons. My platoon was the 3rd Platoon, and my area of responsibility
17 was Observation Post Alpha and the area between Jaglici and Observation
18 Post Mike. That's where my platoon was patrolling.
19 Q. Okay. Thank you. Could you indicate for the Court where exactly,
20 or what letters represented the OPs you were in charge of on that map?
21 A. OP Alpha. OP Mike was at that time, in the beginning, a
22 non-permanent observation post. That's an observation post we would go
23 to, deploy, and then after some time go back again.
24 Q. And OP Mike, is that the observation post displayed in this
25 document as with letter M?
1 A. It is. It is in the north of the village Jaglici.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you. What other observation posts were then under
3 your command?
4 A. None.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you. Now, you had said that your platoon was
6 normally 30 people; is that correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Now, was your platoon of that size around July 1995?
9 A. Unfortunately, it wasn't, because all the personnel travelling
10 towards Zagreb, to be on a short break, was able to get out of the
11 enclave, but unfortunately it wasn't -- did not have the permission to go
12 back to the enclave again. So in July, one-third of my platoon was
13 waiting in Zagreb for the permission to go back to the enclave.
14 Q. And who was granting this permission; do you know?
15 A. As far as I know, all clearance for transportation between
16 Zagreb -- between Zvornik and Bratunac has to be by the authorities of the
18 Q. Thank you. So in July of 1995, you had approximately 20 men under
19 your command.
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. In addition, were you also part of another unit within DutchBat at
22 that time?
23 A. During the fall, there was a short platoon, let's call it a
24 reserve, a battalion reserve, that was in Potocari, ready to support the
25 south of the enclave as OP Echo or OP Foxtrot were under attack. We were
1 the ones with four APCs who were able to help in the south.
2 Q. Thank you. And, sir, this reserve battalion or reserve unit, was
3 this a unit that existed normally? Was it in place already in January
4 when you had arrived?
5 A. This was a reserve -- these were APCs that were not in use at the
6 time, so we took them together. There was a driver on it, a gunner, and a
7 commander on each vehicle. So we had a few lieutenants left and other
8 soldiers left to manage to get on the APCs, the armoured personnel
9 carriers, and then be ready for any support in the south. But it wasn't
10 fully with -- in an APC that can be, let's say, ten men. There were only
11 three. And it was a temporary thing decided by the headquarters for
12 anything to happen in the south.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, in July of 1995, were you, in fact, a part of
14 this reserve unit with these four APCs, or rather, were you using these
15 four APCs in your capacity of a reserve unit, Lieutenant?
16 A. At that time, the four APCs were under my command, and we went to
17 the south to see whether we could help Observation Post Sierra and
18 Uniform, who were in the south, nearby Observation Post Echo and Foxtrot.
19 We went there and we made plans, what we could do to help them, in case of
20 any attack.
21 Q. Okay. Now let's turn briefly to the situation that arose when OP
22 Echo fell. Can you please describe what happened to you specifically with
23 respect to your responsibilities or duties after OP Echo fell in July.
24 A. I remember the date, the time, very well because one of our
25 soldiers was killed, and he was brought to Potocari with an APC. And then
1 we got the order that night to go down to UN Bravo Company so that we
2 could help this Captain Groen, who was in charge of the south of the
3 enclave, with the Observation Post Sierra, Uniform, Echo and Mike.
4 So I went down by the road from Potocari to Srebrenica and then I
5 got the order, with two APCs, to ride down all the way up to Uniform so I
6 could tell them where the Bosnian Serb army and the Muslim fighters were,
7 whether inside the enclave or not. That's what I had to do at that time.
8 So I drove down. And there were a few Bosnian Muslims who were
9 stopping my APC at the time. They even threw a hand grenade at my APC.
10 And then I went back to the Bravo Company, to Captain Groen, and Captain
11 Groen then ordered me to go to another position. Later on, we call it
12 Bravo 1; it's a blocking position. And it was on the way from Srebrenica
13 to Cancari, to OP Alpha.
14 Q. Okay. Sir, I'll stop you for just a second.
15 MS. SOLJAN: Madam Usher, if I could please get displayed on the
16 e-court the exhibit or document with 65 ter number 1902, please. If we
17 could zoom in a little bit. It's not clear. Thank you. Now it's very
18 good. Perhaps if you could just -- yes, that's perfect. Thank you.
19 Q. Now, sir - perhaps if Madam Usher could show our witness how to
20 use the stylus - I'd like for you to indicate for us, please, with the use
21 of the stylus, where this position of Bravo 1 was, please.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Lazarevic?
23 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, I apologise. I don't want to
24 interrupt, but I believe it would be very helpful to know what date it
25 was, because we don't have an exact date. Perhaps Ms. Soljan could ask
1 the witness.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough. I think -- yes, Ms. Soljan, you can do
3 that either now or later.
4 MS. SOLJAN: Certainly. What the date arrival of ...
5 JUDGE AGIUS: That's how I understood Mr. Lazarevic.
6 MS. SOLJAN: Okay. Sure. I will get that.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I think if we can zoom in further on this map, it
8 will be more helpful.
9 MS. SOLJAN: Okay.
10 Q. I think you can indicate for us first, perhaps, where Srebrenica
11 is for us.
12 A. That's why you've got to zoom in.
13 Q. Okay. Sir, can you indicate or tell the Court please what this
14 area that you have just circled is.
15 A. This is the road going from Srebrenica to OP Alpha, which was in
16 a --
17 Q. I think you will actually have to point with the stylus in order
18 to show the road.
19 A. This is the road.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. And the road makes two turns by 180 degrees, first to the right
22 and then to the left. And in the second angle to the left, that was Bravo
24 Q. Bravo 1 was in the second angle to the left. Could you indicate
25 it with a little cross, please.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. Thank you, sir. Now --
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Now, against that little cross, he could write the
4 words "Bravo 1," then, please.
5 THE WITNESS: [Marks]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. That should be enough.
7 MS. SOLJAN:
8 Q. Okay. Could you please tell us, for the record, what date did you
9 first arrive at Bravo 1?
10 A. That was July 8th.
11 Q. Thank you. How long did you stay at Bravo 1?
12 A. I stayed there for totally four days, but I had to go and -- go to
13 the marketplace in Srebrenica a few days later.
14 Q. Okay. Do you know when that was, approximately, or precisely?
15 A. That was on the 11th of July.
16 Q. On the 11th of July. And during the four days that you were at
17 Bravo 1, can you tell us what you observed? What was happening?
18 A. Well, Bravo 1 was on top of a hill, so I could, very good, have a
19 look at the south of the enclave. And I could see tanks, T-54 or 55,
20 entering the enclave, fire a shot, and then go out of the enclave again.
21 Q. Now, do you know whose forces these T-54/55 tanks belonged to?
22 A. They belonged to the BSA, to the Bosnian Serbs.
23 Q. And how did you know that, sir?
24 A. I know that because there was a weapon collection point at the
25 Bravo Company. There was just a few weapons of the -- ones that belonged
1 to the Muslims were there. I saw, from outside the enclave, a tank enter
2 the enclave, fire shots, and then go outside the enclave again, so that
3 must be the BSA.
4 Q. And in which direction was -- from which direction was this tank
6 A. It was coming from the east; entering the enclave, firing at
7 Srebrenica, my position, and then going out of the enclave again.
8 Q. Could you please indicate with the stylus precisely what
9 direction -- with an arrow, what direction the tank would be coming in.
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Okay. Maybe you could write the words "tank" just so we know
12 that's ...
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Okay. Thank you.
15 A. So this is what I saw: I saw a tank entering the enclave, firing
16 shots. And we've learned that a tank, T-54/55, is only to shoot about
17 1.500 metres, but when it's -- when the barrel is up in the air, it can be
18 used as a piece of artillery as well. So that's what they did. They
19 fired directly but also used it as a piece of artillery.
20 What I also saw in the south was a village, Pusmulici, and I could
21 see from my position houses burning, people entering the houses even with
22 dogs, and that's in this side of the -- on the line at --
23 Q. If you could please circle that.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. That's Pusmulici?
1 A. Pusmulici.
2 Q. Now, do you recall when, exactly, you saw people?
3 A. That was the second day. That was the 9th of July.
4 Q. And did you know who these people entering the houses in Pusmulici
6 A. They were BSA, coming out of the enclave and going to the
7 villages, and then burning them or trying to get into them with dogs. We
8 saw that because we had binoculars with us at Bravo 1. And we reported
9 everything we saw to Captain Groen, who was in charge of the south of the
10 enclave at that time.
11 Q. Were these individuals wearing uniforms?
12 A. As I could see at that time, they were using -- wearing camouflage
14 Q. And did they have weapons with them?
15 A. They had also weapons with them, yes.
16 Q. Okay. Thank you very much. Sir, if you could please sign this
17 document at the bottom so that we can save it.
18 A. Okay.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
20 MS. SOLJAN: Thank you very much.
21 Q. Thank you, sir. From this position at Bravo 1, what was the
22 purpose of this position -- was there a purpose to this position other
23 than just observation?
24 A. Well, at first it was observation, and later on it became a line
25 not to be crossed by the BSA. So we had an order. To be seen from the
1 air very clearly, we had to be an imaginary line between the Bosnian Serbs
2 and the Muslims in the north. So that's why we were there, with our white
3 vehicles, standing on top of the hills.
4 Q. Is this line equivalent to a blocking position, or is that
5 something different?
6 A. No. At that time, we had to make a statement. I believe at that
7 time there was an air strike coming for everything that was on the south
8 of our blocking positions. So we had to report everything that was going
9 on in the south to Captain Groen. And then it's a signal to the Bosnian
10 Serbs not to cross the line between the blocking positions.
11 Q. Okay. During the time that you were at Bravo 1, were you ever
12 directly targeted by the forces coming from the south, you or any of your
14 A. Yes. I was there, and ten minutes later there was a mortar fire
15 or fire from a tank which was on our position. Then we had to go back to
16 another position that was the first angle I told you on the map. That was
17 the second position where we could still have a sight on the south, but we
18 were not on top of the hill again. So we went there. But I got the order
19 to go back again and then we got shelled again. So we were shelled.
20 Q. Okay. Do you remember approximately when this shelling took
22 A. It took place on the second day I was there, the 9th of July and
23 the 10th of July.
24 Q. And was anybody injured as a result of this shelling?
25 A. There was. There was a -- one of my privates was injured but only
1 slightly injured. But the APC was damaged by that.
2 Q. Okay. And this was an injury coming from mortar or shelling from
3 the BSA forces; is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Okay. Now, you were also saying that the tanks were firing in the
6 direction of Srebrenica. Did you see any hits? Did you know about any
7 injuries of people in Srebrenica itself?
8 A. I could see a tank firing at Srebrenica and I saw the place where
9 the grenade hit the ground, but I couldn't see whether there were any
10 people injured by the shelling.
11 Q. Okay. And while you were at Bravo 1 or near that location, were
12 you aware that close-air support was being summoned?
13 A. That's what my commander told me. He told me, "You have to have a
14 forward air controller in your position because your position is that good
15 that it can have a clear view on the south of the enclave. And there will
16 be a NATO strike from the F-16s," or even a gunship is mentioned.
17 Q. And did you, indeed, receive close-air support?
18 A. Yes, I did. There were two F-16s who were forwarded to a target
19 near the south of the Srebrenica area, and they tried to hit a T-54/55.
20 Q. Okay. Do you know what date this took place?
21 A. This was -- I thought it was the 11th of July.
22 Q. Okay. So it would have been the fourth day --
23 A. It was, yes.
24 Q. -- of your stay at Bravo 1. And what happened next? Once this
25 close-air support arrived, what did you have to do or what did the reserve
1 unit have to do?
2 A. I then had the opportunity, because of the air strike, to go to
3 the Observation Post Bravo -- excuse me, the headquarters of the Bravo
4 Company, and at that place, there were a lot of people gathering around
5 the UN base. There was every vehicle that could drive. There were
6 hundreds of people waiting for the vehicles to drive them to safety.
7 At that time I ordered all my men to walk with the refugees
8 towards the north, and I took all the sick and wounded from the hospital
9 of the -- the hospital of Srebrenica that was under Medecins Sans
10 Frontieres on my APC, and I tried to drive with the people to the north,
11 to Potocari.
12 Q. Just to take you back a moment. You had said that the close-air
13 support did hit something; correct? It hit a tank?
14 A. There was a tank firing at me, and the tank, T-54/55, was between
15 my position and Srebrenica, Bravo Corps. From my position, the tank was
16 hit or it was demolished, so it couldn't fire at me any more. So that was
17 the point when it was safe for me to go and to help the Bravo Company with
18 the refugees.
19 Q. Okay. And then you were placing people on the APC and you started
20 moving towards Potocari; is that correct?
21 A. Well, the first APC was on the front of all the people who were
22 trying to go to safety at Potocari. We took them with us. And it was a
23 very extraordinary situation of course. It was 35 degrees; it was very
24 hot. There was even a mother who handed over her baby to me so I could
25 take care of that baby, but of course I'm glad that I took the mother as
1 well on my APC. There were mentally ill people on my APC.
2 We were shelled at that time, on the left and the right side of
3 the road, by mortar, so everybody wanted to leave Srebrenica and go to
4 Potocari. There were people carrying each other on this 5.000-metre road
5 to Potocari.
6 Q. Sir, you just said you were shelled by mortar on the left and on
7 the right. What direction was this mortar coming from?
8 A. It was fired from the south and it was luckily not on the road but
9 near the road. And it came from the south, from the BSA.
10 Q. Okay. How would you characterise this firing? Was it continuous,
11 would you say, or sporadic?
12 A. It happened four or five times and then we drove to the north. So
13 I don't know whether it happened after I left.
14 Q. Could you tell the type of artillery or weapons used in the
15 shelling? Was it purely mortar or was there anything else?
16 A. There was just mortar fire from the BSA side.
17 Q. And what resulted from the firing of that artillery, mortar, have
18 on the people in the column of refugees from Srebrenica?
19 A. They were very, very scared, of course. They didn't know what to
20 do and everybody asked us, "What should we do now?" And then we took --
21 we tried to get everybody in the direction of Potocari, but they didn't
22 feel that it was safe being near the border of the enclave in the north.
23 So we drove with them, we walked with them, to take them towards Potocari.
24 Q. And did you eventually succeed in getting to Potocari with this
25 column of refugees?
1 A. I did. I delivered all the sick and wounded people from the
2 hospital to our own small hospital at the headquarters of DutchBat, and
3 then after four days, we stayed for a few hours at the headquarters.
4 Q. Do you recall what time of day it was when you arrived at
6 A. It was the fourth day, so it's July 11th.
7 Q. And do you know what time of day it was?
8 A. I'm sorry. It was in the afternoon.
9 Q. And what was the situation like in Potocari?
10 A. Well, it was very, very hot. We had no water to give to the
11 people. There were thousands of people gathering around the UN base. We
12 tried to get as much of them inside the headquarters, and then even
13 outside the headquarters there has to be a temporary UN base line where
14 they could rest for a while. It was a very, very panic situation at that
16 Q. And what did you do that night?
17 A. Well, after four days, we tried to get some sleep at that time.
18 We didn't sleep for four days, so we had a few hours of rest.
19 Q. Okay. And so the next day, the 12th of July, after you woke up,
20 what happened? What was the first thing you observed or the first task
21 you were tasked with?
22 A. Well, at some times there were buses coming in, inside the
23 enclave, and the buses, we didn't know what to expect, but those buses,
24 they were coming and there was -- the deportation was on its way. There
25 was the first buses for the first convoy for the first deportation. So I
1 went there and I looked at things, what -- whether to help or not, on the
2 outside of the headquarters.
3 Q. Okay. And did you, at some point, receive orders?
4 A. Well, yes, I did. Major Franken told me to get ready for the
5 first convoy. He tried to get a soldier on every bus, but he only had
6 permission to send a vehicle with two UN peacekeepers together with all
7 the buses.
8 So I took my water, my sleeping bag, my stuff, I put it inside a
9 vehicle, and I just waited where the buses went to, and I rode with the
10 buses to an unknown destination. We didn't know where to go to. My only
11 orders were to follow the bus and to report what happened.
12 Q. And who was in these buses?
13 A. I was at the first convoy, with General Mladic standing there with
14 a TV crew, and in these buses were women and children, and they were
15 there, not knowing where to go to as well. In the first convoy, there was
16 a UN car in front of the convoy, then there were buses, and then there was
17 my own car at the end of the convoy.
18 Q. Okay. Did any other Dutch officers accompany you in escorting
19 this convoy?
20 A. Well, there were two officers in the front and I was with a
21 colleague in the second car at the end of the convoy.
22 Q. Now, I'd like you to describe your journey on that first convoy
23 from Potocari. What did you see along the way?
24 A. Well, as you know, we first entered the village of Bratunac, when
25 we left Srebrenica, and at that time there was a party going on in
1 Bratunac and there were a lot of people celebrating, drinking and
2 screaming and yelling and throwing at buses that were driving through
3 Bratunac. So at that time, it was completely strange, of course, because
4 we had a very giant crisis and then there was a -- we are entering a
6 When we left Bratunac, we saw a lot of BSA soldiers gathering
7 around the road. They stopped us, pointed their gun at us, and wanted
8 some of our materials. For example, our helmet or our weapon or our
9 bullet-proof vest. And it's strange, but I could -- because I was a
10 lieutenant at the time, the BSA respected the ranking at that time. I say
11 "You don't steal from a lieutenant," and I could drive on with the
12 buses. But it didn't work all the time, so we -- they have stolen some
13 equipment from us.
14 And leaving Bratunac, I saw one of the buses had a breakdown,
15 trouble of the engine, of course, and the other buses drove on with one of
16 our cars and I decided to stay with the bus that broke down. All the
17 women and children were in the bus, but I've asked the driver to open the
18 doors and get everybody out, because it was it was very, very hot. And I
19 gave all my medicine and all my water to the women and children on the
20 bus. It was a strange situation. There was even a photographer coming to
21 make photos from us. He wanted to have nice pictures with the women and
22 children laughing. It was very strange. They even wanted to borrow my
23 car to get a new bus.
24 Q. The women and children at that time that were standing outside of
25 the bus. What state were they in?
1 A. Well, of course, like me, they were very uncertain of things that
2 should happen. They were very, very scared of what might happen. They
3 were not informed about anything. There was a bus breaking down. They
4 saw me, because they were coming, other civilians, from the -- from the
5 villages in the neighbourhood, coming to join us at the bus. So I just
6 stood there, tried to separate them and say, "Okay, we've got to go on as
7 soon as possible. We've got to leave this site."
8 MS. SOLJAN: Now, Madam Usher, if I could get on e-court, please,
9 or rather display on e-court, document 2111, please. Thank you.
10 Q. Now, sir, you were just telling us about the bus that had broken
11 down shortly after you left Bratunac. Could you indicate or tell us,
12 approximately, by looking at the map, whereabouts this bus broke down?
13 A. I think it broke down in the area of Glogova. Can I point it out
14 to you on the map?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think that will be better.
16 THE WITNESS: It must be around there, leaving Bratunac.
17 MS. SOLJAN:
18 Q. Okay. And could you please indicate, then, by an arrow which way
19 you continued with the bus.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Perhaps I'm jumping ahead of myself. But did the bus, indeed, get
23 A. It didn't get repaired but it got replaced. So there came another
24 bus and we drove all the way --
25 Q. Okay.
1 A. -- to the west.
2 Q. Thank you, sir. If you could perhaps sign this exhibit.
3 A. [Marks].
4 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, as you continued along this road, was there
5 anything in particular that you observed?
6 A. I then saw a lot of infantry along the road, facing south, facing
7 the woods. They were heavily armed. And I even saw some anti-aircraft
8 machine-guns on a vehicle in the village here, about Sandici. So about
9 every ten metres there were infantry soldiers facing the south; some were
10 firing. And they were stopping us, letting the bus drive on, but actually
11 stopping us and looking what was going on inside the car. So they stopped
12 us, pointed the gun at us, and all along we had to drive on.
13 Q. Could you tell what forces these soldiers belonged to?
14 A. Along the road there were vehicles with a giant wolf head on the
15 side of it, so that's the only thing I can say. There is a wolf head - I
16 guess it was the Drina Wolves - on the vehicles, and the vehicles were
17 standing near the road. And there was a lot of infantry dressed in
18 infantry camouflage suits, facing south.
19 Q. These infantry soldiers, did they actually fire in the direction
20 facing south?
21 A. At that time they didn't fire as much, but I saw some firing.
22 Q. And did you hear any return fire from the woods, from the position
24 A. No. I've never heard any gun -- any sound of that.
25 Q. How many soldiers would you estimate you saw in the stretch
1 between, say, Bratunac and Konjevic Polje?
2 A. There were hundreds.
3 Q. How were they spaced? Could you describe that for us?
4 A. Well, they were making a line, so every 10 metres there were some
5 soldiers, two or three, and then there was, let's say, 20 metres between
6 the groups of soldiers. So, in my opinion, there must have been more than
7 100 at that time.
8 Q. And they were all dressed, as you said, in camouflage uniforms --
9 A. They were.
10 Q. Now, where did the buses then continue on to?
11 A. Well, there was a roadblock near Konjevic Polje, so we had to turn
12 south there, to the village of Milici, and the buses all drove south.
13 Q. Okay. Now, on your way south, did you observe anything out of the
15 A. I saw some men with -- walking around or near the street with
16 their hands in their neck and they were walking. And when I saw a
17 football field on my right, I saw men, Muslim men, gathering on the
18 football field. They were sitting on their knees with their hands in
19 their neck. And there was even a table. And everything I saw I radioed
20 all the way to OP Alpha, because nobody knew where the buses went to and
21 nobody knew where we went to. So we always had radio contact with OP
22 Alpha, Observation Post Alpha. And I -- everything that we had to deal
23 with - the stopping and the men firing - was reported by me to OP,
24 observation post, Alpha. And also, the football field full of men sitting
25 on their knees with their hands in their neck, lined up.
1 Q. Could you estimate what the number of these men sitting on their
2 knees with their hands on their necks was?
3 A. There were between 100 and 200.
4 Q. Okay. Were they guarded?
5 A. There were Bosnian Serbs in that neighbourhood at that time, and
6 there were men on the football field standing near the men and they were
7 in camouflage uniforms, so that must be the BSA. I saw the men walking on
8 the road towards the football field, from the north to the south. And, of
9 course, when I passed the football field, from the south to the north.
10 Q. Okay. And these men who were in -- that is 150 to 200 men who
11 were in the football field, what kind of outfits were they wearing? Could
12 you --
13 A. To me, they were just civilians.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. And their stuff, the things they brought with them, were gathered
16 nearby the football field. So the bags they were carrying.
17 Q. Okay. Thank you, sir.
18 MS. SOLJAN: I could show one more exhibit depending on if we do
19 have enough time to do so.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: We have about three minutes left.
21 MS. SOLJAN: I think an exhibit can be shown in that amount of
22 time. If you wouldn't mind please putting on e-court 65 ter document
23 1664, please.
24 Q. Now, sir, can you describe for the Court what you see on this
1 A. On this picture I see a road going to Nova Kasaba and I see the
2 football field nearby the road, and on that football field the men were
4 JUDGE AGIUS: In future, please try to avoid using images like
5 this or other documents for that matter which already have indications on
6 them. Please try to avoid that. I think we had made that clear some time
8 MS. SOLJAN: My apologies, Your Honour. We'll do so.
9 Q. Now, Lieutenant Colonel, where did you go from this area? Where
10 did the buses continue?
11 A. The buses, they drove on, on the way towards Milici, and then
12 turned right towards Kladanj.
13 Q. And was this your final destination?
14 A. Well, that's where the buses stopped. When I got there with the
15 bus, the other buses were waiting there. It was in the middle of a wood.
16 So the women and children on the first convoy, a lot of the women were
17 glad to see me there because they thought they were killed in the middle
18 of the wood. They made this sign to me. I don't know how to describe
19 that, but ...
20 Q. Just for the record, the sign is indicated by?
21 A. A finger.
22 Q. The forefinger going from the left, from the direction of the left
23 shoulder to the right shoulder, across the neck. What did you understand
24 that sign to mean, sir?
25 A. Well, those women who signed that to me thought that they would be
1 killed in that forest.
2 Q. And what did happen, sir?
3 A. Well, I left my vehicle and I walked towards a point where they
4 would let everybody out of the buses. And the two UN colleagues who were
5 in the first convoy, the first bus, excuse me, the first vehicle, they
6 left their vehicles and walked with them towards Bosnian Serb -- excuse
7 me, the Muslim areas.
8 So there, everybody got out and walked their way. And what I only
9 did was checking whether everybody could get out of the bus and be able to
10 walk at the way out of the Bosnian Serb areas.
11 MS. SOLJAN: Thank you, sir.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to stop here for today. Lieutenant
13 Colonel, we will meet again tomorrow morning. With that, I think I wish
14 you all good afternoon and good evening. Thank you.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 19th day of
17 October, 2006, at 9.00 a.m.