1 Thursday, 30 November 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, everybody. Madam Registrar, could you
7 call the case, please.
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.
11 Everyone is here except Mr. Meek and Mr. Bourgon, as previously
13 Prosecution, it's Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.
14 Good morning to you, Major.
15 THE WITNESS: Good morning, sir.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer will be proceeding and concluding with
17 his examination-in-chief and then we start with the cross-examinations.
18 Thank you.
19 WITNESS: JOHANNES HENDRIKUS ANTONIUS RUTTEN
21 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
23 Examination by Mr. Thayer: [Continued]
24 Q. Good morning, Major.
25 A. Good morning.
1 Q. Before we resume where we left off, in reviewing your testimony
2 from yesterday, I just noticed one thing at page 4808, line 7 to 9, and I
3 just wanted to make sure that the transcript reflects accurately what your
4 response was. The question I put to you, at lines 4 through 6, was, "I
5 want to turn your attention briefly to the actual VRS attack on the
6 enclave. Did you have an opportunity to see what was being struck by the
7 shelling?" And the answer as reflected in the transcript is, "Yes.
8 Warehouses around the compound itself, what was in our line of site, and
9 it -- warehouses near, for instance, Budak hill that was on the opposite
10 of the compound."
11 I just wanted to verify with you whether that is an accurate
12 reflection of what your answer was intended to be.
13 A. No. That's not an accurate reflection because I was -- I have
14 said that there were houses that had been struck by shelling and not
16 Q. And when you say houses, what are you referring to, just regular
18 A. Regular houses where the people lived in near Budak hill.
19 Q. Okay. What I'd like to do is, rather than mark up further the
20 exhibit from yesterday, which was getting a little crowded, if we could be
21 shown a clean version of 65 ter 1522, please.
22 And do you have an image on your screen, sir?
23 A. Yes, I have an image.
24 Q. You have the stylus in your hand, I see. Would you please mark
25 with an A the location of the woman you saw who made the sign across her
1 throat and showed you the direction towards the location where you
2 eventually found the bodies?
3 A. Okay. [Marks]
4 Q. And would you mark with a B, please, where you saw a Serb soldier
5 chasing a woman out of an area of some houses, please.
6 A. [Marks]
7 Q. Now, you testified yesterday about the APCs that were in the area
8 on the 12th and were they in the same -- well, were they in the same area
9 approximately on the 13th as you recall?
10 A. Yes, they were in the same area.
11 Q. And would you circle that on this photograph, please.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. And would you just write APCs next to that circle.
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. And if you would, would you draw a rectangle around the area, that
16 you recall on the 13th, the remaining refugees were, as they waited to
17 pass through that APC blockade?
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. And if you just write "refugees" next to that as well, please?
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Now, Major, yesterday you referred to an area, or more
22 specifically, a line of buses along which you saw Serb soldiers separating
23 Muslim men after the point where Lieutenant van Duijn was active. Would
24 you please just draw a line or maybe an arrow along the area that you were
25 describing to the Court.
1 A. [Marks].
2 MR. THAYER: For the record, that is two arrows extending
3 downwards on this image.
4 Q. I think if you would just, please, initial the image anywhere.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Thank you, Major. And we can save it now.
7 Major, did you see any force being used on the refugees as they
8 were being directed to or placed on the buses?
9 A. Initially, when they left the area behind the APCs where the line
10 was drawn by the Lieutenant van Duijn, then the people start walking
11 towards the buses and then when it wasn't going that fast enough sometimes
12 there was -- there was someone pushed in a bus or were getting
13 instructions in Serbo-Croatian, very rude instructions, but not that much
15 Q. Okay. Did you see any kicking or hitting in addition to the
16 pushing or did you only see pushing?
17 A. Only pushing, yeah.
18 Q. Now, I want to turn your attention to the last area I want to
19 cover with you this morning. Major, do you recall the portion of your
20 Krstic testimony I summarised yesterday, in which you were shown a
21 photograph in which you recognised a Serb soldier whom you described in
22 your words as not being a plain soldier. Do you remember that?
23 A. Yes, I remember that.
24 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what you meant in your testimony in
25 Krstic by those words, "Not a plain soldier"?
1 A. Not a plain soldier, it's quite obvious that when you're on the
2 ground, who is in charge and not. There is a sense of authority to the
3 officers and the NCOs in the area because they know what to do, they are
4 well instructed, and that's the way you can distinguish the people who are
5 on the ground. And it was very clear to me that there were a certain
6 amount of Serbs that were in control, although they were not wearing any
7 insignia, but also T-shirts and other gear and other clothing, but it was
8 very clear to me that they were in charge.
9 Q. Now, specifically with respect to this individual whom you
10 identified in the photograph, can you recall anything about the way he was
11 conducting himself that led you to draw the conclusion that he was not, as
12 you said, a plain soldier?
13 A. He was -- he gave them direct instructions to other Serb soldiers.
14 They were speaking to him. There was a way of contact, what is also
15 normal in our army, that there is a certain distance between the men on
16 the ground and between the NCOs and the officers on the other hand, so you
17 can always tell who is in charge.
18 Q. Now, can you recall what kind of uniform this soldier was wearing
19 and/or any insignia at the time?
20 A. They were wearing also camouflage uniform or a camouflage trouser
21 with brown and green T-shirts.
22 Q. Okay. Now, but with respect to this particular individual, do you
23 have any recollection, as you sit here today, of what that soldier was
24 wearing when you saw him outside the "White House"?
25 A. The moment I saw him outside the "White House", he was wearing
1 camouflage trouser and he had green/brown T-shirt.
2 Q. Now, sir, I want to show you an image. We are going to do it from
3 Sanction, just to advise the Trial Chamber, because if we do it through
4 e-court, there is going to be some identifying information underneath it
5 and we wanted to crop that out, so it's simply the image. So if we could
6 see 65 ter number 1936. This is chapter 5, page 9.
7 Sir, do you have an image on your screen?
8 A. Yes, I have an image.
9 Q. And was this image shown to you during the Krstic trial?
10 A. Yes. Also, yes.
11 Q. As you sit here today, do you recognise the man on the right in
12 the camouflage shirt?
13 A. Yes, I do recognise him.
14 Q. And do you recall seeing the man on the right during the 12th and
15 13th in or around Potocari and do you recall also seeing other photographs
16 of that man?
17 A. Yes, I do recall that, okay.
18 Q. And just generally, would you describe for the Trial Chamber the
19 role that you believe that the man on the right played at the time, as you
20 had an opportunity to see the man on the right in the green camouflage
22 A. It was clearly that -- that he was the man who was -- who gave the
23 instructions and who was very clear to me that he had the authority and he
24 was in charge over there.
25 Q. Now, as you sit here today, Major, do you recognise the man on the
1 left in the brown T-shirt?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And whom do you recognise that man being?
4 A. I don't have a name, but I saw the man also near the "White
6 Q. And is this the man that you had described previously and that we
7 have just been discussing, who was somebody that appeared to you to be not
8 a plain soldier?
9 A. Yes. That's the man also.
10 Q. Now, sir, is it fair to say that on Monday night, you had to be
11 reread a portion of your Krstic testimony in order to refresh your memory
12 of that man on the left?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And prior to reading that testimony again, is it fair to say that
15 you weren't entirely sure that you recognised that man on the left?
16 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the objection?
17 MS. CONDON: Your Honour, I object to my learned friend
18 cross-examining his own witness as to -- in my submission, this is a
19 proper matter for cross-examination, not to ask his own witness these
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comment on that, Mr. Thayer?
22 MR THAYER: Your Honour, I'm simply placing in context the current
23 testimony. I think it's relevant evidence. It's appropriate to ask this
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I don't agree with your objection, Ms. Condon. This
2 is the normal progression of the examination that Mr. Thayer has been
3 conducting and seeks to further explain and -- illustrate his position in
4 relation to this photo. So go ahead, please.
5 MR. THAYER:
6 Q. My last question, Major, and I think you've already answered part
7 of it, but to this day, do you know the name of either of the men in this
9 A. No.
10 Q. Thank you, Major. I have no further questions at this time.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Thayer. I take it Mr. Josse is
12 going first?
13 MR. JOSSE: We've agreed to go first, Your Honour. That's right.
14 Thank you.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you very much. Mr. Josse, together with Mr.
16 Krgovic, Defence counsel for General Gvero, and he will be cross-examining
17 now. How long do you expect to be, Mr. Josse?
18 MR. JOSSE: About half an hour, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. Thank you.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:
21 Q. Major Rutten, as a member of Charlie Company, were you aware of
22 the theft of any of your weapons prior to the events that you have been
23 describing yesterday and today?
24 A. Yes. In the evening, before I heard from other soldiers of the
25 company, that there already were weapons been taken by the Serbs.
1 Q. So we are talking about July, aren't we?
2 A. Yeah, July, that's true.
3 Q. My fault. I didn't frame my question carefully enough. Prior to
5 A. Prior to -- okay. Then that's a different question, then.
6 Q. Indeed my fault. What's your answer to that.
7 A. Not prior -- prior to July, there were no weapons taken from our
8 company and not from the battalion that I know of.
9 Q. So you've got no memory or knowledge of the company being
10 overwhelmed by about 30 or 40 Muslims and taking some of your weapons?
11 A. No.
12 Q. No knowledge of what whatsoever?
13 A. No.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could speakers please not overlap.
15 MR. JOSSE: My fault again, sorry.
16 Q. We speak the same language, Major. Of course, there are
17 translators. I need to go much slower.
18 A. Okay.
19 Q. Am I right in saying that on the 10th and 11th of July, at all
20 material times, you were in Potocari?
21 A. Yes, I was in Potocari.
22 Q. And the journey that you have described to Srebrenica, was that on
23 the 13th of July or sometime before that?
24 A. If you mean the journey that was told yesterday in the late
25 afternoon of 13 July, then it was on the 13th of July.
1 Q. And so you were also in Potocari throughout the 12th of July?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. In those three days, that is the 10th, 11th, and 12th of July, did
4 you see any resistance at all from Muslim soldiers or irregulars or indeed
5 any form of resistance whatsoever?
6 A. Not on that spot. Not on the spot of Potocari.
7 Q. Where did you see some resistance?
8 A. Not actual resistance, but during my journey, as you asked before,
9 in the evening of the 13th, to Srebrenica, I -- on the road to Srebrenica,
10 I saw a group of Bosnian soldiers, Muslim soldiers, who were hiding in a
11 house. I stopped there and asked them whether they -- what they did over
12 there because it was quite dangerous to be around there. And I suggested
13 to them that they get the hell out of there because they could be getting
14 in a problem. As I drove away, and I was only a few hundred metres
15 further down the road, my car, my jeep, was hijacked by Serb soldiers.
16 Q. That was, as you've just said, on the 13th of July?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. For what it's worth, my question referred to the 10th, 11th and
19 12th. So perhaps we could just concentrate on those three days, first of
20 all. You saw no resistance at all from Muslims during those three days?
21 A. Not in my line of sight near Potocari, that's right.
22 Q. You were in a bunker for some of that time; is that correct?
23 A. Yeah, during the morning sometime, but I wasn't often in the
24 bunker. I was one of the men who wasn't sleeping in the bunker because I
25 saw no use of sleeping in the bunker. I was sleeping in the shelters that
1 we had to [indiscernible].
2 Q. I agree that when you were asleep, you wouldn't have seen anything
3 any way, but how many hours did you spend in the bunker on each of those
4 dates? Can you assist?
5 A. Altogether, a few hours, I think, yeah.
6 Q. I want to take you, on this subject, to an answer that you gave
7 when you were being examined in chief during the course of your evidence
8 in the trial of General Krstic. And at page 2109 of that transcript, Mr.
9 Harmon, prosecuting, said this to you, "Captain Rutten, you've described
10 heavy shelling in the Srebrenica enclave. Can you tell me, based on your
11 presence on patrols and your experience in the enclave, were there any
12 military targets in the town of Srebrenica or in the town of Potocari?"
13 And your response was, "There were no real military targets. The military
14 targets that were there were on the confrontation or border line at the
15 time of the enclave. There were some BiH soldiers still but not in
16 Potocari or Srebrenica itself."
17 Now, I have a number of questions about this exchange between you
18 and the prosecutor in that case. Firstly, he says to you that you've
19 described heavy shelling in the Srebrenica enclave. Your description
20 related to what was going on in Potocari and no where else; is that right?
21 A. There is a difference between --
22 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, one moment. What's the problem.
23 MR. THAYER: Just to clarify, Your Honour, when my learned friend
24 refers to your description, I just wanted to make sure we understand
25 whether it's his description that he gave here or the description that he
1 gave in the Krstic trial, that's all.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Fair enough. I think you can address that, Mr.
4 MR. JOSSE: I can.
5 Q. My question relates to the question that Mr. Harmon asked you in
6 that trial. And, in particular, the words that he used. And I suppose
7 what I'm asking is what you understood by them, because he says, I quote
8 again, "You've described heavy shelling in the Srebrenica enclave."
9 A. My describing was quite clear then because, at that time, I had
10 two radios on me and I could hear every report that came out of Srebrenica
11 area, because the Bravo Company was acting in that area and I had that --
12 that on my radio as well, so that I could read every radio signal that
13 came through about -- in the southern part of the enclave. So also the
14 reports on the shelling, I heard on the radio. So if you referring to my
15 statement then, then it's referring to that situation by the radio
17 Q. Okay. Now, that clarifies that, and it's right to say that what
18 you actually saw and heard with your own ears, so to speak, was what was
19 going on in Potocari, correct?
20 A. Yes, that's right, yes.
21 Q. I now want to turn to your answer to Mr. Harmon's question and I
22 read it once and, if need be, I can read it again, but you said there were
23 no real military targets. Now, I don't want to be facetious about this,
24 but what would you describe as an unreal military target?
25 A. An unreal military target, it's quite clear to me that are civil
1 houses as I described before on Budak hill, that are civilians walking
2 around, that is shelling where there are no real BiH soldiers around and
3 there weren't any at the time, only a few wounded ones. So that to me are
4 not real military targets and there were no BiH positions near the
5 Potocari area.
6 Q. And so your use of the word "no real military targets" refers, as
7 you just said, to -- and let me get this right, a reference to civilians
8 who may have been perceived as a military target?
9 A. There weren't any civilians who were wearing, as we describe it in
10 our humanitarian law that we use and it's also reflecting the
11 international military law, wearing suits that you could see that they
12 were military personnel around. So there were just civilians around
13 wearing normal civil clothes and if I refer "no real military targets,"
14 there were no manned positions in -- near the Potocari area of BiH
16 Q. Although I think at another point in your testimony in that case,
17 you mentioned an encounter with a BiH soldier that you knew from your
18 patrols, who had civilian clothing on; he wasn't in military fatigues. Do
19 you remember mentioning that?
20 A. Yes, I remember that. And that was the piece that you already
21 also read, the man in the wheelbarrow, and I knew him because I have seen
22 him before during patrolling and he was wounded then, he had a shot wound,
24 Q. And I think you understand that the commented to that Trial
25 Chamber, that you didn't blame him for wearing civilian clothing, you
1 would have done the same in his desperate situation?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. That's right. So would it be right to characterise him as a
4 soldier who had put on civilian clothing?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. You described, not I think in the course of that
7 testimony, but in one of your briefings, I can take you to it if need be,
8 that as you have described it, armed men took leave of their wives. I
9 think you were referring to the 11th of July. Do you remember ever saying
11 A. Yes, I remember.
12 Q. And -- well, perhaps you could describe that to the Trial Chamber.
13 A. Yes. That was on the back side of the compound. It's even on the
14 image we have on my screen here. I can point it out to you if you want
16 Q. Can I stop you because I am going to ask you in the course of my
17 cross-examination to mark a plan, but a different plan to the one you've
18 got there.
19 A. Okay.
20 Q. Perhaps up on the screen, P10516 [sic] can be placed. It's wrong
21 on the transcript if the transcript is being relied upon. It's P01516.
22 Yes. That's it. You may want to take a moment to orientate
23 yourself. It's a very similar shot but of course covering a larger area
24 to the photograph you were previously looking at?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And I'm going to invite you to be given the stylus and mark this
2 in a number of ways. Perhaps you could begin then by marking the point
3 that you say the armed men took leave of their wives.
4 A. Okay. It was at the -- this is a small stream down here and here,
5 in the corner, we made an entrance in the fence. It was at the opposite
6 side, there was a small bridge at the rear side of the -- of our compound
7 and this was our compound, with the factory hall in the middle, large
8 factory hall, and at the back side, we call that our -- of our compound,
9 made an entrance, and here at opposite side it was a small bridge, and at
10 the -- the other side of the stream, and that's exactly here, there were
11 some BiH soldiers greeting their families and the wives and the children
12 were put on the -- on our compound, yes.
13 Q. And what number of men would you say were involved in that
14 encounter, armed men?
15 A. Three.
16 Q. Three, that's all?
17 A. Yes, that's all.
18 Q. I see. And these people had come from Srebrenica, presumably?
19 A. I can't tell.
20 Q. Then changing the subject slightly, I want to suggest to you that
21 looking at this map, the vast majority of the refugees took the road that
22 is visible in the north of this map. Although rather confusingly, this
23 map is actually upside down, so that the north is in fact the south but
24 I'll call it the north, coming from somewhere near where the Z and the E
25 of Herzegovina is.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you agree with that, that that is the road where the majority
3 of the refugees streamed down from Srebrenica?
4 A. Yes. I agree on that.
5 Q. And I want to suggest to you that somewhere down that road, there
6 was a -- there were scenes of men and women separating, the women coming
7 towards the Potocari base, the men going to the right, as we look at this
9 A. It is a little bit different than you -- than you describe it,
10 because what I described as the stream, we were getting the -- a lot of
11 people inside our compound in the cover of the trees around the stream.
12 As you speak about the vast majority, that there were around the former
13 bus compound, and that is here, and I texted it on this area as well and
14 the majority of the refugees, as I stated yesterday also, were in this
16 Q. Yes. We are agreed on that, by the way.
17 A. Okay. Then if they came down with the line of buses, then you
18 could see on this image as well. Most of the refugees were travelling
19 like -- on this side and another part of them, mostly the separated ones,
20 were travelling on this side. And where the separation -- wherever it
21 took place along this line, the men and boys were taken out of this group
22 of refugees and were being brought or sent to the houses that were along
23 the road.
24 Q. We may be at cross-purposes. You are talking about the separation
25 of the men on what date?
1 A. It already started on the 12th of July.
2 Q. Okay. Perhaps it's my fault. I was asking you about separation,
3 if it happened, between men and women, on the 11th of July, as they left
4 Srebrenica. The Serbs were not there at that point, at the point that I'm
5 asking you about. They hadn't arrived, so to speak.
6 A. You're right on that. There wasn't any separation on the 11th of
8 Q. And my question is this: The point that you've marked on the plan
9 where the refugees came from, do you recall a natural, for want of a
10 better word, a natural separation taking place between men and women, with
11 the women coming into the base, eventually through the hole, and the men
12 going to the right as we look at there photograph?
13 A. No, there was no distinction on that as you call it, natural, and
14 certainly not on the 11th, because there was no separation whatsoever on
15 the 11th.
16 Q. At that time, we agree, there were no Serbs in the vicinity?
17 A. Yes, we agree on that.
18 Q. Where did the Serbs eventually arrive from?
19 A. If you mean eventually, on what date do you mean? On the 11th or
20 the 12th?
21 Q. You were there. You tell us.
22 A. On the 11th, we -- there weren't any Serbs around then. On the
23 12th, it depends, in the morning there was already reported from the south
24 they were coming in and during the later morning, they came from all kinds
25 of sides. They came in from the north. We got the report from the
1 direction of OP Papa. They came in from the south as well. We get a
2 reports from the rest of the B Company. And they came in from, so to say,
3 the Quebec and Romeo area for us, and that is this area. They came here
4 from the hills down, and at this point where I put that arrow, that was my
5 line of sight, and they came out of the hills over there.
6 Q. Now, I want to initially ask you about the Serb forces that came
7 from the north, which, as we both agreed, is at the bottom of this
8 photograph, in other words, from the Bratunac area. Were you aware of any
9 resistance at all at the bottom of this photograph, from Muslim forces?
10 A. No, I was not aware of that and there was nothing report on -- on
11 BiH resistance at that point.
12 Q. Because I want to suggest to you that there were some mortars at
13 the bottom of this photograph trying to repel Serb forces.
14 A. That could have been, but I was regularly in the days before and
15 also on the 11th, on top of the factory hall where there was a post of 108
16 company -- 108 platoon Commando Company and there were no, at that time,
17 no signs of BiH mortars around. The only thing that we saw from the top
18 of the factory were in the hills of Purici, Serb positions with mortars
19 and even a tank that they drew -- drove out, in and out of their position,
20 intimidating us, because they saw us on top of the factory hall and we saw
21 them in the hills of Purici.
22 Q. When you were carrying out these observations, do you remember
23 which members of your company you were with?
24 A. That were -- was no one of my company was around on that. I was
25 alone on the roof, together with them, the man that I recalled, a
1 Lieutenant, and a few men of 108 platoon, on the top of the factory hall.
2 And later on there came also the -- our surgeon, a Colonel Kramer on top
3 of the factory to watch what was happening in Purici hills.
4 Q. Prior to the Serbs arriving, do you remember any Muslim men
5 fleeing from the vicinity? In other words, trying to avoid capture.
6 A. On the 11th, I was outside with Lieutenant Koster during the day
7 and we had a report that the -- at the entrance of the compound, that
8 there were two soldiers. They waved with something. We got the report.
9 So that was one of the moments I was in the bunker and we got that report.
10 We went outside at the gate to check what that was because they were
11 reported as probably a BiH commanding officer. But as we came at that
12 point, and I shall point it out to you, that was here was our entrance,
13 and the soldiers here was also a building and they were behind this
14 building, two men, but the card that they had was a card that was on his
15 arm and there was a wounded card which was filled out by one of our
16 soldiers on -- from OP November. I could read his sign, his signature on
17 that card, who had helped the man. The man had a gunshot in his underarm
18 and that was it. We gave him some water and we send them back because
19 we -- we didn't want -- we didn't want have BiH soldiers near our compound
20 because it could have been that then the Serb forces would identify that
21 then as a BiH position. So that could attract attention and even fire so
22 it could be dangerous for civilians.
23 Q. What I want to suggest to you is this: That there were Muslim
24 fighters who fled prior to the arrival of the Serb forces, or at the time
25 of the arrival of the Serb forces, to the upper right-hand part of this
1 photograph. What do you say about that?
2 A. In the evening on the 11th, there were reports from former and
3 even then also actually working with us, laundry women from the Muslim
4 people, and they told me that the men, Muslim men, were fled to the, as we
5 call it on the maps, the Buljim area, that's between OP November and OP
6 Alpha, to get out of the -- to get safely out of the enclave area.
7 Q. Could you mark that area, please.
8 A. It's not -- I can only give the route to that Buljim area, but the
9 route to that Buljim area was between those bushes you see here and it's
10 in that direction.
11 Q. Yes. And am I right in saying that that is basically leading to
12 Jaglici and Susnjari?
13 A. Yes, you're right.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Josse, because I don't want this to
15 escape us later on. In line 9 on page 20, previously in line 6 of the
16 same page, the -- whoever is in charge of the transcript did not catch the
17 word, the name that the witness mentioned. We are talking of the Buljim,
18 Buljim. Yeah. Okay. Thank you.
19 MR. JOSSE: Yes, it's being helpfully suggested to me that I need
20 to invite to you mark the map with some of the things that you have
21 indicated. It might be worth starting with the hole in the perimeter
23 A. Okay.
24 Q. I mean an H for hole would do, I think.
25 A. Yeah, okay. [Marks]
1 Q. The large marked area top middle of this particular photograph,
2 perhaps an R for refugees, if the Trial Chamber are content with that.
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. The line to the left, the arrow to the left, I think represented
5 incoming Serb forces; is that right? Is that what you said?
6 A. Yes, that's what I said, yeah.
7 Q. Perhaps SF for Serb forces.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. And the two lines to the right of the photograph, would you be
10 content to mark MF for Muslim fighters?
11 A. The problem is --
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. The thing that I reported just right now that were not only
14 soldiers but were men leaving and you're now saying to me that they were
15 Muslim fighters leaving.
16 Q. Absolutely. I'm not trying to make a cheap point. MM, Muslim
17 men, would be fine.
18 A. Okay. [Marks]
19 Q. I'd like to ask you a little bit about your discovery of the
20 bodies, and in the course of your testimony in General Krstic's case,
21 which you have adopted in this case, you say that your discovery of those
22 bodies took place on the 13th of July; is that correct?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. As far as you can recall, Major, have you always been consistent
25 about that discovery taking place on that date?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Because I'd like to - without being too dramatic about it -
3 confront you, as lawyers sometimes say, with a previous statement of
4 yours, and this is 3D46. If that could be put up on the screen, please.
5 MR. JOSSE: I'm told what's on the screen will need to be
6 preserved, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly, we need to save that first.
8 MR. JOSSE:
9 Q. So could you sign that, date it, please.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Bottom right, thank you.
11 MR. JOSSE:
12 Q. It's the 30th of November.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Thank you. Whilst this is being put up on the screen, the
15 information I have been provided with about this document, it's described
16 as a Dutch MOD debriefing statement dated the 23rd of July 1995. I don't
17 think we have been provided with a Dutch version, and I'm not clear
18 whether the document you're about to look at is in fact the original. So
19 that's one of the things I'd like to ask you, please. We see that it's
20 got -- bears your name, and we see the date that the interview was
21 conducted, and it says, "I am co-coordinator for Srebrenica. On the
22 morning of 11th July 1995, there was a rumour in the local refugee camp
23 that seven people had been shot and the bodies were near the well in
24 Potocari." You then describe knowing the area well, driving to it with
25 Messrs. Koster and van Schaik and you saw a man running in that direction,
1 also a woman, and you then discovered nine dead men who appeared to have
2 been shot lying face down.
3 So my first question, if I can break this down, is perhaps you
4 could help us as to what this document is.
5 A. Yes. I can help you.
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. The last ten years almost, but not the last two or three years, it
8 became quite quiet in Holland about this affair, and you're laughing, but
9 it's --
10 Q. Only to be fair, it's in response to your --
11 A. It's laughable to other ones, but not to us. And the reason why
12 I'm saying this is the following: During that so-called debriefing
13 session in Assen, all soldiers, and that you will find that in the NIOD
14 report as well and in the other reports, and in the parliamentary inquiry,
15 had enormous problems with this debriefing statement in Assen, because
16 they were never signed by us, they were rewritten, and the problem that we
17 had with it was that a lot of our messages that we tried to bring over, we
18 never found back in our statement that was put down during those days.
19 So if you're referring to this document, this worthless piece of
20 paper, if I call it like this, and then, yes, feel free to do that,
21 because that's the only thing I can say about it, and you will speak to
22 some other colleagues as well about this -- these statements, and almost
23 no one of my colleagues is -- stands fully behind those statements in the
24 debriefing session that was held in Assen in 1995.
25 Q. A few follow-up questions, if I may. Firstly, --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment before you do so. I just want to confirm
2 something with whoever. The English version that I have, indeed at the
3 end of the statement, just states, end of interview. There is no
4 indication of who the interviewer was, any signature, just the top, the
5 interviewee and the date of the interview. Can I see the end, please, of
6 the same document in Dutch, please?
7 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, as I observed, there isn't one in Dutch.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm seeing it on the screen. I have it on my
9 monitor. Oh, I see, I see, this is B/C/S, I see. Okay, I'm sorry.
10 MR. JOSSE: I'd rather my learned friend didn't comment at this
11 stage and I'd rather ask the witness. And perhaps after I've asked the
12 witness, I would be happy to hear some information thereafter from the
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. You can address the witness on this but I just
15 want to make sure if we can have available a Dutch -- the Dutch copy.
16 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, that was the exact question I was about
17 to ask him literally.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to see it if it is available.
19 MR. JOSSE: Absolutely. In fact, the question I was about to ask
20 you, Major, is are you aware, is there a Dutch version of this available
21 or was this interview conducted in English, the statement written in
22 English? Can you help us.
23 A. It was in fact -- in fact, it was in Dutch as I recall it.
24 Q. So do you think this is a translation or was the report of the
25 interview, so to speak, written in English?
1 A. No, it was a Dutch version, I think, and there was no reason to
2 put it into English because it's a -- it was a Dutch matter, as I said
4 Q. Absolutely. Well, Your Honour, I've asked the question. Any help
5 from my learned friend would be gratefully received on our part.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Exactly. And perhaps we can also ask the witness
7 himself whether he has a copy of this so-called statement, as he wishes to
8 describe it, in his own language. You have?
9 THE WITNESS: Sorry, yes, I have it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you happen to have it here with you?
11 THE WITNESS: No.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER: Two issues, Your Honour. I'll take the most recent
14 one first. With respect to this one page interview document, we do not
15 have it in Dutch. The only copy, the only version we have, is in English.
16 That said, I also want to clarify, I think, a misunderstanding between the
17 witness and my learned friend as to which document we are talking about.
18 The document I believe, as my learned colleague has identified, that is on
19 the screen, is a Zagreb debriefing document that was taken while the
20 DutchBat soldiers were in Zagreb before they returned to Holland where
21 they were again debriefed in what we now refer to as the Assen debriefing.
22 So there were actually a series of debriefings, if you will, beginning
23 upon their immediate return or their immediate stayover or layover in
24 Zagreb. That is what we are being shown here on the screen. And I
25 believe what Major Rutten has been referring to is actually the subsequent
1 Assen debriefing. So we are a little bit at cross-purposes. The Assen
2 debriefing, we definitely have in Dutch, that's been furnished to the
3 Defence as well as the B/C/S translations obviously.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I think we need to confirm or modify this
5 statement of -- by Mr. Thayer. Major -- shall I take it over or would you
6 like to address this having heard Mr. Thayer yourself, because we need to
7 eliminate the possibility that we are talking of two different --
8 MR. JOSSE: I'm grateful to my learned friend, but I was, in fact,
9 going to deal with those very matters.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Then go ahead. I will not interrupt you. Thank
12 MR. JOSSE:
13 Q. Major Rutten, you've heard what Mr. Thayer, for the Prosecution,
14 has said. Is it right that you were interviewed in Zagreb on the 23rd of
15 July of 1995?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. And in the answers that you were giving me earlier, was there any
18 confusion on your part between your debriefing in Assen and your interview
19 in Zagreb?
20 A. No. I always stated the same dates.
21 Q. So you were aware that this particular interview was conducted in
22 Zagreb that resulted in this particular document, correct?
23 A. I got that document far more later, the real copy of it, than at
24 the moment in Zagreb.
25 Q. This document?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Any idea when you received it?
3 A. No. I can't recall that. No.
4 Q. Did you, on receiving it, complain to the -- your military police
5 or someone in authority that this was a misrepresentation of the facts?
6 A. No. I never did.
7 Q. Why not?
8 A. There was no reason for me, because all my other reports that I --
9 that I did and that I worked with the military police were correct and
10 these reports, yeah, that I -- much more later I got this one. So there
11 wasn't at that time -- there was no reason to correct it because I simply
12 hadn't the report.
13 Q. We've now clarified that this took place in Zagreb. Perhaps you
14 could tell us about the circumstances of those interviews. Are you as
15 critical of the way they were conducted as you are of the way the Assen
16 interviews were conducted?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Why?
19 A. Because it wasn't a real interview with a direct report, as I
20 stated before, and you never got the chance to sign the report and to read
21 it over before you sign it. So -- and if you never get a copy, and the
22 conditions in Zagreb where they held those interviews with us were quite
23 typical, as I -- were quite typical because there were only questions and
24 nothing was written down directly.
25 Q. Sorry, what do you mean by your use of the word "typical"?
1 A. Yeah. That's difficult to say. There is -- there was a certain
2 disbelief by me at that time what they tried to achieve with those
3 interviews with us.
4 Q. Your evidence to this Chamber is that you never said the 11th of
5 July. Is that what I'm understanding you --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- to assert?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that this is some horrible mistake?
10 A. I don't know who draw this statement, who drew the statement,
11 sorry, yeah.
12 Q. Not much more on this. When you were interviewed in Zagreb, tell
13 us briefly, if you can, about the procedure. Were you interviewed alone
14 or were you interviewed in the company of other DutchBat members?
15 A. Alone.
16 Q. Do you recall how many interviewers there were?
17 A. There were two opportunities, because I reported myself in
18 Zagreb. Myself, I wasn't asked for. There was an interview with a human
19 rights personnel there and there was an interview with the chief in
20 command of the army that I spoke then that particular morning, yeah.
21 Q. If I suggest to you that it is a possibility that you discovered
22 these bodies on the 11th of July and that this first statement of yours
23 was correct, what do you say?
24 A. I'm not agreeing on that.
25 Q. One other aspect of this document which I think, in fairness, you
1 confirmed in your later testimony. You say that there were rumours of
2 these killings in advance of your discovery of the bodies. Were the
3 rumours circulating, to the best of your knowledge, on the day of the
4 discovery or sometime prior to that?
5 A. It was on the day of the discovery, and there is something else I
6 want to say about the 11th. On the 11th, we weren't outside the compound
7 because on the 11th, that was the particular day that we cut the hole in
8 the fence. On the 10th, in the evening, we made the first beginning of
9 that and at the 11th, we finished the hole, we enlarged it, waiting for
10 the refugees to come in, waiting for the order to be given by my superior
11 to let the refugees in. So if there ever has been written by someone 11th
12 of July, it is simply not correct.
13 Q. So you are sure, in fact, it was two days later, the 13th of July,
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. And on the 11th of July, there were no Serb forces. And I'd
17 suggest to you, you were quite free to patrol the area safely at that
18 juncture. Would that be right?
19 A. No. That isn't right because you're rephrasing things and you're
20 getting things out of the context. Because at the 11th, there was still
21 shelling in that lane from Purici hills down towards Potocari. So at this
22 moment you won't be hearing me, but this is -- yeah, might be something
23 different. But when I'm speaking to someone, it's polite that he listens
24 to me and otherwise, I -- because you put your headphones off. So did you
25 listen, sir?
1 Q. Well, Mr. Rutten, I apologise, but I have an advantage, which is
2 I'm able to follow the transcript in English. I was taking some
3 instructions from my lead counsel in this case, asking him whether I
4 should ask you any further questions. I don't mean to be rude to you.
5 And though I'm not the learned Judge in this case, and he can control the
6 proceedings, I would suggest you just answer the questions and let me
7 worry about conducting my own case. I'm sorry.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. And I think I have to endorse what Mr. Josse
9 stated. Please try to avoid any across-the-table confrontations between
10 you. Everyone is doing his or her job here. And let's kill it here.
11 Major, could you kindly answer his question?
12 THE WITNESS: Could he rephrase his question again?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, I'm sure Mr. Josse will oblige.
14 MR. JOSSE:
15 Q. The question was simply whether -- I suggested to you that it
16 would have been quite safe for you to go out and patrol that area in Budak
17 hill on the 11th of July because there were no Serb forces in the
19 A. My answer to that is that is not correct, because also in the
20 evening on the 11th, one of the APCs, the medical APC went out and came
21 later on in from Srebrenica, and was shelled when it came in, and also
22 some cars from our battalion. So -- and the shelling came from Purici
23 hills. So it wasn't safe then to do any foot patrolling at the moment.
24 Q. My last question or set of questions to you goes back to the
25 document still on the screen, 3D46. Prior to giving evidence in this
1 case, in other words, yesterday, had you looked at that statement again?
2 In other words, over the last few days, have you had a chance to re-review
3 that particular statement?
4 A. No.
5 Q. When was the last time you think you saw that?
6 A. I don't know.
7 MR. JOSSE: Thank you very much.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse.
9 Who is next?
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Your Honour, I am.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Ostojic, how long do you expect your
12 cross-examination to last?
13 MR. OSTOJIC: 30 to 40 minutes, Your Honour. I know I indicated
14 approximately 15 yesterday, but in reviewing some of the documents, I
15 believe I can complete it within 30 to 40 minutes.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: We are not going to restrict any of you and that's
17 because this particular event, the nine bodies, there are so few witnesses
18 available that I think it's only --
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: -- chance to deal with these witnesses as thoroughly
21 as possible. So Mr. Ostojic is lead counsel defending Colonel Beara in
22 this case, and he will be cross-examining you next.
23 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
24 Q. Good morning, Major Rutten.
25 A. Good morning.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: We will have a break at 10.30.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: Fair enough, Your Honour.
3 Q. Sir, I'd like to ask you a little bit on the follow-up questions
4 that you were just asked specifically in connection with this worthless
5 piece of paper, and where in your opinion, a paper should be given to you,
6 a statement, where you sign it and then read it or read it and then sign
7 it again. I don't necessarily disagree with you, sir. And I'm going to
8 show you an Exhibit which is 3D37. And with the usher's assistance, if we
9 could look at the last page of that document which has the last three ERN
10 numbers 326. The last page of that document. Thank you.
11 Sir, this is basically a witness acknowledgement form which
12 clearly sets out, and I'm sure you've read it, which clearly sets outs
13 that you've read the statement and you read it in your own language which
14 would be the Dutch language, and in fact that it's true to the best of
15 your recollection, correct?
16 A. Yeah, that's correct.
17 Q. This is the type of statement that you were referring to when you
18 said or when you were critical of some of the Dutch Defence Ministry's
19 interviews or debriefings that you were -- had in August of 1995, correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. So this statement, if I tell you was taken approximately in
22 October 9th, 1995, that would also be near or about the time of the events
23 and that would be something that would be closer to your recollection than
24 ten years later, correct?
25 A. Yes, could have been. Yeah.
1 Q. Do you remember giving a statement to the Office of the Prosecutor
2 on October 9th, 1995?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. And if we look to the first page of this document, it's actually
5 the witness statement -- acknowledgement is attached to that very
6 document, October 9th, 1995. You see that?
7 A. Yeah, I can see that. Yeah.
8 Q. Now preliminarily, I'd like to ask you first, who is Petrus
9 Hendrikus Rutten?
10 A. When you -- my name is on top of that, Johannes Hendrikus Antonius
11 Rutten, that's my name.
12 Q. Yes. I understand. But who is Petrus Hendrikus Rutten?
13 A. It's a MP officer of the Netherlands royal mounted police here.
14 Q. Any relation to you, sir?
15 A. No. No relation, but I do recall the name, because he is the man
16 who did the investigation in the Kodak team when I came back in July 1995.
17 Q. Now, you had given several statements, including the debriefings,
18 and just to highlight them, you gave one on the 23rd of July 1995, as we
19 discussed or you had discussed earlier, correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You also gave a statement on the 6th of September -- I'm sorry, on
22 the 2nd of August 1995, to this Mr. Rutten with the military police,
24 A. Yes, also correct.
25 Q. And then your third statement would have been the second
1 debriefing with the Defence Ministry on the 9th -- on the 6th of September
2 1995, correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then your fourth statement in 1995, would have been this OTP,
5 as I call it, witness statement that's before us, correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. Sir, am I correct that on July 11th, 1995, that initially it was
8 DutchBat who planned not to allow men into the compound?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Although -- okay.
11 A. Sorry.
12 Q. Correct on this?
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. One moment. I'm sorry to butt in but
15 Major and Mr. Ostojic, particularly you Major, please allow a very short
16 brief interval of time, brief pause between question and answer because
17 when you overlap, the interpreters will have problems and I have a duty to
18 protect them. So, Mr. Ostojic and Major.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Your Honour. It was my fault, sorry.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: It's okay. I am sure you will comply. It happens
21 even sometimes with me but --
22 MR. OSTOJIC:
23 Q. In fact, sir, it was your decision on the 11th of July to let some
24 men in the compound to stay with their families and you particularly, sir,
25 made the decision to allow the men into the compound who were obviously
1 not armed, correct?
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. Let me take you, sir, to a topic that we have discussed here a
4 little bit and that is screening of military men as combatants. Do you,
5 sir, agree with me that it was quite clear that there was a selection that
6 was made of certain men who were suspected of being combatants by the Serb
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, so when you -- is it obvious also to you, sir, that that was
10 what was going on?
11 A. I don't understand your question, because at what point do you
12 mean what was going on?
13 Q. Well, that's fair. Thank you. I'm talking about on July 12th,
14 1995. Wasn't it rather obvious to you, sir, that the selection process or
15 the screening had been made of certain men who were suspected of being
16 military combatants?
17 A. Yes, there were -- sorry, yes, there was a certain screening going
18 on, yes.
19 Q. Well, it was -- what a made it so obvious, sir?
20 A. What made it so obvious? The first thing I saw that it made that
21 obvious and then I'm speaking about the 12th, was that they -- they looked
22 at hands of BiH people, civilians, and they had a -- quite a selection on
23 age, but I -- it was very hard for me to understand that the boy from 12
24 years until 15 years and some I asked for their -- for their age, that
25 they could have been soldiers, combatants, and there were men that could
1 barely walk. So if that are combatants, then, okay, we have a new kind of
2 army then.
3 Q. Well, sir, let me ask you: Other than checking their hands, what
4 other things were done in this selection process of certain men?
5 A. There wasn't.
6 Q. On the 12th of July?
7 A. On the 12th of July, the selection process was merely that -- that
8 almost all men, for exception, real elder men who barely couldn't walk,
9 were sent to the houses on the line that I draw that -- that I drew this
10 morning, and even the boys, as I told you before.
11 Q. Well, let's take a look at your statement, sir, on the -- I think
12 it's the third page, which ends in ERN number 322, if I may. Again, sir,
13 we are referring to this statement that you read in your own language and
14 that you signed, October of 1995. I just needed you to clarify a couple
15 of things for me. We will take that first paragraph. It says, "On
16 Wednesday morning July 12 or 12 July 1995," do you see that?
17 A. Yes, I see that.
18 Q. And towards the bottom or the end of that same paragraph, you have
19 this sentence that we just covered, these last two lines. It says, "It
20 was obvious by then that a selection had been made of certain men who were
21 suspected of being combatants," correct?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. Now, sir, my question to you, when you say "certain men," that
24 doesn't mean all men, does it?
25 A. No, that doesn't mean all men.
1 Q. And the certain men is some men, correct?
2 A. That is some men, that's correct.
3 Q. And the men that were actually being selected or screened on the
4 12th of July 1995, were men, as you put it, who were suspected of being
5 combatants, correct?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. Now, let's go to the next sentence there. You give us the similar
8 or the same example but you preface it by saying "among other things" and
9 you state, "Among other things, men were checked for fingers smelling of
10 gunpowder." Do you see that?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What other things, sir, other than checking the fingers of
13 those -- some men who were suspected of being combatants were they doing
14 in the screening process?
15 A. Looking at their clothes, looking if they had ID or weapons on
16 them, and then they were sent to the houses.
17 Q. And that was it, to the best of your recollection?
18 A. That was it, but the problem is, and that rose my attention, that
19 the age of the men that were sent to the houses was not the age of the men
20 that we should see as combatants.
21 Q. Well, is there defined in the Royal Dutch military certain ages
22 when a person can be identified as a combatant in a civil war?
23 A. We had never a civil war, so that's difficult then but we now,
24 boys from 17 years old on, we take in for a first year of more or less
25 school training. So international rule says, below 18 years, you cannot
1 have boys on a battlefield or as combatants. And I stated just before,
2 and I want to emphasise that, that when there are pupils around in a house
3 where I made photographs, then I can no longer say that they are or could
4 have been combatants.
5 Q. We will get to those photographs in that -- what did you call it,
6 a house?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Didn't you call it though an interrogation house in some of your
9 earlier statements?
10 A. Yes, I called it an interrogation house.
11 Q. You called the area where you inspected an interrogation area,
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay. We will get back to that. Now, sir, if someone,
15 hypothetically, like the Office of the Prosecutor and a member thereof,
16 states in their opening statement that there was no screening, based on
17 your testimony and your recollection, and the statement that you gave,
18 they would be incorrect; correct? And just for the Court, it's page 426,
19 line 15, the 21st of August, 2006.
20 A. The screening that I meant there and that's words are being
21 rephrased and were taken out of context, I think, is that a normal
22 procedure for combatants, and I mean combatants in a normal situation, as
23 we train our soldiers, is that we do a specific check on ID, on weapons,
24 on a lot of things, and then we -- we label them, more or less, to clear
25 whether they later on, to get the belongings to the right persons and that
1 the right person has a number, and we do that with envelopes. But the
2 situation in the so-called interrogation area was merely dropping their
3 belongings and their IDs on a huge pile in front of the "White House".
4 Q. Well, we'll get to the interrogation in a minute and I know you're
5 anxious to get to that. I'm asking you this, sir. If the Prosecutor, on
6 the 21st of August, 2006, said, "No screening," that would be incorrect?
7 A. Yeah, that would be incorrect, yes.
8 Q. Now, let's talk about interrogation. The first time that you had
9 seen any interrogation in this "White House", as you call it, the
10 interrogation house, was the next day, the 12th of July, 1995, correct?
11 A. That's correct, yes.
12 Q. And, sir, in that house, wasn't it true that it was your opinion
13 that you could hear voices and that the voices implied normal
14 conversations were going on, correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, sir, if there was no interrogation, why would you identify or
17 coin the "White House" on the 13th of July when you visited it as an
18 interrogation house or as an interrogation room or area, as you have done
19 in your statements?
20 A. The reason we said that was that there were a lot of men going in,
21 and eventually, and I can't tell if all had been interrogated at that
22 time, but a lot of them went in a separate room and been interrogated or
23 at least there was a conversation going on, as you mentioned it, in that
24 room, but I couldn't see what in that room was actually happening because
25 I was not allowed to go in that room.
1 Q. Well, you could hear -- you could hear actually what was going on
2 in the room, sir, couldn't you, and you could in fact hear that there was
3 no screaming and that there was no sounds indicating any maltreatment;
5 A. The moment I was in the house, that -- I was trying to get an
6 overview of what was happening there. When I was in the entrance of the
7 house, I only stood for a few moments in the -- in that entrance, and
8 later on I went up the staircase. So it wasn't a situation, to put the
9 whole situation in the right context, that I could listen up quite nicely,
10 lean through the door and hear very nice what there was going on. It were
11 just fragmentations of information that I could pick up there.
12 Q. Okay. Well let's take a look at the next page of your statement
13 in October of 1995 that was read in your language and signed. I think it
14 ends in ERN 323. Sir, I'll represent to you, although we can look at the
15 page prior, just so you know, we are talking about the 13th of July there,
16 and it says it on the page prior, but just for the benefit of this quick
17 question before the break, if I may, hopefully, you'll except my
18 representation. It states there in the fifth or sixth line there, "I
19 could hear voices from the room. These voices implied that a normal
20 conversation was going on. I did not hear any screaming or any sound
21 indicating maltreatment." Do you see that, sir?
22 A. Yes, I see that.
23 Q. Earlier in your answer to me, you mentioned "we", but actually you
24 in October of 1995, when you gave this statement, you specifically
25 remembered this and it was your opinion, sir, specifically, that the
1 voices implied that there was nothing wrong going on in the room.
3 A. That was correct, yes.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: Now, I see that it's 10.30, but I would like to
6 finish this.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead.
8 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
9 Q. Sir, did you formulate an opinion at that time that the Serb
10 soldiers simply wanted to find out whether there were any Muslim soldiers
11 among the men in the compound?
12 A. It was -- you make a connection there that isn't there. And it
13 wasn't my opinion at that moment as well. My opinion at that moment was
14 that there was something going on, I was inside the house, the connection
15 that you made with men that were on our compound is a totally different
16 one. At the moment I was at the "White House", I was investigating what
17 was happening over there, and my first view in the entrance of the house,
18 and that's already clearly stated, was that there was someone hanging a
19 few centimetres with his feet from -- on a staircase. So if we speak
20 about that, and if I speak a few moments later, about a situation that I
21 could see no maltreatment by hearing a normal conversation, then it's only
22 a selected moment at that time.
23 Q. Well, I don't want to be unfair to you, sir, but we'll go through
24 that, that comes later in your statement.
25 A. Okay.
1 Q. What I'm asking you directly, which is the next sentence in your
2 statement, and it's my opinion, sir, and you tell me if I'm correct, that
3 it was your opinion that the Serb soldiers simply wanted to find out
4 whether there were any Muslim soldiers among the men and that was why they
5 were interrogating them in this interrogation house or interrogation room
6 or area as you put it; correct?
7 A. That's correct, yes.
8 Q. And, in fact, that's specifically what you say in your statement,
10 A. Yes.
11 THE INTERPRETERS: Could the speakers, please, slow down and not
13 JUDGE AGIUS: I think it's time for a break, Mr. Ostojic. Let's
14 have a 30-minute break starting from now. Thank you.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Let me just give some brief information before we
18 start. After the next break, we'll be sitting without Judge Kwon, who
19 cannot be with us. Monday, we start at 10.00 and not at 9.00 and then
20 tomorrow we are not sitting, you know that, and Friday week, we will not
21 be sitting either, on the 8th, we will not be sitting either, so please
22 make note of this.
23 All right. And incidentally, while we are at it, as well, you
24 asked for a week in February for reorganising your ranks. That will be a
25 week which starts on the 12th. 12th February, of course, yeah. All
2 12th February, Monday through Friday. Okay? That will be off, as
3 per your wishes.
4 Then you had asked for the week starting on the 26th of March. We
5 are unable to give you that. However, we have agreed as follows: That in
6 the following week, the week which starts, if we say that the week starts
7 on Monday, the week that starts on the 2nd of April, we will sit from
8 Monday to Wednesday, and then we will not sit from Thursday, which is
9 Maundy, Thursday, 5th April, right through Friday, the -- and inclusive of
10 Friday, the 13th of April. So the week you asked for before, we are
11 giving it to you after instead. All right? And that's because of other
12 exigencies that the Trial Chamber has and organisational priorities.
13 So if you want further clarifications on this, if we haven't been
14 clear, please, let me know and I'll come back to you.
15 Sorry, Mr. Ostojic and Major Rutten, but if we don't do these
16 things now, they might escape through the back door and will not be able
17 to catch up with them.
18 Yes, Mr. Ostojic, go ahead, please.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Major Rutten, before the break we were discussing your first visit
21 to the interrogation house, I believe on the 13th of July, 1995, and I
22 want to ask you, sir, if at that time, there were any Dutch soldiers in
23 the interrogation house?
24 A. At the time there were already two soldiers posted already by a
25 colleague of mine.
1 Q. And I've been specifically, I don't want to say warned, but told
2 to stop. And I apologise if I've spoken too fast to the interpreters and
3 to you, sir. I'll try my best to slow down the questions.
4 Who were those two soldiers, those two Dutch soldiers?
5 A. They were two soldiers of 108 platoon.
6 Q. As you sit here, sir, do you know their names?
7 A. No, no.
8 Q. Now, after you left the interrogation house on the 13th of July
9 1995, I think, at least according to your statement and what I've heard in
10 your direct examination, you were told by some interpreter that there were
11 several bodies or seven or so -- nine bodies that were found in a meadow,
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. And can you tell me, sir, the next time that you went to
15 the "White House" or interrogation house, when was that?
16 A. That was after that I found the bodies.
17 Q. Was it the same day, the 13th of July 1995?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And it was several hours later, possibly?
20 A. Yes, several hours.
21 Q. Now, at that time, sir, you also went back to the interrogation
22 house and you saw that the Serb soldiers were holding Muslim men for
23 interrogation, correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And at that time, sir, was your estimate that there was
1 approximately 3 to 500 Muslim men in the house?
2 A. Yeah. I stated 300 at that time, because the house wasn't that
3 big to hold 500 men.
4 Q. Do you know in your prior statement if you've ever given an
5 estimate that was higher or lower than that, sir?
6 A. No, it's -- by my knowledge now, it's always about 300.
7 Q. Now, were those two Dutch soldiers from the 108th --
8 A. Company.
9 Q. -- company, thank you. 108th company, were they also still at
10 the "White House" when you returned on the 13th of July 1995, for a second
12 A. Yeah, they were still at the "White House" and not any more inside
13 the house, because they had given a message that they had to wait outside.
14 Q. Now, sir, is it fair to say that you, at that second visit on the
15 13th of July, were trying to arrange the release of those men in the
17 A. If we speak about the release of the men, the second time I was in
18 the house, I saw a more or less total filled-up house and we were the only
19 ones that were bringing water in. And I saw an almost inhuman situation
20 down there and I spoke with some colleagues at the main entrance of the
21 compound, and that was Warrant Officer Rave, and an UNMO named Major De
22 Haan, a Dutch one, and I said that we should do something about that
23 situation at the "White House". There was also an UNMO around called
24 Kingori, that was an African colleague, yeah.
25 Q. Did you at any time, sir, speak to any Serbian leaders regarding
1 the evacuation of those Muslim men?
2 A. Not that I can recall of, no.
3 Q. Perhaps your statement of October 9th, 1995, would refresh your
4 recollection on that. So if we can look at the next page ending -- again
5 it's the same exhibit, but ending in ERN 324, which is 3D37. Thank you.
6 We have in front of -- the second visit on the 13th of July, 1995
7 to the interrogation house where you came back, and prior to that
8 paragraph that you see, you see the reference to nine corpses above that.
9 So I think I'm accurate in this being the second visit, but you correct me
10 if I'm wrong. Sir, I'd like to focus your attention on the middle portion
11 of this document or your statement where you state, "My impression was
12 that the evacuation of some would not improve the situation, but as it
13 was, the situation was untenable." You proceed, sir, to say as
14 follows: "I then went to see one of the Serbian leaders and told him that
15 he ought to arrange something for the evacuation of the Muslim men." Do
16 you see that?
17 A. Yes, I see that.
18 Q. Does this refresh your recollection, sir, that in fact it was you
19 who sent to see a Serb leader, as you put it, and you told him that he
20 needs to do something to arrange for the evacuation of the Muslim men from
21 the interrogation house to some other area?
22 A. As I see it, yes. I spoke with -- there were -- I'd rather put it
23 like this: There were a lot of conversations going on throughout the
24 days. It's difficult to say what you've said each specific moment, and
25 it's quite semantic now to see your own words drawn out of a context. But
1 then, again, I spoke to Serbs about the unbearable situation in the house
2 of the men and I said what can we do about it to -- to put this to a
3 better situation. But if I used the word "evacuate," to evacuate the men,
4 I'm not sure, and I am well aware of the fact that I, in this statement,
5 this word is used, but at that time, for me "evacuate" meant going into
6 custody somewhere else.
7 Q. In fact, the word evacuation doesn't appear just in that sentence,
8 sir, that you gave, when you gave the statement to the Office of the
9 Prosecutor that you've read in your own language, that you signed. It
10 appears also in two lines above that, does it not?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. You consistently in this statement, sir, had you not, used the
13 word evacuation of the Muslim men, correct?
14 A. Yes, and it's -- sorry, sir, that I interrupt you but --
15 Q. Quite all right.
16 A. -- we use in the Dutch military, and even in the -- with our NATO
17 colleagues, EVAC as a quite common word. So if we speak about words now,
18 and that's the thing we're doing here, I think -- for instance, if we have
19 a wounded man and we want him out very quickly, we call that a CASEVAC
20 with helis. So using words in the military -- yeah, vocabulary, more or
21 less, seems something different than to the civilian vocabulary and that
22 is something that we should take in notice, I think, because I was
23 speaking then in -- on a military facility with military colleagues to a
24 well known private investigator, I know, from the UN. But then, again,
25 the word evacuate we do use in the military with another meaning than in
1 civilian life.
2 Q. Okay. Well, I wasn't really focussed that much on that word
3 evacuation. However, I don't want to take anything, sir, that you say out
4 of context, so please forgive me if I do. I'm merely reiterating some of
5 the things that you said and I'm trying to refresh your recollection that
6 it was you, sir, who went to the Serb leaders and had talked to them and
7 in fact arranged for their to be an evacuation or a transfer of Muslim men
8 from the interrogation house to some other area; correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. Do you remember the name of this Serbian leader or leaders that
11 you spoke to?
12 A. No.
13 Q. And in fact, sir, isn't it also true that the Serb military
14 complied with your request and, in fact, because of your request, they got
15 buses organised so that they could move these men from the interrogation
16 house to another area, correct?
17 A. That is a conclusion that you are drawing now. I'm not drawing
18 that conclusion, because we saw later on the day buses coming or were
19 actually there and getting the men out of the house into the buses. But
20 if this was the result of my conversation as a lieutenant to the Serbs is
21 something else. That is a conclusion that you made there, and I'm not --
22 yeah, I'm not affirmative on that, if I can put that on that way.
23 Q. Okay. Let me show you how I reached that conclusion, sir.
24 A. Okay.
25 Q. After you state in your statement that you read an in your
1 language that you signed confirming that you spoke to Serb leaders and
2 told them they should arrange something, the very next sentence, sir, that
3 you write, and that you told the Prosecutor you state, "The Serbs arranged
4 for two buses to be driven to the house."
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It's the very next sentence, is it not?
7 A. Yes, it's the very next sentence, but this is an overview of what
8 happened during a complete day, and it doesn't mean, if it is the next
9 sentence, that it immediately happened afterwards.
10 Q. But it happened, in any event, after you spoke to those Serb
11 leaders and seeking them to arrange transport or evacuation or any other
12 word or adjective you want to use, after you spoke to these Serb leaders
13 to get the buses, that's when the buses came to transport or evacuate
14 these Muslim men from the interrogation room; correct?
15 A. You're also, again, drawing the conclusion that my question was
16 being -- was being held by the Serbs to do that that way, and I -- I don't
17 see that like that way, because they did nothing we asked for, so the
18 buses could have been planned already. That is also a conclusion I could
19 draw out of this text. So again, I'm not agreeing with you when you draw
20 this conclusion.
21 Q. And I don't believe that I'm the only one drawing the conclusion,
22 sir. I think it's plain in your statement. Can you point out in your
23 statement, sir, where you state anywhere or in any of the statements,
24 those that you endorse, those that you don't, the following: "That I
25 don't see it like that way because they did nothing we asked for, so the
1 buses could have been planned already."
2 Where in your statements, four in 1995, one in 2002, and I believe
3 another one in 2000, where have you ever said or reached that conclusion,
5 A. The question was never asked.
6 Q. Now, let me ask you this: Do you know, sir, as you sit here, and
7 do you recall, that after this discussion with Serbian leaders and after
8 the buses arrived to evacuate the Muslim men from the interrogation house,
9 did you not know, sir, that they were being taken to Bratunac?
10 A. Yes, because that same morning, a lieutenant also escorted buses
11 in the direction of Bratunac, but I wasn't aware of the fact that this --
12 of these buses were also going to Bratunac. It was unknown until that
14 Q. Okay, well let's look at the next paragraph of your same statement
15 where you state, "The men from the house" -- let me stop you there.
16 That's the interrogation house we are talking about, right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. "... filled the buses and I think there were 60 to 70 of them in
19 each bus." Then you proceed in the very next sentence to say, "I heard
20 later that the men were taken to Bratunac." Correct?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Now, I don't want to unreasonably conclude anything, sir, but
23 isn't this statement that you gave actually concluding that those men who
24 were in the interrogation house on the 13th of July, 1995 were put on
25 buses and from what you heard taken to Bratunac?
1 A. That's correct, if you put it like this, yes.
2 Q. Sir, let me ask you in your role as an intelligence officer in
3 Srebrenica in July of 1995, do you learn of any information where people
4 were trading or illegally profiting from what was known as a black market
5 at the time?
6 A. There were some rumours but we had no concrete evidence on that.
7 Q. Did you, sir, as an intelligence officer and as a policeman and
8 platoon leader, did you conduct any investigations in connection with that
9 black marketing?
10 A. I have to correct you. I'm not from a [indiscernible]
11 intelligence officer but an infantry officer.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 A. That's the first one. And I'm not, certainly not, a policeman.
14 Q. Did you conduct any investigation, sir, of this purported black
16 A. No.
17 Q. And why not?
18 A. There were some rumours and everything we, from the company, had
19 and rumours were put in reports to the battalion and the battalion was in
20 the lead.
21 Q. Now, sir, we spoke a little bit about screening and I think I have
22 your testimony on that. I want to talk, again, just briefly about
23 interrogations, if I can. In your statement you mention interrogations on
24 several occasions during both visits to the interrogation house and in
25 other statements you do as well. Would it be unfair, hypothetically, for
1 the Prosecutor, on the 21st of August, 2006, given your statement, which
2 was signed, under oath, which you've read in your own language, to
3 say, "That there was no interrogations to speak of"?
4 A. Now, I cannot -- I cannot state this kind of putting it,
5 because -- this way of putting it, because there was a -- and maybe I'm
6 wrong by putting it like this in English, but there was certainly an
7 interrogation going on during my visits to the "White House".
8 Q. I think you put it quite well, sir.
9 Let me ask you this: In your statement to the royal military
10 police in south Holland, you -- it states as follows on page 18, which
11 is -- let me get that exhibit for you, which is 3D41. Sir, in this
12 statement, is it true, on page 18, that it was you and the Dutch soldiers,
13 specifically, Sergeant Major Rave and others who arranged for the
14 transport of buses having the Muslim men transported in the direction of
15 Bratunac? Is that accurate?
16 A. No, that's not accurate.
17 Q. Do you see it on the statement that's on the e-court, page 18 of
18 your statement? It says, first paragraph, "We arranged for transport by
19 buses together with Sergeant-Major Rave of the I," probably standing for
20 intelligence and "V," apparently referring to security section, "two full
21 buses were the first to leave. The Muslim men were transported in the
22 direction of Bratunac." Do you see that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. That statement is incorrect that you gave to the Dutch royal
25 military police?
1 A. No. That statement isn't incorrect but I spoke to Sergeant-Major
2 Rave and the UNMO De Haan who was also there at that time and we discussed
3 the situation in the "White House", and as a result, subsequently, buses
4 came and were driving towards Bratunac. But if this was the immediate
5 effect, that is something that is, again, I think, it is stated there, but
6 it's out of -- if you put it like that, it looks like if it is out of the
7 context of what was really happening.
8 Q. Okay.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: What's the date of this statement?
10 MR. OSTOJIC: I have that date, Your Honour, although I don't see
11 it right on there. I think it's the 6th of September -- I'm sorry, the
12 2nd of August, 1995.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: And where was it taken?
14 MR. OSTOJIC: It was taken in Holland from my understanding, Your
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
17 MR. THAYER: If I just may correct my learned friend.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: South Holland in the Zeeland district, it says.
19 MR. THAYER: The date of the overall report that was filed by this
20 so-called Kodak team was the date cited by my learned colleague, however
21 the date, as we can see from page 15 of the actual interview, I believe,
22 is 28 July. I just wanted to correct that for the record.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. And on the 28th of July, where would
24 this interview have taken place?
25 MR. THAYER: The front of the document indicates --
1 JUDGE AGIUS: I think the witness can --
2 MR. THAYER: If we can look at that first page.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: If he can remember. It was the 28th of July, where
4 would you have been interviewed?
5 THE WITNESS: That was in Arnhem in the centre of Holland.
6 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm asking you because, before we had another one,
7 which I think also carried the date of the 28th of July and it was in
8 Zagreb, when -- yes, Mr. Josse.
9 MR. JOSSE: 23rd of July, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. When did you leave for good the
11 territory of ex-Yugoslavia?
12 THE WITNESS: We came back on the 21st of July.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Which complicates matters. If you came back on the
14 21st of July, how could you be interviewed in Zagreb on 23rd? I'm not
15 trying to create problems.
16 MR. THAYER: Mr. President.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Speakers, please, not overlap.
18 MR. THAYER: If we could just ask the witness to break down where
19 he went after he left the DutchBat enclave on the 21st of July, I think it
20 will be made clear. And I tried to do that earlier, but I think, out of
21 the witness's mouth, it will settle the issue.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. I thank you for that. Will you take care of
23 this, Mr. Ostojic?
24 MR. OSTOJIC: I'll try, Your Honour.
25 Q. Major Rutten, there is a little confusion on the dates. If you
1 can tell us to the best of your recollection when it is that you left the
2 enclave in 1995?
3 A. It was on the -- the date is difficult.
4 Q. Of course.
5 A. But we came back in Holland on the -- on a Monday. That was clear
6 to me, but I don't have the calendar of that period of time exact in my
8 Q. Let me just go through just a couple of the statements so that we
9 have a clear record with the court's permission. Sir, it was our
10 understanding that you gave an MOD, which is an a Ministry of Defence
11 debriefing interview, on the 23rd of July, 1995, that I think has been
12 identified as being in Zagreb; correct?
13 A. Yeah, yes.
14 Q. Approximate dates, those are the dates we see on the interview?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Then following that, sir, it's my indication that you gave or were
17 interviewed by the Dutch military police on the report on Srebrenica
18 sometime thereafter with the report being dated the 2nd of August, 1995?
19 A. Yeah, that's correct, yeah.
20 Q. And then a month or so later, on the 6th of September, 1995, you
21 gave a second debriefing statement to your Dutch Ministry of Defence?
22 A. Yes, that's also right.
23 Q. And then approximately a month thereafter, you gave the 9th of
24 October, 1995 statement to the Office of the Prosecution that we
25 previously saw, correct?
1 A. Van Hecke, yes.
2 Q. If I may just proceed on a different issue maybe?
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Certainly.
4 MR. OSTOJIC:
5 Q. This Dutch military police report, do you remember reviewing that,
6 sir, and signing that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. That also is a report that you had an opportunity to change or
9 modify if you felt that what they were recording was inaccurate; correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Now we spoke a little bit about your quote where it says, "We
12 arranged for transport by buses" and I think you challenged or you
13 mentioned that it may have been taken out of context. If we can just look
14 at page 17, to look at the context in which you were describing that you,
15 sir, or you and your Dutch soldiers arranged for the transport of these
16 Muslim men from the interrogation house. And we'll get that up in a
17 second. Page 17, do you see that, the last paragraph. It talks about the
18 second visit to the interrogation house on the 13th of July, 1995. Do you
19 see that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In fact, it follows almost similar to your testimony of the
22 individuals who were there, the estimate of the number of Muslim men that
23 were in the house; correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. I don't want to take it out of context, but it seems to me that
1 it's in the proper context. Not only did you, sir, speak to Serb soldiers
2 or leaders as you put it in your October statement, you, sir, yourself,
3 with your men, in fact, arranged for buses to have the Muslim men
4 transported to Bratunac; correct?
5 A. It looks like if we were in control to arrange that. That wasn't
6 the case. We weren't in control.
7 Q. Well, sir, tell me this: Did any Serb soldier, as you identified
8 him as a BSA in your statements, did they ever stop you, sir?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Okay. Well look at your statement in that same paragraph, page
11 17, where you state, "I was not stopped by the BSA." Do you see that?
12 A. Yes, but by entering the house and entering the facilities near
13 the "White House", but I also, in -- was stopped and that is also in
14 different statements, when I tried to get in the orchard behind the house,
15 for instance. So I'm not saying that you are lifting it out of the
16 context, but I'm saying --
17 Q. Thank you for that.
18 A. -- what I'm saying is that it looked like here that everything
19 happened subsequently after each other at that moment. But it changed
20 from situation to situation, from position to position, where I was,
21 during those days. So if it was put in any statement somewhat different,
22 then in a previous or in a previous statement or later on in another
23 statement, yes, it can be the case, yes, because in that situation during
24 the last days in the enclave, there happened quite a lot and this is an
25 understatement if you know what I'm saying.
1 Q. And I think I do, sir, and I appreciate that. Sir, not only did
2 the Serb soldiers not stop you from going into the "White House", you were
3 allowed and you were able to speak to the Muslim men, were you not?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: That's all the questions I have, Your Honour. Thank
6 you very much. Thank you, Major Rutten.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ostojic. Who's next is Madam
8 Nikolic. How long do you expect to cross-examine this witness?
9 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] 15 to 20 minutes, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. We'll have a break as usual at 12.30.
11 Then today we will be stopping at 1.30 and not a quarter to 2.00.
12 Cross-examination by Ms. Nikolic:
13 Q. Good morning, Your Honours. I need to correct the transcript. I
14 am defending Drago Nikolic and not Major Nikolic from the Bratunac brigade
15 concerning whom you testified. This is a correction in relation to the
17 Now, let me ask you something about what you testified on pages 17
18 and 18 of the transcript, when the army started entering Potocari. You
19 said that they came from all sides, from a number of observation posts and
20 that they were pouring down from the hill towards Potocari. Earlier in
21 the Krstic case, as well as yesterday on page 42, whereas in the Krstic
22 case, it is transcript page 2117, you testified that among the first
23 soldiers who entered were the soldiers of the Rambo type; is that correct?
24 A. That is correct. That would on the side of the bus remise or
25 compound where I was at that time, yes.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please speak into the microphone.
2 Interpreters have trouble hearing her.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Ms. Nikolic, the interpreters have asked me to draw
4 to your attention to try to speak into the microphone as much as possible
5 because they are having problems.
6 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] I believe it should be better now.
7 Q. Could you please describe in greater detail what you meant when
8 you said that those soldiers were more or less of the Rambo type? Could
9 you please describe to us what that unit looked like?
10 A. They were wearing also camouflage trousers, at least, some of them
11 wearing T-shirts, some of them wearing also camouflage jackets. They had
12 bandages around the head. They were wearing knives, large knives, on
13 their belts. And it is not only what they looked like, but it is the way
14 they react. I asked them not to go into the area of the -- of the red and
15 white tape that we drew around the bus remise, but they simply went in and
16 they did what they had -- think that they could do there because we marked
17 that area as a UN area where refugees were being held. And -- but they
18 took simply no notice of what I was saying there. So that that is, if I
19 said Rambo types, that means that they were very offensive way of, yeah,
20 walking around, do as they please in that area, yes.
21 Q. So we could say that they were acting in a completely
22 undisciplined way, in an arrogant way?
23 A. Undisciplined, I cannot say, because perhaps that was the orders
24 they had been given, but at least arrogant, yes, sure, yeah.
25 Q. You also spoke to us about the nine bodies that you found near a
1 stream. You mentioned that on pages 46 and 47 of yesterday's transcript
2 and you also mentioned it today when cross-examined by my colleagues.
3 Let me ask you this: How long did you remain in that location,
4 when you reached the stream near the location where the bodies were, where
5 you were with other colleagues?
6 A. It's a matter of minutes. We came in in the meadow, we saw the
7 bodies. As I told this morning, I examined them, what was happening. I
8 told the colleague to pick up the IDs or passports or working permits or
9 everything that was laying around there. I checked the bodies. I checked
10 each one of them. And I asked my colleague to pick up the IDs, the
11 sergeant major van Schaik, and I asked Lieutenant Koster then to sit
12 among -- in the middle of the bodies, wearing his UN cap. The reason was
13 that -- and make a photograph. The reason was that I then would later on
14 say that we were present as a matter of a -- or as a clear evidence that
15 we -- what we saw that moment, just an objective view of what we found
16 there in that meadow. And it happened in a few minutes more or less,
17 because the moment that we were there, some shots were heard and there is
18 a difference between shots overhead or nearby, and that was shots nearby.
19 So we had immediately after that had to leave the meadow and as the story
20 tells, we went back to the road again.
21 Q. Thank you. That means that you were unable, nor could you
22 afterwards, conduct an investigation about this event?
23 A. It was a -- I wouldn't call that an investigation. It was just a
24 checking what was happening over there. I looked specifically at the
25 bodies. There were two that were laying on the side and the rest of them
1 were laying on front, on the front side. It was near to a small stream, a
2 very small stream and the meadow and it was clearly that they were shot
3 there on the spot. And that is if you can call it an investigation, it
4 was a very short investigation what was happening there, yes.
5 Q. I would agree with you that it was just a brief analysis of the
6 situation. My question was whether, on the following day, or later that
7 day, you conducted any sort of an investigation. Was it possible at all
8 for you?
9 A. No, it wasn't possible because we couldn't cross the line. We
10 were not able to walk around freely because the Serbs were not -- were not
11 allowing this to us any more. So we had no freedom of movement
12 whatsoever. So it wasn't possible to investigate it furthermore.
13 Q. This means that you don't know who is responsible and you don't
14 know how these people were killed?
15 A. I don't know who is responsible, no, because I wasn't an actual
16 witness at that moment, but how they were killed, they were -- that was --
17 is also in my statements, I think, and there was -- there were wounds of
18 small arms calibre weapons.
19 Q. Thank you. Just to clarify, for the sake of the transcript,
20 something that is not contentious between the Defence and the Prosecution,
21 in the Krstic case, when you testified about Major Nikolic, who was the
22 liaison officer of the army of Republika Srpska, you actually testified
23 about the gentleman called Momir Nikolic from the Bratunac Brigade; is
24 that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MS. NIKOLIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I have no
3 further questions. Thank you, Mr. Rutten.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Ms. Nikolic. Who is going next?
5 Mr. Lazarevic, who is appearing for accused Borovcanin, will be
6 cross-examining you next. How long do you expect to be cross-examining
7 the witness, Mr. Lazarevic?
8 MR. LAZAREVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning. How long do you expect your
10 cross-examination --
11 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, with the cooperation of the witness,
12 if we don't enter into some serious disagreements, I believe that I will
13 make it in an hour and a half. I was trying to formulate my questions in
14 the way that the witness could simply answer with yes or no, but --
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's move. Thank you.
16 Cross-examination by Mr. Lazarevic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Major. During the proofing for
18 your testimony, you met with Mr. Thayer or some other representative of
19 the OTP. On that occasion, you most likely -- actually, not most likely,
20 you confirmed this yourself, you went over the transcript of your
21 testimony in the Krstic case. Did Mr. Thayer or whoever proofed you at
22 that time show you the other statements that you gave?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. All of the statements you gave, be it in Zagreb or in Assen or
25 statements given to the military police or to the Dutch parliamentary
1 commission, I'm now referring to all of the statements given by you.
2 A. We went through the binder of statements, yes.
3 Q. And when you went over these statements, I assume that took quite
4 some time. Did you draw attention of Mr. Thayer to any of the details
5 that were not sufficiently precise or incorrect in your statements?
6 A. Now you're presuming that I'm -- go over the statements if it was
7 a kind of a homework for me. And if you put it like that way, I haven't
8 gone over them that specific.
9 Q. Actually, my question was: Did you say to Mr. Thayer, "Look here,
10 I noticed some of the things that are not correct in some of the
11 statements, at least the ones that I checked in detail"?
12 A. There were -- we had a discussion of a -- there were a lot of
13 statements throughout the last ten years, and there were some statements,
14 as I stated before, that, like the Assen debriefing, where I had some
15 problems, but -- with it, because -- because they weren't signed or they
16 were rewritten or whatever, but we didn't went over in detail that
17 specific statement.
18 Q. Can I interpret your answer to mean that you never said to
19 Mr. Thayer, "I noticed some things that are not logical"? Did you, for
20 example, point out to him that the statement was not signed or anything
21 else that you just said to the Trial Chamber?
22 A. No, because as I said before --
23 Q. Thank you. I don't want you to gain an impression that I'm
24 interrupting you while you're answering. I'm just trying to abbreviate
25 the procedure. If you can just say no, I didn't say that, or yes, I did
1 say this to Mr. Thayer, because you've given an explanation earlier.
2 Now I'd like to turn to the statement that we've already seen in
3 e-court here. That's the statement you gave to the OTP on the 9th of
4 October, 1995. This is Exhibit 3D37 in this trial. I assume that you
5 went over that statement very carefully, didn't you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You gave the statement and signed it at the time. It was read out
8 to you in a language that you understand, and according to the best of
9 your recollections, is it correct and specific, precise?
10 A. If you mean the statement that -- with the interviewer Jan Van
12 Q. The statement you have on the screen before you dated 9th of
13 October, 1995. Yes, Jan Van Hecke. That's the one I had in mind.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Thank you. Unlike the statements that you spoke of, which you
16 provided under substandard conditions and never signed, did you encounter
17 any problems when giving this statement to the OTP?
18 A. This statement was already in the hands of OTP. So we spoke about
19 it, but not in specific detail, as you did.
20 Q. All right. We'll leave this for the time being, this topic.
21 This statement, page 2, last paragraph, on page 3, first
22 paragraph, you say that the refugees started arriving in the early
23 afternoon on the 11th of July, 1995. Is that consistent with your
25 A. Yes, that is consistent.
1 Q. Thank you. We received certain information here in this Tribunal,
2 according to which, on the 11th of July, 1995, members of the Dutch
3 Battalion urged the population of Srebrenica and surrounding settlements
4 to set out towards the base in Potocari, to leave their homes because the
5 Serbian army was approaching. Did you witness this yourself?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So you can confirm the fact about the Dutch soldiers issuing
8 appeals to the people from Srebrenica to leave their homes and go to
10 A. Now you're saying something else than before. If you're saying
11 issuing appeals, the population was on the run because, from the south,
12 the Serbs were coming in, so they looked for safety. And they were simply
13 from out of Srebrenica asking on to members of the B Company to find a
14 safer place. So they went, at first, by themselves and later on B
15 Company, the commander of B Company, issued a guidance by some DutchBat
16 troops to -- on the road to Potocari. But there was no appealing, as I
17 know of, from DutchBat soldiers to go to Potocari.
18 Q. Listening to your evidence now, I could see that you said, as far
19 as I know. Does this mean that you do not rule out the possibility that
20 this were such situations or do you categorically rule that out?
21 A. I cannot answer that with yes or no, because it isn't something
22 that belongs to my knowledge of that period.
23 Q. All right, Major. Even if you tell us, "I don't know," that's a
24 completely valid answer.
25 In your statement, you said that initially you were not going to
1 let the men into the compound, into the base. I assume you meant the men
2 who had arrived with these refugees at the base. What was the reason for
3 that, for not allowing men into the compound?
4 A. The reason is it was simply not possible to check everyone who was
5 coming on to the compound, if they were -- if they were having anything
6 that could be threatening to our company. That's one. Or to our
7 battalion. And the second thing is, and that was the orders that were
8 given also, women and children first, as you know what I mean.
9 Q. I fully understand you. It seems that you are anticipating some
10 of my questions. However, did you receive a specific order, "Do not let
11 the men into the compound"? Did you, yourself, receive such an order or
12 did you know of anything issuing such an order?
13 A. We only got an order to let women and children in and not the men.
14 Q. Who issued that order to you?
15 A. The company commander of the staff company was the first one who
16 came up with that order.
17 Q. Can you give us his name, if you know it, so that we can compare
18 it with other data that we have?
19 A. That was the Major Otter.
20 Q. Thank you. On that occasion, when such a large number of refugees
21 started arriving at the Potocari base, you told us that there were
22 soldiers among them who started saying goodbyes to their families, and you
23 concluded that on the basis of their military-style uniforms and the
24 weapons they had that you could clearly see; correct?
25 A. Yes. I stated before that there were three soldiers saying
1 goodbye to their families at the rear side of the compound.
2 Q. You could clearly see that they had weapons on them; is that
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. If we go further through your statements given to the Office of
6 the Prosecutor, at one moment you let into the compound men who wanted to
7 stay with their families and who apparently were not armed. That was your
8 testimony to the investigators of The Hague Tribunal. That is contained
9 in paragraph 1 of the page -- of page 3 of this statement. Do you recall
10 letting a certain number of men, who wanted to stay with their families,
11 into the compound?
12 A. Yes. If we speak about men, then, that were very young men, or
13 very old men, who weren't able to do any duty or active duty as a
15 Q. May I understand your present answer as testimony that, in the
16 Potocari compound, there were no men who would be able-bodied in terms of
17 an age-appropriate for military service?
18 A. If you say no men, that is not correct, because the Major Franken
19 also permitted a certain amount of men inside the compound who were -- who
20 could have been active combatants but they were more or less let in as
21 speaking men towards the Serbs.
22 MR. LAZAREVIC: Well, it seems that we have some problem with
23 translation. I was warned by interpreters. Could you please repeat the
24 last portion of your answer here. You said, "They were more or less let
25 in as speaking men towards the Serbs." That's what we have in transcript
1 and --
2 JUDGE AGIUS: As I understand it to be spokesmen.
3 THE WITNESS: Yes.
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Go-betweens between DutchBat, the Muslim population,
5 and the Serbian authorities. That's how I understood it to be. But I
6 agree the translation is poor in there, yeah.
7 THE WITNESS: Okay, you're very correct, there, sir.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Does that satisfy you, Mr. Lazarevic? Is it
9 clear in your mind.
10 MR. LAZAREVIC: That's it, because I have to admit that I was
11 warned by the interpreters.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes. I saw something strange too, but I more
13 or less I was understanding what's beneath.
14 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Major Rutten, here you stated that you let a certain number of men
16 who were not armed into the compound, and then you said that you could not
17 establish whether they possessed anything that could jeopardise the safety
18 of DutchBat members. So does this mean that you frisked or searched the
19 people who were entering with their families, going through their pockets,
20 their rucksacks? Did you make sure that they could not carry into the
21 compound pistols, hand grenades, knives, something that could be easily
23 A. No. I was not able at that time to do that, a thorough search,
24 but the men that came in, as I stated before, were older men, younger men
25 and also a lot of men who were badly handicapped, so we didn't saw at that
1 moment as active combatants. So we were not 100 per cent, and that is the
2 lead of your question, I think, but we were quite sure that they could not
3 wear anything, but it was a possibility -- the possibility was that they
4 could conceal something, yes.
5 Q. Right. In answering questions by my predecessors, they confronted
6 you with a part of your statement where you testified about a wounded
7 fighter, of whom you knew that he was a fighter, but he was wearing
8 civilian clothes. Could we conclude from that that there were members of
9 the BiH army who wore civilian clothes and that what they wore was not
10 reliable in terms of inferring who was civilian and who was military
12 A. I was -- during my time, a lot of patrolling was done by me and
13 the teams from the Charlie Company, and I knew, personally, a lot of the
14 BiH fighters. Also, this one who was laying in the wheelbarrow. That was
15 the only one that I noticed myself that was among the refugees.
16 Q. Yes. But my question was very specific in terms of the clothes
17 that he was wearing. He was wearing civilian clothes at the time. Shall
18 I rephrase my question? During these proceedings, we've heard testimony
19 of some members of the BiH army who testified that they had worn civilian
20 clothes at the time. Could we elicit from you whether you had a similar
22 A. If we're talking about that specific situation, the man in the
23 wheelbarrow, he was wearing civilian clothes, that's right.
24 Q. All right. At a certain moment, on the 12th of July, buses
25 started arriving and trucks intended to transport the refugees towards
1 Kladanj. Were you there when the first buses and trucks departed or
2 arrived? Did you see their arrival?
3 A. From what I could see at the -- from out of the bus remise, I saw
4 the first arrival of the buses, yes.
5 Q. At that time, a large throng of refugees had already arrived there
6 in that part of the compound and the bus remise. Did this crowd of
7 refugees started running towards the buses and trucks in desire to board
8 as soon as possible? Do you remember such an event?
9 A. Yes. They were very eager to leave the place, but there was a
10 reason for it, and I'm noticing that you're getting a little impatient but
11 I'm not. The situation was there was a fire truck bringing water in and
12 there was a van bringing bread in, and there was all kind of things
13 distributed. Those people hadn't been fed for a few days, so that was the
14 reason that they first made their moves towards the bus line or truck
16 Q. [In English] Sir, I can promise you we'll come to that.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: You're showing patience now.
18 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. At any rate, at a certain point, there was a commotion among the
20 refugees, and some witnesses labelled that situation as a human stampede.
21 My question to you is whether you remember such an occurrence?
22 A. Yes. I remember that.
23 Q. Thank you. Thank you very much.
24 From your vantage point, and that should be the bus remise from
25 your testimony, it could be clearly -- the situation could be clearly said
1 where in a human chain we would have one Serb, one Dutch soldier, holding
2 hands and trying to prevent another human stampede; is that correct?
3 A. I cannot clarify that, because I saw Dutch soldiers trying to
4 prevent that. Probably also Serb preventing that, but I haven't seen it.
5 Q. Do you then exclude the possibility that there would be such a
6 situation where Serb and Dutch soldiers would work together to thwart
7 panic spreading among the refugees by creating such a human chain or a
8 human shield?
9 A. No, I cannot exclude it.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: I think he has answered you already, yes.
11 THE WITNESS: Yeah.
12 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, well, I will continue but my question was
13 whether he can exclude such possibility. Okay. I apologise.
14 Q. [Interpretation] Now we coming to the part that you so eagerly
15 anticipated, and that is the arrival of General Mladic to Potocari. You
16 said that he was escorted by Nikolic and an interpreter, that there was a
17 film and TV crew recording events. It is on the -- in the third paragraph
18 on the third page of this version. Did you have occasion to hear and see
19 General Mladic personally, you?
20 A. As you suggested, shall I answer this with yes or no?
21 Q. Yes, yes. Please. Whether you saw Mr. Mladic or not?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Did you hear him addressing the refugees?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Did you later, after all these events, watching various
1 documentaries and maybe news coverage of different trials, did you manage
2 to hear what Mladic said to the refugees at that time?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you confirm to us that he said that who wanted to leave could
5 leave, who wanted to stay could stay, that buses had been secured and that
6 whoever wanted to leave would be bussed out to Kladanj? Did you see that?
7 A. Yes. I've seen such a documentary.
8 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to tackle the situation
9 where the water tanker and the truck with bread arrived and that bread was
10 then distributed among the refugees. If I understood well your
11 interpretation of this event, and given that the TV crew was filming
12 everything, your conclusion was that the whole show was put on for
13 propaganda purposes, to provide some positive coverage and spin on
14 Mladic's actions. Would this describe your understanding of the event?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. But at a certain point, that bread was distributed, cameras were
17 off, the whole shebang was over and there was no longer a need for that
18 kind of propaganda; is that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. If I were to tell you that there is testimony provided by a member
21 of the DutchBat, one of your colleagues, that after all that, quite a long
22 time after that, there was another truck full with bread and that bread
23 was distributed among the refugees, and if I told you that some refugees
24 told us that they had received more bread, would that change your
25 conclusion that you just now expressed?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Right. With your colleagues, a certain number of DutchBat
3 members, you were close to the bus depot or remise, and certain situations
4 emerged where your soldiers had been dispossessed of certain items by Serb
5 soldiers and that you protested this fact to Major Nikolic. Do you recall
7 A. Yes, I can recall that, yeah.
8 Q. Major Nikolic was escorting General Mladic, according to your
9 testimony; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. You knew Major Nikolic from before. I'm not saying that you were
12 close acquaintances, but you knew who he was before the events of the
13 11th, 12th and 13th of July, 1995; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, because he was a liaison to the battalion.
15 Q. All right. Reason why you addressed Major Nikolic to resolve this
16 situation where certain effects, personal effects, were stolen from your
17 soldiers was that he had enough authority to remedy the situation and to
18 prevent such things from happening in the future; is that correct?
19 A. That is partly correct, because there was also a member of the S5
20 team, a captain Matthijsen from DutchBat around and I addressed him first
21 and Nikolic stood right next to him.
22 Q. All right. But in your statement, it is said that -- page 3,
23 paragraph 4, this is not very consequential, but I believe it's stated
24 that you protested this with Nikolic. Let us make these things clear,
25 whether you addressed Nikolic or somebody else?
1 A. I spoke in fact to both of them because they were listening both
2 but I addressed in fact, of course, a member of the S5 team because that
3 was the procedure, they had the contacts formally with Nikolic.
4 Q. All right. But generally speaking, was your conclusion such that
5 Mr. Nikolic, had he wanted to, he could obtain the return of those items
6 to your soldiers? Was your impression that he didn't want to?
7 A. Yes, that was my impression.
8 Q. All right. Let's broach the 13th of July in the morning issue.
9 You stated that you went to the "White House". We are referring to your
10 first visit to the "White House". You said that personal ID documents
11 were in front of the house in a heap. It is stated in the last paragraph
12 on page 3 of your statement. And after that, you entered the "White
13 House". Do you remember that?
14 A. Yes. I remember that.
15 Q. Did you collect any of those personal documents that you saw in
16 front of the house? Did you take -- pick it up, open it, try to establish
17 what they stood for?
18 A. No, because a Serb soldier was around that pile of ID, and it was
19 not -- I felt at that moment it was not very -- not very, how shall I put
20 it, not very convenient to pick it up and then have a close look at it.
21 Q. Oh, all right, which means that you did not pick up and inspect
22 any of those documents?
23 A. No, but they were laying open and it was a clear look on that
24 pile. Some of them were open, some closed. What you actually was seeing
25 that there was different kinds of ID.
1 Q. Yes, all right. But what I am interested in is specifically one,
2 two or three documents that you may have taken, opened, read the name so
3 that you could testify that such a document would belong to such person.
4 That did not happen, did it?
5 A. No.
6 Q. All right. At the moment when you entered the "White House" and
7 you spent some time there, you saw a certain number of people captured
8 there. Did you personally know any of those who were kept in the house?
9 A. I knew some boys from patrolling, yes.
10 Q. Could you tell us the name of those boys?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Yes, yes. Which means that we cannot establish, given that you do
13 not know the persons in there, that you did not compare the documents, we
14 cannot make a connection between the documents outside the house and the
15 people inside the house?
16 A. That is your conclusion. My conclusion is another one, that
17 people -- I've seen people walk into the "White House". Before they
18 walked into the "White House", it was said by Serbs to put their luggage
19 or rucksacks on a big heap. The next step was that they were sent into
20 the house. And along the rucksacks and the big heap of IDs, they were
21 told to throw everything that they did not need any more and then go into
22 the house. So there is, to my opinion, and under my view, was a clear
23 connection about the men who put down the rucksacks and threw out their ID
24 and went into the house.
25 Q. Sir, we've heard testimony of DutchBat members, your colleagues,
1 who would find IDs in other locations, in the wider area of Potocari,
2 within the compound itself, outside the base, heaps of different IDs. Can
3 you confirm that for us, please?
4 A. No, I cannot confirm that.
5 Q. It's all right. We also heard testimony, from a certain number of
6 witnesses, Muslims, who spoke about them tossing away their IDs to prevent
7 them being identified by Serbian soldiers and that a large number of them
8 did not possess their IDs on their person. Do you know about that?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Now, may I ask you about the IDs? What do you refer to under the
11 term "ID"?
12 A. Passports, working permits, all kinds of officially -- by any
13 authority given cards, with pass photos on it and so on.
14 Q. All right.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, would it be convenient to take the
16 break at this point, because I'm going to move to the next topic and I
17 cannot finish it by the time for a break?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, certainly. We'll have a 30-minute break now
19 and we will continue. Do you think you will finish your cross-examination
21 MR. LAZAREVIC: I will -- I think I'm in the middle of my
22 cross-examination, so I'll do my best to complete it by the end of today's
24 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's reduce the break to 25 minutes. That means we
25 will reconvene at 10 minutes to 1.00. Thank you. And we will stop at
1 1.30 any way. I suppose you are going next?
2 MS. CONDON: Your Honour, there has been an agreement that we
3 would actually go last, but I was just about to say, that given I won't
4 start until Monday, I'm happy to start Monday. Thank you, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
6 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 12.54 p.m.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's continue and we stop at 1.30.
9 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Major Rutten, can we now deal with another subject, and that would
11 be the "White House" that we've heard of and discussed and that you
12 discussed with my learned colleagues during your cross-examination. You
13 said in your statement that two soldiers from the 108 Commando Company
14 stood in front of the "White House"; is that correct?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. For us to gain an impression about all that, these people from the
17 108 Commando Company, are they UNMO members or DutchBat members?
18 A. They were DutchBat members.
19 Q. Yes. Thank you. Also, apart from those two members of 108
20 Commando Company, there were members of UNMO who were observing what was
21 going on in the "White House", I specifically mean Major De Haan that you
22 mentioned; is that correct?
23 A. Major De Haan was at a certain point there, but were not
24 constantly observing the "White House".
25 Q. Right. But were there other UNMO members observing the house?
1 Let me be specific in my question. We have a testimony of one of
2 commanders of the DutchBat who, in his testimony, stated that UNMO members
3 had the tasks of counting the number of people entering the house and the
4 number of those leaving the house and as per records, the same number of
5 people entered the house and exited the house while being taken to the
6 busses. Can you confirm that for us, please?
7 A. The only thing I can confirm is that there was an UNMO, an African
8 colleague named Kingori was also around. The other part of your question,
9 I cannot confirm that.
10 Q. All right. One member of the DutchBat who, just as you did,
11 entered the "White House" but not with you, he stated that in the "White
12 House" he saw a heap of knives, a heap of knives within the "White House"
13 which, according to his testimony, belonged to the Muslims who had been
14 taken in there. When you entered the "White House", did you personally
15 encounter or pass by that heap of knives?
16 A. I've never seen that heap of knives.
17 Q. All right. But you must have seen, and this is reflected in your
18 Krstic testimony and in your previous statements, you did see a heap of
19 photographs. Do you remember that?
20 A. Yes, I do remember that.
21 Q. In connection with these photographs, I would like to confront you
22 with what you spoke about before a parliamentary commission in -- during
23 the parliamentary inquiry on the 11th of November, 2002. That is Exhibit
24 3D39, 10th page. And before we see that on the screen, I would like to
25 quote this, "that on benches on tables for the purpose of establishing
1 whether any of them were known."
2 Do you remember that part of your testimony before the
3 parliamentary commission?
4 A. Sorry, I can't read your gish gish in line 6 on 58, 57. Gish gish
5 on benches, what do you mean?
6 Q. It's page 10, paragraph first. I'm sorry, you're referring to the
8 A. Yes. I don't understand your question.
9 Q. It starts with the photos of the men were in a line?
10 A. Yes, okay.
11 Q. On bed, on benches on tables.
12 A. Now I understand your question.
13 Q. Does this refresh your memory? Is this what you saw in the "White
15 A. Yes. That was on the other side of the "White House", the other
16 entrance. We went in that. Together with me was the sergeant major van
17 Schaik and there we witnessed that there were photos laying all around and
18 I stated then that the photos of men being -- of led -- laying next to
19 each other on benches, couches and on tables to identify -- and there were
20 only photos of men, and family photos of other people were laying on the
22 Q. I'm just interested in the conclusion you drew from it because I
23 share the same conclusion, namely, that the purpose of separating the
24 photograph of men being separated and lined up, was done in order to
25 identify the men; is that correct?
1 A. Yeah, you could say that, yes.
2 Q. Therefore, generally speaking, based on that fact, there was an
3 identification process of men conducted in the "White House", the men who
4 had been taken to the "White House"?
5 A. The problem here is that you're connecting something that took
6 already beforehand in place --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Stop, stop. I don't think it's a fair question,
8 because you're asking him to draw a conclusion and I very much doubt if he
9 can draw a conclusion based on the basic information that you're putting
10 to him. I mean, if he can draw a conclusion of which he is convinced,
11 yes, by all means, go ahead, Major, but if it makes you speculate, then I
12 don't want to you answer.
13 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, maybe I can reformulate this question
14 and that would be much easier for him.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: By all means, Mr. Lazarevic. Thank you.
16 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Sir, do you stand by the statement given to the parliamentary
18 commission of the Netherlands on the 11th of November, 2002, the purpose
19 of establishing whether any of them were known?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you very much. Now I would like to turn to another
22 document, which has already been admitted into evidence. This is
23 document -- Exhibit 4D15. I think it would be very good if we waited for
24 you to see it on the screen.
25 I think that the English translation of this exhibit has not yet
1 arrived, even though it's been admitted a long time ago. I'll just read
2 out the heading of the document following which are just the names. It
3 says here, "The list of war criminals known to the command of the 1st
4 Light Infantry Brigade, which is to say the Bratunac Brigade, who
5 committed war crimes in the territory of Bratunac, Srebrenica, Milici,
6 Vlasenica and Skelani municipalities, concerning whom there are indicia
7 that they are located in Srebrenica."
8 And then, can we see the last page of this document because this
9 document just contains the numbers and names of the people.
10 It says here, "Bratunac, 12th of July, 1995."
11 My first question to you is: Have you ever seen this document
13 A. No.
14 Q. Have you heard of existence of a list of people suspected of
15 having committed war crimes and that it was used as grounds for
16 identifying people from Srebrenica who may have participated in it?
17 A. I heard about a list, yes.
18 Q. Is that consistent with your experience from the time you spent in
19 Srebrenica, that there was some list based on which the identity of
20 persons from Srebrenica was investigated and established?
21 A. It wasn't -- it was not known by me that there was a connection
22 between those lists and the interrogations that were going on.
23 Q. All right. [In English] Fair enough. [Interpretation] Now, let
24 us continue briefly with the "White House". Based on the information
25 available in this case, and based on the evidence, I must say, of a large
1 number of DutchBat members, on the 12th or 13th of July, 1995, at least
2 six commanding officers of DutchBat entered the "White House". I can give
3 you their names, if you wish. Major Egbers, Boering, Koster, van Duijn,
4 you, yourself, Mr. Rutten, and according to your testimony, also Mr. Van
5 Schaik. Is that true?
6 A. The only one I can confirm is the NCO, that's not an officer, the
7 warrant officer van Schaik and the other names I wasn't present at that
8 time that they were in the house.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: However, did you ever come to know that they entered
10 or they were at the "White House"?
11 THE WITNESS: I heard from the Lieutenant van Duijn that he was
12 near the "White House", but I never heard from him that he was in
13 the "White House", yes.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: And the other officer?
15 THE WITNESS: And that also reflects the officer Koster.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
17 THE WITNESS: And Egbers, yes, they were near there but they never
18 told me that they were in the "White House", sir.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Yes, Mr. Lazarevic?
20 MR. LAZAREVIC: Yes, thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. [Interpretation] Naturally, I do not insist on you speaking of the
22 things that you didn't see yourself or don't have firsthand knowledge of,
23 but these two members of DutchBat from the 108th commando unit also
24 entered the "White House", didn't they?
25 A. They were -- sorry, yes, they were in the "White House", yes.
1 Q. Based on the calculation that I can do myself, at least, eight
2 members of DutchBat entered the "White House" at the time, so this was not
3 something that was concealed from the members of the DutchBat, nor from
4 the UNMO members, the fact that men were being taken to the "White House"
5 and interrogated there.
6 A. No. It couldn't be concealed because it was at the opposite side
7 of the road so we could see it very clearly, yeah.
8 Q. That's precisely so. This was unfolding directly across from the
9 UN compound. In addition to that, based on your own testimony, you made a
10 certain number of photographs inside the "White House", didn't you?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Nobody stopped you from taking photographs in the "White House"?
13 A. They weren't aware of what I was doing in the first floor of
14 the "White House", at least they -- the Serbs weren't aware of what I was
15 doing there.
16 Q. All right. But in order for you to take photographs inside
17 the "White House", you had to use a flash. Otherwise, photographs would
18 be useless. Didn't you consider that to be extremely careless and
19 irresponsible for you to expose yourself to so much danger?
20 A. That is my own responsibility, so I can handle that, sir.
21 Q. Are these the photographs which disappeared while being developed
22 here in Holland, these photographs taken inside the "White House"? Are we
23 referring to the same photographs?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So that is the same film containing the photographs of the nine
1 bodies for which you say you found them in a meadow. And were the
2 photographs from inside the "White House" on the same film as the
3 photographs you took from the compound depicting the burning of piles of
4 photographs -- of documents and clothing?
5 A. There is a difference. The first part is correct. So the
6 photographs of the nine bodies. And the photos inside the "White House".
7 The second part is depicting the burning of the piles at the opposite side
8 of the compound. I still have those photos and they were presented in the
9 Krstic case. So that wasn't the same film, the second film that I put in
10 the camera.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: Before I forget, Mr. Lazarevic and Mr. Thayer, just
12 for the record and for formalities' sake, just wanted to confirm that we
13 are sitting pursuant to Rule 15 bis at the moment, Judge Kwon being absent
14 for a just cause. Thank you.
15 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. What else was on that film with the photographs of burning
18 A. Now you're speaking about the second film.
19 Q. [In English] Yes, the second one.
20 A. Yes. Also, there were photographs on it of the looting of houses
21 nearby the compound, Serb civilians leading cattle and carrying
22 wheelbarrows full of personal stuff, what formerly belonged to the Muslim
23 population, yes.
24 Q. All right. Again, I can promise you we'll get to this topic.
25 [Interpretation] The night between the 12th and 13th of July, you
1 spent that night inside the Potocari compound base, didn't you?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. We have heard testimonies here, we had exhibits proving this,
4 namely, that during that night, both within the compound and outside of
5 the compound, in the facilities where the refugees were housed, there were
6 several deaths, suicides, a murder of a woman in labour, as well as some
7 other deaths. Do you know anything about that?
8 A. No, I do not personally know about it. Only by hearing it from
9 other colleagues.
10 Q. All right. That would be sufficient basis for putting my next
11 question to you. So you heard from others that there were deaths within
12 the compound in the night between the 12th and the 13th. Do you know
13 where were the bodies of the people who died or committed suicide that
14 night taken?
15 A. One or two I know was known to me that they were buried at the
16 rear side of the compound, and the other ones, I don't know.
17 Q. Thank you. But let me ask you this: In relation to the cases
18 known to you of bodies being buried, do you know anything about the
19 identification procedure? How was it established, the identity of these
20 people, whether they had relatives, cause of death and the fact that they
21 lived and died that night within the compound?
22 A. I cannot comment on this because I wasn't aware of the whole
23 procedure and I wasn't informed about this or whatsoever.
24 Q. All right.
25 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honour, I have to correct the transcript at
1 this point. It's on page 85, it's line 11. It says, a murder of a woman
2 in labour, which does not show what I said.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. I think point taken. And it doesn't change a
4 thing any way because we know exactly what the previous evidence was. So
5 let's -- but thank you for pointing it out. I had it in my head too but
6 go ahead.
7 MR. LAZAREVIC: [Interpretation]
8 Q. I would like to know, Major Rutten, about the evacuation from the
9 compound itself. I know that you and your soldiers were by the bus depot
10 but you also testified about the fact that there were 4.000 people inside
11 the Dutch compound itself. Who evacuated these people from the compound?
12 A. In the late afternoon, the people -- the people were led from out
13 of the compound and our superior, the Major Franken, said that it was on
14 orders of the Serb soldiers, Serb commander, in fact, he said.
15 Q. All right. But at one point, the refugees who were in the
16 compound, inside the compound, passed the gate and were let out by the
17 Dutch soldiers, isn't that right?
18 A. That is right.
19 Q. Did they continue observing what happened to those who had left
20 the base?
21 A. We tried throughout the 12th and the 13th to observe what was
22 happening with the people, by sending jeeps with personnel on it, with it,
23 to the direction of OP Papa and, in fact, Bratunac or Kladanj. But every
24 time we sent our people along, they were excluded from the convoy that was
25 moving, yes.
1 Q. Yes. I understand that, but, say, from the place where you stood
2 in the bus depot to the compound, there are some 500 to 600 metres. Don't
3 hold me to it, could be more, could be less, but that road, along that
4 road, from one location to the other, were there any Dutch soldiers? Was
5 anybody sent there to see what was going on?
6 A. The moment you speak about is in the late afternoon, that were the
7 last refugees on the 13th. All other refugees had left then already.
8 These last ones were put up to the -- in fact, the last convoy, and we saw
9 them leaving the gate. I personally had a talk with Major Franken about
10 that because I asked him what we were doing, and what we could do at that
11 point, and he said to him, it was -- and he said to me, it was discussed
12 with the Serbian leaders.
13 Q. We will get to that a little bit later. But let's analyse the
14 situation. There is this area around the bus depot where the greatest
15 number of refugees are, and then there is a separate location, which is
16 the compound, where there are some 4.000 to 4.500 refugees. Did you wait
17 for everybody from the bus depot to be evacuated before you started
18 evacuating people from the compound or was it done simultaneously from
19 both locations?
20 A. At first -- at that time, that the 4.000 or 4.500 refugees from
21 the compound were evacuated, by that time the bus remise was completely
23 Q. So is it your evidence, that until the area around the bus depot
24 was fully vacated, the evacuation of the compound did not even start? Did
25 I understand you well?
1 A. Yes. It started shortly after that, yeah.
2 Q. After the evacuation from the bus depot was completed, and there
3 was quite a number of Dutch soldiers present there, did these soldiers go
4 back to the base?
5 A. Some of them, and a certain part were along the line to the buses.
6 Q. That means that some of them remained there even though the
7 evacuation from that area had been completed; is that correct?
8 A. If you mean remained at the bus depot, that is not correct.
9 They -- everyone of them was back on the compound again, and the -- a
10 certain amount of soldiers was along the road or along the road to the
11 gate, yes.
12 Q. Thank you. After all of the refugees were evacuated from both of
13 those locations, whether we consider them to be one location or two
14 locations, that's irrelevant, what happened to the remaining items? Let
15 me put to you actually evidence given by a witness who testified here.
16 The belongings of the refugees could be found anywhere, en route,
17 somewhere on the road itself, they were spread out all over the compound.
18 Would you say that this was a correct description of the compound,
19 the road, all the way up to the bus depot, according to your
21 A. Yes, that is a right description, yes.
22 Q. Thank you. Now let us turn to a different subject, which has to
23 do with you finding those nine bodies. When you found the nine bodies on
24 the meadow, according to your own account, you were together with your two
25 colleagues. This is what you stated in your evidence and that can also be
1 found in other documents. Those two colleagues were Koster and van
2 Schaik; is that correct?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. In your statement, the debriefing to the Dutch royal army, which
5 is 3D42, on page 2, sixth line from above, in the English version, you
6 said that prior to arriving to that location, to the meadow, you saw a
7 Muslim man fleeing from the area. Do you remember that?
8 A. Yes, I remember that.
9 Q. Naturally, you concluded that he was a Bosnian Muslim based on the
10 fact that he was in civilian clothes; correct?
11 A. Yes, that is correct.
12 Q. However, that fact alone cannot fully assure you that he was a
13 civilian. He could have also been a soldier dressed in civilian clothes,
15 A. Yeah, he could have been anything, yeah.
16 Q. All right. Based on the statement you gave to the OTP, I took it
17 that you arrived soon after these people were killed, and that you
18 concluded that on the basis of the fact that the blood had not coagulated
19 yet and that given the fact that it was over 30 degrees, there were no
20 flies on their bodies, but regardless of that, you didn't hear any shots,
21 you didn't hear anything on the basis of which you could have concluded
22 that those people had been recently killed or when they were killed at
24 A. No. But what you leave out is that I -- I checked the bodies, if
25 there was someone alive, and I felt their pulses and their throats to
1 check whether someone could have been alive and all the bodies were warm.
2 Q. [In English] Well, it was intentionally actually because that was
3 my next question. [Interpretation] So you approached the bodies and you
4 checked for the vital signs. Did you move the bodies?
5 A. No, I did not move the bodies.
6 Q. Since you didn't move them and according to your own testimony,
7 those people were lying supine on their stomachs. Were you able to
8 clearly see their faces?
9 A. Most of them, yes, because the faces were lying to the -- either
10 to the right-hand or to the left-hand side, yes.
11 Q. Was any of those faces familiar to you?
12 A. No, they were not familiar to me.
13 Q. So you basically cannot say who those people were, based on any
14 prior knowledge. You couldn't give us the names or any closer identifying
16 A. No.
17 MR. LAZAREVIC: Your Honours, is it time to end for today?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I think so. Major, I think you can have a
19 well-deserved rest. We will continue on Monday morning. Madam Usher will
20 escort you and please, my recommendation of yesterday not to contact or
21 let anyone contact you on the matters that you're testifying upon. Have a
22 nice weekend.
23 In the meantime, there is one final housekeeping matter that I
24 wish to address very, very short. We are aware of an additional request
25 that was made by some of the Defence -- or one of the Defence teams on
1 behalf of others, particularly, the Serbian components of the various
2 Defence teams pointing out to us that the new year for the Serbian
3 component is on the 13th and 14th of January. And there was specific
4 requests, if possible, to start on the 17th, in order to give an
5 opportunity to the Serbian components of the Defence teams to celebrate
6 the new year with their respective families at home.
7 We can't start on the 17th but we will start on the 16th -- we
8 will start on the 10th as already pointed out, and then, in other words,
9 we will sit on the 10th, 11th and 12th, and we'll try to have the 12th
10 sitting in the morning, if we can. That would enable you to travel back
11 home and be with your families on the 13th and 14th and 15th. So we will
12 not sit on the 15th, but we will resume on the 16th. We can't resume on
13 the 17th. So that's the position. So we'll resume after the Christmas
14 recess on the 10th, sit 10th, 11th, 12th, and then again on the 16th
15 instead of on the 15th. The 15th will be off, all right? Thank you.
16 Have a nice weekend and see you Monday.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.31 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 4th day of December,
19 2006, at 10:00 a.m.