1 Wednesday, 28 November 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning, Madam Registrar. If you could call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is the case
8 number IT-05-88-T, the Prosecutor versus Vujadin Popovic et al.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Merci, Madam. All the accused are here. From the
10 Defence teams I notice the absence of Mr. Meek and Mr. Haynes.
11 Prosecution, presents is Mr. McCloskey and Mr. Thayer.
12 I don't see the witness. I take it there are some preliminaries,
13 then, or -- yes, Madam Fauveau?
14 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] We received two documents on the --
15 in the archives -- regarding the archives of the Drina Corps. We received
16 the document yesterday, and I would like to ask for additional
17 cross-examination of the witness who was already here and will come back,
18 Mr. Blaszczyk. And I need about 15 to 20 minutes, if possible. That's
19 the first thing. And second thing, if we could please move to private
20 session, if possible?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, let's go into private session.
22 [Private session]
11 Pages 18347-18350 redacted. Private session
4 [Open session]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. We are in open session, if you could kindly
6 respond to Madam Fauveau, Mr. McCloskey.
7 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President and Your
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning.
10 MR. McCLOSKEY: We don't object to that. What happened is you may
11 recall when Mr. Blaszczyk was testifying, he said he had heard something
12 like from another team or something about someone that had looked into the
13 Drina Corps collection. So we asked around and we found an investigator
14 that had made some requests to Serbia and the RS about the collection and
15 got back some responses. It's nothing that I saw was very new, but when
16 we got it we turned it over. So that's what that is about. We didn't of
17 course speak to Mr. Blaszczyk at all about any of it. We just heard what
18 he said and asked around and found some material.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Do you wish to comment, Madam Fauveau?
20 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to have
21 about 20 minutes of cross-examination, please.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: We are always in the unfortunate position of not
23 having seen these documents and then have to consider submissions like the
24 one you make and the one Mr. McCloskey responds with, that there is
25 nothing new in these documents. So let's think about it and then we'll
1 come back to you, Madam Fauveau.
2 All right. Anything else?
3 Let's bring the witness.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 WITNESS: LOUIS FORTIN [Resumed]
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Good morning to you, Major.
7 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, sorry. How are you?
9 THE WITNESS: Very good, sir.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Good. We are hopefully going to finish with your
11 testimony today. Mr. Ostojic still has a few minutes more. Go ahead.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
13 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic: [Continued]
14 Q. Good morning, sir.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. Sir, yesterday we left off discussing really your diary in -- I
17 was trying to find the page where I felt that there was an entry. So
18 maybe we can start quickly by going into private session, and I referenced
19 it yesterday at page 134, and so I could ask you a couple of questions
20 about that, please. So if we can go into private session, Mr. President?
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
22 [Private session]
11 Page 18353 redacted. Private session
20 [Open session]
21 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. We are not yet. We are in open
23 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
24 Q. Sir, I'd like to ask you about what's been referred to in various
25 literature and books as the Bosnian Muslim spring or summer offensive of
1 1995. Are you familiar with that?
2 A. M'hm.
3 Q. Is that a yes?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Just for our transcript we need to have your verbal response?
6 A. All right.
7 Q. But thank you very much. And when did that Bosnian Muslim
8 offensive in the spring or summer of 1995 commence?
9 A. As I recall, when I landed in Sarajevo, on May 15th, 1995, it had
10 started a day or two earlier.
11 Q. And can you share with us the nature and extent of that Bosnian
12 Muslim offensive?
13 A. They were trying to break out of the strangle around Sarajevo.
14 Q. Was it limited to Sarajevo only?
15 A. As far as I recall, when it started, at that time, yes.
16 Q. Okay. Let me show you P2970, if you don't mind. And do you
17 remember, sir, page 3, when you get a chance, I'll put the question to the
18 witness. Do you remember that there was a significant increase in --
19 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
20 MR. THAYER: I'm sorry, I don't know what this document is off the
21 top of my head and it's not on any list.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic?
23 MR. OSTOJIC: I have, Your Honour, 65 ter number P2970 as being on
24 the list of documents provided by the Office of the Prosecution for this
25 particular witness. So I can't imagine that they don't know what the
1 document is. It's on their list. I can put this on the ELMO if the Court
2 needs assistance. And it doesn't have a P number, but it says 65 ter 2970
3 and it has the ERN number, it's rather long, R 0 --
4 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
5 MR. OSTOJIC: R 002-4213 through R 002-4218 in the English
6 version. I can recite the B/C/S.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: But you can't expect the Prosecution to divine what
8 documents you're using unless you announce beforehand what documents you
9 will be using.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: These are their documents that they provided that
11 they were going to use with this witness.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: But do you expect Mr. Thayer or anyone for that
13 matter to know the thousands of documents that have a 65 ter number by
14 heart and be able to distinguish them by number as soon as they appear on
15 the screen? This is the whole point that has been made.
16 MR. OSTOJIC: I see the point. It's actually eight documents that
17 they identify with this witness. I thought that they would have --
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Let's move. Let's move now.
19 MR. OSTOJIC: May I inquire of this document, Mr. President?
20 JUDGE AGIUS: Of course you can.
21 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you.
22 Q. Sir, this is a weekly situation report that's dated the 2nd of
23 July 1995 from David Harland, a similar type weekly situation report that
24 you discussed during your direct examination, and I direct your
25 attention - or at least for my next question - on page 3 which was in
1 essence, do you recall that in June of 1995 there was a significant
2 increase in the Bosnian heavy weapons operating from near UNPROFOR
4 A. Where --
5 Q. Well, do you just remember that, first?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. And how significant was the increase?
8 A. Well, significant in that as far as I recall, and that's still
9 quite early in my tour, they hadn't been doing it before, and heavy
10 weapons we are referring to roadblock probably light mortars.
11 Q. That would be considered heavy weapons, light mortars?
12 A. Well for the purpose of a weapon collection point, no, but
13 compared to everything that he had in their hands, it was I guess the
14 Heaviest at that time.
15 Q. Now, do you remember, sir, when you were there in June and July of
16 1995, whether the Bosnian Muslims were trying to draw UNPROFOR into the
17 conflict against the Serbs?
18 A. We felt that they tried at times.
19 Q. And do you know, sir, whether or not that happened in June of 1995
20 as well as July of 1995?
21 A. Well, we would have to look at the specifics.
22 Q. You have no recollection of that?
23 A. Well, I can't comment generally like that but as I said, it did
24 happen at times, but we can go through the various occasions, if you want.
25 Q. Okay. And we will hopefully. Now, on page 3, there, on the
1 bottom it says, "Location of Bosnian weapons a problem." Do you see that?
2 A. M'hm.
3 Q. This was also a report by David Harland, and I think with his
4 other weekly situation reports, you would have found it was useful
5 reliable and accurate, correct?
6 A. Generally so, yes.
7 Q. Well looking at this did you review this document in preparation
8 for your testimony?
9 A. Yes, I have.
10 Q. Okay. So this isn't a surprise to you, this document, right?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Is there anything in this section in particular that raises any
13 concern that it may be inaccurate to you?
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Judge Kwon is drawing my attention and he's
15 absolutely right, that you're going too fast. Please allow a short break
16 between question -- a short pause between question and answer. Thank you,
17 Judge Kwon.
18 MR. OSTOJIC: Should I repeat the question, Mr. President?
19 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. So are you in a position to answer the
23 THE WITNESS: I was just reading the text, Your Honour and then
24 translation switched to French in my ear.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: I'm sure that that didn't irritate you.
1 THE WITNESS: Can you repeat the question, please?
2 MR. OSTOJIC:
3 Q. Sure. Is there anything in this section in particular that has
4 raised any concern to you that it may be inaccurate?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Okay. Now, in the second paragraph under this section, "Location
7 of Bosnian weapons a problem," it identifies that some people in UNPROFOR
8 see this, meaning the significant increase in heavy weapons, as an effort
9 by the Bosnians to draw counterbattery fire on to UNPROFOR, do you see
10 that, sir?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. What do they mean when they say some people in UNPROFOR?
13 A. I guess not everyone agreed with that assessment.
14 Q. Who did, do you know?
15 A. No, I don't.
16 Q. Okay. Did you agree with that assessment?
17 A. Sometimes, yes.
18 Q. Okay. How about in this occasion on July 2nd of 1995?
19 A. I don't recall the specifics on that day.
20 Q. It goes on in that sentence to say that, "It would then be drawn
21 into conflict with the Serbs." That would mean that UNPROFOR would be
22 drawn into a conflict with the Serbs, correct?
23 A. M'hm.
24 Q. And sir just --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. I want to talk also a little bit about propaganda at
2 that time. In July 1992, as you sit here, do you recall any of the
3 propaganda that was going on by the Bosnian government against the Serbs
4 in connection with the war that was ongoing?
5 A. In July 1992?
6 Q. I'm sorry, 1995. Thank you, sir?
7 A. As I mentioned yesterday, there was propaganda, as in any war from
8 all sides, but I can't recall specifics off the top of my head.
9 Q. Well, do you remember, sir, at any point in July of 1995, whether
10 the situation with respect to the propaganda began to deteriorate?
11 A. Can you be more specific?
12 Q. Sure. For example, if the Bosnian Muslims started to increase
13 their political pressure on UNPROFOR by giving out statements against
14 UNPROFOR and saying that they were complicit with the Serbs in various
15 activities in Bosnia?
16 A. I'll read that again. Well, things like that happened, yes.
17 Q. Do you remember it happening in July of 1995 immediately after the
18 Bosnian Muslim offensive?
19 A. I don't remember any specific occasions.
20 Q. Okay. Well let's look at the next page of this document, if you
21 will. It talks about UNPROFOR's relations with the Bosnian government
22 deteriorating. Do you see that section?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. It's highlighted and then there is some paragraphs beneath.
25 And you've read this section as you shared with us in preparation for your
1 testimony here.
2 Do you remember that the Prime Minister was actually criticising
3 the United Nations and saying that they were an accomplice in a genocide
4 against Bosnia on or about June 26th, 1995? It's in the third paragraph.
5 A. M'hm. I'm reading. Yes. I do not recall this particular
6 situation, but as I said things like that happened.
7 Q. What were they referencing when they said this complicit genocide
8 in June of 1995?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. You'd have to ask them.
12 Q. Do you remember, just going back quickly to this increase --
13 significant increase in heavy weapons, do you know if there was such an
14 increase in heavy weapons also in the Srebrenica enclave on or near July
15 of 1995?
16 A. During the events, Srebrenica, around the 8, 9, 10 of July, there
17 was an increase, yes.
18 Q. Was it a significant increase?
19 A. Well, as far as I recall, the Bosnian military in Srebrenica were
20 defending themselves against an attack by the VRS.
21 Q. But was there a significant increase in the heavy weapons in
22 Srebrenica at that time?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Okay. And do you know what weapons were significantly increased
25 in that enclave in July of 1995?
1 A. I don't know for sure but I would suspect they would be light
2 mortars which we did not control in WCPs like other heavier weapons.
3 Q. And what other heavier weapons did you have within the WCPs?
4 A. In Srebrenica itself, I don't recall because I was not involved in
5 Srebrenica except for those three or four days, but generally they were
6 heavy mortars, artillery, and tanks.
7 Q. Do you, sir, remember that the Bosnian Muslims provoked a
8 situation in Srebrenica by killing a DutchBat soldier?
9 A. What situation did they provoke?
10 Q. The escalation of combat there?
11 A. I'm not sure that they did kill a Dutch soldier. I wouldn't say
12 it provoked an escalation in combat but it complicated the situation for
13 the Dutch.
14 Q. Did the Bosnian Muslims complicate the situation for the Dutch in
15 any other way other than by that, by killing a DutchBat soldier, although
16 you're not sure of it but we will get to that in a second?
17 A. One thing I recall is they were siting some of their weapons near
18 the TACP operated by British soldiers.
19 Q. Okay. And how did that hamper the situation for DutchBat or the
20 civilians there?
21 A. Well, for DutchBat, if they site their weapons near the TACP and
22 fire on the Serbs with those weapons, when the Serbs fire back, they can
23 hit the TACP so it has to move, and when it moves it did cannot do it its
25 Q. Would that also hamper the task of controlling of the close air
1 support if any was ordered at that time?
2 A. Well, that's basically what I mean when I say could not do its
4 Q. Let's -- if I can direct your attention to Exhibit 6D152, which I
5 think the Prosecutor has which is your November 1997 statement that you
6 gave to them, sir?
7 A. M'hm.
8 Q. I'm going to direct your attention, if I may, to page 17 for the
9 moment. Now, just to clarify in that third paragraph there, although it's
10 the third sentence, it states that "The Bosnians fired and a Dutch soldier
11 was wounded in the head and later died." End quote. Do you see that?
12 Third paragraph, third sentence, I believe?
13 A. M'hm. Yes, I see it.
14 Q. Fourth sentence actually. This is your statement. Is there any
15 doubt in your mind that the Bosnians fired at the Dutch soldiers and
16 wounded this Dutch soldier and ultimately killed him?
17 A. No. That's how it was reported by the Dutch.
18 Q. And then it also says there was damage to a Dutch vehicle by the
19 Bosnian Muslims, correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Okay. And that was -- how was that vehicle damaged, do you know?
22 A. No, I don't recall.
23 Q. Was there any investigation done on that?
24 A. I doubt it because there -- they didn't withdrew under Serb
25 pressure to the compound in Potocari, and I don't think they had much time
1 to start to investigate.
2 Q. Now, it lists these three or four things, the killing of the Dutch
3 soldier, the damage to the Dutch vehicle, the attraction of fire to the
4 TACPs by situating weapons close to it, hampering its risk of controlling
5 the close air support or CAS, then it goes on to say, and I think it's
6 your superior insisted, is that Gobillard, how do you say his name?
7 A. Gobillard.
8 Q. He insisted that the Bosnians be told that the act of their
9 soldiers was tantamount to a murder. Do you see that?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. Was he referencing all four or so of the things listed above?
12 A. The killing of the Dutch soldier.
13 Q. That was the only thing he referenced?
14 A. I believe so.
15 Q. Do you remember, sir, whether General Nicolai had at any time
16 talked to Tolimir in order to secure the Serbian cooperation for the
17 evacuation of the Dutch soldier killed by the Bosnians?
18 A. Yes. I remember he talked to someone on the Serb side, I believe
19 it was Tolimir.
20 Q. We are talking about this provocation, and if you can tell me
21 whether or not there was further provocation other than this instance that
22 we've identified, or these instances that is we've identified on page 17
23 of your witness statement, which occurred on or about July 8th of 1995 and
24 that would have been again, just to briefly refresh your recollection, the
25 killing of the Dutch soldier, the attack on the Dutch vehicle, et cetera.
1 Were there other provocations or instances where the Bosnian Muslims
2 provoked or attacked DutchBat or any members of UNPROFOR?
3 A. Not that I recall, but...
4 Q. Do you remember, sir, whether or not two days after this incident,
5 the Bosnian Muslims were firing at DutchBat who were with drawing from
6 their observation posts?
7 A. Let me read here.
8 Q. I think if you need to read all I'm asking if you remember, if you
9 don't I'll direct your attention to the next page which is page 18 where
10 in your witness statement, in the middle of it, with the caption starting
11 on July 10th, which is two days after this one, it discusses a meeting
12 that was conducted and that there was a surprise at the ABiH reaction that
13 they had fired at withdrawing Dutch forces. And it's the fourth full
14 paragraph, if you see that in the middle of the paragraph?
15 A. Yeah.
16 Q. Do you see that, sir?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Okay. Does it help refresh your recollection that in fact there
19 was a surprise by UNPROFOR that the Bosnian Muslims, despite what happened
20 on the 8th of July 1995, two days later they continued and fired at
21 withdrawing DutchBat soldiers, correct?
22 A. I'm not sure they are one and the same events that are being
23 referred to.
24 Q. I know they are not the same events, sir. And that's why my
25 question preceding that was do you know of any others incidents where the
1 Bosnian Muslims provoked or attacked DutchBat other than the instances
2 that we described on July 8th. And so we have also this on July 10th,
4 A. I guess so.
5 Q. Well, it's your witness statement. Do you doubt it?
6 A. No, it's not that I doubt it. It's I can't remember every single
7 word I wrote ten years ago.
8 Q. I'm not suggesting that you should, sir. Also do you remember,
9 sir, as you sit here whether or not the Bosnian Muslims prevented a
10 resupply to the Ukrainians in Zepa in July of 1995?
11 A. Yes. They made it more difficult. I remember then.
12 Q. How so?
13 A. Well, they were blocking the OPs, the Ukrainians OPs.
14 Q. I'm talking about resupply first. So were they in fact preventing
15 resupply and preventing all resupply to the Ukrainians?
16 A. I don't remember the details. As I said, I remember they were
17 blocking. By blocking the OPs you prevent anything going in, including
19 Q. Well, do you remember whether the Bosnian Muslims not only blocked
20 those OPs but also attacked them?
21 A. In some cases, yes.
22 Q. Okay. Well in what cases do you recall?
23 A. I don't remember the specifics.
24 Q. Well --
25 A. I remember that this happened.
1 Q. Well, how many observation posts were there in Zepa that the
2 Ukrainians were manning?
3 A. I'm not sure how many they had.
4 Q. Well, do you know that the Bosnian Muslims attacked the Ukrainian
5 observation posts at -- observation post 1, 5, 7, and 8?
6 A. And I think I wrote that much, yes.
7 Q. Okay. So let's look at page 20 of your report, if you don't mind.
8 And the actual first full paragraph, after the numeric 3, the
9 second-to-last sentence it says, "In Zepa the Bosnians were preventing all
10 resupply of the Ukrainians." Do you see that?
11 A. M'hm, yes, I do.
12 Q. Now, if you could just -- if this helps refresh your recollection,
13 from whom did you obtain this information?
14 A. From, I believe from the Ukrainians themselves, in the early
15 stages of the incidents at Zepa and throughout, we were in contact with
17 Q. And when you say, "preventing all resupply," can you tell me what
18 that entails?
19 A. Well, food, water, fuel.
20 Q. Well, why -- anything else?
21 A. Well, those are the basic commodities that you need on a daily
23 Q. Well did the Ukrainians have any weapons or anything else that
24 they may have needed other than food, water and fuel?
25 A. Well, they had weapons but they were not shooting them, so there
1 is no need to resupply bullets.
2 Q. Do you know why the Bosnian Muslims were preventing all resupply
3 of the Ukrainians in Zepa?
4 A. I don't recall, no.
5 Q. Do you know if that was a practice at all in Srebrenica as well by
6 the Bosnian Muslims?
7 A. I don't recall the specifics, no.
8 Q. Now, down below on that same page 20 of your witness statement
9 from November of 1997, the last paragraph identifies July 14th as the next
11 A. Can you scroll down, please?
12 Q. And just so, sir, we are on the same page we talked about the 8th
13 of July. We talked about the 10th of July. And then I believe that the
14 situation where there was a prevention of supplies to the Ukrainians was
15 occurring, at least according to your statement, on or about the 12th of
16 July, and then two days later again there was information that was
17 provided to you, since you identified in your report, that the Bosnians
18 had attacked the Ukrainian observation posts. Do you see that? It's in
19 the middle of the paragraph?
20 A. Yes, I see.
21 Q. Where did you obtain that information?
22 A. Well the -- as it's written there, on July 14 we were informed by
23 the Ukrainian deputy sector commander. It doesn't say that two days after
24 the 12th or July 14th, that they attacked again. It said that we were
25 informed that that had happened.
1 Q. But keep reading, sir, it says also later that evening --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Please make pauses between questions and
3 answers. Thank you.
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, sorry.
5 Q. If you keep reading in that paragraph, sir, although I do take
6 your point, and I wish you to take mine, it says "later that same
7 evening." What evening do you think you're talking about --
8 A. The 14th, that's clear.
9 Q. And when -- but he says later that evening on the 14th, which is
10 clear, you were informed that the Bosnians had attacked the Ukrainian
11 observation posts, 1, 5, 7 and 8, right?
12 A. Right.
13 Q. So do you think that the observation posts were attacked by the
14 Bosnian Muslims before July 14th?
15 A. Well, that sentence refers to July 14th, that is how I see it.
16 Q. Well, I saw it that way too, sir. Do you know why it is that the
17 Bosnian Muslims attacked the Ukrainian observation or UNPROFOR observation
18 posts on July 14th 1995?
19 A. I'm not sure why they would do that.
20 Q. Well, did you ever investigate it?
21 A. I didn't personally investigate it and things happening so fast at
22 that time that we don't have time to chase every loose end.
23 Q. And I understand that, sir. Do you know if there were any other
24 provocations or instances where the Bosnian Muslims attacked or hindered
25 the work of UNPROFOR in Zepa in July of 1995?
1 A. I don't remember.
2 Q. Let me ask you, do you remember a meeting with General Smith and
3 President Izetbegovic to discuss UNPROFOR's assistance in the evacuation
4 of the population in Zepa?
5 JUDGE AGIUS: You already yesterday asked him whether General
6 Smith ever met with Izetbegovic and he answered that he doesn't know.
7 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: If this is supposedly another meeting, it would
9 still fall under the previous answer that he gave you. But if he's
10 thought about it and has got fresh information, then he can go ahead.
11 THE WITNESS: I don't, sir.
12 MR. OSTOJIC:
13 Q. Okay let's take a look at page 21 of your witness, if you don't
14 mind, you identify in your witness statement the conversation, and you
15 identified that Smith then went to Izetbegovic, and it's on page 21,
16 second-to-the-last paragraph. Do you see it, sir?
17 A. Yes. And as I said, General Smith may have told people at a
18 meeting that I was present that he did that, but I was not present at the
19 meeting that he had with Izetbegovic or others.
20 Q. How do you draw in your statement sir the following, if you
21 weren't at the meeting, and seemingly may not know anything about it as
22 follows: "Smith then went to Izetbegovic to discuss UNPROFOR assistance in
23 the evacuation of the population."
24 A. Because he told us so.
25 Q. Who told you?
1 A. General Smith.
2 Q. So you knew that he met with Izetbegovic to discuss UNPROFOR's
3 assistance in the evacuation of the population, correct?
4 A. He told us that that had happened, yes.
5 Q. Did he tell you as well?
6 A. But I don't know -- but he told General Gobillard, and I was with
7 Gobillard, but I don't know. I was not at the meeting.
8 Q. I'm not suggesting you were at the meeting but you have
9 information about it. Could you share with us -- I'm just pausing so that
10 I don't go too fast for the translators. Can you share with us why it was
11 that General Smith went to Izetbegovic to discuss what UNPROFOR's
12 assistance would be if any with the evacuation of the population?
13 A. I'm not sure.
14 Q. Well, as you sit here, do you know if Smith was required to obtain
15 Izetbegovic's approval or authorisation for UNPROFOR to assist in the
16 evacuation of the population?
17 A. I don't think he needed his authorisation, but there was a need
18 for example to discuss a global prisoner exchange, and so the Bosnian
19 government was a party in that negotiation. That may have been the --
20 these things had to be sorted out in order for UNPROFOR to go further in
21 its assistance so that may have been what was discussed, but I was not
22 present at that meeting.
23 Q. I understand. You said that and thank you for repeating it for
24 me, but this is an event that is occurring on the 19th of July 1995. It
25 doesn't discuss at all the prisoner of war exchange, it doesn't discuss
1 exchange in a global level, all it does is talk about UNPROFOR's
2 assistance for the evacuation of the population, does it not?
3 A. I know. That's what it says. But these -- these events were
4 happening at the same time. They are not all reported in that paragraph.
5 Q. Do you remember, sir, whether the Bosnian Muslims were seeking a
6 firm guarantee for their safety from UNPROFOR during any of the meetings
7 you may have attended or have been briefed upon?
8 A. Yes. I remember parts of it.
9 Q. Share that with me. What part in July was that, sir?
10 A. Well, during the meeting in Zepa, that I attended, when I was
11 there on July 27th, I believe it was, Mladic was trying to obtain an
12 agreement with the three Bosnian civilian representatives of Zepa, and
13 UNPROFOR had guarantees to offer for that agreement to be valid, and we
14 could not guarantee those.
15 Q. Well, what -- what were those guarantees that Mladic was
16 purportedly seeking for UNPROFOR to offer?
17 A. Ensure the security of the evacuees, I think was one.
18 Q. Okay. What was the other one?
19 A. I don't recall.
20 Q. Well, whose job was it to secure the population and this enclave
21 in July of 1995?
22 A. Well, that's not what I'm -- the evacuees, meaning while they were
23 being transported out, we didn't have the means to move them out and the
24 Serbs did, buses and trucks.
25 Q. Did UNPROFOR provide any fuel for that?
1 A. I think so, yes.
2 Q. So the guarantee that the -- was it the guarantee that Mladic
3 wanted or the Bosnian Muslims wanted, that there be security and that they
4 be provided with security during the evacuation process?
5 A. I'm not sure who wanted it, but it was essential for the
6 agreement, in our view, any way.
7 Q. Do you think there is any doubt that the Bosnian Muslims wanted to
8 have UNPROFOR secure that they have safe passage as they were evacuating
9 from Zepa?
10 A. No.
11 Q. If we can just direct your attention briefly to page 25 of your
12 witness statement, sir, it's the second full paragraph. And was the deal
13 or the offer to provide security to the evacuees based on any other part
14 of an agreement. Or was it as you say just a fact that UNPROFOR didn't
15 have the capacity, if you will to do that?
16 A. I'm not sure.
17 Q. Okay. Look at -- you reviewed this prior to testimony -- in
18 preparation for your testimony, the second full paragraph, and towards the
19 middle of that paragraph it talks about "As for the Bosnian army, then
20 Tolimir suggests or indicated that they were ready to surrender and drop
21 their weapons provided that they could obtain firm guarantees, which is
22 what we talked about, for their safe -- for their safety from UNPROFOR,"
23 which you told us you couldn't give, the very next sentence is what I
24 would like to discuss with you.
25 It seems here that you and your superior did not provide these
1 guarantees because you were more concerned with the global POW exchange
2 agreement. Isn't that true?
3 A. There was part of the whole package.
4 Q. What were some of the other parts, sir, and then we'll go through
6 A. Well, the civilians were to be evacuated to Kladanj and the Serbs
7 wanted the males of military age under their custody, and in order for us
8 to have some guarantees that they would be safe in Serb custody we needed
9 a global prisoner exchange agreement so that there was a way for those
10 people to go back to Bosnia.
11 Q. Okay. Well, wasn't one of the things that the Bosnian Serbs were
12 offering was that ICRC could come in and actually register each and every
13 one of those individuals?
14 A. Yes, I remember that.
15 Q. And what was the response of UNPROFOR to that? Inadequate?
16 A. Well, UNPROFOR is not ICRC. We can't decide for them but they
17 have to be involved and I'm not sure, I didn't play any part in
18 discussions with the ICRC.
19 Q. Well, from time to time, you worked with the ICRC, did you not?
20 A. I met some people of the ICRC, sometimes.
21 Q. Well I'm asking you --
22 A. Personally I did not work with the ICRC on a regular basis.
23 Q. Well, I'm asking you, do you find it or did you find it in July of
24 1995 inadequate for the Bosnian Serbs to offer that ICRC can come in under
25 the supervision of UNPROFOR and register all the people that were to be
1 detained as POWs?
2 A. Did I find that inadequate?
3 Q. Correct.
4 A. No.
5 Q. Thank you, Lieutenant-Colonel. Thank you, Mr. President?
6 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Ostojic. I take it you are next,
7 Mr. Josse?
8 MR. JOSSE: I am, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Go ahead. We'll have the break in half an hour's
11 Cross-examination by Mr. Josse:
12 Q. Colonel, my name is David Josse, and with the gentlemen who sits
13 to my left, we defend General Gvero. I would like to begin by taking you
14 back to the 28th of July of 1995 and your presence in Zepa. As far as you
15 were concerned, on that day, who was in charge of the VRS?
16 A. General Mladic.
17 Q. Did you see him there that day?
18 A. I believe it was the 28th, yes.
19 Q. And who, as far as you could see, was assisting General Mladic in
20 that regard?
21 A. General Tolimir.
22 Q. I'll come back to that a little later on, if I may.
23 How competent was General Gobillard's English?
24 A. Not very much. That's why I was there.
25 Q. Were you present when he had conversations in English with either
1 General Nicolai or General Smith?
2 A. I would say most of the time I was present.
3 Q. Yes. Sorry. Bad question. I meant on occasions. That's really
4 what I wanted to ascertain. I take it from what you just said, the answer
5 is that, yes you were there on occasions when Gobillard spoke to Smith
6 and/or Nicolai?
7 A. I was there most of the time. I wouldn't say on occasions.
8 Q. Thank you. What language were such conversations conducted in?
9 A. In English.
10 Q. And Gobillard's English was good enough to cope with that type of
11 meeting; is that right?
12 A. He could understand quite a bit, but he had difficulty speaking
13 the language.
14 Q. And when he tried to express himself, what would he do? Use
15 French and you would translate for him?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Did you ever meet General Janvier?
18 A. A few times, yes.
19 Q. You presumably spoke to him in French. You personally.
20 A. I didn't get to speak to him very much but yes, in French.
21 Q. Were you present when General Janvier had meetings with English
22 speakers or perhaps I should say non-French speakers?
23 A. Well, when he came to Sarajevo and had meetings in Sector Sarajevo
24 headquarters, in those cases General Gobillard would have been present and
25 I would have been present. In other cases, no, I worked for Gobillard and
1 not for General Janvier.
2 Q. And so can you recall ever being present at a meeting between
3 General Janvier, Gobillard, and Smith?
4 A. I think so, but I don't recall any particular meeting.
5 Q. It's not a -- it's not a trick question, and if you don't recall,
6 I don't think you're going to be able to answer my follow-up question
7 which was to do with the language used, and whether you could comment on
8 General Janvier's competence in English. Can you assist on that?
9 A. I don't recall his personal competence, but he also had people
10 like me who could help him out.
11 Q. Were you aware of any of UNPROFOR generals at any stage during
12 your tenure in Bosnia handing small gifts to any of the generals of the
13 warring parties, any of the three warring parties? For example, a
14 regimental plaque, bottle of liquor, something like that?
15 A. I don't recall any such instances.
16 Q. It's certainly not something that happened often as far as you
17 were concerned?
18 A. I don't recall any such event.
19 Q. Thank you. I want to ask you briefly, in your statement, I don't
20 think I need to take you to it in this regard, you mention quite early, I
21 think, in your stay in Bosnia, going to Gorazde and you had a General
22 Walker with you?
23 A. M'hm, yes.
24 Q. Do you remember his Christian name?
25 A. Sorry, I don't.
1 Q. What nationality was he?
2 A. British, I believe.
3 Q. And what was his role in Bosnia, as far as you were concerned?
4 A. He was commander of the allied rapid reaction corps who -- that
5 corps would take up the bulk of responsibility as IFOR eventually, so he
6 was coming for what we call a recce.
7 Q. And --
8 A. Or a recon, if you're American.
9 Q. And in your brief dealing with him, presumably you found him to be
10 a competent officer; is that correct?
11 A. I can hardly judge. Generals tend to talk to other generals.
12 Q. I don't know if you're aware, but he in fact ended up chief of
13 Defence in the United Kingdom, did you know that?
14 A. I didn't, no.
15 Q. I'm now going to take you, if I may, to the conversation that you
16 translated in part between General Gobillard and my client, General Gvero,
17 on the 11th of July of 1995. Before I look at the actual documentation
18 with you, you have already confirmed that this conversation was taking
19 place through some sort of double translation. That's right, isn't it?
20 A. It's correct.
21 Q. As far as you were concerned, where was General Gvero physically
22 at the time General Gobillard was talking to him?
23 A. I have no idea.
24 Q. No idea at all?
25 A. No.
1 Q. You were translating everything for General Gobillard; is that
2 correct? Or was he able to understand a bit of the conversation in
4 A. He was able to understand quite a bit. It's replying that was
5 more difficult for him.
6 Q. So -- and this is important, the specifics here, if you can
7 remember. Did you translate everything for him into French or was he able
8 to understand some of what the English interpreter was saying?
9 A. He was able to understand some of what she was saying, but he
10 would often in those cases double check with me to make sure he got it
12 Q. In terms of grammar or the such like, do you recall how good was
13 the English of the Serbian English translator?
14 A. As good as yours, sir. She was British.
15 Q. She was British. And you presumably don't know where this woman
16 was situated, correct?
17 A. She was right beside me.
18 Q. She was beside you. And General Gobillard -- I beg your pardon,
19 General Gvero had an interpreter as well; is that correct?
20 A. I wouldn't know about that. The interpretation that I used was
21 the one that was done on our side.
22 Q. What was the name of your interpreter?
23 A. I think her name was Bliss, Captain Bliss.
24 Q. I'm going to ask you about her later on in a different context.
25 But she, as you say, was a British officer, and she was a liaison officer,
1 wasn't she, one of General Smith's liaison officers?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. So she was beside you throughout this conversation; is that
5 A. As far as I recall, yes.
6 Q. Now, as I say, we will look at the intercept, at the document in a
7 moment, but General Gvero made reference to a Svetlana. Do you remember
8 that? If you don't I'll help you by showing you a document?
9 A. Please do.
10 Q. What we're going to do now is show you the actual -- your note,
11 which is P2968. We're also going to show you another document, P2379 and
12 before they are brought up, Your Honour, what we've done, because this is
13 going to be quite a long and cumbersome exercise, we have produced English
14 copies of both of these for the witness and for the Bench because
15 otherwise this is going to be, as I say, quite a messy exercise. I would
16 respectfully suggest that on e-court the B/C/S versions are put up so that
17 the accused can follow.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Is that okay with you, Mr. Thayer?
19 MR. THAYER: I take it that when we refer to English copies we are
20 referring to the actual report of the conversation that's been marked as
21 2968 on the one hand as well as the English translation that's in e-court
22 of the intercept.
23 MR. JOSSE: Yes. I'm going to explain to the witness what 2379 is
24 so that he's aware.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: For us, I think it will be useful to have the texts
1 that Mr. Josse has just -- and I think it will be useful for the witness
2 to have those as well because otherwise I take Mr. Josse's word that it
3 will become cumbersome.
4 MR. THAYER: And I believe that's intercept 2374, not 2379 if we
5 are talking about the 1610, or are we talking about the subsequent one at
7 MR. JOSSE: Yes, 1810.
8 MR. THAYER: Just wanted to clarify.
9 MR. JOSSE: The one that involves this witness.
10 Q. Now, can I explain to you, Colonel, what 2379 is? Before I do
11 that, one other thing. I don't know whether there is any problem, Your
12 Honour, with 2379 being broadcast. Perhaps Madam Registrar could advise
13 on that. 2379 is an English translation of a purported intercept made by
14 the Muslim security services at the time that your conversation with
15 General Gvero was taking place, or perhaps I should say General
16 Gobillard's conversation with General Gvero.
17 The intercept operator, as is clear from the first paragraph,
18 could only hear General Gvero. He could not hear your end of the
19 conversation at all. And my first question to you is have you been shown
20 this before?
21 A. I have not.
22 Q. Were you aware, prior to this moment, that the conversation had in
23 some way been intercepted by a security force?
24 A. I was advised that an intercept existed but not by whom it was
1 Q. And you were advised that during the course of your proofing, were
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. But you weren't actually shown the documents?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And the other thing I should tell you and it's an obvious point
7 the original of 2379 is of course in the B/C/S language, not in the
8 English language. This is a translation. And dealing with the point that
9 I was just asking you about --
10 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. 2379, I'm informed, is under seal. So
11 no broadcast of it, please. Otherwise, you can proceed.
12 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
14 MR. JOSSE:
15 Q. If we look quite near the top of this conversation, which I'm
16 going to take you to in a moment, we see that Gvero says, "Hello, this is
17 Gvero." Then he says, "Who?" Then he says, "Svetlana".
18 And then if we look at the bottom of that very same page, we see
19 him, Gvero, saying, "Don't let him start talking while I'm talking.
20 Svetlana, could you please translate to General Gobillard?"
21 So what I'm suggesting to you is General Gobillard -- General
22 Gvero had an interpreter there called Svetlana. Does this help you at all
23 in that regard?
24 A. I'm not sure I understand.
25 Q. Well, what I'm suggesting is that Gvero had an interpreter,
1 somewhere at his end, called Svetlana.
2 A. Okay.
3 Q. And assuming that to be correct, what I'd like you to try and
4 explain is the interplay between Gvero, Svetlana, Captain Bliss, yourself,
5 and General Gobillard. How did it work?
6 A. I don't remember that part. I don't remember a Svetlana.
7 Q. So you tell us, Colonel, how the conversation worked, physically
8 worked, as far as you're concerned. I don't think the intercept will help
9 you in this regard. We are going to look at it in a few moments' time.
10 A. Well, as far as I recall, the interpreter would talk to General
11 Gvero in Serbo-Croatian. He would reply, she would translate to me in
12 English. I would translate to General Gobillard in French. He would give
13 me his reply in French. I would tell it in English to the interpreter.
14 And she would then translate for the person at the other end.
15 Q. And the interpreter you are referring to is Captain Bliss?
16 A. I'm quite sure it was Captain Bliss.
17 Q. So you've got no idea about a Svetlana?
18 A. I don't.
19 Q. And by the same token, you presumably would have no idea
20 whether -- well, I'll suggest to you, you probably don't know this, that
21 Svetlana was in fact physically in a different location to General Gvero,
22 just to complicate matters. But you don't know that, correct?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Okay. Bearing in mind your role which you've just described,
25 Colonel, how were you able to note the conversation down? Tell us
1 physically how you did that.
2 A. Well, as it was -- in between my interpretation with General
3 Gobillard and then back to the interpreter, when she spoke Serb, I had
4 time to take a few notes, but I did not take very detailed notes. I
5 drafted those up afterwards in consultation with General Gobillard.
6 Q. Well, I was going to ask you that in a moment. How soon after the
7 events did you prepare the note that is now our exhibit?
8 A. I don't remember exactly but I would say the same day.
9 Q. And you discussed it with General Gobillard, did you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And the note is in English rather than French for what reason?
12 A. Because it was sent to other headquarters and it made it easier.
13 Q. Have you discussed these events with General Gobillard in the last
14 ten years?
15 A. I never seen General Gobillard since.
16 Q. Now going to try and begin this process of analysing and comparing
17 the two documents. If we could begin by looking at the actual intercept,
18 2379, we can see at the very top that what is coming from the Serb end are
19 these words: "General Mladic is in the field and he too is away. I can
20 only put him through to General Gvero if he wants. Please hold on.
21 Hello, this is Gvero."
22 So would I be right in saying that it appears that the person
23 General Gobillard first wanted to speak to was General Mladic, correct?
24 A. That's possible.
25 Q. It also appears to be the position, doesn't it, that General Gvero
1 was not specifically the person to whom General Gobillard wanted to speak
2 and Gobillard was being told that in effect the only person available to
3 field the conversation was Gvero. Would you accept that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. If we could move, please, to the second paragraph in your note,
6 second sentence of that paragraph, you note the following: "If UNPROFOR
7 troops were really targeted, then it was the BiH who fired on to them
8 according to their old scenario."
9 In the intercept, 2379, about ten lines down, General Gvero seems
10 to have said, "If UN members have been shot at, it was not by us. Rather
11 following the familiar scenario, they were shot at by the Muslims who are
12 very close to them and whom you are protecting." Did you have any idea
13 what General Gvero was referring to when he used the expression, "familiar
15 A. Well, yes. This came on occasions from our discussions with Serb
16 side. They would accuse the Bosnians of provoking and to try to -- for
17 various reasons.
18 Q. And UNPROFOR were aware of that, weren't they, the truth of that
19 assertion by the Bosnian Serbs?
20 A. We were aware that on occasion, yes, it was true.
21 Q. Perhaps we could look at 6D204 in this regard. This is a daily
22 sit-rep from General Janvier or at least from his office to, among others,
23 New York and Mr. Annan, and I want to look at page 6, please. It's dated
24 the 10th of July. We can see that at the fax heading at the top of that
25 page. If we could scroll down, please, this is in a part of the document
1 which is described as a military assessment of events in Srebrenica.
2 So it's almost completely contemporaneous with your conversation,
3 perhaps a day or so earlier, and it says, "Similar to what happened in
4 Gorazde, spring 1994, the BiH can attempt to draw UNPROFOR, including the
5 RRF, or NATO, into the conflict on BiH side. Sudden abandoning of
6 positions along the confrontation line, the simulation of a collapse of
7 the enclave or alarming reports from Bosnian side on the situation in the
8 enclaves will be indicated for this."
9 Do you know what the author of this report is referring to?
10 A. I don't. Spring 1994 was before I arrived.
11 Q. Yes. All right. But in short, you've already accepted you were
12 aware -- you knew what General Gvero was driving at when he used the word
13 "old scenario" or "familiar scenario"?
14 A. Oh, yeah.
15 Q. The next bit I'd like to look at, please, is still on the first
16 page of your document. Yes, perhaps we could go back to the two documents
17 in B/C/S on e-court. Thank you.
18 But in the hard copy that you've got, on that first page, we see
19 it says, "The BSA were not attacking civilians either. They had fought
20 against the BiH armed terrorists who should have been disarmed according
21 to the agreement concluded by the parties under the auspices of UNPROFOR."
22 If you could look, please, at the actual intercept, halfway down
23 the first page, we see it says, "Next, we didn't shoot at civilians but at
24 armed terrorists who have inflicted losses on our people in the last
25 months and years. They were supposed to be disarmed according to the
1 agreement we signed with them in the presence of the UN, but that was
2 never done."
3 So General Gvero juxtaposes the armed terrorists with people who
4 have inflicted losses on our people, words - and let me emphasise this is
5 not a criticism - but words which were not in your document, correct?
6 A. Yes, correct.
7 Q. What did you understand him to be saying at that point?
8 A. I'm not sure if I knew at that time, but during that period I
9 found out that the Bosnian army, in Zepa, for example, were conducting
10 raids outside the enclave into Serb villages.
11 Q. Precisely. This exercise is going to take a fair bit longer, I'm
12 afraid, Your Honour so perhaps now would be a convenient time?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We'll have the break now. 25 minutes. Thank
15 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Josse?
18 MR. JOSSE: Thank you.
19 Q. Colonel, bottom of your note, you say, page 1, this is, "UNPROFOR
20 troops were most welcome on the BSA territory where they would be treated
21 comfortably and would be completely safe."
22 JUDGE AGIUS: No broadcast of the two documents, okay? Or at
23 least of 2379.
24 MR. JOSSE:
25 Q. What did you understand General Gvero to be saying at that
1 juncture in the conversation?
2 A. That they would not take us hostage like they had done at the end
3 of May.
4 Q. And did you have any knowledge at that point in time of how the
5 DutchBat troops, who were in Bratunac, had come to get there?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Could we look at 6D22, please? Now, whilst this is got up on the
8 screen, to explain to you, I appreciate this is a document you almost
9 certainly have never seen before because it's a document from Major
10 General Krstic, to the Main Staff of the VRS and to the Drina Corps
11 command, and it's an interim combat report dated the 9th of July of 1995.
12 And it's not quite on the screen yet. We see the B/C/S version on the
13 right there. There is the English.
14 And it's item number 4 that I would like us to examine.
15 It says this: "Conduct of UNPROFOR forces, the UNPROFOR forces at
16 the check-points in Slapovici village and Bucje [phoen] village
17 surrendered fully to our forces with all their weapons and equipment and
18 asked for our protection. Ten UNPROFOR soldiers from the UNPROFOR
19 check-point in Bucje village have been sent to and accommodated in Milici,
20 while five soldiers from the check-point in Slapovici have been
21 accommodated in Bratunac. UNPROFOR forces from the base in Potocari
22 village did not intervene at the check-points or attack our forces."
23 Now, that appears to be the information that has been sent by the
24 Drina Corps, namely General Krstic, to the VRS Main Staff where my client
25 was stationed at that time. That's right, isn't it?
1 A. That's what it looks like.
2 Q. Were you aware, at the time of the conversation with General
3 Gvero, of the information contained in General Krstic's interim combat
5 A. I don't think I was, no.
6 Q. All right. Let's move on, if we may, please, to the second page
7 of your notes of the telephone call. And about six or seven lines down in
8 the second paragraph, you write the following: "He" obviously referring
9 to General Gvero, "claimed that a great number of UN vehicles stolen by
10 the BiH and still painted white were used against the BSA. He said he had
11 no absolute knowledge of who the troops in the vehicles belonged to, but
12 drew the general's attention to the BSA reliable information that those
13 were the BiH."
14 What was your state of knowledge, Colonel, at about 6.00 on the
15 11th of July of the assertions that General Gvero was making?
16 A. What we did not have information that the BiH had stolen any of
17 our vehicles. And I believe the Dutch were able to confirm that. But we
18 did know that the VRS still had vehicles taken during the hostage crisis
19 and that were not returned until later. For example, I personally
20 obtained Canadian vehicles, eight armoured vehicles, taken during the
21 hostage crisis by the VRS on December 24th, 1995, when I went to get them
22 in Ilijas.
23 Q. And where, in the hostage crisis of May 1995, were these vehicles
24 taken? Whereabouts, in Bosnia, were they seized?
25 A. Around Sarajevo for the most part, as far as I know.
1 Q. And I'm right, it's May 1995, we're talking about, about six weeks
2 before the events that this case is concentrating upon, correct?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Could we have a look in relation to what I've just shown you, at
5 6D23, please? This is a similar document to the one that I just showed
6 you. It's another interim combat report, this time of the 10th of July
7 from Krstic to the VRS Main Staff and the Drina Corps command. And it's
8 paragraph 3 that I'd like to look at here, please.
9 It says, "UNPROFOR conduct in the Srebrenica enclave, from
10 observation and surveillance of the situation in the Srebrenica enclave,
11 we concluded the number of UNPROFOR check-points on enemy territory had
12 been taken by the Muslims who are using some of the weapons and other
13 military hardware in operations against our forces."
14 So on the face of this document, Krstic is telling his Main Staff
15 that broadly speaking what General Gvero is asserting to you was, in fact,
16 happening in the field, correct?
17 A. That's what it says.
18 Q. You of course can't comment on the accuracy of General Krstic's
19 document, correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. It's hard to think of any reason why General Krstic would be
22 misleading his Main Staff or falsifying this type of report, isn't it?
23 A. Sounds fair.
24 Q. Back to your report of the conversation, the last paragraph, you
25 say, "General Gvero promised he would do his utmost to keep the situation
1 in the region of Srebrenica under control, which he thought quite possible
2 because of his competent military there."
3 If we could look, please, in this regard at the actual intercept,
4 second page, about ten lines up from the bottom, it says, "We'll do
5 everything to keep the situation under control. We have competent people
6 from our army."
7 So it's fair to say that General Gvero wasn't personally promising
8 to keep the situation under control. He was talking in the first person
9 plural about the VRS in a general sense. Would you agree with that?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. Going back to your document, and following on from where I had
12 left off, you say, "What happened this day only served to complicate the
13 situation in the region of Srebrenica, and would ill effect the situation
14 there. He would have had the full insight into the situation in the
15 Srebrenica area by the next morning." Going back, if we may, to the
16 actual intercept, again a little on from where I had left off, it says,
17 "It would be best to speak with General Gobillard in the morning and to
18 look at the overall situation."
19 In fact, what you have written is, I would suggest, not a
20 completely fair summary because General Gvero was not suggesting that he
21 would have a full insight into the situation in Srebrenica the following
22 morning. He is simply saying that it would be best to speak the following
23 morning, a subtle but significant difference, correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, Mr. Josse, because I think the words or
1 the phrase, "He would have had the full insight" are reflected in the
2 intercept in the part which reads as follows: "It would be best to speak
3 with General Gobillard in the morning and to look at the overall
4 situation," which I mean to look at the overall situation then, at that
5 point in time. Because then in the witness's report, this is followed --
6 "That was why he suggested another contact by phone only next morning."
7 And as you see that is not followed by what is contained in the intercept,
8 which is reflected in the sentence before.
9 MR. JOSSE: Can I just have a moment, please?
10 [Defence counsel confer]
11 MR. JOSSE:
12 Q. You've heard what the learned judge has just said, Colonel. And
13 by all means, look at more of the intercept if it helps, but General Gvero
14 doesn't appear to actually be saying that he would have a full insight
15 into the situation in the Srebrenica area, isn't that fair?
16 A. I don't disagree that it is. From my point of view at the other
17 end, it was not an important nuance at the time, the information that was
18 conveyed was more important than how it was conveyed.
19 Q. And if we look at the very end of the intercept, it's not -- again
20 understandably -- reflected in whole in your summary. General Gvero says,
21 "I would like General Gobillard to continue making reasonable decisions to
22 not call in the air force, to make mistakes, and I want him to conclude
23 his mission as a decent man and a man of peace, neutral, and impartial
24 towards all sides in this conflict. Many thanks and good night."
25 And you've summarised that as inviting Gvero inviting Gobillard to
1 show no bias towards any party, as I've just indicated what in fact he
2 said was rather fuller than that, correct?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Now, you basically dealt with this in your examination-in-chief
5 with Mr. Thayer, but this conversation took place at about 10 minutes past
6 6.00 on the 11th of July, in the evening. There is no question that the
7 aircraft who were providing the close air support had been withdrawn
8 almost exactly an hour earlier. Do you agree with that? If you don't, I
9 can help you.
10 A. Well, I know they had been withdrawn shortly before.
11 Q. And so, de facto, this conversation had no effect on the decision
12 by UNPROFOR as to whether or not to bomb the VRS. That must be right,
13 mustn't it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now -- and one thing that I should have asked you at the very
16 start of this conversation, and then I'll move away from it, it's obvious
17 from the start that this was a telephone call that was put in from General
18 Gobillard' office to the Main Staff of the VRS rather than the other way
19 around, correct?
20 A. Correct.
21 Q. Now, this conversation took place at the very tail end of the
22 period when General Smith was away on leave. Do you recall that?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Would you accept the criticism that during those 11 days, General
25 Gobillard spent too much time in the PTT building and not enough time in
1 the Residency?
2 A. You're saying that General Smith was away for 11 days?
3 Q. He was away from the 1st of July to the 11th of July. I think on
4 the 8th of July he went it Geneva, but he did not return to Sarajevo until
5 the 11th of July.
6 A. And I think that on the 1st and 2nd of July, he was in Split and
7 he retained command at that time, so there would have been no need because
8 he was still in theatre, as we say it, there would have been no need for
9 General Gobillard to be at BH command. But after that, I can't say.
10 Q. You've got no view on the subject?
11 A. I don't recall other than the events we have been going through
12 between the 8th of July and the 12th, I don't recall the specifics before
14 Q. Now, Gobillard had assumed control, notwithstanding that Nicolai
15 was Smith's Chief of Staff; that's right, isn't it?
16 A. Right.
17 Q. And it's also right, and I'll tell you this in case you don't
18 recall, that Smith was in daily contact with his military assistant,
19 Colonel Baxter. Do you recall that?
20 A. I don't recall, no, because I wasn't there all the time during
21 that whole period that you mentioned, but that would be fair.
22 Q. And in particular, when Smith went to Geneva on the 8th of July,
23 do you recall any discussion in your circles, either with your general,
24 i.e. Gobillard, or perhaps in the officer's mess at a slightly lower
25 level, as to whether Smith should return bearing in mind he was in Geneva
1 and had effectively left his leave?
2 A. I don't recall such discussion, no.
3 Q. The reason I'm asking you that is it might give some indication as
4 to the extent to which you in UNPROFOR in Sarajevo had some sense of the
5 impending crisis. Does that help at all?
6 A. I still don't recall any such discussions.
7 Q. None at all?
8 A. No, sorry.
9 Q. And are you able to help us at all as to who said what at the
10 point that Smith was recalled from his leave on the 11th of July, who made
11 that decision, whether you were party to any discussions, formal,
12 informal, or otherwise?
13 A. I may have been but I don't recall.
14 Q. In your witness statement, dealing really with this period of
15 time, the time before the 11th of July, you said - and I could show this
16 to you if need be - the difficulty was to get accurate information from
17 Srebrenica and then deciding what to do.
18 A. Right.
19 Q. Why did you say that?
20 A. As I explained yesterday, the situation was confused. We were
21 getting information from the Dutch company through DutchBat and Sector
22 north-east to BH command, from the GCO, British GCO, in Srebrenica
23 directly to BH command, from civil affairs, from the Bosnians, from the
24 Serbs, and of course it was not entirely clear what was happening, who was
25 attacking the Dutch and at what location, and what we could do to prevent
1 any further attacks or advance by the VRS. So all of that were of course
2 from a distance being in Sarajevo and watching over events in Srebrenica.
3 It was difficult to get a clear picture, something that we were sure this
4 is what's happening on the ground.
5 Q. And at page 18 of your statement, talking specifically about the
6 10th of July, you use a very similar expression, "We were very unsure of
7 their situation." Similar point, I assume?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. You've been asked this morning about the death of the Dutch
10 soldier, Renssen, and your recollection of those events. Do you recall
11 what General Gobillard's official reaction to that event was?
12 A. Well, he was not happy about it and wanted a strong protest made
13 to the Bosnians who had killed the Dutch soldier that this amounted to
15 Q. We know that General Janvier wrote to his counterpart, General
16 Delic, were you aware of that?
17 A. I may have been but I don't recall.
18 Q. Who was General Gobillard's counterpart within the ABiH?
19 A. Normally it was Silajdzic.
20 Q. But he was a civilian, wasn't he? He was a Prime Minister, he
21 wasn't a military man at all?
22 A. Perhaps I got the wrong name.
23 Q. If you don't remember?
24 A. Akolov [phoen] Aznadzic at corps level.
25 Q. Sorry give it us the name again?
1 A. I think it's Aznadzic.
2 Q. I'm going to need some help on this. Either way, did General
3 Gobillard express his outrage specifically to his counterpart about the
4 death of Renssen?
5 A. I'm not sure -- well, I say normally it was Aznadzic when we were
6 operating at sector level. When he was acting commander UNPROFOR or BH
7 command during that period, he would have had contacts at a higher level
8 of the BiH army. I can't think of the name right now. Did he express
9 that directly to that contact? I'm not sure if he did. He may have. But
10 also General Nicolai was supposed to draft something so we could complain
11 formally about this.
12 Q. Could it have been a military man called Hajrulahovic, I'm going
13 to spell that H-A-J-R-U-L-A-H-O-V-I-C?
14 A. Yeah. I believe he's the one we used to call Talijan because we
15 couldn't pronounce his name.
16 Q. Absolutely, Talijan. That's the man. Now, going to move on to
17 the 28th of July or 27th, 28th of July, when you went to Zepa. Remind us,
18 who did you go there with, please?
19 A. Colonel Chinouihl was the French engineer commander at Sector
21 Q. And on the 27th of July, General Smith was there. Your first day,
23 A. Yeah, for a short period, yes.
24 Q. And you describe both in your diary and to some extent in your
25 witness statement of General Smith's departure. Excuse me a moment.
1 Probably is worth having a look at this. Page 24 of the witness
2 statement, which is 6D152. That's exactly the point that I want.
3 We see that it says towards the top that General Smith arrived at
4 1550 and then going on down the page, it says, "General Smith talked to
5 us, the UN people, before he left." And I'm not going to read all this
6 out. You can read it to yourself. B/C/S page 22. In effect he was
7 rallying his troops, for want of a better expression, General Smith, this
8 is, correct?
9 A. Making sure that those present understood what was at stake.
10 Q. Now, did you understand -- have you any idea, did General Smith
11 return to Zepa at any point?
12 A. Not that I'm aware of.
13 Q. Not that you're aware of. Did you get the impression that this
14 was a rallying call before he left for a final time?
15 A. I can't say that I recall precisely, but it would have been not a
16 situation report but a look at the situation as it is now, share the
17 understanding, and then each carries his activities, not as a final -- not
18 as a final rallying call, as you put it.
19 Q. Was Colonel Baxter with him?
20 A. I don't remember.
21 Q. The questions I'm about to ask you are quite detailed, and I will
22 understand if you do not recall but let's try. Do you recall whether he
23 had one of his liaison officers-cum-interpreters with him at this meeting
24 you described on page 24 of the statement?
25 A. I don't recall.
1 Q. You've mentioned Captain Bliss. Do you recall the name of his
2 other liaison officer?
3 A. I don't.
4 Q. If I mentioned name to you Captain Dibb, does that ring any bells?
5 A. Sorry, it doesn't.
6 Q. It doesn't. Was Captain Bliss in Zepa at any point when you were
8 A. I don't recall seeing her.
9 Q. Would Smith always, as far as you can recall, have one of his
10 liaison officers with him?
11 A. I think so.
12 Q. Digressing for a moment, how did General Gobillard deal with
13 communication with the warring parties? Did he have a personal
15 A. Yes, he did. He had a number of them.
16 Q. And were they military officers?
17 A. Both military and civilians.
18 Q. And do you recall, did -- who accompanied him on the trip to Zepa
19 on the 28th of July?
20 A. It would have to be one of his military. Either Major Beck or
21 Korsek [phoen], I don't recall.
22 Q. Both French officers, correct?
23 A. Legionnaires. They were senior NCOs.
24 Q. Help us -- you've use used this expression "legionnaire" before.
25 What does it mean?
1 A. Well, the French Foreign Legion is a unit of the French army
2 mainly composed of soldiers from foreign countries.
3 Q. Yes. Now, you've made clear, and certainly not disputing this,
4 Smith leaves on the 27th of July and Gobillard arrives on the 28th of
5 July. Would it be a deliberate decision for any one of them to be in Zepa
6 at any given time?
7 A. Meaning their own choice?
8 Q. Well, not so much their own choice but would there be some sort of
9 informal policy decision that one wouldn't send two such senior generals
10 to a place like Zepa on the same day at the same time?
11 A. Not necessarily. They are commanders operating at two different
12 levels. So commander Sector Sarajevo had responsibilities for Zepa and as
13 did commander UNPROFOR who had responsibilities for all of Bosnia.
14 Q. Moving on, you say in the witness statement, it's there in front
15 of us, at the next paragraph, that Smith left Ed Joseph from civil affairs
16 behind. Who else from UNPROFOR did he leave? Can you help us?
17 A. I don't recall.
18 Q. What about Mr. Bezrouchenko? Do you remember him?
19 A. I know that he had been there earlier. I don't know if he was
20 still there or if he left. I don't recall.
21 Q. And as a matter of interest, I take it you haven't had a chance to
22 discuss this with Mr. Bezrouchenko. I say that because he works in this
23 building. Are you able to -- have you spoken to him about it at all?
24 A. No. In fact I've never seen him since.
25 Q. Okay. Were you aware that he worked in this building?
1 A. No.
2 Q. What time did you depart Zepa on the 28th of July? As accurately
3 as you can, please. This is particularly important.
4 A. It's in my diary. After the meeting General Gobillard had with
5 General Tolimir towards the late afternoon, but I don't recall the exact
7 Q. Just a moment, please. I think we can remain in open session.
8 The diary simply says that you returned to check-point 2 and met Gobillard
9 at about 1600 hours. "He met Tolimir, and then I left Zepa to return with
10 him to Sarajevo." So the question is how long did the meeting with
11 Tolimir take, between Gobillard and Tolimir?
12 A. I don't recall.
13 Q. At all? This is particularly important, Colonel, actually.
14 A. I can guess but I really don't recall how long it could have
15 taken, but I think I'm more precise in my diary as to when the meeting
17 Q. Yes. I think I just said.
18 A. Well, you said --
19 Q. I beg your pardon, you're more precise in your note. I think you
20 say in your note which is the handwritten note which was a Prosecution
21 Exhibit, I think you say 1710. We are just going to find a copy. I
22 haven't got it to hand.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
24 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think we can agree that 2969
25 indicates that this meeting was 28 July at 1720 hours.
1 MR. JOSSE:
2 Q. So your handwritten note says the meeting appears to have started
3 at 1720 as Mr. Thayer has helpfully just said, and you don't recall how
4 long it took?
5 A. No, I don't, but certainly less than an hour.
6 Q. And you and your general then immediately turned around and went
7 back to Sarajevo?
8 A. As far as I recall, yes.
9 Q. At the point that you left, was there any sign of General Smith in
11 A. Not that I recall.
12 Q. Have you any idea when, if at all, General Smith next went to
14 A. I don't.
15 Q. And, in fact, your diary says that the journey took four hours,
16 the return journey to Sarajevo. That sounds about right?
17 A. Yeah, which is much faster than 20 some hours it took the first
19 Q. Yes, that's because you were held up in Rogatica, correct?
20 A. Yes, correct.
21 Q. And the -- any recollection about what you did about food that
22 evening? I only ask to see if it perhaps jogs your memory as to what time
23 you left or where you ate or what time you ate, or anything like that.
24 A. Sorry, I don't -- I don't recall any more specifically.
25 Q. And I take it there was no sign of General Gvero in Zepa on either
1 the 27th or the 28th of July, was there?
2 A. Well, having never met him, I couldn't have recognised him any
4 Q. No. And there was no suggestion from any of the VRS troops that
5 there was another general there amongst them, Tolimir in particular?
6 A. No, not that I recall.
7 MR. JOSSE: If I could just have a moment, please.
8 Q. I want to ask you a few things about matters that you mentioned in
9 your evidence-in-chief, and you gave some evidence about fuel and the fact
10 that you had become aware that the Ukrainian Brigade were trading fuel
11 with the Serbs. That's right, isn't it?
12 A. Correct. The Ukrainian company in Zepa.
13 Q. And where had that information come from, please?
14 A. I don't recall the exact source, just something that was discussed
15 at sector headquarters.
16 Q. And there was no intelligence or information that the Bosniak
17 inhabitants were doing the same, namely trading fuel with UNPROFOR?
18 A. That's possible. I don't remember that.
19 Q. When you say it's possible, it's possible it happened, it's
20 possible there was some information, what, please?
21 A. Both actually. Both are possible.
22 Q. You've a low opinion of that company, haven't you?
23 A. Well, the unit, as I described yesterday, in general, was having
24 lots of problems and not behaving very professionally in general.
25 Q. And to be perfectly fair about this, if I can confronted you with
1 suggestions that the local inhabitants were trading in fuel with that
2 Ukrainian company, you've already said it wouldn't come as a surprise to
3 you at all?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Okay. You said this about that company, that there were
6 suspicions that they were pro-Serb. Do you remember saying that?
7 A. M'hm. I also said that this -- these suspicions were expressed by
8 French officers at the headquarters Sector Sarajevo.
9 Q. Did you have a view on the subject?
10 A. Well, generally, it was easier for them to move about in Serb-held
11 territory than for anybody else except perhaps the Russians after the
12 hostage crisis of May 1995. In fact, we could not for a while go into
13 Serb-held territory, the weeks following the hostage crisis, but we had to
14 maintain contact with Indic, for example, in Lukavica, and we would use
15 the Ukrainians to do that.
16 Q. And did you have any information about how the Ukrainians
17 interacted with the population of Zepa, particularly as the crisis was
19 A. No, no, no details anyway.
20 Q. Let's have a look at 6D122, please. We need page 5 of the
21 English, please, and page 5 of the B/C/S. This, let me tell you, Colonel,
22 to cut matters short, is a document that emanates from February of 1996,
23 and it's a review by a Brigadier General Jasarevic of the army of the
24 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina of the events surrounding the fall of
25 Srebrenica and Zepa. And in the middle of that page, we see him talking
1 about the Chetniks' attack on Zepa on the 9th of July of 1995. He talks
2 about the local brigade, the 285th Light Brigade, and he talks about the
4 And then he says, about halfway through that paragraph, "After the
5 commander of this UNPROFOR battalion crossed over to the command of the
6 Chetnik forces, the new Ukrainian Battalion commander handed over all
7 weapons at its disposal to our soldiers. These were immediately used to
8 defend Zepa. According to several displaced persons from Zepa, he even
9 sent false reports to UNPROFOR command in Sarajevo saying that members of
10 the Ukrainian Battalion had been directly attacked and requesting NATO air
11 strikes against the Chetniks."
12 So in short, this is in effect Muslim intelligence, which is being
13 reproduced in a Muslim report. Can you comment on this at all?
14 A. It's the first I hear of this, and frankly it seems a bit
16 Q. Why do you say that?
17 A. Well, based on the information that I had and what I knew of the
18 Ukrainians, as I said, they were not the best of soldiers, but going so
19 far as to lie to their command? I doubt that. That's my personal
21 Q. Were you aware that the Bosniaks, around the 15th, 16th of July,
22 asked for air strikes on the VRS because of their offensive against Zepa?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You remember that?
25 A. Yeah. I'm not sure about the dates you're mentioning, but we had
1 some, let's say, complaints from the Bosnians, requesting that we do
2 something, namely air strikes.
3 Q. Last question on this: These French officers felt, for reasons
4 that you've explained, that the Ukrainians were pro-Serb. If the
5 Ukrainians were pro-Serb, were the rest of UNPROFOR pro-Bosniak?
6 A. Well, I think it would mean that they were more impartial, as the
7 UN would like it.
8 Q. Did you see any part of UNPROFOR, I know it's a large
9 organisation, that you would categorise as pro-Muslim?
10 A. Can't comment about every individuals but organisation, I don't
11 think so, or I haven't been a witness to things like that, no.
12 Q. I'll deal with this vis-a-vis your diary in a moment, but would
13 you categorise General Smith as more pro-Bosniak than your commander,
14 General Gobillard?
15 A. I don't think so, no.
16 Q. Okay. I am going to go through various extracts in your journal.
17 Before we go into private session to do that, bearing in mind you were
18 asked some general questions about it in open session, I think I can ask
19 you this at the moment: The journal, as you made clear, was actually
20 compiled in late 1997, correct?
21 A. It was put together as it is, yes, but as I said, all the meetings
22 that I attended and where I took notes, those notes were typed usually the
23 same day or in a relatively short time, and when I produced the journal
24 they were cut and paste, put all together.
25 Q. And were they private notes or were they notes which formed some
1 part of an official UNPROFOR archive?
2 A. Well, many portions of it were documents that I had written as
3 reports, and we've seen some of them here in the last couple of days, but
4 a lot was personal as well. So it's a mix of both.
5 Q. And those personal notes that you had, you've told us, you've
6 destroyed after you put the journal together, correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. And why did you put the journal together? What was the purpose,
9 as far as you were concerned?
10 A. I'm a tidy individual. I'd like to have everything neatly in one
12 Q. Perhaps we could go to private session?
13 A. It's as simple as that.
14 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Let's do that. Let's go into private
16 [Private session]
11 Pages 18408-18416 redacted. Private session
3 [Open session]
4 MR. JOSSE:
5 Q. You've been asked -- you've been asked in part by both my learned
6 friends who preceded me for other defendants in this case about the spring
7 offensive, and about the BiH attack on the Serbs around Sarajevo, and that
8 offensive broke the cessation of hostilities agreement, didn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You have explained that UNPROFOR took exception to the fact that
11 the Serbs took heavy weapons from the weapons collection points, and as a
12 result NATO decided to bomb the VRS, correct?
13 A. Eventually, yes.
14 Q. Let's look at the situation in the eastern enclaves, if we may.
15 The VRS were on the offensive there, weren't they? They started the
16 attack. And the ABiH were on the defensive, correct?
17 A. In the -- you mean at Srebrenica and Zepa?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And for this purpose, in fact, we only need to concern ourselves
21 with Srebrenica. The ABiH took weapons from the weapon collection point,
22 didn't they?
23 A. In Srebrenica?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. Honestly I don't recall. That was before -- if it happened, and
1 it might have, that was before we got involved at BH command level. We
2 meaning General Gobillard and I. So I don't remember that fact.
3 Q. And you don't remember that happening at all?
4 A. No.
5 Q. How, then, were the local inhabitants able to put up any defence
6 at all?
7 A. Well, heavy weapons and other weapons plus everything they could
8 have hidden in such a large area. One of the reasons these three enclaves
9 in the east existed was because there were not -- the VRS was not able to
10 capture them initially. They had enough forces and weapons and the
11 terrain, the terrain was very difficult. And it was very costly to send
12 troops in there to try and dislodge armed people, even lightly armed
13 people. So I suspect that's how it happened. They had their own rifles,
14 possibly had hidden armaments as well.
15 MR. JOSSE: Your Honour, I know it's a few minutes early. Perhaps
16 we could take the break. I haven't got very long at all but I would
17 appreciate a few moments.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: I take it you will have a few minutes left in
20 MR. JOSSE: And I mean a few minutes.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: And is there re-examination?
22 MR. THAYER: There will be limited re-examination, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: So we'll have a 25-minute break. All right.
24 --- Recess taken at 12.23 p.m.
25 --- On resuming at 12.53 p.m.
1 MR. JOSSE: I'm very grateful for those minutes, Your Honour,
2 because in fact, I had left out one important matter in relation to the
3 Gobillard-Gvero conversation and so could those two documents be put back
4 up on e-court in B/C/S, please? So far as those of us who have the hard
5 copy are concerned in English --
6 Q. I want to take you, if I may, Colonel, to the second page and the
7 third paragraph. The second paragraph, I beg your pardon. And the
8 sentence at the very end where you record General Gvero as saying "He even
9 added that BiH civilians once on the BSA territory would be totally safe
10 and were welcome to leave the enclave." I would suggest that the
11 comparative bit in the actual intercept is also on page 2, in the middle
12 of the page, where General Gvero says, "Svetlana, tell him this as well.
13 General, the refugees who come over to our side will be totally safe. We
14 will protect those civilians, and they can come over to our side and they
15 will be safe. That's it."
16 It doesn't appear, does it, that General Gvero makes any reference
17 at all to these civilians leaving the enclave. Would you agree with what
18 I've just said?
19 A. Let me read that. I don't get your point.
20 Q. Well, the point is, in your summary, you used the words, "And were
21 welcome to leave the enclave." Gvero, in the actual intercept, talks
22 about protecting the civilians and that they can come over to our side,
23 but he doesn't say anything about them leaving the enclave as such, does
25 A. Right.
1 Q. I mean, again it may be --
2 A. That's how I interpret it.
3 Q. That's understandable and it may be a subtle difference and it may
4 be a difference without a distinction. That's a matter for the Trial
5 Chamber to decide in due course. But the proposition I'm putting to you
6 is correct, he doesn't mention leaving the enclave as such, does he?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Thank you. I'm going to go back into private session again in one
9 moment's time. The diary which we've seen a little bit of is an extensive
10 document. It of course deals with the crisis in the eastern enclaves,
11 Srebrenica and Zepa particularly, in July, but it deals with a lot of
12 other events as well, a lot of the other concerns that Sector Sarajevo
13 had, in particular, for example the Igman route that we touched on
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you in your sector had a lot of other concerns, there were --
17 the war was taking place in areas other than in the east, correct?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And there was much to keep you and your general busy aside from
20 the eastern enclaves, would you agree with that?
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. JOSSE: Could we very briefly go into private session?
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Let's do that.
24 [Private session]
25 [Open session]
1 MR. JOSSE:
2 Q. Final document that I want to show you is 6D132, which the Trial
3 Chamber has seen before; you may have done 12 years ago. It's an UNPROFOR
4 report of the 17th of July, and it describes events in Gorazde between the
5 15th and 16th of July. I won't read it out because it's been read to the
6 Trial Chamber before, but perhaps you'd like to read it to yourself.
7 A. Okay. Yes.
8 Q. So this is the tail end of the Srebrenica crisis. The middle of
9 the Zepa crisis. And the Bosniaks in Gorazde are behaving in a way which
10 can be mildly -- described mildly as difficult towards the Ukrainians in
11 that particular enclave. That's right, isn't it?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. Were you aware of that at the time?
14 A. I think I saw that report actually.
15 Q. How did -- Gorazde fell under Sector Sarajevo, in other words,
16 Gobillard's responsibility, correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. How did he deal with this?
19 A. Honestly, I don't recall.
20 Q. On the face of it, quite serious, wouldn't you agree?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But you've no recollection as to how the sector dealt with this
23 and secured the Ukrainians and made sure the Bosniaks started to behave
24 themselves again?
25 A. No.
1 Q. All right. Thank you very much for all your help.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Mr. Josse. Mr. Thayer, I take it you
3 have a short cross-examination -- re-examination?
4 MR. THAYER: As short as possible, Mr. President.
5 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
6 Q. Just to pick up on that last point, Colonel, and good afternoon to
7 you again, you've heard some questions about attempts by Muslims in now
8 all the enclaves to get their hands on whatever weapons they could during
9 these attacks. What was your understanding as to why they were so
10 desperate to get their hands on those weapons, that they would overrun
11 peacekeepers' OPs?
12 A. Well, they had resisted attacks early on in the war, attacks that
13 resulted in the creation of those enclaves, because the VRS could not take
14 them. Now they saw the new pressure at that time by the VRS to reduce or
15 recapture the enclaves, as the ultimate attempt to get rid of those
16 enclaves, and I guess they wanted to resist at all cost.
17 Q. You were asked some follow-up questions concerning the reports you
18 received of the Ukrainian company soldiers trading in fuel with the Serbs.
19 Can you enlighten the Trial Chamber a little bit about what amounts we are
20 talking about here? Are we talking about enough to fill a chain saw or
21 are we talking about other amounts?
22 A. Honestly I don't recall the exact amounts, but what gave us -- or
23 attracted our attention was the fact that it was fairly large amounts,
24 amounts to be able to drive vehicles some distances or run them for hours
1 Q. Now, to save time I'm not going to show you a series of documents,
2 but if the BSA or if the VRS attacked an OP, peace keeper check-point, OP
3 or other position, with tank fire or mortars or similarly targeted a
4 civilian population or position or building, would that justify the use of
5 close air support?
6 A. If they attacked --
7 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment. Madam Fauveau?
8 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it's a question that
9 requires speculation because the situation was what it is.
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
11 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I don't think that requires any
12 speculation. If we are talking about a situation where a UN position, be
13 it an OP or a check-point, has come under fire, by mortar or tank, is that
14 a violation that justified the use of close air support? This witness has
15 been asked many questions of a similar nature that require no more
16 speculation than what I am asking this witness.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
18 MR. THAYER: That is no speculation.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 THE WITNESS: Yes, it did.
21 MR. THAYER: Just have to wait for the Trial Chamber to confer.
22 Mr. President, the witness answered the question while the Chamber was
23 conferring. I don't think he understood what was -- what the huddle
25 THE WITNESS: Sorry, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. We didn't have our headphones on because we
4 were conferring at the time. But in any case, our decision is that it is
5 a perfectly legitimate question because it falls within the rules of
6 engagement with which supposedly the witness was familiar. So let's
7 proceed. In any case he's answered it now.
8 MR. THAYER: Then I'll move on, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes.
10 MR. THAYER:
11 Q. If we may take a look at 2968, please? And if the Chamber still
12 has both versions, both the intercept and the original I would invite Your
13 Honours to look at both, but it's not entirely necessary for the purposes
14 of my questions. Colonel, let me know when you have your report of the
15 11th of July Gobillard-Gvero conversation on your screen and if you've got
16 a hard copy, okay.
17 And I'll just wait until the English is actually up on e-court
18 before proceeding. Okay. Then I'll just proceed.
19 Colonel, turning your attention to the second paragraph on the
20 first page of this document, where you have written that General Gvero
21 said, and I'll invite the Chamber to check the intercept as well, "Our
22 army never attacked UNPROFOR." Sir, based on your state of knowledge at
23 this time on the 11th of July, was that a true statement by General Gvero
24 or a false statement by General Gvero?
25 A. It was a false statement. We knew that what the VRS move on to
1 the pocket created the whole situation.
2 Q. And if we move further in this document, where you have written,
3 "BSA -- " this is according to General Gvero, "BSA were not attacking
4 civilians either." Based on your state of knowledge sir at that time, was
5 General Gvero's statement true or false?
6 A. False. There had been some shelling.
7 Q. And turning to the next page, sir, General Gvero's statement to
8 you that "A great number of UN vehicles stolen by the BiH and still
9 painted white were used against the BSA," was that a true statement or a
10 false statement, sir?
11 A. False, in our view, anyway.
12 Q. Colonel, how would you describe General Gvero's state of knowledge
13 of the events on the ground based on your recollection of this
14 conversation? How would you describe his state or degree of knowledge?
15 JUDGE AGIUS: Hang on. Yes, Mr. Josse?
16 MR. JOSSE: I ask rhetorically how can he answer that question?
17 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Thayer?
18 MR. THAYER: Very simple, Mr. President. Based on his
19 recollection of what General Gvero was saying during this conversation,
20 based on the issues that General Gvero addressed during the conversation,
21 based on the positions that General Gvero took in this conversation, what
22 was your understanding or how would you describe General Gvero's state of
23 knowledge of the events on the ground based on your participation in this
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Josse?
1 MR. JOSSE: That's a question for you, not for the witness, in our
3 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment, please.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Colonel, if at the time you did form in your mind an
6 assessment of whether General Gvero basically knew what he was talking
7 about or not, then please proceed to answer the question. If not, we
8 don't want you to go back now and speculate.
9 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, as I said earlier in my testimony,
10 during this period, 9, 10, 11 July, we believed that the Serbs were
11 basically always repeating the party line, if I may, and they were
12 stalling tactics. While it created confusion on our part, it delayed us
13 in taking actions, it allowed them more time to press on and move on to
14 the pocket. So this example of General Gvero and some of the things that
15 he said is more of the same.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you.
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. So, Colonel, just to follow up on His Honour's question, did you
19 form in your mind an assessment at the time of whether General Gvero knew
20 what he was talking about and knew what he was doing in this conversation?
21 A. Not really.
22 Q. Now, during this conversation, sir, did you gain any impression as
23 to whether General Gvero was sidelined or marginalised in any form in
24 terms of his authority or role on the VRS Main Staff?
25 A. That's not the impression I had. He was like the others we had
1 been talking to, using the same stalling tactics, creating confusion.
2 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Colonel. I have no further questions.
3 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Ostojic?
4 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I would like to be given
5 leave to ask the Lieutenant-Colonel a question that came out of my learned
6 friend's redirects specifically on page 79, which was the justification, I
7 think, for the close air strikes that we discussed moments ago. And the
8 question, if you want me to put it to the Court --
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, of course.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Should I put it to the witness?
11 JUDGE AGIUS: No tell us what the question is.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: The question is basically if it's true that close
13 air strikes are justified on an attack on an OP, observation post, or a
14 check-point, why did not UNPROFOR at any time order much less consider
15 such strikes when the Bosnian Muslims attacked both the observation posts
16 and the check-points both in Srebrenica and in Zepa in July of 1995 as
17 we've heard from his evidence?
18 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Thayer, do you wish to comment on that? Do you
19 have any objection to the question?
20 MR. THAYER: No, Mr. President, I think that's a fair question.
21 Go ahead.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, go ahead, Mr. Ostojic. You've put the
24 question, I suppose the Colonel can proceed to answer it.
25 Further cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic:
1 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 Q. Sir you've heard the question, but if you'd like me to rephrase
3 it, I can rephrase it for you?
4 A. No it's clear. And the occasion where we discussed where the BiH
5 army attacked directly UNPROFOR, it justified -- meets the criteria for
6 using close air support. It was just not practical to do so because our
7 troops and there -- we would have been firing on our own hand, basically.
8 Q. And just to clarify if I may, Mr. President, my question had two
9 parts to it: Ordering it and or considering it. Through looking at your
10 notes and the documents we have from the various UNPROFOR entities, it
11 never seemed to be considered, sir. Would that be accurate?
12 A. I don't think we can say it was never considered but the using it
13 was a totally impractical.
14 MR. OSTOJIC: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE AGIUS: I thank you, Mr. Ostojic.
16 Colonel, we've come to the end of your testimony. We don't have
17 any further questions for you, which means you will be flying back home
18 soon. On behalf of the Trial Chamber, I wish to thank you for having come
19 over to give testimony in this trial, and we all wish you a safe journey
20 back home.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Exhibits? Mr. Thayer? We haven't got a
24 list. Or an updated list. How come?
25 MR. THAYER: I have no explanation. I'd be happy to stand next to
1 my friend and share it with him, though.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: It's your influence, Mr. Ostojic.
3 MR. THAYER: That's right. We have four -- I'm sorry, five new
4 exhibits, 2968 --
5 JUDGE AGIUS: One moment let me follow you.
6 MR. THAYER: And this should track the list of exhibits that we
7 had tendered or that we had distributed in advance of Colonel Fortin's
9 JUDGE AGIUS: I think we need to have a clear picture of what
10 you're tendering.
11 MR. THAYER: I'll recite them, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Just the 65 ter number, these.
13 MR. THAYER: 2968, 2969, 2970, 2502, and 6D00165. That is the
14 journal. I expect that we may have to have some discussions about once
15 again putting the whole thing in evidence or just putting in the portions
16 that were referred to. My preference would be just put the whole thing in
17 with all the translations that accompany it and whatever sections are
18 needed to be referred to in the future, everybody can do that without
19 having to create three separate documents, which is what we would have to
20 do, one from the original French, one from the English translation, and
21 one from the B/C/S. This way I just think it will be more efficient and a
22 simpler process to offer the whole document.
23 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Any objections? Mr. Ostojic?
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Just for point of clarification I'm not sure in my
25 index what is right off the top, 2502.
1 MR. THAYER: I apologise. We had initially thought that that was
2 not a document that had been used before. It was in fact MFI'd in
3 connection with Mr. Torlak's testimony. So I think we had initially given
4 that the number 2971. We went back and found out that it originally had
5 been assigned 2502. That is the 15 July Harland report that I believe at
6 least one of my friends also used during their cross-examination.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Is that clear enough, Mr. Ostojic?
8 MR. OSTOJIC: It is, Mr. President, thank you.
9 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you. Any objections from any of the Defence
10 teams? Mr. Josse?
11 MR. JOSSE: Our preference, Your Honour, would be for the selected
12 passages of the diary to be admitted into evidence. I am bound to say
13 that I would have no objection to the whole diary going into evidence if
14 we had some assurance from the Trial Chamber that they would only rely
15 upon those passages that had in some way been alluded to during the course
16 of the case. It's a point I've made before. Basically we submit we need
17 to know partly the evidence that we've got to meet in the trial but more
18 to the point the evidence that is going to be considered when the Trial
19 Chamber comes to deliberate at the end of this trial.
20 Whilst it will be rather cumbersome for the four parties or three
21 parties who have cross-examined on the document, the one party who
22 examined in chief in relation to it, my preference would be that we do
23 produce a separate document with those passages that have been dealt with
24 during the course of the various examinations.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Thank you, Mr. Josse. Mr. Thayer.
1 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just let me make explicit what I
2 thought was implicit in my submission a few moments ago which is we do
3 trust the Trial Chamber to do exactly that and not roam where the
4 witnesses have not taken us.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes. Thank you. Let me confer with my colleagues.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Our position -- I think -- is no different from the
8 position that we have taken already in the past on similar instances, and
9 that is that for us it will be much easier if we are to follow, to have
10 the entire document, especially if we are to establish dates and sequence.
11 But the understanding obviously is that we will be relying only
12 for the purposes of our deliberations on the parts that you have made use
13 of during the testimony of this Colonel, and during the testimony of
14 others if it's the case, and nothing beyond that. So again, our
15 preference is to have the full document rather than excerpts from it.
16 MR. JOSSE: Well, of course, it's your decision, but could I say
17 we are quite happy with that.
18 JUDGE AGIUS: And for the -- to make things easier and clearer for
19 both of you, I mean, if you come forward and indicate the parts on which
20 you are relying, it will be even much better for us because we will have a
21 straightforward direction from -- indication from you.
22 All right. Any objections as regards the other documents,
23 Prosecution documents? None. So they are admitted.
24 This diary will go under seal.
25 The diary will go under seal because of the restrictions that we
1 spoke about in an earlier sitting.
2 Yes, Mr. Thayer? I see you standing.
3 MR. THAYER: I just want to advise the Chamber that we have no
4 objections to any of the documents that had been tendered by any of the
6 JUDGE AGIUS: To my knowledge there is only one. Mr. Josse, there
7 is only one document to my knowledge that you wish to tender.
8 MR. JOSSE: Yes, even though it's previously been referred to we
9 had never actually tendered it, as far as our records can see. We would
10 now like to tender it.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: That to confirm is 6D132?
12 MR. JOSSE: That's correct, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE AGIUS: No objection I take it and no objection from any of
14 the other Defence teams? So that document is admitted. No documents,
15 Madam Fauveau?
16 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] No documents.
17 JUDGE AGIUS: So that concludes the Louis Fortin's testimony. Is
18 the next witness here?
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, our next witness is here.
20 Mr. McCloskey had an issue to address with the Court prior that that
21 might -- okay. Well, we'll finish this issue, then. We do have the next
22 witness available. If I might propose something, given that we have
23 Mr. Ostojic's cross-examination still to go, which I think is estimated at
24 a half an hour, and we have additional cross-examination from Madam
25 Fauveau, I would suggest that given the final preliminary, it may not be
1 worth bringing him -- bringing the witness in to get only half of one of
2 those two cross-examinations done and then pick it up on another day.
3 If the Court feels that that's useful, to pick it up and get at
4 least half of one, then okay, but I just note that it may just be easier
5 to keep him as a gap filler for another rainy day and get both
6 cross-examinations done in one fell swoop.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. But that may sound okay when it relates to
8 Mr. Ostojic's cross-examination, even though we don't know whether he will
9 finish it in 20 minutes, but we had an indication from Madam Fauveau
10 earlier on that she could conclude her further cross examination in 20
11 minutes. So if there is no objection, we could do that with
12 Mr. Blaszczyk, provided he can show up without delay. Yes, Madam Fauveau?
13 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, I just want to
14 inform you that this will be even shorter, I think five minutes will be
15 even plenty.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay.
17 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] I would like to ask whether my
18 colleague from the OTP has a hard copy of the document coming from the
19 Republic of Serbia. For technical reasons we didn't have time to upload
20 it into e-court.
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Fauveau. So I take it we can tell
22 General Nicolai to go away, to leave.
23 MR. THAYER: I'm sorry, Mr. President, when you said the next
24 witness, I thought you meant the gap filler.
25 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, yes.
1 MR. THAYER: Okay. General Nicolai is not here.
2 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. That's why -- I thought he was here and
3 I was telling you to tell him that he can go.
4 MR. THAYER: Lost in some translation.
5 JUDGE AGIUS: All right. Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
6 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, just to respond to Ms. Fauveau. I'm
7 sorry, I don't have an extra hard copy of that document. We spoke earlier
8 and maybe she has one now and I offered to provide one and maybe we
9 misunderstood, but she told me she could print one herself she thought.
10 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you but I solved the problem.
11 I found hard copies, thank you.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: So let's wait for Mr. Blaszczyk. And Mr. Ostojic,
13 how much time do you think you require for -- to complete your
15 MR. OSTOJIC: I do think about --
16 JUDGE AGIUS: Mr. Meek wouldn't tell us last time.
17 MR. OSTOJIC: I think a half hour, Your Honour. I think I
18 indicated last time on the 2nd of November I had about an hour, but
19 looking at it I do really believe I have an hour or so.
20 JUDGE AGIUS: An hour?
21 MR. OSTOJIC: I mean a half hour or so. Not an hour. Thank you.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: In the meantime, since the Prosecution motion to add
23 to their 65 ter list in relation to this witness that I mentioned to you
24 earlier on, may become urgent, sort of, if we get Mr. Blaszczyk back to
25 testify soon. I would like you to respond to it by not later than Monday
2 [The witness entered court]
3 MR. NICHOLLS: Your Honour, just for your information, good
4 afternoon, we had agreed to discuss the matter after court today
5 ourselves, and so I think we will probably be able to work that out
6 between us.
7 JUDGE AGIUS: What I'm asking is to come back to us with final
8 position by Monday morning and then we see what is going to happen.
9 WITNESS: Tomasz Blaszczyk (Resumed)
10 JUDGE AGIUS: Good afternoon to you, Mr. Blaszczyk.
11 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE AGIUS: Welcome back, we don't need to repeat the solemn
13 declaration procedure. It's still valid, and you're testifying pursuant
14 to it. Madam Fauveau has some further questions to put to you after which
15 we will adjourn and then you will need to come back again. Madam Fauveau?
16 Further cross-examination by Ms. Fauveau:
17 Q. Thank you. I would like to give the witness a document 5D533.
18 Unfortunately it has not been uploaded into e-court yet.
19 In the meanwhile, while you are waiting for the document, I'd like
20 to recall part of your cross-examination dated November 22nd. I asked you
21 whether the documents between Mali Zvornik and Gornji Milanovac could be
22 somewhere else. You answered on page 18107, line 14 to 16, "[In English]
23 I cannot exclude that possibility, but we received information from the
24 government of Serbia. They were mentioned only transportation of this
25 collection from Mali Zvornik to Gornji Milanovac. Nothing more."
1 [Interpretation] The document that I just handed you is a
2 document that comes from the Republic of Serbia. It is the only document
3 of -- from the Republic of Serbia that we have. Is this the document you
4 were referring to?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is it true to say that this document mentions -- makes no mention
7 of transfer from Mali Zvornik to Gornji Milanovac? Maybe you can just
8 look at it. It's not a very long document. Could you please read it for
10 A. Yes. This document mentioned only Mali Zvornik. When that
11 archive was transferred to Mali Zvornik and refers also only to the place
12 where -- we can -- we can assume it refers to the place where the archive
13 was handed over to the commission from Republika Srpska, but we know
14 that -- we know from other statements that the place where the archive was
15 handed over to Republika Srpska commission, it is Gornji Milanovac.
16 Q. I don't doubt this but we have no document proving that the
17 documents were transferred from Mali Zvornik directly to Gornji Milanovac?
18 A. Yes, you're right.
19 MS. FAUVEAU: [Interpretation] Thank you, I have no other
21 JUDGE AGIUS: Thank you, Madam Fauveau. I think we don't have any
22 further need for -- do you think there is an area that you could cover in
23 ten minutes, Mr. Ostojic?
24 MR. OSTOJIC: Perhaps -- there always is actually, Your Honour, so
25 if you want I can cover it.
1 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Go ahead.
2 MR. OSTOJIC: Okay. Thank you.
3 Cross-examination by Mr. Ostojic: [Continued]
4 Q. Sir, good afternoon again.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. I want to cover in your testimony on the 2nd of November when I
7 was asking you questions, I covered an area which was called the chain of
8 custody, and you answered on page 17438 the importance of the chain of
9 custody, but I really didn't understand your answer. And I'll read it to
10 you, and again it's page 17438.
11 And you state on line 20 through 21, "Of course this is
12 important," and we are talking about the chain of custody, "Because we can
13 show, we can see if anybody interfere into these documents."
14 My question to you is I don't understand that answer fully and can
15 you explain what you mean by that?
16 A. Having the evidence, we would like to prove, we would like to show
17 the Trial Chamber the way how the evidence was taken by us and also to
18 show the way how, if it is possible, of course, how the evidence was
20 Q. Okay. Well, you use the word "interfere." Are you trying to
21 perhaps say that you want to establish if anybody was able to manipulate
22 or had access to somehow distort the documents as well, sir, as opposed to
23 how the evidence was established?
24 A. Yes, of course. This is one -- yeah, it's also chain of custody
1 Q. Okay. And that's critical and important as well, don't you think?
2 A. Yeah, this is.
3 Q. Okay. Well share with the Trial Chamber and me, if you will, what
4 it is that you as the lead investigator in the last year and a half and
5 being the second in charge during the course of this seizure of documents,
6 what it is that you did to determine whether or not anybody, as you put
7 it, interfered with the documents during the now 12 years since they were
8 initially purportedly created?
9 A. I wasn't the second in charge of this course of the seizure. At
10 that time, I just establish how we received these documents from Republika
11 Srpska to our field office in Banja Luka, and then to our field office in
13 Q. Okay. I don't think I understand the answer, sir, respectfully to
14 you. Now, since you are in charge, did you go back to determine since
15 it's important or critical, as we've said, to determine the veracity of
16 those documents, what did you do or uncover that the Prosecution did while
17 you were the team investigator and even before you, to determine whether
18 these documents were authentic and that no one interfered with them, as
19 you so put it?
20 A. I tried to collect as much as possible information how this
21 collection came to our possession, and also during the witnesses, during
22 my investigation, we showed few of these documents to our witnesses, and
23 they confirm that the documents were this collection are authentical.
24 Q. When you say our witnesses, you're talking about OTP witnesses?
25 A. Yes, I'm talking about OTP witnesses.
1 Q. Well, does the OTP have in-house witnesses such as a handwriting
2 expert, for example?
3 A. Yeah, not in-house but we use the handwriting expert, but I think
4 we used this handwriting experts but in regards to documents who came from
5 this collection but was not seized in Banja Luka at that time.
6 Q. Okay. Well, which handwriting expert did you use or experts in
7 order to determine that nobody interfered with this collection? We are
8 talking now, I know you always wants to go back to Banja Luka, but we are
9 talking about specifically here it's my understanding is your testimony is
10 limited to the Drina Corps collection?
11 A. But if we consider that documents received by the witness who
12 testified in this Court, I think (redacted), we used the handwriting
13 expert to confirm the authentication of these documents.
14 Q. Just quickly sir, in the moment that we have, did you go to a
15 document reconstruction expert to determine if there was a manipulation or
16 a distortion or additions or modifications or alterations made on any of
17 the documents?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Did you use or at any time -- I think it's called a holographic or
20 an ink and document specialist in order to confirm whether there were any
21 add-ons made in the documents from the Drina Corps collection?
22 A. I do not recall.
23 Q. With respect to --
24 A. I think not.
25 Q. Why not both with respect to the document reconstruction expert
1 and the ink and paper expert? If it's important and we think that it's
2 critical to determine if there is this interference with the documents,
3 why didn't you utilise those types of experts?
4 A. These documents seems for us that -- to be authentical documents.
5 We don't see any reason to use this type of expert at that stage.
6 Q. But given that the documents were in the possession of
7 (redacted) for approximately a year from the end of April or beginning
8 of May 1998, through March of 199 -- end of March of 1999, did that cause
9 any concern to you or any members of the Office of the Prosecution that
10 the documents were in his sole position, and he was the only individual
11 who maintained custody of those documents and was the only person who had
12 keys for the padlocks where the documents were held?
13 JUDGE AGIUS: Yes, Mr. Nicholls?
14 MR. NICHOLLS: Same objection as last time. I don't want to upset
15 my friend again, but our position is he is misstating the evidence there.
16 JUDGE AGIUS: In which part, Mr. Nicholls? Because Mr. Ostojic
17 mentioned about six or seven different things.
18 MR. NICHOLLS: True.
19 JUDGE AGIUS: I know it's true.
20 MR. NICHOLLS: About the sole custody being this individual that
21 he mentioned for this entire period.
22 JUDGE AGIUS: Okay. Mr. Ostojic, do you wish to comment on that
23 or do you accept that?
24 MR. OSTOJIC: No I don't accept it. I do not accept it at all,
25 Your Honour. I don't know, he's referring to upsetting me on the last
1 time. I think the question last time was related to Zvornik and Mali
2 Zvornik. I think this witness has reviewed the statement by Nebojsa
3 Vukcevic, if I'm saying it correctly, and clearly in that statement it
4 identifies exactly who maintained the keys to that storage area, where the
5 documents were, and who had sole possession of that. And there were two
6 pad locks on the door, it's a statement that he relied on previously on
7 the 2nd of November, so I think it's inaccurate to suggest that it
8 misstates the facts. It does not misstate the facts whatsoever.
12 MR. OSTOJIC: But --
13 Q. Okay, sir.
14 A. Yes, Your Honour. Could you repeat the question, please?
15 Q. Sure. Sir, you've reviewed the statement that was given by
16 Nebojsa Vukcevic did you not, May 2004?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. Okay. In that statement, sir, he states on the first page in the
19 lower portion of the document, he states, that at the time chief of
20 security organ of the 503rd Motorised Brigade was assigned to transfer the
21 documentation to Mali Zvornik, and the transfer the of the archive from
22 Zvornik to Mali Zvornik was supervised personally by the then-commander of
23 the 503rd Motorised Brigade, the individual whom we referenced, after the
24 transfer the archive was placed in a small room at the above-mentioned
25 border post which had no window and metal bars on the door.
1 After placing the above-mentioned documentation in the
2 above-mentioned room, it was sealed off locked with two padlocks and the
3 keys were kept what Lieutenant-Colonel -- that individual's name, who was
4 responsible for the storage of it in the above-mentioned place. March 23,
5 19 -- March 23rd, 1999, I was assigned by the 5th Corps Deputy Colonel
6 Andric to go together with Lieutenant Savic to Mali Zvornik to find some
7 documents. It then goes on let me just find the specific cite.
8 JUDGE AGIUS: Unless you have a question ready or unless you want
9 to repeat the question because our time is up.
10 MR. OSTOJIC: Okay, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE AGIUS: We'll reconvene tomorrow. Tomorrow we will be
12 sitting in the afternoon, as you recall. We have to move that. So it
13 will be tomorrow at 2.15. And we start with the next witness. Thank you.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.45 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 29th day of
16 November, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.