1 Friday, 12 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.24 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody.
6 Our apologies for the late start. The courtroom was occupied.
7 I think we don't need the Registrar to call the case again and we
8 don't need the appearances, but perhaps now because it's the first time
9 we see you, we would be delighted for the appearances.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon to
11 you, Your Honours, Mr. Tolimir, Mr. Gajic, Mr. Kunijevic. My name is
12 Kweku Vanderpuye. Good afternoon.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
14 First of all, I would like to indicate that the management of the
15 Tribunal was quite successful to move the hearing of our Chamber on the
16 29th of March to the afternoon. Probably it will be in the afternoon in
17 this courtroom -- no, in Courtroom II, that day in Courtroom II. I think
18 that was on the request of Mr. Tolimir.
19 Are there any things to raise? That seems not to be the case.
20 Mr. Tolimir.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like
22 to greet everybody present and may there be God's peace in this house. I
23 wanted to thank you for that, that is, for allowing me to attend the
24 Easter liturgy because it's a ceremony that takes place once a year and
25 it's an exceptional opportunity. So I thank you very, very much for
1 that. I thank the Registry for meeting my request, and I thank you too.
2 Secondly, I wanted to say something with respect to the
3 compilation that the Prosecution wants to present here in the courtroom.
4 The Defence last night, at about 7.30 p.m., received a summary of what
5 the Prosecution wants to show, and the Defence is opposed to the
6 Prosecutor's proposal for the following reasons. First, the Prosecution
7 needs to send an official draft in keeping with the Trial Chamber's
8 guide-lines and provided to all parties, to the Prosecution and to
9 Defence. As far as I know, they haven't done that yet.
10 Secondly, finally, Mr. Thayer has informed us that it is a
11 compilation which is identical to the one that the Prosecution presented
12 in the Popovic trial. So we have that compilation, we've had it for a
13 long time. And it was only at 7.30 last night -- p.m. last night, what
14 the entire contents of the video compilation was and we don't know what
15 footage the Prosecution intends to show in the courtroom.
16 Now, talking to my advisor, Mr. Aleksandar Gajic, and he
17 consulted Mr. McCloskey and understood that the Prosecution would be
18 adding a segment, when one of the officers -- showing one of the
19 officers, Serbian officers eating fish. Now, if anything is added to the
20 initial compilation, the Defence will consider it to be a new
21 compilation. And it is a video compilation composed by the Prosecutor.
22 Now, an element of that compilation is found in the 65 ter and
23 bis Rules, and I think that the Trial Chamber has already had occasion to
24 look at that video footage. However, the introduction into evidence and
25 showing this video footage that I consider to be a compilation is a very
1 serious matter. Parts of that compilation or video footage and the
2 segments which comprise it will certainly have to be shown to some of the
3 witnesses which will come in in the course of this trial, and displaying
4 the footage without the presence of a witness and without having certain
5 matters clarified with a witness would just be a waste of time. And in
6 the opening statement made by the Prosecution, the Prosecutors showed
7 some photographs and some video-clips as well. The Prosecution has
8 presented its version of the events already, and if now it were to play
9 the video compilation, it would be an additional opening statement on the
10 part of the Prosecutor, which, as opposed to what they've already said,
11 would be admitted into evidence and would become an exhibit, upon which
12 the Trial Chamber will ultimately have to base its judgement.
13 So this whole question of compilation, that is to say, something
14 made up of excerpts from a number of video-clips, has been cut to suit
15 the Prosecutor's suit and is not commensurate to these proceedings. And
16 for those reasons, the request made by the Prosecutor should be rejected,
17 in the Defence's opinion.
18 Thank you. That's what I wanted to say as far as the video
19 footage is concerned.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, Mr. Tolimir.
21 Mr. McCloskey.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, good afternoon. Good
23 afternoon, Your Honours. This is a very simple situation. This
24 compilation video has a 65 ter number; it always has. It's been in the
25 possession of the accused for many, many months, and it -- there's no
1 mystery to it. It's largely made up of VRS combat camera shooting
2 General Mladic and the VRS as they come into Srebrenica. There is some
3 footage shot by a Muslim in the town of Srebrenica, and there is footage
4 from Serb television shot in Potocari. And then there's footage from the
5 Hotel Fontana that was shot by the VRS. It's my position that this
6 material speaks for itself and that its admissibility will be seen from
7 its authenticity and the people and the time. It does not need a witness
8 -- witnesses to authenticate, though there will be witnesses that will
9 recognise people in it and will be able to explain to you who they are
10 and more about it as we go along.
11 But this is a video that will be on Mr. Ruez's exhibit list and
12 he will be testifying. He's going -- in the next two or three weeks he
13 will be on that Thursday-Friday-Monday segment that we have, and it will
14 come in at that point. I thought -- as Mr. Ruez -- his testimony took
15 three days in total last time, but part of that was three or four hours
16 of this video where he doesn't really need to say much because it speaks
17 for itself. So I was thinking we could play the video for you during
18 potential lag periods as opposed to making a possible witness wait a
19 whole week, and that perhaps this would allow us to finish Mr. Ruez in
20 the three days that are allotted because we will have saved whatever
21 hours of that video.
22 This video comes with an index of the various shots and where we
23 got the material. It's -- it -- I don't understand what the objection is
24 on this video. It's very important historical material shot by the
25 participants themselves.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you perhaps explain why this video should
2 be shown during the testimony of the next witness.
3 MR. McCLOSKEY: That -- my -- what I was thinking is - and maybe
4 I'm a bit ahead of myself - but with -- we don't wish to play it for this
5 next witness, but we think since he's a 92 ter witness, Mr. Vanderpuye
6 shouldn't take more than, I think, 30 to 40 minutes in direct. We can't
7 imagine a cross-examination going for the rest of the day, and if we had
8 an extra hour, we would show you this historical footage that will help
9 you learn about the case because these -- as you've already heard,
10 they're talking about Srebrenica and the -- what was happening on these
11 days, which is depicted in the video. You see parts of the column
12 getting together and going to Susnjari, that sort of thing.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If I'm not mistaken, you would like to have the
14 witness first and after the testimony of this witness you intend to show
15 this video?
16 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, should there be time enough
17 to do it. If we only have 20 minutes, it may not be worth a 20-minute
18 section. But of course that's -- that is completely up to you, of
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. And the objection of Mr. Tolimir, the
21 Chamber will consider that at a later stage.
22 Then we should have the first witness, please.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: And, Mr. President, I just -- just so you know, I
24 will endeavour to be in the courtroom during each day of the trial just
25 as consistency and so that there's someone that sees everything that
1 you're saying. But I hopefully won't be speaking too much if -- unless
2 there's a policy decision or you need to speak to me. Thank you very
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
5 Could the witness be brought in, please.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry, Mr. President, there is another
7 preliminary issue that I would think it's important to raise before the
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Vanderpuye.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you very much. Thank you, Mr. President.
11 The preliminary issue that I wanted to address, I think it's
12 important in light of the fact that this witness is the first 92 ter
13 witness to be heard in these proceedings, it has to do with the scope of
14 the admissibility of the exhibits relative to the 92 ter statement. In
15 its -- sorry.
16 In its decision of 3rd November 2009, Mr. President, the
17 Trial Chamber admitted these exhibits, that is, exhibits that were
18 admitted as a result of the prior testimony as necessary and integral to
19 the Trial Chamber to fully comprehend the transcripts, the written
20 evidence in question. It's a bit unclear at the moment whether or not
21 those exhibits are admitted solely for the purpose of placing in context
22 that written evidence or whether or not they're admitted for substantive
23 purposes in addition to the testimony that is proffered under 92 ter.
24 And what we would like to know, because I think it affects the additional
25 evidence that may be led with respect to these witnesses in the future,
1 is what the Court's position might be with respect to those -- to the
2 scope of those exhibits.
3 In our motion, our 92 ter motion, we asked for the admission of
4 these exhibits to place in context and in order to facilitate the
5 evaluation of the proffered written evidence, and it appears that that
6 is -- that was honoured or that was ordered by the Trial Chamber. But it
7 seems also at the same time that there are oftentimes, as you might
8 imagine, parts of those exhibits -- in the particular instance with
9 respect to this witness, there are statements that were exhibits relative
10 to the 92 ter testimony. And there are parts of those statements or
11 exhibits that were not addressed specifically by the witness during the
12 context of his prior testimony, which we may seek to lead in addition to
13 the 92 ter statement in order to help further place it in context and
14 with respect to new issues that may have arisen since the prior
15 testimony, of course on notice to the accused through proofing note or
16 discussions or otherwise. But it would be helpful to know what the
17 Court's position is with respect to that so that we can better organise
18 how we will lead this evidence.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
20 Mr. Tolimir, do you want to add something?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have nothing further
22 to add and I thank the gentleman for the information provided.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'm sorry, if I may just add one
25 other thing. With respect to a number of the 92 ter witnesses in this
1 case, the underlying statement is their testimony in the prior case of
2 Popovic et al. In that case, in some instances the exhibits were
3 admitted for only limited purposes. For example, if a witness were
4 impeached by a prior statement, that statement, although admitted, might
5 have been limited only for the -- from the purposes of impeachment.
6 Therefore, it wasn't admitted as substantive evidence with respect to any
7 other matter that's discussed in the statement. That's the reason why I
8 raise the issue, because even though it was admitted in connection or as
9 a result of the 92 ter statement, it might not have been admitted for all
10 purposes. And in that context, it would be helpful to know whether or
11 not it can be relied on in these proceedings for their substance.
12 Now, I hope that's a little bit more helpful than my previous
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
15 [Trial Chamber and Legal Officer confer]
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is ...
17 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Excuse me, Mr. Tolimir.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
20 like to request, if possible, for Mr. Vanderpuye to provide us with the
21 page on which those legal matters were discussed at the session so that
22 the Defence can become acquainted with that, which would be essential for
23 examinations and so on.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think that might be done in a direct contact
25 between Defence and Prosecution at a later stage.
1 For the problem raised by the Prosecution, the Chamber's of the
2 view that we are not part of the Popovic case. We are trying this
3 accused. We are dealing with the matters independently, and therefore
4 the Trial Chamber would like to confirm the decision of the
5 3rd of November, 2009. A package of transcripts, statement, and exhibits
6 from another case can be a problem in the future, and therefore we would
7 like to have them separately so that we can decide from document to
8 document if we receive it as an exhibit or not. And therefore, please
9 comply with this decision of November in future.
10 For today I think because we didn't get any objection by the
11 Defence, the Defence is aware of all these documents for this witness,
12 and therefore we will accept this -- this way of handling the problems
13 for today. But please try to comply with our decision from
14 3rd of November.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President. We have actually submitted
16 an exhibit list or provided the Defence with a copy of the exhibits that
17 are related to the testimony. The more salient issue is with respect to
18 this witness, for example, it's my intention to lead additional evidence
19 relative to the 92 ter testimony. With respect to that evidence that I
20 would like to lead, some of the evidence is, in fact, contained in the
21 exhibits that are provisionally admitted in relation to that testimony.
22 So the larger question for me particularly is whether or not the
23 Trial Chamber will entertain my leading the witness on matters that are
24 contained in exhibits that are part of the 92 ter testimony that were not
25 specifically led during the course of that testimony, that is, on issues
1 that weren't specifically led during the course of the testimony. And if
2 the answer is that it's unnecessary because those matters are already
3 contained in exhibits that are admitted in relation to the testimony,
4 then I don't think there's really much need for me to lead on those
6 On the other hand, if the Trial Chamber's view is that that --
7 those exhibits relating to the testimony are provisionally admitted in
8 this case only for the purpose, for the limited purpose, of placing in
9 context and being integral to understanding the testimony as it was
10 provided, then I think it's incumbent upon me to apply to lead the
11 witness on those extraneous issues even though they're part of a
12 statement relative to that testimony, because otherwise it won't be
13 before the Trial Chamber on a substantive basis.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber is still of the view we are really in
16 a new case and we would like to have every document that the Prosecution
17 moves for the admission of every document separately and not as a
18 package. But I think it -- we spent a lot of time with this issue. If
19 there are any other ideas for the future to make it more practically, we
20 can discuss it again. But I think we should start with this witness now.
21 Mr. Vanderpuye.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I think we can
23 proceed and we'll see how it goes.
24 [The witness entered court]
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please read aloud the solemn
3 declaration on the card which is shown to you now.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
5 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 WITNESS: WITNESS PW-073
7 [Witness answered through interpreter]
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please be seated.
9 Mr. Vanderpuye from the Prosecution has some questions for you.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
12 Q. Good afternoon to you, sir.
13 A. Good afternoon.
14 Q. As you know, my name is Kweku Vanderpuye. On behalf of the
15 Prosecution I'm going to put some questions to you in relation to your
16 evidence today. Before we get started I just wanted to remind you that
17 try and keep your voice up and to speak a little bit slowly so that the
18 interpreters will have an opportunity to translate accurately what you
19 say to everyone. And if there's anything I ask you during the course of
20 your evidence that's unclear, please let me know so that I can try and
21 rephrase it in a way that we can better understand one another.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The first thing I want to show you in relation to your evidence
24 today is 65 ter 6189, and if you would please take a look at that.
25 Without telling us what it says, can you confirm that you are the person
1 named on the sheet?
2 A. Yes, yes, yes.
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. May we go into
4 private session for just a moment.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
6 [Private session]
11 Page 605 redacted. Private session.
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 The witness is a survivor of the mass execution of Branjevo
3 Military Farm of over a thousand Muslim men and boys in mid-July 1995.
4 In July 1995, the witness and his family lived in Srebrenica
5 town. The witness testified that at that time the conditions of life in
6 the enclave were difficult. Sporadic humanitarian aid resulted in severe
7 food shortages, and people were often forced to travel on foot as far as
8 Zepa in order to obtain basic sustenance.
9 The witness recalled that following the start of the VRS
10 offensive in Srebrenica, the town was subject to shelling attacks. The
11 witness personally saw victims of these attacks, including a mother and
12 child who were wounded near his home. On 11 July 1995, out of fear that
13 they would be killed as a result of the constant shelling, the witness,
14 his wife, and grandchildren fled Srebrenica, together with the rest of
15 the Muslim population to seek the protection of UNPROFOR in Potocari.
16 The witness's sons did not follow him to Potocari. Instead, they
17 fled through the forest. However, they did not survive. In 2005, the
18 witness buried one son, whose remains were found in a mass grave. At the
19 time of his testimony, the remains of another son had not yet been
21 The witness estimated that as many as 30.000 people were gathered
22 in Potocari on 11 July 1995
23 quickly filled to capacity. Others, including the witness and his
24 family, had to spend the night in the open.
25 On 12 July, the witness heard a Serb soldier announce over a
1 loud-speaker that the people gathered would be checked for weapons. Serb
2 forces with German shepherd dogs then walked among the crowd. The
3 Witness recalled VRS soldiers being filmed providing bread to Muslim
4 refugees. In reality, only some 1 to 200 loaves were provided for the
5 thousands of people that were gathered there.
6 The witness recalled how frightened people were that night. As
7 he lay out in the open, he could hear screaming, moaning, and shouting as
8 Serb forces took people away one by one. He could hear the sounds of
9 people being beaten and silenced by bursts of gun-fire. And he described
10 the experience as "hell on earth."
11 On 13 July, the witness, together with other Muslim men and boys,
12 was forced through two Serb check-points in Potocari. At the second
13 check-point, soldiers in camouflage uniforms separated the men and boys
14 from the women and children. It was here that the witness was separated
15 from his family. He was then led together with other men to a two-storey
16 house close to the main road.
17 The witness was detained in this house for about an hour together
18 with 40 or 50 other men, crammed into a ground floor room. The witness
19 could not estimate how many other men were on the first floor of the
20 house. During the witness's detention, no one was interviewed by the VRS
21 soldiers or even asked their names. Instead, the soldiers asked the
22 prisoners to turn over what money they had, and later told the men that
23 they would be interrogated and then sent to Tuzla. After the house was
24 full, the men were removed. They were placed aboard two buses and driven
25 to Bratunac.
1 Upon his arrival in Bratunac, the witness was taken to a school.
2 Although the witness did not know the name of the school then, he was
3 told by others at the time that it was called the Vuk Karadzic school.
4 There were many Serb soldiers in camouflage uniforms around the school
5 when the witness -- when the men arrived. They forced the Muslim
6 prisoners to leave their belongings, some of which contained food, in
7 front of the school, which they were never allowed to retrieve.
8 Inside the school, the witness was packed into an overcrowded
9 room containing approximately 200 men and boys. Little water and no food
10 were provided. Shortly after the prisoners entered the school a
11 policeman followed and severely beat a prisoner near the doorway. An
12 hour later, that prisoner was taken away and never seen again. Every few
13 hours uniformed Serb soldiers took men out of the room. The witness
14 could hear screaming followed by bursts of machine-gun fire and then
15 silence. The witness saw six or seven men removed in this way. None of
16 them returned. The witness never saw medical treatment or medication of
17 any kind being provided to the prisoners.
18 After one or two nights at the school, Serb soldiers told the
19 prisoners that they would be taken to Tuzla. In fact, the men were
20 bussed in the direction of Zvornik to the village of Pilica
21 through Serbia
22 Muslim man who had died on the bus that the witness was on was taken out
23 by other prisoners to be laid on the roadside. As this occurred, one
24 prisoner tried to escape and was shot dead. After the incident, the bus
25 remained at the location for about an hour before continuing on. When
1 the bus arrived at its final destination, the men were offloaded and were
2 placed in a school. The witness kept his head down as the men entered
3 the two-storey building and proceeded upstairs to the first floor.
4 The witness was placed in an overcrowded room barely three and a
5 half by five metres in size with men as old as 80, as well as boys of
6 15 or 16 years of age. At one point, a soldier called for 15- and
7 16-years-old to stand up. They were lined up, taken out of the room, and
8 never seen again. The witness was also aware of other prisoners who were
9 taken out of the building and beaten. He could hear screaming, moaning,
10 and the sounds of gun-fire. None of the prisoners dared to look outside
11 the windows to see what was going on out of fear that the soldiers would
12 direct their fire towards them. Although the witness could not recall
13 exactly how many nights he spent at the school, he testified that he was
14 possibly there for two nights.
15 On the morning of the executions, Serb soldiers brought two long
16 sheets into the witness's room which were torn into strips and used to
17 bind the prisoners' hands. As this was done, the prisoners were led out
18 of the building to waiting buses. On the way out, the witness saw a dead
19 prisoners lying in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs. He then
20 waited with other men to board one of the buses, each of which was
21 escorted by one or two soldiers.
22 The witness boarded a bus which drove a short while to the
23 execution site at the Branjevo Military Farm, about 2 and a half
24 kilometres away. As the bus climbed a hill close to the execution site,
25 the witness could hear gun-fire. He could see the other buses stopped
1 and prisoners taken out by a group of soldiers waiting to offload them.
2 The soldiers cursed and abused the prisoners as they led them down a path
3 into a glen where they were cut down by bursts of gun-fire.
4 When his turn came, about eight VRS soldiers led the witness off
5 the bus together with a small group of prisoners and marched them down to
6 an incline where many others were already lying dead. They ordered the
7 prisoners to turn their backs and to lie down. However, before they
8 could comply, the soldiers opened fire. The witness immediately fell to
9 the ground. Realising that he was uninjured, the witness lay still among
10 the dead and the dying as he saw seven other columns of men brought to
11 the glen and executed. The witness could hear Serb soldiers calling out
12 for anyone who had survived. Two survivors who answered the call were
13 finished off with bullets to the head.
14 After some time, the witness managed to free his hands and
15 managed to get to some nearby shrubbery around nightfall. Together with
16 four other men, the witness escaped the killing fields, finding refuge in
17 a forest. However, the witness was unable to keep up with the four
18 others and after a time found himself alone.
19 The witness spent that first night in the forest where he eluded
20 an ambush. In the morning he reached a meadow where he was able to rest.
21 The following day, just before dusk, he reached a tarmac road, which he
22 noticed was blood-stained. As he crossed the road intending to take
23 cover in the woods on the opposite side, a truck filled with dead bodies
24 approached. From the truck the witness heard someone shout out that the
25 witness was an escapee from the previous day's execution. The witness
1 decided to continue walking along the road in order to avoid suspicion.
2 He crossed the bridge and continued walking as he was followed.
3 Eventually the truck stopped following him and the witness was able to
4 take cover and hide until dark.
5 If we could just go into private session for one second,
6 Mr. President.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
8 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honour.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
19 In Karakaj, the witness was placed on a tarpaulin truck along
20 with 27 other Muslim prisoners who had also been caught in the forest and
21 was registered by the ICRC.
22 In late July 1995, the witness was taken to the Batkovic prison
23 camp, where he remained until he was exchanged in December 1995. On
24 11 July 2005
25 another brother. Their remains, like that of the witness's son, were
1 found in Srebrenica-related mass graves.
2 That concludes my summary, Mr. President. And I do have I think
3 about half an hour or so of questions I'd like to put to the witness, if
4 I may proceed.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Carry on, please.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
7 If we can go into private session for just a moment.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Go back to private session.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honour.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
2 Q. Witness, we're now in open session, so I'll ask you not to
3 mention any specific names of towns or villages where you might have
4 been. But I'd like to ask you, can you tell us approximately when it was
5 that you moved from your town or your village to Srebrenica town?
6 A. Well, I was there during the war for a year. I stayed in the
7 village for a year while the Serb army attacked -- of the Serb republic,
8 the Bosnian one. And then a year later when Serbia attacked, you
9 couldn't defend yourself from the tanks and shells and everything else.
10 And that's when we went down to Srebrenica because the -- they were
11 shelling houses. They would target your house just to destroy it. And
12 so when we left they would loot the houses and take away what was in
13 them. And then five or six days later they would come back and torch the
14 houses. One of my houses was set on fire. The other one was a new one
15 and built of brick so they couldn't set that one on fire. But they used
16 mines and so on. And I went down to Srebrenica in the spring because
17 it's from Eastern Bosnia when you -- along the Drina River
18 where the -- where Serbia
19 Bosnian Serbs certainly wouldn't have begun anything. They wouldn't dare
20 begin anything, because they had the same weapons that we had. So they
21 looted all that and it was all politics prepared in Serbia, Serbia
22 preparing for war.
23 Q. At the time that you left your village, was there any possibility
24 for you to remain there?
25 A. Well, there was the possibility, but only for them to all be
1 killed; that's what the possibility was, for them to all lie underground
2 and not up in the air. Nothing else. Because when they caught anybody
3 they came across and nobody was left alive, they would just stay for that
4 length of time, civilians, people, and the Serbs -- well, the Serbs were
5 exchanged for others that they had taken and the extra Muslims -- they
6 said, "Well, let's catch them." And then they killed them and there
7 wasn't anybody left.
8 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber what the conditions were
9 like when you arrived in Srebrenica town.
10 A. Well, the conditions were like this. The Serb army was in the
11 hills around Srebrenica and we were there in Srebrenica. And first of
12 all they -- the planes released passages [as interpreted] of food, they
13 dropped from the air, they dropped food because we didn't have any. You
14 couldn't leave. And so they fed us that way with the help of planes for
15 a time. And then later on, when the convoy was allowed to go through
16 carrying food, the convoy from Bratunac, then the airplanes stopped
17 flying and the trucks came in. Sometimes there were 12, sometimes eight,
18 but usually 12 of them arrived with a certain quantity of food that
19 was -- well, first of all they stopped off in Bratunac so -- and they
20 took what they needed, whereas all that food was actually prepared and
21 intended for Srebrenica. But they took what they needed in Bratunac and
22 left us the rest.
23 And as there wasn't enough, then our people would go to Zepa, up
24 there to Zepa. They would go on foot and they had to walk for 11 hours.
25 That's what people told me, and then they would bring in flour from Zepa,
1 and oil and sugar. There wasn't any salt at the time. But they did what
2 they could to feed their families. They would carry loads of 30,
3 40 kilos, people dragging all this in. And then there would be ambushes
4 along the way and many people lost their lives carrying flour home to
5 feed their children. A lot of people were killed that way too. They
6 would go off to cut the grass, to dig the fields for wheat or for
7 whatever, and then shells would come in from their positions. They would
8 target them and kill them.
9 It was a camp, Srebrenica camp, that's what it was. Suffering,
10 that's what it was. And I don't know how to tell you actually, but after
11 all that terrible suffering and hardship they said, "Well, let's kill
12 everybody left," and there were those women and small children. But why
13 did they kill people up to the age of 80? They were civilians.
14 Everybody knows that somebody of 80 was a civilian. But why children of
15 15 and 16, why did they do that to the children? They were like young
16 plants, flowers, roses. So how dare they do that. Where was their soul?
17 What soul did they have if they could do things like that? That's what
18 I'd like to know. I couldn't ever believe that there were people like
19 that in our parts with souls like that --
20 Q. Mr. Witness --
21 A. -- without any understanding for anything. When they attacked
22 Srebrenica, on the one hand -- they would attack Srebrenica on the one
23 side and then put up ambushes on the other and kill the Muslims. On the
24 one hand, we're going to leave people there, and on the other, we're
25 going to kill them. So what kind of soul did they have, I ask you.
1 Q. Mr. Witness, at the time that you fled Srebrenica on 11 July
2 1995, did you feel that there was any possibility that you could have
3 stayed there if you wanted?
4 A. In my village or in Srebrenica?
5 Q. In Srebrenica town, I'm sorry.
6 A. Well, whoever stayed didn't survive and nobody stayed because we
7 know -- we all knew what they were doing and how they were going about
8 things. So nobody stayed. If somebody was ill and happened to stay, if
9 people couldn't pull them out, but anybody who stayed was killed. That
10 was the end of them.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. And today when I look at how many people were killed and who the
13 people were who were killed, well, there's the monument there, that says
14 it all. Whoever does not believe it can look at that and see. There's
15 nothing there, nothing left. The people left, the men left, the elder
16 children -- older children left and, what, women? Well, the women, it
17 was as if they were killed too. She had to leave and she had to look
18 after her small children, but thanks to some good people, there were good
19 people who helped so that the children were fed and they grew up. And
20 all we can do is thank the good people for that and Allah for that. But
21 as for these evil people, evil-doers, what kind of soul did they have? I
22 don't know. I had two sons, now I don't have a single one. I had two
23 brothers, now --
24 Q. Mr. Witness, we'll get to some of those issues in just a little
1 A. Yes. Go ahead.
2 Q. Do you feel all right to continue at this moment or do you think
3 maybe you would like to take a small break?
4 A. I feel all right. It's just my nerves when I'm upset. When I
5 think about everything that was done and all that injustice, I become
6 very upset. Today I have no sons, no brothers. Two of my
7 daughter-in-laws died, killed from a plane, from a plane. The planes who
8 set off -- flew off from Bratunac. They had bombs and threw them on the
9 villages and they threw a bomb in my own field and killed my cow as well,
10 and my sister-in-law and my cousin's wife too, my nephew's wife. And
11 anybody from those parts can testify to that if you need to hear it from
12 someone else. But I'm here to tell you and that's the truth of it. And
13 everything that you read out in the statement, that's how it was. No
14 other way. That's how it was.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, it seems to me that the witness
16 is a bit agitated, and I know we're a little bit before our break. I was
17 wondering if I can pause a little early and I can pick it up -- I leave
18 it to you to --
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, if we need to.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think the witness understood your question and
21 is prepared to continue.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes, we can.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir -- yes. There will be some other questions
25 for you, sir.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE:
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Witness. In relation to your evidence, I'd like
3 to clarify a couple of points concerning the Vuk Karadzic school. Now,
4 yesterday when we --
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. We spoke yesterday, as you recall, and you mentioned that you
7 were taken to two buildings in Bratunac. Do you remember that?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. I'd like you to take a look at a map, an aerial image, and see if
10 you can indicate for the Trial Chamber what those buildings are. Okay?
11 We're going to get that up on the screen for you in just a moment.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: And I think he might be able to mark it
14 Q. But I'd just like you to take a look at this and see if you're
15 able to do it.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: It's 65 ter 6187, please.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would the Court Officer please assist the
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: This will need to be blown up, more towards the
20 centre. Yeah. More. All right. Now, you'll see on the top left --
21 that's right, exactly where the cursor is, below that area, please. If
22 you could -- no. It's at the bottom centre of the screen now. If you
23 could move it to the middle and blow it up, that would be great. Yes. A
24 little bit to the left. More. And if you -- you'll see -- that's right.
25 Now in the centre of the screen you'll see a series of buildings right in
1 the middle, if you could blow that up that would be helpful. Yeah, a
2 little to the -- that's pretty good.
3 Okay, if you could move it a little -- move the screen a little
4 bit over to the left so it's centered, it would be, I think, easier to --
5 a little bit more. That's perfect.
6 Q. Mr. Witness, are you able to see, first of all, what's on the
7 screen in front of you? We can blow it up a little bit more if you need.
8 A. As far as I can see -- this here.
9 Q. It seems to have shifted a little bit.
10 You can sit down and we'll blow it up a little bit so you can see
11 it a little bit better. And if you aren't able to orient yourself, just
12 let me know. Okay.
13 A. That's the Vuk Karadzic school and the primary school there next
14 to each other.
15 Q. I'm just going to ask you to mark the buildings that you were
16 taken to.
17 A. Well, it seems to me that this looks similar, this would be it
19 Q. All right. Okay. That's fine. And could you mark the second
20 building, if you can see it there.
21 A. And the other one could be this one here.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. That's it.
24 Q. Thank you very much, Witness.
25 A. That's the Vuk Karadzic school and the other one's the primary
2 Q. I'm going to ask you to describe them in a just a minute --
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: But I'm not sure if the procedure requires him
4 to date it and mark it? It does not.
5 Q. Okay. Thank you very much, Witness. I think we're done with
6 this witness, then.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You want to have it as an exhibit?
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, please.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P50.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 Please continue.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Now, Witness, with respect to these schools --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- can you describe which one you were taken to first, the
18 interior of it, if you can remember.
19 A. Well, they took us to the primary school, but they left our coats
20 and bags in front of the school. I left my coat, others didn't, but
21 everybody had to leave their bags behind. And then we went inside. We
22 stayed there for about an hour, and then they took us out and into the
23 Vuk Karadzic school. They took us in there. And we spent two nights in
24 the Vuk Karadzic school, and they would take people out, all day, all
25 night, people would be killed. People screamed. Some were outside. I
1 was inside myself.
2 Q. Mr. Witness, I just want if it's possible - and I don't mean to
3 cut you off because I know that you have a lot to say - but if it's
4 possible could you just describe for the Trial Chamber what you remember
5 about the inside of the school, how it looked, that is, that you were in
6 for about an hour.
7 A. Well, inside it was all dusty. It was an old school and had been
8 abandoned. Now it's been refurbished. But at the time there were no
9 windows, no doors. Everything was a general mess. I don't know whether
10 the roof was still standing or not, or part of it was or not. We had to
11 bend our head down when we walked in a column. You weren't allowed to
12 look to the left or the right. You had to bend your head down, so you
13 couldn't really see much. You would just go inside that way, sit down,
14 and look at all the horror around you and everything that was going on.
15 And you wondered what would happen to people with their lives and to your
16 own life.
17 Q. Did that building have a floor?
18 A. Yes, it did. And -- two floors, the Vuk Karadzic school, two
20 Q. Now, the building you were in first, did that building have a
22 A. Well, I don't know. I can't really say. Anyway, it was so dusty
23 and all the -- no doors, no windows, everything in a mess. And I was
24 there -- well, whether the building had an upper storey or not and
25 whether it had a room or -- roof or not, I really don't know. We spent
1 an hour there and then they transferred us to the Vuk Karadzic school.
2 And we went up onto the first floor. And then a policeman arrived and
3 that -- you'll find that in the statement. He beat up one man, he beat
4 him a lot. And the man was bloody, he was bleeding from his head. He
5 beat him with his automatic rifle. He had a blue uniform and a white
6 belt and halter. What kind of policeman he was, I don't know, whether
7 military or some sort of civilian police, and the man was all bloody.
8 And then they came back again, they left and they came back again, and
9 took the man out and he screamed outside and cried and groaned and
10 shouted. Sometimes you would hear a burst of gun-fire, other times not,
11 and you would hear the cries become quieter and quieter until they
12 disappeared all together.
13 Q. I'd like to ask you about Pilica, if I could at this point. All
14 right. Once again, I apologise, I don't mean to cut you off. And --
15 A. All right. You can ask me anything you want. Feel free to ask
16 anything you want from my statement. In Pilica --
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Witness. Now, first do you remember how -- the
18 route that you took from Bratunac to Pilica in the bus that you were on?
19 A. Yes, I remember. They said, "We're off to Tuzla," but I saw us
20 going in the opposite direction. We went to Zvornik, then crossed into
22 again towards Zepka [phoen] and then towards Pilica. And when we
23 arrived -- came to a house there, we stopped. There was seven buses,
24 seven busloads.
25 Q. I'd like to ask you about the building that you were taken to
1 there. I'd like to clarify a few issues. You refer to this building as
2 a school or as a cultural centre. Do you remember saying that?
3 A. Yes, I remember it well. I remember everything very well and
4 anything you need to know, please ask me.
5 Q. Okay.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: Can we go into private session for a moment,
7 Mr. President.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We go into private session.
9 [Private session]
11 Pages 626-627 redacted. Private session.
19 [Open session]
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We are already back in public session.
21 Mr. Vanderpuye, please continue.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Good afternoon to you, Mr. Witness. I just have two more
24 questions about the building in Pilica that you were taken to.
25 First is, can you --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. The first is, can you describe, if you can remember,
3 the colour of the walls in the building?
4 A. Well, inside it was -- the walls were tiled, actually some were
5 broken off and some were still attached, and the colour was whitish,
6 off-white, yellowish, that sort of colour.
7 Q. Okay. And if you could, can you describe what the windows in the
8 building were like, that is, how high they were from the floor and so on.
9 A. Well, they were about normal, like regular windows, that high.
10 Perhaps up to 1 metre.
11 Q. All right. Thank you for that. I want to ask you -- I want to
12 ask you about the four men that you encountered during your escape from
13 the execution site. Roughly how old were they?
14 A. Well, they were about 25 years old or so, but they did not
15 surrender in Potocari; rather, they were captured while they were going
16 through the woods and then they were mixed with us. But those who were
17 captured in Potocari, they were all older men, 70, 80 years old, and
18 children under 18 years of age. They surrendered because we thought,
19 well, we were older people, we weren't guilty of anything, we weren't
20 really expecting this. That really was a surprise, but you could read --
21 well, as I said in my statement, it was like that, nothing else. And the
22 mass graves confirmed that, in all those mass graves that were found in
23 the woods.
24 Q. Let me just focus you in on these four individuals specifically
25 with whom you escaped from the farm, from the execution site. Do you
1 remember them?
2 A. Yes, I do. One of them had trousers stained in blood. I don't
3 know if he was wounded or if the blood was somebody else's, someone whose
4 body was next to him. Well, four of them walked out and so did I, and
5 then we started on our journey together. It was -- there was some
6 moonshine. We went to the woods. They were younger than I was and they
7 left. I couldn't follow them, so I stayed behind all by myself. And
8 then some ten -- five to ten minutes later after they left, I heard a
9 burst of gun-fire because there were ambushes all around. So then I
10 headed in the opposite direction. And then as I stumbled around I heard
11 that -- from one person that they found where the shots had been fired
12 and that those three were also captured somewhere and then taken to
13 Zvornik. And then when we asked in Zvornik where and who took them away,
14 nobody could tell us. So they've just disappeared. Whether they crossed
15 over or not or were shot dead, we don't know, but they're missing. All
16 the four are missing. Because people were killed en masse. There were
17 mass killings there.
18 Q. Did you learn anything about where they were from?
19 A. Well, I asked one of them only where he was from and he said he
20 was from Jagonja. I didn't ask their names. He said he was from Jagonja
21 village. I didn't ask the other three, but it would appear that one of
22 them was from Srebrenica, apparently from the investigations that were
23 later conducted, that he was somebody's son. And then there was a man
24 from Konjevic Polje. And where the third man was from I really don't
25 know, but I'm basing this on the investigations that were later
2 Q. All right. I want to ask you about a few people and I'm just
3 going to ask you about -- I'm just going to give you their names and you
4 can let us know if you know of them.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: If we could just go into private session for a
6 moment, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
8 [Private session]
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We're now in open session, Your Honours.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: If we could just go back into private session
7 for one moment, please?
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think there's a problem. Private again.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President, just for a second.
10 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honour.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
13 Q. Witness, I just want to ask you about a couple other names. So
14 we're in open session so if there's any association between you and those
15 individuals that you think may reveal your identity, please let me know.
16 Are you familiar with the name Hajrudin Begic?
17 A. Hajrudin Begic was from Srebrenica. He lived there near the
18 town. I knew him and when I went to Srebrenica we were introduced.
19 Hajrudin Begic and Hakija Begic are brothers, and I saw them also on this
20 route from Srebrenica to Pilica. They were questioned and then taken
21 back, but they too disappeared. They were taken out and they never came
22 back. So that's how it was.
23 Q. Are you familiar with the name Behaija Malkic?
24 A. Behaija Malkic, yes, I know him well. I knew him from childhood
25 because we lived -- he lived nearby so that we knew each other very well.
1 He died right next to me. He was killed right next to me. And there was
2 another person, Nemis from Klotivci, he too had been in Pilica but he too
3 was missing. Whoever was in Pilica were killed, perhaps one, two, or
4 three people including myself escaped, but all the others were killed and
5 their remains are still in mass graves.
6 Q. And Malkic died right next to you where?
7 A. In Pilica at Bradanj [as interpreted] where the execution site
8 was. We all had our hands tied. We hadn't eaten for four days. We were
9 half dead. We couldn't resist even if we wanted to, unarmed as we were
10 and with our hands tied.
11 Q. The record reflects the name -- it's -- well, the record reflects
12 "Pilica at Bradanj." Could you just repeat so the record is clear where
13 Malkic was killed?
14 A. In Pilica at Branjevo farm, the one-time farm at Branjevo, that's
15 where the executions were and that's where I escaped from.
16 Q. Thank you, Witness.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, that concludes my direct
18 examination. I have no further questions.
19 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Witness.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Vanderpuye.
21 Witness, now the accused has the possibility, these are the
22 rules, to put some questions --
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- to you during the cross-examination.
25 Mr. Tolimir.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would
2 appeal to you to tell the Prosecution that this is a 92 ter testimony and
3 that the statements that were provided in the -- and testimony in the
4 Popovic case should not be repeated here. But if they want to take my
5 statement, or rather, what we heard now, then perhaps they should just
6 either put away this 92 ter statement or -- and use the testimony that we
7 heard here today or else just accept the 92 ter and then follow those
8 procedures. But in this manner, the way it's been done, and then we go
9 from closed into open session and the other way around all the time, this
10 makes my job much more difficult.
11 And secondly, I would now like to put the question to the
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just to clarify, the Prosecution has -- must have
14 the opportunity to put additional questions to a witness during the
15 examination-in-chief. And now it's up to you to put questions to the
16 witness. Please proceed.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 I apologise. I just have to switch channels. Thank you. I've
19 just turned my mike closer.
20 I will address the witness as "sir," because he's under
21 protective measures.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
23 Q. [Interpretation] And I thank you, Witness, in advance, and I will
24 only ask you about things not so that you would change your statement,
25 but just to clarify what your testimony here actually related to. So I
1 would appreciate it if you listen carefully to my questions because then
2 you will understand that it is not my intention in any way to question
3 your testimony.
4 A. Well, there is no need for that. I can repeat the same thing
5 five times. I will always say the same things, and what's been written
6 down, that's how it was.
7 Q. I will not put any questions to you about what you said in the
8 Popovic case, but rather, I will put a few questions to you in keeping
9 with the guide-lines provided by the Trial Chamber, and I will just
10 confront you with what you said in the Popovic case and the things that
11 you have to say here.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now show the witness
13 1D00006. Do we have it before us on the monitors?
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. This is your statement to the Prosecution on the 25th of May,
16 1996. On page 2, in the third paragraph of your statement to the
17 Prosecutor you said:
18 "We were expecting air raids ..."
19 A. Yes, we did.
20 Q. "After we tried to resist, our army fled through the woods ..."
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I just wanted to make
24 sure we were not broadcasting --
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We are not broadcasting --
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- outside this -- the screen will not be
3 broadcasted outside of the courtroom. I want -- just wanted to state
4 that so that everybody can be sure nobody outside of this courtroom can
5 see the personal details. Thank you very much.
6 Please carry on.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. I did not hear the
8 President's words because my headset was off.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just carry on. It's fine.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. You said in that statement:
13 "We expected some air-raids after the attempts of our army to
14 mount resistance."
15 Now, my question to you is: Did you expect air-raids as help to
16 the Muslim armed forces and who was it who told you that there would be
17 an intervention? Who was spreading those rumours?
18 A. You're asking me? I heard that from UNPROFOR and for -- had
19 there been air-raids, that would have been better both for you and for us
20 because all these people wouldn't have been killed and maybe you too, in
21 that case, wouldn't have been here before this court, and we would all
22 have been happier.
23 Q. Thank you. I would also like to ask you this. You said that
24 your army fled through the woods; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Was it realistic to have the army in the Srebrenica area because
2 that was a protected area, yes or no?
3 A. Well, yes.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. Well, the foreigners couldn't do anything. There weren't enough
6 of them, so we had at least to stand guard. How was it possible that
7 they should reach the mountaintop from Sase to -- at Vidikovac? So we
8 had to have some guards posted, we had to have some security there. And
9 still they managed to kill a woman and a horse, and they laid mines where
10 people from Srebrenica would walk. And had they not found those mines
11 there would be many more people killed, but there were mine experts who
12 removed those land-mines.
13 Everything was -- everything came out. The truth came out.
14 Nothing can be hidden. And we have to find every single person who was
15 killed in Bosnia
16 found. All these people will be found someday, and yet they can't find
17 Mladic who is walking around and appearing in various towns, whereas on
18 the other hand it is possible to find dead people who are hidden and
19 under ground --
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm very sorry to interrupt you, but I have to
21 stop you here. The question was answered and please listen to the next
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I would really like to ask you, sir, to answer my questions
1 without going into in-depth explanations.
2 Were your sons members of the 28th Division of the BH army?
3 A. Yes, certainly they were. You had to defend your people, your
4 mother, father, children. If nothing else, he did not have a rifle. I
5 know -- I want to tell you that. He wasn't issued a rifle, but he had to
6 pull out a wounded -- and even if he had a rifle, he was there defending
7 his people, his village. We didn't go to Serbia to attack anybody,
8 nobody. Serbia
10 to happen? What kind of law was it that allowed that to happen? If I
11 were a criminal like you -- but God forbid that I have your souls, I
12 would just say, "Here I am, I'm guilty." That's what I'd say.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, I must interrupt you. Please focus on the
14 question and try not to be too emotional. Of course everybody
15 understands you, but just focus on the question and then you will be able
16 to answer the question. Thank you very much.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll do that.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I'm not going to ask you anymore, then, about your sons, although
21 I did need to ask you that because of my next questions. But as you
22 expounded, I won't ask you that anymore. (redacted)
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry to interrupt Mr. Tolimir. I just
2 wanted to be sure if we are in private session; and if we're not, if we
3 could go into private session for a moment.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is there a need for that because of this
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think so.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] There's no need.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the sake of this procedure, I think we should
10 go to private session.
11 [Private session]
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: We're in public session, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
14 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 The witness is right. He said 11 hours. It was me who said
17 11 kilometres.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So thank you for putting me right on that score. Now, since it's
20 a journey of 11 hours, tell me what kind of road it is, what the terrain
21 is like between Zepa and Srebrenica. Thank you.
22 A. Well, the terrain is a difficult terrain. You can walk that
23 way -- some people rode on a horse. Now, since it's a long way off, they
24 set up an ambush along the way and several -- and people were killed
25 en route. Some were taken prisoner because they would set out and lose
1 their way and wander off into the Serb republic, and then they would be
2 captured there. So that's what happened too. So it was difficult
3 walking along this terrain and gorge.
4 Q. Thank you. I'm satisfied with your answer. Now, can you tell me
5 whether everybody going from Srebrenica to Zepa, did they need to receive
6 a permit from the BH army since the BH army forbade people to leave
7 Srebrenica? Thank you.
8 A. Well, no. If you had to go and fetch food, you had to go. You
9 couldn't ask permission for every single little thing. You had to go,
10 you had to leave. Now, they prohibited this to prevent people fleeing to
12 that, but people didn't ask for permission. Those who could went.
13 Q. Thank you. You also said here that one of your sons dug trenches
14 over there?
15 A. Yes, that's right.
16 Q. Was that a condition, that they had to dig trenches in order to
17 be given food; or did he do that on some other grounds, basis?
18 A. Well, he dug for food. He would get 5 or 6 kilos of flour,
19 that's what they were giving out, and he was a BH army member there. And
20 he used it for food and the trenches needed to be dug, so that's what
22 Q. Thank you. Now, in Srebrenica was it the practice that if you
23 carried out certain military activities you would be given food in
25 A. I don't know that. I can't say. People did what they could, as
1 best they could.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 A. We wouldn't have any salt for two months. How can you eat the
4 beans without any salt? Or how could you make soup without a grain of
6 Q. Thank you. I'm satisfied with that answer. Now, could you tell
7 us about the humanitarian aid. You told us that the humanitarian aid
8 which went to Srebrenica was stopped at Bratunac and that the Serbs took
9 what they needed and didn't give you the aid. What grounds do you have
10 for saying that and do you have proof and evidence for that?
11 A. Yes, because they would come and say, "12 trucks have arrived,
12 12 trucks arrived in Bratunac." And then you took a look and it was only
13 eight trucks, or ten trucks, or six trucks, which means that they stopped
14 them down there, took what they wanted and what they needed and the more
15 important things, and the rest they'd send on, what they didn't need.
16 And of course they needed flour and they needed salt.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, these trucks, was it an international
18 organisation who drove them and transported the goods and did they tell
19 you that or did people from the BH army tell you that?
20 A. They were Russian trucks that brought in the food, sometimes some
21 other ones, but mostly Russian, depending on what organisation was
22 transporting the food.
23 Q. Thank you. I'm asking you that because the person
24 transporting -- carrying food will not allow anybody else to take the
25 food. If it is some military equipment, it can be returned. So that's
1 why I'm asking you whether you explained about that or whether what you
2 say is something you assume.
3 A. Well, you know that they didn't allow the convoy to pass and come
4 to Srebrenica for a long time. You know that, don't you? That's why
5 they made air-drops and so on. You know about that.
6 Q. Thank you. I think that the parachute operation was used because
7 other military equipment was needed and they couldn't do that by road.
8 So there were these parachute operations dropping military equipment too,
9 but that's not relevant for the moment.
10 A. Military equipment, well, there was military equipment in the
11 pallets, so -- but there wasn't any of that. You would say, "Well,
12 there's no weapons." Well, there were weapons. They say there were
13 weapons. No, there were no weapons. You needed to reinforce your
14 stomach -- for -- that's what you needed reinforcements. Flour and salt,
15 that's the kind of reinforcement you needed, not weapons.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 A. And the fact that we went hungry over there, that didn't matter,
18 did it?
19 Q. Well, we'll deal with the number of weapons and amount of weapons
20 with another witness. I'm satisfied with your answer. I'd now like to
21 move on to another area and ask you the following. In your statement
22 here today you said that you were able to defend the attacks launched
23 against you by the Army of Republika Srpska up until Serbia joined in the
24 attack. Could you explain to us in what way and how can you prove and
25 show that Serbia
1 in all the trials and (redacted)
4 A. Well, you've heard of Seselj. You know him very well. You know
5 him better than I do, I'm sure, and you know Arkan as well. Well, I was
6 in Zvornik, in Karakaj. Arkan's men, the Red Berets, are they Arkan's
7 men? Yes, they are. So how come Momcilo Perisic was there? Means he
8 came from Serbia
9 on one point. The politics and policy pursued by Milosevic and Karadzic,
10 it didn't bring any good to the Serbs either, and you are well aware of
11 that. He didn't bring any good to the Muslims or the Serbs or Croats,
12 but not the Serbs either. They didn't reap any benefit from that.
13 Q. Thank you. I think you've answered my question. Let me ask you
14 this: Do you know that Milosevic, since you broached the subject, that
15 the Muslims should stay within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and if
16 they did do that, the conflict between the Muslims and Serbs in Bosnia
17 would never have broken out?
18 A. Yes, he wanted them to remain and he wanted it to be a
19 Greater Serbia
20 a Greater Serbia with Kosovo, and look at what happened in Kosovo. They
21 expelled everybody, killed everybody, how come they did that? And the
22 same thing was true in Bosnia
23 in Bosnia
24 on Slovenia
25 Q. Thank you. The first part of your answer suffices and I'm
1 satisfied with that, when you said that, yes, Bosnia was asked to stay
2 within the FRY.
3 A. You know that over 60 countries recognised Bosnia as a country
4 and a state and then they said, "We have to go to Bosnia" --
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm very sorry, I have to interrupt you both.
6 This is not the place for political debates about history, but please
7 focus on this witness and you should put questions related to this
8 witness. And please take into consideration you should pause between
9 question and answer because of the -- for the benefit of the interpreters
10 and the record. Thank you. Please carry on.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, you're quite right.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I was
13 just following on from what the witness gave as his answer.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. And now I'd like to move on to another area. The witness said
16 here that he saw the bombing of certain places, I don't want to mention
17 the locations and names because he's a protected witness, but in
18 Srebrenica he spoke about some victims too. Now, what I'm interested in
19 is this, was the attack -- did the attack come after the attack that the
20 Muslims launched against the surrounding villages, the villages in the
21 general area around Srebrenica; or, as in the case of Krajici [as
22 interpreted] when, on Christmas day, they killed thousands of men --
23 Krasnica [as interpreted], where the Muslims killed the Serbs. So did he
24 know about these operations carried out by the Bosnian -- by the BH army,
25 which is what UNPROFOR knew about?
1 A. There were Muslim villages and Serbian villages. Where there
2 were Serbs, they shelled us and we shelled them, and the Serbs would come
3 in from the forests and kill people in the fields. Why? We didn't want
4 war. We wanted to avoid war if at all possible. Why was that? Because
5 we'd been looted and pilfered during peace time. All those weapons were
6 withdrawn from Bosnia
7 they were preparing a war. And when the war broke out, the Serbs had the
8 weapons and were going to give you more weapons, and the Muslims don't
9 have any weapons to defend themselves. How can they defend themselves?
10 Q. Thank you. I'm satisfied with your answer. This is a different
11 trial. It's not the Milosevic trial, so could you restrict your answers
12 to the military matters that I asked you about. Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment.
14 Yes, Vanderpuye.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I just wanted to
16 point out that the record reflected that the question previously put to
17 the witness concerned, I believe, Kravica. It's recorded inaccurately in
18 transcript at page 53, lines 22 and 23. So maybe Mr. Tolimir wants to
19 make that clear that that's what the answer concerned and that's what the
20 question concerned so that it's clear on the record. That's all.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
22 Mr. Tolimir, carry on, please.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I don't know what it
24 says in the transcript.
25 But on the 7th of January, when it was Orthodox Christmas,
1 70 people were killed there. If you're satisfied, that would be my
2 answer. Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You must not give answers. You are in the
4 position to put questions to the witness, Mr. Tolimir. Please carry on
5 answering -- putting questions to the witness.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. I was asking the witness whether there was an attack on the zone
9 after that so many people were killed in Kravica. I didn't ask him
10 whether he knew that they had been killed, but whether following the
11 killing of those people on the 7th of January, which was Christmas,
12 whether he knew about the attack that followed.
13 A. Well, let me tell you I know something about that, not much.
14 Yes, it was on the 7th of January. Is that right, was it Christmas day,
15 the 7th of January, Orthodox Christmas?
16 Q. Yes, that's right.
17 A. And how many people were killed? I don't think it was that many.
18 I would say there were about 50. That was the figure that was bandied
19 about. And secondly, Naser was in The Hague. He was there. He was
20 convicted. He sat out his sentence, but he's in free Bosnia now. But
21 yes, it did happen and Naser was there. Naser was at the Tribunal too.
22 Q. Thank you. I'm satisfied with your answer and the information
23 you gave me. Now, you can see whether Naser was found guilty or not.
24 That's not up to me to say. You can check that out.
25 A. He was for a time, but -- he was imprisoned for a time but not
1 for a long time.
2 Q. I'm sure you'll understand why I'm withholding any comment on
3 that subject --
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I'm sorry --
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If you look at Naser, well --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I must stop you here. I'm not sure if it is
7 appropriate to mention this name. Could there be a problem,
8 Mr. Vanderpuye?
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. There doesn't appear
10 to be a problem.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Okay.
12 Then please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. It
14 wasn't my intention to name him. It was the witness who mentioned it.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Now I'd like to tackle a different area, not to deal with the
17 conflict in Srebrenica, but let me ask him this. Can he remember on what
18 day it was that he was taken in a truck to Batkovic with the other
19 people, as he said, and I'll remind him of his statement and the place he
20 says that.
21 A. So you want some information, do you, about the Batkovic camp. I
22 didn't complain about anybody.
23 Q. I don't need any information. Thank you very much. All the
24 information I need is the information that the Tribunal needs and this
25 Trial Chamber needs for these proceedings. I don't want to change your
1 statement in any way. I'm not going to ask you for any particular
2 information. All I want to know is: What day was it when you left the
3 general region - and you said that on page 6 of your statement, lines 23
4 to 30 - you said that you went from Karakaj towards Batkovici and that
5 you were exchanged later on.
6 A. It was the 26th, if you want to know.
7 Q. Thank you. And now I'm interested in knowing -- well, I'm
8 interested in knowing the date. And did you capture the same -- did the
9 same Serb forces capture you, as in Srebrenica and Potocari, or was it a
10 different army, other soldiers?
11 A. Well, there were different armies there, Bosnian, Serbian, and so
12 on. I didn't go around looking at who was who and which armies these
13 were, but I know that the -- that Arkan's men were in Karakaj. They had
14 those red berets and camouflage uniforms.
15 Q. Thank you. Did they take you to Batkovici?
16 A. No, not them. I don't know. There was a truck, a 1-tonne truck
17 and there was the Red Cross there. We were registered. I was in
18 Batkovici and I can't really claim that I was beaten there. I wasn't
19 beaten there. What I would like to say is I was there, I wasn't beaten,
20 my bones and my soul remained whole.
21 Q. Thank you. I just wanted this information because you mentioned
22 that you saw different uniforms there, but this answer suffices.
23 Now tell me, please, were you -- when you were in Batkovici, were
24 you there put up in the same quarters where the other people who were
25 brought on the trucks from Srebrenica or some other place? Were you in
1 the same rooms?
2 A. We were in the same room. We were all there. It was a big farm,
3 a stable, where we were accommodated. And all of us who were still
4 around were there. There were also people who had been captured some six
5 months before that, and the others were killed. They were all killed in
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have no further questions for
9 this witness.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. I thank you, Witness, for your answers.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And I thank the Trial Chamber for
13 allowing me to put these questions.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
15 Mr. Vanderpuye, is there re-examination?
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, Mr. President, there is no re-examination.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
18 Sir, the Chamber is very grateful that you came here to The Hague
19 again, that you were able to answer the questions of the parties, and you
20 are now free to return to your normal activities. The Court Officer will
21 assist you and show you out, and thank you again on behalf of the whole
22 Chamber. Thank you very much. And we wish you all the best for the
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thank you for inviting me to
25 testify here, and whenever you need me in the future, as long as my
1 health -- as long as I'm in good health, I will try and fight for justice
2 and for the truth.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Best wishes for you.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, we have -- I think today we don't
6 need to have the second break. If you want to use the time until
7 five minutes past 6.00, you can do that.
8 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President. That would be -- I would be
9 the one managing the playing of the video, which we would offer to do
10 now. It is 65 ter 1406, and the index of the videos used to compile it
11 is 1407. It's -- sorry, that's the transcript that goes along with the
12 video. No translation is necessary. I believe most of it is subtitled
13 and it is in the Serbian language mostly. And I think it speaks for
14 itself. I can sometimes -- if there's anything that comes up about
15 identifying a person in it, I can, of course, offer what the evidence
16 will prove or a very simple explanation. But I think it would just be
17 good for the Court just to see this. This is video footage shot by the
18 people involved and compiled as the most relevant material that the
19 Prosecution thought to tell part of the story that you have been hearing
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You said the people involved. Can you clarify
22 this a little bit.
23 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes. The -- it begins with the military approach
24 by the VRS from the south of the enclave in an area called Zeleni Jadar,
25 moving down the road, going towards Srebrenica. The video was shot by
1 VRS cameramen or journalists that were with them, as you can tell from
2 the close-up shots. You will see pictures of General Mladic; the
3 commander of the Zvornik Brigade, Vinko Pandurevic; others who you will
4 some come to know very well. And then it goes into Srebrenica, where
5 general -- well, we see some Muslim footage, where a Muslim is shooting
6 from his house and we see the many people in the street and the situation
7 going on with the Muslims, where there's a Muslim mortar position that's
8 firing back towards the Serb positions. And then on the 11th, it shows
9 General Mladic and his officers marching through Srebrenica --
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Excuse me, Mr. McCloskey. You must not explain
11 the whole footage now. I just wanted to know something about the source,
12 where it comes from, and of course, we are interested to know if you are
13 going to move for receiving this footage as evidence.
14 MR. McCLOSKEY: Absolutely, yes. The timing of that is -- can be
15 done at any time. It doesn't need to come in now. There will be many
16 people that talk about it, and -- but again, it's a self-explanatory
17 historical footage that -- the source of the videos are in 65 ter 1451.
18 It will have a list of VRS, Serb TV, or combat camera, or Muslim footage,
19 and -- in the record of witnesses and from the 65 ter list and briefs,
20 that material is in there and will provide more than an adequate
21 authentication and foundation for this to come into evidence.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This would be very helpful. We have only
23 three-quarters of an hour left. Is that enough?
24 MR. McCLOSKEY: I think it is. The first -- there is a first
25 segment that is 36 minutes. I believe it's mostly July 10th and 11th.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Let's start with that.
2 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. If you
5 allow this footage to be shown here, in view of what I said yesterday,
6 there is no need, then, for Mr. McCloskey to provide his comments,
7 precisely for the reasons that I mentioned yesterday. I don't want to go
8 into that again and waste our time here. Let the footage speak for
9 itself. We don't need Mr. McCloskey's comments, especially as he said
10 that there would be witnesses who would testify to this. Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for that, Mr. Tolimir. You realise
12 that I stopped Mr. McCloskey to explain the whole footage. To see this
13 footage doesn't mean that we have already decided about the value and if
14 it will be received as an exhibit; that will be done later.
15 Just a moment.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We start with the first footage of 36 minutes.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To make it very clear, this is not a decision
20 about admission as an exhibit.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: I just wanted to ask your leave if I may be
24 excused at this moment. I need to follow up on some other matters, with
25 the leave of the Court if that's all right.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 [Video-clip played]
4 MR. McCLOSKEY: Mr. President, I think that's probably a good
5 place to stop.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. I think there's nothing to
7 discuss at the moment.
8 That's it for today. We have to adjourn, and we will resume next
9 week on Thursday in the morning, 9.00, in this courtroom.
10 We adjourn.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.57 p.m.
12 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 18th day of
13 March, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.