1 Thursday, 18 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom.
6 Before the witness is being brought in, I would like to come back
7 to the question of admission of documents as exhibits. I hope I can make
8 it clear for everybody in the courtroom.
9 In connection with its motion pursuant to Rule 92 ter, the
10 Prosecution submitted a number of exhibits associated with the witness's
11 prior testimony. Some of these exhibits were admitted through the
12 witness in the prior proceeding, while others were simply used with the
13 witness during the prior testimony. Of those exhibits which were only
14 used with the witness, some were admitted through other witnesses in
15 prior proceedings, while others were not admitted at all.
16 In the Chamber's Rule 92 ter decision of the 3rd of November,
17 2009, the Chamber stated that the a decision on the admission of exhibits
18 associated with the witness prior testimony would be made at the time the
19 relevant witness appears in court.
20 Additionally, the Chamber instructed the Prosecution to submit a
21 list of exhibits which it proposes to admit into evidence in association
22 with relevant witness, clearly indicating: first, which exhibits were
23 admitted through the relevant witness in previous trials; secondly, which
24 exhibits were discussed with the relevant witness, but admitted through
25 another in previous trials; and, thirdly, which exhibits were discussed
1 with the relevant witness, but were not admitted in previous trials.
2 The Chamber notes that the Prosecution has, indeed, provided a
3 list of exhibits which it proposes to use with the witness of today,
4 PW-017. This list includes the 65 ter exhibit numbers for each proposed
5 exhibit, and indicates that all exhibits which the Prosecution proposes
6 to use with this witness were admitted through the witness in the Popovic
8 The Chamber would like to emphasise that this trial is a trial
9 solely of the Accused Tolimir and is not part of the Popovic et al case
10 or any other case. Therefore, the parties should consider the relevance
11 and probative value of each document in relation to this case before
12 seeking its admission. In order to enable the parties and the Chamber to
13 identify each and every exhibit admitted in this case, the Chamber will
14 consider all statements, transcripts, and documents, whether admitted in
15 prior proceedings or not, individually, and not as part of a Rule 92 ter
16 package. The admission of such exhibits may be sought prior to the
17 witness testimony or in the course of the examination-in-chief or
19 I hope that will help everybody in the courtroom to deal with
20 this problem.
21 Could, then, the witness be brought in.
22 We're going into private session so that the witness can be
23 brought in.
24 [Private session]
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're now in open session.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir.
7 Before we come to you, I would like to ask the Prosecution for
9 MR. ELDERKIN: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours,
11 My name is Rupert Elderkin, and I'm appearing this morning with
12 Mr. Peter McCloskey and Ms. Janet Stewart for the Prosecution.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
14 Witness, good morning. Welcome to the Tribunal.
15 Would you please read aloud the affirmation which is shown to you
16 now on the card.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning. Thank you for
18 welcoming me. I'm going to read the solemn declaration.
19 I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
20 and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: PW-017
22 [The witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. Please sit down.
24 The Prosecution has, in examination-in-chief, some questions for
1 MR. ELDERKIN: Mr. President, if I may just confirm at the
2 beginning of the witness's testimony that his prior protective measures
3 of pseudonym and also face distortion are in place.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They are.
5 MR. ELDERKIN: Thank you very much.
6 Examination by Mr. Elderkin:
7 Q. Good morning, Witness. As you know, my name is --
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. Before we get started, I just wanted to remind you to try to keep
10 your voice up, speak a little slowly, and I will do the same, so that the
11 interpreters are able to translate what we are saying. If there's
12 anything that I ask you that's unclear, please let me know, and I will do
13 my best to rephrase what I'm saying.
14 A. I understand, and I will do as you suggest.
15 Q. I'd first like to show you 65 ter number 6191, which is a
16 pseudonym sheet.
17 Sir, please, without saying your name, can you confirm if you're
18 the person on that sheet of paper.
19 A. Yes, I agree, that is my name.
20 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, I request that that be admitted
21 under seal.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment. We would like to see it as well.
23 It will be received under seal.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P51, Your Honours, under seal.
25 MR. ELDERKIN: Thank you.
1 Q. Sir, do you recall having testified here in The Hague in the
2 Krstic case in 2000 and in the Popovic case in 2006?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. And have you listened to all of that testimony in the past few
6 A. Yes, I have listened to it again.
7 Q. Sir, having listened to your testimony, does it fairly and
8 accurately reflect what you would say if you were examined here today and
9 if you were asked the same questions again?
10 A. Yes, it does reflect that, and I would give the same answers to
11 the same questions again.
12 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, in light of your earlier reference
13 to the 92 ter situation, and also following discussions with Mr. Gajic,
14 General Tolimir's legal advisor, we propose only to seek the admission of
15 the witness's Krstic testimony. That testimony, Your Honour, contains
16 the witness's evidence-in-chief and some cross-examination, whereas he
17 appeared in Popovic as a 92 bis witness and the Popovic transcript is
18 mostly cross-examination.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The transcript in the Krstic case will be
20 received as an exhibit.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As P52, under seal, Your Honours.
22 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, in addition, I would like to
23 identify, for purposes of reference, that there were only four exhibits
24 used with this witness in the Krstic testimony. Their 65 ter numbers in
25 the present case are: 1450 at page 24, and that was Exhibit 10/1 in
1 Krstic; 65 ter 1201, which was Exhibit 10/2 in Krstic; 65 ter 1202, which
2 was Exhibit 10/3 in Krstic; and 65 ter 1203, which was Exhibit 10/4 in
3 Krstic. 65 ter 1450 is a large book of photographs, and we'll seek to
4 admit that through a later witness. However, I would request the
5 admission of the other three exhibits, along with the witness's Krstic
6 testimony. But they don't need to be under seal.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Will you use these exhibits during the
8 examination of this witness?
9 MR. ELDERKIN: I will do, sir.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And you should do it at the relevant time. We
11 will then make a decision.
12 MR. ELDERKIN: And, Your Honours, if I may now read a summary of
13 the witness's Krstic testimony into the record, and this can be in open
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We are in open session.
16 MR. ELDERKIN: The witness is a Muslim by faith. He grew up in
17 and around the town of Srebrenica
18 bauxite mine company in Srebrenica. At the beginning of the war, he was
20 On the 11th of July, 1995, the witness was at home at his house
21 in Srebrenica. That day, the witness decided to go to Potocari with his
22 family. The witness went to Potocari because he was afraid that he would
23 be killed by the advancing Serb Army if he stayed in his house. He still
24 suffered from his wound, and he believed that as he had been wounded,
25 DutchBat would offer him some protection.
1 At Potocari, there was a huge crowd of people and no
2 accommodation. At around noon
3 bus compound in Potocari. This was a building used for maintenance of
4 buses. The witness and his family found space in a corner of the
5 building, and he stayed in the bus compound the entire day. His wife
6 went to her parents' house, which was nearby, to get some food. She
7 spoke to her father while she was there. This was the last time that she
8 ever saw her father.
9 The evening in the bus compound was horrible. The people could
10 hear powerful detonations of shells, which the witness believed came from
11 shelling of the town centre and the surrounding area. There was not
12 enough space in the bus compound. It was crowded. Children were crying,
13 and mothers had to try to bring in hay for the children to sleep on.
14 There was not enough food. People needed to go to the toilet. The
15 witness could not sleep at all that night because he was in a sitting
17 By morning on the 12th of July, there was mounting panic inside
18 the bus compound. Serb soldiers entered the bus compound, but they
19 behaved decently. These soldiers checked the documents of men in the
20 compound. The witness showed his identification to the soldiers, and
21 they asked him why he was there. He told them he was wounded, and they
22 accepted this answer.
23 Towards dusk, the people in the compound heard that men were
24 being separated. This frightened the witness. The witness decided to
25 try to hide. He and his family went and hid in one of several
1 broken-down buses which were in front of the bus compound. The witness
2 spent the night of the 12th of July in this broken bus. He spent all
3 night on the bus and didn't leave, because one could hear screams, loud
4 screams of women and children. It was beyond description. The witness
5 could hear people screaming things like, "Let me go. Don't. Please, let
6 me be. Leave me alone." Women were crying and screaming and asking for
8 The next morning, 13th of July, at dawn the witness decided that
9 he and his family had to leave. His wife left first to get some water
10 from a house across the street. She came back and told the witness that
11 she'd seen a lot of blood on the ground floor of the house. The witness
12 was shaken, but he picked up his child and headed for the group at the
13 exit, where two UN armoured personnel carriers, or APCs, were parked. At
14 this point, the witness's mother was also with him.
15 The witness found himself in an even bigger crowd of people who
16 were all trying to get out. There were women, children, and a few men.
17 It took a long time, but the witness finally got through the crowd to the
18 APCs. He was still carrying his child.
19 At the APCs, the witness saw UN soldiers holding hands to control
20 the movement of the crowd towards the buses. The witness also saw Serb
21 soldiers who had already reached the buses move away for a moment as if
22 they had been called away by someone else. When the soldiers left for a
23 moment, the witness boarded a bus and hid on the floor from the Serb
24 soldiers. He hid because he was afraid that if the soldiers saw him,
25 that he would be separated as they had done to the other men. The bus
1 was extremely overcrowded, and finally left in the direction of Bratunac.
2 The bus went from Potocari to Bratunac, Glogova, Kravica,
3 Konjevic Polje, Nova Kasaba, Milici, Vlasenica, Tisca, and finally
4 stopped in Luke.
5 On the way to Luke, the bus was stopped several times and checked
6 for men. The bus driver was very decent and said there were only women
7 and children on the bus. At times, the front and rear doors of the bus
8 were opened to be checked, but no one saw the witness hiding. At Luke,
9 the bus stopped and everyone got off. The witness was still carrying his
10 five-year-old child. The bus driver told people to proceed on foot from
11 this point. After a few steps, the witness saw several Serb soldiers.
12 One of the soldiers told the witness, "Give your child to your wife, and
13 you come with us." The witness handed the child to his wife. He
14 believed that he would never see the child again, so he tried to say
15 something, but he couldn't speak. He didn't have time. The Serb soldier
16 pushed him with a rifle and said, "Move on."
17 The soldier asked a man in camouflage trousers and a sweater,
18 "Major, what do we do with him?" The major pointed the way that they
19 should go down the road. The soldier leading the witness away turned
20 down the road and asked him, "Did you work for bauxite?" It turned out
21 that the witness and the Serb soldier recognised each other, as they had
22 both worked for bauxite.
23 They continued down the road as indicated by the major and
24 arrived at the Luke School
25 front of the Luke School
1 hands tied behind his back, Abdul Kadir, a young lab technician, a
2 medical technician from the hospital in Srebrenica.
3 Immediately after arriving at the school, the witness's hands
4 were tied behind his back with shoelaces. There was one soldier there
5 who only answered a military telephone set up on the stairway leading
6 into the school. This soldier was called "Zeljko" by the other soldiers,
7 and he would speak on the phone and say, "Yes, sir, I'll do that. I'll
8 tell them."
9 The witness sat for most of the day outside the school with
10 Abdul Kadir. Throughout the day, the witness observed prisoners
11 continuously being brought to the school. He could hear trucks and buses
12 coming and going as the number of prisoners increased. Eventually, there
13 were 22 prisoners being held in front of the Luke School
14 came and went during this time. Many of them threatened the prisoners,
15 but the prisoners were not beaten.
16 A Serb soldier, Stanimir, asked the witness if he knew a Serb
17 soldier named Spomenko Garic, who also worked at bauxite. The witness
18 replied that he did know Garic from work. Stanimir told the witness that
19 Garic was the commander of a special intervention unit that was currently
20 in the field in Kravica, and said that Garic would probably be by the
21 school later in the evening.
22 Later towards the evening, the Serb soldiers brought a very
23 pretty Muslim girl of about 17 to the school to try to identify some of
24 the prisoners. The soldiers called her "Turkish Girl," told her she was
25 she was pretty, and took her into the school. Later, the same witness
1 heard a female screaming in the school, "Let me go. Don't touch me."
2 That night at approximately 9.00 p.m., the 22 prisoners were
3 brought into the school. As they were brought into the school, they were
4 searched and robbed of their money and valuables by the Serb soldiers.
5 In the classroom in the school, the prisoners were bound with telephone
6 wire. Their hands were tied behind their backs. The prisoners were
7 ordered to sit on the floor in a corner of the classroom and were guarded
8 by a soldier with a rifle. Soon Spomenko Garic arrived. He asked, "Who
9 is from bauxite here?" The witness replied, and Garic asked the witness
10 what he was doing there. The witness replied that he had been wounded
11 and had gone to Potocari, and that he had been taken into custody and
12 brought to the school. Garic replied, "Well, this war hasn't been very
13 good to you or us, but what can we do? Right. Very well. See you
14 tomorrow." He gave the witness a friendly pat on the soldier and left.
15 Garic was dressed in coveralls and had a handkerchief tied around his
17 Immediately after he left, Serb troops came into the classroom.
18 They were dressed in a similar fashion to Garic. The guard asked them,
19 "How did you fare in Kravica?" They replied, "Great. We finished with
20 the balijas." These soldiers then began to question and beat the
22 Beatings were brutal. With each question, for example, how many
23 Serbs did you kill, a blow would fall. Prisoners were beaten on their
24 heads with rifles. They were kicked in the chest. An old man being
25 beaten dropped his metal cane, and a soldier picked it up and beat him
1 with it. One of the soldiers took a flag-pole which had been taken from
2 a mosque and began to beat the witness and other prisoners with it. He
3 asked questions about the flag and then beat the prisoners, whatever
4 their answers may be.
5 The witness was scarred above his right eye, and his face was
6 covered with blood. He was kicked to the floor. The beatings lasted
7 about half an hour. The prisoners were covered in blood. The soldiers
8 inflicting the beatings had accents like those of the people of
10 The soldiers conducting the beatings left, and a group of five or
11 six other soldiers entered the building. The prisoners were ordered to
12 stand against the wall. Some of them managed to stand up by the wall,
13 but they could not stand for long and slid down the wall back onto the
14 floor. The prisoners were then ordered out of the school and into a
15 truck. There was a platform set up on the stairs outside the school
16 which led into the bed of the truck. A soldier at the stairs told the
17 prisoners that they were going to a military prison and that it would be
18 quite nice there. This soldier said, "Don't be afraid. Everything will
19 be all right."
20 The prisoners were ordered to sit on the right-hand bench of the
21 truck and were told to keep the other bench free. Two soldiers loaded
22 the beaten prisoners who could not walk into the bed of the truck. They
23 threw the prisoners into the back of the truck and piled them in a heap.
24 There was no tarpaulin on the truck. Four soldiers then took the free
25 left-hand bench, and three soldiers got into the cab of the truck.
1 The truck took the road towards Vlasenica. Just at the entry of
2 the town of Vlasenica
3 road. At some point, the truck reached a small stream or brook and
4 stopped briefly. A Serb soldier in the back of the truck banged with his
5 fist on the roof of the cab, above the driver, and said, "Not here. Take
6 them up there where they took the people before." He said it very
7 loudly, and it was quite clear. The driver understood him, and the truck
9 During the journey, the witness had been trying to loosen the
10 telephone wire binding his hands by working it against a screw attached
11 to the frame of the truck. He succeeded in loosening it, although he
12 could not undo the knot.
13 The truck stopped as it was going up a hill. There was a pasture
14 and a partly-demolished house there. The truck stopped near the house
15 and turned off its engine, although the lights remained on. The four
16 soldiers got off the back of the truck. The three soldiers got out of
17 the cabin. The three soldiers from the cabin were opposite from where
18 the witness was sitting on the other side of the truck.
19 One of the four soldiers from the back of the truck went over to
20 the front where the three soldiers from the cab were standing. The three
21 remaining soldiers at the back of the truck immediately started killing
22 the prisoners. They threw the prisoners off the back of the truck and
23 began shooting them.
24 Two men tried to escape. They jumped off the truck and ran about
25 20 metres before they were shot down. The witness managed to free one of
1 his hands. He jumped off the truck, putting the truck between himself
2 and the soldiers, and he ran. The soldiers fired at him, but it was
3 night-time and the soldiers had to fire over the truck. The witness
4 managed to get to the edge of the forest, and he fell and rolled down a
5 steep slope and reached a brook at the bottom. He could still hear
6 gun-fire. The witness remained there until dawn the next day.
7 At dawn, the witness set out. After seven days, approximately,
8 he met some fellow Muslims, who were also trying to escape. After a
9 great deal of intense hunger, hardship, and a Serb Army ambush, the
10 witness managed to reach the free territory on the 27th of July, 1995
11 That concludes my summary, and if I may proceed with a few
13 Q. Sir, I'd like to start with the situation in Potocari.
14 And can I ask to see 65 ter number 1623, please. This should not
15 be broadcast outside of the courtroom. It has identifying features on
16 it, and -- well, the first page has B/C/S markings. The second page
17 shows the same markings in English.
18 Sir, do you recognise this drawing?
19 A. Yes, I do recognise this drawing. I made it, myself, and in the
20 drawing I am actually presenting, as I saw things in those days, the area
21 where I was. And now I will try to explain what it is that I actually
23 What I'm showing here now is the building -- I apologise. I
24 don't have the picture before me.
25 MR. ELDERKIN: Could the usher perhaps assist the witness.
1 I think we've zoomed in where he's touched the screen.
2 Q. If you leave the electronic pen on the desk. Otherwise, I think
3 it affects the images you're speaking about.
4 And please continue.
5 A. Yes. I see this rectangle here, and in Bosnian it says "Remont,"
6 which means repair and maintenance shop, and that's what I represent with
7 this rectangle. That's where I was initially when I arrived in Potocari.
8 In front of this building, we see these small squares by which I tried to
9 show that there were buses there, there were quite a few in the
10 parking-lot, and they were in the immediate vicinity of the main road, an
11 asphalt road, connecting Srebrenica and Bratunac. So what you see above
12 there, these two long lines, that's an asphalt road. And the arrow on it
13 indicates two other rectangles that you can see on the road, itself.
14 They are two UN APCs. They were, in other words, on the left- and
15 right-hand side of the road, and the arrow between the two APCs actually
16 shows the way where women and children and men had to walk between these
17 two APCs in order to reach the buses that you can see on the left-hand
18 side. There are three rectangles there, three boxes. Sometimes there
19 were more, but it is important to say that they were very close to these
20 UN vehicles.
21 We also see on this drawing a house on the left-hand side of the
22 road. I pointed an arrow at it. This is the house where the men who
23 would pass between these two APCs would be directed to go to. Then they
24 would be made to get on a military truck, and the military truck I
25 depicted with this small square just in front of the house. So when I'm
1 talking about the separation of the men from the other people, they were
2 all there, and I all -- and I had occasion to see all of that on that
3 day. In the Bosnian, I wrote, next to the arrow, that this is the house
4 where the men were taken.
5 And then the road goes on to Bratunac.
6 Q. What did this house look like?
7 A. The house was new, relatively new. He had concrete terraces and
8 concrete pillars. It was rather large. It had a large yard where groups
9 of people would linger, waiting for the truck to arrive, which would then
10 take those people in the direction of Bratunac.
11 Q. And how far was the house from the road?
12 A. The house was very close to the road, almost next to the road.
13 Perhaps some 10 metres or so from the road; 10 metres or so, maybe a
14 metre more or less. In any case, it was very close to the road.
15 Q. Do you remember now what colour the house was?
16 A. I can't remember, really. I don't think that it had the facade,
17 that the house was still unfinished.
18 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, may I ask for this sketch now to be
19 admitted under seal.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received under seal.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P53, Your Honours.
22 MR. ELDERKIN: Could I ask next to see 65 ter number 6196, and
23 e-court page 10 of that document, please. This shows a simplified map of
24 Eastern Bosnia
25 If we could please scroll down so that Srebrenica and Potocari
1 are visible in the bottom right. Thank you.
2 Q. Sir, can you see Srebrenica and Potocari indicated on this map?
3 A. Yes, I can see it very well.
4 Q. With the Court Usher's help, I would ask you, please, to use the
5 pen to mark on the screen the route that you followed in the bus when you
6 left Potocari towards the free territory.
7 A. Yes. We can see here, where it's indicated that Potocari is.
8 [Marks]. The buses then went on towards Bratunac, and then from there
9 they went to Kravica and then on to Konjevic Polje [marks], from
10 Konjevic Polje to Milici, and then on to Vlasenica [marks], and then it
11 went on towards Kladanj. And I can see a full line here, dark. If
12 that's the separation line, then that would be Luke, which was close to
13 the separation line. I can't see Tisca here. That's an area before
14 Luke. So Luke was the place where there was a school building which was
15 very close to the then line of separation [marks]. So that was the
16 way -- the route that the bus followed.
17 Q. Sir, could I please ask if you'd mark with a small letter L the
18 location of Luke, as best you can.
19 A. As I've just said, it was very close to the separation line, the
20 line that I will indicate [marks], and I've indicated with this dot. So
21 I assume that that place was about there.
22 Q. Sir, thank you, and that's all I need from you with thee pen.
23 And, Your Honours, may I ask that this be admitted, this single
24 page, as an in-court exhibit?
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P54, Your Honours.
2 MR. ELDERKIN:
3 Q. Sir, what stopped you from going towards the free territory after
4 you got off the bus?
5 A. The soldiers who were on the plateau or flat area, Serb soldiers,
6 they ordered, as soon as we got off the buses, and I had my daughter who
7 was almost five in my hands - I carried her because she was rather skinny
8 and small, and although I had difficulty walking, I was carrying my
9 daughter - and then one of the soldiers, as soon as I got off the bus,
10 ordered that I hand my daughter over to a woman. And then he addressed
11 the person with the words, "Major, what are we going to do with him?"
12 And that man who was sitting on the edge of that plateau, who had a
13 camouflage -- who had camouflage pants and the sweater on top, he just
14 indicated with his hand which way I was to go, and then this soldier
15 said, "Will you move on, you balija fucker." And then I walked in the
16 direction indicated towards an asphalt road.
17 As I was walking, this soldier recognised me, and he said, I know
18 you. Did you work in the Srebrenica bauxite company? And I said that I
19 did. And then he introduced himself, and he said that he, too, had
20 worked in the Vlasenica bauxite company. And it was a well-known fact
21 that these two municipalities had actually established two companies.
22 The Srebrenica municipality and the Vlasenica municipality, they had
23 established two companies, bauxite companies, but they also worked
24 together a lot. So he said that he used to be a geometer at the company,
25 and I know that our company sometimes would hire people from that other
1 company so that they could do some work for our mine, bauxite mine.
2 Soon thereafter, we arrived at the school building, and outside I
3 saw a man who had already been brought there before me.
4 MR. ELDERKIN: Could we please see 65 ter 1450 at page 24 in
6 Q. Sir, I'm now going to show you a series of photos, and I would
7 like to ask you, in respect of each one, to ask if you recognise this
8 location. And if so, say where it is.
9 A. Yes. We can see the school building here. It was the school
10 building in Luke. That's the school building.
11 MR. ELDERKIN: Could we see page 25 of the same exhibit now.
12 Q. Where is this, sir?
13 A. Here we see the same building, the front part of the building.
14 That's the side from which I was actually brought to the school. And we
15 can see this tree on the right-hand side of the photograph, so that's
16 where we sat on this field, on this meadow, first the man who had been
17 brought before me, and then me, and then all the other people who were
18 brought there later on. We sat under that tree. So this is the
19 left-hand side of the school, and this is actually the view from where we
20 had been brought.
21 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, as I indicated earlier, this is from
22 a much larger exhibit, and I won't be seeking the admission of those two
23 pages at this time. But I note, again, that the first image at page 24
24 was used as Exhibit 10/1 in the Krstic trial.
25 Please, could we see 65 ter 1201.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The two pages of the set of photographs will be
3 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P55, Your Honours.
4 MR. ELDERKIN:
5 Q. Sir, does this show the same location?
6 A. Yes. Now here we can see the other side of the school clearly,
7 and I have to say something here. When the Serb soldiers -- when we got
8 on the bus, the Serb soldiers took us via this road which -- to the
9 asphalt road which was behind the school building, and from there we were
10 taken in the direction of Vlasenica on that same evening.
11 Q. So if I can just clarify one point. I heard, in the English
12 translation, the word "bus." Were you taken in a bus or another kind of
14 A. No, I said "truck." Maybe it was an error in interpretation.
15 MR. ELDERKIN: Please, could we see now 1202.
16 Q. Again, sir, where is this?
17 A. Here we see, again, the wider area of the front of the school.
18 We can also see the steps, the staircase, leading to the school, where on
19 that day I noticed that there was a telephone there on the steps, and one
20 Serb soldier, who was called "Zeljko," he was in charge of the phone
21 line. He was the only one who would take calls. And we can see again
22 that same tree. And all the way to the right in the upper-hand corner of
23 the photo, there was a path, a rather narrow dirt road, and that's where
24 we have been brought to the school, from that direction.
25 MR. ELDERKIN: And now could I see, please, 1203.
1 Q. Sir, do you recognise this photograph?
2 A. Yes, I do. That's one of the classrooms where we were taken in.
3 Here in this photo, I can also see some furniture, but there was nothing
4 there at the time. This photo is probably taken later on. So this is
5 the interior of the classroom that I can -- what I see on the photograph,
6 that's what it is. The windows looked exactly the same way, and there
7 was this painted part of the wall. That's the classroom where we were.
8 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, I'd request the admission of those
9 three photographs, 1201, 1202, and 1203.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They will be received as one exhibit.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, that will be Exhibit P56.
12 MR. ELDERKIN:
13 Q. Sir, can you describe the truck that took you away from the
14 school that night after the beatings?
15 A. The truck was a military truck. As I'm a mechanic, I know
16 different types of vehicles. And I had also served in the army, so I
17 know that this was a military truck. It didn't have a tarpaulin, but it
18 did have the frame for the tarp that were still on the truck. The truck
19 also had two benches. And the reason I mentioned them here is that on
20 the right-hand side, on that bench, that's where we sat; whereas the
21 left-hand side, that bench was used by four Serb soldiers, but they were
22 actually standing on top of that bench and holding on to the frame, to
23 the tarp frame, while we were taken on those buses to the execution site.
24 Q. I heard again in the English translation the word "buses." Sir,
25 could you please confirm that we're talking about a truck here and not a
2 A. It's probably strange. I'm using the word "truck," and this is
3 an interpretation error.
4 MR. ELDERKIN: Please, could we see 65 ter 1624. And this should
5 not be broadcast outside of the courtroom.
6 Q. Sir, do you recognise this picture?
7 A. Yes. This is a picture that was made of me as soon as I reached
8 the free territory. This picture was made 17 days after the fall of
9 Srebrenica. I reached that free territory 17 days after the fall of
10 Srebrenica. And I would like to describe this photo a bit.
11 We can see well here that I have a scar above my right eye. This
12 was the consequence of beatings that I received. I was beaten by a metal
13 rod, and you can clearly see the scar there. What you can't see is that
14 I still had bruises both on my face and all over my body. But this shirt
15 is something that I got from a young man to put on, because my clothes
16 were all torn and still wet. So I'm wearing this white T-shirt which I
17 received as soon as I arrived there.
18 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, I'd ask for this photograph also to
19 be admitted under seal.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received under seal.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P57, Your Honours, under seal.
22 MR. ELDERKIN: Sir, thank you very much. I have no further
23 questions for you at this time.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
25 Sir, now we come to the cross-examination by the accused. He has
1 the right to put questions to you as well.
2 Mr. Tolimir.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 I'm going to address the witness as "sir," in order not to
5 interfere with the measures requested by the Prosecution.
6 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
7 Q. [Interpretation] I would first like to talk to the witness about
8 statement 0041159, which he gave on record on the 26th of September,
9 1996. This is 1D08.
10 Do you have that on the screen?
11 A. I don't see anything on the screen yet.
12 Q. Can we please look at page 2 of this document?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note: There's a lot of rustling
14 of paper, making it a bit difficult to hear what is being said.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Now do you see anything?
17 A. I don't see anything other than the translation which is going on
18 the small monitor.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, it takes some time to call up that
20 document. You have to wait.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Now we can see it.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. If you can see, on page 2, lines 3, 4, and 5 -- do you see that?
24 A. Page 2, lines 3, 4, and 5? Well, it appeared there for a second,
25 but then it got lost again on the monitor. I can see two pages. I don't
1 see, actually, those relevant pages. This was the cover to the document.
2 Now I can see it. At the top, it says "Record," and then I have
3 underneath that it says, "Statement." Now I can look at the second page.
4 Q. All right. Please look at page 2, the first paragraph, and you
5 can look at lines 3, 4, and 5.
6 A. This is a mistake. I have the first page in the Bosnian, and I
7 have second page in the English.
8 Right now.
9 Q. All right. And there you say, in line 3, that:
10 "I was supposed to go to Ljubovija to buy milk at a discount
11 shop. And I crossed a bridge. There was Serbian police on the other
12 side of the bridge. They entered and checked the identity of every
13 passenger. Anyone who was Muslim was ordered out of the bus."
14 My question is, is it correct, what you have said?
15 A. I have to clarify to the Court here that this is a statement that
16 I gave a long time ago, and it included the pre-war period. And what we
17 are talking about here is the period prior to the war, before the war
19 Q. Did you state that at the time?
20 A. I said there that I went to buy milk for the child.
21 Q. You provided this statement on the 22nd of August, 1995; is that
23 A. Yes, the statement was provided at that time. But what I'm
24 saying is that the statement refers to the time before the war.
25 Q. Well, we know that. We know that from your statement. Can you
1 please tell me if it's correct, what you said in that statement?
2 A. It's quite correct that I went to buy milk.
3 Q. Can you remember when this was? When was the month? Are you
4 talking about 1992? I think you're talking about April.
5 A. Yes, we're talking about 1992. This could be early April, which
6 means that the conflict had not broken out yet in that area. It means
7 that the war had not started yet.
8 Q. And was this perhaps on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, the 6th, the
9 7th; what was the date?
10 A. Well, it's hard for me to remember the date, but definitely it
11 was very, very close to the time that the conflict broke out, perhaps a
12 month or less than a month. And as I said, this was the time when the
13 conflict had not broken out yet.
14 Q. Thank you. Is it normal that in Serbia, during the war, citizens
15 were inspected at the border-crossing from Bosnia to Serbia
16 conducted by Serbian police; is that normal?
17 A. Yes, it was quite normal. Tensions were already abundant, and
18 the police on the Serbian side initiated these controls. Not only did I
19 cross into Ljubovija and Serbia
20 that, a month or two or three before that. I remember that there was
21 such a control on the Serbian side.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber whether the
23 bridge between Ljubovija and Bratunac is the border crossing between
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you, thank you.
2 Can you please tell us, more or less, whether this was at the
3 beginning of April. Because you say, at the end of your statement, that
4 that is when you went to the village, to your mother.
5 A. This happened much later, much later. The statement actually
6 includes -- and the people who drafted the statement wanted to know
7 here --
8 Q. All right. Thank you, thank you.
9 Can you please tell the Trial Chamber when Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 declared its independence?
11 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina received its statehood on the 12th of March,
13 Q. All right. But these events are from April, aren't they?
14 A. The events are most probably --
15 Q. You are saying that --
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should pause before you put your next
17 question, until the answer of the witness is stated, and --
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: -- you see it on the screen.
20 Please carry on.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I don't see the English text, where
22 I am.
23 Q. All right. Since this is the beginning of April, as you said in
24 your statement, is it normal, when Bosnia declared itself an independent
25 state and separated itself from Serbia
1 citizens who were coming from Bosnia
2 A. I told you before that Serbia
4 Q. All right. I am asking you. Please answer the question. I
5 heard what you said. Is it customary for controls to be carried out
6 between two states and for citizens to return to their own state?
7 A. Well, it used to be normal to cross the bridge, because Ljubovija
8 and Srebrenica were quite close. People would come from Ljubovija to
9 Bratunac and Srebrenica, and people from Srebrenica and Bratunac would go
10 there. We were just separated by some 10 kilometres or so, or even less.
11 If you know that area, I don't see that there would be anything strange
12 for people from either side to cross over for visits. I'm talking about
13 the pre-war period here.
14 Q. Thank you, you've responded to my question. At the time, Bosnia
15 was an independent state. Well, I would like to put a different question
16 to you now.
17 In this statement, you say that you saw Arkan's men in Bratunac,
18 and that you concluded that on the basis of the uniforms. Would you be
19 able to answer to me here -- or would you answer my question, which is:
20 Could uniforms be worn by citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina who had put
21 on Arkan's uniforms?
22 A. It was quite precise and clear who these people were. From what
23 I was able to find out from my friends who that day participated in a
24 meeting in the Bratunac Hotel, and I remember what I heard at that time,
25 and that was that it is correct that soldiers with special uniforms were
1 already in Bratunac on that day, and they applied such pressure, and the
2 people had the impression, all the people who lived in Bratunac and the
3 environs, there was a meeting where an alleged agreement was reached to
4 de-militarise the Bratunac area.
5 Q. Thank you. I'm kindly asking you to answer my questions. The
6 uniforms worn by Arkan's men, could Bosnian citizens of Serb ethnicity be
7 able to wear the same uniforms?
8 A. I don't know that.
9 Q. All right. Thank you, thank you. I'm satisfied with your
11 Can you please just tell me, why did you provide this statement
12 in 1995, in August, when the events relate to the pre-war period? Thank
14 A. Well, this is a very strange question. Of course, I could not
15 have provided such a statement during the actual wartime events in
16 Srebrenica. In 1995, in July, I was in the liberated free territory.
17 July -- well, August is the following month, so I was already in the free
18 territory. And at the time, there was a lot of interest among all those
19 who had survived the Srebrenica genocide. These people wanted to be
20 heard, those people who had survived the genocide, and at the time I can
21 see that the statement was provided properly. It was a long time ago.
22 At that time, I was living under a lot of burden of hate because of the
23 things that had happened to me. In subsequent months and years, I had to
24 struggle to free myself of this hatred. And I see now that this
25 statement that I gave was a proper statement, given properly.
1 Q. Thank you. I have finished on the statement, and I thank you for
2 your answers and the question -- I do not have -- well, I have some more
3 questions now.
4 Sir, since you have been preparing to testify here for a few
5 days, as the Prosecutor said a little bit earlier, you probably read all
6 the statements that you provided to this Tribunal so that we can talk
7 about them. I'm going to remind you of those parts which you -- of the
8 parts of those statements that relate to my questions in case you do not
9 remember those bits.
10 Can we proceed on that basis?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When you testified in the Krstic case, Mr. McCloskey said that
13 this was because -- well, that you had asked for protective measures, and
14 Mr. McCloskey said that this was because your family was asking this --
15 for you to do that.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the page
17 reference from the transcript.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
19 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, I am concerned that if we're going
20 to get into the subject of protective measures and any reasons behind
21 them, this should be in private session.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We'll go into private session.
23 [Private session]
11 Pages 685-689 redacted. Private session.
11 [Open session]
12 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we're back in open session.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. You say here:
16 "Throughout the time, the Chetniks were attacking Srebrenica from
17 all sides. Day after day, Srebrenica was exposed to a barrage of
18 shelling. The number of dead could not be counted."
19 My question is this: Now, where were all these dead buried?
20 There must be a lot of graves and mass graves, as you said here that the
21 number of dead could not be counted. Could you please tell us three such
22 burial sites?
23 A. Mr. Tolimir, I understand this as provocation, and I have to ask
24 you to refrain from provoking me when you ask about the dead and the
25 number of dead.
1 If you go to Srebrenica and visit all the burial sites, other
2 than the Memorial Centre, and just count the number of people who were
3 killed, most of them were killed at the Memorial Centre, or once they are
4 identified or found, they will be, but the number of burial sites is huge
5 and they're all over-filled. And I would suggest that if you go to
6 Srebrenica, or if your -- someone can go for you, I suggest that you go
7 and see when these people -- or just read the dates on these graves and
8 burial sites.
9 Q. Thank you. I did not mean to provoke you in any way. My
10 question --
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
12 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, excuse me.
13 When we're having quotations from statements or other documents
14 and they refer to a time-frame, but no year is even given, it would be
15 very helpful, I believe, for the record and for everyone in the
16 courtroom's understanding of the period we're talking about, to have that
17 reference made. I couldn't see it, myself, on the page that was shown on
18 the screen.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, did you understand the advice of
20 Mr. Elderkin? Can you indicate from which document this was taken and
21 the date.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, the witness talks about
23 events of 1992 through 1995 in this statement.
24 My question was not intended as provocation, but only --
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just tell us -- we only see one page of a
1 document. Which document is it?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is this witness's statement.
3 Could we just see the cover page, and then you will see all the
4 information there and the date. Mr. President, as you can see, this
5 statement is dated 22nd of August, 1995. Thank you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I just have to clarify something.
7 This is the same statement that we discussed earlier today. The
8 statement was provided at the same time, and we just need to say that the
9 question related to the period 1992 through 1995, and the question was
10 whether so many people had actually been killed in the shellings --
11 Serb shellings in Srebrenica.
12 It is true that there were many, many people who were killed in
13 the shelling, and it is true that there were many burial sites in
14 Srebrenica and around it. I don't know the exact number. But if
15 Mr. Tolimir does not believe this, perhaps he can send his
16 representative, who can then provide him with a precise report.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Q. The question I asked was to establish whether the number of the
19 people who were killed were also listed at the Memorial Centre in
20 Potocari. Thank you.
21 A. Well, that would never have been done, and the families would
22 never allow to -- the grave-sites of their loved ones to be disturbed.
23 It is well known that the memorial site actually has the bodies of the
24 people who were exhumed from mass sites, mass execution sites, and that
25 work is still ongoing and will be for a while yet. The figure that is
1 mentioned here is a figure of around 8.000 that even the Serb government
2 recognised, plus an additional number of victims who were killed during
3 the war.
4 Q. Thank you. But let me just tell you that this was not something
5 that was recognised by the government, but rather by individuals and the
6 international community before this document was actually ever adopted by
7 the assembly and the government.
8 A. Well, sir, I will just add that this was --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please repeat the last
11 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, Mr. Tolimir, I have to interrupt you. The
13 interpreters wanted to have the last sentence repeated of the answer.
14 You should avoid overlapping.
15 Sir, could you repeat the last portion of your answer.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter cannot hear. There is
17 overlapping speakers.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know exactly the number
19 that was established by the government, but I know with certainty that
20 the number is between 7.000 and 8.000. This number was established by
21 the government, and this is the number that was recognised by the
22 government, and this is the number of people who were killed during the
23 fall of Srebrenica.
24 And Mr. Tolimir had another question here that related to the
25 period throughout the war between 1992 and 1995 until the fall of
1 Srebrenica. This is an additional number of victims. These people have
2 already been buried, but in different sites. And I've asked Mr. Tolimir
3 to send a representative of his own if he wants to have the exact figure,
4 because then he can get a report from that person.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Mr. President, may I resume, if you're satisfied with this
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think, Mr. Tolimir, we must have the first
9 break now, on technical reasons, and we'll resume at five minutes past
11 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.08 a.m.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please carry on with your questions,
14 but please bear in mind to avoid overlapping with the answers of the
16 Go ahead.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 Could we still have the same statement on the monitors, 1D0008,
19 please, ERN number 0044-1162 in the B/C/S, and in English that's
20 007-1632, third paragraph.
21 Q. Can you see the statement, Witness, sir?
22 A. Yes. That's the statement that we've already discussed in the
23 first -- during the first session.
24 Q. Yes. Now, if you take a look at the fifth paragraph, you can see
25 that you say there the best-known place where people went -- my legal
1 counsellor says that we don't have the right page yet. The statement
2 number is 1D0008, and the page number in the B/C/S, that's page 4,
3 ERN 0044-1162. And in the English version, that's also on page 4,
4 ERN 007-1632.
5 MR. ELDERKIN: Excuse me, Your Honours. I apologise to
6 General Tolimir for interrupting. It's simply to be sure that this isn't
7 being broadcast outside of the courtroom.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Registry is of that, that is not broadcast.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
10 believe that the document should remain confidential, whereas everything
11 else can be in public session. Thank you.
12 Q. You say in your statement, Witness, in paragraph 5, the
14 "The best-known place to which people went to gather food was
15 Kravica, about 18 kilometres away from Srebrenica. This was the greatest
17 My question: Why do you say that this was the greatest blow to
18 the Serbs, and do you know when it was that the Muslims attacked Kravica?
19 Thank you.
20 A. When you say here that the Srebrenica people went in search for
21 food, I have to first of all say why that was so.
22 Srebrenica was in full blockade, and you know that if someone is
23 in full blockade, people in there have to have food, water, medical
24 supplies, and so on. Srebrenica never had that, so spontaneously or in
25 an organised manner, the people of Srebrenica went in search of food.
1 And one of those places was Kravica where they went, and I have already
2 mentioned that Kravica was important because it had a lot of food stocks.
3 Q. Thank you. Could the witness please just answer my question,
4 rather than explain the entire situation. Could the witness just tell me
5 why he said this was the greatest blow to the Serbs.
6 A. Well, I've already said that. The reason was that Kravica had
7 large stocks of food, and the Srebrenica people just helped themselves to
8 the food.
9 Q. Now, tell me, do you know when it was that Srebrenica was
10 attacked -- when the Srebrenica people attacked Kravica?
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's not sure of the question that
12 the accused asked.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the interpreters don't catch your
14 question because you are not waiting for the answer and the translation
15 of the answer. Look on the screen, and then you can see when the
16 transcript stops, and then the translation has finished.
17 Carry on, please.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I just
19 had to change this microphone and my headset because the microphone was
20 switched on all the time.
21 Q. Now, my question for the witness was this: Whether he, himself,
22 had taken part in the attack on Kravica.
23 A. No. I've already said that I was wounded, and Kravica was rather
24 far away, and I couldn't really take part in this.
25 Q. Thank you. And can you now please tell me something about the
1 crimes committed in Kravica? Have you heard of them?
2 A. I can't tell you anything about that. There were various
3 rumours, but I don't want to repeat them here. I'm not really the person
4 who can give you any accurate or precise information regarding that.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you, yourself, ever go to Kravica to get some
6 food there, you or any member of your family?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did the people from Srebrenica go to Kravica to gather food after
9 the massacre on January 7th, 1993? Thank you.
10 A. I couldn't really tell you that. I don't know.
11 Q. Before you were wounded, did you take part in attacks on Serb
12 villages in the period between 1992 and 1995?
13 A. No. I was wounded on the 14th of May in 1992.
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the first part of
15 the question because the microphone was off.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Can you tell us, then, where you were wounded and how?
18 A. The place where I was wounded is known under the name of Kazani,
19 and I was wounded by -- in a shelling, a Serb shelling. And on that
20 occasion, another woman and another man were wounded, so three people
21 were injured, two were wounded and one killed, in the shelling.
22 Q. Now, tell us, please, until you were wounded, were you a
23 conscript and did you have -- were you deployed in any of the units?
25 (redacted) Now, in that
1 area there were a number of Serb houses as well. The Serbs kept the
2 entire area under full control so that I didn't feel safe living there.
3 And a friend of mine, whose name I don't want to mention here --
4 Q. Thank you. No need for that. You've already answered my
5 question, in part, and I'm quite satisfied with your answer. Thank you.
6 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, excuse me.
7 Given the witness's protective measures and the amount of detail
8 that's coming out here about his history, I'd ask for a redaction of the
9 reference to the area he lived in. I think he put in very specific
10 areas. If that could be redacted, that would be helpful. It's on lines
11 14 to 19 -- I beg your pardon, Your Honours, 18 to 20.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which page?
13 MR. ELDERKIN: That's of page 42.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You're talking about today's transcript? We
15 don't have --
16 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, on LiveNote on today's transcript,
17 which is -- at least on the version I'm looking at, it's page 42, 18 to
18 20, and there's a reference to the name of the location of his house.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, I have different page numbers on my
20 screen. There's a mistake.
21 We managed to identify the right portion. It will be redacted.
22 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 I would like the Registry to go back to page 0044-1161, to go
25 back one page, and I would like to ask the witness to look at the second
1 paragraph of his statement, where he says:
2 "The inhabitants of Potocari resisted fiercely with the few
3 weapons they had, which mainly consisted of hunting rifles. After that
4 clash, they were pushed back to their original positions. I went to my
5 mother's village. I spent the entire time up there until May 6th, 1992."
6 Q. Do you agree stating this in your statement?
7 A. The statement was given quite a while ago, in 1995. So if you
8 calculate the number of years, that was a long time ago. I do remember
9 the events, and probably it's correct, what is stated there.
10 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell me how it's possible to put up
11 fierce resistance with few weapons, mainly hunting ones. Can you clarify
12 that, please.
13 A. I will. I mentioned in the beginning that this was a request by
14 the Serbian people that all the Muslim people surrender their weapons,
15 and you are aware that some of those had legal, licensed hunting weapons.
16 These are people who organised themselves to put up a resistance to the
17 Serb soldiers or groups that were trying to enter the town of Srebrenica
18 through the Potocari area. And it's correct that the first contact was
19 in Potocari.
20 Q. Thank you. I am satisfied. Can you please tell us --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise.
23 Q. Can you tell us, how do you know that the resistance was fierce?
24 A. When you use the word "fierce resistance," it means decisive
25 resistance that was put up with such poor weapons, but with a lot of
1 morale and the desire to defend the town.
2 Q. Thank you. Did you personally participate in that, or are you
3 saying this on the basis of what others told you?
4 A. I heard this personally from people who talked about this event.
5 Q. Did you participate in the defence of Potocari?
6 A. No, I did not.
7 Q. Thank you. Sir, do you know anything about the attacks on Serb
8 villages by Muslim armed formations in the Srebrenica area?
9 A. When you're talking about attacks and you use that word,
10 "attacks," we can say that it was actually in search of food. We
11 mentioned that before. In the total blockade of Srebrenica, the people,
12 women, even children, were attempting to find food in the closest Serbian
13 villages nearby.
14 Q. Thank you. Please, can you tell me, then, how it was that the
15 people were looking for food at night, and then it happened that in those
16 villages where they went, women, children, and others were killed?
17 A. You asked the question why at night. Well, of course, it seems
18 to me it would be easier to -- easier to go and steal food from Serbian
19 villages rather at night than during the day.
20 Q. Is it necessary to kill those from whom you took the food?
21 A. I don't know if there were any killings. I can't really say
22 anything about that. I didn't take part in anything like that. But I
23 know for a fact that a large number of people had to find food in this
24 particular way. As for killings or people killed by those people who
25 were looking for food, it's something that I really cannot talk about. I
1 don't know why.
2 Q. Thank you very much. I plan to demonstrate during these
3 proceedings massacres, castrations, and the killing of the inhabitants
4 who were attacked by civilians allegedly because of food. Thank you.
5 Can we now look at the next set of questions? Can we look at
6 page 1D0008 in the Serbian? The number is 044-1163, lines 13 to 14. In
7 the English, it's ERN 0076-3277, lines 12 and 13 of paragraph 5.
8 MR. ELDERKIN: Again, Your Honours, I believe that this is a
9 document that should not be broadcast.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering the last document
11 as an exhibit?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I am not
13 tendering the next document. I'm just indicating the page from the
14 statement that I would like to put questions to the witness from. Thank
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Carry on.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 The witness says:
19 "The de-militarisation was carried out in May 1993. The army of
20 Srebrenica handed over all the confiscated weapons from the Chetniks who
21 had occupied our town and the environs. The UN forces (the blue helmets)
22 guaranteed our security, as did Morillon, himself."
23 Q. Sir, have you find that text?
24 A. Yes, I have.
25 Q. First of all, did you hand over the weapons that you had?
1 A. I think that this was answered. I did not have any weapons. I
2 was wounded.
3 Q. Thank you, thank you. Can you please tell me, you state here
4 "weapons that had been confiscated from the Chetniks."
5 A. I also noted that I gave this statement in 1995 and that I mostly
6 talked about while I was affected by hatred, and I tried to get rid of
7 this hatred later. So instead of the term "Serbian Army," I'm using the
8 term "Chetniks" here. What else is disputable here? People in
9 Srebrenica, the people who participated in the defence of Srebrenica,
10 captured weapons from the Serbian Army too. You are a general of an
11 army, and you know very well how one can capture weapons from the
12 opposing side. I said at the beginning that some people had legal
13 hunting weapons.
14 Q. Thank you. It's clear to me. What I want to know is whether
15 there were weapons there that were confiscated in sabotage actions
16 carried out on settlements that were attacked at night.
17 A. Well, I don't know. That would be a broader story.
18 Q. Thank you. Were you an eye-witness of this demilitarisation, or
19 did you hear that from others?
20 A. The collection centres for the demilitarisation were set up and
21 cordoned off by three rows of barbed wire at a place where the football
22 field was nearby. All the people who passed by that place could see all
23 the confiscated weapons, and later -- sometime later these weapons were
25 Q. Earlier, you said "all the seized weapons," but you were supposed
1 to return the weapons, according to the agreement. Is this a mistake in
2 the translation?
3 A. Yes, it was seized. The Canadian Battalion arrived in Srebrenica
4 first, and their role was to confiscate the weapons, and that all those
5 who had weapons hand it over to the Canadian Battalion.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we now please look
7 at the statement by Ramiz Becirovic, who is a military commander, who
8 says the following: This is document --
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think this really has nothing to
10 do with me. If you wish to, you can do that, but it would be pointless.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] 1D00012. The ERN in Serbian is
12 0185-4521. That would be paragraph 4. In the English, it would be
13 page 5, paragraph 2.
14 Can we see it on the screen, please.
15 Thank you. I have been informed that you see it on the screen
17 Q. Please, can you look at the following paragraph:
18 "After we got these two agreements on the demilitarisation of
19 Srebrenica, we had to disarm completely. We barely managed to secure
20 some older weapons in disrepair to had over to UNPROFOR, while the troops
21 hid the rest at their homes."
22 Thank you.
23 A. I said earlier that I don't see that any -- this document has
24 anything to do with my statement or my testimony. I would much prefer if
25 you dealt and asked me here about what I'm testifying here, and that is
1 the massacre. And I would prefer if you directly asked me about matters
2 that I'm testifying to here and not about some self-proclaimed commanders
3 or people that I don't even know. I think that there is no need for me
4 to comment on these lists, reports, or anything similar. That has
5 nothing to do with my testimony here today.
6 Q. I put the question on the basis of your statement. You said that
7 there were no weapons, whereas your -- it then says that the fighters hid
8 their weapons at home. Did you receive special instructions to say that
9 Srebrenica was demilitarised, but, in fact, it was not demilitarised, as
10 we can see from the statement of the commander?
11 A. Well, you insist on an answer again, but I have nothing to do
12 with that. If I mention the word "demilitarised zone," that was used,
13 but that has nothing to do with my appearance today before this
14 Trial Chamber. And perhaps if you get some other witnesses or
15 collaborators, you can put these questions to them.
16 Q. Thank you. You refer to disarmament, and you mention Morillon,
17 and this was the period of demilitarisation. Thank you.
18 A. Well, this was just referred to in context, but I'm not really in
19 a position to put an interpretation on it.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to
21 tender this document, please, because it states quite the opposite of
22 what the witness says in his statement, and it relates to the
23 particular -- the same particular circumstances.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You should deal with areas of the statement and
25 the testimony of this witness. And think about your questions, if they
1 should be put to the relevant and the expert witnesses, if you want to
2 deal with these topics. Perhaps some of your questions have nothing to
3 do with this witness. Bear that in mind, please.
4 Which document you are tendering; the previous one, the statement
5 of this witness?
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I was specifically
7 saying this: The witness referred to demilitarisation being carried out
8 in May 1993 in his statement. That was in his statement. The commander
9 actually said how this demilitarisation was carried out. So I would like
10 to tender this document, this statement by Commander Ramiz Becirovic, who
11 talks about the manner in which this demilitarisation was carried out.
12 This is document --
13 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not catch the number of the
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
16 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, the document that General Tolimir is
17 seeking to tender is a statement by a man who's dead. The normal
18 procedure for putting in such a statement is Rule 92 quater. That said,
19 although he's only referred to a brief part of one paragraph of the
20 document in this instance, we don't object to its admission without going
21 through the formalities of 92 quater.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The document will be received.
24 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D1, Your Honours.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. Witness, sir, can you answer this: What were you doing in July
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] First of all, I have to thank Their
4 Honours for noticing that Mr. Tolimir is putting a lot of questions that
5 have nothing to do with me. Of course, I will do my best to respond to
6 each question, but I will also ask Mr. Tolimir to direct his questions to
7 the topics due to which I am here and to ask me directly about things
8 that I could be responsible for and answer directly.
9 Now, what was I doing in July 1995? I came to the free territory
10 at the beginning of the war, and on the way to the free territory I was
11 wounded. So I spent some time in treatment, I had two surgeries in the
12 Tuzla Hospital
13 and everything, if this should be required as proof.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. Based on this wounding, did you receive any benefits
16 as a fighter, or did you receive the status of a fighter in the B and H
18 A. As for benefits, at that time I didn't have any benefits. There
19 were many problems then. And the Dayton
20 later, created the conditions for providing benefits to certain
21 individuals. Up until then, I didn't have any benefits.
22 Q. Thank you, sir. So you said "at that time," meaning that at some
23 time you did have benefits and you were a member of the B and H Army.
24 Could you please tell us which period of time that was? Thank you.
25 A. I can tell you here that I was treated in the area where I
1 happened to be, together with people who didn't have weapons, many of
2 them -- people had to be alert, on guard against incursions by Serbian
3 forces into villages. Villages would be burned very quickly, people
4 would get killed very quickly. There were local guard shifts. So I'm
5 talking about the time from the 17th of April until the time I was
6 wounded on the 15th of May. This is a month, only one month, were these
7 activities of mine. There were no weapons. People should not be
8 sleeping in the village. They would be on guard against incursions by
9 the Serbian Army.
10 It's also well known that people did not put up resistance. They
11 would just gather up their women and children and escape, making this
12 territory of -- the free territory narrower and narrower. But they did
13 have to be on guard duty.
14 Q. Thank you, thank you. I think we can move on. I believe the
15 interpreter has finished the interpretation.
16 You stated here, Witness, that you boarded a bus with your wife
17 and daughter at the Potocari camp, and that then you went into hiding.
18 Why were you in hiding?
19 A. Well, I believe it is well known the Serb soldiers, and I
20 mentioned this at the very beginning of my testimony, as soon as men
21 appeared and were observed, the men were separated from the women, and it
22 was done in front of that house in the drawing that I had made. They
23 were collecting people there, and then later on a truck came which
24 then -- where then the people were asked to get on the truck. And I was
25 in hiding because I was trying to avoid being in that group that was
1 going on that truck, and I hid in the bus. And because there were a lot
2 of women and children, I was able to hide by lying down on the bus floor.
3 And there were so many people on the bus, there were three times as many
4 people that the bus could actually carry, so it was possible to go into
5 hiding. And, of course, I did want to remain hidden.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, tell me, please, at the time were you an
7 able-bodied individual? In other words, fit for military service,
8 younger than 60 and over 16? Thank you.
9 A. Well, if I would have -- I could have been fit for military
10 service, but at the time I didn't really belong in that category because
11 I was wounded. And as you know, the Geneva Conventions would exclude
12 wounded men from being counted in that category. But I could also show
13 it and prove that, because my wound was inflamed because I wasn't given
14 any antibiotics, and there were even small maggots around the wound
15 coming out, it was in such a bad state.
16 Q. Thank you. But did you have any document -- any papers? I do
17 understand that you are describing your wound here some three years after
18 the wounding, but did you have any documents showing that you were
19 wounded? Because you were mentioning the Geneva Conventions here.
20 A. Well, I wasn't really referring to what my face looked like. I
21 was talking about my leg and my right knee. By just taking a look at it,
22 you could see that my knee was badly wounded. It was infected. I was
23 wounded by shrapnel, and that wound was open and there were maggots
24 coming out of it. And as for documents, I did have a document. As you
25 may know, the Medicins Sans Frontieres were in Srebrenica at the time
1 when Srebrenica became a demilitarised zone. And they tried to operate
2 on my knee, but they were unable to remove the piece of shrapnel because
3 it was deeply seated in the knee socket. And to this day, I still have
4 that fragment -- that shrapnel fragment in my knee, and I'm prone to
5 frequent infections, when I have to take antibiotics, and I frequently
6 have to consult physicians. And if you don't believe this, we can X-ray
7 my knee again and see that that shrapnel fragment is still there.
8 Q. Thank you, sir. My only purpose here is to ask questions. I'm
9 not a doctor, and I cannot really examine you.
10 Now, could we please see statement D00010, ERN number 0079-8687.
11 That's in B/C/S, the third paragraph. In English, that's ERN number
12 003D-6010, paragraph 2.
13 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honour, I'm not sure if I need to do this
14 every single time, but again it is something that should not be
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think everybody's aware of that.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. My question for the witness is this:
19 "A man by the name of Nasir called up 15 men and asked them to
20 follow him. Nasir had a camouflage uniform and a Kalashnikov. They
21 allowed me to follow him."
22 Do you recall this portion of your statement?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, my question will be this: Who was Nasir, and
25 was this a military commander?
1 A. Well, let me tell you this, and it's good that I should clarify
2 this for the benefit of the Trial Chamber: This is at a time when I was
3 already able to -- when I had already managed to escape from the Serb
4 guards, and I had already been, for seven days, roaming the woods,
5 looking for the free territory. I met these people in the woods, and it
6 is true that this man's name was Nasir and that he wore the uniform as
7 described here. I didn't know much about him. The truth is that for a
8 while I joined them, and then the group dispersed. This gentleman never
9 appeared again living.
10 Q. Thank you, Witness. Now, you're talking about a group again, and
11 it is not clear to me. Now, please clarify something. The group of
12 people that you joined, was that the group that headed from Susnjari to
14 A. Well, I can't tell you with certainty. I met this group of men
15 in the woods. Whether that was the same group as the one that you have
16 just mentioned, I don't know. I didn't know what their plan was or how
17 they happened to be there. I just asked if I could join them for a
18 while. They agreed. But then that group split up, and with a smaller
19 number of members of that group, I managed to reach the free territory,
20 but even -- but not all of us actually got there. Four of the men from
21 that smaller group were killed.
22 Q. Thank you. Now, you say in the same statement "our group
23 dispersed." Could you please describe for the Trial Chamber why it is
24 that this group broke up or dispersed, and what happened with the other
25 civilians who actually formed these two groups in this area?
1 A. Well, people were panicking. They were looking for the best
2 route to reach the free territory. Some of those people were wounded,
3 they had no food, and they were in the woods. And because some members
4 of the group thought that their idea of what the better route to reach
5 the free territory was, that is why they actually split with -- split
6 ways with us, but I joined the smaller group. My opinion was that their
7 proposal was better, whereas the other group went some other way.
8 Q. Thank you. In the next paragraph in the document on the same
9 page, you said:
10 "One of the members of my group, Hazim Buljubasic, formed a
11 smaller group and decided that we should go in the direction --"
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the name of the
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, that's the smaller group that
15 I was referring to.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Q. Could you please tell us, how big was the group with which you
18 walked along the road in the direction of Kladanj, and how many men were
20 A. Well, at first there were six people in the group, but then we
21 were joined by two other people. And on our way along the route that we
22 considered would take us to the free territory, we were joined by two
23 other people, so that there were eight people in the group at the end.
24 And close to the line where we were supposed to cross a minefield, one of
25 the members of the group actually stepped on a mine, on a land-mine, and
1 four people of the group were killed. There was a Serb ambush. They
2 opened fire with various weapons, hand-held launchers, and I don't know
3 what other weapons. But, in any case, two people -- two
4 seriously-wounded people and I reached the free territory. One of them
5 was badly wounded. His arm and elbow were completely smashed. And the
6 other person was also wounded and was saved a little later. So we all
7 reached the free territory like that. I was wounded as well, and four
8 people were killed, as I've already mentioned.
9 It's important to say here for the Trial Chamber that this route
10 actually meant a lot of people were killed on the way because of this
11 minefield, as they crossed the minefield, and there were also ambushes on
12 the hills around it. And the route actually led along a small river, so
13 that it was very easy for the Serb soldiers to actually set ambushes
15 Q. Could you please tell us if the ambush and the minefields were
16 set up there for the purpose of actually catching you, or was it for the
17 needs and preparations of the combat positions of that unit that was
18 trying to build a blockade there?
19 A. Well, you see, what I -- from what I saw and from what I knew
20 from the time when I served in the Yugoslav Army, and I knew about the
21 mines, you could even see the trip wires because they were visible, but
22 we tried to avoid all those land-mines. But your question was whether
23 they were actually placed there in order to prevent anyone from passing
24 through, or maybe getting onto that territory, I don't know. But it is
25 true that they were placed there, and I also know that much later, after
1 the war operations ceased, we still collected the remaining body parts of
2 the people who had remained -- which had remained there, those that
3 hadn't been washed away by the river.
4 Q. Thank you. But this was the area where you were actually
5 crossing the separation line where -- which separated two enemy sides,
6 and it was logical that there should be a minefield there in order to
7 protect the area that one side was protecting from the other? It wasn't
8 there for the purpose of preventing you from crossing through?
9 A. Well, I wouldn't agree with you because the Serb soldiers also
10 opened fire from ambush, and even if some of these people might have
11 survived after stepping on a mine, they were killed by additional fire
12 opened by these men in ambush. There was a barrage of fire with all
13 kinds of weapons. And we only needed to cross another 200 metres to
14 reach the free territory.
15 Q. Thank you. Now, tell me, please, the people who were deployed
16 there on the firing positions, did they know who you were and what your
17 intentions were? Thank you.
18 A. Well, of course they did. We were all dressed in civilian
19 clothes, and it wasn't difficult to see that -- these people in rags, who
20 were weak and tired and exhausted, it was easily observable that they
21 weren't soldiers.
22 Q. Thank you. So if you say that these mines weren't meant for you,
23 how, then, could it be that you managed to escape, even in spite of all
24 those people in ambush who just allowed you to flee like that?
25 A. Well, that's a very good question, how I happened to pull out.
1 The fact is -- the fortunate fact was that there were some rocks there,
2 and we hid ourselves behind the rocks. And I think you can find that in
3 the statement, where I describe it in detail. We used these large
4 boulders. They were large, almost like a car, like a vehicle. And we
5 tried to hide behind these boulders. But every time we would run from
6 one to the other, they would open fire, there would be bursts of fire or
7 shells fired at us. But we were lucky and managed to actually cover this
8 distance of 100 metres or so to the free territory, so that we managed to
9 actually reach the free territory, and also thanks to the fact that the
10 river -- there was a river bend there where it was flowing -- bending to
11 the left, so that we were able to be protected by that. But they had a
12 very good view of us, and they would shoot at us as soon as we would be
13 in the open. But some hundred metres from there, the river -- as I said,
14 there was a river bend, and that's where we managed to hide and cross
15 over to the free territory.
16 Q. Thank you. But you haven't really answered my question. If you
17 so managed to escape and flee, was this a unit that was stationed there,
18 that was deployed there, or was it just a unit that happened to be in
19 that position when you arrived?
20 A. Well, when I mentioned the mines and the mine that was activated
21 by one of the members of our group who stepped on it, these soldiers
22 could have heard this mine being activated and they opened fire as soon
23 as the mine exploded. Now, how they happened to be there, whether they
24 were deployed there, whether they had some special equipment or so, I
25 really don't know any of those details.
1 Q. Thank you. Is it normal procedure to provide -- to secure lines
2 of separation by stationary units? Do you know that, as a soldier?
3 A. Well, believe me, I don't know anything about the army's
4 strategy. I just -- when I explained the types of mines, I knew that
5 part because I served in the army. But as for strategy, I really don't
6 know anything about that.
7 Q. Well, I thought you did, because you mentioned that you could
8 tell where the mines were and that you were able to actually clear those
9 mines as you were walking across the field, that you even managed to run
10 across that field. But, in any case, I believe that you did give me an
12 A. Well, yes, I did.
13 Q. Thank you. Could we now please see document 1D0010, a statement
14 provided to the OTP, ERN number in B/C/S 007-968 [as interpreted], and in
15 English that's ERN 0039-6010, the fifth paragraph.
16 Thank you. I see that we have it on the monitor.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please indicate which kind of document it is.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. This is a statement
19 that the witness gave to the Prosecution. Thank you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What would you -- what are you
21 asking me here?
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Well, I'm just waiting
23 for His Honour, the Presiding Judge, to let us know whether we can
25 Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. You say in your statement, in this fifth paragraph, that a
2 Red Cross vehicle took you to Kladanj on the 27th of July, 1995. My
3 question is: Did you give any statement to the Red Cross representatives
4 about the events that you were a part of, and did the Red Cross draw your
5 attention to the fact that you can freely speak with them and tell them
6 what happened? Thank you.
7 A. I didn't give them a statement. It's true that the events that
8 I've described earlier, the walking through or passage through the
9 minefield and the appearance on the asphalt road from Kladanj to
10 Vlasenica, but now this was on free territory. We had already reached
11 the free territory, the territory under the control of the Army of the
12 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We didn't even know that it was the
13 free territory, but we were met by these two vehicles, and they told us,
14 in the vehicle, that we already had reached this territory, and they
15 warned us -- since traces of blood and wounding were clear, they warned
16 us -- they helped us to transport us not far from there to the collection
17 centre for people who had come to that area from the Podrinje region.
18 First aid was provided there, our wounds were dressed. We were taken
19 care of, given food. That was the first contact that we had on the free
20 territory on the 27th of July, 1995.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 You said before that you were never a member of the B and H Army;
23 is that correct?
24 A. I said that, except in the case that you wish to count in the
25 time from the 17th of April until the date that I was wounded.
1 I have to say something. After my surgeries, work was already
2 being done on the Dayton Accords. There were no combat actions at the
3 time. I joined as a staff member, not somebody carrying a gun. Since I
4 am a technician, engineering technician, I joined the Transport and
5 Traffic Service. Due to my professional qualifications, I was employed
6 at the brigade as a professional staff member, not a soldier. I note
7 that this was because at the time it was necessary to find a job to be
8 able to make a living, so it was important for me to make a living, to
9 get a job, to be able to support my family.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. But I have to add this as well: Shortly afterwards, I had to go
12 for another surgery because of complications on my right knee.
13 Q. Thank you for this information. In your statement provided to
14 this Tribunal in the Krstic case, you state on several occasions that you
15 were registered with the army once you came to Tuzla, and that you were a
16 member of a specific brigade?
17 A. Yes, this is what I said. This was Brigade 286, and it was
18 billeted -- I mean, I can give you this answer if you wish. This brigade
19 was the brigade where I was working in the office, in the Transport and
20 Traffic Service, because of my qualifications as an engineering
22 Q. In your statement, did you refer to the fact that you were
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. You also said that you had received some sort of assistance from
1 the B and H Army, a certain sum of money and some assistance. This is
2 something you said in the Popovic case. I wanted to ask you: Did you
3 receive any assistance in Srebrenica?
4 A. Yes. It's a good question, it's a good question, I must say,
5 it's a proper question that you are putting. I'm glad about that. But
6 let me answer the one about the brigade first.
7 The brigade did make some sort of compensation; not monetary one,
8 but we received flour, oil. All members of the brigade received that
9 kind of compensation. You cannot call that a salary or anything else.
10 Members of that brigade received those goods to be able to survive, and
11 it applied to people who were carrying weapons and people who were
12 working in the office.
13 Let's go to the question on Srebrenica. Until Srebrenica was
14 demilitarised, what happened there was that people were trying to get
15 some food from Serbian villages. When Srebrenica was demilitarised,
16 there was an attempt made to deliver food to Srebrenica in convoys.
17 Now I'm going to talk about details that I'm very familiar with.
18 My house happened to be at the entrance --
19 Q. Well, you've already answered the questions. If you do have a
20 need to say that, you can. I will let you say that.
21 A. Well, perhaps you do have information about this, but if you
22 would like me to explain, I can. If you don't want to, I don't have to,
23 but I would gladly explain some things that I am very familiar with. If
24 the Trial Chamber would like to hear that, I will give that explanation.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's your examination, Mr. Tolimir.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We will
2 move on.
3 Q. You told us here, during your testimony now, that you were in
4 Potocari with your wife and daughter. Were there any other B and H Army
5 members with you in Potocari at the time? Thank you.
6 A. Well, please believe me that it is quite correct that I didn't
7 know all of those people. It wasn't possible. I couldn't know if they
8 were members of the army or not. What I can say with a great degree of
9 certainty is that I did see a large number of men, elderly men, younger
10 men, but there were also women, children. I really cannot answer your
11 question about who was a member of the B and H Army or not. I didn't
12 know all of those people.
13 Q. Thank you. You answered my question. I would just like you to
14 keep in mind that your commands treated you as members of the B and H
15 Army in Potocari.
16 If possible, I would like to ask the Registry to show an interim
17 report sent to the B and H Army General Staff. It was signed by
18 Brigadier General Talijan. It's dated on the 12th of July, 1995, and it
19 states -- this is number 1D00013.
20 A. Please, may I say, again we're going to a question that has
21 nothing to do with me.
22 Q. Well, just one moment. Perhaps it has nothing to do with you,
23 but it does have something to do with me.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please wait until we have it on the screen.
25 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: General, we are told that there is no English
2 translation. If you want to deal with this document, you should read out
3 the portion of that or ask the witness if it is related to this witness.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. The document pertains
5 to all the people who were in Potocari, including the witness. I am
6 going to quote. The document has been provided or given for translation,
7 and it is in the system.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But what is it, what we are looking at?
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] This is a report by his command
10 about --
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Excuse me, please. I don't have a
12 command. If the Trial Chamber will permit me, he said that he would like
13 to ask about things that have to do with my command. Actually, I don't
14 have a command.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment.
16 Mr. Elderkin.
17 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, if I may, there is an OTP
18 translation. I have only one hard copy of it, but it is the document on
19 the screen. I don't know if there's a way to put that before you, but
20 that's all I have.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It would not help us, and all parties and other
22 people in the courtroom.
23 Please carry on, but bear in mind this is this witness.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm going to
25 quote -- quote exactly. This is the combat zone in Potocari:
1 "Tonight, at around 2300 hours, we had 15.000 to 20.000 refugees
2 who were sitting in the combat zone together with 300 fighters of the
3 B and H Army at the Potocari camp."
4 The command is speaking here about the camp in Potocari, about
5 civilian population and fighters. Thank you.
6 Q. Have you understood me?
7 A. I would just like to put a question to you.
8 Q. Well, I haven't put a question to you yet.
9 Thank you. My question is: Were you considered by Hajrulahovic
10 as one of those 300 fighters in Potocari?
11 A. No, not at all. I was a wounded person in Potocari. According
12 to all the rules, the Geneva Conventions and all the rest, I could not
13 have been considered that. I described what sort of a state I was in
14 once I was wounded. This meant that pursuant to any rules or in any
15 sense could I not have been considered a member of any army.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, thank you very much.
17 I would like to complete my cross-examination of this witness.
18 I would like to tender this document on Hajrulahovic which I plan
19 to use for other cross-examinations with other witnesses. This is
20 document 1D00013, and I ask that it be tendered: Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Elderkin.
22 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, the Prosecution has no objection to
23 that, and we can provide our English translation if it's going to help
24 get that into the system at some point.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Since we don't have a translation now in e-court,
1 it will be marked for identification.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour. That will be Exhibit D2,
3 marked for identification.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: If I'm not mistaken, that completes your --
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
6 I would like to thank to all those present for those -- for their
7 patience. It was a long examination. I would like to thank the witness
8 for his patient replies and, in my view, quite proper answers, because I
9 was trying to get answers to questions that I was interested in, and this
10 last thing I wish to have admitted, because the witness was an
11 eye-witness to the events that we are looking at. Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
13 Mr. Elderkin, do you have any re-examination?
14 MR. ELDERKIN: Your Honours, no, I don't.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Questions from the Chamber.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, could you specify one
18 point. When we look at the transcript, page 17, line 7 to 11, we noticed
19 that we had spoken of document 6196, 6196, of the 65 ter list. You made
20 a comment about a small map showing the route followed by the bus you
21 took, starting at Potocari, through Bratunac, Konjevic Polje, Milici,
22 Vlasenica, and arriving at Kladanj. The question I wish to ask is -- I
23 would like to know whether this bus, this transport, was organised by the
24 Serbian Army to evacuate you and bring you in the territory which you
25 call the free territory or whether it was a transport organised by the
1 Muslims, themselves, in order to go away.
2 A. Thank you, Your Honour, for this question. Of course, it's an
3 excellent question.
4 People in Srebrenica were not permitted to do anything of their
5 own will, and that applied to the organising of transport. This
6 transport was exclusively organised by the Army of Republika Srpska.
7 Nobody asked those people whether they wanted to go here or there.
8 Simply, people were directed in the direction that these people wanted
9 them to go in. They were the ones who set up the transport. Trucks were
10 also used for this transport. In my particular case, I was transported
11 by bus, but a large number of men, women, and children were transported
12 by trucks, large trailer-trucks. People were treated inhumanely, loaded
13 onto those trucks, pushed into groups. Children suffered a lot of trauma
14 because of that. I know lots of children who are grown up now,
15 acquaintances, cousins, who are still suffering from the consequences of
16 being transported in that particular way.
17 And I would like to thank you for that question.
18 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, therefore, if I've
19 understood you correctly, the goal of this transportation was to take
20 this population and bring it in the territory which you called free
22 A. Yes. The objective was to completely purge Srebrenica of all the
23 population that had lived there up to then in this way, and through
24 elimination and killing. There were many examples of men being
25 eliminated by killings, executions, deaths of different ways, and women
1 and children were transported in this way. So the idea was to completely
2 eliminate the people of Srebrenica from that territory.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, you told us something about your family,
4 including your child of five or six years. What happened to them in that
5 relevant period?
6 A. Thank you for the question.
7 My daughter at the time was less than five years old. She was
8 separated from me. I had to give her to my wife. My greatest desire at
9 that moment was to know for sure that she was actually alive. Later, it
10 did turn out to be true. I found out she was alive when I reached the
11 free territory. I met my daughter again 17 days later.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, sir.
13 This concludes the questioning by the parties and the Chamber.
14 We all want to thank you for your assistance you gave us and that you
15 came again to The Hague
16 And I think that could be an appropriate time for the second
17 break. The Court Officer will help you and assist you, but please be
18 seated. We rise now, and when we have left, the necessary arrangements
19 for your safety will be made. Thank you very much.
20 We adjourn and resume 10 minutes to 1.00. Thank you very much
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we continue, the Chamber would like to
1 make some comments. The first is related to the witness summary of this
2 morning. In fact, that was not a summary; it was a very lengthy and --
3 yeah, description of the whole evidence of that witness from a previous
4 trial. And the Chamber would appreciate if, in future cases, the summary
5 would really be a summary. This would be much more in accordance with
6 the Rules 92 ter of our Rules of Procedure and Evidence. It is to save
7 time and to shorten the examination-in-chief. Please bear that in mind.
8 And another remark. We have received one exhibit during the
9 cross-examination. That was a statement of a certain person who was not
10 here yet as a witness. In future cases, I think the Chamber will only
11 mark them for identification, because this witness of today was not in
12 the position to say anything about the content of the statement, only
13 saying something about his personal experience and his personal
14 knowledge. And in future cases, we only would mark these documents for
15 identification so that it can be used in the future of the trial and with
16 other witnesses, for instance. Thank you.
17 Mr. McCloskey, we have learned that the next witness is not
18 available today, but you have some proposals how to proceed.
19 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Mr. President, thank you. And we understand
20 fully your ruling.
21 Yes, as I think you've been informed, the witness had a tough day
22 yesterday, was not feeling well, and is just finishing up his review of
23 his previous testimony for the 92 ter part of it. But we have the
24 continuing video, and that will allow us to reduce Mr. Ruez' trial time
25 by three hours and hopefully finish him in those three days. So I would
1 propose we continue to play the trial video which we left off. We're
2 still at 11 July, and it's self-explanatory. And there's about a
3 40-minute section, so it gets into the first meeting at the Hotel Fontana
4 and then ends, and, if we're lucky, we can get that done today.
5 And I've been assured that the witness tomorrow, his 92 ter
6 summary will be shorter, and he will have to finish tomorrow. And we
7 can't imagine that we'd need -- or that the general would need any more
8 time. In fact, we'll have more video to play if he finishes early, which
9 is what we would expect, that we might have, you know, the last session
10 to play more video. So we're ready to go.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Here's a question for you.
12 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes. I just want some clarification.
13 The videos that you are giving us now will be videos relevant to
14 a witness you are going to call later?
15 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, there will be witnesses that will speak to
16 various parts of the video. In fact, we normally play this video with
17 Mr. Ruez, the investigating officer, and we stop it and he says, This is
18 so-and-so and that is so-and-so, and he's always open to the Court to
19 answer any questions that they might have during that time. That's just
20 one example.
21 Other times, for example, you'll see the Hotel Fontana meetings
22 which are set out in the indictment. We have one of the -- or, actually,
23 two of the witnesses that were actually at the Hotel Fontana meetings,
24 and they will be testifying, and we'll show them bits of the video to ask
25 them what was going on then, and what did they mean. But in addition to
1 that, the specific witnesses that are in the video, or people that can
2 talk about who's in the video or what's going on, they're just a very
3 basic historical background of what was going on in those days that, by
4 itself, we think will be meaningful to you; not so much now, because it's
5 so new, but it's good to see it at first because then witnesses will
6 start to put all the pieces together. So it's a combination of, Here's
7 the historical canvas, and, yes, there are going to be witnesses that
8 speak to various parts of the important stuff.
9 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please continue, Mr. McCloskey.
12 MR. McCLOSKEY: Just for the record, this is 1406. There is a
13 transcript, 1407, and this is the one section we don't have subtitled.
14 It's the Muslims in the woods, it's very short, and it's not overly
15 significant. But there is a transcript in both languages, but I think
16 it's best to just see the video at first and concentrate on that, please.
17 Thank you.
18 [Video-clip played]
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
20 At this point in time, we should interrupt. We have to adjourn
21 and resume tomorrow morning at 9.00. Thank you.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.47 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Friday, the 19th day of March,
24 2010, at 9.00 a.m.