1 Monday, 22 March 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.04 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everyone in the courtroom.
6 Judge Mindua can't take part in the hearing of this morning, so that the
7 Chamber decided to sit pursuant to Rule 15 of Rules of Procedure and
8 Evidence. I have to correct myself. He is only not able to sit during
9 the first session. Thank you.
10 Mr. Vanderpuye, is the next witness ready for hearing?
11 MR. VANDERPUYE: Good morning, Mr. President; good morning,
12 Your Honours. I believe he is, so we're ready to proceed.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then the witness should be brought in.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 WITNESS: PW-023
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Welcome to the Tribunal. Would you please
20 read --
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please read aloud the affirmation on
23 the card which is shown to you now.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a moment. I solemnly declare
25 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, and now please be seated.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You know the procedure here in the Tribunal, I
4 think, very well. First, for the Prosecution, Mr. Vanderpuye has some
5 questions for you.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know the procedure.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning to you,
9 Your Honour -- Your Honours. Good morning, Mr. Tolimir. Good morning
10 Mr. Gajic, Mr. Kunijevic.
11 Examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
12 Q. And good morning to you, Witness.
13 A. Good morning.
14 Q. As you know may name is Kweku Vanderpuye, and I'm going to put
15 some questions to you in regard to your evidence. Before we get started,
16 I just want to remind you to try to keep your voice up, speak a little
17 bit slower than you would normally, which will give the translators -- or
18 interpreters the opportunity to translate everything that we say in the
19 courtroom accurately. If there's anything that I ask you that is at all
20 unclear, please let me know and I'll do my best to rephrase it in a way
21 that we can best understand one another.
22 If I could, I'd like to show you 65 ter 6200, 6200. Sir, without
23 telling us what's on that, on that sheet of paper, could you tell us are
24 you the person named in it?
25 A. I am.
1 Q. Thank you very much.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'd ask that that be shown to the accused and
3 also to Mr. Gajic, please.
4 Mr. President, I would like to move that document into evidence
5 at this time, please.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That will be received.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
8 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P58 under seal.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE:
10 Q. Witness, do you recall having testified in the case of
11 Prosecutor v. Vujadin Popovic et al. on 1 and -- on the 1st and the 2nd
12 of November, 2007?
13 A. I do.
14 Q. And was your testimony at that time truthful?
15 A. It was truthful.
16 Q. Have you had an opportunity to review the entirety of that
17 testimony before coming to court today?
18 A. I have.
19 Q. And was the testimony that you reviewed read back to you, or did
20 you listen to it?
21 A. I listened to the recording.
22 Q. Sir, having listened to your testimony, does it fairly and
23 accurately reflect what you would say here were you to be examined and if
24 you were asked the same questions?
25 A. It does, and I would give the same answers.
1 Q. Thank you, sir.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I would move for -- I would move
3 to admit that prior testimony. I believe it's 65 ter 06198 and 199. I
4 do have some exhibits that are attended to that testimony that I would
5 also move to have admitted at this time. That is 65 ter 01128, 01130. I
6 understand that 01134 is in evidence. And so 01135. And there are a few
7 photographs that I would like to show the witness that are contained in
8 01450, but I will lead those separately.
9 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: These exhibits will be received. First, the
11 transcript of the evidence in Popovic et al.
12 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 THE REGISTRAR: The transcript, the redacted version, will be P59
14 under seal. The public version will be Exhibit P60.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then perhaps the Court Registrar could read out
16 the exhibit numbers for the other documents mentioned by the Prosecution.
17 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 01128 will be Exhibit P61; 65 ter 01130
18 will be P62; 65 ter 01135 will be P63.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
20 Mr. Vanderpuye, please start your examination.
21 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 I have, I think, a relatively brief summary to read. It
23 shouldn't take more than five to seven minutes, I think, to get through.
24 And then I just have a few questions in relation to these exhibits.
25 Thank you, Mr. President.
1 The witness is a survivor of the mass execution in Orahovac of
2 over 1.000 Muslim men and boys on 14 July 1995.
3 On 11 July 1995, the witness lived with his family in a hamlet in
4 Srebrenica. At around 5.00 p.m., the witness saw a column of villagers
5 who called out to him, saying that Srebrenica had fallen. The witness
6 immediately went home to find his neighbours with packed bags, who told
7 the witness that a civilian protection official had told them that the
8 old and infirm should go to the UNPROFOR base in Potocari, while
9 military-age men should try to save themselves by going through the
11 The witness cobbled together a few belongings and with his wife
12 and family set off for the UNPROFOR base. They joined a column of
13 neighbouring villagers travelling on foot some three hours to Potocari.
14 The witness travelled on horseback because of an old injury to his leg
15 which made it difficult for him to walk. Upon reaching Potocari after
16 nightfall, the witness, like many others, spent the night with his family
17 in the parking lot of the Sacmara factory near the UNPROFOR compound.
18 On the morning of 12 July, the witness heard the transportation
19 to Tuzla had been organised. As he waited, the witness saw Serb soldiers
20 coming toward the factories near the UNPROFOR base. They set fire to the
21 haystacks as they approached.
22 At about 2.00 p.m., the first convoys arrived. The witness went
23 to the main road where he saw barricades. On the narrowing roadway
24 leading to the waiting buses and trucks, the witness saw UNPROFOR
25 soldiers lined up. Further down, the witness saw Serb soldiers who were
1 lined up near the buses and trucks, close to a battery factory.
2 As the witness approached the buses, Serb soldiers separated him
3 from his family. He was taken aside and ordered to join the other
4 elderly men at the other end of the road who had already been singled
5 out. The witness saw other men continuing to be separated from their
6 families as he was detained with approximately 20 other elderly men and
7 guarded by five or six Serb soldiers.
8 The men were taken to an unfinished house near the main road. As
9 they arrived, they were threatened by some of the soldiers and forced to
10 sit on the ground. Group after group of prisoners arrived, eventually
11 filling up the room where the witness was held. Thereafter, arriving
12 prisoners were forced to sit outside in front of the full building. All
13 of the prisoners taken to the house were elderly and disabled. During
14 the four hours they were at the house, the prisoners were provided with
15 no food or water.
16 As it became dark, the men were taken to two buses which were
17 filled to capacity. They were driven to Bratunac and met there by 10 to
18 15 Serb soldiers in front of what appeared to the witness to be an
19 abandoned warehouse near the Vuk Karadzic school. The prisoners were
20 taken inside and made to sit down as soldiers guarded the entrance. The
21 witness recalled that the warehouse had no real floor, with only planks
22 with sand in between them on the ground.
23 Men continued to be brought into the warehouse until around
24 midnight, when it finally became full. The witness estimated that about
25 400 prisoners were held there. The prisoners were kept in stifling heat
1 and overcrowded conditions, without food or water. Their complaints were
2 answered only with threats and violence.
3 Throughout the night of the 12 July, Serb soldiers took out about
4 40 prisoners from the warehouse, and the witness could hear blunt blows
5 being struck, moaning and screaming. Some men returned to the room, were
6 bloodied, and died overnight. The witness recalled one prisoners being
7 taken out of the room. He heard shots and then soldiers saying, "You can
8 drag him away. He's finished. He's dead."
9 On the morning of 13 July, the prisoners were allowed to remove
10 the dead among them from the warehouse. Those who did described a pile
11 of bodies that they saw behind the warehouse when they returned. The
12 witness also recalled seeing a man severely beaten by a soldier that
13 morning. That prisoner was struck by one soldier first with an iron bar
14 and then by another with an axe.
15 Later, Serb soldiers demanded that the prisoners surrender their
16 valuables and other property, including their identifications. The
17 soldiers resumed calling prisoners out of the warehouse and killing them.
18 The witness estimated that throughout the day another 40 men were killed.
19 That evening, the witness recalled that General Mladic arrived at
20 the warehouse. He told the prisoners that they would be taken to
21 Kalesija for exchange. At that time, 296 prisoners were counted. Soon
22 after, six buses arrived which the men were forced to board. Each bus
23 was secured by a Serb soldier with an automatic rifle.
24 The convoy of buses set out from Bratunac at around 8.00 or
25 9.00 p.m. on the evening of 14 July, stopping at Drinjaca on the way. En
1 route, the buses proceeded north past Zvornik toward Karakaj and then
2 west to the Grbavci school in Orahovac. The witness estimated that the
3 prisoners arrived at the school around 2.00 a.m. on the morning of
4 14 July. There they were met by 10 to 15 Serb soldiers, off-loaded, and
5 taken inside the school's gym. The witness recalled that no food or
6 water was provided, and as more and more prisoners filled the gym, the
7 conditions deteriorated. One prisoner who complained about the
8 conditions was taken out by a soldier. The witness then heard shots, and
9 the prisoner never returned.
10 According to the witness's recollection, the last of the
11 prisoners arrived sometime around 10.00 a.m. on the morning of 14 July.
12 The witness estimated that by that time roughly 2.500 prisoners were at
13 the school.
14 The witness recalled that General Mladic arrived at the school,
15 telling the prisoners that some of them would be taken to Fikret Abdic
16 and others to Bijeljina. Later the prisoners were blindfolded, led out
17 of the gym and loaded onto a small TAM
18 forth between the school and the nearby execution site.
19 The witness recalled that when his turn came, he was placed
20 aboard the truck, which proceeded along the road for a short distance
21 before turning off into a pasture. The witness saw many bodies as the
22 truck continued further to where he could see another group of bodies.
23 There the struck stopped, and two soldiers opened the back. The men were
24 taken off, told where to stand, and to keep quiet.
25 As soon as the truck left the soldiers opened fire. The witness
1 fell to the ground as other prisoners fell on and around him. As he lay
2 still, the witness saw the TAM
3 prisoners. They were taken off, lined up in four rows, and then shot.
4 The witness saw this happen repeatedly and into nightfall when prisoners
5 continued to be executed under the lights of excavators brought to the
6 site to dig their graves. The witness continued to lie still until the
7 last TAM
8 been killed.
9 Thereafter, the witness called out to see if any other prisoners
10 had survived. Only one person responded, and together they made their
11 escape. In the morning, they were joined by another survivor. The three
12 arrived in the free territory on or about 19 July 1995.
13 Your Honours, that concludes my summary. I have a few additional
14 questions that I'd like to put to the witness at this time.
15 May I proceed, Your Honour?
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, please.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Witness, can you first describe, if you can from memory, what the
19 interior of the school looked like, of the gym?
20 A. The interior? Well, the interior -- I'll start with the door.
21 The door to the gym was on the left-hand side about one-third of the way
22 on the wall. There was also another door on the left-hand side, and on
23 the ceiling there were some steel beams. There was no roof. There was
24 just a steel construction, and high up on either side on the wall there
25 were some windows, but there weren't any right in front but just on the
1 other side. Also near the window on the right-hand side there was some
2 kind of pole. I don't know exactly what that served. It was attached
3 under the windows. And we used this additional door or auxiliary door
4 when they took us out from the TAM
5 Q. All right. I'd like to show you some photographs.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: If I could have in e-court, please,
7 65 ter 01450. I'm looking for page 130.
8 Q. Do you see what's on the screen in front you, Witness?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And do you recognise what that is?
11 A. Well, I can't really recognise this. It looks like -- perhaps
12 these were windows on the right-hand side.
13 Q. Okay. I'm not sure if we're looking at the same image. Let's
14 try another one.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: Can we go to page --
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can't recall what this was. This
17 picture isn't helping.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE:
19 Q. I'm going to show you another one. Let's take a look at page
20 132, please.
21 A. Oh, this I can now tell. This is what you see when you enter the
22 door on the right-hand side -- rather, these windows were on the
23 right-hand side from where we entered.
24 Q. Is this a photograph of the gymnasium at the school that you were
25 brought to in Orahovac?
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. And do you recognise the ceiling that you see depicted in this
4 A. I cannot really see the ceiling, not even with my glasses on. As
5 I've already told you, there were steel beams. It wasn't a wooden
6 structure, and there was no ceiling, in fact. You could see the roof
7 structure, the steel beams. But I can't see anything here. I can't make
8 anything out.
9 Q. All right. That's fine. Thank you.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: If I could have in e-court, please, 65 ter 1134.
11 Q. Do you recognise what's depicted in this photograph, sir?
12 A. Yes, but where are all the -- where have all these things come
13 from? There weren't any furnishings. I can't recall that. There was a
14 basketball board, but I can't recall this room looking as it does now.
15 But, yes, yes, this was the gym.
16 Here we can see the entrance, the front door, and this is the
17 side door through which we went out.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: If I could just have the witness mark these
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is the front door, the
21 entrance. How do you want me to mark it? Should I put a number there or
22 a letter?
23 MR. VANDERPUYE:
24 Q. Yes, put 1 for the entrance and 2 for the exit.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. Thank you.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I'd like to tender this
3 photograph in evidence at this time.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received, including the markings.
5 MR. VANDERPUYE: If I could have -- if I could have in e-court,
6 please, 65 ter --
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P64, Your Honours.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you. If I could have in e-court, please,
9 65 ter 1130.
10 Q. Do you recognise what's depicted in this photograph, Witness?
11 A. Well, what we see here is the side door that we used when we went
12 out of the gym, and it also shows the windows right beneath the ceiling
13 or the roof.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you for that.
15 MR. VANDERPUYE: And I would tender this exhibit as well at this
16 time, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
18 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P65, Your Honour.
19 MR. VANDERPUYE: I understand that it's already in evidence as
20 P62. Okay.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Can the Registrar confirm that?
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that is P62, Your Honours.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay. If I could have 65 ter 01450, and that's
24 page 128, please, shown to the witness. If we could blow-up the image on
25 the left a little bit bigger to fill the screen so the witness can take a
1 better look at it.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can see it. I can see it very
4 MR. VANDERPUYE:
5 Q. Okay. And could you tell us what's depicted in this photograph?
6 A. Well, this photograph shows the gym and the side door which was
7 right next to the gym. And there's also the fence that was between the
8 school building and the gym. We went around this fence in order to enter
9 the gym.
10 Q. I'd like you to mark this image as well, if I could. If you're
11 able to trace your path into the building, if you could draw a line with
12 an arrow that would be good. And if you can't, if you can just indicate
13 the entrance point with a number 1.
14 A. This is where we went in.
15 Q. Okay. Thank you.
16 A. And on this -- at this place here, we went out --
17 Q. Could you indicate --
18 A. -- of the gym.
19 Q. -- with a number 2, please.
20 A. Very well. I will.
21 Q. Thank you for that, Witness. And I'd like to show you 65 ter --
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you want to tender --
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm sorry, Mr. President, thank you for
24 reminding me. Yes, I do offer this into evidence at this time.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
1 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P65.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: I would like to show the witness 65 ter 1128,
3 please. If you can blow this up just a little bit so the witness can
4 take a better look at it.
5 Q. Are you --
6 A. It's all right now.
7 Q. Can you tell us what this -- what's in this photo?
8 A. Well, on the right-hand side we see the school building, and on
9 the left-hand side we see the gym where we were held.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Okay. I'd like the witness to mark this picture
11 as well, please.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What do you want me to mark here?
13 MR. VANDERPUYE:
14 Q. I'd like you to mark on this picture where the prisoners were
15 taken out and then put onto the trucks, the TAM trucks.
16 A. Well, they were taken out from here and the truck was here, and
17 here they boarded the truck. There was a platform which was at the
18 height of the TAM
19 There were no steps going either up or down. It was all one level. And
20 then the truck would just get there and then it would leave from there.
21 Q. Okay. Could you -- the house on the left of the photograph, do
22 you recognise that?
23 A. Well, there was a building there. There was a house there. I
24 can't really see very well. The house was on the left-hand side. We
25 were next to the school, and next to the house, and the school was on our
1 right-hand side. I don't know if these were apartments or maybe part of
2 the school complex, but it was a two-storey house, and as it got darker,
3 I didn't really -- I couldn't see it anymore. So we went past that
4 house. It was on our left-hand side, the school was on the right-hand
5 side, and then we would walk into the gym to the left.
6 Q. Could you just put on this photograph T, as in TAM, where the
7 truck was parked next to the building.
8 A. [Marks]
9 Q. Thank you.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: I would tender this photograph into evidence at
11 this time, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, it will be received.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: I have one more photo I'd like to show the
15 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P66, Your Honour.
16 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you. If I could -- if I could show the
17 witness 65 ter 1135.
18 Q. Are you able to see what's on the screen in front of you now,
20 A. Well, this doesn't seem very clear to me.
21 Q. All right.
22 A. It is possible that this is where we came out, that this was the
23 platform from which we boarded, but I'm not really -- it looks similar
24 where we went out of the building.
25 Q. Okay. Could you just mark on this photograph where the truck
1 would have been parked with the letter T.
2 A. Right here. What should I write?
3 Q. Letter T.
4 A. [Marks]
5 Q. Okay. Thank you.
6 MR. VANDERPUYE: And, Your Honours, I would like to tender this
7 photograph as well into evidence.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit P67, Your Honours.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you.
11 Q. I have just a few questions more for you, Witness. I'm going to
12 ask you about a few people, but just please indicate if you recognise the
13 name, and don't state your relation to any of these individuals if you
14 have any.
15 A. All right, very well.
16 Q. First let me ask you about somebody named Efendic, Hamed. Do you
17 recognise that name?
18 A. I do.
19 Q. And when was the last time that you saw this person?
20 A. The last time I saw him was in Bratunac on the 12th in the
22 Q. And do you know what happened to him?
23 A. He was taken out, and he was mowed down by a -- with an automatic
24 rifle. He was the only one who was shot dead with an automatic rifle
25 that evening. All the others were killed by blunt blows.
1 Q. Let me ask you about Gabeljic, Ibrahim. Do you know that name?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. And how do you recognise this name?
4 A. Well, I knew him from before, but also we were together in
5 Bratunac and at Potocarska Rijeka, so both in Potocarska Rijeka and in
6 Bratunac we were together.
7 Q. What about Gabeljic, Ibro? Do you recognise that name?
8 A. Yes. They are brothers. I knew him from before as well, and
9 also we were together in Potocari and in Bratunac.
10 Q. And do you know what happened to them?
11 A. I don't know. I can't really tell you whether they were killed
12 in Bratunac or whether they got off at Orahovo, Grbavci.
13 Q. And Hadzovic, Azem?
14 A. Azem Hadzovic, yes. I knew him, too, both from before, and I
15 also saw him down there. He went to Orahovo.
16 Q. Do you know what happened to him?
17 A. Well, most probably he was killed down there, because I never
18 heard that he was alive later on.
19 Q. Muminovic, Hamed. Do you recognise that name?
20 A. I do. I know him too. He, too, went to Orahovo. He wasn't
21 killed in Bratunac.
22 Q. Hodzic, Huso.
23 A. I know Huso Hodzic too. Now, I don't know about him or where he
24 was killed. I know that I saw him in Potocari and in Bratunac, but
25 whether he stayed in Bratunac throughout this time or whether he was
1 killed in Orahovo, I really don't know.
2 Q. And Mustafic, Rahman.
3 A. Rahman Mustafic was with me also. I know him too. He arrived in
4 Orahovo alive on the buses.
5 Q. And do you know what happened to him?
6 A. Well, he never came back, so most probably he was executed there.
7 Q. And Mustafic, Meho.
8 A. I know him too. He, too, was in Orahovo, and he didn't come
9 back. So he was executed in Orahovo.
10 Q. Mujic, Aziz?
11 A. Aziz Mujic, too, was with me in Bratunac, but I don't know about
12 how far he actually got after that.
13 Q. Suljic, Nazif?
14 A. I know him too. He, too, reached Orahovo. He wasn't killed in
16 Q. Hodzic, Zulfo.
17 A. Zulfo Hodzic was in Bratunac, but I do not know how far he got,
18 whether he remained in Bratunac or got off in Orahovo. I'm not sure.
19 Q. Hasanovic, Hasib?
20 A. Hasib Hasanovic got off in Orahovo together with me.
21 Q. Tursunovic, Adil.
22 A. Adil Tursunovic also got off with me at Orahovac.
23 Q. Mehmedovic, Izet?
24 A. Izet Mehmedovic, too, got off the vehicle together with me in
1 Q. Gabeljic, Sevko?
2 A. Sevko Gabeljic, too, was with me when we got off the vehicle in
4 Q. Mekanic, Jakub?
5 A. Jakub Mekanic also got off the vehicle with me in Orahovo.
6 Q. Ejubovic, Suljo?
7 A. Suljo Ejubovic also got to Orahovo with me.
8 Q. If you could just tell us briefly what you remember about the
9 building in Bratunac that you were taken to. If you could just describe
10 it for the Trial Chamber.
11 A. You mean the building we were taken to?
12 Q. Yes. Yes.
13 A. We were taken to an abandoned agricultural warehouse, produce
14 warehouse, and we were made to enter this warehouse. There was no light
15 inside. The walls were painted white, but as this was an abandoned
16 facility, there were no floors. There were just the beams between where
17 the floor boards should be and then filled with sand. The holes were
18 filled with sand. Now, below the ceiling there were some windows, but
19 not on the right- or left-hand side.
20 Q. And can you describe the entrance door.
21 A. The entrance door was larger than the regular doors, but there
22 were no doors.
23 Q. Okay. All right.
24 Well, thank you, Witness. I don't have any further questions for
25 you at this point.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
3 Witness, you know that now the -- the accused has the right to
4 put some questions to you.
5 Mr. Tolimir.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I know.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, do you have questions for the
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you,
10 Your Honour. Can you hear me now? Thank you, Mr. President.
11 I wish to bless everyone present in the courtroom and everyone
12 who is listening or watching this trial. I also wish to greet
13 Mr. Witness. I would have several questions for the witness, and I will
14 address you as mister.
15 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, you have given a statement 0079-8631 to
17 this International Tribunal on the 2nd of April. The number is 1D41.
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters could not hear the year of the
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] We are on page 1 now. Could we
21 please move on to the second page. Thank you.
22 Q. Can you see your statement?
23 A. I can see it, but I cannot not read it.
24 Q. All right. I will read to you. I will be reading from one
25 line 1 to line 7. You were born in Srebrenica:
1 "This is where I lived and worked. The situation in the town
2 became critical on the 11th of July. Around 16 hours a soldier came and
3 asked all the able men to come to the front line. I did not go because
4 I'm an invalid and would not be able to fight. In 1982 I had an
5 accident, and my leg was badly injured. Between 18 and 1900 hours,
6 another soldier came and said that the line was falling and that all the
7 able-bodied men should try to save themselves and that the rest of the
8 population should go to the UNPROFOR base in Potocari."
9 Thank you. Do you remember that you stated this in the statement
10 which you gave?
11 A. I did not see either of these because I was in the field, but
12 when I came back home, they told me that such and such a person had come,
13 and they had been soldiers before demilitarisation. After the
14 demilitarisation of Srebrenica, it was not a soldier anywhere. No one
15 was wearing uniforms anyway. And someone who was not able bodied could
16 not come to see persons such as me. He had to be more able bodied than
18 Q. Thank you. Can you just answer whether this was correct, whether
19 I read out to you as the statement says? Does it say that or not?
20 A. It's possible that that's what's in the statement.
21 Q. Will you tell me who told you that a soldier had come to inform
22 you that?
23 A. He did not say that the soldier had come, but it's possible.
24 They asked me in Tuzla, Was he an able bodied man who came to inform you?
25 And I said, Well, if he hadn't been able bodied, he wouldn't have able to
1 walk. He wouldn't have been able to reach us. He had to be able bodied
2 if he could walk from one village to another to tell us to go to the
3 UNPROFOR base.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 Will you just tell us if this was an official? Was it an
6 official person?
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have to stop you. First
8 Mr. Vanderpuye has the floor, please.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes. I'm sorry, I didn't want to interrupt
10 here. I just want to make sure we're not broadcasting this document;
11 that's number one. And number 2, I want to make sure that we've
12 identified correctly the date of the document for the record because I
13 think the date that was indicated was 2nd April, which I don't believe is
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We see on the screen another date, the 7th of
16 July, 1996. Was it this document that you were asking for, Mr. Tolimir?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The date
18 of the interview was the 10th of August, 1995. Until the 12th of August,
19 1995. This is what the statement that was submitted to the Defence by
20 the Prosecution says. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Is that the document on the screen? If you can
22 be -- Mr. Vanderpuye, [indiscernible] it's -- it's not shown to the
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes. This is not the correct document that's on
25 the screen.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No. No. We should wait for the right document
2 coming up on the screen.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We will
4 wait for the right document.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps you can indicate the right number of the
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Mr. President, the correct number of the document is 1D421.
9 Thank you.
10 This is what I said earlier when I mentioned the document and
11 when I quoted from it.
12 Mr. President, may I continue with the questions?
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think we now have the right document on the
14 screen, but not in the English yet.
15 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I think that you can
17 see it in English now and that it is visible from the document as I
18 quoted that the witness said that the population was informed by a
19 soldier that the able-bodied men should try to get away and that those
20 who were considered civilians and were not able bodied should go to the
21 UNPROFOR base in Potocari. The witness confirmed that he had mentioned
22 that in his statement. Thank you.
23 My question for the witness is the following:
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Was it the general practice even before that, that the population
1 be informed through officials who would come in uniform or not in uniform
2 to inform them about something that the authorities would have to tell
4 A. No, not until that time.
5 Q. So on that day someone came who provided official information
6 that Srebrenica had fallen and that the able-bodied men should try to
7 save themselves and that those who are to be considered civilians should
8 go to Potocari. Did I understand that properly are?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So in your view, who could have given this information to the
11 person who had come and passed on the information to you and other
13 A. What person?
14 Q. Which institution?
15 A. I don't know I heard it from the villagers when I got home. I
16 had no time to ask who had come to the village, what kind of a person
17 that was or anything. They asked me in Tuzla, Was he an able-bodied man?
18 Was it a man or a woman? I said, It was a man. This is what I was told.
19 They asked, Was he an able-bodied man? I said, Of course he was. This
20 is why maybe they described him as a soldier.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 I'm only interested in whether on the basis of this you could
23 understand that this was an information that really originated from those
24 who were responsible for everything and that it was not just hearsay.
25 A. Of course, because it was the truth. The entire day we were
1 under artillery fire. No one could go anywhere out from a shelter.
2 Q. Thank you. And what did your wife tell you when you got home?
3 A. She was with me in the field as well.
4 Q. What did your son and your daughter tell you?
5 A. That we should leave. There was nothing to talk about.
6 Everything was packed. All the neighbours were waiting for us. They had
7 packed their things, and they were waiting there in one place.
8 Q. So everyone took this information as being true.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Will you tell -- tell me, did you work normally with your family
11 in the field?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you tell me if anyone stayed in your village?
14 A. Yes. Just one man stayed there, but he was unable to move at
16 Q. Do you know by any chance what happened with him later on?
17 A. I heard from his wife that they took him to Derventa and that
18 they killed him in Derventa and that one man was saying that he knew
19 where he was buried. I heard it from his wife and not from anyone else.
20 Q. So you do not have any certain information?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me, did the villagers of other villages
23 do the same, and did they receive the information that Srebrenica had
24 fallen in the same manner and that the able-bodied men should try to
25 escape, whereas the civilian population should move to the base in
2 A. Most probably, yes. While we were passing through the villages,
3 they had already been abandoned. There was no one there that night.
4 Q. Thank you. So you are sure that the information did not come
5 from the army of the Republic of Serbia or another propaganda source but
6 from the centre that was responsible to inform you?
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. And who's responsibility was it to inform the civilian population
9 and the able-bodied men in Srebrenica about such matters, can you tell us
10 that? Thank you.
11 A. If anyone, then it was the president of the municipality, but I
12 do not know who was responsible for that.
13 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us who was responsible of the
14 military authorities.
15 A. Well, I couldn't tell you that because Naser was not there, and I
16 did not know who took over his function and his obligations.
17 Q. Probably his deputy, because there's always a deputy in the army.
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. But there is always a deputy in the army. Do you know if that
20 was so?
21 A. Well, of course there was one, but I wouldn't know that.
22 Q. So you concluded that the information was carried on by the
23 civilian and military authorities.
24 A. Well, somebody did pass them on.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you are too fast again. You should
1 pause before you put the next question to the witness. The interpreters
2 are not able to follow that if you have this kind of speed.
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Witness, can you tell me whether on the road and upon leaving
7 your village did you see the Serb army before you reached Potocari?
8 A. No, I did not.
9 Q. Can you tell me how far your village was from Potocari?
10 A. Well, it's about 3 hours on foot across the hill.
11 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me whether other people who had come to
12 Potocari with you told you that they had seen Serbian Army in their
13 villages and on the roads along which they came to Potocari?
14 A. No, did I not hear that.
15 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me whether you saw Serbian Army when you
16 got to Potocari and when did you reach Potocari in the first place?
17 A. I reached Potocari during the night. I did not see anyone
18 because it was dark. There were no lights. It was a moonlit night, but
19 I could only see the civilians, that they had come there. I spent the
20 night there, and in the morning I saw UNPROFOR, and I saw personnel
21 carriers on the road, but they were quite far away from us.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you just tell us for the sake of the transcript
23 if it was on the day when the NATO aircraft targeted Serbian positions or
24 if it was on another day because you never mentioned any date.
25 A. It was a different day. On the day when the NATO aircraft
1 attacked, that was the night when we left off to go to Potocari.
2 Q. Can you tell us what date that was?
3 A. It was the 11th.
4 Q. And on the 12th?
5 A. On the 12th we left Potocari for Bratunac.
6 Q. Thank you. So you believe that Srebrenica would not fall until
7 you were informed by this official courier. Let me him call him that
8 way. Whether he was a soldier or civilian, it doesn't matter. You
9 thought that Srebrenica had not fallen, and you were working in the field
10 as usual?
11 A. Yes, of course.
12 Q. So after 1700 hours when you were informed that Srebrenica had
13 fallen and passed on the information that you should go to Potocari and
14 that the able-bodied men should escape, that was what you did.
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. Will you please also tell us, when did your son decide to go
17 together with the able-bodied men who tried to get away and save
19 A. I never saw my son there. He was not home.
20 Q. All right. So he acted immediately in accordance with the
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Thank you. What do you think? Who sent the information that was
24 relevant for him?
25 A. I don't know. I didn't ask him today. I never asked him who did
1 he hear that from.
2 Q. All right. Thank you. But you suppose that it was a courier who
3 passed on the other information as well?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. Will you just please tell me whether your entire
6 family left Srebrenica and reached Tuzla and the territory where the
7 BH Army was situated.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. Will you tell me when was the first time you saw
10 Serbian soldiers.
11 A. In Potocari. In Potocari, around the middle of the day.
12 Q. So it was on the 12th around the middle of the day that you saw
13 them first?
14 A. Yes, that was about it.
15 Q. Thank you. Was there any shooting or killing until that time?
16 A. I didn't see any such thing.
17 Q. Thank you. Will you tell me whether there was any Serbian Army
18 in the villages before that time and did they collect population around
19 the villages, or did the villagers come to Potocari on their own?
20 A. In -- from the village that I passed through, the population had
21 come on their own to Potocari.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us as an eyewitness whether the
23 Serbian Army did anything in Srebrenica before the 12th when you saw it
24 in Potocari against the civilians? Did they call on them to leave? Did
25 they expel them from the villages, or did you come to Potocari because
1 the courier told you to do so?
2 A. We did because the courier informed us about that.
3 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether UNPROFOR knew that you were
4 coming to their base in Potocari, and did they receive you in accordance
5 with an earlier agreement?
6 A. I don't know anything about that.
7 Q. Thank you. Will you tell me whether at the base in Potocari you
8 heard that on the night between the 11th and the 12th General Mladic
9 declared a unilateral cease-fire?
10 A. I don't know that.
11 Q. Thank you. Will you tell me if you heard in Potocari from anyone
12 else whether there were any negotiations between the civilians and
13 General Mladic?
14 A. Did I not hear that.
15 Q. Will you tell me if you heard anything about that while you were
16 in the village and working in the field?
17 A. Hear what?
18 Q. Did you hear anything about the negotiations between the civilian
19 authorities and the army?
20 A. No, I didn't hear anything.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Witness. Will you please tell me when it was --
22 when was it your turn to board a bus and leave Potocari for Tuzla?
23 A. From Potocari to Bratunac first?
24 Q. When you thought you were going to Tuzla before you were
25 separated. This is what I ask you. When did you board on a bus with
1 your family?
2 A. When you -- when I started with my family, it could have been
3 around 4.00. I'm not certain, but it was perhaps around 4.00.
4 4.00 p.m., I mean.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. Immediately.
7 Q. How many people were with you who were separated from the group
8 of people who had come to Potocari?
9 A. How many people were separated?
10 Q. Yes, roughly. Could you give us a number?
11 A. I know the number that was at the warehouse. There were around
12 400 men. They were separated on that day.
13 Q. Are you certain that 400 were separated on that day?
14 A. Well, I suppose, unless there were more. Around 40 were killed
15 during the night, and then 10 were to be boarded on the next day. They
16 left, and they never returned. That's around 50. And there were around
17 50 during the day. That's 100. And 296, you can calculate yourself how
18 many that was. That's almost exactly -- if there were not more.
19 Q. Thank you. I'm asking you in the night between the 11th and
20 12th, how many people were separated in the bus and separated from their
21 families? Can you tell us that?
22 A. I'm telling you what I saw, how many people were with me. This
23 is what I saw. Whether any were separated anywhere else, I couldn't
25 Q. All right. So you believe that all of them, all 400 were
1 separated on the first day.
2 A. They came to Bratunac, all of them, and nobody came later on.
3 That was certainly the number, and there could have been more.
4 Q. All right. Thank you. So you say that was on the 11th until the
5 12th in the evening.
6 Please tell me now, did any of the women, children, and others
7 who fell in the category of civilians were kept or brought to where you
9 A. One child came together with us. His grandfather brought him.
10 Q. So his grandfather brought him. What did they do with him? Do
11 you know?
12 A. The child was crying, said he wanted to drink water. So they
13 took him. They brought him out, and what did they do with him, I don't
14 know, but the child did not come back.
15 Q. So the child was there because the grandfather brought him.
16 A. Well, they asked him, "Why did you take the child with you?" And
17 he said both his father and mother were killed and the child is alive.
18 There was nobody else he could go with except myself.
19 Q. But the father and mother were not killed on that day?
20 A. No. It was maybe a month ago when the village was shelled. They
21 were standing in front of the house, and it happened that they got
23 Q. Thank you. So it was not with you at the gym in Bratunac. There
24 were no women or children.
25 A. No. This was the only child that was there in the evening, and
1 then no women or children after that point in time.
2 Q. Thank you, sir. Can you tell me whether you were younger than 60
3 or 55 at the time?
4 A. I was about 55 at the time.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me, you said in the statement you were
6 not able bodied because of your previous injury. Did they consider you
7 as an able-bodied man because of your age?
8 A. No, there were people who could not use either of their arms or
9 who were born without arms or without one of the arms, and they were also
10 together with me. There were four who were mute and deaf. They couldn't
11 speak. All the four of them, I know their names and where they're from.
12 All four of them were together with me, and they came to Orahovo together
13 with me in the same bus.
14 Q. Thank you. I'm only asking you because you were an eyewitness,
15 and you were actually separated as -- and declared able bodied because of
16 your age and not because of your disability or ability.
17 A. Well, they took out people who were 70 years old or so.
18 Q. No. I'm asking about you.
19 A. Well, I don't know why it was. They would just say, You come
20 this way, and you go that way. So I had to follow him. He didn't
21 explain either why or what for they were they were separating us. They
22 would just tell us, You are going this way.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 Now, tell me, did you ever discuss with your son later on how he
25 managed to flee and to save himself?
1 A. Well, that was that was the topic that I absolutely did not want
2 to discuss. I never asked him about this. I only know that he did
3 manage to cross over. And because whenever there is talk about this, I
4 get really upset and agitated.
5 Q. Thank you.
6 Now, tell me, please, were you ever at that time or at any time a
7 member of the BH Army?
8 A. Yes, until the demilitarisation I worked in the medical service.
9 I would stoke the fire or serve as a servant. That's what I did in my
11 Q. Thank you. Now, tell me, do you know when the demilitarisation
12 of Srebrenica came about and whether it -- it was fully carried out?
13 A. Well, I wouldn't know the date. You probably are in a better
14 position to know that, but I don't, and I don't even know how it was
15 carried out. I just know that people who had weapons had to hand them
16 over, and that's about it.
17 Q. Thank you. May I remind you, this was in 1993. Do you agree
18 with me?
19 A. Well, I would agree with whatever anyone says about when this
20 happened, because I don't really know exactly when it was.
21 Q. Thank you. Do you know that at this time some people surrendered
22 their weapons while others did not? Is that how it was?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Thank you. I'm asking this because you testified about this in
25 the Popovic case on page 1735. However, it's not very relevant to what
1 we're discussing here.
2 In your statement you said that you received humanitarian aid,
3 you and your family. Could you just tell me how this was organised, this
4 humanitarian aid distribution?
5 A. Well, how? As soon as humanitarian aid arrived, it would be
6 distributed to the people there according to the number of family
7 members. So we would distribute it equally for every person.
8 Q. Thank you. Could you just tell me who did this, who distributed
9 the aid?
10 A. Well, it was done in villages. We would select one of us to
11 actually distribute the aid, but it would be done in one of the villages.
12 Sometimes in each village, sometimes one. There would be a post for one
13 -- in one village for two.
14 Q. Thank you. Could you just tell us here, please, whether there
15 was civilian protection in Srebrenica?
16 A. I don't know.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you receive any information at any point that
18 there were negotiations between the civilians and General Mladic on your
19 transport to Tuzla on the night between the 11th and the 12th?
20 A. No, I didn't know of that.
21 Q. Could you tell me, please -- what you said in your statement
22 slightly differs from what you just told us here now. It doesn't really
23 matter much, but I want to correct this in the transcript. You said in
24 your statement that your son, as he was going together with you, decided
25 to split and join the column that was trying to breakthrough.
1 A. Well, I don't remember that I said that, but I know that he
2 wasn't with me because I didn't find him. He wasn't at home, and I don't
3 know what happened with him. Now, if somebody did say that or write that
4 down, it's not really so important.
5 Q. Well, this was in the statement that we just saw a minute ago,
6 1D41, on page 2 in line 10 it says:
7 "I went with my family, my wife, and my two children. My son was
8 30, and my daughter 19."
9 Have I quoted this correctly?
10 A. Well, I don't really know. If I mention -- if that's what I
11 said, that's okay, but if not, I don't really know how old my children
12 were at the time. But it's possible that I did say that.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The microphone is off.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, your microphone was off. Please
15 repeat your question.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Thank you.
17 I've just been told by my legal advisor that I should repeat my question,
18 so I'm repeating it now.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Witness, is it correct that your son went with a group of
21 able-bodied men who were attempting a breakthrough from Srebrenica to
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's what I asked him.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 THE INTERPRETER: The microphone is off again.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please repeat your question. Your microphone was
2 off again.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, for your
4 suggestion. And I also thank the witness, because he answered with a yes
5 to my question. So his other -- his son went together with the column of
6 able-bodied men who were trying to breakthrough to Tuzla.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Correct?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Did you understand me now,
12 Mr. President?
13 Mr. Vanderpuye, did you want to say something?
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: I was only indicating for you turn your
15 microphone on. This seems to be a problem. So if you keep it on, we can
16 probably avoid having to stop.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye. I will
18 bear that in mind, and I will try to keep my microphone on or off as
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Witness, you were telling us just a moment ago about how it was
22 that you were taken to the school gym, and describing the pictures that
23 the Prosecutor showed you. You said that there were about 2.000 people
24 who were taken there. Did I understand you correctly?
25 A. Well, about 2.500 people.
1 Q. That is your assessment, but you never actually counted those
3 A. Well, no, we didn't count them, but we just made an assessment.
4 We -- an estimate. We just sort of tried to figure out how many people
5 were sitting around us, and on the basis of that we would make an
7 Q. But in what gym was it and how large was it? Could you tell us?
8 A. Well, I can't tell you how big the gym was, but if I were -- if
9 you were to ask me, I could confirm it.
10 Q. Well, you said it was -- in your statement that it was 15 by 20
11 metres long. Is that how it was?
12 A. Well, I can't tell you now, but if that's what I said then, then
13 that's correct.
14 Q. Well, do you believe that so many people can actually fit into a
15 room that big?
16 A. Well, if somebody was shooting above your head and was standing
17 in front of you, you would try and push back as far as you could, and we
18 did that. We pushed against each other. We were -- we were as close as
19 sardines in a can, and some people even suffocated because of that, how
20 tightly packed we were.
21 Q. Well, thank you, Witness. If I were in that position, I -- I
22 didn't mean to question anything that you said before. I was just
23 putting questions to you.
24 A. Well, just go ahead.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 Now, Witness, you stated here that on several occasions, and
2 looking at your statement I realise that that was on six occasions, you
3 said that you saw General Mladic and that you saw him on the 14th of
5 A. That's correct. I saw him on six occasions.
6 Q. Well, do you still claim that you saw him on the 14th of July as
7 well, that you saw him on several occasions on site? Could you just tell
8 us about what time was it that you saw him?
9 A. Well, I saw him outside the gym, perhaps I think around midday,
10 but I can't really say for sure; whereas at the site where we were
11 executed, it was perhaps an hour before dark.
12 Q. Could you tell us then approximately how late could that have
14 A. Well, I think perhaps around 7.00, maybe a little after 7.00. He
15 arrived in a red car. This car was following the TAM truck and go back
16 with the truck, and on this occasion he -- the car parked. He got out,
17 and the man who was sitting next to the driver as well. The driver had a
18 grey -- olive-grey uniform; whereas Mladic had a camouflage uniform on.
19 They stood there and waited till everyone was shot dead, and then when
20 that was done, they went back into the car and drove off the same -- in
21 the same direction from which they had come.
22 Q. Can you tell us at about what time this was?
23 A. This was about 7.00.
24 Q. Thank you. Now, could you tell us, was this vehicle -- did you
25 see it in Srebrenica? Was it close to the truck?
1 A. Well, the same exact type of vehicle followed us -- or, rather,
2 went before our bus and took us to the Bratunac warehouse. As from our
3 trip from Bratunac, I didn't see any others. I saw another bus in front
5 Q. Thank you. You've answered my question.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, before this session,
7 Mr. McCloskey gave a statement to my legal advisors and to me which we
8 weren't able to see before because this witness was scheduled quite --
9 was actually inserted not according to the schedule to testify today. So
10 I would appreciate if the Prosecutor could pull up this statement which
11 was taken on the 6th of June, 2006, by an UNPROFOR person.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is -- could the witness
13 please -- could the accused please repeat the date of this statement?
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please repeat the date of this statement.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The statement was taken on the 6th
16 of June, 2000, and it is a statement about the 14th of July of 1995, the
17 day that the witness and I were discussing in my last questions put to
18 him. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
20 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you to my
21 colleague. It was I who provided the statement to Mr. Gajic this
22 morning. This is a document that was previously disclosed on 7 March
23 2008. It was loaded into e-court under 6201. So if Mr. Tolimir would
24 like to access it, that's what it is. But I just want the record to be
25 clear that there's a document notwithstanding the scheduling of the
1 witness that was available to the Defence more than a year ago, or almost
2 two years ago.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, do you want to have that up on the
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Yes, I would like it on
6 the screen so that the Trial Chamber could also see it, because in it the
7 events that I discuss with the witness are described, and this was
8 provided by Major Elliot from UNPROFOR.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We should wait for -- with your next question
10 until the moment we have it on the screen.
11 It's only in English in e-court. There's no translation yet. I
12 suggest that Mr. Vanderpuye and Mr. Gajic could clarify this situation,
13 and we have our break now.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President. I'm not sure exactly what
15 the issue is. I provided the document to Mr. Gajic this morning because
16 I told Mr. Gajic depending on the direction of the cross-examination, it
17 might be a document that I might need to use in redirect examination.
18 These are both documents that were disclosed to the Defence years ago.
19 So if the Defence intended to use it on cross-examination, certainly had
20 ample notice and opportunity to do so. So maybe that's what the issue
21 is, and maybe that's what's a bit confusing. It's very clear, I think,
22 that the Defence has the document and can use it anyway they wish.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have the statement that can
24 perhaps clarify that. I suggest that we have now our first break, and
25 then we continue at 11.00.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I don't
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We adjourn now and resume at 11.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.27 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you continue, Mr. Vanderpuye, the
7 Registrar shall indicate a correction of a number.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Exhibit P59 is the unredacted version of the transcript and not
10 the redacted as previously stated.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
12 Mr. Vanderpuye.
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President, and good afternoon to
14 you and -- good morning still to you and Your Honours, good afternoon,
15 Judge Mindua.
16 I've spoken -- I've had an opportunity to speak to Mr. Gajic, and
17 I think we've resolved -- I think we've resolved the issue with respect
18 to the document in question, so I just wanted to alert you to that.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
20 Mr. Tolimir, you may continue your examination.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I wish
22 to greet once again everyone who is present or who is following this, and
23 I wish that they have the peace of God with them.
24 I wanted to thank the Prosecutor for alerting us at this stage
25 about this document, because this witness talks about the events of the
1 14th that we recently discussed. My legal assistants have this document,
2 and they did not intend to propose it at this stage. However, I did. I
3 decided to tender it now because the date is characteristic and so is the
4 testimony of this gentleman, both the general and both this witness, and
5 if you would allow me, I would ask this witness a question.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you want to have this document on the screen?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We could see the
8 document. It's 65 ter 503.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps we wait a moment until we have it on the
11 It's -- oh, it's also in B/C/S. Carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Witness, I would ask you how you measured the time during the
15 day and night and during day time?
16 A. I had a watch, so that's how I measured it.
17 Q. Thank you. Did you also have dates on your watch?
18 A. No.
19 Q. On the basis of what did you determine the date?
20 A. I knew when I left and then when night would fall and when the
21 next day would come, and so ...
22 Q. Thank you. Is it possible that you have mixed the day of the
23 14th with another day?
24 A. What did I say about the 14th that happened then?
25 Q. You said that the execution at the location where you were was
1 finished on the 14th, and that in the night between the 14th and the 15th
2 you began to withdraw towards Tuzla.
3 A. It's possible that I made a mistake.
4 Q. If you made a mistake, was that on the 13th or a day later?
5 A. On the 11th in the evening we came to Potocari. On the 12th we
6 got to Bratunac. On the 13th and on the 14th the execution took place.
7 Q. So on the 15th you were already moving in the direction of Tuzla.
8 A. Yes, I was.
9 Q. Thank you, Witness. I would read something to you, and you can
10 tell us whether this was possible. I don't even have to read it out.
11 It's enough for me to say that.
12 There is a witness here who says that at the time that you talked
13 about, that they were with General Mladic all the time. This general
14 says that he was with Ratko Mladic all the time at a meeting between 1900
15 until 2200 hours on the 14th of July, 1995, in Belgrade.
16 Is it possible that General Mladic could be in two places, where
17 you said he was and where this general says he was?
18 A. And what was the time when he was there?
19 Q. From 1700 hours onwards.
20 A. From 17 hours, 1700 hours? It's not possible.
21 Q. He says 1900 hours.
22 A. He says 1900 hours. 7.00 p.m. he was where we were at the
23 shooting site about 7.00 p.m. But it's possible that around 8.00 p.m.
24 that he flew away and that he was there then. But around 7.00 p.m., he
25 was right where I was.
1 Q. All right.
2 If the President will allow me, I can read out the sentence to
4 A. Yes, you can read it out, but I have heard it.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can I read it out? Thank you.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Witness, the Presiding Judge allows me. Here I will read it for
9 "Later that same evening at approximately 1900 hours, Mr. Bildt
10 and General de Lapresle met with President Milosevic and General
11 Ratko Mladic, commander of the Main Staff of the Bosnian Serb army. This
12 meeting concluded at approximately 2200 hours on the 14th of July, 1995."
13 A. On the 14th?
14 Q. Thank you. I've been warned to wait until the interpreter
15 interprets it.
16 I will tell you that the general says it was on the 14th of July,
17 1995, from 1900 hours until 2200 hours in Belgrade.
18 A. It could not have been from 1900 hours, but around 2000 hours he
19 could have flown there in a helicopter to say what sort of crime he had
20 committed and to give a report about that.
21 Q. Thank you about your answer. For your information only, I can
22 tell you that on the 15th of July, in case you mixed the dates, if you
23 remember later on tell us:
24 "On the 15th of July in Belgrade the same general attended a
25 meeting with President Milosevic and other members of his delegation in
1 Belgrade and General Ratko Mladic was also present. The meeting began at
2 around 1200 hours and concluded at about 2200 hundred hours. During this
3 time General Mladic remained in my presence."
4 A. From the 14th at 7.00 p.m. I have no idea where Mladic was. I
5 did not know, and he could have been anywhere. I wouldn't know that.
6 Q. Thank you, Witness. I just wanted in good faith to ask you this
7 and see if you had made a mistake. This is why I ask you how you
8 measured time, but you told me you had a watch.
9 A. I did.
10 Q. Thank you. I would now ask you another question. When you left
11 in the direction of Tuzla from the execution site on the 14th, did you
12 come across the Serbian Army? Where and where when? Thank you.
13 A. Maybe on the fourth day I came across an ambush close to where
14 the lines were. That was in the evening, and I couldn't pass through
15 because they shot at us, so I couldn't pass through and we went back, and
16 that was where we spent the day. In the next evening we were walking
17 along a brook between the two positions, and going down along the brook
18 we came to our territory maybe at about 2.00 a.m. I do not know that for
19 certain, but it was after midnight.
20 Q. Thank you. Did they fire on you at the time, or were the
21 soldiers sleeping next to whose positions you passed?
22 A. No, but we heard shots in the forest and some twigs were broken.
23 So in the morning we could see that we had been close to them. They just
24 felt our presence and they started shooting again.
25 Q. Thank you, Witness. Will you tell me whether when you came here
1 this time, did you come together with some other witnesses who came to
2 testify here in The Hague, or did you travel here alone?
3 A. I was alone.
4 Q. And wherever you are staying here, did you have any contact with
5 any other persons from the former Yugoslavia?
6 A. I didn't see anyone, nor did I get in touch with anyone.
7 Q. Thank you. While you travelled from the place where you were on
8 the 14th to Tuzla, did you talk about the events with other persons that
9 you were going with? I won't mention their names because many of them
10 are protected witnesses.
11 A. There was not much to talk about. We were just discussing how we
12 could cross, where we should go, and we tried to reach an agreement about
13 that, but we had survived the same thing so there was not much to
15 Q. Thank you, Witness. Can you tell me if you are returning to
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina now, or if you are returning to another location where
17 you live? I won't mention it unless you want me to.
18 A. I think that you don't need to know that particularly.
19 Q. You are right. I won't say that. I'm just asking whether you're
20 returning to Bosnia-Herzegovina or to another location where you are
21 living, nothing else.
22 A. Where -- I'll go wherever I wish to go.
23 Q. All right. I wish to thank you. I wish you a safe trip back.
24 Thanks for your answers. Thanks for your testimony. I have no other
25 questions. Thank you.
1 A. Thank you as well.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir.
3 Mr. Vanderpuye, do you have re-examination?
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: No, Mr. President, I do not.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, that concludes the questioning, the
7 examination for you. You will be pleased to know --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You will be pleased to know that you may now
10 return to your normal activities. The Chamber and I think everybody in
11 the courtroom would like to thank you that you was able -- were able to
12 come again to The Hague and to tell us what you were -- had to go through
13 during these days.
14 Thank you very much again, and the court officer will assist you
15 to leave the courtroom. Thank you very much.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too, Your Honours, and
17 to all the personnel who welcomed me heartily here.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Good-bye, sir.
19 THE WITNESS: [Microphone not activated] [No interpretation]
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Excuse me. I just wanted to say as
23 I was reading a part of this document, if you allow, I would tender it
24 into evidence. If not, we would do that later because we have it now.
25 Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
2 Would you like to deal with this document as well?
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: We have no objection if he would like to tender
4 that into evidence.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit D3, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
8 Mr. Vanderpuye.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I just wanted to ask
10 if I may be excused at this time.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Of course, but I think we adjourn now because
12 there is no other witness available as I --
13 MR. VANDERPUYE: I think there is an issue that one of my
14 colleagues would like to address with respect to --
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Vanderpuye.
16 Mr. McCloskey -- Mr. Thayer. Good morning and welcome,
17 Mr. Thayer.
18 MR. THAYER: Good morning Mr. President, Your Honours. Good
19 morning, General Tolimir, Mr. Gajic. Good morning everyone.
20 Thanks to Dutch medical care, Mr. Oric is well enough to begin
21 his testimony today. He's not a hundred per cent, but he is willing --
22 willing to start. Unfortunately, I didn't know that in time to be able
23 to advise Mr. Gajic that he would be testifying today. As of Friday I
24 thought there would be no chance, frankly, that he would be available
25 this week. But he is well enough. We would like to, at the very least,
1 conclude his direct testimony today and then pick up with his
2 cross-examination on Thursday. I don't anticipate it will be more than
3 half an hour or so total for his direct testimony, but at least we can
4 complete that today. We do have another witness available in addition to
5 the Skorpions video which is about 20 minutes of a video-tape to play
6 that our friends have been notified about for some time now.
7 So we do have this investigator to testify briefly about a map
8 book that we have advised our friends about. It's a simple book of maps
9 that we have used, relied upon. We have provided translations of the
10 pertinent parts of those maps. We have an investigator who is prepared
11 to testify very briefly about the underlying materials in support of each
12 map. Not going into detail about the locations and distances and the
13 meaning of these locations for the purposes of the case, but to give the
14 Trial Chamber an idea of how we came across these maps and what they
15 consist of, what the bases of the maps are, and again that would be about
16 half an hour.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did I understand you correctly that we now start
18 with the next witness?
19 MR. THAYER: We are prepared to do that, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then the Chamber appreciates that, that we don't
21 lose court time.
22 MR. THAYER: Very well.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then the next witness could be brought in,
25 [The witness entered court]
1 WITNESS: MEVLUDIN ORIC
2 [Witness answered through interpreter]
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, Mr. Oric.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber is happy that your health is better
6 again now, and welcome to the Tribunal. Could you please read aloud the
7 affirmation on the card which is shown to you now.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
9 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. And now please sit down.
11 Mr. Thayer for the Prosecution has some questions for you.
12 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Examination by Mr. Thayer:
14 Q. Good morning, sir. Would you please state your name for the
16 A. Mevludin Oric.
17 Q. Sir, I understand you're still not feeling a hundred per cent.
18 If you need to take a break at any time, please just let us know.
19 A. I will. All right.
20 Q. And please try to leave a pause between General Tolimir's
21 questions, especially on cross-examination, also when I ask you a
22 question, but it particularly on cross-examination since you and
23 General Tolimir speak the same language. We don't want to have an
24 overlapping and an overheated translation booth, okay?
25 A. All right. I'm familiar with that.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 Sir, do you recall testifying over a period of four days in
3 August of 2006 in another case?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And did you listen to that testimony over a couple of days last
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And was that testimony accurately recorded?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And, sir, if you were asked the same questions today in this
11 courtroom that you were asked back in August of 2006, would your answers
12 be the same?
13 A. Yes. They're always the same.
14 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, at this time the Prosecution would
15 offer 65 ter 6194 and 6195, the redacted and public versions of the
16 witness's prior testimony respectively.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: They will be received.
18 MR. THAYER: At this time we would --
19 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P68 under seal for the under seal
20 transcript of the testimony, and P69 for the redacted public version.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
22 MR. THAYER: At this time, Mr. President, we would also tender
23 the following exhibits that were part of the witness's prior testimony.
24 Those are 65 ter numbers 1441, 1442, 3326, 3327, 3328, and 3329.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. They will be received and given an
1 exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. 65 ter 1441 will be
3 Exhibit P70. 65 ter 1442 will be Exhibit P71. 65 ter 3326 will be
4 Exhibit P72. 65 ter 3327 will be Exhibit P73. 65 ter 3328 will be
5 Exhibit P74. 65 ter 3329 will be Exhibit P75.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
7 MR. THAYER: With the Court's permission, I'll read the 92 ter
8 summary that I've prepared.
9 During the war, the witness served as the commander of a ten-man
10 manoeuvre squad manning the lines in the area near his village between
11 UNPROFOR check-points. They would man the lines and then return home and
12 work their land, then return to the line. He wore civilian clothes
13 throughout the war and did not have a uniform. In July 1995, there were
14 approximately 14.000 able-bodied men in Srebrenica, most of whom were not
16 The witness was in his sister's house in Srebrenica when the
17 shelling began in the first week of July. The town was full of civilians
18 and everything was targeted, so shells fell wherever they could fall. He
19 estimates that shelling continued day and night for approximately seven
21 The witness was part of the approximately 15.000-person column
22 which left on foot for Tuzla. The column was ambushed along the way,
23 including his portion of the column, which was ambushed in the evening of
24 12 July in the forest near Kamenica, Bratunac municipality, as it headed
25 toward Konjevic Polje.
1 The witness spent the whole day of 13 July in the area of
2 Konjevic Polje with the Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road to his right. In
3 the evening of 13 July, he and eight others headed towards the
4 Bratunac-Konjevic Polje road where they were captured by Serb forces and
5 taken to a warehouse in Konjevic Polje. Two buses arrived later that
6 night and transported his group to Bratunac.
7 In Bratunac, the witness's bus parked in a column of buses in
8 front of the entrance to the Vuk Karadzic school and spent the night
9 there. During the night of 13 July, prisoners were taken from his bus
10 and other buses and never returned. He heard screaming, moaning, and
11 bursts of gunfire coming from the school throughout the night, and during
12 the night the prisoners were given water but no food.
13 In the morning of 14 July, the prisoners in the buses were taken
14 to Zvornik in a convoy of buses and trucks led by an UNPROFOR APC manned
15 by Serb soldiers. The convoy and APC stopped at a school where the
16 prisoners were ordered to run from the buses across a concrete football
17 pitch into the school. There were soldiers guarding both sides of the
18 football pitch as the prisoners ran into the gym, and the prisoners were
19 ordered to leave their belongings in a pile in front of the school before
21 The prisoners entered the gym where they were ordered to sit with
22 their knees under their chins or be shot. Temperature was terrible in
23 the gym, and it was difficult to breathe in the position in which they
24 had been ordered to sit, and prisoners, especially the elderly, began
25 fainting, but were so tightly packed that they could not fall over.
1 There were three or four boys among the prisoners who were told to fetch
2 water, but it did not reach beyond the middle of the gym where the
3 witness was. During the time he was in the gym, the prisoners were given
4 no food or medical attention.
5 In the afternoon of 14 July, the prisoners were ordered out of
6 the gym in groups, blindfolded, given some water, and ordered onto
7 trucks. Somewhere between 1300 to 1500 hours, the witness stepped into
8 the back of one of the trucks and sat on a bench, followed by some of his
9 relatives, including his cousin, Haris Hasanovic.
10 After four or five minutes the driving the trucks pulled over and
11 the prisoners were ordered to hurry up and jump out onto a meadow. The
12 witness held hands with his cousin who told him, "They are going to kill
13 us," and as soon as the witness replied, "No, they're not," the shooting
14 started. His cousin was shot and fell on top the witness who pretended
15 to be dead as his cousin died on top of him. As the witness lay amid the
16 dead, every four or five minutes he heard more trucks arrive and
17 prisoners ordered to line up followed by bursts of gunfire. This pattern
18 continued throughout the night and wounded prisoners were executed with
19 single gunshots.
20 The witness also heard the engine sounds of heavy machinery
21 operating nearby. The witness fainted or fell asleep and woke during the
22 night to see that the area was lit up by the lights of an excavator while
23 the shooting continued. At one point the shooting stopped, and he heard
24 someone say that they had finished. He heard the engines turn off and
25 the people leave. The witness waited 10 or 15 minutes after the people
1 left and tried to move his body, which was numb and still under his
2 cousin's body. When he was finally able to stand up, there was
3 moonlight, and he saw the meadow filled with corpses. He was very afraid
4 and began to cry, and he heard someone ask if he was wounded, and he
5 headed towards the voice. He met up with another survivor, and as the
6 witness and that other survivor fled the meadow sometime past midnight,
7 they saw a deep grave dug by an excavator which was parked next to the
8 grave along with a front-end loader.
9 The next day the witness and the other survivor encountered a
10 third survivor, Smajil Hodzic. The three men made it to Nezuk on the
11 21st of July.
12 If I may, Mr. President, I have just a few follow-up questions
13 for the witness.
14 May we have 65 ter 1442 on e-court, please.
15 Q. And while we're waiting for that to come up, sir, I just want to
16 let you know we're going to spend a couple of moments looking at a sketch
17 which you testified about in 2006, and I won't ask you any particulars
18 about the features on that sketch because that's all in your prior
19 testimony and the Trial Chamber has that, so we don't need to go over it,
20 but I just want to clarify one or two matters about the sketch.
21 Do you see the sketch in front you, sir?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, this is how it appeared in e-court in the prior case, and as
24 we can see, it appears to be more or less a black-and-white scan of your
1 Now, last week you and I had an opportunity to look at the
2 original sketch that you drew, the original of what we are seeing on the
4 MR. THAYER: And with the usher's assistance -- Madam Usher. I'm
5 not sure who it is today. I would like to put the original on the ELMO
6 and look at it the old-fashioned way, because I think we need to look at
7 the original for the one or two questions I have. I have it here.
8 I've shown the original to my friends on the other side, so
9 they've had an opportunity to look at this.
10 Now, we have the original here on the ELMO --
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. THAYER: It's a little easier to see, but should the Court
13 wish, I can hand up the original to the Trial Chamber for its inspection.
14 Q. But, sir, can you tell us on this sketch whether you see some
15 handwriting in black ink and some handwriting in blue ink.
16 A. Yes, I can see them.
17 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber whose handwriting is in the black
18 ink, first of all.
19 A. The black ink is what I wrote down, whereas the investigators
20 used the blue-ink pen and wrote down in their own language, but I wrote
21 in black ink and explained what was what, and as the interpreters
22 interpreted, they would jot it down in blue ink. So the blue ink is the
23 investigator's ink, and black is mine.
24 Q. Okay. And just one quick follow-up question, sir. I take it --
25 or can you tell us, was that at the same time? In other words, was the
1 English translation, as it were, in blue ink done in your presence or
3 A. Yes, it was done in my presence.
4 Q. Okay.
5 MR. THAYER: I think we're done with that exhibit. Thank you,
6 Madam Usher.
7 And, Your Honours, I can -- Mr. President, I can hand this up to
8 the Court for the Court's review just to -- it's still hard to see on the
9 ELMO to see the difference, but I think it's fair to say you can see the
10 difference when it's up close, and I will not be offering this as a new
11 exhibit because I think we'll just get the same scan into e-court.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Very well.
13 MR. THAYER:
14 Q. Now, sir, in your testimony in -- in another case, you mentioned
15 that the warehouse in Konjevic Polje in which you were held before being
16 taken to Bratunac no longer exists today. Can you tell the Trial Chamber
17 what replaced that warehouse in Konjevic Polje?
18 A. Well, today there's a gas station in the place where the
19 warehouses used to be, so the warehouses were torn down, pulled down, and
20 a gas station was built, and that's where it is today.
21 Q. You testified in the last trial that you and the other survivor,
22 and I won't give his name here, but you and another survivor met up with
23 a third survivor named Smajil Hodzic as you were trying to make it to
24 free territory. Do you recall that, sir?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. What did Mr. Hodzic tell you about where he had been before being
2 taken to the execution site?
3 A. When we met in the woods, he told me that he had been captured in
4 Kasaba, that that's where he was picked up. He wasn't the only one.
5 There were quite a few people, so that they had to use a trailer truck to
6 put all those prisoners on, and then they took them to the gym where we
7 were. This is what Smajil Hodzic from Nova Kasaba told me. They had
8 been brought there from Nova Kasaba.
9 Q. Okay. My last questions for you today concern some of the
10 relatives, neighbours, and other persons whose names and some identifying
11 information you were able to supply during your testimony in 2006 and in
12 other witness statements and interviews.
13 When you and I met last week, were you able to provide some
14 additional identifying information for some of those people, sir?
15 A. Well, yes. During the proofing sessions, I told you the name of
16 my relatives and the people who were with me and that some of them were
17 also buried in Potocari, of the people who were with me, of course. Some
18 are still missing, they were never found; whereas the others have been
19 found. I know the names of the people who have been buried. They've
20 been found and buried.
21 Q. Okay, sir. For today's purposes, I'm not going to ask you about
22 who is buried where or who is still missing. What I want to do is show
23 you 65 ter 6197, please. And it should be coming up on your screen in
24 just a moment.
25 Do you see a list of 13 names, sir?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Do you recall being shown this list after our proofing session,
3 after I'd had a chance to type up these names and having this list
4 reviewed with you and the interpreter?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And for each of these individuals were you able to supply the
7 exact birth date or the father's name for each person?
8 A. Well, the date of birth is approximate. I'm not absolutely
9 certain of the dates, but a year or two, plus or minus, they are
10 approximate. That's what I knew. And as for their father's names, for
11 some of them I knew their father's names, and for others I didn't.
12 Q. Can you just attest for the Trial Chamber that this list reflects
13 the information that you were able to provide to us during the proofing
14 session, sir?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Okay, sir. I have no further questions at this time.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Thayer.
18 Witness, Mr. Oric, you know the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
19 and that pursuant to these rules the accused has now the right to put
20 questions to you during cross-examination.
21 Mr. Thayer.
22 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I would tender 65 ter 6197 at this
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That will be received.
25 THE REGISTRAR: That will be Exhibit P76, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
2 Mr. Tolimir, do you have questions to put to the witness?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I do
4 have some questions for this witness, and I would like to wish the
5 witness a good day, and I also would like to wish a good afternoon to all
6 those who are present during the testimony of the first witness today.
7 Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Then please start putting questions.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, during my questioning I will address
12 you with "sir," because in some of your earlier testimonies you testified
13 as a protected witness, in others in public sessions, but just to be on
14 the safe side, I will always address you with "sir," and at the end of my
15 question I will always say thank you, which will be a queue for you that
16 you may start with your answer. Thank you.
17 Now I would like to start with my questions.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just a moment. Mr. Thayer.
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm sorry -- I'm sorry for the
20 intervention. Based on my conversations --
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, just -- yes. Thank you.
22 MR. THAYER: -- with the witness, first of all, it's my
23 understanding that he's always testified in public in past cases. It is
24 also my understanding that he wishes to testify entirely in open session
25 and does not mind being referred to by his own name, but I'll leave it up
1 to the witness and the Trial Chamber to work that out.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
3 And now, Mr. Tolimir, please start questioning.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 And thank Mr. Thayer. I can also address the witness with his
6 name, but I offered to address him with "sir," which he accepted, but I
7 can address him in any way which he finds the most suitable. Thank you.
8 Mr. President, I would now like to proceed.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. And, Witness, if you object, I can also address you by using your
11 first and last name.
12 A. Well, suit yourself.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Could we now please have document
15 1D18 on the monitors, which is the witness statement by Mr. Mevludin Oric
16 of 10, 11, and 12 August 1996, which he provided to the international
17 criminal Tribunal. Thank you. We can see the statement on the monitors
18 now. Thank you. Would you now please switch to page 1, which has
19 number 691, which ends in ERN number 691. While we wait for the next
20 page to appear on the monitors -- all right, now we have it. Thank you.
21 Q. The witness states here on page 2, in paragraph 2, which starts
22 with the following words -- I would like to quote this section, and then
23 I will have a few questions for you, Witness, and then you will answer my
24 questions. I quote, second page, third paragraph:
25 "All military-aged men, including local BiH commanders from
1 Srebrenica gathered in the village of Susnjari. We talked about what we
2 were to do, since we might be killed if we left with the convoys of women
3 and children. I heard Ramiz Becirevic, the BiH commander in Srebrenica,
4 give the order for us to form a column and walk towards Tuzla. Becirevic
5 ordered that non-armed [as interpreted] BiH soldiers head the column and
6 follow at the end to provide some protection. Soldiers of the 284th
7 brigade, who were from the Bratunac area were supposed to be at the head
8 of the column because they knew the way through the forest. I was
9 towards the end of the column and was not armed. Becirevic allowed those
10 men who had personal hunting weapons to carry them no matter what
11 position in the column they were in. I did not hear Becirevic give the
12 men with hunting weapons any specific orders."
13 Thank you. Now, my question, sir --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
15 MR. THAYER: Just a correction, at least in the English version.
16 I trust this is the same for the B/C/S. It is quite clear that the head
17 of the column as stated by the witness was armed. I think I heard
18 "unarmed," and that's a difference.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I assume that was a problem -- or a little
20 mistake in the translation. It is clearly stated Becirevic ordered the
21 armed BiH soldiers to head the column. That's correct. Then please
22 carry on, Mr. Tolimir. Thank you.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Witness, my question is this: Do you remember giving this
1 statement on the 10th, 11th, or 12th of August during an interview,
2 interview conducted by an investigator of the ICTY? Thank you.
3 A. What year was this? You said the 10th, 11th --
4 THE INTERPRETER: The microphone was not switched on.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. This was in 1996 [as interpreted]. Thank you.
7 A. Yes, I remember.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
9 MR. THAYER: I'm sorry to have to do this again, Mr. President,
10 but the year is 1995, and it's -- we just need to be correct about these
11 states because there are a number of statements, and I just don't want
12 there to be any confusion among the parties.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Is that your understanding as well,
14 Mr. Tolimir, 1995?
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Could we see the first page of this statement and then we can see
17 exactly what it states, what the date there is. So can we just briefly
18 go back to page 1 to make sure that we are talking about same statement.
19 Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The statement seems to be from August 1996. No.
21 This is -- the B/C/S translation has another year than the English
22 version, and the English version should be the original one. Can we
23 confirm that? That happens sometimes that there's a wrong year, but the
24 English version clearly indicates it was taken in 1995.
25 Do you see that, Mr. Tolimir, on the screen?
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, I do see
2 it on the screen, but I was showing the witness in the language that he
3 understands and in the language that both of us speak. Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Oric, do you see both versions on your
5 screen? Was it in 1996 or in 1995 that you gave the statement to the
6 investigator of the ICTY? Could you recall?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do see it before me. It
8 says "1995." That is the correct year.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
10 Carry on, please, Mr. Tolimir.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I accept
12 what Mr. Thayer said, and I would appreciate it if the transcript could
13 reflect that it is the same year but that the Serbian and English
14 versions actually differ. Thank you.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Oric, can you tell me, please, whether on the 11th of June
17 and at what time you were in Susnjari village?
18 A. On the 11th of July I was in Srebrenica at my sister's. I wasn't
19 in Susnjari. Oh, I apologise. On the 11th of July, I was in Susnjari on
20 the line. I went there around 12.00.
21 Q. Could you just tell us 12.00 what time of day, day-time or
23 A. Well, during the day.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 Now, was your unit that you were a commander of with you on that
1 day? Thank you.
2 A. My squad was with me.
3 Q. Thank you. Were you all armed, and were you all deployed in
4 positions, in various positions?
5 A. My squad had one rifle. We had a few hand grenades, and we held
6 the lines from which UNPROFOR had withdrawn. So we were actually
7 deployed in the gap. In order to protect that gap, I was received -- I
8 was summoned by a courier to come and close that gap, and we only had one
9 rifle between us.
10 Q. Thank you. Where did this courier come from? Was he wearing a
11 uniform, and did you know him personally? Thank you.
12 A. Well, I didn't know the courier. It could have been anyone. A
13 courier came, said that UNPROFOR had withdrawn, that it had fled the
14 point, that he didn't have enough men to cover that gap, so that instead
15 of having a day of rest on that day, I had to go with my squad and close
16 that gap.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Oric. Could you tell the Trial Chamber, please,
18 where Jaglici is and why the courier had come from Jaglici to tell you
19 this and what his role was, whether it was a superior or a subordinate
20 position, and what that had to do with the positions you were talking
22 A. Jaglici is on the front line. The Jaglici village is -- how
23 should I put this? There was a feature there called Buljim. It was
24 right below that feature. It was the first village next to the feature.
25 So a young man came from there as a courier. He came to tell us that he
1 had been sent by his commander to tell me that I should come with my men
2 and cover this gap left behind after UNPROFOR withdrew.
3 Q. Thank you. Now tell me please did you know the commander who
4 sent this courier with the message or this person who came to convey this
5 message, and how did you know that it was actually a true -- a truthful
7 A. Yes. Enes [as interpreted] Jaglic --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is not sure of the name.
9 THE WITNESS: [Previous translation continues] ... sent this
10 courier because he didn't have enough men put there -- to deploy there.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Thank you. Now, did NATO -- were there any NATO air-strikes on
13 that day targeting Serb positions?
14 A. From the feature where UNPROFOR men were, I could see a lot of
15 the land in and around Srebrenica. NATO air-strikes were on, but they
16 were targeting Potoci, or, rather, the streams. I saw for myself that
17 they were striking Potoci or streams; whereas for the main targets where
18 the tanks were and where the Serb positions were, there was not a single
19 bomb, air bomb falling on there. They were just targeting streams or
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Oric, would you perhaps repeat the name of
22 the commander who sent the courier to you with the new order. Could you
23 repeat this name. It was not recorded correctly.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Enver was his name. E-n-v-e-r.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: His family name.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
3 Carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness, you said that you saw, yourself, the NATO strikes.
7 Could you tell us what time was this and on what day exactly? Could you
8 tell us the exact hour? Thank you.
9 A. Well, I don't know the exact hour or minute, but it was in the
10 afternoon hours. I saw it myself. I saw the planes overflying the area.
11 I saw them striking these positions. This was a feature from which you
12 could observe the entire territory.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, after -- based on these air-strikes, could you
14 draw any conclusions, or could you conclude that there may be a change in
15 the relative positions of the two sides, or did you get any orders from
16 your superiors that had to do with the NATO air-strikes? Thank you.
17 A. When I arrived at the location where the UNPROFOR was, no one
18 came to see us anymore nor addressed us in any way. I had no idea what
19 was going on until we returned to Jaglici village when we didn't find
20 anyone in the village itself. So we didn't have any idea as to what was
21 going on, nor did anyone come to our positions. We didn't have any food
22 the whole day. We didn't have a radio or other means of communication.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, then, was it your conclusion that
24 these were air-strikes that were actually targeting Serb forces?
25 A. Well, it was probably their tasks -- their task to destroy the
1 tanks and not the streams there because there was no one in the streams
2 or in Potoci. But it's a pity they didn't find them.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 Now, can you tell me how much longer did you remain in position
5 after the air-strikes, and approximately until what time or what hour was
7 A. Well, I didn't have a watch on me. I don't know exactly what
8 time it was, but it was at dusk. I went to the village to see if we were
9 going to get anything to eat, to see what was going on, but when I
10 entered the village I realised there was no one there. It was in early
11 evening, about 7.00, perhaps 7.30 in the evening. It was a summer day,
12 so it was light till 9.00 almost.
13 Q. Thank you. In your statement, in paragraph 2 on page 2, that we
14 still have before us, you say, I quote:
15 "On 11 July I was on the front line when my unit received
16 information that Srebrenica had fallen because we could not defend
17 against the heavy shelling."
18 Please tell me, who did you get this information from, and how
19 was it conveyed to you? Thank you.
20 A. I got this information from a woman who was the last to leave
21 Jaglici. She told me that Srebrenica had fallen. She was the last woman
22 to leave Jaglici. Everyone had already left. So she was the one who
23 told me, no one else. I found this woman in the village. She was crying
24 and getting some personal belongings to take with her. I asked her,
25 Where's everyone else? And she said they had all gone.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 Did you see Serb soldiers in the village on that day?
3 A. No. There were no more operations in Buljim or Jaglici or any
5 Q. Thank you. Could you tell me then, when did you arrive? When
6 did you get home, at what time? And when did you leave for Susnjari, and
7 how far was it from your home to Susnjari, and how long did it take you
8 to get to Susnjari?
9 A. I went it back to the front line to tell my men what I had
10 learned. We withdrew from there. We headed for Susnjari. This was --
11 these were two adjacent villages, so it would take about half an hour at
12 most, and we were walking fast. We were almost running. I don't know
13 exactly how long it took us, but we got there very soon.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, could you please tell me, you were then called
15 to attend a meeting. Did you attend this meeting on your own, or was
16 your whole unit there?
17 A. I don't know what meeting you are referring to.
18 Q. Well, thank you. I will quote you again. That's in paragraph 3,
19 where you say:
20 "All military-aged men including local BiH commanders from
21 Srebrenica gathered in the village of Susnjari. We talked about what we
22 were to do since we might be killed if we left with the convoys of women
23 and children.
24 "And I heard Ramiz Becirevic the BiH commander of Srebrenica give
25 the order for us to form a column and towards Tuzla."
1 Now, was this in Susnjari, and at what time and how did the
2 commander actually convey this decision to you?
3 A. Well, this happened later on. You were asking me earlier about
4 how long it took me to get to Susnjari, but when I got there I stayed
5 with my sister. Then I went back to my village, and then I returned to
6 Susnjari. So all this took a while, so that in the end when we arrived
7 in Susnjari, that's when the command from Srebrenica also arrived, Ramiz
8 and so on, and they were in this private home discussing what to do,
9 where to go, whether to go towards Zepa or towards Tuzla, what to do with
10 the civilian population who were unarmed, elderly. I knew what the road
11 to Tuzla looked like because I had already passed that road as a courier.
12 So it was a difficult route.
13 Q. Thank you. Now, could you tell me what time was this meeting,
14 and when was it that it was decided to go towards Tuzla?
15 A. Well, as I've already told you, I didn't have a watch. All of
16 this was going on during the night. I didn't have a watch to check what
17 time it was.
18 Q. Tell us, please, was this before midnight or after midnight?
19 Just if you can give us a rough idea.
20 A. Well, I think it was around midnight that the couriers were sent
21 out, and the first armed men -- or, rather, the mines and explosives
22 experts, they were the first to go because they were supposed to clear
23 the mines and clear the road and mark the path which we were to follow.
24 Q. Thank you. So Becirevic took this decision on behalf of this
25 whole column of military-aged men, regardless of whether they were armed
1 or not?
2 A. Well, there were children and elderly men in this column as well.
3 There were a lot of unarmed people. So this order was a general order
4 for all of us to set out, and we were talking amongst ourselves. The
5 people were talking. We were wondering and asking the elderly people,
6 because we felt they wouldn't be able to make this whole trip to go
7 towards Potocari, and the same with the children who were there and
8 women. There were even some women in the column.
9 Q. Thank you. So based on what you said just now, we can conclude
10 that this whole column and all the people who were in the column actually
11 went of their own will and also pursuant to this decision made by
12 Mr. Becirevic; correct? Thank you.
13 A. Yes, we all set out together. We had to go. It wasn't of our
14 own free will. We had to go. We couldn't go to Potocari.
15 Q. Thank you. But you concluded that this was the best way to
16 proceed; correct? The most secure way?
17 A. Well, this was the only way out. This was the only option we
18 had, to go towards Tuzla.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you.
20 Was everyone clear on this, that you were actually going for a
21 breakthrough, that you were going to go through a number of Serb villages
22 who had their village guards and also positions that were -- where they
23 had people deployed, troops deployed?
24 A. We didn't go through Serb villages. We went around them. We
25 went through the woods. The first village we reached was Kamenica in the
1 Bratunac municipality. That was a Muslim village, not a Serb village,
2 and it had been torched.
3 Q. Thank you. But in any case, you -- you understood that you were
4 going to attempt a breakthrough, and you were aware of all the risks that
5 you might encounter on your route -- en route.
6 A. Well, we weren't going into combat. We thought that no one would
7 attack us. That was our understanding, that we had to go and that if
8 anyone was captured that they wouldn't be killed. This was the only way
9 out for us, and that's how we went.
10 Q. Thank you. If you allow me, I'd like to quote another portion of
11 your statement that I've already quoted.
12 "I heard Ramiz -- Becirevic ordered that armed BH soldiers head
13 the column and follow at the end to provide some protection."
14 Now, a few moments ago in your statement you said that there was
15 a group also who was sent out to clear the minefields and mark the route.
16 So you did make sure that you had protection both at the forward and
17 end -- rear end of the column. Thank you.
18 A. Well, yes. We sent these mines and explosives because we knew
19 that the area was full of land-mines, and you -- we weren't -- no one
20 could expect us to go and -- and step on those mines. But we also had
21 some armed men who were to provide security.
22 Q. Thank you. So you had a reconnaissance unit. You also had
23 combat security at the -- at the forward and rear ends of the column.
24 That was the order of the -- of Becirevic; correct?
25 A. Well, no. These weren't reconnaissance troops. These were mines
1 and explosives experts. They went ahead of the column.
2 Q. Thank you. But these mines and explosives experts were the ones
3 who were supposed to reconnoiter whether there were any minefields or
4 not; correct?
5 A. Well, yes, but you sort of made it sound like they were a
6 reconnaissance group to reconnoiter positions, but that's not how it was.
7 Q. Well, call it what you will, but you formed this column exactly
8 as Becirevic had ordered it; correct?
9 A. No. The first column had already started, and then when we left
10 Buljim, then no one asked Becirevic or any other commander, nor was it
11 clear who the commander was. People would just cross from one place to
12 another. They would go forward. They were not afraid of mines or
13 anything. When we left Buljim it was not known what we were doing. It
14 was as if we were going by companies and brigades. It was not like that.
15 After Buljim when the first shell fell into the stream, after Buljim it
16 was not clear who was in which squad or company or platoon. Ones were
17 left behind, ones were in the forest, others why not. So nobody knew
19 Q. Thank you.
20 So it's clear at the beginning the column was formed as the
21 commander said, and then later on it was dispersed as you just explained.
22 Can you just tell me also before you left, did you establish any
23 communication with Tuzla, with the corps command in Tuzla? Did the
24 communications officer manage to get in touch with him?
25 A. I did not know that. I was not together with them. I was with
1 my father and with my neighbours, and I talked with them.
2 Q. Thank you. Because in your statement you said, "We talked about
3 what should be done, because we could be killed if we left with the
4 column of women and children." So this is what you said in your
5 statement. I know that you can correct it now.
6 A. Yes. I just said I was talking outside of the house with my
7 father and the neighbours and other people who were standing around. We
8 were talking about what could happen, but I was not inside the house.
9 Q. All right. Can you then tell me who was in the house? Was it
10 the commander, or was it the president of the municipality or the chief?
11 Who was there? Did you know who was present at the meeting where it was
12 decided what you would do next? Thank you.
13 A. I don't know. I was not inside the house, so I don't know who
14 was inside.
15 Q. All right. But did you know who was there together with Ramiz
16 before he made this decision? Was there any representative of the
17 authorities or anyone who was acting on behalf of everyone who was in the
18 column, both the army and the civilians, those who were armed, those who
19 were unarmed? Please tell us freely, did you know that, or did you not
21 A. I don't know who was in the house. From '99 onward, there was no
22 electricity, so there were no lights in the house that you could see from
23 outside the house who was inside. It was in the night. I didn't know
24 who was entering or leaving the house. We had no electricity since 1992.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. As you don't know who was there. You knew that the population
3 was waiting and the population knew that the authorities, those who were
4 responsible, had made a decision in the house.
5 A. Well, how could civilians just know that?
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mevludin. Could you tell us if later on you saw
7 the president of the municipality or civilian authorities in the column
8 or once you left the Republika Srpska to the territory under the control
9 of the BH Army? Thank you.
10 A. No. I saw Ramiz in Tuzla in 1997. That was the first time I saw
11 him after the fall, and I never saw him again anywhere.
12 Q. Thank you. When you left the village Susnjari, did you know that
13 General Mladic, at 10.00 p.m. on that evening, declared a unilateral
14 cease-fire in his talks with the civilian authorities? Thank you.
15 A. No, I don't know that.
16 Q. All right. Thank you. So neither you nor the population knew
17 that General Mladic were negotiating with civilian authorities in
18 Srebrenica on the 11th at 10.00 p.m.? Thank you.
19 A. I wouldn't say that there was a cease-fire judging by the
20 shelling and what we could still hear, but I'm not familiar with this. I
21 haven't heard about that. No one heard about that. Nobody was aware of
23 Q. Thank you. We're only interested in whether you knew that such a
24 meeting had been held with the civilian authorities and whether the part
25 of the leadership that was deciding knew that or if anyone else knew
1 about that. Thank you.
2 A. No, I don't think so. Susnjari and Potocari are about
3 10 kilometres away from each other so that we did not have any kind of
4 communication with Potocari. We did not know what was going on in
6 Q. Thank you. Can you then tell me whether you think or know that
7 no meeting was held between commander and the people who decided and
8 other people who were present at the meeting at the Fontana Hotel in
9 Bratunac? Thank you.
10 A. I don't know about any meetings.
11 Q. All right. Thank you. We're only interested in whether the
12 decision was made by the commander or on the basis of discussions. So
13 what do you think, that the group that decided knew that such a meeting
14 was being held or that they didn't know that?
15 A. Well, I cannot talk on their behalf. I don't know what they
16 decided in the house, and I don't know what they knew or didn't know. I
17 cannot say that for them. Whether there knew or they didn't know, I have
18 no idea. I was just standing outside, and I didn't even see them leave
19 the house or move forward.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you then tell us, when did you leave Susnjari and
21 start moving in the direction of Tuzla? Thank you.
22 A. Well, I left Jaglici. We were going step-by-step. I left
23 Jaglici on the 12th in the morning. That was when I left the territory
24 that was protected. Excuse me.
25 Q. We now have the information that on the 12th in the morning you
1 left the combat positions with your unit. Is that correct? Thank you.
2 A. No, not the combat positions, but we set off in the direction of
4 Q. Thank you. You set off towards Tuzla. Can you tell us, when was
5 the column cut, and when did this organisation begin as compared to what
6 Commander Ramiz had ordered?
7 A. Well, the first cutting and the first ambush was in Kamenica.
8 That was on the 12th.
9 Q. Just tell us at what time, please.
10 A. Well, approximately I would say that it was at dusk. That was
11 where the column had stopped to take a rest and to wait for the remainder
12 of the column that had been dispersed, because of shells and the
13 ambushes, they were scattered in the forest, so we waited for them there.
14 We wanted to rest a bit and to have the people gather, and then move on.
15 Q. So that was in the evening on the 12th, before it got dark. Did
16 I understand that properly?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And when did the section of the column in which you were get into
19 the ambush and was taken prisoner? Thank you.
20 A. My group, the group that was with me, got to Konjevic Polje. It
21 was also at dusk on the 13th, in the evening.
22 Q. Thank you. Can you please repeat and tell us what was the time
23 of the day? What was the hour, if you can say approximately. What was
24 the time? Was it in the evening, in the afternoon, in the morning, at
25 night? Thank you.
1 A. It was just before nightfall. I don't know, because I didn't
2 have a watch, but it could have been between 7.00 or 7.30 or 8.00 p.m.
3 Q. And the date?
4 A. The 13th of July, 1995.
5 Q. Thank you. Do you know anything about the confrontations between
6 the commanders in the column that you were moving with and some problems
7 that arose which affected the dispersal of the column which was moving
8 from Srebrenica towards Tuzla?
9 A. I don't know anything about any of that. I just know where the
10 ambushes had been set up, where people had perished, but I didn't see any
11 commanders or anyone. I was just walking across those hills with my
12 group of men.
13 The question is not clear to me at all, so if you could expand it
14 an a bit or something.
15 Q. Thank you. I will expand it.
16 Mr. Ramiz talks about that in his statement, which he gave when
17 he reached Tuzla, and which was admitted here last time under number --
18 just a second, please. My legal assistants will check the number which
19 his statement was assigned. It was assigned as 1D12.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] So I would ask if we could please
21 see that on the screen now. Thank you. Thank you.
22 I can see it on the screen now. I apologise for being late with
23 this. We were informed that the witness would appear in April, so we did
24 not bring all the documents, but we did not want to slow down the work of
25 the Trial Chamber or the Prosecution. Thank you.
1 Can you please show page 2.
2 Q. Thank you. This is what Mr. Ramiz says in his statement, that
3 when they reached a place, he had met Zulfo Tursunovic and that he told
4 me that -- told him that Ramiz was preparing Zulfo's murder.
5 Did you hear anything about that? Thank you.
6 A. I never heard about that. I never saw this document. I never
7 heard anything of the kind.
8 Q. Thank you. As you didn't hear that, then we cannot discuss it
9 any further.
10 Did you know that the column was broken so that Ramiz was in one
11 section and Tursunovic was in another one, and can you tell us what unit
12 was Tursunovic a member of so that we could see how the units were
13 moving. Thank you.
14 A. I don't know anything about that, neither where they were nor
15 what happened. They were ahead of me, so that I never saw them. I never
16 managed to catch up with them, and I had no idea what was happening ahead
17 of me.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, what was the number of the brigade
19 commanded by Zulfo Tursunovic so that we could see what was the
20 arrangement of the brigades in the column up, so that the Trial Chamber
21 would have an idea.
22 A. I don't know what the -- brigade it was. I know it was the
23 brigade from Suceska, but I don't know what the number of the brigade
24 was. I cannot remember any numbers of any brigades. I wasn't interested
25 in that. I was just taking care of my village, and I wasn't too
1 interested in brigades.
2 Q. Thank you. So you can you tell us that you didn't hear anything
3 about any sort of verbal or physical conflict between Commander Ramiz and
4 the commander of a brigade, Zulfo Tursunovic. Thank you.
5 A. I never heard that. Not to this day. I didn't hear it, I didn't
6 see that, and now in 2010 I can say that I have never heard about that.
7 Q. Thank you. And who was the chief of the public security station
8 in Srebrenica? Can you tell us that?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Have you ever heard of Meholjic?
11 A. Yes, I think he was a policeman.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 Can you tell us what you heard about him and what duty did he
15 A. I don't know what duty he performed. I wouldn't know that, but I
16 knew him since before the war. I know that he was a policeman, but what
17 he was doing during the war, I don't know.
18 Q. Was he in Susnjari and was he going together with the part of the
19 column that was trying to break through in the direction of Tuzla? Thank
21 A. I didn't see him myself. If I had, I would say, but as I said,
22 it was night-time, so it was not possible to see much. But I did not see
23 him myself in any case.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me as this was an event that everyone
25 heard about, that the newspaper "Bosna" -- have you heard about this
1 newspaper? Tell me that first.
2 A. Excuse me.
3 Q. Did you hear about the newspaper "Bosna"? It was issued on a
4 weekly or monthly basis, it depended.
5 A. No, I have heard "Demjavas" [phoen], but not "Bosna." And I
6 don't buy newspapers. I don't read much, so ...
7 Q. Thank you. Did you hear that Meholjic gave a statement for the
8 press and that it stirred the spirits in Bosnia quite a lot, and it had
9 to do with Srebrenica? Maybe you heard about that or maybe you were
11 A. No. I don't know in which year he could have stated that. I
12 haven't heard about any such statement.
13 Q. Thank you. As you don't know, then we will not discuss that.
14 What was the day on which the column was split?
15 A. The column split on the first day. When the ambushes started,
16 then the column began to split. People were fleeing into the forest.
17 Q. Does that mean that the disorganisation began on the 12th?
18 A. Yes, on the 12th.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 And did the column try to break through in the direction of
21 Tuzla, although it was split as it was and although it faced all the
22 problems that you were facing?
23 A. People why going one after another. There were groups, and
24 people were moving towards Konjevic Polje. There were smaller and larger
25 groups, but the aim was to reach Konjevic Polje, to go in the direction
1 of Udric. Every group and each man had the same goal. We were all
2 moving, but some were maybe 50 metres to the left or to the right or
3 ahead or behind. They were in disarray, dispersed. It was not clear who
4 was going together with whom, whether it should be a straight column or
5 not. There were quite a lot of people who were from Konjevic Polje or
6 Pobudje or other neighbouring villages from Konjevic Polje, so they knew
7 the ground and they would lead other people along paths that they were
8 familiar with, and that was how it went. Everyone went as best they
9 could. And the first group that had set off, it was still going further,
10 but we had no idea where they were, how far they had managed to break
11 through and where they were. I'm talking about the first part of the
13 During the day, on the 13th, a group came along and they said,
14 "Our men have already passed Udric." Now, how they knew that, they were
15 just passing along, so they just said they passed Udric and they were
16 pressing on. This is what he said in passing. How he knew that, that
17 they had reached Udric, I have no idea. But that's less important.
18 Q. Thank you. Can you just tell us who informed you about this that
19 the first part of the come up had reached Udric, when and what time?
20 A. During the day a group came along as we were sitting close to the
21 water. They same along and said, "Our men are already at Udric." They
22 said, "Let's go. They have already reached Udric, and they have passed
23 it." That was the first part of the column. I didn't know the man at
24 all, but in passing this is what he said.
25 Q. Thank you, is it possible --
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir and everybody else, I think it's time
2 for the second break. We need the second break now for technical
4 We will adjourn and resume at 1.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.32 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 1.02 p.m.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you may continue.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I've
9 just been given some documents that were planned to be used with this
10 witness. I've only just received them now, because we had been told that
11 this witness would not come to testify before April, but I will now
12 proceed to ask him some questions regarding those documents.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness, during your testimony in the Popovic case, that's
15 transcript page 862, lines 8 through 24 -- let's wait for it to come up
16 on the monitors.
17 Well, I will just paraphrase your words. You said that in
18 February 1992, you joined the Croatian movement, and on lines 18 and 19
19 on the same page of the transcript, you say said:
20 "The pay was good, so I signed up."
21 Is that correct or not?
22 A. Well, I actually reported to the Croatian MUP, Ministry of the
24 Q. Thank you. In the Popovic transcript, you say on page 862 that
25 you went through 20 days of training there. Was that some kind of
1 training, or did you actually work as a MUP member?
2 A. Well, that was on-the-job training, as it were. I was both
3 training -- we underwent training by working in the town, going on
4 patrols, being on duty, and so on.
5 Q. Thank you. I believe you've answered my question.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Could we now please see 1D023. I
7 would like to see a paragraph from a book which says, "Srebrenica 1995,
8 In Search of Truth." Could we please have page 2 of document 1D023.
9 Q. On page 2 of this document -- we are still waiting for it to come
10 up on the screen. Page 2, paragraph 2. Thank you. Now we have it
11 before us.
12 Here it says -- the underlined portion says:
13 "The success of the Muslim was primarily due to illegal but
14 timely organised arming of paramilitary formations which obtained weapons
15 from depots of the reserve police complement and Territorial Defence. In
16 addition, a number -- a large number of them, about 10.000 from Bosnia
17 and Herzegovina, were sent for training to the training centre of the
18 Republic of Croatia. Illegally from this part of the country about 1.000
19 boys or young men were sent to Croatia. In the letter to executive
20 boards of the SDA, instructions were issued to send candidates to this
21 type -- to this training, and it was said that anyone -- everyone should
22 have a recommendation from the party and so on. This means that this was
23 a party military formation in creation. And this was signed by
24 Hasan Cengic, and also the address of this centre was mentioned here,
25 Strossmayer number 80, with a note that they are to report by Wednesday,
1 the 17th of July, 1991, until 1800 hours.
2 Thank you. This is the end of quote.
3 I thank you, and I've just been told by my advisor, legal
4 advisor, that we have this document in the English translation, and I
5 would appreciate it if we could show it so that the Trial Chamber can
6 also read it.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber has received the information that
8 there is no English translation. Therefore, we would be grateful if you
9 could tell us a little bit more about this book. You have quoted the
10 title, but who is the author? We don't know anything about that, so that
11 we can't check if the quotation is correctly in the record.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. This book was issued --
13 or published in Belgrade in Svecanik or by Svecanik company. It was
14 published within a series under number 48, and the author of this text is
15 Milivoje Ivan Misic, and the Prosecution has these documents and these
16 materials. Thank you.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When was it published, in which year?
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will just check for
19 the year of its publication. It was published in Belgrade in 2007.
20 Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. And now please put your
22 question to the witness.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. My
24 question was for the witness is following: Was he, too, sent by the SDA
25 for training in Croatia in keeping with the party decisions that we've
1 just read out or read about in this book? Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Could you tell me, how many men were there in the training camp
5 when you were there? Thank you.
6 A. Well, I wasn't a secret agent to go round counting the number of
7 men. I -- it didn't occur to me to do that. And there was no training
8 camp. I was at the police station in Makarska.
9 Q. Thank you. Were there only two of you from the Republic of
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina at the police station in Makarska?
11 A. Yes, we first arrived there as construction workers.
12 Q. And how old were you at the time?
13 A. I was 22.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 Before that you served the compulsory military service. So you
16 had undergone military training. Yes or no?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Tell me, then, please, why did you then attend this special
19 course in Makarska and in Croatia? Thank you.
20 A. Well, I wasn't undergoing any training. I was being actually
21 trained for police work, whereas while I served in the army and the
22 Yugoslav Army, I was an artillery conscript.
23 Q. Thank you. Now, tell me, how many days did you spend there and
24 how -- what kind of pay did you get for those 20 days, if I understood
25 you correctly?
1 A. Well, yes. I was there for 20 days, and I didn't get any money.
2 Then when I completed it, I went to the -- to my uncle's in Kutina near
4 Q. Thank you. In the Popovic testimony you said on page 1005,
5 line 5, that you were engaged in the Croatian Army and that you took part
6 in combat near Capljina. Am I -- have I represented this correctly?
7 A. Yes, and that was the reason why I actually left there.
8 Q. Thank you. Why were you then recruited as a member of the
9 Croatian Army, whereas you were in fact a citizen of Bosnia and
10 Herzegovina, and Capljina was in Bosnia and Herzegovina? Can you explain
11 that to the Trial Chamber.
12 A. Well, that's what I just said. When that happened, then I
13 decided to leave.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 Did I then quote you correctly? Did you actually attend training
16 at Strossmayer 80 street in Zagreb?
17 A. I don't know where that street is, nor have I ever heard of it.
18 Q. Thank you. On transcript page 864 in the Popovic case, you
19 testified about your contacts and your ties with Naser Oric, and in
20 response to Mr. Thayer's question, who is present here today, you said
21 the following when he asked you:
22 "Was one of your relatives Naser Oric?"
23 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not follow the rest.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Your answer was:
1 "Yes, he is a relative of mine."
2 That is what is stated in the transcript. Now, since you said
3 that, could you please explain for this Trial Chamber what kind of
4 relationship did you have and what kind of family ties did you have with
5 Naser Oric?
6 A. Well, I don't know how to describe it exactly, but his father and
7 my father were cousins or something like that. Now, what that would make
8 us then exactly, I'm not quite sure, but in any case, his father and my
9 father were cousins.
10 Q. Thank you. Now, tell me, did the fact that you were relatives,
11 did that fact have anything to do with your returning to Srebrenica at
12 Naser Oric's invitation?
13 A. No. I had my own reasons to return to Srebrenica, because my
14 wife gave birth on the 2nd of April, and that was my first child. So I
15 wanted to see my child. That's why I went back. And I hadn't had any
16 contacts with Naser.
17 Q. Thank you. A few moments ago you said in your statement that you
18 went as a courier to Tuzla, and you also said in the Popovic says, on
19 transcript page 1085, that Naser Oric asked you to go to Tuzla. Can you
20 please tell us why you went from Srebrenica to Tuzla during the combat
21 operations? Thank you.
22 A. When I arrived in Srebrenica, I rested a couple of days. Then I
23 went to see Naser at his invitation. We discussed the road to Tuzla, how
24 dangerous it was, how long the trip would take, and so on, and he said
25 then that be Srebrenica did not have a surgeon who could perform
1 surgeries. There were no medical supplies of any sort, no medicines,
2 nothing, and he said that we should go and bring a surgeon and bring some
3 medical supplies and things to that effect.
4 I actually refused to go, but when I went and visited the field
5 hospital and saw what was happening there, they were cutting people's
6 legs off without any anaesthetic, and people who weren't trained. So
7 they really did need a surgeon, so I decided to go.
8 Q. Thank you. Can we conclude on the basis of this statement and
9 other statements you gave that you were the commander of this, as you
10 called it, the intervention unit or the unit for resupplying the lines,
11 and that you were also discharging special courier duties when asked to
12 do so? Thank you.
13 A. When I left for Tuzla, there were no brigades or companies. They
14 were only beginning to become established at the time in 1992 when I left
15 for Tuzla. It was no duty just to bring a surgeon and bring medical
16 supplies, because I knew the ground, and I wouldn't have known the ground
17 if we did not have the main guide. He was leading me as well. He knew
18 the road, and I was going along with him. He was taking me, and I was
19 carrying the paper that required for the surgeon and medicines and so on.
20 Q. Thank you. As you told us that the brigades were established
21 only later on, can you tell us what was the military structure like,
22 because you commanded a small unit of ten men who were carrying ten
23 rifles, as you said in your statement in the Popovic case. Thank you.
24 A. When I went to Tuzla and returned with the surgeon and the
25 medical supplies, everything had been set up already. The villages
1 mainly set up their common army, the neighbouring villages. The villages
2 that were on the first line established a common unit for defence, for
3 standing guard and so on. At the time, I didn't know where I belonged.
4 Q. Can you tell us what year that was.
5 A. I did not hear the question.
6 Q. Can you tell us what year that was when these units in villages
7 were set up. Thank you.
8 A. That was, as I say, when I returned from Tuzla with the surgeon.
9 There was already a schedule for standing guard. Susnjari, Lehovici,
10 Babuljica, Jaglici. We gathered the men who were able to stand guard on
11 Buljim, and then we organised shifts, 24 hours, and then you would have
12 some rest, and so on.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 When you were carrying this paper requesting a doctor, did you
15 have another paper stating that you wanted your units to be replenished?
16 And how were the units replenished from the corps in your division?
17 Thank you.
18 A. There was no other paper, nor was there any replenishment of the
19 units. We just needed medical supplies. We brought some infusions, some
20 pain-killers. The surgeon was with us, and that was our task.
21 Q. Will you also tell me, how was your unit resupplied with weapons
22 and ammunition from Tuzla? Thank you.
23 A. We never got any supplies from Tuzla, no ammunition.
24 Q. I asked you about the division. Was the division receiving any
25 supplies from Tuzla?
1 A. I don't know that. I never heard that.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Could we please see the
4 document 1D31 from which one can see that the weapons were brought in and
5 that it was then distributed among the units.
6 Q. Whether you received it in lower units or not, maybe you did not
7 know how this was received, but you should know judging on the material
8 that it was received because you told us that you had bombs and you had
9 grenades, shells. They were not being produced in Srebrenica. Thank
11 Thank you. We can see the document now. You can have a look
12 yourself. And we can see from it that the president of the Presidency of
13 the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was informed about that. The date
14 of the document is the 13th of July, 1995, and it states how weapons,
15 ammunition, and equipment were being brought from Tuzla to the division
16 in Srebrenica. Can you see that now?
17 A. It's not easy to read.
18 Q. Can you read it or not? I can read it. Can you read it? Thank
20 A. Well, I have the reflection of light.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Could we please turn to pages 2
22 and 3. Thank you.
23 Q. Here you can see now on these pages how many bullets reached
24 Srebrenica, how many reached Zepa, and everything else, hand grenades,
25 contact fuse rifle launched grenades, automatic rifles, mortars, shells
1 for mortars, sniper rifles, bullets, Motorolas, and so on and so forth,
2 all the way to page 4.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Please show us page 4 on the
5 Q. Here you can see page 4. There's the signature. This was sent
6 to the Presidency by Rasim Delic. And the document, as we saw on the
7 first page at the heading, it is a document coming from the command, from
8 your Main Staff. Thank you.
9 A. This is the first time I see the documents, though this one is
10 without a stamp, but it's the first time I see it, and it is the first
11 time I hear about this.
12 Q. Thank you. This document was issued on the 13th of July, 1995,
13 and it's an interim report which was submitted by the 1st Corps command
14 to President Izetbegovic and signed by General Delic. The Prosecution
15 also has the document, just as I have it, so we should not doubt that it
16 was really produced at the time and for the purpose as stated. Thank
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you said that we can see a
19 signature. On the screen there is no signature to be seen, only a
20 written -- a typed name, "Rasim Delic." Just for the -- for the --
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This is
22 a document that was sent through a fax and communications equipment, so
23 they do not convey a signature, but just the original of the document.
24 And then the Prosecution can find out in the registers whether it was
25 original or not. If you don't trust me, you can ask them if it's an
1 original, and if they have it in their database or not. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, that was not the question. You said
3 you can see the signature. I just wanted, for the sake of the record,
4 state that there's no signature to be seen. The Chamber was not dealing
5 with anything else. Please carry on.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Maybe I
7 did not express myself properly. I just wanted to say that the document
8 was signed by Mr. Rasim Delic because of his function. But you are
9 right, there is no signature here. However, the document is an original.
10 Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Sir, can you tell us, as you had undergone training in Croatia
14 even before the war, was there a number of command officers from
15 Srebrenica who went for training to Tuzla and to the army command in
16 Sarajevo and other centres that were established in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
17 A. I did not undergo any kind of training. I said that I was in the
18 MUP in Croatia, but that was no training. It was a working obligation of
19 the MUP. And as for the commanders from Srebrenica, they did not undergo
20 any training. They went to have additional education so that they would
21 be awarded ranks.
22 Q. Thank you. You have answered my question. As you said, you
23 didn't undergo any training, did you participate in any combat before the
24 war but in Bosnia itself carried out by the Croatian Army?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Did you participate in combat that took part in Capljina? Thank
3 A. No. There were no operations carried out in Capljina. The
4 Yugoslav Army was in the barracks, and the civilian population from
5 Capljina withdrew, the women, the children. They went to Croatia. Our
6 task was to go to these houses because there are individuals in any town
7 who would want to loot and steel. They were not interested in the war.
8 So the abandoned houses from which people had gone to Croatia --
9 Q. Thank you.
10 Can you just tell the Trial Chamber if you were engaged in
11 Capljina in any task at the time when there were combat operations going
12 on between the Croatian Army and the Yugoslav People's Army? That was
13 before the beginning of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Thank you.
14 A. No.
15 Q. But you just said that your duty was to secure facilities, that
16 you were -- were you a part of the Croatian MUP at the time, or did you
17 come from Srebrenica on your own initiative to secure the houses?
18 A. You asked me if I participated in any war operations. While I
19 was there, there were no war operations going on. I secured houses so
20 that there would be no looting, but there were no war operations going
22 Q. What was going on in Capljina? Can you explain to the
23 Trial Chamber what was going on between the Croatian Army and the JNA at
24 the time in Capljina.
25 A. When I was there, nothing was going on, nothing.
1 Q. So there were no shootouts, there was no conflict, there was
2 nothing. So then why did the population leave Capljina? Thank you.
3 A. There were single shots fired during the night, and as for why
4 the population had left the town, you have to ask them. I wouldn't know
6 Q. Thank you.
7 So you deny that you had any role to play as a Croatian policeman
8 in Capljina, which is situated in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
9 during the events that we're talking about? Thank you.
10 A. No, there were no war operations going on.
11 Q. Thank you. Were you serving in the Croatian MUP at the time?
12 Thank you.
13 A. Yes, we had our badges.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 Can you answer this, please. You just said that officers went to
16 the territory of the BH Army. Was that illegal crossing over to this
17 territory, and to your knowledge were the officers from the 29th division
18 present in the commands of the BH Army in the territory of the BH Army in
20 A. I don't know that. I just know that those from Srebrenica had
21 gone. The commanders from Srebrenica had went to receive further
22 education, but as for the rest, I don't know that. And we heard -- after
23 a certain amount of time, we heard how they had gone to Tuzla. But on
24 that day and the following days, no one knew that they had gone or how
25 they had gone.
1 Q. All right. So that was kept secret. Can you explain to the
2 Trial Chamber what you heard afterwards. What and how did you hear?
3 A. We heard that some commanders from Srebrenica, though we didn't
4 know which ones had gone, we heard that they had gone from Zepa in a
5 helicopter to Tuzla for some further education. That was all that we
6 knew at the time, and that was what people were talking. The rumours
7 were circulating to that effect.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Can we please see 1D31, the first
10 page, which talks about the preparations of the BH Army in Srebrenica in
11 the period immediately before the events in July 1995? This is an
12 interim report of the 1st Corps command, the Brigadier General Mustafa
13 Hajrulahovic Talijan. Can you please show this document.
14 I apologise. I misspoke. This document was sent to Talijan, to
15 Talijan, because he was in contact with the Presidency. So it was sent
16 to Talijan. Thank you.
17 Q. My question, if you had occasion to peruse this, and if you need
18 further time, please take a look at it, so my question is this: At that
19 time did you talk amongst yourselves, you soldiers, about the joining up
20 of Srebrenica with the 21st Division of the 21st Corps in Tuzla?
21 A. No. No one ever discussed this, nor did we know anything about
22 it, because how could we think about it or talk about it when Srebrenica
23 was a protected zone, protected area? This is the first time that I hear
24 of something like this.
25 Q. Thank you. Well, the only reason I asked was that you said that
1 you heard about this subsequently.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I see Mr. Thayer wants to say a word.
3 MR. THAYER: Thank you --
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 MR. THAYER: I think it might be helpful for the record just to
6 try to get some specificity on date ranges that we're talking about when
7 the questions are being put to the witness. The document is dated the
8 13th of July, but the questions are referring to meetings and when people
9 learned certain things, and so on and so forth. I think it would just be
10 a little more helpful for the record if we could have some specificity as
11 to what periods of times, even a year or month or season that we're
12 talking about.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You could provide the witness with some
14 information, and the Chamber, on this topic, Mr. Tolimir? Then carry on,
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I heard
17 Mr. Thayer. This document is dated 13th of July, 1995, and it was shown
18 to this witness in the Popovic proceedings -- or, rather, it was
19 discussed there, and here it is marked as 1D31. This is an interim
20 report from the command of the 1st Corps, in which it is reported about
21 what had been done in Srebrenica before the fall of Srebrenica and so on.
22 So in this interim report, they're discussing and reporting on
23 what had been done before the fall of Srebrenica. And since the witness
24 said that he had heard about these activities, I wanted to ask him
25 whether he had heard about anything that was -- that can be found in this
1 document. Thank you.
2 Witness --
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Overlapping speakers]
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Sir, you can see in this document that the interim report
6 describes how commanders arrived from Tuzla in Srebrenica, four brigade
7 commanders, a Chief of Staff of the brigade, and a special task
8 commander. And their task was to actually conduct a joining up of the
9 units in Srebrenica and Zepa to the corps. Do you see it?
10 A. Well, I do see it, but I'd never heard about this. I don't know
11 about this, but Srebrenica wasn't a very large area. The protected area
12 was a small territory, so I don't believe -- or I can't believe that they
13 could have arrived without anyone knowing about it, without UNPROFOR
14 noticing those commanders arriving, and so on.
15 Q. Well, thank you. But as you can see in this interim report,
16 Talijan is reporting to the president and describing how they had
17 undergone training and that the joining up of brigades was ordered. So
18 it's not that I said this. He said that.
19 Now, tell me, how did these preparations actually translate on
20 what was done on the ground, and what kind of preparations were done for
21 the joining up of these units according or pursuant to the decisions that
22 were made at the command -- the brigade command level?
23 A. Well, I don't know, and I just don't understand how he could have
24 reported on this to the president, because it was already late on the
25 13th that I was there. But as for Srebrenica and these flights, as I was
1 saying a moment ago, Srebrenica is a small area, and UNPROFOR was there,
2 and it would have had to be blind not to notice that. So it was
3 impossible for them not to see these presentations being carried out and
4 not to see any of these weaponry. But I never heard of this, and this is
5 the first time that I see this document, today, and any mention of that.
6 Q. Well, if I may explain for the Trial Chamber. This is a report
7 where the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina is -- it is reported to them
8 what had been done in order to carry out this joining of units. And I
9 was just asking you about what you know about the preparations on the
10 ground pursuant to these preparations.
11 A. Well, as I said again, I didn't -- I've never seen this document
12 before. As for our preparations, what I did is I would go with my squad
13 to the field. I would patrol the area that was now -- where there was a
14 gap where the UNPROFOR had been. We provided the locations of our
15 bunkers to the UNPROFOR, but then the Chetniks found them out, so they
16 came to those bunkers. And so we were in a position where we had to make
17 sure and secure or stand guard around those bunkers because they weren't
18 willing to do that. UNPROFOR had moved out from there. So these were
19 our preparations for the operations in question. So there were no
20 preparations for any kind of operations. People were working in the
21 field. They were busy in their homes. They were working the land, and
22 their only obligation, for instance, in my case, was to go every other
23 day and patrol those areas. And for these operations, this is the first
24 time I hear about them.
25 Q. Thank you. Now, during your testimony you said -- or, rather, in
1 your statements you said that you knew what a nitroglycerine bullet is
2 and that it explodes, when it bursts, it actually emits some kind of
3 light. Is that true?
4 A. Well, no, that's not true. Nitroglycerine does not actually
5 produce any light. It actually sets things on fire.
6 Q. Thank you. So you knew the characteristics. Now, you said that
7 your army did not use this type of bullet.
8 A. No. The Chetniks were actually the ones who used them.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, if you take a look again at the table that I
10 showed you just a moment ago, the document 1D31, on page 3 --
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Can we please have it on the
12 screen. Thank you.
13 Q. Now, please take a look at item 40 here. What can you read
14 there? Could you tell us, please. If you can make it out.
15 A. Yes, I can see it.
16 Q. Can you see how many nitroglycerin rounds according to this
17 report arrived in Srebrenica?
18 A. One hundred pieces.
19 Q. Thank you. I just wanted to point out that this type of
20 ammunition was used by the BH Army.
21 A. Well, I don't know how it was then that Srebrenica fell when we
22 received all this weaponry and all this ammunition.
23 Q. Thank you, but that wasn't my question. Now, could you please
24 answer my next question.
25 It says here in this table that 635 complete uniforms were sent,
1 and you said that in July 1995, you did not have a uniform. But let me
2 ask you this: Did you wear a uniform at any time between 1991 and 1995?
3 A. No.
4 Q. So as a member of the BH Army, you were -- in fact, you did not
5 have a uniform. Is that the conclusion based on your answer? Is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now I would move to tender this
10 document, 1D31, into evidence. And I would also request that we see now
11 video 1D24 with the Trial Chamber's permission. This was recorded by an
12 amateur video camera.
13 On this video we do not have a translation into English.
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Without a transcript into
15 English, the English booth will remain silent.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please pause a little bit. The
18 Trial Chamber confers in a moment.
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: When we saw the interim report of the 13th of
21 July, 1995, this witness couldn't give any comment here on the content of
22 this document. He told us that this was the first time he saw it. He
23 didn't comment about delivery of weaponry or ammunition or uniforms, so
24 that the Chamber is not in the position to receive this document as an
1 We can't continue because we are running out of time. We can't
2 see the next -- the video.
3 What is your proposal? Do you want to continue with the
4 cross-examination then on Thursday this week?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I do not
6 have any additional questions. I just wanted to show that the BH Army
7 were without uniforms even when a review of troops was conducted, which
8 was something that was mentioned here. And it was said here that they
9 were in civilian clothes even in the presence of UNPROFOR, and I just
10 wanted to point out that and also check the numbers and composition of
11 the column. Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps we can see this video at another stage of
13 our proceeding. Do you have any additional questions to this witness?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Well, but perhaps this witness
15 would recognise his commander or his unit on this footage, because this
16 review of troops was carried out in Srebrenica, and I do have some
17 additional questions for this witness.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In this case, we have to adjourn now because --
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I have a total of 132 questions, if
20 I am allowed to put them all, but that was my plan. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That is your right to put the questions to this
22 witness, no doubt.
23 And therefore I'm very sorry, to you, Mr. Oric, you have to stay
24 in The Hague until Thursday. This is the next day of our hearing, and
25 then we will continue your examination. The court officer will assist
1 you during the next days, and you are today free to leave the courtroom,
2 and we have to adjourn and resume on Thursday this week. Thank you very
4 We adjourn.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.48 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 25th day
7 of March, 2010, at 2.15 p.m.