1 Tuesday, 29 June 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning to everybody in the courtroom and
7 Could the witness be brought in, please.
8 [The witness takes the stand]
9 WITNESS: LOUIS FORTIN [Resumed]
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good morning, sir. Could you please take your
12 I would like to remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth
13 still applies.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I think Mr. Tolimir has some more questions
16 for you.
17 Mr. Tolimir.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 I would like to greet everyone present in the courtroom. I would
20 like that you have God's peace, and I hope that this trial would conclude
21 with divine providence. And I greet the witness as well.
22 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
23 Q. [Interpretation] Last time, Mr. Witness, we left off on document
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have the document
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] And the topic discussed at that
3 time was an exchange, all for all. You said at the time that Mr. Begovic
4 [as interpreted] sent a letter to representatives in July, which is
5 document 1D68 [as interpreted], containing his plan of the evacuation of,
6 if possible, the entire population of Zepa. And on pages -- on the
7 page 3233, lines 18 to 19, you gave an answer:
8 "I don't think that his plan was implemented."
9 Do you remember having answered my question in that manner?
10 Thank you.
11 A. I remember we discussed it, but I don't remember exactly the
12 words I used.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, since the witness cannot
14 recollect, can we please have 1D68 [as interpreted] on our screens? Yes,
15 it's up.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. And I would kindly ask the witness to look at page 3233, lines 18
18 to 19, and I'm citing:
19 "This has not been implemented according to his plan because the
20 BS had evacuated the Zepa population."
21 Does that help with your recollection, and is that the answer
22 that you gave me? Thank you.
23 A. Well, I'm not sure it's the answer I gave you, but, yes, the
24 evacuation of Zepa, I was not aware of a plan by Izetbegovic [Realtime
25 transcript read in error "Begovic"] until I got here for this trial, so
1 my understanding at the time was that the Serbs and UNPROFOR had agreed
2 to evacuate people from Zepa into Bosniak territory, that's all.
3 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us, was that an agreement between
4 UNPROFOR and the Army of the RS, without the consent of the Zepa Muslims?
5 Thank you.
6 A. Well, I'm not sure. I know that the Zepa Muslims, as you called
7 them, had agreed -- had signed a document of agreement with the VRS,
8 against General Smith's better advice, but eventually, regardless of the
9 detail of that agreement, the VRS was there, UNPROFOR had deployed more
10 troops to Zepa to prevent something like Srebrenica from happening, and
11 it was agreed to evacuate everyone as quickly as possible under UNPROFOR
12 supervision, but with Serb-provided buses and trucks and fuel.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Witness, may I ask you, if you were talking about
14 Mr. Izetbegovic or Begovic, as we called it in page 2, line 23?
15 THE WITNESS: Well, as shown on the letter, it's Izetbegovic, the
16 president, and I think that's the name that should have appeared on the
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
19 And the document will be received, as required by the accused.
20 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 1D168 will be Exhibit D54.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
22 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Can we please now have in e-court document 1D168 -- correction,
25 1D68 [as interpreted]. I apologise. Thank you. It's a review of a
1 document compiled by Viktor Bezruchenko, a lieutenant-colonel and a
2 member of the command of the sector, just like Mr. Otin [as interpreted]
3 was. It's entitled "The Fall of Zepa, The Review of Military
4 Developments." We're going to look at this document, and can we please
5 see in e-court the English version of the document. I repeat the number.
6 It's 1D186, 1D186, page 27 in English, paragraph 101. And in the Serbian
7 language, it's page 27 as well.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
9 MR. THAYER: Good morning, Mr. President.
10 Just some clarification for the record. We've got some
11 uncertainty in the transcript. General Tolimir referred to
12 Mr. Bezruchenko as a member of the command, and then there was a
13 reference to another individual, and now it's disappeared. I think he
14 said -- or at least what I heard was he was a lieutenant-colonel and a
15 member of the command, just like somebody, and then there was a caret in
16 the transcript and now it's all gone. I don't know if there was an
17 actual part to the question that referred to another person, first of
18 all, that needs to be reflected in the transcript; and, secondly, I'm not
19 sure to which command General Tolimir is referring to in July of 1995.
20 I think everybody's agreed that Mr. Bezruchenko was a member of the
21 Civil Affairs Office of UNPROFOR.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, if you use e-court, you could go back
23 to that portion of the transcript.
24 MR. THAYER: Yes. I'm referring to page 3 in my version,
25 line 24. It's at the point where General Tolimir called out for the
1 document 1D68. At one point, he referred to another individual in
2 addition to Mr. Bezruchenko. It's no longer there. I just didn't know
3 whether we -- or he wants a reference to this other individual that he
4 mentioned. It's disappeared from the transcript, so unfortunately
5 looking at the transcript is not going to help us at the moment, but --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will help us. I would like to clarify the
7 situation and to quote on page 3, line 24. Mr. Tolimir said:
8 "It's a review of a document compiled by Viktor Bezruchenko, a
9 lieutenant-colonel and a member of the command, entitled "The Fall of
10 Zepa, The Review of Military Developments."
11 And you're referring to this portion; is that correct?
12 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President. As I said, when the question
13 was first asked, there was a reference to another individual and that has
14 disappeared from the transcript, so I just wanted to make sure that it
15 was reflecting General Tolimir's question properly. That's all.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Does that mean that you're now satisfied with the
18 MR. THAYER: I'm satisfied. I don't know whether, for his
19 purposes, General Tolimir is satisfied with this individual having
20 disappeared from the transcript. That's all.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
22 Mr. Tolimir, would you like to comment on the comment of
23 Mr. Thayer?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
25 you, Mr. Thayer.
1 I said that Bezruchenko was a member of the command, and the
2 French lieutenant-general. It is correct what Mr. Thayer said, that he
3 was in charge of Civil Affairs, but I said that he was also the
4 lieutenant-colonel like Mr. Louis Fortin. I think that was the name that
5 Mr. Thayer was looking for. He had the same rank like Louis Fortin, and
6 probably the interpreters didn't hear me because I speak too fast and not
7 as properly as should be required for the interpreters to manage.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you sure that you said it's a
9 French lieutenant-general?
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It is possible that I said he was a
11 Frenchman. He was a member of the command of the UNPROFOR French
12 contingent in charge of civil affairs. Probably, according to his name,
13 he might be of the Ukrainian descent, or maybe something else. I'm not
14 sure. Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
16 Now we should continue the examination of the witness. Would you
17 like to put a question to the witness?
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. Now we have on our screens page 27, paragraph 101, and in the
20 B/C/S it's also page 27. I'm interested in the first sentence under 101,
21 which reads:
22 "President Izetbegovic, on the 25th of July, in his letter to the
23 Security Council, requested UNPROFOR to assist with the safe evacuation
24 of the civilians. The Security Council immediately responded through a
25 presidential statement in the positive way."
1 And we can see that there was proof of what is written here.
2 My question for the witness was whether you were aware and
3 whether it was general knowledge at the time that the command of UNPROFOR
4 and your sector knew that Izetbegovic addressed the Security Council,
5 asking UNPROFOR to facilitate with the evacuation, and the
6 Security Council issued a presidential statement granting this request.
7 A. I don't recall being aware of discussions at that level. As you
8 see, discussions are happening between President Izetbegovic and
9 General Smith. I may have been aware of that information being passed on
10 to General Gobillard, and I usually was with him when he met
11 General Smith, so I may have been aware that this had been requested.
12 But on the 25th of July, I was just about to leave for Zepa, so it's
13 possible that I was not made aware of that information. But I don't
14 recall for sure, Mr. President.
15 Q. Thank you, Mr. Witness. I would kindly ask you to respond to my
16 question, which is: Did your command and UNPROFOR know that
17 Alija Izetbegovic had written a letter to the Security Council with
18 regard to the evacuation of the population from Zepa, and that the
19 Security Council had confirmed that through a presidential statement of
21 A. Well, in the first question he asked me if I knew, and as I said,
22 I don't recall for sure. Now, that UNPROFOR knew, probably, but I'm
23 assuming. I don't know for sure.
24 Q. Thank you. Whenever the Security Council issued such a
25 presidential statement according to Bezruchenko, did that impose any
1 obligations on UNPROFOR, and did such statements have any reflection on
2 the way UNPROFOR was bound to act? Thank you.
3 A. Well, if such an agreement came from the Security Council, of
4 course, UNPROFOR would have to do its best to execute. If any orders
5 coming from such high up -- or agreements were beyond UNPROFOR's ability,
6 then again it would be UNPROFOR's duty to report back and say, Well, in
7 order to execute, we need more time, more resources, or we suggest a
8 different approach. But generally we would -- UNPROFOR would obey
9 directives coming from the Security Council.
10 Q. Thank you. Was the presidential statement of the
11 Security Council a directive that should have been perceived as such by
12 UNPROFOR commanders?
13 A. Well, I don't know. We'd have to look at the document, and all
14 that I have is a statement -- I believe it's a statement by
15 Mr. Bezruchenko which refers to that. I can't assume from a third
16 document that this order is what you say it is.
17 Q. Thank you. The document he references to --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Would the accused please read the numbers
19 slowly. Thank you.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We can pull up this document, show
21 it to you, and perhaps ask those who were charged with implementing the
22 decisions of the Security Council.
23 Let me remind you. On page of the transcript 3233 --
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please repeat the document number.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 The document number is N043043531. Thank you. Based on this
2 document, one can see that the Security Council had issued a presidential
3 statement. Thank you. This is not in e-court. It's only mentioned in
4 the footnote referenced by Mr. Bezruchenko. Therefore, I would like to
5 move on.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Sir, you said, on page 3233, line 19, that the VRS had evacuated
8 the population. Is that correct? Thank you.
9 A. In fact, when I arrived on the 26th of July, as I recounted last
10 Thursday, it had already started. Buses and trucks were used, with
11 usually a Ukrainian soldier on board, to make sure that the Bosniak
12 population of Zepa was sent to where it was intended to be sent, so yes.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Can we please now see in e-court page 25 of the report that we
15 are seeing currently on our screens. That's 1D186, page 29,
16 paragraph 105, which reads as follows, and I quote -- it's the next page
17 in English:
18 "UNPROFOR started evacuation from Zepa on 25 July. French
19 Battalion 2 of Sector Sarajevo, in the afternoon of the 25th July, sent a
20 medivac convoy to Zepa for evacuation of the wounded."
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation].
22 Q. Please, can you look at this portion in your language as well?
23 Thank you.
24 My question is: Is this contradictory to what you say, that the
25 VRS was the one who commenced the evacuation from Zepa? Thank you.
1 A. Well, I don't think it's contradictory. And who started in what
2 order, I don't recall for sure. But as we see the next line, a thousand
3 people were evacuated using VRS buses, so in my mind - I was on the road
4 at the time - it's part of one big operation which is co-ordinated.
5 Q. Thank you. Would you agree that the first evacuation was
6 conducted by using the vehicles of your command and UNPROFOR and that
7 151 wounded or sick people were evacuated? Thank you.
8 A. This is what the text in front of me says, and I have no reason
9 to doubt its validity.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Fortin.
11 Can we please now see document -- page 23 of Bezruchenko's
12 description of the events, which is document 1D186 that we are currently
13 seeing on our screens. It's page 26, paragraph 86, in the Serbian
14 language, through to 89. Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's on the screen now, yes.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Q. Will you please look at item 86, the last paragraph, which reads:
18 "The Defence of Zepa has collapsed, and surrender of the enclave
19 to the BSA has been accepted. Large numbers of DPs wishing to seek
20 refuge in federation-controlled territory will therefore have to be
22 UNPROFOR, in its operative order dated 20th of July, assessed the
23 situation in this manner as I just read out to you. So I'm talking about
24 a report from the operative order issued by the UNPROFOR. Do you
25 recollect this?
1 A. I don't recollect -- I did not recollect it in those exact words,
2 but, yes, it makes sense.
3 Q. Thank you. Is that an operative order of UNPROFOR that was
4 compiled already on the 20th of July; do you remember that? Thank you.
5 A. Well, I see the document that is referenced, but there's no --
6 there's no date. It says [indiscernible] "11/95." I'll have to look at
7 the document, itself, on the date. But paragraph 86 says it is dated
8 20th of July, so, again, I have no reason to doubt that that information
9 is correct.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Fortin. Could you please tell me whether UNPROFOR
11 had its own tasks within that order in relation to Zepa? Thank you.
12 A. I don't know. I don't recall that order by heart.
13 Q. Thank you. I'm going to remind you. Bezruchenko says, I quote:
14 "UNPROFOR should, together with the Government of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the UNHCR and the International Red Cross,
16 co-ordinate the relocation of displaced persons to Zenica. The
17 evacuation was supposed to take place in three stages, and it was
18 supposed to involve UNPROFOR forces from Sector Sarajevo,
19 Sector North-East, Sector South-West, as well as the UNPROFOR Command.
20 The Command of the Drina Corps in that stage co-ordinated practical
21 preparations for the evacuation of people from Zepa."
22 That is what Mr. Bezruchenko says. I have reminded you of that,
23 what the plan contains, and now I'm going to ask you the following: Do
24 we see from this report of Bezruchenko's that even before the
25 24th of July, before Alija Izetbegovic spoke to the Security Council on
1 the 25th of July, the UNPROFOR -- or, rather, UNPROFOR issued this order
2 that Bezruchenko is referring to and that has to do with evacuation. Can
3 you explain to us who was in charge of issuing this kind of order within
4 UNPROFOR before all of these things happened? Thank you.
5 A. Well, I don't know who the person would be, but it's operations
6 at headquarters UNPROFOR who would issue that kind of order.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Fortin.
8 Could I please have the statement of this witness, that is, D50,
9 and could we see page 20, paragraph 4 in Serbian. In English, it's
10 page 21 and the last paragraph at that. Thank you. The last paragraph.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. We see that paragraph, where it says -- we see the fourth
13 paragraph, don't we, on both sides:
14 "Gobillard later found out that Smith and Karl Bildt had recently
15 met with Mladic, and Smith was told by Mladic that Zepa was in his hands.
16 Smith then went to Izetbegovic to discuss UNPROFOR assistance in the
17 evacuation of the population."
18 And now my question: In relation to the evacuation of the sick
19 and wounded from Zepa, did UNPROFOR do that before or after this meeting
20 of Mr. Smith's? Thank you.
21 A. Well, I think it was done after. The previous document, we were
22 looking at July 25th for the evacuation of the injured and sick.
23 Q. Thank you. And on what date was the operative order issued in
24 relation to these documents, I mean, in terms of this military analysis
25 that Bezruchenko is referring to? Do you remember that? Thank you.
1 A. According to Bezruchenko's statement, it was July 20th, but such
2 an operation order is not necessarily the only one issued on a certain
3 subject. For example, in most of the countries they used a NATO system.
4 You issue an operation order, and then as the situation evolves, you
5 issue supplementary order to that operational order to take into account
6 changes in the situation, evolution in the situation, resources that you
7 counted on that are no longer available, and so forth. But as I said,
8 the order -- the initial order was dated July 20th, according to
9 Bezruchenko's statement.
10 Q. Thank you. As for the part we quoted just now, the sentence
11 stating: "Gobillard later found out that Smith and Karl Bildt had
12 recently met with Mladic," does that perhaps pertain to the 19th of July?
13 Thank you.
14 A. I have no idea.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Could we now have page 30, paragraph 106. Thank you. Again, it
17 is this report of Viktor Bezruchenko's. Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: 1D186.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Paragraph 106, paragraph 106, both
20 in Serbian and in English. Thank you.
21 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: Could we please have the
22 appropriate English version as well.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. UNPROFOR Sector Sarajevo report for the 26th of July described
25 the situation as follows:
1 "In accordance with the order of UNPROFOR commander and decision
2 of sector commander, our units took part in the evacuation of wounded
3 people from Zepa to Sarajevo and civil population to Kladanj. This
4 process is ongoing."
5 Then it goes on, I quote:
6 "UNPROFOR Sector Sarajevo G2 office assessed that Zepa looks like
7 under BSA control one way or another."
8 "G2 also noted there was no UNHCR or ICRC representatives on the
9 ground and that General Tolimir respected the evacuation agreement, and
10 that the BSA apparently were seeking to complete the evacuation on the
11 26th of July."
12 In relation to this citation, I have a few questions.
13 There's a reference to the commander of UNPROFOR and the sector
14 commander and their reports -- or, rather, their orders. Do you know
15 whether there was this kind of order issued by the two commanders, and do
16 you know who was the commander of UNPROFOR at the time and who was the
17 commander of Sector Sarajevo in charge of Zepa at the time? Do you
18 remember? Thank you.
19 A. Well, we've already talked about the order. The sector commander
20 at the time was General Gobillard and the UNPROFOR commander was
21 General Smith.
22 Q. Thank you. We saw, in this paragraph, that Bezruchenko is
23 conveying that Tolimir respected the evacuation agreement and the BSA
24 apparently was seeking to complete the evacuation on the 26th of July.
25 My question is as follows: Can you explain, in situations when the
1 civilian population is evacuated, how important is it for it to be
2 carried out quickly and efficiently in war zones? Thank you.
3 A. Well, I think "quickly" is not the key word here, but
4 "efficiently" is. As I mentioned the other day, it's important that on
5 the receiving end that the government and local authorities are prepared
6 to take in an imported influx of people, people coming with nothing,
7 basically, so they need to be looked after in every respect. So
8 efficiently for that purpose and also for the purpose of ensuring that
9 everybody gets to where they're supposed to go under UNPROFOR escort,
10 which was UNPROFOR's part in that evacuation, escorting every vehicle,
11 having one soldier on board every vehicle, to make sure that they were
12 going to their destination.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Fortin.
14 I would like to ask the President for the document 1D186 to
15 admit -- to be admitted into evidence.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, first I would like to see the first
17 page to identify the document, and I would like to know how many pages
18 this document contains.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] As you are putting this question,
20 my legal advisor is checking how many pages the document contains. The
21 document has been translated both into Serbian and English, and we
22 received it from the database.
23 I have just found out from my legal advisor that the document has
24 35 pages and that it was translated both into English and Serbian, and it
25 speaks of the chronology of what happened in Srebrenica -- sorry, I do
1 apologise, in Zepa.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
3 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, just to provide the Trial Chamber
4 with some context to the document. I think the Trial Chamber probably
5 has a sense that on our side, our approach to evidence coming before the
6 Trial Chamber is the more the merrier. In this case, what this is is a
7 narrative that was drafted by Mr. Bezruchenko, who is a military analyst
8 employed by the OTP. At the time, as we've already heard, he was a
9 Civil Affairs officer with UNPROFOR. This narrative was drafted at a
10 late date in the Popovic trial and, therefore, was not relied upon by the
11 Prosecution at all in that case, nor do we intend to rely upon the report
12 or Mr. Bezruchenko's testimony in this case as well. We have other
13 witnesses who testified in Popovic. So this is somewhat akin, I suppose,
14 to an expert report, although we have never relied on it, we don't intend
15 to rely on it. We've got all the live witnesses and the documents
16 already on our witness list who will testify and provide their accounts
17 and authenticate documents first-hand. So there's probably a lot in this
18 narrative that will never see the light of day one way or the other.
19 We've got no problem with that, but I just wanted the
20 Trial Chamber to understand that this is not -- as opposed to, for
21 example, an expert report by Richard Butler, who will be coming to
22 testify, will not be returned to by the Prosecution over and over again.
23 Just to give you that sense of background to the document.
24 Again, we've got no objection to it coming in before the
25 Trial Chamber.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
2 Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering the whole document or only those
3 parts -- those paragraphs used in examining this witness?
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like the
5 entire document to be admitted into evidence. As you have heard, the
6 document was compiled in a certain way. There's no need for me to repeat
7 it. I would like to ask for it to be admitted in its entirety. If
8 necessary, if you give me enough time, I can put questions in relation to
9 the entire document, but I selected just a few so that I could put more
10 questions in relation to other things. Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The entire document will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D55.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
16 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Could we please have in e-court D50. That is his statement.
19 Page 22 of that statement - thank you - in Serbian, that is. It's
20 page 24 in English. Thank you.
21 Thank you. Now we see page 22 and 24. 24 is in English.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. And now we are briefly going to deal with the question of the
24 agreement. You witnessed the signing of that agreement. The question
25 was whether the agreement on the exchange of all for all -- I'm actually
1 referring to page 24 and paragraph number 2. It says here:
2 "Smith told us that the agreement had just been signed without
3 the authority of the Bosnian government."
4 And now again you say:
5 "However, even though Smith had told them and confirmed that no
6 such agreement had been signed, they believed it had happened."
7 On the basis of these two matters, when talking to the
8 representatives of the Muslims, did you find out how come they had
9 grounds to believe that the agreement on the exchange of prisoners, all
10 for all, had been signed? Thank you.
11 A. Well, I don't think that the -- that these two representatives
12 knew that there was an agreement all for all, because there was no such
13 agreement, and General Smith was telling them not to sign that agreement
14 with Mladic because an all-for-all prisoner exchange agreement did not
15 exist. And as we discussed last week, UNPROFOR could not provide all the
16 guarantees that this agreement was proposing.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Fortin.
18 Could 1D163 -- that is to say, 1D163, could we have that in
19 e-court, page 2, the first paragraph, lines 1 through 11. That's a
20 document of two pages. I assume that it has two pages in English as
21 well. So page 2.
22 Thank you, we see the first page. The date is the 20th of July,
23 1995. That was on the first page, and now I am reading out the
24 following. It's the penultimate paragraph:
25 "The Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina at this point in time has a total
1 of 350 aggressor soldiers in our prisons. The agreement all for all that
2 was reached on the 20th of July at the airport means that all members of
3 the army from all aggressor prisons and camps, including those in
4 Srebrenica, should be released, as well as the entire population," or,
5 rather --"
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I have to stop you, because you were
7 reading too fast and the last portion of this quotation was not
8 translated. Please slow down while reading.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, for
10 having cautioned me.
11 I'm going to read the last sentence slowly for the benefit of the
13 "Our request is for the completion of the evacuation, first of
14 all, of the civilian population from Zepa in the first phase, followed
15 then by those fit for military service as you requested."
16 This is what I'd like to point out, "as you requested," in the
17 way in which you had requested:
18 "The all-for-all agreement, well done. We would be grateful if
19 you can pull it off. That is the response from Zepa. If you save the
20 people from Zepa, they and the combatants will be eternally grateful.
21 Please inform us tomorrow following the negotiations about them. Over."
22 Could we now please look at page 1 of this agreement, both in
23 Serbian and in English, so that we would see that it was written on the
24 20th and that it is a government official that is presenting this,
25 Amor Masovic, who was in charge of prisoner exchanges in the Federation
1 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, what is your question?
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. My question for Mr. Fortin would be as follows: Did he know that
5 the Muslims already had Amor Masovic's report on the all-for-all exchange
6 already on the 20th and that that is why they said that they believed
7 that the agreement had been signed? Thank you.
8 A. Perhaps, but I don't know who this Masovic is. And on the second
9 page, the following paragraph was alluding to "inform us tomorrow on the
10 results," so perhaps it was not an agreement that was signed. Perhaps it
11 was just a document that was being discussed. So I'm not sure.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Fortin. I have clearly read this out to you, and
13 now we're going to add the following. We're actually going to see where
14 the agreement was signed. Amor Masovic says this. I have just read out
15 the document.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, 1D167, could that be
17 displayed, please.
18 Thank you. We see it in Serbian. Could it please be shown to
19 the witness in English as well.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Q. Now we see the document. This is a report from the 26th of July.
22 It's a report from Zepa that, and I quote:
23 "Mr. President, minister, the negotiations at Boksanica ended
24 this evening. They were attended by General Smith, and the criminal
25 Mladic," that's what he says, "and Hamdija Torlak, the chairman of Zepa
1 Municipality Executive Committee. Nothing was agreed at these
2 negotiations because General Smith did not bring the agreement on the
3 all-for-all exchange, but today I was informed by the General Staff that
4 the agreement on this all-for-all exchange had been accepted by our side
5 and that General Smith had taken it with him. General Smith stated in
6 the presence of Hamdija Torlak that you were seeking a few more
7 concessions for the exchange to take place.
8 "If this has not been resolved by them by 8.00, the negotiations
9 will be ended and UNPROFOR will withdraw from Zepa."
10 Mr. Fortin, can one see, on the basis of this document, that the
11 Muslims from Zepa, their War Presidency, are informing Alija Izetbegovic
12 about the fact that they knew that an all-for-all agreement had been
13 signed, and we saw that Amor Masovic had told them as far back as the
14 20th that an all-for-all agreement had been signed, and that he gave them
15 the exact order or sequence in which it was to be carried out? Can you
16 not see that this was well known even before General Smith came? Thank
18 A. Not quite, because towards the bottom third of that same letter,
19 he asks Izetbegovic:
20 "We ask you once again if you have accepted and signed the
21 all-for-all agreement, please send it overnight to General Smith ..."
22 "If you have accepted and signed the all-for-all agreement." In
23 the previous letter where you showed that discussion had happened on the
24 20th of July, there was a sentence that I had time to read which said
25 that discussions were to carry on the next day at 11.00 with Mr. Bulajic,
1 who was the representative of the Serbs for the Prisoner Exchange
2 Commission, I guess, and was not present on the 20th, so that does not
3 prove anything. That does not prove that the agreement --
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Fortin. I'm sorry, you can finish what you have
5 started to say.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Just for the record, we are looking at a document
7 with a date 26th of July, 1995, and you should continue your answer,
8 Mr. Fortin.
9 THE WITNESS: I said that does not prove that the -- that there
10 was an all-for-all agreement on prisoner exchange as early as the
11 20th of July.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Fortin.
14 Can I please have document 1D167 entered into evidence?
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, it will be received.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As D56.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please go back to the
18 document that we had seen a short while ago, which is 1D163, page 2.
19 This is a telegram sent by Amor Masovic to the Bosnian leadership in
20 Zepa. Thank you.
21 Can we please look at line 3 on page 2 in the B/C/S, and it's in
22 paragraph 2 on page 2 in the English, which reads:
23 "The all-for-all agreement reached at the airport on the
24 20th of July includes the release of all members of the army from all of
25 the aggressor's prisons and camps, including the new captives from
1 Srebrenica ..."
2 I'm not going to read this again.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. All I wanted to ask you is this: This representative of the Army
5 of BH for exchange of prisoners, is he talking about an agreement that
6 had been reached on the 20th of July and that it implied an exchange of
7 prisoners all for all?
8 A. This is what the document says, yes.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 I would kindly ask the President for document 1D163 to be
11 admitted into evidence, provided it's not already been admitted. Thank
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D57.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
16 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, maybe in the interests of saving a
17 little bit of redirect examination time, while we have this document on
18 the screen, and we have no objection to its admission, if we could just
19 look at page 1 of the document. And we've spent some time on this
20 document. Again just to save some time, General Tolimir has repeatedly
21 referred to this as evidence of a signed agreement, and I just ask if the
22 witness could be given an opportunity to read the first paragraph of this
23 document, and that way I don't have to call it up again and deal with it
24 in redirect.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
1 Mr. Tolimir, do you have any additional question to the witness
2 on this document?
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
4 no further questions relating to this document. All I want is that now
5 we see 1D164, dated the 19th, be shown in this courtroom, which shows the
6 follow-up and the continuity of the signing of the agreement on exchange
7 all for all.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we move to the next document, I would like
9 to ask the witness if he could comment on the first paragraph of this
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, Mr. President, thank you.
12 In the middle of the first paragraph, this is the little
13 paragraph that I said I had time to read:
14 "Since the aggressor's commission did not include their
15 representative from the Commission for Exchange, Dragan Bulajic, the
16 details of the agreement could not be hammered out, the number of persons
17 to be exchanged on both sides, but both sides agreed to continue the
18 negotiations at 1100 hours tomorrow."
19 So the following paragraph on page 2 does not refer to an
20 agreement reached and signed on the 20th, as we can see there in that
21 same document, and that's the point I was making earlier.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
23 Now we should proceed to the next document.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Q. Mr. Fortin, if two commissions reach an agreement and they do not
1 enter each and every name of the persons subject of this agreement,
2 should those who are subsequently to implement this agreement obliged to
3 add any names that would be subject of the exchange?
4 A. I don't know. I'm not familiar with this type of a negotiation
5 and I was not privy to them.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Can we now look at this document that we see now in front of us,
8 which is 1D164. Can we please enlarge it so that we can read it. Thank
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You can see that this document was received by the Communications
12 Centre in Sarajevo, that it was addressed to the president of the
13 Presidency, Alija Izetbegovic, Prime Minister Silajdzic, president of the
14 association of the people from Zepa, Bahir Helic [phoen]. We see that
15 this was sent by the War Presidency of Zepa. We can see that that on
16 page 2. And it was signed by the commander of the 285th Light Zepa
17 Brigade, and it reads as follows:
18 "On 19th July, there was a meeting between the representatives of
19 the civilian authorities of Zepa municipality, attended by Hamdija Torlak
20 and Hamdija Kulovac, and the representatives of the Chetnik side,
21 Generals Mladic and Tolimir, and the chief of the Ukrainian Company.
22 "The Serbian side set the following conditions ..."
23 Under A, sub-item A, to exchange the wounded according to the
24 following schedule. I'm reading item 1:
25 "Safe passage should be allowed across the Serbian territory by
1 free choice to the population according to the following schedule:"
2 And I repeat "free choice."
3 "A. The wounded and the sick.
4 "B. Women and small children."
5 And the remainder of the population.
6 After that:
7 "Transportation from Zepa would be provided from Zepa by using
8 the vehicles of the aggressor's side and with an UNPROFOR escort both at
9 the front and the rear of the convoy. That mode would be applied to the
10 first three categories mentioned under item 1."
11 And so on and so forth. I'm not going to read the whole
13 In your opinion, and please look at page 2 as well, was this
14 document signed by the Zepa War Presidency and the commander of Zepa, and
15 did this document reach Sarajevo, as you can see from the addressee and
16 the time?
17 A. Let me read a little.
18 So your question, the document signed -- was this document signed
19 by the Zepa War Presidency and the commander of Zepa, so the commander of
20 the 285th Light Brigade, and did it reach Sarajevo? I don't know if it
21 reached Sarajevo, but it seems to have been drafted by those two
22 individuals you mention.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Yes, Mr. Thayer. Sorry.
25 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm sorry for the intervention again.
1 I just want the record to be clear.
2 When General Tolimir read out from this document, and I'm
3 referring to page 25, line 15, he said that under A, sub-item A:
4 "To exchange the wounded according to the following schedule."
5 I just want the record to reflect correctly that there is no
6 reference in this passage that he read to any exchange. This document
7 clearly, on its face, simply refers to the conditions that were set by
8 Generals Mladic and Tolimir at this meeting with the local Zepa
9 representatives on 19 July for the removal of the civilian population
10 from Zepa, and it had nothing to do with exchange, if we look at the
11 language itself. That was inserted by General Tolimir, and I want the
12 record to be clean and clear on that count.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 I said "passage," not "exchange," but I'm grateful to Mr. Thayer
16 if the transcript was wrong.
17 I would like to have this document, 1D164, admitted into
18 evidence. Thank you.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To clarify the discussion, the specific line is,
20 I quote:
21 "The Serbian side set the following conditions ..."
22 The document will be received.
23 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D58.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
25 While we still have this document on the screen, can we please
1 look at page 2 in order to clarify what Mr. Thayer was referring to.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Please look at item 5, second paragraph, which reads:
4 "The Muslims of Zepa, the War Presidency and the commander, they
6 "We urgently ask the government to do the following:
7 "A. To provide 400 of the aggressor's soldiers for exchange from
8 the list held by Amor Masovic.
9 "B. To provide transportation by helicopter for all categories
10 of the population, except for the wounded, sick, and the elderly."
11 My question is: Based on this report, can one conclude that the
12 Serbian Army accepted, but that the Muslims were asking their government
13 to do this, not Mladic and Tolimir? This was the request that the
14 Muslims posed to their government with respect to providing
15 transportation by helicopter and other requests; is that correct or not?
16 A. Well, the letter seems to first relay what you, General Tolimir,
17 and Mladic offered, and, second, to ask that it be accepted by the
18 government to ensure the fate of the people of Zepa.
19 Q. Thank you. But tell us this : In this report, did the Army of
20 Republika Srpska accept the exchange of all the Zepa Brigade soldiers and
21 that they be transported by helicopter?
22 A. No, that's the War Presidency of Zepa municipality and the
23 commander of the 285th Brigade that add that paragraph B and D or
24 paragraph -- yeah, B.
25 Q. Thank you. This is your opinion.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to have this document,
2 1D164, into evidence. However, since it's already in evidence, let's
3 move to a next document to see what initiatives were undertaken by whom.
4 In that regard, can we please see document 1D165. Thank you.
5 While we are waiting for the document to appear, it is my duty to
6 say that this particular document was drafted back on the 13th of July
7 and that it was sent, as you can see, on 10.30 on the 13th of July from
8 Zepa to Sarajevo in order to prove that the document was dispatched by
9 the encrypting officer. The commander was Rasim Delic, and he confirmed
10 it was Zepa who had requested negotiations with the VRS and not the other
11 way 'round.
12 So look at this document. It was drafted on the 13th of July and
13 was dispatched -- or, rather, received by the General Staff of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina at 10.30. It says:
15 "We received a report at 0920 hours through our communications
16 system that people have rallied in Zepa demanding that the president of
17 the War Presidency attend negotiations with the Chetniks, not to agree to
18 do anything at these negotiations, but rather prolong the whole process
19 in order to achieve something resolved on the international stage."
20 So the president of the War Presidency is asking for the
21 attendance of the negotiations to be postponed.
22 The second paragraph reads:
23 "We reported your view that there should be no negotiations and
24 that Zepa should be helped militarily and politically."
25 Thank you. My question is: Can one see from this document that
1 the population of Zepa had been asking for negotiations way back on the
2 13th, but that the member of the Presidency of the Republic of BH did not
3 grant that request and that he conveyed the views of the president,
4 Alija Izetbegovic?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: The prime minister,
7 THE WITNESS: Well, it seemed that Delic is requesting a
8 clarification. Zepa wants to negotiate. Apparently, Silajdzic has said
9 that, You can attend negotiation, but don't agree to anything. So it
10 seems to me that Zepa, as early as the 13th of July, wanted to negotiate
11 because they knew what happened in Srebrenica, but the Bosniak
12 authorities were not too sure to let them negotiate at that point.
13 Q. Please look at line 4 in English, where Rasim Delic is citing the
14 reasons for not granting the request, and he says this:
15 "... to prolong the negotiations, pending a resolution on the
16 international stage."
17 Was that the main reason for the Muslim authorities and the army
18 not to prove these negotiations way back on the 13th of July, because
19 they had anticipated that something would be resolved in the meantime?
20 A. Well, General Tolimir, you're asking a major of UNPROFOR if the
21 Muslim authority -- if it was their reason. All I can say is I'm reading
22 the same letter as you do, sir, and I can't go any further than that.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
24 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, I'm just wondering what the
25 basis is of the General's assertion repeatedly that it was the Muslims
1 that initiated the request for negotiations. We're all reading the same
2 document, and unless there's some other document that General Tolimir is
3 referring to to build in this repeated claim that the Muslims initiated
4 the request for negotiation, I don't see it, and I'm wondering if there
5 is a basis. And if there is, maybe that can be put to the witness so
6 that we have a more helpful answer. But as it is, we're just looking at
7 a document which we all can read, and Colonel Fortin has answered,
8 I think, as fully as he can on this count. We're not going to get any
9 further unless there's a further basis laid for General Tolimir's claim
10 that it was the Zepa population which reached out to the VRS, not the
11 other way around.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you clarify this question?
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
14 you, Mr. Thayer, for asking me to clarify.
15 The population of Zepa, as one can see from this cable, wanted an
16 evacuation way back on the 13th. However, Rasim Delic, as I read out in
17 line 4, said, and I quote:
18 "... to prolong the time in anticipation of a solution found on
19 the international plane."
20 Because in the previous transcript, it was not clear, and I now
21 repeat, "on the international plane."
22 My question was: Was that the reason to postpone the evacuation
23 of the Zepa population, due to the fact that they were waiting for
24 international support and assistance?
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think the witness has answered this question;
1 that he personally doesn't know the motives of the Bosnians.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 For that purpose, I kindly ask you to admit 1D165 into evidence.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, it will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As D59.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Can I please now have in e-court P123, P123. Thank you.
9 Here it is on our screens. It's a telegram that I sent from
10 Zepa, and it reads, and I quote -- it's dated the 13th, and it confirms
11 what was said, and I'm quoting:
12 "In the afternoon, we did not expect the planned contact with
13 representatives from Zepa, Torlak and Omanovic, as has been scheduled for
14 us to meet at around 2100 hours."
15 Second paragraph:
16 "They informed us through UNPROFOR that they were active during
17 the day in terms of informing the population about the conditions for the
18 evacuation from Zepa, and that they were forced to do that because of the
19 government decision in Sarajevo for them not to evacuate."
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. My question is: Mr. Fortin, from this document can one see that
22 the Muslims failed to appear at the negotiations because the Muslim side
23 was opposed to their request for negotiations, the fact that
24 Mr. Silajdzic passed on to President Izetbegovic?
25 A. This document that you drafted yourself, as you pointed out, says
1 exactly what it says.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr. Fortin. It is true that I drafted it myself, and
3 it is also true that that was the reason for my being in Zepa, because
4 they were looking for a negotiator.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like to inform you that
6 this document was admitted into evidence by the Prosecution. It bears
7 their number.
8 And I would kindly ask the Chamber to have this document admitted
9 into evidence, unless it's already been admitted. Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes. As you see from the number, it is a
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the witness now be shown
13 1D165 in e-court, please.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, before you move to -- this is,
15 I think, D59 --
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It is perhaps the right time for the first break
18 for today. Do you agree?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We must have the first break now, and we resume
21 at 11.00.
22 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Tolimir.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Once again, I apologise to the interpreters, because my legal
2 advisors have warned me that I have really been speaking too fast. Thank
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Mr. Fortin, could we now have a look at document 1D166 in
6 e-court. 1D166.
7 Now we see it. This is a continuation of the conversation that I
8 asked about a few moments ago; that is, that Delic asked for
9 international support. Now we see his report. Delic sent it to the
10 Presidency of the Republic in Sarajevo. You can see on the stamp that it
11 was received by the Presidency through the Communications Centre and that
12 it was recorded on the 17th of July, 1995.
13 I quote paragraph 1:
14 "I have just finished talking to General Smith."
15 That is to say, on the 18th:
16 "Perhaps I could have women, children and the elderly from Zepa
17 evacuated by UNPROFOR. Would you accept this?"
19 "Perhaps in this case we could insert a brigade (or a battalion)
20 of soldiers to Zepa across the forest-path and thus continue combat with
21 more success. These men from Zepa say that they could find between
22 500 and 1.000 volunteers (Muderis is from Zepa)."
23 Paragraph 3:
24 "Groups should also be inserted into Gorazde. This would be a
25 great encouragement. There are people interested.
1 "An evacuation plan for the population of Zepa has been made here
2 in case items 1 and 2 above fail. I am sending it to you.
3 "I am waiting for your answers to the above."
4 Thank you.
5 My question is as follows: Do you know whether on the 18th
6 General Delic asked Smith to provide UNPROFOR assistance, and did Smith
7 familiarise you, the sector command, because it had to do with Zepa, that
8 was within your area of responsibility? Thank you.
9 A. I'm not aware of who General Smith talked to regularly, but we at
10 sector were aware that he was talking with the various parties
11 continuously. So, yes, it's possible that on the 18th he had a
12 conversation with -- with Delic.
13 Q. Thank you. Can one see from these conversations that the Muslim
14 side was actually putting off the evacuation, the negotiations,
15 et cetera, and that they wanted to resolve the problem in Zepa through
16 combat? Thank you.
17 A. Actually, there are two -- two issues here. There's the issue of
18 the population, women, children, elderly, which they wanted evacuated,
19 and the issue of the light brigade or the remnants of Bosniak forces in
20 Zepa. And, yes, as we discussed last week, those -- those pockets were a
21 nuisance to the Serbs, who wanted to get rid of them because their forces
22 were spread out all over, and the Bosniaks wanted to maintain them, so
23 that the VRS did not -- could not - how shall I say? - free the forces
24 looking after those pockets and concentrate on Sarajevo, for example.
25 So, yes, they were military objectives.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Fortin. Since you said, in response to my
2 question, that the Bosnian side minded the existence of this enclave, I
3 would like us to see once again in e-court document 1D186. That is the
4 document compiled by Mr. Bezruchenko in terms of military developments on
5 the ground.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit D55.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Before we move on to the question, could this document please be
9 admitted into evidence, the one that we looked at a few moments ago, the
10 communication between General Delic and the Presidency; that is to say,
11 the gentleman who spoke to General Smith? 1D166, I would like to tender
12 that document, please.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before we do that, I would like to ask the
14 witness: Have you ever seen that document before?
15 THE WITNESS: No, Mr. President, not that I recall.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. The document will be received.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D60.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Because of this answer, we have to go back once again to the
21 causes of the conflict.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, Mr. Fortin, I would like to ask you to look at
24 paragraph 3 of this report. Could you please see who it was that first
25 started the conflict in Zepa? I quote:
1 "On the 4th of June, 1992, a military convoy under the command of
2 Major Dragan Suka moved from Pale to Zepa to relieve the JNA garrison.
3 The convoy was ambushed by local Green Berets and the Patriotic League on
4 the way to Zepa. In the ensuing fighting, the VRS sustained heavy
5 casualties, including 45 soldiers killed and 31 wounded. The JNA
6 garrison in Zepa was wiped out too. The operation was a defeat for the
7 Bosnian Serbs."
8 And so on and so forth, end of quotation.
9 Please, do you know how far away the Zepa Garrison was from the
10 Command of the Main Staff of the Army of Republika Srpska? Thank you.
11 A. No, I don't.
12 Q. Thank you. Was it more than 100 kilometres away?
13 A. I don't know. Where was the Main Staff of the VRS?
14 Q. The Main Staff of the VRS was at Veliki Zep, in the area that had
15 Muslim forces, the ones that we are talking about just now, only
16 10 kilometres away. So you see now how conflicts in this enclave broke
18 A. I hear -- I hear what you tell me, but, no, I don't see that this
19 was the start. Perhaps it was. I don't know.
20 Q. Thank you. I gave you a document that presented military
21 developments. Now I would like to remind you of some other documents
22 that speak about that; namely, who needed Zepa more, the Army of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina or the Army of Republika Srpska, who needed it more as
24 an enclave.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please, could we now display in
1 e-court 1D777. I repeat, 1D177. I misspoke a moment ago when I was
2 asking for the document. Thank you.
3 Now we see the document, both in English and in Serbian. This is
4 an order of the Command of the 28th Division in which it says, in
5 paragraph 3, I quote:
6 "The Division Command ordered its units to carry out certain
7 combat tasks in the Srebrenica-Zepa corridor in order number 01-33/95 of
8 the 17th of May, 1995. According to this order, the 282nd," and so on,
9 "Brigade are to carry out daily reconnaissance and patrol activities in
10 the corridor in order to protect the corridor from being intersected by
11 the aggressor. This will be carried out by armed patrols," et cetera,
12 end of quote.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. The question is as follows: This document dates back to
15 May 1995, and does it not show that Srebrenica is maintaining this
16 corridor with Zepa, which is why these two enclaves were separated,
17 because the Muslims had been using that corridor for arming? Thank you.
18 A. Well, yes, the document does show that there was a corridor in
19 between Zepa and Srebrenica. But, personally, that's not something that
20 I was familiar with.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Fortin. Now you have seen that as far back as
22 May, this activity was resorted to.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now have 1D179, please.
24 1D179, could it please be displayed in e-court.
25 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit D53.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering the document
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Precisely. I have just forgotten to say that. Thank you for having
5 reminded me.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
7 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D61.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question for you, sir.
9 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes, thank you.
10 At page 38, lines 7 and 8, in the question from General Tolimir,
11 you say:
12 "Yes, the document shows that there was a corridor between Zepa
13 and Srebrenica."
14 Although you personally were not familiar with this, are you in a
15 position to explain the composition of this corridor, who was maintaining
17 THE WITNESS: Well, like I said, ma'am, I'm not familiar with
18 that corridor because we -- I was at sector level, Sector Sarajevo. We
19 were responsible for Zepa, but not for Srebrenica, so -- and we had
20 limited number of observation posts around Zepa. They may have been
21 reporting that there was a Bosnian activity link, a corridor between the
22 two enclaves, but I was not familiar with that. Our attention came --
23 focused on Zepa in mid-July when the activities -- military activities by
24 the VRS started happening in that area. But that's not surprising that
25 the Bosnians would maintain a corridor between two isolated enclaves as
1 long as they were able to do so, but I don't know the details of the
2 nature of military operations, the nature of equipment or supplies or
3 information that was transported through that corridor. But it's not
4 surprising that it existed.
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Thank you, Judge Nyambe. Thank you, Mr. Fortin.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Fortin, could you please say whether there were any protests
11 in Zepa, any protests of the population, because -- rather, in
12 Srebrenica, because the UNPROFOR in Srebrenica, where DutchBat was, had
13 placed a check-point near that corridor precisely in the month of May,
14 and did the Muslims ask for this check-point to be removed? Thank you.
15 Do you know anything about that? If you don't, we're going to deal with
16 it with other witnesses. Thank you.
17 A. I'm sorry, no, I don't.
18 Q. Thank you. We now see before us a document. I'm going to read
19 something out now, and then I'm going to put a question to you. First of
20 all, I'm going to tell you that this order was written by the Chief of
21 Staff of the 2nd Corps, Brigadier Sulejman Budakovic, and he says -- this
22 is an order from the month of June, that is to say, a month before these
23 events that we are speaking of. This is what he is ordering:
24 "1. Execute all preparations in the Command of the 28th --"
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, we have dealt with this document
1 already last week and the witness has seen it. I think it's not
2 necessary to read it again for the record. We have it as a document.
3 Just put a question to the witness.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 Q. From this document, can it be seen that the Muslim side had been
6 involved in active operations conducted from the protected area of Zepa
7 and Srebrenica?
8 A. Well, it does show -- it does show that they were planning to
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 Can we look at document 1D181 now. Thank you.
12 This is document 1D181. Please look at paragraph 6, which is on
13 the next page in English. So let's look at paragraph 3. It reads in
14 English as follows:
15 "About 40 Chetniks were killed and dozens were wounded. A
16 significant quantity of infantry weapons were seized ..."
17 In brackets, they specify exactly what.
18 "One aggressor soldier was also lightly wounded in the chest, and
19 he was captured in Vrani Kamen area."
20 His name was Velimir Mrdjan, born in 1975, in Glamoc, and so on
21 and so forth.
22 In paragraph 3 of this same document, it says that as reported by
23 this command, an order was issued to set up a number of sabotage groups
24 to be sent deep into the temporarily controlled area, with a view to
25 inflicting losses on the enemy.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note that we don't know exactly
2 which paragraph is being cited.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 Q. My question is: Since a moment ago Judge Nyambe asked you about
5 the corridor, and we also saw an order for the Muslims to become combat
6 operations in June, now we have a report from Zepa stating that
7 40 members of the VRS were killed in that period.
8 Can we please scroll the document down to see its provenance.
9 You see that it comes from the 285th Light Brigade of Zepa, and
10 that was a month prior to the activities that we were discussing. This
11 report says that the author had killed 40 Serbs in Srebrenica before any
12 activities were started.
13 Is UNPROFOR aware of any protests from the VRS to the effect that
14 active combat operations had been conducted from Zepa and that Zepa
15 actually had not been demilitarised?
16 A. As discussed last week, we were aware at UNPROFOR that there had
17 been raids conducted from -- by the Bosnians from the enclaves of
18 Srebrenica and Zepa into Serb-held territory. I, personally, did not
19 know the details, but I remembered them, I remembered them. But this
20 only shows that war was still on, regardless of UNPROFOR's presence.
21 Both parties were willing to keep fighting.
22 The next page of the document that's on e-court right now shows
23 the same person talking, saying that they were shelled on the
24 27th of June, so war was still on.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Fortin.
1 Can we please now look at document 1D180.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering this document,
3 1D179? Sorry, 1D181. 1D181.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That's right, thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D62.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Can we please now have document 1D182 now. Thank you.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit D52.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we please now see
11 document 1D182. Thank you.
12 Thank you. We can see the document issued by the Command of the
13 2nd Corps, confirming what had been reported by Mr. Palic, as we've seen
14 a minute ago. In the second paragraph, it says:
15 "Sixty Chetniks were liquidated, and according to unconfirmed
16 reports, the aggressor suffered even greater losses and had many
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. My question is: Given that you said that combat operations were
20 still underway, can one discern from this document that before the
21 negotiations started in Zepa on the 8th of July, the corps command
22 informed the units about how successful the Zepa Brigade was, and does
23 this show that it was involved in combat operations launched from a
24 demilitarised zone?
25 A. Again, this shows that the Bosnians were preparing and willing to
2 And, Mr. President, the first paragraph in that document is
3 interesting, in that it summarises an issue that we've been coming back
4 to from every angle for close to two days now.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Fortin. All I wanted to say was to point out to
6 you that this document was reached by the corps command and that it
7 informed all the units that combat operations were conducted from the
8 protected area. My question was whether the UNPROFOR command
9 subordinated to your sector was familiar with the fact that the Muslims
10 were conducting military operations from the protected zone.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think, Mr. Tolimir, this is a repetition. We
12 have heard the answer of the witness. You were dealing with this
13 document earlier, and you should try to proceed.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Can we please now see document 1D180. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone, please.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Let's look at paragraph 2, line 4
18 in both versions, which reads that:
19 "On the 16th of February, 1994 [as interpreted], the aggressor
20 filed a request with UNPROFOR to declare Zepa a non-demilitarised zone
21 with the following rationale."
22 Bullet point 1:
23 "BH Army helicopter flights supplying weapons and ammunition have
24 been registered;
25 "The movements of the BH Army have been noticed and registered in
1 the Zepa sector;
2 "Accusing members of the Ukrainian Battalion that they were
3 covering up for the activities and intentions of the BH Army, which is
4 why they no longer guarantee safety;
5 "That on the night between the 15th and 16th February, our
6 helicopters were seen flying over and that infantry fire was opened on
8 Then in the next paragraph, under the first bullet point, we see,
9 with reference to the 17th of February, it says that helicopter
10 reconnaissance was scheduled to be conducted by UNPROFOR.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Can you tell me, do you remember this letter, and do you know
13 whether it had reached your command HQ?
14 A. I'm afraid we were not on the Bosnian distribution list for that
15 kind of information.
16 Q. Thank you. But did you see that even the Muslims from Sarajevo
17 were informing the Muslims of Zepa that the VRS had filed a protest
18 against the activities being conducted way back in February 1995? Can
19 you infer that from the document written on the 17th of February, 1995,
20 and submitted to the Command of the OG-8 Srebrenica and the 1st Zepa
21 Brigade Command, and it was written by the Army General Staff of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina? And I have quoted only certain portions of it.
23 A. Yes, it shows that the Muslims from Sarajevo were informing those
24 of Zepa, and the only conclusion I draw from that is that the protests
25 that the Serbs submitted was, in fact, acted upon by UNPROFOR. When one
1 side protested, it was UNPROFOR's duty to bring it to the attention of
2 the other side, which obviously was done in this case.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
4 MR. THAYER: And, Mr. President, just so there's absolutely no
5 doubt about the Prosecution's position, the Prosecution, I think, has
6 made it clear from day one that there is no dispute that there were
7 military excursions conducted by the ABiH from inside the protected
8 areas, resulting in military losses as well as civilian losses to the
9 Serbs. There are adjudicated facts on this issue. It is something that
10 is absolutely not in dispute. Indeed, the specific fact of helicopter
11 resupply of weaponry to the Muslims in the enclaves is also something
12 that is not in dispute by the Prosecution and, again, is an adjudicated
13 fact. I don't know if this is going to help save some time, but it is
14 not in contest in this case, as far as the Prosecution's concerned.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you, Mr. Thayer. I understand your comment
16 to help Mr. Tolimir to shorten his examination and to leave this kind
17 of -- this matter, and continue, perhaps, with another topic.
18 Mr. Tolimir.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Now let's look at document 1D129. I would like to ask the
21 witness whether he knows anything about this document. Thank you.
22 Thank you. We can see the first page on this document, entitled
23 "Final Analysis of the Srebrenica and Zepa Air-Lift." It was drafted by
24 the ABiH army, specifically the command of its anti-aircraft defence and
25 air force.
1 Can we please now look at page 2 of this document. Thank you.
2 We can see page 2 in both languages, and in paragraph 2, after
3 the title "Introduction," it says, and I quote:
4 "Between the 27th February 1993 and 7th of May, 1995, there was
5 an air-lift from the territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
6 to meet the needs of the enclaves of Srebrenica, Zepa and Gorazde. The
7 main aim of introducing and maintaining the air-lift was to transport and
8 ensure combat equipment ..."
9 And so on and so forth.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. My question is: Was the Command of the Sarajevo Sector, which
12 was in charge of the Zepa and Srebrenica safe havens, as well as the
13 UNPROFOR Command in Sarajevo, know that there was air-lift procedures
14 providing weapons in the period between the 27th of February, 1993, and
15 the 7th of May, 1995, as stated in this report? Thank you.
16 A. Perhaps UNPROFOR knew about it, but I didn't. I arrived on
17 15 May, and the document shows that this happened between February 1993
18 and 7 May 1995. And, unfortunately, the pace was quite hectic as soon as
19 I arrived, and I didn't have time to go back and read about what had been
20 happening since the start of the war.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Fortin. I would like to ask you to look at page 7
22 of this document, paragraph B. It is actually 3(B). We see what it says
24 "Number of hours of flight: 1025.
25 "GMI fuel use, approximately 8.200 litres," that is to say, over
1 8 tonnes.
2 "Transport to Zepa, 17 tonnes of lethal weapons."
3 Do you see that, and do you see that this was functioning
4 incessantly up until the 7th of May, up until you arrived, since you
5 arrived in the beginning of May, and was that something that those whom
6 you had succeeded knew about as well?
7 A. Like I said, they may well have known. I don't know if they did,
8 and I did not know those details.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Could the Trial Chamber please admit this document into evidence.
11 It contains the answer to the question that was put here when the witness
12 was being examined. Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the witness said:
14 "They may well have known. I don't know if they did, and I did
15 not know those details."
16 Is this the right witness to tender this document or should you
17 leave it for the time to deal with it with another witness who can say
18 something about authenticity or the content?
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 I would like to tender this into evidence as proof and that
21 confirms what Judge Nyambe asked about, whether there was a corridor that
22 was transporting weapons, et cetera. I'm presenting this as proof, and I
23 therefore believe it can be admitted into evidence, because the witness
24 is saying that he did not know, and UNPROFOR was in Zepa and they could
25 have known. Thank you. Could it please be admitted?
1 And now I'm going to show you a document --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please wait a moment. The Chamber will confer.
3 [Trial Chamber confers]
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we please have the first page of this
5 document on the screen, and then the last page.
6 Could we now see the page with the signature of the author.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 The signature can be seen on the first page, where it says:
9 "Colonel Erdin Hrustic, standing in for the commander."
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, thank you.
11 We would like to ask the Prosecution on their position, tendering
12 this document.
13 MR. THAYER: No objection, Mr. President.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber will mark this document for
16 identification so that it can be identified during the examination of
17 other witnesses, because this witness is not in the position to tell us
18 anything about the content and the source, where the document is coming
19 from. And therefore it will only be marked for identification.
20 THE REGISTRAR: 1D129 will be marked for identification as
21 Exhibit D63.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
23 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Since we are not certain about this document yet, we are now
1 going to move on to another group of questions.
2 Could I please have 65 ter 0142. It is Prosecution 65 ter 0142.
3 Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir and Mr. Gajic, you should switch off
5 your microphone when you have a private discussion.
6 Please carry on now.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 My assistant just told me that we were supposed to show the
9 bottom part of this page and the second page, because we could not see at
10 first the part of the text that I wanted to have displayed. Thank you.
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. Now I'm going to read out part of the text to you, and this
13 document was written on the 12th of July. It was written by this accused
14 person. This is what it says in the last paragraph:
15 "The Muslims wish to present things as if Srebrenica had been
16 demilitarised and that there was only civilian population in it. That is
17 why --"
18 Could we please move on to the next page?
19 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: In the English as well.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. And now we see what it says here. Yes, thank you.
22 "Could all able-bodied persons of military age be ordered to
23 illegally pull out from the area, cross RS territory, and reach
24 Muslim-controlled territory so that they could accuse the VRS of having
25 carried out an unprovoked attack on civilians in a safe haven."
1 Thank you.
2 Further on, it says:
3 "Bearing in mind that it is very important to arrest as many
4 members of the crushed Muslim units as possible, or liquidate them if
5 they resist, it is equally important to register all the names of all men
6 fit for military service who are being evacuated from the UNPROFOR base
7 in Potocari."
8 "The OBP organs will brief the MUP organs in their respective
9 zones of responsibility on the information received; they will draw up
10 joint plans for breaking up and liquidating enemy formations trying to
11 escape from the Srebrenica enclave towards Tuzla and Kladanj."
12 Signature: "Major General Zdravko Tolimir."
13 Thank you. My question would be as follows: Were the Muslims
14 trying to represent things as follows: that both Zepa and Srebrenica were
15 demilitarised zones where there were only civilians? Thank you.
16 A. So you say in your text, General, but I don't believe so, since
17 they were, you've shown earlier with previous documents, ordering troops
18 in those enclaves to fight.
19 Q. Thank you. Was pressure exerted towards UNPROFOR to represent
20 the enclave as a demilitarised zone in which there were civilians only?
21 Thank you.
22 A. I don't recall that.
23 Q. Thank you. Do you recall any communication from the BH Army in
24 which an answer was provided to you why it was that they were carrying
25 out activities from the demilitarised zones on the basis of the protests
1 that they sent to you, or, rather, that the representatives of the Army
2 of Republika Srpska sent to you? Thank you.
3 A. Not that they sent to us, but again you showed us a document, an
4 internal BiH Army document, which showed why they were doing this.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Could we now have in e-court 1D186, please, Bezruchenko's
7 document concerning military developments. It is D55. It's an exhibit
8 now. Page 18 now, please, both in Serbian and in English, paragraph 65.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, are you tendering the last document,
11 65 ter 0142, a document of the 12th of July, 1995?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I meant
13 to tender it once I've shown this document. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Please carry on.
15 Your microphone, please.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I forgot
17 to switch on my mike.
18 I am quoting from page 18 in both versions, paragraph 65:
19 "On the BH Army side, anticipating international media attention
20 on Zepa, BH Army Department for Morale was working on the instructions
21 for psychological operations in relation to Zepa. The BiH strategy was
22 to deny presence of BiH Army units in Zepa, Srebrenica and Gorazde, to
23 attribute military operations to unarmed people, and not to acknowledge
24 any discussions on evacuations. Chief of department, Fikret Muslimovic,
25 sent his suggestions for interviews with foreign journalists to the Zepa
2 "1. Never mention military units in Zepa, Srebrenica and
4 "2. Whatever the army is doing in this area, say that it is
6 "3. By no means should any evacuation be mentioned."
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. My question based on this is as follows: In your opinion, how
9 much had UNPROFOR contributed to the Muslims implementing what
10 Bezruchenko called the strategy of denial of presence of any BiH units in
11 the safe havens of Zepa, Srebrenica and Gorazde?
12 A. I'm not sure what you mean by UNPROFOR contributed to the Muslims
13 implementing this, because it may have been their strategy, but I don't
14 think it worked, because we talked about that again last week. We know
15 for a fact that Bosnian soldiers attacked the Dutch and killed one Dutch
16 at Srebrenica, so they can't deny that they had troops there. The
17 commander of the Bosnian light brigade in Zepa, Avdo Palic, attended
18 discussions early on around Zepa, so they cannot deny that they had
19 troops there. And I don't see how UNPROFOR may have contributed to that.
20 Q. Thank you. That was precisely why I showed to you how they had
21 been arming for nearly a year and the quantity of weapons stored in the
22 areas. I wanted to find out whether the UNPROFOR battalions deployed in
23 Zepa, Srebrenica and Gorazde were aware of these enclaves being armed by
24 way of air-lifts.
25 A. As I said earlier, they may have been, but I don't know.
1 Those -- those resupply missions you showed me happened before I got
2 there. And just a clarification here. The UNPROFOR did not have
3 battalions deployed around Zepa and Srebrenica. A battalion is a 500- to
4 800-man organisation. They had a company, which is an 80- to 120-man
5 organisation, closer to 80 in the case of Zepa, for something about
6 120 [Realtime transcript read in error "20"] kilometres in circumference.
7 Q. Thank you. In order not to waste time, I'm not going to put to
8 you a document demonstrating that both the BH Army and the UNPROFOR
9 confirmed the crash of a helicopter and that its remnants were found on
10 the location.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would therefore like the Chamber
12 to admit this 65 ter document 0142 into evidence.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit D64.
15 THE WITNESS: Mr. President, I see in the transcript that some of
16 the figures that I mentioned are not there. I can repeat them, if need
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That would be helpful, yes.
19 THE WITNESS: Okay. If I start again from -- they had a company,
20 which is an 80- to 120-people organisation, closer to 80 people in Zepa.
21 80, 8-0, to 120. And the enclave I mentioned, 120 kilometres in
22 circumference, and not 20.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
24 Mr. Tolimir, please continue.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Q. Mr. Fortin, can you tell me if the battalion commanders or
2 company commanders, as you said, in Zepa sent any reports to the UNPROFOR
3 command in Sarajevo pertaining to general mobilisation in Srebrenica that
4 had been declared? We have this document admitted into evidence, and I'm
5 not going to show it to you. Just tell me whether you were aware of that
6 fact or not.
7 A. No, I was not, and probably because it happened before I got
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Fortin. This general mobilisation, was it carried
10 out during your term in the command or did that happen afterwards?
11 A. No, I just said that UNPROFOR may have reported on those things,
12 but I was not aware, because if they knew -- if UNPROFOR knew and
13 reported about it, it happened before I got there.
14 Q. Thank you. Last week, during the examination, you mentioned
15 seeing a truck loaded with cattle; is that correct?
16 A. I mentioned that when I went down to the village of Zepa on -- it
17 was the 27th of July, in the evening, I saw cattle being loaded on a
18 truck, and trucks loaded with cattle, fridge -- refrigerators, and other
19 such things leaving the village.
20 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation]
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you didn't switch on your
22 microphone. Please repeat the number.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
24 my mike on now.
25 Can we please see in e-court the Prosecution 65 ter 1D190. Thank
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone, please.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Have you seen and read this document? Please look at item 3. We
5 don't have an English translation.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Witness, you'll not be able to read it.
7 THE WITNESS: And I have not seen that document.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Since we don't have an English translation, I'm going to read
10 item 3, and I'm going to tell the witness that this is an order written
11 by the Command of the Drina Corps. And item 3 reads as follows:
12 "The assistant commander for logistics of the Drina Corps shall,
13 in co-operation with the authorities of Rogatica, Sokolac, Han Pijesak
14 and Vlasenica municipalities, and assistants for logistics of the
15 1st Light Infantry Brigade, the 2nd Romanija Motorised Brigade, and the
16 1st Vlasenica Infantry Brigade, organise the collecting of cattle,
17 establishing proper documents, and registering the number of the cattle
18 thus collected and the transportation thereof ...," to the mentioned
20 Number 4:
21 "Immediately start collecting the cattle as soon as the
22 conditions are created for this job to be conducted in the area of
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. My question is: Is it common practice that the armies collect
1 cattle or, rather, carcasses in the areas that had been war zones in
2 order to prevent the outbreak of infectious diseases and other health
3 hazard? Was it or is it common practice everywhere in the world?
4 A. I guess it must be prudent to not let animals rot near water
5 sources and things like that, so yes. But in this case, as I mentioned,
6 it was a walking carcass.
7 Q. Thank you. How long can these walking carcasses survive without
8 human assistance if they are left unattended in a certain area?
9 A. I have no idea, since I was not able to survey the surroundings
10 around the village. And if there was grazing fields or things like that,
11 I don't know.
12 Q. Thank you for this answer. We're going to leave other relevant
13 questions once we have eye-witnesses of the events that took place in the
15 Thank you for coming here, and thank you for your testimony, and
16 thank you for waiting for the continuation of the trial.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] On behalf of the Defence, I would
18 like to thank you and the interpreters for making an enormous effort due
19 to the speed of my speech, and I am grateful to the President for his
20 guidance with regard to proper behaviour.
21 On behalf of the Defence, I would like to say that I have no
22 further questions for this witness, Mr. President. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir.
24 Mr. Thayer, do you have re-examination?
25 MR. THAYER: I do, Mr. President. I will not be able to complete
1 it before the recess, but I will complete it certainly before the end of
2 the day and we will be able to start with the next witness, who has been
4 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
5 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. I have a number of questions for you arising directly out of
8 General Tolimir's cross-examination. I'll start with questions that
9 dealt with the Zepa topic, since that's where we focused on today, but
10 then I want to return to the Srebrenica attack from early July.
11 Last Thursday, General Tolimir focused on certain parts of your
12 OTP witness statement, took you to various pages and paragraphs for some
13 time, and, in particular -- and I just note for the record this was at
14 transcript page 3144. He read from page 22 of your statement, where it
15 refers to a conversation between Ed Joseph and General Tolimir, and I'll
16 just quote it to you again. We don't have to get it up on e-court. And
17 I quote:
18 "On July 22, David Harland informed General Gobillard that
19 Ed Joseph had met Tolimir at Rogatica and spoke with him about the
20 demilitarisation of Zepa under UNPROFOR's supervision, and that Tolimir
21 seemed interested."
22 Do you remember that, the gist of that being put to you?
23 A. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Then General Tolimir asked you whether there was any obstruction
25 on the side of the Serbs in terms of, as he put it, this particular
1 matter, referring to the POW exchange discussions. What I first want to
2 do, Colonel, is take a look at the actual report that this passage from
3 your OTP witness statement is based on and refers to.
4 MR. THAYER: So if we could have 65 ter 2256, please.
5 Q. Okay, Colonel. We have a report. We can see it's dated the
6 21st of July, 1995. The drafter is David Harland, and, again, can you
7 remind us who David Harland is and what position he held in July of 1995?
8 A. Well, David Harland was at Civil Affairs at sector level, so the
9 same level that General Gobillard and I were working.
10 Q. And I believe you referred in your Popovic testimony to your
11 reliance and trust in the reports that David Harland would issue and that
12 you reviewed regularly during the course of your duties. Is that -- is
13 that a fair characterisation, sir?
14 A. Well, he usually brought more light on an issue because he had
15 different sources, and he brought the information to us that gave more
16 light to an issue.
17 Q. And we see here that it's being distributed to John Ryan, deputy
18 CAC, UNPROFOR Headquarters Sarajevo. What position is that indicated
19 here, deputy CAC?
20 A. I'm sorry, I don't recall.
21 Q. Okay. Right below that, we have it going to Major-General
22 Gobillard, acting commander of UNPROFOR Headquarters Sarajevo.
23 MR. THAYER: If we could go to page 3 in the English, please, and
24 that's page 4 in the B/C/S. And I note that this is one in a series of
25 memoranda that David Harland issued concerning the ongoing negotiations
1 in Zepa. This one, and we can go back to it in a moment, is number 2 in
2 the series.
3 Q. I'd like to focus your attention here on the second paragraph,
4 where it says:
5 "At around 12.00 noon I received a message from
6 Viktor Bezruchenko and Ed Joseph, who said that they had met with
7 General Tolimir, and that he had indicated some interest in a radical
8 demilitarisation proposal floated by Joseph and myself two days ago."
9 Now, first, is this what was referred to in your witness
10 statement that I cited a few moments ago?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. And then it goes on to say:
13 "John Ryan and I," meaning Mr. Harland, "expressed doubts about
14 how sincere the Serbs might be about this, but agreed that Ryan would
15 call Prime Minister Silajdzic today to see whether or not the idea should
16 be pursued."
17 So we have a report that General Tolimir seemed interested, but
18 we have these two UNPROFOR officials expressing doubts about how sincere
19 he might be. Can you share with the Trial Chamber, based on your
20 experience during this time, why those gentlemen harboured that doubt
21 about General Tolimir's sincerity about a demilitarisation plan?
22 A. Well, at that time, and that was, I think, the 22nd of July we
23 mentioned, we had been through the events in Srebrenica, and one thing
24 came out clearly then and again later on, that every time we talked to a
25 Serb senior officer, someone from the Main Staff, they were stalling,
1 stalling for time, so they had a plan to reduce the pocket -- the enclave
2 of Srebrenica, they had a plan to take over Zepa. So we now knew that in
3 Srebrenica, every time we talked to a senior Serb officer, he was buying
4 time. In the meantime, they were pursuing their plan, and this created
5 confusion at our level. We did not act as swiftly as we may have, and so
6 they were able to execute their plan. By that time, a few days later, we
7 were doubtful of anything constructive that came from these people, Serb
8 senior officers.
9 Q. Okay, Colonel. What I want to do next is go directly to a
10 document which General Tolimir showed you today, and that is 1D00163.
11 MR. THAYER: I know it's got a P number. I was trying to keep up
12 with them, but I don't know what it is off the top of my head.
13 If somebody can --
14 THE REGISTRAR: That is Exhibit D57.
15 MR. THAYER: D57, thank you.
16 Q. Okay. Do you see we have this -- what appears to be some kind of
17 intercepted conversation involving Mr. Amor Masovic that we spent some
18 time on earlier today? Do you see that, sir?
19 A. I do.
20 Q. Okay. We see here on the first page, first paragraph, the
21 language that you pointed out concerning the lack of participation of one
22 of the VRS members, the details of the agreement not being hammered out.
23 But what I want to turn to with respect to this document is on page 2 of
24 the English, and that --
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir -- just a moment, Mr. Thayer.
1 Mr. Tolimir.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Mr. Thayer is saying
3 that this document seems or looks like an intercept. This document was
4 introduced by the Prosecution, not by the accused. This is not an
5 intercept. This is a document displaying the way in which communications
6 were exchanged between the Muslims of Zepa with the Muslims in Sarajevo
7 via Paket communications system, and this is what I pointed out in my
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
10 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, let me just, first of all, offer a
11 correction. We did not introduce this document, we did not use this
12 document. This has been used by the Defence. We can see from the
13 "6D102" on the cover, it was used by the Gvero Defence in the last trial.
14 It is not something I'm personally familiar with, but it appears to be
15 some kind of record of a conversation, whatever the means.
16 Be that as it may, if we look at --
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And it was tendered by Mr. Tolimir.
18 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if you look at the
21 ERN number, you can see who introduced this document into the database,
22 whether it was the Defence or the Prosecution, when they disclosed
23 documents to us. It was not us who introduced this document, nor did we
24 assign the ERN number. So please bear that in mind. We received this
25 document from the OTP. We did not introduce it into evidence. Thank
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You introduced it into evidence, but it was
3 disclosed by the Prosecution to you, to the Defence. I think it's very
4 clear. There's no dispute on that.
5 Please carry on, Mr. Thayer.
6 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. Now, if we could look at the second page of the English, please,
8 if we look at that large paragraph in the middle of the page, Colonel, do
9 you see where it notes that this all-for-all agreement, reached at the
10 airport on 20 July, includes the release of all members of the army from
11 all of the aggressor's prisons, and in this context "aggressor" would
12 mean the Serb prisons and camps, including the new captives from
14 Now, we can see here that -- well, let me ask you this way:
15 Having seen this passage, do you recall at the time the degree to which
16 accounting for the prisoners who were captured after the fall of
17 Srebrenica became an issue in the negotiations for this all-for-all
19 A. Yes, I remember now. And, of course, with so many men of
20 military age not being accounted for, men coming from Srebrenica who were
21 not accounted for at that time, it became a big issue.
22 Q. Now, I want to quickly go to two other documents, Colonel, that
23 go directly to General Tolimir's question to you as to whether there were
24 any obstructions on the side of the Serbs in terms of this POW exchange
25 all-for-all effort that was going on?
1 MR. THAYER: And if we could go to 65 ter 2076, please. And
2 we'll need to go, I think, to the next page in B/C/S to catch the
3 relevant portion. If you scroll down just a little bit, see if we can
4 pick up -- no, sorry, we have to go to the next page in B/C/S to catch
5 the relevant part, please.
6 Q. Sir, what we have here is another report from David Harland up to
7 John Ryan and General Gobillard. This is dated the 20th of July. And we
8 see, in the first paragraph, that there was a meeting held with
9 representatives of both sides and that an agreement in principle was
10 made. And then the next line states that:
11 "There was no signature, however, because of a dispute about the
12 lists of prisoners taken in the recent Serb attack on Srebrenica."
13 Now, how does this report fit in with your recollection of how
14 things were going at this time, when we had negotiations or meetings
15 going on at the local level with Mr. Torlak, for example, and then we've
16 got meetings going on at the Sarajevo Airport with Mr. Masovic and others
17 at the same time, trying to hammer out this so-called all-for-all
18 agreement? How does this passage here, number 1, square with your
19 recollection of this process?
20 A. Well, I don't have a full recollection of all of those agreements
21 because, as I mentioned, I was on the move at one point on the
22 26th of July. I know it was later. But we had spent a few days in
23 HQ UNPROFOR as General Gobillard was acting commander during a few days
24 of the Srebrenica crisis. Then we moved on -- back to sector level.
25 There were many things going in Sarajevo at that time, including the
1 early deployments of the Rapid Reaction Force, so I don't have a clear
2 grasp of this issue. But I remember correctly that those unaccounted for
3 people taken from Srebrenica became a big issue for the Bosnians and made
4 it difficult to reach any kind of agreement on the all-for-all exchange.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, we are running out of time. We must
6 have the second break now.
7 MR. THAYER: Yes, Mr. President, I apologise.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
9 We have our second break now and resume at 1.00.
10 --- Recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
11 --- On resuming at 1.00 p.m.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, Mr. Thayer.
13 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. Colonel, I want to show you one more document on this issue of
15 whether there, in fact, was an all-for-all agreement in place, signed,
16 and whether there was any Serb obstruction during the process of that.
17 MR. THAYER: If we could have 65 ter 1764 on e-court, please.
18 As we can see, we have the third installation in these
19 David Harland Zepa negotiation reports. The subject we can see is:
20 "Zepa Negotiations 3." The date is the 21st of July, and again it's
21 going to John Ryan and to General Gobillard. I'd like to turn to page 2
22 of the document, please, and this will be page 2 of the B/C/S as well.
23 Q. Do you see the second paragraph, Colonel --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. -- where it says:
1 "At about 4.00 p.m., the airport meeting on the exchange of
2 prisoners and the evacuation of Zepa collapsed. The Serbs proposed an
3 all-for-all exchange, but refused to give any names of prisoners taken
4 when they over-ran Srebrenica. Effectively, therefore, the Serbs would
5 not have to release those people taken around Srebrenica. The Bosnians,
6 who claim that there are 6800 people from Srebrenica still unaccounted
7 for, refused to make any agreement without seeing a list of names, or at
8 least a number, of Srebrenica POWs."
9 Now, first, Colonel: By this time, on the 21st of July, can you
10 just generally give the Trial Chamber an idea, did you in Sector Sarajevo
11 have any information concerning the fate or whereabouts of the men who
12 had been in the Srebrenica enclave prior to the VRS taking it over?
13 A. I'm not sure exactly when we started getting reports of what
14 could have happened to those men. Probably around that time. But what
15 we were hearing was that they basically had been killed, especially those
16 men of a military age captured at Srebrenica.
17 Q. And, again, these reports from the Civil Affairs Office,
18 David Harland, I know you're busy during this period of time, but are
19 these the types of reports that would normally come across your desk and
20 that you would rely on in the course of your duties?
21 A. Yes, they would, and I would make sure they got to the General,
22 and he usually had a look at them as soon as they were presented to him,
23 and then made sure they were distributed to his staff.
24 Q. And having seen this particular document referring to the
25 collapse of the negotiations because of the Serbs' refusal to account for
1 the missing Srebrenica men, does that help you at all in answering
2 General Tolimir's questions to you about, number 1, whether there was, in
3 fact, an all-for-all exchange agreement in place; and, number 2, whether
4 the Serbs obstructed that process?
5 A. Well, it definitely does show that there was no agreement -- or
6 the all-for-all exchange agreement alluded to as early as the
7 20th of July was never reached, and that the Serbs did obstruct because
8 they refused to provide names or whereabouts of the people unaccounted
9 for in Srebrenica.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 I have an objection, because this can pertain to any Serbs except
13 to the Serbs who negotiated about Zepa, General Tolimir and Serbs from
14 Zepa, this is what I focused on, and I did not concern myself with Serbs
15 who were 300 kilometres or more away from me. I didn't have that in mind
16 when I examined the witness.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, is it perhaps a problem of
18 distinction between Serbs and Bosnian Serbs?
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I think the documents speak for
20 themselves, and I'll leave it up to the Trial Chamber, based on the
21 record, as to whether this is even an issue of Serbs from Serbia proper
22 or Bosnian Serbs. And if I may move on, I'm going to try to complete
23 Colonel Fortin's testimony by 1.30 so we can get a head-start on the
24 second witness. I'm not sure that General Tolimir's position is that we
25 are talking about Serbs from Serbia as opposed to Bosnian Serbs. I
1 understood his comment to mean Serbs in Sarajevo conducting negotiations
2 as opposed to Zepa. But I think we can leave it at that. I leave it
3 with the Trial Chamber based on the documents we've seen for the time
5 Incidentally, Mr. President, I will not be tendering the
6 documents I've shown to Colonel Fortin at this time. I think we have a
7 sufficient basis, but I can tell you that we will have other witnesses
8 who were directly involved in some of these issues, through whom we will
9 be tendering these exhibits at the appropriate time. So rather than
10 taking up that time now, we'll just keep showing the documents and tender
11 them later.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
13 Mr. Tolimir.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, they discussed here
15 some activities, which did not take place, which I took part in and which
16 are now at issue. However, that wasn't mentioned either in
17 examination-in-chief or in cross-examination. I mentioned documents
18 which had arrived in Zepa which mentioned an all-for-all exchange. Based
19 on that, we could see that the Serbian side did not obstruct anything
20 during negotiations in Zepa. We even allowed for the evacuation to take
21 place of residents and the wounded before the brigade had surrendered.
22 The Serbian side was fully cooperative, so I do not want it to be
23 presented in any other way. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you are not giving evidence at the
25 moment. You are a party of these proceedings, and I think the
1 Prosecution is dealing with that part of the cross-examination which
2 relates to all-for-all exchange of prisoners of war.
3 Please carry on, Mr. Thayer.
4 Judge Nyambe has a question.
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: I'm not quite sure who can provide me with the
6 clarifications I'm seeking, whether it's Mr. Thayer, the witness, or the
7 accused, but I just want some clarification as to what is an all-for-all
8 agreement in this context.
9 MR. THAYER: Perhaps we'll start with the man in the stand.
10 THE WITNESS: During the course of the war, both parties had
11 captured elements -- military personnel from the other side. Now,
12 all-for-all was an exchange -- they were seeking to develop an agreement
13 to exchange all prisoner of wars. What was new at this time was that
14 shortly before, the Serbs had captured many more at Srebrenica when they
15 reduced that -- when they attacked and reduced that enclave, and as
16 mentioned, we were not -- we were starting to hear about the fate of
17 those people that were unaccounted for. But there was a huge number of
18 new prisoner of wars taken by the Serbs that were to be included in that
19 all-for-all exchange of prisoners.
20 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Does that mean all prisoners from both sides?
22 THE WITNESS: I believe that was the intent, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
24 Mr. Thayer, please carry on.
25 MR. THAYER:
1 Q. And, Colonel, I take it that that would be as opposed to a
2 different type of exchange where you might have a one-for-one or a
3 high-value prisoner for a certain amount of prisoners from the other
4 side, just to kind of complete the picture?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Now, I want to provide a little bit of background or context, if
7 I could, to a number of General Tolimir's questions concerning the series
8 of meetings in Zepa which resulted in an agreement you were shown that
9 was signed on the 24th by Mr. Torlak, the 24th of July, a meeting -- an
10 agreement which was preceded by a meeting on July 19th that you heard
11 about, and an agreement which you were a witness to that was signed by
12 the three local representatives on the 27th of July. So we've got a lot
13 of meetings and agreements that I think were thrown at you one after the
14 other. What I want to do is see if we can get a little sense for the
15 Trial Chamber of what was happening on the ground throughout this period
16 of time, based on what was being reported to you and based on what you
17 saw, personally, when you were there.
18 MR. THAYER: And if we could go to 65 ter 2438, please. And we
19 need to go to page 26.
20 Okay. I see we don't have a B/C/S translation of this, but I'm
21 only going to be calling your attention to a small portion, and I can
22 read the relevant portions into the record.
23 We have here, on the 22nd of July, another David Harland report
24 to John Ryan and General Gobillard. This is titled "Zepa
25 Negotiations 4."
1 And if we could go to page 3 of this document, please, and that's
2 going to be page 29 in e-court. It would be the prior page, please.
3 There we go. If we could blow up the portion that says
5 David Harland writes in his assessment that:
6 "Our proposal for the total demilitarisation of Zepa remains a
7 long shot. It is true that the Serbs are reluctant to attack the Zepa
8 pocket until they have completely worn down its population. On the other
9 hand, it is hard to imagine that they would accept any arrangement that
10 would leave Zepa in Bosnian hands. I imagine that they will continue to
11 make life in Zepa as miserable as possible for the local population
12 until - demoralised by the assault and abandoned by the international
13 community - they accept the 'evacuation' option being proposed by the
15 Q. Now, Colonel, what was the information you were receiving
16 concerning the military activities of the VRS towards the Zepa enclave
17 during this period of time? Let's say starting from shortly after the
18 fall of Srebrenica, 13th, 14th, 15th of July, through this date, the
19 22nd of July. Can you give the Trial Chamber just a brief idea of,
20 militarily, what were the Serbs doing to the Zepa enclave?
21 A. Well, unfortunately, I don't recall much, except to say that
22 after Srebrenica, Serbs had more forces that they could relocate, so Serb
23 forces closed in on the Zepa enclave, occupying, for example, a large --
24 a large parking area at the top of the hill where the Ukrainians had
25 their check-point. And I remember the incidents of shelling by the -- by
1 the Bosnian on the Ukrainian command post down in the village. I
2 remember the Serbs blocking the other Ukrainian observation points that
3 were located all around the enclaves, preventing them from going
4 anywhere, but I don't remember any more -- any more details.
5 Q. And do you remember receiving reports that the Bosnian Serbs were
6 shelling Zepa during this period of time?
7 A. I don't remember.
8 Q. Okay. I'll save some documents I'd show you for another witness
9 on that count.
10 Now, in the course of asking you about whether there was Serb
11 obstruction, General Tolimir showed you an agreement that was signed by
12 Hamdija Torlak on the 24th of July, 1995, signed by him alone, in the
13 presence of Generals Mladic, Tolimir, and Colonel Kusic, the commander of
14 the Rogatica Brigade. He showed you a copy of that agreement. It's
16 Now, when he questioned you about this agreement, Colonel,
17 General Tolimir was at great pains to emphasise, and this is at
18 transcript page 3146 -- he went to great pains to emphasise that this
19 agreement on paper provided that the Zepa population would have a free
20 choice of where they could reside.
21 Now, Colonel, you were there when the Muslim population was being
22 removed from that enclave. You saw those people getting taken up out of
23 their village. You said that they came out with nothing. You talked
24 about the looting you saw, not removal of carcasses. Can you tell the
25 Trial Chamber, based on what you saw looking at those people, what choice
1 did they have about where they could reside?
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you answer, Witness.
3 Mr. Tolimir.
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this was a very
5 leading question. The Prosecutor says that Tolimir was at great pains,
6 thus giving an indication to the witness that he needs to respond in a
7 way that the Prosecutor expects him to respond. I don't think that
8 leading questions should be put to the witness. The questions should be
9 phrased in such a way as to give no indication to the witness as to who
10 wants to prove what by way of that question. Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
12 MR. THAYER: I'd simply ask that the witness be permitted to
13 answer the question, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think this witness is capable to answer, from
15 his recollection, in an appropriate way.
16 Witness, could you please answer the question?
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 In fact, the day I deployed to Zepa, as mentioned earlier, we
19 were stopped in Rogatica, a check-point, a Serb military check-point,
20 Rogatica, for about 18 hours, and we saw there that the evacuation had
21 already started. It was being done using Serb buses and trucks, and I
22 mentioned the truck that we intercepted that was not accompanied by an
23 UNPROFOR soldier like it should have been. All of those vehicles were
24 going to Kladanj, a small city on the Bosnian side of the confrontation
25 line. And from what I could see, there were -- when I arrived in Zepa
1 the next day, people were being removed from where they live, taken up
2 the hill to the parking area at the Ukrainian check-point, where Serb
3 soldiers were showing them into the buses and trucks for evacuation to
4 Kladanj. I don't think that any of them could have opted to stay in Zepa
5 or to go anywhere else in Bosnian-held Bosnia-Herzegovina; not at that
6 point, anyway.
7 MR. THAYER:
8 Q. Can you describe what those people were carrying with them, sir?
9 A. Not much. They had their clothes that they were wearing. I saw
10 a couple of women carrying their younger children and trying to catch the
11 four-year-old or the six-year-old that was running around, not really
12 understanding what was going on, with some Serb soldiers prodding them
13 along verbally. One of them was having a good time doing that, from the
14 looks of it.
15 Q. Now, Colonel, I want to turn your attention back to the VRS
16 attack on the Srebrenica enclave.
17 General Tolimir claimed repeatedly in his questioning of you last
18 Thursday that the VRS did not attack the UN during its attack on the
19 enclave, and this we can see at transcript 3207 and 3208, if anybody
20 wants a reference. And he put it to you this way:
21 "Was it necessary at all for UNPROFOR to use weapons to counter
22 the Army of Republika Srpska when the Army of Republika Srpska was not
23 attacking UNPROFOR?"
24 And General Tolimir quoted quite liberally from your diary, and I
25 just want to go through a couple of entries in your diary on these
1 precise points that he asked you about in your cross-examination.
2 Before we call it up, I just want to ask you a couple of
3 questions about the diary, itself, and we can do this, I think, in open
5 As we can see, some of it was written in French and some of it
6 appears in English. And as we'll look at in a couple of minutes, if you
7 look at the entries from 8 July, say, to 12 July, a number of the entries
8 that were in French not only have dates but have specific times for the
9 entries; 1450 hours, such and such happened; 1500 hours, such and such
11 Can you just tell the Trial Chamber -- or give the Trial Chamber
12 a little bit of background of -- when we're seeing your writing in the
13 diary in French, translated now into English, what were you doing? What
14 did that writing represent? Was that something that was going on at the
15 time, was that something that was going on later? What did you rely on
16 to make those entries in French with those time entries?
17 A. Well, choosing what language to use when I was writing up
18 depended on a number of issues. One, who it was addressed to. Say, if I
19 was writing a report that was to be sent to a higher level, like
20 Headquarters UNPROFOR, I would write it in English. If I was taking
21 notes of a meeting where the interpreter interpreted in English, I would
22 write it in that language. If I was taking notes of a meeting where the
23 interpreter was doing the interpreting in French, I would write in
24 French. And whenever I was personally making notes of events as they
25 occurred, I usually wrote in French because it's my first language.
1 Q. And we can see that everything is typewritten in your journal.
2 When you were taking these notes originally, were you writing in
3 longhand or were you typing them?
4 A. I was writing in longhand and usually typing it up at the same
5 night. As soon as we were done moving around visiting -- visiting
6 factions, visiting our own post, or visiting higher headquarters, we
7 would go back to PTT building, where we were headquartered, and I would
8 type it up on a computer right away that same evening. Because I wanted
9 to keep a record of all of those notes, a record that was being shared,
10 when not in a full report, I would discuss with other officers, and then
11 those documents that were in numeric or electronic form already, I
12 just -- when I completed the journal after I returned to home, I just
13 cut-and-paste them into a chronological order.
14 Q. So when you were taking these handwritten notes in French,
15 Colonel, first of all, were they contemporaneous with the events that you
16 were recording?
17 A. Well, as -- as they were occurring, I always had my notepad with
18 me, so anything that seemed important. And those events, when we were at
19 the headquarters UNPROFOR and my commander was acting commander UNPROFOR,
20 I was recording events as they occurred.
21 Q. Now, were you writing down those notes because you wanted to
22 write a book some day or was there an immediate purpose related to your
23 job for taking down these notes contemporaneously?
24 A. Well, I started writing notes right from the start. I decided --
25 I never held a personal journal in my life, but I decided that this was
1 probably a good opportunity to start something like that. So at first --
2 and that's at home, on the 1st of May, before leaving -- even going to
3 Bosnia, I started this thing, but my notes were quite sketchy, not a
4 whole lot of personal stuff. But as soon as I arrived and I started
5 attending meetings and taking notes, because my predecessor told me,
6 Every time you go somewhere, note down whatever is being said. He was
7 doing it in point form, summary form, to have a record of what was being
8 done. So he suggested I do that, and I said, Yes, that's a good idea, it
9 can reinforce the idea of a journal. If I'm going to take all of these
10 notes, I might as well make use of them. What I did more, if I can say,
11 is instead of taking notes in point form, I was basically taking
12 everything down and then retyping it at night for ease of access of those
14 MR. THAYER: Now, if we may have P585, and this needs to be in
15 private session for the rest of the questions.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
17 MR. THAYER:
18 Q. I want to, as quickly as I can, take you to some --
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One moment.
20 [Private session]
11 Page 3313 redacted. Private session.
20 [Open session]
21 MR. THAYER: Colonel, I have no further questions. I thank you.
22 THE REGISTRAR: We are now in open session.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Judge Nyambe has a question.
24 Questioned by the Court:
25 JUDGE NYAMBE: Yes. It's a follow-up question to what
1 constitutes - what was it called all-for-all agreement.
2 In your explanation, you said: "Yes, correct."
3 But then in page 69, 3 to 6, Mr. Thayer clarified with words to
4 the effect that:
5 "Where you might have a one-for-one or a high-value prisoner
6 for -- a certain amount of prisoners from the other side, just to kind of
7 complete the picture."
8 Now, I'm not yet clear what exactly this agreement would be
9 about. Would it be about one prisoner for one prisoner or many prisoners
10 for a high-value prisoners, or both?
11 A. Actually, what -- I believe what Mr. Thayer was saying is that in
12 many cases there could have been punctual negotiations for the exchange
13 of one, two, or a few prisoners following a fire-fight, for example,
14 following for some specific incident. In that particular case, with the
15 insistence of the UN, both parties were trying to achieve an agreement to
16 exchange all the prisoners that they held at that time.
17 JUDGE NYAMBE: Okay. Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, I have another question for you.
19 On the 24th, last week, you told us something about the
20 able-bodied men who had disappeared from Srebrenica. It is page 3144, I
22 "If you look at the bigger picture not long before the other
23 enclave of Srebrenica had been evacuated with no UN supervision, and we
24 know that many thousands of men disappeared, never to be seen again."
25 Today you were asked, and this is on page 66, line 20 of today's
1 transcript -- no, it's page 65, line 20 and the following, and you said:
2 "I'm not sure exactly when we started getting reports of what
3 could have happened to those men. Probably around that time. But what
4 we were hearing was that they basically had been killed, especially those
5 men of military age captured at Srebrenica."
6 These two portions of your evidence were related to the same
7 events in Srebrenica and your experience with these occurrences; is that
9 A. Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Did you get at that time some more information
11 about the fate of these missing people?
12 A. I'm not sure exactly when I learned about that, but I know that
13 quite early after Srebrenica we had reports that some people of military
14 age had tried to escape from Srebrenica and had been caught in
15 fire-fights with the Serbs and were killed. Others were evacuated with
16 the rest of the population, but because they were military age, they were
17 segregated and eventually disposed of. So quite early after the events
18 at Srebrenica, we started having that kind of information, but exactly
19 when, I'm not sure, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
21 Sir, this concludes the questioning for you. The Chamber has to
22 thank you for your attendance and your patience to be here last week and
23 today again. Thank you very much again, and now you are free to return
24 to your official post in Western Africa. Thank you again for coming here
25 to The Hague again.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, I think there are only four minutes
3 left. It seems not to be a very good idea to start with the next witness
4 right now. What is your position?
5 MR. THAYER: I think you're correct, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In this case, we should adjourn now and resume
7 tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this courtroom.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.42 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 30th day of
11 June, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.