1 Tuesday, 6 July 2010
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.
6 At the outset of today's hearing, the Chamber wishes to issue an
7 oral decision concerning one witness who is scheduled to give evidence
8 this week. The Chamber is seised of the Prosecution's 92 bis and
9 92 ter motion for the five witnesses filed confidentially on the
10 26th of April this year in which the Prosecution inter alia seeks that
11 evidence of witness 65 ter number 139, a proposed 92 bis witness, be
12 instead admitted pursuant to Rule 92 ter and hereby renders its decision
13 insofar as Witness 139 is concerned.
14 The Prosecution submits that the evidence of Witness 139 --
15 sorry, relates to the situation in Bratunac following the fall of
16 Srebrenica, and that, in light of the specific factual challenges raised
17 by the accused in his pre-trial brief and the positions he has otherwise
18 taken in respect of core facts alleged in the indictment, his evidence
19 would most efficiently and effectively be presented pursuant to
20 Rule 92 ter.
21 The Prosecution further submits that the accused would be able to
22 put his case to, and fully cross-examine this witness. In his response,
23 filed on the 26th of May, 2010, the accused did not oppose this
24 particular request.
25 The Chamber considers that it would be in the interest of justice
1 to receive the proposed evidence pursuant to Rule 92 ter, subject to the
2 tendering of transcripts reflecting the official record. The Chamber
3 therefore grants the request and provisionally admits Witness 139's
4 evidence pursuant to Rule 92 ter.
5 In addition, the Chamber notes that there are no protective
6 measures currently in place for this witness and that the Chamber is not
7 seised of any motion in this respect.
8 Now we should turn to the continuation of the evidence of the
9 last witness. He should be brought in.
10 Mr. Thayer.
11 MR. THAYER: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Just a quick update
12 for the Trial Chamber regarding the continual translations. The B/C/S
13 translation of 65 ter 6287, which is P242, has been uploaded into
14 e-court. That had been previously MFI'd.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this information. The document
16 will be received as an Exhibit.
17 [The witness takes the stand]
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, sir, please sit down. I would
19 like to remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth still applies.
20 And Mr. Tolimir has some more questions for you.
21 THE WITNESS: Very well, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. May
24 there be peace in this house for all those present, and this trial. And
25 may God's will be done in these proceedings. And may the outcome be as
1 God wishes and not as wish. I would like to bid Mr. Franken good
2 afternoon, and I hope that he will be comfortable here.
3 WITNESS: ROBERT FRANKEN [Resumed]
4 Cross-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
5 Q. I would now like us to continue where we stopped last time. Let
6 me remind you where it was. You were trying to explain the position
7 vis-à-vis the Defence of the enclave, and you said that you did not side
8 with any of the factions but that you simply defended the enclave.
9 At page 62, when I asked you about Colonel Brantz with whom you
10 were on good terms, as you stated yourself, you said Charlie Brantz is a
11 Dutch Colonel from the north-east sector command. In fact, he was our
12 higher echelon in the staff of the unit, that was, in fact, our higher
13 echelon, and because we knew each other from before, from the
14 Netherlands, it was easier for us to be on good terms with him, quite
15 unlike the situation that would be if he had been somebody else from the
16 international community we did not know.
17 Now, my question is, first of all, I would like us to look at D2.
18 It's a document dated the 12th of July, 1995. It's a document generated
19 by the BH Army, signed by Brigadier Enver Hadzihasanovic. And it details
20 his conversations with Colonel Brantz in the corps command.
21 And let me read from this document, and then I would like you to
22 give me some answers in the context of what we discussed last time.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Would you please tell us which part of this
24 document you will read? It makes it easier for the interpreters.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Okay, yeah, we can see here -- we
1 need paragraph 4, although I can't see it here in its entirety. I will
2 quote from it, because it flows on to the next page. Could you just move
3 it a little bit to the right so that I can read it. Just a little bit.
4 Thank you.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Ah, to the right. On the left side, we can't see
6 the whole document.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Yes, I can see it now.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. "At 800 hours this morning, the commander of UNPROFOR for the
10 north-east, Colonel Brantz, paid us a visit. The subject was the current
11 situation in Srebrenica. Brantz briefed us that the forces of the
12 Dutch Battalion and the BH Army managed, in a joint effort, to defend
13 Srebrenica on Monday, and that NATO air support was approved at
14 0445 hours yesterday."
15 As you can see, this was written on the 12th of July by
16 General Enver Hadzihasanovic, the Chief of the General Staff, and he had
17 talks with Colonel Brantz.
18 Now, I want to ask you this: Whether this report by
19 Enver Hadzihasanovic sent to the president of the Presidency of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1st Corps command is in line with what you
21 stated at page 80, lines 14 and 15, where you state clearly, and I quote:
22 "Again, I disagree with you regarding your conclusion that
23 UNPROFOR took sides when it comes to my battalion. I am explaining this
24 again, and I don't think that what we did was tantamount to siding with
25 one of the factions."
1 So I've now read all this out to you. This was a rather
2 comprehensive introduction to my question. I would like to ask you to
3 comment on all this, and I would like to ask you whether this was,
4 indeed, your position and whether you agreed with the colonel when it
5 came to the defence of the enclave?
6 A. As far as my former statement is, that I am not -- I still
7 disagree on the conclusion that UNPROFOR, being, in this case,
8 DutchBat III, took side in my question. I remember saying, and when I'm
9 right, that I do not know how my higher echelons put that in the words or
10 in words. Then again, if you see the report of the BiH general, he
11 speaks of a joint effort to defend Srebrenica.
12 As far as I can see, he refers to the attack of the VRS on the
13 city itself, which we -- on which we responded by starting firing upon
14 the VRS. In that time, BiH was still present, and, of course, they were
15 firing as well on the VRS. And that is not in contradiction what I said
16 before when I tried to explain to you that, in my view, there was no
17 co-ordination or co-operation.
18 Does that answer your question?
19 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like you to give me a direct answer to
20 my question. Well, I asked several questions and you answered to the
21 best of your abilities. But it says here:
22 "Brantz briefed us that that the forces of the Dutch Battalion
23 and the BH Army succeeded, in a joint, effort to defend Srebrenica on
25 What you've just told us, how can it be reconciled with what
1 Colonel Brantz told the Chief of the Main Staff of the BH Army on that
3 A. Yes, again, I'll try to use other words. He refers to a joint
4 effort, and I think that he referred to that attack I described to you in
5 my former answer. You could use that word; and, again, I do not know
6 whether he used these words, because this is a message of the BiH general
7 who probably uses his own words. So I don't know whether Colonel Brantz
8 really said that. But, again, you can't speak of a joint effort when
9 there are three parties in a location; being VHS attacking Srebrenica,
10 then still parts of the 28th BiH division, and my battalion.
11 The VRS attacks, we opened fire, and the 28th Division opened
12 fire on that same VRS. That doesn't prove that in that action there has
13 been any co-operation or coordination. As I stated before, we had a
14 mutual enemy, being the VRS, and if he is attacking the city of
15 Srebrenica, it's quite clear that both parties - and I mean VRS and
16 DutchBat - opened fire. If you want to conclude then that there must
17 have been any co-ordination or co-operation in that case, again I say
18 there was not any co-ordination, co-operation. Coordination other than
19 that meeting I had in March, as we referred to earlier in my testimony.
20 And co-operation, well, you brought several documents where you could see
21 that there was absolutely no co-operation with the BiH, the opposite. I
22 referred to events at Mike, the killing of my soldier, et cetera.
23 Is this a direct and complete answer, sir?
24 Q. Thank you. Yes, I understand your point. But, now, in your
25 answer you said, and I quote:
1 We had a joint enemy, the VRS.
2 We, the Dutch Battalion. Is that so? So how did you have a
3 joint enemy, and why did you consider the Republika Srpska army to be
4 your enemy?
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
6 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm reluctant to intervene so early
7 in the session, but we really have gone over this again and again and
8 again. If General Tolimir wants to spend his limited cross-examination
9 time on this topic, fine, but we are really wasting time. I don't think
10 there's another way that Colonel Franken can answer the same question.
11 He's trying; he said himself, I'll try to use other words. But, frankly,
12 this has been asked and answered and asked and answered, and the answer
13 has been consistent for days now.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You heard the objection and the comment of
17 Mr. Thayer, and if I compare your last question with the first question
18 of today, I don't see the difference. You were referring exactly to the
19 answer you have got by the witness already, and you should think about
20 the time you are using in court. Perhaps you move to another topic.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
22 witness has just said, and Mr. Thayer himself heard it, We had a joint
23 enemy and that was the Republika Srpska army, end of quote. Now I want
24 to ask the witness why the Army of Republika Srpska was a joint enemy to
25 him and to the Muslims, and does it not indicate that he and the Muslims
1 were on one side and the Republika Srpska army on the other. Thank you.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think you are now repeating the same question
3 again. Let's hear the answer of the witness to this question, but then
4 please not again the same question.
5 THE WITNESS: With "we" in that sentence, I meant, indeed, the
6 Muslim army and my battalion. That the Army of the Republika Srpska was
7 my enemy was quite clear, and more or less in or around to the order I
8 got from the UN to defend a city against an approaching armed force,
9 being the VRS. And, in general, you defend against an enemy and not
10 against friends. Is that -- just hold; I'm reading. And if you say it
11 does indicate that we are on one side, yes. If you keep on explaining
12 the situation that being there are two parties, one attacking, two of
13 them defending, then we were, the ABiH and UNPROFOR, being my battalion,
14 were on the defending side. So in that sense it could indicate we were
15 on one side. But if it implicates that we had co-ordinated and
16 co-operation of each other, that is incorrect.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on and move to another field.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Sir, this position that you just explained to us, the Republika
21 Srpska army was my enemy, did it affect your partiality or your possible
22 bias if your evidence here before this Tribunal? Thank you.
23 A. I don't think that in my evidence I have any partiality. I
24 explained last week, before, that it is for me not of any interest to
25 which my order to defend the city was referring, whether that would have
1 been the VRS, the ABiH, or some other army. I had order as a soldier to
2 defend it to an approaching party. And I'm giving my answers as factual
3 as possible. So I'm just referring to facts. And if I give an opinion,
4 it is on your request. I'm just giving the facts, so there is, as far as
5 I'm concerned, and I'm watching that, you can't speak of any partiality
6 or whatever.
7 Q. Thank you. Well, I've asked you, you've given me your answer,
8 and now I'm asking you: On the basis of your evidence, who ordered you
9 to defend the town? Who relayed this order to you personally? Thank
11 A. Personally, of course, my CO, the commanding officer of DutchBat.
12 But being briefed by him, I understood it that the order came from, if
13 you want a person, General Nicolai being at the HQ at Sarajevo.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Franken. Now, I would like you to tell us whether
15 Colonel Karremans, your immediate superior, or anyone else from the
16 Dutch Battalion from your command had made any promises to the Muslims
17 that there would be air-strikes against VRS positions and that the
18 UNPROFOR would take part in the effort to defend the town against the
19 Serbs? Thank you.
20 A. Your first question I thought I answered that last week. In the
21 night from the 10th to the 11th, Colonel Karremans had a meeting with the
22 staff of the 28th Division in the city of Srebrenica, and then he
23 informed them about the air attack and other details which were important
24 for them because they had to be sure that they wouldn't be in a certain
25 area. Perhaps you remember my killing-zone story.
1 Then, secondly, UNPROFOR would take part in the effort to defend
2 the town. I do not know exactly what Colonel Karremans said to the
3 28th Division, so I can't confirm that. Probably he would have
4 said -- but again that's an assumption - he would have said that DutchBat
5 is going to defend the town, but I don't know what words he used because
6 I was not present.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, I would like to ask you to
9 show 1D218. Thank you.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. It's a statement by brigadier General Nicolai, Cornelis Nicolai,
12 you mentioned him just now. He gave it on the 18th of November, 1996.
13 Well, we can see the front page of that statement in Serbian.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, can we look at page 11. We
15 can see that it is probably an authentic signature that's affixed there.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Are you able to verify that this is General Nikolai's signature?
18 A. I see a page in English, and I do not know whether that -- you
19 mean the sign on the right bottom side of the document? I can't confirm
20 that is his signature because I really don't know. I never worked during
21 long times directly --
22 Q. Thank you.
23 A. [Previous translation continues] ... under the general.
24 Q. Thank you. Well, we will hear this witness, and we will ask him,
25 for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, whether he did in fact sign the
2 But let us now look at paragraph 2 of his statement where he
4 "I further contacted General Tolimir at 1750 hours. I expressed
5 my deep concern for the situation which was developing in the Srebrenica
6 enclave. I told him that his forces, having penetrated into the enclave,
7 was deemed to be an attack on the safe area and asked him to withdraw his
8 troops to 4 kilometres' distance to the south, which was the original
9 confrontation line. His response was that I expected -- was what I
10 expected, to deny that his troops were attacking into the enclave. I
11 further requested that he order his troops not to use their anti-aircraft
12 guns to attack our helicopter which was already underway to carry out the
13 evacuation of the DutchBat soldier's body."
14 And so on. End of quote.
15 Now, I would like you to tell us, do you know what time-period we
16 are talking about regarding this conversation between General Nicolai and
17 General Tolimir? Thank you.
18 A. Yeah, well, I only see a timing, and then I have to guess on
19 which date that would occur. I presume that this could have been on the
20 10th, as I see the description of the situation that General Nicolai
21 gives, and -- please hold. Yeah, well, that will answer your question,
22 but, again, this is an assumption. It is a timing of 1750 hours.
23 Probably on the 10th.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
25 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, it might be helpful just to go to the
1 prior page in the English version of the statement and let
2 Colonel Franken look at that. If you look at the bottom of the prior
3 page, I think we may see a date. That's all General Tolimir needs to do
4 to help the witness.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Witness, could you -- can you see that?
6 THE WITNESS: I can see it, sir. I'm just reading it. Yeah,
7 well, I can see it, it's on the 9th now. But it has been 15 years, and
8 my memory is pretty good but. It could cope to a situation on the 10th
9 as well. But I see now it was on the 9th of July.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
11 Mr. Tolimir.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Franken, I saw that this was on the 9th. But do you remember
15 that you said that on the 9th, the 10th, and the 11th you were fighting
16 the VRS and that it was then that you issued a green order? Yes or no?
17 Thank you.
18 A. The green order was issued on the 9th. And as of the 9th or
19 before that, starting with the attack on Echo, we had contact with the
20 VRS. That's correct.
21 Q. Were you in engagement? Did you engage the VRS? Was there fire
22 exchanged between you and the VRS?
23 A. If you mean as of the attack on Echo, yes. Occasionally, yes.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you now please have a look at paragraph 3, where
25 once again General Nicolai talks about what he said, and he says:
1 "Tolimir decided once again to concentrate his responses on our
2 requests, and he said that VRS was not attacking UNPROFOR or the civilian
3 population in Srebrenica."
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Are you on the same page?
5 THE WITNESS: I don't think I have the correct page in front of
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I don't think so. We have to move to the next
8 page. Page 11.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] It's page 11 in English, and I'm in
10 line 5.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Which paragraph?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] That is paragraph 3, the third
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Let me repeat:
16 "Tolimir again chose to focus his answers to our demands by
17 saying that the VRS was not attacking UNPROFOR nor the civil population
18 in Srebrenica. He did make false allegations that the ABiH were using
19 former UN APCs in the enclave and also using heavy weapons from the
20 enclave. This was not true, as we knew that Colonel Karremans had
21 offered the ABiH their own weapons from the weapon collection point, due
22 to the threatening situation. But the ABiH had declined to take up his
23 offer. Tolimir did say ..." and so on.
24 My question is the following: If, on the 10th, and the Muslims
25 as well, in the area in front of your APCs, attacked the
1 Army of Republika Srpska, was Tolimir lying when he said that both the
2 UNPROFOR and the BH Army were firing against his army from Srebrenica?
3 Because you said that on the 9th, the 10th, and the 11th you were in
4 conflict with the Army of Republika Srpska and that this happened even
5 sometime before that.
6 A. If your question is that whether there was firing contact with
7 the VRS on the 10th of July, I only can confirm that.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Witness, please don't touch the microphone.
9 THE WITNESS: Sorry, sir.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It gives additional noise.
11 THE WITNESS: Okay. Excuse me.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
13 Sorry, I didn't see you, Mr. Thayer.
14 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, again, the question, which I presume
15 is based on this statement that General Tolimir is showing to
16 Colonel Franken, does not accurately reflect the statement that he is
17 showing him. And I'll quote from what this statement says:
18 "Tolimir again chose to focus his answers to our demands by
19 saying that the VRS was not attacking UNPROFOR nor the civil population
20 in Srebrenica."
21 The question that General Tolimir just asked was:
22 "Was Tolimir lying when he said that both the UNPROFOR and the
23 BH Army were firing against his army from Srebrenica?"
24 That's different.
25 And if he is going to be citing from the document to ask
1 questions, then he should make it clear when he is citing from the
2 document and then when he is putting a different proposition. Otherwise,
3 he is misleading the witness.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, this witness is a very experienced
5 person, not only in military terms but also in testifying before this
6 Court. I think he is capable to answer the question in the way which is
7 helpful for the understanding of the whole case and for the Chamber.
8 Nevertheless, Mr. Tolimir, please be very careful by quoting and
9 phrasing your questions to the witness. Please carry on.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
11 witness has answered my question. As he said, on the 10th he was in
12 conflict with the Army of Republika Srpska. This is the time which is
13 covered by the conversation with General Nicolai.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. As the witness now mentioned heavy weapons offered by
16 Colonel Karremans to the ABiH, can you tell us whether he handed over
17 these weapons, when did he hand them over, and when did they take them
18 over? Thank you.
19 A. I know that my CO offered the ABiH the weapons still preserved in
20 a so-called "weapon collection point" that were light and heavy weapons
21 that were in the context of the demilitarisation of the enclave were
22 gathered by DutchBat I and kept there more or less in custody. And I
23 know as well that the ABiH was not interested. So there was not an
24 actual handing over or taking over.
25 Q. Thank you.
1 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we now please have a look at
2 the 12th paragraph on page 3 both in English and in B/C/S. I did not say
3 it correctly, it is page 12, paragraph 3, rather than the other way
4 around. Please excuse me. My legal assistant has just brought this to
5 my attention. Thank you. There it is. Thank you.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. This paragraph, if you had a look, says:
8 "Then the confusion started. Colonel Karremans was concerned
9 that using close air support, not [as interpreted] only on the attacking
10 front, was not sufficient due to the VRS having the ability to retaliate
11 with their heavy weapons which were situated all around the enclave."
12 Can you see what I'm reading from?
13 A. I can.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 "He wanted an attack to take place on all of the positions of the
16 VRS. During the night, the air operation centre asked Colonel Karremans
17 for all VRS positions. Karremans expected that air-strikes would be
18 carried out the next morning and not the close air support. He contacted
19 the local Bosnian authorities to warn them to be prepared for proper
20 air-strikes. Colonel Karremans did not realise that there was never any
21 consideration given to air-strikes but only to close air support. That
22 night the VRS attack stopped."
23 Can you please describe to us in more detail these contacts which
24 Colonel Karremans had with the Muslim army, considering that we have seen
25 here that when he met General Mladic and told him he had handed over 300
1 rifles to Muslims. Thank you.
2 A. I already -- I think I already answered that question, and,
3 again, it was on the night of the 10th to the 11th where
4 Colonel Karremans, as I said before, visited the staff of the
5 28th ABiH Division in Srebrenica. There he informed them about the air
7 And concerning your last remark, do you mean by that that he,
8 being Colonel Karremans, handed over 300 rifles to the Muslims? If that
9 happened, and I would be very surprised, I do not know about that.
10 Q. Thank you. We will have a look at that if we have enough time so
11 you will see that this did happen and that the rifles were handed over to
12 the Muslims, because they were not found and you did not take them with
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please now show
15 Exhibit P607. It is a statement -- your statement, Mr. Franken, and
16 we'll have a look at page 9 in B/C/S, paragraph 3. And in English
17 version, it's page 7, paragraph 6.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You can see the paragraph now, paragraph 6 on page 7 in the
20 English version. You have probably read it already, so I don't have to
21 read it. It is brief. And so I can ask you questions, I will just say
22 for the purpose of the transcript:
23 "On the evening of the 10th of July, there was a meeting between
24 Lieutenant-Colonel Karremans and the civilian and military authorities in
25 the enclave. The same evening, at the market in Srebrenica, he saw about
1 1500 BH men in uniform, armed with small weapons. I then gave orders to
2 prepare for the defence of Srebrenica. There was then a discussion about
3 the role of BH in this situation and about filling the gaps in our ranks
4 with them."
5 Can you tell us now, based on what we have just read, where did
6 Colonel Karremans hold the meeting with the Muslims in Srebrenica with
7 their civilian and military authorities, and who of the civilian and
8 military representatives attended the meeting, if you know, and who
9 proposed that the Muslims should fill in the gaps in your ranks? Thank
11 A. It was in the centre of the city, a post office, a well-known
12 post office. There he saw those 1500 BiH soldiers. In this statement it
13 looks as that was the reason why I gave orders to prepare for the
14 defence, but that was originated on the order I got by the UN to defend
15 Srebrenica; in time there is a parallel. I'm surprised by the word the
16 "gaps in our ranks" because there was never, as far as I know, any
17 discussion about filling gaps in our ranks. Again, this should refer to
18 the March agreement, so to say, where we agreed upon filling the spaces
19 not covered by us between or on the flanks of our positions. As far as I
20 know, there has never been a discussion, at least not by me, about
21 filling gaps in the ranks because that would mean that we had a defensive
22 positions within that position Dutch and BiH soldiers, which was not
23 applicable, was not done.
24 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us whether you had a chance to
25 review this statement previously; and, if so, when? Thank you.
1 A. I don't know whether I had a chance to read this statement. I
2 read a lot of them. But if I did, I didn't -- probably I did not see or
3 read over the fact that they use -- "gaps in our ranks" is used. To my
4 view and to my knowledge, that is, as I said, incorrect.
5 Q. Thank you. I just wish to be correct concerning both your
6 opinion and the facts. You did give this statement, and the statement
7 was submitted to me by the Prosecution. And I had to prepare for my
8 cross-examination on the basis of it. And it is present here as a fact.
9 I'm just asking you to tell us, Who did you discuss this
10 possibility with, namely that the BH soldiers might fill in the gaps of
11 the UNPROFOR ranks? Thank you.
12 A. That is, as I stated before, somewhere in March/April, and I
13 discussed that with the Chief of Staff of the 28th Division, a man known
14 to me as Ramiz. And I do not recollect his last name; could be Becirevic
15 or something. But with that man, Chief of Staff, 28th Division.
16 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether you agreed then that members
17 of the BH Army might fill in the UNPROFOR ranks? Thank you.
18 A. As I stated before, to me never -- to me there has never been
19 spoken about filling up the ranks. There has been -- we spoke about
20 filling up the gaps between our positions, as I stated before. And so
21 there's not -- I can't speak of agreement because it was not proposed by
22 the ABiH as well.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, I wanted to hear the answer of the
24 witness. And as I indicated earlier, this witness is capable even to
25 answer repeated questions.
1 Mr. Thayer.
2 MR. THAYER: I recognise that, and I certainly agree with that,
3 Mr. President. Nevertheless, we have General Tolimir repeatedly
4 incorporating into his questions misstatements of fact. This witness
5 testified clearly that there was no discussion about filling in ranks.
6 He builds that into the very next question, I let it go because I can't
7 stand up every time that happens. He gets an answer, and then he repeats
8 that misstatement a second time. And he's going to keep doing it and
9 waste more time, through this method of misstating the record.
10 I understand that Colonel Franken is experienced and is capable
11 of answering the questions, but when we have these types of misleading
12 questions in the record, what happens then is the answer that is given
13 is -- does not make clear whether he is accepting that misstatement of
14 fact. And it should not be a burden upon the witness for every
15 misleading question for the witness to have to correct the General's
16 misleading statement of fact.
17 And we see as an example, I let it go, Colonel Franken answers
18 the question, and then he asks the misleading question again, and then
19 Colonel Franken corrects him the second time around. But now we have a
20 question that could conceivably be read to accept that misleading
21 statement that was not objected to. And I -- again, I'm reluctant to
22 have to do this, but I feel that for the clarity of the record and to not
23 place that burden on the witness I have to intervene.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The view of the Chamber, Mr. Thayer, there were
25 some repetitions in your statement as well at the moment. And on the
1 other hand, I would like to repeat the position of the Chamber. You may
2 raise these concerns during your re-examination. On the other hand, it's
3 up to the accused to fill his time in that way or that way. He was -- he
4 has indicated to finish in ten hours, and he has to do that, of course.
5 Not to waste time of the Court. But, on the other hand, if, I think this
6 witness is not in a position to be misleaded by a question. And not the
7 accused is giving evidence, but the witness. And if there's a
8 misstatement in the question, the Chamber is able to realise that.
9 We should continue. And I think both parties should be aware of
10 the fact that he is a witness, an important witness, and we should use
11 his evidence for the best of the Chamber and the whole proceeding.
12 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Mr. Franken, I apologise that we have frequent interpretations
16 just like now. I had no bad intentions. You mentioned Becirevic
17 yourself; I then decided to ask you something about that because you
18 mentioned that it could have happened at a certain point. I will now
19 move on to another topic so that we will not waste any more time on this.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now please show, once again,
21 1D207. Paragraph 11. It is a document entitled "Interview with Franken"
22 dated the 31st of March, 1999. Thank you.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Before we start reading, let me just ask you: Did you
25 personally, supposing that there would be some air-strikes, receive an
1 information to that effect from someone? And if yes, who did you receive
2 it from? Thank you.
3 A. To answer your first question, would there be some air-strikes,
4 and I think you refer to the 11th of July when those air-strikes were
5 promised, no, and that refers to -- or no, and that is based on the fact
6 that after the attack on OP Echo where all conditions were filled to give
7 us close air support or any air support, it was refused by the UN. Then
8 I did not believe any more that we would get any air support any time.
9 Then the fact that the air-strike on the 11th -- or at least air
10 support on the 11th would take place was given to me by my CO,
11 Colonel Karremans.
12 Q. Thank you. I already got the answer that I wanted to hear.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now please show 1D218.
14 Thank you. Thank you.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. We can see here that this is a statement given by
17 General Nicolai.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please have a look at page
19 12 of this statement on which Mr. Nicolai says the following. I will
20 quote it once we can see it on the screen. It has to do with what you
21 just mentioned, namely the air-strikes. Here it is. It is paragraph 2
22 in B/C/S. I think it is paragraph 3 in English.
23 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
24 Q. It says:
25 "The next day, the 11th of July, started with a confusing
1 situation. While Colonel Karremans was waiting for the air-strikes, we
2 were waiting for him, the ground commander, to call in close air
4 Close air support; I think this is what the abbreviation stands
6 "After some time, the VRS continued their attack. Then there was
7 some misunderstanding between Tuzla, HQ Sector North-East, and DutchBat.
8 I only learned about this later. Karremans made a call for air support
9 but used his normal channel through the Sector HQ at Tuzla and did not
10 call us direct. I was never able to establish why he did this during
11 this very urgent situation."
12 Last time, at the end of your testimony, you explained the
13 situation with the Pakistanis. Now you told us what you thought about
14 the air support. My question is the following: The request for close
15 air support or air-strikes, were you the one who made this request, or
16 was it Colonel Karremans?
17 You said that you did it and that you contacted the HQ in Tuzla,
18 in the opinion of two Pakistanis. Now, here, we can see a different
19 information provided by General Nicolai. Can you please tell us, What is
20 this all about? Thank you.
21 A. If I take your question literally, it is about air support. But
22 there are a couple of situations, even here, confused. The situation
23 with the Pakistanis was before-done air-support requests in support of
24 the attack on one of the OPs so can't be connected to the air-strikes
25 story on the 11th. That has been on the 9th or something like that.
1 Then I was informed, as I told before, by Colonel Karremans, that
2 he was -- got information from UN that there would be air-strikes next
3 morning. An air-strike needs information where to fly to and what to
4 attack. That is the information I gathered, and that is the request I
5 send to Tuzla because that would have been the normal way, next higher
7 Now, I might not comment that. Is that an answer to your
9 Q. Thank you. There is only one thing that remains unclear to me,
10 and it's a small matter. You may call it close air support or
11 air-strikes, but was it requested directly from Tuzla, and did you
12 overstep the command of the Sarajevo Sector and therefore General Nicolai
13 as well? Thank you.
14 A. Tuzla, just for your information, is a lower echelon than
15 Sarajevo. So overstepping the higher echelon and contact Tuzla is not
16 applicable. The normal echelon that I should contact with all my
17 information would have been Tuzla Sector North-East. During these
18 events, Sarajevo, General Nikolai's staff or General Nicolai in person,
19 made contact to DutchBat, being the CO, Colonel Karremans, and kept on
20 doing that. And the request was not from Tuzla, the request was sent to
21 Tuzla, as I tried to make clear before. The request for the targets that
22 would be attacked in the air-strike on the 11th.
23 And, again, I say air-strike because our position was: We were
24 informed there was an air-strike, so the whole discussion about what kind
25 of planes and who is waiting for who or who thinks that the other one
1 thinks something - and I don't want to add to the confusion - but it
2 looks like that everybody thought that the other party thought something
3 but nobody asked, is in that sense, for us, for me at battalion level at
4 that moment, not interesting. I was informed air-strike is coming in; I
5 presented a list of targets and sent that list of targets to Tuzla, my
6 next higher echelon, Sector North-East.
7 Q. Thank you for this explanation. Now I would like us -- well, I
8 asked you this because General Nicolai asked this question.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please look at page 10.
10 Paragraph 4 of the statement made by General Nicolai. That's 1D218.
11 Thank you.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. I hope you can see this paragraph 4 where it says "On Sunday ..."
14 begins with the words "on Sunday."
15 Now we will skip all that. We move on to line 5 in paragraph 4
16 where it says:
17 "Zagreb made it clear that General Janvier did not want to use
18 this ultimate solution without DutchBat having first used their weapons.
19 He wanted a step to be taken before the calling in of air-strikes.
20 According to the results of those consultations, we gave orders to
21 DutchBat to take blocking positions south of Srebrenica town so that if
22 the VRS attacked the town, this would not only be an attack on the
23 civilian population but also an attack on the UNPROFOR troops. In this
24 case, all the conditions for using air power would be met. This order
25 was carried out by the DutchBat. At the same time we sent a message to
1 the VRS leadership."
2 This is what General Nicolai stated. Is there any mention here
3 of the use of weapons or only of taking blocking positions? Thank you.
4 A. Well, the text used there are the words of General Nicolai, and
5 if you want an explanation, then please ask him. The only thing I know
6 that I got order to defend with all means the city of Srebrenica, which
7 is including, with all means, including the use of weapons. The only
8 thing that surprises me that there had been attacks on several OPs, as we
9 mentioned before, and probably -- or I can only conclude that they did
10 not see that as an attack on UNPROFOR, and further on asked
11 General Nicolai.
12 Q. Thank you. At any rate, I will do so. But I would just like to
13 ask you to tell me whether you received this order from Nicolai, this
14 order to defend Srebrenica at all costs, or whether somebody else issued
15 this order to you? Thank you.
16 A. The first time I heard of it, I was informed by my CO. As I
17 stated before, Colonel Karremans told me that we got ordered to defend
18 the city of Srebrenica. And then I started working on that green order.
19 And later on there was something, or a telegram or something, but whether
20 that was signed or originated by General Nicolai or somebody of his staff
21 or even higher command, I do not recollect.
22 Q. Thank you. You will remember that your commander ordered you to
23 open fire on the VRS on the 9th, the 10th, and the 11th; yes or no?
24 Thank you.
25 A. The commander didn't order me. The position was clear, OPs,
1 observation posts, knew that they had to defend, when attacked, had to
2 defend their OPs. And then they open fire. There was one occasion where
3 I repeated that order to use weapons, that is, when the VRS attacked the
4 city of Srebrenica itself. It was reported to me that the VRS infantry
5 was descending from the high grounds in the south, and I ordered
6 commander B Company to open fire. But, in fact, he already knew that he
7 should do that, but that is what happened.
8 Q. Thank you. I kindly ask you for your patience. I need the
9 answer that I want to get. General Nicolai says here:
10 "According to the result of those consultations, we gave orders
11 to DutchBat to take blocking positions south of Srebrenica town so that
12 if the VRS attacked the town, this would not only be an attack on the
13 civilian population but also an attack on UNPROFOR troops."
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think there's no need to read this
15 portion again and again. We have it on the screen and on the record and
16 the witness has heard it. We have it on the record and the original
17 document. Please put questions to the witness.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Well, my question on the basis of what I've just read would be
21 this: Was this all about creating conditions on the ground for
22 air-strikes to be carried out, or was it something else?
23 A. I don't have the faintest idea. The only thing I know, I was to
24 defend a city. And what the second thoughts or deeper thoughts of my
25 higher, higher echelon was, I was not informed about. I took it that the
1 order to defend the city was to simply prevent the VRS of entering the
2 city. As simple as that.
3 Q. Thank you. Please tell us, before the 9th, before issuing the
4 green order, were you in any way involved in the discussion as to how
5 your battalion should act in order to ensure air support or air-strikes?
6 Thank you.
7 A. No, this is not -- as far as I knew, it was not depending on the
8 acting of my battalion; it was more depending on the actions taken by a
9 aggressor in this case, particularly the VRS. And as I said before, air
10 support could be called in the very moment a UN unit was attacked, and
11 the boundaries of the enclave were passed by the VRS. And there were two
12 other conditions, but I can't recollect them, but they were not
13 important. The fact was, UN attacked, VRS coming into the enclave was
14 given enough reason to ask for air support.
15 Q. Thank you. Well, we have seen what General Janvier thought of
16 that. But now I would like to ask you, on the basis of your answers:
17 Why do you call --
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You just mentioned General Janvier; was that
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, that's correct, Your Honour.
21 He said -- well, in fact, I quoted what General Janvier said.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Were you referring to General Nicolai perhaps,
23 and not to General Janvier?
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No, I meant General Janvier, the
25 UNPROFOR force commander, who said that air-strikes should not be used.
1 And I said Zagreb made it clear.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. I just wanted to avoid any
3 misunderstanding. You were referring to General Janvier. Please carry
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Sir, if you look at the transcript, you said the aggressor, VRS,
8 did I understand you correctly? And what do you mean when you say the
9 aggressor, the VRS?
10 A. Well, what I mean is that in case of a status quo, there is a
11 party attacking, then I call him an aggressor. And in this case, it was
12 the VRS.
13 Q. Thank you. Did you adopt that term from the Muslims, or would
14 you use the same term for any attack? Would you call any attack an
16 A. That is too generalising for me. I can't answer that question.
17 I did not adopt the term from the Muslim. It is a general definition of
18 aggressor. Aggressor is somebody who attacks another party, in my view.
19 And in this case it was the VRS.
20 Q. Thank you. Well, of course, you are entitled to your opinion and
21 you can explain your positions and I have nothing against that. But
22 could you please tell me this: When you received the order to take
23 blocking positions to the south, as you've just told us, were you
24 notified in any way of the purpose of taking those blocking positions,
25 and was it one of the preconditions for UNPROFOR to come under an attack
1 to provoke the VRS into attacking them and then to use it as a pretext
2 for calling in air support? Thank you.
3 A. Well, again, all kinds of considerations that took place on my
4 higher, higher, and higher echelons I do not know of. Just picking up
5 the order I got, it was the aim of my defensive positions, blocking
6 positions, was to prevent the VRS to enter the city of Srebrenica. And
7 that's it. For me there were no secondary or even further-away reasons
8 to do it. Simple. Defend it. Enemy not coming in to the city.
9 Q. Thank you. Your APCs that took the blocking positions, were they
10 dug in, sheltered, or were they out there in the clear as perfect targets
11 for the tanks? Thank you.
12 A. We tried to find positions to dig them in. That did not succeed
13 because the kind of ground in that area. We took as much cover as
14 possible, but that was not very successful everywhere because you had
15 to -- have to use your own weapons systems as well, so you couldn't hide
16 them away, as far as is possible with a hail-white vehicle, so they were
17 out in the clear.
18 Q. Thank you. If they were out in the clear, and I have no reason
19 to doubt you there, were they a useful target, and could they have been
20 destroyed with anti-armour weapons or tanks?
21 A. Whether they were a useful target, I can't judge that. But they
22 could have been destroyed with anti-armour weapons and tanks with a
23 proper gunner, yes, but ...
24 Q. Were any vehicles destroyed at those blocking positions that you
25 took there to the south? Thank you.
1 A. Now, in those blocking positions, two vehicles were damaged by
2 near misses, as far as we could trace back, by a Tango 55. Tango 55,
3 sorry, is a main battle tank used by the VRS.
4 Q. Thank you. And were you told by your superior command that the
5 VRS ordered its troops not to open fire on UNPROFOR and UNPROFOR combat
6 vehicles? Thank you.
7 A. No. As you asked me last week, no, I was not aware of the fact
8 that VRS ordered things like that.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could I please have 1D207 up on the
11 screen. It's an interview with Franken. I'm interested in page 1,
12 paragraph 11.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, and what about the previous
14 document, 1D218? Are you tendering it, or do you prefer to tender it
15 with the witness Nikolai?
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, for
18 reminding me. I would like to tender it into evidence because it will be
19 used in the testimony of General Nikolai before this Tribunal. Thank
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received.
22 THE REGISTRAR: 65 ter 1D218 will be Exhibit D70.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
24 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Now, Mr. Franken, please look at paragraph 11 on page 1. You
4 "Voorhoeve told Karremans that he had to defend the enclave to
5 the extreme but that absolutely no body-bags were allowed to go home.
6 Karremans then asked Voorhoeve, 'Can you tell me, how I am supposed to
7 carry out this defence?' He did not get any answer from this question to
8 the minister, however."
9 So could you please tell us who is Voorhoeve and what his
10 function was and whether he was your superior in the chain of command?
11 A. Voorhoeve was the minister of defence of the Netherlands. And in
12 my chain of command, but I suggest you mean the chain of command for
13 DutchBat, my chain of command was very easy; there was my CO, of course,
14 and there it ended. But the chain of command for DutchBat, he had no
15 position because we were in the command of the UN.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry, please don't touch the microphone again.
17 THE WITNESS: I'm doing it again. I'm very sorry, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Franken, now, could you tell us whether the Dutch defence
22 minister overstepped his authority when he issued orders to you, given
23 that you were part of the UN chain of command, and whether you were
24 actually duty-bound to comply with his orders? Thank you.
25 A. To be clear, what was meant here that within the context of the
1 order to defend the city of Srebrenica, the minister had obviously some
2 restraints. He did not order us to defend it in that way, but he knew,
3 of course, about that.
4 Just reading. Well, you can't step -- overstep an authority
5 which you do not have, because he didn't have any authority within the UN
6 chain of command. If you had formally -- if he wished something, he,
7 theoretically, had to bring that in in the top of the UN line, and not
8 directly to the commander of DutchBat, of course. And I was not
9 duty-bound to comply his orders. But then again, I was not in discussion
10 with him. I was not the receiver of these guide-lines. I know, of
11 course, my CO came to me and said, Listen, that is a guide-line from
12 Holland. And I would not likely be too -- prepared to repeat exactly
13 what I said in this court because that would be inappropriate.
14 Q. Thank you. Yes, I understand you. Can you tell us, now that
15 we -- so that we don't have to go into that any deeper, whether your
16 battalion, when it carried out the order to take those blocking
17 positions, was it in a position to actually defend Srebrenica? Did it
18 have enough strength to defend Srebrenica?
19 A. A simple and short answer: No. Absolutely not.
20 Q. Thank you. So did you knowingly do that task counting that there
21 would be air support?
22 A. As I told before, that I personally did not believe in air
23 support any more, after the air support comedy about OP Echo I told you
24 about, asking for airplanes were not available, et cetera. No, I did not
25 count on air support. I was very happy to hear later on that there would
1 be air support, which, after all, did not come. I refer to the
2 air-strike situation on the morning of the 11th. But I just did it with
3 the means I had and hoped the best for it.
4 Q. Thank you. As you received the order to set up blocking
5 positions regardless of the fact that you couldn't defend the town, given
6 the -- your strength, as you could see, the Republika Srpska army was
7 issued orders by the corps commander General Zivanovic not to open fire
8 on UNPROFOR on the 8th. Now I'm asking you this: You obeyed the orders
9 that you received, they obeyed the orders that they received, but because
10 the VRS did not fire on UNPROFOR on the 9th, the 10th, and the 11th, did
11 it result in the postponement of mass air-strikes? Was that the reason
12 why there were no mass air-strikes?
13 A. To begin with the last question, I really don't know where there
14 were no air-strikes because, again, I thought that our request responded
15 to all the conditions the UN had.
16 Then you say that the VRS obeyed the orders, et cetera. We
17 discussed that last week, that there was firing of VRS on UN positions.
18 And when you told me that they were ordered not to, I told you that then
19 obviously they did not follow their orders.
20 I think that answers the question.
21 Q. Thank you. Now I need you to answer the following question for
22 me: Setting up the blocking positions of UNPROFOR to the south of the
23 enclave, was the sole purpose of that to provoke the Republika Srpska
24 army into attacking UNPROFOR troops which was to result in the NATO
25 air-strikes targeting the Republika Srpska army? Thank you.
1 A. As I told you a couple of minutes ago, the purpose of those
2 blocking positions was to prevent the VRS to enter the city of
4 Q. Thank you. Did this have anything to do with the wish to ensure
5 that there would be NATO air-strikes?
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I think, repeatedly, the witness has
7 answered this question. It's really a repetition. Carry on with another
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Well, since you've answered this question and the Trial Chamber
12 is cognizant of it, I would now like us to move on to another topic and
13 that's the convoys, smuggling of humanitarian aid, and the conflicts of
14 UNPROFOR, UNHCR, and so on. Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, in that case, if you are really
16 moving to another topic, it is a convenient time, I think, for a break
17 now, the first break, on technical reasons, to rewound the tapes.
18 We have our first break now and resume quarter past 4.00.
19 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, at the beginning of the testimony of
22 this witness, you indicated you need ten hours for cross-examination. At
23 the end of today's hearing, you will have used approximately nine hours.
24 I am told that the witness has a problem to come back to the court
25 tomorrow if we don't finish today. Could you indicate if it is possible
1 to finish with the examination of this witness today?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Considering what you've just said, I will try and I will ask the witness
4 to answer as briefly as possible, and then we will most probably manage
5 to complete this today. Thank you.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I have an additional idea: To avoid any
7 repetition of a question would save time as well.
8 Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Mr. Franken, in the summary, both in the Popovic case and here,
12 called the control of the convoys at terror against the convoys. Can you
13 tell us, What were the various difficulties that you had, considering
14 everything that you said in the transcript in the Popovic case 3322 and
15 3323, in these pages? Thank you.
16 A. Okay. As a battalion, we had our logistic needs, and they were
17 to be addressed to by coming in logistic convoys from our logistic base
18 in the area of Busovaca. The procedure was, when we arrived, that every
19 time we wanted a convoy to come in, there has to be the consent of the
20 VRS, not only about the fact that the convoy came and when it came, but
21 even about the contents of that convoy. And because on one hand the
22 convoys were refused many, many times and then even the contents were
23 refused or partially refused, we could not meet our logistic needs. And
24 that's what I meant by calling it convoy terror.
25 Q. Thank you. Do you mean just the convoys that had to do with
1 UNPROFOR or do you also imply the UNHCR convoys? Thank you.
2 A. My answer was concerning my convoys, so the UNPROFOR convoys. I
3 know about the fact that UNHCR had problems, but I don't know about
4 details, these convoys, concerning.
5 Q. Thank you. As for the restrictions that are implied in your
6 answer, namely obtaining equipment by the convoys, did this imply
7 restrictions that had to do with weapons, ammunition, and other materiel,
8 which is called the technical equipment for equipping vehicles and other
9 combat equipment? Thank you.
10 A. It had to do with that as well; but for food and fuel, et cetera,
11 the same problem was there.
12 Q. Thank you. In the Popovic case on page 3323, lines 3 to 5 of the
13 transcript, in your testimony you said -- I apologise.
14 In the summary of your testimony on page 3323 in lines 3 to 5 in
15 the transcript in the Popovic case - this is the summary of your
16 testimony read out by the OTP - it is emphasised that you said how the
17 weapons and ammunition of the Dutch Battalion were reduced and became
18 inoperative because the VRS restricted convoy access because there was a
19 need to maintain and replace some of the equipment.
20 So does your assessment follow what you mention in this summary
21 read out in the Popovic case? Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I'm not sure if the page is the
23 right one. I don't think so because I have a different page number of
24 the Popovic transcript. And the second is: The summary read out by the
25 OTP is not part of the evidence. To be able to follow what you are
1 putting to the witness, we would like to know the exact reference.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. If you remember,
3 Mr. President, on the first day of the testimony of this witness, the
4 Prosecutor read out the summary of his testimony in the Popovic case.
5 Therefore, on page 3323 --
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. This is quite different. You said
7 the Popovic -- you were quoting the Popovic transcript. Now you are
8 quoting the transcript of this trial. Thank you. That clarifies the
10 What is the question for this witness?
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I do
12 apologise. My mistake. I am sorry for causing confusion. Let me repeat
13 what the Prosecutor has said. They said --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please don't repeat. Just put a question to the
15 witness. You have read it into the transcript and now put a question to
16 the witness.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Can you tell us, What were the weapons that in a short period of
19 just a few months became inoperative and could not be used any longer?
20 Thank you.
21 A. First remark: It does not concern a short period of a few months
22 because we took over the equipment of DutchBat II and those limitations
23 to convoys already existed in the period they were there.
24 Then to answer your question, I can give you some examples. Even
25 my rifles were -- to explain that, I'm getting technical, but even my
1 rifles need repair. All my anti-tank systems should have been tested and
2 repaired. Ammunition for my mortars and ammunition for my anti-tank
3 systems was put out of action by the influence of moisture, and so I can
4 give quite a lot. But the fact is concern about all my weapons systems.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether these systems were used to
6 attack until the moment when the green signal was issued? Thank you.
7 A. As you know, none of my systems were used to attack. And having
8 stated that they were not operational, I not even could use them in
10 Q. Thank you. Then please tell us, What was the average consumption
11 of ammunition of the Dutch Battalion in Srebrenica, and where was this
12 ammunition used?
13 A. I don't know numbers about the average consumption because in the
14 period that there was actual contact with the VRS, it could have been
15 reported but not on the command net, and I was not interested at that
16 very moment. I ordered that within the unit they had to change numbers
17 of available ammunition or exchange, change between the platoons so that
18 everybody got some ammunition. I can tell you that [indiscernible] and I
19 were a logistic report; we had not more than 16 per cent of the
20 ammunition we should have had in the beginning. And ammunition is not
21 only used by firing it, but keeping it long in the open, not in the
22 proper packages, ammunition devaluates as well, as you know.
23 Q. Thank you. Can you please tell us whether your needs to obtain
24 ammunition and reserve parts for weapons are consistent with the period
25 in March and April, or is another month in question? Thank you.
1 A. I'm not sure I understand the question. But the fact is there --
2 when we came there and we took over from DutchBat II, we had already a
3 big need for ammo, spare parts, et cetera, and that just increased during
4 the period we were there.
5 Q. Thank you. In the requests you made until the month of May,
6 let's say, 1995, did you request that the weapons systems, the ammo, and
7 the weapons be replaced, or did this only happen after the month of May?
8 Thank you.
9 A. It started to happen in January and all the first requests, and
10 it stayed the whole period that way.
11 Q. Thank you. In the Popovic case, as stated in the summary of your
12 testimonies in this case, which the OTP read out, you said that the
13 battalion did not have sufficient ammo and other military equipment; is
14 that correct? Thank you.
15 A. That is correct. And that is in fact what we said, that we took
16 over at a too-low level.
17 Q. Thank you. My question is the following: Can you tell us as an
18 officer whether it is reasonable to allow armed forces to arm themselves,
19 even if these are UNPROFOR forces, if there is a danger that the weapons
20 might be used against you, whether by being seised by members of the BiH
21 army, and there were instances of that, of which we warned the UNPROFOR,
22 or if the UNPROFOR would use these weapons against you because, as you
23 told us, the VRS was viewed as the aggressor? Thank you.
24 A. To start with, UNPROFOR was within the enclave with the consent
25 of both parties. Even in the face that that was so, there were
1 limitations to whatever could be brought into the enclave. If you are
2 there as an UNPROFOR force with the consent of both parties, I do not
3 understand that there would have been a fear that we should use those
4 weapons against you, and I think you mean VRS. Because they were aware
5 of our orders, and we just had to deter any party by presence, and we did
6 not -- and within our mandate there was not in any way the possibility
7 that we would attack or whatever or start firing upon any of the parties.
8 Then again, whether I think it's reasonable for any party to
9 think whatever, I don't think that is applicable. If you are there in an
10 enclave with the consent of both parties, I do not understand why you do
11 not allow to get the unit, in fact, working for you as well in a phase,
12 to get the supplies he needs. And not only army and equipment, because,
13 again, even food and even blood was rejected. And blood, not to eat, but
14 for our dressing station, for our hospital.
15 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether this was usual after the
16 month of May when the air-strikes were carried out against the centre of
17 Republika Srpska, Pale and so on, that we should allow the UNPROFOR to
18 arm themselves in order -- in accordance with their requests, while, on
19 the other hand, the UNPROFOR and NATO used weapons only against
20 Republika Srpska? Thank you.
21 A. I'm thinking of the fact -- or stating that the situation in
22 Srebrenica, being in an isolated location, I can't react on the fact that
23 something was usual because it was a very unusual situation. And then
24 again, I've just given evidence of the fact that we were a subject of
25 what I called convoy terror. Justifying the one way or the other way,
1 telling you and the Court that we didn't get the supplies and everything
2 else we needed to do our job, is just what I mean in my answers. And any
3 justification or arguments or conditions or thoughts by any party, sorry,
4 I can't answer that. And I don't think it's applicable for me to answer
5 that. I'm just stating we got too less stuff of anything. That was the
6 reason that, in the end, the situation of the battalion was bad.
7 Q. Thank you. Last Thursday, we saw, and you said in the interview,
8 and General Gvero said while he talked with General Nicolai, and I also
9 told him, that in Zepa a number of APCs were stolen and that the unit in
10 Zepa had five APCs missing. If one combat vehicle such as APC is stolen,
11 and it's not easy to hide one, is it possible that other weapons systems
12 that are smaller might be stolen as well? Thank you.
13 A. Everything is possible, Mr. Tolimir.
14 Q. Thank you. Was it then justified for Republika Srpska not to
15 give the weapons to those who might lose them, such as the APCs were
16 lost? Thank you.
17 A. Well, I come back to one answer I gave you before. I'm just
18 giving the -- one of the causes or the reasons why our operational
19 situation was as bad as it was. Cause was that VRS didn't allow anything
20 we wanted to come in. And what the reasons for the VRS were, whether
21 they were justified or not, sorry, I can't be and I don't want to be the
22 judge of that.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now please see 1D173.
25 While we are waiting for it appear on the screen. Let me say
1 what it is. It's an order from the Main Staff of the Army of
2 Republika Srpska dated the 28th of February, 1995, from which one can see
3 that the VRS assessed that the BH Army would begin offensive operations.
4 And the document is signed by General Manojlo Milovanovic. Let's see
5 what it says. We can see that it's a short document, and I only intend
6 to read out something from the first paragraph.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. "Having monitored the situation and then an assessment of the
9 intentions and capabilities of the Muslim forces, I believe that they
10 will not respect the signed cease-fire and cessation of hostilities for
11 four months but will begin in early March their announced spring
12 offensive and will, as part of it, attempt to link up the Zepa and
13 Srebrenica enclaves and then direct their forces towards Kladanj, Olovo,
14 and Tuzla."
15 My question, based on this, is as follows: According to
16 information you had, was this assessment made by General Milovanovic in
17 February justified, and did the so-called spring offensive begin in the
18 month of March? Many witnesses have said here that for 20 days there was
19 an attack carry out from Sarajevo against Ilidza, and there were also
20 sabotage activities of the Muslims who reported that they had killed
21 60 members of the VRS and so on and so forth. They were doing it from
22 the enclave in which you were. Thank you.
23 A. Well, again, we were on a -- pretty isolated, and I did not know
24 or I believe I did not have this information you are referring to.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you receive any references from your command in
1 Sarajevo about the complaints of the Army of Republika Srpska to the
2 effect that attacks were being carried out from the Srebrenica enclave
3 against the surrounding areas and the population? Thank you.
4 A. What I remember, that in two cases we had contact with the
5 liaison of the VRS, being in this case Major Nikolic of the Bratunac
6 Brigade, which on one occasion complained about an action the Muslims
7 would have taken in the area north of the enclave, that coped with a
8 report of my observation post Mike about battle noise and, by daylight,
9 smoke north of the enclave. We asked then Major Nikolic whether we were
10 allowed to go down there and get the information he has about how many
11 and do you know where they came from, because we didn't see them. Well,
12 you know the problems we had with the location of the OPs.
13 And second occasion, he came with -- an incident that took place
14 south of the enclave, having an ambush by the BiH, by the Muslim army in
15 that area, and in that ambush, as I recollect well, 10 or 12 Serb
16 soldiers were killed.
17 In the last case, we asked him to provide or allow us to get in
18 more material so we could build more OPs in the southern edge. We
19 already had Kilo and Delta new, but we needed more there because we could
20 not control that hilly area without building up more OPs. But then the
21 logistics for building an OP were, again, rejected by the VRS.
22 So that's two occasions that I recollect that were reported to me
23 and that led to complaints by the VRS to the battalion itself.
24 Q. Thank you. Please tell us whether you and your monitors noticed
25 that in the spring the Muslims intensified the carrying out of the
1 so-called sabotage activities and the control of the Zepa-Srebrenica
2 corridor? Thank you.
3 A. About control of the Zepa-Srebrenica corridor, I do not anything
4 about. And as far as the other part of your question is concerned, I
5 think I already answered that in my answer in the last question. I know
6 of -- actually of two events well described to you in the answer I gave
7 you on my last -- on your last question.
8 Q. Thank you. Can you then tell me whether you ever had the
9 occasion during your mandate and your stay in Srebrenica to learn that
10 Muslims were taking away the weapons and the equipment of UNPROFOR? Were
11 there any such incidents, and did you ever report about them? Thank you.
12 A. If you mean the equipment of UNPROFOR, the equipment of the
13 battalion, then the answer is that the only case where that was done, the
14 only occasion that that was done when they took over or they attacked
15 OP Charlie and that was, as call it in the end phase, there were attempts
16 to steal equipment from observation posts. They were, as far as I know,
17 denied. Two exceptions, but that concerned two small tanks with diesel.
18 If you mean UNPROFOR, the total one, I already told you that I found back
19 a report but not exclusively but within the logistic report system that
20 the Ukrainian unit in Zepa lost five APCs that were reported stolen.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 Now I would like us to look at your statement.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P607. Page 1 in the English
24 language, that's page 2 in the Serbian language.
25 [Microphone not activated]
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Let's look at the second paragraph, where it says:
4 "During the first few months of our stay, there were very view
5 incidents worth mentioning."
6 That's a brief description of the first period. And then it goes
7 on to say in the third paragraph:
8 "In this period, there was a proposal by the Serbs to do business
9 with the Muslims..."
10 And then you go on to say:
11 "When I say business, I mean business in everything except
13 Then we go on to the fourth paragraph. You say:
14 "This jibed with our idea of how the relationship between the
15 warring factions should be normalised."
16 Thank you. End of quote.
17 Now, I would like to ask you what you can say about this
18 situation and how long it persisted during your stay in Srebrenica?
19 Thank you.
20 A. I take it you refer to the situation of the trade between both
21 parties? Well, it never came to a practice, as stated there as well. In
22 the end it was denied, and as I remember it, it was denied or it was
23 forbidden by the staff of the 28th Division, so we came very far in
24 details, negotiating that the Serbs would provide the enclave, the Muslim
25 population, with all kinds of stuff, being food, et cetera, et cetera.
1 And then in the end of that procedure, when we came to a de facto
2 decision when it would take place for the first time, the Muslims said,
3 No, we reject it, we won't do it, et cetera. And to my information I got
4 then from the local population, the staff of the 28th Division forbade
6 Q. Thank you. In paragraph 5 - could you please look at it - you
7 say that this situation continued by the end of May and that by the end
8 of May the parties came into conflict because of all sorts of things.
9 Can you please explain to us what you mean? How come that the two sides
10 parted ways here?
11 A. Sorry, I have to read your question. Moment, please.
12 Q. Look at paragraph 5 of your statement and then please give us
13 your answer.
14 A. Yes, I think you are referring to paragraph 2 of this second page
15 or at least the page I see now.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, that is the right part, yes.
17 THE WITNESS: Is correct.
18 By the end of May, there were more conflicts between both
19 parties. And what I meant by this is what I reported before, increasing
20 close firing, firing, et cetera, et cetera. So, light hostilities. That
21 is what I mean came into conflict. And it was, of course, then,
22 completely impossible to come to an agreement. And I suppose the
23 agreement refers to that trade agreement we were talking about.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Thank you. And, now, these conflicts that you talk about, the
1 skirmishes, are you talking about the two, both sides, until the end of
2 May, or was it something that was characteristic of just one side? Thank
4 A. The skirmishes firing, the increasing close firing and firing at
5 the enclave, was done at VRS, but in that period we -- I was reported
6 that there was fire with small arms from outside the enclave -- or from
7 inside the enclave in the direction of the VRS as well. And that is what
8 I meant with increasing the skirmishing. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us whether in this time-period the
10 sabotage activities were stepped up? I'm talking about those activities
11 launched from inside of the enclave towards the outside of the enclave.
12 You did not answer my question when I asked you.
13 A. I'll try to answer now. As I told you before, I know of two
14 cases of actual actions of the ABiH where the VRS complained about to the
15 battalion. So whether actions stepped up or increased or whatever, I do
16 not know about that.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please look at 1D182. I'm
19 interested in paragraph 2, line 1 and line 2.
20 THE REGISTRAR: This is Exhibit D52.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Well, we can see here, the date is the 8th of July, 1995, and the
24 place is Tuzla. And the 2nd Corps command states as following:
25 "60 Chetniks were killed. And according to unconfirmed reports,
1 the aggressor suffered even greater losses and had many wounded."
2 And then he goes on to say how many weapons of what kind were
3 seised. The third paragraph goes on to say:
4 "In the village of Visnjica, large quantities of ammunition were
5 seised, but the soldiers were exhausted, and it was impossible to remove
6 all of it, so the ammunition was destroyed, as were all the facilities
7 that the aggressor could have used for military purposes."
8 Thank you. End of quote.
9 Now, my question based on this is the following: Were you aware
10 of it, and were you able to hear the explosions? Were you able to hear
11 the exchange of gun-fire? Because these are all areas close to you and
12 the whole village was burnt down. Were you able to see those houses on
14 A. To answer your first question, I was not aware of it, at least
15 not this result.
16 And to answer your next question, I'm sorry, but I do not know
17 where that village is by head, probably knew 15 years ago but not now.
18 And it could comply with the report or the report I got of that smoke and
19 battle noise by OP Mike.
20 Q. Thank you. In your view, the number of 60 villagers killed in an
21 action launched from inside of the so-called demilitarised zone, the
22 enclave, is it a great number or a small number? And is it something
23 that is actually permissible or not? Thank you.
24 A. To answer your last question, in any conflict it is never
25 authorised or permissible to kill civilians, if that number of 60 refers
1 to civilians, of course. And if it's a great number, yes, it's a massive
2 number, but, again, you have to make some - how do you call it? - to see
3 it in a context. Because, one, I don't know the village, I don't know
4 how many people were there were, I don't know how big the attacking force
5 was, and I don't know whether and in what way it was defended. So in
6 that case ...
7 But when it concerns killing civilians, even one is a great
9 Q. Thank you. You saw when I read this out a little while ago that
10 this was a report on operations launched by sabotage and reconnaissance
11 units that were infiltrated, that infiltrated the territory controlled by
12 the Republika Srpska army from the protected areas. So they were not
13 involved in operations at the front to inflict those casualties, but they
14 inflicted casualties. They killed and wounded whoever they encountered
15 on the axis of their advance of their attack, civilians or otherwise.
16 Did you ever discuss those protests made by Nikolic or by other
17 people sent through the Sarajevo command of UNPROFOR about the military
18 operations launched by the demilitarised zone in Srebrenica with the
20 A. Yes, well, first, you suggest that those actions were taken from
21 out the enclave, so from out the UN protected zone. I do not know
22 whether that is correct. But the two complaints we got were by
23 Major Nikolic were passed through to our higher echelon, reported, and
24 those complaints were put down at the staff of 28th Division as well.
25 Q. Thank you. Did you ever disarm the BH Army units in Srebrenica?
1 And that was part of your mandate. Thank you.
2 A. First don't -- as far as I'm concerned, the demilitarisation of
3 the enclave, I stated that before. We did not manage to do that. And we
4 did by occasion, and, again, I have to dig in my memory, but on two or
5 three occasions we managed to block BiH patrol and took their weapons and
6 brought them to the WPC, weapon collection point, where the other weapons
7 from the Muslims were as well, in custody of the UN. That was within the
8 compound of B Company within the city of Srebrenica.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, can you tell us, because I want to go back to
10 our basic topic and that's corruption and weapon smuggling, which groups
11 controlled the black-market that you speak about in your statement? And
12 if you need me, I will quote from it. Thank you.
13 A. We never found proof who controlled it, but we were convinced of
14 the fact that it couldn't exist without the consent or even co-operation
15 of both military and civil authorities within the enclave.
16 Q. Thank you. And could you tell me, What goods were traded on the
18 A. I don't know exactly what, but what we could see was that there
19 were cigarettes, sometimes - what do you call that? - well, food issues,
20 et cetera. Things like that were traded at the black-market. But that
21 was the open black-market in the actual market in the city of Srebrenica.
22 What all happened back doors or wherever in other location, I do not know
23 of what the contents of that were.
24 Q. Thank you. So these were food and items such as clothing. What
25 actually could be bought at this open-air market that you are talking
1 about -- or, rather, black-market?
2 A. Well, actually, as I told you, cigarettes, sometimes certain food
3 articles. I don't remember clothing, but mostly that were the subjects
4 that could be bought in open on the market in Srebrenica.
5 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us whether there were items that had
6 come in on the humanitarian aid convoys that were traded on this open
7 black-market? After all, your unit conducted controls of those convoys.
8 Thank you.
9 A. First, I can't. We never had proof or -- that it came in with
10 humanitarian aid convoys, for instance, UNHCR, and my control of the
11 convoys was very limited. The only control I had was that we were
12 ordered to accompany them from OP Papa, so the northern entrance of the
13 enclave, to the warehouse where we secured them during the unpacking of
14 the trucks. And then it was up to the opstina, the civil authorities, to
15 divide it or distribute it, et cetera. So I did not -- never have
16 exact -- sorry, I knew on paper what was in the convoys, I had no reason
17 to believe that there was anything else in the convoys, and I never found
18 that there was anything else in the convoys.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, I would like us to look at document 1D034, where
20 Muslims themselves speak about the black-market. It's a document
21 entitled, "Analytical Overview on the Causes of the Fall of Srebrenica
22 and Zepa," sent by the brigadier-general of the BH Army,
23 General Jusuf Jasarevic, commander of the Main Staff -- to the commander
24 of the Main Staff of the BH Army, Rasim Delic.
25 Could you please look at page of this document and tell us what
1 is stated there.
2 Okay. Yes. We can see the third paragraph:
3 "The international players' calculation and indecision regarding
4 the safe areas and smuggling and profiteering by members of UNPROFOR were
5 also a factor which had a significant impact on the overall security
6 situation in Srebrenica and Zepa."
7 So could you please tell us whether this analysis presented by
8 the brigadier-general, who was a commander in the BH Army, really was
9 relevant for the situation in Zepa and Srebrenica?
10 A. Well, as Zepa is concerned, I couldn't say anything, of course,
11 because I do not know anything about the situation, then, in Zepa. And
12 if a BiH general concludes something out of his knowledge, et cetera,
13 well, again, don't ask me for it. The total thing, conclusion, well, it
14 is his conclusion. And what do you want me to say about that? I don't
15 share it.
16 Q. Thank you. And you tell me, then, whether you have any knowledge
17 of the smuggling and profiteering by the UNPROFOR members as described
18 here by the brigadier-general? Thank you.
19 A. If you mean UNPROFOR members being members of DutchBat, we had
20 one event where we discovered smuggling, and the soldier that took part
21 of that, is, according to our rules, punished and prosecuted. And
22 further, we would -- I do not know about any events that members of
23 DutchBat are engaged with this.
24 Q. Thank you. And can you tell us what that soldier actually
25 smuggled and when it happened? I'm talking about the year and the month.
1 A. The year is obviously 1995. It concerned a pretty vast amount of
2 money. About - what was it? - about 300.000 Deutschemarks, and it was
3 contained in canned soup. And we found that because, due to limitations
4 to leave convoys, quite a lot of our guys were in Zagreb and couldn't
5 return. But miraculously before, during their leave, there came in
6 packages sent by the families. And as the battalion had a pretty severe
7 shortage of food, we decided to use the food in those packages sent by
8 the family. And to our surprise in one of the packages we opened it and
9 thought we would find tomato soup, which was incorrect. We found many
10 Deutschemarks. And that is the only actual case that I -- the
11 Deutschemarks were - there was a list with names - meant for local
12 Muslims. And that's the only event that I -- that we found proof of
13 smuggling by DutchBat members.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please look at page 4 of
16 this document that we have here in e-court. And I would like to thank
17 you for your answer.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Could you please look at paragraph 2, where it says:
20 "Among the residents of Srebrenica, there is an ever-increasing
21 mistrust towards the civilian and military leadership fostered by or
22 fermented by the unjust distribution and various mechanations [as
23 interpreted] with the humanitarian relief. And Naser Oric and the
24 municipal officials Osman Suljic, Adem Salihovic, and Hamdija Fejzic were
25 involved in that. There are reports, intelligence, indicating that these
1 people smuggled humanitarian relief, weapons, oil, and so on, and that in
2 their smuggling activities they worked together with the UNPROFOR and
3 what they called the aggressor."
4 So my question to you is this: Several names are mentioned here,
5 and UNPROFOR is mentioned too. So what can you tell us about this, and
6 are you familiar with these names and these people?
7 A. Yes, I heard the names. I couldn't find them as -- oh, yeah, I
8 see them now. No, those names are not familiar to me, except, of course,
9 the name of Naser Oric, being the commander of the 28th Division.
10 And then your second question is UNPROFOR is mentioned too.
11 Well, again, as I stated before, I know of one case that we found out
12 that personnel or a soldier of DutchBat was guilty of smuggling, and,
13 well, we took our proper measurements. But further on there were no
14 indications even or rumours that that was done by more members than that
15 one soldier who was punished.
16 As far as the VRS was involved, there's just one occasion that I
17 know of - I don't mean the rumours, because there were a lot of rumours -
18 that is, when we contacted an empty Pony Express - I explained to you
19 last week - with some guards with it, at the moment we contacted them or
20 we stopped them they were unarmed, and we asked them, Where are you
21 coming from? And he pointed down south in the direction of Zepa, because
22 that was in the area of OP Delta, and patrol commander asked him, How is
23 that possible, because the VRS is there? Oh, and he said, probably -
24 forgive my pronunciation - Nema problema, Chetniks, no problem,
1 That was an indication that VRS personnel was involved as well.
2 But that was the only indication we got more or less an indication or
3 proof of it.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, could you please tell me whether UNPROFOR
5 controlled humanitarian convoys and whether it had any influence over the
6 distribution of the humanitarian aid inside the enclave? Thank you.
7 A. Again, I take it that in this case you mean by UNPROFOR DutchBat.
8 I told that you that we did not control them, not the contents of them.
9 We saw the papers and there it was reported what was in it. And the only
10 control we did is that it came from the trucks into the warehouse where
11 it was under the control of UNHCR, and they were concerned, together with
12 the opstina, the civil authorities in the enclave, they were responsible
13 for the distribution, et cetera. But there was no role for DutchBat in
15 Q. Thank you. Please tell me whether you know if the goods brought
16 in as humanitarian aid ended up in the hands of the BH Army, and was it
17 them that decided how it would be distributed and used subsequently?
18 A. There were rumours about that. One of my officers asked the
19 UNHCR representative about that. He denied, and that's it.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, I would like 1D034 to be
22 admitted into evidence.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please repeat the number; it's not recorded
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I would like 1D034 to be admitted
1 into evidence. It's the Muslim report on the situation in the enclaves
2 of Srebrenica and Zepa.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It will be received, but at this stage I would
4 like to note that many of or some of the documents you have used are not
5 in your list we received before court today.
6 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Exhibit D71.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Please carry on.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I will
9 check why that was the case, and I think this document should be. Thank
11 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Mr. Franken, in the Popovic case at transcript page 2447, lines 4
13 through 5, you stated, and I quote:
14 "The battalion needed 8- to 9.000 litres of fuel a day in order
15 to be able to do its job."
16 And then you go on to say:
17 "When the fuel supplies decreased, 250 litres of fuel were used
19 I don't know if I quoted you correctly. Could you please correct
20 me if that is not the case. But if yes, could you please explain why did
21 you need such vast quantities of fuel, 8 to 9.000 litres a day?
22 A. Yes, I can't see, because I don't see a document, whether you
23 quoted me correctly, but I think I can answer the question anyway. The
24 battalion needed 8- to 9.000 litres of fuel because we had to do a lot of
25 patrolling. And, in fact, it was meant to be done by APC or, not in the
1 area of the confrontation line, by wheeled vehicle. Secondary, there was
2 no -- any kind -- there was not any kind of energy in the enclave, so no
3 electricity, no drinking water, et cetera, so we had to use generators,
4 et cetera, et cetera, which consumed fuel, to purify our water, to keep
5 up energy for our communications. Well, I can make a whole list, but you
6 can imagine yourself that if you do not have energy at all, you have to
7 raise it yourself, that consumes quite a lot of fuel.
8 Q. Thank you. So you maintain that you needed 9 tonnes [as
9 interpreted] of fuel a day; yes or no? Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sorry. Not 9.000 tonnes, but 8- to 9.000 litre
11 of fuel. This is the correct quotation of the transcript in Popovic.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I made a
13 mistake. I meant 9.000 litres or 9 tonnes of oil. Thank you.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness has explained that, according to the
15 transcript in Popovic. What are you asking?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
17 witness said that he was not sure whether he said 8 or 9 tonnes, so I'm
18 asking him, for the transcript, whether daily they needed 9 tonnes of
19 fuel. However, I will rephrase my question.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Where did you storage the 9 tonnes of fuel a day? Thank you.
22 A. Well, I had a fuel storage in the form of big sacks and a couple
23 of tanks on the main -- on each compound. And we had fuel reserves on
24 every OP because they had to raise all their energy as well, of course.
25 Q. Thank you. Do you have any documents from which one can see how
1 the fuel was distributed on a daily basis and what was the consumption
2 and what were the requests for new supplies? Thank you.
3 A. I had an NCO who was concerned with that, but I really do not
4 recollect or have any papers with this detailed logistic items.
5 Q. Thank you. Please tell us, Is it possible that, if you receive
6 9 tonnes of fuel a day, a certain part of that might be taken away or end
7 up, as you said, on the black-market? Thank you.
8 A. Well, your assumption that receiving 9 tonnes of fuel a day --
9 again, I just stated that my needs were 8- up till 9.000 litres a day.
10 And it is impossible, absolutely impossible, that when it came to our
11 OP Papa, say, within our area of responsibility, that it would end on the
13 As I stated before, I know of a couple of cases where what we
14 call jerrycans were stolen from OPs with diesel. And where that ended
15 up -- did end up, I do not know of. But properly coming in with a convoy
16 and the amount of diesel coming in at OP Papa, at our north entrance,
17 it's impossible that even a small part of it landed on the black-market
18 or came into the hands of the ABiH or whatever.
19 Q. Thank you. When there were no restrictions imposed, did you
20 receive the 9 tonnes which was as much as you needed, or were you never
21 receiving that quantity? Thank you.
22 A. I can't remember when there were no restrictions imposed, so when
23 I came there the supplies of DutchBat II were diminished already. And I
24 never received an amount of fuel that much that it could cope with my
25 daily need.
1 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, In what way did members of the
2 BH Army in the enclave manage to obtain fuel, if you know that? Was
3 there any legal channel to bring fuel into the enclave which could have
4 been used to supply their army? Thank you.
5 A. How they did supply their need for fuel, I do not know. There is
6 a possibility, but we checked that regularly, we supplied fuel for the
7 bakery in the town so it would be possible to make bread for the civilian
8 population in that bakery. And that, in fact, is the only places I
9 remember it, and I think that I am correct, the only spot where -- which
10 was not under our direct control where fuel was present in order to allow
11 the bakery to bake bread.
12 Q. That you.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please now show a
14 video-clip. This is 1D211. And these are short clips from news shows
15 which show that the UNPROFOR and UNHCR convoys were used to smuggle
16 weapons for the needs of the BH Army. We only have the transcript for
17 the first and last part of this video-clip, and therefore I would ask the
18 interpreters to interpret simultaneously into English what is being said.
19 The total length of the clip is about 10 minutes. I would ask the
20 interpreters to interpret from the video-clip directly. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For better understanding for the Chamber, it
22 would be helpful to indicate the source of this clip. Where is it from?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have said that these
24 are excerpts from news shows which were broadcast publicly and were also
25 presented as exhibits in the Popovic case.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: When we do not have the
2 transcript, we normally do not interpret directly from video-clips.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you continue, could you tell us which TV
4 channel this was taken from, if you know? And do you have the full text
5 in B/C/S of the -- what we are going to hear, for the sake of the
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I do not have the complete text,
8 and this is why I asked the interpreters to interpret simultaneously for
9 these ten minutes into English so that you could see what it is about.
10 As for the image, it tells for itself. And this was used as an exhibit
11 in the Popovic et al. case. Thank you.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We heard from the interpreters that they normally
13 don't interpret without having the text. It's a question of accuracy of
14 the text, the translation, and the transcript. I hope they can manage
15 it; but if not, you will see what will happen. Please carry on.
16 [Video-clip played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: This is too quick.
18 [No interpretation]
19 [Voiceover] "Ammunition was found because there was a double
20 bottom, and this is the second time that it happens in our zone of
21 responsibility. In humanitarian aid, we found aid which consists in
22 weapons and ammunition.
23 Question: Do you know where this ammunition comes from?
24 Answer: It is all produced in Konjic, and it was brought to the
25 Sarajevo airport and then by land. This time it was brought by the
1 French troops who were escorting. From those in authority in UN, we
2 requested an official information, but we couldn't get it because they
3 said they were not authorised. Unofficially, in conversation, UNHCR
4 representatives said that they had nothing to do with these trucks or
5 containers and that they were only responsible for what was carried in
6 the containers. What was under the containers they were not interested
7 in. The representatives of the French UN apologised, saying that they
8 were just the escort, whereas the UN police said that they would
9 investigate and timely inform us about the result. Whoever it was who
10 loaded this at the airport remains a secret for us. How many such
11 convoys have already passed, we do not know, but it is a fact that, once
12 again, we have unmasked UNPROFOR who brings in and distributes weapons
13 and ammunition for Muslims under the cloak of humanitarian aid."
14 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's note: This is just a partial
15 interpretation, as the text is being read out in the news very quickly.
16 [Voiceover] "In the UN convoy which was checked, it was
17 established that the blue helmets have a surplus of weapons. These were
18 five automatic rifles and 20 Zoljas. You can see how the rifles are
19 being discovered. You can see the blue helmets themselves know where
20 they placed the weapons which they were carrying towards Visoko and
21 Kiseljak. And they are not listed in the specification. No automatic
22 rifles or Zoljas are mentioned here. You can see for yourselves how the
23 rifles look. As this trick was unsuccessful, the UN trucks turned back
24 and returned to their base in Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. How they
25 are going to explain to Serbs that this was humanitarian aid to Muslims
1 will be very difficult, especially if one talks about their bias. It
2 would be certainly different if the world new about the real truth in the
3 ground. There were false accusations used by those who should bring back
4 truth and trust into this region. The London Guardian says today that
5 the commander of the UNPROFOR for the former Bosnia-Herzegovina,
6 Michael Rose, sent four members of the British Intelligence Service,
7 rather than military monitors of United Nations, to Gorazde. Once again,
8 the peacekeeping forces had a surplus of weapons today.
9 "Here is a report of our reporters: Yesterday, at about
10 1700 hours, a convoy moving from Kiseljak to Sarajevo was stopped. It
11 included three APCs, three trucks, and 15 members of the Swedish and
12 Norwegian Battalions. After a regular and routine control, Serbian
13 border policemen found a large amount of explosives, ammunition, and
14 weapons in the vehicles of Swedish soldiers. Today we had a case that
15 there was somewhat more ammunition, anti-tank mines, and
16 7.62 millimetres, as well as plastic explosive in these vehicles, around
17 120 kilos. As they have three APCs, that means that the weapons should
18 be different. I doubt that they need explosives and so on. However,
19 they declared they had it, so we can say it's correct. However, these
20 rocket guns, signal ammunition, and so on and so forth, whatever has not
21 been reported, we'll have to seise that, and we'll give them some papers
22 for that. Once they receive an approval from the Main Staff of the VRS,
23 we'll allow them to have it. How did this confusion take place? How can
24 the ...
25 "The convoy is still at the Kobiljaca border post and is waiting
1 for papers and the result of the agreement between the Serbian
2 authorities and the command of UNPROFOR. After that, it will return on
3 its way to Sarajevo or go back to Kiseljak.
4 [No interpretation]
5 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, I just received
6 information that there is no sound.
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We didn't receive any sound for the last couple
8 of minutes.
9 MR. GAJIC: I thought that it is a problem in my earphones.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, no. At the beginning, we had no translation.
11 Then the interpreters - and I think we all should be grateful for
12 that - tried to catch as much as possible. And at the end we didn't hear
14 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, I really do not know
15 what the problem is because this worked until recently.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thanks to Aleksandar.
17 I think this is sufficient for me to be able to ask the witness a
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Can you please say whether you were aware that in some
21 humanitarian aid convoys weapons were being smuggled, as we could see
22 from these video-clips, even in flour which was intended for the civilian
23 population in the enclaves? Thank you.
24 A. I was not aware of that. And as far as the area of Srebrenica
25 and the DutchBat is concerning, I am -- I never had report, indications,
1 rumours, or whatever that that took place in my area of responsibility as
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: To clarify the transcript, on page 61, line 10,
4 Mr. Gajic was speaking.
5 And if I'm -- I was told that the 65 ter number, 1D211, is in
6 fact a book and not a video. You should try to figure out the correct
7 number. And then carry on, please.
8 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise. The
9 correct number is 1D212. And the interpretation of the first and last
10 parts of what is being said in the video-clips are documents 1D216 and
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It would have been helpful to get this
13 information earlier.
14 You wanted to put questions to the witness, Mr. Tolimir; do it.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Franken, did you have any instructions that you received from
18 the sector command, the Sector Sarajevo or the Sector Tuzla, that to the
19 effect that the humanitarian convoys are being used to smuggle weapons
20 and military equipment? Thank you.
21 A. No.
22 Q. Was it usual that the VRS, if it discovered that the convoys were
23 being used as we have just seen now, to put in double bottoms under flour
24 and so on, that it should control and check the convoys which enter
25 enclaves? Thank you.
1 A. I take it that with "usual" you mean logical or comprehensible.
2 Yes, of course, I can imagine, if you have incidents like that, that you
3 want to check whether the contents of a convoy are -- conformed the list
4 of containments presented.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you, as the deputy commander, ever receive
6 information from anyone that a convoy with humanitarian aid is being used
7 to transport weapons and materiel? Thank you.
8 A. As I stated before, no.
9 Q. Thank you.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I tender the video-clip 1D212 and
11 the transcripts of the initial and final parts of this video-clip, namely
12 1D216 and 1D217 into evidence.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer.
14 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I just want to know when or if we can
15 expect to be provided with any specific information along the lines that
16 Your Honour had asked about pertaining to what these videos actually
17 depict, i.e., dates, locations, what television stations these were being
18 reported over, any particulars so that the Court may be assisted to know
19 whether these particular incidents have any relevance, temporally,
20 geographically, or in any other way to what was going on in Srebrenica
21 and Zepa. As it stands, we have none.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, your comment on this?
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In the
24 transcript, which we did not hear, it is stated in which locations this
25 was found and when. And as for the video-clip, I said that these were
1 excerpts from the public media, the public service of the radio and
2 television of Republika Srpska. If we need to describe what is not --
3 what was not heard here because we had no sound, we will then submit a
4 separate document to the Trial Chamber. Thank you.
5 [Trial Chamber confers]
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would just like to
7 add one thing before you rule: This document -- or, rather, this
8 videotape was disclosed to the Defence by the Prosecution, and it was
9 used and admitted into evidence in the Popovic case. Thank you.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: For the Chamber, there's not enough information
12 about the source and the background and the date this video-clip was
13 taken, so that we will mark it for identification. The Defence may add
14 some information to it and submit it to the Trial Chamber. At this stage
15 of the proceedings, the Chamber is not in the position to receive it as
16 an exhibit on which anybody can rely on.
17 We must have our final break now for today. I would like to
18 know, do you need the whole last 45 minutes for the completion of your
19 examination, or is it possible to leave some time for the Prosecution for
20 re-examination, Mr. Tolimir?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I will
22 do my best to reduce the number of questions. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
24 We adjourn and resume a little bit earlier, ten minutes past
1 --- Recess taken at 5.48 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 6.12 p.m.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you proceed, Mr. Tolimir, the Registrar
4 has to give us a number and I think for all three documents, video and
5 the two transcripts we have seen before the break.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Your Honour. 1D212 is now Exhibit
7 D72, marked for identification. The transcript will be attached.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Please carry on, Mr. Tolimir.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Now I would like us to look at document 1D213 in the e-court.
11 It's a report drafted by Captain Slavko Novakovic, and the report
12 describes the way in which convoys were controlled, the check-points, the
13 routes, and the way in which those humanitarian aid convoys were put to
14 malicious use.
15 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Yes, well we can see the front page now. It just specifies the
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, can we please look at page 3.
19 Thank you.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [No interpretation]
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, your microphone should be switched
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Now I would like us to look at page 1 of this text -- or, rather,
1 page 2. Because I believe we are now at page 3. So could we please look
2 at page 2. Both in the Serbian language -- or, rather, page 2 in the
3 Serbian language, and page 1, the last paragraph on that page, in the
4 English language.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Well, if we look at the last paragraph on page 1 in the Serbian
8 language, it's the next page in the English language. Thank you. I will
9 try -- well, thank you, yes. It says in the last paragraph in the
10 Serbian language and in the English:
11 "Understandably, most cases of attempting smuggling of goods were
12 in the convoys for Srebrenica, Zepa, and Gorazde, which had the fewest
13 possibilities for being provisioned, apart from humanitarian aid. The
14 following goods were smuggled in in most of the cases: Video cameras,
15 cameras, films, weapons, radio sets, satellite equipment, and aerial
16 signalling communication equipment, optical devices, night vision
17 devices, engine oil, various parts for devices, anti-freeze, chemical
18 manure, oxygen cylinders, flak jackets, helmets, sleeping bags, military
19 clothing and footwear, and various food stuffs."
20 Please, since you had an opinion on those convoys, I would like,
21 now, to show you the following analysis contained in page 3 of this
22 document. This is an analysis by Captain Slavko Nikovic
23 [as interpreted].
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] So could we please look at page 3.
25 That's the next page. Also in the English language. Thank you.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. So it's the third paragraph in the Serb language and also in the
3 English language. When it says:
4 "When the representatives of UNPROFOR and humanitarian
5 organisations complain about the procedure of the organs at the
6 check-points, in the majority of the cases, their aim is to use
7 counter-accusations to lessen their own responsibility, owing to the
8 attempts to abuse their humanitarian function and to play fast and loose
9 with the mandate entrusted to them. However, not all of their
10 accusations can be dismissed because our side has not been blameless in
11 the procedure of inspection, which is something that is rarely repeated."
12 So my question based on this is the following: So based on the
13 practice that was prevalent in Srebrenica, can you please comment on this
14 analysis by the captain, and were those items really controlled, and were
15 they, in most cases, the object of controversy in those convoys? Thank
17 A. As I see it, the analysis of the captain mentioned by you is
18 concerning humanitarian aid. In the case of Srebrenica in the period I
19 was there, these convoys were executed by UNHCR. Stated before, I know
20 not of actual smuggling into the Srebrenica area by UNHCR. I told you
21 before. So ... well, in fact, that is my answer.
22 Q. Thank you. And can you tell me whether you, your unit, the
23 DutchBat, whether you controlled the UNHCR convoys in any conditions, or
24 did you at least check the documents that accompanied the convoys? Thank
1 A. The only thing that happened, and I -- as I said before, I did
2 not actually control the contents of the UNHCR convoys. I told you what
3 the job was we had to do, accompany, secure, til in the warehouse, then
4 UNHCR was responsible for distribution. And we were presented the
5 contents or the -- the papers belonging to that convoy and that the only
6 thing we thought that there was wheat in it or clothing or whatever, any
7 humanitarian thing, and that's all I can answer you to your question.
8 Q. Thank you. He speaks about the things that are contained in
9 humanitarian aid convoys, and he even showed some self-criticism here,
10 saying that there were some omissions, some errors made by the
11 Republika Srpska army when it controlled the convoys. He's not making
12 any accusations against UNPROFOR or UNHCR, he's just talking about the
13 goods, the items in those convoys which were smuggled in most of the
14 cases, and these are goods that were banned. Did you notice, when you
15 carried out your checks, any of those items? Thank you.
16 A. Yes, again, Mr. Tolimir, concerning the UNHCR convoys, I did not
17 check. The only thing I was informed about: What were, according to the
18 papers, the contents of that convoy. But we did not enter the trucks or
19 inspect the undersides of the trucks or whatever. The only thing we did,
20 as I said before, accompany them to the warehouse, secure the unloading,
21 and then UNHCR was responsible for the further actions taken with those
23 Q. Thank you. And were you notified by the UNHCR that parts of
24 consignments were kept or seised at the check-points manned by the
25 Republika Srpska army on some occasions, and were you told why?
1 A. No. I was not informed by UNHCR about things like that.
2 Q. Thank you. So you do not have any complaints about the way in
3 which the UNHCR brought the humanitarian aid into the enclaves?
4 A. No. When they arrived, they brought stuff that was necessary, as
5 far as I knew and was concerned, necessary for the population, and so I
6 was happy when they came in.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, I would like this report, this
9 analysis on the UNHCR convoys that reached the enclave, be admitted into
10 evidence since it contains an overview which I did not read out here.
11 And the witness said that he -- or, rather, his officers and soldiers had
12 seen the documents that accompanied the convoys. Thank you.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I would like to see the first page again.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you. Could we please
15 look at it on the first -- could we please look at page 1 in the e-court.
16 Thank you.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: With some additional information, I don't see a
18 heading of this page. Who is the institution who produced this report?
19 I don't see any date. Can you give some additional information,
20 Mr. Tolimir?
21 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I said
22 that this was a report drafted by Captain Slavko Nikolic --
23 Slavko Novakovic, I'm sorry - showing the way in which convoys were
24 checked. The routes and check-points.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This was not my question, Mr. Tolimir. We have
1 that on the record. I asked for something else. Who provided this
2 document? Who produced it? There's no headline. I don't know -- no
3 heading, no date. I have no idea what it is about. And who is
4 Captain Slavko Novakovic?
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Captain Slavko Novakovic actually
6 carried out the checks of the convoys that reached -- that entered
7 Srebrenica, and he made this analysis at the behest of the
8 Republika Srpska army. And we will see later on some analysis made by
9 General Milovanovic and others for the purpose of the Main Staff.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... I have to
11 stop you, to save time. This was not the question.
12 Can we please see the last page.
13 Again, I can't see any date of this report. On the left side, in
14 B/C/S, there is a signature.
15 Mr. Franken, do you know a person with a name Slavko Novakovic?
16 THE WITNESS: I do not, sir.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Thayer, do you want to comment on the
18 application of Mr. Tolimir?
19 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, the only additional assistance I can
20 lend is I believe this document may be a Drina Corps collection document,
21 but we're in the same boat. We have no idea when this was created. It
22 appears to have been created sometime after 1994; there's reference to
23 1994. I think Captain Novakovic may have been an officer in the
24 Drina Corps. If my recollection serves, he was a listed Defence witness
25 for one of the Popovic Defendants, but I don't believe he ever testified,
1 so I don't think we actually have any evidence on the record that will
2 assist us further with the providence of this document.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
4 [Trial Chamber confers]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The Chamber is of the view that this document
6 can't be received as an exhibit to date. It will be marked for
7 identification. We have no date. We don't know anything about the
8 institution on behalf of that, this certain Mr. Captain Slavko Novakovic
9 had drafted this document, there's no stamp and no indication about
10 reliability and the source. You may decide, Mr. Tolimir, if you would
11 like to give more information for the Chamber or call Mr. Novakovic as a
12 witness for the Defence at a later stage.
13 Please carry on now.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: One moment, one moment.
16 THE REGISTRAR: 1D213 will be Exhibit D73, marked for
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Now carry on, please.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Now I would like us to look at 1D214. It's a document from the
21 Main Staff of the VRS drafted by Colonel-General Manojlo Milovanovic, the
22 chief of the Main Staff. It's a weekly plan for the deliveries of
23 humanitarian aid between the 13th and 19th of May, 1995. Thank you.
24 Thank you.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Well, we can see here that the convoys left for Srebrenica on the
2 16th of May. It's the third line here. And again at line 6 it says
3 Karakaj Srebrenica. And then on the 17th of May and so on. The 18th of
5 So now I would like to as you this: You have this document in
6 English, and it's actually more legible. We can see from this document
7 that the VRS Main Staff approved the movement of those convoys that
8 carried large quantities of foodstuffs. For instance, on the
9 15th of May, there were 72 tonnes of flour carried --
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... what is your
11 question, Mr. Tolimir?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I simply wanted the witness to see
13 the quantities of flour that were being delivered over just two days.
14 And I wanted to ask him if this was restrictive or not, because the
15 witness was speaking of restrictions. Thank you.
16 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And what is the question?
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. The question is: Since we can see from this overview, which I
19 cannot read now, that 72 or 16 tonnes of flour were transported daily,
20 32 tonnes of flour, 16 tonnes of sugar, and so on, my question is: If
21 Srebrenica had 35.000 of people who depended on humanitarian aid, and we
22 can see that a total of 111 tonnes of flour were approved to be
23 delivered, that means that each person received 3.15 kilos of flour a
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you are not giving evidence. You
1 are the accused. I'm very sorry to remind you. Put a question to the
2 witness. I haven't heard any question yet.
3 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
4 Q. My question is: Was this how flour was distributed? If -- or,
5 rather, whether this kind of quantity of 3.15 kilos per person was this
6 something that was acceptable as normal, or was it restrictive? Thank
8 A. To answer your last question, I don't have the faintest idea.
9 I'm not a professional on this. At least I can conclude that there came
10 in -- probably came in flour in that period for the -- for the
11 population. And your question whether the flour was distributed, I
12 suppose it is. But, then again, UNHCR coped with that and arranged that
13 and there was no role for DutchBat in that distribution.
14 Q. Thank you. So my question is whether UNPROFOR in Srebrenica at
15 any point in time sent any requests for greater quantities of
16 humanitarian aid, food for Srebrenica, for its population in relation to
17 the quantities that were actually delivered?
18 A. Yeah, well, I do not know whether how many times and in what
19 amounts UNPROFOR in Srebrenica - you say -- you mean probably UNHCR in
20 Srebrenica - asked for food for the population. Again, UNPROFOR is not
21 the party who was initiating these kind of convoys. So I can't further
22 answer that question.
23 Q. Thank you. I'm happy with your answer. So UNPROFOR did not do
25 In this document it shows that a large quantity of materials came
1 in for a major Swedish construction project. Can you tell us something
2 about this major construction project in this area that you -- that was
3 under your control? Thank you.
4 A. I take it that the one who made this report or this text refers
5 to what I called before the Swedish Shelter Project, being the refugee
6 camp in the south of the enclave I told you about last week.
7 Q. Thank you. Please just answer this one more question. As for
8 fuel which arrived for the population in the enclave by humanitarian
9 convoys, what can you tell us about that? Thank you.
10 A. Sorry, lost my ... I know that fuel came in, but still we were
11 providing fuel from our storage for that bakery, so I can't comment on
12 amounts, necessity, daily use of the population, et cetera.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I thought not to show a document,
15 but I will. It is 1D215. Can we please see it on the screen. Thank
16 you. Can we please show page 7 of this document in both B/C/S and in
17 English. It is one page from the section entitled "Experience."
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You can see it on the screen now. Just below the word
20 "experience," I will read and quote. It is an interview which you gave
21 on the 13th of September, 1995. This is what it says:
22 "As for the UNHCR, Franken said that, in his view, this
23 organisation, whose aim was to fulfill all its procedures, and thereby
24 losing sight of the actual objective, he failed to understand that they
25 stopped humanitarian aid supplies because they disapproved of the 1.000
1 litres ever fuel given to the Serbs or because they were searched. An
2 example of this situation was when the BH Army said that they intended to
3 set up roadblocks in the enclave because many white vehicles had been
4 seised by the BSA. Franken said that he would not accept this under any
5 circumstances, and, if necessary, he would prevent it by force. However,
6 in order to avoid an escalation, he offered to subject incoming convoys
7 to a brief inspection by his own staff. This brought about another
8 series of protests from the UNHCR, and two convoys were held back which
9 resulted in aid supplies, including baby food, running out in the
10 enclave. This was used as a coercive measure."
11 My question, based on everything that I just read out, is the
12 following: Can you please clarify for us, now, why the UNHCR protested
13 if the convoys were searched by the UNPROFOR, and what was the specific
14 reason which the UNHCR mentioned in their protest notes? Thank you.
15 A. I have to dig deep in my memory now. The first thing that I did
16 not understand was that they -- at a check-point they were asked to give
17 1.000 but an amount of fuel to the Serbs and then they went back. And
18 there were other occasions where they reported to me that they had
19 convoys turning back to their original base because they had a reason.
20 Secondly, I indeed remember that I said to the ABiH who claimed
21 that Serb soldiers were coming into the enclave in the vehicles, in white
22 vehicles, which I proclaimed as being nonsense, but then I said, Okay,
23 we'll have a check. Practically the check never took place, but that was
24 a reason for the UNHCR to say we do not want to be checked by you. So if
25 you do that, we will not come anymore.
1 Now, I don't know exactly the period afterwards where I said,
2 Okay, then we won't check; no problem. But I was informed that, on basis
3 of that protest, they stopped about two convoys on their way down to the
5 I take it this answers your question.
6 Q. Thank you. Was this protest of UNHCR a reason why the enclave
7 was running out of some crucial foodstuffs, such as the baby food, for
9 A. The protest was not, as far as I can concede, because that
10 protest was towards DutchBat who had the plan of just make a check, and
11 as -- saying that, that had no influence on the requests on UNHCR convoys
12 nor their contents. Presumably, and that's what I stated before in the
13 document you presented, two convoys were redirected, with which I mean
14 sent back, by the UNHCR. On the very moment or very shortly after, I
15 told them that we would do a quick inspection of the convoys to
16 neutralise the agony at the ABiH site.
17 Q. Thank you. Can you just briefly tell us, on page 7 of this
18 document, you said, stating your experience about doctors without
19 borders, Medecins Sans Frontieres, you said that some had a positive
20 opinion of it. And then you talk about a Flemish predecessor who was
21 only interested in power politics. What do you think about power
22 politics? In what way was he interested in that? What do you mean to
23 say by this? Thank you.
24 A. What I did mean, that, is - and I'll try to give a short
25 answer - normally an arrange was that civil workers for MSF, Medecins
1 Sans Frontieres, and the DutchBat, a new group would come in, as far as I
2 recollect, the 1st of April. Okay. Why? The opstina wanted everybody
3 as much -- as much -- as much people as possible to be -- to profit from
4 the fact that they had work, either UN base, so they got money and
5 things, et cetera.
6 In April, the Medecins Sans Frontieres refused that. They did
7 not want that. Then there was a conflict between the opstina and
8 Medecins Sans Frontieres, and that escalated more or less, resulting in
9 the fact that -- that the MSF was stopping any medical aid to the civil
10 hospital or to the population because they wanted it the way they thought
11 it should be. Nevertheless, the fact that there was an arrangement and
12 it was arranged that 1st of April, we would change personnel. That's
13 what I meant when, an issue like this, you let it prevail over the
14 humanitarian aid. Then you are doing politics and you are not delivering
15 humanitarian aid.
16 A successor was quite different type who had the humanitarian aid
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Before you continue, Judge Nyambe has a question
19 for the witness.
20 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 I have a question for the witness. At page 75, line 20 to 23.
22 "... I don't know exactly the period afterwards where I said,
23 Okay ..."
24 I just want to ask about the protests by UNHCR that you mentioned
25 in that paragraph. For how long was the protest?
1 THE WITNESS: I think, as I recollect, Your Honour, it was one
2 protest at our HQ. And the consequences lasted about two or three days
3 because then the question was cleared. In that period of two or three
4 days, I later on heard that two convoys were sent back.
5 JUDGE NYAMBE: Then a follow-up question: Two convoys were
6 redirected, which means that they were sent away from the enclave?
7 THE WITNESS: That's correct, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE NYAMBE: So the supplies were never -- never reached the
10 THE WITNESS: Well, I can't say that. But the supplies --
11 JUDGE NYAMBE: Okay.
12 THE WITNESS: -- on that moment did not arrive, as planned, in the
13 enclave. That is correct, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. So we would finish, as requested, because you have some
19 obligations. I just have one additional question. Did you personally or
20 your soldiers or your predecessors who were there before you have any
21 knowledge about military equipment and weapons being thrown by parachute
22 into Srebrenica or that Srebrenica was being armed via the Tuzla airport?
23 Thank you.
24 A. I can only speak for myself and eventually reports I got about
25 that. Thrown by parachute, no. I know it is possible, even radiographic
1 controlled parachutes exist. Never had a report that or had, myself,
2 knowledge of that. Being armed through Tuzla airport, I told you
3 about -- or last week already we spoke about that unknown or unidentified
4 Hercules planes coming down in Tuzla, and a good week or ten days later
5 we saw new weapons in Tuzla. And there was a link laid by me then in my
6 interview I gave, but, then again, I said it is an assumption. It
7 was -- I don't have any proof of that.
8 Q. Thank you. Did you have any knowledge as to whether the new
9 weapons which appeared in Tuzla were being supplied to the enclaves,
10 either Zepa or Srebrenica, in any way?
11 A. First, I did not know the contents of that mysterious Hercules
12 planes. Then, secondly, I can't tell whether, if there were weapons in
13 there, those weapons went to our enclave.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you for your detailed
16 answers. Excuse me for asking you many things that I'm interested in,
17 because they are the reasons for which I'm here. Thank you. I wish you
18 all the best in your future life and work. God bless you. That was all
19 from me. Thank you, Mr. President. Thanks to the interpreters who
20 attempted to interpret even what was very fast in the video-clip.
21 Thanks, everyone who helped the Defence today on behalf of the Defence.
22 Thank you for the assistance you provided. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir. When you were
24 saying, "Excuse me for asking you many things that I'm interested in ..."
25 I can only agree with you. This is your right. This is the purpose of
1 every examination, especially your cross-examination.
2 Mr. Thayer, do you have re-examination?
3 MR. THAYER: Thank you, Mr. President. I do.
4 Re-examination by Mr. Thayer:
5 Q. I'll try to compress it to the seven minutes I have.
6 Good evening, Colonel.
7 A. Good evening.
8 Q. I want to pick up on a question that Her Honour Judge Nyambe
9 asked you a moment ago. And if -- well, I think we may have lost the
10 document that was up on the screen that led to that question, but you
11 just referred to two convoys which were redirected away from the enclave,
12 and I'll just quote from the document that was up there. There it is
14 "It resulted in aid supplies, including baby food, running out in
15 the enclave."
16 Okay. Now, what does -- based on your experience, can you give
17 the Trial Chamber some idea, using this as a potential example, of how
18 scarce the humanitarian aid was in Srebrenica during this period? And
19 we'll just talk about the period when you were there up through
20 July of 1995. And I don't need you to give us a month-by-month, but
21 let's just focus for the time being before the VRS attack in
22 July of 1995. Can you give the Trial Chamber a sense of what the
23 humanitarian situation was like.
24 A. If I would speak generally of about those six or seven months we
25 were there, it was at the minimum level or less. Once in a while a peak,
1 but then much too short. If we are speaking about the period, say July,
2 it was devastating. As far as I know, and I'm supposed to know that,
3 there was no food supplies any more available. There was hardly any
4 medical supplies available. There was no water available. Consequence
5 of the lack of medical supplies was that a major part of the population,
6 when they arrived in what I call the little safe area in Potocari, was
7 exhausted, sick, or in any other way damaged.
8 Does that answer your question?
9 Q. Yes. Thank you, Colonel. So, based on your experience, if even
10 a single convoy were denied by the VRS, could that have and did that have
11 an effect on the humanitarian situation in Srebrenica at the time?
12 A. Yes, because the levels were very low. And every time something
13 did not come in, it meant that the situation became worse, directly.
14 Q. And during your time in Srebrenica, you've testified about
15 contacts with Momir Nikolic, for example, did you receive any complaints,
16 whether it be from Momir Nikolic or any other VRS representative, that
17 UNHCR convoys or UNPROFOR convoys were being abused in any way in terms
18 of smuggling goods?
19 A. No, I did not.
20 Q. And based on your experience with Momir Nikolic and other VRS
21 representatives, had there been such an incident, would they have
22 reported that kind of thing to you, based on your experience, and
24 A. Yes, they would have been very happy to do that, loud and clear.
25 Q. General Tolimir asked you some questions about trying to foster
1 trade between the Serb and the Muslim communities in the enclave.
2 Let me just ask you, Colonel: What would have been the simplest
3 way to ensure that the civilian population in Srebrenica had more than
4 the minimum or below the minimum amount of basic foodstuffs and amenities
5 to make their life less miserable?
6 A. No limitations to any humanitarian aid convoys. That's quite
8 Q. Now, I want to take you back to the VRS attack on the enclave.
9 For the record, you testified in the Popovic case at transcript page 2457
10 about the first couple of days of the attack. The focus on OP Foxtrot
11 we've heard a lot about, and you also testified, and this is at line 13,
12 that Bravo Company reported random shelling of the city. And you later
13 testified on that same page that you received reports of civilian
14 casualties and that UNPROFOR assisted in transporting those wounded.
15 What I want to ask you about is: There was a lot of testimony, a
16 lot of questions, about what happened from the period of 9 July forward,
17 after you issued the green order. You testified today about a point at
18 which Serb infantry could be seen approaching the town of Srebrenica.
19 The first question I have is: Prior to you issuing the green
20 order, did you receive reports of shelling of the town of Srebrenica?
21 A. Yes, not only of the town, but of another village, as I remember
22 as well. The village of Slatina was pretty massively sheltered --
23 shelled, I mean, sorry.
24 Q. And from the reports that you were receiving, was there any
25 military justification for that shelling?
1 A. For Slatina, I can't comment because in the direct neighbourhood
2 of Slatina there were BiH units. So I don't know whether, during the
3 shelling, they were present. For Srebrenica, I can't comment because, of
4 course, there were -- there was one legitimate military target in
5 Srebrenica, the post office being HQ of 28th Division, but the way the
6 city was shelled, that was absolutely the complete surroundings of the
7 city or the city itself, the complete city. Then you must shoot at
8 random, because if you aim at the post office, you can't have massive
9 detonations about 7-, 800 metres away from your target. That is
10 absolutely military scene nonsense. And that happened before the green
11 order as well. And I don't know whether the green order is taken as a
12 change in events because parties didn't know I issued a green order.
13 Q. So from where you stood, receiving these reports, prior to you
14 issuing that green order, was the town of Srebrenica attacked by the VRS?
15 A. In fact it was. By artillery mortars.
16 Q. Now, you were asked a lot of questions about whether the blocking
17 position order had been given in order to provoke the VRS into attacking
18 UNPROFOR. I want to first ask you a little bit -- ask to you provide a
19 little bit of context to those questions. And in order to do that, let
20 me just quote to you from your parliamentary testimony where you were
21 talking about this very topic.
22 MR. THAYER: This is at page 0308-0482 of the English, which is
23 page 28 of the B/C/S.
24 Q. But let me just quote to you a question and answer. You were
25 asked the question:
1 "Was the purpose of taking up blocking positions to draw fire in
2 order that way to get air support, or would they also have been
3 sufficient if the Bosnian Serbs crossed the imaginary line, horizontal 84
4 it was called?"
5 Your answer was:
6 "What was becoming more important was the smoking gun principle.
7 It went roughly like this: We will only deploy air support if it is
8 clear who has been shot at and with what weapons system. The purpose of
9 the battalion's blocking positions what certainly to ensure that we would
10 stay between the Serbs and the Muslim population. I have already
11 outlined to you what I actually thought of the defensive assignment in
12 the usual military sense of the word 'defence.' Drawing fire did not
13 require an extra assignment. In effect, we had already been doing it
14 quite happily for weeks. That it was a condition of air support that
15 there should be a smoking gun was no problem at all, since people were
16 shooting at us all the time."
17 So, first, can you just clarify or explain what you meant in your
18 parliamentary testimony in 2002 in that regard?
19 A. Yes, well, in fact, it was, given the answer to the same answer I
20 had here, that the purpose was another one as the real purpose the
21 blocking positions had. I say it here in different words, but it comes
22 to the fact that the blocking positions were to prevent the Serbs to
23 enter the city.
24 The whole nonsense of drawing fire, et cetera, et cetera, well,
25 as I say there, we have been, and the population as well, we were under
1 fire during some days. And not only that; we have been under fire, all
2 those close firing reports, increasing during May and June. So that is
3 not applicable. The condition, and that is what I meant before, that
4 there were two conditions I couldn't reproduce in my testimony before.
5 But one of that was a smoking gun, and it is described already there.
6 You can only get air support if somebody is firing at you and you
7 identify it, what it was, and where it was; that's a smoking gun
8 principle. But that was no problem over there. We were under fire by
9 several means, by several guns, and we did report, and we knew their
11 Q. And just to be clear for the record about two things: One, whose
12 guns were those?
13 A. Sorry, VRS guns.
14 Q. And two: Was 9 July the first time that UNPROFOR had been
15 targeted by those guns, or had you been targeted prior to 9 July?
16 A. We have been targeted before. The first time that it was not at
17 random but really to a purpose was, in fact, the attack on OP Echo and
18 then go on the attack on Foxtrot, the shelling of the town, the shelling
19 of Bravo 1 up til 4, the blocking positions, et cetera. And the blocking
20 positions were fired at before that green order moment.
21 Q. Now, you were asked a lot of questions about the Bandiera
22 triangle, all kinds of hypotheticals about what might be hidden there,
23 but let me just get us back to the reality of the situation as it was
24 being reported to you. Did you ever receive any reports of the ABiH
25 using tanks?
1 A. No.
2 Q. How about heavy mortars?
3 A. No. Light mortars we estimated them as 81 millimetres. And then
4 for their mortar, 82 millimetre.
5 Q. How about artillery?
6 A. None.
7 Q. How about multiple-launch rocket systems like were aimed at you
8 and being fired at you?
9 A. None.
10 Q. During this attack, did you receive any reports whatsoever of
11 ABiH soldiers wearing UNPROFOR equipment or uniforms?
12 A. No, I did not.
13 Q. General Tolimir asked you some questions about what was a
14 legitimate target at a particular time, specifically whether the UN
15 became a legitimate target of the VRS at a particular time.
16 Do you remember those questions?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. Let me ask you this: Was it -- is it -- was it legitimate for an
19 armed force to enter a UN-declared safe area by force of arms in
20 July of 1995?
21 A. No. Let's be clear about that. No, absolutely not. I was
22 referring to the fact that the VRS shot at our positions in a later
24 Q. General Tolimir asked you some questions about the legitimacy of
25 taking the DutchBat soldiers as POWs, and you agreed that it might be
1 legitimate to take captive people that you considered your enemy. Let me
2 ask you this: Is it legitimate to threaten those POWs with execution if
3 close air support continued? Is that legitimate, sir?
4 A. No, absolutely not.
5 MR. THAYER: Mr. President, I'm cognizant of the time, and I
6 think I'll just leave it where it is and let Colonel Franken go home and
7 maybe catch part of the match tonight.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: His country is deeply involved tonight.
9 THE WITNESS: Not in my case, Your Honour, but there are other
10 reasons why I'm not available tomorrow.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And I take it this concludes the re-examination.
12 MR. THAYER: It does, Mr. President.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: First of all, I would like to thank you, sir, for
15 attending the court again and to help us to assist us to find the truth.
16 You are free to return to your normal activities, and there's no need to
17 come back. Not at this stage.
18 The second is, I would like to thank the interpreters and the
19 court recorder and to all the staff who assisted us for the length of
20 today's hearing. I apologise for that.
21 And I apologise to the parties. I think you both are not very
22 happy about some time restraints. But, on the other hand, Mr. Tolimir
23 indicated ten hours, he used approximately eight hours, thank you for
24 that. It was -- and the Prosecution was also under some pressure. In
25 future, we should -- perhaps, the parties should liaise a little bit more
1 effectively about the use of time. If a witness is only available a
2 certain day, then the Chamber itself feels under a certain pressure to
3 come to an end with the examination perhaps a little bit earlier than
5 I hope with these words we can leave it for today. And we resume
6 tomorrow morning at 9.00. I think in Courtroom II, but I'm not sure
7 about that. Thank you very much. We adjourn.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.13 p.m.,
10 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 7th day
11 of July, 2010, at 9.00 a.m.