1 Tuesday, 14 February 2012
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom and
6 to those following our proceedings.
7 Before the witness will be brought in, I would like to raise some
8 procedural matters. You will have noticed that the Chamber issued this
9 morning a Scheduling Order setting dead-lines for the final briefs and
10 for end dates for the final oral submissions. In relation to that, I
11 would like, on behalf of the Chamber, like to inform the parties that the
12 Chamber doesn't intend to call any Chamber witnesses. Therefore, I take
13 it that this witness and the next witness, who is waiting, will be the
14 last witnesses in this trial.
15 I see Mr. Vanderpuye nodding.
16 I come to another question I would like to raise. The Chamber
17 intends to hold a housekeeping session next week to deal with the
18 documents on the marked-for-identification list, and any other pending
19 housekeeping matters. The Chamber hereby requests that the Court Officer
20 circulate an updated MFI list to the parties by tomorrow for purposes of
21 preparing for this housekeeping session.
22 For the housekeeping session, the Chamber requests that the
23 parties update the Chamber on the status of any pending translations; and
24 if translations are still pending, provide dates of when they can be
25 expected. With respect to all other MFI documents - and there are quite
1 some - on the list, the Chamber requests the parties to be ready to make
2 submissions in court regarding their admission.
3 I would like to discuss with the parties when they will be in a
4 position to make these submissions orally in court, that means when we
5 should schedule this housekeeping session.
6 Mr. Gajic.
7 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence suggests
8 that we do this on Monday.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
10 What about the Prosecution; will you be in a position to make
11 your oral submissions on Monday?
12 [Prosecution Counsel Confer]
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. I appreciate your
15 patience. Any time Tuesday or Wednesday would be fine for the
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic. Mr. Gajic, the Prosecutor is
18 proposing Tuesday or Wednesday. Would that be convenient for you, too?
19 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Well, the Defence has certain
20 commitments and we have to plan our journey to Belgrade, but we would
21 welcome Tuesday. It is acceptable to us, obviously, if the Prosecution
22 is unable to submit their submissions on Monday.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: Tuesday is --
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Tuesday --
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President, that's fine.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We are currently scheduled for 9.00 on Tuesday
3 next week, and all other sessions will then be cancelled.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But, of course, we don't know if we need this
6 session tomorrow.
7 And I would kindly invite the parties to make proposals for an
8 agenda for that housekeeping session. If there are any matters to be
9 raised during that housekeeping session, we would welcome these proposals
10 for the agenda by tomorrow.
11 This is all what I wanted to raise before the witness will come
12 to the courtroom.
13 Mr. Vanderpuye, I see you on your feet.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, I just have a bit of information for the
15 Chamber regarding Exhibit 562B. P562B. There was an error made, and the
16 incorrect document was uploaded, which is described as a 19 July 1995
17 intercept at 2116 hours. In fact, it should be dated 15 July. I have it
18 backwards. The correct intercept is 19 July and what was uploaded was
19 the 15th of July. And we have also replaced the document with the
20 correct -- with the correct version.
21 The document that's in e-court is 03205338 through 5340. The
22 correct document is 03205538 through 5540.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please check the transcript. Is a
24 correction necessary?
25 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, it should be 03205538 through 5540. And we
1 would like to replace the document with the Court's permission. We
2 haven't done that yet, but we would like to, because of the error, to
3 correct it.
4 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, it was already communicated
6 yesterday to the Chamber and we appreciate this correction. Leave is
7 granted to change the attachment, and the Registrar will do his job to
8 replace the document.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
11 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, pursuant to Chamber's
12 order with regard to Exhibit D365 marked for identification, the Defence
13 has uploaded two articles from the book --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could Mr. Gajic please repeat the title and the
15 author of the ...
16 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] 1D1120.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And please repeat the title of the book.
18 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] The title of the book is "The
19 Srebrenica Massacre: Evidence, Context, and Politics."
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you for this information. The Chamber will
21 consider this information and take the necessary steps.
22 Anything else before the witness will enter the courtroom?
23 The witness should be brought in, please.
24 [The witness takes the stand]
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon, Mr. Skrbic. Welcome back, again.
1 Again I have to remind you that the affirmation to tell the truth still
2 applies today.
3 WITNESS: RATKO SKRBIC [Resumed]
4 [Witness answered through interpreter]
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir is continuing his re-examination.
6 Mr. Tolimir.
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 Greetings to all present. Peace be upon this house and I would like the
9 outcome of this trial to be decided by providence and God's will and not
10 according to my wishes.
11 Re-examination by Mr. Tolimir: [Continued]
12 Q. [Interpretation] And I also would like to greet Mr. Skrbic and to
13 wish him a pleasant stay in our midst.
14 Mr. Skrbic, yesterday we saw a document in which we saw that one
15 individual was buried at Kazani according to the statements given by the
16 commander and the witnesses who appeared before the court to establish
17 his death. (redacted)
22 (redacted) Thank you.
23 A. A DNA analysis of any individual that disappeared and it is not
24 yet known whether this person got killed or was executed can only be
25 conducted after the remains of the individual are found, samples taken to
1 the laboratory, and an analysis performed. Therefore, before doing any
2 DNA analysis, an exhumation of the individual in question has to be
3 carried out and a sample taken.
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Can you please tell us, is it necessary
5 to identify an individual that had already been identified and buried,
6 and if there are witnesses who confirmed that he was killed in action and
7 not executed and we have a confirmation of this fact from the Main Staff?
8 A. If a person is buried, then this person is buried under his or
9 her full name and with other personal details. They are also buried in
10 line with the customs of the people that this individual belonged to. So
11 this person cannot be treated as a missing person or a person who
12 disappeared, but, rather, a person who had died in the way that was
13 proven and provided in the course of identification.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Please, since we are talking here about
15 different methods of establishing the facts, can we look at D316 now,
16 which is a judge's report. (redacted)
17 (redacted) Now, can you tell me this: Can the time of death be
18 reliably established through a DNA analysis?
19 A. I really don't know whether a DNA analysis can establish the time
20 of death as well. But I do know that once a person is buried, there is
21 no need to conduct any DNA analysis because this person was buried under
22 his real name in accordance with the peoples' customs. In this
23 particular instance, this was done at the request of the deceased's
24 family. The relevant court issued a ruling declaring this person dead so
25 that his family can claim certain benefits enshrined in the law with
1 regard to fallen combatants during the war. So if there is no such
2 request from the family, even a court cannot declare a person dead. Once
3 this happens, then this person is removed from the missing persons list
4 and is no longer registered there.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we please have D166 in e-court,
7 page 595. Thank you.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Mr. Skrbic, what we see here is what Witness Jean Ruez talked
10 about, and this is a section from the transcript where his words are
11 recorded, and I'm going to read it. I am reading from line 8 to line 17.
12 [As read] "This area has been processed in 1996 by a team of
13 expert from Finland who were operating in that area in 1996, totally
14 disconnected from our activities, they were collecting surface remains.
15 But it's important to note that 600 bodies have been collected in that
16 area. These are bodies of victims killed in combat, in ambushes, in
17 shelling, and possibly also in other circumstances which are impossible
18 to sort out between -- I mean, for us, at least, between combat and other
20 My question is: Have you perhaps heard about the information
21 that 600 individuals from the area of Bare had been executed in the way
22 described by Ruez and that their surface remains were found? This is
23 what he stated when he gave evidence in the General Krstic's trial.
24 A. I have not heard about this particular incident, but I have read
25 one of the statements given by Mr. Ruez. As far as I remember, he gave
1 this statement or this evidence during a hearing before the
2 representatives of the French parliament.
3 In addition, I can confirm that Mr. Ruez said at the time -- and
4 I would really like to give you a verbatim quotation, because it is very
5 difficult to repeat it without referring to the exact quote. I'm going
6 to quote the relevant part of Mr. Ruez's statement.
7 "At this moment, some 20 secondary mass graves remain to be
8 exhumed. We know precisely the position and locations of all of those
9 mass graves. For each and every one of them, the contents have been
10 verified. This means that in each and every of these mass graves we have
11 found mortal remains of several persons, their numbers ranging from 80 to
12 100 bodies. Most probably, the total number of those persons is over
13 4.000. We can say that they were killed in cold blood during that
14 systemic and organised process."
15 This is page 5 of Mr. Ruez's statement, number 40307456. When I
16 read this relevant portion of his statement, I asked myself: How is it
17 possible that somebody can claim that bodies were found in the graves
18 that were not exhumed; and if those graves were not exhumed, how is it
19 possible to see almost an exact number of bodies?
20 As regards your question, in this portion of Mr. Ruez's statement
21 I can confirm that the agency for research and documentation from Tuzla
22 described the chronology of events surrounding Srebrenica. And in that
23 chronology, inter alia, it says that a majority of the bodies were
24 exhumed from the territory where combat had taken place during the
25 breakthrough of the 28th Division. Several bodies from the mass graves
1 -- and then they go on to list the mass graves, the same one as can be
2 found in the indictment, Lazete, Cerska, Branjevo, and let me not go on
3 enumerating them.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic, for the sake of the record, please
5 can you tell us to whom this statement of Mr. Ruez was made, and when.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The statement was provided on the
7 28th of February, 2001 --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter's correction:
9 22nd February, 2001.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as I can remember, the
11 statement was provided to the parliamentary commission of the French
12 parliament. In any case, it was given on the 22nd of February, 2001.
13 I'm sure of that. And I gave you the ERN number of the first page, which
14 is 40307456.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much for that.
16 Mr. Gajic.
17 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Relying on the ERN number provided by
18 the witness, I can say for the record that this is Exhibit D40.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
20 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
21 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Yesterday you spoke about the victims,
23 the remains, and the Prosecutor even showed you the remains that were
24 found in those mass graves, and you have just told us that some people
25 talk about things that cannot be seen. We asked Mr. Manning to confirm
1 what Mr. Ruez said, and Dean Manning was one of the witnesses in these
2 proceedings. His words were recorded on page 12-- 10219. I quote what
3 he said. A question put to Mr. Manning was this:
4 "Do you know --" we can't see it yet.
5 "Do you know where the mortal remains were buried, in which
7 He answered:
8 "I was not involved in the process. I can say that the surface
9 remains were collected and were kept for a number of years in Tuzla, in
10 the salt mine, in the tunnels that had been used as a salt mine."
11 My question is this: Mr. Skrbic, does this point to the fact
12 that the bodies and the mortal remains were transported to the territory
13 of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Do you know anything about?
14 Thank you.
15 A. Yes, I came across such information. Let me just mention the
16 article entitled "The Icon of Srebrenica." We already quoted from that
17 article. In this article it is mentioned inter alia that before 1998
18 thousands upon thousands of bodies were collected from all over Bosnia
19 and they were brought to Tuzla airport and that's where DNA analysis took
20 place. What you have just read out confirms that. I'm also aware of
21 that information.
22 Besides, I would like to say that the commission of the
23 Government of Republika Srpska in its own report stated that the
24 commission of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina for missing persons is
25 only -- the only body authorised to deal with exhumation of Bosnian and
1 Croatian victims and that the commission of the Government of
2 Republika Srpska handed over all the necessary documents about mass
3 graves to the commission of the federation.
4 The way I see things, the exhumation commissions could not have
5 had such a strict authority. When I say "strict authority," what do I
6 mean? I mean that it was not possible that only one commission - and
7 that was the one from the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina - to be
8 authorised to deal with exhumations. I believe that it is fair and it is
9 only logical for those commissions to be of a mixed composition. Those
10 commissions should have had representatives of all the three peoples as
11 their members, and exhumations should have been carried out in the
12 presence of international bodies in order to avoid all possible
13 speculations with regard to the exhumations.
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic.
15 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the last word has just
16 been corrected in the transcript.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sometimes we have to be patient.
18 Mr. Tolimir, please carry.
19 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Yesterday, the Prosecutor asked you whether you studied Janc's
22 report, Dusan Janc's report. The question was put to you on page 33; do
23 you remember that? Thank you.
24 A. I was shown a lengthy report on 7.000 exhumed and identified
25 bodies. I don't remember that anything else was shown to me. I already
1 shared my position on that with you. I said that I didn't see what
2 period that list applied to.
3 Q. That is what the Prosecutor asked you about. Do you know that
4 the author of that collective report put all the victims in the report
5 without making any distinction between those that were killed in combat
6 and those that were possibly executed? Do you know that?
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
8 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
9 If General Tolimir is referring to the report written by
10 Mr. Janc, I would appreciate it if he could give us a cite to that
11 particular point. My recollection of that report is that it clearly
12 distinguishes between surface remains and bodies or remains recovered
13 from mass graves, several of them. And in the methodology of that
14 report, it explains which surface remains he considers are associated
15 with the events of Srebrenica and which he considers that are not
16 associated with those events.
17 So if General Tolimir has a particular point with respect to what
18 distinction there is made, if any, between combat casualties and
19 non-combat casualties, it would be helpful if he could put that on the
20 record so that we can identify that.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, could you give a reference for your
22 statement, page 12, lines 4 through 7, which was included in your
23 question put to the witness.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. When he
25 presented his report on the 26th of May, 2011, on page 14679, Dusan Janc
1 said, on lines 16 to 23, and I quote:
2 I would say that most of the people, if not all the victims found
3 in the mass graves were crime victims; they had been executed. However,
4 not all surface remains were result of combat. We know that some of them
5 were killed and left on the surface and that's where they were found.
6 Some of them had comitted suicide, which means that they were not combat
7 casualties, so we can't say that all the 688 surface victims were also
8 combat victims.
9 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. My question is this: Now you have heard the position of the
11 author of that report --
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you will have realised that this is
13 quite distinct from what you put to the witness first. I would
14 appreciate if you would put these observations or quotations literally to
15 the witness.
16 Please carry on and put your question.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. I'm reading the first sentence:
20 I would say that most of the people, if not all of them, i.e.,
21 all of the victims found in the mass graves were crime victims. They had
22 been executed.
23 Please, how do you understand this sentence, Mr. Skrbic? Thank
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could we please have this part of the transcript
1 on the screen. We don't have it.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to call up
3 transcript page --
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] I think the Court
5 Officer is working on that. In the meantime, the witness is invited to
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think that it can be claimed for
9 all the victims that they were executed and that they were crime victims
10 only if it has been established really precisely what the cause of their
11 death was, whether the death was forcible death after they were disarmed
12 and captured or in some other way. Before those details are revealed, in
13 my view, it is not possible to claim that crimes were comitted.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Thank you. You will remember the Bare report that also concerned
16 the sixth person. I'm reading the second sentence from Janc's report.
17 He says:
18 "Not all the surface remains were a result of combat."
19 How do you understand this?
20 A. This is contained precisely in my previous answer. This means
21 that the bodies that were found on the surface had lost their lives in
22 various ways. Some were killed in combat, some were killed in inner
23 fighting, some may have comitted suicide. They could have died in any
24 other way, but this has to be established with a great deal of precision.
25 Q. My question is this, Mr. Skrbic: If this was not established
1 precisely, through exhumations, is it then proper for experts who
2 compiled collective reports to claim the nature of death of those people,
3 i.e., what kind of deaths they suffered?
4 A. Unless proper identification is carried out commensurate with the
5 applicable standards, primarily by conducting a DNA analysis - although I
6 said I'm not very familiar with it - it is impossible to claim that the
7 cause of death has been established. Only after the cause of death was
8 established, then one can say whether the death was caused by a criminal
9 act or some other act.
10 Q. Thank you. And I quote the next sentence:
11 "We know that some of them were killed and were left lying on the
12 ground where they were found."
13 My question is: When you studied the material relating to
14 Srebrenica, did you come across anyone's statement about people being
15 killed and left lying on the ground? Thank you.
16 A. As you know, at the beginning of my testimony I said that I did
17 not explore the issue of victims and how they became victims. All I
18 managed to find about this matter was of superficial nature, and I use it
19 only for the purpose of trying to prove the exact number of Muslim
20 survivors according to the methodology that I had chosen.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. And I am quoting the last sentence, which
23 "Some of them comitted suicide, which means that not all the
24 688 persons whose remains were found on the surface were killed in
1 Now, my question is: How many victims were found on the surface?
2 Is it the number that is quoted in Mr. Janc's report?
3 A. I would appreciate if we can define the notion of a victim, and
4 let us be a little more precise in doing so, because it is a wide notion.
5 In my report, I used terms such as "executed" and "killed," and I did not
6 use the term "victims" because even a live person can be a victim. In
7 this specific instance that you're asking me about concerning the number
8 of those found on the surface, it is obvious from the statement of this
9 gentleman that it is impossible to state with any degree of accuracy how
10 many of that number were executed, how many were killed, how many
11 comitted suicide, how many killed each other, and so on and so forth, and
12 most probably this will never be established.
13 Q. Thank you. Mr. Skrbic, in this consolidated report, if only
14 688 individuals are considered as surface remains, does that reflect the
15 reality in view of the statements that you made reference to in your
16 report and in your testimony?
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
18 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 I'm not entirely sure what General Tolimir means when he says
20 that 688 individuals are considered as surface remains. Mr. Janc's
21 report deals with DNA-identified individuals, and I'm not sure if that's
22 the context in which General Tolimir is putting the question. But the
23 numbers that Mr. Janc talks about in his report specifically deal with
24 DNA-identified individuals. So if General Tolimir is referring to the
25 total number of surface remains recovered, then that's something --
1 that's a different question than what he's put to the witness.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Perhaps, Mr. Tolimir, you can rephrase your
3 question or please give a reference where Mr. Janc is mentioning
4 688 individuals considered as surface remains.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I'm
6 going to give the reference now. And I quote the last sentence. He
8 "Some of them comitted suicide and were not participating in
9 combat ..."
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And was it taken from the transcript or from a
11 report, or what you are quoting from?
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I am reading the evidence given by
13 Mr. Janc from the transcript which says that:
14 Therefore we cannot say that all the 688 surface remains belonged
15 to the people who were killed in combat.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Now, based on this sentence, can we conclude that all the victims
18 mentioned in his report whose remains were found on the surface were
19 killed in combat? Thank you.
20 A. As I understand it, this gentleman is talking about the victims
21 found on the surface and that here he is talking about the number of the
22 victims found on the surface, and it is about them that he says that it
23 is impossible to reliably establish the cause of death.
24 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. If 600 people were found at Bare alone,
25 is it possible, then, that only 88 people were found in the area near
1 Srebrenica where the breakthrough was carried out as we heard of those
2 who witnessed this breakthrough?
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
4 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I have the same objection. And
5 perhaps it will be of assistance to General Tolimir if he were to review
6 P170, Annex B, paragraph 2, on page 2, and that might help him frame his
7 questions more accurately in terms of Mr. Janc's testimony and also the
8 conclusions in his report. I can read that into the record if it will be
9 of assistance, but perhaps it will be better for Mr. Gajic to assist
10 General Tolimir in this respect.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. It is up to the Defence how to deal with
12 these matters, but of course we all would appreciate, I assume, to have
13 the relevant parts of documents on the screen so that we can follow what
14 you are reading, Mr. Tolimir.
15 Mr. Tolimir.
16 Mr. Gajic.
17 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the portion that
18 refers to surface remains is P170, page 43, in English. It speaks about
19 688 surface remains that were identified out of the total number of 961.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We have that page in English on the screen. We
21 need it in B/C/S, too. What is the page in B/C/S?
22 Mr. Gajic.
23 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] I'll find it shortly, Your Honour.
24 Mr. President, it's page 60, 6-0.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. I take it you are now referring to
1 the second paragraph in both languages.
2 Mr. Tolimir, please carry on.
3 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I was
4 speaking about the 688 victims who were identified. We cannot talk about
5 those who haven't been identified. The total number of surface remains
6 is 961.
7 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
8 Q. My question is: Is it possible that only 300 were found on the
9 surface outside the area of Bare given that 600 surface remains were
10 found in Bare?
11 A. Either I didn't understand the question correctly or, since I am
12 looking at this document for the first time, I cannot give a precise
13 answer because I was unable to fully understand it.
14 Q. Thank you. I am going to rephrase it. The document relating to
15 Mr. Ruez where we read his statement that in Bare 600 people were found
16 and taken to Tuzla and that was done independently from the team lead by
17 Mr. Ruez. Now Mr. Janc, in the report referred to by Mr. Vanderpuye,
18 Mr. Janc says that 961 surface remains were found, of which 688 were
19 identified. My question is: Does this figure include only those found
20 by Mr. Janc, whereas those 600 remains from Bare have not been taken into
22 A. To the extent that I was able to understand your question now,
23 here they are talking about 688 identified persons of which 600 were
24 found in Bare. Eighty-eight persons had been to be found elsewhere and
25 not in Bare.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic, just to understand your answer: How
2 do you know that 600 out of 688 are found in Bare?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, a minute ago General Tolimir
4 said that.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: But it's not your knowledge?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no. I see this document for
7 the first time.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
9 Mr. Vanderpuye.
10 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, on the next page of this document
11 that's now in e-court, Mr. Janc has actually set out in detail
12 specifically where these identified surface remains were recovered. It
13 would be helpful, obviously, to put that to the witness to see if it
14 conforms with his understanding of the events, as General Tolimir has
15 asked him about it, rather than for him to speculate on where these
16 particular surface remains referred to in Mr. Janc's report come from.
17 It's just a matter of flipping the page.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, would it assist you if we go to the
19 next page in both the languages?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: In that case let's go to the next in both
22 languages. If that is the correct page and you want to put a question to
23 the witness in relation to that, please carry on.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Witness, we can see here the names of the locations where
2 surface remains were found. Can you see anywhere the name of Bare?
3 A. No, I haven't managed to locate it.
4 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that Mr. Janc did not analyse the
5 location of Bare in his report at all since he made no reference to it?
6 A. Of course. If he made no reference to it, that means that he did
7 not analyse it.
8 Q. Is it yet another indicator of the fact that it is better to find
9 how many people survived instead of using the number of deaths?
10 A. Of course it is better to have information from various sources
11 and quarters, because they can be collated and confirmed as to their
12 accuracy, and then on that basis it is possible to conclude how many
13 people were killed in combat or in some other way and so on.
14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Skrbic, is it possible for -- that the OTP
15 investigation team disregarded the 600 surface remains found in Bare and
16 that they were never put to you yesterday during cross-examination?
17 Thank you.
18 A. All the information relating to the number of people either
19 killed or executed must be presented and must be taken into consideration
20 with a view to arriving at a final number.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now have in e-court D38.
23 Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Skrbic, it's an interesting statement you now
1 "All the information relating to the number of people either
2 killed or executed must be presented and must be taken into consideration
3 with a view to arriving at a final number."
4 Did you do that with your report? I mean, to take all
5 information into account, especially about killed and found dead.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I took into account all the
7 information regarding Muslim survivors because that was my methodology.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You just said: All the information relating to
9 the number of people either killed or executed must be taken into account
10 to arrive at a final number.
11 You didn't do that; correct?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whatever information I had about
13 the number of killed and executed that I found in the indictment, all
14 that I took into account when I did my calculations.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, carry on please.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Let's look at a document that we called up before the
18 Presiding Judge put his question to the witness.
19 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation] You see a document in front of you.
20 Its author is Mr. Tokaca; I'm sure you heard of him. In the article he
21 says, We found 500 survivors who were registered as missing. He is the
22 director of AID in Sarajevo. He stated that in Banja Luka he appealed to
23 everybody with information about survivors, and then I am quoting:
24 [As read] "... regardless of their nationality or religious
25 affiliation who are listed as missing were called to inform all the
1 relevant authorities IDC or others in order for this information to be
2 registered if they are not reported."
3 This is the reporting agency. And the report was provided on the
4 31st of March, 2010, and I quote:
5 "The biggest problem --"
6 I am quoting from Tokaca's words:
7 "'The biggest problem in Bosnia-Herzegovina is a perfidious
8 monopoly on information.'"
9 Tokaca has said -- pointing out that the IDC wanted to break this
10 monopoly by compiling the Bosnian crime atlas.
11 My question is this: Did you ever see Tokaca's report before?
12 And if you did, can you perhaps explain what he meant when he said
13 "perfidious monopoly on information"?
14 A. I had an occasion to see this document before. When it comes to
15 perfidious monopolies, I really don't know what he meant. In this case
16 this is in quotation marks which means that Mr. Tokaca did not want to go
17 into much detail. This is my opinion. If he didn't -- if he wanted to
18 be very explicit, he would not have left the term under quotation marks.
19 Q. Thank you. Let's look at the last paragraph, where it says:
20 "'In the course of our research project on the loss of life, we
21 discovered some 500 people from Srebrenica who were still alive. We also
22 have information that just over 7.000 persons were killed in the area,
23 but not all of them were from Srebrenica. There were inhabitants from
24 Vlasenica, Zvornik, Bratunac, Visegrad, and Rogatica, and this is also
25 seen in the fact that we registered 70 people who were buried at the
1 Potocari memorial centre but who didn't perish in Srebrenica.'"
2 And he also said:
3 "We also found 500 inhabitants of Srebrenica who were alive,
4 and -- although they were listed as missing."
5 Could this information about 500 people from Srebrenica who were
6 found alive, could it prove that they were put on the list of missing
7 persons as it is stated in here? Thank you.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
9 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 We've actually seen this document a couple of times during the
11 course of the trial, and I think General Tolimir is well aware that
12 subsequent to this report that Mr. Tokaca gave a statement saying that he
13 was misquoted and that this statement was taken out of context. It is
14 P1370. I think it's only fair, to the extent that General Tolimir is
15 aware that Mr. Tokaca effectively retracted his statement, or the
16 statement that's attributed to him in this article, that he put that to
17 the witness in framing the question. Otherwise it's misleading to the
18 witness and is going to result in a distortion of the record before this
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you please repeat the document number, the
21 exhibit number.
22 MR. VANDERPUYE: I believe it's P1370, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
24 Mr. Tolimir, are you able to rephrase your question?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I can rephrase.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Skrbic, the 500 missing people from Srebrenica, were they
3 found alive according to Mr. Tokaca? What do you know about that?
4 Because you hail from the region where this piece of news circulated for
5 a long time.
6 A. I can only confirm what is written here. I am familiar with
7 that. I don't know anything else with regard to this document.
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now can we look at D369.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It's confidential and should not be broadcast.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we please look at
12 the first page of this report, which shouldn't be broadcast according to
13 the Presiding Judge, although I don't see any logic in that, but we shall
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This page can't be confidential.
16 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] D368 is a public version of the
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, you should use the public redacted
20 version for showing it to the witness. It's much better. Then there is
21 no need to prevent broadcasting.
22 MR. GAJIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President.
23 Mr. Tolimir has just mentioned a number and it has been properly
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. We can see a table from your expert report and it is entitled:
4 "The Movement of Prisoners from Srebrenica."
5 Tell us, please, did you also include the numbers available to
6 the Prosecution about the -- of those who were killed or/and who went
7 missing in Srebrenica? Thank you.
8 A. This table shows those who were taken prisoner from the
9 28th Division and it is based on the data and on Mr. Butler's statement.
10 He was an OTP expert witness. It is also based on this trial, the
11 ongoing trial, and also from case IT-05-88-PT, which means that I have
12 been able to list the paragraphs from each of these documents, including
13 Mr. Butler's report as well as case IT-05-88/2-1 and this case which is
14 currently ongoing. Nothing else has been included in the table but the
15 prisoners who are referred to in the three documents that I have just
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] And now I would like to call up
19 page 3 in the same document.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I am reading the last sentence which begins with the number --
22 this is the fourth paragraph that starts with "the maximum taken
23 prisoner," and it starts with "... the number 3.820 equals 4.420
25 "According to the debriefing (attachment 4, their source being
1 the UNHCR 28 July 1995, page 2)." This is your reference.
2 "3.000 from the column were taken prisoner in total, but
3 according to the document from the Tuzla agency for investigation and
4 documentation (AID) a few thousand were taken prisoner from the column
5 which was breaking through."
6 Thank you. My question is this: Did you try to cover up the
7 information available to the OTP on the number of those who were killed
8 or went missing? Thank you.
9 A. No, no, I didn't try to cover up anything. On the contrary. I
10 copied word for word all the information from the documents that I
11 referred to. I didn't skip a single piece of information, a single
12 number. And in the meantime, I came across the information from the AID
13 in Tuzla, which was the overview of prisoners and those who were killed
14 based on their information. I wanted to do my own comparison and to see
15 that information taken from various sources that I did not skip a single
16 bit of information. I did not attempt to cover up anything.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. If we look at the last paragraph on this
18 page, you drew Mr. Vanderpuye's attention to what is written here during
19 his examination-in-chief when you said that you established that those
20 who were killed in Konjevic Polje and Kravica were taken into account
21 twice. Can you explain for the benefit of the Trial Chamber?
22 I apologise, Sandici and Kravica. Thank you.
23 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: I'm not sure exactly what General Tolimir is
25 referring to in the cross-examination which gives rise to this line of
1 re-direct examination. If he can provide me with a cite, that would be
2 helpful. But I don't think that there was anything specific to the issue
3 that he's just asked the witness about or, frankly, for this chart that
4 we see in front of us which was covered on direct examination to begin
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, can you give us a reference?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] If the witness wants to answer, he
8 may answer, otherwise --
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ...
10 Mr. Tolimir --
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] -- I take note of Mr. Vanderpuye's
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is not a question for the witness, if he
14 wants to answer or not. If you put a question, he has to answer. But
15 the Prosecutor asked you if you would be able to provide with the
16 reference to his cross-examination. Can you give us a reference?
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I could find the reference but it
18 would take time. I would have to search all of my notes. Maybe I will
19 do it during the break.
20 But now let's look at the last paragraph -- that's why I'm saying
21 that I'm taking notes of Mr. Vanderpuye's objection. I accept it.
22 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. The last paragraph on the page that we have before us says:
24 "If we keep in mind the fact that the captured soldiers from the
25 28th Division of the BiH Army shown in the meadow in Sandici village
1 (1.000) were in the meadow temporarily and were transferred to
2 Novo Kasaba, then the number of prisoners shown in Novo Kasaba also
3 includes those shown in Sandici meadow."
4 My question is this: Can you please tell us, Mr. Skrbic, what
5 did you mean by this? Are things really the way they are described here
6 or not? My question is this, actually: Those who were killed or,
7 rather, who went missing in Kasaba, were they presented together as those
8 who were killed and went missing in Sandici? Do they form the same
9 group? Thank you.
10 A. The document that I am referring to in here is a -- listed under
11 the ERN number of the first page. This is a document issued by the
12 2nd Corps of the BiH Army. This is a report to the General Staff of the
13 BiH Army where they speak about information that they received from the
14 state security service in Tuzla, after the interrogation of two men who
15 had escaped from the meadow in Sandici. During the interrogation, they
16 stated that about a thousand of them had been in the meadow, that they
17 had been there only temporarily, and that within a short space of time
18 they had been transferred first to Kravica and then, also within a short
19 space of time, to Novo Kasaba. This sheds new light, i.e., puts things
20 in a different perspective. This means that the two figures referring to
21 Novo Kasaba also encompass the 1.000, so they cannot be added to each
22 other because the figure of 2500 to 3000 also encompasses the number of
23 1.000 according to the statements of the witnesses who had provided their
24 statements to the state security service in Tuzla.
25 This is my explanation.
1 Q. Thank you Mr. Skrbic.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now please take a look at
3 document PD5/46.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. The document that was shown to you did day before yesterday.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: A document with this number doesn't exist.
7 Please repeat the correct number.
8 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. I repeat the number:
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Once again, please.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P95, page 46.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you. Now we have it.
13 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It can't be the right number. Please check
15 again. P95 is the pseudonym sheet of a ... and it's under seal.
16 Mr. Tolimir, please give the right number now.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I had
18 information that that was the number of the photograph taken in Sandici
19 and that's why I quoted it in that way. My apologies. And Aleksandar
20 will try to figure it out.
21 In the meantime, we can proceed with other matters.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No, we should stop here. We are just before the
23 break. And before we have the break, I will shortly raise another
25 Mr. Gajic, you indicated that the -- you have uploaded parts of
1 the 65 ter document 1D1103 as a separate document which contains the
2 foreword of a book and one of the articles. This was uploaded as 1D1120
3 and which now can be assigned as D365. That was your request from the
4 beginning of today's session.
5 We must have our first break now. I hope that the question of
6 correct numbers of exhibits can be resolved during the break. We will
7 resume quarter past 4.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.44 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.17 p.m.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I hope you were able to sort out the
11 reference you asked for and the right exhibit number. You have the
12 floor. Please continue.
13 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
14 found the proper number. It should be P94.
15 So can we please have P94 in e-court.
16 As for the reference that you asked me for, I haven't looked for
17 it because it simply slipped my mind. But if I manage to find it, I am
18 going to quote it.
19 Can we now see page 46 in e-court. Thank you.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Skrbic, you have been shown this and then later on in a
22 document relating to Borovcanin one can see that around 1500 Muslim
23 soldiers were taken prisoner in Sandici. Now, please, can one conclude
24 exactly how many soldiers are depicted in this photograph below the line
25 where the buses are parked? Thank you.
1 A. I cannot give you the exact figure about how many people there
2 are in this group, but it is obviously a small group, probably fewer
3 than 100.
4 Q. Thank you. If we look at the house across the road towards
5 right, can we say that the size or the surface of this house is larger
6 than the size of the group of people shown in this satellite image?
7 A. As far as I am able to estimate, the size of this house is
8 slightly smaller than the area where these people are.
9 Q. Thank you. Let us now hear what one of the eye-witnesses said
10 about this group of people and this location. We have seen that this
11 picture was taken on the 13th of July at 1400 hours. And this is what --
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now go to the closed session
13 because I'm going to quote the words of a witness who testified in a
14 closed session.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We turn into private session.
16 [Private session]
11 Page 19219 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Your Honours. Thank you.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Skrbic, when showing this document to you, the Prosecutor
19 quoted the penultimate paragraph, which reads that:
20 [As read] "On the night between the 12th and 13th of July, 1500
21 men were taken prisoner and there were more than 200 dead."
22 Now, my question is: According to this report about the number
23 of the death [as interpreted], can one say that these deaths were caused
24 by combat or by some other means? What can one conclude on the basis of
25 this combat report?
1 A. One can conclude on the basis of such combat report that there
2 was fighting between members of the 28th Division of the BH Army and this
3 police unit of Republika Srpska, and that in the course of that fighting
4 20 -- 200 members of the 28th Division were killed and that the remaining
5 soldiers surrendered after that.
6 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Now, please, in this Prosecution document
7 is it clearly stated that in fighting that lasted several hours and
8 during the attack on Konjevic Polje which continued today the enemy had
9 more than 200 dead? In your opinion, these 200, do they need to be
10 counted as victims or as troops killed in action?
11 A. These men were killed in combat.
12 Q. Thank you.
13 Let us now take a look at the last paragraph, and I quote:
14 "According to all indications, the number of Muslim soldiers who
15 did not manage to break through is on the rise and is approximately
16 between 5.000 and 6.000, which means that we have intense combat ahead of
17 us. I hope that we will successfully carry out this task also."
18 Now, please, in this last paragraph, is this commander only
19 making assumptions or does he have indication of the fact that 5- or
20 6.000 soldiers haven't been able to make a breakthrough yet? Thank you.
21 A. First of all, this information means that the 28th Division was
22 still in the process of breaking through and that they were to proceed
23 with it further. Also, the information that this police commander has to
24 the effect that another 5- or 6.000 are preparing to break through must
25 have been obtained in the course of interrogation of those who had
1 already been taken prisoner or in another way. I cannot precisely
2 confirm the source of this information.
3 Q. Now thank you.
4 Is this information speaking about the 5- or 6.000 who still have
5 to break through or were they captured or did they still have to fight
6 this number of men? Thank you.
7 A. He's talking about the soldiers who carried on with the
8 breakthrough and he anticipates further clashes with them to take place
9 in the forthcoming period.
10 Q. Thank you.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Now, please, can we now have P1769.
12 Thank you. Thank you.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. This document was shown to you yesterday, and we see the
15 information about the enemy. In paragraph 1, I quote:
16 "A large enemy group was infiltrated in the region of
17 Pobudje Brdo and the region of Konjevic Polje. Units of the
18 5th Engineering Battalion and the MUP successfully resisted the enemy.
19 About 1.000 to 1500 enemy civilians and soldiers were arrested and
21 My question is this: Could the officer in charge be able to
22 report about this situation directly or did he have to receive reports
23 and information from both locations? Thank you.
24 A. Pursuant to the standard military procedure and as far as I can
25 know, this is how things were done in the Army of Republika Srpska.
1 Regular combat reports arrive from subordinated units. Then they are
2 processed. And then executive summaries are then compiled for the
3 superiors. And from the Main Staff -- and then from the Main Staff they
4 are sent to the Supreme Commander. This is the procedure applied to
5 regular combat reports and I know that that procedure was followed by the
6 Army of Republika Srpska as well.
7 Q. The commander of the unit, the superior officer, was a witness
8 here. He spoke about this document, P1769. And he said -- he answered a
9 question, that is. On page 9439 of the transcript, lines 10 through 16.
10 The date was 7 February 2011. Thank you. I quote what he said on
11 page 9439, lines 10 through 16, to the Prosecutor's question, What did
12 you learn about what was happening in the area? he answered:
13 [As read] "We learnt what is contained in the report. A group of
14 soldiers of the BiH Army from Srebrenica was moving through the region.
15 Some of them had already been unable to walk, so we didn't know what the
16 situation was. We tried to deal with the situation as best as we could,
17 providing support to our own barracks, bearing in mind the number of men
18 that we had at our disposal, and that number was very low at the time."
19 Did you know that he also stated that at that location that he
20 spoke about, his unit was deployed and provided support for the materiel
21 and technical equipment that the unit had at that location? Thank you.
22 I don't want to read everything.
23 A. No, no, I am not aware of that. Let me explain: All witness
24 statements that were taken here in this case were not known to me. I was
25 not familiar with all the statements that were taken in this case.
1 Q. Thank you. And now --
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, I stopped you because you were
3 overlapping. Now your question again, please.
4 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Since you don't know what was stated by the witness, we are going
6 to quote what he said on page 9467, line 21, through page 9468, line 4.
7 "Q. Do you believe ... that 1.000 to 1.500 people were killed,
8 as stated in this paragraph?"
9 And the witness answered:
10 "I can't either believe or disbelieve this.
11 [As read] "This was more of information to a -- to the superior
12 command telling them what we had learned. And then they can go on and
13 undertake certain measures in order to check this information because we
14 didn't have an intelligence organ or any other person who would be
15 qualified to check this information. If we had known that, then we would
16 have probably told them where they were and what they were doing."
17 My question is this: I have just read out a part of the
18 witness's testimony - can you conclude based on what I have just read
19 that this commander compiled his document based on the information
20 available to him?
21 A. All commanders draft their combat reports based on the
22 information they received from inferior -- subordinated units or other
23 information received from flanking units, units that act in concert. In
24 other words, no combat report can be compiled if there is no prior
1 Q. Now let's see what he said on page 9473, lines 15 through 24, to
2 a question by the Presiding Judge:
3 [As read] "Who is the author of paragraph number 1, entitled
5 The witness answered:
6 [As read] "I don't know. It must have been the staff sergeant
7 who wrote this, most probably, based on what he heard, because all of us
8 heard about that in Konjevic Polje, you know, people were talking about
9 that. People were talking about certain problems. They were saying that
10 there were some people who were killed, some captured. And most probably
11 he wrote all that in order to draw attention to this, because there were
12 very few of us in the barracks. We were not safe. Things were going on
13 around us and we didn't know what was happening."
14 My question: Is it clear from the second paragraph that this
15 report was drafted based on second-hand knowledge? I don't want to call
16 it rumours. How reliable is this report, then?
17 A. Well, one would conclude that based on his statement, based on
18 the statement of this witness or this witness's testimony. It seems that
19 a staff sergeant drafted paragraph 1 based on the information that he
20 had. I can't confirm that because I don't know how they drafted their
21 reports - what information, what data about the enemy they used.
22 Q. Thank you. If we assume that what the witness said in answer to
23 the Presiding Judge's question was true, what would be the degree of the
24 reliability of the information contained in this report? Thank you.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
1 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
2 There's two issues that arise from this: The first is that
3 obviously the witness has already answered the question in terms of his
4 ability to assess the reliability of this report. The second thing is
5 that he goes well beyond the scope of the cross-examination in this case.
6 This document, as with other documents of a similar nature, were
7 put to this witness to determine whether or not he himself had examined
8 these documents prior to drafting his report. His answer on almost every
9 single occasion was that he had not reviewed them and he was not familiar
10 with them at that time. It does not go to the reliable of the report
11 itself; it goes to what the witness was aware of and what the witness
12 relied on in drafting his own report.
13 So to the extent that General Tolimir wants to question on -- on
14 these documents, it seems to me that for that to be responsive to the
15 cross-examination of this witness, it has to be within the context of
16 what this witness knew in relation to his report, as opposed to his
17 general impressions about the documents that he's now seeing essentially
18 for the first time.
19 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, what is your response to that?
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. What we
21 are seeing is that the document is not relevant, and the witness could
22 not take it into account when he made his calculation. And the question
23 was whether he actually saw this document ever. Thank you.
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: And this question was already answered during the
25 cross-examination. He didn't see that and he didn't take it into
2 But Mr. Vanderpuye put another objection to you, that now you are
3 dealing with a separate issue, namely, what the interpretation of the
4 content of this document, unknown to the witness prior to his testimony
5 here, would be. And he was not asked during cross-examination about
6 that. What is your position, Mr. Tolimir?
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. The question was
8 whether the expert was familiar with this information. I am trying to
9 get the answer from the witness as to the relevance of the information
10 for an expert report by any expert, including yourself. Thank you.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, the witness has clearly explained
12 during his whole testimony that he didn't know these documents, that he
13 didn't take them into account because they were not relevant for that --
14 his method of calculation. What do you want to gain from him in
15 re-examination which should relate to the content of cross-examination?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if you don't allow
17 it, he doesn't have to answer the question. My question was whether, if
18 he had known about it, whether he would have taken it into account as a
19 relevant document. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This question was already answered by the
21 witness. Please carry on.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
23 And now I'd like to call up P176, page 104. P11-- P1776,
24 page 104 in Serbian, 97 in English. Thank you.
25 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. We now see it. And I have to tell you that this is a table taken
2 from Mr. Brunborg's report. The title of the table is: "220 cases with
3 inconsistent date of death, disappearance between the 2005 OTP list of
4 Srebrenica missing and ABiH records." Thank you.
5 My question is this: Does this type of information call for the
6 re-examination of the number of dead and missing during the events
7 surrounding Srebrenica, i.e. --
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... this document
9 shouldn't be broadcast.
10 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
11 Q. -- does this type of information -- and I repeat my question --
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This document should not be broadcast.
13 Please carry on.
14 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
15 Q. I repeat my question: Does this type of documents with
16 inconsistent data about the cause of death for 220 persons, as well as
17 the date of deaths, call for the re-examination of information using the
18 methodology that you yourself used; i.e., following the number of
19 survivors? Thank you.
20 A. If a number of persons appears with different sets of data about
21 their cause of death or disappearance or any other such information, this
22 points to the fact that the information is not reliable and cannot be
23 used as evidence on what had happened, whether people were killed,
24 whether they died or went missing, or anything else. So when an
25 inconsistency is established, it shows that the data is not reliable.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Can you now explain: What is the degree
2 of reliability of records on the killed and missing army members? And
3 I'm calling for your experience when answering this question.
4 A. Yes, I can explain. The degree of reliability is a hundred
5 per cent. There is precise information about every soldier who is
6 injured, killed, or who has gone missing. Moreover, based on such data
7 information, administrative procedures are started by the families in
8 order to seek proof of death in order to obtain some legal documents.
9 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Yesterday the Prosecutor put several
10 questions to you, and he put his case to you about the removal of the
11 civilian population from Srebrenica. Within that context, he showed you
12 an intercept, on page 19166 of the transcript.
13 Let us now see one of the so-called Srebrenica videos.
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] P991 is the exhibit number. And I
15 would like to play it from 46 minutes, 24 seconds, to 48 minutes,
16 33 seconds. Thank you.
17 [Video-clip played]
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. We stopped at
19 48 minutes, 33 seconds.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Kindly tell us: Based on this video-clip that you saw, who
22 requested that the civilian population leave Srebrenica? Thank you.
23 A. I heard the interpreter saying that the BH command in Sarajevo
24 requested that population to be relocated. That's how I understood the
1 Q. Thank you. Did you at the beginning of the conversation hear
2 what General Mladic asked Mr. Karremans? If not we can repeat it.
3 A. I must admit that I wasn't able to hear a good part of the
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we replay the start.
6 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
7 Q. And you try to make out what Mr. Mladic said. He wasn't
8 interpreted into Serbian because he was speaking Serbian, so probably the
9 interpretation was into English.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see P991 again,
11 starting from 46 minutes, so that we may hear what General Mladic said to
13 [Video-clip played]
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] We stopped at 46 minutes,
15 29 seconds.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Did you now hear what General Mladic said to Colonel Karremans?
18 A. I heard him ask, "What do you want?" He asked Colonel Karremans
19 to say what he wanted.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Your microphone.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Microphone not activated]
24 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We don't receive interpretation. We don't
25 receive interpretation, perhaps because the microphone is off. Once
1 again, please.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we replay it but without an
3 overlap between what Mladic and Karremans are saying and my question.
4 Thank you.
5 [Video-clip played]
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I wanted the video-clip to be
7 replayed from the beginning of the conversation. Thank you.
8 [Video-clip played]
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Please stop here. Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It was stopped at 46 --
11 THE ACCUSED: [No interpretation] [Overlapping speakers]
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: It was stopped at 46 minutes, 36 seconds.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I repeat my question: Did you hear what General Mladic said to
15 Mr. Karremans? Thank you.
16 A. I really heard him ask, "What do you want? Tell me what you want
17 now." That's really all I heard.
18 Q. Did you hear who had asked for the meeting? Thank you.
19 A. No, no, I didn't hear that.
20 Q. Well, obviously you have a problem with listening to the
21 video-clip, maybe turning up the volume or turning it down, because it
22 could clearly be heard what General Mladic said.
23 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could the Usher please assist, and
24 I kindly ask the technician to return to the beginning of the clip so we
25 can replay it. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President. If General Tolimir has a
3 particular proposition to put to the witness regarding what's on the
4 tape, I don't see any harm in him putting the proposition to the witness.
5 The tape speaks for itself. It's not necessary for the witness to
6 actually hear it if everyone else knows what's on it. He can simply put
7 the question to the witness and ask him, Based on this ... and represent
8 what's on the tape, and put his question. I think that will speed things
9 along and it wouldn't be necessary for -- for -- it wouldn't be necessary
10 to go through the trouble of trying to sort out the technical
11 difficulties with the issue.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, did you have a problem with the
13 microphone or the interpretation?
14 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, I had problems. I switched to
15 channel 4 instead of channel 6. Thank you. But I understood the last
16 part of Mr. Vanderpuye's words.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Essentially -- essentially, Mr. Vanderpuye said
18 it's not necessary to play this video again because we all know what is
19 taped and said there, if the witness is not able to hear that.
20 Just put your question to the witness. That was the proposal of
21 Mr. Vanderpuye. You may continue.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Thank you, Mr. Vanderpuye.
24 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Mr. Skrbic, if you heard the part where he said, "You requested a
1 meeting," tell us who it was who requested a meeting and what was -- what
2 were the words of Mr. Karremans when he spoke about the relocation of the
3 population? Thank you.
4 A. I know of the meetings between the commander of the Main Staff of
5 the VRS and Colonel Karremans, the commander of DutchBat. I know about
6 that from documents. And I know that they took place at Bratunac at the
7 Fontana Hotel. I also know that there were three such meetings. I know
8 about all that from documents.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do you know who requested the first meeting?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I cannot provide a precise
11 answer to that question because I don't know who it was.
12 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Could we play it again so we can hear --
14 JUDGE FLUEGGE: [Previous translation continues] ... I -- you
15 don't -- you don't have the floor at the moment.
16 MR. TOLIMIR: [No interpretation]
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: You don't have the floor at the moment,
18 Mr. Tolimir. I help you to figure out this problem.
19 The second question: Do you remember or do you know the words of
20 Mr. Karremans when he spoke about the relocation of the population. Do
21 you know that, Mr. Skrbic?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] What I was able to catch was when
23 Colonel Karremans mentioned the BH command in Sarajevo, and as far as I
24 understood, that command wanted the population to move out. That's what
25 I heard. I really cannot give you a reliable answer and state with
1 certainty that I heard this or that.
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you got the answer. Please carry
4 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
5 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Here is my question: Did you hear General Mladic say, "What do
7 you want? You requested a meeting"? Did you hear it or didn't you?
8 Thank you.
9 A. I heard the question "What do you want?" but I didn't understand
10 the rest of what he said.
11 Q. Thank you. Was Mladic silent, then, and did Karremans answer the
12 question "What do you want?"
13 A. After that, Colonel Karremans continued his story, and the
14 interpreter interpreted for General Mladic.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I apologise. The witness didn't
17 hear everything, but what can we do? Thank you.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. In July 1995 they signed an agreement about the relocation of the
20 Srebrenica population. It was signed by Rajko Kusic, Hamdija Torlak,
21 Semjon Dudnjik, and Ratko Mladic.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see that agreement.
23 D51 is the exhibit number. We saw it yesterday.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could we turn the volume down?
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. We can see the agreement signed by the persons whose name I have
3 just said. I am interested in item 7 of the agreement, which reads - I
5 "In accordance with the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949 and
6 the Additional Protocols of 1977, the civilian population of Zepa shall
7 be given the freedom to choose their place of residence while hostilities
9 Here is my question: Please explain what this language means,
10 "freedom to choose their place of residence while hostilities continue."
11 Thank you.
12 A. Item 7 is very precisely phrased and cannot be misinterpreted.
13 It clearly means that the population of Zepa has the opportunity to
14 choose where they want to reside temporarily as long as the hostilities
15 are going on. And this temporary quality is a consequence or is
16 determined by the hostilities.
17 Q. Thank you.
18 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Could we please see document P1434.
19 Thank you. Thank you, e-court.
20 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Mr. Vanderpuye yesterday read out to you a document of the 28th
22 in which -- or which said that if -- if the Muslims fail to honour the
23 agreement, do not register the refugees --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: do not -- the
1 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
2 Q. -- we'll keep them for an exchange.
3 Do you remember that?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. That was written on the 29th. And here we see a cable dated
6 30 July. It says, "Information about prisoners of war in Rogatica
7 holding centre." And we see names from 1 through 45. We can also look
8 at the following page. There's a list of all prisoners of war from the
9 Zepa area.
10 Here is my question: In this cable, did they act as had been
11 said before? Do you know from documents that the Muslims left that
12 territory on the 30th and did not surrender as they were supposed to
13 under the agreement that we saw a minute ago? Thank you.
14 A. Let me first answer your question about this telegram. It is
15 clearly shown here that the prisoners had been registered and sent to the
16 Rogatica camp together with the list.
17 Now, as for your second question, can you please repeat this?
18 Q. Thank you. Do you recall that this was written in the telegram
19 dated 27th of July and that already on the 30th, after the Muslims had
20 left the area, all the prisoners had been properly recorded one day
22 A. It is clearly shown here that everyone who was taken prisoner was
23 registered on the 30th of July.
24 Q. Thank you.
25 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now look at page 3 of this
1 document. Thank you.
2 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Here you can see, under C, the last paragraph, entitled:
4 "Treatment of r/z," and I quote. It's page 5 in English.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. We should move to the next page in
7 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Page 5 in English.
8 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I quote:
10 [As read] "Pursuant to the orders of General Tolimir and his
11 instructions, all the necessary measures are taken and in accordance with
12 the possibility they are mainly being carried out. Among other things,
13 the following was done:
14 [As read] "Categorisation of war prisoner was done and they are
15 placed in three rooms."
16 I repeat:
17 [As read] "The categorisation of war prisoners was done and they
18 are placed in three rooms. The healthy in one room, the wounded and the
19 sick in another room, and the member of the former leadership in the
20 third room.
21 "'Atlantida' is separated and placed at another location and has
22 better accommodation.
23 "The Effendi is allowed to pray in the room five times a day.
24 "They have food.
25 "They can use an outhouse.
1 "They have medical treatment.
2 "On the 30th of July of this year, the prisoners of war were
3 visited and registered by the ICRC delegation office at Pale."
4 My question is: Were all prisoners of war in Zepa registered by
5 the International Committee of the Red Cross, the ones that are shown in
6 the list that you saw?
7 A. All the prisoners of war who were taken to the Rogatica camp were
8 visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Pale office, and
9 were registered at the Rogatica camp.
10 Q. Thank you. Are these instructions in keeping with the
11 international laws of war and other covenants that regulate and provide
12 for the treatment of prisoners of war?
13 A. Yes, of course. They were treated fairly, as the document shows.
14 Had it been possible to give them a better treatment, this would have
15 been probably done, but it was done according to the available
16 capabilities at the time.
17 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Can we now please look at P122.
18 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. This was the document shown to you by the Prosecutor. We see in
20 the heading that it was drafted on the 29th of July, one day prior to
21 their registration. I am going to quote the last sentence of the third
22 paragraph, which reads:
23 "The persons taken before cease-fire should not be registered and
24 not be declared to the international organisations. We are going to keep
25 them for an exchange in the event of the Muslims not honouring the
1 agreement or if they make a breakthrough from our encirclement."
2 My question is: Was it possible to do anything with regard to
3 the prisoners of war in one day only?
4 A. All the procedures that have to do with humanitarian situation
5 while combat operations are in progress can be carried out only when the
6 tactical situation allows it. That is the view from the military
7 doctrine. Once the tactical situation allows this, then procedures are
8 being initiated, including those relating to humanitarian issues and
9 issues relating to prisoners of war.
10 Now let me add one thing: The only officer who is authorised,
11 who has the powers and the right to assess the tactical situation and to
12 give his forecast of the future development is the commander of the unit,
13 and it is to be done on the basis of the information he receives from his
15 Q. Thank you. I am reading the continuation of this same paragraph.
16 "We are going to keep them for exchange in case the Muslims do
17 not honour the agreement or they manage to break through from the
19 My question is: Based on the documents that you reviewed, do you
20 know if the Muslims accepted the exchange all-for-all as envisaged in the
21 agreement, or did they break through from our encirclement? Thank you.
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I frankly don't see what this is
24 responsive to in the cross-examination. Presented this document to the
25 witness during the cross-examination and asked him, quite plainly, What
1 do you make of it? And that had to do with the registration of the
2 prisoners. I don't see what the last question is that General Tolimir
3 just asked has to do with the nature of that examination. And perhaps he
4 can provide some sort of basis for it, but I don't see any apparent
5 connection between the nature of the cross-examination and this line of
6 direct -- re-direct examination.
7 The second thing is: Since General Tolimir has represented at
8 least twice in the last couple of minutes that all of the prisoners on
9 the list that we saw relating to the Rogatica prison were registered, I
10 would like to know whether it's his position that Atlantida, number 45 on
11 that list, who we know in this trial to be Avdo Palic, was among those
12 prisoners that was registered.
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, Mr. Vanderpuye raised two questions.
14 What is your position to that? Not two questions, two objections.
15 Please give us your position.
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Vanderpuye posed a
17 question whether it was not customary to register the prisoners of war,
18 and that's what he asked the witness to answer, and that's why I put my
19 question whether an exchange of all-for-all was being carried through or
20 did they manage to break through the encirclement.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Could you explain that a bit further? I don't
22 see the connection between registering prisoners of war and carrying out
23 an all-for-all exchange.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. If there
25 is an exchange all-for-all, then the numbers are irrelevant. Every side
1 will give as many prisoners as they have. There will be no registration.
2 However, if there is an exchange to be made, then reciprocity has to be
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: May I put a question to the witness.
5 Can you tell us if there is any legal requirement for not
6 registering prisoners of war who were kept and prepared for an exchange
7 of prisoners of war with the enemy side?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know if there is such a
9 legal provision.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
11 Mr. Tolimir, carry on please.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
13 MR. TOLIMIR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Skrbic, was the exchange to be carried out with the number
15 there of prisoners that was kept for the prisoners from the Zepa Brigade
16 that were in captivity elsewhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
17 A. If an exchange of prisoners is agreed on the principle
18 all-for-all, that means, number one, that the agreement should be
19 honoured; and number two, that neither side should hide the prisoners
20 that they have, but hand over all the prisoners that they have. And that
21 applies to both sides. They have to hand over all the prisoners that
22 they had in custody at the moment when the agreement went into force.
23 Q. Thank you, Mr. Skrbic. Thank you for having testified in this
24 courtroom. Thank you for having come to The Hague. I wish to thank you
25 on behalf of the Defence. I wish you good health, and I wish you
1 God-speed in your future life and work.
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence has no
3 further questions for this witness. Thank you.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. There is only one question
5 left. This is the admission of four documents. I have the -- I formed
6 the impression that you want to raise this, Mr. Vanderpuye.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President. That is one of the things
8 I'd planned to raise.
9 The other thing I wanted to raise, and it is a rather
10 extraordinary circumstance, is the opportunity to re-cross-examine this
11 witness on a specific issue. And that relates to a document that he was
12 shown yesterday as concerns an individual. I think we were in private
13 session so I won't mention his name, but it was an individual who had
14 been allegedly killed on the 7th of July, buried on the 8th of July, and
15 that his wife apparently had sought a certificate or a declaration from
16 the court in Lukavac concerning that death.
17 I do have specific -- very specific evidence on that issue, which
18 was not the subject of cross-examination, and it is a single document
19 with respect to that. I anticipate -- and in fact I can probably do it
20 without asking the witness a question. I would simply tender the
21 document, if that would be a better way to go about it. But it is
22 directly responsive to that specific issue that was raised by
23 General Tolimir on his re-examination outside the scope of
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, what is the position of the Defence
1 to this request for continuing cross-examination on this specific matter?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] The Defence doesn't know what the
3 whole thing is about. However, if this will be of help to the
4 Trial Chamber, we do not object to the admission of any document. And I
5 would actually like to thank Mr. Vanderpuye for proposing to tender into
6 evidence yet another document, with your leave of course.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye, the Chamber grants your request,
9 but only specifically to this document you referred to. And you may put
10 a question in relation to that or not. But after that, Mr. Tolimir will
11 have the opportunity to put a question too in relation to that specific
13 You have the floor.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 65 ter 7620, I would be requesting leave to add it to the
16 Prosecution's exhibit list.
17 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I take it, again, that Mr. Tolimir has no
18 objection to that, to add this document to the list. I take it from his
19 last comment.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] No. Thank you. No. Thank you.
21 JUDGE FLUEGGE: No objection. You may proceed, and leave is
22 granted to add it to the list.
23 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Mr. President. Maybe we can have it
24 up in e-court. I apologise, it does not have a translation in B/C/S.
25 Further Cross-examination by Mr. Vanderpuye:
1 Q. What I'm showing you, Mr. Skrbic, is the part of the autopsy
2 report --
3 MR. VANDERPUYE: If we can go into private session, I think I can
4 make this a little bit easier.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Private.
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 19245-19246 redacted. Private session.
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We are back in open session, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The document will be received as an exhibit.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, 65 ter document 7620 shall be
8 assigned Exhibit P2877. Thank you.
9 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, if you so wish, you may put
10 questions to the witness in relation to that document we just received.
11 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Further Re-examination by Mr. Tolimir:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, do you remember, did I ask you
14 yesterday at the end of the day whether it was possible for the body to
15 have been transported from Kazani to Lazete, since the corps command also
16 confirmed that the body was buried in Kazani? Do you remember that?
17 A. Yes, I remember that. And I also remember what I answered to
18 that. I answered that if what you had shown me was authentic - and one
19 can tell from the document that the document is authentic - that it is
20 then possible that the gentleman who had been killed was exhumed and then
21 his body was transferred to the mass grave in Lazete, as far as I can
23 Q. Thank you, witness.
24 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have no further
25 questions for this witness. Thank you.
1 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you.
2 Mr. Vanderpuye, what is your final position in relation to the
3 two reports in confidential versions and the public redacted versions?
4 Mr. Tolimir has tendered these reports, then your position was to receive
5 them preliminarily, and that was the reason why we marked them for
6 identification. What is your position?
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Yes, Mr. President. I'm happy to share with you
8 my position with respect to the admissibility of these reports. I don't
9 know that I -- actually, I don't know whether or not it would be
10 appropriate to do that in front of the witness. I don't know if he will
11 have to be re-called, or not, in respect of the application. I would
12 ask, therefore, that he be excused or dismissed --
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: That's fine.
14 MR. VANDERPUYE: -- as would be appropriate.
15 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I think the presence of the witness in that
16 respect is not necessary.
17 Sir, after a long time, after several days of testimony, now you
18 are released from court. You may go home to your normal activities. The
19 Chamber would like to thank you for your expertise you were able to
20 provide, your knowledge, and we wish you all the best.
21 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
22 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Sir, we have just considered a possible need to
23 call you back into the courtroom after having dealt with your expert
24 report. There may be any reason to discuss something or to put a
25 question to you in that respect. Please bear with us a bit and wait for
1 several minutes in the waiting room. In principle you are released, but
2 may be re-called. Please wait some minutes and you will give notice --
3 you will get notice if you can go home or have you to come back to the
4 courtroom. Thank you very much.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Vanderpuye.
7 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you again, Mr. President.
8 With respect to the admissibility of the reports tendered by
9 General Tolimir: As concerns the military report, which is D366 public
10 and D367, we have no particular objection to the Court receiving that
11 report in evidence. Mr. Skrbic was a member of the military, he was --
12 he received education in military matters and affairs, and we're
13 confident that on the record and in light of his testimony the
14 Trial Chamber will attach the appropriate weight to that report, having
15 reviewed his neutrality, or lack thereof, the reliability of that report,
16 or lack thereof, and the objectivity with which it was presented, both in
17 his testimony and as a written document.
18 However, with respect to Mr. Skrbic's report on the movement of
19 the Srebrenica population, which is D368, the public version, and D369,
20 our position is that that document is simply not admissible as expert
21 evidence in this case. It is fundamentally and in its essence a
22 demographic study of the population of Srebrenica, and I think Mr. Skrbic
23 was quite clear in his testimony as regards to his qualifications to make
24 such an analysis.
25 First, and you will recall, Mr. President, that you questioned
1 him to some extent on his CV, and it was clear from his CV not only that
2 he did not have any substantial publications in the area or expertise --
3 area of expertise that would be required to render an expert report, a
4 demographic analysis of the population of Srebrenica, but it was also
5 readily apparent from the nature and the extent of his education in that
6 matter, whereby he indicated that he didn't have any advanced degree in
7 statistics, demography, mathematical statistics, or any other discipline
8 that was specifically related to the subject matter that was -- of his
10 There are two things that Mr. Skrbic said which I think are also
11 dispositive of the issue. First thing he said was, obviously, that he
12 didn't have a degree that was directly related to the nature of the
13 report that he prepared concerning the Srebrenica population. The second
14 thing that he said - and I think this is probably the most significant
15 thing - is that his report didn't require that he have any such skill,
16 knowledge, or training in order to examine those issues. What he said,
17 in effect, was -- and I think I have it here at page 19036 of the
18 transcript -- is in response to my question:
19 "And it's the case that your expert report on the population of
20 Srebrenica actually didn't require any advanced degree or special
21 training in any of those subjects?"
22 He said:
23 "That's right. The calculations were very simple, because I had
24 at my disposal finalised facts and information. And anyone who knows the
25 basics of mathematics would be able to do that provided they invest some
1 effort into it."
2 This precisely undermines his expertise or purported expertise in
3 the subject matter of that report. What his -- his expert status
4 requires that he be able to render assistance to the Trial Chamber in its
5 understanding or analysis of issues in dispute in this case based upon
6 his specific training, knowledge, or expertise in the subject matter on
7 which those subjects arise. And he's essentially said, Not only don't I
8 have it, but it's not required. In effect, General Tolimir could have
9 simply put in the documents that this witness testified about and relied
10 on the Trial Chamber the draw the same inferences, if that be the case,
11 as this witness came up with, and it wouldn't require anything special.
12 It wouldn't require any special skills. It wouldn't require anything but
13 a little bit of effort, which is what the witness said. And I think on
14 that basis the report patently does not satisfy the standard for expert
15 evidence in this Tribunal.
16 I would also point out that he was questioned rather extensively
17 on the methodology that he employed in producing this population report,
18 and it's very clear from his answers that what Mr. Skrbic did in this
19 case was he essentially relied on a methodology of convenience. He
20 relied on a methodology which was calculated to support a conclusion that
21 he had already drawn before he began the study. And we know this because
22 he produced a paper, he produced a book, and then he incorporated the
23 paper and the book essentially as the basis, the fundamental basis, of
24 the report that he submitted here -- that General Tolimir, rather, has
25 submitted here for the Trial Chamber's analysis. He shared with us the
1 motivations that he had to produce that book, which forms the substance
2 of the -- of the report that General Tolimir is tendering.
3 He said first and foremost what motivated him to study this
4 matter was that he could not accept that officers in arms with him would
5 engage in the kinds of acts that are alleged in the indictment. That was
6 the first thing. The second thing was that he said that he was
7 essentially tired of being bombarded with this so-called official version
8 of what happened in Srebrenica "without anybody proving it." Mr. Skrbic
9 prepared this report because he had a very clear agenda in mind in
10 preparing it. This is why it's clear that he did not take into account
11 any of the prisoners - any prisoners - in this case that he knew to be in
12 VRS custody. He said it, and General Tolimir demonstrated that he was
13 aware that there were prisoners in VRS custody in the report. But as a
14 question of comparing the totals of the population before the fall of
15 Srebrenica and after the fall of Srebrenica, somehow that figure, however
16 it is that he came to know about it, managed to be excluded from his
17 result. And then he reached the conclusion, therefore, that not but a
18 few hundred people could have been the potential victims of this crime,
19 when he's listed over 4.000, as alleged in the indictment, in the very
20 beginning of his paper, and he has failed to account for all of the
21 prisoners, as I demonstrated during the cross-examination, in terms of
22 tallying the total of that population.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Vanderpuye, slow down, please.
24 MR. VANDERPUYE: By engaging in a pattern of systematically
25 excluding relevant evidence to determine the issue which was the subject
1 matter of that report, he has rendered that report utterly worthless and
2 unreliable as expert evidence in this -- before this Tribunal. As any
3 evidence before this Tribunal.
4 Rule 89 requires that evidence meet the minimum threshold of
5 reliability before it's even admissible. In this case you have clear
6 evidence that the conclusions that Mr. Skrbic arrived at, he arrived at
7 as part of a carefully designed methodology to substantiate conclusions
8 that he knew were in conflict with the evidence that he had at his
9 disposal, which is the evidence of prisoners - and thousands of them, by
10 the way - in VRS custody.
11 I would suggest that to the extent that the Trial Chamber may be
12 inclined to receive his report in evidence in this case, it should not be
13 received as expert evidence because it doesn't fall within the definition
14 of the rules regarding the same. And, frankly, to the extent that it
15 comes in at all, it should be to put in context his inexpert analysis,
16 his bias, the length to which he will go to manipulate the information he
17 has to achieve a given result, and put in context the rest of his
18 testimony in this case. But for no other purpose.
19 To be frank, Mr. President and Your Honours, Mr. Skrbic's
20 population report that has been offered by General Tolimir in this case
21 should not have the imprimatur of this Tribunal. It's an affront,
22 frankly. It's an affront to the victims of these crimes and it's an
23 affront to the integrity of these proceedings.
24 On that basis, we respectfully request that it be excluded.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
1 Mr. Tolimir, do you intend to respond?
2 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Please.
3 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I am not sure if we have enough time to finish
4 this before the break, because we are now 15 minutes beyond the break
5 time. We will ask the Court Officer.
6 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
7 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, if you can put that, your position,
8 on the table -- on the record in two minutes or three minutes, because we
9 have only five minutes left and we have to decide if we will release the
11 First Judge Nyambe.
12 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you. Just a clarification for
13 Mr. Vanderpuye.
14 You are saying on that basis, with respect to the request that it
15 be excluded, you want it to be excluded as an expert report or you want
16 it to be excluded completely? Thank you.
17 MR. VANDERPUYE: Thank you, Your Honour. I want it to be
18 excluded completely. And to the extent that the Trial Chamber may be
19 inclined to admit it, I would suggest that it not be admitted on the
20 basis as an expert report, certainly, and on the basis to place in
21 context, as I mentioned before, his bias, his inexpertness, so the
22 Trial Chamber can evaluate the rest of his testimony, if it's admitted at
23 all. But I would submit that it shouldn't be admitted at all.
24 JUDGE NYAMBE: Thank you very much for your answer.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Do the parties think that the witness can be of
1 any assistance further, or should we release him?
2 MR. VANDERPUYE: Mr. President, I don't think he can be of
3 further assistance.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir.
5 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we don't mind him
6 being released. We will just present our position just like
7 Mr. Vanderpuye did, but we will do it after the break.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Indeed. We should do that after the break. One
9 moment, please.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: The witness should be released now. And we must
12 have our second break. I would like to ask Mr. Tolimir if that is a good
13 idea to release the next witness, too, and to commence the examination of
14 that witness tomorrow morning. What do you think, after this lengthy
15 day, what is your position?
16 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] I think that that would be the most
17 appropriate attitude towards the witness. He's been here all day, he's
18 been waiting. He must be tired, himself, so he should be released. And
19 the same happened yesterday and then again today. Thank you.
20 JUDGE FLUEGGE: We will do that in that way.
21 We must have our break now. We will come back perhaps in
22 20 minutes, 6.25, and then we want to hear from you, your position in
23 relation to these expert reports. And after that we will adjourn and
24 take all these arguments into consideration.
25 We adjourn and resume 5 minutes -- 25 minutes before -- I am
1 tired, too. 25 minutes past 6.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 6.03 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 6.26 p.m.
4 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, you have the floor to tell us your
5 position in relation to these reports.
6 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 Mr. President, as far as the motives are concerned: Although the
8 report is based on the paper and the book - as pointed out by the
9 Prosecutor - it does not diminish its significance. It means that he
10 spent some time analysing this problem. Secondly, the witness has
11 studied military documents that pertains to the movement of survivors and
12 he derived an answer based on that, or, rather, a calculation, without
13 denying the crimes. Thirdly, this kind of analysis indicates what one
14 should focus upon when analysing the problems relating to Srebrenica
15 during the war.
16 The fact that the witness did not rely on documents relating to
17 prisoners and executions does not diminish the value of his analysis
18 because the purpose of this analysis was not to show how many people died
19 and whether the proposition about the 7.000 or more victims are
20 sustainable. During his education, the witness studied the methodology
21 of establishing the number of losses in a war. He doesn't have to attend
22 civilian schools to be able to do that. Therefore, he is educated and
23 skilled enough to produce an analysis that demonstrates military losses.
24 The fact that the OTP does not accept his report cannot be the
25 reason for it not being admitted into evidence. It is up to the
1 Trial Chamber, when the time comes, to evaluate its reliability and to
2 what extent the Chamber can rely upon it when rendering its judgement and
3 ruling. We are not talking about the entire analysis of those who were
4 killed or executed after the fall of Srebrenica. This is a partial
5 analysis that deserves to be taken into consideration.
6 With regard to what was said about this witness being biased, I
7 would like to say that he said, "I do not deny that crimes were
8 comitted," and he expressed his views without proffering any conclusions
9 about the number of those who were killed or executed. He also
10 underlined that he did not take into account a single fact that was not
11 established and confirmed by relevant organs and institutions as being in
12 the public domain and true. This particularly refers to the list of
13 survivors published after the fall of Srebrenica, and that was the
14 subject of his analysis.
15 Anyway, all the answers and all the questions boil down to how
16 many people survived. If you know how many people survived, then you
17 know who the killers are.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: then you know the
19 number of the losses.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The
21 Defence would just like to add that this witness cannot be qualified as
22 being biased because he relied on the document of the Army of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina and the United Nations and he did not use at all any
24 documents from the Army of Republika Srpska and the RSK.
25 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much.
1 [Trial Chamber confers]
2 JUDGE FLUEGGE: First of all, the Chamber noted that the
3 Prosecution didn't object to the admission of the report in relation to
4 military areas. This is D366 and D367 under seal. This report and two
5 versions will be received as exhibits.
6 In relation to the other report, "Movement of the Population of
7 Srebrenica," we have heard substantial submissions by both parties. Many
8 arguments were put to the Chamber. The Chamber would like to take the
9 liberty of considering all what was put to the Chamber, and we will
10 postpone a decision. We have in mind to deliver a decision on that
11 during our housekeeping session next Tuesday so that we can give you,
12 then, our response to that.
13 In my view, this concludes the hearing of today. We adjourn.
14 And we will resume tomorrow morning at 9.00 in this courtroom to hear the
15 last witness.
16 We adjourn.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.36 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 15th day
19 of February, 2012, at 9.00 a.m.