1 Thursday, 23 August 2012
2 [Defence Closing Statement]
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Good afternoon to everybody in the courtroom.
7 Mr. Registrar, would you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case
9 number IT-05-88/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Zdravko Tolimir. Thank you.
10 JUDGE FLUEGGE: This is the last day of our proceedings before we
11 come to the final session at the end of the year hopefully.
12 Mr. Tolimir, again, if there's any need to have a break then you
13 should indicate that to the Chamber. Today we start with the remainder
14 of the closing arguments of the Defence for 15 minutes, followed by
15 rebuttal arguments, and then possibly rejoinder arguments by the Defence
16 and then some administrative matters.
17 Mr. Tolimir, you have the floor and I hope you are able to stick
18 to the 15 minutes, but before you start did the interpreters and the
19 court reporter receive hard copies of the statement you are now
20 delivering? I see Mr. Gajic nodding. I take it that this is the case.
21 Mr. Tolimir, you have the floor.
22 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. The remainder will be
23 quite brief and we'll be able to deliver within the given time. Thank
25 Let me resume that the commander could issue orders directly to
1 all the members of the Main Staff is clearly confirmed by the situation
2 described by Keserovic at transcript pages 13925 to 13928, where he
3 received the order related to Srebrenica directly from commander -- from
4 the commander. At page 13956 Keserovic clearly said that he was supposed
5 to submit the report or to report, in fact, directly to the commander.
6 D143 clearly indicates how they were deployed to the combat area,
7 and I mean the senior officers from the intelligence and security,
8 Keserovic from the security administration, and Stankovic from the
9 intelligence administration. So you can clearly see that Tolimir could
10 not directly deploy anyone to the combat area or issue orders to them,
11 and that's quite clear if you look at the situation with regard to all
12 the other officers who were deployed to the front line. It's therefore
13 an erroneous conclusion, one, that Tolimir could issue orders where
14 there's an operation in course. Only the commander of that operation can
15 issue orders to those involved; otherwise, the system of command and
16 singleness of command would fall apart.
17 In their final brief, the Prosecution said that Tolimir had the
18 duty to ensure that the prisoners of war from Srebrenica were treated in
19 a humane manner. First of all, when it comes to prisoners of war, in
20 Srebrenica Tolimir had no duties whatsoever, either in terms of detaining
21 them, accommodating them, or their treatment. The obligation to adhere
22 to the rules of the Geneva Conventions relating to the treatment of war
23 prisoners was incumbent upon the unit that detained those war prisoners
24 or under whose authority they were kept. Tolimir did not have the duty
25 nor was it his duty to tour the prisoners of war from Srebrenica or to
1 take care of each and every one of them president. From the 12th of July
2 through to the end of July, Tolimir had duties that had to do with the
3 civilian population and the authorities in Zepa.
4 The responsibility over prisoners of war was vested with the unit
5 that detained them or the unit that they had surrendered to, and this is
6 clearly indicated in Exhibit D148, item 295, which states that the
7 logistics support of war prisoners is one that is provided by logistics
8 organs and other organs of the unit or units that have detained them.
9 The security and intelligence administration had no jurisdiction at all
10 or authority to in any way take care of the prisoners of war. The
11 closing arguments of the Prosecution clearly stated, and I quote, that:
12 "Tolimir was in command of and oversaw people who detained and
13 killed Palic."
14 Tolimir was on the western front at the time and Witness Pecanac,
15 the witness of the Prosecution, clearly listed the names of the
16 individuals before this Trial Chamber who were the ones that he was in
17 contact with before Palic's surrender and detention.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Tolimir, please read a little bit more
19 slowly. This is a very high speed. Continue, please.
20 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir.
21 Let me repeat, Mr. Pecanac clearly listed the names of these
22 individuals. Since this was in closed session, I cannot refer to them
23 now. Nevertheless, Tolimir was not mentioned in his report at all nor
24 was Tolimir in that part of the front. He was in the western-most part
25 of the front where an aggression against Republika Srpska was ongoing by
1 NATO, the Croatian Army, and the army of the BH Federation.
2 Since the Prosecution do not have and cannot possibly have any
3 evidence to the effect that Tolimir participated in the murder operation
4 of the war prisoners of Srebrenica, the Prosecution advance a case
5 whereby Tolimir committed a crime by not having or by having failed to
6 take certain measures. And they do so by advancing an unsubstantiated
7 assertion whereby Tolimir decided not to do anything because he was a
8 member of the joint criminal enterprise. And the Prosecution base this
9 case of theirs on the fact that Tolimir was assistant commander for
10 intelligence and security in the Main Staff of the VRS. This sort of
11 case is completely speculative, arbitrary, and without foundation in
13 First of all, the Prosecution can have no evidence possibly of
14 the fact that Tolimir knew that a murder operation was ongoing in the
15 relevant time-period or that he decided by his own will or in the absence
16 of his own will to participate in it. He cannot participate in something
17 he knows nothing of. Yesterday we spoke of the role of Tolimir during
18 the evacuation of the population of Zepa. Tolimir was part of the escort
19 of the convoy. And Witness Carkic testified to his conduct in Zepa in
20 his statement given to the Prosecution, namely, Exhibit D219
21 [as interpreted], page 19 in Serbian and 13 in English; as well as page
22 21 in Serbian and 14 in English.
23 Let me cite only one sentence here out of his statement, which
24 reads that "on the part of Tolimir," and I quote:
25 "There had been no orders save for him insisting that nothing
1 should happen."
2 As for Tolimir's treatment of the prisoners of war and the
3 instructions issued in relation to the treatment of the prisoners of war
4 and as well as the way in which he responded to the evacuation in terms
5 of what needed to have been done or not can be gleaned from
6 Exhibit P1434, pages 3 and 4 in Serbian and pages 5 and 6 in English.
7 The Prosecution moved that the Trial Chamber should find the
8 accused guilty and to render a life -- a sentence of life imprisonment.
9 The Prosecution based their case on the assumption that Tolimir was -- on
10 an assumption that relies upon the fact that Tolimir was assistant
11 commander for intelligence and security. Now, this request on the part
12 of the Prosecution is based on the fact that Tolimir was Mladic's
13 subordinate and received an order to kill the population in Srebrenica.
14 Let me repeat that Tolimir had never received any sort of order from
15 General Mladic or Karadzic or anyone else with relation to the killing of
16 the prisoners of war. Something that has never happened cannot possibly
17 be proven to have happened, either in this world or in heaven, either
18 before worldly courts or heavenly courts.
19 The Defence suggests that the Trial Chamber should render an
20 acquittal on all the counts of the indictment because the Prosecution
21 failed to prove that Tolimir had committed any of the crimes against him,
22 as alleged in the third amended indictment, in the relevant period. And
23 of course the Trial Chamber seized of this case will render its
24 judgement. All the other submissions by the Prosecution that Tolimir
25 should have launched an investigation or make sure that there was
1 punishment following was also without foundation because where is this
2 evidence that you were allegedly presented with where Tolimir would have
3 been present. As of the end of the month of July he was engaged in
4 Western Bosnia.
5 Furthermore, Tolimir was not charged under 7(3) of the Statute of
6 the Tribunal under command responsibility -- or he was charged under
7 Article 7(1) of the Statute of the Tribunal.
8 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Mr. Gajic, you should switch off the microphone
9 when you have a private conversation.
10 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Gajic has just
11 alerted me to the fact that Carkic's statement was misrecorded in the
12 transcript. It's D217. That was his intervention and I apologise for
13 not having switched off the microphone.
14 Thank you, Mr. President. That is all I had to say in the time
15 that I had on my disposal. I thank the interpreters and everyone else,
16 and I do apologise for the impediments that I objectively have when I
17 speak. Thank you.
18 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir. This indeed
19 concludes your closing arguments.
20 I give the floor now to Mr. McCloskey for his rebuttal.
21 You have the floor for 30 minutes.
22 MR. McCLOSKEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Yesterday General Tolimir stated that the
24 10th Sabotage Detachment 23 June attack on the tunnel did not fall within
25 the indictment, and this is not true. An attack against a civilian
1 population -- against the civilian population began with directive 7 in
2 March. And as the Court is aware, an attack does not have to involve
3 armed conflict or combat against the population; it can involve starving
4 and making life unbearable, shelling, and sniping. You'll see this in
5 the Kunarac appeals judgement at paragraph 86.
6 Our indictment does set out shelling and sniping in paragraphs 38
7 and 60 and Tolimir's responsibility in that regard. Shoulder-fired
8 rockets that were clearly used in the sabotage attack on Srebrenica can
9 be sniping or shelling, the size of those is subjective. This incident
10 has been part of the history and the record of this case for a long time
11 and it can be no surprise.
12 He also stated that the 10th Sabotage Unit fell under the command
13 of General Mladic and was not controlled by the intel or security sector.
14 We of course established early on that this was a Main Staff unit under
15 the command of Mladic, but we also established early on that of course
16 General Mladic, as commander of the Main Staff, did not have the time nor
17 was it his job to control specifics of an individual unit like this. And
18 we know very clearly from Salapura, Colonel Salapura, the chief of the
19 intel of the Main Staff, that it was the intel's department, Tolimir's
20 unit, that controlled and dealt with the 10th Sabotage Unit. Why the
21 General ignored his basic truth and his former subordinate, I don't know.
22 He doesn't explain it in any way. But that's clear as a bell.
23 He also finally brings up Colonel Beara after mentioning in his
24 brief that Beara was irrelevant to this case, finally says that Beara was
25 not resubordinated or that he was resubordinated to the Drina Corps along
1 with Colonel Jankovic. Now, we have heard the argument that
2 Colonel Jankovic was resubordinated to the Drina Corps and it's dealt
3 with in the brief and I've gone over quite a bit of the information and
4 evidence relating to that, his reports to the Main Staff, the
5 Main Staff's directions down to him, the intercepts, the documents. It's
6 very clear that Jankovic is not resubordinated, that he is reporting up
7 to in dealing with the Main Staff. Look to Momir Nikolic's testimony on
8 that as well.
9 Colonel Beara being resubordinated, the second-highest-ranking
10 and senior officer in the Main Staff intel and security section - in fact
11 the top security officer - it's inconceivable that they would put him as
12 a colonel under the Drina Corps, especially with the few officers they
13 had. The fact that General Tolimir was very busy with lots of things
14 and, again, if we go through the documents, the reports, they are
15 constantly being referred to, to call up 155, panorama on the key days,
16 14 and 15 July. It is clear he is not resubordinated to the Drina Corps.
17 But I'm not going to go into the detail on that. I think it's in
18 the brief and you know that, and it's also not essential to the criminal
19 responsibility in this case because, as you're aware, we have spent a lot
20 of time showing the responsibilities of General Tolimir as the chief of
21 the sector for intel and security. He is the top person that's
22 responsible for the professional supervision of the security branches in
23 the areas of which he and they are experts, whether they are under his
24 command or not, as long as they are involved in matters related to the
25 expertise of the security branch. And as you've learned, he has that
1 responsibility from the brigades all the way through the corps to the
2 Main Staff. This is his responsibility.
3 Now, I'll touch briefly just on what the responsibility is
4 related to the crime of this case because we have a nice statement from
5 General Milovanovic, who in an answer to describing the situation, this
6 is what he said at 14243 to 14244.
7 "The other administration under Tolimir's, administration or
8 command, was the security administration headed by Colonel Beara and
9 their task was to make sure that the military information at the disposal
10 of the Republika Srpska and about the Republika Srpska army would not
11 leak to the enemy."
12 That's one thing. We've referred to that as the chief secret
14 "This was something done in a passive manner, so to speak, that's
15 at least how I understood it. But part of the active part of these
16 duties was interrogating prisoners of war, securing them by using
17 military police and the such."
18 So there, out of General Milovanovic, is the crux of his
19 responsibility that is relevant to this case and it's important to
20 understand that.
21 Now, I also want to give you the guts of what it was to
22 professionally supervise his -- not only his own people, but his
23 subordinate branches. And I'll cite two exhibits that were put in by
24 General Tolimir. They are from the former Yugoslavia. The first is
25 D00202, and I'll just read the brief section. This is from Article 29,
1 item 9:
2 "The security organ is responsible for ..."
3 And number 9:
4 "Expertly directing security organs and the military police in
5 the corps command and the units and other JNA units in the zone of
7 And here are the key words:
8 "Organising, directing, and co-ordinating their activities,
9 providing assistance and controlling their work."
10 So that's just one rule. Let me go to the next rule he cites.
11 D00203 from chapter 2, item 18, this is from 1984 rule, the other was
12 from a 1990 rule:
13 "The security organs provide specialist administrative services
14 for security organs in subordinate commands, units, institutions, and
15 staffs of the armed forces, provide assistance to these organs," and
16 again, "organise, direct, co-ordinate, and supervise their work."
17 He wants to say he's in Zepa and has no contact or any dealings
18 with his people or his subordinate security branch; not true. He retains
19 professional supervision over them, so even if Beara or his other people
20 are, for some reason, resubordinated to the corps, he retains
21 professional responsibility over them. It's either that or command
22 responsibility over them. And this is his job. There's one word that's
23 left out of the professional supervision and related to his job, and that
24 is the word you have heard that assistant commanders are also responsible
25 for the implementation of orders of their commander along the expert
1 lines that have to do with that order. In fact, one witness referred to
2 it as experts in implementation, and as assistant commander for intel and
3 security sector he was an expert in implementation through his staff and
4 through the security branches of the VRS. He doesn't need to receive the
5 order himself, he doesn't -- it doesn't even need to go through him.
6 Once there is an order out there that has the responsibility of the
7 security branches, especially Colonel Beara, Salapura, and others, he in
8 his position is responsible to implement it along with all the other
9 words: Organise, supervise, monitor. These are the black-letter law of
10 his responsibility that he is well aware of and he can't just shirk them
11 off by saying he's gone to Zepa.
12 Let me go to General Tolimir's questioning of General Skrbic on
13 this very point on the 30th of January, 2012, on page 18555 and
14 Mr. Tolimir asked this question. And you remember Skrbic was an
15 assistant commander, I believe, for personnel affairs:
16 "Q. Did assistant commanders control the business in their
17 sectors in accordance with the commander's decisions or are they entitled
18 to change it? Thank you.
19 "A. They cannot change it but they -- actually what they cannot
20 change is the commander's order, whereas a decision is part of an order.
21 "Q. Thank you. Let me repeat my question. Can they change the
22 commander's decision or order? Thank you.
23 "A. They cannot change either.
24 "Q. Thank you. Can they control the business or task in order
25 to achieve what the commander ordered? Thank you.
1 "A. They are experts for the implementation of the commander's
2 order and decision in the best possible way."
3 So here is General Skrbic telling us precisely what the
4 regulations say. So put that into his professional responsibility, put
5 that into his responsibility as an assistant commander, they apply to
6 wherever he is on duty, and they are his responsibilities, none of which
7 he has been able to explain away to you. These are the rules he lived
8 by, his career, has grown up with, and he cannot shirk them at this
10 One of the best examples of General Tolimir professionally
11 supervising the security branches and the personnel, I've gone over at
12 length the documents of the 12th and the 13th and those proposals and
13 even orders to various people for lists and to make proposals to
14 commanders and others. But I want to take you to the 16th of July,
15 because here - as the General just mentioned - we have an order from
16 General Mladic to Keserovic to take over command of a sweep operation
17 which is a combat task. And where does General Tolimir fit into this?
18 Well, he's present at the time and he advises Keserovic about it. He
19 even, according to Keserovic, speaks to Mladic about it and then gets
20 back and speaks to Keserovic. But the key point to remember is he
21 provides, Tolimir provides, directions to Keserovic to pass on to
22 Jankovic regarding what Jankovic is doing in Bratunac. Keserovic will
23 admit he's being directed to deal with the wounded Muslims, but these are
24 prisoners. Of course they're prisoners issues. They're the prisoners in
25 Bratunac. His subordinate and professional line is dealing with them.
1 He passes on directions to Keserovic to deal with it. So on the evening
2 of the 16th of July, General Tolimir is at Crna Rijeka doing his job;
3 he's professionally supervising the work of Jankovic. He also provides
4 Keserovic information about the whereabouts of Colonel Beara. I'm sure
5 he provided him more than the whereabouts, but that's what Keserovic was
6 able to tell us before he shut his mouth. So this is one of the
7 excellent examples of professional supervision and implementation. And
8 the implementation of the order that Mladic gave to Keserovic, this -- as
9 you know, a sweep operation, it involved taking prisoners and it did in
10 this case.
11 A Witness PW-52 who was a commander of the RS MUP that was
12 working under the command of the army is -- his testimony is in this case
13 and he talked about that sweep operation and that they took approximately
14 up to 200 prisoners, 17 July, 200 prisoners. There's no record of those
15 folks beside that we do know they did a sweep operation and took 200
16 prisoners. So this would be an issue for the security branches. And
17 indeed, you remember the intercept that related to Keserovic. It was
18 Keserovic -- has he seen Momir Nikolic on the morning of the 17th? So
19 Keserovic is dealing with Momir Nikolic. We don't know about what, but a
20 sweep operation in the middle of a murder operation that ends up with
21 capturing prisoners, it's not hard to guess. And we also know from the
22 17th, 18th, 19th of July that Jankovic was looking to Toso, to Tolimir,
23 to help decide what to do with the MSF workers. So he's clearly on duty,
24 in charge, doing his job the 16th. He's advised -- he's the person
25 they're looking to to advise on what to do with prisoners on the 17th and
1 18th. Look to the Keserovic letter -- excuse me, the Keserovic testimony
2 and order to see Tolimir at work. It's amazing Keserovic gave us as much
3 as he did, but he did and he exposes the fallacy in what the General's
4 been saying.
5 Now, getting to what I felt was two watershed moments yesterday,
6 and the first is the General got to his proposal in the late evening of
7 13 July to bring 800 Muslims secretly to Sjemec, to this farm. And that
8 he was only, he told you, concerned about their adequate care and knew
9 nothing about the murder operation. Reminder, the Luke school victims
10 who had been systematically taken off the buses right before crossing to
11 Kladanj were murdered the night of the 13th. The Jadar victims had been
12 killed, the 15 people, that morning. The Kravica warehouse had a
13 thousand people dead. The controversy over where to send the prisoners
14 was in full swing; eventually Zvornik was the decision. I won't go over
15 that again.
16 And where were the top people in his life? Mladic that day, on
17 the 13th, was in Srebrenica, going up and down Kravica, Konjevic Polje a
18 good part of the day; Beara was in Bratunac walking to the schools in
19 Bratunac with the Celanovic, the lawyer, sent Nikolic to Zvornik to deal
20 with prisoners; Salapura was in Nova Kasaba, we know that, at 10.15 a.m.
21 from an intercept where he was dealing with prisoners, then he was, on
22 his own admission, in Srebrenica with Mladic. We see him on the video to
23 that effect; Jankovic on the 13th is in Potocari. He's directing
24 Bratunac MP to count the separated prisoners, clearly engaged in the
25 organisation and implementation of the murder operation; Popovic is in
1 Bratunac going along the road Kravica-Konjevic Polje, and I won't remind
2 you what the various brigade security officers are doing. That's very
3 clear. We know that Tolimir is in communication because he receives
4 information about the thousands of prisoners, the subject of his
5 proposal. Is it really imaginable that the person that is the most
6 well-informed of the VRS was working within the Drina Corps zone of
7 responsibility is actively receiving top-secret information about
8 prisoners, that many dead people and that that many of his people that
9 are on the ground at work that he, in the evening of the 13th of July,
10 doesn't know about the operation? Impossible.
11 His explanation for the meaning of the document really was
12 exposed yesterday because he says he's trying to just look at these
13 folks, but he never explained the agricultural work, the lack of
14 agricultural work, that was clearly set out by an officer who again was
15 no friend of ours. And also, if he was really concerned about their
16 care, their -- adequately housing them in the Rogatica area, why didn't
17 he recommend the Rogatica prison, Rasadnik. You remember seeing that
18 area? It was a large area, a lot of buildings. It was an ongoing
19 prison. They put 40, 50 people there right after Zepa. That was a place
20 that could have handled people, was ready to go. It wasn't out in the
21 middle of nowhere, as a massive pig farm that looked more like Kravica
22 than Kravica. It was already a prison.
23 We also know that not far away in Foca the Srbinje prison.
24 Tolimir Exhibit 2256 14 August document, Beara communicates to Tolimir
25 that this prison can handle up to a thousand folks. The problem with
1 these prisons, as you know, in Rogatica is the ICRC visited that prison
2 and the thousand prisoners from Serbia had already been registered by the
3 ICRC which is in the record. So General Tolimir picked this
4 out-of-the-way place that he clearly learned about from Carkic in order
5 to bring people down and kill them. Had he wanted to care for them, he
6 had the places right in his back yard. Prisoners of war shall be treated
7 humanely. In particular, they must be protected against violence,
8 insults, and intimidation. This is P02482, Article 210, SFRY regs.
9 He knows. He knows his job. Finally, the untruth from yesterday
10 that shook me to my very insides was when he finally responded to
11 Todorovic's testimony, the chief of the security branch of the
12 East Bosnia Corps. When Todorovic testified he was contacted by Tolimir,
13 perhaps in person, and told to arrange for a thousand to 1200 prisoners
14 at Batkovic and most essentially within 24 hours, soon thereafter, 48,
15 maybe three days according to his statement, please look at the statement
16 that's part of this case. It's the complete statement. It's an
17 interview transcribed from 2007, I believe. What does he say about that
18 critical evidence? Almost nothing. He says he's not reliable, he's just
19 not reliable. And that's all he says.
20 We looked at the record to see if General Tolimir challenged the
21 reliability of this witness when he testified, a witness who was clearly
22 not our friend. And as you remember when he testified, he stretched
23 those days beyond three into four and even five perhaps. And we found at
24 20 April 2011 this question by General Tolimir about Todorovic's
25 interview with the Prosecution when he provided these key details and
1 Tolimir asks this:
2 "Q. When providing this interview, did you always repeatedly say
3 that you were uncertain about the time precisely? Because a lot of
4 time's elapsed and that you cannot be specific as to the date?
5 "A. Yes.
6 "Q. Is there a possibility that later on when questions were put
7 to you and insistence placed on confirming something you cannot recall
8 you made certain changes to the original interview you provided in
10 "A. Partially yes, but the gist of my original statement remains
12 Look at Todorovic's testimony. Look at his statement, solid as a
13 rock. He is no friend of the Prosecution's, he is the friend of
14 Tolimir's, but he was honest enough several years ago to provide the
15 details that Tolimir cannot live with. Now, is there support? He does
16 say that he's not sure about the date. It's after the fall of
17 Srebrenica. There's only one fall of Srebrenica where the VRS enters
18 Srebrenica and takes prisoners. It's nothing that anyone could confuse
19 with any other date. But what about dates? Can we get closer to it?
20 Well, the answer is: Yes, we can. Do you remember General Tolimir's
21 driver Mile Micic? And he testified on this point. He testified he
22 drove to -- drove up to the East Bosnia Corps and took General Tolimir to
23 the offices of the East Bosnia Corps security. You may remember he said
24 he was absolutely sure it happened on 12 July. He wasn't sure of a lot,
25 this witness, he was Tolimir's driver and friend, but one thing he was
1 absolutely sure was 12 of July.
2 Do you remember why he was so sure it was 12 July? It's because
3 12 July, as it is every year, was his name saint's day, St. Peter,
4 St. Peter. There is poetic justice.
5 Thank you. Nothing further.
6 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. McCloskey.
7 Mr. Tolimir, do you intend to respond to that? You have the
8 opportunity to do that in 30 minutes, up to 30 minutes, if you wish so.
9 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Certainly I wish to respond. I wish to say a few words.
11 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Yes, do so.
12 THE ACCUSED: [Interpretation] Since I don't have time for
13 preparation, I'll start with last things first, with the last
14 Prosecutor's allegation. The Prosecutor alleges that Todorovic remembers
15 everything. I, on the other hand, remember and you remember that
16 Todorovic didn't even remember that he was with me on the 12th. How come
17 he could not remember that I was with him on the 12th and he still
18 remembers other dates when I told him something. He, himself, told us
19 that he changed his statement after the conversation with the Prosecutor.
20 He, himself, stated that he had thought that he had seen the 23 -- the
21 document that was signed by Milovanovic in 1993 concerning prisoners of
22 war, but he could not remember when the document was drafted. And all of
23 a sudden he remembered in 2007 what had happened. After ten years he
24 remembered. That's why I maintain that his statement is ambiguous, that
25 it leaves a lot to be desired. You can interpret it any way you want.
1 This is the first thing that I wanted to mention.
2 Secondly, Todorovic stated to the Prosecutor that he made a
3 contact with Tolimir. How did he do that? Is there any proof to the
4 fact how he made the contact with Tolimir? Nobody could contact Tolimir
5 because there was no telephones in Zepa. There was no telephone
6 connection between the Main Staff and the check-point which was between
7 the two firing lines of UNPROFOR on the hilltop called Boksanica. I
8 wanted to say in my closing argument that there was a telephone there,
9 but there was only a telephone line which reached not further than the
10 check-point of UNPROFOR from the forward command post. And nobody could
11 use it to call anybody else but the brigade because there was no
12 switchboard there.
13 No information was sent to the forward line, to Tolimir, about
14 what was being done in his area of responsibility because he had
15 substitutes, officers who replaced him when he was not there. This is
16 common practice, when the officer in charge is absent there are other
17 people who stand-in for him.
18 Second of all, the Prosecutor just claimed that I was looking for
19 accommodation for prisoners of war; no, that's not true. I only offered
20 them a possibility. I told them, there is a possibility of
21 accommodation. I was not the one actively looking for accommodation. I
22 was not in charge of that. It was erroneously interpreted that I was in
23 charge of the accommodation. That's not true. I only told them where
24 there was accommodation available, and that accommodation was not in a
25 prison. It was accommodation in agricultural facility. Carkic testified
1 about that. A unit of the brigade was billeted there before that. So
2 these premises were not prison premises.
3 The Prosecutor alleged that Jankovic was in charge of POWs.
4 Jankovic was in charge of contacts with UNPROFOR and international
5 organisations. Medecins sans Frontier and UNPROFOR were in charge of
6 transferring prisoners of war to the locations where they wanted to
7 transfer them to and they were in constant communication with Jankovic
8 about that. Tolimir could only advise him what to do when he received
9 that document. That's why Djurdjic told me on the 16th that Tolimir
10 would arrive. Salapura himself testified that he could not get in touch
11 with Tolimir all the time while he was in the Main Staff. Todorovic also
12 from the Eastern Bosnia Corps could not do that and neither could
13 Salapura from the Main Staff.
14 In professional terms, professional guidance, and professional
15 management does not concern the crimes charged that Mr. McCloskey spoke
16 about when he cited the rules in D0020 [as interpreted] and D00203.
17 When it comes to professionalism and professional guidance, the
18 security organ guides professionally his own officers as to how to apply
19 methods of work concerning the work of security organs. This is not
20 about command. That person is the only one trained for applying covert
21 methods of work like intercepting conversations and other methods that
22 are used in civilian life as well as in military, searching premises and
23 other things. These are not command duties and tasks. What I'm trying
24 to say is that Tolimir could not supervise anybody who command sent on a
25 mission like he did Keserovic and Stanko who were organs in my
2 Furthermore, the Prosecutor has just stated that my organs were
3 in charge of supervising the military police. We've heard several
4 witnesses who have repeatedly testified that the military police were
5 always subordinated to the commander, not to the security organ. The
6 security organ can only propose their use, and that's where his duty
7 stops. The commanders are those who supervise the implementation of
8 their tasks and orders, not the security organs.
9 Furthermore, when it comes to the attack in the tunnel,
10 Mr. Salapura testified about that and he said that nobody, no civilians
11 were targeted or attacked. The tunnel did not involve the civilian
12 population. It was just a demonstration of force about the possibility
13 of entering Srebrenica through a tunnel that had been -- had not been in
14 use for years. It was a diversionary action. It was not an attack
15 against the civilian population. Mr. Salapura was shown a document
16 drafted by Ramiz Becirovic from the 28th Division. He reported to
17 Naser Oric that nobody had been killed, and Naser Oric was his commander,
18 he was his deputy, and that's why he reported to his superior, to his
20 These are more or less my replies to what the Prosecutor has
21 stated in rebuttal. I thank you. I apologise to everybody. I apologise
22 to the Prosecutor, but I had to highlight those things which are not
23 objectively true. I will never say a lie because I'm not only
24 responsible before this Trial Chamber. We will all be judged by our
25 savior one day. I prefer to be found guilty here, but to be found guilty
1 before my savior. That's why I apologise to you and I apologise to the
2 Prosecutor for having alerted him to the fact that the allegations were
3 incorrect and they erroneously represented the place where I was during
4 the incriminated events. Where I come from, there is a saying that you
5 shouldn't tell lies and falsely accuse anybody without any arguments. I
6 cannot speak about the things that I don't know, but I can tell you what
7 I do know and I'm telling the truth. I apologise to everybody. To the
8 interpreters, I apologise for having spoken very fast and for my poor
9 articulation and other impediments. I wish you all God's blessings. May
10 Godspeed be with all of you when you perform your duties in keeping with
11 God's will. Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much, Mr. Tolimir. I have to say
13 there's no need for apologies. You are permitted to present your
14 arguments, as is the Prosecution, and in fact it was your duty as part of
15 the Defence to present all your thoughts and arguments.
16 We are at the end of the closing arguments, but there are two
17 remaining issues I have to raise. One is a translation issue. The last
18 couple of days there was informal communication between the parties and
19 the Chamber about one document where there is some doubt about the
20 accuracy of the translation, which seems to be quite important. We
21 listened very carefully to your oral submissions two days ago,
22 Mr. McCloskey. I just would like to remind you, it's your duty to
23 clarify that with CLSS and please inform the opposing party and the
24 Chamber about any achievements you were able to make.
25 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, Ms. Stewart was able to do that today and we
1 should hear. It's of course something she's done frequently and we
2 expect to have that fixed very soon. I've spoken to Mr. Gajic about it.
3 We all agree. CLSS is exactly correct and tried to make my submissions
4 reflect that as much as possible.
5 JUDGE FLUEGGE: I noticed that, but it is also important for the
6 final briefs and the document itself and for the judgement, of course.
7 We all to have, it's especially now for the Chamber, to review the
8 evidence presented to the Chamber in the last two years and of course the
9 final briefs and the oral submissions we have listened to this week.
10 One final thing we have to discuss briefly, I got a list of I
11 think 15 documents we have to clarify just briefly. The parties have
12 gotten information from the Chamber that we have to deal with that today,
13 as it is the last day of our hearings before the judgement. I go through
14 the list briefly.
15 D72, we don't need any information from the parties. The
16 Registry should update the surrogate sheet for this document, D72, and
17 change the status to "exhibit."
18 I would like to invite the parties if there's anything you want
19 to raise in relation to a specific document, you should do that.
20 D74, the Defence has uploaded a condensed version with
21 translation. This 26-page version, 1D051349, this shall replace the
22 original version with the number 1D010787.
23 The next document is D76. The Registry should replace the
24 document with a surrogate sheet since it is a duplicate of the
25 Exhibit D16 and the status of the document should be changed to an
2 D234 is the next one. It's also a condensed version and
3 translation uploaded on the 11th of June. The Defence notified the
4 Chamber about this on the 21st of August. We admit the condensed 27-page
5 version. It's document ID 1D061656 and this will replace the original
6 version 1D041697.
7 The next document is D267. Translation is now uploaded on the
8 11th of June and the Chamber was notified on the 21st of June about this.
9 It's no longer MFI'd pending translation, but document D267.
10 The next document is D290. The translation was uploaded on the
11 21st of August. The document is now admitted.
12 The translation for D356 was uploaded on the 27th of February.
13 The Chamber was informed only on the 21st of August. Now the document is
14 admitted as D356.
15 The situation is similar with D360. The translation uploaded on
16 the 27th of February. The Chamber was informed about that on the
17 21st of August. That document is now admitted into evidence.
18 The next document is D363. The translation was uploaded on the
19 same, 27th of February, the Chamber informed on the 21st of August. The
20 document is admitted.
21 The next is D364. The translation was uploaded on the
22 16th of April. The Chamber was informed on the 21st of August. The
23 document is admitted as D364.
24 I turn now to P1000. The Chamber has denied admission by the
25 decision of the 14th of May of this year, but we didn't give any
1 instruction to the Registry how to deal with this. The document should
2 be noted as marked but not admitted pursuant to the decision of the
3 Chamber of 14th of May.
4 I turn now to P1001. The situation is the same. The admission
5 was denied by the 14th of May decision. It will be now marked but not
7 P1369, the translation was uploaded but the Chamber was not
8 informed about that.
9 Mr. McCloskey, can you confirm that the translation has been
11 MR. McCLOSKEY: Yes, I can. According to our research, it has
13 JUDGE FLUEGGE: Thank you very much. The document is now
14 admitted into evidence as P1369.
15 The last document is P1617. The OTP indicated that it would
16 offer this document through bar table motion, but the Prosecution did
17 not. And therefore, we change the status to marked but not admitted.
18 This concludes this matter. Therefore, I would like to come to
19 my last point. On behalf of the Chamber I should like to say a few words
20 of thanks. We are approaching the end of a trial that begun two and a
21 half years ago. We have heard the testimony of 130 witnesses, some of
22 whom have been here for several days. Over 3.000 exhibits have been
23 admitted. Nearly 20.000 pages of transcript were produced. There has
24 been the usual flow of written motions, responses, and decisions. It has
25 been a long and arduous process. Occasionally there have been
1 difficulties, but every person now in this courtroom has contributed in
2 his or her own way to ensuring that this trial has reached the present
3 stage having proceeded relatively smoothly.
4 Let me first thank my fellow Judges, Judge Mindua and
5 Judge Nyambe, for the co-operation of the Chamber.
6 Next I should thank both the Prosecution team and the Defence
7 team for the manner in which they have conducted the proceedings and for
8 their communication. Despite the length of the trial there has been a
9 pleasant but business-like atmosphere in court and very little acrimony.
10 I thank both teams for this and for co-operating well on the whole during
11 the trial, both with each other and with the Chamber.
12 There have been those who assisted the Chamber directly in its
13 work, these are the Judges' assistants and the Tolimir team. This team
14 has fully performed the functions conscientiously and to the best of the
15 abilities and made the task of the Chamber easier. Thank you for that.
16 I should also like to thank the staff of the Registry. First and
17 foremost, the Court Officer, several court ushers, the stenographers, the
18 court reporters, interpreters, and the translators, never in the
19 courtroom but we had to rely on their hard work. The IT staff, we had
20 them quite often at the courtroom when we faced difficulties. And
21 especially the security staff, and I hope very much that the security
22 officer will convey this thanks to all his colleagues.
23 And I think, especially in this case, I would include the staff
24 of the UNDU, including the medical staff of the Detention Unit which
25 assisted in some stages of the trial, especially for Mr. Tolimir.
1 Everyone else in the Registry who has given us assistance at one time or
2 another. The contribution of the Registry staff is sometimes forgotten,
3 but we as a Chamber have been aware of it and have appreciated it very
4 much. Each of the staff has played an essential role in the process that
5 is immensely complicated from a logistical point of view. The Chamber
6 will now be deliberating and the next step will be the issuance of the
7 judgement. We will now adjourn and the day of the delivery of the
8 judgement will be announced at a later stage.
9 We adjourn.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.24 p.m.