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Email: "Boyle, Francis" <FBOYLE@LAW.UIUC.EDU>
Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2000 17:43:48 -0500
Title: Franken testimony before ICTY
Madame Carla Del Ponte
Dear Madame Del Ponte:
It is very clear that
Major Franken admitted under oath that the United Nations authorized and
approved the Serb "evacuation" of Srebrenica, knowing full well what
the consequences would be. Colonel Karremans said the same. These
admissions fully support the Criminal Complaint that the Mothers of Srebrenica
and Podrinja personally filed with you on February 4, 2000 against the United
Nations Officials. I look forward to speaking with you about this matter
again, as you had requested in our previous meeting. And the Mothers of
Srebrenica and Podrinja are still looking forward to your visit to Vogosha, as
you had personally promised them. Yours very truly, Francis A. Boyle
Professor of International Law Counsel for the Mothers of Srebrenica and
Podrinja Francis A. Boyle Law Building 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave. Champaign, IL
61820 USA217-333-7954(voice) 217-244-1478(fax)
Email: Frank Tiggelaar <webmaster@DOMOVINA.NET>
Sent: Sunday, August 06, 2000 7:18 AM
Subj: Franken testimony before ICTY
Dutchbat's Major Franken testimony in the Krstic case before the ICTY (from the
tape's English soundtrack), the following dialogue between Judges Fouad-Riad and
Walt and Major Franken struck me in the light of the criminal charges against
high-ranking Dutch officials which professor Francis Boyle and his team may soon
press on behalf of the Mothers of Srebrenica and Podrinje.
It's now clear beyond
any doubt that the Dutch politicians and army brass who, in the past five years,
denied any prior knowledge of what was going to happen to the people of
Srebrenica were lying. Dutchbat knew, Dutch Army HQ knew, the Dutch government
knew - before the massacre actually happened. It's good there are people like
Francis Boyle who don't give up on this case.
Judge: "[...] First concerning the evacuation [of the Srebrenica 'safe
area' - FT]. You heard Colonel Karremans saying that, I don't remember the
words exactly, that the UN had agreed that this evacuation would be
undertaken by the Serb forces. Is that right?"
Franken: "That's correct, that's what Colonel Karremans told me as well
Judge: "I put this in connection with other affirmations which you said.
You said... considering the history..., that was *you* who was saying that...,
considering the history of the Serb side, not directly in the area of
Srebrenica, but on the whole, I expected the Serb forces to start killing
civilians indiscriminately. In other words, it would be delivering this
Srebrenica people to their butchers. If I put your statement with the decision
to let the Serbs evacuate them."
Franken: "That is correct, Sir. I had those fears."
Judge: "And then what did you call 'evacuation'? Does it mean that all the
people of Srebrenica were meant to leave, to be taken away?"
Franken: "That is correct, as well, Sir."
Judge: "Then there is another word called 'deportation'.
Franken "That is correct but in the stage that I made my...., in that time
frame the word still was 'evacuation' formally, so I used that word as
Judge: "So it was a planned deportation?"
Judge: "But UN-authorized?"
Franken: "That's... that's in fact correct, Sir."
Judge: "And which was given..., to be performed by the Serbs?"
Franken: "That's what I was briefed by Colonel Karremans, that is correct,
Judge: "Now, you also spoke about the de-militarization, and the
de-militarization allowed in fact to take away all the weapons of the civilians
of Srebrenica, of the enclave, but not of the Serbs surrounding the enclave?"
Franken: Yes, that is correct"
Judge: "The Serbs surrounding the enclave were heavily armed?"
Franken: "Yes Sir."
Judge: "And it was supposed to be a deterrent to any future, eh, let's say,
war between them?"
Franken: "Yes our initial mission was to detour any offensive operation
into the enclave, Sir."
Judge: "So by de-militarizing one party completely and leaving another
party stronger and stronger, this is a deterrent?"
Franken: "We had our problems with our mission as well, Sir."
Judge: "And then we speak of your mission: Your mission also was unable to
Franken: "That is correct, Sir."
Judge: "So they are disarmed completely with your mission unable to protect
them, with the Serbs highly militarized, and according to your statement, which
I will not repeat, they would kill civilians?"
Franken: "That is correct, Sir."
Judge: "Now the list of men which you spoke about who were between 16 and
60, of course your view was to make it public."
Franken: "That is correct."
Judge: "But it disappeared?"
Franken: "The sector North-East HQ initially said that they didn't receive
it but went looking afterwards and discovered that they did receive it, but they
didn't do anything with it. And the Dutch HQ a staff officer received it, didn't
understand the meaning of it, allegedly called the battalion in the Potocari
area and heard a staff officer saying to them that he also didn't know what it
was all about and they put it in a drawer, Sir."
Judge: "But it was also put in the hands of the Serbs?"
Franken: "No, the list was not given to the Serbs, I *told* the Serbs that
I had registered all the men in the compound."
Judge: "You're sure it did not fall into their hands?"
Franken: "No absolutely not Sir. Moreover I brought the list with me out
from the enclave in my underpants, Sir, to be sure that it would not go in the
hands of the Serbs."
Judge: "Thank you very much."
Judge Walt: "Major Franken, you testified early on that when it became
apparent that the UN had neither the ability nor maybe the will to defend
Srebrenica that you gave an order to guide the refugees on to Potocari. At that
point did you or any of your superiors to your knowledge have any kind of a plan
of what would happen when those 20,000 to 30,000, to 35,000 people got in
Potocari on a very hot day without... I mean, suppose the Serbs had never come
forward in any meeting with general Mladic to say "We'll evacuate
them." What was going to happen when they got there?" Franken: "Seeing
the amount of supplies, and water as most important issue in this weather for
little children etc., there would have been a humanitarian disaster if there was
not any re-supply. That was one of the reasons that I eh..., I gave Mr.
Ibrahim..., the father of one of the interpreters..., sorry I lost his name
again, for our decision or for the impossibility to stop the evacuation in a
later phase. If the Serbs wouldn't have done anything and just would have left
us there with those 30,000 people, where children were born and people were
dying, without us having the logistic supplies, medical, eat, food, water, etc.
Yeah, it's almost cynical to say, the problem would have solved itself."
Judge: "So to your knowledge there was no plan to foot at the UN to try to
mobilize humanitarian organizations or anything to do anything once they got up
Franken: "No, seen the fact that we got orders to defend the Potocari
perimeter even if necessary with defensive air support and two hours later we
got orders to facilitate the deportation, it was obvious there was no plan on
the UN side."
Judge: "OK. Later on you talked about a conversation you had, in which you
talked to the father of the UN interpreter, and you two seemed both to recognize
that there might be some kind of very tragic trade-off between what was going to
happen to the men in Potocari and being able to get the women and children away
on busses. What kind of assurance, or why were you even convinced that the women
and children on the busses would be OK?"
Franken: "Because I got that confirmed from the UN side from the Kladanj
area where reports came in through the HQ, of Headquarters of sector North-East
that massively women and children were crossing the border and coming in. So I
assumed they were relatively safe."
Judge: "OK. My last question is: As far as the list of the 219 or 250 men
that you compiled inside the compound, were you or anyone else to your knowledge
ever able to find out later on whether any of those men survived, came out on
the other side?"
Franken: "My hope was that eh..., I was not able to check that because I
went back to Holland and that was it. But I hoped the UN or ICRC or whatever
organization would take it up and check whether they were still alive. But to my
knowledge nobody did.
Judge: "But you don't know?"
Judge: "OK. Thank you Major Franken."
Judge Fouad-Riad: "Excuse me. Nobody did survive, or you don't know?"
Franken: "No, nobody did pick up that list to check whether they survived,
Sir, that's what I meant."
Judge: "Thank you."
Transcript by Frank Tiggelaar 2000-08-06 - Domovina Net /// The
original audio files are available on the Internet:
(16 Kbps RealAudio - playing time 2h 54m - starts with 40m testimony by Mrs.
Mulalic, Srebrenica disaster survivor)
(16 Kbps RealAudio - playing time 50m)
Domovina Net is
preparing a Bosnian version of this testimony. It will appear on
in a couple of days.