PROVING INTERCEPTED CONVERSATIONS ARE AUTHENTIC
OTP investigator Stephany Frease is testifying about the authenticity and reliability of the intercepted conversations of the military and police officers in the Republika Srpska. The conversations exist in both printed and hand-written form. The prosecution wants to have them admitted into evidence in the third Srebrenica genocide trial before the Tribunal
Stephanie Frease, witness in the third trial for genocide in Srebrenica held at the Tribunal
After hearing the evidence of a number of operators in the surveillance services of both the BH Army and the Interior Ministry, the court today heard second part of the examination-in-chief of prosecution witness Stephanie Frease. In the first part of her testimony last week, the OTP investigator testified about the audio recordings and today she was telling the prosecutor about the printed and hand-written versions of the intercepted conversations of the Bosnian Serb military and police officers charged with crimes in Srebrenica and Zepa in 1995.
The investigators took into account several factors when they assessed the authenticity of this material. They compared the hand-written and typed-up text, the date and time recorded on both documents as well as the contents of the same conversations intercepted at different locations. After that, on the basis of the operator rosters and their handwriting, they identified the members of military and police surveillance services that had intercepted the conversations relevant for the Srebrenica trials. Transcripts and audio recordings of the intercepted conversations were used in the previous two Srebrenica genocide trials.
The prosecution used some of the actual intercepted conversations today to show how their authenticity was established. In one of the conversations, two unidentified persons speak about 1,500 Muslim civilians transferred to the Nova Kasaba football stadium on 13 July 1995. The authenticity of these conversations, Stephany Frease says, can be proved on the basis of an aerial photograph of Nova Kasaba taken at the time of the conversation. It shows groups of people at the stadium.
In another conversation that took place on the same day, again between unidentified persons, the person designated as X orders the person designated as Y to "secure the stadium and do nothing prior to receiving a telegram". The OTP investigators managed to find that telegram. It is an order to a military police commander "to deny access to any unknown persons, to remove the people from the Milici-Zvornik main road and to put them in roofed structures or areas protected from ground or air surveillance" and then to contact General Miletic to receive further orders
In the third intercepted conversation, this one dated 16 July 1995, Colonel Popovic asks for 500 liters of fuel for Pilica village in order to be “able to continue with my work". The fuel consumption log confirmed that on that day Colonel Popovic received 500 liters of diesel.
In its final part, the examination of Stephany Frease will focus on the actual intercepted conversations the prosecution wants to have admitted into evidence. The actual date of her testimony is yet to be determined.
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