1 Tuesday, 11th November 1997
2 (10.00 am)
3 (In open session)
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar, please have the
5 accused brought in.
6 (Accused brought in)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Are the interpreters ready? Does everybody
8 hear? Mr. Blaskic -- first the Prosecutor, do you hear,
9 the Defence? Good morning, everybody. Mr. Blaskic, do
10 you hear me?
11 MR. BLASKIC: Your Honours, good morning, I hear you well.
12 JUDGE JORDA: I think that we can now resume the
13 cross-examination of Colonel Bryan Watters. Registrar,
14 would you please have the witness brought in so that the
15 cross-examination can continue. Mr. Kehoe?
16 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, can we just go into private session
17 concerning the issue that we ended with yesterday and
18 the representations that were made by the Office of the
19 Prosecutor yesterday afternoon.
20 JUDGE JORDA: You do not want us first to finish with the
21 cross-examination? We do not really want to keep
22 disturbing the arrangements we have made. I thought we
23 had gotten to a certain point in the cross-examination,
24 I am not sure we should stop it there. What is your
25 opinion about that, Mr. Hayman?
1 MR. HAYMAN: I am not sure what this is about. Is this about
2 interpreters, your Honour? I do not know clearly what
3 it is that needs to be addressed.
4 JUDGE JORDA: So we can know what subject will be raised,
5 I would ask the Registrar to have a private session set
7 (In private session)
13 page 3513 redacted – private session
21 (In open session)
22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Perhaps we could have the witness
23 brought in now then.
24 (Witness entered court)
25 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel Watters, do you hear me?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Did you have a good evening, are
3 you well rested?
4 A. Yes, I am, sir.
5 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the cross-examination by
6 General Blaskic's Defence attorney. Mr. Hayman, you have
7 the floor.
8 LIEUTENANT COLONEL WATTERS (continued)
9 Cross-examined by MR. HAYMAN (continued)
10 Q. Good morning, Colonel Watters.
11 A. Good morning.
12 Q. Just as a preliminary question, in preparing for your
13 testimony, did you have occasion to review any diaries,
14 notes, radio logs, reports, documents of that sort?
15 A. Yes, I did, sir.
16 Q. Can you tell us first of all, what types of documents
17 did you review?
18 A. I reviewed the military information summaries, which
19 were produced by our intelligence cell in 1 Cheshire
20 battle group. I reviewed the daily situation reports,
21 which were produced by the operations room of 1 Cheshire
22 battle group and I reviewed some of the radio logs of
23 the battle group VHF Net.
24 Q. And the copies of those documents you reviewed, had they
25 been redacted or cut up, if you will, or were they
1 complete copies?
2 A. They were complete copies.
3 Q. Did your review of those materials help refresh your
4 recollection of the events in question?
5 A. They enabled me to put my recollections in a sequential
6 order, which was the difficulty I was having, four years
7 later, trying to remember the order in which things
9 Q. So you have relied on them in your testimony here?
10 A. Yes, I have.
11 Q. Do you remember what period of radio logs you reviewed?
12 A. The major area of radio logs I reviewed was from
13 16th April through until about 21st April.
14 Q. And Mil Info Summs and daily Sit Rep reports, did you
15 review all of the reports prepared during your tour,
16 that is your personal period of time spent in the
18 A. Yes, I also did review those areas before I arrived from
19 the point at which our tour started there, which I had
20 known at the time, but after four years had forgotten a
21 great deal of information.
22 Q. Did you also have a chance to review any of these
23 materials prior to giving the statements that you gave
24 to the Office of the Prosecutor?
25 A. Yes, I did. We as a battalion hold copies or the
1 originals of those documents.
2 Q. Did you review your statements, one or more of your
3 statements before giving testimony here?
4 A. Today, no, yesterday, yes.
5 Q. Thank you. I would like to ask you a few questions
6 concerning the issue of control of roads in Central
7 Bosnia. Are you familiar with the hill at Grbavica that
8 overlooks the Vitez/Travnik road?
9 A. Yes, I am, we call it the mountain road, the road that
10 leads from Dubravica up to Zenica.
11 Q. Actually I am referring to the road from Vitez to
13 A. Yes, I know that road very well.
14 Q. Is Grbavica located to the north of that road and to the
15 west north west of the UNPROFOR camp at Bila?
16 A. I would have to check on the map to be honest, sir.
17 Q. Could you take a look? I am sorry to have to ask you to
18 rise so soon in your testimony. (Pause). The location
19 is not marked on the Prosecutor's map, your Honour.
20 Did you find it, Colonel?
21 A. If it is the hill that was behind our base in Stari
22 Bila, then I know that hill.
23 Q. And adjacent to -- could you tell us in terms of
24 direction where the hill is located from your camp?
25 A. It was just to the east of our camp.
1 Q. Very well. Would you agree that that hill dominated the
2 road, the road from Vitez to Travnik at that point?
3 A. At that point, yes it did.
4 Q. Would you agree that that road from Vitez to Travnik was
5 a road of strategic military significance to both the
6 HVO and the Army of BiH?
7 A. Yes, I would.
8 Q. When you arrived in the theatre, were you briefed
9 concerning any efforts of the Army of BiH to control
10 that position on the hill at Grbavica?
11 A. I saw no evidence routinely that anyone was controlling
12 that hill. We actually used to control that hill
13 ourselves when we were, for example, bringing in
14 helicopters to evacuate our wounded, because the hill
15 had a strategic domination over the local countryside.
16 I do not remember seeing BiH positions on that hill, no.
17 MR. HAYMAN: If I could ask the usher to assist in placing a
18 document before the witness, I believe the usher may
19 have stepped out, I can do it, your Honour, with your
20 leave. (Handed). Your Honour, this is a four
21 page document, parts of it were redacted prior to being
22 provided to the Defence and the page I am interested in
23 for today's purposes is the last. I will read it all if
24 the Prosecutor so wishes, otherwise I suggest we hold
25 the first three pages in abeyance, if you will, and
1 concentrate on the fourth page.
2 If the ELMO could be activated and the top of the
3 first page could be placed on the ELMO?
4 I would direct your attention, Colonel, to the top
5 of the first page of the document, the handwritten
6 portion which reads:
7 "Cheshire Mil Info 090 29 January 93."
8 Then if the document could be turned to the last
9 and fourth page, thank you Colonel, I will read it:
10 "BiH troops continue to build a number of Defence
11 positions on the Grbavica Brdo feature GR 2099954, which
12 overlooks Bila school. Comment. This feature dominates
13 the main Travnik to Vitez road."
14 First of all, would you agree that this document,
15 although redacted, appears in the format of Mil Info
16 Summs prepared by your regiment?
17 A. Yes, I would.
18 Q. Would you agree that this reference on the
19 fourth page refers to the hill at Grbavica adjacent to
20 the Bila school?
21 A. Yes, I would.
22 Q. Did you ever have occasion to see these defensive
23 positions referred to in the Mil Info Summ?
24 A. The Mil Info Summ was dated before I arrived and was
25 the -- reflected the period of the fighting that largely
1 took place in the Kiseljak valley around Busovaca, if my
2 memory serves me. There was no fighting, to the best of
3 my knowledge, of any consequence, around Bila school at
4 that time.
5 Also I think, sir, I ought to put Mil Info Summs
6 into context so that the comment, for example, is
7 relevant. The Mil Info Summs were a daily correlation
8 of all the information that we gained through our
9 patrolling and contact with the local population. They
10 were put together by a captain, a sergeant and a
11 corporal in our intelligence cell and the comment refers
12 to a comment by either the captain or the sergeant as to
13 the relevance of the particular information. The
14 reliability of the information was normally catalogued
15 with an introduction of either a source, meaning a
16 source of information that cannot be substantiated; a
17 normally reliable source, which would mean in the past,
18 when cross-referenced, this information was relevant and
19 accurate, or a reliable source, which meant that
20 repeatedly when cross-referenced the information from
21 this source, which might be one of our own officers, for
22 example, was found to be accurate. They were not
23 designed to be read in single sound bites. You really
24 need to read each daily summary, because each area may
25 reflect and contradict each other, so they do not
1 actually represent necessarily a factual account, they
2 represent the account as we saw it on that day, and very
3 often --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down?
5 A. Sorry. The comment and the actual contents of Mil Info
6 Summs were often found to be erroneous when
7 cross-referenced later in further Mil Info Summs with
8 additional information. I am not saying that this
9 particular extract is not accurate, I just wanted to set
10 Mil Info Summs in context; they are not an authority.
11 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you. I take it you would agree with the
12 comment on this page that this hill or feature dominates
13 the road?
14 A. It dominates the road at that point. It does not
15 dominate the whole road.
16 Q. I take it from your comment of a moment ago that
17 because, for example, this Mil Info Summ has been so
18 heavily redacted, it is difficult to determine the
19 actual meaning and significance of the document itself,
21 A. I would need to read the whole Mil Info Summ to get a
22 feel for what the situation was on that day.
23 Q. As would anyone, correct, anyone reviewing the Mil Info
24 Summ and trying to draw useful information from it?
25 A. The Mil Info Summs were produced for the command team of
1 1 Cheshire by the intelligence cell in debriefing
2 patrols and other people we spoke with. The only other
3 people in receipt of them were headquarters UN in
4 Kiseljak and they received them for information as
5 well. They were a tool for the command group of
6 1 Cheshire to review from an information perspective the
7 events of the day and cross-reference it with events on
8 other days.
9 JUDGE JORDA: I have been told that the speed,
10 question/answer, is going too fast and that it is
11 difficult for the transcript -- the court stenographers
12 are having trouble as well, not only interpreters.
13 MR. HAYMAN: We will work harder at it your Honour, thank
14 you. I will review the rest of the Mil Info Summ with
15 the witness if necessary, but first I would like to
16 offer it, having reviewed it to the extent I have.
17 A. May I just, in answering your question, which I never
18 properly did, I am sorry? When I arrived in Vitez
19 school, there was evidence of old defence positions on
20 that hill. They were not occupied at the time that
21 I was in Vitez school and the only time the position was
22 used was during the period about 16 to 25 April, when
23 mortars were placed on and around that feature and fired
24 out and incoming mortar rounds which hit our school as
25 well as that feature came in. We were never quite sure
1 who fired the mortars.
2 Q. But there were incoming mortars to the Grbavica hill
3 during the period that included April 16th, is that
5 A. Yes, it is, but there was nobody on the hill, it was
6 rather a waste of mortars.
7 MR. HAYMAN: I offer the document, your Honour, in evidence.
8 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, is counsel offering the entire
9 document including that which he has not discussed?
10 MR. HAYMAN: I will offer it all and if there is an objection
11 perhaps I will offer part.
12 MR. KEHOE: That is fine.
13 MR. HAYMAN: I offer all of it at this point, yes.
14 MR. KEHOE: I was merely asking by way of clarification.
15 That is fine.
16 JUDGE JORDA: You are asking for the entire document to be
17 put in to the record, is that right?
18 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, your Honour.
19 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to remind you -- I am not really
20 sure where we are here, I have kind of lost the thread
21 here, but the question of knowing whether we are putting
22 the entire document when only one part of it has been
23 discussed is a question we have to resolve, but I see
24 since there is no disagreement, we will take the whole
25 document. All right, we will accept the entire
1 document. Registrar?
2 THE REGISTRAR: This would be D62, which is the transparency
3 which is on the easel.
4 MR. HAYMAN: You spoke yesterday at times of refugees.
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. Are you familiar with refugees from the region of the
7 Krajina coming to the Lasva Valley?
8 A. Not particularly, no.
9 Q. During your tour, did you hear of the 1st Krajina
10 Brigade of the Army of BiH?
11 A. At this time I do not have a recollection of that,
13 Q. Did you hear of the 7th or 27th Krajina Brigade during
14 your tour?
15 A. I was familiar with the fall of the Krajina, but I was
16 not familiar and have no direct recollection of
17 individual brigades.
18 Q. Would that include the 305th Jajce Brigade, also part of
19 the Krajina brigades?
20 A. I do remember a Jajce brigade, that was an external
21 brigade located in Gornji Vakuf and its presence was
22 very disruptive. I remember we assisted the removal of
23 that brigade.
24 Q. It was disruptive in the sense that they were outside
1 A. Within the efforts of BritBat to establish a cease-fire
2 in Gornji Vakuf, one of the HVO objections was to the
3 presence of the Jajce Brigade, which they believed had
4 changed the balance of power within Gornji Vakuf and
5 wanted that, as they described it, "external brigade"
6 moved out of the environment of Gornji Vakuf, where its
7 presence in HVO terms was preventative of them agreeing
8 to a cease-fire.
9 Q. During your tour, did you learn whether the reserve
10 headquarters of the third corpus was in Preocica?
11 A. No, I did not.
12 Q. Yesterday at times you spoke of a Muslim minority in the
13 Lasva Valley. Was the population mix in the
14 Lasva Valley prior to the conflict in 1993 approximately
15 50/50, to your knowledge?
16 A. I am sorry, I would not know that. I suspect it might
17 have been. I do not know and you would have to define
18 the Lasva Valley as well.
19 Q. Yesterday you spoke of mortars.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would you agree that certain mortars are under the
22 control of an artillery unit or group, while other
23 mortars are infantry mortars?
24 A. Yes, I would.
25 Q. What size mortars would be controlled by infantry?
1 A. That is quite difficult. I would suspect that anything
2 below 60 millimetres might be controlled by infantry,
3 and that is certainly the case in the British army.
4 Anything above 60 to 80 millimetres would be classified
5 as an artillery piece and would be controlled by
6 artillery units.
7 Q. So 60 to 80 millimetres you believe is a range which
8 could fall either way, either to infantry forces or to
9 an artillery unit?
10 A. Yes, certainly in the British army.
11 Q. Do you know about the former JNA, where those mortars
12 would fall in terms of command and authority?
13 A. I would suspect in the JNA it was probably quite similar
14 to the British army.
15 Q. What about RPGs, rocket propelled grenades? Would they
16 typically be held and controlled by infantry units?
17 A. Yes, I saw those being carried by infantry units of BiH
18 and HVO in Bosnia.
19 Q. You spoke yesterday of Mr. Kordic.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you give us an example of an occasion when
22 Colonel Blaskic was not able to deal with a problem and
23 as a result you went to Mr. Kordic for action?
24 A. Yes, I can. There was a convoy coming from the
25 direction of a central aid depot in Zenica, bound for
1 Travnik. The convoy was stopped by a checkpoint close
2 to the Busovaca/Vitez road junction. The young officer
3 commanding the convoy failed to execute his halt convoy
4 drills properly, in that he did not slew his Warrior to
5 block the forward movement of the convoy. He had
6 anti-tank mines placed by HVO soldiers at the front and
7 rear of the tracks of his Warrior, so blocking his
8 Warrior in position, and the troops climbed on -- the
9 HVO troops climbed on to the running board of the lead
10 vehicle, put a rifle through the side window, injuring
11 the driver, and ordered him at gunpoint to drive round
12 the Warrior, and this happened simultaneously down the
13 convoy. Those vehicles were taken, turning left, down
14 to Busovaca and left into a factory complex on the north
15 side of Busovaca.
16 Q. So the convoy was hijacked?
17 A. That is the description of the hijack. The officer
18 commanding the convoy said to the commander of the HVO
19 soldiers doing this, "this convoy has got the authority
20 of the regional commander HVO, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic,
21 to move safely through this area", and the commander
22 said, "we do not take our orders from Blaskic, we take
23 our orders from Kordic".
24 Q. The individual who said this, were they in an uniform?
25 A. Yes, they were.
1 Q. What kind of uniform?
2 A. Again, I was not there, the description was they were in
3 black uniforms.
4 Q. Were they described to you as HVO soldiers?
5 A. We described everybody as HVO soldiers who were Croat.
6 We were aware there were other HVO units, HOS types, who
7 dressed slightly different from normal HVO soldiers, but
8 to keep things simple for our junior commanders we
9 referred to Muslims as BiH and Croats as HVO.
10 Q. The information you received on this particular occasion
11 was that the HVO troops were dressed in black?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Let me direct your attention now to 16th April. On that
14 occasion, that morning, you drove into Vitez, correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You saw certain dead bodies?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You saw some of those bodies in a portion of Vitez that
19 you would characterise as the Muslim portion?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And did you also see five bodies in what you believe to
22 be the Croat portion of Vitez?
23 A. I was not quite sure what the -- those five bodies were
24 beyond Vitez, although within the environs of Vitez.
25 They were over the bridge on the far side of the town,
1 turn right and they were on the left. I would not know
2 what the specific ethnic mix of that was. They were
3 certainly outside of the two defined areas we knew as
4 Muslim and Croat, so I would not be able to comment.
5 I certainly could not tell from the state of the bodies
6 whether they were Croats or Muslims.
7 Q. On that morning, you went into Stari Vitez and met with
8 Sefkija Djidic, is that right?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. What did he say to you?
11 A. He was confused as to what the situation was, he was
12 fighting a defensive battle and was keen to see a
13 cease-fire and was willing to personally come to Vitez
14 school to discuss a cease-fire.
15 Q. Were there soldiers at his headquarters?
16 A. Actually now I reflect on it, it is slightly strange.
17 There were very few soldiers actually in his
18 headquarters. I suspected they were manning positions
19 on the Muslim edge of the town.
20 Q. How many did you see at his headquarters in Stari Vitez?
21 A. Not very many. I really cannot remember. Two or three,
22 something like that, four.
23 Q. Were they armed?
24 A. Yes, they were.
25 Q. What kind of arms?
1 A. Rifles.
2 Q. AK 47s?
3 A. AK 47 generic weapons, yes.
4 Q. And Djidic made clear to you that he was defending the
5 town, Stari Vitez, correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did he tell you that so far he had successfully defended
8 the town against the HVO attack?
9 A. Yes, he did.
10 Q. You know from your own knowledge that that defence was
11 successful throughout the day of 16th April, correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The 17th April, correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And on to the end of your tour in May 1993, correct?
16 A. Correct, sir.
17 Q. You also visited the Hotel Vitez on the morning of
18 16th April 1993, correct?
19 A. I cannot remember, I do not think I did. I may have
20 done and then, not being able to find who I needed to
21 talk to, I went to a cinema building around the back of
22 Vitez, which was the headquarters of HVO Vitez, as
23 opposed to the Hotel Vitez, which was the headquarters
24 of regional command Central Bosnia.
25 Q. Did you at least drive by the Hotel Vitez on the morning
1 of 16th April?
2 A. Yes, I did.
3 Q. Outside of the Hotel Vitez, did you see HVO soldiers
4 taking up armed positions with their firearms?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Were they aiming in the direction of Stari Vitez?
7 A. Yes, they were.
8 Q. Would you agree that as of 16th April 1993 Stari Vitez
9 posed a military threat to the Hotel Vitez, the
10 headquarters of the HVO?
11 A. What do you mean by "military threat"?
12 Q. Could snipers in Stari Vitez attack, hit, fire upon the
13 Hotel Vitez?
14 A. Yes, they could.
15 Q. And in fact later in the day on the 16th, you met with
16 two HVO soldiers, Mr. Prskalo and Mr. Pilisic, correct, in
17 this meeting at 12.30?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. After the meeting they returned, you were informed, to
20 the Hotel Vitez?
21 A. They were taken back by the liaison officer responsible
22 for Vitez/Busovaca.
23 Q. You were later informed they were both hit by sniper on
24 the afternoon of the 16th after exiting an UN Warrior on
25 their way walking towards the Hotel Vitez, correct?
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. Is there any doubt in your mind that that fire came from
3 Stari Vitez, which hit those two men?
4 A. I do not know the exact positions of the sniper fire,
5 but they were certainly Muslim snipers. The direction
6 of fire the liaison officer believed was from his rear
7 as he was walking towards the hotel, which would be in
8 the direction of Stari Vitez. I cannot be specific as
9 to where the sniper positions were. We did not know.
10 Q. As you drove by the Hotel Vitez that morning, could you
11 see whether the windows had been shot out or broken out
12 by grenades?
13 A. I do not have a memory of that.
14 Q. Do you recall, did you go in the building, the Hotel
15 Vitez, or not?
16 A. I think I did. It is really difficult to remember
17 exactly what I did on that morning in detail. I have a
18 vivid memory of going to the cinema and I have a vague
19 memory of going into the Hotel Vitez. Whether it was on
20 the morning of the 16th, the afternoon of the 16th,
21 whether it was on the 17th or 18th I cannot remember,
22 I am afraid.
23 Q. I understand. On your way in and out of Stari Vitez on
24 the morning of 16th April 1993, did you see any trenches
25 or earthen fortifications around the perimeter of
1 Stari Vitez, the Muslim portion of Vitez?
2 A. I do not have a recollection of that, no. I suspected
3 people were defending the positions from the houses.
4 Q. Would that be normal in the absence of earthen
5 fortifications, that any available structure would be
6 used to mount a defence?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Later on in your tour, sniping from
9 Stari Vitez continued to be a problem and an issue,
11 A. Sniping from both directions in Vitez, from Vitez centre
12 into Stari Vitez and from Stari Vitez into central Vitez
13 was a problem.
14 Q. Do you know during the period of your service in Bosnia
15 how many dead and wounded in Vitez were sustained as
16 a result of sniper fire from Stari Vitez directed
17 against Vitez?
18 A. No, I do not.
19 Q. Do you know who may have gathered those statistics or
20 kept records of those dead and wounded?
21 A. The Mil Info Summs will have reflected what we were told
22 by various sources and that would probably have been
23 from the commander of Vitez HVO forces to our liaison
24 officer in contact. I suspect that information would be
25 in Mil Info Summs. The accuracy of that information --
1 I would have to read the Mil Info Summs to gain an
2 impression of how accurate that impression might be.
3 Q. Would you also agree that mortars and RPGs fired from
4 within Stari Vitez could threaten the entire geographic
5 area of Vitez?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now let me turn your attention to your visit to Kruscica
8 later in the day on 16th April 1993. Kruscica lies
9 directly to the south, or below, on the map which is
10 Exhibit 29J, below Vitez, correct?
11 A. Correct, south of Vitez.
12 Q. You went there around 5.30 in the afternoon?
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. Did you determine as a result of your visit that the
15 Army of BiH may have been firing mortars from Kruscica
16 into Vitez on 16th April?
17 A. No, there was nothing to indicate that.
18 Q. Have you said that in any prior interview with the
19 Office of the Prosecutor, that the Armija could have
20 been firing mortars from Kruscica on 16th April 1993?
21 A. That was not the question you asked me. Did I see
22 evidence? The answer was I did not see evidence, but
23 certainly there were BiH positions there and certainly
24 Vitez would be in range of mortars in Kruscica.
25 Q. Was part of the discussion between the United Nations
1 forces and the Army of BiH prior to your going to
2 Kruscica a request by the United Nations that the Army
3 of BiH stop its attack on Poculica?
4 A. Are you talking about the conference at 12.30?
5 Q. I am referring to the discussions and the conditions
6 that were set forth by the Army of BiH in which one of
7 their demands was that UNPROFOR come to Kruscica and
8 evacuate what the Army of BiH described as "wounded
9 female civilians".
10 A. That was one of the conditions, yes.
11 Q. What is that UNPROFOR wanted the Armija to do, that this
12 was a condition precedent for stated by the Armija?
13 A. We just wanted them to stop all indirect fire and
14 fighting within the environs of Vitez.
15 Q. Did that include fighting in the area of Poculica?
16 A. It included fighting everywhere.
17 Q. Including Poculica?
18 A. It would include Poculica. Fighting everywhere, no
20 Q. After you got to Kruscica, did you find that virtually
21 all of the injured were men, not women?
22 A. I think that is the case. They were certainly men and
23 women, they were not just women, which was what we
24 understood they were. There were women among them.
25 Q. But it was predominantly male casualties correct?
1 A. That is correct. I think there were only about five or
2 six, and I think three out of the five or six were male.
3 Q. How many Army of BiH soldiers did you see at the BiH
4 headquarters in Kruscica on the afternoon of 16th April
6 A. Half a dozen, a dozen.
7 Q. Did you see other soldiers of the Army of BiH in
8 trenches or other earthen fortifications in Kruscica?
9 A. No, I did not. It was dark when we were driving
11 Q. Again, as in the case with Stari Vitez, would you
12 believe that in fact the soldiers of BiH at the time
13 were predominantly dispersed in defensive positions, not
14 congregated at the headquarters in Kruscica at the time
15 you visited?
16 A. Yes, I would.
17 Q. Lacking trenches, would you also believe it to be true
18 that they were using any and all available structures in
19 Kruscica to mount their defence?
20 A. Yes, I would.
21 Q. Did Kruscica fall to the HVO on 16th April 1993?
22 A. No, it did not.
23 Q. Did it fall on the 17th?
24 A. No, it did not.
25 Q. Did it fall at any time prior to your leaving the
1 theatre on May 8th 1993?
2 A. No, sir.
3 Q. So we can say, can we not, that the Army of BiH
4 successfully defended Kruscica from the HVO attack that
5 began on 167th April 1993?
6 A. Yes, but on that night my view of the position was that
7 they actually were going to lose. I was quite surprised
8 they managed to defend it. We went back the next
9 morning to try and see, and our route back was blocked
10 by anti-tank mines and a bowser across the road which we
11 managed to negotiate. We got back to the BiH
12 headquarters and they were still defending the town.
13 Q. So it was a pitched battle which you witnessed on the
14 late afternoon/evening of 16th April in Kruscica, is
15 that right?
16 A. I saw very -- I have no recollection of seeing anything
17 leaving Kruscica in terms of artillery or mortars and a
18 vivid recollection of an enormous amount of RPG, mortar
19 and artillery coming into Kruscica. I described it as
20 being in a bowl, it just looked like a cauldron of fire.
21 Q. Kruscica, I believe you said yesterday, lies on a road
22 that could potentially have been used to link Vitez to
23 points south in Herzegovina, correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. In that sense, do you agree Kruscica was a location of
1 strategic military significance to both the HVO and the
2 Army of BiH?
3 A. I would say it is operationally important. I would not
4 say it is strategically important.
5 Q. Would you agree Kruscica could be used to mortar or
6 shell the town of Vitez?
7 A. It was in range of Vitez, yes.
8 Q. Did it mortar or shell Vitez during the course of your
10 A. It may well have done. Again, I would have to go and
11 check our Mil Info Summs and read them. There is no
12 reason why it did not, but I do not have a vivid
13 recollection of reading about it.
14 MR. HAYMAN: If the usher could place a very short document
15 before the witness, your Honour? (Handed). If this
16 could be placed on the ELMO, Mr. President, Colonel
17 Watters, this again is a redacted portion of a
18 document. Let me read it to you:
19 "1. PWO Mil Info Summ number 098 dated 4 July
20 1993. Vitez.
21 "2. The customary friction between Stari Vitez,
22 Kruscica and the Croat-controlled parts of the town
23 continued with the BiH in Kruscica admitting
24 responsibility for the mortar atk" -- is that "attack"?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Yesterday, "yest", is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. "For the mortar attack yesterday which injured 5 times
5 Would that mean five Croats?
6 A. Yes, it would.
7 Q. Can you tell us what PWO refers to in this Mil Info
9 A. Yes, it refers to the 1st Battalion of the Prince of
10 Wales' Own Regiment of Yorkshire, who had replaced
11 BritBat 1 Cheshire in mid May, and this Mil Info Summ is
12 dated 4th July and so would refer to a mortar attack
13 which took place on 3rd July.
14 Q. After you departed the theatre?
15 A. Two months after we departed the theatre.
16 Q. Does this document appear to be in the format, to the
17 extent it has not been redacted, of a Mil Info Summ
18 prepared by the military of the United Kingdom?
19 A. It was prepared by the intelligence cell of 1 PWO,
20 I would suspect.
21 MR. HAYMAN: I offer the document.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor?
23 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I would object to this document.
24 This is not a document the facts of which this
25 particular witness knows anything about. This witness
1 left the theatre, I believe it was in and around
2 11th May 1993, and it may well be some Prince of Wales'
3 own regiment of Yorkshire witnesses that will testify.
4 With all due respect, this particular document should be
5 enquired at at that time. This witness has no knowledge
6 as to the facts concerning this particular document.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, the witness -- this dispute
8 over the identification of documents I find to be rather
9 sterile. We have asked Colonel Watters whether it has
10 elements allowing him to identify this type of
11 document. It need not necessarily be a document he
12 himself saw, he was not there on 4th July, but could he
13 still identify this document, or is it a document that
14 reminds him of nothing? The Colonel has seen documents
15 of this kind throughout his career and particularly
16 during the 90 days he was there, so I am addressing
17 myself to the Colonel and ask him whether he can
18 identify this document or not at all.
19 A. Sir, it is in the format of the Mil Info Summs that we
20 produced during our time and that the 1 PWO cell
21 produced on our behalf during the changeover period. As
22 to the facts of the case, I obviously cannot comment, or
23 the facts of the statement.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I propose that we admit it into
25 evidence, registering the reservations made by the
1 witness and the Prosecutor. This document has not been
2 formally identified by the witness, it is a document
3 published in July 1993, and the judges will assess the
4 weight of this document. We are admitting it with the
5 reservations made by the Prosecutor and the witness, so
6 what is the number of this document?
7 THE REGISTRAR: It is exhibit D63.
8 JUDGE JORDA: So admit D63 with the reservations on the part
9 of the Office of the Prosecutor.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Very well.
11 JUDGE JORDA: And the Trial Chamber will evaluate it.
12 MR. HAYMAN: Colonel Watters, let me turn your attention to
13 17th April 1993. You told us yesterday that you went to
14 a war clinic in Vitez and you saw two bodies inside the
16 A. That is correct. On the visit to Kruscica, the
17 commander in Kruscica had no medical resources or
18 personnel and the two doctors who administered Kruscica
19 from the clinic in Vitez had not returned back to the
20 village of Kruscica where they lived, and he asked if we
21 would enquire through the officers of the HVO whether
22 they could locate these two doctors, and whether we
23 could get reassurance to the BiH commander in Kruscica
24 as to their safety, and he wished them to be returned
25 back to that village.
1 Q. So did you go to the clinic and enquire as to the
2 whereabouts and safety of these two doctors?
3 A. We went first of all to the headquarters of Vitez town,
4 to Mario Cerkez's headquarters. They did not know about
5 the whereabouts of any doctors, but were able to show us
6 on our maps where the clinic was within the town. We
7 informed them that we would go to the clinic and see if
8 we could find the doctors.
9 Q. Did they tell you who controlled the clinic?
10 A. No, they did not.
11 Q. They did not mention the name Kraljevic?
12 A. I have no recollection of that.
13 Q. So you went to the clinic. Did you enquire as to the
14 safety and whereabouts of these two doctors at the
16 A. There was nobody at the clinic. The area was under
17 sniper fire and there was nobody around.
18 Q. Sniper fire from where?
19 A. It is very difficult to tell where you are being fired
20 at from snipers. All you actually hear, in an urban
21 environment, is the crack of the round passing by you.
22 It is very difficult to hear the thump which is the
23 actual sound of the rifle firing. We were quite
24 disorientated as to where the sniper fire was coming
1 Q. Was the clinic in a location such that it was exposed to
2 potential sniper fire from Stari Vitez?
3 A. I think it probably was. I would have to look at an air
4 photograph and try and reorientate myself, I am afraid.
5 It is not something I have thought about.
6 Q. Were you given the names of the doctors you were
7 enquiring about?
8 A. Yes, we were.
9 Q. What were the names?
10 A. I cannot remember.
11 Q. After you went to the clinic and found it under
12 assault --
13 A. It was under sniper fire, not assault.
14 Q. Under sniper fire, did you undertake any other enquiry
15 to try and determine the safety and whereabouts of these
16 two doctors?
17 A. We looked through the windows, went right round the
18 clinic. In the clinic there were two men dressed in
19 white coats lying dead. There was nobody else in the
20 clinic, there was nobody we could enquire from. We went
21 back and told the HVO headquarters that we could not
22 locate the doctors, we had found two men in the clinic
23 in white coats, they may well have been the doctors, and
24 that was as far as I proceeded with that enquiry,
25 although I was aware that the BiH pursued the enquiry
1 further. I am not totally clear as to where it went.
2 Q. Did you --
3 A. My assumption was that the two men in the clinic were
4 the two dead doctors.
5 Q. Other than your visual observations, did you ever
6 confirm or disprove that these doctors had been harmed?
7 A. I do not remember the doctors ever reappearing, but as
8 I say, the issue was subsumed by far more important
10 Q. You did not go to Zenica to look for them, I take it?
11 A. No, I did not.
12 Q. Would the names of these doctors be located in any
13 records, reports, radio logs or other papers in the
14 possession of UNPROFOR or 1 Cheshire?
15 A. They might be, they may well be in a Mil Info Summ.
16 I do not have a recollection of their names, I just
17 remember referring to them as "the two doctors".
18 Q. Let me turn your attention to 19th April. You discussed
19 yesterday coming upon a group of, I believe, women and
20 children blocking the road --
21 A. And some old men.
22 Q. Thank you, blocking the road between Vitez and Busovaca
23 around the Nadioci area, correct?
24 A. Not between Vitez and Busovaca, it was beyond that
25 junction towards the Zenica flyover.
1 Q. So above the Kaonik junction towards Zenica?
2 A. I think so. Again, I would have to check the map.
3 I think that is roughly where they were.
4 MR. HAYMAN: If Exhibit 53B could be retrieved, your Honour,
5 it was shown to the witness yesterday.
6 A. When you say the Vitez road, I think of the road from
7 Kaonik down to Busovaca, it was not on that road. It
8 was on the road from Vitez to the Zenica flyover.
9 Q. Was it near the so-called Swiss chalet building?
10 A. Yes, it was.
11 Q. That is in the area of Nadioci, is it?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Would you go more slowly, please?
14 MR. HAYMAN: My apologies. Do you know who occupied the
15 Swiss chalet at this time?
16 A. My recollection is describing them as a HOS-type unit.
17 We may have been able to identify them in our Mil Info
18 Summs. I do not remember the exact detail of them, but
19 they did certainly seem to keep themselves to themselves
20 within that military base.
21 Q. You spoke to an individual who held himself out to be a
22 commander, is that right?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. Do you know who that was?
25 A. I do not know his name. He would not give his name,
2 Q. Do you know his rank?
3 A. I do not recollect his rank. He was about six foot two
4 or six foot three, had very fair hair and was
5 athletically built.
6 Q. Based on the number of soldiers he was directing, can
7 you estimate whether he commanded a platoon or a company
8 or a unit of ten men?
9 A. I do not have a recollection of what rank he was and how
10 many soldiers he controlled.
11 Q. I take it you cannot tell us who his superior commander
12 was, his immediate superior commander?
13 A. No, I cannot.
14 Q. On 22nd April 1993, you went to Jelinak and then you
15 went into Ahmici, correct?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Prior to your visit on 22nd, had you received reports on
18 the 16th April 1993 concerning your units, that is
19 UNPROFOR Warriors visiting Ahmici?
20 A. Yes, I had. Ahmici one of many villages, Santici and
21 villages up that side of the Lasva Valley.
22 Q. Do you remember how many Warriors visited Ahmici on
23 16th April 1993?
24 A. The exact number of Warriors, no, I do not. It is not
25 something I would focus on. I would know that several
1 different call signs had visited it.
2 Q. Which would mean several different vehicles?
3 A. No, several different groups of vehicles, or the same
4 group of vehicles several times.
5 Q. So perhaps nine or ten Warriors, either different or the
6 same Warriors, visited Ahmici at different times on
7 16th April 1993?
8 A. The Warriors travel in groups of four or groups of two
9 and a call sign was four Warriors. I do not have a
10 recollection of how many Warriors visited, but
11 I certainly know that several call signs visited.
12 Whether all the Warriors turned into Ahmici or not, I do
13 not know the exact detail of it.
14 Q. Do you remember what report you received during
15 16th April 1993 from the Warriors that visited Ahmici
16 concerning civilian casualties in Ahmici?
17 A. There were certainly civilian casualties in Ahmici.
18 I have a recollection of one of our Warriors actually
19 removing women and children from Ahmici who were under
20 fire on the 16th, or the environs of Ahmici, in a closed
21 down Warrior. It is quite difficult to work out exactly
22 where you are, just roads within a village complex.
23 Certainly reports of heavy fighting, considerable
24 destruction and casualties, yes, I recollect that.
25 Q. Do you remember how many civilian casualties were
1 reported to you by the Warriors that visited Ahmici on
2 16th April 1993?
3 A. As specific to Ahmici, I do not.
4 Q. It is not something that sticks in your mind?
5 A. There were reports of casualties all up the
6 Lasva Valley, and the figure at that time, by mid
7 morning, we were very reticent to actually state how
8 many casualties there were, because the reports of
9 soldiers coming in were repeating the casualties seen by
10 the road and there was a danger we were going to
11 multiply the number of casualties. It was one of the
12 reasons why I myself went out. I think we put a figure
13 on the 16th of 30 to 50 or 50 to 100, I cannot remember.
14 Q. In the entire Lasva Valley?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. That is dead and wounded?
17 A. No, they were bodies, not wounded.
18 Q. Dead?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you told by your units that visited Ahmici on the
21 16th when the fighting began in Ahmici on that day?
22 A. The fighting was happening on the morning of the
23 16th and it appeared that a great deal of destruction
24 within the village had already taken place.
25 Q. Were you told by your units when the fighting ended in
1 Ahmici on 16th April 1993?
2 A. I do not have a recollection of that. There was no
3 reason on the 16th to specifically focus on Ahmici. At
4 that time Ahmici was, to our knowledge, no worse than
5 Santici or any of the other villages up the
6 Lasva Valley. Vitez was actually the area of most
8 MR. HAYMAN: While I am asking the next few questions, your
9 Honour, I would ask that the Registrar assist by putting
10 up what is a map or aerial photograph of Ahmici and
11 should be at hand. I believe it is 53 -- no, Exhibit
13 You described for us yesterday visiting Ahmici and
14 identified a number of photographs taken at three
15 different houses that you visited. Do you recall that?
16 A. Yes, I do. That was on 22nd April.
17 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, on 22nd April. If you could look at
18 Exhibit 50 with me and tell us whether you can identify
19 the three houses that you visited.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead, Mr. Kehoe, if you like.
21 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. Nobilo is retrieving an overhead
22 transparency, your Honour, in case the witness is able
23 to identify the specific houses.
24 Using Exhibit 50, Colonel, can you identify the
25 first house that you visited?
1 A. It is very difficult. It was in this area here
3 MR. HAYMAN: Could you stand to the side slightly so the
4 court can see?
5 A. It was in this area here. I am afraid at this time I am
6 unable to accurately point at it. If I was to guess
7 I would think it was one of the houses here on the
8 right-hand side, but I cannot exactly point out the
9 house. We did not use air photographs, we just used
10 maps that did not show the individual houses on that
12 Q. But I take it there is an area within which you can
13 definitively say the house was located?
14 A. I said I am guessing, it was in the upper part of the
16 Q. Are you able to say with any more specificity, other
17 than the upper half or part of the village?
18 A. As I said, I would be guessing if I did.
19 Q. Which house was this, was this the house with the
20 line of bodies or skeletons in the basement, or one of
21 the other two houses?
22 A. The first house was the one with the largest number of
23 bodies, the one with the skull I think was in the lower
24 part of the village, but again it was a very short visit
25 to the village.
1 Q. Are you able to identify the other two houses you
2 visited? You have identified to the best of your
3 ability the one with the line of corpses or skeletons in
4 the cellar; are you able to identify the other two
5 houses with any greater specificity?
6 A. No, sir.
7 Q. Thank you, you may be seated. I may have asked you to
8 sit down prematurely. You said that on your visit on
9 22nd April to Ahmici, you found certain locations where
10 the grass had been matted or tramped down and there were
11 shell casings nearby?
12 A. Yes, it was in the lower part of the village.
13 Q. Can you identify that location? I am sorry to ask you
14 to hop up and down, my apologies.
15 A. Again, I would not be able to do it with accuracy.
16 There were sniper positions in this area here covering
17 the road into Ahmici and we were shot at from there on
18 that morning and in the afternoon. We got out about
19 here (indicates) and we foot-patrolled up here with the
20 Warriors coming behind us giving us cover.
21 Q. Indicating towards what is marked as the upper mosque
23 A. Yes. I think the positions we identified were in the
24 area where we dismounted from our Warriors, so at a
25 guess I would talk around here (indicates). Again, I am
1 afraid four years later to point on a photograph is very
2 difficult, I apologise.
3 Q. We understand it is very difficult, but I take it your
4 best evidence is that the areas with matted down or
5 tramped down grass containing numerous shell casings was
6 in the middle portion of Ahmici where you believe you
7 disembarked from your Warriors, is that correct?
8 A. That is as best as my memory serves. I might be wrong
9 but that is what I remember.
10 Q. To make it clear for purposes of the record, the middle
11 portion you are indicating is the area adjacent to the
12 large white area, it could be paved, it could be dirt,
13 white area approximately halfway up the Ahmici road on
14 Exhibit 50, correct?
15 A. As west as I remember it sir, yes.
16 Q. Thank you, you may sit down. Let me direct your
17 attention forward in time to April 24th. Did you learn
18 of a meeting on that day in the Hotel Vitez between
19 Colonel Stewart, Ambassador Thebault and
20 Colonel Blaskic?
21 A. There were several meetings, I do not have an immediate
22 recollection of that particular one, I am afraid.
23 Q. Were you briefed by Colonel Stewart or anyone else
24 concerning discussions at that meeting regarding whether
25 a joint commission should be formed, a multi-ethnic
1 joint commission, including international organisations,
2 to investigate the events in Ahmici?
3 A. We already had a joint commission, I am trying to
4 disentangle that from other thoughts. I do not remember
5 a joint commission for that purpose ever manifesting
6 itself, and I do not have specific memories of Colonel
7 Stewart discussing that with me.
8 Q. The UNPROFOR force, together with other international
9 organisations, had, would you agree, gathered and was
10 gathering a certain amount of information from victims
11 and survivors of Ahmici, correct?
12 A. Certainly the Red Cross was.
13 Q. Did you discuss with Colonel Stewart whether that
14 information should be shared with the HVO to facilitate
15 their investigation of what happened in Ahmici?
16 A. The ICRC would not share that information with us.
17 Q. To your knowledge, they would also not share that
18 information with the HVO, correct?
19 A. I would not think so.
20 Q. So to your knowledge, the HVO was never given any
21 information derived from the victims and survivors of
22 Ahmici from which they could build and further their own
23 investigation, correct?
24 A. That I would think would be correct.
25 MR. HAYMAN: I am going into a new area, your Honour. I am
1 happy to continue, but I would just advise the court.
2 JUDGE JORDA: You can go on until 11.20.
3 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you. On 17th April 1993, do you recall
4 receiving reports that the Army of BiH was advancing
5 from Kuber mountain towards the Croat enclave, the
6 Vitez/Busovaca enclave?
7 A. I have a memory of that, yes.
8 MR. HAYMAN: If the usher could assist, your Honour? I would
9 ask that this document be placed on the ELMO before the
10 witness, it is short.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, Colonel Watters, I would not like
12 that there be any more incidents about identifying of
13 documents. Are you able to identify this document, to
14 talk about what is on it?
15 A. It is in the format of our documents, sir. It is not a
16 whole document, but it is in the format of our
18 JUDGE JORDA: So from the point of view of form, at least
19 theoretically, unless there are any other conditions you
20 would like to make, you do identify this.
21 All right, go ahead, Mr. Hayman.
22 MR. HAYMAN: Before I go further, is this a document that
23 appears to have been created during your tour in Central
25 A. Yes, that would appear to be one of our documents.
1 Q. The top handwritten line reads, "Cheshire Mil Info
2 169 17 April 93". The body of the document, that which
3 has not been redacted, reads:
4 "I. 12.40 hours. The mayor of Vitez claimed that
5 the Croat village of Poculica, grid reference 2794, had
6 been attacked, resulting 1 HVO soldier and two civilians
7 being badly injured.
8 "J. 13.06 hours. It was reported that the
9 village Donje Veceriska, grid reference 2092, was under
10 attack from the HVO.
11 "K. 13.56 hours. It was reported that the
12 village of Kuber, grid reference 3094 (Croat), was under
13 attack from BiH forces."
14 Is this Mil Info Summ, Colonel, consistent with
15 your recollection of the reports you were receiving on
16 17th April 1993?
17 A. Yes, sir.
18 MR. HAYMAN: I offer the document, Mr. President.
19 MR. KEHOE: No objection, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Registrar, this will be exhibit D64 and no
21 conditions attached to it.
22 I think we can now take our break, Mr. Hayman,
23 unless you have any other questions on this specific
24 document? We will resume at 11.40.
25 (11.20 am)
1 (A short break)
2 (11.40 am)
3 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing. Have the
4 accused brought in now please.
5 (Accused brought in)
6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman?
7 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. Your Honour, I have
8 three additional short Mil Info Summ excerpts that
9 I would ask be placed before the witness and provided to
10 your Honours and the Prosecution.
11 Colonel Watters, if you could take the first one,
12 with the usher's assistance, 19th April 1993, and we
13 will put that on the ELMO. At the top of the document,
14 "Cheshire Mil Info 171 19 April 93". Now moving on the
15 body, paragraph F:
16 "11.06 hours. Colonel Blaskic, HVO Central
17 Bosnia, claimed that there had been a BiH offensive on
18 the area to the north of Busovaca, contravening the
19 cease-fire agreement."
20 First, Colonel, do you agree that reference would
21 be to the cease-fire agreement that was the subject of a
22 Mil Info Summ that you saw yesterday during your
24 A. Yes, it was reference to a HVO cease-fire agreement
25 which we never actually saw ratified by the BiH. It
1 appeared to be a HVO initiative at that time.
2 Q. You think it was an offer that was never accepted by the
4 A. We never saw any evidence of the BiH accepting that on
5 the ground, and other Mil Info Summs of the same time,
6 we did not actually see it in place within the HVO on
7 the ground either. It was a rather spurious document in
8 our view.
9 Q. Do you know whether the BiH representatives ever signed
10 that cease-fire agreement of 18th April 1993?
11 A. I never saw a copy of that, I only saw a copy of the
12 agreement signed by Colonel Blaskic.
13 Q. Do you have a belief one way or the other?
14 A. I really did not know. There was a rumour that a
15 cease-fire had been agreed on the 18th by Mr. Izetbegovic
16 and Mr. Boban, and the first evidence that that might be
17 the case we saw was the HVO document that was in the Mil
18 Info Summ you showed me yesterday. There were
19 negotiations with Colonel Stewart with Mr. Hadzihasanovic
20 and Colonel Blaskic, but none of those negotiations ever
21 manifested anything on the ground. From our view, they
22 were just becoming meaningless and it was not until
23 General Morien on the 20th had a meeting with
24 Colonel Blaskic and Mr. Hadzihasanovic in Zenica, from
25 that followed the conference on the 21st that any will
1 on either side appeared to manifest itself on the ground
2 for a cease-fire, although the HVO were manifestly keen
3 for a cease-fire from about the 18th, as at that point
4 they had achieved their objectives.
5 Q. Let us return to the text and I read from it:
6 "The attack was reported to be centred on the
7 villages of Kuber, grid reference 29993, Jelinak, grid
8 reference 3092, and Kaonik, grid reference 302903."
9 Is that report, did you find that report to be
10 consistent with other information and other reports you
11 were receiving at the time?
12 A. Yes, that was during the offensive by the BiH. Whether
13 they had actually achieved those objectives at that time
14 I cannot comment on, but it would be consistent with the
15 fact that there was a BiH counter-offensive during the
17 Q. Turning to the second page, please, there is a short
18 paragraph I will read as well, which begins:
19 "2002. It is interesting to note that the
20 hospital which is guarded by HVO soldiers has been
21 clearing both Croat and Muslim casualties. Muslim
22 casualties have also been allowed to be evacuated to the
23 hospital in Travnik by UN call signs."
24 Do you take this to mean, first of all, that
25 Muslim casualties, soldiers from the battlefield as well
1 as civilians, were being evacuated to the so-called
2 Croat hospital at Nova Bila, is that your understanding
3 of the first sentence of this paragraph?
4 A. I would guess it is, because the Croat hospital or HVO
5 hospital was in Nova Bila. I have no way of knowing if
6 this refers to it, but that was the main hospital for
7 HVO forces in the Vitez area.
8 Q. Was it the only hospital in the Vitez/Busovaca enclave?
9 A. Hospital, yes.
10 Q. Then the second sentence, would that refer to the
11 evacuation, or appear to refer to the evacuation across
12 the frontlines from Nova Bila to Travnik hospital of
13 Muslim casualties?
14 A. Yes, it would. Could you put it in context, please?
15 What date was this?
16 Q. The Mil Info Summ is dated 19th April 1993.
17 A. That is part of the same Mil Info Summ.
18 Q. It was provided to the Defence as part of the same
19 document, yes. Is that consistent with the reports that
20 you received at the time that the Croat hospital in Nova
21 Bila was assisting wounded, regardless of ethnicity?
22 A. I have to confess, it certainly was not a feeling of
23 mine. We evacuated Croat casualties to Nova Bila and we
24 evacuated Muslim casualties to Travnik and both parties
25 agreed to our assistance in moving casualties. I do not
1 know the origin of the report that there were Muslim
2 casualties in the hospital. It is not something I have
3 a memory of, I have to be honest. It could have
5 Q. Do you have any information that would cause you to
6 doubt the report on page 2 of this document, the Mil
7 Info Summ, 19th April 1993?
8 A. No, I do not.
9 MR. HAYMAN: If you could turn to the next document, please,
10 perhaps with the assistance of the usher. This
11 document --
12 JUDGE JORDA: Do you want these to be entered into the
14 MR. HAYMAN: I did. I was going to address all three at
15 once, your Honour, but we can do them one at a time.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Does the Office of the Prosecutor have any
18 MR. KEHOE: No, Mr. President. No objection.
19 JUDGE JORDA: No reservations, no objections, so these will
20 be 65 and 66?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, 65 and 66.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead, Mr. Hayman.
23 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Directing your attention to what has been marked
25 as exhibit D66, it begins at the top in handwritten
2 "Cheshire Mil Info 174 22 April 93.
3 "1. Vitez. The town of Vitez and its
4 surrounding villages were reported to be generally
5 quiet, with the exception of the villages of Sadavace,
6 grid reference 2196 and Brdo, grid reference 2297.
7 Recce", is that a reference to reconnaissance?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. "Reconnaissance call sign were stopped at a well manned
10 BiH" -- CP for checkpoint?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. "Reconnaissance call signs were stopped at a well manned
13 BiH checkpoint at grid reference 214959. There were
14 approximately 30 to 40 well equipped BiH soldiers armed
15 with RPG-7s whose commander (a woman) stated that", that
16 is the end of that paragraph.
17 Then turning your attention to the second page, at
18 the top:
19 "Reconnaissance call sign reported that the two
20 HVO checkpoints north and south of Busovaca have now
21 been collapsed."
22 What would that mean?
23 A. That the two checkpoints that had prevented movement
24 through the town of Busovaca from the period of about
25 16th April until this day had been removed.
1 Q. "The BiH have inserted two checkpoints on the route from
2 Kacuni to Kiseljak at grid reference 390803 and", and
3 there is a letter that may be "3" on the next line,
4 "407794. Soldiers at the latter grid placed a RPG-7 in
5 the fire position and pointed it at a reconnaissance
6 call sign. The BiH have stated that no UN vehicles will
7 be allowed through these checkpoints for the next ten to
8 fifteen days."
9 Does this portion of the Mil Info Summ indicate
10 that the BiH was putting additional pressure on Kiseljak
11 from the direction of Kacuni?
12 A. What it refers to is the 24 hour period after the
13 signing of the cease-fire agreement on the 21st April,
14 when General Halilovic came back and asked for an
15 additional 24 hours, because due to the spacing of his
16 forces and the fact that they had been fighting
17 continuously for the last three days, it would require
18 his personal intervention on the field of battle to
19 actually bring the fighting to an end with the BiH
20 forces, and these reports are consistent with the
21 fighting that the BiH were continuing to do on the early
22 morning of the 22nd because the 3rd Corps had been
23 unable to get their orders down, and we had to put
24 General Halilovic in one of our vehicles and actually
25 take him out to these various places for him to
1 personally give the orders.
2 MR. HAYMAN: I offer exhibit D66, your Honour.
3 MR. KEHOE: No objection, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE JORDA: It will be both pages?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, it will have both pages.
6 MR. HAYMAN: Was the process, Colonel, of containing
7 adherence to the cease-fire, was it a process that
8 continued over a number of days after 22nd April 1993?
9 A. Yes, it was. There continued to be fighting on both
10 sides sporadically at the tactical level over the next
11 few days, which we interdicted. The most difficult area
12 to actually bring the fighting to an end was in the
13 Kiseljak valley.
14 Q. Let me direct your attention to the third document,
15 marked for identification as D67, which is titled in
16 handwritten form, "Cheshire Mil Info 180 28 April 93".
17 I will read it:
18 "Warrior call sign patrolling in the
19 Busovaca/Kiseljak road reported that there was heavy
20 fighting in the area of Kazagici, grid reference 6279,
21 with the village now under the control of the BiH. The
22 HVO had occupied positions around the village yesterday,
23 see Mil Info Summ number 179. However, the BiH appeared
24 to have retaken Kazagici over the last 24 hours. The
25 village was reported to be extremely badly damaged, with
1 almost every house having been set fire to. The central
2 operations group commander, Colonel Blaskic, demanded
3 that BritBat should try harder in their peacekeeping
4 efforts this morning."
5 Is this report consistent with the other reports
6 you were receiving at the time concerning the difficulty
7 of enforcing the cease-fire agreement of 21 April 1993?
8 A. Yes, there was continued fighting between HVO and BiH in
9 the Kiseljak valley, especially over contested villages,
10 which was a fall-out from fighting going even as far
11 back as January. We also asked, I remember distinctly,
12 because this message rather annoyed me from
13 Colonel Blaskic, that he also redouble his efforts along
14 with our own to stop his fighting and we said the same
15 to the BiH.
16 Q. Would you agree that where a village had been taken and
17 retaken and perhaps retaken again by opposing military
18 forces, at the end of that process of fighting, the
19 village is likely to be very heavily damaged?
20 A. I would certainly think so, yes.
21 Q. Is that reflected here in this report concerning
23 A. I have memories of the destruction of Kazagici, yes.
24 MR. HAYMAN: I offer D67, your Honour.
25 MR. KEHOE: No objection, Mr. President.
1 MR. HAYMAN: Colonel, I have had placed on the easel a white
2 tablet of paper and I would like to ask you some
3 questions and then make certain notations on the chart.
4 I will ask you if they are fair and accurate, to help us
5 and the court understand the number of levels of command
6 from the level of the operative zone to that of actual
7 fighting units who would have taken part in the
8 fighting, for example, on 16th April 1993. May
9 I approach the tablet, your Honour?
10 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead, and if the Prosecution wishes to go
11 over to the easel, please do.
12 MR. KEHOE: I have one comment. Is Mr. Hayman planning on
13 doing the writing?
14 JUDGE JORDA: Well, we have tried all kinds of things.
15 Sometimes it is the Defence writing, sometimes the
16 Prosecution writing. Mr. Hayman, what do you have in
17 store for us now? Are you going to be doing the drawing
18 or writing, the different command levels?
19 MR. HAYMAN: There are a number of levels, your Honour.
20 I would like to elicit from the witness what the names
21 of those levels are and then I will simply write and
22 repeat the names of those levels on top of each other on
23 the tablet. I think that is the most efficient way to
25 JUDGE JORDA: Are you the one who is actually going to do
1 the writing?
2 MR. HAYMAN: I propose to, yes, your Honour. I think that is
3 the most efficient way to proceed.
4 JUDGE JORDA: It would have perhaps been more efficient if
5 you had prepared a document on which you would have
6 listed what in your opinion represents the chain of
7 command, which would have been put on the ELMO and we
8 could have asked the witness to make his comments about
9 it. Now we are going to see you drawing and writing for
10 a little while, which is not unpleasant, but it is going
11 to waste some time. All right, you could not have done
12 it any other way. Have it put on the ELMO.
13 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, at this point I would object to
14 Mr. Hayman writing anything and if this is going to be
15 some type of exhibit that Mr. Hayman intends to use, let
16 the Colonel do the writing and not counsel.
17 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, if Mr. Kehoe objects to my writing,
18 he certainly would have objected to my predrafting the
19 document, but with all respect to my learned friend
20 across the bar --
21 JUDGE JORDA: And all the respect I owe to Mr. Kehoe as well,
22 I have to overrule the objection. We have to have a
23 clear vision of what we are doing as to answers and
24 questions. I simply wanted to say that in the future,
25 I would have preferred a more effective method to use,
1 but now we will have Mr. Hayman going to be writing,
2 asking questions, writing it down, it is going to take
3 some time. If we could have done it differently it
4 would have been better, but it is too bad. Since we are
5 talking about Mr. Hayman writing, I do not see any
6 problem with that. Mr. Hayman will write it, then it
7 will be tendered as evidence, but we have to also note
8 specifically and very clearly are the witness's answers
9 and any other questions that Mr. Kehoe will want to ask.
10 Mr. Hayman if you have no other documents you wish
11 to produce, perhaps you should do this quickly, that is
12 to describe the command levels so that we can get to the
13 crux of the matter, which is the answers from Colonel
15 MR. HAYMAN: I would like to, your Honour. Colonel Watters,
16 first of all, would you agree that the level of command
17 at which Colonel Blaskic was located in 1993 was that of
18 the operative zone?
19 A. Central Bosnia, yes.
20 Q. Which we could represent by "operative zone"?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Below the operative zone level, would you agree that the
23 next level of command in the command structure of the
24 HVO in place at the time was that of the operative
1 A. Yes, I would. I explained this yesterday.
2 Q. Would you agree that under the operative group comes the
3 brigade, or a number of brigades?
4 A. Yes, I would.
5 Q. Under the brigades, are there battalions?
6 A. We never really understood it as that, because the size
7 of the brigade could be -- by and large villages were
8 named as brigades or brigades named after people. The
9 size of the brigades depended very much on the size of
10 the village or area that the brigade was raised from.
11 We never focused below brigade, which we considered to
12 be the tactical level.
13 Q. During your tour in the theatre, did you hear the use of
14 the term "Boyna" to refer to a unit of soldiers,
16 A. I have no memory of it. I might have done.
17 Q. In the military structure of your military, would you
18 agree that the battalion comes under the brigade in
19 terms of the structure or command structure?
20 A. Yes, indeed.
21 MR. HAYMAN: Then, your Honour, I am going to put battalion
22 down as a general representation of military structure.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, you have an objection you wish to
25 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, that is not what the witness said.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I agree with Mr. Kehoe. This is not what
2 the witness said. Mr. Hayman, this is the disadvantage
3 of the method you are using. It would have been better
4 for you to prepare the document, give it to the witness,
5 which would have gone more quickly. Now for each of the
6 points you are going to ask questions and you have to
7 wait until you get the answer that you are looking for.
8 If this document is to be put in as an exhibit, it must
9 be clearly marked, putting in question marks where it
10 would be that the witness does not agree with your
11 definition of brigade as you explained it. I am sorry.
12 MR. HAYMAN: That is fine, your Honour, but this illustrates
13 why I could not prepare the exhibit in advance.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Not at all, I do not agree with that. You
15 could have put in a document and the witness would have
16 made comments, it would have gone much more quickly. It
17 does not work for brigade. There is something which is
18 not accepted there and I sustain the objection of the
19 Prosecutor and whatever questions that the witness has,
20 it has to be indicated on the transcript.
21 MR. HAYMAN: Let us go back, Colonel. Operative zone, that
22 is a level of command you know to have existed in the
23 HVO in, for example, 1993, correct?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. Then I am going to place next to "operative zone",
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. And the same with respect to the operative group
4 formation, correct?
5 A. Yes, sir.
6 Q. You know brigades, at least the term brigade, to have
7 been used by the HVO, correct?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. How would you describe the command structure, that is
10 the existence of units with commanders within the HVO
11 during the period of your tour of duty below the brigade
13 A. I was not actually aware of a structure that was below
14 brigade level. I did not deal below brigade level, and
15 when studying the daily reports, as one village appeared
16 to be attacking another village, we did not, at the
17 battalion operational level, involve ourselves in the
18 structure of the village force, the brigade. That is
19 not to say that through reports we might not have put
20 together structures that we would have processed through
21 Mil Info Summs, but I would not actually have involved
22 myself in the detail of that, at battalion level. Our
23 company commanders might have done.
24 Q. Are you able to tell us whether there were smaller units
25 of organisation such as based on a territorial principle
1 within the HVO in 1993 under the brigade level, or do
2 you simply not know?
3 A. I do not know. Sorry, the one exception to that would
4 be the unit that you talked about earlier, in the
5 bungalows, which appeared to be a small, self-contained
6 unit and I never penetrated exactly which of the
7 brigades it belonged to.
8 Q. So there were other smaller units, but you cannot
9 further describe them?
10 A. That is the only one that I ever identified personally.
11 Q. Let me ask you, if a military action was to be ordered
12 at the level of operative zone, for example an action to
13 attack military targets and eliminate military targets
14 in Kruscica, Stari Vitez, Ahmici and other locations
15 where there were military targets, what would that order
16 look like? What kinds of elements would be contained in
17 that order at the level of the operative zone?
18 A. I never saw an order promulgated at the operatal zone.
19 I can only tell you how I would imagine it would be,
20 because most of the senior officers within the HVO had
21 been former JNA officer, and had been trained formerly
22 in military doctrine. I would imagine that it would
23 give specific mission statement and specific tasks to
24 subordinate units.
25 Q. For example:
1 "Subordinate unit X, you are to attack BiH
2 military positions in Kruscica and eliminate them"?
3 A. Again, that is what I would write.
4 Q. Based on your 25 years of military experience, that is
5 the type of order you would expect coming from the
6 operative zone level, correct?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. What about at the level of the operative group? Would
9 it be any more detailed at the operative group level, or
10 not? That is the order, for example, to attack military
11 targets and eliminate or neutralise them in the village
12 of Kruscica?
13 A. Yes, essentially what you are talking about is the
14 allocation of resources to tasks, so at the operational
15 zone a specific area controlled by the operational group
16 would be given a series of tasks. It would be up to the
17 operational group commander to allocate his resources to
18 achieve the task set by him, by the operational zone.
19 That process cascades down through brigade, and the
20 brigade would organise its forces in whatever groupings
21 it had and give people specific tasks, down to which
22 side of the road, left or right, particular groups would
23 assault a position, where the fire bases would be,
24 et cetera.
25 Q. Just slow down for just a moment. The operative group
1 order, is it correct, would likely allocate resources at
2 the brigade level among the different tasks which
3 comprised the overall mission or goal set forth at the
4 operative zone level, correct?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. Then at the brigade level, for example, with that order,
7 under the situation we are discussing, the scenario or
8 hypothetical if you will, the brigade order would
9 specifically target resources or allocate resources to,
10 for example, three different --
11 A. Manoeuvre units, yes.
12 Q. Manoeuvre units to attack one village at three different
13 locations or perhaps two villages, something like that?
14 A. Absolutely.
15 Q. Based on your general military experience, is that the
16 end of the chain of orders, or are there further more
17 detailed orders to lower level and smaller units of
18 soldiers, telling them what their task is and what they
19 are to do in fulfilling the overall order from above?
20 A. I can only explain from the British army's doctrine and
21 that would be the case. The battalion commander would
22 give orders to his company commanders. The company
23 commander gives orders to the platoon commanders, a
24 platoon is three ten-man manoeuvre units, and the
25 section commander, the ten-man manoeuvre unit, would
1 give orders to his two fire teams, each of four men.
2 Q. So at least within the military structure from your
3 tradition, there are four additional levels of command
4 below the brigade level, correct?
5 A. Correct, to achieve the mission statement at each level.
6 Q. That is battalion level, company level, platoon level
7 and section level, roughly units of ten men?
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Based on your knowledge and training and experience,
10 would you agree that at the battalion level, which you
11 described as being one below the brigade level, that
12 typically a battalion order would typically, for
13 example, direct an attack or an assault on one location,
14 one hill, one village, something of that sort?
15 A. No, it would really depend on the strength of the enemy,
16 and in attack you would want to establish probably a
17 three-to-one ratio, so, dependent on the strength of the
18 enemy position, would probably depend the size of force
19 you committed to it. A battalion, if it was attacking
20 three platoon locations, might allocate a company to
21 attack each platoon. If a battalion was attacking a
22 company defence position on a hill, then the battalion
23 would attack it as a whole.
24 Q. Coming down below the battalion level and the company
25 level to the platoon level, would it be common, for
1 example, in fighting in built-up areas, for a platoon
2 commander to give an order to his units, his 30 or so
3 men, to secure a group of buildings or a single building
4 within a built-up area?
5 A. Within the company plan, within the battalion plan,
6 within the brigade plan, absolutely.
7 Q. How about at the lowest level --
8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, could you try to summarise where
9 you are getting? I would like us to go a little more
10 quickly. We are going through a military course here,
11 very interesting, of course, to show that there was a
12 command chain from the commander down to the platoons to
13 the soldiers. What are you getting at? Let us try to
14 get there as directly as possible, please.
15 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, what I will -- I will move as
16 quickly as I can. What we are trying to establish is
17 the nature of the orders that would be given at each
18 level in this chain and at the operative zone level, as
19 the witness has described, basically a mission is set
20 forth, but the decisions of how that is to be carried
21 out, what resources are to be allocated where, and as we
22 will see in a moment whether a particular building is or
23 is not to be attacked, those decisions are made, five,
24 six, seven levels of command below the level of the
25 operative zone. That is the line of enquiry I am
2 JUDGE JORDA: The witness answered you, answered you
3 quickly. He said it depended on the force of the enemy,
4 if it was an important zone, if there was great
5 potential for the enemy, if he had a great ability to
6 resist. Obviously his resource allegation would be
7 given to more important commands for various
8 situations. It is part of military logic it seems to
9 me. Go ahead, but try to go about it more quickly,
11 MR. HAYMAN: In the context of fighting in built-up areas,
12 Colonel, at what level in these seven or so levels of
13 command that you have set forth would a decision be made
14 whether a particular structure represented a military
15 target and whether a grenade should be thrown into that
16 structure prior to entering? At what level of command
17 would that decision be made?
18 A. Who was to attack which house would obviously depend on
19 the size of the force attacking, which would be
20 predicated by the size of the resistance you were
21 expecting. When you get down to the actual assaulting
22 of a specific house within the plan of the platoon
23 commander, the company commander, the battalion
24 commander, the actual house would probably be attacked
25 by a section of ten men, and as to the throwing of a
1 grenade into a house, that would be the decision of
2 probably the section commander when he came up with his
3 tactical plan as to how the section would assault the
4 house. He would decide which soldiers would put down
5 the initial fire, which soldiers would enter the house
6 and the individual soldier would throw the grenade.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MR. KEHOE: Has counsel completed with his chart?
9 MR. HAYMAN: I have completed my work with that tablet, your
11 JUDGE JORDA: Do you wish to have it admitted into evidence,
12 the first three lines, Mr. Hayman?
13 MR. HAYMAN: It is not necessary, your Honour.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Continue, please.
15 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Mr. President.
16 Colonel Watters, on 19th April 1993, did you
17 receive a report from one of your call signs of HVO
18 artillery firing from the artillery location at Mosunj.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 A. I am sorry, we had hundreds of reports of artillery fire
21 over that period. I cannot be specific as to one of
23 MR. HAYMAN: At approximately 12.30 pm on 19th April, do you
24 have any recollection of receiving a report of the
25 firing of an HVO artillery at Mosunj, that being
1 approximately the time at which the city of Zenica
2 received a number of shells, artillery shells?
3 A. As I stated yesterday, we cross-referenced reports of
4 firing at approximately the time we were told that the
5 artillery shells landed in Zenica. There were examples
6 where they cross matched. I cannot remember what they
7 were. That in itself did not mean those guns actually
8 fired at Zenica, of course.
9 Q. In your prior interview with the Office of the
10 Prosecutor, did you indicate or tell them:
11 "Our call signs reported HVO artillery firing from
12 the Mosunj feature at 12.30, grid reference 1994", that
13 being a reference to 19th April 1993?
14 A. I have had a lot of conversations with the Prosecution
15 counsel. When cross-referencing Mil Info Summs and
16 situation reports, I may have been able to establish
17 that. I apologise that I cannot recall the detail right
19 Q. So if you said that and you had those materials before
20 you now, you believe you could answer the question?
21 A. Yes, I probably could. As I said, we did
22 cross-reference and there were examples of HVO artillery
23 firing at the reported time of the rounds falling in
25 Q. Was any overall report or summary of that incident or
1 event prepared by UNPROFOR, if you know?
2 A. It was recorded in a Mil Info Summ, the incident.
3 Q. You said earlier that you visited the Serb artillery
4 positions on the Vlasik feature?
5 A. No, I did not. I did not say I did.
6 Q. Did someone else visit that?
7 A. I said Colonel Stewart spoke to the Serb regional
8 commander that controlled that artillery on Vlasik
10 Q. Did you tell us that Colonel Stewart determined that the
11 Serb artillery on the Vlasik feature could not reach
13 A. I have a vague memory that it had 17 kilometres range
14 when our people checked the type of artillery they had
15 but 17 kilometres was not in range of Zenica. Again,
16 I am recalling a conversation four years ago.
17 Q. You were aware during your tour of duty that the Serbs
18 were regularly shelling Zenica during the time period of
19 April and May 1993, correct?
20 A. No, I was not aware that the Serbs were regularly
21 shelling Zenica. The fall of artillery on Zenica on the
22 18th was a cataclysmic event. They might have been
23 shelling the areas around, but not the city itself.
24 I have no recollection of that.
25 Q. If they were, would that be inconsistent with the report
1 that Colonel Stewart gave you, that the Serb artillery
2 on the Vlasik feature was out of range of Zenica?
3 A. I am sorry, can you repeat that question?
4 Q. If in fact the Serbs were shelling Zenica, and did shell
5 Zenica on a number of occasions in April and May 1993,
6 would that be inconsistent with the representation, the
7 information that Colonel Stewart gave you, that he had
8 determined that the Serb positions on the Vlasik feature
9 could not reach Zenica?
10 A. The only two recollections I have of artillery falling
11 on Zenica were on the 18th and 24th April. I have no
12 recollection of any other, that is the first point.
13 Secondly, in theoretical terms, had artillery which
14 could have been unequivocally traced to the Serbs been
15 falling on Zenica, then we would have not been accurate
16 in our assumption that the Vlasik mountain could not
17 reach Zenica, that is correct.
18 Q. Let us return for a moment to the group of soldiers that
19 dressed in black and that were based in the Swiss chalet
20 near Nadioci. Do you have them in mind?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. Based on your experience in the theatre, did you
23 determine that they appeared to respond to a higher
24 authority than Colonel Blaskic?
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. Do you know what higher authority that was?
2 A. We thought they responded on a dual military and
3 political chain of command, and we assessed that their
4 political chain of command was possibly Mr. Dario Kordic
5 in Busovaca, and that was reinforced by the capturing of
6 the aid convoy, but that was the only incident we have
7 to support that hypothesis.
8 Q. Do you know an individual named Nick Iljic?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Was he a member of 1 Cheshire Regiment?
11 A. I am not prepared to answer that question.
12 Q. Can you tell us -- I take it you decline to answer the
13 question of whether he was a soldier with the
14 1 Cheshires in Bosnia, is that right? I just want to
15 make clear what you are and are not willing to say to
17 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor?
18 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, we are straying potentially into an
19 area about which by the law of the United Kingdom the
20 Colonel is not permitted to discuss. If the court wants
21 to go into private session, I will gladly elaborate on
22 what the Colonel is permitted by United Kingdom law to
23 say and not say.
24 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, why do I not finish the rest of my
25 examination and then over the lunch hour perhaps I can
1 discuss this with the Prosecutor? There may be a more
2 efficient resolution to the issue.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I agree with Mr. Hayman. Complete your
4 cross-examination and the question may possibly be
5 raised in the afternoon.
6 MR. HAYMAN: Colonel, there was a videotape prepared to
7 memorialise in some ways the service of your regiment in
8 Bosnia, correct?
9 A. In exact detail, two ITN technicians created a video for
10 a sergeant who saved their life as a thank you to him,
11 and they took a series of film from ITN network and put
12 tracks of music to it and gave it to that particular
13 sergeant. His company commander then used the picture
14 to -- used the video as a commemoration -- that is the
15 wrong word, as a momento of the tour.
16 Q. Did that tape contain footage of actual events that
17 occurred in Bosnia during the tour of one Cheshires?
18 A. Yes, it did. I am very familiar with that tape.
19 Q. You have viewed it personally?
20 A. Yes, I have.
21 MR. HAYMAN: What I would like to do, your Honour, is play a
22 tape which has previously been played, exhibit D58. It
23 is in three segments and I would ask that it be played
24 one segment at a time.
25 We will pause after each segment, Colonel, and
1 then I will ask you, among other things, whether you
2 recognise any portion of that segment as having been
3 taken from the Mostar tape which you have described.
4 Very well, if we could play the first segment, please.
5 (Videotape played)
6 (Videotape stopped)
7 Q. If we could hold the tape for a moment, first what you
8 have seen so far, Colonel, do you recognise it as having
9 been taken from the Mostar tape that you have described?
10 A. Parts of are, parts of it are not. The original tape is
11 90 minutes long and I know it very well.
12 Q. If we could call back the image that was on the screen
13 when we paused, do you recognise this segment as being
14 from the Mostar tape, produced by ITN for a soldier in
15 the 1 Cheshire Regiment?
16 A. I have to confess I do not remember that particular bit,
18 Q. Do you recognise the vehicle type in this picture?
19 A. Yes, I do, it is a -- I cannot actually tell if it is
20 one of our own and the timeframe. It is certainly a
21 British army Scimitar working for the United Nations.
22 Whether it is one of our own or not, I cannot see the
23 call sign markings on the side from this angle, so
24 I could not identify that. If it was taken during the
25 period November until May, it would be one of ours. If
1 it was taken afterwards, it would be one of the PWO's.
2 Q. Do you have any other way of assisting us to identify
3 the photograph?
4 A. It is certainly an UN vehicle and as I said, if you
5 could tell me when the tape was taken I could place it
6 in context. I cannot put this piece of picture in
7 context. It appears to be somebody either handing up a
8 shotgun or handing down a shotgun.
9 Q. You do recognise the weapon as a shotgun?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. That is not an UN-issued weapon, is it?
12 A. No, it is not.
13 MR. HAYMAN: If we could continue with the tape, please?
14 (Videotape played)
15 (Videotape stopped)
16 Q. That is the second segment. Did you recognise portions
17 of that?
18 A. No, I did not. I think we are talking about two
19 different tapes here. This is not the tape that I was
20 referring to earlier that was given to Sergeant
21 Kudavinski, which was adopted by A Company as their
22 tape. This appears to be an amalgam of footage from
23 television, and it is not the tape I was talking about.
24 Q. Did you recognise Lieutenant Colonel Thomas in the
25 second segment?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 MR. HAYMAN: If we could play the third segment, please.
3 (Videotape played)
4 (Videotape stopped)
5 Q. If we could freeze there, if that is possible, do you
6 recognise that vehicle?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Whose is it?
9 A. It is a Warrior. Do you mean whose actual vehicle is
11 Q. Do you know, can you tell?
12 A. It is the commander officer's.
13 Q. Does it appear to be firing in this picture?
14 A. I actually know the circumstances and I viewed that
15 whole piece of film. I know it is returning fire at two
16 HVO soldiers who have just fired a RPG-7. If you look
17 at the earlier part of the picture you will see the
18 RPG-7 impacting on the wall just to the right of the
20 MR. HAYMAN: Maybe we can turn back and see that, if that is
21 possible. If we could go forward now, please?
23 A. You can see it impacting.
24 Q. You can point it out on the brick wall?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. If we could go back to the brick wall, please?
2 (Videotape played)
3 (Videotape stopped)
4 Q. Are you able to determine the impact of the round?
5 A. You can see the smoke of the round just there
6 (indicates). When you look at the whole piece of film,
7 you actually see the impact of the round, and the
8 contact report that was sent was that they had been
9 engaged by a RPG-7 and had returned fire at the firing
11 Q. Do you know where and when this incident occurred?
12 A. I think it occurred during the monitoring of the
13 cease-fire after 21st April. I could be wrong.
14 I cannot remember the exact village, I just remember the
15 piece of film, I am afraid.
16 Q. Who has the complete tape of that event, if you know?
17 A. The complete event was shot by television, I do not know
18 which company owns it.
19 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you. That will complete the viewing of
20 the tape.
21 A. Could I just make a point?
22 Q. Please.
23 A. You played that piece of film backwards. Could you play
24 the piece of film backwards showing the soldiers in the
25 Scimitar in what appears to be passing a weapon down to
1 soldiers, because I think is a very misleading bite of
2 film which makes it appear that United Nations soldiers
3 were actually passing weapons down to the warring
4 factions within Bosnia, and I find that to be quite a
5 dreadful piece of film. What I am saying is if you play
6 that film backwards the soldier is having it passed up
7 to him, and if you were to look at a larger piece of
8 film and put it in context, you would see exactly what
9 is happening in that piece of film, and I think you will
10 find the soldier passed the shotgun he was carrying up
11 to the soldier in the Scimitar to have a look at and the
12 soldier in the Scimitar passed the weapon back down to
14 Q. Do you have that tape? Do you know where we can find
15 that tape, a larger tape of that incident?
16 A. Yes, I think that is available.
17 Q. Who would have that?
18 A. I have seen that piece of tape, I think the Prosecution
19 have a copy of it.
20 MR. KEHOE: We have it, judge. This tape has been edited and
21 we are more than willing to play it.
22 JUDGE JORDA: I think that is a slight procedural problem,
23 Colonel. Perhaps we can leave that for the response of
24 the Prosecutor when he can ask the context of this video
25 on which the witness was questioned, and then we can
1 have it shown. However, Mr. Hayman, this proves that the
2 witness has the impression that he is being asked to
3 respond on the basis of very partial material, but the
4 judges are here to appreciate what is being shown, and
5 we are able to say things which we do not always want
7 First of all, Colonel, I quite understand your
8 remark. It will be up to the Prosecutor, who is in
9 charge of his case, to refer to it in his
10 re-examination, and then he can ask for the previous
11 part of the tape to be played. Thank you.
12 Continue, Mr. Hayman.
13 MR. HAYMAN: We have played everything we have pertaining to
14 that incident, your Honour. If there is another more
15 complete tape, we would certainly welcome it being
17 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, on that line, it begs the question
18 as to where this tape came from.
19 MR. HAYMAN: If I could continue with my examination, your
20 Honour, I would like to.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, you can continue your cross-examination,
22 but the question will arise as to the source of this
23 video, which we have already seen. It seems to me that
24 we have already seen these three sequences.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, this tape and the film was shown.
1 JUDGE JORDA: By whom and during which testimony, please?
2 Do not hurry.
3 THE REGISTRAR: It was when Tudor Ellis was testifying on
4 30th September.
5 JUDGE JORDA: It has been admitted into evidence?
6 THE REGISTRAR: No, it has not been admitted into evidence.
7 JUDGE JORDA: So it is still under the previous reservation
8 that we had for some documents. Mr. Hayman, if
9 I remember well, I think Mr. Hayman said that he reserved
10 the right to give the source of this video later, was
11 that not so, Mr. Hayman?
12 MR. HAYMAN: We did, we also showed the tape to Captain Ellis
13 to see what portion or portions he could authenticate,
14 and we are doing the same thing with this witness, your
16 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, you got the answer of the witness,
17 he has not identified everything and for the moment we
18 will not admit it into evidence until it has been
19 identified, and we will retain in the record the
20 reservations expressed. Perhaps if we had seen it in
21 its totality, we would have a completely different
22 understanding, precisely the question of who was handing
23 the weapon to whom.
24 MR. HAYMAN: Colonel, yesterday you discussed a criticism you
25 had of Colonel Blaskic for not arresting any suspects
1 whose names he may have relayed to the military
2 prosecuting authorities within the HVO, or up his chain
3 of command, if you will. I would like to ask you if you
4 have undertaken any study of the law in the former
5 Yugoslavia or in Bosnia that would set forth what the
6 standards are for referring suspects for further
7 investigation and possible prosecution, as well as the
8 standards for arresting a soldier who may be the subject
9 of that type of procedure?
10 A. No, I had not. I was only applying the regulations that
11 exist in our own army and in the United Nations.
12 Q. But you would agree those are not regulations that would
13 have applied on the territory of Central Bosnia in 1992,
14 1993 and 1994?
15 A. I do not know that.
16 Q. The law of England did not apply to soldiers in the
17 former Yugoslavia, correct?
18 A. The law of England did not, no, but the Articles of War
20 Q. Tell us. Within United Kingdom military law, is the
21 same standard of proof required for referring an
22 individual to a military prosecutor for further
23 investigation and for arresting and detaining an
24 individual? Is that your testimony?
25 A. No, what I am saying is that if I was commanding an
1 organisation that had or was accused of committing an
2 atrocity the like of Ahmici and I knew, I would initiate
3 an investigation with all the resources at my command,
4 and if I identified people who had been involved in it,
5 yes, I would arrest them and I would detain them pending
6 further investigation by our military police
7 authorities. That I am entitled to do as a commander.
8 I would certainly not want those soldiers continuing to
9 operate under my command if I suspected them of doing
10 such a thing.
11 Q. Is there a procedure under UK military law for further
12 investigation directed by the military prosecutor?
13 A. Yes, there is, by the military police.
14 Q. Under some circumstances under UK military law are those
15 suspects detained, and then under other circumstances
16 not detained, pending that investigation?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Are you telling this court that the UK military law
19 requires a suspect to be detained under certain
20 circumstances and not under others?
21 A. There are certain circumstances in which a suspected
22 person is required to be detained by our regulations and
23 the remainder of that area of jurisdiction is up to the
24 judgment of the commanding officer or the brigade
25 commander, or the divisional commander.
1 Q. You are talking about an area about which under UK
2 military law there is discretion in the commander?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. We are not talking about a violation of UK military law,
6 A. I would consider it a severe error of judgment by a
7 commander, but technically, he has that jurisdiction.
8 MR. HAYMAN: Let us return to 16th April for just a moment
9 and then I will conclude. I am going to approach, your
10 Honour, with permission.
11 Directing your attention back to Exhibit 29J and
12 the overhead transparency upon it, and calling your
13 attention to 16th April, you drew two blue lines to
14 indicate the separation lines, if you will, of the HVO
15 and then two additional lines to indicate the withdrawal
16 points, if you will, of the BiH following the cease-fire
17 of 21 April 1993, correct?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. Can you tell us, on 16th April 1993 how far towards the
20 line marked "A" did the HVO advance?
21 A. I have a recollection that line A was significant within
22 the requirements of the HVO, and I think it marked the
23 forward limit of quite a long-standing HVO presence.
24 Q. Sorry, you believe the HVO advanced across the
25 line marked "A" on 16th April 1993?
1 A. No, they had positions up there in the hills dug in and
2 they advanced along the valley floor, was our reading of
3 the battle as it was reported to us.
4 Q. At what time was the maximum advanced or securing of
5 territory north of the spinal road from Vitez to
6 Busovaca achieved by the HVO? Was that on the 16th?
7 A. No, the major attack started on the morning of the
8 16th and there was continuous fighting in that area
9 through the 17th and 18th, but the major offensive
10 appeared to be on the morning of the 16th.
11 Q. When would the maximum amount of control of territory
12 have been achieved by the HVO?
13 A. I would suspect by the end of the 17th.
14 Q. In relation particularly to the village of Ahmici, how
15 far north of the spinal road did the HVO go?
16 A. They were, I would say, about line alpha, as far as we
17 could determine. We did not actually patrol into that
18 area. As you can see, there are no roads and we did not
19 take our Warriors. There are roads, but our Warriors
20 had terrible problems getting up them. They are very
21 small roads. It is quite mountainous.
22 Q. Are you familiar with the location of Barangaj, above
23 Ahmici on this map?
24 A. I am not aware of that place, no.
25 Q. Kratine, is that a location you believe was overtaken by
1 the HVO on 16th or 17th, or not?
2 A. Kratine is shown as a ridgeline. We understand the HVO
3 were in positions up on these ridges by the 17th.
4 Q. Beyond or just up to the ridge?
5 A. This was a Croat village, to the best of my memory.
6 Q. Poculica?
7 A. Yes, and there were certainly Croat positions up here
8 and Jelinak was held by the Croatians as well.
9 Q. Are there other villages in the Lasva Valley within
10 canton 10 that were not the subject of fighting or
11 conflict on 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th April and so forth
13 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, I would object. We asked those
14 questions yesterday, I recall.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that is correct. The question was asked
16 yesterday, Mr. Hayman. Change your question, please.
17 MR. HAYMAN: How many villages are there, if you know, in the
18 Lasva Valley area, within the canton 10 designated
19 region of either Muslim or mixed Muslim Croat
20 population? Ten or 100 or 200? Can you give us an
22 A. There are dozens of them, you can see them on the map.
23 Q. Many, many, many villages, correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. On 16th April, how many Muslim or mixed Muslim Croat
1 villages were attacked by the HVO in the Lasva Valley?
2 Were they all attacked?
3 A. They were not all attacked.
4 Q. Were ones adjacent to the spinal road from Vitez and
5 Busovaca and Kruscica which we have already discussed,
6 are those the villages that were attacked?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. KEHOE: These are the questions that were asked
9 yesterday, Mr. President.
10 A. And there were others as well.
11 JUDGE JORDA: The same objection and the judge is telling
12 you, change the question, Mr. Hayman. These questions
13 have been asked in one way or another. You may have
14 changed the form, but the judges are aware of what you
15 are doing.
16 MR. HAYMAN: They were not asked, your Honour, and the record
17 will speak for itself. One moment. (Pause).
18 JUDGE JORDA: Not in that form, that is true, Mr. Hayman.
19 The previous question was put in that form, but I agree
20 with you that this one was not put in that form, but
21 I am saying that the judges are fully aware that you are
22 trying to put the same question in a different form, so
23 let us not play around with words.
24 MR. HAYMAN: That is not my intent, your Honour.
25 JUDGE JORDA: I am convinced. Thank you.
1 MR. HAYMAN: Colonel, other than the villages along the
2 spinal road from Vitez to Busovaca, and other than
3 Kruscica which we have discussed and Stari Vitez, what
4 other villages not adjacent to the spinal road were
5 attacked on 16th April 1993?
6 MR. KEHOE: Again, Mr. President, this is the ground that we
7 covered when counsel was going through the list of these
8 particular villages yesterday.
9 MR. HAYMAN: I asked about three or four villages, your
10 Honour. Now I am asking an open-ended question to end
11 the inquiry and I think I should be allowed to do that,
12 despite counsel's repeated objections.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Listen, I propose, Mr. Hayman, that you put for
14 the last time an open-ended question on a subject that
15 was discussed yesterday. We are prolonging the debate
16 unnecessarily. The day will come when we will fix a
17 period of time for each party. The parties do not have
18 every right in proceedings. The Trial Chamber also has
19 certain rights and it is its responsibility to guide the
20 debate within a certain time period. Tell us exactly
21 what is your objective and then the Trial Chamber will
22 know whether that is in line with that objective or
23 not. It is 12.52. We are going to end this
24 cross-examination this morning, so please choose your
25 questions and we are stopping at 1.00 sharp.
1 MR. HAYMAN: I have stated the question, your Honour,
2 although it continues to be interrupted so the witness
3 cannot answer. I will state it again and if Mr. Kehoe
4 will abstain from objecting, I can conclude my
6 JUDGE JORDA: It is not Mr. Kehoe, it is the judge who is
7 speaking to you.
8 MR. HAYMAN: Colonel, other than Kruscica and Stari Vitez
9 which we have discussed, and other than the villages
10 along the spinal road from Vitez to Busovaca, namely
11 Ahmici, Santici, Pirici, Nadioci and others, what other
12 villages did you observe, or did you hear reports of,
13 within the Lasva Valley were attacked on the morning of
14 16th April 1993? Can you tell us, please?
15 A. On the morning of 16th April 1993, they were the
16 villages that we initially had reports were being
18 MR. HAYMAN: No further questions, your Honour.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We will resume work at 2.30.
20 Mr. Prosecutor, you have your right to re-examine, after
21 which the judges will have their own questions. The
22 meeting is adjourned until 2.30 pm.
23 (12.55 pm)
24 (Adjourned until 2.30 pm)
1 (2.30 pm)
2 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume the hearing now. Please have
3 the accused brought in.
4 (Accused brought in)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, I would like to remind you that your
6 rebuttal must follow very strict limits and you are not
7 to start the principal examination again, but simply
8 limit yourself to make any clarifications or
9 rectifications of points you feel should be clarified or
10 supplemented in light of what took place during the
11 cross-examination. Do we agree on that?
12 Re-examined by MR. KEHOE
13 Q. Yes, Mr. President.
14 Good afternoon, Colonel.
15 A. Good afternoon, sir.
16 Q. Colonel, could we turn to the documents to your right on
17 the table which are the documents that Defence counsel
18 introduced during his cross-examination. They relate to
19 various excerpts from 1 Cheshire Mil Info Summs. Do you
20 see those, sir?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. The first one is Defence Exhibit D59, that is
23 19th January 1993, is that not right?
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 Q. Next to that document, and you can take it out of the
1 sleeve, is what we would call a draft notice, a call-up
2 order, is that right?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 Q. This was before you arrived in Bosnia, correct?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. This particular Mil Info Summ that has been related by
7 the Defence counsel, and I am reading seven lines down,
8 the sentence beginning with, "the recruitment", do you
9 see that?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. Can you read that for me?
12 A. "The recruitment of civilians, i.e. people who have no
13 involvement in the BiH/HVO forces, is a reflection of
14 the assessed need by the BiH forces to strengthen
15 themselves against the perceived increased threat from
16 the HVO."
17 Q. Stop there, Colonel. Later on that month, was there in
18 fact an attack by HVO forces against the Muslims in
20 A. I understand there was.
21 Q. So this particular assessment was correct?
22 A. There was indeed a threat against the Muslims by the HVO
23 at that time, and that initial period of our deployment
24 in Vitez was dominated by the interethnic fighting in
25 the Kiseljak valley.
1 Q. Let us turn ourselves to the next exhibit that is to
2 your left in the sleeve. Again, could you take that out
3 of the sleeve?
4 JUDGE JORDA: Would you speak more slowly, please? The
5 interpreter has not finished interpreting the witness's
6 answer, and here you are quickly rushing into a second
7 question. We want to save some time, but that does not
8 necessarily mean that we have to speak as quickly as
9 that. We are trying to work with the proceedings, not
10 only about speaking faster. Go ahead, Mr. Kehoe.
11 MR. KEHOE: I apologise, Mr. President, your Honours, and
12 I apologise to the booth.
13 Let us turn our attention to D60. That particular
14 document is dated on 18th April 1993, again a 1 Cheshire
15 Mil Info Summ, correct?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. On this particular Warrior -- this Warrior call sign
18 reflected a checkpoint at grid reference 134001, do you
19 see that?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. Where is that?
22 A. I have to double check the map, but I think it is just
23 south of Travnik.
24 Q. Could you check the map very briefly?
25 A. It was a BiH checkpoint just to the east of Travnik
1 which had been put in place after -- initially during
2 the tense period following Boban's visit on 8th April
3 and then reinforced and strengthened after the HVO
4 attacks on the morning of the 16th April.
5 Q. So it had been there some time prior to 18th April?
6 A. Yes, it had.
7 Q. Turn the page . Annexed thereto is the four
8 paragraph cease-fire signed only by Blaskic; do you see
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. You mentioned on cross-examination that you did not see
12 any such document signed by the Bosnian forces, is that
14 A. That is correct, sir.
15 Q. Did you to your knowledge or anybody within the British
16 battalion or the ECMM monitors, did anybody negotiate
17 any such cease-fire?
18 A. Not at this point on 18th April. We had been
19 negotiating with brigade commanders continuously in the
20 school, and this is the first time we had seen, to my
21 memory, a document from Colonel Blaskic's headquarters.
22 Q. At this point, the date 18th April 1993, would it have
23 been to the strategic and operational advantage of the
24 HVO to sue for peace on this date?
25 A. When we first saw it, we initially thought, "thank God,
1 a bit of sanity is returning to this place" and then
2 realised quite quickly that it really was not a valid
3 document. The key thing that was missing was any
4 suggestion that the HVO forces would withdraw to former
5 lines of conflict. It appeared a rather crude and naive
6 attempt to seize land in an operational offensive and
7 then sue for peace when you had achieved your
8 objectives, with no intent within your statement of your
9 cease-fire document of relinquishing that land you had
10 captured. So we did not give it any validity at all.
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
12 MR. KEHOE: Was there any reference in this document signed
13 by Blaskic to give up any ground that he had gained and
14 that the HVO had gained?
15 A. No, there is no mention at all.
16 Q. Likewise, let us go to the last document -- excuse me,
17 not the last document, I believe it is Exhibit D65. If
18 you could refer to the back of it, you can see the
19 numbers on there, Colonel, the exhibit stickers on the
20 back. So do you see that particular reference on D65,
21 beginning with, "Colonel Blaskic claimed that there had
22 been a BiH offensive on the area, contravening the
24 A. Yes, I do.
25 Q. Is it your conclusion, Colonel, that he was complaining
1 about a cease-fire when there was in fact never any
2 agreed cease-fire?
3 A. He is complaining about the cease-fire document that he
4 had sent to us, we had not seen any cease-fire document
5 signed by the BiH, and it was usual, and it had been the
6 case on 17th, 18th and 19th, for negotiations to proceed
7 such a cease-fire involving all parties to agree it, so
8 this appears to be a claim by Colonel Blaskic that his
9 offered cease-fire or the document which he had signed
10 stating there was a cease-fire had been contravened.
11 Q. Let us turn to the last of those documents, Colonel.
12 I believe it is, for the record, D67. That is the one
13 with the Mil Info Summ 180 for 28th April 1993. Do you
14 have that before you, Colonel?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. It refers, does it not, to a village, Kazagici?
17 A. Yes, it does.
18 Q. Kazagici was a Muslim village, was it not?
19 A. Yes, it was.
20 Q. Did you visit Kazagici?
21 A. Yes, I did. I visited Kazagici on 28th April, 27th or
22 28th, some time around there. At that point, the
23 cease-fire negotiated on the 21st was largely being
24 honoured in the Vitez/Kiseljak, Busovaca area, but south
25 of Busovaca in the Kiseljak valley, the cease-fire
1 seemed to be being totally ignored by both sides and
2 that had become our main area of effort in that time, to
3 try and bring that cease-fire to a conclusion.
4 Q. You were asked on cross-examination whether or not the
5 destruction in a village could be caused by collateral
6 damage, and I think you responded that a village could
7 be destroyed by collateral damage?
8 MR. HAYMAN: With all due respect, your Honour, that was not
9 the question and answer that occurred during my
11 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. Would you perhaps modify your
12 question, Mr. Kehoe?
13 MR. KEHOE: Certainly, Mr. President. You went to see this
14 village, correct, Colonel?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. On 28th April 1993?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. It was a Muslim village?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. What did it look like?
21 A. I remember reporting over the radio that a great many of
22 the houses had recently been burnt, and by that, I mean
23 they had been torched, systematically destroyed.
24 Q. Was that similar to the houses that you saw torched in
1 A. Yes, it was.
2 Q. Santici?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Nadioci?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And in various other locations in the Lasva Valley?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you conclude when you were there that the Muslims
9 torched their own houses?
10 A. No. It is a daft question. No.
11 Q. Going back to some questions that were asked by Defence
12 counsel during cross-examination concerning what Blaskic
13 and whether Blaskic fulfilled his responsibilities in
14 putting together a list of soldiers responsible for the
15 massacre in Ahmici, do you recall those questions?
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. Did that list indicate to you that these were HVO
18 soldiers who were on this list?
19 A. Yes, it did, although initially Colonel Blaskic accused
20 the Serbs of attacking Ahmici.
21 Q. So was there a change in his position from the Serb to
22 this list of HVO soldiers?
23 A. Yes, there was.
24 Q. Did you ever find out directly or indirectly during this
25 time that Blaskic claimed that Muslim HOS units from
1 Zenica committed this crime in Ahmici?
2 A. I have no recollection of that, sir.
3 Q. How about Muslim MOS units from Zenica?
4 A. You are saying Muslim people attacked Ahmici?
5 Q. That is right. Did you ever hear Blaskic maintain that
6 Muslim people attacked Muslims and burnt their houses
7 and murdered them in Ahmici?
8 A. No, I did not, but if I had I would have considered it
9 as ridiculous as the accusation that the Serbs had done
11 Q. Why?
12 A. Because it was practically impossible for the Serbs to
13 do it and why Muslim people should shoot and murder
14 themselves is just -- it defies any logic that I can
15 think of, and also there were statements made by some of
16 the refugees --
17 MR. HAYMAN: Excuse me, Colonel. Your Honour, there is no
18 testimony that the accused ever said this --
19 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment. Things are going so fast
20 here. I have to understand the interpreters. I am
21 still listening to the interpretation of the witness's
22 answer. I would like things to go more slowly so the
23 judges can understand and then listen to you with all
24 respect that would be due to you. Has the witness
25 completed his answer?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, what is your objection? Please do
3 it calmly, slowly, so that it can be interpreted
5 MR. HAYMAN: I apologise to the witness and the court for
6 interrupting, but I think the question is
7 impermissible. The question initially was: did Blaskic
8 ever blame MOS, some Muslim group; witness: no.
9 Question: would that have been a ridiculous accusation,
10 and we were hearing a recitation as to how it would have
11 been absurd to blame MOS for the attacks when the
12 witness said Blaskic never blamed MOS for the attacks.
13 It is not relevant, that is my objection.
14 JUDGE JORDA: I sustain that objection.
15 MR. KEHOE: May I be heard on that, Mr. President?
16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course you can be heard. Nonetheless,
17 I do feel that the objection is well grounded.
18 MR. KEHOE: I understand, Mr. President. However, if I might
19 say that based on the questions given by Defence
20 counsel, this particular issue has become an issue, this
21 particular question has become an issue and we will
22 present evidence that in fact Blaskic did maintain that
23 Muslims from Zenica murdered these people in Ahmici. My
24 question at this point is with his varied responses,
25 first the Serbs and then the HVO, I think it is
1 probative at this point whether or not Blaskic blamed
2 Muslims during this timeframe as well.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Proceed, please.
4 MR. KEHOE: Bear with me a moment, Colonel, I am just going
5 to shift from topics, because obviously we are not going
6 to cover everything covered in cross-examination.
7 I will shift topics at this juncture and move ahead to
8 troops and the number of troops. You were asked some
9 questions on cross-examination about whether or not the
10 number of troops that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had
11 outnumbered the number of troops that were in the
12 employ, if you will, of the HVO. Do you recall those
14 A. Yes, I do. I could not remember the exact numbers, but
15 I was aware that the BiH outnumbered the HVO in terms of
17 Q. As a lieutenant colonel in the British army, in
18 examining such issues over the course of your career, is
19 the number of troops on each respective side an accurate
20 assessment of how strong each individual army is?
21 A. No, it is too simplistic a measurement.
22 Q. Can you explain that?
23 A. You can look at the Korean war where small groups of
24 British soldiers held out against mass wave attacks of
25 Chinese and North Koreans. The numbers are not actually
1 relevant, it is more to do with the other factors of
2 combat power and these are the actual fire power, direct
3 and indirect, available to the commander; the state of
4 motivation and morale of his troops, which we call the
5 moral aspect of fighting power. There are a great many
6 measurements of military capability before you would be
7 in a position to assess which is a greater force. Sheer
8 numbers is just simplistic.
9 Q. The fire power in the Lasva Valley and in Central
10 Bosnia, who had the upper hand in fire power?
11 A. The Croats without a doubt --
12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, please wait for the answer. I am
13 not able to hear the answer being completed and there
14 you are already asking the question again. The judges
15 do, after all, have the right to hear the entire
16 answer. Please think about the French-speaking judge.
17 MR. KEHOE: Again, Mr. President, I apologise.
18 Going back to my question, Colonel, who had the
19 upper hand in fire power?
20 A. The HVO had the upper hand in fire power and had greater
21 access through their munitions factories within Vitez to
22 ammunition and artillery and mortars.
23 Q. Did you see any weapons such as the size of a 40
24 millimetre anti-aircraft weapon being used by the HVO?
25 A. Yes, I did. I actually saw one in Busovaca, a 40
1 millimetre anti-aircraft cannon mounted on a flat bed
2 truck, with an enormous amount of 40 millimetre
3 ammunition. It is an extremely formidable force
4 multiplier in terms of the devastation it can cause in a
5 ground role. I certainly would not want to go up
6 against it, even with my Warriors.
7 Q. Let us turn our attention to Dario Kordic. You
8 discussed on direct and cross-examination the issue
9 concerning a convoy being diverted to Busovaca.
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. Who diverted that, sir?
12 A. Soldiers in black uniforms was how it was relayed to me,
13 which I presumed were the people who lived down in the
14 cottages, as they were called.
15 Q. Were these the individuals --
16 A. Yes. I personally debriefed the officer who led that
17 convoy because it was so badly conducted. He said that
18 the soldiers who hijacked the convoy, when challenged by
19 the fact that Colonel Blaskic had given permission for
20 that convoy, moving from the depot in Zenica up to
21 Travnik, a soldier said, "we do not take our orders from
22 Blaskic, we take our orders from Dario Kordic".
23 Q. Did that incident relate to that particular convoy?
24 A. It was the abducting of that convoy. It later
25 transpired that Dario Kordic did not believe that the
1 Croat community within Central Bosnia, and specifically
2 Busovaca, were receiving a fair share of the available
3 aid and so he instigated the abducting of that convoy
4 into Busovaca to bring aid to the town.
5 Q. Had you had any experience of Kordic doing that before
6 that or after that?
7 A. No, sir. When convoys had been hijacked by HVO forces
8 in the past we had rung up the headquarters of
9 Colonel Blaskic and he had secured the release. I can
10 think of a very specific convoy of flour and yeast that
11 he returned to us.
12 Q. Was that an isolated incident, Colonel?
13 A. In my experience, yes, sir.
14 Q. With regard to Dario Kordic, you attended various
15 meetings where Blaskic and sometimes General Petkovic
16 were present, is that correct?
17 A. That is correct, sir.
18 Q. Was Kordic at any of these meetings?
19 A. No, he was not.
20 Q. You also participated in cease-fire negotiations, did
21 you not?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. And were there when documents were signed concerning
24 cease-fire negotiations, is that correct?
25 A. Yes, I was.
1 Q. Was Kordic there?
2 A. No, he was not.
3 Q. Did he sign those agreements?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did Blaskic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. With regard to those individuals who diverted that
8 convoy, other than this particular diverting of a convoy
9 to Busovaca by Kordic, was there any indication to you
10 that those soldiers were otherwise not under Blaskic's
12 A. That incident led me to believe that they did obviously
13 take orders from Dario Kordic, so they seemed therefore
14 to respond to a parallel or different chain of command
15 on that occasion. I have no reason to believe in our
16 studying of the HVO forces within the Lasva Valley that
17 they were not under the routine command of
18 Colonel Blaskic.
19 Q. You were present during the negotiations on 21st April
20 1993 with Petkovic and Blaskic, is that right?
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. During the negotiations, was an issue raised concerning
23 whether Kordic would go along with any agreement that
24 was reached?
25 A. Yes, there was. I cannot remember the exact
1 circumstances. I may even have raised it myself because
2 of this confusion of Kordic being able to interject in
3 this kidnapping of this aid convoy. I wanted to make
4 sure that when we had a cease-fire agreement signed by
5 Colonel Blaskic that Dario Kordic would honour the
6 conditions of that cease-fire and was not some form of
7 rogue missile in Busovaca. General Petkovic made it
8 quite clear, in his inimitable way, that Dario Kordic
9 would do as he was told.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, go ahead, ask your question.
11 MR. KEHOE: I am sorry about the pacing, Mr. President.
12 I will slow down as much as I can.
13 JUDGE JORDA: You are excusing yourself with the President,
14 but do it for the interpreters as well. It is very
15 difficult to interpret if you work under those
17 MR. KEHOE: Colonel, you were asked on cross-examination with
18 the easel about a chain of command that moved from the
19 operative zone to the operative group down through a
20 brigade level.
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 Q. And down to what you would call ground troops, is that
24 A. Down to the lowest chain of command, a section in the
25 British army.
1 Q. Is that a normal chain of command in the British army?
2 A. It is the chain of command in the British army,
3 division, brigade, battalion, company, platoon and
5 Q. What does a commanding officer in your capacity,
6 Colonel, or in Blaskic's capacity, what do they
8 A. They delegate the tasks, in the form of mission
9 statements, and they delegate the resources to complete
10 those tasks. What they do not delegate is the
12 Q. Explain that, Colonel.
13 A. Whoever is the commander who sets the overall mission is
14 responsible for the planning and conduct of that
15 operation, and he will be given the resources to conduct
16 that operation for the number of brigades he has, or
17 battalions or whatever.
18 Q. Colonel, could you slow down a little bit?
19 A. Sorry. He will conduct what we describe as an
20 "estimate", which is a decision-making progress, until
21 he comes up with his plan. He will then construct a set
22 of orders based on his plan. He will then give those
23 orders to his subordinates to execute his plan. That
24 does not matter whether it is a divisional plan, two or
25 three star General level, the brigade commander's plan,
1 the battalion commander's plan, the company commander's
2 plan as we discussed before. It depends on the size of
3 the objective and the resources. Implicit in the plan
4 is the intent of the commander and the commander remains
5 responsible at whatever level he has set the goal to
6 ensure that the plan is conducted according to his
7 orders, and his responsibilities are to check that is
8 the case with his chain of command which functions
9 throughout the battle.
10 The commander does not go away when the battle
11 starts, he stays and fights the battle and puts himself
12 in a position where he can influence the effect of his
13 plan as it unfolds on the battlefield. He remains
14 responsible for the conduct of that plan and the success
15 or failure of the operation, and the conduct of his
16 troops conducting that operation. That remains his
17 responsibility. In summary, you can delegate the task,
18 but you do not delegate your responsibility. That is
19 why you are a commander.
20 Q. Accordingly, would it be fair to say, Colonel, that
21 Blaskic or you yourself have to take steps that your
22 orders are carried out in the way that you want them
23 carried out?
24 A. Yes, of course. You train your force to do that, and
25 one of your responsibilities as a commander is to train
1 and discipline your force to conduct the operations in
2 the way you require them to be done.
3 Q. Colonel, does this include following mandates of the
4 Geneva Convention and the Articles of War?
5 A. Yes, it does and that is reinforced in my own army with
6 a mandatory requirement every year for all ranks, from
7 the highest to the lowest, to actually be formally
8 taught the Geneva Convention. You conduct all your
9 operations according to the Geneva Convention, otherwise
10 you are a war criminal.
11 Q. What is the requirement, Colonel, of a commander who is
12 giving an order to attack to protect civilians in the
14 A. It is implicit in the Geneva Convention, and it is one
15 of the paragraphs in our orders card, so when a
16 commander gives a set of orders, we have an aide memoire
17 covering the paragraph headings that he must address
18 within his orders according to our doctrine, and in
19 "service support", which is the final generic
20 paragraph heading, one of the listed factors he must
21 take into account in both his plan and the execution of
22 his plan is refugees. They are implicit in his plan,
23 how he is going to deal with the refugees, how he is
24 going to protect the refugees. It is an extremely
25 difficult thing.
1 Q. So after a battle has been completed?
2 A. No, before a battle is completed.
3 Q. Hypothetically before, is his responsibility to
4 civilians, both before, during and after a battle?
5 A. If you are attacking, your plan must address and you
6 must allocate the resources within your plan to address
7 how you will ameliorate the effects of your attack on
8 the civilian population that may or may not be in the
10 Equally, after the attack, you have to allocate
11 the resources to look after the civilians and you may
12 well injure or kill some of those in your attack. That
13 is one of the costs of war, but you must, and you are
14 required by the Geneva Convention, to treat them and the
15 enemy as your own when they are wounded.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman?
17 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, I apologise for interrupting, but
18 I would like to note that this subject of protecting
19 civilians and avoiding civilian casualties in wartime
20 was not gone into on cross-examination by me. This is
21 new material, and the problem with raising new material
22 on redirect is if we, the Defence, do not have the
23 opportunity to cross-examine, we are deprived our right,
24 the accused's right to cross-examine on this subject
25 matter at all, so I am raising it for the court, I think
1 redirect should be limited to matters raised on
3 JUDGE JORDA: I take a quick look at my colleagues here, who
4 tell me that I really have to answer, something which
5 I would answer anyway. Yes, I think that is true. If
6 you ask a question in a rather general way about the
7 situation of the British army, the way it is trained,
8 the way it carries out orders, the way it respects the
9 rights of civilian populations and refugees, that is one
10 thing, but if you go into too long a development of this
11 point, that does deprive the Defence, who only very
12 slightly touched on that subject. You deprive them of
13 the right of reply. Since we do not have this right,
14 I ask you now to move to another question.
15 MR. KEHOE: You were asked, Colonel, with regard to
16 conversations that the British battalion had with
17 Blaskic regarding the 400 civilians outside the garage.
18 A. That is correct, and I remembered that we were requested
19 or told, I am not sure which, by Colonel Blaskic to deal
20 with the snipers ourselves.
21 Q. Under the Articles of War, Colonel, contrary to you
22 dealing with the snipers, whose responsibility was it
23 for those civilians?
24 A. Colonel Blaskic's forces attacked Vitez that morning and
25 implicit in what we have just talked about was
1 Colonel Blaskic having resources and a plan to protect
2 and look after those refugees and civilians.
3 Q. Did he appear to want to?
4 A. Again, it is difficult to remember one's exact emotions
5 four years ago, but I remember being quite horrified at
6 the prospect that these HVO soldiers who were shooting
7 at these Muslim civilians were now about to be attacked
8 and possibly killed by the United Nations UNPROFOR.
9 That is not what we were there to do and we were very
10 reluctantly did it, especially against the backdrop of a
11 great deal of accusations on the part of Colonel
12 Blaskic's headquarters as to our attacking Croats, which
13 was patently untrue, and supporting the BiH offensive,
14 which was patently untrue, and now being told by him
15 that if we wanted to protect the refugees, then we
16 ourselves should attack his forces. We did it; very
18 Q. Blaskic was put on notice about these civilians outside
19 of the garage, and you were asked some questions by
20 Defence counsel concerning the work of ICRC and the
21 conducting of the investigation involving a massacre in
22 Ahmici and other issues; do you recall those questions?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. Blaskic had prisoners in custody shortly after the
25 battle, did he not?
1 A. Yes, we knew of at least two prisoner locations. One
2 was in the cinema complex in Vitez and the other one was
3 in the Dubravica village, I think in the school. There
4 were a large number of prisoners held by both sides at
5 this point.
6 Q. Did you believe, Colonel ...
7 A. Did I believe?
8 Q. I am just waiting for the translation, if you will. Did
9 you believe, Colonel, based on the information that you
10 had, that Blaskic had the means at his disposal to
11 conduct an investigation?
12 A. Colonel Blaskic was the regional military commander.
13 Within his organisation he had military police, he had
14 within the witnesses -- sorry, within the prisoners he
15 had people from that village, and it was blatantly
16 obvious that he had the means and the ability to conduct
17 an investigation, he just did not appear to have the
19 Q. Again on cross-examination you mentioned ICRC.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And their requirement not to disclose information.
22 A. That is correct. It is core to their entire work that
23 they have to remain bluntly impartial.
24 Q. After 16th April, were members of the ICRC complaining
25 to Blaskic and everyone else about prisoners being
1 forced to dig trenches?
2 A. At that time, their two greatest complaints to the
3 United Nations was their ability to access areas of
4 confrontation, and on various times we provided them
5 with Warrior support to move round the field of battle,
6 and the other vociferous complaint from ICRC at the time
7 was their lack of access to prisoners held within the
8 Lasva Valley, specifically in Dubravica school and in
9 Vitez, which they believe was absolutely contrary to the
10 Geneva Convention, as the ICRC.
11 Q. So with this information concerning digging trenches and
12 access to prisoners, did Blaskic appear to do anything
13 about it?
14 A. Appear to do anything about access to prisoners, or
15 digging trenches?
16 Q. Did he appear to want to stop the forced digging of
17 trenches by prisoners?
18 A. I think at that stage it had become a matter of virtual
19 survival at the tactical battle, as the momentum of the
20 Muslim advance came. I do not think the Croats had the
21 resources to dig trenches and were utilising their
22 prisoners to do that. I cannot comment on the state of
23 Colonel Blaskic's mind over that issue, but on the
24 ground, we saw no manifestation of an order to rescind
25 the illegal use of prisoners for digging trenches. It
1 was a major issue with the ICRC.
2 Q. During your time there, you described previously the
3 truck bomb in Stari Vitez on 18th April as a terrorist
4 act. Did you see any steps taken by Blaskic to
5 investigate that terrorist act?
6 A. No, I did not.
7 Q. With regard to the shelling of Zenica, following your
8 phone call from the British battalion to the Hotel
9 Vitez, did you see any steps by Blaskic to investigate
10 the shelling and killing of civilians in Zenica on
11 19th April 1993?
12 A. No, I did not, other than there was another engagement
13 of Zenica on the 24th.
14 Q. Did his failure to protect the civilians at the echelon,
15 stopping the digging of trenches, the truck bomb and the
16 shelling of Zenica, was his failure to do that
17 consistent throughout this?
18 A. He did not appear to address those issues.
19 Q. Did he demonstrate any desire to do so?
20 A. Not as far as I was aware, no.
21 Q. You were the second in command at that time, were you
22 not, Colonel?
23 A. Yes, I was. I also know the commanding officer was
24 entreating Colonel Blaskic to actually do something
25 about it, and was very disappointed at the lack of
1 response to this entreatment.
2 Q. Again I am going to change subjects, Colonel. I want to
3 raise with you the tape recording that was played by the
4 Defence just prior to lunch. You recall that, do you
5 not, Colonel?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. Did you detect a certain insinuation emanating from that
8 tape regarding the conduct of the British battalion and
9 specifically 1 Cheshire in Bosnia during your tour?
10 A. That piece of film was similar to pieces of film that
11 had been broadcast on Croat television during the period
12 17th to about 28th or 30th April, alleging that the
13 United Nations and specifically BritBat were actively
14 supporting the Muslim offensive against the Croat
15 peoples, and pieces of edited film from the world's
16 media were being put together to illustrate these
17 accusations, and we had seen a great deal of these
18 pieces of film in their entirety and were outraged,
19 actually, that this crude black propaganda was being
20 exercised to discredit us, and the only logical
21 conclusion we could draw is that if the Croat government
22 were able to discredit us, then the accusations that we
23 at the time seemed to be the only people making of these
24 massacres would lose validity, and it just appeared a
25 very simple piece of propaganda, more akin to the sort
1 of thing that was perpetuated in the former Soviet Union
2 than in a democratic country.
3 Q. Did Blaskic engage in that propaganda?
4 A. Yes, he did. He sent many faxes and made accusations on
5 the phone, some of them personally to me, as to the
6 conduct of our soldiers, such allegations as wantonly
7 and indiscriminately firing our 30 millimetre cannon in
8 the centre of Vitez, which was an absolute lie; faxes
9 alleging desecration of the catholic church in Vitez,
10 which as many of my battalion, including myself, were
11 Roman Catholics, as well as myself, we found absolutely
12 appalling, and general assistance to the BiH by the
13 movement of weapons and soldiers around the battlefield
14 in support of the BiH offensive. The whole thing was
15 absolutely ridiculous.
16 Q. Colonel, did you think the insinuation from the tape was
17 that British battalion and British soldiers were arming
18 the Muslims?
19 A. That is exactly what it looked like it was trying to
20 show to me, yes.
21 Q. Did it ever happen?
22 A. To the best of my knowledge, no it did not. We were
23 quite ruthless in ensuring that our people did not gain
24 a particular allegiance of sentiment with any particular
25 one of the warring factions. To do that, we moved our
1 companies, with the exception of B Company in Gornji
2 Vakuf, around Bosnia so that our soldiers would realise
3 that within this extremely savage and complex civil war
4 there really were no good guys and nobody that actually
5 deserved their personal support. There were only
6 victims and aggressors and who the victims or the
7 aggressors were really depended on the ethnic balance of
8 the area they were working in and no single warring
9 faction had a monopoly on being the victim or the
10 aggressor. That was a message we were determined our
11 soldiers would understand. The idea that we would arm
12 either faction, Serb, Croat or Muslim, was ridiculous.
13 It just is an insult to the work that we were doing
14 there, the things we did.
15 Q. There was also a clip -- excuse me. There was also a
16 clip played by the Defence of now Lieutenant Colonel
17 Martyn Thomas standing in front of a burning building.
18 Could you recall that?
19 A. Yes, I do.
20 Q. Did the soldiers of 1 Cheshire burn villages?
21 A. Of course not.
22 MR. HAYMAN: We are about to review a tape which for the
23 record, Mr. President, your Honours, is numbered
24 Prosecutor's Exhibit 112. Does this tape --
25 JUDGE JORDA: Just one moment, please. I would like to
1 confer with my colleagues. (Pause).
2 Mr. Kehoe, excuse us, because we wanted to confer
3 about the questions we will ask in a little while. For
4 the time being, please continue. I think you wanted to
5 move to the video now, is that right?
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. If I could just have the
7 witness state who is speaking on the video; if you
8 could, Colonel, who is the one speaking on the video?
9 A. It is Mr. Martin Bell, a BBC defence correspondent.
10 MR. KEHOE: Your Honours, this particular video clip is a BBC
11 video clip. This particular clip was given to Defence
12 counsel and we have a transcript in both French and
13 English, and at this point before we do play the
14 videotape, I would just ask the court if I could hand
15 out this particular transcript.
16 JUDGE JORDA: It is a translation in French?
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Do you have a copy for the interpreters,
19 please, in English? (Handed).
20 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Mr. President, if I could go to this
22 (Videotape played)
23 (Videotape stopped)
24 MR. KEHOE: If I could ask the video booth to go back to the
25 segment where the shotgun is being examined by the
1 British soldier, please.
2 (Videotape played)
3 (Videotape stopped)
4 MR. KEHOE: Can you stop there, please? If we could go to
5 the beginning of that, please? The beginning of the
6 first frame where the weapon is up in the top of the
7 vehicle, please.
8 (Videotape played)
9 MR. KEHOE: Stop right there, please.
10 (Videotape stopped)
11 MR. KEHOE: Colonel, was that portion of the tape on the tape
12 shown to you this morning?
13 A. Yes, it was.
14 Q. The portion of the tape where he was looking at the
16 A. No, it was the part where he was handing it down to the
17 Muslim soldier, handing it back to him.
18 Q. What does the commentary reflect that the British
19 soldier was doing with that weapon?
20 A. He had obviously asked the BiH soldier if he could have
21 a look at it, not an uncommon thing at all. It was a
22 soldier who was curious to look at a weapon that was
23 unusual to see. The AK derivative weapon systems were
24 in common use throughout Bosnia, it was quite unusual to
25 see a pump action shotgun, which is not really an
1 infantry weapon. I would have done the same myself.
2 Q. That is likewise reflected in the transcript, is it not?
3 A. Yes, Mr. Bell says that the soldier is inspecting, having
4 a look at the weapon.
5 Q. That is a little different, Colonel, from handing out
6 weapons to Muslims?
7 A. It is just my point. That is just straightforward
8 propaganda in that previous piece of film.
9 Q. Did you consider that first time you were shown this
10 morning misleading?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. KEHOE: If I may, Mr. President? (Pause).
13 A. In fact I would probably even use stronger language,
15 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, again this particular tape we just
16 showed was offered to the Defence, acknowledged by
17 Mr. Nobilo in April 1997, and we have no further
18 questions of this witness. Thank you, Colonel.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Before giving the floor to my
20 colleagues and after having conferred with them, I would
21 like to turn to Mr. Hayman and call to his attention and
22 Mr. Nobilo as well, that is to both the Defence counsel,
23 indirectly to Mr. Blaskic as well, to Rule 85 of the
24 rules. In 85, I would like you to look at paragraph C
25 which says that the accused may, if he so desires,
1 appear as a witness in his own Defence. I turn to you,
2 Mr. Nobilo and Mr. Hayman, you must decide, in light of
3 several things that were stated by Colonel Watters
4 throughout his testimony, you are the ones who have to
5 answer this question, but would you like Colonel Blaskic
6 to appear as a witness before us, that is under oath, in
7 his own Defence, given the fact that we will not go back
8 to Colonel Watters. If you would like to confer about
9 this, of course do, speak together and speak with the
10 accused as well, of course, if you want to.
11 MR. HAYMAN: Are you suggesting that General Blaskic speak
13 JUDGE JORDA: I am suggesting that if you like, you can
14 have, in his own Defence, Colonel Blaskic appear as a
16 MR. HAYMAN: Now?
17 JUDGE JORDA: It is a question I am asking. You should
18 answer. I am asking you whether you would like that
19 Rule 85(C) be used, stating that the accused may if he
20 so desires appear as a witness in his own Defence.
21 MR. HAYMAN: We expect he will, but we will not make that
22 decision finally until the Prosecution's case is
23 concluded and whether we see if after we bring motions
24 to the court whether the motions are dismissed, after
25 the end of the Prosecution's case, or whether the
1 Defence must even put on a case.
2 JUDGE JORDA: I know that in your system that is how things
3 are done. In my own, things are done very differently.
4 In fact, after each testimony, the accused is invited to
5 speak about what was said, because things are clear,
6 they have just been said, and that, of course, once --
7 I am not asking you, I am simply calling your attention
8 to this provision of the text. The fact that the trial
9 is this long, when you want to, in a year or a year and
10 a half, maybe quite a while from now, together with my
11 colleagues and without making any suggestions, I simply
12 wanted to draw your attention to Rule 85(C). I have
13 understood your answer that for the time being in any
14 case you do not wish to make use of Rule 85(C) and to
15 ask in a separate application that you will, if you
16 later on decide that you want to, call your witness. Do
17 we agree with that then?
18 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President, for advising us of your
19 interpretation of Rule 85(C). It had never occurred to
20 me, coming from my system, that the accused might have
21 the opportunity to rebut each Prosecution witness who
22 states they had personal dealings with him, or perhaps
23 even other witnesses. It is something that Mr. Nobilo
24 and I have never discussed, nor have we discussed it
25 with the client, but we will do so in light of your
2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, thank you. I will now ask my
3 colleagues whether they have any questions they wish to
4 ask Colonel Watters. First, Judge Riad. Have you any
5 questions that you would like to ask? The floor is
6 yours. Excuse me, I would like us to settle the
7 tendering of this video clip. I suppose it will be
8 tendered as evidence, is that correct?
9 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. I apologise for not doing
10 that earlier, but I would offer that into evidence as a
11 Prosecution exhibit, number 112.
12 MR. HAYMAN: We have no objection.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Registrar?
14 THE REGISTRAR: This is 112 and the English would be 112A
15 and 112B. If you would allow, I would also like a
16 decision to be made about the transparent film which is
17 on the easel, that is the Defence Exhibit D61.
18 JUDGE JORDA: No objections?
19 MR. HAYMAN: We offer it.
20 MR. KEHOE: No objections, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, Judge Riad. It is your turn to
22 speak now.
23 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Colonel Watters.
24 A. Good afternoon, sir.
25 Q. Judging by your long military experience and your
1 first-hand knowledge of the events which took place in
2 this critical period, you may be in a condition to
3 clarify some, I would call global issues, without
4 perhaps going into small technicalities. My first
5 question is: was the HVO a regular army, a disciplined
6 army, or was it a gathering of undisciplined factions?
7 As simple as that.
8 A. My personal observations and in discussions with members
9 of the HVO, and paying due cognisance to the majority of
10 the commanders having served in the regular JNA, it had
11 all the organisation and trappings of a disciplined
12 regular military force.
13 Q. My second question is: was General Blaskic the
14 undisputed commander of this, what you call it, canton
15 10, the regional commander, or was he in no condition to
17 A. He represented the HVO forces at all negotiations
18 I attended and in my presence related directly to his
19 superior officer, General Petkovic, so I am quite clear
20 that Colonel Blaskic was the military commander, HVO,
21 Central Bosnia.
22 Q. You related various major actions which I am not going
23 to repeat, but it goes from artillery shelling of
24 civilians with what you called an unprecedented scale;
25 let us say destruction of civilian houses in what you
1 qualified as ethnic cleansing; civilians digging
2 trenches; officers ordering people out of their houses
3 under threat of killing them, and other major actions.
4 Could such major actions be taken without the knowledge
5 of the commander?
6 A. Not in my opinion, sir, no.
7 Q. Could it be taken without his consent?
8 A. Isolated incidents could happen without his consent,
10 Q. Were some of these isolated incidents or was it some
11 kind of organised enterprise?
12 A. The co-ordination of the activities specifically on
13 16th and 17th April, in my experience, could not have
14 happened without a great deal of planning and
15 co-ordination at the relevant level, sir. There was too
16 much going on at the same time for it to be spontaneous
17 or out of control.
18 Q. It seems that not all the Muslim villages have been
19 attacked, some of them were spared. What was the
20 criterion of the choice of what you call the ethnic
21 cleansing? Why did they choose, for instance, Ahmici
22 and not other places?
23 A. It is a conundrum, sir, that I do not think I have ever
24 got to the bottom of. The logics that I believe were
25 applied were the ethnic cleansing of the Muslim villages
1 on the boundary of the proposed Vance-Owen Plan canton
2 10, which ran between the Travnik/Vitez/Kaonik road and
3 Zenica, embracing Travnik, which itself was strange,
4 being a Muslim village.
5 The second was the securing of that route within
6 Central Bosnia, linking the major Croat centres of
7 population, and the other reason for the devastation in
8 Ahmici was the idea that Ahmici was very special to the
9 Bosnian Muslim people, as I explained in my evidence,
10 and looking at the other terrorist operations such as
11 the lorry bomb, a brutal and savage lesson to the people
12 of Ahmici would aid the ethnic cleansing in the
13 remainder of the Lasva Valley by terrorising the people
14 to leave, and it certainly worked. They were terrified
15 and they left.
16 Q. Yes, you mentioned Ahmici. I recall now that you said
17 that it was a holy place and it was perhaps a gathering
18 of holy people. What was the purpose of destroying the
19 holy people?
20 A. To terrorise the remainder of the Muslim people living
21 in the environs and show them what would happen to them
22 if they did not leave, and if it had happened to Ahmici,
23 then it could happen to all the other Muslim villages.
24 If you terrorise one village, sir, then the amount of
25 military effort and terror you might have to apply to
1 subsequent villages will be less, because they will be
2 in absolute terror of their lives, as they were.
3 Q. Did it have any cultural and religious value in the
4 area, Ahmici?
5 A. We understood that it did, as a town that produced a
6 higher proportion of holy people, of mullahs, to the
7 Bosnian Muslim religious community. It had a special
8 place in the minds of people as a holy town.
9 Q. In the towns which have been destroyed, there were
10 Croatian areas?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. Why were not the other Croatian areas destroyed? Was it
13 so minutely and deliberately, let us say, attacked and
14 the shelling was very clearly addressed to certain
15 parts, or was it just indiscriminate?
16 A. I never saw evidence of shelling in Ahmici, sir.
17 Q. The other places.
18 A. Yes, the artillery shell and the mortar are not a very
19 accurate weapon, and it is very difficult to judge where
20 they will fall. It would have been impossible, really,
21 to use artillery and mortars in mixed villages without
22 inflicting collateral damage in areas you did not intend
23 to attack. It is not a precision weapon, it is an area
25 Q. But you mentioned that the houses of the Croats were
2 A. Yes, that was specifically, sir, in Ahmici. It was a
3 very stark difference between the Croat end of the town
4 and the Muslim end of the town. The Muslim end of the
5 town had just ceased to exist and the Croat end of the
6 town was as if nothing had happened, it was surreal.
7 Q. Speaking of the truck, the bomb truck explosion, what
8 was the dimension of this truck explosion? Was it on a
9 military, let us say, size or could it be a private
11 A. It was on a tarmac road. The crater was very large.
12 The devastation to the houses was very large. It was
13 certainly no smaller than, I would say, 1,000 pounds of
14 explosive, given my own experience. I would not really
15 know, sir, the access there might be to quantities of
16 explosives like that in Vitez. Our view was that it was
17 part of a continued intimidation of the Muslim people,
18 and was a further -- it was out of character, sir, of
19 what we had seen up to then of Croat forces and it was
20 shocking from that point of view. We do not know who
21 did it, it reinforced the operation that was ongoing
22 with the HVO and it continued to contribute to their
23 actual tactical effort. I would not -- I have no
24 personal knowledge of who actually drove that bomb into
25 the middle of an occupied Muslim area of Vitez.
1 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Riad. Judge Shahbuddeen.
3 JUDGE SHAHBUDDEEN: Colonel, I want to take you back to this
4 episode concerning the shotgun. What was the nature of
5 the vehicle which appeared in the photograph with this
6 shotgun? Was that a Warrior vehicle?
7 A. No, sir, that was a reconnaissance vehicle, which in the
8 British army is known as a Scimitar.
9 Q. Scimitar. Now then my question to you is this: would a
10 shotgun be the type of weapon which was likely to be
11 taken around in a Scimitar vehicle?
12 A. No, sir, there is no room inside a Scimitar for anything
13 but the commander and gunner and their personal weapons,
14 sir. A very small, tight vehicle. The idea of
15 transporting weapons in a vehicle like that is just not
17 Q. What is the range of such a pump action shotgun?
18 A. It would be lethal at about 30 yards, sir. Beyond that,
19 it would degrade to about 100 metres, where it would be
20 largely ineffective.
21 Q. Is that kind of weapon of substantial use in a military
23 A. There are certain applications in close quarter fighting
24 where a shotgun would have a degree of military utility,
25 sir, but in terms of a weapon that is carried in my own
1 army, no, it is not carried by the infantry.
2 Q. How does the use of such a weapon compare with the use
3 of a military rifle?
4 A. There is just no comparison, sir. I would not want to
5 take on a man with a military rifle with a shotgun.
6 I would lose.
7 Q. You spoke of Kruscica, and my recollection tells me that
8 you said that in your memory you saw nothing leaving
9 Kruscica but that you saw, and I noted down your words,
10 "an enormous amount of RPG mortar and artillery coming
11 into Kruscica". Would I be right in supposing that you
12 were referring there not to the weaponry itself but to
13 the shells launched by weapons of this kind?
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 Q. You remember a portion of your testimony, I think you
16 were talking about the ICRC and the inhibition which
17 that organisation has against divulging information.
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. My recollection is that you said something to the effect
20 that the HVO were given no information from victims and
21 survivors of Ahmici from which they could further any
22 investigations; is my recollection correct?
23 A. What I think I said, sir, was that the HVO were given no
24 information from the ICRC as to statements they had
25 received from the survivors of Ahmici. The major
1 problem for the ICRC was accessing the survivors, the
2 majority of whom were prisoners of the HVO at that time.
3 Q. I see. So would I be right in understanding you to mean
4 that whereas the HVO got no such information from the
5 ICRC, you were not saying that the HVO had no
6 information at all?
7 A. No, I certainly would not say that, sir.
8 Q. You remember that counsel asked you about certain HVO
9 soldiers who stood outside of the Hotel Vitez and were
10 pointing their rifles, I think, in the direction of
11 Stari Vitez.
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. You were asked whether that implied that there was a
14 military threat from Stari Vitez. You remember that
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. What I want to ask you is this: what was, in your
18 assessment, the substantial purpose of the military
19 action which the HVO took in relation to Stari Vitez?
20 Was the purpose to respond to a military threat in
21 Stari Vitez, or was the purpose to remove the civilian
22 population of Stari Vitez?
23 A. I believe that it was probably both, sir.
24 Q. Both, good. Let me ask you a question about Ahmici,
25 Santici and Nadioci. You visited those villages?
1 A. Yes, sir.
2 Q. Did you see any evidence of defensive positions in those
4 A. No, sir.
5 Q. Did you see any evidence of the population in those
6 villages being capable of presenting a military threat
7 to anyone?
8 A. No, sir.
9 Q. Let me take you back --
10 A. Sorry, can I just clarify that, are we talking about
11 when I visited it after --
12 Q. That was the only time that you visited. What I mean is
13 if there had been previously any defensive positions
14 installed in those villages, would you have expected to
15 see traces of those defensive positions at the time when
16 you later visited?
17 A. I would, sir, and I did not. I did see defensive
18 positions in other areas, but not in those villages.
19 Q. Let me take you to your interesting presentation on the
20 various levels of command, strategic, operational,
21 tactical; I think those were the three which you
22 referred to.
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 Q. Would it be possible in some circumstances for a senior
25 military officer to operate partly at one level and
1 partly at another?
2 A. I think in operational terms it would probably be quite
3 confusing, sir, if he was to do that, because his
4 subordinate commanders would de facto be removed of
5 their command if he commanded the subordinate units as
7 Q. From the point of view of your military experience, and
8 your knowledge of military doctrine, it would not be
9 usual for a commander at the strategic level also to
10 operate at the operational level, is that right?
11 A. Right, sir. He would give direction to his operational
13 Q. Let us talk a little about the organisational
14 arrangements of the HVO within Central Bosnia.
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. Did you in the course of your stay become aware of the
17 existence of a HVO communications system?
18 A. Yes, sir.
19 Q. Now let me put this to you. Given your knowledge of the
20 area and of the existence of that communications system,
21 was General Blaskic likely to be aware of what was
22 happening in Ahmici, in the other places, regardless of
23 whether or not he was in Vitez or in some other place
24 within Central Bosnia?
25 A. I would not know if he was, sir, but he would have the
1 means to communicate with his subordinate units.
2 Q. He would have had the means to enable him to be kept in
3 touch with any developments, is that right?
4 A. Yes, sir. Whether that would be on radios, and the
5 distance from Vitez to Ahmici is quite small and the HVO
6 carried small communications systems with them, I would
7 say it would be very fair to assess that in certainly
8 the immediate environs of Vitez, Colonel Blaskic would
9 have been in radio contact with his forces.
10 Q. Are you in a position to assist the court by giving an
11 estimate as to within what period of time
12 General Blaskic would have been in a position to learn
13 of what is happening in Ahmici on 16th April?
14 A. I would be confident in saying that Colonel Blaskic
15 would have monitored his operation, and monitored the
16 success of that operation, and in his formal military
17 training, and I am sure he would have applied that, as
18 I would do, I would have placed remits on my
19 subordinates to inform me at certain schedules as to
20 what they have achieved against the timeframe I had set
21 them for their various objectives. I would expect
22 Colonel Blaskic to have that situation in place.
23 Q. Would that explanation apply also to Nadioci, Santici
24 and so on?
25 A. Yes, it would, sir.
1 Q. Would I be right in summing up your testimony to mean
2 this, that on 16th and 17th April 1993, you either saw
3 or were reliably informed of a number of acts of
4 violence occurring in different places at approximately
5 the same time?
6 A. That is correct, sir.
7 Q. Would I be right in understanding you to be also saying
8 that there was a common pattern running through those
10 A. Yes, there was, sir.
11 Q. And that that pattern included the use of military
13 A. Yes, we observed and I personally observed infantry
15 Q. Was it likely that a military unit on the Croatian side
16 could have been involved in those operations and acting
17 wholly independently of General Blaskic's command?
18 A. That was not the impression I gained at the cease-fire
19 negotiations, sir. I do not think it is practical.
20 Q. You remember you spoke of some press men, who I think
21 came to you in the early hours of 16th April. They were
22 newspaper men, TV men?
23 A. They were journalists, newspaper people.
24 Q. Were they local journalists or foreign journalists, or a
1 A. They were foreign journalists.
2 Q. I see. I take you back to this piece of testimony
3 concerning, shall I say the list of suspects?
4 A. Yes, sir.
5 Q. Which General Blaskic said, I think to Colonel Stewart,
6 that he had had prepared and submitted upwards through
7 his chain of command; you remember that?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 Q. You also spoke of Ahmici being followed by, I think
10 I have your words, "media and world attention", mm?
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 Q. So there was Ahmici, there was some publicity. I would
13 not put words in your mouth; could you relate the
14 presentation of that list of suspects to this media and
15 world attention? Did the media and world attention
16 occur before the list of suspects was presented, at the
17 same time when the list of suspects was presented, or
18 after the list of suspects was presented?
19 A. I would say during, sir, because the media interest
20 lasted for actually quite a long time.
21 Q. I see. It was not a one-off affair.
22 A. No, sir.
23 Q. I see. You spoke of Colonel Blaskic saying to the
24 authorities of BritBat that they could shoot at the
25 snipers who were assaulting the refugees outside of the
1 BritBat echelon.
2 A. Yes, sir, the snipers were shooting and killing the
4 Q. First of all, did Colonel Blaskic say, if he said it,
5 that he did not know how those 400 refugees came to
6 leave their homes. Did he say anything about that?
7 A. I have no recollection of that, your Honour, no. It was
8 really the urgency of the situation, that these people
9 were being killed.
10 Q. Would I be interpreting you correctly this way: BritBat
11 was a neutral military force interfacing with two
12 military forces which were in confrontation one with
13 another; would that be a way of putting it?
14 A. At that time, yes, sir. We were also, in the north,
15 between the Muslim 2nd Corps and the Serbs, but in the
16 Lasva Valley that is exactly the case.
17 Q. Your force was part of or associated with the
18 United Nations exercise, is that right?
19 A. Yes, sir, we were part of the United Nations forces in
21 Q. In a normal conflict involving the use of armed force,
22 like a major war, is there any military force which
23 interfaces with both sides?
24 A. I am not aware of it, sir. It was certainly an unique
25 experience for us in the European theatre.
1 JUDGE SHAHBUDDEEN: Thank you very much.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel, I have two or three clarifications
3 I would like to ask, since there were a number of
4 questions already asked by my colleagues.
5 I would like to go back to the issue of this
6 document, 60, having to do with the cease-fire, this
7 well known cease-fire, about which you said that in your
8 opinion and in the opinion of the other members of your
9 staff was not valid. How would you characterise, in
10 light of this period when you were in command of that
11 Central Bosnia mission, how would you characterise what
12 criteria, if you like, would be used for a cease-fire to
13 be valid, because you have rejected it by saying not
14 only was it not applied or implemented but it was not
15 valid in your opinion, there was no validity?
16 A. The lack of validity, sir, is attributed to the fact
17 that this was the first time we had ever received a
18 cease-fire declaration down the single chain of command
19 of the warring factions. This document was not known to
20 the BiH and its production had not followed the usual,
21 and by this stage quite often repeated procedure, of the
22 level that issues the joint declaration have sat with
23 ourselves, UNHCR, ECMM, and have actually produced a
24 consensus and out of the consensus comes the terms of
25 the cease-fire. These terms were promulgated only by
1 the HVO and only under the signature of Colonel Blaskic
2 and did not have the co-signature of Enver
3 Hadzihasanovic, who was the commander of 3rd Corps.
4 That had been the usual procedure, we had done it at the
5 brigade level and at the regional level before this. So
6 that is why I do not think it was valid, and it
7 certainly was not viewed as valid by the BiH and it did
8 not manifest any change at all on the ground, other than
9 a series of communications from Colonel Blaskic's
10 headquarters alleging contraventions by the BiH of this
11 cease-fire, which they were not committed to.
12 Q. Do you consider that it was a kind of a propaganda
13 document to be used for the international community or
14 world opinion, or do you believe that it was a document
15 to be used for strategic uses, an unilateral cease-fire,
16 for example?
17 A. My personal view was that this was part of a strategic
18 plan that the HVO, having conducted their pre-emptive
19 attack on the morning of the 16th, hoped by issuing this
20 cease-fire document on the 18th that the gains they had
21 achieved would be frozen and that they would succeed in
22 their endeavour and that the United Nations would assist
23 and enforce this cease-fire. That was quite a naive
24 strategic plan, but it did certainly serve the purpose
25 afterwards as being a document which Colonel Blaskic's
1 headquarters were able to quote ad nauseam as to
2 concentral inventions of this cease-fire, but the key,
3 the A to D in this document, were the normal measures
4 placed into a cease-fire document.
5 The one that is missing, which is the fundamental
6 one, is that the opposing forces would withdraw to their
7 previous lines of fighting, which was the implicit and
8 practical measure that achieved success on 21st April
9 when I illustrated on the map the blue lines, sir, to
10 separate the opposing forces.
11 Q. Colonel, at the negotiating tables, you often met with
12 Colonel Blaskic. Did you ever speak about the laws of
14 A. I do not recollect discussing those, sir, no.
15 Q. Last question: the HVO soldiers, would you agree with
16 me, say, that they had been more or less trained either
17 in the former JNA or with the Croatian military forces;
18 would you agree with that opinion? This is a question
19 I am asking you, it is a question I would like to ask
20 you first before I get to the other question. Do you
21 agree with that or not?
22 A. If I could apologise and go back to the previous
23 question, which I did not fully grasp. Did I discuss
24 with Colonel Blaskic the Articles of War; not in terms
25 of an intellectual debate, but in terms of the
1 implementation of cease-fire agreements we certainly
2 did, especially in terms of the meeting on the 21st, and
3 exchange of prisoners and access to prisoners by the
4 ICRC was a fundamental condition under that cease-fire.
5 Your second question, sir?
6 Q. Let me ask for that clarification. Would you agree with
7 me when I say that the HVO soldiers had been trained
8 militarily either in the former JNA or more recently
9 with the regular Croatian forces? Would you agree with
10 that first statement?
11 A. The majority of the commanders I met, I know them to
12 have been former JNA officers. I cannot give a personal
13 account of the individual soldiers, sir, I did not talk
14 to them about it, but they were certainly trained by
15 their military commanders. We saw them training.
16 Q. This is my question: at the headquarters, from what you
17 know now, had military manuals, both in Croatia, and
18 specifically of the former JNA, dealt with applications
19 of the Geneva Conventions at all levels of command, as
20 well as respect for the laws and customs of war?
21 A. Certainly the JNA, and Yugoslavia was a signatory to
22 that Convention, sir. I did not read JNA tactical
23 pamphlets. I do not read Serbo-Croat, sir.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel, the Tribunal would like to thank you
25 for this long and patient testimony which you have been
1 willing to provide. You can now go back to your
2 command, to your units. I believe that it is now time
3 to take our break until 4.30. I believe that the
4 following witness is a protected one, is that true?
5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that is correct.
6 JUDGE JORDA: So not to lose time, perhaps during the break
7 and five minutes before the judges come in, the witness
8 could be brought in once the curtains have been drawn.
9 Perhaps the usher before the judges leave could
10 accompany the witness out of the courtroom.
11 (The witness withdrew)
12 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is suspended. We will resume at
14 (4.10 pm)
15 (A short break)
16 (4.35 pm)
17 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed, please bring in the
19 (Accused brought in)
20 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, you have the floor.
21 MR. HARMON: Thank you, good afternoon, Mr. President, good
22 afternoon, your Honours. My next witness is Witness F,
23 Mr. President.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We are going to ask the Registry
25 first to verify the identity of the Witness F, who is
1 going to remain seated and who is going to read her
2 solemn declaration, but please I want to make sure of
3 the identity of the witness so that the Prosecutor and
4 the Defence are aware of it.
5 THE WITNESS: Yes.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Witness F, you have been called by the
7 Prosecution in the trial against Colonel Blaskic, who is
8 here present. You have come and we are fully aware that
9 it must be very difficult for you to come here. You
10 know that you are addressing a Tribunal and that this
11 Tribunal is going to listen to you with the greatest of
12 attention. You are first going to answer questions put
13 to you by the Prosecutor, who has called you, after that
14 I wish to remind you you will be answering questions put
15 to you by the counsel for the Defence, because all the
16 accused in all judicial systems are entitled to Defence
18 Of course you are protected by very strict
19 protective measures that have been undertaken, and that
20 is the reason why you will be known anonymously as being
21 Witness F. If in the course of your testimony, there
22 are names that you do not wish to pronounce, or elements
23 of identification which might even indirectly enable
24 your identification, we are here ourselves, the
25 Prosecutor, the Registry and we have technical means to
1 remedy anything that may occur and that may be
2 considered an error. Therefore please speak without
3 fear, as serenely, as quietly as you can.
4 Mr. Prosecutor, Witness F is ready to answer your
5 questions now. No, please remain seated, but first the
6 Registry is reminding me that you have to read the
7 declaration, but this time, remain seated in doing so.
8 WITNESS F (sworn)
9 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Mr. Prosecutor?
10 Examined by MR. HARMON
11 Q. Mr. President and counsel, what I propose to do is ask a
12 few preliminary questions and then moved for a closed
13 session, because some of my questions may result in the
14 identification of Witness F. If I may begin,
15 Mr. President, with some background questions:
16 Witness F, how old are you?
17 A. I am 34.
18 Q. Were you born in Vitez and raised in the village of
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Are you a high school graduate?
22 A. I am.
23 Q. Are you a Muslim?
24 A. I am.
25 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, if at this point I could move for
1 a closed session, I will try to expeditiously move
2 through a series of questions and then we can return to
3 an open session.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, Mr. Nobilo?
5 MR. HAYMAN: We are at the court's disposal, your Honour.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. My colleagues and myself feel that
7 we should go into closed session now.
8 (In closed session)
13 page 3654 redacted – closed session
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13 page 3656 redacted – closed session
13 page 3657 redacted – closed session
13 page 3658 redacted – closed session
13 page 3659 redacted – closed session
7 (In open session)
8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor?
9 MR. HARMON: Witness F, when you arrived at Niko Vidovic's
10 house, what did you see?
11 A. As I said, the lady in white uniform was standing there
12 and there were two stands there, one had the IV and the
13 other one had blood. I passed by and went to the
14 basement and Croatian women and children were there,
15 they were all my next-door neighbours. I entered and
16 there were beds placed there, there were five of them
17 and then there was also a stove and there was some food
18 being cooked there. We were told to get in and Ivica
19 told us to stay there. He talked to us, he was saying
20 that the best solution for us would be for us to stay
21 there in the basement.
22 Q. Did it appear to you, Witness F, that preparations had
23 been made in advance for accommodating a large number of
24 people in the basement of that particular house?
25 A. Yes. The Croatian women and children were all dressed
1 up, it was cold that early in April, they all had coats
2 and some hats. My children were in their pyjamas and
3 I was barefoot, I only had slippers on my feet.
4 Q. Finka Vidovic you have identified as wearing a white
5 sort of outfit. Do you know what she did, was she a
7 A. Yes, she was a medical nurse. I do not know what she
8 was doing on that particular day.
9 Q. Did it look like medical supplies had been positioned at
10 Niko Vidovic's house?
11 A. Yes, after about an hour, Finka arrived with a bundle of
12 medicine which she put on a table in the basement.
13 Q. Please continue with your observations.
14 A. There was terrible shooting going on outside from all
15 kinds of weapons, I am not an expert in weapons, but
16 I know for instance that there was large calibre weapons
17 being shot as well as small. I was very agitated and my
18 children as well, we were all in fear, we were standing
19 next to a small window, it was open ajar for some fresh
20 air, and I could feel the smoke that was coming in.
21 I knew that something was burning. The men were
22 not there, there were only women and children there.
23 However, occasionally they would come in, the men did.
24 They would come to check on their families and Ivica
25 told us that we must not leave the basement, even if we
1 needed to go to the bathroom. Around 9.00 or 9.30, I am
2 not sure about the time, I had to take the little one
3 outside and I asked a woman if I could take her
4 outside. She told me to ask Ivica. The first time he
5 said that I could not and the second time I asked
6 another man and he said that I could, so I passed by
8 Q. Where did you go? Did you stay in the house or did you
9 go outside?
10 A. I went upstairs and got out. As I was coming out, I saw
11 soldiers in black and camouflage uniforms. They were
12 eating something.
13 Q. Did you notice any kind of patches or insignia on those
15 A. Yes, I did. I passed by them and they were not paying
16 any attention to me. They probably thought that I had
17 taken shelter there just like the rest of the women.
18 Q. What badges did you notice?
19 A. It said "Vitezovi" and the others said "Jokers".
20 Q. How many soldiers did you see?
21 A. There were more of those in black uniforms, maybe four
22 or five in black uniforms and three or four in
23 camouflage uniforms. They had some unusual hats, they
24 were round with a red fringe.
25 Q. Did you hear any conversations among those soldiers?
1 A. Yes, they were talking about some accomplished task,
2 they were happy, they said that everything was done. At
3 the moment when I came out, because there is a
4 staircase, you had to climb the staircase to get out,
5 I saw Ahmic Sulejman, Eso and Cazim's houses on fire.
6 I took the little one to the toilet and on the way back,
7 I saw Frano Vidovic, Anto Kupreskic and Anto Dudzo, they
8 were talking. Anto Kupreskic was an older man, he was
9 in uniform though and he had a rifle and some grenades,
10 and the other two did not have any weapons and Frano had
11 a white insignia on his sleeve. He was pointing to the
12 basement where we were, and he said, "we should not kill
13 them, because some of us may get killed. We should
14 protect them". Then I thought we were imprisoned here.
15 Then I came down and I told my brother, "we are
16 imprisoned here", and he nodded to me because he was
17 standing next to the window and overheard them talking.
18 I also came over to my husband and told him everything
19 as well and then we knew what actually was going on.
20 A few moments later, a boy of 12 or 13 came
21 running, I knew him all my life --
22 Q. Let me interrupt you for a second before you recount
23 that particular incident. You said you had seen
24 Hazim's, Eso's and Sulejman's houses burning. Were
25 those houses in the area where you lived?
1 A. Yes, they were near the stadium, yes.
2 Q. They appeared to be on fire when you saw them on the
3 morning of 16th April, is that correct?
4 A. Yes, they were on fire.
5 Q. Please continue with your testimony. You were relating
6 an incident with a young boy.
7 A. Yes, he ran into the basement, opened the door and the
8 fire, the shooting was still going on outside, it had
9 died down a little bit from what it was at 5.30. Then
10 he addressed to the Croatian women and he said, "you
11 know what is new?", they said, "what is new, Jure?",
12 that was his nickname. "All the Muslims were killed.
13 I personally was at the stadium and I turned over two
14 Muslims, Muharem and Nedzad", they were two cousins.
15 At that moment, I had an attack of something, I started
16 screaming, I wanted to get out, go out and find Nedzad
17 and Muharem. Finka did not allow me to go out. She
18 said I should sit down and not make any problems and
19 gave me a tablet to take to calm down. Then my husband
20 who was watching this took the older daughter and told
21 me to go out, he said that if they were going to kill
22 us, then we should come out and be killed as people are
23 not as mice.
24 I took my little one and started out. However,
25 Ivica who was standing outside in front of the door told
1 him, "go back and stay there where I told you to stay,
2 because you do not know what is going on". Finka also
3 asked my husband, she pleaded with him, "go back, it
4 will all change, it will not stay like this". My
5 husband was excited, then we stay there.
6 Q. While you were there in the basement and you remain in
7 the basement on the 16th, did you hear the husbands of
8 any of these women come in and mention their successes?
9 Can you tell the court exactly what you heard them say?
10 A. Yes, the husbands were not in the basement, they would
11 come down occasionally, Satko Vidovic came in, that is
12 Anto Vidovic, called Satko, came in at one point and
13 said a friend of his, Fahrudin Ahmic, was killed and he
14 was sorry he was killed. However, when they would come
15 in, they would not address us, they would talk to their
16 wives. They were talking how they were advancing and at
17 one point, Ivica, called Jevdjo, entered and said,
18 "women, victory is ours. You should not be afraid.
19 It is almost over". The women were applauding, they
20 were rejoicing and they were saying they had no losses
22 Then they started talking among themselves,
23 I remember a young man came to see a young woman from
24 Busovaca and I overheard them speaking. They said that
25 the job was done, and Ivica said that this match had to
1 be played at some point, and, "we are victorious". He
2 was talking to this young woman and he said, "this is
3 ethnic cleansing and I think we will succeed pretty
4 soon". Ivica said, "we do not need to go to Zenica at
5 all, we can just stay in our Herceg-Bosna". We were
6 just listening to what was going on.
7 Q. You mentioned some individuals, you mentioned Anto
8 Vidovic, known as Satko. How was he dressed on the
9 morning of 16th April, as you recall?
10 A. He had camouflage uniform.
11 Q. Did he have any insignia on him that you can recall?
12 A. The HVO.
13 Q. You mentioned an individual by the name of Ivica
14 "Jevdjo" Vidovic, is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. How was he dressed?
17 A. He wore camouflage pants, a blue jacket and throughout
18 the time he carried a rifle.
19 Q. Did you see any insignia and/or markings on him that
20 identified his unit?
21 A. No, I did not.
22 Q. Was there any reference by Jevdjo as to who his
23 particular commander was?
24 A. (redacted)
3 (redacted). Then he told him, "just
4 sit where you are, because if it were according to
5 Nenad, you would not be sitting where you are sitting".
6 Q. Let me ask you, did you also hear any conversations
7 about a rocket launcher being fired on Kruscica?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Please tell the court what you heard in respect of that
11 A. Ivica came down to the basement, his nickname is Jevdjo,
12 and he told the woman, "women, our own are advancing so
13 do not worry about anything. Seven rocket launchers are
14 shelling Kruscica and soon Kruscica will be ours".
15 Q. Did he say seven rocket launchers or a seven barrelled
16 rocket launcher?
17 A. Yes, he did, VBR, which means barrelled rocket launcher.
18 Q. Did anything else happen that particular day in the
19 basement that you can recall?
20 A. (redacted)
21 (redacted), I do not
22 know where he had been, but his brother Drago came and
23 was talking to his mother who had been sitting there all
24 the time. She started crying. She started crying and
25 shouting, "Ivica, my son, my flower", we did not know
1 what she was referring to. Then the people started
2 whispering, "Ivica was killed", then Drago looked around
3 at us and he said "if somebody needs to cut throats,
4 I am the one who is going to do it". That is how we
5 understood it, Ivica Vidovic, her son, was killed.
6 Q. How was that individual dressed who discussed cutting
8 A. He had the old JNA coat and a white band on his sleeve
9 and he carried a rifle.
10 Q. Did he have any insignia on him that you could remember
11 at this date?
12 A. I did not see any.
13 Q. Did you stay at that particular house the night of
14 16th April 1993?
15 A. Yes, we stayed there the 16th , in the night of the
16 16th, we stayed there all night. The morning of the
17 17th came, some Croat women were going out and then were
18 coming back. The shooting was dying down, in fact it
19 had stopped altogether. At one point we asked Ivica
20 when we were going to come out and he said that we still
21 had to wait, that there was no question about our going
22 out. It must have been very light, it must have been
23 around 9.00 already. Ivica came in and said to the
24 women who were present there, who were sitting around,
25 he said, "women, go and look for your men and tell them
1 that I cannot protect them alone by myself any more like
2 I used to, because the Jokers and the Vitezovi found out
3 that we are protecting some Muslims, so it is my head in
4 question now".
5 Then a young woman got up and said, "do not put
6 your life at risk", and then he said, "when we talked
7 about it, you were all for protecting them, but now the
8 Vitezovi and the Jokers found out, nobody wants to do
10 Q. Let me ask you, Witness F, was that on 18th April,
11 because I am asking you questions about the 17th April.
12 A. No, this was on 17th April.
13 Q. Okay. Let me ask you also, did you see an individual by
14 the name of Stjepan Vidovic on 17th April?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. Did he come into the basement?
17 A. Yes, he did.
18 Q. What did he say?
19 A. He entered the basement, he spent the night of the
20 16th in the basement, but on the 17th he went to see his
21 house, and he came back. His wife stayed there all the
22 time and he was talking to her and other women who were
23 there. He was saying that the minaret of the mosque had
24 collapsed, that various houses were burned down and that
25 his own house was left intact. He said that he saw a
1 tractor going to collect Muslim bodies on the roads and
2 around the houses.
3 Q. What did he say about the condition of all the Muslim
4 houses that he had seen?
5 A. He seemed to be rejoicing, because his own was intact
6 and all the Muslim ones were burned down.
7 Q. Did he say anything about Muslims coming back into the
8 area again?
9 A. He said nothing but nobody could go back, because
10 everything was still burning, but he said that they were
11 going and he meant Croats, that they were going in a
12 tractor and collecting the bodies, the Muslim bodies.
13 Q. Okay. Now you mention that Ivica "Jevdjo" Vidovic had
14 come in and he said the Jokers and the Vitezovi had
15 found out you were in this particular house; is that
17 A. Yes, he said he turned to the women, but he was speaking
18 aloud so we could all hear him. He said, "Jokers and
19 Vitezovi have found out about you here", so he said,
20 "women, go and find your men, because I cannot do
21 anything on my own. When we were all making a decision,
22 we were all for it, that we protect them, and now nobody
23 wants to do anything. Now it is my head that is at
24 risk", and he showed.
25 Q. What happened next?
1 A. Ivica left and some women were talking. One said that
2 she did not know where her husband was, another one did
3 not know where her husband was and they told us to go to
4 another room, because there were two rooms in this
5 basement, there were some blankets there, but we needed
6 the blankets so we remained standing all this time, but
7 he left.
8 In the meantime, another neighbour of ours came.
9 He approached my brother -- this was about two hours
10 after Ivica had left. He was looking at my brothers, my
11 husband, myself, all of us, because we were all
12 together. He offered them cigarettes. I approached to
13 see what was going on, what he was going to tell them,
14 and he said, "I am really sorry, but I was ordered to
15 bring you out. I was ordered by them". He stood there,
16 they all smoked a cigarette, all of them, he still was
17 standing there.
18 Q. When you say he was ordered by them, what did he say he
19 was ordered to do?
20 A. They ordered him to bring out the three of them. He
21 said, "I have to bring the three of you out so that you
22 would be killed".
23 Q. When you say the three of them, I take it, is that your
24 husband and your two brothers who also would be in the
25 particular house with their families?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What happened after he informed people -- informed your
3 brothers and your husband that they had to be taken out
4 to be killed?
5 A. When he told them, he lit a cigarette with them and then
6 stood there for a while, and at that time there was a
7 sound of a personnel carrier approaching. I heard the
8 personnel carrier arriving in Niko Vidovic's yard and
9 somebody in the English language is calling out my
10 brother's name and the surviving Muslims and Ivica
11 Vidovic said there were no surviving Muslims and there
12 were no civilians in the basement and that they should
13 feel free to go back.
14 Q. Did that UNPROFOR vehicle leave then?
15 A. Yes, they were there for about 15 minutes and then they
16 returned. I heard that. They were our last hope, when
17 this UNPROFOR left.
18 Q. Witness F, you indicated that a man by the name of Anto
19 Pudja had come to the basement to talk to your brothers
20 and had informed them he had to take them out in order
21 to have them killed. How was Anto Pudja dressed?
22 A. He wore a black hat and a camouflage uniform, and he was
23 not looking -- he did not look happy. He looked sad.
24 Q. Did he have any particular insignia on him identifying
25 his unit?
1 A. The HVO.
2 Q. Okay. What happened after he left the basement and
3 after this UNPROFOR vehicle that had come to that
4 particular location left? What did you and your family
5 members and your brothers and their families do?
6 A. This was going on throughout the day of the 17th, they
7 were coming and talking, and would go out, they were
8 bragging about their victories. The night came, the
9 night of the 17th, and a woman came running in, and
10 shouted that the barns were on fire of Plavcic, and that
11 they should go towards Rovna because they may be in
13 Q. Was Plavcic a Croat?
14 A. Yes, this was in Mahala, as we called that section.
15 That woman was outside and she must have either seen it
16 or been told by someone. Then the basement started
17 emptying, people started leaving one by one. Then in
18 the end we were left alone, just my brothers there and
19 my family.
20 Q. So after information was passed to the Croat people in
21 the basement that a Croat barn was burning, the Croat
22 women and children in the basement left and you and your
23 families were left alone, is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You said that the Croat people in the basement fled in
1 the direction of Rovna, is that correct?
2 A. Yes, they were saying that that was the most secure
3 place to go, so they hurried there, and we were talking
4 what to do, we could not turn and go towards Pirici, we
5 could not do that, so we decided to go to Rovna, and so
6 we started. As we were coming out, there were two
7 soldiers in front of the house, they were also in a
8 hurry, they were picking up knapsacks from the ground,
9 they were all leaving in a group so we joined this group
11 Q. So you fled along with the Croats in the direction of
12 Rovna, is that your testimony?
13 A. Yes, we did.
14 Q. Was that on the morning of -- was that on 18th April
16 A. It was.
17 Q. Did you go in the direction of Rovna?
18 A. Yes, we did. We went ahead and we followed. They went
19 ahead and we followed. There were bullets flying past
20 us, we were going towards Pirici, then we kept going and
21 going. We crossed the river, then some of them split
22 off and some to another, so we were left alone on the
23 road, my brother was ahead and I had my daughter --
24 Q. Witness F, I am going to interrupt you for a minute,
25 please, because you are going a little bit fast. When
1 you left the house of Niko Vidovic and you went toward
2 Rovna, did you go down the road past Nenad Santic's
3 house, which is indicated as number 5 on Prosecutor's
4 Exhibit 113A?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you cross the Lasva river across a bridge and find a
7 refuge in a house in the area of Rovna?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you remain in that house the night of 18th April
11 A. I did. That woman's name was Safradin and the Safradins
12 are a Croat family, but when we went in, there was a
13 neighbour of ours inside who recognised us and he was
14 surprised how come we got there. Then he got lost, he
15 went away somewhere. The woman was afraid that we were
16 going to spend the night there.
17 Q. Let me ask you, Witness F, when you say "we", are you
18 referring to yourself, your husband, your two children,
19 your two brothers, their families and their children?
20 A. Yes, there were six adults and seven children.
21 Q. So that particular night of the 18th you stayed in a
22 house near Rovna, all of you?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, do we intend to go past 5.30? If
25 we do, I can continue my examination; if not, I can
1 conclude it here.
2 JUDGE JORDA: No, not at all. The witness must be tired of
3 having to tell us about all her suffering, so we will
4 adjourn as usual. Before the Trial Chamber rises,
5 perhaps the Registry could ensure a closed session so
6 that the witness can be shown out, or would you prefer
7 us to do that after the judges leave? So Witness F,
8 please stay seated for the moment.
9 I should like to remind you that we have no
10 hearing tomorrow throughout the day, so we will be
11 resuming our work the day after tomorrow, that is on
12 13th November at the usual time, that is at 10.00 am.
13 The hearing is adjourned.
14 (5.30 pm)
15 (Hearing adjourned until 10.00 am
16 on Thursday, 13th November 1997)