1 Wednesday, 26th November 1997
2 (10.40 am)
3 JUDGE JORDA: Please sit down. Mr Dubuisson, can we have
4 the accused in?
5 (Accused brought in)
6 JUDGE JORDA: Before we start, my colleagues and myself beg
7 for apology. We had a bureau meeting this morning, the
8 recently constituted bureau as you know, so we started
9 at 9.00 but we could not finish the meeting until now.
10 Our apologies.
11 We are going to resume our work. Can the booth
12 hear me, are you ready, otherwise I will have to repeat
13 my apology. Can everybody hear me? Fine. If everybody
14 can hear me, I shall without further ado give the floor
15 to Mr Harmon, who is going to introduce the next
16 witness; a protected witness, I suppose, judging by the
17 device that has been set in place.
18 MR HARMON: Good morning, Mr President, good morning
19 counsel. Yes, Mr President, the next witness we will
20 present is a protected witness. She will be identified
21 as Witness O. The protections that will be available
22 will be facial distortion and a pseudonym. She will be
23 a short witness, Mr President.
24 She is a Muslim woman who will testify about
25 post-October 1992 events in respect of the collection of
1 weapons from Muslims who lived in the area of Santici.
2 She will testify about her observations on 15th April,
3 pre-attack observations, and she will testify about the
4 attack on her home and the murder of her husband in
5 front of her and three small children on 16th April
7 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, so four items which shall be part of the
8 testimony of this witness.
9 Registrar, so we have a public hearing but with a
10 partially closed session. Please have the witness in.
11 MR HARMON: Mr President and your Honours, I will be asking
12 at the end of her testimony to go into a private session
13 to ask her to identify some photographs, two photographs
14 of her late husband. I have advised her of the
15 situation in this Trial Chamber in respect of those
16 photographs, and she has informed me that she is able to
17 make those identifications to your Honours. I will also
18 be asking her about some other events that could
19 indirectly identify her.
20 (Witness entered court)
21 JUDGE JORDA: Madam, can you hear me?
22 THE WITNESS: Yes.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, we are going to call you Witness O. All
24 you have to do is read your name as written on the paper
25 handed in by the Registrar, just to make sure that it
1 tallies with your identity, but you do not spell out
2 your name. Thank you. You remain seated and you can
3 read the declaration that is given to you.
4 Witness O (sworn)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much, Witness O. You agreed to
6 come to the Tribunal on the request made by the
7 Prosecutor on the counts against the accused,
8 General Blaskic. Your testimony, in principle, from
9 what we are told, is going to deal with what you notice
10 in October 1992 with the gathering of weapons that you
11 could see, your observations before April 1993, the
12 murder of your husband and more generally speaking, what
13 you can say as to the attack in April 1993.
14 You are going to be asked short questions as to
15 your identity, but there is no danger attached to this
16 because you are a protected witness, and then very
17 freely, in your own words, you will make a statement in
18 relation to the four points stated by the Prosecutor,
19 briefly but as suits you. Then you will be asked
20 questions by the Prosecutor and then by the Defence and
21 finally by the judges.
22 Mr Harmon?
23 Examined by MR HARMON
24 Q. Thank you, Mr President.
25 Good morning, Witness O.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. Witness O, how old are you?
3 A. 35.
4 Q. Are you a Muslim?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. On 16th April 1993, did you live in Santici?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you live in a house with your husband and your three
9 small children?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. What were the ages of your children in April 1993?
12 A. My daughter was 10, my son was 8 and my other son was 7.
13 Q. Now I would like to focus your attention on the
14 gathering of guns in the possession of Muslims that
15 occurred in October 1993. Can you tell the judges what
16 you know about the collection of guns?
17 A. In October 1992, a conflict broke out between the Croats
18 and the Muslims. After it stopped, the conflict was a
19 very short one, my husband was in charge of collecting
20 weapons from Muslims who were in our immediate
21 neighbourhood. He was supposed to collect these weapons
22 and to hand them over to Nenad Santic. He gave him a
23 little piece of paper saying that he would be allowed to
24 move around and take weapons from these people who had
25 weapons and that these weapons should be brought to him.
1 Q. Did Nenad Santic make any threats in respect of Muslims
2 who did not turn in their weapons? Can you describe
3 that threat to the judges?
4 A. Yes, he threatened that if somebody would not turn his
5 weapons in, his house could be burned down, and that he
6 would not be safe in this area any longer.
7 Q. On whose behalf was that threat issued?
8 A. On behalf of the HVO.
9 Q. Did your husband in fact collect weapons and turn them
10 over to Nenad Santic?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. How many weapons?
13 A. Well, there were about six or seven rifles.
14 Q. Did those rifles include a rifle that he had himself?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Who was Nenad Santic?
17 A. Nenad Santic was the commander of the HVO in that area
18 where we lived.
19 Q. Do you know who his commander was?
20 A. Mario Cerkez.
21 Q. Let me turn your attention to 16th April 1993. On the
22 morning of 16th April 1993, did you have any weapons in
23 your house?
24 JUDGE JORDA: Prosecutor, I think this has been said
25 already, I would rather the witness made her testimony,
1 do you agree?
2 MR HARMON: Mr President, she is going to have to add one
3 part to her testimony and the next question was going to
4 permit her to make the narration.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Okay, let us move ahead, because you
6 specified the items that were relevant to this testimony
7 and you may add on things if need be, but raise your
8 question and then the witness can speak to the events.
9 MR HARMON: I will be very direct, Mr President.
10 Witness O, did you have a pistol in your house on
11 16th April 1993?
12 A. Yes, we had a small pistol which my husband bought from
13 his brother and he also had a licence allowing him to
14 have this pistol.
15 Q. Now, Witness O, would you please tell the judges what
16 happened to you and to members of your family on
17 16th April 1993; in your own words, at your own pace.
18 A. Yes. On the morning of April 16th, I was awakened by a
19 strong explosion, a loud explosion. I was sleeping with
20 my daughter and my husband was sleeping with the other
21 children in another room. We all got up when we heard
22 the explosion. We were sleeping upstairs, and we went
23 downstairs then. He wore a blue coat that he would
24 usually wear to work. We gathered around the stove. We
25 heard shooting from all around, we did not know what was
1 going on. My husband called our next door neighbour,
2 who lived right next door, and he asked him whether he
3 knew what was going on. He did not know himself. He
4 brought some cigarettes and we both smoked a cigarette.
5 While we were waiting there, there was a fence
6 between our land and our neighbour's land, and we heard
7 somebody jumping over that fence. They came to our land
8 and they threw a hand grenade into the room. They
9 started shooting at the door and a burst of gunfire
10 opened the door and we heard a voice saying that we
11 should get out. I said that I should only put socks on
12 my children and I was told that they would not need
13 them. My husband had that small pistol on his person,
14 he took it to the staircase and threw it underneath the
15 staircase. He went out first, he went to the door
16 first, the door was open. He went out with his hands
18 The person who opened our door was a person I did
19 not see. As my husband was getting out, he was not
20 facing this person, he had his back turned to this
21 person who was commanding us, telling us what to do.
22 As soon as he walked out, he started shooting at
23 my husband all over him, from head to toes, and he
24 fell. I took the children and I walked back in and
25 I sat down and waited. Another soldier, who was on the
1 other side, broke our glass door and said that we should
2 get out. Not much time went by, perhaps a minute or
3 two, he walked in with my mother-in-law, he walked into
4 our house and he said that we should get out. My
5 children were crying. I took them with me and we went
6 out. I, my children, my father-in-law and my
7 mother-in-law. That is how we left the house.
8 Q. Now let me ask you some questions. Witness O, do you
9 know the approximate time that you heard the explosion
10 that awakened everybody in your house?
11 A. It was early in the morning, perhaps between 5.30 and
13 Q. Was your husband executed in your presence and the
14 presence of your three children?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You said that a soldier came into the house with your
17 mother-in-law. Can you describe how that soldier was
19 A. Yes. He was wearing a camouflage uniform.
20 Q. Did he have his face uncovered or covered, or do you
22 A. No, his face was not covered.
23 Q. Can you describe the insignia that you saw on that
24 particular soldier?
25 A. I remember that he had a patch with black on the back
1 and a chess board sign on it. The chess board was red
2 and white.
3 Q. During that same timeframe, did you also see other
4 soldiers near your mother-in-law's house?
5 A. Yes, in front of her door there were soldiers too.
6 I saw them through the window.
7 Q. How were they dressed?
8 A. They were all wearing camouflage uniforms.
9 Q. Approximately how many soldiers did you see by your
10 mother-in-law's house?
11 A. There were about three or four soldiers.
12 Q. When you left your house, how were you dressed and how
13 were your children dressed?
14 A. We were all wearing our pyjamas. We had been asleep, so
15 we went downstairs. We did not know what was ahead of
16 us and we did not know whether we should get dressed and
17 we did not know what would happen to us and whether
18 things that happened to other people would happen to us
19 too, and things like that which happened at our door.
20 Q. Within a matter of minutes, within five minutes of
21 leaving your house, did you look back in the direction
22 of your house, and if so, can you tell the judges what
23 you saw?
24 A. Yes, I turned around and the house was already on fire.
25 When we left the house, I asked which direction we
1 should go in, and we were told and we set out. Less
2 than five minutes had gone by and our house was on
3 fire. You could see that by the windows, as we looked
4 at the windows we saw the fire. Perhaps the curtain
5 started burning immediately. At any rate, you could see
6 the fire.
7 MR HARMON: Mr President, now I would request that we go
8 into private session.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Right. Registrar, can you see to it that it
10 is done?
11 (In private session)
13 page 4507 redacted – private session
13 page 4508 redacted – private session
13 page 4509 redacted – private session
13 page 4510 redacted – private session
13 page 4511 redacted – private session
5 (In open session)
6 MR NOBILO: We are now in the open session and I will call
7 you Witness O. Could you now please tell me, without
8 mentioning any names, was your husband a member of the
9 Territorial Defence?
10 A. My husband was listed as a member of the Territorial
11 Defence, but he did not perform any duties. He did not
12 go to the frontline, he had work duty in the company
13 where he worked. When this happened, he was on hold in
14 his company.
15 Q. Tell me, your husband's neighbours who were in the TO
16 from Zume, did they go to the frontlines or were they
17 mostly in the village?
18 A. In the neighbourhood, these were all men who had
19 families. I think that nobody went.
20 Q. Nobody went where, to fight?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Just so that it is clear in the transcript. Tell me,
23 did your husband have any guard duties, watches?
24 A. From the conflict which happened in late April, after
25 that he surrendered his weapons and after that, they
1 simply could come in front of their houses and keep
2 watch. The Croats around our houses just simply told us
3 that we need not be afraid, that should any problems
4 arise that they would protect us.
5 Q. You probably got confused, you said, "after the conflict
6 in April, he did not have any arms". You probably
7 thought April 1992 -- you probably thought October
9 A. Yes, October 1992.
10 Q. So did he go and perform guard duties?
11 A. As far as I can recall, no, he did not.
12 Q. Did your father-in-law go and perform any guard duties?
13 A. Maybe out of fear that something would happen, he would
14 often -- we were very afraid down there, we knew that we
15 were in a difficult position.
16 Q. And your mother-in-law, we will not mention her name,
17 says that he was the commander of the guard there.
18 A. Yes, he was listed as such, but he never arranged any
19 guard duties which were being conducted, the way it was
20 supposed to be -- he was listed as being in charge of
21 the guards in this area.
22 Q. Did your father-in-law have any weapons?
23 A. Believe me, I do not recall.
24 Q. When your husband surrendered those six rifles to
25 Santic, did Santic request that all weapons be
1 surrendered, that is pistols in addition to the rifles?
2 A. He requested that every man surrender one rifle each; he
3 did not say to turn over -- I do not know, I did not
4 talk to him. He simply came and said that the weapons
5 needed to be surrendered to him.
6 Q. You said that Santic made threats. In what words? Did
7 you hear that from Santic or did your husband tell you?
8 A. My husband decided immediately that he would turn over
9 the rifle because we were there and the children were
10 there. He feared that somebody might not turn over the
11 rifles and there would be problems that someone --
12 houses may be torched.
13 Q. Was he afraid that someone's houses may be burnt or did
14 Santic tell him explicitly that they would be burnt?
15 A. It happened that some Muslim houses be torched
17 Q. So based on the fact that some Muslim houses were burned
18 overnight, your husband was afraid that it might happen?
19 A. I did not understand.
20 Q. I will restate the question. Did Nenad Santic directly
21 tell your husband that he will torch his house if he did
22 not surrender the weapons, or did he fear that they
23 might be torched if the Muslims did not surrender the
25 A. He said that after the conflict in October happened, and
1 many of our Muslim neighbours left their houses with
2 their weapons, he said that if they wanted to return to
3 their homes, and also those who did not leave their
4 homes, he said that everybody should turn over their
5 weapons to him, if they wanted to live there.
6 Q. This is all that Santic told your husband?
7 A. I was not there, this is what I was --
8 Q. You mean your husband told you that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And that was all?
11 A. As far as I can recall.
12 Q. I conclude from --
13 JUDGE JORDA: The witness has already answered the
15 MR NOBILO: Very well, thank you, we can move on.
16 You said that Cerkez was Santic's superior, Mario
17 Cerkez. How do you know this?
18 A. Santic was the commander of the HVO in the area where
19 I lived, and Mario Cerkez was the commander of the HVO
20 for the Vitez municipality.
21 Q. Mario Cerkez was the commander of the brigade.
22 A. Brigade?
23 Q. Not the commander for the Vitez municipality.
24 A. It is possible.
25 Q. Thank you. I would like to know, when you started
1 talking about the interesting events in April 1992,
2 15th April, you mentioned that these buyers came and
3 I guess they bought some, what, concrete blocks?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Why did you think that that was interesting to mention
6 in the context of your testimony? What did you think or
7 what did you conclude that these blocks were for?
8 A. Probably they were going to serve to make some shelters
9 or some barricades, but it was interesting, it was
10 curious, because for a long time, there were no buyers
11 and on that day, all of a sudden the traffic was much
12 greater and up until then there was almost none.
13 Q. So you concluded that this was supposed to be used for
15 A. It was unusual.
16 Q. So was it for defence or for attack? What are these
17 concrete blocks used for?
18 A. They could be used to also prepare the positions from
19 which there would be an attack.
20 Q. But they cannot be moved. Never mind. Did something
21 happen on 15th April that the Croat population needed to
22 buy these blocks to protect themselves? Did you see
23 something, did you see something on television that
24 something happened, for instance in Zenica?
25 A. In Zenica, Zivko Totic was arrested, he was arrested and
1 as far as I can recall, there were negotiations between
2 these two sides, and the two sides could not come to an
3 agreement. When I came home, my late husband said that
4 he watched television and he was nervous, he was afraid,
5 he said that he heard on television that Kordic was
6 saying that there are no more negotiations with the
7 Muslims, and he said that if there are no more
8 negotiations, the only option is war. He was afraid.
9 Q. Was this an arrest or was this a kidnapping and killing
10 of four people? Did any kind of authority arrest Zivko
11 Totic, or was he kidnapped, abducted?
12 A. I said what I had to say because I was not ...
13 Q. Very well. On the checkpoint where you saw the
14 soldiers, did you notice their insignia? Who were they?
15 A. I went through the checkpoint without looking at the
16 soldiers because I was afraid.
17 Q. Do you recall what kind of uniforms they wore, black or
19 A. I do not remember.
20 Q. On this critical day, did you call Mirjan Kupreskic, did
21 you talk to him on the phone?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What was it about, if you did?
24 A. I think it was not me who called him, I think it was my
1 Q. You do not know the contents of their conversation?
2 A. No, I do not, believe me.
3 MR NOBILO: Very well. Thank you very much, Mr President,
4 we have concluded. Thank you.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. Mr Prosecutor, did you
6 want to add anything to your examination-in-chief?
7 Re-examined by MR HARMON
8 Q. Witness O, let me clarify a point in your testimony.
9 Did your late husband tell you that Nenad Santic told
10 him that if the Muslims did not turn in their guns that
11 Muslim homes would be torched?
12 MR NOBILO: Mr President, this was discussed both in the
13 examination-in-chief and in the cross-examination. This
14 is repetitive.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Can you say what is not a repetition in your
16 question? If it is only to repeat a previous question,
17 a prior question, it is not necessary, I agree with
18 Mr Nobilo there.
19 MR HARMON: Yes, Mr President, I understand. The witness
20 has given an answer on direct examination that differs
21 from her answer on cross-examination and for purposes of
22 clarification with that one question I think I can
23 resolve the issue.
24 MR HAYMAN: Then we would propose a non-leading question,
25 your Honour, not that a leading question be used to try
1 and clarify.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Put a question that does not have the answer
3 in it.
4 MR HARMON: I am happy to do so, Mr President.
5 Witness O, what exactly did your husband tell you
6 Nenad Santic had told him would happen about the guns
7 and the failure of Muslims to turn in guns?
8 JUDGE JORDA: Look at the judges, if you do not mind,
9 because you are speaking to the Tribunal, to the court.
10 Do relax. Just answer the way that pleases you, that is
12 A. My husband said that if the Muslims, that October when
13 the conflict took place, if the Muslims did not turn in
14 their weapons, that they could not survive there and
15 that their houses would be burned down.
16 MR HARMON: Did your husband say that he had been informed
17 of that by Nenad Santic, or did he come to that
18 conclusion on his own, independent of anything Nenad
19 Santic had told him?
20 MR HAYMAN: Leading, your Honour.
21 JUDGE JORDA: True, I think we can stay on that, I think we
22 are sufficiently informed on this matter.
23 Equally, even if belatedly, I remind Mr Nobilo of
24 this: the question related to the phone call to
25 Kupreskic had not been mentioned in the
1 examination-in-chief, unless I am wrong.
2 Do you have another question?
3 MR HARMON: No, Mr President, I have concluded.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, I am now turning to my colleagues,
5 to my fellow judges, before you finish your testimony.
6 Judge Riad?
7 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning.
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. I would like to have some information about what
10 happened in October 1992. You said there was a short
11 conflict. You were there at that time in Santici. What
12 was this conflict, can you just describe it? What
13 happened exactly in that conflict, and when did it stop?
14 A. The conflict took place in the latter part of October,
15 it lasted only one day. In fact it was not a real
16 conflict that took place there, the real conflict took
17 place somewhere else. The HVO soldiers went and I think
18 that the real conflict took place in Novi Travnik. The
19 villagers from Ahmici, the Muslims set up a barricade so
20 that the soldiers, the Croats, could not pass through;
21 so that the road would simply be cut off for them.
22 I think that as I recall, that was the reason, so it was
23 not a real conflict which took place, so the conflict
24 was provoked from somewhere else, the conflict took
25 place somewhere else and the HVO soldiers started
1 towards the area where this conflict took place and the
2 locals from Ahmici, the Muslims, set up a barricade so
3 that they could not pass through, so that the conflict
4 would not become even greater.
5 Q. In other words, in October and after October until April
6 1993, there was no Muslim attack in Santici? The
7 Muslims did not attack?
8 A. No.
9 Q. There was no attack. When you said that Nenad Santic
10 told your husband that the punishment for having any
11 weapon would be to have the house burnt and to be -- not
12 to be able to survive in Santici, this Nenad Santic, was
13 he a military commander?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What was his role? He was a military commander. And
16 his threat was being fulfilled on a large scale to many
17 houses, or just to few people?
18 A. Partially in small proportions, people who were in our
19 immediate neighbourhood who were living along the road,
20 I think that it was only they who turned in their
21 weapons so that they would be safe in their homes and
22 that they would not fear.
23 Q. Were they safe in their homes? Those who turned in
24 weapons, did they stay safely in their homes, or did
25 they have to leave -- all Muslims had to leave Santici?
1 A. I did not understand.
2 Q. After these events of April 15th, 16th, did all Muslims
3 leave Santici?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All of them? Did they come back after that?
6 A. No, we all left.
7 Q. So there are no Muslims left in Santici?
8 A. No, we were told to go, that we could not live there any
10 Q. How many Muslims were there in Santici? Was it a
11 majority of Muslims or a majority of Croats?
12 A. The majority were Croats.
13 Q. So the minority of Muslims was completely -- had to
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen?
18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Good morning.
19 A. Good morning.
20 Q. You told the court that your husband told you of a
21 statement made by Mr Kordic. Did you yourself know
22 Mr Kordic?
23 A. Only through television. I watched him.
24 Q. How often did you see him on television? Could you tell
1 A. I do not recall the number of times, but I did see him a
2 number of times on television.
3 Q. When you saw him on television, was anyone with him?
4 A. I do not recall.
5 Q. Tell me about these cinder blocks.
6 A. Just a moment, please. (Pause).
7 Q. Are you feeling better?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Good. These cinder blocks were manufactured by the
10 factory in which you were working?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What were they intended to be used for?
13 A. It was meant for construction, for construction of
14 different structures. But it could have been used for
15 different purposes, not only the buildings but also
17 Q. These blocks were bought by a number of people. Could
18 you tell us whether those people were Muslims or Croats
19 or both Muslims and Croats?
20 A. These people were dressed in camouflage clothes. At
21 that time, Muslims could not move about in the
22 camouflage uniform in Vitez; in other words he may have
23 but he would have run the risk of maybe being beaten up
24 or even arrested. It was simply better for them not to
25 move about so in these camouflage clothes, so I could
1 say that these were Croats, because I cannot say that
2 I saw a Muslim who was moving around in the camouflage
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you.
5 JUDGE JORDA: It is nearly over. I wanted to put a last
6 question to you. Before you came to the Tribunal, and
7 also at the time of those tragic events, had you heard
8 of the General Blaskic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you specify -- did you see him, did you see him on
11 television, did you have the feeling that he was playing
12 a major part? Could you say this to the Tribunal?
13 A. I only saw him on television. What duty he was on, that
14 I cannot explain and I do not know. I only remember
15 seeing him on television and that is all.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, madam. It is over, it was not too
17 long, you are going to recover, have a rest and return
18 to where you live in the hope that you can forget all
19 these tragic events. Please do not move from your seat,
20 the judges are going to withdraw for a break, and we are
21 going to resume at 12.00.
22 (The witness withdrew)
23 (11.40 am)
24 (A short break)
25 (12.00 pm)
1 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please bring in the
3 (Accused brought in)
4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Kehoe, I know that you are the one who is
5 going to take the examination-in-chief of the next
6 witness. Could you tell us the identity of that witness
7 and what you expect from that witness?
8 MR KEHOE: Yes, Mr President, good morning. Thank you, good
9 morning, your Honours. The next witness is company
10 Sergeant Major Stephen Hughes of the Cheshire Regiment,
11 first battalion. Along with the other British
12 contingent, British soldiers that the court has heard,
13 they are all part of the Cheshire Regiment stationed in
14 the Bila camp right outside of Vitez from October 1992
15 through approximately 11th May 1993.
16 He will testify concerning 16th April, where he
17 and his platoon of Warriors went through the outside
18 part of Stari Vitez and saw Croat soldiers with ribbons
19 on their shoulders, identifying ribbons as the court has
20 heard on other occasions, going house to house in a
21 systematic fashion, giving the appearance of rooting
22 those people out. He will also testify about the
23 shooting of at least two civilians, bodies he saw on the
24 ground and he likewise will talk on the 16th about
25 artillery fire coming into the location where he was in
1 Stari Vitez; he will likewise note that there was no
2 return fire, nor did he see any Bosnian soldiers on the
4 We move to the 17th, Mr President, your Honours.
5 The witness will testify concerning a movement of
6 refugees south of -- moving from the direction of
7 Santici towards the Dubravica school, a long column of
8 refugees that he believed to be Muslim civilians. As we
9 move further up that road, as your Honours know, the
10 location of the bungalow is located. He will testify
11 concerning parking near that bungalow on the 17th and
12 observing an anti-aircraft weapon up on the bluff above
13 the bungalow on the other side of the street firing into
14 the area, and he does not know the exact location, but
15 firing into the area anywhere from Pirici, Ahmici
16 et cetera, those villages on the other side of the road.
17 He will likewise testify during this timeframe of
18 on an evening seeing a village in Putis Loncari area, a
19 Muslim village, moving into those villages and seeing
20 much of that village burnt, evidence that the villagers
21 had left in haste and also evidence that the houses
22 themselves had been looted. He will testify down the
23 line of having returned to that village and all the
24 looted items, such as it was, et cetera, were gone.
25 He will likewise testify concerning several events
1 briefly concerning the truck bomb on 18th April 1993.
2 He was present, one of the first Warriors there, took
3 his photographs, assisted in the evacuation of civilians
4 and assisted the next day in the evacuation of the
6 As your Honours know, on 21st April there was a
7 cease-fire conference attended by General Petkovic,
8 General Halilovic as well as ECMM representatives and
9 BritBat representatives. As you will recall from Major
10 Watters' testimony, one of the jobs of the British
11 battalion was to ensure that the armies moved back from
12 the confrontation line and thereafter to have the
13 respective generals to convince their soldiers to move
14 back from those lines.
15 Sergeant Major Hughes and his company, or his
16 platoon, did exactly that, and they took
17 General Petkovic around, as well as General Halilovic,
18 and one of the places they took General Petkovic as part
19 of this was to the bungalow, where they had a discussion
20 in the bungalow.
21 His last item of evidence, Mr President, is the
22 burial in Stari Vitez, he participated in a body
23 exchange with the HVO where he gave them three bodies of
24 Croats and in return got 96 Muslims for burial and there
25 will be a short video on that, Mr President and
1 your Honours.
2 That is the summary of Sergeant Major Hughes'
4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. Congratulations on
5 behalf of my fellow colleagues. Are you sure you want
6 to have the witness after all this? Congratulations
7 anyway. As we are now accustomed, you let the witness
8 speak in his or her own words and you only intervene on
9 the points that are relevant to you, because we were
10 able, as you have just shown, to show the essential
11 items. Let us have Sergeant Major Hughes in. How much
12 time did you devote to this witness?
13 MR KEHOE: I believe, Mr President, we could be done in two,
14 two and a half hours, somewhere in that location. The
15 reason I hesitate on the actual time, Mr President, is
16 there will be some drawing on the maps and locations and
17 sometimes that takes a little bit more time than
18 I anticipate.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Okay. Let us have the witness in.
20 MR KEHOE: Yes, Mr President, I believe the usher just went
21 to get the witness from the witness room.
22 JUDGE RIAD: In the meantime, may I just know, he is a
23 sergeant major? I have not been in the British army.
24 What is a sergeant major?
25 MR KEHOE: They move up ranks naturally, Judge. One of the
1 upper ranks, the warrant officer ranks are sergeant
2 major and regimental sergeant major, a sergeant major
3 being a warrant officer second class and a regimental
4 sergeant major being the highest ranking enlisted
5 soldier, who is a warrant officer first class. As you
6 move down from there, you move to the regular
7 non-commissioned levels, from staff sergeant to
8 sergeant, corporal, lance corporal, private soldier.
9 I may be missing a rank or two in there, Judge Riad.
10 Naturally Sergeant Major Hughes can answer that better
11 than I.
12 (Witness entered court)
13 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Can you hear me, Sergeant Major? Can you
15 state your name, your first name and your rank?
16 A. I can hear you. My first name is Stephen Hughes, my
17 rank is WO2.
18 JUDGE JORDA: You are going to read the declaration handed
19 to you by the usher. This is your oath.
20 SERGEANT MAJOR HUGHES (sworn)
21 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, please sit down, Sergeant Major.
22 Your grade and your hierarchy let you come in as a
23 witness in this trial against General Blaskic, who is
24 present in the courtroom. Whilst you were stationed in
25 the area involved in the events, you took part in the
1 events of 16th April, you attended and you were witness
2 to a number of events, artillery fire and movements of
3 refugees. You noted many things such as villages on
4 fire and you have things to tell us about the truck bomb
5 and also you will talk to the conference or negotiations
6 on the cease-fire.
7 You will be guided by the Prosecutor. Once a few
8 questions have been put to you as a preliminary matter,
9 you can be free to state in your own words what you have
10 to say. If there are missing elements, Mr Kehoe will,
11 on behalf of the Prosecution, see to it that he puts the
12 questions that are relevant to the trial. You are used
13 to being very synthetical, that is what you learn in the
14 army, so you have the floor, Mr Kehoe.
15 Examined by MR KEHOE
16 MR KEHOE: Thank you Mr President.
17 Good afternoon. Could you give us your rank in
18 the British army, sir?
19 A. It is warrant officer class 2.
20 Q. What is your title in the British army?
21 A. Sergeant Major.
22 Q. Sergeant Major Hughes, how old are you?
23 A. I am 39.
24 Q. How long have you been in the British army?
25 A. I have been in just over 22 and a half years.
1 Q. So it would be fair to say you have been in the British
2 army your entire adult life?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. What regiment do you belong to?
5 A. I belong to the Cheshire Regiment.
6 Q. Have you been in the Cheshire Regiment the past 22
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. Would it be fair to say, Sergeant Major, that you are a
10 professional soldier?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Let me direct your attention to the period of time where
13 the Cheshire Regiment was assigned as peace keeping
14 efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Were you part of those
16 A. Yes, I certainly was.
17 Q. During what period of time were you in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Cheshire Regiment?
19 A. From late November to, I recall, May 1993.
20 MR KEHOE: Mr President, before the witness gives his actual
21 events of what took place there, I just want to ask the
22 witness what his actual job in the theatre was.
23 If you could, Sergeant Major Hughes?
24 A. My job was platoon commander of II Platoon, A Company.
25 Q. In a little bit more detail, Sergeant Major, can you
1 explain to the court what that means?
2 A. That means I was in command of a platoon, which is
3 approximately 26 men. The platoon consisted of three
4 sections, commanded by a corporal in each, and
5 I commanded four Warrior fighting vehicles.
6 Q. So you were part of A Company and in A Company there
7 were three platoons?
8 A. That is right.
9 Q. You were the commander of the second platoon?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In your platoon, how many Warriors did you have?
12 A. Four.
13 Q. In your own words, Sergeant Major, let me direct your
14 attention to the outbreak of hostilities in the
15 Lasva Valley in and around 16th April 1993. Can you
16 tell the court your observations during that period of
17 time, up through the burial of the 96 bodies in
18 Stari Vitez on 28th April 1993.
19 A. Yes. On 16th April, we received information that there
20 was disturbances in the town of Vitez. We were tasked
21 to go into Vitez and obviously look at the situation and
22 see what information we could gather.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Please slow down a little. Remember the
24 interpreters. Thank you very much.
25 A. So we approached Vitez, moved into the Muslim area, the
1 old town of Vitez. At that stage, there were a number
2 of civilians to one side of the road, as we approached
3 the centre of Vitez, who were coming under fire. At
4 that stage, I placed my vehicle between them and the
5 fire, to protect a woman that was crawling along the
6 pavement, so she could get into cover.
7 Once that was complete, I continued into Vitez, to
8 the junction by the hotel in the centre of Vitez. From
9 there, we could observe what I saw as HVO soldiers
10 moving through towards the old part of Vitez. We
11 continued to move around the area, noting that at that
12 stage what looked to be, as I say, an attack on to the
13 Muslim area of Vitez.
14 The following day, the 17th, I was tasked out to
15 the area east of Vitez, to the town or village of
16 Jelinak Putis. Also during that time, I was in the area
17 of the bungalow and it was at this stage, observing the
18 area to the south, that I spotted what I believed to be
19 some form of anti-tank weapon or anti-aircraft weapon.
20 Again at that stage, I took some time to identify, using
21 binoculars and then finally the gunsight, which had a
22 better magnification, which more or less confirmed to me
23 that there was something there. Eventually the weapon
24 was fired, and that gave me then a definite
25 identification that it was some form of anti-aircraft
2 Then the following day, the 18th, I was tasked
3 again to go into Vitez. On this occasion we were
4 blocked from entering by a large petrol tanker across
5 the road. We decided to turn round, move around and try
6 and approach Vitez from the east; again, there was no
7 access, or access was denied by a tractor across the
8 bridge and some anti-tank mines laid on the floor. We
9 then moved back round again and made a second attempt to
10 enter Vitez. On this occasion, they had moved the
11 petrol tanker more towards the west, and this gave us
12 the opportunity to outflank the checkpoint and enter
13 into Vitez itself.
14 Having negotiated past the checkpoint at this
15 stage I was engaged by about five or six occupants of
16 the checkpoint, hitting the rear of the vehicle.
17 However, I continued on the task that day. On returning
18 back from that task, on the way out, the petrol tanker
19 had been moved and was no longer in sight, and the road
20 was free to move back out. During this time, I was at
21 the garage which was our echelon and the large explosion
22 was heard from the vicinity of Vitez. We were later
23 then tasked to enter Vitez to discover what the
24 situation was, and on approaching into the old town of
25 Vitez, due to the fact that I was first in, there was a
1 lot of devastation. The point of the blast had caused a
2 small crater in the road and all that was remaining of
3 the vehicle was the rear chassis, a number of vehicles.
4 At that stage, we moved around to try and get a full
5 assessment of the situation. Then from there, it was
6 decided that it would be safe to move out the people
7 from that area, and evacuate them to Travnik.
8 The following day, the 19th, again we were tasked
9 to go back in and remove any dead bodies from the scene
10 of the explosion, and also to remove what body parts
11 were found to be in the area of the centre of the
12 blast. Then over the next few days we were tasked to
13 local areas, especially on the 22nd, to go north of
14 Vitez and monitor the areas, to see how the cease-fire
15 was holding up, and whether there was any change in the
16 situation regarding the position of BiH and HVO
18 Then on the 28th, I was tasked to pick up General
19 Petkovic and General Halilovic, and with an interpreter
20 and a member of the ECMM, to go round north of Vitez and
21 take both parties to the various positions in that area;
22 again to look to see if they were withdrawing back to
23 their original positions before the fighting within the
24 Vitez area began. It was during this stage that we went
25 to the bungalow and as a point, whilst in there, an
1 individual HVO soldier got quite irate and from the
2 information I got from the interpreter, he was
3 indicating that he, or his family had been killed, and
4 that UNPROFOR had stood by and watched. He was swinging
5 a pistol around. Eventually went outside, he tried to
6 get to the vehicle holding the BiH commanders. However,
7 he was unsuccessful in that and eventually he was calmed
8 down and taken away.
9 We continued on with the varying tasks with both
10 parties, eventually finishing off in Vitez itself,
11 visiting the BiH headquarters and various positions
12 around the village. Then on the 29th, I was tasked to
13 go into Vitez to do a body exchange. This consisted of
14 going into the old part of Vitez, the Muslim area, where
15 we picked up approximately three bodies, transported
16 them to the school in Vitez where they were taken into
17 the school and then in exchange, we picked up
18 approximately 94 to 96 Muslim bodies, and these were
19 transported to a burial area in, again, the old town,
20 the Muslim part of Vitez, where they were eventually
21 buried there in a mass grave.
22 MR KEHOE: Mr President, with your permission, Sergeant
23 Major, I would just like to ask you several questions --
24 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead.
25 MR KEHOE: Ask several questions about the events that you
1 just discussed. On the morning of 16th April, you said
2 that you went into old Vitez. Approximately what time
3 was that?
4 A. Difficult to assess the time of the morning. It was
5 about mid morning, I would say.
6 Q. Can you tell the court what path you took coming into
7 old Vitez?
8 A. I came on the main road into Vitez from the west,
9 passing the garage which was our echelon, which then
10 brought us in to the old town or the old part of Vitez,
11 which was the direct route in, which would take you then
12 right into the centre of Vitez itself.
13 MR KEHOE: Mr President, with your permission, if I could
14 have Sergeant Major Hughes step up to what has been put
15 on the easel. For the record, Mr President, that is
16 45F. If I may approach?
17 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead.
18 MR KEHOE: Sergeant Major, using the yellow marker, can you
19 just designate the road that you used coming into
20 Stari Vitez on the morning of the 16th?
21 A. (Witness marks map).
22 Q. You are marking that in yellow. During your narrative
23 to the judges, you also said that you saw a series of
24 HVO soldiers that were going from house to house.
25 Before we mark that, did these soldiers have anything
1 identifying themselves to each other on their uniforms?
2 A. Yes, they had ribbons tied to the shoulders of their
4 Q. As a professional soldier, what did you understand those
5 ribbons to mean?
6 A. To me, it gave an indication of what particular unit
7 they came from, what area. It is so that they between
8 themselves could identify themselves, because in that
9 situation both, I would say, opposing forces wore the
10 same uniforms, so without the markings, it would be
11 difficult to identify who was HVO and who may have been
12 BiH soldiers.
13 Q. So in simple terms, they would put that coloured ribbon
14 on so they did not shoot each other?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You stated that you saw them moving, these soldiers with
17 the ribbons, moving in a particular area on the map.
18 Could you take the pink and square out or circle out the
19 area where you saw them moving?
20 A. (Witness marks map).
21 Q. Can you make that a little darker so they can see it on
22 the camera? Sergeant Major, what were they doing?
23 A. At the time they were moving through this part, they
24 were moving towards the west, again towards the old part
25 of Vitez. They were moving in what I would call a house
1 clearing method, they were fire, manoeuvre and sort of
2 covering each other, which to me looked, as I say,
3 similar sorts of drills that we would use when moving
4 through a built-up area.
5 Q. Do you and the British army call this fighting in
6 built-up areas?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Sergeant, when you saw them moving from house to house,
9 did you see anybody firing at them?
10 A. No, not at all.
11 Q. Did you see any Muslim, Bosnian Muslim soldiers around
12 that period of time moving in that area to oppose them
13 or anyone else?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you move to another location thereafter?
16 A. Yes, I moved round and came through round to this road
17 and then eventually I waited in this area here
19 Q. When you were in that particular area, what happened?
20 A. There was what I believed to be either an artillery or
21 mortar round landed approximately 50 metres to my front
22 in this position here.
23 Q. Can you mark that in red with an M?
24 A. (Witness marks map).
25 Q. Could you put a circle around it so we can see it? You
1 said that this was either an artillery round or a mortar
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could you tell the difference at the time?
5 A. No, not really at that particular time. But again, on
6 reflection, the amount of explosion and dust, smoke that
7 came up maybe it was a smaller round than artillery so
8 it could more likely be a mortar round.
9 Q. This was an incoming round?
10 A. Yes, sir.
11 Q. Did you see any rounds going back out in response?
12 A. No, none at all.
13 Q. Earlier in your testimony, you mentioned that you saw a
14 woman that was crawling along the pavement, is that
16 A. That is right.
17 Q. Did she appear to be a civilian?
18 A. She was a civilian.
19 Q. Was she wounded?
20 A. At that particular time I did not notice if she was
21 wounded, she was just crawling along the pavement.
22 Q. Did you notice later on if she was wounded?
23 A. As we came back round again, we pulled up to where the
24 woman had moved into a protected area, into a little
25 alley way, and there was a number of people gesturing to
1 us to help, because she had been shot. Looking down
2 again, a limited view because we were closed down and
3 therefore I was looking through the observation post
4 scopes, is that she was lying on the floor and I later
5 learnt from another vehicle -- we moved off, another
6 vehicle then came in and treated the woman for a gunshot
7 wound to the chest.
8 Q. Could you take a green marker and mark the location of
9 that wound?
10 A. (Witness marks map).
11 Q. You can have a seat, Sergeant Major. You have marked
12 that exhibit in the lower left-hand corner of the area
13 that you said the soldiers were going from house to
14 house, is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Before we move ahead to the events that take place after
17 this, when you saw this going on, Sergeant Major, as a
18 professional soldier, did you come to any conclusions as
19 to what was happening in that area with those HVO
20 soldiers going from house to house and moving in towards
21 Stari Vitez?
22 A. Yes, the conclusion I came to was that it was the normal
23 practice, I would say, for anyone that wishes to clear
24 an area, and obviously take control of that area.
25 Q. You had occasion, the next day, to continue to patrol
1 around Stari Vitez, is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 MR KEHOE: Mr President, we have a series of photographs
4 that are marked as Exhibit 152, they are a series of
5 photographs that detail several issues in Sergeant Major
6 Hughes' testimony. Right now we would like to deal with
7 the first two, 152/1 and 152/2, and with the assistance
8 of the usher, if we could put those on the ELMO.
9 Sergeant Major Hughes, we are looking at Exhibit
10 152/1. Do you recognise that photograph?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. What is that of?
13 A. That is a photograph looking west towards the quarry on
14 the outskirts of Vitez and obviously to the left-hand
15 side near the car is the body of a young boy.
16 Q. Let us turn to the next photograph, Mr Usher, 152/2.
17 What is that?
18 A. That is the same body from the previous photograph.
19 Q. Did you see him in or about this time lying on the
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Approximately how old was this young boy?
23 A. By, obviously, body size, I would say that -- you know,
24 a young teenager, no older than maybe 17 or below that.
25 Q. Was it clear to you at that juncture that he was dead?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you, Mr Usher, we can turn off the ELMO. If we
3 can leave those photographs there because we will be
4 having the usher return to discuss the other
6 Sergeant Major Hughes, you said that on the
7 17th that you went up to the bungalow area, is that
9 A. That is correct, yes.
10 Q. With the assistance of the usher, I am sorry to get you
11 up again, but if we could flip over Exhibit 45F.
12 Underneath that, Mr President, should be Exhibit 56F.
13 Again if I can ask Sergeant Major Hughes to step up to
14 the microphone and if I can approach the witness?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Just a specification, what is the number of
16 this map?
17 MR KEHOE: I am sorry, this map is 53C.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you.
19 MR KEHOE: Sergeant Major Hughes, you stated that you went
20 up to the area of the bungalow -- did you call it the
21 bungalow, by the way?
22 A. No, we called it the Swiss cottage.
23 Q. Is that designated on the map?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. You said that you saw -- can you take the yellow marker
1 and just mark the area where you were located when you
2 went up there on the 17th?
3 A. (Witness marks map).
4 Q. You likewise said that you saw an anti-aircraft weapon.
5 Can you take the red marker -- actually if you can do it
6 with this marker, and mark with a circle the general
7 area where you saw that artillery piece.
8 A. (Witness marks map).
9 Q. Can you make it thick so it can show up?
10 JUDGE JORDA: To get closer to the map, Mr Hayman, you can.
11 MR KEHOE: Sergeant Major, you were looking at that location
12 with a set of binoculars, were you not?
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. And also your gunsight in the Warrior?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you were in that location, did you see someone that
17 you thought was a forward observer, or a spotter?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Can you explain to the judges what a forward observer or
20 a spotter is? You can turn this way.
21 A. What it is is that a forward observer or spotter is
22 somebody who will move forward of what we would call a
23 gun line, i.e. mortars or artillery, who is in view of
24 the area that he wishes the rounds from that particular
25 gun line, whether again it is mortars or artillery,
1 land, so therefore he can be in touch with the gun
2 line and tell them any corrections that they need to
3 make; in other words, are the rounds dropping short of
4 the target, too far off the target or are they actually
5 on target.
6 Q. Would it be fair to say, Sergeant Major Hughes, that any
7 army that has artillery normally employs a spotter or
8 forward observer to assist them as to where to direct
9 the fire?
10 A. Yes, definitely.
11 Q. The British army does as well?
12 A. Exactly the same, yes.
13 Q. You knew when you saw this guy up there what he was
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The basic range of fire from that location, what would
17 have been the range of fire?
18 A. Again, depending on the piece of equipment that they
19 were using, from that area if they were using an
20 anti-aircraft weapon or of similar description, then you
21 may be looking at maximum effective as two kilometres,
22 2,000 metres.
23 Q. So two kilometres out. How about the breadth of fire
24 from left to right?
25 A. With the high ground, from the position they were in,
1 they would reach no further south than along the edge of
2 the valley, but from there again they would have a good
3 arc coming through, down, because again this high ground
4 here, coming down towards the Ahmici area and beyond
6 Q. So it would be fair to say from their location they
7 would have a -- excuse me -- direction of fire covering
8 Ahmici, Pirici and all the way down into the Santici
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. It is a little awkward here, excuse me.
12 When you were up there, did anybody leave that
13 location and come down and see you?
14 A. Yes, while we were observing the position a small
15 vehicle left, came down the winding road, down.
16 Eventually, as it got closer, we identified it as a
17 Suzuki-type Jeep that pulled up the other side of the
18 bridge in front of us and the individuals got out and
19 sort of indicated to us that they wanted us to turn our
20 gun position, or our gun away from observing their
21 position on top of the hill.
22 Q. Did you watch the track that they were using as they
23 came down to your location?
24 A. We watched it. A couple of times it went out of sight,
25 due to trees, hedgerows et cetera, but we basically
1 monitored it coming down -- we wanted to see where it
2 was coming, because we were not aware it was going to
3 come down to our position.
4 Q. Could you take the track and with that red pen could you
5 mark the approximate track that they came down to meet
7 A. (Witness marks map).
8 Q. So based on that, the sketch you just gave with the red
9 markings down that track, they came out in the
10 approximate location where you were on the road?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. After they spoke to you and asked you to retrain your
13 gun, did you?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. Did you see where they went after that?
16 A. Yes, they drove from there then and they went to the
18 Q. Can you take that back down the road and then circle the
19 area where they went?
20 A. (Witness marks map).
21 Q. Based on that, did you conclude that the soldiers and
22 their firing were connected with the soldier at the
24 A. Yes, definitely.
25 Q. Prior to that time, had you seen soldiers in and about
1 that bungalow?
2 A. Yes, I had seen soldiers on many occasions around the
4 Q. Virtually every time you drove past there were soldiers
5 outside that bungalow?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. If we can stay on the 17th, on another occasion on that
8 road did you observe a column of Muslims moving down
9 towards the mountain road going from Dubravica to
11 A. Yes, that is correct.
12 Q. Could you use a green pen, if you will, here is one
13 right here, and mark the approximate area where they
14 were and the direction with an arrow, the direction that
15 they were going?
16 A. (Witness marks map).
17 Q. You marked that in green, did you not, sir?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Sergeant Major, approximately how many people did you
20 see in that column?
21 A. I would say between 50, 60.
22 Q. When you saw them, did you reach any conclusions as to
23 whether or not they were Croat or Muslims?
24 A. I reached the conclusion they were Muslims.
25 Q. Why did you reach that conclusion?
1 A. Mainly the way the women were dressed, in the normal
2 pantaloon-type Muslim clothing.
3 Q. What was the makeup of these people?
4 A. Young and old, old men, old women, children. They were
5 not complete as a group, they were stretched out along
6 that particular part of the road and all heading west.
7 Q. Walking in the direction of the --
8 A. They were on the north side of the road, i.e. this side
9 of the road (indicates), walking west towards the
11 MR KEHOE: Mr President, if I could ask Sergeant Major
12 Hughes to take a seat again, we will move along.
13 Sergeant Major, before we move away from this
14 particular exhibit, the soldiers that came down from the
15 artillery point that you saw moving, how were they
17 A. They were dressed in camouflage uniform.
18 MR KEHOE: You said that you had gone past this
19 particular -- you call it Swiss cottage, it is marked as
20 the bungalow, several times. If we can move to the next
21 photograph, which is 152/3.
22 Mr President, your Honours and Defence counsel,
23 there is a black and white copy here, we will substitute
24 it with a colour copy when we have it available, which
25 should be some time this afternoon.
1 For the record, Mr President, this photograph, the
2 individual in this photograph is not a member of the
3 Cheshire Regiment, this individual's name was then
4 Captain Lee Whitworth, who was part of the Prince of
5 Wales' own Regiment of Yorkshire. They replaced the
6 Cheshires in October 1993. We are introducing this
7 evidence simply for the structure itself and not the
8 individual that is in there. However, it is the only
9 photograph in our possession of the structure before it
10 was destroyed.
11 Sergeant Major, turning to this particular
12 exhibit, 152/3, is that the structure that you called
13 the Swiss cottage or the bungalow, as it is designated
14 on the map?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Thank you very much, Mr Usher. We are now going to move
17 on. We will get to those photographs in one second.
18 Sergeant Major, during this period of time, did
19 you go to various locations over the course of your day,
20 other than the locations that you have just testified
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. Likewise on the 17th, did you go to an area that you
24 knew to be, as Sivrino Selo?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. What did you observe on 17th April in the area of
2 Sivrino Selo?
3 A. I observed a building or house which to me was not a
4 completed building, in other words there were no windows
5 in, et cetera. There was a number of refugees, what
6 I would class as refugees in the houses, and at that
7 particular time, there was incoming artillery or mortar
8 fire into that general area, not necessarily directed at
9 the house but into the general area or vicinity of where
10 that building was. The people in there, from what
11 I could observe obviously, were extremely concerned and
12 worried, frightened.
13 Q. I am just waiting for the translation. Sergeant Major,
14 did you reach any conclusions as to whether or not these
15 frightened people were Muslims or Croats?
16 A. Again, due to the way they were dressed was again yes,
17 that they were Muslims.
18 Q. Sergeant Major, prior to the events on 16th April, did
19 the Cheshire Regiment on occasion send Warriors to the
20 coal mines in Breza?
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 Q. Why did you do that?
23 A. The idea behind was that the coal mine at Vares or Breza
24 was close to the Serb lines and on occasion was coming
25 under direct mortar and artillery fire. It was felt
1 that to keep or try and get parts of the infrastructure
2 going within the area is -- the need for coal was
3 important to take to the power stations, obviously to
4 eventually generate electricity that was needed
5 et cetera, so it was agreed upon that on a daily basis
6 that two Warriors would be deployed there through the
7 daylight hours, basically, hopefully, as a deterrent for
8 the Bosnian Serbs engaged in the coal yard itself.
9 Q. Sergeant Major, I apologise but I have been informed
10 that you and I are moving quickly. After I finish
11 asking a question, if you just pause a bit and give the
12 interpreters a chance, I think it will be a bit better
13 for the understanding of all involved.
14 This covering of the coal mines in Breza, did you
15 essentially abandon that when the hostilities broke out
16 on 16th April, or certainly during that period of time?
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. When you returned back to your camp from Breza, did you
19 take what you know as the bypass road, the Zenica
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. In the evening prior to this time, coming back from
23 Breza, did you observe anything one evening on your way
25 A. Yes, on the way back I observed to the north, which
1 indicated to me on the map that it was the villages of
2 Putis and Jelinak, that you could see the glow of what
3 I would get the impression of as buildings on fire. You
4 could not actually see the buildings but you could see
5 the glow in the dark from just behind the high ground.
6 Q. If the events in Ahmici that you testified previously to
7 took place on 16th April, when approximately did you
8 drive by and see the glow in the dark in Putis and
10 A. I would say approximately around the same period.
11 Q. With the assistance of the usher, if I could then move
12 to the next map. For the record, the map that we have
13 is a copy of Exhibit 59 and marked 59B, if I am not
14 mistaken, Mr Registrar?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that is right.
16 MR KEHOE: Again, Mr President, if I could ask Sergeant
17 Major Hughes to step up to the map with a red pen.
18 Now Sergeant Major, if I may, before we begin
19 that, could you take the yellow pen and just mark what
20 you know as the Zenica bypass that you would take going
21 back to camp.
22 A. (Witness marks map).
23 Q. You said in and about this time you turned off the
24 Zenica bypass and went into the village around Putis and
25 Jelinak. Is the track that you took depicted on this
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Using the red pen, could you just draw that track?
4 A. (Witness marks map).
5 Q. You have designated on the map in red the track that you
6 took on that first time you went in there?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. You can have a seat, Sergeant Major. Sergeant Major,
9 the first night that you saw that area aglow, did you go
10 into the village that night?
11 A. No, I did not that night, no.
12 Q. Approximately how many days after the first time you saw
13 it did you go into that village?
14 A. Approximately two days.
15 Q. Can you tell the judges what you observed when you went
16 into that village?
17 A. As we approached the village from the main Zenica/Vitez
18 bypass, we moved up along the track. As we moved up the
19 track towards the main part of the village, we noticed
20 on either side of the road that there were piles of
21 televisions and other valuables from the various houses
22 placed out on the side of the track. We progressed up
23 until we came to the main village of Jelinak. At that
24 stage, I decided to dismount from the vehicle. Myself
25 and one other then did a cursory search or walk round of
1 the village, due to the fact that at this stage we had
2 been warned that any cleared villages may have
3 booby-traps or trip wires, so we proceeded with
5 Entered a number of houses, which gave me the
6 indication that the houses themselves had been rapidly
7 vacated. In some houses there was still food on the
8 tables, the houses still had their clothes, valuables
9 and goods in there. We noticed on numerous doors bullet
10 holes around the door handle, again which indicated to
11 us that they had fired at the door handles to get into
12 locked buildings. There were a number of houses that
13 had been burnt down, obviously the previous -- a number
14 of days before.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Kehoe, if you have finished your questions
16 in a sequence that makes sense, we could have a break
17 and resume at 3.00. Did you want to specify anything?
18 MR KEHOE: Yes, Mr President. Actually I was waiting
19 previously for the translation, but if I could just
20 finish this particular series, it is just two more
22 JUDGE JORDA: Fine.
23 MR KEHOE: Sergeant Major, you had during your period of
24 time seen the burnt-out houses in Ahmici, did you not?
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. The houses in this area, Putis and Jelinak, were they
2 similar to those houses in their burnt-out condition?
3 A. Yes, similar.
4 Q. You said that you walked around after you and another
5 soldier got out of the Warriors?
6 A. Yes, correct.
7 Q. When walking around, did you draw any conclusions as to
8 what ethnic group owned the houses that were burnt out
9 and vacated?
10 A. The majority indicated to me that they were Muslim in
11 the way of their design, and the depiction -- a lot of
12 the houses have the Muslim crescent on the buildings.
13 Q. Based on that Muslim crescent, you believe that the
14 house belonged to a Bosnian Muslim?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 MR KEHOE: Mr President, I believe this is an appropriate
17 time. Thank you.
18 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is adjourned. We will resume our
19 work at 3.00.
20 (1.00 pm)
21 (Adjourned until 3.00 pm)
1 (3.00 pm)
2 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Mr Registrar, would
3 you have General Blaskic come in.
4 (Accused brought in)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Registrar, is it possible to have the witness
7 MR KEHOE: Mr President?
8 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr Kehoe?
9 MR KEHOE: As I said at the outset of the testimony of
10 Sergeant Major Hughes, several photographs that are in
11 the court's package and that were likewise in the
12 Defence package were in black and white. At the lunch
13 break, I had those colour prints made, and would ask
14 that they be substituted into everyone's respective
16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much, Mr Prosecutor. So you
17 are going to carry on with the examination-in-chief.
18 How much more time, approximately, do you need?
19 MR KEHOE: Approximately half an hour, judge, maybe between
20 half an hour and 45 minutes.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Rather half an hour than 45 minutes?
22 MR KEHOE: I was thinking maybe 45 minutes rather than half
23 an hour.
24 (Witness entered court)
25 JUDGE JORDA: Try and really focus on the questions that are
1 in support of the Prosecution, that is what I keep
2 repeating. Let us say last offer 30 minutes. Sergeant
3 Major, please sit down.
4 MR KEHOE: Good afternoon, Sergeant Major.
5 A. Good afternoon, sir.
6 Q. This afternoon you and I together are going to attempt
7 to slow down for the sake of the interpreters.
8 A. Right.
9 Q. One last question on the trip you had into Putis and
10 Loncari. After the time that you went in there around
11 the 16th April and saw the houses burnt and looted, did
12 you have occasion to go into that house thereafter --
13 excuse me, that village, thereafter, days down the line?
14 A. Yes, a number of days down the line we were tasked to go
15 into that district or that area again. At this stage it
16 was to see if the opposing forces had retreated back to
17 their original lines of defence.
18 Q. All of the property that you saw looted, was it gone?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Let us turn ahead to your testimony concerning
21 18th April 1993, the date of the truck bomb. You were
22 tasked to go into Vitez that day.
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 Q. For what reason?
25 A. The reason of the tasking was that it was believed that
1 in the area of the flats in Vitez there was a young
2 Muslim boy belonging to one of the commanders, and the
3 commander was concerned, due to the current situation,
4 for that boy's safety.
5 Q. You also told us that there were checkpoints at two
6 locations that you tried to get through to get into
8 A. Yes, that is correct.
9 MR KEHOE: Mr President, if we can turn our attention to the
10 third map, with the assistance of the usher, which is
11 Exhibit 56F. Thank you. Mr President, if I could ask
12 Sergeant Major Hughes to go up to the chart, please.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Of course.
14 MR KEHOE: Sergeant Major Hughes, you said that there was a
15 checkpoint that prevented you getting into Stari Vitez
16 that was manned by the Croats, is that correct?
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. Can you, using the red pen, show the court approximately
19 where this Croat checkpoint was?
20 A. (Witness marks map).
21 JUDGE JORDA: Get a little closer, Mr Hayman, if you wish
23 MR HAYMAN: Thank you, your Honour.
24 MR KEHOE: Could you mark that with the number 1?
25 A. (Witness marks map).
1 Q. What type of vehicle was blocking the road?
2 A. It was a large petrol tanker.
3 Q. You then said that you attempted to get into Vitez
4 through another way, is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that is correct. I came back on myself, went round
6 the bypass and tried to come in via the east.
7 Q. What happened then?
8 A. As we approached off the main bypass into Vitez, where
9 there is a bridge, there was a tractor blocking the
10 bridge and on the ground were a number of anti-tank
12 Q. Were there any soldiers?
13 A. There were one or two soldiers in the area the other
14 side of the checkpoint.
15 Q. Using 56F, could you mark that checkpoint?
16 A. It is obviously slightly off the map.
17 Q. Would it be off the top left side of the map?
18 A. Here (indicates) where the river comes through, the road
19 will come along a bit further.
20 Q. There is another checkpoint up there?
21 A. Yes, with the tractor and the landmines.
22 Q. After that checkpoint, did you go back to the other
24 A. Yes, what we then did is moved back, moved back to the
25 area of the garage, the echelon, and at that stage, we
1 were then told to move forward and try again, and this
2 time try and negotiate through the checkpoint.
3 Q. Did you?
4 A. No, we could not. They would not let us through the
5 checkpoint at that stage.
6 Q. What happened then?
7 A. What we discovered is in the meantime, while we were
8 round to the eastern part of Vitez, they had decided to
9 move the tanker from its original position here to
10 forward of the junction (witness marks map).
11 Q. Can you mark that as number 2? Did that change what you
12 and the other Warriors that were in your platoon could
14 A. Yes. Looking at the map, it then gave us the
15 opportunity to move back to this area here (indicates),
16 and then move round the field on to the road down to the
17 junction and in, thereby outflanking the checkpoint.
18 Q. Could you use the yellow marker and mark hard, if you
19 could, the area that you went around and back up into
21 A. (Witness marks map).
22 Q. Why do you not try that in green so we can see it?
23 Could you put an arrow at the top on the direction that
24 you took? Sergeant, when you got past this checkpoint,
25 what did those soldiers that were in the checkpoint do?
1 A. Once we were beyond the checkpoint, they engaged us with
2 small arms fire, to the rear of the vehicle. I observed
3 through my rear periscopes, after they engaged they then
4 dispersed into the buildings either side of the road.
5 I just sent a report over the radio and continued with
6 the task in hand.
7 Q. Sergeant Major, when you say that they engaged you, they
8 shot at you?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. Based on that, did you conclude that they were not happy
11 with your Warriors bypassing that checkpoint?
12 A. Yes, definitely.
13 Q. Did you then proceed into Vitez and look for this young
15 A. Yes, that is correct. We moved into the area of the
16 flats to the east of Vitez, where a liaison officer
17 dismounted from the vehicle, went to the entrance of the
18 flats and from that point, I had a discussion with a
19 number of HVO soldiers, and from what information I got
20 is that it was unsuccessful of gaining entry into the
21 flats, and then we returned back to the school.
22 Q. Did you return back on the same road that you took in?
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 Q. What about the checkpoint at the area that you have
25 marked 1 and 2?
1 A. That was completely clear.
2 Q. The petrol tanker was gone?
3 A. Yes, it was gone.
4 Q. Where did you go with your Warriors?
5 A. We went back initially to the school to drop off the LO
6 officer and then I moved back to go the echelon garage,
7 to (i) refuel and (ii) to assess the damage caused to
8 the rear of the vehicle.
9 Q. The echelon garage is marked there on the chart, is it
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Sergeant Major, if you could take a seat again.
13 Sergeant Major, you testified that shortly thereafter
14 you heard this explosion, is that right?
15 A. That is correct, yes.
16 Q. Did you go into Stari Vitez at that time?
17 A. Not exactly at that time, but I was then tasked to go in
18 and investigate the cause of the explosion.
19 Q. So it would be fair to say that you went in shortly
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Not that day but the next day, did you take a series of
23 photographs of the damage that you observed?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 MR KEHOE: Mr President, if we could turn at this point to
1 photographs 152/4, 5, 6 and 7.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Who took those photographs, Mr Kehoe?
3 MR KEHOE: These photographs were taken by the witness,
4 Mr President.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Carry on.
6 MR KEHOE: Is that correct, Sergeant Major?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. Once again Sergeant Major, after my question could you
9 just pause a moment, we could move along.
10 If we can go to the first photograph, which is
11 152/4. That is just the first one on top. Can we focus
12 in a little bit on that? Sergeant Major, is that a
13 photograph you took the day after the explosion?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is there a dead body depicted in that photograph?
16 A. Yes, there is a dead body in that photograph.
17 Q. Could you use the pointer and point to the location in
18 the photograph where you observed a dead body?
19 A. (Indicates).
20 Q. Okay. If we can go to the next photograph, 152/5,
21 Sergeant Major, does that photograph you took depict the
22 damage you observed, in part, when you entered
23 Stari Vitez on 18th April?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Can we go to the next photograph, 152/6? Sergeant
1 Major, that photograph that you took the day after the
2 explosion, does that likewise depict another aspect of
3 the damage in Stari Vitez that you observed on
4 18th April 1993?
5 A. Yes, that is correct.
6 Q. And the last photograph, yet another photograph that you
7 took, does that ascertain the location of the general
8 area that this truck bomb took vis-a-vis the rest of
10 A. Yes, that is correct.
11 Q. Now, sir -- that is okay for now, Mr Usher.
12 Did you assist, with other members of the British
13 battalion, in the removal of refugees from Stari Vitez
14 on 18th April 1993?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. During 18th April 1993, did you see other Bosnian
17 Muslims hiding in the basements of Stari Vitez?
18 A. Yes, that is correct, a number in basements, and on the
19 outer limits of the blast area were people in gardens
20 et cetera.
21 Q. Did many of those people refuse to leave?
22 A. I would say a small amount refused to leave. These were
23 mainly the older people that decided that they, despite
24 the damage, wanted to remain in the area.
25 Q. I think you testified, Sergeant Major, that on the next
1 day, the 19th, you went and picked up dead bodies and
2 pieces of bodies in Stari Vitez?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. Moving ahead, Sergeant Major, you know that there had
5 been a cease-fire conference at the British battalion on
6 21st April 1993.
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. After that time, Sergeant Major, did you and the other
9 platoon leaders go out and patrol the area to see where
10 actual troops were?
11 A. Yes, we went out on numerous tasks in the surrounding
12 area to see how the cease-fire was taking effect.
13 Q. Was part of the tasking for the British battalion to
14 assist in allowing both the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 and the HVO to retreat from the confrontation lines?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. As part of that, were General Halilovic, on behalf of
18 the Bosnians, and General Petkovic taken out to their
19 locations to convince their soldiers to withdraw, or
20 talk to their soldiers?
21 A. Yes, that is correct. I was tasked to pick up both
22 commanders, using two Warriors, so the HVO were in one
23 vehicle and the BiH commanders were in the other
24 vehicle. We also had an interpreter and a member of the
1 Q. You said that the HVO commander was General Petkovic.
2 A. That is correct, yes.
3 Q. Where did you pick General Petkovic up to take him on
4 this job of seeing these various HVO locations?
5 A. We picked him up from the hotel in Vitez.
6 Q. Did you go into the Hotel Vitez?
7 A. Initially on picking him up, no. However, later in the
8 day, when we came to the end of the task, to visit the
9 hotel, we had cause then to go inside, yes.
10 Q. When you went inside, Sergeant Major, did you see any
11 HVO soldiers?
12 A. Yes, there were a number of HVO soldiers in the entrance
13 to the hotel.
14 Q. How were these soldiers dressed?
15 A. Two in particular I noticed were dressed in black.
16 Q. Did you see any soldiers in the Hotel Vitez in
18 A. There were a number of soldiers in camouflage, maybe one
19 or two.
20 Q. So it would be fair to say that there were both
21 camouflage dressed and black clad soldiers in the Hotel
22 Vitez when you dropped General Petkovic off.
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 MR KEHOE: If we could, with the court's permission, if we
25 could place Exhibit 80/5 on the ELMO, and I do believe
1 it has been picked out, this is an exhibit that is
2 already in evidence.
3 Sergeant Major, do you recognise General Petkovic
4 in Exhibit 80/5?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Can you use the pointer and point to the man who is
7 General Petkovic?
8 A. (Indicates).
9 Q. Is that the man, Sergeant Major, that you picked up at
10 the Hotel Vitez, that you took into the bungalow and
11 ultimately brought back to the Hotel Vitez?
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. Sergeant Major, I know you had a number of difficult
14 tasks, but you referred this morning to a task that you
15 had relating to a body exchange that took place
16 approximately 28th April. Do you recall that?
17 A. Yes, I recall.
18 Q. I think you stated that you picked up three Croat bodies
19 and you took them to the school in Vitez, where you
20 picked up somewhere between 94 and 96 bodies, is that
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. When you picked up those 94 to 96 bodies, did you have
24 the opportunity to look at the condition of any of those
1 A. Yes, I had the opportunity, due to the fact that all the
2 bodies were wrapped in clear plastic.
3 Q. What was the condition of those bodies?
4 A. The condition was that a number of the bodies -- a
5 majority of the bodies were recent in the fact that
6 I would say a number of days, three, four days,
7 obviously in that condition. Judging by the type of
8 clothing, the majority were civilian, women, older men
9 and young, maybe teenage, bodies.
10 Q. Were some of those bodies decapitated?
11 A. Yes, on the first drop off of bodies in the area where
12 they were going to bury the bodies that we collected,
13 the initial couple of bodies taken off the vehicle,
14 I first thought that they were small children. However,
15 on close examination the two small packages were
16 actually the heads of two bodies, next to, obviously,
17 the small packages.
18 Q. In fact did some of those bodies appear to be children
19 or younger people?
20 A. I would say that some appeared to be younger people
21 rather than children.
22 MR KEHOE: Mr President, with the court's permission, before
23 we go to the next exhibit, Sergeant Major, your job was
24 to bring those bodies to a particular location in
25 Stari Vitez, is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 Q. Did the British battalion assist in the burial of those
3 94 to 96 bodies?
4 A. In a sense, yes, by using the engineer field tractor to
5 excavate two large graves.
6 Q. Did the British battalion serve as a protective ring
7 around the cemetery while the engineers were digging
8 this grave and the bodies were being buried?
9 A. At the point of the arrival of the bodies, the only two
10 vehicles were my own vehicles, and we just positioned
11 them as there was a feeling that, or a worry by the
12 Muslims that they could be shot at from the northern
13 area of the -- sorry, the southern area of the town
15 MR KEHOE: Mr President, at this time if we could move to a
16 video clip, which is Exhibit 153. This is a video clip
17 of that burial that was received from the government of
18 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Hayman?
20 MR HAYMAN: I do not know what that is a reference to,
21 "received from the government".
22 MR KEHOE: That is the source, Mr President.
23 JUDGE JORDA: That is the source. Do you want a more
24 specific source, Mr Hayman?
25 MR HAYMAN: I am not enquiring as to the source at all,
1 I just did not understand if Mr Kehoe was attempting to
2 authenticate the tape or if the witness was going to
3 authenticate the tape.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Let us view that clip and then we will turn to
5 the witness. At any rate, the judges want to see that
6 clip. So Mr Kehoe, can you turn to the technicians and
7 ask them to let us view this and then you will put a
8 question of the witness, as we did with the
9 photographs. Thank you, go ahead.
10 MR KEHOE: Yes, Mr President, I believe the technicians are
11 prepared to put it on. At any time you gentlemen are
13 (Videotape played)
14 (Videotape stopped)
15 MR KEHOE: Sergeant Major, does that film clip appear to be
16 an accurate depiction of the burial of those 94 to 96
17 bodies that you brought on or about 28th April 1993?
18 A. Yes, it does.
19 Q. In fact, Sergeant Major, we saw two loads of bodies
20 there, is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 Q. Can you explain to the judges --
23 THE INTERPRETER: May the witness put his microphone on,
24 please? Thank you.
25 MR KEHOE: Can you explain to the judges, Sergeant Major,
1 the bringing in of both loads of the bodies?
2 A. Yes. We arrived at the school in Vitez, and took up
3 positions either side of the entrance to the school.
4 The lorry with the trailer which was seen in the film
5 was there. On arrival, there was another vehicle at the
6 entrance to the school. This was an old
7 refrigerated-type vehicle that had been preloaded with
8 some of the bodies. At that stage, it was decided to
9 take some of the bodies from that vehicle and place them
10 on to the vehicle that had been driven to the school by
11 the Muslims. They then started to load the large
12 vehicle and trailer. Once this was completed, we then
13 escorted those vehicles to the field as depicted in the
15 Q. Sergeant Major, there were bodies or body parts in all
16 of the plastic bags that we just saw on this video?
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 MR KEHOE: If I can turn, Mr President, to our two last
19 photographs that are in the binders, and that would be
20 152/8 and 152/9.
21 Sergeant Major, does 152/8 depict a graveyard in
22 Stari Vitez after the holes were filled in?
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 Q. Another angle of that is 152/9, if I could put that on
25 the ELMO, Mr Usher.
1 Likewise, Sergeant Major, is that a photograph of
2 the two rows of graves that the engineers dug that day
3 for the bodies that you brought to the graveyard in
4 Stari Vitez?
5 A. Yes, that is correct.
6 MR KEHOE: Mr President, if I might just consult with my
7 colleagues for one moment. (Pause). Mr President,
8 your Honours, I would like to introduce into evidence
9 the maps, copies of the maps that have been sketched
10 upon by Sergeant Major Hughes and for the record, they
11 are 45F, 53C, 56F and 59B, and I would likewise offer
12 into evidence Exhibit 152. With that, Mr President,
13 I have no further questions of this witness.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Did I understand it well, Registrar, the video
15 clip is part of the exhibits?
16 MR KEHOE: I apologise, Mr President, I will offer that as
17 well, as Exhibit 153.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, the exhibits are now in evidence.
19 If I understood you well, you have finished, no further
20 questions to the witness. We can now move on to the
21 cross-examination and I believe that it is Mr Hayman who
22 is going to take the cross-examination.
23 Cross-examined by MR HAYMAN
24 Q. It is, thank you, your Honour.
25 Good afternoon, Sergeant Major. The bodies you
1 have just described and we have all seen, were you told
2 what geographic area the 94 to 96 Muslim bodies had been
3 gathered from?
4 A. No, I was not told that information.
5 Q. Were you told from what geographic area the three Croat
6 bodies had come from, or been gathered from?
7 A. One Croat body was taken from a shallow grave inside the
8 Muslim quarter, but not where he had been killed, that
9 destination I do not know.
10 Q. Were all three of the Croat bodies picked up in the same
12 A. No, they were picked up in separate places.
13 Q. One was taken from a shallow grave within Stari Vitez,
14 is that right?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. And the other two?
17 A. The other two were picked up in the area of Stari Vitez,
18 but away from the first body.
19 Q. Thank you. You mentioned a moment ago seeing soldiers
20 at the Hotel Vitez on 28th April, I think, 1993.
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. Did you go in past the front door at the hotel?
23 A. Yes, on the second occasion to visit the hotel, we were
24 taken inside, through the reception area of the hotel,
25 and taken into what was, I presume, would have been the
1 restaurant, and we remained there for 45 minutes to an
3 Q. Was the restaurant part of the HVO command, or was it
4 functioning as a restaurant?
5 A. It was not functioning as a restaurant. We were the
6 only individuals in there, and at one stage a HVO
7 soldier came in with some food and a litre bottle of
9 Q. Did it appear to be a closed restaurant to you?
10 A. Definitely a closed restaurant.
11 Q. So it sounds like you did not gain entry into a
12 functioning portion of the HVO command within the hotel,
13 is that right?
14 MR KEHOE: I object to counsel's question, because the
15 witness said he did enter into the HVO headquarters.
16 MR HAYMAN: He went in the hotel and sat in an empty
17 restaurant, your Honour. I think the question should be
19 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, the question should be answered, but we
20 should not dwell too long on this question.
21 Please, Sergeant Major, answer briefly and let us
22 move on to the next question.
23 A. Could I have the question again, please?
24 MR HAYMAN: Other than to go in the front door and sit in an
25 empty restaurant, did you enter any other portions of
1 the hotel that were being used as a military command?
2 A. No, apart from going through the main entrance and on to
3 the restaurant, I was aware that on entering the front
4 door of the Hotel Vitez that I was in HVO headquarters.
5 Q. Thank you. Did you have some special training or a
6 period of preparation before the Cheshires departed for
8 A. Yes, we had training prior to our deployment.
9 Q. How many weeks did you train for the deployment?
10 A. Approximately two months.
11 Q. Let me direct your attention to 16th April 1993. When
12 you entered Vitez for the first time as you have
13 described, who else was with you? What other Warrior
15 A. There was my own call sign, followed by a second call
16 sign from my platoon, which was Romeo Two One. Also
17 there were two vehicles from call sign Romeo One Zero.
18 Q. So a total of four vehicles?
19 A. As I recollect, yes.
20 Q. Can you tell us who commanded the other vehicles, if you
22 A. Romeo One Zero was commanded by Lieutenant Dooley. The
23 other vehicle commanders I cannot recall.
24 Q. Did you go by the Hotel Vitez on mid morning on
25 16th April 1993 when you went into Vitez?
1 A. I went up to the end of the road to the junction where
2 the Hotel Vitez was, moved around and then came back on
3 myself on the southern road.
4 Q. From the vantage point you had, could you see that there
5 were HVO soldiers in the area outside the Hotel Vitez
6 who appeared to be taking cover on the morning of
7 16th April 1993?
8 A. Not that I noticed. I was more concerned with another
9 area than the area of the hotel.
10 Q. Later in the day on the 16th, two HVO soldiers were
11 shot, travelling from a Warrior back into the Hotel
12 Vitez. Was your platoon involved in the transportation
13 of those two HVO negotiators back from the BritBat
14 school to the Hotel Vitez, if you know?
15 A. No, I was not involved in that.
16 MR HAYMAN: Your Honour, if the usher could assist by
17 returning Exhibit 45F, which is already on the easel, to
18 the top photograph, that would be helpful. Let me
19 direct your attention to, on that photograph, the area
20 you I believe coloured in a pink square -- thank you --
21 or bell shaped drawing. Do you recall that and see it?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This is the area in which you described seeing a number
24 of HVO soldiers moving in an organised fashion, is that
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. How many soldiers did you see? Were there six,
4 A. Approximately six, maybe more.
5 Q. Give us your best estimate. Is six your best estimate?
6 A. I will go with six, yes.
7 Q. On your visit to Vitez on the morning of 16th April, did
8 you see any other soldiers other than those six at any
10 A. Not after I moved off from that location.
11 Q. Did these six, in the manner in which they were moving,
12 were they appearing to protect themselves and use
13 structures or obstructions to protect themselves from
14 possible fire?
15 A. No, in the manner that they were moving, to me as a
16 professional soldier trained for various aspects of
17 warfare, one being fighting in built-up areas, their
18 movement was that of a unit, no matter how small, that
19 was tactically moving or advancing on to a position that
20 they wished to take.
21 Q. Were they simply walking in the open?
22 A. No, they were moving tactically in a manner as what we
23 would call, "fire and manoeuvre".
24 Q. Were they staying close to the walls of the buildings?
25 A. Yes, they were moving from cover to cover.
1 Q. So they were taking cover as they moved along, would you
2 agree with that?
3 A. Rather than cover from fire they were just taking up the
4 normal position to cover their fellow soldiers as they
5 advanced in the direction that they were going.
6 Q. But as they did that, they did not do that out in the
7 open, they took some position where they themselves had
8 some protection?
9 MR KEHOE: I object, your Honour. I object to the
10 repetition. If counsel does not like the answer -- the
11 witness's answer is the witness's answer.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, indeed, the witness has answered the
14 MR HAYMAN: I will go on, your Honour.
15 JUDGE JORDA: These tactics are used, "fire and manoeuvre"
16 apparently is the answer, so the objection is sustained.
17 MR HAYMAN: I will move on, your Honour, but "cover" is a
18 term of art. I would like to state the grounds of my --
19 it is an offer of proof, your Honour.
20 JUDGE JORDA: The judge has ruled.
21 MR HAYMAN: May I state my offer of proof, your Honour, and
22 then I will move on? I just want to make the record
23 clear. "Cover" can mean covering an individual from
24 fire or one soldier providing cover for another. It was
25 a term of art and I was trying to clarify it, that is my
1 offer of proof. I will move on.
2 Did you see these six soldiers on the morning of
3 16th April 1993, did you see them fighting? Did you see
4 them fire their weapons?
5 A. No, they did not fire their weapons, they just moved in
6 a manner of fire and manoeuvre. In them situations,
7 whether you are engaging an enemy or not engaging an
8 enemy, or you are being engaged, you would still move in
9 that fashion.
10 Q. Did they fire off any grenades?
11 A. I did not see any grenades being fired off.
12 Q. Did you see any of the buildings that they were in start
13 to burn?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you conclude that the type of activity they were in
16 was a normal action, or would be a normal action in a
17 built-up area, for one military to check and see if an
18 opposing military force was present?
19 A. I would put my professional ability on it that they, at
20 that time, due to the situation on first arriving in
21 Vitez, that they were moving with the idea of taking
23 Q. Can you answer my question any more directly? Do you
24 recall what the question was?
25 MR KEHOE: Mr President --
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Hayman, can you move on to another
2 question? I am sorry, this has happened several times,
3 you have explained what you are aiming at and I think we
4 believe we understand what your objectives are, but
5 there was an answer provided by the witness. I am so
6 sorry, you have to move on to another question.
7 MR HAYMAN: I will move on, your Honour, but with all due
8 respect, the answer was not responsive to my question.
9 JUDGE JORDA: The question might not have been very well
10 put, so you have to move to another one.
11 MR HAYMAN: You said these soldiers had ribbons on their
12 shoulders, is that right?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Had you seen these types of ribbons on the shoulders of
15 soldiers in the Lasva Valley before, before 16th April
17 A. On occasion, yes.
18 Q. Had you seen them routinely at checkpoints?
19 A. Not at checkpoints, no.
20 Q. For how long did you observe these six soldiers?
21 A. I observed them maybe just a couple of minutes. I was
22 continually on the move, moving round that area of the
23 town of Vitez to get a full assessment of the situation.
24 Q. These two minutes, were you stationary or were you
25 catching glimpses of them while you were on the move or
2 A. I was on the move, I was never stationary until later on
3 in the tasking. As I said, I was moving round to get a
4 bigger picture of the situation.
5 Q. You have drawn a fairly good-sized area within the pink
6 bell-shaped drawing on Exhibit 45F. Did you see these
7 six men in all parts of that bell-shaped drawing during
8 those two minutes?
9 A. No, not in the whole area of the bell shape.
10 Q. Why is the area so large? Is it because you are not
11 sure what areas they were within during that two minute
13 A. The area is so large because at that time I was covering
14 again a large area on observation. The reason I have
15 marked that area is because that was the area,
16 basically, of my responsibility and the area that
17 I moved round and checked. On checking that area, it
18 was in and around more to the east of that bell shape.
19 Q. Did they travel during that two minutes the whole length
20 of the bell, if you will, from the top to the bottom,
21 along the eastern portion of the bell, or can you give
22 us any more specificity in that regard?
23 A. They may have travelled that far. I obviously moved --
24 Q. Did you see them travel that far?
25 A. I did not see them travel that far.
1 Q. What portion of the bell, down the eastern side of the
2 bell, did you see them travel?
3 A. Do you want me to indicate?
4 Q. Or if you can tell us half, a third, a quarter, that is
6 A. A quarter.
7 Q. We looked at a photograph with you of what appeared to
8 be a dead child, a boy, it was Exhibit 152, photos 1 and
9 2. You said that it was on the edges of Vitez,
10 something like that. Can you describe where that was?
11 Did you see it on your drive in or out of Vitez, or
12 somewhere else?
13 A. The body was actually on the southern side of Vitez,
14 where the road comes down from the area of the hotel,
15 past the sports pitch or the sports stadium, continue on
16 down and where the road peters out into the open area,
17 going west towards the quarry, the body, as I was going
18 out that direction, was on the left-hand side of the
20 Q. So well below the sports stadium in this photograph?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Exhibit 45F, correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Did you determine the ethnicity of that victim?
25 A. No, I did not.
1 Q. Did you learn anything of the circumstances of his
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. You also described a wounded woman crawling on the
5 concrete and described her as being in the lower
6 left-hand corner of the pink bell on Exhibit 45F, is
7 that correct?
8 A. That is correct, yes.
9 Q. Could you tell where -- first of all, what type of fire
10 was going on in the area when you saw her; was it rifle
11 fire or some other kind of fire?
12 A. It was rifle fire or small arms fire, as we call it.
13 Q. Could you tell where it was coming from?
14 A. No, the problem being that when you close down, you have
15 got a headset on, vehicle noise, although we tended to
16 keep the hatch open slightly to try and get an idea of
17 outside noise. But it was difficult to ascertain the
19 Q. On the morning of the 16th, did you visit the BiH Army
20 headquarters in Stari Vitez?
21 A. No.
22 Q. On the 16th, did you see any Croat refugees from
23 Vrhovine entering Vitez?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Let me direct your attention forward a day to 17th April
1 1993. If the usher could assist by turning the current
2 map on the easel so that Exhibit 53C is depicted. You
3 have circled on this exhibit the location where you saw
4 an anti-aircraft gun. I believe this is the right
5 exhibit. At the very uppermost portion of this
6 photograph, correct?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. Can you describe where in relation to the gun you saw
9 the individual you believed was a spotter for the gun?
10 A. Do you wish me to get up?
11 Q. If it is helpful to show us on the photograph, that is
12 fine. If it is a few inches in one direction or another
13 from the circle, you can describe it.
14 A. (Witness marks map).
15 Q. I am sorry, your hand was obstructing my view when you
16 drew it. You drew a small circle within the circle?
17 A. Within that area.
18 Q. I thought you said a spotter would be deployed some
19 distance from the gun towards the firing site, so that
20 the spotter would have a superior view of the area in
21 which the fire was directed; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. So what does this tell you, what do you conclude from
24 where this person you concluded was a spotter was
25 located with respect to this gun on this day?
1 A. The spotter or forward observer is observing for weapons
2 which are on what we would call a gun line, i.e. those
3 on the hill were spotting, as I mentioned, the two
4 possible mortar rounds that were fired. They were not
5 spotting for the anti-aircraft gun.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Sorry, I could not get the translation. There
7 is nothing coming on channel 5. That is it, it is back
9 MR HAYMAN: Where did we lose you, your Honour? Shall
10 I repeat my question?
11 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Carry on.
12 MR HAYMAN: So the spotter you described was not spotting
13 for the anti-aircraft gun, in your opinion, is that
15 A. That is correct, in my opinion the spotter was spotting
16 or observing for what I would class as either an
17 artillery weapon or a mortar.
18 Q. Did you observe -- you observed the anti-aircraft gun
19 you described. Did you also observe a location from
20 which either artillery or mortars were being fired at
21 the time?
22 A. No, due to the fact that if the spotters were in the
23 position they were in, then the either artillery or
24 mortar pieces tactically would not be able to be seen
25 from where the observers were.
1 Q. Did you see any rounds land from where you were, down by
2 the bungalow, on this occasion, either from an
3 anti-aircraft gun, a mortar or an artillery?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Do you know where the location of Barangi is above
6 Ahmici, up the hill and away from the road?
7 A. I do not recall the name.
8 Q. How far above and beyond Ahmici could, in your opinion,
9 this anti-aircraft gun, at the location you have
10 indicated on Exhibit 53C, could it have reached across
11 the valley?
12 A. On a weapon of that type, it could have a maximum range
13 of 2,000 metres to be effective, but it could go beyond
14 that range. But any range beyond the 2,000, then it
15 would become more difficult to make sure that the rounds
16 you were firing would be accurate and hit the target you
17 were aiming at.
18 Q. Thank you. Also on 17th April 1993, you went to Sivrino
19 Selo; do you recall that?
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. You saw some civilians in a house.
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. Did you go in and talk to them, with the assistance of
24 an interpreter, to find out what their situation was
1 A. No, the majority of taskings we did not have
2 interpreters. We tended to, if necessary, relay
3 messages back to the headquarters and we would then move
4 on with normal tasking.
5 Q. Did you investigate whether there was a BiH Army
6 presence in Sivrino Selo on that occasion, or did you
7 not investigate that?
8 A. I did not investigate that.
9 Q. Now let me turn your attention to your visits in or near
10 Putis and Jelinak, which you have described. Do you
11 have any way of putting a more precise date, or any
12 precise date, on the first occasion when you went by
13 Putis and Jelinak and you saw a red glow or a reflection
14 of something burning in the sky?
15 A. I cannot put an accurate date, but I would say it would
16 be either two or a day before the 16th.
17 Q. So it was before the 16th that you saw this fire, the
18 reflections of a fire?
19 A. That is correct, yes.
20 Q. On your second visit to the area, can you tell us, did
21 you go into Jelinak, Putis, Loncari or all of them?
22 A. I went into Putis and Jelinak.
23 Q. You said there were burned houses in both, is that
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Were all the houses burned?
2 A. No, not all houses were burned.
3 Q. Was it a small fraction that were burned?
4 A. Yes, I would say a small fraction of the houses.
5 Q. Are you able to put a number on it, 5 or 3 or
6 10 per cent, or are you not able?
7 A. Not able.
8 Q. Were there any civilians left living in either village,
9 Putis or Jelinak?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Do you know whether those villages were mixed
12 ethnically, or were inhabited solely by one ethnic
14 A. Mixed.
15 Q. Both were mixed, as far as you knew?
16 A. Jelinak was mixed.
17 Q. When you went back a second time, you would date that as
18 how many days after your first drive by, if I may call
19 it a drive by?
20 A. I would say any time after the 19th.
21 Q. But it was after the 19th April that you actually went
22 into the villages, is that right?
23 A. Yes, that is correct.
24 Q. Do you know which army controlled those villages as of
25 that time?
1 A. No, there was no one in the village at all.
2 Q. You referenced the burnt out condition of the houses,
3 those that had been burned. I take it that what you
4 meant was houses of a similar construction when burned
5 look the same, is that what you meant?
6 A. I do not understand your question, sir.
7 Q. The houses in this region generally tend to be cinder
8 block or cement construction with either a wooden or a
9 wooden reinforced -- wooden infrastructure roof,
11 A. That is correct, yes.
12 Q. When those houses burn, if they do burn, the floors in
13 the roof typically collapsed into the shell which
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Is that the type of burned house that you saw of those
17 that had been burned in these two villages?
18 A. From what I can recall, maybe one or two of them were,
20 Q. Were the others some other kind of houses that had
22 A. At that particular stage, in that situation, to me, a
23 burnt house was a burnt house.
24 Q. You did not mean to imply any other distinguishing
25 characteristic between burned houses in Ahmici and
1 burned houses in Jelinak or Putis, is that right?
2 A. That is right, yes.
3 Q. Thank you. You visited Stari Vitez both on the day of
4 the truck bomb explosion and the following day, correct?
5 A. That is correct, yes.
6 Q. On either day, to your knowledge, was any type of
7 forensic investigation or other inquiry concerning the
8 bomb itself undertaken?
9 A. No.
10 Q. There were other things that you and others were
11 occupied with, is that why you chuckled?
12 A. Yes, it was a very busy time, very traumatic time, and
13 in those sorts of situations unfortunately you do not
14 have the forensic experience available to you.
15 Q. Thank you. On 28th April -- I have just a few more
16 questions -- 1993, you said you visited certain
17 frontline positions with Generals Petkovic and
18 Halilovic. As you sit here, are you able to recall any
19 of those specific positions?
20 A. Yes, I am.
21 Q. Can you tell us those that you can recall, or if you
22 would like to show them to us on a map, please do so, we
23 can hopefully find a map among these that would be
24 suitable. Is this map suitable, which is Exhibit 53C?
25 A. Yes, that is suitable.
1 Q. Please proceed, if you can point out any locations which
2 are frontline positions visited by you together with
3 Generals Petkovic and Halilovic on 28th April 1993.
4 A. One of the frontlines was this position here on the high
5 ground by the pylon (indicates).
6 Q. Before you go on, Sergeant Major, if we can just try and
7 assign a location, I do not want to draw on the
8 Prosecutor's exhibit, and I do not think we need take
9 the time to put an overlay on it. Can you help orient
10 us as to where this location is? First of all, can the
11 judges see? We need to make sure of that.
12 A. The road junction of the Dubravica road, which goes
13 across the mountains to Zenica, there again from the
14 same junction, the road on the Dubravica junction, which
15 is the Vitez bypass which goes around the mountain to
17 Q. So you are indicating the high ground to the east of the
18 Vitez mountain road above the villages of Santici and to
19 the west of Santici, is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay, that is one location. Can you point out any
22 others? Do you know as you look, is this the area of
23 Vrhovine and Poculica on the Zenica mountain road, or
24 those are not familiar to you?
25 A. Names, unless they are ...
1 Q. Very well. Can you point out another location which you
2 recall visiting on that day?
3 A. We went along this area (indicates).
4 Q. Indicating on this map the edges of a dark shaded area
5 and a light, lighter shaded area to the north of Ahmici
6 and Pirici, is that correct?
7 A. That is correct, yes.
8 Q. Any other locations that you recall visiting on that
10 A. We visited Vitez.
11 Q. When you say Vitez, do you mean Stari Vitez?
12 A. Stari Vitez, yes.
13 Q. Was there a walking tour of the frontline in
14 Stari Vitez?
15 A. There was a walking tour of the area of Stari Vitez.
16 Q. Can you tell us what that involved? Perhaps you can
17 turn to the court and I will return to the lectern?
18 A. That involved initially going to the BiH headquarters,
19 where both sets of commanders entered the headquarters.
20 After a short period of time, they came out of the
21 building and then we progressed from the BiH
22 headquarters and moved around various parts of Vitez and
23 again at another point, another building was entered,
24 and again for a short period of time a discussion took
25 place, and then from there we returned to the vehicles.
1 Q. Was there any inspection while you were in the area of
2 the BiH headquarters in Stari Vitez of any defensive
3 lines, trenches or other fortifications that may have
4 been erected by that point in time, or was that not
6 A. That was not done.
7 Q. Thank you. In addition then to the two locations you
8 have pointed out and Stari Vitez, do you recall any
9 other locations visited on 28th April 1993?
10 A. Yes, we moved to the area which you call the bungalow,
11 the Swiss cottage. At this point, the HVO commanders
12 left the vehicles and entered the building.
13 Q. Let me ask you about that incident, but why do you not
14 have a seat to be more comfortable and if there are
15 other locations on the map we can return to it when we
16 have concluded this incident that I would like to ask
17 you about.
18 In the bungalow, there was a HVO soldier, I take
19 it, who was both screaming and brandishing his pistol,
20 is that right?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. He appeared visibly distraught?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. This went on for several minutes, is that right?
25 A. I would say no more than five minutes.
1 Q. This went on in the presence of General Petkovic, is
2 that right?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. Did he appear visibly distressed by this conduct in his
5 presence? Did he scream at the soldier himself?
6 A. No, he did not.
7 Q. Did he say anything to the soldier?
8 A. No, he did not.
9 Q. Did anyone disarm this distraught HVO soldier?
10 A. Eventually, yes.
11 Q. After about five minutes?
12 A. By that stage, he had gone outside of the building.
13 Prior to that, the commander, who General Petkovic was
14 talking to, said something to the soldier, and then a
15 number of other soldiers gestured to him. As I say,
16 I could not understand the situation, although there was
17 an interpreter there. It was not a situation where we
18 could stand there and help each other interpret what was
19 being said.
20 Q. Did you conclude anything from that incident about the
21 HVO in general or HVO soldiers at the rank and
22 file level?
23 A. At that point, I got the impression that yes, initially
24 there did not seem to be too much commander control.
25 Q. Let us return to the issue of locations -- strike that.
1 Did you conclude that because this threatening
2 behaviour had gone on in the presence of the highest
3 ranking military commander of the HVO?
4 A. Yes, although during the six months in Bosnia, that was
5 the one and only isolated incident that I had ever come
7 Q. Of that type, I take it?
8 A. Of any type.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Just a question of organising our time. Do
10 you want to have a break now, do you have more
11 questions, Mr Hayman?
12 MR HAYMAN: I think if we take a break I can conclude in
13 another ten questions or so, your Honour. I can perhaps
14 be more efficient if we take a short break.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Always efficient, but we will have a 20 minute
16 break and we shall resume at 4.40.
17 (4.20 pm)
18 (A short break)
19 (4.40 pm)
20 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please bring in the
22 (Accused brought in)
23 JUDGE JORDA: Let the witness in as well. We are going to
24 resume, Mr Hayman.
25 MR HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr President.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Maybe I am causing the problem, the technical
2 problem with my button, I do not know.
3 (Witness entered court)
4 JUDGE JORDA: Can you hear me?
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Is everything all right, are you rested a
8 A. Fine, thank you.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Mr Hayman.
10 MR HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr President.
11 Sergeant Major, returning to the issue of
12 frontline visits on 28th April 1993, other than the
13 locations you noted, did you also visit the frontline in
14 the area of Kula to the northeast of Busovaca, with
15 Generals Petkovic and Halilovic; do you recall that?
16 A. No, I do not recall that at all.
17 Q. Do you recall any visit to the northeast of Busovaca, in
18 the Kula, Merdani, Dusana area?
19 A. No, not that I recall.
20 Q. Any other visits you recall on that day, other than the
21 ones we have discussed?
22 A. No.
23 Q. In the course of these visits to frontline locations,
24 did the two Generals meet with their troops and try and
25 persuade them that the cease-fire should be obeyed?
1 A. In the course of the visits, apart from the bungalow, on
2 all occasions both commanders left the vehicles and
3 discussed amongst themselves and the soldiers on the
4 ground; what their discussions, I do not know, as I was
5 only there as escort.
6 Q. Had you been -- sorry. Had you been told that was one
7 of the purposes for these visits, to persuade the troops
8 to obey and respect the cease-fire?
9 A. I was briefed basically to escort both Generals around
10 the positions that they wished to visit with the aim of
11 those speaking to their soldiers on the ground and
12 I presume to continue with a cease-fire and also to
13 return to the positions that they occupied prior to the
14 fighting that started to occur on the 16th.
15 Q. Thank you. I had asked you whether you visited
16 Stari Vitez on 16th April and I meant to ask about the
17 17th April, so if you could direct your attention to
18 17th April 1993, did you visit the headquarters of the
19 Army of BiH in Stari Vitez on that day?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you recall visiting that headquarters any time during
22 the 17th, 18th, 19th April 1993?
23 A. During that time, no.
24 Q. Did you visit an ABiH headquarters in Kruscica during
25 that time period?
1 A. No.
2 MR HAYMAN: Very well. Thank you, Sergeant Major, your
3 Honour, that concludes my cross-examination.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr Hayman. I am now turning to
5 Mr Kehoe. Mr Kehoe, you have the right to another
6 examination. Do you want to add on anything, remaining
7 within the scope of the cross-examination, of course?
8 MR KEHOE: Mr President, just very briefly, and directed to
9 the cross-examination.
10 Re-examined by MR KEHOE
11 Q. Sergeant Major, you were asked some questions by
12 Mr Hayman concerning the Hotel Vitez and you going into
13 the Hotel Vitez with General Petkovic and seeing
14 soldiers in black and camouflage; do you recall that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you went into the Hotel Vitez, was there a person
17 behind a reception desk, a soldier, as you walked past?
18 A. Yes, on the right-hand side was a reception desk where
19 there was soldiers.
20 Q. Were civilians coming and going into the Hotel Vitez?
21 A. No, there were no civilians.
22 Q. Was your impression at the time that this was a military
24 A. My impression was yes, that it was a military facility.
25 Q. You were asked some questions concerning -- if I might
1 ask the assistance of the usher, and if we can flip down
2 to 45, thank you. You stated in response to a question
3 by Mr Hayman that the bell area was the area that you
4 covered, but that you saw soldiers in approximately one
5 quarter of that bell, is that right?
6 A. That is correct, yes.
7 Q. Could you take the red marker and colour in the area
8 where you saw those soldiers?
9 A. (Witness marks map).
10 Q. Staying there if you will, moving to another series of
11 questions asked by Mr Hayman, he also asked you to
12 identify the location of where the young boy was that
13 was depicted in the photograph Exhibit 152/1 and 152/2;
14 do you recall that, sir?
15 A. Yes, I recall that.
16 Q. Could you take the green pen and give us the location of
17 where that young boy was?
18 A. (Witness marks map).
19 Q. You can have a seat, Sergeant Major. For the record, on
20 the exhibit you have put another green marker on the
21 lower right hand portion of the exhibit, is that
23 A. That is correct, yes.
24 Q. That is Exhibit 45F. You were asked by Mr Hayman
25 whether or not you saw where any artillery and mortars
1 landed on 17th April when you were watching the spotter
2 on the top of the hill, do you recall those questions?
3 A. Yes, I recall the questions.
4 Q. You stated that you did not see where it landed.
5 A. That is correct, yes.
6 Q. Did you hear it fire?
7 A. Yes, I heard two rounds being fired.
8 Q. Do you know if it was artillery or mortar fire?
9 A. It was difficult at that stage, because all you got was
10 a report of the weapon being fired, so it was difficult
11 to assess whether it was mortar or artillery.
12 Q. But as a professional soldier, was it your opinion it
13 was one or the other?
14 A. In my opinion, I would say more than likely it would be
16 Q. Mr Hayman asked you a few questions about an incident
17 involving an HVO soldier at the bungalow when you
18 brought General Petkovic to the bungalow; do you recall
19 those questions?
20 A. Yes, I recall the questions.
21 Q. That particular soldier was out of control, is that
23 A. Yes, he was to me very emotionally upset.
24 Q. Have you seen soldiers in the British army out of
25 control in front of officers?
1 A. Yes, I have seen that situation before.
2 Q. How was it handled in the British army?
3 A. It will be handled in a manner that in a similar
4 situation, the commander would leave it to his lower
5 commanders to deal with that situation. He would not
6 get involved himself.
7 Q. Is that not what happened in the bungalow, when the
8 commander told someone to take care of this soldier?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. By late April 1993, you had been in the theatre for
11 approximately six months, is that right?
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. Would it be fair to say that you had daily contact with
14 the HVO soldiers at checkpoints et cetera?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Did they operate with a chain of command and obey
17 orders, based on your experience?
18 MR HAYMAN: Beyond the scope, your Honour. If we are going
19 to have new opinions based on new facts, we have to be
20 able to cross-examine that new opinion.
21 MR KEHOE: Mr President, this is in response to an issue
22 that was brought up on cross-examination by Mr Hayman.
23 That is all.
24 JUDGE JORDA: It was mentioned during the cross-examination,
25 I believe, Mr Hayman.
1 Please carry on, Mr Kehoe, but do not ask for new
2 opinions. Try and remain very strictly within the scope
3 of the cross-examination.
4 MR KEHOE: Sergeant Major, did the soldiers, HVO soldiers
5 that you met follow orders and follow a chain of
6 command, based on your experience?
7 A. Yes, based on my experience on numerous occasions,
8 mainly I would say at checkpoints, that they would not
9 allow us to go through the checkpoints until they had
10 conferred with higher command and on occasions they
11 would go and get that authority for us to move through
12 the checkpoint.
13 MR KEHOE: I have no further questions, Mr President, thank
14 you. Thank you, Sergeant Major.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Sergeant Major, the judges are going to put
16 questions to you. I am now turning to Judge Riad.
17 JUDGE RIAD: Sergeant Major Hughes, I would like to ask you
18 some questions which happen not to be military
19 questions, but questions to enlighten me on some of the
20 points you raised. Perhaps you can use, let us say,
21 language which I can understand.
22 On 16th April, you moved in the old town of Vitez,
23 is that right?
24 A. That is correct, yes.
25 Q. You noticed an attack on the old part of Vitez, an
1 attack on the Muslim area; I am just speaking in general
2 terms. There was an attack on the Muslim area?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. Was there any fighting there or was it one-sided
5 attack? Were there two armies fighting, or was it a
6 one-sided attack?
7 A. In my opinion, it was a one-sided attack.
8 Q. A one-sided attack. I will ask almost a similar
9 question concerning Putis and Jelinak. When you went
10 into Jelinak, you made a cursory search, as you said.
11 You found first some houses burnt down, food on table
12 and bullet holes on the door handles. Was there any
13 sign also of fighting there, or did it also look too as
14 a one-sided attack on civilians?
15 A. It looked as though it was a one-sided attack on
16 civilians. Also in that situation, around the villages,
17 every animal had also been killed and in my opinion, an
18 attack had taken place and the civilian occupants of
19 that particular village had fled in a hurry.
20 Q. Yes. It looked like being taken by surprise, because
21 you found food on the tables and people as if they were
22 leading their normal life, their daily life.
23 A. Yes, that was the opinion I got by going through the
24 houses, is the houses were just left.
25 Q. It was not to suppress a revolt or an uprising, or that
1 sort of thing?
2 A. Not in my opinion, no.
3 Q. You went on and mentioned to us something about the 94
4 corpses which you showed us being buried. Was there any
5 forensic investigation showing how they died? Were they
6 executed or were they shot in a random way or were they
8 A. From what I could see, there was no forensic being
9 carried out while we were there. These bodies, I am
10 under the impression, had been in the gymnasium of the
11 school for some days, but clearly because you could see
12 through the plastic bags, of the bodies that were
13 brought out, I only saw one through the plastic bag that
14 was wearing camouflage clothing. The remainder were all
15 wearing civilian clothing.
16 Q. You saw two decapitated, I think.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And teenagers and women?
19 A. I could not recognise at that stage whether they were
20 male or female, but they were two bodies with two small
21 bags either side of the bodies, which at first I thought
22 were small children, i.e. babies, because of the size of
23 the package. On closer examination, it was the heads to
24 the bodies that they were lying beside.
25 Q. So it was not shooting, it was decapitating.
1 A. Whether the bodies had any gunshot wounds I could not
3 Q. No investigation was done?
4 A. No, not at that time.
5 Q. On 16th April, you saw on your way coming back from
6 Breza you observed glow in the dark from Putis and
7 Jelinak. Was this almost simultaneous to what was
8 happening in Ahmici?
9 A. Not that I am aware of.
10 Q. Which day was that? You said it was 16th April.
11 A. I would say prior to the 16th, so it could possibly be
12 the 14th or 15th. The 16th April we moved into Vitez
13 because of the fighting.
14 Q. It was the day before?
15 A. It was possibly the day before or the day before that,
16 on the way back.
17 Q. To your knowledge, was there any army there, BiH Army
18 attacking, or that sort of thing?
19 A. No, as we drove past again, due to the terrain, we could
20 only see the glow of the burning. Again, we continued
21 to move, we did not stop and I did not hear any gunfire.
22 Q. You mentioned also a column of, you said Muslims, moving
23 around and a number of refugees frightened, I think that
24 was -- I think it was on the 17th, they looked
25 frightened and so on. Where were they coming from?
1 A. The line of refugees were on the main Vitez to Zenica
2 bypass. They were coming from the east, so they were
3 coming from maybe the Ahmici area or that area, moving
4 towards the Dubravica road junction.
5 Q. Were they attacked on the way or did they pass --
6 A. No, they were just moving. They were not in a group,
7 they were quite strung out along the road, moving in
8 that direction.
9 Q. You mentioned this lady, this lady crawling on the
10 pavement, and you apparently had to protect her until
11 she reached a safe area. Was there any shooting, any
12 snipers? How would be an old woman killed in the
14 A. I would presume that -- at that stage I did not know
15 whether she was wounded or not, she was crawling along
16 the wall of a house on the pavement of the street. At
17 that time, again, I cannot say that I heard any gunfire,
18 I just positioned the vehicle what I thought that would
19 give her some form of protection, wherever the fire may
20 be coming from, so she could get into some form of
22 Q. You do not know where the shooting was coming from?
23 A. Not at that stage, no.
24 Q. Were there other people in the same condition?
25 A. There was nobody else in that same condition, but where
1 the woman crawled to, they were another three or four
2 people, all civilians, that were quite concerned of the
3 situation. When I returned there, I went obviously
4 round a loop and returned back via that position, and it
5 was at that stage that they were indicating to me that
6 she had been shot and were asking for assistance.
7 Again, though I did not hear any gunfire, I felt that
8 the situation did not warrant me allowing soldiers out
9 of the back of the vehicle to at that stage treat the
10 woman for gunshot wounds.
11 Q. Coming back to Jelinak, you said that it was a mixed
12 village with Croats and Muslims.
13 A. That is correct, yes.
14 Q. You said some of the houses were burnt. Were they
15 Muslim houses? Could you know?
16 A. It was difficult to assess at that stage. At that
17 particular point, Colonel Stewart, the commanding
18 officer, arrived on the scene and again he pointed
19 out -- there was a television crew with them and he
20 pointed out to the television crew that the majority of
21 houses were Muslim. I would say that some of the houses
22 that were burnt were a mix of some Croat and some
24 Q. A more general question. Judging by your long stay,
25 which is from November until May, November 1992 until
1 May 1993, and your knowledge of the parties there, do
2 you consider the HVO as an orderly and disciplined army?
3 A. From what I seen, they were, of the two, obviously yes,
4 were the better equipped and in a lot of cases seemed to
5 be more in control than the BiH counterparts.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen?
8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Sergeant Major, you spent some time on
9 the ground in this area, and you were a military man.
10 I take it in the course of your activities and
11 observations there you became familiar with all the
12 military organisations in the area?
13 A. We became familiar with who was in the area and who was
14 defending what area. What individual units and who they
15 belonged to and who they were commanded by we were not
16 overfamiliar with, but we knew what areas were HVO-,
17 what areas were BiH-controlled, et cetera.
18 Q. You are speaking of two principal military structures,
19 the BiH Army, I take it that was on one side, and the
20 other side the HVO, is that what you are speaking to?
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 Q. In answer to my brother Riad, you said the HVO was a
23 disciplined force?
24 A. Yes, I would say that there was -- more in the Vitez
25 area anyway, there seemed to be more command and control
1 with the HVO soldiers which, as I say, in the Vitez area
2 we had more dealings with, as the BiH forces were more
3 out of the area of Vitez itself.
4 Q. Do I take it that on the Croatian side it is your
5 judgment that the HVO was in a position to exercise
6 military control over the areas you have described?
7 A. Yes, I would say that.
8 Q. Did you become aware of the person who was in charge of
9 the HVO?
10 A. No, the only time was the date already mentioned when
11 I picked up initially General Petkovic. That gave me an
12 indication, at that stage, of who the commander was.
13 Q. All these places you have referred to were in Central
14 Bosnia, is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Did the HVO have a command structure relating to Central
18 A. To the whole of Central Bosnia, I maybe could not answer
19 that question, but for the area that we operated in,
20 then, as I am aware, they had the command structure
21 within our area of responsibility, yes.
22 Q. Although you did not become aware of his identity, you
23 would know that the HVO structure fell under the command
24 of a single person?
25 A. Yes, we were aware. At that stage, unfortunately, we
1 did not take much notice of names of people who were in
2 command, because there were other jobs and other tasks
3 to get on with, so we knew that they had a command
4 structure, but again, we were not aware of who was
5 commanding who and who was commanding what districts,
6 et cetera.
7 Q. Let me ask you one last question. Were there things
8 which happened as described by you capable of happening
9 beyond the knowledge of the HVO authorities?
10 A. No, I would say not.
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Sergeant Major, you have just about finished.
13 Only a couple of pieces of information in order to
14 better know and understand what happened.
15 You said that you were shot at, people shot at
16 your Warrior vehicle. What were the instructions of
17 UNPROFOR if there was direct firing and aggressive
18 firing at UNPROFOR forces? What did your superiors say
19 and what were the general instructions about that?
20 A. The general instruction for the orders for opening fire
21 were, in that situation, as from 16th April onwards, is
22 that if you came under direct fire, in other words the
23 fire was definitely directed at you as an individual,
24 then you were well within your rights to return fire.
25 Q. So on the day when fire was directed at you, you thought
1 that you were not aimed at physically because you did
2 not return fire, is that so?
3 A. No, I was aimed at directly by approximately six
4 individuals, and the number of reasons that prevented me
5 from opening fire were one, by the time I would have
6 traversed my turret round to face the rear, because at
7 that time we were forward-facing, the individuals would
8 have already taken cover, which I observed through my
9 rear observation scope. Also, it would have been
10 dangerous of me to return fire because I would have been
11 returning fire in the direction of the garage echelon,
12 and also in that area was the bulk fuel installation
13 unit and other obviously UN forces, so they could have
14 been caught in any fire, and so therefore, they are the
15 main two reasons that I did not return fire.
16 Q. Thank you very much. Speaking of the burial which you
17 took part in, were there repeated missions? Did you
18 have to do this several times?
19 A. No, that was the only mission that I did on that
20 particular day. I did no further missions in retrieving
21 of dead bodies.
22 Q. Did you take an active part in the choice of -- in
23 choosing the place where the bodies would be buried
24 according to the Muslim ritual, or were you tasked to go
25 with diggers and help people be buried?
1 A. The area that the -- what was selected for the graves,
2 I am under the impression that that was already
3 preselected before we collected the bodies, due to the
4 fact that when we returned from the first collection
5 from the school, we moved on to the field and by that
6 stage the combat tractor or digger had arrived and
7 started digging, so that was already preselected. All
8 we did, or I did, was to escort the vehicle back and
9 forth on two occasions to pick up the bodies from the
10 school and take them to the field itself.
11 Q. You never escorted General Blaskic, did you?
12 A. No, never.
13 Q. Had you heard of the HOS, of the Vitezovi, of the
14 Jokeri, since you spent a lot of time there, since you
15 only mentioned HVO? Were you aware of the presence of
16 other paramilitary forces, more or less directly
17 depending or under the HVO command, or did you only hear
18 of the HVO as an organised force?
19 A. No, we had also heard of what we call the HOS force,
20 which we were informed was sort of their elite
21 soldiers. On one particular occasion, I did happen to
22 see three to four busloads of HOS in black uniforms with
23 balaclavas moving from the Vitez area along towards the
24 Novi Travnik checkpoint.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much, Sergeant Major, it was a
1 long testimony, the Tribunal is very thankful for your
2 coming to testify, as summoned by the Prosecutor. You
3 can now return to further missions with our thanks.
4 Usher, can you make sure that Sergeant Major
5 Hughes can be led out of the courtroom.
6 (The witness withdrew)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Prosecutor, you do not have any other
8 witnesses, do you?
9 MR KEHOE: No, Mr President, your Honours, we do not.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, I think that in the future we will have
11 to make sure that we do not have those interruptions
12 that are very harmful for our proceedings, you know it
13 is difficult to schedule anything firmly. It is a bit
14 of a problem, is it not? I suppose you agree with the
15 judges in saying so.
16 MR KEHOE: Yes, I do, Mr President. We have had some
17 problems with some witnesses and some difficulties
18 making mid course corrections and bringing people from
19 Bosnia. We apologise and, of course, we will make every
20 effort to ensure that it does not happen again.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr Kehoe. So we are going to
22 adjourn. There will be no hearing tomorrow. On Friday
23 morning, I remind you that at 9.30, we have scheduled a
24 motion hearing, both the Defence and the Prosecution
25 wanted to argue, for not too much of a time, I hope,
1 I hope you shall be brief, to develop your written
2 arguments on hearsay to start with, on hearsay evidence
3 and also as to the Defence's motion to review a decision
4 issued by the Trial Chamber as to exculpatory testimony
5 and material. So we are going to hear arguments on the
6 two motions, and then we will have a short break and
7 will return in closed session and we will have a status
8 conference to deal with two topics which are very dear
9 to my heart.
10 On the one hand, we will have the repercussions of
11 the recent judgment issued by the Appeals Chamber on
12 subpoena; many subpoenas have been issued or requested
13 since February. We all agreed to suspend, to stay their
14 use and to wait until the Appeals Chamber had issued a
15 decision to see what we would do with the subpoenas as
16 issued either by Judge McDonald's Chamber or by a single
17 judge, as was the case once with Judge Jan.
18 Then we will talk about the problems involved in
19 the proceedings and the duration thereof and what we can
20 do to make sure that we can keep the trial within a
21 reasonable time period as is put by all international
23 The hearing is adjourned and we will resume again
24 at 9.30 on Friday.
25 (5.25 pm)
1 (Hearing adjourned until 9.30 am
2 on Friday, 28th November 1997)