1 Tuesday, 16th December 1997
2 (10.00 am)
3 (In open session)
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Can we have the accused
5 brought in, please?
6 (Accused brought in)
7 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume. Are our interpreters
8 ready? Is everybody feeling good? We can resume. Does
9 everybody hear? General Blaskic, do you hear, does the
10 Defence hear, Prosecution, my colleagues? Ms. Paterson,
11 I believe this is a protected witness that we are going
12 to have brought in. I am listening to what you have to
14 MS. PATERSON: Yes, Mr. President, as we explained at the end
15 of the day yesterday, this witness has asked for full
16 protection, she has asked to testify in a closed session
17 and to be referred to by a pseudonym.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Well then, the pseudonym will be what, what
19 letter are you using?
20 THE REGISTRAR: This will be Witness A.
21 JUDGE JORDA: I think we already used Witness A.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, but I believe that the previous
23 Witness A in fact really was Witness P.
24 JUDGE JORDA: That is a little strange. If A is P and R is
25 S, I would like us to be specific here. Well, all
1 right. I turn to Ms. Paterson. All right, so what is
2 the letter then? What letter are we going to use,
3 because we had rendered a decision about a Witness A.
4 MS. PATERSON: Mr. President, it is really up to the court.
5 We would prefer to use Witness A for many reasons that
6 would be easier for us, but if the court would prefer we
7 call her Witness P, it does not honestly matter to us.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman?
9 MR. HAYMAN: If I am not mistaken, there have been prior
10 discussions in the litigation about the protected nature
11 of this witness, and she was referred to as Witness A
12 during those discussions; for consistency it might be
13 helpful to keep that appellation.
14 JUDGE JORDA: All right then, we will call her Witness A,
15 but let me remind you, and my colleagues remember just
16 as I do, that we had rendered a decision about Witness A
17 which is not this Witness A, but so that we do not waste
18 any time, we will call her Witness A but noting in the
19 transcript that perhaps we should take another look at
20 the other witness that we called Witness A. I am not
21 going to give his name here, but everybody knows who
22 I am talking about. All right, this is closed session,
23 I believe the Defence agrees to that, completely
24 closed. Very well, Mr. Hayman, do you agree?
25 MR. HAYMAN: We do, your Honour. For the record, we note
1 this witness did give a media interview to Interpress
2 News Agency in 1994, not using her name but describing
3 her treatment. But we have no objection to the closed
5 JUDGE JORDA: You are right to remind us of that. The
6 witnesses are protected by the Tribunal, but everyone
7 must know that we can only ensure protection that we
8 have jurisdiction over. We cannot protect witnesses who
9 do not take minimal precautions for themselves. Thank
10 you for telling us that.
11 Ms. Paterson, this will now be a closed session,
12 completely closed.
13 (In closed session)
11 Pages 5411 to 5472 redacted. Closed session.
16 (Adjourned until 2.45 pm)
1 (2.55 pm)
2 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the hearing. Have the
3 accused brought in, please.
4 (Accused brought in)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Does everybody hear? Is everything technical
6 working properly, Mr. Dubuisson?
7 THE REGISTRAR: In principle it is working right.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Please excuse the judges for this slight
9 delay, which is due to all of the motions that the
10 parties have filed, so you see we are working for you in
11 any case.
12 Mr. Harmon, I believe, is going to take over the
13 public Prosecutor's seat right now, as we say.
14 Mr. Harmon, let me remind you that tomorrow we shall be
15 completed at the very end of the morning, or the
16 beginning of the afternoon. I would just like to recall
17 this, and now you may proceed.
18 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, good afternoon,
19 Mr. President, your Honours and counsel.
20 Mr. President, the next witness we are going to
21 call will be retired Major Erik Friis-Pedersen from the
22 Danish army. His testimony will relate to counts 15
23 through 20 of the indictment. In summary,
24 Mr. President --
25 JUDGE JORDA: If you do not mind, this is not something we
1 are doing ritualistically, but I am asking for specifics
2 here. I am not just going through a ritual we are going
3 through in order to please Judge Jorda. I want this to
4 relate to exactly what we are talking about, that is
5 counts 15 to 20. This is inhumane treatment, taking of
6 hostages and the use of human shields.
7 MR. HARMON: That is correct.
8 JUDGE JORDA: All right, proceed, please.
9 MR. HARMON: Major Friis-Pedersen, Mr. President, served as an
10 ECMM monitor in Central Bosnia from 26th January 1993
11 until the end of May 1993. His testimony will relate to
12 five specific areas. First, he will identify a report
13 that he prepared on 20th April 1993, describing the
14 shells of the Hotel Vitez. This testimony,
15 Mr. President, ties into the testimony of a previous
16 witness who testified that on 20th April she and other
17 civilians from the village of Gacice were taken to the
18 Hotel Vitez and used as human shields.
19 Secondly, Mr. President, he will describe his
20 meetings with then Colonel Blaskic at the Kiseljak
21 barracks prior to 16th April 1993, and his knowledge
22 about civilian prisoners who were kept at the Kiseljak
23 barracks after 16th April 1993.
24 The third area he will testify about is he will
25 describe the work of ICRC, the International Red Cross,
1 in Central Bosnia and in particular what ICRC
2 representatives told HVO commanders about the rights of
3 prisoners and the obligations of commanders in relation
4 to those prisoners.
5 Fourthly, he will testify that he received
6 information from a deputy commander of III Corps on
7 9th May that Darko Kraljevic was associated with the
8 truck bomb that went off in Stari Vitez.
9 Lastly, Mr. President and your Honours, he will
10 testify about a threatening phone call which he received
11 from Ante Valenta on the evening of 18th April 1993.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for that summary. Let me quickly go
13 through counts 15 to 20. Human shields is not something
14 you are going to talk about here, since you did speak
15 about 15 to 20.
16 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President, his testimony is essentially
17 evidence that relates to the allegations that we have
18 made in respect of human shields and is evidence that
19 supports the testimony of the previous witness who
20 testified about her experiences as a human shield around
21 the Hotel Vitez on 20th April.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. All right, the witness could now
23 be brought in. Registrar?
24 MR. HAYMAN: While the witness is coming in, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Hayman.
1 MR. HAYMAN: I would just like to say at some convenient time
2 I would like to make a very short oral motion concerning
3 the testimony of the last witness on the issue of
4 hearsay. I can put it in writing if the court prefer,
5 but I think in a minute or two I can state it orally.
6 It really is a part of our previous submitted motion on
7 the matter.
8 JUDGE JORDA: In a closed session?
9 MR. HAYMAN: I do not think it needs to be in closed
11 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Registrar, you will remind me of
13 (Witness entered court)
14 JUDGE JORDA: Major Friis-Pedersen, first of all do you hear
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, I hear you.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Would you please confirm to the Tribunal what
18 your name and first name are before you take the oath.
19 THE WITNESS: My first name is -- first names are Mogens
20 Erik, family name is Friis-Pedersen.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Would you please read the
22 declaration which will be given to you now. That will
23 be your oath.
24 MAJOR FRIIS-PEDERSEN (sworn)
25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Major. You may be seated. You
1 were called by the Prosecutor as part of a trial being
2 conducted against General Blaskic who is here, at the
3 time he was Colonel Blaskic. Please testify about five
4 points which were indicated very rapidly to us by the
5 Prosecutor, having to do with the shelling of the Hotel
6 Vitez, your meeting with General Blaskic, the
7 description you will give us of the work you were doing,
8 information about the truck bomb and possible
9 responsibility of a person who is not here but who is
10 related to the general context of this case and lastly
11 the telephone call from Valenta. You will make your
12 testimony first and then the Prosecutor may ask you some
13 further questions. The judges and the Defence attorneys
14 are also prepared to ask you questions.
15 Mr. Harmon, proceed, please.
16 Examined by MR. HARMON
17 Q. Thank you.
18 Good afternoon, Major Friis-Pedersen.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. I would like to ask you to begin by describing your
21 background and experience as a military officer to the
22 judges of the Tribunal.
23 A. I was called in as a private in the Danish army, that
24 was in 1955. In 1965, I got my commission as an
25 officer, and working as such, various duties especially
1 inside the communication corps, Second Corps in the
2 Danish army, up until my retirement from the career,
3 which took place in 1991. Since 1991, I have been
4 listed in the reserve, you can do that in the Danish
5 army, as a reserve officer until my age of 60, which
6 will be in two years.
7 During my military career before 1991, I was,
8 among other things, on a few foreign courses away from
9 Denmark. I served the last five years of my career,
10 until 1991, in the NATO headquarters of NATO, NATO
11 headquarters in Oslo called Afnorth.
12 After I retired, I put myself at disposal from the
13 Danish army, they could -- I volunteered for duties as
14 UN observer or EC monitor, and that was the capacity
15 I served as such from end of January 1993 until end of
16 May the same year.
17 Before in my career, I have to mention that
18 I served as an UN military observer in the Middle East
19 from 1978 to 1980. After my serving as an EC monitor,
20 I should just mention that I also served as an UN
21 military observer, same place in Yugoslavia, mainly in
22 Kiseljak, two last months -- that was six months
23 altogether, from November until end of April 1994. That
24 was mainly in Kiseljak, which I know well, and then also
25 in Macedonia.
1 Because of my experiences as foreign service like
2 UN and within EC, I was picked by the armed forces to
3 serve in Finland as an instructor of the military
4 observers course they have for Scandinavian officers
5 there. That was in the beginning of 1995. From June
6 1995 until end of 1995, I was picked for UN military
7 observer duty in Tajikistan. That is the end of what
8 I can tell about my career.
9 Q. Thank you very much, Major. While you were an ECMM
10 monitor in Central Bosnia, did you prepare daily
11 operation reports?
12 A. I did certainly, every day, it was at least as long as
13 I was chairman, to preparing and responsible for sending
14 them, but every day I participated in creating the
15 operational reports that we should be sent from that
16 team, or that body.
17 Q. What is a daily operational report? Can you explain to
18 the judges exactly what it is and where it is sent?
19 A. I can. A daily operational report from a team or a
20 joint commission as we had Busovaca joint commission, is
21 a summary of what the team or various teams attached to
22 this unit have been doing during the day. It is
23 composed of -- it is built up after a system that ECMM
24 in Zagreb wanted us to build up after.
25 MR. HARMON: I have Exhibit 187, which is the Prosecutor's
1 next exhibit, if we can have that placed on the ELMO and
2 distributed to judges and to counsel.
3 Mr. President, for the record, Prosecutor's Exhibit
4 187 is in English, it is two pages, and two paragraphs
5 from this particular daily operation report which Major
6 Friis-Pedersen will be testifying about have been
7 translated into French. Those are attached at the rear
8 of the English daily operation report.
9 Major, on the ELMO which is --
10 MR. HAYMAN: Could we have it, your Honour?
11 MR. HARMON: I am sorry. (Handed).
12 JUDGE JORDA: I was just reading this document, I just see
13 that you do not have a copy of it. All right, that is
15 MR. HARMON: Major, on the ELMO to your right, there should
16 appear in front of you on the monitor a daily operation
17 report dated 20th April 1993. Did you prepare this
18 particular daily operation report?
19 A. Yes, I did it in conjunction with my co-manager at that
20 day, Henk Morsink, a Dutch ECMM monitor.
21 Q. Let me direct your attention to paragraph 3 on the first
22 page. Can you please read that paragraph and explain
23 that paragraph to the judges.
24 A. Okay. Paragraph 3 reads:
25 "Cease-fire violations (unconfirmed). 2 T34 tanks
1 were told to be in position on the mountain road
2 between" --
3 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me for a second. There was a
4 significant difference, I do not think it is the
5 interpreters, it is non-confirmed, is it, unconfirmed?
6 MR. HARMON: Unconfirmed.
7 JUDGE JORDA: All right, I think that the interpreters could
8 not see the screen very well, so there is a slight
10 A. It is not very good on my screen too, but I look here on
11 my paper.
12 MR. HARMON: Perhaps it could be moved up so the interpreters
13 can see paragraph 3, your Honour.
14 JUDGE JORDA: The text should be raised up on screen, then
15 perhaps the light could be dimmed so that we get a
16 better contrast. That is much better. Is that better
17 for you too, Major? Do you see things better now?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE JORDA: All right, everybody is more comfortable that
20 way, including the interpreters.
21 MR. HARMON: Please proceed.
22 A. Yes:
23 "Cease-fire violations (unconfirmed). 2 T34 tanks
24 were told to be in position on the mountain road between
25 Zenica and Vitez. Shelling HVO HQ and the PTT building
1 in Vitez. HVO is said to be putting an ultimatum on
2 Gacice and after that failed, HVO is said to have
3 started attacking this village."
4 Q. Let me ask you, in that paragraph it says "HVO HQ".
5 Does "HQ" stand for "headquarters"?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. This information is unconfirmed. Can you explain to the
8 court what unconfirmed information is and what the
9 source of that information was?
10 A. The source of the information was coming to us from
11 BritBat operational room. We were situated in a place
12 roughly 200 metres away from them, and we had regular,
13 that means more than one daily contact between us, in
14 those critical days here. Much sources of information
15 who came to us came from BritBat, because they have
16 armed means to go and look at spots more than we had.
17 Q. Did you find in your experience in the former Yugoslavia
18 that the information that was provided to you by BritBat
19 was reliable?
20 A. They were always reliable.
21 Q. Let me turn now to another subject, which is the
22 Kiseljak barracks. Are you familiar with the Kiseljak
23 barracks, Major Friis-Pedersen?
24 A. Yes, as I mentioned with my presentation concerning
25 myself, I had been on station in Kiseljak for four
1 months in late autumn and winter 1993-1994, and I lived
2 exactly -- I rented a room in a private house there,
3 situated roughly 200 or 300 metres away from the
4 barracks, so I know exactly where the barracks and
5 where, of course, the UN headquarters was in connection
6 with Kiseljak there, it was a matter of less than one
7 kilometre from the UN headquarters in Kiseljak.
8 Q. Prior to 16th April 1993, did you have occasion to meet
9 then Colonel Blaskic at the Kiseljak barracks? Could
10 you explain to the judges the number of times and the
11 circumstances under which you met him at that location?
12 A. Yes. Okay, Colonel Blaskic I was introduced to the
13 first time 22nd February. I am a little in doubt about
14 the date, 21st or 23rd, but that day is what I believe
15 it is. I met him in Kiseljak barracks, in a meeting
16 room they had in there. As I understand, it was a local
17 brigade in Kiseljak, local HVO brigade in Kiseljak, and
18 Colonel Blaskic I met there.
19 Q. How many other occasions did you meet Colonel Blaskic at
20 the Kiseljak barracks prior to 16th April 1993?
21 A. I think it must have been one or two times more,
22 I cannot recall any dates, but that was in Kiseljak.
23 Q. Did you ever have occasion to ask Colonel Blaskic why he
24 met you at both the Hotel Vitez and at the Kiseljak
1 A. I think that during the first meeting in Vitez where
2 I met him there, where I suppose that I should have a
3 call back telling me, "please come to Kiseljak that and
4 that day", I was a bit surprised he also appeared in
5 Vitez, but it appeared to me later on that this is his
6 real headquarters, the right headquarters, but as army
7 commanders above a certain level always have at least
8 two headquarters to work from. To me it is very natural
9 that he told me, "I work both places" and that sometimes
10 he is at one and sometimes at the other place.
11 Q. After 16th April, Major Friis-Pedersen, were you aware
12 that civilian prisoners were being detained at the
13 Kiseljak army barracks?
14 A. Yes, I was aware of that and that was -- I think it was
15 18th April, I had to go to Kiseljak in some other
16 business, also to talk to the HVO brigade there, and
17 I had a hint from various sources before, that was
18 BritBat and that was the commander of this checkpoint in
19 Bilalovac, Klokati, who have hindered us in coming into
20 Kiseljak the day before, who told me, "they have
21 prisoners in there, among others my own wife and
22 daughter". Some other men, some other women. I asked
23 then the next day when I met this commander HVO also,
24 the 18th, I think it was. I asked, "do you have
25 prisoners here?". He confirmed to me, "yes, we have,
1 around 120, up to 150, and among them two women and one
3 As I knew, it was not the real way of exercising
4 Geneva Conventions to have civilian child and women
5 detained. I asked them, "could you give them now, those
6 women and that child to me, because I want to take them
7 back immediately". I could, and I got them with me, and
8 delivered them back on their houses, which was in
9 Kiseljak and Bilalovac.
10 Q. Did the HVO commander with whom you were talking point
11 out the building in which the other prisoners were
13 A. Yes, we had a meeting building where we always went to
14 that was up the road in the barracks to the right, and
15 to the left across some green areas, 50 to 100 metres
16 away, were barracks where HVO men, the HVO commander
17 pointed out to me, "okay, we have them over there".
18 I asked if I could see them, because all information
19 I could get about prisoners of war I would pass over to
20 International Red Cross, they take action on those
21 things, and also he pointed out to me where they were.
22 Q. That was about 50 to 100 metres away from the room where
23 you normally met with Colonel Blaskic when you met with
24 him in Kiseljak, is that right?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Let me turn to another subject, Major Friis-Pedersen,
2 and that is the International Red Cross. Did you have
3 occasion to work with the International Red Cross while
4 you were an ECMM monitor in Central Bosnia?
5 A. Yes, especially in the critical days around Easter and
6 after Easter where these uprises or clashes went on, we
7 had almost daily contact with the International Red
8 Cross, a delegate from there especially, who were
9 attached to this area.
10 Q. Can you describe to the court the practices that you
11 observed and you were aware of the ICRC in respect of
12 advising HVO commanders of their rights -- of prisoner
14 A. Yes. I recall a meeting we had in our local monitor
15 house close to BritBat, with the commander BritBat, this
16 delegate of the Red Cross that was working with us, us
17 white men. She told, that was the lady, she told what
18 she is doing when she is approaching commanders --
19 International Red Cross, of course, directly go to the
20 commander before they try to exercise any of their
21 duties, which was that she would explain to the
22 commanders the means of the Geneva Convention concerning
23 prisoners of war, concerning treating of civilians
24 during a conflict, and these rights were, of course,
25 concerning prisoners of war, especially that they should
1 be taken away as soon as -- taken prisoners away from
2 the battle zone; they should be treated in a
3 humanitarian way, they should get sufficient food, at
4 least as good as their own troops, they should not be
5 used as shields around military installations that enemy
6 that took them; they should not be used as power for
7 digging trenches or fortifications for that part.
8 Concerning civilian prisoners, she told us she
9 will explain them the rules again about how to treat
10 them: you are not allowed to take civilians as prisoners
11 and if you do for certain reasons, you have to free them
12 again as soon as possible.
13 Q. Again, with the help of the usher, please, I would like
14 to take a look at Prosecutor's Exhibit 187 and if we
15 could turn the page on 187 and have the part which is 8C
16 shown on the monitor. This is also part of the daily
17 operations report that you prepared on 20th April 1993,
18 is that correct?
19 A. That is correct, yes.
20 Q. Can you please read what you reported to in the daily
21 operation report of that date under 8C, please?
22 A. Yes, may I just clarify a little bit first?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. The first lines are, "the other monitor" so and so, and
25 that means that we were two men there at that day taking
1 care of duties in Vitez. Because we have several tasks
2 to do and we had means of application and
3 transportation, we divided into two. This is also my
4 other monitor who gave this as his contribution to the
5 daily situation report. He told me of the other monitor
6 went together with the rest of the joint commission,
7 that means the two officers we had for him and the
8 representative of the International Red Cross, that was
9 this delegate I talked about before, to HVO brigade
10 headquarters in Vitez. We explained the condition of
11 ICRC and the work of the joint commission. "The list
12 were not ready", that means a list that the HVO has
13 promised about which prisoners they held in Vitez:
14 "The list was not ready, mainly because of
15 communication problems. HVO agreed on providing list at
16 the next day at 9.00, to be collected by ICRC and
17 agreed", this HVO man, "agreed on the International Red
18 Cross conditions about treating the visit and the rights
19 of prisoners. The team stressed the security because of
20 ten shooting incidents yesterday when the team was fired
21 upon with small arms fire."
22 Q. Thank you very much. Now let me turn to another
23 subject, Major. Did you have a conversation with Ramiz
24 Dugalic, the deputy commander of III Corps, on 9th May
25 1993 about a truck bomb that exploded in Stari Vitez.
1 A. Yes, I recall that.
2 Q. Just tell the judges what you recall about that
4 A. I recall that he reported to me and my co-assistant,
5 another monitor, that there were two men arrested by BiH
6 in Ahmici some days before the 9th.
7 Q. By the BiH or by the HVO?
8 A. Excuse me, by the HVO. No, it was BiH, excuse me, BiH
9 went in at that time. BiH went in and captured those
10 two men, they had the police signs of Croatia in their
11 pockets. These men told us that we could interrogate
12 them if we wanted. From this event further he told us,
13 Mr. Dugalic, that the car bomb truck was actually driven
14 by a Muslim humanitarian driver. He was not knowing
15 what his cargo was, it proved to be this car bomb that
16 made the big crater in the middle of Vitez, in the
17 middle of the street. He was also arrested by HVO and
18 forced to drive this car.
19 There was another man behind the car that was
20 named to us that he could give maybe evidence, that was
21 Darko Kraljevic, he was living in Vitez in the, I think
22 it was the part of Vitez very close to the road junction
23 leading to Zenica.
24 Q. Now let me turn to the last subject and that is a
25 threatening phone call that you received from a
1 gentleman named Ante Valenta. Before you tell the
2 judges about that phone call, let me ask the usher to
3 place Exhibit 80/8 on the ELMO. While that exhibit is
4 being brought and shown to you, Major Friis-Pedersen, do
5 you know a gentleman by the name of Ante Valenta and had
6 you had contact with him prior to this phone call?
7 A. I know him. He was -- I can actually point him out.
8 That is the man. I was told, I have no reason to doubt
9 that, that he was the political advisor to
10 Colonel Blaskic.
11 Q. I am finished with that photograph, Mr. Usher, thank
12 you. Can you please describe to the judges of the Trial
13 Chamber the telephone call that you received on the
14 evening of 18th April 1993?
15 A. Yes. I was sitting in my office in the ECMM house in
16 Vitez, close to BritBat, when the phone rang and I am
17 not sure that Ante Valenta spoke sufficient English, so
18 it was done with an interpreter in the ear of the phone,
19 I listened to with my other ear so I could hear the
20 voice of the man and she translated to me what he said.
21 The thing was, it was a man unknown, he would not give
22 his name or his phone number, or unit or anything, but
23 what he said was that if BritBat did not stop helping
24 the Muslim, as BritBat has done after the car bomb went
25 off in Vitez, if they did not stop helping the Muslims
1 and giving no help to the HVO side, they will attack
2 BritBat. HVO will attack BritBat. That was the thing
3 I got out of that conversation.
4 As I could recognise by nearly -- well, between 90
5 and 100 per cent security, or what do you call it, I was
6 nearly 90 to 100 per cent secure that this was a voice
7 of Ante Valenta.
8 Q. When you say "secure", do you mean "certain"?
9 A. "Certainty", excuse me. Certainty 90 to 100 per cent
10 that it was Ante Valenta. I had his phone number with
11 me, I knew that he was attached to the headquarters of
12 Colonel Blaskic in Vitez, and that matches very good
13 with his phone number on the card. I phoned the number
14 I had and got him on the telephone, and told him,
15 "I have just a curious conversation coming in right
16 before. It seemed to be your voice". He denied weakly,
17 denied weakly. I never got a clear answer, "no, it was
18 not me", but I did not get the opposite answer either.
19 I explained to him what was said to us, and I explained
20 back because I was a bit furious about this threatening
21 phone call, because now the HVO claim to have the same
22 right as the Muslims they have attacked by the car bomb,
23 and the only one who helped the Muslims at that time,
24 that was BritBat who put in all their forces just to
25 secure the wounded refugees to come out to a special
1 camp they installed a little outside Vitez. That was
2 very well done.
3 Now we have this threatening phone call,
4 I explained Ante Valenta, this was indecent to come with
5 such a threat, if that should really happen, BritBat to
6 my experience -- excuse me. BritBat would only do one
7 thing, and that was to withdraw the forces to the
8 camp -- excuse me a bit.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Take your time, Major.
10 A. I seem to recover. BritBat would only do one thing to
11 withdraw all the forces to camps, help nobody but
12 defending themselves, and if they really launched
13 a clash, they would suffer from this clash with the
14 Brits, they had better arms, and at this spot they could
15 resist. He received that report from me, okay, and no
16 further talk about that.
17 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Major. Mr. President, I would now
18 move to introduce into evidence Prosecutor's Exhibit
20 Thank you, Major Friis-Pedersen, I have concluded
21 with my part of the examination. Now Defence counsel
22 has an opportunity to question you.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Harmon. I congratulate for your
24 conciseness and precision. I also thank the Major for
25 his precision. Is it Mr. Hayman now?
1 Very well, Mr. Hayman, on behalf of the Defence
2 counsel, will have some questions for you within the
3 framework of the cross-examination.
4 Cross-examined by MR. HAYMAN
5 Q. Major, good afternoon.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. Let me call your attention first to paragraph 3 of
8 Exhibit 187, do you have that with you?
9 A. Is it a daily report?
10 Q. It is the daily operational report dated 20th April
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I would like to direct your attention to paragraph 3
14 which is titled, "cease-fire violations (unconfirmed)".
15 If a BritBat personnel member personally observed a
16 violation of the cease-fire, would that be a confirmed
17 or an unconfirmed violation as reported in your reports
18 such as Exhibit 187?
19 A. It would be -- if he could confirm it, we rely totally
20 on BritBat information. We had to do and it proved that
21 it was solid.
22 Q. So if BritBat saw it, you would list it under
23 paragraph 2 "cease-fire violations (confirmed)", is that
25 A. We would do that, yes.
1 Q. So the fact that the material listed under paragraph 3,
2 unconfirmed cease-fire violations, does that mean that
3 the information related therein was provided to BritBat
4 by some other source?
5 A. Yes, they have not been on the spot to confirm it
7 Q. Were you told what that source was?
8 A. I think I was not.
9 Q. So to find out what the source was and the actual
10 quality of the information, we would have to talk to
11 someone other than yourself, is that right?
12 A. Okay, yes. I have not yet been able to myself to
13 confirm this thing.
14 Q. Did you try to?
15 A. I cannot remember. We divided our means between us, we
16 had normally mostly at that time two teams to go out
17 with, only the one was armed, that was an armed
18 Mercedes. The BritBats always went out with APCs, armed
19 personnel cars. That gave a better way to get through
20 if there should be troubles.
21 Q. You do not think, I take it, you were able to personally
22 confirm the information in paragraph 3 on Exhibit 187,
23 is that correct?
24 A. No, but that is according to our procedure we have to
25 divide with strictly confirmed that we know 100 per cent
1 sure, that this happened, as in paragraph 2, you see,
2 same message and the unconfirmed, we are not quite sure
4 Q. BritBat received a report from some source that there
5 was shelling, correct?
6 A. Yes, and that was a verbal report from BritBat Ops Room,
7 as I told you.
8 Q. Do you have any more specific information concerning
9 when the report described in paragraph 3 stated or
10 suggested that the shelling was? Was it at 3.00 in the
11 morning, was it at noon, was it at 10.00 in the evening,
12 was it one shell every minute all day long? Do you have
13 any more information in that regard?
14 A. No.
15 Q. So it could have been one shell at 4.00 in the morning;
16 that would be consistent with the report, is that true?
17 A. In this case, it must have been more than one shelling.
18 Normally we do not pay very much attention to only one
20 Q. Were you told by BritBat how many shells were reported
21 to them?
22 A. No.
23 Q. You simply reported what BritBat gave to you, correct?
24 A. Exactly in this case, yes.
25 Q. Thank you. You spoke of meeting then Colonel Blaskic at
1 the Kiseljak barracks on, I believe, February 22nd 1993,
2 is that right?
3 A. That was the first meeting I recall I had with him, a
4 sort of introductory meeting, and of course as always
5 when we met, we could not do without discussing the
6 operational situation, that was what we were there for.
7 Q. Of course. Do you remember the dates or time periods of
8 any other meetings you had with him in Kiseljak?
9 A. No, I just remember it must have been some date before
10 the 16th April, because since then I think he more or
11 less stuck to his headquarters in Vitez.
12 Q. Let me read the transcript. I did not follow your
13 testimony at that point. You are saying from mid April
14 forward, he stuck to his headquarters in Vitez and
15 stayed there?
16 A. Okay, "stuck" is probably not the correct word to use,
17 because I think he went out to his troops once in a
18 while and had contact with them and not just by sitting
19 behind his desk.
20 Q. There was a war raging from 16th April on.
21 A. I know, yes.
22 Q. Can you tell us what date or dates you met with him in
24 A. Not until the last meeting that took place, last time
25 was 9th May I recall, so-called farewell visit, and also
1 again discussing operational stuff.
2 Q. Do you recall the dates of any other visits you had with
3 him in Vitez?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Let me ask you: on your --
6 A. Excuse me, I had meetings, but not exactly the dates of
8 Q. On your trip to Kiseljak from -- strike that.
9 On your trip to Kiseljak on 22nd February 1993,
10 where did you originate from? What was the beginning
11 point of your travels on that day?
12 A. 22nd February?
13 Q. Yes, in other words where were you starting from on that
15 A. Yes, the first meeting you meant.
16 Q. No. Were you in Kiseljak at the beginning of the day on
17 22nd February 1993, or did you -- please let me finish
18 my question. We do not want to go too fast, so the
19 interpreters have a fair chance to interpret. Were you
20 there or did you have to travel there from some other
21 location in order to get to your meeting with
22 Colonel Blaskic?
23 A. Yes, I did. I travelled from Busovaca along the road
24 down to Kiseljak, had our meeting on the UN headquarters
25 or made some buyings there from their stocks, and it was
1 in the afternoon some time that we met Colonel Blaskic
2 in his office there.
3 Q. Do you recall in the course of those travels, did you
4 have to pass -- by the way, did you travel on the
5 Busovaca-Kiseljak road?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Did you have to pass through various checkpoints of both
8 the HVO and the BH army?
9 A. Yes, we did.
10 Q. In fact the portion of the road from Bilalovac to Kacuni
11 roughly was controlled by the BH army, correct?
12 A. That is correct, yes.
13 Q. That had been the case since roughly 27th January 1993,
15 A. Mm, yes.
16 Q. Colonel Blaskic did not have free passage over that
17 road, correct, at that point in time?
18 A. It seems to me he did not, but I also know that both
19 parties are using their little tricky roads that they
20 know around in the mountains which they can use for that
21 purpose, or he can move the other way around from Zenica
22 into Kiseljak by another route. You will see that on
23 the map when you look on the terrain, there are other
24 routes going into Kiseljak than just the one from
1 Q. To go to Sarajevo you mean?
2 A. No, you can --
3 Q. To go to Visoko?
4 A. Visoko is one of the things, yes.
5 Q. But Visoko was held by the BH army too, was it not, at
6 that time?
7 A. That is correct, yes. But again I have to stress to you
8 that the commanders from both sides knew their own
9 tricky ways around.
10 Q. Tell me this, Major: between 27th January 1993 and at
11 least the second week in March 1993, can you tell us of
12 any instance when Colonel Blaskic made it out of
13 Kiseljak to Vitez other than in an UNPROFOR Warrior
14 escorted for the purpose of an official UN meeting, any
15 instance? Can you give us one instance?
16 A. No, because I think he would not tell us if he had other
17 means of going around. That is correct, that UN, to
18 certain meetings where he was required, transported him
19 safely through all the checkpoints, the BiH checkpoints
20 too, of course. That is correct, but that was the
21 official means of coming to and from where we were
22 involved. How he guided and controlled his own troops
23 coming around, UN would not take care of that and we
24 would not, ECMM, take care of bringing him around for
25 his own people.
1 Q. You met with him in the HVO barracks in Kiseljak on
2 22nd February 1993, correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. He was in the brigade quarters, was he not, the Kiseljak
5 brigade quarters?
6 A. Yes, we always met in the same room, I recall a special
7 picture hanging on the wall and I think during the first
8 meeting I asked Colonel Blaskic "who is that
9 guy?", because he looked like a King, and I got some
10 explanation about the old Croatian kings and so on.
11 Q. Did you ever learn that Colonel Blaskic had a
12 headquarters staff in Kiseljak?
13 A. Well, we heard it then or observed it that way that we
14 met him there.
15 Q. I did not ask, Major, whether you met him in Kiseljak,
16 I understand you did. My question is a different one.
17 He had a headquarters staff in Vitez, correct, at the
18 Hotel Vitez?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you have any information, any specific information
21 suggesting that he had a headquarters staff in Kiseljak?
22 A. No.
23 Q. The day you went to Kiseljak and brought one or more
24 civilians out with you, when was that? Was that a
25 different occasion from your 22nd February visit, or the
1 same occasion?
2 A. No, it was 18th April.
3 Q. Tell me, where, if you know, where was Colonel Blaskic
4 on 18th April? Was he in Kiseljak or was he in Vitez?
5 A. He was not in Kiseljak. I suppose, I cannot tell for
6 him where he was that day exactly, but I suppose he was
7 in the Vitez area.
8 Q. You can tell us, though, that he was not in Kiseljak?
9 A. He might have been hiding, but he knew that EC monitors
10 were there and I think he would like to talk to us if he
11 knew that we came.
12 Q. Because he always wanted to talk to you, did he not, if
13 you were in his headquarters?
14 A. When we asked for having a meeting with him he was
15 always willing to find a date where it could happen. It
16 might not be the first time, it may be the second one
17 and we were given the time where we could see him.
18 Q. On 18th April 1993 when you went to Kiseljak, did you
19 pass through the same checkpoints and the same BiH
20 Army-held strip of land, that is on the road from
21 Busovaca to Kiseljak?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Who was the HVO commander you spoke with in Kiseljak on
24 that occasion, 18th April; do you recall?
25 A. I do not recall his name. He presented himself as a
1 brigade commander.
2 Q. Do you recall that in the Busovaca joint commission
3 meeting on 18th April, which I think you attended, there
4 was an agreement between the HVO and the BH army to
5 exchange lists of all prisoners?
6 A. Yes. This list was things that we, together with the
7 Red Cross, on behalf of Red Cross, should provide,
8 because Red Cross took care of prisoners. Whenever we
9 came around and had a feeling or so or knew there were
10 prisoners, we tried to collect as much information as we
11 could get, try to free somebody if somebody was in need
12 and if we were allowed to see the prisoners; if we were
13 not always, then we handed over what we knew of
14 information to International Red Cross, same day or a
15 day after.
16 Q. You described a meeting with a representative of the
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Were you present at any meetings between the ICRC and
20 Colonel Blaskic?
21 A. No, I was not personally involved in that particular
23 Q. You still have -- do you have still have Exhibit 187
24 with you?
25 A. That means the 20th April report?
1 Q. It is the ops report from 20th April 1993.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you look at page 2, paragraph 8C. This is a
4 report, I take it, from Mr. Morsink, if I am pronouncing
5 his name correctly, that he went with an ICRC rep to the
6 HVO brigade headquarters at Vitez, do you see that?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Would that be the headquarters of Mario Cerkez at the
10 A. HVO brigade headquarters was this Cerkez, yes.
11 Q. Where the brigade was headquartered, not the command for
12 the Operational Zone for Central Bosnia, right?
13 A. It was shortly away in the next block of houses, or like
15 Q. It is a different office, correct?
16 A. It is a different office, yes.
17 Q. Let me ask you about your meeting with Ramiz Dugalic on
18 9th May 1993. Was it your testimony that he told you
19 that in Ahmici two HVO soldiers were captured, or two HV
21 A. They found in their pockets two HVO badges, that was
22 what we were told.
23 Q. So was it represented to you that they believed, that is
24 Mr. Dugalic believed that there were HVO soldiers
25 involved in the attack or HV soldiers. I may have
1 misheard your testimony on direct, I just wanted to make
3 A. Yes, he believed it was HVO guys.
4 Q. Then you had a discussion about Darko Kraljevic,
6 A. Well not a discussion, we were just told that a man
7 behind, this Darko Kraljevic, he was a neighbour to
8 somebody that we knew, who lived in Vitez.
9 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, if the usher could assist, I have
10 two documents I would like provided to the witness as
11 well as the court and counsel, an original in BSC and an
12 English translation; I apologise there is no French
13 translation at this point in time.
14 My question for you, Major, is: at your meeting
15 with Ramiz Dugalic, the deputy commander of III Corps
16 BiH Army on 9th May 1993, he provided you with a
17 document which you now have in your possession, namely
18 the BSC copy of the document that you have been provided
19 with, correct?
20 A. I do not recall to have seen this document before.
21 Q. You went to this meeting with another monitor, correct?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. Mr. McLeod, and he prepared a report that included --
24 MR. HARMON: Objection, Mr. President, the witness was asked a
25 very narrow line of questions about a conversation in
1 respect of the truck bomb and Darko Kraljevic. We are
2 now going into an area far broader than that and I would
3 object, Mr. President, it is beyond the scope of the
4 examination in chief.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Hayman, can you respond to the
7 MR. HAYMAN: The statement of the other monitor who attended
8 the same meeting as the witness states with respect to
9 this document:
10 "This is a licence that Muslims have to leave
11 their homes, example at appendix 1."
12 If you see at the top of the right-hand corner of
13 the English translation, this document is an appendix to
14 an ECMM report and this document was obtained by the
15 ECMM in the very interview that the witness attended.
16 Maybe he does not remember, but I think I have the right
17 to try and refresh his recollection on that point.
18 Perhaps it is even refreshed by the colloquy that we
19 have had.
20 A. Should I be answering?
21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, I think that the question is not
22 out of order, but I shall consult my colleagues.
23 (Pause). Yes, Mr. Hayman. We are a bit on the boundary,
24 but the Trial Chamber allows you to reformulate your
25 question, but briefly, so please proceed, trying to
1 focus more on what was covered by the direct
3 MR. HAYMAN: I only have a few more questions, Mr. President
4 and your Honours. Thank you for the opportunity to
5 refresh the witness's recollection on this point.
6 Major, is your recollection refreshed by the
7 colloquy you have heard?
8 A. It is refreshed in that way, that in those days,
9 although not any more, a chairman of any commission.
10 I was put back in Zenica together with this McLeod who
11 came from our superior headquarters in Zagreb. He was
12 in charge, with my assistance, to try to collect all
13 what we knew about atrocities, and reasons why and how
14 many and so on were wounded, killed, and that is it, so
15 therefore, as he was a man to make up the summary and
16 made up his own report, which he did on 17th May, the
17 same day I was leaving or the day before I was leaving,
18 he got all the documents; that means also that he is
19 more in the picture of keeping the details, because he
20 had the document with him. I do not recall myself to
21 have seen this document, I might have seen it just
22 passing through me to McLeod. That is it.
23 Q. If he made it an appendix to the notes of your meeting
24 with Ramiz Dugalic on that day, do you have any reason
25 to doubt his report in that regard, that he obtained it
1 at that meeting?
2 A. No, of course not. We were working close and talking
3 about what we saw and so on, and I was, as I told you,
4 his assistant, who in some times made the notes for him,
5 but in this case, I have only a few notes concerning
6 that meeting, so I cannot say that I knew these reports.
7 MR. HAYMAN: I offer the document, your Honour. It is taken
8 from the ECMM report attached to the minutes of that
9 meeting provided to the Defence by the Prosecution.
10 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I would object at this point in
11 time. There is no proper foundation laid. The witness
12 said he did not recognise this document.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that is true. The witness ended by
14 saying that he cannot identify the document. Therefore
15 I think this document should be placed in reserve.
16 Judge Riad? It has not been identified, the document
17 has not been formally identified by the witness, so we
18 leave it aside for the moment and limit ourselves to
19 what the witness said and which appears in the
20 transcript. Next question, Mr. Hayman?
21 MR. HAYMAN: These two HVO soldiers that you were told by
22 Commander Dugalic, did you meet with them, did you ever
23 see them?
24 A. No, I did not myself.
25 Q. Did anyone from ECMM?
1 A. I do not recall.
2 Q. You said you were told that Ante Valenta was a political
3 advisor to Colonel Blaskic?
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. Who told you that?
6 A. When he introduced himself the first time to us, or the
7 first time to me.
8 Q. That is how Valenta introduced himself to you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Was that in the presence of Colonel Blaskic?
11 A. I am not sure of that. No, I do not recall that.
12 Q. You do not recall Colonel Blaskic being present?
13 A. I do not recall that, quite.
14 Q. Did anyone else ever tell you that other than Valenta
16 A. Yes, my fellow monitors who know better than me in our
17 Regional Centre in Zenica, told us about Ante Valenta,
18 what position he held.
19 Q. You and they were all told that his position was
20 political advisor to Colonel Blaskic, is that right?
21 A. Yes, that was what we were told.
22 Q. Were you told he had any other political position?
23 A. I do not recall.
24 Q. So the only position was that of advisor to
25 Colonel Blaskic, correct?
1 A. As we knew it from the wartime we were there.
2 Q. You described this threat from Mr. Valenta, or you
3 believe it was him on the phone.
4 A. 90 to 100 per cent sure.
5 Q. I am not questioning you, believe me. In your meetings
6 and conversations with Colonel Blaskic, did he ever
7 threaten any harm towards ECMM, BritBat or any other
8 international organisation?
9 A. No.
10 Q. In fact, he co-operated with ECMM, would you not agree
11 with that?
12 A. It seemed so, whenever we had a request, he tried to
13 come forward to us and assist him. We experienced him
14 as a so-called nice kind man with a soft glove over his
15 iron fist, so to say. He seemed to be a strong
16 commander but gently when that was needed and that was
17 needed in case of us, if he wanted us to assist him, he
18 tried to assist. It seemed so and it helped a number of
20 Q. Was this call from Mr. Valenta, was it before or after
21 the truck bomb explosion in Stari Vitez?
22 A. It was after the car bomb, because he referred exactly
23 to this big help that the Brits gave to the Muslims.
24 Q. Did you get my letter of April 24th 1997, requesting an
1 A. 1997? Yes, we got that. I remember, I got that.
2 Q. As I recall, you were personally willing to grant an
3 interview, is that right?
4 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I would object. Again, it is
5 outside the scope of the examination.
6 JUDGE JORDA: I was sure you were going to object,
7 Mr. Harmon, but I wanted you to express your entire
8 objection. Is it one of principle, because Mr. Hayman
9 has not finished his question. The Tribunal could know
10 what the question is, but is it an objection of
11 principle that you raise?
12 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, it is an area I certainly could
13 have gone into, I did not elect to go into. It is
14 outside the scope.
15 JUDGE JORDA: But you will be able to answer in your
16 re-examination, that is how the game is played, you know
17 that Mr. Harmon, but before we say anything, I would like
18 to know where Mr. Hayman is going. We want to see
19 whether or not this is really going too far away from
20 the examination-in-chief, so for the time being,
21 Mr. Hayman, continue please.
22 MR. HAYMAN: I just have a couple of questions in this area,
23 Mr. President. You got my letter. On a personal level
24 as I recall, you were willing to grant me an interview,
25 is that right, in terms of your own personal feelings?
1 A. We were three Danish monitors who received that letter,
2 I recall. We have a talk between us, we had a talk with
3 our General, of the Danish army, if there was a correct
4 legal procedure. According to Danish law, it is not
5 quite correct, I would say it that way. There have been
6 cases where this is indecent way, that the witness for
7 the Prosecutor is now approached by the Defence to have
8 talks with him and prepare things, and the end of that
9 was, that was Lars Baggesen, one of my colleagues there,
10 who answered your question, "you have our evidence", or
11 you will be having our evidence about things, that is
12 what you can see as the Prosecutor can see right now, so
13 it is all in there and the rest is going to my opinion
14 and to the General Advocate of Denmark's opinion too,
15 that the rest is going to take place in this Tribunal.
16 Q. You understood, did you not, as a result of those
17 conversations, that the message sent to the Defence was,
18 under Danish law, once a witness has spoken to the
19 Prosecution, they are not allowed to speak to the other
20 side, correct?
21 A. That is right.
22 MR. HAYMAN: No further questions. Thank you, Major.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, do you want to re-examine, but
24 I think that the last point -- do what you like, but
25 this is a formal consideration. Mr. Harmon, if you have
1 no specific points about that question, perhaps you have
2 some other questions that you would like to ask in order
3 to supplement your examination.
4 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have no additional questions.
5 Thank you.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Let me turn to the judges now,
7 Judge Riad. Judge Riad has several questions to ask.
8 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Major Friis-Pedersen.
9 A. Good afternoon, honourable judge.
10 Q. You mentioned that in your general dealings with the
11 HVO, and I quoted you, you considered General Blaskic as
12 a strong commander.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please, judge.
14 JUDGE RIAD: You considered General Blaskic as a strong
16 A. That is my feeling and the feeling of my co-monitors
17 too, when we spoke about him.
18 Q. So he was a decision maker or such people like Ante
19 Valenta, or those who were around him?
20 A. He was, to my best opinion, the decision maker and the
21 man in command and control of his area.
22 Q. What was this area?
23 A. That was what they called, I am not sure I can point out
24 the boundary today, but it was operational zone middle
25 Bosnia, he was commander of those brigades within that
1 area and that surely involved all of our area we are
2 talking about here.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen?
5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Major, do forgive me. I am referring
6 to your summary report of 20th April 1993. It is in the
7 admirable clipped language the military is accustomed to
9 A. I know all those abbreviations.
10 Q. You will bear with me for that reason, I seem unclear
11 about something:
12 A. Okay.
13 Q. I have in mind paragraph 3, the third line, and I refer
14 to the words, "shelling HVO HQ and the PTT building in
15 Vitez". Could you explain that in ordinary language for
16 me, shelling by whom or from where and shelling what?
17 A. Okay, shelling the HVO HQ means headquarters.
18 Q. Shelling from there or shelling of that?
19 A. Shelling on that.
20 Q. Shelling on the HVO?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. Shells were falling on the HVO headquarters?
23 A. Correct, someone fired somewhere else.
24 Q. What about the PTT building?
25 A. PTT means "post and telegraph".
1 Q. Does that means shells were also raining down on the PTT
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. Did you have any information as to where these shells
5 were coming from?
6 A. That was those two 34 tanks that were on the position of
7 the mountain road.
8 Q. I see, now I have got --
9 A. Again, honourable judge, it was an unconfirmed
10 information at that time.
11 Q. I have got the picture you sought to project to your
12 military colleagues, in language that must remain
13 forever cryptic to me.
14 A. That is sometimes the intention.
15 Q. Thank you. I take it from what you have been telling us
16 that you were particularly concerned about any
17 contraventions of humanitarian principles, is that
19 A. It was part of all monitors' job to look after -- not
20 only the military situation, the municipality, local
21 political organisation, all civilian stuff, all police
22 stuff, because no really authority were working there,
23 not for sure. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they
24 even did their job properly, that they took care of both
25 their own and the other part, sometimes not. So we had
1 to take care of everything, but we worked together with
2 International Red Cross, as mentioned, and we worked
3 together with international -- the UNHCR, refugee
4 organisation of the UN.
5 Q. I understand you. So whenever there was need for you to
6 speak to someone on the Croatian side about a possible
7 contravention of humanitarian principles, who was the
8 officer at the top with whom conversations would be
10 A. If we knew directly who to go to, who was in so-called
11 local charge of the thing, we would approach him. If we
12 foresaw any difficulty in that area, we would always go
13 to Colonel Blaskic.
14 Q. How many times, could you say how many times you
15 personally met with Colonel Blaskic?
16 A. It must have been around, up to six times, something
17 like that, during my period.
18 Q. Here is an odd question, do your best to answer it if
19 you can and if you cannot, then forego it. On the
20 average, could you indicate to us what was the duration
21 of each meeting, ten minutes, half an hour, one hour?
22 A. Mostly around one hour.
23 Q. So in the course of these meetings, would you say you
24 were able to acquire some personal acquaintance of
25 General Blaskic?
1 A. I do not understand what I accomplished. Please say
2 again, honourable judge. What should I accomplish?
3 What was the question please again?
4 Q. Let me put it differently. In the course of these six
5 meetings, each of which would have endured for
6 approximately one hour, would you say you came to know
7 General Blaskic?
8 A. Yes, as good as you can do under those circumstances, as
9 good that you can do during that serious talks, because
10 it was a serious situation or serious situations we were
11 facing, and then you sometimes get a little bit under
12 the other one's skin. Yes, I would say that we knew him
13 rather good, we thought, rather good.
14 Q. I take it it is against that background that you have
15 described him as a strong commander?
16 A. Correct. It is the appearance, of course. You cannot
17 see what is behind the eyes or teeth or like that, but
19 Q. Did he ever say to you that there were military elements
20 on the Croatian side who were operating beyond the reach
21 of his command?
22 A. That was his claim on a number of times, yes.
23 Q. What did he say on that point?
24 A. He said if we claimed that HVO could have done this and
25 that, that that was not his forces, it must have been
1 uncontrolled elements from outside. I would add here to
2 that, that was exactly the same thing we heard from the
3 BiH side.
4 Q. So you were getting the same story from opposite
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. Did General Blaskic indicate with any specificity what
8 these outside forces might have been?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you with your interest in possible breaches of
11 humanitarian principles ever speak with General Blaskic
12 about his own responsibilities as the military
14 A. I do not recall that I have raised that issue with him.
15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you very much.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Major, I have only one question. When we were
17 talking about the meetings with the accused, you used
18 the expression, at least in French you said that he was
19 a -- he had an iron fist in a glove, that it was
20 Talleyrand who used that expression in referring to
21 Napoleon. I would like to ask you a question. He was
22 not only polite and pleasant, but that he co-operated
23 with you, and even said to you, I believe that Judge
24 Riad checked on that, you said that every time you asked
25 him for something, that he did everything he could in
1 order to satisfy you. Could you give us some specific
2 examples of requests in your area, which is the
3 application of international humanitarian law and status
4 of prisoners, international conventions; could you give
5 us specific examples which would illustrate this?
6 A. Yes, I will try. We had a number of incidents where
7 small convoys, humanitarian convoys were held, for
8 hours, days, and the drivers taken away in prison,
9 temporary. Humanitarian convoys who should go into BiH
10 pockets or BiH enclaves. Where we brought this up with
11 Colonel Blaskic, that is an example where we brought
12 this up, and he promised to intervene, which happened in
13 some cases, that we could free those guys to drive the
14 convoy through to their termination point.
15 I would not say that he was always co-operating,
16 I would say that he was normally co-operating with us,
17 so we felt that he was a man to go to, if anybody, that
18 could maybe solve a specific situation. I hope that is
19 answer enough, honourable judge.
20 Q. Almost, not completely. I understand that you did cite
21 an example, but I would like to have examples or an
22 example for those subjects about which you felt
23 strongly. You talked about humanitarian aid, but for
24 other subjects that also were of importance to you, like
25 the Geneva Conventions. Would you have one or several
1 examples where he did not maintain his promises which
2 would make you think that he was indifferent or it did
3 not concern him, because you have just said, you
4 yourself said, I am not telling you my own opinion, you
5 said that you cited an example, but then you added that
6 he was not always obliging. Could you explain what you
7 mean? If not, then you will not.
8 A. The situation as we had before 16th April, clearly it
9 stressed that there were very much trouble about getting
10 the route clear from Busovaca down to Kiseljak, where a
11 number of checkpoints from both sides, our main task at
12 that time would be, the monitors' main task would be to
13 look after, that those checkpoints were abandoned, that
14 the trenches were filled in, that the positions were
15 withdrawn longer away so they cannot shoot at each other
16 as they did nearly every day, and those things were
17 brought also up with Colonel Blaskic.
18 Even if he promised to do his part, putting
19 pressure on his commanders, which we learned from his
20 deputy commander, Mr. Nakic, who was with us every day in
21 the joint commission, we did not succeed that, we nearly
22 succeeded up until Easter, but we did not succeed all.
23 The positions were still there, we had a little
24 co-operation about mixing the checkpoints so there
25 should be mixed HVO and BiH checkpoints where they were
1 close to each other anyway, but Colonel Blaskic's
2 orders, for one reason or another, we could not see the
3 real impact of what he has ordered, even if he issued it
4 in writing, said he has done so and so. I am not sure
5 we got the full co-operation there, because he as a
6 military commander should be and, as we understood it,
7 was in power to enforce those things as the other party
8 would also do, they promised the same thing. Is that
9 sufficient, honourable judge?
10 Q. Well, I will have to be satisfied with that, because, of
11 course, one might understand that a military commander
12 in a situation like this cannot agree with all of your
13 requests, especially when military matters are
14 involved. I was more specifically thinking about the
15 protection of refugees, protection of civilian persons
16 or prisoners. However, unless you would like to add to
17 your answer?
18 A. I can add just a little thing, that Colonel Blaskic
19 promised us to assist in any way he could concerning
20 prisoners of war or prisoners, to have them free and
21 co-operate with International Red Cross about it.
22 I think that was one of those things that worked, it was
23 working when I was leaving there anyway, that day after
24 day they gave prisoners free from one prison, another
25 prison, but that was mainly, those things were mainly
1 run by International Red Cross.
2 Q. As a military chief, would you not say that he was doing
3 what he could, given the situation? That is, in the
4 situation that was there at the time? Can you think of
5 any other reasons that he might have done what he did?
6 A. We knew part of what was going on, military, from the
7 one side and from the other side, so we could not look
8 behind his back and see what he was doing when we have
9 left any of those meetings or what he did concerning
10 implementing what he has promised, but I would say that
11 he was a commander that was exercising command and
12 control; in which degree he really did it, that is up to
13 his own morale and his own will at that spot at that
14 time, but he should have and had the means of exercising
15 command and control. But to my best opinion, as a
16 military commander, having been that myself, it is
17 sometimes difficult but, okay, war is a difficult thing,
18 you can even die from it, which happens in a number of
19 occasions in former Yugoslavia, we know that. He could
20 also be in the danger zone. He could be squeezed
21 between the zone, but it does not free him from the
22 responsibility of exercising according to the rules you
23 have to obey, nationally, internationally, as a military
25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for having tried to focus as best as
1 possible you could for your answers. My colleague would
2 like to ask another question.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Major Friis-Pedersen, you have just mentioned
4 that Colonel Blaskic mentioned sometimes to you that
5 there are other forces interfering. Was this by any
6 chance related to the events in Vitez or in Ahmici?
7 A. It was, among other things, but especially here when you
8 point out Ahmici, it was there as well, yes.
9 Q. Could you develop with that more? Was there any
10 specific thing which he denied being responsible for?
11 A. Except for claiming that he was not responsible for
12 outside forces coming and doing something --
13 Q. Outside forces?
14 A. Outside forces, that was the impression that I heard
15 several times.
16 Q. Would it be forces which are not HVO?
17 A. It could be, that is just a guess, but I have to do that
18 if you want to. It might be HV forces, which was
19 however normally stationed or infiltrating down at the
20 southern border of Bosnia-Herzegovina into Croatia. We
21 have heard but not seen, or I have not seen personally,
22 an HV marked soldier. They have another badge on and
23 other marks. I have not either seen the black masks,
24 that was a sort of terror group they have inside the
25 HVO. That was what could have been referred to by
2 Q. But usually what you saw were HVO soldiers?
3 A. That was what we saw always, or I saw always.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much, Major.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Major. We have asked you many
6 questions, and you have collaborated very well. I do
7 not know if this is beyond what you were authorised to
8 say by the Danish Government, but in any case, the
9 Tribunal is very grateful for your testimony. We will
10 now suspend this long part of our hearing and we will
11 resume at 4.45, so we will take a 15 minute pause.
12 (4.30 pm)
13 (A short break)
14 (4.45 pm)
15 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Have the accused
16 brought in, please.
17 (Accused brought in)
18 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor?
19 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, we would call our next witness,
20 but we need to do so in a closed session. The next
21 witness is the witness we discussed previously in a
22 session and will be testifying about information that is
23 extremely sensitive.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. In line with the decision taken by
25 the Chamber, you can call this witness and we will have
1 a closed session. Mr. Registrar?
2 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, I think it would be preferable to have
3 a closed session, totally closed.
4 JUDGE JORDA: You agree, not partially, not a private
5 session but a closed session? Very well, we are going
6 to have a closed session.
7 I have not forgotten, Mr. Hayman, that you have a
8 motion to submit to us, and after this witness, you have
9 another witness for tomorrow morning, Mr. Harmon?
10 MR. HARMON: That is correct, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE JORDA: In that case, perhaps we will start a little
12 earlier tomorrow, we will see how it goes with this
13 testimony, so I am pronouncing a closed session. I say
14 so for the benefit of the public.
15 (In closed session)
11 Pages 5526-5545 redacted. Closed session.
18 (In open session)
19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Then we will conclude this
20 hearing, we will now go back into public hearing as
21 requested by Mr. Hayman. We will hear what he has to
22 say. Are we back in public session now? Yes, we are,
23 so we can begin. The judges are listening to you.
24 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President and your Honours, for
25 hearing the Defence. I will be brief. As the court
1 knows, we submitted a motion on hearsay issues and while
2 we think that it will be unusual for the court, perhaps
3 unusual for the court to exclude hearsay statements, as
4 we urged in our submission, we think there may be and
5 will be some occasions where that would be the proper
6 exercise of the court's discretion, and we feel
7 compelled to raise that issue specifically with respect
8 to the statements of Witness A attributed to the
9 individual Cicko, in which it is related by Cicko that a
10 certain state of mind existed or certain orders were
11 given by the accused concerning the events in Ahmici.
12 Why do we think that statement does not pass
13 muster in terms of some minimum threshold of
14 reliability? One, the Tribunal has been given no
15 information concerning the basis of Cicko's knowledge
16 for that information. Cicko may have been an officer in
17 a diversionary group that fought against the Serbs in
18 1992. He was not an officer in the Jokers, he was a
19 foot soldier in the Jokers. So any knowledge Cicko
20 would have of any order that Colonel Blaskic did or did
21 not give is many levels of hearsay removed from the
22 purported speaker, perhaps four or five.
23 Second, Witness A did not obtain the statement in
24 a face-to-face encounter, it was overheard, and although
25 Witness A stated that Witness A was confident of the
1 identity of the speaker, that is Cicko, still it is
2 qualitatively different from a statement made in a
3 direct conversation between two individuals. That is
4 number two.
5 Number three, this court has not and to the
6 Defence's knowledge will not receive any corroboration
7 in this trial of any order issuing from Colonel Blaskic
8 of the nature referenced by Witness A and attributed to
9 Cicko, no corroboration. There certainly has been none
10 to date.
11 Four, Cicko has a motive to lie to the detriment
12 of our client; one, our client sent Cicko, caused him to
13 be imprisoned in February 1993 for the murder and
14 blowing up of a Muslim and a Muslim home, and he
15 remained in prison for some period as a result of our
16 client's actions. In addition, it appears from the
17 testimony before the court that Cicko resented and felt
18 pressured by the investigation ordered by the accused
19 into the events at Ahmici, and I am referring to Cicko's
20 statements that he felt that he was being left to bear
21 the brunt of responsibility for these atrocities.
22 For those four reasons, we suggest that this
23 hearsay quintuple, whatever it is, hearsay statement
24 attributed to Cicko does not meet some basic reliability
25 standard which we think the court should exercise in
1 this situation.
2 Lastly, we think the situation here is
3 particularly serious because there is no showing that
4 Cicko was unavailable; that is, there is no showing by
5 the Prosecutor that Cicko was unavailable. In fact,
6 they have confirmed he is not going to be a Prosecution
7 witness and we have not been told that is because he is
8 unavailable, we have been told, as far as I can tell,
9 because they do not want to call him. What does that
10 mean? That means they have the option of two sources of
11 proof here. They have direct proof, the speaker, the
12 declarant, and they have indirect derivative evidence
13 through a very sympathetic witness who was presented to
14 the court. Sympathetic does not do justice to that
15 individual whom we heard from this morning.
16 So they have chosen to present a messenger, a
17 derivative witness when they had a direct witness,
18 Cicko, who they could bring here, and by bringing in the
19 derivative witness, they can shield the declarant
20 speaker, the declarant, the speaker, Cicko, from any
21 cross-examination by the Defence. We think that is very
22 serious under all standards, including the European
23 Commission on Human Rights.
24 I am almost done, your Honours. I appreciate it
25 is late. It is easy to say and to think, "these little
1 bits of hearsay, they are not important, it is just a
2 little bit here, a little bit there, why is the Defence
3 so excited about this?". I think we have honestly seen
4 in this case, we have seen more and more little bits
5 presented through derivative, second, third hand
6 witnesses. Just today, what have we heard from
7 derivative witnesses where the primary witness could
8 have appeared --
9 JUDGE JORDA: I understand what you are saying, but I do not
10 want to reargue the principle of hearsay. I do not want
11 to go back to everything you have said up to this point,
12 but I do not want us to go back to this discussion we
13 have already had. We agree on that, do we not? What
14 you have just said to us is exactly the introduction of
15 your motion on the principle of hearsay. I would just
16 like to recall that to you. Continue if you consider
17 that you are not resuming arguments that have already
18 been made.
19 MS. PATERSON: Mr. President, can I just remind everyone we
20 are in a public session. If Mr. Hayman is going to
21 repeat in any detail testimony that was given in a
22 closed session then it is not appropriate for us to
23 remain in a public session.
24 MR. HAYMAN: If I have avoided doing so to date, I do not
25 intend to make any further statements about the
1 testimony. If I have crossed a line, I apologise.
2 I think I have been very scrupulous in that regard.
3 Of course I do not mean to repeat myself. Let me
4 just say I think this is serious because today, just
5 today, we heard derivative evidence from Witness A in
6 terms of Cicko's statement, we heard derivative evidence
7 from Major Friis-Pedersen in terms of BritBat's report,
8 source unreported, of shelling on Vitez on 20th April
9 1993 and now we have related through the last witness,
10 and may I say in general terms the opinion of Cicko
11 related by the last witness without identifying the last
12 witness, I see no objection from the Prosecution, we
13 have an opinion of Cicko, out of court declarant, that
14 he thinks a document or set of documents is damaging to
15 our client, again relayed by a messenger, we do not have
16 the opportunity to confront Cicko. The Defence does not
17 think these documents are damaging at all. Cicko's
18 opinion to the contrary is something we should be
19 allowed to confront. I am simply saying we believe this
20 is an important issue, we submit it to the wise and
21 sound discretion of your Honours, but I needed to put
22 our specific thoughts regarding the Witness A comments
23 on the record. Thank you.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Ms. Paterson?
25 MS. PATERSON: Yes, Mr. President. I was the Prosecutor that
1 questioned Witness A. As you are aware, I am only a
2 temporary participant in this trial, I have not been a
3 participant since the beginning and I think it is better
4 to defer to my colleague Mr. Kehoe to argue this, because
5 I think he is more familiar with the history of this
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe?
8 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. I will be very brief
9 concerning all of these issues raised by counsel. The
10 issues that are raised by counsel are issues that simply
11 go to the weight of any testimony that is brought before
12 this Tribunal, plain and simple. The explanation as an
13 apologist for the accused on behalf of Mr. Bralo
14 notwithstanding the following remains true, that
15 concerning this conversation that we heard this morning,
16 Cicko was clearly involved in the operations and the
17 massacre in Ahmici. He was a member of the HVO, as
18 these documents attest, not only signed by the accused
19 but also the orders that --
20 JUDGE JORDA: Remember we are in a public session,
21 Mr. Kehoe.
22 MR. KEHOE: I am just talking about the particular
23 documents. The circumstances, Mr. President, under which
24 the conversations regarding Bralo were made gave it a
25 strong indicia of reliability. Bralo was sitting there
1 talking to his friends about the aftermath of Ahmici,
2 and about how everybody is running for cover. It has a
3 strong indicia of reliability and the witness, of
4 course, knew this man's voice. For the Defence counsel
5 to argue that Bralo had some axe to grind because the
6 accused had Bralo arrested simply flies in the face of
7 reality. The reality of the situation is that Bralo
8 walked in and out of that jail any time he pleased. If
9 he wanted to go down to the pub and have a beer, that is
10 what he did. If he wanted to go home for the weekend to
11 see his wife, he did that too. When it came down to the
12 time of the fighting, your Honours, on 16th April, he
13 was released. I give you the pattern of conduct leading
14 up to this because for all practical terms, Bralo came
15 and went as he pleased.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Continue, Mr. Kehoe.
17 MR. KEHOE: Going to the final argument, the final argument
18 of counsel concerning the ability of the Prosecutor to
19 go down to that area and bring this particular
20 declarant, Miroslav Bralo, to the court, I think is --
21 I do not know quite how to describe it. The reality of
22 the situation is we can not even get compliance with a
23 court ordered subpoena of the government. I think it is
24 completely unrealistic to expect that this individual is
25 going to comply with any type of order of this court and
1 come here to testify.
2 The bottom line for all of this, your Honours, is
3 the concerns being raised are concerns that go to the
4 weight of this evidence. There will be additional
5 evidence brought to this Chamber's attention to support
6 what I have just declared on the record. At the end of
7 the day, your Honours, the court I am sure will weigh
8 all of that evidence in coming to the conclusion to see
9 what weight it will give to one piece of evidence as
10 opposed to the next.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, you wish to reply? You do not have
13 MR. HAYMAN: In less than a minute, your Honours. Assuming
14 the individual will not come voluntarily, I think the
15 court has the power to issue a material witness warrant,
16 a warrant for the arrest of someone who has material
17 information to the case, and to bring him here,
18 particularly if it is easy to exercise that warrant.
19 With respect to Bralo's incarceration, he was
20 incarcerated, he was incarcerated on the orders of our
21 client, he was not released on the orders or with the
22 acquiescence of our client prior to 16th April and I do
23 not think the Prosecutor is proffering that he was.
24 Clearly he was out by 16th April and he participated in
25 the Ahmici atrocities. That was not on the order or
1 with the acquiescence of our client.
2 JUDGE JORDA: (Pause). Mr. Hayman, first of all the Tribunal
3 wants to acknowledge your motion and understands that
4 this is a question which is very important for you in
5 your Defence of General Blaskic. Judges have noted the
6 arguments of both the parties and the greater or lesser
7 degree of fragility of this evidence, but let the
8 Tribunal come to its own conclusions as to the
9 reliability of the evidence. At the time when you
10 present your case, you will be able to propose any
11 measures which seem useful for you in order to make that
12 testimony even more fragile before the judges. It is
13 exactly 6.00 now -- Mr. Harmon?
14 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I will be brief. We would request
15 that the last four exhibits that were admitted in closed
16 session be admitted under seal. Thank you,
17 Mr. President.
18 JUDGE JORDA: With the reservations expressed by Mr. Hayman.
19 Do you wish to intervene, yet again, Mr. Hayman?
20 Tomorrow's hearing, since we have only one
21 witness, but it might still begin at 9.30. The hearing
22 is adjourned.
23 (6.00 pm)
24 (Hearing adjourned until 9.30 am the following day)