1 Monday, 20th April, 1998
2 (5.09 pm)
3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. We are now
4 hearing the case of General Blaskic, please bring in
5 the accused.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 Very well. Let us resume with the course of
8 our work which was interrupted. This was because of
9 a lack of a courtroom available to us. We hope that
10 very shortly this will be remedied. Now, let us try
11 then to resume with our good habits and be very brief
12 with our examination-in-chief and with a brief
13 cross-examination as well. Let us then resume.
14 Mr. Cayley is going to begin the presentation of
15 a witness.
16 Mr. Blaskic, do you hear me, can you hear me?
17 MR. BLASKIC: I hear you well.
18 JUDGE JORDA: I know everything else is in
19 order to let us begin right away.
20 MR. CAYLEY: Good afternoon, Mr. President,
21 your Honours, learned counsel.
22 The next witness is a Lieutenant-Colonel Reme
23 Landry, who is a career army officer in the Canadian
24 Armed Forces and was a member of the European Community
25 Monitoring Mission from February of 1993 until August
1 of 1993, occupying a number of positions in that
2 organisation, finally leaving as deputy head of
3 mission, directly under Ambassador Jean-Pierre Thebault
4 of France.
5 This witness will speak on a number of
6 matters. I warn the court now that this will be
7 a lengthy examination-in-chief. I apologise for that,
8 but the Colonel has a lot of say. I will compress it
9 as much as I possibly can. Indeed, there are a number
10 of matters which other witnesses have spoken of which
11 I will not include in his testimony. I will move it
12 along as quickly as I can, but it will be a lengthy
14 The witness will speak briefly at the start
15 of his testimony about his training in Zagreb and
16 information that was transmitted to him by the
17 information cell of the European Community Monitoring
18 Mission. He will then move on to his time in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he was a member of the
20 Busovaca Joint Commission. You will recall an
21 organisation set up in Busovaca by the international
22 community, by UNPROFOR and ECMM in order to facilitate
23 normalisation of life in the Lasva Valley by
24 demilitarising, introducing cease-fires, reducing
25 tensions between the HVO and Bosnian Army,
1 investigating complaints of breaches of humanitarian
2 law in the area.
3 Colonel Landry was an active participant in
4 that Commission and has a number of very important
5 things to say about events which he witnessed as part
6 of that Commission.
7 He will give two examples of its work. He
8 will speak to the court of an investigation into events
9 in the village of Skradno in the municipality of
10 Busovaca and this will be evidence of persecution and
11 attempted forced transfer of Bosnian Muslim civilians
12 from that village.
13 He will then speak of the implementation of
14 a cease-fire in the town of Busovaca and through this
15 demonstrate to the court the command and control
16 structures of the HVO and indeed the BiH through from
17 superior units to subordinate units, and in fact the
18 command and control structures were working effectively
19 in both armies.
20 He will then relate an account to you of an
21 old Croatian couple he reunited in the village of
22 Solakovici and demonstrate through this testimony his
23 understanding of the situation on the ground that
24 ordinary people had co-existed extremely well in the
25 Lasva Valley until the outbreak of the conflict. He
1 will give his views on how he believed the conflict
3 He will then speak generally on the attitude
4 and the cooperation of the Bosnian army and the HVO to
5 cease-fire agreements, to the implementation of the
6 orders of the international community in the region.
7 He will briefly speak of his knowledge of the
8 communication systems of both the HVO and the
9 Bosnian Army.
10 He will then move on in his testimony and
11 speak of events in the town of Travnik on 12th and 13th
12 April and what he perceived as HVO provocation in that
13 area and, indeed, he will speak of the Bosnian Army
14 response to that provocation. He will speak of the
15 removal of the mayor of the town, a Muslim, and how
16 there was a general increase in tension in the area.
17 He will then subsequently speak of
18 a kidnapping of four HVO staff officers, a matter you
19 heard evidence about previously. He was intimately
20 involved in this process. This was a complaint that
21 was made by the HVO to the Busovaca Joint Commission.
22 He investigated it, and he subsequently secured the
23 release of those four staff officers. He will give you
24 the background as to why this event took place; the
25 reasons behind it.
1 He was in Vitez on the morning of 16th
2 April. Very briefly, he will speak about what he saw
3 of the HVO offensive in the town of Vitez on 16th
4 April. He also saw Ahmici in flames that evening as
5 did a number of other witnesses. He will speak to that
6 briefly, then give more generally his professional
7 opinion on the nature of that military operation; its
8 scale, its organisation, how it would have been managed
9 in a military sense.
10 He will then speak on 18th April of a protest
11 made jointly by the then Colonel Blaskic and Mr. Kordic
12 and Mr. Kostroman about atrocities allegedly committed
13 against Bosnian Croats in the Zenica municipality. He
14 will explain how he, along with the Bosnian army, who
15 cooperated in an investigation, how he investigated
16 those events and how he found, yes, that there had been
17 atrocities committed against Bosnian Croats but about
18 how those allocations had been grossly exaggerated by
19 the HVO.
20 He will speak of how the Bosnian Army
21 attempted to secure the area, attempted to secure these
22 Bosnian Croats civilians and indeed the Muslims living
23 there, in order to try and reduce breaches of
24 humanitarian law which were taking place.
25 Conversely, he will explain to you how the
1 HVO provided no cooperation whatsoever into an
2 investigation into what happened in Ahmici. Indeed, he
3 will speak, in his view, of a cover-up, an inability on
4 behalf of the international community to investigate,
5 and how ultimately a semi-forced entry had to be made
6 into the village by the international community in
7 order to find out what had taken place.
8 He will confirm that absolutely no report was
9 produced by the HVO in investigation into the events of
10 Ahmici during his time in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He will
11 speak about his perception of the removal of the deputy
12 commander of the HVO, Franjo Nakic, just prior to the
13 events in Ahmici. Franjo Nakic is a man Colonel Landry
14 will speak well of --
15 JUDGE JORDA: It is all very well, but you
16 seem to be repeating your summary. It is very well,
17 but I am not asking for you to enter your plea now.
18 MR. CAYLEY: I will move ahead as quickly as
19 I can.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Be more objective, please. It
21 is not a question of being too quick or going quicker,
22 you are giving us now a summary and we appreciate that,
23 but I am asking that you not go into presenting what is
24 your own opinion, even if this is your own witness.
25 I will make the same objection to the Defence if that
1 were to arise. Please continue.
2 MR. CAYLEY: He will speak of his opinion of
3 the removal of the deputy commander of the HVO just
4 prior to the operation that took place in Vitez and
5 Ahmici on 16th April and he will give his views
6 surrounding what he, Colonel Landry, perceived as
7 a removal of that man.
8 He will then speak of the setting up of the
9 joint operation centre in Travnik on 20th April 1993.
10 Again, another attempt by the international community
11 to normalise the situation in the Lasva Valley. He
12 will explain how Franjo Nakic reappeared, this time as
13 chief of staff of the HVO, in a different position, on
14 this particular Commission and Colonel Landry will
15 speak of his views about Mr. Nakic's position on that
17 Next, he will speak of incidents on 21st
18 April in the Kiseljak municipality and the visits again
19 by the international community, specifically by him to
20 the village of Rotilj and Colonel Landry will provide
21 eye-witness testimony as to what he saw during that
23 Next we will move on to the mid-May period,
24 where Colonel Landry will explain to the court a change
25 in the tactical situation on the ground. At this
1 stage, the HVO were on the defensive. In fact, the
2 Bosnian Army were now placing pressure on the Vitez
3 pocket. Colonel Landry will explained how that changed
4 the situation within the Vitez pocket.
5 He will then speak, in June of 1993, as to
6 the events surrounding the Tuzla convoy. He will
7 explain to the court how that convoy was ransacked by
8 the HVO in the Vitez municipality. He will explain to
9 the court his reasoning behind his view that this was
10 an organised attack on a convoy by the HVO.
11 He will finally speak to you of his views
12 about the influence of the Vance-Owen Plan on what had
13 happened in Central Bosnia and, indeed, throughout
14 territory controlled by the HVO.
15 You will remember, as I said earlier, he was
16 deputy head of Mission; he was receiving reports and,
17 indeed, witnessing events on the ground so he had
18 a very good grasp of events through the country.
19 He will also speak of HV, Croatian army
20 involvement, in the conflict between the HVO and the
21 BiH in Bosnia-Herzegovina, both through reports he was
22 receiving and through eye-witness testimony.
23 Finally, your Honours, he will give you his
24 considered opinion on the accused's responsibility for
25 the events which took place in Central Bosnia.
1 This is opinion; it is the opinion of
2 a professional soldier, and it is based on experience
3 as an eye-witness testimony of the events as they took
4 place during April through to August of 1993.
5 Finally, the evidence he will give -- if you
6 wish I can indicate to you the relevance to the
7 indictment -- it is relevant to paragraphs 1, 3 and 4,
8 which relate to the background and the superior
9 authority; paragraphs 5, 5.1 and 5.2; paragraph 6, 6.1,
10 6.2, 6.3, 6.6 and 6.7, which is the persecution count;
11 paragraph 8, which is the unlawful attack charge;
12 paragraph 9, which is wilful killing; paragraph 10,
13 which is counts 11 to 13, destruction and plunder of
14 property. Paragraph 11, which is count 14, destruction
15 of institutions dedicated to religion and education.
16 Finally, paragraphs 12 and 13, which is relevant to
17 counts 15 and 20.
18 In the course of my examination-in-chief,
19 I will bear in mind, Mr. President, what you have
20 previously advised us about the manner in which it is
21 to be conducted. I may well be asking more questions,
22 leading in a manner which is acceptable to the Defence,
23 in order to direct the testimony. Otherwise we will be
24 here for weeks with this witness. If that is
25 acceptable, if we could call the witness.
1 JUDGE JORDA: I see that from my colleagues
2 that everything is in order, so we can indeed ask the
3 Registrar to bring in Mr. Landry.
4 MR. HAYMAN: In response to the request by my
5 learned counsel, we certainly do not object to
6 directing the witness to a particular subject-matter,
7 although I do not understand why there would be a need
8 to lead the witness with respect to his answers.
9 JUDGE JORDA: That is an observation which
10 I think is unnecessary, because it is for the judges to
11 decide whether or not they are leading questions that
12 are being put to the witness.
13 (The witness entered court)
14 Do you hear me, Colonel? Now, could you
15 please remind us of your name, and your rank.
16 THE WITNESS: Reme Landry, I am
17 a Lieutenant-Colonel in the army.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Please remain standing while we
19 ask you to take the solemn declaration. This is what
20 is going to be read to you by the bailiff.
21 LIEUTENANT-COLONEL LANDRY (Sworn)
22 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, Colonel, please be
23 seated. The Prosecutor has already given us a summary,
24 but dense summary, of what will be contained in your
1 Following that, and before questions put to
2 you by Mr. Cayley, you should understand that from time
3 to time the Prosecution may come in to help make this
4 testimony more concise and, as you know, you also will
5 be subject to a cross-examination later on by the
6 counsel for the accused, Mr. Blaskic, who is present
7 here today in the courtroom.
8 Without any further delay, we will carry on
9 this session until 6.30. We will resume, of course,
10 tomorrow in the start of the afternoon.
11 Mr. Cayley, the floor is yours.
12 Examined by MR. CAYLEY
13 Q. Mr. Landry, I understand that most of the work
14 you carried out in Bosnia-Herzegovina was done in the
15 English language and there may be from time to time the
16 need for you to speak in English, although you will be
17 testifying in French for the bulk of your testimony; is
18 that correct?
19 A. Yes, that is about right, yes.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Please, do not discourage the
21 witness from perhaps expressing himself in French.
22 A. With your permission, your Honour, I would
23 simply like to add to what Mr. Cayley just said.
24 Indeed, most of my work was carried out in the language
25 of Shakespeare and indeed, I have written in the
1 language of Shakespeare, I want this to be understood;
2 perhaps from time to time I may express myself in the
3 language of Moliere as well.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Express yourself in
5 the language which you find to be most efficient in
6 your testimony. Please continue.
7 MR. CAYLEY: If the first document could be
8 presented to the court, which is Exhibit 282.
9 You will be pleased to hear, Mr. President,
10 this is a document which is only in French. There is
11 no translation in English. (Handed).
12 Now, Colonel Landry, this is your resume and
13 I do not intend for you to read it to the court. If
14 I could just very briefly sum-up its essence, you are
15 a Canadian citizen?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And I think in 1973, you were commissioned
18 into the Royal Vandous Regiment in the Canadian army
19 after five years at the Royal Military College in
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You are, I think, by specialisation,
23 a professional infantry officer and you have done
24 almost every job in the army that an infantry officer
25 can do?
1 A. That is about right.
2 Q. And I think in your career you have been
3 responsible in a command position for up to 600 men?
4 A. Yes, that is right.
5 Q. I think you are also airborne trained and you
6 were chief instructor at the Canadian Infantry Training
8 A. I can specify. I am not a pilot, but I am
9 a parachutist. The rest is correct, yes.
10 Q. In essence, I think you have been 30 years in
11 the Canadian army and you have served in Canada and
12 Germany with NATO forces?
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. In 1997, you completed an MSc in political
15 science at the University of Montreal and I think the
16 subject of this thesis was the true origin of the
17 conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
18 A. Yes, that is correct. I received a Masters
19 in political science in that year.
20 Q. I think the microphone will actually pick up
21 your voice without you needing to lean forward.
22 Your testimony today, however, will be based
23 on your eye-witness experience in Bosnia and, indeed,
24 the reports that were produced by ECMM and other
25 documents which you provided to the Office of the
2 A. Yes, that is about right.
3 Q. You have a number of medals on your chest,
4 I think including the Order of Military Merit, which
5 -- I do not wish to embarrass you, but I think is one
6 of the highest medals which can be awarded in peace
7 time to an Canadian officer; is that correct?
8 A. It is not a medal for courage, rather it is
9 a medal given to members of the military population in
11 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
12 Now, if we can move to the essence of your
13 testimony. Am I right in saying that you were sent as
14 an ECMM Monitor to Bosnia-Herzegovina at the end of
15 February 1993 by the Canadian government?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. Now, Canada is not a member of the European
18 Union. Can you explain to the court why Canada
19 provided Monitors for the ECMM?
20 A. At that time, the European Community was
21 pleased to receive those countries who wanted to
22 participate in that mission, which included Canada,
23 also Poland, Sweden, the Czech Republic and Slovakia,
24 which also sent Monitors to participate in the
25 Monitoring Missions.
1 Q. I think the head of the ECMM in Zenica at
2 that time was Jean-Pierre Thebault of France?
3 A. Ambassador Thebault was the chief of the
4 regional Zenica centre and not the ECMM chief. He was
5 the chief of the regional centre of Zenica.
6 Q. I think you held a number of positions,
7 including finally chief of operations and then,
8 finally, deputy chief of Mission to Ambassador
10 A. Yes, during my stay in Bosnia, I worked under
11 Ambassador Thebault, since that was the practice of the
12 European Community; the newcomers had a short stay as
13 Monitors and during this time, they could learn what
14 they would have to do in order to occupy more senior
15 positions, either in the Zagreb headquarters or in
16 various regional sectors.
17 Q. I believe that you were given a brief in
18 Zagreb prior to your arrival in Bosnia; is that
20 A. You have to understand that most of the
21 Monitors who had been sent to serve with the European
22 Community had rather limited knowledge about the
23 conflict in the former Yugoslavia. In addition to
24 receiving information from our governments, when we
25 arrived in the former Yugoslavia, at that point, we
1 went through an apprenticeship that took place for
2 several days at the headquarters in Zenica.
3 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown
4 Exhibit 283, please? (Handed).
5 Can you explain to the court the purpose of
6 this document?
7 A. During this orientation period, to learn the
8 procedures used by the ECMM Monitors, we had to be
9 present at briefing sessions, during which the major
10 belligerents, or at least the situation on site or on
11 the ground, was explained to us in rather detailed
12 fashion, based on various information and intelligence
13 that the ECMM headquarters had at that time.
14 Q. Can I direct your attention to paragraph 27
15 of this document? If you could read that out to the
17 A. "The Croatian Defence Council, HVO, is
18 believed to be controlled by the Croatian army from
19 Zagreb. The HVO parade in two main areas, north Bosnia
20 and west Herzegovina, with the HQ at Mostar and
22 Q. If I could now direct your attention to
23 paragraph 33, and the third sentence of that
24 paragraph. If you could read that sentence?
25 A. "They also have support from paramilitary,
1 HOS, troops who are now being incorporated into the HVO
2 as they have been into the HV in Croatia."
3 Q. Now, Colonel, those are fairly bold
4 statements. Were they based on intelligence or
5 information that had been gathered by the ECMM?
6 A. I would have to say "yes", in answer to your
7 question, with a caveat, however, which is that it was
8 information that had been analysed by the intelligence
9 service of the ECMM and all information which
10 received -- or that they received, tended to confirm
11 what is stated in these paragraphs, as stated here.
12 Q. So, these two views were views that were held
13 throughout ECMM; they were no big secrets?
14 A. No, this was no great secret, but you must
15 understand that this information really was circulated
16 within ECMM, it was not published in newspapers, or in
17 other documents that might have been seen among others,
18 by the belligerents in the conflict and the former
20 MR. CAYLEY: I think, Colonel, moving on, you
21 travelled quite widely in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 If the witness could be shown at Exhibit 284,
23 which is a map. (Handed).
24 Now, the map in front of you, does this
25 indicate the municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina in
1 which you spent the greatest amount of time? I imagine
2 you must have travelled through others on journeys to
3 various places?
4 A. Yes, that is correct. You should understand
5 that the regional centre of Zenica had the operational
6 responsibility for all the territory under the control
7 of the Bosnians, or at least the HVO. This was mainly
8 within this vast territory that I worked during the six
9 months that I was in Bosnia.
10 Q. Would it be fair to say that you had an
11 understanding of events that were taking place in the
12 majority of these municipalities that are shaded in on
13 this map, at least in the sense of receiving reports,
14 rather than direct evidence in all of them?
15 A. Yes, but it should be understood that most of
16 my stay, that my residence was in Central Bosnia, but
17 that from the time that I received higher positions,
18 when I was named chief of operations, and deputy to
19 Mr. Thebault, it was especially from that point on that
20 I moved a bit more within Bosnia and I was, at that
21 point, able to be in contact with various people and
22 have different relations and have close contacts with
23 various detachments, which composed the Zenica regional
25 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown
1 Exhibit 285, and there is a translation of this
2 document which is 285A. (Handed).
3 The French translation, unfortunately,
4 Mr. President, is not complete, but it will be. There
5 are a couple of pages missing, but it will not affect
6 the witness's testimony since he will be summarising
7 the essence of these documents to the court.
8 Now, Colonel Landry, if you could explain to
9 the court, using these documents, the background to the
10 Busovaca Joint Commission, the reason why it was set up
11 and, in fact, its ultimate purpose in Central Bosnia?
12 A. I should say that the establishment of the
13 Busovaca Commission was carried out before I arrived.
14 As you remember, I came in -- I arrived at the
15 beginning of March, whereas this document that you have
16 in front of you is dated February 1993.
17 At that time, in February 1993, among the
18 Bosnian Muslim and Croatian forces and the third
19 Bosnian commander and the central operational zone,
20 there was a cease-fire that had been decided on, and
21 the cease-fire was more or less sponsored by the direct
22 intervention of the European Community, through the
23 Zenica regional centre.
24 The cease-fire covered various sections in
25 such a way that it allowed all of the population in
1 Central Bosnia -- allowed them to return to a normal
2 situation after the various conflicts and violence
3 which had been initiated, according to what I was told,
4 throughout -- in the winter of 1993.
5 After the cease-fire agreement had been
6 signed, and the commitment on the part of the various
7 regional commanders, it was recognised that in order to
8 be able to implement the various resolutions, at that
9 point, there would have to be a Joint Commission with
10 representatives of the Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian
11 Croats, as well as representatives from UNPROFOR,
12 especially from BritBat, and a representation which had
13 been presided over by the regional centre, so that
14 everything would be carried out in an orderly manner
15 and quickly, so that there would be an official podium
16 were the various belligerents could speak or address
17 their concerns in respect of the application of the
19 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could now be shown
20 Exhibit 286? (Handed).
21 And if this could be placed on the ELMO?
22 Now, Colonel, does this represent the
23 structure of both the Busovaca Joint Commission and the
24 Co-ordination Committee?
25 A. Yes, this is the structure that was in place
1 when I arrived at the beginning of March -- when
2 I arrived in Zenica, that is.
3 Q. Now, you will see, under "Co-ordination
4 Committee", it says:
5 "CO BritBat, ECMM Chairman, Commander
6 Bosnian Third Corps, Commander HVO central command."
7 Now, the CO Britbat was Colonel Stuart; is
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. Can you identify the other individuals, just
11 down to and including the Joint Commission itself? You
12 do not need to identify the teams who actually occupied
13 the positions.
14 A. The Busovaca Commission was principally
15 composed of two Corps: one which was called the
16 Co-ordination Committee, which included, in regular
17 fashion -- that would meet about once a month and which
18 contained the major signatories to the cease-fire as
19 well as the members of the working group or of the --
20 in Busovaca. This -- this Busovaca Committee had four
21 sub-units. The sub-units included a representative of
22 three ECMM representatives and, on the average, there
23 were between three to six UNPROFOR representatives,
24 depending upon the logistical needs we had for them.
25 Each belligerent -- if I can use that word --
1 each representative of the BiH and HVO armies, also had
2 between three to four and sometimes even five
4 If you look at the agreement that was signed
5 in February, you will see that some of the
6 representatives were designated by their names and
7 represented a specific field of activity, that they had
8 a specific role to play within the Commission.
9 But we must still say, and it is important to
10 say, that the two deputy commanders, that is the deputy
11 commander for the Third Corps, that is General Mr.dan,
12 and the deputy commander of the HVO for the BiH -- HVO
13 central operational zone, was Nakic. The Busovaca
14 Committee would meet permanently, almost every day.
15 Do you want me to go on with further
17 Q. The two deputy commanders of the Bosnian
18 Third Corps and the deputy commander of the HVO central
19 command-- to which individuals were they reporting up
20 the chain of command? And if you could name those two
22 A. As regards General Mr.dan, he represented me
23 and he would go directly to Azijananovic, who was the
24 commander of the third camp. As regards Mr. Nakic, he
25 reported directly to the commander of the operational
1 Central Bosnia zone, that is General Blaskic.
2 Q. What would the nature of the complaints that
3 the Busovaca Joint Commission heard from both parties?
4 A. Most of the complaints that we received dealt
5 specifically with the implementation of the various
6 agreements that had been signed on 13th February.
7 You should understand that this Committee
8 played two major roles: that is, they were in charge of
9 monitoring the implementation of the various agreements
10 which had been signed and, at the same time, they were
11 supposed to be in a position to serve as a kind of
12 neutral mediator for any complaints received either by
13 the Third Corps or the HVO which represented the
14 central operational zone.
15 Therefore, if I can give you a quick
16 description of a typical day of the Committee's work --
17 I could do that if you permit me to do so?
18 Q. Just one last question: were there reports
19 made by both sides of breaches of international
20 humanitarian law, as you understood it as an army
22 A. That is what I wanted to explain to you. The
23 way the procedures, or at least the way the Committee
24 worked, was that in the morning we would begin with
25 a report of requests that had been received the day
1 before, after which, both the two groups of
2 representatives would make comments or express
3 complaints, having to do with the implementation of the
4 agreement of 14th February.
5 Then afterwards, during the day, we would be
6 divided into two groups, so that we could investigate
7 the nature of the complaints which had been made to
8 us. After that, both senior representatives of the
9 Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats were to make
10 a report to their headquarters; they were to
11 investigate what had been said and then possibly to
12 come back to the Commission in the following days in
13 order to state what steps they wanted to take or what
14 had been taken in order to remedy the situation.
15 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown
16 Exhibit 287. (Handed). Together with the French
17 translation, which is 287A.
18 Now, very briefly, Colonel, if you could
19 explain to the court what this document shows, as to
20 the implementation of the earlier orders which you have
21 presented to the court?
22 A. When the Joint Committee would meet, this
23 meant that the Busovaca Committee was to present to the
24 Joint Committee a report on each of the sections which
25 the cease-fire of 13th February was to cover.
1 So, what you have in front of you is an
2 example, from the beginning of April, which shows the
3 progress which both factions had made over the
4 preceding month insofar as the implementation of the
5 agreements of 13th February are concerned.
6 Q. If I could direct you to order 432, which is
7 "return of people". If you could explain to the court
8 the progress that had been made in that respect? That
9 is, the return of individuals to their original home in
10 the region.
11 A. As it is written in French, you have to
12 understand that the conflicts which had taken place in
13 Central Bosnia were conflicts which were not purely
14 military but which implicated certain civilians. Some
15 people had been displaced for security reasons, or had
16 been saved for security reasons. Before one was able
17 to implement fully all of the directions which had been
18 signed, a climate of confidence had to be created in
19 order to allow people to go back freely.
20 You must understand that at that time
21 there were not many institutions operating in
22 Central Bosnia. The police were not terribly active.
23 There was no justice system in place. The two military
24 chiefs therefore represented, for all practical
25 purposes the authority par excellence which
1 predominated at the time, and that is why at that time
2 we decided to come to this agreement in such a way that
3 both the original chiefs would be able to initiate
4 a series of procedures which would allow them to
5 normalise the situation and which would allow them to
6 gradually ensure that the situation would go back to
8 But you should understand the fact that we
9 were aware of the fact that before allowing people to
10 go back to their homes, other things had to be done
11 first. So, what the report stated, among other things,
12 was that we were not as successful as we would have
13 hoped to have been and that the agreements of 13th
14 February had not been fully implemented.
15 Q. Now, Colonel, if we could move ahead and
16 briefly give an example of an investigation of
17 a complaint on the Busovaca Joint Commission and
18 specifically I want to refer to you the village of
19 Skradno and the events which took place in that village
20 in early March?
21 A. One of my first investigations involved the
22 complaints which had been made by the Bosnian Muslims,
23 saying that the small enclave in Skradno, which was
24 very close to Busovaca, in which most of the people
25 were Muslims, were complaining of harassment, of
1 thefts, and they asked us to investigate this with a
2 delegation from UNPROFOR -- that is HVO representatives
3 and Bosnian Muslims -- with us. We went to investigate
4 the nature of the complaints in that small village.
5 I should tell you, and I remember very well,
6 because it was the first experience that I had, the
7 first -- the first practical investigation that I had
8 carried out since my arrival in Bosnia. When I came
9 into the village, this village which -- I could see
10 that there were many women weeping and that is what
11 impressed me.
12 The village of Skradno was a little village
13 of farmers. Most of the workers were women with
14 children and then there was men as well. We were told
15 that the village was mainly guarded by the police and
16 by the HVO and that the people were not free to move
17 about. There were regular thefts of automobiles, which
18 was very inconvenient for the people and prevented some
19 of them from going to work.
20 People were not allowed to go freely to do
21 work in their fields and, in addition to that,
22 I actually was made aware of certain harassment
23 complaints by certain women. These women told me that
24 regularly people would come to bother them during the
25 night, people who were dressed in black and who had
1 masks and who would force the people to go out of their
2 homes and there would be a kind of a fake execution,
3 because at that point the people would be lined up
4 against their homes and the people responsible for them
5 would aim at them and fire at them but of course they
6 would not be wounded.
7 We could see that on two of the houses that
8 there were obvious traces of bullets in the walls
9 slightly above the heads of those people. So you
10 understand that this created a very difficult climate
11 for those people who were living there, and after that
12 I was told that if the people wanted to leave the
13 village of Skradno, they could do so, but so long as
14 they would sign a piece of paper saying that they were
15 doing it freely and that they would not come back to
17 Q. Which authority was trying to make them sign
18 this piece of paper to say that they were leaving
20 A. What I understood was simple. It was kind of
21 a pocket of Muslims within a municipality which had an
22 HVO predominant population. So the police or military
23 units which surrounded the village were directly or
24 indirectly under the control of the military HVO
1 Q. Now, after you had investigated this
2 complaint, did you speak to Franjo Nakic, the deputy
3 commander of the HVO, about the matter?
4 A. At that point, I do not think Mr. Nakic was
5 with me when I went for the first visit, but since
6 I mentioned his name before -- there was not only
7 Mr. Nakic but other representatives of the HVO and those
8 people were present with us when we would interrogate
9 people and they would, afterwards, as a matter of
10 course, make a report up the chain of command. Then,
11 within a reasonable amount of time, they were supposed
12 to show us what improvements had been made as to any
13 problems which had been attributed to them.
14 Q. Is it your view that whenever you -- or is it
15 a fact -- that whenever you investigated this type of
16 incident, that the matter was reported up the chain of
17 command in the HVO and, indeed, the Bosnian Army?
18 A. Yes. Yes, that was the very nature of the
19 Commission and the agreement was that possibly whatever
20 had been reported by the Commission should move along
21 and be reported directly to the various headquarters of
22 both forces.
23 Q. I should imagine that in your time on the
24 Commission, you investigated a significant number of
25 these types of incidences?
1 A. Yes, definitively I did. In short, as I said
2 to you, most of the afternoon, while we would
3 deliberate, the days were really devoted to
4 investigating the nature of the protest that we had
6 MR. CAYLEY: If we could now move on and the
7 witness could be shown Exhibit 288, which is also
8 translated into French as Exhibit 288A. (Handed).
9 Could you explain to the court the nature of
10 this document, your involvement in these events, and
11 what conclusions it led you to believe about the chain
12 of command in the HVO and the Bosnian Army?
13 A. Well, in order to try to simplify the
14 structure of both armed groups that we were faced with,
15 the operational command of the HVO and of the Bosnian
16 Muslims represented the operational level. Directly
17 below them was what one could call a more military --
18 they were brigades which were directly responsible for
19 some sectors of municipalities, and beneath each of the
20 brigades was a series of what one could call "local
21 commands", perhaps the equivalent of company or
22 battalion commanders. Therefore, the work that we had
23 to do explains the progression that we made.
24 You should understand that the agreements of
25 13th February had been signed on the operational
1 command level and their application was to take place
2 on the level of the local commands. Therefore, the
3 Commission worked in such a way that we possibly would
4 it be able to meet with the brigade commands, then
5 after that to meet the local commanders, so that, among
6 other things, we would be able to maintain a cease-fire
7 and so that we would be able to be sure that those
8 people carried out what they had -- were to do.
9 You should understand this was a rather
10 unusual situation; that is, the belligerents had
11 regrouped within various municipalities and there were
12 kind of artificial dealings which had been created
13 between these municipalities -- or that you could
14 find in the same village you could find a village which
15 would have a majority of Muslims or a majority of
16 Croats and the two sections, because of the conflict,
17 had established a kind of surveillance post, armed
18 trenches with military equipment which really would
19 survey -- amounted to one or another, almost 24 hours
20 a day. Any kind of belligerency on the other part, the
21 second party would respond by firing, then there
22 sometimes would be people who were wounded, as a result
23 of the exchange of fire.
24 One of our tasks was to be sure that there
25 would be better understanding and a better sharing of
1 information between the commanders, so possibly one
2 would be able to disengage them and to space out these
3 trenches which allowed them to monitor one another.
4 So, we wanted to move out the trenches which
5 were what I could say were near -- right next to the
6 belligerent parties.
7 Q. I think, in fact, this report indicates that
8 you were successful in ensuring that the two local
9 commanders in Solakovici actually filled up their
10 front-line positions?
11 A. You should understand that around 6th April,
12 we were very optimistic, despite a rather difficult
13 beginning, and we tried to regroup these people. At
14 that time, we had to think a great deal; we had
15 a mediate between the two groups of belligerents in
16 order to facilitate the progression forward. But
17 around 6th April we had had a lot of success and you
18 should understand that these meetings took place
19 regularly, either on the Bosnian -- on the Muslim or
20 Croatian side, which meant that the local commanders
21 had to be moved about.
22 When originally this was done, we did this
23 under armed escort -- the British took care of that,
24 which allowed us to use our light vehicles in a more
25 efficient fashion in order to transport people and
1 around 6th April the local belligerents met without
2 even any need for ECMM Monitors, because the
3 relationships between them had become normalised and
4 there was less and less breaches of cease-fires.
5 You should understand those people were not
6 enemies going back for many years, but frequently they
7 were neighbours, they were people who had gone to the
8 same schools, but for one reason or another had become
9 enemies. Once we were able to initiate dialogue
10 between them through frequent exchanges we were in a
11 position to renew certain links of camaraderie which
13 I must say around 6th April, in my sector,
14 which was the sector which was in the south-east of
15 Busovaca, that is the Kacuni region, Trnpole and Gornji
16 and Solakovici, I could say that the relations were
17 excellent and we that were moving toward the
18 achievement of what we were aiming at.
19 But I would like to add, nonetheless, that
20 there was a great deal of concern -- the local
21 commanders wanted to have written orders from the
22 brigade commanders in which it would be stated clearly,
23 in writing, that they had to fill up the trenches.
24 We had the orders from the operational level
25 commanders saying that they accepted -- in fact, they
1 gave the order that these trenches be filled up.
2 MR. CAYLEY: In fact, you have provided to the
3 Prosecutor a copy of this order which, in the original
4 language is Exhibit 289. The French translation is
5 289A and the English translation, which is a field
6 translation, is 289B.
7 If that could be shown to the witness.
9 Colonel, you stated that orders were required
10 for these filling in of trenches to be required.
11 Indeed, this level of command was two below the
12 operational zone command; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that is correct.
14 Q. Now, you are an army officer, what did this
15 actually indicate to you about the chain of command,
16 both in the HVO and the Bosnian Army?
17 A. It simply indicated there was a great deal of
18 distrust on the part of the people and that people --
19 at least the belligerents on the battalion or company
20 level -- did not want to be seen as having taken
21 initiatives which might go against certain strategies
22 of their own chains of command.
23 Therefore, this meant that we needed these
24 kinds of orders, despite the fact that we had already
25 had a rather broad cease-fire. But the chain of
1 command wanted to cover their own -- to protect
2 themselves, to cover their own backs when they would
3 fill up the trenches, and not be accused of treason.
4 They really wanted it to be understood that they had
5 received written orders. There was a great deal of
6 distrust in regard to their own chain of command.
7 Q. Now you stated that they required written
8 orders because that might go against certain strategies
9 of their own chain of command. Do you believe, in
10 respect of the HVO, was the strategy of that chain of
11 command not in synchronisation with these activities you
12 were involved in?
13 A. I would have to admit to you that, starting
14 in April, there was a type of situation which was
15 difficult to explain and which was shared by all of
16 these ECMM Monitors and by some other elements from the
17 Zagreb headquarters, meaning that both on the local
18 level, or on the level of those people on the ground
19 who had goodwill and who wanted to normalise relations,
20 it did seem that on the HVO level, as regards -- in
21 respect of realisation of other agreements that they
22 had signed, that any excuse could be used in order to
23 delay the implementation.
24 At that time, we should understand that at
25 the end of March/beginning of April, the strategic
1 situation of the Bosnian Army was very fragile. The
2 Bosnian Army had to fight on two fronts, almost. The
3 Serbs were more and more aggressive. This was at the
4 time, you remember, there was a great deal spoken about
5 security zones, safe zones and that there were
6 reinforcement -- and resupply convoys, became less
7 frequent for Bosnia. There was an enormous amount of
8 difficulty for the Bosnians, they had more and more
9 difficulty in maintaining the training -- maintaining
10 the control -- the territory they controlled in one
12 They would -- it would seem later they were
13 in a better position and it was clear that at that
14 time, in Central Bosnia, for reasons having to do with
15 better lines of communication, or better reinforcement,
16 the HVO was in a strategically much stronger position
17 than the Bosnians. Therefore, one could see at that
18 time that as much as the local people wanted to
19 normalise the situation, the strategy of the HVO wanted
20 just as much to delay the implementation of the
21 agreements. As much as one can say for -- to some
22 extent one can say that the Bosnians tried by every
23 means possible to meet their needs by adopting a very
24 conciliatory attitude towards the HVO, or the HVO
25 representatives, before they would implement some of
1 the agreements which had been signed on 13th February.
2 Q. What is the date of this particular order
3 that was issued by both the Busovaca HVO brigade
4 commander and the Busovaca Bosnian Army brigade
5 commander? I think you will find it is 9th April?
6 A. Yes, there is 9th April and 8th April.
7 I think that the order, as such, could not be signed
8 with both of the generals but when we were going from
9 one brigade command -- I had to go another and one
10 would sign and then the other; everything was done
11 around the 8th and 9th April.
12 Q. How long after the original agreement which
13 had been signed by Colonel Blaskic and Colonel
14 Halilovic was this order given by the brigade commander
15 in Busovaca?
16 A. You should understand that the first
17 cease-fire or the original cease-fire was signed around
18 13th February, so, you see, everything was signed on
19 13th February and about six weeks later the brigade
20 commanders gave written orders to their local
21 commanders for the execution, among other things, of
22 the filling up of the trenches.
23 Q. What does that space of time indicate to you,
24 the gap between the signing of the original order, and
25 then the signing of this order on 9th April?
1 A. Obviously, it shows that even though the
2 original intentions were to implement the agreement of
3 13th February, in practice, the will was not fully
4 present to actually implement the agreement on the
5 cease-fire, because there was lack of confidence
6 between the belligerents and they sought every possible
7 way to reassure themselves that they would not do
8 something that could have negative consequences during
9 this period; particularly, those who were in a weaker
11 Q. If we could now move on to an incident in
12 which you were involved in the village of Solakovici,
13 where I think you reunited an old Bosnian Croat
14 couple. I would like you to briefly to explain the
15 facts of that incident to the court then, in fact, give
16 your conclusions on those events, what those events
17 indicated to you about the conflict that was taking
18 place in the Lasva Valley.
19 A. It should be said that when I arrived in
20 Bosnian territory, I already had an understanding of
21 the situation. I was convinced that we were facing an
22 ethnic conflict, that the Catholics detested the
23 Muslims and vice versa.
24 During our meeting with local commanders,
25 among others, in the small village of Solakovici,
1 composed of both elements, Gornji Solakovici, which
2 means "above" and Donji Solakovici is "below", the
3 Muslims were concentrated in the upper part and the
4 Croats were in the lower part.
5 During the first meeting, held in Gornji
6 Solakovici, when I escorted HVO representatives, an old
7 Croat man came, crying, asking me to give certain
8 objects to his wife, who, since the beginning of the
9 conflict, had been separated from him. His wife had
10 stayed behind in the house, the Muslim area, whereas he
11 at that point in time was working with the people in
12 the Croatian area and he wanted to have news of his
13 wife. He did not know the conditions under which she
14 was living.
15 Therefore, I took the initiative to ask the
16 Croatian representative whether there would be any
17 problems if I took the old man, because I must tell you
18 that -- whether I could take him with us, and so that
19 he could, himself, see what the position of his wife
21 So, to make a long story short, I managed to
22 convince the Croats that we could leave this man with
23 his wife. When I saw the warm welcome given to him by
24 the Muslim villagers, the local Muslim commanders had
25 no difficulty in allowing the old man to stay there
1 with his wife.
2 After that, I met them regularly. Everything
3 seemed to be going fine. The people were happy, and
4 I think that this was one of the occasions when I felt
5 I was able to bring a little happiness to these
7 Later on, the situation was aggravated, the
8 conflicts resumed, and the people of Gornji Solakovici
9 were isolated and one evening they were shelled and
10 I was not able to visit them as frequently as
11 I wanted. After another cease-fire, I was able to
12 return to Gornji Solakovici to see that the old man was
13 no longer there.
14 He could not understand at all what was
15 happening in his village. He could not understand that
16 the people from below were shelling his Muslim friends
17 and his wife found him about three or four o'clock in
18 the morning hanging. The old lady wanted to stay
19 there. She would not leave him. She was not able to
20 give a funeral service for her husband.
21 I am saying all this to tell you that this
22 gave me the impression that the people did not
23 understand what was happening. They could not
24 understand that their friends -- age-old friends -- had
25 become such bad people.
1 There seemed to be a will beyond them, that
2 forced these people to do things which they did not
3 really always want to do; the local people did not want
4 to do.
5 From that moment, I understood it was not
6 a war of religion in this corner of the country, but
7 that it was something artificial; an attempt to provoke
8 incidents and violence, hoping that eventually those
9 incidents would encourage hate, revenge, and, thus
10 result in control over people who hated one another,
11 following the atrocities that were committed against
12 their family members or friends.
13 Q. Now, you stated that you believed that the
14 people in the villages had got along very well together
15 and had previously got along very well together, but
16 that there was an attempt to provoke incidences and
17 violence between them. Who do you believe was actually
18 behind that provocation?
19 A. At that time, it became evident that, for
20 reasons of strategy which I may explain a little later,
21 perhaps, there were numerous incidents that were
22 provoked on the part of the HVO in order to provoke
23 reaction from the Muslims and, eventually, to have
24 every reason to be able to react against those
25 reactions of those people.
1 I must say that at that point in time it was
2 important for the HVO, on the one hand, to be able to
3 gain international support by signing such cease-fires
4 and in March and the beginning of April to adhere to
5 the Vance-Owen Plan, and the HVO was the first ethnic
6 group to sign that Plan.
7 On the one hand the signal was given to the
8 international community that they were very interested
9 in achieving conciliation and, on the other hand, one
10 could see that behind the scenes there was another
11 strategy that was being developed. They really wanted
12 to consolidate their positions and, among other things,
13 to make sure that the territories that would become
14 Croatian territories, according to the Vance-Owen Plan,
15 would be controlled fully by Croats and that the
16 majority of Croats would remain within those provinces
17 and they would do everything to facilitate or initiate
18 the departure of Muslims so that they may go to Muslim
19 areas and the Croats could come to Croatian areas.
20 I can explain in greater detail with the help
21 of maps, perhaps, my understanding of the situation as
22 it was at that point in time in Central Bosnia;
23 a situation that showed that in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
24 with the importance that the centre in Mostar had,
25 which was the HVO base at the time.
1 Q. Now, to finish this area of your testimony,
2 how would you describe the degrees of cooperation of
3 the HVO command and the Bosnian Army command in respect
4 of the implementation of cease-fires and the related
5 agreements? Can you give the court the reasons why --
6 if there was a difference in the approaches of the two
8 A. Let me repeat a little bit of what I said.
9 It was not just my understanding, but the understanding
10 of the whole regional centre of Zenica that we were
11 facing a situation where the two sides did not look
12 upon the situation from the same angle. The Bosniaks
13 were in a situation to face two fronts; they wanted to
14 have an agreement with the HVO so as to be able to use
15 communication routes leading to Central Bosnia, because
16 at the time HVO controlled the main routes leading to
17 Central Bosnia for purposes of supplies, with food and
18 ammunition and, on the other hand, it was apparent that
19 the HVO had a tactical and strategic position which was
20 far more favourable for them.
21 They, on the other hand, wanted to use that
22 position to be able to slow down, to their advantage,
23 the implementation of these various cease-fire
24 agreements so as to be able to exercise better control
25 over the totality of provinces which would possibly
1 come under Croatian control; the HVO control.
2 It should also be said that at the same time
3 there were -- non-written agreements, but agreements
4 between certain HVO factions and Serb factions. This
5 allowed the HVO to bring even stronger pressure to bear
6 on the Bosnian party.
7 Also, there were reports at the level of the
8 Monitoring Mission where there was reference to a tacit
9 agreement between Milosevic and Tudjmann regarding the
10 possible division of Bosnia and that this division
11 would probably be based on the Vance-Owen Plan and
12 provinces that were designated as Croatian majority
13 provinces would become Croatian. So that there
14 appeared to be an attitude on the part of the HVO that
15 was very intransigent with respect to the Bosniaks.
16 It is also rather curious, but one has to
17 know that at the same time, since the beginning of the
18 conflict, there were HVO troops that were fighting side
19 by side with the Bosniak forces in the north of
20 Central Bosnia. At the time, the region of Tuzla,
21 there were HVO troops which, from the beginning of the
22 conflict, were able to support and fight on the Bosniak
23 side against the Serbs.
24 Therefore, this gave us an impression that,
25 in fact, there was something rather bizarre going on,
1 why the Croats or the HVO of Central Bosnia were so
2 intransigent and delayed so much cooperation with the
3 Bosniaks while, at the same time, the same HVO, the
4 same Bosnian Croats in the north of Central Bosnia did
5 not seek to avoid the Bosniaks but, on the contrary,
6 joined the Bosniak forces to fight on a regular basis
7 against the Serbs.
8 The only way in which I could explain that
9 was that there was some kind of an agreement somewhere
10 and that it was a strategic decision that the HVO
11 should be concentrated in the south of Bosnia, whereas
12 the rest of the Bosniak territory would, perhaps, be
13 given to the Serbs. That was the understanding or the
14 only understanding that I was at that time able to give
15 to events.
16 My contacts with the local population -- and
17 I had many -- showed me, once again, that these people
18 were ready not to forget the past, but to cooperate.
19 They wanted to stay in their houses; to live with
20 Bosniak and their Croatian neighbours. Therefore, for
21 me, and not just for me but the people I worked with,
22 the only way for us to understand this attitude was
23 that there must have been an HVO strategy which sought
24 in every way to gain absolute control over
25 Central Bosnia, so as, once it was accomplished, to be
1 able to separate and divide Bosnia between them and the
3 MR. CAYLEY: I think, Mr. President, this is an
4 appropriate time to pause. We are moving into the next
5 section of Colonel Landry's testimony.
6 JUDGE JORDA: I quite agree with you,
7 Mr. Cayley. We will resume work tomorrow at 2.30.
8 (6.30 pm)
9 (The hearing adjourned until 2.30 pm
10 on Tuesday, 21st April 1998)