1 Tuesday, 21st April 1998
2 (2.45 pm)
3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Have the
4 accused brought in.
5 (The accused entered court)
6 Mr. Cayley, we will now, once again, have the
7 witness brought in. Let us have Lieutenant-Colonel
8 Landry brought in.
9 Mr. Cayley, you are going to remain true to
10 your summary, as you ask your questions? Sometimes we
11 move aside. If the Colonel wants to go into every
12 detail of every month that he was there it will be
13 a very long testimony.
14 It is not that he has to be -- just because
15 it is important does not mean that it has to be very,
16 very long. He has to say what he has to say, the most
17 important things. Try to get to the essential.
18 MR. CAYLEY: I accept what you say,
19 Mr. President. I have spoken to the witness and
20 actually said that he must be concise. Unfortunately
21 he was involved in an enormous number of incidences.
22 To break it up to what is relevant to the indictment is
23 not easy, but he will do his best.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much,
25 Mr. Cayley. The Tribunal has faith in you.
1 (The witness entered court)
2 Lieutenant-Colonel, you are going to settle
3 in again. There you are, you may be seated.
4 We are going to continue with the
5 examination-in-chief. Mr. Prosecutor.
6 LIEUTENANT-COLONEL LANDRY (continued)
7 Examined by MR. CAYLEY (continued)
8 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Good afternoon, Colonel.
10 One thing I would ask you, as discussed, if
11 when I ask my questions -- I realise you have much to
12 say and you were involved in many, many incidents in
13 your time in Bosnia, but if you could be as concise as
14 you can, then we will be able to finish your testimony
15 that much more quickly -- without, of course, missing
16 anything else. I know I ask a lot but it will move
17 things along more quickly.
18 If we could return to where we were
19 yesterday, which was the Busovaca Joint Commission,
20 that is where we ended yesterday.
21 The next subject I would like you to address
22 the court upon is the matter of the relative qualities
23 of the communication facilities of the HVO, the Bosnian
24 Croat forces and the Bosnian Army, and by
25 "communications", I mean not only radio communications
1 but road networks and means of networks being able to
2 communicate with each other in the field.
3 If you could summarise briefly for the court
4 your views on that.
5 A. It was clear at the time, in March and April
6 and May, that the tactical on-the-ground situation
7 seemed to be in favour of the HVO troops.
8 You remember that there were a large number
9 of BiH elements, that is the Bosnian Muslims who were
10 encircled, isolated. Therefore, it was much easier at
11 that time for the HVO to communicate with their troops
12 than it was for the Bosnian forces.
13 I remember on several occasions, Mr. Merdan
14 had to go away for a day or two in order to be able to
15 communicate with his units, which did not seem to be
16 the case -- it did not seem to be as difficult for the
17 units and sub-units of the HVO in Central Bosnia.
18 Q. Can you just remind the court who Mr. Merdan
20 A. Mr. Merdan, at that time, was the deputy
21 commander of the third camp and he was the
22 representative -- the official representative of the
23 third camp on the Busovaca Commission.
24 Q. He was -- there is a translation mistake, he
25 was the deputy commission of the Third Corps of the
1 Bosnian Army; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, that is -- the corps.
3 Q. Now dealing exclusively with transportation
4 routes, for resupply, could you explain to the court
5 who was in a better position and why control of those
6 supply routes was important?
7 A. Once again, when you look at the tactical
8 deployment of the Bosnian Muslim forces, you will see
9 that they who were in Central Bosnia were isolated.
10 There were Serbs in the north and in the south the
11 HVO. The major access routes in Central Bosnia were
12 either under Serb control or HVO control.
13 Q. So, would I be right in saying that it was
14 easier for the HVO to resupply their troops in the
15 field than it was for the Bosnian Army?
16 A. Yes. It was much easier for them. Much
17 easier to get re-supplied. You should also understand
18 that most of the supplies or the humanitarian aid that
19 was supposed to be brought to Central Bosnia and the
20 Tuzla region had to go through regions under HVO
22 MR. CAYLEY: If we can now move ahead to 12th
23 April of 1993, when I think you had occasion to go to
25 Now, I see you have taken your notebooks.
1 Mr. President, the witness has a number of
2 notebooks very much in the way of police officer keeps
3 contemporaneous notes. He will be using them to
4 refresh his memory. I have not read them. So, he will
5 simply be using it as a means of refreshing his
6 recollection if he needs to do so.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Is there any objection on the
8 part of the Defence?
9 MR. HAYMAN: We certainly want
10 Lieutenant-Colonel Remi Landry to refresh his
11 recollection and give the most accurate testimony.
12 When I question him I will ask how the notebooks have
13 been used, because there could be a situation where
14 they have been, in essence, read to the Prosecution.
15 In that situation, our position is the Defence would
16 have to have access of them to effectively
17 cross-examine. But I have no objection to proceeding
18 at this time.
19 JUDGE JORDA: You raised an objection;
20 Mr. Prosecutor, have you, yourself used these notes?
21 MR. CAYLEY: No, I just explained to the
22 court -- if Mr. Hayman does not believe me, he can ask
23 the witness, who has spent time with me. I have not
24 read the notebooks for this very reason, so this
25 problem does not arise.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Let me turn to my
3 All right, there is no objection to the
4 witness consulting his notes and then the Defence can
5 cross-examine the witness as to what he has said. It
6 has been accepted that the Prosecutor has not used
7 these notes unless it could be otherwise proved.
8 Therefore, answer the questions, please, that
9 you will be asked.
10 MR. CAYLEY: So, Colonel Landry, if you could
11 summarise to the court the events of 12th April 1993
12 and 13th April 1993, in Travnik.
13 A. I will try to be very concise, but I will
14 have to mention that the situation in Travnik began to
15 deteriorate around 8th April. That was the time around
16 which the Bosnian Muslims decided to respect the
17 Vance-Owen Plan and the Hotel Travnik began province
18 number 10 which was to be under control of the Bosnian
20 Starting on 8th April, there were incidents
21 which took place, which included incidents relating to
22 a flag or flags, Croatian flags which had been raised
23 at the City Hall. This degenerated into demonstrations
24 on the part of the Muslims. The flags were burned and
25 there were two Bosnian Muslims who were murdered.
1 Afterwards, around the 10th or 12th April,
2 the incidents got worse. After that, there was an
3 intervention of the HVO police, which took reprisals
4 against those people. They wanted to have apologies.
5 In a few days, the situation in Travnik had become
6 completely out of control and at that point we were
7 asked to go on site in order to see that the situations
8 is really out of control.
9 The civilians had erected road blocks; they
10 were keeping people from one or other of the ethnic
11 groups and it did seem that the city of Travnik was --
12 that is, what was going on in Travnik was going to get
13 worse and worse and turn into rioting.
14 With the assistance of BritBat, we tried to
15 establish a kind of a -- a time when people can go out
16 any more in order to calm things down. Around 12th
17 April things did calm down. Both the soldiers, the HVO
18 and the Bosnian -- and the Muslims and the civilians
19 could walk around.
20 I could say that at that time I was agreeably
21 surprised to realise that there were excellent
22 relations between the HVO and the Bosnian Muslim
23 military people.
24 You understand that Travnik was on the
25 border -- the Serb border within Bosnian territory,
1 so the relations between the various military groups
2 was excellent.
3 Q. When you arrived in Travnik on 12th April,
4 what was the position of the elected Bosnian Muslim
6 A. What did not help things is that those
7 Muslims who had been elected in Travnik were told they
8 could not keep their positions since Travnik was
9 supposed to come the capital of province number 10
10 which was Croatian, so it was unacceptable that the
11 Travnik City Hall be under Muslim control.
12 So the authorities who had been legally
13 elected were told -- that is the Muslim authorities --
14 were told to leave the City Hall and to leave the
15 positions open for the Croats.
16 Q. Did you negotiate with the HVO about the fact
17 that the mayor and his staff had effectively been
18 dismissed by the HVO?
19 A. There were discussions with Ambassador
20 Thebault and representatives in Travnik. At that time
21 we said it was the Vance-Owen Plan which had been
22 accepted and it was not acceptable that a Croatian
23 province -- that the capital of the Croatian province
24 have a municipality which be under Muslim control.
25 That is what I remember about the attitude
1 and behaviour of the authorities at that time. That is
2 the Bosnian Croat authorities in the city of Bosniak or
3 this province which was becoming province number 10.
4 Q. The HVO said it was unacceptable to have
5 a Muslim mayor and Muslim authorities in the city of
7 A. The Croatian -- Bosnian Croats said it was
8 not acceptable for the city of Travnik to be managed by
10 Q. If we can now move on in time to 14th April,
11 when I think a complaint was made by the HVO to the
12 Busovaca Joint Commission about the kidnapping of four
13 HVO staff officers.
14 Now, the court has heard about this matter
15 before, but I know that you were intimately involved in
16 these events. I wonder if you could briefly summarise
17 to the court what happened in this respect; your
18 investigation; how you managed the release of these
19 four staff officers. Most importantly, your views
20 about the cause of the kidnapping of these four staff
22 A. This period, as my notes show, shows that
23 there was a protest from the HVO representatives to the
24 Commission, according to which Croatian officers had
25 been kidnapped from the Novi Travnik region. Then
1 afterwards, that the general who was the commander of
2 one of the HVO brigades in Zenica had been kidnapped as
3 well. This was a kidnapping which resulted in the
4 death of four or five of his men.
5 Naturally, after that protest, everything was
6 done in order to attempt to find out where the HVO
7 officers had been taken. We contacted the Bosnian
8 authorities in Zenica in order to get -- to get the
9 right to pass through and to investigate the kidnapping
10 of the officers.
11 At that time, we thought that they were
12 Mujehadeen, who had been responsible for the
13 kidnapping. We were convinced that the Mujehadeen had
14 a special relationship with the Muslim brigade which
15 was under the control of the Third Corps.
16 Realising that Merdan had very specific
17 relations -- that is the deputy to the Third Corps
18 commander -- had relations with the Muslim commanders.
19 In the following days we tried to find the road which
20 we thought that the Mujehadeen had taken, with the
21 officers in question.
22 This took us to Bugojno, which was about --
23 somewhat south-west of Zenica, south-west of Travnik and
24 during the two or three following days, I was directly
25 involved in trying to go back and see what had
1 happened. But unfortunately we were not at all
2 successful and we were not able to find the Mujehadeen
3 or to have the officers -- the Croatian officers
5 One should remember -- one should keep in
6 mind that before this, at the end of March, the same
7 protests had been made by the Muslims, according to
8 whom Muslims -- foreign Muslims, people had come from
9 outside of Bosnia who had been captured and illegally
10 held by the HVO in the Kaonik prison inside of
11 Busovaca. This happened two times with two small
12 groups of Muslims who had been captured.
13 Nonetheless, in May, we were contacted by
14 Mujehadeen. Since I was the only one who spoke French
15 at that time, except for Ambassador Thebault at the
16 regional centre, I am the one who was the translator
17 and served as the negotiator with the Mujehadeen. They
18 had come from Algeria.
19 Finally, we learned that those people had
20 captured the Croatian officers and that in exchange for
21 the return of the five Croatian officers, they demanded
22 the release of 10 or 11 Muslims who were being detained
23 in Kaonik. With the help of the Red Cross and with the
24 help of UNPROFOR, we were successful in having the
25 Croatians exchanged for the Muslims.
1 Since the headquarters for this operation --
2 this negotiation was in Zenica, the Croatian officers
3 were released in Zenica and I was there at that time.
4 That is the time when they were released and exchanged
5 for the Muslim officers.
6 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Colonel.
7 If the witness could be shown Exhibit 290,
8 which is your final report on this matter. (Handed).
9 This, I think, is a summary of what you have
10 already told us. Perhaps it is in more detail.
11 If you could read paragraph 9.
12 A. "Colonel Blaskic accepted to release 11
13 foreign detainees kept in Kaonik prison in return for
14 the five HVO officers. He declared that they were
15 all they had under HVO control."
16 Q. Now, these foreign nationals, these Muslim
17 foreign nationals that had been detained, I think they
18 are listed in annex C. Did you know anything about
19 these individuals?
20 A. The only information that we had about these
21 individuals was given to us at the time of the protests
22 that were made in March and at the beginning of April,
23 the protests from the BiH, according to which foreign
24 Muslims had been captured, and afterwards we were able
25 to learn who they were, according to the report that
1 the Red Cross gave to us at the time.
2 What I was able to understand about that
3 situation, because I was not able to speak with those
4 individuals, was that they had been arrested by the HVO
5 at checkpoints on the roads, perhaps in the sectors
6 that were under HVO control, and then given their
7 nationality. The people were stripped of their
8 belongings and captured and then put into detention in
9 the military Busovaca prison.
10 After that, specific arrangements were made
11 with the Red Cross so that these people might
12 eventually be extradited to their own country. So, as
13 far as I know, they did not remain in Bosnia once they
14 had been released.
15 Q. Is it your view that these HVO staff officers
16 were kidnapped by the Mujehadeen as a bargaining
17 counter to obtain the release of these foreign Muslims
18 in Kaonik prison?
19 A. In my opinion, yes, that is more or less what
20 happened, but you should remember that we had -- we had
21 had protests asking for their release. They had not
22 been released and I would have to assume that the
23 Croatian officers had been kidnapped so that eventually
24 these Muslims -- the release of these Muslims could be
1 Q. Thank you. If we could now move on again,
3 This is actually moving backwards in time,
4 because the release of these HVO staff officers and the
5 foreign nationals took place in May. I believe that
6 during your investigation into this matter for the HVO,
7 you found yourself in Vitez on the night of 15th April;
8 is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that is right. On 15th April, that is
10 where I was. You should understand that around 15th
11 April, the activities in Travnik -- what was going on
12 in Travnik really was very disturbing to us and my task
13 was to try to investigate the Croatian protests,
14 according to which the officers had been kidnapped.
15 Therefore, I went on a special mission in order to
16 visit the Bugojno visit so that I could find the
18 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, thank you. You have
19 explained that already. What I want to concentrate is
20 on the morning of 16th April you found yourself at the
21 ECMM house in Vitez. I would like you to explain to
22 the court very briefly the events of that day as you
23 can recall them.
24 To assist you, if the witness could be shown
25 Exhibit 291, which is a map which you drew for me,
1 which has had some computer-generated marks placed on
2 it which matched the markings you made on an original
3 map. (Handed).
4 A. The joint Busovaca Commission, for several
5 weeks had moved right near to the BritBat battalion
6 headquarters at the north-west extremity of Vitez over
7 here. (Indicating).
8 This is where we had our residence, so that
9 the Commission could meet 24 hours a day if necessary.
10 Therefore, on the morning of the 16th, I left with our
11 armoured vehicle and with one of my colleagues, the
12 driver, in order to go back to Zenica.
13 For several weeks already we had had no
14 trouble moving about on that road and we could use the
15 mountain roads. That is what we did early in the
16 morning between 9.30 and 9.00. We took the road and,
17 at this point --
18 Q. You are pointing to point 2, the circle
19 marked "2", and you are following the blue route marked
20 "A" at the moment; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, that is right.
22 Q. If you could spell out as we go along, for
23 the purposes of the transcript, the particular point
24 that you are referring to, the number, it makes it
25 clearer for everybody.
1 A. The road in blue is the one that we used in
2 the morning. The yellow road is the road that we used
3 at night, the night of the 16th.
4 Point number "1" is the city of Vitez, that
5 is the location of upper Vitez, that was a Muslim
6 pocket, which was located there and then point "2",
7 which is the point where we had a meeting with
8 civilians, civilians who had been forced to lie down in
9 the middle of the road, and when we went -- when we saw
10 them, we had to go around them. We slowed our vehicles
11 down, we drove around them. At that point, I asked my
12 driver to go back because it was a rather unusual
13 situation, it is not every day that you see civilians,
14 four or five civilians lying face-down on the road.
15 We went back, we crossed by them again and we
16 just did not understand what was going on because I was
17 not in a position, nor was my colleague, to see who was
18 forcing the people to lie down on the road like that.
19 We could see that by the look on their faces that they
20 were in a difficult situation.
21 The third time that we went back the group,
22 it was when we saw that there were soldiers, or at
23 least people wearing black uniforms, with light arms,
24 and they were hiding behind the houses and it was at
25 that point I could say that they -- we were able to see
1 them and I simply asked my driver to speed up and to
2 get away.
3 I have to tell you that the faces on the
4 people who were lying on the road were something very
5 moving. They were asking for assistance. It was
6 a very difficult moment, when we had to leave those
7 people there, when we should have been able to help
9 After that incident, we continued, and I have
10 to tell you that our attention had been drawn somewhat
11 by the machine-gun firing -- sub-machine-gun firing that
12 was coming from the centre of Vitez. That is why
13 I asked -- there was anti-tank firing, there was
14 sub-machine-gun firing coming from there.
15 So we continued along this road and when we
16 reached this point, ordinarily it was a point where the
17 HVO had a road block and we noticed that this control
18 point, as opposed to what we were used to during the
19 previous days, had been reinforced. By that, I mean
20 that instead of having the usual machine-gun which did
21 not have anybody right near it in order to use it, we
22 could easily see that there were between three, four,
23 five, HVO people who were preventing all traffic from
24 moving through.
25 We stopped. We tried to speak with those
1 people, and to say to them that ECMM had entered into
2 agreements with the belligerents and we wanted to go
3 through. We were told that was not possible. At the
4 time there was fighting on the mountain road and we
5 said: "All right, then we will take the yellow road",
6 which is the valley road and which goes around the
7 group of mountains in order to get back to Zenica. We
8 were told: "No, you cannot go through, it is for your
9 own safety, there is military operations going on, you
10 cannot go through."
11 At that point we decided we would go back, we
12 would return to Vitez. We tried to communicate with
13 the HVO headquarters in order to speak with the people
14 in positions of authority and, according to my notes --
15 my notes indicate that I tried to communicate with the
16 HVO commander, Colonel Blaskic, but I was told he was
17 not available.
18 After that, we spent the day in our house in
19 Vitez. I should say during the day there was
20 fighting. At least there was sub-machinegun -- there
21 was mortar and machine-gun firing and the sounds were
22 heard coming from Vitez and from our sector. It seemed
23 that BritBat, as well as ourselves, found ourselves
24 between the two firing positions of the BiH forces and
25 the HVO ones.
1 At that time in the evening, we decided -- we
2 tried to join the Zenica area. At that time, we noted
3 that at point 3 here (indicating), that the HVO forces
4 were only blocking the road going in the direction of
5 mountains, saying that they were not negotiable and
6 that the road had been mined. So, at that time we
7 continued along the road, the yellow road going towards
9 Now, along the section 4 which actually is
10 quite close, we learned that it was close to the Ahmici
11 village, we saw that the village was on fire. We came
12 closer and we could see that the mosque had been
13 destroyed. Indeed, it had been broken in half. We
14 could see that there were flames that were lighting up
15 the sky. We had the impression that the entire village
16 was on fire.
17 We continued along our path and we arrived at
18 this particular area. We were able to see that on the
19 road there were four bodies lying there, four dead
20 bodies along the side of the road.
21 The instructions we had received prevented us
22 from stopping to see what was going on and what had
23 happened to those four persons, four dead persons lying
24 along the road. So we continued and we joined then up
25 with the headquarters.
1 Q. Just a couple of questions to clarify
2 matters: at the HVO checkpoint that you referred to at
3 3, when you arrived there on the morning of 16th April,
4 were they regular HVO soldiers that were manning that
6 A. These were HVO soldiers who were in charge of
7 controlling that particular post, that traffic area.
8 It was more than a traffic post. It gave the
9 impression that it was some sort of position that could
10 stop any traffic that would try to go through that
11 point, either coming from the north or from the south.
12 Q. The four corpses that you saw on the road,
13 did you identify them as military personnel or as
15 A. They were civilians, but the image -- I can
16 say that these people were not dressed in military
17 clothing that we knew quite well, neither from the BiH
18 side nor from the HVO side. It seemed to me that they
19 were civilians.
20 Q. Colonel, you have been a professional soldier
21 for many years. Can you briefly say to the court the
22 conclusion you came to at the time as to what was
23 taking place in Vitez and Ahmici on that day?
24 A. The conclusion that I was able to share with
25 my colleagues at the regional centre in Zenica is that
1 indeed there was some sort of military operation that
2 was orchestrated around the Ahmici village.
3 Why do I talk about a military operation?
4 Well, it was obvious that Ahmici had been a tactical
5 objective. Ahmici is located in a zone predominantly
6 dominated by the HVO. So, we would call this
7 a "clean-up" operation. We had established whether --
8 checkpoints had been established on the road from Amna
9 to Ahmici and more mobile troops then carried out
10 clean-up operations and then actually went to attack
11 the village itself. But the forces we met in the
12 morning, were simply troops finishing up the clean-up
13 job and attempting to clean up and hide any evidence of
14 what had happened at the Ahmici village.
15 Q. Now, you stated that the entire village was
16 burning when you arrived in the evening.
17 A. Yes, it was quite obvious. We could see that
18 there was an immense fire coming from that area.
19 Q. Is it normal practice, in a clean-up
20 operation, to burn an entire village to the ground?
21 A. No, not normally. Normally, what occurred
22 was that several things could happen. This kind of
23 cleansing operation, especially for an area of tactical
24 importance -- first of all, you would destroy certain
25 buildings or houses, either those areas that may
1 contain some sort of military munitions, but it was
2 quite usual -- rather, it was quite unusual to actually
3 go ahead and burn a village. It is very difficult for
4 me to say from a military respective, to say what was
5 the reasons from a military respective to carry out
6 such a carnage.
7 Later on we went to visit this village, just
8 a few days later, with Ambassador Thebault and under an
9 armed escort provided by the BritBat from the number 4
10 forces and we -- then I personally saw that there was
11 no defensible position in this village, in the sense
12 that this village was never prepared either by the
13 Bosnians or by the HVO to defend itself. It seemed to
14 be simply a village without any Defence, which was
15 quite frankly simply destroyed, for reasons which were
16 of no tactical importance.
17 If this village did have some tactical
18 importance, perhaps it would have been for the HVO to
19 be able to consolidate their position and to maintain
20 some sort of observation post or stop post for the
21 military operations.
22 Q. Indeed, in the evening, did you find -- on
23 the evening of 16th April -- were there HVO infantry in
24 the village consolidating any sort of position?
25 A. Be more precise. Are you talking about the
1 evening of the 16th, when we saw the village on fire;
2 is that what you mean?
3 Q. Correct.
4 A. When we went by the village on the 16th,
5 there was no military presence that was near the
6 village. Once again, if it had been a military
7 objective, this particular village would have at least
8 have had a military presence, at least to confirm the
9 victory or at least the objective that was at hand.
10 Once again, I like to repeat that at the
11 point of contact number 2 -- I am sorry, correction,
12 point 3, which you see there on your screen, the forces
13 that were there, had been there that morning, had
14 diminished later on. There were many people there
16 So, once again, I had some difficulty
17 understanding this type of objective, this military
18 objective was truly one -- was really such a military
19 objective, because normally this is what we would find
20 in that kind of operation. But to see it completely
21 destroyed without seeing any military operands left
22 behind is unusual.
23 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I think we can now move
25 That evening, when you eventually managed to
1 pass the valley road, you returned to Zenica and
2 I think you found that the HVO brigade that had been
3 based in Zenica had left. I wonder if you can briefly
4 explain to the court what had happened to the HVO
5 brigade in Zenica.
6 A. It seemed that the evening of the 16th or the
7 17th, there was some reaction by the Bosnian troops at
8 the HQ, at the headquarters. It seemed that most of
9 them had come from the Zenica area and it seemed that
10 some action was taken to stop or to try to confront
11 some of these brigades who were near this opening --
12 road leading into the mountains.
13 Now, there were some troops leaving from
14 Vitez going to Zenica. These were basically HVO
15 troops. What I learned later on was when we arrived
16 that there were some combat that had been taking place
17 during the evening, particularly on these mountain
18 roads between HVO and Bosnian troops. I learned later
19 on then that several male Croats living in Zenica, the
20 majority of which were military, were disarmed,
21 arrested and placed in the Zenica prison.
22 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown
23 Exhibit 292, together with the French translation,
24 292A. (Handed).
25 Now, this is a protest purportedly from
1 Colonel Blaskic, dated 18th April, which was received
2 both by UNPROFOR in Bila and by the ECMM in Zenica. Do
3 you recall receiving this document at your headquarters
4 in Zenica?
5 A. Yes, of course.
6 Q. Now, I think -- and we will move on to this
7 in a moment -- the ECMM actually reacted to this
8 protest and mounted an investigation into these
9 allegations; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. You should also be reminded that one of
11 the reasons that the ECMM was able to act as
12 a mediator, and one of the things we tried to do as
13 well is that when we received a protest of this nature,
14 we would try, as quickly as possible, to investigate
15 the nature or the character of this protest, to find
16 out whether it was well-founded. Given the fact that
17 the communication systems for radio and television were
18 not in order, were not functioning very well, it is
19 very important then to initiate actions that would help
20 to put down any rumours which may influence either the
21 Muslim or the Croatian population. People may be very
22 inclined to follow rumours, these can circulate very
23 quickly and then maybe it may be important to try to
24 bring things back to a calmer and normalised
1 We found that sometimes these rumours can
2 cause certain people to take up action against the
3 other ethnic groups. So when we received this protest,
4 Mr. Thebault at that time asked that we put together an
5 investigation commission so we could determine whether
6 or not whether the state was true or not.
7 MR. CAYLEY: I think before you actually
8 started this investigation there were one or two other
9 events which took place. I would like to deal with
10 those first.
11 If the witness could be shown Exhibit 293.
13 Now, this is a cease-fire order, purportedly
14 signed by Colonel Blaskic, which is addressed to the
15 commanders of all HVO units, the British battalion
16 commander, ECMM Mission and the Third Corps
18 It is the result of an agreement between the
19 HVO head of staff in Herceg-Bosna and presumably the
20 international community.
21 Can you explain what your reaction to this
22 order was at the time you received it in Zenica?
23 A. We reacted immediately. It seemed that the
24 orders were sent from the central region HQ and we were
25 quite optimistic because these orders were sent down to
1 the HVO brigades and also to the local units, to stop
2 all activities.
3 Q. Now, I know that enthusiasm that you had for
4 this order was somewhat short-lived after you
5 eventually arrived in Kiseljak and saw what had
6 happened there. But, did you actually see any of these
7 orders actually taking effect on the ground at the time
8 it was issued?
9 A. I must admit that from 18th April, at least
10 for two days, I particularly investigated the situation
11 concerning the state of those villages very close to
13 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse -- sorry, could you turn
14 towards the bench when you speak, thank you.
15 A. What seemed to be happening is that there
16 seemed to be a reduction -- or rather there seemed to
17 have been a cease-fire but nonetheless my information
18 showed that there was still some sporadic gunfire here
19 and there and there were some reports to that effect.
20 Indeed, we were sent reports on a regular basis to that
22 So, there was an effort to reduce the amount
23 of combat and fighting, but given that all the rumours
24 that were circulating and also the destruction of
25 Ahmici village and some of the activity and some of the
1 Croatian villages in Zenica, I think in my opinion it
2 was very difficult to try to implement this order
4 I would say then that perhaps the situation
5 did improve, but fighting definitely did continue in
6 a sporadic manner throughout the area.
7 MR. CAYLEY: I think as a result of the
8 protest that you received from Colonel Blaskic,
9 relating to atrocities committed against Croats in the
10 Zenica region, you had a meeting with the deputy
11 commander of the Third Corps, Mr. Merdan; is that
13 A. Yes, that is right. Please understand that
14 to be able to investigate the various villages or to
15 visit these villages, as we were interested to do,
16 first we had to obtain the authorisation of the BiH
17 forces in order to circulate freely.
18 Now, do not forget there were areas under the
19 control of the Bosnian Army. So, in order to go to
20 these villages, first of all, I had to obtain the
21 authorisations necessary. That is why I went to the
22 deputy commander of the Third Bosnian Corps.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, prosecuting counsel,
24 there are some things I do not understand completely.
25 In this protest, in the French translation, there is
1 a hand-written date and it is not clear exactly what the
2 date is, what the number is. It seems that on the
3 last -- what does that mean when it says "August
4 1996"? Are these numbers used by the Prosecution or --
5 MR. CAYLEY: I can explain it. It is simply
6 when the document was received by the Office of the
7 Prosecutor from Colonel Landry, he signed it and dated
8 it at the time he made his original statement to
10 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I suspected that
11 was the case, but I wanted you to confirm it. Thank
12 you. Please continue.
13 MR. CAYLEY: Now, I think you minuted the
14 meeting you had with Mr. Merdan and if you could be
15 shown Exhibit 294, which is also in French as 294A.
16 That is a summary of that particular meeting that took
17 place. (Handed).
18 A. We received from the deputy commander of the
19 Bosnian Corps, I think it was prepared at that time to
20 make a brief report explaining what had occurred during
21 the preceding days, at least to give this notice to one
22 of the belligerents.
23 Q. I think I am right in saying that he provided
24 to you certain allegations of atrocities against the
25 Muslim community in Vitez and Ahmici, did he not, and
1 he identified villages that had been destroyed,
2 including Ahmici and Vecereska?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 I also admit that a moment ago I did not
5 mention it, but on the morning of the 17th I could
6 clearly see from my hotel room the burnt village and
7 I also could see columns of persons, mostly Muslims,
8 who were fleeing that area in order to go to Zenica.
9 Q. Now, you informed Mr. Merdan about the
10 allegations that had been made by the HVO and I think
11 you asked for his assistance in making an investigation
12 into the villages around Zenica. I would like you to
13 summarise in your own words what exactly happened.
14 I will provide to you Exhibit 295, which is
15 a copy of your report, the special report that you did
16 on Croats in Zenica. That is Exhibit 295, and 295A,
17 which is in the French language. (Handed).
18 A. Once again, I will try to be brief, but
19 please understand that this incident and this
20 investigation -- in this case, it lasted more than two
21 days and there was a lot of testimonies. These were
22 not always very easy to listen to, these testimonies
23 and I have very bad memories about the particular
24 events, but I will do my best.
25 It was very important for our own credibility
1 to have someone with us who was able to pass on the
2 information and to help us in our investigations. At
3 that moment, I had heard about a priest -- the priest
4 of the largest Catholic church in Zenica at that point
5 in time. Once I was able to get the assistance from
6 Merdan, from the deputy commander himself, that he was
7 going to accompany us to all the areas we were going to
8 investigate, at that moment I contacted Father Stefan
9 to accompany us as well. Upon my visit with
10 Father Stefan, I must admit that there was an
11 atmosphere in this church which was quite painful to
13 Father Stefan had given asylum to several
14 Zenica HVO persons, people who were afraid, people who
15 had heard rumours about their own villages and about
16 the atrocities that had taken place there. They had
17 seen that the Bosnian troops were out of control and
18 indeed it seemed that many crimes were going to be
20 With the aid of Father Stefan, as well as
21 Mr. Merdan, we began our visit by visiting the main
22 prison at Zenica. At that moment there were several
23 hundred Croats. Most of those persons I would say were
24 men. They were all men. But -- most of them were of
25 combat age, I would say; however, there were some
1 elderly persons there as well. Our report indicates
2 that the situation there seemed to be normal, that some
3 of the detainees that we were able to meet with, along
4 with the Father, had some concerns on their faces --
5 had some injuries on their faces.
6 Generally speaking, people had at least one
7 meal a day. Obviously there are far too many prisoners
8 there for the capacities of the operation of the
9 prison, but it seemed nonetheless to be quite
10 reasonable, for that time period, based on my
11 experience in other prisons. I saw that one man had
12 been arrested and there was some efforts made with the
13 Muslim authorities to release this man. He did not
14 seem to pose any threat to anyone. Indeed, it seemed
15 that was done later that day. By the end of that
16 afternoon, he was indeed freed.
17 The next day or the afternoon, we began to
18 visit various villages. I must admit that there was
19 not really time to do any advance planning. It was
20 Father Stefan who named which villages we were going to
21 visit because he knew the area and there were various
22 villages throughout that area. That is what we did.
23 We visited the various villages in that area, based on
24 the information that the priest gave to us and
25 indicated where we might go.
1 We noted that the area as a whole was under
2 the control and the protection of the Bosnian forces.
3 We saw also that there had been some combat or fighting
4 there. Some houses had been burned. Some people had
5 been wounded or killed in the course of attacks or
7 What we saw was not as alarming as what we
8 had been led to believe. We saw Ahmici and we saw how
9 much violence and destruction had taken place in
10 Ahmici. Above all, we found that there were several
11 abandoned houses, some houses which had been burnt.
12 Some also that had Muslims -- Bosnians, rather, and
14 We had some testimonies given that in some
15 cases Muslims had placed their lives in danger to save
16 the lives of certain Croats, the details are all
17 located here in the report, but it was definitely not
18 what we expected to see. I recall quite well that
19 Father Stefan was, himself, very relieved to see that
20 there was not as much damage as what he expected to see
21 based on what he had heard.
22 Q. Did the Bosnian Third Corps cooperate with
23 you fully in conducting this investigation?
24 A. Yes. As I said, the deputy Third Corps
25 commander escorted us all through the day and then,
1 depending upon the places Father Stefan visited or
2 wanted to go, I remember several occasions when
3 Mr. Merdan had to use his authority in order to get us
4 through because the people saw that we were being
5 escorted by the Catholic priest.
6 Q. Am I right in saying that the local Bosnian
7 commander, Visnic Neraga, had been given strict orders
8 regarding the security of civilians in the area?
9 A. I have a very clear recollection that one of
10 the first things that we did when we received the
11 allegations as to the HVO protest that Mr. Thebault went
12 to speak to the commander of the Third Corps and it was
13 his responsibility to ensure, as the military chief, to
14 ensure the security and safety of the people and all
15 the civilians who were within the territory under their
17 Q. Were those orders given by the Third Corps
19 A. Yes, I think that they came from him and
20 since -- as the report says, during one of the visits
21 during the investigation, we arrived on site and we
22 were able to see that there were bandits at work who
23 were looting the houses and on one very specific
24 occasion we saw special police Third Corps elements who
25 were arresting certain individuals who were looting.
1 Therefore, I could assume that orders had
2 been given to the lowest echelon and measures had been
3 taken in respect of the situation, at least in order to
4 try to reduce as much as possible this type of
6 After that, we noticed that other types of
7 actions taken by the Third Corps leaders -- we should
8 understand at that point, everybody was wearing
9 military uniforms, it was easy for somebody to take
10 a uniform and commit a crime and then possibly one
11 would say it was the HVO or the BiH who had done the
12 crime because the uniform had been seen. At that time
13 the Third Corps decided to initiate a system of
14 identity cards. All of the Bosnian units had an
15 identifying card and each one had shoulder badges which
16 indicated clearly that this individual was working with
17 the Third Corps, so that better control could be
18 exercised over the troops.
19 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown
20 Exhibit 296, please. (Handed).
21 Can you just confirm, Colonel, that these
22 are, in fact, the villages you visited with Mr. Merdan
23 and Father Stefan?
24 A. Yes, those are the villages. These are the
25 ones which we reported on in our written report. All
1 we did was to repeat the names of the villages. Then
2 we took a map of Zenica and we indicated them.
3 Q. Now, Colonel, finally on this point, any
4 person's death diminishes us and there were a number of
5 people that were killed. When you read the protest
6 that you received from the central Bosnian operative,
7 purportedly signed by Colonel Blaskic, and you look
8 back on what you actually saw at the time, what can you
9 say about this protest?
10 A. One could simply deduce that the tone of the
11 protest was extremely exaggerated and that the tone of
12 the protest seemed to want to indicate to the entire
13 international community that atrocities had been
14 committed against the entire HVO or Croatian community,
15 which was under Bosnian control and that it was at that
16 time -- this was another factor used to force the
17 authorities possibly to release or allow the Bosnian
18 Croat citizens of that region to leave so they could go
19 back to regions which were under Croatian control.
20 Q. Did you see or hear of any individuals being
21 thrown under tanks in Zenica?
22 A. I did see one vehicle. It was an assault
23 tank that was moving around in Zenica, but I do not
24 remember at any point having seen a report or a request
25 to go to investigate that soldier -- an HVO soldier or
1 a civilian had been crushed by a tank.
2 But, you have to understand that after
3 a given point, fighting began to the south-west of
4 Zenica. Zenica was a military garrison and it would be
5 natural for there to be some kind of fighting because
6 units would be regrouped there. There was a great deal
7 of military activity going on there, but there were
8 also incidents of brutality committed against the
9 Bosnian Croat citizens.
10 I cannot deny that there were people were
11 killed as well, as indicated in the report as indicated
12 in the report. I do not want to diminish or
13 underestimate the lack of control and the violence that
14 was there, this was unacceptable violence, but in view
15 of the situation, I could simply tell you honestly that
16 that state of violence, even if it was unacceptable, it
17 was not on the same scale as the one we had been
18 informed -- that we had been told had taken place.
19 Q. Now, on the subject of the violence that you
20 saw had taken place in Ahmici and the on-going military
21 operations in Vitez, were you provided with assistance
22 by the HVO to make a full investigation of what had
23 taken place in Vitez on 16th April?
24 A. There were several investigations carried out
25 subsequently, but I can tell you that in the next few
1 days I went to visit Ahmici. This had to be done with
2 the BritBat armed escort. I have a very clear memory
3 of this. We were not able to go in as we liked, that
4 is into Ahmici. This was done under BritBat escort, at
5 the invitation of the BritBat commander, Thebault.
6 Thanks to him we were able to visit the village of
7 Ahmici in person.
8 Q. If you could specifically answer my question:
9 were you given assistance by the HVO in investigating
10 what had happened in Ahmici and Vitez?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Now, you left Bosnia-Herzegovina in August
13 1993. Did you ever receive a report from the HVO on
14 what had taken place in Ahmici and Vitez and the
15 surrounding villages on 16th April?
16 A. Not as far as I know. If such a report had
17 been distributed, I should have received it. As I did
18 with all reports that were circulated at that time,
19 I would have known about them and I would have had
21 There was no report, at least that I can
22 remember, that was going about at that time in respect
23 of that. But I have to tell you, your Honour, that
24 during my stay in Bosnia, all reports that I drafted
25 and all those that had some significance about what
1 I was doing, I kept with me. This is why I can tell
2 you this with so much certainty, that I do not remember
3 having seen this type of report.
4 Q. Indeed, Colonel, did you see any reports from
5 the HVO on any alleged atrocities that they had
6 committed throughout the Lasva Valley region during
7 your time there?
8 A. No.
9 MR. CAYLEY: If we could now move on in time
10 and if the witness could be shown Exhibit D33, which
11 concerns the setting up of the Joint Operation Centre.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Is this a Defence exhibit?
14 MR. CAYLEY: It is a document we provided to
15 the Defence which the Defence have admitted into
16 evidence, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, thank you.
18 MR. CAYLEY: Together with D34A and D34.
20 Now, Colonel, this is the setting up of the
21 Joint Operation Centre which, again, was another ECMM
22 and UNPROFOR broken agreement. I would like you
23 briefly to explain to the court the position that you
24 found Mr. Franjo Nakic in on 18th April 1993 when you
25 visited him at his home.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, this question
2 that you are asking, is it based on the document that
3 you are giving to the witness? The Trial Chamber has
4 nothing in front of it, nor on the projector. It is an
5 independent question you are asking?
6 MR. CAYLEY: There is a document available for
7 you. It is related to this document.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you.
10 A. May I answer?
11 MR. CAYLEY: Please.
12 A. At that period, as you probably understand,
13 there was a great deal of activity taking place. I was
14 able, on 18th April, to learn that Mr. Nakic was no
15 longer the deputy commander of the HVO forces of the
16 central operational zone, but that he had become the
17 chief of staff of headquarters and that during the
18 incidents that took place between 16th and 18th April,
19 I learned from reliable sources that Mr. Nakic was not
20 at his headquarters, but was at his domicile, that is
21 he was at home.
22 Q. When you spoke to him, what did he tell you?
23 A. Well, what I have in my notes, and what I can
24 remember, because I really have to admit that it is
25 five years ago that all this happened and this was only
1 one episode amongst so many others so I really have to
2 rely on my notes. But, according to them, in my notes,
3 in my journal, it says that Mr. Nakic was no longer the
4 deputy commander but that he was at his domicile. That
5 is the only thing I can tell you. I do not want to say
6 anything more than that because I do not remember,
7 except for the fact that Mr. Nakic was not at his
8 command post, but rather that he was at home.
9 Q. Did you draw any conclusions at the time as
10 to why Mr. Nakic was at his house around this time?
11 A. I was very surprised because for about two
12 months, we had had very good relations. He had given
13 me the impression of being very reasonable. The only
14 reason that I could think of would be that his
15 commander had simply decided to remove him from his
16 command -- his deputy command post, for reasons which
17 I suppose were military. Perhaps he had not been
18 obedient or perhaps he had -- there had been a serious
19 discrepancy between his opinion and his commanders.
20 You should understand between 16th and 22nd
21 April was an extremely active military period and to
22 see that your deputy commander was at home, or is at
23 home, would show me that something just was not right.
24 The role of a deputy commander is not to be at home in
25 crisis periods but to be with his commander and help
1 him as best he can.
2 Afterwards, when I saw that the -- that
3 Mr. Nakic's name was reappearing and that he was present
4 in a different type of commission, this time it was
5 a joint headquarters, where the two corps were there,
6 that is HVO and Bosnian elements who were attempting to
7 work together and to see that we still saw Mr. Merdan's
8 name as deputy commander and that Mr. Nakic's position
9 had changed. He was no longer the deputy commander but
10 he was the head of the headquarters, which is very
11 unusual for someone in the military like myself to see
12 that the chief of staff is, in fact, to remain with
13 headquarters in order to ensure proper conduct of the
15 Here I learned that Mr. Nakic had the title,
16 but that he spent all day with this -- at this new
17 joint headquarters -- "joint", that is between the
18 Muslims and the Croats.
19 Q. Now, this document, D33 shows Mr. Nakic, as
20 you just stated, as the HVO chief of staff on the joint
21 operations centre. Can you describe to me how you
22 found the man during this time compared to when you had
23 known him briefly as deputy commander prior to the
24 events of 16th April?
25 A. You should understand there are about almost
1 two months, every day sometimes from 9.00 to 6.00 we
2 would work very closely with these people, which
3 included Mr. Merdan and Mr. Nakic. Therefore, I think it
4 was natural that we would develop relations that were
5 not only professional, we would become friends with
6 them. I think that with Mr. Nakic and with his family,
7 good relations -- friendly relations had arisen between
8 him and me. He did not give me any military secrets
9 but we had good friendship.
10 Then I was very surprised to see his
11 attitude, to see his face, to see Mr. Nakic. He seemed
12 to be a man who had been beaten down, a man who had
13 been given posts, but not in a position to assume all
14 of the authority necessary in order to carry out the
15 role that they wanted him to carry out.
16 The events several weeks subsequently, in
17 Kakanj, where we had to intervene in order to mediate
18 between the Muslims and the HVO who were in that
19 region, confirmed that Mr. Nakic had not taken the
20 chief's role in respect of the HVO troops but was
21 serving more as an observer, as a negotiator and there
22 were discussions between Mr. Merdan and the commander of
23 that HVO brigade in that Kakanj area.
24 Mr. Nakic did not seem to me to be the man
25 I had known before during the previous two months, who
1 would meet every day with us as the deputy commander of
2 the HVO troops of the central zone.
3 Q. Now, Colonel, you reached certain
4 conclusions, I think, about Mr. Nakic's views of the
5 events of 16th April. I wonder if you could share
6 those with the court.
7 A. I think there are several possibilities:
8 either Mr. Nakic may have proved to be incompetent, in
9 which case he would simply be removed from his
10 command. If that is the case, it would explain the
11 little -- the small confidence, the little amount of
12 confidence that the HVO troops had in the cease-fire,
13 by giving us, as a representative and individual, that
14 he did not have any faith.
15 Or for other reasons, having the differences
16 of opinion as to strategy, that existing within the HVO
17 troops, we had simply -- they had simply decided
18 perhaps to set him aside, since he did not agree with
19 what was going on, or with the activities that the HVO
20 was carrying out in Central Bosnia.
21 Then subsequently, unofficially, Mr. Nakic was
22 put back in as the chief of staff, because I have to
23 tell you that we were not told officially that he had
24 been removed -- he had been taken away from his
25 functions, but simply told that for operational
1 reasons, it had been decided to -- that he would be
2 given a new task.
3 But something did happen and the HVO attitude
4 towards Mr. Nakic seemed absolutely incorrect to me in
5 view of the circumstances.
6 MR. CAYLEY: If I could move ahead to 22nd
7 April, and what came to be known, I think, as the
8 Bilalovac incident.
9 If the witness could be shown the next
10 exhibit, which I think is 297. (Handed).
11 Now, am I right in saying, Colonel, that
12 Bilalovac is on the road between Busovaca and Kiseljak?
13 A. Yes, that is correct. It is about mid
15 Q. Now, if I can summarise the start of your
16 journey so we do not waste time on that. I think you
17 were going down to Kiseljak on that road and when you
18 arrived in Bilalovac, you were challenged by a number
19 of Bosnian Muslim soldiers who explained to you that
20 atrocities had taken place in Kiseljak. Can you
21 explain to the court what happened at Bilalovac on that
23 A. The day had ended in Vitez at the centre.
24 There was a meeting with the Bosnian Croat and the
25 Bosnian Muslim representatives, and we were asked to
1 bring some information to people in the Kiseljak
3 Ordinarily, we had no trouble moving around
4 in that region, and that is why, as opposed to our
5 usual habits, we were not escorted by the Bosnian and
6 Croatian authorities, we simply had British armoured
7 vehicles so that we would be able to move about
9 We were simply stopped at Bilalovac. We were
10 threatened. I must tell you that had there not been
11 intervention on the part of the police there, we would
12 have been wounded. We were accused of bringing in
13 ammunitions, mortars, to the Croats in the Kiseljak
14 region and tremendous massacres had been committed in
15 several villages and the Bosnian troops who were there
16 seemed to be in a state of shock. They were out of
17 control and there was absolutely no way of speaking
18 with them.
19 However, we were shown a series of villages
20 were massacres had taken place and I can tell you that
21 had the police official from Kacuni not arrived at the
22 time, I would not be here today, most likely, to tell
23 you what I saw.
24 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown
25 Exhibits 299 and 300?
1 I think 299 is a report of your visit to
2 Rotilj following on from the information that you
3 received from the soldiers at Bilalovac about
4 atrocities in Kiseljak. (Handed).
5 If the map could be placed on the ELMO.
6 Could you recall for the court your visit to
7 Rotilj on 25th April and explain what you found there?
8 A. Rotilj was one of the villages that had been
9 mentioned where some atrocities had taken place. We
10 received a protest about that and so we decided, with
11 the chief of operations at the time, to investigate
12 what had happened.
13 Once again, we left in a jeep. The situation
14 was a bit more normal throughout the sector and we were
15 able to go to Kiseljak. At that point, we were not
16 able to use the road in order to get to Rotilj. If you
17 look at the map, Rotilj is a village which is slightly
18 set back from Kiseljak. (Indicating).
19 We would go there on the road through
20 Kiseljak in order to get to Rotilj. We were prevented
21 from going to Rotilj. What we had to do since we were
22 not under escort, because we had HVO representatives
23 with us, we had to leave the vehicle and the elevations
24 and then to go down through the terrain in order to get
25 to Rotilj.
1 Once we arrived, we saw that there had
2 absolutely been some atrocities which had been
3 committed. Specific houses had been burnt, burnt
4 houses between houses which had not at all been set on
5 fire. We met Muslim people from Rotilj who showed us
6 all of the houses where atrocities had been committed.
7 Among other things, we learned that, around
8 21st or 22nd, HOS troops, that is people dressed in
9 black with masks, who had cleansed that part of the
10 village. Rotilj, if I can show you this, has one part
11 where there are houses. (Indicating).
12 Then there was -- that is a part where the
13 Croats and Muslims live together. There was another
14 sector, more to the south, where, at that time, the
15 majority of the Muslims had taken refuge.
16 We were able to investigate the part shared
17 by the Muslims and the Croats. There was a Muslim
18 house and a Croat one and a Muslim, et cetera. It was
19 cleared that the Muslim houses had been burnt; that at
20 least one woman who was not able to escape on time, who
21 had been raped and then killed with machine-gun busts.
22 The reason I say that is we were able to go
23 into the house where the event had taken place. The
24 house was not burnt, they did not have time to burn
25 it. You could see traces of bullets on the wall. You
1 could see the woman's clothes torn and you could see
2 the table on which she had been raped. On the edge of
3 the road we were able to see what was left of the
4 stains that were on the ground, where apparently
5 Muslims had been killed.
6 There was a head which had been split in two
7 and that person's belongings had been strewn around.
8 We went to visit a house, if you can call it a house,
9 where the people had been burnt, outlawed. Then we
10 were able to see, I think, that it was five -- I did
11 not read the entire report -- the new graves that had
12 been dug. We could see that the earth had been
13 recently moved.
14 We were told then that the other Muslims who
15 had been confined -- at the end of the village and they
16 could not move about freely. That is probably why we
17 were prevented from moving about in our vehicle on the
18 Kiseljak road in order to go there.
19 Q. Now, I think this report was produced by you
20 and I will not ask you to read it. I will simply read
21 it to you and ask you to confirm it. You state at the
22 end of your report:
23 "There is about 600 inhabitants that lived
24 in the south-west part of the village. They are
25 restricted to their village, being surrounded with
1 HVO. They are without electricity, telephone, water
2 supply, and food supply is low. They have an urgent
3 need for a doctor or a nurse. They have children with
4 high fever and no medication. Within this number there
5 is about 100 to 150 refugees from Visoko."
6 Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. Now, I think finally on this incident, there
9 are a number of villages that are marked on this map
10 with a highlighter pen. I think subsequently other
11 Monitors visited these villages, apart from Rotilj and
12 it was reported back to ECMM headquarters that, indeed,
13 HVO-sponsored atrocities had been committed in those
14 villages as well; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Indeed, just for a reference point for the
17 judges, the village of Bilalovac is marked at the top
18 of the map in the left-hand corner, which is where you
19 were originally stopped by Bosnian soldiers.
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I do not know
22 whether this is an opportune time for you to take
23 a break? It is for me. I am moving towards the end of
24 Colonel Landry's testimony.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Well, how much time would you
1 say you would need to finish with the
3 MR. CAYLEY: Moving as quickly as I can,
4 between 45 minutes and one hour.
5 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Then I would
6 suggest that we take the break at 4.30. Perhaps if we
7 work up to -- perhaps 4.30 would be a good time to take
8 a break. Is that okay with you? 10 more minutes, then
9 we will take a break.
10 MR. CAYLEY: You are the president,
11 Mr. President.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I am the president, but
13 I am not -- indeed, I am the authority, but we should
14 try to agree, of course. Let us take a break at 4.30.
15 MR. CAYLEY: I am content to do that,
16 Mr. President.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, let us continue.
18 MR. CAYLEY: Colonel Landry, can we now move
19 forward to 28th April, 1993, and the hijacking of
20 a convoy by the HVO in Busovaca?
21 If the witness could be shown Exhibit 301.
23 The discovery of the hijacking of the convoy
24 in Busovaca I think was, in fact, communicated to you
25 whilst a meeting was taking place between Colonel
1 Blaskic, Brigadier-General Petkovic and Jean-Pierre
2 Thebault; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. Can you explain briefly to the court what
5 happened on that day in Busovaca?
6 A. I will try. Please understand that during
7 this time period there were many efforts made by the
8 international community to try to bring together the
9 parties, to try to find some sort of cease-fire among
10 the belligerent parties but, nonetheless, there were
11 always other incidents which would occur to upset
13 This was one of the days on which Mr. Thebault
14 arranged a meeting with the head of staff of both
15 armies and this was going to be located in
16 Central Bosnia. At that time I did not, myself, attend
17 this meeting, but I was there in charge -- an office in
18 the headquarters. I was told by BritBat, who was
19 located in Vitez, that the HVO in Busovaca had taken --
20 or hijacked, if you will, a convoy of the UNHCR, and
21 that if the HVO brigade did not release this convoy,
22 then they would send in armoured vehicles to force the
23 release of this convoy.
24 I spoke with Mr. Thebault, Mr. Thebault spoke
25 with the commander of BritBat. Later on the persons
1 responsible for the HVO, General Petkovic, and also
2 Colonel Blaskic met and several persons met at that
3 time. I remember that General Petkovic had succeeded,
4 I assume through representatives of the HVO government,
5 to eventually contact Mr. Kordic and also to order that
6 the military -- the soldiers released this convoy to
7 the BritBat in Vitez.
8 Q. Was there any loss of life on this occasion?
9 A. I cannot recall. I would have to reread the
10 entire report, but to my memory, there were no deaths
11 or wounded.
12 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness can now be shown
13 Exhibit 301 and 301A. (Handed).
14 JUDGE JORDA: This is another series of
15 questions, Prosecutor counsel, or is this related to
16 the same incident?
17 MR. CAYLEY: It is another incident but it is
18 a short piece of evidence and I think it will be
19 completed by 4.30.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, please continue.
21 MR. CAYLEY: This document, I think,
22 Colonel Landry, is, in fact, an appeal from Colonel
23 Blaskic, a notice of activities -- probable activities
24 of Bosnian forces and dated May 14th. Can you explain
25 why you believed this appeal was sent and how at this
1 time the tactical position on the ground between the
2 HVO and the BiH had actually changed by this time?
3 A. If I remember correctly, you should remember
4 that the entire month of March -- actually the entire
5 winter period of 1993, all the way to the spring and
6 even the early part of May, the HVO operational forces
7 were really tactically positioned in the various areas
8 in Central Bosnia. When we saw them -- this is
9 something that would be confirmed later on in June --
10 what we saw in mid-May was that the presence of Muslims
11 there changed this tactical position.
12 First of all, to the east of Vitez and also
13 east of Zenica, what we could see was indeed the HVO
14 authorities asked us to warn the Muslims about certain
15 attacks which were being carried out or aggressive
16 action, which were being perpetrated against some of
17 the municipalities under their control.
18 Q. Colonel, why do you think this appeal was
19 made at this time by the HVO?
20 A. I think, once again, that the international
21 community found -- they felt that the Muslims were
22 becoming more and more aggressive and they wanted the
23 international community to come and intervene and to
24 head off this type of operation. Once again, also to
25 try to minimise the number of lives that might be lost
1 in such an operation.
2 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I think now is an
3 appropriate time to pause.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We will take
5 a 20-minute recess, approximately.
6 (4.30 pm)
7 (A short break)
8 (4.50 pm)
9 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume with the end of
10 the examination-in-chief of Colonel Landry.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. President, with your
12 permission, I would like to have precision about the
13 numbering of the documents.
14 JUDGE JORDA: I think there is a number which
15 is not there.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, document 297, at the
17 start of this document there is a special report about
18 this incident.
19 JUDGE JORDA: 297; is that correct?
20 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that is correct, your
22 JUDGE JORDA: There was some difference in
23 the way the numbers are read in Belgian French rather
24 than French, French.
25 THE REGISTRAR: 297 is a special report
1 concerning the 22 April event. Now, for the document
2 298 and 298A, this is a special report about the
3 prevention of ethnic cleansing, dated 28th April 1993.
4 At 299, this is a map where there are certain villages
5 which are underlined or highlighted. Then there is
6 document 300 and 300A, they are documents here dealing
7 with the piece negotiations dated April 1993.
8 The final document submitted is 301 and
9 301A. Here, this is a notice of a possible activities
10 of the BiH dated 15th May.
11 Now, I think we have made rectifications or
13 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We can continue.
14 Please continue, Prosecution.
15 MR. CAYLEY: Junior counsel finds himself
16 alone, Mr. President. I am not sure why. I am sure my
17 colleagues will probably be joining me soon.
18 Colonel Landry, if we can now proceed to June
19 of 1993, and if you could briefly describe to the court
20 the events surrounding the Tuzla convoy.
21 A. As I have already stated, you should
22 understand that the central Bosnian region and the
23 region of Tuzla were surrounded either by the Serbs or
24 by the HVO authorities.
25 The main road for supplies that the HVO and
1 the Muslims in the Tuzla area, the main supply route
2 then was the one coming from the coast and was used and
3 taken by the unit of the United Nations.
4 This street went through the mountains. This
5 was the supply route. But, for some reason, due to
6 various controls and other reasons, it was never able
7 to be used appropriately, so during -- or from
8 mid-April, all the way to the month of June, what
9 happened was that the general population was starved.
10 There were fewer and fewer supplies of petrol that were
11 made available. So, all of the electrical supplies for
12 Zenica and also Tuzla was run by coal and one of the
13 reasons that they were saying that these supplies were
14 being prevented from delivery, even though they were
15 being accompanied by convoys of the United Nations and
16 UNPROFOR forces, was that these could be used by the
17 Bosnian forces which could then use them to reinforce
18 their forces and to supply the HVO forces.
19 So, there was a need for supplies.
20 Following initiative by the commander of the
21 Second Corps in the area of Tuzla, following a visit in
22 Zenica, it was heard that the HVO authorities and the
23 Bosnian authorities would send a non-escorted civilian
24 convoy, not escorted by UNPROFOR and not mandated by
25 the UNHCR, to go to the coast in order to buy supplies,
1 food and fuel, so that they could supply Central Bosnia
2 and the Tuzla region.
3 So, around the early part of June, around 500
4 vehicles went down to Zenica and then drove to coast
5 for resupplies. The convoy had no problems getting to
6 the coast, although there were some problems there and
7 it was heard that the convoy would be escorted by some
8 troops which were controlling some of the territory
9 within the country. But finally the convoy did arrive
10 at the coast. The problems begin only when the convoy
11 was able to reorganise itself because, first of all,
12 they had to make purchases of foods and goods and
13 fuel. These were all done and the trucks then
14 grouped -- or came together once again to return to
15 their original point of departure.
16 I would say all this took around 30 days for
17 this convoy to go there -- correction, took about 13
18 days to go and come back because these vehicles were
19 stopped for very long periods of time, mostly, and
20 above all in those areas controlled by the HVO, several
21 vehicles were deprived of their contents. Some
22 vehicles were also quite simply stolen. Some people
23 were stopped or arrested, some people were killed. You
24 should see that in a convoy of 500 vehicles, some 50
25 per cent of the vehicles were able to return to their
1 point of departure. Some of these were filled with
2 contents purchased by civilians.
3 Q. Where did the major attack on this convoy
4 take place?
5 A. Mainly in the Nova Bila region, which is
6 found between the intersection which goes to Travnik
7 and which then goes to Vitez. This is mainly there,
8 I believe, that a large part of this convoy was
9 stripped of its goods and there were about 10 persons
10 or a dozen persons killed during that particular
11 event -- those events.
12 Q. Who was responsible for security in this
14 A. The person who was allowing for this convoy
15 to go through was essentially responsible, so, in
16 a sense, the HVO, if you will, were in charge of
17 assuming the protection of this convoy.
18 Q. Was the attack on the convoy an organised
19 attack, or was it just a disorganised group that
20 attacked the convoy in June of 1993 in Bila?
21 A. Well, the report we received and that we were
22 able to note, because this convoy was joined by teams
23 of the ECMM, we noted that -- we found that these were
24 civilian groups for the most part who would stop this
25 convoy, who would take away some vehicles and also kill
1 some people, including some of the drivers for this
2 convoy. Also, we found there were buses also that
3 would follow along with this convoy.
4 Q. Had the convoy been harassed on its journey
5 all the way from the coast up through
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina to Bila?
7 A. The convoy was subjected to various stops at
8 various key points along that road. Perhaps I can name
9 a few cities; the city of Prozor, for example, also the
10 city of Gornji Vakuf, where there was another delay,
11 where some cars were stopped and stolen and also there
12 was one tanker that was emptied of its contents. There
13 are other incidents I could name as well, but the place
14 where the highest number of crimes were committed, if
15 my memory serves me correctly, would be in the area of
16 Nova Bila, very close to Vitez.
17 Q. You mentioned these attacks took place in
18 Gornji Vakuf and Prozor; were both these areas
19 controlled by the HVO?
20 A. These were protected mainly by the HVO.
21 Q. Had the HVO agreed to provide security in all
22 these areas, ECMM had sponsored this convoy?
23 A. It was -- this was the only reason why the
24 ECMM of Zenica had decided to ratify or agree to such
25 an initiative, because before the convoy actually began
1 to go to Tuzla and Zenica, there were some agreements
2 made, there were some representatives of the HVO and
3 also from the Tuzla region who had come to meet with
4 the authorities of Vitez in order to have some
5 agreement. Otherwise it would be very difficult to
6 find some authorisation for this convoy to move about,
7 particularly since there is some animosity that existed
8 at that time period.
9 A moment ago we spoke of some attacks
10 committed by Muslims. You, yourself, showed me
11 a moment ago a report which we requested of the United
12 Nations and of the international community to protect
13 the Croats in the central regions. This shows you that
14 the situation was not a place where the cease-fire was
15 being maintained and respected.
16 You should understand as well that the reason
17 such a convoy was being put together was for
18 humanitarian reasons. It was very obvious that the
19 central area of Bosnia, particularly in the northern
20 area, north of Vitez, there were people there who were
21 starving. People there were starving. UNHCR could not
22 create the ability to carry out the convoy. It was
23 strictly for this reason, for humanitarian reasons, it
24 was decided to go ahead with this initiative and to put
25 together a convoy that was being called the "Tuzla
1 Choice" convoy.
2 Q. Now, you mentioned that inadequate security
3 had been provided and particularly in Bila. Who was
4 the HVO military commander in Bila who agreed to
5 provide security for the convoy?
6 A. Not to my knowledge, it was always Colonel
7 Blaskic at that time.
8 MR. CAYLEY: If we could now move ahead and if
9 the witness could be shown Exhibit 302 and 302A.
11 If I could just make a correction in the
12 transcript. It states that you said the "'Tuzla
13 Choice' convoy". What was the name of the convoy?
14 A. No, it was the "convoy of joy".
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. Not "choice", "joy", sorry. I thought I said
18 Q. This is moving on to a separate subject.
19 That is the involvement of Croatian armed forces in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I wonder if you could summarise
21 this report you received at the regional centre in
22 Zenica in June of 1993, concerning the involvement of
23 the Croatian Army in the conflict between the Muslims
24 and the Croats which was on-going at that time.
25 A. My arrival then at the regional centre in
1 Zenica and early March there were rumours that the
2 Croatian troops from Croatia were aiding the HVO troops
3 from Bosnia and their military strategies, either by
4 supplying them logistical means or by giving them units
5 who would come from Croatia.
6 So, immediately after my arrival at the ECMM
7 headquarters, I insisted that everyone working in these
8 areas, whether the area predominantly covered by the
9 Croat and the Bosnians within Bosnia, be able to
10 identify the vehicles. As you know, the soldiers have
11 their own means of identifying their own vehicles, each
12 vehicle could be identified by number or have some sort
13 of code, which could be used to identify a unit,
14 a regiment or brigade as well as an army or
15 a nationality.
16 So, we were asked to be very careful and to
17 try to verify, whenever we came across a military
18 convoy, to verify the numbers so we would be able to
19 communicate this information to the intelligence unit
20 of the ECMM in Zagreb.
21 What this report described, I looked at it
22 very briefly, it does state that at that time period,
23 this is the month of, I believe, June -- yes, the
24 report dates back to the month of June, it says that,
25 indeed, there were logistical troops which were
1 operating in Bosnian territory in order to support the
2 operations of the HVO within Bosnian territory.
3 In addition, it was admitted by members of
4 the command within Bosnia that in addition to
5 logistical support there was also an undetermined
6 number of individuals who voluntarily decided to join
7 the HVO ranks.
8 I must admit to you also that it was quite
9 difficult for us to identify the HV elements from the
10 HVO elements for two simple reasons: most of the
11 movement was carried out during the night, which is
12 quite normal for a military operation. You would move
13 your troops during the night because it is more
14 difficult to detect or to be detected.
15 So, these security reasons required the ECMM
16 to also move about in the night to observe. We did not
17 have the equipment to do so and we were not armed. So,
18 we also noted that there were combat troops, we
19 suspected as being -- Croatians supporting the Croatian
20 troops in Central Bosnia, particularly between Prozor
21 and Zenica.
22 This particularly prevented us from being
23 able to move about on these roads. The roads, for
24 example, between Jablanica and Prozor.
25 It was difficult for us, therefore, to be
1 able to move in this area. So, the information that we
2 received from various sources indicated that it was
3 principally the HV troops that were fighting then with
4 the HVO troops. So, with this piece -- what this piece
5 of paper says is basically telling us that indeed there
6 were elements or HV forces which were operating within
7 Bosnian territory.
8 Q. Did you, yourself, see any HV units in
10 A. During the visit at that time, a little bit
11 later, in the southern region, where we had the
12 detachments with the deputy command of the Zenica
13 command. I, myself, was in Prozor and I was able to see
14 vehicles with identification which showed that they
15 were not HVO but rather that they showed they came
16 from -- they were logistical vehicles.
17 We should understand that in military
18 language, this means logistical support to help the
19 combatants to carry out their work, in other words,
20 they were supplying munitions and gasoline and
21 transportation. Without logistical units you cannot
23 JUDGE JORDA: We think we have understood
24 that. Please answer the question. Let us try to move
25 forward. I think the Tribunal understands what
1 a logistical unit is, in respect to a fighting unit.
2 Please go ahead so you can finish the
3 examination-in-chief, then move on to the
5 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could now be shown
6 Exhibit 303 and 303A, which, again, is another report
7 which we will not go through but does, in fact, confirm
8 ECMM views that Croatian Army units were present in
9 Bosnia, assisting the HVO in its offensives against the
10 Bosnian Army.
11 Can you just confirm that you have seen that
12 document before? (Handed).
13 A. Yes, I saw them. I even helped to write
14 them. As I said, during a visit with the deputy
15 commander, the DH regional centre -- head of the
16 regional centre, wrote that report later on.
17 MR. CAYLEY: If I could move to the final
18 exhibits, which are marked 306 and 307, so, in order to
19 save time, I will not be putting in 304 and 305, so if
20 we could correct the position on that now, which are
21 the two final maps. The two final maps there be 304
22 and 305.
23 Colonel, in conclusion, what was the form of
24 the military campaign that you saw being conducted by
25 the HVO in the municipalities which they controlled.
1 If 304 could be placed on the ELMO.
2 A. I have 306 and 307.
3 MR. CAYLEY: They have now become 304 and
4 305. In order to save time, I am not going to put in
5 two further exhibits.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Is that right, Mr. Dubuisson;
7 304, 305. The Prosecution gave up on two of the
9 THE REGISTRAR: You are not going to use the
10 other ones?
11 MR. CAYLEY: In order to save time, in order
12 to move ahead.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Cayley.
14 This is the map 304, which has the least
15 number of markings. Then 305 is the same map, but
16 where the 10 or 12 provinces are indicated; is that
18 MR. CAYLEY: That is correct.
19 JUDGE JORDA: You are asking that 304 be put
20 on the ELMO?
21 MR. CAYLEY: Please, Mr. President, yes.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, thank you.
24 MR. CAYLEY: I will repeat the question,
25 Colonel, because it does require a precise answer: what
1 form of military campaign was being conducted by the
2 HVO and in which municipalities? I wish you to base
3 this on what you saw on the ground and the reports you
4 received both as the operations officer and the deputy
5 chief of Mission in Zenica.
6 A. It was a -- it was a strategy with two
7 objectives which I was able to observe and was shared
8 by most of those people working within ECMM in the
9 Zenica zone. A double strategy, which seemed to
10 approve of the Vance-Owen agreements and signed various
11 cease-fires because what was being sought was the
12 approval and the esteem of the international
14 A game was being played on that level in
15 order to show that the HVO was trying to attempt with
16 international authorities -- in order to put an end as
17 quickly as possible to the conflict which was causing
18 ravages and death in Bosnia. And then there was
19 a more -- much more subtle strategy which, in my
20 opinion, consisted of provoking things. Using all
21 types of methods, provoking the Muslims. A strategy
22 which was focused mainly on all those territories and
23 provinces which had been given to the HVO, a strategy
24 which attempted to carry out ethnic cleansing in which
25 one would be -- or to be in a position to allow the
1 Muslims to leave so that they could integrate the
2 Croatian populations living outside those areas and who
3 were mainly living in the so-called Muslim or Serb
5 It was also a strategy which at that time
6 allowed us to find proof, according to which there was
7 exchange of prisoners, there was exchange of civilians
8 which had taken place at the borders -- the Serb
9 Croatian borders within Central Bosnia.
10 Q. Are the municipalities marked on here with
11 the red flames, are those the municipalities in which
12 you both witnessed and received reports of this
13 provocation which you have described?
14 A. Mainly, yes. For the most part, these were
15 the cities where the most important HVO activities were
16 observed. This being done as part of the spirit of the
17 strategy that I have just explained to you, an attempt
18 to create incidents in order to provoke the Muslims to
19 react, then to be completely free to pursue a long-term
20 policy which, for all practical purposes, was the
21 cleansing of those regions of Muslims.
22 Q. Predominantly against who was this
23 provocation aimed by the HVO?
24 A. The provocation was aimed at the Bosnian
25 forces. The provocation, as I have said, which always
1 was done in an atmosphere of saying: "yes, we accept
2 the cease-fire, we agree that these plans should be put
3 into practice"; but, on the ground, things went
4 differently. Any excuse was good in order to delay the
5 implementation of certain plans. The convoys that went
6 through regions were controlled by the H which should
7 have gone to the Bosnians was always delayed for all
8 kinds of reasons, all kinds of reasons.
9 Then, this finally would lead to the reaction
10 that was being sought. Round the end of May or
11 beginning of June, the Bosnians, in fact, did react.
12 Q. Did this provocation involve breaches of
13 international humanitarian law?
14 A. Yes. As you can see through some of the
15 examples that we have discussed.
16 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown
17 Exhibit 305. (Handed).
18 That is a super-imposition of the Vance-Owen
19 Plan on top of the map that you have just described.
20 Are you familiar with the Vance-Owen Plan?
21 A. We, I know it very well because, as soon as
22 the plan was approved by the Bosnians, around the end
23 of March, the European Community decided to become
24 directly involved in order to facilitate the transition
25 to that plan. It was at the same time that the
1 region -- at least the Zenica regional centre doubled
2 its staff in order to facilitate the transition.
3 Our role was to explain to the various
4 municipalities and the various provisional governments
5 what the details of the plan were.
6 Q. Now, can you explain to the court what this
7 shows and what the importance of the yellow arrow is,
8 as briefly as possible, please?
9 A. The red represents the provincial boundaries,
10 the red triangles represent the various locations where
11 activity had been generated; combat, atrocities,
12 violence against the civilian populations -- the Muslim
13 population that is -- then the yellow line shows the
14 only available road for bringing in supplies to
15 Central Bosnia, in provinces 9 and 7.
16 So the control of that road or the domination
17 of that area by the HVO for all practical purposes gave
18 them control of all of the Muslim provinces insofar as
19 supplies were concerned.
20 You should also understand that the
21 Vance-Owen Plan, even if it was used in order to allow
22 this -- that the cleansing take place, the Vance-Owen
23 Plan recognised that the provinces 7 and 8, there
24 should be Muslim leadership -- 8 and 10, excuse me.
25 Croat. So the Government of those provinces should
1 also represent the minorities within them. Therefore,
2 it should allow the minorities in the provinces to be
3 present at all levels of provincial government.
4 Q. Can I interpret you to clarify something in
5 the transcript? Am I right in saying that provinces 8
6 and 10, under Vance-Owen, were to be under Bosnian
7 Croat governance, but with representation from the
8 Muslim community in those areas, is that correct?
9 I am sorry, I did not receive your answer?
10 A. Yes, that is right. 10 and 3 were to be
11 under control -- 10, 8 and 3 were to be under Croat
13 Q. Now, is it your view that the HVO made their
14 own interpretation of the Vance-Owen Plan in the way
15 that they implemented it?
16 A. Absolutely. As I have already said, it was
17 clear that they tried to do everything in order to get
18 back those Croats who were living outside those
19 provinces and to chase out by any means all of the
20 Muslim population that was there. If not to chase them
21 out at least to demand that military Bosnian troops
22 fall under the HVO military control. Once again, this
23 was part of the feeling which was shared at that time,
24 that had been a tacit understanding between the Serbs
25 and the Croats, so that that part would belong or would
1 be able to be attached to Croatia in the future.
2 MR. CAYLEY: Some final questions,
3 Mr. President. A matter of five or 10 minutes.
4 Colonel Landry, did Colonel Blaskic, when he
5 was commander of the Central Bosnian Operative Zone,
6 ever inform you or any member of the ECMM that there
7 were elements of his command that were out of control
8 and conducting military operations without any
9 supervision from higher command?
10 A. Not to my knowledge.
11 Q. You have described to the court a fairly
12 systematic operation taking place across a number of
13 municipalities which you have marked on that map. Is
14 it possible, Colonel, that armed criminal gangs, under
15 nobody's particular control, were conducting this
16 campaign of violence, or was it something more
17 systematic and organised in your view?
18 A. In my opinion, it is not possible that
19 throughout the period that I was in Bosnia, that armed
20 gangs would have been able to take advantage of that
21 time period in order to increase the activity that they
22 were carrying out, throughout that period. I could
23 assume, I would imagine there would be one or two or
24 three incidents which may have taken place that might
25 have been armed gangs but not in a systematic way. You
1 should understand that this plan was done throughout
2 the entire period I was there and this took place
4 Q. Now, speaking exclusively of the
5 municipalities of Vitez, Busovaca and Kiseljak, with
6 which you were most familiar with the violence that was
7 taking place there, who was the commander of that
8 region? Who was the superior HVO commander in that
10 A. Throughout the period that I was there, the
11 military HVO commander was Colonel Blaskic.
12 Q. Now, you were a soldier of 30 years
13 experience, you were on the ground at the time. Is it
14 possible, in your view -- and based on your knowledge
15 of events, of what you saw taking place -- that Colonel
16 Blaskic was disconnected from those events?
17 A. There are two possibilities, in my opinion:
18 the first possibility is that Colonel Blaskic assumed
19 the role of the military chief throughout that period
20 and that he was only a figurehead and that he would
21 close his eyes to the activities that were taking place
22 and which included some of his units, which I doubt
23 very much.
24 Throughout this period, I do not have any
25 hesitation in saying that Colonel Blaskic had the time
1 and as the military chief, should have taken all
2 measures possible in order to ensure that his troops
3 would respond properly to his authority and to set in
4 place systems which would guarantee a certain
5 homogeneity in the chain of command. Colonel Blaskic,
6 when I arrived, knew a great deal about the brigade
7 commanders and his troops and, in my opinion, I think
8 it would have been simply impossible for a military
9 chief in that position for such a long amount of time,
10 telling us for all practical purposes that he did not
11 have control over his soldiers. That is just something
12 which I cannot accept. I just cannot recognise.
13 MR. CAYLEY: There is a clarification,
14 Mr. President, in the transcript.
15 It relates to the incident whilst you were
16 driving from Bila past Vitez and on your way to Ahmici,
17 where you saw a number of soldiers in black uniforms;
18 were you shot at by those soldiers?
19 A. Yes. I said that was why we had to flee. We
20 were fired on.
21 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, that is now clear.
22 If I could apply for admission into
23 evidence -- I will not read them all out in order to
24 save time -- in essence, Exhibits 282 through to 305,
25 including all of the translations within that bundle of
1 exhibits which are marked A and B accordingly?
2 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, with respect to
3 two, we had not seen them before today and I have not
4 had a chance to read them in their entirety, because
5 they are somewhat lengthy, Exhibits 290 and 303. As to
6 all others we have no objection. I would simply like
7 to be able read those this evening and I can inform the
8 Court and counsel tomorrow morning if I have any
9 objection as to 290 and 303.
10 Of course, our lack of objection is not with
11 prejudice to our previously stated objections, such as
12 with respect to hearsay and anonymous hearsay.
13 JUDGE JORDA: As regards hearsay, the
14 Tribunal has already rendered its decision on that
15 question. As regards to these exhibits, they are
16 exhibits -- and we will use an analogy -- and are
17 similar to the ones presented under a different
18 aspect. Do you want to wait to tomorrow, do you want
19 to look at the details? You are a professional,
20 Mr. Hayman, you can see what they are about.
21 As regarding the identification of the
22 exhibit, that is a different issue, but it is not very
23 complicated to see that this was identified by the
24 witness. You can contest its substance, but you know
25 what the case law of this Trial Chamber is.
1 You can think about it until tomorrow if you
3 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, could I make
4 a point on this, I realise you do not want to have
5 lengthy discussion, but this goes back --
6 JUDGE JORDA: When there is going to be
7 a debate, there is going to be a debate here. We can
8 have as many discussions here as we like.
9 MR. CAYLEY: This whole matter goes back to
10 the early part of this case when the Defence choose,
11 for their own strategic reasons, not to engage in
12 reciprocal discovery. They did not receive documents
13 such as these from us for that reason. That is why
14 Mr. Hayman does not have them in advance of today.
15 Equally, the Prosecutor does not have any of the
16 documents that Mr. Hayman proposes to admit. It is
17 simply ludicrous every time we attempt to put in
18 documents that Mr. Hayman objects on this ground.
19 Moreover, in respect of the hearsay
20 objection, that matter was decided months ago by this
21 court, yet Mr. Hayman continually objects to hearsay.
22 It is something I do not understand.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley, you do not have to
24 give me the answer. Yes, we settled the issue of
1 Talking about 290 takes us back to
2 a discussion we also reached a decision on. I will
3 consult my colleagues, but it seems to me -- at least
4 personally, I am speaking for myself now -- that this
5 exhibit was identified by the witness. I do not see an
6 objection to having it submitted as an exhibit.
7 It will be submitted as an exhibit and we can
8 begin the cross-examination right away.
9 Cross-examined by MR. HAYMAN
10 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, a few moments ago you
11 testified that at a meeting on 28th April 1993,
12 General Petkovic ordered HVO troops to release a convoy
13 which had been stopped; do you recall that?
14 A. What I said is that General Petkovic was in
15 a position to communicate with the political
16 authorities of the HVO and the HDZ and possibly to have
17 those people, including Mr. Kordic, to give orders to
18 have these vehicles in the convoy released.
19 Q. So your testimony now is that
20 General Petkovic gave an order to Mr. Kordic to release
21 the convoy; is that your testimony? What type of order
22 did General Petkovic give? Can you tell us, please?
23 A. I do not quite understand what is it you are
24 asking. What I do understand is that in my army,
25 military forces are under the control of political
1 people. There were instructions to give communications
2 to a Busovaca Brigade which came from political circles
3 and the instructions, as far as I am concerned, should
4 have been given once again by the political authorities
5 in order to allow this convoy to be released, because
6 the commander of the Busovaca Brigade said that the
7 orders that he had received came from the political
8 wing of the HDZ. So, that -- we were able to meet that
9 evening with the chiefs of staff of the two armies and
10 it seemed that the contact element with the HDZ
11 Government and the HVO chief of staff, which was
12 natural, and that that individual -- therefore,
13 General Petkovic, was able to speak with the political
14 authorities in order to say to them: "You see, we have
15 a cease-fire now, and now everything you are ordering
16 our people on the ground are going against those
17 agreements. Now give us orders that would correspond."
18 What I do not -- I do not know how else I can
19 explain it to you, what other language you want me to
21 Q. Do you agree with what was written by
22 Ambassador Thebault in Exhibit 300?
23 A. Could I take a look at that exhibit?
24 Q. Certainly. (Handed).
25 When he wrote, on page 2, paragraph 3 of this
1 teletype, and I quote:
2 "Of 40 trucks UN H0 convoy of food supplies
3 escorted by two Warriors was hijacked on its way to
4 Zenica. The HVO forces responsible for this action
5 claimed that they did not care for the orders of
6 Colonel Blaskic and Brigadier Petkovic concerning the
7 free movement, that they had strict orders from
8 Mr. Kordic, official highest level representative of HVO
9 for Central Bosnia to arrest this convoy and to search
11 Is that consistent with the information you
12 have in that matter?
13 A. Yes. I never said anything different from
15 Q. Now, you also said a moment ago that there
16 was never a point in time when you had information that
17 there was an HVO element in the Central Bosnia zone
18 that was not under the control of Colonel Blaskic; do
19 you recall that testimony?
20 A. I continue to say this, that is exactly what
21 Colonel Blaskic always said to us, even after that
22 incident, I do not remember having -- I do not remember
23 after that incident having seen specific measures taken
24 by Colonel Blaskic in order to remedy the situation,
25 either by removing the brigade commander from his
1 position or taking any measures so that this kind of
2 incident did not happen again. My understanding,
3 therefore, was that given the fact that Colonel Blaskic
4 was not available, and that Mr. Kordic was in that
5 region, and seemed to have a certain type of attitude
6 towards the strategical elements that had been
7 developed by the HVO, he had said that it would be all
8 right to tell the brigade commander to assume that
10 Once Colonel Blaskic and General Petkovic
11 were made aware of this, they simply went back to the
12 political source -- we were sent back to the political
13 source which was supposed to correct it. Then
14 afterwards, at no point did General Blaskic -- once
15 again I repeat myself, at no point did he say to us
16 that the Busovaca Brigade commander was not under his
17 command. I have always believed that an army is under
18 the political control of its political leaders. One
19 does not go without the other.
20 Q. Would your opinion change if a commander
21 removed a brigade -- that is a supreme or superior
22 commander -- removed a brigade commander who later came
23 back into power through, if you will, the popular
24 uprising of the troops in that brigade? Would that
25 change your position and your opinion about control of
2 A. We are speaking about hypothesis here. What
3 I am saying to you is that Colonel Blaskic, even before
4 I arrived in March, said that he was the commander in
5 chief of all the HVO troops on his territory. After
6 that incident, of 28th April, Colonel Blaskic, once
7 again, and on several occasions, said that he was the
8 commander in chief of all the HVO troops in his
10 Therefore, what that means for me, it means
11 two things: first, that there was a misunderstanding
12 between him and the political leaders and that the
13 situation was then corrected. Or, that Colonel Blaskic
14 said that he was the major person responsible for the
15 HVO troops, knowing all the time that he really was
16 not. Therefore, he was assuming a post for which he
17 was not in a position to take controlling measures.
18 Therefore: "I am a responsible, but when I am not --
19 I am responsible for the group but if there is
20 something that it does that goes against my opinion
21 then I am no longer responsible."
22 That is how things -- things do not work like
23 that in my army, either you are responsible or you do
24 not --
25 JUDGE JORDA: I think this is all very clear,
1 your opinion. It is your opinion. Let us try to move
2 on to other questions and not go round and round the
3 same situations which are hypothetical or might
4 represent the witness's opinion and which shows that
5 once again the Tribunal has understood.
6 Mr. Hayman, please proceed.
7 MR. HAYMAN: I will move on, your Honour, but
8 I will note that in the case of opinion testimony,
9 hypothetical questions are sometimes the only way to
10 test it. The witness did not answer my question.
11 On page 3, paragraph 4 of that same teletype,
12 there is a statement:
13 "It was reported by BritBat that even after
14 the release of the convoy, the local HVO forces
15 continued to stress their refusal of Brigadier
16 Petkovic's orders, claiming they were releasing the
17 convoy only on Mr. Kordic's special orders."
18 Do you see that passage?
19 A. (Witness nods head).
20 Q. And do you agree with it?
21 A. What happened on 28th April, yes,
22 absolutely. Later on, as I said, nothing was done, no
23 concrete measures were taken to correct the
24 situation --
25 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel, we have heard what you
1 have said and we know what your opinion is on this
2 matter. I would like for us to go on to the next
3 question, please.
4 MR. HAYMAN: If you could help me,
5 Lieutenant-Colonel, understand exactly what duties you
6 had from what periods of time. For what period of time
7 were you a monitor conducting field work in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina; can you give me a date? I believe
9 it is sometime in March 1993 until April 22nd 1993.
10 Can you give the exact dates that you were a Monitor in
11 the field, doing field work?
12 A. I must admit that once I arrived in March
13 I was made a member of the Busovaca Commission; I was
14 a member of this Commission until the very end of the
15 Commission, which was around the time period of
17 Q. Yes. Can you tell me when you were a field
18 officer or a Monitor? From what day in March until
19 what day in April, or do you know?
20 A. If you give me the time, I could perhaps look
21 in my notes to give you a more detailed date. From the
22 moment I arrived in Zenica, I was appointed to be head
23 of the Busovaca Commission and the role of that
24 Commission was or required that we require of a team in
25 the field and that is what I did until 22nd April.
1 I do not understand exactly what the nature of your
2 question is.
3 Q. So, on 22nd April, you ceased being a Monitor
4 in the field; is that right?
5 A. We are always Monitors. What I was saying is
6 that from that particular date, most of my work was
7 done from HQ in Zenica. There were times in which
8 I did indeed go to the field to investigate certain
9 action, for example, the freeing of those Croat
10 officers. At that moment I continued to carry out my
11 duties but from the headquarters, but, at the same
12 time, I did also get involved in some arrangements in
13 the field for such situations.
14 I do not know if I have answered your
15 question. I do not know where exactly you would like
16 me to go with this.
17 Q. I take it prior to April 22nd, when you
18 became the operations officer, is that right, at RC
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Prior to that time your duties did not
22 include reviewing reports from other regions and from
23 other monitoring teams; correct?
24 A. No, that is not quite it. I was a member of
25 the Busovaca Commission, so at that time I had to be
1 able to have access to all reports concerning the
2 situation in Central Bosnia. Even if I was not a
3 Monitor for that particular location, because I was
4 a member of this Commission, I had to have access to
5 all of these reports and, on a regular basis, as
6 I said, the Commission would respond to the Joint
7 Commission and we from time to time would go to the HQ
8 in Zenica to prepare and plan for these meetings and so
9 we had to have a very good knowledge of what was going
10 on within all of the area around Zenica.
11 Q. We had an interview in April of 1997; is that
12 correct? You were kind enough to grant me an
13 interview, Lieutenant-Colonel?
14 A. Yes, that is right.
15 Q. We conducted that interview in the English
16 language; correct?
17 A. Yes, that is right.
18 Q. So let me ask you again: did your duties
19 change in any significant way on April 22nd, when you
20 became an operations officer, with respect to whether
21 you routinely reviewed ECMM reports from other
22 monitoring teams and other regions in Central Bosnia or
23 other parts of Bosnia?
24 JUDGE JORDA: I have the impression you have
25 already asked this question, counsellor?
1 MR. HAYMAN: I leave it to the court whether
2 it has been answered. With all respect to the witness
3 and the court, I think we have not gotten there yet.
4 If -- I am not trying to make this painful for any of
5 us. Time is of the essence, but I think I am entitled
6 to an answer to the question.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel, would you please try
8 to answer? Personally, I would think this would be for
9 the third time. I do not want for us to violate any of
10 the rights of the Defence. I would ask for the last
11 time that this question be answered.
12 A. I will try to reformulate my answer. If the
13 Defence is asking me from 22nd April I, indeed, had
14 access to more detailed information, or a more daily
15 basis of the information about activities going on
16 throughout Zenica, I could say "yes". But, I must also
17 repeat that during my stay, and given the specific
18 activities I had within the Busovaca Commission, I had
19 access to the same information, but on a less daily
20 basis, and I would say perhaps more on a weekly basis.
21 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you. Did your duties
22 change further when you became the deputy chief of
23 Mission, with respect to this issue of routinely
24 reviewing reports from across Bosnia-Herzegovina?
25 A. Each report, which was written by the head of
1 operations, had then to be approved by either the
2 commander of the centre or by Ambassador Thebault. So,
3 from the time at which I became the deputy commander --
4 you should understand there were two levels: first of
5 all, there was the head of operations, the person who
6 made sure there were daily and weekly reports which
7 agreed with our own view of the situation; and,
8 secondly, to guarantee the daily operations of the
9 centre at the HQ.
10 Q. If Exhibit 283 could be placed before the
11 witness, please. (Handed).
12 This exhibit references a briefing that you
13 received, I believe, in Zagreb; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that is correct.
15 Q. Did you find, after you arrived in Bosnia,
16 that HVO forces were organised in a similar manner to
17 the way in which HV forces are described as being
18 organised in this exhibit?
19 A. With your permission, I would like to reread
20 the document. (Pause).
21 Once again, to understand the nature of your
22 question, what I can say is that, yes, to a certain
23 degree, that the HVO troops, just as the HV troops
24 responded both to the Government in power. So I can
25 say then that the HVO would also have to respond to the
1 HDZ, which was there in power. They have the same
2 commanders just like the HVO, that is true and like the
3 other operational groups that were operating in the HVO
5 Q. Let me ask you, then, in respect to
6 paragraph 7, of this exhibit, 283, it describes the HV,
7 that is the Army of Croatia, as being organised into
8 a regular army, home guards or domobran and reservists,
9 with the domobran or home guards and reservists
10 outnumbering the regular army forces by about five to
11 one. Did you find that those same groupings or
12 categories were used by the HVO in Central Bosnia
13 during your tour of duty?
14 A. No. To my memory, I do not recall seeing any
15 of these groups, no; militias, that is. No, not in my
17 Q. Does that mean the HVO only had regular army
18 troops or that all of these types of persons were
19 lumped together in the HVO?
20 A. Okay, I have a better idea now of the nature
21 of your question. I will try to give you a concise
23 It was very difficult at that time to
24 distinguish between a regular soldier, militia and
25 a police officer or even civilians. One thing is
1 certain, is that no matter what (Inaudible) these
2 people had or no matter what uniform they were wearing,
3 they responded to a very military organisation. This
4 military structure was at all times an integrated part
5 of the HVO. When I would encounter local commanders in
6 the Busovaca Brigade, I saw that these commanders would
7 respond to the HVO commanders.
8 These people were not always wearing military
9 uniforms, often they were residents of villages, but at
10 no time at all did these people lead me to believe that
11 they were part of a different military structure.
12 I would not need to really meet with these
13 people because I was trying to make sure that I applied
14 the cease-fire agreement which had been agreed upon in
15 July and there was also the commanders of Busovaca who
16 had agreed and, indeed, there were orders that were
17 signed to allow the local commanders to follow these
18 orders. Very often some of these commanders were
19 dressed in civilian clothing in these villages.
20 Q. So it is fair to say then that the presence
21 or absence of a uniform in Central Bosnia during the
22 relevant period of time tells us very little about
23 whether someone was a soldier or not; would you agree
24 with that?
25 A. Yes, I agree. That is why I said that the
1 Bosnian troops, from the month of May, had decided then
2 to put together -- or put on a patch, a shoulder patch,
3 as well as have identity cards to indeed demonstrate
4 that they were part of the BiH troops -- BiH Army.
5 Q. In certain ECMM documents, a distinction is
6 made between confirmed and unconfirmed information;
8 A. Yes, each day we would issue our reports and
9 we would list a number of events and these then would
10 be summarised by some sort of estimate of the situation
11 at hand and very often these estimates were not always
12 confirmed, as you have just stated, but were simply
13 based on our knowledge of the field, which gave us some
14 idea of how we could estimate the situation at hand.
15 Q. This exhibit, 283, does not distinguish
16 between confirmed and unconfirmed information. Let me
17 ask you to look at paragraph 27, specifically the first
18 sentence, which reads:
19 "The Croatian Defence Council, HVO, is
20 believed to be controlled by the Croatian Army from
22 Do you see that sentence?
23 A. Yes, I see it.
24 Q. Would you agree that that information is
25 presented in an unconfirmed format; that is, if it were
1 confirmed information it would be presented differently
2 in this document?
3 A. Yes, you are right. I also note the fact
4 that -- I appreciate the fact that you have mentioned
5 this because in the ECMM HQ, which is a strategic HQ,
6 you should note that before such documents are
7 circulated, indeed, there is a great deal of
8 information that must be received first to be able to
9 mention such things and to then send them to all
10 Monitors. Before distributing this type of
11 information, I must admit that all of the people
12 working at ECMM believe this is, indeed, what was
13 happening, given the fact that, missing some evidence,
14 we had to write it in the way it was written there, as
15 you see, in English.
16 Q. Can you tell us during your tour of duty in
17 Bosnia whether you gained any personal information that
18 would suggest that the HVO was within the command
19 structure of the HV; that is Republic of Croatian
20 Army? Did you personally obtain any such information
21 during your tour?
22 A. Well, I would say that I was never invited by
23 an order given by Blaskic or Petkovic. So, to answer
24 your question, I must say quite honestly, no, but,
25 since I myself was an officer in charge of
1 intelligence, I can tell you that there is some
2 evidence or proof in the field that would lead us to
3 believe that there was, indeed, a link. I would have
4 a great deal of difficulty in understanding and
5 accepting the fact that logistical means would be made
6 available into a Bosnian area for patriotic reasons
7 alone. I think that these were logistical means which
8 were quite rare or usually kept quite jealously in
9 their own HQs and used only in very specific military
11 Q. You have told us previously how the Bosnian
12 Muslims in Central Bosnia had to rely on supply routes
13 that went through HVO territory; for example, in
14 Herzegovina; correct?
15 A. The only access routes that were acceptable
16 for Central Bosnia for Muslims were those roads which
17 were built -- I say mainly that were built by the
18 United Nations and for which all supplies were
19 frequently transported, but I was aware of the fact
20 there were other roads, mountain roads, and I did,
21 indeed, mention at one point that Merdan, the deputy
22 commander of the Third Corps, did indeed use these
23 roads on certain occasions to join certain units. At
24 times one would have to use mountain roads. I knew
25 that it was possible for these people to get supplies
1 or try to get information in the Bosnian camps which
2 were in the Mostar region because, indeed, there were
3 indeed roads leading to that location but these were
4 roads that could be used to -- were not able, rather,
5 to supply a population of some 5 million in Tuzla.
6 Q. I was not speaking of Bosnia camps in the
7 Mostar region, I was talking about Bosnian Muslims in
8 Central Bosnia. Would you agree that, with respect to
9 that region, all, or virtually all, of the munitions
10 and supplies that they obtained were permitted to pass
11 through Croatia and through HVO-controlled territory in
13 A. Let me repeat in part what I just stated.
14 I said there were mountain roads that existed which
15 would enable, for various units and Central Bosnia to
16 be joined. But the only road that could truly
17 accommodate road traffic would have to be the roads
18 that go through a sector which is under the control of
19 the HVO. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. And the Republic of Croatia; correct, in
21 terms of an outlet out of Bosnia-Herzegovina, those
22 roads lead to Dalmatia, which is in the Republic of
23 Croatia; correct?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Let me direct your attention to paragraph 33
1 of this briefing paper, which recites, with respect to
2 the HVO in Bosnia, that they are well equipped with
3 both armour and artillery.
4 Let me ask you: did you ever see the HVO in
5 possession of any armour in the Vitez/Busovaca pocket
6 or enclave during your tour of duty?
7 A. I do not recall.
8 Q. They did not have any, is that not correct?
9 There were no tanks or armoured personnel carriers in
10 the possession of the HVO in the Vitez/Busovaca
11 enclave; do you agree with that statement?
12 A. That is not what I said. You asked me what
13 I saw and I said "no".
14 Q. You said you did not recall. Then I asked
15 you: do you agree that, in fact, they did not have
16 any. Do you agree that the HVO, in the Vitez/Busovaca
17 pocket, did not have any armoured carriers or tanks; or
18 do you believe they did?
19 A. Perhaps I would be more prepared to say that
20 perhaps there is some possibility that they had some of
21 these type of these vehicles, but I am not in
22 a position to say they had none. I saw some
23 artillery. I saw some cannons that were being
24 transported on some vehicles. Perhaps there were other
25 types of vehicles as well that the HVO had in the
1 centre, but that is all I can say. I cannot really
2 confirm this one way or another, whether or not these
3 existed. I can say I saw other types of equipment
4 which may lead me to believe that when you have
5 artillery hardware, perhaps it is not altogether
6 unthinkable to have other types of, perhaps, vehicles
7 for transporting troops and things of that nature.
8 MR. HAYMAN: If Exhibit 285 could be placed
9 before the witness, please. (Handed).
10 This is the ECMM teletype attaching the
11 various 13th February 1993 orders which, as we
12 understand it, gave rise to the Busovaca Joint
13 Commission; is that right? Do these documents include
14 the founding documents for the Busovaca Joint
16 A. Yes, that is, indeed, it.
17 Q. Did you ever see the originals of these
18 documents signed by General Hadzihuseinovic and Colonel
20 A. Yes, I saw them but, once again, the original
21 copy -- I am not the one who had the original copy, but
22 all members of the Busovaca Commission received a copy
23 which I was able to keep over the years. This is what
24 I have here now.
25 Q. Would you agree, summarising so that we do
1 not go through each one, that this set of orders
2 provided for separation of forces; provision of
3 security for persons returning to their homes;
4 unconditional release of all detainees, other than
5 criminals; removal of road barricades; all checkpoints
6 to be joint; establishment of a Joint Commission;
7 filling in of trenches and bunkers and free passage for
8 humanitarian aid and certain other transport? Would
9 you agree that this set of orders by
10 General Hadzihuseinovic and Colonel Blaskic provided
11 for those steps?
12 A. Yes. Yes, in short, that is it.
13 Q. Were you briefed -- because you were not in
14 Bosnia yet when these orders were issued; correct? Is
15 that correct?
16 A. (Witness nods head).
17 Q. You have to answer audibly so that in the
18 record there is an audible answer.
19 A. Yes, that is right. I was not there when
20 these orders were written. Indeed, that is the reason
21 that I obtained a copy. Then I had carried it with me
22 on a regular basis to the meetings of the Commission.
23 Q. Were you briefed as to whether or not there
24 were any requests by the ECMM at these negotiations in
25 Kakanj on 13th February 1993, to which Colonel Blaskic
1 did not agree; in other words, did he withhold
2 agreement as to any requests that the ECMM made in the
3 course of those negotiations, or do you know?
4 A. I am not really aware of what you are talking
5 about now. The document I work with is this document
6 here. I did, indeed, meet with two joint meetings in
7 which the heads of the two armed corps were present in
8 order to discuss the situation with regards to the
9 putting into practice of this agreement for
11 Q. Do you know what ECMM personnel were present
12 at these negotiations on 13th February 1993?
13 A. I have no idea.
14 Q. Did anyone within the ECMM organisation ever
15 tell you that they believed that these orders, which
16 constitute Exhibit 285, were issued in bad faith,
17 either by General Hadzihuseinovic or by
18 Colonel Blaskic?
19 A. Well, what I can tell you is that what I did
20 is when I arrived, they gave me information about the
21 Busovaca Commission and then I was told that we had to
22 implement the agreement made in this document, but at
23 no time was I given the understanding that it would not
24 be applicable.
25 Q. So, you were never told by anyone within ECMM
1 that these orders were a ruse either on the part of the
2 BiH Army or on the part of the HVO; that is that they
3 had been issued as part of some intention not to carry
4 them forward. Is that correct?
5 A. What I can tell you is that in the month of
6 March I truly believed, at a moment, that both -- on
7 the BiH side as well as the HVO side -- felt that there
8 was indeed an interest or a will to agree and to comply
9 with this cease-fire agreement. This is what
10 I believed anyway in the month of March. But, as you
11 have heard today and also yesterday, that changed
12 gradually as time progressed.
13 Q. Do you believe that Mr. Nakic did everything
14 he could to see that these orders in Exhibit 285 were
15 enforced and implemented?
16 A. That was his responsibility, to carry out --
17 it was the commander's responsibility to carry out
18 those -- he represented the commander and he was
19 supposed to sit with us to hear protests that were made
20 -- that came from the other army, which would sit with
21 us in order to carry out business or to see what was
22 really behind these protests and then make reports to
23 the headquarters as to the situation.
24 Mr. Nakic was not a commander of the
25 operational central zone. He was the deputy
2 Q. I will repeat my question: did you believe
3 that Mr. Nakic did everything he could to see that these
4 orders in Exhibit 285 were enforced and implemented?
5 A. In March I believe, in fact, that there was
6 excellent communication between the representatives of
7 the Commission and the headquarters. Mr. Nakic was not
8 alone, he was always accompanied by two or three
9 members of the General Nakic's staff and there were
10 regular reports that were prepared. It was the Joint
11 Commission at that time which seemed to confirm to me
12 that the information was passing from one group to
13 another very well.
14 I would like to repeat once again that it was
15 not my perception that Mr. Nakic was the one who was
16 responsible for carrying out the orders.
17 Q. I did not ask you whether Mr. Nakic was
18 responsible for carrying out orders or whatever.
19 I asked you: did he, in your judgement, make a best
20 efforts attempt, during the time the Commission
21 existed, to see that these orders in Exhibit 285 were
22 implemented and enforced?
23 A. What I can say is that around the end of
24 March or the beginning of April it was clear that there
25 was a lack of cooperation on the part of the HVO
1 representatives; that is, it was this lack of whether
2 it was theirs or whether it was coming from the
3 headquarters, but every excuse was used in order to
4 delay implementation of the cease-fire agreements.
5 Q. Where did these excuses come from, do you
6 know? Where did you encounter them, out in the field?
7 A. As regards the implementation of the
8 communication or the -- that we had to set up in order
9 to re-establish a communication facilities between --
10 and Kacuni and it was clear at that time that it was
11 not strictly the work of Mr. Nakic, but he had
12 information which would go all the way to the bottom,
13 but it took a great deal of time before we could get
14 written orders from the brigade commanders in order to
15 fill in the trenches.
16 I do not know what else you would like me to
18 Q. You are telling us that, in terms of filling
19 in trenches in the Busovaca municipality, it was the
20 brigade commanders who were the obstacle, because you
21 needed to get the brigade commanders to issue written
22 orders to the lower level commanders; is that right?
23 A. What I am saying to you is that a brigade
24 commander takes his orders from his commander, his
25 formation commanders. The deputy commander has limited
1 authority because the deputy commander in the
2 circumstances in which he was appointed represented the
4 In my way of interpreting the works of the
5 Commission, it meant that that commander would make
6 a report to his staff -- his headquarters, rather, and
7 that commander was to take action. That is the reason
8 that, on two occasions in March and the beginning of
9 April, that there were meetings between the Joint
10 Commission because at that time all of the commanders,
11 Halilovic and Blaskic were present at the meetings that
12 were presided over by Mr. Thebault. But, yes, if there
13 is a brigade commander that does not implement orders
14 that were already distributed on 13th February and that
15 brigade commander is a few kilometres away from your
16 Vitez command centre, I think it is your responsibility
17 as the commander to go to verify to be sure whether
18 this brigade is really obeying your orders.
19 Q. With respect to the Busovaca Brigade
20 commander, I take it there was a meeting between him
21 and his BiH Army counterpart prior to the signing of
22 the joint order which is one of the exhibits to your
23 testimony; correct?
24 A. Yes. Further to the request of the local
25 commanders, the local commanders said to us: "before
1 we can fill in the trenches we would like to have
2 written orders from our commanders." Therefore, what
3 we did then was we set up series of meetings between
4 the two commanders in order to initiate that
5 procedure. I have very clear recollection that in
6 Busovaca, the commander of the Busovaca Brigade and the
7 Kacuni Brigade came to Busovaca at least one time.
8 Q. Had the commander of the BiH army brigade in
9 Busovaca, had he issued a written order to his lower
10 level units to fill in the trenches prior to issuing
11 the order which is one of the exhibits to your
13 A. No. Because in my opinion, it did not
14 require a written order in order to carry these things
15 out. The only thing that I do remember very clearly is
16 that on the side of the local commanders of the HVO, we
17 would often come back and say that they needed written
18 orders. Military people do not need written orders in
19 order to execute orders, when the orders are at least
20 two months old.
21 Q. They should not; that is your point?
22 A. That is right. As I said, I can remember
23 very clearly that the request came from the HVO
24 troops. Therefore, in order not to create any
25 prejudice to one side or the other, one required joint
1 orders. The same type of order that had been initially
2 given by General Hadzihuseinovic and General Blaskic.
3 Q. General Hadzihuseinovic.
4 Prior to the issuance of that joint order by
5 the two brigade commanders in Busovaca, had you seen
6 any BiH army trenches filled in in that municipality?
7 A. What municipality, because there were
9 Q. In the Busovaca municipality, which here
10 would be the area of Kacuni, I believe, is where you
11 would be having most contact with BiH Army in the
12 Busovaca municipality. Were any BiH Army trenches
13 filled in prior to the issuance of the joint brigade
14 commander's orders?
15 A. No, no. For the simple reason that before
16 filling in the trenches, both commanders of both
17 organisations wanted themselves to go to the trenches
18 and that had to be done together. This is the
19 agreement that had been reached. So long as one did
20 not want to fill in the trenches, the other one would
21 not fill them in either.
22 Q. I guess they did not trust each other;
24 A. Yes, that is right.
25 Q. So they were dragging their feet together,
1 the BiH Army commander and the HVO brigade commander;
2 would you not say that is a fair statement?
3 A. No, I do not agree with you. I will tell you
4 why. If I remember the work that I did at that time,
5 both with the local commanders of the Donji Polje
6 region and the local commanders of the Donji Gornji and
7 Solakovici areas. I can tell you at the end, before
8 the trenches were filled, the local commanders on both
9 sides had visited the trenches of the other side and
10 that they were -- they had meetings. I remember that
11 there were at least two meetings that took place
12 between the local commanders on both sides which took
13 place without the ECMM being there. The question which
14 we asked at that point is that each of the sides --
15 principally on the HVO side is that they want to have
16 a written order before filling in the trenches so that
17 there would be no possible negative consequences to
18 having filled them in.
19 In my opinion, the local commanders already
20 had a certain level of trust regarding the fact that
21 these orders would be written or had been written.
22 MR. HAYMAN: The orders which are Exhibit 285,
23 would you agree that they were issued --
24 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I am objecting at
25 this point, because I think we have covered this ground
1 comprehensively. I think Colonel Landry has answered
2 all the questions concerning these orders and the
3 incident in Solakovici.
4 JUDGE JORDA: I am sorry to disappoint you
5 for the first time, but I think that I did not really
6 follow this question because I was wondering what time
7 we should stop. I would like to understand your
8 objection better. First I would like to consult with
9 my colleagues.
10 All right, we will continue until 6.45.
11 I was take -- I was caught in the act of not listening
12 and I apologise and ask Mr. Hayman to ask his question
13 again so I can better understand Mr. Cayley's
15 MR. HAYMAN: I had not quite got all the
16 question out, Mr. President, but I will now.
17 Is it your understanding, Lieutenant-Colonel,
18 that the orders which are Exhibit 285, that they were
19 issued in response to the conflict in the Busovaca
20 municipality which had erupted in late January 1993?
21 A. Yes, that is right. Among other things,
22 mainly as regards the conflicts or the violence which
23 took place in Busovaca.
24 Q. And the Commission, itself, was designed
25 principally to monitor conditions in the Busovaca
1 municipality with respect to compliance with these
2 orders; would you agree with that?
3 A. No. I think it was more than the city of
4 Busovaca, at least as I understand it, and as my
5 comrades understood it during the month and a half that
6 I was on that Commission, they did not only relate to
7 Busovaca but that there was a certain emphasis placed
8 on Busovaca. As you can read the essential elements of
9 the cease-fire, it covered the entire operational zone
10 in the centre.
11 MR. HAYMAN: If Exhibit 286 could be placed
12 before the witness, please.
13 This is the Busovaca Joint Co-ordination
14 Commission Charter. (Handed).
15 I would direct your attention to the second
16 paragraph, which begins -- it is titled "Aim" and it
18 "The aim of the Busovaca Joint Co-ordination
19 Commission is to monitor and record the situation in
20 the Busovaca area pertaining to compliance of the joint
21 orders issued by the joint command BiH/HVO."
22 Do you agree with that?
23 A. I have no problem with this. I would just
24 tell you that you should look at who signed this and to
25 see that this document was principally done for the
1 British, I did not answer to the chain of command of
2 General Stewart but rather the ECMM chain of command.
3 This document was presented in order to give
4 an idea of the structure of the Commission. But look
5 at who signed the document and who did not sign it.
6 Q. You are saying that that might have been BritBat's
7 view, but it was not the ECMM's view?
8 A. No, that is not what I am saying. What I am
9 saying is that it was very important for BritBat, it
10 was very important for BritBat, to normalise the
11 situation in Busovaca, it was their operational
12 centre. BritBat had nothing at all to do in the
13 Kiseljak region, which was under CanBat; BritBat had
14 nothing to do in the Kakanj area which was under the
15 FrenchBat. On several occasions we had to intervene in
16 the Visoko region and in the Kakanj region either with
17 French or with Canadians.
18 Once again, I cannot tell you that this
19 was -- we went against what BritBat wanted, but the
20 BritBat centre was the sector that UNPROFOR had given
21 to them. I can talk about other action that took place
22 in Kiseljak or in Kakanj. These were actions that took
23 place outside of the BritBat territory. That was not
24 their area of responsibility. This document was done
25 by the BritBat commander with the original purpose of
1 showing that for him the Busovaca Commission originally
2 should to be concerned with occupying the situation --
3 by normalising the situation in the area. Why should
4 BritBat go into other sectors? Tell me that? Other
5 sectors would be under the control of other elements.
6 You should not look at this document as being one -- as
7 being one which limits the cease-fire.
8 I can tell you that the cease-fire for the
9 entire -- was for the entire operational zone and that
10 is what we did. We worked on the entire operational
11 zone, including all the UNPROFOR units that were part
12 of that operational zone.
13 Q. Let me ask you, during your tour, did you
14 ever learn what had precipitated the conflict in
15 Busovaca in January -- late January, 1993? Did you
16 ever learn that?
17 A. I learned it, the conflict -- among other
18 people, the Croatian interpreter who was my main
19 interpreter and who came from Busovaca lost two of his
20 brothers during that well-known conflict. I also had
21 heard from some of my Muslim interpreters that, yes --
22 about what happened. So I did understand some of what
23 had happened. My intention was not in order to
24 construct something from the past but to start with
25 a cease-fire. I knew it would be difficult because
1 there was animosity, very clearly so, whenever the two
2 ethnic groups could meet because confidence had
4 Q. Did you ever learn as a result of your
5 briefings and interviews and meetings whether, during
6 the conflict in Busovaca, which began in late January
7 1993, whether Colonel Blaskic was in Busovaca or was
8 cut off in the Kiseljak enclave on the other side of
9 the strip of land from Kacuni to Bilalovac which was
10 controlled by the BiH Army. Did you ever learn the
11 answer to that question?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Directing your attention to the annex to
14 Exhibit 286, which should be before you, that is the
15 last page. First of all, is it accurate or are there
16 any errors in it?
17 A. I can tell you that there are some errors.
18 If you look at what was on the ground, things changed
19 throughout the period that the Commission met. Things
20 changed, but essentially that is what took place.
21 I can tell you among other things that the BritBat was
22 not always there. At the end it was not there at all.
23 I can tell you at the end that the troops that
24 represented the British were not troops that -- that
25 came specifically from BritBat but rather from the
1 British contingent.
2 So, there were changes that took place. The
3 reason I showed this document to the attorney who asked
4 me the question was to show that this would give us an
5 idea of how the Commission was structured.
6 Q. Was it central to the design of the
7 Commission, both at the co-ordinating committee level
8 and at the actual Joint Commission level, that there be
9 some symmetry or equality between the BiH Army
10 representative or representatives and the HVO
11 representative or representatives?
12 A. Yes, I think that is what they wanted to do,
13 that the people who were on the Commission would have
14 as much authority as the other party.
15 Q. Now, the BiH Army representative on the
16 actual Commission was Mr. Merdan; correct?
17 A. Yes, Mr. Merdan.
18 Q. What was his rank? Was he a general?
19 A. I always called him Mr. Merdan, but I think he
20 was a general, brigadier-general, I think so.
21 Q. What is Mr. Nakic's rank within the HVO?
22 A. I have no idea. I later learned that
23 Mr. Nakic was not -- was not a professional officer,
24 that he was an individual, but what was important for
25 me, since I knew that Colonel Blaskic's career, when
1 I compare it to General Hadzihuseinovic at the
2 beginning of the conflict that Blaskic was a captain
3 and Hadzihuseinovic was already at the point of
4 becoming a general. For me that was not terribly
6 What I was more interested in was that we had
7 before us two individuals with the same level of
8 authority within their authorities -- distant
10 Q. General Merdan, by contrast, was he a career
11 JNA officer, that is JNA, former Yugoslav National
13 A. According to what I was told and what
14 I learned, I think that General Merdan was not an
15 infantry or an army officer, but that he had had
16 a career at some point in the Yugoslav navy. At least
17 that is what I was told at one point.
18 Q. As an officer?
19 A. Yes, absolutely. Absolutely, as an officer.
20 Q. Let me now ask you about your visit to
21 Skradno. Do you have that subject-matter in mind?
22 A. Yes. As I explained to the Trial Chamber
23 I have a very clear recollection of all the activities
24 that took place in Skradno. If you are speaking about
25 a date, I would have to check the reports in my
1 documents. If you are speaking about what took place
2 in Skradno, I have a very clear recollection.
3 Q. Were there HVO soldiers guarding the village
4 when you visited the village?
5 A. The reason I am hesitating is that I have to
6 tell you honestly that there were people wearing
7 uniforms who were guarding the village. They said that
8 they were from the police, but, as you know, both the
9 BiH Army and the HVO used military police and regular
10 police, but there were policemen who were guarding the
11 entrance to the village of Skradno.
12 Q. I take it you are not able to tell us today
13 whether they were military police or civil police; is
14 that right?
15 A. That is right. But what I can tell you is
16 that the representatives who were with us from the HVO
17 had visited that village, never let me think that they
18 were not responsible for those people or that in one
19 way or another they were not in a position to influence
21 You see, that is what is important and that
22 is what I considered important. Had there been
23 a problem, had there been a lack of authority, I would
24 have expected that the people who represented the HVO
25 authorities would have said to me that these people are
1 not under our control, but it was never said, it was
2 never done, so I always assumed that when I would
3 investigate into -- investigate a protest from Skradno,
4 that those people would tell me, one way or another,
5 now that they were in control of those police, or were
6 not. There were several protests about Skradno and it
7 was -- and we were never told later that Skradno was a
8 sector that they were not concerned with. In fact,
9 I even saw improvements which therefore let me assume
10 that there was some type of chain of command or some
11 type of information that was eventually disseminated
12 amongst those people. I told them the first time
13 I went there the people had been forced to line up
14 against the walls of their houses and to go through
15 a mock execution. As far as I can remember those
16 incidents did not take place again, therefore for me
17 there was already some improvement. It was clear that
18 some of the information had reached there.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Do you still have another
20 question, Mr. Hayman?
21 MR. HAYMAN: I think this would be
22 a convenient time to break, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We will resume
24 tomorrow I think at 2.30, but there is a hearing first
25 on another aspect of the Blaskic trial, then
1 subsequently we will continue with the
2 cross-examination of Colonel Landry. The court stands
3 adjourned and we will resume tomorrow at 2.30.
4 (6.45 pm)
5 (The hearing adjourned until 2.30 pm
6 on Wednesday, 22nd April 1998)