1 May 11, 1998.
2 --- Upon commencing at 10.30 a.m.
3 (Closed Session)
13 page 8487 redacted – closed session
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11 --- Recess taken at 10.48 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.15 a.m.
13 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please
14 be seated.
15 Mr. Prosecutor?
16 MR. KEHOE: Yes, good morning, Mr. President,
17 Judge Riad. We are going to move back to the
18 cross-examination of Mr. Vulliamy that we postponed, I
19 believe, on the 24th of April, 1993.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead, please.
21 MR. KEHOE: I believe the Defence counsel has
22 the floor and if the usher could bring Mr. Vulliamy
23 into the courtroom?
24 (The witness entered court).
25 WITNESS; Resumed.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Vulliamy, good morning.
2 Thank you for coming again. You hear me? Thank you
3 for coming. You are still under oath.
4 I will not repeat to explain the conditions
5 under which we're meeting today, but for you, that
6 doesn't change anything at all. You will be asked
7 questions by Defence counsel. This will not change
8 anything in terms of your examination-in-chief and
9 cross-examination. It is a procedural issue that has
10 been resolved in full agreement between the Prosecution
11 and the Defence to sit in the absence of one judge;
12 whereas, the two Judges, Judge Riad and myself, have
13 been designated as presiding officers.
14 So nothing is changing. You're still under
15 oath. You will now be asked questions by Mr. Hayman,
16 one of the Defence counsel of General Blaskic.
17 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President, and
18 good morning, Mr. Vulliamy?
19 A. Good morning to you, sir.
20 Q. Let me ask you, first, is it correct that you
21 testified for the Office of the Tribunal Prosecutor in
22 the Tadic case?
23 A. I did, yes.
24 Q. Have you agreed to testify in future cases in
25 the future, without identifying the cases; is that also
2 A. I've been notified that there's likely to be
3 one other, yes.
4 Q. Let me direct your attention to that portion
5 of your testimony on direct examination which dealt
6 with your meeting with Mate Boban on the 13th of August
8 With the permission of the court, if at any
9 time you would like to refer to a transcript of the
10 your earlier testimony, the Defence would certainly
11 encourage you to ask for that opportunity?
12 A. I do have one, not with me now, but I'll do
13 my best not to waste your time. I do have the same
14 notes I had with me last time. I'll refer to them and
15 save you the bother, if possible.
16 Q. Very good, thank you. Do you recall at your
17 meeting with Mate Boban on 13 August, 1992, was there
18 anyone else present?
19 A. Yes, there was, a reporter from the
20 Associated Press with whom I had been to the AMP
21 (phoen) at Dretelj.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Can you just look at us?
23 THE WITNESS: Of course, I'm sorry, yes,
24 forgive me.
25 --- Short pause.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. We have a problem
2 with the transcript.
3 You testify in many of the hearings, then you
4 are a witness to many of the troubles that we are
5 having with the equipment.
6 THE WITNESS: That's quite all right, sir.
7 JUDGE JORDA: For you, in the end. Now, it's
9 Please continue.
10 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Mr. Vulliamy, who was the AP reporter who was
12 present with you in that meeting on 13th August?
13 A. Her name was Maude Bielmann from the AP and
14 there was a translator who was employed by the
15 Associated Press whose name, I'm afraid, I can't
17 Q. Is it fair to say that in that meeting, Mate
18 Boban voiced support for a federal system of government
19 in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
20 A. He wanted a form of government that he called
21 that of cantons or provinces. I don't recall the word
22 "federal" being used, but, I mean, the bit that I
23 noted and that stuck in my mind was this reference to
24 cantons and provinces and that he was talking about his
25 difficulties in accepting the constitution of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina as formulated when it secured its
3 Q. Is it correct that at no time in the meeting
4 he stated that Herceg-Bosna should legally become a
5 part of Croatia; that is, be annexed to Croatia.
6 Q. He didn't use the term annexed. To the best
7 of my recollection the term -- the term was that
8 Herceg-Bosna was culturally, spiritually and
9 economically part of Croatia but had been severed from
10 Croatia by what he called unfortunate historical
12 Q. Would you agree at no time did he state that
13 Herceg-Bosna should legally become a part of Croatia?
14 A. I don't recall him using the word "legally,"
15 but it was fairly clear that he didn't intend for there
16 to be much of a border between the two.
17 Indeed, there wasn't at the time, a fairly
18 cursory border, anyway.
19 Q. I may pause for a moment after your answers
20 to allow the interpreters to complete their
22 A. That's fine.
23 Q. Just for your information.
24 A. That's fine.
25 Q. Now, let me direct your attention to
1 Travnik. In September of 1992, at about that time,
2 were there refugees coming into Travnik?
3 A. Oh, yes, thousands of refugees.
4 Q. From where?
5 A. Mostly from the area around Prijedor, Samski
6 Most, Banja Luka, and the north-western Bosnian Krajina
7 as it's called, and they were coming over the road, a
8 road which I knew well. A part of my testimony before
9 did not cover, because it wasn't directly relevant, an
10 occasion on which -- whereas a correspondent from
11 Reuters I joined one of these convoys which the Serbs
12 were herding over the mountains throughout a no-man's
13 land at a place called Smet.
14 They were pretty terrifying convoys and they
15 were coming down into Travnik throughout August when I
16 travelled on one, and throughout September and, indeed,
17 into the autumn, they continued to come.
18 Q. In September when you travelled with this
19 group of refugees, were the refugees predominantly
20 Croat on Muslim?
21 A. Predominantly Muslim, but there were some
22 Croats among them.
23 Q. Do you have an estimate whether there was
24 1,000 or 5,000 refugees on this occasion in September,
25 1992 that you saw?
1 A. As I recall, the number that had come into
2 Travnik - this is to the best of my recollection - when
3 I made that journey in August, 1992 was something like
4 36- to 40,000 had come over that road from the Prijedor
5 area, and by the time I went back in September,
6 although it might have been at a slightly later date, I
7 recall the figure of 76,000, yes.
8 So we're talking about tens of thousands,
9 yes. During the time I was in Travnik in September, it
10 would have been two nights' worth, as it were, and I
11 think that probably from my experience the convoy I was
12 on would have represented some 2- to 3,000 people.
13 Q. Is it fair to say that those numbers were
14 larger than the size of towns such as Travnik and
16 Do you know how large Travnik was, perhaps I
17 should ask first?
18 A. No, I don't, I'm afraid, because the
19 population was impossible to gauge. All I know is the
20 number of refugees swelling, the original populations
21 of Travnik and Vitez became proportionately higher and
22 higher as the autumn went on, obviously, yes. They
23 moved some on to Zenica and to Herzegovina, depending
24 on their origin, but most had to stay.
25 Q. Would you say that these vast numbers of
1 refugees moving into Bosnia were severely overtaxing
2 the infrastructure and social services available?
3 A. Yes, such as they were. People were doing
4 the best job they could to cope, but, I mean, there
5 wasn't much of an infrastructure to tax.
6 But obviously the authorities in both Travnik
7 and Vitez and other towns, Zenica in particular, were
8 finding it difficult to cope with these numbers, yeah,
9 particularly since these towns -- or Travnik was still
10 under siege.
11 Q. You said in your earlier examination that in
12 September of '92 you met an HVO commander in Travnik by
13 the name of Pokrajcic?
14 A. Joko Pokrajcic, yes.
15 Q. And that he said "he was not going to bow to
16 pressure from either side", quote, unquote, page 7758
17 of the transcript.
18 Did he say to you who or what forces were
19 specifically putting pressure on him?
20 A. To the best of my recollection, he made it
21 clear that he was talking about his own army, on the
22 one hand, putting pressure on him to be part of a
23 hostile state of affairs with the Muslims, and that
24 there was pressure on him from the Muslim side too, and
25 that he was resisting this pressure.
1 In fact, he said, his words, to the best of
2 my recollection were: "I'm here to fight for the
3 victim peoples of this war", and said something about
4 "over my dead body will I not do that".
5 Q. Did he say specifically to you, though, who
6 was putting such pressure on him on the Croat or HVO
8 A. He didn't name any names, no, but he -- I
9 mean, he left room for no other inference than, I'm
10 caught between these two sets of pressures and that on
11 the Croat side it was coming from his own army, yeah.
12 Q. Well, did he say -- I take it he said nothing
13 more, whether there was pressure from Mostar, pressure
14 from local politicians, pressure from the regional
16 A. He didn't specify on that occasion, no.
17 Q. Thank you. Now, let me direct your attention
18 to the next month, October of 1992. You said you heard
19 that on October 20th, 1992 Mate Boban had visited
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. How did you hear this?
23 A. It was in the paper when we were in Split.
24 Q. Do you recall what paper?
25 A. I think Slobodna Dalmacija, but I don't, I'm
1 afraid, no. It could have been one of the Croatian
3 Q. Do you recall, was it a Croatian language
4 paper or an English language paper?
5 A. Croatian language.
6 Q. Can you read the Croatian language?
7 A. No, I can't, but we had translators reading
8 the papers for us every day.
9 Q. Did you ever talk to anyone in Travnik that
10 said they had seen Mate Boban in Travnik in October,
12 A. I didn't talk to anybody in Travnik, but I
13 talked to people at the Vitez radio station about it,
14 yes. That would be the following night.
15 Q. What did they say about Boban, whether or not
16 he had been in Travnik in October, 1992?
17 A. They confirmed that he had been, but we
18 didn't talk about it much.
19 Q. What did they say?
20 A. I can't remember exactly, I'm afraid.
21 Q. You also said that you heard that on the 21st
22 of October, 1992, there was a shoot-out or a conflict at
23 a gas station over the division of petroleum supplies.
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. Who did you hear that from?
1 A. First of all from my translator, who is also
2 a cameraman, and then later when we got up to Vitez, at
3 the radio station people were talking about it, both
4 the Muslim and the Croatian people at the radio debate
5 were talking about this incident at the gas station.
6 Q. Did any of those people tell you who had
7 attacked whom in connection with this gas station?
8 A. The account I heard from the guy who was
9 producing the programme was that there had been an
10 argument over the distribution of fuel and that the HVO
11 had said to the Muslim that they weren't going to get
12 their share or their entire share, and there was an
13 argument and an exchange of fire and a Muslim was
15 Q. Do you know whether there was a local
16 history; that is, a history within Travnik going back
17 some time concerning a dispute over this gas station?
18 A. No. I knew that there had been -- I mean,
19 when I went back in September, that's when I very first
20 heard about, shall we say, arguments or tensions that
21 Mr. Pokrajcic, that we spoke about earlier that we
22 dealt with, but I didn't know until that day that there
23 was a particular dispute about fuel, no.
24 Q. Did you ever learn whether or not there was,
25 though, a history at the local level going back many
1 months to this dispute that ultimately erupted into
2 violence over this gasoline station in Travnik?
3 A. No, I didn't know about a dispute over that
4 specific gasoline station up until that night, no. A
5 dispute over an arms factory in the area, yes, but not
6 the gas station.
7 Q. You said during your direct testimony that
8 also in October of 1992 you heard a radio station, a
9 radio programme involving Pero Skopljak?
10 A. Yes. No, I was actually at -- this was
11 actually the same radio forum in a house in Vitez where
12 the station was based and he was there.
13 Q. You were present and you heard the dialogue
14 and discussion?
15 A. Yes, we were sitting in the room where they
16 were having the dialogue, yes.
17 Q. You also said in the course of that
18 discussion Pero Skopljak Skopljak Skopljak Skopljak
19 said that the HVO was the only legal authority in
20 Vitez, or something to that effect?
21 A. Yes, from now on was the gist of what he was
22 saying, but it was a declaration of what he seemed to
23 think was the new state of affairs in the town.
24 Q. What was Pero Skopljak Skopljak Skopljak
25 Skopljak's position at the time?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. Do you know whether it was military or
4 A. He was representing the HVO.
5 Q. Was he representing civilian elements; do you
7 A. I don't. He was introduced as being the --
8 representing the HVO. This debate, this forum, call it
9 what you will, the HDZ was represented, the HVO was
10 represented, the Muslim party, the SDA was represented
11 as was the Bos -- actually, no, the Bosnian army were
12 not, and he was the representative of the HVO.
13 Q. Was there anyone present at this forum, as
14 you put it, in uniform?
15 A. To the best of my recollection, everyone was
16 in civilian clothes, except for some of the aids who
17 were sort of hanging about at the back and the people
18 guarding the doors and so on.
19 But the debaters, if you like, the
20 participants were in civilian clothing.
21 Q. You said during your testimony on page 7766
22 that you heard an ultimatum had been issued in Mostar
23 by the HVO to the Bosnian army that it was to disarm
24 immediately and either disband or come under HVO
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Who issued that so-called ultimatum?
3 A. The HVO in Mostar. It was on the radio in
4 Split when we returned from Novi Travnik that day.
5 Q. Do you know whether it was issued by a local
6 command, national; that is, Herceg-Bosna HVO command or
7 some other element within the HVO?
8 A. Well, it had certainly been issued by the HVO
9 in Mostar as we found out when we got there, but given
10 what we had just heard in Vitez and what we had seen in
11 Novi Travnik and what I had heard from Mr. Boban and
12 would hear from Mr. Boban within 36 hours, it seemed to
13 be coming from everywhere, from the top.
14 Q. I don't recall you saying that in Vitez Pero
15 Skopljak had taken the position that the BiH army had
16 to disarm immediately and come under HVO command.
17 A. He didn't say that--
18 Q. Did he make any such statement in this radio
19 discussion programme that you observed in Vitez?
20 A. I don't recall the details about disarming,
21 but he did say that the HVO was the only legal
23 Q. Well, you seem to have quite a good memory.
24 Did he issue an ultimatum that was equivalent to the
25 ultimatum you learned of on 23rd October, 1992 having
1 been issued, you have testified, by the HVO in Mostar?
2 A. I don't recall him making that specific
3 ultimatum about disarming, no, but I have a note of him
4 saying that the HVO was the only legal authority.
5 Q. Would you agree that the so-called ultimatum
6 you learned of in Mostar was directed to the BiH army
7 in Mostar?
8 A. Well, it was directed at the BiH army right
9 across the territory. I mean, it was being directed at
10 them in Mostar through that -- in that specific
11 language, but, I mean, all over the territory the HVO
12 was taking over in the areas that it claimed.
13 Q. So in what way was this ultimatum issued to
14 the BiH army in Busovaca, for example?
15 A. I don't know. I wasn't in Busovaca, I don't
17 Q. In what way was this ultimatum issued within
18 the municipality of Kiseljak?
19 A. In Kiseljak, I don't know. The BiH army was
20 insignificant in Kiseljak.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Could you slow down for the
23 THE WITNESS: Certainly.
24 A. We would later see it being enforced, not
25 verbally, but in armed action within 48 hours of Mostar
1 in Prozor, Tomislavgrad and so on. So, yes, it was
2 across the board.
3 I mean, I wasn't in every town to hear the
4 ultimatum being made verbally. I'm not claiming that.
5 What I'm saying is that the HVO was described
6 as "the only legal authority in Vitez," as the fighting
7 started there. As fast as one could keep up, it was
8 happening in Mostar and then -- well, I won't jump the
9 gun, but I've testified as to what happened in Prozor
10 after that, which was most articulate.
11 Q. Aside from the radio discussion programme
12 involving Pero Skopljak Skopljak Skopljak Skopljak whom
13 you were not able to identify as a civilian or a
14 military figure, do you have any other information
15 confirming that any ultimatum of any sort was issued to
16 the BiH army in the Vitez municipality on or about 23
17 October, 1992 telling the BiH army has had that it had
18 to immediately disarm or come under HVO control?
19 A. Well, I've described that situation in the
20 radio debate to the best of my recollection and as far
21 as my notes back up that recollection.
22 As regards to Mr. Skopljak, I'm saying that
23 he represented the HVO. I think he was in civilian
24 uniform, civilian clothes, sorry. But as regards
25 ultimatum in Vitez, those are the words I took note of
1 and I think one can say that firing a substantial
2 amount of ammunition into the Muslim enclave in the
3 centre of the town is a fairly articulate declaration
4 of intent. There was a lot of shooting going on as
5 well as radio talking.
6 Q. You told us that there was -- that you were
7 told that there were barricades, BiH army barricades in
8 Stari Vitez and shooting both coming out and going into
9 Stari Vitez; is that correct?
10 A. I was told that the Muslims in Stari Vitez
11 had put up barricades, I have no reason to disbelieve
12 that and the shooting was going both ways, but I think
13 I've made it clear that most of the shooting seemed to
14 be, as we could ascertain - which is not to the point
15 of certainty - going in, rather than out of the Muslim
17 But, most importantly, I testified and would
18 do so again, that the mobilisation around Vitez was a
19 very substantial one and that all the roadblocks that
20 we went through coming up to Vitez and leaving the
21 following day were HVO and the troops coming up the
22 line, as I put it before, were HVO.
23 I mean, this was not a sort of an isolated
24 event. There was a very substantial mobilisation going
25 on by the HVO.
1 Q. You described the conflicts that you saw or
2 heard about in Travnik, Vitez, and the ultimata -- one
3 or more ultimata in Mostar in October, 1992 as an
4 all-out war, page 7765 of the transcript.
5 In your view, did an all-out war start in
6 October, 1992 between the HVO and the BiH army and
7 continue thereafter until the Washington Agreement; is
8 that your view?
9 A. Well, we -- well, I tried to sort of -- I
10 mean, we tried to tell us that this can't be a war,
11 these people are allies. What I saw in Prozor a couple
12 of days after going to Mostar was an all-out war, not
13 between the HVO and the BiH army, but between the HVO
14 and the civilian -- the Muslim civilians of Prozor,
15 who, as I testified before, were shelled and gunned out
16 of town.
17 Certainly by the time we get to the
18 Washington Agreement, there was an all-out war being
19 waged against the civilians of east Mostar, that's for
21 Your point that this was continuous is, I
22 mean, is a fair one. There were cease-fires here,
23 cease-fires there, but the thrust was a war, yes, from
24 that week -- the week beginning 20th or so of October
25 through until the end of the siege in east Mostar that
1 I described was, yes, an all-out war.
2 It certainly wasn't a game of chess.
3 Q. Would you agree that war came to Travnik in
4 June of 1993, Mr. Vulliamy; real war?
5 A. Within Travnik. Travnik was at war
6 throughout, as you know, against the Serbs, but the war
7 within Travnik between the Muslims and the Croats,
8 summer of '93, yeah, maybe a little bit before.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. I want to be a
10 little bit clear. When you spoke of the war between
11 the 28th of October and the siege of east Mostar, is it
12 war with civilians or war-war. The word 'war' has got
13 a meaning. Please use the right words.
14 A. Yes, and it is one that we grappled with
15 throughout. I mean, a war one used to think of between
16 armies, rival armies who fight by sort of mutual
18 Very little of what happened in Bosnia
19 between the Muslims and the Croats or the Serbs and the
20 Muslims and Croats can be really described as war like
21 that. The vast majority of the violence was by
22 soldiers against civilians, and the vast majority of
23 those killed and wounded were civilians, with the
24 exception of some disastrous offensives in various
1 So, yeah, I'm glad you raised that, because I
2 mean, one searches and continues to search for another
3 word, but--
4 JUDGE RIAD: Can it be called massacre?
5 THE WITNESS: Yes. I think shelling women
6 and children in streets and houses - and I must not get
7 too angry about this in a courtroom - it isn't war,
8 it's something worse than war and 'worse than war' is a
9 phrase I've used quite a lot.
10 In the conflict that counsel is asking me
11 about, yes, there were -- between the Muslims and the
12 Croats and between October the 20th and February, '94,
13 there were battles, if you like, between soldiers and
14 exchanges of gunfire between soldiers.
15 But most of the violence, most of the
16 cruelty, most of the atrocities were by artillery,
17 mortar, gunfire against civilians. That was the
18 flavour, the tenor of this war and everything that
19 happened in Bosnia.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Fighting civilians? Were they
21 fighting back?
22 A. Well, no. I mean, the pattern mostly was
23 small communities under siege and you can't fight
24 back. If I can summarise it - this could be a long
25 answer - but to summarise, most of the violence was by
1 -- was either shelling from hilltops into communities
2 and death by sniper and motor fire, and occasional
3 massacres as militias would go into communities and
4 kill people as at -- well, Bosanska, Krupa, Zepa,
5 Ahmici indeed when civilians were simply killed at
6 close range.
7 And then there were also -- there was
8 violence against refugees. The convoy that I went on
9 that I was talking about earlier when counsel asked me
10 about the refugees, when we walked on that road to
11 Travnik from Prijedor, there were bodies on the road.
12 They were clearly shooting at refugees, that's the
13 Serbs at that time.
14 But certainly this was a war against
15 civilians. We like to use the term 'refugee' meaning a
16 side effect of war between armies, but in this
17 conflict, the refugees were the raw material of the
18 war, they were its whole point; the removal of
19 populations was what the war was all about. They were
20 the raison d’être, they weren't a side effect.
21 The violence was against the civilians in the
22 most part, and I use the word 'war' as shorthand.
23 You're right, it is not strictly correct, it is war
24 against people who have not the means to fight back.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
1 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you.
2 Q. We'll get to the Prozor conflict in a
3 moment. Staying with Travnik for just a question or
4 two, would you agree that what you learned of and saw
5 in Travnik in October, 1992 was not a conflict between
6 the HVO and the civilians; it was a conflict between
7 the HVO and the BiH army over material and military
9 A. Thank you, absolutely. In Travnik, there was
10 no war by the HVO against the Muslim civilians and
11 there was no war by the Bosnian army against Croatian
12 civilians. Travnik, the inter-necine war in
13 Travnik -- sorry this is so complicated -- the
14 internecine war in Travnik was actually a row
15 between soldiers.
16 Q. Before we come to Prozor, let me ask you
17 about your meeting again with Mate Boban on the 24th of
18 October, 1992.
19 You have told us, page 7772 of the
20 transcript, that Mate Boban told you in this meeting,
21 we have our political platform and anyone who disagrees
22 with it will either step down or leave in some other
24 Did you understand him to be referring to
25 officials or members of the HDZ party in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina stepping down if they did not agree
2 with his platform when he made that statement?
3 A. I understood him to mean anyone who didn't
4 agree with him and his platform, be they in the HDZ or
5 the HVO or any other grouping on the Croatian side -
6 and I think I was right to infer that.
7 The HVO and the HDZ are so entwined at this
8 point that it seemed to be slicing a hair to make any
9 distinction between them. He was saying, you know,
10 this is the line, obey it, or else you're out.
11 Q. Was the HVO originally formed as the military
12 wing of the HDZ party? Is that what you're saying?
13 A. No, it was formed as a Croatian army within
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but the relationship between the
15 HVO and the HDZ became, as I said, progressively
16 entwined as the war went on. I don't think there's
17 much debate about that.
18 Q. Would you agree that the term 'someone
19 stepping down if they don't agree with a political
20 platform' appears to refer to politics and to a
21 political party?
22 A. Well, as the commander Lacic, the commander
23 of the HVO in Mostar had said to us that same
24 afternoon, he had used the term civilian military
1 In these circumstances, there was no great
2 distinction between a political project and the
3 military one. Mr. Boban had articulated his political
4 aims and had left us in no doubt that it was for the
5 HVO to impose those aims militarily.
6 I mean this wasn't an election manifesto.
7 Q. In your conversation with Mate Boban on 24
8 October, 1992, again, did he state that he believed
9 Herceg-Bosna should legally become a part of Croatia,;
10 that is, should be annexed to Croatia?
11 A. No, he didn't use the term legally, not that
12 I recall.
13 Q. Let's turn to the conflict you witnessed or
14 the aftermath of the conflict in Prozor, which I
15 believe you witnessed on the 27th of October, 1992?
16 A. Yes. I witnessed the aftermath on that day.
17 Q. Is it fair to say you arrived after whatever
18 active fighting or firing had occurred was over?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. Would you agree that the conflict in Prozor
21 broke out after a conflict between the HVO and the BiH
22 army over the control of the road through Prozor to
23 central Bosnia?
24 A. I don't know about that, but I can imagine
25 that -- I certainly could accept that as an
2 I tried to explain how important the road was
3 to the HVO for reasons of controlling the aid to
4 central Bosnia and also into Sarajevo for a lot of the
5 time, and I can imagine that would have been of concern
6 to anyone who wasn't in the HVO.
7 But as you said, by the time we got there,
8 the fighting, if that's the right word -- and again, I
9 qualify that, given what I was asked from the Bench
10 just now -- the shelling and the shooting of the
11 civilians had finished because the Muslim civilians had
12 all gone.
13 Q. Would you agree with the statement with
14 respect to Prozor that, as dawn broke, this is page 222
15 of your book, 'then as dawn broke and people started to
16 flee, mobs had moved into town firing willy-nilly, and
17 then began to torch, loot, and cleanse the town'?
18 A. Yes, I would. That is what the people who we
19 found next day in flight across the mountains told us,
20 that the firing from the mountainside to the south-west
21 of the town happened overnight, and at dawn these
22 people came in and they were shooting everywhere and
23 they started looting and burning the houses.
24 Yes, that's what I was told and I hadn't seen
25 anything in the town the previous day that suggested
1 they were wrong. In fact, it seemed to be exactly
3 Q. So you agree with the statement in your book
4 on that subject?
5 A. Yeah.
6 Q. Thank you. If the Registrar could assist and
7 place Exhibit 29L on the ELMO, please? The easel,
8 excuse me. I misspoke.
9 Mr. Vulliamy, so we can collectively refresh
10 our recollections, Exhibit 29L is a map of certain
11 portions of Bosnia and Herzegovina on which you were
12 kind enough, I believe, during your direct examination
13 to indicate a route known as Route Diamond for aid
14 coming from the south up into central Bosnia; correct?
15 A. Indeed.
16 Q. Now, I believe you testified at page 7780 of
17 the transcript that it was militarily obvious that the
18 HVO needed to control Prozor in order to secure a
19 resupply route for troops and material in central
20 Bosnia; correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. By that, do you mean it was a matter of
23 military necessity for the HVO to preserve that
24 resupply route into central Bosnia?
25 A. Yes. The UN troops were turning a mountain
1 track into a fairly decent road so that they could take
2 aid up into central Bosnia and, for awhile, also that
3 route was necessary to supply Sarajevo as well, because
4 the two tarmac routes in, one through Mostar, one
5 through Livno were too dangerous because they were
6 exposed to the Serb guns.
7 My point was that for the HVO the Route
8 Diamond had two functions -- well, control of the Route
9 Diamond had two functions; one was because if you
10 controlled it you controlled the supply of aid; and
11 also, as was becoming clearer and clearer to them and
12 they made no secret of this, it was a way for them to
13 get their troops up into central Bosnia which you could
14 see them doing day in and day out.
15 Q. Without that route, the HVO in the Vitez and
16 Busovaca municipalities were cut off by any outside
17 resupply by land; correct?
18 A. Other routes would have been much more
19 difficult, put it that way, yeah. The UN was building a
20 road for them so obviously it was by the most
22 There was another route that I did indicate
23 that went up through Tarcin and up through Kiseljak,
24 but that became too dangerous periodically, yeah.
25 Q. Also, is it true that that route required you
1 to be able to travel from Kiseljak to Busovaca on the
2 road connecting those two towns in order to get to the
3 Lasva or Busovaca municipalities -- excuse me, the
4 Vitez or Busovaca municipalities; correct?
5 A. The Tarcin route, if you wanted to get to
6 Vitez via Tarcin you would have to have gone through
7 Busovaca, yes, which for the HVO presented problems
8 because that was cut from their point of view for a
10 Q. It was cut by the BiH army; correct?
11 A. Absolutely, yes.
12 Q. Did the HVO control Prozor from roughly
13 October 27, 1992 until the signing of the Washington
15 A. So far as I know, yes, and it still does.
16 Q. And were the ability to block humanitarian
17 aid going into central Bosnia, at least into the Vitez
18 and Busovaca municipalities?
19 A. Not to block it, but to call the shots, I
20 mean, to say yea or nay as to whether humanitarian aid
21 could pass.
22 And to charge rent, sometimes the UN had to
23 pay for the use of their own road.
24 Q. Would you agree that during the tours of duty
25 of the three British battalions that served in central
1 Bosnia; that is, from roughly November, 1992 until past
2 October of 1993, every single UNHCR aid convoy that
3 reached the BRITBAT area of responsibility reached its
4 destination; do you agree with that statement?
5 A. I don't know about all, but certainly the
6 vast majority, yes. I mean, they didn't appear to be
7 taking much nonsense.
8 Q. Do you recall writing an article published in
9 the Guardian on April 2, 1996 and which is attributed
10 to you in which you wrote, or it is reported and
11 written that you wrote, "In November, 1993 the
12 Yorkshires left, the reckoning undisclosed. It is now
13 estimated that between 40 and 50 Croats and 20 to 30
14 Muslims fell to the regiment's guns, an unbeaten
15 UNPROFOR record, but every single UNHCR aid convoy
16 that entered the Yorkshires' terrain reached its
17 destination, a record shared only with the Cheshires.
18 Do you agree with that statement?
19 A. Yeah, that sounds right.
20 Q. Would you also agree that the conflict in
21 Prozor in October of 1992 would have heightened
22 tensions between Croats and Muslims in central Bosnia;
23 that is, in the Vitez, Busovaca, and Kiseljak
24 municipalities, that the nearness and proximity of that
25 open conflict in Prozor would have heightened tensions?
1 A. Well, yes. Let's get back to the question
2 from the Bench. I mean, 'open conflict', I mean, this
3 was a bombardment of a civilian population that left
4 town. The Croats didn't leave Prozor, the Muslims
5 did. That is bound to increase tensions in central
6 Bosnia, yes. How could it not?
7 Q. Did you become aware, directing your
8 attention to Exhibit 29L, of a point in time following
9 October, 1992 when the BiH army came to control
10 portions of the terrain over which Route Diamond
12 A. Could you give me the dates again, sir? I'm
14 Q. At some point in time after the HVO came to
15 control the town of Prozor --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. -- Did you learn that the BiH army had taken
18 control over some portion of the terrain between Prozor
19 and where Route Diamond enters central Bosnia proper
20 via Novi Travnik or Travnik?
21 Did you become aware of that information?
22 A. Of course I was aware of it. At some point
23 further up you went through BiH army checkpoints.
24 There was one in Novi Travnik as you came around a
25 short bend, if I recall, and the Bosnian army also
1 controls a forest up above Gornji Vakuf which was also
2 along Route Diamond.
3 Q. And above that forest; that is, the forest
4 above Gornji Vakuf, could the BiH army shell the road
5 and essentially close it to Travnik, if they wished?
6 A. Yes, they could, and both sides could and did
7 shell it in Gornji Vakuf itself.
8 Q. Can you tell us, roughly, when this was that
9 Route Diamond came under the control of the BiH army?
10 A. So far as I know, the area to the north of
11 that forest was always in their hands I think, or if it
12 wasn't, then, you know, then I would have been out of
13 the country.
14 So I'm not quite sure that there was -- I
15 mean, there were bits of Route Diamond further up
16 towards Vitez which, I'm trying to think, which they
17 had -- which the BiH army had from October and had not
18 lost in October and kept, I think, into 1993, probably
19 held until about February, 1993 when I think they then
20 lost the roadblock that I talked about on the bend in
21 the road.
22 I wish I had a village. I don't know, I'm
23 afraid. You come out of the forest, you go down
24 towards Novi Travnik, you come to a bend in the road,
25 there was a BiH checkpoint there and it had gone by
1 January 1993 so they had had it up until then, yeah.
2 Q. Would you agree that at other point or points
3 or Route Diamond after February 1993, the BiH army
4 maintained its positions and control over some portion
5 of Route Diamond up until the Washington Agreement in
7 A. Well, in July 1993, I can't answer the
8 question, actually, because in July 1993, the fighting
9 was so heavy on Route Diamond that it was unusable. As
10 I said, you had to use the other route through. Sorry,
11 that was February 1993 when we got knocked back. July
12 1993, I didn't see a BiH army checkpoint when I went on
13 Route Diamond in 1993, but that's not to say they
14 didn't control some of the area in the forest where
15 they may not have had checkpoints because there was a
16 gang up there that people didn't want to meet, but they
17 didn't have checkpoints but we were told that the
18 Bosnian army still controlled parts of the forest, but
19 I'm afraid I can't help you with specific roadblocks.
20 I don't think there were any by the time we got to
22 Q. So in summary, this will be my last question,
23 as far as you know, at all relevant times after -- from
24 October 1992 to the Washington agreement, the BiH army
25 had the ability to cut off Route Diamond; is that fair?
1 A. I honestly can't tell you all the way
2 through. I mean, I didn't travel Route Diamond all the
3 time right up until the Washington agreement.
4 Q. Let me rephrase the question.
5 MR. KEHOE: If the witness can finish his
6 answer before counsel interrupts with another
8 A. I'll answer it as best I can. There were
9 parts of Route Diamond that the BiH army definitely
10 controlled up until January 1993 because they had
11 checkpoints. There were parts of Route Diamond which
12 they were reported to control in July 1993, but there
13 were no visible checkpoints, but they may not have had
14 any or they may have been in the forest. I can only
15 really help you up until the summer of '93.
16 Q. And thereafter you don't know; is that
18 A. Thereafter, I don't know. I have to be
20 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, how long do you
21 think your cross-examination will last?
22 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, I'm about halfway
24 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I suggest that we
25 have a five to ten-minute recess.
1 --- Recess taken at 12.07 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 12.35 a.m.
3 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Have
4 the accused brought in, please?
5 Mr. Hayman, I have discussed with my
6 colleague, we are going to sit until quarter past one
7 so as not to break up your cross-examination and we
8 will resume at 2.30.
9 Is the accused here?
10 We can proceed without a transcript, almost
11 without an usher, but without you we can't do anything,
12 but we do need the accused.
13 (The accused entered court).
14 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.
15 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Mr. Vulliamy, let me turn your attention to
17 the fall of Jajce. Was that in late October, 1992 that
18 Jajce fell to the Serbs?
19 A. Yes, and going into the first days of
21 Q. I believe you testified that the fall of
22 Jajce during that period of time led to an exodus of
23 roughly 40,000 people?
24 A. Yes, correct.
25 Q. Some of those were combatants but the
1 majority were civilian refugees?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. Were most of the refugees Croat or Muslim?
4 A. The majority -- 50/50, maybe slightly more
5 Muslims, but a larger proportion of Croats than among
6 the refugees that we had been talking about earlier
7 coming from the Prijedor area.
8 Q. Did those refugees also flood into Travnik?
9 A. Oh, yes.
10 Q. Now, you testified earlier that some soldiers
11 with whom you spoke said they had withdrawn from Jajce
12 as part of a Croat-Serb deal. Do you recall that
14 A. Yes, I recall that, and I recall them saying
16 Q. Did you discuss that issue with the brigade
17 commanders of both the HVO and the BiH army at the time
18 in Travnik?
19 A. Yes, and they did not -- as I recall, they
20 did not share that view. Both the HVO and the Bosnian
21 army thought that the defence of Jajce had become
22 untenable. The talk of a deal and the umbrage of it
23 came from the troops themselves.
24 Q. Let me ask you if you agree that the
25 following statements were made, and I'm reading from an
1 article attributed to you in the Guardian dated
2 November 2, 1992.
3 Colonel Haso Ribo of the Bosnian army, who
4 has within a month changed from a genial and confident
5 man into the lachrymose commander of a desperate army
6 said, "We were under intense and irresistible military
7 pressure pure and simple. There was the risk that
8 Jajce would be cut off, the corridor cut by winter and
9 that there would be a massacre."
10 Do you recall Colonel Ribo making, in
11 substance, that statement to you?
12 A. Yes, indeed. I recall the corridor up which
13 he and his Croatian allies were trying to defend
14 Jajce. We tried to get up it ourselves. It was
15 absolutely terrifying. That was his position and, as I
16 recall, the HVO had roughly the same argument.
17 The different account was coming from the
18 soldiers who had been defending the town.
19 Q. Do you recall Colonel Filipovic of the HVO in
20 Travnik telling you, at the same point in time, "It was
21 an unequal battle and it became more and more so. The
22 order to withdraw came from local civil authorities
23 with tacit approval of both commands."
24 A. Yes, I recognise this. As I said, I think
25 the HVO agreed with Commander Ribo -- Commander
1 Filipovic agreed with Commander Ribo that they could no
2 longer defend Jajce up this narrow corridor and that's
3 what they said and that's what the men were saying.
4 They were saying different things and I
5 reported them both.
6 Q. In substance, did Colonel Filipovic make the
7 statement to you that I made to you?
8 A. Oh, yes, in an interview.
9 Q. You described a checkpoint at Romboci (phoen)
10 south-west of Prozor which you visited in October of
11 1992 where, at one point in time, there were soldiers
12 wearing HOS uniforms and later those soldiers were
13 wearing HVO uniforms. Do you recall that subject?
14 A. Indeed. Yes, I went through that roadblock
15 many, many times.
16 Q. Let me ask you if you agree with the
17 following statement on that general subject in your
18 book at page 214, which reads: "That for a
19 considerable period of time, the region was a lawless
20 embroilment of militias fighting their own wars against
21 each other amid what would become a bedlam of
23 And this is a reference to the Croat side I
24 believe; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's a reference to the Mostar area in
1 August, 1992 when there was an internecine row
2 going on between the HOS and the HVO and, indeed, the
3 HOS leader was killed by the HVO. That was at a time,
4 indeed, when there was a melee of militias of various
5 kinds, to a greater or lesser extent, under HVO
7 That was some months before the period we
8 were talking about back in August, 1992 and pertained
9 to Mostar as I think is clear in the book, and it's a
10 chapter called the Rule of Madness, I believe.
11 The, if you like, imposition of HVO authority
12 happened subsequent to that, and so far as I could see
13 was pretty much in place by the time we got to this
14 October watershed, if you like. But that's correct as
15 regards to the Mostar area back in August.
16 Q. Your testimony is then that things had
17 changed by description in your book by roughly October,
18 1992; is that right?
19 A. Had changed dramatically, yes, and would
20 change in the weeks to come, yes, that the smaller
21 units, the free-booters, or whatever we want to call
22 them, were being marshalled under the top-down
23 authority of Mate Boban and the HVO and that, by the
24 time we get to the end of October, visibly at least,
25 this more homogeneous authority, more monolithic
1 authority is pretty much in place.
2 Q. Do you have any specific information you can
3 share with the court concerning the way in which HOS
4 units or a HOS unit in the Vitez municipality was
5 absorbed into the HVO; that is, whether they came under
6 the command of the operative zone, or whether they had
7 a line of command as a special unit to the Ministry of
8 Defence in Mostar? Do you have any specific
9 information on that subject to provide to the court?
10 A. I'm afraid I don't. I don't know about the
11 HOS in Vitez specifically. This HOS unit that was
12 manning the roadblock at Romboci (phoen) we got to know
13 because they had a roadblock and you had to present
14 yourselves to them and it had HOS written on the side
15 of their little hut.
16 And the HOS uniform was a full black tunic
17 back in August. They didn't have that, they would have
18 maybe fatigues, trousers and a black T-shirt. They
19 came under HVO authority and had HVO uniforms in that
20 last or penultimate week in October.
21 I'm afraid I can't help you with HOS in
22 Vitez. There were other groups in Vitez that we heard
23 about who were coming under the command of the HVO.
24 I'm not saying the HOS wasn't in Vitez, they may very
25 well have been, but I didn't have any direct contact
1 with them.
2 Q. Would you agree with the thesis that the
3 first truly high intensity, violent conflict between
4 Croats and Muslims in Bosnia and Herzegovina was in
5 Prozor in roughly October of 1992?
6 A. The first systematic driving out of Muslim
7 civilians -- the first systematic attack upon the
8 civilians by an army was in Prozor in 1992 -- in
9 October, 1992 so far as I could see. You're using the
10 term 'fighting' as though it was between two rival
11 armies. I saw the aftermath of 5,000 civilians being
12 shelled and shot out of a town and a subsequent
14 Q. You would agree that what happened in Prozor
15 was at an intensity that had not happened anywhere else
16 in Bosnia-Herzegovina between Croats and Muslims at the
17 time; correct?
18 A. Yes, it was the first ethnic cleansing, not a
19 term I like and, with hindsight, a sort of scale model,
20 a dry run, if you like.
21 Q. Would you also agree that that type of high
22 intensity conflict between Croats and Muslims first
23 came to the Vitez Busovaca and Kiseljak municipalities
24 in the municipality of Busovaca in January, 1993?
25 A. Vitez, Kiseljak and Busovaca?
1 Q. In other words, in the Vitez and Kiseljak
2 enclaves, did the first intense conflict come in the
3 Busovaca municipality in January of 1993? Would you
4 agree that that is true?
5 A. Busovaca and Stari Vitez, I'm not sure which
6 would have been the first, but they would have been the
7 first two, yes.
8 Kiseljak had very few Muslims living there,
9 so obviously the intensity was lesser.
10 Q. Would you agree with the statement in your
11 book at page 255 that, "at Busovaca, in the Lasva
12 Valley, it was the armija which came down from the
13 hills and "cleaned" out the Croatians."
14 Would you agree with that statement in your
16 A. Well, the village is just to the east of
17 Busovaca, yes. I'm not trying to say that this is all
18 one-way traffic. It's pretty obvious who has got the
19 upper hand, it's the HVO, but I'm not here to pretend
20 that this is all one-way.
21 Yes, the Muslims were attacking as well. I'm
22 not denying that.
23 Q. When you say the village is to the east of
24 Busovaca, are you referring to Dusina and Lasva, or are
25 you referring to Gusti Grab and Oceust down between
1 Kacuni and Bilalovac; can you clarify?
2 A. I'm referring to the area at the south-east at
3 which the BiH army set up a roadblock shortly after
4 that time. I don't want to get into a conversation
5 about specific villages, because if I did I would then
6 be going beyond by specific knowledge which I don't
7 want to do.
8 Q. As you understand, by that roadblock, cutting
9 the main road from Busovaca to Kiseljak; correct?
10 A. For awhile, yes, the BiH army had a roadblock
11 south of Busovaca on that road to Kiseljak, yes.
12 Q. Did you also describe the ensuing conflict in
13 and around Busovaca as follows: "The squalid small-town
14 nature of the violence led to the rapid circulation of
15 rumours which in turn fanned the flames of fighting".
16 Do you agree with that statement?
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. Now, let's return to Travnik and Colonel
19 Filipovic, the HVO commander you've described meeting.
20 I believe you visited him in January, 1993; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You said Colonel Filipovic would have none of
24 Boban's war with the BiH army.
25 Could you tell us, again, briefly how did he
1 exhibit his desire to cooperate with the BiH army?
2 A. With an episode that I described in my
3 testimony. At considerable risk to himself and his
4 opposite number in the BiH army and us, I might add, we
5 went up Mount Vlacic together, so within a few hundred
6 yards of the Serb guns, and he staged a little sort
7 of filmed episode at which he sat next to his opposite
8 number in the BiH army, Commander Kulilovic and made it
9 clear that -- they joked a bit about how at least we
10 can tell each other we don't trust each other, and then
11 he made this remark that, yes, I'm walking the edge of
12 the knife.
13 I mean, that was his way of saying I'm very
14 unhappy about this, and a rather potent way it was too,
15 under the guns up there.
16 Q. Is it fair to say that Colonel Filipovic made
17 no attempt to hide his active cooperation with the BiH
18 army, rather, he attempted to promote and publicise his
19 views in that regard. Would you agree with that?
20 A. He wanted to say, I think, if I interpret him
21 properly, that as he put it, "coming up the valley
22 towards Travnik was a pressure on him to adopt a
23 bellicose attitude towards his Muslim allies and that
24 he didn't want to do that; and he was, as you say, yes,
25 I agree with you, he was making it quite clear that he
1 didn't want to do it.
2 Q. And he was publicising -- actively
3 publicising those views; correct?
4 A. Indeed.
5 Q. In your conversation with him when he said he
6 was being made to walk the edge of the knife, was this
7 on your trek up the Vlacic feature and how long was it?
8 A. It was intermittent and having to split up,
9 you don't know when you're approaching a gun position,
10 you have to stretch apart and it was either on the way
11 up -- actually, it was more than likely when we were
12 sitting on the rocks under the guns or on the way
14 We spent some time together to wait for a
15 truck to meet us by sort of a hut.
16 Q. Did he expressly say what he meant when he
17 said he was being made to walk the edge of the knife?
18 A. Well, yes, he did. He talked about pressures
19 coming up the valley. That is when I heard Colonel
20 Blaskic's name mentioned and Mate Boban. He was
21 articulate about it.
22 Q. What did he say Colonel Blaskic was making
23 him do?
24 A. Walk the edge of the knife, which I took to
25 mean tightrope walk between two things he didn't want
1 to do.
2 Q. And at the time Colonel Filipovic was
3 actively promoting cooperation with the BiH army?
4 A. Very much so.
5 Q. Did he say what it was Colonel Blaskic was
6 ordering him to do what he didn't want to do?
7 A. No, he didn't specify. He grouped Colonel
8 Blaskic together with Mate Boban and said that he was
9 walking the edge of the knife, they were making him
10 walk the edge of the knife, and that he wanted to --
11 that he -- I took that to mean, and by all means try an
12 alternative interpretation if you want, there were two
13 things he didn't want to do, he didn't want to leave
14 the HVO because he was an HVO man and a Croat and a
15 loyal Croat, but nor did he want to do that he was
16 pressurised to do, which was to adopt hostile attitude
17 to the BiH army that was happening almost everywhere
18 else across the territory, apart from Travnik and
19 places to the north and so on.
20 Q. Would you agree from the conduct that he
21 exhibited and, indeed, promoted, that he had not been
22 forced to adopt and exhibit any type of hostile
23 attitude towards the BiH army?
24 A. He made it clear that he was under extreme
25 pressure to do so.
1 Q. Did he attack the BiH army in Travnik in
2 January of 1993?
3 A. No, I don't think so.
4 Q. In February of 1993?
5 A. Not that I know of.
6 Q. March of 1993?
7 A. I don't know how long he remained the
8 commander during that spring, so I would be -- I don't
9 want to -- I'd like to help, but I don't want to make
10 any suppositions.
11 There was fighting later that spring, but I
12 wasn't there and I wouldn't want to testify as to how
13 it started or who started it or whether he was still
14 the commander. I'm afraid I just don't know.
15 Q. But it is your understanding that ultimately
16 in the spring or June, approximately, of 1993, it was
17 the BiH army that drove the HVO out of Travnik;
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. By the way, have you kept in touch with
21 General Filipovic?
22 A. No, I haven't, I'm afraid.
23 Q. But you were aware that he was promoted to
24 the rank of General within the HVO; weren't you?
25 A. I knew he had been promoted. I didn't know
1 he was a General and then I can only presume that he
2 went over that side of the knife and not the other
3 side. I don't think he wanted to fall on it, nor do I
4 blame him.
5 But, no, I haven't kept in touch with him is
6 the answer, but I respected his position. I thought he
7 was a decent man.
8 Q. A man committed to his views; wouldn't you
10 A. Yeah, a man who believed in the alliance
11 between --
12 JUDGE JORDA: Please face the Judges.
13 THE WITNESS: I apologise.
14 JUDGE JORDA: When you get the question, I
15 say this to all the witnesses, of course, it is normal
16 your question comes from one side or the other and it
17 is normal that you turn that way; but when you're
18 answering, please, address the Judges because, after
19 all, they are there for that purpose.
20 THE WITNESS: I shall, I'm sorry.
21 He was a man who, so far as I could gather,
22 believed in the alliance at the beginning of the
23 war between the Bosnian army and the HVO, as was
24 planned we thought, wrongly, and it is for that that I
25 respected him.
1 We had seen a horrific amount of the violence
2 that the Serbs had meted out to both people and, as a
3 group of journalists covering the war, and I suppose to
4 say we hoped that alliance would hold together as well
5 and it didn't.
6 It was refreshing when you met Croats who
7 believed in it and were prepared to speak their mind
8 against this command from on high. I thought he was
9 doing something honourable by trying, at least, if not
11 MR. HAYMAN:
12 Q. In sum, you found him to be a man of honesty
13 and integrity; is that fair?
14 A. Yes. The Croats and the Muslims had been
15 fighting together against this juggernaught of violence
16 that the Serbs were meting out to their people, and we
17 had seen that in alliance in Mostar, they were
18 effective against all the odds, and here was Mate Boban
19 and his command structure rupturing that alliance, and
20 here was a man who was not prepared to administer a
21 knife in the back and I admired him for it. He was
22 against the run of play and he was a brave man for
23 doing so.
24 What happened to him after that, as I've
25 said, I don't know.
1 Q. If Exhibit 173 could be put on the easel,
2 I'll ask you a few preliminary questions first while
3 it's being put on the easel.
4 You left Bosnia-Herzegovina in February of
5 1993 and did not return until July, 1993; is that
7 A. That's correct, yes.
8 Q. In July of 1993, you did visit the Vitez
9 area; correct?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. Now, I believe you said in your earlier
12 testimony that during that visit to Vitez in July of
13 1993 it came to your attention, rather dramatically,
14 that there was a sniper of the BiH army firing on the
15 garden in the home in which you were staying from a
16 hill next to the British battalion headquarters;
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could you take a look at Exhibit 173, which
20 is the smaller aerial photograph -- perhaps it will fit
21 on the ELMO, I apologise. Why don't we try that?
22 I apologise to the usher for that needless
24 And my question for you, Mr. Vulliamy, would
25 be: Can you indicate on Exhibit 173 the hill from
1 which this Bosnian army sniper fired on the residence
2 in which you were staying?
3 A. Yes, I shall try. I only later learned he
4 was in the Bosnian army, actually. His flag up there
5 was the crescent, the Islamic crescent.
6 Q. If we can orient the map the other way so the
7 numbers are facing the bottom of the screen; in other
8 words, a quarter turn in a counter-clockwise direction,
9 I believe.
10 Now, if it could be lowered on the ELMO --
11 the other way, the other direction, please, a little
12 bit lower, please, just another inch or two lower.
13 Thank you.
14 First of all, on Exhibit 173, Mr. Vulliamy,
15 do you recognise the area below the letter '1', not in
16 the circle that is marked 1, but below the letter'1',
17 the large number of light-coloured buildings? Do you
18 recognise that as constituting all or parts of the
19 BRITBAT base?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can you indicate whether the hill from which
22 this-- where was the hill, where was the approximate
23 location of the sniper that was firing on you?
24 A. I'm trying to find what was known as
25 television alley which is where the BBC had a house,
1 television as it was jokingly called.
2 Q. To help you orient further, do you see the
3 bridge, see the river or the stream and the bridge
4 going over the river and the stream just above the
5 number 3A?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And then as you go up the photograph to 4A
8 and 4, that is a hill frequently referred to as
9 Grbavica. Does that help you orient yourself?
10 A. A bit, yes. I'm trying to find the house
11 first and, as soon as I've got the road and the house,
12 I'll know exactly where the hill is.
13 Q. Please do.
14 A. If I'm not mistaken, this is the television
15 alley, as it was called, either that or that, and the
16 -- yes, that's right. So we're here and the garden is
17 here and he's been shooting down.
18 JUDGE JORDA: We can't see anything now,
19 Mr. Usher.
20 MR. HAYMAN: I believe we can't cover that
21 portion of the ELMO, Mr. Usher, because as we cover
22 that upper portion of the ELMO we're obstructing the
23 workings of the ELMO itself.
24 Q. Very well, on the lower portion of Exhibit
25 173, can you tell us-- ?
1 A. Can you tell me, is this the main road here?
2 This is where the houses were that the BBC would have
3 been in. Do you happen to know that?
4 Q. My understanding, and the Prosecutor can
5 disagree if he so wishes, is that the road you
6 indicated is the main road going by the BRITBAT base.
7 And the top of the photograph is the portion
8 of the road heading in an east or south-easterly
9 direction and the portion on which you have the pin now
10 is the portion of the road heading west/north-west, away
11 from Vitez.
12 A. Right. Well, in that case, that's television
13 alley, as it was called, and the garden is somewhere
14 there, and if that's the hill, the sniper would have
15 been shooting behind the BRITBAT into the garden.
16 So the sniper was located approximately at
17 the circle marked 4 on Exhibit 173; is that right?
18 A. I think so. I have to say -- if anyone can
19 help me find television alley, I hate to use the term,
20 but that's what it was called, then I will be able to
21 mark the hill with more accuracy, but the house was --
22 the house ran adjacent to the main road behind the
23 BRITBAT and the hill was to the west of the house.
24 And so the snipers firing on us it would have
25 come behind the BRITBAT which would be in that
2 So I'm prepared to say that that is the
3 hill. If that is the road, if I'm right in identifying
4 in the road, and I think I am find the road, then
5 you're right in identifying the hill.
6 Q. Thank you. We're concluded with that
7 exhibit, Mr. Usher.
8 You described your visit also to east Mostar
9 in July, 1993?
10 A. No.
11 Q. No visit to east Mostar in July, 1993, I'm
13 A. No.
14 Q. Later then in time you visited --
15 A. September, 1993 first time in east Mostar.
16 Q. Very good, thank you for correcting me. Did
17 you learn during that visit or any other visit what the
18 size of the BiH army unit or units were in east Mostar?
19 A. I didn't learn the exact size. I mean, they
20 were there. They were very scantily armed. It
21 certainly wasn't - to refer us back to our previous
22 conversation - this was not fighting. It was enclosed,
23 it was fully enclosed. There was a small track coming
24 down from Lepenice that you could get ammunition in
25 through horseback, but apart from that it was
1 completely cut off.
2 Q. They were under siege; is that right?
3 A. And how, yes.
4 Q. Do you have any idea of the number of BiH
5 army soldiers in Mostar?
6 A. No, I don't. But the number of soldiers is
7 almost irrelevant. I mean, there were plenty of
8 soldiers with maybe a couple of bullets each, I don't
10 But east Mostar was -- when you say 'under
11 siege', yes, indeed. There were four-figure numbers of
12 shells and mortars coming in every day exploding and
13 killing and maiming a population swelled with women and
15 Q. Do you know whether civilians were invited to
16 leave east Mostar at any occasion -- on any occasion
17 during the siege?
18 A. I didn't hear about that, no.
19 Q. You said in your testimony at page 7789 that
20 you concluded from events in October of '92 that there
21 was one chain of command under Mate Boban and that it
22 was working.
23 Do you have any specific information for the
24 Tribunal concerning the way in which Mate Boban exerted
25 control over HVO military units; that is, did he issue
1 orders through HVO military commanders? Did he issue
2 orders through HDZ political channels? How did he
3 exert control, as you have concluded, over the HVO?
4 A. Well, I can say what I saw at Mate Boban's
5 various headquarters, which was that there were never
6 not senior HVO people there. I mean, the HVO were
7 always in his company.
8 He talked of the HVO as though it were the
9 executor of what he intended to carry out. He would
10 talk about the HVO a lot more than he talked about the
11 HDZ, of which he was the official. I mean, he used
12 HDZ, HVO, almost interchangeably and was forever
13 asserting to us the authority of the HVO throughout the
14 territory. That is what I got from being with him and
15 being at his headquarters.
16 When it comes to what one saw happening, what
17 I saw happening on the ground, then I can say that
18 everything that Mate Boban said he was going to do was
19 then done by the HVO.
20 If he said, you know, we are now going to
21 assert our authority in this way, as he did in that
22 meeting I had with him in October, we could see it
23 happening all over the territory, in Vitez, in Mostar
24 (inaudible) with mobilisations on the road
25 accordingly. This was more than anecdotal. So that's
1 my answer.
2 Two things: One is what you saw and the
3 people you saw at Mate Boban's headquarters, and the
4 way he talked about the HVO. I mean, he didn't say, I
5 hope the HVO will do this; he said, the HVO will do
7 And then the second part of the answer, on
8 the ground, they did.
9 Q. I'm afraid you misunderstood my question and
10 answered a different question. My question was--
11 MR. KEHOE: I object to counsel's comments.
12 If counsel has another question, he can ask another
13 question. The editorialising, I think is
15 MR. HAYMAN: The record is clear. The answer
16 was not responsive and the court can take notice of
17 that, and I think I should be permitted to refocus the
18 witness on the question so we can get an answer to it
19 on the record.
20 MR. KEHOE: The answer is the answer to the
21 question that was given. This is the witness' answer.
22 If counsel doesn't like that answer, that's another
23 subject, but counsel's editorialising on responses to
24 the questions is improper.
25 JUDGE JORDA: I'm sorry, Mr. Kehoe, but it
1 didn't sound to me like a commentary. It didn't seem
2 to me to be as particularly weighty or substantial but,
3 in any case, we need a little rest, so I suggest that
4 we adjourn.
5 The witness will also be able to take a
6 breather, and we will resume at a quarter to three.
7 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.13 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 2.53 p.m.
9 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please
10 have the accused brought in.
11 (The accused entered court)
12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, as all yours.
13 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Mr. Vulliamy, I have three or four or areas to cover,
15 if you will bear with me. I'm nearing the end.
16 A. That's fine. Don't worry.
17 Q. When we broke before lunch, the question I
18 was trying to express and ask was, is it correct that
19 you were not privy to the types of internal
20 communications with either the HVO or the HDZ that
21 would shed light on what orders were issued, to whom
22 they were issued, through what chains or lines of
23 commands they were issued vis-à-vis Mr. Boban and
24 others in the HVO?
25 A. Correct. The HVO were not showing me, or, to
1 my knowledge, anybody else, their internal commands,
2 nor was Mr. Boban, so I wasn't privy to their
3 classified documents. What I was not privy to but
4 witness to, were Mr. Boban's declarations of intent as
5 regards both the HDZ and the HVO, and the way in which
6 he regarded both as on hand and available to him to
7 carry out his intentions, and those intentions
8 accordingly being carried out as sequiturs on the
9 ground, so one didn't need to see the internal
10 documentation. You just had to see what they were
11 doing to people.
12 Q. What were his intentions in the municipality
13 of Travnik, if you know?
14 A. So far as I know, his intentions in the
15 municipality of Travnik, was that Travnik, despite its
16 northern position and its Muslim majority should be
17 part of Herceg-Bosna. That was declared and that --
18 well, quite what being part of Herceg-Bosna entailed
19 was made manifest to us from what ensued in Prozor,
20 Novi Travnik, Vitez, Mostar and other places, namely,
21 as I tried to say earlier in my testimony, one came
22 reluctantly to the realisation that no Muslims were
23 meant to be living in that area.
24 Q. So your conclusion is that, Boban intended,
25 that all Muslims were to be driven out of the Travnik
1 municipality; is that right?
2 A. I think Mate Boban wanted the population of
3 Herceg-Bosna to be as much -- to be as exclusively
4 Croatian as possible and that if Muslims were intended
5 to remain within that territory, they were to have
6 professed -- they were to be sufficiently subservient
7 to his order, further to present no threat. I'm not
8 saying that he wanted a complete, sort of, Muslimised
9 statelet, but I'm saying that he certainly did not
10 intend to have any Muslims in the area under his
11 command who were going to present him with any kind of
12 political military problem, as he saw it.
13 Q. Putting the --
14 A. And Travnik was part of that area.
15 Q. Putting the incident at the gasoline station
16 aside, and as to which you have already said you don't
17 know whether there was a local history giving rise to
18 that incident or not, but putting that incident aside,
19 can you tell us anything the HVO did in Travnik in
20 October 1992 to force the BiH army to come under the
21 command or be subservient to the HVO. Did they do
22 anything else, that you can tell the judges about in
23 October 1992, consistent with the intent you have
24 expressed on the part of Mate Boban, in that regard?
25 A. No, and that's precisely my point. Travnik,
1 the HVO in Travnik, presented Mate Boban and the chain
2 of command was developed or almost developed by October
3 1992, with a problem. The city had a tradition of
4 tolerance between the two. It had been, and this was
5 another important difference, I think, it had been a
6 front-line town in the war against the Serbs, so there
7 was an experience of fighting together among the
8 soldiers of both sides, unlike, in many of the other
9 places in Herzegovina, although not Mostar, I will
10 agree, and yes, it was a central Bosnian town and it
11 was more tolerant than most, and I think the HVO and
12 Mate Boban had a problem in Travnik. In October 1992,
13 that which Mate Boban was able to mobilise within the
14 HVO behind his intentions at, as we saw, Prozor, Novi
15 Travnik, Vitez, Mostar, he was not able to achieve in
16 Travnik precisely because he could not get the
17 commanders to fall into line.
18 Q. So you would agree that local events varied
19 depending on the conditions, relationship between the
20 HVO, and the BiH army and other local factors?
21 A. No, I wouldn't say that. I would say there
22 were exceptions to the rule and they were easily
23 identifiable and they were isolated exceptions. One
24 was Travnik. The other was up in Tuzla, where another
25 tradition of tolerance existed and there were small
1 villages in the area between Zenice and Tuzla, where
2 the HVO declined to accept this hostile position as
3 regards to the BiH army. I would not say that it was
4 -- it was like sort of a jigsaw in which everyone made
5 up their own mind. I'm talking about specific places
6 where there were different traditions and specific
7 commanders in place who sought to defy what was going
8 on in Mostar, Vitez, Tomislavgrad, Prozor, Novi Travnik
9 and, as it were, the main block of Herec-Bosna.
10 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me, HVO commanders?
11 A. Yes. Specifically in Travnik and Tuzla where
12 the HVO -- in Travnik, I mean, it did come to blows in
13 the end, although not quite as dramatically in Prozor
14 and the other places, but Travnik was the one place,
15 where the HVO sort of held out against this obligation
16 on them coming up the valley, as Filipovic put it, to
17 engage the Muslims in a war. And the other place was
18 Tuzla which we haven't talked much about, which was
19 way, way, to the north where the Croats remained loyal
20 to the government army.
21 JUDGE RIAD: And there was no massacres?
22 A. No, there weren't.
23 MR. HAYMAN:
24 Q. In Zepca, do you know, in October of 1992,
25 did the HVO adopt a hostile, an aggressive or a
1 cooperative stand vis-à-vis the BiH army?
2 A. So far as I know, in Zepca, I never went to
3 Zepca, it was cut off, but people came down into
4 Travnik and Vitez from Zepca and, I don't know about
5 October 1992, I'm afraid I can't answer your question,
6 but later on in 1993, Zepca and Zavidovici which was a
7 nearby village were reported to be, this is me
8 reporting to you what I heard, two places where an
9 infamous alliance between the HVO and the Serbs took
10 place, and the HVO and the Serbs built a pontoon
11 together bridge in that area to try and cut off the
12 Muslims. You raised Zepca as an example. It was a
13 particularly perfidious situation.
14 Q. In 1992 or the first half of 1993, do you
15 know, did the HVO in Zepca adopt a cooperative stand
16 vis-à-vis the BiH army or were they aggressive and
17 hostile towards the BiH army?
18 A. I don't know about 1992 but during the summer
19 of 1993, as I said, in Zepca, the HVO was reported to
20 join ranks with the Serbs against the Muslims. I'm
21 repeating what I heard reported. I did not see this
22 happen firsthand. (Witness please slow down).
23 Q. Do you know if in Vares, to the north-east or
24 east of Zenica, in October of 1992, the HVO adopted a
25 cooperative stand vis-à-vis the BiH army or were they
1 aggressive and hostile?
2 A. Vares was another that I should have added to
3 the list that included Travnik and Tuzla, but in Vares
4 something very sad happened. In Vares, which is just
5 above Olovo in the eastern bit of central Bosnia, the
6 HVO was, again, wanting to be cooperative with the
7 Bosnian government army and they were themselves
8 deposed during 1993 by other units of the HVO, who came
9 up from Kiseljak to depose, get rid of, the elements in
10 the HVO who had sought to cooperate with the Bosnian
12 Q. And those were the forces and units of Ivica
13 Rajic that came up with Kiseljak and had effective
14 control over Vares; correct?
15 A. That's right. The HVO in Vares had tried to
16 cooperate with the alias, as Mr. Filipovic, of whom
17 we've spoken in Travnik and, well, they were walking
18 the edge of the knife as well, because Mr. Rajic's
19 battalion's came up from Kiseljak and ousted those in
20 Vares who were wishing to cooperate with the Bosnian
21 army. That is another good example of the will of what
22 was coming up the valley imposing itself against those
23 who wished to cooperate with the Bosnian army, and that
24 is quite well reported, that, again, sad putsch against
25 Croats who wished to be -- take a more moderate
1 position towards the government army.
2 Q. So to summarise, in the fall of 1992, Vares
3 was an exception to the thesis you've stated. Zepca
4 was an exception and Travnik was also an exception;
6 A. Yes, that's right, and none survived. They
7 were all either brought to heal or they, in the case of
8 Travnik, the Muslims won out, as you've said before,
9 and I agree. In the case of Vares, the moderates were
10 opposed, pushed out and in Zepca, the indications were
11 that they must have been pushed out because they were
12 alive with the Serbs, by the summer of 1993, against
13 the Muslims so, yes, in October, there was still -- I
14 mean, the declaration that no dissent would be
15 tolerated from Boban suggested there were dissent and
16 that dissent was rubbed out. If you were still in the
17 position of command, if you look at the pattern in the
18 summer of 1993, those people were gone.
19 Q. Then, of course, I omitted Busovaca where
20 you've already said in January 1993 the BiH army
21 attacked first. Wouldn't you include that in a way,
22 the Busovaca municipality, as an exception to the
23 thesis you've stated, given that the BiH army attacked
24 first in January of 1993?
25 A. I have to be honest with you. I didn't know
1 the HVO in Busovaca. I didn't hear that they were -- I
2 certainly didn't hear that they were particularly
3 moderate. My knowledge of the situation in Busovaca is
4 that both sides were on for a war. I don't think the
5 -- from what I've heard of Busovaca, I would not want
6 to say, in a court, that they were among these
7 moderates that I'm talking about, no, I've heard quite
8 a lot about nastiness from both sides in Busovaca.
9 Q. But wouldn't you agree that if the BiH army
10 attacked the HVO first in January 1993, that is
11 contrary to the basic thesis you have presented to this
12 court and, thus, it would be appropriate to take
13 Busovaca and hold it aside as somewhat of an exception
14 to your thesis?
15 A. I'm not sure that the BiH army did attack
16 first in Busovaca. I think in the town, the HVO
17 attacked first. In the surrounding villages, the
18 Muslims attacked with some unpleasantness. I know that
19 the Muslims attacked in the villages to the south-east,
20 because I saw the roadblock where they had taken a
21 section of the road. I'm not trying to lily white
22 those people. In the town, I don't know. I think it
23 was tit or tat, probably. I wouldn't say that Busovaca
24 was an exception. No, I don't think the HVO in
25 Busovaca was attempting to defy the line in the way
1 they were in Travnik, Tuzla is an exception, it's a
2 long way off and it's not claimed by Herceg-Bosna, and
3 as you remind me, Vares.
4 Q. Was there an HVO unit in Zenica, if you know?
5 A. Yes, a small one, I think.
6 Q. Would you agree that they had a cooperative
7 relationship with the BiH army in the fall of 1992?
8 A. I honestly don't know. I wasn't in Zenica at
9 that time.
10 Q. You have written, have you not, at page 258
11 of your book that Zenica was the "most stridently
12 Muslim city in Bosnia."
13 A. I think it was, yes.
14 Q. By that, do you mean that by late 1992, the
15 MOS, the Muslim armed forces composed of extremists and
16 roughians had become more and more predominant in the
17 city. I'm quoting from your book, at page 258? Do you
18 agree with that statement?
19 A. Oh, yes, as they felt --
20 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, I don't mind if you
21 cite the book of Mr. Vulliamy on two or three
22 occasions, but please remain within the bounds of the
23 examination-in-chief. I understand that it is
24 important so I didn't want to stop you, but I still
25 wouldn't like you to take too long. Up to now, it has
1 been very logical, but to destabilise the witness, and
2 I assume he is destabilised, should be prevented. I
3 don't want us to spend the whole afternoon by
4 extracting sentences from the book, seeing whether they
5 are contradictory or not. We are here with a witness
6 who said a certain number of things during his
7 testimony on the 24th of April, 1998, so let us try and
8 focus on what he actually said as much as possible.
9 It is already at least five, six, seven times
10 that you have cited this or that sentence from the
11 book. In any case, I'm not here to defend the
12 witness. I'm defending the judges. We are not at an
13 institute of political relations. We have here a
14 witness who testified on the 24th of April and you are
15 now cross-examining him. Thank you.
16 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Mr. President. I would
17 note I'm not speaking to destabilise the witness, but
18 there are portions of his book that bear relationships
19 to his thesis, and I thought it a quick and efficient
20 way to confirm his views on certain points by referring
21 him to the book. In fairness, cite from the book and
22 give the Prosecutor the page so if they cared to
23 explore it further on in their examination, they
24 could. That’s all I was hoping to do. I'm moving as
25 quickly as I can so.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Let us then ask one question.
2 Do you confirm your whole book? I'm going to ask you
3 this question. Do you confirm what you wrote in your
4 book? You wrote that book, didn't you?
5 A. 99.999 recurring percent of it.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Then let us try to
7 speed things up a little, please?
8 MR. HAYMAN:
9 Q. Mr. Vulliamy, you testified concerning the
10 February 24, 1994 cease-fire and the fact that
11 that cease-fire held throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina;
13 A. Yes. I was in Mostar at the time. As I
14 testified, it certainly held remarkably there, and my
15 testimony pertained to returning to Split and to find
16 that colleagues had reported the same thing happening
17 all over the place, yes.
18 Q. Was that the first cease-fire ordered by
19 General Petkovic since October 1992, if you know?
20 A. I think there were other cease-fires
21 organised, but that was the first right across the
22 board and certainly the one that worked. It was the
23 first that held that I knew about.
24 Q. Let me ask you if you remember any of the
25 following cease-fires, and then if you know whether
1 these cease-fires held and were successful. 21 October
2 1992 in Novi Travnik, 9 November, 1992 in Novi
3 Travnik. 24 January, 1993 in Gornji Vakuf, 27, January
4 1993, operational zone central Bosnia. 30 January,
5 1993, operational zone, central Bosnia. 18 April,
6 1993, operative zone in central Bosnia between Boban
7 and Izetbegovic, 20 April, 1993 in operational zone
8 central Bosnia between Petkovic and Alilovic; 25 April,
9 1993 by Petrovic, 9 June, 1993 in Travnik between
10 Alagic and Blaskic then 19, June, 1993 in operative
11 zone, central Bosnia Blaskic, Hadjtasanovic. Do you
12 know whether any of those other cease-fires held?
13 A. Well, some of them ring a bell, others
14 don't. I know that after your last date, some of the
15 most ferocious fighting was still to come. I don't
16 know how long each particular one held. I remember the
17 British UNPROFOR people used to count and have a record
18 of the cease fires and made a joke about how little
19 time they lasted. I believe 13 seconds was the
20 record. But if you're talking about cease-fires, by
21 definition, I think what you're mentioning are
22 intervals. They do not and cannot have lasted because
23 the war went on. Indeed, the very worst violence in
24 Mostar, was to follow your last date, and so when I
25 talk about the cease-fire in February 1994, I meant a
1 cease-fire that was agreed and imposed and held to
2 across the terrain, not some -- how shall I say it,
3 some expedients which lasted a number of days, hours,
4 sometimes. The war carried on through all the dates
5 you've mentioned is what I mean, but some of them do
6 ring a bell. In fact, I first heard Colonel Blaskic's
7 name from a British army officer and someone from the
8 UNHCR saying that they had been obliged to sign a
9 cease-fire, that he had negotiated, and they were very
10 uneasy about having to sign it. So yes, of course , I
11 knew there were cease-fires but they didn't have any
12 effect because the business wasn't finished.
13 Q. Would you agree that on the occasions on
14 which cease-fires did not hold that we can conclude
15 that if they did not hold on the side of the HVO, that
16 on those occasions, the HVO chain of command failed to
17 work with, I believe your words were, "coherence,
18 cogency, and efficiency." Can we conclude that?
19 A. Sorry. I didn't understand the question.
20 Q. Can we conclude that on the occasions on
21 which cease-fires did not hold and were, indeed,
22 violated by the HVO soldiers, that the HVO chain of
23 command on those occasions did not work with
24 "coherence, cogency, and efficiency," and I'm citing
25 your description on page 7822 of the transcript.
1 A. Well, I'll stick with my description, because
2 I don't think that the cease-fires -- correct me if I'm
3 wrong, I don't think all the cease-fires you're talking
4 about are of the instructive weight of the Washington
5 agreement. I mean, the point about the cease-fire on
6 February 24th that I'm trying to make is that it was
7 signed in Washington. The American diplomats had
8 bargained it. The threat of sanctions was behind it
9 and it was do it or else. These are -- in my
10 experience, a lot of these cease-fires are expedient.
11 Armies often agree a local cease-fire to move
12 ammunitions around, to get a breather. I don't think
13 that the crease-fires you're talking about were ordered
14 by Mate Boban from Grude to be enforced
15 permanently across the board and were broken by some
16 rogue element. I think these were a hodgepodge of
17 arrangements. I don't think that they were the same
18 sort of cease-fire, like, stop firing, stop fighting,
19 that happened in February '94. It was of a different
20 nature, if I make myself clear. I hope so.
21 Q. Just one more question on this subject and
22 I'll move on. Are you saying that the orders for those
23 cease-fires were not sincere by the commanders or
24 politicians who issued them or are you saying that the
25 stature of the Washington agreement with President
1 Clinton of the United States and other international
2 leaders validating the agreement, that it had a better
3 chance of success than other cease-fires, and, indeed,
4 with that additional weight, it was able to proceed?
5 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. I think that the
6 witness has already answered, but please give us a very
7 brief answer now.
8 A. Yes, I think that the intervals in fire, if
9 you like, were often negotiated for expedient reasons,
10 military reasons, and that the permanent cease-fire,
11 the one that worked, was instructed by the chain of
12 command going all the way up to Zagreb, in fact, and,
13 as you say, had the force of American diplomacy behind
14 it. It was stop fighting or else you're in big
15 trouble. Everyone was threatening sanctions against
16 Croatia when there was an operational cease-fire for a
17 few hours in central Bosnia sometime.
18 Q. You said in your testimony on direct that you
19 read of an ultimatum issued by Bosnian Croats that the
20 BiH army should come under HVO control or the HVO would
21 implement the Vance-Owen peace plan.
22 If the registrar could retrieve exhibit 25,
23 so that it's handy should the witness need to reference
25 Mr. Vulliamy, did you obtain any information
1 concerning any such ultimatum, other than from reading
2 a Reuters' report in your London office as you
3 described on direct examination?
4 A. No. Not at the time, no. It was reported in
5 Reuters and it was reported on the radio as well.
6 Q. Have you reviewed exhibit 25, which is
7 another article discussing the subject?
8 A. Yes, I have seen that, but not at the time I
9 wrote the book.
10 Q. Would you agree, and if you don't know,
11 that's fine, you can tell us, but would you agree that
12 there's no deadline stated in that article or report
13 for compliance with the terms of the Vance-Owen peace
15 A. Do you want me to read it?
16 Q. If you don't recall, I don't want you to read
18 A. I don't recall, no.
19 Q. Do you have any specific information you can
20 provide the court of any ultimatum issued or repeated
21 by HVO authorities in the Lasva or Kiseljak valleys in
22 April 1993 relating in any way to the subject matter of
23 exhibit 25?
24 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Mr. President.
25 Counsel asked a question about a --
1 JUDGE JORDA: Continue.
2 MR. KEHOE: Counsel asked a question about
3 exhibit 25 previously, and then when the witness wanted
4 to read exhibit 25, counsel didn't want to take the
5 time. Now he's asking about the content of exhibit 25,
6 and if we're going to continue asking questions about
7 this document, the witness should be given the
8 opportunity to read it.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, objection granted. Will
10 you please familiarise yourself quickly with the
11 document before you?
12 A. I'll read it as quick as I can.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Take your time.
14 A. Okay. I may have to refer to it again, but
15 I've got the gist.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Please continue, Mr. Hayman.
17 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
18 Q. Now that we've taken the time for you to read
19 it, can you tell us, is there any deadline stated in
20 the article for compliance with the terms of the
21 Vance-Owen Peace Plan by the BiH army?
22 A. There seems to be in item No. 2 on the list,
23 on the second page a deadline for the gist of this
24 document which seems to be, if you will forgive me for
25 paraphrasing, you know, you get out of our territory
1 and we'll get out of yours, of three days.
2 Q. Doesn't item 2, doesn't that refer to outside
3 forces originating from outside the province or
4 municipality in question?
5 A. Yes, and I think that's clarified later on as
6 being that within the provinces that the Croats are
7 claiming, or that are designated Croat, it's the HVO,
8 and the BiH army would be considered an outside force
9 and vice versa. So I suppose we're saying that you've
10 got three days--
11 Q. Would you be surprised --
12 A. --for this mutually exclusive arrangement to
13 come into effect.
14 Q. Would you be surprised to learn that the BiH
15 army wanted that term because they wanted, for example,
16 HVO units from Herzegovina out of central Bosnia just
17 like the HVO wanted BiH army units from wherever,
18 Tuzla, to withdraw themselves from central Bosnia?
19 Would that surprise you? Your interpretation
20 sounds to be very different from that.
21 A. It would surprise me if the BiH army would
22 want to agree to leave all the areas claimed by the
23 HVO, yes, but then it's not really relevant what they
24 think because towards the end of the document it goes
25 on to say that if the Muslim delegations don't sign it,
1 we're going to go ahead anyway.
2 And then with reference to the Croatians, it
3 goes on to say that anyone who does not agree should
4 "now reduce their support to silence." So it doesn't
5 really matter what anyone thinks, does it? They want
6 it to happen anyway.
7 And this is signed by Veso Vega who I came to
8 meet in Mostar later, the main spokesman for the HVO in
9 its entirety.
10 Q. The other date or deadline, would you not
11 agree, is point 4 which has a deadline for setting up a
12 joint command between the HVO and the BiH army;
14 A. But I don't understand, really, where that
15 joint command is meant to be, if you could enlighten
16 me, because it seems to me that we're having your bit
17 and you're having yours.
18 Q. Joint command, that doesn't sound very
19 aggressive and hostile; does it? To set up a joint
20 command, to want a joint command?
21 A. No, it doesn't, but it's very odd that they
22 have been dismantling joint commands all this time. I
23 don't know how long you want this argument to go on.
24 Number 3 says that the HVO and the BiH army
25 in provinces 1, 5, and 9, hardly any HVO in 1, 5 and 9,
1 actually, very few, Tuzla is the biggest, shall be
2 placed under the BiH army. 3, 8 and 10, which is
3 Herceg-Bosna effectively, comes under the command of
4 the main staff of the HVO.
5 So I'm not quite sure what this joint command
6 is supposed to do.
7 Q. I don't think there's a question pending,
8 Mr. Vulliamy?
9 A. Well, I think there is, because Herceg-Bosna
10 has come under the HVO. I mean, there's no argument
11 about that. If the Muslims don't sign it, we're going
12 to do it anyway, and if you're a Croat and you don't
13 agree, you can "reduce your support to silence."
14 Q. What was the deadline for item or term 3?
15 Was there a deadline or was there no deadline?
16 A. Let me have a look. You know this document
17 better than I do, obviously. No, there wasn't a
18 deadline for that.
19 Q. Now, my last question on this topic, I stated
20 it previously, was objected to by counsel. I'll
21 restate it.
22 Regarding the subject matter of this alleged
23 ultimatum, do you have any specific information to
24 provide to the court concerning any ultimata issued or
25 repeated by the HVO authorities in either the Lasva or
1 Kiseljak Valleys in April -- in or around April, 1993
2 or do you not have any such specific information?
3 A. No, I don't. Mr. Vega speaks for the whole
4 of the HVO in my experience, so such local adaptations
5 wouldn't be necessary. And I've dealt with Vasa Vega,
6 he is the main spokesman for the whole of the HVO, the
7 top guy.
8 Q. You have discussed the state -- excuse me.
9 You have discussed the strategy of the HVO in purely
10 offensive terms, as in offence versus defence.
11 Would you agree that, in fact, the strategy
12 of the HVO in the Vitez Busovaca pocket in 1993 was
13 primarily defensive? Would you agree with that
15 A. Two different phases. I can half agree.
16 Vitez was, as I saw it, crucial to the HVO in two
17 different ways at two different times of the period
18 you're asking me about.
19 It was crucial in the first stage, let's say
20 late 1992 into '93, as you say, as the furthest
21 reliable outpost of Herceg-Bosna. It was the
22 northernmost bit of Herceg-Bosna in which Boban knew he
23 could count on the HVO because of what we'll call the
24 Travnik problem, for want of a better term.
25 The further north the Croats got, the less --
1 or certainly north of Zenica, the less allegiance they
2 owed to Mate Boban and his people down in Herzegovina.
3 So Vitez was crucial to the HVO for the first
4 bit of the period you're talking about as the uppermost
5 reliable, the northernmost reliable bit, the bit on
6 which Mate Boban could count, Vitez and Novi Travnik.
7 At that stage, I would say its, the HVO's role in Vitez
8 was very much offensive.
9 Then, after what I'll call the backlash by
10 the Muslims of the summer of 1993, Vitez, as you have
11 said earlier on in your questions, ran the risk of
12 being cut off from Herzegovina. It wasn't, actually,
13 ever a complete pocket, but it became much less part of
14 the Herzegovinian main chunk, if you like.
15 At that point, Vitez was, if you like, I
16 suppose even more important because there was this
17 defensive element to the military operation. I mean,
18 Vitez was under pressure during the latter part, the
19 latter period that you say; whereas previously it had
20 been offensive.
21 I'm sorry to be complicated, but I agree with
22 you, across the latter period there was a defensive
23 ingredient, although there's nothing very defensive
24 about a car bomb outside a Muslim enclave, which they
25 blew up, as you know, killing a lot of civilians.
1 But, yes, during the summer of 1993 the
2 command of Vitez was equally crucial for reasons that
3 were defensive as well.
4 Q. What did General Alagic tell you concerning
5 the BiH army's offensive intentions with respect to
6 central Bosnia?
7 A. Alagic wanted to -- he saw the Muslims as
8 being squeezed out and he wanted to establish -- in one
9 of the conversations I had with him, he wanted to
10 establish a triangle which would connect, as I recall,
11 Tuzla, Sarajevo and Travnik, which would be sort of a
12 Muslim triangle, and I think he saw that as a basis for
13 fighting out, really, against Serbs and Croats from
14 within that. That was one of the conversations I
15 remember having with Alagic.
16 Q. And that strategy would involve displacing
17 the HVO from the Lasva Valley; correct?
18 A. I would imagine so, yes, frankly.
19 Q. Because the Lasva Valley was the critical
20 communications link between Sarajevo and Travnik?
21 A. Yes, that's right. That's how he saw -- I
22 mean, at its media, if you like, which I'd say was
23 probably late February, March 1993 when the Muslims
24 really thought they were going to get stuck between a
25 rock and a hard place, if you will pardon the
1 expression, that was Alagic's own personal strategy.
2 He wasn't commander of anything at that
3 point, that was before he took command of what later
4 became the 17th Krajina brigade, or otherwise known as
5 or the refugee brigade.
6 Q. Would you agree that the BiH army pursued
7 that strategy with remarkable tenacity?
8 A. With a couple of minor geographical
9 exceptions, yeah, I think they had to, and if -- I
10 think they had to in order to survive. I think they
11 were looking, as I've said, in a number of places, I
12 think they were looking at extinction at a certain
14 Q. This brings me to my last question,
15 Mr. Vulliamy. You interviewed Lieutenant Mark Jones of
16 the 9th-12th Lancers Unit after the Ahmici massacre,
17 and I believe he was in the first group of British
18 soldiers to visit Ahmici on the 16th of April, 1993.
19 Did he tell you, "not a single Muslim house
20 had been spared. Methodically and systematically, the
21 hit squad went around the village blowing up at least
22 50 homes. It was a band of 15 to 20 gunmen high on
23 slivovitz." I'm not suggesting the truth or the falsity
24 of this statement, I'm simply asking you: Did he make
25 that statement?
1 A. I didn't do that interview, it was done by a
2 colleague of mine who works for the Guardian called Ian
3 Trainer (phoen). He did the interview and I think you
4 got it from the book. It should be credited to the
5 addition of the paper that I didn't write for.
6 But he didn't tell that to me, he told it to
7 a colleague of mine.
8 Q. Is Mr. Trainer a professional journalist on
9 the staff of the Guardian?
10 A. Oh absolutely, yes. He's at the moment our
11 Berlin correspondent, yeah.
12 Q. What is slivovitz?
13 A. It's a sort of plum -- it's plum brandy, a
14 favourite of the soldiers in the area and of other
15 people, indeed.
16 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. Vulliamy. I have
17 no further questions, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.
19 Mr. Kehoe, you have some re-examination?
20 MR. KEHOE: Just a couple of questions.
21 RE-EXAMINATION BY MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. Related back to this last point, you have
23 looked at what has happened in Ahmici -- directing your
24 attention back to this last question by counsel for the
25 Defence, you have looked at what's happened in Ahmici
1 and you're aware of what has happened throughout the
2 Lasva Valley, as in other places throughout
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. All of those events can be sourced back to
6 groups of 15 to 20 gunmen who happened to be drunk on
7 some kind of alcohol?
8 A. No, I've been trying to say throughout, I've
9 been trying to say that we moved between Mate Boban
10 and various commanders and what was happening on the
12 The war against the civilians accelerated as
13 the political objectives, the military objectives
14 became more articulate, and that what was going on, you
15 could see -- you didn't even have to see the charred
16 villages, you just had to look at the roads in between
17 them, there was a mobilisation of an army going on.
18 Yeah, there was a lot of slivovitz around as
19 well, but not 15 or 20, no. There was units of
20 soldiers, I mean, Prozors, units of soldiers. Vitez,
21 Mostar was an entire army.
22 Q. Counsel asked you questions about a series of
23 meetings between Mate Boban and then some individuals
24 in the field. Let's place those meetings in context.
25 The first meeting counsel asked you about was
1 in August of 1992 with Mate Boban where Muslims and the
2 HVO had just driven the Serbs out of Mostar; isn't that
4 A. Yes, about a month after they had joined
5 forces in Mostar, yes.
6 Q. During that conversation, was Boban's
7 hostility directed towards the Serbs or the Muslims?
8 A. No, to the government in Sarajevo, ergo as he
9 called them, Muslims, yes, I mean, to my amazement.
10 Q. Was that the conversation where Boban told
11 you he could not accept a Bosnian constitution and that
12 we are prepared to defend our freedom?
13 A. Yes, it was.
14 Q. Now, shortly after that, we discussed a
15 conversation that you had with a commander in Travnik
16 called Pokrajcic; is that right?
17 A. Yes, Pokrajcic, yes.
18 Q. Now, could it be fair to say -- and counsel
19 asked you some questions about that Pokrajcic
21 A. Yes, he did.
22 Q. I think you said in response to questions by
23 counsel that Pokrajcic was feeling some pressure?
24 A. Yes, he told me about the pressure. In fact,
25 the first I ever heard of tensions between Muslims and
1 Croats was from the Croatian commander in Travnik,
2 Mr. Pokrajcic, a young man, and he said he was feeling
3 pressure and he didn't want to succumb to them.
4 Q. Now, you had this conversation with Mate
5 Boban in the latter part of October of 1992,
6 approximately a month or so after this conversation
7 with Pokrajcic; is that right?
8 A. Yes, the really important one I regarded as
10 Q. Now, was that conversation more clear in the
11 sense -- or clearer in the sense of what Boban wanted
12 to happen in Herceg-Bosna?
13 A. Yes, it progressed to the same argument. I
14 mean, the argument which was roughly sketched and, sort
15 of, put in rather thinly veiled moderate language
16 became robust, uncompromising and determined, articulate,
18 Q. You said in response to a question from
19 Defence counsel that during that conversation, Boban
20 deemed that he would not accept any dissent or people
21 would have to leave in some other fashion if they
22 decided to dissent?
23 A. That there would be no dissent within the
24 Croatian ranks and there would be no challenge to the
25 hegemony of the HVO from the Muslim side.
1 Q. Would you say that pressure was part of the
2 pressure that Filipovic was feeling in February of 1993
3 where he cursed Boban and the defendant?
4 A. Yes, that's what I've been trying to say.
5 That was the pressure. When they are talking about
6 pressure, I think we're sort of overanalysing this
8 To me it's extremely obvious, and it still is
9 that the pressure was on the people like
10 Pokrajcic, the moderate Croat in Travnik, his successor
11 Filipovic, the then moderate Croat in Travnik, that the
12 pressure was to fight their allies and they didn't want
13 to do it and the pressure seemed to be coming very
14 obviously from Mate Boban and from the HVO to which
15 they belonged.
16 Q. And in that conversation in October, Mate
17 Boban told you that any deviation would not be
18 tolerated; isn't that right?
19 A. Yeah, he said they would have to step down or
20 be removed in some other manner, which is pretty
21 menacing in the middle of a war.
22 Q. In the note of the 4th of April, 1993,
23 Exhibit 25, the article by Veso Vega, that is to your
24 left there, and the last half of the second page and
25 over to the top of the third page, once again, Veso
1 Vega on behalf of the HVO said that dissent should be
2 silenced; doesn't he?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Is that consistent with the conversation that
5 you related on cross-examination with Mate Boban from
6 October of 1993?
7 A. Yes, entirely.
8 Q. Is it any surprise to you, in light of that
9 conversation, that Filipovic made a decision to go with
10 the HVO?
11 A. Yes, I didn't know he had been promoted but,
12 yes, I said I admired the man, I can't blame him. I
13 don't know what's happened to him since, yes, be
14 removed in some other manner is a threat, and he
15 obviously decided to batten down and obey his orders,
16 probably to save his own skin, I should think, if not
17 his career.
18 Q. Did you conclude after that conversation with
19 Filipovic and what you had known in your conversations
20 with Boban, that the defendant Blaskic had agreed to go
21 along with the ideas of Mate Boban?
22 MR. HAYMAN: It's beyond the scope,
23 Mr. President.
24 MR. KEHOE: He was just asked numerous
25 questions about this for about 45 minutes.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Rephrase your question,
2 Mr. Kehoe, please.
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. You talked on cross-examination about the
5 conversation with Mate Boban. You talked about the
6 conversation in late February, 1993 with Filip
7 Filipovic where he cursed the defendant Blaskic and
8 Mate Boban.
9 Did you conclude after that conversation --
10 with what you knew and what you saw, did you conclude
11 that the defendant had agreed to go along with the
12 ideas of Mate Boban?
13 MR. HAYMAN: Not only is this beyond the
14 scope, this is an ultimate opinion not rendered on
15 direct. He is going beyond what he said on direct.
16 If it's allowed on re-direct, then there must
17 be re-cross. That's my position.
18 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, the Defence
19 counsel just diced and spliced and tried to render
20 these types of conversations that were discussed by
21 this witness as unrelated in any fashion.
22 In response to that line of questioning, the
23 Prosecutor is entitled to allow this witness to
24 complete what has been raised on cross-examination on
25 these various meetings. That's all this is.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Objection overruled.
2 Continue, Mr. Kehoe.
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. Will you answer the question, Mr. Vulliamy?
5 A. Yes. I mean, I understood from what
6 Mr. Filipovic was telling me is that if you were
7 someone who did not want to fight the Muslims, you were
8 being put in an impossible position. That was the
9 blade of the knife, you either fell off one side, which
10 meant that you gave up your career, joined the Muslims
11 or whatever; or, you fell off the other side which
12 meant that you went along with this ghastly programme;
13 or, I suppose, you did nothing and fell on the knife.
14 I shan't not go into that.
15 I think if you were a man like Filipovic you
16 were faced with a very, very painful dilemma.
17 And my answer to your question is, yes. I
18 don't know what was going on inside Colonel Blaskic's
19 head, but from what Mr. Filipovic was saying, it was
20 clear to me that Boban -- it was coming up the valley.
21 He said, it was coming from Boban, and Blaskic was
22 mentioned in the same breath and that Blaskic was part
23 of the pressure on him to turn against his Muslim
24 allies, yes.
25 And it did all come back to the conversation
1 with Boban. It was hard to conclude otherwise.
2 Q. On a separate subject, you were read a
3 sentence by Mr. Hayman, and the sentence was from page
4 222, counsel.
5 The sentence that was read was - and this has
6 to do with the fighting in Prozor - "Then as dawn broke
7 and people started to flee, mobs moved in to town
8 firing willy-nilly and then began to torch, loot and
9 cleanse the town."
10 Do you remember being read that sentence?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Let me read you the sentence before that.
13 "HVO units had arrived from Tomislavgrad at the edge
14 of Prozor on Friday evening and subjected the town
15 centre and Muslim quarter to an all-night artillery
17 Were the mobs that were discussed with you,
18 were they HVO soldiers?
19 A. Yes, they were in uniform and had, I
20 mentioned the red ribbon tied to their epaulette. When
21 I said we arrived after the firing and the looting,
22 they arrived after the shelling and the shooting, but
23 not -- and the looting was still going on. I think I
24 said they were taking stuff out, and these were all
25 uniformed soldiers, HVO soldiers.
1 Q. HVO soldiers?
2 A. Oh yeah.
3 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I might have a
4 moment to consult with my colleague.
5 Mr. President, we have no further questions
6 of Mr. Vulliamy.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.
8 Judge Riad?
9 JUDGE RIAD:
10 Q. Mr. Vulliamy, we listened with great interest
11 to your testimony. You made it clear that the ultimate
12 goal of ethnic cleansing was decided and even
13 articulated by the political leadership, Boban or
14 whoever was around him, you made it very clear,
15 sometimes you said that no Muslim was to remain in the
17 And now, did also this political leadership
18 prescribe the ways this ethnic cleansing should be
19 done, or was it left to the judgement of every commander
20 to proceed to the ethnic cleansing whether by
21 transportation, or by killing, or by looting, or by
23 Was it also their directives or orders of the
24 political leadership to proceed in this way according
25 to your almost round experience there?
1 A. It seemed that there were variations, none of
2 them pleasant. I mean --
3 Q. There were variations?
4 A. Yes. When I said that no Muslims were to
5 live in Herceg-Bosna, that was, you know, a conclusion
6 that I drew from what I had seen in the shelling and
7 shooting of people out of Prozor, and later Capljina
8 empty of Muslims, men in camps, women and children
9 herded into east Mostar.
10 But I think if one could look at variance, in
11 Mostar it was herd people out of their homes and send
12 them across the river, bomb, shell and snipe them.
13 In the area to the south of Mostar, the
14 pattern was men into camps, and I think I mentioned
15 this plan that they had discussed with the UNHCR for a
16 mass deportation to third countries through a transit
17 camp, while the women and children were herded into
18 this small pocket in the eastern side of Mostar and
19 subject to ferocious shell fire.
20 In the Lasva Valley and around Prozor, it
21 seemed to be a question of gun and some mortar attack
22 followed by systematic torching of houses, chasing
23 people out with a mixture of gunfire and the torching
24 of houses.
25 I mean, it was systematic in terms of the
1 objective, but I really don't know who decided who was
2 going to be torched, who was going to be put in camps,
3 who was going to be sent to east Mostar and shelled.
4 It wasn't -- it happened over a longer period
5 of time then the Serb equivalent which happened in
6 the Drina Valley in the east of Bosnia and around the
7 Prijedor, Banja Luka area in 1992 where larger numbers
8 of people were removed or detained in camps much more
10 Q. I think you also in one of your statements
11 said that Boban mentioned that the policy is decided by
12 him, but the implementation is left to the military?
13 A. Yes. He said that -- he was talking about
14 the representation at the Geneva peace talks at that
15 point, and he said it will be myself, or those whom I
16 delegate, or those whom you see in my company, he said,
17 and no others.
18 As regards the HVO, he talked more about the
19 HVO as the sole authority and he sort of -- I mean, he
20 described them, as had a lot of the other people,
21 Skopljak in Vitez, Lasic and Mostar, as the sole legal
22 authority in Vitez.
23 The civilian military authority, were the
24 words he used in Mostar.
25 Boban talked about the HVO also as being the
1 sole authority. I took that to mean that they were the
2 executor of his political decisions.
3 I mean, military wing was a word used earlier
4 of the party. I'm not quite sure that was quite
5 right. I think he basically saw Herceg-Bosna as a
6 statelet, him as the head of state, and the HVO as the
7 army. So just as the president of a country is the
8 commander in chief of the armed forces, I think that
9 was how he, in his rather self-grandiose way saw
10 himself in the HVO.
11 Q. Within the HVO there was, as you said, a
12 variation in the implementation of the policy?
13 A. In the details, yes. One area, the emphasis
14 seemed to be on shooting and mortar and burning out; in
15 other areas, it was round men into camps, women and
16 children elsewhere. Not a great deal of variation. It
17 all had the same -- well, to me grotesque message to
18 it, the same grotesque repulsion and motivation which
19 was the systematic and violent removal of innocent and
20 unarmed civilians from their place of dwelling.
21 Q. Some areas were more enthusiastic than others
22 in this procedure, this process of ethnic cleansing?
23 A. Absolutely. And some as I've tried to make
24 clear, tried to avoid it all together, a few, Travnik,
25 Tuzla and Vares didn't want any part of it.
1 Q. Where would you situate the area of General
2 Blaskic in this map?
3 A. On the sort of comparative.
4 Q. Comparatively?
5 A. Well, I mean, Mostar has to be said to be the
6 worst, which was not in General Blaskic's area, I
8 I mean, Mostar, the largest numbers were
9 involved, the most ferocious cruelty involved in the
10 camps were there.
11 On the other hand, I think that -- Ahmici
12 rates pretty high on the horror list. I think there
13 was - and I didn't see this so I have to rely on
14 colleagues and newspaper reports - but there was one
15 body exchange in Vitez, apparently, which a colleague
16 of mine reported and said it was a pitiful sight.
17 The Muslims got to hand back four Croatian
18 bodies and the Croats handed back some 92 bodies, some
19 of them child size.
20 Q. Where was that?
21 A. Vitez. There was a famous incident of a car
22 bomb placed right at the edge of the Muslim quarter of
23 Vitez which killed a large number of civilians.
24 It's hard to, as during my testimony I sort
25 of tried to avoid this comparative thing, but I think
1 one has to. The Lasva Valley, not quite the zeal of
2 Mostar, not quite the violence of Mostar, and to my
3 knowledge, no camps like Dretelj, but let the court
4 make what it will of body exchanges 90 to 4.
5 I don't think that's challenged, including
6 children among the 90. The car bomb in Ahmici. It's
7 not far down the scale of barbarity.
8 Q. One clarification also. When you were
9 mentioning Boban's position with regard to HVO and the
10 HDZ, you said one did not need to see the internal
11 documentation, but just to see what they were doing to
13 What do you mean by internal documentation?
14 A. I was asked a question by Defence counsel
15 about had I seen any internal orders, I think that was
16 the idea, had I seen specific instructions to specific
17 commanders. The answer is --
18 Q. I'm sorry, instructions from Boban to the
20 A. I took that to be the question, yes.
21 Q. That's what you meant by documentation. Not
22 instructions from the commanders to the soldiers?
23 A. Well, I didn't see either.
24 Q. Which one did you mean?
25 A. I didn't see either instructions from Boban
1 to the commanders or from the commanders to the
2 soldiers, so I wasn't privy to any of the internal
3 documentation and I don't pretend to be.
4 What I meant was, if you see peoples' houses
5 bombed and shelled and burned out and people sort of
6 running around hiding in caves from soldiers who are
7 out to hunt them down, I sort of -- to make a personal
8 point, I'm not sure I need to see the orders if I'm
9 seeing this. In a way, this tells me everything I need
10 to know about what the orders must have been.
11 Likewise, in Mostar, do I need to see the HVO
12 orders if I'm running around the street being shot at
13 and watching shells being pumped into a hospital.
14 Q. You mean it speaks for itself?
15 A. To me it does when you see it happening day
16 after day, week after week, month after month, yes.
17 Q. So it was done in an organised systematic
19 A. Yes, I don't see how else it could have been
20 done because of the -- well, because of the speed with
21 which it ignited at the end of October and, most
22 especially, I referred to this in the testimony, the
23 extraordinary speed with which it was switched off on
24 the 24th of October, or whenever it was, of October,
1 Q. You mean it was all under control?
2 A. Yes. I mean, if this had been a hodgepodge of
3 free booting drunken militias, you would not have been
4 able to have had war in Vitez, war in the Lasva Valley,
5 war in Vares, and an almighty great siege - siege is
6 too clean a word - slaughter in east Mostar, going on
7 on the 23rd of February and then nothing on the 24th of
8 February without orders being given and obeyed.
9 That's what I was trying to say.
10 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Two or three
13 Q. I understand that you do not count Mr. Boban
14 among the moderate Croats?
15 A. No, certainly not.
16 Q. Through those conversations, were you able to
17 assess whether General Blaskic would be one of the
18 moderate Croats or, due to his position of command,
19 does that mean that he could not have been a moderate
20 Croat in view of the level of responsibility that he
22 Of course, through the conversations that you
23 had with Mr. Boban, I'm not asking you for an opinion,
24 but what you concluded on the basis of those
1 A. All I can say, we've spoken enough about the
2 conversation with Colonel Filipovic. I don't need to
3 return to it, unless you want me.
4 As regards the conversations with Mr. Boban,
5 he never mentioned Colonel Blaskic by name to me, but
6 there was no -- I mean, Vitez was important to him and
7 he talked about Vitez, but he didn't mention
8 Mr. Blaskic by name.
9 So I think it would be array of me to try and
10 read into his view of Colonel Blaskic. I don't think
11 that would be proper.
12 Certainly to remain in a position of
13 authority in an important military area -- and defence
14 counsel has -- we've discussed how important Vitez was,
15 both offensively at the beginning of the project, and
16 then defensively once the backlash started.
17 I think, you know, one would presume that
18 Colonel Blaskic was certainly trusted with the command
19 of a crucial area. It would not have made sense, given
20 the second conversation with Mr. Boban in which he
21 talked about no dissent being tolerated, it would not
22 have made sense for a dissenter to have stayed that
23 long in such an important area, and nor would it make
24 sense for him to be some sort of ceremonial figure and
25 he comes out for the saluting of the flag.
1 Q. Regarding the cease-fires, Mr. Vulliamy, you
2 said that there were many. You gave us a list,
3 together with Mr. Hayman, but there was some that, to
4 you, were real cease-fires.
5 I'm caricaturing a little bit what you said,
6 and then others that couldn't hold. Anyway, my
7 question is: Within this long series of cease-fires,
8 did you have a feeling that some were concluded in full
9 responsibility by Mate Boban and Colonel Blaskic?
10 That's the first part of my question. And the other
11 part is, that they were broken by them?
12 A. Well, I know that some of the cease-fires
13 were concluded by Mr. Boban, and I know that directly
14 one of them was concluded by Colonel Blaskic, because
15 of the unease of the British army officer I mentioned
16 who was asked to sign that particular cease-fire which,
17 I think, would have been at the end of 1992, although
18 I'm not sure which one exactly would have been on the
19 list that Mr. Hayman read.
20 Yes, I didn't know about all those
21 cease-fires. I knew that cease-fires were declared for
22 prisoner exchanges quite often, that when prisoners
23 were crossing the front-lines, these were very frequent,
24 each side would negotiate a temporary cease-fire to
25 allow for the transfer of prisoners.
1 Such cease-fires were also very useful to us
2 to go up onto the front-lines where the Serbs were
3 concerned, because they would happen across Turbe, and
4 it was the only way he could get close to the Serb
5 lines during these cease-fires.
6 But I think we're confusing the word
7 "cease-fire" here a bit. When I said cease-fire, you
8 said kindly that there was one or there was some that I
9 can't -- I mean, really only one. I mean, there were
10 intervals in fire arranged locally for a number of
11 reasons, and I wouldn't presume to explain each of the
12 ones on Mr. Hayman's list, but often reinforcements, or
13 maybe with good intent locally occasionally, but in my
14 experience, with some other agenda, prisoner exchange
15 being a common one.
16 The cease-fire I'm talking about in February,
17 1994 was a cessation of hostilities. That's what I
18 call a cease-fire, is when people stop firing. All the
19 dates in the list we had earlier were followed by
20 terrible violence and, no, I'm not able to, I'm afraid,
21 comment on specific cease-fires being broken by General
22 Blaskic. I just simply don't know.
23 Q. Were you able to identify through your
24 conversations political, institutional and military
25 links between Mate Boban and Croatia within the
1 framwork of this conflict?
2 A. Yes, fairly frequent. Sometimes these were
3 anecdotal, inasmuch as there were very often buses
4 loaded with armed men coming up from Split, and the
5 Adriatic coast up into the Mostar area in particular,
6 and occasionally up through Tomislavgrad into central
8 Perhaps most conclusively during the siege of
9 Mostar, when I got to know a Danish UNMO, a United
10 Nations military observer, an official, who made it his
11 particular business to identify the tanks that were
12 being used to shell east Mostar, and he told us that a
13 lot of the T-55, some of the older tanks were HV tanks,
14 Croatian army proper, rather than HVO.
15 And there was a story also earlier on, and I
16 remember reporting this earlier, in Zagreb that there
17 was at one point a battalion of the HV fighting in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina with the Bosnian Croats.
19 Apart from that, as regards to Mr. Boban
20 himself, no; apart from his obvious affection for and
21 tie to and natural affinity with Croatia, and that he
22 was in Croatia a lot.
23 The border, I've said before, was a sieve as
24 well, I mean, it was a very cursory border. It had a
25 Bosnian army guard at the crossing points up until
1 about October, 1992; after which there was no sign of
2 any Bosnian presence at the border post. It was all
3 Croat and Bosnian Croat.
4 As I say, a lot of military toeing and
5 froing across the border on the roads.
6 Q. Another question, Mr. Vulliamy. In answer to
7 a question by my colleague, you said that Mostar held
8 the first place for the conflict we are concerned
10 Do you have the impression that the high
11 staff -- for the high staff for the politicians, Mostar
12 was an example that need to be followed, or as
13 something to be rejected, too heavy a price to pay?
14 A. Well, I think -- I mean, Mostar was dearest
15 to the hearts of the Herceg-Bosna project. It was to
16 be the great capital. Mate Boban said that it was the
17 only city that has a university, an airport and
18 industry, and I think the HVO was prepared to fight
19 more bitterly and to the end for Mostar, than perhaps
20 for any other single bit of the envisaged territory.
21 Mostar was certainly not supposed to be
22 something to be reacted against. I think it was the
23 summation of it all, really; nor could it be seen to be
24 a model because it sort of built up to a crescendo
25 towards the end.
1 The worst of the Mostar siege was from
2 August, 1993 until February, '94, so it came at the
3 end, if you like, you know, temporally of the line.
4 So, I mean Mostar as that which the HVO would not give
5 up at any cost, yes, I think that was certainly a model
6 that the rest of the statelet was supposed to follow.
7 Mostar is sort of shining star, if you like.
8 But certainly I don't think that it as something that
9 the rest of Herceg-Bosna was supposed to be -- to learn
10 a lesson of warning from. I didn't at all get the
11 impression that the people in Tomislavgrad or Vitez or
12 Kiseljak were supposed to look at the bloody siege of
13 Mostar and think, mustn’t do it like that.
14 No, not at all. I think it was a sign of the
15 HVO to get what it claimed.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Vulliamy.
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. You have come on
19 several occasions and, on behalf of the Tribunal, I
20 must apologise to you for these various
21 inconveniences. You have shown a great deal of
22 patience and you have contributed to the Tribunal
23 important testimony, and all the parties here present
24 will draw from that testimony.
25 I think that you have finished in principle,
1 so allow me to convey to you our gratitude. You will not
2 move for the time being.
3 We're going to adjourn for a 20-minute break,
4 roughly. The hearing is adjourned.
5 --- Recess taken at 4.08 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 4.34 p.m.
7 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Can
8 you bring in the accused?
9 (The accused entered court)
10 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, at this
11 point, we will start the cross on Witness NN. I would
12 say that there were protective measures for Witness NN,
13 who testified at the latter part of last week on
14 Friday. One of those protective measures was voice
15 distortion. I've been informed, Mr. President and
16 Judge Riad, that voice distortion is not possible in
17 this courtroom with the equipment available.
18 Accordingly, I've discussed this with counsel for the
19 defence, and the Prosecution would ask that we go into
20 closed session for the cross-examination of Witness NN
21 because of the unavailability of voice distortion.
22 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Well, of course,
23 necessity makes the law in all parts of the world, so
24 we shall proceed in that manner. Mr. Hayman has also
25 stated his view, so, Mr. Usher, we shall have a closed
1 session and we shall ask the usher -- how do we
2 proceed? Do we know is it enough to empty the fourth
3 booth on the right? I don't know if there was anyone
4 in that booth? Were there some spectators? Please
5 proceed with a security officer sitting there.
6 (In closed session)
13 pages 8598-8615 redacted – closed session
22 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at 5.10 p.m.
23 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 12th day of May, 1998
24 at 10.00 a.m.