International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

  1. 1 Friday, 5th June 1998

    2 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.











    13 Pages 9338 to 9351 redacted - in closed session













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    10 (In open session)

    11 JUDGE JORDA: All right. The floor is yours.

    12 MR. CAYLEY: The next witness is Major Mark

    13 Bower of the Prince of Wales' Own Regiment of

    14 Yorkshire.

    15 He served in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the

    16 British Battalion in Vitez from April of 1993 until

    17 November of 1993. You heard earlier this week from his

    18 then commanding officer, Brigadier Alastair Duncan, who

    19 was then the commanding officer of the British

    20 Battalion.

    21 He was at the time a captain, this is Major

    22 Bower, and he was responsible as a liaison officer for

    23 assisting humanitarian organisations, such as the Red

    24 Cross, with their work in the Lasva Valley.

    25 In his testimony, he will tell you very

  2. 1 briefly of a visit that he made in late April to the

    2 village of Ahmici, and he will tell you what he saw and

    3 the conclusions that he reached.

    4 He will next tell you of how, on a

    5 reconnaissance mission, in the town of Busovaca, in the

    6 municipality of Busovaca, he came across a group of

    7 extremely well-armed professional troops of the HVO who

    8 he discovered to be a group called "the Jokers."

    9 Next he will tell you of his knowledge of HVO

    10 military formations in the Lasva Valley and his

    11 understanding of the command structure of the HVO. He

    12 will tell you of how, in his opinion, how effectively

    13 he thought the command structure functioned. He will

    14 give you his impression of the Hotel Vitez as a

    15 military headquarters.

    16 He will then speak to you of his assistance

    17 of both the sick and injured within the town of Vitez,

    18 both Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims. He will tell

    19 you of a number of visits that he made to two Bosnian

    20 Croat hospitals, one in Vitez and one in Novi Bila. He

    21 will tell you of the Stari Vitez enclave, a Muslim

    22 pocket isolated in Vitez by the time he arrived after

    23 the fighting in April.

    24 He will tell you of his attempts to bring in

    25 humanitarian assistance to that enclave, and he will

  3. 1 tell you of a campaign of attrition waged by the HVO

    2 against that Muslim pocket and how civilians,

    3 predominantly women and children, were the victims of a

    4 sniper and indiscriminate mortar fire campaign from the

    5 HVO, and he will tell you how this happened 400 metres

    6 from Colonel Blaskic's headquarters in Vitez.

    7 He will tell you very briefly of his visits

    8 to the town of Kruscica, another Muslim pocket

    9 partially isolated with some access to Bosnian

    10 government controlled territory, and how attempts to

    11 gain access with humanitarian assistance to this area

    12 was thwarted by the manipulation of the local Bosnian

    13 Croat civilian population by the HVO.

    14 He will tell you of his knowledge of what he

    15 came to know of in the Lasva Valley of HOS units, and

    16 he will tell you of the command chain that he perceived

    17 in respect of those witnesses, in respect of those

    18 troops.

    19 He will mention very briefly to you the death

    20 of Dobrilla Kolaba who -- I think you heard about that

    21 in some length from Brigadier Duncan. This was an

    22 interpreter who worked for him.

    23 He will tell you of his witness to

    24 trench-digging by individuals who appeared to be under

    25 the control of HVO soldiers.

  4. 1 In the final part of his testimony, he will

    2 tell you of what he saw of an attack on the village of

    3 Grbavica. He will describe to you a professional,

    4 well-coordinated attack against the Bosnian forces in

    5 that area and the civilian populations that were

    6 located there, the Bosnian Muslim civilian population.

    7 He will tell you of the civilians that were rescued by

    8 the British Battalion for fear of them being killed in

    9 the attack, and he will tell you of his witness to HVO

    10 soldiers and civilians looting the Bosnian Muslim area

    11 of Grbavica immediately after the attack.

    12 Lastly, he will tell you, very briefly, at

    13 the end of his tour, how he witnessed the aftermath of

    14 the HVO attack on the village of Stupni Do in the

    15 municipality of Vares.

    16 The testimony is, I think, relevant to

    17 paragraphs 3 and 4 of the indictment, paragraph 5.2 of

    18 the indictment; Count 1, the persecution; Counts 2 to

    19 4, unlawful attacks on civilians and civilian objects;

    20 Counts 5 to 10, wilful killing and causing of serious

    21 injury; Counts 11 to 13, destruction and plunder of

    22 property; Counts 15 and 16, inhumane and cruel

    23 treatment of detainees.

    24 I estimate that my examination-in-chief will

    25 be in the region of an hour, possibly shorter.

  5. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. All right. If I've

    2 understood correctly, I think that Major Bower, that is

    3 his testimony, in light of his speciality, has to be

    4 focused mainly on humanitarian assistance. That seems

    5 to be the essential point to me and, at the same time,

    6 the command structure, and then the attacks that he

    7 might have seen and the consequences of this. But

    8 especially somebody who can address the issue of

    9 humanitarian assistance for which he was in some way

    10 responsible, and he was able to see, in your opinion at

    11 least, a certain number of blockages. Those are the

    12 essential points, as well as the command structure.

    13 As Judge Riad has just reminded me:

    14 humanitarian assistance, command structure,

    15 consequences of certain attacks.

    16 Very well. We can have Major Bower brought

    17 in.

    18 (The witness entered)

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Major, do you hear me? Will

    20 you please recall your rank, your name, and your first

    21 name.

    22 THE WITNESS: Major Mark Bower.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Please remain standing, as long

    24 as it takes to read your solemn declaration that the

    25 usher is going to give you.

  6. 1 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    2 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

    3 truth.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Major. You may be

    5 seated. You have come at the request of the Prosecutor

    6 to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former

    7 Yugoslavia in a trial of the accused General Blaskic

    8 who is here in this courtroom.

    9 We know the general outline of what your

    10 testimony is, the essential points, and it is on those

    11 points that the Prosecutor will focus, and then there

    12 will be a cross-examination. But I know that you're

    13 familiar with these procedures because you come from a

    14 country which uses it.

    15 Without any further ado, let me give the

    16 floor back to Mr. Cayley.


    18 Examined by Mr. Cayley:

    19 Q. Good morning, Major Bower. Just a few

    20 preliminary questions. When I ask you questions, if

    21 you could address your answers to the Judges?

    22 A. Okay.

    23 Q. I think you joined the army in 1983?

    24 A. Yes, that's correct.

    25 Q. And I think you joined the Prince of Wales'

  7. 1 Own Regiment of Yorkshire in 1985 after the Royal

    2 Military Academy Sandhurst?

    3 A. Yes, that's correct as well.

    4 Q. I think you've served in the United Kingdom,

    5 Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Kenya, France, and

    6 the former Yugoslavia?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. I think you've done operational tours of duty

    9 in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Kuwait, and

    10 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    11 A. Yes, I have.

    12 Q. And I think you were, in fact -- you've seen

    13 combat duty in the Gulf War; is that correct?

    14 A. Yes, I did.

    15 Q. Now, I think you served with the Prince of

    16 Wales' Regiment in Bosnia-Herzegovina from April of

    17 1993 until November of 1993; is that correct?

    18 A. Yes, it is.

    19 Q. And I think the Prince of Wales' Regiment was

    20 the second British Battalion to serve in

    21 Bosnia-Herzegovina after the Cheshire Regiment?

    22 A. Yes, it was.

    23 Q. And I think I'm correct in saying that you

    24 were based at the Stari Bila camp in Vitez?

    25 A. Yes.

  8. 1 Q. What was your responsibility when you were

    2 based in Bosnia-Herzegovina? I think you were a

    3 captain at the time.

    4 A. Yes. My duties were liaising between the

    5 British Battalion based in Stari Bila and mainly the

    6 aid agency, the ICRC, and some of the non-government

    7 organisations such as Pharmaciens sans Frontieres and

    8 Medecins sans Frontieres. I had also responsibility

    9 between travelling around the area, around the Lasva

    10 Valley, and assessing humanitarian aid requirements,

    11 and then I would pass it to UNHCR and other agencies.

    12 Q. I think you're now a Major and a company

    13 commander?

    14 A. Yes, I am.

    15 Q. And I think you also were awarded by Her

    16 Majesty the Queen, The Queen's Gallantry Medal, after

    17 your service in Bosnia; is that correct?

    18 A. Yes, I was.

    19 Q. And I think we'll come on to why you received

    20 that gallantry award later in your testimony.

    21 Now, very briefly, if you could recollect for

    22 the court a visit that you made to the village of

    23 Ahmici at the end of April 1993?

    24 A. It was as soon as I arrived in Bosnia -- the

    25 incident in Ahmici had happened, but it was the

  9. 1 aftermath, the clearing-up option was still continuing,

    2 and I accompanied the Cheshire Regiment, who were still

    3 there at the time, into Ahmici to assist in recovery of

    4 some of the bodies which were still in the houses at

    5 the northern end of the town.

    6 The clearing-up operation was taking some

    7 time. There were fears that there may be unexploded

    8 ammunition in the area, so it was a military operation

    9 to clear it before attempting to retrieve the bodies.

    10 And so I went in to assist in collecting the bodies and

    11 then informing the family members in Zenica that we had

    12 found the remains of their family.

    13 Q. What opinion, what conclusion, did you reach

    14 at the time as to what had taken place in the village

    15 of Ahmici?

    16 A. It appeared to be a concentrated military

    17 effort onto a small town, village. It was -- or it

    18 appeared to be quite brutal in its execution in the

    19 fact that the majority of the houses were completely

    20 destroyed. No one would have been able to move into

    21 these houses as the majority of the roofs had fallen in

    22 and there were scorch marks from intense heat and fire

    23 on the outside of the buildings where the flames had

    24 come out through the windows.

    25 Although there were a few houses which were

  10. 1 untouched and people were still living in those houses

    2 and later it was found out that these people were

    3 Croats and had lived in Ahmici and remained to live in

    4 Ahmici after the incident.

    5 Q. Did you see any evidence of defensive

    6 structures in that village?

    7 A. I obviously can't comment on what was inside

    8 the buildings because of the destruction that had taken

    9 place, but I didn't see large trench systems or any

    10 large support weapon pits, large sort of earthworks,

    11 which would denote a large military installation.

    12 Q. We can move on to the next part of your

    13 testimony, and if the witness could be given the first

    14 exhibit, which is really a map to assist the court and

    15 to show the various locations that you were operating,

    16 and it has no particular significance.

    17 Mr. Registrar, what Exhibit number is this,

    18 please?

    19 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 394.

    20 MR. CAYLEY:

    21 Q. Now, I think at the end of May of 1993, you

    22 made a visit to the municipality of Busovaca, and I

    23 think while you were there, you came across a group of

    24 soldiers. Can you describe that visit to the court and

    25 that group of soldiers?

  11. 1 A. It was in early May, and I had spent the

    2 majority of the first two weeks in and around Travnik

    3 and Vitez, so decided to look around the area of

    4 Busovaca to assess the aid requirements in some of the

    5 more remote areas, and so decided to travel to the area

    6 which is marked 1 here (indicates), and I basically

    7 travelled to Busovaca and headed west up some mountain

    8 roads.

    9 I was in two Land Rover military vehicles

    10 which are soft skin. They are not armoured vehicles,

    11 and after maybe 15 minutes, having travelled down dirt

    12 tracks in wooded areas in the mountainous region, I

    13 came across a tree trunk which is across the road,

    14 blocking the road. And to the right of my vehicles,

    15 there were -- or there was a chalet, lodge, it was

    16 maybe 15 -- maybe 50 metres away from the track. The

    17 sound of the vehicles brought out a number of people

    18 from the hut and from behind it, 15 in total maybe.

    19 They approached the vehicles, and some of

    20 them, eight, nine of them, actually stayed 25 metres

    21 short of the vehicles and adopted fire positions with

    22 their weapons and pointed their weapons at us, and six

    23 or eight of them approached the vehicles. But we

    24 couldn't engage them in conversation; they ignored us.

    25 Two of them stood in front of me but wouldn't speak to

  12. 1 me; the remainder went around and had a good look at

    2 both vehicles, the drivers, the commanders of the

    3 vehicles, and the people in the backs of them.

    4 They were quite menacing, they were

    5 well-equipped, well-armed with

    6 non-Yugoslav-manufactured weapons, non-Soviet bloc

    7 weapons, the majority of them had large hunting knives,

    8 and some had pistols as well. They were young,

    9 mid-20s, I would say. They had an air of professional

    10 military competence, but they were also quite menacing.

    11 My interpreter was Dobrilla Kolaba, and she

    12 attempted to engage them in conversation, but they were

    13 talking to themselves, again ignoring us, but very

    14 interested in us. After trying to explain to them why

    15 we were there, that all we wanted to do was pass

    16 through, Dobrilla Kolaba was quite anxious and said we

    17 should leave.

    18 When I tried to get further information as to

    19 why she just said, "We should leave and we should leave

    20 now" and she appeared quite anxious and agitated, so we

    21 got back into our vehicles and reversed down the track,

    22 because we couldn't turn the vehicles around, and went

    23 back to Busovaca where we stopped.

    24 Q. Did you have a subsequent discussion with her

    25 when you stopped about the nature of these troops that

  13. 1 you just encountered?

    2 A. I wanted to discuss what had happened because

    3 I had not seen her like that before, and she explained

    4 that this group were known as the Jokeri and that they

    5 were discussing whether they should kill us or whether

    6 they should let us go. She also stated to me that this

    7 group had been involved in Ahmici and that the insignia

    8 they had on them, which was a white skull and

    9 crossbones insignia on a headband, some were on badges,

    10 on patches on their combat jackets, signified belonging

    11 to this group.

    12 Q. Were any of them wearing HVO badges?

    13 A. I think one or two of them were wearing just

    14 the red and white chequered badge which I took to

    15 denote HVO.

    16 Q. Did you ever receive further information

    17 about the involvement of this group in combat

    18 operations on the HVO Bosnian government front-lines?

    19 A. Every night we had a discussion amongst all

    20 the liaison officers with our commanding officer,

    21 Colonel Duncan, and on occasions, the Jokeri were

    22 mentioned as being involved or seen in action around

    23 Novi Travnik and Travnik and Grbavica, and there was

    24 one report that they had been around Stari Vitez.

    25 Q. Did the battalion come to some sort of a

  14. 1 conclusion about what was the special nature of these

    2 troops, why they were used in combat operations?

    3 A. It was assessed that this group were

    4 professional, dedicated, and clearly capable in

    5 military operations, and could bolster the generally

    6 conscript nature of the forces wherever the main effort

    7 at the time was.

    8 Q. If we could now move on -- and I think it

    9 naturally moves on -- to your knowledge of military

    10 formations within Central Bosnia. Now, I know you were

    11 briefed on both Bosnian government forces and the HVO,

    12 but I'd like you to explain to the court what your

    13 knowledge was at the time of the HVO military structure

    14 within Central Bosnia.

    15 A. We were briefed on arrival in Bosnia about

    16 both BiH and HVO chains of command. This enabled us to

    17 make the best use of our time when dealing with

    18 front-lines, military checkpoints, because we could

    19 understand their chains of command and who we should go

    20 and see in that area, the military commanders in that

    21 area, to seek assistance or permission to cross

    22 front-lines and whatever.

    23 I understood that in the Lasva Valley, the

    24 HVO headquarters was in Hotel Vitez.

    25 Q. Do you have any particular knowledge about

  15. 1 the subordinate military formations in the Lasva Valley

    2 that were part of the HVO?

    3 A. Only in the fact that I knew that

    4 geographical areas were responsible or were the

    5 responsibility of specific military groupings, but

    6 ultimately there was a link and a chain from the

    7 soldier to checkpoint through his local commander,

    8 ultimately reaching Hotel Vitez.

    9 Q. Are you aware of who, during your tour of

    10 duty, was the commanding officer of the HVO located at

    11 Hotel Vitez?

    12 A. It was General Blaskic.

    13 Q. Do you have any understanding of the extent

    14 of his command in the Lasva Valley?

    15 A. As I understood it, he was responsible for

    16 HVO forces in the Lasva Valley where we were.

    17 Q. Could you give sort of geographical marker

    18 points, your knowledge of the area, the geographical

    19 area, that that covered?

    20 A. From where I worked, certainly stretching

    21 from Novi Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca, Kruscica, the Lasva

    22 Valley pocket where we were based.

    23 Q. And that was really the limit of your

    24 knowledge because you didn't really travel much outside

    25 that area?

  16. 1 A. No.

    2 Q. Now, did you ever have occasion to visit the

    3 Hotel Vitez?

    4 A. On occasions, yes.

    5 Q. How many times did you visit Hotel Vitez?

    6 A. At the beginning of the operational tour,

    7 there was no requirement to visit it on a regular

    8 basis, but as the fighting increased, it became more

    9 and more necessary to visit. I would say in the six

    10 and a half months I was in Bosnia, maybe 40 or 50

    11 times.

    12 Q. Can you give the court a description of your

    13 impression of Hotel Vitez as a military headquarters?

    14 A. It was the impression of a professional

    15 working military headquarters, well-structured. When I

    16 went in, if I didn't have an arranged meeting with

    17 anybody, there would be somebody who I'd report to, I

    18 would wait, they would go and get somebody. It

    19 appeared to be a normal, what I would class, working,

    20 efficient military headquarters.

    21 Q. Now, you had occasion to frequently travel, I

    22 think, through both HVO and Bosnian

    23 government-controlled checkpoints; is that correct?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. Now, based on your knowledge of your

  17. 1 impressions within the Hotel Vitez and your transiting

    2 through checkpoints, can you explain to the Judges how

    3 effectively the chain of command functioned within the

    4 HVO?

    5 A. The checkpoints, the HVO checkpoints,

    6 certainly at the junction to the road to Vitez, when

    7 access was denied, a barrier was across the road and we

    8 were told we weren't allowed to enter. Negotiation

    9 would start with the checkpoint commander to be allowed

    10 to travel into Vitez to go to Hotel Vitez. Initially,

    11 the answer would be "No. No one is allowed in." But

    12 obviously I had asked to see the local checkpoint

    13 commander, his superior officer, and it appeared to me

    14 that they were talking by telephone or some other means

    15 of communication up the chain of command because, more

    16 often than not, we were allowed to travel through,

    17 which signified to me that there was a working chain of

    18 command.

    19 Q. Did you ever have experience with the

    20 civilian authorities and utilising them to gain access

    21 to particular areas?

    22 A. Once when I was attempting to get into

    23 Kruscica, which is marked 4 on the map here, which is

    24 again a small Muslim enclave south of Vitez, I was

    25 stopped from travelling through to take a UNHCR aid

  18. 1 convoy and to casualty evacuate some wounded people

    2 with the ICRC, and we were stopped by women and

    3 children blocking the road, standing in front of our

    4 vehicles. The average length of negotiations would be

    5 three to four hours and would invariably result in not

    6 being able to travel through.

    7 One particular occasion, the mayor of Vitez,

    8 I believe his name is Santic, and a liaison officer,

    9 Darko Gelic, came down to the checkpoint with a British

    10 Battalion liaison officer, Captain Whitworth, but they

    11 were unable to get the convoys through to Kruscica.

    12 Q. So Mr. Santic had no authority to facilitate

    13 your access?

    14 A. He didn't appear to be, no.

    15 Q. Would you say that the military authorities

    16 had a firm grip in your area where you were assisting

    17 humanitarian aid?

    18 A. Whenever we wanted something actioned, we

    19 invariably went to the military chain of command rather

    20 than the civilian chain of command. It seemed to speed

    21 things up.

    22 Q. When we're talking about the military, we're

    23 talking about the HVO?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. I think there's one example that you have,

  19. 1 and it's mentioned in your statement, of the

    2 coordination within the HVO chain of command, and a

    3 particular example of the International Committee for

    4 the Red Cross attempting to move aid from Mostar into

    5 Central Bosnia. Could you explain that to the court?

    6 A. My duties included going to the ICRC every

    7 morning, and I listened to their briefs and they

    8 listened to mine, and on one morning they informed me

    9 that they had been told by the HVO in Novi Travnik

    10 that, if they did not receive aid, then the HVO in

    11 Mostar would stop any ICRC convoys coming up the route

    12 from Metkovic to Mostar to Zenica.

    13 Q. What did this indicate to you about the chain

    14 of command within the HVO?

    15 A. It showed a degree of communication but also

    16 cooperation and coordination over a distance to

    17 coordinate an effort or threat such as this.

    18 Q. This is quite usual within any sort of

    19 reasonably, well-developed military formation; is it

    20 not?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. We can now move on with your testimony to the

    23 two Bosnian Croat medical facilities, the hospital in

    24 Vitez and the hospital in Novi Bila, and I wonder if

    25 you could explain to the court your involvement with

  20. 1 those two institutions?

    2 A. During the summer, the fighting was, at

    3 times, intense.

    4 Q. This is the summer of '93?

    5 A. The summer of '93, and the main aid agencies,

    6 the UNHCR and the ICRC, would not travel where there

    7 was fighting for fear of taking casualties. So the

    8 British Battalion decided to get involved in casualty

    9 evacuation to save life, and that was my

    10 responsibility.

    11 In the Lasva Valley, there were two primary

    12 medical facilities that I was involved with. The one

    13 in Vitez seemed to be more of a clinic for the everyday

    14 medical needs of a community, from pregnancy, broken

    15 limbs, the everyday medical requirements, although it

    16 would treat battle trauma cases from the Vitez area,

    17 specifically just localised Vitez area. The primary

    18 battle trauma hospital was in Novi Bila in a church

    19 which was used as the hospital, and that could

    20 accommodate maybe 120 seriously wounded people, the

    21 majority of which were from battle trauma from the

    22 result of fighting.

    23 Q. I think you were involved in a particular

    24 evacuation, a coordinated evacuation that was taking

    25 injured and sick people down to Split. I wonder if you

  21. 1 can tell the court about that? I think this was the

    2 instance when you, in fact, were awarded the Queen's

    3 Gallantry Medal.

    4 A. There had been an offer to evacuate some 55

    5 wounded people from Novi Bila to Kiseljak where they

    6 would then be put on helicopters and flown to Croatia

    7 for onward medical care. It took a degree of

    8 coordination because we had to travel through the BiH

    9 front-lines to get to Kiseljak. It took three or four

    10 days. The BiH wanted a list of names of who would be

    11 evacuated and they had to be identified. And the BiH

    12 provided a doctor to ensure that the right people with

    13 those medical complaints went on the transport. They

    14 were people who were very, very ill, who would probably

    15 have died if they had not have moved.

    16 The BiH could see what was going on and

    17 started to fire at the hospital with mortar rounds,

    18 although it was not particularly close. One of the

    19 hospital administrators told me that I had to leave

    20 some of the people off the transport, the nominated 55,

    21 and take some middle-aged and young men and some women

    22 and children who didn't appear to be injured.

    23 There was a rumour that these people had

    24 tried to buy places on this relief convoy, this

    25 evacuation, but I refused to let them on, and the

  22. 1 administrator personally threatened that I would suffer

    2 if I didn't take these people. The discussion was cut

    3 short because the hospital was mortared and it took

    4 three direct hits from the BiH in the local area. They

    5 landed right next to the hospital where we were. So I

    6 continued to evacuate the seriously wounded from the

    7 hospital and get them onto the transport and we left as

    8 soon as we could.

    9 Q. Now, in the other hospitals, the other

    10 Bosnian Croat hospitals in Vitez, the HVO-controlled

    11 hospitals, did you come across a number of victims of

    12 gunshot wounds, civilians?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 Q. Are you aware by whom those people were

    15 injured?

    16 A. By BiH forces.

    17 Q. Do you know from where?

    18 A. Certainly in the Novi Bila area, they were

    19 from around the front-lines in the western part of the

    20 Lasva Valley pocket. In the Vitez clinic, there were,

    21 again, a number of women, children who had suffered

    22 battle trauma, casualties, and they had been caused by

    23 the BiH in Stari Vitez, the Muslim enclave.

    24 Q. Now, we naturally, I think, move on to Stari

    25 Vitez and if you can indicate on --

  23. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley, before we move to

    2 Stari Vitez, perhaps we would take a break. We have

    3 had a long morning. Twenty minutes now. Since this is

    4 about halfway through the testimony that Major Bowers

    5 is giving, perhaps we can divide the sequence into two

    6 and start again at 10.35. The court stands adjourned.

    7 --- Recess taken at 10.13 a.m.

    8 --- On resuming at 10.47 a.m.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing will now resume.

    10 Have the accused brought in, please? Are all the

    11 technical problems okay? There are no technical

    12 problems, yes, everything is fine. Sorry for the

    13 slight delay. Thank you.

    14 (The accused entered court)

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley, go ahead.

    16 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.

    17 Q. Major Bower, we left off in your testimony

    18 and we were just moving on to the Muslim enclave of

    19 Stari Vitez. Could you point out to the Judges on the

    20 map that's next to you that you've marked in your own

    21 hand your best recollection of the Muslim enclave of

    22 Stari Vitez?

    23 A. It's marked as "Area 3" here on the map and

    24 it was to the south of the Travnik-Busovaca road.

    25 Q. Can you explain to the Judges what your

  24. 1 perception of the Stari Vitez enclave was at the time,

    2 why it existed?

    3 A. It was centred around the Muslim population

    4 of Stari Vitez near the mosque and it was made up of

    5 non-combatants and combatants. There were Bosnian army

    6 in there as well. They were unable to have freedom of

    7 access and exit of Stari Vitez to the remainder of the

    8 Lasva Valley.

    9 Q. By whom was the access to Stari Vitez

    10 controlled?

    11 A. It was controlled by the HVO.

    12 Q. Now, you were heavily involved, I think, in

    13 movement of casualties and provision of humanitarian

    14 aid to this region. I would like you to briefly give a

    15 summary of your six-month involvement with the people

    16 of Stari Vitez.

    17 A. As I said earlier, the aid agencies would not

    18 go anywhere where there was a danger to themselves, so

    19 it was left to me to assess humanitarian aid

    20 requirements and to conduct medical evacuations as a

    21 result of war fighting. Therefore, I would negotiate

    22 passage into Stari Vitez and, more importantly,

    23 negotiate the evacuation of casualties from Stari Vitez

    24 to the hospital in Zenica.

    25 Q. With whom did you have to negotiate the

  25. 1 movement of casualties and humanitarian aid in and out

    2 of Stari Vitez?

    3 A. I had to go to Hotel Vitez to do that.

    4 Q. Was there any other way of getting into Stari

    5 Vitez, except by driving past Hotel Vitez?

    6 A. As can be seen on the map, there is one road

    7 running here which goes all the way through Stari

    8 Vitez, but before I arrived in Bosnia, at approximately

    9 this location on the road, the road was blocked by

    10 earthworks, some trailers from lorries, and also there

    11 were some explosive devices placed, some mines, placed

    12 on the earthworks. So no access by any vehicle could

    13 be made from the west. It had to be made from the east

    14 and, therefore, it had to go to what we termed the

    15 Vitez T-junction and follow the road round into Stari

    16 Vitez and pass Hotel Vitez to do that.

    17 Q. Now, if the Witness can be shown Exhibit 395,

    18 I think that probably demonstrates the route that

    19 you're talking about into Stari Vitez. It's not

    20 completely on the ELMO but do you see the image in

    21 front of you on the TV screen?

    22 A. Yes, I do.

    23 Q. Can you sufficiently demonstrate what you've

    24 just been talking about?

    25 A. Yes, the general area of Stari Vitez is in

  26. 1 this area here to the left of the picture, and the

    2 access route along the yellow line which is here was

    3 the only way that any vehicles could be taken into

    4 Stari Vitez, so any casualty evacuation out of Stari

    5 Vitez or any humanitarian aid to go in had to travel

    6 down that route.

    7 Q. And past Hotel Vitez?

    8 A. Yes, indeed.

    9 Q. Do you know where Hotel Vitez is?

    10 A. It's just off --

    11 Q. Off the screen?

    12 A. -- the screen to the right.

    13 Q. Can you point to it?

    14 A. There. (Indicated).

    15 Q. Above the letter "E," there is a square; what

    16 does that indicate?

    17 A. In this general area here was the end of the

    18 HVO front-line and the Bosnian army front-line was around

    19 here. And in this area, in the latter part of the

    20 summer of '93, mines were placed across this road here

    21 and, I believe, down here which stopped again the

    22 freedom of movement of our vehicles into Stari Vitez.

    23 Q. And you're indicating also to the left of the

    24 letter "E," there was another mine when, in fact, it

    25 wasn't marked on here --

  27. 1 A. No.

    2 Q. -- although you marked with your own hand on

    3 the main road above.

    4 Now, if you could explain to the court how

    5 you were involved in the evacuation of casualties from

    6 Stari Vitez over a six-month period and why those

    7 people were injured, what sex they were and what age

    8 they were, as best as you can recall?

    9 A. The casualties which I evacuated were from a

    10 house. It was a makeshift hospital which is in this

    11 area here of Stari Vitez.

    12 Q. And that's the sort of yellow mark at the

    13 extreme left?

    14 A. This house here.

    15 Q. I think it actually says "hospital," but it

    16 can't quite be seen.

    17 A. There. (Indicated). It was run by Dr. Enisa

    18 Mulalic whose husband was a doctor in Zenica. She had

    19 two nurses who assisted her and they cared for the

    20 general medical welfare of the community, but also they

    21 dealt with all the war trauma casualties which the

    22 fighting created.

    23 I evacuated the region of 50 to 60 people

    24 over my six and a half months in Stari Vitez. The

    25 majority were suffering from war trauma, gunshot

  28. 1 wounds, shrapnel and blast injuries, and they could not

    2 receive the required medical aid in Stari Vitez. They

    3 would have died if they had stayed.

    4 Predominantly, they were women and children

    5 which I evacuated. There were some older men aged 50,

    6 55. There were a few men of fighting age which were

    7 evacuated, again, because they would have died if they

    8 had stayed, but Dr. Mulalic understood the strict rules

    9 which I applied, and I used as a basis the ICRC rules

    10 that I would not move any military equipment so that

    11 anyone of combatant age who was very seriously ill must

    12 leave all his equipment behind. I would not move

    13 anyone with equipment or I would not move any friend to

    14 accompany him, so it was purely the wounded person.

    15 Q. And all of these individuals were Bosnian

    16 Muslims?

    17 A. From Stari Vitez, yes.

    18 Q. Let's deal firstly with the gunshot

    19 injuries. What type of fire had caused those injuries?

    20 A. Predominantly the gunshot wounds were caused

    21 by the 7.62 short round fired from AK-47 rifles.

    22 Q. Was it your view that these rounds had been

    23 fired by snipers?

    24 A. The rounds were fired by people who were

    25 waiting for targets of opportunity and then they shot

  29. 1 at them.

    2 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. What is the 7.62

    3 short round? Can you help me what it is? We're not

    4 military experts.

    5 A. Sorry, it is the round fired, the bullet

    6 fired, by the rifle, the AK-47 rifle, and the "7.62" is

    7 the diameter of the bullet, 7.62 millimetres.

    8 JUDGE RIAD: Is it strictly military weapons?

    9 A. It's available for any use that has that

    10 calibre rifle.

    11 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.

    12 MR. CAYLEY:

    13 Q. Now, a sniper doesn't necessarily need to be

    14 armed with a sniper rifle, does he? He can be armed

    15 with any weapon.

    16 A. The idea that a sniper must have a telescopic

    17 sight and be well concealed, camouflaged, is not always

    18 the case. The term "sniper," as I would interpret it,

    19 is anyone who waits for a target of opportunity.

    20 Q. Now, the blast injuries; what were they

    21 caused by?

    22 A. The blast injuries were caused by indirect

    23 fire weapons such as mortars and, in the summer, there

    24 was a home-made mortar bomb which we, in BRITBAT, called

    25 the fire extinguisher bomb. It was the canister of a

  30. 1 fire extinguisher that was ballistically thrown 100,

    2 200 metres over the front-lines. It could be filled

    3 with petrol, something to ignite a fire, so it was

    4 incendiary, or a low level explosive to create a blast.

    5 Q. How indiscriminate were these weapons, in

    6 effect?

    7 A. The people at the firing point of these

    8 weapons would not be able to see where the round would

    9 land because it was going over the houses.

    10 Q. When you're talking about a round, you're now

    11 talking about a fire extinguisher --

    12 A. A fire extinguisher bomb or a mortar round.

    13 It is termed indirect. It doesn't travel in a straight

    14 line. It will go over the area, the ground it wishes

    15 to travel. The home-made device such as this fire

    16 extinguisher bomb was very unstable. It had no guiding

    17 fins, like a plane, to stabilise it in its flight. It

    18 was crude and inaccurate.

    19 And because it takes time to travel from the

    20 firing point to the detonation point, maybe as long as

    21 10 to 15 seconds, no guarantee could be made of who

    22 would be in the target area when the bomb detonated.

    23 And because the firers could not see physically who was

    24 in that area when they fired it, it was indiscriminate

    25 and it caused a number of civilian non-combatant

  31. 1 casualties.

    2 MR. CAYLEY: If the witness could be shown

    3 Exhibit 82/7, please? It's a man holding a red

    4 canister.

    5 THE REGISTRAR: This is 82/5.

    6 MR. CAYLEY: I'm sorry, 82/5.

    7 Q. Major Bower, do you recognise this device?

    8 A. Yes, I do. This is what the British

    9 Battalion termed the fire extinguisher bomb.

    10 Q. And these were the devices that were being

    11 fired into Stari Vitez?

    12 A. Yes, they were fired. On one occasion,

    13 this -- I don't know if it was this particular

    14 canister, but one was brought to the hospital where I

    15 was in Stari Vitez. There always seemed to be a need

    16 of the medical staff to show me where the people had

    17 been wounded or killed, to show me the bodies, to show

    18 me the injuries in case I didn't believe what was going

    19 on. It was to try and emphasise their situation.

    20 Q. Now, you've described this campaign over a

    21 six-month period of firing these devices on a sniper

    22 campaign. Was this being conducted by the HVO against

    23 Stari Vitez?

    24 A. Yes, it was.

    25 Q. Now, the Muslim people in Stari Vitez, how

  32. 1 frightened were they?

    2 A. It would fluctuate, depending on the level of

    3 fighting in Stari Vitez or around Stari Vitez, but

    4 generally, it was a feeling of despair among the

    5 civilians which I tended to deal with. The Merhamet

    6 representative in Stari Vitez, I believe her last name

    7 was Mrs. Halilovic, was always requesting assistance in

    8 humanitarian aid, generally baby food, bottles,

    9 sterilisation, sanitisation aid, and they generally

    10 felt that they just were holding on. They had enough

    11 assistance to survive, but that was all, they were

    12 surviving.

    13 Q. Now, you said that the movement in and out of

    14 Stari Vitez was controlled by the HVO and that included

    15 aid, did it not, humanitarian aid?

    16 A. The aid into Stari Vitez was controlled by

    17 the Vitez T-junction checkpoint I mentioned earlier. A

    18 convoy of 10 or 15 tons of humanitarian aid would be in

    19 four or five large UNHCR or ICRC trucks. So it was

    20 conspicuous. It could not travel in unnoticed. The

    21 drivers of these vehicles were civilians and,

    22 therefore, they would not be taken into an area that

    23 was dangerous because of fighting.

    24 The UNHCR had had a representative shot dead

    25 in Stari Vitez as he sat inside his UNHCR vehicle. And

  33. 1 so this made the aid agencies very cautious, and they

    2 wanted reassurance that they would be unhindered in

    3 taking aid into Stari Vitez. So, in effect, the

    4 enclave of Stari Vitez was controlled by the amount of

    5 aid, medical, food and also the evacuation of

    6 casualties out, it was very closely controlled by the

    7 checkpoints to the degree that I was aware that if I

    8 did not have the permission to evacuate people from

    9 Stari Vitez, I would be putting those people at risk

    10 when we got to the Vitez checkpoint and we attempted to

    11 leave.

    12 Q. I know you evacuated a large number of

    13 people, but if you could just give the Judges one or

    14 two examples of the age and sex of the victims you

    15 evacuated from Stari Vitez?

    16 A. The first victim I evacuated was an

    17 11-year-old girl who had been shot in the head by a

    18 7.62 millimetre round one afternoon in May. I believe

    19 it was the 21st of May. She was very seriously ill.

    20 The round had passed through her head. It wasn't until

    21 darkness that night that the message was received by

    22 the British Battalion that there was this seriously ill

    23 casualty, and I evacuated her that night.

    24 Other casualties in July, I think it was the

    25 18th or 19th of July, there were, again, three

  34. 1 casualties caused by a blast bomb; one male, he was

    2 about 40 to 45; a woman, middle-aged, and a child, I

    3 don't know what age. The man died in the hospital in

    4 Stari Vitez while I was there. He had severe shrapnel

    5 injuries to his abdomen and chest. The woman had

    6 shrapnel injuries to her face and throat and was having

    7 difficulty breathing and was very ill. The child had

    8 shrapnel injuries to her face and was suffering from

    9 shock but it was severe shock, almost in a traumatic

    10 state of shock. I evacuated the woman and the child

    11 and left the dead man.

    12 Q. And this was the normal course of events over

    13 all these evacuations over six months?

    14 A. It fluctuated between gunshot wounds, blast

    15 injuries, and occasionally there would be the normal

    16 medical problems created, pregnant women with

    17 difficulties or old people who relied on insulin who

    18 were diabetics who required medical aid.

    19 Q. Are you aware of the number of women and

    20 children that were killed in Stari Vitez by sniper fire

    21 and blast injury?

    22 A. I couldn't put a finger on it. If somebody

    23 was killed, I would be told about it, but I could do

    24 nothing so I wouldn't remove the body.

    25 Q. But are you aware that a number of women and

  35. 1 children were killed in Stari Vitez?

    2 A. Whenever I visited the doctor at Stari Vitez,

    3 she would always tell me what had happened since the

    4 last visit. This was when they would always want to

    5 show me the dead bodies, to prove to me that this had

    6 happened.

    7 Q. Did you see dead bodies in there?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Of women?

    10 A. Of men and women.

    11 Q. Now, what was your conclusion at the time of

    12 the nature of the military campaign being waged against

    13 Stari Vitez by the HVO?

    14 A. It appeared to be more of a containment

    15 campaign, not to try and seize and hold the ground of

    16 Stari Vitez, but more to ensure that the occupants of

    17 Stari Vitez didn't expand their enclave or attempt to

    18 break out of their enclave. It was more static, more

    19 containment.

    20 Q. What about in respect of the civilian

    21 population?

    22 A. We were allowed under control to take aid in

    23 and to evacuate people out, but with some of the

    24 weapons that were used, the mortars and the blast

    25 bombs, it appeared to be indiscriminate, rather than

  36. 1 aimed at the actual front-lines where the majority of

    2 the Bosnian army soldiers would be in Stari Vitez.

    3 These blast weapons actually were landing in more the

    4 centre of Stari Vitez, and because of their nature,

    5 caused civilian casualties.

    6 Q. Would you agree with me that it was a process

    7 of attrition of the population in Stari Vitez?

    8 A. It psychologically and physically wore down

    9 the will of the population of Stari Vitez because they

    10 relied totally on aid agencies and myself to evacuate

    11 wounded people and to take aid in. They had no method

    12 at all of getting assistance in any vehicle

    13 whatsoever. It had to be brought in by an aid agency.

    14 So the military campaign combined with the control of

    15 access to Stari Vitez by agencies, such as myself and

    16 the Red Cross and the UNHCR, seemed to be this

    17 containment and gradual wearing down, keeping the

    18 enclave at a low ebb, a low level of ability.

    19 Q. Why do you think the HVO, as it were, had

    20 this policy of containment of this pocket within the

    21 Vitez town?

    22 A. I believed that it was an implied threat to

    23 the Bosnian Army 3 Corps, in Zenica and also to the

    24 Bosnian Army 325 Brigade which was based around the

    25 Chadras Poculica area just north of the Vitez area,

  37. 1 that if any attempt was made to attack the Vitez area

    2 and relieve Stari Vitez, that Stari Vitez would suffer

    3 considerable damage.

    4 Q. Why did the people not just leave? Why did

    5 the Muslims not just leave Stari Vitez?

    6 A. A number of reasons. I think a lot of them

    7 didn't want to leave, despite the conditions they were

    8 forced to live in, because they knew that if they

    9 voluntarily left their homes, the UNHCR would describe

    10 them as displaced people and not refugees so,

    11 therefore, would not be accorded the same level of aid

    12 as a refugee, because they had left voluntarily their

    13 homes where they had shelter. It was also where their

    14 families were and there were young and old. It was a

    15 question of where could they go?

    16 I visited the refugees from Ahmici in Zenica

    17 which they were housed in the old bunkers, the air raid

    18 bunkers in Zenica, and they were in appalling

    19 conditions, living in the bunkers with no windows, in

    20 large rooms sleeping on the floor. And I don't think

    21 the people of Stari Vitez wanted to be treated like

    22 that. They also, I feel, felt that they would be in

    23 risk or danger if they did try to leave. They could be

    24 either shot at or beaten when they attempted to leave

    25 and that they wouldn't be able to take a great deal of

  38. 1 personal belongings with them. So there was a split of

    2 opinion as to why they wouldn't want to leave.

    3 Q. How far was the Hotel Vitez from Stari Vitez?

    4 A. I would say no more than 500, 600 metres from

    5 the front-line of Stari Vitez. It was, in my vehicle,

    6 30 seconds to a minute to get from Hotel Vitez into the

    7 Bosnian army controlled area of Stari Vitez. It was

    8 very close.

    9 Q. This campaign that fluctuated, as you said,

    10 but went on for a six-month period, would it be

    11 possible for those in Hotel Vitez not to be aware of

    12 what was going on around Stari Vitez?

    13 A. I would find it difficult to believe that

    14 people physically in Hotel Vitez would not hear the

    15 mortars or the fire extinguisher bombs or the rifle

    16 fire when it occurred, and from my own personal

    17 experience, if you hear a mortar or artillery round or

    18 small arms fire near you, your natural question is:

    19 Which way is it travelling? Is it travelling away from

    20 me or towards me?

    21 As a military commander, I would expect the

    22 people in Hotel Vitez to want to know if it was the

    23 Bosnian army firing their weapons at the Croat

    24 population of Vitez or the other way around because

    25 Croatian casualties, HVO casualties, were caused by the

  39. 1 Bosnian army faction in Stari Vitez because I evacuated

    2 some of them from the Vitez hospital as well.

    3 Q. What was the degree of coordination, in your

    4 opinion, of this campaign of sniping and firing of

    5 these indiscriminate weapons?

    6 A. There seemed to be a progression of this

    7 campaign. Initially, in May, it was infrequent, and it

    8 seemed to follow the level of fighting elsewhere in the

    9 Lasva Valley, and it fluctuated. But there appeared to

    10 be, in July and August, a concerted increase in the

    11 number of incidents and casualties caused. To some

    12 degree, on the 18th, 19th of July, I was unable to

    13 evacuate casualties for a period of maybe 30 hours

    14 because the fighting was too intense for me to get into

    15 Stari Vitez, but we had been told that there were as

    16 many as 16 casualties in Stari Vitez that required

    17 assistance.

    18 So it fluctuated from sporadic to intense,

    19 and then it would ease off, and then it would increase

    20 again over the summer of 1993.

    21 Q. Now, you mentioned the Bosnian forces that

    22 were located in Stari Vitez. What was the degree of

    23 their ability to actually fight out of Stari Vitez?

    24 A. I didn't personally deal with the Bosnian

    25 army in Stari Vitez. It was not my role. But in my

  40. 1 opinion, they could contain their pocket, but I don't

    2 think they had the ability to sustain a long assault

    3 out of Stari Vitez, and I think that the will to do so

    4 was minimal because of the number of civilians that

    5 were inside Stari Vitez, that they ultimately would

    6 have to leave if they tried to break out, and they

    7 obviously would or could suffer as casualties.

    8 Q. Now, one last question in this area. Did you

    9 ever supply ammunition or weapons to the Bosnian forces

    10 in Stari Vitez?

    11 A. No.

    12 Q. If we could now move ahead with your

    13 testimony, and if the map that was in front of the

    14 witness could be placed back in front of him?

    15 Now, very briefly, can you explain to the

    16 Judges, and you've touched upon it already, your visit

    17 to Kruscica I think throughout May of 1993. No, the

    18 map, this exhibit.

    19 A. I was attempting to get an aid convoy to

    20 Kruscica here in May (indicated).

    21 Q. You're indicating the circle marked 4.

    22 A. And it was the normal practice for the women

    23 and children of that area to stand and block the road.

    24 These were still in the HVO part of the Lasva Valley,

    25 close to the front-line with the Bosnian army at

  41. 1 Kruscica, and they would engage me in a series of

    2 demands as to why I couldn't take the convoys through,

    3 and these ranged from no aid being given to the HVO in

    4 Vitez, that I was taking weapons through and ammunition

    5 to the Bosnian part of Kruscica, and it was always the

    6 women and children that would block the road with a

    7 number of HVO soldiers to the side of the road, one of

    8 them who I ended up speaking to regularly was called

    9 Captain Nikola, and it appeared to me that they were

    10 directing what the women and children were doing.

    11 It got to the degree of "The weapons are in

    12 your vehicles," so after an hour or so, we would let

    13 them look in the back of the UNHCR vehicle. They would

    14 say, "The ammunition is in the boxes, in the food

    15 parcels." So we would say, "Pick a box. Open it."

    16 And then it would be, "The ammunition is in the tins of

    17 food or in the parcels of food." So every time we

    18 tried to accommodate their demands, the demand would

    19 move.

    20 The final argument as to why we couldn't go

    21 through was because they had been shown a video of

    22 UNPROFOR troops distributing weapons and ammunition to

    23 the Bosnian army. I specifically asked Captain Nikola

    24 to show me this video or to tell me where this video

    25 had come from or who it involved, because it appeared

  42. 1 to be a very serious stumbling block with a lot of the

    2 local people around Vitez. But over a period of ten

    3 days, he was unable to show me this video. And, again,

    4 while I was discussing the events with him,

    5 conversations would be going on around me, and again my

    6 interpreter, Dobrilla Kolaba, told me that she had

    7 heard that this video didn't actually exist.

    8 Q. Now, this place that you were trying to get

    9 to was a partial Muslim enclave?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. Could it gain supplies from any other source

    12 apart from international aid agencies?

    13 A. I believe there was limited access from the

    14 south into Kruscica, but the aid agencies didn't use

    15 this route, so there was limited access for re-supply

    16 but not for large quantities of aid, in the region of

    17 25 tonnes, which was required on a regular basis, or

    18 for the evacuation of casualties because they needed to

    19 go to Zenica which was to the north.

    20 Q. Do you believe that the HVO were manipulating

    21 the civilian population to prevent your access to the

    22 area of the Lasva Valley?

    23 A. Yes, and it was very, very effective. It

    24 would make the U.N. and other aid agencies and UNPROFOR

    25 look very bad if we tried to force our way through a

  43. 1 human blockade of women and children, and on a number

    2 of occasions, the international media were there when

    3 we were attempting to negotiate aid through these

    4 checkpoints.

    5 On one occasion very early on, I did try to

    6 walk in front of my vehicle, my Land Rover, to see if

    7 we could just go through and they would move away from

    8 the road, but as soon as we started the engine and

    9 started to drive forward, the HVO soldiers to the side

    10 shot over our heads which, to me, was a clear

    11 indication that I should stop what I was doing and go

    12 back to negotiation.

    13 Q. Let's move ahead, and this is the part of

    14 your testimony where I think you say a number of things

    15 in your statement about what you were aware of were

    16 known as HOS units in the Lasva Valley. I wonder if

    17 you can tell the Judges what you know about that?

    18 A. The initial briefs which were given to us on

    19 arrival in Bosnia informed us of various units and

    20 sub-units within the area, both Bosnian army and HVO.

    21 One of the units mentioned was called HOS. A general

    22 description was given of what they looked like so we

    23 could identify them if we saw them.

    24 I tended to see these units in very small

    25 groups but only in passing. I had no direct

  44. 1 requirement to speak to them. I generally saw them and

    2 recognised them because of their dress. They wore very

    3 dark blue or black clothing, some had white belts with

    4 a cross-belt over their chest, some would have badges

    5 with the letters spelling "HOS" on them. They had

    6 pistols rather than long-barrelled rifles, and they

    7 tended to drive Western European cars, one that I

    8 particularly remember was a dark blue Volkswagen Golf

    9 where I remember seeing frequently around the roads

    10 between the Novi Travnik T-junction, which is up here

    11 (indicated), to the Busovaca T-junction and the road

    12 towards Vitez.

    13 Q. How well-supplied did these individuals

    14 appear to you?

    15 A. The fact that they had fuel for the cars

    16 which we saw them in indicated to me that they had

    17 access to the more sought-after logistics. We were

    18 constantly being asked to provide fuel for the

    19 generators at the Novi Bila hospital, which we did, but

    20 if fuel was in such short supply for something as

    21 important as a hospital, there were -- the majority of

    22 the cars which we saw driving about were not by the --

    23 I would call it the everyday population. They tended

    24 to be the important people, the civilian politicians,

    25 the military commanders, or the more favoured military

  45. 1 units.

    2 Q. Was it the battalion's view that these HOS

    3 units were commanded by the HVO at the time that you

    4 were in Central Bosnia?

    5 A. It was the general impression that we had,

    6 that they weren't restricted by a geographical area

    7 but, ultimately, the chain of command would lead to

    8 Hotel Vitez.

    9 Q. Did you see HOS and HVO soldiers together at

    10 checkpoints?

    11 A. Yes. There appeared to be just general

    12 talking, as if they were talking to people that they

    13 knew. They never tried to take over the checkpoint

    14 commander's duties. They just appeared to be talking,

    15 smoking, whatever.

    16 Q. Were they allowed to freely pass through HVO

    17 checkpoints, HOS, as far as you could see?

    18 A. They didn't seem to be restricted in any way.

    19 Q. And many other people were restricted in

    20 their movements in that area by HVO checkpoints?

    21 A. I don't know if I would say "restricted." I

    22 think there was a necessity, a military necessity, to

    23 keep an idea of who was moving around the main roads.

    24 In any war, you're going to want to know who is

    25 transiting your routes, so I think it was more that

  46. 1 area.

    2 Q. Did you ever see HOS units setting up snap

    3 checkpoints themselves?

    4 A. I saw them stopping and talking to people on

    5 the roads. Obviously, I don't know what they were

    6 talking about, but it just appeared to be just general

    7 talking to them, I mean, inquiring as to where they

    8 were going. Invariably they were -- the HOS had a car,

    9 and the people were either walking or they had carts or

    10 whatever.

    11 Q. Did you ever see any of these HOS individuals

    12 or units in and around Hotel Vitez?

    13 A. I think I can recollect maybe one or two in

    14 the car park, but I never saw any inside.

    15 Q. If we could move on now very briefly to

    16 Dobrilla Kolaba, who was your interpreter and who was

    17 shot. I'm sure you can recall the date that she was

    18 shot.

    19 A. She was shot on Monday, the 5th of July, at

    20 about half past eight in the evening.

    21 Q. By whom was she shot? What was the group

    22 consensus about that?

    23 A. She was shot by the HVO.

    24 Q. Am I right in saying that she was actually

    25 standing underneath a huge U.N. blue flag at the time

  47. 1 that she was shot?

    2 A. Yes. The house where she lived was a house

    3 rented from a family for the U.N., it was known as the

    4 captains' house, and all the BRITBAT captains, liaison

    5 officers, lived in that house, and also Dobrilla Kolaba

    6 had a room in that house as well.

    7 Early on, it was apparent that if we didn't

    8 identify that house and other houses habitated by U.N.

    9 personnel, that there was a danger of receiving gunfire

    10 or blast injuries or whatever, so we got hold of large

    11 U.N. flags, I would say slightly bigger than the flags

    12 which are in this court now, and it was hung on the

    13 veranda, the balcony, which was above where she was

    14 shot.

    15 Q. We can move on now to your observation of

    16 individuals digging trenches, and if you can point on

    17 the map to the area with which we're concerned for this

    18 part of your testimony?

    19 A. It's here, Area 5, which was north of Novi

    20 Travnik (indicated).

    21 Q. This is again, I think, on Exhibit 394.

    22 Could you recollect that event to the Judges, please?

    23 A. At the time the main transit route from

    24 Busovaca to Travnik, up here, was very close to an

    25 offensive by the Bosnian army and was deemed unsafe.

  48. 1 The Red Cross had negotiated passage through the HVO

    2 front-lines north of Travnik and the Bosnian army

    3 front-lines south of Travnik to take an aid convoy into

    4 Travnik.

    5 Because the road was mountainous and it

    6 caused a strain on the vehicles and there may be a

    7 danger from the fighting, we accompanied the convoy, at

    8 the rear of it, so that we had communications with our

    9 own base that if there was a problem, we could get

    10 assistance for the Red Cross. At the time, their radio

    11 communications were not as reliable as ours.

    12 We were approaching the front-line of the HVO

    13 because I could see the mortar weapon -- pits where

    14 they dug their mortars into and some trenches and what

    15 looked like command bunkers, and I saw a number, 15, I

    16 don't think any more than 15, men in civilian clothes.

    17 They looked fairly dirty and dishevelled, untidy, and

    18 they were digging what looks like large trench

    19 systems. There were a number of HVO soldiers with

    20 weapons who were sat down, stood around, and watching

    21 the people dig. All the people were digging at one

    22 time as opposed to what I would normally expect: Some

    23 would dig, some would stand around, and whatever. They

    24 were all digging. And the soldiers were looking at --

    25 they were facing south, so they were looking at the

  49. 1 diggers, they weren't facing towards the front-line.

    2 I slowed down in the vehicle to get a better

    3 look, and hand gestures were given by the soldiers that

    4 I should carry on. I didn't want to restrict the

    5 ICRC's passage using that route, so I didn't want to

    6 make an issue out of it. I just informed the Red

    7 Cross, had they seen it, and I let them deal with it.

    8 Q. Did these people look like volunteers to you?

    9 A. They weren't enthusiastic.

    10 Q. Thank you. Now moving to the final part of

    11 your examination-in-chief and the attack that you

    12 witnessed on the village of Grbavica.

    13 First of all, can you explain to the Judges

    14 where Grbavica is located, particularly in relation to

    15 your camp, the BRITBAT camp? I think it's marked on

    16 the map.

    17 A. It's here as Area 6. The small circle at the

    18 top is the high ground. It was a high feature which

    19 rose from the road, which was almost in a valley, and

    20 the hill rose up towards the circle (indicated). The

    21 majority of the houses were in this shape here

    22 (indicated) and the majority of the Bosnian army trench

    23 systems were around this circle on the high ground.

    24 The BRITBAT base was here; it was overlooked by the

    25 high ground. We were about here (indicated).

  50. 1 Q. I think, as I said, in September of 1993, you

    2 witnessed an attack by the HVO on Grbavica, and I

    3 wonder, can you describe that to the Judges, please?

    4 A. I only witnessed the beginnings of the

    5 attack. It appeared to be a professional,

    6 well-coordinated military offensive to seize and hold

    7 an area of ground. The troops, the HVO forces, used

    8 recoilless rifles -- they're a bigger calibre, have an

    9 explosive impact when they reach their target -- and

    10 they started at one end and cleared, systematically,

    11 house by house. There were some Croat families living

    12 in the village and their houses remained untouched, but

    13 the Muslim population were cleared out of their houses

    14 by the progression of the fighting.

    15 Q. Now, were any houses set on fire during this

    16 attack, to the best of your recollection?

    17 A. There were a number which tended to be near

    18 the top of the hill feature, and one or two in this

    19 area here, just by the road (indicated).

    20 Q. I have a couple of photographs that I will

    21 place on the ELMO when you have finished this part of

    22 your testimony.

    23 Now, once the Muslim forces and the Muslim

    24 civilians had been cleared out, what happened to these

    25 civilians, these Muslim civilians?

  51. 1 A. They congregated around the entrance to the

    2 British Battalion camp in two houses and they pleaded

    3 to be let into the camp, but we had a policy of not

    4 letting anyone into the camp for fear that once they

    5 were in, they would not leave, and I believe this had

    6 happened in Kakanj to another UNPROFOR unit, and it

    7 created a problem.

    8 So anyone that turned up that had any weapons

    9 or military equipment, the liaison officers that were

    10 there disarmed them and separated them from their

    11 weapons and told them, if they had any other clothes,

    12 to change out of their military equipment and all stay

    13 in the two houses next to the British camp and we would

    14 try and protect them.

    15 Q. Was it the view that the civilians amongst

    16 these people were in grave risk of being killed?

    17 A. They were caught up in a battle, and

    18 therefore were at risk. One man was shot dead in front

    19 of two liaison officers as they were discussing

    20 evacuating the civilians.

    21 Q. Now, immediately after the attack had been

    22 completed, the people cleared out, did looting

    23 commence?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. By whom?

  52. 1 A. Initially, it was by HVO soldiers. They were

    2 taking electrical items, furniture. And shortly

    3 afterwards, Croat families moved into the houses that

    4 were now unoccupied, and there seemed to be a

    5 redistribution of the property of those houses, and

    6 that was being done by non-combatants.

    7 Q. Am I right in saying that some HVO soldiers

    8 actually entered the BRITBAT captains' house and got

    9 rather a shock, I think, when they attempted to start

    10 looting?

    11 A. We had been working for maybe 36 hours, so

    12 when the fighting finished, we all went back to our

    13 house; and while we were there, two soldiers, HVO

    14 soldiers, came into the house, one was drunk, and they

    15 claimed they were having a look around, but they were

    16 asked to leave.

    17 Q. And, indeed, I think they left?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. If the witness could be shown the last two

    20 photographs, that's 396 and 397, if the map could be

    21 left there because there's one place that I failed to

    22 identify, which I will. What does this first

    23 photograph show?

    24 A. This is a photograph I took of the southern

    25 edge of Grbavica looking directly north towards the

  53. 1 high ground which you can see up here. The BRITBAT

    2 camp was over the hill in this direction.

    3 Q. And what stage is this photograph, at what

    4 time; do you recall?

    5 A. This photograph, I think, I took in late

    6 September/October time. I couldn't say the exact date.

    7 Q. If you could place Exhibit 397? If you could

    8 indicate to the Judges the location of Grbavica?

    9 A. This is the high ground here to the left and

    10 it's looking down the feature. This is now looking --

    11 the pointer is moving south, and the main road which

    12 would go from Travnik to Busovaca is in this direction

    13 here. This is the entranceway to the BRITBAT camp and

    14 this is Grbavica around here.

    15 Q. I think there's a couple of houses on the top

    16 of the feature with roofs that are missing which,

    17 perhaps, are the houses that you referred to that had

    18 been burned?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. If you could just point those out?

    21 A. There at the top here, and there were a

    22 number down here on the previous photograph.

    23 Q. That had been burned?

    24 A. That had been burned, yes.

    25 Q. If the map could be placed back on the ELMO

  54. 1 now, please, finally? Could you just move it so the

    2 number "2" is there?

    3 Sorry, my mistake, Major Bower, I failed to

    4 mention this. Can you identify the area marked "2"?

    5 A. This area here is right on the edge of the

    6 Busovaca to Travnik road on a bend. It's maybe 500,

    7 600 metres from the cemetery which is down here, and it

    8 was a chalet/lodge type accommodation, building. When

    9 we first arrived in Bosnia, it was used, we believe, by

    10 the group known as the Jokeri.

    11 Q. That was the group that was described earlier

    12 in your testimony?

    13 A. It was the group which I encountered down

    14 here which was to the west of Busovaca.

    15 Q. Now, finally, I think in October of 1993,

    16 just before the end of your tour, you were ordered to

    17 go to the village of Stupni Do in the municipality of

    18 Vares?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Can you describe very briefly to the court

    21 what you found in that village when you arrived?

    22 A. It was total destruction of the village.

    23 There were very few houses that had not been set on

    24 fire and totally destroyed. There were a number of

    25 bodies in the area, and the ones which stick in my mind

  55. 1 are the two women which had been shot as they hid in

    2 the vegetable pit in one of the houses.

    3 Q. Was your access to the village of Stupni Do

    4 controlled?

    5 A. We didn't have too much difficulty entering

    6 the village. We were there fairly quickly after the

    7 attack had taken place. We were there for some 18

    8 hours, but when I tried to leave before the remainder

    9 of the UNPROFOR troops, there was a checkpoint at the

    10 bottom of the mountain road south of Stupni Do where I

    11 had an anti-armour rocket launcher pointed at my

    12 vehicle. The soldiers had made their weapons ready to

    13 fire and they were very agitated, appeared very

    14 nervous, and they didn't want me to leave at all. They

    15 wanted to know what we had been doing up there, what we

    16 had seen and where we were going.

    17 Q. And these were HVO soldiers at this

    18 checkpoint with the anti-armour rocket?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. The village of Stupni Do was a Bosnian Muslim

    21 village?

    22 A. Yes, I believe it was.

    23 Q. Just very briefly returning to sniping, and

    24 this is really an opinion of what you observed in Stari

    25 Vitez, what is the psychological effect of a sniping

  56. 1 campaign on civilians, women and children?

    2 A. It will be psychologically damaging to any

    3 group of people. Even military formations can be

    4 demoralises by the effective use of a sniping

    5 campaign. It was effective to the degree that many in

    6 Stari Vitez would not travel outside their houses

    7 during the heat of the fighting during daylight hours.

    8 They would remain in cover. They were extremely

    9 frightened of becoming casualties themselves.

    10 So a lot of their home-grown foods, their root

    11 vegetables, couldn't be gathered during daylight hours;

    12 water couldn't be collected. They were restricted to

    13 the very centre of Stari Vitez where they knew they

    14 were not in line of sight of any HVO positions.

    15 MR. CAYLEY: I have no further questions,

    16 Mr. President. If I could apply for admission into

    17 evidence of 394, 395, 396 and 397?

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. At this point and

    19 further to what we said yesterday, I think I'd like to

    20 have a pause first, but ask the Defence before we do

    21 take our break about how much time they plan to take.

    22 I'm not going to try to limit them in any way.

    23 Mr. Hayman or Mr. Nobilo, can you give us an

    24 idea of how long you need and, if necessary, we will

    25 have the Major come back.

  57. 1 MR. HAYMAN: Unfortunately, Mr. President,

    2 this witness has touched on a lot of different topics

    3 and it's a new time period in the case. This is not

    4 the tour of the Cheshire Regiment. This is the tour of

    5 the Prince of Wales own. So I would expect my

    6 cross-examination to be less than the direct but still

    7 perhaps go for two hours or even a little more. I also

    8 have some documents to show the witness, so if we're

    9 going to conclude by 1.30, I don't think that will be

    10 possible. And I would like to raise the question with

    11 the court if it wants me to start and then interrupt

    12 the cross and continue it in three weeks or if the

    13 court would rather have the examination all at once. I

    14 leave it entirely to the court.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Hayman. Perhaps

    16 you would like to work without stopping, though. I

    17 suppose you would.

    18 MR. HAYMAN: I don't know if Judge

    19 Shahabuddeen will be back. That may be hard for him if

    20 he has not heard the direct. I think it's generally

    21 preferable that direct and cross all be together but it

    22 all be concluded at once. I don't know if this witness

    23 can be back when we start in three weeks.

    24 Particularly, if he can't be back in three weeks but he

    25 may be coming back at some other time and not be the

  58. 1 first witness, then it might be best to have the

    2 cross-examination all at once, whenever it's convenient

    3 to the witness but I leave it to the court. We also

    4 want to use the available time, so we have mixed

    5 feelings about the situation.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: I think we have to put the

    7 question of Judge Shahabuddeen aside. We have a

    8 presiding officer here. Judge Shahabuddeen will know

    9 everything that has been said through the transcripts

    10 and the exhibits. I have to isolate that. That's a

    11 separate issue. When he comes back from Tanzania, he

    12 will be operational once again and can be here for the

    13 cross-examination.

    14 What I find particularly problematic, but I

    15 wanted to have your opinion, the Defence, I would like

    16 to ask the Prosecution as well, I suppose there's no

    17 problem in having the Major come back; is that true?

    18 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, certainly, the witness is

    19 available to the court. Obviously I would have to

    20 speak to him about dates and times.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: We said it yesterday, and when

    22 I thanked the interpreters, they shown that they've

    23 been willing to work very hard. We are going to take a

    24 twenty-minute break. The question is to know whether

    25 we are going to stop now or whether we should begin

  59. 1 with the cross-examination and continue to 1.30, but we

    2 won't go beyond 1.30.

    3 I said it yesterday, even though perhaps the

    4 witness wouldn't even be here in September, our

    5 schedule will be more set. Each party wants to

    6 exercise its rights as completely as possible. The

    7 witness was supposed to talk an hour. He spoke an hour

    8 and 45 minutes. I didn't interrupt him. I don't want

    9 to interrupt the witnesses. I'm simply noting that

    10 that's how things are. But it is out of the question

    11 as well to prevent the Defence exercising its right to

    12 cross-examination. I will consult with my colleague

    13 and then we will rediscuss the issue.

    14 We have looked at all possibilities, Judge

    15 Riad and myself. I think we have to be logical.

    16 That's the procedural way of working. There is the

    17 Defence logic, the Prosecution logic, the interpreter's

    18 logic, the Judges' logic, all kinds of logic. We could

    19 have gone on until 2.00 if necessary, but it seems to

    20 me that the Defence really cannot commit itself to say

    21 that it is going to be finished by 2.00. We do agree

    22 with that, Mr. Hayman; is that not correct?

    23 MR. HAYMAN: I cannot render a scientific

    24 precision. I will certainly do my best but it is not a

    25 scientific matter.

  60. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Also, I have some scruples to

    2 ask more from the interpreters than I've already

    3 committed myself to. I've entered into a contract with

    4 them and I don't want to not respect it. That's how

    5 things are.

    6 Very well. I think that we have to be

    7 realistic, and what I suggest is that we have two

    8 solutions. The Defence is the one who will choose, and

    9 I think the Defence will choose. As we take a

    10 20-minute break until twenty after, that is the

    11 contract that I entered into with the interpreters for

    12 Fridays and Mondays.

    13 Mr. Hayman, Mr. Nobilo, General Blaskic, you

    14 have a choice. Either we will start at 12.20, continue

    15 until 1.30 as we had said and that the Major would come

    16 back for that part of his cross-examination which has

    17 not been completed, or we'll stop now and conduct the

    18 cross-examination on another date since there will be a

    19 right to reply on the part of the Prosecutor and then,

    20 of course, the Judges' questions as well, which means

    21 that this is going to cover quite a long period of

    22 time.

    23 I would like the Defence to choose so that

    24 there be no ambiguity.

    25 MR. HAYMAN: Although we would regret losing

  61. 1 the hour, we think it's best if we stop now and

    2 complete the witness in one piece when the time becomes

    3 available.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: I think out of respect for

    5 Judge Shahabuddeen that would be better because that

    6 way he will have the entire transcript of the testimony

    7 which would be easier for him. And for the

    8 interpreters, I hope that this will be marked on the

    9 credit side because we're always considered debited as

    10 Judges, but I would like to hear what the Prosecutor

    11 has to say as well.

    12 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, we have heard for

    13 the duration of this trial that the Prosecutor is

    14 attempting to slow this process down. Last week, the

    15 last session we heard from Mr. Hayman informing this

    16 chamber that we should forfeit time if we didn't

    17 conclude the amount of time that we had.

    18 Now, Mr. President, we have selected

    19 witnesses in order to fill the time available to us.

    20 We would have put another witness on the stand who

    21 would have concluded his testimony, both direct and

    22 cross-examination, had we known that we were going to

    23 be given the opportunity to conclude less than at 1.30

    24 in the afternoon. The contract that was made with the

    25 Prosecutor's office, at the insistence of the Defence,

  62. 1 was that we needed to fill every minute of every minute

    2 available to us and we have endeavoured to do that,

    3 Mr. President. We would object and we would urge this

    4 Chamber to reconsider and permit this witness to

    5 conclude his testimony at 1.30 as we had originally

    6 scheduled.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: I am all the more less inclined

    8 to say that you are right, Mr. Harmon, because I would

    9 like to point out, and when I say "you," I don't mean

    10 you specifically, Mark Harmon, but you never respect

    11 the time that you say you are going to. Mr. Cayley

    12 said he would take an hour for his examination. I

    13 noted this down. We began today at 9.45, we went until

    14 10.15, from 10.45 until 12. So it lasted one hour and

    15 45 minutes. I'm sorry, it was an hour and 45 minutes,

    16 45 minutes more than had been planned. I can't do

    17 anything about that. I didn't interrupt you. I'm

    18 following step by step.

    19 Excuse me, Major, but we're at the very core

    20 of the justice which is being created here, and I have

    21 nothing to conceal, nothing at all. In public, I'm

    22 concealing nothing about what I'm doing. We have to be

    23 conscious of what we're doing. Each witness, whether

    24 it be an expert or a victim, recounts the entire time

    25 he was on the territory. If he was there for six

  63. 1 months, he speaks about six months. That is your

    2 choice. I have nothing to say about the choice.

    3 One day I will act differently, perhaps I'll

    4 act the way President Cassese did. I would read the

    5 declaration first. I didn't do it because everything

    6 would have to be translated into French. Last night I

    7 said to the witness, "Do you confirm you state this,

    8 this, and that? You do? All right, let's move into

    9 the cross-examination right away," but I didn't.

    10 You were given a great deal of freedom. We

    11 tried to give you a framework as much as possible for

    12 the important points. I don't want to make more

    13 rulings than I have done or more than I said even

    14 before the witness came in. I asked for the essential

    15 points. You have brought out everything now that you

    16 said you were going to. We went as far as Stupni Do,

    17 everything. We started from the initial training of

    18 the witness until his work in Yugoslavia. I didn't say

    19 anything about that. I thanked the witness very, very

    20 warmly for all of what he has done for us, but I have

    21 to give equivalent rights to the cross-examination, and

    22 the cross-examination should not be cut. It also has

    23 its own unity.

    24 Don't worry, Mr. Harmon, this time will be

    25 credited to you. You will have the time but we want to

  64. 1 take into account certain necessities. If nobody makes

    2 an effort, if nobody makes an effort, I can say to you

    3 that starting from September on, this Trial Chamber is

    4 going to set a number of hours by week which will be

    5 very precise. Either you will fit in or you won't fit

    6 into that limitation, but everybody, when he exposes

    7 the logic that he wants to follow through the various

    8 proceedings, he will do that, but the Judges also have

    9 their own logic. We have a presiding officer because

    10 Judge Shahabuddeen is not here right now.

    11 The time is not going to be counted against

    12 you but it will be advantageous for the interpreters,

    13 and I have no regrets about this because they work

    14 longer than planned. So the witness will return.

    15 Let's think about that. We are very very faltering

    16 first steps of international justice and international

    17 justice must be organised. There's no price on time,

    18 not for the Prosecution, not for the Defence, and I

    19 claim the opposite. There is a factor in justice which

    20 is time. If we had eternity, justice would be perfect

    21 but we don't have eternity.

    22 Therefore, having said this and in agreement

    23 with Judge Riad, we have decided that we would suggest

    24 going until 2.00, but at that point I would have to ask

    25 the interpreters to work another 30 minutes. I have

  65. 1 scruples about that. I don't want to. They have the

    2 dignity of their work which is just as important as

    3 ours, I have to say that, and the cross-examination, in

    4 any case, would not be completed.

    5 I'm sorry, Mr. Cayley, and I say it to you

    6 with all the consideration that I have, for you had

    7 said that "I had planned to talk for an hour."

    8 Yesterday, I said in front of everybody that there

    9 would be the last witness brought in. And remember

    10 even as a joke, Mr. Cayley, you said that you would

    11 work for an hour and no more.

    12 We are not going to change what we said and

    13 the hearing is adjourned and we will resume on the 29th

    14 of June.

    15 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at

    16 12.13 p.m. to be reconvened on Monday,

    17 the 29th day of June, 1998 at 10.00 a.m.