1 Thursday, 2nd July, 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.00 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Would the
5 registrar please bring in the accused?
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning to the
8 interpreters. Can you hear me? Good morning also to
9 the parties, the Prosecution and the Defence, and
10 Mr. Blaskic.
11 We can now then continue. Mr. Prosecutor,
12 Mr. Harmon?
13 MR. HARMON: Yes, good morning,
14 Mr. President, Your Honours, and good morning counsel.
15 The next witness we have who will testify is
16 a witness who has no protections --
17 THE REGISTRAR: I have no transcript.
18 MR. HARMON: We have a technical difficulty,
19 Mr. President, I'm informed.
20 JUDGE JORDA: What is the technical problem
21 we have?
22 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me for the
23 interruption, but we have no transcript on our screens,
24 so it will be delayed to some degree. We do not have
25 any except on the small laptop computers. That's the
1only place we have the transcripts.
2 JUDGE JORDA: When you say that will delay
3 us, what do you mean by that? I see now. I think
4 perhaps it's corrected.
5 THE REGISTRAR: What I mean is that
6 apparently it is in the process of being repaired.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I
8 like your expression, it's "on the way."
9 THE REGISTRAR: All right. Now I believe
10 that we are ready.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We are in agreement
12 with the first sentence which is on the transcript. We
13 are all ready indeed.
14 Mr. Harmon, you may now resume with your
16 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President and Your
17 Honours. Let me first of all begin by introducing a
18 new colleague in the courtroom, Mr. Jan Vos who is
19 seated to my left who will be sitting in for a few days
20 for Mr. Emil van der Does de Willebois who is
21 unavailable to the Prosecutor's Office. Let me also
22 indicate to the Court and to counsel that --
23 JUDGE JORDA: I see on the transcript it's
24 Vos, V-O-S, is that correct?
25 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President. It's one of
1the few Dutch words I'm capable of pronouncing.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Congratulations and
3 at the same time I welcome this new member, Mr. Jan
4 Vos. I hope I have correctly pronounced his name.
5 Please continue, Mr. Harmon. Which witness will you be
6 presenting today.
7 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I will be
8 presenting a career Dutch military officer,
9 Lieutenant-Colonel Hendrik Morsink, and I should say at
10 the outset, at the request of the Dutch government, a
11 Dutch language interpreter will be assisting him.
12 Mr. Morsink speaks very good English but the request
13 has been made of the Dutch government to have him give
14 his answers in his native tongue, so that request has
15 been honoured.
16 Now, as I said, Mr. Morsink -- Colonel
17 Morsink, is a career Dutch officer. He holds the rank
18 of Lieutenant-Colonel, he is currently the commander of
19 the 42nd tank battalion in the Royal Dutch army. From
20 the 13th of April, 1993, until the 13th of July, 1993,
21 Colonel Morsink served in Central Bosnia as an ECMM
22 monitor, and he spent the majority of his time in the
23 field in Vitez, Busovaca, Kiseljak, Zenica, and Travnik
24 municipalities. You will hear from him that he didn't
25 spend much time behind the desk, that he was operating
1at all times driving through the field, having
2 conversations with HVO officers of various rank and
3 levels, as well as their Muslim counterparts.
4 His testimony will focus on a number of
5 distinct areas. First he will testify about the
6 Busovaca joint commission and how this institution
7 evolved into local commissions in Vitez, Busovaca, and
8 Kiseljak municipalities. In this respect, he will
9 identify the important HVO and Armija personalities who
10 were involved in these meetings, and he will tell you
11 why these institutions were created and how these
12 institutions functioned.
13 The next subject about which he will testify
14 briefly is about the truck bomb explosion that occurred
15 in Stari Vitez, and specifically his testimony will
16 focus on complaints that he made to Mario Cerkez about
17 the truck bomb explosion and about conversations that
18 were made in the presence of Colonel Blaskic about that
19 same event. He will testify that Mario Cerkez promised
20 to investigate this crime, but to his knowledge, no
21 such investigation was ever done.
22 The next broad area about which Colonel
23 Morsink will testify is about the use of HVO propaganda
24 and disinformation and how the HVO and the HDZ used
25 this to incite fear in the minds of Bosnian Croats who
1were residing in areas held by the Armija, and this
2 resulted in the movement of large numbers of Croats
3 from these Muslim-controlled areas.
4 The next area about which he will testify is
5 he will contrast the attitudes between the HVO and the
6 ABiH, the Armija, in respect of allegations of serious
7 allegations of humanitarian law, how the parties, the
8 respective parties, reacted to these particular serious
10 The next area about which he will testify
11 will be the HVO interference with humanitarian aid, and
12 he will provide to Your Honours three examples of that
13 interference, including two events where he was
14 personally involved and where he was physically
15 threatened in the process of trying to ensure that this
16 humanitarian aid went through.
17 The next subject he will discuss will concern
18 an individual that he was in contact with by the name
19 of Djuti. Djuti was an individual that was described
20 by the HVO as an uncontrolled element but who, in
21 reality, was under the control and command of the HVO,
22 and Colonel Morsink will describe his contacts with
24 Next, Colonel Morsink will discuss a series
25 of orders that have the name Tihomir Blaskic on the
1bottom of those orders and copies of which he received
2 from BRITBAT. He will identify those orders, and we
3 will go through those orders with the assistance of
4 Colonel Morsink.
5 The next area, Mr. President and Your
6 Honours, is he will testify about the HVO use of Muslim
7 civilians to dig trenches and the awareness at all
8 levels in the chain of command in the HVO of this
9 illegal practice. He will next discuss the systematic
10 burning of houses by the HVO, including threats by
11 Mario Cerkez, who was the Vitez Brigade commander, and
12 a direct subordinate of the accused, to burn Kruscica,
13 which was a Muslim village.
14 The next area about which he will testify
15 will be to discuss the forcible expulsion of civilians
16 by the HVO from the village of Gacice and his
17 complaints about that illegal act. He will testify
18 that Mario Cerkez explained that the people who were
19 responsible for that were not the HVO but extremists.
20 He will briefly tell you about Franjo Nakic,
21 a man with whom he had frequent dealings and whom, at
22 the end of his tour of duty, he socialised with
24 Now, as a professional soldier and someone
25 who spent almost every day on his tour of duty meeting
1with HVO officers at all levels, he will give you his
2 opinion about command and control in the HVO and he
3 will tell you that the HVO was an army that had an
4 excellent chain of command and he will also tell you
5 that, in his opinion, Blaskic and his subordinates had
6 control over their forces in Central Bosnia.
7 Lastly, he will testify, Mr. President, about
8 his experiences there and what his experiences led him
9 to believe occurred to the Muslim population in the
10 areas commanded -- in the areas controlled by the HVO.
11 Now, that concludes my summary of the
12 testimony of Colonel Morsink. Mr. President, in
13 respect of the indictment, certainly his testimony
14 relates to command and control issues, his testimony
15 relates to paragraph 4 and paragraph 5.2 of the
16 indictment, and it relates to virtually every count in
17 the indictment. I would note that it relates to Count
18 1, persecution, and specifically the paragraphs in that
19 persecution count 6.1, 6.3 through 7 of Count 1, it
20 relates to Counts 2 through 4, Counts 5 through 10, 11
21 and 13, and Counts 15 through 18.
22 That concludes my remarks, Mr. President and
23 Your Honours.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You have given us a
25 summary, and now I would like for this summary to be
1useful to us. I hope, Mr. Harmon, that you are not
2 going to have, in detail, a description of the entire
3 two months spent by Mr. Morsink. I note 13 points that
4 the witness can comment on, on the joint commission, on
5 the explosion of the truck, on the times at which he
6 met with Tihomir Blaskic, and also his dealings with
7 civilians, and all these matters have been dealt with
8 by other witnesses.
9 I also observe, however, that, and I'm not
10 going to say that we should not talk about this, this
11 is for you to decide, you are conducting the
12 examination-in-chief, but please try to deal only on
13 those aspects which will be new, not to describe the
14 entire time there from the 13th of April to the 13th of
15 July, but only on those matters which are new.
16 Now, with regards to the HVO and the Bosnian
17 army and also those dealings with humanitarian groups,
18 perhaps -- I'm not saying this is new -- but perhaps
19 you might give new light on this subject, perhaps also
20 the meeting with Djuti, and also orders from Tihomir
21 Blaskic, all right. I've also noted what you might say
22 about Franjo Nakic and also responsibility as far as
23 the chain of command is concerned. All this could
24 bring something to the Defence and also to the
1So as regards the command structure,
2 Mr. Harmon, and everything else, I would ask,
3 Mr. Harmon, that you concentrate and focus this
4 testimony and not that he describe what he did on the
5 morning of the 13th of April all the way to what
6 happened on the 13th of July. I want you to focus this
7 testimony and make sure that this testimony serves its
9 I note all the counts are indeed concerned,
10 in particular regarding command responsibility.
11 Now, with regards to the technical
12 organisation of this courtroom, I see we have a
13 colleague in the courtroom who is an interpreter. What
14 arrangements have been made? I believe you stated that
15 the Dutch government has requested that there be an
16 interpreter present to work with
17 Lieutenant-Colonel Morsink, and I simply wish to remind
18 the interpreter that Rule 76 requires that she make a
19 solemn declaration according to which she will state
20 that she will carry out her task with impartiality,
21 with devotion, and with full conscious of
22 confidentiality. Madam, will you please take the note
23 from which you will read the solemn declaration? Your
24 name is.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Eva Bodor.
1JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Madam Eva Bodor,
2 will you please read the solemn declaration of Rule 76.
3 THE INTERPRETER: I solemnly declare that I
4 will interpret faithfully, independently, impartially,
5 and with full respect for the duty of confidentiality.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. We may
7 now bring in Lieutenant-Colonel Morsink.
8 (The witness entered court)
9 JUDGE JORDA: Does the registrar hear me?
10 Would you please indicate -- it has been one year now
11 since we have begun with these proceedings, and the
12 first thing we should do is to give a headphone to the
13 witness. Otherwise, he cannot express and we cannot
14 understand him, thank you.
15 Now, madam, would you please explain to the
16 Lieutenant-Colonel that he should give us first his
17 identity and he should remain standing so that he can
18 make his solemn declaration.
19 Very well, first his rank, last name and
20 first name.
21 THE WITNESS: My name is Hendrik Morsink, I
22 am a Lieutenant-Colonel.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Lieutenant-Colonel
24 Morsink. Please remain standing so you that can also
25 read your solemn declaration.
1THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare to speak the
2 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. You may be seated.
4 Lieutenant-Colonel, we wish you -- rather, we welcome
5 you here to this courtroom to testify in the case of
6 the Blaskic case. The accused is here present in this
8 WITNESS: HENDRIK MORSINK
9 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
10 JUDGE JORDA: Lieutenant-Colonel, we know
11 about the general outline of your testimony following a
12 presentation by the Prosecutor. You are going to
13 receive questions from the Prosecutor. You will then
14 respond to those questions. And then after that, you
15 will be receiving questions from the Defence and from
16 the Judges.
17 Mr. Harmon, you have the floor. The
18 Prosecutor may begin.
19 MR. HARMON:
20 Q. Colonel Morsink, would you like to put those
21 headsets on and listen to the English translation? Is
22 that all right? Okay. And then you can move one of
23 those off one of the ears and you can listen to the
24 Dutch colleague to your side. All right.
25 Colonel, let me ask you, first of all, are
1you a professional soldier holding the rank of
2 Lieutenant-Colonel in the Royal Dutch Army?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could you please tell the Court about your
5 background and your training?
6 A. In 1976, I entered the military academy of
7 Breda, and I was there, I received a four year training
8 there, I was recruited in the cavalry in 1980, after
9 having taken oath as an officer. I then became a
10 platoon commander.
11 My following occupation was that of a squad
12 commander, second in command, and then I followed the
13 training becoming squadron commander, and then I became
14 an officer in charge of personnel, personnel officer,
15 and then I received a promotion, I became the commander
16 for the Mechanised Brigade, commander of a tank
17 company, and then I became a liaison officer for that
18 same battalion. Then I was appointed to the military
19 school in The Hague where I then was a member of the
20 army staff. There I underwent training in order to
21 work at this staff headquarters, and during that
22 training, I was selected in order to undergo a year and
23 a half of training for additional training as a
24 superior officer.
25 After having undergone that training, I
1became a major. I then became head of the G-3
2 operations in a mechanised unit. At the end of that
3 time period, I then volunteered to be sent and to
4 participate in a peacekeeping operation in 1993, from
5 the 13th of April to the 13th of July. I was sent into
6 Central Bosnia as a member of the European Community.
7 After that, I was selected by the superior
8 military school, German military school, or German War
9 College, and there I was selected to participate in a
10 course, of course, that was being given there. That
11 was a two-year training, after which one could become
12 an officer, superior officer, and I received a
13 promotion. I was appointed to the rank of
14 Lieutenant-Colonel. After that, I was stationed or
15 posted in The Hague for the army staff.
16 After having worked for three years in this
17 army staff, I then became the commander of an armoured
18 company, tank battalion, and that's still what I am
19 doing today.
20 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel Morsink. Now
21 let me turn your attention immediately to your tour of
22 duty as an ECMM monitor in Bosnia. First of all, could
23 you tell the Judges about an organisation, an entity
24 known as the Busovaca Joint Commission and could you
25 tell the Judges about the nature of its work?
1A. I was introduced to the joint Busovaca
2 commission when I first arrived in the Vitez area. I
3 was given some explanation with regards to this joint
4 commission by one of my colleagues, my colleague
5 furnished me with this information, this person was
6 Remi Landry who was a Canadian member of this mission.
7 He explained to me that the Busovaca Joint Commission
8 was created in January of that same year. He also
9 stated that the purpose of this joint commission was to
10 bring together the warring factions in the area. At
11 that time these dealt with the ABiH and the HVO warring
12 factions, and this was in the Busovaca area.
13 When I arrived there in April, in the area of
14 Vitez, the fighting had just broken out and we were
15 then trying to carry out the purposes of this joint
16 commission in the area of Vitez. The mission was made
17 up of a number of monitors. These were members of this
18 mission. And also a certain number of members of
19 United Nations battalions.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, we know what the
21 components were of this commission. But what were you
22 yourself doing, please?
23 A. My role during these first days as a member
24 of this commission was to take notes during meetings
25 and as a member of one of these teams, I was sent into
1the field in order to carry out investigations, and the
2 findings were then related during the meetings on the
3 following day.
4 The Busovaca Joint Commission was presided
5 over by the most senior ranking person in the area.
6 After a certain number of times, certain number of
7 days, I myself assumed this post. Actually -- the
8 actual term Busovaca Joint Commission also, if you
9 will, transformed itself into a joint command, if you
10 will. Indeed, in this joint command, you would find
11 representatives from various military bodies in the
12 highest levels in that area, also there were
13 representatives from the Bosnian army, who was
14 Mr. Merdan, and there was also representatives from the
15 HVO for the Central Bosnian area and that person was
16 Mr. Franjo Nakic. And it was with these two people
17 that we continued to do our work in the framework of
18 this joint command effort.
19 The representatives of the
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina army and also the Red Cross were
21 invited. The Red Cross, the International Red Cross,
22 and the UNHCR were also invited, and with this group of
23 eight to ten people, we would have daily meetings. The
24 purpose was to obtain more information from the two
25 parties with regards to the conflict. By discussing
1with the two parties, we would hope to arrive at a
3 After having reached a cease-fire, then our
4 efforts were to go into trying to free the prisoners of
5 war as soon as possible. Another goal of ours was to
6 help those who had been wounded and also to take care
7 of the dead, and the last objective was to implement
8 humanitarian aid for the area.
9 At the end of the month of April, I believe,
10 the military leaders at the highest levels came
11 together in the same building where the commission was
12 located, that is to say, a building which is next to
13 the BRITBAT building, and during the course of this
14 meeting, it was decided that a cease-fire agreement
15 should be signed.
16 Shortly thereafter, it was decided that they
17 should put together a joint command in Travnik, and we
18 then put together four joint local commands, and these
19 four commissions would move about in the Vitez area,
20 the Busovaca area, and Kiseljak, and also in Travnik.
21 We were also chosen to carry out such an operation, and
22 as the head of this team and also as the leader of a
23 local division, I myself worked in the field on a daily
25 The purpose of this joint commission, which
1is quite similar to this idea of a joint command, was
2 to ensure that the cease-fire is enforced and that this
3 can be enforced, and also to ensure that any violations
4 of the cease-fire would be prosecuted and also to
5 investigate any violations of human rights and to
6 coordinate humanitarian aid in that area.
7 The local commission would meet every two or
8 three days, and the work of these commissions would
9 continue or were to continue to around the 20th of May,
11 There were various results based on where
12 they were located, but the Kiseljak commission was put
13 together with a great deal of effort and difficulty,
14 and the results of that particular commission were
15 quite poor, and the results of the commission in
16 Busovaca were quite good. In Vitez, the results were
17 moderate. In the Travnik area, the results were not
18 satisfactory either because we rarely had an
19 opportunity to meet with both parties.
20 Indeed, we had to carry out what is called
21 "shuttle diplomacy" which is very difficult to do;
22 indeed, it was very difficult to bring both parties to
23 the table. It was also difficult to try to control the
24 various participants because they would not always
25 respond, but we maintained contact just by the fact
1that the actual joint command was no longer active
2 after the 20th of May. We then made an attempt to
3 visit some of the joint commands as often as possible,
4 every day or at least every other day. I believe that
5 all I can tell you with regards to the joint commission
6 of Busovaca, the Busovaca Joint Commission, and also
7 the forward joint commands.
8 Q. Thank you, Colonel. I have some questions I
9 would like to ask you.
10 First of all, you mentioned that the joint
11 commissions, as well as the Busovaca Joint Commissions,
12 were attended by Dzemal Merdan.
13 A. He was the local commander of the 3rd BiH army
14 in Zenica.
15 Q. What was the position held by Franjo Nakic
16 and the HVO?
17 A. He introduced himself as the local commander
18 of the Central Bosnia operational zone.
19 Q. The transcript says local commander. Is that
20 a correct --
21 A. Deputy commander.
22 MR. HARMON: It should be corrected,
23 Mr. President, it should be deputy commander.
24 Now, if I could have the usher, please, take
25 the first exhibit and put it on the ELMO, I would like
1to show you this exhibit. Mr. President, this is an
2 exhibit that unfortunately only has an English
4 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 407.
5 MR. HARMON:
6 Q. Now, there is an English translation behind
7 that document, Colonel Morsink. First of all, do you
8 recognise -- I'm sorry. I said English translation.
9 This is in the Croatian and Bosnian language, and it's
10 a document -- can you recognise that document?
11 A. I received this during the first meeting, and
12 in the document, among other things, was Franjo Nakic
13 was present as part of the operational zone command.
14 Q. If you would turn, first of all, to that
15 document, the last page -- or the bottom of the
16 Croatian version. Whose signature or whose name
17 appears on the bottom of that document?
18 A. -- Blaskic (no interpretation).
19 Q. Can you tell me, in the document itself, how
20 Mr. Franjo Nakic is identified? In this particular
21 document it is paragraph 1.1.
22 A. It's in Croatian.
23 Q. Take a look at the translation in English,
24 please, and how is Mr. Nakic identified?
25 A. As the deputy commander of Central Bosnian
2 Q. Did you -- how did Mr. Nakic get to and from
3 the joint commission meetings?
4 A. The meetings were in the house next to the
5 British -- the BRITBAT, and he'd get picked up by a
6 British tank corps.
7 Q. Picked up from where?
8 A. Sometimes from the middle Bosnian operational
9 headquarters, the hotel in Vitez, and sometimes he
10 would come on foot from his own house.
11 Q. And when he left the meetings, how would he
12 be taken back, either to his home or to his --
13 A. Depending on what time it was that the
14 meeting was being held, if it would be early, he would
15 go back by himself to the hotel, or sometimes he would
16 be brought back, and if it was late, then he would go
17 on foot.
18 Q. Now, was he, in essence, supposed to be the
19 eyes and ears of Colonel Blaskic at those meetings?
20 A. Because he was the deputy commander of
21 Blaskic, I realised that he had gotten orders from
22 Blaskic and to report to his direct superior.
23 Q. Let me focus on another part of your
24 testimony. You said that in late April, military
25 leaders at the highest level met at the ECMM house to
1create a joint command in Travnik. Who were those
2 military leaders who met?
3 A. The commander of the HVO was Petkovic and on
4 the ABiH army was General Halilovic.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Would you please turn to the
6 Judges when you answer? Give your answers directly to
7 the Judge. You hear the questions from the
8 Prosecutor. Please answer to the Judges because the
9 Judges have to be made aware of what you say.
10 MR. HARMON:
11 Q. I noted an error in the transcript. At the
12 end of the meeting that took place on the 29th of April
13 where the local joint commissions were created, the
14 transcript said at one point local commands were
15 created. Were they local commissions or were they
16 local commands?
17 A. (No translation).
18 Q. I did not get an interpretation on that, I'm
20 A. In my opinion, they were commissions. When
21 you talk about command, they are the jurisdiction over
22 giving orders, whereas a commission is an organ which
23 is consulting needs, which can carry out
25 Q. You testified, Colonel Morsink, that after
1these local commissions were created in various
2 municipalities, that they were attended by
3 representatives from both sides. Which representatives
4 from both sides attended the local commission meetings
5 in Vitez municipality, Busovaca municipality, and the
6 Kiseljak municipality?
7 A. To start with Vitez, the two brigade
8 commanders on the BiH side and the HVO, both of them had
9 immediately designated a liaison officer. When these
10 brigade commands began to participate in this, there
11 began to be a structure. In Busovaca, the two brigade
12 commanders, a certain number of their staff officers
13 participated as well. In Kiseljak, it was the same
14 thing, the brigade commander and a certain number of
15 staff officers who were there.
16 Q. And did Franjo Nakic attend the local
17 commission meetings as well as his ABiH counterpart
18 General Merdan?
19 A. At the beginning, they were local
20 commissions, and they would go with us -- they would be
21 with us at the first three or four meetings. For the
22 first three or four weeks, rather, first three or four
23 weeks, they were there.
24 MR. HARMON: Now, Mr. President, I'm going to
25 show a video, and I'm going to ask the witness, first
1of all, to take a look at Prosecutor's next exhibit,
2 which would be 408. If that could be distributed to
3 the witness?
4 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, go ahead.
5 MR. HARMON: What I propose to do,
6 Mr. President, with 408 is, 408 is a photo album with
7 stills from the video that Your Honours will hear, and
8 it will show you and identify certain important figures
9 and personalities who you will see in the ensuing
10 video, and very quickly, we don't have to put this on
11 the ELMO.
12 Q. Sir, will you go through these -- the
13 individual who is marked with No. 1, can you tell the
14 Judges who is that individual?
15 A. No. 1 is Mr. Franjo Nakic. He was the second
16 in command of the operational zone in Central Bosnia.
17 Q. Now, would you turn to photograph number 2 in
18 that exhibit and identify that individual?
19 A. No. 2 is Dzemal Merdan. He was the commander
20 of the 3rd Bosnia-Herzegovina army.
21 Q. And who is the individual on the next page,
22 No. 3?
23 A. No. 3 is Mario Cerkez. He is the commander
24 of the HVO brigade in Vitez.
25 Q. Now, even though we'll come back to the
1individual marked in No. 4 later in your testimony, can
2 you tell the Judges who that individual is?
3 A. This is an HVO soldier. I think he was a
4 battalion commander in the Vitez region, and he had
5 threatened me, saying that if I intervened again, going
6 through a checkpoint.
7 Q. And we will get to further details on that
8 threat later in your testimony. And who is the
9 individual in No. 5?
10 A. No. 5 is Mr. Borislav Jozic. He was present
11 with Cerkez as a liaison for the HVO Vitez brigade in
12 the joint operation command and later in the local
13 Vitez commission.
14 Q. The next exhibit you will see, Colonel
15 Morsink, is a video film taken of a meeting. I'd like
16 you to just tell the Judges, give them a preview of
17 what they're going to see in that film so they can --
18 we're going to go through the film fairly quickly, but
19 if you can give them a preview, it will assist them,
20 and if, during the film itself, you care to comment on
21 who is doing what or who is who, please feel free to do
22 that as well.
23 A. The film takes place at the ECMM house near
24 the British camp. In it are a number of British
25 soldiers coming. There were tanks that came, that were
1brought in by the British brigade. They were kind of
2 taxis in the region because it was (sic) always safe to
3 go home in the evening and you had to go by the
4 front-line. You see a table in a meeting room. On the
5 table on the ABiH side.
6 JUDGE RIAD: There is a mistake. It should
7 be not.
8 MR. HARMON:
9 Q. Colonel Morsink, your testimony as reflected
10 in the transcript says, "they were kind of taxis in the
11 region because it was always safe to go home in the
13 A. Unsafe because there was fighting along the
14 frontlines day after day. Across the frontlines
15 several sometimes.
16 JUDGE RIAD: I hope you will change it.
17 MR. HARMON: It has been changed.
18 Q. Colonel Morsink, does the film itself fairly
19 depict the kind of meetings that were had, show the
20 representatives, how they were present, how they took
21 notes, who participated in these meetings?
22 A. It gives you a very clear picture of the
23 level of the representatives there, very specific idea
24 also of how these kinds of meetings were conducted.
25 The meetings were presided over by the ECMM, we would
1take notes, it was the note keeper from the ECMM that
2 would write up the report, and the participants would
3 take their own notes and they would react frequently to
4 the accusations.
5 MR. HARMON: Now, thank you very much. If we
6 could have the next exhibit, which would be
7 Prosecutor's 409, I believe, Mr. Dubuisson, if we could
8 have that film shown and the lights dimmed?
9 Colonel Morsink, if you care to comment in
10 the course of this film. It should appear on your
12 (Videotape played)
13 A. This is the location in Vitez where the bomb
14 exploded. This was the car bomb that went off. This
15 here are the BiH army officers, the brigade commander
16 who is arriving home. They were accompanied by a
17 British officer and a British soldier. Here's the
18 house where we would hold our meetings.
19 Here's another British vehicle arriving with
20 Captain McBraid.
21 Q. Mr. President, I note when this cassette was
22 given, there was sound as well -- now it appears to be
24 A. This is the liaison officer of Vitez,
25 Borislav Jozic. There is several observers here. You
1can see them. This is a brigade commander from the HVO
2 in Busovaca, Dusko Jusic, and this is Mr. Merdan,
3 Mr. Jozic, this is the one that threatened me, and here
4 are the BiH army officers coming into the room. That
5 was the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 This is Mr. Merdan, and behind him is Major
7 Michael Hardling, is Mario Cerkez, the brigade
8 commander, with some of his officers. This is
9 Mr. Nakic, Mr. Merdan. They were always sitting next
10 to one another at the table. On the other side are the
11 monitors, the observers. Here you have the President
12 of the meeting. The presiding officer has just come
13 in. In the middle is the interpreter.
14 There was the British liaison officer coming
15 in with his own interpreter.
16 MR. HARMON: That concludes the film,
17 Mr. President. If we could have the lights? Thank
19 Q. Colonel Morsink, other than the participation
20 that you had in these meetings, can you describe the
21 other work that you did, how much time you spent in the
22 field and with whom you spent that time?
23 A. The work days were long. We begin early in
24 the mornings as soon as it would get light. It was
25 difficult to recognise what car you were riding in as
1you would go through the area, and we would stop
2 working at night when it would get dark. Our mission
3 was not to move about at night.
4 We would meet about once a day for two or
5 three hours, and as regards the rest of the day, we
6 would make visits to areas where there were
7 allegations. We had to gather information from the
8 various headquarters. We would visit the prisons as
9 well. We would be present in order to repair the
10 telephone and electricity lines. We would be there
11 when victims had to be buried. We would be there for
12 the exchange of remains and of wounded people, and we
13 would draft reports which we would give to both of the
14 parties directly.
15 In the evening, we would draft our own
16 reports summarising the events of the day. The reports
17 would be sent to Zagreb, to the ECMM headquarters, and
18 then every evening, we also had contacts at the
19 headquarters of our own headquarters, the seat of our
20 own headquarters.
21 Q. Would it be fair to say, Colonel Morsink,
22 that you spent the majority of your time in the field
23 in the Vitez, Busovaca, Kiseljak, Travnik, and Zenica
25 A. Yes.
1Q. You had daily contact with officers of all
2 levels and soldiers of ordinary rank and file on both
3 sides of the conflict?
4 A. I would have daily contact, and we would try
5 to balance out the contacts.
6 Q. In your opinion, Colonel Morsink, were the
7 orders of Dzemal Merdan followed and respected by his
8 subordinates in the field since you went around the
9 field with him for a considerable period of time?
10 A. My impression was that they were followed,
12 Q. I have the same question in respect of Franjo
13 Nakic. Were his orders respected and followed by his
15 A. I believe the same. The results were not
16 always satisfying, but the occasions that I saw when he
17 gave an order, there would be generally a proper
18 military reaction to them.
19 Q. Could you give an example -- I'm sorry. Can
20 you tell the Judges about an instance that you observed
21 in Kiseljak municipality where the order of Franjo
22 Nakic was followed?
23 A. I believe we would come with the ECMM team to
24 the headquarters of the HVO brigade in Kiseljak, and
25 there we would meet Mr. Bradara --
1JUDGE JORDA: I haven't got an interpretation
2 in French to the last few answers. There was a
3 previous question as well that was not answered in
4 French. I think we have to have -- yes, that's
5 correct, there was a missing -- the French
6 interpretation was missing.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Could you ask the question
8 again so that the French transcript can be completed?
9 MR. HARMON: I'm not quite sure,
10 Mr. President, where you lost the translation.
11 JUDGE RIAD: I can tell you. You said: Were
12 his orders, speaking of Franjo Nakic, were his orders
13 respected and followed by his sub-commanders? He
14 answered: "I believe the same results were not always
15 satisfying but the occasions that I saw when he gave an
16 order, there would be generally a proper military
17 reaction to them."
18 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Judge Riad.
19 Q. The next question I had then, Colonel
20 Morsink, is: Can you give an example of an instance
21 where Franjo Nakic's order was followed, and
22 specifically in Kiseljak?
23 A. An example, at the beginning of May in
24 Kiseljak, we went with an ECMM team on site, Nakic and
25 Merdan as well. We went to the HVO headquarters in
1Kiseljak. There we met Mr. Bradara. The subject was
2 the release of prisoners from the Kiseljak prison.
3 Mr. Bradara said to us that he had received
4 the order to release them but that he was not prepared
5 to obey the order because, in his own opinion, the
6 other camp had not -- the other side, rather, had not
7 done the same thing. He meant that there was a group
8 of prisoners in Klokoti, and I remember that Mr. Nakic
9 had given him the order to obey the -- to obey the
10 order anyway, that is the order to release the
11 prisoners. Mr. Nakic and Mr. Merdan, with the ECMM
12 team, we all decided to make sure that the other side
13 did the same thing.
14 After some time, that is the same day, some
15 prisoners, in fact, were released.
16 Q. So you observed the HVO officer, Mario
17 Bradara, obey the order of Franjo Nakic?
18 A. Yes, he did.
19 Q. Now, I would like to turn your attention
20 very, very briefly to the truck bomb incident in Vitez
21 that occurred on the 18th of April, 1993. Were you
22 present in the area when the truck bomb was detonated?
23 A. When the bomb exploded, I was with an ECMM
24 team in a place that was called Gornja Ravna which was
25 five kilometres away from the centre of Vitez. Gornja
1Ravna is on the hill, and from it you can see Vitez
2 very clearly.
3 When we would have a discussion with the
4 local commanders on the frontline, we could see that
5 there was artillery fired on the neighbouring hills,
6 and all of a sudden, I think it was at the end of the
7 afternoon, around 5.00, when I heard an enormous
8 explosion in Vitez. We saw that there was smoke, there
9 was a huge cloud of smoke that was rising, and at that
10 time, we did not react.
11 In the evening, when we went by, in order to
12 go to the British battalion headquarters, we heard, at
13 the British battalion, that there had been a car bomb
14 which had gone off.
15 Q. And that truck bomb resulted in numerous
16 civilian deaths and casualties; is that correct?
17 A. The British told us that many people from
18 that region had to be evacuated, 200 people. The
19 evacuation was organised by the English without any
20 help from the local authorities, and there were many
21 casualties who were cared for partly by the British who
22 were on site. There was no sign of death; in fact, no
23 one was buried at that point. There were no deaths.
24 THE WITNESS: There was no sign of dead
25 bodies being recovered.
1Q. Thank you for the correction.
2 Now, Colonel Morsink, the next day, the 19th
3 of April, 1993, was the matter raised -- was the issue
4 of the truck bomb and the explosion in a civilian area
5 of Stari Vitez raised with local military and political
7 A. In the morning of the 19th of April, the HVO
8 Vitez brigade commander, Mr. Mario Cerkez, in his
9 office, I brought up the subject, together with my
10 monitor, colleague Pedersen, and I remember that
11 Mr. Pedersen said that this was not a normal thing that
12 one would do in a war, that it really was a terrorist
13 act, and I remember that shortly afterwards somebody
14 from the meeting came who was outside the meeting. He
15 introduced himself as Mr. Anto Valenta. He had a
16 political function in the region, I don't quite
17 remember which one exactly it was, but I think that it
18 was -- it was the -- he was the vice-president of the
20 When Mr. Valenta came in, we went back to the
21 issue of the truck bomb, and Mr. Valenta, like
22 Mr. Cerkez, recounted the event as they saw it.
23 I remember that Mr. Valenta said that there
24 had been a munitions depot which had been hit by a
25 shell, and that was why the truck had exploded.
1Mr. Cerkez explained things to us somewhat
2 differently. He said that the truck had been hit by a
3 grenade or by firing, and I remember that my colleague,
4 Pedersen, insisted on the fact that this was not a
5 sufficient explanation. He insisted by saying that an
6 investigation needed to be carried out, and Mr. Cerkez
7 stated that he would do so.
8 Q. At any time while you were in the theatre in
9 Central Bosnia, did you ever hear that an investigation
10 of this incident was, in fact, performed?
11 A. No, I never heard anything about any type of
12 an investigation nor the results of any investigation.
13 Q. Now, while we're on the subject of Mario
14 Cerkez. You were in his office. Did you often go to
15 his office, and did you find it unusual that Anto
16 Valenta could gain access to his office so easily?
17 A. Well, during the first week, we would often
18 meet in his office. Indeed, the headquarters was
19 located in the Vitez cinema. It was difficult to go
20 into his office. You had to go through a whole series
21 of guards that were posted, and when we would finally
22 arrive at his office, then we would have to wait.
23 There was another guard in front of his office, and one
24 could never disturb him.
25 Q. Were you surprised to see Anto Valenta walk
1into the office?
2 A. Yes, I was quite surprised to that somebody
3 could simply walk in during a discussion.
4 Q. Let me ask you, the next day, on the 20th of
5 April, 1993, were you at a meeting with Colonel
6 Stewart, Clare Podbielski, who was from ICRC, and
7 Colonel Blaskic when the incident of the truck bomb was
9 A. Yes, I was present. It was in the
10 headquarters, it was at the Hotel Vitez, and I remember
11 that it was the first time that I was in that
12 particular headquarters building. I also remember
13 quite well that Mr. Bob Stewart was also quite
14 excited. He was furious. He was furious to see that
15 the HVO were not reacting after this truck exploded.
16 He was also furious because the Croats had accused the
17 British of having participated or to have been active
18 in that event because there were only Muslims that were
19 wounded and also -- only the Muslims, rather, were
20 being evacuated by them. He protested very strongly.
21 Q. What was Colonel Blaskic's reaction to those
23 A. I recall that he was listening, but he didn't
24 make any objections. He simply listened to the
25 statements made by Stewart. Nor did he exclude the
1possibility of carrying out an investigation but nor
2 did he really react.
3 Q. In your opinion, Colonel Morsink, was the
4 detonation of that truck bomb in the civilian section
5 of Stari Vitez an obvious violation of international
6 humanitarian law?
7 A. (No translation)
8 MR. HARMON: I did not get an answer.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In your opinion, was Colonel Blaskic fully
11 aware -- now I'm getting the translation of English in
12 my headphones, so perhaps the interpreter could --
13 thank you.
14 Let me ask the question again: Based on your
15 presence with Colonel Stewart in Colonel Blaskic's
16 office on the 20th of April, 1993, and based on your
17 presence in Mario Cerkez's office the day before, in
18 your opinion, was Colonel Blaskic fully aware of the
19 truck bomb explosion, where it had occurred, and that
20 there was a demand for an investigation into that
22 A. Yes. That happened a few days earlier not
23 more than a kilometre from his headquarters, so the
24 explosion could be heard from 5 kilometres away. Of
25 course, yes.
1Q. Now, let me turn to a different subject,
2 Colonel Morsink, and that is HVO and HDZ propaganda and
4 In your opinion, did the HVO and political
5 entities of the Bosnian Croat side use propaganda to
6 incite fear in the minds of Croats who were residing in
7 areas held by the Bosnian Muslims and did that result
8 in a large movement of Croat civilians from those
9 areas? Could you explain to the Judges your views on
10 that question, and can you cite some examples, please?
11 A. Yes, indeed. We (sic) used propaganda, using
12 radio and television, both HDZ and also HVO --
13 Q. Excuse me, Colonel. There seems to be an
14 error on the answer. The answer that is recorded on
15 the transcript says "We" used propaganda?
16 THE WITNESS: It should be "they" used
17 propaganda. HVO and HDZ used propaganda.
18 Q. Thank you for the correction. Please
19 continue your answer.
20 A. One of the first examples that I experienced
21 was the following: In the Grahovcici area --
22 Q. Colonel, before you begin that particular
23 example and your series of examples, if I could have
24 the next exhibit shown to the witness placed on the
1You're going to be giving examples in
2 Grahovcici and Guca Gora, and you have assisted me by
3 marking a map and indicating the locations of those
4 villages, and just as an aid for the Judges and for
5 counsel to follow your testimony, I'd like you to
6 identify this next exhibit.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This will be document 410.
8 MR. HARMON: Mr. Usher, if you could move
9 that down a little bit? It only shows one of the two
10 locations. That's fine.
11 Q. Now, you're going to give us examples, are
12 you now, from the time of Grahovcici and the town of
13 Guca Gora; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. Could you mark in orange on the Prosecutor's
16 next exhibit the location of those towns?
17 A. This is Grahovcici and this is Guca Gora.
18 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel Morsink. Now,
19 please, if you would give some examples of the use of
20 propaganda by the HVO and the HDZ?
21 A. I'd like to talk to you about an incident
22 which is quite important which occurred in the
23 Grahovcici area. This incident occurred in the end --
24 in the month of April. Mr. Stejpan invited me to visit
25 this area and -- this was Mr. Stejpan. This was a
1Catholic father or priest, rather, from the Zenica
2 area. He explained to me that in a certain number of
3 areas, a large number of Croats had fled. Two or three
4 thousand Croatian families had fled, and they had fled
5 towards Grahovcici, and that he had been able to visit
6 with these people to see whether or not they were able
7 to return to their houses.
8 THE WITNESS: That's not fully correct. We
9 planned to visit those families in Grahovcici, so he
10 had not been able before to visit them.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Could you repeat that again,
13 A. I had the impression that in the
14 interpretation it was stated that Stejpan had
15 previously had the opportunity to go to that village,
16 the village of Grahovcici. That was not correct.
17 Father Stejpan had not yet gone to Grahovcici; he had
18 asked for our assistance in order to go to that
20 We requested authorisation at the ABiH -- or
21 BiH headquarters, and there we received authorisation in
22 order to cross the frontlines, in order to go to that
23 location in Grahovcici, and there we were able to
24 attempt to make a contact with the authorities, the
25 spiritual Croatian authorities there, and on that same
1day, we tried to come into contact with the military
2 authorities of the HVO in Grahovcici.
3 We then visited with the oldest person among
4 the refugees, and with that person, we were able to put
5 together a plan. This consisted of three stages. The
6 first stage consisted of going to visit the inhabitants
7 who were occupying the houses of those who had fled. I
8 will now show you, indicate to you on the map, where
9 that took place. It took place in Janjac, in Dolac, in
10 Stranjani and also in a number of Croatian houses.
11 Q. Colonel Morsink, as a result of propaganda,
12 fear-mongering by the HVO and the HDZ, did Croats in
13 those villages flee to Grahovcici?
14 A. Well, this is due in part to propaganda and
15 in part to fear. During our investigations, it was
16 apparently that a small number of houses were indeed
17 burned. We also collected some testimonies from
18 witnesses who had been fired upon and also from
19 persons -- we also noted that some persons had lost
20 their lives. The best example of propaganda came later
21 on. If I can go on then to the second phase of our
23 This was to organise a movement of a large
24 number of ambulances and buses so that these people
25 could return to their houses. We implemented this plan
1with the authorisation of the headquarters of the BiH
2 army. We were not able to bring the ambulances through
3 because there was artillery fire. The buses were
4 stopped at the military -- Croatian military police
5 checkpoint, and the buses were then taken away at that
7 We strongly protested against this. I myself
8 tried to prevent that from happening. But it was
9 necessary that -- it took us a lot of time, rather, to
10 make contact once again with the Grahovcici
11 authorities, and when contact was made, the Croatian
12 authorities and the religious authorities and also the
13 oldest refugee indicated to us that the Travnik and
14 Vitez radio, if you will -- then on the radio, on the
15 Croatian radio, it was stated and explained that a
16 large group of Croatians had been killed in Zenica, and
17 that therefore these people could not return and be
18 safe in their homes. The radio also stated that it
19 would no longer be safe for these people to go to Novi
20 Bila and to Vitez.
21 THE WITNESS: That's not correct. It would
22 be safer for them to go to Novi Bila and to Vitez.
23 MR. HARMON:
24 Q. So the radio said, the HVO -- I mean the
25 Croatian radio said it would be safer for the refugees
1not to return to their homes in Muslim-held territory
2 but to go to HVO-held territory; is that correct?
3 A. That's correct, yes.
4 JUDGE RIAD: We have to correct it to say
5 that it would no longer be safe to go to -- it would no
6 longer be safe for these people to go to Novi Bila and
7 to Vitez.
8 MR. HARMON: That is the error in the
9 transcript that I tried to --
10 JUDGE RIAD: Yes. But to me, it is there. I
11 mean, we have to correct it.
12 MR. HARMON: Yes. Judge Riad, that's what I
13 endeavoured to do by asking a question to clarify and
14 correct that, so as the witness has now testified to
15 the corrected version, I think the transcript will be
16 corrected itself.
17 JUDGE RIAD: I hope so. Thank you.
18 MR. HARMON:
19 Q. Colonel Morsink, continue or -- have you ...
20 A. A second example of a very apparent --
21 Q. Before we get to that --
22 A. -- propaganda was in Guca Gora.
23 Q. A clarification, and I'm not sure whether we
24 will --
25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, I think we're
1going to take a break here now. I was waiting to see
2 perhaps if we could finish with the propaganda issue,
3 but I see we're not going to finish with that right
4 away, so I propose a 20-minute recess.
5 The court now stands in recess.
6 --- Recess taken at 11.25 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 11.50 a.m.
8 JUDGE JORDA: The Tribunal is now in
9 session. Please bring in the accused.
10 (The accused entered court)
11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon.
12 MR. HARMON:
13 Q. Colonel Morsink, let me begin by correcting
14 an error in the transcript. The transcript shows that
15 in your testimony, when you testified that buses were
16 stopped, that they were stopped by Croatian military
17 police. Did you mean HVO military police and not the
18 military police from the Republic of Croatia?
19 A. HVO. Yes, that's what I meant.
20 Q. Will you tell the Judges the exact nature of
21 the propaganda that you were aware of that attempted to
22 get the Croat population from returning to their
23 homes? What was said?
24 A. It was explained to me that the propaganda
25 consisted of stating that a large number of Croatians
1-- or Croats, rather, had been assassinated. This was
2 in the Zenica region. The propaganda stated that a
3 large number of houses had been burned. It also stated
4 that other houses had been looted and that the
5 Mujahedin had the intention to exterminate the
6 remaining Croats.
7 Q. Based on the results of your investigation,
8 that was grossly exaggerated; is that correct?
9 A. We ourselves went to these areas in the first
10 stage, and we found that a very small number of houses
11 had been burned. We also discovered that there were
12 very few cases of pillaging, and that the number of
13 victims was very, very low. The radio and television
14 propaganda was extremely exaggerated.
15 MR. HARMON: Now, if I could have the next
16 exhibit, Mr. Dubuisson, which is an ECMM daily report
17 dated the 26th of April, 1993, prepared by Lars
18 Baggesen and Hendrik Morsink. Mr. President, the next
19 exhibit does have a French translation attached to it.
20 It is 411; is that correct?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, it is indeed 411, and
22 411A for the French version.
23 MR. HARMON: There is no reason to put that
24 on the ELMO. If you could just hand that to Colonel
1Q. Colonel Morsink, can you identify
2 Prosecutor's Exhibit 411?
3 A. Yes, indeed, this is a daily report. It was
4 made on the 26th of April, which I wrote along with
5 Lars Pedersen (sic).
6 THE WITNESS: Lars Baggesen.
7 Q. It should be not Lars --
8 THE WITNESS: Lars Baggesen.
9 MR. HARMON:
10 Q. It should be Lars Baggesen as opposed to Lars
11 Pedersen; is that correct?
12 A. Yes. Lars Baggesen and myself.
13 Q. Does this recount the details of some of the
14 investigation, Colonel Morsink?
15 A. This document talks about three phases, three
16 stages, and in the first phase, you see here that we
17 carried out an investigation concerning the three small
18 villages. It is also stated here that a certain number
19 of houses had been burned and also that a very small
20 number of persons had been killed.
21 Q. It also describes the issue of military
22 police interference, does it not, in trying to return
23 these displaced persons on buses?
24 A. Yes, that point indicates that the military
25 police took away these vehicles from us. We protested,
1but there was no account taken of our protests. It is
2 also stated that the local television was present, and
3 at that meeting -- which allowed us to prove that these
4 rumours were not true.
5 Q. All right. Colonel, thank you. Now, would
6 you kindly turn to the next example that you
7 experienced of HVO propaganda being used to attempt to
8 create fear in the hearts and minds of Bosnian Croats
9 who were residing in Muslim-occupied territory.
10 A. The following example concerns the Guca Gora
11 area. This was in the early part of 1993. In the
12 early part of June 1993, in the morning, I went to the
13 headquarters of the operational zone of Central Bosnia
14 in Vitez, and there I had a meeting with a liaison
15 officer for Mr. Blaskic. The name of this liaison
16 officer was Darko Gelic, and this liaison officer
17 explained to me that a large group of civilians, of
18 civilian Croats, had fled from the Guca Gora region and
19 that their houses had been burned and that a large
20 number of these persons were killed in their houses or,
21 after having left their houses, their houses were
22 looted, and the best evidence of this crime was the
23 fact that the church in Guca Gora was allegedly
24 burned. The liaison officer was extremely affected by
25 these events. And then we went to Travnik.
1In Travnik, we encountered Mr. Alagic.
2 Mr. Alagic was the commander of the BiH army in the
3 operational zone of Central Bosnia -- no, rather, he
4 was operating at the same level as Mr. Blaskic. He was
5 sort of a commander of a division of the BiH army.
6 We talked with him about the Guca Gora area,
7 we talked to him about the rumours in the Guca Gora
8 area, and the fact that these crimes had been
9 committed. He denied it. He denied that these crimes
10 had taken place. At our request, that an investigation
11 be carried out in that area, he suggested that two
12 Croat participants and a Croat priest and himself
13 accompany us to Guca Gora, and this to see whether or
14 not these accusations could be verified.
15 So along with an escort from the BRITBAT, we
16 went to Guca Gora, and along with these Croat
17 representatives, we were able to note that the
18 accusations which had been made about this region were
19 not at all true. The church was not on fire, the
20 church had not received any damage inside the church
21 either, and near the church we saw a large number of
22 Croat refugees, some 200 of these, and the only
23 location in which something had been set fire was
24 Bandol, and Bandol is a Muslim village. We reported
25 our findings, as we always do.
1Then we went back to Guca Gora the next day,
2 and we met with the representatives of the UNHCR,
3 Miss Margaret Green, and we also met the English
4 battalion commander, Mr. Duncan. We discussed things,
5 and together we decided that we would evacuate the
6 refugees who were in the church to Novi Bila.
7 Additional investigations were carried out in
8 the entire region of Guca Gora, and all of these
9 investigations indicated the propaganda was false and
10 that all the accusations were very, very much
11 exaggerated. It also appeared that because of the
12 propaganda, large groups of Croatian citizens had
13 decided to flee, and fled, in fact, toward a region
14 under HVO control, Novi Bila and Vitez.
15 Q. Colonel Morsink, let me show you two
16 exhibits, two photographs, that will be the next
17 exhibits in order.
18 If I could have the first exhibit,
19 Mr. Dubuisson, the one with the priest in it, as 412,
20 and the church 413? And if 412 could be placed on the
22 Very briefly, Colonel Morsink, could you
23 identify this photo, and was this photo taken when you
24 were conducting your investigation into the allegations
25 at Guca Gora?
1A. I recognise it. It's one that I actually
2 took myself. I recognise the people that one sees in
3 it: the Croatian priest from Travnik, my interpreter,
4 my fellow observer, Philip Watkins, the liaison
5 officer, the British captain, the liaison officer for
6 Travnik, and an interpreter working for the British
7 battalion (indicated). The photograph was taken on the
8 road between Guca Gora and Travnik. We were stopped
9 there and we had to negotiate in order to get through
10 the front-line.
11 Q. If I could have the next exhibit placed on
12 the ELMO? Colonel Morsink, before starting your
13 investigation into Guca Gora on that particular day,
14 you were informed that the Catholic church had been
15 burned; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Can you identify this photograph?
18 A. This is a photograph that I myself took as
19 well on the same day, the day after. It shows the old
20 Catholic church in Guca Gora, and you can see a number
21 of representatives of the English battalion and some
22 soldiers as well, and on the photograph you can see
23 that there's obviously no damage to the church at all.
24 Q. Now, Colonel Morsink, when you conducted the
25 investigation in and around Guca Gora, the only village
1that you found burning was a Muslim village; is that
3 A. This is correct.
4 MR. HARMON: Now if I could have the next
5 exhibit, Mr. Dubuisson? It is a special report on
6 Travnik, it is dated the 8th of June, 1993.
7 Mr. Usher, could you just pass this to
8 Mr. Dubuisson so he can recognise the exhibit?
9 Mr. President, this exhibit also has a French
10 translation attached to it. This is Exhibit 414.
11 Q. Colonel Morsink, this exhibit has actually a
12 cover sheet, and that appears to be the first page of
13 this document. It is written by an individual by the
14 name of Jean Pierre Thebault. Do you see that?
15 A. Yes, I do.
16 Q. Can you tell the Judges who Jean Pierre
17 Thebault was?
18 A. Mr. Thebault was a French diplomat. His
19 position was the head of the regional Zenica -- centre
20 and one of the top organisations within the ECMM in
22 Q. The next page of the report is entitled
23 "Special Report on Travnik," and it's dated 8 June,
24 1993; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, that's correct.
1Q. Did you prepare that report yourself?
2 A. I recognise it. Together with my colleague,
3 Philip Watkins, I prepared this.
4 Q. This report and the report of Jean Pierre
5 Thebault indicate that the allegations of atrocities
6 and ethnic cleansing made by the Bosnian Croats are
7 intentionally exaggerated, if not completely false; is
8 that correct?
9 THE INTERPRETER: "Not completely false"?
10 I'm sorry. Could you repeat?
11 Q. ... when not completely false?
12 A. Yes, that's correct, that was our opinion,
13 and it was also the result of the research that we did
14 into it, the investigation that we carried out.
15 MR. HARMON: I would like to turn to the next
16 exhibit, if I could, please, Mr. Dubuisson? It will be
17 Exhibit 415. It is another special report dated the
18 19th of June, 1993.
19 Mr. President, Exhibit 415 also has a French
20 translation accompanying it.
21 Q. Colonel Morsink, do you recognise this
23 A. I recognise it, but I didn't prepare it
25 Q. Who was it prepared by?
1A. This was written by Philip Watkins and
2 Torbjorn Junhof.
3 Q. Does this also deal with the subject matter
4 of the events in and around Grahovcici -- Guca Gora,
5 I'm sorry?
6 A. In my opinion, this was after the
7 investigation in the Guca Gora region where once again
8 it was sought to learn what the situation in the
9 various Croatian locations was.
10 Q. This report also summarises and concludes
11 that there are exaggerations in respect of claims made
12 by the Bosnian Croats, does it not?
13 A. That's correct.
14 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much. Now if I
15 could have the next exhibit, please, and it is an
16 exhibit that is entitled "Calls for Help."
17 Mr. Dubuisson, it is this exhibit.
18 Exhibit 416, Mr. President, also has an
19 accompanying French translation.
20 If you could place that on the ELMO, please?
21 Q. Colonel Morsink, you have had an opportunity
22 to examine this document before coming to court; is
23 that correct?
24 A. This is correct.
25 Q. Is this a document that was issued from the
1Central Bosnia operation zone command post in Vitez?
2 A. Yes, that's correct. It's dated on top, and
3 it is also signed by Mr. Blaskic.
4 Q. Now, was this particular document sent to
5 ECMM, to the UNHCR commissioner?
6 A. Yes, that's correct. On the distribution
7 list, you can see that, to the U.N. High Commissioner
8 on Refugees.
9 Q. Was it also sent to Croatian TV?
10 A. That's also true. It was on the same list,
11 you see HTV, Croatian TV, and HINA.
12 Q. Would you take that document, please, and
13 read the first two paragraphs of it? First of all,
14 before you read those, Colonel, what is the date on
15 this particular "Call for Help"?
16 A. It says 4 May, 1993.
17 Q. So this document was issued shortly after
18 your investigation at Grahovcici?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. After your findings of your investigation in
21 Grahovcici were relayed to Franjo Nakic and other
22 military commanders who were present at local
23 commission meetings; is that correct?
24 A. This is correct. They would give a report
25 every day or the next day what had happened the day
2 Q. Will you just read the first two paragraphs?
3 Read it aloud, please?
4 THE WITNESS: "You are acquainted with the
5 suffering of the Croatian people in Central Bosnia.
6 However, I feel the need and responsibility to inform
7 you once again about the difficult position of the
8 Croats --"
9 JUDGE JORDA: Could you go more slowly,
10 please, because the interpreters don't have the text in
11 front of them, so they're interpreting as you go along,
12 so you have to go more slowly, please.
13 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, I'll start again.
14 "You are acquainted with the suffering of the Croatian
15 people in Central Bosnia. However, I feel the need and
16 responsibility to inform you once again about the
17 difficult position of the Croats in Zenica who have
18 been living in total isolation for quite some time,
19 waiting for it to be their turn to go to the one of the
20 KPD/correction house/prisons or to a mine for forced
22 "Croatian villages in Zenica have been
23 plundered, 5.000 Croats have been expelled from their
24 homes. Most villages have been set ablaze, Croats are
25 being fired from their jobs and mistreated."
2 Q. Thank you, Colonel. There's no reason to
3 read further into this document.
4 Now, are those allegations that are made in
5 this "Call for Help" issued by Colonel Blaskic
6 consistent with the findings that were made by ECMM or
7 the gross exaggerations?
8 A. They don't correspond with the findings from
9 the investigations that had been carried out. Except
10 for the forced work in the mines, all the other
11 accusations were denied by us.
12 Q. In respect of the forced labour in mines, do
13 you have any information at all about whether or not
14 Bosnian Croats were forced to work in mines?
15 A. I have no information, no concrete
16 information about that. In fact, this subject was not
17 dealt with during the meeting of the joint commission,
18 and we were not able to verify it --
19 THE WITNESS: No. We were not asked to
20 verify it.
21 Q. What can you conclude from this particular
22 document, Colonel Morsink?
23 A. My conclusion is that despite the fact that
24 we had reported that all of these rumours were untrue,
25 nonetheless they were brought up again in an official
1document and they were even broadcast on television.
2 Q. Do you conclude from this that Colonel
3 Blaskic participated in this campaign of propaganda?
4 A. My opinion is that he was aware of that and
5 so consciously used this false information, then it
6 must have been an attempt at using propaganda.
7 Q. Let me turn, if I can, to the last paragraph,
8 second-to-last paragraph on this document, starting
9 with "If you continue to remain silent." Would you
10 kindly read that paragraph into the record, please?
11 A. "If you continue to remain silent about the
12 most brutal human rights violations, the public will
13 come to know about it, and we will have the obligation
14 to tell the world what is happening in Zenica and what
15 is happening to the Croats."
16 Q. Colonel Morsink, can you conclude from this
17 document that Colonel Blaskic was fully aware that
18 forced labour of civilians, plunder, forced expulsion
19 of civilians from their homes, the setting of villages
20 ablaze, the illegal arrest of civilians were human
21 rights violations?
22 A. Yes. When you are so aware of this and then
23 in relation with the expression, what human rights
24 relations are all about, then you have to be ...
25 THE WITNESS: Then you have to be aware.
1MR. HARMON: Now if I could have the next
2 exhibit placed on the ELMO, Mr. Dubuisson? It is a
3 one-page document with the caption "Appeal" on it.
4 Colonel Morsink, do you recognise this
5 particular document?
6 A. Yes, I recognise it. It is one of my own. I
7 received it at a meeting in Vitez.
8 Q. From where is this particular document
10 A. In the heading, it says that it comes from
11 the headquarters of the Central Bosnian operative
12 zone. You can see Mr. Blaskic's name on the bottom,
13 but there's no signature.
14 Q. Now, you've had an opportunity to examine the
15 contents of this particular document before coming to
16 court, have you not?
17 A. Yes, it's my own. I'm aware of this
19 Q. And you were in the theatre in Central Bosnia
20 before and after this particular document was issued?
21 A. Yes. The document appeared on the 14th of
22 June, and I arrived in June -- I arrived in April,
23 rather, and I remained there until the middle of July.
24 Q. What's your impression and opinion about this
25 particular document?
1A. In my opinion, this is an extension or a
2 continuation of the propaganda. There are extreme
3 exaggerations about rumours that had been spread. In
4 my opinion, it fits right into what happened later on,
5 and, in my opinion, it also fits into the intention of
6 the HVO and of the HDZ, and the intention was to make
7 their own population extremely fearful. Based on that
8 fear, they wanted to try to push them out of certain
10 MR. HARMON: If I could have the next
11 exhibit, please, Mr. Dubuisson? It will be Exhibit
13 A. I'm not sure that the last sentence was
14 properly translated. I didn't mean that they wanted
15 to -- not to chase them out of one but, rather, to draw
16 them into one.
17 JUDGE RIAD: I'm sorry, I did not understand
19 A. Let me explain. The propaganda, in my
20 opinion, was used so that the Croatian minorities in
21 certain areas which were under Muslim domination were
22 to be convinced that they should leave these regions
23 voluntarily in order to go to Vitez and to Novi Bila
24 and Busovaca.
25 JUDGE RIAD: Since I'm asking you: And what
1was the purpose of that?
2 A. The purpose of the HVO and the HDZ was to
3 concentrate the Croats in the areas that were under
4 their own domination.
5 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
6 MR. HARMON:
7 Q. Now, Colonel Morsink, you have in front of
8 you Exhibit 418, and can you tell the Judges what
9 Exhibit 418 is?
10 Let me rephrase that question. Is this a
11 communication to General Morillon from Mate Boban?
12 A. The first page states that it's a fax, it's a
13 fax cover sheet. The intention was for it to be sent
14 to General Morillon. It was sent on behalf of Mate
16 Q. Now, turning to the document on the next
17 page, do you see the caption to whom it's addressed?
18 Is it addressed to Philip Morillon?
19 A. Yes, that's correct. It's addressed to
20 General Philip Morillon.
21 Q. What is the date on that, please?
22 A. The date is 22 June, 1993.
23 Q. And can you see who sent that letter to
24 Philip Morillon?
25 A. The name that's on there is Mate Boban.
1Q. Now, very slowly, if you would, please,
2 Colonel Morsink, would you read the first paragraph of
3 this document?
4 THE WITNESS: "Dear Sir: The Croatian people
5 of Central Bosnia are on the verge of extinction and
6 being expelled from areas where they have lived for
7 over 13 centuries. UNPROFOR and yourself have
8 witnessed the barbaric Muslim devastation and
9 desecration of sacred Catholic objects of our people.
10 The Kraljeva, Sutjeska, Guca Gora monasteries and many
11 other similar places are the soul of Bosnia &
12 Herzegovina which we Croats have defended and attempted
13 to recreate on a new basis. More than 100.000 people,
14 women, children and the helpless are in extreme danger
15 of losing their lives. It seems the tragic destiny of
16 Travnik, Kakanj, Kraljeva, Sutjeska, Kresevo, Fojnica
17 Busovac, Vitez, Kiseljak and Novi Travnik means nothing
18 to you. Do Sarajevo, Vares, Bugojno, Zenica, Zepce and
19 Tuzla have to experience the same fate tomorrow, as you
20 further ignore the cause of the evil."
21 Q. You don't have to read further. Thank you,
22 Colonel Morsink.
23 Now, again, you were in Central Bosnia at the
24 time this letter was sent to --
25 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, Mr. Harmon. The
1Judges have an official responsibility. Have you
2 completed this point, that is Point 3, dealing with
4 MR. HARMON: This is the final point,
5 Mr. President.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Yes, go ahead.
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. Colonel Morsink, you were in Central Bosnia
9 when this letter was sent to Philip Morillon from Mate
10 Boban; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, you have read the first paragraph of
13 this particular letter to Colonel Morillon. What is
14 your view of that particular paragraph?
15 A. My opinion is that it was not true, and I was
16 on site myself because I went on site, from Travnik and
17 Guca Gora, I visited then. In my opinion, I think this
18 was an extension of the propaganda. It's the same
19 thing. Whereas we had told the local people that these
20 allegations were not grounded.
21 Q. Colonel Morsink, Mate Boban, in this letter,
22 makes reference to the desecration of certain Catholic
23 monasteries and religious sites. Tell me the reaction,
24 if you will, to the Bosnian Muslim military leadership
25 when receiving allegations of this type?
1A. I remember that once, after the incident in
2 Guca Gora, that we had to go visit General Alagic and
3 report these accusations, saying that in the Guca Gora
4 church several weeks before, certain sacred objects had
5 been damaged. General Alagic was impressed by the
6 accusations, he apologised immediately, and said to us
7 immediately that he would have this kind of activity
8 stopped immediately, that he would attempt to track
9 down the guilty parties in order to punish them.
10 Q. Can you contrast the degree of damage done to
11 Catholic religious sites in Muslim-held territory
12 versus the amount of damage and the scale of damage
13 done to Muslim religious sites in HVO-held territory?
14 A. The Catholic objects were practically never
15 damaged. I saw one minor example in a Catholic church
16 near Busovaca. There, there was a little bit of damage
17 to the church. I saw many examples of
18 mosques, minarets, including others in Ahmici, where
19 the mosque and minaret had been completely destroyed.
20 This also happened in other places. The ratio between
21 the damage to Catholic buildings as opposed to Muslim
22 buildings was something really that one cannot say was
24 Q. Now, you've described the reaction of General
25 Alagic to getting information that Catholic sites had
1been destroyed or damaged. Can you tell the Judges the
2 reaction of HVO officers in respect of claims that
3 Muslim sites had been damaged or destroyed by their
5 A. Well, the allegations, first of all, were
6 submitted to find out their immediate reaction to
7 these, and in my experience, we found that the reaction
8 of the HVO military personnel was of general
9 disinterest or they would simply deny or put these
10 accusations onto the backs of "uncontrolled elements,"
11 as they called them. At times they would promise to
12 carry out an investigation, but there was never any
13 report of any type of such an investigation being
14 carried out.
15 MR. HARMON: Thank you. Mr. President, that
16 concludes the presentation of evidence in respect of
17 the propaganda and related issues.
18 I'll now turn to a different subject, and
19 that is: Colonel Morsink, can you please --
20 JUDGE JORDA: I have to interrupt you here
21 because you said you've just completed, but we have a
22 prior obligation, so we will resume at 2.45. Thank you
23 very much.
24 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.34 p.m.
1--- On resuming at 2.57 p.m.
2 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume our hearing
3 now. Have the accused brought in, please.
4 (The accused entered court)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, Mr. Hayman, I
6 believe we are supposed to finish with this witness
7 this afternoon, including the cross-examination. There
8 are interpretation problems, and we have to accept the
9 fact that they exist and we try to be as concise as we
10 can. We only have reached Point 3 out of 13, and so we
11 have to try to focus things, to make things short
12 because there's got to be a cross-examination, there
13 are technical problems which just exist, and that's
14 what happens, and we can't do anything about it.
15 We'll take the time we need. I spoke to
16 Maja, our wonderful chief of service. If necessary,
17 we'll even work until 7.00, but we'll shorten, if
18 necessary, the break, we'll take extra time now because
19 we were talking about that issue, but I say very
20 clearly that I insist upon the cross-examination being
21 completed this afternoon. We will stay as long as we
22 need. You must also understand that there are
23 administrative and organisational problems as well.
24 Justice is eternal, but alas, alas, there are human
25 problems that come into play as well.
1Mr. Harmon, let me remind you that we are
2 only on Point 3, we finished with the HVO propaganda, I
3 noted that there are 13 points. If you want to deal
4 with them with the same care, which is praiseworthy and
5 legitimate in your opinion, that means we're going to
6 have him here for two days. Can we afford this
7 luxury? I'm not sure that we can. There you go. And,
8 of course, there's the cross-examination, I know that
9 it's going to be an important one, and I do not want to
10 limit the rights of the Defence, I say very clearly, I
11 do not want to limit the Defence's rights. The accused
12 has the right to explore all defence opportunities
13 available to him.
14 You know, Mr. Harmon, that when the
15 Prosecutor takes a long time then the cross-examination
16 is long as well. That is obvious. What I say to you I
17 will say in a few weeks to the Defence, when you have a
18 long examination-in-chief, then you have a long
19 cross-examination and the Judges ask a lot of questions
20 about it. You know justice is a human affair, and even
21 if we try to make it --
22 JUDGE RIAD: It is not the Court's fault, it
23 is the problem of interpreters. So if the problem was
24 not to translate from Dutch to English and French,
25 there would be no problem, in case you want to take
2 MR. HARMON: I understand that, Judge Riad,
3 and thank you, I will try to expedite my examination,
4 but obviously with the use of a Dutch interpreter, it
5 slows proceedings down. But nevertheless, let me
6 begin, and if I can very quickly turn to an electronic
7 exhibit and have that immediately put on the screen.
8 Mr. President, I'm going to return briefly to the
9 previous testimony in Guca Gora on the mission in which
10 Colonel Morsink went to Guca Gora.
11 Q. Colonel Morsink, you testified in your direct
12 examination that when you went to investigate claims
13 that Croat villages had been burned in and around Guca
14 Gora on the 8th of June, you found a village that was,
15 in fact, burning and, in fact, it was a Muslim village,
16 not a Croat village. Is the picture in front of you a
17 picture that you took on the 8th of June, 1993?
18 A. This is a photograph which I took on the 8th
19 or the 9th of June.
20 Q. And can you see the village of Bandol
22 A. Yes, you can see it clearly. To the right,
23 in front of the vehicle to the right. Right on the
24 horizon you can see smoke and you can see burning
25 houses. That is, I think, the village of Bandol.
1Q. And that is a Muslim village?
2 A. Yes, it's a Muslim village.
3 MR. HARMON: Could I have that,
4 Mr. Dubuisson, marked as an exhibit, however that is
5 done electronically or otherwise, and I will continue
6 with my examination.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, of course. It will be
8 given a number, 419.
9 MR. HARMON:
10 Q. Now, Colonel Morsink, let me ask you, can you
11 please characterise the differences in the degree of
12 cooperation between the Bosnian Muslim army and the HVO
13 army in respect of investigating allegations of serious
14 violations of international humanitarian law?
15 A. I have already given you a series of examples
16 about collaboration with the Muslims, with the Muslim
17 armed forces. For example, in Guca Gora, where the
18 division commander promised to carry out an
19 investigation. In Grahovcici, the third corps allowed
20 us to have a meeting, and on the HVO side, things were
21 very different. Ordinarily, we had no escort. In some
22 exceptional cases, Mr. Jusic would accompany us, but in
23 most of the cases, there was no escort, and we were
24 stopped at each roadblock.
25 When we protested, we had to go back to
1headquarters, we had to ask for authorisation again,
2 sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. An example
3 when it would never work was in Kruscica. There were
4 cases when there was an HVO authorisation saying that
5 we could be escorted from Travnik to Zenica, there
6 would be a large group of wounded that had been chosen
7 in the hospital, wounded people from all the groups,
8 and despite all authorisations, we still had to stop at
9 the HVO checkpoints.
10 After an hour of talking, we would be sent
11 back, and then there were authorisations for
12 investigations which were granted each time, but in my
13 opinion, these investigations never took place. We
14 were promised investigations, but we never saw any
15 results. And so we were given a lot of promises but
16 there were very few results.
17 Q. Colonel Morsink, did you attempt to
18 investigate Gomionica and can you tell the Judges what
19 response you received from the HVO?
20 A. When we were in Kiseljak, we heard rumours,
21 according to which there had been fighting around that
22 village, and that we were -- that the Muslim houses
23 were being set on fire. We asked for authorisation to
24 go there, and when we arrived, we were stopped at a
25 roadblock near the front-line where the Canadian escort
1was also stopped. The Canadians were unable to get us
2 through that roadblock. The HVO soldiers refused to
3 authorise the passage.
4 An argument that was used very often that is
5 that it was too dangerous for us to go through.
6 Q. Now let me turn to events that took place --
7 let me start with Ahmici. You were aware, since you
8 arrived on the 16th of April, 1993, of a serious
9 massacre that had occurred in the village of Ahmici.
10 Were you ever provided, as a representative of ECMM,
11 with any investigation results that had been conducted
12 by the HVO into the circumstances of the massacre at
14 A. Never.
15 Q. In respect to the truck bomb that occurred in
16 Stari Vitez where Mario Cerkez said he was going to
17 conduct an investigation, when you were in theatre, did
18 you ever receive an investigation report from the HVO
19 about the circumstances of that truck bombing?
20 A. Never.
21 Q. In respect of a shelling in Zenica that took
22 place on the 19th of April, 1993, in which a
23 significant number of civilians were killed, did you
24 ever receive an investigation report or the result of
25 any investigation from the HVO in respect of that
2 A. There were never any results from the
4 Q. Now, let me ask you about General Alagic.
5 General Alagic accompanied you on an investigation in
6 respect of claims made about atrocities committed
7 against the Croats; is that correct?
8 A. This is correct.
9 Q. And General Alagic had an equivalent position
10 to that held by Colonel Blaskic; is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Did Colonel Blaskic ever accompany you on any
13 of your investigations?
14 A. No, he never went with me.
15 Q. Now, were any investigations, to your
16 knowledge, ever conducted into violations relating to
17 the forced use of civilians, Muslim civilians, to dig
19 A. We were promised that several times, but I
20 never saw any result from any inquiry.
21 Q. Were any investigations, to your knowledge,
22 ever conducted by the HVO into allegations about the
23 intentional setting afire of Muslim houses?
24 A. I never got any results at all in that
1Q. Now, I'd like to turn to a different topic,
2 and that is interference with humanitarian aid by the
3 HVO. Let me ask you this first question that calls
4 merely for a "Yes" or "No" answer. While you were in
5 Central Bosnia, did the HVO interfere with the delivery
6 of humanitarian aid?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. Now, you were in Central Bosnia, were
9 you not, on the 10th of June when the Convoy of Joy was
10 attacked; is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And I don't want you to go into any details
13 in that incident because we have already had
14 significant testimony about that event here, but did
15 you see the aftermath of that particular attack on that
16 humanitarian aid convoy?
17 A. I saw damage and things had been stolen.
18 Q. Can you give us other examples when the HVO
19 interfered with the delivery of humanitarian aid?
20 A. An example where I myself, was when there was
21 an attempt to bring humanitarian aid to Kruscica, from
22 the end of May, Kruscica had been cut off from the
23 surroundings, the immediate surroundings. For us and
24 for the British battalion, there was no contact. We
25 tried almost to go there almost every day, that is to
1Kruscica. We had daily contacts with the brigade
2 commander, Mr. Cerkez, and the answer which we were
3 always given was that the road was blocked by furious
4 civilians that they could not control. We insisted
5 that the road be opened, and even through the -- even
6 through the assistance of the mayor, we weren't able to
7 get through -- we were not able to achieve any concrete
9 In the end, Mr. Blaskic sent an order, and in
10 the order, he said that the road was to be opened.
11 Q. Now, let me interrupt you right there. If I
12 could have two exhibits, please? The first exhibit
13 would be Defence Exhibit 141. Can that be placed on
14 the ELMO, please?
15 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, we would prefer
16 the witness not be interrupted. He was answering the
17 question. Counsel apparently wants to stop him and
18 direct his attention to a document before he completes
19 his answer. We think the appropriate procedure is to
20 allow him to complete, if the answer is responsive, and
21 then go from there.
22 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I disagree with
23 Counsel. I appreciate being able to conduct my
24 examination in the way that it's been conducted in the
25 past. The witness referred to an exhibit -- to an
1order, the Defence has introduced the order --
2 JUDGE JORDA: Within certain limits,
3 Mr. Harmon, however. If you ask a question, it would
4 be proper for the witness to be able to answer all the
5 way to the end. You can't do everything and everything
6 here and everything there. You can't ask a question --
7 if you ask a question, you have to wait for an answer.
8 The final word lies with the Judges, after all. I'm
9 trying to be pleasant about this. Either you ask a
10 question or you don't. If you do, you have to wait for
11 the answer.
12 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, fine. I will
13 defer showing the witness this exhibit. He will
14 testify to the conclusion of his testimony, and then I
15 will ask to show him two exhibits.
16 Mr. Usher, we'll wait for a minute with that
18 Q. Please, Colonel Morsink, if you continue with
19 your evidence and then I will show you the exhibit.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.
21 A. On the 21st of June, the order arrived from
22 Mr. Blaskic. It was an order that the road be opened
23 and that the humanitarian convoys be allowed to go
24 through. I accompanied the transport with the UNHCR.
25 And to my great surprise, a second road was opened up
1as well, a road which was under HVO control. We were
2 able to move the humanitarian aid for an hour. During
3 that hour, we also had to treat the casualties, we had
4 a physician with us, in order to treat the wounded.
5 That's all I have to say for the first
7 Another important example --
8 Q. Let me interrupt you there because I have
9 some questions to clarify your previous testimony.
10 Now if we could show the witness Exhibit --
11 Defence Exhibit 141 and place that on the ELMO, please.
12 Is there an English translation with that
13 exhibit? Will you place that in front of the witness,
14 please, Mr. Usher.
15 Colonel Morsink, is this a copy of the order
16 that you were just testifying about?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. And did you receive this order from the
19 British battalion?
20 A. Yes, I received that from the British
22 Q. Now, a couple points about this order. First
23 of all, in the first paragraph, it refers to -- it's a
24 command that orders -- the aid delivery to the village
25 of Kruscica on the 21st of June, 1993; is that correct?
1A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Now, you mentioned just a few minutes ago in
3 your testimony that there was a secondary road through
4 which you delivered aid; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct. The main road had been
6 barricaded by angry civilians, and after this order,
7 another road was opened for us because -- the second
8 was therefore made available.
9 Q. In your opinion, was that secondary road made
10 available five weeks earlier when you started your
11 request to make and deliver aid to Kruscica?
12 A. We weren't aware that there was another
13 road. We had demanded authorisation to go to Kruscica
14 every single day and we were always answered the same
15 way: The road's being blocked by dissatisfied
17 Q. And then five weeks later you were informed
18 of a secondary road through which you could deliver
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Now, in respect of going to Kruscica to
22 deliver aid, was your life threatened by an HVO officer
23 and can you tell the Court about that, please?
24 A. On the 9th of June, when I visited the HVO
25 hospital in Nova Bila, the physicians told me that
1there were wounded people everywhere. They let me see
2 the wounded people. And during the visit, I was
3 suddenly confronted by an HVO officer.
4 The officer, this HVO officer, whose
5 photograph I have shown you this morning, was extremely
6 angry, and he threatened to kill me if I were to come
7 back again to a roadblock in Kruscica. I took the
8 threat very seriously at that time, and that's why, on
9 the 21st of June, in a United Nations' vehicle
10 belonging to the High Commission for Refugees, that I
11 went to Kruscica instead of using my own vehicle.
12 Q. Now, when he threatened to kill you if you
13 went back to a roadblock in Kruscica, you're talking
14 about if you went back to the roadblock in Kruscica
15 through which you were trying to deliver humanitarian
17 A. Yes, that's correct. It was the roadblock
18 that had been set up by angry civilians, it was the
19 roadblock that I had to go through, in my opinion, in
20 order to get to Kruscica.
21 MR. HARMON: Now, very briefly, if I could
22 have the witness shown Exhibit 408?
23 Q. Colonel Morsink, while the registrar is
24 finding that exhibit, was the individual who threatened
25 to kill you if he saw you again at the roadblock in
1Kruscica in this morning's video film that you saw?
2 A. Yes, he was. He was in the video film.
3 MR. HARMON: Mr. Usher, if you could put this
4 picture on the ELMO, please? Just fold it back. You
5 don't have to take it out.
6 Q. Is the individual that threatened to kill you
7 depicted in this photograph with the No. 4 next to him?
8 A. Yes, he's No. 4.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, Colonel Morsink can you
10 proceed to tell us about another incident that occurred
11 where the HVO interfered with the delivery of
12 humanitarian aid?
13 A. Another example where I was very closely
14 involved was at the beginning of July 1993 in Busovaca,
15 four trucks carrying humanitarian aid were stopped
16 alongside the road, they were stopped by HVO soldiers.
17 We heard about this incident that same evening on the
18 telephone. The next morning, I went with a
19 representative, Medicins Du Monde, doctors without
20 borders, who was in two of the trucks. We went to the
21 Busovaca police commission -- station where we were
22 told that the unloading platform for the merchandise
23 was not ready yet.
24 THE WITNESS: That's not correct. The cargo
25 lists were not correct.
1A. The bill of lading was not there. After a
2 long discussion with the police commissioner, we were
3 authorised to release the drivers, and after a lot of
4 talk, apparently we were authorised to get back some of
5 the load that was on that list. In the end, the police
6 commissioner said to us that he would first consult
7 with his chief in Mostar and that we should come back
8 the next day in order to pick up the merchandise.
9 The next morning, we set up a team of ECMM
10 members, of the UNHCR, Medicins Du Monde, and a
11 representative of the British battalion. We had
12 tremendous problems in arriving at Busovaca. The
13 regular road to Busovaca was blocked by big trucks, and
14 on the other road, along the hills, or in the hills,
15 there was fighting. At any rate, it took much longer
16 to get there that way. When we arrived at the police
17 station, the commissioner was already gone, and so we
18 tried to get to the HVO brigade commander, and we were
19 told that he had gone to see Blaskic in Vitez for a
21 When we again went to the police offices
22 after that, we met the brigade commander, Gorbasic, and
23 he told us that the drivers, the merchandise and the
24 trucks, would be given back when there was no longer
25 any threats to Zenica. And that is why the roads were
1blocked, because there were threats, and I said to them
2 that that was not acceptable, combining those two
3 things was not acceptable. We then went to the HVO
4 barracks to see whether the merchandise was still
5 there. The merchandise had already been taken off the
6 trucks, and we were asked to take the trucks and to get
8 We refused. We waited in the barracks until
9 the police commissioner returned. After waiting for a
10 long time, we received a written order from
11 Mr. Gorbasic to take both the driver and the truck
12 and -- the truck should be empty. We refused again.
13 And then a few minutes later, a soldier arrived who
14 threatened me with his rifle, and he told me that we
15 had two minutes to get out -- ten minutes, no longer
16 than that, and if I hadn't left in ten minutes, some
17 bad things -- some very bad things could happen to me.
18 Finally, with the drivers, we decided to
19 leave, to disappear with the trucks. We stopped at the
20 HVO headquarters in Busovaca. I lodged a protest, a
21 very strong protest, and after that, we went to the
22 police offices, and there too I lodged a protest very
24 Finally, I was able to get back safe and
25 sound with the drivers and with the trucks to Zenica.
1The load of the two trucks, that is, there was
2 equipment for the physicians in Zenica, from Medicins Du
3 Monde, among other things there was medical material
4 for all of that in one of the trucks, they were trucks
5 that belonged to Medicins Sans Frontiers, and the last
6 truck was carrying 20 tonnes of powdered milk for
8 Q. Shortly after the merchandise that you've
9 just described was stolen, did you see it?
10 A. The powdered milk is something I saw in the
11 buildings, in the barracks, and some of the medical
12 equipment, I saw some 13 microscopes also in Busovaca.
13 Q. What did the doctors at the hospital in
14 Busovaca say in respect to the stolen aid that they had
16 A. My monitor colleague talked to me about it
17 and explained that they had enough materials -- rather,
18 they did not have enough people to really deal with
19 that, they did not really have anyone to deal with that
20 type of material. They had 13 microscopes, but only
21 one person, one sole operator to use them.
22 Q. Now, you said that the aid itself was owned
23 by Medicins Du Monde; is that right?
24 A. Yes, one part of the load, yes, was from
25 Medicins Du Monde.
1Q. Also Medicins Sans Frontiers?
2 A. Yes, that's right.
3 Q. I didn't catch the third organisation that
4 was sending this aid?
5 A. ECF, which was sending powdered milk.
6 MR. HARMON: If I could have Prosecutor's
7 Exhibit 225 put on the ELMO, Mr. Dubuisson? It's a
9 Give me just a minute, please,
10 Mr. Dubuisson. I've obviously made a mistake on the
11 photograph number.
12 Could I have in the meantime Exhibit 419
13 placed on the ELMO? It should be a photograph as well,
14 Mr. Dubuisson. Would this be the next ...
15 THE REGISTRAR: This would be document 420,
16 it's the photo we had on the screen a moment ago.
17 MR. HARMON:
18 Q. Can you tell the Judges if you can identify
19 that particular photograph and tell the Judges if this
20 particular individual was involved in the incident
21 involving the theft of the aid, humanitarian aid, that
22 you've just described?
23 A. The man in the photograph was an HVO brigade
24 in Busovaca. He was the commander of that brigade, and
25 his name is Dusko Grbasic.
1Q. I am looking for an additional photograph.
2 Let me ask you another question. When you met Grubesic
3 in the police station, he linked return of the aid with
4 the removal of a particular roadblock. Did he say
5 where he had received those orders to make that kind of
6 a linkage?
7 A. He stated that he had received word from
8 Blaskic -- he said if he didn't (inaudible) them, he
9 couldn't do anything, and that the threat would be
11 MR. HAYMAN: The English translation is not
13 JUDGE RIAD: Could you repeat that, please?
14 We have difficulty to follow.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. Will you please repeat your answer?
17 A. He said that he received an order from
18 Blaskic to only remove the roadblock if the threat had
19 been eliminated, and he had also received as an order
20 to turn back in the trucks only after the border had
21 disappeared. That is to say, only to reduce this
22 roadblock after the trucks had been returned. So when
23 the threat had been eliminated.
24 MR. HAYMAN: That apparently is not correct.
25 JUDGE JORDA: No, the Defence is not in
1agreement with the interpretation, so I think we have
2 to take this again, this being very clear, so that the
3 Defence will be able to carry its own -- Mr. Hayman,
4 you have the floor right now.
5 MR. HAYMAN: One other concern. Counsel
6 stated that there was a linkage between the delivery of
7 the aid and the removal of a roadblock implied by the
8 BiH army in one of his questions two or three questions
9 ago. That has never been testified to by the witness,
10 and so I wanted to state that for the record. Perhaps
11 it can be clarified.
12 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have a
13 suggestion, perhaps --
14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, perhaps you may
15 clarify. This is a very important point. You've made
16 a link between the statement made by the witness,
17 between the removal of the roadblock and the order
18 given by Mr. Blaskic. So let's be very clear on this
19 and make sure this is very clear for the Defence and he
20 can also exercise his rights. Please, Mr. Harmon, you
21 have the floor.
22 MR. HARMON: May I make a request? Perhaps
23 on this particular point the witness can answer the
24 question in English. It might expedite this answer,
25 and the witness can sense --
1Q. Could you please explain --
2 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel, perhaps you might
3 explain this in English?
4 THE WITNESS: I will explain it in English.
5 We had to deal with an HVO roadblock at the Strane or
6 the Busovaca junction, the Busovaca T-junction at the
7 factory. It was an HVO controlled roadblock and the
8 four trucks in Busovaca were stolen by HVO soldiers.
9 The order, as we were told by Grbasic, came from
10 Blaskic to link the roadblock, the lifting of the
11 roadblock, and giving back the four trucks, to link
12 those two items together, and we said we do not agree
13 with that, the roadblock doesn't have anything to do
14 with giving back the four trucks.
15 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, Colonel.
16 Now, Mr. Dubuisson, if I could have Exhibit
17 255? That is the correct number.
18 JUDGE RIAD: So the roadblock was an HVO
19 roadblock, not a BiH --
20 THE WITNESS: No, it was an HVO roadblock.
21 It was put there because it was thought there was a
22 threat from Zenica.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 225 is indeed a
24 death certificate. If you would like to specify what
25 you're looking for, perhaps I will try to find it?
1So this is document 255.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Twenty-five or 255?
3 THE REGISTRAR: Apparently this will be 255.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Apparently, Mr. Registrar?
5 Very well. Is it apparently or is it not?
6 MR. HARMON:
7 Q. Colonel Morsink, do you identify the man on
8 the right-hand side of that particular picture?
9 A. Yes, the man who is at the police commission
10 in Busovaca.
11 THE WITNESS: Not fully correct. He
12 introduced himself as the commissioner --
13 A. No, that's not exactly correct. He is the
14 one who presented himself as the police commissioner.
15 Q. This is the man, the policeman, with whom you
16 dealt on the stolen aid convoy?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And what is his name, sir? Do you know his
20 THE WITNESS: I think his name is Ljubasic.
21 Q. Mr. Registrar, if I could have the next
22 exhibit, which is a special report dated the 4th of
23 July? The subject is the HVO Busovaca stopping of
24 NGO trucks and taking the cargo.
25 The exhibit number is, Mr. Dubuisson ...
1THE REGISTRAR: This would be document 421.
2 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, this exhibit has
3 a French translation attached to it.
4 Q. Mr. Morsink, briefly, we won't go into detail
5 on this particular document, but do you recognise this
7 A. Yes, this is a report which I have written.
8 Q. You have written this report. Does this
9 report reflect the events that you've just testified
10 about, that is, the stolen convoy of aid that was
11 looted at the HVO barracks in Busovaca?
12 A. Yes, indeed, we wrote about this entire
14 Q. I would like to turn to another subject, and
15 that is an individual by the name of Zute. Did you
16 have contact with an individual by the name of Zute?
17 A. Yes, I had one meeting with this person.
18 Q. Can you tell the Judges about the
19 circumstances under which you met Zute?
20 A. In the evening of the celebration of Bajram
21 in July, General Alagic and his group were attacked on
22 the road, and a large amount of their personal weapons
23 were stolen. He called upon the commander of the
24 BRITBAT and also on the European observers or monitors
25 and on the local commanders of the HVO and the BiH army,
1and during this meeting, it was decided that the
2 following day Mr. Alagic and myself would go and meet
3 with the believed perpetrator, Mr. Initic (phoen).
4 Mr. Zute was believed the person responsible.
5 The following day, we went to the
6 headquarters of the HVO in the northern part of
7 Travnik, and there, Mr. Alagic and myself, met with
8 this person, Mr. Zute. The brigade commander was also
9 present there, the commander of the brigade, it was a
10 Mr. Leotar, and afterwards, after a long discussion,
11 Mr. Initic said that he would return the equipment.
12 And then, in that same afternoon, all of the equipment
13 was returned.
14 Q. Was this man Zute described by the HVO as
15 somebody who was one of the "uncontrolled elements" in
16 Central Bosnia?
17 A. Yes, he was described as an uncontrolled
18 element, as a criminal even.
19 Q. Did you meet with that individual on the 2nd
20 of June, 1992, just to make the date precise?
21 A. Yes, that's true. However, it was on the 1st
22 of July. It was the following day. The Bajram holiday
23 was perhaps on the 1st of July -- my memory is not very
24 good on the actual date of that holiday -- the 1st of
25 June, rather, or the 2nd of June.
1Q. Did the HVO frequently use the excuse, when
2 crimes were committed, when houses were burned, when
3 houses were looted, when Muslim civilians were killed,
4 that those events were the result of people who were
5 uncontrolled elements? Was that a frequent excuse used
6 by the HVO?
7 A. Yes, it was said quite often.
8 Q. Did it appear to you that this individual by
9 the name Zute was under the control of the HVO?
10 A. Yes, he came to attend these meetings, and I
11 think he came to follow the orders so, yes, I believe
12 he was under some form of control.
13 Q. If there was a group of 20 or 30 individuals
14 who were known to be committing crimes in Central
15 Bosnia, who were uncontrolled elements, in your
16 experience and your observations, did Colonel Blaskic
17 have the resources, soldiers, and sufficient police, to
18 eliminate those "uncontrolled elements" at any time?
19 A. I believe that they had so many soldiers and
20 so many police that it should have been no problem at
21 all to control a small group of persons.
22 Q. Having seen the scale of damage that you saw,
23 scale of damage to Muslim villages, the loss of life to
24 Muslim civilians, the cleansing of civilians from the
25 municipalities of Busovaca, Kiseljak, and Vitez, the
1use of systematic use of forced labour, do you believe
2 that those crimes were perpetrated by "uncontrolled
4 A. I believe that one or two minor cases may
5 have been committed by small, uncontrolled groups, but
6 the large-scale and systematic manner in which these
7 events took place, entire villages being burned, and
8 other villages, we saw that it was the Muslim houses
9 that were systematically selected, and we saw that the
10 same type of events were taking place at the same time
11 period in different locations, and it would be
12 impossible, in my opinion, for this to have been
13 carried out by uncontrolled groups.
14 Q. Now I'd like to turn to another subject area,
15 if I could, and Mr. Dubuisson, could I have the next
16 exhibits, which are three commands issued by General
17 Blaskic marked in order, starting with the order that
18 has the number 441 in the upper left-hand corner as the
19 next exhibit followed by 443 and 444?
20 THE REGISTRAR: So document 441. This would
21 be document 422.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, I need to interrupt
23 you one moment. Looking at the organisation of this,
24 we're going to take a break at 4.20, and you said that
25 you would be with this witness until four o'clock is
1that not right? Rather, you were expecting four hours
2 for this witness, but I see now that you have already
3 had two hours, we resumed at, let's say, 3.00, fifteen
4 minutes to 3.00. Do you think you might be able to
5 finish with this witness by 4.20, and I'll ask the
6 Defence whether or not he feels he will be able to
7 finish with his cross-examination before the end of the
9 MR. HAYMAN: I do not believe so, in all
10 candour, Mr. President. We have been given a number of
11 long documents we haven't seen before and there are
12 matters in the documents we need to question the
13 witness about in addition to his extensive oral
15 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I see. I don't want to
16 put too much pressure on -- too much pressure on the
17 interpreters, I know they are tired, but I think the
18 witness will have to return, and at that point he will
19 return for cross-examination.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters unclear
21 whether the last statement made by the Judge needed to
22 be clarified.
23 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I would note that
24 these three exhibits are exhibits that have not yet
25 been submitted for official translations.
1Q. Colonel Morsink, would you look at
2 Exhibits -- would you look at the three exhibits in
3 front of you, that should be 422, 423, and 424. Do you
4 recognise those exhibits?
5 A. Yes, I recognise them, but the numbering is
6 not the same, 441, 443, 444. You did not say that in
8 JUDGE JORDA: I don't have the same numbers
9 here. Mr. Dubuisson?
10 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, indeed, these are the
11 references which are given in the original documents
12 and not the references that the registrar has given.
13 JUDGE JORDA: I see. There is some
14 connection between the two. I see. Excuse me.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. When I'm referring to the numbers 422, I'm
17 referring to the Exhibit number and not the number in
18 the order that appears in the left-hand corner --
19 A. Yes, I have all the documents you spoke of,
21 Q. Now, did you receive those documents at
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And did you also receive these documents in
25 conjunction with the previous exhibit I showed you,
1Defence Exhibit 141?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. I'd like to -- and you received them in the
4 form in which they appear before you, that is, there's
5 an English translation, and a Croatian language version
6 of it?
7 A. That's right.
8 Q. So you received both versions.
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. I'd like you to take Exhibit 422, please,
11 which is the order number 441, and ask you, first of
12 all, from where was this particular order issued?
13 A. It was at the headquarters of the operational
14 zone of Central Bosnia.
15 Q. And was this an order that was initiated
16 on -- from reading of this order, was it initiated on
17 General Blaskic's order or was it something that he was
18 doing as a result of some other situation that had
19 developed in the theatre?
20 A. This is based on an order which came from
21 high up.
22 Q. Is this document that is in front of you in
23 the form of a command?
24 A. Yes, I am reading. It says "I command." In
25 my mind, that's a command.
1Q. Can you turn the page to the distribution
2 list on the lower left-hand corner, and would you
3 kindly read in English the distribution list of that
5 THE WITNESS: Distribution. First, all the
6 HVO brigades. Second, all the independent units under
7 the command of the HVO 3rd operational zone commander
8 (MTD TV LTRD 4th military police Bat., Vitozovi, Trvtko
9 II, and Zuti).
10 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen, you have
11 the floor.
12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I'd like to ask the
13 witness a question. You read 4 military police but.
14 Is it but or battalion?
15 THE WITNESS: I can't read that very clear,
16 Your Honour.
17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Okay.
18 THE WITNESS: It's maybe the copy. It could
19 be "battalion." It makes sense.
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: What do you think it is
21 as a military man?
22 THE WITNESS: I think it's "battalion."
23 MR. HARMON:
24 Q. In comparing the Croatian language version
25 with the English language version, there appear to be
1nine items on the English version, English version, and
2 ten items on the Croatian version; is that correct?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. Would you please place that order, the
5 Croatian version, so number 10 appears on the ELMO?
6 Could the ELMO be illuminated? And could the
7 interpreters please read number 10?
8 THE INTERPRETER: The number 10 in Croatian
9 says; "for the implementation of this command, all the
10 brigade commanders responsible and those of independent
12 MR. HARMON: Thank you. You can take that
13 from the ELMO again, Colonel.
14 Q. Now, Colonel, first I'd like to draw your
15 attention to item number 2 on that, and is that a
16 command or an order that every subordinate commander,
17 independent HVO unit commander, should issue commands
18 to his subordinates?
19 A. Yes, it asks for everyone to obey the orders
20 and also submit their reports -- submit orders to their
22 Q. Would you take a look at item number 4. What
23 does that require?
24 A. Every day, at 10.00, 10.00 or 9.30 -- I can't
25 read it quite well here -- all the brigade commanders
1and also the independent units are to send their
2 special reports to the 3rd command of the operational
3 zone. In these reports, it is important to refer to
4 all the details in the military situation as well as
5 all efforts that are being made in order to arrive at a
7 Q. Colonel, what was item number 2 and item
8 number 4 suggest to you as a military officer?
9 A. I would deduce this is a very clear order
10 that would then be passed on to all the commands;
11 therefore, there is a clear hierarchy here which
12 exists. This is a clear order to present a report on
13 the results of having carried out an order. I would
14 deduce then that there truly existed a command
15 structure and that there was very good control there.
16 Q. Let me turn your attention to item number 9
17 on this particular order. Can you read that, please?
18 THE WITNESS: "All the HVO units are obliged
19 by the Geneva Convention and its additional protocols,
20 as well as all other instruments of the war law and the
21 international laws."
22 Q. Can you deduce from that that Colonel Blaskic
23 was aware of the obligations under the Geneva
24 Conventions, the additional protocols, and other
25 instruments of the war law and international laws?
1A. Yes, absolutely. It's giving an order for
2 everyone to follow orders. Therefore, he was aware,
4 Q. This order, this command that is in front of
5 you, was issued on the basis of a cease-fire agreement
6 that was signed by Colonel Blaskic's superior, Milivoj
7 Petkovic; correct?
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. I would like to turn to the next order in
10 front of you. It is Prosecutor's Exhibit 423, and it
11 has the number 443 in the upper left-hand corner. Was
12 this issued from the 3rd operation zone headquarters in
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. Does Colonel Blaskic's name appear at the
16 bottom of this particular command?
17 A. Yes, it does.
18 Q. Can you read to whom this order was sent, the
19 distribution list in the lower left-hand corner?
20 THE WITNESS: Distribution: All the HVO
21 brigade commanders, 4th battalion military police
22 commander, special unit Vitezovi commander, special
23 department Zepce commander, police station commanders
24 in Busovaca, Novi Travnik, Vitez, Kiseljak, Fojnica,
25 and Kresevo.
1Q. Now, a couple questions. First of all, if
2 you turn to the last of the distribution list and item
3 number 3 in that exhibit, does it appear to you that
4 Colonel Blaskic is issuing commands to police station
6 A. Yes, that's what it appears.
7 Q. Now, he issues orders -- in this particular
8 document does it appear that he's issuing a command or
9 an order to areas that were not physically in contact
10 with Vitez and Busovaca municipalities?
11 A. Yes. The distance between Zepce was very
12 long. In fact, you had to go through an area that was
13 under the BiH army control, and to go to these various
14 other villages was the same thing, Kiseljak, Kruscica.
15 The order demonstrates that there were other contacts
16 that existed.
17 Q. Now, Colonel Morsink, does this particular
18 order concern itself with forbidding the violent moving
19 out of their houses the civil population?
20 A. Yes, that's clear from that.
21 Q. Can you conclude from this order that Colonel
22 Blaskic was aware that the forcible eviction of
23 civilians was contrary to international humanitarian
25 A. They don't mention human rights in this
1order, but it does say that it was forbidden to expel
2 people by using violence.
3 Q. Was this order that was issued by Blaskic
4 issued on his own initiative or was it issued as a
5 result of something else?
6 A. He says in the beginning that it's based on
7 the agreements at higher levels. That's what it says
8 in the beginning.
9 Q. I'd like to turn to the Prosecutor's Exhibit
10 423 which has an order number 443 in the upper
11 left-hand corner, and was that issued also from the
12 third operational zone headquarters in Vitez?
13 THE WITNESS: The 443 or on the back 423 is
14 what you just said?
15 Q. Prosecutor's Exhibit 423 which is the
16 Prosecutor Exhibit number, and in the upper left-hand
17 corner is 443?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes.
19 Q. Was that issued from the 3rd operational zone
20 in Vitez?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Does the name "Tihomir Blaskic" appear on the
23 bottom of that order?
24 A. Yes, it does.
25 Q. I'm sorry, I have the wrong exhibit. Would
1you now turn your attention to Exhibit 424 with the
2 numbers 444 in the upper left-hand corner? Was that
3 order an order that was issued from the third
4 operational zone headquarters?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And does the name "Blaskic" appear on the
7 bottom of that order?
8 A. Yes, it does.
9 Q. Does this appear also to be a command?
10 A. It says on the top "The high command."
11 Q. Does this also have a similar distribution
12 list to the previous orders?
13 A. Zute also.
14 Q. Is this an order dealing with the arresting
15 of civilians and forbidding the arresting of civilians?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Also deal with forbidding putting houses on
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Does it deal with the protection of sacred
21 objects, mosques, et cetera?
22 A. That's true also.
23 Q. Does it indicate that everybody who steals
24 and holding of property shall be punished and solved
25 through the normal disciplinary measures in courts?
2 Q. Now, was this order issued on the basis -- or
3 was it issued on Blaskic's initiative or was it issued
4 as a result of some other agreements?
5 A. It's based on a cease-fire agreement issued
6 from above.
7 Q. Can you conclude from this particular order
8 that Colonel Blaskic was aware that the evicting of
9 civilians, putting houses on fire, destruction of
10 sacred objects, and stealing property was illegal?
11 A. Yes, he forbade that.
12 Q. Now I'd like to turn to another topic, if I
13 can -- thank you very much.
14 I'd like to turn to another topic, and that
15 would be the subject of the use of civilians to perform
16 forced labour, specifically trench-digging. While you
17 were in Central Bosnia, were you aware of this
18 particular practice?
19 A. I was given protests, according to -- which
20 said that civilians had been forced to dig trenches. I
21 was given this during the meeting of the joint
22 commission. During the meeting, I was made aware of 15
23 protests in that respect, 10 to 15, 10 to 15.
24 Q. And did both sides complain about this
1A. There were complaints about the HVO soldiers
2 who forced the Muslim soldiers to dig trenches. That's
3 how it always was said.
4 THE WITNESS: Not really correct.
5 A. The HVO soldiers forced Muslim civilians to
6 dig trenches. The protest came from one side only.
7 Q. Can you tell the Judges whether or not the
8 HVO, in fact, engaged in this practice?
9 A. There is one case to which I was a witness
10 with HVO soldiers accompanying civilians who were
11 carrying shovels, and who had to dig a hole or to dig
12 trenches. When we asked the question of the local HVO
13 commander in that respect, he felt that he had been a
14 little bit cornered, at least that was the feeling that
15 I had, that he was a bit cornered. He became very
16 aggressive and did not allow me to speak with his
17 soldiers or to the civilians concerned by the matter.
18 And this incident was presented to the joint commission
19 subsequently. This happened in May -- I think it was
20 May, I don't quite remember anymore -- it was near
21 Stranje. The military commander had a nickname,
23 Q. Now, two exhibits, please, Mr. Dubuisson.
24 The first is a map, and if I could have the second
25 exhibit also taken up to the witness as well as an
1aerial image? If you could give me the numbers on
2 each, I'd appreciate it.
3 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 425 where
4 the word "Vitez" is underlined in orange, and 426 is
5 the big map.
6 MR. HARMON:
7 Q. Very quickly, Colonel Morsink, Prosecutor's
8 Exhibit 425 appears on the ELMO now. Did you mark the
9 location where you observed this forced use of labour,
10 forced labour by the HVO?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Can you point out to the Judges where you
13 observed the people who were digging trenches under the
14 control of the HVO?
15 A. It's not easy to show you that on this scale,
16 but it was in the north. We were coming from Jelinak.
17 Q. We will get to that in the next exhibit. Can
18 you just point on the exhibit that's before you,
19 Colonel Morsink. You're pointing to an orange circle.
20 Is that the area where you saw the Muslims digging
22 A. It was that area where the orange -- which is
23 the part which is circled in orange.
24 Q. Then if we could take the next exhibit,
25 Prosecutor's Exhibit 426, and place that on the ELMO?
1Could you turn it the other way, please?
2 Colonel Morsink, did I show you an aerial
3 image and did I ask you to indicate on this particular
4 aerial image two things: One, the direction from which
5 you came when you saw the people digging trenches and
6 did I also ask you to put a circle around the area
7 where these people were digging trenches?
8 A. Yes, that's correct.
9 Q. Please go ahead and explain this diagram.
10 A. Here, in this region, Jelinak, the village of
11 Jelinak, we were supposed to conduct an investigation
12 because there had been some houses burned -- set on
13 fire, rather. After the investigation, after we did
14 it, we took this road, along this road. Part of the
15 road had just been built.
16 Here, at this point, rather high up, it was
17 an elevated point, we met Mr. Marinac and his soldiers
18 who had civilians with them. We tried to speak to him,
19 but he was very angry. Afterwards, we continued along
20 the road toward the Busovaca junction.
21 Q. Colonel Morsink, did you subsequently return
22 to Stranje on the 13th of May with HVO representatives
23 and did you meet with local Muslims who were still
24 residing in the community?
25 A. We had a meeting at the Busovaca commission,
1regular ones, with both parties, and we tried to go on
2 site with them.
3 Q. When you went on site to Stranje, on the 13th
4 of May, what did the population, the local Muslim
5 population, tell you had occurred to them with respect
6 to trench-digging?
7 A. They complained that on several occasions
8 they had been forced to dig trenches. They also
9 complained that many men from that area had been taken
10 prisoner at the county prison and that the remaining
11 men were forced to dig trenches. They were the men who
12 had been taken out of the prison and ordered to dig
14 While they were digging the trenches, several
15 of them were wounded, some of them even died doing the
16 forced labour.
17 Q. Now, at this location in Stranje, was there
18 an HVO representative with you when those complaints
19 were made?
20 A. Yes, there were members of the joint
21 commission on both sides.
22 Q. Now, you mentioned that there were a large
23 number of complaints made at the local commission and
24 at the joint commissions about civilian forced labour.
25 Were those complaints being made in front of Franjo
2 A. Mr. Nakic was present several times at
3 various meetings, and he was spoken to.
4 Q. Were those complaints also made in front and
5 in the presence of local brigade commanders as well?
6 A. Yes. The HVO Busovaca command was always
7 there at that type of meeting.
8 Q. Can you tell the Judges what was the response
9 of the HVO in the face of these continuous allegations
10 that civilians were forced to be trench-diggers?
11 A. There were different reactions. Sometimes
12 they said furious civilians had forced other civilians
13 to dig the trenches and sometimes we were told that
14 there had been abuses, that some had used HVO uniforms
15 in an inappropriate manner, and on other occasions we
16 were told that the HVO had already lost a great deal of
17 ground and were therefore forced to have recourse to
18 all type of reserve forces and that they had to call
19 upon civilians to dig the trenches, and yet on other
20 times there was no reaction at all. They just didn't
21 answer the allegations.
22 Q. Were you also told that it was uncontrolled
23 elements who were forcing civilians to dig trenches?
24 A. Yes. That's what they meant when they talked
25 about furious civilians. That's what they meant.
1Q. In addition to complaints that were made to
2 the HVO at the local joint commissions, did other
3 international organisations make complaints to the HVO
4 about this pervasive practice?
5 A. The International Red Cross and the UNHCR
6 were present at that those types of meetings, and I
7 remember that Margaret Green from the UNHCR had
8 protested because she had noted there were gypsies in
9 the Vitez region who had been forced to dig trenches.
10 Q. In your opinion, Colonel Morsink, was Colonel
11 Blaskic aware of this illegal practice?
12 A. He had to have been because his
13 representatives were present at the meetings when we
14 talked about it.
15 Q. To your knowledge, did the HVO ever take any
16 action to stop this illegal practice?
17 A. No. I never heard of any kind of measures
18 taken at all.
19 Q. Did you ever hear of a single HVO soldier
20 being punished for engaging in this illegal practice?
21 A. Never.
22 Q. In your opinion, Colonel Morsink, why did the
23 HVO engage in this practice?
24 A. I think that it is dangerous to work on the
25 front-line, and I think that they did not want to put
1their own soldiers in danger by forcing them to dig
2 this type of trench.
3 Q. Let me turn next, Colonel Morsink, to the
4 issue of the intentional burning of civilian homes by
5 the HVO.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, it's twenty after
7 four. We're going to take our break. You said four
8 hours. You can do what you like, of course. You still
9 have several days left. But I don't think that the
10 cross-examination will be able to take place under
11 proper conditions today. We're going to have to ask
12 the Colonel to come back, and this will be counted
13 against you.
14 You have, if I'm counting correctly, one,
15 two, three, four, five, five points to deal with -- is
16 that correct? -- five points. In the meantime, I think
17 the interpreters have to take a break, in fact
18 everybody has to take a break, including the witness,
19 we will take a good 20 minutes in order to rest up a
21 --- Recess taken at 4.20 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.50 p.m.
23 JUDGE JORDA: We will now continue.
24 Registrar, have the accused brought in, please.
25 (The accused entered court)
1JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon?
2 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, Your Honours, and
3 Counsel, because of the considerable difficulties we
4 have had today in using the procedures that have been
5 devised, I have made a request of the Dutch government
6 to make an exception of their general policy that Dutch
7 officers are required to testify in their native
8 language, and I have received permission from the Dutch
9 government to allow Colonel Morsink to testify in
10 English, and therefore, Mr. President and Your Honours,
11 and Council we will now proceed with the Court's
12 permission in that fashion.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. First, I would like
14 to turn to the witness. You do agree to that, Colonel,
15 since you speak English very well, do you feel
16 comfortable speaking in English.
17 THE WITNESS: I feel comfortable.
18 JUDGE JORDA: This will therefore allow us --
19 thank you, Mr. Harmon, first of all, for having taken
20 those measures, and I'd like to, through you, the Dutch
21 authorities as well. This will allow us, since there
22 are difficulties in having the interpreters come here
23 to work in Dutch tomorrow morning, so that means we
24 will be able to work the cross-examination this evening
25 and to continue tomorrow as well which will safeguard
1the rights of the accused who -- for whom the
2 cross-examination will follow the
3 examination-in-chief. Very well. This does not mean
4 that you can take more time than the time allotted to
5 you; correct?
6 MR. HARMON: Correct.
7 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Very well.
8 MR. HARMON:
9 Q. Colonel Morsink, I would like to return to
10 one topic about which there was considerable confusion
11 before the recess, and that was you mentioned an HVO
12 roadblock being linked with the return of humanitarian
13 aid that had been taken by the HVO in Busovaca. Can
14 you explain the linkage between the roadblock and the
15 return of the humanitarian aid, please?
16 A. I can explain that. I'm sorry that I caused
17 misunderstandings. I can point out the location of the
18 roadblock at the map, at this map. The location at the
19 roadblock was here in the area of the blue factory --
20 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. Perhaps we could
21 let the Dutch interpreter leave. Of course, it's your
22 decision. Unless, according to the Dutch authorities,
23 there is a litigious point here, but since you can't be
24 here tomorrow. What do you think, Mr. Harmon?
25 MR. HARMON: Colonel, it is your presence at
2 A. If you agree, Your Honour, I would like her
3 to stay here for a while, just in case I don't find the
4 right English words.
5 JUDGE JORDA: But tomorrow it wouldn't work
6 that way because tomorrow we will be able to continue.
7 That's what he said. Which means that you're going to
8 stay, and we're pleased about that. But we will
9 continue working with you tomorrow without a Dutch
10 interpreter. I want to say that we will complete our
11 work -- the work, including the cross-examination, by
12 the end of tomorrow morning. Excuse me for
13 interrupting. Continue, please.
14 A. So the location of the roadblock was here, it
15 was an HVO-controlled roadblock, and it was put there,
16 told by the HVO brigade commander, because they were
17 afraid of an attack coming from Zenica towards
18 Busovaca. So the linkage that has been made was that
19 the HVO commander asked us to take away the threat from
20 Zenica, and if that threat was taken away by us, by
21 ECMM, then they would be able to lift the roadblock and
22 to let go the trucks, and that linkage was not accepted
23 by us.
24 MR. HARMON:
25 Q. Thank you for the clarification. Now let me
1turn to the issue of the intentional setting afire of
2 Muslim houses. First of all, were complaints made to
3 the HVO by the ECMM and other international
4 organisations about the intentional burning of houses,
5 of Muslim houses, by the HVO?
6 A. Yes, they were made several times during
7 several meetings.
8 Q. In your opinion did the HVO engage in the
9 systematic burning of Muslim houses?
10 A. I think so, yes, because the burning of
11 houses was done very systematically in several places.
12 They burned all Muslim houses. In other places, where
13 the population was more or less mixed on an equal
14 basis, they only burned the Muslim houses, and it was
15 in another way systematically done because it happened
16 simultaneously in different villages, around Busovaca,
17 around Vitez, and in the same period around Kiseljak.
18 So that requires quite an organisation, to do it in a
19 way like that.
20 Q. Colonel Morsink, did you visit the villages
21 of Ahmici, Nadioci, Preocica, Sivrino Selo, Gacice
22 Gomionica, Gromiljak, and Rotilj did you inspect the
23 damage to Muslim houses in those villages?
24 A. I visited almost all of them you named except
25 for Gomionica since I was not allowed to go in there.
1I visited all the other places and what I saw there was
2 that almost all Muslim houses were burned, in some
3 places they were all burned or 100 per cent of the
4 Muslim houses.
5 Q. And are you able to distinguish between
6 battle damage and non-battle damage in respect of those
7 burned houses?
8 A. I think I am able to distinguish between
9 battle damage and ordinary fire.
10 Q. And what were the -- how were the majority of
11 the Muslim houses damaged, in your opinion?
12 A. The majority of the houses was damaged by
13 severe fire, maybe lit with petrol or gasoline, but
14 they were damaged by fire and definitely not by
15 artillery fire or something else.
16 Q. Now, did you base your opinion on any
17 conversations that you had with HVO commanders as well?
18 A. I remember a conversation quite well which
19 happened at the joint commission Vitez with the brigade
20 commander HVO Vitez president, Mr. Mario Cerkez, and he
21 was very upset that the army of BiH was trying to get
22 in new forces into Kruscica through the mountains,
23 there's a small goat trail through the mountains, and
24 he said that that should be stopped, and if not, he was
25 willing to burn down all Kruscica. And I was really
1surprised by an outcry like that because he was an HVO
2 officer, he was the brigade commander in the area, he
3 was wearing his uniform, and I didn't expect an officer
4 at all making a statement like that.
5 Q. Was that statement made on the 24th of May,
6 1993, a matter of weeks after the burning of Ahmici and
7 other villages in and around Central Bosnia?
8 A. I do not recall the exact date, but it was
9 made several weeks after all the villages in the area
10 had been burnt.
11 Q. Did you take that threat of Mario Cerkez
13 A. Well, he said it in a very clear way, and he
14 was on duty when he said it, he was an active member of
15 the local joint commission.
16 Q. Now, in your opinion, could all the burning
17 that you've just described that you saw been committed
18 by uncontrolled elements?
19 A. I do not believe that all the burning was
20 done by uncontrolled elements since it was done in a
21 systematic way all more or less in the same time.
22 Q. In your opinion, Colonel Morsink, was Colonel
23 Blaskic aware of this illegal HVO practice?
24 A. He must have been aware of it since it was in
25 his area of operation, and it was -- it was mentioned
1in several meetings where his people were present.
2 Q. So complaints were made about it at the joint
3 commissions where his designees were present?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Did you ever, at any time while you were in
6 Central Bosnia, ever hear of any HVO soldier being
7 punished or disciplined for burning down a Muslim
9 A. None whatsoever.
10 Q. In your opinion, Colonel Morsink, why did the
11 HVO engage in this practice?
12 A. I think it was one way to clear the area of
13 all Muslims.
14 Q. Now, I'd like to turn your attention next to
15 the forcible expulsion of Muslims from their homes and
16 ask you if you can relate to the Judges events that
17 related to the forcible expulsion of Muslim civilians
18 from the village of Gacice.
19 A. The village of Gacice is in the area, in the
20 vicinity, of Vitez, it was under control of HVO, and
21 approximately 100 or 200 people living there were part
22 of the Muslim community, they were forced to leave
23 Gacice, they were brought to Dubravica, that is the
24 T-junction in the road from Vitez to Zenica, they were
25 brought there, we were told, with trucks, with cattle
1trucks, and they were asked to get off the trucks in
2 Dubravica and they were told to walk towards Zenica
3 through the frontlines.
4 We got a report on this during one of the
5 meetings in Vitez from Mrs. Margaret Green from the
6 UNHCR, and we got similar reports from the British
7 battalion on the same incident.
8 Q. Now, Colonel, let me stop you right there.
9 Were these complaints also made on the 4th of May,
10 1993, at a meeting of the ECMM house where the
11 ambassadors from Spain, France, and Britain were
13 A. Yes, I recall that Mr. Merdan was very upset
14 when he got the chance to explain to these three
15 ambassadors what had happened in the previous three
16 weeks in the area of Vitez, and he called upon this
17 example of Gacice as one of the newest examples of
18 expulsion of Muslim people.
19 Q. Was the report that the HVO had forcibly
20 removed these civilians or that other people had
21 removed these civilians? What was the complaint that
22 was made?
23 A. The complaint was made that they were forced
24 out of Gacice by HVO and, as I recall it, the answer
25 was that they were forced out by angry civilians.
1Q. Now, who told you that? Did you go see an
2 HVO commander, brigade commander, the following day?
3 A. I'm not sure. I will have to look that up in
4 my notes, if necessary. I'm not sure who told it to
6 Q. Could you take a look at your notes, please,
7 refer to your notes of the 4th of May?
8 A. I read in my notes that on the 4th of May, at
9 the joint operation command, the complaint was made by
10 Mrs. Margaret Green and by Jorge, I forget his last
11 name, he's a field officer of UNHCR as well. And on
12 the 4th of May, we spoke to this item with the mayor of
13 Vitez, Mr. Santic, and during that meeting, Colonel
14 Stewart and Mrs. Clare Podbielski from the
15 International Red Cross were present and I recall that
16 also Colonel Blaskic was present and they were told at
17 that meeting that -- as I recall it, it was told by the
18 mayor of Vitez, Mr. Santic, that they needed the houses
19 in the area of Vitez, all the available houses, to be
20 able to house Croat DPs, displaced persons, coming from
21 outside, so they made kind of a plan to use all
22 available houses or to make houses available so that
23 they could house Croats in their own region.
24 Q. Now, did you continue to receive reports
25 after this incident in Gacice that Muslims were being
1continually forced out of their homes by the HVO?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. To your knowledge, was Colonel Blaskic aware
4 of this illegal practice?
5 A. Again, these allegations were made during the
6 local joint commissions, and his subordinates were
7 present during those meetings, so he must have known
8 about it.
9 Q. To your knowledge, while you were in theatre,
10 did you ever hear of a single instance where an HVO
11 soldier was arrested and punished for evicting a Muslim
12 from his home?
13 A. No, I never heard about it.
14 Q. I'd like to turn briefly to your contacts
15 with Franjo Nakic. You ever have occasion to socialise
16 with Franjo Nakic?
17 A. Yes, at the end of my tour, I was invited by
18 Mr. Nakic to say good-bye to him at his private house,
19 and I met his wife there, we had a drink together for
20 approximately one hour, I said good-bye, and the next
21 day I left for the coast.
22 MR. HARMON: Mr. Dubuisson, if I could have
23 two exhibits shown to the witness? The first is an
24 aerial image and the second is this item which is a
1THE REGISTRAR: The aerial photo is 427 and
2 the list will be 428.
3 MR. HARMON: Could you please place 427 on
4 the ELMO, Mr. Usher?
5 Q. Colonel Morsink, can you identify what this
6 particular exhibit represents and orient the Judges a
7 little bit to the items contained in that particular
9 A. Your Honour, the main feature you see on this
10 aerial photograph is the location of the British
11 battalion in the small town call Bila. Our house was
12 on this side, on the upper side of this camp. This
13 road was called by us the press road since a lot of
14 houses were occupied by international press. And
15 either in this circle or in this circle, I'm not sure,
16 but I'm very positive that the house of Mr. Nakic was
17 watching over on the fields on this side, either in
18 this circle or this circle, there was this house where
19 I met him at the end of my tour.
20 MR. HARMON: Can we have the next exhibit
21 placed on the ELMO, please.
22 Q. Can you tell the Judges what that exhibit is?
23 A. This is a list of names. These people were
24 taking part in the joint command in Travnik that was
25 established in the beginning of May, and this list is
1signed by Mr. Nakic and Mr. Merdan themselves, they
2 were themselves members of this joint command in
4 Q. Does this list indicate where Mr. Nakic
6 A. On number 2, it says Franjo Nakic and his
7 function, deputy commander, his private telephone
8 number, and the address says Stara Bila, and that's the
9 area I pointed out on the map, that's known as old
10 Bila, Stari Bila.
11 Q. Let me change the topic and ask you. What's
12 your position of the command structure of the HVO, and
13 can you tell the Judges in your own words, whether, in
14 your opinion, Blaskic and his staff, his subordinate
15 officers, had control over HVO forces in and around
16 Vitez, Busovaca and Kiseljak?
17 A. I think the HVO forces in the area, the
18 operational zone middle Bosnia, were well-structured,
19 since they had this operational zone level, I compare
20 it to our division level, they had brigades under this
21 division, several brigades under their control, they
22 had separate units under their control, they had
23 military police, they had divisional artillery under
24 this operational zone command. The area of operations
25 of their command was clearly defined, including areas
1like Zepce and Fojnica. That's for the structure of
2 the organisation, the HVO organisation.
3 I think they were capable in issuing orders.
4 They had good telephone communications, they had good
5 fax communications, and I saw several HVO officers
6 carrying small portable radios, so I think also the
7 communication part was well-organised. They controlled
8 all the switching stations of the telephone lines, so
9 they could, in fact, decide who was having connections,
10 who not.
11 I think they were well-structured in the way
12 that they issued written orders in the military way,
13 correctly-written orders, shaped in the right military
14 way with proper addresses on it. They asked for
15 reports in these orders, it's also another military way
16 of organising things, you do not just order anything
17 that you ask for a report afterwards.
18 So I think that I can say that the HVO was
19 well-organised, they had a good organisational
20 structure, they were capable to command, to order
21 things, and I think they were also capable to control
22 since everything was reported in these local joint
23 commissions, since they had good communication, the
24 subordinates must have been able to report all their
25 findings from the ground.
1Q. Did the HVO and Colonel Blaskic in particular
2 have the ability to control what was described to you
3 as "uncontrolled elements?"
4 A. I think so, yes. I think this Djuti is the
5 best example, to me. He looked like an uncontrolled
6 individual, the way he was dressed; but, on the
7 contrary, he immediately reacted on the invitation to
8 come to a meeting, and he responded to Nakic, the
9 second in command of this operational zone, and he
10 followed the orders of Mr. Nakic by returning all the
11 stolen goods.
12 Q. Based on your experiences in Central Bosnia
13 and what you saw, what conclusions did you draw in
14 respect of what happened to the Muslim population in
15 the areas controlled by the HVO?
16 A. My conclusions were, and they were based on
17 certain things I saw, they're also based on things we
18 discussed at ECMM meetings at our headquarters in
19 Zenica and they're also based on findings by other
20 monitors, and the conclusions are that the HVO and/or
21 the HDZ, I'm not sure, I think in combination, so the
22 military leaders and political leaders, I think they
23 made a plan to control the whole area where the
24 majority of Croats lived, to really control it by
25 expelling all Muslims, and they used tactics of fear,
1tactics of burning houses, tactics of killing Muslims,
2 to scare the rest away, and they used, on the other
3 hand, tactics of propaganda to pull in Croat minorities
4 from other areas which they would not be able to
5 control at all. So the incident of Gacice, where they
6 tried to pull the Croats from that area into Vitez, and
7 examples of Ahmici and Rotilj, around Vitez and
8 Kiseljak, where they tried to expel all Muslims by
9 killing, by burning, by fear, so I think it's a plan,
10 and it was carried out as they planned it.
11 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, Colonel
12 Morsink. Mr. President, I have concluded my
13 examination. I would now ask that items 407 through
14 428 be introduced into evidence.
15 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, I only have
16 exceptions on a few of those, and they are exhibits
17 that were not authenticated by the witness.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Which ones?
19 MR. HAYMAN: Those are --
20 JUDGE JORDA: Not identified. Please, when
21 you say authenticated and identified, they are very
22 delicate terms. Please, first of all, tell us which
23 ones you are talking about, which ones you have
24 problems with.
25 MR. HAYMAN: I'm looking in my notes,
2 JUDGE JORDA: Take your time.
3 MR. HAYMAN: 417, 418.
4 JUDGE JORDA: 417. 417. I have it before me
5 now. It is the note signed by the accused, and it's an
6 instruction, an order.
7 Colonel, you recognised this document, did
8 you not, this document 417? It is not the witness who
9 wrote it, of course, but it corresponds to a time
10 period in which he was on duty, 417.
11 Could you identify this document?
12 A. I do recognise this document, and I recall
13 that I said it was handed out to me at one of the
14 meetings, and I recall that I only said it wasn't
15 signed by Mr. Blaskic himself since -- it might be a
16 copy or a draft or a translation of the original order
17 into English.
18 JUDGE JORDA: I see. Then, in that case, it
19 is admitted. Now, 418; is that right? 418?
20 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE JORDA: So let's go on to 418 then. I
22 have the French version here before me. This is a
23 letter or notes or a report written by Mate Boban
24 addressed to General Mario, and it seems to me that the
25 witness identified and made some comments about this.
1Colonel? Let's go back to that document,
3 A. That's right, I identified the document
4 because I was asked to read what is on it, and I'm not
5 positive whether I got this order myself or whether I
6 read it in the ECMM headquarters.
7 MR. HAYMAN: So long as he saw it at the
8 time, I don't have an objection, Mr. President. But as
9 to 416, 417, and 418, I did not have in my notes that
10 he recognised these from the time of his service as
11 opposed to being shown them yesterday in the
12 Prosecutor's Office or something like that.
13 JUDGE JORDA: I cannot guarantee you,
14 Colonel, whether or not you saw it at the time, I don't
15 know whether you recall or not, but I think perhaps it
16 is important. Colonel, do you recall seeing it during
17 your time of service? We're asking a lot of you now,
18 but try to remember.
19 A. I don't think I saw this one in Zenica during
20 my duty.
21 JUDGE JORDA: I see. But today can you
22 identify this document as having been the reality of
23 something issued by Colonel Blaskic at that time and
24 addressed as a request for assistance? Let me see.
25 Where is it addressed exactly? It's -- I see it's
1addressed to the UNHCR, to the European Union as well.
2 Do you feel this would be a plausible letter given the
3 fact there was also a fax attached to it, I believe?
4 A. Excuse me, Your Honour. I think we are
5 talking about two different orders. The one I was
6 referring to that I haven't seen --
7 JUDGE JORDA: 416, 416. 416 in front of me.
8 Yes. What I have here before me is 416, a document
9 signed by Blaskic and which is addressed to the High
10 Commissioner for Refugees and also the European Union
11 or Community, Nations, and also some Croatian members,
12 and this is a request for assistance. Can you identify
13 at least today before us this as something that's
14 identifiable, in your mind?
15 A. Yes, I can identify this, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Let's see. Very well. Now,
17 whether or not you saw it at the time, Mr. Hayman, it's
18 difficult to state, isn't it, difficult to ask a
19 witness whether or not, several years later on, five
20 years later, whether or not he has seen all of these
21 reports. So I think perhaps it should be admitted.
22 I'll look to my colleagues first, whether or not they
23 have any comments.
24 This shall be admitted as evidence.
25 Mr. Hayman, do you have any other problems?
1MR. HAYMAN: Those were the only three that
2 my notes reflected the witness had not identified them.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.
4 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Very well,
6 Mr. Hayman. I hope that you know that it is now 5.20,
7 and you have another hour or so to work on the
9 Colonel, you're now going to be receiving
10 questions from the Defence.
11 Mr. Hayman, you have the floor.
12 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. Good
13 evening, Lieutenant-Colonel.
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Hayman:
15 Q. When you arrived in the theatre, you said you
16 were briefed on the purposes and goals of the Busovaca
17 joint commission. Were you told what events had given
18 rise to the founding of the commission?
19 A. I was informed by two colleague monitors
20 about the Busovaca joint commission, and I was briefly
21 informed by Remi Landry, the Canadian monitor, on what
22 happened in the previous months before I arrived in
24 Q. Did Mr. Remi Landry tell you about the
25 conflict in January in the Busovaca municipality?
1A. He told me something about that. I do not
2 exactly recall what was said, but it had to do with the
3 conflict between HVO forces and army of BiH forces in
4 the area of Busovaca, Kacuni, and Bilalovac.
5 Q. Did he tell you in substance that the BiH army
6 had attacked, the HVO had the enclave from roughly
7 Bilalovac to Kacuni and had expelled Croats from that
8 zone in between those two locations?
9 A. I'm not sure whether he told me that at that
10 event, but I at least was aware of that later on. I
11 was told by several people that there had been
12 fighting in that area, and as a result of that
13 fighting, the area of -- let's say the HVO-controlled
14 area Kiseljak and the HVO-controlled area of Busovaca
15 were not linked anymore.
16 Q. So is it fair to say the purpose of the
17 commission was, among other things, to implement and
18 monitor the cease-fire that was reached after that
19 January 1993 conflict in Busovaca?
20 A. I think that was the main reason why the
21 first Busovaca joint commission was raised.
22 Q. Now, did you tell us when you first arrived
23 in either the Lasva or Kiseljak valleys, what the date
25 A. The first day I arrived in the area of middle
1 Bosnia was the night of the 16th, I arrived at the U.N.
1BH command in Kiseljak. I was taken with an ECMM car
3 during the night through Kiseljak, Visoko to Zenica. I
4 was briefed only for a few minutes at the first
5 evening. I got my first proper briefing at the 17th.
6 So that was, in fact, my first appearance in the area,
7 the 17th in the morning, 17th of April.
8 Q. On the evening of the 16th, did the
9 EC monitors you were with, did they have an assessment
10 of the situation at the time, or was there general
11 confusion in the Lasva Valley?
12 A. I myself did not get a clear picture at that
13 time. I asked for a briefing, but everybody was very
14 busy, and they seemed not to have enough time to brief
15 a new monitor during that evening.
16 Q. In the car, did anyone tell you that they
17 thought they knew what was going on and what was going
18 on? Were you driven by another EC monitor on the night
19 of the 16th?
20 A. Yes, I was driven by a German monitor
21 together with his interpreter.
22 Q. Did he tell you whether he had a clear
23 understanding on the night of the 16th of what was
24 going on or whether there was general confusion in the
25 Lasva Valley?
1A. I don't know whether he told me that he had a
2 clear picture. He was not able to bring it over to
3 me. I did not have a clear picture.
4 Q. The next day, did you go to the headquarters
5 of the Vitez brigade of the HVO, that is, the 17th of
7 A. That's right. I went there together with
8 Eric Friis-Pedersen, the Danish monitor, he was in the
9 area already for a long time, so he was more or less
10 the head of the mission in the Vitez area.
11 Q. Was there fighting going on around that
12 location at the time you went on the 17th of April?
13 A. Yes. There was shooting around the
14 headquarters, small arms fire.
15 Q. What building was the headquarters in at that
16 time; do you recall?
17 A. As I recall, it was the cinema building,
18 since, at the entrance, there were posters of films.
19 Q. And that is in reasonably close proximity to
20 the Hotel Vitez; correct?
21 A. As I recall it, it was 300 or 400 metres.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel Morsink, when you
23 respond, please turn towards the Judges, and when you
24 are receiving questions, you can turn towards the
25 Defence. Thank you.
1THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, Your Honour.
2 MR. HAYMAN:
3 Q. While you were meeting with personnel at the
4 Vitez brigade headquarters on the 17th of April, did
5 live rounds come in through the windows?
6 A. All windows were covered with wood, and I
7 recall that the wood on the windows in the hallway next
8 to the room where we met, the wood was hit several
10 Q. By rounds from rifle fire, presumably?
11 A. Rifle fire, small arms fire.
12 Q. Do you recall whether that was from the
13 general direction of Stari Vitez or Old Vitez or from
14 some other direction, if you're able to tell us?
15 A. It was impossible to tell since the windows
16 were all covered.
17 MR. HAYMAN: If Exhibit 407 could be provided
18 to the witness, please? That is the order of
19 appointment of personnel to the joint command.
20 Q. Do you have that?
21 A. I have it in front of me now.
22 Q. Now, you told us that it was your belief at
23 the time, and this is dated the 1st of May, 1993, that
24 Mr. Nakic was the deputy commander of the Central
25 Bosnia operative zone; correct?
1A. That's correct.
2 Q. Let me ask you if you agree with the
4 Question: Prior to 16 April, 1993, did you
5 believe Franjo Nakic to be the deputy commander of the
6 HVO Central Bosnia operative zone? Answer: Yes. All
7 of the documents at the time were signed, showed
8 Mr. Nakic was the deputy commander. Indeed, I saw a
9 document from 13 February indicating he was the deputy
10 commander or at least as an individual representing
11 Colonel Blaskic as a deputy commander. Question:
12 After the conflict, be it the 16th or 18th or 20th of
13 April, you concluded that Mr. Nakic was no longer the
14 deputy commander but was the chief of staff; correct?
15 Answer: Yes.
16 And then there is additional narrative
17 consistent with the answer "Yes."
18 Am I correct then, that is not your
19 understanding, that as a result of the conflict in the
20 middle of April 1993, that Mr. Nakic lost his position
21 as deputy commander of the operative zone Central
22 Bosnia and became the chief of staff of that command?
23 A. I'm not aware of the facts or the things you
24 just read from your computer. I don't believe they
25 were told by me -- sorry -- I don't really understand
2 Q. It's not your testimony.
3 A. -- where you would like me to answer you on
5 Q. No, I'm just asking: Do you disagree with
6 the statements I read to you, the question and answer I
7 read to you? Do you disagree with it? That is, you
8 believe that Mr. Nakic was the deputy commander on or
9 about May 1st and at other relevant times all after the
10 conflict in the middle of April 1993?
11 A. I do believe that Mr. Nakic was, when I
12 arrived, the deputy commander of the operational zone.
13 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you. For the record, I'm
14 reading -- I read from the testimony of Mr. Remi Landry
15 at pages 7695 and 7696 of the transcript in this case.
16 A. Your Honour, can I add as an officer, as a
17 Dutch military officer, the position of deputy
18 commander and the chief of staff? In the Dutch army,
19 the deputy commander and the chief of staff are one
20 person, so there's not a distinction in level, whether
21 you're more important or less important. In the Dutch
22 system, and I think it's the same in the Canadian
23 system, the chief of staff and the deputy commander are
24 the same person.
25 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you.
1JUDGE RIAD: Could it be a promotion to be a
2 chief of staff?
3 A. Not according to our system. Maybe in
4 another system.
5 MR. HAYMAN:
6 Q. Now I'd like to ask you about Exhibit 408,
7 the videotape, and perhaps -- I'd like the technical
8 room -- I haven't been able to coordinate this so far,
9 but perhaps they could roll the tape and find a passage
10 about a minute into the tape where one of the BiH army
11 officers has a flag patch visible on his right
12 shoulder? If they could perhaps queue that up and hold
13 that for a question.
14 Let me ask you, though: This tape, was it
15 made of a local joint commission meeting or of the
16 joint operative or operational command meeting?
17 A. It's not very clear since, during that
18 period, the decision was made to organise the Busovaca
19 joint commission, the old one, into an interim phase,
20 an interim phase, the joint operational command in the
21 same ECMM house in Bila; and after that, one or two
22 weeks after that, we were asked to organise the four
23 local joint commissions. So it's more or less like an
24 interim phase. We ourselves called it the JOC, the
25 Joint Operational Command or Joint Operational
1Commission, if you wish.
2 Q. Do you know the date of the meeting depicted
3 in the videotape, Exhibit 409?
4 A. I can look it up in my notes. I'm not sure
5 when it was. I think it's the beginning of May or the
6 end of April. More likely the beginning of May.
7 Q. Were you present?
8 A. I was present for sure. I'm shown on the
9 tape itself.
10 Q. Do you know who made the tape?
11 A. I'm not sure, but I think the tape was made
12 by ITN, since I got the whole recordings of ITN made
13 during that period, and I think this is picked out of
14 that original tape.
15 Q. Did they tape the whole meeting?
16 A. No, they did not. At least I did not get
17 that from ITN. I got the tape of all the recordings
18 they made during my presence in the area of middle
20 Q. Do you know the tape that was shown, is that
21 the entire ITN tape, or was it edited?
22 A. I'm not sure. I don't know.
23 Q. I take it you did not prepare the tape; is
24 that right?
25 A. That's right.
1Q. Now, we saw in the tape Mr. Nakic, you
2 pointed out Mr. Nakic, as well as Mario Cerkez. Would
3 Mario Cerkez have been attending a meeting of the joint
4 operational command or only of the local Vitez joint
6 A. Only the local commissions would be attended
7 by the local brigade commanders.
8 Q. Such as Mario Cerkez?
9 A. Such as Mario Cerkez.
10 Q. Does that suggest to you that that was a
11 meeting of the local Vitez joint commission?
12 A. That's right. But as far as I can recall it,
13 the real local joint commission Vitez was not active at
14 that time, so it's really an interim phase, starting
16 Q. You said that Mr. Nakic and Mr. Merdan
17 attended some of the local joint commission meetings
18 for a few weeks but then generally did not attend such
19 meetings; is that correct?
20 A. That is correct. They attended, I think,
21 approximately three weeks most of the local joint
22 commissions in Vitez, Busovaca, Kiseljak, and after
23 that, they asked us to continue the work, and they told
24 us that they had to be present in the joint command in
25 Travnik, in the PPT building in Travnik, since that
1joint command was active after those three weeks.
2 Q. And thereafter they were not able to attend
3 the local joint commission meetings; correct?
4 A. I think that's the reason, yes.
5 Q. Now, the tape, Exhibit 409, also depicts
6 officers from both warring parties being escorted home
7 or back to residences or other offices. Is that
8 similar to the type of escort, if you know, that was
9 provided on the 17th of April, 1993, to Marko Priscalo
10 (phoen), and Zoran Pilicic (phoen), two HVO officers
11 who were shot while entering or about to enter going
12 from an UNPROFOR Warrior to the Hotel Vitez?
13 A. I'm not aware of that incident, but this --
14 carrying people in armoured cars was meant to bring
15 them through frontlines because there was still
16 fighting around the British camp, so we had to bring in
17 the HVO officers in armoured vehicles, and the army of
18 BiH officers were not able to go through HVO-controlled
19 area without protection, so that's the reason why
20 BRITBAT offered to support us in these local
21 commissions and they offered to transport these people
22 in armoured cars.
23 Q. And, similarly, when the joint commission
24 teams went out and did their work in other areas, HVO
25 officers were not able to travel without ECMM and
1UNPROFOR support; correct?
2 A. That's correct, but the meetings in Kiseljak
3 took place at the base of the Canadian company in
4 Kiseljak, at Camp Padberg (phoen), so they only asked
5 for armoured cars for the army of BiH side. And the
6 same thing happened in Busovaca. There, we had most of
7 the meetings at the headquarters of the Dutch transport
8 battalion in Busovaca itself, so also that only
9 required the transport of the army of BiH officers into
11 Q. I'm allowing the translators to complete
12 their translation, and that was why I'm making an
13 awkward pause between answer and question.
14 On those occasions when Mr. Nakic went to
15 Kiseljak, for example, for a local joint commission
16 meeting there, he would have to be transported in an
17 UNPROFOR Warrior; correct?
18 A. That is correct, but several times he came
19 with us in our armoured Mercedes since that was
20 comfortable and safe enough to travel.
21 Q. And you were able to get through the BiH army
22 checkpoints en route to Kiseljak?
23 A. Most of the times, we were able, since
24 Mr. Merdan travelled with us as well and he was able to
25 lift any roadblocks if they were there.
1Q. Do you know whether any other meetings of the
2 joint operational command or the local joint
3 commissions were videotaped?
4 A. I don't think that other combined meetings
5 were videotaped. I know of some separate meetings we
6 had during this shuttle diplomacy phase that were taped
7 but then only one side was present.
8 MR. HAYMAN: I cannot see, Mr. President,
9 into the technical room. Perhaps if they have been
10 able to locate this still image, they could put it on
11 the video monitor? If it doesn't appear, then the
12 answer will be "No," and I'll proceed in another
14 THE REGISTRAR: Yes.
15 MR. HAYMAN: Yes. Thank you very much to the
16 technical personnel in the booth.
17 Q. You have before you, Lieutenant-Colonel, a
18 still from Exhibit 409, the videotape. First of all,
19 there is a gentleman seated who takes up about the left
20 50 per cent of the screen. Do you know who that is?
21 A. That is Mr. Sivro Sivet. He was the local
22 commander of the army of BiH forces in Kruscica.
23 Q. Do you recognise the patch on his right
25 A. Yes. That is the German national flag, and
1it's part of, let's say, a German shirt that was used
2 by German soldiers in the '60s and '70s, so it's a
3 uniform part used by the Dutch army (sic) in the '60s
4 and '70s.
5 Q. You said the Dutch army. You mean the
6 German --
7 A. I'm sorry. I mean the German army, of
9 Q. I take it Mr. Sivet, at the time he wore this
10 uniform, he was not a member of the German army, he was
11 a member of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
13 A. That's correct. That's the way he introduced
15 Q. Did you learn that it was common practice for
16 soldiers on both sides of the warring factions in
17 Bosnia to wear whatever bits of decent uniform they
18 could get their hands on, and that sometimes included
19 patches of the armies of foreign nations? Did you come
20 into such information in addition to the image on
21 Exhibit 409 which you've just seen?
22 A. I recall that I saw a lot of these examples
23 on the army of BiH side. They told me that they were
24 short of uniforms, and I recall that I only saw a few
25 of these examples on the HVO side. They were normally,
1let's say, military properly-dressed soldiers on the
2 HVO side.
3 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you. That concludes the
4 use of that tape, and I again thank the technical
6 THE REGISTRAR: I think it would be useful to
7 give a number to this since -- we could perhaps give
8 the number of D144 to that photo?
9 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. Registrar, a still can be
10 produced of that?
11 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, absolutely.
12 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you very much.
13 Q. Now let me direct your attention forward in
14 time to a meeting you described on April 19, 1993, with
15 Mario Cerkez concerning the truck bomb incident. Do
16 you know what happened to the physical evidence of the
17 truck bomb, i.e., the truck chassis and any other
18 physical evidence at the scene?
19 A. I don't know what happened to that. The only
20 thing I recall seeing myself was part of the engine of
21 the truck laying next to a large hole on the road, and
22 I don't know whether the rest of the truck was moved
23 during the explosion to the side of the road or whether
24 it was removed by anybody else. I don't know.
25 Q. This location, this was a location within
1Stari Vitez, within BH-controlled portions of Stari
2 Vitez; is that right?
3 A. I'm not sure whether this part of town is
4 called Stari Vitez. It was very close to the mosque,
5 some 200 metres from the mosque, and it was quite close
6 to the area of Stari Vitez that I later found out was
7 controlled by army of BiH.
8 Q. Was there any attempt, if you know, to form a
9 joint investigation of the incident that would combine
10 information available to the BiH army, the HVO, and
11 international organisations to try to investigate the
12 truck bomb incident?
13 A. I'm not aware of any attempt to form a
14 combined task-finding mission. I recall that we asked
15 Mario Cerkez to investigate this matter, and he
16 promised us that he would do so. So as I recall it,
17 there was no need for an extra investigation party.
18 Q. Did you ever discuss the issue with Mario
19 Cerkez again, or was it only mentioned on one occasion,
20 this issue of an investigation into the truck bomb?
21 A. I did not personally discuss it with him
22 again since I was a young monitor at the scene. Eric
23 Friis-Pedersen was the one who did most of the speaking
24 and I was just taking notes, and after a few days, I
25 was team leader but then busy in other areas and other
1jobs, so I don't recall that it was asked or raised
2 again, this question. I did not do that myself.
3 Q. And it was not done in your presence, is that
4 correct, to your knowledge?
5 A. That's correct. It was not done in my
7 Q. Now, you said, I believe, you met the next
8 day in the Hotel Vitez with a group that included
9 Colonel Blaskic, is that correct, on the 20th of April,
11 A. That's correct. A joint -- Colonel Bob
12 Stewart and Mrs. Clare Podbielski, since they planned
13 to go to Colonel Blaskic and they asked me to come.
14 Q. What time was that meeting?
15 A. I'm not sure. As I recall it in my memory,
16 it was the beginning of the afternoon. 1.00, maybe
18 Q. In whose office was the meeting held?
19 A. The meeting was held in the Hotel Vitez, so
20 that's the headquarters of the operational zone Middle
21 Bosnia, and as I recall it, we went through the hall
22 where the HVO guards, and then opposite to the
23 entrance, on the other side of the hall, there's a
24 large room with, I think, large brown seats, and that's
25 where we spoke to Mr. Blaskic.
1Q. Do you have any recounting of this meeting in
2 your notes or diary?
3 A. I think I do. Just a second.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. I have notes that it happened on the 20th of
6 April. I'm not sure whether you asked me if it was on
7 the 19th?
8 Q. No, I asked about the 20th of April.
9 A. The 20th. I've got notes on the 20th of
11 Q. What do they reflect?
12 A. They reflect the meeting we had with Colonel
14 Q. How was Colonel Blaskic identified in your
15 notes, if I may ask?
16 A. Well, I just put his name in. I was informed
17 by Bob Stewart that Colonel Blaskic was the commander
18 of the operational zone Middle Bosnia, so as I recall,
19 it excited me that I was to meet the highest commander
20 in the area.
21 Q. Do you remember meeting him on that day? Do
22 you actually remember sitting down face to face with
23 Colonel Blaskic on the 20th of April, 1993, or could it
24 be a mistake?
25 A. It's hard to say. I remember the excitement
1meeting the highest commander, I remember entering the
2 headquarters, I remember passing the guards in the
3 presence of the British battalion commander who I
4 admired already after a few days, and as I recall it, I
5 was introduced to the upper commander, as far as my
6 knowledge goes. That was Mr. Blaskic.
7 Q. Please look at him in the face, General
8 Blaskic. Is this the man you met on the 20th of April,
9 1993, in the Hotel Vitez? Do you recall that? Or are
10 you not sure?
11 A. It's hard to say. You see so many faces in
12 the first two, three days, in the middle of war.
13 Q. If you had and if Colonel Stewart had chewed
14 out Colonel Blaskic concerning the truck bomb as you
15 described, is that something you would have put in your
16 daily operational report, attending such a meeting,
17 meeting the commander of the operative zone for the
18 first time, and witnessing this rather dramatic,
19 perhaps, exchange, between the British battalion
20 commander and the HVO operative zone commander? Is it
21 something you would have put in your daily operational
23 A. I think later, when I was in the area for
24 already several weeks, I would have. But according to
25 this incident -- I was not in charge. Colonel Bob
1Stewart was in charge. He was the one who did the
2 talking. He introduced me or asked me to come with
3 him, together with ICRC, so it was not a proper ECMM
4 meeting, so there was no ECMM need to report to Zagreb
5 about this meeting, as I recall it now. Later on, I
6 would have reported on more than just my own meetings,
7 but since I was not in charge and I was still a young
8 monitor, in my third day on the scene, I can understand
9 why at least I did not report this.
10 Q. What about when you were interviewed over six
11 days by representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor
12 in 1996, an interview which resulted in a 23-page
13 single-spaced typed statement? In that statement,
14 there is a discussion for over about a third of the
15 page of your meeting on the 20th of April, but there's
16 no mention of Colonel Blaskic, no mention of a meeting
17 with Colonel Blaskic, and no mention of any comments by
18 anyone else, including Robert Stewart, directed at
19 Colonel Blaskic in connection with the truck bomb or
21 Isn't that something that would have been
22 discussed over the course of six days of interviews and
23 recorded in a 23-page single-spaced typed statement?
24 MR. HARMON: Objection to that,
25 Mr. President. That's not a proper question, whether
1it would have --
2 JUDGE JORDA: Yes.
3 MR. HAYMAN: I'll rephrase it.
4 Q. Were you asked over those six days of
5 interviews to describe your meetings with Colonel
7 A. That's right, but I --
8 Q. Were you asked, please --
9 JUDGE JORDA: No, the objection has been
10 sustained, to the Prosecutor. You cannot ask the
11 question where you have the statement made by the
12 Office of the Prosecutor. You have analysed it, you
13 have drawn certain conclusions from it, but you cannot
14 go beyond that. You know exactly the conditions under
15 which the witness was questioned. Please, if you would
16 like to ask another question, but please reformulate
17 your question. Rephrase it.
18 MR. HAYMAN: I will rephrase it,
19 Mr. President.
20 Q. Over those six days, were you asked to
21 describe your meetings with Colonel Blaskic and did
23 A. I was not specifically asked to describe
24 meetings with Colonel Blaskic. I was asked to describe
25 anything I remembered from the period I was in the area
1of Middle Bosnia. So from the 13th of April until the
2 13th of July.
3 You must understand that this was the first
4 time I was debriefed on these three months. I stayed
5 in Germany for two years, did my German course there, I
6 worked at the army staff for more than one and a half
7 years, and then suddenly somebody from the Tribunal
8 comes and debriefed me for the first time, and it's
9 really very hard to get back all these memories from
10 such a long time ago. I used my small notebooks, my
11 big notebooks, I used my diary to recall things as good
12 as possible. And, of course, more memories come back.
13 They even come back now when I speak. Like, for
14 instance, the colour of the furniture. It's just
15 something you remember all of a sudden how a certain
16 situation was.
17 Q. Then tell us, with your refreshed memory,
18 what did Colonel Stewart say in this meeting?
19 A. As I recall it, Colonel Stewart was really
20 very upset that the HVO and HDZ accused the Brits of
21 being partial, being partial in just evacuating Muslim
22 homeless people, homeless because of the car bomb. He
23 told about alleged people being thrown out of trucks,
24 British trucks and British Warriors, and he told us
25 that -- or Colonel Stewart was very upset that he was
1accused of being impartial (sic) since the British
2 battalion were the only ones to give aid to those
3 people, they were the only ones to give help during the
4 evacuation after the car bomb, and he was very upset
5 about the accusation that they were impartial. So he
6 asked again, "Where was your organisation to help?
7 What did you do to help the homeless people? What did
8 you do to help the wounded people? Why was HVO not
9 there? Why was the local organisation not there?" So
10 that was the main point of the meeting, his anger about
11 the --
12 Q. The lack of a response?
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. HARMON: Excuse me. Excuse me, counsel.
15 There appears to be an error in the transcript and I'd
16 like to correct it before it rolls up. It says the
17 following, it says: "Colonel Stewart was very upset
18 that he was accused of being impartial." You mean --
19 MR. HAYMAN: Counsel, thank you. I agree,
20 there's an error?
21 A. I meant "partial."
22 Q. You meant partial or the record should be
23 that he was upset at being accused of being partial?
24 A. That's right.
25 Q. Thank you. Thank you, counsel.
1In sum then, quickly, and we'll move on,
2 Colonel Stewart was angry at the lack of a response to
3 the situation in terms of helping the victims, the
4 homeless, the wounded, and he was angry at both the
5 residents of Stari Vitez and at the HVO for not
6 responding better; is that correct? Is that accurate?
7 A. I don't think so because he would not show
8 his anger about the Muslim side, I think, when he met
9 Colonel Blaskic, and according to my knowledge, the
10 Muslims did not have control in Vitez, so they were not
11 able to organise any evacuation at all.
12 Q. So the BiH army was not in control of Stari
13 Vitez; is that your understanding at the time?
14 A. I know that they were in control. Later on,
15 I found out that they were in control over part of
16 Stari Vitez, but I don't think they had the opportunity
17 or the means to evacuate a large number of people out
18 of this endangered area.
19 Q. At the time of this conversation, I take it
20 the effort to assist the wounded, evacuate them, was
21 completed; correct?
22 A. As far as I know, the British battalion took
23 out all the homeless and wounded people and the dead
24 were recovered a few days afterwards, also by BRITBAT.
25 Q. Now let me ask you about the subject of
2 You mentioned both the HDZ, H-D-Z, and the
3 HVO. What channels did the HDZ use for putting out
5 A. I was told that they used radio and
6 television, local radio and local television, and since
7 I cannot understand the Croatian language, I was told
8 by interpreters on duty with the ECMM.
9 Q. Were you ever told that Colonel Blaskic had
10 made any inflammatory or ethnically prejudicial or
11 derogatory remarks on TV, radio, in speeches or
12 otherwise during your tour of duty? Did you ever
13 receive such information?
14 A. I did not.
15 Q. I --
16 A. I did not.
17 Q. You did not. What channels did the HVO
18 utilise, in your view or judgement, to disseminate
20 A. It's hard for me to say whether they took
21 influence on the local radio and local television, but
22 the same message was spread out, and it was supported
23 by HVO officers like, for instance, as liaison officer
24 at the headquarters of the operational zone in Vitez,
25 he was the one who told me that Guca Gora was in
1flames, he was the one who told me that thousands of
2 Croats were forced to leave the area or fled in the
3 direction of Novi Bila.
4 Q. This is Darko Gelic you're referring to?
5 A. That's Darko Gelic I'm referring to.
6 Q. When he made those statements to you, was he
7 speaking to a room thronging with reporters, or was he
8 having a personal conversation with you?
9 A. He was having a conversation with me, and
10 there were more monitors present and my interpreter was
11 present, of course.
12 Q. Was there anyone from the news media present?
13 A. I do not think so.
14 Q. Now, you spoke of two examples of the use of
15 propaganda, Zenica and Guca Gora. Aside from the
16 documents that have been discussed first regarding
17 Zenica, do you have any information of any other
18 propaganda put out, not by the HDZ but by the HVO,
19 concerning the status of Croats in Zenica? Anything
20 else? Anything to add?
21 A. The status of the Croats in Zenica was
22 mentioned more than once in the local commissions of
23 Vitez and Busovaca at several meetings several times.
24 Even into the middle of May, I recall that during
25 several meetings, the positions of Croats in Zenica was
1discussed again and again, and these meetings always
2 started with large accusations from both sides that
3 their own people were harmed in another area and that
4 it should be investigated.
5 Q. Was the press -- I'm sorry. Are you
7 A. I'm finished, yes.
8 Q. Was the press present at these local
9 commission meetings that you've described?
10 A. The press was present at several local
11 commission meetings. The Vitez local press was there,
12 as I recall it, at two or three meetings, and the local
13 Busovaca press was present at more than five or six
15 Q. Would they attend the entire meeting?
16 A. They would be there the entire meeting.
17 Q. Was that deemed conducive to the work of the
18 local commissions?
19 A. We thought they could support us because
20 every meeting was -- we finished every meeting with a
21 mutual statement from both commanders, an official
22 statement, signed and written about the attempts we
23 made during the meeting and about the agreements we
24 made and the things we would try to do the following
1Q. You spoke of a particular radio broadcast
2 which said it was safer for refugees, I believe
3 refugees in Grahovcici, to go to Vitez and Novi Bila
4 than to return to the Zenica municipality. Is it your
5 opinion that at the time that was not correct, that it
6 was either safer for the refugees, Croat refugees, to
7 go back to Zenica or that it was equally safe for them
8 to be in the Vitez enclave or to be in the Zenica
9 municipality? What exactly is your opinion in that
11 A. As I told you, as I told the court, we made
12 an investigation in this first phase together with this
13 Catholic priest from Zenica, we made an investigation
14 in all these villages, and we together came to the
15 conclusion that it was safe for people to return. We
16 broadcast it or we told our conclusion to the HVO
17 representatives in Grahovcici, to the Croats -- let's
18 say the oldest people of the community, of the refugees
19 there, and we told it to the Catholic priests in
20 Grahovcici as well, and they all agreed with our
21 conclusion that if we said so and if Father Stjepan
22 said so, since he was well-known priest in the area and
23 he was loved by everybody, if that was his judgement,
24 then people would believe him and it would be safe to
25 go to their own houses.
1Q. The radio broadcast you quoted, though, said
2 it was safer for refugees to go to Vitez and Nova Bila
3 than to return to Zenica. I take it you don't agree
4 with that. You believe it was either safer or just as
5 safe for Croat refugees at the time to return to
6 Zenica; is that correct?
7 A. The essence of the broadcast was more than
8 that, not just the matter of safety. The essence was
9 that it was propaganda, that lots of Croats had been
10 massacred in the area of Zenica and that their houses
11 had been burned and that it was no longer safe or not
12 safe or unsafe, or whatever word you would like to use,
13 for them to go back to their own houses and they were
14 told to go to Nova Bila and to Vitez.
15 Q. You visited Grahovcici on approximately the
16 8th of June, 1993; is that correct?
17 A. Grahovcici was earlier. That was the 25th
18 until the 27th of April. The 8th of June was the Guca
19 Gora incident.
20 Q. Very good. 25th to 27th of April was
22 A. I'll look it up.
23 Q. Could you just check and make sure?
24 A. The 24th of Zenica -- the 24th of April, I
25 stay in Zenica and go to Grahovcici for the first time,
1and I finish the Grahovcici job on the 26th of April,
2 so it's the 24th until the 26th.
3 Q. In your estimation, how many Croats had been
4 murdered in the Zenica region by that point in time?
5 A. I did an -- we paid some visits to the areas
6 where the people fled from, together with Father
7 Stjepan, and we were told that -- I'm not sure how many
8 there were. I would have to look it up in the report I
9 made. But I think some 10 or 15 Croats had been killed
10 in that area, and I read in another report made by two
11 other monitors in the previous days, they did an
12 investigation on similar incidents in more or less the
13 same area but not in all the same villages I went to,
14 that another number of Croats had been killed there.
15 Q. And houses burned? Half a dozen? A dozen?
16 Five dozen?
17 A. I would say between 10 and 25.
18 Q. And houses looted? 50? 25?
19 A. I think more -- I think -- I'm not sure. I
20 didn't count them all myself, but I think it must have
21 been some 50 houses looted.
22 MR. HAYMAN: If Exhibit 295 could be placed
23 before the witness?
24 Q. This, Lieutenant-Colonel, is a special report
25 on Croats in Zenica dated 20, 21 April, 1993, produced
1by the ECMM RC Zenica and authored by three of your
2 colleagues, and I'd like to call your attention to
3 several portions of it.
4 There is a French translation of this
5 exhibit, Mr. President, 295A.
6 In paragraph 1, as a result of a visit to
7 certain areas in the municipality, your colleagues
8 reported that the military section of the Zenica prison
9 had more than 200 Croat prisoners, half military and
10 half civilian. Down in paragraph 2(a), they report
11 that in the village of Cajdras they found four houses
12 burned, 38 empty. In Veternica, three burned houses.
13 In paragraph 2(d), a village that was shelled.
14 Paragraph 2(f), Stranjani, seven burned houses and most
15 of the 240 Croat homes were robbed. Paragraph, 2(g),
16 Zahalie, eight burned houses, four killed Croats.
17 Paragraph 3(c), Zalje, at least 25 houses were burned.
18 The Father, referring apparently again to Father
19 Stjepan, I believe, told us that in that village were
20 killed 10 civilians, including a 90-year-old man and a
21 three-year-old girl. And then the report concludes
22 that this was less damage than had been expected, less
23 killing than had been expected, less burning, less
24 looting than had been expected.
25 Would you agree, Lieutenant-Colonel, that the
1Croats in Zenica at this time in April, they did have
2 reason to be concerned for their safety?
3 A. If this is all the facts and if Croats knew
4 about this, then I believe that they were afraid, yes.
5 Q. Now, Colonel Blaskic at the time, he's down
6 in the Vitez area -- correct? -- his headquarters is in
7 Vitez, was at the time?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did he have a way to get to Zenica to make a
10 personal appraisal of the situation, or would he have
11 been blocked at the BiH army front-line from going to
12 Zenica to inspect these different villages where only
13 240 houses were looted in one, only 10 civilians killed
14 in Zalje, et cetera? He didn't have that kind of
15 information, did he?
16 A. Probably not at the 20th or the 21st. But
17 since we reported through ECMM and in the local joint
18 commissions what our findings were, he must have known
19 that afterwards.
20 Q. That is, he must have known that the numbers
21 in Exhibit 295 were accurate; is that right?
22 A. Well, I did not report on this special report
23 ECMM, since when this report was written, I was in
24 Vitez myself, and the daily and special reports were
25 discussed in the ECMM meetings in the evening, at that
1very day, and I came back to Zenica three days later,
2 so I did not discuss this report myself.
3 Q. Are you surprised by these numbers? Does
4 this sound like more killing, more burning, more
5 looting than you had the impression occurred against
6 Croats in Zenica during the latter half of April 1993?
7 A. I was told by Lars, who is one of the authors
8 of this special report and who went with me the last
9 day I went to Grahovcici myself, it was reported by him
10 that this was the case, but we did not face it, all
11 these villages ourselves, and we put effort on some of
12 these villages, and we had the impression, and Father
13 Stjepan had the impression, that all people could go
14 back to their own houses. We spoke to the neighbours
15 still there, we spoke to some Croats that were still
16 there in their own houses, and they told us, "Please
17 ask the people to come back." So that's what we tried
18 and that's what we arranged with all the buses. And
19 there were HVO soldiers present, HVO local commanders,
20 and they could have reported what our findings were.
21 Q. Did they? You don't know, do you?
22 A. I don't know whether they did or not, but the
23 broadcast came, and that's why they took away our
25 Q. They got excited, these local commanders, and
1they commandeered your buses; correct?
2 A. The local military police, the HVO military
3 police took away our buses, and after a certain time,
4 we were able to speak to the local HVO commanders
5 again, and after a while, they agreed in still going
6 back to their own houses.
7 Q. So the HVO Vojn Policija, military police,
8 took the buses, then you spoke to the regular HVO local
9 commanders, and after some period of discussion, they
10 were successful in helping you get the buses back; is
11 that fair?
12 A. That's correct, and meanwhile, the buses were
13 once used to bring the people to Nova Bila.
14 Q. Can you tell us anything about Colonel
15 Blaskic personally -- and we'll get to the documents
16 that have been discussed in a moment if we continue
17 that long tonight -- other than the documents, can you
18 tell us anything about Colonel Blaskic's involvement or
19 lack of involvement in the issue of either returning
20 Croats to Zenica or allowing Croats to leave Zenica if
21 they wished?
22 A. I didn't meet Colonel Blaskic very often, and
23 I didn't have the opportunity to speak to him
24 personally. I was present at a number of meetings
25 where he was. But, on the other hand, using his name
1with brigade commanders, using his name at local
2 commissions always gave me the impression that he was
3 honoured by his own subordinates. Using his name put
4 more weight on the scale.
5 Q. Did you use his name to get the buses back?
6 A. I don't recall that, that I used his name
7 then, no.
8 MR. HAYMAN: Now, in speaking of Guca Gora --
9 Your Honour, I'll try to complete the Guca Gora
10 questioning, perhaps ten minutes, if that's
11 satisfactory to the court.
12 Q. In discussing Guca Gora --
13 JUDGE JORDA: You have until 6.30.
14 MR. HAYMAN: Fine. Very well.
15 Q. In discussing Guca Gora, you talked about
16 Alagic and said Alagic was roughly of the same rank as
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. What was Alagic's area of responsibility?
20 A. As far as I know, his area of responsibility
21 was the whole Travnik area, including places like Guca
22 Gora, Novi Travnik, way uphill.
23 Q. Was he responsible for Zenica as well, or was
24 that the third corps' responsibility?
25 A. He was not responsibility for Zenica.
1Q. Indeed, Mr. Alagic was under the third corps;
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Whereas Colonel Blaskic, although he might
5 not have had the rank, he was responsible for the
6 entire terrain on paper at least, Lasva Valley,
7 Kiseljak Valley, and other areas; correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. You said that Alagic went with you to Guca
10 Gora, but Colonel Blaskic never went with you anywhere
11 to investigate allegations. Did you ever ask him to go
12 anywhere with you and investigate allegations?
13 A. I did not ask him personally, but then I
14 didn't ask Mr. Alagic to come. He offered himself.
15 Q. When you went to visit Alagic, would he
16 almost always offer you a drink, liquor, whiskey,
17 something like that? Is that a fair generalisation?
18 A. No, he hardly ever did. I recall only once
19 having a drink with him.
20 Q. Very well. With respect to the action in the
21 area of Guca Gora, what was the BiH army trying to
23 A. I think they launched an attack from the
24 northern area into the region of Guca Gora.
25 Q. They were trying to link Zenica and Travnik,
1were they not?
2 A. That's correct. They needed freedom of
3 movement. They needed the road under their control
4 from Travnik to Zenica.
5 Q. You have told us that the church at Guca Gora
6 was not touched in the course of that action; is that
8 A. That's correct. I visited that church myself
9 after the fighting passed from the north across Guca
10 Gora in a southern direction.
11 Q. And that neighbouring Croat communities, no
12 wanton destruction or attack on civilian structures by
13 the BiH army, or was there such conduct in the Guca Gora
14 region generally?
15 A. I did not see any proof of that during that
16 visit to Guca Gora, and an investigation was made the
17 day after by Philip Watkins, and there was a special
18 report made on that.
19 MR. HAYMAN: If Exhibit 296, which is a map,
20 could be placed on the ELMO, and Exhibit 414 be
21 provided to the witness, please?
22 Q. Now, you have before you on the ELMO, and you
23 should be able to see it on your video monitor, on
24 Exhibit 296, this is a map including the area of Zenica
25 and villages to the west and south-west of Zenica;
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Do you see, towards the middle upper portion
4 of the photograph, the village of Dolac, D-O-L-A-C; do
5 you see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Let me ask you to turn your attention on
8 Exhibit 414 to paragraph 1, "General Situation." This
9 is the second page, not the cover letter.
10 The next-to-last sentence, commencing with
11 the next-to-last sentence which reads: "UNPROFOR
12 further report the Croat village of Dolac as deserted
13 and over 100 houses burnt. The number has not been
14 confirmed by ECMM, although there is evidence of some
15 houses still burning."
16 Is that information -- and the date of this
17 is the 8th of June, 1993 -- when was your visit to Guca
19 A. Just a second. My visit was at the afternoon
20 of the 8th of June.
21 Q. So the same day that you visited Guca Gora,
22 UNPROFOR reported that there were 100 burnt houses in
23 Dolac and that the Croat population was absent. Would
24 you agree that's what Exhibit 414, paragraph 1
1A. It says so in the same report, but I'm not
2 sure whether we were aware of this fact when we visited
3 Guca Gora or whether we heard it at the evening
5 Q. I'll call your attention, in fairness you
6 don't need to see it, but it's Exhibit 415, paragraph
7 8, reflects that of those visited villages, the worst
8 is Dolac which has approximately 15 to 20 burnt houses,
9 and then lists burnt houses in smaller numbers in other
10 villages. This is dated 19 June, 1993, indicating that
11 about eleven days later, there was better information
12 that only 15 to 20 houses in Dolac had been burnt as
13 the BiH army advanced from Zenica towards Travnik.
14 Now let me ask you about the documents you
15 reviewed, beginning with Exhibit 415. Do you have 415?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In paragraph 5, it reflects that the number
18 of Croatian families to leave their homes in the
19 Travnik area varies from between 5.000 and 20.000. Is
20 that also the information you had on approximately the
21 8th of June, 1993?
22 A. We didn't have exact numbers or not even
23 estimations about the number of Croats. What we saw
24 was large groups of civilians carrying their -- I think
25 the belongings they could take, walking in a southern
1direction through Novi Bila in the direction of Vitez.
2 Q. Paragraph 8 of this exhibit reflects a
3 discussion of the allegation of desecration of churches
4 and states: "The church in Travnik has been badly
5 damaged internally with the organ and artifacts
6 smashed. The Guca Gora church was free of any damage
7 when initially visited but since has been extensively
8 damaged internally. The Dolac church was hit by a
9 single mortar round, but this is not assessed as a
10 deliberate attack."
11 Did you go back to the church at Guca Gora
12 and see in what ways it had been desecrated and
14 A. I did not myself. Mr. Philip Watkins and the
15 other monitor, Torbjorn Junhof they made the second
16 report, they made the investigations on allegations
17 that there was more damage than we saw in the first
19 Q. If Exhibit 416 could be provided to the
20 witness. This is called a "Call for help" from then
21 Colonel Blaskic.
22 First I'd like to direct your attention to
23 the original B/S/C version of this report, that's at
24 the back. Do you see that copy?
25 A. You mean this one?
1Q. Yes. In other words what we used to call
2 Serbo-Croat. Do you see a small stamp about two inches
3 down from the left-hand side of the document?
4 A. A small square stamp with the date on it?
5 Q. A small square stamp in a different type,
6 different type set, from the rest of the document. It
7 includes a large rectangle that is cut into certain
8 rows and so forth. Do you see that?
9 A. I see that.
10 Q. Now let's look at the English translation and
11 perhaps, unless everyone has a copy, we can put this on
12 the ELMO. I don't know, Mr. President, if I can
13 proceed without having it on the ELMO, if it is
14 confusing. Please interrupt me if it is confusing any
15 of Your Honours.
16 On the face page, and I will be working from
17 the English, do you see the translation of this stamp
18 indicating -- would you not agree -- that this document
19 was received in Kakanj on or about the 7th of May,
20 1993, and it's a received stamp of sorts. Do you see
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. What happened to the HVO in Kakanj; do you
25 A. I don't know. I'm not aware of that.
1Q. Do you know where this order came from? The
2 Prosecution provided it to the court. Do you know
3 where they got it?
4 A. Well, it was addressed to the European
5 observer mission so ...
6 Q. Yes, but this copy that they have is stamped
7 received HVO brigade, the Kostromanac (phoen) brigade
8 in Kakanj. How did they get that copy, if you know?
9 A. I don't know. We were able to go to
10 Kakanj -- I didn't receive it myself, but we were more
11 or less free to move in certain areas so ...
12 Q. The BiH army attacked the HVO in Kakanj and
13 drove them out during your tour of duty, did they not?
14 A. I was not working in that area, so I'm not
15 aware of it. I know that there was fighting, of
16 course, but I'm not familiar with the exact order of
17 fighting and what happened exactly in that area.
18 Q. Would you agree that if there was such an
19 attack on or about the 12th of June, 1993, and 5.000
20 Croats fled Kakanj, those who did not fled (sic) were
21 imprisoned in a camp, that that's the kind of
22 information --
23 MR. HARMON: Objection, Mr. President. The
24 witness has testified he does not know about Kakanj, so
25 this question calls for speculation.
1MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, the witness has
2 criticised the "Call for Help," which is Exhibit 416,
3 and authored by my client. I'm asking him if that kind
4 of information would affect the thinking and the
5 psychology of anyone responsible in the area.
6 JUDGE JORDA: I'm not at all criticising what
7 you have said, Mr. Hayman, I understand the objection
8 of the Prosecutor as well, but I'm not criticising your
9 question, I simply wish or think that perhaps you
10 should rephrase it calmly, try to rephrase it, rephrase
11 your question, very quickly and with conviction and
12 firmly, and this is -- should be done so that the
13 witness has some time because I believe you spoke about
14 the attack in June 1996 or in May 1996, and -- 1993,
15 correction, 1993, and so if you could ask your
16 questions -- I'm not criticising the way you're asking
17 questions but I see you're asking vehemently and very
18 strongly, but could you please try to ask your
19 questions calmly and quietly, because here it is very
20 difficult for us three to understand exactly what
21 you're looking for. Please rephrase your question.
22 MR. HARMON: I would also object to the
23 question because Mr. Hayman is asking about events that
24 he says took place on the 12th of June, 1993, which is
25 five weeks after the call for help was issued.
1JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, I don't see how I
2 could accept your objections. Well, I am in the
3 process of asking Mr. Hayman to rephrase his question
4 to see whether or not his newly rephrased question is
5 acceptable or not. I see we're almost at the break
6 now -- Mr. Hayman, would you please rephrase your
7 question but please be careful because it seems we're
8 dealing with events in June or in May, so what exactly
9 is your question?
10 MR. HAYMAN: I'll rephrase it, Mr. President,
11 and I'll hold the issue of Kakanj for Exhibit 417 which
12 is dated the 14th of June and specifically references
13 10 to 15.000 Croats exiled from Kakanj.
14 Q. Staying with Exhibit 416, it says, in the
15 first paragraph that,"Colonel Blaskic feels the need
16 and responsibility to inform you once again about the
17 difficult position of the Croats in Zenica who have
18 been living in total isolation for quite some time."
19 Would you agree with that statement, that the
20 Croats in Zenica at that time, 4th of May, 1993, had
21 been cut off and were living in Zenica, isolated from
22 other communities of Croats?
23 A. I think that's correct, they were isolated
24 from other communities, but since the priest was free
25 to move and to visit his parish, I think it's a
1different kind of isolation. They were not free to go
2 to places outside Zenica, I think, but ...
3 Q. Do you think it's a fair statement, Colonel?
4 A. I don't think they live in total isolation.
5 As I experience an expression like that, "total
6 isolation" is more than just having to stick to your
7 own town because they were able to shop, they were able
8 to move from one house to another, they were able to go
9 to the church, to visit their priest or the priest was
10 able to visit his parish in Zenica. Of course, they
11 were not totally free, but they were also not totally
12 isolated, I think.
13 Q. It says on the next page, the letter states
14 that by blocking and isolating the Croats of Zenica,
15 the food supply for the 4,500 Croats of the Zepce and
16 Usora region have also been blocked. Was that true, or
17 do you not know?
18 A. I'm not aware of the food situation in
19 Zepce. I know that there were problems to reach Zepce,
20 but there was a mixed population north of Zenica, so
21 they had to -- they had food problems for everybody, if
22 there were any food problems, and if they wished to get
23 transport through, then they had to bring transport
24 through for both groups of civilians.
25 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, this would be a
1convenient breaking point.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I think we should stop
3 now. We've asked a great deal of the interpreters and
4 everyone is tired. We've also asked a great deal of
5 the witness. I'd like to remind you we only have
6 tomorrow morning in session so the witness will return
7 tomorrow, I'm sorry, but we will have to resume
8 tomorrow. I believe you're going to be finishing your
9 cross-examination tomorrow, Mr. Hayman?
10 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, I will be able to finish it
11 by the conclusion of tomorrow's session.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Because I don't
13 think perhaps it will be necessary to call another
14 witness tomorrow, but that's up to you to decide,
15 Mr. Harmon. You know my ways and the ways of this
16 Chamber, so then we will all meet tomorrow morning at
17 9.45. We are adjourned.
18 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
19 6.32 p.m., to be reconvened on
20 Friday, the 3rd day of July, 1998,
21 at 9.45 a.m.