1 Friday, 3rd July, 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.56 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: And also bring in the witness
8 at the same time. I would like to also say hello to
9 everyone. Good morning to the interpreters.
10 (The witness entered)
11 JUDGE JORDA: If everyone can hear me, if
12 everything is functioning properly, then we will
13 continue with the cross-examination of
14 Lieutenant-Colonel. Lieutenant-Colonel, do you hear
16 THE WITNESS: Yes.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Are you rested?
18 THE WITNESS: I'm rested, yes.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Do you feel well? You are in
20 your own country, so everything should be okay.
21 Let us resume then. Mr. Hayman?
22 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. Good
23 morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
25 WITNESS: HENDRIK MORSINK (continued)
1Cross-examined by Mr. Hayman:
2 Q. Let us continue yesterday where we broke with
3 Exhibit 416 which is the document titled "Call for
4 Help" dated 4th of May, 1993, and authored by then
5 Colonel Blaskic. If that could be provided to the
6 witness in case he needs to refer to it?
7 In looking at the document, I didn't find
8 anything that suggested in it that Croats in Zenica
9 should flee or evacuate. Do you have a contrary
10 understanding of the contents of the document?
11 A. I see no order for Croats to flee, but then
12 the title on top is a "Call for Help," not a call for
14 Q. So it was a call for assistance from the
15 International Community in protecting Croats who were
16 isolated to a greater or lesser extent in Zenica; is
17 that fair?
18 A. It's addressed to the U.N. High Commission of
19 Refugees, and they are the organisation -- if any
20 request is made, it should be made to this
22 Q. And is the request fairly characterised as a
23 call for help to protect the Croat civilians remaining
24 in Zenica?
25 A. I think the UNHCR is not the organisation to
1protect people, they are the organisation to provide
2 help, to check on any threats made to certain
4 Q. Well, it's also addressed to the ECMM, the
5 United Nations, and so forth.
6 A. That's right. But as I recall it, the
7 mandate for the U.N. organisations at that time were
8 only to provide security for UNHCR, and they did not
9 have the clear mandate to provide security for any
10 group of population at all.
11 Q. And was that a source of frustration for both
12 of the warring parties at times?
13 A. As I recall it, both parties tried to get
14 assistance from UNPROFOR and from other organisations.
15 Q. Would you agree that the gist of this
16 document is a request for help to protect Croats
17 remaining in Zenica?
18 A. I agree that this document is a request for
19 help, but the facts listed in this document were not
20 correct or at least not found to be true by us.
21 Q. Well, let's go back to the facts in the
22 document. The document states in paragraph 1: "The
23 difficult position of Croats in Zenica who have been
24 living in total isolation for some time."
25 Had the Croats in Zenica been cut off and
1isolated for some time as of the 4th of May, 1993?
2 MR. HARMON: Objection, Mr. President. That
3 question was asked yesterday and answered yesterday.
4 JUDGE JORDA: I do not remember, really, very
5 well. Perhaps I will call upon your memory, but if it
6 has been stated that you have asked this question
7 yesterday, then please go on to another question.
8 Thank you, Judge Riad, for reminding me.
9 MR. HAYMAN: I will go forward,
10 Mr. President. We only have limited time this morning,
11 I know.
12 If Exhibit 417 could be put before the
14 Q. There's a redaction in the upper right-hand
15 corner of the document. Do you know what's been
17 A. I tried to find the redaction on my own
18 original, and I think it says Mr. Philip Morillon.
19 Q. Do you know who redacted that or marked on
20 that portion of the document?
21 A. I don't know. I got this as a copy from
22 the -- I think from the ECMM headquarters in Zenica.
23 Q. Now, this document was not addressed to the
24 news media; is that correct?
25 A. As far as I can tell from the distribution
1list, the news media are not on this list.
2 Q. So it went to international organisations?
3 A. That's correct, but I cannot tell whether it
4 was distributed to anybody else.
5 Q. On its face, it went only to international
6 organisations; correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. So when you described Exhibit 417 as
9 propaganda, did you mean that Colonel Blaskic was
10 trying to influence the views of international
11 organisations present in Central Bosnia with respect to
12 the plight of Croat people in Central Bosnia?
13 A. According to my opinion, he is exaggerating
14 the facts and he is trying to influence the
15 international organisations that were working in that
16 area at that time.
17 Q. And with respect to this document, the
18 reference to Kakanj, tell the court if Colonel Blaskic
19 is exaggerating in this document events in Kakanj.
20 What did happen in Kakanj on or about the 12th of June,
22 A. As I told you yesterday, I'm not fully aware
23 of the events that happened in Kakanj since I left the
24 scene at the 10th or 11th of June for a small vacation
25 at the coast, and I came back in the area on the 16th
1or the 17th.
2 Q. Do you think this document is an attempt to
3 encourage Croat people in Vares -- excuse me, in
4 Kakanj, to flee, or have they already fled Kakanj as of
5 the 14th of June, 1993?
6 MR. HARMON: Objection, Mr. President. The
7 witness testified he did not and was not familiar with
8 the events in Kakanj.
9 MR. HAYMAN: I asked him concerning --
10 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, objection sustained. The
11 witness did indeed answer you. He said very honestly
12 that he did not have any details about the events in
13 Kakanj. Please go on to the next question.
14 MR. HAYMAN:
15 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, you have characterised
16 this document as propaganda. Do you think this
17 document was an attempt to encourage Croats to flee
18 Kakanj? I'm not asking you about events in Kakanj.
19 I'm asking you about the document. Was it an attempt
20 by Colonel Blaskic to get Croats to flee Kakanj?
21 A. I'm still not sure about fleeing from Kakanj,
22 but I know that this fits into a pattern of
23 exaggeration and a pattern of propaganda used by the
24 HVO day after day. They sent a lot of messages like
25 this to us ECMM, we used to discuss these messages in
1the evening meetings, and the general opinion of
2 Mr. Thebault and also my opinion was that grave
3 exaggeration was used as a propaganda to put influence
4 on certain groups of Croats.
5 Q. What group of Croats were the target, the
6 influence, the group that was targeted for influence by
7 Exhibit 417?
8 A. As I read it, the number of Croats are
9 referred to as people from Kakanj.
10 Q. So your testimony is this was an attempt to
11 influence Croats in Kakanj; is that right?
12 MR. HARMON: Objection, Mr. President. He
13 did not testify to that.
14 MR. HAYMAN: It's a question.
15 A. As I told you before, I am not familiar with
16 the situation at Kakanj --
17 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, please try to respond to
18 the question.
19 A. I have read this article, this paper, this
20 document as one document in a line of attempts to
21 influence us as international organisations and to
22 influence Croat people to come to certain Croat-held
24 Q. Tell us, of the Croats in Central Bosnia who
25 had to leave their homes, how many stayed in Central
1Bosnia and how many left Bosnia altogether? Can you
2 tell us that?
3 A. I don't know the exact numbers. I know that
4 from certain areas around Zenica, in the beginning of
5 my tour of duty, people fled to Grahovcici as I
6 testified yesterday. A part of this group was brought
7 back, the thing that we arranged. Later on, quite a
8 large group fled from the area of Guca Gora in the
9 direction of Novi Bila. I know of situations where a
10 lot of Croats fled from the Travnik area and went to
11 the Serb side, and after long travel, they came to
12 another Croat-controlled or HVO-controlled area, and I
13 was told by my own monitor that in the area of
14 Kiseljak, a similar thing was prepared, that people
15 from Kiseljak -- my own interpreter was a Croat girl
16 living in the Kiseljak area. She and her family and
17 other Croats had to be prepared to go to Ilidza, and as
18 far as I know, Ilidza is a town in the centre of
19 Sarajevo and was held by the Bosnian-Serb army. This
20 all fits into a certain pattern that Croats either have
21 to come to the HVO-controlled area or try to flee
22 through Serb-held territory to another HVO-held
24 Q. We'll come back to this. But you said that
25 your interpreter lived in the Kiseljak pocket or her
1family was there, and that there was an evacuation plan
2 for Croats in the Kiseljak pocket in case it fell to
3 the BiH army; is that right?
4 A. That's not what I said. Not in case it
5 fell. She was told or her family was told by the Croat
6 leaders, by the HVO leaders, to be prepared to evacuate
7 to Ilidza.
8 Q. To be prepared to evacuate the Kiseljak
9 pocket to a location closer to Sarajevo outside of the
10 pocket if necessary; is that right?
11 A. I think they should be prepared if necessary,
12 yes, but I'm not aware of any threat on the Kiseljak
14 Q. Well, obviously someone viewed the Kiseljak
15 pocket as threatened or else there wouldn't have been
16 an evacuation plan; correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Now, coming back to my earlier question. If
19 you don't know, that's fine. Just tell us. But do you
20 know: Did 185.000 Croats or more leave Bosnia, not for
21 other HVO-held territories but for Croatia and the west
22 as a result of the conflict?
23 A. I'm not aware of that number.
24 Q. Thank you. If Exhibit 418 could be put
25 before the witness? This is the Mate Boban letter of
122 June, 1993, that you have characterised in the same
2 vein, I believe, as Exhibits 416 and 417. Was this
3 document on its face directed to the news media?
4 A. I cannot tell that from the face. On its
5 face, it's directed to General Philip Morillon,
6 UNPROFOR commander.
7 Q. Now, tell us again how this came to you in
8 the summer of 1993.
9 A. Like I told you yesterday, I'm not sure
10 whether I saw this one -- this document --
11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, perhaps you should
12 avoid having the witness repeat himself, if you wish to
13 gain some time.
14 MR. HAYMAN: That's fine, Mr. President. He
15 said he wasn't sure. Yesterday I thought he said he
16 saw it when he was an EC monitor in Central Bosnia,
17 which I didn't understand how he would see General
18 Morillon's personal correspondence at the time. He
19 appears to be retracting from that statement, but I
20 will --
21 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I withdraw my own
22 observation. This is in your interests, it is only in
23 your interests that I make that comment. That's all.
24 Please go ahead.
25 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
1Q. Do you know whether you saw this as an
2 EC monitor or not?
3 A. No, there was a mix-up in numbers yesterday
4 afternoon, and I referred to this one since I had it on
5 my desk yesterday-- I'm not sure whether I saw this one
6 in Bosnia or later on.
7 Q. When you say "later on," in preparing for
8 your testimony in the past few days?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Did this document, on its face, is it copied
11 to General Blaskic or the HVO authorities, the military
13 A. I cannot tell from the heading.
14 Q. It's not reflected on the heading that it
16 A. It's not reflected on the heading.
17 Q. The document on page 1 references a number of
18 places, including Fojnica, that's about ten lines down
19 under "Dear Sir." Do you know what happened to the
20 Croat population of Fojnica?
21 A. I visited Fojnica once, and that was in the
22 end of May or the beginning of June, and there was
23 nothing wrong in Fojnica. The army of BiH and the HVO
24 were cooperative in that area by that time.
25 Q. There were joint civil authority structures
1in Fojnica, as you recall?
2 A. I only checked on the military structures,
3 and they were joint military structures by that time.
4 Q. Do you know what happened in Fojnica in July
6 A. I read about it in the newspapers, but I
7 wasn't there at that time. I think I left Bosnia
9 Q. And did you read that two days after General
10 Morillon visited and proclaimed Fojnica a bright spot
11 in an otherwise despairing situation, the BiH army
12 attacked the Croats in Fojnica and drove them out and
13 indeed they withdrew, causing a mass exodus of more
14 than 5.000 Croats from Fojnica? Is that in substance
15 what you read?
16 A. The only thing I recall from reading the
17 newspapers, the Dutch newspapers, was that the Dutch
18 battalion gave assistance to a mental hospital and a
19 kind of orphanage in Fojnica.
20 Q. You don't remember anything else?
21 A. That's what I remember from the newspaper
23 Q. The same page implores General Morillon with
24 respect to number of places, including Bugojno, asking
25 that the same not happen there. What happened to the
1Croat population in Bugojno, do you know?
2 A. It was not in my area of operations, it was
3 in the same area of the British battalion, so I heard
4 some things about what happened in Bugojno, but it was
5 not my operation, and I did not visit Bugojno.
6 Q. Prior to your tour, were you briefed on
7 events in the village of Dusina in the Zenica
9 A. No, I never heard that name before.
10 Q. Have you heard of the village Lasva in the
11 Zenica municipality?
12 A. I heard of a river called Lasva but not a
13 village called Lasva.
14 Q. What about the village called Miletici?
15 A. Yes, I heard some allegations on a village
16 called Miletici.
17 Q. Did you visit this spot?
18 A. I did not visit it myself, but I know the
19 allegations and I know that investigations have been
20 done and that some of the allegations, as I recall it,
21 a number of -- five or ten Croats have been killed in
22 Miletici, allegedly by Muslim -- by the 7th Muslim
24 Q. This Boban letter references in the second
25 paragraph promises made in a meeting held on June 10 in
1Medugorje. Do you know about that meeting, about any
2 promises made in that meeting by General Morillon?
3 A. I know the meeting taking place. I am not
4 fully aware of the contents, I am not fully aware of
5 the agreements made in Medugorje, because that was the
6 beginning of my small vacation period.
7 Q. Thank you. Now let's turn to the issue of
8 the responses to allegations of misconduct by the BiH
9 army on the one hand and the HVO on the other.
10 Would you agree that you did not have
11 sufficient contact with either Colonel Blaskic or his
12 counterpart General Hadzihasanovic in Zenica in order
13 to judge their personal responses when news of
14 improprieties or misconduct reached them?
15 A. Well, I had daily contacts with his
16 representatives, so if they had thought it would be
17 necessary for Mr. Blaskic to come with us, I think they
18 would have advised him so.
19 Q. My question was: Do you believe you have a
20 basis to compare the personal responses of Colonel
21 Blaskic with the personal responses of General
22 Hadzihasanovic with respect to the issue of
23 improprieties, crimes, and misconduct. If you do,
24 please state, if not, please state?
25 A. I never met General Hadzihasanovic myself, I
1met Mr. Blaskic several times.
2 Q. Well, General Hadzihasanovic had a staff, did
3 he not?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did you meet them on a regular basis?
6 A. I met Mr. Merdan every day, almost every day.
7 Q. And Mr. Alagic, you spent time with
8 Mr. Alagic, he reported to General Hadzihasanovic;
10 A. I think he did. I'm not sure.
11 Q. So are you saying that you can judge General
12 Blaskic's responses to these types of issues -- excuse
13 me, the then Colonel Blaskic -- but not General
14 Hadzihasanovic, or do you have, in essence, an equal
15 basis for judging both?
16 A. Well, as I told you, I never met
17 Mr. Hadzihasanovic. It's hard to judge about his
18 reactions. I met Colonel Blaskic several times, and I
19 am sure that the things I reported during all the
20 meetings were -- or at least could have been reported
21 to Mr. Blaskic, and there were no reactions from the
22 HVO side. The other thing is that we did not ask
23 Mr. Alagic to come with us, he offered it himself, so
24 it was his gesture.
25 Q. Let's talk about General Alagic's grand
1gesture regarding Guca Gora. You have testified that
2 after you visited Guca Gora, the monastery was wrecked
3 and desecrated, correct, in Guca Gora?
4 A. Weeks after we first visited the church of
5 Guca Gora, it was checked again, and then damage was
7 Q. Did you talk to Alagic or anyone else in the
8 BiH army then about this issue?
9 A. Yes, we did.
10 Q. And what did they say?
11 A. They showed that they were humiliated by
12 that, and Alagic ordered -- or gave orders to BiH
13 soldiers to clear up the mess.
14 Q. And was anyone ever found responsible for the
15 desecration and the destruction of the inside of
16 the monastery?
17 A. I have no signs that anybody was punished for
19 Q. Did you ever get a report from the BiH army or
20 Mr. Alagic concerning his investigation?
21 A. I did not get a report.
22 Q. When he told you it would be taken care of,
23 did you trust him in that regard?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Let me read to you a portion of a report from
1the council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, dated 31
2 August, 1994, and ask you if you agree with it?
3 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Mr. President. It
4 would be helpful to the Prosecutor if we could have a
5 copy of the same report that Counsel's reading from so
6 we could take the statement that he's going to read to
7 the witness, put it in proper context.
8 JUDGE JORDA: I think Mr. Hayman will give
9 you a copy because even the Judges don't have one, so I
10 assume that we're going to have something like this
11 before you tender it; is that right, Mr. Hayman?
12 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, I'm not showing
13 him the document. I'm going to ask him if he agrees
14 with the statement. I'm going to read the entirety of
15 the paragraph that begins "Guca Gora," it's a publicly
16 available document, I don't have any copies. If the
17 witness and the Prosecutor would like to look at it
18 during the next break, he's free to.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Well, I think that's what we'll
20 do. Maybe during the break, you can make some
21 photocopies of that page, perhaps, if that's possible.
22 MR. HAYMAN: I'll make it available for
23 photocopies to be made, certainly.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Registrar, during the
25 break, will a copy please be given to the Judges. Do
1you intend to tender it as evidence, Mr. Hayman?
2 MR. HAYMAN: It depends on whether the
3 witness agrees with the statement.
4 JUDGE JORDA: I see. Very well. Then please
5 read it slowly so that the witness will not be caught
6 off guard. Thank you. Please go ahead.
7 MR. HAYMAN:
8 "Guca Gora: The civil and military BiH
9 authorities in Travnik permitted the consultant to
10 visit this site. The village, which contained many
11 traditional farmhouses and buildings, was taken from
12 the HVO, perhaps by Mujahedin soldiers, and it was
13 ethnically cleansed of Croats with a lot of burning.
14 Two weeks later, the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 occupied the Franciscan monastery, which it still
17 Q. My question for you, Lieutenant-Colonel: Did
18 General Alagic ever tell you that the monastery in Guca
19 Gora became the BiH army headquarters in Guca Gora?
20 A. No, he did not tell me because I think it was
21 not the fact when I was there in that period. I
22 visited this monastery several times, and when I viewed
23 it, it was not used as a BiH headquarters. And the
24 other sentence about Mujahedin attacking and a lot of
25 houses burning, that was not the case when I was there.
1Q. So when you left the theatre in July, the BiH
2 army was not utilising the monastery?
3 A. Not as far as I know. I did not visit Guca
4 Gora the day when I left. I went several times.
5 Q. When is the last time you visited?
6 A. I'm not sure. I think the end of June. I'm
7 not sure about the date. The end of June.
8 Q. You said that HVO authorities weren't
9 responsive to allegations of improprieties and
10 frequently attributed them to uncontrolled elements; is
11 that right?
12 A. That's right.
13 MR. HAYMAN: Let me ask that a Prosecution
14 Exhibit be put before you, 242, and that you be
15 assisted in finding page D1 of Exhibit 242.
16 242, Mr. President, is an exhibit prepared by
17 the ECMM, it's a report on inter-ethnic violence in
18 Vitez, Busovaca, and Zenica, April 1993, and page D2
19 are the notes of the ECMM concerning an interview with
20 General Hadzihasanovic, commander 3rd Corps, BiH army,
21 held on 7 May, 1993.
22 Q. If you could find page D1?
23 A. I've got that page in front of me.
24 Q. Very well. The top of the notes indicate
25 that the issue of hostages, which is an apparent
1reference to the kidnapping of commander Todic and
2 other HVO officers in mid April 1993, was an issue
3 raised with General Hadzihasanovic. And then if you
4 look at the last two paragraphs of the notes, they read
5 as follows, and this is attributed to General
6 Hadzihasanovic: "It was best to go slowly. He wanted
7 to have 7 Muslim brigade under control rather than
8 not. The Mujahedin are not under control. There are
9 many elements who are not controlled. He recommended I
10 should meet one of his staff in the morning to go into
12 Now, is it your testimony you heard this type
13 of representation from officers within the BiH army or
14 you did not?
15 A. I'm aware of the fact that when I arrived in
16 theatre, the 7th Muslim brigade was not under control
17 of the 3rd Corps army of BiH. Mr. Merdan told us
18 several times. He also told us that he was desperately
19 trying to get them under control, and he told us that
20 he had achieved to do so -- I'm not sure when it was,
21 but the end of May or the beginning of June, he said as
22 of that moment, the 7th Muslim brigade was under his
24 Q. Is that before or after the Guca Gora mosque
25 (sic) was desecrated and destroyed by the 7th Muslim
2 A. The Guca Gora monastery was not devastated it
3 was not destroyed. The 7th Muslim brigade came under
4 their control a few days after the exchange of
5 Mujahedin prisoners from Kaonik prison, and the Croat
6 colonels and some other Croat officers. I'm not sure
7 when that was. I can look it up in my notes.
8 Q. It's in May, middle of May, something like
10 A. So at the end of May then, they came under
12 Q. You said in your direct testimony that
13 Mr. Nakic and Mr. Merdan's orders were obeyed. Are you
14 qualifying that earlier testimony by saying now to the
15 Court that prior to the end of May, the BiH army and
16 General Merdan did not have control over the 7th Muslim
17 brigade and his orders would not have been obeyed and
18 respected by the 7th Muslim brigade?
19 A. Well, according to my opinion, in the Dutch
20 army, you cannot give orders to units that are not
21 under your command. So it's not a matter of disobeying
22 orders, they were just not under the command of third
23 Muslim -- of the third BiH army.
24 Q. So General Merdan told you that he wasn't
25 attempting to give orders to the 7th Muslim brigade
1because he felt he could not control them; is that
3 A. He told me that he was attempting to get them
4 under his control.
5 Q. And how do you do that if you don't attempt
6 to give direction, including orders, to a unit?
7 A. I'm not sure whether they were in his order
8 of combat, I mean, in the hierarchy of the 3rd corps,
9 or maybe they changed a commander or punished somebody,
10 I'm not sure about that, but the fact is that after the
11 exchange of prisoners, this Muslim brigade was reported
12 to us as being under control.
13 Q. At the end of May?
14 A. At the end of May.
15 Q. You discussed the relative levels of
16 destruction to Muslim religious sites and Catholic
17 religious sites in Central Bosnia. Have you undertaken
18 a study of that question or is your testimony anecdotal
19 in nature?
20 A. I did not make a special study on that
21 subject myself. I think I can state this opinion by
22 everything I saw in theatre, and I can state it by the
23 discussions we had at ECMM and BRITBAT headquarters.
24 Q. Let me just test the breadth of your
25 experience by mentioning a few locations and ask you if
1you ever visited them or heard of them. The monastery
2 in Doboj (phoen) Travnik municipality?
3 A. I'm not aware of Doboj in Travnik.
4 Q. The church in Cep near Kacuni?
5 A. I visited the church in Cep near Kacuni, and
6 I did it together with the priest from Busovaca, we
7 escorted him, and there the priest showed us that some
8 of the sacred Catholic things, like the box where they
9 keep the sacramental wafers, this box was forcefully
10 opened, and the sacramental wafers were thrown on the
11 ground. That is felt as a desecration of holy Catholic
12 objects, and we cleared up the mess together with this
13 party that visited the church. The church itself was
14 not damaged.
15 Q. Was it later damaged much more severely, or
16 do you not know?
17 A. Not during the period I visited that area
18 because I used to drive along that church when I had to
19 go to the Kiseljak area.
20 Q. Did you know the church in Proseje was
22 A. Can you tell me where that is, this town.
23 Q. In the Busovaca municipality.
24 A. It would help me if I can see it on the map,
25 because I'm familiar with most names in the area where
1I worked, but --
2 Q. We'll find it --
3 A. Normally I use a map.
4 Q. We'll find it on a map during the next
5 break. The church in Borovici near Vares?
6 A. I never visited that church in Vares.
7 Q. The monastery in Klarisa (phoen) near
8 Brestovsko (phoen)?
9 A. I never was in Brestovsko.
10 Q. You said in Grahovcici, the 2nd corps allowed
11 a meeting and that was indicative of their positive
12 attitude. Could you explain that comment? I didn't
13 understand it?
14 A. I'm not sure whether I said the 2nd corps
15 because it doesn't sound familiar to me, I don't think
16 there was a 2nd corps there.
17 Q. I didn't think so either. The BiH army then.
18 You said some kind of a meeting was allowed in
19 Grahovcici, and that was indicative of a positive BiH
20 army attitude. Can you add to that comment?
21 A. I think you are referring to my visit at
22 Grahovcici at the beginning of -- no, at the end of
23 April when I assisted Father Stjepan in investigating
24 in the area and in convincing the Croats that it was
25 safe for them to go back to their own houses. This
1assistance made by the 3rd corps was in that way that
2 they allowed us to pass checkpoints to allow us to
3 cross the frontlines and to go into HVO-held
4 territory. And later on, in the second phase of our
5 operation, they assisted us with providing buses, in
6 the beginning they provided an ambulance but took it
7 back later on because Zenica was under artillery
8 attack, and they provided military police escorts as
9 far as the latest BiH checkpoint.
10 Q. Thank you for explaining your earlier
11 comment. You described being blocked at an HVO
12 checkpoint trying to evacuate wounded from Travnik on a
13 particular occasion. Do you recall that?
14 A. That's correct. I recall that.
15 Q. Okay. Let me ask you about that. Did you
16 have permission from the 3rd corps and the HVO
17 operative zone for that evacuation and nonetheless you
18 were stopped?
19 A. That's correct. This was an evacuation
20 prepared during one of the meetings, during one of the
21 local commission meetings were brigade commanders
22 usually were present, and they assured us that we could
23 take a number of wounded people from the Travnik
24 hospital, and this was a mixed number of people, so
25 civilians and soldiers, Croat soldiers and Muslim
1soldiers, Croat civilians, Muslim civilians, women and
2 children, a number of 18 altogether. We prepared this
3 very thoroughly with help of Dr. Mirsad Granov, they
4 selected the most severely wounded people for us, and
5 everybody agreed in passing the checkpoint, everybody
6 agreed in us evacuating these wounded people to Zenica
7 hospital where they could get better treatment.
8 Q. And yet either the order didn't get passed
9 down to the checkpoint or the soldiers at the
10 checkpoint didn't obey that order; is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Am I correct in concluding that during your
13 tour of duty, you did not receive any reports of
14 investigations into atrocities or misconduct from
15 either army, BiH army or HVO?
16 A. Most of the allegations of atrocities were
17 from the BiH side in the direction of the Croats. We
18 did a lot of investigations ourselves, and we asked
19 both sides to do their investigations from their side,
20 and we did not get results from -- on that request. If
21 I compare them, I think we did at least ten times more
22 requests through the HVO side than to the other side.
23 Q. So I take it your answer is yes, you did not
24 receive any reports of investigations from --
25 A. We did not receive any reports.
1Q. Would that be normal, that an army would not
2 give out internal reports of investigations to outside
3 parties, such as internal (sic) organisations? Would
4 the Dutch army do that as a matter of course, give out
5 internal investigative reports?
6 A. Depends on what it is. If there is a normal
7 military operation, you wouldn't report on that
8 operation to foreigners, to outsiders, but if there's
9 an incident like a truck bomb, then I would be very
10 keen on investigating that and reporting to anybody who
11 would like to know it. Because reporting is the only
12 chance to get the burden off your back.
13 Q. Now, ECMM did an investigation into the
14 shelling of Zenica on the 19th of April; is that
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. And that was a written report? Was it a
18 written report --
19 A. It's a report made by Mr. Lars Baggesen, one
20 of my colleague monitors, and an investigation into the
21 shelling was done during the period I was in Vitez or
22 the ECMM house in BRITBAT.
23 Q. Do you know whether that report was made
24 available to Colonel Blaskic?
25 A. I'm not sure whether it was made available,
1but all the findings of the ECMM were usually discussed
2 during the joint operation command meetings or during
3 the old Busovaca Joint Commission meetings.
4 Q. You have no knowledge that the report was
5 made available; is that correct?
6 A. I personally have no knowledge of that.
7 Q. How many times was Zenica shelled during your
8 ten- or eleven-week tour of duty?
9 A. It was shelled very often.
10 Q. You also said that you were denied entry into
11 Gomionica in the Kiseljak municipality?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. Prior to going, and while I'm asking this,
14 could Exhibit 93 be retrieved? Prior to going, do you
15 have approval from the HVO operative zone to go into
16 the Kiseljak municipality?
17 A. That's correct. Prior to going, we went to
18 the Kiseljak headquarters, we met Mr. Bradara there, we
19 told him that we would go to Rotilj to investigate on
20 allegations, and that after that, we would go to
21 Gomionica, and he told us that he agreed on that and he
22 would prepare safe passage for us.
23 Q. Yet you went to Gomionica and you were
24 stopped by a squad of HVO soldiers; correct?
25 A. That's correct. We were stopped by a single
2 Q. And did he tell you that his commander Ivica
3 Rajic (phoen) had given orders to stop all UN, UNHCR,
4 and ECMM vehicles? If you need to refresh your
5 recollection, that statement is in the middle of your
6 report which is Exhibit 93, about the eighth or ninth
7 line down.
8 A. That's correct. That's what I reported in my
9 special report of that day.
10 Q. Now, elsewhere in your statement to the
11 Prosecutor's Office, you identified Mijo Bozic as the
12 brigade commander in Kiseljak, is that correct, Mijo
14 A. I don't recall that I used his name before.
15 Q. Who was the brigade commander in Kiseljak
16 during your tour of duty?
17 A. Well, in the beginning it was Mr. Rajic, but
18 he was told (sic) to be killed at the frontlines, and
19 later Mr. Bradara introduced himself as being the
20 brigade commander.
21 Q. Was this incident -- I'm sorry. The dates on
22 your reports are somewhat difficult for civilians to
23 comprehend. Can you help me? What was the date of
24 your visit?
25 A. I have to look it up in my book, but the date
1when this report was sent was the 27th of April.
2 Q. Thank you. As of the 27th of April, had
3 Mr. Rajic been killed on the front-line yet, or was he
4 still in command?
5 A. I'm not sure. I have to look it up. But I
6 think when I reported in this way, then that's what the
7 soldier at the front-line told me, that his commander,
8 Rajic, apparently was still alive.
9 Q. And your understanding was if Rajic was alive
10 and was his commander, he would have been the brigade
12 A. That's correct, he would have been the
13 brigade commander. But if his deputy or his second in
14 command or the one who introduced himself as the actual
15 brigade commander tells us that we can go anywhere we
16 like and that it's free for us to investigate in Rotilj
17 and in Gromiljak, then I think there's good grounds for
18 us to believe it.
19 Q. And it tells you, does it not, that something
20 is wrong, when you go to the brigade headquarters, they
21 tell you you have permission to go, and yet when you go
22 to the village, a soldier blocks you and says someone
23 else gave him an order to block you?
24 A. That's right, but that's an excuse often used
25 by soldiers, that somebody else told him not to let us
2 Q. So what do you think? Do you think this was
3 a deception by Mr. Bradara or what? What are you
4 telling this Court? Or do you know?
5 A. I don't know. Maybe it's a miscommunication,
6 maybe it's a deception. I cannot tell.
7 Q. So on this particular day, the HVO wasn't so
8 well-organised and well-functioning; is that fair?
9 A. That might be true. I cannot say from the
10 facts. The only thing I can say is that we were
11 stopped there and that one of the top level officers in
12 the headquarters of Kiseljak, HVO Kiseljak, told us
13 that we were free to go.
14 Q. Yes. You've said that. Thank you.
15 Let's turn to the subject of interference
16 with aid. You saw the Convoy of Joy interfered with.
17 Where did you see the Convoy of Joy?
18 A. I saw the Convoy of Joy heading for the
19 coast, hundreds of trucks, and I saw it coming back. I
20 didn't see the interference myself, but I saw the
21 results of it. And the results were that in the area
22 of Novi Travnik and -- a lot of trucks were damaged,
23 that some trucks were held in HVO-held territory, that
24 some trucks were looted, some other trucks were hidden
25 behind a church in Rankovici, and we spoke to the
1priest about those trucks hidden behind the Catholic
2 church, and he told us that these trucks were meant to
3 go to the area north in Bosnia, and that he saved those
4 trucks from the looting.
5 There were clear signs of robbed trucks, all
6 kinds of things, clothing and pieces of food lying on
7 the ground. Later on we found trucks in Busovaca, we
8 found four drivers belonging to the Convoy of Joy in
9 Busovaca. They stated that they didn't dare to go on
10 anymore, and that they lost their trucks and their
12 I wrote in my diary that we did not believe
13 them at that time because we thought they had sold
14 their goods in Croat-held territory. That's what I
15 know about the Convoy of Joy.
16 Q. Thank you. Actually, my question was: Where
17 did you see it? And we will be able to conclude this
18 morning if you focus on my question. On redirect, you
19 can give any additional details that the Prosecutor
21 I take it you didn't see it until after it
22 was broken up, and then you saw some trucks in
23 different places; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. Do you know on whose orders or direction the
1Convoy of Joy was commandeered?
2 A. The Convoy of Joy was arranged by, as far as
3 I know it, by the joint command in Travnik, they had a
4 special officer to arrange this Convoy of Joy, a
5 Colonel Siber, and they asked for support several
6 times, and as far as we were allowed and we were
7 capable, we supported them.
8 Q. Who directed the robbing of the convoy, if
9 you know?
10 A. I don't know that.
11 Q. Do you know whether Colonel Blaskic attempted
12 to free and recover the convoy?
13 A. I'm not aware of that.
14 Q. Let's turn to Kruscica. You said a second
15 road was opened for you after Colonel Blaskic wrote his
16 order which is Defence Exhibit 141. What do you mean,
17 a road was opened for you?
18 A. There apparently was a parallel road to the
19 main road, and at the base of the road, as we drove by,
20 there was an HVO-manned military roadblock opened for
21 us to be able to pass, so I pulled off the road--
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters request
23 that there be a break between questions and answers for
24 the interpretation. Thank you.
25 MR. HAYMAN: My apologies to the
2 Q. Was this roadblock that had existed
3 essentially on the front-line, was it on the front-line
4 in Kruscica?
5 A. You cannot say that the roadblock is exactly
6 on the front-line. The roadblock is that far away from
7 the front-line so there is no direct fire on the
9 Q. The last presence of the HVO before no man's
10 land, is that right? Is that fair?
11 A. No, that's not correct. I would say that
12 it's the last safe place. Soldiers on the front-line
13 always move a little bit further, so there's no direct
14 fire on the roadblock, soldiers on the front-line can
15 receive direct fire and they should be able to give
16 direct fire.
17 Q. You had had permission, authority, and so
18 forth from the Vitez brigade to go into Kruscica before
19 you received Defence Exhibit 141; correct?
20 A. We discussed this matter with Mario Cerkez
21 several times, and we discussed it in the local
22 commission Vitez several times where his
23 representatives were present, and the answer we got
24 almost after every request was that the road was
25 blocked by angry civilians and that they could not
1control these angry civilians. Nevertheless, we tried
2 to force our way through this human blockade, and we
3 failed in that.
4 Q. Had there been any discussion about an
5 alternate route before the occasion when you went in
6 through an alternate route?
7 A. No.
8 Q. No?
9 A. We were not aware of that alternate route, so
10 we didn't ask for it. I think the people at the
11 ground, living in their own community should be aware
12 of an alternate route.
13 Q. You said your life was threatened by an HVO
14 soldier at the Novi Bila hospital. Do you recall that?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Was that threat reported to the Vitez brigade
17 or the operative zone?
18 A. That's correct. I reported it myself during
19 one of the local commissions Vitez.
20 Q. To ...
21 A. To the officer present at that time. I'm not
22 sure whether it was Mario Cerkez himself, Mr. Borislav
23 Jozic was present at all those meetings, so he must
24 have been there as well.
25 Q. Borislav Jozic, was he killed by a sniper in
1Stari Vitez during your tour of duty?
2 A. He was killed after I left the scene. I was
3 told by a colleague monitor in a private letter.
4 Q. Did you learn he was killed by a sniper in
5 Stari Vitez?
6 A. I was told that he killed -- he was killed in
7 the area of Vitez. They didn't write to me whether it
8 was done by a sniper or anybody else.
9 Q. Let's turn to Busovaca and the four trucks of
10 medical aid and powdered milk. Exhibit 421 may be
11 helpful to your testimony. If it could be provided to
12 the witness? 421.
13 I would first direct your attention to
14 paragraph 4. During most of your testimony yesterday,
15 you referred to the police commander as a chief of
16 police or commandant of police, but, in fact, he was
17 the commander of the military police, the HVO military
18 police, based in Busovaca; correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. And is it also correct that the convoy was
21 hijacked apparently by local soldiers from Busovaca and
22 then taken into the custody of the military police?
23 A. That's correct. I was not present when it
24 was hijacked. That's what I was told by the drivers
25 and later on by the commander of the police himself.
1Q. Is the contents of paragraph 5 correct,
2 wherein it discusses the fact that the papers for the
3 cargo were not in proper order?
4 A. That's correct, but the meaning of that is
5 that the drivers took some goods with them for their
6 private use, like a small gas burner to heat up their
7 own food they needed during the road, and those small
8 things. Maybe 1 per cent of the cargo was not on the
9 cargo list.
10 Q. And the rest of paragraph 5, is it correct?
11 A. That's also correct.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, in paragraph 13, you discuss
13 the linkage issue, which I still don't understand. I
14 apologise for that.
15 Did the issue of the roadblock arise when two
16 BRITBAT Warriors came down the road and ran into the
18 A. No, it did not. The BRITBAT Warriors were
19 already in Busovaca when I arrived. I tried to go with
20 my own car, my armoured Mercedes from Zenica, using the
21 normal road along the Lasva Valley, and we were stopped
22 at this roadblock, it was unmanned, there was a large
23 lorry blocking the road, and mines around this lorry,
24 so we had to return to Zenica, and then asked for
25 permission to use the road, the mountain road from
1Zenica through Botajica (phoen), Grabovica, and then to
2 Busovaca. The warriors came from the British
3 battalion. They were already in Busovaca.
4 Q. What is it that Mr. Grubesic said he wanted
5 done or not done with respect to that lorry. What was
6 linked to the issue of the medical supplies and trucks?
7 A. What was linked? That he asked us to take
8 away the threat coming from Zenica, military threat on
9 Busovaca. That was the reason why they put the
10 roadblock there. If we were able to take that threat
11 away, then he would give us back the trucks and the
12 cargo and the drivers.
13 Q. But, of course, you're not able to take away
14 the threat from the 3rd corps?
15 A. That's clear. We were not a party in this
17 Q. So basically he told you, "No, we're not
18 giving you back the cargo"; is that right?
19 A. You could make that out of his words, but he
20 did not say that literally, of course.
21 Q. Would you be surprised to learn that Colonel
22 Blaskic had ordered that roadblock be cleared?
23 A. Yes, I'm surprised by that because the next
24 day the truck was taken away but then there was a large
25 crater in the road, so there was even a larger
2 Q. Now I understand. Very well. Thank you.
3 Now I have a question about what this
4 military police commander in Busovaca told you, and
5 this is very important to the Defence, so please listen
7 Did this military police commander tell you
8 that on the second day -- July 2nd, 1993, that you came
9 to discuss the issue of the medical supplies, that you
10 would have to come back later because he had to ask
11 permission from his superior in Mostar before acting on
12 this matter?
13 A. That's correct. We had a long discussion
14 with this chief of military police at the 2nd of June,
15 and at the end of the day, he gave us the impression
16 that everything could be arranged. The only thing he
17 needed was permission from his chief in Mostar, and
18 that we should come back the next day, that's the 3rd
19 of June. That's what we were prepared for, to do on
20 the 3rd of June.
21 Q. And you understood him to be referring to the
22 chief of the overall military police of the HVO in
23 Herzegovina; correct?
24 A. Well, hearing him speaking as --
25 JUDGE JORDA: Are we talking about June or
1July? Which month is it? You mentioned 2nd of July,
2 then I heard you mention the month of June.
3 MR. HAYMAN: It's 2nd July, Mr. President.
4 I'm sorry if I misspoke.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Continue. That's very clear.
6 So you said you had to come back on the 3rd of July. I
7 understand now. Please continue.
8 A. Hearing this man in his uniform, police
9 uniform, speaking to us, referring to his chief, then
10 it's clear for us that his chief must be a policeman as
11 well, a military policeman.
12 MR. HAYMAN: Let me ask the technical booth
13 now to assist? I'd like to play a few seconds of
14 Exhibit 270, a videotape, and we'll try to freeze the
15 videotape on a particular individual, and my question
16 for you will be whether you can identify the military
17 police commander in Busovaca, the individual you dealt
18 with in connection with this convoy, on the videotape.
19 So if the videotape could commence?
20 I'm not seeing it on my screen. Maybe it's
22 (Videotape played)
23 This tape, Mr. President, is a Prosecution
24 Exhibit. It's a videotape taken on the night of the
25 16th of April, 1993, in the bungalow in Nadioci
1adjacent to Ahmici after the action in Ahmici on 16
3 If we could freeze the tape there?
4 Q. Do you recognise that individual in the
5 bungalow on the 16th of April as the same military
6 police commander who told you his chief was in Mostar?
7 A. He looks like the picture that was shown to
8 me yesterday that I identified as Mr. Ljubesic.
9 Q. It looks like the same man?
10 A. It's hard to say in a dark surrounding like
11 this, but it looks like the same man. Same eyebrows,
12 same nose.
13 Q. Thank you. Yesterday with the Prosecutor you
14 reviewed four orders of Colonel Blaskic which you
15 obtained from BRITBAT, I believe, in the course of your
16 tour of duty. Those are defence 141, Exhibit 422,
17 423 -- excuse me. That's 423 and 424. It occurs to
18 me, Mr. President, if a still could be made from the
19 freeze frame of Exhibit 270 and marked as the next
20 exhibit in order, that would be helpful.
21 You said, Lieutenant-Colonel, that these four
22 orders were well organised and well-written
23 professional military orders; is that true?
24 A. That's true.
25 Q. And we can deduce from that, and this Court
1should deduce from that, should it not, that these
2 orders were written by a trained military officer?
3 A. I think so, yes.
4 Q. Beyond that, can you deduce from the orders
5 themselves the quality of reports that may have been
6 received in return, or even whether proper reports were
7 received in return?
8 A. I cannot tell from this order because it's
9 the first order I saw, and I'm aware of, that his
10 subordinates were ordered to report back.
11 Q. Those are matters, I take it, that are
12 internal to an armed force and generally aren't shared
13 with outside entities?
14 A. That depends on whether it's normal military
15 activity that's not spread outside, and if it concerns
16 violations of humanitarian laws, then I think it should
17 be reported to ECMM, to UNHCR, and to the British
18 battalion as well.
19 Q. Tell me, from the lower level commanders in
20 the HVO you encountered, were they professional career
21 military officers? Take Mario Cerkez, for example.
22 Was he a career officer?
23 A. I think so, yes.
24 Q. Do you think he had been to military academy?
25 A. I'm not aware if there's a military course
1like that in the former Yugoslavia, but I think he was
2 trained and it was his normal professional job.
3 Q. Would you be surprised to learn he was
4 trained in the area of mechanics or mechanical, you
5 know, machines?
6 A. I'm surprised by that, yes.
7 Q. What about Mr. Grubesic, the brigade
8 commander in Busovaca? Was he a career professional
9 military officer; do you know?
10 A. No, I don't think so. He made a less
11 professional impact on me, and I state that because of
12 this picture shown to me yesterday where he wears a red
13 beret in a way a professional soldier should not wear
14 his beret.
15 Q. He had been an auto mechanic before the war,
16 had he not? Did you learn that?
17 A. No, I did not learn that.
18 Q. Did you learn what -- excuse me. Did you
19 learn what his occupation had been?
20 A. No, I did not.
21 Q. In the case of each of these orders, you were
22 asked by the Prosecutor whether these orders referenced
23 higher orders or agreements between the parties, and
24 you said "Yes." If a commander repeatedly and of his
25 own initiative orders and reminds subordinates of their
1obligations under international law and the laws of
2 war, what would that say about that commander to you,
3 as opposed to a commander who only passes down orders
4 from his superiors?
5 A. If there was any need to do it repeatedly,
6 then it would show to me that he did not have full
7 control of his -- over his subordinates, but this was
8 the first time it was reported to us, and we discussed
9 these matters of violations of humanitarian law almost
10 every day, and since this is reported on the 19th of
11 June, I was in theatre for more than two months then
12 reporting it every day, so that's 50 or 60 times, there
13 was no answer, no reply, nothing at all.
14 Q. So the question you have in your mind, I take
15 it, is why weren't these things ordered sooner?
16 A. Why didn't they show us that they ordered
17 these things?
18 Q. If the usher could assist, Mr. President?
19 This is an exhibit, Mr. President, which is the first
20 in a series of exhibits. They are orders of General
21 Blaskic. They consist, at least most of them, of an
22 original B/S/C copy, a French translation, I'm pleased
23 to say, and an English translation, and I would ask
24 they be marked as the next exhibit in order, with the
25 French designated as the "A" Exhibit and the English as
1the "B" Exhibit?
2 JUDGE JORDA: Is this right? Will the French
3 take the letter "A" Mr. Dubuisson?
4 THE REGISTRAR: When possible, yes.
5 JUDGE JORDA: I see. I'm very happy about
7 MR. HAYMAN: We have noticed that,
8 Mr. President. May I inquire what the number of this
9 first exhibit will be of the registrar?
10 THE REGISTRAR: This will be document D147.
11 MR. HAYMAN:
12 Q. If you could take a moment,
13 Lieutenant-Colonel, to examine the exhibit. It's
14 short. This is just to summarise, briefly, this is an
15 order issued on the 27th of April, 1993, by Colonel
16 Blaskic to the commander of the Vitez brigade,
17 supplementing an earlier order of the 24th of April,
18 prohibiting any treatment of temporarily detained
19 civilians contrary to the basic provisions of the
20 Geneva Convention. Is this an order that, on its face,
21 was done at the self-initiative of Colonel Blaskic?
22 A. It's a supplement to another order, so I
23 can't tell for sure, but reading it from these few
24 lines, there is no sign that it is based on another
25 order, but it's still a supplement to an order number
1from the 1st of April -- the 24th of April.
2 Q. What would it tell you if Colonel Blaskic was
3 repeating an order three days later that he had
4 previously given on the 24th of April? Does that tell
5 you that there was a need, over a period of only 72
6 hours, to repeat and reinforce an order to a brigade
8 A. I think so, yes. There was a need then.
9 MR. HAYMAN: If the usher could assist once
10 again? We have an improved translation, Mr. President,
11 of what had been marked as Exhibit D43, the English
12 translation has been redone by the translation unit,
13 and I think it's improved over the original provided by
14 the Office of the Prosecutor, and so I would like to
15 have it marked as a new exhibit and shown to the
16 witness. Again, it's in triplicate, three languages.
17 I believe this will be Defence Exhibit 148, 148A, and
19 Q. If you could find the English copy,
20 Lieutenant-Colonel, I'll direct you to it. It also is
21 an order of Colonel Blaskic to multiple brigades and
22 special purposes units and others regarding treatment
23 of citizens' personal property, and it reads in the
24 opening line: "In order to stop arson attacks on
25 houses and business premises as well as the looting of
1property, I hereby order" -- and the order includes
2 paragraph 1 on the territory of the area of
3 responsibility of the Central Bosnia operative zone
4 command controlled by the HVO --"I most strictly forbid
5 the torching of houses and business premises and the
6 looting of property."
7 Is this an order that you came into
8 possession of during your tour in Central Bosnia or
9 indeed prior to your testimony yesterday?
10 A. I don't recall that I saw this order before,
11 at least not that I got it in the area, and I cannot
12 tell because normally I used to read the English first,
13 so I don't know whether the first translation is
14 available. Maybe I can recognise it from that.
15 Q. If Exhibit D43 could be provided to the
16 witness, perhaps he can recognise the earlier version
17 of the translation. D43.
18 THE REGISTRAR: This is the same document
19 except there are no references there to the D43 on it.
20 MR. HAYMAN: I'm sorry, I didn't understand
21 that comment, Mr. Registrar. Is it the wrong exhibit
22 or is it the same?
23 THE REGISTRAR: The same.
24 MR. HAYMAN: The question is, if it could be
25 shown to the witness so that he can determine if it's a
1document, the English version of which he may have seen
2 in the theatre at the time of the conflict?
3 A. No, I do not recall that I saw this document
5 Q. On its face, was this an order merely handing
6 down or repeating the order of a superior commander, or
7 was it an order taken on the initiative by Colonel
8 Blaskic, by his own self-initiative?
9 A. No, it doesn't say so in the heading that he
10 is basing this on another order and he doesn't --
11 doesn't either say that he's repeating it. He orders
12 it in a clear way.
13 MR. HAYMAN: Very well. Let me ask for the
14 registrar's assistance for another order in this
15 series. If the registrar could assist? This, I
16 believe, will be D149, 149A and 149B.
17 Lieutenant-Colonel, regrettably the
18 translation we obtained of this does not include the
19 full heading -- wait a minute, I'm sorry, I may have
20 misspoken. Yes, it does. The English translation is
21 spread out over three pages, and this order is dated 24
22 April, 1993, titled "Position on Housing and Property
23 in Flats," it was issued to multiple units, and
24 included the police station in Vitez and the chief of
25 police in Travnik in which the accused recites
1initially: "In view of the large number of flats which
2 have been temporarily abandoned and are being forcibly
3 entered by armed individuals, HVO soldiers and other
4 persons, and with the aim of increasing the quality of
5 public peace and order in the town of Vitez and other
6 towns /added in handwriting / and preventing these
7 negative occurrences, I hereby order:
8 (1) Use all means necessary and in extreme
9 cases use force to prevent the usurpation of housing
10 space and appropriation of property from flats
11 belonging to citizens who are temporarily and under
12 various conditions" -- let me confer with my colleague.
13 There's a word, Mr. Nobilo advises me, that
14 the word "absent" should appear, at least in the
15 English translation in paragraph 1, and we will look
16 into that, Mr. President.
17 And then the order continues.
18 Q. First, Lieutenant-Colonel, this order being
19 directed to the civil police, is that normal? What
20 does that tell you, if the civil police are being
21 called to action to protect private property and
22 prevent, quite frankly, Muslim apartments from being
23 confiscated and Muslims from being forced from their
25 A. I'm not aware of any civil police force still
1in action, still being in action in Vitez, I never saw
2 any civil police, but if he addresses an order to the
3 civil police, I suggest they are still there. But they
4 never showed themselves.
5 Q. They were not much of a presence; is that
7 A. I never met them.
8 Q. Was this an order, on its face, merely
9 repeating or passing down the order of a superior
10 command, or does it appear to have been taken on the
11 initiative of Colonel Blaskic?
12 A. It doesn't say so in the heading that it's
13 based on another order.
14 Q. Is this an order you saw in the theatre?
15 A. No, I did not.
16 Q. Tell us, at this time, the 22nd to the 26th
17 or 27th of April, 1993, was the HVO under extreme
18 pressure because of attacks by the BiH army?
19 A. What period again?
20 Q. Roughly the 22nd, 20th or 22nd of April to
21 the 26th or 27th of April, that week.
22 A. I'm not aware of any severe pressure on the
23 HVO positions, but that was the period when I was
24 active in Grahovcici.
25 Q. Let me ask for the assistance then of the
2 This exhibit, Mr. President, is a protest
3 from Colonel Blaskic concerning BiH army attacks in
4 violation of the cease-fire that had been agreed to at
5 the time in the area of Kuber Mountain and elsewhere.
6 It will be marked, I believe, as Exhibit D150, 150A,
7 and 150B.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps we will now take a
9 break, Mr. Hayman. This will give you the time to
10 distribute these documents.
11 Before the break, however, I'd like to make
12 some point about how we're going to organise our work.
13 We're going to be stopping at 1.00 p.m. How much more
14 time do you think you will need, Mr. Hayman? Do you
15 think you will need to use the entire rest of that
16 time? Don't forget, there may be questions from the
17 Prosecution as well, and also the Judges will have
18 questions. Otherwise, the Colonel will have to come
19 back another time.
20 MR. HAYMAN: I am cognisant of that, and I do
21 want to help all of us finish this session. I estimate
22 I have one more hour.
23 JUDGE JORDA: We will take a 15-minute break,
24 but I doubt that we'll be able to end this morning. I
25 think given the fact that we have very little time,
1we'll have to stop at 1.00 p.m., and we'll simply have
2 to bring the witness back when it is necessary to do
3 so. I don't think there is anything else to state. I
4 have no power nor wish on my part to restrain you in
5 the questions you wish to put. You are at liberty to
6 put the questions you wish. I try to cut any
7 repetitions or cut any lengthy answers, but this is how
8 things are.
9 So let us now take a break, and we will take
10 a 20-minute break because the interpreters need a
11 20-minute break, and then if there are any questions
12 left, we will have those questions, then go on to the
13 next session when the witness can come back.
14 --- Recess taken at 11.16 a.m.
15 --- On resuming at 11.43 a.m.
16 JUDGE JORDA: The Tribunal is now in
17 session. Would the accused please be brought in?
18 (The accused entered court)
19 JUDGE JORDA: Please continue, Mr. Hayman.
20 The floor is yours.
21 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Lieutenant-Colonel, we were looking at
23 Exhibit D150. Does this refresh your memory concerning
24 events during the time period, roughly the 22nd of
25 April, for the following week concerning the level of
1activity and fighting between the BiH army and the HVO?
2 A. Reading this protest, I'm aware of the fact
3 that there were cease-fire violations in the area of
4 Kuber, which I referred to in this document. There
5 were a lot of cease-fire violations from both sides in
6 the entire area, and I know there have been made a lot
7 of protests on these cease-fire violations.
8 Q. Do you know where Kuber Mountain was?
9 A. Yes, I know where it was. Between Zenica --
10 it's the high ridge between Zenica and the Lasva
12 Q. Is it fair to say that whoever held Kuber
13 Mountain held the dominant high ground between Zenica
14 and Vitez?
15 A. It depends on what kind of weapons you have.
16 Q. Would you agree that Kuber Mountain was a
17 very important military site in the conflict between
18 the Muslims and the Croats?
19 A. I agree.
20 Q. And it was taken by the BiH army; correct?
21 A. I'm not aware whether it was taken or whether
22 they had it in their possession already.
23 Q. But it was under their control at least by
24 the end of your tour of duty?
25 A. It has been -- according to my knowledge, it
1has been under their control for a long time.
2 Q. Did you see this protest during your tour of
3 duty? It's addressed to the ECMM Zenica, and do you
4 recognise it?
5 A. I did not see it during my duty there. I'm
6 aware of the facts that are described in this document,
7 and I recall that they were discussed during one of the
8 ECMM meetings in Zenica.
9 Q. Thank you. Now, do you know whether, when
10 violations of Colonel Blaskic's orders came to his
11 attention, did he follow up? Do you know?
12 A. I know that we reported violations or
13 discussed violations almost every day during our local
14 commission meetings, and we were not reported by any
15 action coming from Colonel Blaskic.
16 Q. So his follow-up, if there was follow-up, was
17 a private matter within the HVO; is that right?
18 A. If there was any follow-up, it was a private
19 matter. We never got reports on that.
20 MR. HAYMAN: If the usher could assist and
21 distribute D151?
22 This only exists at this moment,
23 Mr. President, in B/S/C. We'll have to put it on the
24 ELMO and deal with it as best we can. It's been
25 provided to the interpreters in advance.
1JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course.
2 MR. HAYMAN: So if we can put it on the ELMO
3 and, Lieutenant-Colonel, we can all listen while my
4 colleague describes the date heading and reads the
5 critical portion of the order. I'm not asking him to
6 read it in its entirety to save time.
7 THE REGISTRAR: This will be document D151.
8 MR. NOBILO: It's an order of the operational
9 zone Central Bosnia from the 30th of May, 1993, and the
10 order has been given to the command of the military
11 police of the 4th battalion Vitez and to the assistance
12 of the security and information unit, and the title is
13 "Existence of Behaviours Contrary to the Orders and
14 Operational Tasks."
15 "On the day of the 30th of May, the person
16 on duty of the operational zone Central Bosnia has
17 reported that members of the military police,
18 Mr. Franjo Ramljak and Mr. Slavko Hrgic, are forcibly
19 expelling Muslim families despite the order which
20 prohibited to do the above-mentioned actions, and for
21 which the above-mentioned gentlemen were responsible
22 with regard to the execution.
23 "In order to prevent any other actions that
24 jeopardise the implementation of the order and correct
25 behaviour of the military police members during the
1execution of the ordered tasks, I order: Firstly, to
2 investigate this case and enforce disciplinary measures
3 against the perpetrators of this action. Report to me
4 why individual members of your unit, despite continuous
5 warnings and instead of maintaining public order,
6 persistently commit misdeeds and what to do to prevent
7 further occurrences."
8 The date for the implementation of this order
9 is the 5th of June, 1993; the signature of Colonel
10 Blaskic and the seal of the operational zone.
11 MR. HAYMAN:
12 Q. First let me ask you, this is directed in its
13 first line I believe to the commander of the 4th Vojne,
14 Vojne Policije in Vitez. Do you know whether that is
15 the same individual you dealt with in Busovaca from the
16 military police?
17 A. I'm not sure that the military police
18 commander in Busovaca was the battalion commander
20 Q. If he was, then this would be addressed in
21 part to the same individual; correct?
22 A. That's correct, yes.
23 Q. What does it tell you if -- you've seen the
24 prior orders issued by Colonel Blaskic concerning the
25 protection of apartments and flats and so forth. What
1does it tell you that one of the units empowered to
2 implement the prior order is now, apparently, not only
3 not enforcing the prior order but perpetrating
4 violations of it to the point where Colonel Blaskic has
5 to act? Does that tell you that his orders are not
6 being faithfully carried out by this particular unit,
7 the 4th Vojne of the Vojne Policije?
8 A. It tells me that he is reacting on certain
9 violations, but it also tells me that this 4th
10 battalion is under his command.
11 Q. Tell me, if a unit had dual lines of command,
12 that is, one to a geographic zone commander but also to
13 another command, such as the military police commander
14 in Herzegovina, would it be incumbent on the geographic
15 commander, when he learned of a violation, to do his
16 best to enforce discipline and enforce control over
17 that unit even if that unit had two lines or chains, if
18 you will, of command?
19 A. I cannot believe that there were really two
20 lines of command. In a war zone, there's only one
21 commander. That's the theory that's used in -- I think
22 in every army, there's one chain of command, there's
23 one top commander in the area. There might have been a
24 second chain, but then probably an administrative
25 chain. I cannot believe that there are two commanders
1in one area. It's impossible to work with.
2 Q. Tell us: Did you discuss this subject with
3 the Prosecutors during the break?
4 A. I did not discuss this subject of two
5 commands. It's -- really, it's my personal opinion.
6 It's impossible to use -- to work, to operate with two
7 commanders. We discussed the subject about whether it
8 was operational or technical command.
9 Q. With respect to the Vojne Policije?
10 A. With respect to the 4th battalion as such.
11 Q. Let's turn now to the subject of civilians
12 digging trenches. You went to Skradno with members of
13 the local joint commission to investigate this issue;
15 A. That's correct. The local joint commission
17 Q. As a result of that meeting, did the HVO in
18 Skradno agree not to use civilians in that form of
20 A. The allegation was made several times, and
21 that was the reason why we went to Skradno and talked
22 to the people in Skradno, and they were the ones who
23 told us that it still went on, and we tried to react on
24 that again, but it's hard to get concessions from one
25 of the parties.
1Q. Was the joint commission member from Busovaca
2 on behalf of the HVO present?
3 A. There were two members present, one in
4 civilian clothes, an older man with a bald head, and
5 there was one of the military members present. I've
6 got a picture of that meeting, so I'm very sure who was
7 present there.
8 Q. What was the position or role of the
10 A. He was, as I recall it, one of the members of
11 the civil government of Busovaca.
12 Q. Did he have a civil defence function?
13 A. I'm not sure. After a while, working in
14 Busovaca, we introduced the civil government from both
15 sides, including the Catholic priest and the imam from
16 the area of Busovaca, to bring some more trust amongst
18 Q. Did one or both of the HVO or Croat joint
19 commission representatives tell the HVO in Skradno that
20 they were not to compel civilians to dig trenches?
21 A. The HVO Skradno was not present during this
22 visit. We visited these people in their own houses or
23 in the houses where they lived together with relatives
24 or friends.
25 Q. You said in your prior statement that on the
112th of May, "We got agreement from the HVO at Skradno
2 to stop the use of civilians to dig trenches." Is that
4 A. As I recall it now, it was in Stranje, that's
5 the small village on the other side of the village --
6 the other side of the river, approximately one
7 kilometre from Skradno.
8 Q. It was in Stranje that agreement was obtained
9 to stop the practice?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. In Stranje, did the joint military members,
12 either civil or military from Busovaca, on behalf of
13 the HVO and the civil Croat government, did they tell
14 the HVO in Stranje that they were not to engage in this
16 A. I don't know, since the -- only the
17 discussions I personally had with Croat or Muslim
18 people were translated by my interpreter, and she
19 didn't used to translate all the other conversations.
20 Q. Can you recall any particular occasion when
21 the allegation of forcible trench-digging by civilians,
22 Muslim civilians, was raised with Franjo Nakic?
23 A. Mr. Nakic was present at most of the meetings
24 where these allegations were raised, so he was aware of
25 the fact.
1Q. And what did he say?
2 A. Most of the time he let the -- both brigade
3 commanders do the discussions, and he only used to
4 interfere when matters really went out of hand during
5 the meeting, and he had discussions with his battalion
6 commanders during the breaks.
7 Q. Did he tell you that Colonel Blaskic had
8 issued orders prohibiting the practice?
9 A. He did not tell me that.
10 Q. Let's discuss the burning of houses. We've
11 already seen orders issued by the accused on that
13 Did you see any burning of houses in the
14 Lasva Valley?
15 A. I saw a lot of houses burning. I did not see
16 anybody setting any house on fire.
17 Q. Are you able to tell us, in the villages that
18 you named, whether all the houses were burned in all
19 those villages at once or whether all of the houses in
20 a particular village were burned on one occasion, or do
21 you not know?
22 A. What do you mean by "at once"? In one day or
23 all in the same hour?
24 Q. I'm suggesting on the same day, were houses
25 in all the villages -- all the houses in all the
1villages that you saw burned, or did they occur on
2 different days, and within each village? Can you tell
3 us that all the houses in a particular village were
4 burned on one day or, rather, that events were more
5 far-flung, sporadic, and varied?
6 A. I can tell for certain villages that it was
7 done in one day or one night, and that some other
8 villages where the majority of the houses were burned
9 in one day and where additional houses were burned
10 because of fighting or because of movements of the
11 frontlines. In other days, then the majority of the
12 houses were burned.
13 Q. Let's compare Ahmici with Rotilj. You
14 visited both?
15 A. Yes, I did.
16 Q. In Ahmici, all the Muslim homes were burned?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. What about in Rotilj?
19 A. In Rotilj, approximately five or seven houses
20 were burned in one area where -- well, let's say where
21 you entered the village.
22 Q. And that's five or seven houses out of 100 or
23 200 Muslim homes?
24 A. Approximately, yes.
25 Q. Did you learn information concerning what
1event or incident caused the burning of those seven or
2 eight houses in Rotilj?
3 A. I made an investigation on that myself. I
4 went to see the civilians in Rotilj. A lot of Muslim
5 families gathered there. They told me the story. Then
6 I went to one of the local HVO commanders in the area
7 of Rotilj, and he told me a story in the atmosphere of
8 I was -- "I came under fire with my soldiers. One of
9 my soldiers was wounded. I had to return fire, and
10 then I had to burn all seven houses. What else could I
12 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. What do you mean
13 "What else"?
14 A. He explained it to us in a way that this was
15 the only logical reaction on coming under fire and
16 having one casualty at his own side, so he explained to
17 us that this was a logical reaction.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Did he mean that they were being
19 shot at from these seven houses? Were they military
21 A. It could have been in a fighting zone. He
22 came under fire, as he told us, one of his soldiers,
23 one of his HVO soldiers, was wounded. He had to return
24 fire, and then he said he had to burn down the houses.
25 It was a logical reaction.
2 Q. Let's be perfectly clear,
3 Lieutenant-Colonel. Tell us if you agree with your
4 prior statement on page 7 when you said that you
5 discussed this with the local HVO commander and he
6 said, "He claimed that villagers had opened fire on his
7 troops from a Muslim house and that one HVO soldier had
8 been killed. Fighting had started, and that was when
9 the Muslims had been killed and seven Muslim houses
10 were burnt. The Muslims had handed over 20 weapons and
11 the young men taken to prison. I think this story was
13 Is that a correct statement?
14 A. That's the statement I made in my special
15 report, yes.
16 Q. And do you believe it to be true?
17 A. I believe it to be true.
18 Q. Thank you. You described a meeting with
19 Mario Cerkez on the 24th of May, 1993, in which he was
20 angry that the BiH army in Kruscica was being reinforced
21 from Opara, and he said something about a threat to
22 burn down all or some portion of Kruscica.
23 Tell me, did Mario Cerkez control Kruscica at
24 the time?
25 A. Kruscica was a BiH-controlled village.
1Q. Was that true throughout your tour?
2 A. I think so, yes. We were not able to enter
3 Kruscica every day, of course, but from the beginning
4 and at least in the end, Kruscica was still
6 Q. You described a meeting on the 4th of May,
7 1993, with the Spanish, British, and French ambassadors
8 at which Dzemal Merdan spoke of Muslims being expelled
9 from Gacice; do you recall that?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Now, is it also correct that -- Colonel
12 Blaskic was not present at that meeting, was he?
13 A. I don't recall that he was present.
14 Q. Now, the fighting in Gacice had been some two
15 weeks earlier, around the 20th of April, 1993; is that
16 correct, or do you know?
17 A. I'm not aware of any fighting in Gacice.
18 Q. What did Merdan say had occurred in Gacice
19 the prior night, May 3rd, 1993?
20 A. As I recall it, Merdan made -- or got the
21 chance to make a lot of complaints in the face of these
22 three ambassadors to explain his view of the whole war
23 so far, and as I recall it, he used, amongst other
24 examples, the example of Gacice where the expelling of
25 Muslims still went on.
1Q. Did he say who was expelling Muslims? Did he
3 A. I'm not sure whether he said so.
4 Q. You have spoken of Franjo Nakic at some
5 length. What did you think of Mr. Nakic?
6 A. I experienced Mr. Nakic as a moderate man who
7 could have been my father. He gave me that impression.
8 Q. Do you think he worked diligently to further
9 the work of the joint operational centre under what
10 were very difficult circumstances?
11 A. I learned to know him as a member of the
12 headquarters operational zone, that he supported our
13 work very well.
14 Q. Yesterday you mentioned HVO uniforms being in
15 order in Central Bosnia or that HVO soldiers were
16 well-uniformed. Is it correct that you never saw units
17 of the HV or army of the Republic of Croatia in the
18 Lasva or Kiseljak Valleys during your tour?
19 A. I never saw units showing the HV insignia. I
20 saw on some occasions individuals wearing this badge
21 with "HV" on it, and I addressed to one of those
22 individuals on one occasion, asking him why he was
23 wearing this, and he said it was hard to obtain
25 Q. Implying that he was not a member of the HV,
1he just had their uniform?
2 A. That's not literally what he said, but that
3 was the explanation why he used another uniform.
4 Q. How many such persons did you see in the
5 Lasva or Kiseljak Valley wearing at least portions of
6 an HV uniform during your tour?
7 A. Approximately five.
8 Q. Now I'd like to ask you some questions, and
9 this is my final area of inquiry, concerning command
10 and control.
11 You have described a meeting with an
12 individual known as Djuti on the 2nd of June, 1993. I
13 believe you said the prior night Alagic had been
14 stopped at an irregular checkpoint, and it had a car
15 and property taken from him; is that correct?
16 A. I'm not sure whether the checkpoint was
17 irregular, but he was stopped at an HVO checkpoint and
18 then his car and things and his personal weapon were
20 Q. Well, tell me, Lieutenant-Colonel -- I chose
21 my words carefully. In your statement to the
22 Prosecutor at page 16-17, you said: "Earlier that
23 night, Alagic had been stopped at an irregular HVO
24 checkpoint, disarmed, as were his bodyguards."
25 Did you believe the checkpoint to be
1irregular at the time?
2 A. I think that the manning of the checkpoint
3 was irregular. The checkpoint itself might have been
4 in a proper place.
5 Q. What do you mean by it was "irregularly
7 A. The way I experienced it was that it was
8 manned by soldiers that were not -- maybe not under
9 control or wore different clothing than normally was
10 done by HVO soldiers.
11 Q. Did you learn and conclude from all the facts
12 and circumstances that the individuals who had
13 basically robbed Alagic of this property were acting on
14 self-initiative and not pursuant to orders or
15 directives from the HVO chain of command?
16 A. I'm not sure. They returned the goods, so
17 maybe they came under pressure of their commander
18 afterwards. I'm not sure if they did it on their own
19 initiative or maybe they were ordered to.
20 Q. Are you aware that Colonel Blaskic apologised
21 to Mr. Alagic through Colonel Duncan for the incident?
22 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
23 Q. Do you agree it would be odd for Colonel
24 Blaskic to direct such an incident, direct it to occur?
25 A. Would you say that again?
1Q. Do you agree it would be odd for Colonel
2 Blaskic to direct such an incident at a checkpoint and
3 then apologise for it?
4 A. If that's the way you describe it, then it
5 would be odd, yes.
6 Q. Now, the items taken from Alagic, you learned
7 that they were taken by a group of four men that
8 included two men who had the last name of Tuka,
9 T-U-K-A; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct. I've got the names in my
12 Q. Were these individuals, the Tuka group, were
13 they HVO soldiers?
14 A. I don't know. I never met them.
15 Q. Did Mr. Nakic ever tell you why he couldn't
16 just order this Tuka group to return the property?
17 A. I don't know. He ordered Mr. Djuti and he
18 arranged that they were returned.
19 Q. Did he -- well, did you have an interpreter
20 with you when you and Nakic met with Djuti?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Did the interpreter translate what was said
23 between Nakic and Djuti?
24 A. She translated everything that was openly
25 said during the meeting, not any private discussions,
1because she used to stay with me and not go with Nakic.
2 Q. Would you agree that Nakic told Djuti to use
3 his influence on the group, referring to the Tuka
4 group, to "calm them down"?
5 A. That could be true, but Djuti gave me the
6 impression that he was one of the people that stole the
7 things because he made all kinds of excuses why he was
8 allowed to do so and why he was in the full rights to
9 keep the things.
10 Q. Were you told that Djuti was an extremely
11 powerful and influential person in the Bila-Travnik
13 A. I got the impression that he was powerful and
14 he was an impressive person.
15 Q. Did you learn, in the course of your dealings
16 with Djuti, that he and a group of his men had freed
17 captives from the Kaonik prison, among other places,
18 through armed assault? Did anyone ever tell you that?
19 A. The Kaonik prison was an HVO-held prison.
20 Q. Correct. Did anyone tell you that, that
21 Djuti and his men had attacked the Kaonik prison to
22 free one of their comrades at one point during the war?
23 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
24 Q. You spoke of the 7th Muslim brigade not being
25 under the control of the 3rd Korpus until late May
11993. Do you know how many men were in the 7th Muslim
2 brigade and how many soldiers were in the 3rd Corps,
3 excluding the 7th Muslim brigade?
4 A. I don't know. I met several of these
5 soldiers belonging to the 7th Muslim brigade. I saw
6 them in Zenica once in a while when we went by car to
8 Q. Why was it necessary to have four local joint
9 commissions rather than one joint operational command
10 which could simply issue orders to -- down the chain of
12 A. There was one joint command in Travnik,
13 operational from, I think, in the middle of May, maybe
14 the beginning of May, and they asked us to organise
15 four local joint commissions to be able to deal with
16 local problems, to be able to arrange to make local
17 arrangements in freedom of movement, in checking on
18 allegations, freedom for Catholic priests in
19 Muslim-held territory or for the imam in HVO-controlled
20 territory, all kinds of local arrangements.
21 Q. Such as observance of the cease-fire which
22 had been agreed to between the warring factions?
23 A. Observance of the cease-fire was not a task
24 for the local joint commission. Both parties agreed on
25 the cease-fire; they should hold to the cease-fire
1themselves. We were not capable and not asked to check
2 the cease-fire itself.
3 Q. Release of prisoners, was that a subject
4 dealt with by the local joint commissions?
5 A. That's correct. We discussed these matters
6 very often. After a certain -- after a few weeks, we
7 thought we had released the majority of the prisoners,
8 but then new allegations started of new prisons and of
9 more alleged prisons and prisoners being held there.
10 Q. You said that different results were obtained
11 by the different local joint commissions. What were
12 the variables, the factors that affected the relative
13 success or failure of the different local joint
15 A. Let's start with the best commission,
16 according to my opinion. It was the local commission
17 Busovaca where, in the middle of June, we had reached
18 the phase that the representatives of civil government
19 could speak to each other again, where they agreed in
20 making statements for local radio and local television
21 together, where they agreed in freedom of movement for
22 the imam where one of the Muslim fests could be
23 achieved more or less openly, where they agreed on
24 restoring electricity and telephone lines, where there
25 was a certain amount of freedom of movement. So that's
1the best example.
2 The worst example is Kiseljak where, at the
3 first meeting, HVO representatives failed to come,
4 where Mr. Nakic had to use his influence to order HVO
5 representatives to show up, and, in fact, we never left
6 the phase of complaints. So the few meetings we had in
7 Kiseljak at the Canadian camp were all influenced by
8 complaints from both sides, and there was hardly ever
9 real action undertaken. There was no real result in
10 dealing with local problems at all.
11 Q. You've described the level of results in two
12 of the local joint commissions, but my question was:
13 Why were there such variations? Was it because, for
14 example, there was local resistance within the HVO
15 military to obeying orders concerning release of
16 prisoners, et cetera? Was it because there were
17 variations in the degree to which civil authorities
18 wanted to cooperate and work together? Can you tell us
19 something about that?
20 A. I think that's both true. Of course, there
21 are differences in personalities. Some of the
22 commanders were just not willing to discuss things with
23 us. I think both commanders in Busovaca, from HVO and
24 army of BiH, were, for the time being, willing to
25 discuss things with us. They sat together. Quite
1often we went with them on the ground to check on
2 allegations, we went to this petrol station at Stranje
3 to discuss with local commanders to discuss how the
4 cease-fire could best be implemented. In Vitez, we
5 made with this commission a real exchange of dead
6 bodies, we visited with Mr. Hajdarevic and Mr. Jozic,
7 the two liaison officers, a lot of presence. So in the
8 beginning, the cooperation in Vitez was also quite
10 Q. Thank you, Colonel. You told us the orders
11 of Merdan and Nakic were followed. Let me ask you
12 about an incident that may have been related to you by
13 Lars Baggesen, one of your colleagues. Did he describe
14 how, in Novi Travnik in the middle of April 1993, a
15 military policeman arrested Dzemal Merdan and refused
16 to release him despite the presence of Nakic and
17 direction of Nakic that he should be released? Did
18 Mr. Baggesen describe that to you?
19 A. No, he did not.
20 Q. You did give us an example in your direct
21 testimony of an order being followed by -- that is an
22 order given by Mr. Nakic being followed by subordinate
23 commanders concerning Kiseljak and Mario Bradara. The
24 example you gave was that Bradara said he had received
25 an order to release prisoners, but he wasn't prepared
1to obey it because the BiH army had not released their
2 prisoners held in Klokoti, in I think the same region;
3 is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. So I take it Bradara had received a written
6 order to unconditionally release prisoners but had
8 A. At least he did not implement it, and he
9 found an excuse for that because, according to his
10 opinion, the other side didn't do the same.
11 Q. Have you seen the order that he received?
12 A. No, I did not.
13 Q. Are you familiar with the agreement of April
14 29th, 1993, between Generals Petkovic, Halilovic and so
15 forth, for the unconditional release of prisoners?
16 A. Yes, I was present during that meeting.
17 Q. So Mr. Bradara, I take it, although he had
18 received an order for unconditional release, he had
19 added a condition to it?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And Mr. Nakic spoke to him at some length; is
22 that right?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And Mr. Nakic was able to persuade him to
25 release BiH army or other civilian prisoners in the
1Kiseljak barracks; correct?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. And did those prisoners, did they appear to
4 be in poor condition?
5 A. They didn't look in a poor condition.
6 Q. Now, at the time, Nakic was able to meet face
7 to face with Bradara and persuade him to follow the
8 order. This was at a time where Nakic was able to get
9 to Kiseljak because he travelled with you; correct?
10 A. We accompanied Mr. Nakic in -- I think it was
11 in our vehicle or maybe in a British armoured vehicle,
12 I'm not sure.
13 Q. And is it correct that after Bradara released
14 the prisoners from Kiseljak barracks, then and only
15 then did the BiH army release some 59 prisoners that
16 they had at Klokoti?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. So can we also conclude that the local BiH
19 army commander had not followed orders to
20 unconditionally release the prisoners that he held as
22 A. In that case, that's correct.
23 Q. Now let's look at another example that wasn't
24 mentioned in your direct. Two days later, on the 3rd
25 of May, you went to Vitez, I believe, and met with Pero
1Skopljak, the head of the Commission for Prisoners, and
2 with the mayor of Vitez, a Mr. Santic; do you recall
4 A. I recall that, yes.
5 Q. What was the role of the Commission for
6 Prisoners in Vitez; can you tell us that initially?
7 A. They didn't fully explain that to me. I met
8 Mr. Skopljak before already, and he introduced himself
9 then as I think the vice-president of HDZ in the area
10 of Vitez, so I was surprised that he introduced himself
11 in a new function later on, and he showed me a long
12 list of people they had in an HVO-controlled prison,
13 and he explained to me that he was head of this new
14 commission and that he was there to organise the
15 release of prisoners on an equal basis from both sides.
16 Q. So this Commission for Prisoners in Vitez was
17 headed by a civil authority or a civilian,
18 Mr. Skopljak?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Was there a like entity or institution in
21 Zenica concerned with the subject of prisoner release
22 also headed by a civilian?
23 A. I'm not sure. I did not meet that commission
24 in Zenica, but I was told that there was a -- I think
25 he's called Bozic who was supposed to be in command or
1in control of this new commission on the other side.
2 Q. Let me ask you: On the 3rd of May, did
3 Skopljak and Santic, would you say it's accurate to
4 describe what occurred at that meeting as follows:
5 "They were a pair of hard-liners, and they did not want
6 to release prisoners. They said that they had received
7 orders to release the prisoners, but they refused to do
9 Is that accurate?
10 A. That's accurate. That was my opinion at that
11 period. That's what I wrote in my diary that night.
12 Q. The next day, the 4th of May, there was a
13 joint operational command meeting, and is it correct
14 that Ambassador Thebault said at that meeting that he
15 would try and negotiate with the mayor of Zenica,
16 Mr. Spahic, and with Mr. Santic over the release of
18 A. I recall that Mr. Thebault more or less took
19 over this problem of release of prisoners.
20 Q. And in the same context, did Mr. Nakic
21 complain that there was no success with prisoner
22 release in Vitez and Zenica because the civil
23 authorities were not cooperating?
24 A. That's correct, he complained about that, but
25 the prisoners, as far as I know, were held in a cellar
1in Vitez under the cinema, and the other prisoners were
2 held in Dubravica, and I visited both prisons and they
3 were guarded by HVO soldiers, not by Mr. Skopljak.
4 Q. Obviously, Mr. Skopljak can only be in one
5 place at one time.
6 A. That's clear. But he was in charge of this
7 commission, and he was not in charge of guarding the
8 prisoners themselves.
9 Q. Let me ask you. You mentioned a moment ago
10 the formation of the Kiseljak joint commission, and I'd
11 ask you to think about that subject on the issue of
12 command and control.
13 Do you know, had the Kiseljak HVO brigade
14 been ordered on approximately the 22nd of April to form
15 a joint commission in a joint order issued by Dzemal
16 Merdan and Franjo Nakic?
17 A. That's what Mr. Nakic told me, that he issued
18 the order to all his subordinates.
19 MR. HAYMAN: If the usher could assist? And
20 if this exhibit could be provided to the witness and
22 Mr. Registrar, will this be Defence Exhibit
24 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, indeed, that's right, it
25 is D152.
2 Q. Colonel, this is a copy of an order, with
3 appropriate translations, signed by Dzemal Merdan and
4 Franjo Nakic, among other things ordering the BiH army
5 and the HVO in the towns of Vitez, Travnik, Busovaca,
6 and Kiseljak to form local joint commissions; correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. And it's dated the 22nd of April, 1993?
9 A. It says so in handwriting.
10 Q. Then let's take that as our basis for
11 analysing this question and proceed to the 10th of May,
12 1993. You went to CANBAT in Visoko for a meeting, a
13 planned meeting, of the Kiseljak joint commission;
15 A. I don't recall whether it was the 10th of
16 May, but we had one of those meetings, one of these
17 start-up meetings, in Visoko at CANBAT.
18 Q. Is it correct that at this first start-up
19 meeting, the HVO delegates did not appear?
20 A. That's correct. We arranged transport for
21 these delegates through the Canadian battalion, and
22 they did not show up with the HVO representatives.
23 Q. So they had been ordered on the 22nd of April
24 to form the local joint commission, but on the 10th of
25 May, they didn't show up for the meeting.
1Did you then go to Kiseljak with Mr. Nakic to
2 try and "move them off the dime," if you will?
3 A. I'm not sure whether we went to Kiseljak on
4 that very day, but I recall that we did go to Kiseljak
5 maybe on the second occasion to speak to the local HVO
6 commanders and to explain to them the need for a local
7 joint commission and the use we could be to them as
8 well to organise this local joint commission.
9 Q. Let me ask you if this refreshes your
10 memory. It's on page 11 of your statement under the
11 10th of May, 1993: "We went on to Kiseljak to try and
12 locate these members. We met Bozic," a reference to
13 brigade commander Mijo Bozic, "and he said that he had
14 received orders to establish the local commission but
15 he said he was waiting for further orders."
16 Do you recall that?
17 A. I think that was on the same day then.
18 Q. Is that a way of a subordinate commander -- a
19 way a subordinate commander might state "I haven't
20 complied with the order," in effect?
21 A. Well, if he states that he got the first
22 order and still doesn't comply, then he's just
24 Q. And then did Nakic discuss this with
25 Mr. Bozic and order Bozic to get on with it, to get on
1with the work and form the commission?
2 A. That's correct, and later on the commission
3 was formed.
4 Q. Now, two days later, you again went to
5 Kiseljak for the joint commission meeting, this is the
6 12th of May, 1993, and am I correct that again the HVO
7 representatives did not show up?
8 A. That's correct. This mission -- this next
9 meeting was organised at the Canadian base in Kiseljak
10 itself, called Camp Paardeberg, and it's only a few
11 kilometres from the HVO headquarters, so we again went
12 to the HVO headquarters, and Nakic, according to my
13 knowledge, again explained to them why they had to show
15 Q. Were you surprised that these HVO officers in
16 Kiseljak were so brazenly defying Nakic's instructions
17 as well his written order of the 22nd of April?
18 A. No, this was already the third occasion where
19 they refused to obey orders which they actually had
20 received, according to their own statements, and, well,
21 finally Nakic succeeded in ordering these people to
22 show up and they did.
23 Q. Now let's return to Vitez. On the 24th of
24 May, 1993, there was a local commission meeting in
25 Vitez, and I believe this is the meeting in which Mario
1Cerkez made remarks about burning in Kruscica.
2 A. Would you say the date again?
3 Q. 24 May, 1993.
4 A. Is that the day when the ambassadors were
6 Q. No, it's not, according to your earlier
7 statement. What I would like to ask concerning this
8 meeting is whether or not, at this meeting, there were
9 HVO representatives present who said that "They had
10 orders from Mr. Skopljak to stop the work of the
12 Do you recall that?
13 A. I recall that, yes.
14 Q. Who was that -- sorry.
15 A. It was a very unclear situation to us since
16 the local joint commission Vitez more or less seemed to
17 come to an end. We didn't like that, and we tried to
18 find out how this was arranged or what was the reason
19 why we couldn't continue our work.
20 The first explanation was from the side of
21 the HVO members of the local commission that it was
22 unsafe for the whole commission to travel in the area.
23 The second explanation, maybe on the same day or a day
24 later, was that we should transfer our military
25 commission into a civil commission; and as I recall it,
1that was relating to this, let's call it an order or
2 words of Mr. Skopljak to stop the military part of the
3 commission and change it into a civil commission.
4 Q. At this meeting on the 24th of May, 1993, did
5 Mr. Nakic, Colonel Blaskic's representative to the
6 joint operational command, appeal to the commanders
7 present to stop the war activities and have an
8 unconditional cease-fire, but there was no willingness
9 from the local HVO to make things work? Is that
11 A. I remember that I made that statement
12 according to my notes from this meeting.
13 Q. On the 30th of June, you tried to resuscitate
14 the Vitez joint commission; is that not true? You
15 tried to have another meeting?
16 A. That's correct. I tried to restart it at the
17 end of June.
18 Q. And Mr. Nakic went with you, he was organised
19 and waiting, but the BiH army side cancelled, saying
20 they were too busy with their military operation in
21 Zepce; is that correct?
22 A. I'm not sure whether Mr. Merdan could not
23 show up or whether the local BiH commanders could not
24 show up. I think it must have been Mr. Merdan since
25 the local commanders didn't have anything to do with an
1area outside their area of operations.
2 Q. And he couldn't come because at the time the
3 BiH army was attacking the HVO in Zepce; correct?
4 A. I don't know whether they were attacking
5 there. He was busy dealing with Zepce items or Zepce
6 things in his headquarters in Zenica.
7 Q. Did Mr. Nakic tell you at the meeting you had
8 with him -- I guess it was just the two of you -- on
9 the 30th of June, 1993, that the BiH army had attacked
10 the HVO on three sides in Zepce, and that the HVO plus
11 40.000 refugees had been forced to flee?
12 A. That's what he told me, and later on the
13 BRITBAT did examinations on that, and it appeared to be
14 something else than Mr. Nakic told me.
15 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Colonel. That
16 concludes my examination. Thank you for your
18 I would like to offer into evidence Exhibits
19 D141, D144, D145, D146, D150, and D152. If there is an
20 objection to D152, I would ask to be permitted to ask a
21 few further foundational questions of the witness to
22 lay the foundation and to authenticate that document.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon? There's a proverb
24 in French: "Silence is consent."
25 MR. HAYMAN: If I can assist, perhaps? A
1couple of these exhibits are the stills of the video
2 which counsel may not have a copy of, so there may not
3 be documents corresponding to every number.
4 MR. HARMON: Can you identify those, counsel,
5 for us, which are the stills? We have no objection to
7 MR. HAYMAN: I would need the assistance of
8 the registrar to do so, I'm sorry.
9 THE REGISTRAR: I will remind you, all of the
10 documents which were presented, D141 and 141A were
11 documents which were presented before another witness
12 for the first time on the 29th of June before Mark
13 Bower, and that was represented again today.
14 MR. HARMON: We have no objection to D141.
15 THE REGISTRAR: D144 was the document --
16 rather, a still image taken from a video, 409, that was
17 presented yesterday evening.
18 MR. HARMON: We have no objection to any of
19 the stills taken from videos.
20 THE REGISTRAR: D146 is the same thing,
21 that's also taken from video 270; document 145 was a
22 document read by Mr. Hayman which comes from the
23 Council of Europe document that was read.
24 MR. HARMON: No objection.
25 THE REGISTRAR: 145. 146 is the still
1photo. You said you have no objections to that. There
2 was also D147 A and B, D147 A and B, D149. These are
3 not being tendered, I understand, and then there was
4 D150. I believe that's an order, if I'm not mistaken.
5 As well as D151.
6 MR. HARMON: We have no objection to 150.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. No objections,
8 Mr. Harmon?
9 MR. HARMON: No objections.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you. And
11 document 152? There is still 152.
12 MR. HARMON: No objection.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you. I see
14 we have somewhat of a problem here. It is 12.40.
15 Now, I first want to turn to you,
16 Mr. Harmon. Do you intend -- how much time do you
17 expect for your redirect? Please tell us very
18 objectively how much time you feel you need.
19 MR. HARMON: Probably in the area of 30 to 40
21 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. In that case, we
22 are going to then adjourn. The witness will return to
23 receive questions from the Prosecution and also the
24 Judges have questions for the witness, and therefore,
25 we'll also need to take the time necessary for those
2 Of course, the 20 minutes remaining will not
3 be taken as part of those minutes allotted to the
5 Therefore, we're going to ask the witness to
6 return, but I'd like to know, Mr. Harmon, and also the
7 witness, when can the witness return? Can he come back
8 on Monday, for example?
9 THE WITNESS: Monday would be fine. Monday
10 suits me, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We thank the
12 witness, therefore, for making this contribution.
13 Mr. Harmon, then, we will resume on Monday
14 with the witness. That's the best solution, I
15 believe. Are we in agreement?
16 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. On these
18 conditions, we will now adjourn, and we would also like
19 to thank the witness for his contribution. Have a very
20 nice weekend.
21 The Chamber shall resume at 2.30 on Monday.
22 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
23 12.43 p.m., to be reconvened on
24 Monday, the 6th day of July, 1998,
25 at 2.30 p.m.