1 Monday, 6th July, 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.36 p.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar,
5 have the accused brought in, please.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: As you know, this is not going
8 to be a full week. In principle, starting on
9 Wednesday, I don't actually know whether the plenary is
10 going to last for two or three days, but there is going
11 to be a shortened week. That's how it is.
12 First of all, does everybody hear me? I
13 suppose everybody does. I would like to say good
14 afternoon to the interpreters and to the attorneys both
15 from the Prosecution and the Defence. Does the Defence
16 hear me? General Blaskic, do you hear me?
17 THE ACCUSED: Good afternoon, Your Honours.
18 Yes, I can hear you.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I believe that the
20 Prosecutor would now exercise his right of reply in the
21 continued examination of Colonel Morsink, and it was
22 Mr. Harmon who was doing it
23 (The witness entered court)
24 JUDGE JORDA: Good afternoon,
25 Lieutenant-Colonel. Did you have a nice weekend? Did
1you rest up -- or I shouldn't say weekend in French, I
2 should say fin de semaine, weekend. If you did, we can
3 continue now, not the examination-in-chief or the
4 cross-examination, but the right of reply, since you
5 were called in by the Prosecution, Mr. Harmon is going
6 to ask you some questions. I see that Mr. Dubuisson is
7 looking at me. I must have made an error.
8 Mr. Harmon?
9 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Mr. President,
10 Your Honours, and counsel. Could I have Exhibit 296
11 placed on the ELMO and could I also have Exhibit 414
12 given to the witness?
13 WITNESS: HENDRIK MORSINK (continued)
14 Re-examined by Mr. Harmon
15 Q. Colonel Morsink, first I'd like to return to
16 the issue of HVO, HDZ propaganda that was directed to
17 the Croats living in the Zenica area, and your
18 investigation into it as well as your findings that the
19 claims about atrocities and mass destruction of Croat
20 homes of the Muslims were exaggerated and false.
21 In respect of your investigation into the
22 Croat villages and the destruction that related to
23 those villages, you were asked by Mr. Hayman the
24 following questions, and I'm referring to the English
25 translation of the unofficial transcript, I'm reading
1from page 9951, lines 5 through 7 and lines 11 through
2 14: You were asked the following questions.
3 Question: You have told us that the church
4 at Guca Gora was not touched in the course of that
5 action; is that correct?
6 And your answer was: That's correct. I
7 visited that church myself after the fighting passed
8 from the north across Guca Gora in a southern
9 direction. The next question you were asked was --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down.
11 MR. HARMON:
12 The next question you were asked was: And
13 that neighbouring Croat communities, no wanton
14 destruction or attack on civilian structures by the BiH
15 army, or was there such conduct in the Guca Gora region
16 generally? And you answered that neither you nor your
17 colleagues saw extensive damage in those Croat
18 communities in and around Zenica.
19 Q. Do you remember that line of questioning,
21 A. I remember that line, yes.
22 Q. The next thing; Mr. Hayman directed your
23 attention to Exhibit 296 which is located to your right
24 on the ELMO, and he then referred you to a paragraph,
25 paragraph 1 of Prosecutor's Exhibit --
1JUDGE JORDA: Could you speak a little more
2 slowly, please, Mr. Harmon, for the sake of the
4 MR. HARMON: I apologise. And apologies to
5 the interpreters as well.
6 You were next directed, Mr. Morsink, to
7 Prosecutor's Exhibit 414, first paragraph, Mr. Hayman
8 read to you the following sentence: "UNPROFOR further
9 report the Croat village of Dolac as deserted and over
10 100 houses burnt."
11 Q. Do you remember that question?
12 A. I remember that question as well, yes.
13 Q. And you were also asked whether that very
14 same day, which was the 8th of June, it was reported by
15 UNPROFOR that in the village of Dolac these 100 houses
16 had been burnt. Now, Colonel Morsink, would you turn
17 to Prosecutor's Exhibit 296, and using the pointer,
18 could you point to the village of Dolac. It's in
19 Prosecutor's Exhibit 296.
20 A. (indicated).
21 Q. Now is that the Dolac that is referred to in
22 paragraph 1 of Prosecutor's Exhibit 414, that is, is
23 that the Dolac where UNPROFOR reported that over 100
24 houses were burnt?
25 A. It's not Dolac.
1Q. Is the village of Dolac, where over 100
2 houses were reported burning, even located in the
3 Zenica municipality?
4 A. No, it is not.
5 Q. Now, again, would you return to Prosecutor's
6 Exhibit 414, which is -- I refer to paragraph number
7 1. Let me return to the complete -- let me read the
8 complete sentence then that was read to you in part by
9 Mr. Hayman: "UNPROFOR further report the Croat village
10 of Dolac (YJ1399) as deserted and over 100 houses
12 Which municipality, Colonel Morsink, is Dolac
13 with the coordinates YJ1399 located?
14 A. According to the grid, Dolac is located in
15 the vicinity of Travnik.
16 Q. With the assistance of the usher, if I could
17 have the following exhibit marked and placed on the
19 THE REGISTRAR: This is 429.
20 MR. HARMON:
21 Q. Colonel Morsink, would you kindly explain to
22 the Judges what is represented in Prosecutor's Exhibit
24 A. In the vicinity of Travnik, you can see two
25 Dolacs that we appreciated as being one small village,
1one is called Dolac and the other one is called Dolac
2 Na Lasvi, it's something like near the Lasva River.
3 The correct way is to read the grid is first find the
4 two letters, they are placed here in this part, that
5 means 100 kilometre square. In the UTM system. Then
6 you take the vertical, 13, and then the horizontal,
7 that's 99, so the correct grid of this Dolac should be
9 Q. That is the area where it was reported 100
10 Croat houses burning; is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Would you turn to the other coordinates
13 located on Prosecutor's Exhibit 429 and explain to the
14 Judges those coordinates?
15 A. First we find the two letters again, that's
16 YK, then we find the vertical, that is 27, and
17 horizontal, that's 01, so this Dolac would be YK2710
19 Q. And YK2701 is the Dolac that's referred to in
20 Prosecutor's Exhibit 296; is that correct?
21 A. That's correct, that's the same Dolac, yes.
22 Q. Could you tell the Judges, please, Colonel
23 Morsink, what was happening on the 8th of June in and
24 around the Dolac that is marked with the coordinates
1A. According to our knowledge at that time,
2 there was major fighting going on in the outskirts of
3 Travnik, so that's exactly this Dolac area here, the
4 HVO used to control a major checkpoint on the main road
5 from Vitez to Travnik, and the fighting was about this
6 checkpoint and about the frontlines moving in the town
7 of Dolac, so there was a major fight going on in Dolac
9 Q. So the Dolac where the 100 houses were
10 reported burning was a major front-line battle ground;
11 is that correct?
12 A. That's correct, it was a real battle ground
13 at that time.
14 Q. And, in fact, later when Dolac with
15 coordinates YJ1399 was visited by ECMM, they assessed,
16 in fact, that approximately 15 to 20 houses had been
17 burnt; is that correct?
18 A. That's correct, so that's far less than the
19 100 first reported by UNPROFOR.
20 Q. And did they also make an assessment on the
21 Catholic church that was in Dolac at coordinates
23 A. That's correct. The church is even on the
24 map. This church was hit by a single mortar round and,
25 because of that mortar impact, damaged, the roof was
1damaged and part of the interior was damaged. There
2 was no sign of fighting directly targeted on this
4 Q. And that was assessed to be not intentional
5 damage; is that correct?
6 A. That was assessed by us as not intentionally
8 Q. Therefore, Colonel Morsink, in respect of
9 ECMM's investigation into the events in and around Guca
10 Gora on the 8th of June, 1993, you stand by your
11 previous testimony and by ambassador Thebault's
12 conclusion that the allegations of atrocities or ethnic
13 cleansing made by the Bosnian Croats are intentionally
14 exaggerated, when not completely false?
15 A. That's correct, I still stand by that, yes.
16 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, we would move to
17 admit Prosecutor's Exhibit 429.
18 JUDGE JORDA: No objection? No discussion?
19 All right. Then this exhibit will be admitted under
20 the number that was assigned to it.
21 MR. HARMON:
22 Let me turn to a different subject now,
23 please, Colonel Morsink. You were asked questions
24 about Prosecutor's Exhibit 418 which is a letter from
25 Mate Boban to General Morillon which is dated the 22nd
1of June, 1993, in which Mate Boban alleges that the
2 Croatian people of Central Bosnia were on the verge of
3 being --
4 JUDGE JORDA: What number is that, please?
5 Oh, yes, I have it here, yes, yes, I have it. 418; is
6 that correct?
7 MR. HARMON: That's right, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. Please go ahead.
9 MR. HARMON:
10 In Prosecutor's Exhibit 418, Mate Boban says,
11 "The Croatian people of Central Bosnia are on the
12 verge of extinction and being expelled from areas where
13 they have lived for over 13 centuries. UNPROFOR and
14 yourself have witnessed the barbaric Muslim devastation
15 and desecration of sacred Catholic objects of our
16 people, and it goes on referring to Guca Gora and other
18 Now, could you again refer to Prosecutor's
19 Exhibit 414, specifically the first page of that
20 document, and the report authored by Ambassador
21 Thebault. Ambassador Thebault in Prosecutor's Exhibit
22 414 referred to a public claim by Mate Boban that was
23 issued prior to the 8th of June, 1993, wherein Mate
24 Boban appealed to the International Community to save
25 the Croats from extinction.
1A. That's correct, that's what Mr. Thebault says
2 in his special report.
3 Q. And is the tone of the report from Ambassador
4 Thebault of what Mate Boban had to say and the tone of
5 what Mate Boban had to say in Prosecutor's Exhibit 418
6 consistent with the tone that you read in then Colonel
7 Blaskic's Call to Help which was dated the 4th of May,
9 A. All these letters fit into the same
10 structure, same attempts to -- according to my opinion,
11 to mislead their own people and to mislead the
12 international opinion.
13 Q. Colonel Morsink, I'd like to turn now to
14 Defence Exhibit 145, and if that could be given to the
16 Now, this exhibit, Colonel Morsink, is a
17 council of Europe 6th information report on war damage
18 to the cultural war damage to Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 presented by the committee on culture and education,
20 and it's a report on a fact-finding mission from the
21 30th of May to the 22nd of June, 1994, by Dr. Colin
23 In your cross-examination, Counsel read a
24 paragraph from this document to you. The paragraph he
25 read is as follows: "Guca Gora. The civil and
1military BiH authorities in Travnik permitted the
2 consultant to visit this site. The village, which
3 contained many traditional farmhouses and buildings,
4 was taken from the HVO, perhaps by Mujahedin soldiers,
5 and it was ethnically cleansed of Croats with a lot of
6 burning. Two weeks later, the ABiH occupied the
7 Franciscan monastery which it still occupies."
8 Now, let me -- have you had a chance to
9 review this document, Defence Exhibit 145?
10 A. You showed it to me later on.
11 Q. Did you read the paragraph that followed that
12 particular paragraph?
13 A. I did, yes.
14 Q. Now, that following paragraph indicates, does
15 it not, that while Dr. Kaiser, the consultant who
16 authored this report, could not visit the interior of
17 the church and the monastery buildings, he could see
18 that the exterior and grounds had suffered only
19 insignificant damage. Is that what he reports?
20 A. That's correct, that's what it says.
21 Q. Does he also say that -- further on: "Other
22 items of value (paintings, liturgical items,
23 et cetera), were evacuated to Travnik where they are
24 safeguarded by the local authorities." Does he say
25 that as well?
1A. That's correct, yes.
2 Q. Now, you visited this particular site, this
3 Franciscan monastery, many times; is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Did you go into the interior of this
7 A. I went in twice.
8 Q. And the two times that you went in, which was
9 prior to Dr. Kaiser's visit, was the interior side of
10 the monastery damaged in any way?
11 A. No, it was undamaged.
12 Q. And similarly was the exterior of the
13 monastery damaged or undamaged when you saw it?
14 A. It was undamaged.
15 Q. Now, further down in Defence Exhibit 145, I'd
16 like to read a paragraph to you. It starts with the
17 word "Kruscica: Unfinished new mosque hit in facade
18 perhaps by recoilless canon (HVO). Roof was also
19 damaged but fixed. An example of deliberate mosque
20 shooting since the houses in this largely traditional
21 village seemed to have suffered little from shelling."
22 Now, Colonel Morsink, were you aware of this
23 attack that is referred to in Dr. Kaiser's report?
24 A. Yes, I think that's the same attack as I
25 addressed to Mario Cerkez when I was there in that
1area. I think it was the beginning of May when I was
2 asked -- when I asked Mario Cerkez why HVO soldiers
3 were shooting with anti-tank rockets at the mosque in
4 Kruscica. I believe it was the same mosque.
5 Q. What was Mario Cerkez' reply to you?
6 A. His answer, interpreted by my interpreter,
7 was, "I could ask the other side the same thing."
8 Q. Did he appear to be concerned about an
9 allegation made by you that the mosque in Kruscica had
10 been deliberately targeted?
11 A. No, not at all.
12 Q. Let me turn to a different subject in the
13 cross-examination. You were asked some questions about
14 your attempts to visit the village of Gomionica on the
15 27th of April, 1993, and not being able to enter the
16 village to inspect it. Based, according to a soldier
17 at the roadblock, on the orders of Ivica Rajic. Was
18 Ivica Rajic the HVO Brigade commander in Kiseljak?
19 A. He was during a certain period. They told me
20 that later on he was killed at the frontlines.
21 Q. Who was Ivica's Rajic's superior officer?
22 A. I think Mr. Blaskic was his superior officer.
23 Q. Now, I'd like to return again to the subject
24 of Kruscica, and specifically your testimony about your
25 efforts to provide Kruscica with humanitarian aid.
1Your testimony on direct examination was that you
2 attempted to deliver humanitarian aid to Kruscica for
3 approximately five weeks, and that the excuse that was
4 given to you by HVO officials was that the road to
5 Kruscica was being blocked by angry civilians; is that
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. And you further testified that you and -- I'm
9 sorry, that you fully informed the HVO, including
10 deputy commander Nakic, of your efforts to resupply
11 Kruscica; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct. On more than one occasion
13 and to different HVO representatives.
14 Q. Now, you also testified that approximately
15 five weeks later, you succeeded in entering into
16 Kruscica, but this time by an alternate parallel road
17 that was controlled by the HVO and of which you were
18 unaware; is that correct?
19 A. That's also correct.
20 Q. My question is this: Was this alternate
21 parallel road the one that had been blocked by angry
22 civilians or was this a completely different road?
23 A. It was a completely different road. The main
24 road was blocked by angry civilians, and this appeared
25 to be another parallel road.
1Q. In your opinion, Colonel Morsink, could this
2 alternate parallel road have been opened by the HVO at
3 any time during the five weeks preceding your actual
4 delivery of aid on the 21st of June, 1993?
5 A. Yes, I'm sure it could have been opened at
6 any time.
7 Q. And why do you say that?
8 A. Because during that period of five weeks, the
9 front-line didn't seem to move, there was no major
10 fighting going on in the outskirts of Kruscica or
11 Vitez, so I think the situation in the beginning of the
12 five-week period was exactly the same as at the end.
13 Q. Now, you testified briefly about the Busovaca
14 Joint Commission, and you said that that was -- that
15 that commission had been created in part because of
16 serious violations of international humanitarian law
17 that had occurred in Busovaca in January of 1993,
18 violations which in part were committed by the HVO; is
19 that correct?
20 A. That's what I was told by my colleague
21 monitors, yes.
22 Q. Now, if a commander is aware that his
23 subordinates have a propensity toward committing these
24 kind of serious violations of humanitarian law and if
25 the commander later plans and organises a large-scale
1and systematic operation directed at Muslim villages in
2 the same community and adjacent communities, what
3 should the commander do, in your opinion, to ensure
4 that these same violations of international
5 humanitarian law do not re-occur?
6 MR. HAYMAN: Beyond the scope,
7 Mr. President. If counsel wants to repeat his direct,
8 so be it. If so, it should be with the consent of the
9 Trial Chamber.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, either reformulate
11 the question or it is true that you're somewhat outside
12 the scope of the cross-examination. You're redoing an
13 examination-in-chief here.
14 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I'll move on.
15 Q. Let me turn to the subject of Djuti, Colonel
16 Morsink. You testified that Djuti had been described
17 to you as an uncontrolled element of the HVO.
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. You further testified that you met Djuti once
20 in the presence of deputy commander Nakic and brigade
21 commander Leotar. My question is; where did that
22 meeting take place?
23 A. That meeting took place at the headquarters
24 of Mr. Leotar, the Brigade commander, and I believe it
25 was in a small village called Bilici north-west of
2 Q. So that was an HVO headquarters, is that
4 A. That's correct, it was in the Brigade
6 Q. Would Djuti have been arrested by HVO when
7 you saw him in the headquarters on the 2nd of June,
9 A. I think so, yes. It was HVO controlled
10 area. There were a lot of guards in these
11 headquarters, so he could easily have been arrested.
12 Q. Let me turn to the subject of the
13 humanitarian aid that was confiscated in Busovaca. You
14 testified that on the 2nd of July, 1993, you met with
15 Pakco (phoen) Ljubesic who was the police chief. You
16 asked for the release of aid, and Mr. Ljubesic told you
17 that he first had to ask permission from his superiors
18 in Mostar; is that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. You were then asked to return the following
21 day, and you did, and, in fact, on the following day
22 you testified that you met an HVO brigade commander by
23 the name of Grubesic, and he told you that based on the
24 orders from the HVO headquarters in Vitez, that the
25 seized humanitarian aid would be released if the threat
1from Zenica was eliminated; is that correct?
2 A. That's correct. It was linked to the
3 roadblock just put there that very day.
4 Q. Now, is the decision of the HVO not to
5 release the humanitarian aid until the military threat
6 from Zenica was removed consistent with Colonel Blaskic
7 having tactical control over the military police in his
8 theatre of operations?
9 MR. HAYMAN: Beyond the scope again,
10 Mr. President, and I object to the way Counsel is
11 leading the witness. Admittedly, some leading has to
12 occur on redirect, but the leading here is beyond
13 anything I think I've ever seen in a court of law on
14 either direct or redirect.
15 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I don't believe
16 the examination is beyond the scope in this
17 particular ...
18 JUDGE JORDA: Try to reformulate your
19 question, Mr. Harmon, so as not to give Mr. Hayman the
20 impression that this is the first court he's ever been
21 in when his opponent is going somewhat outside the
22 scope of the initial examination. Try to reformulate
23 the question.
24 MR. HARMON:
25 Q. Colonel Morsink, when you returned on the 3rd
1of July and you were told by the HVO brigade commander
2 that there was a connection between the release of
3 humanitarian aid and the removal of a threat from
4 Zenica --
5 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please. For the
6 time being, we are within the scope of the
7 cross-examination, Mr. Hayman. That's what -- for the
8 time being, this is the scope of the examination. Is
9 that not so, Mr. Hayman?
10 All right. Continue now, Mr. Harmon.
11 MR. HARMON:
12 Q. In your opinion, then, in your view, was that
13 consistent with Colonel Blaskic having tactical control
14 over military police in his area of operations?
15 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, here the problem
16 is new --
17 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please. He
18 hasn't completed with his question. I'm trying to see
19 whether your objection is valid. At least let me
20 listen to the question all the way to the end. I
21 specifically tried to set up kind of a split here in
22 the middle for the first part of the sentence, the
23 question is within the scope of the cross-examination,
24 at least let me hear the end of the question.
25 Mr. Harmon, please start again. We are
1within the scope of the cross-examination when it has
2 to do with knowing whether we're speaking about
3 humanitarian aid which was interrupted.
4 Mr. Harmon, will you continue with your
5 question, please.
6 MR. HARMON:
7 Q. My question, Mr. President, is a question
8 that was touched upon by Counsel. That is the tactical
9 control of a commander in an area of operations, and my
10 question to Colonel Morsink is: Was the fact that the
11 police chief told you he had to get permission from
12 Busovaca -- I'm sorry, from Mostar, and then you
13 returned the following day when you were told by a
14 military commander, a brigade commander, that there was
15 a connection, that you couldn't get back the aid until
16 a threat, a military threat from Zenica, was removed,
17 suggests, does it not, that the permission received by
18 the police chief was overridden as a tactical matter by
19 the commander in the operations zone. Is that how you
20 would interpret that, Colonel?
21 A. That's correct. I think the police matter
22 was overruled by the military commander in theatre.
23 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, may I state my
24 objection now?
25 JUDGE JORDA: The question is proper.
2 Q. Colonel, is it normal that an operation zone
3 commander --
4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, I said that the
5 question was proper. If you want to object to
6 something else, about something else ...
7 MR. HAYMAN: I just want to state for the
8 record why I object, and it is because new opinions of
9 an expert nature are being elicited from the witness on
10 redirect. We will never have the opportunity to
11 cross-examine the witness on those new opinions, and I
12 think that is wrong.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, we are being very
14 attentive. On various occasions I have had the
15 opportunity to say that the right of rebuttal must be
16 part of the scope of the cross-examination and that the
17 rule that the cross-examination must be part of the
18 examination-in-chief is not a mathematical formula.
19 You understand that when you yourself bring in your
21 Things are not absolutely precise. Each time
22 the judge has to hear the objections and to decide in
23 respect of that objection whether there is a truth here
24 that has to be got at. Of course, sometimes I myself
25 have to consult with my colleagues, but it does seem to
1me that in this particular case, this is a field -- a
2 scope which was covered by your own cross-examination.
3 All of this is now in the transcript in order to
4 accommodate your wishes, and this has not, however,
5 changed the position of the Judges.
6 Mr. Harmon, please continue.
7 MR. HARMON:
8 Q. Is it normal that an operation zone commander
9 would have tactical control over units in his area, all
10 units in his area of responsibility?
11 A. I think it's necessary that he has tactical
12 control over all units in his area.
13 Q. Counsel for the Defence also showed you a
14 film and asked you to identify an individual, and the
15 film was taken at a location known as "the bungalow"
16 the night before the attack on the village of Ahmici
17 which occurred on the 16th of April, 1993.
18 Based on your knowledge of military
19 structures, would a military police unit that is
20 involved in a well-organised and coordinated attack be
21 outside the tactical control of the operation zone
23 A. I think that's impossible to operate.
24 Q. Can you tell the Judges why?
25 A. Well, if a commander has to organise a
1military operation in his area of responsibility, then
2 he has to control all his elements, he has to be in
3 tactical command over all his elements. There cannot
4 be any exception, with units doing other operations on
5 somebody else's initiative, so it should be under the
6 command of one person and one person only.
7 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have no
8 additional questions of this witness. I have concluded
9 my redirect examination.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Harmon. Very
11 well, Lieutenant-Colonel. The Judges will ask you some
12 questions themselves or for some additional
13 clarifications which they would like to have from you.
14 First I turn to Judge Riad. Judge Riad?
15 JUDGE RIAD: I have a certain number of
16 questions to ask you if you are in a position to
17 enlighten me, enlighten us, although definitely you
18 have been very clear, and I do not mean by that that
19 you were not clear, but there is always room for more
21 I'll start from the beginning, although it
22 goes back in time. I hope I haven't forgotten.
23 You spoke of a certain Mr. Pedersen who asked
24 for an investigation -- who once asked for an
25 investigation, I think that was after the truck bomb in
1Vitez, and Cerkez accepted the investigation idea but
2 nothing has been done. Can you tell me what is Cerkez
3 in relationship to General Blaskic?
4 A. As far as I know, Mr. Cerkez, Mario Cerkez,
5 was a Brigade commander of the HVO brigade in Vitez,
6 located in Vitez with its headquarters in Vitez, and he
7 was subordinate to Mr. Blaskic being the commander of
8 the operational zone middle Bosnia.
9 JUDGE RIAD: So he represented General
11 A. That's correct.
12 JUDGE RIAD: And you think the investigation
13 would be carried out by Mr. Cerkez in the name of
14 Colonel Blaskic?
15 A. According to our marshal law, the Brigade
16 commander is responsible for his own area of
17 operations, in this case being the town or the vicinity
18 of Vitez, so I think it would be appropriate if
19 Mr. Mario Cerkez had done the investigation. If he
20 didn't have any means to do so, then he could ask for
21 support from his superior. He would at least have
22 reported to his superior that he had done the
24 JUDGE RIAD: This leads me to another
25 question. Suppose he did not report to his superior.
1Was the incident so remote from General Blaskic that he
2 would not have taken knowledge of it?
3 A. I think this truck bomb was so severe that we
4 could hear it from 5 kilometres distance and the
5 location of the truck bomb was only 500 metres away
6 from the headquarters of Mr. Blaskic, so he must have
7 heard it, or at least his soldiers in his headquarters
8 must have heard it.
9 JUDGE RIAD: Even if Mr. Cerkez did not
10 report it to him?
11 A. I think so, yes. This was such a huge
12 explosion. Everybody in Vitez knew about it.
13 JUDGE RIAD: Now, you were speaking always of
14 the truck bomb in Vitez. You mentioned that the
15 evacuation took place, there were 200 wounded or
16 something like that, and Colonel Stewart was very angry
17 because the HVO did not help the wounded and only the
18 British battalion did the evacuation.
19 Was this a normal method not to help the
20 wounded everywhere or -- I mean, was the HVO in the
21 habit of not participating in saving the civilians?
22 A. Your Honour, this is the only clear occasion
23 where HVO, according to my knowledge, failed to help.
24 I don't know whether it happened the same thing in
25 other occasions. But I think they were organised and
1capable of helping because they -- the civil and
2 military government in Vitez, they were the ones who
3 ruled the local Red Cross organisation, who ruled the
4 other organisations like the fire brigade, and they
5 were the ones who had the trucks, the ambulances. So
6 if anybody could have helped, then they could have, I
8 JUDGE RIAD: And they never did?
9 A. They never did, no.
10 JUDGE RIAD: I'm just following your
11 testimony, so perhaps it's not related. You also
12 mentioned that at the roadblocks, you had been refused
13 access and even threatened at the HVO roadblocks. Now,
14 was there any animosity between your groups and the
15 HVO? Was there any ill-feelings? Why would they act
16 like that?
17 A. Sometimes there was animosity because they
18 accused the UNHCR of bringing ammunition to the other
19 side. They sometimes accused UNPROFOR of being
20 partial, and they even sometimes accused us of not
21 doing what we had promised, like freeing prisoners or
22 removing threats from any direction.
23 JUDGE RIAD: And there was no other reason,
24 you think? There was no other reason for this -- for
25 stopping you from access?
1A. Well, the reason they told us for the human
2 roadblock was that a woman was killed in her back yard
3 and she was shot twice. The first time she was hit,
4 her child tried to evacuate her from the back yard into
5 the house, and when the child was with her, she was hit
6 again and killed in that accident, and that was such --
7 it was a pitiful accident, everybody could feel that,
8 and we felt the same way, and they told us that that
9 was the reason why angry civilians blocked that road,
10 because of this single accident.
11 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned also that Mario
12 Kordic threatened once to burn Kruscica totally, I
13 think it was in case of attack?
14 A. That was Mario Cerkez, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, Mario Cerkez, yes. Why was
16 that exactly? Why did he threaten to burn the city?
17 A. He mentioned this threat during a meeting of
18 the local commission Vitez. During this meeting, the
19 problem of Kruscica was raised again, and Mario Cerkez
20 claimed that the army of BiH was bringing in new troops
21 through the mountains on a small trail, goat trail, so
22 not a normally-used road, and because of these fresh
23 troops, they thought that the army of BiH were planning
24 an attack coming from Kruscica in the direction of
25 Vitez, I think. I'm not sure.
1JUDGE RIAD: Was Kruscica a military centre?
2 A. There was a part of a Muslim brigade in
3 Kruscica. I'm not sure, I think a battalion or one and
4 a half battalions.
5 JUDGE RIAD: Is it normal in wartime that if
6 there is a battalion in a city, you burn the whole
8 A. No, that's not normal because there were more
9 than 4.000 civilians living in the same village.
10 JUDGE RIAD: Was it part of the system of the
11 HVO to burn a city if there is any weapons in it or
12 that sort of thing?
13 A. Well, sometimes they claimed that that was
14 the reason why they burned down a village, like in
15 Rotilj, the seven houses. But we had seen examples of
16 burned-down villages already in the area, so that's the
17 reason why we took this threat seriously.
18 JUDGE RIAD: So it's not one of the methods
19 of war?
20 A. Not according to --
21 JUDGE RIAD: -- to burn cities?
22 A. Not according to our laws, and I think
23 everybody should obey those laws.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Do you think Cerkez was supposed
25 to speak in the name of General Blaskic or his own
1name? Was he freelance?
2 A. He could have spoken in his own name, but
3 then he was the known brigade commander, known by
4 everybody. We were in theatre already for a few weeks
5 then. And he introduced himself more than once as the
6 brigade commander. He commanded his troops, and he was
7 in function when he said this.
8 JUDGE RIAD: Speaking of commander, you
9 mentioned very categorically that the command structure
10 of the HVO in middle Bosnia was well-structured and
11 with good communication and good execution of orders
12 and control of telephone lines and so on. Now,
13 speaking of commanders, who was considered the
14 commander, when you speak of the command structure
15 being respected?
16 A. Mr. Blaskic was considered to be the
18 JUDGE RIAD: Not Mr. Cerkez?
19 A. Mr. Cerkez was his subordinate, so
20 Mr. Blaskic was the supreme commander in the area, and
21 Mr. Cerkez was one of the brigade commanders. There
22 were more brigade commanders, of course, I think he had
23 five or six brigades in the area of -- from Travnik,
24 Vitez, Busovaca, to Kiseljak, and then if you -- there
25 were even more brigade commanders.
1JUDGE RIAD: But also all subordinate to the
2 big commander?
3 A. All subordinate to the big commander, yes.
4 JUDGE RIAD: And as you said, the command
5 structure was perfect?
6 A. Well, "perfect" might be a little --
7 JUDGE RIAD: Militarily speaking?
8 A. Militarily speaking, it was well organised.
9 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned that there was a
10 double policy, a double operation, done by the military
11 side and the political side at the same time. This
12 double operation was, first, the ethnic cleansing of
13 Muslims through fear, killing, and burning; the other
14 policy was to frighten the Croat minorities in the
15 other places so that they might immigrate to the areas
16 that had been ethnically cleansed. Would this be the
17 policy of the military, or a political policy? What
18 would be the roles-- how would you distribute the roles
19 of the military and the political command in it?
20 A. I think the military part would set the
21 preconditions for it, and the part of pulling Croats
22 from outside into the region would have been probably
23 registered by the politicians.
24 JUDGE RIAD: So who do you think would be the
25 responsible -- the ultimate responsibility?
1A. That's hard to say. I'm not fully familiar
2 with the top political structure in --
3 JUDGE RIAD: Because you mentioned the
4 political here. Would the burning of, for instance,
5 Vitez or that sort of thing, be attributed to the
6 political commander?
7 A. No, to the military commander.
8 JUDGE RIAD: The military commander. Now,
9 you mentioned that Merdan -- he was a general? What
10 was he?
11 A. He was a deputy commander of the third corps.
12 JUDGE RIAD: He told you several times that
13 the 7th Muslim brigade was not under his control, and
14 then by the end of May it became under his control, and
15 he informs you. Now, did you receive any similar
16 information from the HVO that certain battalions -- or
17 certain brigades were not under the control of the
18 commander the way Merdan told you about his 7th
20 A. The HVO made several suggestions like that,
21 but they were always undefined, uncontrolled elements,
22 so no names of brigades or battalions, just as a common
23 word "uncontrolled units" or "uncontrolled elements."
24 JUDGE RIAD: When would they make such
1A. When there were any allegations on war crimes
2 during one of the meetings, they would blame the
3 uncontrolled elements.
4 JUDGE RIAD: As a defence?
5 A. As a defence.
6 JUDGE RIAD: But what Merdan told you was not
7 a defence? Was it a defence too?
8 A. I'm not sure. Maybe it was a defence in the
9 beginning, but I have think he was -- he wasn't very
10 happy about this 7th Muslim brigade and he showed us
11 that he tried to put this brigade under his control and
12 he finally succeeded, as he told us.
13 JUDGE RIAD: I still have another question.
14 You mentioned there was an exhibit, I think D151, the
15 order of General Blaskic to stop certain violations,
16 and the order was given to a unit under his authority.
17 Now, such an order was supposed to be followed up by
18 investigation or punishment. Were you informed about
19 the result of the investigation?
20 A. No, I was never informed of any results.
21 JUDGE RIAD: So the order stopped at that?
22 A. I think so, yes. I'm not sure, of course,
23 but we were not informed about any investigations or
25 JUDGE RIAD: You also mentioned that even
1after there was an agreement, even after the agreement
2 in Stranje by the joint military commission, digging
3 trenches continued. Is that -- is did I understand it
4 right or did it stop?
5 A. No, that is correct, you understand it
6 right. The allegations on people being forced to dig
7 trenches went on, so I didn't see any examples myself
8 after that, but the allegations went on.
9 JUDGE RIAD: You also mentioned -- this is my
10 last question, perhaps -- that Nakic was a
11 representative of General Blaskic to the joint
12 operational command, ordered unconditional cease-fire
13 once but the local HVO commander did not obey.
14 Were there any INCIDENTS where direct orders
15 from Colonel Blaskic were not obeyed?
16 A. There were very much of those examples, in
17 fact. Every meeting started with allegations about
18 cease-fire violations, and there was a cease-fire
19 ordered from the end of April, so any time this
20 cease-fire was broken, it was, in fact, an order not
21 carried out.
22 JUDGE RIAD: So there were orders coming from
24 A. Orders coming from Mr. Blaskic but also
25 orders signed by General Petkovic, orders signed by
1General Halilovic, so the top military leaders signed
2 the orders for the cease-fire, the initial orders.
3 JUDGE RIAD: So then there is not -- you said
4 that the HVO had a very orderly command and the orders
5 were executed, so if they did not execute, sometimes
6 they were not.
7 A. Well, not all orders were executed. I
8 think -- if there is a threat at the front-line, then
9 soldiers are likely to answer the fire, so if they can
10 claim that somebody else fired the first shot, then
11 they will answer the fire and fire their weapons as
13 JUDGE RIAD: To a degree, would orders be
14 executed in this situation where there was an
15 eyewitness, for instance, an order not to burn a
16 village. Would it be executed?
17 A. It has to be, yes.
18 JUDGE RIAD: That would be executed. Which
19 orders are you referring to now which might not be
21 A. The orders for a total cease-fire. I think
22 they were executed according to artillery, that was
23 well-coordinated and well-controlled by the operational
24 zone level because it was divisional artillery directly
25 controlled by the operational zone commander. The
1orders to stop all small arms fire, that's more
2 difficult to control that because every soldier that is
3 more or less in panic in his trenches, who feels afraid
4 during the night, he it fire his weapon, and then the
5 cease-fire is broken again.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Then the higher level --
7 A. On the level of battalions and brigades,
8 maybe on company level, it should be obeyed.
9 JUDGE RIAD: It should be obeyed.
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen? Thank you,
13 Judge Riad.
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Colonel, both sides
15 suffered loss to life, limb, and property; is that
17 A. That's right.
18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: One side suffered more
19 extensively than another; is that correct?
20 A. That's also correct, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, you were there on
22 the ground, and the Tribunal relies on your testimony
23 to guide it.
24 If you were a displaced Croat contemplating
25 the prospect of returning to your home, what would
1matter to you more? Would a comparison between levels
2 of destruction be decisive in your mind or is it the
3 case that what would weigh with you is the fact that
4 Croat homes and Croat lives were lost?
5 A. I think the fact that Croat lives were lost
6 would be --
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let's turn to another
8 thing. You spoke of intentional exaggerations. By
9 "intentional," I take it that you mean that the Croat
10 leadership knew that the stories which they were
11 putting about were exaggerated.
12 A. That's correct, they knew because we reported
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would you say that that
15 applied also to General Blaskic?
16 A. I don't know whether he was reported
17 personally, but we reported to his representatives
18 during meetings.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, some of these
20 intentional exaggerations were fed into the media; is
21 that correct?
22 A. That's correct, yes.
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, with what intent do
24 you think that was done?
25 A. I think the intent was to try to convince the
1Croat people still living in those certain areas that
2 life was no longer safe for them there and that they
3 should come and unite with the other Croats in Vitez or
4 in Novi Bila or in Busovaca.
5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: If the intent succeeded,
6 could that conceivably affect the configuration of
7 opposing military forces?
8 A. I think so, yes. I think that not only
9 civilians were pulled into the area of Vitez, also the
10 Francopan brigade that used to be stationed in the
11 Zenica area tried to go to Vitez as well, so the forces
12 would come into another balance than before.
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, you're a military
14 man and we're not military people. Tell me: In
15 military academies and schools, do they run courses on
16 the use of disinformation as a method of war?
17 A. Sometimes in higher levels, I mean corps or
18 division level, information, so not only disinformation
19 but information itself is being used to sometimes
20 mislead the enemy so it's not used to mislead the civil
21 population but the enemy themselves and certainly not
22 your own population.
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: If you would look at
24 Exhibit -- I think, Mr. Registrar, it is 417C? Would
25 you look at 417C? It is dated 14th June, 1993.
1Now, would I be correct, Colonel, in my
2 impression that the war went through different phases?
3 During one phase, one side might have the upper hand;
4 during another phase, the advantage may shift?
5 A. That's correct, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, on the 14th of
7 June, what was the relative positions of the two
8 opposing forces?
9 A. I can only tell by hearsay, Your Honour,
10 because I was on leave during that period of 14th of
11 June, and this document is referring to the Kakanj
12 area, and that was not my area of operations.
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would you look at a
14 document dated the 8th of June, 1993? And I'm trying
15 to get the exhibit number in a while -- 414, I think,
16 Mr. Dubuisson.
17 A. I have it here, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You have it? And it is
19 dated the 8th of June, 1993.
20 A. That's correct.
21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Where were you at that
23 A. At that time, I was in the area of Travnik
24 and Guca Gora, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, would you look at
1the last paragraph at the bottom of page 3 -- shall I
2 read it to you? It says: "The position of the Armija
3 appears strong and morale in the operational group
4 headquarters is high. This contrasts strongly with the
5 HVO operational zone headquarters --" I think that
6 should be "where" "-- where previous arrogance had
7 been replaced by trepidation. The Armija OG commander
8 appeared confident of further gains in the Bila Valley
9 stating he would join UNPROFOR in their HQ for a drink
10 tomorrow and would not require an escort. The ultimate
11 objective of the 3rd Corps is not known but continued
12 advance on the southern access will provide a
13 controlled Travnik-Zenica route."
14 Do you see that paragraph?
15 A. I see that paragraph, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: So at that stage, the
17 advantage lay with whom?
18 A. That's clear, that the Armija forces were
19 winning at that time, and they almost reached their
20 objective for that attack they launched.
21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: That is 8th of June. Do
22 you see any connection between the situation on the 8th
23 of June and the fact that, on the 14th of June, one
24 week later, General Blaskic is putting out a document
25 in the form of 417C in which he's saying that the
1forces on the other side were, in effect, destroying
2 the Croat people? Do you see any connection?
3 A. I can see a connection, Your Honour, but this
4 letter of Mr. Blaskic is based on wrong information.
5 We told him after the 8th of June that it was
6 incorrect, that there was no massacre on the Croat
7 population, that there was no -- or only small damage
8 to Croat property. If he claims that on the same basis
9 of information, then it's wrong, and I think he
10 addressed it on another area, Kakanj and Vares, and
11 that's some 50 kilometres away from Travnik.
12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Is it your statement to
13 the court that he was erring intentionally?
14 A. If he based his information on the Guca Gora
15 area, then I think he did it intentionally, because we
16 informed him before the 14th that all the allegations
17 concerning the Guca Gora area were untrue. We made
18 that very clear.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, my question to you
20 was intended to ascertain whether there was any
21 connection between his intentionally exaggerating the
22 position in the fact that at around that time, the
23 military advantage lay with the Armija.
24 A. I can understand that they have a bad feeling
25 when they're at a disadvantage, of course, but that
1still, according to my education, my military
2 education, doesn't give you a good reason to mislead
3 your own people.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. I understand you.
5 Now, could I ask you to look again at Exhibit 417C?
6 It's dated 14th of June. The first line says: "Muslim
7 forces persist in exterminating the Croat people." Was
8 that correct?
9 A. That's incorrect, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The fourth line from the
11 bottom speaks of massacres.
12 A. That's also incorrect.
13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The last line says: "On
14 behalf of all the Croats, we beg you to stop the
15 jihad," and it is signed Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, who
16 therefore was speaking on behalf of all the Croats.
17 A. I think Mr. Blaskic was, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, what would you say
19 if you were told that Colonel Blaskic was, at around
20 the same time, telling Muslims, some Muslims, a group
21 of Muslims, that all people should live peacefully
22 together? Do you think so? Do you think he would have
23 been sincere?
24 A. No, I don't think so.
25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, let us look at
1Exhibit 422, dated 18th June. It is from Colonel
2 Blaskic; it's a command order. Am I right?
3 A. That's correct, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Look at paragraph 8. It
5 refers to POWs, Prisoners of War, does it?
6 A. That's correct, Prisoners of War, yes.
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And paragraph 9, as
8 you've noticed before, refers to the Geneva Convention
9 and the laws of war.
10 A. That's correct.
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: As a military man
12 reading this, you would say that he was telling his
13 soldiers that there could be liability under the laws
14 of war for any transgressions of those laws?
15 A. That's what he's telling them, yes.
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: So you would say that he
17 was telling his soldiers the laws of war applied?
18 A. That's correct.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Look, finally, at
20 Exhibit D148. This is a command order issued by
21 Colonel Blaskic. It's dated 22 April, 1993. Now, look
22 at paragraph 1: "On the territory of the area of
23 responsibility of the Central Bosnia operative zone
24 command controlled by the HVO, I most strictly forbid
25 the torching of houses," et cetera.
1As a military man reading that, you would say
2 that the writer of this document was asserting military
3 control over the area of Central Bosnia?
4 A. That's correct, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would you also say -- or
6 let me direct you to the part on the top right hand
7 which cites the addressees of the document, and in
8 particular, let me invite your attention to the
9 penultimate line, "Special Purposes Unit, Vitezovi."
10 Do you see that?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Then let me direct you
13 to paragraph 2, "The commanders of brigades and
14 independent units must issue this order."
15 Do you see that also?
16 A. I see that also, yes.
17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let me invite you to
18 look at paragraph 5: "This order shall take effect
19 immediately, and the commanders of brigades and
20 independent units in the Central Bosnia operative zone
21 are responsible to me for its execution."
22 Would you say that the writer of this
23 document was saying that these independent units,
24 including the Vitezovi unit, were answerable to him?
25 A. That's correct, Your Honour.
1JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: What would you
2 understand to be the meaning of the word "independent"
3 then? Independent of other HVO units but not
4 independent of the commander at the top?
5 A. I think in our structure, independent units
6 are units directly under the control of the top level;
7 like, for instance, a communications company, these
8 lines on the bottom of this address list, so not under
9 control of a brigade, as a level in between, but
10 directly under the operational zone command.
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let me ask you one last
12 question. Let me try to relocate you in time and
13 space. You remember your testimony that a military
14 commander of the HVO gave you permission to visit some
15 place, but that on your way to the place, you were
16 stopped, I think, by a single soldier, and he
17 countermanded the order; is that it?
18 A. That's correct. That was in Gomionica, I
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The question that was
21 then put to you was whether this suggested that there
22 were two independent lines of authority within the
23 HVO. Do you remember that line of examination?
24 A. I do, Your Honour, yes.
25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I think you said that
1that was what you were usually told whenever you got
2 permission and wanted to travel somewhere and you were
3 stopped and you complained to the authorities, they
4 would say something to the same effect, "Well, people
5 down there would do their own thing." Was that --
6 A. That was not always the case, but sometimes
7 that was the answer they gave us.
8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes, sometimes. Now,
9 what was your understanding of the system then? Were
10 there two independent lines of authority, or was it the
11 case that the authority which gave you the licence knew
12 that, in all likelihood, you would be stopped on the
14 A. That last thing is correct, Your Honour. I
15 think they were just looking for an excuse. They
16 didn't want to debate any longer in the headquarters,
17 so they gave us permission, and on the ground we would
18 be stopped anyway.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Do I understand you to
20 mean then that all things considered, you are of the
21 view that there was one single line of authority?
22 A. That's correct, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you.
24 JUDGE JORDA: You have answered many
25 questions, Lieutenant-Colonel. I have only one concern
1which is still in my mind after what my colleagues have
2 said, and this has to do with the orders. I'm kind of
3 following up on the question that Judge Shahabuddeen,
4 my colleague, asked.
5 I would like to go back to three documents,
6 D147, 148, and 149, all "D." There is actually a
7 fourth one as well. I have put these three together.
8 These are orders in which General Blaskic, who was the
9 commander of the Central Bosnian operative zone, was
10 giving instructions so that the rights of international
11 humanitarian assistance be respected. You haven't been
12 shown these yet, but we're going to show them to you
14 The documents, as the registrar has pointed
15 out, have not been admitted as evidence, but we're
16 going to ask you rather general questions anyway. They
17 were not admitted because we did not know about them.
18 Do you agree with that?
19 A. Yes.
20 JUDGE JORDA: You didn't know about them
21 because they are strictly confidential.
22 One of the questions which the Prosecution
23 asked -- one of the themes, rather, not questions, was
24 to say that the documents demonstrate that Colonel
25 Blaskic admittedly had concerns in respect of the
1rights of international humanitarian law but that his
2 concerns were not followed up by any execution of
3 things. Nothing was carried out. Do you follow what
4 I'm saying so far?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 JUDGE JORDA: The question that I would like
7 to ask you is that, in an army such as the Dutch army,
8 when this type of order is given, if we were in a war,
9 the sanctions which are taken, should these orders not
10 be carried out, are they published? Are they public?
11 Are they known? Do you understand what I'm asking?
12 A. Yes, I understand what you're asking, Your
13 Honour. I think, because these orders all matter about
14 international law, about violations of humanitarian
15 laws, the Geneva Convention, and all the additional
16 laws, I think that's such an important matter that it's
17 no longer a matter of confidential orders or not.
18 These orders should be discussed openly. It should be
19 clear to everybody, all representatives of the
20 International Community in the area, that the commander
21 in place is doing anything he can to live up to these
22 humanitarian laws, and he didn't -- or they didn't show
23 us anything about that, nothing at all. So there was
24 no sign at all that they issued these orders or that
25 they tried, even tried to live up to the humanitarian
2 So according to the Dutch military system, I
3 think, yes, we should spread out the news that the
4 commander has ordered everybody to live up to the
5 humanitarian laws.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. At the time of the
7 joint commissions, did General Blaskic or his
8 representatives say to you orally, since the written
9 orders were confidential, that all the measures have
10 been taken in order to have the serious violations of
11 international law stopped?
12 A. Sometimes when an allegation was made, but
13 only sometimes, the answer would be, "Yes, we are
14 taking care of that." But in most cases, the
15 allegation was followed by another contra-allegation,
16 and that went on for hours, so there was no clear
17 reaction on most of the occasions.
18 JUDGE JORDA: I'd like you to call upon your
19 memory, and perhaps even your notes, these three
20 documents, D147, 148, and 149, which I said were not
21 admitted as evidence, nonetheless are all part of a
22 very limited time period, the 22nd and 24th of April.
23 The 24th of April -- actually, one says it was at 10.20
24 in the morning and then at 11.00.
25 Do you remember, short of showing them to you
1since they're confidential, do you remember having
2 heard this question discussed at all? If you need to,
3 please look at your notes.
4 A. On the 23rd, we have the first meeting of the
5 joint operational command after this order of the 22nd,
6 and this meeting starts again with all kinds of
7 allegations; for instance, stop civilians digging
8 trenches, et cetera, et cetera, release all prisoners.
9 Allegations from both sides; no clear answers to those
11 On the 24th, we have another meeting, and
12 then I go to Grahovcici for three days, so I was not in
13 the area of Vitez in those three days.
14 Then on the 27th, I go to Kiseljak, and there
15 is then this problem of no entrance into Gomionica and
16 the same allegations again.
17 On the 28th, there is another meeting in
18 Vitez, and it's the same problem. That's a field
19 officer of the UNHCR claiming that people are still
20 being expelled.
21 So I didn't take any notes on positive
22 reactions that HVO would take care of these
24 JUDGE JORDA: Since these documents have not
25 been admitted as evidence, how do you interpret the
1fact that in the joint commissions, that the
2 representatives of Colonel Blaskic did not say at any
3 point, "But we're making all the arrangements we can.
4 We're making all the steps necessary. Myself or the
5 Colonel has taken all the measures necessary. We can't
6 speak about them to you in any detail, but we did, and
7 we will tell you"? Can you explain why that was not
8 spoken about with the commission?
9 A. That's hard to tell, Your Honour. That's
10 what struck me, when Mr. Hayman showed me these orders,
11 I had never seen them before, and that is the strange
12 thing. We used to discuss all these matters during the
13 joint commission meetings. That's what these
14 commissions were for, to bring trust amongst each
15 other, to bring trust for the International Community,
16 to explain what they did on all these allegations, and
17 there was no positive answer at all. I mean, we were
18 the ones who report to Zagreb and they were the ones
19 who report to Brussels, so what could our politicians
20 do if there was no positive reaction at all? And they
21 didn't give us any positive reaction.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you very
23 much, Colonel Morsink. You agreed to come back; you
24 have been asked many questions. The Tribunal is very
25 grateful to you and now is sending you back to your
1military activities. We will have you accompanied out
2 of the courtroom and then we will take a break.
3 Have the witness accompanied out of the
4 courtroom, please. Thank you.
5 (The witness withdrew)
6 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We will resume in
7 about 20 minutes.
8 --- Recess taken at 4.01 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.31 p.m.
10 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume.
11 (The accused entered court)
12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, you have the
13 floor in respect of this afternoon's work, or perhaps
14 tomorrow's as well.
15 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, we don't have any
16 additional witnesses this afternoon. We would request,
17 however, that we be permitted to go into closed session
18 to raise an issue with the court.
19 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We will have a
20 closed session now.
21 (Closed session)
13 Pages 10100 to 10112 redacted - in closed session
17 Whereupon the court stands adjourned at
18 4.50 p.m., to be reconvened on
19 Tuesday, the 7th day of July, 1998,
20 at 9.45 a.m