1 Wednesday, 22nd July 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.53 p.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please sit down. Can you have
5 the accused come in?
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is open. I don't
8 know where the interpreters are, but they must be in
9 the booth, and I still want to greet them all the same
10 because we are starting our work in this new
11 courtroom. Can everybody hear me?
12 Yes, I can hear everybody. Fine. Thank you
13 very much. The accused can hear me, so can the
14 Defence, Prosecution as well? Fine.
15 We are going to carry on our hearing. There
16 might be a slight problem, Mr. Prosecutor. Mr. Harmon,
17 do you want to take the floor and tell us all about it,
18 how we are going to organise our work, because
19 apparently there are new problems that have cropped up.
20 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Mr. President,
21 good afternoon, Your Honours, and good afternoon,
23 Mr. President, we do not have any witnesses
24 to call today; however, we will be presenting evidence
25 pursuant to Rule 85A of the Rules of Evidence and
1 Procedure, and that evidence, Mr. President and Your
2 Honours, has been placed in front of you.
3 I will describe to Your Honours the binders
4 that have been placed in front of you, there are two
5 binders, and perhaps counsel for the Defence could be
6 given their binders, then I can proceed and orient them
7 through these exhibits as well.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, have you received
9 this binder, or Mr. Nobilo, have you received it?
10 Well, maybe they can be distributed.
11 MR. HAYMAN: They have been given to us,
12 Mr. President. With your leave, I will retrieve them.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Certainly, certainly. We seem
14 to have so much more room in this courtroom. This
15 might give rise to other practical problems.
16 So, Mr. Harmon, everybody is ready, so it
17 seems? We can start with the documents.
18 MR. HARMON: The first binder is a binder
19 that consists of an index and approximately 114 tabs,
20 and those contain documents that both are documents
21 that have been issued by the accused in this case and
22 by others. I will start by, first of all, explaining
23 to Your Honours the index that accompanies this
25 This index is divided into six parts, and the
1 first upper left-hand corner tab indicates the tabbed
2 exhibit number. The next portion of the exhibit, under
3 "Title and Document Type," indicates what type of
4 document this is, whether it's an order, whether it is
5 a communiqué, whether it is a memoranda, it is
6 indicated, and the person who has issued or authored
7 the document is also identified. If there is a
8 document number, it is identified as well under that
9 particular column.
10 The next column indicates the date and the
11 time the document was created; and under the next
12 column, there is a description of the document and
13 relevant passages from the document.
14 The next column indicates the source of the
15 document, and the last column indicates whether or not
16 the document should be under seal.
17 Now, some of the documents, Mr. President,
18 have been translated into French and others,
19 unfortunately, have not been and will be submitted to
20 translation. Where there is a French translation
21 available, I will indicate to Your Honours whether such
22 a translation exists.
23 Now, generally these documents have been
24 indexed in a way that divides them into categories.
25 Documents 1 through 44 generally involve a category
1 dealing with independent units in command and control.
2 These documents generally, in all of the categories,
3 have been placed in date order. There are some
4 exceptions. Documents 45 through 54 deal with combat
5 in and around the 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th of
6 April. Documents 55 through 60 deal with Ahmici.
7 Documents 61 through 68 deal with the accused's ability
8 to appoint and dismiss HVO personnel. Documents 69
9 through 77 deal with the accused's ability to sentence,
10 arrest, and punish persons under his command and
11 control. Documents 78 through 92 generally are
12 organised to show the ability to communicate within the
13 Central Bosnia operation zone, so it will cover
14 communications. Documents 93 through 103 deal with
15 propaganda and disinformation. Documents 104 through
16 108 deal with training, and documents 109 through 114
17 are miscellaneous documents.
18 Then, Mr. President, there is another
20 JUDGE JORDA: Just one question -- sorry if I
21 didn't pay enough attention to what you were saying.
22 Have any of these documents been tendered already into
23 evidence or are they all new?
24 MR. HARMON: No, Mr. President, some of them
25 have been tendered into evidence before.
1 JUDGE JORDA: I see. Thank you very much.
2 MR. HARMON: Now, there is a second binder as
3 well, and Binder 2 consists of three publications. The
4 first publication, Mr. President and Your Honours, is a
5 publication which will be identified as "Three Years of
6 Military Police," and this is a monograph about three
7 years of HVO military police history published by the
8 Military Police Administration from the Ministry of
9 Defence of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna in
10 1995, and this document contains various articles that
11 were submitted by important people of rank who were in
12 the military police. Some of the names Your Honours
13 will recognise by virtue of having heard their names
14 mentioned in the course of this trial.
15 Now, this binder consists of an index, and in
16 respect of the index for Three Years of Military
17 History, it is divided again into sections. It
18 indicates, on the left-hand column, the author and the
19 title of the document; under the next column, it
20 indicates in English the title of the document itself,
21 the article; and under section B it indicates whether
22 the particular article has been translated into
23 French. Unfortunately, not all of the articles have
24 been translated into French, but those that have will
25 be indicated.
1 JUDGE JORDA: As you know, I am not a master
2 of English, but I see "unavailable" quite a few times,
3 so I assume that a lot of documents have not yet been
5 MR. HARMON: That's correct. They will be
6 submitted and they will be available to the Chamber at
7 the conclusion of the case.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much.
9 MR. HARMON: Now, under tab 2 of this second
10 exhibit, 457, there is a report on the work for 1992
11 that was prepared by the HVO, and similarly, under tab
12 3, there is a report on the work for 1993 that was also
13 prepared by the HVO. French and English translations
14 appear for both of those works.
15 What I propose to do, Mr. President, and Your
16 Honours, is to take you through some of these
17 documents, and I will refer to them and indicate to you
18 portions of those documents that I believe are
19 important, but I would like to say at the beginning of
20 this presentation, it is important that all of the
21 documents be read in total, both the document itself in
22 its entirety and the documents in respect of other
23 documents, so that proper context can be put on these
24 documents. These documents are being introduced for
25 illustration purposes.
1 So if we could, Mr. President, turn to --
2 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Hayman?
3 MR. HAYMAN: I apologise to my learned friend
4 for interrupting, but just so there is no waiver of any
5 objections construed by our silence, I wanted to note
6 that there appear to be documents in these binders
7 which would not be admissible under the Court's ruling
8 on authenticity of documents; namely, the index, for
9 example, reflects -- this is the index to the first
10 binder -- that most of these documents just -- again, I
11 am roughly estimating by thumbing through the index --
12 came from the BH government, at least many of them came
13 from the BH government, and that is the identified
14 source. But they are not documents of the BH
15 government. They are, for example, purported HVO
16 orders or HVO documents which, obviously, were somehow
17 obtained by -- if they are true and genuine -- obtained
18 by the BH government, and that we don't know. To learn
19 that, we would have to have a witness who could say the
20 circumstances under which the documents were obtained
21 and so forth.
22 I also note, for example, in Exhibit 56, it's
23 a letter from Colonel Stewart, and obviously Colonel
24 Stewart -- maybe he is still coming in this case to
25 testify, but perhaps not.
1 So we simply note that we have a question
2 whether these documents would be admissible under the
3 Court's prior ruling, and if they are to be admitted,
4 if that ruling has been modified and, of course, will
5 it be applied -- whatever the new rule might be, will
6 it be applied in an even-handed manner to both sides.
7 We would presume so.
8 We, of course, will read the documents, and
9 if we have specific objections, we will make them in
10 writing, but I wanted to note those general
11 observations at this time. Thank you.
12 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, may I respond?
13 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, go ahead.
14 MR. HARMON: (translation interrupts)
15 ... these documents, we are prepared to go further to
16 identify, on any particular document, the manner in
17 which it was obtained, who obtained it, and satisfy
18 this Court and satisfy Defence counsel as to how we
19 obtained and how we recovered these documents.
20 JUDGE JORDA: I do understand what Mr. Hayman
21 said because he referred back to a ruling; however,
22 that ruling dealt with witnesses and an exhibit
23 tendered to a witness to know whether the witness was
24 able to identify the document or not. We're dealing
25 with something different here.
1 We are having documents presented to us. I
2 suggest they should be admitted with the proviso that
3 you are presently formulating. If, after seeing the
4 document, Mr. Hayman, you have to raise objections as
5 to their authenticity, not as to their relevance,
6 because that has to be ascertained by the Judges. But
7 if you have an objection as to the authenticity, of
8 course, the Prosecutor, when you present your case,
9 will have to answer to your objections, and if there is
10 a failure to answer, we shall draw the legal
11 conclusions that seem necessary to be drawn. This is a
12 solution I suggest to you.
13 Whilst I have the floor, let me tell you
14 this: Mr. Harmon, in this new courtroom, you always
15 have the Prosecution on that bench? Because there you
16 are standing on your feet, and it's a practical matter,
17 because if there is an objection coming from the
18 Defence counsel, you can't see it.
19 MR. HARMON: I can certainly always hear
20 Mr. Hayman object, Mr. President. There is no problem.
21 JUDGE JORDA: I see. Just pretending you
22 were not turning around to see him. Fine. If there's
23 no problem, that's fine for me. Thank you.
24 I suppose you are going to present to us
25 those documents that seem most important to you; is
1 that what you intend to do?
2 MR. HARMON: That's correct, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Fine.
4 MR. HARMON: If I could invite your attention
5 first to document number 1, tab 1, that would be 456-1,
6 I think is the correct exhibit number, and I only
7 invite your attention to this document because it is a
8 document which indicates that -- it is an order from
9 Colonel Blaskic dated the 7th of September, 1992, and
10 it is an order to municipal headquarters to establish
11 security and intelligence services for the area.
12 In respect of the second tab, 456-2, this is
13 a document which was an order issued by Colonel Blaskic
14 on the 26th of September, 1992, and it is issued
15 pursuant to an order of the general staff, to all
16 municipal staff commanders, to form special units for
17 combat operations. I should add, Mr. President, there
18 is a French translation of this particular document.
19 The next document, Mr. President, I would
20 like to turn your attention to, is document number 4.
21 There is no French translation for this.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, go ahead. I just had some
23 practical difficulties here.
24 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I am dealing with
25 documents 1 through 44 which deal with independent
1 units and with command and control, and I have referred
2 Your Honours to document number 4. That is an order
3 from Colonel Blaskic dealing with discipline and
4 conduct and it has been issued on the 12th of November,
5 1992. Specifically, it has been issued to all HVO
6 brigade commanders in the municipal headquarters of
7 Central Bosnia operative zone, and I invite your
8 attention to paragraph 12 of that document. In that
9 document, and I will quote:
10 "I prohibit the establishment of personal
11 units in Central Bosnia operation zone. However,
12 should there be such a unit, brigade commanders must
13 immediately inform the superior command. Members of
14 personal units shall be immediately disarmed, arrested,
15 and surrendered to the competent authorities. All
16 means shall be available to carry out this order."
17 Now, Mr. President, if I could invite your
18 attention to number 6, tab 6? This, Mr. President, is
19 an order issued by Colonel Blaskic for full combat
20 readiness of all HVO formations in the Central Bosnia
21 operations zone. It was issued on the 16th of January,
22 1993, at 11.40 hours, and slightly above the middle of
23 the page on the right-hand side is a list of the
24 addressees, and Your Honour will see that this order
25 was issued to all the formations in Central Bosnia
1 operations zone, and then it lists a number of those
2 organisations, Bruno Busic formation, the Ludwig
3 Pavlovic formation, the Vitezovi formation, the Travnik
4 Police Department, and the 4th Battalion Military
5 Police in Vitez.
6 Now, Mr. President, I invite your attention
7 to tab number --
8 JUDGE JORDA: I can understand what problems
9 the interpreters are confronted with because they don't
10 have the documents; at least in the French booth, they
11 don't have the index either. I can see that you are
12 using your index to introduce various arguments. Would
13 it be possible for the interpreters to have at least
14 that index?
15 MR. HARMON: Yes.
16 JUDGE JORDA: How many copies would we need?
17 MR. HARMON: I have a spare copy.
18 JUDGE JORDA: At least one for the French
19 booth. Thank you very much.
20 Carry on.
21 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, if I could invite
22 your attention now to item number 9 in the exhibit?
23 This is an order that was issued on the 11th of
24 February, 1993, by the chief of the HVO main staff,
25 Milvoj Petkovic and Sefer Halilovic, the chief of the
1 RBH Supreme Command, and it was issued to Colonel
2 Blaskic, amongst others.
3 What follows then, Mr. President, in items
4 numbers 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 are a series of orders
5 that were issued by Colonel Blaskic pursuant to the
6 order he had received from his superior commander.
7 Now, if I could invite your attention to tab
8 number 15? Tab number 15, Mr. President, is an order
9 issued by Colonel Blaskic, and it was issued on the
10 13th of February, 1993, at 12.30 hours. Again, in that
11 particular exhibit, if Your Honours turn your attention
12 to the right-hand side, upper portion of the page,
13 there is a list of addressees to whom this order was
14 issued. I won't read it, but included in there is the
15 4th Vitez Military Police Battalion and the commander
16 of the Vitezovi Special Purposes Units.
17 Tab number 16, Mr. President, is another
18 order issued by Colonel Blaskic, this time on the 17th
19 of March, 1993, at 12.00 hours. There is a French
20 translation of that. Again, I draw your attention to
21 the addressees of this particular order, and Your
22 Honours will find included in that the Vitez Military
23 Police 4th Battalion and Your Honours will also find
24 the Vitezovi Special Task Force.
25 Now if we turn to tab 18? This again,
1 Mr. President, is a -- this is an interesting document
2 because this is conclusions made at a conference of the
3 heads of the section for organisation and personnel
4 matters, and Your Honours can see to whom this
5 particular set of conclusions has been addressed. The
6 conclusions were -- this order is signed by Colonel
7 Blaskic, and it indicates in the second paragraph of
8 that, and I quote: "The Ban Jelacic brigade located in
9 Stojkovici logistic space, the SB OZ communications
10 company, and the Vitezovi Special Purposes Unit from
11 Vitez were not present at the conference."
12 So it indicates, Mr. President, that there
13 was a conference that was for matters of brigades and
14 independent units of the Central Bosnia operation zone
15 and that the Vitezovi were not represented at that
16 particular conference.
17 Now, Mr. President, if we turn to number 20,
18 tab 20. Tab 20 is a protest, signed by Darko Kraljevic
19 dated the 15th of April, 1993, and Your Honours will
20 notice on this particular exhibit the second paragraph
21 of this particular exhibit, which I will read: "The
22 Vitezovi unit is, as the name indicates, a special unit
23 which is in the unified system of command and control
24 in the SB operative zone and is also responsible to its
25 superior command for its actions."
1 I note, I direct Your Honours' attention as
2 well, to the seal that appears over the signature line
3 of Darko Kraljevic, a seal which is a stamp that has
4 "Vitezovi" on it.
5 Now if I my direct your attention to item
6 number 21? Item number 21 is a command that has been
7 issued by Colonel Blaskic. I should add,
8 Mr. President, there is a French translation of this.
9 This command was issued on the 16th of April, 1993, at
10 19.40 hours. It is a command which directs the 4th
11 Military Police Battalion to move to Vitez to enforce
12 troops of the Viteska brigade, and I note and I draw
13 your attention to paragraph 3, which reads: "I shall
14 be informed of the arrival of the entire unit in Vitez
15 so that I may issue concrete orders."
16 Now, Mr. President, if you would turn to tab
17 25? This is an order, and I note, first of all, the
18 order number in the upper left hand is 01-659-93. This
19 was issued on the 20th of April, 1993, by General
20 Petkovic from the main headquarters, and the addressees
21 in this particular document are the four operative
22 zones, one of which is the Central Bosnia operation
24 If you turn, Mr. President, and Your Honours,
25 to item number 7 of that document, the command by
1 General Petkovic to General Blaskic is, and I quote:
2 "Inform all subordinate units under your command of
3 this order once again."
4 Now, Mr. President, if you turn to item
5 number 26, you see a corresponding order that was
6 issued by Colonel Blaskic as a result of the order he
7 received from General Petkovic. That order, which is
8 found in tab 26, is dated the 21st of April, 1993. As
9 he was instructed to issue/inform all subordinate units
10 under his command of the order, you will notice,
11 Mr. President, in the upper right-hand corner of this
12 document the addressees to whom he addresses the
13 order. Those addressees are "HVO Brigade Command 1
14 through 12, independent units in Central Bosnia
15 operative zone (4th LARD motorised division, Vitez
16 Military Police 4th Battalion, and the Vitezovi Special
17 Task Force)."
18 Now, Mr. President, if I could turn to
19 tab 32, this is an important document. This document,
20 Mr. President, is a special report on the situation in
21 the Central Bosnia operative zone of the HVO of the
22 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna. It is dated the
23 7th of May, 1993. The time it was issued was at 12.30,
24 and the author of this is Colonel Blaskic. The
25 addressees of this particular document are the supreme
1 commander of the armed forces of the Croatian community
2 of Herceg-Bosna, the head of the defence department of
3 the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna, and the chief
4 of the main headquarters of HVO Croatian Defence
5 Council, Mostar. Mr. President, there is a French
6 translation of this, I have omitted to say.
7 If you turn in this document toward the end
8 of this document, unfortunately it's not paginated, but
9 with the ERN number on the top, it's the page that is
10 numbered 00564013. In the centre of the page of the
11 English translation, it reads as follows: "Central
12 Bosnia Operative Zone HVO Forces," and then it
13 follows: "1) Strength: The following are engaged in
14 the defence against MOS attacks: The brigades Ban
15 Jelacic, Kiseljak, the Busovaca Nikola Subic Zrinjski
16 Brigade, without the 3rd Bojnica Battalion, the Viteska
17 Brigade, with the support and in conjunction with the
18 HVO Brigade Novi Travnik, IV LTRD, MTD, parts of the IV
19 Military Police Battalion, a battalion (60 men), the
20 Vitezovi PN."
21 Now, Mr. President, if you turn further into
22 that document, and it is on page 015 of the English
23 translation of this document, there's a conclusion.
24 Let me read the conclusion to Your Honours. "1)
25 Command and control function properly and all missions
1 proceed in a planned fashion according to orders with
2 detailed knowledge of the situation, full coordination
3 and control." There are other parts of this document.
4 I would urge Your Honours to read this document in
5 full, but this is, again, dated the 7th of May, 1993.
6 Your Honours, even though I am omitting these
7 orders and documents, Mr. President, I would urge you
8 to look at the addressees on all of these documents.
9 There are a significant number of them that I have not
10 particularly mentioned but many of which contained the
11 Vitezovi, among others.
12 I would like to direct your attention,
13 Mr. President, now to item 37. This is an order of
14 Colonel Blaskic which is dated the 17th of June, 1993
15 at 15.55 hours. This is an order that has been the --
16 I'm sorry. This, Mr. President, is the result of an
17 order which Colonel Blaskic received from his superior
18 officer. It indicates that due to signed agreements
19 based on the cessation of hostilities in Bosnia - and
20 he identifies those particular agreements - then he
21 issues this particular order. He issues it -- again, I
22 would direct your attention to the addressees on this
23 list. He addresses it to all brigades and independent
24 units, and they are identified, "Mechanised Tank
25 Division, Light Artillery Rocket Division, 4th Military
1 Police Battalion, Stojkovici: logistics base,
2 Vitezovi, Tvrtko TT, Zuti, Special Purposes Units."
3 Now, Mr. President, this is a document, the
4 first page of this document is the English
5 translation. There are three separate documents under
6 tab 37. What I've just read from is the English
7 translation of a document but there are two following
8 documents. One is a document that has been previously
9 identified by Henk Morsink, a witness from ECMM, that
10 he received while he was in theatre and it is in
12 Let me direct your attention to that
13 particular document, to the distribution list of that
14 particular document. The distribution of this
15 particular document is as follows: All the HVO
16 brigades, all the independent units under the command
17 of the HVO 3rd OZ commander, and then there's a
18 parenthesis "(MTD 4 LTRD, 4th Military Police
19 Battalion, Vitezovi, Tvrtko 2, and Zuti)." The last
20 document at 37 is another document that was also
21 received by Mr. Morsink which he has identified
22 previously. It's in the Croatian language.
23 Now, Mr. President, very briefly if we could
24 turn to tab 38, an order that was issued by Colonel
25 Blaskic on the 19th of June, 1993. Again, I only
1 direct your attention to the addressees of this
2 particular document. The addressees include the
3 Vitezovi special task force.
4 Lastly, Mr. President, I would like to direct
5 your attention to tab 41.
6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Harmon, you were
7 referring to tab 38 and you stated the date as 19th of
8 June. Would you direct my attention to that date, the
9 19th of June, 1993?
10 MR. HARMON: Yes, Judge Shahabuddeen. If one
11 turns to the copy -- second copy which is the --
12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see. The one in BSC?
13 MR. HARMON: No, there's an English copy that
14 Lieutenant Colonel Morsink identified. It is the one
15 that he received. It is the one above the BCS
16 edition. It is this document, Judge Shahabuddeen. I
17 don't know if you can see what I'm holding up from
18 here, but it is this particular document in tab 37.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see.
20 MR. HARMON: In the upper left-hand corner,
21 there's a date of June 19th, 1993.
22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see. Thank you.
23 MR. HARMON: Now, lastly, if I could direct
24 your attention to tab 41, I invite your attention only
25 to illustrate the date on this particular document,
1 which is an order of Colonel Blaskic. It is dated the
2 11th of October, 1993. Again, I direct your attention
3 to the addressees which include, amongst others, the
4 Vitezovi and Tvrtko 2.
5 Now, these documents are tendered, among
6 other things, to indicate to whom Colonel Blaskic was
7 giving his orders and instructions.
8 If I could now focus very briefly on the
9 military police and direct your attention to
10 Exhibit 457. Exhibit 457 --
11 JUDGE JORDA: Where is it? Is it in the
12 second binder?
13 MR. HARMON: It is in the second binder,
14 Mr. President. I'm referring to tab 1 in that. As I
15 indicated to Your Honours, this is a document that has
16 been published by the military police administration
17 for the Ministry of Defence of the Croatian Republic of
18 Herceg-Bosna. This document bears reading because,
19 among other things, it goes into great detail about the
20 structure, organisation and the reorganisation of the
21 military police in Central Bosnia. As I said, there
22 are a number of articles in here which were submitted
23 by various authors and were included in here.
24 In respect of the structure of the 4th
25 military police, in fact, the HVO military police, in
1 HVO-controlled areas, I would direct your attention to
2 the article that is written by Pavo Loncar. That
3 should be the first major article that's contained in
4 this. I won't direct you to specific passages in that
5 at this point, but I can tell you that if there's any
6 question about the structure of the HVO military
7 police, you may find answers that are contained in that
8 particular article.
9 What I'm more interested in directing your
10 attention to is portions of Mr. Loncar's article, and
11 Mr. Loncar is a high ranking officer in the military
12 police administration in Mostar. If I could direct
13 your attention to page 15 of the English version and
14 page 8 of the French version --
15 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, are we still in
16 that document or are we back now in the first binder?
17 MR. HARMON: We're in the second binder,
18 Mr. President.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. What can be given to the
20 interpreters? Can we give them the whole binder?
21 MR. HARMON: No, I think not, Mr. President.
22 I will speak very slowly.
23 First of all, let me refer Your Honours to
24 the issue of command of the military police units. Let
25 me direct your attention once again to pages 14 and 15
1 of the English translation and page 8 of the French
2 translation. Let me quote then from the English
3 translation found at pages 14 and 15. This is from the
4 article of Pavo Loncar: "With regard to the division
5 of authority in the military police, the 1st MP
6 Battalion was directly linked to the chief of the
7 Administration, on whose orders it operated throughout
8 the HZ HB. The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th MP Battalions had
9 authority over all military police affairs in their
10 operative zones. In their daily tasks, commanders of
11 the operative zone battalions were directly subordinate
12 to the commander of the operative zone." And the
13 paragraph goes on.
14 Now, to illustrate what kind of units the
15 military police units were, Mr. President, let me
16 direct your attention to, first of all, an article that
17 was written by Pasko Ljubicic. Unfortunately, there's
18 not a French translation of this article, but on the
19 English translation at pages 64 through 66,
20 Mr. Ljubicic describes -- first of all, at page 65, I
21 should say, he describes that he was appointed to be
22 the commander of the 4th military police battalion.
23 Then at page 65, let me read the following.
24 There's no French translation of this,
25 Mr. President.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Can you tell me what that
2 English translation or version is? Who was it authored
4 MR. HARMON: It's authored by Pasko Ljubicic
5 who was the commander of the 4th military police
6 battalion, and at page 65 of the English translation,
7 I'm reading from the --
8 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, thank you.
9 MR. HARMON: -- last part of the paragraph
10 that appears at the top.
11 JUDGE JORDA: I've got it. Thank you.
12 MR. HARMON: I quote: "When speaking about
13 the activities and tasks of the MP, I was expressing my
14 personal opinion, but I believe that the MP in Central
15 Bosnia was the most organised force in the defence of
16 those areas, made great sacrifices and, at times,
17 played a decisive role in the defence of the area.
18 Here, I can mention Grbavica, Simino Selo, Zabrde,
19 Kruscica, Ahmici and several other places which I am
20 sure and can prove that they were successfully
21 protected through the involvement of the MP."
22 Then I would like to go down two paragraphs
23 further toward the middle of the page, and I would like
24 to read another portion. He's describing why so many
25 numbers of military police have been killed. I will
1 pick up the paragraph mid-paragraph: "They were
2 wounded and killed because they were always sent to the
3 most difficult places and because they spent most of
4 the time on the frontlines carrying out combat
5 assignments. I claim that the MP in Central Bosnia was
6 a military police least of all and had transformed
7 itself into a combat unit."
8 Then if I could direct your attention to page
9 15 of the English translation and page 8 of the French
10 translation, I'm reading from the second paragraph of
11 the English translation found at page 15 starting at
12 the second sentence: "In these battles, the MP carried
13 out" -- I'm sorry, Mr. President, this is found at page
14 9 of the French translation. If I said page 8
15 previously, I may have misspoken. Now I'll quote the
16 English translation: "In these battles, the MP carried
17 out all tasks assigned to it and proved to be an
18 indispensable part of the HVO forces involved,
19 especially in street battles, offensives and the
20 liberation of some areas. Their participation in the
21 heaviest fighting of this conflict resulted in a
22 considerable number of casualties among Military Police
24 In the same article by Pavo Loncar - if I
25 could direct your attention to page 17 of the English
1 translation and page 12 of the French translation - I'm
2 reading slightly below midway through the page. Let me
3 start with the paragraph: "At that time, there was
4 heavy fighting between the HVO and ABH in all areas of
5 the HZ HB except in the Posavina region. The Military
6 Police participated in all combat operations both to
7 defend and liberate occupied parts of the territory.
8 In addition to the light assault battalions, the
9 general battalions of the Military Police also
10 contributed fully. Thus, the entire Military Police
11 was engaged in combat operations, thereby also
12 representing the most mobile component of all units of
13 the HVO."
14 As I say, Mr. President and Your Honours,
15 this whole article, this whole set of articles, is well
16 worth reading and will put into perspective for Your
17 Honours the structure, the purpose, and the command of
18 the HVO military police in Central Bosnia.
19 Now, Mr. President, I would like to turn to a
20 series of orders which will be found starting with
21 tab 45 and ending with tab 54. I would direct your
22 attention, first of all, to tab 45.
23 This is an order, Mr. President, that has
24 been issued by Colonel Blaskic. It is dated the 17th
25 of April and it indicates that it was issued at 23.45
1 hours. It was issued, the addressee is the Ban Jelacic
2 Brigade command in Kiseljak. If I may direct your
3 attention to paragraph 1, there's a definition of the
4 enemy. "1) Enemy: Continues to massacre Croats in
5 Zenica where Muslim forces are using tanks to fire at
6 people, mostly women and children. All of today's
7 attacks have been repelled. The enemy has been totally
8 crushed and it is compelled to continually bring in
9 fresh forces." Paragraph 2, "Your assignment."
10 Paragraph 2.2, "Using all available artillery, carry
11 out fire preparations for the attack from the VU.
12 Capture Gomionica and Svinjarevo through systematic
13 targeting (60, 82 and 120 mm MB)."
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please
15 slow down a little bit? Thank you.
16 MR. HARMON: "Afterwards, regroup forces and
17 carry out artillery preparations for launching an
18 attack on and the capture of Bilalovac. 3) Fojnica
19 must secure your left flank and launch an attack on
20 Dusina or a breakthrough towards Sebisic."
21 I direct your attention then to paragraph 9
22 which indicates, "Maintain a sense of historic
23 responsibility," and paragraph 10 is the order "Begin
24 the operation on 18 April 1993 at 0530 hours."
25 Now, approximately two hours later, according
1 to the next document which is found at tab 46, Colonel
2 Blaskic issued another order. This order, dated the
3 18th of April, 1993 at 01.40 hours, is addressed to the
4 commander of the Fojnica HVO battalion. Now, under "1)
5 The Enemy," it says as follows and I'll read that:
6 "The Enemy: Attacks on HVO units continue unabated
7 along the entire Lasva Valley and their purpose is the
8 full ethnic cleansing of Croats from the area and the
9 destruction of all institutions of the HVO. The enemy
10 has demonstrated its brutality and its aggressive
11 behaviour in Zenica because of which the Croatian
12 inhabitants have been moving out in large numbers.
13 Attacks so far by the enemy have been repelled in the
14 area of the municipalities of Vitez and Busovaca,
15 forcing it to bring in fresh forces from the region of
16 Kakanj, Visoko, Zenica, and other Muslim locations in
17 order to achieve its objectives. A large number of
18 forces also from your area have been engaged for
19 offensive operations against the Croatian people in the
20 areas of Jablanica and Konjic municipalities.
21 2) Your Unit's Assignment is the following:
22 Regroup the forces of your," and then there's a
23 question mark as to whether this says "battalion,"
24 "... and carry out a combat operation on the village of
25 Dusina or a breakthrough in the direction of the
1 Busovaca stables and link up with forces defending
2 Sebesic." I won't read the rest of it but it's a
3 combat order. Now, I direct your attention then to
4 paragraph 5 which says: "Implementation of this
5 assignment must begin tomorrow after an assessment has
6 been made." That was issued on the 18th of April,
8 If I can now turn Your Honours' attention to
9 tab 47, which is a command issued by Colonel Blaskic.
10 There is no time given. This is a command for a
11 cease-fire on the basis of orders given to him by the
12 HVO head of staff on the 18th of April, and there's a
13 particular order number identified. The addressees in
14 this particular command are indicated as commanders of
15 all HVO units, UNPROFOR, ECMM, and the 3rd Corps. This
16 calls, in paragraph 1, for combat operations to stop
18 Paragraph 4 commands that relevant data about
19 the actors of the conflict, the causes of banishing
20 people, murdering civilians and soldiers, burning
21 houses and other buildings be gathered. So that's on
22 the 18th of April, 1993.
23 On the 19th of April, if we turn to tab 48,
24 Colonel Blaskic issues a reminder to the commander of
25 the Fojnica battalion, personally. This was issued at
1 18.00 hours, and I will read a part of the first
2 paragraph: "I call your attention to your duty to
3 execute and comply with the orders issued by the
4 commander of the Kiseljak Ban Jelacic Brigade.
5 Otherwise, you will be replaced and will be held
6 responsible in compliance with the regulations of the
7 HZ HB and in line with military discipline."
8 Forty-five minutes later, Mr. President, if
9 we turn to tab 49, forty-five minutes later, Colonel
10 Blaskic issues an order to the Ban Jelacic Brigade in
11 Kiseljak. This is dated the 19th of April, 1993 at
12 18.45 hours. I direct your attention to paragraph 1,
13 "You must go on because the Croatian people have no
14 other choice for the time being." Paragraph 3 of that
15 same order, "Attack in groups and only diagonally from
16 Kocatale and Sikulja."
17 Lastly, I direct your attention to paragraph
18 5 which reads as follows: "The future of all Croats in
19 Busovaca, Travnik, Vitez, and Novi Travnik depends upon
20 your success, whereas in Zenica," words illegible,
21 apparently, follow that, "... in any concentration
22 camp, particularly in Gornja Zenica, where our people
23 who fled from the centre of Zenica are being
24 slaughtered even today. There is a massacre."
25 Now, Mr. President, if we turn to
1 tab 50, this is an order that is issued on the 19th of
2 April at 21.40 hours to the Ban Jelacic Brigade command
3 in Kiseljak. It is issued by Colonel Blaskic. It says
4 in paragraph 1, "You must take Gomionica tonight or in
5 the early morning." I won't read further.
6 Paragraph 3, I'll read the first two
7 sentences of paragraph 3, "At the moment, the Croatian
8 people of Zenica are going through the most critical
9 period. They are literally being slaughtered."
10 Paragraph 4 I invite your attention to, because in that
11 Colonel Blaskic states: "Generally, the situation is
12 under control at all positions and we have informed the
13 leadership of the HZ HB of everything. We are in
14 constant contact with the leadership."
15 Turning to the next document, which is
16 document 51, this is an order from Colonel Blaskic on
17 the 20th of April, 1993 at 11.15 hours, and it's an
18 order for a bilateral cease-fire. It is the result,
19 Colonel Blaskic issuing this order, apparently the
20 result of a joint order that he has received from the
21 HVO and the ABiH chiefs of staff regarding this
22 particular cease-fire. He instructs, in paragraph 5,
23 that the order for cease-fire will go into effect at
24 19.00 hours on that very same date, the 20th of April,
1 Five minutes later, Mr. President, if you
2 turn to tab 52, this is a command by Colonel Blaskic
3 dismissing Mr. Stjepan Tuka, who is the commander of
4 the battalion in Fojnica, "because of his failure to
5 carry out his combat missions."
6 If we turn to the next item, 53, which is
7 dated the 20th of April, the same day that Commander
8 Tuka receives notice that he is going to be dismissed,
9 53 is a communication to the Ban Jelacic brigade from
10 Commander Tuka. In that, he acknowledges receipt of
11 the previous order issued by Colonel Blaskic dismissing
13 Lastly, in this series, Mr. President and
14 Your Honours, I turn to tab 54, which is an order
15 issued by Colonel Blaskic on the 20th of April, 1993
16 subordinating the Fojnica 3rd Battalion to a brigade in
17 Busovaca and under the command of the Kiseljak Ban
18 Jelacic Brigade commander.
19 That is a series of interesting orders,
20 Mr. President, in or around the time of the 17th
21 through the 20th of April that we would like to invite
22 your attention to.
23 Next, Mr. President, I would like to turn to
24 items 55 through 60 that deal with Ahmici. Now, very
25 briefly, item 55 I've previously described in 47.
1 There is no need to repeat it, other than to identify
2 this as a command that was given to stop combat
4 Item 56 is of interest because item 56 is a
5 communiqué to Colonel Blaskic from Colonel Robert
6 Stewart of the BRITBAT division commander, and it is
7 direct notice to Colonel Blaskic that an atrocity has
8 occurred in Ahmici. It is dated the 22nd of April, and
9 it is captioned "Investigation of Atrocity." "1) At
10 14.00 hours today I visited the village of Ahmici. 2)
11 In one house, I discovered the bodies of a man and a
12 boy at the front entrance. Both bodies were burnt
13 beyond recognition. In the cellar, I found the bodies
14 of what may have been a mother and at least five
15 children. Again, the bodies were burnt beyond
16 recognition, and it was clear from the angle of the
17 heads that at least two had died in agony. 3) Whoever
18 has done this is guilty and must be punished. No
19 atrocity, wherever it occurs, is acceptable. 4) I
20 urgently request your help in order to investigate the
21 sacking of this village."
22 Now, if we turn to tab 57, there is a reply
23 by Colonel Blaskic to Colonel Stewart. It is dated the
24 following day, the 23rd of April, 1993. I direct your
25 attention to the first paragraph wherein Colonel
1 Blaskic states: "I'm ready to send immediately the
2 investigating commission," and apparently it's cut off
3 but it must mean "to," and then it says, "... village
4 of Ahmici as well as to all other places who need
5 investigated," part of this document has been cut off
6 on the right-hand side. So it sounds like it's not
7 properly being read, but I will read it as the text
9 Let me start again. "I am ready to send
10 immediately the investigating commission, the village
11 of Ahmici as well as to all other places that need
12 investigated because of gathering facts about all the
13 innocent victims this conflict."
14 Now if we turn to the next item, 58.
15 Fifty-eight is a very interesting document because 58
16 is a document recounting Colonel Blaskic's meeting with
17 Colonel Stewart of the 24th of April, 1993.
18 Now, first off, of interest, this document
19 was addressed to the Vice-President of Herceg-Bosna, to
20 the head of the Herceg-Bosna Defence Department, and to
21 the HVO main headquarters chief. It is an information
22 document about a discussion with Colonel Stewart that
23 was held on the 24th of April, 1993. The subject of
24 this particular meeting was: "The massacre of Muslim
25 people in the village of Ahmici, Vitez municipality,
1 and the visit of the Security Council delegation today,
2 24 April, 1993."
3 What is interesting is there is -- first,
4 this document is divided into first what was said by
5 Colonel Stewart apparently to Colonel Blaskic, because
6 that is the way he is recounting it to the
7 Vice-President of Herceg-Bosna. Included in this,
8 Mr. President -- I won't read the whole document -- but
9 is that Ahmici is in the -- Colonel Stewart told
10 Colonel Blaskic that Ahmici was in the area, HVO area
11 of responsibility, that no one has taken responsibility
12 and no commission has been formed, and that the HVO
13 wants to destroy Muslims.
14 Colonel Stewart then makes the following
15 comment: "I think that Mr. Mate Boban should have been
16 in Vitez today." Bullet points follow then. Bullet
17 1: "Indicate that the reporting is extremely biased."
18 Bullet point 2: "Point out the sufferings of the Rajic
19 family." Bullet point 3: "Point out the suffering of
20 the 2nd HVO Zenista Brigade and the Croats of Zenica."
21 Next: "Stress the massacre of the Rajic family."
22 Next: "To talk about the extremely one-sided emphasis
23 on the suffering of only one people, expressing the
24 suspicion that journalists are being paid to report
25 events untruthfully." Next: "The shelling of Zenica.
1 Only Croatian territory. The shelling of Kiseljak,
2 et cetera." Next: "Classical terrorist actions
3 against the commanding cadre that are being cancelled
4 by all media organisations and others."
5 The next document, Mr. President, and there
6 is no reference in this document to any inquiry or any
7 investigation or commission, the next document,
8 Mr. President, I direct your attention to, is found at
9 tab 59, and this is an order by Colonel Blaskic dated
10 the 10th of May, 1993, 17.05 hours. The addressees are
11 not evident because those have been blacked out. This
12 is the form in which we received this document.
13 This says: "For several days, various
14 rumours have been circulating in the public ..."
15 First of all, let me just add one thing,
16 Mr. President. As I say, this is dated the 10th of
17 May, so this is many days after Colonel Stewart has
18 advised Colonel Blaskic of the atrocity in Ahmici. I
19 am going to read the text of what is in this order:
20 "For several days, various rumours have been
21 circulating in the public regarding events in the
22 village of Ahmici since 14 May, 1993 --"
23 THE INTERPRETER: Would you mind slowing down
24 for the interpreters? Thank you.
25 MR. HARMON: "-- and the civilian casualties
1 there. In order to be able to analyse the events,
2 establish the facts of the case, and implement the
3 order of the HVO chief of staff, I hereby issue the
5 So you can see that Colonel Blaskic is
6 initiating an inquiry based on an order from the
7 Croatian chief of staff, and then he orders in this,
8 that information be collected, that a report be
9 prepared, and that the deadline for the submission of
10 that particular report is the 25th of May, 1993.
11 Mr. President, I now turn to tab 60, the last
12 document in the series of exhibits, only to show for
13 Your Honours a contrasting approach that was taken by
14 the HVO in respect of events that they considered to be
15 important to them, and this is 17th of April, 1993
16 information that was conveyed to the ICRC, to the
17 European Community, and to UNPROFOR, and it concerns
18 the massacre of civilians in Kuber.
19 This document indicates that, based on the
20 information that the information office of the Central
21 Bosnia operation zone had received on the 17th of
22 April, that Muslim extremists are killing the civilian
23 population in the villages of Jelinac and Putis in the
24 Kuber, and they implore the addressees to exert their
25 influence and do anything they can to prevent these
1 massacres from taking place.
2 Furthermore, Mr. President, the HVO suggest
3 that they deploy -- that the addressees deploy their
4 forces to that location to investigate the facts at the
5 scene of the massacre, because according to unofficial
6 information, approximately 60 civilians had been
7 massacred at that location.
8 Your Honours have heard evidence from other
9 witnesses about the events that took place in these
11 That concludes that section of interesting
12 documents on Ahmici, and I would like to turn, just
13 direct Your Honours' attention -- I won't quote from
14 these particular documents --
15 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, we might have a
16 break, a 20-minute break, before turning to the next
18 Let me call your attention to this: Let's
19 think of tomorrow, about the way we are going to
20 organise our working day tomorrow. If you have a
21 witness, he should be called tomorrow because, as you
22 know, the Bench will be somewhat different as of
23 Monday, we are going to have a different composition,
24 so we shouldn't have a witness starting with one Bench
25 and not finishing with the same Bench.
1 Should you have a witness tomorrow, I think
2 that we should finish with that witness tomorrow. As
3 of Friday -- I have been corrected by my colleague --
4 as of Friday, we are having a different composition,
5 and we have got your agreement, the agreement of the
6 Defence, due to the exceptional circumstances, just
7 think of it, and I'm sure we can tackle that as soon as
8 we resume. Thank you very much.
9 --- Recess taken at 4.13 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 4.45 p.m.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Have the accused come in.
12 (The accused entered court)
13 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Harmon, please carry
15 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President, Your
17 Let me now direct your attention to the
18 orders that are found in tabs 61 through 68. I will
19 not refer to any of them specifically but merely point
20 out to Your Honours that these address the power and
21 authority of Colonel Blaskic to appoint and to dismiss
22 his subordinates, and they are a series of orders
23 wherein Colonel Blaskic appoints and dismisses
24 particular named individuals at various locations over
25 a considerable period of time.
1 Turning your attention to tabs 69 through 77,
2 these items address a host of issues, particularly
3 Colonel Blaskic's wide-ranging ability to arrest, to
4 punish, and to sentence individuals under his command,
5 and if I could merely note for Your Honours the items
6 that are found in tabs 69 and 70, both of which are
7 orders by Colonel Blaskic pursuant to the relevant
8 articles relating to military discipline, imposing
9 sentences in military prison on individuals. In tab
10 69, he imposes a sentence of 60 days on an individual
11 for a particular violation; and at tab 70, the order
12 imposes a sentence of 30 days on an individual.
13 Tabs 71 and 72 are introduced to illustrate
14 that the authority of subcommanders to discipline
15 subordinates of theirs, and 71 and 72 are Defence
16 Exhibits, Defence Exhibit 90 and Defence Exhibit 91,
17 wherein a military police company commander imposes
18 discipline on a subordinate for violations which are
19 described in each of those particular orders.
20 Tab number 73 is a communiqué that was issued
21 by the information office of the Central Bosnia
22 operation zone, and it refers to sentences of the
23 Travnik District Military Court, which is based in
24 Vitez, being imposed on named individuals for criminal
25 violations. In one case, an eight-month suspended
1 sentence for aggravated robbery, and in another case, a
2 shorter suspended sentence for aggravated robbery.
3 Now I would like to direct your attention
4 briefly to tab number 74, which is a communication of
5 Colonel Blaskic. I might indicate for the record that
6 the index is wrong. It says 1993. The index should
7 say 24 October, 1992. This is a communication of
8 Colonel Blaskic, and I quote: "Mensud Alic, Major in
9 the JNA, is currently in Trogir. If he should take the
10 road to Travnik, arrest him, and if he resists, execute
12 Item number 75 is an order of Colonel Blaskic
13 to arrest a particular individual and take him to
14 prison and to prepare the necessary documents and
15 evidence to support specific charges that have been
16 laid against him.
17 Tab 76 is another order by Colonel Blaskic to
18 arrest a particular soldier, and tab 77, now at the
19 outer end of the last in this series, 11 October of
20 1993, is an order by Colonel Blaskic identifying
21 disciplinary measures to be taken against soldiers and
22 their superiors who abandon the defence lines, and I
23 direct your attention to paragraph 1 of that particular
24 item. First of all, it's addressed to various
25 commanders, and I point out the addressees include
1 independent units as well, and I will read now from the
2 order: "(1) Undertake the following disciplinary
3 measures against any soldier and their immediate
4 commander who desert defence lines: (a) execution of
5 the unit/soldier; (b) unit commanders will be declared
6 traitors of the nation and given the most severe
7 sentence of death by firing squad in front of the
9 So that, Mr. President, concludes this series
10 of orders intended to illustrate the wide-ranging
11 authorities of Colonel Blaskic in respect of
12 sentencing, arresting, investigating, et cetera.
13 Now if I could turn your attention to the
14 items found in tabs 78 to tab 92, these specific items
15 deal with communications in the Central Bosnia
16 operation zone and these cover a wide range of time,
17 starting in September of '92 and ending in June of
19 If I could direct your attention to 78, which
20 is issued by Colonel Blaskic on the 1st of September,
21 1992, and I point out that this is a request for
22 certain information and it is directed to the HVO
23 municipal headquarters in 21 different municipalities
24 in Central Bosnia.
25 Now, if Your Honours would turn to tab 79,
1 this is a document which identifies tasks for the
2 Central Bosnia operation zone command headquarters, and
3 it is dated the 20th of September, 1992. If I can
4 direct Your Honours to paragraph 17 of that particular
5 document? In paragraph 17, and I quote: "Organise and
6 put into use a full communications centre, find the
7 means for preparing radio-paket-vezas, and obtain and
8 begin operating a fax at this headquarters responsible
9 for the task chief of communications, deadline 21 to 30
10 September, 1992."
11 Now, in tab 81 -- I'm sorry, let me go to tab
12 80. This is a document that has been previously
13 discussed as item number 2, and this is the order that
14 Colonel Blaskic sent out to form special units for
15 combat operations. I point out to Your Honours
16 paragraph 2 in that specific order that indicates "that
17 units for assault operations must be equipped with
18 communications devices."
19 Then, Mr. President and Your Honours, if I
20 can turn to tab 81 and direct your attention to
21 communications again in that particular area? This is
22 the 7th of October, 1992, and it's another order from
23 Colonel Blaskic, and it's directed to the commanders of
24 14 municipal headquarters in 14 different
25 municipalities, I should say. Now, what's interesting
1 about this is paragraph 2, which indicates that on that
2 very same day by 4.00, the commanders in five of those
3 municipalities had to reply to Colonel Blaskic.
4 Item number 82 in this exhibit is of
5 interest, Mr. President. First of all, it's an order
6 for combat readiness issued by Milvoj Petkovic, who is
7 a chief of staff of the HVO, and it was issued on the
8 16th of December, 1992, and it indicates a level of
9 communication in that particular area of operation. It
10 indicates on paragraph 6, and I quote: "Until further
11 notice, submit a written report twice a day (at 0800
12 and at 1800 hours). Submit special reports as needed."
13 Now, this, Mr. President and Your Honours, is
14 an order that General Petkovic issued from Mostar, and
15 he is requesting that he be apprised from the Central
16 Bosnia operation zone twice a day of a response.
17 The other interesting feature about this
18 particular order is that it is marked "Coded."
19 Now, item number 83 again is an item from
20 General Petkovic, and again it is marked "Coded," and
21 it has in it a request in item number 7 to submit
22 regular and emergency reports on the situation on the
23 ground, again directing copies to the Vitez
24 municipality and other municipalities to communicate
25 back to Mostar.
1 Item number 84, dated January the 15th, 1993,
2 is an order from General Petkovic once again, and his
3 order, he orders all units of the HVO -- I'm sorry. In
4 this particular order, which refers to the Vance-Owen
5 Peace Plan, he requests in item number 9 that the
6 people who are in receipt of this order should report
7 on the implementation of this particular order every
8 eight hours.
9 I would like to focus your attention on the
10 next two orders in conjunction with each other, 85 and
11 86. Item number 85, first of all, let me say, is
12 issued January the 16th, 1993. The index is wrong. It
13 has dropped the number 9 on the date. It should read
14 "16th January, 1993," and it was issued by Colonel
15 Blaskic at 11.40 hours. There's an order number that
16 is given, 184-93, and it's issued to all formations in
17 the Central Bosnia operation zone.
18 Now, if you take a look at item number 86, 86
19 is another order issued on the same date by the
20 commander of the Bobovac brigade in Vares. It is
21 issued on the 16th of January at 22.30 hours. So
22 shortly after Colonel Blaskic issued the order in item
23 number 85, the commander of the Bobovac brigade in
24 Vares, which was physically disconnected to the
25 Kiseljak municipality, issues an order pursuant to
1 Colonel Blaskic's order.
2 Again, item number 87 merely indicates that
3 General Petkovic, who issued an order on the 31st of
4 January, 1993, requested a reply the next day, and he
5 issued that particular order to the Central Bosnia
6 operation zone and to other addressees throughout
7 Central Bosnia.
8 I turn your attention to item number 88.
9 Again, this document is from an individual by the name
10 of Kresimir Bozic and is dated 15 February, 1993 from
11 Vares. It is a receipt and it indicates, and I quote:
12 "We have received an order from the SBOZ," meaning
13 Central Bosnia operation zone, "command through the
14 packet network. A part of it is addressed to you and
15 we will forward it to you so that you can file and
16 implement it."
17 I have already previously mentioned the
18 dismissal, the order to dismiss Commander Tuca from his
19 command in Fojnica and the reply of Commander Tuca. I
20 mentioned those previously in items 52 and 53, but
21 those two orders viewed together also indicate that on
22 the 20th of April when, the evidence has shown in this
23 case, combat operations were extremely intense, an
24 order was issued by Colonel Blaskic from his
25 headquarters in Vitez to an area that was physically
1 disconnected to his headquarters in Fojnica. In
2 conjunction with these two orders, it is clear that the
3 order was issued, and on the same day it was received
4 and acted upon by Commander Tuca in the area of
6 Item number 91 I direct your attention to
7 because, although it's the same item that has been
8 previously discussed, item 50, it is a communication
9 from Colonel Blaskic on the 19th of April, 1993 to the
10 Ban Jelacic brigade command in Kiseljak. What is
11 interesting about this are the two features found one
12 in item number 4 indicating that Colonel Blaskic had
13 informed the leadership of Herceg-Bosna of the
14 situation, and quote: "We are in constant contact with
15 the leadership."
16 The other interesting feature about this
17 particular document is a hand-written notation in the
18 upper right-hand corner of this document that indicates
19 quote: "Arrived from Vitez on 19 April, 1993 at 23.35
20 hours, received by Mario B." So this indicates that it
21 was received in Kiseljak shortly after its transmission
22 from Vitez at 21.40 hours. "Mario B," I don't know who
23 the "B" is, but the court has heard evidence that an
24 individual by the name of Mario Bradara was the deputy
25 commander of the Ban Jelacic brigade in Kiseljak.
1 Lastly, in this particular sequence, I refer
2 Your Honours' attention to item number 93. It is an
3 order from Colonel Blaskic. It is dated the 1st of
4 June, 1993 at 09.00 hours, and I direct your attention
5 to item number 3 which says, "Have courier and
6 communications system prepared for rapid and effective
7 summoning of manpower."
8 That concludes these series of documents on
9 communication, and I would like to now turn to the
10 documents that are contained in items 93 to 103 which
11 deal with propaganda and disinformation.
12 I will start by directing Your Honours'
13 attention to item number 93, which is an order issued
14 by Colonel Blaskic as the commander of the Central
15 Bosnia operation zone and by Dario Kordic as the
16 Vice-President of the Croatian community of
17 Herceg-Bosna. Dario Kordic identifies himself as
18 "colonel" in that particular document.
19 Let me refer to paragraph 5 which is entitled
20 "Information and Propaganda Activity." This is dated
21 the 15th of June, 1992. Let me read item 5.
22 "Information and Propaganda Activity. Impress upon
23 the people and the soldiers the brutality of the
24 aggression of the Muslim armed forces and that the only
25 way to prevent a massacre is to fight the enemy and to
1 protect our people and pledge that we will eventually
2 return to our territory."
3 Let me turn to item number 94, which is
4 issued approximately three weeks later on the 4th of
5 July, 1992. It's an order issued by Colonel Blaskic.
6 If I can direct Your Honours' attention to paragraph 6
7 which I quote: "Intensify propaganda activities in
8 order to boost morale and create a sense of insecurity
9 in the enemy. Officer in Charge: Operative Zone
10 Commanders. Method: Follow the instructions.
11 Deadline: 10 July, 1992."
12 Now, I'd like to direct Your Honours'
13 attention to a very important document which is item
14 number 95 - I'll come back to this particular document
15 later - but this is a document that is excerpts of a
16 meeting of the Croatian Defence Councils in the
17 municipalities of Central Bosnia, and it is signed by
18 Herceg-Bosna HVO Secretary, Ignac Kostroman; Deputy
19 President of the HVO government, Anto Valenta; and
20 Deputy President of the HVO Herceg-Bosna, Dario
22 You will notice in this particular document
23 that the attendees include Colonel Blaskic, and on the
24 first page of that document, Colonel Blaskic is
25 identified as being one of four members of the working
1 presidency, along with Dario Kordic, Anto Valenta, and
2 Ignac Kostroman. In this document, there is a section
3 under "Observations," towards the end of this document,
4 and it says under "Observations noted in all
5 municipalities: There has to be strong HVO propaganda
7 Now, let me go ahead to documents 98 and 99.
8 These documents somewhat echo one another. The first
9 document, which is found at 99, is an appeal for help
10 for the Croats of Zenica. It is dated 17th of April,
11 1993, and it is signed by the Minister of Defence Ante
12 Puljic; Secretary-General of Herceg-Bosna, Ignac
13 Kostroman; and Vice-President of Herceg-Bosna, Dario
14 Kordic. In this document addressed to UNPROFOR,
15 BRITBAT commander Colonel Stewart, ECMM, Mr. Thebaud,
16 and ICRC, these three political leaders implore the
17 addressees to do all that is possible to protect the
18 Croats in Zenica who, they allege, are being subjected
19 to tank attacks. They allege that the mujahadeen forces
20 have started using tanks against women and children.
21 In item number 99, which is entitled
22 "Protest," it is a protest of Colonel Blaskic to
23 UNPROFOR and ECMM the following day. In this document,
24 and I quote, Colonel Blaskic says as follows: "In
25 their severe attacks on the Croatian villages of Zenica
1 municipality, Muslim forces are using all their
2 bestiality and cruelty as well as their evident wish of
3 destroying all that is Croatian. In the city itself,
4 the arresting, harassing and the robbing of civilian
5 women and children is going on for a long time now.
6 The men arrested are thrown under tanks ..." and it
7 goes on. It is an echo of the previous appeal that was
8 sent by Dario Kordic, Ignac Kostroman, and Mr. Puljic
9 that is described in item number 98.
10 In the area of disinformation, Mr. President,
11 I direct your attention to a very interesting document
12 and Your Honours' attention also to this document found
13 at tab 100. Excuse me.
14 JUDGE JORDA: We were trying to find a
15 procedure which is not to be found in the rules to make
16 you understand that you were just about to lose a very
17 essential part of your clothing.
18 MR. HARMON: Tab number 100 is a very
19 interesting item. It is a letter addressed to the 3rd
20 Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Zenica. It
21 is dated the 16th of April, 1993. It indicates, and I
22 will quote it, I'll quote a portion of it: "This
23 morning, your forces launched an attack on the Central
24 Bosnia operation zone command. We are surprised and
25 outraged by such an act, on top of everything else that
1 your members have recently done. We do not want
2 conflict, but this morning we were forced to respond to
3 the attack launched by your members."
4 In the area of propaganda as well,
5 Mr. President, I have previously identified a document,
6 item number 58, which was the report of Colonel Blaskic
7 to the Vice-President of Herceg-Bosna and other
8 superiors indicating Colonel Blaskic's meeting with
9 Colonel Stewart that was held on the 24th of April,
10 1993. I specifically direct Your Honours' attention to
11 those portions starting with the sentence, "I think
12 that Mate Boban should have been in Vitez today." He
13 goes on to explain why, after being apprised of the
14 massacres at Ahmici, he thought Mr. Boban should have
15 been present.
16 If I can direct your attention to item number
17 102, an item that has been previously discussed under
18 tab 32 which is the special report on the situation in
19 Central Bosnia operation zone. It was addressed by
20 Colonel Blaskic on the 7th of May, 1993 to the supreme
21 commander of the armed forces of the Croatian community
22 of Herceg-Bosna, that would be Mate Boban; the head of
23 the Defence department of the Croatian community of
24 Herceg-Bosna; the chief of the main headquarters of the
25 HVO in Mostar. I would like to direct Your Honours'
1 attention to the last page, the last sentence in that
2 particular document, and I will quote: "I would like
3 to thank you personally and on behalf of the Central
4 Bosnia Operative Zone Command for everything you have
5 done so far in terms of logistics and propaganda
6 support." I will not touch upon the remaining document
7 in this particular set of documents.
8 Instead, Mr. President, I would like to turn
9 very, very briefly to documents 104 to 108. These
10 documents are self-explanatory. They describe training
11 that was available to various elements in the HVO. The
12 only particular document I would like to address Your
13 Honours' attention to is in 106. This is an order by
14 Colonel Blaskic dated the 20th of September, 1992.
15 Under item number 3, which was identified by Colonel
16 Blaskic as a task of the HVO Central Bosnia operation
17 zone command headquarters, under 3: "The training of
18 new recruits who have not served in the JN (Yugoslav
19 Army) is to be basic and specific (recruit all
20 able-bodied men over 18). Responsible for the task:
21 ONO (Operations and Training Body). Deadline: 15-30
22 September 1992."
23 The other documents, Mr. President, are
24 self-explanatory and, Your Honours, they are
1 What I would like to do is return to the --
2 I'm having a little trouble with my cravat here today.
3 I would like to turn Your Honours' attention to the
4 item that's found in tab 109. That is the same
5 document that I previously touched upon in 95. As I
6 say, Mr. President and Your Honours, this is a document
7 that is excerpts from a meeting of Croatian Defence
8 Councils in the municipalities of Central Bosnia, and
9 it was signed by Mr. Kostroman, Mr. Valenta, and
10 Mr. Kordic. It indicates that Colonel Blaskic
11 attended, took part in the discussion, and was a member
12 of the working presidency, along with Dario Kordic,
13 Anto Valenta, and Ignac Kostroman.
14 There's a section of this particular document
15 dealing with observations noted in all the
16 municipalities. In this particular section, let me
17 just quote some of the relevant portions of that. I
18 quoted one portion that indicates that there has to be
19 strong HVO propaganda everywhere, but let me quote some
20 of the other portions to Your Honours.
21 "In Central Bosnia, the HOS have almost
22 completely put themselves under the command of the
23 HVO. In many areas, the HOS has been dissolved and its
24 members have joined the HVO."
25 Another observation in this was as follows:
1 "New refugees are arriving almost daily, especially
2 Muslims. This could disturb the ethnic balance in our
3 areas. The police should be such that our
4 municipalities serve as transit points for Muslim
5 refugees who should be directed to Muslim
7 Another quotation is as follows: "Reception
8 centres for refugees which are planned by the
9 government in Sarajevo on Croatian territories are not
10 acceptable to the Croatian population because that
11 would mean a disruption of the ethnic balance."
12 Another quote found in there is as follows:
13 "Exiled B and H government and its bodies with
14 pro-Muslim policies are undesirable on our territory,
15 and their possible activity, contrary to the principles
16 of HDZ bodies, shall not be tolerated."
17 Another portion of this document I will
18 read: "There is no Bosnian language, and it is an
19 insult to the Croatians when anyone tries to make the
20 Croatian language into some kind of a Bosnian
22 Another portion: "Military HVO authorities
23 are asked to speed up the process of making the
24 military formations more professional, of introducing
25 order in military circles, and making the military
1 police professional. They should also put an end to
2 war profiteers."
3 Lastly, and I quote: "HVO military bodies
4 for Central Bosnia shall produce Defence plans against
5 possible attack by Islamic fundamentalist mujehadeen
6 forces and introduce military discipline and order in
7 the military formations."
8 Now, I have taken selected quotes from this
9 particular document. My suggestion, Your Honours, is
10 to read the document in total to get a flavour of this
11 particular document. I don't want to take anything out
12 of context, and I think Your Honours can see this
13 document in its totality and it will be of interest.
14 I'm turning to these miscellaneous documents
15 now -- that was one of them, Mr. President. Let me
16 turn to another miscellaneous document which is found
17 at tab 110, and this is an undated document, but there
18 is a receipt apparently at the bottom indicating 24
19 with a possibility of it being October of 1992. This
20 is a document, and it was transmitted by the
21 Vice-President of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Dario Kordic, and
22 transmitted by the commander of the Central Bosnia
23 operative headquarters, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, and it
24 indicates information about the movement of Muslim
1 If we turn next to document 111, this is a
2 document, Mr. President and Your Honours, which is
3 dated the 25th of May, 1993, it is a request by Colonel
4 Blaskic, as the commander of the Central Bosnia
5 operation zone, and by Anto Valenta, HVO Herceg-Bosna
6 Vice-President. It is addressed to UNPROFOR, to UNHCR,
7 and to ECMM. It is in two variations, one of which
8 is -- I'm sorry. There is a request in this that is in
9 the original in English, and it has two stamps, one
10 from Colonel Blaskic and one from Anto Valenta, and it
11 requests the reduction of Muslim interpreters working
12 for international organisations in Central Bosnia.
13 I can turn Your Honours' attention to 112.
14 This is a document addressed to ECMM, attention of
15 Mr. Tiboa. I presume that is Mr. Thebault. It is
16 dated the 26th of May, 1993, at 1800 hours, and it was
17 sent by Colonel Blaskic, and it implores Colonel
18 Blaskic to use -- I'm sorry. It implores Mr. Thebault
19 to use his personal authority with 3rd Corps to
20 implement agreements in line with the Vance-Owen Peace
22 Document 113 is a document, information that
23 was issued by Colonel Blaskic to ECMM, UNPROFOR, the
24 Red Cross, and 3rd Corps on the 25th of April, 1993,
25 and it indicates that Colonel Blaskic was aware that
1 arresting civilians was in contravention of the Geneva
3 I direct Your Honours' attention to this
4 document indicating that mudjehadeen forces had entered
5 particular villages populated predominantly by Croats
6 and taken away between 60 and 70 people and "the group
7 comprises many elderly people, children and the sick
8 who, under the Geneva Conventions, may not be subjected
9 to such treatment."
10 The last document under this miscellaneous
11 category is document 114. It is an interesting
12 document. The Court has heard testimony about
13 helicopters in the recent days. This is a document
14 that was issued by Colonel Blaskic. It is a request
15 issued to the chief of staff of the HVO headquarters in
16 Posusje, to Lieutenant General Anto Roso. Now,
17 Posusje, as the Court may see from maps that have been
18 introduced into evidence, is outside the Central Bosnia
19 operation zone, it's near the Croatian border, it's
20 near Grude. On the 4th of February, 1994, Colonel
21 Blaskic, in item number 1, identifies items, and I
22 quote: "As a matter of priority, send the required
23 equipment by air."
24 I direct your attention to a second item in
25 that order: "Please send the automatic rifles and
1 machine guns which I previously requested during my
2 stay as they are absolutely necessary."
3 That concludes, Mr. President and Your
4 Honours, a review of some of these documents, and I
5 would now ask that Exhibit 456 and 457 be admitted into
7 JUDGE JORDA: Any remarks, Mr. Hayman?
8 MR. HAYMAN: No additional comments other
9 than those previously made, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Turning to the registrar, the
11 court deputy, we have ...
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 456.
13 JUDGE JORDA: And the second binder will have
14 the number ...
15 THE REGISTRAR: 457.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Do you want to make comments on
17 the second binder, Mr. Harmon? We had commenced on the
18 military police. It's up to you. You decide.
19 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have no
20 additional comments on Exhibit 457. I have made my
21 comments before.
22 I was going to inform the Court that we do
23 not have any additional witnesses today, nor do we for
24 the remainder of this week.
25 JUDGE JORDA: I see. So we're not going to
1 have any witnesses tomorrow.
2 MR. HARMON: That's correct.
3 JUDGE JORDA: So we will resume our work on
4 Tuesday -- I'm turning towards Mr. Fourmy. Are we
5 starting again on Tuesday -- yes, that seems to be
6 right -- for the last two days of the Prosecution case
7 which will take place on Tuesday. What is the date on
9 THE REGISTRAR: On the 28th.
10 JUDGE JORDA: And you will finish on
11 Wednesday, the 29th, in the evening.
12 Fine. Well, we will keep to this schedule,
13 and we will then have the final stage of the
14 Prosecution case unless -- I'm saying this because we
15 are having a public hearing. There might be following
16 hearings as a result of the subpoenas that were issued
17 at some stage, and this may cause some changes in the
18 schedule, but all this will be done in agreement with
19 the Defence and in full compliance of the accusatorial
21 Thank you very much. The proceedings shall
22 adjourn. We shall resume on Tuesday, the 28th of
24 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
25 5.31 p.m., to be reconvened on
1 Tuesday, the 28th day of July, 1998,
2 at 10.00 a.m.