1 Friday, 25th September, 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.50 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated.
5 Mr. Registrar, will you have the accused brought in?
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Registrar, will you
8 have the witness brought in?
9 (The witness entered court)
10 JUDGE JORDA: General, do you hear me?
11 Please be seated.
12 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Are you ready for us to
14 resume? Have you had a rest?
15 THE WITNESS: Yes. I'm ready to continue
17 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, it's your witness.
18 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 WITNESS: SLAVKO MARIN
20 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:
21 Q. Yesterday, at the end of the day's session,
22 we were focusing on document D244, of which you said
23 that it had been written by the commander of the 1st
24 Battalion on the basis of Brigade Commander Cerkez, and
25 the document is D243. Tell me, please, this is a good
1 example of the functioning of the chain of command.
2 Was this customary, or is it a fact that Anto Bertovic
3 was the only educated military officer in the Viteska
4 Brigade, and this was reflected in his adequate
5 military behaviour?
6 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, this order shows
7 the efforts of the commander of the Operative Zone for
8 the chain of command to be fully observed at lower
9 levels, and his persistent efforts to overcome all
10 obstacles on the way to achieving that goal was,
11 obviously, bearing fruit at lower levels already.
12 So the fact that Anto Bertovic, the commander
13 of this battalion, was a trained officer resulted in
14 the order that he received from the brigade being
15 transferred to the subordinates in the battalion as
16 required by military principles and laws of behaviour
17 in the chain of command.
18 MR. NOBILO: May I ask the usher for his
20 Q. I don't recall exactly whether we have
21 authenticated this document. If we haven't, do you
22 recall Cerkez's order and Blaskic's order on the basis
23 of which Cerkez drafted his order? Can you recognise
24 this as implementation of Cerkez's order?
25 A. I remember the order of the commander of the
1 Operative Zone. I personally know the battalion
2 commander Anto Bertovic but, in view of the level of
3 command at which I was engaged and where this order was
4 written, I did not have a chance to see it.
5 MR. NOBILO: Could the next document be
6 distributed, please?
7 THE REGISTRAR: This is document D245, D245A
8 for the English translation.
9 MR. NOBILO:
10 Q. We have been talking about the 1st Battalion,
11 the commander of which was Anto Bertovic, the only
12 educated officer in the brigade. Can you cast a glance
13 at this document which was drafted on the same day? As
14 far as you recollect, is this the composition of the
15 1st Battalion of the Viteska Brigade on the 14th of
16 April, 1993?
17 A. Yes. That is the composition of the
18 battalion of which the mentioned officer was the
19 commander, but I should like to comment on a matter
20 that we were focusing on yesterday. You see, in the
21 heading, we see the brigade, but you can also see that
22 the same structure remained, according to the
23 villages: The 1st Company, Nadioci, 20 men; Santici,
24 12 men; Dubravica, 19; Poculica, 13. What does this
25 mean? It means that you have a company which, if it
1 was a proper military unit, it should have 1st Platoon,
2 2nd Platoon, 3rd Platoon, but here the units are called
3 after the villages, Nadioci, Santici, and so on.
4 Q. Very well. So these are names of villages in
5 Vitez municipality?
6 A. Yes. You can see what I said yesterday, that
7 our goal was to have a parity structure, that is, to
8 have the proper structure of a brigade. In spite of
9 those efforts, the same problems remained, and that is
10 that the army was organised on the basis of the
11 territorial principle: One village, one unit. As far
12 as I know, at that time, the situation was rather like
13 this also in the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. As for the strength, we see that every
15 company should number 92 men, but if we add up these
16 figures, you will agree with me that that envisaged
17 strength was not achieved.
18 A. As far as the numerical strength of the
19 brigades we mentioned yesterday are concerned, I said
20 that in the command we tried to standardise the brigade
21 and to define its permanent size. However, in view of
22 a shortage of military conscripts, we never managed to
23 achieve more than 60 per cent of the envisaged strength
24 of the number established for the brigade.
25 MR. NOBILO: In connection with this, we will
1 distribute a document to see how a brigade was manned.
2 THE REGISTRAR: D246, D246A for the English
4 MR. NOBILO:
5 Q. Brigadier, we have here the Frankopan
6 Brigade, Guca Gora, Travnik. The date is the 17th of
7 May, 1993. Could you comment, what does this column
8 "envisaged strength" and "actual strength" imply? If
9 you could also comment on the points like the
10 Anti-Armour Battalion, the Artillery Rocket Battalion,
11 where the differences were particularly considerable
12 between the envisaged strength and the actual strength?
13 A. It is visible from this report what the
14 defined structure of the brigade was that we had
15 envisaged at the level of the command of the Operative
16 Zone. That is, that every brigade should number 2.841
17 men. However, in the far right column where we have
18 the expression "actual strength," we see how the
19 manning actually was. We have the figure for the
20 command, 28, command house, 33, et cetera.
21 When we're talking about the Artillery Rocket
22 Battalion, we manned it with as many men as we had,
23 because it was not rational to have soldiers to man a
24 certain artillery piece if that piece was lacking. In
25 terms of the need to engage the infantry, it was
1 important to have as many men as possible to defend the
2 lines against the Serbs.
3 It is also important to underline the date of
4 this report, and that is the 17th of May, 1993, when,
5 because of the developments in our area, we fully
6 mobilised all available personnel.
7 Q. I should like to draw your attention to point
8 4. It says, "Communications Company." What was that
9 company doing? What was its task?
10 A. The Communications Company in this brigade
11 had the task of organising communications for the needs
12 of the brigade commander, to organise communications
13 between battalion commanders and the brigade commander
14 using the devices they had at their disposal.
15 I know, in this particular case, in the case
16 of this brigade, because in the course of my regular
17 duties, I occasionally visited this brigade, and I know
18 that they had about 10 telephones and a certain
19 quantity of wire for wire connections. As far as I
20 know, they had one or two automatic telephones and,
21 perhaps, one telefax. In the case of this
22 communications company, they had no other devices.
23 Let me repeat: The Communications Company's
24 duty was to organise communications within the brigade.
25 Q. Is it because of the lack of resources that,
1 instead of having 112 men in this company, which should
2 have organised communications upwards and down the
3 command chains, there were only 19. Is that the
5 A. Yes. That is certainly one of the key
6 reasons, but also in defining the number of men,
7 according to establishment, it is obvious how much
8 importance is attached to communications for the
9 functioning and for implementing commands, and that one
10 of the reasons for planning so many men in this company
11 is this. But the reason why there were only so few,
12 let me repeat, was the shortage of equipment.
13 Q. Thank you. Can you confirm the contents of
14 this document and the stamp?
15 A. I can confirm this document, because it was
16 drafted at the request of the commander of the
17 Operative Zone, and it reached the Operative Zone
18 command. On behalf of the commander, it was signed,
19 Brigade Commander Ilija Nakic by Franjo Lujanovic, his
20 assistant for personnel and legal affairs, whom I know
21 personally, and I also know his signature.
22 MR. NOBILO: Next document, please?
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document D247, and D247A for
24 the English version.
25 MR. NOBILO:
1 Q. Brigadier, I will read only two or three
2 lines from this document, which I consider to be
3 important. It was drafted in the Operative Zone of
4 Central Bosnia on the 26th of March, 1993. It is
5 signed by Tihomir Blaskic, and the heading says:
6 "Clarification on Persons Authorised to Appoint and
7 Dismiss Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers." Under
8 point 1, it says: "1) The President of the Croatian
9 Community of Herceg-Bosna is in charge of appointing
10 and dismissing brigade commanders and other high
11 ranking officers. 2) The head of the defence office
12 and the commanders authorised by him appoint and
13 dismiss other officers, that is, persons who have been
14 proposed for these officer posts. 3) The brigade
15 commander may appoint and dismiss the commanders of
16 platoons, squads, and other non-commissioned officers
17 and military staff."
18 Tell me first whether you recognise this
19 document and Blaskic's signature and the stamp of the
20 Operative Zone?
21 A. I am familiar with this document, and it is,
22 indeed, signed by General Blaskic.
23 Q. And the stamp?
24 A. The stamp is of the command of the Operative
1 Q. Tell me the circumstances under which this
2 document was written and what was its aim when it was
3 sent to units?
4 A. The document was drafted in the process of
5 transformation of the organisation of units and
6 commands. That was the period when we were setting up
7 brigades, and it came into being in response to
8 questions by our subordinates as to the way to behave
9 administratively regarding proposals for the
10 appointment of commanders in their units. So this is
11 just a part of standard communication when the superior
12 explains certain procedures to his subordinates.
13 Q. This is an instruction, and it is referring
14 to legal regulations in force in Herceg-Bosna at the
15 time. But tell us, did this actually happen in
16 practice or was this the legal framework that efforts
17 were being made to implement?
18 A. I said this is an explanation of
19 administrative procedures as to how proposals should be
20 submitted. Yesterday, when we were talking about
21 actual decision making and appointment of commanders,
22 we said who did it, which means you could make a
23 proposal for the appointment of a brigade commander or
24 the commander of a lower unit if it was approved by the
25 municipal authorities, if we were talking about the
1 municipal level, or a lower level, that would mean the
2 political representatives in the villages.
3 So I'm underlining, this is an explanation of
4 the administrative procedure in implementing legal
5 regulations cited here in the preamble. But what
6 happened in practice, I explained yesterday.
7 MR. NOBILO: Can we go on to the next
9 JUDGE JORDA: Do we have French translations
10 of these documents or will we have them at some point
11 in time?
12 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President. The next
13 document has been translated into French, and we have
14 asked the translation section to translate all these
15 documents into both English and French, but there was,
16 indeed, a large number of those documents, and they
17 have been working very hard, and I think they are still
18 working on it.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you, Mr.
21 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Brigadier Marin, you
22 are saying that this document wasn't, in fact,
23 implemented, that this is a theoretical document?
24 A. Mr. President and Your Honours, this document
25 that we are referring to now is a clarification to
1 persons of authority, that is, commanders, as to how
2 they should deal with proposals, to whom they should
3 submit proposals for appointments of commanders from
4 the platoon level onwards. So this is an explanation
5 as to how they should work, but we have said how things
6 were in practice. If you wish, I can explain this with
7 an example.
8 JUDGE RIAD: Yes, please.
9 A. By way of an example, if you wanted to
10 appoint a brigade commander, before doing anything
11 else, the commander of the Operative Zone had to reach
12 agreement with the municipal authorities and to come to
13 an agreement as to the name of the person who would be
14 proposed. When such agreement was reached, information
15 about that commander would be submitted through the
16 brigade commander to the commander of the Operative
17 Zone and further on to the highest level, the president
18 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
19 After which, when all these steps were taken,
20 a document would be drafted on the appointment of this
21 commander. Throughout this chain, a key role was
22 played by the political authorities in the
24 JUDGE RIAD: So this is not stated at all in
25 these documents. The practice went contrary to the
1 orders, contrary to the administrative documents; is
2 that what you're saying?
3 A. Yes, exactly.
4 JUDGE RIAD: And it was implemented only to
5 appoint or to exclude or dismiss commanders, to put an
6 end to their office. So the authorisation of political
7 authorities at the municipal level was required for
8 that too?
9 A. The definition of standard procedures for the
10 appointment of commanders was the result, or rather, an
11 attempt to build up an organisation on sound
12 foundations under those very difficult conditions.
13 JUDGE RIAD: My question was, how did you
14 dismiss a commander? Was the permission of the
15 municipal authorities required for this too, or could
16 the commander in chief do so directly?
17 A. The approval was required of the municipal
19 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
20 MR. NOBILO:
21 Q. Have the new documents been distributed,
22 please, and what are the numbers, please?
23 THE REGISTRAR: The next number is D248, 248A
24 for the French translation, and 248B for the English
1 MR. NOBILO:
2 Q. Brigadier, first, could we have you identify
3 this table? You gave this to me, right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What does it represent and where was it taken
7 A. This table is a structure --
8 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Brigadier, is there an
9 English translation of this, counsel? I didn't get
10 one, if I could have one, please. Excuse me. There is
11 none on this sheet here. I apologise, there is one,
12 it's in the same type. I apologise, Mr. President,
14 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, please continue now,
15 Mr. Nobilo.
16 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. Brigadier, could you tell us, you have given
18 me this document, this table, where were these tables
19 taken from and what do they represent?
20 A. These tables were taken from the manual of
21 NATO and they refer to the structures of command of the
23 Q. Tell me, you're an officer of the federation
24 of Bosnia and Herzegovina army and now you have are in
25 the process of introducing the NATO standards in the
1 army of federation?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In that connection, you have some
4 translations of certain manuals?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And that's exactly where these tables come
7 from. Before we go on, could you clarify for us, what
8 does the first document represent, the first table?
9 A. The first table shows the structure of the
10 command structure of the corps, district.
11 Q. Is district the same as what Operative Zone
12 was in 1993? Are the Operative Zone, the district and
13 corps one and the same thing?
14 A. Yes. I wanted to present this table to the
15 Trial Chamber in order to show what the standards are
16 for the structure of a military district in the NATO
17 organisation with the entire command structure. Also,
18 I would like to compare this table with what the
19 Central Bosnia Operative Zone command had in 1993 and
20 in 1992.
21 Q. Brigadier, according to NATO standards, how
22 many officers did Tihomir Blaskic need to have in order
23 to carry out his duties?
24 A. If you look at the first row, first column,
25 and you see the number of officers, he was supposed to
1 have 97 active officers. That is, a total of 151.
2 Q. The name of this table is "The Table Review
3 of Executives According to the Organisational Units."
4 Is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Within that table we have a category of
7 officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And then civilians who are employed by the
10 military. Can you tell me how many officers did an
11 Operative Zone need to have, that is according to the
12 NATO standards?
13 A. You can see from this table that the
14 Operative Zone command, according to the NATO standards
15 was supposed to have 151 officers or 235 active duty
16 personnel in total.
17 Q. Mr. President, I see that two tables are
18 bearing the same title here. We have two tables and in
19 order to facilitate their identification, the first
20 table corresponds to the English translation and it's
21 placed on top. So this is the larger table. The
22 second table is a smaller table, so that can be an
23 orientation for you. One refers to the command of the
24 district and the other one refers to the battalion.
25 Now we are focusing on the table that talks
1 about the district command. So, Brigadier, the
2 district command or the Operative Zone command is
3 supposed to have 151 officers?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How many non-commissioned officers?
6 A. Seventy-three.
7 Q. How many soldiers?
8 A. Two.
9 Q. How many civilian officials?
10 A. Twelve.
11 Q. In total what should be the total personnel
12 according to the NATO standards in an Operative Zone
14 A. Taken all together, officers, non-commissioned
15 officers of soldiers and civilians, 235.
16 Q. Just to remind us, how many persons were in
17 the Operative Zone command?
18 A. As I stated yesterday, I said that we had
19 about 25 persons employed because in those days we did
20 not have ranks. We did not have non-commissioned
21 officers in the HVO structures in those days.
22 Q. And you said that there were only three
23 persons who had proper military training?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And when Omer Bozic was transferred to
1 Kiseljak to the Ban Josip Jelalic brigade, how many of
2 you had left in April?
3 A. Colonel Blaskic remained and Ivica Zeko; in
4 other words, two officers remained there.
5 Q. In other words, can we conclude that the
6 number, regardless of the training, but on the basis of
7 what you actually had there, a number of personnel in
8 your command was only 10 per cent of what the NATO
9 standards foresees?
10 A. From everything that we looked at, it is very
12 Q. Very well, let's move on to the next table
13 which shows a motorised Brigade, organisational table.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, maybe just to speed
15 up matters a bit, I think that you're trying now to
16 prove now through your witness, that the military
17 structures were not ones that corresponded to NATO
18 standards or the UN standards. So maybe if we could
19 speed up a bit, obviously, we'll have the right to
20 re-examination in case the Prosecution will contest
21 these points because now we are getting lost in the
23 MR. NOBILO: Very well.
24 Q. Let's just look at a number of officers and
25 non-commissioned officers in this table. Do you agree
1 with me that it should be 32 officers and 212
2 non-commissioned officers?
3 A. That is what it states there.
4 Q. How many trained officers did Viteska brigade
6 A. In the Viteska brigade, there was only one
7 officer who had military training and he did not have
8 full academy training, he just had higher military
9 school training.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Document D249, 249A for the
11 English translation.
12 MR. NOBILO:
13 Q. Brigadier, I am going to read several
14 excerpts from this document now. This is the document
15 D249. The title is "The HOS, HSP" and it is sent to
16 the HOS war staff command in Zagreb. It was drafted in
17 Vitez dated July 1992 and the title of the document in
18 "Activity Report." And then we have, 1) the following
19 are under Central Bosnia command: Jajce, Travnik, Novi
20 Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca, part of the Zenica
21 municipality; Cajdras, Fojnica, Kresevo, Kiseljak.
22 That is the Vrbas/Lasva region.
23 In Item 3, the training camp in Vitez has
24 been in existence for four months now, 500 troops have
25 been trained there, and the last item here is Item 5,
1 where it states; we have never -- and never is
2 underlined -- under the command of the TO, the HVO that
3 is, we are the army of the Croatian people and as
4 members of the HOS, we're prepared to lay down our
5 lives for them. Then it is signed, commander of the
6 HOS war staff for Central Bosnia, Major Darko
7 Kraljevic. Can you tell us what this document
8 represents? Are you familiar with the facts that are
9 stated in this document?
10 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, this document is
11 a report of the commander of the HOS units, which in
12 this period, and you see the date there, were operating
13 outside of the HVO organisation -- and later on we will
14 see exactly the timing of that -- were placed under the
15 command of the HVO. I believe that what was stated in
16 Item 3 is incorrect and I think that they are a product
17 of a certain inclination of the lower ranking officers
18 to overblow their contribution. We can also see that
19 this combat formation or unit in reality existed in all
20 these municipalities that are listed here and had its
21 own organisation.
22 You can also see what types of activities
23 this unit was engaged in during the period referred to
24 in this report.
25 Q. So at least in July, as late as July 1992,
1 there were certain Croatian forces which were not
2 within the organisation of the HVO?
3 A. Yes, and you can see that from this report.
4 Q. Brigadier, let me take you to a new area
5 now. You talked about the organisation of Brigades.
6 However, in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, were
7 there also units, organisations, which were outside of
8 the organisation of brigades in the Operative Zone of
9 Central Bosnia? And, if you know, which they were and
10 can you tell us what they are?
11 A. Apart from the brigades which have been
12 mentioned, apart from the brigades which have been
13 mentioned, those units which were outside of the
14 Central Bosnia Operative Zone command, there was the
15 PPN unit, Vitezovi, that is special purpose unit,
16 because that was their name. Then there was the
17 military police.
18 Q. Very well, so there was the military police
19 and the special purpose unit called Vitezovi. They
20 both operated within the Central Bosnia Operative Zone,
21 but outside of Operative Zone command organisation?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Before we move on to the Vitezovi special
24 purpose unit and its structure and organisation, I
25 would like to show you a document which is a report
1 that it sent to its superior command.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D250,
3 D250A for the English translation.
4 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to repeat once
5 again that the documents that are on the ELMO should be
6 available for the public gallery to see. I have asked
7 for it several times. It is not so difficult because
8 even the defence has stated all the documents should be
9 put on the ELMO. Please choose one of the official
10 languages of the Tribunal to do it. Usually it's in
11 English, but we have got public hearings now, so that
12 the public can be able to follow in an appropriate
13 manner this trial. Because the public, otherwise, they
14 know who is speaking, whether Mr. Nobilo or myself.
15 They can show from time to time the speaker, but when
16 we are discussing a particular document, I would like
17 that on the ELMO the cameras show what is on the ELMO
18 and that should be in one of the two official languages
19 of the Tribunal. I would like not to have to repeat it
20 any more.
21 MR. NOBILO: I have understood.
22 Q. It is a long report, and I'm only going to
23 read several excerpts which, I believe, are relevant to
24 establish the chain of command or the line of command.
25 Let me read. This is the 18th of February,
1 1994, to the office of the main headquarters of the HVO
2 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, to
3 Ms. Mirjana Loncar personally.
4 "Following the order of Colonel Darko
5 Kraljevic, Commander of the PPN Vitezovi, issued on 15
6 February, 1994, we submit to you this report," and in
7 the first sentence it states: "The unit, PPN Vitezovi
8 or the Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi, was established
9 on 10 September, 1992 pursuant to the decree about the
10 armed forces of the Croatian Community of
12 The last paragraph on the first page, this is
13 the last paragraph. "Following the order of Brigadier
14 Milivoj Petkovic, Chief of the Main Headquarters of the
15 HVO, issued on 14 October, 1992, the Commander of the
16 Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi, Darko Kraljevic, issued
17 the order 1-073/92 of 15th of October regarding sending
18 60 soldiers of the special purpose unit to Grude."
19 On the next page, page number 2, in the
20 second paragraph in the Croatian original, it states:
21 "On 24 October, 1992, after the outburst of
22 hostilities between the HVO and the ABiH, Defence
23 Minister Bruno Stojic ordered that the team return to
24 the area of Central Bosnia."
25 On page 3, after "The Year 1993," that is the
1 heading --
2 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to ask the usher,
3 when the counsel announces a version of a page, it is
4 the page that is in the Croatian version and also, very
5 often, in English, so please put the appropriate page
6 on the ELMO. Please stay next to the ELMO.
7 MR. NOBILO:
8 Q. So under "The Year 1993" heading, it states:
9 "Following the order of the Chief of the Main
10 Headquarters of the HVO, number 01-66/93, of 15
11 January, 1993, the Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi was
12 put in a state of mobile readiness of the highest
14 On the next page, this is page 4 of the
15 Croatian document, paragraph 5, it states --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me. The
17 interpreters are looking for the text.
18 MR. NOBILO:
19 Q. I will repeat the text. It is page 4 of the
20 Croatian original, paragraph 5. "The report number
21 2-091/93 of 15 March, 1993 was sent to the Head of the
22 Department of Defence, Mr. Bruno Stojic, and to the
23 Chief of the Main Headquarters of the Croatian Army,
24 Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic. It reported about the
25 activities of the Vitezovi Special Purpose Unit during
1 the conflicts in Central Bosnia."
2 On page 6 of the Croatian text ...
3 JUDGE JORDA: I'm sorry, Mr. Nobilo, but when
4 a text is so long, not only the public has to be able
5 to follow, but also the Prosecutors as well. I think
6 that maybe if it's a longer text, it would allow also
7 the usher to put it on the ELMO, and also, the counsel
8 for the Prosecution would also be able to follow it a
9 bit better.
10 Generally, I'm trying to speed up our debate,
11 but when a document is long, we also must be able to
12 have a proper reference. When you say "page 6,
13 paragraph 3 of the Croatian text," could you please
14 find the proper references in English, and I will find
15 it for myself later on. Also, I think the interpreters
16 are thanking me as well, which is perfect.
17 MR. NOBILO: That is correct, Mr. President.
18 It is a bit complicated. However, I think we have the
19 exact text which I would like to read. This is
20 paragraph 2, and it starts, "Following the order
21 number," and so on. We have it on the screen, and I
22 believe the interpreters will be able to handle it.
23 JUDGE JORDA: This is what page?
24 Unfortunately, the English version hasn't got any page
25 numbers, but it seems to be page 6 of the English
1 version, starting "Following the order of the
2 commander." Thank you.
3 In that case, please proceed.
4 MR. NOBILO: Yes. If you'll look at the
5 monitor, I know that in the Croatian version, it is
6 page 6, but I see the corresponding page in English.
7 Let me read it.
8 Q. "Following the order number 01-10/78/93 of
9 the Commander of the General Corps, Colonel Tihomir
10 Blaskic," and we don't see the numbers particularly
11 well. "The Vitezovi Special Purpose Unit took over the
12 control and defence of Zabrdze, but not in its
13 entirety, because two-thirds of it were already under
14 the control of the Muslim armed forces."
15 Then on the same page, I'll read the last
16 paragraph. It starts with "Communication." It's the
17 next page of the English translation where it refers to
18 communication, so it is at the very top. It's actually
19 the first full paragraph.
20 "We had practically no communication with
21 our superiors in that period of time. We were forced
22 to handle the paperwork the way we supposed it should
23 be done, as nobody among us had the professional
24 knowledge needed for such work. Each time we called
25 the General Corps and asked for instructions, the
1 answer was short and similar, 'Call Mostar.'" Let me
2 mention again, it is well-known how the communication
3 lines worked back then. Then it is signed by the
4 Deputy Commander of the Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi,
5 Major Dragan Binac.
6 I would like to take you back to the first
7 page of this report. Could you just answer very
8 precisely the questions which I asked of you? Why does
9 the Vitezovi unit send a report about its work for the
10 year '92 and '93 to the main command of the Croatian
11 Defence Council of the Croatian Republic of
12 Herceg-Bosna? Will you please tell us what is the main
13 headquarters of the HVO and why is this report
14 addressed to them?
15 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, the main
16 headquarters of the HVO is the highest level of command
17 of the HVO of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the report we are
18 talking about is addressed to the main headquarters and
19 not the Operative Zone, because this unit was not under
20 the direct command of the commander of the Operative
21 Zone, and it was not part of the organisational
22 structure, which included the other units coming under
23 the command of the Operative Zone.
24 Q. Then we go on to the next question. Under
25 the title "Report," it says that the Vitezovi unit was
1 formed on 10 September, 1992. Was that the date when
2 the HOS unit, from document 249, joined the HVO or is
3 it something new?
4 A. Yes. That was the time when the HOS units in
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina became part of the organisational
6 structure of the HVO.
7 Q. I have read out several orders which I
8 consider to be relevant. Let me now just repeat that
9 the HOS received, from the Chief of Staff of the Main
10 Headquarters, Milivoj Petkovic, which is the paragraph
11 at the top of the second page of the English
12 translation, which reads -- my learned friend is
13 marking it -- that an order is received on the 14th of
14 October, 1992 from the Chief of the Main Headquarters,
15 Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic.
16 After that, it is said that on the 24th of
17 October, 1992, they received orders from Defence
18 Minister Bruno Stojic. Then in 1993, on the 15th of
19 January, just under the title "The Year 1993," page 4
20 of the English translation, on the 15th of January,
21 they are still receiving orders from the chief of the
22 main headquarters of the HVO in Herzegovina.
23 Then a couple of paragraphs further down, on
24 the 15th of March, they receive orders from Milivoj
25 Petkovic and Bruno Stojic or, rather, they are
1 reporting to them about their work, that is, to Milivoj
2 Petkovic and to Bruno Stojic. Page 5 of the English
3 translation, the top of the page that is now on the
4 screen, they are sending a report on the 15th of March,
5 1993 to the Head of the Department of Defence, Bruno
6 Stojic, and the Chief of the Main Headquarters, Milivoj
8 The first order that they received from
9 Tihomir Blaskic that they mention has the number
10 01-10/78/93, and as the middle figure indicates the
11 month, it means October, the month of October.
12 On the basis of all that we have read so far
13 and all your knowledge, can you comment on the status
14 of the Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi and what came
15 under its command?
16 A. The PPN Vitezovi Special Purpose Unit, as I
17 have said, was outside the organisational structure of
18 the command of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone. It
19 was under the direct command of the Ministry of Defence
20 of Herceg-Bosna, but it was placed under the operative
21 command of the commander of the Operative Zone. Such a
22 situation, in terms of command, further complicated or
23 made difficult control over those forces, and it also
24 made difficult their assignment to combat duty.
25 The order made by the commander of the
1 Operative Zone in 1993 was issued at a time when we
2 were totally surrounded, and one might say we had no
3 communications or, rather, no quality communications
4 with the main headquarters, and because of the
5 possibility given to use those forces operatonally, the
6 commander of the Operative Zone did issue a specific
7 combat assignment to the Special Purpose Unit Vitezovi.
8 Q. Tell us, Brigadier, in very simple and clear
9 terms, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, in military terms,
10 could he directly give orders to the Vitezovi? Would
11 they obey those orders or was this done in another way?
12 A. The commander of the Operative Zone was not
13 in a position to be able, directly, to give orders or
14 to give assignments to the Vitezovi Special Purpose
15 Unit. But before issuing an order, he first had to
16 contact the commander of the PPN Vitezovi Special
17 Purpose Unit, persuade him that the task he intends to
18 assign to him is indispensable, and only after that was
19 he able to write an order and send it to the mentioned
20 commander. That was the situation in practice.
21 Q. Tell us, in formal and legal terms, special
22 purpose units in Herceg-Bosna, including Vitezovi, did
23 they have a special status in relation to brigades, and
24 were they directly linked to the Defence Ministry?
25 A. Yes. They had a special status, and, as far
1 as I'm aware, they also had separate logistics support.
2 Q. Tell me, Brigadier, could Colonel Blaskic, in
3 any way, appoint or dismiss the commander of a special
4 purpose unit?
5 A. No, because all personnel affairs, logistic
6 affairs, came under the terms of reference of the
7 Defence Ministry.
8 Q. Tell the Court, could Colonel Blaskic and the
9 disciplinary court and the prosecutor's office, could
10 it punish members of the PPN unit?
11 A. No. We did not have the necessary competence
12 for this.
13 Q. How do you explain the fact that Colonel
14 Blaskic did, as frequently as he could, issue written
15 orders to the Vitezovi, as well as to all other
17 A. These efforts best reflect the extent to
18 which General Blaskic tried to structure the army.
19 Q. Do you mean to say that he wouldn't reconcile
20 himself to such a state of affairs or, rather, what was
21 your opinion?
22 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Counsel. The question
23 should be asked as to what was meant, not what Mr.
24 Nobilo wants it to mean.
25 JUDGE JORDA: No. I think Mr. Nobilo was
1 just about to put his questions.
2 Mr. Nobilo, please continue. You have a lot
3 of questions about the Vitezovi left?
4 MR. NOBILO: Just one or two and then we will
5 finish this area.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.
7 MR. NOBILO:
8 Q. Brigadier, your expert opinion, in accordance
9 with the principles of command, was this, according to
10 your professional opinion, an error in the
11 organisational structure or was it acceptable?
12 A. In my opinion, this was an error in the
14 Q. What was the opinion of Colonel Blaskic at
15 the time?
16 A. Colonel Blaskic never reconciled himself with
17 the fact that we had a poor organisation, that the
18 structure was not adequately developed, and he tried
19 everything in his power to improve the organisation and
20 structure and make it more effective.
21 These written orders had a twofold role. One
22 was to have written traces, written documents, to show
23 what measures had been taken. The second was that the
24 people who were in command of those units and those
25 forces should be trained and taught how things should
1 be done. A third point I should like to stress were
2 the efforts that he made to improve the structure and
3 the organisation, because he wanted to make progress.
4 He wanted to create an army that would be ready and
5 capable of defending the defence lines towards the army
6 of Republika Srpska.
7 Q. My last question about Vitezovi: In addition
8 to these legal problems, were there any factual
9 problems due to the fact that the Vitezovi were local
10 men, and who could bring influence to bear on them, in
11 view of this fact that they were locals?
12 A. Yes. This unit consisted of men who did,
13 indeed, make a major contribution on the battlefront
14 from the very first days of combat with units of
15 Republika Srpska. In view of this contribution they
16 made, all these men, and especially their commander,
17 the late Colonel Darko Kraljevic, in the environment in
18 which he lived, enjoyed respect from the inhabitants
19 and the politicians. He was revered.
20 Such a situation, additionally, made
21 difficult the implementation of the commands because
22 the situation made it possible for members of this unit
23 to have greater leeway in their behaviour.
24 Another point I wish to make is the fact that
25 they were directly responsible to the Defence
1 Ministry. Us being physically separated from the
2 Defence Ministry also made it impossible for us to
3 fully control the situation in that unit and the
4 implementation of its tasks.
5 This is something that both the members and
6 the commanders used very skilfully in the following
7 way: If the commander, Colonel Blaskic, gave an
8 assignment to that unit and, in their view, this didn't
9 really suit them, then they would simply say, "We have
10 to contact Mostar," and then they would find all kinds
11 of excuses.
12 Q. Brigadier, I think we've explained
13 sufficiently the position of that unit.
14 MR. NOBILO: It is also time to break, in
15 view of our interpreters.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. We are going to have a
17 15-minute break now.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.09 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, let the accused be brought
21 in. Mr. Nobilo, please proceed.
22 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Q. Brigadier, we will stay slightly more on the
24 document D250. There are just a few words I would like
25 to say about this. This document has been addressed to
1 the Defence office and on the last page it is written
2 to whom this has been sent to, to the addressee and to
3 the unit PPN Vitezovi. Did you receive this report in
4 the Operational Zone? I stress this is a report made
5 in 1994.
6 A. Yes, we did receive this report, which can be
7 seen from the receiving stamp on page 1 in the top
8 corner, but we received it on the 25th of February,
9 1994, although it had been written on the 18th of
10 February, 1992 (sic). I do not know under what
11 circumstances this report had arrived to the command of
12 the Operational Zone.
13 Q. Did Vitezovi very often send reports to you?
14 A. During the whole time of the war it happened
15 very rarely. We could say we hardly received any
16 operational reports or any other reports about the
17 situation in that unit and the activities of that unit
18 and of other features, characteristics for that unit.
19 Q. Thank you. Can I ask the assistance of the
20 usher now.
21 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D251.
22 MR. NOBILO:
23 Q. Brigadier, before we have a look at this
24 document, perhaps it would be better to centre it on
25 the ELMO first. Yes, thank you.
1 Could you now tell us something about the
2 military police and its status?
3 JUDGE JORDA: Can we put it also on the ELMO
4 so that the public gallery can see it? This is not a
5 very complex document. No, we are going to start only
6 when the public gallery will be able to see it. Now
7 you can proceed, Mr. Nobilo.
8 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
9 Q. Before we start analysing this document, you
10 mentioned there were two structures outside of the
11 brigade and outside of the Operational Zone: one was
12 the Vitezovi and the other was the military police.
13 What was the state of the military police in the
14 Operational Zone in central zone?
15 A. The military police, together with
16 the command of the Operational Zone of Central Bosnia
17 was under the operative command of the commander of the
18 Operative Zone. It was not part of the organisational
19 structure of the Operational Zone.
20 Q. Could you tell me what it means, "operational
22 A. Operational commanding in the simplest terms
23 means that a particular unit, a unit with a particular
24 status and that unit is given to you, so you can use it
25 in an operation. The commander can use a particular
1 unit for carrying on particular tasks when it comes to
2 the military police. In this case, the commander of
3 the Operational Zone could order them to carry out
4 operational and military police activities, for
5 example, monitoring.
6 Q. Tell me, apart from this operational use of
7 the military police, was there a direct line of command
8 of the military police towards another body?
9 A. The military police was in its organisational
10 form linked to the Ministry of Defence, and whatever
11 was linked to the military police was done through that
12 line chain of command.
13 Q. Who appoints and dismisses commanders in the
14 military police?
15 A. That authority was upon the department of
16 defence of the Ministry of Herceg-Bosnia.
17 Q. When it came to disciplinary punishment, was
18 it under the organisation of the Operational Zone of
19 Central Bosnia or did they have their own system of
20 disciplinarian punishment?
21 A. Disciplinarian punishment was not in the
22 competence of the Operational Zone, it was dependent on
23 the military police board.
24 Q. Some purely police activities, for example,
25 investigations about criminal deeds and similar
1 activities, was there a direct chain of command towards
2 the administration of the military police and the
3 defence department?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was the military police obliged to inform the
6 commander of the Operational Zone or was it obliged
7 only to make reports to its superiors?
8 A. The military police was not obliged to inform
9 the commander of the Operational Zone, but it had to
10 inform the military police superiors.
11 Q. All the logistics of the military police, the
12 weapons and the other supplies, could it rely on its
13 own logistics?
14 A. Yes, military police had its own logistics.
15 The military district, that is the Operational Zone,
16 provided it with food and with fuel.
17 Q. Brigadier, let us now look at this schematic,
18 this is D251. I would also like the cameras to show it
19 to the public gallery. Would you please explain to me,
20 what does this schematic represent? Can you also
21 explain to us what are direct and what are subsidiary
22 lines of commands?
23 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, from this
24 schematic, we can see the complete organisational
25 structure of the HVO, from the defence department --
1 Q. Just a moment, Brigadier. Let us first look
2 at line 2. We have a title, the "Croatian Defence
3 Council." And then the 5th line there, did it really
4 mean that those were like ministries in the Government
5 of Herceg-Bosnia?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What was under the defence department under
8 the Ministry of Defence of the Government of
10 A. We can see from this schematic that under the
11 Ministry of Defence, there was the command of the
12 military police, the main headquarters of the HVO and
13 the security department.
14 Q. On the main headquarters of the HVO, what was
15 directly under it?
16 A. Directly under the main headquarters of the
17 HVO were the Operational Zones. That is the commands
18 of the military districts.
19 Q. And directly under the third Operational
20 Zone, this was the Operational Zone of Central Bosnia,
21 which is the issue in this case, which units were under
23 A. We can see from the schematic that these were
24 the brigades, Vitez, Kafron Vitez (phoen), Banja Letic
25 (phoen) from Kiseljak --
1 Q. And the others were mentioned yesterday?
2 A. Yes, the ones we answered yesterday and also
3 some additional units like us, the air defence one and
4 the artillery and rocket division.
5 Q. Thank you. If we analyse now units which
6 were in Central Bosnia, do you agree with me when I say
7 that these were all units that are here in the same row
8 here on this schematic as the markings for the third
9 zone, the Operational Zone of Central Bosnia? I'm
10 sorry, not all the units, but the units Vitezovi. I am
11 going to correct myself and rephrase the question.
12 Could you explain on the schematic, the status of the
13 unit Vitezovi?
14 A. The status of this unit, Vitezovi, we can see
15 from the schematic, we've got a line here, a full line,
16 which represents direct subordination and we can see
17 from here that that unit was under the Ministry of
18 Defence. And there is a cut line, interrupted line,
19 represents operational subordination, which depended on
20 the command of the Operational Zone.
21 Q. We can see this twofold commanding structure
22 here. Let us now look at the Operational Zone of
23 Central Bosnia. We've got here the 4th battalion of
24 the military police, can you explain to us these two
25 lines of command?
1 A. The vertical chain of command here, it was
2 the administration and the command of the military
3 police that was in control and the operational use was
4 something that was the possibility of the commander of
5 the Operational Zone.
6 Q. We can see that here. It is a dotted line
7 that represented. Now, my colleague will mark in pink
8 this vertical chain of command regarding the 4th
9 battalion of the military police. There was another
10 service, not a unit, but a service called SIS, that
11 they also have these two chains of command, a direct
12 one and a subsidiary one?
13 A. Yes, we can see it from the schematic.
14 Q. My learned colleague is now going to draw in
15 blue that particular service and that particular chain
16 of command. Does this schematic faithfully represent
17 what you have just told us now concerning these two
18 chains of command?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. Yes, I can stress it and I can say that this
22 was, to my mind, an error in the structure,
23 organisational structure.
24 Q. Brigadier, we've talked about the
25 organisation of Brigades. You said that the
1 organisational forms were very often changed. Tell us,
2 once the brigades were founded to replace the municipal
3 staffs and so on, did all these negative impacts,
4 consequences happen after that?
5 A. No, we still had those key problems. Those
6 were the local influences on the commanders. We still
7 had elements of voluntariness because we had no
8 instruments by which we could oblige a particular
9 mission to be carried out. Also, the units still
10 remained organised on a village system, which we could
11 see from one of the tables, which we saw today where
12 villages were lifted. So these crucial, essential
13 problems still remained.
14 By trying to find new structural forms of
15 organisation, the commander of the Operational Zone
16 attempted to find the best solutions which would
17 guarantee a proper functioning of the organisation, as
18 should be the case when it comes to commanding and
20 Q. Brigadier, you were one of the closest
21 collaborators at the time of Colonel Blaskic, what did
22 he spend most of his working day on in 1992 and 1993?
23 A. It is correct that I was one of the closest
24 collaborators of General Blaskic. Such was my duty.
25 But 90 per cent of his working day, of the working day
1 of General Blaskic, he used to organise the military
2 structured organisation, which would efficiently defend
3 the front-line with Republic of Srpska.
4 Q. Apart from the efficiency that could be the
5 result of a better organisational structure, why did
6 General Blaskic insist so much on the organisational
7 structure? Were this any other reasons for it?
8 A. It is logical that if you have a good
9 structure and organisation, there would be less
10 breaches of discipline and everything will be done more
11 efficiently and in a better way. Apart from the purely
12 military task, all these other things are also very
13 important and General Blaskic had that in mind and took
14 steps in order to limit them.
15 Q. Brigadier, you're an officer of the army of
16 the federation, it is well known that for a number of
17 years MPRI, a professional military company, together
18 with the help of the United States is trying to form a
19 better situation in the Croatian and Muslim forces in
20 the federation. When they arrived in 1996, and when
21 they made a case study of the situation in the HVO,
22 what were the suggestions and what did they find?
23 A. 1995 was the year when we made in the HVO a
24 number of steps forward as compared to 1992. It is
25 known to me because I have participated in the meetings
1 with MPRI when they presented some key problems which
2 still existed in the HVO in 1995. We have probably
3 improved somewhat on those problems in 1996. The
4 problems were the following: A bad functioning of the
5 system of command; no good facilities in terms of
6 lodgings for the military and the problems of financing
7 of the army. These were the three facts that were
8 found by MPRI company when they made a study of the
9 organisation of that army.
10 Q. You said that in 1995 MPRI, so two to three
11 years after this event, said that the HVO did not have
12 a proper system of commanding. What did that
13 organisation think how -- much time will it need for
14 the army of the federation, after which HVO is a part
15 to build an army on the status of --
16 JUDGE RIAD: What is MPRI?
17 MR. NOBILO: Brigadier Slatko Marin will
18 probably be able to explain that much better than I can
19 because I know only a few things about the
21 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, MPRI is an
22 international organisation that is part of the
23 Government of United States of America and its task is
24 to form and organise the army of the federation of
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina. In that organisation works
1 retired officers of the United States of America, which
2 had received the task I was just speaking of, our
3 government has accepted that form of cooperation and we
4 now cooperate very intensely on the build-up of the army
5 of the federation together with that organisation.
6 JUDGE RIAD: Could you please repeat the
7 conclusions that were made by this organisation, the
8 three facts that were found.
9 MR. NOBILO:
10 Q. Brigadier, could you please tell the Court
11 once again what were the three main problems in the HVO
12 found by this American organisation in 1995?
13 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, the company I
14 was speaking of found the following: The HVO has got
15 problems because it has not have a proper system of
16 control and command. Number two, non-existence of
17 facilities in terms of lodging for a professional
18 army. That means that we have no barracks. Number
19 three, financial problems.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Please proceed.
21 MR. NOBILO:
22 Q. Brigadier, that was in 1995. Until what year
23 does this programme of training of the army of the
24 federation last in order for them to be able to fulfil
25 the requirements of modern military standards?
1 A. According to what I mentioned, it will be
2 necessary up until 2003 to work very intensely so that
3 the army of the federation could function on the basis
4 of well-known military standards according to which
5 function all European armies.
6 Q. So ten years after the event we're speaking
8 A. Yes, more or less so.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Please continue.
10 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.
11 Q. Brigadier, could you please tell the Court,
12 during the war between Croats and Muslims in Central
13 Bosnia, before the war and during that war, what
14 frontlines towards the Serbs were held by the HVO?
15 Could you please go to the map and explain which
16 defence lines were held?
17 A. We have to change the slide and the following
18 slide will show the situation as it was then in the
20 Q. Would you please explain the symbols? Can
21 you tell us where the Serb lines were and where the
22 Croatian lines were?
23 A. Just a few items of information about this
24 map. This map is on the scale 1:100.000. What does it
25 mean that 1 centimetre on this map represents 1
1 kilometre in nature. I am saying this so that you can
2 have the best possible representation of the situation
3 on the ground. What you can see here is that in red
4 are the positions of the army of Republic of Srpska.
5 In green we see the deployment of the units of the army
6 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, also the position of the BH
7 army towards the Serbs. In blue we can see the defence
8 lines held by the HVO, and hereby I stress since the
9 beginning of 1992, even more precisely, since March
11 Q. Brigadier, there where you have a red line,
12 which means a line of the army of Republic of Srpska
13 and a blue line next to it is not straight next to it,
14 can we say that this line is held by the army of
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, we should show the
18 map for the public gallery.
19 MR. NOBILO: Yes, please.
20 Q. Brigadier, now the public gallery can also
21 see the map. So blue lines, the HVO; the red lines the
22 Serbs and the green lines represent the army of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Please go on, Brigadier.
24 A. I will try the explain and clarify the
25 positions of the HVO as towards army of Republic of
1 Srpska. In Central Bosnia, municipalities of Travnik,
2 Novi Travnik, Bugojno, Tomislavgrad and Ilano (phoen).
3 From Livno, that means practically from the Croatian
4 border, following this blue line through Bugojno, up
5 until just before the village of Prusac, all this line
6 was held by the HVO units.
7 The green line on the Municipality of
8 Bugojno, part of it, were held by the units of the BH
9 army. Furthermore, the line that goes in front of the
10 Municipality of Novi Travnik and up until the point I
11 am showing now to the village of Busta (phoen). Busta
12 was also held by the HVO. Then from Busta to Turbe,
13 that was held by the army of BH army. Then from Turbe
14 up to Vlasic, this is the hill feature, Vlasicka
15 Gromila. That was also held by the HVO unit. This is
16 part of the battle front that was towards the Republic
17 of Srpska. Furthermore, this blue line going just to
18 Zepce, it is also where we held the defence lines
19 towards Republic of Srpska Zepce.
20 I apologise, there is something that I
21 omitted here from Vlasicka Gromila and to Zenica we can
22 see in green lines that those defence lines were held
23 by the units of the BH army. Something else which we
24 cannot see here because this map does not represent it,
25 there also existed another line at Usora towards the
1 frontlines of Republic of Srpska. Now we're going on
2 to the area of Vares. Near the town of Vares we had
3 this line as shown here towards the front-line with
4 Republic of Srpska. Then we go on to Kiseljak and we
5 can see there we also have frontlines with Republic of
6 Srpska army.
7 It is true that all the defence lines of the
8 HVO are not shown here. For example, in eastern
9 Herzegovina. It would have been technically impossible
10 to represent it on a map of this scale and to my mind,
11 it would be important, in this particular case, to show
12 this particular section of the map with the Operational
13 Zone of Central Bosnia.
14 Q. Both armies, Croat and the Muslim army had
15 frontlines with the army of the Republic of Srpska,
16 could you now draw a conclusion from the
17 characteristics of the deployment of the BH army which
18 at least, so it seems to me, held defence lines and is
19 more deployed in depth of the territory of Central
20 Bosnia. Can you explain to us this deployment?
21 A. The focus of the HVO, the way the work was
22 organised starting in 1992 was to deploy towards the
23 troops of the Republic of Srpska army, and everything
24 was geared towards that end. From this map you can see
25 and this is indeed how things were, the available
1 forces which held the positions on the front-line. You
2 can see from here that it was a small line of defence
3 and it does not correspond to the actual forces which
4 were deployed in the Central Bosnia area.
5 Now, let me give you an example, like Novi
6 Travnik, you see the line. So for this entire
7 municipality, you see this is the area because we did
8 say before that the army was organised on the
9 territorial principles. So in this area, we don't have
10 any BH army forces. However, the BH army did have a
11 presence in the Novi Travnik area, but not on the
12 front-line. They were deployed in the depth of the
13 territory which is where they were organised and which
14 was where they were structured, and they would just
15 deploy within the area. In this way, the army would in
16 that way gain more and more control over the area
17 behind the frontlines towards the Serbian army.
18 That would be behind the HVO backs, the HVO
19 which held those defence lines against the Serbs.
20 Q. During the conflict between the Muslims and
21 the Croats from April 1993 until February 1994, that
22 is, the Washington Agreement, did the HVO, at any given
23 time, voluntarily abandon the frontlines towards the
25 A. The defence lines, which were assumed in
1 1992, after we had stopped the Chetnik -- I'm sorry,
2 the Bosnian Serb army troops was kept until June of
3 1993, that is, until the time when the BH army units
4 attacked members of the HVO units which were holding
5 the positions towards the troops of the army of
6 Republika Srpska. So at that time, in June of 1993,
7 the HVO withdrew from the positions in the area of
8 Travnik and Novi Travnik, because this area was now
9 placed under the control of the BH army, and the HVO
10 was pushed back.
11 Q. Very well, Brigadier, I'm going to take you
12 to a new area which, I believe, is crucial to these
13 proceedings, and I believe that your expertise will be
14 significant for this Trial Chamber when they evaluate
15 the evidence.
16 I want to ask you some things about the
17 organisation of command. First of all, what are the
18 basic characteristics which guide the control and
19 command in any structured and organised army?
20 A. The main function, that is, in order for a
21 system of command control to be operational are as
22 follows: Planning, organisation, command,
23 coordination, supervision, and control. Those are the
24 basic functions which any command and control system
25 must have.
1 Q. Very well. Let's go to the control now, and
2 let's try to see what the situation was in Central
3 Bosnia Operative Zone. First we have planning or
4 forecasting. What does that mean? Can you just
5 clarify this for the Tribunal?
6 A. Planning, as one of the basic characteristics
7 of command and control, is activity of the commanding
8 officer and the command whereby he has to or they have
9 to forecast, they have to prognosticate, and then act
10 on that. That is at the level -- this planning was not
11 implemented formally, either at our command or the
12 subordinate levels. As I mentioned, this was due to
13 the lack of trained personnel who would be able to do
14 this forecasting in a way that a trained officer may be
15 able to do.
16 Q. Second, the organisation of work of the
17 command and units, what can you say about that,
19 A. Any commander, when he lays down the basic
20 organisational work, first of all, he's going to plan,
21 and once you have completed your planning, once you
22 have made your estimates and you have -- you are now
23 ready to proceed to establish a particular organisation
24 to accomplish this task. I have already testified to
25 how much organising work we have done through this
1 period, for our main objective, which was the defence
2 against the army of Republika Srpska.
3 Q. Brigadier, do you think that during the war
4 you were not successful in building the organisation,
5 the military organisation, which would effectively
6 accomplish the tasks set out by your commander?
7 A. Yes. That is correct. We did not build up
8 the organisation which would carry out all the tasks
9 that were before us.
10 Q. Next, I want to take you to the command.
11 What are the forms of command?
12 A. When you have reached a decision, when you
13 have planned, when you have built an organisation, then
14 you proceed to the commanding itself. We see that the
15 command in the Operative Zone was carried out through
16 written orders and many, many times, a commander of the
17 Operative Zone insisted orally, verbally, so he was
18 given oral orders to his subordinates in order to carry
19 out certain tasks.
20 Q. In your judgement, orders which were written
21 by Mr. Blaskic and his associates, were they of better
22 standard than the other orders which were issued by
24 A. Yes. That is correct. They were clear.
25 They were unequivocal. It was clear who was supposed
1 to carry out what task, how they were going to do it.
2 However, the conditions in which these orders were
3 written were such as we have explained earlier.
4 Q. Is the supervision or monitoring of the
5 implementation of these orders, can you explain to the
6 Tribunal what was the significance of the monitoring
7 and supervision?
8 A. If you had set up an organisation, you had
9 issued commands and orders, the next part of the
10 activity is to ensure that everything was carried out.
11 So you needed to monitor and supervise, and these are
12 key factors in the command organisation. If you are
13 not able to have your orders carried out, the extent to
14 which these orders are carried out, if the quality of
15 the job, if you are not able to supervise, if you are
16 not able to monitor that, if you are not able to
17 control that, then it was all in vain.
18 If you are not able, by supervising, to
19 arrive at additional steps and measures that need to be
20 taken, your task would not have been accomplished. So
21 control and supervision is very important.
22 Q. Let me ask you, what were the specific
23 problems which were cropping up in the Operative Zone,
24 especially in the enclaves which were physically
25 separated from the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia?
1 A. The key problem in the area which was the
2 responsibility of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone,
3 the command problem was that precisely because of the
4 physical separation, we were not able to go into the
5 area and verify and control directly how things were
6 implemented there. It was only directly through
7 reports and through other communications that we were
8 able to do so.
9 Q. If you maintain control through irregular
10 reports, how is that reflected and how do you get a
11 real picture of what is going on on the ground?
12 A. If you are not able to directly verify on the
13 ground how certain orders were carried out, and if such
14 information comes to you through written orders,
15 through these reports, you will never be able to find
16 out fully how certain orders were carried out and what
17 is the actual situation at a particular line of
18 defence. Because a local commander will write from his
19 own vantage point, and it is clear that it would be
20 very positive, because he knows that you cannot
21 actually control him, because physically, you cannot go
22 there and do the verifying process yourself.
23 Q. What is the role of coordination?
24 A. Coordination is another important factor,
25 because all the operations take place in an area where
1 you have civilian authorities, you have religious
2 authorities. There is a lot of organisation, a lot of
3 coordination that needs to be done with respect to
4 other institutions which are around you and with whom
5 you have contacts.
6 Q. Can you tell me specifically what needs to be
7 done to make certain orders carried out efficiently?
8 A. In order to fully understand the process of
9 command and control, all these functions, which I have
10 here mentioned, need to be carried out cumulatively.
11 In other words, all of them have to be fully carried
12 out, and that is prerequisite for full control of a
13 commander over the situation. If any one of these
14 factors is missing, then the whole system has been
16 Q. Brigadier, what are the principles of command
17 that any commander needs to know when carrying out his
19 A. The principles of command are also extremely
20 important, and let me try and numerate them for you.
21 It is the unity of command, subordination, the
22 principle of single command confidentiality, and
23 operational factors.
24 Q. Were all these principles which are supposed
25 to be implemented in every military organisation also
1 implemented in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Can you tell me, what would happen if the
4 chain of command of the Operative Zone in an enclave
5 was broken, let's say in Zepce or else where? What
6 would happen then?
7 A. In principle, one of the principles is the
8 continuation, the continuity of command and control.
9 In the military structure of units, a unit must never
10 be left without a commander. If the communication is
11 lost, the next superior commander takes over
12 responsibility for the maintaining of the line of
13 defence for carrying out all the tasks in the zone of
15 Q. You also said confidentiality. What was the
16 confidentiality or secrecy about the command of the
17 Operative Zone regarding any enclaves which were
18 physically separated from the Operative Zone command?
19 I mean communications lines. Did you have means which
20 would guarantee this confidentiality?
21 A. No. We did not have such means, and the
22 level of confidentiality, therefore, was very, very
24 Q. Could you allow yourself the luxury, for
25 instance, that a commander in Kiseljak would send you
1 the exact deployment of his troops, what would that
2 mean, given the means of communications which you had
4 A. That would mean, in practical terms, that he
5 was sending this same information to the enemy. We
6 only had means of communications which were at amateur
7 level. They could be deciphered. If there were any
8 codes, they could be listened to, and no commander
9 could allow himself the luxury to give the information
10 on his forces to the enemy's side.
11 If you will allow me, in such situations, the
12 reports and tasks which we exchanged were, for the most
13 part, general and would not contain specific
15 Q. Brigadier, could you be specific? What would
16 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or any other enemy,
17 what would they do if they received this information on
18 the full deployment or complete deployment?
19 A. They would take certain steps, and they would
20 threaten the forces which were on the ground.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, I think that we can
22 go on without being really military strategists. I
23 think that if somebody manages to intercept your
24 communications, I think that it is pretty obvious that
25 it will have negative consequences for the ones whose
1 communication was intercepted.
2 MR. NOBILO: I thought it would be useful to
3 just discuss some of the military theory here, but let
4 me move on.
5 I have the next document. Can I have it
6 distributed, please?
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, see, we thought
8 that maybe we could have a 15-minute break at 12.25.
9 I'm now going to tackle a new subject, or maybe it
10 would be a better moment to have a break now?
11 MR. NOBILO: Yes.
12 JUDGE JORDA: In that case, we will have a
13 15-minute break.
14 MR. NOBILO: Yes. This is a good idea.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.23 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.45 p.m.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, do you plan to
18 complete your examination-in-chief at 1.30 because we
19 will not be going on after that? We will be resuming
20 work on Monday at two. I was just asking Mr. Nobilo
21 whether he plans to finish today? No, on Monday?
22 MR. NOBILO: We don't believe so, Mr.
23 President, because this is an extremely important
24 witness. We have a large number of documents, but we
25 will probably need two more working days.
1 JUDGE JORDA: I was just trying to learn what
2 your plans are, so that the Prosecution can organise
3 themselves as well. In that case, we will adjourn at
4 1.30 sharp and resume on Monday at two. So please
5 continue now.
6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I
7 think we've distributed a new document, a schematic,
8 could I have the number?
9 THE REGISTRAR: The new document has been
10 marked D252.
11 MR. NOBILO:
12 Q. Brigadier, could you please explain to the
13 Court what this schematic represents?
14 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, this schematic
15 shows the levels of command in the Croatian Defence
17 Q. You mean in the Operative Zone of Central
19 A. Yes, as a part of it.
20 Q. Would you tell the Court, between the
21 commander of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia,
22 Tihomir Blaskic, and a group of soldiers on the attack,
23 who are deciding whether to throw a grenade into the
24 left-hand house or the house on the right, how many
25 levels of command are there in between?
1 A. The commander of the Operative Zone was at
2 the operative level of command. And the subordinate
3 commanders had the tactical level of command. When the
4 commander of the Operative Zone would issue a command
5 in the chain of command, for that order to reach a
6 group of soldiers or a particular soldier it had to
7 pass through the following levels of command: the
8 brigade commander, then the battalion commander, the
9 platoon commander, the squad commander and finally the
10 group commander. Then that leader of the group would
11 issue the order to a group or an individual.
12 Q. Between the commander of the Operative Zone
13 and the Brigade commander, we also have commanders of
14 operative groups that you would form occasionally, what
15 did they represent? How is an operative group
16 organised? Who is its commander and the command of
17 that group as a whole?
18 A. With the establishment of operative groups,
19 their establishment reflected the need for more
20 effective control and command of units and defence.
21 They were formed under conditions when the army of
22 Republic of Srpska was exerting strong pressure on the
23 defence lines and it was then that we undertook to form
24 these operative groups as I described yesterday. When
25 we are talking about our operative groups, in our case,
1 an operative group in the HVO, it didn't have a
2 separate command, though, according to the rules in a
3 well-organised army, it should have. However, in our
4 case, the commander of the operative group was taken
5 over by the command of the strongest Brigade in that
6 area. So that in Kiseljak we had the commander of the
7 Banja Luka Brigade, who was also commander of the
8 operative group. The activities within that operative
9 group are under the commander of the command of that
10 operative group. The same applied to other operative
12 Q. Tell us, in the army, is it possible and is
13 it customary for the commander of an Operative Zone to
14 give a command to the smallest unit? To a squad? Or
15 did that order have to go through various levels of
16 subordinate commanders?
17 A. If any such act were to be undertaken, that
18 would be undermining the whole system of
19 subordination. I do not know of a case of a commander
20 from such a high level, especially in a structured
21 army, to give a command the squad commander.
22 Q. Does that mean, will you explain to the
23 Court, when a commander of an operative zone issues an
24 order then all of these levels must issue a new order
25 on the basis of this original order; is that so?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Will you tell the Court, the reports coming
3 from the ground, the assault group says we threw a hand
4 grenade into a house on the left because they shot at
5 us and not at the house on the right because they
6 didn't shoot at us, how does the report reach the
7 commander of the Operative Zone?
8 A. The report has to go up the chain of command
9 the other way around then. The squad will support the
10 commander of the platoon, the platoon commander, the
11 company commander, the company commander, the battalion
12 commander, the battalion commander, the operative group
13 commander and the operative group commander, the
14 commander of the operative zone.
15 Q. And what happens if anyone in that chain of
16 command fails to execute his duties or does so
18 A. In the case of reporting, the report will be
19 incomplete, poor in quality and it will not provide
20 sufficient information to the commander of the
21 Operative Zone as to the situation on site, where the
22 battle is being waged.
23 Q. Tell me, an order coming from the level of
24 the Operative Zone, what happens with it? Or maybe it
25 would be a better idea for me to read an order and then
1 you can tell me what type of an order it is, from what
2 level it is coming. Central Bosnia command is writing
3 to the brigade commander in Zepce. First of all, the
4 enemy is defined and it says in point 1: After the
5 regrouping of forces and supply of equipment, the enemy
6 will intensify its combat activities with the principle
7 goal of pushing back our forces --
8 JUDGE JORDA: I am wondering, Mr. Nobilo,
9 you're reading a document that was not given to
11 MR. NOBILO: That is correct, Mr. President.
12 I just wanted to read a document which is a typical
13 order issued by the Operative Zone level. Then I
14 wanted the brigadier to tell us whether this was indeed
15 a typical order. The facts are not important, just the
16 type of order.
17 JUDGE JORDA: I don't mind, but I wonder if
18 the Prosecution agrees with this procedure? Mr. Kehoe,
19 are you in agreement with this procedure or not?
20 MR. KEHOE: I really am not. With all due
21 respect, counsel, it's just as difficult to follow
22 without the actual written document. I am going to ask
23 if you're going to read something that everybody be
24 given a copy so that we can all follow along.
25 MR. NOBILO: Unfortunately we don't have an
1 English translation. But let me rephrase it.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Never mind, try and find a way
3 out. You have been speaking alone with so many
4 documents, but that is not exactly in accordance with
5 the procedure.
6 MR. NOBILO: I have put away the document and
7 we'll try and do without it.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps that would be better,
10 MR. NOBILO:
11 Q. Brigadier, tell me from the level of the
12 Operative Zone, what do combat orders look like?
13 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, the commander of
14 an Operative Zone, I said that this was the operative
15 level, and in his orders he issues assignments to his
16 subordinates in which he gives the global assignments
17 by way of example, a unit or an operative group has the
18 task of organising defence along this front-line. So
19 the commander of the Operative Zone will assign the
20 task to organise defence left or right. You have a
21 feature there, another one there. You have to hold the
22 enemy and defend the area.
23 Q. So he will indicate the limits?
24 A. The borders of the zone of responsibility and
25 a global assignment, defend it or attack it, then the
1 brigade commander will define what the task of the
2 battalion is. Then the battalion commander will
3 determine what the task of the company is and so on.
4 As I said, the commander of the Operative
5 Zone gives the global principle task; whereas the lower
6 level commanders determine the place, the time and the
7 forces or units that have to carry it out. If we've
8 come to the platoon commander, then he will say such
9 and such a feature needs to be captured, or control
10 over it needs to be achieved, or it needs to be
11 protected. In that order, that feature is clearly
12 defined. It is in most cases a hill or a building or a
13 particular point in the relief, which is recognisable
14 in that area.
15 Q. Using my example of houses on the left and on
16 the right, who decides at what house a hand grenade
17 will be thrown?
18 A. It is either the leader of the squad or, in
19 most cases, in fact, a small group with three or four
20 soldiers in it.
21 THE REGISTRAR: D253, D253A for the English
23 JUDGE RIAD: I wanted to ask, in document
24 D252, on the right-hand side of the page, it says,
25 "Amount of destruction in villages." Do you want to
1 talk about that too, because you didn't mention it at
2 all, and it appears in the document, Loncari, and so
3 on. What is that about?
4 MR. NOBILO: Your Honours, we will be talking
5 about that a little later. When we come to the
6 specific events, we will be coming back to this level
7 of command and carry out a military analysis. We
8 didn't comment on it at this stage, but we will do so
9 later on in our case when the time comes.
10 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
11 MR. NOBILO:
12 Q. Brigadier, please take a look at this
13 document. It is brief, and for the benefit of the
14 public, I would like to read it. It says: "Commander
15 Mijo Bozic from Kiseljak, on the 9th of March, 1993, to
16 the Command of the Operative Zone in Vitez." He is
17 obviously giving an explanation, and he says: "Further
18 to order, strictly confidential number 01-4-36/93 item
19 1, of 7 April, 1993, and due to the insecurity of the
20 passage to Vitez and the degree of secrecy of that
21 order, we cannot send it to you, even though it stands
22 under number 011-767-1/93." Tell us, how did this
23 reach Vitez, in view of the stamp that we see on the
25 A. You mean this explanation?
1 Q. Yes. The explanation, how did it reach
2 Vitez, and can you explain the stamp on the original?
3 A. This document reached us by packet radio
4 communication. It was received in the communication
5 centre, as can be seen from the incoming stamp.
6 Q. Can you explain why Mijo Bozic could not send
7 this report by packet?
8 A. The explanation is indicative of the
9 situation we found ourselves in. When we had
10 physically separated enclaves and the communications
11 system was unsafe, passage was impossible, and for
12 those reasons, they were not able to give us the
13 document that we required by our order of 7 April,
14 1993. Because it is impossible to pass through
15 physically, and if the communications do not guarantee
16 the confidentiality of the document and the secrecy of
17 the document, then the only correct way to act, for a
18 military man, is to inform his superior that the
19 assignment received cannot be carried out.
20 This was a document drafted by Mijo Bozic,
21 and it was normal for him to do so, because he was a
22 professional soldier, and he knows how the structure of
23 command and control functions and that the superior has
24 to be informed about what is happening.
25 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Next document,
2 THE REGISTRAR: D255, D255A for the French
3 version, D255B for the English version.
4 MR. NOBILO: It must be 254.
5 JUDGE JORDA: You may continue, Mr. Nobilo.
6 I'm sorry, Mr. Registrar, for interrupting.
7 THE REGISTRAR: For the record, this is D254,
8 D254A for the French version, D254B for the English
10 MR. NOBILO: Can we have it on the ELMO? The
11 document is very brief, and I'm going to read it, but I
12 consider it to be extremely important.
13 Q. The Croatian Defence Council Headquarters, in
14 addition to the number, we have the date, "Mostar, 24
15 August, 1993, military secret, strictly confidential,
16 urgently sent to Kiseljak and Vitez." The heading is
17 "Preparing of Actions." It is addressed to Tiho and
18 Rajic, and the text reads: "Act urgently on the
19 coordination regarding the group actions in the
20 direction Kiseljak-Busovaca. Execute mutual
21 connections and consultations," signed, "Croatian
22 Defence Council Headquarters, General Major Milivoj
23 Petkovic." We have the seal, indicating that it was
24 received by packet.
25 For the needs of the Court, could you tell us
1 who Milivoj Petkovic is, where is the main
2 headquarters, and where it is based?
3 A. General Milivoj Petkovic, at the time, was
4 Chief of Staff of the Main Headquarters of the HVO
5 based in Posulsa.
6 Q. Is he the number one military man in the HVO?
7 A. Yes. This is the highest level of command,
8 the main headquarters of the HVO.
9 Q. Then it is addressed to Tiho and Rajic. Who
10 is "Tiho" and who is "Rajic"?
11 A. "Tiho" is General Blaskic, and "Rajic" is
12 Ivica Rajic.
13 Q. What was Ivica Rajic at the time?
14 A. At the time, he was Commander of Operative
15 Group 2 based in Kiseljak.
16 Q. Can you explain, how is it possible that the
17 main commander should simultaneously send an order to
18 the commander of the Operative Zone and his
19 subordinate? Isn't that quite contrary to what you
20 said? Doesn't that undermine the chain of command as
21 regulated in the army?
22 A. Yes, it does, but our physical separation and
23 inability of the commander of the Operative Zone to
24 extend any kind of assistance, to have any insight
25 regarding the situation at the battlefront in Kiseljak,
1 prompted the chief of staff of the main headquarters to
2 issue such an order. Therefore, this order is the
3 product of the situation in place at the time.
4 By this order, the commander is placing, on
5 the same level, the commander of the Operative Zone and
6 the commander of the Operative Group, because the
7 situation in the theatre was such that the commander of
8 Operative Group 2 in Kiseljak had to assume
9 responsibility for all defence operations and
10 responsibility for the overall situation in that
11 enclave, that is, in Operative Group 2.
12 Q. Brigadier, are you familiar with the contents
13 of this document when you received it in the Operative
14 Zone, and do you recognise the incoming seal of the
15 Operative Zone?
16 A. I recognise the seal but not the contents,
17 but parts of it I'm familiar with because, at the
18 morning briefing, General Tihomir Blaskic informed us
19 of this, and I even have a note in my diary about it.
20 Q. In military terms, is it acceptable for a
21 commander to say, "Act urgently on the coordination,"
22 or "Carry out mutual consultations"? Is that the
23 wording used between superiors and subordinates or
24 between two equals?
25 A. This is not a relationship between superiors
1 and subordinates, but between equal levels of command.
2 MR. NOBILO: New document, please.
3 THE REGISTRAR: D255, D255A for the English
5 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, by way of
6 introduction, this document has been obtained by the
7 Defence. It is a daily newspaper, Slobodna Dalmacija,
8 the issue dated Thursday, the 7th of December, 1995,
9 when an exclusive interview was published with Ivica
11 I should like to draw your attention to only
12 a part of that text. I will read it, because it's not
13 lengthy, and we would like to inform the Brigadier of
14 this and hear his opinion. It is on page 3 of the
15 translation under the sub-heading "The Clash with
17 With your permission, I will read it: "The
18 officials of The Hague Tribunal have stated on several
19 occasions that Kresimir Zubak, when visiting the
20 Tribunal, promised them your extradition. What do you
21 know about this?" That is the journalist's question.
22 "Answer: As far as I'm aware, Zubak promised
23 cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, but whether there
24 was a specific conversation about me, that I do not
1 Question: There have occasionally been
2 public suggestions, and even during the main hearing,
3 that your clash with General Tihomir Blaskic, which
4 dates back to as early as 1992, lay behind your arrest
5 and the arrest of Dominik Iljasevic and Vlatko
6 Trogrlic." Ivica Rajic answers: "The course of events
7 in Kiseljak separated the two of us. We had our duels,
8 both verbal and professional, as well as disagreements
9 about our work. Blaskic had a totally different
10 approach. I am a person who wants to be close to the
11 people, close to the soldiers, fighters, and, unlike
12 him, I am not interested in a career. The difference
13 between him and me is that I'm ready to sacrifice my
14 career for the people, whereas Blaskic is always ready
15 to sacrifice the people for his career."
16 The most important part of this, the point of
17 my reading this interview: "In the beginning, Blaskic
18 was my superior, but later, he was transferred to
19 Vitez, while I remained in Kiseljak. Although Blaskic
20 was formally my superior even then, the conditions on
21 the ground imposed a situation where he and I were
22 equally responsible to the main staff of the HVO, he
23 for his sector, and I for mine. Blaskic wanted to
24 cover up all the weaknesses that he carries inside
25 himself, and which I warned the authorities about and
1 tried to make those of us in Kiseljak out to be what
2 the trial claimed we were."
3 By way of an explanation, you will see that
4 Rajic and his comrades were tried, and he gave this
5 interview after this trial.
6 "But he did not succeed in this. On several
7 occasions, I attempted to clear up these relations with
8 him and, in the end, I tried to make sure that our
9 paths no longer crossed, in the interests of the
10 Croatian people and in the interests of Kiseljak, which
11 is where both of us come from.
12 I did my utmost to avoid any kind of
13 confrontation. All of those attempts came from my
14 side, but Blaskic did not respond to them. He did not
15 think it through maturely and, in the end, he did not
16 draw the proper conclusions."
17 In the next passage, which is
18 entitled, "Cooked up in the Same Kitchen." The answer
19 given by Rajic to the question; "You have been accused
20 of being a trustworthy KOS man, counterintelligence
21 service of the JNA." His answer is: "This was cooked
22 up -- or sorry, all of this was directed against the
23 legendary Maturica and Apostola units and only later
24 against their commanders."
25 Q. Brigadier, do you know that there was a trial
1 of Ivica Rajic in Mostar, he was acquitted and after
2 that he granted this interview? Have you read this
4 A. Yes, I know him because we met in 1992 when
5 the front-line was being established after the fall of
6 Jajce in the area of Travnik.
7 Q. Very briefly, the text will be read by the
8 Judges, so we will not continue reading it, but just
9 tell us what I have read just now about the
10 responsibility, the fact of responsibility about both
11 Blaskic and Rajic, each one for his own sector, was it
12 really as Rajic stated here?
13 A. Yes, it was really so, when it came to the
14 functioning of the command and control system.
15 Q. Could we have the next document, please.
16 THE REGISTRAR: 256, 256A for the English
18 MR. NOBILO:
19 Q. We are not going to go into the essence of
20 this document, I am just going to point out certain of
21 its features and after that I will ask you for an
22 opinion. From Fojnica, which originally belonged to
23 Zubiniski, and Busovaca is sending to the defence
24 department, medical sector, Colonel Rajic a report on
25 the medical situation in his battalion, on the health
1 situation. What does this tell you about the direct
2 links between the Kiseljak enclave and Mostar?
3 A. This speaks about a very difficult situation
4 in which we were. Those kinds of situations would
5 always require the need for some reports and
6 information to be sent directly to Mostar because it
7 was practically useless to send it to Vitez as we were
8 not able to help them with those matters. Something
9 even more important, that does not only mean that
10 through direct chain of command a communication was
11 established between the main headquarters and the
12 command of the operative group, but we can also see
13 from here that in other domains, like the medical
14 domain, for example, direct communication had been
15 established with those people that covered that
16 particular matter, or particular portfolio in the
17 ministry, that is the government.
18 Q. Could I ask for some help with the next
19 document now.
20 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked 257,
21 257A for the English translation.
22 MR. NOBILO:
23 Q. We are not going to read the whole document
24 now, Brigadier, but just its title. The medical
25 service of Ban Josip Jelacic Brigade is sending to the
1 Mostar medical sector a report on the situation. We
2 don't have the end of that report, but could you
3 comment on whether this document is indicative of what
4 you were telling us, that is the direct link with the
5 services of the main command?
6 A. Yes, this is practically the confirmation of
7 this type of communicating and cooperating with the
8 main headquarters, the one that we've seen in the
9 previous document. But also, this report shows how
10 difficult the situation was. That there were wounded,
11 that urgent help was needed. Obviously that was
12 directly sent to the sector for health which was
13 directly in charge of the wounded of the HVO.
14 Q. Thank you. We should now distribute another
16 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D258, 258A
17 for the French version and 258B for the English
19 MR. NOBILO:
20 Q. Brigadier, I am only -- we are not going to
21 read this document. Let me just briefly say that this
22 document is the one that we believe was signed by
23 Tihomir Blaskic and you're going to tell us that was
24 dated the 11th of April, 1993 at 11.00 hours. From
25 that, the British Battalion in Novi Bila, escort is
1 asked from Kiseljak to Busovaca for a military
2 delegation of ten members. Could you please tell the
3 Court from when and until when you could in such a way,
4 that is escorted by the British, that means the United
5 Nation forces, travel between Busovaca and Kiseljak?
6 A. This document was issued in the command of
7 the Operative Zone and it was signed by Zoran Pilacic
8 on behalf of the commander of the Operative Zone who
9 had authorised him to do so. From January --
10 Q. What year?
11 A. 1993. After the area of Kacuni was cut off
12 by the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the road to
13 Kiseljak for the Croats and the HVO officers was not --
14 the Croats and the HVO officers could not go through
15 the road. If you wanted to go to Kiseljak, you had to
16 contact UNPROFOR so that they would be responsible for
17 your security and escort you to Kiseljak. That
18 situation happened in January, 1993, and such a
19 situation continued up until the Washington Agreement.
20 Q. Tell us, during war operation, was the
21 passage through this road possible at all, for example,
22 during the war in April?
23 A. It was not possible to go through it at all.
24 Q. Please tell the Court, did the British accept
25 to escort HVO officers when they were performing combat
1 duties or only for escorting them when they were going
2 to meetings or negotiations?
3 A. We never contacted the British for carrying
4 out any military or combat missions. We asked for
5 their help when we were going to various meetings, but
6 more often than not organised by the UNPROFOR itself.
7 Q. Could you go in your own vehicles, or did you
8 have to go with UNPROFOR vehicles?
9 A. Yes, we had to go into armoured vehicles, I
10 did it personally myself.
11 Q. We have finished now discussing about this
12 particular issue, although we're going to talk about it
13 with another witness later on.
14 JUDGE JORDA: I think that we have finished
15 our working week now. I hope that you will have a good
16 rest during the weekend and we will resume on Monday at
17 2.00 p.m. Please, Mr. Kehoe.
18 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, just
19 respectfully, if the first two charts that the
20 Brigadier was talking about, 1 and 1A, if we could have
21 some hard copies of those, I think it would be
22 helpful. The two slides that the Brigadier was talking
23 about, if we could get copies of those, please, I would
24 appreciate it.
25 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we have already
1 asked that these maps be printed out and I hope that
2 the Prosecution will soon have the copies of them.
3 MR. KEHOE: That's fine, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE JORDA: When do you think you'll have
5 these copies?
6 MR. HAYMAN: The slide earlier, we have to
7 rely on the technical staff to make the first copy,
8 which they have to print out from the computer material
9 and then we can photocopy in colour, additional
10 copies. As soon as I get the first copy, within a few
11 hours, we can make additional copies to distribute.
12 We're happy to do that.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Have you heard the answer,
14 Mr. Kehoe? So we'll see you on Monday at 2.00 p.m.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
16 1.30 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
17 the 28th day of September, 1998, at 2.00