{short description of image}

  1. 1 Thursday, 15th October 1998

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 10.10 a.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Have the accused brought in,

    5 please.

    6 (The accused entered court)

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Let's have the witness brought

    8 in, please, Brigadier Marin. Good morning to everyone,

    9 good morning to the interpreters, to the Prosecution,

    10 to the Defence, and we can now, we will resume our work

    11 as soon as the Brigadier has come into the courtroom.

    12 (The witness entered court)


    14 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning, Brigadier.

    15 A. Good morning, Mr. President.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: I hope that you've rested up a

    17 bit, that you're ready to continue.

    18 A. I am ready and I have rested as much as one

    19 can rest during the course of one night.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. All right, the day

    21 is going to be long, and we hope that the Prosecutor

    22 will finish his cross-examination today. Isn't that

    23 what we hope, Mr. Kehoe? You're going to concentrate

    24 all of your efforts on that, I know you've spent the

    25 night thinking about how you're going to ask the most

  2. 1 compact and direct questions.

    2 MR. KEHOE: I have sleepless nights thinking

    3 about that, Judge. I will direct my attention to

    4 finishing as promptly as possible, judge.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Judge Shahabuddeen

    6 and I would like to thank you in advance, go ahead.

    7 MR. KEHOE: Good morning, Brigadier, good

    8 morning, Your Honours, counsel.

    9 Q. Brigadier, let me turn your attention back

    10 to --

    11 A. Good morning.

    12 Q. Brigadier, let me turn your attention back

    13 momentarily to Exhibit 321, the map you talked about

    14 yesterday, wherein we discussed the shelling in the

    15 Vitez area. I want to ask you, sir, when the shelling

    16 was taking place in the Vitez area, were the prisoners

    17 that you discussed the day before yesterday, were those

    18 Bosnian Muslim prisoners still located in the cinema

    19 building and the basement of the cinema building some

    20 100 metres behind the Hotel Vitez?

    21 A. As far as I know, the prisoners were in the

    22 cinema building at that time.

    23 Q. Do you know of any orders to attempt to move

    24 them so they were not present when the shelling took

    25 place?

  3. 1 A. I know that on that day a certain number of

    2 civilians was returned to the village of Gacice, to the

    3 best of my recollection, women and children. I'm not

    4 aware of any orders being issued in relation to that,

    5 but since I know the town of Vitez, there is not a

    6 single building where people would be safer in case of

    7 shelling than that particular building.

    8 Q. Brigadier, let's talk about these women and

    9 children that were taken back to Gacice. Were they in

    10 downtown Vitez before they were taken back to Gacice?

    11 A. The village of Gacice is right next to the

    12 town of Vitez, and as far as I know, these civilians

    13 were in town, and I cannot say what the exact location

    14 was, I cannot say it at this point. However, the town

    15 of Vitez is not a very big town, so it could have been

    16 between the post office, the municipality building, the

    17 sin man building, et cetera.

    18 Q. Did you see these people from Gacice when

    19 they were in town?

    20 A. I did not see these people, because I said

    21 under what conditions I had been working. What I said

    22 just now is what I found out later.

    23 Q. Who did you find this out from?

    24 A. As far as I remember, that is in the report

    25 of the Vitez Brigade, too, for the day of 19th. I

  4. 1 think that that report is attached -- rather it was

    2 tendered into evidence by the Defence.

    3 Q. We will get back to that, sir. But before we

    4 move on to that Mr. President, I would just like to

    5 bring the Court's attention to an ECMM document,

    6 unfortunately it's just in English. I might hand it

    7 out and explain some of the printing in this regard,

    8 because there was some double printing when ECMM

    9 printed it out.

    10 And Mr. President, in an effort to be

    11 expeditious we will read only two paragraphs of this

    12 document which will be the focus of our questions.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. That's how we have

    14 to work.

    15 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 529.

    16 MR. KEHOE:

    17 Q. This is an ECMM report of 19 April 1993. I

    18 will read paragraph one, "The general situation still

    19 very tense in and around Vitez. The car bomb which

    20 exploded near the mosque in Vitez at, on 18 April, has

    21 caused great damage. Fighting with SAS, small arms and

    22 fighting with mortars and artillery still going on."

    23 We move down four paragraphs and the

    24 numerical sequence seems to be off and we go to 6,

    25 "Humanitarian. The team visited 62 male Muslim

  5. 1 prisoners held in a prison under HVO brigade

    2 headquarters in Vitez. The prisoners were treated well

    3 although they were in a small space for such a large

    4 group. Their location formally is a violation of the

    5 Geneva Convention."

    6 Now, Mr. President, by way of explanation,

    7 the paragraphs that are crossed out are a duplication,

    8 and at the risk of going through this again, you can

    9 see this is a duplication of what is written above,

    10 sir. That is why it's crossed out.

    11 We will move down to the next page, talking

    12 about the tasks of 20 April. "The team as yesterday

    13 visited the HVO Brigade commander in Vitez and made

    14 complaints about being fired upon from confirmed HVO

    15 positions, the lifting of blockades and cease-fire on

    16 behalf of the team were arranged and seemed to be

    17 effective. The investigation of the car bomb yesterday

    18 was discussed."

    19 Now, the HVO Brigade commander on the 19th

    20 and 20th of April 1993 was Mario Cerkez; isn't that

    21 right?

    22 A. The commander of the Vitez Brigade was Mario

    23 Cerkez, if that is what was meant by this, then I can

    24 confirm it. However, HVO commander is too general a

    25 term. The commander of the Vitez Brigade was Mario

  6. 1 Cerkez, so if this visit pertained to the visit to the

    2 Vitez Brigade, then I can confirm it, because at that

    3 time Mario was commander of the Vitez Brigade.

    4 MR. KEHOE: Okay, sir, let us move on to the

    5 20th of April and we will discuss the reports that you

    6 just mentioned concerning Gacice which were introduced

    7 during the Defence case. I am talking about the

    8 Defence Exhibit 330 and Defence Exhibit 331. So, we're

    9 moving ahead Brigadier and now we're going to talk

    10 about the 20th of April.

    11 Mr. Usher, and Mr. Dubuisson, if we could

    12 give the witness Defence Exhibit 330 and 331.

    13 Q. I believe those are the two reports that were

    14 submitted by the Defence concerning the fighting at

    15 Gacice, Brigadier. They relate to fighting on the 20th

    16 of April. Take a look at those. You can see from

    17 Exhibit 330 that at some time in the morning, it would

    18 appear, fighting is going on in Gacice, but by 1800

    19 hours Gacice is secured; where 47 men were taken

    20 prisoner and women and children were sent home. Do you

    21 see that, sir? Just look at those two reports in

    22 conjunction and we will move through them quickly.

    23 A. This statement that these men and women and

    24 children were taken prisoner in Gacice, that I

    25 confirmed during my testimony during the Defence case

  7. 1 because I had heard about it. And your question

    2 relates to document 330, but could you please repeat

    3 that question?

    4 Q. I'm just trying to place in context your

    5 statement that at Gacice there was fighting going on

    6 and Gacice and women and children were brought to

    7 downtown Vitez, and would you agree with me that based

    8 on these two documents, 330 and 331, those women and

    9 children from Gacice were brought to downtown Vitez on

    10 the 20th of April?

    11 A. Whether they were, well, that's what it says

    12 in this report.

    13 Q. Okay, sir. Now, let's stay with 331. The

    14 first line of 331 says "Heavy attacks on HVO units by

    15 Muslim forces continue throughout the afternoon." Do

    16 you see that first line on Exhibit 331, the report of

    17 20 April, 1993, at 1800 hours?

    18 A. Yes, it says here that the enemy, the BH

    19 army, then, attempted, on several occasions, infantry

    20 breakthroughs on lines in the Krcevine and Krizancevo

    21 Selo regions. At the moment fierce battles are being

    22 waged in the village of Bukve, Slatina, Ljubica,

    23 Stojkovici, Krizancevo Selo, Dubravica. Could you

    24 please just move? Yes, so, it's all of these places

    25 here towards Zenica. And the village of Gacice is

  8. 1 south of the town of Vitez.

    2 Q. Brigadier, you can step up with the pointer

    3 and just point to the villages, that will be helpful, I

    4 think, for the Court.

    5 A. All right, Mr. President, Your Honours, from

    6 the operations report of the Vitez Brigade that we

    7 received on the 20th of April at 1800 hours, the units

    8 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were attacking the

    9 following places. Krizancevo Selo -- just a minute,

    10 let me orient myself. It's over here, Krcevine,

    11 Krcevine over here, then further on, Bukve, Ljubica

    12 Grobic, Poculica. Ljubija Grobic is here, Stojkovici

    13 is here, and again, from Slatina to Krcevine, on the

    14 whole, the attack of the BH army units was taking place

    15 in this region, the village of Gacice is here.

    16 Q. Okay, Brigadier, thank you.

    17 A. This is the town of Vitez.

    18 Q. So, Brigadier, on the 20th there is pretty

    19 heavy fighting on that front-line area.

    20 A. According to this report we can see that

    21 there was fighting, and that it was heavy fighting at

    22 that, and the commander of the Vitez Brigade is saying

    23 that there are four killed and four wounded soldiers in

    24 this fighting.

    25 Q. And sir, the ECMM reflects, this is

  9. 1 Prosecutor's Exhibit 187, that a T 34 tank was in a

    2 position on the mountain road between Zenica and Vitez

    3 shelling HVO headquarters and the PTT building in

    4 Vitez. Was that shelling taking place and was it done

    5 in conjunction with this heavy attacks on HVO units

    6 that you just talked about?

    7 A. I cannot say whether the tank was shelling on

    8 the 20th, but I know that the post office was hit by a

    9 tank. But tank fire is also considered to be shelling,

    10 but I just don't know whether it was on the 20th,

    11 exactly.

    12 Q. Well, with this heavy attacks by HVO units on

    13 the 20th, along the line that you just explained, were

    14 the Muslims also shelling the town of Vitez?

    15 A. On the 20th -- on the 20th, according to the

    16 reports that we have here, intensive -- there was no

    17 intensive shelling of Vitez on that day. If on the

    18 20th a tank shell hit the post office, one or two, I

    19 never showed that to be intensive shelling.

    20 Q. Okay, sir. But at some point you do recall

    21 that the post office was in fact shelled, whether it's

    22 on the 20th or some other day, at some point the post

    23 office was shelled?

    24 A. I know that the post office was hit by a tank

    25 shell. That I do know. And I think that the effects

  10. 1 of this projectile haven't been removed until the

    2 present day.

    3 Q. Let me show you Prosecution Exhibit 158. It

    4 should be a document that looks like this, Mr. Usher.

    5 Brigadier, let me orient you and help you out

    6 with this exhibit just a bit. This is an exhibit that

    7 has been received in evidence, and if I may, and this

    8 is based on the testimony and the photograph, point A

    9 on this photograph is the Hotel Vitez, and this is an

    10 overhead photograph. Point B is the building that we

    11 discussed previously which is the Viteska Brigade

    12 headquarters and the adjacent cinema building we can

    13 see that we talked about before. And point C would be

    14 the PTT building. I know you may not have seen this

    15 before, Brigadier, I'm just trying to orient you for a

    16 moment, and just take a second to take a look at this.

    17 A. I have oriented myself.

    18 Q. Okay, sir. Now, the point number one in the

    19 circle, do you see that? There is a one over to the --

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. Now, the women and children from Gacice on

    22 the 20th, did you see them taken to the location in the

    23 circle? And I'm talking about 247 women and children.

    24 A. I have already said that women and children

    25 and prisoners from Gacice, that I did not see all of

  11. 1 them, any of them. But I know that in the report we

    2 received from the Vitez Brigade I received information

    3 that these people were in town, that the women and

    4 children were returned to their homes, and that it is

    5 already the 20th of April, and there was a meeting held

    6 in Zenica, and certain activities were already taken by

    7 the commissions that are supposed to carry out this

    8 exchange of prisoners held by the Bosniak Muslim army

    9 and the prisoners held by the HVO, because already on

    10 the 20th we had a meeting in Zenica.

    11 Q. Now, sir, you said that the, you received a

    12 report, or the headquarters received a report that the

    13 civilians were in town. That fact does not, is not

    14 reflected in either of the reports that the Defence,

    15 that you talked about during your direct examination,

    16 Exhibit 330 and Exhibit 331. Is there another report

    17 from the Vitez Brigade that reflects that these women

    18 and children were, from Gacice, were in town?

    19 A. I cannot recall now having received such a

    20 report, but if we look at the report that I talked

    21 about, and that arrived at 1800 hours, that report, I

    22 mean, that report put together all the activities for

    23 that day, that is to say presented all the activities

    24 for that day. At 1800 hours, to the best of my

    25 recollection, the commander, General Blaskic, had

  12. 1 already went to the joint meeting with the

    2 representatives of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina

    3 at a top military level where General Halilovic was and

    4 General Petkovic, in relation to the cease-fire, that

    5 is. The report reflects all the activities in the zone

    6 of responsibility and all the events related to the

    7 Vitez Brigade for that day, that is why the exact hour

    8 has been specified, that is to say 1800 hours.

    9 Q. My question for you, Brigadier, is that the

    10 fact that women and children were brought to Gacice is

    11 not reflected in Defence Exhibit 331, the report of 20

    12 April 1993, at 1800 hours, excuse me, brought from

    13 Gacice into Vitez. The fact that women and children

    14 were brought from Gacice to Vitez is not reflected in

    15 this report. I ask to you take a look at this report

    16 once again.

    17 A. From Gacice.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Your question is the fact that

    19 the women and children were taken from Gacice to Vitez;

    20 is that correct?

    21 MR. KEHOE: That's correct, Mr. President.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.

    23 A. Mr. President, in the report it is stated

    24 quite clearly that we received the report in terms of

    25 the situation in the zone of responsibility of the

  13. 1 Vitez Brigade at 1800 hours and it says that 40 men

    2 were taken prisoner and that the women and children

    3 were taken home. I do not know the exact time when

    4 they were taken home and I don't know the exact time

    5 when they were brought in.

    6 MR. KEHOE:

    7 Q. I understand, Brigadier, and all I'm asking

    8 you is, is there another report from the Viteska

    9 Brigade that you received in the headquarters telling

    10 you that these women and children had been taken from

    11 Gacice to Vitez?

    12 A. Now I cannot remember that kind of report.

    13 If I were to see it and to see its contents, when I see

    14 the document, I mean, I remember the contents,

    15 especially if these are contents of such a nature.

    16 Taking a target, heavy fighting, then my memory is

    17 jogged and then I can discuss such matters. But if I

    18 were to claim now that there was some kind of report or

    19 there was not some kind of a report, it would not be

    20 objective on my part. But to the best of my

    21 recollection, there was not. Because this report is

    22 not an extraordinary report, it is the regular report

    23 that we have been receiving in terms of the regular

    24 reporting during fighting and combat action.

    25 Q. Well, Brigadier, from Exhibit 331, the report

  14. 1 that is before you, you can conclude two things, or at

    2 least one thing, that throughout the afternoon, heavy

    3 fighting is taking place with Muslim forces, and you

    4 told us that prior to 1800 hours, women and children

    5 from Gacice were in Vitez; is that correct?

    6 A. Yes, that is what it does say here in the

    7 report. Heavy fighting, heavy fighting in the places

    8 that I mentioned, and I'm going to repeat these

    9 locations Krcevine, Krizancevo Selo, that was infantry

    10 fighting, and these locations are 3 or 4 kilometres

    11 away from the town of Vitez, and that is fighting

    12 between two armies that are entrenched. That is to

    13 say, the HVO on one side and the army of

    14 Bosnia-Herzegovina on the other side and that is the

    15 fighting that is referred to in this report.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead, Mr. Kehoe, let's not

    17 go around and round.

    18 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. Present.

    19 Q. Brigadier, on the 20th of April did any

    20 member of the HVO come into the Hotel Vitez and tell

    21 you or Colonel Blaskic or any other officer in the

    22 headquarters that women and children were outside the

    23 Hotel Vitez at this location that is circled in Exhibit

    24 158, the one that's on the ELMO? Did any soldier do

    25 that?

  15. 1 A. I am not aware of that, but I know that out

    2 of those civilians who were brought in, none were

    3 killed and none were wounded that day. That I do know.

    4 Q. Brigadier, you told us that this meeting,

    5 excuse me, this report of 1800, Exhibit 331, was issued

    6 at 1800 hours after the women and children were sent

    7 home. What time did Blaskic go to this meeting in

    8 Zenica?

    9 A. As far as I know General Blaskic set out for

    10 Zenica between 17 and 1800 hours, I cannot state

    11 exactly when. As far as I know the meeting was

    12 supposed to be held around 1900 hours, but specifically

    13 what I know for sure is the following: That the

    14 meeting was on the 20th, the time I cannot confirm.

    15 From Vitez to Zenica in war time conditions, one needs

    16 one hour to get there by vehicle, so that time can be

    17 specified.

    18 Q. Well, Brigadier, let's go back to this

    19 Exhibit 331, where the Viteska Brigade says women and

    20 children were sent home. Brigadier, what happened to

    21 those women and children?

    22 A. I know they were sent home. They stayed

    23 there in their village. I know that after the fighting

    24 that took place in the village of Gacice the HVO took

    25 control over the village of Gacice. The members of the

  16. 1 units of the BH army were driven out of the village. I

    2 do not know of the fate of these people afterwards, but

    3 if they had not stayed on in the village of Gacice

    4 through the work of the commissions, I assume that

    5 these same people moved out under the organisation of

    6 UNPROFOR. They went to the area either of Zenica or

    7 some other town. I do not have accurate information as

    8 to whether some of these families stayed on in the

    9 village of Gacice during 1993. But what I do know is

    10 that in a certain number of houses in the village of

    11 Gacice where Muslim Bosniaks had lived until then,

    12 Croats, refugees from Zenica and other places, moved

    13 into these houses. During the fighting between the BH

    14 army units and the HVO units, if there was such

    15 fighting, then the Croats would move out, too.

    16 Q. Well, Brigadier, were you present in the

    17 headquarters when any member of any humanitarian aid

    18 organisation came to talk to Colonel Blaskic about the

    19 fate of the women and children in Gacice?

    20 A. Mr. President, as regards my activity, from

    21 the 16th until the 25th, I was in the operation centre

    22 all the time. The representatives of international

    23 organisations did not come to this operation centre.

    24 The office of the commander was further away, and it

    25 had a special entrance, a separate entrance, and

  17. 1 whether they came to see General Blaskic, that I cannot

    2 confirm. For me, when I got this report from the Vitez

    3 Brigade, the most important thing was that none of

    4 these civilians were killed and that the women and

    5 children were sent home. In view of my responsibility,

    6 that was a job that was finished.

    7 Q. Brigadier, I'm not limiting your time to

    8 simply the 25th of April. I'm talking about the period

    9 of time that takes us into, say, the first or second

    10 week in May. From the time these people were taken

    11 from Gacice to Vitez and back to Gacice on the 20th,

    12 until, say, the second week in May, were you aware of

    13 any international humanitarian organisation coming to

    14 the Hotel Vitez to talk to Blaskic about the fate of

    15 these women and children that were in Gacice?

    16 A. Exactly as to that question I am not aware

    17 that anybody came. But after the 20th, and after the

    18 meeting in Zenica that already at that time a

    19 cease-fire had been defined and a cease-fire agreement

    20 had been signed, and within that framework of those

    21 activities, an in exchange of prisoners was decided

    22 upon, the Croats taken by the BH army and the Bosniak

    23 Muslims taken by the HVO. So this business of the 20th

    24 was taken over by commissions and they were headed by

    25 the civilian authorities of the Muslim Bosniaks, and so

  18. 1 on. Now, under what circumstances when and how they

    2 performed this exchange, I cannot tell you in detail at

    3 the moment and give you the facts of those exchanges,

    4 but I know that it was under competency of those

    5 commissions and that the work was finished. That is to

    6 say, after the duty had been executed, the exchange

    7 commissions had exchanged all the prisoners and nobody

    8 stayed in prisons, both the Croats taken by the Muslim

    9 Bosniaks and vice verse a. That's what I know about

    10 that situation.

    11 Q. Brigadier, how far is Gacice away from the

    12 Hotel Vitez?

    13 A. Gacice is, according to my assessment, one

    14 and a half to two kilometres away from the Hotel Vitez.

    15 Q. Brigadier, were you aware, or do you know if

    16 Blaskic was aware, that in the early part of May of

    17 1993 HVO soldiers came to this village, picked these

    18 women and children up, put them on trucks and took them

    19 to the road going to Zenica where they were told to

    20 walk across the front-lines? Were you aware of that?

    21 You were the chief of operations at the time. Were you

    22 aware of that fact?

    23 A. Yes, I was chief of operations, but I'm not

    24 aware of that fact. And it is not my business to deal

    25 with civilians, women and children as chief of

  19. 1 operations. From the meeting in Zenica and from the

    2 meeting on the 21st in Bila, everything concerning

    3 prisoners, civilian prisoners, was under the charge of

    4 the commission coordinated and headed by the civilian

    5 authorities, the representatives of the Croats in Vitez

    6 and the representatives of the Bosniaks in Vitez.

    7 Q. Brigadier, if you were chief of operations

    8 during that period of time, isn't it your job to know

    9 virtually everything that is going on in the

    10 headquarters when it comes to Blaskic's orders and

    11 meetings and exactly what HVO forces are doing? Isn't

    12 that your job?

    13 A. Yes, it is my job, and I do know that. I

    14 know that Blaskic went to Zenica, that a commission was

    15 sent up following orders and that they dovetailed their

    16 opinions and did these activities with the refugees and

    17 that the assignment was completed. Whether this was

    18 done in one day, two days, three days, and the problems

    19 that arose, who made the problems, I cannot say.

    20 Q. Isn't it also your job, Brigadier, to know

    21 that HVO soldiers, under the command of Colonel

    22 Blaskic, are putting civilians on trucks and taking

    23 them to the mountain road? Isn't that part of your job

    24 to know those things?

    25 A. It is if I get information of this kind, then

  20. 1 quite normally I would react as the commander, and I

    2 would write a document, but I had no information of

    3 that kind. And I repeat, all concern about the

    4 refugees was taken over by the civilian authorities.

    5 Q. Well, let me ask you a follow-up question on

    6 that, Brigadier, and we will end with this area. Isn't

    7 it true that into May the Muslim houses in Gacice that

    8 were a kilometre or so away from the headquarters,

    9 isn't it true that those Bosnian Muslim houses were

    10 burnt?

    11 A. As far as the burning of houses in the

    12 village of Gacice is concerned, there was burning, both

    13 in the course of the fighting and there was burning

    14 after the fighting. I spoke of this burning and under

    15 what circumstances it took place. There were both

    16 Croatian and Bosnian houses burned in Gacice. The

    17 consequences of these burning, after the conflict and

    18 after the cease-fire had been signed, I went into that

    19 matter yesterday, and I explained it yet and I don't

    20 want to tire the judges with those facts. I said that

    21 the reasons were that if one Croat house was burnt, by

    22 the Bosnian side, then it was not excluded that

    23 somebody would in retaliation burn two or five Muslim

    24 houses. So that the burning of houses was a problem

    25 throughout 1993 in Central Bosnia, it was a problem

  21. 1 that we in the command and in the Operative Zone had to

    2 fight against. And we had orders expressly forbidding

    3 this. But it was done secretly, and you could never

    4 arrive at a name. I will tell you of one example.

    5 After the fighting in Krizancevo Selo, when the BH army

    6 in one night in an attack killed 70 members of the HVO,

    7 including civilians, ten houses were burned in

    8 Grbavica, straight away.

    9 So, this is cause and effect, and I condemn

    10 that. But, that is the tragedy of the war in

    11 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    12 Q. Well, Brigadier, by early May of 1993, as

    13 chief of operations, you knew that there were no

    14 Muslims left in the village of Gacice; isn't that true?

    15 A. Up to the beginning of May, I did not know

    16 whether all the Muslims within the exchange plan had

    17 been, had left Gacice or whether somebody had remained

    18 living in Gacice. I cannot ascertain that, maintain

    19 that. The region under my control, I did not only have

    20 the village of Gacice, I had 50 other similar villages.

    21 Q. I understand, Brigadier, but by early May

    22 virtually every Muslim was gone from the village of

    23 Gacice; isn't that true?

    24 A. I cannot say that that is so, but I believe

    25 that it was so.

  22. 1 Q. Did you ask anybody where they went?

    2 A. I said that through the exchanges of

    3 individuals, those who were taken prisoner had the

    4 possibility of going home or to have UNPROFOR enable

    5 them to go to another locality; however, people, both

    6 Croats and Bosnians, because of the situation that

    7 reigned, that is to say, a situation of war, usually

    8 opted for going to those places and those settlements

    9 which were controlled by their own army. The Croats

    10 came to places under HVO control and the Muslim

    11 Bosniaks went to the places controlled by the BH army.

    12 The other reason was that after the conflict

    13 and the units had been driven out, the HVO was in

    14 control and the soldiers had been expelled, then their

    15 families would go with them, and that took place on the

    16 other side, as well.

    17 Q. Well, Brigadier, let's switch subjects. Now,

    18 Brigadier, we talked previously in an exhibit that we

    19 chatted about yesterday or the day before, and I'm

    20 referring to Exhibit 514, which is an English ECMM

    21 report of the 6th of February, 1993, where trench

    22 digging was taking place, or Muslim labour was used to

    23 dig HVO trenches in the Busovaca area.

    24 Now, sir, let me ask you a question. During

    25 this time frame, did you have information that the --

  23. 1 we don't need to go into it. We don't need to refer to

    2 the document. That's okay. We just want to use that

    3 as a reference point to move on.

    4 During the time frame of April of 1993, did

    5 you receive information that Croats, Bosnian Croats

    6 were taken prisoner in the village of Poculica, and

    7 that Bosnian Croats were forced to dig trenches for the

    8 Bosnian Muslims?

    9 A. Could you tell me the report in question?

    10 Because at this particular moment I cannot recall a

    11 report with that information.

    12 Q. Actually, candidly, Brigadier, I'm reading

    13 the opening statement of Mr. Hayman, which is at page

    14 11.217, and he stated that on the morning of the 16th

    15 of April in Poculica, what happened. It was a mixed

    16 village of Muslims and Croats. More Muslims than

    17 Croats, and on the morning of the 16th --

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. "Units in Poculica attacked the Croat part of

    20 the village, hundreds of Croats fled into a stream to

    21 try to escape down the hill, and approximately 70 did

    22 not flee, and they were captured by the territorial

    23 Defence forces in Poculica. In the following days,

    24 regrettably these detainees were taken in groups to dig

    25 trenches, some were forced to go into no man's land to

  24. 1 collect bodies while tethered to a rope which their

    2 captors held on to. And, indeed, a number of them were

    3 murdered and wounded by shooting incidents involving a

    4 HVO soldier." Do you recall this incident?

    5 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, perhaps for

    6 clarity in the interpretation it was the Croats who

    7 were taken prisoner, not Muslims taken. It was --

    8 we're dealing with Croats, and I don't think it was

    9 quite clear in the interpretation. So, we're talking

    10 about the Croats taken prisoner by the territorial

    11 Defence.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I thought perhaps there

    13 might be a difference of interpretation as regards all

    14 these words from the Defence. Would you make the

    15 correction Mr. Kehoe so that the question is clear to

    16 the witness.

    17 MR. KEHOE: Defence counsel is a hundred per

    18 cent correct, this incident refers to Bosnian Croats

    19 being taken prisoner and forced to dig trenches.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: It wasn't that clear. I thank

    21 you for the clarification.

    22 MR. KEHOE:

    23 Q. Do you recall that incident, sir?

    24 A. When we're talking about the place of

    25 Poculica, where the mixed population, Croats and

  25. 1 Muslims, that is to say that after the conflicts, as

    2 the Croats lived there, there was the HVO, and the

    3 Bosnians suppressed Croats from that village. I did

    4 not see Croats digging trenches, I did not see them,

    5 but as I know what the situation was like, it is

    6 possible, although I cannot claim that that was so,

    7 because I did not see it take place.

    8 Q. I understand, Brigadier, that you didn't see

    9 it taking place. My question is, did you hear about

    10 this incident taking place in the Hotel Vitez? Did

    11 this information come to the headquarters?

    12 A. I don't recall any information of that kind.

    13 But, because of the overall situation, as a result of

    14 the conflict, it is possible that it was so.

    15 Q. Did you hear information in April that the

    16 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was forcing Bosnian Croats

    17 to dig trenches?

    18 A. This kind of information most often could be

    19 heard, so, if you didn't get a report from your own

    20 unit, information of this kind could be heard through

    21 the public media, public information media. And so,

    22 this kind of information was put out, used by the media

    23 for propaganda purposes. So that when you hear this

    24 kind of information over the radio, whether it was the

    25 Bosnian Muslim radio or Croatian radio station, as a

  26. 1 soldier, I never took it to be one hundred per cent

    2 true, I always had some reservations with regard to

    3 that information. So, I know it was possible, but I

    4 cannot claim that it was actually so.

    5 Q. Well, Brigadier, let's talk about a couple of

    6 exhibits, based on what you just talked about and what

    7 you heard and what you thought was possible, and what

    8 you heard on the radio. If I can take in series,

    9 Defence Exhibit 298 and Defence Exhibit 314, and then

    10 if I could have -- use in that sequence, and then

    11 Defence Exhibit 301, and Defence Exhibit 325. So the

    12 sequence I would like to follow is Defence 298, 314,

    13 301 and 325.

    14 Brigadier, the Defence Exhibit 298 is an

    15 order that you drafted on the 17th of April, 1993 at

    16 2000 hours, going to all these units and special

    17 purpose units, signed by Colonel Blaskic, and on number

    18 4 of that particular order, the order is to dig in on

    19 the front-lines and prepare a counter-attack. Do you

    20 see that, sir?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Now, in response to your order, let us turn

    23 to Exhibit 314. This is a response that comes from the

    24 Nikola Subic-Zrinski Brigade. Their response is on 18

    25 April 1993, and it notes that it is a report on the

  27. 1 implementation of your order, the order that we just

    2 discussed in 398, the order in April of 323, and it

    3 says in response, among other things, it says in point

    4 4, "Entrenchment has been carried out on all defence

    5 lines in order to organise the defence from the enemy

    6 as efficiently as possible." Do you see that, sir?

    7 A. Yes. It is in document 314, is it not?

    8 Q. That's correct, Brigadier.

    9 Now, we're talking about digging trenches

    10 here; correct?

    11 A. In document 298, point 4, it states that

    12 entrenchment has been carried out in all defence lines

    13 in order to organise the defence for the enemy as

    14 efficiently as possible.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, Mr. Kehoe. Let me

    16 look at Mr. Fourmy, because he speaks both languages.

    17 When you say in French "retranchements", that could mean

    18 something else than WHAT is indicated here as

    19 "entrenchment". Can that mean, in French, digging

    20 trenches, "retranchements"? Because frequently it

    21 means that you're, it is a rather ambiguous term. That

    22 is what is said. All right. But it can also mean

    23 digging trenches. Fine.

    24 MR. KEHOE:

    25 Q. What we're talking about here, Brigadier, is

  28. 1 the digging of trenches. When you ordered the digging

    2 in on the front-line.

    3 A. Entrenchment on the front-lines incorporates

    4 the following: digging trenches, that is to say

    5 digging trenches for the activity of the soldiers, and

    6 entrenchment, depending on the situation, and we say in

    7 military terminology, of the traffic lines,

    8 communication lines. So, communication lines or

    9 communicating trenches, so that these trenches are

    10 linked up, and the defence can be a good quality

    11 defence.

    12 Q. Now, let us turn to Defence Exhibit 301,

    13 which, again, is an order that was written by you,

    14 again on the 17th of April, 1993, but this is going to

    15 the Viteska Brigade personally. Do you have that

    16 before you, Brigadier?

    17 A. Yes, I have it, and I remember the contents

    18 of that order. I think that I wrote it.

    19 Q. I think that your initials on the left-hand

    20 corner and I think you're correct.

    21 A. Yes, yes. Yes, yes, I did.

    22 Q. And you talked about this on your testimony

    23 in direct about the sectors, et cetera, and on number 3

    24 you order the Viteska Brigade to carry out first level

    25 engineering work in the sectors, to dig standing

  29. 1 trenches, and the deadline is 0500 hours on the 18th of

    2 April, 1993.

    3 A. Yes, and that is quite normal when an order

    4 of this kind is given, because you cannot defend

    5 yourself unless you have entrenched. That is a

    6 military operation that takes place.

    7 Q. And while the next exhibit, 325, while not a

    8 direct response to that order, there is a response on

    9 the digging of trenches by the Viteska Brigade, and I'm

    10 talking about the response on 19 April, 1993 at 0600

    11 hours. On the third paragraph down, it says, "Further

    12 mobilisation of personnel has been carried out, and new

    13 trenches and reinforcements are continuously being

    14 created on all defence lines." Do you see that?

    15 A. Yes, I see it, and that was so.

    16 Q. Now, these trenches were being dug all along

    17 the line in the sectors that you have described in

    18 Defence Exhibit 301; isn't that right?

    19 A. Yes. Yes, it is, in all the sectors on all

    20 the defence lines, and all the villages. That is to

    21 say, all the Croatian villages, trenches in front of

    22 the Croatian villages to enable the villages to defend

    23 themselves with respect to the BH army units on the

    24 opposite side.

    25 Q. Now, this trench digging, Brigadier, this is

  30. 1 very dangerous work; isn't it?

    2 A. Every combat operation is dangerous, and that

    3 includes trench digging. There is nothing in wartime

    4 that is not dangerous, and trench digging is, of

    5 course, a dangerous job.

    6 Q. Trench digging -- you would agree with me,

    7 would you not, Brigadier, that trench digging is

    8 particularly dangerous, because you're digging the

    9 trenches on the front-line in front of the enemy; isn't

    10 that right?

    11 A. Yes, that is right. It would not be

    12 professional of me to say that it is not dangerous to

    13 be at the front-line.

    14 Q. Now, the sectors that you are -- let me --

    15 the sectors that you are describing in Exhibit 301, in

    16 the order to the Viteska Brigade, those sectors are

    17 mostly in the Vitez municipality; isn't that correct?

    18 A. Yes. Mr. President, let me clarify that, why

    19 the order came into being. When we spoke about the

    20 establishment of the Vitez Brigade, we saw how far it

    21 had been organised and set up. And on the 17th, when

    22 we concluded, the force that the BH army had to launch

    23 an attack, and that we were threatened by this danger,

    24 that is to say, the danger that the BH army would

    25 repulse the forces from the Vitez Brigade. At that

  31. 1 point we decided, and in view of the existing set-up, to

    2 link up one village and the other village, and a third

    3 village, and then we could say that is sector one.

    4 Then one village and another village and say that is

    5 the second sector. So, we have that degree of

    6 establishment where we did not have any companies, or

    7 battalions or anything else. So, this was seen to be a

    8 good solution for those circumstances.

    9 Q. Brigadier, according to the testimony of

    10 Brigadier Ivica Zeko, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

    11 had 82 to 84.000 soldiers, while the Central Bosnian

    12 Operative Zone, had 8.000 to 8.200, and the question to

    13 Mr. Zeko by Mr. Nobilo, on page 11.717, Mr. Nobilo asks

    14 Brigadier Zeko, "So if we could simplify the proportion,

    15 it would be ten to one in favour of the army of

    16 Bosnia-Herzegovina," and Brigadier Zeko said, "Yes."

    17 A. Let me just add, so that we don't have any

    18 dilemmas, the 8.000 figure or whatever you said, is how

    19 many soldiers we had carrying arms. That is soldiers

    20 ready for combat. Whereas we had on our lists about

    21 13.000 soldiers but without arms. But what we could

    22 have used, that is to say soldiers equipped with

    23 weapons, was the figure that you mentioned,

    24 approximately.

    25 Q. Let's again turn our attention back to the

  32. 1 Defence Exhibit 345, and if we could keep these

    2 exhibits up -- if we could keep those exhibits handy.

    3 You don't have it right now, Brigadier. We'll get it

    4 for you.

    5 Now, this is, again, the document that we

    6 discussed previously about the HVO dead in Vitez during

    7 the combat time in Vitez in 1993 and 1994. If I may,

    8 Mr. President, and we can expedite matters and you can

    9 go through it at your leisure, but I think we covered

    10 the amount of dead through the 19th, but the 20th

    11 reflects two HVO soldiers killed, according to this

    12 list, and I can point them out to you.

    13 Q. Now, according to the list that we have, from

    14 the 16th to the 20th, while all this fighting and all

    15 this trench digging is going on, we have approximately

    16 a dozen HVO soldiers killed in Vitez, according to the

    17 list of 345, and we can go through the numbers again,

    18 if you would like.

    19 Now, this is a time when extensive trench

    20 digging has been ordered . You maintain there are

    21 extensive offences going on by the army of

    22 Bosnia-Herzegovina; isn't that right?

    23 A. We ordered that the defence lines had to be

    24 entrenched, and towards that aim mobilisation was a

    25 work duty and civilian defence as well, and all the

  33. 1 population that did not have weapons went to dig

    2 trenches together with the soldiers. That was the

    3 situation. There was no other solution. So we had

    4 both civilian protection and the defence, and they were

    5 work units. And the mobilisation, the department in

    6 charge, was the Defence Department for matters of

    7 mobilisation.

    8 Q. And this is also a time where you were

    9 outmanned, according to the testimony of Brigadier

    10 Ivica Zeko, ten to one.

    11 Now, my question for you, Brigadier, is:

    12 During this time, all this extensive activity, did you

    13 question why the HVO took so few casualties while they

    14 were performing such dangerous work in the front-lines

    15 and also in combat?

    16 A. I know that there were more casualties, but

    17 in the time before us we will probably prove that

    18 point.

    19 Q. My question for you is: Given all these

    20 dangerous activities, the offensives, the fact you were

    21 outmanned ten to one, all this trench digging going on,

    22 did you ask yourself, Brigadier, why the HVO is taking

    23 so few casualties, or did you know the reason why?

    24 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the witness said

    25 that there were more than 12 casualties.

  34. 1 JUDGE JORDA: That point was answered,

    2 Mr. Kehoe. He said there were very few casualties, and

    3 he thought that there were others and he hoped they

    4 would be able to show that.

    5 MR. KEHOE: Let me put an exhibit on the

    6 ELMO, and this is Prosecution exhibit 263.

    7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would the witness say

    8 whether these other casualties are also indicated in

    9 this list?

    10 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, just a moment,

    11 please. I'm going to look at papers I have on the

    12 persons who were killed.

    13 It is true that these members of the HVO in

    14 Vitez were killed in the time of the war with the army

    15 of the Republika Srpska and the army of

    16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and 657 persons were killed. That

    17 is the exact figure. And 624 soldiers were wounded,

    18 and 140 civilians were wounded. When those two are put

    19 together that is 764.

    20 In order to understand how great this tragedy

    21 was, this should be compared to the number of 12.690

    22 Croats who lived in Vitez. And if we compare these

    23 population figures to the fact that the war practically

    24 lasted for one year, it turns out that about 60 people

    25 were killed every month, or wounded every month, too.

  35. 1 This list that I confirmed reflects the number of

    2 members of HVO who were killed. Civilians are not

    3 shown here. So, 657 and 624, that is the difference

    4 between civilians and the military.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, with your

    6 permission, as Honourable Judge Shahabuddeen has put

    7 this question, I feel duty bound to say a few words

    8 about this. It is not our duty to intervene and we

    9 wanted to clarify matters during our rebuttal; however,

    10 since this question was put by the Court, I think that

    11 now we are duty bound too.

    12 I think that the Prosecutor is misleading the

    13 witness. On the first page it doesn't say that this is

    14 the date of killing. He is looking at the dates that

    15 are in this column and it doesn't say that that was the

    16 date of death at all. We didn't want to stop the

    17 Prosecutor, because we have been listen being to "two

    18 or three dead" every day, day-in day-out, and we are

    19 going to give our own proof, but at this stage I think

    20 that I had to intervene. Thank you.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: What is the date that's in the

    22 second column? The 1st is Rajanovic (phoen). He was

    23 born in 1970. 25 October is it? What does that mean?

    24 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, on the document

    25 it says nothing. It just says the date. We are going

  36. 1 to add evidence that is going to show that this was the

    2 date of burial. Nobody could bury their dead on the

    3 16th and 17th, because burials took place after the war

    4 had stopped.

    5 I'm talking about the column where it says

    6 the date. First is the surname, the father's name, and

    7 the name. Then the year, that is the year of birth of

    8 the person killed, and after that is the date. That is

    9 the date of burial. But it doesn't say so on the

    10 text. It doesn't say what date it is. We are going to

    11 prove that that is the date of burial.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: The next to the last column, is

    13 that -- when you look at 12th, Bobic. If I read 1976,

    14 I thought that he was killed on the 17th of February,

    15 1994, in Krcevine, and that he was buried in Krcevine

    16 the next day, 18 February, 1994. Is that not correct?

    17 Buried at -- let me ask for some help here.

    18 Doesn't that mean buried on the day?

    19 MR. KEHOE: That's what it means.

    20 MR. NOBILO: The place of burial. It doesn't

    21 say the date of burial. May I clarify this a bit

    22 further?

    23 JUDGE JORDA: There is a date, Mr. Nobilo,

    24 next to it. Look at number 1. Let's go back to number

    25 1, because that was a Muslim HVO member. All right,

  37. 1 sir, everybody should agree about this.

    2 Ianovic (phoen) was -- first column was the

    3 year, 1970. That was his date of birth. The second

    4 column, the 25th, 1973, I think that must have been the

    5 date he was killed. The place is the place where he

    6 was killed, his address and then he gives the original

    7 address, and I think that he was buried in Kruscica on

    8 the 25th of October and that's the same day, which is

    9 not illogical. It could be interpreted that way. At

    10 least that's what I think.

    11 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I suggest the

    12 following; that you look at point 322. That is one

    13 example, and I have many of them. Zoran Vidovic, it

    14 says that on the 21st of April --

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Well, if you're saying that,

    16 probably because it fits in with what you want to say.

    17 All right. Mirko Valenta, he was born in 1960.

    18 According to me, he was killed -- 322.

    19 MR. NOBILO: Two, Zoran Ivica Vidovic, that

    20 is 322. Vidovic, father's name Ivica, name Zoran.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: 322. All right. Yes,

    22 Vidovic. Yes, I see. That's another chart, isn't it?

    23 Vidovic. At least I think he was killed on the 21st of

    24 April, 1993. We know that he was buried in Kruscica,

    25 although we don't have the date.

  38. 1 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I have here the

    2 official certificate from the Register of the Dead in

    3 the municipality of Vitez. This is an official

    4 document kept under the municipality. That is the

    5 beginning and the end of human life on the basis of

    6 law. There are certificates of birth and certificates

    7 of death. And Zoran Vidovic was killed on the 16th of

    8 April, the 16th of April, 1993. And this document is

    9 the one that is registered by those who are bound by

    10 law to register deaths and births, and there are many

    11 of these.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, let's be careful

    13 here. This is a list. This list was given to us by

    14 you. It is D345. This shows the list of the members

    15 of the HVO who were killed. When I read a date, I have

    16 a tendency to think maybe I'm wrong, but I would assume

    17 that that's the date that they were killed. At least

    18 that's what I think.

    19 All right. Perhaps we shouldn't go any

    20 further than that.

    21 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I don't know how

    22 this was written, but this is conducted by an

    23 organisation for which it is important to know how many

    24 people were killed, because of pensions, et cetera.

    25 However, the date of death is registered here,

  39. 1 according to law, by the official authorities. So,

    2 this is exact. These are the exact dates. But, if we

    3 look at these certificates, the figures are quite

    4 different. Thank you.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for the

    6 clarification, Mr. Nobilo. Let me remind you this is a

    7 clarification which you must provide for your own

    8 document, because originally it was your document.

    9 This is why we have to start with that document now.

    10 Of course, you are free to bring in any other

    11 clarifications that you want, that is your right.

    12 MR. NOBILO: Exactly, Mr. President. We used

    13 this document in order to prove the number of dead. We

    14 did not look at the dates. When the Prosecutor picked

    15 this up, then we tried to get authentic documents which

    16 prove otherwise. We just wanted to show the

    17 proportions of death in Vitez, so to speak.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Thank you. It's now 20

    19 after 11.00. Do you have another question to ask about

    20 that specific issue of dates, or do you want to change

    21 subject? What do you want to do?

    22 MR. KEHOE: I don't have any particular

    23 question about the dates of this, Mr. President, and we

    24 will continue on in this area, but there are quite a

    25 few questions in this regard.

  40. 1 JUDGE JORDA: All right then. We're going to

    2 take a break, and we will resume in 20 minutes.

    3 --- Recess taken at 11.20 a.m.

    4 --- On resuming at 11.54 a.m.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the

    6 hearing. Have the accused brought in, please.

    7 (The accused entered court)

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, are you going to use

    9 all these documents, or can we put them away now?

    10 MR. KEHOE: I don't think we're going to use

    11 them any more, Judge, we can put those away. I don't

    12 think.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.

    14 MR. KEHOE:

    15 Q. Brigadier, you said earlier this morning that

    16 you had heard on the radio, both on the Muslim radio

    17 and the Croat radio, that civilians were being used or

    18 being forced to dig trenches. Do you recall that

    19 testimony?

    20 A. Yes, I did say it, but not as you just said

    21 it. That is to say that on the radio information could

    22 be heard linked to all the activities. And if the BH

    23 army was on the air, then they would say what negative

    24 things were being done. If it was the Croatian radio,

    25 they would say what negativity existed in the BH army's

  41. 1 actions.

    2 Q. Did Blaskic hear those radio reports, as

    3 well?

    4 A. I suppose that he did. And as far as I

    5 recall, that is to say, after all the events, when

    6 General Blaskic completed all his knowledge and the

    7 problems that were happening, occurring on the terrain,

    8 he issued an order in which he expressly said how

    9 soldiers should conduct themselves, and all the

    10 negative features that he had been informed of, to

    11 prevent this from happening, to stop it from

    12 happening. And that in the units, in town, that is to

    13 say, where soldiers were moving about, that conduct

    14 should be carried out in a soldierly fashion.

    15 Q. So, are you saying that Blaskic learned that

    16 HVO soldiers were forcing Bosnian Muslims to dig

    17 trenches?

    18 A. I believe that in talks with international

    19 organisations, in talks at meetings with the

    20 representatives of the BH army, that such matters were

    21 also discussed because this was happening on both

    22 sides.

    23 Q. Well, Brigadier, was any member of the HVO

    24 arrested for forcing a Bosnian Muslim to dig trenches?

    25 A. Digging trenches, that is to say engaging

  42. 1 people in entrenchment, in entrenching the defence

    2 lines, and fortification, which means the digging of

    3 trenches, the digging of communications trenches, the

    4 digging of shelters for people to hide from in the rain

    5 and in the night, so that kind of activity was

    6 performed by the soldiers within the framework of their

    7 work assignments where necessary, and people from the

    8 units, and from the Civil Defence units and the other

    9 population, if this was necessary at any particular

    10 location. I cannot say that in the village of Krcevine

    11 there were 10 or 15, but, Mr. President, for an overall

    12 picture of the state of affairs to be gained, I should

    13 like to indicate on the map where these defence lines

    14 were and where the digging and entrenchment and

    15 fortification took place. The dugouts, and the

    16 communicating trenches and all the other work.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Is that really necessary?

    18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: General, what is your

    19 answer to the Prosecutor's question as to whether any

    20 HVO soldier was ever arrested for forcing people to dig

    21 trenches?

    22 A. I do not know that a soldier was ever

    23 arrested. Can I show this on the map? It will be

    24 brief.

    25 Mr. President, the defence lines taken over

  43. 1 by the HVO after the attack by the BH army went right

    2 past the villages, along the Croatian villages. Now,

    3 what do we have on the terrain? For example, your

    4 house is here, and ten metres in front is a trench, and

    5 you and your family and your children live in that

    6 house.

    7 Now, why am I saying this? I don't want to

    8 you look at this like a front-line, a military

    9 front-line, that is to say that you are taking people

    10 from here, some 50 kilometres into the mountains to dig

    11 trenches, no.

    12 Take the village of Krcevine. Who dug

    13 trenches most often there? The soldiers from that

    14 particular village, the villagers of the village, the

    15 locals. And if some devices or equipment had been

    16 mobilised, that is what trench digging meant, because

    17 the entire line in Vitez stretched between the

    18 villages, at the edges of the villages, or sometimes

    19 through the village itself, because the defence lines

    20 between the HVO units and the Bosnian units were

    21 sometimes 50 metres apart, because it was a fight for

    22 each inch of land. And that is what the actual picture

    23 with regard to trench digging was like.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, could on, Mr. Kehoe.

    25 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Mr. President. Just

  44. 1 move the ELMO back.

    2 Q. Brigadier, you were a prosecutor in the

    3 military disciplinary courts in Vitez. Do you know of

    4 any member of the HVO who was disciplined for forcing

    5 Bosnian Muslims to dig trenches?

    6 A. I was the deputy prosecutor for disciplinary

    7 matters. This disciplinary court in the Operative Zone

    8 of Central Bosnia, as far as I know, was established in

    9 September or October of 1993, and from that time on

    10 this disciplinary court moved certain motions and cases

    11 against officers and non-commissioned officers, but not

    12 soldiers.

    13 The disciplinary court that you mentioned was

    14 not able to pitch disciplinary -- on the discipline

    15 measures on soldiers that you're talking about, and I

    16 said I did not know that the commander of any unit

    17 disciplined a soldier, that is to say that he took him

    18 in -- he was taken into custody for activities related

    19 to trench digging.

    20 Q. Do you know of any soldier in the HVO who was

    21 discharged from service for forcing Bosnian Muslims to

    22 dig trenches, anyone?

    23 A. At that particular time it was not possible

    24 to discharge anybody from service because nobody was in

    25 the service. But I do know when it happened in

  45. 1 Busovaca, in Kaonik, that some -- and we did have an

    2 order there that General Blaskic, the commander, had

    3 ordered, and this was the military police that carried

    4 this out, something with the prisoners, detainees, that

    5 an order was issued that this should be ascertained,

    6 why this had been done, who had done it and under what

    7 circumstances.

    8 Q. Brigadier, that was in February, that order?

    9 A. Yes, yes, in February. You're right.

    10 Q. I am talking about in April, May, June, July,

    11 August, September, October, November, December,

    12 January, December of '93; January, February, March

    13 of '94. Name me one HVO soldier who was disciplined,

    14 discharged or prosecuted by the military prosecutor for

    15 forcing a Bosnian Muslim to dig trenches. Name me

    16 one.

    17 A. I cannot claim that this was done with any

    18 soldier.

    19 Q. Let me show you Prosecutor's Exhibit 263.

    20 Mr. Usher, if we could put this on the ELMO.

    21 Brigadier, this is a photograph of an

    22 individual who has been identified as Zlatko Aleksovski

    23 who was the warden of the military prison at Busovaca.

    24 A. As far as I recall, this is Zlatko Aleksovski

    25 on the photograph.

  46. 1 Q. Now, let me read to you, sir -- and I am

    2 referring to exhibit -- Prosecutor's Exhibit 242, and

    3 this is attached Annex O to Prosecutor's Exhibit 242,

    4 dated the 10th of May, 1993. And in a conversation

    5 with a monitor for the ECMM, Zlatko Aleksovski said the

    6 following -- he was talking about prisons and the

    7 problems in the prison in Busovaca: "The Fifth

    8 problem" -- and I'm referring to page 2 of the

    9 document. "The Fifth problem is the kind of work that

    10 the prisoners have to do, because I know that the

    11 Geneva Conventions do not allow prisoners to be taken

    12 away for any work if their lives are in danger. I have

    13 been warned about that by the ICRC, as well. But I am

    14 not the only one responsible for this, because I just

    15 carry out orders. The brigade commanders in Busovaca

    16 and Vitez give them. Not that I want to avoid my

    17 responsibility, because I am the one who releases

    18 people to do the work.

    19 In order to clear it up, I went with

    20 Beatrice, of the ICRC, to the commander in Busovaca,

    21 where she protested for the people to be taken to work

    22 under such conditions. She was given the answer I

    23 almost completely agree with. We here actually do not

    24 have enough people to do the security jobs. Someone

    25 had to dig the trenches, and it happened that the men

  47. 1 to do that were the prisoners."

    2 Brigadier, did you know that Bosnian Muslim

    3 prisoners were taken from the military prison camp in

    4 Busovaca, that they were taken there by the brigade

    5 commanders in Vitez and Busovaca and taken to dig

    6 trenches? Did you know that?

    7 A. This fact, the fact that you repeated and

    8 that you stated here is not something that I was aware

    9 of. But later on I learnt of these events, that they

    10 did take place, and from April, further on, as far as I

    11 remember, the commander of the Operative Zone did issue

    12 a command that such things should not be done.

    13 Q. Brigadier, the two brigades that we discussed

    14 previously that orders were given to dig trenches were

    15 the Viteska Brigade and the Nikola Subic-Zrinski

    16 Brigade; isn't that right?

    17 A. We're dealing with those two brigades, but

    18 those brigades were not responsible over -- of control

    19 over the military prison camp, just as the commander of

    20 the Operative Zone. The military prison in Busovaca

    21 was under the Ministry of Jurisdiction, and the area

    22 where this military prison camp was located, as far as

    23 I know, it was an area where the prisoners were

    24 detained. How long, how many of them and under which

    25 conditions, I do not know.

  48. 1 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, there has been a

    2 misinterpretation. He said that the military prison in

    3 Busovaca was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of

    4 Justice and it said "jurisdiction". It was the

    5 Ministry of Justice, not "jurisdiction".

    6 JUDGE JORDA: That's been noted.

    7 MR. KEHOE:

    8 Q. Well, Brigadier, we have established

    9 previously in a Blaskic order, have we not, that

    10 Blaskic gave a direct order to the warden of all

    11 military prisons in June of 1993 forbidding taking

    12 prisoners to dig trenches. So on at least one occasion

    13 on a Defence exhibit -- and I can show you that

    14 exhibit, if you want. On one occasion, in a Defence

    15 exhibit, Blaskic is forbidding the warden to allow

    16 prisoners to dig trenches; isn't that right? Or would

    17 you like to see that document again?

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, show the document again,

    19 please, Mr. Kehoe.

    20 MR. KEHOE: It's Defence Exhibit 373, the

    21 order of 21 June --

    22 JUDGE JORDA: We're going to take the time.

    23 Brigadier, I'm going to ask you once again to try to

    24 remember that you were the chief, the number two person

    25 of military operations. You're trying to create -- it

  49. 1 was a question of creating defence lines. Show the

    2 document to the witness again. I know we're wasting

    3 time, but too bad.

    4 MR. KEHOE:

    5 Q. Brigadier, this is a direct order of Colonel

    6 Blaskic.

    7 INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

    8 MR. KEHOE:

    9 Q. This is a direct order from Colonel Blaskic

    10 to the brigade commanders and to the wardens of the

    11 military prisons, 21 June, 1993, and number 2,

    12 forbidding using prisoners of war to dig trenches.

    13 A. Yes. This order was given to the commanders

    14 of the brigade to implement. It was sent to the warden

    15 of the military prisons, because certain soldiers,

    16 independently, came to the warden of the prison and

    17 wanted to take people away. Therefore, the wardens

    18 were -- said that -- he can say, "General Blaskic sent

    19 an order that this was forbidden and I cannot allow to

    20 you do this. " That is how I understand this order,

    21 and I know the order was issued for that purpose.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Now, Mr. Kehoe, ask

    23 your question.

    24 MR. KEHOE: Again on point 4, Blaskic holds

    25 the warden of the military prison responsible for

  50. 1 carrying out this order?

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Exactly, Mr. Hayman. I see

    3 you're making certain gestures. It's your witness's

    4 answer which makes the Prosecutor say what he says,

    5 because suddenly he’s answering about competence. He

    6 said -- Mr. Nobilo had the transcript corrected.

    7 He said that the prisons were under the

    8 authority of the ministry. Therefore, it is legitimate

    9 on the Prosecutor's part to bring in this document.

    10 The document has to be seen with a certain cohesiveness

    11 in the totality. It is a question of legal logic,

    12 Mr. Hayman. The Prosecutor has to ask the question.

    13 MR. HAYMAN: That's fine, Mr. President. I'm

    14 not being to the line of questioning. I'm objecting

    15 that we had this same line two or three days ago. I'm

    16 just objecting to the repetition, that's all.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: It's true, but you have to

    18 admit, Mr. Hayman, it is extremely difficult -- at

    19 least for this judge speaking to you right now, I'm not

    20 speaking for my colleague, it's difficult to find the

    21 cohesive and logical line within the witness's

    22 testimony. You have this kind of a question which

    23 causes a problem, because it is -- there is an

    24 exculpatory document here, you yourself presented it.

    25 But if it is exculpatory, then of course the Prosecutor

  51. 1 wants to see the total cohesiveness of the document.

    2 You used -- and now he is trying to use it for a

    3 question -- in a question which seems legitimate to

    4 me.

    5 Mr. Kehoe, ask your question.

    6 MR. KEHOE:

    7 Q. Brigadier, the person who was running the

    8 prison in -- the military prison in Busovaca is Zlatko

    9 Aleksovski.

    10 A. Yes. He was the warden of the prison.

    11 Q. And he is the one that's saying that brigade

    12 commanders in Busovaca and Vitez are taking prisoners

    13 out to dig trenches.

    14 A. I heard that from your report, the one you

    15 read out.

    16 Q. Well, Brigadier, is forcing Bosnian Muslim

    17 prisoners -- is forcing Bosnian Muslim prisoners to dig

    18 trenches a violation of the Geneva Convention or is it

    19 a war crime?

    20 A. As far as I know, forcing any civilians to

    21 dig trenches is not in line with the Geneva

    22 Conventions, and that is what it says in this order of

    23 ours, too.

    24 Q. When did you learn that prisoners, Bosnian

    25 Muslim prisoners, were being forced to dig trenches?

  52. 1 When did you learn about it?

    2 A. I really cannot tell the exact date and time,

    3 but since such orders were issued, I knew that such

    4 incidents did occur, and the reaction of the command of

    5 the Operative Zone was to try to stop this.

    6 Q. Well, in this same line, it's true, is it

    7 not, that members of the ICRC came to the Hotel Vitez

    8 and met with Colonel Blaskic and protested using

    9 Bosnian Muslims to dig trenches; isn't that so?

    10 A. I cannot confirm whether they came with that

    11 question in mind. I know that international

    12 organisations, throughout the year, came to see the

    13 commander of the Operative Zone. I can only confirm

    14 and speak of the things we did and the certain

    15 documents we made to resolve certain problems.

    16 MR. HAYMAN: I just want to note an

    17 objection, Mr. President. The Prosecutor, it appears,

    18 is stalling so he doesn't have to finish his cross

    19 today by 1.30. He is asking the exact same questions,

    20 exact same questions we heard two and three days ago,

    21 and we object.

    22 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I'm trying to move

    23 through this as quickly as possible.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Continue, Mr. Kehoe, continue

    25 in this area. This is a witness that you called in,

  53. 1 who is the number two operational man who was involved

    2 with organising defence lines. And the defence lines,

    3 I'm not saying that they -- they could be a

    4 probability, that civilian prisoners dug the trenches.

    5 I think in all the briefings in the mornings they must

    6 have spoken about the organisations of the defence

    7 lines, and I regret, Mr. Hayman, for the time being,

    8 the judge speaking to you has not yet heard the answer

    9 from the number two person in the headquarters of the

    10 accused.

    11 Please continue and we will continue on the

    12 26th if necessary. Mr. Kehoe, please continue.

    13 MR. KEHOE:

    14 Q. Brigadier, as the chief of operations and

    15 when you were the deputy commander, did Blaskic go to

    16 the prison at Kaonik, the military prison at Kaonik to

    17 determine for himself whether or not Bosnian Muslim

    18 prisoners were being taken out to dig trenches? Did he

    19 do that?

    20 A. I cannot confirm that, whether the General

    21 did that.

    22 Q. How long did you stay in the headquarters in

    23 Vitez? And I'm saying did you stay in there into 1994,

    24 were you still serving in September, and October and

    25 November of 1993?

  54. 1 A. In 1993, yes. Yes, I was, until the

    2 Washington Accords. And then in March 1995, I was

    3 transferred to another duty in Tomislavgrad.

    4 Q. Let me show you an exhibit which is

    5 Prosecutor's Exhibit 448, if I may, Mr. Dubuisson,

    6 which is a photograph that looks like this.

    7 Now, Brigadier, take a look at the three

    8 orange circled areas, and I want to focus on the areas

    9 over to the right. The areas on the right include the

    10 area known as Bobasi, isn't that right?

    11 A. Yes, Bobasi.

    12 Q. And in September, October and November there

    13 was a lot of fighting in the Bobasi area, wasn't there?

    14 A. Yes, yes.

    15 Q. In September, through to November, where --

    16 by the way, before I ask that question, how far is

    17 Bobasi from the Hotel Vitez?

    18 A. Between two-and-a-half and three kilometres.

    19 Q. There was testimony before this court that

    20 Bosnian Muslims, from September through to November,

    21 were being forced to dig trenches in the areas circled

    22 in orange, which includes Bobasi. My question for you,

    23 Brigadier, as the chief of operations at the time, did

    24 you know that Bosnian Muslim males were being taken up

    25 to the Bobasi area and forced to dig trenches, on the

  55. 1 front-line?

    2 A. I am not aware of that as concerns Bobasi. I

    3 know that the soldiers who were up there and the duty

    4 platoons that already existed attached to units, they

    5 were digging trenches up there. But in September?

    6 Q. Brigadier, are you telling us that you know

    7 units were digging trenches, but you know nothing about

    8 Bosnian Muslim males being forced to dig trenches? Is

    9 that your testimony?

    10 A. The trenches were dug by soldiers from the

    11 units that were there, and they were dug by work

    12 platoons that were established and were attached to the

    13 Vitez Brigade.

    14 Q. Okay. Brigadier, we will move on to another

    15 subject at this point.

    16 I want to talk to you, Brigadier, about some

    17 of your testimony about Colonel Blaskic when he

    18 received information of a crime or information of an

    19 event. You testified about how he acted promptly on

    20 complete and timely information.

    21 Let me just give you a small sampling of some

    22 of the items you commented on, the first being on page

    23 12.551. You said that, "Whenever General Blaskic had

    24 complete and timely information about an event, he

    25 would react immediately, so as to deal with the

  56. 1 problem."

    2 On page 12.561, you note that talking about

    3 an exhibit that confirms that the information came to

    4 reach General Blaskic in a timely fashion, and he took

    5 steps to resolve it.

    6 12.566, he -- again commenting that Blaskic,

    7 when he received information in a timely fashion, he

    8 would take immediate steps.

    9 And the last one I will reference you to is

    10 12.374, "General Blaskic, whenever he had the

    11 opportunity and had timely information, did not wait

    12 one second or one minute, he would take measures

    13 immediately" -- excuse me, "he would take action

    14 immediately and take measures to solve the problem."

    15 Now, you also told us, Brigadier -- and I

    16 will show you the Defence Exhibit in mind, if I can,

    17 Defence Exhibit 379.

    18 Now, Defence Exhibit 379, you noted that this

    19 was not a full report, yet you noted in your testimony

    20 that Colonel Blaskic acted on it, even though it was

    21 not full and complete information. And this relates to

    22 the destruction of the mosque in Kiseljak, and I refer

    23 you to your testimony on 12.615.

    24 A. Yes, that is what it says in this document.

    25 Q. So, Blaskic, according to your testimony,

  57. 1 reacts immediately with timely information that he

    2 receives, and even in this instance where he doesn't

    3 have complete information, you maintain that he

    4 responded to it. Now, let me ask you some preliminary

    5 questions about the period of time on the 16th.

    6 You were getting a significant amount of

    7 information, according to your testimony, from

    8 civilians who were calling into the Hotel Vitez about

    9 shooting; is that right?

    10 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, with your

    11 permission, the Defence would like us to move into

    12 closed session now, because we believe that for the

    13 reasons we mentioned earlier, we are now getting to

    14 that date, and --

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Do you have any objection,

    16 Mr. Kehoe?

    17 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, at this time I

    18 don't have any objection. I certainly don't want to do

    19 anything to jeopardise the Brigadier. If something

    20 comes out at this point, I guess it's better to be safe

    21 at this point, if it doesn't, we can take care of

    22 releasing this testimony down the line, or portions of

    23 it.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We will move into a

    25 closed session.

  58. 1 (Closed session)












    13 Pages 13609 to 13628 redacted - in closed session













  1. 1

    2 --- On resuming at 2.48 p.m.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume the hearing,

    4 have the accused brought in and the witness as well.

    5 This is now a public session.

    6 (Open session)

    7 (The accused entered court)

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, we're going to

    9 finish today at 5.45, therefore, compact your question,

    10 concentrate them, focus.

    11 MR. KEHOE: I'm trying, judge.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: And I'm sure that the witness

    13 will do the same for his answers.

    14 (The witness entered court)

    15 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to inform the

    16 Defence that I signed the order calling the witness in

    17 again.

    18 Brigadier, I ask that you try to answer as

    19 concisely as you can when the questions are asked so

    20 that we can finish with the cross-examination by 5.45

    21 today.

    22 A. I shall do everything in my power,

    23 Mr. President, to be as precise as possible, but the

    24 questions, however, dictate the answers.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course. Mr. Kehoe.

  2. 1 MR. KEHOE: Thank you Mr. President, Your

    2 Honours. If the Brigadier could be given 335, Defence

    3 Exhibit 335 again, Mr. Usher. This is the document we

    4 were talking about just before lunch.

    5 Q. Now, Brigadier, I think you stated --

    6 INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

    7 MR. KEHOE:

    8 Q. Brigadier, this document, Exhibit 335, after

    9 Blaskic returned from the meeting in Zenica, whether it

    10 was on the 20th or the 21st, this report is the 21st,

    11 he told you about the tragedy in Ahmici; didn't he?

    12 A. Yes, we confirmed this on several occasions.

    13 Q. And Brigadier, so, he knew at that time that

    14 HVO soldiers had been involved in a terrible event that

    15 took place in Ahmici; isn't that right?

    16 A. Yes, he had information on that, that is,

    17 that the killing of civilians had taken place and that

    18 a large number of houses had been burned.

    19 Q. And he also knew that HVO soldiers were

    20 involved.

    21 A. Nobody else could have participated by the

    22 HVO soldiers, so he knew it was the HVO soldiers.

    23 Q. So, let me direct your attention, I will read

    24 this, and this is a Prosecution Exhibit 184, which is a

    25 report by the commission on human rights,

  3. 1 Mr. President, that is in both French and English.

    2 Now, Blaskic told an investigator for the

    3 United Nations Commission on human rights on about the

    4 5th of May of 1993, he denied, adamantly denied

    5 allegations that HVO soldiers carried out such attacks

    6 around Vitez, including Ahmici.

    7 MR. HAYMAN: Misquoting the testimony of the

    8 Mr. Akhavan, Your Honours. Could we have a quote

    9 please.

    10 MR. KEHOE: Sure, I'll gladly give you a

    11 quote. Quote, this page 5.297. First of all, I was

    12 quoting the report, but I'll gladly quote the

    13 transcript as well and this is the transcript of Mr.

    14 Payam Akhavan. "Colonel Blaskic did not deny that

    15 atrocities had been committed in Ahmici, but he did not

    16 try to persuade me that these atrocities had not

    17 occurred, but he adamantly denied that any of his

    18 soldiers would have been involved in such an

    19 operation. I repeated once again, that all evidence

    20 linked HVO soldiers to that attack and he repeated his

    21 position, that as far as he was concerned, none of his

    22 soldiers would have committed such atrocities."

    23 MR. HAYMAN: That's right, Mr. President, he

    24 said they were not my soldiers and that is what counsel

    25 has quoted.

  4. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, is this a closed

    6 session? If not, I would like to ask for a closed

    7 session.

    8 THE REGISTRAR: No, this is an open session,

    9 as the Presiding Judge said in the beginning of this

    10 session.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Is there a point in moving to a

    12 closed session? Are there really very specific

    13 reasons? We're speaking about the accused

    14 responsibility, possible responsibility, and the HVO

    15 soldiers, but is there a specific reason in respect of

    16 the witness? I would like to consult with my

    17 colleague, but I would like to know what the reasons

    18 are. We can't do everything in closed session,

    19 Mr. Nobilo, Mr. Hayman is making signs to me that I

    20 don't quite understand, but perhaps you could explain,

    21 you or Mr. Hayman.

    22 MR. NOBILO: Signals to explain the reasons,

    23 and that's why we need a closed session, those were the

    24 signals, that we need one.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: We can't have a closed session

  5. 1 until we explain the reasons for the closed session.

    2 Let me consult with my colleague.

    3 All right. We're going to, we will have a

    4 closed session so that Mr. Nobilo can explain why we're

    5 in closed session.

    6 (Closed session)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  6. 1









    10 Pages 13634 to 13712 redacted - in closed session



    13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

    14 5.55 p.m. to be reconvened on the 26th

    15 day of October, 1998 at 2:00 p.m.