1 Monday, 26th October 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please sit down. Would the
5 registrar introduce the accused, have him brought in?
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Of course, as usual, I would
8 like to greet friends, colleague interpreters, the
9 court reporters. Once again, I wish a happy welcome to
10 Judge Riad, who was away, and who will be pleased
11 enough to notice that we still are sitting with the
12 same witness. And we shall, without further ado have
13 General Marin brought in.
14 (The witness entered court)
15 JUDGE JORDA: Before we go on with the
16 cross-examination, let me ask the Prosecution how long
17 they plan to take to complete the cross-examination.
18 After all, we have to come to an end with it.
19 Mr. Kehoe.
20 MR. KEHOE: Good afternoon, Your Honours. I
21 think on behalf of all counsel, Judge Riad, welcome
22 back. I do think, Mr. President, I will be able to
23 complete this session this afternoon.
24 JUDGE JORDA: That's good news. I'm sure the
25 witness will be pleased, too, because he has been on
1 the spot for close to three weeks. And, thereafter, we
2 shall ask whether the Defence wants to ask further
3 questions in the framework of the redirect.
4 Mr. Kehoe, I see that Mr. Dubuisson wants to
5 talk to me.
6 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the Defence is
7 going to question the witness for an additional two or
8 two-and-a-half hours, approximately.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Mr. Kehoe, you may
11 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Q. Good afternoon, Brigadier.
13 A. Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good
14 afternoon, Your Honours.
15 MR. KEHOE: Brigadier, before my first
16 question, I would like to show you a couple of
18 Mr. Dubuisson, and I would like to show the
19 Brigadier Defence Exhibit 373, and then Prosecution
20 Exhibit 387.
21 Q. Brigadier, if I may, Defence Exhibit 373 is a
22 document that we discussed previously dated the 21st of
23 June 1993 at 2015 hours, and this is the order signed
24 by Colonel Blaskic forbidding using prisoners of war to
25 dig trenches, and I refer you specifically to
1 paragraphs 1 and 2.
2 Mr. President, I don't think this document is
3 showing up on the ELMO. Gentlemen? There it is, thank
5 The next document, or that document that we
6 just talked about, the Defence document, is Defence
7 373, dated 21 June, 1993. And let me read to you a
8 paragraph in Prosecution document in 387, which is a
9 report of then Lieutenant Colonel now Brigadier
10 Alastair Duncan of the Prince of Wales own Regiment of
11 Yorkshire. I realise there is no BCS translation;
12 however, if we could put page 4 of that document on the
13 front page of the ELMO. Yes, please. Push it up a
14 little bit.
15 Number 4 had to do with the release of the
16 prisoners. "Ambassador Thibault thanked all for their
17 assistance with the release of prisoners. It was
18 agreed that: a) all would support the future
19 activities of ICRC and the work of the Joint
20 Commission; and b) if not already issued, commanders
21 were to issue precise orders on the treatment of
22 prisoners and the punishment of those commanders who
23 disobeyed these orders. Commanders who disobeyed these
24 orders were to be removed from command. Specific
25 orders were to be issued forbidding prisoners being
1 asked or made to dig trenches."
2 Now, Brigadier, both of these documents
3 obviously are executed on the same day, and the order
4 of Colonel Blaskic was at 2015 on the evening of the
5 21st. Is it clear to you, as Chief of Operations,
6 Brigadier, that it was based on the agreement in this
7 meeting that Colonel Blaskic issued this order, Defence
8 Exhibit 373, specifically forbidding the use of
9 prisoners of war to dig trenches?
10 A. The order is issued by the commander, this is
11 a Defence Exhibit, and this was signed for the General
12 by Franjo Nakic, and it was written by Mr. Totic. And
13 I see the date when it was created, the 12th, but in
14 the report of the representative of the UN, I do not
15 see the date when this document was created. So, would
16 it be possible for me to see the date when this
17 document was created? And why am I asking about this?
18 Because there were also the January conflicts and then
19 the commissions worked on that, too; that is, on the
20 release of prisoners, and then there were the April
21 conflicts, and these were the conflicts in June. That
22 is to say, when the army made an all out attack on the
23 units of the HVO.
24 If it would be possible for me to see the
25 date, then I could give you a precise answer to your
2 Q. Yes, Brigadier, let me just correct one error
3 that you made, probably overlooked it. The document
4 that was signed by Franjo Nakic on behalf of Colonel
5 Blaskic was 21 June 1993; was it not?
6 A. Yes. That is the document that was created
7 at the time when the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 carried out an all out attack against the units of HVO,
9 Travnik, Novi Travnik, Zepce, Fojnica, Kakanj; in that
10 area there was fighting and there were prisoners of war
11 on both sides, and it is certain that this was done in
12 order to avoid making the same mistakes that were made
13 until then towards civilians and prisoners of war.
14 That is why General Blaskic then issued such
15 orders preventing all possible illegal attacks and such
16 treatment of these persons.
17 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Usher, if we could put
18 Prosecution 387 back on the ELMO.
19 Q. I will read the top of this report, and it is
20 dated 21 June, 1993, Brigadier. It says "Second
21 meeting of the Joint Command, 21 June, 1993, record of
22 decisions." And it is in that particular document in
23 paragraph 4 where specific orders were to be issued
24 forbidding prisoners being asked or made to dig
1 So my question for you again is: It's clear
2 to you, as the Chief of Operations, that this order
3 forbidding the digging of trenches took place on the
4 same day as this meeting, and the order was issued
5 pursuant to the agreement made in this meeting; isn't
6 that correct?
7 A. Yes, the date on the document of the United
8 Nations, and the date on the document of General
9 Blaskic confirm that.
10 Q. My question is: It was pursuant to the
11 agreement at that meeting that Blaskic authorised the
12 order to be issued forbidding the digging of trenches
13 by prisoners.
14 A. According to the logic of things, that is the
15 conclusion that may be drawn. However, one cannot see
16 that on the basis of General Blaskic's document that it
17 was made because of that meeting. This document of
18 General Blaskic invokes the provisions of the Geneva
20 Since I was not the author of the document, I
21 did not sign it, and I cannot say for sure whether it
22 came as a result of the agreement reached at the
23 meeting you mentioned.
24 Q. Brigadier, once again, you received a copy of
25 this; did you not?
1 A. The copy of General Blaskic's orders?
2 Q. Yes.
3 A. Yes, it came to the operations department and
4 I remember, I said that I remember the document. But
5 I'm not the author of the document, and it says here on
6 the basis of the provisions of the Geneva Conventions
7 of such and such a date, and on the basis of these
8 provisions, this order is being issued. And I said
9 under which conditions it was created, because then the
10 fighting spread throughout Central Bosnia.
11 Q. Brigadier, again, you were the Chief of
12 Operations at this time. Was this order discussed by
13 Blaskic at morning briefings with members of the staff,
14 including you?
15 A. At that time the head of staff was at the
16 briefings, and he attended the meeting of General
17 Blaskic's. At that time when the head of the staff was
18 at briefings, I was not at briefings; but I am familiar
19 with this order, and I'm familiar with the subject
20 matter involved, and I know what the intention was.
21 The intention was to treat prisoners of war and
22 civilians properly. That was the main objective of
23 this document, and it is quite clearly shown by the
24 document itself.
25 Q. Brigadier, we will move on to another
1 subject, and I would like to go back to the
2 investigation of Ahmici by SIS.
3 JUDGE JORDA: You are going to come back to
4 the investigation in Ahmici, but haven't you dealt with
5 this already? You know, after all, we can't come back
6 to this indefinitely, remember the time we took on
8 MR. KEHOE: It's just a couple of questions
9 concerning the chain of command and I will move on.
10 JUDGE JORDA: I know, but you know, you're
11 talking about a couple of questions, five or six. I
12 don't agree, Ahmici has been dealt with, whether you
13 like the answers you got or not.
14 So, you can ask one question, but I don't
15 know how much time we're going to devote to this. This
16 is time taken from the Defence time. So, you can put
17 the question, but don't overdo it. We don't want to
18 spend too much time on Ahmici. I think we have dealt
19 with this enough.
20 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, I
21 understand. I don't know, Counsel, if you have a
22 question in this regard or a statement to issue.
23 MR. NOBILO: First of all, let us hear the
24 question, and then perhaps we are going to have some
25 suggestions, and we might not, on the other hand.
1 MR. KEHOE: That's fine, can I have Defence
2 Exhibit 251 put on the ELMO, please, which is this
3 document here?
4 Mr. President, I'm not going into the facts
5 and the details of Ahmici, I'm just relating to this
6 particular flow chart; so, have no fear, we won't be
7 asking questions with regard to the events in Ahmici as
8 we did last week.
9 JUDGE JORDA: That's easy, if you ask too
10 many questions, I will stop you. I have no fear. Go
12 MR. KEHOE:
13 Q. Brigadier, this is a document that you
14 introduced into evidence during your direct testimony.
15 Can you see that okay, Brigadier?
16 A. Yes, this is a document that represents the
17 organisational structure of the Croatian Defence
19 MR. NOBILO: I'm sorry, but it would be a
20 good thing if the witness got a document, because you
21 can't really read from the screen, the letters are too
23 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Counsel.
24 Q. Brigadier, the entity that was given the
25 authority to investigate Ahmici was SIS, and SIS was a
1 counter intelligence and a security agency; wasn't it?
2 A. The security service did not have the
3 authority to investigate this. But the commander of
4 the Operative Zone issued orders to that effect. And
5 why, I already mentioned that, because the commander of
6 the Operative Zone could not get sufficient information
7 on this. So that is why he issued orders to the
8 security forces to investigate the matter.
9 Q. So, it is a counter-intelligence and security
10 agency. And my question for you, with regard to the
11 box that we have in Central Bosnia, the person that is
12 responsible for SIS in Central Bosnia was Anto
13 Sliskovic; is that right?
14 A. The person in charge of the security and
15 information service, that is to say, to the extent to
16 which it was organised in the Operative Zone, Anto
17 Sliskovic was assistant commander for security
18 matters. I am not aware of whether there was another
19 service in addition to this one which dealt with
20 civilian security. I cannot speak of that for sure,
21 because I'm not familiar with these matters. But I
22 know that in the command of the Operative Zone there
23 was an assistant in charge of these matters.
24 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the Defence
25 suggests that we move to closed session just for a
1 minute, please, for all the reasons that we mentioned
2 time and again last week. Private session will do.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I will go for the latter
5 (Private session)
13 Page 13724 to 13740 redacted - in closed session
20 (Open session)
21 MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. My question for you, Brigadier, if we go back
23 to the transcript, was how often did they come into
25 A. I shall try to remember and give you a
1 figure. From April until the Washington Accords, I
2 don't think there were more than 12 or 13 flights. I'm
3 not sure, but that is the approximate figure. So I
4 cannot explain the word "often" or "frequently". That
5 would mean three times a week, but that's certainly not
6 the case because it was simply impossible.
7 Q. So if the reporter who was talking during
8 that interview stated that the flights came in daily,
9 your testimony is that that reporter would be
10 incorrect; is that right?
11 A. That journalist was certainly wrong, and that
12 is what UNPROFOR knows, and that is what all of us up
13 there knew.
14 Q. Brigadier, when did these flights, these
15 helicopter flights, begin?
16 A. I said after the Lasva Valley was almost
17 completely cut off, and when practically all the roads
18 leading there were blocked. I shall try to remember.
19 It is possible that the first helicopter
20 arrived in August 1993. I really cannot confirm a date
22 MR. KEHOE: Let me show you another exhibit.
23 Mr. Usher, if I may.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 533.
25 MR. KEHOE:
1 Q. Brigadier, Exhibit 533, the map that you have
2 before you, is a portion of Exhibit 216, a map of
3 Busovaca. Do you recognise that?
4 A. The photograph is quite unclear, and I cannot
5 confirm by anything that this is exactly Busovaca.
6 However, some buildings perhaps show that this might be
7 the municipality and town of Busovaca.
8 Q. Well, we can clarify it for you, Brigadier.
9 Mr. Dubuisson, do you have Exhibit 216
10 handy? If you don't, we can move on. Exhibit 216 is a
11 large -- the large overhead of this particular document
12 from which this smaller map was extracted. If not,
13 we'll move on and show it to the Brigadier after the
15 THE REGISTRAR: I don't think I have it right
16 now, but I'm going to check. No. It is presently in
17 the vault, so I can't give it to you right now.
18 MR. KEHOE: Okay.
19 Q. Well, Brigadier, just take a look at that --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 MR. KEHOE: I'm sorry.
22 Q. That particular circle in the area, and I
23 will tell you as a reference point, is the football
24 pitch or football field in Busovaca.
25 Now, the HVO, and you as Chief of Operations,
1 did the HVO have helicopter flights coming in and out
2 of Busovaca, and did they land on the football field in
4 A. During the war, that is to say in the month
5 of August, as far as I can remember, when the
6 helicopters were carrying out the tasks that I
7 mentioned, that is to say the transportation of the
8 wounded, and also a smaller part of logistic supplies
9 because it was impossible to do more than that due to
10 the lack of space in the Lasva Valley --
11 JUDGE JORDA: You've already said that.
12 You've already answered that.
13 A. May I explain?
14 JUDGE JORDA: I know, but you told us what
15 the helicopters were there for, for logistics, for
16 evacuation. So please do answer the question put to
18 A. I think I shall give a comprehensive answer,
19 so just two sentences really. Because of that
20 situation, the helicopters changed the place where they
21 would land. Why? Because if they would land in one
22 place and the units of the BH army, all of this was
23 quite visible, they would notice this and then they
24 would shell that particular point.
25 So sometimes the helicopter would land at the
1 area that we saw on the picture, and sometimes they
2 would land in Busovaca at a given location. I'm not
3 sure that during the war it could have landed on the
4 stadium -- football field, but with the same task and
5 with the same intention that is why they arrived.
6 So sometimes the helicopters would land on
7 the territory of Vitez and sometimes on the territory
8 of Busovaca, but for the reason I explained.
9 MR. KEHOE:
10 Q. Yes, sir. Let's move to Prosecution Exhibit
11 433/6, and for reference, this is a photograph taken by
12 Captain Lee Whitworth and it has to do with a medivac
13 excursion where bodies, wounded were taken from the
14 Kiseljak area to areas down in Croatia.
15 It should be this one, Mr. Dubuisson. Yes,
16 that's the one.
17 Now, Brigadier, just for the sake of clarity,
18 this is a photograph that was introduced in evidence by
19 an officer, a former officer of the British battalion
20 concerning a medivac execution where the wounded were
21 taken from Kiseljak to get some assistance, I believe,
22 down on the Dalmatian coast, and he testified that this
23 particular helicopter flight took off and landed from
24 Kiseljak, again on the football field.
25 A. I cannot confirm this and I cannot deny it,
1 because Kiseljak was cut off from us. Whether the
2 helicopter landed on the football field or not, that
3 I'm not aware of, but I remember a medical evacuation
4 in which my late mother was evacuated too, because it
5 was impossible to give people medical treatment there
6 at all, and then UNPROFOR did us a favour and
7 transported these people to Kiseljak. And then I don't
8 know exactly how these civilian patients were
9 transported after that by helicopter.
10 Q. But as far as you know, helicopter flights
11 took off and landed in Busovaca and Vitez.
12 Brigadier, you testified that Colonel Blaskic
13 did not leave the Vitez pocket until after the
14 Washington Accords, which I believe was signed the last
15 week of February or the first week of March of 1994; is
16 that right?
17 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the witness did
18 not say that. The witness said that Blaskic did not go
19 to Kiseljak. He did not say that he did not leave the
20 Busovaca Vitez pocket. He simply said he did not go to
22 MR. KEHOE:
23 Q. Did Blaskic leave the Vitez pocket?
24 A. General Blaskic did not go to Kiseljak. But
25 as far as I can remember, in October or November, 1993,
1 he flew, at the invitation of the head of the Main
2 Staff, somewhere to Herzegovina to Posusje or Mostar,
3 and then he returned three or four days later. That is
4 the only day, or rather the only time that I remember
5 General Blaskic left.
6 Q. So, Blaskic took a helicopter flight from
7 Vitez to Herzegovina; is that right?
8 A. Yes, that was in October or November.
9 Q. Did he do it any other time?
10 A. No, never again until the accords were sign.
11 Q. And the accords were signed in, on the 1st of
12 March of 1994; is that right?
13 A. I'm referring to the Washington Accords, if
14 that's it.
15 Q. The Washington Accords, 1 March 1994.
16 Let me show you Prosecution Exhibit 356,
17 excuse me, 456/114.
18 Now, Brigadier, I show you Prosecution
19 Exhibit 456/114 dated the 4th of February 1994 at 10.00
20 in the morning, and it is sent to the Chief of Staff,
21 HVO main headquarters, specifically Lieutenant General
22 Ante Roso.
23 Take a look at this document, Brigadier, and
24 focus on number 2. It says on number 2, "Please send
25 the automatic rifles and machine guns which I
1 previously requested during my stay, as they are
2 absolutely necessary."
3 Now, that document reflects, does it not,
4 that Blaskic was out of the Vitez pocket and down in
5 the Mostar area sometime around the 4th of February, or
6 before the 4th of February, 1994; is that right?
7 A. Yes, that is the time that I refer to, the
8 end of October or beginning of November, that is what I
9 said. General Blaskic, at the end of October or the
10 beginning of November was at the Main Staff.
11 The problem of logistics and these needs is
12 not a daily problem, it is something we had to deal
13 with every day throughout the year.
14 Q. What is the date of the order that is before
15 you, Prosecution Exhibit 456/114?
16 A. In front of me is a request for providing the
17 logistics equipment mentioned in this document. So,
18 that is a request towards, addressed to a superior.
19 General Blaskic is asking the head of the Main Staff to
20 send this equipment.
21 I remember when it arrived, it was thrown out
22 of helicopters, and part of it also went to the
23 territory under BH army control. So, practically we
24 were deprived of part of this equipment. I am
25 particularly referring to boots, winter uniform, socks
1 and underwear.
2 Q. What is the date of this request?
3 A. The date of this request is the 4th of
5 Q. The 4th of February of 1994. Would that
6 indicate to you, Brigadier, that Blaskic had been down
7 in the Mostar area another time, beyond the time that
8 you mentioned to us in October or November of 1993?
9 A. I already said about this time when he went
10 there. I am not aware of any other departures of his,
11 but I claim that he did not leave.
12 Q. Brigadier, would you agree with me that based
13 on the request that you have before you, it would
14 appear that Blaskic made another trip to the Mostar
15 area, other than the one that you mentioned in October
16 or November of 1993?
17 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the witness
18 answered twice, and the claim that my distinguished
19 colleague, the Prosecutor, keeps repeating does not
20 stem from this document. It simply says that Blaskic
21 had previously requested automatic weapons, automatic
22 rifles, so such a claim does not stem from this
23 document, and the witness already replied to this
25 JUDGE JORDA: Will you forgive me, with all
1 due respect, I don't quite agree with you in the way
2 you explain matters. Indeed, I believe that this
3 document is not a fundamental contradiction of what
4 your witness stated, but obviously between November and
5 February you have got three months that elapsed; and
6 according to the style of this document, it can be seen
7 it is not a style showing that a lot of time has gone
8 by. I don't think it is an illegitimate question.
9 You are asking for armed guns, and that I
10 already asked during my stay; it could easily be
11 imagined that I have asked you for rifles a number
12 times. And so, it's quite a legitimate question, I
13 would like the witness to try and answer it.
14 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, with all due
15 respect, I suggest that we have this paragraph
16 precisely translated. Perhaps my English is not good
17 enough, but in my language it says not "stays" in the
18 plural, but "stay" in the singular. So, could we
19 please have a look at the original text? I can read
20 it, or the Brigadier can read it, it's all the same,
21 and then the Court interpreters can interpret it
22 again. So it is not "visits" in the plural, but in the
24 JUDGE JORDA: Well, could you please read out
25 paragraph 2, which indeed casts a doubt as to whether
1 the accused alludes, first hypothesis to the November
2 stay, or whether he possibly might allude to another
3 stay. Could you please tell us the second paragraph,
4 please send us --
5 MR. NOBILO: Certainly, Mr. President. So,
6 I'm reading the second paragraph.
7 INTERPRETER: Interpreters do not have a
9 MR. KEHOE: If we could put the BCS copy on
10 the ELMO so the interpreters can read it, I think that
11 would be helpful.
12 MR. NOBILO: So, once again, I shall try to
13 read point 2. "Please send automatic rifles which I
14 requested during my stay, as well as machine guns,
15 because they are indispensable to us."
16 JUDGE JORDA: Well, there is no contradiction
17 between the translation I have here in my hands and the
18 one I've just heard, so the question remains
19 legitimate. It could be understood as follows: If it
20 is a stay later than November, you could have a much
21 more commanding style. It could be said, "I've been
22 here, it's three months since I've been here, full in
23 the middle of winter, we need that," so, it could be a
24 different style. Please try and answer the question,
1 I shall put the question to you, if you don't
2 mind. On the basis of the translation you've just
3 heard, do you maintain that when the accused said, I
4 quote, "in my stay", the only possible stay is the
5 November stay; or do you think that there were possibly
6 other stays, given the way and the style of the
8 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, I am referring
9 to the stay in the month of November. There were no
10 other stays.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe.
12 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
13 Q. Brigadier, let's stay with this --
14 JUDGE JORDA: Do you remain on the same
15 topic, Mr. Kehoe? We're going to have a long
16 afternoon, we could have a 10 to 15-minute break; are
17 you finished with this item?
18 MR. KEHOE: I wanted to ask the Brigadier a
19 couple of questions about this flight down in November,
20 but I can wait until after the break.
21 JUDGE RIAD: In war time, can a general wait
22 for three months before he reminds or asks one of the
23 subordinates to have one of his orders executed? Is
24 that a normal case in war time?
25 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, requests for
1 logistics addressed to the Main Staff went
2 continuously, month after month. If we look at some
3 other reports there were also some requests, because
4 logistics for the units of the HVO in Central Bosnia,
5 which were completely, for HVO units there, they were
6 completely surrounded, it was a question of to be or
7 not to be. If we did not get minimum requirements we
8 could not defend ourselves. So this is not one single
9 request I'm talking about, there were constant
10 requests. They were in daily operative reports, there
11 was requests for logistics all the time.
12 JUDGE JORDA: I think we need a break, we can
13 do with a break, it's good for the interpreters, it is
14 going to be a long afternoon. We shall have a
15 15-minute break.
16 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
18 (The accused entered court)
19 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, you may
21 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Brigadier, the photograph that's up on the
23 easel to your right and behind you is photograph 216;
24 does that give you a better view of Busovaca?
25 A. Yes, it does, that is the photograph that I
1 had on the ELMO, on the screen, the one that I saw. I
2 looked at it, I analysed it, and along here, and this
3 main road, I think that this is, in fact, Busovaca.
4 Q. Okay, sir. I just wanted to give you an
5 opportunity to look at the entire photograph in
6 fairness before, as reference back to Prosecution
7 Exhibit 533.
8 A. Thank you.
9 Q. Now, Brigadier, let me ask you just one or
10 two questions about this helicopter flight by Blaskic
11 in October or November of 1993, I think you said
12 November. Who else went with Blaskic to the Mostar
13 area in this helicopter flight?
14 A. As far as I know, from the Operative Zone
15 headquarters, General Blaskic went and one or two
16 members of his personal security. And during General
17 Blaskic's stay with the head of the Main Staff, he was
18 replaced by somebody who is today a general, and he was
19 Colonel Filipovic.
20 Q. Who else went in the helicopter with
21 Blaskic? Who were the other officers, or who else from
22 his staff?
23 A. As far as I know, there was nobody from the
24 other officers from the staff of the Operative Zone in
25 the flight in which General Blaskic was on, at least
1 not from my department. I know it was not the head of
2 the Main Staff, and as far as I recall, nobody went
3 with him.
4 Q. Well, sir, was this an HV helicopter?
5 A. No. As far as I recall, the HV, during the
6 war, had two helicopters, which it has today. I think
7 that they are transport ME 8 helicopters. And in the
8 Army of the Federation, the Croatian component has
9 these two helicopters which were used in the war, as
11 Q. So, who owned the helicopter that Blaskic
12 travelled in to Mostar?
13 A. The HVO, that is to say the HVO, the Ministry
14 of Defence.
15 Q. Brigadier, when Blaskic went to Mostar, who
16 did he meet with; do you know?
17 A. I do not know, but I suppose that he went to
18 the chief of the Main Staff.
19 Q. Well, did he meet with HV members?
20 A. I'm not aware of that.
21 Q. Well, sir, at this time, to your knowledge,
22 was there contact between the HV and the HVO? And I'm
23 talking about during 1993.
24 A. I'm not aware of that, but I do know that
25 there were no contacts between the command of the
1 Operative Zone and the Croatian army.
2 Q. Well, sir, at that time in 1993, was Blaskic,
3 as well as yourself, were you citizens of the Republic
4 of Croatia?
5 A. At that time, that is to say, at that time, I
6 was, I had citizenship of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
7 therefore, I was a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina;
8 whereas afterwards, after the end of the war, when the
9 Republic of Croatia, by virtue of its constitution gave
10 guarantees for all Croats living wherever they may be
11 living, if they should so desire, can take Croatian
12 citizenship, I took that Croatian citizenship, and I
13 now have dual citizenship.
14 Q. So, are you travelling on a passport of the
15 Republic of Croatia right now?
16 A. As a free citizen, yes, I have a Croatian
17 passport. When I travel in the name of the Army of the
18 Federation, while the old passports existed of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, then we travelled with the
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina passports.
21 Now, as far as I know, there is a phase by
22 which unified passports are being published for all the
23 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 JUDGE JORDA: This is information which is
25 outside the scope of the direct examination.
1 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
2 Q. One clarifying question on this helicopter.
3 What kind of HVO helicopter was it? Pardon me if I
4 didn't get that.
5 A. As far as I remember now, it was a ME 8, I
6 think it is a Russian helicopter, a transport
8 Q. Now, Brigadier, in flying down to the Mostar
9 area, did Blaskic fly over Serb held territory?
10 A. No, the corridor, the corridor of the flight
11 from Posusje to Herzegovina to Central Bosnia, as far
12 as I recall, was via Mount Vranica. And that territory
13 was controlled by the BH army, and the wounded were
14 transported via that corridor, those wounded which were
15 taken away by helicopter.
16 Q. You told us previously, and this is at page
17 13485, that "during 1993, when Kiseljak, in the area
18 around Kiseljak was fully surrounded, according to the
19 information that I had at the time, that is to say, for
20 the purposes of logistics and supplies, the HVO did
21 co-operate with the Republika Srpska with regard to
22 this matter."
23 So in 1993 there was some co-operation that
24 you discussed in the Kiseljak area --
25 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, Mr. Kehoe, but let
1 the witness react.
2 MR. KEHOE: Yes, sir.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Because, it was a very long
4 examination-in-chief, and it can be understandable if
5 the witness needs some time to recollect the
6 information in relation to the question asked.
7 Do you remember that time which was just
9 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, I remember what
10 I said. The information that was generally given
11 contains, amongst the population, the soldiers, that is
12 to say, that there was co-operation between, that is to
13 say the units, the HVO Kiseljak and the Army of the
14 Republika Srpska, in connection with logistics for that
15 enclave. To what extent, what time and so on --
16 JUDGE JORDA: I just wanted to make sure that
17 you had an accurate recollection of that quotation made
18 by the Prosecutor.
19 Do ask the question, Mr. Kehoe.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. Brigadier, you noted that the Serbs were
22 cooperating with the HVO in the Kiseljak area. Was
23 Blaskic cooperating with the Serb army that was
24 stationed on the Vlasic Mountain?
25 A. As far as I know, General Blaskic never
1 co-operated with the Army of the Republika Srpska. And
2 the HVO units in the Lasva River Valley were, after
3 full encirclement, were not capable of cooperating with
4 the Army of the Republika Srpska.
5 I have information from the book by General
6 Alagic that after the encirclement and the fall of
7 Travnik that the BiH army in the area of Neokrnja had
8 co-operation, first of all, for logistic purposes and
10 Those are, that is the information that I
11 have on the co-operation with the Army of the Republika
12 Srpska. As far as I remember, and as far as I recall,
13 and the information I came by during the war in 1993,
14 on the war in 1993.
15 Q. General Alagic, talks, does he not,
16 Brigadier, about Blaskic's contact with an officer of
17 the Army of the Republika Srpska, the Bosnian-Serb
18 army, and in their communications they had code names?
19 Is that not what Alagic said, and Blaskic's code name
20 was "the battery" and the Serb commander's code name
21 was "the crank"? Isn't that what Alagic noted in his
23 A. I am not aware of that. What I said about
24 General Alagic, I read that in his book, his book was
25 published. I did not know in the war that that was so;
1 but once I read the book, I have no reason not to
2 believe it, if General Alagic said that he co-operated
3 with the Serbs.
4 Whereas, I do not have any information that
5 General Blaskic co-operated with the Army of Republika
6 Srpska, because that was practically impossible.
7 JUDGE JORDA: I remind you that you were the
8 number two in the chain of command, you were the Chief
9 of Operations. This is no trivial information. Don't
10 you have any personal recollection apart from that book
11 you read?
12 I mean, you were number two in the chain, you
13 were Chief of Operations. This is no minor detail, is
14 it? Could you try to provide an answer that would be
15 not just what you can take from that book by General
16 Alagic, no matter how interesting the book is? Could
17 you try and answer the question put to you?
18 A. Yes, yes, Mr. President. The question asked
19 me, that is the answer that I gave. Now, if I'm
20 directly asked whether General Blaskic co-operated, I
21 will state what I know, and that is that he did not
22 co-operate with the Army of Republika Srpska.
23 MR. KEHOE:
24 Q. Brigadier, the area that was around Zepce and
25 Zavidovici was an area under the command of Blaskic;
1 wasn't it?
2 A. The area of Zepce was formerly under the
3 command of General Blaskic. However, due to the fact
4 that it was cut off, because it was cut off, severed,
5 this area functioned in the same way as Kiseljak did,
6 which means that we were not allowed to control it, we
7 did not have an insight into the situation, and command
8 over the units in Zepce was done by the commander of
9 the Third Operative Group, General Lozanic.
10 Q. Well, Brigadier, was the HVO cooperating with
11 the Serbs in the Zepce and Zavidovici area, and were
12 the Serbs, the Bosnian Serbs, helping the HVO transport
13 prisoners down to prisons in Herzegovina?
14 A. Co-operation between the Army of the
15 Republika Srpska and the HVO in the Zepce area, I also
16 know, as in Kiseljak, that there was co-operation in
17 the area of logistics, because that was an enclave
18 which had no other way out or any other way in
19 receiving logistic support.
20 On the transport and contents of that
21 co-operation, outside the sphere of logistics, I have
22 no information as to that or any knowledge on that.
23 Q. Well, Brigadier, you were the Chief of
24 Operations, and now you are Brigadier in the Federation
25 Army stationed in Mostar. Are you telling this Court
1 that you know nothing about the transportation of
2 Bosnian Muslim prisoners from the Zepce-Zavidovici area
3 down through Serb held land into HVO prisons in places
4 such as the Heliodrom? Are you telling this Court that
5 you know nothing about that?
6 A. Yes, I truly know nothing about that, and I
7 don't know whether that happened.
8 Q. Did you hear about it? Did you hear that
9 over 500 men were taken down in that way?
10 A. I did not hear of that, no.
11 Q. Did you hear, Brigadier, that in addition to
12 logistics in the Kiseljak area, that the Serbs actually
13 shelled some Bosnian Muslim villages for the HVO forces
14 in the Kiseljak area?
15 A. I do not know of that.
16 Q. So, as far as you're concerned, Brigadier,
17 you know nothing, other than what you've told us, about
18 any active co-operation between the HVO and the VRS,
19 other than the two incidents of logistics that you
20 mentioned in Zepce and Kiseljak; is that right?
21 A. I only remember that form of co-operation.
22 Other forms of co-operation, I cannot recall, and I
23 have no information or knowledge that there were forms
24 of co-operation of that kind, apart from logistics
1 Q. Well, into August of 1993, Hotel Vitez, and
2 you in the Hotel Vitez, and Blaskic as commander, you
3 continued to stay in contact with the Ban Jelacic
4 Brigade in Kiseljak; didn't you?
5 A. In August, 1993, communications between the
6 command of the Operative Zone and the Ban Jelacic
7 Brigade evolved via, in the form of writing, that is to
8 say, through reports and an exchange of information.
9 However, due to the well-known problem with
10 communications and links and the system, that is to
11 say, it was not a safe and secure system, and
12 technically speaking there was, the technical side of
13 it was poor, so that contact of this kind and this kind
14 of communication in writing was far less than it had
15 been prior to the conflict with the BH army,
16 correspondence was less.
17 Q. When did this communication begin again with
18 the Ban Jelisic Brigade in Kiseljak?
19 A. Normal and full communication with the Ban
20 Jelisic Brigade in Kiseljak, and with Zepce and all the
21 enclaves began to function again after the Washington
23 Q. Well, Brigadier, let me show you Defence
24 Exhibit 254.
25 Now, Brigadier, that is the document that you
1 discussed during your direct-examination, and this
2 comes from Major General Milivoje Petkovic. The date
3 is 24 August, 1993, and it goes to Blaskic and Rajic.
4 The document says: "Act urgently on the co-ordination
5 regarding the group actions in the direction of
6 Kiseljak and Busovaca. Execute mutual connections and
8 That particular document clearly indicates,
9 does it not, Brigadier, that Petkovic thought that
10 Blaskic and Rajic could communicate; isn't that right?
11 A. Yes. I did not say that there was no
12 communication whatsoever, and no correspondence. There
13 was under the conditions that I stated, that is in
14 reduced measure. It was made more difficult and it was
15 incomplete, and General Petkovic, in writing this
16 particular paper, had that in mind, and that is why he
17 ordered this kind of activity as is stated in this
18 particular document.
19 Q. So we clearly have now established that there
20 was communication between Vitez and Kiseljak. And my
21 question for you, Brigadier, is --
22 MR. NOBILO: Excuse me, Mr. President --
23 JUDGE JORDA: No comment, please. You'll
24 come to this later, won't you? We have all the time in
25 the world for that.
1 MR. NOBILO: One more thing, Mr. President.
2 From what my learned friend the Prosecutor said, it
3 would appear that only after this document was it
4 ascertained that communication existed by packet link
5 between Vitez and Kiseljak. However, the witness, when
6 answering the first question, said there was
7 communication but explained the kind of communication
8 that existed.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, prior to your
10 objection I made some observations in that direction to
11 the Prosecution.
12 MR. NOBILO: I'm sorry, but I did not get
13 interpretation of this, so I haven't managed to
14 understand what you said.
15 JUDGE JORDA: I understand. Carry on.
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. Brigadier, let's move to Defence Exhibit 255,
18 which is the interview that you discussed of Rajic from
19 Slobodan Dalmacija of 7 December, 1995.
20 I direct your attention to the particular
21 area that was referenced by my learned colleague
22 Mr. Nobilo with regard to the chain of command, and in
23 it, in the interview, Rajic says, "In the beginning
24 Blaskic was my superior, but later he transferred to
25 Vitez while I remained in Kiseljak. Although Blaskic
1 was formally my superior even then, the condition on
2 the ground imposed a situation where he and I were
3 equally responsible to the Main Staff of the HVO, he
4 for his sector and I for mine."
5 Do you see that, sir?
6 A. I didn't find that part, but I remember the
7 substance when the Defence introduced this text.
8 Q. Okay, sir. If we could take a look at
9 Prosecution Exhibit 380. You can continue to look
10 while I pull out Prosecution Exhibit 380.
11 Now, take a look on that particular document,
12 sir. The second page, the left-hand column with the
13 comment beginning, "Kresevo, Kiseljak," et cetera.
14 Now, before we do that, sir, take a look in
15 the lower right-hand corner. The newspaper reporter on
16 this was a man by the name of Slobodan Lovrenovic. Do
17 you see that in the lower right-hand corner?
18 A. Yes, I see. The name of Mr. Lovrenovic typed
19 out here.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Lovrenovic, at this time, was the
21 spokesman of the office of the president of the
22 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna and his advisor on
23 public relations; wasn't he?
24 A. I do not know Mr. Lovrenovic. At the time
25 when this document was created, I don't know which post
1 he held. I never met him in my life, Mr. Lovrenovic.
2 Q. Do you know a Slobodan Lovrenovic that held a
3 post in Mate Boban's office, President Boban's office?
4 A. I really didn't know that.
5 Q. Okay, sir. "Let's just take a look at this
6 one comment about Kresevo, Kiseljak and part of the
7 Fojnica municipality also controlled by the HVO and
8 also in Central Bosnia, but are not connected with the
9 forces in Vitez and Busovaca, how are they holding up?
10 Blaskic: It is certain that the will and determination
11 of the Croatian people in these areas were awakened
12 exceptionally early and have resulted in the firm
13 defence of these areas. And I would add Vares here,
14 which is in the structure of our second operative group
15 in Central Bosnia. They are carrying out, in a
16 co-ordinated and organised manner, all commands" --
17 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I think that this document
18 should be presented on the ELMO for the interpreters,
20 MR. KEHOE: I'm sorry. Could we put the
21 English on the ELMO? I think it is on the ELMO.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. "They are carrying out in a co-ordinated and
1 organised manner all commands connected with the
2 defence of the people and Croatian territories. This
3 physical separation is not an essential or decisive
4 factor, because we figured in our planning that the
5 temporary physical separation of these areas could
6 occur. Travnik is the first operative group, Kiseljak
7 the second, Zepce the third, and Sarajevo the fourth of
8 all the operative groups are under my command, and the
9 chain of leadership and command functions absolutely,
10 without interruption."
11 A. Yes, that is what it says here.
12 Q. Well, Brigadier, that is contrary to the
13 interview given by Mr. Rajic in 1995; isn't it?
14 A. Yes, that is the opposite. Mr. President,
15 Your Honours, I just want to say a few words about
16 General Blaskic's interview. See, it was made on the
17 5th of October, 1993, at the time when in the area of
18 the Lasva River Valley the fighting was very heavy and
19 when it was a question of days as to whether we could
20 defend ourselves or not. Under such conditions, for
21 the purposes of promotion, for boosting morale, et
22 cetera, any commander would speak affirmatively about
23 the army that he commands. He will not say that he
24 cannot find a way out of the situation, because if the
25 commander says so, the army is going to leave the
1 front-line immediately.
2 Secondly, I said that formally, in the formal
3 set-up, from an organisational point of view, the
4 enclaves were within the command of the Operative Zone,
5 but reality, on the ground, was such as Mr. Rajic had
6 presented it.
7 The reasons for that we have explained
8 several times, and I'm just going to add another one;
9 General Blaskic, from his position and from the point
10 of view of his abilities, could not help Kiseljak or
11 Zepce, because we didn't have enough logistics, we
12 didn't have enough equipment at our disposal. The
13 people who were in command in Kiseljak and in Zepce
14 were left to their own resources, and they made their
15 own decisions in keeping with this situation and the
16 time when they were functioning.
17 I understand this interview given by General
18 Blaskic, as a professional soldier, in the way I
20 JUDGE JORDA: You have a lot of things to
21 say, but I shall ask you to try and give very succinct
22 answers, because I'd like the Prosecution to finish the
23 cross-examination today.
24 Do you have any questions relating to this
25 contradiction between the two documents, or alleged
1 contradictions, as you put them? Do you want to ask
2 another question or do you want to move on to something
4 MR. KEHOE: One last question and I'll move
6 Q. So the bottom line is, Brigadier, is that
7 what Colonel Blaskic told this reporter was not the
8 truth. Is that right what you're saying?
9 A. No. General Blaskic was saying what the
10 organisational set-up was, and Rajic described the
11 situation on the ground. So that is where the basic
12 difference lies.
13 Q. If I may, Brigadier, you said this document,
14 and you can refer to it, the last two sentences, "All
15 operative groups are under my command, and the chain of
16 leadership and command functions absolutely, without
18 That's what the document says; is that
20 A. Yes, that is what it says. If a commander
21 would say, when being interviewed for a newspaper, that
22 his chain of command was not functioning, that would be
23 apart from any military logic, that he did not have
24 control over the situation on the ground, and I told
25 you the conditions were under which the document was
1 created and what the situation was like that we found
2 ourselves in at the time when this interview was
4 Q. Brigadier, did he tell Milivoje Petkovic
6 A. I don't know whether he told General Petkovic
7 so, but Milivoje Petkovic certainly knew what the
8 situation was and he certainly knew that General
9 Blaskic could not influence the events in Zepce and
10 Kiseljak. He certainly knew that as a soldier, because
11 he was aware of what the situation was on the ground
13 Q. Were you present when this interview was
14 given, the interview that is by Mr. Lovrenovic?
15 A. I was not present, and I first saw the text
16 of this interview here in the Court. I repeat, we were
17 in isolation, we did not receive any newspapers, and
18 practically we were in a total blockade in terms of
20 Q. Well, Brigadier, you were in a total blockade
21 and if you were in isolation, how did Mr. Lovrenovic
22 get in there to talk to Colonel Blaskic?
23 A. I do not know where this interview was
24 given. Perhaps it says so in the newspaper itself.
25 Perhaps it says so here. The way in which journalists
1 came and whether they came at all into the territory of
2 the Lasva River Valley is something that I'm not aware
4 If they came, regardless of what media houses
5 they may have come from, they had to come with the
6 assistance of UNPROFOR or other international
7 organisations, because there was no other way of doing
9 Q. We'll move on to another subject,
10 Mr. President.
11 I'd like to talk to you, Brigadier, about the
12 punishment and some of your testimony you gave on
13 direct-examination about Blaskic's ability to punish
14 and not punish. If I could, before we begin this
15 questioning, with your assistance, Mr. Dubuisson, and
16 the usher, if I could give the witness Prosecutor's
17 Exhibit 38.
18 Mr. President, I must say these are bound
19 documents, so it may be difficult to put these on the
20 ELMO. These are the Narodni lists, the actual
21 statutes, so I don't know if it's going to be a
22 workable solution.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Is this a new document,
24 Mr. Dubuisson?
25 THE REGISTRAR: No, no. This was admitted
1 very early in the case, at the beginning of the trial.
2 MR. KEHOE:
3 Q. Brigadier, when you get to tab 2, the Rules
4 of Military Discipline -- yes.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead, Mr. Kehoe.
6 MR. KEHOE: Thank you.
7 Q. Now, Brigadier, you were a Prosecutor -- you
8 told us you were a Prosecutor in the military
9 disciplinary courts. Now, the Rules of Military
10 Discipline govern the conduct of the HVO, do they not?
11 A. I said that I was Deputy Disciplinary
12 Prosecutor, and that is what I was. We worked
13 according to the code of conduct on military discipline
14 in the HVO. That is the document on the basis of which
15 we worked.
16 Q. And the military disciplinary court was
17 located in Vitez; wasn't it?
18 A. The disciplinary court was established in the
19 command of the Operative Zone, and officers in the
20 command of the Operative Zone were there in, and if I
21 remember correctly, this was August or September 1993.
22 Q. Now, the Operative Zone military disciplinary
23 courts had the power to try members of the HVO and
24 sometimes civilians within the Central Bosnian
25 Operative Zone; didn't they? And I'll turn your
1 attention to Article 52 of the Rules of Military
2 Discipline, if I could, and read along with us.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Which document are we talking
4 about, Mr. Kehoe?
5 A. -- correct myself. I don't know whether the
6 military disciplinary court could prosecute civilians.
7 I don't know that.
8 MR. KEHOE:
9 Q. Under certain circumstances, and we'll get to
10 that, Brigadier.
11 We are talking about the Rules of Military
12 Discipline, Mr. President, and that should be tab 2.
13 The first item I'm going to discuss is Article 52.
14 Now, I'll turn your attention, Brigadier, to
15 Article 52, subsection (2). Do you see that, sir, in
16 the Rules of Military Discipline?
17 A. Which number is this document, please? Oh,
18 just a minute. Article 52, "The first instance court
19 of military discipline," is that it? Page 45?
20 Q. That's right, sir, page 45. It says: "First
21 instance courts shall try the following individuals,"
22 and if we move down to Operative Zone in number 2, it
23 says, "Operative Zone military disciplinary courts shall
24 try non-commissioned officers and officers up to the
25 rank of Brigadier--"
1 "Operative Zone military disciplinary courts
2 shall try non-commissioned officers and officers up to
3 the rank of Brigadier in the units or institutions who
4 are subordinate to the Operative Zone commander, or are
5 in units or institutions within the area under the
6 Operative Zone commander's authority, as well as
7 non-commissioned officers and officers up to the rank
8 of Brigadier serving in the administrative bodies of
9 enterprises and other legal entities."
10 Now, that gives the Operative Zone commander
11 authority, through the military disciplinary courts, to
12 charge and have tried people who are subordinate to the
13 Operative Zone commander or units or institutions
14 within the area under the Operative Zone commander's
15 authority; doesn't it?
16 A. It says here quite clearly and accurately,
17 and I'm going to try to explain this in the most
18 succinct manner possible, in the Operative Zone there
19 are units and institution, and it says here
20 "institutions", and that is the logistics base and
21 that is what it says here. So that is an institution.
22 This text does not pertain to any civilians or civilian
23 institutions at all.
24 Q. I understand, Brigadier, but it refers to
25 those troops that are subordinate to the Operative Zone
1 commander, or units or institutions within the
2 Operative Zone commander's area of authority; isn't
3 that right?
4 A. Yes, but even more accurately, for units and
5 institutions which are in the organisational structure
6 and not those units which are being used
7 operationally. So again, we're talking about brigades,
8 the logistics base. That is what I mentioned in terms
9 of structure. So that is what is being referred to,
10 and that is what General Blaskic -- or, rather, the
11 military disciplinary court could prosecute.
12 Q. It doesn't say that, does it, Brigadier?
13 A. I understand it that way, and I think it is
14 said quite clearly. We should just go back to the
15 organisation and structure of command in the Operative
16 Zone when I spoke about the structure of the Operative
18 Q. Well, Brigadier, let's ask it very bluntly;
19 the Vitezovi is a unit within the area under the
20 Operative Zone commander's authority; isn't it --
21 aren't they?
22 A. Yes, in operative use, but I said that units
23 that are under operative control -- command, the
24 commander of the Operative Zone could not punish
25 through disciplinary action, he could not appoint
1 commanders, and other organisational matters related to
2 that unit. I, as the head of the operations unit,
3 never went to the Special Purposes Unit Vitezovi
4 because this was not under our direct command.
5 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I have to
6 intervene, because my distinguished colleague the
7 Prosecutor is misleading the witness.
8 In 52.2, it says quite clearly, in the second
9 line, that the jurisdiction of the military
10 disciplinary court pertains to military units which are
11 subordinate to the commander, and institutions that are
12 within the authority of the commander of the Operative
13 Zone. So a distinction was made here between
14 institutions that are on the territory of the Operative
15 Zone on the one hand, and on the other hand, the units
16 that are subordinate to the commander. My
17 distinguished colleague read this as if this Article
18 said that the jurisdiction of the disciplinary court
19 pertained to the units that were on the territory of
20 the Operative Zone.
21 MR. KEHOE: Well, Mr. Nobilo can argue that
22 all he wants, but what the translation of this is is
23 that units that were within the area under the
24 Operative Zone commander's authority, and there's no
25 exception for the Vitezovi, there's no exception for
1 Djuti, and there is no exception for the Military
2 Police, albeit counsel would like that. There is no
3 such exception in the statute.
4 Now, we'll continue through the examination,
5 and counsel can redirect on this particular point when
6 he sees fit, but there are numerous areas to cover here
7 and this is merely one of that many we need to
9 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I'm reading from
10 the original Croatian text, which is quite clear.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Well, each to their own
12 interpretation, but, Mr. Kehoe, I would like to let you
13 finish your question, so please go ahead.
14 MR. KEHOE: Now -- thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Let's move ahead, Brigadier, and let's talk
16 about the two different types of discipline that the
17 military discipline courts can impose, and let's turn
18 to Articles 10 and 11, if you can flip back, and I
19 think that should be on page 38.
20 Now, in Article 10 deals with disciplinary
21 errors and Article 11 deals with disciplinary offences;
22 isn't that correct, sir?
23 A. Yes, that is what it says.
24 Q. Now, obviously disciplinary errors, based on
25 this, can be punished with sanctions ranging from a
1 warning to incarceration up to 30 days; is that right?
2 A. Yes, that is what it says.
3 Q. Let's talk about some of the documents that
4 you introduced into evidence, and let's -- just for a
5 sampling from 220 to -- Defence Exhibit 220 to 224, if
6 you could just show those to the witness.
7 While those documents are coming, Brigadier,
8 let me direct your attention to Article 6, where the
9 difference between disciplinary errors and offences is
10 contrasted; do you see Article 6?
11 A. Yes, I see it.
12 Q. And that reads that "Disciplinary errors
13 shall be milder breaches of rules or other regulations
14 in the performance of one's duties or in carrying out
15 orders, as well as breaches of other enactments of
16 authorised non-commissioned officers and officers, or a
17 mild form of misconduct outside the service which is
18 incompatible with the obligation and rights of members
19 of the armed forces."
20 The article then describes "Disciplinary
21 offences shall be gross breaches of rules and other
22 regulations in the performance of duty or gross neglect
23 of important obligations and duties, as well as other
24 irregularities and omissions of greater importance
25 which have or could have serious consequences to the
2 So just based on that, disciplinary errors
3 which carry with it a penalty of disciplinary measures
4 are for minor offences; isn't that right?
5 A. Yes, this is what is written in Article 6.
6 Q. Take a look at Defence Exhibits 220 through
7 224, and there are others that fall into this category,
8 but briefly look at these. We will go through them
9 quite quickly, we will not go through them one by one.
10 These documents mete out or hand out
11 disciplinary measures and are really for disciplinary
12 errors committed by soldiers; aren't they?
13 A. In the reports that I have before me, the
14 disciplinary measures relate to soldiers within the
16 Q. Right, and those particular disciplinary
17 measures are, because they are in fact measures, are
18 for disciplinary errors and fall into the minor
19 category, and are not disciplinary offences; isn't that
21 A. I would have to look at all the disciplinary
22 measures stated here, but if we're dealing with
23 imprisonment, with detention, yes, incarceration up to
24 30 days is a disciplinary error, according to this,
1 Q. Let me turn your attention, briefly, can you
2 go back to the Narodni List and go back to page 37 and
3 look at Article 3, number 8; do you see that,
5 A. Yes, I'm reading this text.
6 Q. And that reads that "Any act by military
7 personnel that contravenes the rules and orders issued
8 by superior officers shall be considered a breach of
9 military discipline," in particular, and there are
10 numerous there, numerous items there, if you go to
11 number 8, "all other illegal acts damaging to the
12 reputation of the armed forces." Do you see that, sir?
13 A. You mean Article 8?
14 Q. No, Article 3, subdivision 8.
15 A. Article 3, yes, subdivision 8, I see the
17 Q. And that includes in military discipline all
18 acts damaging to the reputation of the armed forces; do
19 you see that?
20 A. Yes, that is what it says in line 8 of
21 Article 3.
22 Q. Brigadier, would you agree with me that a
23 commission of a war crime by an HVO member against a
24 civilian population would be something that would
25 damage the reputation of the armed forces?
1 A. Yes, but I'm not a legal man, as far as I
2 know a war crime is a criminal act.
3 Q. You're a soldier, sir, and you assist in the
4 military disciplinary courts, and going along those
5 lines; would the burning of houses by HVO soldiers,
6 burning of civilian houses by HVO soldiers, would that
7 be something that would damage the reputation of the
8 armed forces?
9 A. Yes, not only would it damage the reputation
10 of the armed forces, but it is outside the code of
11 military conduct. But I said that information of this
12 kind, the names and surnames as to who the perpetrators
13 were in Central Bosnia during the war, and even today,
14 it was impossible to arrive at those names.
15 Q. And you would also agree with me, Brigadier,
16 that forcing civilians to dig trenches or the
17 destruction of sacral monuments; those type of things
18 would also damage the reputation of the armed forces,
19 wouldn't they?
20 A. Yes, all those acts are outside the codes of
21 conduct of an organised army, trench digging and all
22 other events which occur, which have to do with
23 damaging sacral buildings, are events which emanate
24 from the times and the contents of war, that is to say,
25 the war waged in Central Bosnia. Because what
1 happened, happened in all three armies, in the HVO, in
2 the army and in the Army of the Republika Srpska.
3 However, I never justified them.
4 Q. Now, Brigadier, when Blaskic, as the
5 commander of the Central Bosnian Operative Zone, found
6 out about a crime or found out about a breach of
7 military discipline committed by a member of the HVO,
8 he had the authority and the power to initiate an
9 investigation; didn't he?
10 And I can refer you to Article 59 if you want
11 to review that before you answer.
12 A. Yes, I'll read it.
13 Q. And while you're reading 59, why don't you
14 read 60, as well, and for that matter, 61, they all go
16 A. Do you wish to ask a question related to 59?
17 Q. Well, just without reading the entire matter,
18 I mean, Article 59 allows Blaskic, upon learning of a
19 breach of the military discipline, to take all measures
20 to secure evidence and to collect evidence; isn't that
22 A. In Article 59, the possibility for launching
23 a disciplinary investigation and giving disciplinary
24 sanctions is given to the commander of a company.
25 Q. Let's read 59, Brigadier. "As soon as a
1 superior officer holding the post of company commander
2 or other post corresponding to company commander, or
3 higher, learns of a breach of discipline committed by a
4 subordinate, he shall undertake all necessary measures
5 to secure evidence and collect information relevant to
6 establishing the facts and inform his superior officer
8 So, clearly from a company commander, Blaskic
9 is higher, Blaskic has the power to order that evidence
10 be secured and order that evidence be collected; isn't
11 that right?
12 A. Yes, to order the implementation of this
13 activity to the commander of a brigade, he will then go
14 on down the line for a battalion and a company. And
15 these measures were exercised by the commanders of
17 Q. Let's look at 60. In 60 Blaskic had the
18 authority to initiate an investigation; didn't he?
19 Read the first sentence.
20 A. Yes, in Article 60 it states that a
21 disciplinary hearing against officers and
22 non-commissioned officers in the armed forces can be
23 initiated by the officers and the commander of the
24 brigade corresponding to the officers.
25 So, this leaves the possibility of the first,
1 the second and the third to do this. And at the level
2 of the open active zone we did initiate disciplinary
3 measures and procedure and disciplinary sanctions to
4 the commanders of brigades and officers in the command
5 of the battalions.
6 Q. You didn't initiate any disciplinary
7 proceedings on Ahmici; did you? Or any of the houses
8 that were burned in and around the Vitez area; did you?
9 A. Disciplinary proceedings were not implemented
10 in the cases you mentioned because we could not know
11 the names of the perpetrators.
12 Q. So, you know when somebody disappears from a
13 post, but you don't know when somebody burns a house;
14 is that right?
15 A. Well, we do know, Mr. President, because that
16 name is then sent from the commander of the brigade or
17 whatever. But these events, when we're talking about
18 criminal acts, the burning of houses, this was done
19 clandestinely, secretly, and we cannot punish the
20 commander of a brigade if he cannot arrive at the
22 We saw the order of the 18th where General
23 Blaskic ordered that all names be sent of all those who
24 burned houses, mistreated civilians and so on. But no
25 names were received in the command of the Operative
1 Zone, because the commander was not able to arrive at
2 the names. That is the problem, and that is the
3 reality, and that is the situation, and the terrible
4 situation that existed in the Lasva River Valley.
5 Q. Brigadier, let's look at Defence Exhibit
7 MR. KEHOE: I don't know, Mr. President if
8 you want to take a break now or if I can move to this
10 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, we might have a 15-minute
11 break, but then when we resume our proceedings, you
12 committed yourself to finish at 6.00; didn't you?
13 MR. KEHOE: I'm trying, Judge, I'm trying.
14 I'm on my last area, to be honest with you, this is the
15 last area of inquiry. I don't know how long this is
16 going to take, but this is a rather significant and
17 important area.
18 JUDGE JORDA: What does the Defence think of
20 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the Defence is in
21 a difficult position because it, we cannot continue to
22 plan. Last week we had a witness in The Hague
23 throughout the week and we had to return him to
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. At this point in time we don't
25 know when we're going to begin, and under these
1 circumstances, it is very difficult for us to plan our
2 future work.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Well, I'm going to discuss with
4 my fellow Judges. Thank you.
5 --- Recess taken at 5.00 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 5.27 p.m.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Please have the accused brought
8 in, and the witness, as well. Oh, he is there, fine.
9 Thank you, I'm sorry for that.
10 (The accused entered court)
11 JUDGE JORDA: Well, the Judges have ruled or
12 decided in this way: You can work until 6.00 this
13 evening and tomorrow you will be granted another 30
14 minutes, not 31 minutes, but 30 minutes tomorrow
15 morning. We shall resume our proceedings at 10.00 and
16 you can work until 10.30 sharp. I shall interrupt you
17 in the middle of a sentence just to have it finished.
18 And I have the approval, it is a unanimous decision, I
19 have the approval of my fellow Judges.
20 Thereafter, depending on the Defence's wish
21 and intentions, we shall tell them what we have
22 decided; but the idea is that we should have everything
23 finished with this witness by tomorrow evening. It's
24 up to you to get organised in your questions,
25 Mr. Prosecutor.
1 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, I'm trying.
2 I'll move quickly.
3 Q. Brigadier, let's stay with this document, the
4 Rules of Military Discipline, and sum up.
5 Article 59 notes that Blaskic, upon learning
6 of a breach, must take all measures to secure evidence
7 and collect evidence; Article 60 gives Blaskic the
8 power to initiate an investigation; and Article 61
9 gives him the power to appoint the investigator and
10 state the length of the investigation.
11 Let me show you two brief documents, if I can
12 show you at once Prosecutor Exhibit 456/75 and Defence
13 Exhibit 368.
14 A. I don't have interpretation. I didn't have
15 interpretation, I apologise.
16 Q. Let me review that again. Dealing with
17 Article 59 through 61 of the Rules of Military
18 Discipline. Article 59 gives Blaskic the power, upon
19 learning of a breach, to take measures to secure
20 evidence and collect evidence; Article 60 gives Blaskic
21 the power to initiate an investigation; and Article 61
22 gives him the power to appoint an investigator and
23 state the length of the investigation.
24 Now, I would like to direct your attention to
25 a couple of documents, 456/75 and Defence 368.
1 Take a look at this first exhibit, Exhibit
2 456/75 of 4 September 1992. And in this order Blaskic
3 is seeking information on a man by the name of Mladen
4 Cosic; is he not? Tells them to arrest him and take
5 him to prison.
6 And number 2, he says, "Prepare all necessary
7 documents for the above-named, as well as the evidence
8 to support the charges of vandalising premises in the
9 Kiseljak police building and unlawfully entering the
10 Kiseljak HVO barracks and abusing personnel while they
11 are carrying out their duties."
12 So in this particular order, Brigadier, he is
13 ordering the regional military police to find Mladen
14 Cosic, arrest him, take him to gaol and prepare an
15 investigation; isn't that right?
16 A. Yes. In this order, that is exactly all the
17 tasks that are listed.
18 Q. Now, Defence Exhibit 368, this is a document
19 you discussed during the Defence case that is directed
20 to the 4th Military Police. Blaskic has information
21 that two members of the military police are expelling
22 Muslims by force from homes, and Blaskic orders in
23 number one to conduct an investigation and take
24 disciplinary measures against the culprits; isn't that
1 A. Yes. It says here exactly the way you read
3 Q. And the deadline for that was 5 days later on
4 June the 4th -- 5 June 1993.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, Blaskic did have the power, did he not,
7 that in addition to disciplinary measures, he had the
8 power to refer a case to the military prosecutor;
9 didn't he, the district military prosecutor?
10 And refer to, if I may, Article 29 of the
11 Rules of Military Discipline. Let's read them quickly
12 because now I have less than an hour.
13 Article 29: "When an authorised officer
14 establishes that a breach of military discipline is
15 also a punishable act, the case shall be handed to an
16 authorised prosecutor through channels. If it is in
17 the interest of the service, the officer shall also
18 undertake measures to initiate disciplinary
20 2. When a violation of a military discipline
21 represents a punishable act against the armed services
22 which, pursuant to the penal code, is subject to a
23 disciplinary proceeding, the superior shall transfer
24 the case to the officer authorised to decide on the
25 breach of discipline."
1 So, in this case, Brigadier, if there is a
2 breach of discipline, Blaskic has the authority to
3 refer it to the military prosecutor; and if there is a
4 crime, a punishable act, he must refer it, in addition
5 to military discipline, as well. Isn't that right?
6 There is a dual track here.
7 A. As far as the contents of Article 29 are
8 concerned, I can add nothing more but what is said
10 Now, for me to give legal interpretation, I'm
11 not in a position to do so, because I haven't been
12 trained legally. I can't say anything more than what
13 it says here in Article 29.
14 Q. I understand. Let's turn our attention to
15 Article 69 of the Rules of Military Discipline. That,
16 read in conjunction with Article 29: Rule 69 says,
17 "When a disciplinary offence has been committed in the
18 course of a punishable action, the officer authorised
19 to bring the offender before the military disciplinary
20 court shall decide whether the service's special
21 interests require that the offender also be brought
22 before the military disciplinary court for disciplinary
23 offence. If the service's interests do not require
24 that the offender be brought before the military
25 disciplinary court, the officer, as described in
1 paragraph 1, shall suspend the military disciplinary
2 proceeding and bring the punishable action to the
3 authorised public Prosecutor."
4 So, suffice it to say that if someone commits
5 a crime in the HVO, Blaskic can refer it to military
6 discipline and take disciplinary measures on that
7 soldier; can't he?
8 In other words, if someone is convicted of
9 murder, and is convicted in the military disciplinary
10 courts, Blaskic also can throw the person out of the
11 HVO through the military disciplinary courts; can't he?
12 A. I cannot clarify this any more than what
13 Article 69 actually says. I can give an answer in
14 terms of a specific case, in terms of the order that
15 was given by the commander, in terms of 256; but what
16 Article 69 says is what I can read out, too. I can
17 apply it in a specific case, in practice. For me to
18 give legal interpretation, really.
19 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, Mr. President, it
20 seems to me that this line of questioning, in my
21 opinion, is pointless. This witness, who does not have
22 any legal knowledge, is asked for the interpretation of
23 a law. The law is self-explanatory. I really don't
24 see why this witness should be reading this now and be
25 giving legal interpretations.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, the Defence witness
2 already answered in similar terms, no need for you to
3 repeat it.
4 But I think that this question is relevant.
5 Do not forget that the witnesses was the Deputy of the
6 military prosecutor; therefore, he had some degree of
7 knowledge and training, and he was to understand and
8 know the rules. Was he not appointed? Did he not
9 exert the function of Deputy of the military
10 prosecutor? Did he not have functions in relation to
11 the military prosecutor? I must have misheard
13 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the military
14 prosecutor is a person who is a lawyer and who is in
15 charge of proceedings, but the witness was involved in
16 disciplinary proceedings.
17 JUDGE JORDA: That's what I'm saying, he had
18 some function. He was appointed within the Blaskic
19 staff, Blaskic was then Colonel, if I'm not mistaken,
20 but the witness is going to answer himself.
21 Did you or did you not exert the function of
22 deputy to the military prosecutor? Or did I
23 misunderstand something?
24 A. Mr. President, you understood me well. I was
25 deputy military prosecutor. But what is this post?
1 That is to say, if the prosecutor is not there, whose
2 deputy I am, then I assume this role.
3 But, Mr. President, just one more thing: In
4 the military disciplinary court, there was a person who
5 was a lawyer and whose job was to prepare everything
6 for us. And we, as members, came there primarily
7 because of the level of post that we had, and to judge
8 it from a military point of view, but there was a legal
9 person there who brought all of this together, all the
10 things that the prosecutor is questioning me about.
11 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I have to refute
12 what my witness is saying. The military prosecutor is
13 in charge of criminal proceedings.
14 MR. KEHOE: I've got an hour here, Judge.
15 JUDGE JORDA: I would rather you correct the
16 witness than correct the Judge, Mr. Nobilo. I would
17 prefer you to correct your witness, rather than the
18 Judge. So I did understand what the witness had said.
19 A. Mr. President, Mr. President, disciplinary,
20 I'm sorry, it was a slip of the tongue. It was a
21 disciplinary court and disciplinary prosecutor, I'm
22 sorry, that is what it says here in writing, too.
23 MR. KEHOE:
24 Q. Brigadier, suffice it to say that if an event
25 occurs, that particular event, committed by a HVO
1 soldier, can be sent to the disciplinary court, Blaskic
2 can refer it to the military prosecutor, or he can
3 refer it to the military district courts; can't he? He
4 can do all those things.
5 A. In these provisions that you read to me, that
6 is the way I understand it.
7 However, in order to get to this situation,
8 one has to have certain authority, in terms of
9 pronouncing disciplinary action. Subordinate officers
10 had that responsibility, too, that is to say, of a
11 company, and of a brigade, too.
12 So, that is to say, that if this, if an
13 entire case would get to the level of commander of the
14 Operative Zone, and if it would be in line with the
15 contents that you are referring to, then it could be
16 so, then the military prosecutor could take action.
17 Q. Then, let us talk about the other document on
18 the first tab, which is the decree on the armed forces
19 by the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna, and we
20 referred to these two provisions. It should be Tab 1
21 in that book right there. That's right. Turn to page
22 18 in that.
23 Now, under appropriate circumstances, in N
24 addition to the discipline of -- that we just talked
25 about, the disciplinary courts, the military courts or
1 the military prosecutor, Blaskic had the authority to
2 relieve commanders, to appoint and dismiss commanders
3 should he so desire; is that right? I refer you to
4 Article 29, subdivision 7, and Article 34.
5 A. On the basis of these provisions that you
6 refer to and in line with the authority vested in
7 general Blaskic, that is to say, according to these
8 rules, formally, legally, he did have the authority to
9 appoint and dismiss certain commanders, but when
10 appointment and dismissal of commanders are concerned,
11 this was referred to to quite an extent before this
12 court. The law was carried out in such a way that the
13 commander, General Blaskic, could not, in reality, in
14 practice, carry out all the responsibilities stemming
15 from this provision.
16 What happened in practice? General Blaskic
17 had to be in a position to strike a balance, as it
18 were, between the authority he had and the actual state
19 of affairs in the place where he was. So in terms of
20 this balance, there was, on the one hand, the authority
21 of the municipal authorities, that is to say whether
22 somebody could be the commander of a brigade or not.
23 General Blaskic persevered and he wrote out orders
24 based on these legal provisions, because in this way
25 also he wished to set up the organisation and structure
1 that was supposed to be there. However, as far as
2 dismissal is concerned, that is all I can say.
3 Q. Well, based on the documents we've just read,
4 upon learning that a member of the HVO committed a
5 criminal offence or a serious breach of discipline,
6 Blaskic had the power and authority to initiate an
7 investigation, gather evidence, refer the matter to the
8 district military prosecutor, refer the matter to
9 the military disciplinary courts, relieve the offender
10 of his command, and he also had the power to arrest
11 him; isn't that right? He had all of those powers at
12 his disposal; correct?
13 A. I'm waiting for your question.
14 Q. Well, he had all those powers; did he not?
15 He had the power to initiate an investigation. He had
16 the power to collect evidence in the investigation. He
17 had the power to appoint an investigator. He had the
18 power to refer the matter to the military district
19 prosecutor or the military district court. He had the
20 power to refer to the military disciplinary court. He
21 also had the power to relieve an offender of his
22 command, and last but not least, the power he exercised
23 somewhat freely, he had the power to arrest, order that
24 somebody was arrested; isn't that so?
25 A. That is exactly what it says in these
2 Q. Okay. Now, let's turn our attention to the
3 rules of the military district court and Blaskic's
4 obligation vis-à-vis the military district court, if I
6 Now, I want to look at these documents in
7 conjunction with the rules on military discipline, if
8 we could. And if you could flip back with me for one
9 amendment back to the Rules of Military Discipline, and
10 I refer to you Article 59.
11 Now, as we noted at the outset, Article 59
12 notes that upon learning of a breach, the commander
13 such as Blaskic should take all measures to secure
14 evidence and collect evidence.
15 Let us look at that in conjunction with the
16 document that is before you now, the rules on the
17 military district courts, if we could, and I direct
18 your attention to Article 27.
19 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Exhibit P534, 534A
20 for the English version.
21 MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. Looking at Article 27 on the decree on rules
23 of -- district military court, and Article 27 reads as
24 follows: "The commander of a military unit or military
25 institution shall be required to undertake all measures
1 at preventing the perpetrator of a criminal act,
2 officially prosecuted, from hiding or fleeing lest the
3 traces of the crime or the objects used in the process
4 of committing it, which can serve as evidence, be
5 lost. The commander is also required to collect all
6 information that can be used in a criminal
8 So that is consistent with the Rules of
9 Military Discipline that Blaskic, as the commander, has
10 got responsibility to secure and collect evidence;
11 isn't that right, Brigadier?
12 A. Yes. General Blaskic asked his subordinates
13 to give him proof about all events that pertain to
14 breach of military discipline. However, we saw what he
15 got; rather, that he did not get anything practically.
16 Q. Well, Brigadier, let's go through exactly
17 what we have at this juncture, and now, with that piece
18 of information, I ask you again to refer back to the
19 Rules of Military Discipline, and in Article 60, as it
20 pertains to the military district court, Blaskic had an
21 obligation, under certain circumstances, to initiate
22 the investigation for military disciplinary courts;
23 didn't he? Look at Article 60 on the Rules of Military
24 Discipline. And continue down, and 61, again, we
25 mention the fact that he had the power to appoint an
1 investigator and determine the length of the
2 investigation. And let us turn to Article 67, a
3 particular document that we haven't discussed before,
4 which notes that upon receiving the results of the
5 investigation, Blaskic had the authority to have the
6 offender brought before the military disciplinary
7 court. And last but not least, on 94 and 95 of the
8 Rules on Military Discipline, Blaskic was the one who
9 supervised the work of the military district court and
10 the Prosecutors; isn't that right? And I refer you to
11 both of those.
12 A. No, no.
13 Q. Okay. Rules 94 and 95 of the Rules on
14 Military Discipline. Take a look at those.
15 A. Article 94 mentions the military disciplinary
17 Q. That's what I'm talking about. I may have
18 misspoke. I'm talking about the military disciplinary
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Okay. So in addition to all the other powers
22 that he had, Blaskic supervised the work of the
23 military disciplinary courts and the Prosecutors in
24 that court such as yourself?
25 A. Yes, that is what it says.
1 Q. Now, on top of that, when it comes to dealing
2 with the district military courts, Blaskic, even though
3 he wasn't directly involved in the military -- excuse
4 me, in the district military courts, nonetheless had
5 some obligations to arrest; didn't he?
6 A. It says that it is so in these rules, and I'm
7 going to tell you in practice something that I know was
8 done. The district military court issued -- allowed
9 General Blaskic to arrest some of the perpetrators of a
10 criminal act, and had they authorised Blaskic to do so,
11 I think that he would have done so, along with the
12 Military Police, or in some other way had they
13 authorised -- asked him to do so, he would have done
14 so, or if they did not want to come peaceably, force
15 would have been applied.
16 Q. Certainly, Brigadier, as far as the military
17 disciplinary courts went, Blaskic had the authority to
18 arrest anybody he wanted; isn't that right?
19 A. I cannot affirm that this is so, that he
20 could have arrested anybody he wanted, I'm not a legal
21 man, but if to arrest somebody if you do not have
22 arguments that this is not in compliance with the law.
23 Q. Well, sir, let me just talk for one moment,
24 and we'll just digress for one second on the military
25 disciplinary courts before we go back to Blaskic's
1 power to arrest. And in one of exhibits -- and if I
2 can show the witness Defence Exhibit 235.
3 Now, you noted in this exhibit that the
4 commander in Zepce was looking to have a military
5 district prosecutor's office get involved with a number
6 of criminal offences in that area; isn't that right?
7 A. I did not say so. As far as I recall, and I
8 think that I remember correctly, I remember the
9 document and my statement made to the Defence, I said
10 that the assistant for information activities issue a
11 request to be given additional information on the
12 activities to move criminal -- disciplinary proceedings
13 against the perpetrators or the offenders if a
14 disciplinary error or offence has been committed. The
15 reason he asked for this was that we were cut off,
16 which means that we were not able to function
18 Q. Well, notwithstanding being cut off, the
19 ability of the military district courts to operate in
20 areas that were cut off was very effective; was it
22 A. I cannot confirm that, but I personally think
23 that it was not, and I do not know whether the military
24 district court could have been effective, and whether
25 it was effective in the Zepce area and the Kiseljak
1 area. That organisation of the military district court
2 is something that I do not know about.
3 Q. Well, Brigadier, let me show you a couple of
4 documents, if I can have these marked, if I can. These
5 are two documents dated the 10th of September, 1993,
6 and the 29th of October, 1993.
7 THE REGISTRAR: For the document dated 29th
8 of October, 1993, it will be marked 536. As to the
9 document of the 10th of September, 1993, the document
10 will be marked P535.
11 MR. KEHOE:
12 Q. Now, Brigadier, take a look at these two
13 documents. Now, Brigadier, these documents refer to
14 the military -- excuse me, the district military court,
15 and the first document, Exhibit 535, is an order of the
16 10th September, 1993, in the Vares municipality. Now,
17 like Zepce, Vares was an enclave that was cut off;
18 isn't that right?
19 A. Yes, that's right.
20 Q. Now, let's take a look at this. On the 10th
21 of September, 1993, there is a request -- an order for
22 temporary provisions of rooms. The order is given:
23 "You are hereby ordered immediately to make available
24 one courtroom and four empty rooms with the necessary
25 furnishings, which will be used temporarily by the
1 Chamber of the Travnik military district court based in
2 Vares, and the deputy military district prosecutor."
3 Now, this is signed by Anto Picinovic, is
4 that right, with the -- and the seal? Do you see
6 A. Yes, I see that. I am looking at this
7 document for the first time. I see it for the first
9 Q. I understand, sir. Do you recognise that
11 A. With this stamp -- I did not have occasion to
12 encounter this stamp in my work.
13 Q. Well, do you know Mr. Picinovic?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Okay. Let's move to the next document, 536,
16 which is 29 October, 1993, again discussing the
17 district military court. "Pursuant to the conclusion
18 number, dated 20 August, 1993 of the Croatian Community
19 of Herceg-Bosna, a Chamber of the district military
20 court based in Vares was established and three Judges
21 appointed. The Chamber began work on 10 September,
22 1993. In order for the Chamber to operate in
23 conformity with the laws on criminal procedure, it is
24 necessary to designate an official defence attorney for
25 persons who are to be tried before this court."
1 So pursuant to a decree on the 20th of August
2 of 1993, a Chamber began work in Vares on the 10th of
3 September of 1993 as this report reflects, dated the
4 29th of October, 1993.
5 A. From this document we cannot see whether the
6 Chamber actually began work, whether the Court began
7 work. It refers to a conclusion based on the Travnik
8 district military court, et cetera, et cetera, and that
9 it says it began work. I cannot say anything more than
10 what is written in the text, and I said that the
11 organisation, and location and actions of the district
12 military court, I don't know about that.
13 Q. Well, would you agree with me, Brigadier,
14 that this military court was set up very quickly after
15 the decree was -- came down on the 20th of August. I
16 mean, this Chamber started work on the 10th of
17 September of 1993 in a place that was cut off from
18 Vitez, such as Zepce was cut off from Vitez.
19 A. I cannot confirm whether the court started --
20 whether it existed in Vares, whether it was in Zepce,
21 because I have no information on that, because the
22 district military court was outside the organisation of
23 the army, and as far as I know, the military district
24 court was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of
25 Justice, and the operative zone was within the
1 jurisdiction of the Defence Ministry, which means that
2 we did not have any organisational, or, I think,
3 functional links with that particular court.
4 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I don't know what
5 time Your Honours are going to continue to.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Well, you'll be given 30
7 minutes tomorrow, Mr. Kehoe. Does this question of the
8 military court -- are you finished with it or you're
9 about to finish it?
10 MR. KEHOE: With regard to military district
11 court, I'm finished it, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Well, fine. We are going to
13 put an end to this hearing, and we shall resume our
14 work tomorrow morning, at 10.00 tomorrow morning. The
15 hearing is adjourned.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
17 6.02 p.m. to be reconvened on Tuesday,
18 the 27th day of October, 1998 at
19 10.00 a.m.