Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 16674

1 Monday, 11th January, 1999

2 (Open session)

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.

4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar,

5 have the accused brought in, please.

6 (The accused entered court)

7 JUDGE JORDA: First, I would like to say good

8 afternoon to the interpreters and to wish them a Happy

9 New Year, as I would like to wish everybody involved in

10 this trial. I'd like to also be sure that everybody

11 hears me. Very well. I think that each person would

12 like to wish the other person the best wishes for our

13 colleague who is not here today. He is still in the

14 hospital, in fact, and we will set up a closed session

15 as soon as we feel it is appropriate, and what we

16 discuss during those conferences will determine what

17 we're going to do later on.

18 Let me first turn now to the Defence counsel

19 and ask them what the programme or the schedule is

20 today for hearing witnesses, for today and for the rest

21 of the week. Perhaps there will not be any hearings on

22 Wednesday, at least not in the morning, and that there

23 would possibly be no hearing in the afternoon on

24 Wednesday either, but that will still be confirmed.

25 Mr. Hayman, do you wish to make a statement?

Page 16675

1 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, thank you, Mr. President.

2 Good afternoon, Judge Shahabuddeen.

3 We have a witness here today. We would like

4 to proceed by deposition as we have in the past. In

5 fact, our witnesses for this week are either here or

6 are en route, and given the tickets and visas that have

7 been obtained, we would like to proceed this week via

8 deposition. We would like to reserve the question of

9 next week until some further discussion with the Court

10 is had. We don't know if we want to proceed next week

11 or not.

12 That does affect our disclosure obligation to

13 the Prosecutor. If we haven't resolved that today,

14 today is the seventh day before next Monday, so if

15 we're going to proceed Monday, a week from today, we

16 need to give notice to the Prosecutor of the witness or

17 witnesses who would appear on that day. So I advise

18 Your Honours of that scheduling deadline that we, the

19 Defence, face.

20 Thank you.

21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, do you have any

22 comments you want to make about what has just been

23 said? If I've understood correctly, this will be a

24 regular week this week, I'm saying this for the public

25 gallery because the public gallery has to be aware of

Page 16676

1 what is being done in the courtroom, but exceptionally,

2 we could, pursuant to one of the Rules of our Rules of

3 Procedure and Evidence, which says that in case one of

4 the Judges is not available, the two other Judges may

5 hear, in deposition form, the witnesses and then report

6 on what they heard to their colleague. In other words,

7 the Trial Chamber designates court officers, and that's

8 why we're not in our robes now.

9 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Mr. President,

10 Judge Shahabuddeen, counsel.

11 Mr. President, we have no objection to

12 proceeding by deposition. That has been our position

13 in the past. It remains our position and will remain

14 our position in the future. Obviously, it's important

15 to be apprised as soon as possible of the witnesses in

16 the future, and we would invite the Court to assist us

17 in advancing that issue as quickly as possible.

18 Thank you very much.

19 JUDGE JORDA: All right. First we will think

20 about this, that is, myself with Judge Shahabuddeen.

21 For the witnesses who are going to come now,

22 Mr. Hayman, about how much time do you need, that is,

23 the one who is supposed to testify this afternoon.

24 Mr. Nobilo?

25 MR. NOBILO: Good afternoon, Your Honours,

Page 16677

1 about an hour and a half, two hours at the most for the

2 examination-in-chief.

3 JUDGE JORDA: Which means that we could hope

4 to finish with the examination-in-chief and the

5 cross-examination by tomorrow morning, and if there is

6 no hearing on Wednesday, we might have a Status

7 Conference tomorrow afternoon, we will see as the trial

8 proceeds, which would allow the Defence to organise

9 itself in respect of disclosure and the notifications

10 that it is required to provide to the Prosecutor.

11 Judge Shahabuddeen, did you wish to say

12 something?

13 All right. Having said this, we will think

14 about this issue, that is, Judge Shahabuddeen and

15 myself, and in the meantime, we will think in light of

16 the news that we receive from our colleague whom you

17 know had to be operated on.

18 Having said this, I think we can now have the

19 witness brought in.

20 (The witness entered court)

21 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, sir? Please

22 remain standing for a few more minutes. Tell us your

23 name, your first name, your profession, your age, where

24 you were born, and where you reside because you are not

25 covered by protective measures, and then you will take

Page 16678

1 an oath.

2 THE WITNESS: My name is Marinko Palavra. I

3 was born in Travnik in October 1959.

4 JUDGE JORDA: What is your profession,

5 please?

6 THE WITNESS: Before the war, I was a

7 gymnastics teacher, physical education, and at present,

8 I work in the Federal Defence Ministry attached to the

9 HVO, and my duties and assignments are chief of

10 military police in the security sector.

11 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. The usher

12 is now going to give you the oath that you are expected

13 to read. Please proceed.

14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

15 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

16 truth.

17 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You may be seated

18 now.

19 You have agreed to come to the Tribunal at

20 the request of the Defence in the trial at the

21 International Criminal Tribunal of General Blaskic, who

22 at the time of the alleged crimes was a colonel, and he

23 is here in this courtroom on your left. First of all,

24 you are going to answer the questions that the Defence

25 counsel, Mr. Nobilo, is going to ask you, and then the

Page 16679

1 Prosecutor will ask you some questions, and the Judges

2 may ask you questions as well.

3 Mr. Nobilo, proceed, please.

4 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.


6 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

7 Q. Mr. Palavra, you have already said where you

8 were born, and I'd like to ask you now, by way of an

9 introduction, to give us a little more detail about

10 yourself. Tell us, up until the war, which schools did

11 you attend and what did you do until the outbreak of

12 the war conflicts in Bosnia-Herzegovina? Please

13 address yourself to the Judges.

14 A. Your Honours, I went to primary school in

15 Nova Bila. After that, I went to Travnik where I did

16 my secondary professional training. After that, I

17 began working in the Boris Travnik Combine as a

18 craftsman. I was there for about one year. Then I

19 went to join up with the former Yugoslav People's Army,

20 and after completing my military service, I remained in

21 Belgrad and studied at the Higher School of Pedagogy,

22 physical culture and physical education, and I became a

23 gymnastics teacher.

24 Unfortunately, I was not able to continue my

25 education because my father had seven children. I went

Page 16680

1 back to Travnik and began working at the primary school

2 there, and I worked for one year, after which I went to

3 Han Bila, the school there, and I was also a gymnastics

4 teacher there.

5 For the last one and a half years, I was the

6 director, the headmaster, of the school in Han Bila

7 when the war broke out, and in the war, I received my

8 assignments and duties.

9 Q. Before we go on to discuss the war years, may

10 I ask you to speak as slowly as possible so that our

11 interpreters could translate what you're saying

12 exactly.

13 As you've told us about working with children

14 in primary schools as a teacher, you were also a judo

15 competitor and a judo trainer, coach. Could you tell

16 us a few words about that activity of yours?

17 A. Your Honours, I started practicing judo in

18 1974, and right up until the beginning of the war, I

19 won state medals, that is to say, the medals given for

20 the sport by the former Yugoslavia for my category, and

21 I was the multiple champion of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

22 Q. You have a black belt, do you not?

23 A. Yes. I am a black belt holder and was for

24 many years a coach in the Nova Bila Judo Club.

25 Q. Would you just mention the functions you held

Page 16681

1 during the war up until the time when you were

2 appointed commander of the 4th Battalion of the

3 military police, because your testimony will relate to

4 the time after which you became commander. So from the

5 beginning of the war up until the time you took over

6 your assignments with the military police, could you

7 tell us your duties in Travnik and where you lived?

8 A. From the municipal command of the HVO Travnik

9 and the commander of the Travnik brigade, the late

10 Ivica Stojak, I was given my assignments, and I was

11 told to set up a military police at the municipal

12 level, and I performed this duty, that is, from April

13 1992 up until September 1992, I was in the military

14 police of the HVO of Travnik. That was the municipal

15 police. After that, I was transferred to the police

16 station in Travnik.

17 Q. That is the civilian police?

18 A. Yes, it's the civilian police force. I went

19 to the Travnik police station, I was transferred there,

20 and there I became commander of the Special Purposes

21 Unit attached to the police station of Travnik. I

22 performed this function up until the beginning of the

23 conflicts between the HVO and what was, at the time,

24 the Muslim forces in Travnik.

25 After that, with part of the unit, I was

Page 16682

1 transferred via Bukovica to the free territory of the

2 municipality of Travnik which was controlled by members

3 of the HVO, and I stayed there until the 1st of August,

4 1993.

5 Let me mention at this point that when I came

6 from Travnik, the unit that I commanded went in two

7 directions, followed two directions. The wounded and,

8 unfortunately, those who were killed remained in

9 Travnik, and the wounded were transferred across

10 Vlasic, and the other part of the unit went with me

11 across Bukovica, and we were placed at the disposal of

12 the command of the Travnik brigade of that time.

13 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now let's go on to

14 the main part of your testimony. Could you explain to

15 the Court when and how you were engaged and appointed

16 commander of the regional military police or the 4th

17 Battalion of the military police in the Operative Zone

18 of Central Bosnia?

19 A. When I arrived in the Travnik brigade, I was

20 placed at the disposal of the commander of the Travnik

21 brigade. My work in the Travnik brigade in the

22 operations department was for the next two months, and

23 then I was ordered, received orders, by the commander

24 of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, Colonel

25 Blaskic, and I was ordered to be transferred to the 4th

Page 16683

1 Battalion of the military police in Vitez.

2 Prior to that, they held consultations with

3 me in the Travnik brigade, and along with agreement

4 from the head of the police department of Travnik

5 allowing me to become the commander of the 4th

6 Battalion, acquiescing, and, of course, I had to give

7 my own agreement as well to perform this new function

8 at the level of the Operative Zone for Central Bosnia,

9 and, as I say, I was elected to be commander of the 4th

10 Battalion.

11 Q. Tell us, please, what was this order from

12 Colonel Blaskic? Was it standard practice? Was it

13 usual for the commander of the Operative Zone to

14 appoint the commander of the 4th Battalion or was this

15 an exception? Would you explain this to the Court?

16 A. Were there normal conditions, I would have

17 got this order from the military police, but as it was,

18 I was given my orders within the encirclement of

19 Central Bosnia, the Muslim army, at a meeting in the

20 Operative Zone. And Colonel Blaskic, with his

21 commanders, the brigade commanders, having tried and

22 tested me and performed this procedure, gave his

23 agreement, and they appointed me temporarily as

24 commander of the 4th Battalion of the military police.

25 Q. When you say that Blaskic appointed you

Page 16684

1 temporarily, what does that mean? Were you given an

2 order later on from your superior officer in charge?

3 A. Yes, I was nominated and appointed later on.

4 I received my nomination as commander of the 4th

5 Battalion. There were no problems.

6 Q. Who appointed you?

7 A. The head of the military police.

8 Q. When did this appointment take place? Can

9 you remember?

10 A. The appointment was dated the 1st of August,

11 1993 which means that they confirmed my appointment.

12 Q. Tell us, please, the head of the department

13 of the military police, where was that located?

14 A. The headquarters were located in Ljubusko.

15 Q. That is in Herzegovina, is it not?

16 A. Yes, it is, in Herzegovina. And in view of

17 the fact that there was no physical link between the

18 units, we remained detached in the territory of Central

19 Bosnia so that the rules governing the military police,

20 the most responsible individual in the zone of

21 responsibility was the commander of the Operative Zone.

22 Q. We'll say a little more about that later on.

23 Tell us now, please, we have to wait for the

24 interpretation, when you agreed to take up your duties

25 as commander of the military police, can you describe

Page 16685

1 to me your first contacts with Colonel Blaskic? What

2 did he tell you, what did he expect you to do, and why

3 did the subsequent changes take place?

4 A. In the Travnik brigade, workers came from the

5 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia. They came to the

6 Travnik brigade, and this was under the command of

7 Colonel Blaskic. And I remember that this operations

8 officer in charge of personnel came and told me that I

9 had been elected to be appointed commander of the 4th

10 Battalion, that I had passed all the tests necessary

11 for this post, and that Colonel Blaskic had sent them

12 to come to me to see if I, myself, agreed to the new

13 appointment. Of course, I was told the situation,

14 described the situation, and I accepted the

15 appointment.

16 So with my agreement, after having agreed, I

17 went to the commander of the Central Bosnia Operative

18 Zone, that is to say, to Colonel Blaskic himself. I

19 was received by Colonel Blaskic. I was received by

20 him. It was a sort of initial meeting to get to know

21 each other, and at that meeting, I was surprised

22 because Colonel Blaskic congratulated me straight away

23 on my new appointment, and I quote, he said, "I

24 congratulate you. You have temporarily become a

25 commander of the 4th Battalion. You have the most

Page 16686

1 responsible task to perform, the most responsible

2 function in the Operative Zone." I was not even aware

3 of the actual words he said on the occasion, and that's

4 what the working meeting with Colonel Blaskic was like

5 to begin with.

6 In the beginning, Colonel Blaskic gave me his

7 vision or a cross-section of the existing state of

8 affairs in the military police force and gave me his

9 vision of what he would like the military police to be,

10 how he saw it, and this was reflected in the following

11 activities: First of all, he said that he was not

12 satisfied with the state of affairs within the military

13 police in Central Bosnia and that the military police

14 must, in the shortest space of time possible, become

15 reintegrated. Furthermore, he said ...

16 Q. Please continue.

17 A. That the military police must be a popular

18 police force, and that meant that in the area

19 controlled by the HVO, it must not view only one side

20 and one nation. It must be a completely national

21 police force because in the Lasva Valley, there were

22 the Serbs, the Croats, the Muslims, and the rest, and,

23 therefore, the military police must work according to

24 the letter of the law and according to its competencies

25 and authorisations and that there were no Croats,

Page 16687

1 Serbs, and Muslims, but that it must protect the

2 property of one and all, of all the people living on

3 the territory of Central Bosnia, regardless of

4 ethnicity.

5 At the same time, Colonel Blaskic said that

6 the military police must be a regional police force in

7 the true sense of the word because the situation as it

8 was was not a satisfactory one which means that the

9 military policemen and in the military police, that

10 there must be enough room for everyone, for the people

11 of Travnik, officers from Travnik, officers from

12 Kakanj, from Jajce, and for everyone.

13 At the same time, Colonel Blaskic said that

14 in the military police force, there were a certain

15 number, a considerable number, of military policemen

16 who did not fulfil their code of conduct as policemen

17 and that they must, as soon as possible, get rid of

18 people like that, of individuals like that. And I

19 remember him emphasising the fact that in our region,

20 that is to say, in the Lasva River Valley, there were

21 units from different countries of Europe and the world

22 who had come there on assignment. They did not come of

23 their own free will but they came to fulfil a set

24 assignment. And at that time, UNPROFOR was stationed

25 there and various other international organisations

Page 16688

1 such as the UNHCR, the Red Cross, and the European

2 Monitors, they were all present. And Colonel Blaskic

3 said that the military police must and that it was its

4 task and duty to do so, that is to say, to protect both

5 property and the lives of people living in the region

6 because they were doing their job ...

7 Q. Tell me, please, I think that there was --

8 that something was not quite clear in the

9 interpretation. When he said that you should protect,

10 did he have in mind the international organisations you

11 mentioned, the Red Cross, the UNHCR, the European

12 monitors and UNPROFOR?

13 A. Yes. He emphasised that in our region, there

14 were organisations of this kind, such as UNPROFOR, the

15 various humanitarian organisations, the UNHCR, the

16 European monitors, and it was our duty at all times to

17 protect those people because there were cases where

18 people had some troubles and problems, so that we had

19 to protect the property and lives of those people.

20 That was our task.

21 Q. Tell us, please, when he talked to you about

22 regional representation for the military policemen, did

23 he indicate the command, in particular?

24 A. Yes, I did not have time to say that. He

25 said that I must pay attention to true regional

Page 16689

1 representation for everyone in all the brigades that

2 were active in Central Bosnia, that is to say, the

3 military police must be composed of members of all the

4 brigades, especially the command of the 4th Battalion.

5 There were about 70 per cent -- 70 per cent represented

6 cadres from Busovaca and that that was not how it

7 should be and that there should be reorganisation in

8 the ranks.

9 Q. Did Blaskic explain why it was important to

10 have a balance and equal representation from all the

11 brigades and all parts of the Lasva enclave? Why was

12 this important?

13 A. Yes, he did explain why this was important.

14 He said that in the military police, and I saw for

15 myself on the spot that the situation was like that,

16 there was a certain amount of what I would call

17 localism on the part of the military policemen so that

18 they were linked to their own localities, their places

19 of residence, where they lived and worked, and that's

20 how they had behaved.

21 Q. What you want to say is that they were

22 lenient towards their relatives and so on --

23 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Counsel. Giving the

24 answer to the witness before the question is asked or

25 in the question isn't proper, Mr. President, so I would

Page 16690

1 just ask that in the form of the question, counsel ask

2 the question as opposed to providing the answer as

3 well.

4 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, in general, that would be

5 a better thing to do, but this was not really very

6 serious. The witness is one of those witnesses who

7 really knows why he came to testify, but having said

8 this, it is true that it would be better if you were to

9 try not to influence the witness, Mr. Nobilo.

10 MR. NOBILO: All right. I just tried to

11 speed things up a bit, but there's no problem

12 whatsoever.

13 Q. Tell me --

14 JUDGE JORDA: I knew that you were going to

15 say that to me, Mr. Nobilo. I knew you were going to

16 say that to me.

17 MR. NOBILO: We've known each other for too

18 long now. I think we should get this trial over with.

19 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, absolutely. All right.

20 Ask your question properly and don't try to suggest the

21 answer to the witness. Proceed, please.

22 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Thank you.

23 Q. When you use the expression "localism," what

24 do you mean or what did Colonel Blaskic mean when

25 saying that?

Page 16691

1 A. Localism, at that time, well, quite a few

2 people were brought in. Quite a few people were

3 brought in by the military police. And some were

4 brought in, others were not brought in. They would not

5 bring in people who were their friends or neighbours,

6 so certain assignments were not carried out right, so

7 an attempt was made to reorganise the military police,

8 to have people from all regions --

9 Q. When you're saying "brought in," you're

10 trying to say brought into custody?

11 A. Yes, that's what I mean, brought into

12 custody, people who had committed crimes allegedly or,

13 rather, being taken to a military investigation prison,

14 and disciplinary measures were not really taken by

15 commanders, for instance.

16 Q. Thank you. Did Blaskic mention some other

17 things to you that you would have to do during a

18 certain period of time?

19 A. Well, yes, you interrupted me really.

20 Colonel Blaskic also said that one had to go to the

21 military police units to monitor what the situation

22 actually was, that I should go and see for myself what

23 the situation was and that I should propose certain

24 measures or, rather, that we should try to carry out

25 that which is better.

Page 16692

1 Q. Tell me which military police units did you

2 have available in the Lasva River Valley? Could you

3 please enumerate them for us?

4 A. After the meeting, which took about 40

5 minutes, I went straight away to the command of the 4th

6 Battalion of the military police. It was in the

7 building where the civilian police of the Vitez

8 municipality was, but it was upstairs.

9 I called a meeting of all the commanders of

10 the companies, and at that time, I only had under my

11 control the Lasva River Valley where the first company

12 of the military police was, the first active company,

13 and also the first company of the traffic police and,

14 naturally, the command.

15 I omitted to mention something. Colonel

16 Blaskic also told me at this meeting, because I had not

17 known that before, that I would have problems with the

18 second and third companies because there are no

19 physical contacts with them.

20 Q. Could you please tell the Court, from a

21 territorial point of view, where was the second company

22 and where was the third company and where were the

23 companies of -- the first company, rather, and the

24 first active company?

25 A. The first active company was in Vitez. The

Page 16693

1 command of the company was at the hotel. The first

2 company of the general military police was stationed in

3 Nova Bila. And platoons of the general military police

4 of the first company were in Busovaca, one platoon was

5 there, Vitez, Nova Bila and Novi Travnik.

6 The second company of the military police was

7 stationed in the area of Kiseljak, that is to say in

8 the operation zone -- I don't remember what the name

9 was of the second group. And then there was this third

10 company of the military police, it was, from a

11 territorial point of view, in Zepce. The commander

12 down there, to the best of my knowledge of the

13 operative group, was General Ivo Lazaric, and in

14 Kiseljak it was Ivica Rajic.

15 Q. Could you please tell the Court, these

16 commanders of the second and third companies from Zepce

17 and Kiseljak, when did you first see them physically?

18 When did you actually meet them?

19 A. I did not know the commanders of the second

20 and third companies at all, because I was physically

21 separated from them and there was no accessibility at

22 all, because this entire area of Central Bosnia was

23 fragmented. This was during the aggression, that is to

24 say during the attack of the Muslim forces on those

25 areas where Croats lived. And I didn't have any

Page 16694

1 communications, really, except sometimes from the

2 communication centre in Vitez I would sometimes receive

3 reports that were sent to me by parcel from Kiseljak,

4 and from Zepce very seldom. So as far as Kiseljak and

5 Zepce are concerned, I first went there after the

6 cease-fire was signed between the HVO units and the BiH

7 Army units. That was in April, May 1994. That is the

8 first time I saw the commanders, and I was supposed to

9 be their superior officer, in fact. But since I was

10 unable to command them, I -- they were subordinated to

11 the commanders of the groups in the places I mentioned,

12 that is to say Kiseljak and Zepce.

13 Q. Could you please explain to the Court, after

14 this conversation and after you realised what the

15 situation was in the military police and the military

16 police units that were accessible to you personally,

17 could you summarise the situation that you found

18 there? What was the situation like in the military

19 police of the Lasva River Valley?

20 A. After the meeting -- rather, after I was

21 received by General Blaskic, at that time Colonel

22 Blaskic, naturally I agreed with practically everything

23 that we discussed at the Operative Zone, and I went out

24 to carry out my tasks, and I only went to see the area

25 of the Lasva River Valley where the headquarters

Page 16695

1 actually was, that is to say the two companies were

2 there as well. I convened a meeting of the commanders

3 of the companies and I told them that I would call on

4 their units and their objective was to get together as

5 many military policemen as possible in order to have

6 meetings with them and to set the guidelines as to what

7 should be done in the future. Unfortunately, there

8 were very few people who responded and who came to

9 these meetings because the Muslim units kept attacking

10 all the time in the area of Central Bosnia. Many

11 people were assigned to carry out defence duty and the

12 situation I found was as follows: A large number of

13 military policemen were at the frontline precisely

14 because of these attacks. Military policemen went home

15 once a week, and this is a fact that was established,

16 and they did that openly to take a bath, to wash up, to

17 see their families. And the very same day they would

18 return to their units and then they would try to get

19 some rest there and prepare for the next shift and for

20 going back to the frontline. There were very few

21 military policemen who were actually doing military

22 police work.

23 I also established that very few military

24 policemen did military police work precisely for the

25 mentioned reason, that is to say because there were so

Page 16696

1 many attacks in the area of Central Bosnia. I had

2 quite a few of my men killed and also quite a few

3 military policemen were wounded and there were new --

4 there were no new replacements coming in from

5 anywhere. Simply everyone was involved.

6 The situation in the brigades, I established

7 that many requests that were coming in from brigade

8 commanders that were sent to the military police were

9 not actually met. These requests were as follows:

10 Bringing people to the frontline, that is to say those

11 who did not want to go to the frontline, or simply

12 you'd have people who would leave the frontline of

13 their own free will. Also bringing people into the

14 military disciplinary prison. At that time that was

15 Kaonik. That is to say that people were not brought

16 into custody. Well, there were people brought into

17 custody, but since the military police was operating in

18 this local area, they simply made excuses. They said,

19 "No, he's not at home. We'll go and look for him

20 again."

21 Also, I established that quite a few requests

22 for bringing persons in that were sent by the Military

23 Prosecutor's Office and by the Court of law were not

24 met and carried out at all in terms of bringing in

25 witnesses or accused persons, although at that time the

Page 16697

1 Court of law, in fact in my opinion, was practically

2 frozen. They had nothing to do because everything was

3 subjected to the defence of this area. So practically

4 there was a freeze on Court activities.

5 I also established that there was no

6 co-operation with the civilian police and that

7 co-operation was very rare. Military policemen behaved

8 arrogantly and in a superior way towards these civilian

9 police. Of course, I am referring to individuals. And

10 they would say that they were military policemen and

11 that the civilian police had nothing to do with them,

12 that they were the ones who were now in charge. And

13 there were even some assaults on civilian policemen and

14 I had to impose sanctions straight away. That is to

15 say, I had to take disciplinary action or send people

16 away from their units, depending on what they had

17 actually done.

18 Q. Tell me, did you notice that persons or

19 groups from the civilian or military police were linked

20 to crime and the world of crime?

21 A. Yes. I noticed that many policemen who were

22 in the unit were actually inclined towards crime and

23 there were quite a few criminals in the area of Central

24 Bosnia. So I can say, and it is general knowledge that

25 this was the Vitezovi, the unit of Zuti, and some

Page 16698

1 Skakavci grasshoppers and I don't know what all. So

2 one had to react.

3 I also established that poor equipment in the

4 military police, especially the general platoon from

5 Travnik, because everything that belonged to them

6 remained in Travnik and they had to leave Travnik, of

7 course, as they were protecting civilians.

8 Q. Tell me, or perhaps you could give us an

9 example of the conjunction between your military

10 policemen and certain crime groups or the Vitezovi, how

11 could you see this conjunction?

12 A. In the battalion command I personally

13 replaced the assistant commander because whatever the

14 military police tried to plan was revealed immediately,

15 so we could not really have any major successes that

16 way. And, as I realised this, I tried to clear up the

17 situation in the military police immediately. There

18 were quite a few cases and there was quite a bit of

19 crime. And at the meeting with Colonel Blaskic it was

20 also mentioned that there were certain military

21 policemen who were criminally prosecuted because they

22 should be. And I tried to investigate this a bit and I

23 can even give you the name of the person who was there

24 in the command and who was sent away and proceedings

25 were initiated against him.

Page 16699

1 Q. And tell me, this case, when the assistant

2 commander for crime activities -- when you sent him

3 away, what is it that you actually found out? Why did

4 he lose his post? Just a minute, please. I asked

5 about the assistant commander for -- not for crime

6 activities but for criminology activities, so could the

7 transcript please -- for crime investigation

8 activities, but that's not what was said. And could

9 you please say what exactly he did, why did you send

10 him away?

11 A. We were supposed to do something in Vitez.

12 We were supposed to get hold of certain cars that had

13 been stolen because we realised that in front of the

14 cafe that belonged to Darko Kraljevic there were quite

15 a few vehicles that did not belong to them. Since my

16 assistant commander held utmost responsibility for

17 that, he was probably terrified of Kraljevic, and he

18 went to the cafe and he said such and such a thing will

19 be done at such and such a time, so nothing came out of

20 this.

21 And we even drunk in the cafe and he was

22 drunk too. When he talked to me from the cafe, he

23 addressed me and said, "Commander, don't do that now."

24 Q. What was the punishment?

25 A. And this got me very angry, this made me very

Page 16700

1 angry, and I suspended him. I suspended him straight

2 away and I sent him away. And after that he went to

3 work at the Defence Department in Travnik, yes,

4 Travnik, and I don't know where he was sent after that,

5 what units, but he was no longer assistant commander.

6 And that's how things were done at that time.

7 Q. So are you trying to say that he became a

8 rank and file soldier instead of being your assistant

9 commander?

10 A. Yes, that's right.

11 Q. You also mentioned equipment. Did you have

12 crime investigation labs, you, the military police, in

13 the Lasva River Valley or in the civilian police for

14 that matter?

15 A. At that time we could only develop certain

16 films and all other processing had to be done at

17 military police headquarters, but at that time we did

18 not have any experts, we did not have ordinary

19 equipment, and what we did have was taken away when

20 army military police units would come across this. So

21 we could not actually carry out this kind of crime

22 investigation processing without the help of the

23 headquarters, the military police headquarters that was

24 in Ljubusko.

25 Q. And tell me, did you have a doctor, a

Page 16701

1 coroner, in the Lasva River Valley?

2 A. I do not remember. I cannot recall anyone

3 being there. I remember in Zenica there was

4 Dr. Turkovic. And in that particular environment, no,

5 we didn't have anyone, no, we didn't have anyone who

6 could professionally do this and investigate certain

7 crimes or, rather, the circumstances under which

8 certain murders or whatever was committed.

9 Q. And tell me, did you have experts in

10 ballistics or for explosive devices?

11 A. I only had a technician, a crime

12 investigations technician, but not a real expert, no.

13 No one was authorised for that.

14 Q. And tell me, what about communications? What

15 did you have as military police by way of

16 communications?

17 A. As far as the communications system is

18 concerned, I found only a few Motorolas in the units.

19 Q. What is a Motorola? Is that a radio station

20 that you hold in your hand?

21 A. Yes, yes. And I also had wire

22 communications, like a telephone, and nothing else.

23 Q. And this telephone, was it a special kind of

24 telephone, military telephone, or was it a plain

25 civilian telephone?

Page 16702

1 A. It was a civilian telephone.

2 Q. So, after you realised what the situation was

3 in the military police, what were the measures that you

4 took in order to deal with the situation in the

5 military police?

6 A. After monitoring the situation in the

7 military police, attempts were made to improve the

8 situation on the ground, and this can be seen in the

9 following activities. Commanders of companies were

10 given the following assignment, that they would have to

11 send reports in every day to the commander of the

12 military police battalion, and that was me at that

13 time, and I had to know every day what was going on in

14 the police. I agreed with Colonel Blaskic and

15 thereafter issued an order saying that company

16 commanders who were in areas that were covered by

17 brigades had to attend briefings at the offices of the

18 brigade commanders, that is to say that the military

19 police had to be linked up with the brigade commands.

20 Co-operation, coordination was established immediately

21 with the civilian police too.

22 First of all, I, as commander of the

23 battalion, had certain meetings with the

24 representatives of the court of law, of the military

25 prosecutor's office, of the civilian police, and at

Page 16703

1 these meetings I said that we had done such and such

2 things and that the situation would have to be

3 improved. Joint patrols were established, military

4 police together with the civilian police, and they

5 operated together, that is to say jointly. There was

6 no more resentment or arrogance towards the civilian

7 police. All requests that remained unresolved and that

8 were coming in from brigade commands and headquarters,

9 with regard to any particular matter, had to be

10 responded to, and this pertained to various forms of

11 assistants, also bringing people into custody, and then

12 also when apartments had to be entered or, rather,

13 there were military policemen who gave themselves the

14 right to enter other people's apartments.

15 Q. What were the measures that you took towards

16 those military policemen who did not carry out their

17 new assignments and duties?

18 A. I'm sorry, sir, but I wanted to speak in a

19 certain sequence, and I have a certain sequence in my

20 mind and I wanted to respond in that order.

21 Also, discipline was introduced in the

22 military police and it consisted of the following: A

23 person who would violate the military police Code of

24 Conduct -- well, it depends, it depends on what he had

25 done, but disciplinary action would be taken against

Page 16704

1 him. So disciplinary action would be taken by way of

2 punishment. And many would actually be handed over to

3 the Department of Defence and then the Department of

4 Defence, naturally, would assign them to certain

5 units. They knew what they were doing.

6 And people were brought in from units and

7 brigades in the following way: Only those who were

8 considered to be the best in the opinion of the

9 commander -- commanders would be sent, but again we

10 would check on them in the military police because I,

11 together with my assistants, we would look at various

12 records that we had. So although they did receive

13 these evaluation reports from their commanders, we

14 would look through the records and see whether they had

15 any criminal records or anything like that. And every

16 person who would be sent away or, rather, who would be

17 expelled from the military police would regret it

18 afterwards. And they would say, "Commander, please

19 don't do this to me. I'll never do this again. Please

20 don't send me to the units." And those who would come

21 from units, that is to say from the brigades, their

22 rule was -- I mean, as a rule they were good soldiers.

23 And it was a honour for them to join the military

24 police.

25 So there was a kind of competition.

Page 16705

1 Everybody wanted to join the police.

2 Q. Tell us, did Blaskic personally become

3 involved in this reorganisation of the military police?

4 A. Yes, he did. Colonel Blaskic, at the

5 meetings that we had with him, he said there were no

6 problems with regard to the education and training of

7 the military police, that he would help us there. And

8 after I had informed him of the situation and had sized

9 up the situation myself, taken stock of it, I would

10 inform Colonel Blaskic. He was in the Operative Zone

11 at the time located in Vitez, and I would go there

12 daily, every morning for our briefings. I would go to

13 Colonel Blaskic. And quite normally we would tender

14 our reports regarding the situation in the unit, what

15 had been done, what was to be done in future, and I

16 would take over the tasks given me, the assignments

17 given me by the commander of the Operative Zone for the

18 military police.

19 Q. Tell us, did he visit the units with you or

20 did everything take place at the morning briefings?

21 A. After I had taken stock of the situation and

22 told him of the measures I intended to take, Colonel

23 Blaskic agreed with what I had proposed and he insisted

24 and ordered, in fact; that is, he said he himself

25 wished to visit the military police units. So that we

Page 16706

1 knew exactly on what day and at what time Colonel

2 Blaskic was at the first company and the other

3 platoons. And we would give them the order to organise

4 ourselves accordingly to prepare for Colonel Blaskic's

5 visit.

6 Q. Yes. Go ahead, please.

7 A. Of course, after this had taken place, we

8 would talk to the military policemen and their

9 commanders, we would discuss the situation in the units

10 at the time. And we did not have any electricity at

11 that time, so that the public information media, that

12 is to say nobody listened much to them or watched

13 television or anything of that sort. And Colonel

14 Blaskic at these meetings would briefly explain the

15 military and political situation and the situation as

16 it existed at that moment, the tasks of the military

17 police, what the situation was beforehand, what the

18 present situation was, and he would congratulate them

19 on a job well done. And at the time he congratulated

20 the members of the military police, so he was probably

21 satisfied with the set-up and work of the military

22 police, and he wanted to give them public recognition

23 for this and congratulate them in public.

24 Q. This reorganisation and this new model of

25 work, did it bear fruit outside the Operative Zone?

Page 16707

1 Did they congratulate you outside the Operative Zone at

2 the end of 1993? What was the quality of your military

3 police unit considered to be like?

4 A. At that time the 4th Battalion of the

5 military police became the best unit in the -- attached

6 to the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, and we have this

7 in writing, this commendation in writing from Colonel

8 Blaskic, commander of the Operative Zone. And I

9 received congratulations in writing as well, as

10 commander of the battalion, and many military policemen

11 were congratulated and received this -- these letters

12 of merit. And by linking us up with the military

13 police department and when we went off, he showed that

14 we truly were the best unit of the military police

15 within the composition of Herceg-Bosna as it existed at

16 the time. There were four battalions at the time, four

17 military police battalions, and we were considered to

18 be the best.

19 Q. Could you tell the Court, please, how much

20 time you needed to take stock of the situation and to

21 perform the reorganisation you described? You took

22 over command on the 1st of August 1993. How long did

23 you need to carry out all of this work and to establish

24 along new lines the military police unit?

25 A. I needed two to three months to put this

Page 16708

1 through. I did not need more than that. It was very

2 difficult at the beginning and I remember my military

3 policemen, the men I worked with, they did not see me

4 on one particular occasion. And when I would perform

5 my visits and tours, they would discuss the situation

6 amongst themselves and they said, "What do we need all

7 this for? Why should we quarrel amongst ourselves and

8 take each other into custody? We should kill him."

9 And then I would turn up. They would see me. And

10 there would be silence and nothing more would be

11 heard. So these discussions were behind my back. But,

12 in fact, what happened was quite different.

13 Q. You said you needed two to three months to

14 translate the reorganisation into practice, but could

15 you tell the Court how many military policemen you had

16 at your disposal in numerical terms in the Lasva River

17 Valley or an approximate figure, if you can give us

18 that, please?

19 A. At the time, I had somewhere around 220

20 policemen, approximately, in the Lasva River Valley.

21 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. I should now like a

22 document to be handed around, a diagram.

23 THE REGISTRAR: This is D497.


25 Q. I'd like to ask you something with regard to

Page 16709

1 the use of the military police. Could you describe for

2 the benefit of the Trial Chamber the competence and how

3 the military police was used when the system functions

4 normally and in extraordinary situations when the

5 military police force is found cut off from its

6 headquarters, the headquarters and command of the

7 military police?

8 A. In a situation when the military police finds

9 itself in an encirclement and the impossibility of

10 communicating with the headquarters, police

11 headquarters, the military police is subjugated to the

12 command of the Operative Zone, that is to say, the

13 commander of the collective area. Under normal

14 conditions, that is to say, when there is communication

15 and physical communication as well, it would function

16 in that way. For combat activities, if the units need

17 to be used for combat activities --

18 Q. Just one moment, please. May we have the

19 ELMO switched on, and then you can use the pointer to

20 point out how orders are issued when the military

21 police are used for combat purposes.

22 A. The orders are issued --

23 Q. You may remain seated.

24 A. Under normal conditions when combat commands

25 are issued, the commander of the Operative Zone or

Page 16710

1 collective area seeks a request from the main commander

2 for the use of the military police for combat

3 activities.

4 Q. Would you show us the Operative Zone, please,

5 and then the headquarters?

6 A. Here we have the headquarters, the main

7 staff, and the commander of the main staff then

8 continues on to the defence department, the department

9 of defence, and the department of defence gives orders

10 to the military police, that is to say, the minister is

11 in charge of issuing orders for the use of the military

12 police, and that means that the defence department

13 issues orders to the military police.

14 Q. Do you have in mind the --

15 A. And the military police issues its orders to

16 regulate matters downwards, further on towards the

17 battalion, so that the military police and that

18 department issues orders, and the minister decides.

19 The defence minister makes all the decisions.

20 Q. To make matters clearer, let us take an

21 abstract example. For example, if Colonel Blaskic

22 wishes the military police unit of 50 men to attack,

23 for example, Krcevine tomorrow at 5.00 a.m., what would

24 he have to do?

25 A. Under normal conditions, he would have to

Page 16711

1 send a request to the military police and the commander

2 of the main staff, and the main staff would do the

3 same. It would follow down towards the defence

4 department and the military police. The military

5 police would then -- that is to say, the head office

6 for the military police would issue orders to the

7 commander of the 4th Battalion, that is to say, to

8 myself, that we are placed at the disposal of the

9 commander of the main command, and nobody else would be

10 able to command that unit, apart from the commander of

11 the police appointed by the battalion commander, if

12 we're talking about a platoon or whatever.

13 Q. Tell us now, please, if the minister and the

14 head office of the military police did not agree, could

15 Blaskic use a unit of the military police for combat

16 activities if they disagreed?

17 A. I don't understand the question. What did

18 you say?

19 Q. If the minister or the person in charge of

20 the department of defence and the head office of the

21 military police did not agree with Blaskic's proposal

22 as to the use of the military police, would Blaskic,

23 without their agreement, be able to use the military

24 police unit?

25 A. No, he would not be able to, but the minister

Page 16712

1 is there to command the military police.

2 Q. Yes, you said that. You said that the head

3 office of the military police commands the military

4 police units. Now, what does this encompass? What

5 areas does the head office of the military police

6 cover?

7 A. The rules governing the organisation and work

8 of the military police state that in order to perform

9 our military police duties, we are daily responsible in

10 concrete terms to the Operative Zone, and hierarchially

11 speaking, up towards the head office of the military

12 police, so the cadres, the selection of cadres, their

13 equipment, logistics, and everything else. Education

14 and training, the crimes investigation department, and

15 any other work, investigation and so on, would be

16 controlled and under the competency of the head office

17 of the military police.

18 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, I'd like to know

19 whether you still have many questions that you want to

20 ask during your examination-in-chief.

21 MR. NOBILO: Yes, I do, Mr. President, so we

22 could take a break perhaps here.

23 JUDGE JORDA: We will take a 15-minute

24 break.

25 --- Recess taken at 3.37 p.m.

Page 16713

1 --- On resuming at 4.05 p.m.

2 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the

3 hearing. Have the accused brought in, please?

4 (The accused entered court)

5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?

6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

7 Q. We stopped at the functions of the military

8 police with respect to the battalion. You mentioned

9 crime investigation. Now, did the military commander,

10 for example, Colonel Blaskic, could he give orders to

11 the military police as to how to investigate crimes?

12 A. No, he could not. He could only, he or any

13 other commander, brigade commander, or civilian could

14 only say something or say what they know, but the crime

15 investigation department was independent of everything

16 else, and it was a professional department and

17 capacitated for the task.

18 Q. What about the military court and the

19 military prosecutor's office, could it issue orders to

20 the military police and give instructions as to what

21 to --

22 A. The courts of law could and so could the

23 military prosecutor. They could issue orders and did

24 issue orders for taking individuals into custody, and I

25 mentioned this in my testimony. They could issue

Page 16714

1 orders for arrests according to their competencies and

2 authorisation. We would then be given an order and

3 proceed according to that order.

4 Q. And what about the prosecutor's office, could

5 it issue a demand for you to collect information and

6 question an individual?

7 A. Yes, it could, and we did do that following

8 orders.

9 Q. Now, when there was no encirclement in

10 Central Bosnia, did you receive orders from the head

11 office of the military police?

12 A. Could you repeat the question, please?

13 Q. When you were not in the encirclement, let us

14 say in 1994, for example, when communications were

15 established, did you receive orders from the head

16 office of the military police in Ljubusko?

17 A. When everything began to function again, we

18 normally became part and parcel of the system of the

19 military police, and all orders did go from the head

20 office, directly from the chief of the head office of

21 the military police at the time, so that when times

22 were normal, we were under the command -- militarily

23 and politically, we were under their command, and

24 military duties and police duties included arrests,

25 taking individuals into custody, setting up controlled

Page 16715

1 checkpoints.

2 We guided convoys, escorted convoys, and so

3 on, so we did do things of that kind for the brigades

4 at the request and on orders that came to us from the

5 command, whereas for everything else, we were under the

6 head office of the military police, starting out from

7 cadres' policies, the selection of cadres, equipment,

8 military police work, and everything that the military

9 police force does. All of this was under the head

10 office of the military police, cadres, education and

11 training, equipment, and so on, and those were our

12 tasks.

13 Q. Before the break, you mentioned a term -- you

14 referred to the daily use of the military police. What

15 you have just described to us, that the commander of

16 the Vitez command could use the military police, does

17 that come under daily use of the military police, that

18 term?

19 A. Yes, precisely so, but once again, he had to

20 issue a request to me as the commander, and then

21 following on from that request, I would send the

22 military policemen, and the heads of my platoons or

23 companies would go on assignment following that request

24 for order.

25 Q. On the 1st of August, 1993, you became the

Page 16716

1 commander and replaced the commander of the 4th

2 Military Battalion, Pasko Ljubicic who was the

3 commander at that time. Did you ask yourself ever why

4 you had replaced him, why this replacement took place,

5 and where the problem lay?

6 A. Yes, quite normally, I did ask myself that

7 because when I came to the command of the Operative

8 Zone for Central Bosnia, I was told straight away what

9 the military police did, that he was dissatisfied with

10 the military police as it stood with the situation as

11 it existed, and that he expected it to be transformed

12 in all areas of work, and I came to realise that there

13 must have been something wrong.

14 I asked around and became informed by the

15 unit itself, and I heard that there was a sort of

16 feedback mechanism between Colonel Blaskic and Pasko as

17 regards the command, because the military police, while

18 a communications existed -- before they had been

19 severed, they commanded the military police via the

20 head of the military police. So the situation,

21 however, in the Lasva River Valley and Central Bosnia

22 was under war operations, and it was impossible to

23 communicate with the command, and quite normally, the

24 senior commander was to be adhered to, and the

25 commander -- this was the commander of the Operative

Page 16717

1 Zone. He was the senior commander, and that was

2 Colonel Blaskic at the time.

3 Q. I'm not sure that you were understood and

4 that the interpretation was correct. What happened

5 between Pasko Ljubicic and Colonel Blaskic? What

6 happened between the two?

7 A. I don't know what happened between the two,

8 but Pasko wanted to retain the hierarchy, to retain his

9 command over the military police and did not, in fact,

10 follow orders. Allegedly, it was the head office of

11 the military police whose job it was to issue orders of

12 that kind, but what I heard from various discussions

13 with the military policemen, I found out that when I

14 came to head the 4th Military Police Battalion, I knew

15 that I had no communications with the head office of

16 the military police and that I had to share the fate of

17 the commander of the Operative Zone and of the people,

18 and so I was in a position to command the unit while we

19 were in the encirclement.

20 Q. To the best of your knowledge, did Pasko,

21 just like you, carry out Colonel Blaskic's orders

22 without questioning them at all or not?

23 A. Well, it's the best for you to ask Colonel

24 Blaskic that. But I know there were certain

25 complications and that Colonel Blaskic was not pleased

Page 16718

1 with Pasko.

2 Q. You became commander of the 4th Battalion of

3 the military police, and Pasko Ljubicic held that post

4 before that, and which post did he get then?

5 A. At that time Pasko got the following post --

6 rather, since the 4th military police battalion was cut

7 off from the head office, headquarters, and not only

8 them, he became assistant head of the head office of

9 military security in Central Bosnia. This was in two

10 months, I believe. And all orders, at first, only at

11 the beginning, I received from Pasko, because Pasko

12 first attended meetings with the commander of the

13 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia. And then we, in the

14 4th Battalion of the military police, received our

15 orders from him, and this lasted very -- for a very

16 short time.

17 Then Pasko took a helicopter and went to

18 Herzegovina to the head office of the military police.

19 And from then onwards I took over all these posts in

20 the 4th Battalion and I was responsible to the

21 Operative Zone. I know that Pasko was also in charge

22 of the 3rd Light Battalion military police.

23 Q. As regards the 3rd Light Battalion of the

24 military police, I would like to ask you something

25 else; namely, in addition to the 4th Battalion of the

Page 16719

1 military police there was -- there was a Light

2 Battalion of the military police which was created out

3 of the Jokers; is that correct? Is that correct? The

4 Jokers were first called the Jokers and then, as things

5 developed, this unit was renamed the Light Battalion?

6 A. I know that after I came to the 4th Battalion

7 of the military police in Vitez that there was this 3rd

8 Light Battalion of the military police, and it is true

9 that it did consist of parts of the Jokers, but it was

10 not only them. There were people from other units too.

11 Q. How many men did this unit have?

12 A. I don't know how many men it had, but I know

13 that there were lists, and they reached me afterwards

14 because the head of the military police had ordered

15 that all lists should be submitted to the 4th Battalion

16 or, rather, the commander of the 4th Battalion, and

17 that was me. And at that time the 3rd Light Battalion

18 that was in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Central Bosnia was

19 abolished and it grew into something else, of course,

20 under orders of the main staff. They grew into -- they

21 were abolished, that's what I was saying, and they grew

22 into new brigades. Quite a few of them went to these

23 guard brigades, as they were known.

24 Q. Let us go back to your beginning, in 1993,

25 that is to say when there was this Light Battalion of

Page 16720

1 the military police which grew out of the Jokers as

2 things developed. At that time you became commander

3 instead of Pasko, and did you also take control over

4 the Light Battalion or rather the Jokers at one point

5 in time? Did you take over that command from Pasko

6 Ljubicic?

7 A. While Pasko Ljubicic was there, no, I did

8 not, because he was their commander, and I did not

9 issue a single order to the 3rd Light Battalion.

10 Simply, they were not under my command, and that is

11 what I was told.

12 Q. When you say that they were not under your

13 command, that they were under Pasko Ljubicic -- I'll

14 rephrase it. Sorry.

15 What is this post that Pasko held in order to

16 be able to give them orders? On behalf of what

17 authority did he command the Jokers?

18 A. As I said, he was appointed assistant

19 commander of the military police for Central Bosnia and

20 he was assistant head for the military police, and

21 Pasko commanded the 4th Battalion and the 3rd Light

22 Battalion, but at that time I did what I was supposed

23 to do.

24 Q. So can you tell us exactly what is the exact

25 authority of the military police that made Pasko in

Page 16721

1 charge of the Jokers, that is to say the head office of

2 the military police. One of the major problems that

3 you encountered in your work were different groups of

4 criminals or different units in which there were

5 elements of crime. So could you name the two most

6 important groups that you encountered and what was the

7 problem between the military police and these crime

8 groups?

9 A. Well, I can mention this, of course. These

10 were units of the Vitezovi and units of the Zuti. As

11 regards the Vitezovi, quite a few of them were at the

12 frontline and they carried out their duties, but some

13 of them were in a privileged position, about 15 or 20

14 percent of them. They did what they did, that is to

15 say that they did not go to the frontline. They stayed

16 at various places and they were wheeling and dealing.

17 And also the Zuti resorted to similar things, even

18 while there was heaviest fighting and war in Central

19 Bosnia.

20 Q. And this reorganisation of yours, of the

21 military police, what is your opinion, what is your

22 assessment? The military police that you saw, that you

23 took over, before your time was it in a position to

24 actually deal with these criminal groups, with the

25 Zuti, with the Vitezovi?

Page 16722

1 A. Well, I don't think so. I said what the

2 situation was like on the ground. Quite a few

3 policemen were related to these criminals. They were

4 their relatives, and also a certain number of military

5 policemen were also involved in various criminal

6 activities with these people from the units of Zuti and

7 Kraljevic's units. So I'm not sure, but you saw that

8 the military police spent more time at the frontline

9 than carrying out their actual duties. That is what

10 the situation was like at the time.

11 Q. At one point in time, at the end of 1993,

12 with your unit of military police you actually had a

13 military showdown with the Zuti. Could you please

14 describe how this happened and what exactly happened.

15 A. Yes, that is true. At that time the

16 commander of a special unit was killed. Zoran Tuka was

17 his name. And this commander was popular with the men

18 in his unit and with the population in general, and

19 intelligence reports came in saying that Tuka was

20 killed by members of the Zuti. Because before the

21 killing, Zoran Tuka had been wounded or, rather, he had

22 wounded Zuti in Novi Travnik in front of a cafe, and

23 the reaction of the Zuti people was that they killed

24 the late Tuka, the commander who was so popular among

25 the men in his unit, and not only among the men in his

Page 16723

1 own unit. And that is when another member of the

2 Munja unit was heavily wounded, badly wounded. And our

3 estimate was that there would have been an escalation.

4 Actually, that was Colonel Blaskic's assessment, that

5 there would be an escalation between the two units, and

6 probably there would be killings on both sides. So we

7 took action promptly.

8 The military police was charged with trying

9 to apprehend the suspects and the perpetrators of this

10 killing. This action was carried out by the military

11 police, a certain group together with the security

12 service at that time, and it was completed almost

13 successfully. Not all of them were apprehended, but it

14 went rather well. It was a job fairly well done.

15 Q. And was there a military showdown? Was there

16 actual fighting between the military police and the

17 Zuti and were there dead on their side?

18 A. Yes. Yes, there was an armed conflict.

19 Because at that time we did the relevant police work,

20 and not to go into all of that now, but they were not

21 at a certain place and, naturally, we split up into

22 different groups and we tried to catch them. They were

23 in a certain house. My deputy was in charge of a

24 certain group. I had authorised him. And he

25 approached this house, together with his unit, and he

Page 16724

1 said, "You are surrounded. Get out. HVO military

2 police. Get out and surrender." And since these

3 criminals knew what was going on, they started

4 shooting. And in what followed, two members of the

5 Zuti were killed and one of the members of my company,

6 and also some military policemen were captured by Zuti

7 and his group. So it ended the way it ended.

8 At any rate, we did carry out this action and

9 this only worked to the advantage of the population in

10 general and the soldiers on the frontline. And after

11 that Zuti was no longer mentioned. Zuti was wounded.

12 And Kraljevic didn't speak up either, so the military

13 police took over control in this area and things were

14 getting better and better.

15 Q. You said that you did not catch everyone.

16 Please tell the Court where did these criminals run

17 when the HVO military police attacked? Where did they

18 run away?

19 A. They escaped to the territory that was under

20 Muslim units control at that time. I don't know which

21 way they went, but, at any rate, they went up to

22 Pavlavica and proceeded to Gornji Vakuf, Uskoplje, and

23 then they went to HVO controlled territory again. And

24 that is where they were arrested.

25 Q. You already mentioned some of this, but tell

Page 16725

1 us again. The Vitezovi, did this action have any

2 effect on the Vitezovi and was it conceived with that

3 purpose in mind, to send a message to others as well?

4 A. Not only to the Vitezovi. The message was

5 supposed to go to all. I know when I was appointed

6 commander of the 4th Battalion of the military police,

7 at that time Zuti said -- that's what I was told

8 afterwards by all the eyewitnesses. And he said,

9 "Well, again we are going to have a war with the

10 military police." And they asked him why. And he said

11 that Palavra is commander again. Again there is going

12 to be a war. So the message was quite clear. And it

13 was sent out to Kraljevic and everyone. Either belong

14 to the system or there is no other way of doing

15 things.

16 Q. Thank you. Now, we are going to move onto

17 some documents, but before that -- please, perhaps it

18 wasn't quite clear during the introduction. What is

19 your current position?

20 A. Currently, at present, I work in the Federal

21 Ministry of Defence. I am employed there and I am head

22 of the military police department. I think I've been

23 quite clear.

24 Q. Of course. But we are laymen. Does that

25 mean that you are chief of the military police? Are

Page 16726

1 you at the helm of the military police of the Army of

2 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

3 A. Exactly. But this is a temporary thing. We

4 are to receive official appointments now, and it is not

5 only myself but all people who are currently working in

6 the Federal Ministry for National Defence.

7 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we have a series

8 of documents. I don't want to go into the contents of

9 the documents. They speak for themselves. These are

10 military police documents and we just want to take

11 advantage of the presence of this witness to confirm

12 their authenticity. So I think we are going to move

13 through them quickly.

14 MR. KEHOE: This procedure was employed, of

15 course, with Brigadier Marin, and what results, of

16 course, is that upon reflection of these documents

17 there is often any number of items that should be

18 brought to the Court's attention. And like my learned

19 friend across the bar, we should take that advantage to

20 ask this witness those questions once those documents

21 are examined.

22 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. I thought that Mr. Nobilo

23 was trying to accelerate things. I think that the

24 witness said why he was -- he was called here. If we

25 can move things forward more quickly, all the parties

Page 16727

1 in the trial would be better off. The witness has been

2 called within the spirit of these proceedings in order

3 to say what he has to say about very specific points.

4 In order to go back to the issue of the documents,

5 perhaps Mr. Nobilo could have the witness identify

6 them, and if he has any comments to make while they are

7 being authenticated, he can do so, question the

8 witness, but we -- I would ask you to try to move along

9 a little more quickly, please.

10 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the idea was the

11 following, that this witness should not speak about

12 these documents, only confirm their authenticity. We

13 have a similar situation when the Prosecutor brought

14 several volumes of documents without any witnesses and

15 tendered them, and that is the same thing we want to

16 do. We just want this witness to confirm that these

17 are authentic documents. We are not going to put a

18 single question to him in this regard.

19 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe.

20 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, Judge

21 Shahabuddeen, if counsel wants to proceed in that

22 fashion, I mean, the Prosecutor certainly has no

23 objection. I just bring to light the fact that upon

24 reflection of these documents it could very well be

25 that there is -- there are matters or there is a matter

Page 16728

1 within a particular document which the Prosecutor wants

2 to explore.

3 JUDGE JORDA: Have you seen the documents,

4 Mr. Kehoe? Have you already reviewed them? Have you

5 received them already?

6 MR. KEHOE: No, Mr. President, we have not.

7 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps that's a translation

8 problem. You say after review of the documents,

9 perhaps there would be some mistakes -- you are talking

10 about the documents having to do with General Marin's

11 testimony? It had to do with General Marin's

12 testimony; is that what you are saying?

13 MR. KEHOE: What happened during General

14 Marin's testimony is we went through some 210 documents

15 and counsel would maybe talk about a sentence, and in a

16 couple of instances there was no discussion about the

17 document at all, and Brigadier Marin simply

18 authenticated the document. What we discovered, upon

19 reflection of those documents, was there was a

20 significant amount of information, of which Brigadier

21 Marin had knowledge that merited exploration during

22 cross-examination. I simply raise that, and there is

23 certainly no objection on the part of the Prosecutor to

24 allowing the defence counsel to employ any methodology

25 he so chooses.

Page 16729

1 In any event, upon reflection what we have

2 discovered is there are significant amounts of material

3 in these documents which we may very well want to ask

4 Mr. Palavra about.

5 JUDGE JORDA: All right. If you have

6 questions, you will ask them at the proper time. We

7 can have the witness brought back. I don't hope to do

8 so. I hope we can move forward quickly. Each party

9 has used these proceedings at different points. We are

10 professional judges, you have the documents identified

11 and then they will be given to the judges. If, during

12 the cross-examination, you believe that you have some

13 comments to make, you will make them, and if at the end

14 -- during your final arguments you have some, you can

15 make them, but if you feel that you can't, we can have

16 the witness brought back. Of course, I don't want

17 that. The judges will be here also to review them.

18 For the time being let me note that you agree to the

19 methodology.

20 All right. Let's move forward without any

21 further ado with the identification of the documents.

22 MR. HAYMAN: I don't think the Court need be

23 concerned. There are only 15 documents. This is not

24 voluminous.

25 JUDGE JORDA: The judges are not concerned.

Page 16730

1 Let me point that out to you. Proceed, please.

2 MR. NOBILO: Well, then, I would like to ask

3 that the witness be given the documents one by one, and

4 if he can, on the basis of the signature and stamp,

5 identify each document. And as head of the examination

6 in chief, I am not going to put any questions related

7 to the document.

8 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Let's proceed.

9 THE REGISTRAR: The first document is D498.


11 Q. Mr. Palavra, the document came into being

12 before you arrived on the scene. Would you just look

13 at the signature. Do you recognise it, the signature

14 at the end of the document?

15 A. Yes, I can see it. And it is signed by Pasko

16 Ljubicic and it is identical to his signature. I took

17 my orders from him. It is his signature.

18 Q. Next document, please.

19 THE REGISTRAR: This is D499.


21 Q. The next document is D499, which you have in

22 your hands. Would you take a look at the signature and

23 tell us if you recognise it.

24 A. Yes, I do. It's the same thing. Yes, I

25 recognise the signature.

Page 16731

1 Q. Do you recognise the stamp?

2 A. Yes. It is the administration of the

3 military police.

4 Q. Next document, please.

5 THE REGISTRAR: This is D500.


7 Q. You have before you document D500. Do you

8 recognise the stamp and signature?

9 A. Yes, I recognise it.

10 Q. Can you tell us who Lastro is?

11 A. Zeljko Lastro was assistant for -- I didn't

12 get the duties. When I suspended Ivan Josipovic and

13 Lastro came to head the department for the crime -- the

14 crime investigation department of the military police.

15 Q. Thank you. Next document, please.

16 THE REGISTRAR: This is D501.

17 MR. NOBILO: Take a look at document D501,

18 please, and tell us if you recognise the signature and

19 stamp.

20 A. Pasko Ljubicic.

21 Q. You recognise it?

22 A. Yes, I do.

23 THE REGISTRAR: This is 502.


25 Q. You have before you document D502. Do you

Page 16732

1 recognise the signature of Zvonko Vukovic and the stamp

2 of the military police?

3 A. Yes, I do. And Zvonko Vukovic was in the

4 Operative Zone and the command. He was an assistant

5 for personnel matters and cadres matters, so we

6 cooperated closely.

7 THE REGISTRAR: This is D503.


9 Q. Take a look at document 503, please. Do you

10 recognise the signature of Pasko Ljubicic and the

11 stamp?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Thank you.

14 THE REGISTRAR: This is 504.


16 Q. Document 504 is before you. Do you recognise

17 the signature?

18 A. Yes, I do. It was not signed by Pasko

19 Ljubicic but by Marijan, also a worker, an official of

20 the military police. Yes, that's correct, thank you.

21 Q. Just one moment, please.

22 A. Marijan Jukic at the time was an assistant.

23 JUDGE JORDA: We are speaking of 504 here?

24 MR. NOBILO: Yes, we are, D504.

25 JUDGE JORDA: I have a version which is

Page 16733

1 signed Ljubicic.

2 MR. NOBILO: No. Pasko Ljubicic is

3 typewritten, but instead of him Marijan Jukic signed

4 the document, so the signature is that of Marijan.

5 Whereas the typewriter says Pasko Ljubicic, he was

6 assistant for crimes, crime investigation.

7 JUDGE JORDA: That's all right.

8 THE REGISTRAR: This is 505.


10 Q. Can you tell us who signed the document on

11 the right-hand side on behalf of the military police?

12 The document is D505.

13 A. In my opinion, this was signed by Majdancic

14 (phoen).

15 Q. Thank you. Next document, please.

16 THE REGISTRAR: This is D506.

17 A. Yes, Pasko Ljubicic.


19 Q. Therefore, document 506 was signed by Pasko

20 Ljubicic, once again. Next document, please.

21 THE REGISTRAR: This is D507.


23 Q. Take a look at document 507, please, and tell

24 us who signed it?

25 A. Vlado Santic signed it, and he was my deputy

Page 16734

1 for 15 days at one point.

2 THE REGISTRAR: This is D508.


4 Q. Take a look at document 508, please. Who

5 signed it?

6 A. Pasko signed it.



9 Q. You have before you document D509. Do you

10 recognise the stamp and signature?

11 A. Yes. The signature is the administration of

12 the military police, and it was signed by Marijan

13 Jukic.

14 Q. But who did he sign instead of?

15 A. It says, "Commander Pasko Ljubicic," but the

16 signature is Marijan's.

17 THE REGISTRAR: This is D510.


19 Q. Take a look at document 510, D510, and see

20 who signed it. Look at the signature.

21 A. Marijan Jukic.

22 Q. Thank you. Next one, please.



25 Q. Look at this document carefully, because when

Page 16735

1 it was photocopied, the signature is only partially

2 visible, so tell us what you think. Who signed it?

3 A. This was signed by Pasko. I know his

4 writing.

5 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we would now like

6 to show the witness five documents which we admitted

7 previously. Four of them are confidential in nature,

8 so we're going to use the witness to identify the

9 signatures without going into the contents, and as the

10 documents are confidential, it would be a good idea to

11 explain to the witness what that means. So if he sees

12 the contents or the partial contents of the document,

13 he should know that it must remain confidential.

14 JUDGE JORDA: We're simply not going to put

15 these documents on the ELMO.

16 MR. NOBILO: They are D90, D91, D94, D151,

17 and D410.

18 THE REGISTRAR: As regards D90, D91, and D94,

19 the three documents were admitted. Document 151 has

20 not been admitted for now, nor has 410, that is, not

21 admitted for the time being.

22 MR. NOBILO: First of all, show all the

23 documents, but the last one, D410, keep that. So show

24 the first four documents to the witness, please, the

25 first four documents, and D410, you keep it for the

Page 16736

1 moment.

2 Q. And when you have taken a look at all four

3 documents, tell us if you recognise the signatures?

4 A. The first document is all right. It is

5 signed by Vladimir Santic.

6 Q. The second document?

7 A. The same goes for the second document.

8 Q. We have D90, that was Vladimir Santic. D91,

9 who signed that?

10 A. It was also signed by Vladimir Santic.

11 Q. Thank you. D94, do you recognise the

12 signature?

13 A. Yes, Marijan Jukic.

14 Q. Thank you. D151, do you recognise that

15 signature?

16 A. Yes, it is the signature of Colonel Blaskic.

17 Q. Just a moment, please. D410, look at the

18 signature, but don't tell us the name of the individual

19 because the document is under seal, so it is a secret

20 document. Just tell us whether you recognise the

21 signature on document D410. The signature is on the

22 first page. And the text, the title, does it

23 correspond to the function that the individual had at

24 the time, but don't tell us the function or the

25 institution, just, according to the best of your

Page 16737

1 knowledge, did that individual perform that function?

2 A. Yes, he was the most responsible individual.

3 Q. Thank you.

4 MR. NOBILO: That is all, Mr. President. We

5 have concluded.

6 JUDGE JORDA: I suggest that we take our

7 second break, since we have a very busy day.

8 Mr. Prosecutor, would you like us to take a

9 30-minute break which would allow you to have some time

10 in order to look at those documents?

11 MR. KEHOE: Please, Mr. President. That

12 would be helpful.

13 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Then we will resume

14 at 5.30 for only half an hour, but that will allow you

15 to become more familiar with the documents. All

16 right. We will suspend the hearing until 5.30.

17 --- Recess taken at 4.59 p.m.

18 --- On resuming at 5.40 p.m.

19 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing.

20 Have the accused brought in, please?

21 (The accused entered court)

22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe?

23 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, Judge

24 Shahabuddeen, thank you very much.

25 Cross-examined by Mr. Kehoe:

Page 16738

1 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Palavra. Mr. Palavra, we

2 haven't met. My name is Greg Kehoe. I'm a member of

3 the Office of the Prosecutor. The gentleman to my

4 right is Mark Harmon, also of the Office of the

5 Prosecutor, and to his right is Mr. Andrew Cayley,

6 likewise, of the Office of the Prosecutor. Welcome,

7 sir.

8 Mr. Palavra, you told us that your current

9 position is essentially chief of the military police in

10 Mostar; is that right?

11 A. No, Your Honours. At present, I'm in the

12 Federal Ministry of Defence, and its seat is in

13 Sarajevo, and that is where I am chief of the military

14 police or, rather, the intelligence service which is

15 part of the general security service.

16 Q. Pardon me. In asking this question, it's

17 just by way of clarification, sir. Do you carry a rank

18 now, sir?

19 A. At present, all the officials in the Ministry

20 of Defence have their ranks frozen, but now a new setup

21 is being made in the Ministry of Defence itself, and

22 certain departments or, rather, certain heads of

23 departments are going to be military men. They are

24 going to hold their ranks, whereas the majority will

25 not. Assistant ministers and the minister, of course,

Page 16739

1 are civilians, but there are going to be some

2 departments within the ministry that will be headed by

3 persons who will be military men, and this is being

4 agreed upon right now.

5 Q. Do you have a rank at this point, sir, or did

6 you have a rank in the HVO?

7 A. Yes, I did. Colonel. While I commanded the

8 battalion, I was a major, and after that, I became a

9 colonel.

10 Q. You carry the rank of colonel now, so if I

11 call you "Colonel," it would be proper; is that right?

12 A. No problem whatsoever.

13 Q. Let's take it back to the period of time that

14 you were in charge of the 4th Military Police Battalion

15 in Vitez. You told us that you took that over on 1

16 August, 1993. Can you tell us about your career after

17 that time up until the position that you hold right

18 now? Could you tell us about that?

19 A. When I took over the command of the 4th

20 Battalion of the military police until I went to

21 Sarajevo, that is, the 27th of August -- yes, August --

22 1997, I went to the Ministry of Defence. From the 1st

23 of August, 1993 until the 27th of August, '97, I was

24 commander of the battalion of the military police, and

25 at the present, I'm working in the ministry.

Page 16740

1 Q. Okay, sir. Thank you. If we can turn our

2 attention, if you will, to Defence Exhibit 497.

3 Mr. Dubuisson, it's this particular exhibit,

4 if we could place that on the ELMO.

5 Now, Colonel, before we go into this, you did

6 your military service in the JNA, did you not?

7 A. Yes, I did, in the former JNA, 1978/1979.

8 Q. Sorry, in the former JNA. What role did you

9 have in the former JNA in 1978 and 1979?

10 A. I was an ordinary soldier.

11 Q. Let's turn our attention to this particular

12 exhibit, Colonel, 497, and you noted that in normal

13 circumstances, if you can just turn to this exhibit, if

14 Blaskic wanted to give a combat order to the military

15 police, he would have to send that order to the HVO

16 headquarters in Mostar. The HVO headquarters in Mostar

17 would then have to send that order to the Department of

18 Defence. Assuming the Department of Defence agreed,

19 that particular order would then be sent down to the

20 head office for the military police in Mostar, and then

21 that particular order would be transferred to the 4th

22 Military Police Battalion and yourself; is that right?

23 Is that how this transpired in normal circumstances?

24 A. Yes, under normal circumstances, that's the

25 way it should be. Then the commander of the military

Page 16741

1 police, of the general office of the military police,

2 when he would receive orders from the Department of

3 Defence, from the assistant minister, when he would

4 receive orders, then he would send a new order to the

5 commander of the 4th Battalion of the military police

6 in Central Bosnia, in that particular case, myself,

7 within the Operative Zone, that is, whoever the

8 commander of the Operative Zone be.

9 And not knowing what he would be using this

10 for -- what I'm trying to say is that if I would go,

11 for example, to Tomislavgrad, to a different area, then

12 the head of the military police would give me orders

13 that my military police units would be subordinated to

14 the battalion of the military police which is currently

15 in charge of that particular area.

16 Q. So, Colonel, you're essentially talking about

17 a five-step process. Once Blaskic gives a combat order

18 that he wants to bring the military police in until it

19 gets back to you and then you make contact with

20 Blaskic, is that right, five steps have to take place?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. How long did that take?

23 A. I don't know how long, but very quickly,

24 depending on when the action was planned and depending

25 on the commander, what he is planning, how he wants to

Page 16742

1 use the units. In a military system, this works very

2 quickly. We all know what is supposed to be done.

3 Q. Colonel, do you know of any other military or

4 army in the world that operates in this fashion, the

5 fashion that you have testified to?

6 A. I don't know of this. I just know that

7 according to our code of the military police, I mean,

8 that's what it says. That's the way it is. The

9 military police and the general office of the military

10 police is at the disposal of the Ministry of Defence,

11 and that's the way it is. And I was one of the persons

12 belonging to this system, so I functioned within that

13 system.

14 Q. Colonel, was this the system, I think you've

15 testified to in direct examination, the system that was

16 employed after the Washington Accords were signed in

17 early 1994; is that correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Do you have any combat orders or any orders

20 in your possession where Colonel Blaskic, who was in

21 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone at the beginning of

22 1994, where Colonel Blaskic employed this particular

23 procedure in order to order the military police into

24 combat? Do you have any such orders, sir?

25 A. Could you please repeat this once again?

Page 16743

1 Q. Sure, sir. You testified in direct

2 examination in response to my learned colleague, Mr.

3 Nobilo, that this procedure that you set forth in

4 Defence 497 was the procedure that was employed after

5 the Washington Accords were signed in early 1994; isn't

6 that correct? Now, Colonel Blaskic took over as the

7 Deputy Chief of Staff in April of 1994, and my question

8 for you, sir, is that from the time the Washington

9 Accords were signed or, at any point, do you have any

10 order signed by Blaskic where he employed this

11 five-step procedure in order to order the military

12 police into combat? Do you have any such order?

13 A. After the cease-fire was signed?

14 Q. Or at any time.

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Do you have it, sir?

17 A. I don't have it here, but that was the

18 procedure involved. The military police could have

19 been requested by Colonel Blaskic, that is to say that

20 he had to submit a request.

21 Q. My question for you, Colonel, is did he ever

22 do it? Did he ever employ this five-step procedure in

23 order to order your men from the 4th Military Police

24 Battalion into combat? Did he?

25 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the witness has

Page 16744

1 already answered this.

2 A. But there is no problem, I can answer it.

3 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, the witness has answered

4 it. Well, you've already said something about that

5 question and we are wasting time now. So answer

6 quickly, please.

7 THE WITNESS: I know what the procedure is, I

8 know what the procedure is, and I know what it's like

9 when I receive orders, but when the Colonel or whoever

10 addresses the head of the entire service, that I do not

11 know. I just know when I receive my orders.


13 Q. Colonel, isn't it true that the military

14 police, certainly the 4th Military Police Battalion,

15 was operating on what was known as a territorial

16 principle, and that principle was employed during the

17 entire time you were part of the 4th Military Battalion

18 and even before that?

19 A. Yes. Yes, it's a well-known thing. Wherever

20 there were units of the Croatian Defence Council, there

21 had to be military police units too.

22 Q. And would you agree with the statement that

23 in carrying out their regular duties, military police

24 units were subordinate to the commanders of these

25 units, HVO units, and for professional purposes to the

Page 16745

1 military police administration at the Ministry of

2 Defence for the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna?

3 Would you agree with that?

4 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, there are two

5 questions here. Could they please be separated? The

6 first part is one claim and in the second part is

7 another claim.

8 MR. KEHOE: What I am doing, Mr. President,

9 is reading a sentence from "The Three Years of Military

10 Police" and an article that was written by Brigadier

11 Zeljko Zeljek who was not in the Central Bosnia

12 Operative Zone but I believe was in the Southern Bosnia

13 Operative Zone, which, of course --

14 Q. You know Brigadier Zeljek, do you not?

15 A. Yes, I know him. He was head of the

16 administration of military police. He was my superior

17 officer. There is no problem. I am going to answer

18 this question too.

19 Q. Would you agree, sir, that the military

20 police in every area was subordinate to the Operative

21 Zone commanders?

22 A. The military police was subordinate to the

23 commander of the Operative Zone, but only in terms of

24 carrying out military police duties, and that is

25 checkpoints, convoys, escorts, that is to say guarding

Page 16746

1 various facilities, providing security for various

2 facilities, however combat action, no. Not a single

3 commander of a particular area could issue such an

4 order without the agreement, the consent of the

5 Minister of Defence.

6 Q. Now, sir, was that different from January of

7 1993 until the Washington Accords in 1994? In other

8 words, could Blaskic issue combat orders directly to

9 the military police during that time frame, January

10 1993 to early 1994, without consultation with Mostar?

11 A. He could have. He could have issued such

12 orders precisely because he was encircled and he was

13 the only person and the most responsible person in

14 charge of the military in Central Bosnia while it was

15 encircled. So his responsibility was top

16 responsibility, and naturally he acted the way he

17 thought he should act.

18 Q. I'm sorry, sir, were you going to say

19 something else?

20 A. It's okay.

21 Q. So during this period of time, when the

22 military police, as you testified, had no

23 communications with Mostar, the military police was

24 directly subordinate to Colonel Blaskic in all military

25 matters as well; isn't that right?

Page 16747

1 A. Yes, that's right.

2 Q. And that also includes the civilian police,

3 as the civilian police when it came to military

4 operations were also subordinate to Colonel Blaskic;

5 isn't that correct?

6 A. The civilian police was subordinate to the

7 head of the administration for civilian police, head of

8 the police administration, and every time, as far as I

9 know, when the civilian police were supposed to go to

10 the frontline, because in Central Bosnia there weren't

11 any attacks, we were defending ourselves, he would put

12 in a request, that is to say together with the head of

13 the police of Travnik. Then he would issue an order

14 sending certain policemen to the frontline, that is

15 what I know. And Colonel Blaskic at that time did not

16 command the civilian police, although he was acting in

17 agreement with the head of civilian police because he

18 was the one who was in charge of sending civilian

19 policemen.

20 Q. Let me show you a Defence Exhibit. Colonel,

21 let me show you Defence Exhibit 300, if I may.

22 Colonel, I am not sure that you have seen this

23 particular document before. It has been received in

24 evidence. It is an attack order issued by then Colonel

25 Blaskic to attack on the morning of 18 April 1993

Page 16748

1 various areas in and around Kiseljak, specifically

2 Gomionica, Svinjarevo and some other villages. And I

3 direct your attention to paragraph 7. It says, "All

4 army forces (military and civilian police forces) are

5 to be placed under the command of the Kiseljak, Ban

6 Jelacic Brigade." You can take a moment to take a look

7 at that, sir. You will see on the following paragraph

8 that the attack operation is to begin on the 18th of

9 April 1993 at 0530.

10 Now, would you agree with me, based on that,

11 Colonel, that Colonel Blaskic, during this time frame,

12 January 1993 to early 1994, had the power to order the

13 military police, as well as the civilian police, into

14 combat operations? Isn't that so?

15 A. I think I was quite clear, that the commander

16 of the Operative Zone at that time was the person of

17 utmost responsibility as regards the military,

18 civilians and everything. So I know what the situation

19 was in our area. In agreement with the head of

20 civilian police, naturally policemen went to the

21 defence lines.

22 Q. My question is this, Colonel: Would you

23 agree, after reading that document, that Blaskic had

24 the power to order both the military police, as well as

25 the civilian police, into combat without consultation

Page 16749

1 with anybody during this timeframe?

2 A. I would not agree with you, because we had

3 such an army and I felt it on my very own skin. If the

4 going is good and if you are commander, fine, but then

5 if it's not, then you are no longer commander and

6 that's it. And that's the way it was until the

7 brigades were set up, everything was fine until

8 something is needed. Then something is needed, they

9 say, "What is this guy doing here and that doing here?"

10 Then everybody is a wise guy. But as far as I know,

11 there must have been consultations with the head of

12 civilian police. I don't know. And it is Colonel

13 Blaskic who can give the best answer to this question.

14 I don't know.

15 Q. Well, sir, you do know that that particular

16 order, the 17th of April 1993, was issued at a time

17 when a war was taking place in the Lasva Valley? You

18 do know that, do you not?

19 A. Yes, I do know that.

20 Q. And with that knowledge you still insist,

21 Colonel, that Colonel Blaskic had to consult with the

22 civilian authorities in order to send the civilian

23 police into combat?

24 A. I gave you my answer. I don't know. You can

25 ask Colonel Blaskic. I know what the situation was

Page 16750

1 like in our area.

2 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, Judge

3 Shahabuddeen, I am about to move into another area. I

4 don't know what the schedule of the Court --

5 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to speak to the

6 witness.

7 The decision about hearing the accused is one

8 which will be taken within a very specific procedural

9 framework of which you are not aware, perhaps, which

10 would be natural, and therefore I don't think that you

11 can answer the judges -- once or twice, all right.

12 Everybody might think that the accused has a great deal

13 of competence in respect of answering certain

14 questions, but there is a procedural framework here and

15 it must be respected. Therefore, you cannot answer

16 simply by saying, "Well, ask this one or that one."

17 It's a very simple question and I will ask it myself.

18 On the point 7, in order that all army

19 forces, military and civilian police forces, are to be

20 placed under the command of the Kiseljak, Ban Jelacic

21 Brigade. What is your answer to that question? What

22 is your answer? Do you contest the form of this order

23 or -- the form of the order or the substance of the

24 order, and if you do, would you tell us why, please?

25 A. In this case, in this case, orders are being

Page 16751

1 given to the command of the Ban Jelacic Brigade of

2 Kiseljak by the commander of the Operative Zone. And

3 the commanders of the operative groups in Zepce and

4 Kiseljak, they were in their own areas the persons in

5 charge as regards the defence of that particular area.

6 JUDGE JORDA: All right. No point in going

7 any further. You've answered as you wanted to, and

8 each party will take from what you've said what it

9 intends to.

10 Move to another question, Mr. Kehoe.


12 Q. Now, you talked about this meeting that you

13 had with General Blaskic, I believe it must have been

14 sometime in early August 1993 or maybe the 1st of

15 August 1993.

16 A. It wasn't on the 1st of August. It was right

17 at the beginning when I assumed this duty.

18 Q. I don't mean to quibble with you on the date,

19 sir. Early August of 1993 will suffice. Now, you also

20 noted in questions by Defence counsel that you noted

21 that Blaskic could not tell you how to investigate a

22 case. Do you recall that answer that you gave to

23 Mr. Nobilo's question?

24 A. I remember. I remember.

25 Q. And then in this conversation that you had in

Page 16752

1 early April 1993 -- excuse me, early August 1993,

2 Blaskic noted to you that there were criminal elements

3 not only within the military police but also the

4 Vitezovi and Zuti, and I think you mentioned this

5 organisation, the Grasshoppers; is that right?

6 A. Right.

7 Q. Did Blaskic have the power to order that

8 individuals within those organisations involved in

9 criminal activity be arrested? Did he have that power

10 to order their arrest?

11 A. He did have this power, but it was hearsay,

12 this person said this and the other person said that,

13 but investigation can only be carried out by the

14 military police or the crime police. And on that basis

15 the commanders of brigades and the commander of the

16 entire area according to the information received can

17 say, let us question this or that person, but he could

18 not effect the actual investigation because that was

19 done by the military police. It was only the military

20 police that was in charge of doing this. Of course, in

21 consultation with the Prosecutor's office and the

22 Court. But we carried out the investigation.

23 Q. Did he have the power to tell you to arrest

24 somebody?

25 A. No, he could only say something and then the

Page 16753

1 military police would resolve matters.

2 Q. Let me show you Prosecutor's Exhibits --

3 A. We could -- we could call a person in to the

4 military police --

5 JUDGE JORDA: Let me interrupt you here.

6 This is an important question. The interpreters are

7 tired. I suggest that we resume tomorrow morning about

8 that subject. It's already ten after six. It's been a

9 long afternoon. All right. You can re-ask your

10 question tomorrow morning. Tomorrow morning we will

11 resume at ten o'clock. The Court stands adjourned.

12 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at 5.30

13 p.m. to be reconvened on Tuesday, the

14 12th day of January, 1999 at 10.00 a.m.