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  1. 1 Thursday, 18th February, 1999

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 10.07 a.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Have the accused brought

    5 in and take him to the witness bench immediately.

    6 (The accused/witness entered court)

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning to the

    8 interpreters, to the reporters, to the Office of the

    9 Prosecutor, to the Defence counsel, and to the accused.

    10 Now we can proceed. Mr. Nobilo, continue,

    11 please.

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


    14 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    15 Q. Yesterday, at the end of the day, we left off

    16 with a description of the incidents in May 1992 between

    17 the individual villages, sometimes the villages where

    18 the inhabitants were one ethnic group and others where

    19 there were several ethnic groups.

    20 In terms of time, the first incident that you

    21 are charged with occurs in Duhri in August 1992, and it

    22 is Count 14 of the indictment. Tell me, between the

    23 12th of May that we mentioned as an incident and the

    24 events in Duhri in August, was the situation calm and

    25 was Duhri an exception compared to what happened in

  2. 1 Kiseljak in the summer of 1992?

    2 A. Your Honours, it was not an exception. On

    3 the contrary, there were several incidents from this

    4 period, particularly from the end of April 1992,

    5 throughout May, June, July, and August 1992. What

    6 characterised these incidents in particular,

    7 particularly in the first stage, was that they were

    8 individual incidents, sporadic to begin with. Later

    9 on, they grew to become incidents carried out by

    10 individual groups or villages and, in time, they grew

    11 into international or inter-ethnic incidents.

    12 I should like to mention in this regard that

    13 the incidents that took place in the neighbouring

    14 municipalities, that is to say, outside the Kiseljak

    15 municipality, also had an effect and, as I say,

    16 influenced the instilling of fear and division and gave

    17 birth to new incidents.

    18 For the most part, what was characteristic up

    19 until August 1992, that is to say, until the conflict

    20 broke out in Duhri, was that all the incidents, for the

    21 most part, broke out at the level of villages, whether

    22 they were uni-ethnic villages or villages with a mixed

    23 population, Croatian and Bosniak Muslim. So the

    24 conflicts usually occurred at the level of the

    25 villages.

  3. 1 Q. What about the political power and authority

    2 in Kiseljak, both military and civilian? What was its

    3 relationship towards these conflicts and was government

    4 power and authority one of the generators of the

    5 incidents up until August 1992?

    6 A. The political rule of the day, and I have in

    7 mind the municipal crisis staff of the Kiseljak

    8 municipality firstly, for the most part dealt with the

    9 consequences of these incidents. The motives or the

    10 causes leading up to the incidents were usually for

    11 economic reasons, they broke out for either economic or

    12 social reasons. That was what triggered them off.

    13 The political powers-that-be were not the

    14 generators of those divisions at that time, those

    15 conflicts or divisions, but was primarily involved in

    16 reacting to the consequences and tried to deal with the

    17 situation and what it had created and to calm the

    18 situation.

    19 Q. Let us remind the Court, this crisis staff

    20 that decided upon all matters in Kiseljak, it was made

    21 up of Croats and Muslims, two ethnic groups took part

    22 in it.

    23 Before we come to the conflict in Duhri ...

    24 The answer was ...

    25 A. Yes, yes. Yes.

  4. 1 MR. NOBILO: I would like, for the purposes

    2 of the record, to have the answer recorded. In answer

    3 to my question, the witness said "Yes."

    4 Q. So before we go on to describing the incident

    5 that is mentioned in the indictment first, and that is

    6 the conflict around Duhri, tell us very briefly,

    7 telegraphically, so to speak, in one sentence, could

    8 you enumerate the important incidents which upset the

    9 international relationships on the eve of the Duhri

    10 incident, that is to say, what happened at the end of

    11 May and in June and July?

    12 A. Your Honours, already on the 13th --

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, we are listening to

    14 you very carefully, of course. I think that you dealt

    15 with this yesterday, or didn't you? I noted your

    16 question had to do with the previous period, that is,

    17 the appointment of the accused to the head of Central

    18 Bosnia for May, June, and July, and the accused spoke

    19 about incidents in armed Croat villages or non-armed

    20 Croat villages. Is that the question that you're

    21 asking? I don't want us to go back constantly to the

    22 same thing.

    23 MR. NOBILO: Yes, that is correct,

    24 Mr. President. I asked the question, but the witness

    25 did not enumerate all the incidents, and the last date

  5. 1 yesterday that we encompassed was the middle of May

    2 1992. So now we should like him to enumerate the

    3 incidents that took place in the next two months, but

    4 very briefly.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: You had moved to the incident

    6 of August 1992. You had begun your

    7 examination-in-chief by Count number 14 in the

    8 indictment. I just want to be sure what we're doing

    9 here.

    10 MR. NOBILO: Yes, I did that so that the

    11 Trial Chamber could come to understand why we're

    12 talking about the incidents. Our goal is Duhri, but

    13 Duhri did not come out of the blue, something preceded

    14 Duhri, whereas this was pulled out of a hat, Duhri was

    15 sort of pulled out of a hat, but we want to show the

    16 genesis of the Duhri incident, what led up to it.

    17 Q. So, very briefly, let us enumerate the

    18 conflicts that took place.

    19 A. On the 13th of May, 1992, the conflict broke

    20 out between the village of Drazevici, that is a Serbian

    21 village, and the village of Grahovci, which is a Muslim

    22 Bosniak village, both in the Kiseljak municipality, and

    23 the consequences of that conflict were that the village

    24 of Drazevici was disarmed.

    25 On the 14th of May, 1992, another conflict

  6. 1 broke out, this time in the village of Brestovsko

    2 between the Croats. The participants in the conflict

    3 were the Croats.

    4 Also, on the 14th of May, 1992, a conflict

    5 broke out between the Croatian villages of Donja

    6 Podastinje and the Croatian village of Donji Palez.

    7 The cause of that conflict was who was to control the

    8 roadblock.

    9 On the 14th of May, 1992, there was an

    10 incident that broke out in the village of Hercezi,

    11 where the members of the Territorial Defence forces

    12 from the village of Hercezi opened fire on a Croat

    13 civilian, the driver of a motor vehicle.

    14 On the 14th of May, 1992, in the town of

    15 Kiseljak, there was confrontation between the members

    16 of the HVO on the one side and the members of the

    17 Territorial Defence who allegedly had intended to

    18 deblock the city of Sarajevo on that day. Towards the

    19 town of Kiseljak, columns of motor vehicles started out

    20 from the directions of Visoko, Kresevo, Fojnica,

    21 Bilalovac.

    22 On the 15th of May, 1992, a Croatian civilian

    23 was wounded in the village of Medvjednica by the

    24 Territorial Defence forces, and there was considerable

    25 difficulty in transporting him to a hospital.

  7. 1 On the 16th of May, 1992, in the local

    2 community of Gromiljak, conflicts broke out between the

    3 Croats on the one side. We had the Croats from the

    4 villages of Visnjica, Dolce, and Hercezi, and on the

    5 other side the remaining Croats in the villages of the

    6 Gromiljak local community.

    7 On the 19th of May, we once again had an

    8 incident in Duhri and Gornji Palez. Gornji Palez was a

    9 Croatian village, Duhri was a Bosniak Muslim village.

    10 Trenches were dug. Both sides turned their weapons

    11 towards each other; they faced each other.

    12 On the 23rd of May, 1992, an incident broke

    13 out in the village of Tulica between the Croats and

    14 Bosniak Muslims. The Croats were from the village of

    15 Azapovici. On that same day, on the 23rd of May, there

    16 was another incident in Brestovsko between the Croats,

    17 the military recruits, and Croats belonging to the

    18 reserve formation of the civilian police.

    19 On the 25th of May, the Territorial Defence

    20 of Gomionica, a Muslim Bosniak village, dug

    21 fortifications, trenches, bunkers, and communicating

    22 trenches directed to face the Croatian villages of

    23 Krizici and Gornji Podastinje.

    24 On the 26th of May, it was rumoured in

    25 Kiseljak that the municipal crisis staff was carrying

  8. 1 out distribution of military flats, flats belonging to

    2 military men, and this had, as its repercussion, the

    3 occupation of the entire barracks and the storming of

    4 the barracks by practically all the members from the

    5 urban area of Kiseljak, both the Croats and the

    6 Muslims, predominantly members of the Patriotic League

    7 with weapons. People who had weapons carried them on

    8 the occasion.

    9 On the 27th of May, 1992, in the local

    10 community of Gromiljak, there was, after the incident,

    11 a division, a rift between the Croatian villages, and

    12 they became divided. They were divided into Gromiljak

    13 1 and Gromiljak 2.

    14 On the 31st of May, 1992, the municipal

    15 crisis staff of Kresevo was confronted with the

    16 municipal crisis staff of Kiseljak over questions of

    17 competency and authority over the relay station, radio

    18 relay station of Cubren and checkpoints were set up or,

    19 rather, barricades, at the delineation line between the

    20 two municipalities.

    21 On the 31st of May, 1992, there was an open

    22 armed conflict between Croatian villages, the Croatian

    23 villages of Donji Podastinje and the Croatian village

    24 of Donji Palez, between the two. The fighting lasted

    25 almost until midnight, and after that, the conflict was

  9. 1 settled.

    2 On the 4th of June, 1992 in Kiseljak, units

    3 from outside stormed Kiseljak under the command of

    4 Mr. Porobic, Mustafa Porobic, and they told us they

    5 were members of the Rijeska Brigada, and they took

    6 control of the entire Dalmacija Hotel located in

    7 Kiseljak. They threw out about 300 displaced persons,

    8 Muslim Bosniaks, from Rakovica who had been put up

    9 there.

    10 Q. Would you please explain to the Trial Chamber

    11 what the Rijeska Brigada was? What was the composition

    12 of that unit? Where was the unit set up and equipped,

    13 which state, before it arrived in Kiseljak?

    14 A. That afternoon, I talked to the deputy

    15 commander of this unit, and he told me that they were

    16 members of the Derventa Brigade from Bosanska Posavina,

    17 the area called Bosanska Posavina, which, after the

    18 Serbs had occupied Bosanska Posavina, had rallied

    19 together in the town of Rijeka in the Republic of

    20 Croatia. They underwent training in Rijeka and were

    21 equipped there with weapons and full military gear,

    22 and, having been equipped in that way, they came to

    23 Kiseljak and, on that day, were deployed in the

    24 Dalmacija Hotel.

    25 The composition of the brigade was that the

  10. 1 majority of members were Bosniak Muslims, although

    2 there were some Croats within the composition of that

    3 brigade.

    4 Q. We can move on, I think, and discuss the

    5 following incident.

    6 A. On the 5th of June, 1992, four officers were

    7 killed belonging to the joint command of the regional

    8 staff for Central Bosnia. The killing occurred on the

    9 territory of the municipality of Gornji Vakuf in the

    10 area which was controlled by the HVO forces and the TO

    11 forces.

    12 Q. What was the ethnic group of those killed?

    13 A. Mostly they were Croats.

    14 Q. Please continue.

    15 A. Also on the 5th of June, the village of

    16 Tulica, a Bosniak Muslim village, opened fire on Croat

    17 members in the village of Azapovici, and the unit of

    18 Territorial Defence, which was called the detachment, I

    19 don't remember the number, the detachment had a number,

    20 and it was from Kiseljak, when they launched the

    21 operation to deblock Sarajevo, so they opened fire on

    22 the backs of the defenders of the HVO who, at that

    23 time, were located on a position called Zelena Meraja.

    24 On the 11th of June, 1992, the Territorial

    25 Defence forces in the area of the Kiseljak municipality

  11. 1 stormed Croatian houses, ransacked them, took away

    2 weapons from the Croats where they found weapons.

    3 On the 14th of June, 1992, the members of the

    4 Territorial Defence forces from the village of Bukovica

    5 in the Kiseljak municipality also ransacked all the

    6 non-Muslim homes. There were several houses belonging

    7 to the Serbs, but most of them were owned by Croats,

    8 and they seized weapons and military equipment from

    9 those houses during the search.

    10 On the 15th of June, 1992, the members of the

    11 Territorial Defence forces, who represented themselves

    12 as being members of TG-1, threatened the Croats in the

    13 village of Medvjednica and said that, with the

    14 operation to deblock Sarajevo, they would be used as a

    15 human shield in breaking through the front lines of the

    16 army of the Republika Srpska.

    17 On the 15th of June, the Territorial Defence

    18 of Bukovica forbade Bakir Alispahic to enter the

    19 village.

    20 Q. Bakir Alispahic was the Muslim commander,

    21 together with you; is that correct?

    22 A. Yes. On the 15th of June, 1992, the

    23 Territorial Defence of Gomionica set up a

    24 counter-infantry minefield in front of its positions

    25 facing the Croatian village of Krizici.

  12. 1 On the 17th of June, 1992, the commander of

    2 the headquarters of the Territorial Defence of Kiseljak

    3 disarmed the village of Tulica, the Bosniak Muslim

    4 village, and took the weapons to Bukovica. This is a

    5 village which is along the front line towards the army

    6 of the Republika Srpska.

    7 On the 18th of June, 1992, a conflict broke

    8 out in Novi Travnik, and what happened was that they

    9 tried to gain control of the petrol pump there. The

    10 conflict broke out between the HVO and the TO of Novi

    11 Travnik. In the night between the 20th and the 21st of

    12 June, 1992 in Gornji Vakuf, the commander of the

    13 regional staff for Central Bosnia was kidnapped. His

    14 name was Zulu.

    15 On the 22nd and 23rd of June, 1992, there

    16 were conflicts going on in Gornji Vakuf between the

    17 members of the HVO and the members of the TO.

    18 On the 25th of June, 1992, members of the

    19 Hajdarevic family in the local community of Brnjaci

    20 opened fire on Croatian houses belonging to the Bosnjak

    21 family.

    22 Q. Hajdarevics were Muslims?

    23 A. Yes, they were Muslims, and the Bosnjaks were

    24 Croats, and this lasted during the night of the 25th of

    25 June.

  13. 1 On the 18th of June, 1992, members of the

    2 Territorial Defence from Visoko arrived in the

    3 territory of the Kiseljak municipality and conducted

    4 a search of Croatian villages in the border areas of

    5 the municipality of Kiseljak.

    6 Q. General, let me stop you here for a moment

    7 because I want to move on to when you were appointed

    8 the commander of the Operative Zone, which happened on

    9 the 27th of June, but before we move on to that, can

    10 you tell me, how did the civilian authorities respond

    11 in Kiseljak or Vitez or elsewhere and how you

    12 personally responded to these incidents?

    13 A. It was very difficult to respond because both

    14 the communications and the command structure had not

    15 been established. When I say "difficult," I refer to

    16 the commanders of both the Territorial Defence and the

    17 HVO and other armed groups. The only way was to go to

    18 the site of an incident and to try to persuade those

    19 who were in conflict to stop.

    20 The civilian authority, in almost all the

    21 cases which I have mentioned here, would hold meetings

    22 and was attempting to find people who had authority,

    23 the local prominent representatives of the Croatian or

    24 the Bosniak Muslim communities, and then, in contact

    25 and communication with them, would lower tensions and

  14. 1 try to overcome the consequences of such conflicts.

    2 Myself and Bakir, who worked closely with me

    3 at the time, were strangers in this area, and the

    4 individuals whom we met were also unknown to us. So it

    5 was quite difficult to try to resolve these conflicts

    6 and respond to them.

    7 Q. Would it be possible for the civilian

    8 authority to conduct any kind of repressive measures,

    9 in other words, to arrest some of the people involved

    10 and organise their trials, for instance?

    11 A. No, this was not possible, all the more so

    12 because some of the armed groups were better armed than

    13 the police itself. What further complicated the

    14 situation, the judicial system did not function, that

    15 is, at the municipality level, and such cases simply

    16 could not be prosecuted.

    17 The role of the police was, often times,

    18 reduced to just registering the incident and responding

    19 after the incident, but the full follow-up process was

    20 not possible in the area of Kiseljak at the time.

    21 Q. With this organisation of local power, which

    22 was not based on particular laws but rather the

    23 conditions, in other words, this mixture of military

    24 and civilian power which called itself the crisis

    25 staff, what did they consider at that time? Was this

  15. 1 lowering of the tensions the task of Bakir Alispahic

    2 and yourself or was it their own, that is, the

    3 competence of the civilian authorities?

    4 A. Bakir Alispahic and I, first of all, were not

    5 members of these civilian structures, and we were only

    6 asked to report on the preparations for defence in the

    7 territory of the municipality, in other words, to

    8 report on our work on the front line against the army

    9 of the Republika Srpska.

    10 We were not considered responsible for the

    11 security matters behind the front lines, so the

    12 municipal government did not consider us responsible

    13 for that, and the chief of the police station in

    14 Kiseljak reported on these security matters or it would

    15 be the commander of the police station, both of them

    16 members of the civilian police.

    17 Q. Did you and Bakir, despite that, volunteer to

    18 go to these villages, talk to people, try to lower the

    19 tensions?

    20 A. I personally went with Bakir on occasion,

    21 like to Bukovica and Tulica on the 17th of June when

    22 there was this disarming. I talked to everybody in

    23 Tulica, to the Bosniak Muslims, and I attempted to at

    24 least alleviate the situation because they were left

    25 without weapons and they were on the front line.

  16. 1 I was also in the village of Grahovci, Han

    2 Ploca, sometimes with Bakir, sometimes he would go

    3 there by himself, depending on the situation, the need,

    4 and our own assessment of the situation; however, I

    5 never received an order from any superior, that is,

    6 from the municipal crisis staff, to go to some of these

    7 villages because they too were aware that both of us

    8 were strangers in the area. I believe that Bakir was

    9 not even born in the Kiseljak area.

    10 Q. You arrived in April and now we're dealing

    11 with June. This is what you had promised your wife you

    12 would do, that after those two months, you would go

    13 back. So what happens now? You not only stayed but

    14 now you assumed a new, more responsible role. What was

    15 the reason for this?

    16 A. That is correct. I was aware that what I had

    17 set out to do, what I thought it was possible to do at

    18 the level of the Kiseljak municipality, I had not

    19 completed, and I did not conduct all preparations for

    20 defence, that is, for preparation and organisation of

    21 personnel, as well as the territory.

    22 Also I was aware, that is, those two months

    23 allowed me to get to know, to get a better picture of

    24 the situation in Central Bosnia in general, and, in

    25 fact, I saw that as far as the professional military

  17. 1 personnel is concerned, especially among the Croats,

    2 there were very few of these people, maybe five or six

    3 people, who had been active in the former JNA.

    4 True, I was able to establish a corps at the

    5 level of the Kiseljak municipality, but still there was

    6 no structure in place. This was still just the armed

    7 population who were facing at least the same, if not

    8 even more, danger from the Serbian advances. So my

    9 conscience did not allow me to leave this area because

    10 I believed this would be like leaving a sinking ship at

    11 the time. So this is why I decided to stay on and

    12 continue my work without asking for any compensation or

    13 any benefits.

    14 Q. On the 27th of June, 1992, you were at a

    15 meeting in Grude. This was the first time that you met

    16 Boban and the other leaders of the Croatian Community

    17 of Herceg-Bosna.

    18 Can you clarify for the Trial Chamber that

    19 event and how you became the commander of the Operative

    20 Zone of Central Bosnia?

    21 A. I attended the meeting of 27 June, 1992, in

    22 Grude, in the basement of Hotel Grude, with the late

    23 Mate Boban and other people attending were the

    24 commander of the main headquarters of the HVO, whom I

    25 met that day for the first time, and also attending was

  18. 1 General Roso, and briefly I stated my views to

    2 Mr. Boban, my views on the military situation. When I

    3 say "briefly," it was a 20- to 30-minute briefing, and

    4 after that I, for the most part, talked to the chief of

    5 staff of the main headquarters. I discussed Central

    6 Bosnia, I discussed different fronts, mostly military

    7 matters.

    8 After finishing this conversation, I received

    9 an order on my appointment as commander of the regional

    10 headquarters for Central Bosnia. This order was signed

    11 by Mr. Mate Boban and General Ante Roso.

    12 Q. So this was the first time when you met the

    13 military and political leadership of the Croatian

    14 Community of Herceg-Bosna?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Can you tell me, what did you know at that

    17 time? What information did you have on the Croatian

    18 Community of Herceg-Bosna? What was it? What were the

    19 goals? Because you said that in Kiseljak, you

    20 basically had an autonomous Croatian-Muslim authority,

    21 regardless of any superior authority.

    22 So can you tell me, what did you learn about

    23 the structure and goals of the Croatian Community of

    24 Herceg-Bosna and what opinion did you form? What

    25 organisation were you becoming a part of?

  19. 1 A. My first meeting was actually my first direct

    2 source of information on what Herceg-Bosna was, that

    3 is, Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, I should say,

    4 and my understanding of it was that it was a form of

    5 self-organising of the Croatian people for defence

    6 against the Serbian aggression.

    7 What I remember well and what Mate Boban

    8 requested in the conversation with me was that he

    9 expected that the members of the HVO, that the army

    10 were apolitical and professional and that any kind of

    11 politics would be eliminated from the operations of the

    12 military. He pretty much literally said: Leave out

    13 politics and the political questions, and leave it to

    14 the elected representatives of the Croatian people to

    15 deal with those. What your duties are are to organise

    16 and carry out defence against the Serbian aggression.

    17 Q. Was this position acceptable to you? Did you

    18 have any political ambitions? Were you a member of the

    19 HDZ in Bosnia or outside Bosnia?

    20 A. No, I was not a member of any political party

    21 except that during my training in the military academy,

    22 which was at a time of the former Yugoslavia, like any

    23 cadet, I was a member of the Communist Party of

    24 Yugoslavia. When this party fell apart or dissolved, I

    25 never joined any other political party, and this was

  20. 1 the only position that I felt comfortable with. This

    2 is what I repeated a number of times in many meetings

    3 with my associates, even later on when I was commander

    4 of the regional headquarters, saying that the military

    5 personnel within the HVO need to be depoliticised and

    6 that they should let the civilian representatives, the

    7 elected civilian representatives of the Croatian

    8 people, deal with political matters.

    9 Q. So you received an order that you became the

    10 military leader of Central Bosnia. Did you also

    11 receive a rank at that time? If you did, describe it,

    12 please.

    13 A. Yes, I did receive a rank, and under strange

    14 circumstances, I should say, for me. When my briefing

    15 was completed, General Roso said, and I quote him:

    16 "Very well. You will be a major and commander of the

    17 regional headquarters for Central Bosnia." And then he

    18 looked at a map where the zone of responsibility in

    19 Central Bosnia was drawn, and he said, and I quote him,

    20 "Well, in fact, this is quite a bit of a territory.

    21 In fact, you will be a colonel."

    22 After that, I received an order appointing me

    23 to the duty of commander of the regional headquarters

    24 for Central Bosnia, but I never received a formal

    25 decision for the rank of colonel; that is to say, in

  21. 1 the former army and in the armies that exist today in

    2 this territory, I think that it is by a decree that the

    3 ranks are conferred.

    4 Q. Very well. So you were conferred the rank of

    5 colonel even though there were no ranks in the HVO at

    6 the time; is that correct?

    7 A. Yes, that is correct. At that time, there

    8 was no conferral of ranks in the HVO. There was no

    9 basis for establishing a chain of command, so everybody

    10 was just a commander and everybody addressed each other

    11 as such, starting from just a combat group of three

    12 soldiers up to the level of the commander of the

    13 Operative Zone.

    14 Q. Very well. Before we move on, let's just

    15 clarify something. You became commander of the

    16 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia which, at that time,

    17 was a very large territory, even larger than the one

    18 that you will end up being a commander of later on.

    19 Could you say, in a normal army, what rank

    20 did you take on at that time and what rank had been the

    21 highest rank which you had had in the previous army?

    22 A. Looking from the size of the territory, this

    23 would be a rank of the commander of a corps, but this

    24 is only if the criterion would be the number of -- if

    25 we just look at what rank would be with reference to

  22. 1 the number of recruits, that would be the commander of

    2 a division. But when I finished my training in 1983, I

    3 qualified as a commander of a platoon, and the highest

    4 duty I ever had was commander of a company, and for a

    5 brief period of time, deputy commander of a battalion.

    6 Q. Just to clarify it even more for those of us

    7 who are not military experts: How many soldiers are in

    8 a division, how many in a company?

    9 A. The standards are pretty much the same in all

    10 armies. For a division, it is somewhere between 8.000

    11 and 12.000 soldiers, depending upon what type of

    12 division this is, but this is how we were taught in the

    13 military academy; and a company is comprised of about

    14 100 to 150 soldiers at the most, again depending upon

    15 whether it is an infantry, a mountain, or what type of

    16 company it is, so not below 100, not over 150.

    17 Q. How would you define your military experience

    18 up until this assignment?

    19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: While you're on that

    20 aspect, would you see any value in getting the witness

    21 to say what is the size of a corps and what is the

    22 rank, the normal rank, of the military officer

    23 commanding a corps?

    24 MR. NOBILO: By all means.

    25 Q. Please, General. In the indictment, "corps"

  23. 1 is mentioned several times, like the 3rd Corps. So

    2 what would be the rank of an officer commanding a corps

    3 and how many soldiers would a corps have?

    4 A. Your Honours, a corps is a combined unit, so

    5 the number of soldiers also depends, but it varies --

    6 it goes from 25.000 up to 30.000, even 50.000, and even

    7 beyond.

    8 The way we were taught in the military

    9 academy, a corps could be composed of brigades, in

    10 other words, let's say, to be composed of ten, or up to

    11 ten brigades, and it could be a group of divisions, so

    12 that it would have three, perhaps four divisions. In

    13 any event, it would have no less than 20.000 soldiers.

    14 It is difficult to sort of define it upwards because it

    15 depends upon the type of corps.

    16 Q. What would be the typical rank of the

    17 commander of a corps, let's say in just a regular,

    18 normal military organisation?

    19 A. In the former -- if I speak of the former

    20 JNA, and I think that this is the case today as well,

    21 it would be Major-General or General who had a certain

    22 amount of experience, but he would have to have over 20

    23 years of professional experience in a military

    24 organisation.

    25 Q. Very well. Were you talking about a corps or

  24. 1 a division?

    2 A. It is approximately the same. It would have

    3 to be at least 20 years of troop experience and it

    4 would also have been typical for this commander to have

    5 had experience of at least three or four years in some

    6 kind of command structure and to have had proper

    7 education. Some places it's called wartime, war

    8 academy, and some places it's called the national

    9 security academy.

    10 Q. So this is a rank that is several grades

    11 above the military academy?

    12 A. Yes, this would be several grades above the

    13 simple military academy. I'm talking about the regular

    14 procedures. In order to become a commander of a

    15 company, you not only had to have completed the

    16 military academy but also a special course and to have

    17 had at least three years of experience as commander of

    18 a platoon. Also, the standard was that a commander of

    19 the battalion, in order to become a commander of a

    20 battalion, one had to undergo a course, a six-month

    21 course leading to that duty or to have an equivalent

    22 experience in some type of command.

    23 Q. How about commander of a corps or a division,

    24 what other training was requisite?

    25 A. A necessary requirement would have been a

  25. 1 staff academy which lasted for two years and then one

    2 would have had to have experience of a commander of a

    3 brigade or a regiment, plus one had to have applied for

    4 an exam for General. Also, another requirement was an

    5 All People's Defence course or a national security

    6 course, so that would be the highest training that was

    7 offered.

    8 Q. Very well. How would you sum up your

    9 experience in the JNA? Were you just a regular troop

    10 officer or were you more involved in the training?

    11 A. Between 1983 and 1986, I was, for the most

    12 part, away from troops. I worked with cadets. I

    13 worked with the cadets of the academy of reserve --

    14 Q. Excuse me. There was -- the years were '83

    15 to '86, not '93 to '96. [Real-time had "1993" and

    16 "1996"]

    17 A. Yes. After I graduated from the military

    18 academy in 1983 until 1986, I was, for the most part,

    19 involved in training, teaching. At that time and later

    20 on, I did not take any courses for commanding duties,

    21 either for a company or a battalion.

    22 Q. Let's go back to 1992. In Grude, you were

    23 appointed as the chief military person for Central

    24 Bosnia. What followed? When did you take over the

    25 duty? Who did you meet there? What did you take over

  26. 1 in terms of documents, in terms of the organisation of

    2 the headquarters for Central Bosnia and so on?

    3 A. I took over my duties as commander at a

    4 meeting held on the 30th of June, 1992, in Gornji

    5 Vakuf; it was a meeting which had been convened

    6 previously, scheduled previously by the former

    7 commander of the regional headquarters for Central

    8 Bosnia, Mr. Zulu. At that particular meeting, I

    9 availed myself of the few minutes that I had beforehand

    10 to inform him of the fact that I had received a command

    11 and that I was, in fact, going to take over his

    12 command, take over his duties. He told me that he had

    13 also been informed of this decision and decree, and

    14 that when the meeting was over, he would formally hand

    15 over his duties to me.

    16 At the end of the meeting in his office, he

    17 gave me military documents and a notebook which was

    18 called a war journal or war log, and that was my first

    19 encounter with a document of that kind, and that was

    20 all the documents that he had to give me.

    21 Q. What was the staff in the headquarters?

    22 A. The staff comprised of the deputy commander,

    23 his deputy, Mr. Luka Sekerija, who was the commander of

    24 the municipal headquarters of the HVO for Gornji Vakuf,

    25 and he performed the duty of his deputy, he acted as

  27. 1 his deputy, because the office of the commander for the

    2 regional headquarters were located in the building of

    3 the municipal headquarters of the HVO for Gornji

    4 Vakuf. However, the deputy did not have any order on

    5 appointment.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic, I would like

    7 to ask you for a clarification. General Ante Roso,

    8 what was his position before yours?

    9 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, I don't know

    10 what function he had at the time, what rank. I saw him

    11 for the first time. On that occasion, he was there

    12 together with General Petkovic and they sat round the

    13 same table. General Petkovic introduced himself to me

    14 for the first time on the occasion and said that he was

    15 the chief of the main staff of the HVO and I reported

    16 to General Petkovic. I don't know nor did I later see

    17 what function he performed within the HVO.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: So you would report to General

    19 Petkovic; is that correct? Did I understand correctly?

    20 A. General Petkovic was the chief of the main

    21 staff of the HVO at that time. I did not get any

    22 information nor did I know the function of General

    23 Roso.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Thank you. Excuse

    25 me. Judge Shahabuddeen?

  28. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: General, you would have

    2 understood that General Roso was then speaking with the

    3 authority of General Petkovic; is my impression

    4 correct?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 MR. NOBILO:

    7 Q. In addition to Luka Sekerija, who else was a

    8 member of the regional headquarters, regional staff?

    9 A. In addition to Luka Sekerija, we had the

    10 assistant for information, Mr. Marko Prskalo, and in

    11 the main staff, there were two secretaries; however,

    12 none of them had any document or order or decree on

    13 appointment.

    14 Q. Did you find any documents relating to

    15 fighting and combat operations, and were you able to

    16 understand whether this main staff gave out combat

    17 orders for Central Bosnia?

    18 A. I did not come across one single combat

    19 document. I asked the commander to give me some

    20 documents of that kind, but he said that he had no

    21 other documents, and he did not even have a list of

    22 commanders of the municipal headquarters listing their

    23 names and surnames, and I realised, I understood, that

    24 from that office, no commands were issued from that

    25 office from any of the commanders, nor was there any

  29. 1 communication, in the military sense of the word, with

    2 the immediate commanders, subordinate commanders,

    3 because the command there, apart from Mr. Zulu, did not

    4 have any other people who were appointed, any other

    5 individuals appointed to a position in that command.

    6 Q. Could you tell the Court who the commanders

    7 were of the regional headquarters of Central Bosnia

    8 before you, and what do you think, why did Boban and

    9 Petkovic choose you? What choice did they have? What

    10 did your potential professional competition and traits

    11 represent in their selection of you in particular?

    12 A. As far as I know, I was the fifth commander

    13 within a space of one month, barely one month. Before

    14 me, I had got to know the commanders of the regional

    15 headquarters. One of them was Mr. Pasko Ljubicic. I

    16 also knew that for a period of time this duty was

    17 performed by Mr. Filip Filipovic. I also was

    18 introduced to Mr. Brigadier Zarko Tole, and I also met

    19 Mr. Zulu. We would address him as commander. He did

    20 not have a rank, though.

    21 Q. So these then were professional officers in

    22 Central Bosnia. Why do you think you were chosen?

    23 What criteria led to your election?

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. The one who came

    25 before you was Mr. Zulu, was it not?

  30. 1 A. Yes, Mr. President.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: So chronologically then, the

    3 first was Ljubicic?

    4 A. Mr. President, as far as I know, I did not

    5 have an insight into their documents.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: If you don't know, you can

    7 imagine how difficult it is for us. These were your

    8 direct predecessors. There were five in one month.

    9 There were five in one month. You were the fifth.

    10 Before you was Mr. Zulu.

    11 A. Before Zulu, it was Mr. Zarko Tole. Before

    12 him, I think it was Filipovic and Mr. Ljubicic before

    13 that.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.

    15 A. Mr. President, if I may, let me just clarify

    16 what I mean when I say "I don't know." I know who

    17 represented himself as commander to me and introduced

    18 himself as commander to me, but I did not see any

    19 decree or order as to that appointment. So I was not

    20 able to control their documents relating to their

    21 appointments. I know that they introduced themselves

    22 as such, as being commanders, without actually seeing

    23 the appointment decree.

    24 MR. NOBILO: Could we take a break now

    25 perhaps, Mr. President?

  31. 1 JUDGE JORDA: We're going to take a break

    2 because we're going to have to stop at 12.45, so we're

    3 going to take a 20-minute break.

    4 --- Recess taken at 11.15 a.m.

    5 --- On resuming at 11.40 a.m.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume the hearing

    7 now. Please be seated.

    8 MR. NOBILO:

    9 Q. Well, let us continue. The last question

    10 before the break was what was the possible choice, that

    11 is to say, the potential competition you had from the

    12 professional officers in Central Bosnia, the

    13 competition you had with them, and why do you think you

    14 were selected to be the commander for Central Bosnia?

    15 A. Well, in Central Bosnia, I already said that

    16 there were very few active military personnel, and the

    17 choice was also made on the basis of professionalism

    18 and my professional training and education.

    19 Besides myself, there was the possibility of

    20 choosing as commander and appointing as commander

    21 Mr. Ivica Rajic, who had completed the military academy

    22 in Rajlovac for air reconnaissance, the air

    23 reconnaissance course. This was, for the most part,

    24 work with radar stations and the technicality involved

    25 in this. That was his particular expertise.

  32. 1 Then there was Mr. Mato Lucic, who had

    2 completed the higher military academy which lasted for

    3 two years, he graduated after this two-year course, and

    4 he had been working for a little under one year as

    5 commander of a platoon for anti-aircraft defence.

    6 There was another candidate, possible

    7 candidate, his name was Ivica Zeko, but he was a

    8 specialist and trained expert in matters of

    9 reconnoitring units, reconnaissance units. At that

    10 time in the HVO in the area of Central Bosnia, they

    11 were mostly infantry men, that is to say, armed

    12 villagers and locals with different types of small

    13 arms.

    14 Q. Filip Filipovic was an officer. What were

    15 his credentials, so to speak?

    16 A. Well, he had graduated from the artillery,

    17 and he was, for a time, commander of the regional

    18 staff, but very soon he was replaced.

    19 Q. What about your particular field of

    20 expertise?

    21 A. I graduated from the ground forces and

    22 infantry at the academy, so for infantry weapons.

    23 Q. Can we, therefore, conclude that you had the

    24 rank of an infantry man, and that is what the HVO had,

    25 it had an infantry?

  33. 1 A. Yes. As an active military man from the JNA,

    2 in that particular area, I was the only one holding

    3 that particular rank, and my field of expertise was for

    4 the infantry. The others worked in Territorial Defence

    5 and so forth.

    6 Q. Can you describe to us now the situation that

    7 you encountered when you came to the Operative Zone, in

    8 the sense of the battleground and front line towards

    9 the Republika Srpska, what units existed, what their

    10 composition was, so on and so forth? So can we

    11 describe the situation in the Operative Zone when you

    12 took over as commander?

    13 A. I would need a map to describe the front

    14 line.

    15 THE REGISTRAR: This is D539.

    16 MR. NOBILO: May we zoom in with the camera

    17 onto the map, please?

    18 A. So the first front line under my area of

    19 responsibility was the Kupres battleground, and

    20 authority over the municipal headquarters of Bugojno,

    21 Gornji Vakuf --

    22 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Mr. President. I

    23 can't see this, and I doubt my colleagues can see it.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. The Judges don't see it

    25 very clearly either. I know that it's difficult. As

  34. 1 regards you, Mr. Kehoe, there wouldn't be any problem,

    2 you can approach the model, and if the witness wants to

    3 rise, of course, he can. There's no problem with

    4 that. There's the problem with the Judges which is

    5 important.

    6 MR. HAYMAN: If the camera can't zoom in,

    7 Your Honour, then we will put it on the ELMO and then

    8 it will be visible to all.

    9 MR. KEHOE: Whatever is easier.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps that would be the best

    11 thing to do.

    12 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, as we're getting

    13 ready to put this on the ELMO, it might be easier for

    14 us and the Court if we could get a copy of it so we can

    15 take a look at it. It would be easier to examine. If

    16 counsel has a copy, it would be easier.

    17 MR. HAYMAN: We would like a copy too. We

    18 don't have any copies. So if the court staff can help

    19 us in that regard, we would be grateful. Thank you.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: All right. I will decide that

    21 the Tribunal will make available as quickly as possible

    22 the map, both for Defence counsel and for Prosecution

    23 counsel and, of course, for the Judges.

    24 Mr. Registrar, be sure that that is done.

    25 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, of course.

  35. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. In the meantime, we

    2 will do what we can with the ELMO, but that is already

    3 a lot of progress. I'm beginning to see things now.

    4 General Blaskic, please continue.

    5 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, the front in the

    6 regional headquarters of Central Bosnia comprised of

    7 the following: The Kupres front which included the

    8 municipal commands of Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf, Prozor,

    9 and then we have part of the front to north-west

    10 Herzegovina.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Blaskic, are you defining

    12 the combat zones or the municipal staffs? I didn't pay

    13 careful enough attention. Are the combat zones against

    14 the Serbs there or the organisation? Is it the

    15 organisation or the combat zones? What is it that you

    16 are defining?

    17 A. Mr. President, on this map, I wish to show

    18 the front and the front lines towards the army of the

    19 Republika Srpska.

    20 MR. NOBILO:

    21 Q. Perhaps we could limit ourselves to the front

    22 lines and forget which commands held which sections.

    23 Let's see Central Bosnia under your command, what were

    24 the front lines towards the Serbs that they held?

    25 A. So the front lines were as follows --

  36. 1 Q. Okay.

    2 A. -- the Kupres front and the front in

    3 north-west Herzegovina, the front Glamocko around the

    4 town of Jajce --

    5 Q. On the map, we can see that the front line

    6 has been moved slightly. Can you tell us when Jajce

    7 fell?

    8 A. Probably the map is outside the time span of

    9 the 28th of October. It probably dates back to the end

    10 of October, beginning of November.

    11 Q. On the map, it states that the map dates back

    12 to December 1992 when Jajce had already fallen.

    13 A. Yes. Jajce fell at the end of October 1992,

    14 but when I took over the command, we had a front line

    15 up here towards the army of the Republika Srpska. Then

    16 there was the Komar pass, Radalj, Lasic, and towards

    17 the north towards Teslic. Then we come to the area

    18 south of Doboj and onwards, the west slopes of Mount

    19 Ozren, Olovo, east of Vares, Mount Zvijezda, Kiseljak,

    20 Hadzici, the slopes of Mount Bjelasnica, and the

    21 western slopes of Mount Visocica.

    22 Q. Thank you. Yes.

    23 A. Part of the front of the municipalities in

    24 Sarajevo, that is, the centre of the city, in concrete

    25 terms, it was the electricity building up to Vrbanja

  37. 1 Most, the bridge, and the Stup municipality and part of

    2 the front at Hrasnica.

    3 Q. Those were all the suburbs of Sarajevo,

    4 suburban municipalities?

    5 A. Sarajevo was under encirclement, and those,

    6 for the most part, were parts of the front. There were

    7 seven fronts in total.

    8 Q. We're going to leave the map for a moment,

    9 and we shall be getting a copy to hand round of the

    10 map.

    11 Can you tell us what situation you

    12 encountered? What units of the HVO did you have in

    13 Central Bosnia when you took over your command, and how

    14 were they organised?

    15 A. The situation was as follows: It was similar

    16 to the situation in the Kiseljak municipality. There

    17 were no organised military formations, and in actual

    18 fact, each municipality was, in a way, organised, that

    19 is to say, there was only a brigade being formed in

    20 Usora, it was called the 110th Brigade, but it was

    21 still under formation. It still had not been

    22 completely established, nor did it have all the

    23 formation documents and organisational documents that

    24 were required; however, recruits from that area

    25 referred to themselves as the Usora Brigade actually

  38. 1 prior to the actual establishment of the brigade

    2 itself.

    3 Q. How was the defence organised along the

    4 fronts that you mentioned? What model did you pursue?

    5 A. The defence was organised in such a way that

    6 the shifts of armed locals, villagers, would take up

    7 certain positions, they would be deployed according to

    8 shifts, and the shift would last between one to five

    9 days at most. The most numerous armed groups could be

    10 referred to as shifts. They were referred to as

    11 shifts, and that's what they called themselves. They

    12 called themselves shifts and these shifts were

    13 mobilised by the offices in the different

    14 municipalities.

    15 Q. Now, what happened five days later when one

    16 shift completes its term of duty on the front line?

    17 A. After five days, or after one day sometimes,

    18 usually it was a one-day shift, the shift would return

    19 to base, that is to say, to the village and the homes,

    20 their own homes in the villages, and they would take

    21 their weapons with them and ammunition with them and

    22 all the military gear that they had been issued. They

    23 would then carry on with their daily work. If they

    24 were people who were employed in companies, they would

    25 go to perform their daily jobs, they would go to work.

  39. 1 The peasants would tend to their land, depending upon

    2 the season, if it was a season for field work.

    3 Q. So that was the situation you encountered.

    4 How then did you undertake your duties? What were your

    5 methods of work? What were the concrete things that

    6 you did as commander of the regional headquarters?

    7 A. At the very beginning, I endeavoured to

    8 organise meetings with the commanders of the municipal

    9 staff and have them brief me on the existing military

    10 situation, although I was fully conscious of the fact

    11 that I would not be able to engage in operative

    12 command, but I wished to take all the necessary steps

    13 to try and influence this or give assistance to the

    14 individual commanders.

    15 What influenced my activity most were the

    16 front lines and the seven fronts that I enumerated. Of

    17 course, there were other activities involved. We had

    18 to contend with the attackers, and the attacks were not

    19 in equal measure on all the fronts. Then there was the

    20 time that I had at my disposal, the configuration of

    21 the land and logistics. I had to take all this into

    22 account.

    23 I usually applied two forms of work: One was

    24 my individual work, that was one way in which I

    25 functioned; and, secondly, we would have joint work

  40. 1 together, that is to say, I would hold joint meetings

    2 with the commanders of individual municipal

    3 headquarters or with the commanders of one of the

    4 municipal commands. I would visit them, for example.

    5 I would personally visit the front lines, tour the

    6 front lines, and have talks there with the soldiers up

    7 at the front lines.

    8 Q. Can you tell me, where did you work as the

    9 commander of the regional headquarters? Where did you

    10 create your headquarters?

    11 A. I first took over the duty in Gornji Vakuf,

    12 and I stayed there, in other words, I had an office

    13 there at the headquarters of the municipal staff of the

    14 Gornji Vakuf HVO, and then I sent a proposal, which was

    15 agreed to, that I transfer this headquarters to Vitez,

    16 to the local commune of Kruscica. There was a motel

    17 there, it was called Lovac or "Hunter," and this is

    18 where I wanted to set up the headquarters.

    19 Q. Apart from the headquarters, did you also

    20 have a sort of satellite headquarters during 1992?

    21 A. Yes, I had command posts on several fronts.

    22 The first command post was in the territory of Kiseljak

    23 municipality in the village of Bukve, and later it was

    24 transferred to Cubren. Then I had another command post

    25 in Jajce, in the village of Blazevici. Additionally, I

  41. 1 had a command post in Zepce and a command post in

    2 Travnik during the period when the defence of Travnik

    3 was at issue.

    4 When I say "command post," I, first of all,

    5 had in mind certain facilities which would be part of

    6 the front line, sometimes there would be shelters or

    7 dugouts, and I would normally be there and, along with

    8 me, one or two of my associates.

    9 Q. This was exclusively the front lines?

    10 A. Yes. For instance, the Travnik command post

    11 was directly at the front line against the Serbian

    12 forces.

    13 Q. The main headquarters, apart from these

    14 command posts at various front lines, your central

    15 command post was in Kruscica. Can you tell me, who

    16 lives in Kruscica? Which ethnic group has a majority

    17 population there and was there a problem for you there?

    18 A. I knew, based on information given to me by

    19 the municipal headquarters in Vitez, that Kruscica was

    20 predominantly inhabited by Bosniak Muslims. However,

    21 for me, that was not a problem at all nor did I

    22 consider it a problem. The biggest problem I had was

    23 that I only had a piece of paper saying that I had this

    24 authority; that was the only thing that I actually

    25 had. I was not a member of any municipal headquarters.

  42. 1 Q. Could you describe to the Trial Chamber what

    2 were your initial activities; in other words, what did

    3 you start with and how did you go about your duties in

    4 this new post?

    5 A. There were a number of priorities, and let me

    6 try to list them. What I thought that my basic role

    7 was, if I was not able to have an operational command

    8 of the defence, I felt obliged to exercise certain

    9 influence over the combat activities, and what I mean

    10 by that is to provide assistance at the most threatened

    11 fronts which had been attacked by the aggressor. Then

    12 I tried to work together with the commanders of these

    13 municipal staffs, that is, Jajce and Bugojno, who were

    14 at the front line, to slow down, if this was possible,

    15 and, if possible, stop the insurgence and advances of

    16 the Serbian forces, and specifically in Jajce, we very

    17 soon came to the realisation that we needed to set up a

    18 defence, and so I became involved on these fronts.

    19 Q. Can you describe, define, what "missing

    20 defence" means in purely military terms?

    21 A. That means that we were not able to lose --

    22 you were not in a position to lose any more military

    23 facilities because in the area of Mrkonjic Grad, we had

    24 been squeezed practically into the city centre itself.

    25 Q. Does that mean that there will be no retreat?

  43. 1 A. Yes, in a way that is what it means, but I

    2 also tried to convince commanders at the front lines

    3 that what was needed was to increase caution because

    4 any further losses would mean the fall of the town of

    5 Jajce.

    6 Apart from that, I also thought that I needed

    7 to work on preparing the ground for the defence, and I

    8 used similar methods to what I had used in Kiseljak,

    9 that means visiting of certain front lines, define the

    10 front line, the reserve front line and others. For the

    11 most part, we worked on building fortifications in

    12 terms of engineering work.

    13 A special problem in Central Bosnia was the

    14 climate, that is, the coming of winter. This is

    15 mountainous terrain with very severe winters, and we

    16 had to pay special attention to provisions and supplies

    17 for these municipal staffs. The road to Jajce was

    18 passable only in summer and early fall, these were

    19 mountain roads, and the rest of the roads are already

    20 under the control of the Serbian forces.

    21 Apart from these priorities, I also tried, as

    22 much as I could, to establish the command itself, that

    23 is, the regional staff command, because apart from the

    24 deputy and this one assistant and the two secretaries,

    25 there was literally no one there. There were problems

  44. 1 in terms of the pool of people from whom I could

    2 select. There were also problems in the lack of

    3 standardised organisational documents, in other words,

    4 documents that would be used to fill the staff and

    5 which defined competences within the command.

    6 At that time, we did not have the

    7 mobilisation chart nor the mobilisation code or any

    8 other organisational documents, so that we had over 20

    9 municipal staffs and each one had different

    10 organisation. Some had five, some had a staff of

    11 fifteen, some had a staff of one.

    12 In addition to this task, I also tried to

    13 find out ways for a post-combat recuperation period for

    14 the wounded because we had some wartime hospitals like

    15 in Jajce but we did not have enough beds for all the

    16 wounded.

    17 I also tried to set up a system of assistance

    18 to the most threatened fronts, like in Jajce, Bugojno,

    19 and Teslic; in other words, to use those points which

    20 were behind the most threatened front lines so that

    21 they could help the points at the front lines so that

    22 we could gain some time before we got better organised.

    23 Also, I tried to organise the training of

    24 personnel, both soldiers and the command staff;

    25 however, for a long time, this remained just a good

  45. 1 intention simply because we had been under attack for a

    2 long time.

    3 I also thought at that time that Vitez should

    4 have the central command post, in view of what our

    5 assessment of the future developments were, and I

    6 thought of setting up a logistics base because the

    7 regional headquarters had none at that time, neither a

    8 logistics base nor any kind of logistics. The

    9 logistics was the duty of municipal staffs, and they

    10 handled it as best they could. Fojnica, which is a

    11 municipality which was potentially very convenient even

    12 before the war broke out, was identified as being

    13 especially fitting for the setting up of a wartime

    14 hospital and rehabilitation of the wounded, and this is

    15 what we later did.

    16 I also tried to set up at least draft

    17 documents because we did not have documents which

    18 defined either the competences or the daily activities,

    19 and let me just give you an example. The gentleman who

    20 was my assistant for information was trained as an

    21 economist. He was somebody who worked pretty much --

    22 who had a career as an economist and never worked in

    23 information, and overnight, he just became an assistant

    24 for information, and he told me himself that he did not

    25 have the vaguest idea what he was supposed to do.

  46. 1 Also, my deputy, Mr. Luka Sekerija, was not a

    2 professional soldier at all.

    3 Q. When you talked about documents which formed

    4 the basis of your activities and through one of these,

    5 Exhibit D244 (sic) speaks to this. Was this a job that

    6 would be typically -- a type of document that a person

    7 in your position would draft?

    8 A. No. These are very strategic documents so

    9 that the Defence department would be the institution --

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Give us a brief reminder of the

    11 contents of that document because now we are having the

    12 witness talk about this document, and I heard 240, that

    13 was the number I heard, and on the transcript, 244.

    14 Are you talking about the organisational chart?

    15 MR. NOBILO: Document D240 is the document

    16 relating to the establishment of brigades in Central

    17 Bosnia, and so I link that question to the question:

    18 Was it usual or normal for a commander of this rank to

    19 issue such a document? This document regulates the

    20 establishment of brigades in the entire zone of

    21 responsibility of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Has the Prosecution found it?

    23 MR. HARMON: Yes.

    24 MR. NOBILO: Well, we have it here on the

    25 ELMO.

  47. 1 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Please continue.

    2 MR. NOBILO:

    3 Q. I am not going to go into this document, but

    4 just to remind you that the establishment of a number

    5 of brigades was ordered through this document.

    6 Would this be part of your competence

    7 according to the military doctrine, and did you try to

    8 set up all the necessary documents or did you receive

    9 them from the main headquarters?

    10 A. This document would not be part of the

    11 competence of the -- not even the main headquarters.

    12 This document should have been drafted by the Ministry

    13 of Defence on the basis of the mobilisation

    14 development; however, this document was drafted after

    15 the loss of many positions, and it was our attempt to

    16 try to do something in terms of organisation because we

    17 just could not wait any longer to receive a document

    18 from a higher authority.

    19 Q. How about the other establishment documents

    20 which, as you said, you tried to draft and which would

    21 serve as a base for establishing some type of an army?

    22 Were such documents also of that level where you should

    23 have received them from the Ministry of Defence rather

    24 than draft them yourself on the ground?

    25 A. Yes, it was the very same problem, and let me

  48. 1 just give you an example. At that time, there were 22

    2 municipal staffs in the Operative Zone and then there

    3 was the city of Sarajevo which had two or three such

    4 staffs. No municipal staff had a standard which would

    5 regulate its organisation, its structure; and as I

    6 mentioned, the assistant for information whom I

    7 mentioned, he did not know what his job description

    8 was. So in July of 1992, I sent a proposal for the

    9 structure of the municipal staffs and I tried to define

    10 their competence, and I personally worked on

    11 instructions for assistance, for information, of trying

    12 to help them and enable them to conduct or carry out

    13 their jobs.

    14 There were other organisational documents

    15 because the situation on the ground and the general

    16 situation required that we have them and we could just

    17 not wait for them.

    18 Q. Can we then say that these organisational

    19 documents are a prerequisite for establishment of any

    20 army?

    21 A. Yes, they are basic documents for

    22 establishing any kind of organisation and regulate

    23 competences. Without them, you could not make any

    24 progress in terms of organisation.

    25 Q. We described briefly the situation in the

  49. 1 Operative Zone in Central Bosnia, and then you also

    2 listed the front. We are not going to go into details

    3 of which fronts were active in which period. We will

    4 go back to that once we have copies of the map.

    5 I would like to take you to an incident, to

    6 the first incident which has been mentioned in the

    7 indictment, which is the conflict in Duhri in Kiseljak

    8 municipality sometime in August of 1992. Could you

    9 describe to us, based on your best recollection, how

    10 this conflict broke out, what preceded it, how it

    11 developed, and how it was resolved?

    12 A. With the Trial Chamber's permission, I would

    13 like to use the model again, or should I just describe

    14 it first?

    15 Q. Why don't you step towards the model and look

    16 at the individual positions of individual units, and if

    17 you could just define all the symbols on the map?

    18 I would also like to ask that the map be

    19 brought closer because at one point we will ask that a

    20 photograph, a still photograph, be taken of it which we

    21 will submit.

    22 MR. KEHOE: Just before we begin -- if we

    23 could take a look at it just before we begin with the

    24 testimony?

    25 Thank you.

  50. 1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

    2 Microphone.

    3 MR. NOBILO: Just one moment, please. Could

    4 we have the microphone switched on, and perhaps for the

    5 benefit of the Trial Chamber, Kiseljak is now -- we

    6 have changed the model, the position of the model, and

    7 Kiseljak is now facing Defence counsel.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Let's not change the model too

    9 many times or we're not going to know what we're doing.

    10 MR. NOBILO: The mountains are further away

    11 from you so you have a better view of the model.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Show us again, please,

    13 Kiseljak, General Blaskic. I have to find where I am

    14 here.

    15 A. Mr. President, Kiseljak (indicating).

    16 JUDGE JORDA: All right. And Vitez then ...

    17 A. Busovaca, Vitez, Travnik, and Zepce

    18 (indicating).

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Okay. All right.

    20 A. Moving here. In Kiseljak, in the same

    21 building, here the commander of the Territorial Defence

    22 staff was Mr. Sead Sinanbasic, and here the commander

    23 was, for the municipal headquarters of the HVO,

    24 Mr. Ivica Rajic. These two flags represent that

    25 building and their headquarters.

  51. 1 MR. NOBILO:

    2 Q. For purposes of clarification, Mr. Ivica

    3 Rajic replaced you when you became commander of the

    4 regional headquarters; is that correct?

    5 A. Yes, it is. This was the situation as it

    6 stood on the 6th, between the 6th and 7th of August,

    7 1992.

    8 On the main road running from Busovaca to

    9 Kiseljak and Ilidza and further on towards Sarajevo

    10 (indicating), that's the main road, we had checkpoints

    11 set up of the reserve formation of the civilian

    12 police. There was a checkpoint at Brestovsko.

    13 Q. Was that a joint Croatian-Muslim civilian

    14 police force?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. And it is denoted with a blue and green flag.

    17 A. The Gromiljak checkpoint was here

    18 (indicating).

    19 Q. Once again, a joint Croatian-Muslim police

    20 force.

    21 A. And here, there are no markings, but this is

    22 where the checkpoint at Brnjaci was.

    23 Q. Who controlled that checkpoint?

    24 A. The reserve force of the Croatian-Muslim

    25 police force.

  52. 1 The front line, the main front line towards

    2 the Sarajevo and Romanija corps, the Serbian one, of

    3 the HVO was at Kokoska. Then we have feature 651,

    4 Pljesevac, Ostrik (indicating).

    5 Q. For purposes of the record, they are the blue

    6 flags.

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. Who held those posts where the blue flags are

    9 towards the Serbs?

    10 A. These positions were held by the HVO.

    11 Q. For purposes of the record, may we note that

    12 the Serb positions are denoted by red flags; is that

    13 right?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 MR. NOBILO: May we now have a picture taken

    16 of the front line toward the Serbs? May we have a

    17 still, a photograph, which we could use later on as an

    18 exhibit, if that is at all possible? If it is not

    19 possible now, we can do that later on.

    20 Q. Please continue.

    21 A. The positions to the right or south-east were

    22 held by a detachment of the Territorial Defence force

    23 of Kiseljak composed of TG-1. Those are the Koscan

    24 positions and the area of the Hadzici municipality.

    25 Q. They are the green flags; right? They are

  53. 1 the green flags opposite the red Serbian flags?

    2 A. Yes, that's right.

    3 Q. Please continue.

    4 A. On the 7th of August, 1992, I spent most of

    5 the day in Zepce. It lies in the direction I'm

    6 pointing to (indicating). It is not on the model. I

    7 had a meeting there with the commanders of the

    8 municipality headquarters of Zepce, Maglaj, Zavidovici,

    9 Usora, and Komusina. The topic of the meeting was the

    10 critical situation in the municipal headquarters of

    11 Komusina. They include the municipalities of Teslic

    12 and the attacks which the Serbs launched on that part

    13 of the municipality under the control of the HVO in

    14 Komusina.

    15 Q. When did you arrive in Kiseljak, about what

    16 time?

    17 A. I arrived in the afternoon. I got home,

    18 that's roughly the position (indicating), and I got a

    19 telephone call at about 5.00 p.m. It was the

    20 afternoon. I'm not quite sure as to the exact time.

    21 It was about 5.00 p.m., not before that. They

    22 telephoned and said that I should appear in the

    23 Kiseljak municipality and that the meeting had been

    24 convened of the municipal assembly of Kiseljak and that

    25 I was to attend.

  54. 1 Q. That is the Croatian-Muslim authority?

    2 A. Yes, it is the parliament of the municipality

    3 of Kiseljak which, up until then, had never convened a

    4 meeting because the conclusion of the assembly was that

    5 a municipal crisis staff would be set up, having all

    6 the competencies of an assembly. I asked what the

    7 occasion was to hold a meeting of this kind, why it was

    8 being convened, but I was told that I would find out at

    9 the meeting itself and that it was necessary that I

    10 attend the meeting.

    11 I went to the meeting, and when I arrived in

    12 the building of the municipal assembly of Kiseljak, I

    13 asked Mr. Rajic what the topic of the meeting was, and

    14 he told me, "We're already late. We're waiting for

    15 Sead Sinanbasic to arrive, and then we're going to

    16 start the meeting, and you'll hear at the meeting what

    17 the topic is." After some 10 to 15 minutes of waiting,

    18 the meeting started.

    19 Q. If you would like to sit down, if you don't

    20 need the --

    21 JUDGE JORDA: You can remain standing as you

    22 like. Do you still need the model?

    23 MR. NOBILO: We shall be needing the model

    24 because the point has to do with the barricades that

    25 were set up. They are the yellow areas.

  55. 1 A. The meeting started by playing a tape of the

    2 radio broadcast and a statement made by the commander

    3 of the Territorial Defence of Kiseljak, and after this

    4 tape of the statement was played in front of the

    5 members attending the meeting, the introductory address

    6 was made by the president of the municipal assembly,

    7 Josip Boro, and he then gave the floor, after that

    8 introductory address, to Mr. Rajic. Mr. Rajic took the

    9 floor.

    10 Q. What was said on the tape that was played to

    11 you?

    12 A. As far as I can recall, the tape presented

    13 untruths about the fact that in Kiseljak -- falsehoods,

    14 that in Kiseljak, it was only the Territorial Defence

    15 forces on the front line towards the army of the

    16 Republika Srpska and that only TO forces were engaged

    17 in combat activities; whereas the HVO was not in

    18 control of the positions there, but that it was trading

    19 and engaging in black marketeering with the Serbs.

    20 There were some other details that were

    21 presented, but that was the gist of the radio broadcast

    22 that was played and which, in fact, minimised,

    23 diminished, the role played by the HVO.

    24 Q. What happened at the meeting next? Where did

    25 the problem lie?

  56. 1 A. After that, Rajic commented on the statement,

    2 and he maintained that this statement was not one that

    3 the -- that the commander of the Territorial Defence

    4 did not wish to deny the statement. He presented the

    5 view that as of that day in the joint command, when I

    6 say "joint command," I have in mind the command of the

    7 TO and the HVO of Kiseljak, and that only he was

    8 responsible there or Sead Sinanbasic.

    9 He sat at the head of the table, and

    10 Mr. Josip Boro sat there as well. I was there. I was

    11 present there. Mr. Ejub Mujic was there, who was the

    12 president of the executive council of the Kiseljak

    13 council.

    14 Q. He was a Muslim?

    15 A. Yes, a Bosnian, and he was president of the

    16 SDA party. We also had the chief of staff of the

    17 Territorial Defence of Kiseljak, Mr. Nasid

    18 Huseinbasic.

    19 This other problem that was stressed at the

    20 meeting and which, to my mind, was far more important

    21 and a far greater problem were the barricades, the

    22 roadblocks that the TO had set up on the third day.

    23 When I say "the third day," I mean the third day of

    24 July. Probably they were set up on the 5th of July. I

    25 do not know when they were actually set up, but --

  57. 1 Q. Do you mean July or August?

    2 A. No, August. The date is the 7th of August.

    3 It is still the 7th of August. The meeting was on the

    4 7th of August. The problem was with the barricades.

    5 Q. When were these barricades set up? What was

    6 the date?

    7 A. If the 7th of August was the third day of the

    8 functioning of the barricades, apart from this

    9 barricade here, it was set up later on, all the others,

    10 the yellow barricades, this one --

    11 Q. Just a minute. If possible, would you tell

    12 us the place where the barricade was set up and the

    13 date it was set up and by whom?

    14 A. This is Bilalovac, the barricade at Bilalovac

    15 (indicating). It was set up at around the 5th of

    16 August. The barricade at Duhri was also set up at

    17 about the 5th of August. The Han Ploca barricade was

    18 set up the same day, once again, about the 5th of

    19 August. The barricade at Bukovica was set up about the

    20 5th of August. The barricade at Han Ivica was set up

    21 about the 5th of August.

    22 Q. Who set up all these barricades?

    23 A. All these barricades were set up by the staff

    24 of the TO of Kiseljak.

    25 Q. Was that in agreement with the HVO or without

  58. 1 the knowledge of the joint command?

    2 A. It was not in agreement with the HVO, and, in

    3 fact, the setting up of these barricades stopped

    4 movement, made movement impossible, for the civilian

    5 population of the local community of Brnjaci and the

    6 local community of Lepenica. The Lepenica local

    7 community was a particularly critical area because if

    8 an attack were to be launched by the army of the

    9 Republika Srpska, the population here had no where to

    10 withdraw to, no where to flee.

    11 May I just add that from these positions

    12 here, the Kokoska feature in particular and the Zenica

    13 slope, Zenica slope, with the means at their disposal

    14 at that time, that the Serbs had at their disposal at

    15 the time, we're speaking about weapons, they were able

    16 to directly hit the whole local community of Lepenica.

    17 Q. What was the aim of setting up these

    18 barricades? Did anybody explain this or was it

    19 explained during the meeting? Were you able to

    20 conclude the reasons for this during the meeting?

    21 A. No. At the meeting, nobody explained why

    22 these barricades were being set up. I was worried

    23 about these barricades because I was conscious of the

    24 fact that the manpower from the Kiseljak municipality,

    25 the people there who were located at these positions,

  59. 1 that is to say, at the front line towards the Serbs, on

    2 the third day had been completely cut off from any

    3 possibility of the shifts and evacuation of any

    4 possible casualties to the Kiseljak Hospital, they were

    5 cut off, and any supplies.

    6 Q. Just one moment, please. I apologise. Can

    7 you tell us whether these barricades were manned by an

    8 armed army, and can you show us where the communication

    9 lines were, that is, how the army and population moved

    10 towards Kiseljak, what direction, and how this was cut

    11 off, this communication line was cut off?

    12 A. The communication line, and this is the

    13 direction, it goes from the local community of Lepenica

    14 via Han Ploca, across the local community of Brnjaci,

    15 through Duhri towards Kiseljak. That is the

    16 communication line.

    17 The barricade at Duhri was defended with a

    18 deployment of troops belonging to the Territorial

    19 Defence from Duhri, and in the course of the conflict,

    20 we noted that there were members of the Territorial

    21 Defence units which were made up of displaced persons

    22 from the area of the Ilidza municipality, who had come

    23 from the Ilidza municipality and who had been put up in

    24 Duhri and were now deployed there.

    25 Q. What about the other barricades? Were they

  60. 1 also manned with armed men?

    2 A. Yes. In Han Ploca, there was a whole bus

    3 load of men. There were two parts to this bus, and it

    4 was red, a vivid red, and that was set up.

    5 Q. How?

    6 A. It was horizontal, this way (indicating).

    7 The bus driver was in front, and that was the back

    8 part. On the right-hand side, a trench was dug for

    9 five to ten soldiers. Five to ten soldiers could fit

    10 in the trench on the right-hand side. I'm pointing to

    11 that particular position (indicating). It was right

    12 here on this side of the road (indicating).

    13 Q. Tell us, in view of the configuration of the

    14 terrain, we see the hills and we see that the road is

    15 in the valley, would it be true to say that with the

    16 blockades, there was a complete blockade of the

    17 Kiseljak municipality? It was completely severed,

    18 blocked?

    19 A. This can be seen quite clearly, particularly

    20 after the barricade had been set up here, not on the

    21 7th, but we were informed on the 8th. I now have a

    22 precise document as to when we were informed of this.

    23 This barricade was set up in Smajlovici, so that all

    24 the communication in the Kiseljak area was, in fact,

    25 blocked, but the main problem was here up at the front

  61. 1 line.

    2 Q. How did you arrive there? What road did you

    3 take? What route did you take to arrive there from

    4 Zepce?

    5 A. On the 7th in the afternoon, I went from

    6 Busovaca, across Kacuni by this barricade here

    7 (indicating), so I wasn't blocked on that day, and I

    8 was able to arrive in Kiseljak.

    9 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, you said that we

    10 would be taking a break at 12.45. Perhaps this would

    11 be a good moment to stop.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Thank you. We will

    13 resume at 2.45.

    14 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.45 p.m.












  62. 1 --- On resuming at 2.50 p.m.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the

    3 hearing.

    4 If you don't mind, before we continue with

    5 the testimony of the accused, my colleagues and myself

    6 decided to inform you about a procedural difficulty

    7 that we're faced with.

    8 Let me wait until Mr. Hayman has his books

    9 there so we can do things right.

    10 There is a procedural problem that we wanted

    11 to speak to you about and to have your agreement. I'm

    12 speaking about a procedural issue which purpose is the

    13 transfer of communication of protected testimony in the

    14 Blaskic case to the Aleksovski case.

    15 The Prosecutor knows what I'm talking about.

    16 The Office of the Prosecutor appealed two decisions in

    17 the Aleksovski case, one having to do with the

    18 testimony of Admiral Domazet, which was public

    19 testimony, and the appeal was rejected, but that's not

    20 a problem. In the second appeal, which the Appeals

    21 Chamber accepted, the Prosecution said that it had the

    22 right to present a motion to the Blaskic Chamber

    23 seeking from the Blaskic Trial Chamber protective

    24 measures being, if necessary, modified or at least

    25 produced, that is, the testimony be produced, the

  63. 1 testimony that had originally been protected, to the

    2 Blaskic case.

    3 All of this is part of the various disputes

    4 that have to do with transferring materials from one

    5 case to another, but that's not the issue. The issue

    6 is the following: Ever since Judge Riad has not been

    7 available, we've all had the pleasure to welcome Judge

    8 Rodrigues to our Chamber, but Judge Rodrigues is also

    9 the Presiding Judge of the Aleksovski Trial Chamber.

    10 Therefore, Judge Rodrigues is somewhat uncomfortable,

    11 and we have looked through the various texts, with the

    12 extremely relevant help of my friend, Judge

    13 Shahabuddeen, we have looked in and out of the texts,

    14 and we've reached a solution which is the following:

    15 To ask your consent to having Judge Rodrigues sit with

    16 us in the Blaskic case as he is, but that he also sit

    17 so that he can rule on that motion which asks that we

    18 amend the protective measures that have been given to a

    19 protected witness.

    20 After having looked through all the different

    21 procedures since the start of the presentation of

    22 evidence in this case, we are faced with this

    23 difficulty. The decision, I can't say exactly what

    24 we're going to do, but we could consider this as a

    25 routine matter, but we thought it was not a routine

  64. 1 matter because it had to do with the protection of

    2 witnesses, and, therefore, we cannot ask the President

    3 to authorise the Trial Chamber to sit with only two

    4 Judges, since we prefer to sit with three Judges, and

    5 we have complete confidence in Judge Rodrigues, but we

    6 wanted this to be an open discussion. We're asking

    7 first for your opinion and, beyond that, to have your

    8 feeling about the possibility of Judge Rodrigues

    9 remaining with us to rule on that motion, and then we

    10 would be able to come to a ruling quickly.

    11 I don't know who would like to speak first.

    12 Perhaps I should ask the Prosecutor to speak first

    13 since it's the Prosecutor who appealed.

    14 Mr. Harmon?

    15 MR. HARMON: Yes. Thank you very much,

    16 Mr. President, Your Honours. I know the issue that is

    17 facing the Trial Chamber in this case, and before I

    18 give my answer, I would like time to consult with my

    19 colleagues, and perhaps over the break, over the

    20 15-minute break that we have mid-afternoon, I can give

    21 you the position of the Prosecutor.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Absolutely. And Defence

    23 counsel, would you like to have some time to think

    24 about it as well?

    25 MR. HAYMAN: If only to consult with our

  65. 1 client, Mr. President, but I think it would only take a

    2 moment or two.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: All right. What I suggest is

    4 that you inform us of your opinion after the afternoon

    5 break. Can we agree with that? All right. Thank you

    6 very much.

    7 Excuse me. General Blaskic, you can now

    8 resume your testimony.

    9 Mr. Nobilo?

    10 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

    11 Q. We left off at the developments around Duhri

    12 related to the conflict of 7 August, 1992. I suggest

    13 that we continue your testimony in that regard, and

    14 whenever you find it appropriate, you may stand up and

    15 point at the model about what transpired at what point,

    16 whenever you find it appropriate. Go ahead, please.

    17 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, in the afternoon

    18 on 7 August, 1992, this meeting was in progress, the

    19 meeting at the municipal assembly of Kiseljak, and

    20 Mr. Ejup Mujic asked to speak, and he commented on the

    21 current situation by saying that, should it continue,

    22 eventually, a conflict will arise between the TO and

    23 the HVO.

    24 After his remarks, I asked to speak, and I

    25 said that, first of all, we had a front towards the

  66. 1 Serbs, that we had major problems at the fronts in

    2 Travnik and Zepce, which were close by, and that we did

    3 not need additional fronts and that the meeting itself

    4 should have as its goal the overcoming of these

    5 problems.

    6 I do not recall all the participants in this

    7 discussion, but the discussion continued, and at one

    8 point, Mr. Ivica Marijanovic proposed that the

    9 prominent representatives of the Croatian and Bosniak

    10 Muslim communities take two flags, one of which would

    11 be a flag of the Croatian people and one of the Bosniak

    12 Muslim people, that they tie these two flags together

    13 in a knot and that they drive in vehicles in two

    14 opposite directions. May I point?

    15 MR. NOBILO: The pointer, please, can we have

    16 the pointer?

    17 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Now we have a

    18 camera. That's going to help us, help us see better.

    19 A. One car with these tied flags was to start

    20 from Kiseljak via Gromiljak, Brestovsko, to Bilalovac.

    21 MR. NOBILO:

    22 Q. You mean to the first barricades?

    23 A. Yes, and this was done, and this barricade

    24 was removed.

    25 Q. Could you just take it away, this barricade.

  67. 1 A. While a second vehicle was being looked for,

    2 which was to start from Kiseljak via Duhri, Brnjaci,

    3 Han Ploca, Lepenica, Bukovica, Zabrdje, so while this

    4 was going on, information came from the HVO sources

    5 that fighting had broken out between the Muslim village

    6 of Duhri and the Croatian village of Potkraj and that

    7 two Croats were already wounded. One of them was a

    8 commander of this village, one of the wounded ones

    9 was.

    10 The vehicle started from Kiseljak, and at the

    11 bridge in Palez, the vehicle was stopped and sent

    12 back. The barricade in Duhri, the barricade at Han

    13 Ploca, the barricade at Bukovci, and the barricade at

    14 Han Ivica remained in their positions, and according to

    15 the information we received, here (indicating), as I

    16 pointed out, here at Potkraj --

    17 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me. The

    18 interpreters have lost the signal for a moment. Can

    19 the witness repeat the last sentence?

    20 MR. KEHOE: Apparently they lost the signal

    21 and didn't hear what was going on.

    22 MR. NOBILO:

    23 Q. Would you please repeat what was the exact

    24 information you received?

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Would you speak a little

  68. 1 louder, please, Mr. Blaskic, so that the interpreters

    2 can hear you? Thank you.

    3 A. So the fighting broke out, and the fighting

    4 went on at the barricade in Duhri between the village

    5 of Duhri and the village of Potkraj.

    6 Around 2000 hours, that is, in the evening

    7 hours of the 7th of August, the fighting stopped. I

    8 had a telephone conversation with the commander of the

    9 Territorial Defence in Visoko. He introduced himself

    10 as Mr. Delic, first name Rasim. He asked of me to fill

    11 him in on the developing events, and I told him about

    12 the problems regarding the blockade of the main road

    13 from the front line to the town of Kiseljak. That

    14 night and that day of 7 August ended that way, that is,

    15 the barricade remained.

    16 MR. NOBILO:

    17 Q. So what you're saying is that the fighting

    18 stopped but the barricades remained?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Did the armed crews, who were manning this

    21 barricade, remain in their places at the barricade that

    22 night?

    23 A. That night, we had no information whether the

    24 crews remained by the barricades, but we knew that the

    25 barricades remained in the same positions.

  69. 1 Q. What happened on the next day? Can you

    2 describe that to the Trial Chamber?

    3 A. On 8th August, early in the morning, the TO

    4 forces regrouped at the Duhri barricade. There was a

    5 row of houses right next to the village of Brnjaci.

    6 This redeployment caused certain anxiety and fear among

    7 the local population, and soon enough, fire was

    8 exchanged, again between the villagers of Duhri

    9 village, whose positions were right alongside the

    10 road. They had military dugouts, and they had

    11 fortified positions there above the road, the main road

    12 between Kiseljak and Ilidza. On the other side were

    13 the locals of the Potkraj village.

    14 Q. Let me just remind the Trial Chamber that

    15 Duhri is a Muslim village and Potkraj a Croatian.

    16 A. Yes. And so fighting started between those

    17 two groups.

    18 In the early morning hours, Mr. Franjo Boras

    19 arrived at the main headquarters. He was a member of

    20 the presidency of the Republic of Bosnia and

    21 Herzegovina and a member of the supreme command of the

    22 armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He requested

    23 to be informed about this situation on the events of

    24 the 7th and early hours of the 8th of August.

    25 After this, when I informed him of these

  70. 1 developments, I asked him to call the competent people

    2 in Sarajevo and asked him to mediate -- asked for their

    3 mediation in stopping this fighting. I sat in the

    4 office while he talked with the Prime Minister of the

    5 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Mile Akmadzic.

    6 He then talked to the Minister of Defence of Bosnia and

    7 Herzegovina, Mr. Jerko Doko.

    8 The Minister of Defence asked that I send him

    9 this information in writing, including full operational

    10 details of these events starting with the 7th of August

    11 up until 1400 hours on the 8th of August, and I sent

    12 him this report, to Sarajevo. I sent it through

    13 telefax.

    14 After that, Mr. Franjo Boras called the

    15 supreme command headquarters, that is, the headquarters

    16 of the supreme command of the armed forces in Sarajevo,

    17 and asked them to mediate in cessation of fighting. On

    18 that day, fighting was intense, that is, between the

    19 two villages Duhri and Potkraj, and there was

    20 intermittent fire at the barricade in Han Ploca.

    21 As far as Han Ivica is concerned, in the

    22 course of the day on the 8th of August, fighting also

    23 broke out, and in the latter part of the day, this

    24 barricade was removed.

    25 Q. By whom?

  71. 1 A. It was removed by the HVO.

    2 Q. This was the barricade in Han Ivica that

    3 you're referring to?

    4 A. Yes, at Han Ivica. But only after fire had

    5 been opened on the part of the army of Republika

    6 Srpska, the area of Ostrik, Koscan --

    7 Q. Perhaps -- it may have been misinterpreted.

    8 The Serbs were the ones who opened fire.

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. They opened fire on the positions which were

    11 held by the Croat and Muslim forces.

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. Go on, please.

    14 A. Around 1900 or 2000 hours, an order came from

    15 the headquarters of the supreme command of the armed

    16 forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina signed by Sefer

    17 Halilovic. The order referred to the immediate

    18 cessation of combat operations between the TO and the

    19 HVO. Our activities were directed towards transmitting

    20 this order, and we attempted to do this via courier

    21 from Kiseljak or by telephone by calling individual

    22 villagers and the reserve police station which had a

    23 centre in Brnjaci.

    24 The problem at that time was that the

    25 Territorial Defence commanders did not show the

  72. 1 intention of implementing this order at that time; that

    2 is, the commander of the TO detachment from Bilalovac,

    3 Mr. Zrno, said that he received the order but that he

    4 would think about the decision that he was to take. He

    5 did not explicitly say that he would not implement the

    6 order, but he made it clear that he was going to think

    7 about this order.

    8 After this, there was some sporadic fire in

    9 Duhri and Potkraj, while at the other positions, all

    10 hostilities stopped after 2000 hours. I know that

    11 Mr. Franjo Boras made another call to Mr. Alija

    12 Izetbegovic in his attempts to reach and ask for his

    13 help in implementation of this order and to the

    14 cessation of hostilities.

    15 Around 2300 hours on 8 August, 1992, we

    16 received a second order. Its contents were almost

    17 identical to the first order, and it was sent from

    18 Sarajevo by the chief of staff of the supreme command

    19 of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and was signed by

    20 Sefer Halilovic.

    21 Q. Just one moment, General. I would like to

    22 read a document. This is an exhibit, 132, D132 -- yes,

    23 D132 which is an order by Commander Sefer Halilovic,

    24 and I want you to identify it.

    25 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me while we find it.

  73. 1 JUDGE JORDA: The Judges would also like to

    2 have a copy of that order on the ELMO.

    3 MR. NOBILO: This is a document which was

    4 used in the cross-examination by the Defence. I

    5 believe that it may have only been submitted in

    6 B/C/S rather than French or English.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Do you also have it in

    8 Serbo-Croat?

    9 MR. KEHOE: There is no copy in either

    10 English or French as far as our records have -- this

    11 was a Defence document.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Since you've had it, I suppose

    13 you have had it translated, though. Are you familiar

    14 with it?

    15 MR. KEHOE: It's a Defence Exhibit, it's not

    16 a Prosecution Exhibit, and the Prosecution --

    17 JUDGE JORDA: But that had been tendered as

    18 evidence; is that not correct? So you've had it --

    19 well, when was it tendered? About when? About a month

    20 or two months ago?

    21 MR. HAYMAN: More, more.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: It doesn't matter. It isn't

    23 very long. Perhaps you could read it, Mr. Nobilo. We

    24 don't have a copy here -- no, it has to be on the

    25 ELMO.

  74. 1 All right. Go ahead.

    2 MR. NOBILO:

    3 Q. It is sent to the headquarters of the supreme

    4 command of the armed forces in Sarajevo, then there is

    5 a registration number, Sarajevo, 8 August, '92, it says

    6 "Military Secret, Strictly Confidential," and then

    7 there is a distribution. It is sent to the commander

    8 of the headquarters of the HVO in Kiseljak, commander

    9 of the tactical group 2, commander of the municipal

    10 staff -- defence staff of Kiseljak, and now the body of

    11 text:

    12 "With respect to the developing situation of

    13 the worsening relations in your territory, more

    14 specifically in the territory of the Kiseljak

    15 municipality, I hereby order:

    16 1. Immediately cease all combat, that is,

    17 fire;

    18 2. Bring the situation in the territory of

    19 the Kiseljak municipality to the state of affairs four

    20 days ago;

    21 2. Seek a political solution in the spirit

    22 of the agreement on friendship and cooperation signed

    23 in Zagreb;

    24 4. Immediately report on the implementation

    25 of this decision."

  75. 1 Then there is a stamp and it's signed by the

    2 chief of staff of the supreme command of the armed

    3 forces of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sefer

    4 Halilovic.

    5 Q. So, General, is this --

    6 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me.

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. -- the order that you referred to? General,

    9 is this the order which you received on 8 August in

    10 Kiseljak, sent by the chief of staff of the supreme

    11 command of the armed forces?

    12 A. Yes. We received two orders, the first one

    13 around 1900 hours and the second one around 2200

    14 hours. It was the same order.

    15 Q. What does point number 2, item number 2,

    16 mean: "The situation at the territory of the Kiseljak

    17 municipality is to be returned to the situation as it

    18 was for four days before"?

    19 A. In my opinion, because at that time I did not

    20 talk to Sefer, he probably had in mind that the

    21 checkpoints should be removed, the checkpoints which

    22 had been set up after 4 August, 1992.

    23 Q. That is four days prior to the order which

    24 was issued?

    25 A. Yes. So they were up there as early as the

  76. 1 5th of August.

    2 Q. What happened next?

    3 A. This order also did not result in the

    4 cessation of activities on the part of the TO groups,

    5 and upon receipt of this order, I called the main

    6 headquarters of the armed forces of Bosnia and

    7 Herzegovina, and Mr. Vahid Karavelic answered the

    8 phone. I also asked him to identify himself in terms

    9 of his position and I also asked to be put through to

    10 Sefer Halilovic.

    11 He told me that he was at that time the chief

    12 of operations with the supreme command, and I confirmed

    13 receipt of this order and told him that for a while we

    14 had been following it and that they should mediate with

    15 the Territorial Defence of the municipal staff in

    16 Kiseljak.

    17 Sometime around 2300 hours on the 8th,

    18 Mr. Ivo Komsic arrived. He introduced himself as the

    19 authorised person, that is, that he had been authorised

    20 by Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, and he asked to verify that

    21 we received this order. He also called the commander

    22 of the Territorial Defence, Mr. Zrno, asking the

    23 commander of the Territorial Defence to follow the

    24 order of the headquarters of the supreme command. I

    25 did not hear what Mr. Zrno said in response, but

  77. 1 somewhere around midnight, all combat activities were

    2 stopped at this position or this location in Duhri and

    3 Potkraj.

    4 Q. Were the barricades removed?

    5 A. The barricade at Duhri, I can only suppose

    6 that it was dismantled as a consequence of that

    7 fighting during that night, but the barricade at Han

    8 Ploca and at Bukovice were not removed.

    9 Q. Can you remove the barricade at Duhri so that

    10 we can see which barricades remained? That will be the

    11 last photograph.

    12 Tell me, in the days to come, the next day or

    13 the following days, did you have occasion to pass by

    14 the village of Duhri on the road there? Did you see

    15 the mosque? What state was the mosque in, because in

    16 the indictment, it is stated that the sacral feature

    17 was destroyed?

    18 A. In the next few days, I passed along the main

    19 road and I visited the front line and the features

    20 there, and I saw the mosque which is right by the

    21 road. On the minaret of the mosque, from the direction

    22 of Kiseljak, there were traces of shooting, but this

    23 was damage done to the facade without any major

    24 destruction. The mosque was intact apart from that,

    25 without any traces of destruction.

  78. 1 Q. When you say that the facade was damaged,

    2 what did that mean? What could you actually see on the

    3 outside?

    4 A. Well, from the road, you could see quite

    5 easily that it was hit in several places on the facade,

    6 and this had left an imprint. There were imprints,

    7 pockmarks, on the facade of the mosque, and the surface

    8 was slightly damaged with these pockmarks from shots.

    9 Q. Could you see any holes in the minaret?

    10 A. No, absolutely not. From the road,

    11 two-thirds of the minaret can be seen clearly, and

    12 there were no apertures anywhere except for these

    13 surface grazings or pockmarks.

    14 Q. What about the position of the barricade?

    15 How far is the minaret from the road where the

    16 barricade was set up?

    17 A. In relation to the barricade -- I never

    18 measured the distance, of course, but I can say that it

    19 was approximately 100 to 150 metres away -- perhaps not

    20 that much. About 100 metres.

    21 Q. Tell us, did you or anybody else, any of your

    22 subordinates, issue an order to destroy the mosque and

    23 to try and break down the mosque or the minaret?

    24 A. No, no order of that kind was ever issued

    25 from the command, that is to say, from the building of

  79. 1 the barracks in Kiseljak.

    2 Q. Have you got any explanation or did you hear

    3 of any explanation or were you able to conclude how the

    4 damages occurred?

    5 A. I can only suppose that it is quite possible

    6 that the damages occurred when there was an exchange of

    7 gunfire between the HVO forces and the Territorial

    8 Defence forces because some houses were damaged as were

    9 the positions of the soldiers in the village of Duhri,

    10 and they were right below the mosque, situated below

    11 the mosque. So that when there was this crossfire

    12 going on, it is possible that a stray bullet had hit

    13 something in that direction.

    14 Q. In all the discussions that you had at the

    15 time, did anybody ever, up until this Tribunal, pose

    16 the problem of these two marks and the damage done on

    17 the minaret of the mosque?

    18 A. Your Honours, I personally had a meeting on

    19 the 9th of August with the religious Muslim person,

    20 Mr. Senahidin Durakovic, the Muslim priest, and a

    21 representative of the Muslim Bosniaks from the village

    22 of Duhri, Abdulah Oruc. The meeting took place at

    23 12.20 on the 9th of August, 1992, and the priest on the

    24 part of the Muslim Bosniaks made no mention at all of

    25 this problem nor did he bring it up at all, and I had

  80. 1 meetings before that and after that as well with that

    2 same Muslim religious man, and he never raised the

    3 problem of the damage done to the mosque.

    4 Q. What did the Muslim priest say; can you tell

    5 us something about that?

    6 A. He was together with the representative of

    7 the Bosniak Muslims from the village of Duhri, they

    8 were together, and we tried to find a way of bringing

    9 life back to normal in the village of Duhri. I have

    10 already said that there were several incidents which

    11 occurred between the villages of Gornji Palez and

    12 Duhri, and the Muslim priest and Abdulah Oruc told me

    13 that they distanced themselves from the members -- from

    14 those people who were --

    15 Q. The members of what?

    16 A. The members of the Territorial Defence forces

    17 which had been brought in from outside in order to

    18 instigate unrest between the two peoples, that is to

    19 say, between the Croats and the Bosniak Muslims. I can

    20 quote his words, and I am quoting: "For honest people

    21 of the village of Duhri, to distance themselves from

    22 those who are inciting unrest between the two ethnic

    23 groups."

    24 Q. To close the incident concerning the village

    25 of Duhri, what were you able to conclude then or

  81. 1 afterwards? Why did the Territorial Defence need this

    2 whole manoeuvre with the barricades and the armed

    3 guards and everything else? What was the sense of it

    4 all? Why did they do that?

    5 A. Before I go on to explain that, I should just

    6 like to mention that on the 8th of August, sometime in

    7 the early hours of the morning, I was called on the

    8 phone by the head of the Territorial Defence

    9 headquarters, Nasid Huseinbasic, he telephoned me and

    10 asked where the commander was, the commander of the

    11 Territorial Defence staff of Kiseljak was, and I told

    12 him that I didn't know where he was because neither the

    13 previous night, having in mind the meeting of the 7th

    14 of August -- because he wasn't at the meeting on the

    15 7th of August.

    16 After that, I was also interested in what had

    17 happened to the commander of the Territorial Defence of

    18 Kiseljak, where he was, and I tried to find out where

    19 he was and to gain information on the event. In the

    20 latter half of the day of the 8th of August, 1992, I

    21 received information that in the course of the night,

    22 the night between the 7th and the 8th of August, the

    23 commander of the Territorial Defence staff of Kiseljak

    24 was arrested by the civilian police, the reserve

    25 formations, the reserve unit at the checkpoint at

  82. 1 Brnjaci. That means that in the night between the 7th

    2 and 8th of August, he was arrested by the civilian

    3 police, the reserve units of the civilian police of

    4 Kiseljak.

    5 It was my assessment of these manoeuvres --

    6 Q. Just one moment, please. Where was he taken;

    7 can you tell us?

    8 A. In the latter half of the day, he was taken

    9 from the police station in Kiseljak to the police

    10 station in Busovaca.

    11 Q. Was he later released?

    12 A. Yes, he was.

    13 Q. Let us return to my first question. What was

    14 your assessment? Why did the Territorial Defence need

    15 this operation? What was the goal of the operation?

    16 A. It was my assessment that the aim of the

    17 Territorial Defence operation was to link up

    18 communication from Tarcin via Zabrdje, Lepenica, Han

    19 Ploca, Rakovci, Godusa, Kralupi, and Visoko because

    20 Visoko was where the commander of Tactical Group 2 was

    21 located at the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In the area

    22 of -- the region around Zabrdje and Bukovica, Mokrine,

    23 those were the forces of Tactical Group 1. They were

    24 located there.

    25 Had there been a withdrawal of forces, the

  83. 1 forces of the Croatian Defence Council, from the front

    2 line across from the Serbs, then this communication

    3 line from Visoko via Kralupi, Godusa, Grahovac, and Han

    4 Ploca, Lepenica, Zabrdje, and Tarcin, would have

    5 enabled in full the communication line to function

    6 between Central Bosnia and southern Bosnia by roads

    7 exclusively under the control of one army or the

    8 members of one side.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Nobilo, excuse me for

    10 interrupting you. What was the predominant ethnic

    11 group in Lepenica? Was it Muslim?

    12 A. Your Honours, I do not have any facts as to

    13 the majority ethnic group living there. I can only

    14 suppose that the relative majority was, perhaps, the

    15 Croats, that they made up the local majority. I know

    16 that Muslims lived in Lepenica, as did the Croats and

    17 the Serbs. The Serbs were the minority. The Muslims

    18 and Croats, I don't know the exact figures for those

    19 two ethnic groups. I don't know the exact ratio.

    20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me as well because this

    22 is important. The model is good, but I have a great

    23 deal of difficulty following this on the map because in

    24 order to put this back into a strategy, the accused is

    25 giving an interpretation. We still don't know why

  84. 1 there was this operation of the Territorial Defence.

    2 I've looked through this. I've had this map from the

    3 beginning, and it's, I'm not sure, useful. I see here

    4 there's Visoko there, and there they talk about Han

    5 Ploca, they talk about a line, but it's true, I'm

    6 having some difficulty in trying to see what the

    7 strategic purpose of the Territorial Defence,

    8 specifically in relation to Tactical Group 1 and 2,

    9 which, according to the accused, seems to be the basic

    10 tactical motivation here.

    11 I have to say that I'm having some trouble

    12 here. Of course, the model is something that the

    13 accused is very familiar with. He knows the region

    14 very well, he knows it by heart, but I am having some

    15 trouble with the map.

    16 Han Ploca is here, Visoko is there, and

    17 here's Kiseljak, so it's kind of a fan.

    18 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, that is why

    19 it is perhaps better to look at the model, because in

    20 Bosnia, who controls the roads controls the territory,

    21 so it is important to differentiate between road and

    22 mountain because you can only pass via road, by road.

    23 You can't pass if there's a hill or mountain in the

    24 way.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, continue, if you could

  85. 1 help us a little bit.

    2 MR. NOBILO: Yes. I have tried to help out a

    3 little bit from what I've learned from this case. In

    4 Bosnia in World War II and in this war as well and even

    5 during Turkish times, the struggle to control the roads

    6 was the key to success. So if you look at the towns on

    7 the map, they are dispersed and have no links. That is

    8 why it is important to see the link between the towns

    9 and to see where the hills and mountains are, so that

    10 you can see the road and route to be taken leading you

    11 from one town to the other and how to bypass the hills,

    12 and it is enough to intercept, to place a roadblock on

    13 the road, and then you stop all circulation and you're

    14 in control.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: I understand that it's easier

    16 to go on a road than it is to go through a mountain,

    17 that's how it is in every country, but I have seen that

    18 from Kiseljak, in order to go to Visoko, there must be

    19 a road from Kiseljak to Visoko; whereas Han Ploca is on

    20 another road further south; am I wrong or am I right?

    21 I see that the accused is very familiar with all of

    22 this and can explain it to us.

    23 MR. NOBILO: The General is the right man to

    24 do this. Let us just wait for the technicians to

    25 switch the microphones on.

  86. 1 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, you're quite

    2 right, of course. The main road is precisely this road

    3 here (indicating) running from Kiseljak towards

    4 Visoko.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: To Visoko. All right.

    6 A. Yes. That is the only asphalt road that

    7 exists with a modern asphalt base, but there are other,

    8 shall I say, reserve roads, and one of these secondary

    9 roads goes from Tarcin. Tarcin is a town from Sarajevo

    10 towards Mostar. I don't know whether you have Tarcin

    11 on your map, but it is located somewhere here

    12 (indicating), Tarcin. It is the main road running from

    13 Mostar to Sarajevo. Then there's a mountain road which

    14 takes you via Suvodol, Pirin, Toplice, Zabrdje,

    15 Lepenica, Han Ploca, Grahovci, Kralupi, and Godusa, and

    16 you get to Visoko that way.

    17 Q. Who was in control of Tarcin?

    18 A. Tarcin was controlled by the BH army.

    19 Q. Who controlled Visoko?

    20 A. Visoko was held by the army of

    21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but this entire area was under the

    22 control of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so these are

    23 BH army positions.

    24 Q. Can we say then that, in that way, they

    25 wanted to open a corridor between two areas controlled

  87. 1 by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tarcin and Visoko,

    2 can we say that, a corridor?

    3 A. Yes. This would then be a corridor and an

    4 unhampered route, completely under the control of one

    5 army which would enable --

    6 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, if I may

    7 indicate, the corridor on the model is established in

    8 that way. So could the camera focus on that corridor?

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that's right. Yes, I

    10 see. Okay. We've found it. I've found it with Judge

    11 Rodrigues. Thank you very much, Mr. Nobilo and

    12 Mr. Blaskic. Continue. Excuse us for having

    13 interrupted you. It's not a habit of ours, but we

    14 really wanted to have the clarifications at that

    15 specific point.

    16 MR. NOBILO:

    17 Q. After those clarifications, I should like to

    18 show you a document. It is Defence Exhibit 127, which

    19 you have heard about in this courtroom. We have

    20 already used it, so it is document D127, and it is a

    21 document of the command of the Territorial Defence of

    22 Kiseljak, and I'd like to read out two points from that

    23 document. There is no translation, so we're going to

    24 put it up on the ELMO.

    25 It is from the headquarters of the

  88. 1 Territorial Defence of Kiseljak, and the date is the

    2 5th of August, 1992, and it states in point 1: "All

    3 units of the armed forces of Kiseljak, in their own

    4 zone of responsibility, should immediately have

    5 assignments to strengthen control in the

    6 zone/territory, the formation of reconnaissance groups,

    7 lookouts with the task of collecting, processing, and

    8 using intelligence data as to the deployment, movement,

    9 and activities of the aggressor, as well as the units

    10 of the HVO."

    11 Point 3 in that document of the 5th of

    12 August, 1992, point 3 states: "Immediately to

    13 determine the features and especially the positions on

    14 the main communication line and secondary roads for a

    15 blockade and a cutting across of territories and roads

    16 and to assign part of the forces to execute this task,"

    17 so on and so forth.

    18 Tell us, General, at that time in 1992, did

    19 you know that your allies were issuing documents of

    20 this kind?

    21 A. No, I did not. I have never seen this

    22 document until I came to the Tribunal here.

    23 Q. Does this document fall within the

    24 description of the developing events as you described

    25 them? Yes, please go ahead.

  89. 1 A. Can I just point out, point 2, it says,

    2 "Immediately engage all manpower from the units to

    3 take control of the important facilities and features

    4 in the zone of responsibility of those units with a

    5 rational distribution of all available weapons and

    6 facilities -- equipment." I would like to stress the

    7 word "immediately."

    8 Q. On the 5th, it was issued, and was it

    9 implemented?

    10 A. In the course of the day of the 5th, it was

    11 implemented, especially in the area of Bukovica, Han

    12 Ploca, and Duhri.

    13 Q. Let's move on. We've said a lot about Duhri

    14 today, although that is one of the counts in the

    15 indictment. Was Duhri the end incident between the HVO

    16 and the army in the Operative Zone that we were

    17 mentioning or were there further incidents? If there

    18 were other incidents, would you tell us of them in

    19 telegraphic fashion, as briefly as possible to move

    20 forward as quickly as possible, so that we can conclude

    21 with 1992 today or at least tomorrow morning?

    22 A. Unfortunately, Duhri was not the final

    23 incident. There were more. On the 10th of August, for

    24 example, 1992, at the barricade in Kacuni --

    25 Q. Would you point that out to us, please?

  90. 1 A. Here they are (indicating). It is on the

    2 road between Busovaca and Kiseljak, the

    3 Busovaca-Kiseljak road.

    4 Q. Thank you. What happened there?

    5 A. In the afternoon of the 10th of August, I was

    6 travelling from Vitez via Busovaca to Kacuni towards

    7 Kiseljak. As the barricade was set up there, we had to

    8 slow down and pass by the obstacles, the roadblocks,

    9 slowly.

    10 Q. Who controlled the barricade?

    11 A. The barricade was manned by the TO, the

    12 Territorial Defence, and we passed by in a column.

    13 There were others in the column, some five other

    14 vehicles in actual fact made up the column, and they

    15 opened fire on the vehicle. The members of the TO

    16 opened fire on the vehicles -- on the first vehicle,

    17 and the vehicles bringing up the rear, a truck moved

    18 towards the --

    19 THE INTERPRETER: I'm afraid we can't hear

    20 the General.

    21 A. -- they started shooting at the vehicle I was

    22 in. I was in the front car.

    23 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. I think that the

    24 translators have just noted that they missed something

    25 in the translation, so they are not catching what the

  91. 1 witness is saying. I think we need to back up and

    2 reiterate what was just testified to. I don't know if

    3 it was coming across in the French, but apparently it's

    4 a problem in the English booth, Mr. President.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: The French interpretation

    6 seemed all right. They seemed to have heard.

    7 THE INTERPRETER: We don't quite know what

    8 happened to the end of the column.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Could you move just a little

    10 bit or come a little bit closer to the microphone or

    11 perhaps the usher could hand the microphone to the

    12 witness. It seems to be a bit complicated.

    13 General Blaskic, could you perhaps hold the

    14 microphone? No, that might be too complicated. All

    15 right. We'll have the United Nations buy you a little

    16 microphone you can put on your tie. I'm sure that

    17 wouldn't be too onerous for the budget.

    18 MR. NOBILO:

    19 Q. Would you just repeat, General, at Kacuni, at

    20 the checkpoint manned by the Territorial Defence, an

    21 attempt was made on you and the vehicle in which you

    22 were travelling. Could you describe this incident?

    23 A. We were moving from the direction of Vitez

    24 via Busovaca in the direction of Kacuni and further on

    25 to Kiseljak. At Kacuni, a checkpoint had been set up

  92. 1 by the Territorial Defence. Before this checkpoint, a

    2 motor vehicle was parked, and as our column was

    3 approaching the checkpoint, the first vehicles were let

    4 through, and at the last vehicle from the side, from

    5 this direction (indicating), this large truck was moved

    6 in order to force it off the road, and fire was opened

    7 from the checkpoint. The vehicle was damaged, none of

    8 us were hit, but the engine was damaged. I don't know

    9 exactly what the problem was. This point is called Cep

    10 (indicating). So we had to bring the vehicle to a stop

    11 here and exchange them.

    12 Q. Very well. Could you now please sit down,

    13 and if you can just very briefly give us a list of the

    14 following incidents?

    15 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We're going to take

    16 a break now. Thank you.

    17 --- Recess taken at 4.05 p.m.

    18 --- On resuming at 4.32 p.m.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume the hearing.

    20 Please be seated.

    21 Mr. Nobilo?

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

    23 Q. So, General, we just completed a discussion

    24 of the big incident at Duhri, and the next major

    25 incident was in Novi Travnik, it was the conflict

  93. 1 between the TO and the HVO, and the conflict over the

    2 barricade in Ahmici in October of 1992.

    3 Between Duhri and the conflict at the Ahmici

    4 barricade, were there any other conflicts except for

    5 this attempt on your life?

    6 A. Yes, there were other incidents. As early as

    7 the night of the 11th of August, 1992, in Sarajevo, the

    8 Territorial Defence attacked the command post of the

    9 HVO Sarajevo, and a number of people were captured and

    10 taken away from the building of the HVO command.

    11 Several days later, the command post was freed and

    12 there were no additional serious consequences.

    13 Further, in Kiseljak, four HVO soldiers,

    14 representing that they were working for the military

    15 police, took away some 100 rifles from the TO. I was

    16 informed of this on 12th August, 1992.

    17 Q. Did you order any kind of investigation or

    18 other measures?

    19 A. Yes. I issued an order following a meeting

    20 which I held with General Merdan on the 10th of August

    21 regarding this matter, and with respect to this

    22 incident, I requested an investigation and taking

    23 appropriate steps.

    24 Q. Did you also issue an order in which you

    25 forbade that the TO soldiers be disarmed?

  94. 1 A. Yes, I issued such an order as early as 10

    2 August, 1992.

    3 MR. NOBILO: One moment, please. I believe

    4 we have a copy of this order. This is Defence Exhibit

    5 number 395, issued by the commander of the Central

    6 Bosnia Operative Zone headquarters, and number 1 says:

    7 "I forbid any taking away of weapons or giving

    8 ultimatums to the TO units to surrender weapons."

    9 Q. Would you please look at this order? Was

    10 this order issued in relation to that incident?

    11 A. This is the order which I issued after a

    12 meeting with General Merdan and a meeting with the

    13 chief of staff of the Kiseljak defence office, Nasid

    14 Huseinbasic.

    15 Q. At point 2: "Written and signed warnings are

    16 to be issued to all subordinate commanders down to the

    17 squad level that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna

    18 do not stand behind such reckless actions and that they

    19 will be personally responsible for such actions."

    20 Was this what your order contained?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. So will you please move on to the next

    23 conflict? Was that the incident in Konjic, which was

    24 the neighbouring municipality?

    25 A. Yes. Konjic is a municipality, neighbouring

  95. 1 municipality, to Fojnica. An incident that took place

    2 there was in relation to disarming of some HVO soldier

    3 which was conducted by the Territorial Defence soldiers

    4 of the Konjic municipality. Also, in August, there was

    5 another conflict in Stup municipality, this is one of

    6 the Sarajevo municipalities, between the members of the

    7 HVO and TO.

    8 Further, there was an incident in the

    9 territory of Breza municipality, that is in Ilijas

    10 municipality, but the incident was provoked by the TO

    11 members from Breza, and it concerned the persecution of

    12 Croats in Zupe and Cemerno who had been driven out of

    13 their homes by members of the Serbian army.

    14 Q. In August, there was also an incident

    15 involving an attempt on the life of the HVO commander

    16 in Jajce?

    17 A. Yes, that was also in August of 1992. The

    18 commander of the HVO in Jajce, Mr. Stjepan Blazevic,

    19 was travelling from the town of Jajce via Karaula and

    20 Travnik to Vitez to a meeting with me. He was hit from

    21 the back and he was hit in the place where he had his

    22 pistol.

    23 Q. What about the following month? Again, if

    24 you can just give us in a very telegraphic manner?

    25 A. In the month of September, the tensions

  96. 1 between members of the Vitez HOS and members of the

    2 Zenica HOS were very frequent. For the most part, it

    3 was over the issue of competence; who was going to have

    4 the command of HOS.

    5 Also, on 4th of September, special MUP units

    6 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, of Bosnia and Herzegovina

    7 MUP, whose commander was Juka Prazina, attacked a

    8 barricade, that was a Serbian barricade, at Stup. This

    9 place is called Stup. This then, in turn, provoked

    10 conflicts and resulted in the expulsion of both Croats

    11 and Muslims from there.

    12 On 9 September, the Territorial Defence

    13 attacked the Serbs in the villages of Tolovici in the

    14 Vitez municipality.

    15 Q. In these villages, were there just civilians

    16 living there or was the army deployed there?

    17 A. According to the information I received,

    18 first the civilians were disarmed, and then on the 9th

    19 of September, the Serbian civilians were expelled from

    20 the village and brought to the territory of the town

    21 itself and placed under the HVO control. This also

    22 involved the village of Preocica.

    23 On 9 September, the commander of the Kresevo

    24 defence confiscated weapons which were going to the

    25 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to the Tuzla corps.

  97. 1 Q. Did you do anything about that?

    2 A. I ordered that the equipment be returned, and

    3 I managed to have most of it returned. I also

    4 disciplined some of the perpetrators of this act.

    5 Ivica Bosnjak was their commander.

    6 On the 10th of September, a Croatian civilian

    7 was killed in Vitez, his name was Ivo Plavcic, near the

    8 gas station which was called Kalen and was owned by

    9 Bosniak Muslims. In the town of Vitez that night, two

    10 hand grenades were thrown.

    11 On the 18th of September, 1992, I was

    12 informed that on the road between Fojnica and Gornji

    13 Vakuf, an officer went missing who was a member of the

    14 Fojnica municipal staff.

    15 Q. I believe that we don't have that area here

    16 on the model.

    17 Who was the dominant force in Gornji Vakuf

    18 and who was suspected of having done this?

    19 A. This area was controlled by the army of

    20 Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is, the Bosniak Muslims.

    21 Q. Continue on with the incidents.

    22 A. On the night between the 28th and 29th of

    23 September, there was an incident in Kiseljak when

    24 members of a private unit abducted, that is, kidnapped

    25 Ivica Rajic, the HVO commander in town, and tortured

  98. 1 him and threatened to execute him.

    2 On the 20th of September, 1992, members of

    3 the Territorial Defence expelled 40 families from the

    4 village of Medvjednica in the Kiseljak municipality,

    5 all of them civilians, and who had been received in the

    6 Kiseljak municipality as refugees.

    7 On the 21st of September, 1992, the commander

    8 of the Croatian Defence Council in Zepce, Mr. Ivo

    9 Lozancic, was attacked. He was attacked by members of

    10 the HVO.

    11 On 25th of September, 1992, in the town of

    12 Travnik, there was a rebellion, mostly among the HOS

    13 and HVO members, and the reason for this rebellion was

    14 their accusations that members of the civilian police

    15 were not being involved at the front lines and they did

    16 not carry out their police tasks. So there was a

    17 confrontation between the civilian police on the one

    18 side and the HVO members on the other -- and HOS on the

    19 other side.

    20 On the 26th of September, in Novi Travnik,

    21 the commander of the military police of the HVO

    22 attacked the mayor of Novi Travnik.

    23 On the 26th of September, there was another

    24 incident in Konjic. Members of the Territorial Defence

    25 attacked a vehicle which was transporting food. They

  99. 1 killed the driver and wounded two HVO soldiers who were

    2 escorting this vehicle.

    3 On the 29th of September, 1992, there was an

    4 armed conflict in Novi Travnik between members of the

    5 HVO and members of HOS.

    6 Q. Could you just briefly say what incidents

    7 took place in October before we move to the events in

    8 Novi Travnik and Ahmici which we just had announced?

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps you could speak about

    10 the major incidents, and speak in shorter form, whether

    11 they were mostly part of the Territorial Defence

    12 against well-known people at the seat of the HVO or

    13 whether there were also attacks, because I think,

    14 Mr. Nobilo, that your question deals with the serious

    15 events of November 1992 in Novi Travnik and at the

    16 roadblock in Ahmici.

    17 MR. NOBILO: Yes, I thought that the witness

    18 would mention some of the more significant incidents

    19 and then move on to the two big incidents in Ahmici and

    20 in Novi Travnik. We are almost there. We only have a

    21 few more incidents.

    22 Q. So, please, if you can just limit yourself to

    23 the more significant incidents because we know that

    24 there have been a number of small incidents.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: So this entire period was

  100. 1 really scattered with incidents, and that's what you're

    2 trying to show us, but perhaps you could focus on the

    3 events which, to you, in the position of responsibility

    4 that you had, you considered to be major and which have

    5 an effect on what happened later. That would be of

    6 great interest to the Judges. Thank you very much.

    7 A. Thank you Mr. President. Your Honours, the

    8 following incident took place on the 6th of October.

    9 This was an attack conducted by the units of the

    10 Territorial Defence from Zenica on the Kuber feature

    11 where members of the HVO were conducting works on --

    12 were building placements for anti-aircraft defences.

    13 At that time, we had joint defences as regards the

    14 anti-aircraft defences; in other words, the regional

    15 staff of the Zenica TO and the HVO had joint

    16 anti-aircraft defence crews, and the Kuber feature was

    17 attacked by members of the Territorial Defence and

    18 later we learned that the attack was carried out

    19 pursuant to an order issued by the regional

    20 headquarters in Zenica.

    21 MR. NOBILO:

    22 Q. Very well. Let us now skip a number of minor

    23 incidents which were happening throughout this period

    24 and move on to the 19th of October, 1992, when you were

    25 travelling to Mostar. Why were you going to Mostar,

  101. 1 what happened there, and what was the situation which

    2 you found after you returned from Mostar?

    3 A. The situation at the front, especially at the

    4 Jajce front, was very critical; in fact, in October, we

    5 launched the last effort to retain our positions in

    6 Jajce.

    7 In the afternoon of the 18th, I was visited

    8 by the commander of the municipal headquarters of the

    9 Jajce HVO and president of the Jajce HVO on behalf of

    10 the civilian authorities and requested of me assistance

    11 in personnel and materiel because the fall of town was

    12 imminent. I asked for a reception, an audience with

    13 the chief of main staff, and a member of the Defence

    14 Ministry --

    15 Q. Let me just refresh your memory. You spent

    16 October --

    17 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. Excuse me. With all

    18 due respect, counsel, I don't think the witness needs

    19 his memory refreshed.

    20 MR. NOBILO: I am only doing it for -- I

    21 wanted to just refresh his memory in terms of --

    22 JUDGE JORDA: You know that both parties

    23 always speak in the interests of the Judges. We all

    24 know that.

    25 I think that we are dealing with a witness

  102. 1 who doesn't particularly need to have his memory

    2 refreshed. However, I must say that I myself asked the

    3 question a while back in order to allow the Judges to

    4 have the most synthesising type of testimony possible

    5 and to have the witness focus on the most important

    6 points. Now, if the accused prefers to insist upon all

    7 of the incidents, that's his absolute right.

    8 Continue, please.

    9 MR. NOBILO:

    10 Q. Very well. Let us all be reminded: Who

    11 fought at Jajce?

    12 A. On the one side, there were the defenders of

    13 Jajce who were members of the HVO, HOS, Territorial

    14 Defence, and the Patriotic League, and the attackers on

    15 the town of Jajce were Serbs.

    16 Q. Very well. So on the 19th of October, 1992,

    17 you arrived in Mostar to conduct talks with the chief

    18 of staff --

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. The commander of

    20 the staff -- I am really insisting on the names because

    21 I have to really know who they were. Who was the

    22 commander at headquarters?

    23 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, I arrived in

    24 Mostar to meet with Mr. Bruno Stojic and General Milvoj

    25 Petkovic, at the time was Brigadier, he was the

  103. 1 commander of the main headquarters, main staff, and

    2 this was Brigadier at the time, Milvoj Petkovic.

    3 I came to visit them in the morning of the

    4 19th of October with the intention of informing them of

    5 the situation which was very critical and to ask for

    6 assistance both in personnel and materiel.

    7 In this meeting on the 19th, at one point

    8 Mr. Bruno Stojic, who was the representative of the

    9 defence department, said "What is going on up there

    10 with you?" And I told him that as far as I knew, the

    11 only problems we had were with the defence of Jajce and

    12 that there were no other problems. He posed a

    13 question, "What about Novi Travnik?" I replied that on

    14 the basis of my information, which was yesterday's

    15 information, the situation was normal.

    16 So in the latter part of the day, I travelled

    17 from Mostar to Grude to the assistant for logistics to

    18 identify the priority materiel for the defence of

    19 Jajce. After I reached an agreement with him, I

    20 returned to Kiseljak via Konjic, and in the Kiseljak

    21 barracks, I asked the duty officer to give me any

    22 information, if he had any, about the events in Novi

    23 Travnik.

    24 The duty officer told me that there were some

    25 incidents, but that the situation had been calmed down

  104. 1 and that there were no problems anymore. He also added

    2 that Colonel Filipovic had also called, who at that

    3 time was commander of the Operative Group in Travnik,

    4 and that he said that the situation in Travnik had been

    5 calmed down.

    6 On the 20th of October, I started out from

    7 Kiseljak on the main road via Busovaca, and at about

    8 8.00, I arrived at this position at Kaonik. The

    9 members of the civilian police there told me that the

    10 road was blocked and that I couldn't go further on by

    11 car because the members of the Territorial Defence had

    12 set up a barricade.

    13 Q. Where had they set up the barricade?

    14 A. They told me that the barricade had been set

    15 up by the cemetery near the village of Ahmici. This is

    16 the position I'm pointing to now (indicating).

    17 I continued along the road, my driver was

    18 driving and with my escort, and I arrived at the

    19 barricade. On the road, I saw two devices called

    20 hedgehogs. They are metal devices, roadblocks. I saw

    21 three anti-tank mines, and I tried to remove the mines

    22 and the barricade, that is to say, those hedgehog

    23 devices, in order to pass through.

    24 When I stepped out of the car, I heard a

    25 warning at that time, I was told to stop, and I saw in

  105. 1 front of me, at some 15 to 20 metres in front of me,

    2 soldiers who were in military gear with their weapons

    3 pointed at me, their weapons were cocked at us, and one

    4 of them cautioned me and told me to go back. I tried

    5 to learn on the spot whether there was a commander

    6 amongst them, and I asked them who their commander was

    7 because I intended to talk to their commander and to

    8 ask him to allow us to move forward and go on to Vitez

    9 and Kruscica; however, he just kept repeating one

    10 thing, "There's no commander here. Go back where you

    11 came from."

    12 Having asked to be taken to Dzemo Merdan and

    13 to talk to him, as they did not desist in their

    14 threats, I returned. I went back to Busovaca, and at

    15 the bus stop in Busovaca, the military police conveyed

    16 a message to me and told me to contact the UNPROFOR

    17 headquarters in Kiseljak, to call them by telephone

    18 from Busovaca.

    19 The members of the UN headquarters in

    20 Kiseljak asked me to convene a meeting with Brigadier

    21 Petkovic, General Razek, and General Morillon in

    22 Kiseljak. Before I went to phone General Petkovic from

    23 Busovaca, I phoned my headquarters in Kruscica and

    24 asked them to inform me of the events because I was not

    25 able to pass the barricade. They told me, four or five

  106. 1 members of the headquarters told me, that they had been

    2 encircled, surrounded, and that it was impossible to

    3 leave the headquarters building because 30 metres away,

    4 there were soldiers belonging to the Territorial

    5 Defence and that they were mostly from Kruscica and

    6 that they had surrounded the building, surrounded the

    7 headquarters. They also informed me --

    8 Q. The headquarters were your own headquarters,

    9 the headquarters of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?

    10 A. Yes, that's right. It was the regional main

    11 staff, my own headquarters.

    12 I was also informed that there was fighting

    13 in Novi Travnik but that they did not have any precise

    14 details as to the actual events that were happening

    15 there. They knew that there was fighting between the

    16 HVO and the Territorial Defence of Novi Travnik and

    17 that the detonations, strong detonations, could be

    18 heard in Busovaca, almost as far as Busovaca.

    19 Later on, I tried to establish links with the

    20 head of the main staff in connection with these

    21 activities and meetings from Busovaca, and at around

    22 2.00 p.m., I managed to contact the mayor of Vitez, the

    23 president of the municipal assembly, who was Ivica

    24 Santic, who informed me that they in Vitez had

    25 established contacts with the representatives of the

  107. 1 Bosniak Muslims and had organised a meeting with the

    2 aim of transcending all the tensions and difficulties

    3 and that the meeting would be attended by both the

    4 civilian and military representatives.

    5 I asked him whether he had any concrete

    6 information as to the events in Novi Travnik, and he

    7 said that he knew that there was fighting there and

    8 that there were casualties, but that he had no

    9 details.

    10 The conflict broke out at the barricade in

    11 Ahmici after a shift had been stopped, which was to

    12 have passed and moved on to the Jajce front, and the

    13 military police took part in the removal of the

    14 barracks on one side and the Territorial Defence on the

    15 other.

    16 Q. You mean the military police of the HVO?

    17 A. Yes, the military police of the HVO.

    18 Sometime in the afternoon after 6.00 p.m., this

    19 barricade was dismantled.

    20 Q. Where were you, yourself, located when the

    21 fighting was going on at the barricade in Ahmici

    22 between the military police of the HVO and the

    23 Territorial Defence?

    24 A. Almost the entire time, I was at the

    25 headquarters of the military police in Busovaca, and I

  108. 1 was trying to contact General Petkovic. Finally, I

    2 called a liaison office in Kiseljak to carry on with

    3 this job and to try and arrange a meeting.

    4 Q. Do you know what the results of that military

    5 operation were at the barricades, how many dead there

    6 were on both sides, whether any civilian facilities

    7 were destroyed? What was your information in that

    8 regard?

    9 A. I later received information that one soldier

    10 belonging to the HVO had been killed and that one

    11 member of the Territorial Defence had been killed, who

    12 was also one of the soldiers in the trenches. I know

    13 that there were some facilities that were burnt on both

    14 sides, both on the Croatian side and on the Bosniak

    15 Muslim side, and I know that a commission was set up to

    16 investigate, it was a municipal commission, and it

    17 dealt with the damage that had been done.

    18 Q. Did the municipality use its own resources to

    19 clear up the damage that had been done?

    20 A. Yes. The municipality of Vitez and the

    21 commission that was set up studied the damages and drew

    22 up a report of the damage that had been done, and it

    23 repaired the damage from its own resources. The

    24 members of the commission were both Croats and Bosniak

    25 Muslims.

  109. 1 Q. Tell us, please, whether you remember how

    2 many facilities were burnt down during that fighting.

    3 A. As far as I know, very few, perhaps three,

    4 and five at the most, a maximum of five.

    5 Q. What happened afterwards? On the 20th of

    6 April, Stojak, the commander of the HVO, was killed; is

    7 that true? Is that correct? Can you tell us something

    8 about that, and can you describe how this happened? On

    9 the 20th of October, I apologise, the 20th of October,

    10 1992.

    11 A. I later received, sometime around 8.00 p.m.,

    12 information that, in the course of the afternoon, at

    13 the exit from the town of Travnik towards -- the exit

    14 from Travnik, this position here (indicating), the army

    15 of Bosnia-Herzegovina had set up a checkpoint, its own

    16 checkpoint, and at that checkpoint, there were also

    17 people who manned the checkpoint from the composition

    18 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Territorial

    19 Defence, and that is where the commander of the

    20 Croatian Defence Council for the Travnik municipality,

    21 Ivica Stojak, was killed, and an officer of his who was

    22 in the car with him was seriously wounded. This caused

    23 a great increase in tension, so tension was at a peak

    24 in the town of Travnik itself.

    25 I received information later on at the Hotel

  110. 1 Vitez where I was informed by the deputy commander of

    2 the municipal main staff in Vitez, Mr. Cerkez, about

    3 the situation, and he told me that the road from Vitez

    4 towards Kruscica, there was still not free passage on

    5 the road because of the barricades which had been set

    6 up by the Territorial Defence from Kruscica.

    7 I received information that at 11.00 p.m.,

    8 2300 hours, a meeting would be held between the

    9 commander of the regional staff of the Territorial

    10 Defence of Zenica, Mr. Dzemo Merdan, and I was to have

    11 been present at that meeting. The meeting was to have

    12 been presided over by Colonel Bob Stewart and

    13 Brigadier, I think his name was, Cummings, Andrew

    14 Cummings.

    15 Sometime after 2300 hours, the meeting was

    16 actually held, it did take place, and the topic was a

    17 cease-fire of combat operations in Novi Travnik.

    18 Q. Were you informed as to why the conflict in

    19 Novi Travnik broke out?

    20 A. Yes. According to the information that I

    21 received, once again, the cause of the conflict was

    22 control over the petrol station, to gain control, and

    23 over the old hotel.

    24 Q. Between which sides?

    25 A. Between the HVO and the Territorial Defence.

  111. 1 Q. Tell us briefly something in connection to

    2 the killing of Stojak, the commander of the HVO, a very

    3 popular man. Was anything done? Was an investigation

    4 held? Were the perpetrators uncovered, and were they

    5 brought to justice, disciplined?

    6 A. After the killing, a joint commission was set

    7 up between the HVO and the Territorial Defence, and

    8 this was done at the level of the municipal main staff

    9 of Travnik. An investigation was conducted, and it was

    10 confirmed that the killing was performed by a member of

    11 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and he was nicknamed

    12 Tara. The commission stopped its work, taking note of

    13 the fact that, for the time being, Mr. Tara was

    14 inaccessible for proceedings in the case to be

    15 continued. As far as I know, he was not taken into

    16 custody, and that case was never taken any further.

    17 Q. Before we move to another area, I should like

    18 to mention the 23rd of October. You were at a meeting

    19 in the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you

    20 received the highest decoration of the Republic of

    21 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Golden Lily, and if that is

    22 true, would you explain how and when this took place?

    23 A. Yes, that is correct. On the 23rd of

    24 October, I was within the delegation, a member of the

    25 delegation, of the Croatian Defence Council which

  112. 1 attended the first Tri Partite meeting at the airport

    2 in Sarajevo. It was the stand of the HVO delegation

    3 that, before the Tri Partite meeting take place, a

    4 meeting be convened in the presidency building, the

    5 presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, between the members,

    6 that is to say, the delegations of the HVO and the army

    7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in order to coordinate and

    8 dovetail stands and coordinate further work.

    9 At that meeting, I, as the commander of the

    10 main staff of the HVO, and two other officers were

    11 decorated with the order of merit of the Golden Lily,

    12 and that was the highest military decoration of the

    13 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time.

    14 Q. For a moment, we'll leave behind chronology,

    15 and we'll go on to talk about the end of the year

    16 tomorrow, but let's go over to a summary review of

    17 crime.

    18 We saw the incidents that took place between

    19 the two sides. Can you tell us something about crime?

    20 As a concept, was this something that worried you and

    21 something that drew your attention? What were the

    22 characteristics of the crime that was taking place? So

    23 if you could summarise, in the few minutes that we have

    24 left, and explain to the Court what crime represented

    25 in the area of Central Bosnia in 1992?

  113. 1 A. The position of this area of Central Bosnia,

    2 and when I say that, I have in mind Kiseljak and Vitez,

    3 Busovaca and Travnik, and at that time, the

    4 communication links with eastern Bosnia and southern

    5 Bosnia and the enormous influx of refugees and

    6 displaced persons had an effect on the crime rate.

    7 Crime soared, and this led to a collapse of general law

    8 and order. However, I focused my attention on the

    9 front line, and I spent sometimes several weeks and

    10 sometimes several months working out the organisation

    11 and defence and I was -- in the defence of Jajce and

    12 Travnik and other areas. I was engaged in that.

    13 The crime that took place was, first and

    14 foremost, the looting of social property,

    15 socially-owned property. At that time, as property did

    16 not have a defined owner, defined ownership, some

    17 people considered that it was quite all right, that it

    18 was moral to appropriate what was known as

    19 socially-owned property, that is to say, property owned

    20 by certain companies, social companies and so on. Then

    21 there was an appropriation of materiel from the

    22 warehouses of the former JNA, and this appropriation

    23 was done on different pretexts but the consequences of

    24 it were always the same.

    25 Then there was a general reselling of weapons

  114. 1 and military materiel which very often led to family

    2 tragedies and a settling of accounts where profits were

    3 concerned. Then there was the formation of barricades,

    4 ad hoc barricades and roadblocks on roads, and this was

    5 a basic source of income for certain villages along the

    6 roads, main roads, in Central Bosnia. Each village

    7 took it into their own hands to set up a roadblock and

    8 a checkpoint and to reap the profits thereof, a sort of

    9 tax that they levied of their own accord, and then

    10 there was highway robbery, so to speak, and motor

    11 vehicles were confiscated and appropriated, stolen, in

    12 fact, and later on there was looting of family houses,

    13 first of all of workers who were employed abroad, that

    14 is to say, the houses were empty and their owners

    15 working abroad, but then looting of the other homes

    16 began as well. This was also done in a systematic

    17 manner, that is to say, they would even steal the

    18 construction materials, the bricks and roofs and so on,

    19 and it was a very lucrative business to evacuate

    20 citizens from Sarajevo. It was a phenomenon at that

    21 time that for the profiteers, the road was always open

    22 and that they always managed, given remuneration and if

    23 you paid them, that they would ensure the evacuation of

    24 people from Sarajevo and the encirclement around

    25 Sarajevo. This was a lucrative business. There were

  115. 1 also other high-profit goods that were sold and

    2 imported and sold in the region.

    3 In a word, crime flourished, and it led to

    4 the breakdown of the system of law and order that had

    5 prevailed and it led to a misbalance and general

    6 destruction of all criteria, moral criteria and all

    7 others.

    8 Q. In 1992, having given us an overview of the

    9 situation in Central Bosnia and having had an overview

    10 of the situation yourself, and you will be describing

    11 this to us, what was civilian power and authority like

    12 and what were your relationships to civilian

    13 authority? How did you distribute your authorities?

    14 Where did they coincide? So tell us something about

    15 civilian power and authority in the area of the Central

    16 Bosnia Operative Zone in 1992.

    17 A. In 1992, I was informed that a regional main

    18 staff existed as a coordinating body of the civilian

    19 organs of power and authority. However, I did not

    20 consider myself competent for the civilian organs of

    21 power and authority, and I did not consider them to

    22 have any competence over me. I know that my superior

    23 was the chief of the main staff and, for the most part,

    24 that is how I behaved and what my conduct was like.

    25 The civilian power and authority at the level

  116. 1 of the municipalities functioned for the most part in

    2 an autonomous manner, and we could even say that it was

    3 a sort of state within a state, and apart from

    4 coordination, there were no other links, and these two

    5 power structures endeavoured, I say "endeavoured," to

    6 function quite separately.

    7 Q. The central authorities in Sarajevo, was

    8 their effect felt in any way in the area of Central

    9 Bosnia, either with the Croats or with the Muslims?

    10 A. No, it was not, and this could be seen on the

    11 basis of the daily functioning of the civilian

    12 institutions, the taxes that were levied and customs.

    13 Q. Who levied taxes and duty, customs duty?

    14 A. These were levied and taken in by the

    15 municipality but with regard to the population and not

    16 the area, which was a little strange.

    17 Q. What does that mean? What do you mean by

    18 that?

    19 A. Well, that meant that the members of the

    20 Croatian people, for the most part, paid their dues

    21 vis-à-vis the organs of the civilian authorities of the

    22 HVO and the members of the Muslim Bosniak people paid

    23 their dues via taxes which they paid to the authorities

    24 of the Bosniak Muslim authorities in the same

    25 municipality.

  117. 1 Q. What happened with the legal system in 1992,

    2 the justice system, the law court system?

    3 A. In 1992, at the level of the state of

    4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, towards the municipalities, it was

    5 not functioning for the most part.

    6 Q. What about at the level of the

    7 municipalities; was the legal system working there?

    8 A. No. In 1992, no civilian courts were

    9 functioning apart from an attempt to set up regional

    10 military courts, district courts.

    11 Q. Between the civil authorities -- civilian

    12 authorities in towns, for example, Muslim civilian

    13 authorities and the government in Sarajevo, was there

    14 any communication between the two which is standard

    15 practice in states of any kind?

    16 A. As far as I know, this kind of communication

    17 did not exist, but I didn't have any personal insight

    18 into that mechanism and that communication.

    19 Q. What about the balance of payments and the

    20 system of payments between companies and the state; did

    21 that system function as it had done before the war or

    22 did it disintegrate?

    23 A. Well, it wasn't able to function because

    24 there wasn't a currency. The German mark was the

    25 prevailing currency, whereas the balance of payments

  118. 1 and everything else was not functioning.

    2 Q. What about the post office system; did that

    3 function in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    4 A. No.

    5 Q. Did pensioners receive their pensions and did

    6 salaries come in to civil servants from the budget?

    7 A. No, only if the municipality had its own

    8 resources in order to pay these dues. They were not,

    9 in fact, pensions but they were just -- they just took

    10 care of the social cases. People who relied on social

    11 welfare to survive, they would receive remuneration.

    12 Q. What about the pension funds from Sarajevo?

    13 Did they send pensions to people or not?

    14 A. No, they did not.

    15 Q. What happened to money and currency? What

    16 was the money that was in use in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    17 A. Well, the German mark was the prevailing

    18 currency at that time in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was

    19 the valid currency for the whole of

    20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. You could buy and sell on the

    21 basis of the German mark throughout the territory of

    22 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    23 Q. What currency was proclaimed by the

    24 government in Sarajevo as the prevailing currency?

    25 A. For a time, the Yugoslavia dinar was the

  119. 1 currency in use, but it had devalued a great deal.

    2 Later on, there was bonds of some kind and 1992, and

    3 only later on did the BH dinar come into play, it was

    4 introduced, the BH dinar, but it was impossible to buy

    5 anything because there were no goods to buy.

    6 Q. Was Croatian kuna also used in this area of

    7 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    8 A. It was because -- this was forced by the

    9 circumstances, because in order to buy goods, you had

    10 to go to the first neighbouring store or the first

    11 neighbouring country, and so the Croatian kuna was also

    12 used.

    13 Q. At that time, according to the laws of

    14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, was there an army; in other words,

    15 what was the legal armed force in the territory of

    16 Bosnia and Herzegovina?

    17 A. The Yugolav People's Army.

    18 Q. So that was the army with which at least two

    19 ethnic groups were at war?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. What was the case with the civilian police?

    22 A. I can speak about Central Bosnia. In at

    23 least eleven municipalities, the civilian police had

    24 ceased to exist. The central links, that is, links

    25 with certain centres, had been maintained, but

  120. 1 according to the information I received from the chief

    2 of the Kiseljak police station, he issued the last

    3 salary to his staff in April.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Nobilo. Ordinarily we

    5 would go until a quarter to six, but since -- well,

    6 perhaps we could go for another five or six minutes,

    7 but I would like us to settle this problem that I

    8 raised with you a while back about the common interests

    9 between the Aleksovski and Blaskic Trial Chambers.

    10 Please continue.

    11 MR. NOBILO: Shall I go till about 5.45, or

    12 shall I cut it off a bit earlier so that we can discuss

    13 the Aleksovski issue?

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Go for another five minutes,

    15 then we'll stop, and we'll use the last five minutes to

    16 discuss the problem that I mentioned so that we don't

    17 keep the interpreters any longer.

    18 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

    19 Q. So you just described some key functions of

    20 the federal state, and you said that they did not

    21 operate. So who filled in this void; in other words,

    22 who regulated life in Central Bosnia?

    23 A. This void, for the most part by force, was

    24 filled in by the municipality which took over all these

    25 functions and attempted to discharge them in addition

  121. 1 to all the other functions which it had legally. So

    2 this was simply a situation which we had, that each

    3 municipality functioned as a mini state in itself.

    4 Q. So let's list other functions: police,

    5 taxing, schools. Who was regulating these affairs

    6 which used to be regulated by the state?

    7 A. All this was done by the municipality. What

    8 the school year was going to be, when school would

    9 start and when it would finish; police affairs, the

    10 size of the police force, the active police force size;

    11 and many, many other activities, levying of taxes,

    12 other income, supplying the citizenship, that is, the

    13 entire economy, the police, even the defence; in good

    14 part, the defence as well, because the municipality was

    15 the main logistics base for the military conscripts

    16 because the municipality also carried out tax of

    17 mobilisation which was a competence of the state, and

    18 all the mobilisation plans were drafted by the

    19 municipality, that is, competent departments of the

    20 municipal government.

    21 Q. Did the competence of the municipality sort

    22 of overlap with the competences of the Central Bosnia

    23 Operative Zone which you led?

    24 A. Yes, they overlapped, and the municipalities

    25 de facto had a large number of competences which were,

  122. 1 in fact, competences of the command of the Operative

    2 Zone, at least in theory, on paper, but which were to

    3 be taken over from the municipal structures by the

    4 regional headquarters.

    5 Q. We are still talking about 1992. We will

    6 move on to 1993 later. But in 1992 were you trying to

    7 take over the rest, so to speak, some of the

    8 competences which they had which you felt that you had,

    9 and could you mention some of the issues over which you

    10 wrested with them?

    11 A. Yes. There were activities there and, of

    12 course, I tried to take over the competences which were

    13 a part of commanding. Let me give you one example

    14 only: The municipal crisis staffs adopted a decision

    15 on the involvement of troops, even to the point that at

    16 a level of local communes, the municipal crisis staffs

    17 adopted decisions on the involvement of troops. They

    18 appointed commanders and also regulated compensation,

    19 the distribution of logistics such as ammunition. All

    20 this was within the competences of the municipalities

    21 because they controlled the means with which this

    22 equipment or this materiel was acquired.

    23 Similarly with respect to the combat

    24 operations and the logistics support for these combat

    25 operations because the logistics affairs, the

  123. 1 mobilisation affairs, and even the establishment

    2 affairs were conducted by the municipal structures.

    3 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, if you agree, I

    4 think we have reached the end of a particular area, so

    5 this may be a good point where we can stop.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We'll stop at that

    7 point and we'll resume tomorrow, remember at 9.45,

    8 Friday. Friday is tomorrow.

    9 All right. Mr. Prosecutor, have you

    10 consulted with your colleagues?

    11 MR. HARMON: I have, Mr. President, Your

    12 Honours, and we certainly have no objection to Judge

    13 Rodrigues participating in any decision taken on the

    14 motion that has been presented by the Aleksovski

    15 Chamber to this particular Trial Chamber. So we agree

    16 to his participating in the decision.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Hayman or

    18 Mr. Nobilo?

    19 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, we consent to

    20 Judge Rodrigues acting as a member of the Trial Chamber

    21 on this issue. I'm not sure you need our consent; he

    22 is a member of the Trial Chamber.

    23 As a footnote, the Defence notes that we

    24 don't know who the protected witness is that the

    25 Aleksovski Trial Chamber has -- well, perhaps the

  124. 1 Appellate Chamber now has ordered the transcript to be

    2 made available in the other case. We don't know if

    3 it's a Prosecution witness or a Defence witness, I

    4 think. I have read the appellate decision that was

    5 made available to us yesterday, and I think that's the

    6 only paper ...

    7 JUDGE JORDA: I think only the Prosecutor

    8 knows. I don't know. I don't think Judge Shahabuddeen

    9 does either, nor does the Aleksovski case. The problem

    10 here was simply to know how the Trial Chamber should be

    11 composed. Now that the trial has been composed, thanks

    12 to your agreement, we ourselves can know to what extent

    13 we can or cannot modify the protective measures that

    14 were taken, but in general, you should know -- I think

    15 we can say, the decision was public -- you should

    16 already know the direction that the Blaskic Chamber has

    17 taken, that is, to strengthen or at least not to

    18 diminish the protection of witnesses once the

    19 testimonies move from one case to another.

    20 Having said that, it's with pleasure and

    21 satisfaction that we have noted the agreement of the

    22 parties and that the Trial Chamber be definitively

    23 composed as it is with Judge Rodrigues.

    24 MR. HAYMAN: The only footnote,

    25 Mr. President, I was making was if the witness was a

  125. 1 Defence witness, a protected Defence witness, we do not

    2 consent without further discussion or information to

    3 the revelation of a protected Defence witness to

    4 another party, including -- to another party, period.

    5 But I don't know if the witness the Prosecutor seeks is

    6 a protected Defence witness or a protected Prosecution

    7 witness. If we could be told the pseudonym, if it was

    8 a pseudonymed witness in our case, then we already know

    9 who it is based on the pseudonym, and we may well be in

    10 a position to consent. Even if it were a Defence

    11 witness, I just want to note we don't know that. We're

    12 operating a little bit in the dark.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Hayman, but

    14 you're really going now to the substance of the

    15 motion. We simply had to know who was going to decide,

    16 whether it would be with two Judges or three Judges,

    17 but as concerns the rest, I don't know whether

    18 Mr. Harmon wants to tell us something.

    19 MR. HARMON: I can assuage my colleague's

    20 concerns. It is a Prosecution witness. I won't say

    21 more and I will not identify the witness.

    22 MR. HAYMAN: That probably does eliminate any

    23 concern. There may be cases where there are

    24 Prosecution witnesses and there were segments of the

    25 testimony that the Defence had a unique interest in the

  126. 1 sealed nature or confidential nature of a question or a

    2 document. I don't know. But subject to that, we, of

    3 course, would not have any objection and would consent

    4 to whatever the Court feels appropriate with respect to

    5 confidential Prosecution witness material. Thank you.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: All right. It's with

    7 satisfaction that Judge Shahabuddeen and I accept Judge

    8 Rodrigues on this very sensitive issue.

    9 Thank you very much. The court stands

    10 adjourned, and we will resume tomorrow morning at

    11 9.45.

    12 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at

    13 5.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,

    14 the 19th day of February, 1999, at

    15 9.45 a.m.