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  1. 1 Tuesday, 23rd February, 1999

    2 (Open session)

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

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar,

    5 have our witness brought in, please, that is, General

    6 Blaskic.

    7 (The accused entered court)

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning to the

    9 interpreters and to the court reporters. Good morning

    10 to the Defence and to the Prosecution counsel and to

    11 the witness. If everybody can hear me, and I hope

    12 everybody can, we can continue.

    13 Mr. Nobilo?

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

    15 Perhaps this is a good point to introduce the

    16 photographs, the still photographs, which were taken

    17 yesterday. We only have a single colour series, and

    18 the rest of them are black and white. Perhaps we could

    19 also place them on the ELMO and ask General Blaskic to

    20 just quickly describe each one of them and then have

    21 each one assigned a number.

    22 THE REGISTRAR: As regards the photographs,

    23 this will be D542/1-7.


    25 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

  2. 1 Q. The first photograph is D542/1. Could you

    2 just briefly describe this photograph?

    3 MR. KEHOE: I believe you said you had black

    4 and white copies if ...

    5 MR. NOBILO: The quality is very poor, so you

    6 can barely see it. What we need to do is we need to

    7 have additional copies made for the rest of the

    8 parties. We tried to make them, but we were

    9 unsuccessful.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Is this a problem for you,

    11 Mr. Kehoe?

    12 MR. KEHOE: No. It's easier, of course, to

    13 make notes on a particular document as the witness is

    14 talking about it so, of course, at the appropriate

    15 time, we would like that because it would be very

    16 useful in cross-examination.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I agree with you. I have

    18 another request. I would like this, and I have already

    19 said it, I frequently say it, that when documents are

    20 put on the ELMO, the public gallery should be able to

    21 see them as well. These are public hearings, let me

    22 remind you. We have enough closed hearings for other

    23 reasons, and so I would like to remind you of that. I

    24 know that technically it's a bit complicated, but I'm

    25 supervising the matter because I can see that we have

  3. 1 people in the public gallery. These are public

    2 hearings, let me remind you of that, unless, of course,

    3 we come to a different decision.

    4 All right. Continue, please.

    5 MR. NOBILO:

    6 Q. Would you please describe what the photograph

    7 D542/1 represents?

    8 A. Your Honours, this photograph represents the

    9 checkpoints which were established starting on 2nd

    10 January, 1993 until 20th January, 1993.

    11 Q. By whom?

    12 A. By the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The

    13 position I am pointing at is Vitez (indicating). This

    14 is Travnik (indicating). This is Novi Travnik

    15 (indicating).

    16 Q. Just briefly, these are the BH army

    17 checkpoints in Vitez, Novi Travnik, and Travnik in

    18 January 1993; can we define them like that?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Next photograph, please, D545/2.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: I would like for the witness to

    22 define, very quickly, not to go over what we went over

    23 yesterday, so the witness sees the photos, sees the

    24 legend, the legend is written and registered with the

    25 registry. Please go on, Witness. We don't want to

  4. 1 waste any time. Please go forward. Please go ahead.

    2 We have the description. Read the description and then

    3 go on to the next.

    4 A. This photograph shows the checkpoints in the

    5 Travnik municipality, deployment of the HVO forces and

    6 the forces of the BH army against the front line with

    7 the Serbs.

    8 MR. NOBILO:

    9 Q. Very well. Next photograph, D542/3.

    10 A. This photograph shows the checkpoint

    11 established near the Vodovod elementary school by the

    12 BH army.

    13 Q. And the checkpoint is designated by the

    14 yellow piece of paper?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Very well. Next photograph, D542/4.

    17 A. The photograph shows the checkpoint of the BH

    18 army in Kruscica, and it is designated in yellow.

    19 Q. Very well. Next photograph, D542/5.

    20 A. The photograph shows the checkpoints set up

    21 by the BH army on the main road Novi Travnik-Gornji

    22 Vakuf. The yellow markers mark the checkpoints.

    23 Q. Very well. Next photograph, D542/6.

    24 A. The photograph shows checkpoints set up by

    25 the BH army from Kacuni to Bilalovac. The yellow

  5. 1 markers mark the checkpoints themselves.

    2 Q. Very well. The next photograph, the last

    3 photograph, D542/7.

    4 A. This is the same photograph. This shows the

    5 situation of January 1993 and shows the checkpoints.

    6 Q. You mean the checkpoints between Kacuni and

    7 Bilalovac?

    8 A. Yes, between Kacuni and Bilalovac.

    9 Q. Very well. So we left off yesterday, at the

    10 end of the day, at 25 January, 1993 when, in the

    11 afternoon, you received information about fighting in

    12 Busovaca. What exactly did you receive in terms of

    13 information, and did you receive sufficient information

    14 in order to be able to start to exercise your command

    15 responsibility?

    16 A. During that day, I received information that

    17 a conflict had broken out at the checkpoint at Kacuni

    18 where a member of the HVO military police was killed

    19 and another civilian, who could not be identified at

    20 the moment, and the rest of the information was pretty

    21 scant, and they did not allow me to get the full

    22 picture of what was going on in the Busovaca

    23 municipality.

    24 MR. NOBILO: Could the witness now please be

    25 shown Exhibits D95, 96, and 406. If this is D95, can

  6. 1 you put it on the ELMO, the English version, please?

    2 First, D95, please, and apparently there's no English

    3 translation right now, so I'm going to read it.

    4 Q. This is to the 4th Military Police Battalion,

    5 4th Military Police Battalion, and then the

    6 registration number is there. The date is 25 January,

    7 1993, and it says: "To the Command of the Central

    8 Bosnia Operative Zone (Colonel Tihomir Blaskic,

    9 Kiseljak)." The heading is "Report."

    10 "On 25 January, 1993 around 0100 hours in the

    11 village of Kacuni, in the fighting between the members

    12 of the HVO units in Busovaca and the BH army, Ivica

    13 Petrovic, member of the Busovaca HVO, and an unknown

    14 person, whose identity has not yet been established,

    15 were killed. The on-site investigation of this

    16 incident was conducted by the crime department with the

    17 Mostar/Vitez HVO department," and it is signed by Pasko

    18 Ljubicic, the commander.

    19 General Blaskic, did you receive this report

    20 such as we see here?

    21 A. Yes. I received it on the 25th of January,

    22 1993.

    23 Q. In what fashion did you receive it, by what

    24 means?

    25 A. I think that the report was received by fax,

  7. 1 I think through the local telephone lines between

    2 Kiseljak and Busovaca.

    3 Q. General, what were the telephone lines like

    4 in the Busovaca, Vitez, and Kiseljak area? What lines

    5 were used? What cables were used? Where were the

    6 cables passing through?

    7 A. The cables themselves were between Kiseljak,

    8 Busovaca, Vitez, and they went through Kacuni and

    9 Bilalovac.

    10 Q. In such circumstances, could you use the

    11 regular civilian telephone lines for military command

    12 and control and for reception of the military reports?

    13 A. No, because we had certain knowledge that

    14 these lines were not safe, that they were monitored.

    15 Q. Very well. Let us now move on to Exhibit

    16 D96. This is an order which was not confirmed, has not

    17 been authenticated, by any witness so far, as I'm being

    18 signalled by the registrar, so we have no translation,

    19 so I'm going to read it. It states: "Command post of

    20 OZ SB, forward command post in Vitez." The number is

    21 SB1881/93, and the date is the 25th of January, 1993,

    22 and it says, "Deliver to the commander of the Nikola

    23 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in Busovaca directly," and the

    24 heading is "Assignment of Persons for the Joint

    25 Commission," and it says, "Pursuant to the proposal

  8. 1 delivered by the commander of the 3rd Army Corps of

    2 Bosnia-Herzegovina," the number "02/33-320 of 25

    3 January, 1993, point 5," and the response sent, "number

    4 02/33-327 of 25 January, 1993, point 3, by the 3rd

    5 Corps of the BH army, I order the following:

    6 "The commander of the HVO brigade Nikola

    7 Subic-Zrinjski in Busovaca will appoint a person who

    8 will establish the telephone contact and be authorised

    9 to adopt any decisions in the zone of responsibility of

    10 the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in Busovaca.

    11 2. The basic role of the commission is to

    12 work on tasks of immediate cease-fire between the HVO

    13 and the BH army.

    14 3. Members of the commission should be

    15 selected based on the assessment and proposals of the

    16 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade command.

    17 4. The deadline for carrying out of this

    18 order is 25 January 1993, 1500 hours."

    19 It is signed by the Commander, Colonel

    20 Tihomir Blaskic.

    21 First, can you tell me, did you write this

    22 order?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. Now, let us analyse it a little bit. It

    25 contains several slightly illogical points, including

  9. 1 the Croatian language. First of all, let's look at the

    2 registration number. Is this the registration number

    3 used by the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?

    4 A. No.

    5 Q. Who could it have been used by?

    6 A. I was in Kiseljak that day, and as I did not

    7 have the Central Bosnia Operative Zone command logbook

    8 in order to assign a proper registration number, so

    9 through the packet communications, I asked from my

    10 staff to register this order, that is, this staff to

    11 assign it a number, which it decides. So where it says

    12 "S.B.", it should have stated "T.B.", that means

    13 "Tihomir Blaskic," and these were the numbers in

    14 Kiseljak.

    15 Q. Very well. We're moving on to the preamble.

    16 It looks from it as if the letter of the 3rd Corps has

    17 a registration number of the 3rd Corps, and it looks as

    18 if your response also has the 3rd Corps registration

    19 number. Is this a mistake, or what is this?

    20 A. This is probably a mistake because the

    21 operative who probably typed up this document, and this

    22 document was sent via packet communications, probably

    23 was not able to read my handwriting because my order

    24 was written by hand, and I believe that I was probably

    25 sending it to the 3rd Corps, and the 3rd Corps was

  10. 1 responding to me; in other words, I communicated with

    2 Enver.

    3 Q. So do you agree that this preamble is not

    4 logical and that some mistakes and errors are involved?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. The next question is: Why are you not

    7 assigning the person to negotiate but you are giving

    8 this authority to the Busovaca Brigade?

    9 A. First of all, I was not in full control of

    10 the situation and I did not have full information about

    11 what was going on in Busovaca, and the commander of the

    12 brigade, I was not sure whether he was able to return

    13 from Zepce. This was Mr. Niko Juzinovic. I still

    14 believed at that time that this was an incident in

    15 Kacuni and that the conflict did not spread.

    16 MR. NOBILO: Very well. Could Exhibit D406

    17 be placed on the ELMO, and here we do have an English

    18 translation.

    19 Q. So this, it says the Central Bosnia Operative

    20 Zone command, and the number is 01-1-366/93, dated the

    21 26th of January, 1993, and the time is 2300 hours. It

    22 is addressed to the commander of the Central Bosnia

    23 Operative Zone, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, in Kiseljak.

    24 If you look at the signature, it is the chief of staff,

    25 Franjo Nakic.

  11. 1 Could you first, please, just review the

    2 document, and then say how it was delivered to you?

    3 Please, the back page also.

    4 A. This document was faxed to me using the

    5 regular civilian telephone line.

    6 Q. We're not going to read the entire document.

    7 Just point 2, which talks about the communications.

    8 "1. Report on the sending of wires by

    9 packet communications

    10 - packet communications of the main staff of

    11 the HVO are not fully operational (only the

    12 participants from Herzegovina can receive them).

    13 - there is a need for checking identification

    14 documents due to a frequent appearance of foreigners

    15 (Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina).

    16 - there is a high overload of the entire

    17 packet network in the area of the Croatian Community of

    18 Herceg-Bosna.

    19 - there is a high frequency of packet network

    20 interceptions

    21 - within the Central Bosnia Operative Zone

    22 packet network, only the Vitez network is operational

    23 at the moment, Travnik and Novi Travnik packets have

    24 limited capacity, the Kiseljak packet operates

    25 exclusively through Vitez, Zenica and Busovaca packets

  12. 1 are not operating within the network but only by using

    2 a special frequency with Vitez, which creates the

    3 additional difficulties of operating on two

    4 frequencies; the Zepce packet is entirely out of use.

    5 - operators in the Kiseljak packet

    6 communications cannot operate full-time, and they

    7 neither have the training nor the equipment to use this

    8 frequency.

    9 - BH Army participants have already attempted

    10 to intercept our wires, which has been noticed by the

    11 packet of the main staff of the HVO; we are therefore

    12 forced to run maximum checks on every participant."

    13 I'm not going to read the rest of the

    14 document, but I want to ask you: Did you actually

    15 receive this fax in Kiseljak from your command post in

    16 Vitez?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. Could you very briefly, just a couple of

    19 sentences, explain what the packet communication system

    20 was which you used and which you used in addition to

    21 the civilian lines, and was there a third system which

    22 you used?

    23 A. No, we did not have any additional

    24 communication systems. The packet communications, as

    25 described, was the only communication means we had, and

  13. 1 what happened was we used one telephone line and modem

    2 on the computer through which messages were sent. The

    3 operator would type up the text and then send to the

    4 addressee this typewritten text. However, the security

    5 problems with the packet communication lines were very

    6 high because any operator could send a message and any

    7 operator could receive it; they only needed to know the

    8 code.

    9 Q. Just a moment, please. You said that you

    10 used a modem and used the telephone line. Do you mean

    11 telephone line or the radio line?

    12 A. Radio line.

    13 Q. So you misspoke just now.

    14 A. Yes.

    15 Q. Could you tell me what problems were involved

    16 in sending a message in this way?

    17 A. The biggest problems were to secure this

    18 message; in other words, other participants in this

    19 communication traffic were able to receive such

    20 messages.

    21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Nobilo, you will

    22 kindly bear with the Bench. We know that all the

    23 witnesses have used the term "packet communication,"

    24 and no doubt it has been explained here and there. But

    25 this is such a significant witness. I wonder whether

  14. 1 you would think it useful to ask him to explain very

    2 neatly and concisely what the reference means?

    3 MR. NOBILO: Yes. Thank you, Your Honour.

    4 Q. General, would you, in the briefest of terms,

    5 explain the technicalities of that link and the

    6 communications you used? What devices were used and

    7 what was the idea?

    8 A. We used ordinary computers that we had in the

    9 economy. They were not specific, special military

    10 computers, they were ordinary computers, the kind that

    11 you could buy on the market, business computers, and we

    12 used the existing lines that the PTT use, the Post,

    13 Telegraph, and Telephone service used, but we would use

    14 radio relay stations and an adapter or modem which we

    15 used, we used this additional modem which enabled

    16 communication between the users in this packet

    17 communication link network.

    18 Q. How would a text be sent? Could you explain

    19 the procedure to us?

    20 A. When I wrote an order or a document, if it

    21 was urgent, then I could hand it to the operator who

    22 was at the computer, and the operator would then type

    23 out the order on the computer. After that, he would

    24 call the next user in the communication line, that is

    25 to say, a neighbouring computer to which the text was

  15. 1 addressed, and if communication between the two

    2 computers existed, then the text would be sent on to

    3 the next user or the next participant.

    4 Q. So you use a computer and a modem; is that

    5 correct?

    6 A. Yes, it is.

    7 Q. When the message is on the air waves, radio

    8 waves, where does the problem lie? Must it reach the

    9 receiver, the person receiving the message, or can

    10 somebody intercept the message?

    11 A. These are two problems which were serious

    12 ones, and one problem was that if somebody knew the

    13 code of the participant, then this message could be

    14 taken over and intercepted by anybody who knew the

    15 code.

    16 The other problem was that if somebody else

    17 wanted to interfere with the packet link, then they

    18 would be able to send a message themselves. For

    19 example, if I were sending a message from Kiseljak and

    20 the 3rd Corps was aware of the code, it too can send

    21 from the communications centre a message to the command

    22 of the Operative Zone in Vitez.

    23 Q. Was it a code or was it a question of knowing

    24 the frequency you were using?

    25 A. Those are two matters. Frequency is one

  16. 1 thing. If you know the frequency, you can take part in

    2 the communication itself, but the participants had

    3 their own codes and code names. For example, they had

    4 a very simple code name.

    5 Q. So they identified themselves by stating a

    6 name; can we put it in layman's terms in that way?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: General, could you wrap

    9 it up by explaining to us whether there could be any

    10 interception if you applied the packet method of

    11 communication which, as you have explained to us, means

    12 really communication from computer to computer? Could

    13 there be any interception if that method were used?

    14 A. Yes, Your Honours, especially as we had just

    15 started using this method and had no protective

    16 devices, and I tried to explain this a moment ago.

    17 Interception was possible, both with the conveyance of

    18 the message, but what could also be done was that

    19 another message could be sent under a false name or

    20 code.

    21 MR. NOBILO:

    22 Q. So it could be a false order, in fact; is

    23 that right? A false order could be introduced?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: General, getting back to the

  17. 1 very beginning of the conflict in which you were allied

    2 with the 3rd Corps, or you were dealing with the 3rd

    3 Corps, now we're dealing with various means that were

    4 used for communications and for other logistics. So in

    5 the very beginning, did this pose any more important

    6 problems?

    7 A. Your Honours, we did have cooperation in the

    8 sense that the heads of communications took part; for

    9 example, my own and Enver's would have meetings, and

    10 they would settle those technical details. I don't

    11 know how they actually did this, I don't know the

    12 details in the technical sense, but as I say, there

    13 were difficulties because at that time we were allies,

    14 we were truly and genuinely allies, and we had a whole

    15 link-up system of communications, so there were no

    16 secrets. The head of the 3rd Corps and the Operative

    17 Zone would be sitting down together.

    18 THE INTERPRETER: A little slower, please,

    19 General, if you would?

    20 JUDGE JORDA: We can therefore deduce that

    21 you yourself were able to intercept communications from

    22 the 3rd Corps, for example?

    23 A. At the very beginning, yes. The difference

    24 being that, Your Honours, the 3rd Corps of the army of

    25 Bosnia-Herzegovina inherited the communication system

  18. 1 from the zone headquarters of the Territorial Defence

    2 of Zenica, and I'm talking about the time when the JNA

    3 was stationed in Zenica itself, and I mean the

    4 Territorial Defence as a component of the armed forces

    5 of the former Yugoslavia. So they inherited the

    6 communications and link system.

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. And that communication system, in the

    9 technical sense, at what level was it compared to your

    10 own communication system?

    11 A. For all intents and purposes, that system of

    12 communications enabled operative command to take place

    13 whereas the system of links and communications that

    14 we're talking about in the HVO was a system that was

    15 under formation, it was a fledgling system of packet

    16 communications, if you like, and not all the operators

    17 had been trained yet sufficiently to work with those

    18 systems.

    19 Q. Tell us, please, according to your experience

    20 -- you are not a specialist in communications -- but

    21 this system of packet links and communications that you

    22 used, is it a professional military system which

    23 enabled operative command?

    24 A. It was not a professional military system

    25 because operative command implies command in real time

  19. 1 and real space whereas, according to the documents, we

    2 can see that some of the documents travelled from

    3 Kiseljak to Vitez as long as two days.

    4 Q. Explain to the Trial Chamber -- and I think

    5 this is an important point --

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me, General

    7 Blaskic. We know that beyond your own professional

    8 military training, you also have computer training.

    9 Did this computer training that you received aid you in

    10 installing or in improving the communications in that

    11 situation or not?

    12 A. Your Honours, had I had the cadres and the

    13 resources, that knowledge would have helped me. Let me

    14 quote an example. The head of communications for the

    15 Operative Zone and my headquarters had secondary

    16 education, vocational training, he was a radio

    17 technician, and he had worked in the Maintenance

    18 Institute of Travnik and was trained to maintain

    19 radios; but to command and control devices and units,

    20 that was something that he did not know about at the

    21 time, and I didn't have anybody else working with me.

    22 MR. NOBILO:

    23 Q. The software that you used in the computers,

    24 was it a special type of software devised for the

    25 purposes and needs of the army, or was it something

  20. 1 that could be purchased in any computer shop?

    2 A. It was not any kind of military software,

    3 no. As far as I know, it was the usual type of

    4 business software that could be bought on the market,

    5 in shops.

    6 Q. You mentioned a term a moment ago which I

    7 think deserves the Court's attention, "command in real

    8 time." What does "real time" mean in military terms?

    9 A. A moment ago, we mentioned informatics and

    10 computers and how this helped, and the term that I was

    11 acquainted with in the former Yugoslav People's Army,

    12 that term implied that the military commander receives

    13 information at the time when the event actually takes

    14 place in a certain region and that he has the

    15 possibility of reacting and influencing and guiding the

    16 course of events. That is to say, to react

    17 simultaneously upon the reception of that information.

    18 Today, in addition to commanding in real

    19 space and communication and control, there is also a

    20 selective approach to the multitude of information

    21 which is sent at all times to the commanding officer,

    22 and all this with the aim of enabling him to react as

    23 speedily as possible and exert influence on the events

    24 in a certain area.

    25 Q. We looked at D96, the previous document, it

  21. 1 was written on the 25th of January, 1993, and the stamp

    2 was the radio packet dated the 27th of January, 1993.

    3 It was probably at 4.00 a.m., 4.00 in the morning.

    4 Tell us, please, is this an example of the

    5 level of communication that you had at the time, and

    6 what did this kind of information mean to you as a

    7 commander, information that was sent to you five or six

    8 hour later or a day and a half later? How did this

    9 influence the possibility of reacting?

    10 A. Well, this is just one example. There were

    11 quite definitely many examples of this kind. This kind

    12 of information sent in this way and received in this

    13 way made it impossible for the receiver, in this case,

    14 it was the command in Vitez, to react on time, to have

    15 a timely reaction, because two days elapsed before this

    16 information reached the commander, and so you cannot

    17 really react properly. If information is as late as

    18 this, it is impossible to command in terms of real time

    19 and real space.

    20 Q. Thank you. Let us move on. This brings us

    21 to the 26th of January. You are still in Kiseljak cut

    22 off from the events in Busovaca, and you have a meeting

    23 at 10.00 a.m. with Dzemo Merdan and General

    24 Cordy-Simpson. Can you tell us how this meeting came

    25 about and what you discussed at the meeting and what

  22. 1 was the purpose of the meeting?

    2 A. The meeting of the 26th of January, 1993 at

    3 around 10.00 a.m. at the headquarters of UNPROFOR for

    4 Bosnia-Herzegovina was held. Mr. Cordy-Simpson and

    5 Colonel Bob Stewart were present, Dzemo Merdan was

    6 present from the 3rd Corps, and I, myself, attended the

    7 meeting.

    8 The meeting was convened on the basis of a

    9 request from myself made on the 25th of January and at

    10 the demand of UNPROFOR, that we should have a meeting

    11 and agree upon a cease-fire, a cessation of the

    12 conflicts with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    13 I, first of all, requested a cessation of the

    14 conflict. That was my first request. Second, I

    15 demanded that the barricades at Kacuni be dismantled

    16 and that the road be opened running from Kiseljak and

    17 Busovaca, that there be free passage along that road,

    18 and I also requested a complete freedom of movement

    19 along the Kiseljak-Busovaca road.

    20 Dzemo Merdan did not contest the fact that

    21 the conflict should be stopped. The point that was

    22 contested had to do with the troops from outside, that

    23 is to say, the engagement of forces outside the

    24 municipality of Busovaca in this conflict.

    25 Nonetheless, in the course of the meeting, we

  23. 1 succeeded in agreeing on practically all the points

    2 that we discussed, and at one particular moment during

    3 the meeting, a message reached me, it was brought to me

    4 in the hall where we were having our meeting, which

    5 said that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had been

    6 launching combat operations in the Lasva, Dusina, and

    7 Visnjica area and that the Croatian civilians in those

    8 villages had been slaughtered.

    9 I reacted in the following fashion: I asked

    10 Dzemo to have these operations stopped, and I told him

    11 that we could not sit down and discuss things of this

    12 kind while the 3rd Corps was launching these attacks,

    13 and that particular meeting was interrupted

    14 temporarily, and it ended by us having reached an

    15 agreement that on the next day at 10.00 a.m., that is

    16 to say, on the 27th of January, 1993, we would meet

    17 again at the same venue and that that meeting would be

    18 attended by the commander of the 3rd Corps, Enver, who

    19 had usually come to meetings of this kind with me.

    20 Q. Tell us, did Dzemo Merdan promise to see what

    21 was happening in Lasva and Dusina and that he would

    22 stop the killing of civilians there?

    23 A. Yes. He said that at that particular point,

    24 from the venue of the meeting, he did not have any

    25 communications, and he was not able to ascertain what

  24. 1 was going on and that the best thing would be if he

    2 personally were to investigate and see what was going

    3 on in that region.

    4 Q. Let us now move on to another meeting that

    5 was held, but I just remembered one point and that is

    6 to ask you the following: Did you have or did the 3rd

    7 Corps have brigade vehicles and centres, that is to

    8 say, mobile communication centres, on the basis of

    9 which the commander could command combat activities

    10 wherever he was located?

    11 A. We called them the radio relay system of

    12 communications and links for the level of the brigade

    13 of the former JNA, whereas in the HVO, we did not have

    14 a single system of that kind. We did not have them in

    15 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, and I know for a

    16 fact that, from the technical maintenance institute of

    17 Travnik, systems of this kind were taken over by the BH

    18 army.

    19 Q. On the following day, that is to say, the

    20 27th of January, 1993, at the headquarters of the

    21 United Nations in Kiseljak, at 10.00 a.m., another

    22 meeting was held at which Enver Hadzihasanovic turned

    23 up. The commander of the 3rd Corps had entered that

    24 meeting. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber how that

    25 meeting evolved?

  25. 1 A. Enver Hadzihasanovic from the 3rd Corps came

    2 to attend the meeting, but Kadir Jusic from the 3rd

    3 Corps also came to the meeting. He came from Visoko.

    4 The meeting was also attended by the head of the

    5 European Monitoring Mission, Mr. Flemming.

    6 At the very start of the meeting, Enver made

    7 the observation that I was isolated, that I was cut off

    8 in Kiseljak and that, quite obviously, the HVO in the

    9 Lasva River Valley was being commanded by somebody

    10 else. He agreed to have the meeting start only when I

    11 had given him assurances as to who the commander of the

    12 Central Bosnia Operative Zone actually was, and I

    13 confirmed that it is quite true that I was in Kiseljak,

    14 but that as far as I knew, I, myself, was the commander

    15 of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone.

    16 Q. Were you able to confirm and actually tell

    17 him that you were not in control of the events in

    18 Busovaca as a commander should be?

    19 A. Well, at that particular moment, it was a

    20 meeting between us, the conflicting parties, and, of

    21 course, I did not own up to this. I did not affirm

    22 this because my positions were anyway subordinated

    23 under conditions of that kind, inferior.

    24 MR. NOBILO: May we now show the witness

    25 Defence Exhibit D128. Defence Exhibit 188. Please,

  26. 1 the English transcript on the ELMO, the English copy.

    2 Q. I will read from this document D188 only

    3 three items, and this is a report of Enver

    4 Hadzihasanovic to the Supreme Command Staff of the

    5 armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    6 The top of the third paragraph: "We assume that

    7 Colonel Tihomir Blaskic is isolated in Kiseljak and

    8 that his readiness to solve the problems is a lie, that

    9 somebody else is solving the problems instead of Tiho

    10 Blaskic, and that there is no point in negotiating as

    11 whatever is agreed upon will not have any result," and

    12 the last sentence, "The HVO main headquarters would

    13 need to be asked to designate a person other than

    14 Colonel Blaskic, which would be," and I can't read it

    15 very well, "which would have the authority to take

    16 decisions," and then Enver Hadzihasanovic signed this.

    17 This is a document which, obviously, you

    18 could not have seen because this is Hadzihasanovic's

    19 report, and this is an opinion expressed by him to his

    20 supreme command. Does this coincide with his position

    21 which he orally expressed to you on that occasion

    22 during that meeting?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. After you tried to sort of salvage your

    25 position, did the meeting continue, and what was the

  27. 1 outcome of the meeting?

    2 A. The negotiations were continued. The basic

    3 issue that we discussed was the cease-fire, which is

    4 what I requested, and withdrawal of troops outside of

    5 the Busovaca municipality, that is, of the troops which

    6 took part in this conflict. I tried the clearing of

    7 the battleground, the opening up of the road at Kacuni,

    8 and the return of the entire situation to the condition

    9 as of 23 January, 1993, and we managed to agree in this

    10 meeting, to come to this agreement, on the cease-fire.

    11 We signed the agreement and presented it publicly

    12 before the media, and the host during this meeting and

    13 the mediator was Brigadier Cordy-Simpson in Kiseljak.

    14 After the meeting, I went to the Kiseljak

    15 barracks, and I worked on a draft of a document on the

    16 implementation of the agreement.

    17 MR. NOBILO: Can I now please ask that

    18 document D348 be shown to the witness?

    19 Q. This is document D348 from 27 January, 1993.

    20 You sent it to the head of the defence department in

    21 Mostar and to all the brigades and independent units.

    22 The title is "Implementation of the agreement of the

    23 cease-fire," and I'll just read a few paragraphs. "1.

    24 Implement the cease-fire, including all the parties.

    25 Enable the UNPROFOR monitors to monitor the

  28. 1 cease-fire. Allow free passage of all vehicles of the

    2 personnel of UNPROFOR and the UNHCR and other

    3 humanitarian organisations," and then also, "Enable the

    4 exchange of prisoners through the auspices of the Red

    5 Cross." You also are trying to identify the person who

    6 was going to the joint commission, et cetera, et

    7 cetera.

    8 Is this a document that was drafted on the

    9 basis of the meeting which you had?

    10 A. Yes. The points of the agreement are pretty

    11 much identical with the points in this order, and this

    12 order was issued out of the meeting held with the

    13 commander of the 3rd Corps in Kiseljak.

    14 Q. On the 27th of January, after this meeting,

    15 you received first news about violence in the Croatian

    16 villages of Nezirovici, Besici, Gusti Grab, et cetera?

    17 A. Yes. I received this information after the

    18 meeting, and I believe that this was late at night,

    19 that in the course of the day, the units of the 3rd

    20 Corps had attacked the Croatian villages of Nezirovici,

    21 Besici, Prosje and that these villages were taken by

    22 the BH army and that the civilians were driven out from

    23 these villages.

    24 Q. Could you point out those villages on the

    25 map?

  29. 1 JUDGE JORDA: The attack took place on the

    2 same day of the meeting, General Blaskic, these

    3 attacks?

    4 A. Yes, Your Honours.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: The same day as the meeting you

    6 had with UNPROFOR and General Cordy-Simpson; is that

    7 correct?

    8 A. Yes, Your Honours, and with your permission,

    9 I can show on the model where this was.

    10 MR. NOBILO: Perhaps use the model since we

    11 have it handy here.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, if you wish to

    13 approach.

    14 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.

    15 A. This is the village of Nezirovici

    16 (indicating) that was attacked on that day, that is, on

    17 the 27th of January, 1993, and Croats from this village

    18 were driven out towards Oseliste and Gusti Grab, that

    19 is, in the direction of Kiseljak. Here is the village

    20 of Besici, which is also a Croatian village, and Croats

    21 were driven out towards Oseliste, and Prosje is in this

    22 location. It may be better to show it on the map.

    23 MR. NOBILO:

    24 Q. No, I think that this is enough. We're aware

    25 of the general area.

  30. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. I'm sorry. I have some

    2 difficulty in seeing it. I think that the map gives an

    3 idea of the geography, especially the orientation. So

    4 from which direction did they come? Where is Kiseljak,

    5 first of all?

    6 A. This is Kiseljak (indicating). This is the

    7 main road leading to Busovaca (indicating). On the

    8 27th, we held a meeting here (indicating), and the

    9 villages that were attacked are Nezirovici, which I'm

    10 pointing at now (indicating), then the village of

    11 Besici, and the village of Prosje, in which that day,

    12 during the attack, a chapel was burned down.

    13 MR. NOBILO:

    14 Q. Could you say who attacked these Croatian

    15 villages?

    16 A. It was the forces of the 3rd Army Corps of

    17 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They drove out the

    18 Croats from these villages in the direction of Oseliste

    19 and Gusti Grab.

    20 Q. Later on, we will see what happened to

    21 Oseliste and Gusti Grab which was ethnically cleansed

    22 of Croats, but now I would like to show you a document

    23 which speaks to the first crime that took place in the

    24 Lasva Valley, the first crime against civilians, and

    25 this is Exhibit D434.

  31. 1 The Jure Francetic HVO Brigade from Zenica

    2 sent this document on the 27th of January, 1993, but it

    3 was only received on the 29th of January, 1993, and the

    4 heading is "Report on the Massacre of Croats in the

    5 Village of Dusina, Lasva Local Commune."

    6 "On 27 January, 1993, displaced persons from

    7 the village of Dusina, Lasva local commune, arrived in

    8 Zenica and informed us of the massacre of Croats in the

    9 above-mentioned area.

    10 "Early on the morning of 26 January 1993, the

    11 Muslim Liberation Forces or MOS from Zenica surrounded

    12 seven Croatian houses in the village of Dusina. They

    13 demanded that the Dusina HVO members surrender their

    14 weapons. After it was agreed that the demand would be

    15 honoured, MOS members opened fire on the Croatian

    16 houses. The shooting claimed the lives of the

    17 following individuals:

    18 1. Pero Rajic ...

    19 2. Drazenko Kegelj ...

    20 3. Frano Rajic ..."

    21 And then, in brackets, their fathers' names.

    22 "Zvonko Rajic ... was killed during the

    23 negotiations.

    24 The following two individuals were wounded:

    25 1. Marko Rajic ...

  32. 1 2. Blasko Bosnjak ...

    2 The wounded were transported to the Zenica

    3 hospital.

    4 After the shooting ceased, MOS members

    5 entered the village, closed the civilians in the house

    6 owned by Stipe Kegelj ... and kept him there until the

    7 night.

    8 The HVO soldiers were arrested and their

    9 weapons were seized.

    10 After that, they started searching houses,

    11 threatening to shoot those who refused to surrender

    12 their weapons, because they had been informed by --"

    13 and this note, it's barely legible, it's probably

    14 "local Muslims" -- "that there were additional

    15 weapons. As they were unable to find more weapons,

    16 they carried out executions.

    17 The following people were executed:

    18 1. Niko Kegelj ...

    19 2. Vinko Kegelj ...

    20 3. Jozo Kegelj ...

    21 4. Mladenko Kegelj ...

    22 5. August Rados ...

    23 After the execution, the soldiers' bodies

    24 were taken to a cellar in a family house ..."

    25 And then it says Marinko Kegelj managed to

  33. 1 escape, and his father, Stipo Kegelj, was executed

    2 instead.

    3 "The following people are missing and their

    4 whereabouts are unknown:

    5 1. Perica Rados ...

    6 2. Dragan Rados ...

    7 3. Nedjeljko Rajic ...

    8 4. Marinko Kegelj ...

    9 After having executed the HVO soldiers, MOS

    10 members wanted to shoot Zdravka Rados, Dragan Rados's

    11 wife. It is assumed that they abandoned their idea to

    12 carry out the execution at the request of a local

    13 Muslim."

    14 And so on and so forth. Commander of the

    15 Jure Francetic Brigade, Zivko Totic.

    16 Did this information reach you somehow in

    17 Kiseljak in the course of January of 1993?

    18 A. This information on the incidents in these

    19 villages reached me as early as 26 January on a -- I

    20 received it on a piece of paper, that is, that the

    21 attack was in progress during this meeting which I had

    22 with Dzemo Merdan. He saw this piece of paper, as did

    23 the other participants in the meeting, but not in this

    24 form, only that the attack was under way and that the

    25 Kegelj family was executed, but who it was specifically

  34. 1 that was -- how many members were executed, that I did

    2 not know. Only late in January, I believe this was

    3 probably on the 30th or 31st of January, I received

    4 this information that you see here.

    5 Q. Very well. Thank you. You said that on the

    6 27th you received information about Croats being driven

    7 out of their villages to Gusti Grab, Besici, and

    8 Nezirovici, and on the 29th of January, 1993, in the

    9 Muslim media, the Muslim media have announced their

    10 entry in Busovaca. Did you receive that information in

    11 Kiseljak?

    12 A. Yes, we had already talked about it in

    13 Kiseljak, and through Radio Visoko and other media, it

    14 was announced that the only thing remaining was the

    15 entry in Busovaca, that all the other positions had

    16 been taken by the BH army and that they expected them

    17 to move into Busovaca.

    18 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, this may be a

    19 good time to suspend.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Twenty minutes' recess.

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

    22 --- On resuming at 11.47 a.m.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. We are now

    24 resuming with the examination-in-chief.

    25 I apologise for this delay. Of course, this

  35. 1 was not intentional. Let us now continue.

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

    3 Q. Before the break, we were talking about the

    4 29th of January when the media announced the fall of

    5 Busovaca. You were in Kiseljak. What do you know

    6 about that?

    7 A. We received this information, as I have

    8 already said, via the media, that Busovaca was just

    9 about to fall and that, in the course of the day, the

    10 forces of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were expected

    11 to enter Busovaca, and that in the afternoon, Busovaca

    12 would be liberated.

    13 After that, we received information in

    14 Kiseljak, that is to say, it was a request to extend

    15 aid and assistance to the population of Gusti Grab, a

    16 village in the Busovaca area, and that the wounded

    17 should be evacuated from the villages of Sirovi Panj,

    18 Oseliste, and Gusti Grab, that general area.

    19 Q. Could you tell us what you undertook and what

    20 happened, and could you just point the places out to us

    21 on the model?

    22 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me.

    23 MR. NOBILO: Maybe you can move the ELMO.

    24 A. The events that we're going to talk about

    25 occurred in the immediate vicinity of this barricade,

  36. 1 the barricade was at Oseliste, and it was locally

    2 referred to as Donji Bukovac, the villagers called it

    3 Donji Bukovac, and it was on the main road from

    4 Busovaca to Kiseljak.

    5 On the map ...

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, are we now looking

    7 at the consequences of the fall of Busovaca; is that

    8 correct? Is that what you're asking the witness now?

    9 I want to make sure that I understand.

    10 MR. NOBILO: No. The media, the Muslim

    11 media, had announced that Busovaca would be falling on

    12 that day, but Busovaca had not fallen. On the road

    13 between Kiseljak and Busovaca, there were several

    14 Croatian villages which were still under attack, and

    15 the witness is now going to recount what happened in

    16 those villages on the road between Kiseljak and

    17 Busovaca.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.

    19 A. Your Honours, perhaps one sentence would be

    20 enough, would suffice. On the 27th, there was an

    21 attack on Nezirovici and Besici, the villages I

    22 mentioned, and the Croats from the Nezirovici village

    23 and Besici --

    24 MR. NOBILO:

    25 Q. Would you slow down, please, General, for the

  37. 1 benefit of the interpretation?

    2 A. After an attack by the BH army, they

    3 withdrew --

    4 Q. Perhaps it would be a good idea to bring the

    5 microphone up closer, it is too far away at the moment,

    6 because the interpreters can't hear you properly. Try

    7 and slow down, please, as well.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Madam Registrar, when the

    9 witness moves about, I would like for the court usher

    10 to be next to the witness to try to help him so that we

    11 do not lose any more time.

    12 Sir, would you please try to do that? We

    13 always have problems in the movement. It would make

    14 things much easier if we would have the usher on hand

    15 to intervene. Thank you.

    16 A. From the villages of Nezirovici and Besici,

    17 the Croats were expelled on the 27th of January, 1993,

    18 after the attack launched by the forces of the 3rd

    19 Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    20 On the 29th of January, 1993, the expulsed

    21 Croats from Nezirovici and Besici found themselves in

    22 the area of Oseliste, it is marked on the map, and I

    23 received a request from Busovaca, from the HVO in

    24 Busovaca openly, by phone, in Kiseljak to extend

    25 assistance in taking in the refugee Croats from Gusti

  38. 1 Grab and Oseliste, to take them in and to evacuate the

    2 wounded from that area.

    3 In the morning, we sent a first aid vehicle,

    4 ambulance, to evacuate the wounded, and at the

    5 checkpoint at Donji Bukovci, and the exact position of

    6 that checkpoint is the one I am indicating at present

    7 (indicating), or, on the model, the position is here

    8 (indicating). That is the exact position. It is

    9 Oseliste, Donji Bukovci.

    10 They opened fire on the ambulance, and the

    11 physician who was in the ambulance, his name was

    12 Barbic, he died as a result of being wounded when the

    13 shooting took place, whereas the ambulance itself was

    14 kept in Bukovci.

    15 MR. NOBILO:

    16 Q. Who opened fire on the ambulance with the

    17 doctor inside?

    18 A. It was the crew at the checkpoint in Bukovci

    19 and Oseliste, the members of the BH army.

    20 Q. Thank you. What happened to the doctor?

    21 A. The doctor died. The vehicle was kept, they

    22 kept the ambulance, and any evacuation was rendered

    23 impossible.

    24 Q. At one particular moment, you received

    25 information that the Grubesic family, they were parents

  39. 1 of one of the HVO commanders, elderly folk, that they

    2 had been killed.

    3 A. We received information that day that the

    4 Grubesic family had been killed. They were 65 years of

    5 age, and they were from Nezirovici. The information

    6 also said that another family had been killed from

    7 Besici, and that there was another -- that the attack

    8 was still being launched on a group of Croats who had

    9 been blocked and trapped between the villages of

    10 Nezirovici and Besici and the Oseliste village

    11 (indicating). In this area, all the Croats belonging

    12 to the Kacuni local commune found themselves in an

    13 encirclement and under a blockade by the forces of

    14 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    15 Q. On that particular day, you gathered some

    16 volunteers, about 120 of them, and you started moving

    17 towards the obstacles set up by the BH army, the

    18 blockade from the direction of Kiseljak. Can you tell

    19 us what happened and how events were to develop and

    20 what happened to that group of people under your

    21 command?

    22 A. At about 3.30 p.m., we managed to collect

    23 about 120 volunteers from the Kiseljak municipality,

    24 and we started out from Kiseljak with six motor

    25 vehicles. We took the road, main road, across

  40. 1 Gromiljak, Brestovsko, and Bilalovac, and stopped at

    2 the Plin Klokoti factory, and then went on on foot

    3 towards the barricade at Donji Bukovci with the

    4 intention of lifting the barricade and evacuating the

    5 civilians and the wounded from the Oseliste area.

    6 We started out on foot from Klokot using this

    7 road towards a feature on the map termed Gracac. It is

    8 feature 594.

    9 At about 4.30 p.m. or 4.40 p.m., we arrived

    10 at the positions of the BH army and we heard them

    11 talking at the Gracac feature as we approached, and I

    12 remember them saying that they were expecting a shift

    13 to replace them at about 5.00 p.m. There was an

    14 uncontrolled burst of gunfire. We were 30 to 50 metres

    15 away from each other. The consequences of that burst

    16 of gunfire on the HVO side and the group of men who

    17 were with me was that one man was killed and two to

    18 three soldiers were injured.

    19 I don't know the figures for the casualties

    20 on the BH army side, whether anybody was lightly

    21 wounded or not, because I saw that the positions at

    22 Gracac, that particular feature, had been left empty,

    23 void, after that conflict at the Gracac feature.

    24 The soldiers of the BH army had withdrawn in

    25 the direction of the village of Bukovci, Gracac,

  41. 1 Bukovci, here (indicating), which enabled the villagers

    2 from Oseliste to move towards Jelenov Gaj, the gasworks

    3 there and, with my group of volunteers, returned to the

    4 Plin or gas factory called Klokoti. Having left Mato

    5 Lucic to be in charge, in the course of the night, of

    6 the displaced persons, I returned to Kiseljak with the

    7 vehicles and with the volunteers, and the volunteers

    8 went home for the night. They were, for the most part,

    9 people who lived in the Kiseljak local community.

    10 Q. This brings us to the 30th of January, 1993.

    11 Can you tell us whether, on that particular day, you

    12 launched an operation of any kind to try to protect

    13 some of the Muslim families in Kiseljak? What

    14 happened?

    15 A. On that day, the 30th of January, sometime in

    16 the morning, it was about 6.15 a.m., I received an

    17 invitation from the Brestovsko local community, Dugo

    18 Polje is indicated on the model, marked on the model,

    19 they said that they had noticed a mass of civilians

    20 going from Bilalovac and the surrounding villages and

    21 moving towards Brestovsko.

    22 Q. Were they Croats?

    23 A. Yes, they were the Croats from Bilalovac, and

    24 up until then, up until the 29th or 30th of January,

    25 there had been no conflicts or incidents.

  42. 1 Q. You mean in Bilalovac?

    2 A. Yes, no incidents in Bilalovac up until that

    3 time. They were arriving at the barracks in Kiseljak.

    4 There were a lot of high emotions. They were desperate

    5 at having been expelled and threatened, that they would

    6 undertake the same measures towards the Bosniak Muslims

    7 in the town of Kiseljak, the same kind of measures that

    8 the BH army undertook vis-à-vis them in the Bilalovac

    9 local community, so emotions were running high.

    10 In the course of the night between the 29th

    11 and 30th of January, they were expelled from the

    12 Bilalovac local community by the BH army forces. I

    13 asked the deputy commander of the police station in

    14 Kiseljak to ensure safety for the prominent Muslim

    15 citizens, that threats had been made --

    16 Q. When you say "prominent Muslim families," do

    17 you mean prominent in terms of culture, religion, or

    18 did you mean the families of the political and military

    19 leaders of Muslims in Kiseljak?

    20 A. I meant the families of the political and

    21 military leaders from Kiseljak, from amongst the

    22 Bosniak Muslims, and also the families of the

    23 commanders of the police station in Kiseljak, and he

    24 was a Bosniak Muslim, so both the police, military, and

    25 political prominent Bosniak Muslims who had been

  43. 1 threatened publicly by the expelled Croats from

    2 Bilalovac.

    3 Q. What happened in actual fact? Did the police

    4 listen to this request made by you?

    5 A. Yes, a patrol was designated, and it was

    6 there to supervise the vicinity around the houses or

    7 apartments of these families, and later on, I think the

    8 officers themselves came to learn of this, such as the

    9 chief of the police station, Ganija, and the deputy

    10 chief, Bujic, and so on.

    11 MR. NOBILO: I should now like to show a

    12 videotape, and I should like to ask our technical booth

    13 to dim the lights and start up the video. It is a very

    14 short video. I think that the booths have been given a

    15 copy. This is for the English. Just one moment so

    16 that the English booth can receive a copy of the text.

    17 This is a videotape which I received from

    18 Television Kiseljak of the day. It was taken after the

    19 events in the sports hall of the school in Kiseljak,

    20 which is where the refugees from Gusti Grab and

    21 Oseliste were located, precisely the event that you

    22 spoke about a moment ago.

    23 No sound yet. May we have the sound, please,

    24 sound track? We seem to be having some technical

    25 difficulties.

  44. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Would you prefer to continue or

    2 what would you like to do now, Mr. Nobilo?

    3 MR. NOBILO: Just to see if the technical

    4 booth is ready.

    5 (Videotape played)

    6 THE INTERPRETER: (Voice-over) "They shot at

    7 us from all sides --"

    8 MR. NOBILO: Would you rewind it back to the

    9 beginning, please?

    10 (Videotape played)

    11 THE INTERPRETER: (Voice-over) "A young man

    12 named Cavara Dalibor, and he is now going to tell us of

    13 his vision of the past events. Go ahead, Dalibor.

    14 "Well, I come from Gusti Grab. We fought,

    15 and they shot at us from Lugovi and from the other

    16 side, from Silos, where there are a number of

    17 villages. We did the best we could. They attacked us,

    18 and they came from outside, they were the people from

    19 Krajina and the Mujahedeen, and we had to withdraw

    20 because there were some wounded young men. While we

    21 were busy taking out the wounded young men, they

    22 entered our trenches, and we had to withdraw, and we

    23 went back behind the lines, and then they sent us out

    24 of that position and shot at us from all sides, both

    25 from Silos and from Lugovi, and we had to withdraw

  45. 1 slowly.

    2 "The line had been drawn up until Jelenov

    3 Gaj, and then we went back on the lines. They attacked

    4 us again, and we found ourselves at Sirovi Panj. There

    5 were eight of us there who fought, and I think that

    6 there were at least 500 of them attacking us. We

    7 managed to refute the attack. One of our men was

    8 wounded, and that is how we managed to retain the line.

    9 It had not fallen yet. And when more of them came and

    10 they began grouping forces, they launched an onslaught

    11 of us, and we had to withdraw from Brestovsko, but I

    12 would like to tell them that we're going to return and

    13 that there will be no more Muslims in Busovaca. So

    14 much from me."

    15 MR. NOBILO:

    16 Q. This was shown on Television Kiseljak, and

    17 had you seen the tape at the time or is this the first

    18 time that you're looking at the tape?

    19 A. I see the video for the first time, but what

    20 this witness is talking about is all known to me. I'm

    21 familiar with it.

    22 Q. This is a young man of no more than 17, and

    23 let me just repeat his last comment, and tell me if

    24 this is something that you heard from others as well.

    25 "Still, I am giving them a message, that we will

  46. 1 return and that Muslims will no longer survive in

    2 Busovaca. That's all I have to say."

    3 How do you comment on this vengeful remark by

    4 this young man?

    5 A. It is certainly a consequence of everything

    6 that this young man went through in this conflict, and

    7 this remark was made several days after he was

    8 expelled, and it reflected the feelings of the Croats

    9 in the local communes of Kacuni and Bilalovac. These

    10 feelings were shared there, and this further

    11 complicated our situation in the Kiseljak

    12 municipality.

    13 Q. In addition to the problems with these

    14 refugees who were upset and enraged and who were asking

    15 for revenge in Kiseljak, were there also problems in

    16 the organisation of the Ban Josip Jelisic Brigade? Was

    17 this a new, sudden, and unexpected situation, and how

    18 were you going about solving it?

    19 A. Yes, this was a major problem, because if you

    20 consider that the forces from Kiseljak, for the most

    21 part, were engaged at the front against the army of the

    22 Republika Srpska at Kokoska, Kobiljaca, the Pljesevac

    23 feature, and that part of the forces from Kiseljak,

    24 from the local communes of Brestovsko and Bilalovac,

    25 was already deployed at the Travnik front in the

  47. 1 Paklarevo sector, also against the army of the

    2 Republika Srpska, then we were in the situation on that

    3 morning of the 30th of January to use the elderly men

    4 from the local commune of Brestovsko to establish the

    5 new front lines which were now against the forces of

    6 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina who were facing the

    7 Brestovsko local commune and the rest of the Kiseljak

    8 municipality.

    9 Q. Just remind the Judges, where were the young

    10 men from Brestovsko and Bilalovac at the time when you

    11 had to use the elderly men?

    12 A. Two hundred young men were used in sector 1,

    13 which is called Paklarevo, in defence of the town of

    14 Travnik.

    15 Q. You said that a number of refugees were upset

    16 and angry. I will now show you a document which you

    17 drafted, which is document D350, and I would also like

    18 the videotape to be marked for identification, a

    19 defence number.

    20 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D543.

    21 MR. NOBILO: So the videotape is D543. Thank

    22 you.

    23 Q. Let us now go back to document D350 which you

    24 drafted on the 31st of January, 1993 and sent to

    25 Mustafa Agic. Who was he? What was his ethnic group?

  48. 1 A. A Bosniak Muslim.

    2 Q. This was dated 31 January, 1993 to the

    3 attention of Mr. Mustafa Agic, and the reference is

    4 "Apology for the brutal behaviour of extremist member

    5 of the HVO in Kiseljak."

    6 "Dear sir, I have been informed by the

    7 competent authorities about the destructive behaviour

    8 of an uncontrolled group of HVO soldiers who demolished

    9 your catering establishment between 1400 and 1600 hours

    10 on 29 January, 1993.

    11 "I am aware of the fact that this kind of

    12 behaviour among the extremist element in the HVO

    13 undermines the security situation and creates mistrust

    14 among the inhabitants of Kiseljak who are concerned

    15 about their personal safety. However, I promise you

    16 that appropriate measures will be taken against the

    17 perpetrators of these acts.

    18 "I wish to apologise to you once again for

    19 everything that was done by the extremists in the ranks

    20 of the HVO.

    21 "Regards, Commander of the Central Bosnia

    22 Operative Zone, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic."

    23 Could you explain to the Trial Chamber, in a

    24 situation where Croatians are being expelled, their

    25 houses are being burned down, we saw that the Croats in

  49. 1 Dusina were massacred, what were your motives for

    2 apologising personally, as the commander of the Central

    3 Bosnia Operative Zone, to a private businessman, a

    4 restaurant owner? What did you want to do by that?

    5 What were your motives?

    6 A. The motives are perfectly clear from this

    7 document. I wanted to maintain good relations and to

    8 stabilise the situation in the Kiseljak area, and when

    9 I say "good relations," I mean the relations between

    10 the Croats and Bosniak Muslims in the area of the

    11 Kiseljak municipality. This was an incident, and I

    12 know that the incident was handled by the competent

    13 authorities.

    14 Q. Let me draw your attention to the stamp, and

    15 can you tell me, whose stamp is this?

    16 A. This is the stamp of the Ban Josip Jelacic

    17 HVO Brigade in Kiseljak, of their command.

    18 Q. Why did you use a brigade stamp, being a

    19 commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?

    20 A. I did not have another stamp, and the

    21 document gains more weight, so to speak, if it is also

    22 stamped in addition to being signed, and I used the

    23 only one that I had available to me at that time, which

    24 was the one of this brigade.

    25 Q. Did you have your back-up command post and

  50. 1 office in Kiseljak?

    2 A. No, I had no office there, and if I stayed in

    3 the barracks, I used the brigade commander's office. I

    4 did not have a separate office or a command post in

    5 Kiseljak.

    6 Q. During the January conflict and after that

    7 time, that is, throughout your stay in Kiseljak, and we

    8 will see that you stayed there all the way until early

    9 March, were any Muslim villages in the Kiseljak

    10 municipality attacked or disarmed?

    11 A. No, no village was attacked or disarmed, not

    12 a single Muslim village or even hamlet.

    13 Q. Were civilians arrested in Kiseljak during

    14 your stay there in January and February 1993?

    15 A. No.

    16 Q. Did any Muslim forcibly dig trenches in the

    17 Kiseljak municipality while you stayed there in January

    18 and February of 1993?

    19 A. No, not a single person.

    20 Q. Was a single Muslim house burned down in the

    21 Kiseljak municipality while you stayed there in January

    22 and February of 1993?

    23 A. Not a single structure owned by the Bosniak

    24 Muslims was burned down or damaged.

    25 Q. Before we move on to the joint commission and

  51. 1 overcoming the consequences of the conflict with the

    2 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, could you tell me:

    3 What gains did the BH army achieve out of this conflict

    4 and what losses did the HVO incur?

    5 A. With the permission of Their Honours, I would

    6 like to point to the map. Could I get up and point?

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Please go ahead.

    8 A. The army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with this

    9 operation, created a corridor which includes

    10 Kacuni-Bilalovac on the main road between Kiseljak and

    11 Busovaca, and in this way it created a land link

    12 between the 3rd Corps in Zenica with the forces of the

    13 4th Corps in Mostar and with part of the forces of the

    14 1st Corps of the operative group named Igman, and in

    15 the territory of three municipalities, that is, Zenica,

    16 including the villages of Lasva, Dusina, and Visnjica

    17 conducted ethnic cleansing and expulsion of Croats from

    18 these villages; from the area of the Kacuni local

    19 commune, Croats were also ethnically cleansed from the

    20 villages of Nezirovici, Besici, Gusti Grab, Oseliste,

    21 Prosje, and partly the village of Bilalovac; and from

    22 the area of the Bilalovac local commune, Croats were

    23 expelled from the villages of Prviste, Odrace,

    24 Devetaci, Badnje, Milodraz, Sehitluci, and hamlets of

    25 the Bilalovac local commune in the area towards

  52. 1 Kiseljak.

    2 Q. Approximately how many Croats were ethnically

    3 cleansed and driven in the direction of Kiseljak and

    4 Busovaca?

    5 A. Around 2.100 Croats, and perhaps more.

    6 Q. Was this the first ethnic cleansing in

    7 Central Bosnia carried out by any side?

    8 A. Yes, this was the first ethnic cleansing in

    9 the three municipalities, that is, Zenica, Busovaca,

    10 and Kiseljak.

    11 Q. Was this the first time that an army came to

    12 a village, killed the villagers, took prisoners of war,

    13 and burned down the village?

    14 A. Yes.

    15 Q. This new military situation -- and let's put

    16 aside the ethnic cleansing right now and what that

    17 meant for the inter-ethnic relations, that is, between

    18 Croats and Muslims -- what was the military situation

    19 of the HVO following this operation by the BH army or

    20 the situation of your Operative Zone?

    21 A. Generally speaking, we can look at it in two

    22 ways: First of all, the Operative Zone, with its

    23 headquarters in Vitez, remained without a communication

    24 line with the main staff in Mostar, and that was a huge

    25 strategic loss for the Operative Zone command.

  53. 1 Secondly, we ended up with enclaves, so that

    2 Vitez, Busovaca, Zenica, Travnik, and Novi Travnik

    3 (indicating) comprised one enclave.

    4 Q. Which could be called Lasva Valley?

    5 A. Yes, Lasva Valley. And the other enclave was

    6 Kiseljak, Kresevo and, later on, Fojnica was also

    7 physically separated from Kiseljak and Kresevo, but on

    8 the 30th of January, 1993, Fojnica had communication

    9 line with Kiseljak but -- Kakanj also became an

    10 enclave. Sorry, let me show it on the map.

    11 For the Kiseljak HVO, Kakanj also became an

    12 enclave and Vares (indicating).

    13 In the north, on the main road Zenica-Zepce,

    14 would be where the next enclave was, that is, the Zepce

    15 enclave, so that is where the -- that was Zavidovici

    16 and Maglaj. Another additional enclave was Usora.

    17 Q. So if I understood well and I counted

    18 correctly, your Operative Zone was --

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Where is Usora? I'm sorry.

    20 Where is that located? The last one you mentioned,

    21 where is that located?

    22 A. Your Honours --

    23 JUDGE JORDA: I'm sorry, I'm missing my map

    24 because that's where I see it better, apart from the

    25 excellent photographs, of course, submitted by

  54. 1 Mr. Hayman. But in the meantime, we have the maps

    2 here. So where is Usora again, please?

    3 A. Your Honour, the town of Tesanj, which is due

    4 north from Zenica, and Usora is then due east from

    5 Tesanj (indicating). There is no town of Usora, there

    6 is only a Usora river.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: All right. So I understand

    8 there are five enclaves, if I understand correctly,

    9 Mr. Blaskic?

    10 A. Your Honour, I said that as -- I didn't

    11 mention Sarajevo as an enclave, but it was not as a

    12 consequence of this conflict, so Sarajevo could be

    13 added as a fourth operative group within the Operative

    14 Zone.

    15 MR. NOBILO:

    16 Q. So if we count Sarajevo, then your Operative

    17 Zone would have been broken up into six enclaves?

    18 A. Yes. I'm pointing to Usora now

    19 (indicating). This is within the municipality -- in

    20 the territory of the municipalities of Doboj and

    21 Tesanj.

    22 Q. But formally speaking, you remained the

    23 commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone which

    24 would now include all six enclaves?

    25 A. Yes.

  55. 1 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber, you have six

    2 enclaves. In the circumstances of the structure or

    3 organisation which you had, which is the initial stages

    4 of transformation of the armed people into an army and

    5 in the conditions of the communication lines such as

    6 you had, what was your ability to command and control

    7 in real time and space with these enclaves which you

    8 had available?

    9 A. I had no ability to command and control in

    10 real time in these six enclaves with the exception of

    11 the Kiseljak enclave which is where I stayed at the

    12 time.

    13 Q. Okay. Having sketched this military

    14 situation, let's move on to February. Throughout the

    15 month of February, you were in Kiseljak. Could you

    16 briefly and chronologically describe the main

    17 developments and your activities because at this time

    18 you were away from your main headquarters. Just give

    19 us a quick overview of this period, that is, following

    20 the first conflict in late January of 1993 and leading

    21 up to the second conflict in April. So let's start

    22 with the 1st of February, '93.

    23 A. On the 31st of January, 1993, due to the

    24 clear failure to implement the agreement which we had

    25 reached with the 3rd Corps on the 27th of January, I

  56. 1 asked for a new meeting with the commander of the 3rd

    2 Corps through the UN headquarters, and on the 1st of

    3 February, we held a new meeting. If I recall

    4 correctly, it was held in Vitez. General Morillon

    5 presided in this meeting, and the chief of the

    6 monitors, Mr. Flemming.

    7 Q. Before we go to the meeting and what took

    8 place, can you just tell me what did the 3rd Corps fail

    9 to implement, what basic provision of the agreement of

    10 the 27th of January?

    11 A. It was cease-fire and the cessation of all

    12 hostilities.

    13 Q. Can we say that after the 27th of January,

    14 the worst violence and the most gains took place?

    15 A. Yes. These villages were attacked after the

    16 27th, that is, the villages in the -- the villages in

    17 Kacuni and Bilalovac.

    18 Q. On the 1st of February, you went to Vitez.

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Can you describe how your trip went and what

    21 orders you gave to Mijo Bozic just before leaving

    22 Kiseljak?

    23 A. I was aware of the fact that Kiseljak was

    24 filled with refugees who were very frustrated and,

    25 unfortunately, some of them were also armed, and I

  57. 1 demanded of Commander Bozic to take all necessary steps

    2 and prevent any type of retaliation against the Bosniak

    3 Muslims in the town of Kiseljak and to remove the armed

    4 groups from Kiseljak and send them to the front lines,

    5 either one or the other side who were in the area of

    6 Kiseljak. I also asked to find collective

    7 accommodations for all refugees as soon as possible.

    8 Q. With whom, how, in what way did you start to

    9 Vitez?

    10 A. I received a notice to wait for the UNPROFOR

    11 vehicles and to use the armoured vehicles to go from

    12 the Kiseljak barracks to Vitez. I could not follow

    13 very well and observe the area as we passed, but I

    14 believe that we went towards Visoko, Kakanj, Zenica,

    15 and then to Vitez to the UNPROFOR base.

    16 Q. In other words, you did not use the short

    17 route, which is where the line of defence was, but you

    18 used the circuitous route?

    19 A. Yes. It took us about 45 minutes to get

    20 there, which is what made me conclude that we had used

    21 this really circuitous route because there were only

    22 two communications lines open.

    23 Q. This circuitous route was under the control

    24 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was it not?

    25 A. Yes, it was. It was under the full control

  58. 1 of the BH army.

    2 Q. Why were you not able to see where you were

    3 going? What stopped you? What prevented you from

    4 seeing this?

    5 A. Well, I can only suppose that for security

    6 reasons, it was decided to put the blinds down on the

    7 armoured UN vehicles, and we were practically

    8 hermetically sealed within the armoured vehicles

    9 themselves and were not able to look out and see

    10 anything from within.

    11 Q. You reached the UN base in Vitez. Tell us

    12 who was at the meeting and what was said at the

    13 meeting.

    14 A. The meeting was chaired by the commander of

    15 UNPROFOR for Bosnia-Herzegovina, General Morillon, and

    16 the head of the UN Monitoring Mission, Mr. Flemming.

    17 Also present at the meeting were Enver, the commander

    18 of the 3rd Corps, and Kadir Jusic, who represented the

    19 3rd Corps of the BH army, and Dzemo, the deputy

    20 commander of the 3rd Corps of the BH army.

    21 Q. You're referring to Dzemo Merdan, are you

    22 not?

    23 A. Yes, Dzemo Merdan, that's correct. I myself

    24 was present, and the head of the staff, Franjo Nakic,

    25 of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone was also present.

  59. 1 Q. Perhaps this is a good time to clear up a

    2 terminological matter. The name of the deputy

    3 commander of the 3rd Corps, his name was Dzemail

    4 Merdan, and "Dzemo" was short for "Dzemail"; is that

    5 correct? People who knew him better, they referred to

    6 him as "Dzemo." So is "Dzemo" an abbreviation of his

    7 full name, which was "Dzemail"?

    8 A. Yes, that is correct, and I knew him as Dzemo

    9 at that time, and Enver, and we communicated using that

    10 name at that time.

    11 Q. General Morillon presided over the meeting.

    12 What did he say by way of introduction? How did he

    13 open the meeting?

    14 A. In his introductory speech, he said that

    15 activities were under way in Geneva to come by a

    16 peaceful solution for Bosnia-Herzegovina and that he

    17 was surprised that the destruction that had taken place

    18 in the zone of the 3rd Corps of the BH army and the

    19 Central Bosnia Operative Zone had been expanded, and he

    20 asked that in the discussions to follow, Enver and

    21 myself should present our proposals as to how to stop

    22 this destruction.

    23 General Morillon took note of the fact that

    24 Croats had been expelled from Bilalovac, and after

    25 that, he emphasised that it was our task, and probably

  60. 1 he had in mind mine and Enver's task, to build up

    2 mutual trust and confidence, to appoint liaison

    3 officers with the UN, and to establish PTT links and

    4 communications, that is to say, telegraph and telephone

    5 communication lines.

    6 When I was given the floor at the meeting, I

    7 emphasised in particular the fact that it was necessary

    8 to monitor and examine the way in which links were

    9 being relayed because, quite obviously, there had been

    10 some disturbances.

    11 Q. You're talking about the telephone cables,

    12 are you not?

    13 A. Well, I mean cables as well, because in

    14 Bosnia, there were two forms of communications: cable

    15 links, telephone cable links, and radio relay

    16 transmitters, and it was enough for one of the relays

    17 to be upset for the link not to function.

    18 Q. When the representatives of the International

    19 Community insisted that these communications be

    20 repaired and put right and re-established, did they

    21 have in mind the links between the 3rd Corps and the

    22 Operative Zone?

    23 A. They had in mind overall communications, both

    24 civilian and military communications, which would

    25 enable the speedy settlement of mutual

  61. 1 misunderstandings in the aim of achieving peace and a

    2 return of trust and confidence.

    3 Q. Very well. Please continue. What else was

    4 concluded at the meeting?

    5 A. I also put forward a number of suggestions at

    6 the meeting and said that we ought to intensify the

    7 work of the joint commission and that our deputies

    8 should be appointed and designated, so on the one hand,

    9 we had Nakic and, on the other side, Dzemo Merdan. I

    10 also asked for freedom of movement along the roads in

    11 our zone of responsibility, principally the road from

    12 Vitez-Kiseljak, Vitez-Zenica, and the other roads.

    13 Q. Another terminological qualification now,

    14 please. Franjo Nakic, what was his position in your

    15 command? What function and duty did he have?

    16 A. Franjo Nakic at that time was the head of the

    17 staff of the headquarters of the Operative Zone for

    18 Central Bosnia, the chief of staff of the Central

    19 Bosnia Operative Zone.

    20 Q. Did he ever have the formal position of

    21 deputy commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?

    22 A. He was never officially -- he never posed as

    23 deputy commander -- he was never appointed officially

    24 deputy commander of the Operative Zone.

    25 Q. However, in some joint documents, he and

  62. 1 Merdan signed themselves as deputy commanders: Nakic

    2 as deputy commander of the Operative Zone, and Merdan

    3 as deputy commander of the 3rd Corps. How did this

    4 come about? Could you explain that to the Trial

    5 Chamber?

    6 A. That is correct, and we were duty-bound, that

    7 is to say, I myself was duty-bound and so was the

    8 commander of the 3rd Corps, Enver Hadzihasanovic, to

    9 appoint deputies, that is to say, if, according to the

    10 system, we had no deputies, then the chief of staff

    11 should be appointed to the joint commission; and

    12 therefore, as I did not have a deputy commander at that

    13 time, I appointed a staff deputy, the chief of staff,

    14 who, in addition to being the chief of staff, had to

    15 perform the duty of deputy as well, whereas the

    16 situation in the 3rd Corps was somewhat different

    17 because there Dzemo was the deputy commander and Nakic

    18 was the chief of staff of the 3rd Corps.

    19 Q. In actual fact, for all practical intents and

    20 purposes, when you were absent, you were replaced by

    21 the deputy commander, Franjo Nakic -- by the chief of

    22 staff, Franjo Nakic?

    23 A. That's right, because there was nobody else

    24 to replace me.

    25 Q. And so although he was the chief of staff ...

  63. 1 We're having some problems with the

    2 interpretation.

    3 From what you said, in the Central Bosnia

    4 Operative Zone, the deputy commander post did not

    5 exist; is that right?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. You were replaced in your absence by the

    8 chief of staff; is that correct?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. So the transcript should be understood in

    11 that way and what you previously said, the

    12 differentiation between chief of staff and deputy

    13 commander.

    14 Now, tell us how the meeting continued and

    15 what the conclusions were.

    16 Q. The next topic of that meeting were the

    17 control points, the checkpoints --

    18 MR. HAYMAN: I see some snickering at the

    19 Prosecution table. I would ask that the tape of my

    20 client's statements concerning Mr. Nakic be reviewed

    21 and that the translators retranslate the tape because

    22 what I think has happened is that they corrected

    23 themselves. The translators at several points

    24 corrected themselves. First they used the word

    25 "deputy," and then they immediately said "chief of

  64. 1 staff," and it's not clear in the transcript whether

    2 it's the translators correcting themselves or is that

    3 General Blaskic correcting himself, and I think it

    4 needs to be clear, particularly if an issue is going to

    5 be made of it or if there is going to be snickering in

    6 the courtroom about it.

    7 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, Your Honours, I

    8 invite the Court to examine any tape and examine any

    9 conduct on behalf of the Prosecutor's bench.

    10 Mr. Cayley and I consult, as do I with Mr. Kehoe,

    11 during the course of the examination. Mr. Hayman can

    12 put whatever gloss he wants on that, but I would

    13 suggest that if there is an issue in this regard that

    14 the Court review the tape.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, do not trouble the

    16 serenity of these proceedings. We need to proceed in a

    17 climate of serenity, and, therefore, by causing any

    18 excitement, this may cloud the clarity of these

    19 proceedings, and so, Mr. Hayman, let's please try to

    20 remain calm. Smiles may occur, and you, yourself, may

    21 smile during proceedings. I see sometimes that when

    22 the Prosecutor says something that doesn't please you,

    23 that you spring up. I hope that the camera doesn't

    24 catch me doing such things because Mr. Hayman won't be

    25 pleased. Please understand. Let's try to remain calm,

  65. 1 Mr. Hayman. Don't forget, soon it will be time for

    2 lunch, so perhaps that may resolve a number of things.

    3 MR. HAYMAN: I've been quiet for many days,

    4 Mr. President. I don't know how in French some of

    5 these passages have been translated and if there's any

    6 ambiguity. I can only say that in the English there's

    7 absolute ambiguity as to whether the translators were

    8 correcting themselves or the witness was correcting

    9 himself. If it's in issue, let's fix it. We have a

    10 chance to fix it by going back to the videotape.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. It is not

    12 incumbent upon me to interpret the English

    13 interpretation. It is up to the two sides to find the

    14 best solution for the interpretation from the booths,

    15 so for the time now, I'm not making any incriminations

    16 whatsoever.

    17 Witness, General Blaskic, have you managed to

    18 remain calm and keep your serenity or are you tired,

    19 and perhaps you might like to take a break at this time

    20 because you have a very long memory, I understand, and

    21 you have a great deal left to discuss, but perhaps you

    22 might like to take a break now and give your counsel

    23 the time to calm down.

    24 I see now that I'm making everyone smile, so

    25 we will take now our recess and resume at 2.30.

  66. 1 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.53 p.m.

























  67. 1 --- On resuming at 2.34 p.m.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please

    3 take your seats. I think we can resume. May we greet,

    4 Mr. Dubuisson.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. We

    6 left off at 1 February, 1993 at the meeting after

    7 Mr. Blaskic was driven in an armoured vehicle from

    8 Kiseljak via Zenica to the base in Vitez.

    9 Q. You described who attended the meeting and

    10 what General Morillon said at the beginning, and could

    11 you please now go on and describe what happened next in

    12 this meeting?

    13 A. Yes. General Morillon pointed out the

    14 problem of checkpoints and said that by removing them,

    15 the communication lines would be reopened, and he

    16 suggested that at each of these checkpoints, UN

    17 forces would be deployed and that the army which

    18 controls this area could also position their forces

    19 within the field of vision.

    20 I understood this proposal to mean that here

    21 in Bilalovac, the UN forces would be deployed and

    22 that within the field of vision from this position, a

    23 BH army checkpoint would be set up and on the other

    24 side, the HVO forces, one of the HVO forces.

    25 Q. What was your position with respect to this

  68. 1 proposal of General Morillon?

    2 A. For me, that would have meant giving

    3 legitimacy to the occupation of these territories and

    4 that that would mean deployment of forces of the --

    5 taken or the occupied territories of the local

    6 communities of Bilalovac and Kacuni by the BH army, and

    7 I asked that the situation be reversed to the positions

    8 as it existed on the 23rd of January, which meant that

    9 these forces be withdrawn from those areas.

    10 I did not agree that anyone's armed forces,

    11 including the BH army and the HVO, be deployed on

    12 either side of the UN forces, but I understood and I

    13 accepted that the UN forces be deployed on the road

    14 because they would have guaranteed safety of travel. I

    15 also opened the question of the exchange of prisoners

    16 between the 3rd Corps and the Operative Zone.

    17 Following that, the chief of the European

    18 Monitoring Mission, Mr. Flemming, asked to speak, and

    19 in this meeting, he argued the following: He asked for

    20 a representative of the 1st Army Corps, that is, of the

    21 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who would have the

    22 authority of commander of the 1st Corps. He also

    23 requested to --

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. I don't know

    25 whether this is a matter of interpretation, but it's

  69. 1 not quite clear to me, he asked that a representative

    2 of the 1st Army Corps and the authority of commander,

    3 can you explain that to me, please, General Blaskic?

    4 What did Mr. Flemming ask exactly?

    5 A. He, in fact, asked that a representative of

    6 the 1st Corps has the authority of the commander of the

    7 1st Corps over the forces which were deployed in this

    8 area of Kacuni and Bilalovac, to have the authority

    9 over these forces which were deployed in the Kacuni and

    10 Bilalovac areas.

    11 MR. NOBILO:

    12 Q. General, did only the forces of the 3rd

    13 Corps, under the command of Enver Hadzihasanovic, take

    14 part in this operation or were there also some forces

    15 of the 1st Corps involved?

    16 JUDGE JORDA: It wasn't very clear. He was

    17 the representative of the 1st Army Corps. Perhaps it's

    18 not very important, but could you explain this to us on

    19 the terrain? What did Mr. Flemming ask the

    20 representative of the 1st Corps? He asked him to have

    21 authority over the 1st Corps or what? That seems to me

    22 to be evident. Could you explain this, please?

    23 A. Mr. President, in the meeting, there was a

    24 representative of the 1st Corps present. This was

    25 Mr. Kadir Jusic. This was at the meeting in Vitez.

  70. 1 Flemming asked of him to acquire, that is, that Kadir

    2 Jusic be given authority by the commander of the 1st

    3 Corps to command over the forces which were deployed in

    4 Bilalovac and --

    5 MR. NOBILO:

    6 Q. General, is it true that the commander of the

    7 3rd Corps was present at the meeting and also the

    8 commander of the Operative Zone?

    9 A. That's correct.

    10 Q. And only there was no representative of the

    11 1st Corps present at the meeting; is that correct?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. The fact that no commander of the 1st Corps

    14 was present, did that represent a problem during the

    15 negotiations, that is, when the agreement was reached

    16 and then in a sense of control and command over the

    17 units on the ground in terms of the implementation of

    18 the agreement?

    19 A. I just interpreted here the words of

    20 Mr. Flemming. I think that he was aware of the fact

    21 that he had two commanders present, that is, myself and

    22 the commander of the 3rd Corps in Zenica, and that as

    23 regards the forces who had been brought from Visoko,

    24 the commander of the 1st Corps was not present to sign

    25 the agreement, and he was not present to work on the

  71. 1 implementation of this agreement.

    2 At that time, we knew that the forces of the

    3 1st Operative Group in Visoko were brought to Visoko

    4 and deployed there, but we did not know what the chain

    5 of command was between Visoko and the 3rd Army Corps in

    6 Zenica.

    7 Q. Just a moment, please. From where were these

    8 forces brought here?

    9 A. The forces of the 1st Corps were brought here

    10 from Visoko to Bilalovac.

    11 Q. During the January attack against the HVO?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. Very well. If this is clear now, let's move

    14 on.

    15 What were the positions of Mr. Flemming of

    16 the European Monitoring Mission, and if you could just

    17 slow down a little bit so that the interpretation can

    18 follow you.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Go to the essential points,

    20 General, the conclusions of the meeting. You, of

    21 course, know all this very well because you experienced

    22 it, lived through it, and what I would like to ask you,

    23 on behalf of the Judges, is to go to the conclusion of

    24 the meetings to know how this would affect the events

    25 that were to follow.

  72. 1 A. Your Honours, I did not present here the

    2 positions of the 3rd Corps, that is, the positions of

    3 the commander of the 3rd Corps, and --

    4 MR. NOBILO:

    5 Q. Perhaps it would be useful if we knew what

    6 the position of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was?

    7 A. The commander of the 3rd Corps asked that the

    8 situation be brought back to what it was on the 23rd of

    9 January, 1993, just as I did, but in the meeting, we --

    10 and when I say "we," that means myself and the

    11 commander of the 3rd Corps and a representative of the

    12 3rd Corps, we drew up a map in which we identified the

    13 areas controlled by either side and the deployment of

    14 units there.

    15 On the basis of this map, it was clear that

    16 the forces of the 3rd Corps and the forces of the

    17 operative group in Visoko of the BH army were

    18 controlling the areas of the Kacuni and Bilalovac local

    19 communes. The commander of the 3rd Corps also

    20 suggested that the artillery should be trained towards

    21 the positions of the army of the Republika Srpska. He

    22 asked that the exchange of all prisoners be carried

    23 out, and as regards the damage and destroyed houses and

    24 a chapel in the village of Dusina, he said that these

    25 were acts committed by individuals outside of the

  73. 1 control of the army.

    2 In this meeting, he also said that he would

    3 coordinate the forces of the operative group from

    4 Visoko. I asked that these forces in the areas of

    5 Kacuni and Bilalovac local communes be withdrawn, that

    6 is, taken back to Zenica and the territory of Visoko,

    7 and that the road be opened for traffic. I also asked

    8 that the violence committed by individuals be curbed.

    9 The representative of the 1st Corps,

    10 Mr. Kadir Jusic, pointed out that it would be important

    11 that the UN forces control the areas which were

    12 unaffected by the conflict. He claimed that the

    13 abandoned Croatian villages are being torched and

    14 looted and that goods and property are being taken away

    15 there. He also said that the Croatian families from

    16 Bilalovac and the area were leaving their homes.

    17 The reason for bringing the 1st Corps forces

    18 to Bilalovac, he said, was protection of the Bosniak

    19 Muslims in the local commune of Bilalovac. I asked

    20 that this claim be cleared during this meeting, and I

    21 asked who were Bosniak Muslims threatened by in the

    22 Bilalovac local commune because the military conscripts

    23 who were Croatian were still on the Travnik front

    24 facing the Serbian army.

    25 I also pointed out that members of the Black

  74. 1 Swan unit were frightening the Croatian civilians in

    2 Bilalovac. The Black Swans were members of the BH

    3 army. I also pointed out that the conflict must have

    4 been planned at a higher level.

    5 I also asked that, in the media,

    6 more temperate and more moderate views be espoused.

    7 Q. Very well. Do you also remember what General

    8 Morillon said to Mr. Jusic with respect to the burning

    9 of houses?

    10 A. I remember, and I quote him. He said,

    11 "Mr. Jusic, stop the burning down of houses in

    12 Bilalovac."

    13 Q. And Jusic was from the 1st Corps of the BH

    14 army?

    15 A. Yes. He said that he represented the 1st

    16 Corps of the BH army in Visoko.

    17 Q. Could you mention the conclusions of these

    18 meetings and who were they proposed by?

    19 A. Yes. They were proposed by Mr. Flemming in

    20 the latter part of the meeting and they were the

    21 following: The implementation of withdrawal of all

    22 forces, and the deadline for that was set for the 2nd

    23 of February, 1993, at 1200 hours, and the report was to

    24 be -- we were supposed to deliver a report to the joint

    25 commission, that is, Enver and myself, by 1300 hours.

  75. 1 Next, we also agreed that the zone of

    2 responsibility and engagement of the joint commission

    3 be identical to the zone of responsibility of the 3rd

    4 Corps and Operative Zone of Central Bosnia.

    5 Q. What was this joint commission supposed to

    6 do?

    7 A. The joint commission was supposed to

    8 investigate, that is, it was supposed to implement and

    9 monitor the conclusions of this meeting, that is, all

    10 the orders which Enver and I would issue, the joint

    11 commission would implement on the ground. However, the

    12 problem was with respect to the communication systems

    13 of the joint command and the Central Bosnia Operative

    14 Zone because we did not have such a system.

    15 One of the conclusions of this joint meeting

    16 was to establish a hot-line which would be a telephone

    17 line between Kacuni and Busovaca, and, on the other

    18 side, between Bilalovac and Kiseljak in order to secure

    19 communication of the HVO forces and forces of the BH

    20 army in this area.

    21 I also proposed lines of withdrawal for the

    22 forces from the Bilalovac area to Visoko and from

    23 Kacuni in the direction of Zenica.

    24 Q. According to these conclusions, when was the

    25 Vitez-Kiseljak road supposed to be re-opened?

  76. 1 A. The Vitez-Kiseljak road was supposed to be

    2 re-opened on the 2nd of February, 1993, around 1400

    3 hours, that is, after 1400 hours.

    4 Q. After the conclusion of the meeting, you

    5 returned to Kiseljak?

    6 A. Yes, I returned to Kiseljak, and I, for the

    7 most part, worked on drafting the order which would

    8 regulate the implementation of the conclusions reached

    9 at the meeting which we had in Vitez the previous day.

    10 Q. While you were in the UN base in Vitez, did

    11 you have an opportunity to go to your command post,

    12 that is, to your headquarters, and if not, how did you

    13 leave Vitez?

    14 A. No. When the meeting ended, I entered the

    15 UN armoured vehicle, just as I did in Kiseljak, and I

    16 was then driven back to Kiseljak from their base in

    17 Vitez.

    18 Q. Either on the way there or back, did you have

    19 an opportunity to stop, to get out of the vehicle and

    20 meet and see anybody in Busovaca, any member of the

    21 HVO?

    22 A. No. As far as I could ascertain the route

    23 that we took, I don't think we ever went through

    24 Busovaca. I believe we went through Kakanj and Visoko.

    25 Q. On 2nd February, 1993, was the provision of

  77. 1 the agreement about re-opening of the Busovaca-Kiseljak

    2 road respected?

    3 A. This provision of the agreement was not

    4 respected.

    5 Q. You had a conversation with Mr. Flemming when

    6 he presented you with some accusatory documents or

    7 materials, and can you tell us how this situation was

    8 resolved?

    9 A. I had previously already been working on this

    10 document in Kiseljak when Mr. Flemming arrived at

    11 around 1700 hours and claimed that he was informed that

    12 the chief of the Kiseljak police station had asked that

    13 the Muslim villages of Kazagici, Visnjica, and

    14 Svinjarevo be disarmed. I asked Mr. Flemming, did he

    15 refer to the chief of the civilian police station, and

    16 he said in the affirmative, that it was indeed the

    17 chief of the civilian police station, and I suggested

    18 to Mr. Flemming that the best course of action would be

    19 for me to immediately go together with him to those

    20 villages and on site confirm the information which

    21 Mr. Flemming was in possession of.

    22 Q. Before you go on, could you tell me what the

    23 chief of the civilian police station said to

    24 Mr. Flemming? Whose orders was he implementing or

    25 carrying out?

  78. 1 A. Flemming had this information or this report

    2 that the chief of the police station had approached the

    3 villagers with the intention of disarming them. When

    4 the villagers told the chief of police that this was

    5 not in the spirit of the agreement which had been

    6 signed the day before and made public, then the chief

    7 of the Kiseljak police station said that he was

    8 implementing or carrying out the decisions from Mostar.

    9 Q. Now, what did you do? Did you go to those

    10 villages with Flemming, and what facts did you find

    11 there?

    12 A. First of all, I told Mr. Flemming that I did

    13 not think that this was true but that it would be

    14 simpler if he and I went to those villages immediately

    15 and checked out the veracity of this information. We

    16 immediately went to the village of Visnjica and then to

    17 the village of Svinjarevo, we verified the information,

    18 and Mr. Flemming said, after the verification, "It is

    19 all right. I had incorrect information, that is, I had

    20 incorrect reports. The reports that I received were

    21 not correct."

    22 Q. The translation says that the information was

    23 confirmed, which usually means that the original

    24 information was correct. What did you find out? Had

    25 Flemming received correct or incorrect information?

  79. 1 A. We confirmed that Flemming received incorrect

    2 information, and this is what he told me. He said,

    3 "The information I had was not correct."

    4 Q. Let us now skip a whole number of incidents

    5 and reports, information that was coming about them.

    6 But on the 3rd, you received a report that there was a

    7 gathering of army troops of Bosnia and Herzegovina in

    8 Gomionica. Can you please point where Gomionica is

    9 because later on this village will become important?

    10 A. On the model, Gomionica is the location which

    11 I'm pointing at (indicating), and I'm also going to

    12 point to it on the map. When we set off from Kiseljak,

    13 we took the main road to Busovaca, and due north from

    14 the main road is the village of Gomionica.

    15 I received information on 3 February, 1993,

    16 that 60 soldiers, local soldiers of the army of

    17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, were stationed in the village and

    18 that another 100 soldiers were brought there on that

    19 day from Visoko.

    20 Q. Can you tell me, in those days, was the

    21 Busovaca-Kiseljak road reopened in the spirit of the

    22 agreement?

    23 A. No, the road was not reopened, and we

    24 continued to receive this worrying information, news,

    25 from Fojnica about building of fortifications in the

  80. 1 territory of Fojnica municipality by members of the BH

    2 army which were positioned facing the Croatian-held

    3 territory.

    4 Q. On the 24th of -- on the 4th of February,

    5 there was an attack in Kuber, and you received

    6 information about that. What was that information

    7 which you received?

    8 A. This is the Kuber feature (indicating). This

    9 is this whole mountain range that I'm pointing at

    10 here.

    11 On the 4th of February, I received

    12 information that the forces of the 17th Krajina Brigade

    13 and the 7th Muslim Brigade carried out an attack on

    14 Kuber at the Saracevica feature, and that this feature,

    15 Saracevica, was taken.

    16 MR. NOBILO: Could the witness be shown

    17 Defence Exhibit D402, please?

    18 Q. On the 5th of February, Commander Rasim Delic

    19 from the staff of the supreme command of the armed

    20 forces in Visoko asked from your command to transport

    21 ammunition, that is, a large amount of ammunition. As

    22 stated here, it's 400.000 pieces of 7.62 millimetre,

    23 200.000 of 7.9 millimetre, and 30.000 of 20.7 calibre.

    24 Did you receive this request and did you

    25 approve the passage of these amounts of ammunition for

  81. 1 the BH army on the 5th of February, 1993?

    2 A. In the course of the day on the 5th of

    3 February, we responded to this request, and the convoys

    4 passed through carrying ammunition for the BH army.

    5 I would also like to point out that the

    6 convoys had unimpeded passage through Kiseljak almost

    7 throughout this period and they were carrying supplies

    8 for the BH army.

    9 Q. But on the 5th of February, you had another

    10 meeting with the UN representatives as well as

    11 representatives of the 3rd Corps. However, this time

    12 this was in Busovaca. How were you transported there,

    13 what did you experience during the trip, who was at the

    14 meeting, and if you could just give us the conclusions

    15 of the meetings?

    16 A. Again, the UN organised the

    17 transportation. We used UNPROFOR armoured vehicles. I

    18 was transported from Kiseljak to Busovaca to Motel

    19 Tisa. This was where the headquarters of the joint

    20 commission was which had been established previously

    21 following the meeting in Vitez. During the

    22 transportation, I could sense the smell of burning

    23 structures in the area of Bilalovac and Kacuni.

    24 Q. In his opening remarks, Mr. Flemming said a

    25 couple of important things. Could you comment on that?

  82. 1 A. Yes. Mr. Flemming chaired the meeting, and

    2 he pointed out that it would be necessary to withdraw

    3 the troops of the 1st BH army corps from the area of

    4 the Kiseljak municipality. Further, that the civilians

    5 had been attacked in the village of Katici in the

    6 Busovaca municipality.

    7 Q. Who were these civilians? What ethnic group

    8 did they belong to?

    9 A. The civilians in Katici were Croats, ethnic

    10 Croats. This is the village of Katici (indicating).

    11 The civilians were Croats. The attack was carried out

    12 from the direction of Merdani, and the civilians from

    13 this village were taken away.

    14 Q. Did you have information whether these

    15 civilians had been held as hostages?

    16 A. This was ascertained by a joint commission of

    17 the 3rd Corps of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone and

    18 the European Monitoring Mission. They went to visit

    19 the area where civilians from the village of Katici

    20 were being held, and they succeeded in ascertaining

    21 that in one particular house, 25 women were being held

    22 with children, and they were not able to supervise the

    23 other buildings, premises, because they were not

    24 allowed to by the members of the BH army.

    25 Q. Is it true that at that meeting you accused

  83. 1 the 3rd Corps and 1st Corps of having made ethnically

    2 pure areas?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. After that, what did Dzemo Merdan state?

    5 A. When I raised the problem of ethnic cleansing

    6 in the region, Dzemo Merdan said the following: He

    7 asked for a visit to be organised to the village of

    8 Rovna and Pezici, Kovacevac, and Putis, the village of

    9 Skradno, the village of Stranje, the Mahala, and Kadira

    10 Strana. He said that the attack on the village of

    11 Katici was provoked by shooting from the village of

    12 Katici towards the village of Merdani. After that,

    13 Merdan said that the civilians were being taken to do

    14 trench digging.

    15 Q. Where? What place?

    16 A. To Busovaca, and that was the first time that

    17 I was confronted with a statement of this kind because

    18 we had had numerous meetings, Dzemo and I, before that

    19 and the commander of the 3rd Corps, and he also

    20 ascertained that the Vitezovi were dealing with

    21 problems in the individual villages by using

    22 ultimatums, and he had in mind the Bosniak Muslim

    23 villages. He also ascertained that the disarmament of

    24 the Muslims in the area of the Kiseljak municipality

    25 was the cause for bringing in the forces of the 3rd

  84. 1 Corps to the local community of Bilalovac.

    2 I asked him to stipulate which village,

    3 Bosniak Muslim village, in the municipality of Kiseljak

    4 had been disarmed. He did not state one single

    5 village.

    6 Q. When you came to the prisoners who were

    7 digging trenches and who had to be freed, in the

    8 discussion, a representative of the International Red

    9 Cross, a lady, was present, and she presented some of

    10 the ICRC's stands with regard to the liberation of

    11 prisoners. Could you explain to the Trial Chamber what

    12 the attitude taken by the Red Cross was?

    13 A. The name of the lady from the Red Cross I can

    14 tell you, if you like, her name was Iris, she

    15 introduced herself as Iris, and she considered that it

    16 was necessary for both sides to free all individuals

    17 who had been taken prisoner, and she said that 64

    18 individuals had been detained. I have this fact

    19 written down in my notes, but I'm not clear as to who

    20 she was referring to, who the figure of 64 actually

    21 related to.

    22 She asked the chairman of the meeting, who

    23 was Mr. Flemming, to delay the momentary and prompt

    24 freeing of prisoners because of an incident that had

    25 taken place in Katici because the security situation,

  85. 1 according to her assessment, was such that it was not

    2 possible to free the individuals who had been taken

    3 captive, and she asked us at the meeting to provide

    4 security guarantees to all the returnees.

    5 Q. Let us leave that meeting aside for a moment

    6 and the individuals who were taken prisoner because it

    7 enters the very essence of the indictment, that is to

    8 say, trench digging by civilians.

    9 Did you, prompted by the information that you

    10 received, especially with the representative of the Red

    11 Cross, have special talks with the representative of

    12 the Red Cross regarding the freeing of prisoners and

    13 trench digging? Did you ask for additional

    14 information?

    15 A. When the meeting had been concluded, the

    16 first part of the meeting, I had a separate meeting

    17 with Mrs. Iris in the same hall of the Tisa Motel, and

    18 we discussed just one topic, and that topic was the

    19 involvement of prisoners in trench digging. Mrs. Iris

    20 told me that she had received a report that prisoners

    21 were being used to dig trenches in the Busovaca

    22 municipality. I told Mrs. Iris that I was in Kiseljak

    23 the whole time and that up until that time, that is, up

    24 until the 5th of February, I had not received a report

    25 to that effect but that I would do everything in my

  86. 1 power to confirm the information, to see whether it was

    2 correct or not, and to verify it and to undertake

    3 measures because I did not acquiesce to this kind of

    4 work being done.

    5 Q. In the days to come, did you check the

    6 information you received, and, if so, who did you call,

    7 what information did you get, and how were you able to

    8 establish contact?

    9 A. I asked that the information be verified, and

    10 the command of the Operative Zone, I contacted it, and

    11 the command of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in

    12 Busovaca, and the information that I received, feedback

    13 information, from the commander in Busovaca, as well as

    14 from the chief of staff in the Operative Zone, the

    15 information was that nobody had given the order or

    16 approved or requested this kind of engagement of

    17 prisoners in the assignment of trench digging.

    18 Q. In the days that followed or, more exactly,

    19 on the 6th of February, 1992, you received fresh

    20 information from Gomionica -- I misspoke, 1993, the 6th

    21 of February, 1993. It seems that I misspoke when

    22 quoting the year.

    23 A. On that particular day, I received

    24 information, according to which mortars, 120-millimetre

    25 mortars, had been brought again from the direction of

  87. 1 Visoko to Gomionica.

    2 Q. In a situation of this kind, what was noticed

    3 as a mass phenomenon in Kiseljak or the shops of

    4 Kiseljak? What could be noticed?

    5 A. Well, what could be noticed was that food

    6 stuffs were being bought up in large quantities, and

    7 they were large quantities for families, compared to

    8 previous periods.

    9 Q. I forgot to ask you. After the meeting in

    10 Busovaca and the separate talks you had with the

    11 representative of the Red Cross, where did you return

    12 to and how did you return to where you went?

    13 A. The procedure was the same again. Once

    14 again, we were taken in the UN vehicles straight back

    15 across Kacuni, Bilalovac, to Kiseljak.

    16 Q. Was the road open then, the road from

    17 Kiseljak to Busovaca, and the checkpoints that we can

    18 see on the model, were they dismantled?

    19 A. No, the road was not open even then, although

    20 that was another subject of discussion. The road was

    21 still closed to the HVO.

    22 Q. However, on the 8th of February in the

    23 Kiseljak municipality, new blockades were set up by the

    24 BH army, that is to say, the blockades that existed

    25 were not dismantled but new ones were set up. Can you

  88. 1 explain to the Trial Chamber who set up the new

    2 blockade and where the blockades were set up using the

    3 yellow symbols that we have, markers.

    4 A. The new blockades were set up at the very

    5 entrance to the village of Gomionica by the army of

    6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and directly next to the

    7 checkpoint, there were forces of the BH army deployed

    8 for the defence of that checkpoint, so there were both

    9 the manpower and the materiel.

    10 Q. Now, Gomionica, what position did it have and

    11 what was the importance of Gomionica and how was it

    12 linked up to the rear and the territory in depth?

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Could you show us on the map,

    14 please, because as I say, the model is very good for

    15 detailed information, but the Judges like to have an

    16 overall view, so a map is a good idea. Could you show

    17 it on the map, indicate it on the map, and the camera

    18 can show the map as well so that the public can see?

    19 With regard to Kiseljak, please, General Blaskic, would

    20 you point out Gomionica?

    21 A. I am pointing to Kiseljak, first of all

    22 (indicating), this is Kiseljak (indicating), and the

    23 main road moves along towards Busovaca. On the

    24 right-hand side north of the road lies Gomionica.

    25 The checkpoint that was set up in the

  89. 1 immediate vicinity of the main road at the entrance to

    2 the village of Gomionica, and Gomionica was across the

    3 road from Cakalovici, Orasje, and linked to the main

    4 road from Kakanj to Visoko, that is to say, it was

    5 linked to Visoko.

    6 Q. Was this a territory which was exclusively

    7 under the control of the BH army?

    8 A. Yes, it was, uninterrupted control, as the

    9 forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the area of Gornja

    10 and Donja Zimca had cleared up the territory of the

    11 Serbs in 1992.

    12 Q. On the 9th of February, once again, an armed

    13 incident, this time from Merdani; what happened there?

    14 A. Well, there was a burst of gunfire from the

    15 Merdani village on the town of Busovaca, and some of

    16 the projectiles fell near the UN base there.

    17 Q. Who was in the village of Merdani?

    18 A. In the village of Merdani were the forces of

    19 the 3rd Corps of the BH army. They were stationed

    20 there.

    21 Q. At that time, that is to say, on the 8th of

    22 February, 9th of February, and further on, where were

    23 you, yourself?

    24 A. I, myself, continued to be in Kiseljak, and I

    25 was in the Kiseljak municipality.

  90. 1 Q. Was that your choice? Were you in Kiseljak

    2 by choice or did you have no other possibility? What

    3 actually happened?

    4 A. Well, on the 9th, there was an attempt for

    5 the refugee civilians to break through towards

    6 Busovaca, and this was unsuccessful, and I didn't have

    7 the possibility of going to Vitez. So it was not my

    8 choice, it was out of necessity, and I was not able to

    9 go to Vitez.

    10 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber, please, many

    11 witnesses on the side of the Prosecution unsuccessfully

    12 tried to find some secret mountain passes and routes.

    13 Could you go to Busovaca from Kiseljak and Vitez

    14 without passing through the ranks of the BH army? Was

    15 that at all possible?

    16 A. Your Honours, with your permission, I would

    17 like to show this on the map. That is much simpler,

    18 but my answer is no. No, I could not.

    19 Q. Perhaps you can show us in greater detail

    20 later on.

    21 On the 11th of February, in addition to the

    22 activities and relationship with the BH army --

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, will you be going

    24 back to that point? I hope that you will go back to

    25 that point; otherwise, it will be the Judges who will

  91. 1 raise that point because it is a point to discuss.

    2 There were helicopters and lots of other things. So

    3 you shouldn't say that you will be going back to the

    4 subject again, but this was a fact, a question, that

    5 was discussed because the witness said, "I'll show you

    6 on the map, but my answer is no," and I think that the

    7 Judges would like to know what all this was about, but,

    8 of course, you needn't do it straightaway. I would

    9 just like to draw your attention to the fact that this

    10 point should be cleared up.

    11 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Your Honours. Yes, I

    12 thought that it was sufficient for the witness to say

    13 that he could not go from Kiseljak to Busovaca and

    14 Vitez, and I thought that if anybody would be

    15 interested in this point later on -- but if Your

    16 Honours feel that this is necessary, then the witness

    17 is at your disposal straightaway.

    18 Q. So would you please, General, explain what

    19 this --

    20 JUDGE JORDA: That's not the question,

    21 Mr. Nobilo. You said that you would return to the

    22 question, so you can choose the moment at which you

    23 wish to return to the question, but I would like to

    24 say, and I think that I interpret my colleagues'

    25 feelings as well, there was talk of helicopters which

  92. 1 could allow, perhaps, the witness to go back to the

    2 question. Now, I don't mind. It is up to you to

    3 choose the moment. He answered in an elliptic way and

    4 said he couldn't go, but when you like, it's up to you,

    5 you can decide, to make the demonstration. It's up to

    6 you.

    7 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we can do that

    8 straightaway. The witness will indicate the links

    9 between Busovaca and Vitez, and I would like the

    10 witness to stand up, please.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic, you were

    12 blocked in Kiseljak, and you thought that you were in

    13 an enclave and that you could not rejoin the Vitez

    14 area, except by the mountains, and you couldn't go

    15 across those.

    16 A. Your Honours, I'm showing the main road

    17 between Kiseljak, Bilalovac, Kacuni, Busovaca. It was

    18 cut off at the Kacuni checkpoint, in Oseliste and Donji

    19 Bukovci, and at Bilalovac, so it was impassable for

    20 me.

    21 Next, the road Kiseljak, Visoko, Kakanj,

    22 Lasva, Kaonik, Vitez, it is controlled by the BH army,

    23 the forces of the 1st Corps from Visoko and the forces

    24 of the 3rd Corps around Kakanj. This entire route, it

    25 also was under control of the 305th Brigade which had

  93. 1 been driven out of Jajce, and at Dobrinje, there was

    2 the Abdul Latif detachment, that is, the Mujahedeen

    3 unit, so this road was also impassable to me.

    4 Next, if you go from Kiseljak to Gromiljak

    5 and then to Raskrsce, there is a road branching off to

    6 Fojnica. In Fojnica, the 310th Brigade, who at that

    7 time was part of the 3rd Corps, was stationed with

    8 forces at the size of a battalion in Pridola.

    9 Somewhere it is marked as Pridola, and elsewhere it is

    10 marked as Zivcici. There was a Mujahedeen camp in

    11 Dragacici and the 310th Brigade Battalion at Gradina

    12 and another battalion in the town of Fojnica.

    13 In order to prevent communication between

    14 Fojnica and Busovaca for the HVO members, the army of

    15 Bosnia-Herzegovina set up a checkpoint at Smajlovici,

    16 the location I'm pointing at now (indicating), and then

    17 they stopped any joint patrolling with the HVO in the

    18 Zahor area.

    19 As early as the 6th of February,

    20 fortifications were built and trenches facing the

    21 Croatian villages. Civilians were also unable to pass

    22 through if the BH army did not let them, that is, to go

    23 from Kiseljak to Busovaca, and if we look at the

    24 chronology, those who had been driven out of Kacuni

    25 could also not come back.

  94. 1 There were no mountain roads left free and

    2 open for that either because they were all controlled

    3 by the BH army forces. This will be seen even better

    4 when we show the lines set up by the BH army on the

    5 31st of January.

    6 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, during the break,

    7 we will delineate the new demarcation line between the

    8 BH army and the HVO.

    9 Q. With your permission, let's go to the issue

    10 of helicopters. Did you have a helicopter in January

    11 in Vitez or Kiseljak?

    12 A. No.

    13 Q. And in February?

    14 A. No. You mean 1993? No.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. That is very clear,

    16 and it is up to the Prosecutor to draw the conclusions

    17 and the observations necessary to the discussion.

    18 We can carry on. We started at 2.30.

    19 Perhaps we can go on for another ten or fifteen

    20 minutes.

    21 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

    22 Q. We stopped at 11 February when a big police

    23 operation, a crackdown against criminal activities was

    24 organised, and could you tell us, what did this

    25 criminal group do and what was done to stop them?

  95. 1 A. We organised a widespread operation, and

    2 about 14, maybe up to 20 individuals involved in

    3 criminal activities were arrested. For us, it was also

    4 something new which we learned. We found on these

    5 individuals the insignia of the Croatian Defence

    6 Council, army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, insignia of the

    7 Territorial Defence, the HVO military police, TO

    8 military police, and it operated and robbed in the area

    9 of the Kiseljak municipality, mostly in the urban area

    10 but also in the surrounding villages, that is, the

    11 villages surrounding the town of Kiseljak in the

    12 Kiseljak municipality. Regardless of which village it

    13 was looting -- actually, depending upon which village

    14 it was looting, they would wear the insignia of the

    15 military units of the other side.

    16 The composition of this group was that it was

    17 about two-third Croat and one-third Bosniak Muslim, and

    18 I believe that there were two Serbs in this criminal

    19 group.

    20 Q. At that time, it was the only multi-ethnic

    21 organisation in the area; is that correct?

    22 Let me tell you, on the 11th of February, the

    23 BH army carried out an infantry attack at Kula. What

    24 was the significance of Kula and what was the size of

    25 the force that had attacked it?

  96. 1 A. I will show it on the map. I'm pointing to

    2 the town of Busovaca, Kula (indicating). The attack

    3 was carried out from the direction of Lasva and Dusina

    4 on Kula, and the force was somewhere between 600 and

    5 1.000 soldiers, and this was a key position for the

    6 defence of Busovaca, from the north side.

    7 Q. Was this a hill above Busovaca?

    8 A. It is the only hill above Busovaca, and had

    9 it been taken, the town of Busovaca would have fallen

    10 to the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    11 On the model, it is the location that I'm

    12 pointing to now (indicating).

    13 Q. What forces did the BH army use for this

    14 attack?

    15 A. This attack was carried out with forces

    16 numbering 600 to 1.000 soldiers, and they were members

    17 of the 17th Krajina, 333rd Mountain Brigades, and parts

    18 of the 7th Muslim Brigade.

    19 Q. Had there not been two agreements for a

    20 cease-fire made between you and Hadzihasanovic?

    21 A. Yes, but it was not implemented by the 3rd

    22 Corps of the BH army; in other words, the cease-fire

    23 was just not implemented.

    24 Q. So how did you receive such information, in

    25 purely technical terms?

  97. 1 A. If there were serious attacks of this kind,

    2 these reports would be sent by open telephone lines, in

    3 other words, by using the lines which would be used for

    4 any other civilian purpose.

    5 Q. So you received the information that the BH

    6 army was attacking Kula with such and such forces.

    7 When you received this, could they give you detailed

    8 positions, that is, the defence positions on these open

    9 civilian lines, so that you could issue military orders

    10 and take charge of this military operation?

    11 A. No, this was not possible because we were

    12 aware that such information would first arrive in

    13 Kacuni and that the BH army command post in Kacuni

    14 would respond or react to this information even before

    15 I would be able to physically respond to it.

    16 Q. Why do you think that this information would

    17 be first received in Kacuni? How do you explain that?

    18 A. We already knew at that time that our calls

    19 were monitored.

    20 Q. Where do the phone lines go between Busovaca?

    21 A. We knew that it went through Kacuni and we

    22 knew that our conversations were all being monitored,

    23 and this would just be playing into the hand of the

    24 enemy who, at that time, was attacking us.

    25 Q. Would it have been possible to use the packet

  98. 1 radio communication in order to speed up the process of

    2 command and control?

    3 A. No. In these conditions of a developing

    4 situation, packet communication was not viable, because

    5 by the time the operator had typed up my instructions,

    6 the attack would be halfway over.

    7 Q. Very well. I would like you to look at

    8 document number 456/9 on the 22nd -- the date when the

    9 joint command was established, and I would like to take

    10 you back to that.

    11 We have a Prosecution Exhibit which is an

    12 order of Sefer Halilovic, the chief of staff of the

    13 supreme command of the armed forces of Bosnia and

    14 Herzegovina and Milivoj Petkovic, chief of main staff

    15 of the HVO, he's a brigadier, ordering that on the 11th

    16 of February, 1993, paragraph 1:

    17 "The Commander of the BH Army 3rd Corps and

    18 the Commander of the HVO Central Bosnia Operative Zone

    19 (Hadzihasanovic and Blaskic) shall form a joint

    20 coordinating team of three members each, presided over

    21 by the said gentlemen. The team shall have the

    22 following assignments and powers:

    23 a) It shall issue joint orders."

    24 And so on and so forth. I'm not going to

    25 read the entire document.

  99. 1 Can you explain -- or, Mr. President, perhaps

    2 maybe we can take a break now because we are at a

    3 quarter to four now, and we can go back to it after the

    4 break.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We will have a

    6 20-minute break.

    7 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.

    8 --- On resuming at 4.09 p.m.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed.

    10 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

    11 Q. General, the last exhibit before the break

    12 was Defence Exhibit 456/9 (sic), Exhibit 456/9, by

    13 which Halilovic and Petkovic, the commanders of the HVO

    14 and the BH army, ordered the establishment of a joint

    15 command. What does that mean and what did they wish to

    16 accomplish?

    17 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, General, before you

    18 begin.

    19 Just for the record, Mr. President, that's a

    20 Prosecution Exhibit, not Defence. 456/9 is a

    21 Prosecution Exhibit. I think counsel said Defence.

    22 It's just for the purpose of clarifying the record. I

    23 do believe that's what came up on the screen.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, it was stated Defence

    25 Exhibit. Is it Defence or Prosecution?

  100. 1 THE REGISTRAR: It is a Prosecution Exhibit.

    2 All the 456, 4-5-6 exhibits are Prosecution Exhibits.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: So it was the joint commission

    4 or a joint command?

    5 MR. NOBILO:

    6 Q. Perhaps General Blaskic could explain what

    7 this document meant and what kind of action you

    8 undertook?

    9 A. This document was based on the basis of an

    10 agreement between the commander of the main staff of

    11 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the chief of the

    12 main staff of the HVO, and there was an attempt to

    13 prevent all misunderstanding and further conflict and

    14 the creation of a new joint command with the aim of

    15 uniting the struggle against the Serb aggressor.

    16 This was also a continuation of the joint

    17 command and its activities in a different composition,

    18 somewhat different composition, because from 1992, we

    19 already had a joint command, the Prkacin-Pasalic joint

    20 command, whereas now, with this order, I and the

    21 commander of the 3rd Corps established a joint

    22 coordinating team which, once again, had the competency

    23 of issuing joint orders.

    24 Q. In that particular joint order, Petkovic and

    25 Halilovic, in point 1(c) and 1(d), it is stated:

  101. 1 "1(c) It shall remove all barricades and

    2 barriers in the area of responsibility, and ensure the

    3 return of the population to their homes, and

    4 unobstructed movement on all roads (provide conditions

    5 for the return of the legal organs of power and

    6 authority).

    7 (d) It shall issue an order that all units

    8 brought in from other areas be withdrawn to the

    9 position they occupied before the conflict."

    10 Tell us, in the days that followed, was this

    11 order by Halilovic and Petkovic carried out? Were the

    12 barriers and barricades removed in the Lasva Valley?

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. Perhaps it is a

    14 matter of translation. Was it Halilovic? What was his

    15 name? What was the exact name?

    16 MR. NOBILO: The name was Sefer Halilovic,

    17 Sefer Halilovic.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Halilovic. Very well. Thank

    19 you.

    20 MR. NOBILO: He was the chief of the general

    21 staff of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, supreme

    22 commander.

    23 Q. Did the 3rd Corps respect that order?

    24 A. No, the barricades and barriers were not

    25 removed and the return of the population to their homes

  102. 1 was not ensured and unobstructed movement was not

    2 ensured. The units deployed from other areas were not

    3 withdrawn to the position they occupied before the

    4 conflict.

    5 Q. On the following day, the 12th of February,

    6 1993, you once again had a meeting with a

    7 representative of the International Red Cross

    8 concerning a serious occurrence which was mentioned by

    9 Prosecution witnesses. Can you describe what that

    10 incident was and what happened?

    11 A. Yes. I had a meeting on the 12th of

    12 February, 1993, in Kiseljak, where Mrs. Iris, the

    13 representative of the International Red Cross, informed

    14 me that there had been a killing of Mrs. Sehovic and

    15 Elezovic on the 7th of February, 1993, in the Busovaca

    16 area.

    17 Q. What were the circumstances surrounding the

    18 murders of Sehovic and Elezovic? What ethnic groups

    19 did they belong to? What ethnic group did their

    20 murderers belong to?

    21 A. They were Bosniak Muslims, and the killers

    22 were from amongst the Croatian ethnic group. The

    23 circumstances under which they were killed were while

    24 they were doing work, performing work, and digging

    25 trenches. I was surprised with the information I

  103. 1 received, because up until then, I had no knowledge

    2 from the chief of staff or the duty officer of the

    3 Operative Zone.

    4 Q. Did you start out to investigate, that is to

    5 say, to ascertain what had happened? Did you ask any

    6 measures to be taken? What did you do after you

    7 received that information?

    8 A. Immediately after I received the information,

    9 I asked an investigation be conducted, a complete

    10 investigation, particularly the system for security and

    11 the chief of military police, and I asked for

    12 information from the command of the Operative Zone in

    13 Vitez.

    14 I also, after having been informed of the

    15 fact that an investigation had started, on several

    16 occasions I checked to see how this process was being

    17 conducted, and I was informed of the proceedings as to

    18 the incident.

    19 Q. What about the military prosecution,

    20 prosecutor; did it take up the case and bring the case

    21 before the military court?

    22 A. I was told that a criminal report had been

    23 filed and that the military prosecutor had started

    24 proceedings and that the process, the whole case, was

    25 given over to the military district court.

  104. 1 Q. What did you tell the representative of the

    2 Red Cross? What was your attitude, your stand, in

    3 relation to trench-digging, and what did you undertake

    4 connected to that part of the information you received?

    5 A. At a previous meeting held in Busovaca

    6 already on the 5th of February, I defined my own views

    7 with regard to trench-digging, and that was that

    8 trenches and fortifications, shelters, be dug by the

    9 soldiers themselves for their own purposes, and that

    10 prisoners cannot be used to dig trenches.

    11 At that time, I also confirmed my stand and

    12 reiterated it to Mrs. Iris of the Red Cross and I

    13 believe she was conscious of the fact that I was in

    14 Kiseljak all the time and that I did not have a

    15 complete insight into the events in the Busovaca area.

    16 Q. Did you, to a certain brigade in Busovaca and

    17 your staff in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, send a

    18 message, a clear message, connected to these

    19 occurrences and trench digging by prisoners?

    20 A. Yes, and in that case too, as in the previous

    21 case dating back to the 5th of February, I sent not

    22 only a message but an order that work of this kind must

    23 not be done because they were unlawful acts.

    24 Q. On the 12th of February, 1993, an attempt was

    25 made to assassinate you. Can you tell us where this

  105. 1 occurred and what the circumstances of that attempt

    2 were?

    3 A. In the afternoon, somewhere around 7.00 p.m.,

    4 I received an invitation from Mr. Flemming that I

    5 should go to Visoko to attend a meeting with the

    6 commander of the 3rd Corps organised by the European

    7 Monitoring Mission for the Central Bosnia region, and I

    8 was to have been transported to that meeting in Visoko

    9 by the chief of the European Mission for Kiseljak,

    10 Mr. Russell, escorted by the Danish members of the

    11 United Nations from Kiseljak.

    12 We started out --

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Would the guard move slightly

    14 backwards so that we can see, thank you, there, and you

    15 can leave enough space for the Prosecution and the

    16 Defence to be able to see.

    17 Very well, Mr. Blaskic, you may continue.

    18 A. Your Honours, from Kiseljak, on the 12th of

    19 February, 1993, we started out from the parking spot in

    20 front of the barracks, Mr. Russell, myself, and our

    21 escorts, we started out along the main road towards

    22 Visoko, and the intention was for the meeting to be

    23 held in Visoko between myself and the commander of the

    24 3rd Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Enver.

    25 Somewhere in the area behind the village of

  106. 1 Tusnjici, on the map towards Visoko, we encountered a

    2 barricade, first of all, and the first vehicle, which

    3 was a UN armoured vehicle, was stopped. We also

    4 stopped some 15 metres behind the first vehicle in

    5 front, and at that time, at that moment, from the

    6 left-hand side looking at the main road, a burst of

    7 strong gunfire came from an automatic weapon.

    8 They opened fire at our jeep which was where

    9 myself and Mr. Russell were, and we remained in the

    10 vehicle while the armoured vehicle belonging to the

    11 Danish UN forces offered protection to our vehicle.

    12 It was a Mercedes Puch, an armoured car, and it was

    13 damaged in the attack, but we succeeded in going back

    14 along the same road towards Kiseljak, and on that

    15 night, I did not manage to go to the meeting in

    16 Visoko. As it was an armoured car, none of us in the

    17 vehicle received any bodily damage. There were four of

    18 us in the vehicle, the driver, Mr. Russell, myself, and

    19 my escort.

    20 MR. NOBILO:

    21 Q. Thank you. The next day, the 13th of

    22 February, 1993 -- so as I said, the next day, the 13th

    23 of February, 1993, a meeting was held, but this time it

    24 was in Busovaca. Sefer Halilovic was present, Milivoj

    25 Petkovic was present, and yourself, and tell us the

  107. 1 other members of the meeting, and tell us what the most

    2 important points discussed at the meeting were?

    3 A. On the next day, the 13th of February, the

    4 topic of the meeting was precisely this order by Sefer

    5 Halilovic and Milivoj Petkovic, and the meeting was

    6 held in Busovaca. At the meeting, we discussed the

    7 following questions, that is to say, the withdrawal of

    8 forces brought in from outside, then the removal of the

    9 barricades from the roads, the return of the local

    10 population, and unobstructed movement.

    11 At the meeting, Enver Hadzihasanovic was

    12 present, the commander of the 3rd Corps, also present

    13 at the meeting was Dzemo Merdan, then there was myself

    14 and Franjo Nakic, and the meeting was chaired by

    15 Mr. Flemming.

    16 Q. What about the representative of the Red

    17 Cross, Mrs. Iris, was she there?

    18 A. Yes, the representative of the Red Cross,

    19 Mrs. Iris, was present as well, and I think there were

    20 one or two officers from the command of the 3rd Corps

    21 and from the command of the Operative Zone. I know

    22 that Mr. Marko Prskalo was there too.

    23 Q. How did you arrive in Busovaca?

    24 A. Again, by the same way I did before, that is,

    25 by UN vehicles. It would be two, sometimes three,

  108. 1 armoured vehicles, I would board one of them, and I had

    2 to have my ID ready, and my identity was checked. Then

    3 we would all board the vehicles and, without stopping,

    4 would be transported from Kiseljak to Busovaca.

    5 Q. Can you tell me, and this may be the crucial

    6 thing for this meeting, what was the position of the

    7 International Red Cross, that is, Mrs. Iris, the one

    8 that she laid out in this meeting?

    9 A. Her position was, with respect to the item

    10 where the immediate release of all the prisoners was

    11 demanded, that this release could not be carried out

    12 because the situation was still volatile, that tensions

    13 were high, and she believed that new problems would be

    14 created if the prisoners were released and let go. She

    15 asked that the release of prisoners be postponed. This

    16 was in this meeting of the 13th of February, 1993.

    17 Q. Can you tell me, it was the second time that

    18 she expressed the view, the position, of the Red Cross

    19 that the release of prisoners should not be proceeded

    20 with until the conditions for their release were met.

    21 Did you believe that this was a firm position based on

    22 principle by the Red Cross or that it was something

    23 that was sort of a momentary position?

    24 A. We believed that this was a firm position

    25 because the release of prisoners was part of the

  109. 1 responsibility of the International Red Cross, so, no,

    2 it was not something that was a kind of improvisation

    3 on her part.

    4 Q. I don't know whether we need to go into

    5 further details of what some of the other discussions

    6 there were, but I want to take you to the conclusions

    7 of this meeting expressed by Mr. Flemming. What were

    8 they?

    9 A. The meeting took almost a full day to

    10 complete, and Flemming eventually came up with the

    11 following conclusions: The withdrawal of the troops

    12 that had been brought from the outside, the filling in

    13 of all the ditches, removal of all the barricades from

    14 the roads, the release of all of the imprisoned, and

    15 the visit by the joint commission of all the points,

    16 the flash points, and determining the causes and

    17 consequences of the conflict, to determine the level of

    18 responsibility of individuals and units, either of the

    19 HVO or the BH army, in the area of the conflict, to

    20 gather all information on local activities in the area

    21 of conflict, to implement all joint conclusions which

    22 would be reached by Mr. Hadzihasanovic and me at any

    23 cost, even by use of force, as Mr. Flemming emphasised,

    24 and to report in the next meeting whether any of these

    25 tasks were not implemented.

  110. 1 Also it was said that everybody should be

    2 able to use the roads and that the freedom of movement

    3 should be complete, also that all weapons and military

    4 equipment which had been taken or captured on both

    5 sides should be exchanged between the HVO and the 3rd

    6 Corps, and that the deadline for the withdrawal of

    7 forces would be extended by one day to 14th February,

    8 1993 by 1200 hours.

    9 Another conclusion was also that the

    10 artillery be withdrawn, that separate commissions which

    11 would investigate incidents would be set up, and that

    12 starting with 15 February, 1993, all transports would

    13 have full freedom of movement.

    14 In the end, a meeting was called of the joint

    15 commission, that is, presided over by Nakic and Merdan,

    16 for 14 February at 1300 hours, and the following

    17 meeting of the commanders of the Operative Zone and the

    18 3rd Corps of the BH army was to be held on the 16th of

    19 February, 1993 at 1200 hours.

    20 Q. On that occasion, that is, after this

    21 meeting, the following day, together with Enver

    22 Hadzihasanovic, commander of the 3rd Corps, you issued

    23 a number of joint orders.

    24 I would like you to look at Defence Exhibits

    25 351, 352, 353, 355, and 356.

  111. 1 First, let's go to Exhibit D351. On 13

    2 February, 1993, Hadzihasanovic and Blaskic issued an

    3 order to pass through the convoys and transports, and

    4 at 1, you order "Immediately enable all convoys that

    5 had been stopped to depart for their destinations with

    6 all of their cargo."

    7 Is this an order which you signed as a result

    8 of the conclusions reached at the meeting which we have

    9 just discussed?

    10 A. Yes, this order was also drafted following

    11 this meeting on the 13th of February.

    12 MR. NOBILO: Yes. Can I see the next

    13 document, D352, please?

    14 Q. D352 is also an order issued jointly by you

    15 and Hadzihasanovic, it bears the same date, 13

    16 February, 1993, and in item 1, you order: "The

    17 immediate withdrawal of units from lines of contact.

    18 All units from other municipalities shall immediately

    19 return to the territories of these municipalities. The

    20 deadline for the withdrawal of units is 14 February,

    21 1993 by 1200 hours."

    22 Is this also an order which you drafted

    23 jointly with Hadzihasanovic?

    24 A. Yes, we drafted it on that day during the

    25 meeting in Busovaca.

  112. 1 Q. Next is Exhibit D353. It was also drafted or

    2 issued on the 13th of February, 1993. The heading is

    3 "The Return of the Population to their Homes." It was

    4 drafted by the commander of the 3rd Corps of the BH

    5 army, Enver Hadzihasanovic, and you as the commander of

    6 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone for the HVO, and it

    7 says: "That conditions be created for the return of

    8 the refugee population to their homes, that the

    9 population returning to their homes be guaranteed

    10 complete security; third, that unimpeded and safe

    11 movement be ensured for the whole population throughout

    12 the free territory. The deadline for compliance with

    13 this order is 14 February at 1200 hours," and I'm not

    14 going to read the rest of the order.

    15 I have the same question: Was this order

    16 also drafted based on the conclusions after the meeting

    17 in Busovaca of the 13th of February, 1993?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. The next exhibit is D355. This is an order

    20 which you drafted on your own, so this is not a joint

    21 order which was drafted on the basis of the meeting and

    22 the joint obligations. The top is not very legible,

    23 but it has to do with the situation in the prison. It

    24 is dated the 19th of February, 1993, and it is

    25 addressed to the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in

  113. 1 Busovaca and to the commander of the 4th HVO Military

    2 Police Battalion, Pasko Ljubicic.

    3 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Counsel. That is 354,

    4 not 355.

    5 MR. NOBILO: I apologise. That is correct.

    6 Yes, this is 354. You are correct.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, perhaps there has

    8 been a mistake.

    9 MR. NOBILO: I apologise. My intention was

    10 to read the document which was 355 and, by mistake, I

    11 was reading 354.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: It seems that the order is one

    13 that was drafted by the witness himself.

    14 MR. NOBILO: It was my mistake because I

    15 referred to a wrong document. What I intended to do

    16 was to show Exhibit 355, which is another joint order

    17 of Enver Hadzihasanovic and Tihomir Blaskic. In other

    18 words, my mistake.

    19 Q. This was a joint order also of 13 February,

    20 1993, by which you and Hadzihasanovic order:

    21 "1. That all imprisoned and detained persons

    22 be released ... immediately by 1200 hours on 15

    23 February 1993 at the latest.

    24 2. That only persons from your own

    25 formations who have breached rules, regulations, and

  114. 1 laws may continue to be held in detention - prison.

    2 3. That all released persons be guaranteed

    3 complete freedom and security, to be provided by the

    4 municipal defence headquarters and the municipal

    5 defence office.

    6 4. That on behalf of the Army of the

    7 Republic of BH, the Deputy Commander of the 3rd Corps,

    8 and on behalf of the HVO, the Deputy Commander of the

    9 HVO of Central Bosnia Operative Zone be responsible for

    10 ensuring compliance with this order/command."

    11 Again, my apologies, and I'm thankful to my

    12 colleague for the Prosecution for correcting me.

    13 My question to you, General, is: Did you,

    14 together with Hadzihasanovic, issue this order for

    15 immediate and unconditional release of all the

    16 prisoners following the meeting in Busovaca?

    17 A. Yes. I would also like to enter a correction

    18 myself because where the place of meeting was, it was

    19 the UN base in Kakanj, not in Busovaca. I think it

    20 was near the power plant in Kakanj. So the venue, the

    21 place of meeting, was not in Busovaca but in Kakanj.

    22 Q. But it was a UN base, in any event?

    23 A. Yes, it was another UN base, and they

    24 provided transportation to their base from Kiseljak,

    25 and in terms of -- the way the transportation was

  115. 1 carried out was the same.

    2 Q. Very well. Let's move on to Exhibit number

    3 356. It is another document of 13 February, 1993, also

    4 in Kakanj.

    5 Yes, this is another Defence Exhibit, D356,

    6 again an order drafted jointly by you and

    7 Hadzihasanovic where you ask:

    8 "That all barricades and obstacles be

    9 removed from all communication routes to ensure an

    10 unimpeded flow of two-way traffic.

    11 "The deadline for complying with this

    12 order/command is 1200 hours, 15 February, 1993."

    13 Is this another in a series of joint orders

    14 which you drafted following the meeting?

    15 A. Yes, this was another joint order drafted by

    16 myself and the commander of the 3rd Corps at that

    17 meeting.

    18 Q. Now, tell me, the next day, 14 February,

    19 1993, certain information reached you about the burning

    20 of houses in Nezirovici. Can you tell me what occurred

    21 and what you knew about it?

    22 A. I received information ...

    23 JUDGE JORDA: One moment, please.

    24 Please continue.

    25 A. I received information that the burning of

  116. 1 Croatian houses in the village of Nezirovici which had

    2 been militarily taken by the BH army on the 27th of

    3 January, 1993, and I would like to add that such

    4 information on the torching of houses was received on a

    5 number of occasions, not only on that day.

    6 MR. NOBILO:

    7 Q. In Nezirovici, whose houses were burned?

    8 A. These were Croatian houses of the Croats who

    9 had been expelled.

    10 Q. That same day, on the 14th of February, you

    11 held a new meeting on the road to establishing this

    12 cease-fire, but this time, it was in Vitez. Can you

    13 tell me what the topic was of this event, this meeting?

    14 A. The chief of the European Monitoring Mission,

    15 Mr. Thebault, was present at that meeting, as well as

    16 Colonel Stewart, myself, commander of the 3rd Corps,

    17 Enver, commander of the North-western Herzegovina

    18 Operative Zone, that is, the HVO, his name was Zeljko

    19 Siljeg, and the topic of the meeting was the transfer

    20 of 305th Mountain Brigade of the BH army from Gornji

    21 Vakuf to Zenica.

    22 Q. Let's just establish whether you agreed to

    23 that and whether this was implemented.

    24 A. Yes, I agreed with this position, and this

    25 transfer was also carried out later.

  117. 1 Q. The next day, 15 February, the army of Bosnia

    2 and Herzegovina in Gomionica in the Kiseljak

    3 municipality was celebrating a victory. What happened?

    4 A. That day, there was a general celebration in

    5 Gomionica. There was some shooting, and what was

    6 celebrated was a victory at Gornji Vakuf, that is, a

    7 victory of the BH army against the HVO in Gornji Vakuf.

    8 Q. When you went to Vitez from Kiseljak and

    9 return, was it carried out in the same way as the

    10 previous ones?

    11 A. Yes. It was organised by UNPROFOR. They

    12 transported me there and brought me back to Kiseljak.

    13 I was taken to the base in Nova Bila, and also on the

    14 way back, I was brought directly in front of the

    15 Kiseljak barracks.

    16 Q. Did you pursue your inquiry into the death?

    17 A. Yes. I asked the assistant for security for

    18 an update on the investigation of Sehovic and Elezovic.

    19 Q. At one point, the refugees from Konjic

    20 arrived in Kiseljak. What did that mean for the

    21 population in Kiseljak and why did they arrive in

    22 Kiseljak to begin with?

    23 A. The refugees from the village of Pozetva,

    24 which is in the Konjic municipality, were rotated by

    25 the BH army members, and a part of them arrived in

  118. 1 Kiseljak and another part in Fojnica. The village of

    2 Pozetva is in the territory of Konjic municipality. It

    3 is this village (indicating), and it's from this

    4 village that Croats were expelled. One ended up in

    5 Fojnica and another one in Kiseljak. They were

    6 expelled by the units of the army of Bosnia and

    7 Herzegovina.

    8 Q. Did their arrival raise tensions, the

    9 inter-ethnic tensions in Kiseljak?

    10 A. Yes, of course, their arrival raised tensions

    11 and complicated the relations between Croats and

    12 Muslims in the Kiseljak municipality and nudged the

    13 situation further along the way where it became more

    14 difficult to control it.

    15 Q. Did the police patrols perform duties in

    16 securing homes of the prominent Muslims?

    17 A. Yes, it was necessary at that time because

    18 some of these new arrivals also brought their weapons

    19 with them.

    20 Q. On the 16th of February, new soldiers, fresh

    21 soldiers were brought in and deployed along the new

    22 lines in order to reinforce them?

    23 A. Yes. These were the soldiers of the

    24 operative group in Visoko, that is, the 1st Army Corps,

    25 and the line which they occupied was from Lisovo Brdo,

  119. 1 which is in Kiseljak municipality, via Grabovci, the

    2 area above the village of Svinjarevo and above

    3 Gomionica, which is this line here (indicating).

    4 Q. How many soldiers were deployed along this

    5 new line?

    6 A. About 150 fresh soldiers from the Visoko

    7 operative group were brought and deployed along these

    8 lines.

    9 Q. However, part of those soldiers, the Croatian

    10 soldiers who were at the Travnik front line but who

    11 were originally from Brestovsko and Bilalovac, came

    12 back. Can you say how many of them came back?

    13 A. Yes, that is correct. On that day, a part of

    14 the soldiers from the Kiseljak municipality who had

    15 been deployed at the Travnik front, somewhere up to 150

    16 soldiers came back but without weapons and military

    17 equipment.

    18 Q. Did you receive the agreement of the BH army

    19 to bring them back?

    20 A. Yes, that was one of the items we discussed

    21 during our meeting at the Vitez UN base, and there I

    22 received agreement that the BH army would allow the

    23 return of soldiers from Travnik to Kiseljak and the

    24 UNPROFOR forces would escort the transport and provide

    25 security on the condition that no soldier could have

  120. 1 weapons or military equipment.

    2 Q. The next day, on the 17th of February, there

    3 was a serious incident and an attack on the Kiseljak

    4 barracks. Who attacked it and why?

    5 A. This was a serious attack which was carried

    6 out by a group of armed criminals. Among this group

    7 there were members of the HVO, members of the Devil's

    8 Division, as it was called, HOS members. The guards

    9 were disarmed at the gate of the Kiseljak barracks, the

    10 headquarters in Kiseljak was blocked, the keys were

    11 taken from the detention unit, and part of the detained

    12 persons were released, and the detained persons were,

    13 as we said before, the gang numbering 15 to 20

    14 criminals.

    15 Q. Which you said had been arrested previously,

    16 and it was this multi-ethnic gang?

    17 A. Yes. The attackers issued an ultimatum that

    18 this multi-ethnic gang, criminal gang, be released.

    19 Q. The next day, 18 February, 1993, you received

    20 information from the police in Fojnica of a certain

    21 regrouping of forces?

    22 A. Yes, I received information from the civilian

    23 police forces in Fojnica that new forces had arrived in

    24 Fojnica, new forces of the army of Bosnia and

    25 Herzegovina, and that they moved on from Fojnica to

  121. 1 Pogorelica with the purpose of training these forces at

    2 Pogorelica to carry out a new attack on Busovaca. This

    3 is the information that I received.

    4 Q. On the 19th of February, 1993, you sent an

    5 order, and I would like that to be shown now. This is

    6 the order which I, by mistake, started reading before.

    7 This is Defence Exhibit D354.

    8 This is the document which you drafted and

    9 sent via packet communications network?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. On the 19th of February, 1993, at 1955 hours,

    12 it was addressed to the commander of the Busovaca

    13 brigade and the chief of the military police. I'm only

    14 going to read one part.

    15 "Submit a detailed report on the break-in by

    16 your members into the Busovaca Military Prison on 2 and

    17 16 February 1993 at 2200 hours respectively, when the

    18 group committed the following:

    19 (a) forcible entry into the Military Prison

    20 under the threat of the use of arms;

    21 (b) forcible taking of prisoners from their

    22 cells."

    23 So on and so forth. I'm not going to read

    24 the rest of the document.

    25 Could you tell me what this was about and how

  122. 1 this information reached you?

    2 A. This was a break-in by the reconnaissance

    3 unit from the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade into the

    4 district military prison, an attack on the security and

    5 forcible removal or taking of prisoners from their

    6 cells; and as it is stated here, this happened on two

    7 occasions, on the 2nd and the 16th of February. I

    8 asked for a more detailed report on this extraordinary

    9 event.

    10 Q. On the 20th of February, in spite of all

    11 agreements and joint orders, the traffic between

    12 Kiseljak and Busovaca was not re-established, even for

    13 the humanitarian aid convoys. Can you tell us, what

    14 information did you receive on that day?

    15 A. On that day, I received information that new

    16 forces had been brought, that is, the forces of the BH

    17 army, were brought at Bilalovac.

    18 Q. Do you remember whether Caritas was trying to

    19 reach Busovaca?

    20 A. Yes, I remember that Caritas was trying to

    21 deliver food for the parish of Busovaca, I was informed

    22 of these incidents, and we also forwarded the

    23 information to the UNPROFOR headquarters in Busovaca.

    24 Q. On the 21st of February, 1993, new BH army

    25 checkpoints were set up in Smajlovici, Bukovci,

  123. 1 Bilalovac. Can you comment on those?

    2 A. It is this checkpoint on the road to

    3 Fojnica. This was Smajlovici (indicating). It was set

    4 up, and I have to say that myself and the commander of

    5 the 3rd Corps, at the meeting in Kakanj, had drafted a

    6 joint order to remove all the checkpoints and

    7 barricades on the roads. This checkpoint was set up

    8 when the civilians were expelled from Busovaca and they

    9 were driven to Kiseljak, and they attempted to use that

    10 road to go back via Sebesic and reach Busovaca again.

    11 They were stopped at Smajlovici, at the checkpoint, and

    12 the checkpoint Oseliste-Bukovice was especially

    13 worrisome for us because it was also set up after the

    14 joint order was issued, and there was an anti-aircraft

    15 20-millimetre calibre gun set up at that checkpoint,

    16 which was a rarity at that time to use anti-aircraft

    17 machine gun at the checkpoints.

    18 Q. You just sat down, but if you can just again

    19 come to the model and point for the Trial Chamber where

    20 the positions, that is, the front lines between the

    21 army of BH and the HVO, were and to point how you

    22 placed the flags to mark that front line?

    23 A. I think that I can make it much more

    24 precisely on the map --

    25 Q. So why don't you first show it on the map and

  124. 1 then we will move to the model?

    2 A. As of January 1993, the front line in

    3 Busovaca was as follows: I am pointing to the town of

    4 Busovaca due north, the Kuber range, the Saracevic

    5 feature 957, the village of Putis, Katici, via

    6 Bobovisce to Mejdani, Solakovici, that is Kula,

    7 Bilalice, Donje Polje, Prosje, Modri Kamen, Pridolci,

    8 Luske Staje, Busovacke Staje, Rog, Kovacevac, Rovna --

    9 that is Donja Rovna. That was the line, and the forces

    10 were -- and now I'm moving to the forces in the village

    11 municipality. I'm pointing at Kiseljak town. This was

    12 the deployment: Pobrdze, Demici, Dugo Polje, Medovici,

    13 Dundjeri, and the village of Badnje.

    14 On the model, this is Busovaca (indicating),

    15 forces at Kuber, Saracevica, and feature 957, the

    16 village of Katici, then Kula, Milavice, Prosje,

    17 Modrikamen, Pridolci, Luske Staje does not appear on

    18 the model, Busovacke Staje does not appear on the

    19 model, the Rog feature, and further Donja Rovna.

    20 Q. For the record, please, the green flags are

    21 the BH army line, and facing them, the blue flags are

    22 the HVO lines; is that correct?

    23 A. Yes. In the territory of Kiseljak

    24 municipality, the forces were deployed along the lines

    25 of Pobrdze, Demici, then Dugo Polje, Dundjeri, Badnje,

  125. 1 and the area from the Kacuni local commune to

    2 Bilalovac, and perhaps it would be better if I used

    3 paper here, I can use this small piece here. So this

    4 area was an area without any Croatian presence. Those

    5 who had stayed behind, the elderly people, like

    6 Grubesici, Ljoljo, and others, were killed.

    7 Q. When you say -- did no Croats live there or

    8 they were driven out of there, they were expelled,

    9 cleansed?

    10 A. I am talking about the Croats who were

    11 expelled during this conflict. This area of Dusina,

    12 Lasva, and Visnjica belonged to the Zenica

    13 municipality, and from these villages, Croats were also

    14 ethnically cleansed.

    15 Q. Would you now sit down again, and while we're

    16 at ethnic cleansing, the joint commission --

    17 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Counsel.

    18 MR. NOBILO: Sorry.

    19 Q. Therefore, the joint commission for Busovaca,

    20 the HVO, and the BH army went all over the majority of

    21 this area, and they ascertained together figures on the

    22 destruction of Croatian houses, civilian property, and

    23 the Croatian casualties, so could you give the facts

    24 and figures of that joint commission?

    25 A. They are the figures which were not the final

  126. 1 figures but were figures sent to us by the joint

    2 commission at a meeting held on the 21st of February,

    3 1993, and all these figures --

    4 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. If there are figures

    5 coming from a document that has been sent by the joint

    6 commission, I would ask if the Court and Prosecution

    7 can see that documentation.

    8 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we don't have

    9 that document. We don't have that document. All we

    10 have are the personal records and notes of Mr. Blaskic

    11 and his recollections, but we haven't got a document.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: I share the opinion of

    13 Mr. Nobilo. The witness will tell you of the figures.

    14 He will say whether they were figures that he received

    15 officially or whether they were figures that he,

    16 himself, assessed.

    17 Where did the figures come from, Mr. Blaskic?

    18 A. Mr. President, they are not my assessments.

    19 They are official findings by a joint commission

    20 composed of the European Monitors under the direct

    21 command of the head of the European Monitoring Mission

    22 for the Zenica region, and the meeting, at which I

    23 heard these figures from the joint commission and took

    24 note of this information, was under the organisation of

    25 the European Monitoring Mission, and present at the

  127. 1 meeting were UN officers.

    2 MR. NOBILO:

    3 Q. So can we clarify this matter? You were told

    4 this information orally at the meeting, were you not?

    5 A. Yes, this information was reported to us by

    6 the joint commission, and Enver and myself, together

    7 with Mr. Flemming and Mr. Stewart, we accepted the

    8 report provided by the joint commission and set out at

    9 that meeting.

    10 Q. But the report was orally submitted, was it

    11 not?

    12 A. Yes, we did not receive a written document

    13 from the joint commission, it was orally submitted, and

    14 probably the European Monitoring Mission compiled this

    15 document for its own purposes, for itself.

    16 Q. Well, continue. According to the best of

    17 your recollections and your notes, what were the

    18 findings of the European Commission?

    19 A. The findings of the European Commission were

    20 as follows: A total of 548 families were expelled of

    21 the Croatian ethnicity, and the figure of 2.101

    22 individuals, 2.101 individuals. From the village of

    23 Oseliste, 51 families, households, 273 individuals;

    24 from the village of Bukovci, the figures are as

    25 follows: 28 families, 103 individuals; the village of

  128. 1 Gusti Grab, 57 families, 285 individuals; the village

    2 of Prosje, six families, 26 individuals; the village of

    3 Milavice, four families, 20 individuals; the village of

    4 Gornji Solakovici, 18 families, 85 individuals; the

    5 village of Nezirovici, 45 families, 131 individuals;

    6 the village of Kacuni, 53 families, 203 individuals;

    7 the Kiseljak municipality, 240 families; from the

    8 Bilalovac local community, 800 individuals; the

    9 municipality of Zenica, 46 families, 175 individuals;

    10 from the villages of Dusina, 12 families, 45

    11 individuals; the village of Visnjica, 20 families, 80

    12 individuals; the village of Lasva, 14 families, 50

    13 individuals.

    14 Those were the findings of the joint

    15 commission of the 3rd Corps of the HVO of the European

    16 Monitoring Mission.

    17 Q. At that meeting, did you take note of the

    18 fact that all the prisoners were released? Was that

    19 noted, if you can remember? If not, never mind.

    20 A. I don't remember whether that was taken,

    21 whether we were able to observe that at that meeting.

    22 Q. Very well. Let us now move on to the 23rd of

    23 February when the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina brought to

    24 Gomionica some concrete blocks or devices. Can you

    25 tell us what they were, what that was all about?

  129. 1 A. They were facilities which were used by the

    2 former Yugoslav People's Army manufactured to type, and

    3 they were armoured concrete bunkers composed of various

    4 elements, prefabricated elements, that could be

    5 transported to different locations where they were

    6 built in as fortification for combat operations and for

    7 protection purposes, so they are the classical standard

    8 type of military bunkers offering high-grade protection

    9 and highly conducive to combat operations.

    10 Q. The Kiseljak-Busovaca road, 40 days from when

    11 it was blocked, was it free?

    12 A. No, the road was not deblocked. It remained

    13 blocked to members of the HVO and the Croats.

    14 Q. On the 25th of February, 1992, once again,

    15 you were at the United Nations -- the 25th of February,

    16 1993, you were, once again, invited to attend a meeting

    17 at the UNPROFOR base in --

    18 A. No, it was a meeting in Kiseljak at the

    19 headquarters of UNPROFOR there, and I was invited to

    20 attend the meeting which was chaired by Brigadier

    21 General Cordy-Simpson, and the meeting was attended by

    22 General Prado, I think that he was from the Spanish

    23 UN battalion, Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic was present,

    24 the chief of the main staff of the Croatian Defence

    25 Council, I was there, and the topic of the meeting was

  130. 1 sending humanitarian aid by parachute. This was a

    2 mission, an operation, which was a fledgling one, it

    3 had just begun, and there were discussions as to the

    4 duties of the HVO linked to that humanitarian mission.

    5 At one part of the meeting, Mr. Simpson asked

    6 why the road from Busovaca to Kiseljak, why the road

    7 was still blocked, and he directed his question at

    8 Brigadier Petkovic. Petkovic answered, "It would be a

    9 good idea for you to discuss that matter with

    10 Halilovic," and he had in mind Sefer Halilovic, the

    11 chief of the main staff of the Bosnia-Herzegovina

    12 army. Petkovic indicated that Busovaca had been

    13 blocked for 32 days and that without humanitarian aid,

    14 the convoy of the BH army for the Bosniak Muslims, that

    15 they were passing via the territory of Busovaca on

    16 their way to Zenica and further on towards Tuzla, and

    17 Petkovic also emphasised that the people of Busovaca

    18 were hungry but had to let the convoys pass through.

    19 Cordy-Simpson answered Brigadier Petkovic and

    20 said that it would be a good idea for Brigadier

    21 Petkovic to contact the representatives of the UNHCR

    22 who were supplying humanitarian aid.

    23 Q. When mentioning General Petkovic, he appeared

    24 at different places at meetings with you. How was he

    25 transported from Mostar? In what way did he get there?

  131. 1 A. It was only under UN organisation, and on

    2 this occasion too, I know that the Spanish battalion

    3 from Mostar, with its two combat vehicles, had brought

    4 General Petkovic to Kiseljak.

    5 Q. On the 27th of February, 1993, the Muslims

    6 forbade the Croats to enter certain villages. Can you

    7 say a few words about that?

    8 A. Yes, they were the villages of the Kiseljak

    9 municipality, the Lepenica local community, and we

    10 spoke at some length about that when we discussed the

    11 conflict in Duhri. I am pointing to the village of

    12 Bukovica (indicating), the village of Zabrdje

    13 (indicating). In Bukovica, a checkpoint was set up,

    14 and there was no entry to Croats to the region of these

    15 villages, Zabrdje, Bukovica, Koscan, and so on.

    16 Q. Thank you. On that day, there were talks

    17 with the representative of the HVO for information in

    18 Kiseljak about radio terms.

    19 A. I asked a representative of the HVO to talk

    20 to the municipal ...

    21 Q. There seems to be some problem with the

    22 interpretation. Let me repeat: You had contacts with

    23 the officer in charge of information within the HVO; is

    24 that correct?

    25 A. Yes.

  132. 1 Q. Please explain to us what you tried to

    2 achieve on the basis of those talks?

    3 A. Well, I told this information officer to

    4 contact the municipal civilian officers of the Kiseljak

    5 municipality to find ways and means of obtaining time

    6 on the airwaves for the members of the army of

    7 Bosnia-Herzegovina from the Kiseljak area who could

    8 address, via the local radio, the Bosniak Muslims in

    9 the Kiseljak municipality, to address them on the

    10 radio, because tensions in the municipality of Kiseljak

    11 were still increasing, and I wanted to calm the

    12 situation in the area.

    13 Q. On the same day at 10.00 with the European

    14 Monitors and with Merdan, you had talks and received

    15 information about the burning of houses.

    16 A. Yes, I had a meeting on the 28th of February,

    17 1993 at 10.00, and Merdan, himself, said that the road

    18 from Busovaca to Kiseljak at the Kacuni-Bilalovac

    19 region had been blocked and that they had seen, in

    20 coming to the meeting, that houses were being set on

    21 fire, Croatian houses in Bilalovac and Kacuni.

    22 Dzemo stressed at the meeting that the

    23 barricades were of a political nature and that they

    24 were the consequence of different political decisions

    25 by the government of the Croatian Community of

  133. 1 Herceg-Bosna and the government of the Republic of

    2 Bosnia and Herzegovina, which were in contradiction to

    3 each other.

    4 At that meeting, Mr. Nakic made a report and

    5 stated that the barricades had also been set up in

    6 Vitez and that, in Novi Travnik, it was not possible to

    7 hold a meeting of the joint commission and the local

    8 commission for Novi Travnik with the representatives of

    9 the HVO and the BH army because the representatives of

    10 the BH army did not wish to come to the meeting,

    11 although Dzemo Merdan had sent an invitation to the

    12 representatives of the BH army to respond and to come

    13 to the meeting in Novi Travnik.

    14 Q. On that day, you received information on the

    15 release of the well-known criminal in Vitez who, once

    16 again, through use of force and violence was liberated?

    17 A. Yes. I received information that Ferad

    18 Gazibaric or Gucanin had been freed from the district

    19 military prison in Busovaca, that he had been freed by

    20 an attack launched on the police and the headquarters

    21 of the military police and the military district court

    22 as well.

    23 MR. NOBILO: We have completed February, so,

    24 without wishing to start on March now, we can do this

    25 tomorrow.

  134. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. We're going to adjourn

    2 the meeting. I should like to remind you that on

    3 Wednesdays we begin at 1.30, 1.30 p.m., and we shall be

    4 ending at 5.30.

    5 The hearing is adjourned, to be resumed

    6 tomorrow at 1.30.

    7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

    8 5.32 p.m., to be reconvened on

    9 Wednesday, the 24th day of February,

    10 1999 at 1.30 p.m.