1. 1 Friday, 9th April, 1999

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 10.02 a.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated.

    5 Mr. Registrar, can we have the accused or the

    6 witness brought in, please?

    7 (The accused/witness entered court)

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Can the interpreters hear me?

    9 Good morning. Good morning to the Prosecution, the

    10 Defence. I am glad to see the accused.

    11 You didn't want to come see us, General

    12 Blaskic, today? You didn't want to come to the

    13 Tribunal, or was it the registry or the detention

    14 unit? Who was responsible? What happened?

    15 THE ACCUSED: Mr. President, good morning. I

    16 think there was a transportation problem, to get from

    17 the detention unit to the Tribunal, but I certainly

    18 wanted to come.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: That's right. I understand. I

    20 know you wanted to come. You already came three years

    21 ago.

    22 But more seriously, what happened,

    23 Mr. Registrar? This is the third time.

    24 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. First of all, I would

    25 like to apologise on behalf of the registry for this

  2. 1 delay, and we will make sure that it won't happen

    2 again, or in exceptional circumstances only.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: I am a little bit worried by

    4 the second part of your sentence, but you're right, try

    5 to make your best effort.

    6 Will you have enough time, Mr. Nobilo, to

    7 finish the examination this morning?

    8 MR. NOBILO: We have lost an hour already. I

    9 don't think I will be able to finish today, but we are

    10 going to take care of most of the final part.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to remind you that

    12 we have now some new figures, Mr. Registrar will

    13 confirm them, and I think soon you will be beyond the

    14 time that was allocated to you, Mr. Hayman.

    15 Mr. Dubuisson, I think you have the figures

    16 before you. Can you give them to us?

    17 I'm sorry, Mr. Hayman. Maybe we should hear

    18 the figures first.

    19 THE REGISTRAR: There were 60 days allotted

    20 to the Defence, and we added 40 minutes after two

    21 decisions. The Defence has used 42 days of hearing and

    22 285 minutes; so therefore, the Defence still has this

    23 morning seven days of hearings and 35 minutes. As far

    24 as the examination-in-chief of the accused Mr. Blaskic

    25 is concerned, it lasted 14 days at hearing and 165

  3. 1 minutes.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: How much did you say?

    3 THE REGISTRAR: Fourteen days of hearing and

    4 165 minutes.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Which means, and I'm referring

    6 to the cross-examination, there are still seven days to

    7 use by the Prosecution; am I right, Mr. Kehoe? Seven

    8 days that you are going to use? And then you will take

    9 six days, which will be Defence days but that the

    10 Defence doesn't have to give you because the Defence

    11 cannot give you any days anymore, and there is another

    12 witness that we have to hear too. So the Defence did

    13 not fulfil its commitment.

    14 But, first of all, Mr. Kehoe, will you be

    15 using the same time for the cross-examination?

    16 MR. KEHOE: Well, Judge, I have a few

    17 questions. I'm not quite sure where that takes us. I

    18 suspect I will be using a significant portion of the

    19 time, but in all candour and seriousness, Your Honours,

    20 it really depends on how the examination goes.

    21 With no disrespect to the accused, I'm sure,

    22 Mr. President and Your Honour, Judge Shahabuddeen, and

    23 Judge -- you didn't have the opportunity to be there at

    24 the time, Judge Rodrigues, but nevertheless with

    25 Brigadier Marin, the questioning became very difficult

  4. 1 because of, in the view of the Prosecutor, I believe

    2 non-responsive answers.

    3 So it is difficult to gauge, Mr. President,

    4 and certainly the Prosecutor has an interest in moving

    5 through this as expeditiously as possible. I don't

    6 think that -- I'm not sure -- I don't plan on using all

    7 that time, but it could very well happen. I didn't

    8 plan to do that with Brigadier Marin, but nevertheless,

    9 it continued on quite extensively so ...

    10 Cross-examination is often a difficult thing to gauge

    11 time-wise.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Hayman, you

    13 will have the floor, but the Judges have decided to ask

    14 questions to the witness during the proceedings. I

    15 think it will shorten the period in which the Judges

    16 would have asked questions.

    17 But I am still worried. We have a calendar,

    18 and in normal circumstances, this calendar should

    19 enable us to end by the end of July, if we respect

    20 strictly this calendar.

    21 MR. FOURMY: I think that if the Prosecution

    22 was to use the same time during the cross-examination

    23 as the Defence in the examination-in-chief of General

    24 Blaskic as a witness and given the calendar of the

    25 Judges and the availability of the courtroom, it would

  5. 1 be almost impossible to finish by the end of July, and

    2 I think this would be very difficult for the parties

    3 and for the Judges.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: You know that a trial is made

    5 up of various actors acting in contradiction with each

    6 other, and the Judges are there to synthesise the

    7 proceedings, but we have to acknowledge that if we

    8 don't finish this trial by the 13th (sic) of July --

    9 let me remind you that it was supposed to finish by the

    10 end of June and then the end of July -- if we don't

    11 finish this trial by the end of July, I don't know

    12 where we're going to go. We will have to start the

    13 trial again at the beginning of September, and you know

    14 that it will be, in September, 25 months of trial, and

    15 in my personal capacity, I would say that it's too

    16 much, but I want it to be said in the transcript that

    17 it is my personal opinion, but still I think it is too

    18 long.

    19 If we observe other trials in the area of

    20 international law, in Nuremberg and Tokyo, I have to

    21 admit that there is something wrong. Twenty-five

    22 months; there is something wrong with the procedure,

    23 and maybe the Judges are partly responsible for it, but

    24 there we have to think about it. But the main problem

    25 is to try and finish the trial by the 31st of July.

  6. 1 The Defence used more time, but how can we

    2 solve the problem? Of course, the rights of the

    3 accused have to be respected. I think, Mr. Hayman,

    4 that there is another witness you want to call.

    5 Normally we should forbid this. So what's your

    6 opinion? What do you think? How can we finish the

    7 trial by the end of July? Is the burden going to end

    8 on the Prosecution side?

    9 This is not a closed session. I want the

    10 public gallery to hear this debate. Twenty-five months

    11 of trial for General Blaskic. Why not 26? Why not

    12 32? There is something wrong. It goes beyond reason.

    13 Mr. Hayman, you chose the statements and the

    14 testimony of Mr. Blaskic. That was your choice. So my

    15 question is: How can we finish by the 31st of July?

    16 The Judges have very busy schedules. I don't even know

    17 what Judge Shahabuddeen is going to do because he is a

    18 member of the Appeals Chamber, he is the Vice-President

    19 of the Tribunal, Judge Rodrigues had to read 18.000

    20 pages of transcript to take over after Judge Riad, and

    21 the Judges cannot work any more. We will have to make

    22 a decision on this. In other Chambers, for instance,

    23 the Judges use four or five months to render a judgment

    24 when they had shorter trials. I don't know. I don't

    25 know how we can finish.

  7. 1 Mr. Hayman, what happened? You usually

    2 respect the Trial Chamber's decision, so what

    3 happened?

    4 MR. HAYMAN: Well, Mr. President, first of

    5 all, I would say to the Court, it was the Defence that

    6 advocated time limits in this case, it was the Defence

    7 that asked that a limit be placed on the Prosecutor,

    8 and it was the Defence that offered to have an

    9 imbalance in the length of the respective cases of the

    10 parties in this case, and we offered to voluntarily

    11 give up approximately a third of the time that we would

    12 otherwise have if we were to have an equivalent period

    13 of time as the Prosecutor.

    14 We offered to use only 60 days in our case as

    15 opposed to, I believe, 90 or more days which were

    16 actually used by the Prosecutor in his case in chief.

    17 So we have been a proponent of focused, efficient

    18 efforts and time limits; and I would say, on that

    19 score, the Court is in a good position to evaluate

    20 whether the Defence, particularly as compared to the

    21 Prosecutor, have we brought direct evidence relevant to

    22 the charges in this case, documents that are directly

    23 relevant, testimony that is directly relevant, as

    24 opposed to the year of "circumstantial," quote,

    25 unquote, "victim," quote, unquote, testimony that we

  8. 1 were all forced to listen to by the Prosecutor with

    2 virtually no, if not no, direct evidence bearing on the

    3 charges.

    4 So I submit to you that the Defence has done

    5 an outstanding job of bringing to the Court pointed

    6 material, relevant evidence, and trying very hard to

    7 move our case along and present witnesses in as short a

    8 time period as possible.

    9 I agree, the testimony of the accused has

    10 gone on for some time, and I will address that.

    11 We, Mr. Nobilo and I and the accused, we

    12 formed a plan, a strategy, for our case, with the goal

    13 of completing our case in 60 days, and I think we have

    14 come darn close, we have come very close to that goal,

    15 and I congratulate my fellow members of the Defence

    16 team for doing so.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: But before congratulating each

    18 other, I think you have a way of reversing the

    19 situation which was quite comical. I am a bit

    20 dramatic. I know you're a very clever lawyer, but we

    21 have a public hearing today. I am talking about the

    22 discontent of the Judges because you went beyond the

    23 time allocated to the Defence. And what do I hear?

    24 You congratulate each other for what happened.

    25 I don't agree. I don't agree. The

  9. 1 commitments were set by the Chamber on your proposal,

    2 so you can't say now, "Well, we had set a period of 60

    3 days. We could have asked for more." I think this is

    4 a sophism. "I asked for 60 days and now I'm talking 90

    5 days so I'm right and I would like to congratulate

    6 myself." No, you can't really follow that reasoning.

    7 I can't admit this. You had said 60 days you had to

    8 respect this time limit, and this was the time the

    9 Trial Chamber made a decision on. So now we can't say,

    10 "We could have used 90 days, we could have used 120

    11 days." Maybe the Trial Chamber wouldn't have agreed on

    12 that.

    13 MR. HAYMAN: I didn't say, Mr. President,

    14 that we should have used 90 days or 120 days or that we

    15 intend to. Please, please, do not attribute words to

    16 me that I haven't said.

    17 What I said is, we formed a reasonable plan

    18 to complete our case within the time period allotted by

    19 the Court, and we began the testimony of the accused,

    20 who we believed to be the last witness in the case, not

    21 counting yesterday's witness, and we started the

    22 testimony of the accused with -- well, let's count

    23 back -- with 21 or 22 days remaining of the Defence's

    24 time.

    25 Was that a reasonable plan on the part of the

  10. 1 Defence, to leave 21 or 22 full trial day equivalents

    2 which, in this court, is over two months of sitting, of

    3 calendar time, was it reasonable for us to leave that

    4 period of time within which to conclude the Defence's

    5 case, or should the Defence have allotted 50 per cent,

    6 not just approximately 40 per cent of its time, for the

    7 testimony of the accused, should we have allotted 50

    8 per cent of our apportioned time for the testimony of

    9 the accused?

    10 I think we've acted reasonably. I think the

    11 length of the testimony of the accused has been

    12 somewhat unpredictable. It has been lengthened by the

    13 extensive questioning of the Court which we welcome and

    14 think is efficient and will promote an efficient and

    15 timely conclusion to the case, but that is an

    16 unpredictable element, and I submit that the Court's

    17 questioning has comprised perhaps 10 or 13 per cent of

    18 the total direct examination.

    19 The defence is not accusing anyone of doing

    20 anything wrong, but I would ask the Court, please, to

    21 accept the fact that the Defence in good faith has

    22 worked very hard to stay within the budgeted time that

    23 the Court gave us and that we the Defence, in fact,

    24 asked to be imposed on us.

    25 The question you posed, Mr. President, how do

  11. 1 we finish in July, because we must, and the Defence

    2 agrees we must finish this case reasonably soon and

    3 certainly by July. We are all fatigued mentally and

    4 physically. The case has gone on for years, and we

    5 must bring it to a resolution.

    6 We have several suggestions. We are eager to

    7 work full days on any days that the Court and the

    8 courtroom are available. We agree with that

    9 suggestion. If there are periods of time when all

    10 three of Your Honours are not available, I believe the

    11 Defence can agree to proceed by Rule 71 procedures so

    12 that we do not lose weeks during breaks, because if we

    13 lose two weeks, a month, in some of these remaining

    14 months, it may well be impossible, as the Court's legal

    15 advisor indicates, to finish by July.

    16 We also have a related concern, and that is

    17 if the cross-examination of the accused stretches out

    18 over six weeks or even seven weeks, we think that's

    19 unfair because then the cross-examination also becomes

    20 some kind of a strange memory quiz where testimony is

    21 so prolonged and elongated, and there undoubtedly will

    22 be references to earlier testimony, direct,

    23 cross-examination, et cetera. It becomes difficult for

    24 any witness, and there is an added layer of difficulty

    25 which we think is objectionable. We would urge the

  12. 1 Court to use as much of every available day so that the

    2 cross-examination in terms of calendar days can be

    3 compressed into a reasonable period of time.

    4 We have, over the several days and earlier,

    5 been trying to eliminate portions of the direct

    6 examination to further condense the remaining material

    7 we have. Most of the remaining material, Mr. President

    8 and Your Honours, consists of confrontation, where the

    9 witness will directly confront testimony of other

    10 witnesses that have been given. We'll put the

    11 transcripts of that other testimony on the ELMO, and

    12 the witness will directly comment and respond to it.

    13 It's very important testimony. We can't eliminate it.

    14 Although we must and we urge the Court to try and

    15 compress the proceedings from here on in, as we have

    16 been urging, the testimony of the accused is the wrong

    17 place, we think, to apply a surgical knife, and we

    18 would urge the Court not to do that.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: I commend your goodwill,

    20 Mr. Hayman. Of course, you understood that when I said

    21 "90 days," that it was just a figure, although I think

    22 that if we add one-third to 60 days, we should be

    23 around 90 days. I think it's a little bit easy for you

    24 to say, "Now we have to act expeditiously. Now we have

    25 to condense. Now we have to make efforts," and, of

  13. 1 course, this is funny to realise that now we're going

    2 to start with the cross-examination of the witness, now

    3 we're going to hear court witnesses one day each, but

    4 if the Judges were going to use the same method as you,

    5 it wouldn't be possible, given the nature of the

    6 witnesses called by the Judges.

    7 If we compare, for instance, General

    8 Morillon's Brigadier Marin, we would need at least two

    9 months to hear General Morillon. So I don't think your

    10 position is good as a principle, your position which is

    11 "Let's make some efforts now," and it's funny to

    12 realise that now. It's the Prosecution who's going to

    13 ask questions to the accused and the Judges.

    14 You have one witness left. Are you going to

    15 call this witness or not?

    16 MR. HAYMAN: We will have to make suitable

    17 security arrangements in consultation with the host

    18 country if that witness is to come and testify. That

    19 is a matter we will raise with the Court in writing on

    20 Monday, I expect, and depending on whether those

    21 security arrangements are possible, the witness either

    22 will or will not be able to come.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: The third point before we start

    24 our proceedings again, but it's not a waste of time, I

    25 can assure you. This is a great concern for the

  14. 1 Judges. If there is an unavailability of one of the

    2 Judges, can Article 71 apply? I shall turn to the

    3 Prosecution for this. Let me remind you that our Rule

    4 71 will be applied at this stage of the trial only if

    5 the Defence, the accused, and the Prosecution agree.

    6 In other circumstances, it will not be applied. We

    7 will ask for the agreement of the three parties.

    8 Now I shall turn to the Prosecution for an

    9 answer, maybe not today. Don't give it today if you

    10 don't have it today, but I would like to remind you

    11 that everybody will have to agree on this.

    12 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President. Good

    13 morning, Your Honours.

    14 I'd like to say that we don't have an answer

    15 at this point on that proposition. I would like to

    16 make some comments in respect of my colleague's

    17 comments. I appreciate Your Honours' observations in

    18 respect of the time.

    19 Even though Mr. Hayman accuses the

    20 Prosecutor, once again, of being at fault for the

    21 length of this trial, I think the facts will speak for

    22 themselves. In respect of Mr. Hayman's comments as to

    23 the Prosecutor's evidence and the quality of the

    24 evidence that the Prosecutor presented during her case

    25 in chief, Mr. President, that's appropriate for final

  15. 1 argument and not for comment at this point in time.

    2 I repeat what my colleague said. He proposed

    3 the time limits. It was not the Prosecutor that

    4 proposed those, but we accepted the decision of the

    5 Court and the proposal of counsel. He set 60 days as

    6 his time limit. We met a 90-day time limit, and in the

    7 process of that, we did not call certain witnesses we

    8 intended to call. We respected the Court's decision.

    9 We respected the time limit. We calculated

    10 accordingly, and we have met our obligations under the

    11 decision of this Court.

    12 The Defence is the master of its own

    13 destiny. They suggested 60 days. It was the Defence

    14 that suggested a time frame that they said they would

    15 meet. In fact, they said they anticipated at one point

    16 being short of 60 days. Now, obviously strategies

    17 change, and I accept that. Nevertheless, it was the

    18 Defence that decided to put Colonel Blaskic on the

    19 stand for 13 days to testify at length about many

    20 matters that were not relevant in this particular

    21 hearing.

    22 Mr. President, the Prosecutor would urge this

    23 Court to respect the orders that it has made, to

    24 respect the obligations that had been suggested be

    25 imposed by counsel that the Prosecutor met, and respect

  16. 1 the time limit.

    2 In our calculation, Mr. President, the

    3 cross-examination, there are seven and a half days left

    4 or seven days and 35 minutes left. I think it's

    5 reasonable to anticipate that the cross-examination may

    6 well take all of that time, in which case, in our view,

    7 the Defence time has been extinguished. It's over. In

    8 our view, Mr. President, at the end of the

    9 cross-examination of Colonel Blaskic, the Defence case

    10 is finished, and the calling of an additional witness,

    11 as they did yesterday, out of order essentially was a

    12 way of expanding their witness list. Calling a witness

    13 after the cross-examination is a way of again expanding

    14 beyond the time frame they said they would meet and

    15 which this Court ordered.

    16 Now, I have to say, Mr. President, I'm

    17 absolutely astonished at the change in position that

    18 the Defence has tendered to this Court that it is now

    19 acceptable to proceed by Rule 71 deposition in the

    20 cross-examination of Colonel Blaskic when it wasn't

    21 acceptable in the direct examination of Colonel

    22 Blaskic. That reluctance to accept Rule 71 deposition

    23 testimony on the direct examination certainly slowed

    24 down these proceedings. It resulted in the change of

    25 the bench of this Trial Chamber, but now what was not

  17. 1 okay on direct examination apparently is okay on

    2 cross-examination.

    3 We will reserve, Mr. President, our views,

    4 and we will certainly give them in respect of the Rule

    5 71 deposition, but that is a shift in situation that,

    6 to me, is astonishing.

    7 Now, I have a suggestion, Mr. President,

    8 because we would like to end this as well, and I think

    9 there is consensus, even with my colleagues across the

    10 way, we would like to end this case by July, but one

    11 suggestion I have is this: The Court is going to

    12 engage in hearing additional witnesses in respect of

    13 sentencing, and our view is that it would be one very

    14 good area where Rule 71 depositions could take place,

    15 that we could finish the trial of this case, and in

    16 respect of the witnesses who will be testifying for

    17 sentencing, we could present the depositions of those

    18 testimonies to this Trial Chamber, the depositions and

    19 the videos. That's one possibility.

    20 We certainly urge this Court at any

    21 opportunity that arises, if there's a cancellation in

    22 other court hearings to fill -- those voids created by

    23 unforeseen events in other court proceedings, to fill

    24 it with this trial. We would accept that. We also

    25 accept the idea of on any given day where we can

  18. 1 proceed on full days now through July 31st, that we

    2 will accept that as well.

    3 Those are the views of the Prosecutor,

    4 Mr. President and Your Honours. Thank you for giving

    5 me the opportunity to present them.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Let me remind you of our

    7 order -- I don't see the date -- of the 17th of

    8 December. The Prosecutor will have 39 days; the

    9 Defence will have 60 days of hearings. We ask the

    10 registrar to keep track of the days used. It is up to

    11 the parties to submit serious arguments for any

    12 extension of these delays and that they will be granted

    13 only exceptionally.

    14 I would like to ask Mr. Hayman whether he

    15 considers that within the frame work of this last

    16 paragraph of this order to present serious arguments in

    17 favour of his motion because this is an order issued in

    18 December 1997, and it says that it is up to the parties

    19 to submit serious arguments in support of any motions

    20 to extend the time and that such motions would be

    21 granted only exceptionally.

    22 I do not wish to choose any other strategy

    23 except the one you yourself have proposed. If you wish

    24 to go beyond the conditions of this order, you have to

    25 present very serious arguments in favour.

  19. 1 Also, I ask the Prosecution to consider the

    2 provisions of Rule 71, as well as the accused, because

    3 only under exceptional circumstances can this apply.

    4 If we can gain one day, we will do so, but I don't see

    5 much possibility for doing so. I think we will be

    6 keeping the closing arguments as short as possible, and

    7 as from now on, the Rules of Procedure will be applied

    8 fully and, of course, equally to those parties. Those

    9 Rules allow the President and the Chamber -- let me

    10 repeat what I was saying.

    11 I asked the Defence to bear in mind that the

    12 time has expired allotted to the Defence.

    13 Have you managed to translate that? Yes?

    14 Therefore, the Defence has used its time.

    15 Also, in accordance with the order of December 1997, if

    16 the Defence has any serious arguments to present a last

    17 witness, it should present them.

    18 Thirdly, regarding the application of Rule

    19 71, which is applied only exceptionally, the Chamber

    20 will require the unanimous agreement of both parties

    21 and the accused.

    22 Fourthly, I asked the Prosecution to bear in

    23 mind that its cross-examination is fixed within the

    24 same time period as the examination-in-chief, and if

    25 there is any way of gaining time, that it do so. I

  20. 1 also asked both the Defence and the Prosecution to tell

    2 us how much time will be needed for sentencing and the

    3 time needed for the closing arguments.

    4 MR. HAYMAN: I'm happy to address those,

    5 Mr. President. First of all, I have a suggestion that

    6 I think could save us a week of time.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: It's a decision, Mr. Hayman,

    8 but you may make a comment. You said that you could

    9 answer. You may only make a comment, so please

    10 proceed.

    11 MR. HAYMAN: I can always only make a

    12 comment, Mr. President, of course. I understand that.

    13 My suggestion on saving time is this: The

    14 Rules provide for the filing of the final brief one

    15 week before closing argument. In this case, given the

    16 size and duration of the case, the final briefs of the

    17 parties will be hundreds of pages in length, perhaps

    18 300, 400, or even 500 pages each. They obviously will

    19 not be translated before closing argument for Your

    20 Honour, and, indeed, it will be difficult for even the

    21 English speaking member or members of the Trial Chamber

    22 to review the final briefs, yet this requirement will

    23 necessitate at least an extra week break, such that the

    24 evidence would have to conclude, say, on day 1, the

    25 final brief could be due on day 7, and then final

  21. 1 arguments could commence seven days later on day 14.

    2 That's how, under the current Rules, the end of the

    3 case would have to occur.

    4 If the Court allows the final briefs to be

    5 filed after final argument, 7 or 10 or 14 days after

    6 final argument, I think one week of the break can be

    7 eliminated, so the final argument could take seven days

    8 after the conclusion of the evidence, not 14 days.

    9 Because if that final brief has to be filed seven days

    10 before final argument, it would be impossible, I think,

    11 for the parties to finish the evidence on day 1, file

    12 an intelligent final brief of 500 pages in length on

    13 day 1, and then be prepared for closing argument on day

    14 7. So I make that humble suggestion for the Court's

    15 consideration.

    16 In terms of sentencing evidence, the Defence

    17 expects three calendar days, at the most, of sentencing

    18 material. That's our current estimate.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment. Mr. Fourmy, 14

    20 days or five days for the final brief?

    21 MR. FOURMY: The Rules envisage five days

    22 between the submission of the final brief and the

    23 closing argument. I think that 14 days is envisaged if

    24 the final brief is submitted on a Friday; then on the

    25 following week, on Monday, the closing arguments can be

  22. 1 presented. The point is that the written document

    2 could be submitted after the final arguments, so we

    3 would gain some time in that way.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: The Judges will consider

    5 carefully your proposals, Mr. Hayman. Any further


    7 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Mr. President. With

    8 respect to closing argument, keeping in mind the need

    9 for speed and a timely conclusion of the case, we think

    10 it would be unrealistic to allocate less than one week

    11 for closing argument.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: One week for the Defence?

    13 MR. HAYMAN: One week total, Mr. President,

    14 and that's an estimate, but we don't think closing

    15 argument can be concluded in one or two days. We are

    16 waiting to hear if closing argument will consist of one

    17 argument on each side, that is, by each party, or

    18 whether we will proceed, as the Rules, envision with

    19 four arguments. We think argument could be shorter if

    20 there are two arguments, but the Rules provide for

    21 four, and we are waiting for further guidance from the

    22 Court on that question. Thank you.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. As there are no

    24 further comments for the time being, we can continue.

    25 Judge Rodrigues, would you like to

  23. 1 intervene? Judge Shahabuddeen? No?

    2 Mr. Nobilo, you have the floor.

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


    5 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    6 Q. General, may we return to presenting the

    7 final chronology? Could you tell us, up to the end of

    8 January, in fact, when was the guards unit finally set

    9 up and in what way were the special purposes units

    10 abolished finally?

    11 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, the orders of

    12 the 15th of January, 1993, unleashed a process of the

    13 formation of the 3rd Guards Brigade, and sometime at

    14 the end of January already, we had a review of those

    15 portions of the command and units which we had

    16 succeeded in forming up until then, and, at the same

    17 time, from the 15th of January onwards, in legal terms,

    18 the process began to abolish the special purposes

    19 units, the Vitezovi and the light assault battalion.

    20 Of course, this process lasted, in the period to come,

    21 it lasted in February and went on to March. But from

    22 the 15th of January, 1993, the order was issued, and I

    23 issued it, for the formation of the 3rd Guards Brigade.

    24 Q. When did you receive the order appointing you

    25 to another duty, that is to say, formally speaking,

  24. 1 when did you cease being the commander of the Vitez

    2 military district?

    3 A. I received the order on the 26th of April,

    4 perhaps it was the 27th or 28th of April, but it was

    5 thereabouts, 1994, that is, that I had been appointed

    6 to perform the duty of deputy chief of the main staff

    7 of the HVO and that I was promoted to the rank of

    8 Major-General.

    9 Q. How long did you stay in Vitez?

    10 A. I personally asked the chief of the main

    11 staff to permit me to remain in Vitez in the Central

    12 Bosnia operative command until the first half of May,

    13 1994. It was until about the 13th or the 15th of May,

    14 1994.

    15 Q. When did you receive your new orders and

    16 promotion?

    17 A. Well, as I say, I was appointed to the

    18 following tasks and assignments on the 6th of August,

    19 1994, and I took up my duties as chief of the main

    20 staff of the HVO, and in August, I don't remember the

    21 exact date, but I became the commander of the joint

    22 command of the army of the Federation of

    23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was one of the commanders, and

    24 the other commander was General Rasim Delic who, at the

    25 same time, was the commander of the staff of the BH

  25. 1 army.

    2 Q. Let us return to your first promotion. Tell

    3 us what the political circumstances were and the

    4 practical circumstances which led to your promotion,

    5 first of all, when you became deputy chief of staff,

    6 that is in 1994, and your appointment as

    7 Major-General?

    8 (Off-the-record discussion between Defence counsel)

    9 The date, I said the 26th of April, 1994. So

    10 what were the circumstances which led to your promotion

    11 from the 26th of April, 1994?

    12 A. Your Honours, I shall have to go back in time

    13 several days. Sometime around the 25th of February,

    14 1994, an agreement was signed for a cease-fire between

    15 the HVO units and the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

    16 sometime in the first half of March, I know that the

    17 Washington Agreement was signed by which the Federation

    18 of Bosnia-Herzegovina was formed, and the president of

    19 the federation, as far as I recall, was Mr. Kresimir

    20 Zubak, and the vice-president of the federation was

    21 Mr. Ejup Ganic. I know that the president up until

    22 then of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, before

    23 the Washington Agreement, had tendered his resignation.

    24 Q. What was his name?

    25 A. His name was Mr. Mate Boban. And that his

  26. 1 state functions, so to speak, were taken over by

    2 Mr. Kresimir Zubak.

    3 After the signing of the Washington

    4 Agreement, and this was sometime at the beginning of

    5 April 1994, from the main staff, for the first time, an

    6 inspection, the main inspection arrived of the Croatian

    7 Defence Council, and for a period of 15 to 20 days, it

    8 undertook a complete inspection of the Lasva pocket and

    9 the areas of Kiseljak, around Kiseljak, and the Zepce

    10 area.

    11 After carrying out this principal inspection,

    12 also in the first half of April 1994, the Lasva pocket

    13 was visited by the president of the federation,

    14 Mr. Kresimir Zubak, and he talked with me, had a

    15 conversation with me, and asked me to give him a brief

    16 about the military situation; and while parts of the

    17 inspection team were still in Kiseljak, I was with the

    18 inspection team in the second half of April, and that

    19 is where I was faxed information that I had been

    20 appointed deputy chief of the main staff of the HVO and

    21 that I had been promoted to the rank of Major-General.

    22 Q. Tell us, please, General, at that time, when

    23 decisions were being made concerning your promotion,

    24 did you talk to the new president, Mr. Zubak, and if

    25 you did, what did he tell you?

  27. 1 A. Well, I -- that is to say, President Zubak,

    2 Mr. Kresimir Zubak, had a lengthy conversation with me

    3 in Vitez, and he told me that one of the basic tasks of

    4 the creation and building up of the army of the

    5 federation, that that was a basic task, and that his

    6 criterion was professionalism and honesty of the cadres

    7 and personnel, that in selecting cadres and personnel,

    8 he would be guided by the personnel in the HVO.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: The federation consisted of

    10 which parties? Would you remind us of that? The

    11 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. What was its

    12 relationship in relation to the former HVO?

    13 A. Mr. President, I don't know the area and the

    14 borders at that time, and I don't even think they were

    15 defined as such, but the federation consisted, if we

    16 look at the surface area, of the components of the BH

    17 army and components of the HVO, the military

    18 components, and the area which was controlled by those

    19 two military forces became part of the federation.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: It is a kind of Croato-Muslim

    21 federation in preparation, isn't it, in relation to

    22 what will be done at Dayton?

    23 A. That is correct, Mr. President. It was the

    24 Washington Agreement which led to the formation of the

    25 Croato-Muslim federation and the signing of the draft

  28. 1 or programme of the organisation of the federation and

    2 its constitution and the constitution of the federal

    3 army of the federation which was proposed of the army

    4 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Croatian Defence

    5 Council. So it had two components, in fact.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: I see. Thank you.

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. General, in a situation when you received

    9 your promotion and when a new politician came to lead

    10 the Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Zubak, what did

    11 you understand by this? What decision was made with

    12 regard to Herceg-Bosna? What happened to Herceg-Bosna

    13 at that particular moment in time?

    14 A. Well, the president, Mr. Zubak, told me that

    15 it was the beginning of the building up of the

    16 federation and that the Croatian Republic of

    17 Herceg-Bosna was being ended.

    18 Q. So your promotion came when the decision was

    19 made to, so to speak, abolish Herceg-Bosna, but tell

    20 us, as a military man, from this distance in time, if

    21 you can compare Kresimir Zubak and Mate Boban as

    22 politicians, as two politicians, which of these two men

    23 was more moderate? Which one was more an extremist

    24 Croat politician? Who was more cooperative towards the

    25 Muslims? Could you tell us this with the hindsight

  29. 1 that you have?

    2 A. Well, at all events, Mr. Kresimir Zubak was,

    3 in cadres terms, acceptable, an acceptable choice for

    4 building up the federation, both by the representatives

    5 of the International Community and, as far as I know,

    6 and he told me this himself, that the strategy was to

    7 move resolutely towards building up a federation of

    8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that is what he emphasised

    9 frequently, on many occasions. I was not personally

    10 included into the political structures for me to be

    11 able to make an assessment of the concrete qualities of

    12 each man as a politician, but the very choice and

    13 options for new cadres showed that these were the

    14 options of most of the political representatives, the

    15 Croats, because what Mate Boban put forward was

    16 accepted at a broader political meeting which I did not

    17 attend and I only know what others informed me.

    18 Q. From this distance, how do you assess the

    19 decision that a new politician, who has the task of

    20 building up a joint state with the Muslims, appointed

    21 precisely you later on for the first soldier of the

    22 Croatian side? How do you assess that?

    23 A. Well, I believe that he kept to his principle

    24 and that he selected those cadres who would be able to

    25 build up the army of the federation.

  30. 1 Q. Tell us, please, with the application of the

    2 Washington Agreement later, Dayton, in which segment

    3 was there cooperation first and best between the Croats

    4 and the Muslims in that BH federation?

    5 MR. FOURMY: Excuse me, Mr. President.

    6 Excuse me. I am sorry for interrupting the

    7 examination, but it seems to me that I have a problem.

    8 It says in English here that there was a meeting

    9 "... because what Mate Boban put forward was accepted

    10 at a broader political meeting which I did not attend

    11 and I only know what others informed me." I wonder

    12 whether the Mate Boban that General Blaskic referred

    13 to, I have a feeling that he was referring to

    14 Mr. Zubak. I am not quite sure whether Defence can

    15 check the transcript to see whether an error has been

    16 made.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Which line is that?

    18 MR. FOURMY: 1354, something like that.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps the parties can check

    20 the transcript.

    21 MR. NOBILO: I don't think that we can put

    22 this back on our monitor, but we can ask General

    23 Blaskic once again.

    24 Q. Was it a meeting in Livno? Were you talking

    25 about that?

  31. 1 A. Yes, but I said that a little earlier on.

    2 Your Honours, I said that there was a meeting in Livno

    3 of politicians of the Croatian Republic of

    4 Herceg-Bosna, and at that meeting, Mr. Mate Boban

    5 resigned, tendered his resignation, and at that

    6 meeting, the new official, Mr. Kresimir Zubak, was

    7 appointed, promoted. But I was not present at that

    8 meeting and I only have knowledge that I heard from

    9 others, and President Zubak told me of that himself.

    10 MR. NOBILO: I should now like to pass around

    11 two documents at the same time.

    12 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit number D553 and

    13 D554; 554 is the document of Mostar, 6th of May, '94,

    14 and the other one is 553.

    15 MR. NOBILO: Both these documents are dated

    16 the 6th of May, but one refers to the appointment, that

    17 is to say, deputy chief of the main staff, and the

    18 second is the rank. Perhaps we could define the two

    19 documents in that way? So what number does the

    20 document concerning rank, Major-General, have?

    21 THE REGISTRAR: D553, 0316/94, 6th of May,

    22 1994.

    23 MR. NOBILO: Very well. Thank you.

    24 Q. Tell us, please, General, are these the

    25 documents concerning your appointment that you

  32. 1 mentioned, the armed forces of the Croatian Republic of

    2 Herceg-Bosna, Kresimir Zubak, and the promotion

    3 document where you were promoted to Major-General, also

    4 signed by Kresimir Zubak, are those the two documents

    5 in question?

    6 A. Yes, but the document with regard to my

    7 appointment, the date there, when I took up my duties,

    8 it says the 26th of April, 1994, and around about the

    9 end of April, I was informed of this document regarding

    10 the appointment, and the 6th of May document is the

    11 document which refers to my promotion to the rank of

    12 Major-General.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic, Mr. Zubak, he

    14 is what? I understood that he was president of the

    15 federation, and here it says he is president of the

    16 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.

    17 A. Mr. President, he was the president of the

    18 Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and, at the same

    19 time, president of the presidential council of the

    20 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: You were appointed General but

    22 only for the Croatian part of the army. I'm afraid I

    23 don't understand very well.

    24 A. Mr. President, in this phase, that is to say,

    25 in May 1994, I was appointed to the duty of deputy

  33. 1 chief of the main staff of the HVO only for that part

    2 of the HVO, whereas in August 1994, I got my next

    3 promotion where I was appointed to two duties: the

    4 chief of the main staff of the HVO and, at the same

    5 time, the commander in this command of the army of the

    6 federation for the HVO component of it.

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. In the transition period, the army of the

    9 federation did keep both components: the army of

    10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO? Is that the way it was

    11 regulated?

    12 A. That's the way it was regulated, and

    13 Mr. Rasim Delic and I, with our associates, we were

    14 only supposed to embark upon the creation of the army

    15 of the federation, that is to say, setting up the

    16 military component and seeing to the establishment of

    17 the Ministries of Defence of the armies.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: I apologise for interrupting.

    19 In August, you still remained in the HVO section?

    20 A. Mr. President, until the 14th of August,

    21 approximately, I was head of the main staff of the HVO,

    22 and on the 14th of August, a meeting was held that I

    23 attended and also Mr. Kresimir Zubak; the Minister of

    24 Defence of the federation, Mr. Jadranko Prlic; and then

    25 the president of the presidency of the Republic of

  34. 1 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Alija Izetbegovic; then the

    2 commander of the staff of the army of Bosnia and

    3 Herzegovina, Mr. Rasim Delic; then the president of the

    4 government, the prime minister of the federation,

    5 Mr. Haris Silajdzic; and then it was decided at that

    6 meeting that I and Mr. Rasim Delic should be commanders

    7 of that command of the army of the federation.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: I see.

    9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Well, to follow the

    10 President's question, after that meeting was held and

    11 you were appointed joint commander of the army of the

    12 federation, did you continue to occupy a military

    13 position in relation to the army of Herceg-Bosna?

    14 A. Your Honour, yes, because this was envisaged

    15 by the Washington Accords. Both I and Rasim Delic ex

    16 officio checked our positions in our respective armies,

    17 he in the BH army, I in the HVO, but at the same time,

    18 we were in charge of building the army of the

    19 federation.

    20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see, General. It's

    21 clear to me now. Thank you very much.

    22 MR. NOBILO:

    23 Q. Tell us, General --

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen, that,

    25 indeed, helps us to understand, so in the federation,

  35. 1 each one will retain his respective role, whereas at

    2 the same time, the two commanders in chief are

    3 entrusted with establishing the future army. That is,

    4 I think, clear now, so please continue.

    5 MR. NOBILO:

    6 Q. Tell us, General, when you were in that

    7 meeting and there was Izetbegovic and there were other

    8 officers of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and top

    9 politicians of the Muslim side, did anybody have any

    10 objections and did anybody try to stop your appointment

    11 to the joint command?

    12 A. No. No one tried to stop it, as far as I

    13 remember. Aside from Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, Silajdzic,

    14 and Mr. Delic, I think that Mr. Ejup Ganic was also

    15 there, but I know that not then or not later did this

    16 happen, because I had quite a few meetings afterwards

    17 with Mr. Rasim Delic in terms of developing the army of

    18 the federation and also in terms of carrying out joint

    19 actions that we did carry out in the territory of

    20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. As we were liberating these

    21 territories, nobody ever made any objections to me.

    22 Q. Were there any problems in the cooperation

    23 with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Was there any

    24 animosity on the side of the junior officers in the

    25 joint actions that you carried out?

  36. 1 A. No, I never noticed any such problems, and,

    2 indeed, I had quite a bit of contact. Practically

    3 every week, there was a minimum of one contact per

    4 week. We also elaborated joint plans and we held

    5 meetings, and there was coordination on the ground. I

    6 personally travelled to Sarajevo frequently as well as

    7 to other areas under the control of the army of

    8 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    9 At checkpoints, it was the military police of

    10 the BH army that stopped me, there were junior officers

    11 and senior officers, and there was never any animosity

    12 whatsoever.

    13 Q. Except for you and President Zubak, after the

    14 Washington Accords were signed and the decision was

    15 reached to build a state and army together with the

    16 Muslims, were there any changes in terms of the other

    17 posts, for example, the Ministry of Defence and other

    18 key ministries?

    19 A. There were changes. I know for sure there

    20 were in the Ministry of Defence. A new minister of

    21 defence came approximately at that time. Then there

    22 were also changes in the army. I'm far more familiar

    23 with the cadre changes that took place then, and the

    24 operational zone commanders were changed, such as the

    25 operational zone of Mostar's commander, and there were

  37. 1 quite a few other cadre changes. Also, appointments

    2 were to be made in the joint headquarters of the new

    3 army in Sarajevo. There were new officers that were

    4 supposed to come in, and we were also building this

    5 infrastructure because this was the very beginning of

    6 the building of the army of the federation.

    7 Q. At this point in time, now that we're almost

    8 over, if we are to look at your entire service in

    9 Bosnia in the HVO, could you tell us, what is the main

    10 characteristic of the posts you held, and how did you

    11 envisage your basic role in 1992? What was it like in

    12 the beginning of 1993 in the Operative Zone of Central

    13 Bosnia and what was it like from April 1993 onwards, in

    14 a sentence or two?

    15 A. I came to the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina

    16 at the invitation of the president of the municipal

    17 assembly of Kiseljak with the main objective of

    18 organising defence from aggression by the army of

    19 Republika Srpska, and I spent most of my time at the

    20 front line in Kiseljak, and after that in Jajce,

    21 Travnik. These were front lines vis-a-vis the army of

    22 Republika Srpska. At that time, there was practically

    23 not a single position that I did not come to and where

    24 I did not spend some time.

    25 At the end of 1992, we managed, through a

  38. 1 concerted effort, to stabilise the front line in

    2 Travnik, and after this first joint command was set up,

    3 I primarily made efforts to organise the HVO from the

    4 ranks of the armed people and these peasants, and I

    5 tried to turn them into a military organisation.

    6 From the 16th of April, 1993, my fundamental

    7 task was to survive and to have these pockets survive

    8 because I was aware that if any one of the pockets were

    9 to fall, it is certain that we would have disappeared

    10 altogether from the territory of Central Bosnia.

    11 Q. The war with the Muslims, did you plan that?

    12 Did anybody order you about that, and did you have any

    13 idea when you came to Bosnia that you would be waging

    14 war against the Muslims?

    15 A. I never planned this war with the Muslims,

    16 and I claim, with full responsibility, that not a

    17 single one of my associates in the command of the

    18 Operative Zone ever took part in the elaboration of any

    19 plan concerning warfare with the Muslims. From the

    20 first time I came to Kiseljak, I always believed that

    21 we had to act together against a common enemy. At that

    22 time, it was the army of Republika Srpska. I made

    23 every effort to have this joint command work, and

    24 wherever I was, either in Jajce or in Maglaj or Olovo,

    25 I helped the joint defence and the efforts to survive

  39. 1 at these positions.

    2 Q. Did anybody ever ask you to do this, and did

    3 you ever order the use of troops in the ethnic

    4 cleansing of Muslims from the area of the Lasva River

    5 Valley?

    6 A. No one ever asked me to do that, and even had

    7 anyone asked me to do it, I never would have carried

    8 out such an order.

    9 Q. Tell us, General, we saw that you were in a

    10 difficult situation, major tasks and no organisation

    11 whatsoever. In that desperate situation for you

    12 personally, why did you not resign and, in this way,

    13 avoid everything that happened to you subsequently and

    14 avoid the trial that is still going on? Why didn't you

    15 say, "I've had enough. I'm going home to Austria"?

    16 A. Had it been any other job or any amount of

    17 money, there is no money that could be paid for that

    18 kind of work. This was not a job. I took this as my

    19 duty, my obligation, and a matter of conscience. I was

    20 supposed to help. I remained when I found out that

    21 Buhine Kuce had fallen and that one pocket was turned

    22 into two.

    23 In January 1994, I was in Austria, but I knew

    24 that this was a sinking ship, and my conscience would

    25 not have allowed me to abandon ship. I had highlighted

  40. 1 that Bosnia-Herzegovina was my homeland too, and it was

    2 my obligation to give my contribution.

    3 Q. You mentioned a job. In 1992 and in 1993, as

    4 the commander of the Operative Zone, how much money did

    5 you make?

    6 A. I did not make any money, nor did we, in 1992

    7 and 1993, at least in my command, have any kind of

    8 earnings, except for food parcels that were distributed

    9 to those members of the command who were at the very

    10 brink of existence. We did not have a budget at all

    11 anyway because, for the most part, it was the

    12 municipalities that had financed the home guard units,

    13 and only the military police and the special purpose

    14 units received financing from the department of defence

    15 or, rather, the Ministry of Defence.

    16 Q. Finally, when you became chief of the main

    17 staff of the HVO, what was your attitude towards the

    18 authorities, civilian or military, of the Republic of

    19 Croatia?

    20 A. I never received any order from the head of

    21 the main staff of the Croatian army, nor any

    22 instructions, nor any orders from the Ministry of

    23 Defence of the Republic of Croatia, nor did I ever send

    24 any reports to those institutions. I sent regular

    25 reports to the minister of defence of the Croatian

  41. 1 Republic of Herceg-Bosna and the minister of defence of

    2 the federation and the president of the presidential

    3 council.

    4 Q. While you were in the Lasva Valley, did you

    5 ever get any orders from Croatia?

    6 A. I never got any orders.

    7 Q. When did you hear of your indictment here

    8 before this Court in The Hague?

    9 A. I remember the event but I do not recall the

    10 date.

    11 Q. Approximately what time of the year was it

    12 and which year was this?

    13 A. This was the beginning of November 1995. On

    14 the next day, I was supposed to meet with General

    15 Walker in Sarajevo and with General Delic, and late in

    16 the evening, I left the main staff and was travelling

    17 towards Citluk where I was staying. My wife informed

    18 me en route that she had heard on the HTV news that

    19 this had been broadcast. Then I made a phone call to

    20 Sarajevo, and I asked whether there would be a

    21 meeting. I made a phone call to the joint command. I

    22 didn't know what to do. I was told that the meeting

    23 that was supposed to be held was to be postponed, that

    24 it would not be held that morning; otherwise I was

    25 supposed to leave at 3.00 in the morning so that I

  42. 1 could reach Sarajevo on time, as I was leaving from

    2 Mostar.

    3 Q. You and your wife, where were you living at

    4 that time?

    5 A. This is the house of Danko Dugandzic. It was

    6 really an adapted garage, a ground floor, two-room

    7 apartment, and one was very damp.

    8 Q. You did not own it. You had rented it;

    9 right?

    10 A. This was the property of Mr. Danko Dugandzic,

    11 quite modest, and it was rented.

    12 Q. What happened then? When did you decide to

    13 surrender, and what action did you take in that

    14 direction?

    15 A. Well, before that decision, while these

    16 Dayton talks were still on, I was appointed inspector

    17 in the Ministry of Defence of the Croatian army. I was

    18 appointed to that post, although there were no

    19 consultations that were held with me. At that time, I

    20 was not consulted with this appointment at all, and I

    21 found out about this appointment via Croatian

    22 television. It had been broadcast.

    23 After that, also at the end of November, I

    24 had to travel to Zagreb, since my wife was pregnant.

    25 She had quite a few problems with this pregnancy, and

  43. 1 she had to be examined by specialists. I visited the

    2 family of General Binenfeld from Zagreb, and I talked

    3 to him and his wife about this situation, and already

    4 then I told him that I would come here to The Hague.

    5 He supported this idea, and he said that that was the

    6 right choice to make and that I was supposed to take my

    7 passport, to pack my things, and to go to The Hague.

    8 His son was also present there. His name is Jasa

    9 Binenfeld.

    10 Q. Tell us, at that time, did Croatia have any

    11 legal possibility of extraditing you to The Hague?

    12 A. As far as I know, as I am not a legal person,

    13 there was no legal possibility to do so because this

    14 law on cooperation with The Hague Tribunal had not been

    15 passed.

    16 Q. How did the constitution regulate the

    17 extradition of Croatian citizens?

    18 A. Again, I'm saying, to the best of my

    19 knowledge, it was not possible, according to the

    20 constitution of the Republic of Croatia, to extradite

    21 Croatian citizens to the International Tribunal.

    22 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the interpreters

    23 have been working for the past hour and twenty

    24 minutes.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. I was thinking of the

  44. 1 break, primarily for the interpreters. I just wanted

    2 to know whether you have some more general questions

    3 and how much more time will you need with the accused.

    4 That was my question.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Yes. Yes, by all means, we're

    6 going to use all the remaining time today.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. We will have a

    8 20-minute break then and resume work at 11.40.

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

    10 --- On resuming at 11.45 a.m.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please

    12 be seated.

    13 MR. NOBILO: May I have Prosecution document

    14 456/49?

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Prosecution document?

    16 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Prosecution document. And

    17 document 456/50.

    18 Q. General, these are two documents, Prosecution

    19 documents. Look at them carefully. They are your

    20 orders dated the 19th of April, both orders are dated

    21 the 19th of April, but the first order was written at

    22 18.45 and the second 21.40, sent to the Ban Jelacic

    23 Brigade in Kiseljak, and it concerns an order for

    24 attack with regard to the Gomionica village.

    25 Would you read the two documents, please?

  45. 1 We're not going to read through them all together.

    2 Have you read them?

    3 A. Yes, I have.

    4 Q. Tell the Court, please, what you ordered.

    5 Was it an attack on the village, civilians, or what?

    6 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, in point 3 of

    7 the order, I ordered that attacks be launched in groups

    8 and only diagonally from the positions of Kocatale and

    9 from the position of Sikulja. That area which I

    10 ordered to be attacked is an area which is well-known

    11 to me. I personally toured it, and I know that that is

    12 where the military positions of the BH army were

    13 located. I visited the area in a previous period. It

    14 was sometime between February and March 1993.

    15 Q. Had the attack been launched according to

    16 your order of the 19th of April at 18.45, point 3,

    17 would the HVO have entered the village or would it have

    18 gone around the village of Gomionica?

    19 A. The HVO would have gone around the village,

    20 circumvented the village, because the village of

    21 Gomionica was not the assignment of the HVO, it was the

    22 hill above Gomionica, and perhaps the best thing would

    23 be for me to point it out on the model once again.

    24 Q. You have already pointed this out to us once,

    25 the plan of attack, but briefly, please, indicate

  46. 1 the axes of attack according to your order.

    2 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, point 3 of my

    3 order required that the attack be launched from the

    4 positions of Kocatale diagonally, that is to say, up on

    5 the hill towards this position here (indicating), and

    6 from Sikulje towards this position here (indicating) on

    7 the combat groups, that is to say, the smaller parts

    8 which the commanders would be able to control fully.

    9 On the map, the positions at Kocatale -- I am

    10 pointing to that position now -- and the Sikulje

    11 position, so part of the force of the attack was to go

    12 from Sikulje towards this diagonal line and for the

    13 other line from Kocatale towards feature 759.

    14 Q. Tell me, Kiseljak, where were the command

    15 posts and the bulk of the BH army forces?

    16 A. The command post was in Gomionica and most of

    17 the bulk of the forces were also in Gomionica, but they

    18 were deployed along the hills above the village itself.

    19 Q. Thank you. Tell us whether, according to the

    20 knowledge you have now, after this procedure, whether

    21 the Ban Josip Jelacic Brigade acted according to your

    22 orders or did it launch the attack in another way?

    23 A. It did not follow my orders. The attack was

    24 conducted frontally, from the main road towards the

    25 village of Gomionica and in the direction of the hill,

  47. 1 but later on, they did follow my orders.

    2 Unfortunately, a little more time elapsed before this

    3 was done.

    4 MR. NOBILO: The next document is Defence

    5 document D335.

    6 Q. Document 335 is your note or your report from

    7 a meeting with the BH army. Can you tell us a few

    8 words about how the document came into being?

    9 A. I wrote the document and it is a report from

    10 a meeting that was held on the 21st of April, 1993, and

    11 here it states there were representatives of the BH

    12 army and it was chaired by Mr. Thebault, and I always

    13 wrote documents in a complete fashion and I stated what

    14 each of the participants at the meeting said and what I

    15 myself said at the meeting in question, and I always

    16 endeavoured to record everything as exactly as

    17 possible, that is to say, everything that those present

    18 at the meeting discussed and said.

    19 Q. Tell us, please, at that particular meeting

    20 which was attended by the most responsible

    21 representatives of the 3rd Corps and the BH army, did

    22 anybody mention at all the suffering of the civilians

    23 and the crime in Ahmici, and the meeting was held on

    24 the 21st of April, 1993?

    25 A. No, nobody mentioned the crime in Ahmici, but

  48. 1 there was mention, not at the meeting but from what I

    2 was able to note, that there were a large number of

    3 civilian casualties, but it was an assertion without

    4 any specifics. Nobody specified the positions to which

    5 this might refer.

    6 Q. Did you make a note of that assertion and did

    7 you send it to your superiors?

    8 A. I wrote down everything that I heard at the

    9 meeting, that I heard discussed at the meeting, during

    10 the official part of the meeting and the free

    11 discussions that took place in the break of the

    12 meeting.

    13 Q. The title "Other Observations," in point 6,

    14 you state as follows:

    15 "Merdan finds some simple causes to the

    16 conflict. He is fairly worried because of the 500

    17 killed civilians in Vitez."

    18 THE INTERPRETER: Or words to that effect.

    19 We haven't got the document, interpreters note.

    20 MR. NOBILO:

    21 Q. Tell us, first of all, what "Other

    22 Observations" refers to and what the difference is

    23 between "Other Observations" and previous contents of

    24 the document?

    25 A. In the contents of the document, I list

  49. 1 everything that was discussed at the official part of

    2 the meeting, and I always wrote in the first person

    3 singular and I would write the name and surname in the

    4 margin beside and then what that person said, I would

    5 write this in the first person singular, and "Other

    6 Observations" are my observations, that is to say, what

    7 I heard on the spot as was said, as I heard it from

    8 people at that time. So it wasn't the contents of the

    9 official discussion held at the meeting.

    10 Q. From the circumstances, that is to say, that

    11 at the official part of the meeting, nobody mentioned

    12 the civilian casualties and that Dzemo Merdan just

    13 mentioned in passing a large number of civilians, 500,

    14 in fact, that were killed. What were you able to

    15 deduce, to conclude, from that?

    16 A. Well, I considered that that figure was

    17 unrealistic and that quite possibly this was being used

    18 as a negotiating tactic at that particular moment, all

    19 the more so as it was the position both of General

    20 Halilovic and General Petkovic that it was urgently

    21 needed to tour the Busovaca front line, to go to that

    22 line; in concrete terms, the position at Kula. And

    23 that is where they went. They went to visit that

    24 position at Kula on that particular day.

    25 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. We can go on now to

  50. 1 Prosecution Exhibit 456/58.

    2 Q. Take a look at the document, please. It is

    3 your report, it is a Prosecution Exhibit dated the 24th

    4 of April, 1993, sent to the vice-president of the

    5 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, head of the defence

    6 department, and the chief of the main staff of the HVO,

    7 and you are informing them about the discussion with

    8 Colonel Stewart, commander of the English United

    9 Nations battalion, the talk that was held the same day

    10 with Stewart and linked to the suffering --

    11 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, counsel, with all due

    12 respect.

    13 Mr. President, we have done this already, as

    14 we have with the prior document. Have we not discussed

    15 this document in earnest?

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. I am a little disturbed,

    17 Mr. Nobilo, if we're going to go through all the

    18 documents that we have already seen with the accused.

    19 I don't know what your aim is. I cannot prevent you in

    20 developing your strategy. But I must say that I am

    21 rather disturbed if we are going to talk about

    22 Gomionica, Kuber. I really don't understand what the

    23 purpose is. To show him the document that the accused

    24 himself had issued? The Judges have seen those

    25 documents. What is your aim?

  51. 1 MR. NOBILO: We thought in this part that we

    2 should confront the witness with all potentially -- I

    3 am saying "potentially" -- troublesome documents or

    4 statements, and we shall only go through a few

    5 documents and we shall dwell, for the longest period,

    6 on the statements that were not dealt with until now at

    7 all. We wanted General Blaskic to say something about

    8 some of the documents that the Prosecutor showed to

    9 every witness who came to this court. But if you

    10 believe that this has sufficiently been clarified in

    11 the previous period, then we can confront him with the

    12 statements made by witnesses.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: You know how attentive the

    14 Judges are of the rights of the accused, but I am

    15 asking myself -- you had six weeks to organise your

    16 strategy. If today, in two hours, we have to finish,

    17 and if, on the last day, you want to show the accused

    18 all the documents, I will have to consult with my

    19 colleagues, if you are going to show him all the

    20 statements, explanations. The accused has had six

    21 weeks to answer your questions, and I am a bit

    22 disturbed. I am not saying that you can't do it. But

    23 how long will all this take?

    24 MR. NOBILO: For these documents, we will

    25 need very little time, as you saw in the case of this

  52. 1 document; namely, the witness presented the events

    2 chronologically, and many things are, in a certain way,

    3 lost in a chronology. We found --

    4 JUDGE JORDA: That was your choice,

    5 Mr. Nobilo, the presentation of the chronology. Let me

    6 remind you of this.

    7 Please wait a moment, Mr. Hayman. Let me

    8 finish.

    9 We had this discussion, I'm sure you remember

    10 it, regarding that chronology. I am going to slow

    11 down. You said that "We have chosen this chronological

    12 presentation from the beginning of the conflict until

    13 the promotion of the accused to General-Inspector of

    14 the Croatian army." You chose this strategy. You

    15 could have started with this, for instance. And the

    16 Judges respected your choice.

    17 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we have believed

    18 and do believe that we made the right choice. The

    19 presentation was chronological and there was a certain

    20 logic to that, but finally, we thought that it was

    21 necessary to deal with certain subject-related areas,

    22 and that will not take too much time, and since we are

    23 talking about two years of war pregnant with events, we

    24 thought that this was the best way to deal with it:

    25 chronologically.

  53. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, but if, for two years of

    2 war, the trial of the accused has to last two years, it

    3 is not a question of the duration of the war. If we

    4 need two years for the Defence for two years of war, I

    5 must remind you that you have already exhausted your

    6 time. Let me consult with my colleagues. Just a

    7 moment.

    8 Excuse me, Mr. Hayman. Yes, I promised to

    9 give you the floor. Please, let's hear your remarks.

    10 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. I

    11 just wanted to add, to speed the chronology, we omitted

    12 showing the witness many documents so we could go

    13 through the chronology and give the Court that

    14 picture. Had we dealt with all of the documents during

    15 the chronology, the chronology would have been even

    16 longer. There are certain important documents. We

    17 think it's significant for the witness to look at and

    18 directly comment on the documents, and that's what we

    19 seek to do.

    20 Thank you.

    21 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I might --

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, yes.

    23 MR. KEHOE: -- on that last issue raised by

    24 Mr. Hayman, what matters is this particular document

    25 went on for hours and hours, and I direct Your Honour

  54. 1 to the meeting that the accused had with Colonel

    2 Stewart. I can go back to the actual pagination

    3 numbering in the transcript, but this went on

    4 extensively, and we came back to it on numerous

    5 occasions. To say that this particular subject has not

    6 been thoroughly exhausted, I'm somewhat astonished.

    7 Nevertheless, my objection is simply we just

    8 can't repeat and rehash that which we have been doing

    9 for the past six weeks, and the position of the

    10 Prosecutors is that that's what this is.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Kehoe. I will

    12 consult with my colleagues.

    13 (Trial Chamber deliberates)

    14 JUDGE JORDA: The Judges have decided.

    15 You're going to give a list of documents that haven't

    16 been shown to the accused so that the registrar can

    17 prepare all those documents, all the documents that

    18 will be shown to the accused. The point has to be

    19 underlined to which you wish to draw the attention of

    20 the accused, the particular point that you wish the

    21 accused to comment on.

    22 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we have already

    23 given the registrar a list of all the documents we

    24 need, and these documents have not been shown to the

    25 accused until now.

  55. 1 JUDGE JORDA: How many of them are there,

    2 please? How many?

    3 MR. NOBILO: About 12 more documents.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Registrar, you have them?

    5 THE REGISTRAR: No. I have the list, but

    6 some of them have not been clearly specified.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: I wish us to proceed quickly,

    8 and it is important for the rights of the accused to be

    9 fully protected but also for us to be able to manage

    10 the time of this trial in the interest of the superior

    11 course of justice which the International Tribunal has

    12 to manage. I wish the Defence to very clearly indicate

    13 to the witness the point that they wish him to comment

    14 on.

    15 Let us begin straightaway.

    16 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. The

    17 intention of the Defence was not to speak about the

    18 background of these events. We wanted to talk about

    19 the document itself.

    20 Q. My question, General, is the following: Is

    21 this the complete document that you sent to three

    22 addresses, the three addresses mentioned here, or is

    23 something missing, and could you please explain this to

    24 the Court?

    25 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, this document is

  56. 1 not complete because usually, as I would write reports

    2 about any meeting, I would always quote everything that

    3 was said at the meeting and everything that I had said

    4 at the meeting, and here on the first page of the

    5 document, I mentioned Colonel Stewart.

    6 Q. I suggest that you show on the ELMO the

    7 English text. I think that you will be able to

    8 manage. All right. Perhaps the English will do.

    9 Could you perhaps put the Croatian text there too so

    10 that the Judges could see technically how you wrote

    11 these reports from meetings with various persons? No,

    12 not both will do. Perhaps we can have them both

    13 together. They should be enlarged, and one after the

    14 other.

    15 MR. NOBILO: Could we please have it

    16 enlarged, focused, zoomed? Please show the Croatian

    17 text first, paper over paper.

    18 Q. Could you explain the technical way you did

    19 this?

    20 A. Your Honours, I said here "Bob Stewart,

    21 Colonel," and then the main outline of what he said to

    22 me at that meeting.

    23 Q. Where do your own remarks start, what you

    24 said? What is the first sentence of what you said at

    25 that meeting, not Bob Stewart, but you? Where is your

  57. 1 first sentence? Could you please read it out?

    2 A. The first sentence I said is: "I believe

    3 that," Mr. President, "Mate Boban had to be in Vitez

    4 today."

    5 Q. Just the context, why did you think he had to

    6 be in Vitez?

    7 A. This is related to his making a statement

    8 concerning the crime in Ahmici and receiving support

    9 from top political leadership in terms of carrying out

    10 an investigation concerning Ahmici.

    11 Q. What do you think is lacking in this document

    12 before this sentence? Could you show it exactly,

    13 exactly what is missing?

    14 A. First of all, on the left-hand side, my own

    15 name and surname are missing or at least my name, and

    16 then saying what I said, again given an outline of what

    17 I said to Colonel Stewart. Also what is missing are

    18 these theses, that is to say, what I had discussed at

    19 that meeting with Colonel Stewart. In the previous

    20 document, this is even more obvious, I said, "Blaskic"

    21 and then everything else that I mentioned.

    22 Q. Please show the previous document on the

    23 ELMO. Move it to the other side a bit so that we can

    24 see it exactly. Could you indicate this to us, where

    25 you mention the persons who are speaking and where you

  58. 1 are quoting their words?

    2 A. Here, for example, "General Petkovic" and

    3 then everything that he spoke of, and then "Blaskic,"

    4 my last name, and then everything that I spoke of.

    5 Then you can see further on "Sefer Halilovic" and

    6 everything that Sefer spoke of, and so on and so forth,

    7 "Mr. Thebault," "Petkovic," et cetera.

    8 Q. Could you please show us the first document

    9 that we were discussing? The second part of the text

    10 that are your own words and that begin with the

    11 following words show very unobjective information. Why

    12 did you make this suggestion to the head of the main

    13 staff in that sense?

    14 A. Well, the point was to get broader support,

    15 primarily public support in the area of the Lasva

    16 pocket.

    17 Q. For what?

    18 A. For carrying out an investigation.

    19 Q. An investigation about what?

    20 A. An investigation about the crime in Ahmici.

    21 It is a fact that there were crimes committed

    22 previously that were kept silent about and that the

    23 public was not informed about, and they were committed

    24 against Croats. It was very important to inform the

    25 public about those crimes too, so that in carrying out

  59. 1 the investigation, I would have the full support of the

    2 public, notably, the people who lived in the Lasva

    3 pocket and the honest soldiers.

    4 Q. Tell me, General, you are saying that your

    5 words addressed to Colonel Stewart are missing --

    6 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. If you can ask the

    7 question to the particular witness as opposed to what

    8 he's saying, I think that would be more helpful and

    9 more spontaneous.

    10 MR. NOBILO: I must ask the witness a

    11 question but I first have to make an introduction. The

    12 witness claims that his words have been left out, so my

    13 question was, "What has been left out?" But I have to

    14 make an introduction to that question.

    15 MR. KEHOE: The introduction you are saying

    16 leads to a following of lines as to what the witness is

    17 saying. Let the witness say what the witness is going

    18 to say and not tell the witness what to say. That's a

    19 simple objection, Mr. President.

    20 MR. NOBILO: The witness has said many things

    21 in the last ten minutes, and in order to focus his

    22 attention to a particular point, I have to indicate

    23 that point.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Bear in mind the objection, and

    25 do not give the answer together with the question.

  60. 1 Please proceed.

    2 MR. NOBILO: Certainly, I hadn't given the

    3 answer.

    4 Q. I'm asking the General, what has been left

    5 out of this document, as far as you can remember?

    6 A. I said that what I had said to Colonel

    7 Stewart had been left out, and that is that I had

    8 addressed the letter to him and that in that letter my

    9 answer is included and my position regarding the crime

    10 in Ahmici.

    11 I also told Colonel Stewart that Ahmici is

    12 within the area of responsibility of the HVO, and I

    13 also said that the HVO had not shelled Zenica because

    14 that too was a topic that we discussed on the 24th of

    15 April, 1993, as far as I can recollect. But, of

    16 course, to be sure of the details, I would have to look

    17 it up in my notes.

    18 Q. In your part of your report, you mention the

    19 shelling of Zenica, but you don't mention that Stewart

    20 told you that. What can you infer from that?

    21 A. The document is not correct in that respect

    22 because Stewart said to me that Zenica had been

    23 shelled, and I'm quite sure that I wrote that down.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: But we are now disputing the

    25 document, if I understand very well, Mr. Nobilo.

  61. 1 MR. NOBILO: The completeness of the

    2 document, because according to what the witness is

    3 claiming, a part of the document is missing.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: I must say that I regret that

    5 after six weeks - and this is my personal opinion - six

    6 weeks of debate, we wait for the last day to dispute a

    7 document and claim that there were different versions,

    8 but it's up to you.

    9 Mr. Kehoe, do you have an objection?

    10 MR. KEHOE: My objection is this: If we're

    11 talking about the document, that's one thing. Now

    12 we're talking about the Zenica shelling, and he's

    13 talking about this conversation that takes place on the

    14 24th when the witness testified that his conversation

    15 with Stewart on the Zenica shelling took place on the

    16 20th. So I'm a little confused. Are we just talking

    17 about this document, are we talking about the Zenica

    18 shelling, because that is what the witness is talking

    19 about.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Let us clarify. It is up to

    21 the Judges to clarify the debate.

    22 What is the aim that you are pursuing,

    23 Mr. Nobilo, by asking the witness to comment on this

    24 document? Let us make it very clear. Otherwise, I

    25 will write a written brief to tell you what I think

  62. 1 about it.

    2 MR. NOBILO: It is very simple,

    3 Mr. President. I am surprised by my learned

    4 colleague. We are talking about this document. On the

    5 second page, Zenica is mentioned, that there was talk

    6 of the shelling of Zenica. But it is not said that

    7 Stewart said that, and that is what is missing. We

    8 just wanted to say that this document is original, is

    9 authentic, but that a part is missing. We don't know

    10 how --

    11 JUDGE JORDA: We have said that and then we

    12 will go on. The decision of the Chamber was very

    13 clear. You will ask the accused, who is the witness

    14 today, what is missing and what is not. We are not

    15 going to go back to this whole conversation with

    16 Colonel Stewart, that it is a crime against humanity,

    17 et cetera, et cetera. So please, Mr. Nobilo, go to the

    18 essentials because you have gone beyond your time. I

    19 want to remind you of that. So let us go on to the

    20 next document unless you have something very specific

    21 to ask of the witness.

    22 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I have nothing

    23 further, but if the witness claims that something is

    24 missing from the document, it's logical for me to ask

    25 him what is missing. But let us go on.

  63. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, quite logic. I said what

    2 is my right to say, but it is logic. Since the

    3 beginning of this conversation, when you chose to go

    4 through a chronology minute by minute by the accused,

    5 you may have avoided making a point of the important

    6 issues, but that was your choice.

    7 Next document, please.

    8 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. We have finished

    9 with this document. The next one we would like to show

    10 you is the statement of Mr. Payam Akhavan, and my

    11 colleague will read some excerpts from certain pages

    12 and we will ask the witness to comment on the statement

    13 of this Prosecution witness.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: No, no. No, no, no. Not at

    15 all, Mr. Nobilo. You will put the document on the

    16 ELMO, and you will draw the attention of your client to

    17 a particular point that you wish him to react on. We

    18 are not going to read the document.

    19 MR. NOBILO: I am referring to three

    20 sentences. Unfortunately, the witness doesn't speak

    21 English, so we see no way of getting around it. This

    22 is very brief.

    23 MR. HAYMAN: Please, Mr. Registrar. It is

    24 not an exhibit, Mr. President. We are putting pages of

    25 the transcript of the trial on the ELMO. I don't think

  64. 1 they need to be marked, to save time. We will put the

    2 page and line numbers in the record. It will be

    3 perfectly clear what we're referring to. Thank you.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you,

    5 Mr. Hayman. Let us go on, and after that, we will have

    6 a break.

    7 MR. NOBILO: May I ask Mr. Hayman to read

    8 it? He will do so better than me.

    9 MR. HAYMAN: First, we're reading from

    10 transcript page 5296, beginning at line 22, and this,

    11 for the Court's information, this is the testimony of

    12 Payam Akhavan, referring to then Colonel Blaskic.

    13 "He suggested to me that although there may

    14 have been some paramilitary formations that he was

    15 clearly in command of the Lasva Valley region and that

    16 no operation of any military significance could take

    17 place either without his consent or his knowledge."

    18 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic, your comment?

    19 A. According to the knowledge that I had at the

    20 time, I think this was the 4th of May, 1993, I provided

    21 an answer to Mr. Akhavan indicating what I knew at that

    22 point in time, that the units subordinated to me had

    23 not carried out any combat operations without my

    24 knowledge and order or, rather, that I had not ordered

    25 the operations which resulted in the crime in Ahmici.

  65. 1 MR. NOBILO:

    2 Q. Did you say that no significant military

    3 operation could be carried out without your knowledge?

    4 A. At the time, I didn't know who had been the

    5 perpetrators of the operation, but I believed at the

    6 time that I must have known about any military

    7 operations.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: I don't understand. You do not

    9 disagree with this sentence, General Blaskic; you agree

    10 with this statement by Mr. Akhavan. What you wanted to

    11 say is that you added something else to that dialogue?

    12 A. I agree that all units under my command, my

    13 units, could not have carried out an operation without

    14 my knowledge.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Then you agree with this

    16 statement. There's no problem. I understand. You

    17 want to add to this transcript. I see very well. But

    18 we have to be very careful, Mr. Nobilo. Does the

    19 witness agree or not with this statement, that is, that

    20 no significant military operation could take place

    21 without his knowledge?

    22 Are you in agreement with that statement?

    23 You were the chief. Fine. What you wanted to say is

    24 simply that this doesn't apply to Ahmici, if I

    25 understand well.

  66. 1 MR. NOBILO: Let us look at some other

    2 quotations from Mr. Akhavan's testimony, then it will

    3 become clearer, because there is a difference in

    4 understanding between Mr. Akhavan and Mr. Blaskic as to

    5 which are his units. This is a question of

    6 terminological misunderstanding.

    7 MR. HAYMAN: Transcript page 5332, line 5 to

    8 line 12.

    9 "Q Am I correct that in the course of

    10 this meeting with Colonel Blaskic, he

    11 denied ordering the killing of any

    12 civilians in Ahmici or anywhere else; is

    13 that correct?

    14 A Correct.

    15 Q Did he also deny that he knew in advance

    16 that any civilians would be killed in

    17 Ahmici or anywhere else; correct?

    18 A Correct."

    19 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. Excuse me. Is it

    20 necessary for the accused to explain that particular

    21 question and answer? Is that what's being explored

    22 here? If it is, we object, if this is the method that

    23 is being explored. Now, if there is some

    24 terminological problem in a question and answer, that

    25 is a different issue, but I trust that there is no

  67. 1 terminological problem with --

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I agree with Mr. Kehoe.

    3 Either there is a terminological problem or there is a

    4 witness who said this. It is up to you, in the time

    5 allotted to you, or in your final argument, to refer to

    6 ambiguities, but we are not going -- in a civil law

    7 system, Mr. Nobilo, that you are familiar with, there

    8 is a confrontation, but we are not in that system. For

    9 the moment, we have the transcript of the statement of

    10 a Prosecution witness which you are commenting on. It

    11 is sufficient for you to say that you contest this

    12 sentence and we can go on to another document. If not,

    13 Mr. Akhavan is not here. I really don't see why --

    14 perhaps we will have to add to the Court witnesses

    15 Mr. Akhavan. This becomes very complicated, applying

    16 your method. Do you understand what I'm saying,

    17 Mr. Nobilo?

    18 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, but it

    19 seemed to us that if certain witnesses have certain

    20 precise knowledge about their contacts with General

    21 Blaskic, then it is much easier for the Court if

    22 General Blaskic himself comments on the statements of

    23 those witnesses. There is not a lot of that. We felt

    24 that it would be better for General Blaskic to

    25 explicitly dispute or confirm key sentences by certain

  68. 1 Prosecution witnesses rather than the Court having to

    2 look through the whole transcript to find these places.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: The Judges will do their work,

    4 let me assure you, Mr. Nobilo. I understand very well

    5 that you wish to have your client's reaction to such

    6 and such a point, but it is quite sufficient for your

    7 client to give us his reaction very quickly instead of

    8 starting a debate about a phrase, a sentence by a

    9 witness who came I don't know how long ago and was

    10 examined by the Prosecution. Go directly to the point,

    11 and your client will say, "I agree. I have such and

    12 such a thing to add," or not.

    13 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I simply wanted

    14 to ask the witness whether he agreed and he would have

    15 answered "Yes" or "No" and we would have finished with

    16 this. That is all that I had wanted to ask him about

    17 this sentence. I just wanted to ask him whether he

    18 agrees that that was what was stated.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. As it is your

    20 attorney that is asking you this question, give us a

    21 "Yes" or "No" answer and we will go on to the next

    22 document.

    23 MR. NOBILO:

    24 Q. Do you agree that you said what Mr. Hayman

    25 has just read out? Now you don't remember what it was

  69. 1 that Mr. Hayman read out.

    2 We have to repeat it because the witness

    3 cannot remember what it was that was read out.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic is right.

    5 There was quite a long period of discussion between

    6 us. So let us read it again for him.

    7 MR. HAYMAN: Transcript page 5332, lines 5 to

    8 12.

    9 "Q Am I correct that in the course of

    10 this meeting with Colonel Blaskic, he

    11 denied ordering the killing of any

    12 civilians in Ahmici or anywhere else; is

    13 that correct?

    14 A Correct.

    15 Q Did he also deny that he knew in advance

    16 that any civilians would be killed in

    17 Ahmici or anywhere else; correct?

    18 A Correct."

    19 MR. NOBILO:

    20 Q. Is this a correct representation of the

    21 conversation with you?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 MR. NOBILO: Shall we go on to the next

    24 document or, Mr. President, shall we have a break?

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, a 15-minute break.

  70. 1 --- Recess taken at 12.41 p.m.

    2 --- On resuming at 1.03 p.m.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please

    4 be seated.

    5 Mr. Nobilo, how many transcripts of that kind

    6 do you want to submit to the General?

    7 MR. NOBILO: I'm not quite sure. I think

    8 about five, not more.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: We don't think it's normal that

    10 you have to show the transcripts that way to the

    11 General. Let me remind you that you had the

    12 possibility, during the cross-examination, to challenge

    13 what the different witnesses had said, and the

    14 witnesses were present at that time. Mr. Akhavan, for

    15 instance, when he came to testify, you had the

    16 opportunity to challenge his statements.

    17 MR. NOBILO: And we did do so, but at the

    18 time --

    19 JUDGE JORDA: If you did so, it is now in the

    20 transcript, but you had the possibility to call the

    21 witness if you wished to do so, but you didn't do it.

    22 MR. NOBILO: But at the time, the witness,

    23 General Blaskic, did not make a testimony, and we were

    24 not able to confront his testimony with that of

    25 Mr. Akhavan because General Blaskic was not presenting

  71. 1 his defence at that time.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: It's the same difficulty.

    3 Mr. Akhavan is not here in the courtroom. We cannot

    4 confront Mr. Akhavan with what General Blaskic says.

    5 So I'm wondering if this procedure is normal. You had

    6 the opportunity to call the accused as a witness.

    7 MR. NOBILO: Yes, that is true, but we are

    8 not doing this confrontation between two witnesses, as

    9 is usually done in continental law. That is not what

    10 we're doing. We are questioning our own witness but

    11 with the help of the material that we have at our

    12 disposal, and the material is either evidence or the

    13 statements of witnesses who have already testified. So

    14 it's just helping us to ask these questions of the

    15 witness.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, but we can ask this

    17 question for the transcript. Is this a normal

    18 procedure?

    19 Mr. Prosecutor, would you like to make some

    20 comment on this?

    21 MR. KEHOE: The thing that is extremely odd

    22 in the scenario, Mr. President, is that there was

    23 discussion about all of these meetings, such as the

    24 meeting with Mr. Akhavan, during the course of this

    25 chronology that we went through. Just as there was

  72. 1 discussion about the meeting with Colonel Stewart,

    2 there was a long discussion about what was said during

    3 this meeting with Mr. Akhavan.

    4 Clearly, during the context of that meeting,

    5 should there be some discrepancy as to who meant what

    6 or there's some terminological problem, that would be

    7 the logical place to bring it out. Now we are going

    8 back over ground that we went over before, such as that

    9 "I didn't mean --"

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Not only did you face this

    11 contradiction -- didn't you face this contradiction

    12 during cross-examination, but you're saying yes.

    13 Okay. I'll accept that answer. But I was about to add

    14 this: The accused chose to testify chronologically, so

    15 when he mentioned the day of the 20th or 24th of April,

    16 he should have said, "To this regard, I would like to

    17 make more precise that I did say that during that day

    18 but that I didn't say something else." He should have

    19 said it that way and at that time.

    20 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, if we are

    21 forbidden from raising something because it wasn't

    22 brought out in chronological order, the Court may so

    23 order and preclude us from going into these matters,

    24 but we would object to that, of course. We collected

    25 these items together because we thought it would be

  73. 1 more efficient to do it in this way. We highlighted

    2 the specific words we wanted to bring to the witness's

    3 attention. We will proceed or we will stop, if the

    4 Court orders us to stop.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Let me consult with my

    6 colleagues.

    7 (Trial Chamber deliberates)

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, you won't have the

    9 pleasure to express an official objection showing that

    10 the rights of the accused were violated. Let me note

    11 that they weren't violated before. We will apply the

    12 standards of international law, however, the

    13 international standards of the common law. According

    14 to these standards, the Prosecution and the Defence are

    15 on an equal footing. Moreover, our Rules state that

    16 the Judges must make sure that the trial takes place

    17 expeditiously.

    18 But given the fact that there are five

    19 transcripts, we will follow the method used by the

    20 Judges a few moments ago. You will show the excerpt of

    21 the transcript to the witness. We will ask General

    22 Blaskic to give a very concise and brief answer. If

    23 General Blaskic or his defence counsel didn't have time

    24 to express their objections when they should have, that

    25 is, during the cross-examination of the Prosecution

  74. 1 witness, and because the Defence counsel did not call

    2 the accused to the witness stand when it was possible

    3 and because you used a chronology, a very lengthy

    4 method, you will recognise this, but which had the

    5 advantage of shedding some light on all the important

    6 points and, however, today we have to shed some light

    7 on different points. However, the Judges have decided

    8 to maintain their previous position.

    9 Mr. Nobilo, you can show the excerpt of the

    10 transcript you're interested in, and I will ask General

    11 Blaskic to give a very short answer.

    12 MR. NOBILO: The text is already on the ELMO,

    13 and I will ask my learned colleague to read it out.

    14 MR. HAYMAN: The testimony of Payam Akhavan,

    15 transcript page 5299, lines 7 through 13, partial:

    16 "At the end of the interview, I asked

    17 Colonel Blaskic who could have possibly committed the

    18 attacks on civilians in Ahmici as well as Vitez, and he

    19 was not really able to give me any alternative

    20 explanation. He simply told me that he did not know

    21 who did it, and he was certain that his own soldiers

    22 did not."

    23 MR. NOBILO:

    24 Q. General, would you explain? Is that correct

    25 and what did you have in mind?

  75. 1 A. Mr. President, Your Honours, what I said is

    2 correct. Under my soldiers, I always implied soldiers

    3 who were directly subordinate to me in terms of command

    4 and control. That was the practice, and we all used

    5 that practice in the HVO and in the former JNA.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: I will remind you that the

    7 accused had already said that on numerous or various

    8 occasions, so maybe it was not necessary after all.

    9 But it's your choice. Go on. Next sentence.

    10 MR. NOBILO: No. We've finished with that.

    11 I now propose that the witness be handed Prosecution

    12 Exhibit 380. It is the interview in the paper called

    13 Danas.

    14 Q. General, this document, have you seen it in

    15 the course of your examination?

    16 A. No, I have not seen this document, apart from

    17 when I saw it in court when it was offered to the other

    18 witnesses.

    19 Q. Tell us, please, what is "Danas"?

    20 A. "Danas," meaning "today" is a journal in

    21 Croatia.

    22 Q. The author of the interview is Slobodan

    23 Lovrenovic. Who was he?

    24 A. As far as I know, he worked in the IPD in

    25 Mostar attached to the Croatian Community of

  76. 1 Herceg-Bosna, the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, in

    2 fact.

    3 Q. What is "IPD"?

    4 JUDGE JORDA: This document has never been

    5 presented before? Wasn't it presented recently?

    6 THE REGISTRAR: It was presented on the 8th

    7 of April.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: It was presented yesterday,

    9 wasn't it?

    10 MR. NOBILO: Well, not our witness.

    11 MR. KEHOE: This document was introduced

    12 during the testimony of Brigadier Alastair Duncan.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Please proceed,

    14 Mr. Nobilo.

    15 MR. NOBILO:

    16 Q. Therefore, General Blaskic ...

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Please proceed.

    18 MR. NOBILO:

    19 Q. Therefore, before coming to the courtroom,

    20 did you ever see this interview before?

    21 A. No.

    22 Q. IPD, Lovrenovic, an officer that worked at

    23 the IPD. What is IPD?

    24 A. IPD is the Military Information and

    25 Propaganda Service.

  77. 1 Q. Tell the Court, please, in clear terms, did

    2 you give this interview?

    3 A. No.

    4 Q. How did it come into being?

    5 A. Well, as far as I remember, they sent

    6 questions via telefax for the interview, and that was

    7 sometime at the end of September, beginning of October,

    8 at the time when the conflicts were fiercest, and I

    9 only wrote out the theses, and the complete integral

    10 interview was written by my assistant for IPD in the

    11 Operative Zone command for Central Bosnia.

    12 Q. IPD programme, did it incorporate the writing

    13 of texts in the name of the commander which were to be

    14 made public?

    15 A. Yes, for the most part, they were texts which

    16 were published, and the aim of them was to raise morale

    17 and propaganda for one's own forces.

    18 Q. The complete text, was it shown to you or

    19 sent for your authorisation before it was published?

    20 A. No, it was never shown to me nor was it given

    21 to me to be authorised.

    22 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Mr. President, we

    23 should now like to show a statement disclosed at a

    24 closed session, so we would like to propose that we go

    25 into a private session. No? Closed session? No, we

  78. 1 have to have a closed session because, on the ELMO, it

    2 would be evident who the witness is, the page number,

    3 et cetera. The topic is a question which was never

    4 raised with General Blaskic nor was the testimony of

    5 this witness discussed with General Blaskic.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Closed session, please. A

    7 closed session or a private session? Closed session.

    8 Well, let's move into a closed session then.

    9 (Closed session)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted

    18 (redacted

    19 (redacted

    20 (redacted

    21 (redacted

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  79. 1












    13 Pages 20138 to 20141 redacted in closed session









    22 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at

    23 1.26 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,

    24 the 12th day of April, 1999, at 10.00 a.m.