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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
1 Mr. Hayman, what happened? You usually
2 respect the Trial Chamber's decision, so what
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
1 were all forced to listen to by the Prosecutor with
2 virtually no, if not no, direct evidence bearing on the
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
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
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
25 Was that a reasonable plan on the part of the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
1 okay on direct examination apparently is okay on
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
1 intervene? Judge Shahabuddeen? No?
2 Mr. Nobilo, you have the floor.
3 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 WITNESS: TIHOMIR BLASKIC (Resumed)
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,
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
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,
15 Q. When did you receive your new orders and
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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.
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
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?
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,
23 MR. NOBILO: Very well. Thank you.
24 Q. Tell us, please, General, are these the
25 documents concerning your appointment that you
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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?
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
1 Republic of Herceg-Bosna and the minister of defence of
2 the federation and the president of the presidential
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
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
1 could reach Sarajevo on time, as I was leaving from
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;
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
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
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
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
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
25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. I was thinking of the
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
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?
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
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:
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
1 Please proceed.
2 MR. NOBILO: Certainly, I hadn't given the
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
16 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, but we can ask this
17 question for the transcript. Is this a normal
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
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
19 Q. Tell us, please, what is "Danas"?
20 A. "Danas," meaning "today" is a journal in
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
1 Herceg-Bosna, the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna, in
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.
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
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)
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.