1. 1 Wednesday, 26th May, 1999

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 10.05 a.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Registrar, the proceedings

    5 will continue. Please have the witness brought in,

    6 please.

    7 (The accused/witness entered court)

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning to the

    9 interpreters. Good morning to counsel, Defence and

    10 Prosecution, Mr. Nobilo, Mr. Hayman. Good morning to

    11 the witness, General Blaskic.

    12 Everybody is ready? General Blaskic, are you

    13 ready?

    14 A. Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, I'm ready.

    15 Thank you. If I may --

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe. Yes, did you want

    17 to say something? Mr. Kehoe, please proceed.


    19 Cross-examined by Mr. Kehoe:

    20 MR. KEHOE: Good morning, Mr. President and

    21 Your Honours.

    22 Q. Good morning, General.

    23 A. Good morning.

    24 Q. Now, General, you told us that you received

    25 the report from -- I'm referring to the truck bomb

  2. 1 incident. You received the report from SIS sometime in

    2 May that the Vitezovi were involved in the truck bomb

    3 incident and that you called Darko Kraljevic in to take

    4 disciplinary actions. Now, General, did you also tell

    5 him to immediately arrest those in the Vitezovi that

    6 were involved in this incident and turn their names

    7 over to the military police for prosecution?

    8 A. I asked him to undertake measures vis-à-vis

    9 the perpetrators linked to the incident and that

    10 terrorist act, and I also told him to convey his

    11 knowledge to the competent authorities and to tell me

    12 what had been done.

    13 If I may, Mr. President, I made a mistake

    14 yesterday in answering the Prosecutor with regard to

    15 the mistreatment of Bosniak Muslims temporarily

    16 detained in the cinema. I made a mistake with regard

    17 to the name of the individual who was mistreated. The

    18 individual's name was Suad Salkic, and he was

    19 mistreated by a member of the HVO, Mr. Marko from the

    20 village of Zabilje, and measures were taken against

    21 him. The mistreatment of Hasan Gerdijanovic was

    22 outside the cinema. I assume it took place at the

    23 checkpoint, in relation to the Bosniak Muslims that I

    24 mentioned yesterday.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for that

  3. 1 clarification, General Blaskic, but I think after that

    2 we had decided that was not the correct date; is that

    3 correct? Prosecutor -- what you're talking about is an

    4 incident that had taken place subsequently but thank

    5 you for the clarification.

    6 MR. KEHOE:

    7 Q. General, with regard to the Vitezovi, did you

    8 demand that they arrest, or that members in the

    9 Vitezovi be arrested, and that warrants be delivered to

    10 the military police as soon as possible?

    11 A. I said that I requested the commander of the

    12 Vitezovi to take steps vis-à-vis the perpetrators.

    13 First of all, I had in mind measures to identify the

    14 perpetrators, because in all the investigations the

    15 greatest problem was to arrive at the names of the

    16 perpetrators. That was the biggest problem in the

    17 circumstances that existed during that time frame while

    18 there was ongoing fighting. It was the most difficult

    19 thing to arrive at names.

    20 Q. Well, General, let me show you your orders at

    21 defendant's 360 and 361. Now, General, defendant's 360

    22 and 361 are two orders that you issued. Defendant's

    23 360 is an order that you issued on the 23rd of April,

    24 1993 to all subordinate commanders, and it discusses

    25 the behaviour of HVO members and the level of military

  4. 1 discipline. On number 4 of this order, you forbid all

    2 HVO units to carry out offensive actions, and this

    3 order is to come into effect immediately.

    4 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. Could we put the ELMO

    5 on, please? The ELMO's not on. It's on over there.

    6 The monitor we have is off, Mr. President, but we can

    7 continue.

    8 Q. In 361, General, which is an order of yours

    9 dated the 28th of April, 1993 to commanders of all

    10 units of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, and you're

    11 discussing elimination of arbitrary acts by commanders

    12 and individuals, you order:

    13 "After an assessment carried out on in the

    14 field, it is apparent that the lower commanders and the

    15 units are acting outside of the chain of command."

    16 In number 3 of this order you order:

    17 "The individuals and groups who are

    18 completely out of control are to be arrested

    19 immediately and warrants are to be delivered to the

    20 commander of the Military Police unit."

    21 Now, these two orders, General, apply to the

    22 Vitezovi and Darko Kraljevic, do they not?

    23 A. Document 361, in the title says: "To the

    24 Commanders of all the units in the Central Bosnia

    25 Operative Zone," that is, to stop arbitrary acts by

  5. 1 commanders and individuals. It is a document addressed

    2 to all the commanders.

    3 Document 360 applies to all subordinate

    4 commanders of the HVO, that is to say, within the

    5 structure of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia.

    6 Q. Well, General, the question is: These orders

    7 apply to Kraljevic's unit, the Vitezovi, as well,

    8 didn't it?

    9 A. Order 361 applies to Kraljevic as well, I'm

    10 certain of that. Order 360, as it was written at the

    11 time, I'm not quite sure whether it was sent to that

    12 unit because it refers to the subordinate units within

    13 the HVO, that is to say, the units within the

    14 structure. This particular order, that is to say, 361,

    15 in point 1 appears to be absurd because I ordered that

    16 an order be carried out. So it is an order to an

    17 order, and it focuses on an attempt to introduce law

    18 and order, which can be seen from point 4 and 5.

    19 Q. Excuse me, General. The question is whether

    20 or not it applies to Kraljevic and the Vitezovi. That

    21 was the question.

    22 A. Well, I've answered that. Document 361, I'm

    23 quite certain, refers to that because it is addressed

    24 to the commanders of all the units, that is. Whereas

    25 document 360, I'm not quite sure whether it refers to

  6. 1 that because it mentions all subordinate officers of

    2 the HVO, that is to say, within the Central Bosnia

    3 Operative Zone.

    4 Q. In response to a question by Judge

    5 Shahabuddeen when you discussed these two exhibits, you

    6 noted, in talking about Kraljevic:

    7 "A I made him aware of that through my

    8 order D360 and 361 and precisely to

    9 avoid this sort of self-will, Your

    10 Honour. I sent it to him as well, which

    11 meant that it referred to his unit as

    12 well."

    13 This is on page 19506, lines 12 through 15.

    14 So you told Judge Shahabuddeen that these two

    15 orders refer to Kraljevic's unit, the Vitezovi, didn't

    16 you?

    17 A. Well, I said that document 361, from the

    18 title, and it is about the elimination and suppression

    19 of arbitrariness of commanders and individuals, but it

    20 refers to all the units within the Central Bosnia

    21 Operative Zone. Document 360, linked to the heading,

    22 I'm not sure whether it was sent to the Vitezovi as

    23 well, because it refers to units within the structure

    24 of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, but at all

    25 events, there was arbitrariness of conduct of units not

  7. 1 within the structure. There was self-will and

    2 arbitrariness on the part of groups including the

    3 Vitezovi and the commander of the Vitezovi. So there

    4 was arbitrary action.

    5 Q. So, General, when you told Judge Shahabuddeen

    6 that 360 and 361 applied to the Vitezovi, are you

    7 saying you're mistaken, or you didn't know what you

    8 were talking about, or you left something out? I mean,

    9 what's your answer?

    10 A. My answer is that I'm absolutely certain that

    11 document 361, which speaks about the suppression of

    12 self-will on the part of commanders and individuals

    13 included all the units in the Operative Zone, that is

    14 to say, I wanted to remind them of their duties,

    15 whereas document 360, I said I'm not fully certain

    16 whether it included units which were only added to the

    17 Vitezovi and the military police. Perhaps it does,

    18 because from the title, I'm looking at the head and it

    19 says, "To all subordinate commanders," but in essence,

    20 the documents are similar. Both documents are similar.

    21 Q. Well, General, let us talk about your order

    22 in 361. Did you demand that Kraljevic identify and

    23 arrest members of the Vitezovi that were responsible

    24 for this heinous crime involved with the truck bomb?

    25 Did you do that? And do you have a written order to

  8. 1 support that?

    2 MR. HAYMAN: Can we keep the question simple

    3 and not compound, Mr. President?

    4 MR. KEHOE: The question is very simple. If

    5 he --

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Well, I have to acknowledge,

    7 Mr. Hayman, that frequently the questions are simple

    8 and the answers are complicated. Let me also remind

    9 you that you don't have any specific role to play here

    10 because the witness is alone. The answers are

    11 frequently simple and the answers are frequently

    12 complicated.

    13 Please don't forget that we have noted a

    14 change of answers in respect of an answer that was

    15 asked by one of my colleagues in the Trial Chamber.

    16 Therefore, Mr. Kehoe, please continue, because I could

    17 also ask the question, Mr. Hayman, how is it that on

    18 the 23rd of April General Blaskic addressed an order to

    19 commanders except to Darko Kraljevic on the 23rd of

    20 April, as I said, whereas, in fact, it was a unit that

    21 acted in a particularly illegal way, that in any way --

    22 we frequently ask very direct questions and that's what

    23 we'll do. Let's not waste any time.

    24 Mr. Kehoe, please continue. I ask General

    25 Blaskic to try to answer directly.

  9. 1 MR. KEHOE:

    2 Q. Did you hear my question, General, or would

    3 you like me to repeat it?

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please repeat the question so

    5 that the witness is sure to understand it. Thank you,

    6 Mr. Kehoe.

    7 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.

    8 Q. General, did you demand that Darko Kraljevic

    9 arrest individuals in the Vitezovi who were responsible

    10 for this truck bomb crime?

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. That seems to me to

    12 be a simple question.

    13 A. I demanded that he conduct an investigation

    14 as to the truck bomb explosion, and this implied that

    15 he would send in the names of the perpetrators, take

    16 them into custody or send the list to the military

    17 police for the military police to do so. But I

    18 demanded that he conduct an investigation until he had

    19 identified the perpetrators by name and surname.

    20 MR. KEHOE:

    21 Q. General, to your knowledge, was anyone

    22 arrested for this crime ever?

    23 A. As far as I know, nobody -- I say, as far as

    24 I know, nobody was arrested because the names and

    25 surnames of the perpetrators were never uncovered, the

  10. 1 perpetrators of the crime, that is.

    2 Q. I take it that nobody was ever disciplined

    3 and removed from the HVO for committing this crime as

    4 well?

    5 A. As far as my data and information goes, the

    6 investigation did not result in uncovering the

    7 perpetrators of the crime.

    8 Q. General, how about during your sweeping

    9 investigation known as Operation Pauk? Did your

    10 sweeping investigation of war crimes launch an

    11 investigation into this heinous acts to uncover the

    12 names of the members of the Vitezovi who committed this

    13 act?

    14 A. Operation Pauk implied an investigation of

    15 all crimes committed in the area of the Croatian

    16 Republic of Herceg-Bosna at that time.

    17 Q. General, this crime took place 400 metres

    18 from your headquarters in April of 1993. While you

    19 were running Operation Pauk, did you conduct an

    20 investigation of this terrible crime that your chief of

    21 staff called a terrorist act?

    22 A. I have already stated that Operation Pauk was

    23 an operation of all crimes. It is true that this was

    24 400 metres away, but it is also true that it was the

    25 other side of the front line which was inaccessible to

  11. 1 me.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic, I say this for

    3 Mr. Hayman, this is typically the kind of answer that

    4 doesn't match the question asked. I'm sorry,

    5 Mr. Hayman, but now there are some questions being

    6 asked twice. As part of Operation Spider, was there an

    7 investigation ordered while the witness was in a

    8 position to do so, that is, about the truck bomb? The

    9 answer is always reminding us of what Operation Spider

    10 was about. We know what it was about.

    11 Please answer the question. The question

    12 asked was: As part of Operation Spider, did you carry

    13 out an investigation or try to collect information

    14 about the truck bomb? The question is a very simple

    15 one; "Yes," "No," or something else?

    16 A. The investigation of Operation Pauk included

    17 all crimes committed, including the truck bomb, and all

    18 the crimes committed in the area of the Croatian

    19 Republic of Herceg-Bosna.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. This is the third

    21 time that you're saying about the truck bomb. That's

    22 what you've just said.

    23 A. I don't know what the interpretation was that

    24 reached you, but the investigation under Operation Pauk

    25 which included war crimes included all crimes

  12. 1 committed, that is to say, including the crime

    2 committed by the truck bomb explosion.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Among other things, that's what

    4 you've said. All right. That's the answer. Now we

    5 have an answer. Thank you.

    6 Please continue, Mr. Kehoe.

    7 MR. KEHOE:

    8 Q. In your investigation of the truck bomb in

    9 Operation Pauk, was anybody ever arrested for their

    10 involvement in the truck bomb incident in Stari Vitez;

    11 "Yes" or "No"?

    12 A. No, because, as I've already stated, a list,

    13 a file of the investigation did not result in names,

    14 except the Vitezovi unit.

    15 Q. So the investigation by SIS in May didn't

    16 result in any names and your investigation in Operation

    17 Pauk in 1994 also didn't result in any names; is that

    18 correct?

    19 A. I have already stated that the investigation

    20 within Operation Pauk was an investigation of all

    21 crimes, including that particular crime, and it did not

    22 result in any names.

    23 Q. As a result of this terrorist act, if we can

    24 conclude from your Operation Pauk, nobody was arrested,

    25 nobody was convicted, and no soldier was ever

  13. 1 disciplined for this heinous act? That's the bottom

    2 line, isn't it, General?

    3 A. That is the bottom line, but I'd just like to

    4 add that the results of the investigation did not

    5 result in identifying the perpetrators.

    6 Q. General, did your chief of staff, Slavko

    7 Marin, know that you had launched SIS into an

    8 investigation of the truck bomb in Stari Vitez?

    9 A. I don't believe that at that particular

    10 moment he knew, perhaps later, because the orders which

    11 went towards the SIS assistant were something that

    12 Slavko Marin need not have been aware of. So I don't

    13 know whether he knew or not. Quite possibly he did,

    14 but the order was, at all events, certainly sent to the

    15 assistant for SIS.

    16 Q. Let me read you two versions of his testimony

    17 at page 13433, line 4:

    18 "Q Brigadier, was there any order sent out

    19 by Colonel Blaskic to ask anyone whether

    20 HVO soldiers, any HVO soldiers, were

    21 responsible for this explosion?

    22 A I do not know whether an order of that

    23 kind was sent out."

    24 On the same page, line 17, referring to the

    25 report from the Vitez Brigade:

  14. 1 "Q So this report that we see, Defence

    2 Exhibit 304, after Blaskic received this

    3 report from the Vitez Brigade, he was

    4 satisfied that he had all information

    5 about the bomb and took no further steps

    6 that you know of to find out who was

    7 responsible; is that right?

    8 A I do not know what the commander was

    9 aware of and what was undertaken

    10 following that report."

    11 So, General, it appears clear that your chief

    12 of operations and then your acting chief of staff was

    13 unaware of any investigation that you asked for with

    14 respect to this truck bomb incident?

    15 A. He was the chief of operations, Slavko Marin,

    16 that we're talking about, and he was in charge of

    17 combat activities specifically, whereas the SIS

    18 security is a secret security working on its own

    19 assignments. As far as I was able to understand, he

    20 says that he was not aware of it, but I did issue an

    21 assignment and required an investigation from the

    22 security assistant.

    23 Q. Do you have a written order that supports

    24 what you just said?

    25 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we have been

  15. 1 listening to this for at least the fifth time in the

    2 last two days, whether there was a written order.

    3 First of all, the witness has answered. Second, it is

    4 not up to him to prove anything. Does the Prosecutor

    5 have evidence that he did not do that? Because the

    6 situation seems to be turning around. The same

    7 questions are being posed and, in a way, the witness is

    8 being maltreated, badgered, with the same questions,

    9 and then it would appear as if the witness is not

    10 answering correctly, has to repeat his answers. But

    11 this is all an artificial product to gain an effect

    12 which I don't think is the correct way to conduct a

    13 examination. This question was answered at least five

    14 times, that it was an oral order.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: I'll give you an answer,

    16 Mr. Nobilo. I believe that in all legal systems, the

    17 Prosecutor has to prove what he's putting forth. From

    18 that point of view, I render tribute to you, and you're

    19 right. But in all legal systems throughout the world,

    20 when the Prosecutor puts forth information which has to

    21 do with a witness, in this example a witness, not an

    22 accused, a witness who is giving answers by saying, "I

    23 did this" or "I did that," in all legal systems, the

    24 one who is putting forth the information has to at

    25 least begin to provide some evidence for what he's

  16. 1 saying. Do you agree with what I've said on that

    2 point?

    3 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, but I don't

    4 agree that every two hours the same thing should be

    5 asked and to create the conviction that there is no

    6 proof for that assertion, that is to say, I am against

    7 having the same question repeated again and again.

    8 These are effects to play to a jury but not to this

    9 type of Tribunal, with professional judges.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: We are not talking about juries

    11 here. As you stated have correctly, we are

    12 professional judges and we know, when the time comes,

    13 how to sift through what is solid evidence and what is

    14 an allegation made by the Prosecutor. I'm merely

    15 saying to you that this is not a witness like other

    16 witnesses but rather an accused who issued many orders

    17 and about whom one could think that he had issued

    18 orders that were issued in order to support his

    19 thesis.

    20 You are not the one who cannot show me that

    21 I'm wrong on that point, and perhaps that's a natural

    22 thing. The witness, who is also an accused, has issued

    23 orders, and having issued the orders, Mr. Nobilo, he

    24 places himself into a situation in which the Judges

    25 have all of the orders issued.

  17. 1 Are you following me in the way I'm

    2 reasoning? I'm speaking slowly and I'm asking the

    3 interpreters to be very careful about what I'm saying.

    4 This is not a witness like other witnesses.

    5 This is a witness who is also an accused and who, in

    6 his own defence and with your competent assistance,

    7 produced a number of orders. This is my first way of

    8 reasoning.

    9 When he tried to establish his defence in

    10 respect of the production of orders, it is absolutely

    11 natural for the opposing party or even for the Judges

    12 to put themselves in the same perspective, that is, the

    13 perspective of the orders that he issued. That's the

    14 second part of my reasoning.

    15 My third reason is the fact that the witness

    16 himself is the one who said, "I gave an order to do

    17 this," or "I gave an order to do that." Therefore, it

    18 doesn't seem illegitimate for the Prosecutor to

    19 say, "Do you have an order?" Now, if he doesn't have

    20 it, Mr. Nobilo, that's not a reason for the Judges to

    21 draw the most negative consequences that you could

    22 imagine. The trial has been going on for two years and

    23 many things have been said. But when we speak about

    24 methodology, it does not seem illegitimate to me for

    25 the opposing party, in this case, the Prosecutor, when

  18. 1 the witness says, "I gave an order to do this or that,"

    2 for the Prosecutor to ask, "Do you have the order or

    3 don't you?" If he doesn't, he doesn't. That's all

    4 there is.

    5 Do you agree with the way I'm reasoning,

    6 Mr. Nobilo?

    7 MR. NOBILO: Almost fully, Your Honour. I

    8 almost fully agree with the logical sequence that you

    9 have just presented. However, there are two premises

    10 that you omitted to mention. One is that the witness

    11 said that he issued an oral order. He said that at

    12 least a few times yesterday. So if he issued an oral

    13 order, that means that he could not have the order in

    14 writing. That is one thing.

    15 The second thing is that I do not agree with

    16 the same question being repeated five or six times in

    17 two days, and he has answered. But I do agree with

    18 your logic.

    19 Look at another effect. The witness said

    20 that he gave an oral order to Kraljevic in May, and a

    21 few minutes ago, the Prosecutor asked him, in Defence

    22 Exhibit 366 from the 24th of April, 1993, he

    23 said, "Where's your order to carry out an investigation

    24 related to the truck bomb?" Well, he could have taken

    25 any other order and asked where it was because it's not

  19. 1 there. He issued the order orally in May.

    2 I'm objecting to this because all of this is

    3 actually badgering the witness, and the witness has to

    4 answer the same questions five times, and key questions

    5 at that.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, thank you for your

    7 contribution to this discussion. But it is very

    8 important for the Judges, and the Prosecutor's

    9 questions are important for the Judges, it could be

    10 very important for the Judges, for example, to note

    11 that the important orders which might come to support

    12 what the witness is saying were always oral orders. Do

    13 you see what I mean? What is important, in fact, is

    14 oral. You, through the witness, produced written

    15 orders which do not always have a numerical sequence.

    16 Do you remember we had this discussion about the

    17 numbers?

    18 For the Judges, therefore, it could be

    19 important for the proceedings to note that many orders

    20 are missing and that when the witness tells us that he

    21 gave an order to carry out an investigation, we note

    22 that it was an oral order. If this occurs frequently,

    23 that is, that there are frequently oral orders, that it

    24 might be important for the Judges to note that very

    25 frequently very important orders about very important

  20. 1 subjects were given orally. All we will do is take

    2 note of that.

    3 MR. NOBILO: May it please the Court? I just

    4 have one more sentence, and I thank you for having

    5 opened this debate.

    6 It is important to understand military

    7 conduct. Never, absolutely never, does a commander in

    8 any army issue command orders in writing to his

    9 immediate associates, the members of his command.

    10 Written orders are given to units outside headquarters,

    11 but at morning briefings issues are given orally to

    12 members of his command.

    13 So that is to say that all orders to Ivica

    14 Zejko, to the intelligence service, Nakic, all of them

    15 are oral, and they would be oral in any army in the

    16 world. If there is an order in writing, then that is

    17 dramatic and that is why there are these two written

    18 orders. You will never find them in any headquarters

    19 in any army in the world that the members of one's

    20 immediate command get orders in writing.

    21 These are people who sit in an operations

    22 room together. Their desks are right next to one

    23 another. They would not write to one another to give

    24 orders to each other.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: First of all, I would answer by

  21. 1 saying that these crimes are not daily occurrences, the

    2 most serious crimes. In the second place, your witness

    3 said how upset he was by the crimes. He said that. He

    4 repeated that. It appears -- remember that he gave

    5 orders, orders that you were very pleased to show to

    6 the Judges, written orders about Ahmici and orders

    7 about the military offences including the truck bomb.

    8 In the second place, your witness held

    9 important responsibilities during Operation Spider. He

    10 was very satisfied -- very pleased to say that to the

    11 Judges.

    12 Mr. Nobilo, one cannot be satisfied with

    13 presenting certain facts to the Judges and then to

    14 protest when the opposing party or the Judges ask for

    15 additions to those facts. It's like the alibi defence,

    16 which you did not use, but in all legal systems

    17 throughout the world, when a witness says something,

    18 and here this is a witness, he does so under his own

    19 responsibility, and his responsibility includes, even

    20 if he might one day -- if he might even say, "Where is

    21 the order?" The Judges have to point out and take note

    22 of the fact that many of the orders issued were oral,

    23 and frequently the orders that your witness wants to

    24 show as support of his statements are not there and

    25 this is an important thing for the Judges to know.

  22. 1 That is what I wanted to say to you. Thank you.

    2 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, please proceed.

    4 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.

    5 Q. General, before we move away from this area,

    6 I would like to read you one more short excerpt of

    7 testimony of Lieutenant-Colonel Henk Morsink at page

    8 9858, at line 15:

    9 "Q In respect to the truck bomb that

    10 occurred in Stari Vitez, when Mario

    11 Cerkez said he was going to conduct an

    12 investigation, when you were in theatre

    13 did you ever receive an investigative

    14 report from the HVO about the

    15 circumstances of that truck bomb?

    16 A. Never."

    17 So, General, was the international community

    18 made aware of the results of this alleged investigation

    19 you launched as to who was responsible for the truck

    20 bomb?

    21 A. First of all, the investigation was not an

    22 alleged investigation, it really was carried out, so I

    23 have to repeat once again that the report that I

    24 received from the security service said that the

    25 Vitezovi unit was behind this. This was not an alleged

  23. 1 investigation, this was an investigation that was truly

    2 carried out.

    3 Secondly, I never had an approval -- I never

    4 had approval to acquaint the members of the

    5 International Community with the results of the

    6 investigation, and members of the international

    7 organisations were not entitled to receive this kind of

    8 information, because I had the law on military secrets

    9 that I had to operate in accordance with. So I had to

    10 keep these secrets, and these internal difficulties and

    11 problems I usually -- nobody usually shared with

    12 members of the International Community.

    13 Q. Well, General, let us move ahead and stay

    14 with the Vitezovi. We will move ahead chronologically

    15 to the attack on Stari Vitez of the 18th of July,

    16 1993.


    18 MR. KEHOE: Yes. I'm sorry, Judge.

    19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Just before you change

    20 gears, may I can take the opportunity of asking General

    21 Blaskic whether Exhibits 360 and 361 also applied to

    22 the military police?

    23 You know, General, we've been talking about

    24 the Vitezovi and about SIS. I want to be clear about

    25 the situation of the military police.

  24. 1 A. Your Honour, document 361 certainly pertains

    2 to the military police too. Yes, it does. But

    3 document 360, as I've already said, speaks about all

    4 the subordinate commanders within the Operative Zone.

    5 Perhaps it was supposed to be a reminder to the

    6 military police too. Perhaps it pertained to them as

    7 well, but I'm not 100 per cent sure. However, as far

    8 as 361 is concerned, that I'm sure about.

    9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: So at that point of

    10 time, you were taking the view that the military police

    11 were subordinate to you?

    12 A. The military police was not subordinated to

    13 me in that period of time. It was attached to me. It

    14 was subordinated to me only from the end of July, the

    15 beginning of August, 1993.

    16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, you spoke about

    17 introducing or reintroducing the rule of law. Should I

    18 take it that, therefore, you felt the need for the

    19 assistance of the military police to help you in that

    20 endeavour?

    21 A. Well, certainly, Your Honour, because the

    22 military police or, rather, one the tasks of the

    23 military police is to discover the perpetrators of

    24 crimes, making files about the perpetrators of crimes

    25 and sending these files to the district military

  25. 1 prosecutor on the basis of the law on criminal

    2 procedure, and I think the witness Tadic spoke about

    3 that here too now.

    4 However, when the military police is not

    5 directly subordinated to me in terms of my direct

    6 command, then it is not one of my direct instruments in

    7 this regard and, therefore, I'm brought into an absurd

    8 situation. In document 360, in item number 1, I ask

    9 that the previously issued order be carried out. I am

    10 absurdly repeating that my order should be carried

    11 out.

    12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see. Thank you,

    13 General.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Shahabuddeen.

    15 All right. You want to now speak about the Vitezovi,

    16 Mr. Kehoe?

    17 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, among other things

    18 we are going to talk about the attack on Stari Vitez on

    19 the 18th of July, 1993.

    20 Q. Now, General, you told us that on the morning

    21 of the 18th of July, 1993, I think you told us you

    22 weren't in Vitez. Can you just tell us what you did

    23 that morning, once again?

    24 A. On the 18th I was in Busovaca. I attended

    25 mass in the church there, and I was with the priest

  26. 1 from Busovaca. I had lunch at his place that

    2 afternoon.

    3 Q. So, General, just to clarify, did you go from

    4 the Hotel Vitez to mass in Busovaca, attend mass and

    5 then have lunch with the local parish priest?

    6 A. I left my headquarters. I think it was in

    7 Nova Bila. Yes, I left Nova Bila on the evening of the

    8 17th. I went to Busovaca, to a place called Ravan. I

    9 spent the night there with Petrovic family, the family

    10 of Ivo Petrovic. They are my close relatives.

    11 In the morning I attended holy mass and I had

    12 lunch in Busovaca, in the town of Busovaca, at the

    13 parish priest's home.

    14 Q. What time did this attack commence in Stara

    15 Bila [real-time error] on the 18th?

    16 A. I will have to look this up in my

    17 chronology.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Check what you need to

    19 check. Were you able to find your chronology,

    20 Mr. Blaskic?

    21 A. No, not yet, Your Honour.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: The time of the attack on Stara

    23 Bila, I think that's what was translated here. You're

    24 talking about Stara Bila?

    25 MR. KEHOE: Stari Vitez. It should be Stari

  27. 1 Vitez. I apologise.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: This shouldn't be too

    3 complicated, General Blaskic. The Prosecutor is giving

    4 you a specific date. You know, you gave all the

    5 information minute by minute and it's in your

    6 chronology. We're speaking about the 18th; is that

    7 correct, the 18th of July, 1993.

    8 At what time, Mr. Kehoe? Is this information

    9 that the witness himself gave?

    10 MR. KEHOE: I'm not positive he actually gave

    11 it, Mr. President. He gave us an account of what

    12 happened that day and his movements between Nova Bila

    13 and in Busovaca, I believe, and the simple question I

    14 had was: What time did this action begin in Stari

    15 Vitez?

    16 JUDGE JORDA: It was an operation that was

    17 carried out by the HVO commander. I don't remember.

    18 Could you refresh our memory, please while the General

    19 is looking through his chronology.

    20 MR. KEHOE: That was an operation carried out

    21 by the HVO in Stari Vitez on the 18th of July, 1993.

    22 Q. General, why don't you look at that at the

    23 break and we'll move on with the questioning. General,

    24 my next question -- if you can put that down and we can

    25 move on to the break and you can look at that on the

  28. 1 break.

    2 When did you find out, what time of day did

    3 you find out that there had been an attack on Stari

    4 Vitez, do you recall? I'll remind you of your

    5 testimony that you said at page 19496, that you

    6 returned to Nova Bila at 18.00.

    7 A. When I came back to Nova Bila, that is to

    8 say, that afternoon, I found out that there had been

    9 combat activity in Stari Vitez.

    10 Q. You had no information about that combat

    11 activity until you returned to your headquarters at

    12 Nova Bila at 18.00; is that right?

    13 A. I did not have any such information or

    14 knowledge.

    15 Q. Thereafter, did you learn any of the methods

    16 employed during that attack, such as the use of

    17 "babies" to be launched into Stari Vitez. That being,

    18 of course, fire extinguishers being filled with various

    19 types of munitions.

    20 A. There were such stories too, possibly, but I

    21 found out that the following method was used: To use

    22 the fog for attracting BH army units into Stara Bila

    23 and thus contributing to the surprise factor. That's

    24 what the commanders talked about most of all. However,

    25 this was an entire story saying that this was a major

  29. 1 victory of the BH army and there were major losses on

    2 the HVO side and --

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. I think you've

    4 answered the question. Please continue, Mr. Kehoe.

    5 MR. KEHOE:

    6 Q. But you realised -- you do know, as a

    7 military commander, that the use of "babies," the

    8 launching of these fire extinguishers, launches a

    9 projectile which can't be controlled; isn't that

    10 right? Certainly the direction can't be controlled.

    11 A. It wasn't the way you are saying. It wasn't

    12 only that. These were explosives, not only fire

    13 extinguishers, and they were used at short range, and

    14 usually at BH army positions.

    15 There were stories, stories, rumours that

    16 "babies" were used too, but I know that the artillery

    17 of the Operative Zone was not used and that nobody

    18 asked me to have the artillery used.

    19 Q. The use of these "babies" is illegal under

    20 the laws of war; isn't it, because they are fired and

    21 land indiscriminately; isn't that correct?

    22 JUDGE JORDA: This is your assertion,

    23 Mr. Kehoe. Please ask your question.

    24 MR. KEHOE: I will rephrase the question.

    25 Q. Are the use of these "babies," which are fire

  30. 1 extinguishers stuffed with munitions, are the use of

    2 those illegal in that they land indiscriminately?

    3 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, our client is not

    4 a lawyer. It calls for a legal conclusion. That's a

    5 question for the Court, not the witness.

    6 MR. KEHOE: I will rephrase the question.

    7 Q. During your training --

    8 JUDGE JORDA: I sustained the objection.

    9 Don't ask legal questions unless they are questions

    10 about something that a commander should really know,

    11 but I agree with Mr. Hayman. Remember that the witness

    12 said that as a military commander, he knew what was

    13 lawful and what was not lawful, but it is true,

    14 Mr. Kehoe, try not to draw the witness into legal

    15 discussions that are too complicated. Let's continue.

    16 MR. KEHOE:

    17 Q. General, these "babies," were they precise?

    18 By "precise," I'm talking about can you specifically

    19 direct their direction and where they are about to land

    20 when they explode?

    21 A. As far as directing them in a certain

    22 direction, that was possible. As far as I know, this

    23 was done by members of the BH army in the territory of

    24 Zabilje or the positions of Brdo, Stozerak. They were

    25 used at 150-metre, 200-metre ranges, and they were

  31. 1 precise to a certain extent.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Try to answer from a

    3 technical point of view. It's not a legal issue. The

    4 question was whether these weapons were precise and

    5 whether they could be controlled, that is, relatively

    6 possible to control them and be precise. Answer the

    7 question, please.

    8 A. Weapons can relatively be controlled, and

    9 they are precise but they are used at shorter ranges,

    10 150 to 200 metres. The few crews that are trained for

    11 that can hit a military target with that. Yes, it can

    12 be directed and controlled because military rules imply

    13 the use of mortars without using sight devices, with

    14 other things.

    15 Q. General, based on your training as a military

    16 commander, would you consider the use of these "babies"

    17 a proper use in war or an improper use?

    18 A. The situation that we were in then was such

    19 that we simply did not have any other choice or any

    20 other way out, but we certainly tried to reduce this

    21 kind of use to a minimum and to keep everything under

    22 control. There were many difficulties in this

    23 situation of chaos. It would have been better had

    24 there been no need to wage war in such an area.

    25 Q. So, General, during your time as the

  32. 1 commander in the Central Bosnian Operative Zone, did

    2 you authorise the use of these "babies" in combat?

    3 A. I do not remember having authorised the use

    4 of "babies" in combat, but I know that there was such

    5 use. I had received all kinds of information or

    6 rumours. There were improvised means that were used

    7 from rifles to artillery guns practically. That's what

    8 people did in the situation of self-defence. The

    9 greatest difficulty was to keep all of this under

    10 control, that is to say, to register all these weapons

    11 and keep them under control.

    12 Q. General, let us move back to the Stari Vitez

    13 attack on the 18th where you told us you received no

    14 information about that attack until 18.00 when you

    15 returned to your headquarters. I'd like to show you a

    16 photograph, Prosecutor's Exhibit 433/4.

    17 General, who is the man to the left-hand side

    18 of that photograph?

    19 A. That is Darko Gelic, an officer in charge of

    20 relations with UNPROFOR. He was an administrative

    21 officer in the command of the Operative Zone.

    22 Q. Let me read to you some descriptions that

    23 have been given by some witnesses about Darko Gelic,

    24 General. First, by Captain Lee Whitworth who noted

    25 that, and this is a series of pages, at transcript page

  33. 1 10193, 10195, 10198, 10217, 10296, 10298, Whitworth

    2 described Gelic as:

    3 "A ... Blaskic's liaison officer and did

    4 the speaking for then Colonel Blaskic

    5 during this period of time. A good

    6 number of meetings were with Gelic

    7 rather than Blaskic."

    8 At page 10341, Whitworth said he would

    9 petition Blaskic, usually through Gelic, to make stuff

    10 happen.

    11 On page 10414, on one occasion when Whitworth

    12 went to meet with Blaskic but met with Gelic instead,

    13 Whitworth on page 10433 noted that he assumed that the

    14 Blaskic/Gelic relationship was the same as the

    15 Whitworth/Duncan relationship and that he was acting on

    16 behalf of the Colonel, that is, with his authority and

    17 blessing.

    18 Major Mark Bower noted about the relationship

    19 with Gelic at page 9425 that Major Bower dealt with

    20 Gelic at the Hotel Vitez when he needed access through

    21 checkpoints.

    22 At page 9427, Bower spoke to Gelic to gain

    23 access to Kruscica for a food convoy.

    24 On page 9459, Bower noted that getting

    25 convoys through generally was facilitated through

  34. 1 Gelic.

    2 On page 9493, Bower noted that if he wanted

    3 to evacuate casualties from Stari Vitez, he would

    4 invariably have to go to Hotel Vitez and speak with

    5 Gelic.

    6 Brigadier Alastair Duncan, at 9164, described

    7 Darko Gelic as the HVO Operative Zone Central Bosnia

    8 Liaison Officer to BritBat, and the same, Lieutenant

    9 Colonel Morsink identified Darko Gelic as Blaskic's

    10 liaison officer, and that was at page 9935 and 9940.

    11 General, Darko Gelic was the person who you

    12 authorised to speak to the international

    13 representatives and especially to BritBat during a

    14 period of time when he was your liaison officer in

    15 Central Bosnia; is that accurate, sir?

    16 A. It is not correct that he was the officer who

    17 could talk to international representatives, regardless

    18 of which international representatives we're talking

    19 about, because the question is what would he talk

    20 about? He was an officer who could receive information

    21 from liaison officers of the international

    22 representatives, and then he could communicate this

    23 information to me or to other persons in charge to

    24 which this information was addressed, or he could also

    25 convey our positions to the UNPROFOR officers or other

  35. 1 persons to whom this information was addressed to. So

    2 he was the officer who was in charge of conveying this

    3 information. He did not have any other powers, only

    4 administration, that is to say, to receive information

    5 and convey information related to meetings.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: I think you've answered. The

    7 person who both receives and transmits seems a lot for

    8 a transmission officer. That's a subtle nuance, but I

    9 thought that I understood that he received things and

    10 that he was authorised to transmit things and then to

    11 let people know what you had said. I'm not asking a

    12 question. I'm just making a comment.

    13 Please continue, Mr. Kehoe.

    14 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.

    15 Q. Let us move to a document, General, if we

    16 may.

    17 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit

    18 708.

    19 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, Your Honours, this

    20 is a military information summary of the British

    21 Battalion dated the 18th of July, 1993. The

    22 designation on the top is "1 PWO Milinfosum," that is

    23 the abbreviated description of 1 Prince of Wales Own

    24 Regiment of Yorkshire, who was, of course, the

    25 successor British battalion after the Cheshire

  36. 1 Regiment.

    2 Q. I would like to refer to the first two

    3 paragraphs, the "General Situation" and "Vitez," and I

    4 will read it slowly for you, General, as it's in

    5 English. Again, this is dated 18 July, 1993:

    6 "In the Lasva Valley, the HVO have launched

    7 an attack on the Muslim pocket of Stari Vitez ..."

    8 MR. KEHOE: Can you pull that down, please,

    9 Mr. Usher? Thank you.

    10 Q. "... The outcome is presently unknown as

    11 fighting is ongoing and access into the area is being

    12 denied. An HVO attack on the Vrbas valley has not yet

    13 materialised but there are signs of mounting

    14 tension ..."

    15 If we could move to Vitez.

    16 "2. BritBat echelon report that Vitez had

    17 its busiest night since the arrival of 1 PWO. A human

    18 intelligence source claimed last night that the HVO

    19 were about to attack Stari Vitez," and it gives a grid

    20 reference. "During the night there was the normal

    21 small arms and HMG fire punctuated by mortar fire but

    22 on the 18th at 04.45 an intensive barrage of the Muslim

    23 area began and involved occasional MBRL and artillery

    24 fire as well as mortars. The fighting has continued

    25 throughout the day. 3 Corps BiH have stated that there

  37. 1 were 15 casualties in Stari Vitez but it is unclear

    2 whether this is a total figure or merely those

    3 requiring evacuation. Pero Skopljak, HDZ mayor of

    4 Vitez, has also spoken to ops concerning the evacuation

    5 of wounded. All access into Vitez has been denied by

    6 HVO checkpoints located at," two grid references,

    7 "225935 and at grid 243923. Both checkpoints have

    8 mines laid across the road and troops with cam cream

    9 were noted in the area of the first checkpoint. Darko

    10 Gelic, the Operative Zone Central Bosnia liaison

    11 officer to BritBat, has confirmed that the HVO are

    12 attacking Stari Vitez and that the artillery barrage

    13 was the preliminary phase. At 181459, echelon reported

    14 that the Croat village of Veceriska was coming under

    15 small arms, HMG and mortar fire. Similarly, at 182031

    16 mortar fire was reported on the Croat village of

    17 Jardol. At the time of the writing the fighting is

    18 ongoing. Comment. The HVO have frequently in the past

    19 threatened action against Stari Vitez. That they are

    20 apparently actioning this threat now is testimony to

    21 their current confidence in their position. Whether

    22 this confidence is justified remains to be seen as the

    23 BiH are undoubtedly in the stronger position throughout

    24 the area. The HVO may be merely exploiting the fact

    25 that 3 Corps' attention is apparently elsewhere.

  38. 1 Comment ends."

    2 In portion 3:

    3 "3. Darko Gelic also confirmed the

    4 helicopter flight into the Vitez area reported

    5 yesterday and stated that it was bringing in 'some

    6 piece of very important equipment.' He also claimed

    7 that the helicopter had 2 pilots, one for day and one

    8 for night."

    9 Now, General, here is your liaison officer

    10 discussing this barrage or this attack with a liaison

    11 officer in the British Battalion, and he notes that the

    12 artillery fire, the artillery barrage was the

    13 preliminary phase of the attack. Was this man speaking

    14 on your behalf, sir?

    15 A. First of all, he's commenting on the activity

    16 on Stari Vitez. He was a liaison officer, but I'd like

    17 to underline that the HVO did not launch an attack on

    18 Stari Vitez but this was done by the members of the PPN

    19 Vitezovi, special purposes.

    20 According to my chronology, on the 17th of

    21 July, the night before, there was artillery fire on the

    22 part of the BH army in the centre of Vitez and other

    23 areas of Vitez. The artillery that I commanded did not

    24 fire at Stari Vitez at any time, and the result of the

    25 attack on the 18th of July by the Vitezovi was general

  39. 1 condemnation sent to me because it was claimed that I

    2 had not allowed the artillery of the HVO to fire on

    3 Stari Vitez. Nobody even asked me or informed me about

    4 that attack and those activities.

    5 Darko Gelic comments on the arrival of

    6 helicopters. According to my notes, we arrived only at

    7 the beginning of August 1993 and not in July 1993.

    8 Q. General, this military information summary

    9 notes that the artillery barrage began at 04.45 in the

    10 morning. Is it your testimony that between 04.45 in

    11 the morning and 18.00 --

    12 JUDGE JORDA: The interpreters are not

    13 following. I am now at the end of General Blaskic's

    14 answer. All right. What's your question? I can read

    15 it, but I want to be sure that the witness has time to

    16 answer the question.

    17 Please continue, Mr. Kehoe.

    18 MR. KEHOE:

    19 Q. This military information summary reflects

    20 that the artillery attack on Stari Vitez began at 4.45

    21 in the morning. Is it your testimony that throughout

    22 that whole day until 18.00 you heard nothing about this

    23 attack that had commenced some 13 hours prior to that?

    24 A. I did not receive information about any kind

    25 of attack on Stari Vitez while I was in Busovaca. As

  40. 1 far as the beginning of the artillery fire goes, I

    2 maintain that the artillery that I commanded did not

    3 open artillery fire at all on Stari Vitez.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: You said that. You said that

    5 you didn't know that there was an attack.

    6 Please continue, Mr. Kehoe. Ask your

    7 questions.

    8 MR. KEHOE:

    9 Let me turn to the next exhibit, sir, which

    10 is a map with the grid references referenced in the

    11 military information summary.

    12 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit

    13 709.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: All right. That's the map.

    15 Ask your question before the break, Mr. Kehoe.

    16 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.

    17 Q. Now, General, these two grid references that

    18 are set forth in the map reflect the two places that

    19 checkpoints were is set up by the HVO according to the

    20 military information summary. Now, General, the

    21 setting up of checkpoints in this fashion would reflect

    22 a degree of coordination and planning, wouldn't it?

    23 A. No. Checkpoints were always there. As far

    24 as I can see from the map, this is a checkpoint by the

    25 church and I'll read it, it says GR 225935, and it was,

  41. 1 for the purpose of civilians coming to the church who

    2 were there, who lived there, should know how far they

    3 can go and where they were entering territory

    4 controlled by the BH army, whereas the checkpoint at

    5 the grid reference GR 243923 was also a checkpoint on

    6 the main access from Zenica to town of Vitez, and they

    7 always were checkpoints.

    8 There was another one which doesn't seem to

    9 be introduced here. I don't know why. It was the

    10 checkpoint by the bus station, which was almost at the

    11 front line itself, up at the line itself, the front

    12 line itself controlled by the HVO. It was only in that

    13 way that we were able to warn civilians living in the

    14 region or coming to the region not to enter territory

    15 controlled by another army. But despite the

    16 checkpoints that existed, at night individuals under

    17 the effects of alcoholic beverage, would pass this line

    18 and become prisoners, taken prisoner by the other side.

    19 Q. Well, General, this military information

    20 summary notes that all access into Vitez has been

    21 denied by the HVO at these two checkpoints. Was that a

    22 normal course of events for the HVO, to deny access

    23 into Vitez at these checkpoints?

    24 A. As far as the checkpoint is concerned, at

    25 GR 225935, that grid reference, that particular

  42. 1 checkpoint was at the very front line itself. As far

    2 as the other checkpoint in the other position, they

    3 never received orders from me of that kind, that is to

    4 say, to block the area and to prevent anybody from

    5 entering the area of Vitez.

    6 So quite certainly they did not receive an

    7 assignment from me of that kind, and I hear for the

    8 first time that blocks of this type existed.

    9 MR. KEHOE: I can continue on this,

    10 Mr. President, or take a break. I can continue on.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: It depends. You know I like to

    12 take breaks when there's a coherent point that's been

    13 finished. If you have nothing further to say about

    14 that attack we can take a break, but if you have a few

    15 more questions --

    16 MR. KEHOE: Yes, I do.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: What would you prefer?

    18 MR. KEHOE: I'd prefer to continue on,

    19 Mr. President, just for a few more minutes.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Let me ask the interpreters to

    21 be a little bit patient, even one who doesn't seem to

    22 be in the best form today. Let's finish with the

    23 attack on Stari Vitez. Thank you.

    24 MR. KEHOE:

    25 Q. General, given the fact that both these

  43. 1 checkpoints denied access to Vitez, and as the

    2 milinfosum -- both checkpoints had mines laid across

    3 the road, and the troops had cam cream on their faces

    4 at the checkpoint, those would reflect a degree of

    5 planning and coordination to this attack, would it

    6 not?

    7 A. I have already stated that the control point

    8 located in the north-westerly position had mines and it

    9 was a checkpoint at the front line, that is to say, the

    10 point is GR 225935. It had mines in the area, and they

    11 were right up at the front line. They either cautioned

    12 people or sometimes prevented passage, because the

    13 mines were an obstacle themselves, and for -- the

    14 problem that was to ensure passage despite the snipers

    15 and the BH army positions.

    16 The checkpoint at GR 243923 quite possibly

    17 had mines but the assignment of the checkpoint was, and

    18 I think this is clearly defined in one of my documents,

    19 never received instructions to me linked to blocking

    20 passage, denying passage.

    21 The GR 243923 checkpoint never received

    22 orders of that kind, and so the HVO did not launch an

    23 attack. That is erroneously stated. The attack was

    24 launched by the PPN Vitezovi. The home guards who were

    25 in their trenches I'm quite certain did not advance one

  44. 1 metre. There were 15 victims and they were killed and

    2 they were HVO victims, HVO soldiers.

    3 Q. General, just to define, cam cream that the

    4 milinfosum is talking about is the green and black

    5 cream that soldiers often put on their face; isn't that

    6 right?

    7 A. The soldiers were at the control point, the

    8 checkpoint GR 225935, as well as the checkpoint at the

    9 bus-stop.

    10 Q. Excuse me, General. I'm sorry. I'm just

    11 trying to get a clarification for the Judges as to what

    12 cam cream is, and cam cream is a black and green cream

    13 that soldiers put on their hands and faces to

    14 camouflage themselves; isn't that right?

    15 A. Soldiers use that to camouflage themselves,

    16 to mask themselves. Sometimes it's their image, but

    17 with professional soldiers it should be only used to

    18 mask, to camouflage, but there were other --

    19 JUDGE JORDA: General, let's stay with the

    20 first part of your answer, please. Let's not speak

    21 about looks or improvisations by soldiers.

    22 One would think that each person was looking

    23 into the mirror to see whether the green cream was

    24 nicer than the black cream. Let's be serious here and

    25 go on.

  45. 1 Mr. Kehoe, please proceed.

    2 MR. KEHOE:

    3 Q. Was it normal for the soldiers at these two

    4 checkpoints that we've been talking about, was it

    5 normal for those soldiers to be wearing cam cream on

    6 their faces?

    7 A. Soldiers at the checkpoints that we're

    8 talking about, GR 225935 could have had all types of

    9 appearance, could have looked different. At the

    10 GR 243923 checkpoint I do believe that they were

    11 members of the police, and one would not expect the

    12 members of the police to have that kind of paint, but I

    13 repeat, the checkpoints are never -- did not receive

    14 extraordinary instructions from my command.

    15 MR. KEHOE: I'm going to stay on this point

    16 but a different aspect of this attack, Mr. President.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: I know that Judge Rodrigues

    18 wants to ask a question. I suggest that we take a

    19 20-minute break, about 20, 25 minutes.

    20 --- Recess taken at 11.27 a.m.

    21 --- On resuming at 11.52 a.m.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the

    23 hearing. Please be seated. Judge Rodrigues wants to

    24 ask the witness a question. Judge Rodrigues, please

    25 proceed.

  46. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: General Blaskic, I would

    2 like to go back to document 708 and ask you whether

    3 I've read it correctly. I read it as follows: Darko

    4 Jelisic -- Gelic, rather, seems not only to be aware of

    5 the entire operation but also seems to be in agreement

    6 with the operation. Do you think that I've read this

    7 correctly?

    8 A. Your Honour, I do not have that document and

    9 I do not recall everything that was stated in the

    10 document, that is to say, document 708 to which we are

    11 referring, but I expressed my views publicly to the

    12 government, the civilian authorities of Vitez, that we

    13 cannot undertake any operations whatever on Stari Vitez

    14 because we have to guarantee security and safety to the

    15 population in Stari Vitez. That position on my part

    16 was common knowledge to all the representatives of

    17 power and authority in Vitez.

    18 I would just like to have a look and see what

    19 Darko Gelic is says in document 708 if you want to ask

    20 any more questions.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I don't think it's

    22 necessary to reread the document, but Darko Gelic knew

    23 about the helicopters, and when he spoke with the

    24 UNPROFOR officer -- well, perhaps you remember that

    25 conversation. From my reading, he seems that he knew

  47. 1 that there were helicopters which had brought in some

    2 large pieces of equipment, and in the conversation with

    3 the UNPROFOR officer, he seems to be in agreement.

    4 So I merely wanted to know whether you agreed

    5 with this way of reading the document. We don't have

    6 to go back to it.

    7 A. It is possible that Darko Gelic told the

    8 UNPROFOR officer what he did connected with the

    9 helicopters, but Darko Gelic, as a liaison officer, did

    10 not have, as far as I remember, access to the contents

    11 of that. That is a logistical affair. If he had

    12 commented about this, he would have left an impression

    13 on the UNPROFOR officer.

    14 Helicopters began to arrive into the Lasva

    15 Valley at the beginning of August, so I'm not quite

    16 clear about how Darko Gelic was able to make comments

    17 about helicopters at all. As far as the activities are

    18 concerned, he was in Vitez at the time of the attack,

    19 when the attack took place, that is. Quite possibly he

    20 heard -- because, you know, there was sporadic

    21 operations daily. The forces of the BH army were at a

    22 distance of 15 to 20 metres. Sometimes the distance

    23 between them was a distance of 100 metres.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, General. Thank you,

    25 Judge Rodrigues. Mr. Kehoe, please continue.

  48. 1 MR. KEHOE:

    2 Q. General, just to clarify the point you had

    3 with Judge Rodrigues, you noted during the course of

    4 your testimony that you objected to an attack on Stari

    5 Vitez, and your objection was in May of 1993, not in

    6 July 1993; isn't that correct?

    7 A. Yes. At the end of May they invited me to

    8 attend a government meeting, the civilian

    9 representatives, and raised the three questions

    10 including Stari Vitez including a military solution. I

    11 publicly let it be known that I was opposed to that

    12 type of solution.

    13 Q. Now, General, what units in Central Bosnia

    14 have a multi-barrelled rocket launcher in their

    15 possession, what HVO units?

    16 A. What calibre do you have in mind for the

    17 multiple rocket --

    18 Q. Any calibre.

    19 A. For a time the command of the mixed artillery

    20 division had a MBRL. This was up until the 8th of

    21 January, 1993. The calibre was 122 millimetres. After

    22 that, the command of the artillery battalion had a

    23 128-millimetre MBRL, and quite possibly some of the

    24 brigades had lower calibre multiple-barrelled rocket

    25 launchers, but I cannot tell you offhand, I haven't got

  49. 1 the notes, but this was always at the level of the

    2 brigades and it was the artillery under the command of

    3 the commanders of the home Guards Brigades.

    4 Q. Well, did the Viteska Brigade have a

    5 multi-barrelled rocket launcher in July of 1993?

    6 A. For a time it had an improvised MBRL,

    7 handmade. I don't know how it came into being and who

    8 masterminded it, but it was an improvised VBR, which

    9 had a far smaller range and less capability than the

    10 classical VBR. I know that this kind of device the

    11 Vitez Brigade had and it was workers from the weapons

    12 factory, whether from Novi Travnik or Vitez, that

    13 produced it.

    14 Q. Did the Vitezovi have a multi-barrelled

    15 rocket launcher?

    16 A. As far as I know, they did not have one. I

    17 do not have information, nor did I ever have

    18 information that they had one of these devices.

    19 Q. Now, General, when the milinfosum reflects

    20 that at 5.45 in the morning there have an occasional

    21 multi-barrelled rocket launcher and artillery fire, you

    22 conclude that this multi-barrelled rocket launcher came

    23 from a unit other than the Vitezovi, is that

    24 accurate? "Yes" or "No".

    25 A. As far as I know, the Vitezovi, within their

  50. 1 composition, did not have MBRLs. So perhaps they came

    2 from another unit, although there were improvised types

    3 of MBRLs, improvised devices used with -- electricity

    4 powered.

    5 Q. I could then give the witness, Mr. Registrar,

    6 the two exhibits that we spoke of, Defence Exhibit 250

    7 as well as Defence Exhibit 345. 250.

    8 Now, General, the first exhibit that we have,

    9 Defence Exhibit 250, is the Vitezovi report that we

    10 refer to frequently.

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. In the insertion that we have for the 18th of

    13 July, the document reflects the death of three Vitezovi

    14 soldiers, Marinko Plavcic, Miroslav Jankovic, and Ivo

    15 Babic.

    16 Now, let us move to the next document which

    17 is Defence Exhibit 345, and we will refer to the

    18 individuals that were killed. The first one killed in

    19 Vitez on the 18th is number 95, Vlado Ivankovic, which

    20 has no designation of being in the Vitezovi; number

    21 137, Joze Andrija Krizanac; number 202, Veska Zlatko

    22 Nakic; number 302, I'm not sure if it's the first one,

    23 Zoran Sero, killed on the 18th; the next one is number

    24 436, an individual from the regional police, Nikica

    25 Saric; the next one, 439, an individual from the Tvrtko

  51. 1 II Brigade, Ive Zoran Dzandara; the next death is on

    2 444, Roko Vukovic, also from Tvrtko; the next three

    3 dead are from the Vitezovi, and they are 446, 455, and

    4 470, which reflect the three Vitezovi names that are in

    5 250.

    6 Now, this document, General, reflects that

    7 there were deaths of members of the Vitezovi, during

    8 this attack, Tvrtko, the regional police, and the

    9 Viteska Brigade. So there are at least four different

    10 units involved in this offensive; isn't that correct?

    11 A. The document about the death that we

    12 mentioned a moment ago speaks of the units where these

    13 individuals who lost their lives came from. I did not

    14 find in the document the locality of their death, but I

    15 know, according to the information that I later

    16 gathered, that between 13 and 15 members lost their

    17 lives in an operation of this kind belonging to the

    18 HVO, that one of the mines fell directly on the defence

    19 positions of the HVO, and everybody in that position

    20 was killed. These were perhaps six or seven members.

    21 In this document, the list of casualties, that is,

    22 document 345, I was able to find the date, but I was

    23 not able to find the place of death.

    24 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, the document

    25 speaks for itself. The document itself, which is a

  52. 1 Defence Exhibit, notes the place of death, and on all

    2 those dates, it notes that it is, in fact, Vitez.

    3 Q. General, more than the Vitezovi were involved

    4 in this, isn't that correct, "Yes" or "No," more units?

    5 A. I do not have data of that kind, that is to

    6 say, that more units took part in that attack. I do

    7 have information that the commander of the attack was

    8 the commander of the special purposes units, Mr. Darko

    9 Kraljevic.

    10 Q. General --

    11 MR. KEHOE: Sorry, counsel.

    12 MR. NOBILO: I apologise. Mr. President, I

    13 have an objection to a previous question --

    14 JUDGE JORDA: You can exercise your right to

    15 redirect at the proper time. This is the kind of

    16 information that you can challenge when you redirect,

    17 Mr. Nobilo. The witness is alone ordinarily. Let me

    18 remind you of that.

    19 MR. NOBILO: Yes, that is true. But when, in

    20 the question, an incorrect piece of information is

    21 given, and then the witness is not a professional

    22 individual to be able to think of all this at the same

    23 time, it's not the place -- the document does not speak

    24 about the place of death but the place in which they

    25 were buried.

  53. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, he is the one who

    2 chose to be a witness. It's true he's not a witness

    3 like all the other witnesses, but I have to maintain

    4 balance. Having said that, you will have enough time

    5 to clarify all of this.

    6 Mr. Kehoe?

    7 MR. KEHOE:

    8 Q. In this attack on the 18th, there was an

    9 artillery barrage that began at 4.45 in the morning

    10 using artillery and multi-barrelled rocket launchers,

    11 checkpoints were set up, several units were involved,

    12 and your liaison officer was the spokesperson about

    13 this attack to the British battalion. This would

    14 appear to be a highly organised attack that you

    15 maintain you knew nothing about; isn't that right?

    16 A. First of all, as regards the artillery

    17 barrage, I continue to maintain that the artillery

    18 under my command did not function, and possibly there

    19 was an exchange of gunfire, but the artillery that I

    20 commanded quite certainly did not operate.

    21 Second, the checkpoints were always at the

    22 same points, but one of them is not included in your

    23 exhibit, and probably they tried to prevent access or

    24 leaving the area, but I was not informed of the attack

    25 and I did not receive information about the attack.

  54. 1 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, let us move to two

    2 more exhibits which will be a milinfosum of the 19th

    3 and the 20th of July.

    4 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit

    5 710.

    6 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Usher, I also have the other

    7 one. We're going to do them together, please.

    8 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit

    9 711.

    10 MR. KEHOE:

    11 Q. The first is a military information summary,

    12 Exhibit 710, from the 19th of July, 1993, just the area

    13 of Vitez.

    14 MR. KEHOE: You will see in this document,

    15 Mr. President, Your Honours, that the military

    16 information summary is talking about a conversation

    17 with Sefkija Djidic, commander of Stara Bila town

    18 defence, and I think that the record reflects to date

    19 that Mr. Djidic was the commander of Stari Vitez. I

    20 don't think there's much question about that in the

    21 record.

    22 Q. I will read this just briefly:

    23 "Vitez:

    24 2. An attempt by the BritBat area LO to

    25 negotiate a cease-fire to stop the HVO attack on Stara

  55. 1 Bila," it should be Stari Vitez, "was successful and

    2 came into effect on the 19th 10.30. It will end on the

    3 20th at 22.00.

    4 3. A conversation with Sefkija Djidic

    5 commander Stara Bila town defence, revealed the

    6 following unsubstantiated information regarding

    7 yesterday's HVO attack on the Muslim sector:

    8 a. The HVO attack began on the 18th at

    9 04.00 and petered out at

    10 approximately on the 18th at

    11 16.00. During this period,

    12 approximately 300 impacts (mainly

    13 rifle grenades and 60/82/120

    14 millimetre mortars) were made in

    15 the Muslim sector.

    16 b. During the period approximately

    17 100 HVO infantry troops attempted

    18 to attack from all directions

    19 surrounding the enclave but were

    20 unsuccessful and no ground was

    21 gained. The HVO sustained at least

    22 6 dead, 3 of whom they claim were

    23 HV. The remaining HVO injured

    24 personnel were extracted during

    25 their own arrangements last night.

  56. 1 The BiH claim that during the past

    2 2 days they have sustained 20

    3 casualties, one of whom has died.

    4 8 of these casualties were

    5 extracted by ICRC, call sign, with

    6 BritBat, call sign, to Zenica

    7 hospital.

    8 Comment. Whether the HVO will attack Stari

    9 Vitez again is difficult to assess after this initial

    10 failure. Significantly, despite their successful

    11 defence the morale of the BiH in the pocket is reported

    12 as being low. The large expenditure of ammunition by

    13 the HVO in the context of the overall situation

    14 (cut-off) suggests that they possess large stockpiles.

    15 Comment ends."

    16 On the 20th, Exhibit 711, top of the page,

    17 and this is the military information summary of 20

    18 July, 1993:

    19 "1. The cease-fire brokered yesterday was

    20 broken by both factions in the town earlier this

    21 morning. At the last count, 7 impacts were made in

    22 Muslim Stara Bila and five impacts in the Croat sector

    23 resulting in at least one death.

    24 2. Darko Gelic, the 3 Ops Zone HVO LO

    25 claimed that if the BiH attack Vitez then the HVO will

  57. 1 retaliate by shelling Zenica. He claimed further that

    2 90 per cent of those casualties sustained by the HVO in

    3 Central Bosnia since the beginning of the conflict had

    4 been the result of fighting with the BiH."

    5 Now, General, Darko Gelic, as your liaison

    6 officer, told a liaison officer for the British

    7 Battalion that if the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

    8 attacked Vitez, then the HVO would retaliate by

    9 shelling Zenica. Did you authorise him to make that

    10 statement to the British Battalion, General?

    11 A. First of all, I already said that Darko Gelic

    12 was a communications officer. He never received such

    13 authorisation from me, but I wish to say that the HVO

    14 of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia was attacked by

    15 the BH army, but it never shelled Zenica or any town,

    16 and that was a clear position. In any negotiations,

    17 never did I start speaking that way. I mean --

    18 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic, that was not

    19 the question. The question was whether you had

    20 authorised Darko Gelic to make that statement. I

    21 suppose that you're answering "No"?

    22 A. No, and it's the first time I've ever heard

    23 of it. Today is the first time I've ever heard of it,

    24 and he never informed me of having presented such a

    25 position.

  58. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Thank you. I think

    2 that's an answer to the question.

    3 All right. Mr. Kehoe, you have an answer.

    4 MR. KEHOE:

    5 Q. General, with regard to this attack itself,

    6 you responded, during your direct examination, that

    7 this attack without your authorisation on Stari Vitez

    8 was a gross violation of discipline and perhaps even a

    9 criminal act. What type of criminal act were you

    10 contemplating that this was?

    11 A. Arbitrariness of a commander and acting in

    12 contrast to my orders. He did not inform me and he did

    13 not seek my approval, but no one from the army of

    14 Bosnia-Herzegovina or from the monitoring mission ever

    15 talked to me until I came to this court, and nobody

    16 ever told me that there was a war crime. The only

    17 piece of news was that this was a major victory on the

    18 part of the BH army and a terrible disaster and defeat

    19 for the HVO.

    20 Q. Well, General, again referring to your order

    21 361 which you said applied to Kraljevic and his units,

    22 did you order, again in your paragraph 3 of Exhibit

    23 361, that: "Individuals and groups who are completely

    24 out of control are to be arrested immediately and

    25 warrants to be delivered to the commander of the

  59. 1 military police."

    2 Did you order that these people who violated

    3 your orders and conducted this attack be arrested and

    4 that warrants be delivered to the military police? Did

    5 you do that?

    6 A. As concerns what these people did, I informed

    7 the chief of the main staff about that, because not in

    8 a single point in time was I in charge of taking

    9 disciplinary or any other action against the PPN

    10 Vitezovi.

    11 As regards this extraordinary incident, I

    12 told the chief of the main staff of the HVO about

    13 everything I thought about this, also that I thought

    14 that this was a major infraction of discipline on the

    15 part of the commander of the PPN Vitezovi.

    16 Q. General, given the fact that you thought this

    17 was perhaps a war crime, did you refer this to the

    18 military district prosecutor so that he may investigate

    19 further and conduct an investigation to see if there

    20 were crimes involved?

    21 A. I said that I thought that this was a

    22 criminal offence. As regards this being a war crime,

    23 that's what I heard about here in the courtroom. I

    24 thought that this was a violation, and I informed about

    25 this the chief of the main staff of the HVO, Brigadier

  60. 1 Milivoj Petkovic.

    2 Q. Did you or did you not refer this matter to

    3 the military district prosecutor for his

    4 investigation? "Yes" or "No"?

    5 A. The district military prosecutor? No, I did

    6 not refer this matter to him. I referred it to my

    7 superior who was in charge of taking further action.

    8 Q. And once again during your Operation Pauk

    9 matter, nobody was ever arrested, or convicted, or

    10 disciplined as a result of this gross violation of

    11 discipline or possible criminal conduct, were they?

    12 A. That unit was disbanded totally, among other

    13 things, because of these measures, and it was

    14 reorganised into a different unit but not all of the

    15 members of this unit. This was before Operation Pauk.

    16 It ceased to function as a unit on the 15th of January,

    17 1994. In addition --

    18 Q. Excuse me, General. That's not my question.

    19 I'll read you my question again. Regarding the Pauk

    20 matter, nobody was ever arrested, or convicted, or

    21 disciplined as a result of this gross violation of

    22 discipline or possible criminal conduct, were

    23 they? "Yes" or "No"?

    24 A. In Operation Pauk there was a different

    25 mandate. It did not deal with violations of military

  61. 1 discipline, it dealt with matters related to criminal

    2 offences and with the extended mandate with war crimes

    3 too. Military discipline was -- action related to

    4 military discipline was not taken within the Pauk

    5 operation at all.

    6 Q. Well, General, let's move ahead. After you

    7 received this information --

    8 JUDGE JORDA: I'll ask the operation that --

    9 the expression -- that you say operation Spider,

    10 "araignee" in French. I'm not supposed to know what

    11 the word "Pauk" is. Mr. Kehoe doesn't say operation

    12 "araignee," but he says "Pauk." I want to hear in

    13 French, "araignee," Operation Spider. Thank you very

    14 much.

    15 MR. KEHOE: I can say the word "Spider" too,

    16 Judge.

    17 Q. Now, General, before you did your Grbavica

    18 attack in September of 1993, did you find out the names

    19 of the soldiers in the Vitezovi who were responsible

    20 for this gross act of insubordination that took place

    21 on the 18th of July?

    22 A. Well, as concerns the 18th of July, the

    23 commander himself said that this was an action he had

    24 carried out at his own initiative with his soldiers.

    25 So the commander said this clearly, and we can see this

  62. 1 from document 250, that he commanded that action.

    2 Q. Okay. That was Darko Kraljevic?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. This person, Darko Kraljevic, who committed

    5 this act of insubordination, was the same person who

    6 selected the soldiers for you in the Vitezovi that took

    7 place -- that conducted the Grbavica attack in

    8 September; is that right?

    9 A. No. No, that is not right. These persons

    10 were chosen by Mr. Dragan Vinac and he subscribed to

    11 their behaviour and everything else. He was the deputy

    12 of Darko Kraljevic, and he was in charge of that

    13 particular activity. I think that he is the signatory

    14 of this document 252.

    15 Q. So there were Vitezovi involved in -- we're

    16 moving to the Grbavica attack that you yourself

    17 planned. There were members of the Vitezovi involved,

    18 and you don't know whether or not those members of the

    19 Vitezovi that were involved in the Grbavica attack were

    20 involved in Ahmici, or the truck bomb, or the Stari

    21 Vitez attack on the 18th of July; isn't at that right?

    22 A. I do not have any knowledge of the Vitezovi

    23 taking part in Ahmici, except for information

    24 concerning certain individuals that I heard here in

    25 this courtroom. However, the unit of Vitezovi had no

  63. 1 business there, nor did they receive orders to be

    2 there, including the village of Ahmici.

    3 As for Grbavica, I already said I asked the

    4 commanders to select personnel and to sign this in

    5 addition to a guarantee in terms of their conduct in

    6 combat.

    7 Q. Now, in addition to the Vitezovi, another

    8 unit that was involved in the attack on Grbavica, on

    9 the 7th and 8th of September of 1993, was the Light

    10 Assault Battalion, which Mr. Nobilo reminded us on

    11 several occasions was the ancestor to the Jokeri; isn't

    12 that right?

    13 A. The members of the military police took part,

    14 as far as I remember, in this action.

    15 Q. Well, sir, let me read you some testimony in

    16 Exhibit 457, which is the 3 years of military police.

    17 Pasko Ljubicic notes on page 65 of his note: "Here I

    18 can mention Grbavica, Sivrino Selo, Kruscica, Ahmici,

    19 and several other places which I am sure and can prove

    20 they were successfully protected through the

    21 involvement of the military police."

    22 And your appointee, Marinko Palavra,

    23 testified on this point and he noted that: "My parts

    24 of the military police were not engaged in the Grbavica

    25 operation." That page is on -- that is page 16793, at

  64. 1 line 17.

    2 So the part of the military police that you

    3 selected to be involved in the Grbavica attack was the

    4 Jokeri, who was then being called the Light Assault

    5 Battalion; isn't that right?

    6 A. I asked to have personnel given to me from

    7 the ranks of the military police. That was my

    8 request. There is a plan and an elaborated paper on

    9 the participants in this respect, and there were 15 or

    10 20 such individuals.

    11 Q. General, you told us, at page 19676, at line

    12 13:

    13 "A We took parts of certain units, taking

    14 into consideration that these would be

    15 soldiers whom we could control and who

    16 would carry out the orders that were

    17 given in full."

    18 The soldiers that you selected, General, were

    19 the Jokeri, wasn't it?

    20 MR. HAYMAN: Counsel is suggesting that he's

    21 quoting from the transcript but he stopped quoting from

    22 the transcript. Could that be made clear, Mr.

    23 President?

    24 MR. KEHOE: Counsel, you can read the whole

    25 thing on redirect.

  65. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman is right. Indicate

    2 the separation between what you're quoting from the

    3 transcript and what is your own comment or observation.

    4 MR. KEHOE:

    5 Q. "Q Can you tell us what were the criteria

    6 which you used..."

    7 And this is Mr. Nobilo's question.

    8 "Q Can you tell me what were the criteria

    9 that you used to identify those who

    10 would participate in this operation?

    11 A As far as the participants are

    12 concerned, we selected certain

    13 resources. We took parts of certain

    14 units, taking into consideration that

    15 these would be soldiers whom we could

    16 control and who would carry out the

    17 orders which they were given in full.

    18 Since these were already known from

    19 before, I specifically ask that a list

    20 be compiled by each of the commanders

    21 which would be signed by them, and they

    22 would be a guarantee that these soldiers

    23 would carry out the orders as they were

    24 issued.

    25 Q Did you control these lists and manpower

  66. 1 which were put at your disposal?

    2 A Yes, I did that together with my

    3 subordinate commanders and I conducted

    4 a review of the soldiers. I talked to

    5 them about the responsibilities that

    6 were involved in the task, because this

    7 was a unique opportunity for us to carry

    8 out this action, given the limitations

    9 in ordinance and ammunition which we

    10 had."

    11 Now, General, in your selection of the

    12 individuals who were involved in the attack on

    13 Grbavica, you selected members of the Jokeri who now

    14 call themselves the Light Assault Battalion, didn't

    15 you?

    16 A. No. I got a list of 20 participants from the

    17 overall ranks of the military police. At that time I

    18 know that the Jokeri did not exist at all as a unit.

    19 There was the Light Assault Battalion which had a

    20 larger number of personnel. Perhaps there was an

    21 individual or two, but I thought they were members of

    22 the military police.

    23 Q. Well, General, you said that you were working

    24 on a daily basis, training and discussing matters with

    25 Marinko Palavra. So you knew that none of Marinko

  67. 1 Palavra's men were involved in the Grbavica attack,

    2 isn't that correct? "Yes" or "No"?

    3 A. I knew that there were members from the

    4 military police. I don't know what Marinko Palavra

    5 meant by those words, that none of his members were

    6 engaged. I don't know whether he referred to the

    7 company of the military police that was still in the

    8 process of formation. It's not clear to me.

    9 Q. Didn't you testify, General, that the Light

    10 Assault Battalion of the military police was not under

    11 the command of Marinko Palavra? Didn't you testify to

    12 that?

    13 A. Yes, the Light Assault Battalion was not

    14 under the command of Marinko Palavra, it was under the

    15 command of the assistant of the chief of administration

    16 of the military police and under the direct command of

    17 the military police, Mr. Valentin Coric.

    18 Q. So is Valentin Coric the individual who gave

    19 you the list of names for you to use in the Grbavica

    20 operation?

    21 A. No, not Valentin Coric. I'm not sure whether

    22 this list was signed by Marinko Palavra himself or

    23 whether somebody else signed it on his behalf, but

    24 Valentin Coric did not give such a list of individuals

    25 who would participate.

  68. 1 Q. Well, General, if these soldiers did not come

    2 from Mr. Palavra's troops, where did these military

    3 policemen come from?

    4 A. If these were individuals who were not from

    5 Palavra's ranks and belonged to the military police,

    6 nevertheless, they could have been from the Light

    7 Assault Battalion because this battalion had about 300

    8 men.

    9 Q. Now, in this Light Assault Battalion, and

    10 focusing on the individuals that you selected, were

    11 these soldiers that you selected for the attack on

    12 Grbavica, had they been involved in the atrocities in

    13 Ahmici?

    14 A. I'm afraid that your question was not fully

    15 interpreted to me. Could you please repeat the

    16 question?

    17 Q. Certainly, General. Of the soldiers that you

    18 selected from the military police for the Grbavica

    19 action, how many of those military policemen had been

    20 involved in the atrocities in Ahmici?

    21 A. Well, first of all, the question is being put

    22 in the following way here: Which are the soldiers whom

    23 I selected? I wasn't the one who selected the

    24 soldiers, it their immediate commanders who selected

    25 them. I do not even know these soldiers.

  69. 1 Secondly, I did not get the ultimate findings

    2 of the investigation so that I would know the names and

    3 surnames of the perpetrators of the crime in Ahmici.

    4 However, I know that these individuals who took part in

    5 the Grbavica action did carry out orders and were fully

    6 under control.

    7 Q. My question is this: Were the military

    8 policemen that you selected for the Grbavica attack,

    9 were one, two, or any of them involved in the attack on

    10 Ahmici? "Yes" or "No"?

    11 MR. HAYMAN: He's answered the question,

    12 Mr. President.

    13 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, he said during his

    14 direct testimony, in response to questions from

    15 Mr. Nobilo, that he personally selected these people

    16 and went --

    17 JUDGE JORDA: The men were chosen by General

    18 Blaskic. I think that your question is somewhat

    19 tendentious, leading. I think that you have to ask the

    20 witness whether among the men that he chose he

    21 remembers whether there were people who might have been

    22 in Ahmici. I think that that would be a more fair

    23 question.

    24 MR. NOBILO: I agree, and I wish to say

    25 something in this context, namely, the witness has been

  70. 1 saying all the time that the names of the perpetrators

    2 of Ahmici were not identified, and these questions are

    3 what --

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Don't suggest an answer for

    5 your client, Mr. Nobilo. If there are any tricks being

    6 used, the Judges are here in order to spot them. Your

    7 witness is old enough to answer as a witness. He chose

    8 to be a witness, but I do have to safeguard the fact

    9 that there is equanimity and equality of arms in these

    10 proceedings, and that that was not absolutely fair. I

    11 think that in the meantime, the witness understood what

    12 the Prosecutor was asking.

    13 When you asked for men for the Grbavica

    14 attack, were there or might there have been people from

    15 the Military Police Battalion among them who had

    16 participated in Ahmici? It seems to me a simple

    17 question and the answer should be simple as well.

    18 Either you know or you don't, or you were not in a

    19 position to know. Please answer, General Blaskic. At

    20 least answer the Judges if you don't want to answer the

    21 Prosecutor.

    22 A. Your Honours, I don't know which group

    23 carried out the attack on Ahmici. I did not get a list

    24 of names, so I can only say what I believe in. I

    25 believe, on the basis of their behaviour in the action

  71. 1 of Grbavica, that there were not any such individuals

    2 with that kind of behaviour. However, I do not have

    3 the list of perpetrators of the attack or the crime

    4 committed in Ahmici.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe?

    6 MR. KEHOE:

    7 Q. General, when you got the list of members of

    8 the military police to be used in Grbavica, did you ask

    9 their commander whether or not any of them had been

    10 involved in the attack in Ahmici?

    11 A. I cannot remember all the details of the

    12 conversation. I just know that I requested that the

    13 commanders of these activities, since this was an

    14 action taking place in a built-up area, that they had

    15 to guarantee for the behaviour of those soldiers, and I

    16 wanted them to be the most responsible soldiers and

    17 those who upheld the highest criteria.

    18 Q. Let us move ahead, General, and just turn our

    19 attention to a military information summary for the

    20 date 8 September, 1993.

    21 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit

    22 712.

    23 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Mr. Usher, we have one

    24 for the French booth and for the B/C/S booth.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Exhibit 712, did you say?

  72. 1 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, just to go back to

    2 some previous testimony, this attack, of course, takes

    3 place right next to the British Battalion base in

    4 Grbavica.

    5 Q. Again, this is a military information summary

    6 from the 1st Battalion of the Prince of Wales Own

    7 Regiment of Yorkshire, dated 8 September, 1993.

    8 Reading from the top:

    9 " General:

    10 1. The HVO offensive in the area of BritBat

    11 main has been extremely successful and has resulted in

    12 the capture of the Stara Bila feature and Grbavica.

    13 There has been a slight increase in the level of

    14 activity in the Gornji Vakuf area but as yet, no ground

    15 movement."

    16 Moving to the Vitez portion in 2:

    17 "2. After a relatively quiet night, this

    18 morning at 1000 hours, the HVO offensive on the Stara

    19 Bila feature and the village of Grbavica continued.

    20 Call signs observed at least 100 HVO troops firing and

    21 manoeuvring with suppressing fire support up the

    22 feature and through the village. A fire extinguisher

    23 mortar plate was established at the southern end of the

    24 feature, and mortar AAMG direct fire weapons were

    25 observed firing from at least four separate positions

  73. 1 at grid squares," and gives the grid coordinates. "The

    2 BiH counteroffensive which was expected at first light

    3 this morning obviously did not materialise, and it

    4 would appear that the remaining BiH troops offered

    5 only," can't read that word, "what defence they could

    6 and then probably made a tactical withdrawal. There is

    7 at present no information regarding casualties. At

    8 1600, the entire feature and the village of Grbavica

    9 had been captured. The HVO flags have replaced those

    10 BiH ones that were in position some 48 hours previous.

    11 The majority of the houses (approximately 50) in the

    12 village are at present ablaze and HVO troops are on the

    13 streets celebrating. The BritBat Vitez area LO reports

    14 that elements of the extremist 'Jokeri' unit were also

    15 involved in the attack. The main MSR that had

    16 previously been denied to them is now open with normal

    17 civilian vehicle and foot movement noted and the BiH

    18 Chickanes previously positioned on that route have

    19 since been removed. The HVO now appear to be

    20 consolidating their position on the top of the feature,

    21 and there has still been no retaliatory action by the

    22 BiH. The local Muslims that surrendered last night to

    23 BritBat were this evening extracted to Travnik for

    24 their own safety.

    25 "3. The BritBat Travnik area LO spoke with

  74. 1 Beba Salko and reported that Beba was visibly shocked

    2 as a result of the HVO's recent gains. Mehmed Alagic,

    3 his ops commander, and Kelestura in a separate

    4 conversation with BritBat LO stated that action would

    5 be taken within the next 72 hours. Comment. It is

    6 clear that the BiH leadership have underestimated the

    7 offensive capability of the HVO in the Lasva Valley and

    8 that consequently the gains now made by them may result

    9 in further losses by the BiH if more concerted action

    10 is not taken by them. This high ground dominates the

    11 BiH held areas of Sadovace, Bukve, and the ground

    12 recently seized at the base of the Brdo feature.

    13 Should the HVO now wish to capitalise on these recent

    14 gains and use the Bila as a fire base, then this area

    15 could very quickly become untenable," and then it reads

    16 on to complete the comment.

    17 General, let me show you first a photograph

    18 which is part of Exhibit 82, Prosecutor's 82, and also

    19 433/28 as well. This is 82. Excuse me, Mr. Usher.

    20 It's 82 slash what?

    21 THE USHER: 82/5.

    22 MR. KEHOE:

    23 Q. We're going to put 82/5, General, on the

    24 ELMO, and that, General, is a "baby," is it not?

    25 A. Possibly. At first, they were such. But I

  75. 1 saw this kind here in the courtroom. The one that was

    2 used over there was different. So what is called a

    3 "baby" in Vitez is not this. In the entire Vitez

    4 region, a "baby" is similar to this, but it's not

    5 this.

    6 Q. What is it, sir?

    7 A. The casing was used from former artillery

    8 projectiles, and it was made in a similar way, that is

    9 to say, there was a casing and then a certain amount of

    10 explosive would be put in, and this was used between

    11 the front lines on both sides, and it was fired. It is

    12 metal casings that were used and certain amounts of

    13 explosive that were fired between the front lines, and

    14 it was called "babies" in the town of Vitez and

    15 throughout this area. However, as far as Operation

    16 Grbavica is concerned, "babies" were not used. I'm

    17 certain of that; absolutely. The artillery was in a

    18 limited fashion and for the purpose of precision, but

    19 "babies" were not used in Grbavica.

    20 There were no combat operations in Stara

    21 Bila, no combat operations in Stara Bila. This action

    22 took place around point 532, and Stara Bila was a

    23 settlement, and there was nothing there, no movements

    24 of personnel, nothing.

    25 Q. General, let us address your comment that no

  76. 1 "babies" were used.

    2 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Usher, if we could put 433/28

    3 on the ELMO.

    4 Q. We will discuss this particular exhibit,

    5 General, in conjunction with the testimony of Captain

    6 Lee Whitworth at page 10282, and this is a photograph

    7 that he testified that he took.

    8 MR. KEHOE: This was a series of questions,

    9 Your Honours, as we were going through a series of

    10 photographs.

    11 Q. It reads:

    12 "Q 433/28?

    13 A That's actually a picture capturing

    14 the HVO using babies in their

    15 infantry assault the morning of the 8th

    16 of September.

    17 Q Can you point to that baby in there?

    18 A Yeah. That black mark is actually a

    19 fire extinguisher tumbling through

    20 there, and you can't actually make it

    21 out very clearly on the screen --"

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, it's a little bit

    23 difficult for the interpreters to follow this. If I've

    24 understood this correctly, you are going back to a part

    25 of the transcript of Captain Lee Whitworth; is that

  77. 1 correct?

    2 MR. KEHOE: That's correct.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Could that be repeated so that

    4 the interpreter can follow?

    5 MR. KEHOE: I apologise to the interpreters

    6 for moving too quickly.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Are the interpreters in the

    8 French booth prepared? You're saying "Yes," but I

    9 don't think you are. I hear you're having trouble with

    10 your voice. Can you hold out? All right. Very well.

    11 We still have another nine minutes. I think you can

    12 hold out for the nine minutes.

    13 Perhaps you can speak a bit more slowly,

    14 Mr. Kehoe.

    15 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.

    16 Q. This is on page 10282, line 6, referring to

    17 this photograph:

    18 "Q 433/28?

    19 A That's actually a picture capturing the

    20 HVO using babies in their infantry

    21 assault the morning of the 8th of

    22 September.

    23 Q Can you point to that baby in there?

    24 A That black mark is actually a fire

    25 extinguisher tumbling through there, and

  78. 1 you can't make it out very clearly on

    2 the screen, but on here there's a white

    3 flash. This photograph actually was in

    4 colour, and that was an orange flash.

    5 That was the detonation point which

    6 launched the baby through the area."

    7 Now, with regard to these "babies," General,

    8 let me read you the testimony of Major Mark Bower on

    9 page 9381, talking about "babies." Excuse me. Make

    10 that 9380, line 22:

    11 "A The blast injuries were caused by

    12 indirect fire weapons such as mortars,

    13 and in the summer, there was a home-made

    14 mortar bomb which we in BritBat called

    15 the fire extinguisher bomb. It was the

    16 canister of a fire extinguisher that

    17 was ballistically thrown 100, 200 metres

    18 over the front lines. It could be

    19 fuelled with petrol, something to ignite

    20 a fire, so it was incendiary, or a

    21 low-level explosive to create a blast.

    22 Q How indiscriminate were these weapons in

    23 effect?

    24 A The people at the firing point of these

    25 weapons would not be able to see where

  79. 1 the round would land because it was

    2 going over houses.

    3 Q When you're talking about a round,

    4 you're now talking about a fire

    5 extinguisher?

    6 A A fire extinguisher bomb or a mortar

    7 round, it is termed indirect. It

    8 doesn't travel in a straight line. It

    9 will go over the area, the ground it

    10 wishes to travel. The home-made device

    11 such as this fire extinguisher bomb was

    12 very unstable. It had no guiding fins

    13 like a plane to stabilise it in its

    14 flight. It was crude and inaccurate,

    15 and because it takes time to travel from

    16 the firing point to the detonation

    17 point, maybe as long as 10 to 15

    18 seconds, no guarantee could be made of

    19 who would be in the target area when the

    20 bomb detonated, and because the firers

    21 could not see physically who was in that

    22 area when they fired it, it was

    23 indiscriminate and it caused a number of

    24 civilian non-combatant casualties."

    25 For accuracy's sake, Mr. Bower, at that

  80. 1 point, when he's describing the use of these fire

    2 extinguisher bombs, is talking about the events in

    3 Stari Vitez.

    4 In fact, General, the HVO soldiers under your

    5 command did, in fact, use these fire extinguisher bombs

    6 known as "babies" during the attack on Grbavica; isn't

    7 that right, sir?

    8 A. During the attack on Grbavica, no "babies"

    9 were used, and I never permitted "babies" to be used in

    10 built-up areas. The artillery was high precision

    11 operation, that is to say, on military targets.

    12 I would also like to say, as far as I know,

    13 for any "baby" to be fired, you must have a space in

    14 front of you, so you target it directly and need an

    15 empty space in front of you. If this is a projectile

    16 at all, then it is far too high for a "baby" to have

    17 this kind of trajectory. It has as lower trajectory.

    18 Usually the distances are 150 to 200 metres.

    19 In the operation at Grbavica, a complete plan

    20 of military action was compiled with a list of all the

    21 participants, and no "babies" were used in that

    22 operation at all. Some chosen artillery was used with

    23 high precision on military targets, and the whole

    24 operation ended in a few hours' time.

    25 Q. You would agree, would you not, General, that

  81. 1 the firing of these fire extinguisher bombs is very

    2 dangerous because an attack with the use of such

    3 weapons would be indiscriminate because they can't be

    4 guided and directed; isn't that right?

    5 A. It can be guided but with not enough

    6 precision for it to be used in built-up areas,

    7 settlements, and it is used as a last resort from the

    8 front line, when you have two sides on the front line,

    9 for example, the BH army and the HVO. So if there was

    10 no ammunition left, then this was used as a last resort

    11 to refute an attack or to defend one's positions.

    12 Q. Now, General, if I can move ahead --

    13 MR. KEHOE: I am going to move to another

    14 topic, Mr. President, within the Grbavica attack, but

    15 it is another topic.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: I'd like to make a point or ask

    17 for some clarification.

    18 In your last answer, you said that the HVO

    19 was able to use those "babies," is that correct,

    20 according to the sentence I see in front of me? That

    21 might have happened?

    22 A. It could have happened but not in the

    23 Grbavica operation. Not a single "baby" was used in

    24 the Grbavica operation and not a single "baby" was used

    25 in built-up areas. I tolerated, and there were times

  82. 1 when this was used up at the front line --

    2 JUDGE JORDA: I wanted to be sure that I

    3 understood correctly when you said that there were

    4 times when troops under your command were able or would

    5 have been able to use those weapons; is that correct?

    6 A. I never authorised it in writing, but I heard

    7 that there were moments of that kind.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: It's a little bit difficult.

    9 I'm reading these translated sentences here. There are

    10 changes that are made constantly. It seems to me that

    11 the last sentence of the transcript which has now been

    12 scrolled up read that it could have happened outside of

    13 Grbavica, that troops could have used them. I wanted

    14 to know whether on other occasions, troops under your

    15 command were able or had been able to use those

    16 weapons? Now you're answering, "Well, I heard about

    17 that," but you were the commander of the Operative

    18 Zone, and loud and clear, you state that you were the

    19 commander of that Operative Zone.

    20 I have a very simple question and it was a

    21 comment on your own answer: I heard that you were

    22 saying that outside of Grbavica, aside from Grbavica,

    23 when they didn't have any other weapons, other

    24 munitions, the troops were able to use "babies."

    25 That's what I heard. Is that correct?

  83. 1 A. Outside built-up areas, at the front lines

    2 where the two sides were confronted, opposed each

    3 other.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for the

    5 clarification.

    6 All right. We will resume at 2.30, and I ask

    7 the interpreters to try to rest.

    8 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.02 p.m.


















  84. 1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: We'll now resume the hearing.

    3 Please be seated. Mr. Kehoe, you may proceed.

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

    5 Q. Now, returning to this Grbavica attack that

    6 you planned, let me read you some testimony concerning

    7 the events towards the end of hostilities on the 8th of

    8 September, and this is an excerpt of the testimony of

    9 Major Mark Bower of the British Battalion at page 9402,

    10 line 21:

    11 "Q Now, immediately after the attack had

    12 been completed, the people cleared out,

    13 did looting commence?

    14 A Yes.

    15 Q By whom?

    16 A Initially it was by HVO soldiers. They

    17 were taking electrical items,

    18 furniture. And shortly after Croat

    19 families moved into those houses that

    20 were now unoccupied, and there seemed to

    21 be a redistribution of the property of

    22 those houses, and that was being done by

    23 non-combatants."

    24 Now, General, I would like you to look on the

    25 ELMO at Exhibit 433/24, which is a photograph that was

  85. 1 taken, Your Honours, again by Captain Lee Whitworth

    2 from British Battalion, on the 8th of September, 1993.

    3 He testified initially on this issue on page 10279, at

    4 line 3:

    5 "A I saw numerous instances of soldiers

    6 removing items from the houses. I think

    7 I actually photographed one of them

    8 removing a tape recorder, and there was

    9 a lot of looting that took place

    10 immediately afterward by the local

    11 population, in fact, who started turning

    12 up in large numbers with flatbed trucks,

    13 et cetera, to reclaim whatever they

    14 could quickly before the place was burnt

    15 to the ground."

    16 With reference to this particular exhibit,

    17 433/24, question on line 22 on page 10280:

    18 "Q What about this next photograph,

    19 433/24, the one on the ELMO?

    20 A That's a picture I took of some of the

    21 soldiers who had been looting in the

    22 area. One of them got a cassette, the

    23 other one's carrying what, in fact, was

    24 a large butcher's axe, a large chopping

    25 axe.

  86. 1 Q The other has a radio in his hand?

    2 A He has indeed, sir, yes."

    3 General, contrary to your testimony, a

    4 significant amount of looting was, in fact, done by

    5 these HVO soldiers that were specifically selected for

    6 this attack, isn't that a fact, sir?

    7 A. No. The soldiers that took part in the

    8 operation did not loot and the operation was concluded

    9 at about 14.30. The civilian police took over the

    10 security of the village. It is true, as these reports

    11 state, that not the local population but the refugee

    12 civilians, and I believe among those refugees there

    13 were also some soldiers but not those who took part in

    14 the operation, that they attacked the village and

    15 looted it, took windows, doors, stoves, and anything

    16 necessary for survival. At that time, there were some

    17 35.000 refugees in the Lasva pocket. So with the

    18 winter coming on, they took away what they needed to

    19 survive.

    20 They did not accommodate themselves in the

    21 houses. Perhaps in some of them they did take up

    22 residence, and it's not true that houses were looted

    23 before they were burnt. The houses were burnt over a

    24 longer period of time, sometimes one, two, or three

    25 houses, and in 1994 as well. This usually took place

  87. 1 at night when the house was left empty, and then

    2 unknown individuals would set fire to them.

    3 Q. So, General, when Captain Whitworth, on page

    4 10279, said and I quote: I saw numerous instances of

    5 soldiers removing items from the house," you believe

    6 that Captain Whitworth, the officer for the British

    7 Battalion, was mistaken; is that correct?

    8 A. You asked me about the soldiers that I had

    9 selected for action, that they had looted the houses

    10 subsequently. If Captain Lee Whitworth had seen

    11 civilians wearing uniforms, the question remains what

    12 civilians they were.

    13 So soldiers taking part in the operation did

    14 not loot a single house after the operation was

    15 concluded. They remained in their positions. Lootings

    16 were done by civilians, refugees. Perhaps there were

    17 individual members of the HVO amongst them but that's

    18 all.

    19 Q. Well, let's turn to this photograph on the

    20 ELMO, 433/24. Are those soldiers or are those

    21 civilians, the ones carrying the rifles over their

    22 right shoulders, and the one in the left with the radio

    23 and the other one with the axe?

    24 A. Well, judging by this photograph, if I looked

    25 at the photograph and didn't know the context and

  88. 1 circumstances, I would ask who these people were,

    2 because there are no insignia on them, neither on the

    3 left or right shoulder. They are armed individuals,

    4 and this soldier is wearing a civilian jumper. So it

    5 is very difficult to judge and assess what it's all

    6 about.

    7 If I know the context and the circumstances

    8 and know the village, then here we have two armed

    9 soldiers, that is true, but the civilians that stormed

    10 the place, there were hundreds of them, perhaps

    11 thousands of them, and they would just take windows,

    12 and stoves, and carry them off with their tractors or

    13 anything else that they had at hand to ensure that they

    14 would be able to survive the oncoming winner.

    15 Q. General, were you in the village after the

    16 operation ended?

    17 A. I saw, and that was the agreement reached

    18 earlier on, I saw the arrival of the civilian police

    19 which took over the security of the village and which

    20 was in charge of the internal security of the enclave.

    21 I went to my headquarters to carry on my work there.

    22 When I saw all this and this taking over, there was no

    23 looting. The police had set up its control points, its

    24 checkpoints, the civilian police, that is, and its

    25 patrols, and it surveyed the area in classical police

  89. 1 fashion as nightfall came on.

    2 Q. Well, General, is there any doubt in your

    3 mind that the two individuals that are depicted in the

    4 photograph on the ELMO, Exhibit 433/24, had looted some

    5 of the houses in Grbavica?

    6 A. I can see what the photograph shows. I did

    7 not say the photograph is as it is. It speaks for

    8 itself. I did not say that perhaps they didn't loot.

    9 I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that looting

    10 occurred when a mass of refugees stormed the region and

    11 when the police opened fire and killed one of them. It

    12 was a situation in which, as I have already said,

    13 stoves, windows, doors were pulled away, and anything

    14 that served the refugees' survival.

    15 Q. Now, let us turn to the burning that took

    16 place, General. Again, we have testimony from various

    17 individuals, the first being from Sefkija Dzidic on

    18 page 1262, on line 18:

    19 "A The attack went on for two days. On

    20 the first day there were artillery

    21 attacks using explosive devices,

    22 so-called babies. We saw them flying

    23 through the air. On the second day I

    24 saw houses burning. At first I thought

    25 that they were set on fire by

  90. 1 ammunition, flammable ammunition, but it

    2 was a mistake. I looked more closely

    3 and saw soldiers, and not only soldiers

    4 but also civilians who were looting

    5 houses in Grbavica, probably even then.

    6 As early as then, the army had.

    7 retreated from Grbavica.

    8 When they took whatever they wanted

    9 to take from the houses, they set them

    10 on fire. At one point I could see over

    11 a hundred houses on fire. All of the

    12 houses belonged to the Muslims. Only a

    13 few houses belonging to Muslims escaped

    14 this fate in a village which had over

    15 200 houses. I think that on that day

    16 the mosque also burnt in Grbavica but

    17 the minaret survived until the end of

    18 the war. It is not demolished but it

    19 was eventually demolished and destroyed

    20 in '94 when a truce had already been

    21 signed.

    22 Q Was the burning of the houses in

    23 Grbavica consistent with the pattern of

    24 burning Muslims houses throughout the

    25 Lasva Valley?

  91. 1 A It seemed so. Houses would first be

    2 looted and then set on fire."

    3 Let me turn to the next bit of testimony,

    4 sir, which is Major Roy Hunter of the Prince of Wales'

    5 Own Regiment of Yorkshire, on page 5088, line 1:

    6 "Q What happened in September of 1993?

    7 A In September of 1993, I think

    8 6 or 7 September, there was quite a

    9 large-scale HVO assault using artillery,

    10 and mortars, and infantry which secured

    11 the hill feature Grbavica. After that,

    12 the entire village of Grbavica was

    13 burnt, by which time there were very few

    14 people."

    15 If I can just briefly go into private session

    16 to read a closed session transcript. It's only about

    17 15 lines, Mr. President.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, very well. Wait until

    19 we've set up the private session and then read what you

    20 need to read.

    21 (Private session)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  92. 1












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  94. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (Open session)

    21 MR. KEHOE:

    22 Q. General, you noted for us that on the 7th of

    23 September, approximately ten houses were burning, and

    24 on the 8th of September, between five and eight houses

    25 were burning, and that was your testimony on page 19684

  95. 1 through 19695.

    2 Let me put Exhibit 433/21 on the ELMO. This

    3 is another photograph taken by Captain Whitworth in the

    4 early afternoon of the 8th of September, and his

    5 testimony concerning this photograph is on page 10279,

    6 line 23:

    7 "Q Let us go to 433/21, the next

    8 photograph. What is that, sir?

    9 A That is a photograph I took as I left

    10 Vitez on the way back to BritBat,

    11 approaching Grbavica. You can make out

    12 the mosque which is on the Vitez side as

    13 I'm approaching it, and basically all

    14 the buildings are on fire."

    15 In cross-examination by Mr. Hayman, we

    16 focused in on that time frame, and he narrowed that

    17 time frame as to when this occurred. On page 10414,

    18 line 17 of Captain Whitworth's testimony, I might as

    19 well start from line 14:

    20 "A For the morning of the 8th, I spent in

    21 the offices mess with a pair of

    22 binoculars, taking photographs as the

    23 HVO troops went up to point 3 on the

    24 map, which was their launch point for

    25 the assault. And then around lunchtime,

  96. 1 I drove through in an armoured vehicle,

    2 observed troops crossing the road, small

    3 arms exchanges taking place. I went

    4 down to the Hotel Vitez to speak to

    5 Colonel Blaskic, but spoke to Darko

    6 Gelic. Colonel Blaskic was unavailable

    7 at the time. I stayed down there for

    8 half an hour and then drove back up in

    9 the afternoon, after lunch sometime. I

    10 can't remember when it was. That's when

    11 I took the photographs showing the

    12 extent to which the buildings were

    13 burning as I returned up. That must

    14 have been afternoon, early afternoon,

    15 afternoon time."

    16 Mr. Hayman asked on page 10416, line 23:

    17 "Q How many houses were burning then when

    18 you came back in the afternoon, at mid

    19 afternoon?

    20 A Quite a few. I would have said about

    21 half of them.

    22 Q Half of the total that you saw burning

    23 on the 8th or half of all the houses on

    24 Grbavica?

    25 A Yes, I would have said a good half of

  97. 1 the houses. It certainly presented a

    2 great wall of smoke that looked as if

    3 there was a fair number. As I drove

    4 through and took photographs, I would

    5 say that half the houses were on fire."

    6 Now, General, according to the testimony of a

    7 British Battalion liaison officer, by early afternoon,

    8 when you were still conducting this operation, half the

    9 houses in Grbavica were on fire; isn't that a fact?

    10 A. Are you saying half of 200 houses; is that

    11 what you're saying?

    12 Q. I'm saying half of the houses in Grbavica,

    13 sir, are on fire.

    14 A. That's not true. It is a complete fallacy.

    15 I still maintain that the houses in Grbavica were burnt

    16 at the end of 1993, in October, November, and December,

    17 and in the course of 1994, and this particular

    18 photograph, I don't see any house on fire there. You

    19 can't see anything clearly. You can't see houses on

    20 fire. I still maintain that the mosque, behind which

    21 you can see this smoke, was untouched. It was not even

    22 damaged in that operation.

    23 Q. Let us turn to a videotape, if we can,

    24 Exhibit 443, which is a BBC --

    25 MR. KEHOE: I'm sorry, Judge Shahabuddeen.

  98. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: General, have you got a

    2 theory to offer to the Court as to why the houses were

    3 allowed to be standing and then burnt in October,

    4 November, December? Why would that be?

    5 A. Your Honour, that they were not even

    6 remaining standing afterwards, the idea was that the

    7 chief of the regional civilian police for the whole

    8 enclave, that is to say, that he should ensure the

    9 protection of those houses. It is my personal belief

    10 that we could not have ensured and supervised about

    11 30.000 refugees, which was the number that lived in the

    12 enclave at the time, and we couldn't offer them

    13 conditions for survival. They even looted Croatian

    14 houses in Krizancevo Selo at the end of December 1993

    15 and set fire to them, people of that kind.

    16 So what was important for them was that they

    17 found the means for survival in these houses and that

    18 they could come by those means for survival to ensure

    19 biological survival in the area, their own lives. The

    20 houses were set fire to after the looting, in the

    21 course of the night, one by one. It wasn't that

    22 somebody came today and set fire to everything once he

    23 had looted all the houses.

    24 In the combat activities and operations, as I

    25 said, as a result and as a consequence of the fighting,

  99. 1 there were facilities that were set fire to afterwards,

    2 here and there, but that was after fighting on both

    3 sides because there are no trenches or dugouts or

    4 anything on the photographs near houses and so on.

    5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: But what is puzzling me

    6 is this: There was some fighting originally, some

    7 houses, according to you, were burnt but not all, most

    8 were left standing, and they were left standing for

    9 some time, and then in October, November, and December,

    10 they were burnt. Why would they be burnt, having been

    11 left standing for some time?

    12 A. Your Honour, I can only assume that -- that

    13 is to say, I feel that there were two reasons for

    14 that: One of the reasons was that once the looting had

    15 been completed and everything had been taken away from

    16 the house of any value, then that house would have been

    17 burnt, and they were a sorry sight because everything

    18 had been taken away from them, the tiles, the portals,

    19 the windows, everything that could be carried off.

    20 The other reason, the second reason was that

    21 once the Washington Agreement had been signed, then in

    22 the area under the control of the BH army, houses were

    23 burnt which were owned by Croats. The Croats were

    24 expelled and then lived in the enclave, and then when

    25 he sees that his house is on fire, then he would react

  100. 1 in turn and then burn a Muslim house belonging to a

    2 Bosniak Muslim, even in his neighbourhood. That is the

    3 other reason.

    4 I believe that this burning was the result of

    5 trying to cover up the looting that had been going on

    6 and that it was a very difficult situation which the

    7 civilian and military police had to contend with, and

    8 they couldn't arrive at the perpetrators. But I issued

    9 orders for this kind of action to be stopped, to be

    10 halted, but there were a lot of reactions of that type,

    11 in order to prevent this from happening.

    12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you, General.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Shahabuddeen.

    14 Mr. Kehoe?

    15 MR. KEHOE: Let us turn to the videotape

    16 which is Prosecutor's 443.

    17 THE REGISTRAR: Mr. President, I'd like to

    18 point out to the parties that this exhibit was given to

    19 the technical booth, but it was not admitted.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: It was part of the exhibits

    21 that were not admitted, and the Trial Chamber will

    22 decide what to do with them after having heard the

    23 comments of both parties.

    24 Just a moment, please.

    25 (Trial Chamber confers)

  101. 1 MR. KEHOE: In the video booth, if we could

    2 move ahead with this tape. As I said, this is a BBC

    3 tape, Mr. President, taken on the 8th of September,

    4 1993

    5 (Videotape played)

    6 MR. KEHOE: If we could wind that back about

    7 ten seconds, please, I'll tell you where to stop. Just

    8 keep going forward now, please. A little bit further.

    9 The next series of houses. Stop right there, please.

    10 Q. General, that particular photograph is a

    11 photograph or film of an HVO soldier walking past a

    12 house that's on fire underneath.

    13 MR. KEHOE: That particular item was captured

    14 in an exhibit, Mr. President, which is Prosecutor's

    15 446. It has been lifted off this particular video.

    16 Q. General, I would like to read to you the

    17 testimony of Captain Whitworth about this particular

    18 photograph.

    19 "A That's the woodpile underneath the

    20 house that's been deliberately --"

    21 Excuse me. I apologise. This is on page

    22 10277 at line 4, referring to this scene:

    23 "A That's the woodpile underneath the

    24 house that's been deliberately set on

    25 fire to make sure it's levelled to the

  102. 1 ground or uninhabitable, at least, by

    2 anybody who wants to live in it. So

    3 that's not been set on fire by artillery

    4 or small arms fire or anything like

    5 that."

    6 That was the testimony of Captain Whitworth

    7 who testified on the purposeful setting fire to of that

    8 house while your troops were clearly still in that

    9 village, General.

    10 So it is true, General, is it not, that the

    11 houses in Grbavica were deliberately set ablaze by your

    12 troops while the attack was going on, isn't that right,

    13 and thereafter?

    14 A. No. While the attack was ongoing quite

    15 certainly that was not done, apart from combat

    16 activities. The film itself shows the flag. The flag

    17 was posed once the operation was over. I think it

    18 could have been around 14.00 or 14.30.

    19 After that, in this concrete case, I cannot

    20 see from the film what actually happened and how that

    21 particular house was set on fire, but I still maintain

    22 on the first day ten houses were set fire to, on the

    23 second day, eight. When the refugees stormed the

    24 village and began looting, whether any more houses were

    25 set fire too, I really don't know, but the burning of

  103. 1 the houses in Grbavica went on throughout 1993.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic, I understand

    3 that everything can be talked and discussed, and that's

    4 your right to do, although, I would like to remind you

    5 that you are a witness with obligations of a sworn

    6 witness. That's my first comment.

    7 I would like to ask you a question. You can

    8 refresh my memory. Am I wrong in having noted down on

    9 the 25th of March, during the hearing, during the

    10 examination-in-chief, that on the 9th of September you

    11 demanded the disciplinary measures be applied and that

    12 they were, even if that were to cut down on the number

    13 of people at the front, which would leave one to think

    14 that you had considered taking disciplinary measures?

    15 Did I invest that?

    16 I don't want to go back to the transcript.

    17 If we have to we will, but in my own notes, during the

    18 discussion on the attack, you spoke about your concern

    19 for professionalism, your constant concern to protect

    20 the civilian populations, and you said that the houses

    21 that were attacked were attacked only because they were

    22 in military positions. I noted that.

    23 I also noted that on the 9th of September,

    24 you demanded that disciplinary be taken even if they

    25 had to cut down on the numbers of people at the front.

  104. 1 Was that intended for any possible looting during the

    2 attack on Grbavica or am I wrong?

    3 A. Your Honour, Mr. President, you're right when

    4 you say that I asked for disciplinary measures to be

    5 taken. However, this is a meeting I had with my

    6 commanders of brigades where I asked for all military

    7 disciplinary measures that are taken are not taken only

    8 formally but are actually carried out in practice.

    9 That is to say if this kind of measure is meted out,

    10 then the person has to go into custody, for example,

    11 even if the front line is jeopardised.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: But were you referring

    13 specifically to Grbavica, because it was the 9th of

    14 September. Were you referring to the attack on

    15 Grbavica?

    16 A. No, because I had information that it was not

    17 only that the refugees came to Grbavica on the 8th in

    18 the evening, that the action at Grbavica had ended from

    19 a military point of view without any torching of

    20 houses. The action went on until 14.30 on the 8th.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Then why ask for disciplinary

    22 measures on the 9th of September if you were sure that

    23 your soldiers didn't commit any wrong acts, since you

    24 were sure?

    25 A. I asked the brigade commanders that

  105. 1 disciplinary measures to be carried out in practice,

    2 that is to say, not only to have them taken in a

    3 declarative sense but if a measure was taken, then it

    4 should be carried out in practice. That was the

    5 general position. If a disciplinary measure is to be

    6 taken, then the soldier concerned is supposed to go to

    7 custody and that's it, not to have it all on paper

    8 only.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for that

    10 clarification. At the proper time the Judges will go

    11 back to the transcript on this particular point. Thank

    12 you very much for your answer.

    13 Judge Rodrigues?

    14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: General Blaskic, if we go

    15 back to the photograph on the ELMO, if the smoke did

    16 not come from the house that is were burning, how can

    17 you explain the smoke? Could you tell us, please?

    18 A. Your Honour, in the area where there is

    19 combat action, that is to say, from both sides, the

    20 smoke could have come from explosions, explosions of

    21 projectiles, or from shells, regardless of whether

    22 these are artillery shells or RPGs, that is, infantry

    23 weapons. It could have been from a house.

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Excuse me for interrupting

    25 you, General, but I'm asking the question in the full

  106. 1 context. The photograph was taken by an individual at

    2 a specific date, at a specific place. That's the

    3 context. Within that context, how do you explain the

    4 smoke, within that context?

    5 A. I explain it as a consequence of combat

    6 operations, and I do not preclude the possibility of

    7 having some of these buildings being torched. I do not

    8 preclude that possibility. I said during my testimony

    9 that on the first day up to ten houses were burnt and

    10 the second day up to eight. So there were about 20

    11 houses that were ablaze.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I have another question.

    13 In the video we saw soldiers firing into the air in

    14 celebration. From your point of view, is that

    15 disciplined behaviour or is that not disciplined

    16 behaviour?

    17 A. That was not disciplined behaviour, but I

    18 believe that not all can keep their emotions under

    19 control equally. This was a very difficult situation

    20 in which some kind of a small victory was achieved over

    21 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but this is a lack of

    22 discipline and it also shows that this is not a

    23 well-established army.

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Rodrigues.

  107. 1 Mr. Kehoe, you may continue.

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

    3 Q. General, let me read you the testimony of

    4 Brigadier Alistair Duncan. This is at page 9213:

    5 "Q When you came back, Brigadier" --

    6 At that time, just for reference purposes, then Colonel

    7 Alistair Duncan, who was the commander of the British

    8 Battalion in Stara Bila right next door to this, then

    9 at the time he testified he was a Brigadier:

    10 "Q When you came back, Brigadier, all the

    11 houses were burnt, weren't they?

    12 A Yes. The house on the top of the hill,

    13 instead of being put into a state of

    14 fortification and used as a defensive

    15 area, had been burnt and flattened.

    16 Q You were in the Lasva Valley for some

    17 seven months. Was that consistent with

    18 the way the HVO attacked villages up and

    19 down the Lasva Valley?

    20 A That is the standard, if you like, modus

    21 operandi of those forces. They would

    22 attack and they would also raze the

    23 buildings, set fire to them.

    24 Q You noted, in response to questions on

    25 cross-examination, that there was no

  108. 1 military purpose to destroy those

    2 buildings.

    3 A There wasn't. In fact, it was to the --

    4 I believe it would have been to their

    5 advantage to have kept those buildings

    6 up.

    7 Q Prior to this time, Blaskic told you,

    8 did he not, that he was going to have to

    9 attack Grbavica and clear the Muslims

    10 out of there; right.

    11 A Right.

    12 Q Houses are burnt for no legitimate

    13 military reason, consistent with houses

    14 being burnt throughout the valley. What

    15 message do you think Blaskic and the HVO

    16 were trying to send to the Muslims?

    17 A Sending a very clear message that there

    18 is no house to come back to. 'Don't even

    19 think about coming back.'"

    20 Captain Whitworth on page 10285:

    21 "Q What message do you think the HVO is

    22 sending to the Bosnian Muslims in

    23 burning every house in the village?

    24 A It was a message that I saw repeatedly

    25 throughout the year, one that -- they

  109. 1 did not want to encourage the return of

    2 the Muslims to the area. They

    3 weren't -- they didn't want to and they

    4 weren't happy to co-exist as such. They

    5 were determined to make the place

    6 unliveable for anybody but themselves."

    7 Now, General, that is the testimony of the

    8 commanding officer of the British Battalion, in theatre

    9 for six months, as well as the liaison officer for the

    10 British Battalion to you and your staff in the Hotel

    11 Vitez, and the testimony that they gave is consistent

    12 with what happened, i.e., that your soldiers burnt

    13 those homes so the Muslims simply would not come back.

    14 Isn't that the fact, General?

    15 A. No. First of all, I already said that the

    16 action had been completed at 14.30 and that houses were

    17 being burned over a longer period of time.

    18 Secondly, I did tell Colonel Duncan that I

    19 would be forced to take that action because the

    20 agreement on demilitarisation of the area had not been

    21 observed because numerous civilians, children included,

    22 would harmed by Bosnian Muslim snipers at well-known

    23 areas.

    24 There was a problem with the 3rd Battalion of

    25 the 325th Brigade of the BH army. Not of the Muslims

  110. 1 as such. My soldiers had clear-cut instruction that

    2 there was no possibility to operate against civilians,

    3 that this was prohibited.

    4 In the evening, the members of the U.N.

    5 evacuated civilians, that is to say, during the entire

    6 previous day of fighting, there were no civilians who

    7 were attacked, or wounded, or harmed in any way. I am

    8 pleased, because they return. Today they live in

    9 Grbavica.

    10 There's one more thing I wish to say. Until

    11 the attack on Grbavica, 35.000 Croats had been expelled

    12 from Zenica, from Novi Travnik, 100 per cent. Then

    13 from Vitez, from 65 per cent of the area of this

    14 territory, the BH army expelled them because they made

    15 the HVO withdraw. So if anybody was expelled there, if

    16 anybody had to leave, it was the 30.000 Croats who were

    17 refugees before the BH army. The Grbavica action, had

    18 the agreement on demilitarisation been carried out and

    19 had the demilitarisation of Grbavica taken place, then

    20 there would be no need to carry out the Grbavica

    21 operation. Had the sniper positions been withdrawn and

    22 also the military positions of the BH army.

    23 Q. General, was any member of the HVO

    24 disciplined, arrested, or prosecuted for the

    25 intentional burning of houses? Grbavica?

  111. 1 A. I did not receive reports from any one of my

    2 subordinates that an HVO soldier had torched Grbavica.

    3 I already said how this burning took place, and this

    4 was mainly done by persons unknown, during the night

    5 and while there was looting.

    6 MR. KEHOE: Let us turn to the final exhibit

    7 in this area, Mr. President, if I may.

    8 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution

    9 Exhibit 713.

    10 MR. KEHOE: This, Mr. President and Your

    11 Honours, is another -- Exhibit 713 is another military

    12 information summary from the Prince of Wales' Own

    13 Regiment of Yorkshire, dated the 9th of September

    14 1993. If we could put the portion concerning Vitez on

    15 the ELMO. Thank you, Mr. Usher. Reading under

    16 "Vitez": "The area that has been extremely quiet

    17 during the period with no indications of a BiH

    18 counterattack. A callsign in the burnt out village of

    19 Grbavica discovered the body of a dead BiH soldier

    20 which had been decapitated and disembowelled. It would

    21 appear that a certain number of the troops involved in

    22 the fighting originated from Busovaca. This was

    23 confirmed when a Dutch transport battalion callsign

    24 observed the parading of a decapitated head in that

    25 area by troops that had returned from the Bila area.

  112. 1 Comment: The only grouping of HVO forces in the

    2 Busovaca area held by this cell is the Nikola

    3 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade. As reported last night,

    4 elements of the Jokeri extremist unit, the unit that

    5 was allegedly involved in the Ahmici massacre, is also

    6 thought to have been involved during this recent

    7 attack. It is possible that this unit is now relocated

    8 at Busovaca."

    9 Q. Now, General, let me read you Article 34 of

    10 the Protocol 1 to the Geneva Conventions which notes

    11 that: "The remains of a person who has died related to

    12 occupation or in detention resulting from occupation or

    13 hostilities, and those are persons not nationals of the

    14 company in which they have died as a result of

    15 hostilities, shall be respected."

    16 So the point of Article 34 is the remains of

    17 a person who died in hostilities shall be respected.

    18 Now, General, the mutilation, and beheading,

    19 and disembowelment of a body of the enemy is a

    20 violation of the Geneva Conventions; isn't it?

    21 A. Yes, and in my orders related to the code of

    22 conduct, I always spoke of respect for the wounded and,

    23 generally speaking, the enemy's side.

    24 Q. General, this disembowelment and beheading

    25 was done by troops that you, with your subordinates,

  113. 1 personally selected for the attack on Grbavica; isn't

    2 that correct?

    3 A. I never received this information, although

    4 the civilian police had searched the entire area, and

    5 they took video footage of this entire area. I never

    6 received such information, that somebody had massacred,

    7 mutilated a corpse of members of the BH army.

    8 As for the Jokeri, that unit did not even

    9 exist at that time. This was a unit of 15, 20 soldiers

    10 at maximum, and it had been disbanded before that. So

    11 at that time it did not even exist.

    12 Q. General, you didn't receive information that

    13 HVO soldiers were parading around Busovaca on the

    14 evening of the 8th with the decapitated head; is that

    15 correct?

    16 A. I did not receive such information. Also,

    17 that BH army soldiers' corpses were mutilated there,

    18 no.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to ask you a

    20 question, General Blaskic. You frequently tell us that

    21 you didn't receive information. One could wonder how

    22 the commander of the Operative Zone didn't receive

    23 information. You frequently seem to be an uninformed

    24 commander. But could one risk interpreting things, as

    25 you do, by saying that you don't receive information --

  114. 1 all right. You don't receive information. Wouldn't

    2 that mean that you were not being informed because it

    3 seemed natural for the chief of the Nikola

    4 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade not to send you information

    5 simply because the HVO troops were used to working in

    6 that way? Could that be an interpretation?

    7 Do you see what I mean? I'm trying to follow

    8 your way of reasoning. I'm trying to understand the

    9 way you're thinking, and I believe you, and I say,

    10 "Yes, General Blaskic didn't receive any information,"

    11 but didn't you receive information because you were a

    12 poorly informed General or, and this is my point that

    13 I'm asking you about, you didn't receive information

    14 because, at the end, the entire system of the HVO was

    15 based on the fact that it was natural? "Why should I,

    16 as the commander of the Jokers, go to inform the

    17 General who is going to write a report saying that we

    18 set houses on fire?" Because wasn't it natural to set

    19 houses on fire once a village had been conquered?

    20 A. Mr. President, first of all, I shall try to

    21 answer this. I'm talking about specific information

    22 that is here on the ELMO now. I did not receive such

    23 information. I personally believe that had something

    24 like that occurred in Busovaca, that the commander of

    25 the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade would have informed

  115. 1 me, if not in his regular report then in an

    2 extraordinary report. That is my belief.

    3 Secondly, I stick to my original assertion.

    4 I was watching Grbavica, and I was at a position where

    5 I could see it all clearly, and I was there until 14.30

    6 when the action was completed, and then the civilian

    7 police came. It is true that houses were burned, but

    8 it is also true that not more houses were burnt than

    9 those that I saw with my very own eyes.

    10 The civilian police searched the area of the

    11 village and they took video footage of it, I know they

    12 did that, and I know that the civilian police archives

    13 have this kind of footage of the civilian police. They

    14 told me that they did not find any mutilated bodies,

    15 and they took pictures with a video camera showing the

    16 actual state of affairs as they saw it.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: You didn't really answer the

    18 question that I asked you, but I don't want to insist.

    19 I simply wanted to ask whether the message or the

    20 policy message of the HVO was that the Muslim

    21 population should not return and that for your brigade

    22 chiefs, "Why inform Colonel Blaskic?" Because it

    23 appeared natural to set fire to a village, since the

    24 policy of the HVO was that there should be no possible

    25 return, and, therefore, you were not informed. In

  116. 1 fact, you were not.

    2 A. Mr. President, allow me, please. How could

    3 there be a policy of non-return when three times more

    4 Croats were expelled than Bosniak Muslims, when Muslims

    5 until the present day keep under their control 65 per

    6 cent of the territory of the municipality of Vitez? So

    7 Croats in Central Bosnia are interested in having

    8 everyone to return to his own home. It is the Croats

    9 who were the victims of expulsions.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for asking me

    11 questions, but I'm not a witness in this case, and I

    12 was simply wondering about several points.

    13 The Judges, in fact, really are having

    14 trouble understanding how it can be that as a witness

    15 here, we have to deal with testimonies which agree on

    16 several points, and we're trying to find various

    17 interpretations, and what I was trying to do here was

    18 to find an interpretation which would follow your line

    19 of reasoning, that is, "I was not informed." I'll stop

    20 there.

    21 Judge Rodrigues?

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Following up on Judge

    23 Jorda's question, I would like to offer you another

    24 interpretation. Knowing that you were opposed to the

    25 practice of that type of act, because they were

  117. 1 familiar with your orders, they didn't want to inform

    2 you. This is a possible explanation. Did you

    3 understand my question?

    4 A. I did understand your question, Your Honour.

    5 Perhaps there were such individual cases where they did

    6 not want to; however, it defies explanation, as far as

    7 I'm concerned, that if somebody was expelled from

    8 Travnik, 15.000 Croats; from Zenica, perhaps 10.000

    9 Croats, and in Novi Travnik, perhaps 3.000 or 4.000

    10 Croats, that somebody would torch a house so that a

    11 Muslim could not come back. Because that Croat, who is

    12 a refugee, is aware of his interest, that he should go

    13 back too because he has a house of his own too which is

    14 unfortunately under BH army control.

    15 So I myself cannot come to the bottom of

    16 this, whether it is despair that drove them to this

    17 kind of behaviour and this kind of destruction, I mean,

    18 these refugees. But if we look at the ratio of

    19 expelled persons in that area, it is certainly in the

    20 interest of the Croats to return, until the present

    21 day, to return to Travnik, Zenica, Novi Travnik, and

    22 also the areas of Vitez from which they were expelled

    23 mutually.

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Another possibility. I

    25 don't know if I am being pretentious in what I'm saying

  118. 1 here, but what I am getting from you is that you don't

    2 seem to me to be a passive person; I think that you're

    3 an active person. As such, I have some trouble

    4 understanding how, in this situation which one could

    5 qualify as more important in respect of incidents, if I

    6 can say it that way, in respect of important events,

    7 your answer is always a passive one: "I didn't receive

    8 information." That's always your answer. I would

    9 expect you to have been in a more active position.

    10 Therefore, my perception of you as an active

    11 individual doesn't really fit in with the position of

    12 you as a passive person. Could you help me by

    13 explaining that?

    14 A. I'll try, Your Honour. Perhaps the problem

    15 is that within the enclave, all the internal security

    16 was in the hands of the civilian police force or the

    17 police force as such. There was a head of the civilian

    18 police throughout the war at the same level, that is to

    19 say, the civilian police force at the level of the

    20 entire region, and they tried to work all the time and

    21 to carry out investigations. How successfully, that's

    22 another matter, but they did, and I focused on the

    23 front line. I focused on the struggle for survival in

    24 that area. That was my priority and that was my

    25 preoccupation, the front line. Internal security of

  119. 1 the enclave was within the scope of the chief of the

    2 civilian police, of the military police. If I were to

    3 receive a file saying that the perpetrators were

    4 discovered in terms of their name and surname, then I

    5 certainly would react.

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, General.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe?

    8 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. We are going

    9 to shift gears at this point.

    10 Q. General, we are going to talk about trench

    11 digging, and I would like to give the following

    12 exhibits to the accused: D373 and P387.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Hayman?

    14 MR. HAYMAN: We haven't been asking for

    15 breaks because we don't want to have any role in

    16 interrupting proceedings or lines of questioning, but I

    17 can tell, our client having answered for 10 to 12 weeks

    18 now every day, I think a break is a good idea, and we

    19 had to ask a long time ago that breaks every 45 minutes

    20 might be good for his psychological state, and I make

    21 that comment.

    22 Thank you.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: We're going to take a break. I

    24 didn't have us take breaks every 45 minutes or every

    25 hour, but I do understand that your client must be

  120. 1 tired as a result of all the questions being asked of

    2 him.

    3 We'll take a break, but this is the

    4 Prosecutor's time, and the Prosecutor has to deal with

    5 all the subjects that were dealt with during the

    6 examination-in-chief. For instance, we were expecting

    7 that the Prosecutor -- I don't know if he's going to do

    8 this or we may have to do it ourselves -- we expect him

    9 to explain the problem of the distribution of powers.

    10 Because one is somewhat uncomfortable when

    11 one is in the midst of war, we Judges are a bit

    12 confused, since, according to what the witness has been

    13 saying to us, that in the midst of the war, the

    14 civilian police continued to work, the military police

    15 continued to work, the special units, and that the

    16 witness was at the head of the army which was well

    17 organised and disciplined, and I have to say that the

    18 example of Grbavica is an important one, that is, the

    19 witness is telling us that the civilian police came in,

    20 that it had its role to play and that it was

    21 responsible for carrying out the investigations that

    22 had to be carried out. I don't know whether, in the

    23 midst of war, these things should go that way.

    24 But having said this, which involves only

    25 myself, I suggest that we take longer than a 20-minute

  121. 1 break so that the witness can rest.

    2 --- Recess taken at 3.42 p.m.

    3 --- On resuming at 4:15 p.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the

    5 hearing. We hope that the witness was able to rest.

    6 In agreement with my colleagues we gave him a longer

    7 break, and I hope that the Defence won't hold it

    8 against us if at some point the Prosecutor's completely

    9 finished, we give him a little extra time.

    10 I see there are a number of people in the

    11 public gallery. On behalf of my colleagues, I would

    12 like to say good afternoon, and we do each time, we

    13 would like to explain that this is now part of the

    14 trial of General Blaskic, General Blaskic who decided

    15 to testify. Therefore, he is under the obligations of

    16 a witness. He is in the courtroom. He's testifying,

    17 and this is the cross-examination.

    18 Mr. Prosecutor, you may proceed.

    19 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.

    20 Q. General, I would like to address myself to

    21 the two exhibits we talked about just before the break,

    22 D273 and P387 -- 373, and P387, I'm sorry?

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Let's be careful, that is, as

    24 soon as these documents are on the ELMO they're public

    25 documents and they should be on the public screen as

  122. 1 well.

    2 MR. KEHOE:

    3 Q. Now, General, let us look at these two

    4 exhibits. The first exhibit is your order of the 21st

    5 of June, 1993, where you order, or you forbid using

    6 prisoners of war to dig trenches. This order, of

    7 course, is it not, is based on the meeting that you had

    8 at the joint command earlier that day, which is

    9 depicted in Prosecutor's Exhibit 387? So after you

    10 received instructions at the joint command meeting,

    11 General, you went back to your headquarters and you

    12 issued the order which is 373; isn't that right?

    13 A. I have that document, document 373, but

    14 document 387 I don't have.

    15 Q. Well, let's go to the bottom of the page.

    16 It's in English, unfortunately. I'll read to you the

    17 bottom of page. If we can push all the way down,

    18 Mr. Usher, to number 4.

    19 This is the meeting on the 21st of June,

    20 1993, the joint command meeting chaired by Ambassador

    21 Thebault and Brigadier Duncan. It says: "Release of

    22 prisoners. Ambassador Thebault thanked all for their

    23 assistance with the release of prisoners. It was

    24 agreed that:

    25 "a. All would support the future activities

  123. 1 of the ICRC and the work of the joint commission.

    2 "b. If not already issued, commanders are to

    3 issue precise orders on the treatment of prisoners and

    4 the punishment of those commanders who disobeyed these

    5 orders. Commanders who disobeyed these orders were to

    6 be removed from command. Specific orders are to be

    7 issued forbidding prisoners being asked or made to dig

    8 trenches."

    9 Now, after that meeting of the joint command,

    10 General, you went back to your headquarters and issued

    11 defendant's Exhibit 373, which is the order of the 21st

    12 of June at 20.15 hours, isn't that correct, General?

    13 A. I'm not quite sure. It says that I attended

    14 the meeting of the joint command but, of course, this

    15 order, order 373, is an order in which I wish

    16 preventively to stop actions of that kind. It wasn't

    17 the only order. There were similar orders issued

    18 previously. Quite possibly this emanated from the

    19 meeting of the joint command, but in my chronology I do

    20 not have a note saying that I was there. Perhaps there

    21 was -- Mr. Merdan and Mr. Nakic attended, perhaps.

    22 Q. General, you knew, as early as 1992, that it

    23 was illegal to force prisoners or civilians to dig

    24 trenches, isn't that right, sir?

    25 A. That it was illegal to force prisoners of

  124. 1 war. I knew that, and I cautioned my subordinates by

    2 means of written orders and oral orders at meetings

    3 with my subordinates.

    4 Q. You also knew that it was illegal to force

    5 civilians and civilian detainees to dig trenches; isn't

    6 that correct?

    7 MR. HAYMAN: Compound.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Try to break your

    9 questions up, although, from the legal point of view,

    10 Mr. Hayman, I should say when I read paragraph 3 of the

    11 order D373, Colonel Blaskic even alludes to the

    12 establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal

    13 and, therefore, seems to have understood the legal

    14 problems of this crime, but having said this, you're

    15 right, and questions have to be separated.

    16 Please separate your questions, Mr. Kehoe.

    17 MR. KEHOE:

    18 Q. Was it illegal to force civilian detainees to

    19 dig trenches, "Yes" or "No"?

    20 A. Illegal, against the law to force civilian

    21 detainees, and generally detainees, to force them to

    22 dig trenches and undertake engineering work.

    23 Q. Now, sir, let us turn to some of the events

    24 that we had been discussing prior to April of 1993.

    25 Now, you noted for us, General, in a meeting on the 5th

  125. 1 of February, 1993, in a meeting, and I'm referring to

    2 page 18267, you noted that in a meeting attended by

    3 Brigadier Merdan and others that, on line 12 of that

    4 page, that Merdan said that civilians were being taken

    5 to do trench digging. The question was:

    6 "Q Where? What place?"

    7 You answered:

    8 "A To Busovaca."

    9 On that same day, you had a meeting with Iris

    10 from ICRC, and I'm referring to, again, the 5th of

    11 February, and your testimony on page 18269, where you

    12 note on line 16:

    13 "A I had a separate meeting with

    14 Mrs. Iris in the same hall of the Tisa

    15 Motel, and we discussed just one topic

    16 and that topic was the involvement of

    17 prisoners in trench digging. Mrs. Iris

    18 told me that she had received a report

    19 that prisoners were being used to dig

    20 trenches in the Busovaca municipality."

    21 Now, General, when you received that

    22 information on the same day from Merdan and from Iris

    23 of the International Red Cross, did you talk to anybody

    24 such as the warden at the Kaonik prison,

    25 Mr. Aleksovski, to find out what was going on?

  126. 1 A. Immediately when I received that information

    2 I promised Mrs. Iris, the official, that I would check

    3 this out, but I was not in a position to do it myself

    4 personally because, I was taken to the meeting and from

    5 the meeting by UNPROFOR. But I called the chief of

    6 staff and the commander of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski

    7 Brigade and checked out these allegations.

    8 At the same time, I told the chief of staff

    9 that he should prohibit this kind of activity once

    10 again, but the report that I was given said that war

    11 prisoners were not being used for trench digging.

    12 Q. Well, General, the warden of the Kaonik

    13 Prison at the time was Zlatko Aleksovski, and you told

    14 us that you previously had meetings with him. My

    15 question to you is: As you called your chief of staff,

    16 did you attempt to contact Mr. Aleksovski to find out

    17 if HVO soldiers were taking prisoners, detainees, out

    18 to dig trenches? Did you do that?

    19 A. I do not recall this and, as far as I know, I

    20 did not talk to Mr. Aleksovski, but I do know that I

    21 called the commander of the brigade from Busovaca, and

    22 the chief of staff of the military district of Vitez.

    23 Q. Well, who was the commander of the Nikola

    24 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in Busovaca at that time?

    25 A. At the time the commander was Nicko Jozinovic

  127. 1 and his deputy was Dusko Grubesic.

    2 Q. Well, did you talk to both men and ask them

    3 about this allegation of forced trench digging?

    4 A. I talk to Grubesic and asked him about those

    5 allegations. Not only did I ask him, but I warned him

    6 that this was prohibited and that it must not be done.

    7 Q. Did he concede that people had been taken out

    8 to dig trenches and that Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade

    9 soldiers had taken them out to do so?

    10 A. No, he did not give me that kind of

    11 information. He said that his commanders were not

    12 taking prisoners to dig trenches and that acts of this

    13 kind were not taking place. At that time, I found

    14 myself isolated in Kiseljak.

    15 Q. Now, General, let us move ahead to the 12th

    16 of February. On the 12th of February, Iris from ICRC

    17 told you that two Bosnian Muslim women had been killed

    18 while they were being forced to dig trenches, and that

    19 is in your testimony, General, on page 18286.

    20 A. I apologise. I think there was an error in

    21 the interpretation, that is to say, the interpretation

    22 received was that Mrs. Iris said that two Muslim women

    23 had died trench digging.

    24 Q. Mrs. Iris told you that two women were killed

    25 trench digging in Busovaca on the 7th of February

  128. 1 1993?

    2 A. That two women had been killed. She did not

    3 tell me that. Mrs. Iris did not tell me that. What

    4 she told me was that two Muslim men had been forcibly

    5 taken from the prison and that they had been killed

    6 during trench digging. That is what she told me, two

    7 men, not women. Perhaps the interpretation I was

    8 receiving was wrong.

    9 Q. I don't want to quibble with you General.

    10 I'm reading your testimony which came out as female,

    11 and it reads as follows, on page 18286, at line 11:

    12 "A I had a meeting on the 12th of

    13 February, 1993 in Kislejak with

    14 Mrs. Iris, the representative of the

    15 International Red Cross, informed me

    16 there had been a killing of Mrs. Sejovic

    17 and Iljivoc on the of February 1993 in

    18 the Busovaca area."

    19 A. I never received such information, and I

    20 never testified to that. Perhaps the translation was

    21 wrong. I know that there were two men, Sehovic and

    22 Elezovic who were killed, and I discussed that case on

    23 the 12th of February, 1993 in Kiseljak with Mrs. Iris,

    24 who was at that time the head of the International Red

    25 Cross for the Zenica region.

  129. 1 Q. The record will reflect that correction,

    2 General. It really is of no consequence if they're

    3 male or female. I was just reading what the transcript

    4 reflected. If it is incorrect, it is incorrect.

    5 Nevertheless, let us move ahead, General, to

    6 the 18th of March when you, on page 18365, told us that

    7 Sliskovic informed you that the case of the two killed

    8 trench diggers in Busovaca had been referred to the

    9 military prosecutors. General, these two perpetrators,

    10 what brigade or unit were they members of?

    11 A. I don't know which two perpetrators you

    12 mean.

    13 Q. The two individuals that were involved in the

    14 killing of Elezovic and Sehovic that Iris had discussed

    15 with you.

    16 A. She informed me that a killing had taken

    17 place, and she asked me to conduct an investigation,

    18 and I --

    19 Q. Excuse me, General. I apologise. The

    20 question is: The two perpetrators that SIS told you

    21 had been arrested for the death of these two trench

    22 diggers, what brigade were these two individuals who

    23 were arrested a member of, the two HVO soldiers? What

    24 brigade? Was it the Viteska Brigade? Was it the

    25 Busovaca Brigade? Was it an independent unit? What

  130. 1 was it?

    2 A. I believe that they belonged to the Nikola

    3 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in Busovaca, but I'm not 100 per

    4 cent certain of that because I focused on launching an

    5 investigation and prosecuting the case with the

    6 district military court.

    7 Q. General, when you found out that they had, in

    8 fact, been killed on the front lines, did you also

    9 conclude that Grubesic had been lying to you about

    10 taking civilians out and forcing them to dig trenches?

    11 A. I received information that those same people

    12 had taken these two war prisoners and that they had

    13 carried out the killing; however, later on, when I

    14 undertook certain measures, individual groups took out

    15 prisoners of war forcibly once again. So it was

    16 difficult for me to assess whether Grubesic had been

    17 lying to me on that occasion or not.

    18 Q. General, when you got back to Vitez on the

    19 3rd of March, 1993, did you order Grubesic into your

    20 office and demand an explanation from him about these

    21 two HVO soldiers who were involved in this killing?

    22 Did you do that?

    23 A. Those two soldiers were prosecuted and

    24 detained by the military district court, and they were

    25 in that criminal process --

  131. 1 Q. Excuse me, General. My time is very short.

    2 My question for you is this: Did you bring Grubesic

    3 in? It's not about the soldiers. Focus on my

    4 question. Did you bring Grubesic in and demand an

    5 explanation, and if you did, what did he say to you?

    6 A. On the 4th of March, I had a meeting with all

    7 the commanders of the brigades, or about the 4th of

    8 March, and then I focused on that question as well,

    9 that is to say, the question of informing me that

    10 people were not being taken out, whereas something like

    11 that had taken place in the Busovaca Brigade. I

    12 reacted at that time, it was a complete, full meeting,

    13 and I once again issued strict warnings that acts of

    14 that kind were prohibited, and Grubesic attended that

    15 meeting.

    16 Q. Did you discipline Grubesic as the commander

    17 of these two soldiers who took these individuals out to

    18 dig trenches?

    19 A. No, I did not at the time because the

    20 statement that I received and the investigation told me

    21 that this group had stormed the prison forcibly and

    22 taken out -- this group had stormed the prison, they

    23 were not following orders, and had taken out the

    24 prisoners. So they stormed the prison, took away a

    25 certain number of detainees and took them out to do

  132. 1 labour.

    2 Q. General, let us stay with these two

    3 individuals who stormed the prison and took these

    4 people out. What happened to them? Were they

    5 convicted? What sentence did they receive?

    6 A. I know that they were prosecuted at the

    7 military district court, but I had no insight as to the

    8 punitive policy of the military district court. So I

    9 don't know what punishment they received and what the

    10 decision made by the president of the military district

    11 court was. This was not my area of competence.

    12 Q. Did you ensure, General, that those two

    13 soldiers were immediately removed from the HVO pursuant

    14 to the rules on military discipline?

    15 A. If they did commit a crime, and they did,

    16 then they were arrested immediately.

    17 Q. That's not my question, General. My question

    18 for you, as the commander of Central Bosnia, was: Did

    19 you ensure that these two people, these two HVO

    20 soldiers were removed from the HVO military ranks;

    21 "Yes" or "No"?

    22 A. I can only answer in the following way: The

    23 commander of the brigade has the same powers as I do,

    24 and he is the individual who sorted those affairs --

    25 JUDGE JORDA: General, please focus on all of

  133. 1 the answers that you are giving to the Judges. This is

    2 a question of methodology. I think three years ago we

    3 read the famous decree about the disciplinary powers

    4 and the powers of military justice; do you remember

    5 that? I think it was Article 29; do you remember

    6 that? Do you remember the degree? It was an important

    7 decree which dealt with the organisation of military

    8 justice and so forth; do you remember? That included

    9 disciplinary powers.

    10 Please focus on the question that the

    11 Prosecutor is asking. The Judges would like to know.

    12 Because the other day you said that you couldn't take

    13 any disciplinary sanctions when the perpetrators were

    14 not identified. Do you remember that? You said that

    15 you had to wait for an investigation, that you were not

    16 competent for that investigation, and that the tribunal

    17 was competent, that is, the prosecutor, but it was

    18 self-evident that if the perpetrators were identified,

    19 then you would have disciplinary powers.

    20 Let me bring you back into a certain logical

    21 way of thinking relating to the entire answer. In this

    22 case, there were identified perpetrators.

    23 They were identified; is that not correct,

    24 Mr. Kehoe?

    25 MR. KEHOE: Yes, they were, Mr. President,

  134. 1 according to the witness's testimony.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Therefore, you had all of those

    3 powers. Focus on the answer. Did you or did you not

    4 issue sanctions? I don't think that the question calls

    5 for long comments. Think about it, and if necessary,

    6 consult your notes. If you need to take a little time,

    7 do so. Could you give us an answer?

    8 A. Yes, Mr. President. I personally asked for

    9 an investigation to be conducted into this particular

    10 case, and I was informed that the military district

    11 prosecutor had taken over the case and the

    12 prosecution. I personally did not issue disciplinary

    13 measures towards those perpetrators of the crime.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, please go back to

    15 your question because I don't think that our concerns

    16 were really addressed. You have to provide the

    17 evidence, Mr. Kehoe. We are here to listen and to get

    18 an idea of what's happening.

    19 MR. KEHOE:

    20 Q. General, the question is very simple and it

    21 is this, sir: Did you ensure that these two HVO

    22 soldiers were removed from the HVO? Did you do that?

    23 The answer is "Yes" or "No."

    24 A. What I did was that a criminal prosecution

    25 was unleashed, and they were placed in the military

  135. 1 district prison.

    2 Q. So the answer to the question is that you did

    3 not take any steps by yourself through the military

    4 disciplinary function to remove these soldiers from the

    5 HVO; is that correct?

    6 A. Military disciplinary function, no, because

    7 that same measure was taken by means of the criminal

    8 prosecution.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, General. I have to

    10 tell you that I no longer understand. It seems to me

    11 that we're going round and round. If there are two

    12 soldiers who you are convinced committed the crime, it

    13 seems to me that the question is very simple. As the

    14 commander with disciplinary powers, did you take

    15 measures? I thought that you had said that you sent

    16 them to a military prison after an investigation; is

    17 that correct?

    18 A. Mr. President, at the time when the military

    19 district prosecution launched an investigation, they

    20 were placed in the military district court for

    21 investigation and they were no longer members of the

    22 HVO at that point.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: You've just said that you asked

    24 that an investigation be carried out. I have the

    25 impression now that there are a great many

  136. 1 investigations. You just said that you asked for an

    2 investigation. Who was doing the investigation? You?

    3 The prosecutor? Who? I don't understand. Help us.

    4 A. I did not conduct the investigation. The

    5 investigation was conducted by the military district

    6 prosecutor from the military district court of Travnik

    7 and the assistant for security, that is to say,

    8 together. They cooperated.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, please continue.

    10 MR. KEHOE:

    11 Q. General, were they convicted, these two

    12 individuals?

    13 A. I know that they were taken to the district

    14 military court, but I don't know what the outcome was,

    15 what the final decision and ruling of the district

    16 military court was. I believe that these two persons

    17 were convicted.

    18 Q. If you believe that they were convicted, what

    19 kind of sentence did they receive?

    20 A. I don't know. What kind of a sentence do you

    21 mean? I mean, they spent time in the military prison.

    22 What else? Or perhaps they had their sentences

    23 suspended. I don't know. I was not in charge of

    24 this. I did not have any insight into the sentencing

    25 policies of the district military court.

  137. 1 Q. General, if they had their sentences

    2 suspended, were they taken back into the HVO and into

    3 the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade?

    4 A. My position was the following: It was quite

    5 clear to all the commanders, that is to say, that all

    6 persons who were perpetrators of criminal offences

    7 should be taken over by the department of defence and

    8 that they should get work duty, and these were general

    9 rules issued to all the commanders, that is to say,

    10 that all persons who are perpetrators of criminal

    11 offences should be assigned to work duty by the

    12 department of defence, not military duty. So in line

    13 with these instructions, these persons had to be

    14 assigned to work units with work duty.

    15 Q. But you don't know one way or the other what

    16 happened to these guys, do you?

    17 A. I believe that they were taken away after

    18 having served their sentence, and I believe that they

    19 were never mobilised by the defence department as

    20 military duty.

    21 Q. Let us talk about trench digging and --

    22 JUDGE JORDA: General, just a moment,

    23 please. When you say, "I believe," are you telling us

    24 today that you believe or were you concerned about that

    25 at the time?

  138. 1 A. I do not have specific data here, but I know

    2 that they are orders that I issued, and they are here

    3 also at the Tribunal, that is to say, about sending

    4 persons who committed criminal offences from the HVO

    5 units. So this was standing practice, and it was quite

    6 clear to all commanders that these persons, weapons had

    7 to be taken away from them and that they should be sent

    8 to the defence department where they would be issued a

    9 reassignment. I do not have any information of their

    10 return to HVO units.

    11 MR. KEHOE:

    12 Q. General, let me read to you part of an

    13 exhibit.

    14 MR. KEHOE: I'm referring, Mr. President, to

    15 Exhibit 514. It's in English, so I can just read a

    16 portion of that exhibit.

    17 Q. This is an ECMM report of the 6th of

    18 February, 1993. The report is dated the 6th of

    19 February, and it notes, General, that:

    20 "There was a significant increase in the

    21 amount of digging in by HVO forces mainly using Muslim

    22 labour, some of whom had been forcibly abducted from

    23 their homes."

    24 The chairman of the Busovaca joint commission

    25 notes that he observed the use of Muslim labour to dig

  139. 1 HVO trenches, and this is in the Busovaca area.

    2 In Exhibit 677, Prosecutor's 677, which is a

    3 military information summary dated the 6th of February,

    4 1993, in the area designated "Busovaca," the British

    5 Battalion writes:

    6 "At Podjele, a 50 to 60-metre trench system

    7 was sighted at grid," I believe, "325898 with

    8 approximately 15 to 20 civilians digging and three HVO

    9 soldiers looking on."

    10 Moving down at Katici, and giving the grid

    11 reference, there were again reported to be civilians

    12 digging positions on the eastern edge of the village

    13 under the supervision of HVO soldiers.

    14 "Comment. These positions were in clear

    15 view of BiH positions; however, the BiH soldiers did

    16 not engage the civilians and the HVO soldiers. This

    17 leads us to believe that the civilians may have been

    18 Muslims under HVO guard. Comment ends."

    19 Let me turn to another British Battalion

    20 milinfosum, which is a new exhibit, Mr. Usher.

    21 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit

    22 714.

    23 MR. KEHOE: I have a few for the booths so it

    24 might be a little easier, Mr. Usher.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Usher, go ahead, please.

  140. 1 At the end of this trial you're going to be in great

    2 physical shape.

    3 MR. KEHOE:

    4 Q. Now, General, Exhibit 714 is another military

    5 information summary of the 7th of February, 1993, this

    6 by the Cheshire Regiment. I'm interested in the bottom

    7 of that page, talking of comments of the BiH

    8 commander. It notes:

    9 "The commander stated the following: The

    10 HVO has been using Muslim civilians to dig in the HVO

    11 offensive positions in the areas of the villages of

    12 Solakovici."

    13 It notes it's: "(Believed to be in the control of

    14 the BiH?)" "Kula, Skradno, and Podjele."

    15 Moving down to the -- skipping a paragraph,

    16 final report from Zenica, dated 7 February, 1993,

    17 stated that: "Once again, the HVO had broken the agreed

    18 cease-fire. These included the following:

    19 "A. HVO snipers in the village of Podjele,"

    20 grid reference, "Bakije," grid reference, "were

    21 reported to be engaging the Muslim villages of Putis,"

    22 grid reference, "and Merdani," grid reference. "The

    23 arrested Muslim civilians in Podjele have been forced

    24 to dig trenches for the HVO.

    25 "B. HVO snipers were also reported to have

  141. 1 been shooting at civilian vehicles travelling on the

    2 Kacuni-Lugovi."

    3 "Comment: Many of the statements made by the

    4 two BiH commanders have some credence, especially with

    5 respect to the accusation of Muslim civilians being

    6 forced to dig HVO positions. However, it must be

    7 remembered that it is only giving one side of the story

    8 and the HVO made many accusations against the Muslims

    9 also breaking the cease-fire."

    10 Now, General, you would agree, would you not,

    11 that the use of Muslims and forcing Muslims to dig

    12 trenches in the Busovaca area in late January and early

    13 February 1993 was widespread, was it not?

    14 A. The only thing I can say is that during that

    15 period I was isolated in Kiseljak, and during that time

    16 in Kiseljak, where I had insight, not a single Bosniak

    17 Muslim was detained or was digging trenches in Kiseljak

    18 where I was.

    19 As for the area of Busovaca, the only insight

    20 I had was the information I received from my immediate

    21 subordinates or at the meetings that were held in

    22 Busovaca, the meetings of the joint commission on the

    23 5th of February, for example. This commander, Dzemo

    24 Merdan was commenting on this and making assertions,

    25 and I asked him to be specific in terms of these claims

  142. 1 that Bosniak Muslims were being used for digging

    2 trenches. Whenever I received any information, I would

    3 check it out and I would prohibit that kind of work.

    4 Q. Well, General, let me read you some other

    5 testimony of an HVO soldier.

    6 MR. KEHOE: I need, Mr. President, to briefly

    7 go into private session, because this was a closed

    8 session testimony.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. What's going to be read

    10 by the Prosecutor was covered by protective measures.

    11 The Prosecutor is going to read a short passage, and

    12 we're going to move into a private session before we go

    13 back into public session. I'm saying this so that

    14 everybody is informed.

    15 Mr. Registrar, we're going to move into

    16 private session now.

    17 (Private session)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

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  146. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (Open session)

    4 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We're moving back

    5 into public session. Now, ask your questions. And I'm

    6 saying this for the witness and the Prosecutor, be

    7 careful not to mention the name of that individual who

    8 testified. Be careful.

    9 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Because you're asking questions

    11 about the trenches. All right. Ask your question.

    12 MR. KEHOE:

    13 Q. General, your testimony is that your chief of

    14 staff, or no one in your headquarters, or none of your

    15 brigade commanders either in Vitez or in Busovaca, none

    16 of those individuals told you about these large number

    17 of Bosnian Muslim detainees who were taken and forced

    18 to dig trenches, is that your testimony? You knew

    19 nothing about this; is that right?

    20 A. I've already said that I received this

    21 information from the International Red Cross, from

    22 Mrs. Iris, and as regards this unfortunate incident of

    23 the 7th of February, I received information about that

    24 only on the 12th and I did not receive any information

    25 about that because I was isolated in Kiseljak and I was

  147. 1 cut off from any possible communication.

    2 Q. Yes. Well, let's move ahead to the period of

    3 time on the 16th and thereafter, and I'll try to move

    4 through this quickly, General.

    5 Now, on the 16th of April, on page 18577, you

    6 told us that, on line 14, that Petkovic told you that,

    7 "We should undertake the engineering type of

    8 fortifications." That means that Petkovic is telling

    9 you to dig trenches; is that correct?

    10 A. Undertake the building of shelters and also

    11 adjusting them for combat operations.

    12 Q. And you noted to us that on the same day, and

    13 this is on page 18590, on line 19, "I also, at 19.45,

    14 talked to Pasko and asked him to start digging in and

    15 develop the defence further."

    16 Now, Pasko Ljubicic's subordinate was Vlado

    17 Santic, wasn't it?

    18 A. Yes. And this digging meant that soldiers

    19 who were at the front line were supposed to dig their

    20 own shelter.

    21 Q. On the 16 the of April, what role did Vlado

    22 Santic have? What position within the military

    23 police?

    24 A. As far as I know, he was commander of

    25 security. His role in the military police was

  148. 1 commander of the first active company of the military

    2 police, although he changed roles. But specifically I

    3 do not know from which time until which time he was at

    4 which post.

    5 Q. On the 16th of April, 1993, he had an office

    6 in your headquarters in the Hotel Vitez, did he not,

    7 and I'm referring, of course, to Vlado Santic?

    8 A. He had an office before that too. His office

    9 was at the Hotel Vitez.

    10 Q. Now, General, when you gave this order to

    11 Pasko Ljubicic, which I take it you would assume would

    12 be passed down the line, this order to start digging

    13 in, did you admonish Pasko that his troops should not

    14 use civilian labour or detainees to dig those

    15 trenches? Did you do that?

    16 A. This was always readily understood. This is

    17 something related to prisoners of war that was

    18 prohibited by law, and in 1992 I issued an order to

    19 have the territory set up, and it was readily

    20 understood this would be done by the soldiers and

    21 possibly by work units.

    22 Q. Well, General, knowing that civilians had

    23 been taken out to dig trenches during February, with

    24 that knowledge in your mind, did you or did you not

    25 specifically tell Pasko, "Do not use civilians to dig

  149. 1 trenches." Did you do that?

    2 A. I've already said that at the first meeting

    3 on the 4th of March, I made it known to all persons

    4 present there that prisoners of war could not be used

    5 for digging trenches, and this was a clear instruction

    6 on my part. As for this specific action, no, I didn't

    7 tell Pasko that because I thought that this was a

    8 lawful action, well-known to all or, rather, it was

    9 unlawful to engage prisoners of war in trench digging.

    10 Q. Let's move ahead then and talk a little bit

    11 about the testimony of Sulejman Kavazovic. Sulejman

    12 Kavazovic was one of the Bosnian Muslim men arrested in

    13 Vitez and taken to dig trenches. He was originally

    14 detained at the SDK building. How far is the SDK

    15 building, by the way, from your headquarters, do you

    16 know? In downtown Vitez?

    17 A. I don't know how far away it is. Perhaps if

    18 you show me a photograph I may remember but I can't

    19 remember where the SDK building is at all.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Shed some light on this SDK,

    21 what is that.

    22 MR. KEHOE: SDK was another government

    23 building in downtown Vitez approximately 100 to 150

    24 metres from the Hotel Vitez, maybe a little bit more,

    25 where there were Bosnian Muslim detainees kept where

  150. 1 they were taken out to dig trenches. I refer Your

    2 Honour to the testimony of Sulejman Kavazovic who

    3 testified --

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Excuse me for

    5 interrupting. I made you lose some time. There is a

    6 witness and you're going to read the relevant excerpts

    7 from that testimony.

    8 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.

    9 Q. Let me read you a bit of Mr. Kavazovic's

    10 testimony, General, starting at page 2321 at line 22:

    11 "Q. How long did you remain at the SDK

    12 building until you left?

    13 A I remained there 3 days. From the 19th

    14 until the 22nd I was at the SDK until I

    15 was sent to dig trenches."

    16 At line 4:

    17 "A In Vitez and all the camps that were

    18 there, some of the military policemen

    19 and even members of the HVO, they would

    20 come into the camps with vans and they

    21 would select the people that were

    22 supposed to go out and dig trenches.

    23 That day when they took me away, this

    24 same colleague of mine came along with

    25 Zabac, a military policeman, who said he

  151. 1 needed nine people to go to Rijeka to

    2 dig trenches."

    3 On page 2326, on line 4, and he talks about

    4 going to the Bungalow:

    5 "Q When arrived at that location ...",

    6 Referring to the Bungalow,

    7 "... tell the court who you saw and what

    8 you saw.

    9 A We got out of the van. There was a

    10 restaurant there and a terrace in front

    11 of it, a concrete terrace with steps

    12 leading to it. On the terrace I saw

    13 Vlado Santic, who told me, as soon as I

    14 got out of the van, he said, 'It's you

    15 again.' Next to him I saw 13 Jokeri

    16 standing there, fighters belonging to

    17 the Jokeri unit formation."

    18 2327, line 1:

    19 "A After that, on the orders of Vlado

    20 Santic, he ordered five Jokers, he said,

    21 "You, you, you, and you," and Zabac

    22 and those two policemen from the van,

    23 they took us to Kratine."

    24 He notes on page 2329 that he took him to

    25 Kratine, to Miroslav Bralo, Cicko. Line 19 of that

  152. 1 page he says:

    2 "A I remained in Kratine from the 22nd

    3 until the 28th or 29th, seven or eight

    4 days. I cannot remember. Our stay in

    5 Kratine was strenuous. We had to dig

    6 dugouts where they could not dig. We

    7 were exposed to fire, HVO fire, even

    8 army fire too, because at that part

    9 where dugouts were supposed to be dug,

    10 where they as soldiers could not dig, we

    11 had to dig them all day, and we would

    12 clear the forest for them. So when they

    13 could not go through the forest we would

    14 have to cut it for them. We carried

    15 timber boards. It this was heavy

    16 physical labour. We dug trenches. We

    17 carried out their orders."

    18 This on page -- I can move ahead. We can

    19 move quickly. In conclusion, on page 2347:

    20 "Q When you arrived at the SDK building,

    21 what did you see?

    22 A When I got to the SDK building, the

    23 people whom I had left behind were

    24 there, and then I met with people who

    25 had also been digging trenches like me.

  153. 1 So we talked to each other, where we had

    2 been, where we had done the digging, and

    3 I was waiting for the exchange.

    4 Q Where were the people you talked to say

    5 they had been digging trenches?

    6 A During the conversation we had and

    7 judging from the people who came to

    8 Kratine, I learned that people had been

    9 digging trenches at Krcevine, Dubravica,

    10 Sivrino Selo. From all the camps in

    11 Vitez people were rounded up and taken

    12 to dig trenches."

    13 Now, General, Mr. Kavazovic testifies to the

    14 ordering of his forced trench digging by a member of

    15 the military police, Vlado Santic, who had an office

    16 down the hall from yours in the Hotel Vitez. Did you

    17 know that Mr. Santic was participating in these

    18 forced -- in this forced trench digging with the

    19 military police and other HVO soldiers or were you

    20 ignorant of that as well?

    21 A. I heard the testimony here for the first time

    22 before this Court. I did not receive any information

    23 related to these activities, and the orders that I

    24 issued made the opposite behaviour necessary, and these

    25 activities are in complete contrast to that. I'm

  154. 1 talking about 116, 162,2, 364,2, 365,1, 370,9, 376,1,

    2 373, and 378, all of this evidence shows that I took

    3 measures and I prohibited such action. When I would

    4 receive such information, I would react to this

    5 information.

    6 Q. Now, General, let us just shift subjects for

    7 a bit.

    8 MR. KEHOE: I ask, Mr. Registrar, if the

    9 witness can be given Defence Exhibit 298 with Defence

    10 Exhibit 314, shown together, and also shown together

    11 Defence Exhibit 301 together with Defence Exhibit 325.

    12 Q. Now, General, does this first pair of

    13 documents, 298 and 314, reflect your order and response

    14 from Dusko Grubesic?

    15 Taking them singly, 298 is your order of 17

    16 April, 1993 with a number of 014393/93, and in number 4

    17 of that order, you say:

    18 "To dig in on the front lines and prepare a

    19 counterattack."

    20 The response comes back referring to your

    21 order, and that's in Defence 314, and Dusko Grubesic

    22 says in point 4:

    23 "Entrenchment has been carried out on all

    24 defence lines in order to organise the defence from the

    25 enemy as efficiently as possible."

  155. 1 Now, General, this order that goes to, among

    2 other units, the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade, you

    3 have included no admonition in this order against using

    4 civilians to dig trenches, have you?

    5 A. I said a moment ago, I mentioned numerous

    6 documents a moment ago which spoke about the

    7 prohibition of using prisoners of war for trench

    8 digging, whereas order 298 -- may I have a look at it,

    9 please, just have a few minutes to peruse it?

    10 Order 298 refers to --

    11 Q. Excuse me, General. I'll ask the question.

    12 Referring to Exhibit 298, knowing that members of the

    13 Busovaca brigade had forced Bosnian Muslims detainees

    14 to dig trenches, you did not include any admonition in

    15 that order to prevent such a thing from happening

    16 again; isn't that correct?

    17 A. I have already enumerated all the orders that

    18 were issued concerning the treatment of prisoners of

    19 war. This particular order, order 298, has its

    20 specific topics that it deals with. In Busovaca,

    21 everything had already been done. Busovaca was in

    22 combat since January 1993. The trenches had not been

    23 filled in, and they had nothing to do --

    24 Q. Thank you, General. The answer to the

    25 question is, no, you did not include that admonition;

  156. 1 is that correct?

    2 A. In this order, this order did not admonition,

    3 but I quoted the documents that referred to the

    4 behaviour towards prisoners of war.

    5 Q. Now, take a look at Defence Exhibit 301 and

    6 325, 301 being your order to dig trenches to the

    7 Viteska Brigade and 325 a response back from the

    8 Viteska Brigade.

    9 Again, General, in this series of documents,

    10 you order in 301, in point 3, you tell the Viteska

    11 Brigade to carry out engineering works, and in Exhibit

    12 325, the Viteska Brigade responds back that "new

    13 trenches and reinforcements are continuously being

    14 created on all defence lines."

    15 Again, General, despite the fact that you

    16 knew that HVO troops had forced Bosnian Muslims to dig

    17 trenches, you did not include any admonition in that

    18 document either; "Yes" or "No"?

    19 A. Just let me have a look at the documents,

    20 please.

    21 Q. I see you've finished the document, or have

    22 you not? I'll let you finish the document, General.

    23 A. Not yet. Just one more minute, please.

    24 Q. Certainly.

    25 A. Document 301, in point 3, talks about the

  157. 1 first degree of engineering work which implies that the

    2 soldier should dig his own shelter within 60 minutes --

    3 Q. I'm sorry. My time is very short. My

    4 question to you was --

    5 A. I know, but it was not ordered here. This

    6 was not an order to dig communicating trenches,

    7 bunkers, trenches, and so on. This document limits

    8 what engineering work is to be done, that is to say, a

    9 soldier's shelter which he uses for standing up, and it

    10 takes him 30 minutes to one hour. I'm quoting from

    11 point 3 which limits the level of engineering work to

    12 be done.

    13 Q. General, in fact, you did tell us that on the

    14 16th of April, 1993, and this is at page 18591:

    15 "A At 19.50, I had another conversation

    16 with the commander of the Viteska

    17 Brigade, and I asked that he start

    18 fortifying himself and get ready for a

    19 shift of positions."

    20 A. Just tell me what time, please.

    21 Q. At 19.50.

    22 A. That is true. But it says to order, that the

    23 commander of the brigade, Cerkez, order his soldiers to

    24 dig in, that is to say, to order his soldiers to dig

    25 in, fortify.

  158. 1 Q. Now, General, let me move to the testimony of

    2 one of your officers, Ivica Zeco, who, on page 11717,

    3 noted at line 7, concerning the ratio of BiH soldiers

    4 to HVO soldiers, in response to a question by

    5 Mr. Nobilo:

    6 "Q So if we could simplify the proportion,

    7 it would be ten to one in favour of the

    8 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    9 A Yes."

    10 Now, General, given your testimony that the

    11 ABiH attacked the HVO and given your need to dig

    12 defensive positions and that you told us that you

    13 didn't have enough time to defend the pocket, enough

    14 men to defend the pocket, who was digging your

    15 trenches? Who did you believe was digging this

    16 extensive trenching system around the pocket?

    17 A. I'm going to try and explain. If you're

    18 asking me about shelters, then this can be seen from my

    19 order of the 16th of April at 19.50 where I ordered

    20 that soldiers of the Vitez Brigade dig shelters,

    21 whereas as far as the shelters go that are not on the

    22 front line, then this was done predominantly by the

    23 work platoons or units, that is to say, shelters,

    24 approaches. But in front of those shelters were

    25 trenches from which soldiers were defending their

  159. 1 positions.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?

    3 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I think that we

    4 should look at the interpretation for a moment because

    5 we had the same word used for "zaklon" and "skloniste,"

    6 that is to say, shelter, whereas they are two words, at

    7 least in Croatian, which have different meanings.

    8 "Zaklon" is where the soldier stands up at the front

    9 line and shoots, whereas the shelter is towards the

    10 rear. I think that we ought to make a distinction here

    11 in English and try to have two different terms for the

    12 two words used; otherwise, there will be confusion. So

    13 shelter is in the rear and zaklon is up at the front

    14 line like a trench.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: I'm not very competent when it

    16 comes to settling that issue.

    17 Mr. Prosecutor, try to find two different

    18 terms.

    19 MR. KEHOE: I don't even know how it came up,

    20 to be honest with you, at this point.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: I thought that you were not

    22 aware that you were missing information. Obviously, in

    23 this area, Serbo-Croatian is a richer language than

    24 English. Let's try to translate the nuance.

    25 Mr. Nobilo, there is a difference between a

  160. 1 shelter -- well, you really have to explain. A

    2 shelter ...

    3 MR. NOBILO: It's not just a nuance: I was

    4 in the army, it was a long time ago, but I remember

    5 that my back hurt, because in the space of 60 minutes,

    6 we had to dig out a hole in frozen ground where I would

    7 stand as a soldier with my rifle. So the zaklon is the

    8 hole in which a soldier stands to shoot, whereas a

    9 shelter is behind, is a safe place where I can rest,

    10 eat, sleep, and so on. Between this front post and the

    11 shelter behind, there are communicating trenches that

    12 have been dug in, communicating trenches between the

    13 front hole where the soldier is standing and shooting

    14 and the back shelter where he eats, sleeps, and rests.

    15 So these are different terms.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: If there's an offensive shelter

    17 from which one fires, then there's a refuge where,

    18 between shooting, people could take shelter. I hope

    19 your back doesn't hurt now.

    20 MR. NOBILO: That's right. They are two

    21 different terms, two different levels of digging, but

    22 essential for safety purposes.

    23 THE INTERPRETER: Perhaps dugout.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for explaining that

    25 nuance to us.

  161. 1 MR. KEHOE: I'll go back to the initial

    2 premise.

    3 Q. General, you said you were attacked on the

    4 16th, that you were surprised, that you had a

    5 ten-to-one ratio of soldiers against you, that you

    6 didn't have enough people to defend the pocket. On the

    7 front lines, who did you think was digging these

    8 trenches for the HVO on the front lines?

    9 A. I do not have the document with me, but I

    10 think it was document 301, and from that document, we

    11 can see that orders are being issued for the digging of

    12 these trenches, and they don't even have to be dug out

    13 often. But natural facilities are used for protection

    14 purposes, everything that is not open space and can be

    15 used as protection. But over a longer period of time,

    16 whenever the soldiers are not shooting, they use a pick

    17 and axe to dig and fortify the terrain.

    18 In a later period, once this first attack was

    19 repelled and once we had established our positions, we

    20 mobilised work platoons --

    21 Q. Excuse me, General. I'm sorry. Who was

    22 digging the trenches on the front lines? Given that

    23 this was a surprise attack, given that you said you

    24 didn't have enough people and were down ten to one, who

    25 was digging these trenches on the front lines?

  162. 1 A. At that time, nobody dug them, but natural

    2 shelters were used for the protection of soldiers until

    3 this order of mine. Everybody fended for themselves.

    4 They made due with what they had, the natural

    5 barriers. Sometimes it was a house, sometimes it was a

    6 ditch, sometimes it was a tree trunk, or anything of

    7 that kind.

    8 But once I issued the order at 19.50 on the

    9 16th of April to the commander of the Vitez Brigade, it

    10 was clear that I told him in precise terms to order his

    11 soldiers to dig in, because night was coming upon them,

    12 there would be a lull in the fighting, and these

    13 soldiers could make use of this time to fortify. To

    14 the best of my knowledge, the soldiers dug these

    15 fortifications for themselves, and this is seen in

    16 document 301, where I issue orders to soldiers to

    17 affect digging on a first level, that is to say, this

    18 trench which is dug out in the space of one hour, and

    19 that is standard practice.

    20 Q. General, you told us yesterday about Bosnian

    21 Muslim men coming and going from the cinema. Were they

    22 being taken to dig trenches on the front lines?

    23 A. I have already said, and we heard from the

    24 testimony, that there were individual cases where

    25 people were taken out to the front lines for

  163. 1 fortification purposes, but I profoundly believe that

    2 these cases were for the purposes of shelters, digging

    3 shelters. But I did not receive information. I always

    4 said that when I heard of this, I reacted to it.

    5 Q. So you, in fact, did hear that soldiers were

    6 bringing prisoners, detainees, from the cinema to the

    7 front lines to dig trenches or to dig fortifications.

    8 You did hear that?

    9 A. I did not receive reports of that kind. I

    10 received reports in May from the International Red

    11 Cross officials that work platoons were being taken to

    12 dig trenches at the Busovaca positions, and this was on

    13 the 9th of May, I think, when an official, Clare

    14 Podbielski of the International Red Cross, informed me

    15 about this.

    16 Q. General, let me understand you, that you gave

    17 an order to dig trenches on the 16th of April. The

    18 Viteska Brigade reacts to that order and takes Bosnian

    19 Muslim civilians from the cinema up to dig trenches,

    20 but you don't know this is going on when it's

    21 happening, is that accurate?

    22 A. Well, as far as I know -- first of all, I

    23 issued an order, and this can clearly be seen here, at

    24 19.50 on the 16th of April, that the commander should

    25 order his soldiers to entrench. That is a precise

  164. 1 order on the 16th of April at 19.50.

    2 I do not know that instead of ordering his

    3 soldiers, he took the civilians from the cinema and

    4 took him to do this. I have no information of that

    5 kind, nor did I ever receive information of that kind.

    6 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I can continue

    7 on. I don't know if --

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Go on for a few more

    9 minutes.

    10 MR. KEHOE: Yes.

    11 Q. Now, General, did you visit the front lines?

    12 A. Yes. I visited practically all the front

    13 lines at different periods of time, and I spent a long

    14 time at the front lines in different periods, as I

    15 say. At some points, depending on where the focus of

    16 our defence was, I would spend 15 or 20 days at some

    17 positions.

    18 Q. For instance, did you visit the front lines

    19 at Bobasi in September 1993?

    20 A. I would have to have a look, because you're

    21 asking me for a concrete date and a concrete time. So

    22 I would have to take a look at my chronology to see

    23 what I was doing in September, whether I visited them

    24 in September, because we lost one of these lines.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: We're going to stop at this

  165. 1 point and that will allow, General Blaskic, who must be

    2 tired, to look at his chronology. We will resume

    3 tomorrow morning at 10.00.

    4 Is that correct, Mr. Registrar?

    5 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour, that's

    6 correct.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Court stands adjourned.

    8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

    9 at 5.35 p.m., to be reconvened on

    10 Thursday, the 27th day of May, 1999,

    11 at 10.00 a.m.