1 Thursday, 27th May, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.08 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar,
5 have our witness brought into the courtroom, please.
6 (The accused/witness entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps we could turn the air
8 conditioning down a bit.
9 Good morning to the interpreters, to the
10 court stenographers, to Defence and Prosecution
11 counsel, and good morning to our witness, General
13 I would like the registrar to tell us where
14 things stand in respect of time used by the Prosecutor
15 for the cross-examination and, most importantly, how
16 much time is left. I don't think he has much time
18 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honour.
19 The Prosecutor has, up to now, used 13 days and 270
20 minutes for the cross-examination, and the Defence in
21 its examination-in-chief had used 14 days and 100
22 minutes, that is, 150 minutes for the Prosecutor, that
23 is, he still has another 150 minutes, in other words,
24 this morning until about 1.00.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Kehoe, you have
1 understood that at 1.00, you will be finished. Will
2 you still need some more time? Will you need to do
3 something else?
4 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I would
5 respectfully request, and I realise Your Honours'
6 admonitions prior to this time, but I would
7 respectfully request that you allow me to finish at the
8 end of the day. I do have a few matters to cover which
9 will probably take me another, approximately, three
10 hours at the end of the day. With all due respect,
11 Mr. President and Your Honours, if I could request that
12 additional time until 5.30, I would greatly appreciate
14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, would you like to
15 make a comment?
16 MR. HAYMAN: I don't think it will surprise
17 Your Honour -- good morning, Mr. President and Your
18 Honours -- that we object strongly to that request, and
19 on a couple of very basic grounds: Number 1, the Court
20 has made very clearly that there would be equality
21 between the parties with respect to the examination of
22 this crucial witness. If the Court is to have
23 credibility with the parties in terms of finishing this
24 case on time and making the parties to stick to the
25 parameters the Court has set, we urge the Court to
1 stick to those parameters.
2 Secondly, I am shocked that Mr. Kehoe would
3 ask for a doubling of his remaining time, and I wonder
4 how he could possibly have planned his
5 cross-examination in that way, unless he has somehow
6 secretly communicated this request to the Court
7 previously, and I would be shocked if that had
8 occurred. He knew how much time he had left, he's had
9 days and days to budget his time, so I'm sure the Court
10 hasn't received any secret request or secret
11 communication from the Prosecutor indicating that they
12 would seek more time. In light of that, it's hard to
13 understand what the request really is.
14 Number 3, the tactic, by and large, of the
15 Prosecutor in this cross-examination has been to
16 marshal the evidence and argue the evidence. On
17 hundreds of occasions, Mr. Kehoe has read lengthy
18 portions of the transcript, sometimes five, six, seven,
19 eight different witnesses have been read by Mr. Kehoe,
20 portions of the transcript, and the witness at times
21 hasn't been asked to comment at all. Sometimes he's
22 been asked to comment on one or two per cent of what
23 has been read. And what does that mean? That means
24 the Prosecutor, by and large, has used this
25 cross-examination as a mechanism for argument.
1 Therefore, the Defence, in the alternative,
2 we would insist and demand that if any additional time
3 is given to Mr. Kehoe for his cross-examination, the
4 Defence must have that additional time added on to its
5 time for final argument and the Defence have a
6 disproportionate amount of time for final argument
7 because that's the only way balance could be restored
8 to these proceedings.
9 I thank you.
10 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, Mr. Hayman
11 overlooks one very crucial fact about his case, and
12 that is his case has gone six days over. He said he
13 was going to be held to 60 days. That was his
14 timetable. He himself went past that time frame by at
15 least six days. It could be more, Mr. Registrar, I'm
16 not exactly sure, but the calculation is it's at least
17 six days. What the Prosecution is asking for is to the
18 end of the afternoon to complete the
19 cross-examination. That's all.
20 MR. HAYMAN: We did not exceed --
21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, did the Defence use
22 more than its time? Did it go several days longer?
23 MR. HAYMAN: No, we didn't, Mr. President.
24 We did not know how long they would take on
25 cross-examination, and I do not believe --
1 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please. I would
2 take the liberty, Mr. Hayman, with all the respect I
3 owe both to you and to the Prosecution, that when I'm
4 speaking to the registrar, perhaps he could tell us,
5 and of course we will give you the floor. I don't know
6 whether the interpreters are following everything that
7 I'm saying here.
8 Did the Defence take more time than was
10 THE REGISTRAR: At the end of the 51st week,
11 that is, last week, according to my calculations, we
12 had 68 days and 240 minutes.
13 JUDGE JORDA: So you used eight days and 40
14 minutes longer. So in respect of the rights of the
15 accused, the Judges did not want to say that you had to
16 stop before that. It would have been difficult. Do
17 you remember that?
18 MR. HAYMAN: Two issues, Mr. President:
19 Number 1, we did not go over. We didn't know how long
20 they would take on cross-examination. Had they not
21 taken as long on cross as we took on direct, the
22 Defence case would have ended within 60 days. So we do
23 not accept that we went over.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment. Just a moment.
25 There were 60 days that had been planned for the
1 Defence, and you used 68 days. So according to my
2 calculations, you went over by eight days; otherwise, I
3 don't know how to add.
4 Mr. Registrar, would you clarify things for
5 us? Are we talking about the 60 days that we spent for
6 the cross-examination of the Defence independent or,
7 rather, the entire cross-examination -- all of the days
8 that were used by the Defence to present its case.
9 That's what I think we're talking about. That's what I
10 think those 60 days referred to.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE JORDA: So the question is merely one
13 of knowing whether, beyond the Rules, certain
14 adaptations can be used. If you use eight extra days,
15 that is eight more than 60. That's about a 12-per cent
16 increase. I don't think that the Judges said to you
17 that you had to stop at 60 days. What do you think,
18 Mr. Hayman?
19 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, we stopped our
20 direct examination of General Blaskic with, I don't
21 remember how many full-time day equivalents it was, six
22 or ten remaining for the Prosecutor to conduct his
23 cross-examination. We didn't know how many days he
24 would need, and I submit that we made reasonable
25 calculations with respect to the length of direct and
1 cross. The Court participated greatly in direct;
2 that's fine; we welcome it. But what Mr. Kehoe is
3 somehow suggesting is because his cross has gone over
4 the time period allowed for the Defence, he should be
5 given a disproportionate amount of time now as a
6 punitive measure. Because whatever the length of the
7 direct examination of this witness was, the equivalent
8 time period expires at 1.00. So Mr. Kehoe isn't asking
9 for equality of arms; he's asking for inequality of
10 arms. He's asking for an extra half day.
11 If the Court grants that, we want an extra
12 half day in closing argument because the Court surely
13 recognises that a very large bulk of the
14 cross-examination has been argument.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please. I would
16 like to consult with my colleagues, but I'd like to set
17 aside the issue of the closing arguments. I have the
18 feeling that, despite what you're saying, the Judges
19 have never stopped you. I don't see myself, I think my
20 memory is good and my colleagues will tell me if I'm
21 wrong, I don't remember having said to you, "Stop. You
22 have to be finished now. You have to stop questioning
23 General Blaskic." I don't think I ever said that. I
24 allowed you to do what you needed to do, and it was
25 during your direct examination that we said to the
1 Prosecutor that you will have the same amount of time,
2 and I was rather strict with the Prosecutor.
3 The problem now is somewhat different. We
4 have to know so that the Judges can be absolutely clear
5 about what they're doing. Do we give the Prosecutor
6 the possibility of concluding his cross-examination,
7 keeping in mind the higher interests of justice? We're
8 working on justice here and trying to ascertain the
10 In any case, I've noted that you have opposed
11 any type of extension, and I will allow the Prosecutor
12 to finish this evening. I first want to consult with
13 my colleagues, and I think that the Judges have spoken
14 a great deal and intervened frequently when they asked
15 their questions.
16 In your right to redirect for General
17 Blaskic, how much time are you going to need,
18 Mr. Hayman?
19 MR. HAYMAN: We expect less than one day
20 equivalent. We're not going to argue the case, we're
21 going to conduct redirect examination, and if they're
22 given any more time -- we don't need it in redirect, we
23 want it in closing argument because they have argued
24 the case through cross-examination.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Well, we'll deal with the issue
1 of closing arguments later. Right now, we're talking
2 about the cross-examination of General Blaskic, and I
3 would like to consult with my colleagues.
4 (Trial Chamber confers)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, Mr. Kehoe,
6 Mr. Nobilo, the Judges will base their decision on
7 Article 90(G) which states that:
8 "90(G) The Trial Chamber shall exercise
9 control over the mode and order of interrogating
10 witnesses and presenting evidence so as to
11 (i) make the interrogation and
12 presentation effective for the
13 ascertainment of the truth; and
14 (ii) avoid needless consumption of
16 On the basis of this Rule and what was said
17 about the time that the Prosecutor had, that he was not
18 supposed to exceed, that is, the end of the afternoon,
19 and further to Mr. Hayman's comments and further to
20 various factual considerations, including the fact that
21 the direct examination was never limited, the Judges
22 never said that you had to finish on this or that day,
23 and the Defence took all the time it needed to question
24 its witness.
25 Further to the consideration that during the
1 direct examination, the witness, who is the accused,
2 could, in a harmonious fashion, guide and allow himself
3 to be guided in a type of cohesive team which meant
4 that the amount of time wasted or lost was really,
5 really limited; that is, for example, General Blaskic
6 to consult his chronology when he said "I did this at
7 ten after eight, eleven after eight," et cetera.
8 Further to that consideration, it is
9 noteworthy to point out that in the cross-examination,
10 it was more difficult for the witness, who is the
11 accused, to answer immediately when he was asked
12 questions by the Prosecutor. It was frequently
13 necessary for the accused to consult his chronology and
14 that took time, and it was normal for it to take time.
15 The Judges' time, which is the third
16 consideration, that time seems to have been distributed
17 both in the direct examination and in the
18 cross-examination, but it is mostly the time that was
19 taken by the accused and by the Prosecution to look for
20 a certain number of documents.
21 In respect of all these considerations, the
22 Judges note -- and this is the fourth observation --
23 that the request for additional time is really a
24 marginal one in a trial which has lasted for two years
25 and in respect of the most important thing for the
1 Judges, that is, to find the truth in this complicated
2 and difficult case, and that the time requested by the
3 Prosecutor really isn't very much; we're talking about
4 two or three additional hours this afternoon.
5 Last point. There will be a Status
6 Conference set up, I believe, next week. Judge
7 Shahabuddeen will not be here because he must work in
8 the Appeals Chamber in the Rwanda Tribunal but he has
9 authorised the holding of that Status Conference, and I
10 suggest that at that point, it will be a closed
11 session, that the entire end of the trial be subject to
12 a new schedule that will be arranged by Mr. Fourmy, and
13 the Defence will be able to make its request to be
14 granted additional time to answer the arguments on the
15 merits of the Prosecution.
16 Having made all these considerations, we
17 grant the additional time requested by the Prosecutor,
18 with it being, of course, understood that that time
19 will come to an end at 5.30 this afternoon.
20 The Judges apologise to the Prosecutor who
21 has just lost 30 minutes of his time.
22 Having said this, Mr. Kehoe, you may resume,
23 and Mr. Fourmy will tell you during the Status
24 Conference how the rest of the schedule for this case
25 will be arranged. Thank you. Now we can resume.
1 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. Good
2 morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, counsel. Good
3 morning, General.
4 JUDGE JORDA: You understood that you were
5 asking for additional time then.
6 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
7 WITNESS: TIHOMIR BLASKIC (Resumed)
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Kehoe:
9 Q. General, let me go back to the question that
10 I asked you yesterday and that we left off on that you
11 were going to find out from your chronology. Did you
12 visit the front lines in Bobasi in September of 1993?
13 A. Could you please tell me the date, roughly?
14 Q. September. That's what I asked you
15 yesterday, and you were going to look at your
16 chronology for September of 1993.
17 A. Well, could I just check this because
18 September --
19 Q. Please. The time is short. You can go back
20 and check it at the break. But, Mr. President, at the
21 end --
22 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. We've got to follow the
23 illustration itself. It's natural for General Blaskic
24 to look at his notes, but we also have to say that that
25 takes time. Everything's natural here. If it's
1 natural for him to take time, it is also natural for
2 the Prosecutor to ask the witness to look at his
3 chronology during the break, and you have the right to
4 do so.
5 All right. Continue, please, Mr. Kehoe --
6 MR. HAYMAN: The only problem, Mr. President,
7 is that he doesn't get a break. If he has to work and
8 study and find things in his notes during the break,
9 it's not a break.
10 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I may respond
11 to that? Yesterday afternoon, I asked the question
12 concerning visiting the Bobasi front line. The witness
13 said, "I have to consult my chronology." And Your
14 Honour broke for the day saying, "Yes, he must consult
15 his chronology and come back with the information
17 Now, that was the same question that I left
18 off on.
19 MR. HAYMAN: That was not a directive. It
20 wasn't a request by Mr. Kehoe that he look at his
21 chronology overnight and the Court didn't direct him
22 to, and we can pull up the transcript if there is a
23 question about that.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, you really are a
25 formidable debater, but I'm also a formidable debater.
1 I don't like specious arguments. I would like this
2 discussion to end now. We have made our decision on
3 the basis of a legal foundation. The Rules give us the
4 power to argue as we have done.
5 I would like to point out that with respect
6 to the breaks, they're always longer, especially when
7 we ask the witness to consult his chronology. It does
8 appear to me that sometimes the witness had a weaker
9 memory when he was looking at his chronology for
10 requests made now than when you made the requests, but
11 since I don't have the same skill as you do, I thought
12 that it was natural because since you are working
13 closely with your client, it was, of course, much
14 easier for Mr. Nobilo when he would say to him, "Today
15 we are going to take up the day of the 17th of April.
16 What did you do?" And your client would look at his
18 Therefore, please, let's stop this
19 discussion. The Prosecutor has until 5.30 today. If
20 General Blaskic needs to consult his chronology during
21 the break, the Judges are perfectly prepared to give
22 him five additional minutes during the break, and, in
23 fact, everybody will be able to rest, starting with the
24 Presiding Judge and the interpreters.
25 All right, Mr. Kehoe, please continue.
1 MR. KEHOE:
2 Q. General, during the times that you spent at
3 the front lines, did you see civilians digging trenches
4 at the front lines?
5 A. I did not see civilians digging trench lines
6 at the front line. I was at many front lines. I saw
7 work platoons that were mobilised to prepare shelters,
8 but I did not see civilians digging foxholes.
9 Q. General, let us turn to your meeting of the
10 9th of May that you had with Claire Podbielski, and
11 during that meeting, where you discussed on page 19244,
12 Ms. Podbielski told you and discussed with you a
13 problem with civilians being taken to do labour, and
14 she stated she had come across the problem of civilians
15 being taken by the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade to do
17 Now, sir, in this conversation that you had
18 with Ms. Podbielski, she told you that Bosnian Muslim
19 civilians were being taken to the front lines to dig
20 trenches by members of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
21 Brigade. When you got that information, what did you
22 do with it, General?
23 A. I said already then to the Red Cross
24 official, Claire Podbielski, that I believe that this
25 is a work platoon because she claimed that she had seen
1 them in Busovaca, in town, when they were going out to
2 work, and I said that I would check this out with the
3 commander of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade. I
4 asked for information about this in writing to be sent
5 to me, and indeed I did receive information that the
6 work platoon did go to do work, namely, to prepare the
7 front line communications, shelters, et cetera, and
8 that the work platoon consisted of citizens from
9 Busovaca that were mobilised, in regular terms, by the
10 municipal defence department, and I made Mrs. Claire
11 Podbielski aware of this information at our next
13 Q. Now, this conversation that you testified
14 about was on the 9th of May, 1993, according to your
15 testimony. How many times did Claire Podbielski,
16 approximately, how many times did she complain to you
17 that detainees, Bosnian Muslim detainees or Bosnian
18 Muslim prisoners of war, were being taken to the front
19 lines to dig trenches?
20 A. She expressed her point of view that
21 civilians were going, and she thought that these were
22 Bosniak Muslim civilians. I cannot recall how many
23 times, but not many times. I always register such
24 claims that she made, and I always tried to check them
25 out and to give her information about this. My
1 impression was that perhaps she did not understand that
2 these were mobilised citizens who lived in the
3 territory of the municipalities of Busovaca and Vitez
4 and who were mobilised by the civilian authorities as
5 persons who had a work obligation. It's not that we
6 discussed that very much because I recorded each and
7 every conversation of this kind.
8 Q. General, when you said that you investigated
9 the matter and received information back that these
10 workers were part of a work platoon, who sent you this
11 information back? Can you give us a name?
12 A. Of course I can. As regards this specific
13 example, the 9th of May, 1993, I was informed by the
14 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade commander in his
15 extraordinary report, who is called Dusko Grubesic, he
16 said that this was a work platoon, mobilised citizens
17 who were going out to do work and who were mobilised by
18 the civilian authorities.
19 Q. How many times did anybody from the
20 International Community tell you that detainees and
21 prisoners were being taken from the Kaonik camp and
22 were being forced to dig trenches? The detainees that
23 I'm talking about are Bosnian Muslim detainees. How
24 many times were you made aware of that by the
25 International Community?
1 A. I already talked about the district military
2 prison in Kaonik and that it was the first time I heard
3 of this claim in February, and the second time was when
4 I heard about the tragic event concerning the killing
5 of prisoners, and this was on the 11th of February.
6 Then in May, I think this was with Claire Podbielski,
7 at any rate, not too many, but I registered every such
8 claim, and I checked it out and wanted that particular
9 action to be investigated. I also made Mrs. Iris aware
10 of this, and I told her about the results of these
11 checks that I made.
12 Q. General, after your conversation with
13 Ms. Podbielski on the 9th, did you call Mario Cerkez
14 and ask him if he was forcing Bosnian Muslim prisoners,
15 and I'm talking about Bosnian Muslim detainees, forcing
16 Bosnian Muslim detainees to dig trenches? Did you ask
17 him that?
18 A. After this conversation, if you are referring
19 to May, at practically every meeting I had, and usually
20 these were weekly meetings if there weren't any combat
21 operations with the brigade commanders, I insisted that
22 it was prohibited to use detainees or anyone for
23 digging foxholes and shelters. I thought that it was
24 permissible for regularly mobilised citizens in work
25 platoons to prepare access routes and other things that
1 were needed at the front line because they had work
3 Q. So other than your weekly meetings, you never
4 specifically made any direct informational request of
5 Cerkez, the commander of the Viteska Brigade; is that
7 A. If I received this information, I cannot
8 recall all the details, I would always react by
9 checking it out in respect of such efforts. It was
10 obvious yesterday that I issued specific orders that it
11 was only soldiers who could dig foxholes.
12 Q. How about Darko Kraljevic and Pasko
13 Ljubicic? Did you ask them directly whether or not any
14 of their troops were forcing Bosnian Muslim detainees
15 to dig trenches? Did you do that after you received
16 this specific information from Claire Podbielski?
17 A. I did not do that because Ms. Claire
18 Podbielski was very specific. She said that she had
19 seen that in Busovaca, and this remark of hers
20 pertained to the town of Busovaca where she saw
21 civilians, and that's what she said. They were moving
22 through town, they were walking through town with
23 various devices for digging, with shovels, et cetera,
24 and she wanted me to check this out. I expressed my
25 surprise when Mrs. Iris, the representative of the Red
1 Cross, told me that this was prohibited, and I remember
2 what was prohibited according to various conventions,
3 and then I told her, I said, "Why do you want me to
4 issue orders about something that is prohibited by
6 Q. Let us talk just about another person who had
7 an office in your headquarters, Vlado Santic, who we
8 heard testimony about taking individuals to dig
9 trenches. Now, Vlado Santic at this time was the
10 commander of the Jokeri, was he not?
11 A. He was not. As far as I know, he was the
12 commander of the 1st Active Company of the military
13 police, and he also had other duties within the
14 military police, but I'm not sure that he was the
15 commander of the Jokeri.
16 Q. How about Vlado Santic? After you received
17 this information from Claire Podbielski, did you go
18 down the hall to see Vlado Santic and say, "Vlado, are
19 any of your troops taking Bosnian Muslim detainees out
20 and forcing them to dig trenches?" Did you do that?
21 A. I did not receive such information. Had I
22 received such information, had Claire Podbielski
23 specifically said that this pertained to Vlado Santic,
24 I certainly would have checked this out through his
25 commander, but I do not recall Claire Podbielski
1 telling me about that. I wrote down what she asked me
2 to check. I did not have any contact with Vlado Santic
3 on that matter because Vlado Santic was one of the
4 commanders of the company, and the commander of this
5 unit of the military police was Pasko Ljubicic, just as
6 the commander of the Vitezovi was Darko Kraljevic.
7 Q. General, you told us over the past several
8 days and in direct examination that the two Bosnian
9 Muslims that had been killed on the front line in
10 February by two soldiers in the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
11 Brigade had been taken from the Kaonik camp.
12 After you received this information from
13 Claire Podbielski, did you call Zlatko Aleksovski, the
14 commander or the warden of the Kaonik camp, to ask him
15 if Bosnian Muslim detainees were being taken out to dig
16 trenches? Did you do that, General?
17 A. You put that question to me yesterday. I did
18 not receive information in February from Claire
19 Podbielski about the incident that occurred. Claire
20 Podbielski was not head of the regional office of the
21 International Red Cross at the time. At that time, it
22 was Mrs. Iris. When I received information from her, I
23 called my chief of staff and I called the commander --
24 Q. Maybe you misunderstood my question, and I'll
25 repeat my question. You told us that in February, you
1 had heard from ICRC, Iris, that the Nikola
2 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade took these two Muslims out from
3 the Kaonik camp to do trench-digging, and they were
4 subsequently killed. Now, my question for you is:
5 After you received information from Claire Podbielski
6 of ICRC in May about this same brigade being accused of
7 forced trench-digging, did you call the warden of the
8 Kaonik camp, Zlatko Aleksovski, and ask Warden
9 Aleksovski if detainees were being taken out by HVO
10 troops and forced to dig trenches? Did you do that
11 after you received this information from Claire
12 Podbielski in May?
13 A. I cannot remember for sure whether I did
14 because Claire Podbielski's information was that she
15 had seen civilians in Busovaca, that they were moving
16 through town. She did not say that these were
17 prisoners of war who were being taken away because this
18 was already May when there were hardly any prisoners of
19 war in the district military prison in Kaonik.
20 Possibly, I did check this out because I know
21 that I issued a warning as to how to react if the
22 prison were attacked. There were quite a few attacks
23 against the district military prison, and these attacks
24 were carried out by various groups, and we agreed with
25 the president of the district military court on how the
1 warden of the district military prison should react and
2 how he should get the military police to protect the
3 prison. Now, whether I made a phone call to Zlatko and
4 when I made a phone call, that, I do not recall.
5 Possibly there were such conversations. But I know
6 that a military policeman was killed on one occasion
7 when he tried to repel an attack against the district
8 military prison.
9 Q. Did Zlatko Aleksovski tell you that the
10 Viteska Brigade and the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade
11 were taking detainees out of the prison, Kaonik prison,
12 and forced to dig trenches? Did he tell you that?
13 A. I had a meeting with Zlatko. I cannot
14 remember all the details, I'd have to look this up in
15 my chronology, but I do not remember any such specific
16 information that he was complaining about the brigades
17 or the commanders of the brigades taking them away. He
18 did complain about various incidents, provocations,
19 provocations against the security of the prison, and I
20 said that measures should be taken in addition to
21 building an additional fence around the prison so that
22 the prison could be protected --
23 Q. I don't mean to cut you off, but my time is
24 short. General, this meeting with Claire Podbielski
25 was on the 9th of May, and I would like to show you
1 Prosecutor's Exhibit 242, annex O, the interview with
2 Mr. Aleksovski which took place on the 10th of May, the
3 next day.
4 MR. KEHOE: This, Mr. President and Your
5 Honours, is part of the report in evidence, 242,
6 written by Mr. McLeod who was an ECMM investigator, if
7 you will, that came to the area in May to inquire into
8 the Ahmici matters and some other matters. This is an
9 interview of Zlatko Aleksovski.
10 If we could turn to page 2 in that,
11 Mr. Usher, the bottom half of the page.
12 Q. In this item, there is a discussion on the
13 problems in the gaol, and Mr. Aleksovski, at the bottom
14 where it says "5th," discusses this matter with
15 Mr. McLeod, Mr. Charles McLeod:
16 "5th is the kind of work that the prisoners
17 have to do. Because I know that the Geneva Conventions
18 do not allow prisoners to be taken for any work if
19 their lives are in danger. I have been warned about
20 that by the ICRC as well.
21 "But I am not the only one responsible for
22 this, because I just carry out orders. The brigade
23 commanders in Busovaca and Vitez give them. Not that I
24 want to avoid my responsibility. Because I am not the
25 one who releases people to do the work. In order to
1 clear it up, I went with Beatrice of the ICRC to the
2 commander in Busovaca where she protested for the
3 people to be taken to work under such conditions.
4 "She was given the answer I almost
5 completely agree with. We here actually do not have
6 enough people to do the security jobs. Someone had to
7 dig the trenches and it happened that the men to do
8 that were the prisoners." That's grammatically
9 incorrect, but "... it happened that the men to do that
10 were the prisoners."
11 General, how far is Kaonik camp from the
12 Hotel Vitez, approximately?
13 A. About seven or eight kilometres; however, I
14 believe the distance was not the problem. The problem
15 was information or, rather, receiving such
16 information. Because we see that the warden knows
17 about the Geneva Conventions and the brigade commanders
18 knew about the Geneva Conventions because I told them
19 about this in my orders. As for my orders, I said that
20 on the 16th of April, which is quite --
21 JUDGE JORDA: We don't have a lot of time
22 now. You've answered the question. Let the Prosecutor
23 ask you further questions. You can't plead each time
24 you give an answer; otherwise, you're going to have
25 trouble with your Defence counsel. You understand
1 that. Please answer the questions.
2 MR. KEHOE:
3 Q. General, the commander of the Nikola
4 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade and the commander of the Viteska
5 Brigade were both commanders that were your direct
6 subordinates, weren't they? "Yes" or "No"?
7 A. Yes, they were my direct subordinates, and
8 they never received such orders from me that they
9 should engage prisoners of war --
10 JUDGE JORDA: Was he subordinate or not?
11 Please answer the question, General Blaskic. I don't
12 want to have another discussion with your Defence
13 counsel about questions. You're not giving a specific
14 answer to the question, you take three extra minutes
15 each time, and then we have problems when your Defence
16 counsel says that we don't have enough time. I believe
17 we've had enough of this.
18 Please answer the question, because it was a
19 very simple question: Were the brigade commanders
20 subordinate to General Blaskic or not, "Yes" or "No"?
21 I don't want to have any further discussions with your
22 Defence counsel about those questions. We see what the
23 problem is. You take three extra minutes for every
24 answer that you give. Please answer the questions when
25 they are clear.
1 Repeat the question, Mr. Kehoe.
2 MR. KEHOE:
3 Q. Were the brigade commanders for the Nikola
4 Subic-Zrinjski in Busovaca and in the Viteska Brigade
5 in Vitez, were they your direct subordinates?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is it your testimony that you had no
8 knowledge that these commanders were taking prisoners,
9 detainees, Bosnian Muslim detainees, from Kaonik camp
10 and taking them to the front line to dig trenches?
11 A. I've already said that from time to time I
12 received information from the International Red Cross
13 that there were such cases. When I would receive such
14 information, I would check it out, I would investigate
15 the matter and take appropriate measures.
16 Q. For this criminal conduct on the part of your
17 brigade commanders, were any of your brigade
18 commanders, or any soldiers in those brigades, ever
19 charged with a crime for taking these prisoners out to
20 dig trenches?
21 A. Yes. There was the case of the indictment
22 from February 1993, when that group was indicted for
23 taking prisoners to dig trenches and also for killing
25 Q. Well, let me update the question, General:
1 Were any of the members of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
2 Brigade or the Vitez Brigade charged with a crime for
3 forcing Bosnian Muslim detainees to dig trenches after
4 the 16th of April, 1993, and if they were, could you
5 give us a name?
6 A. After the 16th of April -- I do not recall
7 and I do not have the records here whether they were
8 indicted or not, but I already said that if there were
9 such cases, that I would react and take measures.
10 Q. After the 16th of April, were any members of
11 the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade or the Viteska
12 Brigade disciplined at your direction for forcing
13 Bosnian Muslim detainees to dig trenches?
14 A. I've already said that if I would receive
15 such information, then measures would be taken. I do
16 not remember whether there was any information that
17 somebody had forced anyone in this way judging on the
18 basis of what I said in my direct testimony.
19 Q. Let me focus on the continuous complaints
20 before the Busovaca joint commission on this score, and
21 to do that, I refer the Court to the testimony of
22 Lieutenant-Colonel Morsink -- again, he was a Major
23 when in theatre -- and my colleague, Mr. Harmon, asked
24 the following question at page 9889, line 14:
25 Q I'd like to turn to another topic, and
1 that would be the subject of the use of
2 civilians to perform forced labour,
3 specifically trench-digging. While you
4 were in Central Bosnia, were you aware
5 of this particular practice?
6 A I was given protests, according to --
7 which said that the Muslims (sic) --
8 Excuse me.
9 A -- that civilians had been forced to
10 dig trenches. I was given this during
11 the meeting of the joint commission.
12 During the meeting, I was made aware of
13 15 protests in that respect, 10 to 15,
14 10 to 15.
15 Q And did both sides complain about this
17 A There were complaints about the HVO
18 soldiers who forced the Muslim soldiers
19 to dig trenches. That's how it always
20 was said.
21 THE WITNESS: Not really correct.
22 A The HVO soldiers forced Muslim civilians
23 to dig trenches. The protest came from
24 one side only.
25 Now, General, your representative at these
1 meetings, Franjo Nakic -- was Franjo Nakic. Did he
2 come back and inform you, General, as his superior,
3 that there were continuous complaints being made at the
4 joint commission or joint command that HVO soldiers
5 were forcing Bosnian Muslims to dig trenches?
6 A. He informed me about all the matters that
7 were discussed at the joint commission, including the
8 engagement of civilians, that is to say, citizens in
9 carrying out engineering work.
10 The question that is mentioned in
11 Mr. Morsink's testimony is civilians, not prisoners of
12 war. I checked this out and I realised that this was
13 work platoons, that is to say, citizens who were
14 mobilised, not Muslims in a discriminatory fashion but
15 Croats and Muslims and Serbs and the Romany, all
16 citizens were mobilised to do this work. That was the
17 previous practice too according to the law on defence,
18 that the civilian authorities would mobilise persons
19 for carrying out such work.
20 Q. Let me focus in on your answer and continue
21 on with Colonel Morsink's testimony on this score. On
22 page 9890, line 9:
23 A There is one case to which I was a
24 witness with HVO soldiers accompanying
25 civilians who were carrying shovels, and
1 who had to dig a hole or to dig
2 trenches. When we asked the question of
3 the local HVO commander in that respect,
4 he felt that he had been a little bit
5 cornered, at least that was the feeling
6 that I had, that he was a bit cornered.
7 He became very aggressive and did not
8 allow me to speak with his soldiers or
9 to the civilians cornered (sic) by the
10 matter -- concerned by the matter.
11 Excuse me.
12 A And this incident was presented to the
13 joint commission subsequently. This
14 happened in May -- I think it was May, I
15 don't quite remember anymore -- it was
16 near Stranje. The military commander
17 had a nickname, Marinac.
18 Continuing on page 9892.
19 Q Colonel Morsink, did you subsequently
20 return to Stranje on the 13th of May
21 with HVO representatives and did you
22 meet with local Muslims who were still
23 residing in that community?
24 A We had a meeting at the Busovaca
25 commission, regular ones, with both
1 parties, and we tried to go on site with
3 Q When you went on site to Stranje on the
4 13th of May, what did the population,
5 the local Muslim population, tell you
6 had occurred to them with respect to
8 A They complained that on several
9 occasions they had been forced to dig
10 trenches. They also complained that
11 many men from that area had been taken
12 prisoner at the county prison and that
13 the remaining men were forced to dig
14 trenches. They were the men who had
15 been taken out of the prison and ordered
16 to dig trenches.
17 While they were digging the
18 trenches, several of them were wounded,
19 some of them even died doing the forced
21 Q Now, at this location in Stranje, was
22 there an HVO representative with you
23 when those complaints were made?
24 A Yes, there were members of the joint
25 commission on both sides.
1 Q Now, you mentioned that there were a
2 large number of complaints made at the
3 local commission and at the joint
4 commissions about civilian forced
5 labour. Were those complaints being
6 made in front of Franjo Nakic?
7 A Mr. (Franjo) Nakic was present several
8 times at various meetings, and he was
9 spoken to.
10 Q Were those complaints also made in front
11 and in the presence of local brigade
12 commanders as well?
13 A Yes. The HVO Busovaca command was
14 always there at that type of meeting.
15 Q Can you tell the Judges what was the
16 response of the HVO in the face of these
17 continuous allegations that civilians
18 were forced to be trench-diggers?
19 A There were different reactions.
20 Sometimes they said furious civilians
21 had forced other civilians to dig the
22 trenches and sometimes we were told that
23 there had been abuses, that some had
24 used HVO uniforms in an inappropriate
25 manner, and on other occasions we were
1 told that the HVO had already lost a
2 great deal of ground and were therefore
3 forced to have recourse to all type of
4 reserve forces and that they had to call
5 upon civilians to dig the trenches, and
6 yet on other times there was no reaction
7 at all. They just didn't answer the
9 Q Were you also told that it was
10 uncontrolled elements who were forcing
11 civilians to dig trenches?
12 A Yes. That's what they meant when they
13 talked about furious civilians. That's
14 what they meant.
15 Q In addition to complaints that were made
16 to the HVO at the local joint
17 commissions, did other international
18 organisations make complaints to the HVO
19 about this pervasive practice?
20 A The International Red Cross and the
21 UNHCR were present at those types of
22 meetings, and I remember that Margaret
23 Green from the UNHCR had protested
24 because she had noted that there were
25 Gypsies in the Vitez region who had been
1 forced to dig trenches.
2 Q In your opinion, Colonel Morsink, was
3 Colonel Blaskic aware of this illegal
5 A He had to have been because his
6 representatives were present at the
7 meetings and we talked about it.
8 Q To your knowledge, did the HVO ever take
9 any action to stop this illegal
11 A No. I never heard of any kind of
12 measures taken at all.
13 Q Did you ever hear of a single HVO
14 soldier being punished for engaging in
15 this illegal practice?
16 A Never.
17 Q In your opinion, Colonel Morsink, why
18 did the HVO engage in this practice?
19 A I think that it is dangerous work on the
20 front line, and I think that they did
21 not want to put their own soldiers in
22 danger by forcing them to dig this type
23 of trench.
24 So during these meetings, General, that you
25 had with Franjo Nakic, did he tell you, on these
1 continuous complaints by the International Community
2 and by the Bosnian Muslims, that they objected to
3 Bosnian Muslim civilians and detainees being taken to
4 the front-line positions to dig trenches? Did he tell
5 you that, given that he was your chief of staff,
7 A. I have already said that he informed me about
8 the work of the joint commission, and I'm not a legal
9 man but I believe that if civilians are mobilised in
10 regular fashion who are recruits and conscripts and
11 take part in the work platoons, that that is not
12 against the law.
13 Here, the question of the Gypsies, the
14 Romanies, were mentioned, and I remember the work
15 platoon was called Svace, and each village had its work
16 platoon made up of civilians and they were mobilised by
17 the civilian authorities and they had their salaries
18 and were entitled to sick leave and everything else,
19 pensions and so on. Today they enjoy the right to
20 shares and to have their years of service. So these
21 civilians were mobilised within the composition of the
22 work platoons but not for the elaboration of shelters,
23 communications, access roads, and they were called
24 general purpose units within the general system of
25 civil defence and they were mobilised by the civilian
2 Q. Well, General, you said in this courtroom and
3 you heard testimony from -- I can't give you a
4 number -- many Bosnian Muslims who were taken to the
5 front lines and forced to dig trenches and they
6 testified to soldiers -- excuse me, of Bosnian Muslims
7 being killed at those front lines and wounded. Now,
8 how many Bosnian Muslim detainees or civilians were
9 killed and wounded on the front line while they were
10 digging trenches or any type of fortifications for the
11 HVO? How many, General?
12 A. I don't know the number for sure, how many
13 there were, but I do know that whenever I received any
14 information, I reacted to it and launched an
15 investigation into the matter.
16 Q. Well, General, after the 16th of April, did
17 you ever launch and react to information of a Bosnian
18 Muslim detainee or civilian who had been shot or killed
19 on the front line and did you gather information as to
20 the circumstances of that individual being shot or
21 killed on the front line? And if you did, when did you
22 do it?
23 A. I remember one particular case -- I don't
24 remember all the details of the case -- but I think it
25 was the Vitez Brigade, after the 16th of April, a
1 civilian died, a Bosniak Muslim, and I received a
2 report from the security service about that. I think
3 that a company commander was suspected of being to
4 blame and an inspector of the company also was killed.
5 So I remember that one particular case.
6 Q. Well, what happened to that company
7 commander, General?
8 A. He was also killed, I think on the 19th or
9 18th of April, but up until the 20th of April, he died
10 too -- he was killed too.
11 Q. Other than that example, you have no other
12 information in that area, do you?
13 A. I mentioned that example because I remembered
14 it. I think his name was Slavko, the company
15 commander's name was Slavko, and I've already said, if
16 the information reached me, I quite certainly did react
17 and demanded an investigation into the matter.
18 Q. Now, General, you told us, in this
19 conversation that you had with Claire Podbielski where
20 you found out about these civilians being taken out to
21 dig trenches, you told us that you subsequently found
22 out that this was part of a work platoon.
23 Now, General, if a work platoon had been sent
24 to a front line position, a dangerous front line
25 position, to dig trenches, based on your training in
1 the JNA and training in the Geneva Conventions, would
2 such a practice be unlawful?
3 A. Of course, if they were taken to dangerous
4 positions. But I've already said that my orders were
5 very precise, that a soldier must dig his own foxhole,
6 and it was standard practice in the JNA, and this can
7 be seen from a Defence Exhibit, I don't know the number
8 exactly, but military positions are established
9 throughout the year, and from September 1992, for
10 example, there is a document where I order that the
11 territory be prepared for defence, so it is implied
12 that a soldier dig his own foxhole, and work platoons
13 in the JNA dug shelters, access trenches, put roads
14 right, and so on.
15 Q. General, did you ever order that work
16 platoons consisting of civilians be sent to the front
17 lines to engage in trench-digging?
18 A. I don't recall having issued orders in that
19 sense. And may I explain, please, briefly? A platoon
20 is mobilised by the civilian authorities, according to
21 their own criteria, and it is made up of all citizens
22 that have this work duty, and the local commander, the
23 commander of a position comes to collect these men and
24 engages them in organising accesses but not foxholes.
25 I keep receiving the translation of "tranceje," an
1 interpretation of communicating trenches. That is
2 different. That is where the army relaxes, sleeps. So
3 there's a big difference between "foxhole" and
5 Q. General, did you direct work platoons to
6 where they should go to dig trenches or foxholes? Did
7 you do that?
8 A. I don't remember that. I don't remember
9 directing work platoons as to where they should go. I
10 would issue orders to the commanders of brigades, issue
11 military orders, but I don't recall I myself giving
12 orders as to where a work platoon would go. Work
13 platoons went where the local commanders at the
14 municipality level or local community level wanted them
15 to go. Each village in the municipality had its own
16 work platoons. They had their civilians. Every
17 village had this.
18 Q. General, the civilians who had been sent to
19 the front lines to dig trenches, were any civilians
20 killed at the front-line positions while they were
21 digging trenches?
22 A. They did not dig at the front line. In
23 military terminology, there is a basic front line and
24 an auxiliary front line. They did not dig trenches at
25 the front line or the auxiliary front line. They dug
1 shelters and accesses to shelters, and I can draw a
2 diagram of this as to how I understand this, these
3 facilities. This is essentially different. Perhaps
4 there were. I said beforehand that this whole enclave
5 was a battalion in defence, that a whole battalion
6 could be placed there, but it was all a dangerous
7 region and was within rifle range, not only artillery
8 range. Perhaps there were some people who were
9 wounded, but if such cases occurred, they would have
10 equal rights, just as soldiers did, to a retirement
11 pension, to benefits, their years of service would be
12 recognised, just as any other soldier belonging to the
13 HVO had.
14 Q. Fine, General. We'll just deal with
15 civilians who were part of these work platoons. Were
16 civilians who were part of these work platoons killed
17 at the front line; "Yes" or "No"?
18 A. I do not know whether anybody, any of them
19 died at the front line because, as I have already said,
20 they were mobilised by the civilian authorities, and I
21 had no influence on the work of those civilian
22 authorities nor competence over them. It was the head
23 of the defence department who had his own criteria, and
24 he assigns to --
25 JUDGE JORDA: Answer the question, General
1 Blaskic. Answer the question, please. The question is
2 whether there were people killed on the front line.
3 Either you know or you don't know.
4 A. Perhaps there were. I do not have any
5 precise data.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.
7 MR. KEHOE:
8 Q. General, let us move on. Were you given
9 information or did you come by information or were you
10 informed that these civilians who were part of these
11 work platoons were wounded at front-line positions?
12 A. I usually received operative reports and
13 numerical data, for example, three soldiers or ten
14 soldiers today, in the course of the day, from the
15 Vitez Brigade, or ten members, were wounded, for
16 example, whereas the work platoons were within the
17 composition part of the civil defence, and they sent
18 their data to the commander of the units, general
19 purpose units of the civil defence organisation. That
20 was what usually happened.
21 Q. General, how about abuse of civilians who
22 were parts of these work platoons? Did you receive
23 information that HVO soldiers were physically abusing
24 these civilians who were part of these work platoons?
25 A. I don't remember receiving information about
1 any abuse. I would certainly have reacted, and if a
2 soldier did that, then that was at the level of a
3 company or a battalion or brigade, for measures to be
4 undertaken. But I received collective information
5 about disciplinary measures. For example, in
6 September, the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade had ten
7 disciplinary measures and punishment taken towards
8 soldiers. Now, whether within those cases, there were
9 cases of this kind, I don't know, but I have, for
10 example, the figure of 60, that 60 disciplinary
11 measures were taken for that brigade.
12 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I'm about to go
13 into another area. I don't know if you want to take a
14 break now. It would be a more convenient time.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. We are going to take a
16 20-minute break. I would like the accused, who is a
17 witness, if he needs a little more time, if he needs to
18 do some research into the subject, he can. So I
19 suggest that we take 25 minutes, Mr. Hayman, so that
20 would give the client the time to do some research if
21 he needs the time.
22 MR. HAYMAN: That's fine, if there's a
23 particular assignment. I don't know if there's a
24 particular standing request for him to look through his
25 notes during this break or not.
1 JUDGE JORDA: There was no request, no
2 specific request.
3 Do you need to do any research? Do you need
4 to look something up, General Blaskic, something
6 A. I need about five minutes, Mr. President.
7 Thank you very much.
8 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I did have a
9 specific request of the witness that I had at the
10 outset, and that specific request was the initial
11 question, was there a front-line position at Bobasi in
12 September and did he visit it?
13 JUDGE JORDA: All right. You had all evening
14 to think about it, but perhaps in the next five
15 minutes, you will get the answer. All right. We will
16 take a 25-minute break.
17 --- Recess taken at 11.20 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.52 a.m.
19 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the
21 Mr. Hayman, I hope it will be noted in the
22 transcript that your client had 32 minutes to look
23 through his chronology.
24 Mr. Kehoe, you can continue now.
25 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Q. General, in September of 1993, was Bobasi a
2 front-line position?
3 A. Yes, the front line passed through Bobasi,
4 but I did not tour that part of the front line in
5 September 1993, so I did not walk and tour it on foot
6 from trench to trench.
7 Q. General, let us move to the next document.
8 MR. KEHOE: I've given them to the registrar,
9 Mr. President. The next three documents,
10 Mr. President, that we are discussing are all seized
11 documents, documents that were seized pursuant to a
12 search warrant.
13 THE REGISTRAR: The first document is 715,
14 Prosecution Exhibit 715 and 715A for the English
16 JUDGE JORDA: Do the booths have the
18 MR. KEHOE: We do have some extra copies.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Then put them on the ELMO,
21 MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. General, the first document is a document
23 dated the 10th of September, 1993. General, this
24 document is dated two days after the attack in Grbavica
25 was completed. This is a report from the defence
1 department signed by Marijan Skopljak and the report on
2 the organisation of work platoons of the Vitez HVO, and
3 a copy of it is delivered to the Central Bosnian
4 Operative Zone, that is, to you.
5 We will not read this entire document, but
6 the first three paragraphs are instructive on page 1:
7 "Pursuant to the Decree on the Establishment
8 of the Armed Forces of the HZ HB /Croatian Community of
9 Herceg-Bosna/, the Temporary Regulations on the
10 Mobilisation of the Armed Forces of the HZ HB and
11 instructions on keeping military records on
12 v/o /conscripts/, and in connection with the newly
13 arisen situation in Vitez municipality, as of 16 April
14 1993, the Defence Office activated the work platoons
15 set up so far and assigned them to work on engineering
16 consolidation and organising the first defence lines.
17 "Work platoons (units) whose mobilisation
18 was carried out by the Vitez Municipality Defence
19 Office partly consists of Croats in the category of
20 persons unfit for military service, and the remaining
21 part comprises of Romanies or Muslims.
22 "The Sofa and Zilic Work Platoons were
23 established as units attached to the Defence Office on
24 the first day of hostilities. The members of these
25 platoons are Romanies. Use of these platoons falls
1 under the authority of the Vitez Defence Office. We
2 would immediately like to mention that these work
3 platoons have carried out 80% of the jobs related to
4 the engineering arrangement of territory for the entire
5 municipality of Vitez. The total number of people in
6 both platoons amounts to 55 members (45 in the Sofa and
7 10 in the Zilic Work Platoons). We consider it
8 necessary to mention that both work platoons have not
9 had a single day off during this war and have conducted
10 their jobs mainly in night-time conditions and quite
11 often while under enemy fire. Two members of the work
12 unit were killed while at work and two were wounded.
13 Both work platoons received work unit identity cards
14 and a wartime station, the prescribed form."
15 Let us move to the last page of the English
16 version, which is the second to last page in the B/C/S
17 version. For you, General, it's at the bottom of the
18 page, and it begins: "On 8 September," the 8th of
19 September being the date that the Grbavica attack
21 "On 8 September 1993, a verbal order was
22 issued by Colonel Blaskic to engage a minimum of 100
23 people from the work units to work on the consolidation
24 and digging-in on the first defence lines on the
25 Jardol-Divjak-Grbavica axis towards Sadovace. The
1 Defence Office embarked on the mobilisation of its work
2 unit, and the first group was sent to the Vitez post
3 office at 1600 hours exactly. The total number of
4 people sent on behalf of the Defence Office and the
5 Viteska Brigade was 83 members because Stipo Zigonjic
6 of the Defence Office went to the location in Sector
7 Bila, activated the work platoons of Stara Bila and
8 assigned a number of people to load sacks in Pjescara
9 and the remaining personnel to dig in at the first
10 defence line. The total number of men was 40.
11 "The total number of people mobilised for
12 the digging of trenches in the Grbavica-Divjak-Jardol
13 area amounts to 123 v/o [conscripts] which can be
14 confirmed by Mr. Dragan Grabovac, the chief of the
15 Viteska Brigade engineering.
16 "It must be said that, according to the
17 people in the work units, there were problems regarding
18 the execution of the above-mentioned tasks. When the
19 men arrived, one group was immediately put to work and
20 another group was received promptly but not put to work
21 immediately; it only started working at 2400 hours
22 because the work was badly organised. Some members of
23 the second group were abused and beaten by some
24 soldiers, which can be established on the basis of
25 statements of the commander of the work unit."
1 Now, General, you told us you never sent
2 civilians in these work platoons to front-line
3 positions to dig trenches. This report from Mario
4 Skopljak reflects somewhat differently, when on the day
5 the Grbavica attack ends, on your verbal orders, a
6 minimum of 100 people from work units were to go to the
7 Jardol-Divjak axis to dig-in on the first defence
9 So when you told us that you didn't order
10 platoons to go to the front-line positions, that wasn't
11 true, was it, General?
12 A. I said that I did not issue direct orders to
13 the work platoons, but in my testimony, I refer on the
14 7th of September -- I referred on the 7th of September,
15 I testified that I had a meeting at about 1630 with the
16 mayor of the municipality of Vitez, the head of the
17 defence department, Mr. Marijan Skopljak, a
18 representative of the regional civilian police, and the
19 chief of staff and the chief of engineers, and we then
20 discussed the topic of the consolidation of Grbavica
21 once the position had been taken over. Once again, it
22 was the soldiers who held the front line and who had
23 taken over Grbavica and taken up their positions
24 whereas on Grbavica itself, shelters were being built
25 and accesses. So in this part of my testimony --
1 JUDGE JORDA: We're not going to repeat the
2 same things, General Blaskic. I would like us to go
3 straight to the matter at hand. I had not understood
4 that you had given a verbal order on the 8th of
5 September, an order to engage a hundred people for the
6 work platoon. That's what we've got to focus on. You
7 never said that.
8 A. No, Mr. President, not on the 8th of
9 September, but on the 7th of September, at a meeting
10 which was a meeting of the civilian and military
11 authorities, I expressed myself on the basis -- I
12 expressed a request on the 7th of September at 1630.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, go ahead.
14 MR. KEHOE:
15 Q. In fact, General, you ordered these work
16 platoons to go to dig on the first defence line which
17 is on the front line of the HVO, didn't you?
18 A. I have already said, at the front line we had
19 soldiers of the HVO holding the front line itself. I
20 expressed the demand, vis-à-vis the defence department,
21 to mobilise the work platoons. I did not order --
22 JUDGE JORDA: Was it a false order? Let me
23 remind you that you're under oath. You're not in a
24 civil law system here. You are a sworn witness. Let
25 me remind you of that.
1 Is this document a false document which does
2 not express the truth? That's the question which is
3 being asked. You are not in a civil law system where
4 you testify freely without taking an oath which means
5 that you have the right to lie. You do not have the
6 right to lie before this Tribunal once you've taken an
7 oath at the request of your Defence counsel. That's
8 what has to be said.
9 Let me repeat the question to you: Is this
10 document a false one and does not express the truth?
11 Please shed some light on that question for us. It is
12 your right to answer.
13 A. The document in its contents expresses the
14 truth except for the fact that I, on the 8th of
15 September, issued an order. On the 7th of September, I
16 expressed my demand to the defence department at the
17 meeting attended by five or six other people. So I
18 expressed this demand at the meeting.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. I have noted your answer
20 as it was given. That's much more appropriate in
21 respect of the legal system in which all of us
23 Mr. Kehoe, please continue.
24 MR. KEHOE:
25 Q. Now, General, in this order that you received
1 from Mr. Skopljak, the order in the last paragraph
2 notes that:
3 "Some members of the second group were
4 abused and beaten by some soldiers."
5 Now, General, what did you do when you
6 received this information that HVO soldiers were
7 beating members of the civilian work platoons?
8 A. I specifically do not remember all the
9 measures undertaken, but I can see in this document
10 that it speaks about the statements of the commander of
11 the work platoons, and I do believe that certain steps
12 were taken connected to the investigation, but I really
13 cannot remember all the details.
14 Q. General, can you give us one name of one
15 soldier, HVO soldier, who was prosecuted and convicted
16 or disciplined as a result of beating civilians in the
17 work platoons? One name, General. And the time frame
18 that I'm talking about is in September of 1993 when you
19 received this document from Marijan Skopljak.
20 A. I can't remember the name and details related
21 to this document, the names of soldiers who were
22 punished on the basis of this document.
23 Q. General, let us turn to the next two
24 documents, if we could, and we will take these two in
1 THE REGISTRAR: These are Exhibits 716, 716A,
2 717, and they're all Prosecution Exhibits. The "A"
3 refers to the English version.
4 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Usher, if the witness can be
5 given 715 as well? I would like him to have all three
6 exhibits with him.
7 (Trial Chamber confers)
8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, we've got 717 and
9 718 before us -- excuse me, 716 and 717. Thank you,
10 Mr. Registrar.
11 MR. KEHOE: Yes. I believe -- 716, if we can
12 put that on the ELMO? Is that 716? Thank you.
13 Q. 716 is the order or the report of the 21st of
14 September, 1993, again by Mr. Skopljak, and his report
15 was submitted to your headquarters, General:
16 "Based on a verbal request made by Colonel
17 Tihomir Blaskic and in connection with the mobilisation
18 of personnel / work platoons for conducting work on
19 engineering consolidation of the Bobaseva Kuce defence
20 line, we inform you of the following:
21 "The Vitez Municipality ... has mobilised 20
22 people, the Sofa Work Platoon, (the mobilisation was
23 carried out by the Defence Office ... Stipo Zigonjic
24 and Marijan Vinac) consisting of the following."
25 Now, General, take a look at the 20
1 individuals from the Sofa work platoon who were taken
2 to this Bobaseva Kuce defence line. All of those
3 individuals are Muslims, aren't they?
4 A. Yes, the work platoon -- I think -- I think
5 they were Romanies, but they could be Muslims too. I'm
6 just talking about their names now, because the defence
7 department mobilised the work platoons, that is to say,
8 the civilian authorities, according to their own
10 Q. Well, General, 1 through 20 in that group,
11 they are all Muslim names, aren't they?
12 A. I'm looking at document 717. Perhaps I'm not
13 looking at the right document.
14 JUDGE JORDA: No. No, no, no. Mr. Nobilo?
15 MR. NOBILO: I would like to object to the
16 question. It is not precise enough. In Bosnia, there
17 are different ethnic groups, the Bosniaks and the
18 Romanies, and being Muslim is a faith, and both the
19 Romany and the Bosniaks belong to that religious
20 group. So could you please tell us whether the
21 question relates to an ethnic or religious group
22 because it's an important distinction?
23 MR. KEHOE:
24 Q. General, I am referring to the 20 names on
25 the report --
1 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo.
2 MR. KEHOE:
3 Q. I am referring to the 20 names on the report
4 of 21 September, 1993, which I believe is Exhibit 716,
5 is it not, and those 20 names, as part of the Sofa
6 Works, they are Muslims, aren't they?
7 A. I already said that, to my knowledge, the
8 work platoon Sofa consisted of Romanies. Perhaps there
9 are Bosniak Muslims too in this list, but as far as I
10 know, these were Romanies, the Sofa work platoon. I'm
11 talking about the village. I wish to mention one more
12 thing, that the mobilisation was carried out by the
13 defence department.
14 Q. General, the Bobaseva-Kuce line was a front
15 line position, wasn't it?
16 A. Bobaseva-Kuce have their first front line
17 starting from the house of Ivica Bobas and it goes
18 along the houses in the Bobasi villages, but then there
19 were also houses that were adjusted for people to stay
20 at and also to have the front line there.
21 Q. Well, let us turn to Prosecution Exhibit 717,
22 and before we go there, General, this particular line
23 in Bobaseva Kuce, that was a practice front line
24 position on the 21st of September, 1993, wasn't it?
25 A. It is difficult to say now for an entire
1 month what the criteria are for active and what the
2 criteria are for passive. First it would be active and
3 then it would be completely passive because the most
4 active lines in September were to the south of Zabrdze
5 towards the explosives factory, for example. So the
6 most active line was facing the explosives factory from
8 Q. Let us look at Exhibit 717 which talks about
9 another verbal request by you. This is on the 20th of
10 September, 1993. Again, it is a document that is from
11 Mr. Skopljak from the defence department, a report is
12 sent to you at the Central Bosnian operative command:
13 "In accordance with a verbal request from
14 (Central Bosnian Operative Zone) Commander Tihomir
15 Blaskic and with regard to the new situation in Vitez
16 municipality, the Defence Office has
17 mobilised/activated work platoons. One hundred people
18 were required for engineering consolidation and
19 organisation of the defence line in the Kruscica-Bobasi
21 And it lists a group of individuals, 17, from
22 the Sofa work platoon.
23 Now, again, these 17 names are Muslim names,
24 as part of the Sofa work platoon, aren't they?
25 A. No. I said that the Sofa work platoon
1 consisted of Romanies. Perhaps they are Muslim by
2 faith but they are Romanies, to the best of my
3 knowledge, based on the knowledge I have from the
4 municipality or village, and I know that every village
5 had its own work platoon, and Sofa consisted of
6 Romanies primarily.
7 I heard about "consolidation" in the
8 interpretation that I heard, that 100 persons were
9 required for consolidating the front line. In the
10 document that I have here before me, it says
11 differently. The word "consolidation" is not there.
12 And this document was sent to the defence office in
13 Travnik. It was sent to me, but it was sent to the
14 immediately superior office --
15 Q. General -- General, on the 20th of September,
16 the Kruscica-Bobasi area was an active front-line
17 position, wasn't it?
18 A. Could you please clarify the criteria applied
19 in the case of active positions?
20 Q. Well, General, you're a military man. When
21 you talk about an active position, tell me what you
22 think; what you, as a military commander, when you
23 ordered or asked for a hundred people to go to this
24 line, did you consider it to be an active line,
25 General, or why else would you ask these people to go
1 up there to dig trenches?
2 A. First of all, I did not order these people
3 because it is quite clear from the document that I sent
4 a request to the defence office, that is to say, the
5 institution that is in charge of carrying out
6 mobilisation, setting up platoons, and sending them to
7 that area, Bobasi-Kruscica, to carry out engineering
8 work in order to consolidate the area for the front
10 I cannot recall precisely now, when you say
11 September, whether this was an active line. It is my
12 understanding that that would mean that there was
13 fighting there all the time, ongoing fighting, all the
14 time, and that is not the way it was in September,
15 throughout the month of September 1993.
16 Q. General, so if I understand you correctly,
17 you asked for a hundred people from the work platoon to
18 go dig trenches in the Kruscica-Bobasi area, but you
19 don't know whether or not this is an active front line;
20 is that your testimony?
21 A. No, no, that is not what I'm asserting. I am
22 asserting that I asked them to go and to consolidate
23 the positions for defence. Give me a date from
24 September and I'm going to tell you exactly whether
25 there was fighting at that front line or not.
1 JUDGE JORDA: But you've got an exact date.
2 It's the first document from Mr. Skopljak,
3 8 September. An order was given by Colonel Blaskic. I
4 would just like to know: Was the order given or not?
5 It wasn't given? If it wasn't, that's your right to
6 say so. Was it or was it not given? You're under
7 oath, General Blaskic, let me remind you once again.
8 A. I am aware of that, but I wish to clarify
9 this, Mr. President. The request was given on the 7th
10 of September at the meeting at 1630 --
11 JUDGE JORDA: There is no request here. This
12 is an order dated 8 September from Skopljak which is
13 sent to the defence organs. It says that an order was
14 given by General Blaskic. Was Skopljak lying or you
15 lying? That's a very clear question.
16 Let's stop it. Let's try to move proceedings
17 forward. Did you give an order or did you not? You've
18 got the right to say "No." But you do not have the
19 right to lie because there is false testimony as well.
20 Either you say "Yes" or you say "No." That's all.
21 A. I did not give an order, I gave a request,
22 that is to say, I requested.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Then that's your
24 answer. Mr. Kehoe, please go on.
25 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, we're going to
1 change subjects at this point.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. General, I'd like to talk to you about some
5 of your testimony concerning communications. Now, you
6 told us, from the time that you came to Central Bosnia
7 and became the commander until the time you left, you
8 had fighting against the Bosnian Serb army. Now,
9 during those fights with the Bosnian Serb army, did you
10 have communication abilities?
11 A. Communication abilities? To communicate with
13 Q. With your troops, General.
14 A. I had the ability to communicate in the Lasva
15 pocket with my troops. In the Lasva pocket, yes.
16 Q. Well, could you communicate with Mostar?
17 A. Yes, through packet link and also civilian
18 telephones, just ordinary telephones.
19 Q. When you had your troops on the front lines
20 in Jajce, did you communicate with them, and how did
21 you do it?
22 A. I did it in the following way: I stayed
23 there at the front line in Jajce, most often at certain
24 defence sectors, together with the commander, and from
25 time to time, I had an ordinary telephone, an ordinary
1 telephone which worked every now and then and a packet
2 link which also worked only every now and then. This
3 was August 1992 and also September and October.
4 Q. Now, let me move to the first document,
6 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit
7 718, 718A for the English version.
8 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Registrar, if I could also
9 use that in conjunction with this, if we could hand
10 that out and I'll give you the next document as well
11 and we could talk about it together, it might expedite
12 matters. This is the next document. Thank you.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 719, 719A
14 for the English version.
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. Now, General, the first document, Exhibit
17 718, is a document that comes from the main staff in
18 Mostar, dated 21 January, 1993, and it talks about the
19 protection of the operation of packet radio
20 transmitters. In number 3, it notes that: "The Chief
21 of Communications of the Vitez Central Bosnia Operative
22 Zone will submit the detailed report asked for in this
24 Now, who was your chief of communications for
25 the Central Bosnian Operative Zone?
1 A. The chief of communications for the Central
2 Bosnia Operative Zone was Boris Pindek.
3 Q. Where was his office?
4 A. In the Hotel Vitez. During this period of
5 time, that is to say, the 21st of January, 1993, he was
6 in the Hotel Vitez, and he shared an office with
7 another officer. I can't remember exactly who that
9 Q. Where was his office on the 16th of April,
11 A. At this same place, in the Hotel Vitez. He
12 shared an office with another officer.
13 Q. General, let me turn to the next exhibit,
14 which is Prosecution Exhibit 719, which is an order by
15 you dated the 23rd of January, 1993, and it is directed
16 to the communications company commander. Now, is that
17 individual to whom you direct this order, among others,
18 different from your chief of communications or is that
19 one and the same person?
20 A. No, this is not the same person. This is a
21 different person who was subordinated to the chief of
22 communications. The chief of communications is a
23 professional person working in headquarters, and this
24 is a different person. Zeljko Blaz, I think his name
25 was. I'm sure that Blaz was his last name, but I'm not
1 sure about his first name, whether it was Zeljko.
2 Q. How many individuals did you have working
3 underneath the chief of communications, in addition to
4 this company commander? An estimate; you don't have to
5 be specific.
6 A. I really don't know how many persons there
7 were because he was in charge of establishing these
8 units, depending on the equipment that was coming in,
9 and he was commander of a company that was being
10 established, that is to say, that as the equipment
11 arrived, that's how he set up this unit.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Approximately. The Prosecutor
13 is asking for an approximate number. If you don't
14 know, you don't know.
15 A. Perhaps approximately, in this period, it
16 could have been, say, between 12 and 15. I'm saying
17 all this with reservation and approximately.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you. Please
19 proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. That's fine, General. Let's just talk about
22 the time frame prior to the 16th of April, 1993. Tell
23 us about the communications equipment you had at your
24 disposal at the Hotel Vitez?
25 A. In Vitez, there was the municipal
1 communications centre. The former --
2 Q. Excuse me. It may not have translated
3 right. I'm talking about the Hotel Vitez, your
4 headquarters. We'll talk about the rest of Vitez in a
5 moment. I'm asking you about your communication
6 capabilities in your headquarters in the Hotel Vitez.
7 A. Civilian telephones, regular telephones, that
8 is to say, regular civilian telephones in the Hotel
9 Vitez, in my part of the headquarters.
10 Q. That was all?
11 A. That was all, the telephone lines that
12 existed, the kind that were in the Hotel Vitez.
13 Q. How about, General, in the area or in Vitez
14 itself, such as in the PTT building?
15 A. That's what I wanted to say a few minutes
16 ago. According to the former system from the former
17 Yugoslavia, every municipality had a centre for aerial
18 observation and information. So this was a civilian
19 communications centre, and I don't know exactly what it
20 consisted of in terms of equipment, but it was under
21 the municipal authorities, and it worked within the
22 post office. That centre assisted us for a longer
23 period of time and gave us various services, that is to
24 say, the command of the Operative Zone and also
25 possibly the command of the Vitez Brigade.
1 Q. General, let me go back. You maintain that
2 the PTT building was conducted by the civilian
3 authorities. Now, within your hotel and in addition to
4 your phones, did you have fax communication within the
5 Hotel Vitez?
6 A. We did not have telefax. It is only the
7 military police that had a regular civilian telefax. I
8 think that on the 17th or 18th, this telefax was handed
9 over on the basis of a request, and it was given to
10 headquarters. It was replaced. The telephone was
11 replaced by a telefax, but I know that the military
12 police had a telefax. My headquarters did not have a
13 telefax in the Hotel Vitez until the 17th.
14 Q. General, the communications centre that you
15 are discussing is approximately how far away from the
16 Hotel Vitez?
17 A. Could you please be specific? Are you asking
18 me about the municipal communications centre; is that
19 what you're asking me about?
20 Q. I'm talking about the communications centre
21 that you just talked about that was in the PTT
23 A. That municipal communications centre was
24 perhaps 50 or 100 metres away, I mean, as far away as
25 the post office building is from the hotel. Perhaps
1 it's more than 100 metres; perhaps it's 200 metres.
2 Q. In that building, you routinely received
3 communications that were brought to the Hotel Vitez
4 from the PTT building to you?
5 A. What do you mean "routinely"? If the packet
6 link worked, then we would receive messages that way,
7 and the directors of these post offices are better
8 experts in this matter. They know this better.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Ask more specific questions,
10 Mr. Kehoe, if you want specific answers.
11 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
12 Q. Let us talk a bit about your communication
13 capabilities within the Hotel Vitez, and I would like
14 to read you the testimony of your witness, Mr. Zeko,
15 Ivica Zeko, and on page 11775, the following questions
16 and answers were put to him by Mr. Nobilo -- excuse
17 me. I'm sorry. This is cross by Mr. Harmon, on line
19 Q Now, how often would you send reports,
20 intelligence reports, from your
21 headquarters in Nova Bila, from April of
22 1993 to the end of the war, to General
23 Blaskic's headquarters in the Hotel
25 A Daily. We were sending out reports
1 every day, and the estimates would be
2 sent depending on the needs and
3 depending on the situation on the
5 Q Where, in the Hotel Vitez, would General
6 Blaskic receive those reports? In his
7 office? In a different part of the
8 Hotel Vitez?
9 A I think that the reports were arriving
10 in the operational centre. The
11 operational department received it and
12 then forwarded it to General Blaskic.
13 Q Could you tell us where the operational
14 centre was?
15 A I didn't mean the operational centre. I
16 mean the operatives. That's a different
17 thing. The operatives is what I call
18 the people who are on duty, and they
19 were collecting reports that would
20 arrive from the theatre, and then they
21 would see how important they were and
22 would inform the commander about them.
23 Q My question, Brigadier, is very simple:
24 Where, in the Hotel Vitez, would the
25 reports from the theatre be received?
1 A How can I explain? It was on the ground
2 floor near the entrance on one side. To
3 the right of the corridor was the office
4 of General Blaskic, and on the left-hand
5 side, that means just opposite, were the
6 operatives who received these reports.
7 Q Were they located in a particular room
8 near Colonel Blaskic where they received
9 these reports? Was there a room that
10 was devoted to the receipt of
12 A Just on the other side of the corridor.
13 Q What kind of equipment did that room
14 have in it?
15 A They had modem equipment and fax. The
16 same things that I had to send it out.
17 So, General, in addition to the telephones
18 that you just told us that you had in the Hotel Vitez,
19 your operatives that were running your command centre
20 in the Hotel Vitez had modem equipment and a fax; isn't
21 that correct?
22 A. No, it is not. If the Honourable Court
23 allows me, I would like to explain this.
24 I see that this officer Zeko says that he
25 thinks that's the way it was. Across the hall, we also
1 have a layout of the hotel somewhere, there was this
2 big room, and we would have meetings there, and the fax
3 and the modem and everything else was in the PTT
4 building. All the reports that would come in would be
5 received at the post office building by packet link,
6 and then the messenger would come on foot, arrive with
7 this report, come into the meeting room where the
8 operative officers were, and then they classified the
9 documents and sorted them and brought them either to me
10 or to the other officers, depending on who they were
11 addressed to, and this was until the 16th or the 17th.
12 Sometime in April or May when we moved out of
13 the basement, then, along with this telephone, a fax
14 was returned, but before the 16th, we never had a fax
15 and we never had a modem. We never had a computer with
16 a monitor and with all these other elements in that
17 room. Never. Just a plain table and then a plain
18 telephone and a fax after the 20th of April, and before
19 that, just a plain civilian telephone.
20 Q. General, Ivica Zeko was your chief of
21 intelligence, wasn't he?
22 A. Yes. Ivica Zeko was chief of intelligence
23 who never had an office in the Hotel Vitez. He always
24 had an office in Nova Bila.
25 Q. Thank you, General. Ivica Zeko was your
1 chief of intelligence who frequently came to the Hotel
2 Vitez, didn't he?
3 A. No, he -- yes, yes, well, he would come to
4 the hotel frequently, but he was subordinated to the
5 chief of staff, and the chief of staff was -- he
6 actually had operatives and all the rest. I'm still
7 asserting that in the operations room, there as never,
8 ever a computer nor a modem link.
9 Q. So your chief of intelligence, Ivica Zeko,
10 when he gave this testimony to this Tribunal was wrong?
11 A. He was not right when he said that in the
12 meeting room that he was talking about and where the
13 officer on duty was, I still assert this, all the time
14 until I left my duty there and later, I never saw a
15 computer in that meeting room, never, ever, and then
16 finally that officer was not even trained to work on a
18 Q. How about the operatives that Mr. Zeko talks
19 about who were collecting this information in the --
20 MR. KEHOE: I'm sorry. There's a computer
21 glitch, I think, or a court reporting glitch.
22 JUDGE JORDA: That's because we were speaking
23 about computers. I guess that's why. We have another
24 20 minutes, even though the computer wants to take a
25 break. That's the Prosecution time.
1 Is it okay now?
2 THE COURT REPORTER: Yes. I apologise.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. You can continue.
4 MR. KEHOE:
5 Q. General, let us talk about these operatives
6 in the Hotel Vitez that Mr. Zeko, your chief of
7 intelligence, talks about. Did they exist?
8 A. Yes, they existed, these officers, and they
9 worked in a sector that was called the sector for
10 operative and teaching activities or whatever, but they
11 were just called the operatives, briefly.
12 Q. Did they work 24 hours a day?
13 A. No, they did not, nor could they work 24
14 hours a day, but the duty officer, that is to say, one
15 of these operatives who would be the duty officer on
16 that particular day would, together with his assistant,
17 be on round-the-clock duty and would receive
18 information, and one of them, that is to say, not all
19 of them would work 24 hours a day, unless there was
20 intensive combat activity. Then we tried to alleviate
21 the burden of their work as much as possible so that
22 they could work for as long as possible.
23 Q. General, tell us about the equipment that was
24 in the PTT building, in the communications centre.
25 What kind of equipment did they have?
1 A. I really never toured the entire post office
2 so that I could talk about the equipment they had. I
3 can say only what I know very superficially, that is to
4 say, the establishment of telephone communications and
5 the possibility to have modem, packet links via
6 computer, and I don't know whether they had radio
7 stations, if any. I think they had short-range radio,
8 shorter-range radio, because they did not have enough
9 space to put in a transmitter. Because this was a
10 valley, so they probably had only short-range radio in
11 this post office, but I'm saying this with a degree of
12 reservation because I never had the technical documents
13 of the post office, so I could not study its abilities
14 and possibilities.
15 Q. General, let me just show you, and if we can
16 put on the ELMO, Prosecutor's 45H, the document that we
17 were discussing yesterday.
18 Now, 45H is the blow-up of Exhibit 45 that we
19 were discussing yesterday, and the Hotel Vitez is
20 designated with the letter "A" and the PTT building is
21 designated with the letter "C"; is that correct, sir?
22 A. I think that building "C" is the former
23 department store, but I'm not sure, and this building
24 next to building "C," I can point it out, was the post
25 office. If necessary, I'm going to show it. This is
1 the post office and this is the department store
3 Q. Thank you, General. What street is that
4 called that goes in between the Hotel Vitez and the PTT
5 building; do you know?
6 A. I don't know. Believe me, I don't know. I
7 don't know the name of a single street in Vitez.
8 Q. That's fine, sir. Now, sir, let me talk to
9 you about the encryption capabilities that you had.
10 Could you send a message to Mostar, an encrypted
11 message to Mostar?
12 A. To Mostar? We exclusively and only sent
13 messages to Mostar via packet link, and that was the
14 only possibility provided, by packet link, at that
16 Q. Sir, the message that you sent on packet
17 link, was that encrypted or encoded in some fashion?
18 A. It went on a certain frequency, and it could
19 have perhaps been scrambled. It wasn't completely
20 open. It could very quickly be sent by someone else,
21 and it did happen from time to time that someone else
22 would get into this system of packet link because it
23 was difficult to provide a safe line.
24 Q. General, you considered that your packet
25 communications with Mostar was a safe method of
1 communication; isn't that right?
2 A. I thought that under such circumstances, that
3 was the safest. However, at that time, if I had some
4 kind of other equipment, like crypto-faxes or whatever,
5 other possibilities, I probably would have used them.
6 But in those circumstances, I had an open link and this
7 packet link.
8 Q. General, in Vitez, did you have encryption
9 capabilities in Vitez?
10 A. To the extent to which the use of packet link
11 makes it possible, that's how much we had, that is to
12 say, how much was made possible by the use of packet
14 Q. My colleague, Mr. Harmon, asked again your
15 chief of intelligence the following question and he
16 gave the following answer, and this is on page 11773,
17 on line 13:
18 Q Did that present any problems for you
19 in terms of relaying information,
20 intelligence information, to Colonel
21 Blaskic in the Hotel Vitez?
22 A No. I used other means, not only by
23 messenger. There were other means too.
24 As I've said, I forwarded the
25 information by telephone, by telephone
1 modem, or by fax.
2 Q Were these telephone modems or fax
3 machines reliable?
4 A Mostly, yes. The modem was reliable,
5 while faxes could have been intercepted.
6 Q The modem, did it have the ability to
7 encrypt messages that were sent from
8 Nova Bila to the Hotel Vitez?
9 A Yes.
10 So according to your chief of intelligence,
11 you had the ability to communicate and encrypt messages
12 so that they were secure; isn't that right, sir?
13 A. He had a computer and he could use a packet
14 link and send messages to the post office. To the
15 extent to which packet link made encryption possible,
16 that is the extent to which he could have used it; that
17 is to say, the modem that he had with a computer,
18 that's the way he sent his messages.
19 Q. Well, General, you had the ability to send
20 messages that were encrypted in the same fashion,
21 didn't you?
22 A. Yes, the same packet link. However, it is
23 different when we use it from Vitez to Nova Bila, that
24 is, I don't know how many kilometres, not more than
25 ten, and when we use it from this valley towards
1 Herzegovina and Mostar. There is a difference in terms
2 of the reception and the possibilities of interception
3 and many other things.
4 Q. Well, the fact of the matter is that you, in
5 the Lasva Valley, had the ability to encrypt your
6 messages so they could not be intercepted; isn't that
8 A. Our messages could have been intercepted by
9 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina because this is pretty
10 far away, this is a big -- this is a long distance. I
11 don't know how far it is as the crow flies, but our
12 greatest problem was the transmitter. This is the most
13 unfavourable position possible because we did not have
14 a hill for placing a transmitter there which would make
15 it possible to send more secure and safer messages and
16 more reliably.
17 Q. Well, General, after the 16th of April, you
18 did not lose your capability to encrypt messages, did
19 you? And I'm talking about the encryption that your
20 chief of intelligence talks about.
21 A. I did not lose it if -- I mean, the
22 possibility of encrypting messages -- if the packet
23 link was functioning between the main staff and my
24 command. There were some situations when the entire
25 packet link would fall, when the lines would be blocked
1 and when no contact could be established and when the
2 only available line of communication was the telephone,
3 and there were situations when even that would be made
4 more difficult.
5 Q. Well, General, you also had the capability to
6 communicate on the telephone and to do so securely
7 within the Lasva Valley, didn't you?
8 A. We had these civilian telephones on the basis
9 of the services that we received from the post office
10 in Vitez, and that is how most communications took
11 place; that is to say, the civilian telephone lines.
12 And I think that even that had been cut off during the
13 first few days in Stari Vitez because the lines go
14 through Stari Vitez.
15 Q. Well, General, let me read again the
16 testimony of your chief of intelligence, Ivica Zeko, on
17 page 11913, again in response to a question by my
18 colleague, Mr. Harmon. This is on line 22:
19 Q Would it be correct to say that, within
20 the Vitez-Busovaca enclave, there was a
21 reliable telephone link and a telefax
22 which the enemy could not intercept?
23 A Yes.
24 Q Therefore, you had no problem with
25 regard to the telephone communications
1 with the command?
2 A No.
3 A. Well, of course, the answer would be "Yes"
4 between Vitez and Busovaca because the lines mainly go
5 along the main road, and you can see here, from what we
6 see of the enclave here, where the HVO was. However,
7 it is quite different between Busovaca and Kiseljak,
8 where, in Kacuni, was this point that was under the
9 control of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. They can
10 cut it off, and what would be even more intelligent,
11 they could simply listen in to all the conversations
12 and intercept all messages, or the line towards Nova
13 Bila and then in Stari Vitez, during the first few
14 days, the lines had been cut off, and, of course,
15 between Busovaca and Vitez, the answer would be "Yes"
16 because there was a land link and nobody could
17 intercept these messages or listen to them.
18 Q. Let us move to another document, General.
19 Again, I'd like to use two in tandem, Mr. Registrar, so
20 I'll have another one after this.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Is it a Prosecution or Defence
23 MR. KEHOE: These are new exhibits,
24 Mr. President. They're Prosecution Exhibits.
25 Mr. Registrar, I'd like to go with the 1
1 January, 1993 document first, and then the ...
2 THE REGISTRAR: These are Prosecution
3 Exhibits 720, 720A for the English version, 721 and
4 721A for the English version.
5 MR. KEHOE:
6 Q. General, the first document, 720, is a plan
7 for the training of signalmen in the brigade signals
8 platoon and battalions, it is from the Jure Francetic
9 Brigade, dated 1 January, 1993. We will not look at
10 this entire document, but as part of this plan, if we
11 look at the area noted on page 1, Mr. Usher, of
12 "Specific training objectives," we note that on line
13 3, they call for the "Expertise and proper work
14 of cryptographic protection of documents," and on the
15 next page, when we're talking about themes -- excuse
16 me. On the first page, on the lower right-hand corner
17 in the chart, one of the themes to be discussed is the
18 "Protection of messages transmitted via telephone."
19 On the next page, we talk about themes -- if
20 we can go to the next page, Mr. Usher, under number
21 2 -- thank you. Down a little bit more, please? Down
22 a little bit more? Thank you.
23 Top of that, on the screen, the "Protection
24 of communications system data." One of the themes to
25 discuss is "anti-electronic protection, cryptographic
1 protection and TKT, selection of locations for the work
2 of stations taking into account the anti-electronic
3 activities of the enemy."
4 If we could turn to the next page, Mr. Usher,
5 item number 12, under the area of "Protection of
6 messages transmitted via telephone (... at a very high
7 frequency)" dealing with the "protection by encoding,
8 by the use of cryptographic protection, and the
9 possibility of monitoring and decoding."
10 And on the last page, in 14, Mr. Usher, in
11 the area known as "Keeping records of communications
12 documents," we see at point 2, "the cryptographic
13 protection of documents."
14 Finally in area 15, "Practical work," "all
15 the aforementioned themes should be dealt with in
16 practice (a) at the brigade communications centre,
17 (b) in the battalion, and (c) in the field."
18 If we look at the next document, 721, which
19 is from the 21st of December, 1992, again this is a
20 "Plan for training" in the Jure Francetic Brigade, we
21 see under point (a), in the middle paragraph, there is
22 "training," "system of communication organisation,"
23 and one of the topics is "cryptographic data
25 So that both the training in cryptographic
1 protection, General, as well as encryptographic
2 capabilities in order to protect communications, was
3 not only present at the Operative Zone level, it was
4 also present in your brigades, wasn't it?
5 A. Well, this is a plan for training signalmen,
6 and, of course, we try to train our signalmen. I did
7 not do my studies in the former JNA in the field of
8 signals, but I recognise this because there is a
9 similar plan -- there was a similar plan in the former
10 Yugoslav People's Army, and I imagine it was simply
11 copied from that plan, in order to train soldiers who
12 would be working on these devices and equipment once
13 they are made available.
14 Q. General, my question goes to the encryption
15 capabilities in your brigades. Your brigades had the
16 ability to encrypt messages so that those messages
17 would be securely sent; isn't that a fact, sir?
18 A. I am talking about specific brigades.
19 Brigades had the possibility of sending messages via
20 packet link, and TKT and encryption are discussed here;
21 however, we most often communicated via packet link and
22 regular phones, and that was in this pocket. With
23 Kiseljak, often we did not even have packet links and
24 telephones, which can be seen from the defence or
25 Prosecution Exhibits from January 1993.
1 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, we can go on. I'm
2 about to shift gears. If I can take a break at this
4 JUDGE JORDA: Have you finished with this
5 point? Have you finished with the issue of
7 MR. KEHOE: With this specific point, but we
8 have other information on this topic, Judge.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. All right. We will
10 adjourn and resume at 2.30.
11 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.03 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.32 p.m.
2 JUDGE JORDA: We will now resume the
3 hearing. Please be seated.
4 Mr. Kehoe, you may proceed.
5 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Q. General, we are going to stay in the
7 communications area and move into the area of codes.
8 MR. KEHOE: I just gave four documents to the
9 registrar, Mr. President, to be handed out seriatum.
10 THE REGISTRAR: These are Exhibits 722, 722A,
11 723, 723A, 724, 724A, 725, 725A, and the "A" refers to
12 the English versions.
13 MR. KEHOE:
14 Q. Now, General, let us -- I'm sorry.
15 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Usher, if you could put 722
16 on the ELMO for us, which is the order of the 20th of
17 November, I believe. Yes, that's it. If you could
18 just pull it down a bit so that we can get the date.
19 Thank you.
20 Q. Now, General, this first document is a
21 document concerning packet communications from
22 Brigadier Petkovic in the main staff from the 20th of
23 November, 1992, and the first paragraph notes:
24 "Based on existing needs, as well as because
25 of incorrect work and procedures with packet radio
1 stations and the incorrect handling of codes, we are
2 sending you documents for packet communications which
3 will be used in the designated period."
4 Now, General, you were using codes when you
5 were sending messages, were you not?
6 A. From this document, you can also see that we
7 are talking about a code for sending messages. Let me
8 clarify that, as far as I know, a code was used for
9 entry into the packet radio station, packet link. When
10 side A called side B, in order to identify itself, a
11 code was used, but messages, encoded messages were not
12 sent. So if we had a text, it was typed out onto the
13 computer, the modem translates it into a modem veil,
14 and an open text is sent without being coded.
15 Q. Sir, this --
16 JUDGE JORDA: As much as possible, I would
17 like you to answer the questions. Time is running on,
18 and I'd like you to answer the questions. That's the
19 best way to move forward, General Blaskic.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. The use of these codes goes back, at least,
22 until 20 November, 1992, as the document reflects;
23 isn't that correct?
24 A. Yes, they were codes which were used for
25 entry and exit into the packet link.
1 Q. Let us turn to the next document, 723, which
2 is a table of secret codes. If you take a look at
3 this, General, you can see that the commander is a
4 Neven Maric, and he was a battalion commander in the
5 Bobovac Brigade, wasn't he, sir?
6 A. Yes, but I cannot see -- yes, the commander
7 was Neven Maric, battalion commander.
8 Q. Now, General, this was a table of codes to be
9 used within the brigade and within the battalions for
10 soldiers to communicate with and among themselves;
11 isn't that right?
12 A. This is a different type of document. The
13 title is stated above. It is "Table of Secret Codes
14 (Codebook)" at the level of a brigade, and it is used,
15 as you said, for coding and sending --
16 JUDGE JORDA: We've got it right in front of
17 us. Answer the questions, please. We've got the
18 chart. You're telling us the title. It's in front of
19 us. Let's move forward, please.
20 MR. KEHOE:
21 Q. General, all of the brigades had secret codes
22 to communicate, such as we see in 723; isn't that
23 right, "Yes" or "No"?
24 A. I'm not quite sure whether that is so, but I
25 know that they had orders to elaborate codebooks, and
1 that is a document which is standardly drawn up for all
2 military formations at the level of battalions and
3 brigades. So this is a codebook. They are not secret
5 Q. Let us turn to Exhibit 724, which is a
6 Bobovac Brigade table of secret names and frequencies.
7 General, this is yet another method for
8 individuals within the brigade to contact one another
9 and to speak to one another so that they either won't
10 be identified and the frequency on which they are
11 speaking will not be known to an outsider; isn't that
13 A. The document is entitled "Table of Secret
14 Names and Frequencies," and it could have been detected
15 by radio transmitters. This is an internal document at
16 the level of a brigade.
17 Q. Let us look at a similar document, General,
18 in 725, which is a similar document for Kakanj
19 Communications Centre and which is also a table of
20 secret names and frequencies.
21 General, these secret names and frequencies
22 within the brigades, all of the brigades in the Central
23 Bosnia Operative Zone had the similar methods so they
24 could communicate with and among each other covertly;
25 isn't that right?
1 A. Kakanj was within the composition of the
2 Bobovac brigade. We made or ensured a similar method
3 for all the brigades. We endeavoured, I say, to
4 ensure. Whether they all had them or not, I don't
5 know. Whether they all had enough time to do so
6 without the war interrupting them, I don't know, but
7 that was what we wanted to achieve, yes.
8 Q. Very often, you changed the radio frequencies
9 for each of the individuals so that the communications
10 between and among the individuals in the brigade would
11 not be compromised; isn't that correct?
12 A. That's what these documents say, 725 and
13 724. There is the plan for the change of frequency,
14 daily, nightly. How far that was used and how far the
15 material resources existed for this to be made
16 possible, that is something else, but the plan was
17 elaborated, yes.
18 Q. If we can just put back on the ELMO Exhibit
19 45H again, which is the photograph of the area of
20 downtown Vitez.
21 While that's being done, General, I'd like to
22 read to you a portion of the testimony of one of the
23 Defence witnesses, Matthew Dundas-Whatley, and he is
24 discussing the communications centre that we referred
25 to -- yes, thank you, Mr. Usher -- he's discussing the
1 communications centre that we referred to previously.
2 If you could do that, thank you very much.
3 This is on page 14155, line 3, he notes
5 A On one occasion, I did go into the HVO
6 communications centre, which actually
7 was not in Hotel Vitez. It was in the
8 post office in the centre of the town.
9 That was my understanding, anyway. But
10 only on one occasion that I remember.
11 Q When was that, sir?
12 A It was about April, 1993. It was during
13 the very heavy period of conflict in
14 April 1993, I believe.
15 Q Tell the Court what kind of
16 communications you saw, what kind of
17 communications equipment you saw in that
18 particular location at that particular
20 A That particular location and that
21 particular day, I saw a number, probably
22 half a dozen of soldiers in uniform
23 sitting at desks which were manned
24 with -- there were maps on the wall,
25 and they were manning telephones, and
1 there may have been radios, hand-held
2 radios, there, as well. I can't
4 Now, this communications centre that
5 Mr. Dundas-Whatley entered into, was it operating not
6 only before the war with the Muslims that began in
7 April of 1993, but was it operating before then and
8 throughout the war?
9 A. That centre always functioned. It was called
10 the Centre for Air Surveillance Warning and Navigation,
11 and every municipality had a centre of this kind, and
12 it was a centre of the municipal structure.
13 Q. Excuse me, General. Did the centre operate
14 before the war and throughout the war, "Yes" or "No"?
15 A. I have already said that the centre
16 functioned from before, before the war and after the
17 war, and it was called the Centre for Surveillance
18 Warning and Navigation of the civilian authorities.
19 Q. Let me show you a series of documents.
20 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Registrar, if you could hand
21 those documents to the witness, and we will go through
22 them seriatum. These are all Defence documents where
23 we have the appropriate stamp of receipt from the
24 communications centre, and if we could give those stack
25 of documents to the witness.
1 Mr. President, I am about to go through a
2 series of documents somewhat rapidly. I don't really
3 think, given the information, that it need go on the
4 ELMO. It's not something of that much significance,
5 the entire document. I'm just interested in the
7 MR. HAYMAN: Are these already in evidence?
8 MR. KEHOE: They're all your documents.
9 MR. HAYMAN: They're in evidence.
10 MR. KEHOE: That's right.
11 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you. Can the numbers be
12 put on the record so we know?
13 MR. KEHOE: Of course. Of course, counsel.
14 THE REGISTRAR: For Mr. Kehoe, I would like
15 to say that I've left them in numerical order, which
16 may not correspond necessarily with the numbers exactly
17 the way you gave them to me.
18 MR. KEHOE: That throws it off because I
19 wanted to use it in chronological order, which was the
20 purpose of the exercise. I gave you the list in
21 chronological order.
22 JUDGE JORDA: I see that it's an important
23 list, Mr. Registrar.
24 MR. KEHOE: If I could have the documents, I
25 could put them back into chronological order very
2 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I think that unless -- it
3 might be better for you to take them back and the
4 registrar could help you and sit next to you so that
5 you can present them properly and to be sure to give
6 the numbers of the documents to the Defence.
7 THE REGISTRAR: They're almost in order.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Well, almost is not in order,
9 Mr. Registrar. When one is a registrar, one must be
11 MR. KEHOE: We're going to start with --
12 we're going to start with this one, which is Defence
13 Exhibit 96.
14 Q. General, this is a document that is dated the
15 25th of January, 1993, and it is received by the
16 communication centre on the 27th of January, 1993, at
17 0640 hours; is that accurate, sir?
18 A. The date of reception is the 27th of January
19 or perhaps the 26th of January, 1993, 0040 (sic), as
20 far as I understand it. But can I just say that the
21 PTT centre in Vitez received messages by packet link
22 and the stamp is from the communications centre of the
23 HVO of Vitez.
24 Q. The next document is D259, a document sent on
25 the 8th of April, '93, received on the same date, at
2 A. As far as I can see, this document was
3 received on that day, yes.
4 Q. Thank you, General. The next document is
5 260, sent on the 12th of April, '93, received on the
6 12th of April, '93, at 0615 hours.
7 A. Yes, this document from Busovaca was
8 received --
9 Q. Thank you, General.
10 A. -- as you say at 0615.
11 Q. Now, General, these documents have been
12 received by the communications centre that's in the
13 PTT building; correct?
14 A. Yes, in the civilian centre in the
15 PTT building.
16 Q. And then they are then handed to you as the
17 commander for the Central Bosnian Operative Zone?
18 A. It depends on the date, whether I was there
19 or not, because, for example, the document of the 25th
20 of January was not handed over to me.
21 Q. But the documents themselves are then given
22 to your headquarters if they're not specifically given
23 to you.
24 A. Yes, then the documents are given to the
1 Q. Now, Defence Exhibit 264, a document that is
2 sent on the 15th of April at 0600 hours, received by
3 the communications centre for the HVO Vitez on the 15th
4 of April, 1993, at 0711 hours.
5 A. Document 264 is from Travnik. Fifteenth of
6 April, yes, it was received.
7 Q. Let us go to 265, document on the 15th of
8 April, received by the communications centre, the HVO
9 communications centre, at 1730 hours on the same day.
10 A. Yes. The document is from Busovaca.
11 Q. Now, General, before we move to the rest of
12 these. This communications centre is the communication
13 centre, the HVO communication centre, for Central
14 Bosnia Operative Zone, isn't it?
15 A. This communications centre serviced both the
16 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia and the Vitez Brigade
17 and the civilian structures of power and authority,
18 that is to say, at that time the centre for
19 communications of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone had
20 not yet been established at that time. I think at
21 about the 30th of May, the order was given to set up a
22 communications centre of the Operative Zone of Central
24 Q. Now, General, the next document, document
25 266, was sent on the 15th of April, 1993, and received
1 on the same day at 1745 or 1755.
2 A. It is a little strange because the document
3 was sent at 1800 hours and received at 1700. But it
4 was sent from Novi Travnik to Vitez.
5 Q. Document 275, on the 16th of April, 1993,
6 received the same day at 1110 hours in the
7 communications centre for the HVO Central Bosnian
8 Operative Zone.
9 A. Yes, the document was sent from Zepce and
10 received at 1110 hours, the 16th of April.
11 Q. Defence document 277 -- and if it's not
12 clear, Mr. President, these are all Defence
13 documents -- Defence document 277, sent on 16 April,
14 1993, received the same day at 1800 hours.
15 A. Yes. The document was sent from Busovaca.
16 Q. Document 285, sent on the 17th of April,
17 received the same day at 0635 hours.
18 A. Yes. From Novi Travnik.
19 Q. Document 289, sent on 17 April, 1993, and
20 this particular stamp notes that it was received on the
21 16th of April, 1993, at 0835 hours at the
22 communications centre.
23 A. Yes. The document was sent from Busovaca.
24 Q. Document 292, sent on the 17th of April.
25 This particular stamp reflects that it came -- received
1 on the 27th of April, 1993; do you see that, sir?
2 A. I see the document. It was sent from
3 Busovaca on the 17th of April at about 1200 and it was
4 received on the 27th of April at 1340.
5 Q. Now, your chief of operations, Slavko Marin,
6 noted in response to documents that were postponed in
7 dating, that the operations centre was very busy and
8 that very often items weren't stamped until sometime
9 thereafter; is that correct?
10 A. There were situations of that kind as well,
12 Q. Now, 294, which is from the 17th of April,
13 1993, and it was received on the same day at 1825.
14 A. Yes, the document is once again from
16 Q. Document 303 -- excuse me, 305, which is 18
17 April, 1993. This document was sent on the 18th of
18 April and received on the same day at 1051.
19 A. This is a document from Kiseljak, received
20 the same day.
21 Q. Again, on the 18th of April, 1993, your order
22 back to the Stefan Tomasevic Brigade on the 18th of
23 April, received on the same day at 0208 hours.
24 MR. HAYMAN: Counsel, what's the Exhibit
25 number, please?
1 MR. KEHOE: I'm sorry, counsel. I'm sorry.
2 It is D303.
3 A. Yes. The document is from Novi Travnik.
4 Q. D306, a document sent on the 18th of April,
5 '93, received the same day at 1713 hours.
6 A. Yes. The document is from Kiseljak.
7 Q. Defence Exhibit 323 of the 19th of April,
8 sent on the 19th and received on the 19th, and there is
9 no time indicated on the stamp; however, it is received
10 the same day.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The next document, Defence Exhibit 227, sent
13 from Sarajevo on the 26th of July, 1993. The date
14 stamp receipt is the next day at 1300 hours, on the
15 27th of July of 1993.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The next document is 228, a document sent on
18 the 27th of July, 1993, and received on the same day at
19 1400 hours.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The next document is Defence Exhibit 226, a
22 document sent on the 1st of August of '93 and it's
23 stamped in on the 2nd of August, 1993, at 2035 hours.
24 A. Yes, from Guca Gora - Travnik.
25 Q. Document 229 is a document sent on the 21st
1 of August, '93, and received the same day, stamped in
2 at 1444 hours.
3 A. Yes. From Novi Travnik.
4 Q. Document 254, Defence 254, dated the 24th of
5 August, 1993, from Mostar, received the same day, and
6 the time designation looks like 0003 hours.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Next document is Defence 224, a document that
9 is dated the 10th of September, '93, received the next
10 day and logged in at 1440 -- excuse me, 1425 hours.
11 A. Yes. The document is from Novi Travnik.
12 Q. The next document from Sarajevo, Defence 230,
13 sent on the 10th of July, 1993, received the same day
14 from Sarajevo at 1950.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The next document is Defence Exhibit 223,
17 sent on the 15th of September, '93, received the same
18 day and stamped in at 1915 hours.
19 A. Yes. The document is from Busovaca.
20 Q. Defence 225, 22nd September, '93, received in
21 the communications centre the same day and stamped in
22 at 1940 hours.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Next one is D221, sent on the 1st of October,
25 '93, stamped in as received in the communications
1 centre the next day at 1207 hours.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The next and final document is Defence
4 Exhibit 228, dated the 2nd of November, 1993, received
5 the same day and logged in or stamped in at 1520 hours.
6 If you're having trouble finding it,
7 Mr. Usher, it's okay. I can move on. We can move on
9 General, these are just a sampling of the
10 Defence documents with these stamps, and the bottom
11 line, General, is that the HVO communications centre
12 for the Central Bosnian Operative Zone operated, and
13 operated efficiently, both before and throughout the
14 entire conflict in Central Bosnia; isn't that correct?
15 A. These are documents of the packet link, that
16 is to say, the packet link which functioned from time
17 to time, both before and after, with interruptions here
18 and there, because I noted that most of the documents
19 were from neighbouring municipalities, from Novi
20 Travnik, Busovaca, there are two documents from
21 Kiseljak and one to two documents from Sarajevo; that
22 is to say, everything from Busovaca, Novi Travnik,
23 Vitez, and so on, that's where they come from, where
24 reception was relatively better. But the packet link,
25 as a packet link, worked, functioned. However, these
1 were short reports and do not have any trouble with
3 Q. So likewise -- excuse me, Mr. President. So
4 likewise, General, throughout the entire conflict, you
5 were able to communicate by packet and you were able to
6 communicate securely from this operations centre
7 throughout the conflict, weren't you?
8 A. I have already said that the link, packet
9 link, fell from time to time, it was interrupted from
10 time to time, but, in essence, it functioned, and we
11 were able to send certain reports via that link
12 because, for the most part, these were all reports from
13 different time periods. It does not enable operative
14 command of a terrain.
15 Q. Now, General, you said that all of these were
16 sent by packet communications. If we look at various
17 of these documents, these documents are signed
18 documents. Now, you're not maintaining that those
19 signed documents were sent by packet, are you?
20 A. Well, with the speed that you went through
21 them, I tried to see where they had been sent from. If
22 you show me a document and leave me enough time to
23 study it, I will study it.
24 JUDGE JORDA: General Blaskic, these are your
25 documents. These are Defence documents. Well, you can
1 give him one or two samples and then we can move
2 ahead. These are Defence Exhibits. Do you see what I
4 A. I think there were 25 in all.
5 MR. HAYMAN: Well, there are over 500 Defence
6 Exhibits, Mr. President. I don't think any of us have
7 committed them all to memory, much less the stamps and
8 minute notations on them. Please.
9 MR. KEHOE:
10 Q. Well, General --
11 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Hayman. Do you
12 want to alter your presentation, Mr. Kehoe? It's a
13 valid observation, yes. There were a great many
14 documents. But the clock is running.
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. Yes, General, if we could take a look at two
17 documents, 259 and 260, Defence 259 and 260, which are
18 signed documents. Do you have those, Mr. Usher?
19 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps they could be put on
20 the ELMO. Is that possible? I haven't asked that up
21 to this point, but if there's going to be discussion
22 about them ...
23 MR. KEHOE:
24 Q. If we could put the original on the ELMO as
1 JUDGE JORDA: Were you able to find them,
2 Mr. Hayman?
3 MR. HAYMAN: (Nods in the affirmative)
4 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Let's move forward.
5 MR. KEHOE:
6 Q. General, did you send a signed document by
8 A. No. That was not possible, to fax this
9 document from Busovaca to Vitez. This is a regular
10 civilian fax, regular fax line that was used, and it
11 was sent from Busovaca to Vitez.
12 Q. Thank you, General. I don't need to go into
13 the other one.
14 Now, General, with regard to this
15 communication centre, in this communications centre,
16 did it have VHS stations or fixed VHS stations in this
17 communications centre?
18 A. I don't know whether they existed. Perhaps
19 they did. I already said that this was a civilian
20 communications centre. I never toured that centre with
21 the director. I know that there was some kind of a
22 radio link with local participants, and whether these
23 stations existed, I don't know.
24 Q. Well, do you know -- it did have a telephone
25 line as well as a fax machine, didn't it?
1 A. There was a packet link, there was the
2 telephone system for the entire municipality of Vitez,
3 there were certain faxes, civilian faxes, and that is
4 what I know and what was operating. Whether there was
5 any specific radio device and whether it was used, I
6 don't know, because it was the chief of communications
7 that dealt with that.
8 Q. Well, did they have short-wave radios in
10 A. I already said that some kind of radios
11 existed, but what kind exactly, that, I don't know.
12 That post office had everything that was regularly
13 given to any post office, including the centre for air
14 observation, monitoring, and reporting.
15 Q. Well, it did have packet capabilities, it had
16 a radio system and a communications system that had
17 capabilities to run on this packet system that you've
18 talked about.
19 A. That is the way the packet system worked;
20 that is to say, that a message be typed out on a
21 regular civilian computer and then the modem turns it
22 into a radio signal and then it's sent in that way, I
23 think, and that is the way it is received afterwards.
24 Q. Other than short-wave radios, was there also
25 another system that allowed communication through
1 hand-held radios, what has been known as Motorolas; was
2 that in there as well?
3 A. These hand-held radios were in the possession
4 of some members of the force, particularly the civilian
5 police force. There were also some soldiers that had
6 this at lower levels, but these were mainly hand-held
7 radios that are used for commanders of platoons and
8 companies and lower-level units.
9 Q. General, did they have encryption and
10 decryption devices in there known in the industry as a
12 A. As far as I know, and I'm saying to the best
13 of my knowledge, these were plain radios that no
14 encrypted radios were sent on. Perhaps towards the end
15 of 1993 or the beginning of '94, there might have been
16 some ten radio stations that could have been used with
17 encryption at the level of the entire Operative Zone.
18 But I know for sure that these were plain radios that
19 were brought in the free market, the civilian market.
20 Q. General, where were the encryption devices
21 that Zeko was talking about? Where were they located?
22 A. I don't know. Could you remind me, perhaps,
23 of the part of his testimony that you're talking
24 about? I don't know which encryption devices you are
25 referring to.
1 Q. I quote:
2 Q Was there any point in time in 1993 when
3 the modem that could send encrypted
4 messages from your headquarters to the
5 Hotel Vitez did not work?
6 A There may have been circumstances where
7 it did not work, but I couldn't give you
8 the exact answer for.
9 I'm reading from page 11773.
10 Q The modem, did it have the ability to
11 encrypt messages that were sent from
12 Nova Bila to the Hotel Vitez?
13 And the answer Zeko gave was "Yes."
14 Now, you said that there was no device in the
15 Hotel Vitez that either could encrypt or decrypt, and
16 my question to you is: If it wasn't in the Hotel
17 Vitez, where was it?
18 A. You see, Zeko is also talking about a modem.
19 By "modem," we meant radio packet link, that's what I'm
20 talking about, a regular civilian computer which has an
21 adapter which we called a modem and which turns typed
22 out messages, messages typed out on the computer, into
23 radio signals. That was in the building of the post
24 office, of the civilian post office in Vitez. In the
25 headquarters at the Vitez Hotel, there were no such
1 devices. They only existed in Vitez at the civilian
2 post office.
3 Q. Now, General, let us move our attention to
4 Prosecutor's Exhibit 470. General, 470 is a document
5 that you wrote from the 13th of October, 1992 directed
6 to the commander of the Travnik municipal headquarters,
7 and you note:
8 "It is my duty to inform you:
9 "Because of the irresponsible attitude
10 towards the TMS /Technical and Material Supplies/ in
11 the Travnik TRZ and the non-implementation of the
12 Decree on the transfer of ownership of the supplies of
13 the JNA /Yugoslav People's Army/ and SSNO /Federal
14 Secretariat for National Defence/ on the territory of
15 the HZHB /Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna/ to the
16 HZHB and the Decree on the confiscation and transfer of
17 property of the occupying force to HZHB ownership,
18 Official Gazette ..." and it gives the pages, "... I
19 hereby warn you that the so-called BH Army has to date
20 removed the following:
21 1. RS-20 (on vehicle ...)
22 2. MKSK-1 (on vehicle ...)
23 3. RTU-100 (on vehicle ...) 2 pieces.
24 4. RTpS-100 (on pinzgauer) 1 piece.
25 5. RRS-9 (on vehicle ...) 3 pieces."
1 Now, General, this RTU-100, that, sir, is a
2 mobile communications radio, isn't it, that is kept in
3 a vehicle?
4 A. All are primarily mobile and all are kept in
5 vehicles, from what I can see in item 5. However,
6 document 470 says that I am asking the Territorial
7 Defence units to share this. It's a paragraph after
8 that. It had to be shared with the Territorial
9 Defence. That's what I'm saying. It was taken out in
10 a one-sided fashion by the Territorial Defence. All
11 these mobile systems, including the RS-9, this was the
12 brigade mobile system, I think there were 12 of them,
13 and all 12 brigade mobile systems went to the army of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they were not shared with the
16 Q. General, this RTU is a long-range radio that
17 is part of a mobile communications centre; is that
19 A. RTU-100? I believe it is. I'm not sure
20 about the range, but I believe it is, yes, because it
21 says it's in a vehicle, so it's mobile.
22 Q. Now, what are these other items, other than
23 the RTU-100? What are these other mobile communication
24 items, 1, 2, 4, and 5?
25 A. RRS-9 is a communications device on a motor
1 vehicle, a special military vehicle, and it makes it
2 possible for a brigade to establish any kind of
3 communications, that is to say, at the level of one
4 brigade, it is sufficient to have one RRS-9 on this
5 TAM-110 so that the brigade commander could at any time
6 move his centre of communications where he wants to.
7 You also asked me about point 1; is that
9 Q. About 1, 2, 4, and 5, and you just told us
10 about the RRS-9. How about the RS-20, the MKSK-1, and
11 the RTpS-100?
12 A. Number 4, I assume that this device is used
13 for listening in on the pinzgauer vehicle. I'm not too
14 sure about that. Then number 1, radio system 20, I'm
15 not sure. Number 2, I know that this is a system for
16 battalion level, so this is a mobile communications
17 device that can be used for a battalion, regardless of
18 the kind of combat operations it is conducting, of
19 course, if there is a possibility of doing everything
20 that is needed to establish radio links, including
21 putting up transmitters, et cetera.
22 Q. So, General, these are the items that you are
23 complaining that the BiH took. How many mobile
24 communications centres did you have? Assuming the BiH
25 took these, how many did you have?
1 A. I did not have a single mobile communications
3 Q. So the BiH took all these and they left you
4 with none; is that right?
5 A. No. You asked me how many mobile
6 communications centres I had. That is how I understood
7 your question.
8 Q. From this particular document, you are
9 complaining about the taking of several pieces of
10 equipment by the BiH. Now, after this equipment was
11 taken, how much communications equipment were you left
13 A. I don't know exactly how many devices there
14 were at the technical institute, I don't know about
15 that, but item 5, RRS-9, I know that there was not a
16 single one within the HVO, that is to say, an RRS-9 on
17 a TAM-110 vehicle. This is a formation brigade mobile
18 communications device.
19 Q. General, you, as part of the seizure of all
20 JNA equipment, you and the HVO took all the JNA
21 communication equipment that was present in the
22 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, didn't you?
23 A. Where? Could you please tell me specifically
24 where, in which place? If you're asking me about all
25 of Herceg-Bosna, at a given period of time, I was
1 commander in Kiseljak.
2 Q. In this document, General, you refer to a
3 decree where the JNA and the National Defence supplies
4 were to be turned over to the Croatian Community of
5 Herceg-Bosna. Now, as part of that taking of supplies
6 of the JNA and the National Defence, you took all the
7 JNA communication equipment as well, didn't you?
8 A. No. I do not have such information. When
9 you say, "You took such and such a thing," I know what
10 happened in October 1992 in the Operative Zone of
11 Central Bosnia. In this same document, I'm saying that
12 the equipment should be shared with the TO. I
13 advocated a share, along 50/50 lines at least, and I
14 said that I had meetings in September with the chief of
15 logistics of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. His name
16 was Lemis. I cannot remember his surname. I remember
17 his first name was Lemis. And I remember that we were
18 agreeing on this 50/50 share, but that's not the way it
19 was, and you can see that from this document.
20 Q. Let me go back to my initial question. After
21 the BiH army took this equipment, how much
22 communication equipment were you left with? For
23 instance, how many RTU-100s were you left with?
24 A. I do not have this data with me. You're
25 asking about specific communications devices. I can
1 tell you how many were held by the command that I was
2 in charge of, and my headquarters did not have a single
3 mobile system of communications. I can also tell you
4 that not on a single brigade had an RRS-9 on the
5 TAM-110 vehicle, that is, item 5, not a single brigade
6 of the HVO in Central Bosnia. How many hand-held
7 radios there were? In the market, what their capacity
8 was, that, you should ask of an expert in
9 communications, in signals. I am not, and I don't have
10 the data here with me.
11 Q. Let me go to the next document,
12 Mr. Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. Now, General, this is a photograph that was
17 taken by Captain Matthew Dundas-Whatley. Do you
18 recognise this communication vehicle, sir?
19 A. I do not. This is a TAM-150 T-11. I think
20 it's six by six. That is its factory mark. I do not
21 recognise this as the communications system that I
22 discussed in document 470 because here it says that
23 this is an RRS-9 on a TAM-110 vehicle, and this is a
24 TAM-150. However, the photograph is not clear at all,
25 and I don't know whether it's a vehicle with a
1 tarpaulin or with a metal cover.
2 Q. General, did the HVO have equipment such as
3 this that they carried communications systems around
5 A. Could you clarify this? Who, the soldiers?
6 Q. No. The HVO, the Croatian Defence Council,
7 did they have radio equipment, mobile radio equipment
8 on trucks such as this?
9 A. This is the first time I see this kind of
10 equipment. If you are claiming that this is mobile
11 radio equipment, I never knew of it, and I don't know
12 of the HVO having something like this. I know that it
13 existed on a TAM-110 vehicle, but you are showing me a
14 TAM-150 vehicle here. I am very familiar with this
15 vehicle because I had one in my former unit in the
16 JNA. But the photograph is not clear; therefore, I
17 cannot say whether this is a communications device or
18 something else.
19 MR. KEHOE: Let us move to the next document,
20 Mr. Usher.
21 A. The HVO of the Operative Zone of Central
22 Bosnia did not have this kind of a vehicle and did not
23 have mobile communications systems.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit
1 MR. KEHOE:
2 Q. Now, General, this is a copy of a series of
3 photographs of the same type of vehicle, which is a
4 Zastava, and the model is a Zastava-Fiat 1107, and it
5 is a field automobile for communications equipment.
6 The various photographs are of the same vehicle from
7 the left side, the right side, the front, and the
9 MR. KEHOE: If we could just go through those
10 photographs, Mr. Usher, one by one and then allow the
11 witness to take a look at the photographs after you are
12 through. Thank you.
13 Q. General, having reviewed all those
14 photographs, can you tell us whether or not you had a
15 vehicle such as that and used it as a mobile
16 communications centre?
17 A. These are vehicles with equipment for
18 battalions, for that level. As far as I remember, we
19 did not have mobile communications systems at battalion
20 level, but there were such vehicles. One was there at
21 the very beginning in 1992, sometime in 1992 in
22 Kiseljak, because these same vehicles were the field
23 vehicles that were issued to commanders in the former
24 JNA at battalion level. So these are the same type of
25 vehicles, but they do not have communications
1 equipment. They just have a tarpaulin.
2 I don't know whether at battalion level they
3 did have something like this, perhaps one or two, if
4 any, and I know that this was totally destroyed,
5 crashed in Kiseljak sometime in June or July 1992.
6 Q. So, General, some of your brigades and
7 battalions had mobile communications centres and some
8 didn't; is that what you're saying?
9 A. No. I am saying -- rather, you asked me
10 about this vehicle. Brigades did not have brigade
11 mobile communications centres. I am not sure, though,
12 whether one vehicle similar to this one existed in that
13 period, but I am sure that it did not exist with
14 complete equipment that belongs to this kind of a
15 vehicle at battalion level. I am talking about
16 document 727.
17 Q. Well, General, you noted, in response -- in
18 this question and answer that took place in your
19 testimony at page 18854, Mr. Nobilo asked you:
20 Q Tell us, would it be in line with
21 military logic for the commander of the
22 Operative Zone to leave his command post
23 and the centre of the entire system,
24 so to speak, and to go to the front line
25 and supervise the immediate defence at
1 the front and to stay for a longer
2 period of time there?
3 A Well, it would be if he had a
4 communications centre at his disposal.
5 Q A mobile one?
6 A Yes, a mobile one.
7 Well, General, you told us you went to the
8 front lines in Jajce, you told us you toured the front
9 lines throughout the valley, you told us you had gone
10 near the front line in Grbavica. If you didn't have a
11 mobile communications centre, as Mr. Nobilo asked you,
12 how were you communicating with your headquarters
13 during all of these trips that you made to the front
15 A. I was in Jajce. Then, from time to time, I
16 would receive -- or, rather, send certain information
17 or receive certain information, if it was important,
18 via packet link, from Vitez; that is to say, via packet
19 link. Sometimes this information would be ten days
20 late. For example, when Komusina fell, this was
21 perhaps in August, I found out only ten days later, I
22 got information in writing about it. When I was at
23 Grbavica and in that area, this is perhaps a kilometre
24 behind the front line, I used the very ordinary
25 hand-held radio and I didn't have any other vehicle,
1 and my men from headquarters knew exactly where I was.
2 And when I was in Gornja Veceriska also, I had a very
3 regular hand-held radio and I communicated directly
4 with the commanders on the front line.
5 The same thing happened when I was at
6 Travnik, then I was at Mescema point number 1 or 2,
7 directly in the trenches on the first line of defence
8 in Travnik. On the right-hand side were soldiers, on
9 the left-hand side were soldiers. At that time, I did
10 not have any communication with my headquarters. In
11 the evening, if there was something important, they
12 could send something in in the evening via packet
14 A mobile communication system did not exist,
15 not even the kind that was standard in the JNA for
16 battalion level, that is to say, in the Operative Zone
17 of Central Bosnia.
18 Q. So contrary to what you told Mr. Nobilo, when
19 you went to the front lines, is it your testimony now
20 that when you did so, you were virtually out of
21 communications with your headquarters?
22 A. Out of communication in real-time, that is to
23 say, I could not have direct communications, for
24 example, with my headquarters when I was in Jajce, but
25 I would receive information via packet link.
1 JUDGE JORDA: I would like that the
2 sentence -- I want you to repeat the sentence. Repeat
3 the sentence that corresponds to what Mr. Nobilo's
4 question was. Could you find it? So that the witness
5 could say whether there is a contradiction, whether he
6 made a mistake, whether he lied. I don't know. You
7 have to repeat the sentence to him.
8 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo's question. Thank
11 MR. KEHOE:
12 Q. The question was at 18854, line 2:
13 Q Tell us, would it be in line with
14 military logic for the commander of the
15 Operative Zone to leave his command post
16 and the centre of the entire system, so
17 to speak, and to go to the front line
18 and to supervise the defence at the
19 front line and to stay for a longer
20 period of time there?
21 A Well, it would be if he had a
22 communications centre at his disposal.
23 Q A mobile one?
24 A Yes, a mobile one.
25 Now, General you told us you spent a
1 significant amount of time at the front line --
2 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, I object that the
3 statement is made in the transcript with reference to a
4 specific point in time and counsel is taking it out of
6 MR. KEHOE: With all due respect, this is a
7 question and answer that Mr. Nobilo made which, on the
8 reading of it, is a quite global statement.
9 JUDGE JORDA: It is a question-answer. I
10 understand your comment, Mr. Hayman, but in your
11 redirect, you can bring out whether the Prosecution has
12 tried to mislead the witness, but now I would like the
13 witness to be confronted with what he said, and you can
14 make the objections you like at the proper time.
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. So, General, is it now your testimony that
17 you left your headquarters and went and toured the
18 front lines, and I believe you said you were, on
19 occasion, always at the front lines, you did so without
20 a mobile communications centre; is that your testimony?
21 A. If you are asking me about leaving the
22 communications centre during the conflict when I did
23 not have a clear idea as to what was going on and I
24 know that it broke out in 22 places, whether I -- had I
25 went to one of these positions only, I would have
1 neglected all the others. So if you're asking me
2 specifically what it was like in Jajce, I told you
3 about that. As for these other positions that were
4 nearby, messengers could come in and ask me to come
6 If the action in question was Grbavica, of
7 course, we took all measures and we reinforced all the
8 other positions. However, my communication was by way
9 of a regular Motorola, a hand-held radio, and by what I
10 could see with my very own eyes. But I could not just
11 leave my headquarters, my centre, just like that, and
12 neglect 20 or more positions and not know what was
13 going on at all.
14 Q. General, let's stay with what you just said
15 with regard to the hand-held radios. You said
16 previously that you used these hand-held radios to
17 communicate with your headquarters during the attack on
19 A. Yes. These regular hand-held radios with
20 shorter ranges, that's what we used during the Grbavica
22 Q. General, did you use those hand-held radios
23 to communicate with your troops and with the military
24 police during the attack on Ahmici on the 16th of
25 April, 1993?
1 A. No, because I didn't have one in
2 headquarters. These are hand-held radios that are used
3 at tactical level. I think that the maximum range is 3
4 or 4 kilometres without a transmitter.
5 Q. So, General, in Grbavica, you had a hand-held
6 radio outside of Grbavica to talk to your headquarters
7 in September of 1993 but you didn't have any hand-held
8 radio during the attack on Ahmici in April of 1993; is
9 that what you're saying?
10 A. First of all, I did not prepare or order the
11 attack on Ahmici in April 1993 and I was in a basement
12 and I was attacked, and I believe that a regular
13 hand-held radio could have (sic) functioned out of a
14 basement because of the concrete and because of the
15 conditions that we were in. This is a classical
16 shelter that was done within a hotel.
17 Q. Let us move to the next document, General.
18 Thank you.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit
20 728 and 728A for the English version.
21 MR. KEHOE:
22 Q. Now, General, we are not going to go through
23 this entire document, but this document is part of a
24 manual, a JNA manual, concerning communications systems
25 in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and it
1 gives various types of information on communication
3 My question initially, General, is: When the
4 HVO adopted a communications systems plan, did it use
5 the JNA format or did they develop their own system?
6 A. They wanted to develop their own system, but
7 they didn't succeed in doing so while I was in the
9 As for using the JNA format, they needed the
10 technical component, that is to say, all the equipment
11 that the JNA had for that type of communication. So
12 that the HVO, at the very beginning, used what was
13 available on the civilian market. If they were able to
14 take something away from JNA warehouses at the tactical
15 level, that is to say, hand-held radio stations of
16 limited range, 5 kilometres, 10 kilometres, and so on.
17 Q. General, we have been talking about
18 communications equipment, some of which is listed in
19 that document. I would like to ask you if you are
20 familiar with some of these items. The first item,
21 RURT-290, do you know what that system is? And if you
22 don't, just say you don't?
23 A. No.
24 Q. How about an R5-10-12-ID; do you know what
25 that communications system is?
1 A. RP-10-12 -- no, I don't know, and I have
2 never seen this document before.
3 Q. How about a TRU-86?
4 A. I don't know anything about that.
5 Q. Now, we spoke about the RTU-100, and that is
6 a radio device, a mobile radio device; is that right?
7 I'm just asking you about the designation. It's not on
8 the exhibit, General.
9 A. I know that it is not on the exhibit. On
10 Exhibit 470, I do know, in point 2, one of the devices,
11 and it is similar to the Exhibit 727, whereas the other
12 devices, I only had occasion to use via professionals
13 who were trained in the former JNA as signals officers
14 or had gone to the signals academy. I did not attend
15 that academy.
16 Q. How about an FM-200; do you know what that
18 A. No, I don't know that. I've already said I
19 was not trained at the academy for signals --
20 Q. Excuse me, General. I'll just ask you, if
21 you don't know, you don't know. Please. An RRU-800;
22 do you know what that is?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Do you know what a PRS mobile radio
25 transmitter is?
1 A. Could you repeat it? I said PRC and ORS.
2 What are you asking me about, exactly?
3 Q. PRS mobile radio transmitter; are you
4 familiar with that device?
5 A. No.
6 Q. How about an RRU-1 radio relay system; are
7 you familiar with that?
8 A. RRU-1? No.
9 Q. How about an RUP-12?
10 A. I know that one. It is the RUP-12, and it
11 was used in the former JNA up until 1987, perhaps, 1986
12 or 1987, and then it was out of date and thrown out and
13 another one was introduced and it was called the
14 RUP-2/2 with a range of about 8 kilometres, and the
15 condition was that you have the same device for
16 communications to be maintained.
17 Q. Well, let us stay with the RURU-2/2, and the
18 designation RURU-2/2K. Is that the device that you're
19 talking about that is a former JNA device?
20 A. Yes, that is a radio device used by the
21 former JNA for a tactical level of a company usually,
22 and the prerequisite was that this device -- that you
23 had two devices of this kind and both participants in
24 the communication.
25 Q. Did you have them in Central Bosnia?
1 A. It is at the level of a company. Perhaps one
2 or two existed. But we did not introduce them
3 systematically. Perhaps there were just one or two.
4 RURU-2/2 could only have been taken over by the JNA,
5 but it was not introduced into the Territorial Defence
6 because it was a relatively new device, novel device.
7 Q. How about the RUP-12 that we talked about;
8 did you have them in Central Bosnia?
9 A. Possibly there were some of those, but very
10 few of them. Tactical level, perhaps there were two or
11 three, but once again, it was used at the level of a
13 Q. How about the RU Drava, D-R-A-V-A?
14 A. I hear about this type of device for the
15 first time. I don't know anything about RU Drava.
16 Never heard of it.
17 Q. How about a radio which is a PRC-320, which
18 is a mobile radio switchboard; did you have that?
19 A. As far as I know, I say "as far as I know,"
20 we did not have this device, but in the former JNA, I
21 did hear about a device of this kind. It is the 320
22 one, and I think it was used at the level of
24 Q. Well, General, tell us the communication
25 equipment that was existing there in Central Bosnia at
1 the brigade level and the battalion level, and how did
2 you communicate with them when you wanted to
3 communicate with the brigades?
4 A. Usually by telephone. Most frequently by
5 telephone. The normal, ordinary telephone at the level
6 of brigades and battalions, telephones, and operative
7 reports were sent by packet link and received by packet
8 link. That was the level of communication that
10 As far as the battalions were concerned and
11 the commanders of individual villages, there were
12 telephones as well or these hand-held radio stations.
13 Sometimes they were called Motorola, sometimes Alinko,
14 at the level of municipalities depending on what each
15 individual had brought. But there was no
16 standardisation or unification of devices and equipment
17 for the communications system.
18 Q. You also, other than the telephone, had the
19 capability of contacting your brigades on a radio.
20 A. Packet radio link, packet radio link.
21 Q. Okay, sir. Are you familiar with the
22 maintenance and repair depot in Travnik, and pardon my
23 pronunciation, it's the Tehnicki Remontni Zavod.
24 That's T-E-H-N-I-C-K-I, the next word is
25 R-E-M-O-N-T-N-I, and the last word is Z-A-V-O-D. Are
1 you familiar with that depot?
2 A. I apologise, I did not receive an
3 interpretation of that. I heard you speaking, but I
4 thought that I would be getting the interpretation.
5 JUDGE JORDA: I'm sure that the witness is a
6 little bit tired. We're going to take a 20-minute
7 break. Twenty minutes, please.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.53 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.19 p.m.
10 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing.
11 Please be seated.
12 MR. KEHOE:
13 Q. General, I would like to move away, in my
14 remaining time, from the communications issue, and I
15 just want to read a question and answer from Judge
16 Shahabuddeen that you made several days ago. This is
17 on page 22108. On line 6, Judge Shahabuddeen asked if
18 it was your view that the system, and we're talking
19 about the judicial system, was not functioning for any
20 reason at all, would it have been competent for you to
21 complain to the office of the prosecutor, for example,
22 about a failure to launch any prosecutions, and your
23 answer was that: "I was not in a position to have
24 powers over this judiciary. I don't know."
25 As opposed to the judiciary of the judicial
1 courts, General, let us talk about the military
2 disciplinary courts, and there was a military
3 disciplinary court in Vitez, wasn't there?
4 A. There was a military disciplinary court at
5 the level of the command of the Operative Zone, and in
6 the HVO brigades there were military disciplinary
7 courts. At the end of 1993, they were in the process
8 of being formed.
9 Q. General, I would like to show you the Narodni
10 Lists that we have, that would be Exhibit 38, and I
11 would like to turn to the Rules of Military Discipline
12 and focus on Article 67. That is at tab 2, page 47 of
13 the Rules of Military Discipline.
14 Do you have that, General?
15 JUDGE JORDA: What article is that?
16 MR. KEHOE: Article 67. On the upper
17 right-hand corner, it should have page 47, and that
18 ties in with the B/C/S version.
19 Q. Now, we'll be talking in Article 67 about
20 point 2, and this is a discussion, General, or a
21 provision that deals with the decision to bring
22 offenders to the disciplinary court.
23 "The decision to bring the offender before
24 the military disciplinary court shall be issued by,"
25 and then number 2, "the commander of the operative zone
1 for non-commissioned officers and officers up to the
2 rank of brigadier serving in units or institutions
3 which are subordinate to the operative zone commander
4 and non-commissioned officers and officers up to the
5 rank of colonel serving in administrative agencies and
6 enterprises and other legal entities within the area
7 under the authority of the operative zone commander."
8 Now, General, this article puts the decision
9 as to who is to be referred to the military district
10 courts, it leaves that decision -- military
11 disciplinary courts, I'm sorry, it leaves that decision
12 up to you. Now, General, were the Vitezovi operating
13 within the area under the authority of the Operative
14 Zone commander, i.e., that is you, "Yes" or "No"?
15 A. The Vitezovi, as a unit, are special purposes
16 units formed throughout Herceg-Bosna, and at one time,
17 they were within the composition of the Operative Zone
18 but never subordinate directly to me in the chain of
20 Q. That is not my question, General, and listen
21 to my question very carefully. Were the Vitezovi a
22 legal entity within the area under the authority of the
23 operative zone commander for your Operative Zone?
24 A. The Vitezovi were a special purposes unit
25 directly subordinate to the defence minister --
1 Q. Excuse me, General. That is not my question
2 for you. My question for you: Is the Vitezovi an
3 entity that is within your area, your Operative Zone,
4 "Yes" or "No"?
5 A. The Vitezovi are not an entity. They were a
6 special purposes unit which were never subordinated to
7 me, but they were stationed in the Central Bosnia
8 Operative Zone, in Stolac, in Mostar, and in other
9 areas as well.
10 Q. So there were soldiers from the Vitezovi that
11 were within the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, so your
12 answer to my question is "Yes"?
13 A. No. Could you repeat the question, please,
14 and simplify it, please? Put it in simpler terms for
15 me to be able to answer.
16 Q. Was the Vitezovi within the area under the
17 authority of the Operative Zone commander for the
18 Central Bosnia Operative Zone, that is, you? Were they
19 within that area, "Yes" or "No"?
20 A. The Vitezovi were a special purposes unit.
21 From time to time, they were stationed --
22 Q. Excuse me, General. The question is very
23 simple: Was the Vitezovi within the Central Bosnia
24 Operative Zone, "Yes" or "No"?
25 JUDGE JORDA: I think that there's a
1 misunderstanding here. Let's try to break this
2 question down. First of all, physically, was the
3 Vitezovi in your Operative Zone? Physically, were they
5 A. For most of the time, they were, but they
6 were in other zones as well, in the Operative Zone of
7 Eastern Herzegovina, in Mostar, in Stolac, for
9 JUDGE JORDA: There's your answer. The
10 second question was whether you were covered by Article
12 Is that the question, Mr. Kehoe?
13 MR. KEHOE:
14 Q. The question is, General: This particular
15 article gives you, the commander of the Operative Zone,
16 the authority to decide whether or not those soldiers
17 should be brought before a military disciplinary court,
18 does it not?
19 A. I'm not a legal man, Your Honours, but
20 reading point 2, it refers to non-commissioned officers
21 and officers. It does not refer to soldiers but to
22 non-commissioned officers and officers who are
23 subordinate, directly subordinate to the commander of
24 the Operative Zone. That is how I understand what I am
25 reading here.
1 Q. General, it says: "... and non-commissioned
2 officers and officers up to the rank of colonel serving
3 in administrative agencies and enterprises and other
4 legal entities within the area under the authority of
5 the operative zone commander." Not "subordinate," that
6 are operating in the area under the authority of the
7 operative zone commander, which is your area.
8 So, General, according to this particular
9 article, you had the authority to bring Colonel Darko
10 Kraljevic or his non-commissioned officers and officers
11 up to the rank of colonel before a military
12 disciplinary court in Vitez, didn't you?
13 A. No, I don't understand that to be so. It
14 says here "non-commissioned officers and commissioned
15 officers" which are subordinate to the operative zone
16 commander, whereas Darko Kraljevic was ex-territorial.
17 He was a special purposes unit subordinate to the
18 defence minister or the chief of the main staff and
19 intended to be operative for the whole of the Central
20 Bosnia area.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, very quickly,
22 please, because this is Prosecution time.
23 MR. NOBILO: I'll be very brief. I'd like to
24 object to this way of examination. The witness is
25 asked to give a legal explanation of an article. He
1 has to have legal knowledge for that, and he can't do
2 that. So the question ought to be whether, according
3 to his understanding, he had competence or didn't have
4 competence, whereas a legal analysis of this article is
5 being asked for.
6 JUDGE JORDA: I don't completely agree with
7 you on that point, Mr. Nobilo, for the very simple
8 reason that this is a text which gives authority and
9 competence to the commander of an operative zone;
10 therefore, he must be in a position to interpret this
11 text that's shown to him, and it's so true that that,
12 in fact, is what you're client did. He interpreted
13 this. Therefore, this is not a question of legal
14 competence. Your client interpreted this in a
15 different way from the way that the Prosecutor claims,
16 and that's his right. I think that General Blaskic has
17 always been consistent and he always referred back to
18 the same defence system on that level. But it's not a
19 question of legal qualifications.
20 When you are the commander of an operative
21 zone, I think the first thing is to see what the powers
22 are, even the legal powers. That's what I wanted to
23 say, and I don't want us to waste too much time with
24 this. I think that the General has given an answer and
25 that's all.
1 MR. NOBILO: Perhaps I could just have a
2 minute. Of course, the General answered as far as his
3 competencies --
4 JUDGE JORDA: No, we're not going to have any
5 minutes now. You're taking Prosecution time.
6 Tomorrow, you will begin with your redirect, and, in
7 any case, I have just given you an answer which I feel
8 is logical. This is not a question of legal quality or
9 characterisation, and it's so true that he interpreted
10 this in his own way, which is his right to do, that is,
11 to have his own interpretation. I repeat: In that
12 respect, General Blaskic was always consistent in his
14 Mr. Kehoe, please move to another question.
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. General, we talked yesterday about Article
17 29, which noted in Article 29, if you want to refer to
18 that, General --
19 A. Yes, I do wish to refer to it.
20 Q. You told us that when a soldier commits a
21 punishable act, a war crime, it is in the interests of
22 the HVO to remove that person from the HVO. Article 29
23 notes that "when an authorised officer establishes that
24 a breach of military discipline is also a punishable
25 act, the case shall be handed to the authorised
1 prosecutor through official channels."
2 "If it is in the interests of the service,
3 the officer shall also undertake measures to initiate
4 disciplinary proceedings."
5 That is, of course, reinforced in Article
6 69. If we could turn to Article 69 on page 47 of the
7 book that you have? Sixty-nine, General, Article 69.
8 Do you have it before you?
9 "When a disciplinary offence has been
10 committed in the course of a punishable action, the
11 officer authorised to bring the offender before the
12 military disciplinary court shall decide whether the
13 service's special interests require that the offender
14 also be brought before the military disciplinary court
15 for disciplinary offence."
16 So again, in Article 29 as well as 69, we see
17 a dual track where you, as the head, the authorised
18 officer, have the requirement, in a punishable act, to
19 also -- or can have the option to send that individual
20 to a military disciplinary court.
21 Now, General, you also had overriding
22 authority over the military disciplinary courts, did
23 you not? And for that, I ask you to turn to Article 94
24 and 95. In Article 94:
25 "The commander of the unit or institution
1 where the military disciplinary court sits shall
2 supervise the work of the military disciplinary courts
3 and their prosecutors."
4 So in Vitez, the Vitez military disciplinary
5 court, the supervision of that court was your
6 responsibility, wasn't it?
7 A. I don't know what Article you were quoting.
8 Q. Article 94, General.
9 A. Supervision over the military disciplinary
10 court in the Operative Zone was under my authority.
11 Q. In Article 95, we see that:
12 "The president of the first instance
13 military disciplinary court and the prosecutor shall
14 bear disciplinary liability for their work in court and
15 answer to the chief of the (General) Staff or commander
16 of the operative zone where the military disciplinary
17 court is located."
18 So the actual president of the military
19 disciplinary court in Vitez answered to you; isn't that
21 A. Yes. That is what it says in this Article as
22 well, and the president of the military disciplinary
23 court was responsible to the commander of the Operative
25 Q. General, let us turn to our final area, and I
1 would like to show you Defence Exhibit 350, if I
3 JUDGE JORDA: I don't want to take up too
4 much time, but I want to mention this.
5 One could wonder, General Blaskic, in respect
6 of Article 67, the fact that you never asked for any
7 kind of legal consultation from your superiors when the
8 Vitezovi committed acts that were dreadful, did you
9 never do that? Did you never ask the Ministry of
10 Defence, "Who is responsible for discipline of the
11 Vitezovi?" You never answered this. Well, either you
12 will or you won't. But you're so sure of yourself when
13 you say that you can -- you're right according to
14 Article 67, but one wonders whether you didn't have
15 some type of legal specialist who worked with you and
16 why you didn't ask that question, that legal issue, of
17 superiors. You've got people committing very, very
18 serious crimes, and you're sure of yourself, you're
19 saying, "Well, no, he doesn't come under my
21 I am simply asking this question and you can
22 answer very quickly: Did you, on any day, ask for a
23 legal consultation, either with your legal specialist
24 or with the Ministry of Defence, and say that "The
25 Vitezovi, are they under your responsibility or under
1 mine? Under whose responsibility are they, from the
2 disciplinary point of view? Military police: Are you
3 responsible? Am I responsible? Who is responsible?"
4 That's Article 67 that confers powers on you.
5 A. Mr. President, well, I engaged a legal expert
6 and asked for his professional legal assistance at my
7 own insistence and initiative. That is the first part
8 of the question, I think.
9 JUDGE JORDA: No, no, no. But that's not my
10 question. It's good to have engaged a legal
11 specialist. But I would like to know whether you had a
12 legal consultation with someone. Could you answer as
13 quickly, please, because this is Prosecutor time. You
14 either remember or you don't.
15 A. With my legal expert that I engaged, I asked
16 him to interpret the legal meaning of this Article, but
17 I informed my superiors as well about the conduct of
18 the Vitezovi and asked that their structure of
19 organisation of the army be changed.
20 JUDGE JORDA: You're not really answering my
21 question, but it doesn't matter. Let's continue. We
22 don't want to use the Prosecutor's time.
23 MR. KEHOE:
24 Q. If I can turn to our last area, General, and
25 let me show you your exhibit that was introduced and it
1 was your letter of the 31st of January, 1993. It is
2 your letter, an apology letter, to Mr. Mustafa Agic.
3 By the way, General, before we read this, you knew the
4 Agic family, didn't you?
5 A. Not this one, but I did know one Agic family,
6 another one, and I was household friends with them, we
7 were friendly, and as far as I was able, I helped that
8 family out. But not this particular Agic family about
9 which document 350 is. It was another Agic family.
10 There's a whole village of Agics, two villages, in
11 fact, one in the Kiseljak municipality, the other in
12 the Kresevo municipality.
13 Q. Well, these Agic families, the one that you
14 knew personally and this Agic family, were they
15 related, sir?
16 A. I don't know whether they were related.
17 Q. That's fine. Okay, General.
18 A. I don't think they were.
19 Q. Let us move back to your letter. This is
20 your apology for the brutal behaviour of extremist
21 members of the HVO in Kiseljak.
22 "Dear Sir, I have been informed by the
23 competent authorities about the destructive behaviour
24 of an uncontrolled group of HVO soldiers, who
25 demolished your catering establishment between 1400 and
1 1600 hours on 29 January 1993. I am aware of the fact
2 that this kind of behaviour in the HVO undermines the
3 security situation and creates distrust among the
4 inhabitants of Kiseljak, who are concerned about their
5 personal safety. I can promise you that appropriate
6 measures will be taken against the perpetrators of
7 these acts.
8 "I wish to apologise to you once again for
9 everything that was done by the extremists in the ranks
10 of the HVO."
11 General, let me turn to the next exhibit that
12 we take and read in conjunction with this one.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit 729,
14 729A for the English version.
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. This is a statement from Nafija Agic and
17 reads as follows:
18 "On this day, 30 April 1994, I, Nafija Agic,
19 daughter of one Omer and Selima, born on 15 April 1944
20 in Prijedor, personal (identification) number ... with
21 permanent residence in Kiseljak, temporarily resident
22 in Pertac, Visoko municipality, a caterer by
23 occupation, hereby make the following statement:
24 "Sometime in December 1992, while Croats and
25 Bosniaks were living (together) in Kiseljak, the first
1 major incident was the placing of explosives in the
2 Stela catering establishment in Kiseljak. I was the
3 owner of that establishment and it was registered in my
4 name. The explosive device was set up during the night
5 by people unknown to me, and there was much damage to
6 the building at that time. After the building had been
7 repaired, late one evening some time in January 1993,
8 an explosive device was thrown at the Stela
9 establishment again which also caused damage. That
10 time I saw that the attacker arrived in a white Zastava
11 101 car and I later told this to Dragan Jurkovic,
12 inspector at the police station.
13 "After this incident, Tihomir Blaskic sent
14 me a written apology. It was typed, stamped, and
15 signed and contained the following, as far as I
16 remember: 'Dear Mrs. Agic, I have been informed that
17 your catering establishment Stela has been demolished
18 by members of the HVO. I can give you a firm guarantee
19 that this will not happen again.'
20 "As far as I know, the perpetrators of these
21 incidents have never been brought to justice and I do
22 not know their names. Despite the apology from Tihomir
23 Blaskic, there was a third attack on my establishment
24 during the day. The attackers were wearing HVO
25 uniforms and had stockings on their heads. This time,
1 the facility was shelled from a hand-held rocket
2 launcher, hit with hand grenades and fired upon. At
3 the time of the attack, I was in the house of Andrija
4 Dodik, my next-door neighbour.
5 "After this, third, incident, I left
6 Kiseljak and went to the village of Duhri where my
7 husband was already staying in our family house. On 22
8 June 1993, at about 1430 hours, two uniformed men came
9 to our house in a red car and arrested my husband
10 Mustafa Agic. They did not do anything to our
11 neighbour Esad Hajdarevic who was with my husband. I
12 watched all this from my mother-in-law's house which
13 was about 500m from where the incident took place.
14 When I later talked to Esad Hajdarevic, he told me that
15 the uniformed men who had arrested my husband were
16 armed with automatic weapons and they had shown my
17 husband an arrest warrant. Esad said that he
18 recognised one of the men as Miroslav Anic, known as
19 Firga, and that they took off in the direction of
20 Kiseljak right after Mustafa's arrest. I never saw my
21 husband again after that.
22 "I later found out from friends and
23 neighbours that some time in February 1994, right after
24 the Washington Agreement, my catering establishment
25 Stela was taken over by Dominik Ilijasevic, known as
1 Como, and that he was using it for the same purpose but
2 had changed the name to Jerusalem. The establishment
3 is still being used by Dominik Ilijasevic.
4 "I accept this statement as my own, which I
5 hereby confirm with my signature."
6 I would note, Mr. President, that the top
7 date on the front page that says "30 April, 1994" is
8 not accurate because the date in the B/C/S version says
9 "1998" that this statement was given. So if we could
10 change that in the English version to make it
11 consistent with the original. We can just make a pen
12 notation on it.
13 Now, if I can just put this next document on
14 the ELMO, which is just a photograph, and if I could
15 also ask for Prosecutor's 698.
16 THE REGISTRAR: This is 730, Prosecution
17 Exhibit 730.
18 MR. KEHOE:
19 Q. General, 730 is now Cafe Jerusalem which is
20 in the same locale that was formally known as Stela in
21 the Kiseljak municipality. Are you familiar with this
22 area, General?
23 A. Can I pick up the photograph to have a better
24 look, please?
25 Q. Certainly.
1 A. This photograph, Your Honours, this
2 photograph shows the Jerusalem facility which is in the
3 very centre of Kiseljak, whereas the establishment that
4 document 3 -- just a moment, please. Your Honours, the
5 establishment that document 350 talks about is in quite
6 another area of Kiseljak, and I refer to Exhibit 350.
7 So in Exhibit 350, the establishment Stela, a catering
8 establishment, is along the road going out of Kiseljak
9 towards Visoko, leading towards the health centre
10 there. It is not this facility that we have on our
11 monitors. If I could have a little more time, perhaps
12 I could comment on these two documents.
13 Q. General, the individual that wrote this,
14 Mrs. Agic, refers to the letter that you sent after the
15 destruction of the Stela Cafe, and her document says
16 that the Stela Cafe is now the Cafe Jerusalem run by
17 Dominik Ilijasevic. Is it your position that Mrs. Agic
18 is wrong?
19 A. If I may, I'd like to comment on the
20 statement, and secondly, according to what I know, and
21 you can check this out quite easily, the Jerusalem Cafe
22 is run by somebody nicknamed Spiro. It is in the
23 centre of Kiseljak and it's called the Trade Centre,
24 and the Prosecutor's office can check that out, whereas
25 the Stela Cafe, which is run by Como Ilijasevic today,
1 is not in the centre of Kiseljak but is perhaps some
2 500 metres on the road towards Visoko. Although I
3 never visited the Stela catering establishment, I do
4 know where it is located, approximately.
5 Q. Where is it, General, that the former members
6 of the Maturica and the Apostoli hang around? Where do
7 they frequent socially; do you know?
8 A. When I was in Kiseljak, that is to say, I'm
9 talking about the month of January up until the
10 beginning of March, they did not exist, that kind of
11 unit did not exist. But let me say with regard to
12 document 350 that the perpetrators were taken into
13 custody. According to this document, they were taken
14 into custody, and I think they got 30 or 60 days'
15 detention as punishment, and I had most of the names of
16 the perpetrators of this scandalous event that took
17 place at this establishment on the 29th of January,
18 1993. So I have their names, and I can dictate them to
19 the Tribunal, if necessary.
20 The second incident, document 729, happened
21 at the end of April. I never actually met Mr. Nafija
22 Agic and Mr. Mustafa Agic personally, I'm afraid. I
23 never met them personally, and I hear about this
24 statement for the first time. But the incident that
25 she describes took place at the end of April 1993 when
1 I was isolated in Vitez.
2 Q. General, the individuals who perpetrated this
3 act in January of 1993 that Mrs. Agic said were never
4 brought to justice, was the Agic family informed that
5 these individuals were, in fact, punished for this
7 A. I have no reason not to believe Mrs. Agic's
8 testimony. Perhaps she was not informed about this,
9 but I know for sure that this group had been arrested,
10 and I have a list of this group, and also military
11 disciplinary action was taken against them, that is to
12 say, that this incident ended with a prosecution of the
13 perpetrators because they demolished Croatian cafes and
14 also this one establishment that was owned by a Bosniak
16 Q. General, were they prosecuted criminally for
17 this conduct?
18 A. Since they were first-time offenders, they
19 got 30 or 60 days in military prison. It was the first
20 time that they were held accountable.
21 Q. How about Firga? Firga was a member of the
22 HVO in Kiseljak who abducted Mr. Agic on the 22nd of
23 June, 1993, and Mr. Agic was never seen again. Was
24 Firga prosecuted and disciplined for this arrest and
25 subsequent disappearance of Mr. Agic?
1 A. This is the first time I have in my hands
2 Prosecutor's Exhibit 729, and this is the first I hear
3 of this incident. This is the first I hear of this
4 incident, and this is the first time that I have this
5 document in my hands, and I never received such
6 information before.
7 Q. General, once again, we look at this
8 document, and you don't know anything about the
9 disappearance or murder of Mr. Agic, and from this
10 document, we can see that Mrs. Agic has no knowledge
11 that you disciplined anybody for these crimes; isn't
12 that right?
13 A. I never knew Mrs. Agic, and I never heard of
14 this person before. This is the first time I see this
15 statement. However, the letter to Mr. Mustafa Agic, I
16 sent that, and I know that measures were taken. I
17 promised that measures would be taken and measures were
18 taken, and I have the names of the persons against
19 which measures were taken, military disciplinary
21 Q. General, was Miroslav Anic, Firga, ever
22 prosecuted, arrested, or convicted as part of your
23 Operation Pauk or Spider for war crimes that he
24 committed in 1993 and 1994?
25 A. I personally do not have any information
1 about him having commit the war crimes. I already said
2 that this is the first time I see this statement, and
3 this is the first time that I have been made aware of
4 the statements made here. Personally, I do not
5 remember whether he was investigated within the
6 Operation Pauk. I know that Como was investigated
7 within the Spider operation.
8 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I have no further
9 questions at this time of the witness. I would note,
10 Mr. President, that I, in fact, finished early.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that's correct, and I
12 congratulate you for that. All of us are shocked. We
13 don't know what to do now.
14 Let me turn to the Defence which has to
15 exercise its right to redirect. About how long is that
16 going to take you?
17 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we shall try to
18 finish tomorrow. We are going to do our best. Our
19 colleague, Mr. Kehoe, has shocked the Defence too, so I
20 don't even have all the documents prepared here.
21 However, I would like to avail myself of this
22 opportunity to rectify a manipulation. I think that's
23 the way I should call this. So I would like to put a
24 few questions in relation to Article 67, and you said
25 that it was very important too, and I think that it
1 hasn't been read in its entirety, so I would like to do
3 JUDGE JORDA: I didn't say that. Don't put
4 words in my mouth. I simply said that there was one
5 possible interpretation and that was what the witness
6 did. But I would like to remind you that -- just a
7 moment, please -- that next week -- do you hear me?
8 MR. NOBILO: Yes.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Next week we will be working on
10 the basis of Rule 71 in order to hear three Defence
11 witnesses. I believe it's three; is that correct?
12 Mr. Registrar, you will check?
13 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that's correct, Your
15 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, we have given
16 notice for three witnesses regarding sentencing, but I
17 have advised your legal advisor this afternoon that our
18 latest information is we're not making good progress in
19 getting them here. We have some problems reaching one
20 of them. We have some visa problems. The good news,
21 Mr. President, is that these three witnesses, we
22 expect, will take half a day in total. They are going
23 to be very short, and we regret the inconvenience.
24 Obviously, we intended to have them here Monday.
25 That's why we gave notice to the Prosecutor last Monday
1 evening that they were coming. So we're at the Court's
2 convenience in terms of trying to find the right time
3 to plug in that half day of testimony.
4 JUDGE JORDA: When would they be coming? On
5 Tuesday or Wednesday? Perhaps you don't know today.
6 MR. HAYMAN: One of the witnesses is
7 travelling somewhere else and we're not able to reach
8 him. Another of the witnesses didn't go to get his
9 visa because he assumed, since the first witness wasn't
10 around, that they wouldn't be coming so soon, et
11 cetera. It's a bit disorganised, and we apologise,
12 Mr. President. I can't tell you that they're going to
13 be here on Tuesday or Wednesday. We are making calls,
14 we were making calls during the lunch hour and during
15 the break today, to try and establish contact with
16 these people who are, of course, in Bosnia.
17 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Thank you. I'm
18 sure you'll do what you can. We ourselves have some
19 problems with the Trial Chamber's witnesses, so it
20 makes the schedule a bit haphazard. We will all offer
21 our apologies and try to be sure that we finish by the
22 end of July.
23 There is one important point that I would
24 like to emphasise. I would like the redirect to be
25 finished at 1.30. Why do I say that? Because Judge
1 Rodrigues and I would like to take advantage of Judge
2 Shahabuddeen's being here, so that the entire redirect
3 be finished tomorrow and that the three Judges in this
4 Trial Chamber hear it. I would like to thank Judge
5 Shahabuddeen once again, who ordinarily should be
6 somewhere else right now, I know he's made a heavy
7 sacrifice for the Tribunal, but I think that logically
8 we should finish at 1.30 tomorrow, finish with the
9 redirect, or we can adjourn now and resume tomorrow at
10 9.00, if you're sure that you can be finished by 1.30.
11 Otherwise, we can begin, Mr. Nobilo, right away, and
12 you can improvise, which is, I'm sure, consistent with
13 your talents. I'm sure you can improvise for 25
14 minutes for your redirect.
15 Judge Shahabuddeen would like to speak with
16 us for a moment.
17 (Trial Chamber confers)
18 JUDGE JORDA: These had to do with the
19 Judges' issues. Ordinarily, the Judges will not ask
20 your witness many questions, because we've asked many
21 questions during the direct examination and the
22 cross-examination, but if the Judges do have questions
23 for a day or for half a day, I don't think there would
24 be any problem, so that when Judge Shahabuddeen comes
25 back, the accused could be a witness again for about
1 half a day maximum because I don't think we're going to
2 have many questions to ask.
3 Do we agree on that point? Mr. Prosecutor?
4 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Let me now go back
6 to my concern, which is to finish tomorrow with the
7 three Judges here, that is, to finish the redirect.
8 Do you need the 25 remaining minutes,
9 Mr. Nobilo, in order for you to finish tomorrow? I
10 want to be sure that we finish tomorrow at 1.30. This
11 is not to force you into anything but it is because you
12 yourself said that half a day was enough, and I think
13 it would be in the interests of everybody to finish
14 tomorrow at 1.30.
15 Do you need 25 minutes? Can you improvise
16 the redirect for 25 minutes, which would be consistent
17 with your great talents, Mr. Nobilo, or like great
18 actors, do you need to rehearse and, in that case, we
19 would only begin tomorrow? What would you prefer?
20 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank
21 you for the high regard you have for me. But if we
22 improvise, we are going to lose time. It is better to
23 focus, to get organised, and to deal with all the main
24 subjects tomorrow by 1.30, and then -- this is a firm
25 promise on my part -- we are going to finish tomorrow
1 by 1.30.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Unless you're not interrupted
3 too frequently by the Prosecutor or the Judges, but you
4 didn't dare say that to us. I knew that you couldn't
5 say it after the incidents that happened this morning.
6 I know you don't dare say anything anymore.
7 But we agree that we will begin tomorrow at
8 9.00, and we'll all be sure to work properly so that
9 the three Judges will have heard the entire testimony
10 of the accused as a witness.
11 All right. We will now adjourn the session
12 and resume tomorrow at 9.00.
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
14 5.08 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,
15 the 28th day of May, 1999, at 9.00 a.m.