1. 1 Thursday, 17th June, 1999

    2 (Closed session)

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    13 Pages 23667-23719 redacted-Closed session













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    14 (Open session).

    15 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume the hearing

    16 now. Please be seated.

    17 Mr. Registrar, would you have the next

    18 witness brought into the courtroom, please?

    19 (The witness entered court)

    20 JUDGE JORDA: First of all, you need your

    21 headset. Do you hear me, sir?

    22 THE WITNESS: I hear you.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Could you please tell the Trial

    24 Chamber what your name is, your given name, your date

    25 and place of birth, where you reside, your current

  2. 1 profession, and your rank in the army, please?

    2 THE WITNESS: Yes. My name is Robert

    3 Alexander Stewart. I was a Lieutenant-Colonel in '92,

    4 '93, I was the British commander underneath the U.N.

    5 command in Bosnia, and I --

    6 JUDGE JORDA: We'll get back to that. I

    7 didn't hear -- could you give us the date and place of

    8 your birth, please?

    9 THE WITNESS: I didn't say it. 7th of July,

    10 1949, and I was born in Preston in Lancashire in the

    11 United Kingdom, and I am British.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. Please

    13 remain standing for a few more moments, the time it

    14 takes to take the oath, Colonel Stewart, according to

    15 the declaration that the usher is going to give you.

    16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

    18 truth.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much. You may

    20 now be seated.


    22 [A witness called by the Trial Chamber]

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for having come to

    24 the International Criminal Tribunal. Thank you for

    25 having responded to its summons. This Tribunal, which

  3. 1 is now hearing the Blaskic case, the trial initiated by

    2 the Office of the Prosecutor against the accused

    3 Tihomir Blaskic who is in this courtroom to your left.

    4 Colonel Robert --

    5 THE WITNESS: I can't see Mr. Blaskic. Where

    6 is Mr. Blaskic? Oh. Hello.

    7 THE ACCUSED: Hello.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Okay. You have seen him. We

    9 consider that it would be useful, in order to ascertain

    10 the truth in this case, to hear your point of view

    11 through several points that were mentioned in the

    12 summons which I assigned and which was submitted to

    13 you.

    14 First of all, the development of the military

    15 situation, that is, your point of view about that, you

    16 as the person at the head of BritBat in Central Bosnia

    17 in October and May, 1992 and 1993; the chain of command

    18 that you were able to take note of and to understand,

    19 you as a military man; the principal themes of the

    20 meetings in which you participated; everything that you

    21 observed about the character of the accused, what his

    22 reactions were to your approaches to him; and you could

    23 also give us your points of view as a military person

    24 about ethnic cleansing and the use of artillery, your

    25 point of view about population movements and visits to

  4. 1 prisons. We would also like to hear your point of view

    2 about Ahmici, the causes and consequences, the

    3 investigations which may have been asked for, and any

    4 other information.

    5 You will make a free statement for the time

    6 that you consider appropriate. We thought that it

    7 would be about two or two and a half hours or even

    8 three hours or, if you want, an hour. You will decide

    9 depending upon the documents given to you. You can use

    10 your documents but you cannot present a prepared

    11 statement.

    12 For your information, Colonel Stewart, let me

    13 point out that this Tribunal has already heard Colonel

    14 Watters and Colonel Landry.

    15 After your testimony, the Prosecutor --

    16 THE WITNESS: Who is Colonel Landry?

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel Landry was the Canadian

    18 commander in the European mission -- I think that's

    19 correct, Mr. Fourmy?

    20 MR. FOURMY: Yes, that's correct.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: If you don't remember that,

    22 there is no point to speak about that again.

    23 Here you have more or less the scope of your

    24 testimony. The Prosecutor will ask you questions; the

    25 Defence will ask you questions. There will not be a

  5. 1 cross-examination. But after the Defence asks its

    2 questions, the Judges will. You may now begin.

    3 THE WITNESS: I understand. May I use a few

    4 notes, or do you want me to speak without any?

    5 JUDGE JORDA: You can use your notes. What

    6 you cannot do is to read a prepared statement but, of

    7 course, you will need your notes and documents. These

    8 are events which are relatively distant in the past, so

    9 that you can use any notes that you wish.

    10 THE WITNESS: That's good, because I do not

    11 have a prepared statement. So I will use my notes.

    12 In August 1992 -- to be precise, the 22nd of

    13 August, 1992 -- I was a Lieutenant-Colonel, the

    14 commander of the 1st Battalion of the Cheshire

    15 regiment. I was based in Fallingbostel in Germany. I

    16 had been in Fallingbostel for eight months, and prior

    17 to that, I had command of my battalion since April of

    18 1991 and that included an operational tour in Northern

    19 Ireland.

    20 Am I going too fast or should I stop for --

    21 THE INTERPRETER: Excellent.

    22 THE WITNESS: No. I'm told it's fine.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much for

    24 thinking about the interpreters because this is one of

    25 our problems. For the time being, is there any problem

  6. 1 with this rhythm? No.

    2 The interpreters are telling me that it's

    3 fine, and we thank you for paying attention to that.

    4 Proceed.

    5 THE WITNESS: On the 22nd of August, 1992, I

    6 was in Berlin, I was on holiday, and I was summoned to

    7 the telephone at lunchtime and told that the British

    8 Prime Minister had volunteered a battalion for service

    9 in the Balkans with the United Nations, which gave me a

    10 shock, especially when I was told I was the commander,

    11 because, of course, I knew nothing about the Balkans.

    12 However, I returned to my base, which took

    13 me, say, three or four hours by car, and this being a

    14 Friday, I think, I worked through the night with my

    15 officers to decide how we would tackle the problem.

    16 It was a hectic month that followed. We did

    17 not know what our mission would be. We did not know

    18 where we were going. We knew very little. So I

    19 trained my battalion for one month on basic infantry

    20 skills, particularly concentrating on shooting,

    21 medical, and the history of the Balkans as far as we

    22 could understand it, which is almost impossible,

    23 certainly for soldiers.

    24 I was summoned to the Ministry of Defence in

    25 London on the 20th of September, 1992. I was surprised

  7. 1 to be summoned on a Sunday by civil servants. At 10.00

    2 on Sunday, the 20th of September, I was briefed in

    3 historic room 29 in the middle of the Ministry of

    4 Defence by a series of Generals and high-ranking civil

    5 servants on the potential mission I would have in the

    6 Balkans.

    7 The problem was that there was no mission,

    8 and this is the first requirement of any military

    9 officer, as Mr. Blaskic will recall, and we didn't

    10 really know where we were going. We didn't even know

    11 what part of the Balkans we would operate in. But I

    12 was lucky, I suppose, because I was told that I would

    13 go with a reconnaissance party on Tuesday, two days

    14 later, to work out what the British plan would be.

    15 On that Tuesday, we flew to Zagreb, and in

    16 Zagreb, we arrived at the airport and went to a camp

    17 called Pleso camp, which was a United Nations camp but

    18 which also contained a British field hospital commanded

    19 by a British officer. It was at that camp that we

    20 determined that we would try to go to Tuzla in northern

    21 Bosnia because, to the best of my knowledge, the French

    22 had determined they would be deploying to Sarajevo, the

    23 Canadians had determined they were going to be based in

    24 Banja Luka, and the British were slow -- as they always

    25 are -- to make up their minds and get their bids in, so

  8. 1 we didn't know where we were going to go, and so I was

    2 told, "Try and find a place for us, but a place where

    3 we will make a difference."

    4 It was my decision to try to make a

    5 difference in Tuzla, because Tuzla seemed to have been

    6 isolated by the war and no one had been there. So we

    7 thought maybe we would try and base ourselves in Tuzla,

    8 with an approach from Belgrade, and our logistics would

    9 come in from Belgrade. Thus we took two Land Rovers

    10 and we drove to Serbia. We drove along an autobahn,

    11 all the way down through Croatia and entered Serbia,

    12 driving from Zagreb. It was a strange motorway because

    13 there were no cars on it, only the occasional

    14 checkpoint.

    15 We got into Serbia and for the next three or

    16 four days we tried to reach Tuzla. This was difficult,

    17 to say the least. In fact, it was not possible,

    18 because every time we went near the lines we were

    19 either shelled or we were stopped. This was by Bosnian

    20 Serbs, Serb soldiers, or the Serbian army itself.

    21 We tried to approach Tuzla via the bridge at

    22 Zvornik. We lived in the field, and at one stage I did

    23 speak to a Serbian General, and I wanted to set up the

    24 British base in Northern Bosnia, and he thought that

    25 would be possible and, therefore, I determined that I

  9. 1 would drive or get my way to Banja Luka and see if I

    2 could see the commander of the Bosnian Serbs, who we

    3 understood was based at Banja Luka.

    4 Therefore, taking one of the Land Rovers and

    5 an interpreter, I separated from the main party, which

    6 I think was two or three Land Rovers, and tried to go

    7 to Banja Luka, which was not easy. Anyway, we got to

    8 Banja Luka. Then I went to the main Serb headquarters

    9 in Banja Luka, Bosnian Serb army headquarters, and

    10 tried to speak to the commander there.

    11 I'm saying all this so that you understand,

    12 because on the 2nd of June, 1995, I made a very

    13 detailed statement to the court, in written evidence,

    14 but I did not include this information beforehand,

    15 because I'm coming to how I came to be in Central

    16 Bosnia because I think it's important.

    17 I got permission from the Bosnian Serb army

    18 to position my troops in their area, and I thought that

    19 was rather good. Then we would get through to Tuzla,

    20 one way or another, across the lines because the lines

    21 were difficult, but we would do it.

    22 After that, I returned to Zagreb, where I

    23 reported by radio -- I couldn't report by radio easily

    24 to London, because our high frequency radio was down

    25 most of the day because of the peculiarities of high

  10. 1 frequency radio, but I was able to speak by satellite

    2 telephone to London. I was told that, actually, they

    3 changed their mind in London, that our requirement was

    4 no longer acceptable to go to Tuzla but that we would

    5 go into Central Bosnia.

    6 I have to say I was rather dismayed, dismayed

    7 that we had wasted our time so much, but that's not the

    8 point. The point is that Hercules aircraft arrived,

    9 and we packed our vehicles on them and flew to Split in

    10 Southern Croatia, landed at Split airport, stayed at

    11 the Internacional Hotel one night, I think, and then we

    12 drove into Bosnia via Croatia, approaching from the

    13 direction of Tomislavgrad.

    14 At Tomislavgrad we saw the first HVO

    15 headquarters and we went to see the commander there.

    16 The commander, I think his name was Siljeg, was not

    17 there, but his second in command, a Canadian, a

    18 Canadian Croat, was. He was kind, because he gave us a

    19 guide to take us into Central Bosnia, across the

    20 mountains. We would not have made it, I suspect,

    21 without a guide because the track was difficult.

    22 So we arrived in Central Bosnia. We found

    23 the United Nations High Commission for Refugees was

    24 present at the time in Vitez. In Vitez we found an

    25 empty school that was not being used by school

  11. 1 children. It was empty. After some negotiations, we

    2 decided that this would make a suitable base for us.

    3 We made a plan which effectively was that we

    4 would position the British Battalion with one company

    5 at Gornji Vakuf, three companies in Vitez, with one of

    6 those companies earmarked to leapfrog forward to Tuzla

    7 when we could do that. The main headquarters would be

    8 at Vitez, which was my headquarters. That was the plan

    9 we made.

    10 We returned to Germany on the 30th of

    11 September, 1992, and on that visit, to the best of my

    12 knowledge, I did not meet Tihomir Blaskic, but no doubt

    13 he knew we were there.

    14 The second reconnaissance I carried out in

    15 Bosnia took place on Friday, the 16th of October. But

    16 between the 30th of September and the 16th of October,

    17 1992, the cabinet office briefing room had endorsed the

    18 plan I had made. The cabinet office briefing room,

    19 Cobra it's called, is the operational, political

    20 directing staff underneath the Prime Minister.

    21 So the plan was set. Now I had to do what

    22 was normal for military officers, which was to carry

    23 out a standard reconnaissance with my officers.

    24 We flew to Split, as I said, on the 16th of

    25 October, 1992, and on Sunday, the 18th of October, we

  12. 1 drove over the mountains, via Gornji Vakuf, where I

    2 left a Major, to Vitez. We based ourselves at the

    3 school. The school was close to Vitez. From there I

    4 carried out a reconnaissance.

    5 During that reconnaissance I did visit Tuzla

    6 by going over the mountains. The distance to Tuzla is

    7 something like 180 kilometres through the mountains,

    8 and I was determined that my 4th Company would be based

    9 in Tuzla by Christmas. That was my objective.

    10 The first time I met General Tihomir Blaskic

    11 was, to the best my ability, my memory, and using my

    12 diary, something like 0200 on the 21st of October,

    13 1992. The circumstances were unhappy. Not unhappy

    14 personally between us, but unhappy because of what was

    15 happening.

    16 Almost while I was there on this

    17 reconnaissance, open warfare had broken out between the

    18 Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims. This warfare

    19 was, as far as I could ascertain with my limited

    20 resources, because I didn't have many people with me,

    21 specifically around the area of Vitez going to Novi

    22 Travnik, that area.

    23 I had arranged to meet Colonel Blaskic, as he

    24 was then, although we never quite knew what rank

    25 Tihomir Blaskic was properly, because the HVO had yet

  13. 1 to determine their command structure, as far as we

    2 could -- it was only during the tour that Tihomir

    3 Blaskic put on the rank, while I was there.

    4 I arranged to meet him at 0900 on the 20th of

    5 October, but he was not at the Hotel Vitez, which was

    6 his headquarters, because of the hostilities that had

    7 broken out. I met a man called Mario Cerkez, whom I

    8 understood was the commander of the Vitez area for the

    9 HVO. He told me that Colonel Blaskic was not there but

    10 was in Novi Travnik.

    11 I won't go into the details of actually what

    12 happened for the remainder of the day. Suffice it to

    13 say that I had decided that there was only one way that

    14 my own soldiers could be deployed, and that was if the

    15 hostilities had abated sufficiently so that we could

    16 get our United Nations troops into the area.

    17 Therefore, I would try my very best to arrange a

    18 cease-fire.

    19 The apparent centre of fighting, the cause of

    20 the fighting, seemed to be at Novi Travnik. Therefore,

    21 I went to Novi Travnik. A battle had developed there

    22 and was ongoing in Vitez too. There was certainly

    23 mortar fire, I could identify that, and possibly

    24 artillery fire as well.

    25 Now, my statement of the 2nd of June, 1995

  14. 1 starts at this point. I notice that it's 1.00, and I

    2 know that the court goes into recess. I have probably

    3 about 10 or 15 minutes left.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to congratulate

    5 you for your military punctuality, and pursuant to what

    6 we ordinarily do, we will adjourn our work and we will

    7 resume at 2.30. The court stands adjourned.

    8 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.

    9 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing will now resume.

    11 Mr. Registrar, please have the accused

    12 brought in and also have the witness brought in.

    13 (The accused entered court)

    14 (The witness entered court)

    15 JUDGE JORDA: You may be seated. All right,

    16 Colonel Stewart, we'll ask you to proceed now. Let us

    17 proceed with your testimony.

    18 I want to recall, for the attention of the

    19 public gallery, Colonel Stewart is a witness who is

    20 called by the Judges of the Trial Chamber.

    21 Colonel Stewart, you may proceed.

    22 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I would like to

    23 extend the time that I may speak probably to about 40

    24 minutes from this period simply because I feel that you

    25 are probably not aware of all the detail of the 2nd of

  15. 1 June, 1995 statement I made, or it may not be exactly

    2 coming to mind, and it does fit in with what I wish to

    3 say. Are you happy with that?

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course, Colonel

    5 Stewart. About how much time did you schedule for your

    6 initial comments before we ask you questions?

    7 THE WITNESS: Fifteen minutes, and then now I

    8 want to have 40 minutes from now.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: You yourself consider that you

    10 would take how much time? The free statement. An

    11 hour? An hour and a half? What was your original

    12 thought?

    13 THE WITNESS: One hour and ten minutes.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Well, that's just fine. We've

    15 used up about a half hour; isn't that right,

    16 Mr. Registrar?

    17 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that's correct, Your

    18 Honour.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: There is no objection. Take

    20 the 40 minutes that you need.

    21 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Please proceed.

    23 THE WITNESS: May I go back to the 20th of

    24 October, 1992.

    25 On the 20th of October, 1992, I was

  16. 1 originally intending to meet Mr. Tihomir Blaskic in the

    2 Hotel Vitez at 9.00. He was not there, which was

    3 unsurprising because there was a lot of conflict in the

    4 area.

    5 Mr. Mario Cerkez was there. Mario Cerkez,

    6 who I assumed and I was informed, was the HVO commander

    7 of Vitez, through my interpreter, a British army

    8 captain called Nicholas Stansfield, told me that there

    9 was a serious problem in both Vitez and in Novi

    10 Travnik.

    11 The problem was that the Bosnian Muslims were

    12 fighting with the Bosnian Croats, and I was told that

    13 the Bosnian Muslim commander was at a school close by.

    14 A man called Zeljko, who was second in command to Mario

    15 Cerkez, offered to guide me to that school so I could

    16 speak to the Bosnian Muslim commander, the BiH

    17 commander.

    18 I did so in a vehicle, a Land Rover, and I

    19 met a man called Sefkija, I spell that, S-E-F-K-I-J-A,

    20 who was the BiH commander. He told me that he had

    21 instituted roadblocks simply to stop Bosnian Croats

    22 going to Novi Travnik where he said they were killing

    23 Bosnian Muslims. It seemed to me that I had no option

    24 but to try and stop the fighting because my operational

    25 orders were to move my troops into Central Bosnia

  17. 1 without getting involved in the fighting, and if the

    2 roadblocks were instituted, there was no chance that I

    3 could get my soldiers into Central Bosnia; therefore,

    4 try and stop the fighting.

    5 At 2.30 on that day, I put together a task

    6 force of Land Rovers which I was going to lead into the

    7 town of Novi Travnik. Going into Novi Travnik was

    8 amusing because there was a lot of fire. I suspect the

    9 crossfire was not aimed at us but it was, as I say,

    10 amusing and frightening.

    11 I went straight, when I got into Novi

    12 Travnik, I asked people where the BiH headquarters was

    13 as I knew nothing about the place. I met a man called

    14 Lendo, L-E-N-D-O. He, I understood, held seven HVO or

    15 Bosnian Croats as prisoners, and I demanded that they

    16 be released instantly and that they would be given to

    17 me because this was not a war that should be being

    18 fought. Mr. Lendo laughed at me, but before I left

    19 him, a prisoner was produced, a man, who was very

    20 frightened.

    21 I took him with me, and I went in my Land

    22 Rovers across town, guided by this man, to a cafe

    23 called the Cafe Grand where I met Dario Kordic for the

    24 first time.

    25 In a darkened upstairs room of the bar, I met

  18. 1 Kordic and several other HVO soldiers, and it was clear

    2 to me that Kordic had authority, the authority of the

    3 soldiers around the room. When he spoke, they shut up;

    4 when he spoke, they listened; and when he said

    5 something, they did it.

    6 On a mobile phone, we spoke to Zenica and to

    7 a man called Dzermo Merdan, M-E-R-D-A-N, because the

    8 HVO -- Kordic refused to deal with Lendo, who he said

    9 was a war criminal. The agreement was that I would go

    10 and fetch Merdan and I would bring Merdan to a meeting

    11 in Vitez.

    12 By the time I got back to my base at a school

    13 near Vitez, it was close on dark; in fact, it was quite

    14 dark. But I was required to go and pick Mr. Merdan up

    15 from Zenica.

    16 I took two Land Rovers and drove to Zenica

    17 and found Mr. Merdan in the town hall. I subsequently

    18 brought Mr. Merdan back to Vitez. At first we thought

    19 the meeting would take place at my base, which was at a

    20 school, but then it was changed to the Hotel Vitez.

    21 At about 2.00 on the 21st of October, 2.00 in

    22 the morning, I first met Tihomir Blaskic, to the best

    23 of my recollection. I think he was wearing civilian

    24 clothes, I cannot remember exactly, but I think that's

    25 the case. But it was clear that he was the commander,

  19. 1 and subsequently I met with Mr. Blaskic many times.

    2 Socially, he came to dinner at my

    3 headquarters, and I went to dinner with him,

    4 specifically on Easter Monday, the 12th of April,

    5 1993. I also met his wife, and personally I consider

    6 both him and his wife to be thoroughly decent in my

    7 personal relations with them.

    8 This cease-fire meeting that took place

    9 something like 2.00 to 4.00 in the morning on the 21st

    10 of October was a failure. It failed to stop the

    11 fighting between the HVO and the BiH, but I left an

    12 officer who subsequently, with the UNHCR, in the next

    13 week or so, managed to calm down the fighting so that

    14 my force could be brought back into -- or could be

    15 brought into Central Bosnia.

    16 I had to return to Germany to give out orders

    17 and briefings, but I returned as quickly as I could,

    18 and I am delighted to say, when I returned, the

    19 fighting had ceased enough to get us in.

    20 I want to choose points in my statement of

    21 the 2nd of June, 1995, just to highlight them.

    22 On the 22nd of November, 1992, Tihomir

    23 Blaskic asked me to retrieve some dead HVO soldiers

    24 from the village of Turbe, where the Bosnian Muslim

    25 soldiers were in command. I went to Turbe, and I could

  20. 1 not get the bodies, although, to the best of my

    2 knowledge, I think a Serb soldier was lying dead in a

    3 cart outside the headquarters, and I asked if I could

    4 take that body away as well. But that was refused.

    5 I returned, on the 22nd of November, to the

    6 HVO headquarters in Travnik. Mr. Blaskic was there

    7 plus Colonel Filipovic, I think Kordic, and General

    8 Prkacin -- I hope I've got that right -- P-R-K-A-C-I-N,

    9 who was on the joint HVO-BiH council, or that's what he

    10 said he was, and he had been in Turbe with me, and I

    11 recall that he said to Tihomir Blaskic that I tried my

    12 best to recover the bodies for them. My own personal

    13 belief is that I will recover any body I can to return

    14 it to its family, regardless of where it's come from or

    15 what it is.

    16 On the 12th of January, 1993, an incident

    17 occurred at Vares. Apparently, one of my patrols was

    18 stopped by a soldier on the road, and one of my patrols

    19 offered that soldier a lift. That soldier got into the

    20 vehicle and was lifted somewhere, apparently. This

    21 caused a problem because the commander, Emil, who was

    22 the HVO commander there, immediately lodged a serious

    23 complaint that we had helped the BiH. To be honest,

    24 I'm not quite sure what happened, but the effect was to

    25 stop bridge-building, which my engineers were doing to

  21. 1 try to get us a decent road to Tuzla where one of my

    2 companies was located and where I was under a mission

    3 to try and get UNHCR supplies and any other supplies up

    4 to the people of Tuzla. We needed the bridges to work

    5 well so that we could carry heavier equipment or

    6 heavier stores.

    7 So this was a problem. My point of this is

    8 to say that I was referred to Tihomir Blaskic for

    9 decision by the commander, Emil, in Vares, and when

    10 Tihomir Blaskic made the decision, the bridge-building

    11 began again. We were allowed to continue.

    12 My escort driver, Lance Corporal, Wayne

    13 Edwards was killed on the 13th of January, 1993, shot

    14 in the head, through the hatch in his vehicle, near the

    15 town of Gornji Vakuf. Subsequently, I made a formal

    16 complaint to the two people I felt were the commanders

    17 most relevant. One was Mr. Merdan, who I've mentioned,

    18 and the other one was Mr. Blaskic, because I knew him

    19 but I also knew, by that time, that Gornji Vakuf was

    20 probably not quite in Tihomir Blaskic's operational

    21 area. It belonged to the Tomislavgrad Brigade under

    22 the commander called Siljeg. Nonetheless, because I

    23 was close to Blaskic, I actually made a formal

    24 complaint to him.

    25 My belief is that my escort driver was killed

  22. 1 not on orders from the HVO or the BiH, but in Bosnia at

    2 the time, there was a lot of maverick shooting and it's

    3 possible, and I believe it's highly likely, that my

    4 escort driver was killed by a Bosnian Muslim soldier

    5 firing without orders.

    6 My point in this is to say that I actually

    7 did continue to think that Mr. Blaskic was the

    8 commander or at least could actually get into the

    9 command chain.

    10 There is some complication in the

    11 relationship as I saw it between Dario Kordic and

    12 Tihomir Blaskic. On the 4th of February 1993, Dario

    13 Kordic wanted to see me. At the time and persistently

    14 he told me that his appointment was Deputy President of

    15 the HVO.

    16 I went to meet him at the PTT building in

    17 Busovaca. He was very agitated. It seemed to me that

    18 he was also the commander of Busovaca at the time. The

    19 problem was that Busovaca looked like it might have

    20 been cut off or cut through and, therefore, the route

    21 to Kiseljak for the HVO would have been isolated, and

    22 the BiH army were coming south from the region of

    23 Zenica and seemed to have some success. I was

    24 requested by Mr. Kordic to try and stop the fighting,

    25 particularly in the area of Katici and Merdani. Again,

  23. 1 at this time I was firmly under the impression that the

    2 local commander of Busovaca was Kordic, local

    3 commander.

    4 On the 15th of April, 1993, I was walking in

    5 Travnik. I was trying to talk to the soldiers on the

    6 ground, of the HVO and the BiH, because there was so

    7 much tension and not a little shooting. It was at this

    8 point (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted) got a radio message and asked me to go to

    11 Zenica. I was reluctant to go to Zenica because it was

    12 really not an area that I was particularly worried

    13 about, but the point was that a man called Totic,

    14 T-O-T-I-C, had been kidnapped. Some of his bodyguards

    15 had been killed, and Totic was an HVO brigade commander

    16 in Zenica.

    17 So I drove to Zenica, where I attended a

    18 meeting between one brigade commander of the HVO --

    19 there were two brigade commanders of the HVO in

    20 Zenica. One, of course, had been kidnapped, Totic, and

    21 the other one, whose name I do not recall and I didn't

    22 even know it at the time, was present at the meeting.

    23 Tihomir Blaskic was not and neither was Cerkez or

    24 anyone else I knew from the Vitez area.

    25 The next day there was real fighting.

  24. 1 Serious fighting broke out in the Lasva Valley. This

    2 caused me to shift my area of concentration from the

    3 Vitez area going towards Travnik and actually try and

    4 concentrate on trying to stop it. To this end, I went

    5 to the Hotel Vitez, I think around about 10.00, to try

    6 and speak to Tihomir Blaskic. I was informed there was

    7 no one in command present at the Hotel Vitez. Nobody

    8 was there.

    9 As I approached, I was shot at or -- well, I

    10 don't know whether it hit the vehicle, and there was a

    11 lot of shooting. There were also a number of dead

    12 bodies along the roadside. My escort driver counted,

    13 because we went from Vitez on to Zenica, about 35

    14 houses that had been destroyed in the last 24 hours

    15 and, of course, a large number of bodies, including the

    16 bodies of a family near a cemetery.

    17 Before I got to the meeting I passed an HVO

    18 headquarters, and on the way there I'd seen groups of

    19 HVO soldiers, about five to six, normally along the

    20 roadside, but around ten past ten, around about that

    21 time according to my diary, I passed this building

    22 called the Swiss chalet, which is several hundred

    23 metres to the southeast of Ahmici. There were, say,

    24 ten soldiers outside this building. All of them were

    25 heavily armed, agitated, ready for battle. Clearly

  25. 1 ready for battle as I would identify soldiers. There

    2 were some vehicles there too, including probably a sort

    3 of multi-barreled anti-aircraft type weapon system

    4 which could, of course, be used on the ground. They

    5 didn't like me passing by. So I was glad to keep

    6 going, because I was on my own with just a driver.

    7 I met (redacted) about half an hour

    8 later and said that I couldn't spare any more time to

    9 stay in Zenica because my place was back with my

    10 battalion. I did not see Mr. Blaskic on the 16th of

    11 April, that is a fact, although I tried to.

    12 A further fact is that on the 18th of April,

    13 Tihomir Blaskic telephoned me. I cannot recall whether

    14 he did it directly, but he certainly made an appeal.

    15 As I recall, he was agitated, which might mean that he

    16 did speak to me, through an interpreter. He appealed

    17 to me as a professional officer to move and assist in

    18 saving the Croats at a town called Cajdras,

    19 C-A-D-J-R-A-S (sic). He said, "I plead with you," or

    20 something like that, "to help by protecting these

    21 Bosnian Croats who are in severe danger." This was on

    22 the mountain road, the other side of the mountain,

    23 between the mountain and Zenica, the Croat community.

    24 I told him that he had no soldiers left

    25 because all my soldiers were operating on the ground

  26. 1 and he said, "Please. You can do it," or something to

    2 that effect.

    3 As I say, I have respect for this man. If he

    4 asked me to do something, I'd try and do it. So I

    5 deployed my battalion headquarters vehicles, which had

    6 not been out of camp, to the job, and I stayed in camp

    7 and separated my headquarters and sent my battalion

    8 headquarters to protect these people. They spent one

    9 or two nights in Cajdras and effectively that helped

    10 reassure the people.

    11 On the 22nd of April, as is probably well

    12 documented by this court, I personally discovered what

    13 had happened in the village of Ahmici after I had been

    14 directed there by some soldiers in the hills to the

    15 north of Ahmici. The reason why I was in the hills

    16 north of Ahmici was because (redacted) had

    17 told me that he wanted me personally to try and stop

    18 the fighting, and I had told him that I personally had

    19 lots of things to do, but he had told me become that he

    20 wanted me to do it. So I did.

    21 In the hills above, to the north of Ahmici,

    22 as it was, I was told that a lot of babies and women

    23 had been killed in the village of Ahmici, to which I

    24 did not believe that would be possible. I remember

    25 responding that I did not believe that, it couldn't

  27. 1 happen, and that I would go and investigate, and so I

    2 did.

    3 So I re-crossed the lines and drove to the

    4 village of Ahmici. I discovered that I was wrong. It

    5 was clear that massacres had occurred in the village of

    6 Ahmici. I was extremely shocked. It was also clear to

    7 me that the houses that were destroyed were Croat --

    8 sorry, were Bosnian Muslim houses and all that remained

    9 were Bosnian Croat occupied. Indeed, I was challenged

    10 by a local unit of the HVO as to what right I had to be

    11 there. My response was that I'm an United Nations

    12 officer and I have every right to be there. In fact, I

    13 think it was more rude than that, because I was in

    14 shock.

    15 Of course, I went back that night and I

    16 spoke -- I sent a message to Tihomir Blaskic, demanding

    17 to know what had happened and an investigation was to

    18 start.

    19 On the 24th of April, two days later, I

    20 actually went to see Mr. Blaskic and demanded to know

    21 what was happening. I wanted to know who had done it,

    22 who had been arrested for this and what was happening.

    23 On the 4th of May, 1993, I challenged a

    24 Mr. Valenta who said, once again, that he was the

    25 vice-president of the HVO, who'd only recently moved

  28. 1 into the area, to the best of my knowledge, but rather

    2 like Kordic said he was a vice-president to the HVO,

    3 and Mr. Blaskic.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: What date was that? Excuse me,

    5 I didn't catch that. I didn't get the date.

    6 THE WITNESS: The 4th of May, 1993.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much.

    8 THE WITNESS: To the best of my knowledge.

    9 I'm taking these dates from my diary.

    10 Again, I challenged and said there was no

    11 response to my requirement to investigate who had

    12 carried out the massacre of Ahmici and in the Lasva

    13 Valley surrounding it. Nobody had been arrested for

    14 18 days because the massacre occurred on the 16th of

    15 April.

    16 I suggested to both of them that those

    17 responsible for ordering the Ahmici massacre were

    18 guilty, in my view, of at least complicity in genocide,

    19 although I have to say I'm not a lawyer and I think

    20 complicity in genocide was a fairly accurate

    21 description.

    22 I think I saw Tihomir Blaskic once more

    23 before I left Bosnia but I can't be certain of that.

    24 I would like to end by giving my impression

    25 and opinion. I want to place on record that personally

  29. 1 I have a great liking for Tihomir Blaskic. That was

    2 until the massacre of Ahmici. I considered him someone

    3 I could trust and who was good for his word and a

    4 professional officer, and I was disappointed in his

    5 response after the massacre in Ahmici.

    6 I knew that Mr. Blaskic was ex-Yugoslav

    7 national army and so was Mr. Merdan. They knew one

    8 another well. To start with, I always considered

    9 Tihomir Blaskic was the commander. Kordic was a

    10 complication. But I knew from my sources that the HVO

    11 didn't think of him as a soldier in the same way as

    12 they thought Tihomir Blaskic. After all, Kordic always

    13 told me he was the vice-president of the HVO, and his

    14 background, as I understood it, was as a journalist.

    15 In my opinion, Blaskic's area of

    16 responsibility stretched from the north of Gornji Vakuf

    17 to Travnik to Kiseljak and at least up to Vares. It

    18 did not include Mostar or Sarajevo. He certainly had a

    19 main headquarters at Hotel Vitez and I believe another

    20 headquarters in Kiseljak, but, of course, he had the

    21 right to operate throughout the area to any HVO

    22 headquarters.

    23 Commander Siljeg, with whom I negotiated for

    24 a period of about ten days from the death of my escort

    25 driver on the 13th of January, definitely was in

  30. 1 command of Gornji Vakuf from the HVO point of view.

    2 Commander Siljeg was someone who I personally disliked

    3 intensely.

    4 As I have mentioned, at times, we, the

    5 British, were confused as to the exact command

    6 structure, particularly complicated by Kordic. But

    7 Blaskic was the main link to Petkovic, a chief of staff

    8 of the HVO, and I saw them a couple of times together.

    9 Not Kordic.

    10 I am positive that the HVO carried out the

    11 massacres, the major massacres, in the Lasva Valley in

    12 April 1993. I find it very difficult to believe that

    13 the HVO command in Vitez did not know or did not order

    14 the attack on the village of Ahmici which is only 3.5

    15 kilometres from Hotel Vitez. I do not believe that any

    16 command structure doesn't know what's happening with

    17 its soldiers that short a distance away.

    18 In conclusion, despite my great personal

    19 liking for Tihomir Blaskic, I believe that Tihomir

    20 Blaskic alone was the HVO commander in Central Bosnia

    21 and thus held command responsibility for the actions of

    22 his soldiers.

    23 Even assuming Tihomir Blaskic neither knew or

    24 ordered any killing, why did he do nothing when I asked

    25 for something to be done? I consider that nothing

  31. 1 effective was done while I was the British commander in

    2 Central Bosnia, and I stayed there until the 10th of

    3 May, 1993. To the best of my knowledge, no

    4 investigation was carried out, despite my requirement

    5 that a full investigation, including BiH

    6 representation, should be carried out into the

    7 massacres in the Lasva Valley.

    8 Regretfully, I repeat that it is my opinion

    9 that Tihomir Blaskic was the effective commander of the

    10 HVO in Central Bosnia. As such, he must be held

    11 responsible for the actions of HVO soldiers, even if I

    12 believe it is perfectly possible that he was not

    13 present in person when such crimes were committed.

    14 That is the end of my statement. Thank you,

    15 sir.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Colonel Stewart. As

    17 I told you, in order to organise our work properly,

    18 without any further ado, I suggest that you answer, for

    19 a certain amount of time, approximately an hour, even

    20 an hour and a half -- we will speak with Mr. Harmon --

    21 but the Defence will have the same time as the

    22 Prosecution.

    23 First you will answer the Prosecutor's

    24 questions. Mr. Prosecutor, please proceed.

    25 In light of everything that Colonel Stewart,

  32. 1 our witness, has said, in respect of the number of

    2 questions you have -- I'm not asking for a specific

    3 number right now. We'll see where we are as things

    4 proceed -- but about how much time do you think you're

    5 going to need?

    6 MR. KEHOE: If I could, Mr. President, if I

    7 could just take five minutes and consult with my

    8 colleague, Mr. Harmon, I think we will have a better

    9 idea of how much we are going to ask. I just want a

    10 couple of minutes.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you. Please

    12 do that.

    13 (Trial Chamber confers)

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Kehoe?

    15 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. I think we

    16 will probably use half an hour, 40 minutes or so,

    17 Mr. President.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Proceed, please.

    19 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President, Your

    20 Honours, counsel.

    21 Examined by Mr. Kehoe:

    22 Q. Good afternoon, Colonel. You and I have met

    23 before. Welcome to The Hague, sir.

    24 A. Thank you.

    25 MR. KEHOE: Mr. Usher, if I could, while we

  33. 1 are asking some additional questions, could I have

    2 29C first be given to the witness? That is the exhibit

    3 with the concentric circles on it that I think is known

    4 to all in the courtroom. If we could just give that to

    5 the colonel?

    6 If we could just pan back a little bit on

    7 that, please? We're interested in the area here,

    8 Mr. Usher, from Vitez to Zenica. Thank you. Yeah,

    9 that's good. Thank you very much.

    10 Q. Colonel, this is a map. The concentric

    11 circles are the distances away from the Hotel Vitez.

    12 And, Colonel, I would like to direct your attention to

    13 the morning of the 16th. You noted for us that on the

    14 evening of the 15th and the morning of the 16th, you

    15 were in Zenica. Are you comfortable, sir?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. I thought you were looking up at --

    18 A. I'm wondering where this thing is being

    19 displayed.

    20 Q. On the television camera on --

    21 A. Oh, I see. I'm so sorry. It's just I'm

    22 blind.

    23 Q. Colonel, if you may, could you just -- from

    24 the morning of the 16th, could you tell us the road

    25 that you took? I know you mentioned the mountain road

  34. 1 from Zenica to Vitez, but could you just take a pointer

    2 there and just tell the Judges exactly what road you

    3 took from Zenica to Vitez?

    4 A. Can you see that (indicating)?

    5 Q. Yes, thank you very much.

    6 A. That's the start point, up through Cajdras,

    7 as I mentioned in my statement, up to the top of the

    8 hill, and then down into the Lasva Valley and then to

    9 Vitez.

    10 Q. Now, Colonel, approximately what time of the

    11 morning was that that you came from Zenica to Vitez?

    12 Approximately.

    13 A. Seven-thirty.

    14 Q. Now, Colonel, during your drive from Zenica

    15 to Vitez, did you see any ABiH formations along the

    16 way?

    17 A. Did you say BiH?

    18 Q. I'm talking about Armija, army of

    19 Bosnia-Herzegovina formations.

    20 A. I did.

    21 Q. Where did you see those?

    22 A. On the outskirts of Zenica.

    23 Q. And what did you see, sir?

    24 A. A roadblock. And the guys refused to let me

    25 through.

  35. 1 Q. Did you get through?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Other than that, sir, did you see any large

    4 ABiH formations that appeared to be moving down from --

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, both you and the

    6 witness --

    7 MR. KEHOE: Yes.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: -- speak the same language, and

    9 I congratulate you for that. You both speak very

    10 quickly, like I do. But I would ask that you think

    11 about our interpreters. Otherwise, we're going to have

    12 to stop much earlier. Please be kind, think about

    13 them, and also think about me because I'm following as

    14 best I can on the transcript and listening to the

    15 interpretation. Thank you very much.

    16 MR. KEHOE: I'm sorry, Mr. President. I'm

    17 sorry to the respective groups.

    18 Q. Colonel, you and I have to take probably a

    19 little pause between the questions and answers to allow

    20 for the interpretation, and I'll try certainly to slow

    21 down.

    22 A. I think, Mr. Kehoe, you're more guilty than I

    23 am.

    24 Q. Given the fact that I have been accused of

    25 this before, I do believe that you are correct,

  36. 1 Colonel, and I will plead so.

    2 Colonel, on that morning of the 16th, did you

    3 see large ABiH formations moving down, attacking

    4 formations moving down into the Lasva Valley?

    5 A. No, I did not.

    6 Q. Prior to that time, Colonel, the 15th or the

    7 16th of April, did you see a growth of ABiH formations

    8 in the Lasva Valley getting ready for some type of

    9 attack?

    10 A. To the best of my knowledge, I did not, but

    11 then I wasn't necessarily in that area. On the 15th, I

    12 was definitely in Travnik.

    13 Q. Now, Colonel, did you have, as your normal

    14 practice, your soldiers in various companies out on the

    15 terrain examining what was taking place in the Lasva

    16 Valley and throughout your area of responsibility?

    17 A. I did.

    18 Q. Did they report back to you at any point

    19 information concerning soldiers in the Lasva Valley?

    20 A. I cannot recall.

    21 Q. On the 16th of April, Colonel, did they

    22 report back to you that they saw or did not see ABiH

    23 soldiers attacking in the Lasva Valley?

    24 A. I don't think they did, but I think -- I had

    25 large reports of HVO in the Lasva Valley.

  37. 1 Q. Well, based on the information that you

    2 received from your soldiers in the field and based on

    3 what you yourself saw, who was doing the attacking on

    4 the 16th of April, 1993?

    5 A. It was clear to me that the HVO were

    6 attacking.

    7 Q. Now, with regard to the particular villages

    8 that were attacked, if you were to attack a village,

    9 Colonel, would it be prudent for the attacking

    10 commander to remove civilians from the village prior to

    11 such attack?

    12 A. Well, it's a difficult question to answer,

    13 that, because I wouldn't attack a village where

    14 civilians were present because it's not acceptable, and

    15 therefore, trying to -- and in fairness, trying to

    16 remove civilians would give away the element of

    17 surprise. But, I mean, I have to say that I don't

    18 really like the question because I just don't

    19 understand what you're getting at.

    20 Q. Okay, sir. Then we'll move on. Now, sir,

    21 you said to us that on the 22nd of April of 1993, you

    22 went to Ahmici and you discovered the massacre that

    23 took place there. Just tell us a little bit about what

    24 you saw there, Colonel.

    25 A. Well, it was relatively early in the morning

  38. 1 when I was requested by (redacted) to

    2 personally -- and I say "personally" because I didn't

    3 want to do it -- go into the mountains above the Lasva

    4 Valley to try and stop the fighting, to separate people

    5 away, to separate the HVO and the BiH.

    6 I led a patrol of about -- well, one platoon,

    7 that's four armoured Warrior vehicles, and I also took

    8 a section of Scimitars, that's two light tanks, and as

    9 well as that, I took my own Warrior armoured fighting

    10 vehicle, and I went down the road to the crossroads

    11 where the mountain road joins the main Lasva Valley

    12 road, and I turned left through an HVO checkpoint, up

    13 the road into the mountains. And at the ridge -- I'll

    14 just check the name -- I can't read it. At the ridge,

    15 I turned right along a track that I had never been down

    16 before, and periodically, I stopped. At this point,

    17 there were most definitely large concentrations of BiH

    18 soldiers in the hills.

    19 I stopped at BiH soldiers, and on one or two

    20 occasions, I pleaded with them to stop the fighting,

    21 and on the second or the third occasion, I was told

    22 that they couldn't stop the fighting because it was

    23 reported that babies and women had been killed in the

    24 village of Ahmici.

    25 I already mentioned that I was shocked and

  39. 1 didn't believe it, but I said to the soldiers I would

    2 personally go and check this. And so I did. I came

    3 another route down. Again, I just had to map read --

    4 we map-read through. We came back into the Lasva

    5 Valley and then led down the Lasva Valley to the

    6 turn-off that led to Ahmici. I drove through the

    7 village of Ahmici, which is about a mile, actually.

    8 It's a linear village, or it was a linear village. I

    9 went to the end, and I dismounted my soldiers and I

    10 then dismounted myself. I walked slowly down the road

    11 with my soldiers fanning out, checking houses all the

    12 way down on both sides of the road.

    13 About a third of the way through the village,

    14 I think, some soldiers shouted for me. I went there

    15 and we discovered the first house where we could

    16 identify dead bodies. A man and a child, probably a

    17 teenage boy, were in the front entrance. At the back,

    18 even worse, it looked like the remains of several

    19 people. Clearly one adult, possibly two women, and

    20 several children. So what I had said, I did not

    21 believe was inaccurate. Of course, this was

    22 well-documented because by this stage we had a lot of

    23 press around us.

    24 After that, I went back and I think I sent a

    25 message to General Blaskic, Colonel Blaskic as he was

  40. 1 then.

    2 Q. Let us turn to that piece of correspondence

    3 and the advice that you received, Colonel.

    4 MR. KEHOE: I'd like to give the witness

    5 Prosecutor's 456/56 and Prosecutor's 456/57. If I

    6 could show both of these documents to the witness at

    7 the same time it would be helpful.

    8 Q. Just to clarify things, Colonel, the 456/56

    9 is your letter of the 22nd to the accused, and 456/57

    10 is Blaskic's letter back to you. If you could take a

    11 quick look at those two. We'll just discuss them

    12 briefly.

    13 A. Yes.

    14 Q. Now, the first letter, of course, is the

    15 letter that you have spoken about in your initial

    16 statement and just now, your letter to Blaskic. Then

    17 Blaskic's return letter to you, in paragraph 1, he

    18 notes that: "I am ready to send immediately the

    19 investigation commission to the village of Ahmici." Do

    20 you see that?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Let's talk a little bit about this

    23 investigating commission, Colonel. Did you ever see an

    24 investigating commission?

    25 A. Yes.

  41. 1 Q. Did you ask for one?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Tell us a little bit about what you asked

    4 for.

    5 A. I wanted an urgent investigation into who was

    6 responsible, and I remember that I required Tihomir

    7 Blaskic to also include BiH representation on this,

    8 this commission.

    9 Q. Now, with regard to this particular

    10 commission, did Blaskic ever seek your assistance in

    11 setting this commission up and did you refuse to give

    12 that assistance?

    13 A. Certainly not.

    14 Q. Did he ask you -- did he ever ask you for

    15 assistance in this investigation?

    16 A. Well, this letter asks me but I don't recall

    17 anything beyond that.

    18 Q. Now, in a particular testimony of Blaskic, at

    19 page 19165, Blaskic notes:

    20 "In my letter, when I wrote it on the 23rd

    21 to Colonel Stewart, and in all subsequent discussions

    22 with representatives of the International Community, I

    23 sought assistance in carrying out the investigation."

    24 In your meetings with him, Colonel, did he

    25 seek your assistance in carrying out the

  42. 1 investigation?

    2 A. No. I think my meetings with him were to

    3 demand that actually something was done, and nothing

    4 seemed to be done.

    5 Q. Now, let me turn to an exhibit, and this is

    6 an exhibit of your meeting that you talked about, and

    7 this is an excerpt from your diary, Colonel. If we

    8 could turn to this particular document.

    9 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit

    10 742.

    11 MR. KEHOE:

    12 Q. Can you see that okay, Colonel, because we

    13 have an extra copy for you?

    14 A. I can see it.

    15 Q. Okay.

    16 MR. KEHOE: We also have a couple for the

    17 booths as well, Mr. Usher.

    18 Q. Colonel, this is a note from your diary, of

    19 the 24th of April, 1993. If I can just take one moment

    20 while the copies of this are distributed. I'm

    21 interested in the first two paragraphs of this excerpt,

    22 Colonel, concerning the events of the 24th of April.

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. Okay. I'm just waiting for the French booth

    25 to get a copy of that. Okay.

  43. 1 "Saturday, 24, April. The business of Ahmici

    2 is really big now and I decided to go see Santic,

    3 president of Vitez, and also Pero Skopljak, leader of

    4 the HDZ. I drove into town in my Warrior and I found

    5 them both in the basement of the PTT building. I was

    6 fairly to the point. I informed them about what I had

    7 seen in Ahmici, that it was a total disgrace, that it

    8 might have big impact on American opinion and put it to

    9 them that the Americans just might decide to arm the

    10 Muslims. In short, it was a disaster for HVO politics

    11 and those that were responsible should be identified

    12 and dealt with as soon as possible. In addition, I

    13 felt that the matter should be investigated fully with

    14 Bosniak Muslims on a commission that did so. After

    15 this I went to see Blaskic, who was in Hotel Vitez. He

    16 readily agreed that it was his zone of responsibility

    17 and that he must doing something positive. I told him

    18 that it needed action at the very highest level. For

    19 example, I suggested that the Security Council

    20 Ambassadors might visit Vitez later today. The impact

    21 would be severe and the HVO had better do something.

    22 "After that, I returned to the PINFO house

    23 where I briefed the press on what had taken place and

    24 in particular, Blaskic's agreement that it was in his

    25 area of responsibility. I stated that Blaskic had told

  44. 1 me that the top level meetings were taking place about

    2 it too. In fairness to Blaskic, I also told them he

    3 seemed very shocked about it all!"

    4 Now, in this conversation, Colonel, that you

    5 had with Blaskic, to the best of your recollection what

    6 did he say about these troops that were in the area of

    7 Ahmici, if you can recall, sir?

    8 A. I cannot recall.

    9 Q. Did he say they were his troops? Did they

    10 say they were not his troops?

    11 MR. HAYMAN: Asked and answered,

    12 Mr. President.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. I -- oh, yes. All

    14 right.

    15 MR. KEHOE:

    16 Q. Well, General, did he ever explain to you,

    17 when you were having these discussion was him about the

    18 events in Ahmici, that there was some dual chain of

    19 command and that he wasn't responsible for think

    20 soldiers that were in Ahmici? Did he ever say that?

    21 A. I presume you're talking to me as "General."

    22 Q. I'm sorry, General. I just promoted you,

    23 Colonel.

    24 A. Well, that's very nice of you. Thank you.

    25 Unfortunately, the British didn't agree with you.

  45. 1 The answer is no.

    2 Q. No, he didn't explain any dual chain of

    3 command?

    4 A. Although we had some suspicions there were

    5 some complications, as I've referred to earlier, there

    6 seemed to me, in apparent classic Communist style of

    7 approach, there could have been a political and

    8 military chain of command.

    9 Q. Now, with regard to that, sir, with regard to

    10 the military chain of command, did he ever indicate to

    11 you there was some duality in the military chain of

    12 command?

    13 A. No.

    14 Q. Now, you note in this particular document

    15 that: "In fairness to Blaskic, I also told them that

    16 he seemed very shocked about it all!"

    17 A. Yes, I do, and I wouldn't have written that

    18 unless I felt it because, as I say, he's a decent man,

    19 to me. I was shocked and I he seemed shocked too,

    20 because both of us have families, and I always felt

    21 that about Blaskic.

    22 Q. Colonel, let me show you a document that you

    23 probably haven't seen before. I want to show you

    24 Prosecutor's Exhibit 456/58, which is a report written

    25 by the accused on the 24th of April, the day of your

  46. 1 meeting, as references your meeting with Blaskic on

    2 that same day.

    3 MR. KEHOE: If I could take the document off

    4 the ELMO so the witness can read it first? Thank you.

    5 A. Yes.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, I would like the

    7 document to be put on the ELMO before you ask your

    8 questions.

    9 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. I was just

    10 waiting for the witness to read the pages.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, absolutely. That's

    12 correct.

    13 MR. KEHOE:

    14 Q. Colonel, in this particular document written

    15 by Blaskic, is there any expression of remorse or

    16 concern about the events in Ahmici? By him, not you.

    17 A. From what I have read, no.

    18 Q. Is there any request for an investigation at

    19 all in this document?

    20 A. I cannot see any requests for an

    21 investigation, but I can assure you I made one.

    22 Q. Now, with regard to the particular statements

    23 that are in this document, Colonel, Blaskic says, at

    24 the bottom of the first page: "I think that Mate Boban

    25 should have been in Vitez today to indicate that the

  47. 1 reporting is extremely biased."

    2 On the next page. If we could turn the page

    3 over, Mr. Usher. The second point down: "To talk

    4 about the extremely one-sided emphasis on the suffering

    5 of only one people, expressing the suspicion that

    6 journalists are being paid to report events

    7 untruthfully."

    8 What do you think about that, Colonel?

    9 A. I think it's laughable.

    10 Q. What are you saying?

    11 A. I just don't believe -- I mean, if the press

    12 could have reported something -- the mainstream press

    13 opinion was that, actually, the Muslims were being

    14 battered at the time, and it would have been very good

    15 for a reporter to have reported something to the

    16 contrary of that. It would have got him better copy

    17 and more attention, but they didn't because that wasn't

    18 true.

    19 Q. Well, General -- let me ask you a question.

    20 I'm sorry about that immediate promotion that I just

    21 withdrew.

    22 A. I like it. Thank you.

    23 Q. You've noted there is no expression of

    24 remorse or concern about Ahmici in this document. When

    25 Blaskic expressed shock in this meeting, was he shocked

  48. 1 about what happened in Ahmici, Colonel, or was he

    2 shocked that he got caught and that you are holding him

    3 accountable for it?

    4 A. I don't know the answer to that question. He

    5 seemed shocked. Whether it was an act or whether it

    6 wasn't, I don't know, but as my impression of

    7 Mr. Blaskic was as a decent man, I took it on face

    8 value that he was shocked.

    9 Q. Let me ask you a question, Colonel. In your

    10 experiences within the Balkans and in the Bosnia, had

    11 you had the experience that one side or another

    12 presented one face to the International Community and

    13 yet a different face among their own ethnic group?

    14 Have you had that experience, Colonel?

    15 A. The answer to that is yes. I wouldn't trust

    16 any of them. I didn't trust anything on face value.

    17 My judgment was that I would never believe anything

    18 either a Bosnian Muslim, a Bosnian Croat, or a Bosnian

    19 Serb told me until I saw evidence of that intention by

    20 actions on the ground. That was one of the lessons I

    21 learnt quite quickly, because I had spent so many days

    22 in negotiating cease-fires, and getting signed

    23 documents, and watching the deadline go by that I

    24 normally used to have a drink as the deadline went by

    25 and the fighting just carried on.

  49. 1 So the answer to your question, in short, is

    2 that, frankly, I never really trusted what people said,

    3 but I did feel that Mr. Blaskic was upset.

    4 Q. Colonel, let me turn to the next document,

    5 which is Prosecutor's Exhibit 695, which is another

    6 except from your diary on the 4th of May, 1993,

    7 relating to your meeting with Blaskic and Valenta.

    8 Again, if you could just take a moment or so,

    9 Colonel to take a look at this. What I'm interested in

    10 is the last paragraph for the 4th, which is actually on

    11 the second page of that document, which starts with:

    12 "When lunch was over." Do you see that, sir?

    13 A. Yes, do.

    14 Q. If I can read it quite briefly. If we can

    15 put it on the ELMO now.

    16 Colonel, if we can just briefly refer to this

    17 and just ask a few questions.

    18 "When lunch was over I took the ambassadors

    19 into Vitez and there met with Valentin [sic] and

    20 Blaskic. I stated that nothing had happened about a

    21 Commission of Inquiry into Ahmici for 18 days, that

    22 nobody was charged or arrested to my knowledge and that

    23 I knew the names of men accused - which I would give to

    24 the ECMM ambassadors. I insisted that the Government

    25 of Vitez was also involved in 'complicity in

  50. 1 genocide.' By that I meant Valentin (who said he knew

    2 nothing about Ahmici until 2 days later), Blaskic and

    3 Skopljak. I said that I expected action and was backed

    4 up well by the ambassadors. After that I returned to

    5 Vitez Camp - having told about it to Sky News."

    6 Again, Colonel, you were asking about the

    7 commission of inquiry. Was this the same commission of

    8 inquiry you were asking about on the 24th?

    9 A. Well, it was, but I hadn't seen any evidence

    10 of any commission of inquiry.

    11 Q. Was Blaskic again -- did he, at any point in

    12 this meeting, ask for your help to conduct this

    13 investigation?

    14 A. No. Otherwise, I would have actually jumped

    15 on the idea and the ambassadors would have also backed

    16 me up. It's clear to me, you know, let's not beat

    17 around the bush, that nothing happened -- nothing had

    18 happened, and, you know, whatever way we put it,

    19 nothing had happened by that time and nothing that I

    20 saw convinced me that anyone was going to take action,

    21 and I saw the end of my tour in Bosnia as this

    22 happening and then it being forgotten about, but thank

    23 goodness, it hasn't been.

    24 Q. Colonel, another line in there says:

    25 "Valentin found out 2 days later."

  51. 1 Do you see that little insert that you have

    2 there?

    3 A. I do.

    4 Q. What day would that have been if Ahmici took

    5 place on the 16th of April?

    6 A. The 18th of April.

    7 Q. So would it be fair to say, Colonel, that

    8 Valenta was telling you that he found out about it on

    9 the 18th of April; is that right?

    10 A. That is what I would assume.

    11 Q. Colonel, the accused has informed this Court

    12 that he did not find out about this event in Ahmici

    13 until he received your letter on the 22nd of April,

    14 1993. Given your prior testimony concerning the

    15 locality of Ahmici, what's your assessment of that?

    16 A. I regret to say that that's a lie. That is

    17 my conclusion. I don't know it as fact. That is my

    18 conclusion.

    19 Q. Colonel, let me turn to the --

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?

    21 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the question

    22 contains something that our client had not said,

    23 namely, our client had said that he learned about the

    24 events in Ahmici on the 16th at 11.48. But as for the

    25 crime, as for the atrocities, he found out only later.

  52. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, let me remind you,

    2 you will have all the time you need, after the

    3 Prosecutor has finished his questions, to ask your own

    4 questions. Let me remind you also that this is a Trial

    5 Chamber witness, and this is not the procedural scheme

    6 that you are used to, that is, an examination-in-chief

    7 and a cross-examination. You will have time to ask

    8 your questions. Have confidence in the Judges; you

    9 will have the same amount of time as the Prosecutor

    10 does.

    11 Mr. Kehoe, would you please proceed?

    12 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. If I can

    13 move to the next document, please?

    14 THE REGISTRAR: This is Prosecution Exhibit

    15 743.

    16 MR. KEHOE:

    17 Q. Colonel, do you recognise this note?

    18 A. Yes, I do.

    19 Q. Is this in your hand, sir?

    20 A. Yes, it is.

    21 Q. And it is to (redacted), ECMM

    22 Ambassador?

    23 A. Yes, it is.

    24 Q. And I'll just read it just briefly:

    25 "Ahmici Massacre - Possible People

  53. 1 Responsible

    2 1. Thomas Osorio (U.S.) and Payam Akhavan

    3 (Can.), both members of the U.N. Centre for Human

    4 Rights, have provided me with the following

    5 information:

    6 2. Ahmici possibly had 800 (approx.) people

    7 in it as of 16 April 1993. One hundred and three were

    8 killed and --"

    9 What's that's next word there?

    10 A. "Another."

    11 Q. "-- another approx. 35 are still unaccounted

    12 for.

    13 2. The Government of Vitez is technically

    14 'complicity in genocide.' That means Valentin,

    15 Blaskic, Skopljak, etc.

    16 3. The following people were present at the

    17 Ahmici massacre:

    18 Santic Nenad

    19 Ivan Livancic

    20 Christo Zarko

    21 Vlado Krizanac - apparently said 'First kill

    22 the men, then the male

    23 children, then the rest.

    24 Destroy all that is

    25 'Muslim.'

  54. 1 4. This information is provided so that you

    2 can use it in ECMM Ambassador's Report."

    3 This is information that you received, I take

    4 it, Colonel, from Mr. Osorio and Mr. Akhavan; is that

    5 right?

    6 A. That is correct.

    7 Q. Does that represent the sum total of people

    8 involved or were there possibly others?

    9 A. No, many more were involved, but this -- my

    10 estimation was that it could be 40 to 70 people.

    11 Q. Now, Colonel, you noted for us that you left

    12 the theatre on approximately 11 May, 1993.

    13 A. I left on the 10th and I was out of Bosnia on

    14 the 10th.

    15 Q. Up until the time you left, Colonel, had you

    16 ever heard anything about Blaskic setting up any

    17 commission of inquiry?

    18 A. No, and neither did I give him these names.

    19 These names were given to me by the U.N. Centre for

    20 Human Rights. The advice I received was not to

    21 broadcast these names but keep them so that they would

    22 be recorded.

    23 I was desperate to actually record the fact

    24 that these names were known to me. I had no means of

    25 ensuring that would happen, and therefore, I used the

  55. 1 ECMM to actually place it on record as I expected these

    2 ambassadors to actually make sure that follow-up action

    3 would ensue. That is why I sent that letter, simply so

    4 that a record would be made. My own government

    5 instructed me not to mention these names publicly.

    6 Q. Colonel, I would like to move to another

    7 exhibit at this point, which is Prosecutor's Exhibit

    8 380, which is an interview with the accused by a

    9 Croatian weekly called Danas.

    10 Can I just see if that's the particular

    11 document?

    12 That is the article, Colonel, and I would

    13 like to direct your attention to the last question and

    14 answer.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel Stewart, did you have

    16 the time to read this? I know that if it were your

    17 journal and your messages, things go faster, but do you

    18 need a little more time to become familiar with this?

    19 THE WITNESS: Well, sir, I haven't read it,

    20 and in 20 seconds, I could have a quick read of it.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. All right. We'll

    22 start counting the 20 seconds. Go ahead.

    23 MR. KEHOE: Judge, I have a few questions on

    24 this particular document. If Your Honour wants to take

    25 a break now and give the Colonel a little bit more time

  56. 1 -- or else I'll just continue.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: I think that would be the best

    3 choice.

    4 Colonel, you're going to have much more than

    5 20 seconds, you're going to have 20 minutes.

    6 THE WITNESS: Twenty minutes.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: We're going to take a break for

    8 20 minutes.

    9 --- Recess taken at 3.47 p.m.

    10 --- On resuming at 4.15 p.m.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing.

    12 Please have the accused brought in, and be seated.

    13 (The accused entered court)

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe.

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

    16 Q. Colonel, I'd like to direct your attention to

    17 this last question and answer that's on the ELMO, which

    18 is part of this article in an interview of the

    19 accused. The question is: "You investigated a crime

    20 in Ahmici. What is the result of the investigation so

    21 far?"

    22 By the way, this is dated in October of 1993,

    23 Colonel.

    24 "The investigation is still in progress.

    25 Information is being gathered. In any case, this is a

  57. 1 well-planned scenario in which Muslim forces wanted

    2 once again to cast a blemish on units of the HVO before

    3 the world community.

    4 "After the crimes that Muslim forces

    5 committed in the areas around the Croatian villages of

    6 Lasva, Dusina, Gusti Grab, and other villages in the

    7 Busovaca municipality, the case of Ahmici was staged

    8 and skilfully shown to foreign reporters and EC

    9 observer missions with the assistance of the commander

    10 of a British Battalion at that time, Bob Stewart.

    11 "So far we are certain that the crime was

    12 committed by members of the HOS, Croatian Defence

    13 Force, in Zenica, which was mostly Muslim, and parts of

    14 the Muslim forces of the MOS, Muslim Defence Forces,

    15 and I've already said that the investigation is

    16 continuing. It is certain that the HVO does not stand

    17 behind the crime that others desire to attribute to

    18 us."

    19 Now, Colonel, this particular comment by the

    20 accused relates to you and the events that took place

    21 in Ahmici. What's your comment on this, Colonel?

    22 A. Well, I'm grateful for being called "skilful"

    23 anyway. Of course it's absurd. The fact of the matter

    24 is that I was directed, truly, by soldiers of the BiH

    25 to the village of Ahmici, that is correct, but what I

  58. 1 discovered there was a crime. Even when I was there I

    2 was challenged by HVO soldiers as to what right I had

    3 to be there.

    4 Now, as this was in the region of Ahmici, in

    5 the area of Ahmici, actually in Ahmici itself, and HVO

    6 soldiers were in the area, I would assume that they

    7 would be delighted if I was there if they had nothing

    8 to do with the crime. I make the assumption that I was

    9 challenged by people that in some way or other either

    10 knew or were implicated in that crime.

    11 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel.

    12 MR. KEHOE: I have no further questions,

    13 Mr. President. Colonel, thank you again.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Mr. Registrar,

    15 could you tell us about how much time was required for

    16 the Prosecutor to ask the witness his questions?

    17 Now, Colonel Stewart, as we told you, the

    18 Defence counsel for General Blaskic, Mr. Hayman, will

    19 ask you questions, and we will tell you about how much

    20 time was used.

    21 THE REGISTRAR: The Prosecutor used about 40

    22 minutes.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Forty minutes? You'll have 40

    24 minutes but it will be counted flexibly.

    25 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, let me say that

  59. 1 before these witnesses came, the Court told the parties

    2 that with respect to the major witnesses, the most

    3 significant ones, the parties would have one and a half

    4 to two hours for their examination --

    5 JUDGE JORDA: I'm sorry, I'm not getting

    6 interpretation. I'm sorry, I'm not getting

    7 interpretation. Excuse me, Mr. Hayman. I can feel

    8 that you're speaking vehemently. I would like to have

    9 the interpretation of what you are saying. Please say

    10 everything that was said.

    11 MR. HAYMAN: I will try, Mr. President.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: I'm speaking to the

    13 interpreters. I suppose it's been marked in the

    14 transcript.

    15 MR. HAYMAN: Are you hearing the translation

    16 now, Mr. President?

    17 JUDGE JORDA: I don't know if I said two or

    18 two and half hours, Mr. Fourmy, but these are Trial

    19 Chamber witness, therefore, this is a Trial Chamber

    20 decision. But, in fact, we did set some time. I

    21 thought it could be rather balanced in respect of the

    22 Prosecution.

    23 I would like Mr. Fourmy to remind me of what

    24 was said, approximately. I've always tried, ever since

    25 we've had Trial Chamber witnesses -- let me remind you

  60. 1 they are Trial Chamber witnesses who were not called by

    2 the parties up to this point. I would like to remind

    3 you of that as well. I simply wanted simply wanted to

    4 do something equitably. Mr. Fourmy?

    5 MR. FOURMY: Your Honour, as regards the

    6 written decision by the Trial Chamber, unless I'm

    7 mistaken, it was said that the parties would each have

    8 one hour to ask questions of the witness called by the

    9 Trial Chamber.

    10 Having said this and in view of what appeared

    11 from the significance of certain of the witnesses

    12 called, each party was -- it was said that each party

    13 could have longer and that the amount of time indicated

    14 in the decision was the minimum, not the maximum, and

    15 that was the framework that each of the parties felt it

    16 could place itself.

    17 As you've just said the Prosecution used 40

    18 minutes. This does not mean that a little bit more

    19 time could be given to the Defence.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: But to go from that to two or

    21 two or a half hours doesn't seem quite appropriate.

    22 But having said this, nonetheless, Mr. Hayman -- go

    23 ahead. I feel you still wish to say something in

    24 respect of what Fourmy said. I don't want to take the

    25 floor from you, although we are using time.

  61. 1 MR. HAYMAN: Since my earlier comments

    2 weren't translated for you, Mr. President, I would like

    3 to speak to you on this subject before you rule.

    4 At the Status Conference we had before these

    5 witnesses came, the Court said that as to the most

    6 important witnesses, the parties would have one and a

    7 half to two hours to examine them and that that was not

    8 dependent on what time the other party used, that they

    9 would have that. That would be a minimum.

    10 In light of this witness's testimony and in

    11 light of certain important documents that I have, and I

    12 have a three-volume set of U.N. documents which in part

    13 I need to review with this witness, it is not going to

    14 be possible for me to examine him in what I estimate to

    15 be less than two hours. I will do my best, but the

    16 fact that Prosecutor wants to try and limit me to 40

    17 minutes so he spends his time showing articles which he

    18 claims were authored by the accused, although there's

    19 testimony to the contrary, that should not be a tactic

    20 that can be used to limit us to 40 minutes in light of

    21 your prior directive.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: We agree. This is the first

    23 time at this Tribunal that the Trial Chamber is

    24 bringing in witnesses. This is a procedure which is

    25 outside the procedure that we're used to. Therefore,

  62. 1 if you please allow the Trial Chamber to decide how it

    2 is going to have its own witnesses questioned, with

    3 full respect of the rights of the accused, whom we are

    4 not forgetting, and also to be sure that there is a

    5 more or less equitable distribution of time. That is

    6 why I asked Mr. Fourmy what could be done. I don't

    7 want us to be bound in advance about too much time,

    8 which might seem normal to you but which I -- I, who

    9 have experience for two years now in this trial, I know

    10 how much time could often be wasted by very detailed

    11 questioning which were frequently far removed from the

    12 purpose of what was being discussed.

    13 This witness is here now and I know that he

    14 knows that he has to come back tomorrow morning. I'd

    15 like to speak with my colleagues now.

    16 (Trial Chamber confers)

    17 JUDGE JORDA: By calling its own witnesses,

    18 those who were not called by the parties, I remind you

    19 of that, the Trial Chamber has as its first concern the

    20 ascertainment of the truth.

    21 The Trial Chamber is not bound by any

    22 procedural systems to which you're used to and,

    23 therefore, it establishes a certain correlation between

    24 the Prosecution's time and the Defence's time only in

    25 order to ensure a certain possible proportion in the

  63. 1 proceedings, and it considers that to be desirable.

    2 Mr. Hayman, let me reassure you, this is not

    3 because the Prosecutor only used 40 minutes that you

    4 are going to be given 40 minutes. I wanted to ask the

    5 registrar how much time could be used for you.

    6 After having spoken with my colleagues, we

    7 said that it would be reasonable to give you an hour

    8 and a half to question the witness and to ask him your

    9 questions. It goes almost without saying that after an

    10 hour and a half, we'll see where things stand. But

    11 once again, we're going to see where we are, not

    12 necessarily in respect of the interests of the

    13 Prosecution or the Defence but, rather, in respect of

    14 the Judges who must, in the end, make whatever ruling

    15 they consider necessary.

    16 Therefore, an hour and a half will be given

    17 to you. That is one hour now, and we will work for an

    18 hour, and you will have a half hour in the morning

    19 tomorrow.

    20 If anything is important that has to be

    21 further discussed, the Judges will decide, because as I

    22 said to you, it is not the cross-examination and the

    23 direct examination that are important, what is

    24 important for the Judges to have as much information as

    25 they can.

  64. 1 Having said this, I think that I have

    2 protected the interests of your client as much as you

    3 have.

    4 It is now 4.30. You can begin. And I thank

    5 my colleagues for the wise advice they continue to give

    6 me.

    7 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President and

    8 Your Honours, for your consideration of this matter.

    9 I have distributed Defence Exhibit 591. This

    10 is a new exhibit. It is in three volumes.

    11 There is an index to this exhibit. The index

    12 is at the beginning of Volume I, and Your Honours will

    13 see on the front page of the index, there is an index

    14 to the index. That's page 1, in outline form with

    15 Roman numerals, and the index to the index lists

    16 certain topics. This is at the beginning of Volume I

    17 of Exhibit D591. So if we're looking at a certain

    18 topic, we can go to that page of the index reflected on

    19 page 1. And then within the index, there is an index,

    20 topical-type index with tab numbers identified at the

    21 left and certain descriptions of the documents, the

    22 date of the document, the source of the document, and

    23 very importantly, whether the document is under seal.

    24 If "Yes" is in the "Under Seal" column in the index,

    25 that means that the document was provided pursuant to

  65. 1 Rule 70 and must only be discussed in closed or private

    2 session. There is a mix in these volumes of documents

    3 that must remain under seal and documents that are

    4 public.

    5 I will be endeavouring to ask the witness to

    6 comment on some but obviously not all of these

    7 exhibits.

    8 Examined by Mr. Hayman:

    9 Q. Colonel Stewart, good afternoon, and welcome

    10 to The Hague belatedly.

    11 A. Belatedly? Why belatedly?

    12 Q. Well, because you have been welcomed by

    13 others --

    14 A. I see.

    15 Q. -- and I didn't have an opportunity until now

    16 to welcome you.

    17 My name is Russell Hayman, and together with

    18 Anto Nobilo, we have represented General Blaskic,

    19 myself since the summer of 1996 and Mr. Nobilo a couple

    20 of months thereafter.

    21 A. And I've met you before.

    22 Q. We met a couple of years ago in London for a

    23 couple of hours; is that right?

    24 A. Correct.

    25 Q. I wasn't sure if you would remember. I

  66. 1 certainly remember my pleasant meeting with you.

    2 A. And I can remember my meeting with you.

    3 Q. Let me ask you about your contacts with the

    4 Prosecutor's Office. Have you had any contacts with

    5 their office since your written statement in 1995?

    6 A. Yes, I have, in the same way as you

    7 interviewed me.

    8 Q. Have you had any contacts with them in the

    9 last three months?

    10 A. No. In fact, I was surprised, because I

    11 thought at least I would be given some direction apart

    12 from the Judges' requirement for me to be here. So the

    13 answer is clearly "No." So I am unguided.

    14 MR. HAYMAN: If Exhibits D341 and D343 could

    15 be retrieved?

    16 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Mr. President.

    17 Mr. Harmon and I did meet with the witness sometime in

    18 March, I believe it was in March, and I believe that we

    19 informed Mr. Fourmy of that, and I believe it was

    20 brought to the Court's attention that we had done

    21 that. Thereafter, you --

    22 JUDGE JORDA: I mentioned the issue of

    23 interruptions to Mr. Hayman. I would like you to get

    24 out of your favourite procedural scheme that you're

    25 used to. This is not the same scheme. If you have

  67. 1 anything that you want to make clear, you can do that

    2 in your closing arguments.

    3 Mr. Hayman, please continue to ask your

    4 questions of the witness, as you like.

    5 MR. HAYMAN:

    6 Q. While those two exhibits are being pulled,

    7 Colonel, let me try and clarify something. You were

    8 called to a meeting in Zenica after the Totic

    9 kidnapping on the 15th of April, 1993; is that correct?

    10 A. Yes, that is correct.

    11 Q. Who called you and asked you to come to

    12 Zenica?

    13 A. To the best of my memory,(redacted).

    14 Q. (redacted)?

    15 A. Yes. I didn't want to go. But I had to go.

    16 Q. Now, you had a meeting on the 24th of April,

    17 1993, with Colonel Blaskic. This is after the letter

    18 exchange on the 22nd and 23rd. Is it correct that

    19 (redacted) was not at that meeting?

    20 A. I don't know.

    21 Q. Do you remember?

    22 A. I don't remember.

    23 Q. Can you look in your diary and see if your

    24 diary indicates whether (redacted) was at the

    25 meeting on 24 April, 1993? I believe it's the first

  68. 1 paragraph is the reference to that meeting.

    2 A. I can't see (redacted)'s name there.

    3 Q. So you agree, in your diary at least, there

    4 is no reference to (redacted) being there?

    5 A. Mm-hmm.

    6 Q. Now, a couple of pages later in your diary,

    7 on the 4th of May, 1993, at the top of the page, would

    8 you agree there is a reference to showing the ECMM

    9 ambassadors around and that:

    10 "When lunch was over, I took the ambassadors

    11 into Vitez and there met with Valentin and Blaskic."

    12 That's the first line of paragraph 4 on that

    13 page. Do you see that? This is the page above the 5th

    14 of May and the carry over from the 4th of May, starting

    15 on the prior page --

    16 A. You mean "When lunch was over," that

    17 paragraph?

    18 Q. "I took the ambassadors into Vitez and met

    19 with Valentin and Blaskic."

    20 A. Mm-hmm.

    21 Q. Now, was (redacted) with you on that

    22 occasion, 4 May, 1993, to the best of your

    23 recollection?

    24 A. I would assume he might be, but the fact of

    25 the matter is, if it's not in my diary, it is certainly

  69. 1 probably forgotten from my brain at this time.

    2 Q. Is it fair to say then you have no

    3 recollection other than possibly this meeting on the

    4 4th of May, 1993, prior to the 4th of May but after the

    5 Ahmici massacre, when you went to see Colonel Blaskic

    6 with (redacted)?

    7 A. I'm sorry, can you repeat the question?

    8 Q. Yes. From the time period of the Ahmici

    9 massacre --

    10 A. Mm-hmm.

    11 Q. -- to the 4th of May, which is noted in your

    12 diary --

    13 A. Mm-hmm.

    14 Q. -- do you recall any meeting where you took

    15 (redacted) with you to meet Colonel Blaskic?

    16 A. In my memory, no. Maybe it is in the diary,

    17 but I'm not a computer.

    18 Q. I understand. It's been many years. If you

    19 see anything overnight that suggests there was a

    20 meeting that (redacted) had with Colonel

    21 Blaskic before the 4th of May, 1993, please bring it to

    22 the Court's attention. I would ask you to do that.

    23 If Defence Exhibit D341 could be provided to

    24 the witness, and perhaps the French could be put on the

    25 ELMO?

  70. 1 You said that you were not aware of any order

    2 to investigate the Ahmici massacre before your

    3 departure from the theatre on or about the 10th of May.

    4 A. That's correct.

    5 Q. You have before you Defence Exhibit D341,

    6 which is an order dated the 10th of May, 1993, to

    7 conduct an investigation into events in the village of

    8 Ahmici from Colonel Blaskic. Have you seen this

    9 before?

    10 A. No. And I would note the time on that

    11 document is 5.00. By 5.00, I was almost in Split.

    12 Q. You were gone. Is that right?

    13 A. I think so.

    14 Q. After you left the theatre, did you have any

    15 means of keeping abreast with what efforts Colonel

    16 Blaskic either was or was not making to investigate the

    17 massacre in Ahmici?

    18 A. Not direct to Colonel Blaskic. Of course, I

    19 requested frequently from the British military as to

    20 what was happening.

    21 Q. Did they brief you on Defence Exhibit 341?

    22 A. This one here?

    23 Q. Yes.

    24 A. No.

    25 Q. If you could now look at Defence Exhibit 343,

  71. 1 a follow-up order dated 17 August, 1993, directing

    2 further investigation and setting a deadline in another

    3 30 days' time.

    4 Is this an order you were briefed on, if you

    5 can say, by your government, after your departure from

    6 the theatre on or about 10 May, 1993?

    7 A. No, it's not, but I notice it's four months

    8 after the event. I mean, I demanded instant action and

    9 nothing happened, and by the time I left on the 10th of

    10 May, no action had been taken. In such instances, in a

    11 fast-moving situation, one would expect and require

    12 professional officers to take action quickly, and

    13 giving me documents at the time, you know, 5.00, after

    14 I have left and sort of four months later, I personally

    15 think that's way too late. It doesn't in any way

    16 exonerate the fact that action should have been taken

    17 immediately. It was not taken immediately.

    18 Q. Colonel Stewart, if you could listen to my

    19 questions, it will facilitate this examination, and try

    20 and answer my questions?

    21 My question was: Were you briefed on Defence

    22 Exhibit 343 by your government or was it otherwise

    23 brought to your attention after your departure from the

    24 theatre?

    25 A. Well, my answer is "No."

  72. 1 Q. Now I would like to go back to your entry

    2 into the theatre. Let me ask you first: Your diary,

    3 does it contain, the copy you have, the same date stamp

    4 numbers that mine do in the lower right-hand corner or

    5 only upper right-hand corner numbers?

    6 A. It contains neither. It is my own diary.

    7 Q. Very well. I will give you dates and

    8 paragraphs to assist you to refer to your diary for

    9 sake of speed.

    10 Directing your attention to your diary, the

    11 entry for October 18, 1992, and specifically directing

    12 your attention to the beginning of the fourth

    13 paragraph, is it correct that as you travelled north

    14 from Tomislavgrad towards Vitez on the 18th of October,

    15 1992, that about 5 kilometres south of Novi Travnik,

    16 you came upon a roadblock blocking the road, manned by

    17 the Territorial Defence?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. Thank you. Now, if you could go two pages

    20 further in your diary to the entries for 20 October,

    21 1992, and I would direct your attention to the third

    22 full paragraph. It's the fourth paragraph if you

    23 include the partial paragraph at the top of the page.

    24 On this date, you describe you went to Novi

    25 Travnik; correct?

  73. 1 A. Mm-hmm, yes.

    2 Q. And you went to the Cafe Grand and saw

    3 Mr. Kordic and some HVO soldiers.

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. Was Colonel Blaskic there?

    6 A. No.

    7 Q. Is it correct that when you got back in the

    8 early morning hours of the next day and you saw Colonel

    9 Blaskic, that he was in civilian clothes and that you

    10 concluded he had been wearing civilian clothes because

    11 he probably had been trying to get into Novi Travnik

    12 dressed as a civilian?

    13 A. I think that was my conclusion at the time

    14 because it was not easy to get into Novi Travnik.

    15 Q. There was a lot of fighting, a lot of

    16 checkpoints, and so forth?

    17 A. Well, we came under fire, so I'm quite sure

    18 that anyone else would have come under similar fire,

    19 from all sides.

    20 Q. Do you remember, after the fall of Jajce, the

    21 mutiny that occurred among the HVO soldiers from the

    22 Tomislavgrad area who had been manning the front at

    23 Jajce?

    24 A. I remember it.

    25 Q. Can you describe it for the Court, please?

  74. 1 A. Yes. This was an occasion when, to the best

    2 of my knowledge, there seemed to be a mutiny of HVO

    3 soldiers who seem to have come from the area of

    4 Tomislavgrad. They refused to soldier, what we call in

    5 the military "refuse to soldier."

    6 I had the greatest sympathy for Tihomir

    7 Blaskic because it seemed to me that he was trying to

    8 command an operational area with reinforcements from

    9 outside that area, yet these guys were withdrawing, and

    10 he had a serious problem and a problem that I am lucky

    11 to say has never happened to me. So I had sympathy for

    12 him.

    13 Q. Now, these soldiers, although native to the

    14 Tomislavgrad area, they had been at the front against

    15 the Serbs in Jajce, is that right, as far as you

    16 understood?

    17 A. Yes, the Bosnian Serbs, as far as I

    18 understood. Not necessarily in Jajce but in the

    19 village of Turbe and Travnik, and they were jointly

    20 defending that area, as I understood it, with the

    21 Bosnian Muslim army.

    22 Q. Was this a large group?

    23 A. Yeah, it was. It seemed to be a large group

    24 of people because they spent, you know, at least a day

    25 or two sitting on tractors ready to go, and they were

  75. 1 right the way through Vitez. It was an extremely

    2 embarrassing moment, I think, for the HVO.

    3 Q. Do you know ultimately, was Colonel Blaskic

    4 able to direct them as a military unit, or did they do

    5 what they wanted to do and did they leave the area?

    6 A. I think it would be fair to say they departed

    7 the area, scuttled out.

    8 Q. Now let me ask you about the conflict in

    9 January of 1993, and I would direct your attention to

    10 the 25th of January, 1993. In the middle of the bottom

    11 paragraph on that page, it is written:

    12 "I visited ICRC and then went to the

    13 commander of the 3rd Corps, BiH army. I complained

    14 that they had really started this trouble."

    15 Have you found that?

    16 A. No, I have not.

    17 Q. Okay. The entry for the 25th of January

    18 begins on one page, there are three lines, then it

    19 carries over to the next page. At the bottom of that

    20 next page, in the middle of the paragraph there is a

    21 reference to your visiting who I assume was

    22 General Hadzihasanovic and complaining to him that the

    23 conflict in January really had been started by the BH

    24 army.

    25 Do you recall those events? If you need me

  76. 1 to direct you to the actual event itself, I can do so.

    2 A. Yes. Direct me to the event itself, because

    3 I'm quite prepared to accept that there might have

    4 been -- that might have happened.

    5 Q. At the beginning of that same day there is a

    6 reference to an attack in Kacuni and the death of two

    7 HVO soldiers. That's at the third and fourth lines

    8 under that date.

    9 A. I'm so sorry?

    10 Q. The third and fourth lines under the date

    11 25 January.

    12 A. Oh, yes. I see. Yes.

    13 Q. To the best of your recollection, when you

    14 spoke to General Hadzihasanovic and said, "You, the BH

    15 army, you started the conflict in January in Busovaca,"

    16 were you referring to that ambush and killing?

    17 A. Yes, I probably was. You know, I was very --

    18 I tried to be as even-handed as I could be and,

    19 certainly, let's get this clear, I was not in any way

    20 supporting any particular side.

    21 Q. I know it's a bit awkward, but when you

    22 answer my questions, please direct your answer to the

    23 Trial Chamber.

    24 A. I'm sorry, Your Honour.

    25 Q. When the Busovaca-Kiseljak road was cut or

  77. 1 severed as a result of that January conflict, was

    2 Colonel Blaskic trapped in Kiseljak? If you need to

    3 refer to your book, on page 234 there is a reference on

    4 this subject.

    5 A. I haven't got my book. But it's possible.

    6 Q. Fine. We'll move on. Now, in your diary,

    7 three pages further on, on the 1st of February there's

    8 a reference to visiting a warehouse about two

    9 kilometres off the road near Kacuni and finding in

    10 cells certain ICRC personnel, Claire, and Dennis, and

    11 Amela. They were interviewing about 30 Croats. "One,

    12 at least, was very old. The place was freezing cold

    13 and Clare complained about it. The detainees must have

    14 been really cold."

    15 Was this near Kacuni, off the road, as far as

    16 you remember?

    17 A. I know where it was. I'll look at a map.

    18 This is my operational map, Your Honour.

    19 Q. Was it the place known as the Silos, south of

    20 the road near Kacuni? Doing that help at all?

    21 A. I don't know what it was. It was a revolting

    22 place. But if you want to question me further, I can

    23 remember the place --

    24 Q. Okay. Please take your time. Take a look.

    25 A. Yes, somewhere south of Kacuni.

  78. 1 Q. So on the 1st of February, 1993, there are 30

    2 Croat prisoners -- by the way, were some of them

    3 civilians?

    4 A. They were all that sort of -- they were old

    5 people and young people. It was a mixture.

    6 Q. Where had they come from?

    7 A. Don't ask me. I don't know where they'd come

    8 from. I just knew they were there and I didn't like

    9 it.

    10 Q. Do you have any reason to believe they came

    11 from the area between Kacuni and Bilalovac that had

    12 been taken over by the BH army?

    13 A. No. I didn't know where they'd come from.

    14 I'd just said that. But it's possible. It seemed

    15 logical.

    16 Q. Now let's move forward in time to the middle

    17 of April 1993. There were some kidnappings of HVO

    18 officers and soldiers in the days before the 15th of

    19 April. Do you recall those kidnappings?

    20 A. Not offhand. Is it in my diary?

    21 Q. There are various references. You recall no

    22 kidnappings of HVO officers prior to the Totic

    23 kidnapping on the 15th of April. Is that your best

    24 recollection now?

    25 A. That is my best recollection now.

  79. 1 Q. Let me direct your attention then to the 15th

    2 of April and to your diary entry. You went to a

    3 meeting in Zenica and the Totic kidnapping was

    4 discussed, correct?

    5 A. No, it was the reason for the meeting.

    6 Q. Yes. Exactly. Because this was a serious

    7 incident.

    8 A. It was a very serious incident, which I

    9 considered I had to go and attend simply because I was

    10 fully aware that if this kidnapping was not resolved,

    11 it seemed to me the whole of the Lasva Valley would

    12 erupt.

    13 Q. Now, on the 15th, did the BH army take the

    14 position in this meeting that the Totic kidnapping was

    15 not their problem and that the civil authorities were

    16 responsible for any investigation?

    17 A. To the best of my recollection, that is a

    18 position not far off the truth. I mean, I seem to

    19 remember that at this meeting that Merdan, and I

    20 questioned him and I told him to his face I thought it

    21 was appalling and that, you know, something had to be

    22 done, and I seem to remember him saying it was a matter

    23 for the chief of police or something, something like

    24 that. I can't remember exactly, but I remember being

    25 angry about it and saying I was very, very unhappy

  80. 1 about this.

    2 Q. Would you agree, and I'm reading from page

    3 281 of your book: "This kidnap of a senior Croat

    4 officer in a Muslim stronghold created a terribly

    5 volatile atmosphere"?

    6 A. I would agree with that.

    7 Q. Indeed, there was another meeting the

    8 following day in Zenica regarding the Totic kidnapping;

    9 is that correct?

    10 A. Yes, that is correct.

    11 Q. Again, the BH army took the same position,

    12 this was not their affair, or did they even show up to

    13 that meeting? Do you remember?

    14 A. I think Merdan was there but my diary will

    15 have noted that, and I'm not that au fait with my diary

    16 to know anything different.

    17 Q. Very well. We'll move forward, and if

    18 Volume II of Defence Exhibit 591 can be provided to the

    19 witness. I'd like you to turn to tab 89 of that

    20 exhibit. This is a milinfosum dated 15 April, 1993,

    21 and my interest lies in paragraph 2, "Vitez" --

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Could we have the exact

    23 reference, please? It's 89, is it?

    24 MR. HAYMAN: Tab 89 in Volume 2, Defence

    25 Exhibit 591.

  81. 1 JUDGE JORDA: I've got it. Thank you. Thank

    2 you.

    3 MR. HAYMAN: Cheshire milinfosum dated 15

    4 April 19 --

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, I have it, yes.

    6 Thank you.

    7 MR. HAYMAN: Which means it would have been

    8 drafted on the evening of the 15th of April, after

    9 certain events during the day.

    10 Q. Have you had a chance to look at paragraph 2,

    11 the Vitez paragraph, Colonel?

    12 A. I'm looking at it now.

    13 Q. All right. Take your time.

    14 A. Okay.

    15 Q. Do you remember receiving word, either on the

    16 night of the 15th or the morning of the 16th, that as a

    17 result of two missing BiH soldiers the BiH, that is the

    18 army of BiH in Vitez, on the night of the 15th, was

    19 threatening retaliatory action against the HVO unless

    20 the two officers were found?

    21 A. No, I don't recall that. I remember another

    22 thing, I didn't read these. They may have gone to my

    23 staff, but I was very stressed at the time and

    24 customarily I would not necessarily read a milinfosum.

    25 Q. But you would attend the evening briefing?

  82. 1 A. Correct. I would attend the evening briefing

    2 if I was in location, which I normally was not,

    3 certainly at this time.

    4 MR. HAYMAN: Now, Mr. President, I'd like to

    5 go to a portion of tab 92, which is under seal. So we

    6 need a private session. We won't put it on the ELMO.

    7 I think Your Honours each have a copy. The Prosecutor

    8 has a copy. We don't need to go to closed session, we

    9 simply need a private session for a moment. May we do

    10 that?

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. All right. Private

    12 session for a few moments. I'm saying this for the

    13 public gallery.

    14 (Private session)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  83. 1












    13 Pages 23801-23803 redacted-Private session













  84. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (Open session)

    9 MR. HAYMAN:

    10 Q. I'm referring to an event that you described

    11 as follows, referencing a priest in the area. This is

    12 the bottom of page 288:

    13 "I told him what we had found at Cajdras and

    14 Podbrdze. It was obvious that almost a thousand Croats

    15 had been driven from their homes by the fighting."

    16 Did you, in fact, see that on or about the

    17 19th of April, large groups of Croats who had been

    18 driven out of their homes?

    19 A. I didn't only see it, they were blocking the

    20 road and they didn't want me to go.

    21 MR. HAYMAN: In fact, there's a picture in

    22 the Colonel's book. I'd like to put it on the ELMO and

    23 see if it comes out on the screen so the court can see

    24 this event.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, go ahead.

  85. 1 MR. HAYMAN: If we can enlarge the picture

    2 slightly, please. Thank you.

    3 Q. Colonel, I apologise for leaning over your

    4 shoulder, but in the interests of time, do you

    5 recognise this photograph?

    6 A. Yes, do I.

    7 Q. That's you, isn't it, in the middle of the

    8 picture?

    9 A. Unfortunately, yes.

    10 Q. From the rear.

    11 A. From the rear. What a lousy view.

    12 Q. And who are all these people standing around

    13 in front of your Warrior?

    14 A. These are Bosnian Croat civilians.

    15 Q. How did they come to be there on or about the

    16 19th of April, 1993?

    17 A. Some of them had been driven from their homes

    18 and they were at that village, Cajdras, and the man

    19 that was talking on their behalf was the most amazing

    20 man, who was a priest, who convinced me that I had to

    21 do something to protect these people.

    22 Q. Was that Father Stjepan?

    23 A. I don't know his name. I just know that I

    24 had the deepest respect for the man.

    25 Q. I think there's already been testimony on

  86. 1 that from the party you've referred to.

    2 MR. HAYMAN: Is it possible to take a picture

    3 of a picture, Mr. President?

    4 THE INTERPRETER: Would Mr. Hayman speak into

    5 the microphone?

    6 MR. HAYMAN: They're raising their hands --

    7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The interpreter asked

    8 you to speak into the microphone.

    9 MR. HAYMAN: I apologise to the

    10 interpretation booth. I was asking the technical booth

    11 if it was possible to take a picture of this picture.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Which means that if the usher

    13 wants to do his job probably, it's very difficult,

    14 Mr. Hayman, to speak that way. You have take charge of

    15 the book, which will allow Mr. Hayman to express

    16 himself more easily. Lower the light a little bit on

    17 the projector.

    18 THE REGISTRAR: The video booth said that

    19 yes, a photograph can be made but not immediately.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Mr. Hayman, the

    21 photograph will be made and we'll have a reference

    22 number.

    23 THE REGISTRAR: It will be D593.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you.

    25 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you.

  87. 1 Q. Now, later on --

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Please proceed.

    3 MR. HAYMAN:

    4 Q. -- that day, Colonel Blaskic phoned you or

    5 spoke to you through an interpreter, I think you said

    6 you weren't sure, and pleaded with you to do what you

    7 could for the safety of these people; is that correct?

    8 A. Yes, I think it is.

    9 Q. Do you think he was sincere in that request,

    10 or was he trying to inflame passions and drive people

    11 out of their homes? What do you think?

    12 A. I think he was sincere and I appreciated

    13 that, and therefore, I was determined to do something.

    14 I've already given evidence to that effect.

    15 Q. Yes, you have. Thank you. Now I would like

    16 to direct your attention again back to your diary, and

    17 the date reference is 29 April.

    18 This is a reference to a visit by you and

    19 Generals Halilovic and Petkovic to a portion of the

    20 Kiseljak municipality for the purpose of trying to

    21 further implement the cease-fire agreement.

    22 Do you see in the middle of the second full

    23 paragraph that you describe a visit to a village called

    24 Gomionica?

    25 A. Yes, I do.

  88. 1 Q. Were there troops from the BH army in

    2 Gomionica on the 29th of April, 1993, and did General

    3 Halilovic meet with them and speak with them?

    4 A. My diary says it did, and as I wrote it at

    5 the time, I believe that to be the case.

    6 Q. And those troops were about a mile northeast

    7 from the road up in the village of Gomionica; correct?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Thank you. Now I'd like to direct your

    10 attention two pages further on in your diary to the

    11 carry over entry for the 5th of May, 1993, and the

    12 specific reference is the first full paragraph

    13 regarding a visit to a BH army prison in Poculica that

    14 you made together with the International Committee for

    15 the Red Cross on 5 May, 1993.

    16 Have you found that entry towards the top of

    17 the page I'm referencing?

    18 A. Yes. Is it during the afternoon or is it --

    19 Q. The end of the day because it grew dark, and

    20 that's the factual point I'll be asking you about.

    21 On that day, did you go, in the early

    22 evening, to Poculica and find that the BH army had

    23 interned about 20 Croat men, and was the purpose of

    24 your visit to try and secure their release together

    25 with the ICRC?

  89. 1 A. Of course. I didn't like anyone imprisoned

    2 by any side.

    3 Q. Did it take some wrangling and persuading to

    4 persuade the keeper of these prisoners to release them?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. And ultimately were they convinced to release

    7 them?

    8 A. Can I just read?

    9 Q. Yes, of course.

    10 A. "Yes" is the answer, and they did it because

    11 I asked them to do. Otherwise, I wouldn't have written

    12 it.

    13 Q. Was there a technical problem with securing

    14 their release on that day, the 5th of May, 1993?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Can you explain that to the Court?

    17 A. The technical problem was that it was too

    18 dangerous to take them out in night because we didn't

    19 want them to be hurt by people firing at them.

    20 Q. And was that a condition that the ICRC quite

    21 reasonably imposed on the release of prisoners and

    22 detained persons, that release had to occur in a safe

    23 environment?

    24 A. I don't know. I can't remember.

    25 Q. Was that the case on this occasion?

  90. 1 A. As I say, I can't remember. It's possible.

    2 Q. Well, was it your idea that they should not

    3 be released or was it the ICRC's view that they could

    4 not do such a release at such a dangerous time?

    5 A. It seems, according to my diary, it was the

    6 ICRC, but I cannot remember from my mind.

    7 Q. But you agree your contemporaneous diary

    8 reflects that that was the ICRC's position; is that

    9 correct?

    10 A. I think that's fair enough.

    11 Q. Thank you. Now, directing your attention to

    12 the next page, there's a reference to meeting

    13 Mr. Valenta. That's on the 7th of May, 1993. I would

    14 direct your attention to line 4. You and Alastair

    15 Duncan went to see Anto Valenta, and is it correct that

    16 "I hadn't seen very much of this character before as I

    17 simply didn't know he existed. In fact, his office had

    18 been in Travnik until recently."

    19 A. That's what he said.

    20 Q. Had you seen him before in the Hotel Vitez?

    21 A. To the best of my knowledge, no.

    22 Q. And that was as of the 7th of May, 1993; is

    23 that correct?

    24 A. Correct. Could I just add something? This

    25 man, Valenta, sort of appeared like a joker to me. I

  91. 1 had no knowledge of him before about this period.

    2 Q. Did he have use --

    3 A. A joker coming out of the pack, I mean.

    4 Someone who has suddenly sprung up.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Please face the Judges when you

    6 answer, if you don't mind?

    7 A. I'm so sorry.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: I know that it isn't easy, but

    9 try. Thank you very much.

    10 Mr. Hayman, please proceed.

    11 MR. HAYMAN:

    12 Q. Now, directing your attention to the last

    13 page of your diary. On the 9th of May, you took

    14 Alastair Duncan and introduced him to Colonel Blaskic;

    15 is that right?

    16 A. Yes. So my statement earlier was incorrect

    17 insofar as this is the last time I saw Tihomir

    18 Blaskic. I'm sorry for that, Your Honour. But my

    19 diary is right; my memory's wrong.

    20 Q. Can you describe the conversation on that

    21 occasion? Was it a courtesy call or was there

    22 substantive conversation, and if so, what was it?

    23 A. Alastair Duncan was with me. Prior to our

    24 meeting with Tihomir Blaskic, to the best of my memory,

    25 we decided that I would be hard, as I was leaving, and

  92. 1 he would say little.

    2 I was particularly concerned that nothing had

    3 happened about the massacre of Ahmici and in the Lasva

    4 Valley, and I think that at this meeting I challenged

    5 Tihomir Blaskic on the matter of who was in command,

    6 who was responsible for the soldiers of the HVO, and I

    7 believe, to the best of my recollection, although it is

    8 not in my diary, when he confirmed that he was the

    9 commander, I believe that I said to him words to the

    10 effect that he will one day appear in court.

    11 That is what I think happened at that

    12 meeting, and I believe that Alastair Duncan was present

    13 when it happened. I have not talked to Alastair Duncan

    14 about this matter, so I do not know whether my mind is

    15 playing tricks on me. But to the best of my memory,

    16 that is the way I took that meeting.

    17 I'm not sure when -- it says "Kordic turned

    18 up." I'm quite sure that we drank toasts as well. And

    19 I also seem to remember, and my diary confirms that,

    20 that the ICRC were present, and I did not make such

    21 statements until they had departed. It was only after

    22 they had gone because I was conscious of trying to

    23 avoid being entangled or them associated with something

    24 that I was going to say.

    25 Q. Let me switch to another occasion and then

  93. 1 we'll come back to the 9th of May.

    2 In your book at page 310, you recounted a

    3 meeting with Dario Kordic in which Mr. Kordic had

    4 suggested that the Serbs had been responsible for

    5 Ahmici. Do you recall that?

    6 A. I do.

    7 Q. I take it you find that an incredible

    8 explanation.

    9 A. Well, yes. I just -- I remember laughing

    10 myself sick.

    11 Q. Would you agree that Colonel Blaskic never

    12 made such an explanation to you for Ahmici?

    13 A. I would definitely agree that Colonel Blaskic

    14 never made such a statement to me, that the Serbs were

    15 responsible for that action, which, of course, goes to

    16 show, you know, that Kordic was not a soldier;

    17 otherwise, he would not have made such an outrageous

    18 statement.

    19 Q. Now, that same day, demonstrating the kind of

    20 balance you had spoken of, you paid a visit on General

    21 Hadzihasanovic. Do you see that in the last page of

    22 your diary, for 9 May, 1993?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. Did you note, on the 9th of May, that:

    25 "Apparently there are still some perhaps 300 plus HVO

  94. 1 prisoners in Zenica which isn't too good and displeases

    2 Claire as the HVO have released all their prisoners in

    3 Vitez."

    4 A. Yes, I agree. I remember that Claire was

    5 extremely angry that her part, which was working with

    6 the HVO, she had got all the people that were required

    7 to be released out, and I remember she was displeased

    8 because she felt the ICRC had not done their job in

    9 Zenica.

    10 Q. Let me ask the registrar to please distribute

    11 Defence Exhibit 592. This is an article from Reuters

    12 dated April 24th, 1993, Vitez, headline "Croat

    13 Commander Promises Inquiry Into Family's Death."

    14 Why don't you take a moment to review this,

    15 paying particular attention to the person being

    16 reviewed and whether the name is correct?

    17 If the registrar could be pulling Exhibit 340

    18 while we're discussing Exhibit D592, I would be

    19 appreciative.

    20 Does this article in part recount an

    21 interview with you, Colonel Stewart?

    22 A. I'm confused by the article, Your Honour, but

    23 I suppose it must have been with me. Brian Watters was

    24 my second in command.

    25 Q. The reference at the beginning of paragraph 2

  95. 1 to, "Colonel Bob Waters, commander of British U.N.

    2 forces in Vitez," would you agree that that's actually

    3 a reference to you and not to Lieutenant-Colonel

    4 Watters?

    5 A. He was a Major at the time. I'm not sure of

    6 which way to go, but I would suspect it was Colonel Bob

    7 Stewart.

    8 Q. Let me ask you about the third paragraph, and

    9 I'll read the prior paragraph so that it can be fully

    10 translated -- well, I'll start at the top:

    11 "A Croatian commander has acknowledged that

    12 the area where a family was brutally burned to death in

    13 a predominantly Muslim village was under his command, a

    14 British U.N. military spokesman said on Saturday.

    15 "Colonel Bob Waters, commander of British

    16 U.N. forces in Vitez in Central Bosnia, said that he

    17 had protested to the commander of Bosnian Croat forces

    18 in the region, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, and demanded

    19 action against the perpetrators."

    20 Again, this is on the 24th -- the story is

    21 dated 24 April, 1993.

    22 "I asked Colonel Blaskic if the HVO (Croat

    23 militia) were responsible, and he said, 'It did happen

    24 in his area,' Waters said. 'I am clear he is

    25 absolutely horrified at what has taken place.'"

  96. 1 Is that correct, Colonel, that on the 24th of

    2 April, 1993, you were clear -- it was clear in your

    3 mind that Colonel Blaskic was absolutely horrified at

    4 what had occurred Ahmici?

    5 A. I think that confirms what I said earlier,

    6 that I had the impression that he was upset by what had

    7 happened.

    8 Q. The word earlier used was "shocked," and I

    9 wanted to be more precise, and thank you for confirming

    10 this account.

    11 Now, on down the page, before we leave D592,

    12 there is a discussion of an investigative tribunal, and

    13 here your name is used with respect to the quotation:

    14 "Stewart said he wrote to Blaskic demanding

    15 action against those responsible for the killings and

    16 was told that a tribunal would be set up to

    17 investigate.

    18 'But I said that for (the tribunal) to have

    19 any credence, the Muslims must also be represented,'

    20 Stewart said."

    21 Is that accurate?

    22 A. I'm not sure it's entirely accurate. I'm not

    23 sure that we agreed that a tribunal be set up, I can't

    24 remember that, but I remember asking for it, as I

    25 earlier testified, and I already remember insisting

  97. 1 that the Bosnian Muslim representation should be on

    2 that tribunal.

    3 Q. Was there a meeting at which the HVO and the

    4 BH army was present at a high level to discuss the

    5 formation of a joint commission to investigate Ahmici?

    6 A. I cannot recall.

    7 Q. Do you know whether, after you received

    8 Colonel Blaskic's letter of the 23rd of April, 1993,

    9 did you speak with (readcted) about possible

    10 ECMM assistance in an investigation, a joint multiparty

    11 investigation of Ahmici?

    12 A. I can't recall it, but it's exactly what I

    13 would have done without the (redacted), because the

    14 ECMM, I felt, were more appropriate to investigate such

    15 a matter.

    16 Q. When you met with Colonel Blaskic on the 24th

    17 of April, didn't he agree that something positive, in

    18 the nature of an investigation, did need to be done?

    19 A. I don't know. I can't recall. But I would

    20 hope that he did. I can't recall exactly -- well, I

    21 can't recall, is the answer, Your Honour. I would hope

    22 he would have said that.

    23 Q. Based on what you know about him, do you

    24 think it's likely that he would have wanted an

    25 investigation?

  98. 1 A. Yes, I think it is likely that he would have

    2 wanted an investigation, but I don't know what

    3 happened, what orders he gave, because certainly

    4 nothing happened during my time in Bosnia --

    5 JUDGE JORDA: I'd like to have the last part

    6 reinterpreted. What was your question? Would you ask

    7 your question again, please? According to what you

    8 know about Colonel Blaskic, do you think that he would

    9 have or that he did? I'm asking the interpreter to

    10 clarify it for me. And the answer seems not to be the

    11 same to me. What is the answer to that? Would you

    12 give us your answer again, please, Colonel Stewart,

    13 whether he would have or whether he did?

    14 A. I don't know whether he did. I think he

    15 would have. But I never saw any evidence, Your Honour,

    16 of any action as a follow-up. As I say, Your Honour,

    17 this man, until this time, was someone I respected.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Well, you said that. All

    19 right. Thank you. Please continue, Mr. Hayman.

    20 MR. HAYMAN:

    21 Q. Now, I take it that what then happened was

    22 the U.N. Commission for Human Rights dispatched certain

    23 investigators to the area, and they, in fact, conducted

    24 an investigation; is that right?

    25 A. Yes. They were there very quickly, Your

  99. 1 Honour. I was surprised by the speed with which they

    2 were there, within a couple of days, as I recall.

    3 Their names were Thomas Osorio and Payam Akhavan, and

    4 Mr. Osorio spoke Croatian, Serbian, whatever you want

    5 to call it, fluently.

    6 Q. And they went to Zenica, or one of them, and

    7 interviewed persons who fled or victims; correct?

    8 A. That's correct.

    9 Q. And they made an inspection at the scene?

    10 A. That's correct. They also asked me to

    11 investigate house number 7, and house number 7 was

    12 where we found further remains, as I recall dogs eating

    13 the bodies when we got there.

    14 Q. Are they the ones that, on or about the 4th

    15 of May, told you that, in their view, the civil

    16 government of the HVO in Vitez and Tihomir Blaskic were

    17 guilty of something?

    18 A. They probably are, but that was also my own

    19 opinion.

    20 Q. And they told you that they had gathered four

    21 names as suspects, possible perpetrators; correct?

    22 A. That is correct.

    23 Q. Did you meet with those individuals,

    24 Mr. Osorio and Mr. Akhavan, on the 4th of May, 1993,

    25 and was it agreed that that information, the four

  100. 1 suspects, those names would not be shared with Colonel

    2 Blaskic or the HVO?

    3 A. I certainly met with them. I don't know

    4 whether the date was accurate. I certainly checked

    5 with them that I could make public the names, to the

    6 appropriate authorities, and I discussed with them

    7 whether, in fact, we should make this publicly aware to

    8 everyone. I do not recall that we decided absolutely

    9 not to give the names to the HVO, but I think I

    10 probably said I would not give the names to the HVO,

    11 and my decision was probably that.

    12 Q. Take a look at --

    13 A. I'll tell you why I did that as well, because

    14 I wanted -- if they were suspicious, if people were

    15 suspicious, I didn't want them to disappear.

    16 Q. Take a look at your diary, if you would, for

    17 May 4th, the carry over page, the bottom of the second

    18 paragraph. Do you see the line, "I agreed," and this

    19 is in the context of speaking to these gentlemen:

    20 "I agreed to raise the matter with Valentin

    21 and Blaskic without giving them names."

    22 A. Okay. Yeah.

    23 Q. So it was discussed, and that was the

    24 agreement; is that right?

    25 A. I think that's more accurate than what I've

  101. 1 just said, but that's fundamentally the same gist.

    2 Q. Is that because Colonel Blaskic, by the 4th

    3 of May, had become the target or a target of an

    4 investigation into who was responsible for the Ahmici

    5 massacre?

    6 A. Absolutely not. At the time, at that period,

    7 I was more concerned with actually who had done it on

    8 the ground. I wanted those people brought to justice

    9 as soon as possible. And the fact of the matter was,

    10 in my mind, and it's not in any diary, in my mind, I

    11 was not accusing Tihomir Blaskic of anything. Quite

    12 the reverse. At the time, I wanted him to help his

    13 cause, the HVO cause, by getting those responsible

    14 brought to justice, and if you will recall, in my

    15 evidence -- in that evidence, I repeatedly said, "This

    16 will go against the HVO if this is not investigated

    17 properly."

    18 Q. Then why not give the names of the HVO

    19 members to Colonel Blaskic so he could have them

    20 arrested and detained?

    21 A. Simply because I didn't want those people to

    22 disappear, and that probably was what I thought at the

    23 time.

    24 Q. So it was your and the ECMM view that Colonel

    25 Blaskic could not be trusted with this information, so

  102. 1 you wouldn't give it to him; is that right?

    2 A. I think that's probably true.

    3 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, would this be a

    4 convenient point to break?

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, it would. We will resume

    6 tomorrow morning at 9.00.

    7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

    8 5.30 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,

    9 the 18th day of June, 1999, at 9.00 a.m.