1. 1 Friday, 18th June, 1999

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 9.09 a.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar,

    5 please have the accused brought in. Good morning to

    6 the interpreters. Make sure that they're there. I

    7 hope they're in great shape. Let's have the witness

    8 brought in as well.

    9 (The accused entered court)

    10 (The witness entered court)

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel Stewart, can you hear

    12 me?

    13 THE WITNESS: Yes.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Are you rested? Are you okay?

    15 THE WITNESS: Yes. Thank you.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Well, good morning to

    17 both parties, and without further ado I'll now give you

    18 the floor, Mr. Hayman. You have another half hour,

    19 Mr. Hayman.

    20 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Your Honour. Good morning.


    22 [A witness called by the Trial Chamber]

    23 Examined by Mr. Hayman:

    24 Q. Good morning, Colonel Stewart.

    25 A. Good morning, Mr. Hayman.

  2. 1 Q. I don't have a lot of questions but I have a

    2 lot of questions to ask in 30 minutes because there are

    3 a few documents that I'd also, in the course of this

    4 half hour, ask you to review, so if you'll help me in

    5 that regard, I think we'll finish on time.

    6 Was the HVO, during your tour of duty

    7 comparable, in your judgment, to a professional NATO

    8 army in terms of its capabilities?

    9 A. No, it was not.

    10 Q. Can you explain?

    11 A. It didn't have -- it did, for a start -- I've

    12 already explained in my testimony, Your Honour, that to

    13 start with it didn't have the rank structure that a

    14 normal professional NATO army would have, and from that

    15 also, of course, it didn't have the command and control

    16 that was exactly the same as ours. For example, I'm

    17 quite sure the communications were not as good as our

    18 own, although I have to say, in Central Bosnia word got

    19 round much quicker via the HVO net than it sometimes

    20 did on my own command information centre.

    21 Q. Did they have the type of equipment that a

    22 professional NATO army would have in terms of

    23 transport, weaponry, trained personnel to operate those

    24 types of things?

    25 A. No, they did not, but they were better than

  3. 1 the BiH.

    2 Q. What about the level of training and

    3 discipline of the soldiers? Could you equate them to a

    4 professional NATO standard?

    5 A. Of course I could not because many of the

    6 soldiers hadn't been soldiers. But Colonel Blaskic

    7 had, of course, and some of his officers had, but the

    8 rank and file, most certainly the majority of them had

    9 not.

    10 Q. Would you agree, to this day, to the

    11 statement in your book and, again, when I refer to your

    12 book, I'm referring to "Broken Lives," a book authored

    13 by Colonel Stewart after the war, at the top of page

    14 319 and I quote:

    15 "Even the differentiation between military

    16 and civilian is impossible. Bosnia is undergoing a

    17 classic civil war fought by civilians against

    18 civilians. A civilian one point is a soldier the

    19 next."

    20 Do you agree?

    21 A. Yes, I do.

    22 Q. What is the effect on the ability of an army

    23 to pass commands down the chain and send reports up if

    24 you have untrained civilians filling in some, at least,

    25 of those various positions in the chain? Can you

  4. 1 explain?

    2 A. Well, not easily. If they're untrained

    3 civilians, they might be very well trained in

    4 telecommunications. Certainly if you're suggesting

    5 that it was very difficult for commands to be passed

    6 between the Hotel Vitez and subordinate headquarters, I

    7 would dispute that. I would say that that was

    8 relatively easy to do for the HVO.

    9 Q. What happens though when an order gets

    10 communicated or if an order is supposed to be

    11 communicated to the brigade, to the company, to the

    12 platoon, to the squad, to the group, if you don't have

    13 trained officers passing those commands down the line?

    14 What can happen?

    15 A. Well, of course, it could happen, but you

    16 wouldn't necessarily need trained officers, you need

    17 people who can communicate. Just because you're an

    18 officer doesn't mean you can't pass on information.

    19 But under the circumstances at the time, as I've

    20 already indicated, the HVO state of training, in my

    21 opinion, was not as good as the North Atlantic Treaty

    22 Organisation troops normally were.

    23 Q. Now, you testified that on the 15th of April

    24 you were in Zenica. On the evening of the 15th of

    25 April you were in Zenica; correct?

  5. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Is it fair to say that you were not expecting

    3 a conflict of the type that occurred on the 16th of

    4 April as of the evening of the 15th?

    5 A. That is correct, because the point of my

    6 being in Zenica was because I anticipated that unless

    7 the problem in Zenica was resolved, there could be

    8 serious repercussions, and I suppose I was right,

    9 sadly.

    10 Q. Had Colonel Blaskic or the HVO otherwise, to

    11 your knowledge, made any threats or ultimatums against

    12 the BH army that were set to expire on the 15th or the

    13 night of the 15th, morning of the 16th of April, '93?

    14 A. Do I not recall, so I cannot answer that

    15 question.

    16 Q. None that you recall, is that --

    17 A. None that I recall. It may be in my diary

    18 but at the moment I cannot recall it in my mind.

    19 Q. Do you believe that the violence on conflict

    20 on the morning of the 16th of April was largely the

    21 result of an escalation of incidents between Muslims

    22 and Croats, whether BH army or Mujahedin on the Muslim

    23 side and HVO or extremists on the Croat side?

    24 A. Yes, I think so, and I think the report that

    25 you pointed out to me yesterday, I'm not exactly sure

  6. 1 how things started on the morning of the 16th. There

    2 were certainly indications on the 15th that there was a

    3 huge tension. It was for that reason that I personally

    4 was in Travnik on the afternoon of the 15th. I was

    5 talking to soldiers on the ground, soldiers of the HVO,

    6 soldiers of the BiH right at the front lines, trying to

    7 convince them not to take to arms. So I was perfectly

    8 aware that there was huge tension in the area.

    9 It was for that reason that I was reluctant

    10 to leave the area, which was my primary command

    11 responsibility, and move to Zenica. However, I was

    12 invited to do so by the Ambassador of the European

    13 Union. He had no direct command responsibility over

    14 me, I was almost independent in that respect, but I had

    15 great respect for him and I liked him. When he asked

    16 me to do something, I would normally do it.

    17 But, equally, the fact that Totic had been

    18 captured or had been kidnapped in Zenica sent huge

    19 alarm bells in my head, and that had to be resolved.

    20 It would be the spark. It could be a spark that would

    21 cause the real problems, but tension was there on both

    22 sides, I have to say.

    23 Q. I'm pausing for the interpretation to catch

    24 up. As a result of your contact with the HVO Brigade

    25 commander in Zenica, the one who was not kidnapped, on

  7. 1 the 15th, 16th, and indeed, I think, on the 19th of

    2 April, 1993, are you able to say whether the HVO in

    3 Zenica, were they prepared for a conflict with the BH

    4 army to begin on the morning of the 16th of April or

    5 were they not prepared?

    6 A. I don't know the answer, but I can give an

    7 opinion. My opinion was that the kidnapping of the man

    8 called Totic came as a severe shock to the HVO, and the

    9 HVO Brigade commander, the second one, was extremely

    10 concerned. So I suspect that my opinion was the answer

    11 is no.

    12 Q. That they were not prepared; is that

    13 correct?

    14 A. That is correct. It's an opinion, it's not

    15 my fact.

    16 Q. Do you have an opinion as to whether, on the

    17 16th of April, 1993, did Colonel Blaskic want a war

    18 with the BH army or would he have not wanted a war

    19 between the HVO and the BH army?

    20 A. I don't know. I don't have an opinion on

    21 that.

    22 Q. Would you agree that if there were to be a

    23 war, it was reasonably foreseeable, on Colonel

    24 Blaskic's part, that he would be encircled in the Lasva

    25 Valley by the BH army?

  8. 1 A. No, I wouldn't agree with that. I would

    2 think that always you could get -- the difficulty for

    3 Colonel Blaskic seemed to be to get to Kiseljak, but I

    4 think he could get out apart from that. But I wasn't

    5 fully aware of exactly every single position of the HVO

    6 and the BiH.

    7 Q. Well, there's been other testimony on that,

    8 so we needn't belabour the point.

    9 Would you agree that the HVO in the Lasva

    10 Valley were outnumbered to a great extent by the BH

    11 army in the region?

    12 A. I'm not sure that in the Lasva Valley that

    13 was accurate. I suspect if you put Zenica into the

    14 equation, the answer is "Yes," only with the addition

    15 of Zenica that was almost separated.

    16 Q. Would you agree that it was reasonably

    17 foreseeable, as of the 16th of April, 1993, that if

    18 there were a Muslim-Croat war, the Croats would be

    19 expelled, for example, from the town of Travnik?

    20 A. It is my opinion that the Croats had

    21 abandoned the town of Travnik largely.

    22 Q. Before April?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. And why was that?

    25 A. I don't know, but I suspect it was because

  9. 1 they thought it would fall.

    2 Q. On the morning of the 16th of April, you said

    3 that you went -- this is yesterday in your testimony --

    4 you said that you went to the Hotel Vitez and you were

    5 told that there was no one there to speak with you,

    6 words to that effect. Were you told that by an

    7 officer, someone on the staff, or by a sentry? And if

    8 you need to refer to any aid, I would direct you to

    9 your prior statement at page 5.

    10 A. I remember going to the Hotel Vitez. I don't

    11 need to look in my book. Whatever it says in my book

    12 is the authority, but I seem to get the impression that

    13 I didn't get beyond the lobby.

    14 Q. In your written statement, it states:

    15 "I told a sentry that I wanted to see

    16 Blaskic or someone in charge, and he told me there was

    17 no one there in charge to see me."

    18 Do you agree with that?

    19 A. I think I do.

    20 Q. Where was the command of the Operative Zone

    21 at that time, in your opinion?

    22 A. I don't know.

    23 Q. If there was shelling directed at the Hotel

    24 Vitez and other fire and if you had been in the Hotel

    25 Vitez on the morning of the 16th, would you have gone

  10. 1 into the basement for better security?

    2 A. I might have done, but I was there anyway, so

    3 we could get through there. One thing about Colonel

    4 Blaskic is he doesn't lack valour, so I don't suspect

    5 he would go to hide somewhere. That's my opinion, of

    6 course.

    7 Q. Well, you had Warriors and other armoured

    8 vehicles. Did he have any that he himself controlled,

    9 any armour?

    10 A. I don't think so.

    11 Q. Do you remember what kind of a vehicle he did

    12 have when he was travelling on his own means, if you

    13 will?

    14 A. Probably a car.

    15 Q. A light-skin, not even an armoured car;

    16 correct?

    17 A. No, of course not. There were very few

    18 armoured cars. But, of course, I travelled around in a

    19 Land Rover and a light-skinned car too most of the

    20 time.

    21 Q. At times.

    22 A. And at that time, I think -- I can't remember

    23 whether I went in an armoured vehicle or in my

    24 Discovery Land Rover. I'm not saying anything -- I

    25 can't recall exactly what Colonel Blaskic did.

  11. 1 When he required protection to get somewhere,

    2 I sometimes gave him a lift, which was against my

    3 orders, of course. But then, you know, these things

    4 happen. You've got to change orders sometimes.

    5 Q. Colonel Blaskic has testified that he

    6 attempted to make contact with BritBat on the morning

    7 of the 16th and that two negotiators were sent, and

    8 indeed there were cease-fire negotiations at BritBat,

    9 overseen by your 2-I-C, Bryan Watters; are you aware of

    10 that?

    11 A. I cannot recall it, but I wasn't present in

    12 my battalion base for most of the morning because I was

    13 on the ground, and I am perfectly willing to accept

    14 that Colonel Blaskic would have done such a thing if he

    15 could have done.

    16 You've no doubt spoken to Major Watters, now

    17 Colonel Watters, and I'm sure you have asked him that

    18 question and he would have given you the answer, but I

    19 can't recall it in my mind.

    20 So much was happening, you see, Your Honour,

    21 at the time. My diary was written only the next day

    22 and normally at about 6.30 to 6.45 in the morning when

    23 I was hardly awake, but I wrote it on the instructions

    24 of Lieutenant-General MacKenzie who told me I had

    25 better get something down on paper right from the

  12. 1 start. My diary was meant to be just a rough record of

    2 what I had done because the General told me, "For

    3 goodness' sake, make sure you personally have got a

    4 record, and don't rely on operational situation reports

    5 and things like that. In case any of this sort of

    6 thing comes to trial or anything like that, you've got

    7 your own personal record." It is for that reason that

    8 I started my diary, nothing else. The book I wrote

    9 came because the British army asked me to write a book.

    10 Q. And we thank you for keeping a diary. I'm

    11 sure all of us join in that thanks.

    12 Let me ask you about the opinion you

    13 expressed yesterday that Colonel Blaskic must have

    14 known about Ahmici at a certain point in time prior to

    15 the 22nd of April, 1993. I would like to elicit some

    16 details concerning your opinion.

    17 Is it your opinion that he was present in

    18 Ahmici on the 16th of April?

    19 A. It is my opinion that I certainly hope he was

    20 not.

    21 Q. Do you have any information for this Court

    22 suggesting that he was present?

    23 A. No, I do not.

    24 Q. Is it your opinion that he knew in advance of

    25 a plan or an order to commit a massacre of civilians in

  13. 1 Ahmici?

    2 A. It is my opinion that he must have known in

    3 advance of the operation in Ahmici. I am of the

    4 opinion that I hope he had no knowledge of the massacre

    5 until it happened, but certainly he must have known

    6 what was going on. It was clearly within his

    7 operational area of responsibility, and the troops that

    8 took part in it must have been troops that responded to

    9 him.

    10 Q. So your opinion is that he must have known

    11 that there was a military action of some sort in the

    12 area on that morning that was to occur; is that right?

    13 A. If he did not, he was incompetent, and he

    14 clearly is not incompetent. He's a professional

    15 military officer.

    16 Q. Do you know what orders he gave for any such

    17 activity on the morning of the 16th of April?

    18 A. No, I do not, Your Honour.

    19 MR. HAYMAN: If D267 could be provided to the

    20 witness, please?

    21 The registrar has these exhibits in advance.

    22 If they could be provided, please, to the witness?

    23 Q. I would like to direct your attention,

    24 Colonel Stewart, to this order. It is an order dated

    25 15 April, 1993, at 10.00 a.m.; therefore, it is after

  14. 1 news of the Totic kidnapping came out. It is an order

    2 from Colonel Blaskic to various units. Paragraph 1

    3 describes the situation, and it's not material to my

    4 question.

    5 Paragraph 2.1 is material to my question.

    6 Have you found paragraph 2.1?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. "Battalion of the Military Police:

    9 "The commander of IV battalion of the

    10 military police is directly responsible for the

    11 security of IZM Vitez --"

    12 I believe that's a reference to the

    13 headquarters.

    14 "-- he must carry out an assessment," and so

    15 forth.

    16 "The road Busovaca-Vitez-Travnik must be

    17 free," and so forth.

    18 And then I will quote directly the remainder

    19 of this sub-paragraph:

    20 "In the event of a rather strong attack by

    21 the Muslim extremist forces from the direction of the

    22 villages Nadioci-Ahmici-Sivrino-Pirici, inform me; and,

    23 if the fire is opened directly at you, return the fire

    24 and neutralise the attacker."

    25 Have you ever seen this order before?

  15. 1 A. No, I have not.

    2 Q. Would you agree, based on 2.1, this is an

    3 order to secure the road that runs from Vitez to

    4 Busovaca; it is not an order to attack Ahmici, it is

    5 not an order to kill civilians in Ahmici, is it?

    6 A. This is a written order, Your Honour, and

    7 written orders are fine. But in military situations, a

    8 written order doesn't last longer than the first shot.

    9 From then on, it's verbal command and control. I am

    10 perfectly willing to accept this order in the same way

    11 as I gave written orders to my soldiers.

    12 Q. Are you saying that once fighting starts, you

    13 have to have realtime information and realtime

    14 communication with your subordinate unit for a

    15 commander to be able to control that unit?

    16 A. I'm saying that once fighting starts, the

    17 situation, the facts on the ground, are changed, and

    18 the units on the ground often have to operate and

    19 change the way they were going to behave, and that it

    20 is important, of course, for commanders to be able to

    21 know what's happening on the ground. So communication

    22 between headquarters is important.

    23 Q. Do you know, on the 16th of April, in the

    24 morning, when Colonel Blaskic got his first report from

    25 the commander of the military police, the unit that had

  16. 1 been assigned to secure the road below Ahmici?

    2 A. No, I do not.

    3 Q. Would you agree that a commander relies on

    4 subordinate commanders to pass accurate information up

    5 to them so that they can exercise control and command

    6 over those subordinate units?

    7 A. Yes, but the best commanders get to where

    8 the -- what the Germans call the Schwerpunkt, the point

    9 of concentrated effort is, and assess the situation for

    10 themselves. If I had been in Colonel Blaskic's

    11 position and this particularly vulnerable area --

    12 Q. Colonel Stewart, I don't have much time

    13 left. I'm sorry. I only have a few minutes --

    14 MR. KEHOE: Counsel --

    15 MR. HAYMAN: No. Counsel --

    16 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, Counsel.

    17 MR. HAYMAN: Counsel, excuse me --

    18 MR. KEHOE: If counsel doesn't like the

    19 answer that's given and wants to interrupt the

    20 witness --

    21 MR. HAYMAN: If it's not responsive, if it's

    22 not responsive, I am going to ask the witness to focus

    23 on the question because I have eight minutes left,

    24 Mr. President, and we all remember how many times my

    25 colleague across the well interrupted my client during

  17. 1 his testimony, hundreds and hundreds of times, and I

    2 would ask that I be allowed to elicit responsive

    3 answers to the few questions I have time left to put to

    4 the witness.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, please express

    6 yourself quickly, quickly.

    7 MR. KEHOE: If counsel doesn't like the

    8 answer that the witness is giving, the witness should

    9 be able and permitted to explain his answer about what

    10 a commander is doing. Counsel is eliciting questions

    11 and answers about what a competent commander would do

    12 in the field, and the witness is giving an answer

    13 possibly counsel doesn't like. Nevertheless, the

    14 witness should be able to express his opinions.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Well, listen, listen. The

    16 Judges would like Colonel Stewart to ask

    17 comprehensively because, anyway, that question was cut

    18 off. So we'll have it again. We'll use it for our

    19 time. Please, let's try and gain some time. Let

    20 Colonel Stewart express himself and this way we're

    21 likely to get the answer.

    22 MR. HAYMAN:

    23 Q. Please continue, Colonel, and I do apologise

    24 for interrupting you, but you can appreciate, as I see

    25 the minutes dribbling away, that it causes some anxiety

  18. 1 on my part because I don't know if I'm going to be

    2 given any additional time or not.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, this trial has been

    4 going on for two years. I guess you've got to know the

    5 Presiding Judge and the Judges, not just the Presiding

    6 Judge, and you know that we always have quite a loose

    7 interpretation of our Rules. You are trapped in a

    8 frame because these are court witnesses. But this

    9 being said, of course, the Judges' prime concern is to

    10 establish the truth, which we're asking today of

    11 Colonel Stewart. Anyway, there might be additional

    12 questions if this question is not answered.

    13 Please, Colonel Stewart, answer as it pleases

    14 you.

    15 A. Can I know the question again, Your Honour?

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Of course. I was going to ask

    17 the same question as you. Please go ahead,

    18 Mr. Hayman.

    19 MR. HAYMAN:

    20 Q. The question, Colonel Stewart, was: Does a

    21 commander necessarily rely on accurate reports from

    22 subordinate commanders to be able to exercise control

    23 over those subordinate units?

    24 A. It's part of the picture but the decision is

    25 made by the commander based on all information he

  19. 1 receives, and the best kind of commander moves to where

    2 the point of action is to make his decision. In this

    3 situation, I would have expected Colonel Blaskic to be

    4 on the ground. So I was not surprised he was not in

    5 the Hotel Vitez.

    6 Q. What if there are 10 or 12 points of action,

    7 as you put it, at the same time? Should a commander

    8 tour among them or should a commander be where the

    9 commander has maximum information about all the serious

    10 points of action so that he can exert maximum control

    11 over the totality of the area?

    12 A. The commander makes his decision and only he

    13 can make that decision. That's why he's chosen.

    14 Q. Thank you.

    15 MR. HAYMAN: If D280 could be provided to the

    16 witness, please.

    17 Q. This is a report, Colonel Stewart, dated the

    18 16th. There's no time on it. Colonel Blaskic

    19 testified that the reference at the beginning of the

    20 report, "Acting in accordance with your order," is a

    21 reference to an order that Colonel Blaskic gave to this

    22 commander of the military police to submit a written

    23 report as to what was going on in Ahmici on the 16th,

    24 and this is the report that Colonel Blaskic received.

    25 "Report. Muslim armed forces attempted to

  20. 1 launch an attack on the military police units located

    2 in the Bungalow in the early morning hours. The attack

    3 met with some response and combat procedures and

    4 actions were undertaken to expel the same.

    5 "MOS barricaded themselves in a mosque in

    6 Ahmici and in a primary school from where they have

    7 been firing from small arms weapons and snipers. They

    8 have been opening light fire from the direction of the

    9 village," and so forth.

    10 "So far, three policemen have been killed and

    11 three were wounded, one of whom seriously.

    12 "Personnel is in the field."

    13 The reference to the "Bungalow," for your

    14 assistance, I believe is the Swiss chalet you discussed

    15 earlier.

    16 Now, would you agree that in this report

    17 there is no information provided to Colonel Blaskic

    18 concerning the deaths of civilians, the razing of the

    19 village, the burning of every Muslim home? Would you

    20 agree?

    21 A. Yes. I don't trust the report. I can tell

    22 you why I don't trust the report. Because I don't

    23 believe any soldiers would barricade themselves into a

    24 mosque or primary school. That's not the way a soldier

    25 behaves. It's a stupid act in which you'll get cut

  21. 1 off. So right away I would throw dispute on this

    2 report, and I would suggest it was written after the

    3 event, but I don't know. That is my opinion.

    4 Q. You would agree that it is inaccurate and

    5 incomplete; correct?

    6 A. I would suspect that it is inaccurate and

    7 incomplete.

    8 Q. Well, you know from what occurred in Ahmici,

    9 that if, in fact, civilians were killed and houses were

    10 burned on the 16th prior to the writing of this report,

    11 then this report was inaccurate and incomplete;

    12 correct?

    13 A. To the best of my knowledge, I understand the

    14 attack of Ahmici took place from 0530 in the morning.

    15 Q. First thing in the morning on the 16th;

    16 correct?

    17 A. Yes. So I would assume that this report was

    18 written after it. I don't know.

    19 Q. Is it your opinion that the massacre of

    20 civilians in Ahmici was something that could be seen or

    21 heard from the town of Vitez or the Hotel Vitez?

    22 A. I don't think it was, because the Dutch

    23 transport battalion that was close at Busovaca did

    24 notice the shooting in the area and, to their shame,

    25 did nothing about it. In my opinion, they should have

  22. 1 done something about it. That was much closer than the

    2 Hotel Vitez.

    3 In my opinion, from Hotel Vitez you would be

    4 able to hear the firing. You'd certainly be able to

    5 hear mortars. You would not be able to directly see

    6 it, of course.

    7 Q. If there was mortar fire and firing in a

    8 number of locations around Vitez at the same time, you

    9 would hear those same sounds from many directions;

    10 correct?

    11 A. Yes, that is correct.

    12 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, how much time do

    13 I have?

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Which topic are you going to

    15 tackle now, because if you want to go back over the

    16 whole war, I mean, Colonel Stewart has got so much

    17 experience on this that I think that his testimony

    18 mainly dealt with Ahmici. Have you finished about

    19 Ahmici, Mr. Hayman? Would you like to have another ten

    20 minutes or so?

    21 MR. HAYMAN: I think I can finish the very

    22 abbreviated cross-examination I prepared, in ten

    23 minutes. I can't finish in five, but I think I can

    24 finish in ten minutes. Thank you.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Please go ahead. Try to have

  23. 1 ten minutes and focus on the main points.

    2 MR. HAYMAN: If D284 could be provided to the

    3 witness.

    4 Q. This is another order that I'd like you to

    5 look at very quickly. It is an order from

    6 Colonel Blaskic on the 17th of April, 1993, at 0400.

    7 You can see that up in the upper left-hand corner, "To

    8 the Busovaca and Vitez brigades." At the bottom of

    9 page 1 you can see to the Busovaca Brigade, he tells

    10 them the focus of the defence is on Kuber, the

    11 strategic feature. Then at the top of the second page,

    12 he tells the Vitez Brigade what their assignments are

    13 in terms of blocking and possibly seizing certain

    14 locations.

    15 I'd like to draw your attention to the last

    16 paragraph.

    17 "We have accomplished 80 per cent of our

    18 task and still need to do our utmost today. Soldiers

    19 are to be specifically cautioned about how to treat

    20 civilians, the elderly, women, and children who are not

    21 to be killed because that is a CRIME."

    22 If you look in the original -- could the

    23 original be provided to the witness, the Serbo-Croat

    24 original?

    25 If you look at that, you'll see the word

  24. 1 "crime," is in all caps, as it is in the translation.

    2 Was Colonel Blaskic sharing with you his

    3 orders on the 15th, 16th, 17th of April or were those

    4 confidential matters within his armed force?

    5 A. He certainly wasn't sharing those orders with

    6 me, Your Honour, but I wouldn't expect him to. That's

    7 the case.

    8 Q. And that's the case in any army; correct?

    9 A. Well, it's normally the case. I mean, I had

    10 no problem sharing my own orders with Colonel Blaskic

    11 or anyone else if requested, but I was not -- you know,

    12 I was not meant to be in the war.

    13 Q. You were not a warring party?

    14 A. Most certainly not. I was meant to be

    15 neutral and, therefore, why should I do something that

    16 would be against the interests of one?

    17 MR. HAYMAN: Could you show the witness the

    18 all capped reference? It's there at the bottom of the

    19 order.

    20 Q. If Colonel Blaskic issued orders such as this

    21 to protect civilians, do you think, based on what you

    22 know about him, that he meant it?

    23 A. Yes, I do. Based on what I know about him,

    24 he meant it. But my question would be -- I only have

    25 one thing to say. I don't know the authenticity of

  25. 1 these orders because I have not seen them before.

    2 Q. I think we'd all agree the court understands

    3 that it is the court that will judge these and other

    4 documents in the case.

    5 A. Good, sir. That's fine.

    6 Q. You said yesterday something that I was

    7 pondering last night, that Colonel Blaskic was the

    8 effective commander in the Operative Zone for Central

    9 Bosnia, and as such, "He must be held responsible for

    10 the actions of HVO soldiers."

    11 What do you mean he must be held

    12 responsible?

    13 A. Every commander is responsible for the

    14 actions of his soldiers. He may not be at fault for

    15 their individual actions but he is responsible for what

    16 they do in overall terms, and General Blaskic knows

    17 that as well as I do because he was a professional

    18 officer.

    19 So if soldiers of the HVO carried out what I

    20 would term genocide, in a location within 4.000 metres

    21 of his headquarters, he is responsible for the actions

    22 of those soldiers, and the actions of those soldiers

    23 must have been known in that headquarters. It is

    24 incomprehensible to me that a commander would not know

    25 what was happening when so many people were killed, so

  26. 1 many people were killed and HVO soldiers, in large

    2 groups, were on the ground.

    3 Q. I'm trying to sort out your opinions and

    4 conclusions, Colonel Stewart, so please bear with me.

    5 First of all, when you say he must be held responsible,

    6 are you referring to military responsibility or

    7 criminal responsibility or do you make a distinction?

    8 A. I think there is a distinction but I mean

    9 both.

    10 Q. Do you base then the conclusion that he must

    11 be held criminally responsible based on your belief

    12 that he knew a massacre was planned in Ahmici or he

    13 knew it was occurring at the time? What do you base

    14 that on?

    15 A. I base it simply on the fact that he was the

    16 commander in Central Bosnia and HVO soldiers carried

    17 out the massacre, in my opinion.

    18 Q. That's helpful. So your concept is one of

    19 strict liability. If you are the commander and your

    20 soldier commits a crime, you are criminally responsible

    21 for that crime; is that correct?

    22 A. I don't want to get into a word game here,

    23 because I'm not as competent as you are on this

    24 matter. I put it simply: A commander is responsible

    25 for the actions of his soldiers. There is a difference

  27. 1 between responsibility and the actual crime itself, but

    2 overall responsibility rests with that commander. It

    3 is clear to me that the actions carried out in the

    4 Lasva Valley that started on The 18th of April must

    5 have been known by the commander.

    6 I'm sorry, but I'm not prepared to wriggle

    7 around on words. I'm trying to be as plain as I can.

    8 Q. So you agree or you don't agree that your

    9 concept of criminal responsibility is one of strict

    10 liability or do you not understand the term?

    11 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. Excuse me. The

    12 question was just asked of the witness. The witness

    13 gave an answer to that specific question.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Well, the question has been

    15 asked, Mr. Hayman. I know this is a very intricate,

    16 complex issue for you.

    17 MR. HAYMAN: Well, when a witness opines on a

    18 matter of law --

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Try and rephrase your sentence,

    20 trying to make a step forward. Try to change it

    21 somehow. This is only in respect -- because I respect

    22 the fundamental rights of the accused that I take this

    23 decision, but try not to ask the same question.

    24 Otherwise, I'll have to grant the objection to

    25 Mr. Kehoe. So make the discussion move forward.

  28. 1 MR. HAYMAN: I will, Mr. President, but it's

    2 hard when an answer is not responsive and doesn't focus

    3 on the specifics of the question. Sometimes the most

    4 efficient thing to do is to repeat the question.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Well, you were betrayed by your

    6 words. You said that it's difficult when the answer

    7 doesn't suit you. Of course, if the answer doesn't

    8 suit you I can understand but then you've got to try

    9 and change the question. Try and just alter it

    10 somehow, but you remember that the witness is under

    11 oath. Go ahead.

    12 MR. HAYMAN:

    13 Q. So is it correct, Colonel, that when you

    14 stepped into this courtroom yesterday, you had already

    15 concluded that Colonel Blaskic is guilty of war crimes

    16 and should be punished for war crimes? Is that right?

    17 A. No. Most definitely not. I have my own

    18 opinion --

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Can the question be formulated

    20 in a dignified manner? You have a witness who is under

    21 oath. This witness took part in the operations. I'd

    22 like you to rephrase this question with more dignity.

    23 We must believe that when he came into this courtroom,

    24 the witness was going to testify in a very loyal way.

    25 MR. HAYMAN: I'm not suggesting to the

  29. 1 contrary, Mr. President, but the witness did make a

    2 statement yesterday that is more in the nature of a

    3 closing argument by a Prosecutor, yet he's a witness.

    4 So I'm trying to understand why he made the statement

    5 and what he meant by it.

    6 Q. When you said yesterday in your own voluntary

    7 statement, which you've now clarified to mean that

    8 Colonel Blaskic must be held criminally responsible for

    9 the actions of HVO soldiers, is that something you had

    10 already concluded before you even entered the

    11 courtroom?

    12 A. I think that was my opinion because I have

    13 been living with this for six years.

    14 I have already said what my personal feelings

    15 towards Colonel Blaskic are, and I find it very

    16 difficult, set against those feelings of loyalty to

    17 someone I considered a friend, to actually come to any

    18 kind of conclusion. But I believe that commanders are

    19 responsible for the actions of their soldiers, and

    20 therefore, what happened at a location close to Colonel

    21 Blaskic's headquarters was something that he bears

    22 responsibility for. I do not want to say criminal or

    23 anything else; straight responsibility. It should not

    24 have happened and it did, and the commander was Colonel

    25 Blaskic. He was the man with whom I dealt as the

  30. 1 commander of the HVO in Central Bosnia for six months.

    2 What else am I to conclude?

    3 Q. Would you agree, Colonel, that with respect

    4 to criminal responsibility, the entity that makes the

    5 decision on criminal responsibility should consider all

    6 the available evidence?

    7 A. Of course.

    8 Q. Thank you. I have one more question. Do you

    9 continue to believe what you wrote in your book at page

    10 318, and I quote:

    11 "Bosnia is certainly complex beyond anyone's

    12 dreams. There are far more than three sides - Serb,

    13 Croat and Muslim - we hear about in the media. There

    14 are factions within groups and groups within factions.

    15 And without an established order, these different

    16 elements had created a situation as close to anarchy as

    17 I have yet witnessed."

    18 A. I agree with that, but I still say commanders

    19 have responsibility even in that situation.

    20 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you for coming to The

    21 Hague, Colonel.

    22 I have no further questions, Mr. President.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. How about we have a

    24 short break, a 10-minute break, if you don't mind,

    25 before Judge Shahabuddeen asks his questions.

  31. 1 We shall therefore resume around five past

    2 ten. The hearing stands adjourned.

    3 --- Recess taken at 9.54 a.m.

    4 --- On resuming at 10.08 a.m.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please

    6 be seated.

    7 I remind you once again of the fact that you

    8 were summoned by the Court. Thank you for coming to

    9 The Hague. This is the reason why we are now going to

    10 have the last leg of your testimony, and without

    11 further ado, I give the floor to Judge Shahabuddeen.

    12 You have the floor, sir.

    13 Questioned by the Court:

    14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Good morning, Colonel.

    15 A. Good morning, sir.

    16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I appreciated your words

    17 towards the end to the effect that you didn't wish to

    18 wriggle with words, which I understood to mean that you

    19 didn't want to enter into legal technicalities; is that

    20 correct?

    21 A. Yes, sir.

    22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You were giving your

    23 views of the responsibility of a commander from the

    24 point of view of a soldier.

    25 A. That's correct.

  32. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, the words have

    2 disappeared from the screen, but my recollection is

    3 that you were moving towards a distinction between the

    4 responsibility of the commander, qua commander, and the

    5 responsibility of the individual soldier for the actual

    6 crime; is that correct?

    7 A. Yes, sir. May I say a little more?


    9 A. I have been an officer or I was an officer

    10 for 26 years. I did many tours in Northern Ireland. I

    11 use an example of what I mean.

    12 When I lost soldiers on operational service

    13 under one tour as a Major, I lost six killed and 35

    14 wounded out of 100. I always went to see the parents

    15 of the boy that was killed. I always told them that

    16 the responsibility for their son's death lay with me.

    17 The fault may not have been mine, but the

    18 responsibility for where he was at a certain time on a

    19 certain day lay with me, and I bore that responsibility

    20 as the commander and I apologised for being responsible

    21 for their son's death in that way.

    22 I was not at fault, and therein lies the

    23 difference -- now I start talking words -- I was not at

    24 fault because I did not shoot the person, but I was

    25 responsible, and that responsibility I have always felt

  33. 1 keenly, and that is what I mean. The responsibility

    2 for where soldiers are at a certain time on a certain

    3 day rests with the commander of those soldiers. That

    4 is what I mean.

    5 Am I clear on that, sir? Is that an answer?

    6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes, yes. I appreciate

    7 that, Colonel. Should I translate what you have been

    8 saying this way, that you were speaking of the

    9 responsibility of a commander for operating the system

    10 efficiently, according to military standards, which

    11 would include applicable ethical norms?

    12 A. Yes, you are right.

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now let us turn a little

    14 to the references which have been made to NATO.

    15 Would I be correct, Colonel, in supposing

    16 that the NATO armies are amongst the best-equipped and

    17 the best-trained armies in the world?

    18 A. In my opinion, they are.

    19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. Would I also be

    20 correct in supposing that your view is that it is

    21 nevertheless possible to have command and control in

    22 other armies throughout the world?

    23 A. Of course.

    24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And you maintain what I

    25 collected as your position, that it was possible to

  34. 1 have effective command and control over the HVO forces?

    2 A. The answer to that question is, "Yes, in

    3 part." And this is the problem. Colonel Blaskic was,

    4 in my opinion, the real commander of the HVO in Central

    5 Bosnia. I never ever thought that Kordic was the

    6 commander. I never ever referred to Kordic as the

    7 commander or anyone else. Colonel Blaskic was the

    8 natural point of contact for me.

    9 When Colonel Blaskic said something, it

    10 happened lower down; and therefore, I felt it

    11 reasonable to assume that he had effective command and

    12 control in that particular respect.

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. Thank you very

    14 much.

    15 Now, let us turn a little to the position in

    16 Vitez and Stari Vitez on 16th April. Did you, Colonel,

    17 personally have occasion to witness any exchange of

    18 firepower between those two areas on that date?

    19 A. I passed through the area, sir. I was shot

    20 at on that date.


    22 A. I suspect it was by the HVO, but I don't

    23 know. Someone fired an RPG-7 at my soft-skin Land

    24 Rover, but they missed, I'm pleased to say.

    25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Well, I'm pleased too.

  35. 1 I think we're all pleased that that was so.

    2 A. So the answer to the question I think is

    3 "Yes," but I don't know what was going on.

    4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. And did you also

    5 receive reports from members of your team about what

    6 was going on as between Vitez and Stari Vitez?

    7 A. Sir, it was such a mess at the time. There

    8 was clearly a BiH enclave around Stari Vitez. The

    9 exact extent of the perimeter of the defensive line was

    10 unclear to me. We also had, I think, 'round about that

    11 date, a lot of people came for protection to our

    12 logistics camp which was at the garage in Vitez, and I

    13 gave instructions that we were to protect those people

    14 at all costs and that those people were to be protected

    15 by my soldiers. And that was not easy because I

    16 remember that we talked to the people that seemed to be

    17 firing at them, and they didn't seem to be prepared to

    18 stop firing. So I gave them instructions that if they

    19 fired at people protecting -- that we were protecting,

    20 I would kill them. I'm sorry to be blunt, but it was

    21 important.

    22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: That's clear.

    23 A. I'm glad it's clear, sir.

    24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, do tell me, can you

    25 help the Trial Chamber with your appreciation of the

  36. 1 comparative strength of the firepower being exchanged

    2 as between Vitez and Stari Vitez?

    3 A. I don't think I can.

    4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: No. Then I shall pass

    5 that --

    6 A. I'm sorry, but I --


    8 A. -- said it was a muddle. I don't think I

    9 can. I really don't want to pass a silly judgment on

    10 this.

    11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. Thank you very

    12 much. Now, if you were in the Vitez Hotel on 16th

    13 April, 1993, would it have been possible for you to see

    14 any smoke emanating from Ahmici or to hear any sounds

    15 of gunfire or explosions coming from that quarter?

    16 A. Yes, sir. Certainly we would hear the

    17 gunfire and certainly we would hear [sic] smoke. I

    18 saw -- I came over the mountain road at 7.30 that

    19 morning in my Discovery Land Rover, and I most

    20 certainly heard the end of the attack on Ahmici,

    21 although I didn't realise what I was listening to. I

    22 was also engaged with fire on that journey probably

    23 three times. That included mortars and sniper fire.

    24 But I was travelling fast. Very fast.

    25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, Colonel, do forgive

  37. 1 me for stretching you out on another hypothetical

    2 point. Again, if you were in Vitez on that day, in the

    3 Vitez Hotel more particularly, and you were hearing

    4 sounds of firepower coming to you from different

    5 directions, would it have been possible for you, as a

    6 military man, to identify some of that firepower sounds

    7 as coming from Ahmici or would you have been too

    8 confused to be able to identify particular sounds with

    9 particular sources?

    10 A. It is my judgment that between about 5.30 and

    11 7.30 in the morning thereabouts on the 16th of April,

    12 the majority of firing would have come from the area of

    13 the Ahmici vicinity, the majority of it, it wasn't

    14 alone, and it would be concentrated. Therefore, the

    15 answer would be, in directional terms, you would

    16 roughly have an idea of where the major ordinance was

    17 being used, yes, sir.

    18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Am I correct then in

    19 appreciating your answers to mean this: That if you

    20 were the military commander in Hotel Vitez during those

    21 times, you would have been able to appreciate that

    22 action was proceeding in Ahmici?

    23 A. I think the answer -- always the commander is

    24 the man on the ground, and it's always difficult to say

    25 what someone else would have done, but assuming I had

  38. 1 heard a lot of shooting, and it wasn't just shooting,

    2 there were mortars fired too, I would have a good idea

    3 of where the major action was, and I would probably, if

    4 I didn't have good communications, get there to see

    5 it. There was no problem with getting to Ahmici from

    6 the Hotel Vitez because the only blockade, to the best

    7 of my ability, was an HVO one, possibly one or two on

    8 the route, but there was not a BiH one towards Ahmici

    9 from the Hotel Vitez.

    10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, Colonel, you

    11 visited Ahmici. You saw the signs of destruction, and

    12 I expect you were able to make a judgment, as a

    13 military man. What judgment would you have made as to

    14 whether it was necessary or not to have any preplanning

    15 exercises relating to what you saw had been done at

    16 Ahmici?

    17 A. When I arrived at Ahmici, I made the

    18 immediate, instantaneous judgment that it was likely to

    19 have been an attack on the Bosnian Muslims because the

    20 mosque was destroyed. That's a simple sign.

    21 At the time I found Ahmici, and it was on the

    22 22nd of April that I found it, and it is to my shame

    23 that it happened in my area of responsibility, at the

    24 time I found it, I made no judgment on how it

    25 happened. I was too busy, in the whole complex

  39. 1 situation of the 22nd of April of trying to get things

    2 under control. It was only later, when I had a chance

    3 to assess the situation in Ahmici and when I had had

    4 reports, particularly from the U.N. Centre for Human

    5 Rights who took many records, that I was able to make a

    6 judgment as to what the plan for attack on Ahmici may

    7 have been.

    8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Colonel, would you like

    9 to share with the Trial Chamber your conception of what

    10 the plan of attack on Ahmici might have been?

    11 A. Yes, I would. It is opinion, of course.


    13 A. I believe that approximately 40 to 70 people

    14 may have taken part in this. I believe that the

    15 weapons used were mortars and small arms, and petrol

    16 and Zippo lighters. I believe that each house was

    17 visited systematically. I believe that it was visited

    18 by small squads of men who determined who was in the

    19 house and by their ethnic origin determined whether

    20 they lived or they died. I believe that probably

    21 cut-off groups were deployed and that the start line was

    22 probably the Lasva Valley road or thereabouts, using

    23 the axis of the road through the village to follow up,

    24 or it had gone directly in from the Swiss house, from

    25 there.

  40. 1 I believe that in the aftermath there was

    2 considerable excitement, which I saw evidence of,

    3 although it wasn't obvious to me at the time I passed

    4 by around about 10.30 on the 16th of April, when I

    5 passed by the Swiss cottage and there was much

    6 agitation of the people there and extreme, it seemed to

    7 me, aggression shown towards me.

    8 I know soldiers. I know when they've been in

    9 operational service from the way they act. The

    10 soldiers I saw around the Swiss cottage at 10.30 had

    11 the excited look of soldiers that have just been on

    12 active operations from the way they walked, from the

    13 way they stood, and the way they were bombed up and

    14 they were hyped up.

    15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You're speaking,

    16 Colonel, of the 16th?

    17 A. I'm talking of the 16th.


    19 A. Forgive me, sir. May I? On the 16th I

    20 passed by but I was unknowing. On the 22nd I was no

    21 longer unknowing. I found the place.

    22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: That is why I asked you

    23 whether you were speaking of the 16th when you spoke of

    24 the Swiss chalet. Was it the Bungalow?

    25 A. Yes, sir.

  41. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, in your judgment,

    2 Colonel, what time period would have been required for

    3 the planning of an operation of that kind with that

    4 kind of force, an hour, a night, a day, or what?

    5 A. I would have -- not that I would do such a

    6 thing, but for an operation, it's possibly what you

    7 call a cordon-sweep operation, half a day.

    8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Half a day?

    9 A. Roughly half a day to get the forces ready,

    10 give orders and go in. It's an adapted cordon and

    11 sweep operation. You cordon the location, you put

    12 firepower down on the flanks, you prepare what you go

    13 in, and then you go in from a baseline position, if

    14 it's done in an effective military way. Equally, if

    15 it's done in a haphazard way it could be done much

    16 quicker. I don't think it was haphazard.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, Colonel, taking

    18 into account what you knew of the military system of

    19 the HVO, would you say that it was possible or not

    20 possible for decisions relating to the planning and

    21 execution of that operation to be made entirely at the

    22 local level or would central approval had to have been

    23 sought?

    24 A. If you mean local within the Vitez

    25 principality, with the kind of people that were there

  42. 1 as well as Colonel Blaskic, particularly Valenta, whose

    2 book he gave me a copy of --

    3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Colonel, can I be a

    4 little more helpful to you? I had in mind the

    5 relationship between Colonel Blaskic in the Vitez Hotel

    6 and the commander in the Ahmici area, the HVO commander

    7 in the area.

    8 A. I considered that Colonel Blaskic was the HVO

    9 commander in the area.

    10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Inclusive of the Ahmici

    11 area?

    12 A. Yes.


    14 A. Overall commander. He didn't command the

    15 detachment there but he was overall commander.

    16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let me try to be a

    17 little more specific. Was it conceivable that the

    18 decision relating to the preplanning and execution of

    19 an operation of that kind could have been made without

    20 Colonel Blaskic's concurrence?

    21 A. It is conceivable but I don't think that

    22 would have happened. There is doubt. There is some

    23 doubt.

    24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, when you went to

    25 Ahmici, an HVO soldier said to you words to the effect

  43. 1 what right you had to be there. Now, did any HVO

    2 soldier complain to you that the events of Ahmici took

    3 place in response to a BiH attack?

    4 A. I cannot recall that ever happening, and as

    5 the events of Ahmici are fairly well evidence in my

    6 mind, I don't think that happened.

    7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. Now, did you see,

    8 in the course of your visit to Ahmici, evidence of any

    9 signs of defensive works on the ground? I'm not a

    10 military man. I have in mind things like trenches,

    11 foxholes. Did you see that?

    12 A. No.

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did you, again as a

    14 military man, see any signs of any combat, any exchange

    15 of firepower as between two warring parties?

    16 A. I did not, but that would not necessarily be

    17 evident in that area.

    18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see. Now, Colonel, we

    19 referred awhile ago to Defence Exhibit 280A, a report

    20 committed to Colonel Blaskic by Major Ljubicic on 16th

    21 April, 1993. Perhaps you might recollect the substance

    22 of that report as being this, that Mr. Ljubicic was

    23 saying there that there had been an attack on the

    24 military police in the Bungalow and that elements of

    25 the other side had barricaded themselves in the mosque,

  44. 1 the primary school, and so on.

    2 If you had been the commanding officer of the

    3 HVO and you had received that document, would you have

    4 regarded it as credible?

    5 A. I don't think so because mosques are rotten

    6 places to defend.

    7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes, yes. What would

    8 have been your reaction as between yourself and

    9 Mr. Ljubicic? Would you have sent for him? Would you

    10 have asked for clarification?

    11 A. He was the commander of the HVO in the Swiss

    12 cottage; is that correct?

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes, yes, I think so.

    14 A. I'd have gone and visited him rapidly.

    15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. And it should have

    16 been possible to visit?

    17 A. Yes. Yes, it was possible.

    18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: How long would the

    19 journey take?

    20 A. Less than fifteen minutes.

    21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes, yes. Now, you have

    22 affirmed repeatedly your personal liking for Colonel

    23 Blaskic. This may embarrass you, but may I ask whether

    24 it was your impression that he also respected you?

    25 A. I think so.

  45. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes, yes. Now --

    2 A. May I just add that I find it very difficult

    3 to give evidence against a man like this because I have

    4 this personal feeling, but nonetheless, I have to. I'm

    5 under orders to do so.

    6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. You're, as it

    7 were, defending a principle as you understand a

    8 principle.

    9 A. Of course.

    10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The Court may agree, the

    11 Court may disagree, but that is your position.

    12 A. That's the position of the Court. I

    13 understand.

    14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, you spoke with

    15 Colonel Blaskic at some first point about Ahmici, and I

    16 think you said he was upset.

    17 A. Yes.

    18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, help me with your

    19 impression a little further. Was it your impression

    20 that he was upset to learn that grave crimes had been

    21 committed in Ahmici, or was he upset by the

    22 circumstance that you, a person whom he respected, was

    23 telling him this and demanding action?

    24 A. I think he was upset by what had happened.

    25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: By what had happened.

  46. 1 Thank you.

    2 Now, was it your impression that he didn't

    3 know then, before, about what had happened?

    4 A. He said he, you know -- I can't recall

    5 exactly what he said, but my impression was that he

    6 said he did not, about these things, but by this time,

    7 my confidence had been shaken.

    8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: If you had been in his

    9 position, as a senior military commander, would you

    10 have known by then?

    11 A. Oh, yes. I'd have known on the day, less

    12 than that, you know, within minutes, and I'd have

    13 probably been there.

    14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, I'm a little

    15 unclear here and the fault is mine, so will you help

    16 me? You spoke of a suggestion by Colonel Blaskic that

    17 there should be an investigating commission and he

    18 asked for some help.

    19 A. I think -- I don't know who brought it up,

    20 but I thought -- I was under the impression that it was

    21 me that insisted.

    22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I did preface my remarks

    23 by saying I might not recall exactly.

    24 A. And the other condition was that the BiH

    25 should have representation on this investigating

  47. 1 committee. Indeed, we had used the model, using the

    2 European Community Monitoring Mission, before, where

    3 Colonel Blaskic's second-in-command had gone around

    4 with someone who -- I can't recall the name, from the

    5 BiH, to try and calm down the situation.

    6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, Colonel Blaskic

    7 wrote a letter proposing or asking for assistance to

    8 mount such an inquiry; am I correct?

    9 A. I have seen the letter. To be honest, I

    10 can't recall -- I'm quite prepared to accept that it

    11 had arrived.

    12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, what I'm getting at

    13 is this: Would it lie within your memory now as to

    14 whether you would have been prepared to offer

    15 assistance or to request assistance for the mounting of

    16 such a commission of inquiry if you had been convinced

    17 of the sincerity of the request for assistance?

    18 A. Most definitely. In fact, we had, you know,

    19 a standby plan for this, that the European Monitoring

    20 Mission would lead on it, because they were more

    21 neutral than us, in a way, and that actually we would

    22 provide vehicles and security because it would be

    23 anticipated that the members of the commission would

    24 require it, require absolute security, and I would have

    25 used my armoured vehicles and my soldiers to protect

  48. 1 that commission as it went about its duties. That was

    2 what we anticipated, but the call-to-arms never came.

    3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Colonel, in the course

    4 of your meeting with Colonel Blaskic -- I think

    5 Mr. Alastair Duncan was present -- you had occasion to

    6 say, have scribbled some words down, to Colonel Blaskic

    7 that one day he would appear in court.

    8 A. I think I did say that.


    10 A. Forgive me, sir, but may I ask: Have you had

    11 Alastair Duncan here to give evidence? Is that fair

    12 for me to ask?

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I turn to the parties

    14 because my own recollection is in disrepair.

    15 MR. KEHOE: Judge Shahabuddeen, Brigadier

    16 Duncan did testify

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Both sides agree that

    18 the answer is in the affirmative.

    19 Now, at the time when you used those words to

    20 Colonel Blaskic, was it the position that there was

    21 talk in the media about the establishment of an

    22 international war crimes court of one kind or another

    23 to investigate the happenings in Ahmici?

    24 A. There may have been, but I didn't read the

    25 newspapers or see anything very much at the time. I

  49. 1 mean, what happened, there was some discussion with the

    2 U.N. Centre for Human Rights, you know, with their

    3 investigators, and we were immediately aware that there

    4 were, in my view, war crimes, but it wasn't just

    5 restricted to the HVO.

    6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. I appreciate

    7 that.

    8 Now, you were talking to Colonel Blaskic

    9 about the possibility of his being required to answer

    10 before a court. Did he then or at any other time say

    11 to you, "But I have given instructions to my troops,

    12 reminding them of the need to conform to applicable

    13 standards of behaviour"?

    14 A. I cannot recall.

    15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Colonel, you have been

    16 helpful. Thank you.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Shahabuddeen.

    18 I am now turning to Judge Rodrigues. You have the

    19 floor.

    20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Your Honour.

    21 Good morning, Colonel Stewart. I believe

    22 that most of the major questions have already been

    23 asked. I only have to go over your statement and ask

    24 you for some short explanations.

    25 So if we are indeed at the Cafe Grand, we can

  50. 1 see Kordic there, and the circumstances you are

    2 familiar with, but I'd like to go back to those

    3 circumstances. You said about them that, following

    4 that day, I'm going to read out in English:

    5 "After this day, I had the distinct

    6 impression that Blaskic was the military commander but

    7 Kordic was the political commander."

    8 So my question is as follows: What were the

    9 indicia or what was the information or what did you

    10 perceive which prompted you to make this decision,

    11 saying Blaskic was the military commander and Kordic

    12 was the political commander?

    13 A. Your Honour, Kordic always spoke in political

    14 terms. He always talked, you know, of destiny and, you

    15 know, the sort of grand picture. Colonel Blaskic spoke

    16 my language. Maybe I naturally gravitated towards

    17 him. Mr. Kordic I did not like; Mr. Blaskic I did.

    18 It seemed to me, when I first met Kordic,

    19 that he talked too much. It seemed to me that people

    20 did listen to him but had not much respect. Certainly

    21 the soldiers naturally followed Colonel Blaskic, not

    22 Kordic, to whom I give no rank because I don't think he

    23 had one.

    24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Therefore, Colonel, if we

    25 were to return to the issue of how the HVO was

  51. 1 organised, was there, in the HVO and in its

    2 organisational charts, a political side and also a

    3 military side, especially so, you know, in relation to

    4 the HDZ?

    5 A. I think that would be -- it was not like the

    6 way the British army was organised. It seemed to me

    7 there was a political side in common with the old

    8 system of Tito and Communism generally, and it seemed

    9 to me that Kordic was on that political side, the same

    10 way as Valentin [sic] was as well, and so the answer in

    11 short is: Yes. I think so.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think as well that you

    13 stated that you were firmly convinced about the fact

    14 that Kordic was the HVO commander in Busovaca. So he

    15 was a commander in the military sense, was he?

    16 A. This is so difficult. You know, we had

    17 difficulty working this out. He seemed to be the

    18 political commissar, if you like, and then when there

    19 was a real threat in Busovaca, he suddenly became the

    20 military commander there, and I assumed it was only for

    21 the Busovaca immediate area. He was not a good

    22 military commander. When I visited him on a couple of

    23 occasions, he had panic in his eyes, which is not a

    24 good way to proceed. But that is an impression.

    25 Forgive me. That is an impression, it's not fact.

  52. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: So there was no actual nor

    2 real separation between the military and the political;

    3 is that the conclusion that can be drawn? I'm not so

    4 sure. But I'd like to ask you the following: Did

    5 General Blaskic share also the political objectives of

    6 the HVO or was he a military man in the strict

    7 professional sense, was he only a military man?

    8 A. I do not know. I do not know the answer to

    9 that question.

    10 JUDGE RODRIGUES: But at least what is your

    11 impression regarding the question whether Blaskic knew

    12 the political objectives of the HVO?

    13 A. Yes, he knew the political objectives of the

    14 HVO. He had close enough ties to these people like

    15 Kordic and Valentin to know that as well.

    16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Then from the point of view

    17 of the organisation, if one looks at the strategic and

    18 at the tactical level, did General Blaskic have the

    19 tactics to achieve the strategic objectives of the

    20 HVO?

    21 A. Now I have to go into wordplay. Forgive me.

    22 "Strategy" and "tactics." There is political strategy

    23 and there is military strategy. The military strategy

    24 of the HVO would be linked to the political strategy

    25 and the tactics on the ground would come from the

  53. 1 military strategy. I'm sure the two were linked. They

    2 are all linked very closely. So the answer to the

    3 question is: In any opinion, yes, he did.

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You also said,

    5 Colonel Stewart, that you came to the conclusion, and

    6 I'm referring to the 12th of January, 1993, that you

    7 came to the conclusion that Blaskic was the military

    8 authority of the HVO in Central Bosnia. Before that

    9 date did you have any doubts about that?

    10 A. No, I did not. In fact, the point was up to

    11 that time I had no doubts, but then we started to see

    12 again the sort of clouding of the issue.

    13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you, Colonel. I have

    14 another question. The 10th of January, 1993, you went

    15 to the HVO headquarters in Novi Travnik, and there you

    16 referred to the fact of the presence of a Croatian

    17 soldier there belonged to the Croatian army, not the

    18 HVO, and you referred to that with Malbasic, who was

    19 rather embarrassed by the presence of that soldier.

    20 Could you tell us something more about the

    21 presence of that soldier and whether you found, in

    22 Central Bosnia, soldiers of the Croatian army in

    23 Central Bosnia?

    24 A. There was problems in Novi Travnik, and I

    25 went there guided by my liaison officer for the area.

  54. 1 His name was Captain Martin Forgrave. He had briefed

    2 me, as we drove, about the possibility of an HV Major

    3 being present, a Croatian army Major.

    4 Malbasic was there and this character was

    5 present too. Now, I cannot recall that he was wearing

    6 HV designation on his arm, but he was a young man of

    7 about 22, 23, and he was a so-called Major.

    8 He talked in really radical terms, and I was

    9 alarmed that this man could have any authority at all

    10 because what he was talking about was disgusting. You

    11 know, sort of attack on -- you know, "All of them are

    12 animals," and that sort of thing. I can't remember

    13 exactly, but I remember feeling repelled by the man and

    14 by the way he was talking.

    15 I don't know whether he was HV really, to be

    16 honest. So if my statement before said he was

    17 definitely HV, forgive me. With the passage of time,

    18 I'm not so convinced, but he seemed to be.

    19 What we were trying to do was just to try and

    20 defuse the tension there by being there, getting people

    21 to talk. Again, he was one of the sort of people that

    22 I had deep distrust for, and I had the impression that

    23 Malbasic was embarrassed and was disturbed by the

    24 presence of this individual.

    25 That is all I can remember, except that it

  55. 1 was dark.

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: But you used the term

    3 "radical." What did you mean by using it, "really

    4 radical"?

    5 A. Yes, I did. He seemed to be the sort of guy,

    6 I won't mince my words, who would actually carry out

    7 atrocities, hated people that much, and I didn't want

    8 him in the area. I wanted him to go away.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We spoke of the presence of

    10 the Croatian army. What is your opinion, what is your

    11 information regarding the presence of the Croatian army

    12 in Bosnia in general and in Central Bosnia in

    13 particular? Do you have any information about the

    14 presence of the Croatian army and the possible or

    15 supposed interests of Croatia in Bosnia?

    16 A. This is the only instance I can recall where

    17 I thought there might be the HV there. We generally

    18 thought that they were not present in Central Bosnia.

    19 Of course, some individuals would have joined the HVO

    20 from the Croatian army but most -- generally, this is

    21 the only instance I can recall where I thought that the

    22 HV might have been present in Central Bosnia and it was

    23 in Novi Travnik. I only saw one character, one man.

    24 That's my own personal experience. There

    25 were other intelligence indications that they might

  56. 1 have been further south but, as far as I was concerned,

    2 they weren't there.

    3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You also said,

    4 Colonel Stewart, that on the 16th of April, around

    5 9.00, you went to the Vitez Hotel to look for

    6 General Blaskic to attend a meeting in Zenica. My

    7 question is, and you have already spoken about this in

    8 respect to questions put by my colleague Judge

    9 Shahabuddeen, my question is: Before you came to look

    10 for Blaskic, to take him to Zenica, was there an

    11 agreement? Was Blaskic waiting for you to go with you

    12 or not?

    13 A. I don't think he knew about it. I think it

    14 was because I couldn't contact him maybe, but I think

    15 the agreement was that, with the European Community

    16 Ambassador, I would try and bring Colonel Blaskic with

    17 me to that meeting. If you recall the difference

    18 between the 15th and the 16th of April, was that on the

    19 15th of April there was great trouble, started in

    20 Zenica with the kidnapping of Totic and there was

    21 tension in the Lasva Valley. Overnight fighting

    22 erupted in the Lasva Valley and, therefore, you know,

    23 in the same way as I would stay where my point of main

    24 effort should have been, I'm sure Colonel Blaskic would

    25 have had to stay where his major problem was and,

  57. 1 therefore, in a way, I was unsurprised by the fact that

    2 he was not present, but I had made a prior agreement

    3 with the Ambassador that I would try and bring Tihomir

    4 Blaskic with me to the meeting in Zenica because he was

    5 crucial to calming down and stabilising a situation

    6 that I thought to be extremely volatile.

    7 It is clear to me that the kidnapping of

    8 Totic, probably by Mujahedin, on the 15th was a

    9 catalyst for the fighting that took place in the days

    10 that followed.

    11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In your opinion, Ahmici can

    12 be seen as in reprisal for the kidnapping of Totic?

    13 A. I haven't thought of it like that before but

    14 it is possible. Equally, it's possible that it was a

    15 way of actually getting rid of the Bosnian Muslim

    16 inhabitants of a village on the route up to the top of

    17 the hill where at the top of the hill, on the mountain

    18 road, I'm sure that there were BiH positions, you know,

    19 and for that reason, you know, it is possible that a

    20 Muslim village in effectively no-man's-land should be

    21 eliminated.

    22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Another question,

    23 Colonel Stewart. On the 24th of April you visited

    24 General Blaskic in Vitez, and you confronted him by

    25 asking whether he was responsible for the HVO in the

  58. 1 area, in the area of Ahmici, and his answer was yes,

    2 that he was responsible for the acts of HVO soldiers in

    3 the area of Ahmici.

    4 My question: Was it your understanding that

    5 Blaskic assumed responsibility for the events in

    6 Ahmici, being fully conscious that crimes had been

    7 committed and that he accept responsibility for them at

    8 the time.

    9 A. I choose my words carefully here. I believe

    10 he knew about the massacre that had occurred in Ahmici

    11 by that date most certainly. Of course, I had told him

    12 myself. I make the assumption that as the commander,

    13 he held responsibility throughout for what happened,

    14 and it was natural for me, if he accepted that he was

    15 responsible for the HVO in that area, that he would

    16 assume responsibility for it.

    17 So when you say that he had assumed

    18 responsibility, it might imply that actually someone

    19 had told him to take the blame for it. I don't think

    20 that happened.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Another question, Colonel.

    22 I have taken note of the small questions of mine. You

    23 spoke of Kordic regarding Ahmici, and his answer was

    24 the Serbs were responsible for Ahmici. Do you remember

    25 that?

  59. 1 A. Yes, I do.

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You said that -- you

    3 reacted normally. You said that was an insult for a

    4 military, but there was another answer for a real

    5 military man. What would have been that proper

    6 answer?

    7 A. I cannot remember. He gave me a list of

    8 reasons. I remember that he told me that it was a

    9 long-range Serb patrol that had penetrated, massacred

    10 Muslims so that Croats would take the blame, which is,

    11 of course, a variation on a theme put in some Croatian

    12 newspapers that I had carried out the massacre and

    13 blamed it on the Croats. So I just was incredulous and

    14 just was in a way amused that he could be so stupid as

    15 to tell me such a stupidity.

    16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I'm going to ask you a

    17 question which is not a play on words, but, still,

    18 there are words which are used here in the courtroom,

    19 and we must see whether there is a correspondence

    20 between words or are we having a dialogue of the deaf.

    21 My question is: Was artillery used in

    22 Ahmici?

    23 A. I don't think so. I think it was mortars.

    24 But I'm not certain.

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Another question is as

  60. 1 follows: When, on the 16th of April, you passed by the

    2 Swiss chalet, and you concluded, by noticing soldiers

    3 there, that they had participated in an operation, my

    4 question is: Those soldiers, were they soldiers of the

    5 HVO, regular units, or were they elements of the

    6 military police or some others?

    7 A. I really wish I could give an honest,

    8 straightforward, definitive answer to that question.

    9 The answer is: I don't know. They were soldiers, and

    10 they didn't like me passing by. So me, I didn't stay

    11 around.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: But those soldiers could

    13 have been members of the military police or not?

    14 A. They could have been members of the military

    15 police, but I didn't know. They were soldiers in

    16 combat uniforms with packs, fighting packs, you know,

    17 pouches with ammunition in flak jackets, you know, the

    18 sort of -- and the agitation of soldiers that have just

    19 done something.

    20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: And, in your view as a

    21 military man, Colonel Stewart, the appearance they had,

    22 was it more suited to a soldier or a member of the

    23 military police?

    24 A. The military police often looked like

    25 soldiers in Bosnia. They looked more like soldiers,

  61. 1 but I am not absolutely certain that they could not

    2 have been military police. They were soldiers and they

    3 were soldiers who were equipped for operations, and the

    4 military police often looked like soldiers.

    5 I didn't get close enough to see the patches,

    6 if they had them; but you have to remember, sir, that

    7 when people do things that are crimes, they often do so

    8 anonymously. Patches were frequently taken off and

    9 masks were worn. These soldiers were not wearing

    10 masks, but I couldn't see the patches, and anyway, I

    11 was too far away.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Colonel Stewart, in his

    13 testimony, General Blaskic presented the thesis that

    14 the crimes committed in Ahmici were committed by the

    15 military police and that the military police was not

    16 under his command. Does this piece of information

    17 change your opinion? Is it something new for you?

    18 A. No, that is something I would anticipate and

    19 expect. But the Swiss house was occupied normally by

    20 soldiers. Are we suggesting that these soldiers

    21 disappeared? Are we suggesting that the soldiers that

    22 stopped me when I went to the village of Ahmici on the

    23 22nd were not soldiers? They were soldiers. They were

    24 HVO soldiers, not military police.

    25 So I am quite prepared to accept that

  62. 1 military police might have been there, but so too were

    2 normal soldiers of the HVO.

    3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Another question, and my

    4 last one, Colonel: When did you learn about the

    5 formation of this Tribunal?

    6 A. I can't remember. I cannot remember. But I

    7 made the -- it was shortly after I left Bosnia, and I

    8 was pleased.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: After leaving Bosnia,

    10 perhaps talking with representatives of the U.N., the

    11 human rights organisations, did they tell you then

    12 about the establishment of the Tribunal? I do not wish

    13 to infer anything, but it was assisted by a Security

    14 Council resolution in February, which means about two

    15 months before the events in Ahmici. So at the time of

    16 Ahmici, the Tribunal had already been established. It

    17 was established in February 1993.

    18 No? I beg your pardon.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: No, there were two resolutions.

    20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I'm sorry, it is Resolution

    21 808, adopted on the 22nd of February, 1993. So the

    22 Security Council decided to establish an international

    23 tribunal to judge persons assumed responsible for grave

    24 breaches of international humanitarian law on the

    25 territory of the former Yugoslavia since 1991.

  63. 1 Therefore, two months before Ahmici, the Tribunal had

    2 been formed.

    3 That raises a number of questions because you

    4 had some reticence as to the authenticity of a series

    5 of orders. There is another aspect which we must bear

    6 in mind. The first verbal -- I'm sorry, written order

    7 by General Blaskic carries the date of the 10th of May,

    8 the same day that you left Bosnia. There is

    9 coincidence there. What is your view?

    10 A. I don't know. I don't have a view, sir. I

    11 remember I took the Security Council to the site of the

    12 village of Ahmici when they visited. The date is in my

    13 diary. I have no particular -- when the Security

    14 Council set up the war crimes tribunal is totally

    15 irrelevant to me. I mean, I wasn't arguing for a war

    16 crime tribunal, I was just dealing with the situation

    17 on the ground, and I was not thinking towards some kind

    18 of trial in The Hague in 1999, I was thinking of, how

    19 should I carry out my duty in accordance with my

    20 instructions from the Security Council, which were

    21 very, very vague at the time.

    22 But one thing was clear to me, that the

    23 saving of human life, whoever's it was, was very

    24 important to my mission. So when people took life, and

    25 they took it in such a bestial way, it was important

  64. 1 for me to actually put a marker down that this was

    2 wrong.

    3 I have to say that my conversations with

    4 Colonel Blaskic, which, when reported to my own

    5 government, I was given a hard time for that, but I

    6 would still stand and do it again because I was told

    7 that my responsibilities in Central Bosnia were simply

    8 to assist in the escorting of humanitarian aid. I

    9 personally disagree that it just stopped at that. My

    10 responsibilities in Central Bosnia were to do with the

    11 saving of life, and that's why I was sent there.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Colonel, perhaps this

    13 really is my last question: Regarding a certain number

    14 of exhibits which have been shown to you, you provided

    15 an incomplete and inaccurate commentary of them. Why

    16 did you come out with this reaction? On what basis did

    17 you say -- I'm sorry, that they were incomplete. What

    18 is the basis for this assessment of yours?

    19 A. I'm so sorry, but I don't understand -- the

    20 comment I can recall saying is that documents can be

    21 produced after the event, and in Bosnia, there was a

    22 war of documents and the war of what was happening on

    23 the ground. Documents can sometimes appear later and

    24 documents don't necessarily bear any relation to what

    25 is happening on the ground.

  65. 1 In my own experience in Bosnia, my orders

    2 were given verbally, and my orders were given verbally

    3 in a set way at 5.00 each night, and they were adjusted

    4 as necessary whenever it was required at whatever

    5 time. I did not give many written orders as such

    6 beyond a general directive when we started, and, if

    7 necessary, for specific operations, I would then write

    8 orders. But even so, those orders were delivered

    9 verbally by me.

    10 So my comment was that I don't necessarily --

    11 I am in no position to judge the authenticity of these

    12 documents, but I am really pleased -- I have just

    13 placed on record I'm really pleased if Colonel Blaskic

    14 gave orders to stop crimes against civilians. It is in

    15 keeping with what I think he is.

    16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Colonel, I appreciate very

    17 much your contribution, for helping us to understand

    18 all these matters. Thank you very much.

    19 A. Thank you, sir.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. I also appreciate

    21 your contribution even though I say it in French. I

    22 won't have many questions because my colleagues have

    23 covered most of the area of your testimony, and they're

    24 thereby facilitating my task.

    25 One question or two or three regarding Ahmici

  66. 1 that I have for you. Regarding the list of names,

    2 Colonel, did you know them? Did you know them when you

    3 met them? That is, you had some sympathy for Colonel

    4 Blaskic, you liked him; not being your enemy but you

    5 recognised him as being a soldier like you. You

    6 told us -- a person who appears to us to be a person of

    7 deep conviction and who is still living through the

    8 suffering of Ahmici. I'm asking: Why didn't you

    9 communicate to him the names?

    10 A. Sir, I'm delighted to hear you speaking in

    11 French because my wife is French and I have to listen

    12 to French a lot with my children. Forgive me for that

    13 aside. French is lovely.

    14 I can't recall exactly, to be honest, why we

    15 didn't give those names to Colonel Blaskic. It might

    16 have been a mistake. But it equally might have been

    17 the wrong thing to do.

    18 The names came from the United Nations Centre

    19 for Human Rights. They were my source. In particular,

    20 the man, Thomas Osorio, gave me those names. I

    21 remember discussing with Thomas Osorio what I should do

    22 with those names, and I remember that we agreed to give

    23 them to the European Community Monitoring Mission

    24 possibly, in the end, so that the U.N. could get them

    25 properly. But I cannot recall why we didn't give the

  67. 1 names to Colonel Blaskic beyond my assumption that I

    2 was concerned that the people that were so named might

    3 simply disappear, and that is a fairly legitimate

    4 worry. But, you know, as I say, I think that was

    5 probably the decision made. And also, of course, I was

    6 conscious that these names were not generated from

    7 within my own intelligence organisation, they came from

    8 the United Nations, and I did want to make sure that a

    9 record of these names was made.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Colonel. I don't

    11 have the luck to have an English wife, so if I may, I

    12 will continue in French.

    13 Whether soldiers of the HVO or other units --

    14 perhaps you cannot answer that question -- did

    15 Mr. Osorio elaborate, saying that they could have

    16 belonged to the military police of the HVO?

    17 A. I don't recall, Your Honour, that Osorio gave

    18 me any description of what they were. At the time, I

    19 didn't care whether they were military police or HVO

    20 soldiers proper; I just was given the names. And I

    21 thought that the names would identify where they came

    22 from, and no doubt, they possibly will, because I don't

    23 have the intelligence to be able to -- intelligence

    24 organisation any more to identify exactly where they

    25 came from.

  68. 1 I just wanted to make sure that the names

    2 were placed on record and placed on record outside the

    3 British military; not that I distrusted the British

    4 military but so that they were placed with the proper

    5 authorities. I wanted the U.N. to note -- after all,

    6 it was the U.N. Centre for Human Rights -- but the U.N.

    7 Centre for Human Rights might not necessarily be

    8 connected to the war crimes tribunal, if there was to

    9 be one -- forgive me, sir. I wasn't sure when it

    10 started -- and I wanted to make sure that they were

    11 logged before I left Bosnia.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. I should like to go

    13 back to a question put to you by Judge Rodrigues

    14 regarding the military police units. For a military

    15 professional of your rank, is it conceivable that the

    16 military police can be detached from the operational

    17 command, separate from the operational command?

    18 I'm talking about a military police which

    19 wear white belts, white helmets, and exist in all

    20 armies of the world. Is it conceivable that in these

    21 operational activities they can be -- that they can

    22 participate in operations but be separate from the

    23 command?

    24 A. It is inconceivable in NATO armies, and

    25 bearing in mind the Balkans factor, it is conceivable

  69. 1 in the Balkans. I'd explain that by reference to

    2 Kosovo. What is happening in Kosovo seem to be

    3 military police units with a separate chain of command,

    4 but I don't believe that that separation of command was

    5 evident in Central Bosnia at the time. It must have

    6 come together. The area was too close.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: But supposing there wasn't a

    8 single command, which is partly the thesis of the

    9 accused. Therefore, the engagement of the military

    10 police did take place in Ahmici. Is it conceivable

    11 that the commander of the Operational Zone was not

    12 aware of the involvement of the military police?

    13 This is a hypothesis that has been

    14 presented. The military police was there. Is it

    15 conceivable that the supreme commander of the Operative

    16 Zone was not aware of the presence of those units on

    17 the ground?

    18 A. No. That cannot have been the case because

    19 HVO soldiers proper were present. They had a command

    20 headquarters there, and the first thing any commander

    21 would do, if some organisation arrived and started

    22 pushing his unit around, would be to inform his

    23 superior commander immediately. I would do it, and so

    24 would any professional officer, and so would any

    25 officer even if he wasn't professional.

  70. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Does your reply apply also to

    2 special units like the Jokers, the Vitezovi? Supposing

    3 they had a distinct command, would your observations be

    4 the same?

    5 A. My observation would be that they may act on

    6 their own but they would not act without being known

    7 that they were there by the commander. What they do on

    8 the ground might be something that they do themselves,

    9 but their presence on the ground would have been

    10 reported to the operational commander.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Let us suppose, Colonel, that

    12 the operations in Ahmici and other villages, let us not

    13 forget those attacks, that they were systematically

    14 planned within the framework of a very precise military

    15 plan. Under that hypothesis, is there any feedback in

    16 the form of reports, a feedback to the commander?

    17 A. Under that hypothesis the commander would

    18 have been very much part of the process. For a

    19 systematic large-scale operation in an area that was

    20 very close to an operational headquarters, the

    21 commander must have been part of the planning process.

    22 It is inconceivable to me that he would be ignored. It

    23 is inconceivable because there would be a requirement

    24 for his support from his forces and probably

    25 involvement.

  71. 1 JUDGE JORDA: How could you explain that the

    2 commander, Colonel Blaskic, who appeared to you as an

    3 experienced and competent professional military man,

    4 how could you explain that the next day, the day

    5 following the attack, he had no reports about the

    6 attack except for the exhibits, mentioned a moment ago,

    7 by Mr. Pasko Ljubicic? Is that conceivable or were

    8 these reports made verbally?

    9 A. I find it inconceivable because of the

    10 closeness of Ahmici to Hotel Vitez. I find it

    11 inconceivable that reports were not made and most

    12 definitely verbal reporting would be the way you

    13 command and control any operation that's fluid.

    14 You do not have time to write orders down in

    15 the middle of a battle. I only think back to the

    16 Charge of the Light Brigade, 1854. It ended up the

    17 people went up the wrong valley. I think it has to be

    18 done verbally. It's the best way, and normally in

    19 person.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Colonel. Thankfully

    21 the Tribunal is not responsible for these operations of

    22 the last century, but what is important for me is to

    23 know whether that attack, having a criminal

    24 connotation, whether it had been planned as such.

    25 Could it have been done without anything being written

  72. 1 down? Is that conceivable?

    2 A. It is conceivable that it could have been

    3 done without anything being written down.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. I have my last

    5 question. If Colonel Blaskic, who appeared to you to

    6 be extremely shocked and hurt by the operation in

    7 Ahmici and he appeared to you to be sincere about it,

    8 did he clearly disassociate himself from that operation

    9 and would it have been even more pronounced if he had

    10 taken disciplinary or legal action?

    11 So my question is: If Colonel Blaskic, who

    12 was shocked, had taken resolute action, disciplinary

    13 and judicial action, could he have risked his position

    14 as commander, knowing the political circumstances and

    15 especially the position of Dario Kordic?

    16 A. I think that is a possibility. I think that

    17 is a distinct possibility, but I would like to answer

    18 and say that I asked him if he took operational

    19 responsibility for the actions of the soldiers in the

    20 Ahmici area and he said yes, he did. So my belief

    21 remains that he was the operational commander for what

    22 happened in Ahmici.

    23 If he wasn't and if something did go wrong

    24 and if, you know, some other unit did come along, under

    25 any kind of law he should have taken immediate and

  73. 1 effective action, disciplinary action, against those

    2 responsible, and he did not do so, to the best my

    3 knowledge, in the time that I was there.

    4 Paper is fine, but my experience on the

    5 ground in the Balkans is that paper is meaningless

    6 until you see people doing something, and I didn't see

    7 anything being done. Most certainly, we would have

    8 supported it with the European Community Monitoring

    9 Mission.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: I'm going to ask you a serious

    11 question, Colonel, and if you do not wish to answer, I

    12 will understand. Being in a position as you were,

    13 noting crimes committed perhaps by troops under your

    14 command, would it be a hypothesis to offer one's

    15 resignation under those circumstances?

    16 A. Not only your resignation but to be expected

    17 to be charged for responsibility for the operation that

    18 went wrong. You cannot just walk away from something

    19 that is done by your own soldiers.

    20 That is the way it works in the British

    21 army. You can't just walk away from it. I know that

    22 it is a different circumstance though, but I'm just

    23 talking from my own experience.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: But placed in the position they

    25 were, because one cannot compare armies, but in view of

  74. 1 the situation in which Colonel Blaskic found himself

    2 in, would you have thought of leaving the command?

    3 A. Most definitely. Yes.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Before concluding,

    5 I know that Judge Shahabuddeen has another question for

    6 you and I should like to give you the floor, Judge.

    7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Colonel, do bear with

    8 me. I have one little question to ask you. It relates

    9 to your answer to President Jorda when you said that

    10 you asked Colonel Blaskic if he took operational

    11 responsibility for the actions of the soldiers in the

    12 Ahmici area and he said yes, he did. The question I

    13 would like to put to you is designed to solicit your

    14 help on the negative side of that statement.

    15 Did Colonel Blaskic ever say to you that the

    16 events at Ahmici had been caused by the actions of the

    17 military police but that the military police, at that

    18 time, were not subject to his command and control?

    19 A. I don't think he did, and I think I would

    20 have remembered if he had have done, because you will

    21 recall that I had respect for this man and I would be

    22 trying to find a way out where I would not put blame on

    23 him. That is the way I thought. When I saw Tihomir

    24 Blaskic, I did not want to blame him. I wanted to find

    25 some other reason. So when I say I cannot recall, I

  75. 1 can't, but I think I would have done if such an answer

    2 had been given me, because I was looking for a way out

    3 for Colonel Blaskic.

    4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Colonel, I repeat the

    5 appreciation which I have already expressed for the

    6 assistance you have given to the Trial Chamber.

    7 A. Thank you, sir.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Colonel Stewart, as I said

    9 yesterday regarding another government and another

    10 country, through you I should like to thank your

    11 government for assisting us by this testimony which the

    12 Chamber wanted to have from a major actor of this drama

    13 we have to judge. I say it again and in a public

    14 hearing so that it be made clear that this Tribunal,

    15 fortunately, does benefit from the assistance of the

    16 big powers that are supporting us, but beyond that I

    17 wish to thank you on behalf of my colleagues for

    18 coming, for having testified with a great deal of

    19 conviction and courage and personal courage, because

    20 Blaskic was your friend. That is what I wanted to tell

    21 you. Thank you.

    22 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: We're going to ask you to leave

    24 to see whether there may be any other questions by the

    25 Defence and the Prosecution. If not, then the Judges

  76. 1 will retreat. We will now adjourn. We will resume

    2 on --

    3 THE REGISTRAR: Monday, 2.00 p.m., with a new

    4 witness for a closed hearing.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much.

    6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

    7 at 11.43 a.m., to be reconvened on

    8 Monday, the 21st day of June, 1999

    9 at 2.00 p.m.