1 Tuesday, 6th July, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.07 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar,
5 have the accused brought in, please.
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning to the
8 interpreters. I want to be sure that everybody can
9 hear me. Is everybody ready? Yes. Good morning to
10 Prosecution and Defence counsel, and good morning to
11 the accused.
12 For the public gallery, let me remind you
13 that we are now completing the general rebuttal of the
14 Prosecutor before we move to the Defence's
16 Mr. Prosecutor, I think that you are
17 introducing a witness this morning; is that correct?
18 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President.
19 Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, counsel.
20 Yes, we have one brief witness. His testimony will be
21 brief, and it will be followed by a presentation of
22 additional documents by Mr. Kehoe.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Will be you
24 finished by the end of the morning?
25 MR. HARMON: We hope to be finished by 11.00,
1 Mr. President.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. That will give me
3 the opportunity to turn to the Defence and say -- and
4 depending on the large amount of documents that we
5 received yesterday, I can ask whether you can set up a
6 schedule so that we can be finished by Friday morning.
7 Let's have the witness brought in. This is a
8 witness whose name is -- this is a public hearing. You
9 didn't ask for any specific protective measures; is
10 that correct?
11 MR. HARMON: That's correct. Your Honours,
12 the witness is Colonel Henk Morsink of the Dutch army.
13 Colonel Morsink has testified previously in this case.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, Colonel. No, no,
15 no. Mr. Usher, no. Ask the witness to remain
16 standing. You are familiar with our procedures. Come
17 on. I know this is a very tall witness and so that
18 might be a problem for you to give him the headphones,
19 but nonetheless. Would you now give him the headphones
20 so that he can hear me?
21 THE WITNESS: (No audible answer)
22 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me,
23 Colonel Morsink? Please give us your name again, your
24 family name, your given name, your rank in the Dutch
25 army, although we are familiar with it, the place where
1 you were born, and then remain standing for a few
2 moments to take the oath.
3 THE WITNESS: My name is Henk Morsink. I'm a
4 Colonel in the Dutch army. I was born in Amsterdam in
5 the Netherlands, the 15th of May, 1956.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Would you take an
7 oath now, please? Read the oath that's been given to
9 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
10 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
12 JUDGE JORDA: He was born in Amsterdam? Is
13 that what you said? All right.
14 You may now be seated, Colonel Morsink.
15 Please be seated. Thank you for having come back at
16 the request of the Prosecutor, and since you are
17 familiar with our proceedings at this Tribunal and you
18 come from the host country of the Tribunal, without any
19 further ado the Prosecutor can now begin to ask his
20 additional questions.
21 I suppose these are additional questions that
22 you want to ask the witness, before we give the floor
23 to the Defence.
24 THE WITNESS: HENDRIK MORSINK
25 Examined by Mr. Harmon:
1 Q. Good morning, Colonel Morsink?
2 A. Good morning.
3 Q. Colonel Morsink, you testified in this
4 Chamber previously in this case, and you testified
5 about your role in Central Bosnia as an ECMM monitor.
6 Just to briefly summarise, you were an ECMM monitor in
7 Central Bosnia from the 16th of April, 1993 until the
8 8th of July, 1993; is that correct?
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. You arrived in Zenica on the night of the
11 16th of April, 1993?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. The following day, on the 17th day of April,
14 you went to Vitez; is that correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Now, while you were in theatre, you were a
17 member of what was known as the Busovaca Joint
18 Commission; is that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. The Busovaca Joint Commission was a
21 commission where the parties had representatives,
22 Bosnian Muslims, the HVO, the ECMM, and the parties
23 would attempt to resolve their differences. They would
24 identify problem areas. ECMM, with representatives of
25 each of the parties, would travel in the field and
1 conduct investigations and inspections, return on the
2 following day at the Busovaca Joint Commission meeting
3 and there would be a report about the findings in the
4 field. Is that an accurate summary of the way in which
5 the Busovaca Joint Commission worked?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. Furthermore, the Busovaca Joint Commission,
8 according to your previous testimony --
9 JUDGE JORDA: Please speak a little more
10 slowly. I know that you speak quickly but think about
11 the interpreters, please.
12 MR. HARMON: I'm sorry.
13 Q. The Busovaca Joint Commission ceased to
14 function at the end of April when it evolved into four
15 local commissions, local commissions being in Vitez, in
16 Busovaca, in Kiseljak, and in Travnik; is that
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Those local commissions functioned in the
20 same way that I have just described the Busovaca Joint
21 Commission functioning; is that correct?
22 A. That's correct, yes.
23 Q. In addition to the brigade commander's
24 representative from each of those municipalities and
25 from each of the parties who attended the local
1 commissions, there were higher-level representatives
2 attending the local commissions or at least some or
3 most of those, Franjo Nakic representing the HVO and
4 Dzemo Merdan representing the ABiH; is that correct?
5 A. That's correct, yes.
6 Q. Now, similarly, once the findings were
7 reported in both the Busovaca Joint Commission and the
8 findings were reported in the local commissions, it was
9 the duty and obligation of the representatives from the
10 parties in each of the respective parties to convey the
11 findings up the chain of command; is that correct?
12 A. That's correct, yes.
13 Q. Now, let me turn your attention,
14 Colonel Morsink, to the 21st of April, 1993. Did you,
15 as part of your duties on the Busovaca Joint
16 Commission, visit Ahmici?
17 A. I did.
18 Q. When did you do that? What time of the day
20 A. It was in after the noon. I think it was
21 maybe 14.00.
22 Q. Who was with you when you visited Ahmici?
23 A. My interpreter Marijana was with me; a
24 British liaison officer, one of the British marine
25 captains. I'm not sure whether it was Matt Braye or
1 Pete Fensom, one of the two was definitely there. One
2 of the two British soldiers who mostly joined us to
3 drive the vehicle and as a bodyguard, and the liaison
4 officer for the HVO in Vitez, Mr. Jozic, Borislav
5 Jozic, and the liaison officer for the arm of BiH in
6 the area of Vitez, Mr. Refik Hajdarevic. They were all
8 Q. Could you explain to the Trial Chamber what
9 you did when you got to Vitez -- I'm sorry, when you
10 got to Ahmici. I made a mistake.
11 A. We drove through -- I think the lower part of
12 Ahmici with our APC, this is a British armoured
13 vehicle, and as we passed through the centre of the
14 lower part, we passed the destroyed mosque. We stopped
15 the car after a few hundred metres, and we went out of
16 the car. I took my interpreter and the British
17 Captain, and Mr. Jozic with me. Mr. Hajdarevic stayed
18 in the vehicle.
19 We wandered through the streets. We were
20 very impressed by all the destroyed houses. We were
21 impressed by the mosque destroyed, the minaret tumbled
22 over the mosque because of some explosion, I guess.
23 There was a bus in front of the mosque, filled with
24 bullet holes. In the meadows we saw a lot of dead
25 cows. We saw a dead dog on the street so even the
1 animals were dead.
2 When we entered a garage near the mosque, we
3 found the dead body of an old man lying on the table,
4 covered with a blanket. I was very impressed by that
5 since it was the first time I actually touched a dead
6 body. I remember also Mr. Jozic and the British
7 captain were very impressed by the look of this old man
8 with his eyes open. I think that's -- that's all I can
10 Q. Colonel, how long did you remain walking
11 around the streets of Lower Ahmici?
12 A. I think approximately 20, maybe 30 minutes.
13 Q. Did you enter the houses in the lower part of
15 A. No, we did not, because soldiers warned us
16 for possible booby traps or mines, so we did not enter
17 the houses.
18 Q. Did you see anybody who was living in Ahmici?
19 A. Near the place where we parked our APC, there
20 was one house left without any damage, and there was
21 somebody on the balcony, there was laundry hanging out;
22 so there was at least one person still living there.
23 Q. Did you come to a conclusion as to the
24 ethnicity of that particular person?
25 A. The house had a typical roof, typical for
1 Croat houses and not -- definitely not the typical roof
2 for Muslim houses.
3 Q. Colonel, was there any damage to that house?
4 A. As far as I could see, the house was
6 Q. Did you prepare a report about your visit to
7 Ahmici on the 21st of April, 1993?
8 A. I made a report daily and had to send it to
9 Zagreb, to the headquarters of the ECMM, and I
10 mentioned my visit to Ahmici in the report of the 21st
11 of April.
12 MR. HARMON: That report, for Your Honours
13 and for counsel, has been introduced into evidence as
14 Prosecutor's Exhibit 696.
15 Q. Now, at the conclusion of that visit, was
16 Mr. Jozic dropped off at any particular location?
17 A. We used to drop him off -- I didn't always do
18 it myself, most of the times it was done by the British
19 captain with the same APC. He dropped him off either
20 at the brigade headquarters or at the divisional
21 headquarters in Vitez.
22 Q. The divisional headquarters would be the
23 Hotel Vitez; is that correct?
24 A. That's right. Divisional headquarters or the
25 operational zone headquarters was the Hotel Vitez.
1 Q. And the brigade headquarters would be located
2 in the cinema building a short distance from the --
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Now, while you were an ECMM representative at
5 the Busovaca joint commission and while you were acting
6 in that capacity, did Colonel Blaskic or any
7 representative of the HVO request that the Busovaca
8 joint commission conduct an investigation into the
9 events at Ahmici?
10 A. No, they did not.
11 Q. Later, Colonel Morsink, while you were an
12 ECMM representative to the local commissions, did
13 Colonel Blaskic or any representative of the HVO
14 request that any of the local joint commissions conduct
15 an investigation into the events at Ahmici?
16 A. No, they did not.
17 Q. Had such a request been made, Colonel
18 Morsink, would ECMM have lent its assistance to such an
20 A. Yes, definitely, since we got the order from
21 headquarters in Zagreb to assist any investigation for
22 war crimes or possible war crimes.
23 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Colonel Morsink.
24 Mr. President, Your Honours, I have concluded
25 my examination.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman?
2 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. Good
3 morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Hayman:
5 Q. Good morning and welcome back to the
6 Tribunal. It's Major Morsink; is that right?
7 A. Colonel Morsink.
8 Q. Colonel. Thank you. You spoke of the
9 structure of the local commissions. Were the local
10 commissions supposed to meet every day or approximately
11 every day?
12 A. The Busovaca joint commission, that's where
13 it started, met every day, and this Busovaca joint
14 commission evolved into four local commissions, and
15 they also used to meet every day but, of course, there
16 were exceptions sometimes.
17 Q. I take it, when the local commissions were
18 meeting every day, it was impossible for the
19 higher-level representatives to -- that is, Mr. Merdan
20 and Mr. Nakic, to attend all of the local meetings;
22 A. We usually had two or three meetings a day,
23 so they used to come with me to those two or three
25 Q. Did they continue to do their own on-site
1 inspection, that is, not just to attend meetings but to
2 go out into the field and inspect events, places, and
3 so forth, Mr. Nakic and Mr. Merdan, or were they only
4 going around attending local meetings?
5 A. I didn't join them always so I can't tell
6 what they did in the time I didn't see them.
7 Q. Do you have a schedule or any records of the
8 meetings that Mr. Nakic and Mr. Merdan attended at the
9 local commission level?
10 A. I don't have an exact schedule, but I can
11 look it up in my notes because I had to report to
12 Zagreb who was normally joining the meetings.
13 JUDGE JORDA: When you answer, Colonel,
14 please turn to the Judges. I know it isn't easy, but
15 the Judges have to hear your testimony. Thank you very
17 MR. HAYMAN:
18 Q. So you have that information if the
19 Prosecutor wished to present it to the Court; is that
21 A. I have at least a lot of notes where I noted
22 for myself to make sure that it would show up in the
23 daily report. I have a lot of notes who attended what
24 meeting, yes.
25 Q. Did you ever see a written report from any of
1 the local commission meetings that went up the chain of
2 command in the HVO? Do you know whether there was any
3 written reporting from those local commission meetings
4 on the HVO side? Did you ever see such a report?
5 A. I made the reports myself on behalf of the
6 ECMM and the British battalion, and no copies of
7 these -- of my ECMM reports were handed over to one of
8 the representatives. They made their own notes, and I
9 do not know whether they handed them to their
10 commanders or not.
11 Q. You're speaking about notes now in the latter
12 part of your answer. Did you ever see a written report
13 prepared on the HVO side at any of these local
14 commission meetings, a typed report or a document
15 appearing to be in the format of a report?
16 A. Yes. We made some reports ourselves,
17 translated by my interpreter into Croatian, and these
18 reports, more or less statements, were handed over to
19 both sides. So that's not really a daily report but a
20 statement of things we found or things we decided.
21 Q. And do you have any of those or have you
22 given those to the Prosecutor's Office, the copies that
23 you had?
24 A. I'm not sure whether these reports have been
25 copied. I can't read them in Croatian myself. I
1 handed over a lot of copies of these kinds of reports
2 to the Court.
3 Q. Other than the copies you've already provided
4 to the Court, can you give the Court any insight into
5 the content of any written documents that were
6 distributed at the local commission meetings?
7 A. The content, most of the time, was decisions
8 made by one of the local commissions on behalf of the
9 exchange of prisoners, exchange of dead bodies, the
10 investigation for allegations in parts of that area of
11 the local commission, and one or two times it mentioned
12 free passage for the team, the ECMM team, including
13 both liaison officers, to be able to cross the front
14 lines, to be able to cross checkpoints. So that's the
15 intent of most of the documents.
16 Q. Now, when you say "the investigation for
17 allegations in parts of that area of the local
18 commission," would the documents you're referring to,
19 would they state that an investigation was conducted
20 and that such and such a finding was found; is that
21 what you mean?
22 A. Most of the times, it was a decision to make
23 an investigation and the results -- well, both liaison
24 officers were present during the investigation, and the
25 results should be told by the liaison officers to their
2 Q. Thank you for clarifying that. Now let's
3 turn to the 21st of April. You visited Ahmici, Lower
4 Ahmici; is that right?
5 A. I was under the impression that there was an
6 east and west Ahmici, but looking at the map, it's more
7 or less like a lower and a higher or upper Ahmici.
8 Q. Did you go north of the mosque area, the area
9 of the mosque?
10 A. As I recall it on the map, we parked our
11 APC maybe 200 metres north of the mosque. There's a
12 small square there where we could turn the vehicle.
13 Q. Is it fair to say that you concluded from
14 your inspection of that area on that day that, with the
15 exception of the old man whom you found dead in a
16 garage, you concluded that the population had fled or
17 evacuated the area; is that what you concluded?
18 A. Well, I think the conclusion was that there
19 was nobody left alive in this village. I couldn't tell
20 whether they fled or whether there were more dead
21 bodies. We only saw one dead body at that time.
22 Q. What was your conclusion, though? Certainly
23 you -- you either concluded that there was a massacre,
24 with a large number of civilians dead, or everybody had
25 left the area. Did you conclude one or the other,
2 A. As I recall it, I concluded that the whole
3 village or almost all the houses were destroyed,
4 including the mosque and the minaret, and that we only
5 saw one dead body.
6 Q. Are you telling the Court that you reached no
7 conclusion about the population, whether they were dead
8 or whether they had left, fled, or been evacuated,
9 based on your inspection that day?
10 A. At that same day, we also visited a prison in
11 Dubravica that's nearby, I think it's 2 or 3 kilometres
12 from Ahmici, and we were informed by the soldiers
13 guarding these people there that a lot of people from
14 Ahmici were in that prison, and if you combine that
15 with the fact that we only saw one dead body, then I
16 could not draw a conclusion whether there was --
17 whether there were more dead bodies than only this one
18 dead body. I didn't see any others, so I couldn't draw
19 any other conclusion.
20 Q. Could we state your conclusion the way you
21 stated it in Prosecutor's Exhibit 697 (sic), the daily
22 operational report of the ECMM dated 21 April, 1993,
23 which was, with respect to:
24 "Ahmici West - all Muslims gone, some in
25 prison in Dubravica, (2) Ahmici East - 90% of all
1 houses as well as the mosque destroyed, no people left,
2 1 dead body."
3 Is that fair to say, that's the totality of
4 the conclusions you reached based on your inspection in
5 Ahmici on the 21st of April, 1993?
6 A. That's right, yes. That's what I wrote.
7 MR. HAYMAN: Now, if Exhibit 456/57 could be
8 provided to the witness?
9 MR. HARMON: Counsel, just to make a
10 correction. You cited the exhibit from the report
11 prepared by Colonel Morsink as Prosecutor's Exhibit
12 697. It is Prosecutor's Exhibit 696.
13 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you. I misspoke if I said
14 697. It is 696. And I was reading from subparagraph D
15 prior to main paragraph 10 towards the bottom of the
17 Q. Colonel, do you have Prosecutor's
18 Exhibit 456/57, which is a letter to Colonel Stewart
19 and UNPROFOR from Colonel Blaskic, then
20 Colonel Blaskic?
21 A. Yes, I think I have it in front of me.
22 Q. It's dated the 23rd of April.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The first paragraph reads in part: "I am
25 ready to send immediately the investigating commission
1 to the village of Ahmici, as well as to other
2 places ..." and so forth.
3 The last paragraph, paragraph 3, ends as
4 follows: "Please intervene in our further negotiations
5 together with Mr. Thebault."
6 As a member of ECMM at the time, do you know
7 whether this letter and this request was ever relayed
8 to the ECMM or to Mr. Thebault?
9 A. I don't know. Mr. Thebault was the
10 Ambassador of the ECMM. He was the top commander of
11 our ECMM structure in Zenica.
12 Q. Was this letter or this request ever relayed
13 personally to you, by Colonel Stewart or his
15 A. I'm not sure. It might be a copy of the big
16 pile of reports that I handed.
17 Q. Is it fair to say not to your recollection?
18 You don't remember --
19 A. I don't remember.
20 Q. -- receiving this?
21 A. I don't remember.
22 Q. You don't remember receiving it; is that
24 A. Depends only if I get the time to check all
25 my reports. I brought them with me. If it's in there,
1 then definitely I got it. If it's not in there, then
2 definitely I did not get it.
3 Q. Have you reviewed your earlier testimony in
4 the case, such as that you have some recollection of
6 A. I went through all my notes again and again.
7 It gets tougher and tougher remembering after six
8 years, but ...
9 Q. Based on that review prior to your testimony
10 here today, do you recall receiving this document or
11 the information in it in substance while you were in
12 the theatre in April of 1993?
13 A. No, I don't.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you attend a meeting between
15 Mr. Thebault and Colonel Blaskic on or about the 4th of
16 May, 1993?
17 A. I'm not sure. Can you clarify what was
18 discussed during that meeting or where it took place?
19 Q. One moment and I'll try. Why don't you check
20 your notes? I think it would have been either at the
21 BritBat base, the ECMM house, or in Zenica.
22 A. I have notes from a meeting on the 4th of May
23 at the ECMM house in Bila, BritBat camp. I noted that
24 Mr. Merdan and Mr. Nakic was present, both liaison
25 officers from representatives HVO and army of BiH. I
1 have one quote of the Ambassador, so he must have been
2 present as well.
3 Q. Do your notes reflect -- those are the
4 attendees your notes reflect?
5 A. I don't know whether this is the meeting
6 you're referring to, but that's one of the meetings I
7 attended on the 4th of May.
8 Q. Thank you for checking your notes. After the
9 16th of April, until the end of your tour of duty, was
10 there ever a resolution, that is, a decision by the
11 successor to the Busovaca Joint Commission that a joint
12 investigation of events in Ahmici should take place and
13 the HVO or the BH army or BH authorities should join to
14 investigate what had occurred in Ahmici. Was there
15 ever such a decision, or written resolution, or other
16 type of resolution made?
17 A. As I remember it, we decided on the 20th of
18 April to visit Ahmici, but because of the work we had
19 to do, there was a lot of work to do, we were not able
20 to go to Ahmici on the 20th. So we visited it on the
21 21st, and we took the members of the Busovaca joint
22 commission with us. So that was a job not only for
23 myself, it was a job for the whole commission, and we
24 visited Ahmici.
25 As I recall it, after a few weeks, an
1 independent investigator from the U.N. came to visit
2 us, and also Colonel Ford from ECMM in Zagreb visited
3 us, and they both went to Ahmici to do an
4 investigation. So because they already did the entire
5 investigation after a few weeks, there was no urge for
6 me as a member of the local commission to do it again,
7 because I think they had the better means to do an
8 investigation than we had.
9 Q. By "they" who had a better means, you're
10 referring to UNHCR and this Colonel. Is it Fort or
12 A. Ford. Colonel Ford.
13 Q. Where was Colonel Ford from?
14 A. Colonel Ford, as I recall it, was a Canadian
15 officer. He was the deputy commander of the ECMM
16 structure in Zagreb.
17 Q. Am I correct then in concluding that after
18 the visit that you've described to Ahmici on the 21st,
19 that the commission structure, the local commissions or
20 the successor to the Busovaca Joint Commission, did not
21 resolve and neither side requested or suggested that
22 they jointly investigate events in Ahmici; is that
24 A. Well, there was more and more information
25 coming in regarding Ahmici. I think Colonel Bob
1 Stewart even visited Ahmici. The press went there. So
2 we got more and more information. After this
3 investigation was done by the U.N., there was no need
4 for us to do it again.
5 Q. I understand that once UNHCR and Colonel Ford
6 from ECMM Zagreb had investigated, your view was there
7 was no need for anything further, but before that
8 happened in early May, which I think those
9 investigations were approximately the first week in
10 May, up until that time was there a decision within
11 ECMM that Colonel Ford and UNHCR should investigate,
12 rather than a joint investigation involving BH and HVO
14 A. Well, there was a lot of work to do, and we
15 had to go to all places. There was still cease-fire
16 violations in a lot of places. So we couldn't do all
17 the work in one day. I think, as I recall it, the most
18 important things that had to be done at that time were
19 try to release prisoners; try to find out what happened
20 with a lot of missing people; exchange of dead bodies,
21 since they had to be buried within a few days. We
22 tried to help people with food and aid.
23 So in other words, there was a lot of work to
24 do and there was no time to do a second visit within a
25 few dates or within a week to Ahmici again. Again,
1 because the Brits already recovered a lot of dead
2 bodies, so there was no need for us, as a commission,
3 to count the bodies again and, again, to try to find
4 out what happened.
5 Q. Is it fair to say that from the 17th or 18th
6 of April until into May, the joint commissions were
7 working very hard on trying to stop the fighting, free
8 the detainees, and save the lives of people who were
9 still alive? Is that fair to say?
10 A. I think the last part is the most important
11 part, save lives. You can do that by a cease-fire. But
12 on the other hand, we also had the task to check on
13 allegations, to check on supposed prisons, to check on
14 supposed maltreatment of people.
15 Q. I understand that. Perhaps you can help us
16 with one more question. Is it fair to say then that
17 from the latter part of April, into May, the BH
18 representatives to these joint commissions, local and
19 higher, they never put a higher priority on a renewed
20 investigation into Ahmici than they did on these other
21 important agenda items that you've described? Would
22 you agree with that?
23 A. As I recall it, there was not a renewed
24 request for the visit to Ahmici.
25 Q. Thank you, Colonel, for your patience.
1 MR. HAYMAN: We have conclude our
2 questioning, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Hayman. Do you
4 want to ask any additional questions, Mr. Harmon?
5 MR. HARMON: No, Mr. President. Thank you.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Judge Shahabuddeen
7 is going to ask a question.
8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Colonel only one
9 question. You mentioned something about dead bodies
10 being collected and buried. I think you said something
11 to the effect that the British Battalion had collected
12 some of the bodies. Did you learn where those bodies
13 came from?
14 A. Yes. I heard it from Colonel Bob Stewart
15 himself and from the ambulance personnel that collected
16 these bodies. As I recall it, it was -- I think it was
17 on the 22nd or the 23rd of April. So one or two days
18 after I visited Ahmici. It was recorded by either CNN
19 or BBC, and it was broadcast that same night. So I saw
20 the pictures on the television, as well as the
21 statements of the people themselves. The bodies were
22 collected from the houses in Ahmici.
23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you, Colonel.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Rodrigues? Thank you,
25 Judge Shahabuddeen.
1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, Colonel. I
2 believe that I understood that when you visited Ahmici,
3 you didn't go into the houses. Is that correct? Did I
4 understand you properly?
5 A. Correct.
6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I have another question.
7 Why did you go to Ahmici? Because of what?
8 A. Because it was mentioned several times in the
9 day before as one of the places where fighting started,
10 and there was an urge to visit Ahmici because the
11 members of the local commission mentioned the name of
12 the village several times. I was only in theatre for
13 one day then, so I might have not realised the
14 importance of Ahmici, but after mentioning the name
15 that often, we decided on the 20th to visit it, and we
16 finally did on the 21st because it was too busy on the
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: So the day before was the
19 20th. That was the first time that you had heard
20 anyone even speak about Ahmici; is that correct?
21 A. No, that's not correct. The --
22 JUDGE RODRIGUES: When did you hear somebody
23 speaking about Ahmici for the first time?
24 A. I heard somebody speaking about Ahmici on the
25 17th of April, and we drove by Ahmici ourselves when I
1 came from Zenica to Vitez, and there were dead bodies
2 on the road that very morning. So that was my first
3 impression of Ahmici.
4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: During the meetings that
5 you attended, there were also HVO representatives; is
6 that correct?
7 A. That's correct.
8 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Did those HVO
9 representatives find themselves in a position to hear
10 the same information that you had heard or did they
12 A. All the information that was mentioned during
13 every meeting was translated by my interpreter into
14 Croatian on behalf the HVO and the army of BiH. So I
15 think they were able to get all the information we
17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You spoke about the
18 statements that were translated for you by your
19 interpreter. Who made the statements?
20 A. The Busovaca Joint Commission made them, so
21 they all took part in that. Sometimes I dictated it to
22 write it in the proper manner and it was translated by
23 my interpreter.
24 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Were the statements sent to
25 somebody or were they submitted somehow? How were
1 these statements transmitted?
2 A. If the statement was about an agreement
3 between two parties, then both parties would get a copy
4 of it, of course. It was handed over to the Ambassador
5 Thebault, head of the ECMM, and most of the times the
6 British liaison officer took a copy as well.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: When you visited Ahmici,
8 did you see or did you observe any signs of resistance
9 or any signs of military defence?
10 A. That is hard to tell. I saw a lot of bullet
11 holes around the windows. The real sign of an
12 explosion was the minaret of the mosque tumbled over
13 the mosque. As I recall it, all houses were burned
14 out. I don't know why, but there were bullet holes
15 around the windows, that's for sure.
16 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You spoke about the
17 presence of a bus in front of the mosque. Did the bus
18 seem to be a bus that was being used or was something
19 that was regularly used?
20 A. I think it was regularly used, but I don't
21 recall that there was any bus stop there. The bus was
22 really fully filled with bullet holes, all the windows
23 were broken, and there was no sign of a dead body in
24 the bus.
25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Could you conclude that
1 since there was no bus stop there, could you say that
2 the bus had been abandoned there at that very moment or
4 A. I don't know. I didn't find any luggage
5 left. It might have been just a parking place for the
6 bus overnight. I'm not sure.
7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: A document with the date of
8 23 April was shown to you. Mr. Hayman then asked you
9 questions, but you said that if you consulted your
10 notes, perhaps you would be able to remember something.
11 In your notes that you have with you, do you
12 have any reference to that letter dated 23 April?
13 Could you take a look at your notes, please, to see
14 whether there is any mention about that letter which
15 was sent to Colonel Bob Stewart?
16 A. I don't have it in my notes, but if you allow
17 me, I can check my reports.
18 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, please do.
19 A. No, I don't find it in here.
20 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much,
21 Colonel. I have no further questions, Judge Jorda.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Rodrigues.
23 Colonel, when you spoke about Ahmici among
24 yourselves within the European Mission, did you have
25 any idea of the units and troops that had attacked the
1 village of Ahmici?
2 A. I wasn't aware of that in the beginning since
3 I was new in theatre and there were a lot of
4 experienced monitors who had been dealing with the
5 problem in the area. I heard of allegations of troops
6 attacking Ahmici later on. I don't remember exactly
7 when that was, but I think it was in the middle of May
8 when the first investigations were coming to a
9 conclusion, and then I was informed that an attack had
10 taken place on Ahmici.
11 JUDGE JORDA: When you speak about soldiers,
12 are you speaking about HVO soldiers or other units?
13 A. It's not clear to me whether they were HVO
14 soldiers or HVO policemen. It was a special unit, I
15 was told, supposedly located in a kind of restaurant
16 near the Lasva road.
17 JUDGE JORDA: My last question is the
18 following: Assuming that they were units or special
19 units or regular HVO units, from Vitez, that is the HVO
20 headquarters, from there, could one be aware of what
21 was going on in those villages, particularly in Ahmici?
22 A. You mean during the fighting or the days
23 after that?
24 JUDGE JORDA: During the fighting.
25 A. Well, it's quite close to the centre of
1 Vitez, there is only the River Lasva in between, and
2 Ahmici is on the lower part of a hill, so I think you
3 can see from the centre of Vitez to the hills on the
4 other side of the river. So if there is real fighting
5 going on, all the houses on fire, you must have your
6 eyes closed or stay inside if you don't want to see it.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Colonel. Thank you
8 for having come back at the request of the Prosecutor
9 in order to throw some light on the situation for the
10 Judges of this Tribunal. I don't think you're going to
11 have to come back now. You have finished your
12 testimony. We just wish to thank you, and I wish to
13 thank you on behalf of my colleagues as well.
14 You may now go back to your units, and the
15 usher will escort you out of the courtroom. Thank you
16 very much.
17 (The witness withdrew)
18 JUDGE JORDA: I see that Mr. Kehoe is going
19 to finish the rebuttal.
20 MR. KEHOE: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President,
21 Your Honours. Good morning, Mr. President, Your
22 Honours, Counsel.
23 Mr. President, if I can clarify one point
24 concerning the --
25 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, yes, of course.
1 MR. KEHOE: Thank you -- article from
2 Nacional, and the article that I'm talking about is the
3 article that we introduced yesterday where the
4 editorial board commented on Professor Bilandzic's
5 testimony. I am not sure, Mr. Dubuisson, the number of
6 that particular article.
7 THE REGISTRAR: The number is 778.
8 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. Dubuisson. That
9 particular article, 778, I noticed last night does not
10 carry with it the date on the particular article, and I
11 also looked at the translation which also doesn't carry
12 the date.
13 I do have the original of that article from
14 the newspaper, and in the copying, the Xeroxing,
15 Counsel, we cut off the date. I just want to clarify
16 for the record that Prosecutor's Exhibit 778 was in
17 Nacional on the 16th of September, 1998. Just a matter
18 of clarification.
19 I have been informed that I did ask the
20 translation section for the date, but since there's no
21 clarification -- and maybe my colleague, Mr. Nobilo,
22 can help me -- is the date 16 and the month is Rujna,
23 1998, and I think that's the month of September.
24 MR. NOBILO: Yes, September.
25 MR. KEHOE: Thank you.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo is going to testify
2 to the collaboration that he provided you at the Office
3 of the Prosecutor. Thank you. But we also have
4 interpreters who are here to help us.
5 Proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
6 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. I do
7 have a series of documents very briefly to offer to the
8 Court, and if I could just go into private session, I
9 believe that's the safest methodology to deal with
10 these particular documents.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. All right. Private
12 session. I'm saying this for the public gallery. And
13 will you then go back into public session --
14 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
15 JUDGE JORDA: -- or will you have private --
16 are you asking for a private session for all of them?
17 No, it's only for some of the documents that you're
18 asking for the private session.
19 MR. KEHOE: Only for four of the documents,
20 and I --
21 JUDGE JORDA: Four of them. Very well.
22 Four. All right. There are four documents, and for
23 those, we will move into private session.
24 (Private session)
14 (Open session)
15 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We are going back
16 into public session now. Mr. Kehoe, please continue to
17 present your documents.
18 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. As reflected
19 during the course of the defendant's, the accused's
20 testimony, Defence Exhibit 578 was a list of the -- or
21 a structure of the HV that Mr. Nobilo, through the
22 accused, commented on; and during that commentary,
23 which goes from page 23000 through 23002, the accused
24 commented on the structure of the HV and how it was
25 similar to the HVO, and if we look at page 23001 at
1 line 22, looking at the structure of the HV, Mr. Nobilo
3 Q. If we look at this model where SIS and
4 the military police administration are
5 outside the main staff, this model
6 applied by the Croatian army, was that
7 a model for the HVO as well?
8 The answer by Blaskic:
9 A. Yes, the situation was identical in the
10 HVO. In terms of organisation, it was
11 set up in accordance with the
12 organisation of the Croatian army, so
13 that is to say that in the HVO as well,
14 the administration for security and the
15 administration for military police were
16 outside the organisational structure of
17 the main staff of the HVO.
18 What we address on that point is the next
19 document, which is Prosecutor's 783; is that right,
20 Mr. Dubuisson?
21 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that's right. That's
23 MR. KEHOE: This particular document,
24 Mr. President and Your Honours, is another order from
25 General Bobetko's book, from page 357 of
1 General Bobetko's book, where General Bobetko, as
2 commander of the southern front, disciplines members of
3 the military police.
4 We can read from his order that Bobetko, on
5 the 4th of September, 1992, orders that:
6 "The following members of the company of the
7 72nd Military Police Battalion have violated the
8 disciplinary rules and by their personal behaviour and
9 attitude seriously dishonoured the reputation of the
10 Croatian army members," listing four.
11 "Suspend from duty, initiate legal
12 proceedings and remove them from membership of units of
13 the Southern Front."
14 This, of course, is consistent with some of
15 the testimony that the Court has, in fact, heard
17 The next document is a document that is an
18 order of General Petkovic, dated 31 August, 1992.
19 THE REGISTRAR: This is 784.
20 MR. KEHOE: This is a document that reflects
21 that it was actually Petkovic who set up the Operative
22 Zones and began to organise the HVO.
23 The next document.
24 THE REGISTRAR: This is 785.
25 MR. KEHOE: This is a document of the
1 defendant, Colonel Blaskic, on the 13th of October,
2 1993, organising the anti-aircraft division within the
3 Central Bosnia Operative Zone.
4 JUDGE JORDA: 13, October, 1992.
5 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. The last
6 document, Mr. President.
7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Kehoe, could you go
8 back to this document of 31 August, 1992, which set up
9 various Operative Zones?
10 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Could you explain from
12 what source this document came? I mean, I see at the
13 top, "The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina," and at the
14 bottom, "Croatian Defence Council." Who issued the
16 MR. KEHOE: The document is an HVO document.
17 I believe that we got this document from the Bosnian
18 government. I will check again at the break, if I can
19 have the opportunity.
20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I don't mean that. I
21 don't mean from whom you got it. Who issued the
22 document, the HVO or the HV?
23 MR. KEHOE: The HVO.
24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The HVO. Thank you.
25 MR. KEHOE: If Your Honour looks at the
1 actual original underneath, it will reflect that it is
2 an HVO document.
3 The last document 786, Your Honours, is a
4 list of agreements that the respective parties entered
5 into with the ICRC, concerning various obligations that
6 the parties undertook to comply with International
7 Humanitarian Law and the treatment of civilians,
8 prisoners, and other matters, and compliance with
9 International Humanitarian Law.
10 Mr. President and Your Honours, with those
11 documents in mind, the Office of the Prosecutor rests
12 its rebuttal case.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, Mr. Harmon, your
14 rebuttal case is now complete.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me. I permit myself
16 to interrupt you, but I'd like to know what we're to do
17 with these exhibits, as well as the exhibits from
19 JUDGE JORDA: Well, there was no objection on
20 the part of Defence. They are admitted.
21 THE REGISTRAR: That's what I want to hear
22 you say.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. You're right,
24 Mr. Registrar. There was no objection, was there?
25 MR. HAYMAN: We're still reading them,
1 Mr. President, and I'd like to reserve on the last
2 exhibit, which is 785.
3 MR. KEHOE: I think it's 786. The ICRC
5 MR. HAYMAN: Yes.
6 MR. KEHOE: That's 786.
7 MR. HAYMAN: We'd like to read those
8 documents before commenting.
9 THE REGISTRAR: As regards the documents that
10 were presented yesterday, what about those?
11 MR. HAYMAN: No objections.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Then yesterday's documents up
13 to 700 -- just a moment. Let's go back for a moment
14 here. Up to 781, including -- everything has been
16 THE REGISTRAR: That's to 778.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. And 779, what was
19 THE REGISTRAR: That was the first document
20 that was filed in the private session.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Very well. All right.
22 You will tell us, during your surrebuttal, whether you
23 have any objections to these five, six, or seven last
25 Mr. Hayman, you are asking for some time to
1 read the documents that were presented today. It was
2 only 786; is that right?
3 MR. HAYMAN: Yes.
4 JUDGE JORDA: All right. You will let us
6 I would like to summarise the proceedings.
7 This presentation by the Prosecution of all its
8 evidence is now complete, unless there is an objection
9 from the Defence, and now you must present your final
10 written submissions. Is that correct, Mr. Prosecutor?
11 This should be done by the 22nd of July at 12.00.
12 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. In what language
14 will you submit them?
15 MR. KEHOE: I think initially, initially,
16 Your Honour, the keyword being "initially," it will be
17 in English, simply because I think that given our
18 feebleness in any other language, we have to do that
19 initially and then it will be translated. I apologise
20 for that, but I think we'll be working until the 11th
21 hour to get it completed by the 22nd in any event.
22 JUDGE JORDA: I understand, but the reason
23 I'm asking the question, you will understand, if you
24 submit to this Trial Chamber a document which is
25 several hundreds of pages long on the 22nd of July and
1 the Defence also submits, it is going to be very
2 difficult for us. Perhaps the translation service is
3 going to show all due speed in order to move things
4 forward. The Presiding Judge of this Trial Chamber
5 must at least learn what is in those documents quickly,
6 and I want to ask you to be careful that this is done
8 I understand that they're going to be
9 submitted in English. That's one of the two official
10 languages of the Tribunal, but you must understand I
11 would like to read them in French, and I don't want to
12 wait until September or October in order to be able to
13 do so. Otherwise, the accused's fate is going to
14 remain undetermined for longer.
15 I would like special measures to be taken
16 with the translation service, so that as quickly as
17 possible, even if it is only in bits, the documents
18 both from the Defence and the Prosecution are submitted
19 in the language that ordinarily one would say I speak
20 better than any other.
21 THE REGISTRAR: If I could speak for a
22 moment, Your Honour. I would like to tell you that we
23 have already taken -- made arrangements to do that.
24 However, nothing will be available during the first two
25 weeks of August.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Then I would not be able to
2 take some vacation homework with me. You really want
3 me to rest during my vacation. All right. Very well.
4 Well, I would have like to have had some
5 documents. In any case, I suppose the Defence is going
6 to raise the same problems. Isn't that correct,
7 Mr. Hayman?
8 MR. HAYMAN: The length of these final
9 submissions will be a logistics issue, Mr. President.
10 I can say for the Defence that we intend to begin our
11 brief with, if you will, an executive summary of the
12 argument of perhaps 20 or 30 pages length, and that
13 that might be a helpful part of the brief to have
14 translated quickly for reference by Your Honour prior
15 to or during closing argument.
16 The balance of the brief, I think it will be
17 impossible to have that fully translated during the
18 week of the closing arguments. They're simply going to
19 be too long.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Do you think that
21 you're going to work the same way, Mr. Prosecutor, so
22 that we can hear you with a document about 20 pages
23 long or did you think of operating it differently?
24 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, if I could just
25 consult with my colleague. I don't know if we had that
1 plan in mind. We did have an outline, an extensive
2 outline in mind. An executive summary, specifically,
3 is not something that I think we specifically
4 contemplated. We did have a rather lengthy
5 introduction to the matter that would be longer than
6 that, but if I could just consult with Mr. Harmon as
7 regards our methodology, if I may?
8 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, consult with him.
9 (Trial Chamber confers)
10 JUDGE JORDA: If you could prepare that
11 document, I think that would be good. During their
12 short vacations, the Judges should also be able to have
13 some complete idea of what you're going to write. Of
14 course, those who are fluent in English have less
16 Are you able to do that, Mr. Kehoe?
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. We will
18 attempt to put a document such as that together to
19 facilitate the work of the Chamber during final
20 arguments on behalf of both sides.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I thank you. Thank
22 you, Mr. Kehoe. Let me now turn to Mr. Hayman.
23 We now go back to your surrebuttal. How do
24 you plan to organise yourself now that you know almost
25 everything about the documents that were presented
1 during rebuttal?
2 MR. HAYMAN: I take it, Mr. President, that
3 the Prosecutor has rested his rebuttal case. I haven't
4 heard those words yet.
5 MR. KEHOE: I think those are the words that
6 I did use. I did, in fact, say that the Prosecutor
7 completed its rebuttal case.
8 MR. HAYMAN: He may have already said it, I
9 just wanted to hear it again, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE JORDA: You're right, Mr. Hayman,
11 because I really have some suspicions of both sides,
12 and perhaps Mr. Kehoe might be tempted to take the
13 floor again.
14 No. It's over. It's finished. That's why I
15 said that he would speak only again on the 26th of
16 July, unless there was an exceptional reason for his
17 doing otherwise. The Prosecutor has rested its
18 rebuttal and now you, starting today, can begin your
19 surrebuttal. Are you prepared?
20 MR. HAYMAN: There are two things that are
21 holding us up a little bit, Mr. President. First,
22 there's the matter of Defence Exhibit 197. That is a
23 diary which we asked be admitted, and there was an
24 issue concerning a witness in another case that has
25 apparently authenticated all or part of it. We don't
1 know how to proceed with that, because I don't think
2 we've received anything from the Office of the
3 Prosecutor of the type that was outlined by the court.
4 So we don't know how we're going to deal with D197
6 The second issue that is uncertain in our
7 minds is we've had some correspondence with the
8 Prosecutor's office over the last 24 hours concerning
9 some additional documents which they have which have
10 not been translated, which at least the Defence
11 believes falls within the ambit of Rule 68, and the
12 Prosecutor, I believe, is seeking permission of a third
13 party to release a copy of those documents to us.
14 If that could be done before Thursday, and if
15 we can basically get some assurance that D197 will be
16 admitted, we will be prepared to proceed Thursday
17 morning with our surrebuttal case. We expect it will
18 consist only of documents, no witnesses, and we expect
19 it can be concluded within approximately two hours'
20 time. That would enable us to rest our surrebuttal
21 case before lunch on Thursday. There would be no need
22 for a session on Friday, subject, as I said, to
23 resolving these two open items which I identified.
24 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Let me summarise.
25 There is no surrebuttal today or tomorrow. We would
1 begin on Thursday morning.
2 Where do we stand as regards those two
3 questions? Do you want to move into closed session?
4 What would you like to do? Are you ready to discuss
5 that, Mr. Harmon?
6 MR. HARMON: I'm ready to discuss it in open
7 session, Mr. President. The steps that the Court -- we
8 have taken the steps that the Court recommended in
9 respect of D197. All the appropriate papers and
10 filings have been made in respect of the other
11 Chamber. I'm awaiting a reply.
12 In respect of the other documents alluded to
13 by counsel, I would like to go into a private session
14 ex parte in order to explain to the Court, since the
15 nature of the documents fall within the nature of an ex
16 parte hearing in the first place. I think we can
17 resolve that, very frankly.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. What should we do?
19 Should we resume in about five minutes? That might be
20 the best solution. All right. We're going to take a
21 five-minute break in order to allow Defence counsel to
22 speak during an ex parte hearing. This is the request
23 of the Prosecutor, that is, to move not only closed but
24 ex parte; is that correct?
25 MR. HARMON: In the absence of the Defence,
1 Mr. President.
2 JUDGE JORDA: That is what I had understood,
3 which is why I wanted to say courteously to the Defence
4 that we're going to ask them to leave and not to be
5 impolite to them, which is also wise. The Judges would
6 leave for about five minutes and then we would come
7 back. Excuse me. Judge Rodrigues?
8 (Trial Chamber confers)
9 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Rodrigues has
10 suggested -- I had forgotten the interpreters for a
11 moment, and I was reminded of that by my colleague, who
12 reminded me that there should be a 20-minute break.
13 We'll go back into session without the Defence, it will
14 be ex parte and without the accused.
15 I assume you have no objection to that,
16 Mr. Hayman? You're like us. You don't know what it's
17 about, so you have no choice.
18 MR. HAYMAN: We want to facilitate resolution
19 of the issue. Should we be available for later in the
20 morning, Mr. President, or are we excused for the day,
21 until Thursday morning at 10.00?
22 JUDGE JORDA: You're excused until Thursday
23 morning at 10.00.
24 All right. We will take an adjournment and
25 we will resume ex parte, in closed session, in 20
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
3 11:30 a.m., to be reconvened on
4 Thursday, the 8th of July, 1999 at
5 10:00 a.m.