1. 1 Thursday, 29th July, 1999

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 10.06 a.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Have the

    5 accused brought in, Mr. Registrar, please?

    6 (The accused entered court)

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning to the

    8 interpreters. Do you hear me?

    9 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, Mr. President.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Today also we are able to see

    11 them. Good morning to the counsel for the Prosecution,

    12 counsel for the Defence, the court reporters, the

    13 accused, and without further delay, we will continue

    14 with our work on these last days of this trial.

    15 Mr. Nobilo, you have the floor.

    16 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I

    17 should like to request that we go back into closed

    18 session briefly so that we can finish the issue we were

    19 discussing yesterday -- a private session, I beg your

    20 pardon.

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    16 (Open session)

    17 MR. NOBILO: So there is a host of material

    18 evidence of the Prosecution and the Defence confirming

    19 the conclusion, in addition to what I had already said,

    20 that the special purpose unit Vitezovi were not within

    21 the chain of command of General Blaskic. They were

    22 occasionally attached, as can be seen from the order

    23 that we will be going back to and as was explained both

    24 by General Blaskic and Slavko Marin. And to be

    25 attached means that that unit may be used in a

  8. 1 particular battle, but no disciplinary measures can be

    2 taken against members, the commander cannot be

    3 dismissed, it is outside the plan of logistic supply,

    4 so it simply means the right to deploy it. That is

    5 what the military term "attachment" means.

    6 There is another point to be made. When a

    7 unit is being attached, and we mustn't forget that when

    8 talking about the Vitezovi and the military police, the

    9 main chain of command remains intact. So that the

    10 commander of the Vitezovi unit or the military police

    11 allows Blaskic to use that unit, but the main chain of

    12 command always remains the same. That is why we talk

    13 about dual command because throughout these two chains

    14 of command are preserved, regardless if a unit has been

    15 given to Blaskic to deploy. We will prove that both in

    16 the case of the Vitezovi and of the military police.

    17 One of the key documents, in the opinion of

    18 the Prosecution, is Defence Exhibit 666. It is an

    19 order whereby the Vitezovi were attached to Blaskic on

    20 the 19th of January, 1993.

    21 Let us place a document on the ELMO, please.

    22 So on the 19th of January, 1993 -- we need to focus

    23 better so that we can see the whole document. On the

    24 19th of January, 1993, the Vitezovi were attached to

    25 Blaskic. On the 19th of January, the Vitezovi were

  9. 1 attached to Blaskic. The question is: Did this mean a

    2 reorganisation of the system of command in the HVO and

    3 the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, so that Blaskic

    4 from that day onwards was in command of the Vitezovi,

    5 as alleged by my learned friends from the Prosecution,

    6 or was it something else? In fact, it was something

    7 else.

    8 Document 508A, which is now on the screen,

    9 dated the 15th of January, 1993 --

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. This is an exhibit

    11 of the Prosecution or the Defence, 508?

    12 MR. NOBILO: It is a Prosecution Exhibit,

    13 508A.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: I beg your pardon. Please

    15 continue.

    16 MR. NOBILO: On the basis of Prosecution

    17 Exhibit 508A, which is an order for the attachment of

    18 all HVO units and the BH army in Province 10, dated the

    19 15th of January, 1993. Bruno Stojic, as you will

    20 recall, in connection with the negotiations in Geneva

    21 and the Vance-Owen Plan ordered -- just as Petkovic

    22 ordered Blaskic that in some units or, rather, in some

    23 provinces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the HVO would be

    24 subordinated to the BH army, and in some places, the BH

    25 army to the HVO. Province 10 is roughly the Operative

  10. 1 Zone of Central Bosnia. So look at point 1 now.

    2 Petkovic is giving the order that all, and I underline

    3 the word "all," all units of the HVO and the BH army

    4 should be placed under the command of the commander of

    5 the Operative Zone.

    6 The meaning of this document was for the BH

    7 army to be attached to the Operative Zone of Central

    8 Bosnia. That was the main meaning of this. But that

    9 principle could not be carried out for an entire BH

    10 army in a province to be subordinated to a commander of

    11 the Operative Zone, without all the units of the HVO

    12 not being subordinated to the commander of the

    13 Operative Zone. So the aim being for BH army forces to

    14 be subordinated or placed under the command of the

    15 commander of the Operative Zone in accordance with

    16 document 508A. Four days later, Petkovic issues an

    17 order for the Vitezovi to be attached too, which is

    18 only natural, because in line with this order, all

    19 units, both of the army and of the HVO, need to be

    20 attached to that command. But the main reason was for

    21 the army to be subordinated to the HVO.

    22 What happened? It responded by saying no.

    23 The army attached the HVO in Busovaca and refused

    24 flatly to be attached to the HVO. On the 24th of

    25 January, a conflict broke out, and this entire project

  11. 1 collapsed and became futile. As a result, the order on

    2 the attachment of the Vitezovi was senseless because it

    3 was only part of a broader project for these units to

    4 be subordinated to this Operative Zone command.

    5 As this order became empty, meaningless, so

    6 did the order on the attachment of the Vitezovi, which

    7 immediately after the conflict in January went back

    8 under their previous command. Of course, the people

    9 that provided that order to the Prosecution forgot to

    10 provide the Prosecution with that other order with

    11 which the Vitezovi are restored to their previous

    12 command, and the Defence, of course, had no ability to

    13 get hold of either of those orders, but we know that

    14 they exist, and we will prove that the Vitezovi,

    15 immediately after the conflict of the 24th of January,

    16 were restored to their former state, that is, went back

    17 under the command of Mostar.

    18 That this was indeed so, is evident also from

    19 a report of the Vitezovi, which we will see in a

    20 moment. This is a part of Defence Exhibit 250, and it

    21 shows that on the 15th of March, 1993, the Vitezovi

    22 unit sent a report on their combat activities in

    23 Central Bosnia, and those activities were in January,

    24 that is, the conflict between the HVO and the BH.

    25 To whom did they send that report? Of

  12. 1 course, to Bruno Stojic and Milivoj Petkovic, their

    2 commanders. Commanders always send reports to their

    3 superior command. If there had been a dual system of

    4 command on the 15th of March, then a report would have

    5 been sent to Bruno Stojic and General Petkovic but also

    6 to Blaskic. Then we would have evidence of this dual

    7 system of command. However, here, we have evidence on

    8 a single chain of command, which means that the

    9 Vitezovi were restored to the position they held before

    10 the 19th of January when the order on their attachment

    11 was issued, Prosecutor's Exhibit 666.

    12 That the Vitezovi were under the command of

    13 Bruno Stojic and Milivoj Petkovic is clearly evident

    14 from Defence Exhibit 250. Could the technical booth

    15 please switch back to the ELMO, and you see -- could

    16 you blow it up a little bit? We're interested in these

    17 highlighted portions where mention is made of Milivoj

    18 Petkovic. We see the words following the order of

    19 Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic. The Vitezovi wrote this in

    20 their report, saying that they received an order from

    21 Milivoj Petkovic and, also on the 24th of October, from

    22 Bruno Stojic, and from this, we clearly see who was

    23 their commander.

    24 However, it is important to see who was their

    25 commander in 1993, so I will quote several sentences

  13. 1 from Exhibit 250, which is a report on the whole of the

    2 1992 and 1993, and we will place it on the ELMO now to

    3 see what the deputy commander of the Vitezovi says as

    4 to who was his commander in 1993. So I'm quoting:

    5 "Communication with our superiors in the past period

    6 was practically non-existent. We were forced to handle

    7 the paperwork as we thought it should be done, as

    8 nobody amongst us had any training. Each time we

    9 called the General Corps and asked for instructions,

    10 the answer was the same: 'Call Mostar'," and it is

    11 well known how the communication lines worked back

    12 then.

    13 "I had the first contact with my superior

    14 when I ..." and the report is written by Drago Vinac,

    15 Drago Kraljevic's deputy, "... was admitted to therapy

    16 which I refused because of its length. I was in a

    17 hurry to go back." So we can see from this sentence

    18 that the Vitezovi in that period, in 1993, this was

    19 written in 1994, had no communication with their

    20 superiors, and the Vitezovi are from Vitez, and

    21 Blaskic's headquarters was in Vitez too. When

    22 confronted with administrative problems and when they

    23 asked for instructions from the general corps, they

    24 said, "Call Mostar." And if the Vitezovi had been

    25 subordinated to Blaskic, then they would take care of

  14. 1 them as they did of all other units. Why would they

    2 say "Call Mostar"? Quite clearly because they had

    3 nothing to do with them. Their superiors were in

    4 Mostar.

    5 Finally, Vinac said: "My first contact with

    6 my commander occurred when I went for treatment, but I

    7 refused because I had to go back." So he went outside

    8 the Lasva Valley for medical treatment, and only then

    9 did he have personal contact with his direct superior.

    10 So it is quite clear that the commander was not Colonel

    11 Blaskic. He was not in command of the Vitezovi, but

    12 somebody outside the Operative Zone; therefore, General

    13 Petkovic, according to his own admission.

    14 The sources do not only come from Croatian

    15 HVO sources confirming that Blaskic did not have

    16 control but from independent sources that we can

    17 trust. The British officer Matthew wrote in his

    18 notebook on the 12th of April, 1993, four words. He

    19 doesn't have the power, Bruno, Vitezovi, and Mostar.

    20 The witness noted this on the 12th of April, 1993, and

    21 he could not remember the meaning of those words. But

    22 you, Your Honours, who have heard a great deal of

    23 testimony can decipher those words which the witness is

    24 no longer able to do. Who was the general commander in

    25 the Operative Zone? Blaskic. He doesn't have power.

  15. 1 That must be an exception. The word "Bruno," the only

    2 person called Bruno in Central Bosnia is Bruno Stojic,

    3 the Defence Minister from Mostar. The word "Vitezovi"

    4 is linked to the word "Bruno." So Bruno Stojic,

    5 Vitezovi, and the word "Mostar," the headquarters of

    6 the man called Bruno. That is Bruno Stojic, the

    7 Defence Minister in Mostar.

    8 When you decipher those four words that the

    9 witness could not do, it is clear that Tihomir Blaskic

    10 had no power over the Vitezovi, that the commander was

    11 Bruno Stojic from Mostar.

    12 Next, during 1993, the headquarters from

    13 Mostar still had the Vitezovi on a tight leash, which

    14 can be seen from Exhibit 580, which we will place on

    15 the ELMO right now. Can you just zoom in a little bit,

    16 please?

    17 This is an order of Bruno Stojic, and now we

    18 will place the Croatian text of it in order for you to

    19 be able to see the signature and the stamp. On the

    20 right side, you see "Bruno Stojic" and you see "Mostar"

    21 and you see "Defence Department, Croatian Defence

    22 Council." This is an order. And on the left-hand

    23 side, we have the distribution, to whom this was all

    24 delivered, and I now please ask you to put the English

    25 version back on.

  16. 1 So from the distribution list, you can see to

    2 whom the order was sent, and we see "Central Bosnia

    3 Operative Zone, Number 3," and then "Professional

    4 Battalion 'Vitezovi' Vitez" which proves that in June

    5 1993 when this order was received, the Vitezovi had a

    6 separate chain of command, separate from the Operative

    7 Zone. So it was correct what we heard and what I had

    8 explained in the private session. Had that been true,

    9 in the military logic, that would not be possible.

    10 Bruno Stojic would deliver his order to the Operative

    11 Zone, and then the Operative Zone would distribute it

    12 further down to its own units. So why was this not

    13 delivered to Blaskic? Because they were under the

    14 Operative Zone, like the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade,

    15 but the Vitezovi were not, so it was not delivered to

    16 them.

    17 The Prosecution has produced a single

    18 exhibit, this is Exhibit 456/20, which states

    19 otherwise. This is a letter of Darko Kraljevic to the

    20 3rd Corps. Now, why is this so? This is on the 15th

    21 of April. The day before, on the 14th of April, the BH

    22 army tried to assassinate Darko Kraljevic. UNPROFOR

    23 rescued him, and Cerkez's people also helped him escape

    24 unharmed. The Vitezovi had a bad reputation with the

    25 BH army. Darko Kraljevic felt threatened, and he sent

  17. 1 a message to the BH army, "If you attack me, you have

    2 attacked the Central Bosnia Operative Zone." This is a

    3 way for him to protect himself on the one side. And on

    4 the other side, according to General Blaskic's

    5 testimony, on 15 April, after an attempt was made on

    6 his life, Darko Kraljevic came to Blaskic and said,

    7 "They kidnapped Totic. They killed his escorts.

    8 These tried to assassinate me. I place myself at the

    9 disposal of the Operative Zone." At that point, Darko

    10 made this decision, "They will kill us all one by one,"

    11 so he placed himself under his command. When he felt

    12 threatened, when an attempt was made on his life, that

    13 is when he placed himself under Blaskic's command.

    14 The next attempt at proving that Darko

    15 Kraljevic was obeying Blaskic's orders is Blaskic's

    16 order in which he prohibits attacks against Muslim

    17 property, that is, breaking into their apartments, and

    18 a certificate which he issued to a Muslim showing that

    19 he was under the protection of the Vitezovi, if he was

    20 attack. But this is absurd. This is meaningless. Had

    21 Darko Kraljevic been under Blaskic's order and had he

    22 received that order which prohibits him to break into

    23 Muslim orders, he would have issued that order to his

    24 subordinate command. What we see is that Darko

    25 Kraljevic had the ability to issue individual orders or

  18. 1 certificates protecting Muslims, and we see that it was

    2 his personal power.

    3 Then we have in transcript 6436, line 9, we

    4 have Mr. McLeod, who states: "It is clear that Darko

    5 Kraljevic clearly had two chains of command," but he

    6 was not able to investigate properly what those lines

    7 were. He is also mentioning Ramiz Dugalic's account,

    8 which was an intelligence officer. He told him this:

    9 "The HVO has two formations: One is legal and one who

    10 does the dirty work." This unit which does the dirty

    11 work is commanded by Darko Kraljevic. Now, the

    12 question is raised: Why the unit which has a direct

    13 link to Mostar is doing the dirty work? How come the

    14 BH army is pointing to that unit as the one which is

    15 doing the dirty work and not to the units that are

    16 commanded by Blaskic? And this is a very interesting

    17 point to make.

    18 Sefkija Dzidic, if you will recall, was one

    19 of the commanders of Stari Vitez. He knows Cerkez. He

    20 knows Darko Kraljevic. He was around for a long time.

    21 On page 1369, he stated: "The Vitezovi were absorbed

    22 into the HVO on 16 April, 1993." He points to that

    23 date. He was surrounded in the Old Vitez, and he did

    24 not have information what was going on afterwards, but

    25 before 16 April, the communication was open. He knew

  19. 1 what was going on. So Sefkija Dzidic, BH army

    2 commander, says that the Vitezovi were not incorporated

    3 into the HVO before 16 April. And when he says the

    4 HVO, he was referring to the brigade which was under

    5 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone command.

    6 The second Prosecution witness, Kavazovic, on

    7 page 2425, he testified that Darko Kraljevic had a

    8 private army which received orders exclusively from

    9 him. This is how he perceived it. But on page 2455,

    10 he explicitly states: "Kraljevic was separate from the

    11 HVO and the military police and nobody could oppose

    12 him." This is what a Prosecution witness states.

    13 Prosecution witness Baggesen noticed a

    14 difference between the HVO and the HOS, which is

    15 another name for the Vitezovi because there was a lot

    16 of confusion, and he noticed who had better arms,

    17 better weapons.

    18 Another Prosecution witness, Tudor, said that

    19 the Vitez HOS can attack on its own. What is the

    20 meaning of that? That means that they are not under

    21 the command of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone.

    22 We will look into several more quotes. If we

    23 can ask the technical booth for assistance now,

    24 please. We also need the audio. I'm going to repeat

    25 this.

  20. 1 (Videotape played) 2 "Mr. Nobilo:

    3 Q In your opinion, looking at it from the

    4 sides, do you think that Blaskic could

    5 have commanded Darko Kraljevic, Zuti,

    6 and similar individuals as a commander

    7 vis-à-vis his subordinates?

    8 A Under conditions of this kinds, not at

    9 all, at no events."

    10 MR. NOBILO: This was witness Edvard Tolo,

    11 and I now ask that we move into the private session,

    12 please. Are we there yet?

    13 (Private session)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

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    25 (redacted)

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    9 (redacted)

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    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (Open session)

    24 MR. NOBILO: So on the basis of everything I

    25 have said so far, it is clear that Darko Kraljevic and

  22. 1 the special purpose unit Vitezovi were not in the chain 2 of command of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone

    3 command. They had their own chain of command which

    4 went from Darko Kraljevic to General Petkovic and Bruno

    5 Stojic.

    6 The Vitezovi, as of 16 April, were attached

    7 in certain combat operations to General Blaskic but not

    8 subordinated to him. That means they were attached

    9 which means that he could use them but he could not

    10 give -- that he could not dismiss, that he could not

    11 give any disciplinary measures, he could not decide on

    12 their salaries, on their logistics, and they were not

    13 part of the integral or organic part of the Central

    14 Bosnia Operative Zone command. So General Blaskic,

    15 except in situations where he was directly conducting

    16 combat operations, did not have command or order the

    17 Vitezovi units.

    18 Now, we will move to another unit which was

    19 often mentioned in these proceedings, and it's another

    20 unit which played a key role which General Blaskic has

    21 been charged with in the indictment, this is the

    22 military police.

    23 On page 18066, General Blaskic said that on

    24 the 13th of December, 1992, a meeting was held and that

    25 several military police representatives were sent to

  23. 1 that meeting and that he was told at that meeting that

    2 he could only use the military police only if he calls

    3 Mostar and asks permission for their use in each

    4 individual case. Despite this, Blaskic did not follow

    5 this to the letter. He still sent direct orders to the

    6 military police for certain tasks, and he left them to

    7 call Mostar and confirm the task through them.

    8 In the spring of 1993, new rules were issued,

    9 and it was determined that Blaskic could use the

    10 military police for daily tasks, but as far as the

    11 combat operations are concerned, in other words, their

    12 use in front against the enemy in combat situations,

    13 can only be approved by Bruno Stojic, the defence

    14 minister.

    15 This situation continued until 1 August,

    16 1993, that is, General Blaskic was surrounded on 16

    17 April, 1993. The defence minister and the chief of the

    18 military police administration were cut off, and

    19 Blaskic took advantage of this situation, and with

    20 constant pressure, he managed to have Pasko Ljubicic

    21 relieved, and he first appointed Marinko Palavra, his

    22 own man, as the commander of the military police, and

    23 then he also brought it under his own command. So in

    24 the Lasva Valley, the military police was, in the full

    25 sense of the word, a subordinate to General Blaskic as

  24. 1 of 1 August, 1993.

    2 Slavko Marin testified here that the military

    3 police could have been under operative command of the

    4 Central Bosnia Operative Zone, in other words, only be

    5 used by them, but that the defence minister did appoint

    6 and relieve of duty its commander, but importantly, the

    7 military police had its own body for disciplinary

    8 measures. They had an autonomous system of

    9 disciplinary sanctions, and we will get back to that

    10 when we come to the disciplinary measures and that

    11 system.

    12 (redacted), on page 16685, testified

    13 that on the 1st of August, at the first meeting with

    14 Colonel Blaskic, Colonel Blaskic told him, "Your first

    15 task is to integrate the military police into the

    16 Central Bosnian Operative Zone as soon as possible."

    17 From that, we can conclude that the military police,

    18 until 1 August, 1993, was not integrated into the

    19 Central Bosnia Operative Zone.

    20 (redacted), on page 16708 to 16710,

    21 testified that Colonel Blaskic had to ask for

    22 permission from the main staff to use the military

    23 police in combat, and the main staff would then

    24 transfer those orders to the military police.

    25 (redacted)

  25. 1 (redacted), explicitly states on page 16774 that

    2 the military police units were under the direct command

    3 of the defence department and that due to these dual

    4 chain of command, there were frequent

    5 misunderstandings.

    6 We will now look at the military police

    7 stamp, and in this stamp, it is fairly clear that the

    8 bottom, the very bottom is the defence department, the

    9 one above it is the military police administration, and

    10 then above that is Mostar and the numeral 30. What

    11 does that mean? This is the stamp used by Zvonko

    12 Vukovic, the military police commander in Vitez at that

    13 time. So the military police in Vitez used this

    14 stamp. There is no mention of the Central Bosnia

    15 Operative Zone there. Hierarchically, you see that you

    16 have first the defence department and then the military

    17 police administration.

    18 There was only one military police battalion

    19 in Central Bosnia. The number 30 above the word

    20 "Mostar" means that there were 30 such stamps, which

    21 means that it was all -- that this stamp was used in

    22 all of Herceg-Bosna, which means that it was a single

    23 chain of command, a single organisation.

    24 Let's now go back to the table, please, on

    25 the chain of command of the military police. This

  26. 1 table, which has two parts, contains quotations from

    2 various sources and various exhibits speaking about the

    3 chain of command in the military police. First, we

    4 have quoted from Defence Exhibits D522 and D523, from

    5 which it follows -- just a moment, please -- who could

    6 use the military police for combat purposes.

    7 In point 9, it is accurately stated from the

    8 rules on the military police that combat use on the

    9 front line can be only under the orders of the Minister

    10 of Defence. However, the basis of a large number of

    11 sources of knowledge regarding the chain of command in

    12 the military police can be found in Prosecution Exhibit

    13 457, which is the booklet entitled "Three Years of the

    14 Military Police," and on page 8 of the Croatian text,

    15 it says: "On the 8th of April, 1992, the HVO was

    16 established, and two days later, on the 10th of April,

    17 the military police of the HVO was established. On

    18 that same day, it was determined that the commander

    19 (the chief of police) should be Valentin Coric, who was

    20 assigned the duty to unite all military police units

    21 established in the municipalities until then and place

    22 them under a single system of control and command."

    23 Or the next quotation from the same exhibit,

    24 page 12: "To unify military police activities and the

    25 tasks of light military police battalions, the

  27. 1 assistant of the head of the military police

    2 administration will be responsible to assign to each

    3 Operative Zone, and the same persons are authorised to

    4 command those battalions via the commanders of those

    5 battalions." The command of the Operative Zone

    6 appointed Pasko Ljubicic to that position.

    7 All evidence shows that there was a dual

    8 system of command throughout in the military police,

    9 even when the military police was attached to Blaskic,

    10 and proof of that can be found in Exhibit 457/1,

    11 Prosecution Exhibit, page 14. We'll see it on the

    12 screen in a minute. It says: "All military police

    13 units are commanded and controlled by the military

    14 police administration whose orders have absolute

    15 priority in the implementation of assignments." If

    16 those orders have absolute priority, then it means that

    17 there must be at least two chains of command for the

    18 orders of the administration to have absolute priority,

    19 and so on and so forth.

    20 You have a number of quotations in this

    21 document that you have all been served with, as we see

    22 on the screen and so as to save time, I don't wish to

    23 quote all the documents, but from all those quoted from

    24 so far and the written sources, it emerges without any

    25 doubt that the military police had a dual system of

  28. 1 command and that the chain of command from Mostar was 2 never cut. 3 I should like to go into private session for 4 a moment, please.

    5 (Private session)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  29. 1 (redacted) 2 (redacted) 3 (redacted) 4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (Open session)

    14 MR. NOBILO: In addition to these witnesses,

    15 there was another who had no reason to be of assistance

    16 to General Blaskic, his opponent in wartime, General

    17 Hadzihasanovic, commander of the 3rd Corps, a court

    18 witness who testified here before you and said that

    19 Colonel Blaskic, before the events in Ahmici, had

    20 confirmed to him that some units were under the direct

    21 command of the Defence Ministry. This is before the

    22 events in Ahmici.

    23 Yesterday, the Prosecution quoted Defence

    24 witness (redacted), who said, in answer to a question from

    25 the Prosecutor, he asked him whether from January of

  30. 1 1993 onwards Blaskic was in command of the military

    2 police, but the witness answered something to this

    3 effect: "Yes, he could because he was surrounded and

    4 communication with Mostar was cut." So the witness

    5 obviously didn't hear the date the Prosecutor was

    6 referring to because, from the entirety of his answers,

    7 it followed that when they were surrounded, then

    8 Blaskic did gain command over the military police.

    9 This certainly wasn't in January because at the time

    10 there was no encirclement, and they were not cut off

    11 then from Mostar.

    12 An important question regarding connections

    13 between Blaskic and the military police was whether

    14 Blaskic could command the military police when

    15 discovering the perpetrators of criminal offences.

    16 No. Namely, according to Article 54 and Article 55 of

    17 the rules of the military police, it follows that the

    18 discovery of criminal offences was carried out either

    19 by the military police ex officio, on its own, or upon

    20 the request of the investigator or the court.

    21 Therefore, within the structure of the military police,

    22 on the basis of the legal regulations, when a criminal

    23 offence was committed, they had to take action, but to

    24 request certain procedures could be done only by the

    25 appropriate prosecutor and the competent judge.

  31. 1 As I explained yesterday, the Law on Criminal

    2 Procedure was the same for both the civilian and the

    3 military police, and Colonel Blaskic, according to the

    4 Law on Criminal Procedure, had to authority, except to

    5 take into custody a person he finds committing an

    6 offence until the investigator arrives.

    7 This was confirmed by Mato Tadic,

    8 former Minister of Justice and prosecutor, who said

    9 that Blaskic could not order the military police in the

    10 area of the discovery of criminal offences, but he

    11 could request that the military police start to

    12 investigate certain criminal offences. He explicitly

    13 said that Blaskic had no command authority to order

    14 that the military police engage in any specific

    15 investigating procedures linked to criminal offences,

    16 as is stated on pages 17176 and 17177. Blaskic could

    17 request but could not order.

    18 Though Blaskic usually wrote his orders, that

    19 is his military method of communication, and as he

    20 wasn't a lawyer, instead of making a request, he would

    21 frequently entitle this an order, as he would want to

    22 do when addressing anyone else.

    23 So it follows from all this that units of the

    24 military police constituted a unified military force

    25 under the command of the head of the military police

  32. 1 administration in Mostar and the Defence Minister,

    2 Bruno Stojic. That chain of command was the basic

    3 chain of command, a vertical line that never changed.

    4 The military police administration could attach the

    5 military police for combat activity, but the chain of

    6 command, the basic vertical chain of command, was never

    7 changed. As we saw from the quotation, it always had

    8 priority.

    9 Blaskic could, in daily policing, use the

    10 military police, but again, let us not forget that

    11 throughout, the chain of command coming from Mostar had

    12 priority, and the two chains of command never were

    13 mixed, never ceased. If we find that the military

    14 police acted otherwise than ordered, then we can

    15 conclude from that that there was another chain of

    16 command that was operational and not Blaskic's chain of

    17 command. As for criminal acts and their detection,

    18 Blaskic had no authority to command the military

    19 police.

    20 We shall now see a table which will help us

    21 to understand better, we have it in French and in

    22 English, referring to Blaskic's ability to control the

    23 military police when it was attached to it, and when it

    24 was not attached, which authority he never had. You

    25 have that table in front of you. Therefore, Blaskic,

  33. 1 both when the military police was attached to it and

    2 when it was not, he could always order operations such

    3 as the establishment of a checkpoint.

    4 Similarly, in both cases, when attached and

    5 when not attached, he could order daily activities,

    6 such as securing certain facilities, but only when the

    7 military police was attached to him could he order that

    8 unit in combat operations. He could never replace

    9 commanders when they were attached or not. That was

    10 the exclusive right of the head of the military police

    11 department and the Defence Ministry. He could never

    12 discipline a member of the military police, whether

    13 they were attached to him or not.

    14 The next area that I will be talking about,

    15 but very briefly, is the Security and Information

    16 Service, SIS. It is an information and

    17 counterintelligence service of the HVO. Prosecution

    18 Exhibit 457/2, which is a report of the government of

    19 Herceg-Bosna, gives us some information about that

    20 service. We have very little information, as this is a

    21 secret service, and we have to rely on what we were

    22 told by witnesses. However, we can see from that

    23 report that there is a SIS administration under the

    24 Defence Ministry. Therefore, SIS is outside the main

    25 staff. It has four centres and it acts in those

  34. 1 centres, as well as in operative zones.

    2 The head of the SIS administration is

    3 directly subordinated to the defence minister --

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Shall we have a break perhaps

    5 because you are now embarking on a new subject, the

    6 SIS? Very well. Let us have a break until twenty to

    7 twelve.

    8 --- Recess taken at 11.18 a.m.

    9 --- On resuming at 11.48 a.m.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Please

    11 be seated. Will you please bring in the accused?

    12 (The accused entered court)

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Let us resume, Mr. Nobilo, on

    14 the subject of the SIS.

    15 MR. NOBILO: Correct, Mr. President. We

    16 won't waste any more time.

    17 Just briefly, from the reports that I have

    18 mentioned, the report of the HVO government, it is

    19 possible to reconstruct that the SIS administration was

    20 under the Defence Ministry outside the main staff and

    21 that the SIS also had a dual chain of command. They

    22 were accountable both to Colonel Blaskic and to their

    23 own administration, as testified to by many witnesses.

    24 Let me refer to Exhibit D521/25. This is a

    25 decree on district military courts within

  35. 1 Herceg-Bosna. It says that all the authorities in

    2 criminal proceedings are equally shared by SIS and the

    3 military police.

    4 I should now like to go on to an area which I

    5 consider to be very important to determine the

    6 responsibility of General Blaskic in the area of

    7 discipline. Namely, the Prosecutor has submitted the

    8 theory that the territorial principle was the main

    9 principle determining the authority of General Blaskic

    10 in the area of discipline, that is, all military

    11 affairs within the Central Bosnia Operative Zone were

    12 under the responsibility of Blaskic and that he was

    13 authorised to take disciplinary measures.

    14 It was also said that criminal acts could be

    15 punished as disciplinary acts and that Blaskic could

    16 punish. It is true that Article 29 of the disciplinary

    17 regulations, Prosecution Exhibit 38/1, says: "When the

    18 authorised officer finds that a disciplinary offence is

    19 at the same time a criminal offence, the case is handed

    20 over, through regular procedure, to the authorised

    21 prosecutor." If that is in the interest of the

    22 service, then disciplinary procedures are carried out.

    23 Therefore, according to the principle of

    24 legality, the authorised officer sends a request to the

    25 military prosecutor in the case that a criminal offence

  36. 1 has been committed, and if it considers that it is in

    2 the interest of the service to start proceedings, he

    3 may do so.

    4 What actually happens in practice? In

    5 wartime conditions, to duplicate proceedings causes a

    6 great deal of problems. What would be achieved if

    7 somebody would be punished with five days of prison,

    8 plus 60 days of detention? There is no meaning in

    9 that. The only meaningful act would be to dismiss

    10 him. As this was wartime, Blaskic passed a general

    11 order, all criminals, all perpetrators of criminal

    12 offences must be dismissed from the HVO by unit

    13 commanders. This was an automatic thing. There was no

    14 need to take disciplinary measures against perpetrators

    15 of criminal acts, but the case would be sent to the

    16 prosecutor in accordance with the provisions of Article

    17 29 of the disciplinary regulations.

    18 Another thing that we have already discussed,

    19 an exception which disproves the principle of

    20 territorial authority is Article 52, which says that

    21 the commander of the operative zone is not authorised

    22 to institute disciplinary proceedings against the

    23 brigade commanders, against commanders of independent

    24 battalions. Such authority is vested in the commander

    25 in chief, that is, Mate Boban, before the military

  37. 1 disciplinary court. Article 52 also proves that the

    2 territorial principle was not present but that certain

    3 command functions were exempted from the disciplinary

    4 authority of General Blaskic.

    5 This brings us to a very interesting area

    6 that has not been discussed in the course of these

    7 proceedings. Article 9 of the disciplinary regulations

    8 exempts, from regular disciplinary authority, officers

    9 working in the administrative bodies of the HVO. This

    10 is Article 9. Which administrative bodies are we

    11 familiar with? The administration of the military

    12 police and the SIS administration. Officers in the

    13 military police administration and the SIS

    14 administration are exempted from regular disciplinary

    15 proceedings, and a separate system is formed within

    16 their administrations. And Article 9 is the legal

    17 basis which explains why Colonel Blaskic could not take

    18 disciplinary measures against members of the military

    19 police, as has been confirmed by a large number of

    20 witnesses.

    21 The question now is what could Colonel

    22 Blaskic, as the commander of an operative zone, do?

    23 What was he authorised to do? There is a key article,

    24 Article 67, which says clearly what his authority was.

    25 We just need to read it. Let me read it: "A decision

  38. 1 to refer to military disciplinary courts shall be

    2 issued by, Article 1, the commander of the armed forces

    3 for persons described in Article 52, paragraph 1, of

    4 the present rules," and they are brigade commanders,

    5 commanders of independent battalions, and then we come

    6 to paragraph 2 which says clearly what Blaskic could

    7 do. "The commander of the Operative Zone for

    8 non-commissioned officers and officers up to the rank

    9 of brigadier serving in units or institutions which are

    10 subordinate to the Operative Zone commander and

    11 non-commissioned officers and officers up to the rank

    12 of brigadier serving in administrative agencies and

    13 enterprises and other legal entities within the area

    14 under the authority of the operative zone

    15 commander." .

    16 What does this article actually tell us?

    17 This article defines the authority of the commander of

    18 the Operative Zone based on two principles: In the

    19 case of military units, the authority is based on

    20 subordination because it says that he is authorised to

    21 institute disciplinary proceedings for officers and

    22 non-commissioned officers, et cetera, in units

    23 subordinate to the commander, not attached, but

    24 subordinate to the commander.

    25 That is the principle of subordination which

  39. 1 relates to subordinate units, whereas the territorial

    2 principle does not apply to units but is directed

    3 towards military institutions. There weren't any

    4 military institutions in the Operative Zone of Central

    5 Bosnia, but there were some in Mostar, for instance,

    6 the military court or a military educational centre, an

    7 institute, a military hospital. Institutions of that

    8 kind in the territory are under the responsibility for

    9 disciplinary proceedings of the commander of the

    10 Operative Zone, whereas in the case of units, only

    11 those units subordinate to him and not those attached

    12 to him.

    13 We need not repeat all this, but it is

    14 consistent with the defence of General Blaskic and with

    15 the testimony of Slavko Marin, who was disciplinary

    16 prosecutor in 1993, and it is in accordance with a

    17 number of disciplinary documents that have been entered

    18 into evidence in the course of these proceedings.

    19 Therefore, General Blaskic, as the commander

    20 of the Operative Zone, was responsible for the combat

    21 use of units subordinate to him. He was responsible

    22 for the structure, development, and functioning of

    23 those units. He was responsible for the personnel in

    24 those units, the logistics required by those units and

    25 discipline within those units. Everything outside of

  40. 1 that, there was a division of authority. General

    2 Blaskic was not a governor. He was not the absolute

    3 ruler. He had his powers, but so did others, and he

    4 cannot be blamed for all the evil that occurred in

    5 Central Bosnia.

    6 I have now presented, and I am limited by the

    7 available time, the legal basis for the authority of

    8 General Blaskic and the authority of other organs in

    9 Central Bosnia. However, Bosnia, in those days, was

    10 not a country ruled by law, and authorities changed

    11 frequently, in fact, and we will see that they were

    12 revised frequently at General Blaskic's expense.

    13 Slavko Marin spoke about this at length, that

    14 the newly formed entities acquired all the functions of

    15 states. They also assumed much of the authority of the

    16 military commander. This can be seen from the case of

    17 Fojnica, my colleague Russell Hayman will explain this

    18 in detail, and we will see that Blaskic needed several

    19 months to be able to replace a commander because the

    20 local municipal authorities were opposed to it and they

    21 refused to obey.

    22 Prosecution Exhibit 456/53 or 456/50

    23 represents a document of the Travnik municipality

    24 whereby they address Franjo Tudjman, the president of a

    25 neighbouring state, to send them an officer to be a

  41. 1 commander there. From this, we can see very well the

    2 way in which the municipality dealt with matters. They

    3 thought that the Travnik Brigade was their unit, and

    4 they are looking around for a commander, as if he was a

    5 football team coach. They are skipping over the

    6 commander of the brigade in Travnik, they are skipping

    7 over Blaskic, the commander of the Operative Zone, they

    8 are skipping over the main staff and Mate Boban, and

    9 they are addressing themselves directly to Zagreb,

    10 because it is their belief that they are the authority

    11 in that municipality and that that military unit is

    12 their military unit.

    13 There are a number of other factors limiting

    14 his authority, but I should like to focus on one. The

    15 Prosecutor never mentioned, except in some political

    16 area, the name of Dario Kordic. The Trial Chamber

    17 knows that upstairs, just one floor above us, there is

    18 a proceeding against Dario Kordic going on, and in the

    19 Prosecution's story, Dario Kordic does not figure at

    20 all.

    21 General Blaskic testified that Dario Kordic

    22 never issued him any orders, that he only received

    23 orders from the main staff. However, from a number of

    24 documents, which we will present now, as well as

    25 testimonies, it is clear that Dario Kordic had a

  42. 1 factual impact on the units, and as Dario Kordic was

    2 not part of any military structure, it is clear that

    3 there were informal chains of command which do not

    4 appear in any laws, in any rules, but that they were

    5 there, and that such chains of command were there, they

    6 were hidden, and sometimes they were even more powerful

    7 than the regular official ones, such as General

    8 Blaskic's.

    9 My apologies to the interpreters. I do speed

    10 up every once in awhile.

    11 You will see that Dario Kordic did have

    12 influence over the units whose chain of command ended

    13 up in Mostar, and Dario Kordic was vice-president of

    14 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. He was one of

    15 Mate Boban's vice-presidents. What is interesting is

    16 that the units which were commanded by Mostar, those

    17 are the ones that Dario Kordic has his influence upon.

    18 In Herceg-Bosna, and this is the crucial

    19 point, because this was not a state ruled by law, there

    20 were hidden power brokers. They were very powerful and

    21 they had no responsibility. Nominally, our client's

    22 responsibility was considerable, whereas it was often

    23 very weak in the field, and in relation to certain

    24 units, it practically did not exist.

    25 I'm going to quote some witnesses.

  43. 1 Prosecution witness Watters on page 3378 says that if a

    2 problem was not able to be resolved by Blaskic's

    3 authority, the British Battalion would turn to Kordic

    4 in order to have the problem resolved, and the witness

    5 interpreted that -- actually perceived tensions between

    6 Blaskic and Kordic and said that all problems in

    7 Busovaca were solved by Kordic. The witness was

    8 present when units in black uniforms said, "We do not

    9 take orders from Blaskic. We take orders from

    10 Kordic." In the Lasva Valley, only two units were

    11 wearing black uniforms: The Jokers and Vitezovi. So

    12 it must have been one of those two units.

    13 Prosecution Witness Y, on page 5679, after

    14 said that Kordic was very influential and that he could

    15 command all the units in the Lasva Valley, and Blaskic

    16 testified that he did not receive orders from Kordic.

    17 It is clear that these were informal influences on

    18 certain military witness.

    19 Prosecution Witness Thomas, on page 2629,

    20 said that Kordic admitted to him that he was the

    21 commander of units in Busovaca, and since we know that

    22 formally he was not the commander of these units, he

    23 could only have claimed this based on the factual state

    24 of things, being that he was the second man in

    25 Herceg-Bosna.

  44. 1 From Defence Exhibit 591/32, it is clear

    2 that, as early as 21 June, 1993, the Black Knights,

    3 that is, the Vitezovi, were under the control of Dario

    4 Kordic, and they were identified as part of the 4th

    5 Military Police Battalion, and since both the Vitezovi

    6 and the Jokers were wearing black uniforms, there was

    7 some confusion. So even though they identified them as

    8 4th Military Police Battalion, it is clear that the

    9 reference was actually to the Jokers.

    10 In Exhibit 591/44, also from the report of

    11 the U.N., it is stated that on 11 February, 1993, it

    12 was Kordic who made decisions on setting up

    13 checkpoints, and 591/44 talks about two checkpoints set

    14 up on orders by Dario Kordic.

    15 We will now see what Prosecution witness

    16 Landry states.

    17 (Videotape played)

    18 "Mr. Hayman:

    19 Q On page 3, paragraph 4, of that same

    20 teletype, there's a statement, 'It was

    21 reported by BritBat that even after the

    22 release of the convoy, the local HVO

    23 forces continued to stress their refusal

    24 of Brigadier Petkovic's orders, claiming

    25 they were releasing the convoy only on

  45. 1 Mr. Kordic's special orders.' Do you

    2 see that passage and do you agree with

    3 it?

    4 A What happened on the 28th of April, yes,

    5 absolutely."

    6 MR. NOBILO: Let us look at another

    7 Prosecution witness.

    8 (Videotape played)

    9 "Mr. Hayman:

    10 Q About a dozen lines down, there's the

    11 statement, 'I stopped Petkovic and asked

    12 if he would assist me in breaking

    13 through the barrier of Croat civilians.

    14 He spoke to the crowd but said they

    15 refused to move.' Is that accurate?

    16 A It is accurate.

    17 Q Now, was it your belief at this location

    18 that these were locals that had stopped

    19 the convoy?

    20 A These were local civilians, yes."

    21 MR. NOBILO: Can we now please move for a

    22 moment into private session?

    23 (Private session)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  46. 1 2 3 4









    13 page 25042 redacted private session













  47. 1












    13 page 25043 redacted private session













  48. 1 (redacted) 2 (redacted) 3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (Open session)

    13 MR. NOBILO: There are two other limiting

    14 factors with respect to Blaskic's discharge of his

    15 authority. One is the underdevelopment of the

    16 organisation; Colonel Marin and General Blaskic

    17 addressed that issue. We never said that Blaskic had

    18 no responsibility or authority because the military

    19 organisation was underdeveloped, but I'm going to point

    20 out to the lack of trained officers. There were very

    21 few people who had any command experience with troops.

    22 It is one thing to have six months of formal schooling

    23 and then not any practical application of it.

    24 Also, this army was being created in

    25 villages. Commanders were voted by villagers, and it

  49. 1 is obvious that they felt more responsible to their own

    2 community than to the chain of command.

    3 The Central Bosnian Operative Zone had about

    4 25 staff, and there will only about six of them on the

    5 16th of April, whereas, according to the organisation,

    6 they needed about 235, and in Blaskic's own assessment,

    7 they needed 105. So you see that there's a great

    8 disproportion.

    9 After the war and when the U.S. experts came

    10 on a train and equip mission, they assessed that the

    11 whole process of setting up and establishing a real

    12 army in Bosnia would take until 2003, which also

    13 reflects on what they saw as the level of organisation

    14 of this army in the field in that period.

    15 Another factor is who were the masters of war

    16 here? Who were the warlords? It was Zuti; it was

    17 Darko Kraljevic. They provided protection for the

    18 Muslims when they wanted to; they did not protect them

    19 when they didn't want to. Blaskic wanted to separate

    20 Zuti from his unit, and he gave him a position which

    21 was a non-existent position, to be in charge of the

    22 professional troops which did not exist, but Blaskic

    23 did manage to separate him from his soldiers. With

    24 Darko Kraljevic, he only managed to do so in late 1993,

    25 early 1994, when the Vitezovi was reorganised and when

  50. 1 Darko Kraljevic was transferred to Herzegovina.

    2 But the local commanders, these local

    3 warlords, were a separate problem, and they had

    4 separate powers. For instance, Dr. Mujezinovic, a

    5 Prosecution witness, said that Darko Kraljevic named

    6 him the director of the hospital. It was Darko

    7 Kraljevic who appointed him to that position. That

    8 authority would not be his as commander of the

    9 Vitezovi. So it was an informal position. So you

    10 cannot neglect these warlords and their influence

    11 during the war, and I'm just going to say that much on

    12 that point.

    13 Let me point to Defence Exhibit 583. This is

    14 to define a body which we did not find in these rules

    15 with force of law but which was in operation in Bosnia

    16 at that time. It seems that a forward office of the

    17 social activities under Pero Skopljak was active there,

    18 so it was under the ministry in Mostar. It was part of

    19 the office of that ministry in Mostar. We can see that

    20 this body was a civilian body. It was obviously part

    21 of the central Herceg-Bosna government, and from this

    22 document, which is dated 8 May, 1993, we can see that

    23 Pero Skopljak met with the representatives of the Red

    24 Cross and the 3rd Corps and that the matter discussed

    25 was the release of all detainees. So there were some

  51. 1 detainees, then they're exchanged and released, and so

    2 a representative of the central government was put in

    3 charge of that. This was Pero Skopljak, and D583

    4 clearly speaks to that. So that is another body which

    5 was active in Central Bosnia at the time.

    6 Your Honours, we offered the solutions that

    7 the Central Bosnian government had set up, and within

    8 that framework, we tried to define the authorities of

    9 General Blaskic and distinguish them from the

    10 authorities of other bodies of that government. We

    11 believe that this is the starting point for the

    12 analysis of his criminal responsibility because Colonel

    13 Blaskic can only be responsible for what he himself has

    14 done and for the area and units for which he was

    15 responsible. Do not allow him to be tried as a

    16 symbol. Evil was done, and this injustice should not

    17 be substituted for another one.

    18 Thank you, Your Honours. Now I turn the

    19 floor over to my colleague, Mr. Hayman.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo. So now

    21 it's going to be Mr. Hayman, I think, who is going to

    22 develop other aspects of your client's case, I assume,

    23 in accordance with the plan that you have indicated to

    24 us.

    25 MR. HAYMAN: Yes. Thank you, Mr. President,

  52. 1 and good afternoon to you and to Your Honours.

    2 I will now be taking the legal foundation and

    3 structure that Mr. Nobilo has explained one step

    4 further, in terms of factual development and in terms

    5 of an analytical analysis of what does it mean for your

    6 deliberations and what inferences you can permissibly

    7 draw if we do have a situation of relative chaos in

    8 Central Bosnia, with multiple lines of command,

    9 resistance by local commanders, political influences,

    10 and the like.

    11 First, I would like to begin by noting that

    12 there really are two component parts to the issue of

    13 command and control. The first is whether units were

    14 legally subordinated to Tihomir Blaskic. The second is

    15 whether, with respect to subordinated units, Tihomir

    16 Blaskic had the actual ability to control them. So

    17 that's two different sides of the house, if you will,

    18 and first I will speak to the issue of legal

    19 subordination.

    20 Here, we submit the most important issues for

    21 you to consider in your deliberations are what units

    22 were actually legally subordinate to Blaskic, what

    23 units may have been attached to him, and what powers

    24 were conferred as a result of that attachment, and as

    25 to what units were there multiple chains of command

  53. 1 over those units, two chains or even three, as I'll be

    2 discussing in a moment.

    3 General Blaskic is not trying to avoid

    4 responsibility where he had responsibility, but he is

    5 not volunteering his responsibility regarding persons

    6 over whom he did not have legal authority or the actual

    7 ability to control, and it is not legally required for

    8 him to volunteer such responsibility, and we submit it

    9 is too much to ask of any man, and the law so

    10 recognises.

    11 Mr. Nobilo has already addressed, I think,

    12 the issue of dual chains of command with respect to

    13 SIS, the military police, and independent units such as

    14 the Vitezovi. What are the consequences, if that is

    15 true, for your deliberations? Dual command means that

    16 there were two commanders at any given time who could

    17 issue an order to the unit in question, and that was

    18 true even if a unit was resubordinated or attached to

    19 one of those two commanders here being, then Colonel

    20 Blaskic. The situation that creates is that if you

    21 assume actual command and control existed, the ability

    22 to control the subordinate unit at the bottom of the V,

    23 then if an action occurs, presumably, it was ordered,

    24 and it could have been ordered by one or the other of

    25 the two superior commanders.

  54. 1 We've spent two years talking about whether

    2 General Blaskic ordered some of the terrible things

    3 that happened in Central Bosnia. The Prosecutor spent

    4 not one minute talking about whether the persons at the

    5 top of these other lines of command may have ordered

    6 these crimes, if, indeed, they were ordered. Not one

    7 minute.

    8 Our argument is that when you have multiple

    9 lines of command, you cannot accept the thesis of the

    10 Prosecutor, which is very clearly set forth in his

    11 final brief and which is that if apparent organised

    12 violative acts occur on the ground, they must have been

    13 ordered, and because they occurred in the Operative

    14 Zone of Colonel Blaskic, he must have ordered them.

    15 That is the argument. Now, they also argue that he

    16 hated Muslims and he was a political instrument. I

    17 will talk about those. But the core argument is asking

    18 you to infer from violative acts on the ground, up a

    19 chain of command, and conclude they were ordered by

    20 Colonel Blaskic.

    21 But if there were multiple lines of command

    22 over the units or soldiers that committed such acts,

    23 what kind of logical inference can you draw? That is

    24 our analytical point with respect to multiple lines of

    25 command.

  55. 1 Now, what is the second concept or side of

    2 the house to command and control? That is the actual

    3 ability to control subordinate units. Once a unit is

    4 subordinate, does the commander have the actual power

    5 to control it?

    6 Whether you conclude that such power existed

    7 under the circumstances and facts extant in Central

    8 Bosnia during the war will affect your consideration of

    9 the balance of the evidence in this case, for the same

    10 reason that I've just described, that if the actual

    11 ability to control does not exist from a commander to a

    12 subordinate unit, then you cannot infer per se, you can

    13 certainly look to other evidence, but you cannot infer

    14 as a matter of logic, that from an event on the ground,

    15 that it was ordered by a supercommander. It could have

    16 been wilful. It could have been committed contrary to

    17 the orders of the superior command, if that actual

    18 ability to control did not exist or did not exist in a

    19 uniform and consistent manner across time and the

    20 relevant space.

    21 The Prosecutor asked many of its witnesses

    22 whether the HVO appeared to follow Blaskic's orders,

    23 and they tended to answer yes. They would explain,

    24 "When we needed to get a permit across a checkpoint,

    25 we asked Blaskic. When we attended a cease-fire

  56. 1 negotiation, he held himself out to be the Operative

    2 Zone commander, so we believed he had command and

    3 control over all HVO units in the Operative Zone."

    4 Those are honest witnesses. They believed what they

    5 said. We don't fault them in the least. They are good

    6 people.

    7 Indeed, the Prosecutor told you yesterday

    8 that there were 19 of these witnesses. I haven't

    9 counted them, but I don't doubt him for a moment, that

    10 there were 19 military witnesses who came in here, took

    11 an oath, and said, "I believe General Blaskic

    12 controlled all HVO units in the Operative Zone."

    13 Some of those 19 witnesses are experts, at

    14 least in certain things. None of them were

    15 professionals at gathering and analysing military

    16 information, that is, none of them were professional

    17 intelligence officers. Not one of the 19 witnesses

    18 that the Prosecutor has referenced was a professional

    19 intelligence officer, rather, they were other types of

    20 soldiers who had other duties, who spent periods of

    21 days or weeks or months in Central Bosnia. Charles

    22 McLeod was there for nine days; Bryan Watters was there

    23 for about 90 days.

    24 The Prosecutor cited an example yesterday of

    25 Mr. Buffini, and he quoted him and said that

  57. 1 Mr. Buffini was an authority on HVO command and

    2 control, and what was the quote that he attributed to

    3 Mr. Buffini? Let's look at it, please.

    4 (Videotape played)

    5 "A Again, it was very clear that Colonel

    6 Blaskic had full control of all the

    7 local commanders, and very much

    8 controlled those troops in Central

    9 Bosnia."

    10 MR. HAYMAN: Can you rely on this type of

    11 opinion without knowledge of the witness's bases for

    12 his opinion, without some details, without further

    13 explanation? When we tested Mr. Buffini's opinions to

    14 see if, indeed, he was familiar with the situation in

    15 Central Bosnia, what did we find? First, we asked him

    16 if the military police were under Blaskic's command and

    17 control. What did he say?

    18 (Videotape played)

    19 "A To my knowledge, I wasn't aware that

    20 there was a distinct difference between

    21 military police and HVO troops operating

    22 in and around the Vitez area."

    23 MR. HAYMAN: Then we asked him if the

    24 Vitezovi were under Blaskic's command and control.

    25 Here was his answer.

  58. 1 (Videotape played)

    2 "A I'm afraid I don't know Vitezovi. What

    3 do you mean by that?"

    4 MR. HAYMAN: He didn't know that the Vitezovi

    5 were a unit in Central Bosnia, but he came in here and

    6 he testified to you that Blaskic controlled all the HVO

    7 units in Central Bosnia. Now, there's a reason that

    8 Mr. Buffini didn't know that there were military police

    9 units or independent units like the Vitezovi in Central

    10 Bosnia. He explained that he travelled quite a bit,

    11 but he spent most of his time at a desk in Split.

    12 (Videotape played)

    13 "A So I spent most of my time in Split on

    14 the watch-keeping desk, but also some of

    15 the time travelling throughout Bosnia,

    16 visiting locations in Vitez, in Gornji

    17 Vakuf when we were working through

    18 there, and travelling up to Kiseljak to

    19 obviously discuss the deployment of the

    20 (inaudible) throughout Central Bosnia."

    21 MR. HAYMAN: The Defence submits that Your

    22 Honours know much more than witnesses like Mr. Buffini

    23 learned from his brief visit to Central Bosnia

    24 concerning the situation that existed there, concerning

    25 what the rules and regulations and laws of Herceg-Bosna

  59. 1 were, and all the factual nuances that you have so

    2 graciously given two years of your lives to listen to

    3 and experience, and we, of course, thank you for that

    4 great professional sacrifice, and General Blaskic

    5 thanks you.

    6 So the bases of knowledge of these 19

    7 witnesses is very important. I don't have sufficient

    8 time to review all 19 with you, but I will touch upon a

    9 few more. What we ask you to do in your deliberations

    10 with respect to all 19, as well as our own witnesses

    11 and the court witnesses, is ask several important

    12 questions.

    13 1. How long were they in the territory of

    14 Central Bosnia?

    15 2. What were their principal tasks while on

    16 the territory of Central Bosnia?

    17 3. How regular was their contact with

    18 elements of the HVO and at what level? Was it just at

    19 checkpoints or did they interact with different levels

    20 of the command structure to see the internal workings

    21 of that command structure?

    22 4. Did the witness have specialised training

    23 or experience in evaluating command and control issues,

    24 i.e., such as an intelligence background, or were they

    25 the commander of a platoon supervising two or three

  60. 1 warriors, escorting convoys, and conducting other very

    2 important work, but not work that comes with it any

    3 specialised training or experience with respect to

    4 gathering and analysing military information or

    5 information about military structures and command and

    6 control issues.

    7 5. Lastly, and I've run out of fingers, did

    8 they speak the language in Bosnia, or did they have the

    9 full-time services of an interpreter with them during

    10 their daily work tasks in Bosnia?

    11 We submit that when you apply these criteria

    12 to all the witnesses who spoke on command and control

    13 issues, you will identify those who displayed true

    14 expertise in their testimony and who had access to a

    15 large amount of high quality information about command

    16 and control within the HVO. We submit there are three

    17 Defence witnesses and one court witness that stand

    18 above all other witnesses who commented on these

    19 issues. They are Matthew Whattley, the liaison officer

    20 for Vitez and the surrounding area in the weeks and

    21 months before the April 1993 conflict; Captain Chris

    22 Leyshon, the intelligence officer for the British

    23 Battalion, (redacted), and one other witness

    24 whose identity is protected, but I will refer to him

    25 later.

  61. 1 Quantity of testimony cannot compensate for a

    2 lack of quality of the information that was available

    3 to other numerous witnesses. As I said, we're not

    4 faulting common soldiers or platoon commanders or

    5 company commanders who gave opinions about command and

    6 control. They were asked by the Prosecution to help in

    7 an important prosecution before this Tribunal, and then

    8 they came here and they were asked to give opinions

    9 about command and control. But unfortunately, at least

    10 some of them, and perhaps many of them, were not

    11 qualified to give those opinions. They didn't have an

    12 adequate information base, nor did they have any

    13 specialised training or experience.

    14 When the opinions of that group of witnesses

    15 are the opposite of a group of expert witnesses,

    16 including trained professional intelligence officers,

    17 that should cause alarm bells to go off in Your

    18 Honours' minds. Something is wrong. Someone is

    19 wrong. One group of witnesses or the other is missing

    20 the mark. Both groups cannot be correct in their

    21 testimony to Your Honours on this subject, and you must

    22 decide which group is more qualified to give this type

    23 of opinion testimony and on which group you will rely.

    24 There was an interesting phenomena, I found,

    25 when I was preparing this portion of our argument, and

  62. 1 that is, non-experts, on many occasions, made factual

    2 observations in Central Bosnia about flaws in the HVO

    3 command structure that they didn't fully understand,

    4 but they knew it was important and they made a note of

    5 it, and they remembered it. You're in a position, Your

    6 Honours, to take those observations and see how they

    7 fit into the broader construct of command and control

    8 issues that the experts did describe in their

    9 testimony.

    10 I'd like to give you an example. An officer

    11 from the Canadian Battalion, Officer Liebert, noted

    12 that there appeared to be a line of command running

    13 parallel to the HVO military line that ran to the

    14 assistant for SIS in the Vares municipality who was

    15 named Zvonko Duzinovic. The other reference to this

    16 passage is to the HVO military commander in Vares, Emil

    17 Heral, who officer Liebert calls him Emil Herrick, but

    18 it's Heral, you can tell, I think, from the passage.

    19 This is what Officer Liebert noted.

    20 (Videotape played)

    21 "A It is for that reason, I believe, that

    22 Mr. Zvonko Duzinovic was employed in the

    23 Vares area. He was the head of a

    24 security force that operated on a

    25 separate chain of command. He did not

  63. 1 work for Mr. Herrick, and indeed, I was 2 given the impression through my dealings

    3 with Mr. Herrick that the security force

    4 intimidated him and threatened him."

    5 MR. HAYMAN: By itself, without a theoretical

    6 construct, without the laws and regulations and the big

    7 maps and so forth that we've tried to provide you with,

    8 this testimony would be thoroughly puzzling and

    9 incomprehensible.

    10 Now I need a short, private session to

    11 further elaborate, if we could.

    12 (Private session)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  64. 1












    13 page 25060 redacted private session













  65. 1












    13 page 25061 redacted private session













  66. 1 (Open session) 2 MR. HAYMAN: There were other lay witnesses,

    3 if you will, who noted the existence of these dual

    4 lines of command, such as Captain Whitworth. Captain

    5 Whitworth was the liaison officer for the British

    6 Battalion in Vitez during its second tour. He had a

    7 feeling that the military police reported to a second

    8 chain of command, but he wasn't sure. This really

    9 wasn't his area. Let's look at what he said.

    10 (Videotape played)

    11 "Mr. Hayman:

    12 Q You have an understanding of to

    13 whom these four military police

    14 battalions report, if anyone?

    15 A It think it might have been to Mostar or

    16 something like that."

    17 MR. HAYMAN: We saw similar reports, Your

    18 Honours, from an EC monitor, Mr. Morsink, who had an

    19 encounter with the commander of the 4th Battalion of

    20 the regional military police concerning a dispute over

    21 seized goods, and what did the commander of the

    22 regional military police tell Mr. Morsink?

    23 (Videotape played)

    24 "A In the end, the police commissioner

    25 said to us that he would first consult

  67. 1 with his chief in Mostar and that we

    2 should come back the next day in order

    3 to pick up the merchandise."

    4 MR. HAYMAN: So it is our hope, Your Honours,

    5 that at least when you combine Mr. Nobilo's analysis of

    6 the law and regulations with my discussion of the

    7 facts, that together you will find us persuasive on

    8 these very, very important points for the defence of

    9 our client.

    10 These witnesses, Mr. Morsink and

    11 Mr. Whitworth, I believe these are two of the 19

    12 witnesses on whom the Prosecutor relies.

    13 Aside from dual lines of command, as I said,

    14 there is the issue of actual control. Has the

    15 Prosecution proven an actual ability to control? We

    16 submit that not only was there a dual line of command

    17 or lines of command over the Vitezovi, but Darko

    18 Kraljevic was a person who would not be controlled, and

    19 this is Martin Bell's perspective on that question.

    20 (Videotape played)

    21 "Mr. Hayman:

    22 Q How would you characterise Darko

    23 Kraljevic in terms of his role in the

    24 war in Vitez, briefly?

    25 A He was an extraordinary character, and I

  68. 1 had the impression that although he held

    2 a very vulnerable part of the front

    3 line with men under his command, I felt

    4 he was not really under Colonel

    5 Blaskic's command. He had his own -- he

    6 was kind of a warlord, a very

    7 charismatic, brave man, if you like."

    8 MR. HAYMAN: If we could go into private

    9 session for just a moment, there's one other important

    10 witness who commented on that very same question.

    11 (Private session)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (Open session)

    24 MR. HAYMAN: With respect to these units, it

    25 not only appears there were dual lines of command but

  69. 1 triple lines, two legal lines and one extralegal or de

    2 facto line leading to political authorities. Where

    3 that is the case, there is even less of a rational

    4 basis to make any kind of automatic inference up the

    5 chain of command from an event on the ground to one of

    6 those three commanders. The fact is that based on the

    7 fact that an event occurred, one might as well flip a

    8 coin to try and figure out which of the two or three

    9 superior commanders might have issued an order to

    10 commit that violative act. You have to have other

    11 evidence, which, of course, I think Your Honours

    12 realise.

    13 Now I'd like to turn back to actual control,

    14 the second aspect of command and control. Again, there

    15 are 19 witnesses here, we'll accept that proposition

    16 from the Prosecutor, but those 19 witnesses again did

    17 not have the job of collecting and analysing military

    18 information about military structures. Who had that

    19 job?

    20 Chris Leyshon graduated from Exiter

    21 University, attended Sandhurst Military Academy, and

    22 was commissioned as an officer in the British army. He

    23 rose to the level of Battalion intelligence officer in

    24 the British Battalion and served as the head of the

    25 military information cell during the Cheshire's tour in

  70. 1 Vitez. If you will, the milinfocell was a wheel. At

    2 the centre of the wheel was the hub which was Chris

    3 Leyshon. He received information from all the spokes.

    4 Some of those spokes were liaison officers, some of

    5 them were platoons making reports at the end of the

    6 day. He gathered it in the middle of the wheel,

    7 produced a daily military information summary. He

    8 briefed people who needed to know what was going on and

    9 what the situation was in Central Bosnia. It was his

    10 full-time job, seven days per week, as he explained to

    11 Your Honours.

    12 We submit he had more detailed information

    13 about what was specifically going on and what the

    14 structures of the militaries or militias in Central

    15 Bosnia were during his tour from November of 1992 until

    16 he left in May of 1993. And, of course, he had formal

    17 training in the gathering and analysis of intelligence

    18 about military organisations. I will be referring to

    19 him.

    20 The first concept I'd like to suggest to Your

    21 Honours, is that the bones of any command and control

    22 system are its communication pipelines,

    23 communications. Without communications, you cannot

    24 have command and control. Without bones, a body has no

    25 form. Chris Leyshon, Captain Leyshon, explained what a

  71. 1 lack of real-time communications means to a military

    2 commander.

    3 (Videotape played)

    4 "A If you haven't got real-time

    5 communications, you cannot command a

    6 unit from the ground that are engaged in

    7 any sort of action."

    8 MR. HAYMAN: Let me play that one more time.

    9 I was fiddling with the volume, and I apologise,

    10 Mr. President. We're trying to -- the booth and I have

    11 dual command over that issue.

    12 (Videotape played)

    13 "A If you haven't got real-time

    14 communications, you cannot command a

    15 unit from the ground that are engaged in

    16 any sort of action."

    17 MR. HAYMAN: Was Chris Leyshon right? Does

    18 he know what he's talking about? We suggest you

    19 compare his testimony with his commander officer,

    20 Colonel Stewart.

    21 (Videotape played)

    22 "A This is a written order, Your Honour,

    23 and written orders are fine, but in

    24 military situations, a written order

    25 doesn't last longer than the first shot.

  72. 1 From then on, it's verbal command and

    2 control."

    3 MR. HAYMAN: For the reasons Captain Leyshon

    4 and Colonel Stewart explained, it's important to this

    5 case whether the HVO had real-time or anything close to

    6 real-time communications, to serve as the bones, if you

    7 will, of their command and control system.

    8 The Prosecution appears to recognise that,

    9 and they now argue that the packet radio system that

    10 the HVO used is not the real system that they used,

    11 that instead they had a much more elaborate radio or

    12 some other type, including mobile radio systems of

    13 communicating that supported real-time or near real-time

    14 communications. Is that true?

    15 Well, we submit that if the HVO had such a

    16 system, and there may be documents indicating that some

    17 equipment existed somewhere, maybe it was even shipped,

    18 I don't know, there are a lot of documents in this

    19 case, it's hard to keep track of all of them, but if

    20 the HVO had such a system, why did they still use the

    21 packet radio system? Many of the actual

    22 communications, the documents that were actually

    23 relayed, are in evidence in this case, and a good

    24 number of them show exactly how they were

    25 communicated.

  73. 1 If we could turn on the ELMO, please? This

    2 is Exhibit 456/49 enlarged. We don't need to -- I'd

    3 like to focus in on the stamp. That's fine. Thank

    4 you. If you could move it slightly to the right. This

    5 is part of the document. This is the last page. It's

    6 a communication from Tihomir Blaskic to the Kiseljak

    7 Brigade on the 19th of April, and here's a stamp at the

    8 bottom. If Your Honours, please, would take a quick

    9 look at that stamp, and now if we could put the English

    10 and French versions on sequentially, you could see that

    11 this is a stamp recoding the transmission of the --

    12 no. Please stay focused in on the stamp. I don't need

    13 the whole document. I just want the box. It was fine

    14 just the way it was, thank you. You can see the date,

    15 there's a control number, and there are a series of

    16 acronyms, and it indicates it was processed by

    17 someone.

    18 If we could put on the French, please. These

    19 are stamps indicating when it was sent or when it was

    20 received, typically when it was received, because you

    21 will see the time on these stamps is frequently

    22 different from the time that the document reflects it

    23 was written. Now if we could go back to the B/C/S

    24 original. If you look on this, it didn't make it in

    25 the translation, Your Honours. The translations note

  74. 1 "Illegible word underlined" but if you look at the

    2 word that I have highlighted in yellow, it's

    3 "P-A-K-E-T", paket, and it was underlined, or it

    4 appears to be underlined, and it's marked in a lot of

    5 these stamps.

    6 If you look at a lot of different documents,

    7 if you care to make an inventory or have your staff

    8 make an inventory, you will find a lot of documents

    9 with this stamp where the packet system is usually

    10 circled. This one -- it is not circled. But on a lot

    11 of them it is circled, and you can see that that

    12 document in question was sent by packet. This, by the

    13 way, is a Prosecution document. You will find this

    14 same notation on both the documents that the Defence

    15 was able to obtain and documents the Prosecutors were

    16 able to obtain.

    17 Thank you. We're done with the ELMO now.

    18 Our point is that you can look to the actual

    19 communications to see what kind of system the HVO was

    20 using, and you can look at the dates and times that

    21 they were recorded, both going out and coming in, and

    22 you find that these communications reflect delays in

    23 their transmission of sometimes an hour, sometimes four

    24 hours, eight hours, twelve hours, two days, five days.

    25 It varies. And why is that? Why would these

  75. 1 communications not have been as rapid as voice

    2 communications, such as over radio? That's because

    3 this packet radio system -- and I'll finish on this

    4 point, Mr. President. I see my time has expired this

    5 morning. This packet system required that the message

    6 be typed up, someone qualified to run the equipment had

    7 to be found, first radio contact between the two radios

    8 had to be established, then modem contact has to be

    9 established. Modems have to shake hands, so you had to

    10 get a good radio signal, then you had to get a modem

    11 handshake, then you had to spend time sending the

    12 document through the modem over the radio waves, and

    13 then the document had to be recovered from what was a

    14 data file, a computer data file, at the other end, and

    15 then delivered. We know in Vitez, the packet system

    16 came in to the PTT building and would then have to be

    17 taken over to the Central Bosnia Operative Zone.

    18 This would be a convenient breaking point,

    19 Mr. President.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. The hearing is

    21 adjourned. We will resume at 2.30.

    22 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.02 p.m.




  76. 1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Have

    3 the accused brought in.

    4 (The accused entered court)

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, it is your turn to

    6 continue your closing arguments in defence of the

    7 accused in the trial that should be completed

    8 tomorrow.

    9 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. I now

    10 have the unenviable task of speaking after lunch, which

    11 is always a challenge. We will try and keep it

    12 interesting for all of us at this late stage in what

    13 has been a very long trial.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, I do not authorise

    15 you at all to imagine that the attention of the Judges

    16 may differ in any sense after lunch as opposed to

    17 before lunch.

    18 MR. HAYMAN: Of course, Mr. President. I was

    19 referring to the public gallery.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. We're going to have

    21 another difficult task to make the Judges particularly

    22 attentive. It's all yours.

    23 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you. Before lunch, I was

    24 speaking about communications and how can the Court

    25 decide what system was actually used and how reliable

  77. 1 was it and with what speed could orders be dispatched,

    2 reports received, and so forth. One way, I suggested,

    3 is you can look at the actual communications

    4 themselves, at the stamps, to see if they were, indeed,

    5 sent by the packet system and what kind of lag time or

    6 delays there might have been. The other thing you can

    7 use, Your Honours, to evaluate this issue is to look at

    8 internal reports of the HVO about this subject. There

    9 are some reports which describe the situation with

    10 respect to HVO communications.

    11 This is one such report, Defence Exhibit 406,

    12 which should be on your monitors now. This is an

    13 excerpt of it, the excerpt which deals with

    14 communications, and it's a report from the chief of

    15 staff, Franjo Nakic, sent to Colonel Blaskic, who at

    16 the time was in Kiseljak, and I'll get to that in a few

    17 more minutes. Suffice to say from now, he was cut off

    18 in Kiseljak. So his own chief of staff is telling him,

    19 on the 26th of January, and I will start with the

    20 second bullet point:

    21 "There is a need for checking identification

    22 documents due to a frequent appearance of foreigners

    23 (Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina)."

    24 What does that mean? This paragraph is

    25 entitled "Report on the Sending of Wires by Packet

  78. 1 Communications." I said earlier that to send,

    2 apparently, messages over the packet system, there had

    3 to be radio contact. It's not always easy to know. I

    4 don't know if any of Your Honours ever had a short-wave

    5 radio as a child, but it's not always easy to know who

    6 you are talking to on a short-wave-type radio. There's

    7 a frequency, and you speak, and then you listen and see

    8 who speaks back.

    9 This third bullet is saying that we have to

    10 be careful because frequently the BH army is appearing

    11 on the frequencies that they are trying to use to send

    12 messages. What happened if the BH army was the other

    13 party that they were in radio contact with? Well, if

    14 the BH army switched on their modem too, the message

    15 would go to the BH army, not to the Kiseljak Brigade or

    16 whomever the intended recipient was. That's what the

    17 third bullet point says -- the second one, rather.

    18 "3. There is a high overload of the entire

    19 packet network.

    20 "4. There is a high frequency of packet

    21 network interceptions."

    22 "Interceptions" means the message is going

    23 into the wrong hands.

    24 The last bullet talks about certain

    25 locations, certain brigades; the packet system

  79. 1 apparently isn't working at all.

    2 We don't suggest that was always the case,

    3 but we are suggesting to you is the system was an

    4 amateur system that was not particularly reliable, and

    5 at least here we know, in late January, which is an

    6 important time for the case, the system was not working

    7 well at all, and this is an internal HVO document, a

    8 confidential document, one in which there's no reason

    9 Mr. Nakic would have been misleading Colonel Blaskic

    10 about problems in the packet network. If anything, he

    11 might have been inclined to tell him it's not as bad as

    12 it was.

    13 What does it mean that there were problems

    14 with the packet system and delays in messages? It

    15 means that, on a regular basis, Colonel Blaskic

    16 received news about battles after they were fought. He

    17 received information about events that may have

    18 occurred during those battles, after those events had

    19 occurred. So strictly from the technical standpoint,

    20 there was a lag time between the information he got and

    21 between -- and a lag time in any additional orders or

    22 instructions that he would want to send out to the

    23 parties in the field.

    24 Because there was a relatively fragile

    25 communications system, we should also ask, when do

  80. 1 these systems perform best and when do they perform

    2 worst? This same document, D406, talks about a high

    3 overload of the network. This is on the 26th of

    4 January, 1993. There's a lot going on. People are

    5 trying to send a lot of messages. But how many

    6 frequencies can you use? How do you keep switching

    7 around frequencies to tell the other party where to be

    8 and at what time to receive the message? It was a

    9 problem that we can see from this report, and the

    10 milinfocell, based on everything it learned, was able

    11 to give this Court an appraisal of how well the

    12 communication system might have functioned on the

    13 morning of the 16th of April, 1993.

    14 (Videotape played)

    15 "Q Would you describe the situation on the

    16 16th of April, 1993 in the Lasva Valley

    17 as chaotic, and, if so, why?

    18 A It was very chaotic. There was a lot of

    19 fighting going on across the Lasva

    20 Valley on both sides, and when things

    21 are chaotic, even a professional army

    22 would have problems finding out what was

    23 going on, and we didn't know what was

    24 going on all the time in all the places,

    25 but we had a rough idea of what was

  81. 1 going on most of the time. I don't

    2 think either commanders on both sides

    3 would have had a clear idea of what was

    4 going on because their lines of

    5 communication were poor."

    6 MR. HAYMAN: Those are my comments, Your

    7 Honours, on the technical means of communication

    8 available to Colonel Blaskic, both to disseminate

    9 instructions and receive information.

    10 But even if the technical means were working,

    11 did he get accurate reports? Thus we introduce a

    12 further human element in the command and control

    13 equation. To exert control, you have to have accurate

    14 information, and, of course, the paradigm for lack of

    15 information in this case is Exhibit D280, Pasko

    16 Ljubicic's report written and sent on the afternoon of

    17 the 16th of April. I asked Mr. Leyshon about it.

    18 (Videotape played)

    19 "Q Exhibit 267 is the order, the order to

    20 defend and, if attacked, notify Colonel

    21 Blaskic and then neutralise the

    22 attacker. Exhibit D280 is the report.

    23 Now, the report does not contain any

    24 information concerning murdered

    25 civilians or burned homes. Let's

  82. 1 assume, for purposes of this question,

    2 that civilians were murdered and homes

    3 were burned on the morning of the 16th

    4 of April, 1993. That being the case,

    5 what are the consequences for command

    6 and control if a commander receives

    7 orders such as Exhibit D280?

    8 A This report doesn't show a true

    9 reflection of what happened in Ahmici.

    10 Therefore, if you are receiving

    11 inaccurate reports, the command cannot

    12 make the right decisions. Good command

    13 and control needs real-time reporting,

    14 but also something which is obviously

    15 important is the accuracy of the

    16 reporting.

    17 Q Is it fair to say that without accurate

    18 information, the commander is in the

    19 dark?

    20 A Absolutely."

    21 MR. HAYMAN: There are other examples of

    22 problems in the accuracy of the reporting, but I will

    23 address those when they come up in the sequence of

    24 events.

    25 The quality of reporting is affected by

  83. 1 training and experience. I don't want to dwell on the

    2 issue of training, but I would like to say that the

    3 evidence is clear that the HVO did not have a training

    4 centre, there was no regular training programme

    5 implemented, and that was because of lack of resources,

    6 lack of people to train. There was some basic training

    7 beginning in September of 1993, as Mr. Tolo testified.

    8 But Colonel Blaskic did order training; he

    9 tried to encourage training. He knew it was important.

    10 You can gauge whether there was a regular training

    11 programme across the territory in place by observations

    12 of some of the witnesses in this case. Normally,

    13 militaries train all the time. Certainly when they are

    14 not in wartime, they train all the time. That's what

    15 they do. That's what professional armies do in order

    16 to ensure discipline, uniformity, and control within a

    17 military. As they say, practice makes perfect.

    18 But it is clear in the Lasva Valley, and the

    19 region, the international observers did not see HVO

    20 troops training. First, Mr. Baggesen of the ECMM made

    21 that observation:

    22 (Videotape played)

    23 "Mr. Cayley:

    24 Q Now, in terms of training, did you see

    25 any training of HVO soldiers going on

  84. 1 whilst you were down in Bosnia? 2 A No, I didn't. Not at all, no." 3 MR. HAYMAN: I also asked that question of 4 Mr. Leyshon, or at least I believe I asked the

    5 question:

    6 (Videotape played)

    7 "A Well, we had a lot of people out on the

    8 ground for seven months, and not once

    9 did we see any existence of any training

    10 going on."

    11 MR. HAYMAN: Perhaps it was Mr. Kehoe. I'm

    12 not sure what that meant. The question obviously

    13 wasn't in the clip.

    14 To summarise on command and control, I need

    15 to go into a very short private session,

    16 Mr. President.

    17 (Private session)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

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  89. 1 (redacted) 2 (redacted) 3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (Open session)

    7 MR. HAYMAN: So we simply point out,

    8 Mr. President, that the Danas article is not only

    9 contrary to the body of more considered evidence on

    10 this point, but it's perfectly understandable for a pep

    11 talk article of this type to find its way into the

    12 media, and the Court, quite frankly, would be naive to

    13 rely on it as evidence of actual conditions on the

    14 ground.

    15 Now, what about the report of the 7th of

    16 May? What we've done to try and illustrate this, Your

    17 Honours, is we've made a chart concerning this report,

    18 and there are two columns on the chart. The left-hand

    19 side are specific statements in the report that bear on

    20 communications, control, and those types of issues.

    21 The right-hand side of the chart are the generalised

    22 positive-spin statements that Colonel Blaskic put at

    23 the end of the report. They only appear at the end,

    24 and that's where they are.

    25 What are the specific indicia of poor

  90. 1 communications or control on the left? The first three

    2 bullet points deal with isolation of territory, lack of

    3 communications, and so forth. I won't read them

    4 verbatim. The fourth bullet point says "Training is

    5 inadequate," and you do have a copy of this chart in

    6 the batch we handed out yesterday.

    7 The fifth bullet point is that the Fojnica

    8 HVO battalion is in a state of mutiny or rebellion, and

    9 I will talk about that in greater length at the

    10 moment.

    11 The sixth bullet point, and this is a quote

    12 from the -- I'm sorry. I haven't handed these out yet,

    13 Your Honours. I've been hoarding them, but I would

    14 hand them out now, although I think this one is fairly

    15 readable.

    16 So, Your Honours, to continue, and I

    17 apologise for losing my own documents here, the fourth

    18 bullet point is a lack of training, it's not adequate.

    19 The fifth, the Fojnica battalion is in a state of

    20 mutiny or rebellion. The sixth, and this is a quote

    21 from the report: "Organised gangs with notorious

    22 ringleaders are taking advantage of the times and

    23 circumstances to rob and steal."

    24 The last bullet point: "Loose cannon who

    25 damage the reputation of the HVO are present in the

  91. 1 area of combat operations." 2 On the right-hand side are the 3 generalisations that he ended the report with, and he 4 said that cooperation is good, and command and control

    5 function properly.

    6 We submit to you that it is human nature to

    7 try and put a bad situation in the best light and it's

    8 human nature to tell your commander that you're doing

    9 or trying to do a good job, the best job that you can.

    10 We simply ask you, Your Honours, with respect to the

    11 Danas article and the May 7th report, to consider them

    12 in light of the other evidence, and in light of the

    13 type of documents they are.

    14 Further, to the extent the Prosecutor has

    15 urged you to rely on them as indicia of Blaskic's inner

    16 thoughts on the subject of command and control, there

    17 is other evidence on that score, and I need to go into

    18 private session for just one minute to present it to

    19 you, please.

    20 (Private session)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  92. 1












    13 page 25088 redacted private session













  93. 1 (Open session) 2 MR. HAYMAN: The Prosecutor offered one other 3 argument on command and control that I would like to 4 reply to, and that is Stjepan Tuka and the Fojnica

    5 Battalion. They maintained yesterday that Colonel

    6 Blaskic could dismiss brigade commanders without the

    7 support of civilian authorities, and that the Tuka

    8 incident demonstrated as much. In fact, the Prosecutor

    9 told you that Blaskic "Dismissed Tuka" and "Tuka was

    10 out." Is that what happened with respect to Mr. Tuka?

    11 We have made a chart, Your Honours, that

    12 consists of two pages, and the first page sets forth

    13 the initial events involving the dispute or

    14 disagreement between Colonel Blaskic and battalion

    15 commander Tuka. What does it set forth? It sets forth

    16 that on the 18th of April, Colonel Blaskic ordered

    17 Mr. Tuka and his battalion to take action. On the

    18 19th, he issued a follow-up order to them to take

    19 action, because apparently nothing had happened. On

    20 the 20th, Tuka sent a letter to Blaskic saying, "I

    21 refuse to execute the order." And on the 20th, Colonel

    22 Blaskic ordered his replacement, the 20th of April,

    23 1993.

    24 It is there that the Prosecutor would like to

    25 end this saga of insubordination with respect to the

  94. 1 Fojnica Battalion, but the story does not end there.

    2 It continues.

    3 Also on the 20th, Tuka sent a response to

    4 Blaskic indicating that there would be a meeting among

    5 various parties, religious, civilian, and so forth, and

    6 then in addition, certain civil authorities sent their

    7 own letter to Colonel Blaskic, saying they rejected his

    8 attempts to replace Mr. Tuka. That was on the 20th of

    9 April.

    10 The next item of correspondence in this

    11 exchange doesn't occur until the 7th of May. That's

    12 between two and three weeks later, when Colonel Blaskic

    13 again sends an order threatening that Tuka be replaced,

    14 instructing that he be replaced, resign, what have you,

    15 or he would be subject to penalties for

    16 insubordination. Tuka was still not replaced at that

    17 juncture, that is the evidence in this case, and,

    18 indeed, in June, he is finally replaced, some two

    19 months, six weeks, six to eight weeks after an order

    20 for immediate replacement occurred, six to eight

    21 weeks. I ask you, what kind of command and control did

    22 Colonel Blaskic have over the Fojnica Battalion during

    23 that six to eight weeks, at a minimum?

    24 I asked a witness that question, again,

    25 Captain Leyshon.

  95. 1 (Videotape played)

    2 "Mr. Hayman:

    3 Q This exhibit is entitled 'Decision from

    4 the HVO Battalion in Fojnica, the HVO

    5 civilian authority, the Franciscan

    6 monastery,' and others, and it states in

    7 short that an order of the Operative

    8 Zone command is being completely

    9 rejected. What does that mean for

    10 command and control, when a subordinate

    11 unit rejects an order of a superior

    12 command?

    13 A Well, obviously, there is no command and

    14 control."

    15 MR. HAYMAN: What happened in Fojnica? There

    16 was a conflict there between the BH army and the HVO in

    17 July, the following month, and the BH army took control

    18 of Fojnica. That's really aside the point though,

    19 whether Colonel Blaskic's order -- whether any of us

    20 like it or don't like it -- the fact is command and

    21 control did not exist over the Fojnica Battalion at

    22 that time and for that period. So for the Prosecutor

    23 to suggest that the Tuka incident establishes command

    24 and control, we suggest on the contrary. It gives you

    25 considerable insight into whether Colonel Blaskic

  96. 1 really could tell a brigade or battalion commander,

    2 "Carry out my order or you are out of here." He

    3 certainly didn't have that power and authority over

    4 Mr. Tuka.

    5 The other thing I'd like to say about the

    6 Tuka documents is the 19 Prosecution witnesses on whom

    7 the Prosecutor relies; they never saw the Tuka

    8 documents. Why was that? That's because we didn't

    9 get, the Defence didn't get the Tuka documents until

    10 the 22nd of July, 1998 when the Prosecutor introduced

    11 Prosecutor's Exhibit 456, the big binder of HVO

    12 documents. That was after the last Prosecution witness

    13 and their case in chief had testified.

    14 What would Mr. Buffini have said if we had

    15 the opportunity to share the mutiny, the insurrection,

    16 if you will, in Fojnica with him? What would the other

    17 18 Prosecution witnesses have said?

    18 In sum, there were dual or even triple lines

    19 of command over the military police and the Vitezovi.

    20 Communications were unreliable and were certainly

    21 nothing close to real-time within the HVO. The experts

    22 agree that command and control was poor and the command

    23 structure was in its infancy, at best. So we simply

    24 suggest from that, Your Honours, that the Prosecutor

    25 cannot sustain their burden by urging general

  97. 1 inferences of command responsibility from events on the

    2 ground. Such an inference is not sustainable, is not

    3 logical, in these circumstances, and the Court must

    4 look for actual proof.

    5 I'd like to do that and discuss that with

    6 you, beginning very briefly with 1992. There was a

    7 suggestion in the Prosecution argument that Tihomir

    8 Blaskic came to Bosnia as part of a master political

    9 plan to break up Bosnia and annex parts of Bosnia to

    10 Croatia. That's an interesting conspiracy theory, but

    11 what is the evidence? The evidence is he was asked to

    12 come to Kiseljak by the municipal council, a

    13 multi-ethnic group, to urgently assist in the defence

    14 of that municipality against the Serbs who were very

    15 close to the Kiseljak municipality and were bearing

    16 down on it. I think you could hear the gunfire, you

    17 could hear the artillery fire against Sarajevo easily

    18 from the Kiseljak municipality. Think how those people

    19 felt when they heard that artillery on a regular basis,

    20 knowing that they had no army, neither the BH army nor

    21 the HVO existed. They had no army to defend themselves

    22 against the JNA with all of their equipment and fire

    23 power.

    24 The Prosecutor also asserted that Blaskic was

    25 selected for the Operative Zone commander position

  98. 1 based on political criteria. Is there any evidence

    2 that he was even interviewed for the job? No. The

    3 first time he met a political leader of Herceg-Bosna in

    4 Herzegovina was on the 27th of June, 1993, and he went

    5 there to receive his appointment -- I'm sorry. Did I

    6 say 27th? That's what I meant if I said it. The 27th

    7 of June, 1993 -- did I misspeak, Your Honour?


    9 MR. HAYMAN: I'm sorry. 1992. I knew there

    10 was something wrong with that date. 1992. Thank you.

    11 He met Mate Boban for the first time and he

    12 received his appointment. There was no interview,

    13 there was no questionnaire. He was not a member of any

    14 political party.

    15 What are the facts? The facts are the HVO

    16 had gone through four purported Operative Zone

    17 commanders in the prior four months. You may recall

    18 that Pasko Ljubicic was the commander of the Operative

    19 Zone for a time. There was a commander named Zulu, not

    20 known by any other name, a mysterious figure who walked

    21 in the room with no papers, no documents, no

    22 recordkeeping and said, "I am the commander now," and

    23 then left. They had been through four commanders in

    24 four or five months. Nothing was getting done. They

    25 needed someone who had some real military training, and

  99. 1 they asked Blaskic to help. That's not a crime.

    2 Is there any evidence that he went for any

    3 political or personal motive? We know his family

    4 didn't want him to go. His family wanted to get out of

    5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He went and he stayed at

    6 considerable personal sacrifice, but he felt he had an

    7 obligation to help the people in that region organise

    8 for self-defence. You heard about him talk about this

    9 yourselves. You're professional Judges. You can

    10 assess whether he spoke sincerely or not.

    11 In early August 1992, what happened? There

    12 was a conflict. The Territorial Defence attempted to

    13 cut the Kiseljak enclave by erecting checkpoints or

    14 roadblocks in several locations. This is an excerpt

    15 from an order from the commander, the municipal defence

    16 headquarters commander in Kiseljak, dated August 5th,

    17 1992, and what did he order?

    18 "3. Immediately select the objects, and

    19 especially the points on the main and secondary

    20 communication lines, to be used for the blockade of

    21 territory and roads, and select a fraction of the

    22 forces to execute it ...

    23 "4. Execute all measures needed to equip the

    24 soldiers ..."

    25 This is the key one.

  100. 1 "5. You must intensify the control of the

    2 movement of troops and vehicles on the main

    3 communication line of the municipality."

    4 We showed you, during the testimony, I think

    5 we put up little yellow pieces of paper on the main

    6 road to show the four or five different roadblocks that

    7 are described and that actually took place. Now, this

    8 wasn't illegal. We're not blaming the Territorial

    9 Defence. Tensions were building up, and there was the

    10 beginnings of a struggle to take control of this

    11 territory. That's what happens when civil war breaks

    12 out. It wasn't wrong for the Territorial Defence to be

    13 subject to the normal fears and concerns that anyone

    14 would have in that situation, and it wasn't wrong for

    15 persons within the HVO to be concerned about control

    16 and safety and security. It's what happens in a civil

    17 war situation.

    18 But it happened first in the Kiseljak

    19 municipality on the part of the TO. Again, that's not

    20 wrong. It just happened. For purposes of the law, the

    21 fact is it happened, and this is contrary to the

    22 Prosecutor's theory that there was a conspiracy to

    23 expel Bosnian Muslims from a particular territory that

    24 was carried out by Colonel Blaskic or planned or aided

    25 and abetted by him in any way. The fact is there were

  101. 1 two communities and two armed forces forming that were

    2 overlayed on the same territory, and they began to

    3 compete for resources, barracks, weapons, and so

    4 forth. The Court has heard all about the types of

    5 things that start to happen when you have competing --

    6 not only armed forces, but competing municipal

    7 governments on the same territory.

    8 The next to last incident in 1992 I will

    9 discuss is the arrest of Mr. Sinanbasic, who was a TO

    10 official also in Kiseljak, and the claim has been made

    11 that Colonel Blaskic, who by this point, I think in

    12 August or the fall, he was already in Vitez, but their

    13 claim has been made that he allowed Sinanbasic to stay

    14 in gaol in order to promote a take-over or something

    15 like in the Kiseljak municipality.

    16 Sinanbasic was arrested by the civilian

    17 police in Busovaca. That's fact number 1. Fact number

    18 2: Blaskic endeavoured to get him released, but it

    19 took some time, because I believe this is the same

    20 period of time that Jajce was under extreme pressure,

    21 and Colonel Blaskic was spending a great deal of time

    22 there. Fact number 3: They got Sinanbasic released.

    23 They got him out. This incident, it may be

    24 unfortunate, but it doesn't prove what the Prosecutor

    25 insinuates.

  102. 1 Finally, there is a claim that Colonel

    2 Blaskic tried to outlaw and expel the Territorial

    3 Defence from the Kiseljak municipality. It is true he

    4 repeated an order from General Roso, director of the

    5 TO, but again it should come as no surprise that there

    6 was some sparring and posturing for power throughout

    7 the territory that these two militias overlapped.

    8 But it's also true that Blaskic took no steps

    9 to force the TO in Kiseljak to come under HVO control,

    10 and we even know, Your Honours, that that didn't happen

    11 even much later in 1992 in Vitez, and we know that

    12 because Sefkija Dzidic, the TO commander in Vitez, in

    13 Stari Vitez, was asked about this issue, and this was

    14 his reply:

    15 (Videotape played)

    16 "A On one occasion, Mr. Blaskic, at a

    17 meeting when I went to him, said that no

    18 one had the right to force anyone to

    19 come under his command, which was

    20 correct on his part."

    21 MR. HAYMAN: That's all we have to say with

    22 respect to 1992. If you look at the documents and look

    23 at all the testimony, you can see that Colonel Blaskic

    24 was trying to establish a system. He was trying to

    25 establish a headquarters, he tried to establish a

  103. 1 staff, he tried to establish meetings of the staff, he

    2 tried to start training, he tried to start forming an

    3 army, which is what you do if you care about command

    4 and control and you want to try and create command and

    5 control and order out of relative chaos. That's the

    6 story of 1992.

    7 What about 1993? The drama in 1993, Your

    8 Honours, begins in the Busovaca municipality in

    9 January. The Prosecutor has referred to the January

    10 conflict as, on the part of the HVO, a "dress

    11 rehearsal" for the April conflict. What actually

    12 happened in January 1993, and has the Prosecution

    13 proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Blaskic had

    14 either direct or command responsibility for any crimes

    15 in the Busovaca municipality in January?

    16 What was the situation as it existed at that

    17 time? You will recall the Vitez enclave, encircled by

    18 red tape on the relief map in its current state, was

    19 still connected to the Kiseljak municipality. The road

    20 was open for all and there was free passage.

    21 On the 23rd of January, 1993, which was a

    22 Saturday, Blaskic left Vitez, after finishing his

    23 two-thirds or three-quarters day of work, to visit his

    24 parents at their family home in Brestovsko. Brestovsko

    25 is on the other side of Bilalovac as you go towards

  104. 1 Kiseljak, but before you get to Kiseljak proper. So

    2 it's on the other side of the Kacuni-Bilalovac

    3 corridor.

    4 It's quite clear from the evidence that the

    5 conflict, which erupted the following day, late on the

    6 night of the 24th, was totally unforeseen by Colonel

    7 Blaskic.

    8 What happened? Well, the BH army had

    9 previously erected a new checkpoint, and this did not

    10 go unnoticed by the United Nations Protection Force.

    11 UNPROFOR reported on the 20th of January that "The BH

    12 army in Busovaca has erected a new checkpoint at

    13 Kacuni. This is the only BH checkpoint on the route

    14 from Vitez to Kiseljak, and it is located just north of

    15 the BH Brigade headquarters." That's on the 20th of

    16 January. Even Blaskic was unsuspecting when he passed

    17 through this checkpoint on the way to Brestovsko on

    18 Saturday, January 23rd.

    19 On the night of the 24th to the 25th of

    20 January, that's late Sunday night, getting close to

    21 Monday, the 7th Muslim Brigade at Kacuni attacked HVO

    22 vehicles passing through Kacuni and murdered an HVO

    23 policeman and a Croat passer-by, and, indeed, this was

    24 reported at the time.

    25 This is a report received by Colonel Blaskic

  105. 1 informing him that at 1.00 a.m. on the 25th, these

    2 murders occurred. You can see it was directed to

    3 Colonel Blaskic through the Kiseljak headquarters. So

    4 this is 25 January; it's a Monday.

    5 The conflict, however, quickly escalated.

    6 The Prosecutor has referred to a milinfosum which

    7 speaks of Croatian extremists burning Muslim properties

    8 in Busovaca, and that may well have happened. There

    9 hasn't been much actual testimony to that effect.

    10 There was testimony of at least one murder that

    11 occurred by someone who has been indicted by this

    12 Tribunal for it.

    13 But what we also know is that the BH army

    14 took advantage of this situation to sever the

    15 Vitez-Kiseljak territory, and it moved units from

    16 Visoko down into the area and quickly took control of

    17 approximately a seven-kilometre swath of territory from

    18 Kacuni to Bilalovac. This was not a very good dress

    19 rehearsal on the part of the HVO for anything. It

    20 seems, on the contrary, that all witnesses in this case

    21 concede that the BH army initiated the January conflict

    22 (Videotape played)

    23 "Mr. Hayman:

    24 Q To the best of your recollection, when

    25 you spoke to Hadzihasanovic and said,

  106. 1 'You, the BH army, you started the

    2 conflict in January in Busovaca,' were

    3 you referring to that ambush and

    4 killing?

    5 A Yes, I probably was."

    6 MR. HAYMAN: Now, here again, the taking of

    7 this territory by the BH army, the fact of taking it,

    8 that's a legitimate military objective. How they went

    9 about it and the consequences of that, is another

    10 matter. We're not here, and certainly the Defence

    11 isn't here, to fault any military for their strategy

    12 when it involves legitimate military aims. But why

    13 this is important in the case is the Prosecutor's

    14 theory is very different. It is a theory basically of

    15 a conspiracy to expel Muslims, take control of a

    16 territory, initiated, planned, implemented by Tihomir

    17 Blaskic.

    18 Here we have a very successful BH army action

    19 in January 1993 cutting the Croat enclave into two much

    20 more vulnerable pieces. That doesn't fit in the

    21 Prosecutor's theory. It doesn't fit. What it does fit

    22 with is a situation where you have overlapping military

    23 and civilian authorities struggling, posturing for

    24 control, and when it broke out into open violence,

    25 what's most important is our client was visiting his

  107. 1 parents. He got cut off. Does that sound like he

    2 planned and implemented some military action in

    3 Busovaca in January 1993? He was at his parents'

    4 house. He missed the party, to use the Prosecutor's

    5 analogy, not that it was a party, and I don't mean to

    6 imply anything of that sort.

    7 So what happened on the 25th of January?

    8 Tihomir Blaskic got up early to drive back to Vitez,

    9 which was frequently his habit, to try and get away on

    10 Sunday and come back to Vitez either Sunday night or

    11 early Monday morning, but when he got to Bilalovac, he

    12 was told that the road to Busovaca was blocked and no

    13 traffic was being allowed through. So he went to the

    14 Kiseljak barracks to try and find out what was going

    15 on, and he got some messages there, as the Court saw a

    16 moment ago.

    17 But events were moving very quickly, and by

    18 the next day, the 26th of January, this Court has heard

    19 that the 7th Muslim Brigade was clearing villages

    20 northeast of Busovaca of Croats. The Trial Chamber has

    21 heard of events in Dusina and Lasva that day, and,

    22 indeed, the large swath of territory was -- if it

    23 hadn't fallen by the 26th, it was very close to it.

    24 Dusina and Lasva, again, we're not here to

    25 accuse others of crimes in that village, that's not

  108. 1 what this case is about, but what happened in Dusina

    2 and Lasva also doesn't fit in with the Prosecutor's

    3 theory. We do believe and we do submit that prisoners

    4 were executed, HVO prisoners, and civilians, Croat

    5 civilians were killed, and the Court is in a position

    6 to judge, even if only from the pictures of some of the

    7 victims, including Zvonko Rajic, whose heart was cut

    8 out, and I apologise to the Court that you had to view

    9 that, I won't show it again.

    10 Because these events are important to

    11 understand the fear that was starting to spread in this

    12 region, and it was on all sides, but fear among the

    13 ordinary people, the general population, was starting

    14 to spread. It is impossible for us really to imagine

    15 for those of us who live in wonderful cities like The

    16 Hague, or visit here as the case may be, to think what

    17 we would feel like if our own community starts to pull

    18 apart, you hear the gunfire at the front line in the

    19 distance, there's a massacre in a nearby suburb, and

    20 then your neighbour starts digging a trench faced

    21 towards your property. Those are unimaginable things

    22 to us. But, in this case, you're being called upon to

    23 try and understand how ordinary citizens, whether

    24 educated or uneducated, what goes on in their minds

    25 when those types of terrible things start to happen

  109. 1 right there in their lives?

    2 While the crimes were being committed in

    3 Dusina on the 26th of January, where was Blaskic? He

    4 was in Kiseljak. First he requested a meeting mediated

    5 by UNPROFOR with the BH army, and a meeting was held at

    6 U.N. headquarters in Kiseljak. I believe Brigadier

    7 Cordy Simpson presided. I think that's reflected in

    8 the documents. And Blaskic ordered a cease-fire. That

    9 occurred and that order was issued on the 27th of

    10 January, 1993. So the Court knows that the violence

    11 broke out on the 25th with the killing at the

    12 checkpoint, escalated on the 26th, those crimes in

    13 Dusina, that is literally during the cease-fire

    14 negotiations, as the Court may recall from the

    15 testimony, and then on the 27th, Blaskic, he's readily

    16 agreed to a cease-fire, and he had ordered it.

    17 As part of that cease-fire, he ordered that

    18 all prisoners should be exchanged, this is paragraph 5,

    19 through the office of the committee of the Red Cross,

    20 he puts someone in charge of that, and he puts the

    21 deadline "As agreed with ICRC." He looked to them for

    22 guidance.

    23 Why would he, you may ask? He's a trained

    24 military officer. Why would he say, "Let's do what

    25 ICRC says with respect to whatever prisoners may have

  110. 1 been taken on the other side of this new barrier

    2 cutting off these two enclaves"? General Blaskic had

    3 been a captain in the JNA, principally responsible for

    4 training members of the company with whom he was

    5 involved. So his speciality was training. He hasn't

    6 fought in a war, he had never been a general, he had

    7 never commanded more than the deputy commander of

    8 perhaps 120 men in a company, a battalion perhaps, and

    9 here he's cut off, he's in Kiseljak, there are horrible

    10 things happening, he's told, on the other side of the

    11 barricade, certainly in Dusina, and the Court can

    12 imagine what happened at this meeting, at the U.N.

    13 headquarters. The United Nations representative said,

    14 "We've been told there are some detainees. We want

    15 them exchanged. We want you to work with the Red Cross

    16 and get that done." And this document reflects what

    17 Colonel Blaskic said. He said, "I agree. Let's write

    18 it down." And the language is agreed upon and it's

    19 ordered.

    20 Now, an important question for you is why, if

    21 the HVO was in a position of military superiority,

    22 which has always been the Prosecutor's theory, why

    23 would Blaskic agree to a cease-fire when his territory,

    24 the territory he was supposed to protect, has been cut

    25 in two? Why not win it back, if he's in the superior

  111. 1 position? The fact is the HVO was horribly surprised

    2 by the January conflict, badly outnumbered vis-à-vis

    3 the BH army, and soundly defeated in January 1993. It

    4 was not much of a dress rehearsal for anything.

    5 Now I will turn to the Prosecutor's

    6 contention that Blaskic was in Busovaca during the

    7 January conflict actually directing military activity

    8 there. It is central to the arguments you've just

    9 heard that Blaskic himself designed, participated in,

    10 and executed a conspiracy to expel Muslims from

    11 Busovaca and else where in the Lasva and Kiseljak

    12 Valleys. Part of that theory, and they presented this

    13 particular piece through one witness who I will discuss

    14 in a moment, but it will need to be in a private

    15 session because it was private-session testimony, they

    16 presented evidence, attempted to persuade this Court

    17 that Blaskic was personally, in January of 1993,

    18 directing the effort there.

    19 They needed to argue that, Your Honours,

    20 because if Blaskic wasn't there, then who was? Who was

    21 directing those activities in Busovaca, if it wasn't

    22 Blaskic? That's the problem that they faced and why

    23 they took the position, at least at an earlier point in

    24 this case, that Colonel Blaskic was personally in

    25 Busovaca directing military activities there.

  112. 1 If I may have a moment. We need to go now 2 into private session briefly, Your Honour, and if we 3 could have the ELMO activated but turned off in the

    4 public gallery, please.

    5 (Private session)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  113. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (Open session)

    23 MR. HAYMAN: Why did the Prosecution abandon

    24 the argument that Blaskic was in Busovaca in January

    25 during the fighting there? Well, the evidence on which

  114. 1 they were relying collapsed. Even the BH army

    2 recognised that Blaskic was in Kiseljak and was cut

    3 off. This is Exhibit D188. It's a BH army document.

    4 I think it's actually signed by General Hadzihasanovic,

    5 and he confirmed it. In the document, paragraph 3

    6 begins, but let me first remind Your Honours of the

    7 date, February 12th, 1993, in paragraph 3, General

    8 Hadzihasanovic is telling the supreme command of the BH

    9 army that: "We assume that Colonel Tihomir Blaskic is

    10 isolated in Kiseljak and that his readiness to solve

    11 the problems is a lie, that somebody else is solving

    12 the problems instead of Tiho Blaskic and that there's

    13 no point in negotiating," that is, with Blaskic, "as

    14 whatever is agreed upon will not have any result."

    15 Everybody knows that Tihomir Blaskic was cut

    16 off in Kiseljak starting on or about the 23rd of

    17 January, 1993 all the way through February and up to

    18 approximately the 3rd of March, 1993, even the BH army

    19 knew it and didn't want to negotiate with him because

    20 they didn't believe he could possibly exert any control

    21 over what was happening in other enclaves.

    22 Similarly, HVO documentation from this time

    23 period uniformly indicates that Tihomir Blaskic was in

    24 Kiseljak. I'll just read off the dates: "26 January,

    25 1993, addressed to Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, Kiseljak."

  115. 1 Again, "26 January, Tihomir Blaskic, Kiseljak." This

    2 is an order issued by Tihomir Blaskic "29 January

    3 1993," and you can see he was there because he signed

    4 it, and if you look at the stamp, it's the stamp of the

    5 Kiseljak brigade. You can see the word "Kiseljak"

    6 under the slight outline of the checkerboard. Not only

    7 did Blaskic not have a headquarters in Kiseljak, he

    8 didn't even have a headquarters stamp. Even Deborah

    9 Christie, if Your Honours will remember the filmmaker,

    10 she confirmed that Blaskic was cut off in Kiseljak,

    11 because when she went to get a permit for her film,

    12 this is the permit that she got and she brought it to

    13 Your Honours in the course of this case and her

    14 testimony.

    15 A long time ago, many questions were asked in

    16 this trial concerning the existence of a mountain path

    17 or mountain road between Kiseljak and Vitez.

    18 Fortunately, Judge Rodrigues, you were spared all those

    19 questions. They really got rather silly, and I know

    20 the Defence was perhaps as guilty as anyone for

    21 pursuing that point as vigorously as we did, but we did

    22 that, Your Honours, because we firmly believed and

    23 still believe that that testimony was erroneous.

    24 There may have been UNPROFOR soldiers in

    25 their armoured four-wheel-drive vehicles that went

  116. 1 overland, but there is absolutely no evidence that the

    2 HVO ever did or could or would want to subject

    3 themselves to such risk. As the territory that was

    4 pointed out to Your Honours as being the path of these

    5 mountain paths went through BH territory, and not

    6 witness was able to indicate on a map exactly where

    7 this path existed.

    8 Now I'd like to turn -- unless we're at a

    9 break point. I'm not sure when Your Honour would like

    10 to break. I don't recall.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. It's usually at ten to

    12 four that we break, but if this would be more suitable

    13 for you, we can do that. We will have another hour and

    14 fifteen or twenty left. You have spoken at length.

    15 The Judges don't mind. So if you prefer, we can have

    16 the break now and resume at five past four, whichever

    17 you prefer.

    18 MR. HAYMAN: Let's keep going.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: For a few more minutes, until

    20 ten to four. The interpreters are managing. I think

    21 Mr. Hayman is speaking rather more slowly than

    22 Mr. Nobilo, so we will continue for another ten minutes

    23 or so and then we will have the break. So, please,

    24 continue.

    25 MR. HAYMAN: The next logical question, Your

  117. 1 Honours, is from Kiseljak where he unquestionably was

    2 from the 23rd of January until the 3rd of March, 1993,

    3 did Blaskic exert operative control over HVO units in

    4 Busovaca and did he receive any information that war

    5 crimes were being committed or had been committed? And

    6 I'd like to look at that question.

    7 The Prosecution has taken the position that

    8 physical presence is not necessary to exert command.

    9 We would like to point out that at best, the testimony

    10 on that subject is mixed. One of their witnesses said,

    11 "No, physical presence is not important." One of

    12 their witnesses said, "Yes, it is important." That was

    13 Captain Lanthier.

    14 (Videotape played)

    15 "A There were several means of

    16 communication, but, at any moment in

    17 time, a commander must impose his

    18 commands through physical presence. He

    19 cannot continually impose his command at

    20 a distance, and so a commander must be

    21 able to make his command known to his

    22 troops and --"

    23 MR. HAYMAN: So the testimony on that point,

    24 Your Honours, is mixed. What we do know is I've

    25 already discussed the packet radio system and its

  118. 1 capabilities. We also know that General Blaskic, then 2 Colonel Blaskic, he didn't have a headquarters or a 3 headquarters staff in Kiseljak. That was confirmed for

    4 the Court by Mr. Friis-Pedersen, the EC monitor.

    5 (Videotape played)

    6 "Mr. Hayman:

    7 Q Do you have any information, any

    8 specific information, suggesting that he

    9 had a headquarters staff in Kiseljak?

    10 A No."

    11 MR. HAYMAN: Now I have some private-session

    12 testimony, Your Honour, briefly to present.

    13 (Private session)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  119. 1












    13 page 25115 redacted private session













  120. 1 (redacted)

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    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 --- Recess taken at 3.48 p.m.

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

    19 (Open session)

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. The hearing

    21 is resumed. Have the accused brought in, please. We

    22 are continuing.

    23 (The accused entered court)

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman?

    25 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. I

  121. 1 believe we are back in open session. 2 I would like to refer back to a concept I 3 spoke of at the beginning of my remarks today, and that 4 is that there were bits of information and observations

    5 made by international observers in Central Bosnia that

    6 fit in with the expert opinions that have also been

    7 rendered, and this is also true with respect to the

    8 chain of command over the Busovaca HVO.

    9 You heard, before the break, what witnesses

    10 with direct knowledge said of that, but here's what one

    11 of the EC Monitors, Mr. Remi Landry, perceived with

    12 respect to the Busovaca Brigade.

    13 (Videotape played)

    14 "A ... perhaps some action by the

    15 commander of Busovaca who seemed to be

    16 disobeying his orders or seemed to be

    17 taking his orders from another

    18 commander."

    19 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. Remi Landry was talking

    20 about an incident where he participated in trying to

    21 resolve it with the Busovaca Brigade commander, and as

    22 he noted, he felt that the Busovaca Brigade commander

    23 was responding to an authority other than the Operative

    24 Zone military structure.

    25 Of course, the BritBat officer who dealt most

  122. 1 with problems in Busovaca during the critical time

    2 period, the Cheshire Regiment tour, Martin Forgrave,

    3 who was the liaison officer, he was not called to

    4 testify by either side.

    5 Now I'd like to call your attention to during

    6 this critical time period, January 1993 and the

    7 aftermath, who was actually making decisions of a

    8 military nature with respect to the Busovaca area?

    9 This is a military information summary, and

    10 the date is important: February 22. This is during

    11 the time period that Colonel Blaskic is cut off in

    12 Kiseljak. "Paragraph 5: Busovaca:

    13 "At approximately 09.00, 22 February, HVO

    14 Busovaca inserted two checkpoints on access routes into

    15 Busovaca. These checkpoints were reportedly placed

    16 following direct instructions from Dario Kordic."

    17 What did the British Battalion report in this

    18 same vein three days later on the 25th of February?

    19 Again, still while Colonel Blaskic is isolated in

    20 Kiseljak. This is a reference also to checkpoints:

    21 "Paragraph 6: Busovaca:

    22 "Both positions were eventually removed later

    23 in the afternoon following discussions between LOs and

    24 Dario Kordic." That reference to an "LO," that would

    25 have been Martin Forgrave, the witness not called by

  123. 1 the Prosecutor.

    2 Then also earlier in February, on the 11th of

    3 February, here's another report from the British

    4 Battalion:

    5 "Paragraph 2: Zenica Road Checkpoint:

    6 "Kordic further stated that the HVO

    7 checkpoint at ..." grid reference "... could not become

    8 a combined checkpoint until the following problems were

    9 resolved," and then he lists problems with respect to

    10 BH army activities and other matters, both military and

    11 civilian.

    12 So the Court need not speculate who was

    13 issuing orders, who was engaging in negotiations with

    14 respect to military matters in Busovaca in January

    15 1993. It was recorded and documented by the United

    16 Nations, and I'm sure these very same documents are

    17 being presented in another courtroom in this

    18 courthouse, and I can hear the arguments of that

    19 Prosecutor ringing through the halls of this building.

    20 What information did Colonel Blaskic receive

    21 about the conflict in Busovaca while he was isolated in

    22 Kiseljak? Those reports are in evidence, you can

    23 review them, and they indicate that he got general

    24 information, he did not receive detailed reports, and

    25 he was generally told, "We were attacked, we've

  124. 1 sustained a lot of casualties, and we've lost a lot of

    2 territory." That's what he was told in those reports.

    3 He agreed to a cease-fire and he agreed to everything

    4 that international organisations asked him to do with

    5 respect to all issues, and the documents speak for

    6 themselves in that regard.

    7 Now we turn to the April conflict and the

    8 preceding weeks. As I said, on the 3rd of March,

    9 Colonel Blaskic did get to Vitez. He hitched a ride

    10 with UNPROFOR. There was a meeting of some sort, and

    11 he stayed in Vitez. He escaped the return trip. That,

    12 no doubt, was intended. He didn't show up for it and

    13 he was thereby able to stay in Vitez and to effectively

    14 return to Vitez on the 3rd of March.

    15 What did he do in Vitez? It's instructive.

    16 He called his staff together and he asked to be briefed

    17 on all events and all information that they had

    18 concerning events in his absence. He learned of

    19 allegations that HVO soldiers had been out of control

    20 in the recent fighting in Busovaca, and he asked for an

    21 investigation. But more importantly, in some ways, he

    22 took preventative action, and I would like to show you

    23 an order, an extraordinary order, that he issued which

    24 was not discussed in the Prosecutor's arguments.

    25 This order was issued on the 17th of March by

  125. 1 Colonel Blaskic, and it's entitled "Treatment of

    2 Persons Inclined Towards Criminal and Destructive

    3 Conduct." This order instructed -- let's go back and

    4 see -- it instructed in the first few paragraphs for

    5 all unit commanders at the platoon, company, and

    6 battalion levels to assess the conduct of HVO soldiers

    7 inclined towards destructive and criminal conduct, and

    8 he set a deadline of twelve days, if I'm not mistaken,

    9 the 29th of the March.

    10 He ordered them, in paragraph 2, to evaluate

    11 each conscript with respect to this problem, and he

    12 ordered, in paragraph 3, that "persons prone to

    13 disruptive conduct shall return their weapons, uniform,

    14 and other equipment and should be deleted from the

    15 active list and given an appropriate wartime assignment

    16 according to Decree." In other words, they are to be

    17 removed from active military units.

    18 Yesterday, when discussing the issue of

    19 failure to punish, the Prosecution stated that Blaskic

    20 never directed that persons who had committed wrongful

    21 acts or other acts of violence be removed from the

    22 HVO. Is that true? The Prosecutor also asserted that

    23 when Blaskic did order remedial actions, including an

    24 investigation into Ahmici, he merely did so to paper

    25 the file and because he was concerned after the CNN

  126. 1 report on Ahmici. This order is March 17th. This is

    2 long before the crime in Ahmici.

    3 He ordered, in paragraph 4 of this order,

    4 that should a member of an HVO unit decline to

    5 surrender, he shall be arrested and disarmed, and

    6 disciplinary and other measures shall be taken against

    7 him, and he made all unit commanders responsible. He

    8 not only ordered that criminals and persons prone to

    9 disruptive conduct be removed, he ordered them to be

    10 arrested and charged if they resisted.

    11 Now, one thing we must say in this case is

    12 that there has been a lot of criticism levelled by the

    13 Prosecution at Colonel Blaskic for giving orders.

    14 "Well, all he did was give an order." What we ask the

    15 Court to consider is that there were 7.000 or 8.000

    16 soldiers in the Operative Zone for which Colonel

    17 Blaskic had at least formal authority. What do you do

    18 if you have 7.000 or 8.000 people that you have formal

    19 authority over and you want to try and change things,

    20 you want to try and identify criminals or persons who

    21 are prone to disruptive conduct and remove them from

    22 the units? Do you issue an order or do you set up

    23 8.000 interviews in your office and undertake personal

    24 one-on-one action? You can't do that, Your Honours.

    25 You can't. You have to use the mechanisms available to

  127. 1 you. You have to use subordinate level commanders.

    2 You have to issue orders, and you have to repeat those

    3 orders if you have difficulties getting them enforced,

    4 and that is what Colonel Blaskic did.

    5 But this order, as I said, please mark this

    6 in your notes, March 17, 1993, Defence Exhibit 211,

    7 long before the April conflict, before any associated

    8 crimes occurred in April of 1993.

    9 Did he fail to react to the problems in

    10 Busovaca in January or did he take specific and, quite

    11 frankly, stern action and direct that it be

    12 implemented?

    13 Let me say a word about the period February,

    14 March, leading up to April. Things generally improved,

    15 tensions calmed, but there was a nagging issue between

    16 the BH army and the HVO. On the 13th of February,

    17 General Hadzihasanovic and Colonel Blaskic signed a

    18 series of joint orders designed to calm the situation

    19 and restore the Croat-Muslim alliance, quite frankly.

    20 It also involved forming the Busovaca joint

    21 commission. One term in that order, which was a joint

    22 order issued both to all HVO units and all BH army

    23 units, was the order that is indicated here on this

    24 chart, that "all barricades and obstacles be removed

    25 from all communication routes to ensure an unimpeded

  128. 1 flow of two-way traffic."

    2 You have these orders. You have copies from

    3 the parties. You have a copy from General

    4 Hadzihasanovic. He signed this order in agreement to

    5 open all roads, including the Kiseljak-to-Busovaca main

    6 road. Now, we're not faulting General Hadzihasanovic

    7 for never doing that. He had his own legitimate

    8 military reasons, we're sure, and we're not blaming

    9 him, but this, the BH army, never did. They agreed on

    10 the 13th of February to reopen the road, and everyone

    11 in this case, I think, agrees that that, they never did

    12 do. They never opened the road until after the

    13 Washington Agreement. So the Vitez enclave and the

    14 Kiseljak enclave remained cut for the duration of the

    15 war.

    16 We ask you to consider that piece of

    17 information from the perspective of Colonel Blaskic.

    18 Whatever was signed and agreed to by General

    19 Hadzihasanovic, it must have been clear to Colonel

    20 Blaskic, as he waited in February, March, and even

    21 early April, and at every meeting with the ECMM and

    22 every meeting of the Busovaca enclave, and it's

    23 throughout the documents in that time period, if you

    24 look at the record in this case, he asked, he begged,

    25 he pleaded, "Please, can we open the road? When can we

  129. 1 open the road between Busovaca and Kiseljak?" Because

    2 clearly that would have indicated to Colonel Blaskic

    3 that the wounds were really healing and the

    4 Croat-Muslim alliance was back on track.

    5 Colonel Blaskic tried to heal those wounds.

    6 In March, on the 12th, he approved the delivery of some

    7 6.000 kilograms of explosives to the BH army logistics

    8 base in Visoko, and then on the 15th, this document was

    9 executed by him. This is the original, but I can tell

    10 you what's in it. He approves the transhipment

    11 through HVO territory of 125.000 rounds of ammunition

    12 of the 7.62 millimetre, 7.9, and 12.7 calibre to the BH

    13 army. That is Defence Exhibit D537.

    14 So even though the road was not being

    15 reopened and his requests were falling on deaf ears, he

    16 still took steps to try and improve the relationship,

    17 and he was not suspicious. He did not think he would

    18 be attacked. What commander, if they thought they were

    19 going to be attacked or if they thought they were going

    20 to attack the other side, would allow weapons in these

    21 quantities to pass into their prospective enemy's

    22 hands? And there are lots of these types of orders,

    23 Your Honours.

    24 The situation changed dramatically in April

    25 of 1993. The Prosecution maintains that this change

  130. 1 occurred as a result of an ultimatum, that a joint

    2 command be formed by the 15th of April, and generally a

    3 desire to implement the Vance-Owen Plan by force. The

    4 fact is the Vance-Owen Plan was involved in the

    5 escalation of tensions, but the actual triggering

    6 events that led to the conflict between Muslims and

    7 Croats in Central Bosnia was a series of terrorist

    8 attacks by the 7th Muslim Brigade on that territory

    9 against the HVO and the HVO command cadre.

    10 But I do think, and we submit, that the

    11 tensions and the 7th Muslim Brigade activities can be

    12 at least linked in part to the Vance-Owen Peace Plan.

    13 Again, we're not faulting Mr. Vance or Mr. Owen,

    14 particularly, but this is how the cards played out

    15 unfortunately on the ground, despite what, we're sure,

    16 are the best of intentions at a higher diplomatic

    17 level.

    18 What do we know about the BH army reaction to

    19 the Vance-Owen Peace Plan proposal to seize control of

    20 predominantly Muslim areas, like Travnik, to the HVO?

    21 What was their reaction to that proposal? We know that

    22 at approximately Easter, in April of 1993, when

    23 Croatian civilians or Bosnian Croat civilians tried to

    24 raise Croat flags in Travnik next to existing Bosnian

    25 flags, the 7th Muslim Brigade took down those Bosnian

  131. 1 Croat flags, burned them, and violence broke out.

    2 There would be no Bosnian Croat flags in Travnik, not

    3 in April of 1993, and, indeed, within two months of

    4 that time, there would be no HVO in Travnik and there

    5 would be some 10.000 fewer Croats in Travnik as well.

    6 A BH army commander made this perfectly clear

    7 to the liaison officer of the British Battalion prior

    8 to April 16th, 1993, and that was Captain Whattley. I

    9 would like you to hear that testimony, if you will.

    10 (Videotape played)

    11 "Mr. Hayman:

    12 Q Is there a reference in your notebook to

    13 this discussion?

    14 A Yes. There are three things in my

    15 notebook which relate to the Vance --

    16 relate to this. The first one, the

    17 commander, the Bosnian army commander in

    18 Kruscica is asking me to provide him

    19 with a written version of the Vance-Owen

    20 Plan because he hadn't had it. He then

    21 went on to say, 'Never under command

    22 HVO,' and then he said, 'Muslim

    23 provinces full.'"

    24 MR. HAYMAN: Now, if we can go into private

    25 session for just 30 seconds, there's another important

  132. 1 piece of evidence I'd like to refer to. 2 (Private session)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (Open session)

    23 MR. HAYMAN: Again, we're not, Your Honours,

    24 trying to assign fault with respect to who fired the

    25 first shot or what caused the actual spark. It doesn't

  133. 1 matter, from a legal perspective, what caused the

    2 actual spark. What matters is that this body of

    3 evidence is utterly inconsistent with the theory that

    4 the Prosecution has advanced. What you have is

    5 undoubtedly on both the Croatian and Bosnian side,

    6 there are persons who are agitated by the Vance-Owen

    7 Plan and are eager to destabilise the situation, take

    8 advantage, and grab land. It's a regrettable but

    9 symmetrical situation.

    10 The evidence is, however, that Tihomir

    11 Blaskic tried to calm the situation, tried to repair

    12 the ruptured alliance, and he was in the position where

    13 he had the most to lose from the outbreak of a war with

    14 the BH army, because he was in an extremely vulnerable

    15 position, and he was in that position before April

    16 16th. He was already cut off in his tiny little

    17 enclave.

    18 But because of this view of the Vance-Owen

    19 Plan, which certain extreme elements of the BH army and

    20 certainly the 7th Muslim Brigade had, it was in those

    21 persons' interests to destabilise the situation in

    22 Central Bosnia and to launch attacks designed to drive

    23 the HVO and the Bosnian Croats from certain lands in

    24 Central Bosnia so that the implementation of the

    25 Vance-Owen Plan would be impossible in places like

  134. 1 Travnik, whatever President Izetbegovic might sign on

    2 his foreign travels.

    3 In early April, this reign of terror against

    4 the HVO started. It began on or about the 12th of

    5 April, 1993 with the kidnapping of four HVO officers

    6 from the Novi Travnik Brigade who were returning from

    7 the front against the Serbs. The HVO was still manning

    8 a portion west of Novi Travnik against the Serb front

    9 line, as they were in other locations.

    10 It continued two days later, approximately

    11 two days later, with an unsuccessful assassination

    12 attempt on Darko Kraljevic, the commander of the

    13 Vitezovi. The BritBat liaison officer, Captain

    14 Whattley, learned of this attempt on Kraljevic's life

    15 on the 13th of April from Sefkija Dzidic.

    16 (Videotape played)

    17 "Mr. Hayman:

    18 Q Did you learn from Mr. Dzidic on

    19 the 13th of April, 1993 of another

    20 incident that had occurred?

    21 A Yes. He told me that -- it's probably

    22 best I just read it from the notebook

    23 and then explain it afterwards. He told

    24 me, 'Forest open fire. Damaged

    25 vehicle. Darko Kraljevic, commander

  135. 1 HOS,' and what he's telling me about

    2 there was an attempt at murdering

    3 Mr. Darko Kraljevic by people opening

    4 fire from woodland --"

    5 MR. HAYMAN: So on the 13th of April, on the

    6 heels of the kidnapping of four officers on the 12th,

    7 an attempt is made, apparently by the 7th Muslim

    8 Brigade, on Darko Kraljevic's life, and we begin to see

    9 Mr. Kraljevic's response: First with paper, then with

    10 actions, leading to a further destabilisation of the

    11 situation.

    12 On the 15th of April, he sent a protest to

    13 the BH army, to the 325th Battalion in Kruscica, as

    14 well as to the Territorial Defence staff, which is

    15 Mr. Dzidic in Stari Vitez, telling them, in substance,

    16 that "members of the Vitezovi are being mistreated by

    17 you, and we aren't going to take it any more." He

    18 doesn't copy Colonel Blaskic. Colonel Blaskic never

    19 sees this. This is a further indication that Darko

    20 Kraljevic corresponds directly with the main staff,

    21 directly with the Ministry of Defence, and directly

    22 with the BH army, and without any heed or tipping of

    23 his hat even to Colonel Blaskic.

    24 I'll review in a moment what actions of

    25 retaliation Kraljevic took, because he did retaliate

  136. 1 against the BH army for the attempt on his life on the

    2 13th.

    3 Matters deteriorated much further on the 15th

    4 of April when Zivko Totic, the HVO brigade commander in

    5 Zenica, was kidnapped and his three bodyguards killed,

    6 as was a Muslim passer-by. The kidnapping was followed

    7 by a demand note that foreign Mujahedin arrested for

    8 being in Bosnia illegally or for possessing illegal

    9 weapons and explosives, or both, that they be released

    10 from Kaonik or else the HVO officers taken hostage

    11 would be executed.

    12 All of this had a tremendous effect on

    13 raising tensions between the two ethnic communities, as

    14 well as the two militias. The liaison officer for

    15 BritBat described the effect, first on the Novi Travnik

    16 kidnapping.

    17 (Videotape played)

    18 "Mr. Hayman:

    19 Q How would you characterise the effect of

    20 this apparent kidnapping on the 13th of

    21 April, 1993 on the level of tension in

    22 the region?

    23 A In Novi Travnik, it had a -- in the town

    24 of Novi Travnik, this had a major

    25 effect. Checkpoints sprung up

  137. 1 everywhere, and the tension level went

    2 very high."

    3 MR. HAYMAN: After Totic was kidnapped,

    4 Colonel Stewart described the situation as follows:

    5 (Videotape played)

    6 "Mr. Hayman:

    7 Q Would you agree, and I'm reading from

    8 page 281 of your book, 'this kidnap of a

    9 senior Croat officer in a Muslim

    10 stronghold created a terribly volatile

    11 atmosphere'?

    12 A I would agree with that."

    13 MR. HAYMAN: To make matters worse, scenes of

    14 the murder of the Totic entourage in Zenica were shown

    15 on television, indeed, in footage that you yourselves

    16 have seen, and it is grisly footage, indeed, further

    17 creating an atmosphere of fear among the general

    18 population.

    19 Now, we ask Your Honours, in this case, to

    20 consider the question: What should a diligent

    21 commander in Colonel Blaskic's position have done to

    22 respond to what was a serious threat to the HVO and to

    23 its command cadre? Was some type of response necessary

    24 and prudent or should he not have responded at all and

    25 waited for the next attack, perhaps against his own

  138. 1 headquarters or on himself?

    2 We submit that it is in that light, a

    3 situation of crisis, that the three orders Colonel

    4 Blaskic issued on the 15th and 16th, the early morning

    5 hours, that is, of the 16th of April, should be

    6 judged. They should be judged reasonably under the

    7 facts and circumstances that existed at the time and

    8 based on the information that he had at the time.

    9 He knew of the January attack which severed

    10 the Vitez and Kiseljak enclaves. He had seen

    11 progressively over that week in April three different

    12 attacks on the HVO and Vitezovi commander. He had

    13 received intelligence reports that the BH army was

    14 preparing a more general attack. He had received a

    15 report of troop movements in both Travnik and Kruscica,

    16 major BH army troop movements.

    17 He issued three orders on the 15th and the

    18 early morning of the 16th, and the Defence submits to

    19 you that these orders were legal, they were proper,

    20 and, indeed, they were reasonable and reasonably

    21 necessary, if judged from the perspective of Colonel

    22 Blaskic at the time.

    23 I don't think, by the way, there's a claim

    24 that they're illegal orders. We didn't hear that in

    25 closing argument. We heard a different argument that

  139. 1 there must have been other secret orders to kill

    2 civilians, and I will address that. But for now, I

    3 want to address the three orders that Your Honours do

    4 have.

    5 The first, D267, was a preparatory combat

    6 order, not an order to engage in combat, and it gives

    7 assignments to certain forces so that they will be in

    8 "a state of preparedness for concrete assignments."

    9 You're familiar with this order, I think.

    10 The Vitezovi were given the assignment of protecting

    11 the headquarters and responding to any breakthrough in

    12 the front line that the BH army might achieve. The

    13 military police were given the assignment, pursuant to

    14 their daily police tasks, of keeping the Vitez-Busovaca

    15 road open, and importantly, he gave them very specific

    16 instructions: "Keep the road open, and if strongly

    17 attacked from the area Ahmici, Nadioci, Pirici,

    18 Santici, inform me, and if fire is opened directly at

    19 you, return fire." He gave the military police a very

    20 specific and very limited task. The brigades were told

    21 to defend against any attack. So D267 is an order to

    22 defend.

    23 Was it necessary to give assignments to the

    24 Vitezovi and the military police? The Prosecutor

    25 hasn't made this argument, but we ask you to consider

  140. 1 on this issue that the Vitez Brigade had only been

    2 ordered to be formed in March of 1993. The Vitez

    3 Brigade was in its first days of existence by mid April

    4 and that there were no trained, equipped, mobile units

    5 in the Vitez municipality, other than the Vitezovi and

    6 the 4th Battalion of the military police. They were

    7 the only units that Colonel Blaskic could move around.

    8 Everyone else was a villager, a citizen living in his

    9 home, without any additional training, experience, or

    10 equipment.

    11 Was it reasonable and prudent to assign the

    12 military police the task of protecting the road? Given

    13 the roadblocks in Kiseljak in August of 1992, the

    14 January attack on the road between Busovaca and

    15 Kiseljak, and the October 1992 barricade of the

    16 Vitez-Busovaca road, it would have been negligent for

    17 any commander not to take steps under the

    18 circumstances, to try and protect the road. Had the

    19 Vitez-Busovaca road been severed in any subsequent

    20 conflict or any significant period of time, the HVO in

    21 those two small towns would have been finished.

    22 The second order was written in the mid

    23 afternoon on the 15th of April, and it is D268, and

    24 this orders various units to form small units of up to

    25 15 soldiers to counter the terrorist threat posed by

  141. 1 the 7th Muslim Brigade, and it appears to quote from a

    2 military manual giving instructions to destroy enemy

    3 terrorist groups by quick action and return to base

    4 without engaging in fighting. In other words, the

    5 concept is not to start a conflict, but if a terrorist

    6 group is identified, strike against them, try and

    7 eliminate them, and return to base.

    8 Given the attacks that were occurring on the

    9 officers from Novi Travnik, the Totic attack, it was

    10 reasonable and prudent by any standard. In any event,

    11 it wasn't carried out due to intervening events when

    12 the war broke out on the following day.

    13 The third order was written at 1.30 in the

    14 morning on the 16th of April. Here's the top half. It

    15 was to the Vitez Brigade and the Tvrtko unit to block

    16 any advance by the BH army from the south of the main

    17 Vitez-Busovaca road, which is where the areas of

    18 Vranjska, Kruscica, and Donja Veceriska are, in

    19 approximately that order, moving from east to west. So

    20 this too is a defensive order, and the purpose of this

    21 order again is to keep the main road open, because any

    22 military logic would indicate that an attack on Vitez

    23 would come, attempting to link up forces of the BH army

    24 from below and above the road and cut the road at or to

    25 the east of Vitez, and that is what this order most

  142. 1 clearly is directed at, preventing, should such an

    2 attack occur.

    3 I also want to call your attention, Your

    4 Honours, to paragraph 2, in which, in the second

    5 sentence, very specific instructions are given, and I

    6 will quote it: "In the event of open attack activity

    7 by the Muslims, neutralise them and prevent their

    8 movement with precise fire from P/N." P/N has been

    9 defined in this case in the testimony; it means small

    10 arms weapon. Even if attacked, he ordered the brigade

    11 and the Tvrtko unit to return only precise fire from

    12 small arms. Now, what would not fit into the category

    13 "precise fire of small arms"? Any form of indirect

    14 fire would not count, does not qualify as precise

    15 fire. What is indirect fire? Indirect fire are

    16 mortars, projectiles that you blast into the air and

    17 they come down, and they are less specific, they are

    18 less focused than pointing a rifle at another soldier

    19 and firing. So he gave a specific task and he

    20 specifically limited any combat activity by the Vitez

    21 Brigade or the Tvrtko unit.

    22 Now, because, we believe, because these

    23 orders are legal, not only legal, but prudent and

    24 reasonable, in their final argument, the Prosecutor has

    25 advanced their theory for the first time, it certainly

  143. 1 was not in their opening statement, that these orders

    2 are not complete, that Blaskic must have issued other

    3 combat orders prior to the 16th of April, and they

    4 further ask the Court to conclude that these orders, if

    5 found, would confirm that Blaskic secretly ordered that

    6 Ahmici be razed and its civilian inhabitants murdered.

    7 That is the theory of their case.

    8 What do they use to support this argument,

    9 that there's a secret order to kill civilians and raze

    10 the village of Ahmici? Well, they argue that there

    11 must be other orders because we know it from these

    12 orders or other reports, and they gave three examples.

    13 You may remember them. The civilian police, Busovaca

    14 Brigade, and the Zenica Brigade, and I'll define what

    15 their claim was with respect to each one because I

    16 would like to respond to each one.

    17 Specifically, they claim that Blaskic must

    18 have issued an order to the civilian police because

    19 otherwise in D269, he would not have referred to the

    20 civilian police being on the left of the Vitez

    21 Brigade. You'll recall that I think in the bottom --

    22 one of the bottom paragraphs of this order, he tells

    23 the Vitez Brigade, "The civilian police will be on your

    24 left, the military police are in front of you, and the

    25 Busovaca Brigade are on your right," and that is told

  144. 1 from the position of the Vitez Brigade defending,

    2 blockading, Kruscica, Vranjska, Donja Veceriska, south

    3 of the road looking north towards the road, towards

    4 Zenica. The civilian police are on your left, the

    5 military police are in front of you, that is, on the

    6 road, and the Busovaca Brigade is on your right, to the

    7 east. So the Prosecutor reasons, but there's no order

    8 to the civilian police, so there must be secret

    9 orders.

    10 Well, who would have issued an order to the

    11 civilian police to maintain law and order and police

    12 Vitez? That would have come from the chief of police.

    13 That would not have been an order issued by General

    14 Blaskic. And Mr. Nobilo had a chart around in the past

    15 couple of days that showed the organisation of these

    16 different municipal entities, and the civilian police

    17 were not within Colonel Blaskic's competence.

    18 Now, what's the next example? They say,

    19 "Well, there's no order for the Busovaca Brigade to be

    20 out in the field, so there must be an order missing,

    21 because in this same order, Blaskic tells the Vitez

    22 Brigade that the Busovaca brigade will be on your

    23 right." From that, they reason that there's an order

    24 missing, and that missing order must say, "Kill

    25 civilians," because there was an attack on civilians

  145. 1 and they died. This is what I was speaking of

    2 earlier. From an event on the ground, they want you to

    3 infer up a chain of command and send the commander to

    4 prison for life. That is what they've asked you to

    5 do.

    6 The Busovaca Brigade had been on the front

    7 lines since January of 1993. Those front lines formed

    8 on or around the 25th and 26th of January, and they

    9 were still on those front lines on the 10th and 12th

    10 and 13th and 14th of April. The two militias were

    11 still squared off, trench to trench, looking at each

    12 other along the area of the Busovaca municipality, and

    13 that's reflected in every report during the two-week

    14 period prior to the 16th of April. If you look at

    15 D259, D260, D265, or D277, they all reflect that the

    16 Busovaca Brigade is out there in the field because they

    17 had been there in the field in these positions since

    18 the January 1993 conflict.

    19 Did Colonel Blaskic order them on the 15th of

    20 April, "Stay on the front line. Don't withdraw." Of

    21 course not. That's silly.

    22 That's two of the three reasons they tell you

    23 that there must be a secret order to kill civilians and

    24 raze Ahmici. There's only one left, and that is that

    25 they assert, based on a report from the Zenica Brigade,

  146. 1 which was received at about 06.00 or so on the 16th of

    2 April, that from that report, well, there must have

    3 been an order, a secret order, to the Zenica Brigade

    4 causing them to do what they report that they did in

    5 that order. What did they report that they did in that

    6 order? That's P521.

    7 The Zenica Brigade reports in that order that

    8 the night was quiet and the units are holding the

    9 positions they had seized. Civilians going to work are

    10 being allowed to pass through. What does that tell

    11 us? Well, first of all, this is 6.00 in the morning on

    12 the 16th. What happened in Zenica on the 15th of

    13 April? The HVO brigade commander was kidnapped and his

    14 entourage murdered. What would the HVO in Zenica have

    15 done when their brigade commander was kidnapped and

    16 three of their fellow soldiers murdered? Would they

    17 have reinforced checkpoints or established new

    18 checkpoints to improve security? Most probably. Do

    19 you think they would have waited to do that for an

    20 order from Colonel Blaskic? Not if they were good

    21 soldiers.

    22 But also from the report itself, in sentences

    23 that follow one after the other, they say, "We're

    24 holding the positions we seized. Civilians going to

    25 work are being allowed to pass through." Now, are

  147. 1 civilians passing through Kuber Mountain to work, or

    2 are they going along the road into town, passed

    3 Croatian villages like Cajdras and others that you have

    4 heard testimony about. These are checkpoints. That is

    5 it. That is the argument that the Prosecutor bases his

    6 claim that there are secret orders missing, secret

    7 orders to kill civilians and burn and raze the village

    8 of Ahmici.

    9 You will have to decide, Your Honours,

    10 whether they have met their burden.

    11 Now, there was one other argument related to

    12 this, and that is that Blaskic must have wanted to

    13 order an attack on Ahmici on the morning of the 16th,

    14 because after the Totic kidnapping -- or on the 15th

    15 otherwise, he didn't send reinforcements to Kuber

    16 mountain. I didn't fully understand this argument when

    17 the Prosecutor made it, but he made it, and I'm going

    18 to respond because it's very important, whatever

    19 arguments he made in support of his secret order

    20 theory.

    21 The evidence, Your Honours, is that Blaskic

    22 was very concerned about Kuber, and he was very

    23 concerned about Kuber on the 15th. If you recall,

    24 Mladen Holman, the HOS commander in Zenica, a big,

    25 tough fellow who achieved discipline in his units

  148. 1 through, at times, administering beatings. As an

    2 aside, Tihomir Blaskic, he's not that kind of person,

    3 he's not going to beat someone physically with a pistol

    4 butt or otherwise to order to try and impose

    5 discipline. Maybe that's what it took in Central

    6 Bosnia to maintain the kind of discipline that we all

    7 would of wanted, or an Ivica Rajic style of discipline

    8 where people were executed and murdered in order for

    9 him to consolidate and achieve his power.

    10 Unfortunately, Tihomir Blaskic isn't that

    11 kind of person, where he's going to take the law into

    12 his own hands and execute others in order to ensure his

    13 own power. But returning to Mr. Holman, what did Mr.

    14 Holman testify that Tihomir Blaskic asked of him when

    15 they spoke by telephone on the 15th of April, 1993?

    16 (Videotape played)

    17 "A In response, Mr. Blaskic told me that I

    18 should send all the troops I could

    19 afford in the direction of Kuber."

    20 MR. HAYMAN: This is in the transcript, Your

    21 Honours, at 14785. It's a phone conversation that

    22 occurred on the 15th of April, 1993, according to

    23 Mr. Holman.

    24 Now, the Court will also have to ask itself

    25 why would Blaskic issue an order to raze the village of

  149. 1 Ahmici and kill civilians? Is there evidence in this

    2 case that he harboured a personal hatred or animosity

    3 towards Muslims, or is the evidence to the contrary?

    4 Mr. Nobilo, in some final remarks, will add to the

    5 summary of our position on that issue.

    6 There are some other issues though that don't

    7 fit in with the Prosecutor's thesis. If Blaskic

    8 ordered murders and burning in Ahmici, then why did

    9 the military police send him a false report? Why did

    10 they send him a report that wasn't true, if he had, in

    11 fact, given them an order to do what they truly did?

    12 That doesn't fit with the Prosecutor's theory.

    13 In fact, if you look at the report that came

    14 in from Pasko Ljubicic, you'll see that it was sent in

    15 as a result of his receipt of an order, which Colonel

    16 Blaskic testified, now general, was an order to

    17 report. Blaskic sent an order to Ljubicic saying,

    18 "Give me a written report on the combat in Ahmici,"

    19 and that's the reference line, "acting in accordance

    20 with your order number 01-04-243/93 of 16 April 1993,

    21 we hereby report," that's the line at the top of this

    22 report.

    23 If he ordered the military police to kill

    24 civilians and raze the village of Ahmici, why would he

    25 send an order ordering the military police to give him

  150. 1 a report? And why would the military police then give

    2 him a false report? It makes no sense.

    3 Your Honours, either this is all a ruse, all

    4 the evidence in this case, all the paper, all the

    5 documents is a ruse, a big ruse designed to fool,

    6 trick, and deceive, or their theory just doesn't fit.

    7 It's one or the other. You have the very hard job of

    8 deciding that issue, but that is the issue, because

    9 their theory doesn't fit with all the documents,

    10 documents they got, documents we were able to get

    11 through Mr. Nobilo's hard work and backslapping and

    12 many trips to Central Bosnia. Their theory doesn't

    13 fit. Either it's all a ruse or their theory is

    14 complete speculation and inconsistent with, in fact,

    15 events on the ground.

    16 Now, there's another aspect of their theory

    17 that I would like to address in the final minutes

    18 today, and that is that they asserted that the BH army

    19 made no preparations for a conflict in mid April 1993.

    20 Again, we're not assigning any blame on the BH army.

    21 They had legitimate reasons to prepare for conflict.

    22 They may even have had legitimate reasons to attack the

    23 HVO and try and take territory. Of course, in wartime,

    24 people do that type of thing. But it's inconsistent

    25 with the Prosecutor's theory if, in fact, preparations

  151. 1 were made by the BH army units in the area for a

    2 conflict.

    3 Your Honour, I need to inquire of the

    4 registrar whether D189 (sic) is under seal. I don't

    5 know about the order of the other Chamber. That's the

    6 diary that was just recently admitted. I didn't see --

    7 D197, I didn't see anything in the order from the other

    8 Trial Chamber that put it under seal, and I don't

    9 believe it's under seal in the other case, but I just

    10 ask the clerk to confirm that because I don't want to

    11 make an error.

    12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D197 is not under

    13 seal.

    14 MR. HAYMAN: Very well. I may not be able to

    15 say anything about the author of the diary, suffice it

    16 to say I think it is clear that this is a diary written

    17 by a resident of Ahmici.

    18 Again, the thesis I'm responding to is that

    19 the BH army made no preparations for a conflict in mid

    20 April 1993. The last page of D197 is a map, which I'll

    21 return to later. I want to show it to you now because

    22 it is a map of portions of Ahmici, showing the main

    23 road, north-south road, going from the Vitez-Busovaca

    24 road. If you look at your monitor, that main road is

    25 depicted in a vertical manner, and one of the Ahmici

  152. 1 mosques is also depicted in the diagram. It has the

    2 crescent, of course, on the top. I just wanted to

    3 orient you with respect to the -- that this is a diary

    4 depicting certain events and matters in the village of

    5 Ahmici.

    6 Now I'd like to turn to some of the diary

    7 entries. On the 17th of March, 1993, there's an

    8 indication that the BH army unit in Ahmici went to a

    9 troop inspection with a larger unit, a battalion, in

    10 Preocica. This will become relevant, Your Honours,

    11 later with respect to certain comments by international

    12 observers with respect to whether or not there was some

    13 kind of military unit in Ahmici.

    14 On the 8th of April, and this in part is just

    15 to further assure Your Honours concerning this diary,

    16 there's a passage, the last sentence here is: "The

    17 reason for this was allegedly the shooting in Travnik.

    18 Croats had started hoisting out flags in the town. The

    19 Mujahedin went out and set fire to them and then the

    20 shooting started."

    21 So this diary, which begins roughly in March,

    22 we're now on the 8th of April, which is a day that the

    23 Court has heard from other witness testimony certain

    24 events of this type occurred in the town of Travnik.

    25 On the 11th of April, "There was a meeting,"

  153. 1 it says, "at 5.00 at the Zumara school. It was agreed

    2 where to form the line if shooting started. I was on

    3 guard from 22.00 to 00.00 and at about 23.00 received

    4 information that a telegram had arrived

    5 ordering 'units to be placed on first degree alert.'"

    6 Then he talks about other shifts.

    7 So on the 11th of April, there's a meeting in

    8 Ahmici by the BH army or TO unit there, they agree on

    9 some kind of a defensive plan, and they get a

    10 telegram ordering first degree alert.

    11 The 15th of April is another entry in the

    12 diagram which I need to show you via the ELMO, if we

    13 could activate the ELMO, please, and we'll start with

    14 the French version, if we can activate the ELMO,

    15 please. Thank you.

    16 This reads: "15 April 1993, Thursday," and

    17 we know the 16th of April, of course, was a Friday.

    18 "Before nightfall, took my wife to Preocica. When I

    19 returned home, I heard that the Croats were grouping

    20 around the Kupreskic houses. At 20.00, we (the

    21 command) held a meeting at my house. We agreed where

    22 to form the line in the event of trouble and how to

    23 act. Sisko, Hidro, and I agreed to meet at 14.00 the

    24 next day to discuss the line towards Gudura. I

    25 assigned the following ammunition and weapons from the

  154. 1 depot: 7.62 ammunition, 6.9 ammunition, grenade rifle

    2 launchers, explosive devices," and so forth. Now let

    3 me put the English on the ELMO.

    4 By the way, there's a typographical error in

    5 the English translation, Mr. President, it was listed

    6 as 1992, but the original is clearly 1993, and that's

    7 why I have pencilled in the change.

    8 So we know that on the 15th, I won't comment

    9 on who it is, but it appears the author of the diary's

    10 wife has been evacuated from Ahmici, and a meeting was

    11 held and weapons were distributed, and there was

    12 agreement on where to form the line.

    13 It does appear -- I'm sorry, if we can switch

    14 back to the PC display -- it does appear from the last

    15 page of the diary that there was a scheme or design for

    16 a defensive plan regarding at least a portion of the

    17 village of Ahmici with individuals assigned to certain

    18 locations.

    19 Now, again, we are not suggesting in any way

    20 that the murder of civilians and the intentional

    21 burning of civilian homes resulted from solely

    22 legitimate military activity, or even largely. We're

    23 not suggesting that at all. There was clearly an

    24 attack on Ahmici by the military police targeting

    25 civilians and the targeting of civilian property, and

  155. 1 it was a crime. We don't dispute that in the least.

    2 We wanted to point this out to Your Honours

    3 because it's inconsistent with the theory of the

    4 Prosecution that the BH army made no preparations for

    5 conflict, indeed, for war, and I'm going to be talking

    6 about what actually happened on the night of the 15th

    7 and the morning of the 16th. This is important

    8 background though.

    9 I spoke earlier of Darko Kraljevic's reaction

    10 to the assassination attempt on his life. What did he

    11 do in response to that attempt? One thing he did was

    12 he put up a rogue checkpoint near Travnik, and we heard

    13 about that from the liaison officer, again,

    14 Mr. Whattley. In addition, he took prisoners on the

    15 night of 15th April, BH army prisoners, and

    16 Mr. Whattley described it.

    17 (Videotape played)

    18 "Mr. Hayman:

    19 Q ... an incident on the 15th of April,

    20 1993 from the BH army representative you

    21 met with?

    22 A Yes. At 19.55 hours that evening, in

    23 Vitez at the Bosnian army headquarters

    24 in the town, I was told that three

    25 members of the Bosnian army had been

  156. 1 arrested by the HVO in Vitez and that it

    2 had happened at 5.15 and that they were

    3 members of the Bosnian army military

    4 police."

    5 MR. HAYMAN: Now, who did that? Mr. Whattley

    6 was also told enough information that you can conclude

    7 who took these prisoners.

    8 (Videotape played)

    9 "Mr. Hayman:

    10 Q Did Sefkija Dzidic tell you, on the

    11 evening of the 15th, where he believed

    12 these three or two of the three missing

    13 BH army military policemen had been

    14 taken?

    15 A He said, and I'll read it, he

    16 said, 'Taken from house by HVO to

    17 elementary school, Dubravica (HVO).'"

    18 MR. HAYMAN: Now, who had their headquarters

    19 at the Dubravica school? Darko Kraljevic. Darko

    20 Kraljevic was based and controlled the Dubravica

    21 school. He took three prisoners, BH army military

    22 policemen, on the evening of the 15th of April, clearly

    23 in an act of retaliation and anger based on the attempt

    24 on his life.

    25 Then what happened? There's a further

  157. 1 escalation. What did Mr. Whattley, the liaison

    2 officer, report that he was told?

    3 (Videotape played)

    4 "A Yes. 'I do remember a threat being

    5 given to me, and the threat was, if the

    6 two Bosnian army military men that had

    7 been kidnapped are not released, I, as

    8 the commander, cannot be responsible for

    9 the actions of my soldiers.'

    10 Q Was it the British Battalion's

    11 assessment at the time that this meant

    12 that imminent retaliation by the BH army

    13 was likely, that is, by the BH army

    14 against the HVO was likely unless the

    15 missing -- two missing BH army personnel

    16 were recovered?

    17 A That was my assessment and the

    18 assessment of the milinfo officer as

    19 well."

    20 MR. HAYMAN: This threat was relayed by the

    21 BH army commander in Kruscica on the 15th of April, and

    22 the context appears in the transcript at page 14069.

    23 The BH army military policemen were not recovered who

    24 were kidnapped by Kraljevic on the night of the 15th,

    25 and the report that Mr. Whattley, Captain Whattley,

  158. 1 made made its way into the milinfosum of that night,

    2 which was typed up that night, 15 April, 1993.

    3 I have highlighted it in yellow, and, simply,

    4 it adds a little bit to the account a moment ago. It

    5 states: "The liaison officer then visited the

    6 headquarters of 325 Brigade and spoke to the deputy

    7 commander, Ramiz Dugalic, who reiterated the fact that

    8 if the release of the two BH soldiers did not happen

    9 soon, the situation would deteriorate rapidly ..." and

    10 so forth.

    11 Was this a serious threat by BH army

    12 elements, to retaliate and attack the HVO? Well, we

    13 know that the BH army detachment in Ahmici was on alert

    14 and they had distributed weapons on the night of the

    15 15th, we know the threat emanated from Kruscica, where

    16 the 325th Battalion was, and you heard from Sefkija

    17 Dzidic that he spent the night of the 15th, all night,

    18 at the TO headquarters in Stari Vitez. That's in the

    19 reporter's transcript, page 1443.

    20 What about General Hadzihasanovic? He said

    21 he expected an attack by the HVO on the 16th of April

    22 because Ambassador Thebault had told him on the 14th or

    23 15th of April that the HVO would attack the BH army.

    24 That was at reporter's transcript 23124.

    25 Now I need to go into private session for

  159. 1 just a moment, Your Honour. 2 (Private session) 3 (redacted) 4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 (redacted)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

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  163. 1 (redacted) 2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (Open session)

    6 MR. HAYMAN: If this evidence was in error,

    7 Mr. President, that's what the rebuttal case is for.

    8 The Prosecutor had every opportunity to bring in

    9 witnesses, to discredit or explain this report, and you

    10 can bet your last penny that they tried and they

    11 inquired and they interviewed and so forth, and there

    12 was no such evidence in their rebuttal case. They left

    13 a lot of time on the table in their rebuttal case, a

    14 lot of time, days and days.

    15 So this exhibit, this evidence from the

    16 United Nations, is unrebutted.

    17 Mr. President, I'll be changing subjects.

    18 This would be a convenient time to break.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Let us break. I wanted

    20 to ask you something. How do you intend to use all the

    21 time you have left tomorrow? Will we be finishing

    22 tomorrow at half past five or do you envisage anything

    23 different? I'm not imposing upon you. It's simply to

    24 know, for the benefit of the Judges and myself.

    25 MR. HAYMAN: It may be an error in our

  164. 1 strategy, Mr. President, and I wish there was a way we

    2 could finish before the end of the day, but I think

    3 it's unlikely. I think we will probably need the whole

    4 day to finish. Obviously, we're done at 5.30, but I'll

    5 tell you exactly what we're going to do. I'm going to

    6 talk about the rest of April, the truck bomb, the July

    7 Stari Vitez attack, Grbavica, then I'm going to talk

    8 about some discrete areas, detention crimes, forcible

    9 transfer, failure to punish, religious objects, and

    10 Mr. Nobilo will close with a few words about potential

    11 sentencing considerations, and I think all that is

    12 going to take the day, and less than an hour, but some

    13 period of time on international armed conflict. So it

    14 sounds like a full day to me.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: I see. That will be a full

    16 day. I would like to remind you that the Prosecutor

    17 finished five minutes ahead of time, but I'm not asking

    18 you to do the same, but certainly not to finish five

    19 minutes later.

    20 The hearing is adjourned and we will resume

    21 tomorrow morning at 10.00.

    22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

    23 5.28 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,

    24 the 30th day of July, 1999, at

    25 10 a.m.