1 Tuesday, 20 August 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 8.59 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, could you call the case, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning,
9 everyone. In and around the courtroom.
10 This is the case IT-04-75-T, The Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 Could we have the appearances, please, starting with the
14 MS. DENNEHY: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours.
15 Muireann Dennehy, on behalf of the Prosecution, and with my colleague,
16 Matthew Gillett; my Case Manager, Thomas Laugel; and legal intern,
17 Simona Onicel.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
20 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
21 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 Could we go into closed session, please, to bring the witness in.
24 [Closed session]
11 Pages 7367-7408 redacted. Closed session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 Your witness, Mr. Gillett.
18 MR. GILLETT: No, it will be Mr. Matthew Olmsted. And if you
19 would just allow us a few moments to reshuffle the OTP personnel. Thank
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. Good morning, Mr. Olmsted.
22 MR. OLMSTED: Good morning, Your Honours, Matthew Olmsted. Just
23 for the record, we are being joined by Maggi Qerimi, who is our intern,
24 and her last name is spelled Q--e-r-i-m-i.
25 And if I could just have a moment to log on.
1 Yes, Your Honour, the Prosecution is now ready to call the next
2 witness, who is Brigadier John Wilson.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: The next witness may be brought in.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Mr. Witness. Thank you for coming
6 to The Hague to assist the Trial Chamber.
7 I take it your testimony will be in English.
8 THE WITNESS: Yes, it will, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
10 Could you please tell us your name and date of birth.
11 THE WITNESS: My name is John Brian Wilson. I was born
12 25 March, 1947.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you. You are about to make the solemn
14 declaration by which witnesses commit themselves to tell the truth. I
15 have to point out to you that by doing so you expose yourself to the
16 penalties of perjury should you give false or untruthful information to
17 the Tribunal. Can you now please make the solemn declaration that the
18 Court Usher will hand over to you.
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
20 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
21 WITNESS: JOHN BRIAN WILSON
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much. You may be seated.
23 Mr. Wilson, this is normally something I ask the people that are
24 speaking B/C/S, but it also goes for you and now Mr. Olmsted. Between
25 questions and answers, please pause a little bit because we still have to
1 translate into B/C/S, and we have to give the interpreters the time to do
3 Thank you.
4 Mr. Olmsted, your witness.
5 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Examination by Mr. Olmsted:
7 Q. Good morning, brigadier.
8 A. Good morning, counsel.
9 Q. I want to start out by asking you a few questions about your
10 background. First of all, could you tell us what your nationality is?
11 A. I'm Australian nationality.
12 Q. And did you serve in the Australian armed forces?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. And when did you join the armed forces?
15 A. I joined the Australian army in 1964.
16 Q. And for how long did you serve in the Australian army?
17 A. I served approximately 34 years, retiring in January 1998.
18 Q. What was your rank, your last rank before retiring?
19 A. I retired as a brigadier, or, in other armies it is maybe known
20 as a one-star general.
21 Q. Could you provide us briefly with a summary of your military
22 deployments prior to 1992.
23 A. I was commissioned as an officer in 1967. 1968 I was assigned to
24 Malaysia as an infantry platoon commander. In 1969/1970 I was deployed
25 to Vietnam as a second in command of an infantry rifle company.
1 In 1984, I served as the chief of an UN Military Observer group
2 in southern Lebanon for 12 months.
3 They would be the principal operational deployments.
4 Q. And during these deployments were you in command of any soldiers?
5 A. Yes, I was. In Malaysia, approximately 30 soldiers; In Vietnam,
6 about 120; And in southern Lebanon, about 120 officers.
7 Q. And could you tell us, the record says in 1984 you served as a
8 chief of the UN Military Observer group in southern Lebanon.
9 I just want to make sure that the record has accurately reflected your
11 A. Yes, it does.
12 Q. Prior to 1992, so let's talk about the period between 1985 and
13 1992, what position were you in?
14 A. I was in a variety of staff, training, and command appointments
15 in Australia.
16 Q. And speaking about your experience in Lebanon, what were your
17 responsibilities in that position?
18 A. The Military Observer group was observing the activity of the
19 Israeli defence force operating in southern Lebanon at that time and
20 reporting to our superior headquarters in Jerusalem which was, in turn,
21 reporting to UN New York.
22 Q. In January 1992, what position were you appointed to?
23 A. In January 1992, I was seconded from UNTSO headquarters in
24 Jerusalem to a mission of liaison officers which was deployed to the
25 former Yugoslavia.
1 Q. And perhaps that's where I am seeking clarification. Prior --
2 immediately prior to January 1992, were you with UNTSO?
3 A. Yes, I was. I was the deputy commander, to use the term for
4 simplicity, of UNTSO from June 1990 until deployed to Yugoslavia in
5 January 1992.
6 Q. And as deputy commander, what were your responsibilities?
7 A. They were mixed, but basically supporting the Chief of Staff or
8 the commander of the UNTSO organisation but supervising the day-to-day
9 operations of the organisation, allowing the Chief of Staff to look at
10 political and strategic issues.
11 Q. And it's not recorded in the record, but as of January 1992, you
12 were with the UNMLOY in the former Yugoslavia; is that correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. And how long did you serve in that position of -- hold on a
16 Could you please provide your -- first the position you held with
18 A. I was the senior military liaison officer. There was a group of
19 50 Military Observers deployed from existing UN peacekeeping missions,
20 and I was the commander, if you wish.
21 Q. And how long were you in that position?
22 A. I held that position from the 11th of -- or the 8th of
23 January until about the 22nd of March, 1992, when UNMLOY was dissolved
24 and replaced by the Military Observer group of UNTSO, of -- correction,
25 of UNPROFOR.
1 Q. And in March 1992, what position were you appointed to?
2 A. I was appointed as the Chief Military Observer of UNPROFOR, or
4 Q. And how long did you remain in that position?
5 A. I remained as CMO until approximately mid-November of 1992.
6 Q. As CMO, what was your chain of command?
7 A. I reported directly to the Force Commander of UNPROFOR.
8 Q. And, at the time, who was the Force Commander?
9 A. General Satish Nambiar.
10 Q. Who was General Nambiar's superior?
11 A. It would have been Mr. Goulding in UN New York. He was, I think,
12 the director of peacekeeping operations. He may have had another title,
13 but that's effectively what his function was.
14 Q. How frequently would you meet with the Force Commander as CMO?
15 A. When I was at the headquarters and not out visiting units or on
16 other missions, I would meet him daily.
17 Q. Would those be individual meetings, or were they briefings?
18 A. At that time, UNPROFOR had a daily commanders' briefing in the
19 morning which reviewed the activities of the previous day and upcoming
20 events. It was a forum for keeping the key staff informed about the
21 developments and major issues.
22 Q. And you referred to key staff. Could you -- I don't need to have
23 a definitive list of everyone who would attend these briefings, but could
24 you give us an idea of who were the key UNPROFOR leaders who would be
25 present at these briefings?
1 A. Obviously the commander would -- the Force Commander would chair
2 it; his deputy would be present; the senior civil affairs officer,
3 Mr. Thornberry; the chief police officer; the chief administrative
4 officer; the Chief of Staff. That would be a reasonable summary.
5 Q. After 1992, what was the next position you held?
6 A. In January of 1992, I was assigned as military advisor and
7 UNPROFOR liaison officer to the International Conference for the former
8 Yugoslavia based in Geneva.
9 Q. For how long did you remain in that position?
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
11 Mr. Wilson, you said January 1992.
12 THE WITNESS: My apologies, Your Honour. It was from
13 January 1993.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 THE WITNESS: In fact, I arrived there in December 1992.
16 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Q. And how long did you hold those positions for?
18 A. I -- I left that position on the 1st of December, 1993.
19 Q. Brigadier, did you receive any awards for your service in the
20 Middle East and the former Yugoslavia?
21 A. I received an Australian award of a Conspicuous Service Cross.
22 Q. And just briefly so we can have your complete resume, could you
23 tell us the positions you held after you left the former Yugoslavia.
24 A. I was appointed as the head of Australian Defence Force, Senior
25 Leadership College for two and a half years after I returned home. And
1 in my last job, I was the commander of an army organisation in the Sydney
2 area with about 5.000 personnel under command.
3 Q. Returning to January 1992, when you were deployed as the senior
4 military liaison officer for UNMLOY could you tell us what your primary
5 responsibilities were in that position?
6 A. At that time, the -- Mr. Vance had negotiated a tentative
7 agreement and a cease-fire between the warring parties in the former
8 Yugoslavia, and UNMLOY was deployed to monitor that cease-fire, to report
9 on any breaches of the cease-fire, to facilitate communications between
10 the warring parties, and to lend our good officers.
11 Q. You made reference to a cease-fire agreement. Do you recall the
12 date of that agreement?
13 A. I believe it was the 2nd of January, 1992, and signed in
15 Q. And who -- who -- what was your chain of command in that
16 position? Who was your superior?
17 A. I reported directly to Mr. Goulding.
18 Q. And I believe you've mentioned how many military liaison officers
19 were underneath you. Could you tell us how they were deployed?
20 A. There were initially 50 liaison officers deployed. Approximately
21 half of them in Croatia, half them on the other side of the confrontation
22 line in areas of Croatia occupied by the JNA. And there were -- there
23 were headquarters, a small headquarters, in Zagreb and one in Belgrade,
24 and I, on direction from Mr. Goulding, alternated between the two
25 headquarters to make sure there was equal communication between the
2 Q. Did the military liaison officers co-ordinate their work and the
3 information they were collecting with any other international
4 organisations on the ground?
5 A. At that time, the ECMM was also deployed throughout the area.
6 And we co-operated at a local level, although we had different missions,
7 but I had regular contact with the headquarters of the ECMM, and there
8 was a regular exchange of information.
9 Q. As senior military liaison officer, did you have the opportunity
10 to travel around the areas that eventually became the UN protected areas
11 or the UNPAs?
12 A. Yes, I travelled extensively in the period of January to
13 March 1992 through the UNPAs but also through Croatia and, to a lesser
14 extent, Serbia.
15 Q. Were you and your military liaison officers able to observe the
16 situation in the villages and the state of the population in the areas
17 that became the UNPAs?
18 A. The military liaison officers were deployed at JNA and Croatian
19 army military headquarters. They were essentially immobile and not able
20 to move freely about the area, but they would have had incidental
21 opportunities to absorb -- to observe the areas they moved through during
22 deployment and redeployment. And I, of course, had a lot of opportunity
23 to travel through these areas and to observe extensively the condition
24 and the circumstances in the UNPAs and in Croatia.
25 Q. What did you observe with regard to the state of the local
2 A. I don't understand where we are talking about counsel.
3 Q. In the UNPAs or the areas that became the UNPAs.
4 A. The UNPAs were essential denuded of population. Many of the
5 villages were almost completely abandoned. Some villages and towns which
6 had population were obviously -- it was obvious that a lot of people had
7 left there.
8 There was considerable evidence of damage, particularly along the
9 confrontation line, but also in villages well back from the confrontation
11 Q. Were you able to make any observations about what had happened to
12 the non-Serb population in these areas?
13 A. It was certainly reported to me through a variety of sources that
14 most of the non-Serb population had left the UNPAs, either on their own
15 initiative or had been forced to do so.
16 Q. You testified about the cease-fire agreement that was in place.
17 Was the cease-fire being honoured by the parties to the conflict?
18 A. In brief, no. And they were between 2- and 300 violations per
19 day reported by both sides to our military liaison officers. And these
20 varied from fairly simple, one man firing a rifle, to extensive artillery
21 fire into urban areas.
22 Q. And which parties to the conflict were committing these
23 cease-fire violations?
24 A. Both sides. Approximately equally.
25 Q. And how did the cease-fire violations of the Serb forces in
1 Croatia compare to the violations by the Croatian side?
2 A. About the same number. But the Serb forces had more artillery
3 available to them, and they used it more freely.
4 Q. And what was being targeted by the Serb forces?
5 A. There were military targets involved, but also non-military
6 targets in urban areas.
7 Q. And was the targeting of urban areas problematic?
8 MR. GOSNELL: Objection. The witness has not said in terms that
9 urban areas were targeted.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Well, he has testified that non-military targets in
11 urban areas.
12 MR. GOSNELL: I'm sorry, I misheard the answer, and I withdraw
13 that objection.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 Please continue.
16 MR. OLMSTED:
17 Q. Brigadier, could you answer the question that I had. The
18 targeting of urban areas, was that problematic?
19 A. It certainly was if you lived there. But it also represented a
20 gross violation of the laws of war.
21 Q. Did there come a time when the number of cease-fire violations
23 A. Yes. It was a gradual process over some months, and usually as a
24 result of the withdrawal of the forces from the confrontation line, as
25 required by the Vance Plan and the deployment of UNPROFOR.
1 Q. Prior to the deployment of UNPROFOR, which we'll get to them --
2 in a moment, had the situation significantly changed, as far as
4 A. It was constant from January to March. No significant
5 improvement, although both sides claimed that they were attempting to
6 reduce the number of violations, but, in effect, no real change.
7 Q. And as the number of violations began to decrease after the
8 approval of UNPROFOR, which sides of the conflict were committing those
10 A. Both sides continued to commit violations.
11 Q. You've mentioned that you observed and received information
12 regarding destruction or damage to property within the UNPAs when you
13 were with the UNMLOY mission.
14 Can you tell us, in which region was this level of destruction
15 the greatest?
16 A. Of the four UNPA, the worst would have been in Sector East. And
17 then probably in sectors -- in Sector South.
18 Q. You mentioned that there was considerable destruction along the
19 confrontation lines. Can you tell us about the types of destruction you
20 observed well behind the confrontation line, areas that were not at that
21 time or in the months preceding subject to battles?
22 MR. GOSNELL: Objection. The question is vague because I
23 certainly can't tell what confrontation line as of when is being referred
24 to. We know they changed.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you clarify, Mr. Olmsted.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Certainly, Mr. President.
2 Q. Brigadier, you've referenced the confrontation line. Can you
3 tell us what those confrontation lines were that you were referring to.
4 A. Well, they're the confrontation lines that existed in
5 January 1992, when UNMLOY arrived and remained substantially unchanged
6 certainly to March 1992 and, for the most part, although forces -- there
7 was a separation of forces during 1992, that line largely remained
9 Q. And let me return to my question.
10 The destruction behind the confrontation lines, away from the
11 confrontation lines, if you could please for us describe the types of
12 destruction that you observed.
13 A. Some of the damage was a direct result of military action. You
14 could tell by the type of damage caused. Some of it appeared to be at
15 random an isolated in villages. For example, a village with 20 or 30
16 houses may have two or three burnt out or demolished houses. In other
17 village it might be three or four standing and the rest demolished or
18 burnt out. It depended upon the area.
19 Q. If the damage was the result of a battle, what would you expect
20 to see?
21 A. It's -- you would see more damage from explosive-type things you
22 can see where artillery or, in particular, armoured weapons have been
23 through buildings. It's very easy to recognise.
24 Much of the damage I'm talking about away from the confrontation
25 line appears to have been stuff that had been deliberately set on fire
1 for the most part. Burning out of houses seems to have been a pretty
2 common activity, but there were some structures like churches, mosques,
3 substantial buildings, which had actually been blown up.
4 Q. Did you visit Vukovar?
5 A. I drove through Vukovar in January of 1992.
6 Q. And what can you tell us about the destruction in that town?
7 A. My recollection it was quite extensive, but it appeared to be
8 battle damage to me.
9 Q. You mentioned battle damage. Did the problem that you've already
10 testified regarding destruction that was not related to battles, did you
11 see any of that in Vukovar?
12 A. Oh, I can't recall, counsel.
13 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on the screen 65 ter 785. This is
14 tab 2.
15 Q. What we have in front of us is the report of the
16 Secretary-General of the UN pursuant to resolution 721 dated 11
17 December 1991. Are you familiar with this report?
18 A. Yes, I am.
19 Q. And how are you familiar with it?
20 A. It's my handwriting actually on the front page.
21 Q. Is this something that you would have looked at prior to
22 deploying for UNMLOY?
23 A. Yes. And the other Security Council documents related to
24 UNPROFOR and UNMLOY were part of our pre-deployment briefing.
25 Q. If we can turn to page 4. And I'm interested in the first
1 paragraph, the last sentence. It states:
2 "It also appears to be the case that the cease-fire violations
3 by the JNA have been more numerous and certainly more violent."
4 How does that compare to the situation that existed when you were
5 with UNMLOY?
6 A. It's entirely accurate. And I attribute that to the fact that
7 the JNA had a much greater quantity of heavy weapons than the Croatian
8 forces did and used them with great freedom and frequency.
9 Q. If we could turn to page 6 of this document.
10 Paragraphs 15 and 17 of this section III discuss the displacement
11 of the population. Could you tell us to what extent this information was
12 consistent with what you observed early in 1992.
13 A. It seems consistent.
14 Q. While you were performing duties in the former Yugoslavia in 1992
15 and 1993, so the entire period that you were there, did you attend
16 meetings with Slobodan Milosevic, the president of the Republic of
18 A. Yes, I did, on many occasions.
19 Q. And could you just tell us generally, what kind of meetings were
21 A. They were usually meetings to resolve some issue related to the
22 UN's peacekeeping efforts, peace-negotiating efforts in the former
24 Q. And were there any other international representatives present at
25 those meetings?
1 A. There were a wide variety on the -- from the UN side. The --
2 certainly Mr. Goulding, the Force Commander, the co-chairman of the
3 International Conference on the former Yugoslavia. Various principle
4 staff within UNPROFOR.
5 Q. And at these meetings, did the international representatives
6 raise with President Milosevic issues concerning the security situation
7 in the Serb-controlled areas of Croatia?
8 A. Yes, they did.
9 MR. GOSNELL: That's leading, Mr. President.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I want to direct the witness to the
11 general topic. I'm not suggesting any answer with regard to this issue.
12 I -- I certainly can't ask, you know, the witness to divulge every topic
13 that was ever discussed with President Milosevic in a two-year period.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: I'll allow the question.
15 THE WITNESS: Yes, security issues were discussed quite commonly.
16 MR. OLMSTED:
17 Q. And can you tell us, what sorts of issues?
18 A. In the early meetings, it was about creating circumstances in the
19 UNPA -- well, the intended UNPA areas that would allow the deployment of
20 a lightly armed peacekeeping force. Discussions from there centred on
21 the failure of the Serb side to honour the Vance Agreement in terms of
22 creating a security environment that allowed UNPROFOR to do its job.
23 There were also many discussions about serious breaches of the intent and
24 the rule of the -- the substance of the Vance Plan.
25 Q. You stated that one of the issues discussed was creating
1 circumstances in these Serb-controlled areas of Croatia. What was the
2 problem there? Why did circumstances have to be created to allow for the
4 A. The Vance Plan required that the parties withdraw their military
5 forces from the UNPAs and that they demilitarise any local forces and
6 that they allow UNPROFOR to -- to provide a security environment for all
7 inhabitants of the UNPAs.
8 The parties continually frustrated this principles of requirement
9 of the plan by not basically either effecting a demilitarisation or
10 fostering a secure -- security environment for the population that
12 Q. It's that last point I want to focus on. Exactly what security
13 environment was being faced by the local population?
14 A. Well, if you were a non-Serb, it was a highly insecure,
15 threatening environment. There were many instances of people being
16 harassed, murdered, robbed, forced from their homes, fully documented by
17 UN police and -- and military personnel.
18 Q. And for how long did these problems continue?
19 A. Certainly until December 1993, when I left the UN service.
20 Q. And were these issues raised with President Milosevic at these
22 A. Yes, they were.
23 Q. And could you tell us, President Milosevic is the president of a
24 republic within Yugoslavia. Why were they raised with him?
25 A. Because it was the opinion of UN key personnel that all strings
1 were pulled by Mr. Milosevic. He was the political power behind the
2 whole conflict, that if you wanted a major issue resolved, you had to get
3 Mr. Milosevic working for you.
4 Q. From the perspective of the UN negotiators what was the perceived
5 relationship between President Milosevic and the JNA?
6 A. It was believed that the JNA were responsive to Mr. Milosevic's
7 requirements and wishes.
8 Q. When these issues of -- of -- of crimes and other activities
9 occurring against the non-Serb population in the Serb-controlled areas of
10 Croatia were raised with President Milosevic, how did he typically
11 respond to these issues?
12 A. Primarily he would deny any personal responsibility. He would
13 suggest that the -- the issue was really a local issue, that we should
14 take it up with local authorities, that perhaps it was uncontrolled
15 elements. On other occasions, could have been provocations from the
16 Croats. He was usually quite evasive but directed the responsibility to
17 local levels.
18 Q. You mentioned he -- he would refer to uncontrolled elements. Did
19 he ever explain what he meant by that?
20 A. Hmm. It was implied that they were some form of independent
21 personally motivated gangsters rather than any centrally controlled and
22 directed groups.
23 Q. But did he ever expressly tell you what he meant by that? I
24 understand that the implication might be that but did he ever come out
25 and say --
1 A. No, he didn't.
2 Q. You mentioned that he would tell you and the other UN
3 representatives to take it up with the local authorities in the
4 Serb-controlled areas of Croatia. Did you all do that?
5 A. This was done many -- on many, many occasions, up and down the
6 chain of command of UNPROFOR, from the local level to the most senior
7 level, to the Force Commander meeting with the top political leaders of
8 the Serb Republic of Krajina.
9 Q. And when you refer to "top political leaders," who you are
10 referring to?
11 A. Specifically Mr. Hadzic.
12 Q. And when you raised these problems, these crimes that were being
13 committed against the non-Serb population throughout the 1992/1993
14 period, and when I say "you," I don't mean you personally but you and
15 other representatives of the UN raised these issues with Mr. Hadzic, how
16 would he typically respond?
17 MR. GOSNELL: Objection. The question is ambiguous, to the
18 extent that it's not clear whether the description throughout the
19 1992/1993 period refers to the times when it was raised, or whether
20 that's referring to the violence itself.
21 And, Mr. President, the question is important because with a
22 question of this nature it should be specified precisely when the
23 reaction occurred. At least with some -- within some time-frame.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Could you clarify, Mr. Olmsted.
25 And one -- one -- one more thing. You -- your question is how
1 did he typically -- let me -- let me ...
2 How would he typically respond.
3 Is it really typically that you mean?
4 MR. OLMSTED: I'll rephrase that as well. Let me lead into it
5 dealing with Defence counsel's issue first.
6 Q. Sir, if you could just tell us, during what time of period were
7 these issue of crimes against the non-Serb population in the
8 Serb-controlled areas of Croatia raised with Mr. Hadzic?
9 A. To my knowledge, from January 1992 continuing up to when I left
10 the UN service in December 1993.
11 Q. This is a two-year period. So let us take it early on in --
12 in -- in that period. In the early part of 1992, how did Mr. Hadzic
13 respond when these kind of crimes were brought up with him by UN
15 A. It -- it depended upon the circumstances of the -- of the
16 particular allegation. In some cases, he would deny that it had taken
17 place or he had knowledge of it. In other case, he would blame it on
18 provocations from Croat activities. In some cases, it would be -- he
19 would say the result of a misunderstanding or uncontrolled subordinates.
20 It varied on the circumstances, but ...
21 Q. And those responses that you've just provided us, did they change
22 significantly over time in the sense, did he ... in 1993, offer other
23 justifications, or were these generally the ones he would give.
24 A. Generally the ones he would give. But, for example, in September
25 1992, there was a very strong push from the Croatian political
1 authorities for the return of refugees, and this was a highly
2 destabilising sort of initiative because it -- it made things very tense
3 in the UNPAs.
4 So, under those circumstances then, Mr. Hadzic perhaps would
5 blame activities on this sort of provocation. It varied. By the way he
6 reacted is fairly typical of his responses, to my knowledge, in the
7 period 1992/1993, and I must say fairly typical of responses from other
8 Serb political leaders also.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, yes, I do see the time.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yes.
12 Mr. Wilson, this is the time for our second break. We will come
13 back at 12.45. The Court Usher will escort you out of the courtroom.
14 Thank you.
15 [The witness stands down]
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.46 p.m.
19 [The witness takes the stand]
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Olmsted.
21 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. Brigadier, before the break, you were testifying about the
23 problems faced by the non-Serb population in the Serb-controlled areas of
24 Croatia that you brought to the attention of President Milosevic and
25 Mr. Hadzic, as well as others.
1 You testified that one of the issues raised was that Croats were
2 forced from their homes. Could you tell us, based on the information
3 that was available to you, what was happening to the Croats who were
4 forced from their homes?
5 A. If I could first correct your statement. I didn't necessarily
6 raise these issues with President Milosevic or Mr. Hadzic. I was present
7 when they were raised, is really my evidence.
8 Q. Thank you for that correction and I'll try to be accurate when I
9 raise this issue.
10 A. Sorry, I've lost track of where we are at with this question
12 Q. No problem. Let me ask it again.
13 A. Thank you.
14 Q. Before the break you testified that one of the issues that was
15 being raised at these various meetings was that Croats were forced from
16 their homes. Could you tell us, what was the information available as to
17 what was happening to the Croats who were forced from their homes?
18 A. Well, I personally never witnessed anybody being ejected from
19 their homes. So I'm basing my evidence entirely upon reports that I
20 received either from the ECMM or from UNPROFOR resources or, as alleged
21 by Croat authority, particularly in January 1992 when I first arrived
22 there. But it's alleged and there's considerable evidence available
23 within UNPROFOR that people were forced to leave their residence, either
24 threat of physical violence or actually some people were actually
25 murdered, raped, or -- or worse to -- suggest people to leave. By the
1 time I arrived there in January 1992, most of the non-Serb people who
2 were continuing to reside in the UNPAs were elderly people or people who
3 found it difficult to leave and they were particularly vulnerable to a
4 threatening environment which was created by the authorities at that
6 Q. And was there a term that was generally used by UNPROFOR and
7 other UN negotiators as to what this was?
8 A. There was a term, I believe, which was invented by a journalist
9 which was called ethnic cleansing.
10 Q. You mentioned that one of the responses that Mr. Hadzic would
11 give when these issues were raised at various meetings with UN officials
12 was that the crimes were committed by uncontrolled subordinates.
13 In what context would he raise that as a -- as an explanation?
14 A. Once again, it depends on the circumstances. If there was a
15 specific incident, for example, a clash between UN forces, he -- he might
16 say that, This is a result of a junior commander on the ground, on his
17 initiative, or his failure to carry out his responsibilities correctly.
18 Q. I want to focus, however, on the context of crimes or ethnic
19 cleansing, or however you want to term it, against the Croat population.
20 In what context would he use that as an explanation for why these crimes
21 were happening?
22 A. I believe his central thesis was that the two nations could not
23 live together again. That it would be necessary to separate them and to
24 live independently, and that's Croats and Serbs couldn't live together
1 Q. During these meetings with Mr. Hadzic, did he ever deny generally
2 that these kind of crimes were being committed against the non-Serb
3 population in the Serb-controlled areas?
4 A. I believe so, yes. He would find excuses or other reasons to --
5 to delay or frustrate activity or corrective action. I don't think he
6 broadly acknowledged that there was a campaign of ethnic cleansing at any
8 Q. Besides the meetings that you personally attended at which
9 Mr. Hadzic was present, how did you learn about other meetings in which
10 these issues were raised with Mr. Hadzic, and in particular in 1992?
11 A. Well, I was the recipient of all significant reports or routine
12 reports or special reports about activities in UNPROFOR as the
13 Chief Military Observer. I was on a restricted distribution list on all
14 high-level developments so I would be able to carry out my duties. And
15 these sort of matters were usually -- if there was a significant issue
16 concerning intimidation of the local population, it would be included in
17 these reports or a special correspondence would be raised, and I would
18 routinely have, on a daily basis access to this type of information, in
20 Q. You mentioned previously that there were regular briefings at the
21 Force Commander level while you were CMO. Did meetings with Mr. Hadzic,
22 were they discussed at those briefings?
23 A. They might --
24 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I have to object. That was
25 extremely leading. Even though it's true that those briefings were
1 mentioned, to draw -- to connect those two facts together that's just --
2 it's just leading.
3 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, either they were -- these meetings
4 were raised at those briefings, or they weren't.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please continue.
6 THE WITNESS: I don't recall specific discussion in that forum
7 about any meeting with Mr. Hadzic. But I do recall seeing written
8 reports and correspondence, and I do recall having conversations with
9 Mr. Thornberry and his chief police officer about such matters.
10 MR. OLMSTED:
11 Q. And could you tell us, why did the UNPROFOR leadership, those who
12 met with him, Mr. Hadzic, why -- why Mr. Hadzic opposed to anyone else?
13 A. Because he was a political leader of the Serb Krajina and the
14 ultimate authority in that area. And if we tried to raise the issues to
15 a higher level, that is, Mr. Milosevic, he would send us back to
16 Mr. Hadzic.
17 Q. And how did the UNPROFOR leadership view Mr. Hadzic as an
19 A. I can't answer that.
20 Q. Fair enough. Let me ask you this way.
21 When issues were raised with Mr. Hadzic, was he able to act upon
22 those issues?
23 MR. GOSNELL: Objection, Mr. President. That's calls for
24 speculation. There has been no foundation laid as to this witness's
25 knowledge in respect of either Mr. Hadzic's reaction, what issues were
1 raised or when they were raised. I think there needs to be a bit of
2 specificity to get a concrete answer.
3 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I want to stay quite general. But I
4 will ask him for the basis of his answer, once he -- once he answers. I
5 don't want to lead him into a particular example, for instance.
6 I think I could be a little more direct. Let me try it this way.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: I think you should, yes.
8 MR. OLMSTED:
9 Q. When issues regarding local matters, matters occurring in the
10 Serb-controlled areas in Croatia, were raised with Mr. Hadzic, do you
11 have any observations as to whether he was able to act upon those issues,
12 at those local issues?
13 A. Well, the fact is, Your Honour, that, over a period of two years,
14 these activities never ceased. So whatever action Mr. Hadzic said he
15 would or wouldn't take had very little effect upon ethnic cleansing and
16 intimidation of the population. There was -- clearly this sort of
17 activity was allowed to go on by Mr. Hadzic and his organisation.
18 Q. Putting aside the issue of ethnic cleansing, other matters,
19 perhaps of a routine nature that needed to be implemented at the local
20 level in the UNPAs, was Mr. Hadzic able to implement those measures?
21 A. I -- I can only talk from my experience of dealing with
22 Mr. Hadzic on this sometime in mid-1993 I raised the issue about freedom
23 of movement with UNPROFOR with him. He undertook to see if he could
24 investigate and approve the restrict -- or to remove the restrictions on
25 UNPROFOR, and I believe at that time there was some improvement short
1 term. So he did demonstrate when he wished he could make things happen
2 within his area of responsibility. But at a local level, it's really a
3 question best directed to local UN authorities there. I can say that I
4 was able to read numerous reports when matters were raised by the UN with
5 local authorities to no effect.
6 Q. And when you refer to local authorities, what level are you --
7 you referring to? From the top all the way to the bottom or are you at a
8 certain level?
9 A. In that particular response I'm talking about the police station
10 level to the local militias, the working rather than high levels.
11 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have 65 ter 785 back on screen, page 6.
12 This is the document we were looking at prior to the break.
13 Q. And if we could look at paragraph 17. It states:
14 "Incidents of detention of displaced persons of organised
15 movements of displaced persons into areas from which others have fled and
16 of pressure on specific groups to evacuate specific villages or towns
17 have given rise to serious concern. Mr. Vance raised this matter with
18 his interlocutors, including, President Milosevic on 2 December, and
19 again on 5 December. A full and detailed response to his inquiries is
21 To your knowledge did the UN ever receive a full and detailed
22 response from -- or to Vance's inquiries?
23 A. I don't know. And that happened well before my arrival, so I
24 wouldn't be expected to know that.
25 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this document be admitted into
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2794, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
5 MR. GOSNELL: Sorry for the interruption. Am I correct that this
6 is 65 ter 785.
7 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, it is.
8 MR. GOSNELL: My e-court shows that this has already been
9 exhibited. P2631.
10 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's correct.
12 Thank you, Mr. Gosnell. So we ...
13 MR. OLMSTED: Yes. Unfortunately, Your Honours, that must one of
14 the expert documents that was recently assigned a P number. I apologise.
15 Hopefully, most of my other ones -- I'll check during the next break but
16 hopefully the rest of mine won't cause that problem.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 MR. OLMSTED:
19 Q. Brigadier, while with UNMLOY were you involved in any
21 A. Yes, I was.
22 Q. And could you tell us what your role in those negotiations were?
23 A. Well, I accompanied Mr. Goulding on some high-level negotiations
24 during January of 1992, after which the decision was made to commit the
25 UNPROFOR deployment. The purpose of his visit was to ascertain if the
1 two parties were firmly committed to the Vance Plan and whether they
2 would honour those agreements and ensure that an environment was created
3 which would allow for the deployment of UNPROFOR.
4 I -- I also accompanied the force commander on a series of visits
5 for two weeks after his arrival in March of 1992, in which he met the
6 various political and military authorities, including, I believe, at that
7 time, Mr. Hadzic.
8 Q. Focussing on the meetings that you attended along with
9 Mr. Goulding, with whom did you meet?
10 A. We met with President Milosevic in Belgrade. Mr. Hadzic and a
11 delegation from Sector East, met them also in Belgrade. We met
12 Mr. Babic, who was then the political authority in the Knin area of
13 Sector South. They were the principal people we meet on the Serb side
14 and then we met a variety of other people in Croatia.
15 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on the screen 65 ter 917. This is
16 tab 14.
17 Q. Brigadier, this is a programme of the mission led by
18 Mr. Marrack Goulding dated 26 to 30 January 1992. And it records, at
19 least on the first couple of pages, a series of meetings attended by
20 Mr. Goulding during this period. Did you attend those meetings?
21 A. I attended all of those meetings.
22 Q. And does this document accurately reflect those meetings?
23 A. Yes, it does.
24 Q. We see that the first meeting was with Branko Kostic who was
25 vice-president of the SFRY Presidency. Why did you meet with him first?
1 A. Essentially a protocol visit in that Mr. Kostic who was then head
2 of the rump Presidency, but the real political discussions took place
3 with Mr. Milosevic.
4 Q. And we see that those discussions took place on the 26th of
5 January. Could you tell us, what was discussed at that meeting?
6 A. This is really about creating an environment in which the UN
7 force could deploy. This was a large-scale very serious conflict going
8 on, still, at that time, despite the supposed existence of a cease-fire.
9 And Mr. Goulding was asking the parties to commit to creating an
10 environment that would allow UNPROFOR to deploy and assume its
11 responsibilities, with some qualifications. The parties agreed to that.
12 MR. OLMSTED: And, Your Honours, for the record, I have been
13 informed that this exhibit has been admitted as P2640.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: That's right.
15 MR. OLMSTED:
16 Q. Did President Milosevic make any suggestions at this meeting?
17 A. President Milosevic was very keen for Mr. Goulding to take
18 account of the concerns of local political leaders about the deployment
19 of UNPROFOR and, where possible, to accommodate their concerns, and he
20 very strongly requested that Mr. Goulding have discussions with the
21 political authorities in the UNPAs or the future UNPAs.
22 Q. And we see that on the 27th of January, you and Mr. Goulding met
23 with Mr. Hadzic. What was discussed at this meeting?
24 A. It was the same matter, about creating an environment which would
25 allow for the deployment of UNPROFOR and requesting an assurance of
1 co-operation from Mr. Hadzic.
2 Q. And on the topic of creating an environment to allow for the
3 deployment, what issues were raised with Mr. Hadzic?
4 A. Well, firstly it was as commitment to demilitarise the area.
5 Secondly, to achieve an effective functioning cease-fire.
6 Thirdly, to commit a peaceful and secure environment for UNPROFOR
7 to be able to deploy and for the local population to live in.
8 And associated with that was a cessation of intimidation of the
9 non-Serb population.
10 Q. Do you recall Mr. Hadzic's response to the issue of intimidation
11 on this occasion?
12 A. I -- I can't recall the detail of the conversation. It's 20
13 years ago. But the central theme of the discussion was the impossibility
14 of the -- the Serbs living in the UNPAs, again to be able to live
15 under -- with Croats but, in particular, under any Croat political sort
16 of governments. And also the provocation that the Croat forces were
17 conducting, which was creating an insecure and threatening environment.
18 At least along the confrontation lines.
19 He was generally pleading that it would be very difficult to
20 reach a political accommodation even after some time.
21 Q. And just to clarify your last answer. The discussion was the
22 impossibility of the Serbs living in the UNPAs. Who was taking that
23 position, the impossibility of --
24 A. Of living together.
25 Q. Living together. Who was raising that?
1 A. Well, Mr. Hadzic was but so were the other Serb political
2 leaders. It was a common theme of the discussions during the Goulding
3 visit. That was fine to have a Vance Plan but the reality on the ground
4 was it would never work because of the unworkable relationship between
5 the two communities.
6 Q. And did Mr. Hadzic expressed -- I think you might have referred
7 to it in your last answer, but did Mr. Hadzic express any views towards
8 the Vance Plan and the UNPROFOR mission?
9 A. He was generally supportive of it. We left the meeting on the
10 understanding that Mr. Hadzic and his political organisation in
11 Sector East would broadly be co-operative and helpful.
12 Q. And we see on this document that you also met with Milan Babic in
13 Knin on the 27th of January.
14 A. Yes, we did.
15 Q. And could you tell us what was discussed at that meeting?
16 A. It was a much more difficult meeting. Mr. Babic was quite anti
17 the deployment of UNPROFOR and even more emphatic about the impossibility
18 of Serb and Croat communities living together. And he was quite against
19 the deployment of UNPROFOR and unable -- we were unable to change his
20 attitude on those discussions.
21 Q. Did he attempt to place any conditions on the deployment of --
22 of UNPROFOR?
23 A. His principal requirement was that UNPROFOR rather than being
24 deployed in depth throughout the UNPA to provide security for the local
25 population. He believed it should be deployed along the confrontation
1 line to separate the two military forces.
2 UN concern with that was as in other peacekeeping missions
3 throughout the world, this would end up creating a status quo of a border
4 and freezing the situation, making political negotiations more difficult.
5 So Mr. Goulding was insistent upon the intended pattern of deployment,
6 that is the UN would be deployed in depth throughout the UNPAs, not on
7 the boundaries.
8 Q. And how significant of a problem did Mr. Goulding consider
9 Mr. Babic's opposition to the Vance Plan to be?
10 A. He thought it would prevent the deployment of UNPROFOR and he
11 therefore raised these concerns with Mr. Milosevic back in Belgrade and
12 asked him to take some action to support the UN.
13 Mr. Milosevic indicated to Mr. Goulding that he would do
14 something and fairly soon afterwards there was an election held within
15 the Krajina. Mr. Babic was ousted and Mr. Hadzic was installed as the
16 president for all the UNPAs.
17 Q. If we could turn to page 2 and look under
18 January 29th, we see there is a meeting with President Milosevic.
19 Was this the meeting in which is Mr. Goulding raised the issue of
20 Mr. Babic with President Milosevic?
21 A. Yes, it was.
22 Q. Did the replacement of Mr. Babic with Mr. Hadzic indicate
23 anything to you?
24 A. I -- I believe it indicated that Mr. Hadzic was responsive to and
25 working for Mr. Milosevic, as a result of being put -- elected to that
2 Q. Was your conclusion confirmed by any subsequent events or
4 A. Not that I can recall.
5 Q. Were you the only one in the UNPROFOR leadership that had that
6 view, of the relationship between Mr. Hadzic and President Milosevic?
7 A. No, that was a very widely held view. Both -- based on the
8 experience of the other UN principal characters once they arrived in
9 country and became aware of situation and dealt with the various
10 authorities at all levels, it was very firmly of the view that Mr. Hadzic
11 was President Milosevic's lieutenant in the Krajina.
12 Q. And if we could turn to page 7 of this document.
13 And we have in front of us a letter dated 3 February 1992 from
14 vice-president Kostic to the UN Secretary-General. And in paragraph 2,
15 Mr. Kostic writes that:
16 "The SFRY Presidency has secured the consent to the proposed
17 peace operation plan and the engagement of United Nations forces also of
18 the Serbian representatives in the afflicted areas."
19 Brigadier, was it important to have the consent of the Serbian
20 representatives of the Serb-held areas of Croatia for the Vance Plan to
22 A. It was absolutely fundamental that they were the people who were
23 to effect the demilitarisation and the establishment of a -- a
24 non-threatening secure environment in which UNPROFOR could operate. They
25 were the authority. We needed them on board.
1 Q. I would now like to move on to when you served as a -- a member
2 of UNPROFOR, so beginning in March 1992.
3 You mentioned, I believe, that you arrived in March 1992 as part
4 of an advance party. Could you tell us about that?
5 A. Yes. The Force Commander and the key headquarter staff of
6 UNPROFOR arrived in mid-March, I think the 11th of March, or it may have
7 been the 8th, 1992. And there was a period of about two weeks in which
8 UNPROFOR -- UNMLOY, the organisation I set up in January, continued to
9 function and the force commander and his key staff used this time to
10 engage with the local authorities to negotiate the myriad of detail that
11 needed to be covered to ensure the deployment of UNPROFOR. During this
12 period, I accompanied General Nambiar on all of his visits and
14 Q. And when did UNPROFOR begin deploying to the UNPAs?
15 A. It was a progressive process, beginning in March, probably
16 running until sometime in July. Some of the forces had to come from
17 South America and considerable distances. This is a very complex
18 logistic sort of exercise or operation, so it took time to get these
19 people there. So there was a period of time, considerable period of
20 time, where UNPROFOR had some troops on the ground but hadn't assumed
21 full responsibility for all of the UNPAs.
22 Q. We already have in evidence the Vance Plan. And it's noted that
23 there is various aspects to the plan.
24 Could you tell us, was the Vance Plan envisaged to be implemented
25 all at once, or were their phases involved?
1 A. From recollection, there were five phases.
2 The first phase was the separation of forces on the confrontation
3 line. The second one was the demilitarisation of the UNPAs. That's
4 the -- the local forces that were there had to be disarmed and returned
5 to civilian life. There was the establishment of an appropriate police
6 presence, and I think earlier in that process, which I got slightly out
7 the sequence, the JNA was to withdraw from areas of Croatia that they
8 occupied. And final stage was of course to create an environment, a
9 non-threatening, safe environment for the local population.
10 MR. OLMSTED: And if we could have 65 ter 1944 on the screen.
11 This is tab 118.
12 Q. Brigadier have you had an opportunity to review this document?
13 A. Yes, I have.
14 Q. And is the information it contains regarding UNPROFOR's presence
15 in Yugoslavia accurate?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. If we could turn to page 5, which is a section that actually
18 contains the contents of the Vance Plan.
19 If we look under basic concept section, which is paragraph 7, it
21 "The role of the United Nations troops would be to ensure that
22 the areas remain demilitarised and that all persons residing in them were
23 protected from fear of armed attack."
24 At what phase of the Vance Plan were UN troops supposed to
25 provide this protection?
1 A. In phase 5.
2 Q. And you've outlined the basic phases. Why did demilitarisation
3 of UNPAs have to occur first?
4 A. It firstly had to stop the fighting on the confrontation line.
5 When the forces are close by they aggravate each other and you have
6 constant violations. So the first thing is separate those. And then,
7 within the UNPAs you had take out the armed forces because they were
8 creating a threatening and unstable environment both for the local
9 population and also because they could easily go on to the offensive and
10 go beyond the UNPAs, or in the case of the Croats patrol into the UNPAs
11 and cause some security concerns there. So the whole area needed to be
12 returned as much as possible to normal civilian existence. Get rid of
13 all the military, get rid of all the arms, get them out of there, and let
14 the place be run by a normal municipal civilian police force. That was
15 the aim with UNPROFOR providing on top of that police force the general
16 security by restricting the movement of military forces, by preventing
17 the movement of arms, allowing the police to get on with the job of
18 assuring a normal as possible environment for the civilian population.
19 Q. Could you tell us what the difference between a peacekeeping and
20 a peace enforcement mission is?
21 A. Peacekeepers are there to observe the maintenance of an agreement
22 between two warring parties. To observe it.
23 Peace enforcement organisation is there to enforce the peace.
24 They're a fighting force. An example would be the -- the action in Iraq
25 was a peace enforcement operation done under Security Council
1 Resolutions. What is happening in the Middle East in UNTSO and UNPROFOR
2 on the Israeli borders is a peacekeeping process, supervising an existing
3 and honoured agreement between two parties.
4 Q. And what kind of mission was UNPROFOR?
5 A. UNPROFOR was a peacekeeping organisation, lightly armed to
6 observe an agreement between warring parties.
7 Q. If we could turn to page 2 and away from the Vance Plan for a
9 We see, under paragraph 6 of this document, an outline of five
10 basic steps of the plan. And these steps are not expressly enumerated in
11 the Vance Plan itself. Could you tell us what are they, as far as --
12 what's their purpose?
13 A. The five steps are to separate the two militaries and create a
14 secure, safe environment for the residents of the UNPAs. That's the
15 purpose of all five phases.
16 Q. And if we could turn to paragraph -- actually, it's on this page.
17 If we could look at paragraph 8, which is below these five steps or
19 It states:
20 "The Serbians elected to place their heavy weapons and equipment
21 under joint United Nations Serbian control in centralised locations, the
22 ammunition houses."
23 What was the name given to this process?
24 A. It was called a double lock process because both parties or the
25 UN and the party involved had to agree to opening up the store to provide
1 access for the party.
2 Q. And what kind of weapons were considered heavy?
3 A. In broad terms, anything above an 82-millimetre mortar, so
4 artillery, tanks, anti-aircraft weapons, substantial military hardware,
5 Armoured personnel carriers.
6 Q. And you mentioned that both parties had to agree before the
7 weapons were unlocked. Did UNPROFOR ever give such authorisation?
8 A. Not while I was there in 1992/1993. Although Serb forces did
9 break into the stores sometime in early 1993 without UN authority or
10 agreement and accessed the weapons.
11 Q. If we could turn to page 6. And this is back to the Vance Plan.
12 Under paragraph 11, the plan provides that UNPROFOR troops would
13 control access to the UNPAs by establishing check-points on all roads and
14 principal tracks leading into them.
15 What were the purpose of these check-points?
16 A. Was to prevent the movement of military or armed elements or
17 weapons of war into or about or within the UNPAs.
18 Q. And if we look further down, paragraph 13 mentions a group of
19 unarmed Military Observers. Could you tell us, are those the observers
20 that you were in command of?
21 A. Yes they were.
22 Q. And how many Military Observers operated initially in the UNPAs?
23 A. Approximately 100.
24 Q. And where were they from?
25 A. From about 24, 25 different countries from around the world.
1 Minimum rank captain. All professional officers, not reserve officers.
2 Q. And did the number of Military Observers increase over time?
3 A. Yes, it did. By the time I left UNPROFOR in December 1992, the
4 number had grown to about 340 as a result of incremental change in
5 mandate and additional tasks allocated to the UNMOs.
6 Q. And could you tell us briefly what was the role of the
7 Military Observers?
8 A. Initially it was to supervise the withdrawal of the JNA and the
9 Croatian army and to patrol the UNPAs to ensure they were in fact
10 demilitarised, but it was also to generally patrol within the UNPAs to be
11 aware of what was going on there, and to lend their good officers should
12 there be some conflict. And they reported for the most part on all of
13 their activities through the sector commander in each sector.
14 Q. And how would the information that they were reporting arrive at
15 your desk?
16 A. There was a system of routine reports daily, a weekly summary.
17 There was also a process where something urgent was required. There was
18 a -- a channel for which urgent information could be passed. And there
19 were periodic conferences which I held with the commanders of the various
20 military observer groups, people came in and we were able to discuss
21 people's concerns and requirements.
22 Q. What was the role of the -- if I may call them UNMOs,
23 United Nations Military Observers. What was their role or responsibility
24 if they observed human rights violations in the Serb-controlled areas of
1 A. If They could practically intervene and prevent the violation
2 then they were required to do so. If they couldn't, they were required
3 to bring it to the attention of somebody who could, as quickly as
4 possible. They would investigate the circumstances in as much detail as
5 they could and report objectively up the chain of command.
6 Q. And could you tell us, what were the basic tenants of the UNMOs.
7 A. They were impartial. They were professional. There was always
8 two almost inevitably of different nationalities.
9 Q. If we could turn to page 7 of this document. I'm interested in
10 paragraph 19 which is towards the bottom. It contains a provision
11 concerning the maintenance of public order in the UNPAs by the local
12 police forces.
13 Brigadier was it ever envisioned that UNPROFOR would perform law
14 enforcement in the UNPAs?
15 A. No. There was some approximately 300 police within UNPROFOR, and
16 their role was to liaise, work with, supervise, assist the local police
17 force but not to actually carry out the police function within the UNPAs.
18 Q. If we read further along in this paragraph, it states that the
19 local police force would be formed from residents of the UNPA in
20 question, in proportions reflecting the national composition of the
21 population which lived in it before the recent hostilities. Was this
22 provision ever implemented on the ground?
23 A. No, it wasn't. But to be honest it would be impractical anyway
24 because most of the non-Serb population had left the UNPAs anyway. There
25 didn't appear to be any concerted effort to incorporate Croats who might
1 be remaining in the UNPAs in these police forces. Indeed, I believe they
2 were actively discriminated against and intimidated by the police force.
3 Q. And who had the duty to at least attempt to have some
4 proportionality with regard to that ethnic groups in the police force?
5 Was that a role of the UNPROFOR or was that the role of the local
7 A. The role of the local authorities.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2794, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. OLMSTED:
13 Q. We've already touched on a bit on reporting within the UNPROFOR
14 system. But could you describe perhaps in a little bit more detail the
15 sources of information that you would receive as CMO. So we have a good
16 understanding of -- of -- of how informed you were of events on the
18 A. The most important source was the daily commanders' meeting
19 because this is where all significant matters were raised.
20 Secondly, there was a daily distribution of correspondence within
21 the headquarters. These were all the principle documents about major
22 concerns, major initiatives, future developments, problems of a
23 significant nature which were occurring in the UNPAs and other areas.
24 There were routine reports on daily basis, monthly, coming from a
25 variety of sources: Military, police, civil affairs, NGOs, ECMM, media
1 reports, and, of course, discussions that I had the opportunity to have
2 with various people both within UNPROFOR and -- and outside of UNPROFOR.
3 Q. In a bit we're going to be looking at various documents.
4 UNPROFOR sitreps, military information summaries, weekly situation
5 assessments, are those documents that you would receive regularly as
7 A. On a daily basis.
8 Q. Now, the information contained in these various reports coming
9 from the field, were they verified in any manner?
10 A. The UN's policy was if a matter was reported then it had to be
11 verified. If it couldn't be verified with actual evidence, then it
12 should be stated so in the report. Unlike, perhaps, a media report where
13 journalists write what they think they saw, we -- we had to write based
14 on substantive facts.
15 Q. As CMO, how often did you meet with your Military Observers in
16 the field, in the UNPAs?
17 A. It -- it depended on what my other responsibilities were, but
18 I -- I tried to visit each UNPA approximately once a month during 1992.
19 And during 1993, accompanying the co-chairman from Geneva, probably
20 visited all of the UNPAs about twice.
21 Q. And since you mentioned the co-chairman, could you give us his
23 A. They varied over time. Initially, it was Mr. Cyrus Vance and
24 Lord Owen, and then Mr. Vance was replaced by Mr. Stoltenberg.
25 Q. And during your field visits were you able to verify information
1 reported to you?
2 A. What I observed was basically consistent with what had been
3 raised in reports would be my answer.
4 Q. Between 24 March and 24 June 1992, where did you spend the
5 majority of your time?
6 A. I was in Sarajevo.
7 Q. And why were you based there?
8 A. The headquarters deployed to Sarajevo in, I think, it was the
9 22nd of March, and that was the intended location for UNPROFOR
10 headquarters. However, as the security situation there deteriorated, the
11 Force Commander had to relocate his headquarters initially to Belgrade
12 and about a month later to the Zagreb. When he left Sarajevo, I was left
13 down there with a small group of Military Observers, about eight, and I
14 was the -- then the UN commander in Sarajevo with a -- additionally a
15 French protection party of about 60. I remained there until I was
16 relieved by the force that was going to open the Sarajevo airport on or
17 about the 22nd/24th of June, 1992.
18 Q. And after that, where were you based?
19 A. And then I went back to UNPROFOR headquarters initially in
20 Belgrade, then Zagreb.
21 Q. While you were in Sarajevo, did you continue to receive reports
22 concerning events in the UNPAs?
23 A. I did, but less satisfactory than I was able to at other times.
24 It was very difficult environment to be in and communication was
25 intermittent with our headquarters and my UNMOs.
1 Q. What phases of the Vance Plan were achieved in the 1992/1993
3 A. There was a separation of forces. There was partial
4 demilitarisation of militias. There was a raising of a police force.
5 That's largely it. There was certainly no creation of a stable and
6 non-threatening environment.
7 Q. So did implementation of the Vance Plan ever reach the point
8 where UNPROFOR was in a position to protect the population in the UNPAs
9 from fear of armed attack?
10 A. Not during the time I was associated in 1992/1993.
11 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on the screen 65 ter 1212.
12 Q. And this is a report of the Secretary-General pursuant to
13 Security Council Resolution 762 dated 27 July 1992.
14 Brigadier, during the existence of UNPROFOR how were
15 Secretary-General reports such as this generated?
16 A. They were based on information provided by UNPROFOR. Perhaps a
17 draft would have been prepared actually within UNPROFOR headquarters and
18 then forwarded to Mr. Goulding's office. Ultimately he would have been
19 the final author on a document like this.
20 Q. Did the work of the UNMOs contribute to the information in these
22 A. Yes, it did. And all the other information sources that were
23 available to UNPROFOR headquarters and UN New York.
24 Q. I apologise. It appears we might have missed the last bit of
25 your answer.
1 A. And UN New York.
2 Q. Thank you. You've had an opportunity to review this report.
3 Could you tell us, does the information accurately reflect the
4 information that was coming from the field in the UNPAs as of the date of
5 this report?
6 A. Yes. Sadly, it does.
7 Q. If we look under paragraph 2, first of all, the report states
8 that UNPROFOR assumed responsibility in Sector East on 15 May 1992, in
9 Sector West on 20 June, 1992, and in Sectors North and South on 2 July,
10 1992. First of all, was that the order of events?
11 A. I believe so.
12 Q. And what is meant by UNPROFOR assumed responsibility? A
13 responsibility for what?
14 A. Responsibility essentially for providing security within the UNPA
15 for the -- for the local population, ensuring that demilitarisation.
16 The -- the term there really refers to the fact that UNPROFOR had enough
17 troops available by that time in each of those UNPAs to start carrying
18 out the function. It didn't necessarily mean that the parties had
19 co-operated and honoured their part of the agreement. It simply meant
20 that UNPROFOR had all the resources it was going to get for the job in
21 those UNPAs.
22 Q. From an internal security perspective, you've already mentioned
23 the problems that were happening with regard to the non-Serb population
24 in the UNPAs. Which of the four sectors was considered the most
1 A. Sector East.
2 Q. And were you able to come to any conclusions why Sector East?
3 What was going on there?
4 A. No. The -- the root cause of Sector East and indeed all the
5 other sectors, Your Honour, was that the parties there, the political
6 parties, never ensured the demilitarisation of those sectors. And by
7 centrally conceived and orchestrated plan sought to circumvent in any
8 ways possible the implementation of a secure environment for the
9 population there.
10 Q. And you've told us that Sector East was -- was the worst. How
11 would you rank the other sectors?
12 A. Second worst would be south, then north, and finally west.
13 Q. If we could turn to page 2 and look at paragraph 4 it mention as
14 a major achievement the withdrawal of the JNA from all sectors except for
15 one infantry battalion in Sector East.
16 Could you tell us, how far from the UNPA borders did the JNA
17 withdraw to?
18 A. In Sector East, they withdrew across the Danube river and
19 deployed along the Danube river ready to come back again if they felt the
20 need to do so.
21 Q. Did that cause any problems?
22 A. Well, it was highly threatening for the non-Serb population
23 within Sector East, and was also a very prominent threat to the Croatian
24 army that they had better behave or the JNA would come back again.
25 Q. During the JNA withdrawal, what happened to the JNA weapons and
2 A. The JNA took them, all of their weapons and equipment with them,
3 as far as I am aware.
4 Q. And what about the equipment of other local Serb forces, the
5 Territorial Defence, and other forces?
6 A. Well, the -- the Vance Plan provided for heavy weapons belonging
7 to local militias were to be put into a double-lock system and that
8 the -- the weapons of these militias were either to be entrusted to the
9 UN or handed over to the JNA. The reality is that some of the heavy
10 weapons were put into double lock, and just about all of the small arms
11 and lights weapons were retained either openly by -- reuniformed militias
12 had put on police uniforms. All these weapons were hidden in various
13 part of the UNPAs. Effectively the militias didn't disappear. The
14 militias didn't disarm. They were simply camouflaged.
15 Q. If we look at paragraph 5, it says:
16 "Prior to UNPROFOR's assumption of responsibility in the UNPAs,
17 it had become apparent that the JNA was transferring many of its heavy
18 weapons to local Territorial Defence units and paramilitary militias
19 established in these areas."
20 Were you aware of that problem?
21 A. Broadly, yes.
22 Q. What was going on there?
23 A. The JNA were making sure that the military forces that they left
24 behind were capable of defending the UNPA areas with an adequate
25 allocation of heavy weapons if they would be required, if the Croatian
1 forces attempted to recapture them, or they could at least delay the
2 Croat forces long enough for the JNA to come back and recapture the area.
3 Q. Did the Vance Plan envision that this conversion of JNA resources
4 to local armed forces would happen? Was this envisaged?
5 A. No, it wasn't. And I believe this is a deliberate circumvention
6 of the intent on the detail of the Vance Plan.
7 Q. I'd like to turn away briefly from this document.
8 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have on a the screen 65 ter 1339. This
9 is tab 56.
10 Q. This is an UNPROFOR daily sitrep dated 3 November 1992. And if
11 we could look towards the bottom, we see listed CMO. What does that mean
12 for purposes of this report?
13 A. It's -- it's my title as Chief Military Observer. It means that
14 I am to be a recipient of this report. It was a standard distribution
16 Q. And if we could turn to page 2 and look under Sector East,
17 item 1. And it says:
18 "At Erdut bridge, 3 AA guns, two APC, and one tank reported
19 hidden behind a house."
20 First of all, what does "AA" stand for?
21 A. Anti-aircraft.
22 Q. And were these weapons violations of the double-lock system?
23 A. Without looking at a map, it could be possible that those -- the
24 numbers given there are a map square. It's possible that they are
25 located on the eastern side of the Danube so it could be legitimate in
1 the sense that -- the JNA. But if we had a map here and I presume that
2 those grid squares are within the UNPA then almost certainly violations.
3 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, I would tendered this into evidence.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2795, Your Honours.
6 MR. OLMSTED:
7 Q. Did UNPROFOR receive any reports on heavy weapon violations from
8 the Croatian government?
9 A. I'm not sure of the question. Are we talking about the use of
10 them or the presence of them?
11 Q. Presence of them.
12 A. Yes. From time to time we would receive correspondence from
13 Croatian authorities alleging that there were weapon storage areas in one
14 location or another or the presence of military elements in various parts
15 of the UNPA.
16 MR. OLMSTED: If we could look at 65 ter 5273. This is tab 165.
17 Q. This is an UNPROFOR memorandum dated 11 October 1992. And if we
18 could turn to page 2. What we have is a letter to UNPROFOR CLO. What is
19 a CLO?
20 A. Chief liaison officer, I'm guessing. I just can't see the
21 context there.
22 Q. It's just because I see on the right-hand side Colonel Petrounev,
24 A. Yes, yes. So there would be an UNPROFOR liaison officer in
25 Zagreb near the Croatian Ministry of Defence, and regular communication
1 between the Croat forces or Croatian forces and UNPROFOR would be through
2 this office.
3 Q. And if we can scroll down a little bit. We'll just look at the
4 first page, but they are reporting information regarding a number of
5 hidden weapons at various locations. I see B-1 cannons, ten tanks, some
7 Could you tell us, was information in reports provided by the
8 Croatian government, were they able to be verified?
9 A. If correspondence was like this was received then it certainly
10 would be investigated. And if it was there, it would be, of course,
11 verified and the issue raised with the local authorities. Sometimes
12 these correspondence like this were based upon imagination. In other
13 cases, there was good, solid intelligence.
14 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2796, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 MR. OLMSTED:
19 Q. You've -- may have touched upon this in your previous answers.
20 After the JNA formally left the UNPAs, I think you mentioned that there
21 were other armed forces that were there and operating.
22 Could you tell us which ones? What were these forces?
23 A. Well, and this, Your Honour, is very central, sort of the whole
24 thing, because the militias, some 16.000 of them as a guesstimate, were
25 changed from military army personnel to police forces virtually
1 overnight. There was a process where they changed their uniforms and
2 changed their names but not the function. They still continued to
3 operate. They were called either special police, border police, customs
4 police, it didn't matter. Their role and their reality was to sort of
5 hide the fact that there had been no demilitarisation of the militias
6 within the UNPAs. It was a policy and a programme executed at the highest
7 level with the co-operation, I suspect, of certainly the JNA and the
8 highest political authorities within the Serb political structure.
9 So we ended up with instead of a force of a few thousand or in --
10 in the case of the Krajina, 7.000 policemen as we know them in a normal
11 civil community, we ended up with some 22.000 policemen in the UNPAs.
12 And this was not -- this was in detail and an intent way of avoiding
13 implementation of the demilitarisation and the agreement in the
14 Vance Plan. The net result was a highly threatening environment for the
15 whole civilian population, particularly non-Serbs.
16 The reality is that much of the ethnic cleansing, much of the
17 violence was carried out by the special policemen.
18 Q. And how well armed were these special policemen?
19 A. Well, they certainly had side-arms, that is automatic rifles, but
20 they had access to heavy weapons which were hidden throughout the UNPAs
22 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours perhaps that is a good time to stop.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you, Mr. Olmsted.
24 Brigadier Wilson, this is it for today. You're not released as
25 a witness. We expect you back tomorrow at 9.00 and not being released as
1 a witness means that you cannot discuss your testimony with anybody in
2 the meantime, and you cannot talk to any of the parties.
3 Thank you very much. The Court Usher will escort you out of the
5 [The witness stands down]
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.59 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day of
9 August, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.