1 Wednesday, 21 August 2013
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning to everyone in and around the
7 Madam Registrar, could we have -- could you call the case,
8 please. Sorry.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
10 This is the case IT-04-75-T, The Prosecutor versus Goran Hadzic.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 Can we have the appearances, please, starting with the
14 MR. OLMSTED: Good morning, Your Honours. Matthew Olmsted for
15 the Prosecution joined by Matthew Gillett; Case Manager, Thomas Laugel;
16 and our intern, Maggi Qerimi.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 Mr. Zivanovic, for the Defence.
19 MR. ZIVANOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. For the Defence of
20 Goran Hadzic, Zoran Zivanovic and Christopher Gosnell. Thank you.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you very much.
22 The witness can be brought in. Thank you.
23 [The witness takes the stand]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Good morning, Brigadier Wilson. May I remind you
25 that you are still under oath.
1 WITNESS: JOHN BRIAN WILSON [Resumed]
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 Mr. Olmsted, please proceed.
5 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Examination by Mr. Olmsted: [Continued]
7 Q. Good morning, Brigadier Wilson.
8 A. Good morning, counsel.
9 Q. I would like to begin by clarifying a couple of matters from
10 yesterday. First, yesterday, and this is at transcript page 7449, I
11 asked you whether it was ever envisioned that UNPROFOR would perform law
12 enforcement in the UNPAs. And the transcript records your answer as:
13 "No, there was some approximately 300 police within UNPROFOR and
14 their role was to liaise, work with, supervise, assist the local police
15 force but not to actually carry out police function within the UNPAs."
16 Could you tell us, what did you mean by the word "supervise"?
17 A. Perhaps a more accurate word would be "to observe." Supervise
18 suggests some authority. They had no authority over the local police
19 whatsoever. They were simply there to observe, report, and hopefully
20 positively influence.
21 Q. And if we could have on the screen, P2795. This is tab 56.
22 Brigadier, this is a daily sitrep report dated 3 November 1992
23 which you were shown yesterday. And if we could turn to page 2. You
24 will recall that I drew your attention to the potential heavy weapons
25 violations at Erdut bridge listed under item 1 for Sector East. And you
1 testified that to be certain whether this was a violation of the
2 double-lock system you would have to -- to take a look at a map, and that
3 was certainly a justifiable answer.
4 If we could turn to page 5 of this document.
5 Here is a map entitled active and potential active areas,
6 Sector East. And we can see in the upper right mention of the weapons at
7 Erdut bridge. Do you see that?
8 A. I do.
9 Q. And if we can follow the line down to the map, and perhaps zoom
10 in a little bit where it ends. Yes.
11 We see there's a circle indicating the spot where the violations
12 or the weapons were -- were located. Could you tell us, is this spot
13 inside Sector East?
14 A. Yes, it is. And it would represent a clear violation.
15 Q. Let's have on the screen P2794, which was -- is tab 118.
16 This is the historical background document you looked at
17 yesterday. And if we could turn to page 2, and if we could look at
18 the -- the five steps that are listed under paragraph 6, I believe. We
19 see that the first step is the withdrawal of artillery, mortars and tanks
20 to areas 30 kilometres outside the UNPAs. Did this requirement apply to
21 the JNA?
22 A. It applied to everybody.
23 Q. Now, if the JNA maintained artillery in Serbia but within
24 30 kilometres of the Sector East border, was that a heavy weapon
1 A. That's ambiguous. I believe that it would be ignored basically.
2 Q. It would be ignored by --
3 A. By the UN. It would be -- technically it's within the
4 30 kilometres, but because it's in the sovereign territory of Serbia, I
5 don't know that that would apply in that case. I could be wrong but
6 that's my interpretation.
7 Q. Did the UN observers, Military Observers, that you commanded, did
8 they have access into military installations in Serbia along the border
9 with Sector East?
10 A. No, they did not. Nor was it intended that they do in the
11 Vance Plan.
12 Q. Now, at the end of the day yesterday, you testified about the
13 special police that operated in the UNPAs after the withdrawal of the
14 JNA. I'd like to show you a document, 65 ter 13 -- 1307. This is
15 tab 49.
16 This is an UNPROFOR weekly situation assessment dated
17 7 October 1992. And if we could look under item 3 for Sector East, it
19 "Regional militia in uniforms with RPG-18 APCs, 82-millimetre
20 mortars, et cetera."
21 Could you tell us, what is an RPG-18?
22 A. It's a shoulder fired anti-tank weapon. It's considered to be a
23 light anti-tank weapon. Can be used against other targets; for example,
24 fortified positions, buildings, vehicles. Generally not personnel
25 because it has a fairly narrow explosive effective. It is designed to
1 penetrate armour.
2 Q. What is the significance of this information?
3 A. The weapons carried by these militia are clear violations of the
4 Vance Agreement.
5 Q. Yesterday at transcript page 7460, you testified about the
6 problem of hidden weapons. And if we look under item 5 - we have to
7 scroll down a bit, I think - we see it states, "A lot of weapons in
8 hidden storages." Is this consistent with your information?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, we tender this into evidence.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2844, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
14 MR. OLMSTED:
15 Q. Brigadier, did the RSK political leadership offer any official
16 justifications to UNPROFOR for maintaining a large special police force?
17 A. The primary justification was that they were concerned about the
18 Croat forces re-entering the UNPAs.
19 MR. OLMSTED: If we could take a look at 65 ter 5218. This is
20 tab 153.
21 MR. GOSNELL: I'm sorry for the interruption. I see a transcript
22 problem there with the word "concrete." I don't think that was what the
23 witness said.
24 THE WITNESS: It should be Croat, Croatian, or Croat forces
1 MR. OLMSTED:
2 Q. What we have in front of us is a memorandum from General Nambiar
3 dated 30 July 1992 and addressed to Mr. Goulding.
4 First of all, did you attend any meetings with Milan Martic in
5 1992 or 1993?
6 A. Yes, I did. But not this particular meeting.
7 Q. And at the meetings that you did -- attended how did Mr. Martic
8 portray his authority over the RSK police?
9 A. Mr. Hadzic claimed to be the ultimate political authority in the
10 Krajina that all arms of the government were responsible to him.
11 Q. Now you -- you said Mr. Hadzic. Did you mean Mr. Martic?
12 A. I thought you'd actually got that wrong but --
13 Q. Oh.
14 A. If the question is about Mr. Martic, then he -- he was the
15 military police authority working to Mr. Hadzic.
16 Q. This memorandum reports on a meeting with Milan Martic regarding
17 disarming and disbanding the militia forces. And if we look under
18 item 2A Martic is reported as stating that there were 7.000 regular
19 militia and 16.000 special purpose militia which were the minimum
20 requirement to counter the threat of infiltration and terrorist attacks
21 by the Croatians.
22 Was Mr. Martic the only member of the RSK leadership who insisted
23 on maintaining a special police force of this size?
24 A. The special police were deployed throughout all of the four
25 UNPAs. It was a -- a centrally controlled, directed policy that
1 converted military to police. We call them other names. As I indicated
2 yesterday, they were called special police, border police, et cetera.
3 Now at the time when they were going through this process of
4 converting them they were simply saying that these were normal
5 arrangements in the former Yugoslavia to have this -- this number of
6 police in such an area. And then later the justification became that
7 they needed them, these sort of numbers to protect themselves from Croat
8 threat. But initially it was presented that having 22.000 policemen in
9 an area like this was perfectly normal and consistent with policy in the
10 former Yugoslavia.
11 Q. Did they present UNPROFOR with any evidence of that historical
13 A. No, we were not convinced anyway. We believed that it was a
14 gross misinterpretation of the Vance Plan and a deliberate attempt to get
15 around the provisions of the plan and to maintain a military presence.
16 We made representations at the highest levels, unsuccessfully.
17 Q. And could you tell us, where were these special police forces
18 deployed within Croatia?
19 A. We're talking about Serb forces now?
20 Q. Yes. We're talking about the Serb special police forces, these
22 A. Depending upon their function, if they were described as customs
23 police then perhaps they were deployed to the entrances of the UNPAs.
24 Otherwise they were generally deployed around the line of confrontation
25 but also in depth throughout the UNPAs so that they could keep an eye on
1 what was happening in the urban and village areas of the UNPAs.
2 Q. And I believe you testified yesterday about the various names
3 that these special police were called, and you've referenced it just now,
4 customs police, border police. To your knowledge, were any of these
5 special police forming a law enforcement duty?
6 A. They may have taken it upon themselves to perform such a function
7 but there was actually another group of policemen who I would call
8 municipal police whose function was routine law and order function as we
9 would understand it. But the special police would sometimes involve
10 themselves in applying justice within the communities which -- which I
11 would call harassment, intimidation, but they would have another name for
13 Q. Do you recall whether these special police forces or -- or
14 portions of them were deployed outside of Croatia?
15 A. No, I don't.
16 Q. I may come back to that in a moment.
17 MR. OLMSTED: But if we could tender this into evidence,
18 Your Honours.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2845, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 MR. OLMSTED:
23 Q. Brigadier, yesterday you testified, and this is at transcript
24 page 7460, line 16, that members of the special police were engaged in
25 ethnic cleansing and violence, and I think you have also referenced that
2 Based on the information you received, could you tell us some
3 examples of the types of crimes these special police were committing in
4 the UNPAs?
5 A. I base my observation on reports that I read in UNPROFOR
6 headquarters by -- or reports submitted by police officers in their chain
7 of command, and, to a lesser extent, from the Military Observers. But
8 the form of harassment or intimidation included, murder, beatings,
9 robbery, rape, destruction of property.
10 Q. And against whom were those crimes committed?
11 A. Mainly the non-Serb population.
12 Q. If we could look at 65 ter 1207. This is tab 34. This is an
13 UNPROFOR military information dated 24 July 1992. And we see CMO listed
14 under info. Would you have received this report?
15 A. I would have had the opportunity to have read it, yes.
16 Q. If we could turn to page 15.
17 Now, under Sector East, it reports that the militia and special
18 police are involved in threats, robberies, et cetera. How often would
19 you receive reports of these types of crimes?
20 A. Throughout all of the four UNPAs virtually daily in one form or
21 another. It would be rare that you would see evidence of a concerted
22 campaign throughout the whole of the Krajina usually isolated incidents
23 but many of them in a week, probably at least some daily.
24 Q. And what was done with this information that was gathered by
1 A. In many cases, the allegations were investigated in depth by the
2 police, a full dossier was prepared, handed over to the relevant legal
3 authorities with a request that action be taken. Inevitably no action
4 was taken. In other cases, they were simply reported up through the
5 chain. In other cases, UN were deployed in the area where a particular
6 family might be threatened but it was never possible to -- to be able to
7 protect every individual within the UNPAs from such activity.
8 Q. You mentioned that it was --
9 JUDGE HALL: If I may, Brigadier, I suppose that it goes without
10 saying that when you say the allegations investigated in depth by the
11 police, you mean the regular civil police.
12 THE WITNESS: No, by the UN police in the absence of the --
13 JUDGE HALL: UN police.
14 THE WITNESS: UN police.
15 JUDGE HALL: Thanks. Thank you.
16 MR. OLMSTED:
17 Q. Was this information brought to the RSK authorities?
18 A. Yes, it was, on a regular basis, at all levels from the local
19 level to the highest level.
20 Q. And I think you've mentioned this before but did the situation
21 ever improve in 1992 or 1993 with regard to these crimes?
22 A. No, it didn't, which indicated to me that there was no great
23 desire by those in authority to stop this practice.
24 Q. If we could quickly turn to page 7. And I'm interested in the
25 last ... if we could scroll up to the top. I'm interested in the first
1 paragraph at the top but the last sentence which is pertaining to Sector
2 South. We can see that on the previous -- the prior page. But it
4 "The TDF do not support the plan of keeping arms, weapons and
5 equipment inside the UNPA and favour the storage inside the pink zone."
6 First of all, could you just tell us what is TDF standing for?
7 A. Territorial Defence Force.
8 Q. We will be taking about the pink zones in a bit, but what was the
9 significance of the Territorial Defence storing weapons in the pink
11 A. If they did that, they would largely be unsupervised by the UN.
12 They would be retained within the pink zones but not under UN
13 supervision. If they came outside the pink zones then they had to go
14 under the lock-and-key process.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2846, Your Honours.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 MR. OLMSTED: I would like to return to 65 ter 1212.
20 Q. This is the UN Secretary-General report from 27 July 1992 that we
21 looked at for a bit yesterday. I would like to turn to page 5. And if
22 we could look under paragraph 15. The report mentions the expulsion and
23 a number of other crimes being committed against non-Serbs and the direct
24 or indirect involvement of the police in these incidents.
25 You had an opportunity to review this report. How does this
1 information compare to the information you were receiving from the field?
2 A. It accurately reflects the circumstances within the UNPAs.
3 Q. And if we look at the next paragraph, paragraph 16, it states:
4 "All such criminal acts had been protested vigorously by the
5 Force Commander and his staff with authorities in Zagreb and Belgrade and
6 with the local authorities, but there has yet been little visible
7 improvement in the situation."
8 Is that consistent with your observations?
9 A. Yes, it is, although to say "all" might be just a little bit
10 ambitious. That's -- the author may have exaggerated it slightly there.
11 Q. If we could turn to page 7 of this document. I'm interested
12 in -- I believe it's Section D, paragraph 23.
13 A little bit while ago I asked you whether any special police
14 forces were operating outside of Croatia. Could you take a look at this
15 paragraph, 23, and see if that refreshes your recollection on this issue.
16 A. Yes, it does. The question was about police. This, in part,
17 sort of refers to the TDF which was mainly that force which was
18 demobilised supposedly handed in their weapons but was allowed to remain
19 within the UNPAs. They would be from time to time mobilised by the Serb
20 authorities, they would re-arm themselves, and they would carry out
21 defensive or offensive actions around the UNPAs.
22 Now, to me, it's sort of semantics in a way because sometimes
23 it's the TDF and sometimes it's the police that were performing the same
25 Q. And if we could look at the penultimate sentence. It mentions
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. What do you know about that?
2 A. I've absolutely no doubt that there was close co-operation
3 between the Serb forces in Bosnia and those in the Krajina. They
4 certainly were working to a centrally co-ordinated military strategy and
5 there would have been very close co-operation if for no other reason than
6 certainly logistics. And from time to time when there was a particular
7 crisis, troops were moved from one end of the Krajina to the other, and
8 in some cases they were, I believe, helping the Serb forces in northern
9 Bosnia. In some cases, the Bosnian Serb forces were helping the Krajina
10 forces over in Sector South against Croat activity. So there was --
11 while they were supposedly separate entities, they, in fact, worked as
13 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, we tender this report into evidence.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2847, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 MR. OLMSTED:
18 Q. Brigadier, we've spent some time now on the special police.
19 Could you give us your impression of overall how serious of a problem
20 these special police posed to the security situation in the
21 Serb-controlled areas of Croatia.
22 A. They were the root cause of most of the problems within the
23 UNPAs. They -- they were the agency through which intimidation and
24 ethnic cleansing was affected.
25 They were absolutely central to all of the UNPROFOR's
1 difficulties in carrying out its mission.
2 Q. If we could look at 65 ter 3624. This is tab 43. This is a
3 further report of the Secretary-General pursuant to
4 Security Council Resolutions 743 and 762 dated 28 September 1992.
5 MR. OLMSTED: And, Your Honours, I note for the record that this
6 is the final and complete draft of a document that was previously
7 admitted as D70.
8 Q. And if we could turn to page 11 and if we could look under
9 paragraph 34, we see it states:
10 "The root cause of the deterioration in the
11 United Nations Protected Areas since late July has been the Knin
12 authorities' decision to create new paramilitary forces."
13 We see sometimes in UNPROFOR reports reference to "Knin
14 authorities." What is meant by that?
15 A. They're referring to the political, the Serb political leadership
16 of the -- of the Republic of Krajina.
17 Q. And which paramilitary forces is this report referring to?
18 A. It's a combination of Serb territorial forces and their special
20 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, we raise this issue with -- with the
21 Defence, whether we could simply substitute this final version of -- of
22 this report for the one that was previously tendered. If I understand
23 it, their position is they do not want to substitute at least at this
24 time and therefore we would just tender this report into evidence.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Is that right, Mr. Gosnell?
1 MR. GOSNELL: Just to clarify, the other document that has been
2 admitted is a draft or a previous version that ends up -- it's part of
3 the process of drafting the final, and we would prefer to have both
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: The document is admitted and marked.
6 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2848, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
8 MR. OLMSTED:
9 Q. Brigadier, were the special police in the RSK ever demilitarised
10 in 1992 or 1993?
11 A. No, they weren't.
12 Q. And if we could just look at 65 ter 1310. This is tab 50. This
13 is a -- an UNPROFOR weekly situation assessment dated 14 October 1992.
14 MR. OLMSTED: I'm just going to pause for an a moment to make
15 sure that the transcript is working.
16 The one on e-court doesn't appear to be working but the one in
17 the court seems to be fine. If that doesn't seem to cause a problem, I'd
18 like to continue.
19 Your Honour, I think if I just reboot mine, it might ...
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: I tried to do that, but it doesn't work on my
22 [Trial Chamber and Registrar confer]
23 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Yeah, okay.
25 MR. OLMSTED: Great.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed.
2 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
3 Q. What we have in front of us is an UNPROFOR weekly situation
4 assessment dated 14 October 1992. And if we could look under item 3,
5 nature of the problems for Sector East, it states:
6 "No indication of demilitarisation of militia, border police and
7 special militia."
8 That was the situation, Brigadier?
9 A. Yes, it was.
10 Q. And if we could turn to page 2, it states under item 6 -- so at
11 the top, I believe. Yes:
12 "Regional militia is involved in local terrorism and has
13 aggressive activities."
14 You've already talked about their activities toward the non-Serb
15 population. How did the special police behave towards your UNMOs?
16 A. They were on -- on occasions uncooperative on occasions
17 provocative. Most of the time they simply chose to ignore the
18 Military Observers.
19 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
21 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2849.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
23 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have 65 ter 5180 on the screen. This
24 is tab 148.
25 Q. This is a report dated 8 June 1992. Do you recognise this
1 report, Brigadier?
2 A. Yes, I do.
3 Q. What is it?
4 A. It's a report that I was required to send periodically to my
5 national authorities so that they could make assessments as to the
6 continuing safety of myself and other Australians who were serving in
7 UNPROFOR at that time.
8 Q. If we could turn to page 2. And I would like to draw your
9 attention to paragraph 5 of your report where you write that:
10 "UNMOs are often subjected to intimidation and threats from local
11 militias who have very loose command structures."
12 First of all, what did you mean by "local militias"?
13 A. It's a combination of the TDF which remained within the UNPAs and
14 also the police forces.
15 Q. And what do you mean by "loose command structures"?
16 A. It means that it was not clear that the individual soldiers or
17 police were within an effective and tight command structure and were in
18 many ways unsupervised in what they did and were allowed to get away with
19 quite significant breaches of the laws of war.
20 Q. Were these problems raised with anybody?
21 A. The general atmosphere, counsel, that these matters were raised
22 as I've indicated before from the local level to the most senior
23 political level on a regular basis, and they continued for the full two
24 years I was there. There's clearly no determination to stamp this sort
25 of activity out.
1 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2850.
4 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
5 MR. OLMSTED:
6 Q. Yesterday we took a look at the Vance Plan, and we saw that it
7 envisioned that UNPROFOR was to prevent the flow of armed forces and
8 weapons in and out of the UNPAs. Why was this a significant task to the
9 peacekeeping mission?
10 A. It was necessary to remove all of the tools of violence out of
11 the area so that a peaceful environment could exist for the civilian
12 population and to create an environment that would allow the return of
14 Q. Was UNPROFOR able to establish complete control over the UNPA
15 entry points?
16 A. It certainly had deployments on the entry points to the UNPAs but
17 these were frustrated by -- quite often by the activities of the Serb
18 forces and they were clearly able to circumvent them because they were
19 able to move heavy equipment around the UNPAs without the UN being aware
20 of it. See from time to time reports of heavy weapons being within the
21 UNPAs for more than a year after they were supposed to be gone. The fact
22 that they were observed means that the Serb forces had established ways
23 of hiding and moving stuff about, despite the efforts of the UN.
24 Q. Do you recall where in particular the problem of controlling the
25 entry points was particularly acute?
1 A. I believe Batina bridge had a particular reputation for being a
2 difficult area.
3 Q. And who or what at Batina bridge was causing problems?
4 A. There was a Serb customs post there which caused some of the
5 problem. On one particular occasion I think there was actually a
6 question of physical violence between the UN check-point there and some
7 militias. I believe they were Arkan elements. Sometime in, I think it
8 was 1992.
9 Q. If we could look at 65 ter 3053. This is tab 124. And this is
10 an UNPROFOR weekly situation assessment dated 4 November 1992. And if we
11 could look under item 3 for Sector East. Assessment states, and I'll
12 just summarise, that BelBat's proposal to withdraw militia CP 500 metres
13 away from the Batina bridge seems to have created tension; that the
14 milicija started to block the road between Sarvas and Nemetin as a result
15 of UN blockade in Batina, Ilok, and Erdut bridges; that the hiding of
16 heavy weapons near the Batina bridge has been observed; and that milicija
17 attempts to recognise the bridges as international posts and insists to
18 take the duty.
19 Can you provide some insight into these issues?
20 A. I was not intimately involved in this particular event. I was
21 reading reports like this and similar ones from my military observers but
22 I was not involved in the management of the response. I'd simply say
23 that this document here reflects my understanding of what was happening
24 at the time.
25 Q. And why was there a push to move the police 500 metres from the
1 bridge in Batina?
2 A. I believe for two reasons: One was that when they were
3 co-located with the UN force they were disruptive and provocative; and
4 secondly, it was the UN's responsibility to control access of military
5 and weapons into the UNPAs, not the police force.
6 Q. And based on the information you received, were these police who
7 were stationed at or near the bridges involved in preventing contraband
8 or armed persons from entering Sector East?
9 A. My understanding at the time is they were there to facilitate it.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, we tender this into evidence.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2851, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
14 MR. OLMSTED:
15 Q. And I'll ask the same question I've asked regarding other issues,
16 is whether these border control problems were raised with anyone in the
18 A. Yes, they were. At -- at -- I believe this incident here in
19 particular was -- or the incident involving the physical violence with
20 the Arkan elements was raised at the highest levels.
21 Q. And was the -- the problem of controlling entry points ever
22 revolved in 1992 or 1993?
23 A. Not to my knowledge.
24 Q. Now, was the issue of freedom of movement important to UNPROFOR
1 A. It was absolutely essential. You can't do your job unless you're
2 able to move about freely, in fact, unexpectedly so that can you turn up,
3 for example, to search for weapons or to ensure the security of an
4 element of the civilian population. But the Serb forces constantly
5 sought to, in one way or another, control or frustrate freedom of
6 movement by various ruses and attempts to require the submission of
7 patrolling plans, inspection of ID cards, et cetera, et cetera. These
8 were clearly not in any way in accordance with the agreements the parties
9 made in regard to the Vance Plan and were part of a centrally
10 co-ordinated effort to frustrate the work of UNPROFOR. We never really
11 in the time that I was there ensured that there was free unfettered UN
12 access at all times.
13 Q. And if we could look at 65 ter 5192. This is tab 150. And if we
14 could scroll down a little bit. This is an UNPROFOR sitrep dated
15 24 June 1992. If we look at the margin on the left side, towards the
16 bottom, can you confirm that you received this report?
17 A. Yes. CMO was marked on the distribution list.
18 Q. Let's turn to page 2. And I want to look at item B, freedom of
19 movement. And this item discusses an incident in which a local police
20 officer stopped an MP patrol and informed them that they needed to notify
21 the local police before starting their patrol.
22 Could you tell us, in what way this kind of incident was a
23 violation of UNPROFOR's freedom of movement?
24 A. Effectively the request here is that the UN should forecast their
25 movements and presume that, at least on occasion, when we went to the
1 local police station to inform them about our starting patrol that they
2 would deny permission. The UN has to be able to go, whatever the day or
3 time or night where it needed to go to carry out it's function without
4 being restricted in its movements in any way.
5 Q. Let's turn to page 3 of this document, since we have it in front
6 of us. And if we could look under 7 (a), we see there's report of the
7 Serbian Territorial Defence refused to withdraw tanks from Trpinja. And
8 under item 7 (b)(5), if we scroll down a little bit, it reports that in
9 Darda the first use of a blue painted M60. Could you tell us what is an
11 A. I -- I don't really know. I'm aware of M60 tanks which is a US
12 tank. My best guess it would be some form of armoured personnel carrier
13 or small armoured car produced in the former Yugoslavia.
14 Q. And it mentions that it's painted blue. What's the significance
15 of that?
16 A. Well, it's a heavy weapon or regarded as a contraband piece of
17 equipment and the Serb forces are endeavouring to make it a legitimate
18 sort of weapon of their police by painting it blue rather than green.
19 But it's still -- it's part of this argument they had that police forces
20 in the former Yugoslavia were routinely equipped with heavy weapons and
21 that there were substantially more police available in all areas of all
22 different types, much larger numbers than the Vance Plan or UNPROFOR ever
24 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may this be admitted into evidence.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2852, Your Honours.
2 MR. OLMSTED:
3 Q. And again I'll return to my -- my question but with regard to
4 freedom of movement of UNPROFOR, was this raised with the RSK political
5 authorities in 1992/1993?
6 A. Are we talking about this particular incident or freedom of
7 movement in general?
8 Q. In general.
9 A. On many, many occasions at all levels, from the local level to
10 the highest political levels, including President Milosevic.
11 Q. Since you raised the issue, when a violation of UNPROFOR's
12 freedom of movement was -- occurred or was observed, was it reported
13 generally or on an incident-by-incident basis?
14 A. Each incident was reported and protested, and, from time to time,
15 the central issue was taken up at the higher levels to try and improve
16 the situation.
17 Q. And yesterday at transcript page 7434, you testified about a
18 meeting you had with Mr. Hadzic in mid-1993 regarding the issue of
19 freedom of movement of UNPROFOR.
20 And if we could have 65 ter 5371 on the screen. And this is
21 tab 181. This is an ICFY report dated 3 May 1993, and the report
22 describes a meeting between ICFY representatives and Mr. Hadzic and
23 Misa Milosevic. Did you attend this meeting?
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. And if we could turn to page 2 and focus in on item number 2. It
1 reports that:
2 "Brigadier Wilson raised the question of UNPROFOR's freedom of
3 movement, particularly in Sectors North and South. On this, Mr. Hadzic
4 commented that once he returned to Knin this would be dealt with in a
5 favourable way [sic] to UNPROFOR."
6 Is this the meeting you were referring to yesterday?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. Do you recall who was impeding freedom of movement of UNPROFOR at
9 the time?
10 A. I can't recall the detail at this range. My understanding was
11 that the Force Commander, then General Wahlgren, asked me to raise the
12 matter with Mr. Hadzic, and I did this. And Mr. Hadzic, as indicated in
13 the report, said he would do something about it and my belief is there
14 was temporary improvement as a result of Mr. Hadzic's intervention.
15 MR. OLMSTED: May this be admitted into evidence.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
17 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2853.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
19 MR. OLMSTED:
20 Q. Besides RSK armed forces and, of course, JNA until they
21 officially withdrew, were there other armed groups operating in the UNPAs
22 in 1992 and 1993?
23 A. Yes, there were. There were elements like Arkan and various
24 other people, names like the Red Berets or the White Eagles. There were
25 a number of different militias, or whatever they might be called, who
1 were able to move with apparent freedom throughout the whole of the
3 Q. How were they able to do that, move throughout the UNPAs
5 A. Well, particularly early -- early in the peace when the Serb
6 forces were still controlling the movement within the UNPAs, they openly
7 carried arms - I'm talking now about a group like Arkan's forces - and
8 they would move through check-points without any attempt to supervise or
9 control them, and I therefore assumed that they had freedom of movement
10 and authority from the highest levels to be able to move through the area
11 armed. Local police forces and militias would simply wave them through.
12 Later, when the UN was controlling movement, they -- they would
13 be less blatant about displaying their weapons but they -- they would
14 still move through the area in their uniforms and at that time with the
15 continued co-operation of the local authorities.
16 Q. And what kind of activities were these groups that were coming in
17 and operating in the UNPAs engaging in?
18 A. Well, the reports indicated that they were involved in harassment
19 of the civilian population, activities like smuggling, looting.
20 Q. Let's take a look at a document, 65 ter 1824. This is 108.
21 Looking at the subject heading, this is an UNPROFOR update dated
22 10 October 1993. Who sent this update?
23 A. I did.
24 Q. And can you tell us what -- what were the purpose of these types
25 of updates?
1 A. I'd have to look at the contents of it, counsel.
2 Q. Just generally. Is this a one-off update or is this something
3 that you would send on a regular basis?
4 A. I would have to look at the contents, I'm sorry.
5 Q. Fair enough. Why don't we then turn to page 2.
6 A. Okay. This is an example of a daily report which was prepared
7 within the International Conference for the former Yugoslavia, and its
8 purpose was to update the co-chairman on operational developments within
9 UNPROFOR's area of responsibility in the previous 24 hours. They were
10 done at least daily. Sometimes if the situation was tense or there was a
11 particular issue in UNPROFOR, it would be done more often.
12 Q. And if we look under - I'm just checking the paragraph, yes -
13 paragraph 1, you describe an incident in which Arkan's troops forced
14 their way across Batina bridge despite the efforts of BelBat soldiers.
15 You alluded to an incident a moment ago, is this the incident you
16 were alluding to?
17 A. Yes. At that time I incorrectly said it was 1992. It was
18 clearly 1993.
19 Q. And why did you feel compelled to include this incident in your
21 A. Because it was a significant event that forces had actually come
22 to physical contact with each other and it was a very provocative and
23 gross violation of the agreements that existed.
24 Q. And did UNPROFOR or the representatives at ICFY raise this
25 incident with the RSK political leadership?
1 A. I don't know, counsel.
2 Q. Are you aware of any action that was taken at the local level
3 with regard to this situation?
4 A. I can't recall.
5 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, may this be admitted into evidence.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2854, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
9 MR. OLMSTED: If we could look at 65 ter 5460. This is tab 189.
10 Q. This is an UNPROFOR update dated 22 October 1993, and it's sent
11 from Colonel Peeters. Who was he?
12 A. He was a liaison officer from UNPROFOR headquarters who was
13 deployed -- he and a small group were deployed to Geneva from Zagreb in
14 early October, I believe it was, 1993, to perform the function that I had
15 previously been forming as liaison officer to the conference.
16 Q. If we could turn the page. By -- are you saying by the
17 22nd of October you are no longer UNPROFOR liaison for the ICFY?
18 A. Yes. Technically, yes.
19 Q. And this document looks similar to the one we just looked at at
20 least in format. Is it the same kind of procedure that was being
21 followed by Colonel Peeters as you had performed prior to leaving that
23 A. Exactly.
24 Q. And if we look under item 1, it is noted that President Hadzic
25 accompanied by Arkan entered Baranja apparently for the participation in
1 the session of the Krajina parliament in Beli Manastir.
2 Is this the same or is it a different incident than the one that
3 you reported on?
4 A. I -- I believe it's the same. And just curious that they'd be
5 referring to an incident on the 11th of October when the report was
6 written on the 21st or the 22nd of October. But I wasn't the author, so
7 I don't know why they did that.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2855, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. OLMSTED:
13 Q. How were the borders of the UNPAs determined under the
14 Vance Plan?
15 A. By negotiation with the party, but defined in the report as
16 particular "opstina" or parts of "opstina" and listed in detail in the
17 report in the -- in the plan.
18 Q. Did the UNPA borders go all the way to the confrontation lines?
19 A. No, they didn't and that created areas which became known as the
20 pink zones. That's an area between the actually confrontation line and
21 the borders that were defined in the Vance Plan as the UNPA boundaries.
22 Q. And were UNMOs deployed in the pink zones?
23 A. Yes, they were. An additional force of observers was sent to
24 UNPROFOR to enable this to happen and their task was to patrol the pink
25 zones and ensure that they were demilitarised.
1 MR. OLMSTED: I would like to return to 65 ter 1212 which has
2 already been admitted. And it's been admitted as P2847. Again, this is
3 the UN Secretary-General's report from 27 July 1992.
4 Q. If we could turn to page 3 and if we look under paragraph 10, the
5 Secretary-General reports that Security Council Resolution 762
6 recommended the establishment of a joint commission to oversee and
7 monitor the process of restoration of the Croatian government's authority
8 in the pink zones. Did the RSK political authorities agree that the pink
9 zones should be restored to the Croatian government's authority?
10 A. No, they didn't. They were impeccably opposed.
11 Q. What was their position regarding the pink zones?
12 A. These were Serb areas that had been liberated with blood and they
13 would never hand them over.
14 Q. If we could have 65 ter 5156 on the screen. This is tab 146.
15 This is an UNPROFOR sitrep dated 9 May 1992. And under item 1, the
16 sitrep reports that a mean -- that at a meeting between both Mr. Hadzic
17 and Minister of Defence Spanovic:
18 "They took forceful position on UNPROFOR deployment within
19 administrative rather than ethnical boundaries in Krajina. They stress
20 that, as a result of this, JNA, Territorial Defence, and police units
21 have the obligation to defend almost 50.000 Serbs to be abandoned between
22 UNPA's boundaries and cease-fire lines and they are not going to withdraw
23 from their positions unless UNPROFOR moves there."
24 Brigadier, were any Serb armed forces in fact present in the pink
1 A. Yes, they were. I think, counsel, we have to keep in mind this
2 is May 1992, and UNPROFOR didn't assume responsibility for the UNPA in
3 Sector East until June, I believe. So this reflects a negotiating
4 process between the local Serb authorities and UNPROFOR to establish the
6 Q. And after that process was complete, could you tell us, what
7 types of Serb forces were in the pink zones?
8 A. My -- my belief is that they were one form or another of police
9 forces. And there were TDF elements who were not openly armed but they
10 were present there.
11 Q. And if we could turn to page 2, and I think if we look at -- I
12 think it's probably the third dash down. It reports that Mr. Hadzic and
13 Spanovic stated:
14 "Even if JNA gets order to withdraw most of its officers and men
15 will stay and join the TD or police units to fight CA because up to 95
16 per cent of JNA personnel here are locals."
17 Did this in fact occur, this absorption of former JNA personnel
18 into local forces?
19 A. Well, in theory, both in the Krajina and in Bosnia, this was the
20 position that the JNA withdrew and with all its forces and all its
21 personnel. But we know in reality that they -- they didn't withdraw
22 fully at all. They continued to provide personnel, logistic support,
23 direction, and various other forms of support. But this was part of the
24 well orchestrated, centrally controlled, centrally scripted plan to
25 circumvent the Vance Plan and to avoid honouring agreements, was done at
1 the highest level - one suspects under the direction of Milosevic - but
2 carried out by his people on the ground, including Mr. Hadzic.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
4 MR. OLMSTED: Yes.
5 JUDGE DELVOIE: Just one clarification. When reading this part
6 of the report, you said that men will stay and join TD or police units.
7 Brigadier Wilson, could you please look at that part of the text
8 and tell me what TD means or is it something else that is written there?
9 THE WITNESS: It does state TD, Your Honour, and TD refers to the
10 Territorial Defence.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
14 THE REGISTRAR: As Exhibit P2856, Your Honours.
15 MR. OLMSTED: If we could have 65 ter 1367 on the screen. This
16 is tab 65.
17 Q. This is an UNPROFOR memorandum from General Nambiar to
18 Mr. Goulding dated 14 November 1992. And if we could turn the page, we
19 can see that this memorandum attaches a translation of a letter from the
20 RSK state committee for co-operation with UNPROFOR sent to the UNPROFOR
21 Force Commander and the Deputy Force Commander.
22 Were you aware that this committee for co-operation existed?
23 A. No. Well, I may have at the time, but I don't recall it now.
24 Q. You didn't have any direct interactions with them.
25 A. None whatsoever.
1 Q. If we could turn to page 6, and if we could look at the second
2 paragraph on this page, the committee writes that:
3 "On a several occasions we proposed the correction of borders of
4 the protected area to take into consideration at least the actual
5 situation when our positions are in question."
6 And if we could then go to the third paragraph, the committee
7 goes on to write:
8 "If this proposal were accepted, the Croatian refugees would
9 return to the territory in which they represented ...
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Try again, Mr. Olmsted.
12 MR. OLMSTED: Testing ...
13 I think it's resolved, Mr. President.
14 Q. So we're looking at the third paragraph. The committee goes on
15 to state:
16 "If this proposal were accepted, the Croatian refugees would
17 return to the territory in which they represent an ethnic majority and
18 where the Croatian authority is functioning and the Serb refugees would
19 go back into their ethnic area where the RSK authority is in
21 From the perspective of UN peacekeeping, did this type of
22 proposal present any issues?
23 A. It was impossible to act upon because the only way that
24 boundaries could be changed was agreement between the parties and that's
25 effectively the responsibility of the co-chairman, not UNPROFOR.
1 UNPROFOR couldn't possibly facilitate -- such an agreement would be done
2 at the very highest levels, probably between Presidents Tudjman and
3 Milosevic. This is wishful thinking, perhaps delaying, obscuring the
4 facts, whatever you wish, but it's a waste of time.
5 Q. What would have been the practical effects of this proposal of
6 moving the boundaries and allowing certain refugees to enter into
7 Serb-controlled areas and other refugees into Croatian areas?
8 A. I -- I couldn't speculate on that without knowing the detail of
9 the particular map and numbers and history, et cetera. It's not just not
10 possible to comment on that, I'm sorry.
11 Q. Fair enough. If we could turn to page 3, and if we look at the
12 third paragraph on this page, the committee writes that:
13 "At all joint commission meetings, your
14 Military Observers," presumably, UNPROFOR Military Observers "report that
15 the Croatian side is the only one violating the cease-fire."
16 This letter is from November 1992. Is that a correct assertion
17 as to the situation in November of 1992 with regard to cease-fire
19 A. No, it's a gross misinterpretation.
20 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2857.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MR. OLMSTED:
25 Q. Based on the information you were receiving from the field, what
1 was happening to the Croatian population in the pink zones in 1992 and
3 A. They were being harassed, intimidated, encouraged to leave.
4 Q. What was happening to their houses?
5 A. In some cases, they were destroyed after they left. And in some
6 cases, they were damaged while they were still residing there.
7 Mr. OLMSTED: If we could have 65 ter 3052 on the screen. This
8 is tab 123.
9 THE WITNESS: I'm sorry, there is a slight addendum to that
10 answer. In some case they were being, once vacated, occupied by Serb
11 refugees from other areas.
12 MR. OLMSTED:
13 Q. Thank you for the clarification. If we could have 65 ter 3052 on
14 the screen. This is an UNPROFOR weekly situation assessment dated
15 28 October 1992. And if we could look under nature of problems in
16 Sector East, I think it's the fifth bullet point or dash down, it is
18 "Increased number of Krajina custom officers and milicija are
19 observed at Batina bridge."
20 I think you've alluded to this before, but was there a legitimate
21 customs service operating at this time period?
22 A. I don't -- I don't know the answer to that, I'm sorry.
23 Q. Well, let's turn to page 4. And we can see at the top, it's
25 "The destruction of Croatian houses inside pink zone continues
1 mainly in the zone number 2 and sometimes in UNPA too."
2 Was that the situation in the pink zones, based upon the
3 information that you were receiving?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you recall, based on the information you were receiving, who
6 were the perpetrators of these kind of crimes against the non-Serb
7 population in the pink zones?
8 A. Based on reports that I saw, it was in many cases carried out by
9 the Territorial Defence force or the special police.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2858, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
14 MR. OLMSTED:
15 Q. Did UNPROFOR make any demands on the RSK authorities with regard
16 to the removal of Serb armed forces from the pink zones?
17 A. Yes, I believe there were many protests sort of made to the Serb
18 authorities where there were clear violations of the agreements.
19 Q. And did the RSK authorities withdraw these forces from the pink
20 zones while you were working in the former Yugoslavia?
21 A. I -- it's accurate to say they attempted to minimise their
22 position there rather than to remove them. They would camouflage weapons
23 or take uniforms off but still, in effect, remain there.
24 Q. And if we could look at 65 ter 1799. This is tab 102. This is
25 an UNPROFOR daily sitrep dated 23 September 1992. And if we look at the
1 bottom of the page, can you confirm that you received this report?
2 A. Yes. My title is on the distribution list.
3 Q. And if we could turn to page 8 and look at the section on
4 Sector North. It's reported that:
5 "Regional commanders said they have no order to discuss any
6 withdrawal of special milicija from the pink areas."
7 Is that consistent with your recollection of the situation in the
8 pink zones?
9 A. It's one of the excuses given. It's just a delaying tactic.
10 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
12 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2859, Your Honours.
13 MR. OLMSTED:
14 Q. You've already testified regarding crimes committed against
15 non-Serb population, including them being forced from their homes. How
16 often would you receive reports regarding expulsions in the UNPAs while
17 you were CMO?
18 A. "Explosions," I'm not sure what you mean by that term, counsel.
19 Q. I used the term "expulsions." I suppose you could also use the
20 term, as you use it, "forced from their homes."
21 A. I understand you mean were properties blown up.
22 Q. No. Reports of people expelled from their homes.
23 A. Oh, it was routine. I can't say it was daily but it was
24 certainly least weekly. You'd get reports of that sort of activity.
9 [Private session]
11 Page 7499 redacted. Private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: We're in open session, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Please proceed, Mr. Olmsted.
18 MR. OLMSTED: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Brigadier, I'd like to show you another document that's in the
20 same vein. If we could have 65 ter 5934 on the screen. This is tab 212.
21 [Prosecution counsel confer]
22 MR. OLMSTED:
23 Q. Sir, this is an UNMO memorandum dated 22 April 1992. Could you
24 tell us, who is forwarding this information to DCA Belgrade?
25 A. UNPROFOR headquarters. It's not my signature. So I'm -- sorry.
1 It was the UNMO headquarters, within UNPROFOR headquarters. A
2 lieutenant-colonel signed it but it's not -- it's not my signature.
3 Q. And he signed it on your behalf?
4 A. He has.
5 Q. And that was within procedure? He could do that?
6 A. Perfectly normal. Unless it was a matter of policy or a
7 significant document.
8 Q. And if we could turn to page 2. Unfortunately, we don't have a
9 collection of UNMO individual reports. Would this be an example of --
10 of -- of perhaps early on an UNMO document?
11 A. It's unusually brief. To be honest, they would normal be more
13 Q. Let's turn to the next page before we talk about the substance.
14 And there is a full -- it's handwritten but there is a full report
15 that -- that -- that follows. Was it unusual for reports to be
16 handwritten at this April 1992 time-period?
17 A. It was quite common. We were still assembling the resources we
18 needed to do the job, and computers and typewriters were in short supply.
19 Q. And perhaps if we turn to page 8. And we see at the bottom, we
20 see signatures. One is of an UNMO Osijek official and the other one
21 is -- it looks like a BelBat official. Was that common for them to
22 submit joint reports?
23 A. No, it wasn't. Without reading the report in detail, I'm not
24 sure why they would do that.
25 Q. Well, let's -- I don't want to spend a tremendous amount of time
1 on the content of this memorandum. I think if we turn to page 2, it more
2 or less summarises what its contents is.
3 And I think we see it says:
4 "Hereby a report of events on 20 April 1992 concerning
5 expelled-refugees from Tenja, Marinci and Vukovar."
6 And then it mentioned that UNMO, looks like 21 and B1 were
7 present. They arrived in -- looks like 2-sector. I'm not really sure, I
8 can't really read the handwriting.
9 And then item 2 states:
10 "Please inform B-HQ and HQ UNPROFOR in Sarajevo to take necessary
12 What would be the necessary steps when a report such as this
13 regarding expulsions was sent up the chain?
14 A. There was an expectations that higher authority would protest or
15 demand some corrective action would be taken, but it was presenting the
16 evidence so that higher commanders could take some action.
17 MR. OLMSTED: May this be admitted into evidence, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2861, Your Honours.
20 [Prosecution counsel confer]
21 MR. OLMSTED: If we may have 65 ter 5204 on the screen. This is
22 tab 152.
23 Q. And this is a cover memo. If we could turn to page 2. And now
24 we see on page 2 a daily sit report -- sitrep from HQ UN CIVPOL
25 Sector East dated 10 July 1992. And looking at the left-hand margin,
1 were you a recipient of this report?
2 A. Yes, I was.
3 Q. And if we could turn to page 3. And we'll -- this -- this page
4 should suffice. But we can see that the document reports on a number of
5 crimes committed against non-Serbs; for instance, the first one is a --
6 is a murder. The section actually relates to a detainee, and the one
7 after that deals with looting, it appears.
8 Was this the sort of the information you were receiving from the
9 field regarding criminal activities in the sectors?
10 A. It's typical.
11 Q. And were the local police responsive to these kind of crimes when
12 they were informed about them from UN CIVPOL or other UNPROFOR organs?
13 A. My understanding was they were uncooperative.
14 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2862.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 MR. OLMSTED:
19 Q. In 1992 and 1993, what was happening to non-Serb religious
20 buildings in the UNPAs and pink zones?
21 A. Many of them had been destroyed or at least damaged prior to
22 UNPROFOR's arrival. But destruction continued throughout the period
24 Q. Did you personally witness any of this destruction?
25 A. Well, I -- I certainly witnessed the effects, not the actual
2 Q. Could you give an example where you did -- I know you didn't see
3 the actually destruction of that but where you witnessed the results.
4 A. Yes, I recall in 1992, early 1992, going through a village in
5 Sector North which had many destroyed houses but an intact mosque. On a
6 later visit to my Military Observers there I noticed that the mosque had
7 been destroyed by an explosion.
8 Q. And can you tell us what level of destruction was it with regard
9 to that mosque? Was it still standing or was it reduced to nothing?
10 A. Parts of it were still standing, the minaret had largely been
11 brought to the ground.
12 Q. Based on your experience as a military officer, were you able to
13 assess the amount of explosion -- explosives that would have been
14 necessary to -- to cause that kind of damage?
15 A. No. I -- I couldn't guesstimate.
16 Q. Let's look at 65 ter 3622. This is tab 137. And this is an
17 UNPROFOR military information summary dated 9 September 1992. And if we
18 look under info, can you confirm that you received this report?
19 A. I did.
20 Q. And if we could turn to page 22, I believe. And if we look under
21 Sector South, towards the bottom, it is reported that:
22 "Extremists actions have increased and all are aimed at
23 destruction of Croatian houses and Catholic churches?"
24 Brigadier, did this kind of destruction of religious property
25 follow particular events?
1 A. No, it appeared it was at random and rarely a whole series at the
2 same time, usually isolated incidents, although I think there was a
3 period when I was in Geneva that there was a concerted effort to destroy
4 places of worship and there was a higher level representation made to ask
5 that this cease. I'm not quite sure of the exact date but I do remember
6 there was wave of destruction. It could have been in September of 1992,
7 when there was the push from the Croatian government for the return of
9 Q. You testified that there was a higher level, I believe,
10 representation made to ask for this to cease. Who was that
11 representation directed to?
12 A. I believe it was Mr. Thornberry writing to the Krajina
13 authorities. Whether that was Mr. Hadzic, I can't recall.
14 Q. Since we're on this document, if we could turn to page 6. And if
15 we could look under item number 2 of the entry for 31 August/1 September.
16 The summary reports that letters were sent on 1 September 1992 to
17 Mr. Martic protesting strongly against two attempts at refusing UN
18 personnel freedom of movement. Was that the practice to send these types
19 of letters?
20 A. Yes, it was. But to different people from time to time.
21 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
22 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
23 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2863, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
25 MR. OLMSTED:
1 Q. If we could have on the screen 65 ter 5256. This is tab 162.
2 And we see -- or if we could draw your attention to the left-hand margin.
3 Did you receive this report?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you comment on what occasions you would receive an individual
6 report from a sector opposed to what we've been looking at largely, which
7 is UNPROFOR-level reports?
8 A. I think we received copies of the -- all sector reports came in
9 and my staff processed those and prepared a daily briefing for the
10 Military Observers' headquarters. That briefing preceded the
11 Force Commanders' conference so that I was broadly aware of what the
12 operational situation was before attending the Force Commanders'
14 Q. And if we could turn to page 2. And if we could look at item C.
15 It's reported that terrorism is going on, and then lists damage to seven
16 Croat houses, as well as an attack on Catholic church in Draz. Is this
17 an example of the information you were receiving regarding property
19 A. This is a typical report of 1992 and 1993.
20 Q. And since we have this document in front of us, if we could look
21 at the next item, I think it's item D. The reports -- speaks about an
22 incident in which a BelBat APC ran over an anti-tank mine that appeared
23 to have been deliberately planted on the road in Sector East. Were you
24 aware of similar such incidents involving your own UNMOs?
25 A. Yes. In early 1992, while I was still deployed in Sarajevo, one
1 of my Military Observer's vehicles was subject of a similar incident,
2 where they drove over an anti-tank mine placed on a road that had
3 previously allowed for clear passage and safe passage. Somebody had
4 deliberately mined the road.
5 Q. And what happened to your officer?
6 A. He was very badly wounded, lost lower part of one leg and had to
7 be repatriated to his home country.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2864, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
12 MR. OLMSTED:
13 Q. You -- you testified a moment ago about the unresponsiveness of
14 the local police when crimes against the non-Serb population were
15 reported to them by UNPROFOR organs. I'd like to show you 65 ter 5296.
16 This is tab 170. This is a report, an UN report on the situation of
17 human rights in the territory of former Yugoslavia prepared by the
18 Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights and its date is
19 17 November 1992.
20 And if we could turn to page 24, we see at the bottom, begins a
21 section on -- section A on United Nations Protected Areas. And if we
22 could just turn the page, to 25, the sections continue and they cover the
23 various -- the four UNPAs.
24 Did you have an opportunity to review these sections on the UNPAs
25 before you testified?
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. I want to draw your attention to paragraph 78. And this is under
3 the section dealing with Sector South. And it reports that:
4 "The courts are still not functioning properly and the
5 investigative processes of the local police have, in the opinion of
6 UNPROFOR officials, almost ceased to exist."
7 Did you share that assessment?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Was this only a problem in Sector South?
10 A. No. It applied in all of the UNPAs.
11 Q. And what was your assessment of what was at the root of the local
12 police's failure to prevent and investigate crimes against non-Serbs?
13 A. It was the absence of an effective command of chain -- a chain of
14 command and it was an absence of direction from higher authorities to
15 make sure that normal policing, normal safe environments were established
16 in the UNPAs.
17 Q. To your knowledge, was this issue of a lack of law enforcement
18 raised with the RSK authorities?
19 A. Yes, I understood -- understand it was raised with them on many
21 Q. You mentioned, I believe it was last session, that Serb refugees
22 were occupying Croat homes in the pink zones. Did this occur elsewhere?
23 A. Yes. Also within the UNPAs proper.
24 Q. And if we could turn to page -- I think it's the next page.
25 Yes, and if we could focus in on paragraph 84. It in fact,
1 discusses the issue of placing Serb refugees in empty houses for those
2 who fled sector -- the empty houses of those who fled Sector East. What
3 impact did this bringing Serb refugees into empty houses of Croats have
4 on the -- the implementation of the UN peacekeeping plan?
5 A. Well, it -- it changed the ethnic composition of the area. Made
6 things like having a -- a representational or in proportion to all
7 nationalities in, for example, the police force virtually impossible.
8 And it was an attempt to, I guess, establish facts on the ground that
9 would affect the ultimate political settlement. But the reality was that
10 these Serb refugees had -- had also been forced to -- to leave or elected
11 to leave other locations and needed somewhere to leave. These were empty
13 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2865, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
17 MR. OLMSTED:
18 Q. You have testified about some events relating to the BelBat, the
19 Belgian battalion that was based in Sector East. How would you evaluate
20 the performance of BelBat?
21 A. BelBat was a very professional military unit. It would have been
22 one of the best battalions in UNPROFOR. And because it carried out its
23 work professionally, there was a lot of tension with the local Serb
25 Q. Do you recall how the RSK political authorities reacted to
1 BelBat's activities?
2 A. I believe they wanted them withdrawn and not replaced with
3 another Belgian battalion.
4 Q. Do you recall Mr. Hadzic's view on this issue?
5 A. I believe he wrote to the UN expressing exactly that view.
6 Q. If we could look at 65 ter 1275. This is tab 40. And I'm
7 interested in the article that begins on the bottom right, an article by
8 Belgrade "Tanjug" dated 25 September 1992 and the article reports that
9 Mr. Hadzic stated that he agreed with the idea that withdrawal of the
10 Belgian battalion from Baranja be requested as urgently as possible
11 because of the troops' improper behaviour and the problems they make for
12 local authorities. In what way had the BelBat troops behaved improperly,
13 to your knowledge?
14 A. I don't believe they had acted improperly at all. They had acted
15 professionally in accordance with their mission and with the mandate of
16 UNPROFOR. They had attempted to hold the Serb authorities in the area
17 accountable for their actions. They had attempted to honestly restrict
18 the movement of the armed elements and weapons, and this had caused great
19 tension with the Serbs at the local level.
20 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2866, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
24 MR. OLMSTED:
25 Q. How important to the UN peacekeeping plan was the return of
1 non-Serb refugees to the UNPAs?
2 A. The -- the mission of -- of UNPROFOR was to help create an
3 environment that would allow for the eventual return of Croat population
4 to the UNPAs.
5 Sorry, I lost track much the question.
6 Q. You more or less answered it. I was asking how important it was
7 to the mission?
8 A. Ultimately, it was central.
9 Q. And what was the Croatian government's position regarding
11 A. They were insistent, impatient. They wanted it to happen before
12 there was a political settlement.
13 Q. What was the position of the RSK political leadership towards
14 returns of -- of Croats?
15 A. It was widely expressed that the two nations couldn't live
16 together again and that separation would need be to set in concrete.
17 Q. If we could look at 65 ter 1336. This is tab 55. And this is an
18 UNPROFOR military information summary. It's dated 2 November 1992. And
19 if we look under the info section, can you confirm that you received this
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. And if we could turn to page 5 of the report. If we could look
23 at item D, Sector South, the summary reports:
24 "The local milicija are ready to deploy to deny access of any
25 Croatian coming back into the Serb-controlled areas."
1 Were you aware of these types of deployments or plans for
2 deployments in the event there were returns?
3 A. Throughout the whole period 1992 to 1993, there were regular
4 threats from the Croat forces to invade the UNPAs. This was quite
5 unsettling for the environment. Kept the Serb authorities on edge. It
6 was destabilising for the local population and led to reports like this
7 where the Serbs were ready to deploy forces to counter a perceived
9 Q. Now this reports that they are being deployed to prevent the
10 returns not to prevent an invasion by Croat forces.
11 A. Well, it says "any Croat coming back." It's ambiguous, in my
12 view whether it's talking about military action or return of refugees.
13 Same thing. The threat to return refugees or military action had the
14 same destabilising effect upon the environment in the UNPAs.
15 Q. If we could look further down under Sector South, it is reported:
16 "The training of new milicija is likely to continue if not
18 What was the concern about the training of new milicija?
19 A. I -- I'm unfamiliar with this particular situation.
20 Q. Let's turn to page 10 then. And if we look at the top of the
21 page, we see the -- we see reference to a -- two 120-millimetre MOR
22 (BUM-52). What -- what is that?
23 A. These are 120-millimetre mortars. They're a heavy weapon. It's
24 in clear violation of the agreements.
25 Q. And if we look under the 28th of October, down towards the
1 bottom, 1B, the UNMO reported:
2 "Erdut 1 blue B VP/M80A at milicija HQ."
3 Then it says:
4 "This is a violation of the Vance Plan, and may even be
5 considered as a provocation because the location is only a few hundred
6 metres away from SHQ."
7 First, what is a B VP/M80A?
8 A. I believe it's an armoured personnel carrier.
9 Q. And why could the location of this vehicle a few hundred metres
10 from SHQ be considered a provocation?
11 A. SHQ is the sector headquarters and they are effectively saying we
12 are aware that this is a violation and it's here anyway and you can't do
13 anything about it. It is highly provocative. It's arrogant.
14 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
15 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2867, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
18 MR. OLMSTED:
19 Q. Brigadier, were you aware of the discovery of a mass grave in
20 Ovcara in 1992?
21 A. Yes, I was.
22 Q. And when did you first learn that there had been a massacre at
24 A. During the -- the period of UNMLOY prior to the deployment of
25 UNPROFOR. When travelling around with Croat liaison officers they
1 alleged that there had been a massacre of patients from the
2 Vukovar Hospital during the war and that there was a mass grave somewhere
3 in Sector East.
4 Q. And can you recall when during your mission, your UNMLOY mission?
5 Was this towards the beginning, the middle or end, as far as when you
6 received this information?
7 A. Very early in the process. So mid-January 1992.
8 Q. If we could have 65 ter 5282 on the screen. This is tab 168.
9 This is a military information summary dated 26 October 1992. And it's a
10 bit hard to read, but if we could zoom in -- yes. Under info section.
11 Can you confirm that you received this?
12 A. This is 1992, I'm sorry?
13 Q. Yes. It's 26 October 1992.
14 A. Yes, I would have received this.
15 Q. And if we could turn to page 6. And if we look under
16 17/18 October 1992, item 3, the summary reports:
17 "The reconnaissance of a possible mass grave near Ovcara ... was
18 conducted by sector staff, UN CIVPOL, and a representative of UNHCR."
19 And the site is being guarded by RusBat. Why was it necessary to
20 post guards at this site?
21 A. To secure a crime scene.
22 Q. Was that within the mandate of -- of UNPROFOR?
23 A. Yes, it was.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2868, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 MR. OLMSTED:
4 Q. Brigadier, we've, through the course of your testimony, talked
5 about a number of impediments to UNPROFOR's mission: Freedom of
6 movement, border control, lack of demilitarisation, et cetera.
7 Based on all those factors, what conclusions did you arrive at
8 regarding the RSK authority's attitude towards the Vance Plan?
9 A. I believe that prior to UNPROFOR's deployment in former
10 Yugoslavia a plan was worked out and -- to be carried out or directed
11 from the highest levels to negate, wherever possible, the -- the
12 Vance Plan and to avoid compliance, to set up means of bypassing
13 processes, so that the circumstances on the ground would in no way
14 diminish the Serb control of the area and the prospects for long-term
15 retention of the areas they captured during the war.
16 Q. Let us look at 65 ter 5294. This is tab 169. This document is
17 dated 15 November 1992. Can you tell us, what is this document?
18 A. It's my end-of-tour report to my national authorities on
19 completion of my time as Chief Military Observer in UNPROFOR.
20 Q. And if we could turn to page 3 of this report. You summarise the
21 UNPROFOR operational situation in Croatia, focussing particularly on the
22 role of the local police forces. And I think that is a consistent with
23 what you were saying early, that they were a major impediment to the
24 mission; is that correct?
25 A. That's true.
1 Q. And you conclude with the remark at the end of the paragraph:
2 "The political leadership is clearly responsive to directives
3 from Belgrade and actively opposes UNPROFOR's attempts to fulfil its
5 Now, who were you referring to when you use the term "political
7 A. I'm talking about the entire Serb leadership from
8 President Milosevic down through the political leadership of the Serb
9 Republic of the Krajina, down to the local level. It's the total
11 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
13 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2869.
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
15 MR. OLMSTED:
16 Q. Sir, did other members of the UNPROFOR leadership share your view
17 that the RSK political leadership or -- and even higher, the higher
18 levels of leadership, was actively opposing UNPROFOR's attempts to fulfil
19 its mandate?
20 A. I believe this was a unanimous view, Your Honour.
21 Q. How would you describe your superior, General Nambiar, as a
22 Force Commander?
23 A. Highly professional.
24 Q. And how well did he understand the situation in the UNPAs?
25 A. Thoroughly.
1 Q. And if we could have 65 ter 1349 on the screen. This is tab 60.
2 What we have in front of us is a coded cable from General Nambiar to
3 Mr. Goulding dated 8 November 1992. Do you recognise the signature to
4 the right of the document number, UNPROFOR 8-290?
5 A. I do. That's General Satish Nambiar's signature.
6 Q. Under paragraph 1, General Nambiar writes:
7 "It is amply clear that notwithstanding all their assurances of
8 co-operation and support for the Vance Plan and other associated
9 Security Council Resolutions, the Serb authorities in the UNPAs have
10 implemented only those aspects of the plan that suited them and have
11 blocked progress on further implementation to gain time for furtherance
12 of other political and military objectives. In effect, they have managed
13 to use our deployment and presence to get the Croatians 'off their back'
14 in the UNPAs, thus enabling them to intensify activities in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. They have also used our presence to consolidate
16 their rule in the pink zones, and have been terrorising and seeking to
17 drive out remaining Croatian residents, usually very old people."
18 General Nambiar uses quite a few words but how does this compare
19 to your assessment?
20 A. It's much more eloquent than my evidence but I agree with it
22 Q. Now, if we look at paragraph 2, he lists as an option a chapter 7
23 enforcement action. What would that have entailed?
24 A. It would have had a lot of implications, but ultimately it would
25 mean that UNPROFOR would have had to fight the local forces to impose its
2 Q. At this stage, was that a likely scenario to actually to be
4 A. It is extremely difficult to transition from a peacekeeping force
5 where you are lightly deployed on the ground into an effective fighting
6 force. It requires retraining, re-equipping, reorganisation,
7 redeployment. Extremely difficult to do.
8 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honour, we'd like to tender this into
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
11 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2870, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 MR. OLMSTED:
14 Q. I would like to play a video for you. This is P2328, tab 145.
15 And if we could just display it but before playing it for the witness.
16 Sir, do you recognise the person who is facing us in this initial
18 A. The person on the left is Mr. Hadzic.
19 MR. OLMSTED: If we could now play the video.
20 [Video-clip played]
21 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "... useful for the Serbian people,
22 but ..."
23 MR. OLMSTED: Could we re-start it and play it again.
24 [Video-clip played]
25 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "My views is that this
1 Vance-Owen Plan should be accepted, not because it is useful for Serbian
2 people, but because it is not achievable. As a friend of mine, a
3 high-ranking Serbian politician from Republika Srpska said - I can even
4 mention his name - Momcilo Krajisnik - he said, and it is now funny, but
5 also a bit sad, because it clearly a misunderstanding: We cannot accept
6 this plan because it is not feasible. Let Vance and Owen, Izetbegovic
7 and Boban think about it, but we should have accepted it and showed the
8 the world we are for peace and continue to hinder this plan and do our
9 job of organising Serbian countries because it is obvious the world does
10 not recognise the war anymore. We saw how the terrorist in France was
11 treated ..."
12 MR. OLMSTED:
13 Q. We heard Mr. Hadzic state that he suggested to Momcilo Krajisnik
14 that we should accept the Vance-Owen Plan "and show the world we are for
15 peace and continue to hinder this plan and do our job of organising
16 Serbian countries."
17 How does this suggestion during this interview compare to how you
18 and other UNPROFOR representatives perceived the RSK's leadership's
19 attitude towards the Vance Plan?
20 A. As I indicated earlier, we believe there was a centrally directed
21 preconceived idea to circumvents the Vance Plan and to frustrate it in
22 any way possible. This is a media statement of probably an
23 understatement of what they intended to do. I believe this view was
24 shared with other key personnel within UNPROFOR headquarters.
25 Q. You testified that in December 1992, you were redeployed to the
1 ICFY as -- well, two hats: Military advisor as well as UNPROFOR liaison
3 Could you tell us - I don't believe you had an opportunity to
4 before - what were your primary duties in those positions?
5 A. They varied over time. Initially, I was ensuring there was a
6 flow of information from UNPROFOR headquarters to the co-chairman and
7 also in the other direction, so the Force Commander would know what
8 progress was taking place at the conference. It was also from time to
9 time various proposals with about military aspects in the negotiations
10 which I offered advice on the feasibility or otherwise of implementing
11 those proposals.
12 Later, when Mr. Stoltenberg replaced Mr. Vance, he was appointed
13 the Secretary-General special representative and effectively the
14 Force Commander then reported to New York through Mr. Stoltenberg. At
15 that time my task as military assistant became more important and I was
16 helping with the -- Mr. Vance along with Mr. Stoltenberg's interface with
17 the Force Commander in the headquarters to make sure that he was able to
18 perform his role as the Special Representative.
19 Q. You testified that one of your responsibilities, at least
20 initially, was to ensure there was a flow of information from UNPROFOR
21 headquarters to the co-chairman. Were you in this position kept informed
22 of events, problems that were occurring in the UNPAs, even though at this
23 point you were no longer CMO?
24 A. Yes. I was very well informed. I continued to receive the daily
25 situation report, and I also received a copy of all critical
1 correspondence between UNPROFOR headquarters and UN New York.
2 MR. OLMSTED: Let's look at 65 ter 1696. This is tab 91.
3 [Prosecution counsel confer]
4 MR. OLMSTED: Again, I asked for 65 ter 1696. There we go.
5 Q. This is an UNPROFOR weekly report to SR SC. I'll repeat, this is
6 an UNPROFOR weekly report to SR SC dated 3 July 1993.
7 And we see, if we scroll down a little bit regarding
8 distribution, BGR JW. Who is that referring to?
9 A. It refers to me.
10 Q. If we could turn to page 14 of this document. This is a civilian
11 affairs briefing note for Mr. Annan. What was the purpose of these kind
12 of notes?
13 A. To keep Mr. Annan, who was then the Under-Secretary General for
14 peacekeeping operations informed of developments and the situation in
15 UNPROFOR. But it's a report from the civil affairs officer, Thornberry.
16 Q. And if we look under item 4, we see a briefing note regarding the
17 various sectors in Croatia. And it states that in Sector East, there has
18 been an escalation in attempts to control UNPROFOR movement. In certain
19 villages minority Croats are under pressure from the milicija and other
20 local bodies to leave their homes. Croatian men are also being arrested
21 and charged with having served in the enemy army or having conducted
22 armed rebellion against the RSK.
23 Is this information contained in this report consistent with the
24 type of information you were receiving in 1993?
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. And did you continue -- I think you did mention at the beginning
2 of your testimony that you continued to visit the UNPAs in your
3 capacities with the ICFY on one or two occasions with the -- with the
5 A. Yes, we did. But they were usually by air so there was less
6 opportunity to observe what was physically happening on the ground.
7 Q. When you -- from what you could observe, what could you see? Had
8 the situation dramatically improved in 1993?
9 A. It was the same or it got worse.
10 Q. In December 1992, did you attend an ICFY conference in Geneva?
11 A. There were many conferences in Geneva.
12 Q. Yes. Let me focus your attention. A conference at which the
13 acting US Secretary of State Eagleburger was present?
14 A. Yes, I did. I believe that was the 16th of December.
15 Q. And who from the Serb leadership do you recall was present at
16 that meeting?
17 A. I believe there was a large forum of all persons associated with
18 the peace process at that meeting from President Tudjman,
19 President Izetbegovic, President Milosevic, and the Serb Krajina
20 leadership, namely Mr. Hadzic, were present at that meeting, and many of
21 the military commanders, too.
22 Q. Were there any representatives from the Republika Srpska?
23 A. Certainly. There was Mr. Karadzic and some of his other
24 political leaders, and General Mladic was there.
25 Q. Did acting Secretary Eagleburger give a speech?
1 A. He did. He gave a very forthright, very blunt speech in which he
2 said to everybody assembled there that he was well aware of the war
3 crimes, the ethnic cleansing, all of the nasty stuff that was taking
4 place in the former Yugoslavia, and who -- who was doing it. And they
5 would be held accountable for it. I believe that address he was
6 foreshadowing the creation of this Tribunal.
7 Q. Brigadier, what were the primary negotiations that you attended
8 in 1993 relating to the conflict in Croatia?
9 A. That's a very broad question.
10 Q. Maybe I can try to narrow it. Can you -- I know you attended
11 quite a few negotiations during that period. Let's take, for instance,
12 negotiations in New York. Did you participate in those?
13 A. Yes, I did. The reality, Your Honours, most of the negotiations,
14 serious negotiations, in 1993 in Geneva were concerned with the
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina situation because it was recognised that you couldn't
16 solve the other problems until you'd solved that one. So -- but on the
17 side of those meetings there were other issues discussed, like what was
18 happening in the UNPAs, and there were ambassadors there from the
19 conference who were chairing those particular meetings. Now I
20 participated with Mr. Ahrens from Germany. He held ambassadorial rank
21 for negotiations on the UNPAs.
22 Q. And other than Ambassador Ahrens, who else were among the chief
23 negotiators with regard to the UNPAs?
24 A. These matters were addressed in passing by the co-chairman but
25 their focus was on Bosnia. It was really left to other people within the
1 conference to try and move other negotiations along. Certainly
2 Lord Owen, Mr. Stoltenberg, Mr. Vance addressed what was happening from
3 time to time in the UNPAs, but their focus was on solving the Bosnia
5 Q. To what degree were the international negotiators, Ahrens and
6 others, aware of the human rights violations that were occurring in the
7 Serb-controlled areas of Croatia?
8 A. They were fully aware of because they were receiving the same
9 information that I was. They were recipients of the daily report that I
10 wrote for the conference.
11 Q. And did they raise these issues with anyone during negotiations?
12 A. I believe they did.
13 Q. Could you tell us among the RSK leadership who they raised it
15 A. It's very difficult to be specific here, Your Honour, because the
16 passage of time and also there were so many different meetings, so many
17 different conversations, I can't possibly recall the detail of every
18 meeting and conversation. But what I can say is that ethnic cleansing,
19 the harassment of the population in both Bosnia and UNPAs was a fact of
20 life and something that had to be dealt with by the negotiators. It was
21 the context in which they were dealing. So it was discussed often and at
22 length with all parties at all different meetings, not necessarily at
23 every meeting but certainly anybody who attended the conference as a
24 negotiator would have been exposed to the sort of warnings and the
25 conversations about the unacceptability and the existence of this sort of
2 Q. How often was Hadzic present at the ICFY negotiations that you
3 attended regarding the conflict in Croatia, in other words the UNPAs?
4 A. I am guessing that I was involved with Mr. Hadzic about half a
5 dozen times, maybe a bit more. There were negotiations held both in
6 Geneva and also in New York at UN headquarters. It may have been more or
7 less, but about six I would guess.
8 Q. And at those meetings that Mr. Hadzic was present at, do you
9 recall his responses when these human rights violations were raised?
10 A. Yes, I do. In broad terms it was the usual response from the
11 political leadership that uncontrolled elements, provocations from the
12 Croats, they're doing it to us. It's impossible to stop this sort of
13 activity. Generally not accepting responsibility for what is going on
14 but finding excuses.
15 Q. Let's have a look at 65 ter 1750.
16 JUDGE DELVOIE: It's 12.15, Mr. Olmsted, next break.
17 It will be at 12.15, I mean. Not now.
18 MR. OLMSTED: Oh, yes, absolutely. Yes, we're moving along,
19 Your Honours. And just so you know, I may go a few minutes into the next
20 session but I'm almost complete.
21 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
22 MR. OLMSTED: If we could look at 65 ter 1750. This is tab 97.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MR. OLMSTED: And while that's coming up, Your Honours, may I
25 tender into evidence 65 ter 1696. It's the last document we looked at.
1 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2871.
3 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
4 MR. OLMSTED:
5 Q. What we have in front of us is a letter from RSK prime minister,
6 Djordje Bjegovic to the UN Secretary-General, and it is dated
7 22 August 1993. I think if we can turn to page -- page 2 we can see at
8 the bottom that it's from the prime minister of the RSK. And I am
9 interested in the fifth paragraph which is a little bit difficult to
10 read. It's -- yes, it's the penultimate paragraph.
11 And it states, "As for Mr. Valentic's assertions," and I believe
12 he is referencing the prime minister of Croatia as -- that's who Valentic
14 "As to Mr. Valentic's assertions of ethnic cleansing,
15 persecutions, and killings of the non-Serb population within the UNPA
16 zones, one has to wonder when these three-year-old reiterations will
17 cease, because if summed up, Krajina would understandably [sic] be a
18 nation of ghosts."
19 What can you tell us about this kind of statement at -- at this
20 stage, August 1993?
21 A. It doesn't reflect reality because ethnic cleansing continued, in
22 my experience, between -- well, during 1992 and 1993. They're not old
23 allegations; they're current.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
25 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2872.
2 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
3 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I wanted to think about whether I
4 want to go into the next area at all. If we could break now, I might
5 have an answer when we get back. It's a new topic.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay. So we'll take the second break now,
7 Brigadier Wilson. We'll come back at 12.40. The Court Usher will escort
8 you out of the courtroom. Thank you.
9 [The witness stands down]
10 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.10 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.41 p.m.
13 [The witness takes the stand]
14 JUDGE DELVOIE: Mr. Olmsted.
15 MR. OLMSTED: Yes, Mr. President. I do have one brief topic. I
16 don't think it's going to take more than five, ten minutes, maximum.
17 If we could have 65 ter 1862 on the screen. This is tab 113.
18 Q. Brigadier, could you tell us, what is this document.
19 A. This is my end-of-tour report after my assignment to Geneva.
20 It's to my national authorities.
21 Q. And if we could turn to page 2. I want to focus on paragraph 9,
22 at the bottom, yes. And in this paragraph, you are writing about
23 negotiations to resolve the conflict in Croatia which you state have been
24 characterised by the extreme and diametrically opposed positions of the
25 parties. What I'd like to focus your attention on is a little bit
1 further on you write:
2 "The Serbs insist on the right to form their own Republic, to be
3 later linked with other Serb territories (Greater Serbia)."
4 You're talking about negotiations here. Could you tell us, who
5 espoused this view among the Serb negotiators?
6 A. I can't attribute that to any individual. I -- I think it's a
7 general impression that I had of all of the negotiations.
8 MR. OLMSTED: May this be admitted into evidence, Your Honours.
9 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2873.
11 MR. OLMSTED:
12 Q. I would now like to show you a brief video-clip. This is
13 65 ter 1332. This is tab 54. And we are going to start at around
14 41 minutes and 10 seconds, and I have an image still on the screen here.
15 Brigadier, could you identify the persons here.
16 A. On the left is Mr. Karadzic, and on the right, Mr. Hadzic.
17 Q. And now if we could -- this is going to be page 14 of the English
18 transcript. And if we could play -- play the clip.
19 MR. OLMSTED: We're just waiting from -- an indication that the
20 interpreters are ready.
21 I believe we're ready now, Your Honours.
22 [Video-clip played]
23 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Here in Prijedor Serbian history is
24 being made. There are two presidents of the young Serbian republic.
25 First, President Karadzic. Thank you very much, Mr. Hadzic. The
1 declaration has just been adopted. You participated yesterday in this
2 august act. This is a great step for the Serbian history, a great step
3 towards the unit of the Serbian people. We have proven that this is the
4 unified interest of the Serbian people ..."
5 [Prosecution counsel confer]
6 MR. OLMSTED: Let's try playing it again because the transcript
7 doesn't conform to what's in the English translation. It seems we are
8 missing a few parts of it. Maybe -- maybe it's difficult to hear.
9 [Video-clip played]
10 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] "Here in Prijedor, Serbian history
11 is being made. Here are two presidents of the two young Serbian
12 republics. Who should we hear first? President Karadzic.
13 "Radovan Karadzic: Our guest first I think although he is no
14 longer a guest in this.
15 "Reporter: Thank you very much. Mr. Hadzic, the declaration has
16 been just adopted. You took part in this discussion tonight. You
17 attended the formal ceremony.
18 "Goran Hadzic: This is a great step for the unity of the Serbian
19 people, and I think that this is the first time step to the final unity
20 of the Serbs. We have already demonstrated before, but since London
21 definitely, since the London Conference that the Republika Srpska and the
22 Republic of Serbian Krajina have the same interest and the adoption of
23 this declaration is only a logical step towards the unification of all
24 Serbian people."
25 MR. OLMSTED:
1 Q. Brigadier, during this clip, we a hear Hadzic saying or referring
2 to the unification of all Serbian people. How does this compare with
3 what you recall was the position being made during negotiations with the
5 A. I think it is consistent with what was raised in the ICFY.
6 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, may this be admitted into evidence.
7 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit P2874.
9 MR. OLMSTED: Mr. President, that completes my direct
11 Q. Brigadier Wilson, thank you for your time.
12 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
13 Cross-examination, Mr. Gosnell.
14 MR. GOSNELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President. Good
15 afternoon, Your Honours. If I may for the record indicate that we're
16 joined today by Jolana Makraiova, our legal intern. If I could also just
17 say for the Registry that it appears e-court has gone down at least on
18 the terminal in front of me. And it now seems to have returned. Thank
19 you very much.
20 Cross-examination by Mr. Gosnell:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Brigadier Wilson.
22 A. Good afternoon.
23 Q. My name is Christopher Gosnell. I represent Mr. Hadzic here and
24 I'm going to have a few questions for you today, going over to tomorrow,
25 I'm sure. If any of my questions aren't clear, please feel free to ask
1 me to clarify. If you get tired - I know you may have some jet lag -
2 then please feel free to mention that and I'm sure it can be
4 Now you testified yesterday at page 7430 for my learned friend
5 that "I personally never witnessed anybody being ejected ...," and that's
6 referring to non-Serb civilians from the protected areas, "So I'm basing
7 my evidence entirely on reports that I received from the ECMM or from
8 UNPROFOR sources or from Croat sources."
9 Do you remember that testimony?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. And does that statement also apply in respect of the individuals
12 who you have been able to identify as perpetrators in your testimony
14 A. It's true, I never observed anybody evicting anybody, nor anybody
15 being evicted.
16 Q. So that the extent you're able to identify any of those
17 perpetrators or their affiliations that's based on the underlying,
18 ground-level documentation that you received; correct?
19 A. It's reports -- based on reports from a wide variety of sources,
20 additional resources to the ones that I gave in my evidence like the
21 media and NGOs, et cetera.
22 Q. Well, you've told us there were special protocols about the
23 verification of information that was contained in UNPROFOR reports from
24 which I would expect that you would place primary reliance on the
25 UNPROFOR reports, including the CIVPOL reports; is that correct?
1 A. That's correct. And, of course, you would cross check reports
2 between each other.
3 Q. And to the extent that what you've been able to testify to here
4 orally, differs from what is contained in those underlying reports, would
5 I be correct in understanding that you would defer to the underlying
7 A. It would.
8 Q. And the reason I ask that question is because when one reviews
9 the underlying reports from UNPROFOR and from CIVPOL sources, one does
10 see, on occasion, more than on occasion, references to milicija, either
11 local or regional being involved in crimes, but there's also a wide
12 variety of other descriptions. And those descriptions include -- I'm
13 going to give some references here just for the record but I won't pull
14 them up. The references include unknown terrorist groups, that's P2851,
15 page 3; paramilitary group, P2859, page 4; armed uncontrolled troops,
16 3054, page 3; uniformed men sometimes masked, carrying automatic weapons,
17 1353, page 3; and in 1141, armed bandits, unknown persons, ten unknown
18 soldiers, unknown persons, and four armed men with military uniforms?
19 Now, what I want to ask you is about your understanding of the
20 term "special police." Did you understand that the term "special police"
21 was some kind of catch-all category that it would include all of these
22 various descriptions?
23 A. When I'm personally referring to special police it's a collective
24 description of people who presented themselves as police but under
25 different titles. You've given a -- a list of descriptors in reports, I
1 have say many of them sourced from non-English speakers. There's a lack
2 of standard terminology within UNPROFOR. It depends upon the time-frame
3 when more accurate definitions became known. If you look in March, June,
4 at reports, they'll be quite different to those later in 1993 when the
5 organisation was a bit more sophisticated and there was a greater
6 knowledge of what was going on. So a lot of the different terms that are
7 used is, I believe, a result of throwing together an organisation that
8 has never really worked together and a lack of standard operating
10 But getting back to your question, when I am talking about
11 special police I'm talking about people who present themselves as
12 policemen not these other armed elements.
13 Q. So you accept, it seems, that in the protected areas there were
14 other armed elements other than the special police.
15 A. Yes, there were.
16 Q. And who were they?
17 A. They were people who we -- we described as milicijas. These were
18 people who had taken off their uniforms but you were still part of the
19 TDF who could at short notice respond to security threats. They would
20 access weapons which were largely hidden from the UN and perform a
21 military function.
22 Q. The court reporter has just asked that you lean forward a little.
23 A. Okay.
24 Q. So are you then saying that there is a Territorial Defence force
25 which is existing concurrently with the special police?
1 A. I believe there was, yes.
2 Q. Any other groups or individuals armed and present in the
3 protected areas?
4 A. I believe there were elements of the JNA who were not -- who were
5 disguised and I believe there was indeed a change of forces between
6 Bosnian military organisations in the Krajina. They were not necessarily
7 discreet. They co-operated and operated in each other areas as required.
8 Q. And what about civilians who possessed long-barrelled weapons but
9 who were not part of any particular formation? Did that exist in the
10 protected areas?
11 A. I have no doubt that there were such people.
12 Q. Wasn't the UN's estimate in 1992 that 70 per cent of the
13 population in the protected areas was armed?
14 A. I'm unaware of that statistic.
15 Q. Does that accord with your impression and your knowledge?
16 A. I -- I couldn't put a percentage, but I'd say many of the male
17 population would have been -- would have had access to weapons. They --
18 it was quite commonly known that the JNA had gone through a process of
19 arming civilians before they withdrew, both from the UNPA and also from
21 Q. You testified a page ago, page 69, that you referred as being
22 special police those who presented themselves as special police. Do you
23 allow for the possibility that there were individuals claiming to be
24 special police, in order to give them -- themselves the entitlement to
25 carry rifles?
1 A. That's certainly possible.
2 Q. And they certainly would have had a motivation to do that when
3 stopped by anyone from UNPROFOR who would otherwise threaten to take away
4 their gun; is that right?
5 A. Some individuals might choose to do that.
6 Q. If we could have P2869, please, which is Prosecution tab 169.
7 And this is your report of the 15th of November, 1992, which is towards
8 the end of your role as commander of the monitoring mission. And if we
9 could go, please, to page 3. The description that you give here is that
10 there are various militias emerged on the JNA withdrawal under the guise
11 of police forces. And then you go on:
12 "Despite the presence of the Serb 'police ' and 11 UNPROFOR
13 battalions there has been a total collapse of law and order. Ethnic
14 cleansing and all associated with it continued and is, for the most part,
15 conducted by 'police,'" again in quotation marks, "forces."
16 And then down at the bottom the last sentence is:
17 "Further, UNPROFOR attempts to fully disarm the militias have
18 been unsuccessful."
19 Now, I read in that, that you seem to perceive some level of -
20 dare I use the word - Balkanisation within the category, described as
22 A. What I'm trying to say there, counsel, is that before the
23 demilitarisation process started in the UNPAs, there were a large number
24 of armed militias. A proportion of those, 16.000 of them roughly, were
25 converted into police, which I'll call special police. That left some
1 other thousands who, under the Vance Plan, were to take off their
2 uniforms, hand over their weapons to either the UN or the JNA, as the JNA
3 withdrew, and to allow UNPROFOR to provide security in the area.
4 The reality is that those -- most of those militias in fact
5 remained in place, simply took off their uniforms but had access to
6 weapons and acted -- still continued to act under central control and
7 respond to specific security threats and directions from a higher
8 authority. But they were, if you wish, undercover militias. In addition
9 to that, there is the police force of some 16.000 who I say in my report
10 and I stand by that, were the agents of harassment and intimidation of
11 the central authorities.
12 Q. So you don't accept the possibility that most of or even a
13 significant percentage of the harassment and intimidation was being done
14 by individuals off their own wicket?
15 A. I do accept the fact that some of these -- this harassment and
16 intimidation would be on individual initiative. But my observation was
17 it was such wide-spread throughout the four UNPAs and was over such a
18 long period of time, that it was an orchestrated campaign and that if the
19 Serb political authority disagreed with it, they had two years and 22.000
20 policemen to fix the problem, and they failed to do that.
21 Q. So from a failure to stop it, you infer a plan.
22 A. Yes. I believe they had the means to stop it, if they truly
23 wished to.
24 Q. And you say that you would draw the same conclusion regardless of
25 whether the perpetrators then are special police committing crimes while
1 on duty, special police off duty, or armed individuals not within the
2 structure of the special police; is that correct?
3 A. I say that primarily because in the many, many cases where fully
4 presented dossiers were presented to the legal authorities about these
5 crimes being committed by a variety of individuals, be they civilian,
6 militia, or police, the authorities failed to act upon those.
7 Q. You've testified earlier that the local police were, in your
8 view, or shall I put it -- put it more accurately, your recollection of
9 the documents were uncooperative; is that correct?
10 A. For the most part, yes.
11 Q. And in respect of that judgement, would you defer to officials
12 who were on the ground in place of yours if they gave a contrary opinion
13 about the level of co-operation of local police?
14 A. I don't know what officials you're referring to, counsel, but
15 there are people clearly more qualified to talk about police matters than
16 I am. I was the recipient of police reports. I had discussions with
17 very senior police officers. I have a general sense of what was going on
18 but if you wish an expert then I'm not an expert in police matters.
19 Q. Let me just ask you this: Do you recall based upon either the
20 documents or any conversations you had with others in UNPROFOR that there
21 were virtually no cases where UNPROFOR or CIVPOL was able to identify the
22 perpetrators of the crimes against non-Serbs?
23 A. No, I don't agree with that. I'm aware of certain situations
24 where the name of the individual was known and was a repeated offender
25 and the -- the legal authorities within the Krajina failed to take
2 Q. That wasn't my question.
3 A. Sorry.
4 Q. My question was isn't it the case then in the vast majority of
5 cases, and I accept that there are exceptions, but in the vast majority
6 of cases the identities of the perpetrators were not identified by
7 UNPROFOR or CIVPOL?
8 A. Oh, certainly.
9 Q. And in many cases wasn't that because the perpetrators
10 deliberately tried to conceal their identities when they committed
12 A. There are many reasons why individuals are not able to be
13 identified. There was no witnesses or witnesses are too scared to give
14 evidence. Lack of access for the UN, lack of co-operation. Many, many
15 reasons. But it's true that in the vast majority of cases perpetrators
16 could only be identified perhaps in the most general terms like uniformed
17 or un-uniformed, or carrying weapons or ...
18 Q. And do you remember that the reports the indicated that a great
19 many crimes were committed either at night-time or by individuals who
20 deliberately concealed their face?
21 A. No, I don't recall that.
22 Q. Let me shift gears, Brigadier, and ask you some questions about
23 the Vance Plan specifically, if I may. Could we have P2794, please. And
24 if we could please have page 5. This, Brigadier, is the historical
25 background document which I believe is from 1994 but it does contain a
1 copy of the Vance Plan in annex. And here is part of the Vance Plan.
2 And paragraph 7 gives the basic concept, and it says:
3 "These areas would be demilitarised; all armed forces in them
4 would be either withdrawn or disbanded. The role of the United Nations
5 troops would be to ensure that the areas remained demilitarised and that
6 all persons residing in them were protected from fear of armed attack."
7 Now, if I understand your testimony from yesterday correctly, the
8 obligation or the role of protecting all persons residing in them, or of
9 all persons residing in them being protected from fear of armed attack
10 never became operational because the various steps that were collateral
11 with the Vance Plan were not achieved.
12 Do I understand that testimony correctly?
13 A. That's my belief.
14 Q. And if we could just turn back to page 2, we see there the five
15 steps. And we can all read them. I'm not going to read them out.
16 But may I just ask you this question: What heavy weapons did
17 Croatia possess at the end of 1991 or early 1992?
18 A. Well, they -- they had artillery, tanks, some aircraft, a range
19 of -- of weapons, but they were not as well equipped as the JNA were, nor
20 as heavily armed.
21 Q. What kind of artillery pieces did they have?
22 A. I don't -- I don't know. I would guess a selection of weapons
23 from the JNA inventory, because all of these weapons were stored
24 throughout the whole of the Yugoslavia and they would access them when
25 the war broke out or perhaps before that, so they had -- they had a
1 reasonable quantity. But I can't tell you exactly how many, but less
2 than the JNA.
3 Q. Well, I'm not so much interested in the quantity but I am
4 interested in knowing what was the heaviest calibres, the largest calibre
5 heavy weapon, and you were the head of the UN monitoring mission, what
6 was the largest calibre piece of artillery that Croatia had at this time?
7 A. I would imagine something like 155 artillery.
8 Q. And the range of that is about 5 kilometres in terms of accurate
9 targeting; is that correct or am I understating it?
10 A. It's more like 20 kilometres.
11 Q. So that means under step 1 Croatia is only required to withdraw
12 the heavy weapons ten kilometres out of change of the protected areas?
13 A. No, it says 30 kilometres.
14 Q. Correct. And if 155-millimetre Howitzer gun has a range, an
15 effective range of 20 kilometres, that means that they're required under
16 tep 1 to withdraw 10 kilometres out of range, out of their effective
18 A. Yes. If they fired they would be landing 10 kilometres short.
19 Thirty kilometres is selected because it exceeded the range of most, if
20 not all, heavy weapons of the former JNA. There were some missiles that
21 certainly the Serb forces had, I don't think if the Croats had any, that
22 would exceed 30 kilometres.
23 Q. And amongst the other requirements here are that anti-aircraft,
24 systems, anti-armour weapons, heavy machine guns be withdrawn to a
25 distance of 10 kilometres and that infantry be withdrawn to a distance of
1 5 kilometres from the protected areas.
2 Let me get right to my question. If the Croatian army decided it
3 wanted to conduct a Blitzkrieg type operation against the protected
4 areas, given the amount of distances to which they had been required to
5 withdraw, how long would it take them to move into the protected areas in
6 days or hours?
7 A. Well, in -- it depends on -- if you're talking about the whole
8 assault it would take a number of days, but the buildup of such a force
9 would be readily apparent to any number of observers casual and otherwise
10 who are operating on both sides of the confrontation line, it's not
11 really practical to assemble a large military force easily.
12 Q. Well, I'm not asking you whether or not it would go unnoticed.
13 I'm asking you, as a military man with many years experience, if you were
14 starting, if you were commanding a force, starting from these positions,
15 how long would it take you to move into the protected areas?
16 A. It would take hours.
17 Q. Now, in return for being given hours' notice of an attack that
18 would overrun all the protected areas, what did the Serbs get in this
19 Vance Plan deal?
20 A. I don't understand the question.
21 Q. Well, in simple language, can you describe for us what the Serbs
22 got out of the Vance Plan and what the Croats got out of the Vance Plan.
23 A. They got what they both agreed, they both accepted. They both
24 reached some sort of compromise, be it their political, military,
25 security or whatever else, they both signed up to and agreed that they
1 would honour and enforce the Vance Plan. They got what they wanted.
2 Otherwise they would never have agreed to it.
3 Q. So the Serbs -- if we can turn over to paragraph 7 again, or to
4 page 5. In your view the position is that the Serbs have agreed to
5 entirely demilitarise the protected areas, give up any protection
6 whatsoever, and in return for that, even before the Croats have withdrawn
7 to the lines set out in the five steps, where is the protection for the
8 protected areas during that period?
9 A. You have agreement between two parties which hopefully they'll
10 both honour. I mean, there is an agreement brokered by Mr. Vance with
11 the highest political authority of both parties that they won't attack
12 each other, that they will respect a cease-fire. There is effectively in
13 the plan a separation of forces. It doesn't completely negate the
14 possibility of either side using force but what it does do it reduces the
15 possibility of accidental clashes or accidental action because there is a
16 separation. If one side is determined to circumvent the Vance Plan, then
17 the Vance Plan is not going to work. And I have given considerable
18 evidence about this. And now if -- if you want me to say did the Croats
19 ever violate their side of the agreement and attack the UNPAs, yes, they
20 did. But fundamentally we're talking about agreement that essentially
21 neither side respected 100 per cent. They got exactly what they
23 Q. What I'm trying to get at is -- is wasn't it the original concept
24 of the Vance Plan that in return for the JNA withdrawing from the
25 protected areas, that UNPROFOR, with its infantry units, would then serve
1 in the role of protecting those areas from incursions by Croat forces?
2 A. Yes, that was the plan. And that's what everybody wished would
3 happen, in particular UNPROFOR.
4 Q. I think you have been very clear about this, that was, on the one
5 hand, the role that they were expected to fulfil but, on the other hand,
6 there's no authorisation to use force in case of an armed incursion, is
8 A. Yes, there is. It says in the Vance Plan that force may be used
9 but essentially limited to self-defence but it does not exclude the
10 probability of using force to carry out the mission, and indeed on
11 occasions the UN used force and I was witness to it. That they were able
12 to use force but it was never intended that the UN would be able to stop
13 a major assault by the Croatians into UNPAs because there was an
14 agreement. Why would this happen?
15 Q. Well, there was Miljevacki Plateau which I'm sure you're very
16 familiar with, and the Chamber is familiar with it, which occurred in
17 June 1992, and then there was the Maslenica bridge incursion which occurs
18 in January 1993. Now, in respect of those two events am I right that
19 there was no response in terms of a military response from UNPROFOR?
20 A. Well, to my knowledge, there were two French soldiers killed in
21 Maslenica in that action, counsellor. Whether they were caught in the
22 middle or whatever, but certainly if you're asking me to say did the UN
23 try and push these people back, no, it didn't because that was never
24 envisaged as their responsibility, but did the UN take vigorous
25 diplomatic and response and bring political pressure to bear, yes, they
1 did. Was it effective in achieving with a withdrawal of the Croat
2 forces? No it wasn't. This was the Balkans.
3 Q. And there was almost non-stop - and you've mentioned it earlier
4 today - pressure from Croat forces around the confrontation lines on the
5 Serb side; is that correct?
6 A. No, that's not entirely correct. I would say that the Croats
7 were more active in some areas than they were in others. Some parts of
8 the former confrontation line were very quiet. Some were more active.
9 And I would say it wasn't all of the time that such pressure existed. I
10 would say from time to time.
11 Q. Could we have P2211.2168, which is Defence tab 62. Let me just
12 first ask you about -- this is a status report from Sector South dated
13 the 7th of September, 1992. If I can just ask you about the first line:
14 "UNPROFOR's mission is still in a military phase. Stalemate in
15 wdl process at step 3/phase II ..."
16 Can you help us understand what that means?
17 A. I -- I believe he is referring to those five steps we saw earlier
18 in the -- in the Vance Plan, but I'm not the author of the document so
19 I'm guessing here. And he is saying that the -- the complete
20 demilitarisation as of September 1992 is not yet achieved, in particular,
21 I believe, he says on the Croat side.
22 Q. And if we can turn now to page 3, please. Croatian military
24 "Risks of military action to restore Croatian authority are
25 indeed realistic.
1 "Croatian side's patience and good will is reaching the point of
2 non-return. They seem to react out of pure nationalism. October is a
3 deadline for them and therefore a turning point for the whole operation.
4 "Provocation/retaliation process is intensifying. Pressure on
5 the front line from Croatians increases daily under form of incursions,
6 infiltrations of both armed groups and civilians."
7 Now from the information you had in September 1992, did you think
8 that there was a Croatian military option to commence incursions against
9 the protected areas?
10 A. I said earlier in my evidence that September 1992 was the time
11 when the Croatian political leadership were vigorously agitating for the
12 return of refugees. And I said earlier that this was highly
13 destabilising for the UNPAs. And the UN was doing everything they could
14 to tone down this rhetoric but it was -- nevertheless, it was provocative
15 and there was posturing along the UNPA borders by Croat forces in this
16 time. There was a great deal of tension in September/October of 1992 and
17 it's true, in particular, in the area of Sector South, that the Croats
18 were very active along the UNPA border. I believe this reflected their
19 concern that this -- this occupation by the Serb military forces there
20 was interfering with their ability to communicate north/south on the
21 Croatian coast and it was highly destabilising for them. So that's the
23 Q. What did the posturing consist of that you just referred to?
24 A. Well, as indicated in this report, there was patrolling activity,
25 clashes, firing across the line.
1 Q. And infiltrations, forces moving into the protected areas and --
2 A. That's what I mean by patrolling, yes.
3 Q. Now, given these circumstances, and I'm asking you now to take
4 off your UNPROFOR hat and put on your military-man hat, wasn't it
5 perfectly reasonable for the Serbs to say, Just a moment here. UNPROFOR
6 doesn't have until all five steps are satisfied the obligation to protect
7 the protected areas, and, on the other hand, here come the Croatian
8 forces over the borders of the protected areas.
9 Now, given that situation as a military man, wasn't it reasonable
10 for the Serbs to decline to completely disarm?
11 A. Your Honour, this is a central issue. This is a -- but it's a
12 chicken and the egg argument. It's a circular argument. If both sides
13 had honoured the agreement there wouldn't be this situation. Now we have
14 the situation, the agreement's no longer valid, and therefore people
15 start arming themselves. The root cause of the situation is the parties
16 did not honour the agreements that they signed up to.
17 Q. Wouldn't you agree with me that the demands on the Croatian side
18 are fairly modest. There is no request for disarmament or
19 demilitarisation. All that's required is that they move their heavy
20 weapons beyond the 20-kilometre firing range for their heavy weapons and
21 that they move their infantry 5 kilometres back. Fairly modest
22 obligations on their side, isn't it?
23 A. My recollection of their discussion at the time was they were
24 agitated that they had territory that they thought was sovereign, Croat
25 territory that they were not allowed to occupy, that their population had
1 been forced to leave. They felt they were giving up an unreasonable
2 amount. That was what they put to the conversations that I observed and
3 took part in.
4 Q. But you remember also that one of the central tenants of the
5 Vance Plan that final status of the protected areas was supposed to be a
6 matter of negotiation, wasn't it?
7 A. It certainly was.
8 Q. And yet notwithstanding that that was the provision in the
9 Vance Plan, you're saying that the Croats still refused to withdraw to
10 the relatively, I suggest, modest, bench-marks that are set out in the
11 Vance Plan?
12 A. Well, I'm saying that they -- they did comply but they were
13 guilty of violations. If you want to look at from a legalistic point of
14 view, the reality is that they circumvents the agreement that they signed
15 on to. Both sides failed to honour the agreement and made the situation
17 Q. But from the Serb perception of things, and you suggested this
18 earlier, those non-compliances would be -- would create fear, to put it
20 A. I accept that. Absolutely.
21 Q. Could we have 01831, please, which is Prosecution tab 109. Now
22 this is you writing to Mr. Stoltenberg and Lord Owen in October 1993 and
23 I believe the context here is the discussions about the extension of the
24 UNPROFOR mandate. You say here:
25 "Further, for understandable reasons, they have refused to disarm
1 their forces."
2 What did you mean there?
3 A. It's reflecting the facts on the ground in October 1993 that
4 there was a serious threat to the Croats -- to the UNPAs and that it is
5 understandable that because of that threat the Serbs would take some
6 actions to protect themselves. It is logical, understandable but not
8 Q. And from a military perspective, reasonable?
9 A. From a military -- yes.
10 Q. Now, if I can just take -- have us focus on the first line there
11 in paragraph 2:
12 "The Serbs have rejected S.C.R. 871 and all aspects of previous
13 resolutions which challenge their claim to independence from Croatia."
14 Now you were asked quite a number of questions or a few
15 questions, shall we say, about what the Vance Plan meant for JNA forces.
16 And we're certainly clear, that at the least it required them to withdraw
17 in Serbia; correct?
18 A. Yes, or Bosnia.
19 Q. And with the recognition of Croatia as a state, a return of the
20 JNA or later the VJ, as it came to be known, would be an act of
21 aggression against a foreign state, wouldn't it?
22 A. I believe so.
23 Q. Whereas, if the Croats decided to break the Vance Plan and move
24 into the protected areas, they would just be reclaiming their own
25 territory; correct?
1 A. That's what they would say.
2 Q. Now, did it ever occur to you or did you ever hear expressed from
3 the Serb side that one of the central reasons why they wanted
4 independence or some level of international recognition was precisely to
5 provide a bulwark, a protection, against precisely that possibility?
6 A. I'm aware of that argument.
7 Q. Did you hear it expressed during the negotiations by the Serb
9 A. On many, many occasions.
10 Q. Now you've told us your view that UNPROFOR's obligation under
11 paragraph 7 of the plan would not be operational until satisfaction of
12 all the five steps. That's your interpretation. Was that the officially
13 UNPROFOR view, as far as you know?
14 A. Oh, I don't know, counsel.
15 Q. Well, you were a senior member of UNPROFOR. You were involved
16 with all the senior leadership. You don't know if the official view was
17 that UNPROFOR did not have the obligation to step in and deter an armed
18 incursion should it occur in the protected areas?
19 A. I believe the question was did I consider that UNPROFOR had been
20 successful in carrying out the plan. That was the question. That's how
21 I interpreted it anyway.
22 Q. Sorry, maybe I should be clearer because I know my questions --
23 the last two were long. But was it the official UNPROFOR view that they
24 had no obligations under paragraph 7 until the five steps were fulfilled?
25 A. No. I dont' think that was an official position. I believe
1 we've seen where the Force Commander, General Nambiar, wrote to Mr. Annan
2 expressing his concern about his inability to -- this is in September, I
3 think, of 1992 to fully carry out the mission and he lists the reasons
4 for that.
5 Now, in the interim, UNPROFOR is actually on the ground and is
6 endeavouring to do what it can to assist the parties to honour an
7 agreement they both made, and where appropriate and where they had the
8 ability to do that, then they would intercede. But it was never intended
9 that a peacekeeping force would stand between two warring parties. It's
10 a monitoring mission that's designed to supervise an agreement and to
11 assist the parties to that.
12 Q. And General Nambiar would have told the Serbs that; correct?
13 A. I believe he would have.
14 MR. GOSNELL: Could we have D70, please. Prosecution tab 44.
15 I'm sorry, I'm reminded that I did not tender the document that is on the
16 screen. I would like to do so, please.
17 JUDGE DELVOIE: Admitted and marked.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D91, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
20 MR. GOSNELL:
21 Q. Now, this is from a -- well, this is a further report of the
22 Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council Resolution 743.
23 May I ask you, do you know how these -- I assume the
24 Secretary-General himself is not personally drafting this report. How
25 does a report such as this come into being, based on what you know?
1 A. UNPROFOR headquarters would be asked to provide the basic
2 information, perhaps even an early draft. It would be written mainly by
3 Mr. Thornberry, the director of civil affairs with considerable input
4 from the Force Commander. In the case of General Nambiar, in the case of
5 the latter two commanders that I worked with, Generals Wahlgren and Cot
6 who were not native English speakers, they would have had to rely on
7 other people. That information and that draft would be sent to the
8 office of the Under-Secretary for peacekeeping operations, who was
9 initially Mr. Goulding and then later Mr. Annan, and the -- the person
10 within that organisation who would probably do the draft would be a
11 political officer by the name of Shashi Tharoor, an Indian diplomat.
12 MR. GOSNELL: [Microphone not activated] That last name is
14 THE WITNESS: Yes.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 MR. GOSNELL: Sorry. The spelling on that is T-h-a-r-o-o-r. If
17 we could turn over to page 4, please, paragraph 6.
18 Q. And this is discussing the justification for the special police
19 as it was perceived by the interlocutors with the Serb side from
21 It says here:
22 "The justification given by the Knin authorities for these forces
23 is that they are needed to defend Serb-controlled areas from attacks and
24 infiltration by the Croatian army. General Nambiar has repeatedly
25 stressed to the authorities in Belgrade and Knin that it is UNPROFOR
1 which exercises the protection function in the UNPAs and that the
2 presence of these paramilitary units is contrary to the United Nations
3 Plan and has caused the Croatian army to retain some of its forces at the
4 confrontation line."
5 Now, you've been very clear about your position but what do you
6 think General Nambiar -- would have been the content of General Nambiar's
7 assurance to the Serb side in terms of the protection function? What do
8 you think he promised or what do you know that he promised to the Serb
10 A. I can't answer that. I'm sorry. I just don't know.
11 Q. And while we have this document on the screen, could we please go
12 to the next page:
13 "Despite the passage of the deadline for the first stage of this
14 process, however, demilitarisation has not begun. The authorities in
15 Knin, who nominally control these elements, have stated they cannot
16 comply with the agreement," et cetera, "because UNPROFOR cannot control
17 the situation."
18 Do you know why this report describes the control as nominal?
19 A. No, I don't. If you want me to guess it was because from time to
20 time there were claims that there were uncontrolled elements. The Knin
21 authorities would say these are renegade, uncontrolled elements.
22 Q. This is the Secretary-General's report so obviously it has been
23 accepted to some degree of satisfaction.
24 MR. OLMSTED: Your Honours, I have to object to that. I raised
25 this issue earlier. This is a draft of the final report. I'm -- I
1 haven't compared the language, but to represent that this is the report
2 when it is only a draft, it's not appropriate.
3 MR. GOSNELL: [Microphone not activated]
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
5 MR. GOSNELL: 3624, please.
6 JUDGE DELVOIE: Which is the final report, Mr. Gosnell?
7 MR. GOSNELL: That's correct, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE DELVOIE: Thank you.
9 MR. GOSNELL:
10 Q. Page 3, paragraph 9, at the bottom:
11 "Despite the passage of the deadlines [sic] ... demilitarisation
12 has not begun. The authorities in Knin, who nominally control those
13 elements, have stated that they cannot comply with the agreement because
14 of Croatian army behaviour and the alleged inability of UNPROFOR to
15 control the situation."
16 Does that assist you at all? I received an objection from the
17 Prosecution and I'm sorry to have to put the question again to you. Does
18 it help you understand?
19 A. Is the question about nominal control?
20 Q. Correct.
21 A. Yeah, well, I can't really speculate. I perhaps incorrectly gave
22 you a guess. The true answer is: I don't know.
23 MR. GOSNELL: This document is already admitted so I don't need
24 to tender it. Could I have 01367, please, Prosecution tab 65. And it's
25 now P2857.
1 Q. You looked at this document, sir, earlier. And if we can turn
2 the page over to page 3. And this is Mr. Zecevic writing to
3 General Nambiar. And just on page 2 he starts by saying:
4 "We also believe that you are very much aware of the reasons why
5 we agreed to the Vance Plan."
6 A. I'm sorry, it's not on my screen.
7 Q. I apologise. Could we just have the bottom of page 2, please:
8 "We also believe that you are very much aware of the reasons why
9 we agreed to the Vance Plan."
10 And then we turn the page:
11 "In spite of that, we think it should be repeated that the basic
12 reason for accepting the Vance Plan was a total security of the
13 population in the protected territory provided by the presence of UN
15 And then he quotes paragraph 7.
16 Now -- and then he goes on in the next paragraph:
17 "This provision of the Vance Plan was the main reason to accept
18 it. In my deepest conviction, this provision expresses the very essence
19 of the Vance Plan and this is why we insisted on it in all our contacts
20 with the representatives of UNPROFOR."
21 And then the penultimate paragraph:
22 "Likewise, we insisted on having your answer and guarantees for
23 complete realisation of the obligation under point 7 of the Vance Plan,
24 and no adequate response has been given, least of all a positive one."
25 Now, do you remember that the Serb representatives were
1 expressing the view that this was their interpretation of the Vance Plan
2 and that they considered the obligations in paragraph 7 to be immediately
4 A. No, I don't recall that situation at all. Quite to the contrary.
5 They were constantly telling us that they had to provide security because
6 we couldn't. Wasn't so much that they were insisting that we should
7 implement the Vance Plan. They were saying that we were not doing it and
8 therefore that's why they retained arm, that's why they created all these
9 police forces. In fact, really before UNPROFOR got there they were
10 anticipating this situation. So I -- I just regard this correspondence
11 as posturing, counsel. It's not -- doesn't seriously represent the bulk
12 of communication that existed between the Serb authorities and UNPROFOR.
13 Q. You don't think he is being genuine in saying, Listen, we signed
14 up to the Vance Plan. We agreed to the demilitarisation. We agreed to
15 opening our doors, in a sense, contingent upon that protection being
17 You don't think that was genuine and sincere?
18 A. No, I'm sorry, counsellor. I believe there was a premeditated
19 plan to circumvent the Vance Plan and to apply any of those aspects that
20 suited the Serb side, and I think we saw evidence of that earlier in the
21 clip from -- video-clip from Mr. Hadzic which he said was quite
22 deliberately going to accept it but we'll do our own thing anyway.
23 Q. And yet you testified earlier that it was reasonable that they
24 didn't disarm.
25 A. I said it was militarily understandable.
1 Q. You see, what I'm getting at and what I want to put to you is
2 that what these documents show, whatever the merits may be, whatever may
3 be the sense of greater good, the Serb side did have a legitimate and
4 genuine reason to have these special police. Even if it might be viewed
5 as a -- not in the compliance with the Vance Plan, they had good reason
6 to set up those forces. Or at least they had a genuine reason to set up
7 those forces other than going out and terrorising the civilian
9 Would you agree with that?
10 A. I agree entirely with your -- your statement, that they had
11 genuine concerns for their security. But I don't know that the course
12 they selected was the best one. There were many other options that were
13 available to the authorities prior to the arrival of UNPROFOR and while
14 UNPROFOR was there. It comes back to the central -- to my central belief
15 that for the whole system both parties had to honour the Vance Plan and
16 neither party did, to the extent it was never possible to create a
17 genuine, secure, unthreatening environment in the UNPAs.
18 Having 2.000 or 22.000 police, it was not necessarily the best
20 Q. Well, I didn't say it was the best solution. But what I do say
21 is that it was a reaction, justified or otherwise, a reaction to the
22 threats, the real and present threat posed by Croatian forces combined
23 with UNPROFOR not assuring concretely that the UNPAs would not be
25 Do you accept that?
1 A. No, I don't. I -- I consider it to be an option. There were
2 other options. I think it's a poor option.
3 Q. I'm not -- we're not discussing the merits of the options. We're
4 discussing what the motivations were. And what I'm suggesting to you
5 when we look at these documents, in context, that was -- that was the
6 motivation, wasn't it?
7 A. I've said in my evidence and I consistently say it, I believe
8 this was premeditated. This option was selected before UNPROFOR even
9 arrived on the ground. They had decided that they would create a
10 situation which was basically destabilising and threatening. It would
11 neve have been possible under those circumstances for UNPROFOR to have
12 completed its job. It was premeditated, centrally directed, consistent
13 through all of the four UNPAs.
14 Q. Now you testified yesterday that by the time you arrived in what
15 would become the protected areas, most non-Serbs had already left; is
16 that correct?
17 A. That's what I said.
18 Q. Can you think of any reason from a -- in -- in -- given the goals
19 that you've just suggested, namely, undermining the Vance Plan and in
20 order to not demilitarise, how would forcing out the remaining few
21 non-Serbs in any way advance that particular agenda, if at all?
22 A. I've got absolutely no understanding why people would involve
23 themselves in ethnic cleansing. I'm sorry, counsellor. I just don't
24 understand that philosophy at all. I can't imagine why they would want
25 to do it.
1 Q. Could we have D71, please, which is Defence tab 14. This is a
2 memo from General Nambiar to Marrack Goulding and it relates or at least
3 it's issue soon after the Maslenica bridge incursion. And the Chamber
4 has seen this document before, so I won't go through it chapter and verse
5 but I would just like you to look at one or two paragraphs.
6 Paragraph 4 on page 2:
7 "There is every indication that he, Tudjman, had or at least
8 perceived he had the tacit support of some members of the internation
9 community. Hence it is most unlikely that he will implement S.C.R. 802
10 in the correct spirit. I cannot see him relinquishing control of the
11 recaptured territory to anyone, not even the United Nations."
12 At the bottom:
13 "I should also like to draw your attention to the attached agency
14 report on his interview in the current edition of Der Spiegel."
15 Now, what would the consequence be in terms of confidence on the
16 Serb side of assurances of the Croat side of, first of all, this
17 incursion, and, secondly, retaining the territory that was seized as a
18 result of this incursion?
19 A. I'm sorry, I don't understand the question.
20 Q. Would this -- did this operation inspire confidential on the Serb
21 side to disarm?
22 A. Oh no, highly destabilising.
23 Q. And on the next page:
24 "On the Serb side, as I mentioned in one of my earlier cables, we
25 are seen as traitors and betrayers. This is mainly because we had relied
1 on Croatian assurances of willingness to sit and talk and had persuaded
2 many of our Serb interlocutors of that faith."
3 Basically isn't it the case that right up until this date,
4 UNPROFOR did have to rely on mainly Tudjman's assurances that he wouldn't
5 proceed to invade the protected areas rather than any real obstacle
6 presented by the UNPROFOR forces?
7 A. UNPROFOR was relying upon the agreement that President Tudjman
8 and Milosevic had signed, the Vance Plan which -- in which Tudjman said
9 he would not encroach upon the UNPAs. Just further evidence that both
10 sides failed to respect the Vance Plan and made it impossible for a
11 peacekeeping mission to -- to observe agreement.
12 Q. And if we can go down to page 6, please. You have addressed this
13 subject before, but now this is a different document:
14 "If no international negotiations are to take place, then
15 UNPROFOR should be given either a more realistic and limited mandate,
16 much more resources and a mix of chapter 6 and chapter 7 or it should be
17 removed, but the key, as was the case in Bosnia, is the peace making
19 Now is this a recognition by General Nambiar that UNPROFOR has
20 had imposed on it a task it can't perform, an obligation it can't perform
21 unless it has more resources and more authority?
22 A. I believe that's what he is saying.
23 Q. And he is saying, isn't it, that that's a precondition for
24 ensuring that those protected areas actually be protected?
25 A. Without studying the document in more detail I can't comment on
1 that question.
2 Q. Given that this is occurring right after a major Croatian
3 incursion into a protected area, isn't he saying, Listen, we need more
4 resources and chapter 7 authority if you expect us to protect the protect
5 the areas meaningfully.
6 A. I believe what he is saying is the Vance Plan is impracticable,
7 but it ought to be revisited and UNPROFOR should be given a different
8 mission and more resources.
9 Q. Thank you very much, Brigadier.
10 MR. GOSNELL: Mr. President, I see the clock.
11 JUDGE DELVOIE: Brigadier Wilson, this is the end of today's
12 hearing. You are not released as a witness. I explained to you
13 yesterday what that means in regard to discussing your testimony with
14 other people or talking to one of the parties.
15 We expect you back tomorrow at 9.00.
16 And, Mr. Gosnell, I suppose there is no problem in finishing the
17 testimony of this witness tomorrow.
18 MR. GOSNELL: I certainly hope not, but there will be some
19 substantial cross-examination tomorrow.
20 JUDGE DELVOIE: Okay.
21 Thank you, Mr. Wilson, for today. The Court Usher will escort
22 you out of the courtroom.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE DELVOIE: Court adjourned.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.02 p.m.,
1 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 22nd day of
2 August, 2013, at 9.00 a.m.