1 Monday, 22 March 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.14 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar,
6 could you call the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, case number IT-01-47-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
10 Could we have the appearances for the Prosecution.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon,
12 Your Honours. Good afternoon, Counsel. For the Prosecution, Daryl
13 Mundis, Ekkehard Withopf, and Ruth Karper, the case manager.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And could we have the
15 appearances for the Defence.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On
17 behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, counsel; and Stephane
18 Bourgon, co-counsel. Thank you.
19 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On
20 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Mr. Mulalic,
21 our legal assistant.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Trial Chamber
23 would like to greet everyone present in the courtroom, the representatives
24 of the Prosecution, the Defence counsel, the accused, and everyone else in
25 the courtroom. We're in Courtroom II today, although it seems that
1 Courtroom I and III are available. But unfortunately we've been given
2 this courtroom, which is fine, but it would have been better to have a
3 bigger courtroom.
4 I note that there are only five seats for the Defence, and
5 usually there are six members of the Defence team. Unfortunately, there
6 is no possibility for a sixth lawyer to be present. If we had our model,
7 we wouldn't be able to have the hearing here with the model.
8 And Mr. Withopf, as far as the model is concerned, have you seen
9 the model and has the Prosecution any comments to make about the model?
10 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, to date I haven't seen
11 the model yet, but the Prosecution is in contact with Defence, and this
12 issue will be sorted out very soon.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. But if
14 we had a model in this courtroom, it would have to be a lot smaller.
15 We have three witnesses scheduled for the hearing. I think that
16 they are present. They are international monitors. And naturally, their
17 testimony will be very interesting and very important.
18 The Trial Chamber would like to indicate immediately that we
19 reserve the right to ask these witnesses technical questions if the
20 Prosecution and the Defence haven't asked questions which might be of
21 importance and relevance.
22 Without wasting any more time, since I know that it might take
23 time to examine these witnesses, we'll call the first witness into the
25 Could the usher go and fetch the first witness.
1 Unless there is something that Mr. Bourgon would like to say
2 before the witness is called into the courtroom. Yes, go ahead then,
4 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President. Good day,
5 Your Honours. The Defence would like to raise an issue before the
6 beginning of the testimony or after the testimony. This concerns the
7 documents from the ECMM.
8 Mr. President, we can deal with this matter now, immediately, or
9 after the testimony is given.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's best to do it now.
11 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We have
12 conferred with our colleagues from the Prosecution about the documents
13 briefly. The problem is that we received a number of documents which come
14 from the archives in Sarajevo. We have also received a certificate
15 according to which these documents are all the ones located in Sarajevo.
16 But it seems that we have certain documents provided to us by the
17 Prosecution, yet we didn't find these documents in Sarajevo. For this
18 reason, we are concerned and we would like to know where the other
19 documents are. We would like to know how the Prosecution managed to
20 obtain these documents.
21 We have identified a mechanism, a procedure today, that would
22 enable us to obtain these documents. Firstly, the Prosecution has said
23 that they will provide us with a list of all the documents that they have
24 in their possession and which corresponds to the criteria identified in
25 Annex B of our request which was filed in December. So with this list, we
1 should be in a position to inform the Prosecution of the documents that
2 they have and that we don't have, documents that could be provided to us
3 at a subsequent date.
4 This procedure relates to two permits given by the EU. First of
5 all, the Prosecution could disclose the list of documents to us. And
6 second of all, the Prosecution would be authorised to disclose the
7 documents in question, the ones that we don't have in our possession. The
8 reason for which the Defence would like to deal with this matter today, to
9 discuss this matter today, is that the first witness from the ECMM should
10 be testifying next Friday, on the 29th of March.
11 Mr. President, we believe that it is important to be able to
12 obtain all the documents before the first witness is heard. According to
13 my colleagues from the Prosecution, it should be possible to obtain the
14 two authorisations and the documents in good time. We should have
15 sufficient time to consult the documents before this witness testifies on
16 Friday, the 29th. We simply wanted to raise this issue before the Trial
17 Chamber and we hope that we'll be able to resolve the problem so that we
18 aren't late when it comes to the testimony of the witnesses from the EU --
19 the ECMM.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf will respond to
21 these issues. But if the permission arrives too late, then a solution
22 would be to hear the witness scheduled for Friday, the 29th at a later
23 date. But Mr. Withopf will certainly provide us with additional
25 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, I can confirm that
1 today Defence and Prosecution had a meeting discussing this issue in
3 The ECMM documents stem from three different sources. The vast
4 majority stems obviously from ECMM; the second source is the Danish
5 Foreign Ministry; and the third source is a number -- are a number of
6 witnesses who provided the Prosecution with a number of ECMM documents.
7 The Prosecution was able to find out a way to efficiently deal
8 with the request made by Defence counsel recently. We are talking about
9 some 10.000 of documents. The list in respect to 7.000 out of the about
10 10.000 documents can be made available very soon. It's a pure technical
11 issue, and the Prosecution can deal with it.
12 More complex, however, appears to be the issue of the ECMM
13 granting the lifting of the Rule 70 restrictions. I will contact ECMM at
14 the very earliest opportunity to discuss this issue with them, provided
15 that they are prepared to lift the Rule 70 restrictions, Defence counsel
16 will receive the respective lists in the near future. And it appears -
17 however, a guarantee can obviously not be given - but it appears to be
18 realistic that the list can be provided prior to the first ECMM witness
19 appearing before this Court. The first one is scheduled to testify
20 Thursday, 1st of April and Friday, 2nd of April.
21 If I may use this opportunity to also inform the Trial Chamber
22 that today the Prosecution will disclose a number of Rule 68 documents
23 stemming from the ECMM collection. In that respect, ECMM has been
24 given -- has given the permission to disclose such materials. Thank you
25 very much.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf, for
2 this information. Naturally, the Trial Chamber will listen to what the
3 parties have to say about this issue, and please don't hesitate to take
4 stock of the matter as soon as necessary. And if necessary, file motions
5 with us.
6 Naturally, Defence should have access to these documents so that
7 they can conduct their defence and be familiar with the documents that are
9 I'm now going to ask the usher to bring the witness into the
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. Are you hearing
13 what I'm saying interpreted into your own language?
14 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called here as a
16 witness for the Prosecution. Before you testify, you should make a solemn
17 declaration. But before you do so, you should first tell me your first
18 and last name.
19 THE WITNESS: My name is Vaughan Kent-Payne.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your date of birth.
21 THE WITNESS: The 13th of October, 1958.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which town were you born in?
23 THE WITNESS: I was born in Beverly, in the County of East
24 Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your position and what
1 is your current rank?
2 THE WITNESS: I'm a major in the -- in the British Army.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What position and rank did you
4 have in 1993?
5 THE WITNESS: I was a major and an infantry company commander in
6 the 1st Battalion, the Prince of Wales' Own Regiment, Yorkshire Battle
7 Group in 1993.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Have you already
9 testified in court with regard to the events that took place in the former
11 THE WITNESS: No. This is the first time.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You should now make
13 the solemn declaration. Could you please read out the text that you'll be
15 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
16 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.
18 WITNESS: VAUGHAN KENT-PAYNE
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the Prosecution starts
20 with its examination-in-chief, I would like to provide you with some
21 information about the procedure followed in this courtroom.
22 You will first have to answer questions that will be put to you
23 by representatives of the Prosecution. The representatives of the
24 Prosecution are to your right. And when conducting the
25 examination-in-chief, they will ask you about events of which you were an
1 eyewitness in 1993.
2 Once they have concluded their examination-in-chief, Defence
3 counsel, who are to your left, will conduct their cross-examination. The
4 questions that they put to you will be somewhat different from the ones
5 put to you by the Prosecution, given that the purpose of their questions
6 will be to check your credibility as a witness and also to ask you
7 questions that have to do with the general context at the time. So you'll
8 have to answer such questions.
9 In addition, the three Judges, who are sitting before you, may
10 ask you questions at any point in time. But given that you were an
11 international observer at the time - and you will testify about this - we
12 might ask you questions that haven't been put to you by either of the
13 parties if we think that it's necessary to obtain additional information
14 about the facts that you witnessed. Pay careful attention to the
15 questions that are put to you. If a question seems to be complicated or
16 unclear to you, ask the person who is putting the question to you to
17 rephrase it.
18 Before you answer a question, think about your answer, especially
19 if the questions are complicated. If you don't understand the meaning of
20 a question, ask the person putting the question to you to rephrase it, to
21 make sure that the question is very clear to you.
22 As I have already said, Defence counsel will also ask you a
23 series of questions, and they will also make an attempt to ask you clear
24 and precise questions. They will avoid asking you questions -- asking you
25 lengthy questions. The Trial Chamber will be monitoring all the questions
1 put to you.
2 There are two other things I would like to inform you of: As you
3 have sworn to speak the truth, naturally you are not to lie, because if
4 you have made a solemn declaration and give false testimony, in such a
5 case the witness who has given false testimony could be prosecuted. Such
6 a witness could be fined or could be given a prison sentence or both
7 penalties could be imposed on the witness.
8 In addition - but this doesn't concern you - a witness when
9 answering questions might provide information that could be used against
10 the witness at a subsequent date. If that is the case, the witness can
11 refuse to answer the question. This is a well-known principle in
12 Anglo-Saxon law. But nevertheless, if the Trial Chamber wants to compel
13 the witness to answer the question, what the witness says when answering
14 the question can't be used against him.
15 So this is how the hearing will proceed. I believe that the
16 Prosecution has already provided you with some information about the
17 proceedings. And as I see that you are a professional soldier, you should
18 be quite familiar with proceedings in military courts. And roughly
19 speaking, it should be similar to the proceedings in this court. So you
20 should not -- you probably won't be losing your bearings here.
21 Without wasting any more time, I will now let the Prosecution
22 commence with their examination.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you Mr. President, good afternoon,
24 Your Honours, Counsel.
25 Examined by Mr. Mundis:
1 Q. Major Kent-Payne, can you please for the benefit of the Trial
2 Chamber briefly describe your military career with respect to various
3 postings and assignments that you've had.
4 A. I was commissioned as an officer in 1978 and joined United
5 Kingdom infantry battalion as a commander in charge of 30 soldiers, where
6 I spent two years, including a tour of duty in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
7 I then spent two years at a recruits' training depot training young
8 soldiers before returning to my regiment as the reconnaissance platoon
9 commander in Berlin in the days before the wall came down.
10 I then returned to Northern Ireland for two years as the
11 battalion operations officer, planning operations at battalion level
12 before going to our non-commissioned officers training school for two
14 In 1990, I attended the army staff course. And from 1991 to
15 1992, I was the chief of staff of a brigade and operations in Northern
16 Ireland. I spent three years as a rifle company commander, including the
17 United Nations tour of Bosnia in 1993, before spending six months as an
18 operations officer in the operational headquarters in the Falkland
19 Islands. From 1996 to 1999, I was based in the Middle East instructing
20 the Kuwaiti armed forces on the use of British equipment before returning
21 to my battalion as second-in-command in 1999 for two years including two
22 duties -- two tours of duty in Northern Ireland.
23 In 2001, I spent 6 months as the chief operations officer of a
24 multinational brigade in Pristina, in Kosovo, followed by six months as a
25 United Nations military observer in Sierra Leone. I then spent eight
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 months as the chief of staff of British forces in the Balkans, based in
2 Banja Luka, in Northern Bosnia. And my last job has been the United
3 Kingdom peace-keeping advisor to the Economic Community of West African
4 States, ECOWAS, based in Nigeria, and planning the West African
5 peace-keeping operations in Cote d'Ivoire and Liberia. I took over my
6 present appointment as chief instructor at our officer training school
7 about ten days ago.
8 Q. Now, Major Kent-Payne, you mentioned being involved with the
9 United Nations in Bosnia in 1993. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber
10 when you first went to Bosnia and for what purpose.
11 A. It was in February 1993, on the reconnaissance party for my
12 regiment, the Prince of Wales' Own Regiment of Yorkshire. The commanding
13 officer, the company commanders, and the principal staff officers spent
14 one week in Vitez in Central Bosnia with the previous battalion, the
15 Cheshire Regiment, in order to familiarise ourselves with the area, the
16 procedures for United Nations peace-keeping operations, so that we could
17 go back to our unit in Germany and supervise the training and briefing of
18 our own soldiers prior to deployment.
19 Q. Major, when in fact did you first then deploy back to Bosnia?
20 A. It was around the 15th of April, 1993.
21 Q. And, sir, when did your unit deploy to Bosnia?
22 A. The soldiers deployed in a series of flights over the period of
23 about two weeks, and we assumed command of the operational area on about
24 the 9th or 10th of May, 1993.
25 Q. Major, what did you do between the period when you deployed to
1 Bosnia around the 15th of April, 1993 and when your unit joined you and
2 you assumed the operational area on or about the 9th or 10th of May, 1993?
3 A. We spent approximately three weeks carrying out familiarisation
4 patrols with the previous battalion. This involved travelling around the
5 area, getting to know the area, getting to know the operational
6 procedures, and meeting some of the local commanders in a series of
7 meetings. Our own vehicles then arrived, and we took time to prepare
8 these to do final training before my own company went on to a few days'
9 guard duties, and we assumed operation control of our area on about the
10 11th of May, 1993.
11 Q. You mentioned your vehicles arriving. Can you please tell the
12 Trial Chamber what type of vehicles your unit had when you were in Bosnia.
13 A. I was responsible for "C" Company group - that's C, the letter
14 C - and I commanded some 30 armoured vehicles. Fourteen of these were
15 Warrior infantry armoured personnel carriers. These are a tracked vehicle
16 of about 30 tonnes armed with a 30-millimetre cannon; four small Scimitar
17 light tanks, which weigh about 10 tonnes, also tracked; and a number of
18 other tracked armoured vehicles from our support weapons platoon, the
19 anti-tank platoons, and the mortar platoons.
20 Q. Major Kent-Payne, you told us that you commanded "C" Company.
21 Can you please tell the Trial Chamber the way your unit, meaning your
22 larger unit, your regiment, was structured at the time you were in Bosnia.
23 A. The way we were structured were three infantry companies,
24 otherwise known as rifle companies, lettered A, B, and C; a support
25 weapons company with anti-tank mortars and reconnaissance assets; and a
1 headquarters company, with the administrative elements. For the purposes
2 of this tour, we also had attached to us "C" Squadron of the Light
3 Dragoons and Reconnaissance Regiment with Scimitar light tanks. For this
4 tour, we were -- the support company was split between the various rifle
5 companies and the armoured squadron, so we had four deployable subunits,
6 each of around 150 to 200 soldiers.
7 Q. How long did your regiment remain in Bosnia?
8 A. The regiment as a whole remained there for six months. Some
9 individuals such as myself who went on the first advance party and left on
10 the last flight were there for a total of seven months.
11 Q. Did the structure that you've just told us about, in terms of the
12 different companies, remain the same throughout that tour, or did it
13 change at some point in time?
14 A. The structure remained the same; although, the locations of
15 the -- of the companies did change to some extent. And my own company,
16 "C" Company, remained in Vitez throughout the duration of the tour.
17 The -- our own "B" Company remained in Gornji Vakuf throughout the
18 duration of the tour. However, the light dragoon squadron and our "A"
19 Company swapped over for a period up in Tuzla, to the north of Bosnia.
20 Q. Where in Vitez was the "C" Company garrisoned?
21 A. We were garrisoned in -- in Vitez school, which is approximately
22 3 kilometres outside the town of Vitez. It was a -- a primary school
23 which had been taken over for the duration of the UN operations and rented
24 from the local authorities by the United Nations.
25 Q. You told us that the "A" Company swapped over for a period, the
1 light dragoon squadron and the "A" Company swapped over for a period up in
2 Tuzla. Were those -- either of those units deployed anywhere other than
3 Tuzla? And if so, can you please tell where you say they were.
4 A. Yes. At the start of our tour, "A" Company and my own company,
5 "C" Company, were in Vitez. And then after about three months, "A"
6 Company went up to Tuzla swapping over with the light dragoons for
7 approximately two months. And then for the last four to six weeks of the
8 tour they swapped over again and then the light dragoons returned up to
10 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, if I could just ask either the usher
11 or the technical booth if they could lower the boom on the ELMO. It might
12 be easier for me to see the witness.
13 Q. Major, can you please tell the Trial Chamber who commanded the
14 "A" and "B" Companies during this deployment to Bosnia?
15 A. "A" Company was commanded by Major Roy Hunter and "B" Company by
16 Major Graham Binns.
17 Q. And, sir, during the deployment can you please tell the Trial
18 Chamber to whom you reported, that is your chain of command going
20 A. My chain of command up was to the battalion commanding officer,
21 Lieutenant Colonel Alistair Duncan.
22 Q. Sir, do you recall who Lieutenant Colonel Duncan reported to?
23 A. Colonel Duncan reported to the brigade commander, who for the
24 first four or five months of the tour was Brigadier Robin Searby, and for
25 the last six weeks possibly of the tour was Brigadier John Reeth.
1 Q. Major Kent-Payne, can you please describe what the terms of
2 reference or mission of your unit was during the time you were deployed to
4 A. The mission that we were given by the United Nations was quite
5 clear, which was to escort humanitarian aid convoys.
6 Q. During the time that your unit was deployed in Bosnia, did that
7 mission change or somehow evolve?
8 A. The mission itself did not change, but the previous commanding
9 officer, Lieutenant Colonel Bob Stewart, and my own commanding officer did
10 what we call in the military a process called mission analysis, which is
11 to look at the task and see whether the way that we're doing it is the
12 best way to carry out the task. And what they decided was that the only
13 way to successfully move humanitarian aid convoys was if the area was
14 peaceful. And so we went from being convoy escorts to in effect
15 peace-keepers. And although the United Nations mandate did not allow us
16 to peace in force, then what we were able to do was to negotiate peace by
17 whatever means possible to ensure the area was as quiet as possible, to
18 therefore move or convoys with the minimum amount of escorts.
19 Q. Major, can you please tell the Trial Chamber what steps you took
20 in order to familiarise yourself with the area of responsibility of your
22 A. First of all, the company commanders had all been around the area
23 on our reconnaissance and had briefed our soldiers accordingly. However,
24 when we arrived in Bosnia in April, the areas had changed somewhat due to
25 the withdrawing of the United Nations boundaries. So we therefore had to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 set out to travel as much of the area of possible. For the first three
2 weeks, we did this in company with soldiers from the previous battalion.
3 And then for our first week or ten days, once our own vehicles had arrived
4 from Germany, we sent out patrols with the soldiers and the junior
5 commanders to various areas so they could get to know both the villages
6 and the routes that led to these particular villages.
7 Q. Could you describe, please, for the Trial Chamber the area of
8 responsibility that your company patrolled
9 A. Roughly in the north of the area our northern boundary was the
10 front line with the Serbs, which was in the area of Zepce and Maglaj. To
11 the west our boundary again was the front line with the Bosnian Serbs in
12 the area of Turbe. To the south, our boundary was an imaginary point
13 which was a map reference, which -- in which we bounded onto our "B"
14 Company, the Gornji Vakuf company. Roughly speaking, this was mid-way
15 between Novi Travnik and Gornji Vakuf. And in the east, our boundary was
16 basically the Sarajevo to Zenica road.
17 Q. Approximately how many men were in your company during this time
19 A. On an average, 210.
20 Q. Can you please briefly describe some of the geographic features,
21 villages, and towns that were located within your company's area of
23 A. The -- as I've said, the battalion was based in Vitez school,
24 which was about 3 kilometres from Vitez. And our administrative elements
25 were based in a disused garage, which was approximately 1 kilometre from
1 Vitez. The main cities in the area were Zenica, which was to the
2 north-east; Travnik, which was to the west; Novi Travnik, which was
3 slightly south of that; and then smaller towns, Busovaca and Kiseljak, to
4 the south-east; and, of course, Vitez itself.
5 The two main features were the Vlasic Mountain feature, which
6 overlooked Travnik, which in this time was held by the Serbs; and the
7 river valley of the Lasva River, which ran roughly east to west through
8 our area.
9 There were very few roads through the area. Indeed, to get to
10 Zenica there were only three possible roads then, and many of the smaller
11 tracks were either impassable to our Warrior armoured vehicles or at least
12 very difficult going, particularly in bad weather.
13 Q. When you arrived in late April, followed shortly thereafter by
14 the -- your company, what were the weather conditions like in Bosnia?
15 A. As spring had just arrived, the snow had -- had melted and
16 disappeared, and the -- and the weather was just starting to become warm.
17 When we were there in February, there was quite deep snow on the road, and
18 this obviously clearly prevented much patrolling, particularly on some of
19 the smaller tracks and into the mountainous areas.
20 Q. Did that snow that you observed in February when you were on your
21 reconnaissance mission, did that in any way affect the Cheshire Regiment,
22 your predecessor regiment, in terms of their operations in the area?
23 A. It had a significant effect on their operations, to the point
24 where they were only able to -- to patrol on the main roads and
25 immediately off the main roads. There was no system of local authority
1 snowploughs. We had no snowploughs ourselves. And despite the vehicles
2 being tracked, they're still prone to sliding around in icy conditions.
3 And indeed the Cheshires had some serious vehicle accidents problems which
4 caused their commanding officer to curtail much of their patrolling. What
5 this meant was that for most of the area there was no patrolling into some
6 of the smaller villages whatsoever, not through any fault of the regiment,
7 but simply due to the adverse weather conditions.
8 Q. And what effect, if any, did the curtailment of these patrols
9 have on their ability to obtain information?
10 A. It meant that most of the area that wasn't immediately accessible
11 by a main road was basically a complete void of information then, and any
12 information that did come from these areas was generally by word of mouth
13 or hearsay but with no actual UN eyes on the grounds to see for
15 Q. Major, can you please describe or provide some information to the
16 Trial Chamber about the types of patrols that you undertook after your
17 company was on the ground in Bosnia, beginning in May upon their arrival,
18 May 1993.
19 A. The way we operated was that in Vitez with the two companies
20 there, one company would be the guard company, and their responsibilities
21 were clearly guarding our own camp and the perimeter of our camp with
22 sentries and static positions, with roving sentries, i.e., walking round,
23 with a quick reaction force, and also any other permanent static duties
24 that we were tasked to employ.
25 The second company was the patrol company, and this was mainly
1 responsible for convoy es courts -- escorts, the movement of local
2 commanders from one place to the other, escorts of officially accredited
3 aid agencies, such as the UNHCR, and indeed, if possible, some escort of
4 some of the non-governmental organisations, such as the International Red
5 Cross and Medecins Sans Frontieres. The remaining vehicle corps signs, of
6 which there could be a minimum of two or a maximum of six, would then be
7 tasked by myself, the company commander, on advice from the battalion
8 operations and intelligence officers to various locations with a typical
9 task being to go to a village to assess its -- its need of UN food aid, to
10 go to a village to find out the exact locations of the front line or other
11 such military information tasks.
12 Q. Major Kent-Payne, can you please the Trial Chamber -- can you
13 tell the Trial Chamber some of the villages or areas that you began
14 patrolling in mid-May 1993.
15 A. The first places that we went to were places where we'd not been
16 able to go to before and where the -- where the Cheshires had little or no
17 information on these villages. The system that we employed was a system
18 called the honesty trace, which was where each time you came back off a
19 patrol you filed a tracing paper map overlay of where you'd been and these
20 were kept on record in the battalion headquarters. Simply by looking
21 through these records - bear in mind it was the days before the current
22 use of IT and computer equipment, by going through these records you were
23 able to see what had been visited and what had been found out in these
24 particular areas. So we started to -- to attempt first to go to the
25 villages that had seen no UN presence. One of the main reasons for this
1 was to show a UN presence throughout our area, to reassure the local
2 population that the United Nations was not simply confined to the main
3 roads but had free access to all of the areas, as agreed by the various
4 parties with the United Nations.
5 Q. Do you recall some of these villages that hadn't been visited
6 prior to the arrival of your unit, some of the areas where you did in fact
8 A. Basically anything in the Bila Valley and north of the village of
9 Han Bila, which had been cut off by the weather, anything in the hills to
10 the south of Kiseljak, anything to the north of the hills around Busovaca.
11 Basically the areas of high ground that had not been visited before.
12 Q. Major Kent-Payne, do you recall the first time your unit went up
13 into the Bila Valley and the area north of Han Bila?
14 A. Yes. We'd been tasked on two or three occasions to go into the
15 area of Han Bila for prisoner exchanges. There was a small sort of
16 detention centre there, and we were involved in some prisoner exchanges.
17 And also the route through Han Bila was the back way from Vitez into
18 Zenica via a road through some small villages in the hills.
19 However, in the middle of May, about the 15th of May, I was
20 tasked to patrol to the north of Han Bila in order to assess the aid
21 situation in three villages. Please excuse my pronunciation, called Suhi
22 Dol, Has [phoen], and Rat [phoen]. And also, because these areas were
23 relatively close to the Serb front lines in the Vlasic feature, to ask the
24 local people there whether they'd seen any Serbian soldiers and what they
25 believed the state of the front line to be.
1 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber what happened as
2 you and your soldiers went up the Bila Valley on 15 May 1993.
3 A. At the bottom of the Bila Valley at the Vitez end was a Croat
4 checkpoint. By "Croat" I mean Bosnian Croat. And they obligingly moved
5 their -- and their anti-tank mines out of the way to let us through. And
6 we proceeded up the valley, basically making map corrections to our maps
7 and improving our knowledge of the area, until we reached the village of
8 Han Bila.
9 There we were stopped by a small group of BiH - Army of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina - militia men who stood in front of us and indicated
11 that they wouldn't let us pass. At this stage there was no barrier,
12 simply the presence of armed soldiers in front of us.
13 Q. Major, if I could just interrupt for one moment. Approximately
14 what time of day was it that you arrived at this checkpoint where the BiH
15 soldiers were?
16 A. This would have been about 9.45, 10.00 in the morning, something
17 like that.
18 Q. And approximately how many men and how many vehicles were in your
19 group on that occasion?
20 A. In my patrol, I had two Warrior armoured personnel carriers, each
21 with five crew; two turret crew, a commander and a gunner, a driver, and
22 two soldiers in the back, who would act as -- act as protection to look to
23 the sides of the vehicle and the rear of the vehicle. And we were also
24 carrying a young female local interpreter as well, who was on her first --
25 her first job.
1 Q. Okay. I'm sorry for interrupting, but can you please then
2 continue and tell the Trial Chamber what happened after you arrived at
3 this checkpoint.
4 A. I dismounted from my vehicle with my interpreter and went forward
5 to speak to the local militia men and explained that we were with the
6 United Nations, they had no right to stop us from going along this road.
7 The -- the right of passage of the United Nations had been agreed between
8 their high command and the United Nations and they should let us pass.
9 The local militiamen said that I should speak to their local
10 commander, and I was ushered into a small building by the side of the
11 track, where we waited for 10 or 15 minutes and some coffee was brought to
13 In the building, I had myself, my close protection NCO, which is
14 a military euphemism for bodyguard, if you like, and the young female
16 After about 15 minutes the local commander arrived, who was a man
17 in his early 60s, I suppose, and was clearly local militia, rather than a
18 front line infantry soldier. And we talked for approximately 30 to 40
19 minutes. I explained why we wanted to go to these villages, the purpose
20 of us being there, and I tried to show that it would be to the benefit of
21 the local population to allow me to go there, to assess the aid situation
22 with a view to possibly getting humanitarian aid to those villages at a
23 later date. However, he was not compliant in letting us past, and it was
24 clear after about 40 minute that is we were not going to be allowed to
25 pass this. And from our mandate, clearly, although we did have free
1 passage of movement, there was no question of forcing this because frankly
2 the task wasn't worth -- wasn't worth hurting anyone to -- to carry out.
3 After about 40 minutes, just as we were about to give up and turn
4 around and go away, another man came into the room, whispered something to
5 the local commander, who then said that he'd had the orders from his high
6 command and that we would be allowed to proceed up the track to
7 the north of Han Bila, as we'd requested.
8 Q. Major, again, I apologise for interrupting. Let me ask a couple
9 of follow-on questions: The local commander that you've just described
10 for us in Han Bila, what was he wearing on that occasion?
11 A. As I recall, he was wearing combat fatigue trousers and a -- a
12 green -- a green T-shirt and a camouflage waistcoat of the same material.
13 In the early stage of our tour, particularly the BiH had not adopted much
14 of rank structure and they didn't have unit identification badges, and
15 actually, there was nothing really to tell a BiH soldier apart from a --
16 an HVO Croat soldier other than sometimes the Croat soldiers wore
17 red-and-white chequer-board badge on their sleeve. And so there was no
18 way of looking at this man and saying yes, this is the local commander.
19 Unlike us - I'm wearing rank badges - they didn't do that. He simply
20 announced himself as the local commander and we had no reason to doubt his
22 Q. Now, the people, the persons you've described as manning the
23 checkpoints in this community, what were they wearing?
24 A. They again were wearing a mixture of an American-style fatigue
25 uniform and civilian clothes. It was quite -- it was not that common to
1 see people in full military uniform. Each soldier wore either a -- either
2 a shirt or trousers but rarely both. But they would normally wear
3 something to indicate that they were not just a normal civilian.
4 They were armed with a variety of weapons. When we first arrived
5 there, there was simply three or four AK-47-type assault rifles. By the
6 time I emerged from the building after close to an hour, this had been
7 swelled by the addition of some hand-held anti-tank weapons and a couple
8 of machine-guns as well.
9 Q. Was your interpreter that you had with you able to communicate
10 with the persons at the checkpoint and the local commander?
11 A. Yes, she was. Although, she was only 18 or 19 years old and had
12 only learned English at school. Then she became more adept as the -- as
13 the conversation wore on. Interpreting is a skill. It's not something
14 you can pick up straight away. But as we went on, she became better. And
15 it was also the first time that I'd used an interpreter, so I learned to
16 speak more slowly and clearly and not to use too many military-type words,
17 which she wouldn't have had course to learn in the -- in the course of her
18 studies at school. But yes, she was communicating with -- with the locals
19 and they had a small discussion about -- about where they came from and
20 families and that sort of thing.
21 Q. Okay. Major, I've just been passed a note to in fact ask you to
22 speak a little bit more slowly here in the courtroom.
23 My question, I guess, with respect to the interpreter went more
24 towards the language spoken by the local commander and the soldiers at the
25 checkpoint. Was she able to understand them? Were they speaking a common
1 language --
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. -- to the best of what you were able to observe.
4 A. Yes. By this stage, we had -- we, the British, had picked up a
5 small and rudimentary grasp of Serbo-Croat. And it was clear that they
6 were speaking, the interpreter and the local commander, were speaking in
8 Q. Let's resume where you were when I interrupted you. Can you
9 please tell the Trial Chamber how you then proceeded from this checkpoint,
10 where you went next.
11 A. Once the local commander gave us permission to move forward, I
12 returned to my vehicle, noticing that the crowd of people had swelled to
13 around 30 or 40 local militia and around 100 civilians just watching what
14 was going on. Then -- and bear in mind that it was quite unusual for
15 these people to see a UN vehicle at this stage, so we were something of a
17 The atmosphere was friendly, almost carnival-like, and it was
18 clear that most of these people were -- were locals from the village of
19 Han Bila. We shook a few hands and exchanged farewells and got into our
20 vehicles and started to drive north and up the road along the -- along the
21 Bila Valley.
22 Q. I neglected to ask you earlier, Major, what colour were your
24 A. White, and at this stage because those vehicles had come straight
25 from Germany and straight from being repainted, they were a very, very
1 bright white indeed.
2 Q. Okay. You've told us now that you drove north along the road
3 along the Bila Valley. How far north did you drive on that day?
4 A. We drove for about 6 kilometres or so, with the intention of
5 moving into a village called Fazlici and then turning left on a small
6 track, which was marked on the map, and heading for the village of Suhi
7 Dol. However, just before we reached Fazlici, we came to a
8 stoutly-constructed checkpoint. And by that I mean there was a proper --
9 a proper barrier across the road which could be lifted up and a properly
10 constructed guardhut with wooden walls, roof, and small windows. And this
11 was something that we hadn't seen before. Most of the checkpoints were
12 simply a log across the road, an oil drum, or something like that. But
13 this was actually a properly constructed and seemed to have been there for
14 some time.
15 Q. Approximately what time on May 15th, 1993 did you arrive at this
16 checkpoint near Fazlici?
17 A. This would have been around about midday at this stage.
18 Q. Major, I also neglected to ask you what time you left your
19 garrison on that morning on this journey up the Bila Valley.
20 A. As with most of the patrol, we would have left between 9.00
21 and -- 9.00 and 9.15 in the morning.
22 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber what happened at the
23 checkpoint that you arrived at near Fazlici at midday on 15 May, 1993.
24 A. The -- the barrier across the road was down. And from the top of
25 my vehicle, I indicated for it to be lifted. And the soldier on duty on
1 the barrier shook his head. It was clear that he was not going to let us
2 through, so I dismounted from the vehicle and went forward with my close
3 protection soldier and the interpreter.
4 We talked to the soldier on duty at the barrier, and he then sent
5 someone off to fetch his local commander. And another Bosnian Muslim
6 arrived, wearing BiH uniform jacket and trousers, and he told us that we
7 were not allowed to proceed any further north without papers signed by the
8 headquarters of 3 Corps.
9 Now, at this stage we had been briefed by the United Nations that
10 free passage for United Nations vehicles had been negotiated with the
11 warring parties and that under no circumstances were we to agree to go and
12 fetch any piece of paper from any military commander. And the purpose of
13 this was to do so would be to admit that the military leadership of the
14 HVO and the BiH had some control over where the United Nations went, and
15 clearly that was outside the agreement that had been made.
16 So I re refused to do this, to get a piece of paper, and we
17 talked for approximately 15 minutes, during which time it became clear
18 that he was not going to let us through the checkpoint and we had no
19 authority to force our way through this checkpoint. The task that we were
20 doing was not to save life, so clearly to injure someone in the process or
21 to damage property would have been an escalation of the situation, which
22 we did not want to do.
23 Having realised we were not going to get through the checkpoint,
24 we just started to talk about the weather, about football, and just to
25 generally pass the time of day. And I asked him some questions about the
1 Serbs and the state of the war, and everything was friendly.
2 By this stage, the group of local militia had swelled to about 15
3 or 20. The soldiers had their rifles slung over their shoulders, and
4 there was nothing threatening or aggressive about the situation
6 Q. Major Kent-Payne, approximately how long did you remain at this
8 A. We were there for about 30 minutes, and I was just at the point
9 of saying thank you very much, we will come back at another day perhaps
10 with the piece of paper you've asked for when a -- a white Toyota pick-up
11 arrived at high speed. And out of this got a -- an individual who was
12 wearing combat trousers and a green T-shirt and a camouflage combat
13 waistcoat. And from my initial view of him, he appeared to be of North
14 African extraction, perhaps from the area of the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia,
15 Somalia. And he didn't speak any Serbo-Croat that I heard, but he shouted
16 to the local militia men and prodded at them in an -- in an aggressive
17 gesture with his AK-47 rifle.
18 The local militia immediately took their weapons off their
19 shoulders, cocked them - that is to say, pulled the working parts to load
20 a bullet into the chamber of the rifle, therefore making sure that it
21 could fire - and he gesticulated from side to side to make them deploy
22 onto the high ground on the side of the vehicles in what was definitely an
23 escalation of the situation and a more threatening posture from them.
24 Q. Major, if I could ask just a couple of questions. When you say
25 that this was an escalation of the situation and a more threatening
1 posture from them, towards whom was this escalation directed?
2 A. The -- the threat was clearly against myself and my vehicles and
3 their crew. Then at this stage the -- the turret and the gun on our
4 vehicles were pointing to the front. I deliberately ensured that we did
5 not move the turret from side to side, which would look aggressive, then.
6 And we were simply sitting in the middle of the road, two large white
7 vehicles. With myself standing out of the front of the vehicle, to all
8 intents and purposes unarmed, as my own weapon, a pistol, was underneath
9 my flak jacket and could not be seen from the outside. So it was
10 definitely an escalation from their part and not provoked on any count by
11 any of our actions.
12 Q. Major, you told us that the turrets of the Warriors were pointed
13 to the front. Where in relation to the vehicles were -- were you standing
14 at the time you were speaking to the local commander when this white
15 Toyota arrived?
16 A. I was standing about 30 metres in front of the -- front of the
17 Warrior, and the procedure we had adopted was that the -- the vehicle
18 would not stop directly in front of the checkpoint but some 30 to 40
19 metres to the rear, which would give some room for manoeuvre should the
20 vehicle have to turn round or surge forward or go to the rear. It would
21 also mean that because the gun of the vehicle can only go down, can only
22 depress so far, that they would have a chance to use the weapon, given the
23 additional distance.
24 Q. You also told the Chamber that the individual who got out of the
25 Toyota pick-up appeared to you to be North African or from the Horn of
1 Africa. What did you base that assessment on?
2 A. Well, my first impression was clearly he was -- he was most
3 unlikely to be a Bosnian and he didn't look like a Bosnian. He was much
4 darker-skinned. He had -- had North African features, closely -- close
5 cropped curly hair, black curly hair. And also the fact that he quite
6 clearly was shouting something which most definitely wasn't Serbo-Croat.
7 And the interpreter said to me, "I can't understand what he's saying."
8 So -- so I knew he wasn't a Bosnian, and I assumed from seeing
9 people on the television from Somalia that he was from that part of
10 Africa, North Africa certainly.
11 Q. What happened after this individual got out of the white pick-up?
12 A. I was concentrating on him and what he was doing. He -- he
13 refused to talk to me, and so because the situation had escalated I walked
14 to the rear of my vehicle and one of my soldiers handed me my rifle, which
15 I then cocked in the back of the vehicle out of sight of the -- of the
16 local militia. And my close protection NCO, who was carrying a light
17 machine-gun - also cocked - unloaded his weapon. We then returned to the
18 front of the vehicle with the interpreter and back to the barrier.
19 During this time, a second man got out of the pick-up and came
20 towards the barrier. He was most definitely an Arab or certainly appeared
21 to be. He was around 5 foot 4 inches tall with a closely trimmed beard
22 which was slightly greying and slightly greying at the temples, and he had
23 what I can only describe as cold, hard eyes. I held out my hand to him,
24 and in my rudimentary Serbo-Croat said, "Doba dan, kako ste? Ja se zovem
25 Major Vaughan," "Hello, how are you, my name is Major Vaughan." Because
1 the interpreter was on her first day at work, she repeated the sentence as
2 well, much to everyone's confusion.
3 The Arab gentleman refused to shake my hand and said to me in
4 very good English, "I will not shake the hand of an infidel and I will not
5 talk to you with a woman present."
6 As he clearly spoke English that I could understand, I sent the
7 interpreter back to the vehicle to get in the back, which was much to her
9 Q. Did you then enter into a discussion with this individual who
10 spoke English to you?
11 A. Yes. I again talked to him and asked that we be allowed to
12 proceed through that checkpoint to the various villages that are
13 discussed. I told him why we were there. I reminded him that they had no
14 right to stop the United Nations and that we were not interfering in the
15 civil war. We were simply there to assess the situation and report back
16 as to whether the humanitarian aid was needed in these villages. And I
17 pointed out to him that it was in the interest of him and his people to
18 let us through. And -- however, he was having none of this and said that
19 we -- that we were foreigners in his country, in the country, and that
20 the -- that he and the other Muslims would look after the Bosnian Muslims
21 and that they didn't need the United Nations to be there. And we
22 discussed this for about 25 or 30 minutes, during which time it became
23 increasingly apparent that he was not going to let me through his
25 Q. Major Payne, at the time you were discussing these issues with
1 this individual, were you able to hear anything else that was going on
2 around you?
3 A. Yes. First of all, when -- when we were carrying out
4 negotiations, we'd been taught to look the person that you were talking
5 with directly in the eye, then, so you could gauge whether he was telling
6 the truth, whether he was lying, whether he was excited, nervous, or
7 whatever. And that was one of the main reasons why we had a close
8 protection NCO to keep an eye on what was going on around us, because our
9 whole attention as the commander was focussed onto their commander.
10 During this time, my bodyguard was whispering to me that more and
11 more people were coming. And at a break in the conversation, I looked
12 around and saw that the crowd of people had grown to at this stage well
13 over 100. A mixture of both local militia, people who were quite clearly
14 Bosnian, and 30 to 40 foreigners, including some black men, a large number
15 of Arabs, and people of other nationalities. They were better equipped
16 than the local militia, had heavier weapon, had anti-tank weapons, and
17 had -- had more uniform between them.
18 And my attention was grabbed by someone suddenly shouting, "Death
19 to the infidels" in English, but not just in English but in a broad
20 Yorkshire accent, which is a region of England which I'm from and where
21 all the soldiers from my battalion are from. And this was very
22 incongruous in the middle of Bosnia to hear a man from a foreign military
23 organisation insulting us, calling us unbelievers in our own language of
24 English, then. I turned to the crowd but was not able to identify him in
25 the crowd.
1 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber what these people that you
2 saw, this crowd of more than 100 people gathered around you, what they
3 were wearing.
4 A. The -- the majority were wearing military-style combat uniform or
5 at least part of this. When we initially arrived at the checkpoint, there
6 were a number of women and children there, but these were ushered to the
7 back and then away, almost as if something was going to happen and no one
8 wanted them to be in the firing line.
9 The weapons that they were carrying were all of former Soviet
10 type, AK-47 rifles, 64-millimetre, and anti-tank weapons.
11 Q. Now, just a few moments ago, Major Kent-Payne, you mentioned
12 "they were better equipped than the local militia." When you used the
13 word "they," to whom were you referring?
14 A. At this stage, all I could tell was that these were clearly
15 foreigners. They weren't -- they weren't Bosnians. Not many Bosnians
16 have Yorkshire accents. There were clearly some Arabs there and some --
17 some black men, possibly from Africa, then. So these were clearly not the
18 normal Bosnian -- Bosnia militia.
19 Then when I say "better equipped," a lot of the local militia had
20 either bolt-action rifles or old semiautomatic rifles of the SKS pattern;
21 whereas, the -- as I refer to them, the foreigners had -- had more modern
22 AK-47-type weapons, light machine-guns, and anti-tank weapons.
23 Q. Major Kent-Payne, approximately how long in total did you remain
24 at this checkpoint near Fazlici?
25 A. We were there for approximately 100 minutes to 2 hours, I
1 suppose, all told.
2 After I'd clearly realised that the Arabic gentleman was not
3 going to let us through, he then changed the subject and started to berate
4 me for being a member of the United Nations. He said what was I doing in
5 the country as an outsider. He asked if I knew what the five pillars of
6 Islam were, and he said that Islam was the only true religion and that the
7 West was decadent and the United Nations was part of the West and was
8 therefore decadent too and would -- would not be able to solve the
9 problems in Central Bosnia. And I listened to this for about 15 or 20
10 minutes, and it was all becoming a little boring at this stage. And I
11 then noticed that to my left and right the -- the local militia and the
12 foreigners had spread out and were almost completely encircling us. And
13 this I judged to be exceptionally threatening then, and I decided I was
14 going to disengage from the situation because it was clear that it was
15 leading up to either them or us shooting, and this was way beyond the
16 scope of what we'd been asked to do.
17 So I said to the Arab man that "We are the United Nations. We
18 are peaceful, and we mean you no harm. We are not here to threaten you."
19 And at that stage my vehicle gunner inside my -- my Warrior, about 30
20 metres behind me, clearly decided that the situation was extremely
21 threatening and he loaded six rounds of high explosive ammunition into the
22 gun with a very audible sound, which transmitted down the barrel at the
23 exact moment that I said "We're not here to bring any harm to you." And
24 the Arab looked at me, raised one eyebrow and said, "Oh, really?" This
25 was clearly as bad as it was going to get, and we were very, very close to
1 having to shoot some people to move out of the way.
2 So I gave him my best santa [phoen] salute and I said, "We are
3 both soldiers. If you will not shake my hand, then I will salute you as a
4 fighting man." And I turned to move my vehicles out of the area.
5 Q. At this point in time, Major Kent-Payne, approximately how many
6 soldiers had gathered around -- how many ABiH soldiers or foreign soldiers
7 had gathered around your Warriors?
8 A. I would say minimum 100 and maximum 150. It was -- it was very
9 difficult to count exactly, as it was quite a confined area, but it was
10 around 100 or so local militia and perhaps a maximum of 50 foreigners.
11 Q. Now, sir, prior to this patrol up the Bila River -- or up the
12 Bila Valley, can you tell the Trial Chamber what type of briefings you had
13 received concerning foreign fighters being in Central Bosnia.
14 A. Absolutely nothing whatsoever, then. We were not briefed that
15 they even existed, which was why it came as such a surprise to -- to hear
16 not just the man from Yorkshire but to see Arab soldiers and coloured
17 soldiers there, because we'd had no indication that there was any -- any
18 group of foreign fighters operating in Bosnia at all.
19 Q. Major Kent-Payne, after this event on the 15th of May, towards
20 the end of May 1993, what changes, if any, did you notice on the ground in
21 Central Bosnia?
22 A. When we first arrived in Bosnia, we were briefed by the Cheshire
23 Regiment on the situation. And in the classic way that the British always
24 support the underdog, we were very much of the belief that the BiH, the
25 Bosnian Muslims, were the -- were the underdogs. And this was borne out
1 by the fact that soon after I arrived I helped to -- to remove some bodies
2 from Ahmici and from the massacre, which I'm sure you are aware of, and
3 the fact that at the various checkpoints we went to the BiH soldiers were
4 friendly and courteous and the HVO Croat soldiers were surly and
5 aggressive and clearly saw the United Nations as -- as a barrier to their
6 further expansion. So for the first part of our tour, our first few
7 weeks, we were very much of the impression that the BiH were on the
8 backfoot, that they were on the defensive, and that the bad people, if
9 there was such a thing, were the HVO and the Croats.
10 Towards the end of May, early June, this began to change, and the
11 attitude of the Croats became noticeably softer. They became more
12 cooperative, and they began to hint at the fact that there was a BiH
13 offensive being planned and that they wanted us to assist with their
14 protection. They were clearly worried. And they -- and their attitude
15 towards us became much more compliant. They would let us through
16 checkpoints, and they became more friendly towards us.
17 On the other hand, the BiH attitude became more uncompromising.
18 We had more trouble at BiH checkpoints. And they began to try to prevent
19 us from going into more and more areas that we'd previously had unlimited
20 access to.
21 Q. Major Kent-Payne, you've told us a little bit about patrols and
22 about the policy with respect to not seeking written authorisation. What
23 was the policy, if any, about prior notification to the parties about
24 patrols or missions or where you were going?
25 A. This again was directed to us that we would not give the local --
1 the local militias any prior indication of our activities. And the reason
2 for this was that to go to a headquarters and basically ask permission to
3 go into a certain area was to admit that the locals controlled Central
4 Bosnia and not the United Nations, which went against the agreement for
5 free passage, then. And indeed, if the -- if such passage was refused,
6 then we would be in a position of basically upping the ante, of being
7 becoming more aggressive by trying to force our way through a particular
8 area in order to complete our mission. So it was the general policy that
9 we did not seek permission to go into any areas because we didn't need to,
10 due to the agreements that had been made between the UN High Command and
11 the high command of the various militias.
12 Q. Sir, you told us a few moments ago that towards the end of May or
13 early June the Croats began to hint at the fact that there was a BiH
14 offensive being planned. What steps, if any, did you take to ascertain
15 whether or not such an offencive was planned -- offensive was planned.
16 A. I had been visiting a village called Grahovcici - again, please
17 excuse the pronunciation - which was a Croat village to the -- to the east
18 of Han Bila then, which was basically a Croat enclave surrounded on three
19 sides by Muslim villages.
20 When we first visited the village, they were quite aggressive and
21 did not want us to enter. And the second time, we were shown into the
22 schoolhouse to meet with the local commander. The third time I visited, I
23 was treated like a long-lost brother by him and I said that I would get
24 one of our officers to come and assess his village for the distribution of
25 UN food aid. And the fourth time, the local commander was clearly very
1 worried and he said to me that he had been told by some of the -- the
2 Muslim inhabitants of the surrounding villages that there was going to be
3 an attack and that him and his family should flee the area to avoid any
5 I asked him how he could be sure that these people were telling
6 the truth, and he told me that the Muslim and the Croat villages have been
7 next to each other for generations and that just because the people were
8 from a different religion didn't mean to say they were not friends and
9 they would look out for each other.
10 I reported this back to the commanding officer, and he convened a
11 meeting in a place called Guca Gora, which is north-east of Travnik, on
12 about the 2nd of June, 1993.
13 Q. Sir, if I could briefly interrupt you. This fourth visit to
14 Grahovcici that you've just told us about, what day was that, to the best
15 of your recollection?
16 A. As I recall, it was about the 2nd of June, 2003 -- sorry, 1993.
17 Q. So just for clarification, you then reported this information to
18 your commanding officer, who convened a meeting in Guca Gora on the same
20 A. I believe it -- I believe it was the next day.
21 Q. Do you recall, then, what day the meeting was to be convened in
22 Guca Gora?
23 A. As I recall, the 2nd or 3rd of June. I -- I don't remember the
24 exact date.
25 Q. Okay. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber this
2 A. I personally did not attend the meeting, but I was at Guca Gora
3 that day and I provided the security for the meeting and carried the Croat
4 commanders from -- from Vitez into Guca Gora. The reason we carried them
5 inside our vehicles was because it necessitated them travelling through
6 BiH-held areas and they were worried about their security. So I carried
7 them in my vehicles to this meeting.
8 At one of the intervals, I met some of the -- the delegates,
9 including the Croat commander from Grahovcici, and the deputy commander of
10 3 Corps BiH, who I knew to be Colonel Merdan, and we discussed -- he spoke
11 a little English. We discussed football, the weather, and then through my
12 interpreter he said that they had agreed there would be no attack and no
13 offensive and I spoke to the Croat commander, and he seemed happy that
14 there would be no attack and that he thanked us for our help in organising
15 it and said he would report back to his people that everything was going
16 to be all right, and the rumours of the attack were just that, rumours.
17 Q. What happened following this meeting?
18 A. Following this meeting, we returned back to our camp. And the
19 next day - I believe it was the 3rd of June, 1993 - what we called the
20 lightning offensive, the BiH offensive, took place in the Bila Valley and
21 a number of previously Croat villages were captured by the BiH militia.
22 Q. You told us that this meeting that you attended in early June
23 1993 was in Guca Gora. Were there other opportunities or were there other
24 times when you were in the community of Guca Gora in June 1993?
25 A. Yes. The initial stage of the -- what we knew as the lightning
1 offensive was the capture of villages such as Grahovcici and Brajkovici.
2 But this -- the fighting then spread to the village of Guca Gora. And on
3 about the 7th of June, my company was the guard company and "A" Company
4 under Major Roy Hunter sent a patrol to the area of Guca Gora to monitor
5 the fighting. The reason this was done was because we could hear the
6 fighting from our camp. It was only a few kilometres away, and we did not
7 wish to -- for the same thing to happen as happened in Ahmici, where a
8 massacre took place only a few kilometres from the United Nations base but
9 the United Nations did not know it had happened and, therefore, in the
10 eyes of the International Community did nothing about it. So we had a
11 policy to investigate every -- every burning house, every incident of
12 firing, which was why there was a patrol in Guca Gora.
13 The patrol commander there was fired on by people who were
14 identified as being foreigners. When I say he identified them the site
15 used for the gunnery on the Warrior has a magnification of ten times. And
16 so although a soldier may be 500 metres away and indistinct to the human
17 eye, through the sights it's easily enough to pick up whether he's
18 white-skinned, black-skinned, and of what origin he comes from.
19 They returned fire from the grounds of the monastery in Guca Gora
20 and then herded together the inhabitants of the village to protect them
21 from the attack which was taking place on the village.
22 I was tasked to take a convoy of lorries to the village on the
23 7th of June to evacuate the civilians. However, when we got to a BiH
24 checkpoint on the Travnik road to turn onto the road through the village
25 of Mosunj and then to Guca Gora, we were blocked by the militia, who said
1 that we could not pass and they had anti-tank mines laid across the road.
2 Also, on the radio we could hear the -- the results of the -- the
3 action taking place in Guca Gora. And as live ammunition was being fired
4 and casualties were being inflicted on the BiH soldiers, it was clearly no
5 place to take soft-skinned lorries. So we were ordered to turn around and
6 we went back to Vitez school.
7 The next morning the commanding officer went to Guca Gora with
8 the UN representative and he instructed that I was to get together as many
9 armoured vehicles as I could, and we got together 16 assorted armoured
10 vehicles and drove to the checkpoint on the road to Travnik. The mines
11 were still there and the BiH soldiers refused to let us through, saying
12 that we could not go into a security zone.
13 I told them that we already had soldiers in Guca Gora and they
14 said they would let them out but not me in and that they would refuse to
15 let any Croats out in our vehicles.
16 I then asked them to move the mines again, and they refused. So
17 we got our vehicle and by very carefully moving from left to right with
18 the tracks on the smooth tarmac we pushed the anti-tank mines out of the
19 way, which was risky and rather stupid, but the only way to get through
20 this particular checkpoint. And the BiH decided that we clearly wanted to
21 carry out our task, so they let us through.
22 Once we got to Guca Gora, there were a large number of Croat
23 civilians, 181, to be precise, and we succeeded in fitting them into our
24 vehicles, which we then turned round to head back down to -- to Vitez.
25 Q. Major Kent-Payne, to the best of your recollection, what time was
1 it when you arrived at the monastery in Guca Gora on that day?
2 A. It was late morning, probably 11.00 in the morning, something
3 like that.
4 Q. And approximately how long did it take to load the 181 civilians
5 into the vehicles?
6 A. It took -- it took about two hours, simply because we could only
7 load one vehicle at a time, because there was shooting taking place at
8 this stage. The civilians were in safe cover inside the monastery. But
9 we had one vehicle at a time parked in front of the monastery in a place
10 where there was a large wall and could not be seen from much of the
11 village, and it was a safe place to put these people in.
12 Also, we knew we had to pack at least 10 or 15 people into each
13 vehicle to ensure that they were inside armoured protection, and this took
14 some time to pack them in. We also moved the children and the women
15 first, and then followed by old men and finally men of combatant age. And
16 this took some time to sort them out as well.
17 Q. Other than the 181 civilians, was anything else taken from the
18 monastery in Guca Gora?
19 A. The -- the abbot in charge of the monastery asked our regimental
20 padre, that's our -- our spiritual advisor, then, who is a commissioned
21 officer, whether he would be willing to assist in moving some of the
22 religious artifacts from the monastery into safekeeping. And he suggested
23 that the -- the main church in Vitez would be a good place to take these
25 I said that we would not be able to take very much, and I asked
1 him why it was important. And he told me that it was a very, very old
2 monastery and an important religious site for the Croat -- for the Roman
3 Catholic religion.
4 We took some statues, some other artifacts, and the leather-bound
5 Bible from the altar. The Abbott took me up to the library there, where
6 there were several thousand books, and it was clearly impossible to take
7 very many of these books. And finally, then, the Abbott and our padre
8 locked the door and we left and he was the last person into the vehicles.
9 And when we evacuated, there were no Croats left alive in -- in Guca Gora.
10 Q. Major Kent-Payne, can you briefly tell the Trial Chamber the
11 condition of the monastery on the 8th of June, 1993 when you left, when
12 you locked the door and departed.
13 A. I was inside the monastery building for approximately half an
14 hour as we briefed the local people T Croats as to what was going to
15 happen. We told them how the evacuation would be conducted, and we got
16 them into the order which we wished to take them out to the vehicles.
17 As I recall, the monastery was extremely old. It had a large
18 number of wooden seats, with a wooden confessional box for the priest, and
19 on one wall was a large -- a large painted mural or fresco which struck me
20 as being out of place, as the church was clearly very old, but this mural
21 had probably been painted in the last 20 years and was very abstract and
22 modern. There was no damage to the inside of the church, other than it
23 was untidy, having been the home to almost 200 people for -- for 24 hours.
24 Q. Thank you, major Kent-Payne.
25 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I note the time. I'm about to move
1 into a larger area of my direct examination, and this is approximately the
2 time for the recess.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis. We are
4 going to make a break. It's quarter to 4.00. We shall continue at ten
5 past 4.00. This is also going to allow our witness to take some rest.
6 --- Recess taken at 3.43 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 4.13 p.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Mr. Mundis,
9 you have the floor again.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Major Kent-Payne, right before we took a recess, you were
12 describing for us the evacuation of a number of civilians from Guca Gora.
13 Did you on any subsequent occasion return to the monastery at Guca Gora?
14 A. Yes. About five days later, I was tasked by the United Nations
15 civil advisor to the commanding officer, whose name was Randy Rhodes, to
16 go to the village of Maljine, which is about 2 or 3 kilometres from Guca
17 Gora. The -- one of the liaison officers, Captain Mark Bower, had been
18 given a map which -- by a Croat which was supposed to show the site of an
19 atrocity which had been committed by BiH or foreign soldiers in Maljine,
20 and the map showed where the bodies were buried. And this -- the
21 permission to go to -- go to this area was sought and given, and so on
22 about the 13th of June, 1993, I took around six or eight armoured vehicles
23 up to Guca Gora with the aim of taking Randy Rhodes and Mark Bower to the
24 village of Maljine to search for any signs of the supposed atrocity.
25 Q. Now, sir, again approximately what time on 13 June 1993 did you
1 leave the Vitez school where you were garrisoned?
2 A. Again, we would have left at about 9.00 in the morning and got to
3 Guca Gora about 9.45, 10.00.
4 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber, please, what happened as your
5 convoy approached Guca Gora.
6 A. As we arrived in Guca Gora, it was immediately apparent that
7 there were a large number of heavily armed men in and around the
8 monastery. We were stopped by people standing in front of us outside the
9 monastery, and I noticed a large number of foreigners, people who we now
10 knew to be known as the Mujahedin in the area of the monastery. There
11 were or there was a heavy machine-gun in a sandbagged emplacement outside
12 the monastery and approximately 20 to 30 foreign soldiers and about 10 to
13 15 locals, mostly middle-aged men from the local BiH militia.
14 Q. Did you on that occasion have any interaction with any of the
15 people who were standing in front of you on the road?
16 A. Yes. At first, I dismounted and went forward to what was a small
17 checkpoint across the road, and I was then confronted by a foreigner who I
18 had not seen before, again, of North African appearance, who spoke a
19 little English. And I said my mission was to go to Maljine and that I had
20 to search the area and it will be better for his side if he allowed us to
21 go there because it would show that they had nothing to hide.
22 He refused this request and said that we must turn back. And in
23 the vehicle with me I also had some press with them. They got out of the
24 vehicle and started to film, and this made the foreigners extremely
25 agitated at the prospect of appearing on the camera.
1 Q. Excuse me, sir. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what type of
2 clothing these individuals were wearing.
3 A. Again, a mixture of uniform and civilian dress. But in -- and a
4 number of them had -- had Arabic headdress, what we call in the British
5 Army Shemagues, a chequered red-and-white headdress which wraps around
6 their head. Some of them had what I would describe as afghan outfits,
7 their baggy trouser, waistcoats, almost turban-like head gear. And quite
8 a few had long beards, including some with henna in the beards. But all
9 wore -- all wore some form of military fatigues, either trousers or
10 jackets, to -- to make people know that they were -- they were in some
11 form of military organisation.
12 Q. Okay. Major, when I interrupted you you were telling us about
13 the press beginning to photograph these people with cameras. Can you
14 please continue.
15 A. The -- the foreigners got most agitated at this and to diffuse
16 the situation I told the -- the film cameraman to get back inside the
17 vehicle and I tasked one of my soldiers to ensure that he did not go
18 outside the vehicle again.
19 The -- the fighters who were present did not seem unduly upset by
20 the -- the two written reporters from the newspapers, and they continued
21 to -- to write down what was going then on at this time.
22 At one stage when I went back to my vehicle and stood in the
23 turret to brief my vehicle gunner as to what was happening and to what
24 procedure to follow, I was level with the bank of grass outside the
25 monastery and one man spoke to me in a heavily Yorkshire accented English,
1 basically telling me to go home. And I said to him, "I think we come from
2 the same place. Why don't you go home too." And he then -- he then
3 started swearing at me. And I said, "Look, we're all Yorkshire brothers."
4 And he said, "You're definitely not my brother," and then started to
5 insult British and UNPROFOR in general.
6 About a minute later, just as I was about to dismount from the
7 vehicle, one of the local militia there, a middle-aged man in his late
8 50s, early 60s then accidentally fired his rifle into the ground at his
9 feet. Then my soldiers in the vehicles took this to be a form of
10 aggression and we swung the turrets of our vehicles on to the foreigners
11 on the bank around the monastery and we loaded our weapons with both --
12 both high explosive and machine-gun ammunition. At this point the British
13 member of the Mujahedin shouted to everyone to cool down, to calm down,
14 which -- which most people did. And eventually the situation calmed down
16 I moved forward to the checkpoint and talked again to the -- to
17 the man of North African origin. And a few minutes later a white Toyota
18 pick-up arrived and out of it got the same Arab who I'd met at Fazlici
19 about three weeks before. He walked up to me. He clearly didn't
20 recognise me. The first time I'd met him had been -- I'd been wearing my
21 helmet. This time I was wearing a beret. And I'd started to grow a
22 moustache, so I probably looked slightly different. I recognised him
23 though and I deliberately held out my hand to shake hands with him, and he
24 again said, "I will not shake the hand of an infidel." I knew then it was
25 the same man. He again said too me, "I will not talk with a woman
1 present." And it was a different female interpreter, and I sent her back
2 to the vehicle.
3 Myself and Randy Rhodes and Mark Bower talked to this man for 15
4 to 20 minutes. And again it became clear that he was not going to let us
5 go to Maljine and he kept on telling us that the problem he had with this
6 was that he would not let our vehicles into what he called his security
8 I then said to him, "If it's -- if it's my vehicles you object
9 to, will you let me go to the village unarmed and with my colleagues
10 here?" And this put him on the defensive. And he had no choice really
11 but to agree to that. So he summons the pick-up truck back to him, and
12 myself and Mark and Randy got into this. The only weapons we had were our
13 pistols, which were under our flak jackets. The vehicle -- sorry.
14 Q. Sorry, Major. At the -- at the time you got into the pick-up
15 truck, approximately what time was it?
16 A. I would say about 10.45, 11.00 in the morning.
17 Q. And prior to getting into the pick-up truck, what orders, if any,
18 did you give to your unit or your soldiers who remained with the warriors
19 at this checkpoint?
20 A. I had a slightly bad feeling about this, because we were going
21 way outside the mandate of what we were supposed to do; although, to my
22 opinion, the primary task was to get to this village, to investigate the
23 alleged atrocity. So I briefed my company second-in-command that we would
24 be gone for one hour and if we were not back in one hour and he had not
25 heard from us, then we were -- then he was to force the checkpoint and
1 take as many vehicles as possible to -- to Maljine and look for me. I
2 also gave -- gave him my signet ring to give to my girlfriend if something
3 bad happened to me.
4 We then got into the pick-up truck and the driver set off in
5 reverse gear and drove straight into a lamppost, which lightened up the
6 atmosphere somewhat, and we had a good laugh about this as we set off. As
7 we drove down the roads to Maljine, I noticed a number of Arabic slogans
8 painted on the walls of buildings. And every time we passed groups of
9 people the Arab leader would shake his fist out the leader and shout
10 "Allah-U-Ekber." And the same cry was returned by the peoples there. And
11 this was not something we had seen before. As to us it represented both
12 fundamentalism -- and also they were not speaking in Serbo-Croat but in
13 Arabic, which was a different -- a different situation and interpretation
14 to what we'd been used to.
15 We spent about 35 to 40 minutes in Maljine. The -- we did not go
16 off the -- off the hard surfaces for fear of antipersonnel mines there, so
17 we went from the roads to the buildings and back onto the roads again. In
18 two or three of the buildings there were -- there were bloodstains on the
19 floor, and outside there were several dead pigs and also dogs, which we
20 assumed had been shot by the foreigners. Then we saw no signs of any
21 atrocities. It was impossible to tell whether the blood was human or
22 animal there.
23 It soon became clear that the map which Captain Bower had was
24 absolutely useless and it had no scale on it, no north pointer on it, and
25 it was impossible to -- to make it fit any of the recognisable features in
1 the village. So frankly, we went through the motions for, I'd say, 35 to
2 40 minutes, and then asked to be taken back to our vehicles, as I wanted
3 to ensure that I was back well within the hour.
4 Q. Do you recall, Major Kent-Payne, approximately what time you then
5 returned to the checkpoint where you had left your Warriors and the
6 remaining members of "C" Company?
7 A. Without going back in my statement, it would -- it would have
8 been one hour after we -- after we left, because I ensured that we were
9 back one hour after we left so that my -- so that my troops, who remained
10 at Guca Gora, were not put in the position of having to carry out my
11 orders of forcing through the checkpoint to come to our aid.
12 Q. After returning to that checkpoint, what did you and the
13 remaining soldiers in "C" Company do? Where did you go?
14 A. I spoke to -- to Randy Rhodes, who was upset with us and said
15 that we'd taken too many risks to fulfil our task. And I told him that --
16 that it was him that gave us the job in the first place and if he didn't
17 really want us to do it, then why did he give us the job. And he calmed
18 down at that.
19 We then -- we then thanked the -- the local commander for his
20 cooperation, and I told him that the -- the press would report what we had
21 seen and it would probably show the -- the BiH in a good light. And then
22 we received permission to move our vehicles into the village square, and
23 we turned round and headed back the way we came, back to Vitez.
24 Q. Prior to the recess, sir, you told us about the attack on the
25 area, including Grahovcici. At any point after that attack in early June,
1 did you return to the village of Grahovcici?
2 A. Yes. The next day, which as I recall was the 14th of June, then,
3 I was tasked by the -- by the battalion operations officer to pick up a
4 United Nations field worker and take him to -- to Grahovcici, where there
5 had been a report that another atrocity had been committed. By "atrocity"
6 I mean that local people had been killed by the attacking BiH soldiers or
7 that Croat soldiers who had surrendered or had been captured had been
8 executed then.
9 So at about five past 9.00 in the morning, I picked up the United
10 Nations field worker and also a number of members of the media, including
11 a film crew and a newspaper reporter. And we headed first of all to -- to
12 Zenica, and then across the road that leads through Cajdras, Novo Selo,
13 and then to Grahovcici. The reason we did not head up the -- the Bila
14 Valley to Han Bila was that the Croats, fearing for a BiH push down the
15 Bila Valley towards Nova Bila had fortified their checkpoint and were not
16 keen on letting us through into this area.
17 Q. Sir, was there any particular reason why you went to Zenica on
18 that morning?
19 A. No. When I say -- when I say "Zenica," we actually went -- we
20 bypassed Zenica on what we called the mountain road to get to -- get to
21 Cajdras checkpoint.
22 Q. How many vehicles and how many men went on this mission?
23 A. Again, this was two Warrior, with approximately 10 soldiers, a
24 female interpreter, and some four members of the -- of the media, a film
25 cameraman and two or three -- two or three news reporters.
1 Q. Can you please describe for the Chamber what happened as you made
2 your way towards Grahovcici on the morning of 14 June 1993.
3 A. We were stopped at the Cajdras road junction by -- at a BiH
4 checkpoint. There was a -- a log across the road, and I dismounted to
5 talk to the soldiers to ask them to move it out of the way. The first
6 thing I noticed about them was how well dressed they were, and they were
7 actually wearing -- wearing dark -- dark brown berets with a small cap
8 badge with the BiH -- BiH logo on it. And we had a pleasant conversation,
9 but they said that they would not let me through their checkpoint without
10 papers from the corps commander. I gave them the normal story, that we
11 would not be able to do this, and they said in that case we could not go
12 through the -- go through the checkpoint.
13 At the time we arrived at the checkpoint, it was about 9.45 in
14 the morning, and by about 10.30 the BiH soldiers had reinforced the
15 checkpoint with land mines to put on the road and deployed a heavy
16 machine-gun to emphasise the point they did not want us to go through.
17 Again, it was clearly obvious that they weren't going to let us through,
18 so I decided to call their bluff and as this -- as the UN aid worker was
19 saying that this was a very, very important task, I decided to go to 3
20 Corps headquarters in Zenica and see if I could obtain one of these
21 mysterious pieces of paper to actually see if it would work. We turned
22 around, and I left one vehicle at the checkpoint and with the other
23 Warrior we drove to 3 Corps headquarters, which was in a -- a
24 requisitioned factory complex in Zenica.
25 At the -- at the gate there, I said to the soldier in charge that
1 I wanted to see the corps commander. And he made a telephone call, and a
2 young staff officer appeared and took myself and the interpreter upstairs
3 to an office where I was shown in to the office of Colonel Merdan, the
4 deputy corps commander. I told him about the checkpoint, and he -- he
5 said that we should have been let through. And we talked for 10 or 15
6 minutes. And I said, "Look, I need this piece of paper from the corps
7 commander if I'm to complete my task." He then showed me through the --
8 through his office into the corps commander's office, where I met
9 General Hadzihasanovic for the first time.
10 Q. Sir, if I could briefly interrupt you at this point. My first
11 question is: Approximately what time was it when you arrived at either
12 the office of Colonel Merdan or the time approximately when you were taken
13 into General Hadzihasanovic's office?
14 A. We spent 45 minutes at the checkpoint. We left there around
15 10.30 in the morning and arrived at the corps headquarters maybe 15
16 minutes later. So it would have been about 11.00, 11.15 by the time we
17 were shown into the general's office.
18 I have a clear recollection of the timings because -- because as
19 things transpired later in the day, the timings became quite important as
20 to -- as to how long we were delayed. And I -- I asked people how long
21 we'd spent at each location, which was -- which is why I'm reasonably
22 specific about how long the various events of this particular day took.
23 Q. You also told us that this was the first time you met
24 General Hadzihasanovic. Do you know or do you recall approximately how
25 many times after this day you saw or spoke to General Hadzihasanovic?
1 A. I met the general only three, four times. The first three or
2 four times were in his headquarters, and I believe he came to a meeting in
3 the officer's mess at Vitez as well. And I met him semi-socially then.
4 Q. On this day, that is, 14 June 1993, approximately how long were
5 you in General Hadzihasanovic's office?
6 A. I would say for about 30 minutes, during which time I introduced
7 myself. I told him a little bit about my background. He told me a
8 little bit about his background. And I -- I commented that it was strange
9 how only -- only the corps commander could give permission for me to pass
10 through one particular checkpoint. And I said, "In my army, this would be
11 done by a very junior officer." And he said words to the effect of, "You
12 have to remember that we're a very young army and it takes a long time for
13 us to get rid of the old controlling ways of the Yugoslav National Army.
14 And when there is peace, then we'll have time to transform ourselves
15 into -- into a more westernised army, like you come from." And I
16 understood his problems then, that he was the only person who could make
17 this particular decision to allow me through this checkpoint.
18 Q. During the approximately 30 minutes that you were in
19 General Hadzihasanovic's office, did you notice items that were in his
21 A. It was as I expected a senior officer's office to be. There
22 were -- there were maps on his desk and a couple of maps on the wall,
23 then. Again, I couldn't resist being nosey, so I was looking over his
24 shoulder to see what the maps were with the intention of perhaps gleaning
25 some low-level information to pass back to our military information cell
1 back in Vitez.
2 There was a map of the Bila Valley then with large arrows on it,
3 which is exactly the same as we would have in our headquarters for an
4 operational planning map, to show the -- the big picture of any military
5 operation and then the more junior commanders would then have more
6 detailed maps based off this. It was exactly as I would have expected a
7 general's office to be.
8 Q. You told the Trial Chamber that you went to this office to
9 receive a pass to get through the checkpoint. Did you in fact receive
10 such a pass?
11 A. No. The general said that it was -- it was ridiculous for us to
12 have a piece of paper for this and that he would go even better than that
13 and he would provide us with a -- a BiH military policeman, who would
14 ensure that we got through not just the Cajdras checkpoint but through any
15 other checkpoints we encountered on the way to Grahovcici. And I got the
16 impression that he was ensuring that if -- if the piece of paper was taken
17 off us by one particular checkpoint, then we would still be able to
18 continue with the -- with the military policeman.
19 Q. Just so we're clear, then, Major, in -- at this point in time, on
20 the morning of the 14th of June, 1993, you did not receive such a pass; is
21 that right?
22 A. Absolutely. By this time, it was about 11.30 in the morning.
23 And the general asked us to wait in an -- in an anteroom, where we went
24 and sat and had some tea or coffee, then. And I expected that the
25 military policeman would arrive soon afterwards. In fact, it was well
1 over an hour, an hour and 15 minutes before someone finally told us that
2 the car with the military policeman was waiting outside.
3 By this time it must have been 12.30, 1.00, and we followed the
4 military policeman in a Lada police car to the Cajdras checkpoint, where
5 he got out and talked to the militiamen for about five minutes, during
6 which time it was clear that they were not happy that we'd actually
7 fulfilled our promise to go back to the corps headquarters but they had no
8 choice but to let us through.
9 Q. Did your convoy consisting of the two Warriors and the BiH
10 military police car then proceed towards Grahovcici?
11 A. Yes. We -- we went along the road. There were another couple of
12 small checkpoints, which the military policeman successfully negotiated us
13 through, until we arrived at another checkpoint in a village called Novo
14 Selo. Here we were stopped by more soldiers with a makeshift barricade
15 across the road, and they then started to have a heated argument with the
16 military policeman. I went forward to see what was happening and was told
17 that, first of all, that the -- they accused the military policeman of
18 being a Croat spy. And I said, "Is it likely that I'll be escorting a
19 Croat spy in a BiH military police car?" But they said, "We don't know
20 this man. He could be anyone. And anyway, we need a piece of paper from
21 the corps commander to come through."
22 Q. Sir, if I could again interrupt. The people at the checkpoint in
23 Novo Selo, what were they wearing?
24 A. Again, a mixture of -- of fatigue uniforms, and there were a
25 number of militiamen there who were wearing Arabic-type headdress.
1 However, from their facial appearance, it was clear that they were -- they
2 were Bosnians. We had amongst ourselves, the British soldiers, we
3 classified the -- the BiH soldiers into a number of categories. At the --
4 at the top end, as the most serious and most dangerous, were the foreign
5 Mujahedin, the Arabic fighters, if you like; at the bottom end, the
6 easiest to deal with were the local militia, often middle-aged men, who
7 were just only interested in basically getting home in one piece at the
8 end of the day; and next up from that were the regular units of the BiH,
9 who were normally reasonably easily to deal with; and then there was an
10 organisation called 7 Muslim Brigade. These consisted of the more hard
11 line of the BiH soldiers. By that I mean the more -- the people with the
12 stricter adherence to the Muslim faith. Then a lot of them affected long
13 beards, some items of Arabic and Afghan-type dress, then. And a number of
14 these went, as far as they could, to be like the foreign Mujahedin. And
15 we called these plastic Mujahedin, plastic being a derogatory term for
16 imitation. And so they pretended to be Arabs with long beards and Arabic
17 headdress but they weren't the real thing; they were actually Bosnians.
18 And there were five or six of these individuals there, and they were by
19 far the most aggressive of the soldiers at this particular checkpoint.
20 And the others were normal Bosnian soldiers from 7 Muslim Brigade.
21 Q. Based, Major Payne, on your experience and the information that
22 you possessed at the time when you encountered these soldiers at the
23 checkpoint in Novo Selo, did you know what unit they were affiliated with?
24 A. Absolutely, because I asked them. They -- I said, "Look, look,
25 you've already let me through your checkpoint at Cajdras and you've
1 already -- and why won't you let the military policeman through now?" And
2 they said, "That's because we're a different brigade." And I said, "Okay,
3 which brigade are you then?" And they said, "We're from --" they called
4 it 7 Mountain Brigade, in fact, there. And I said, "What do I need to get
5 through your checkpoint?" And they said, "We need a piece of paper signed
6 by the corps commander." And we talked about this for 10 or 15 minutes.
7 And then I said to them, "Okay, I'm going to get this piece of paper now
8 and you'll be in trouble when I get back and you'll see that I get this."
9 And they looked at me as if to say there's no way you're going to achieve
10 this -- this mission.
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would be grateful for a pause
12 between question and answer.
13 MR. MUNDIS: .
14 Q. Major Kent-Payne, I assume you heard what the interpreter just
16 Did you then in fact make an attempt to get such a piece of
18 A. Yes. We turned round again and with our military policeman we
19 returned to 3 Corps headquarters in Zenica. I went up to see Colonel
20 Merdan again, and he said that we were to wait and that the general would
21 eventually sign the piece of paper that we needed. I asked to see
22 General Hadzihasanovic because I wanted to tell him myself the trouble we
23 were having going about our legitimate business as part of the
24 United Nations.
25 So I saw the general for about five -- five minutes, and he said
1 yes, he would definitely arrange the piece of paper for us. I assumed
2 that he would sign it there and then and give it to me, but this was
3 Bosnia and things didn't happen that way, so we were shown outside to an
4 anteroom and I remember we were given a glass of vodka to drink, which was
5 unusual, because we normally were given slivovice in various headquarters.
6 And we waited and we waited for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes
7 before we were finally given the piece of paper at about half past 4.00,
8 5.00 in the afternoon.
9 The piece of paper was -- had been written on a typewriter with
10 the -- the general's name and a signature above this.
11 Q. Major, armed with this piece of paper, what did you then do?
12 A. I took the piece of paper, went back to the vehicles, and then we
13 drove back to -- to Novo Selo. And where I showed it to the -- the
14 commander of the checkpoint, who looked most upset that we'd gone to the
15 trouble to get it but it was clearly -- it was clearly the correct item.
16 He recognised the signature, the name, the -- the crest on the piece of
17 paper, and had no option but to let us through.
18 We were only about 1 kilometre from Grahovcici, and by this stage
19 it was about half past 6.00, perhaps even 7.00 at night. And it was
20 starting to get dark. The UN aid worker then came to me and said that he
21 was only contracted to work until 5.00 and would we -- would we come back
22 another day. My reply to him was unprintable, but I pointed out that he
23 had asked me to go to the village in the first place and we were going to
24 continue with our task, as we'd been at it for about eight or nine hours
25 at this stage to get our way to Grahovcici.
1 Q. Major, approximately how far was Grahovcici from your garrison in
3 A. Without looking at the map, I can't be sure, but no more than 6
4 or 7 kilometres. But its location meant it was in the hills above us,
6 Q. And under normal conditions, how long would it take for two
7 Warriors to travel from Vitez to Grahovcici?
8 A. The particular route that we took should have taken from -- from
9 the Cajdras checkpoint to Grahovcici should have taken about 20, 25
10 minutes. But obviously it took us several hours to complete this journey
11 with the various delays and waits at 3 Corps headquarters.
12 Q. So I believe you've told us, sir, that it was sometime between
13 18.30 and 19.00 on the 14th of June, 1993 when you finally arrived at
15 A. So from first arriving at the Cajdras checkpoint at about 10.00
16 in the morning, it had taken us almost nine hours to fulfil this
17 particular task and actually get our vehicles, and more importantly, the
18 UN observer to the -- to the village.
19 Q. And what in fact happened once you delivered the UN worker to
21 A. As I said, it was getting dusk at this point, so we -- we didn't
22 have that long, probably 40, 50 minutes in the village. We walked around.
23 There were several dead pigs and dogs lying around, some bloodstains, but
24 no bodies and no obvious sign that there had been an atrocity, no
25 freshly-turned earth or anything like that.
1 As an infantry soldier, I had a look around the defensive
2 positions from the Croats, and there had clearly been a heavy battle for
3 this village. There were several hundred, if not thousand, empty cases in
4 and around the trenches. The marks of -- where mortar bombs had exploded
5 and other discarded ordnance from that. There were no -- no civilians
6 there. There were no -- or very few signs of any BiH soldiers. And from
7 what I could see, none of the buildings had been -- had been burned or
8 destroyed in any other way, other than through normal battle damage.
9 After about 50 minutes the UN worker virtually plead to be taken
10 away and we had clearly done what we were asked to do, so we drove him
11 back to Vitez, then.
12 Q. Major Kent-Payne, do you recall the next time that you went to
13 the area of Guca Gora?
14 A. Yes. What -- what happened was the -- the checkpoints that the
15 BiH had put up in the area of Guca Gora were removed around the 14th, 15th
16 of -- of June. And the reason for this was that we had been asked by the
17 HVO, the Croat militia, to go to the village of Pokrajcici, which is to
18 the west of the Bila Valley, then, to take part in a body exchange. We'd
19 done this and helped to recover the bodies of some HVO soldiers from the
20 front line. And in return for this favour, I'd ask the local Croat
21 commander for vehicles of my company to be allowed to drive along his
22 front line. What this effectively meant was that we could get from Vitez
23 to Guca Gora without having to go through any BiH checkpoints. So there
24 was clearly no point in putting them there, because they couldn't stop us
25 from getting into the area any more.
1 So on the 16th of June, I took a patrol along the Croat front
2 line and -- to Guca Gora with a task of assessing whether the foreigners
3 were still encamped around the monastery and to what the situation was,
4 whether they'd burned the village or anything else.
5 We arrived at the -- the monastery and stopped outside. And as I
6 took my radio headset off, I could hear the sound of broken glass inside
7 the monastery. And I got out of my vehicle, and with an interpreter and
8 my bodyguard went forward to the door and pushed it open. Inside the
9 monastery were 20 or 30 women, mostly middle-aged and elderly, who were
10 sweeping up the monastery and cleaning it, and the sound that I'd heard
11 had been broken glass being swept up and then put into -- into buckets
13 In addition to sweeping the floor, they had cloths with water and
14 they were wiping the walls down and trying to remove the Arabic slogans
15 which had been painted on the walls. I looked around me, and it was clear
16 there was a considerable amount of -- of damage or desecration had been
17 done to the inside of the monastery. As I recall, the -- the wooden
18 confessional booth had been smashed up and burned, several of the wooden
19 seats had been smashed, and there was human excrement smeared on the rest
20 there. There had been pots of paint thrown at the -- the large fresco on
21 the wall and Arabic slogans had been written on the -- on the walls in
23 And finally, an attempt had been made to hack the -- the fresco
24 from the wall with something like a pickaxe or a shovel and there were
25 large pieces of plaster and dirt on the floor where this had happened. It
1 was clear -- it was clear to me is that there had been a substantial
2 amount of desecration of this -- this particular religious building and a
3 few minutes later a BiH policeman appeared and said that we had to remove
4 from the area immediately. And I told him words to the effect of, "In
5 America they call this a cover-up, but I've seen what you're doing and I
6 will report it." And he told me that he had been instructed by 3 Corps
7 headquarters in Zenica to do as much as he could with these women to make
8 good the damage that had been done to the church.
9 Q. Major Kent-Payne, were there any future dates or days when you
10 were at the monastery in Guca Gora, after this event you've told us about
11 on the 16th of June, 1993?
12 A. At the end of the month of June 1993, about the 30th of June, I
13 was tasked by the operations officer to take the -- the priest from the
14 church in Vitez, together with our own padre, to the monastery in Guca
15 Gora. Like many things in Bosnia, rumours were rife and the Croats
16 believed that the Bosnian Muslims had completely destroyed the monastery
17 and they'd burnt it down, and the object of taking the priest there was to
18 show him the damage that had been done but so he could go back to reassure
19 his people that actually the building had not been razed to the ground, as
20 many people believed.
21 In order to do this, I was instructed to go to 3 Corps
22 headquarters and obtain written permission from the corps headquarters to
23 get me through any checkpoints which I would need to pass through to get
24 to Guca Gora, and also to give to the military policeman there, to give
25 him written authority to show us around the monastery.
1 At 3 Corps headquarters, I did not see the general but I -- I met
2 up with the deputy corps commander, Colonel Merdan. And I said to him
3 that the desecration of the monastery was a very serious act and that we
4 heard many, many times that it was only the HVO, or the Croats and the
5 Serbs who destroyed religious sites - for instance, the mosques in Ahmici
6 and Bandol were completely destroyed by the HVO - and I told him that by
7 allowing their own people to desecrate the monastery in Guca Gora, as far
8 as the International Community would be concerned they were making
9 themselves as bad as the other two sides and that the HVO, the Croats,
10 would clearly use this as propaganda to say that the -- the BiH were
11 committing the same form of -- of desecration.
12 Colonel Merdan said to me that it was not regular troops that is
13 did this, but it was the foreigners, the Mujahedin. And I said to him
14 words to the effect of, "But they're under your control and therefore you
15 are responsible for doing this." And he said an analogy on the lines of,
16 "But you have to understand that -- that the foreigners are like the --
17 the genie in Aladdin, then. You can rub the lamp and get the genie out to
18 help you. But unlike the genie who returns to the lamp, then the
19 foreigners are very difficult to get back into their box and they're
20 difficult to control." And he said that it's -- it was something that
21 they needed to -- to work on, to ensure that these people did not behave
22 in a manner which -- which was -- which was unbecoming and which was
23 against the Geneva Convention.
24 We went from there to the monastery, and indeed a very good
25 effort had been made to clean up the place there. The slogans had been
1 removed from the walls. The -- the place had been tidied up and swept
2 clean. But you can't -- you can't unsmash a 500--year-old window and they
3 couldn't obviously repair the fresco, so that damage had still been done.
4 And that was the last time for several weeks that I went to Guca Gora.
5 Q. Major, when Colonel Merdan made this statement about Aladdin and
6 the genie, what was your reaction to that?
7 A. I believed that he was acknowledging the fact that the foreigners
8 were part of his organisation but they were clearly an undisciplined part
9 of his organisation and something that he was wishing to control but
10 perhaps wasn't sure how best to do it at that time.
11 Q. In terms of the information that you received and things that you
12 observed while on the ground in Bosnia, what conclusions, if any, did you
13 draw about the Mujahedin?
14 A. They were quite clearly -- quite clearly fanatical and saw both
15 the HVO and indeed the United Nations as the enemy. From the evidence
16 that I saw around Guca Gora and from anecdotal evidence from other UN
17 commanders, I believe that the foreigners were used to spearhead any
18 attack by 3rd Corps BiH and that they formed part of what we knew as 7
19 Muslim Brigade, which was also used as the fire brigade, if you like, for
20 3 Corps. And it -- it was clear to me that they were perhaps
21 indisciplined and out of control but nevertheless were acting as part of
22 the organisation that we knew as 3 Corps.
23 Q. Can you explain for the Trial Chamber what you mean by
25 A. Yes. In any -- in any attack, it needs someone to form the very
1 front line of that attack, and this was often carried out by the
2 foreigners from 7 Brigade, with the 7 Brigade troops behind them. There
3 were a number of reasons for this, I believe, as a soldier, then: First
4 of all, the foreigners were the best equipped and perhaps the more
5 fanatical fighters; then secondly, they were foreigners.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Stop, please.
7 Mr. Bourgon.
8 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the questions put by
9 my learned friend at the moment are calling for the opinion on behalf of
10 the witness about the facts that he cannot testify to and that he has not
11 testified about today. The opinions are something that we have mentioned
12 on several occasions from the beginning of this trial. We are trying to
13 allow our learned friend to examine in any way he wants; however, during
14 our cross-examination, we are going to try and establish the base for the
15 opinion that the witness is asked to put forward. We are here on very
16 slippery ground at the moment because the witness is being asked to talk
17 about his military knowledge. Usually these are the questions that are
18 put to experts. This witness is not an expert. If he is, he has not been
19 defined as an expert. He was on the ground. But if my learned friend
20 wants to ask him questions about who was leading the attacks, then he --
21 the witness has to either tell us that he saw the attacks or that he
22 received data of some units spearheading these attacks.
23 The witness has spoken about very precise incidents, an incident
24 at the checkpoint, an incident by the monastery in Guca Gora, and another
25 incident when he went to Grahovcici village to inspect the area. On no
1 occasion did he mention any other attacks, unless we take into
2 consideration the thing -- the fact that he saw a map in the general's
3 office with the arrows on the map. I don't think it is proper for us to
4 talk about who was it who carried out an attack, who was in command, only
5 if one is a soldier on the ground.
6 Mr. President, if we allow this witness to testify in this way,
7 then we will have to apply the same thing to all the other witnesses. And
8 if all the witnesses are to testify in this way, we are going to go far
9 from the evidence that you are supposed to hear that might be useful to
10 you to arrive at the truth about this case.
11 I believe that we have already mentioned the difference between
12 expert witnesses and opinions put forth by any other witness. For that
13 reason, Mr. President, the Defence would like the Chamber to rule about
14 opinions put forth by witnesses. And we will act upon your oral ruling.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we render our decision,
16 what is the viewpoint of the Prosecution? Let me summarise. The
17 Prosecution has called for an opinion on the part of the witness in their
18 question. The question was what the Mujahedin did. And the witness said
19 that they spearheaded all of the attacks. The Prosecution then asked the
20 witness to define the term "spearheading." And then he answered that in
21 every army there are parts of the troops who form the very front line of
22 the attack and that in this particular case those were foreigners, the
24 Mr. Mundis, with regard to --
25 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, sorry.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon.
2 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, could I just add something to what
3 Mr. Bourgon has said, before the Prosecution responds.
4 A. And that is that we do support the submission that has been made
5 by Mr. Bourgon. The witness, his evidence should be limited to what he
6 saw and experienced and knew at the time. Your Honours have already ruled
7 in relation to previous witnesses, that they should only be allowed to
8 testify about relevant matters in the case and in particular, about what
9 they knew or saw at the time. And we -- we would respectfully submit that
10 in this case it's imperative that the witness's testimony is limited to
11 what he himself is able to testify about and not allow the witness to make
12 extrapolations or assumptions. Those are matters, of course, for
13 Your Honours to consider in due course, and the parties will be able to
14 address Your Honours on those questions as well.
15 Your Honour, the main reason for that, in our submission, is that
16 the probative value that can be attached to opinions or assumptions that
17 the -- the witness makes is very limited, and there must be circumstances,
18 in our submission where, because the probative value that can potentially
19 be attached is of such a narrow value that it should be excluded, that
20 Your Honours should not allow such evidence to be put before Your Honours,
21 to be put in public session, because of the potential prejudicial effect
22 to the accused.
23 In your submission, the trial cannot be run on the basis of
24 rumours and assumptions; it must be based on hard facts. Thank you,
25 Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Mundis. What is the
2 position of the Prosecution with regard to the observations put forth by
3 the Defence? Mr. Dixon has just added that those who form the very front
4 line of the attack is something that the witness only heard from other
5 people, that he cannot testify directly about that.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. The Prosecution would
7 respectfully request that the witness be removed from the courtroom in
8 order for us to fully respond to the Defence.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm going to ask the
10 usher to take the witness out of the room for a while.
11 Witness, you are going to leave the courtroom for a few minutes.
12 [The witness stands down]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 First, for the record, again the Prosecution was asking the
16 witness about any conclusions that he reached based on information he had
17 received and things that he had observed.
18 As the Defence is well aware and as has been repeatedly litigated
19 in this case, hearsay evidence is admissible, assuming that the source of
20 that hearsay information is known to the Chamber. So with respect to the
21 hearsay component, the Prosecution would assert that there is absolutely
22 no reason why a witness couldn't draw conclusions based on hearsay, just
23 as he could draw conclusions based on any other information that's in that
24 witness's possession.
25 The witness has testified about several events from which one
1 could conclude or one might reasonably conclude that there was a degree of
2 interaction between the foreign fighters and members of the ABiH,
3 including some of the incidents at the checkpoints.
4 With respect to the question about spearheading, simply that goes
5 again to demonstrate that information that was in the witness's possession
6 from briefings he received or from intelligence report s that he might
7 have received led him to certain conclusions. He's clearly not testifying
8 as a expert witness, we have not called him as an expert witness, and the
9 Defence know that is we have not called him as an expert witness. There
10 have been a number of witnesses, however, whom the Prosecution have asked
11 about conclusions they reached based on things they observed or
12 information that was in their possession. The Prosecution would assert
13 that this is clearly a proper line of questioning. Mr. Dixon is certainly
14 correct that it's a question of weight to be given to such evidence. The
15 Prosecution would submit, however, that it's certainly not rising to the
16 level of being prejudicial or unfairly prejudicial to the accused simply
17 because we're here before an International Tribunal of professional Judges
18 who can assess this evidence and give it the proper weight.
19 The issue of weight to be given to the evidence, when
20 Your Honours finally have to deliberate on the issues involved in this
21 case, does not in any way go to the admissibility of the evidence. The
22 evidence is certainly in the Prosecution's view admissible. The issue of
23 what weight Your Honours might ultimately give it is a completely
24 different matter, and that is evidence, the weight to be given to this
25 evidence, the Prosecution would submit, is more properly done at the end
1 of the trial, when all the evidence is available to Your Honours.
2 This is particularly the case in cases such as this one that are
3 highly or to a certain -- to a large extent rely on circumstantial
4 evidence. Your Honours clearly are being given small pieces of the puzzle
5 which will only be clear at the end of the case.
6 We would submit that what is involved here at this point is the
7 admissibility of this evidence, not the weight to be given to it. We
8 believe that it clearly is admissible at this point, based on the practice
9 of this Trial Chamber, and also given the fact of what the witness has
10 testified to, the knowledge that he had, the observations that he made,
11 which all went into him reaching these conclusions.
12 Again, Mr. President, I know the Prosecution has raised this on
13 several other occasions, but we would respectfully again request the
14 Defence that in the event they want to raise such objections or any
15 lengthy objections involving submissions by counsel, that they
16 respectfully request the witness to be taken out of the courtroom. The
17 Prosecution does not think it's proper to be arguing before the Chamber in
18 the presence of the witness.
19 Thank you, Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
21 Before I give the floor to Mr. Bourgon, I have to clarify
22 something. On page 64, line 23 of this discussion, it says -- the
23 Prosecution asked the witness the following: "According to the
24 information that you had and according to what you were able to observe
25 yourself, what did -- what conclusions could you draw about the
2 The first element of this question was the information that the
3 witness had; and the second element was what he could observe and what
4 could he conclude about the Mujahedin, based on these two elements.
5 On page 65, line 1, the witness replied that he was of the
6 opinion that the Mujahedins spearheaded the attacks. The next question by
7 the Prosecution was: What do you mean by spearheading the attacks? And
8 the witness then said, "In any attack, there are troops who form the very
9 front line of the attack." And the witness said that those were, in this
10 case, the foreigners in the 7th Brigade.
11 Having said that, I would like to give the floor to the Defence,
12 and then we will retire to deliberate and to decide whether the witness
13 will be allowed to continue answering this question.
14 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I believe
15 that the Chamber has been able to identify the exact question that we are
16 objecting to. The witness was asked to provide an answer based on two
17 elements: The information that he had received and the observations that
18 he made himself. And then the question was for him to draw conclusions
19 about the Mujahedins. In the witness's answer, we believe that there is a
20 danger in allowing such evidence to be heard. The witness said that the
21 Mujahedin were those that the HVO and the United Nations regarded as the
22 enemy. He never spoke about the HVO and the UN before. He mentioned this
23 for the first time today.
24 Secondly, the Mujahedin treated the UN as the enemy. Today we
25 have spoken about two incidents. In one of them, according to the
1 witness, the United Nations were treated as the hostile force. The
2 tensions rose. And during that same incident, there was a soldier who was
3 involved who happened to fire his weapon. And this resulted in a
4 situation in which the UN troops turned their barrels against the
5 Mujahedin, and then the witness said that he mounted the vehicle and he
6 said that he was then taken to Maljine. He never said that the Mujahedin
7 treated the UN as the enemy. He said that based on what he saw in Guca
8 Gora and the anecdotal evidence from various commanders he concluded some
9 things. What he saw in Guca Gora were some people that he believed were
10 Mujahedin, and he also saw some inscriptions in the Arabic script in the
11 monastery, but he never saw anything that would illustrate the behaviour
12 of these people. If there had indeed been any attacks by the army or the
13 Mujahedin, the witness did not eyewitness any of that.
14 He -- the witness also mentioned a genie in the lamp. He never
15 mentioned who was the one who did the rubbing of the lamp. We may draw
16 our conclusions based on that. What we may conclude is that the 7th
17 Brigade spearheaded the attacks together with the Mujahedin. If the Trial
18 Chamber allows the witness to draw such conclusions without his words
19 being part of the context, without his words being based firmly on the
20 facts, it is our opinion that this may be detrimental. A witness may
21 appear someday who will speak in favour of one side or the other. The
22 witness is supposed to say what he saw, what he witnessed. A lot of
23 things are being allowed here for a witness to say.
24 A fact witness is allowed to put forth his opinions, and this may
25 be detrimental for the accused.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber will retire
2 to deliberate, but before we do that I would like to give the floor to
3 Mr. Dixon again. Let me tell you that in lines 19 and 20 the witness did
4 put forth an opinion about something that was said by the Mujahedin
5 against the UN. This Mujahedin had a Yorkshire accent and he attacked
6 both the Brits and the UN.
7 Mr. Dixon, you have the floor. Then we will retire.
8 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honour. Only one further point, and
9 that is the witness only mentioned the 7th Brigade on one occasion, when
10 he says he was allegedly stopped by them at a checkpoint for a few
11 minutes. That's the only time the 7th Brigade has been mentioned.
12 The next question concerning the 7th Brigade which arose is the
13 one that we objected to. And our plain submission is -- therein lies the
14 danger of asking these kinds of questions, is that a huge jump has been
15 taken by the witness with no justification, in our submission, because it
16 is based on general assumptions, extrapolations, and not based on what the
17 witness knew or saw. And we would ask Your Honours to consider our
18 objection in light of the evidence that the witness has already given, in
19 particular about the 7th Brigade.
20 Your Honours might well reply that these are questions we could
21 put to the witness in cross-examination. However, in our submission,
22 because of the gap between what the witness has actually said in his
23 testimony and the conclusion that he -- he now draws, we say it's got to
24 the point where it should be excluded, because there's no probative value
25 that can be attached to it and the Defence shouldn't be required to ask
1 questions or put forth a defence in a case like that when the conclusions
2 are so far removed from the actual hard evidence that the witness has
4 Thank you, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you Mr. President, very briefly. I should
7 note also that the portion of the transcript - I believe it was on page
8 65 - to which Your Honour, the Presiding Judge, referred to just a moment
9 ago, clearly we have a situation here where the witness has answered the
10 question and then a follow-on question was asked which is in fact what
11 prompted Mr. Bourgon to object.
12 For the record, Mr. President, those questions concluded that
13 part of the direct examination, so the Prosecution would simply like to
14 call to the attention of the Chamber that those questions have been asked
15 and answered. And I only have just a few questions remaining for the
16 witness which have nothing to do with that specific subject matter.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
18 It is twenty-five past 5.00. We are going to retire to
19 deliberate. But this is also going to be our next break. We will resume
20 in 25 minutes and we will then continue until 7.00.
21 --- Recess taken at 5.24 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 5.53 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will now resume.
24 The Trial Chamber deliberated during the break, and we will now
25 hand down our decision. With regard to the right the Prosecution has to
1 put the question mentioned a minute ago to the witness. We'll decide on
2 whether the witness's testimony should be rejected. As it is based on
3 hearsay the Trial Chamber would like to remind you of the previous
4 decision, according to which hearsay evidence is admissible providing that
5 the witness indicates the source of the information and provides other
6 clarifications, other explanations with regard to the information
8 In this particular case, the witness could not tell us about the
9 sources, how it is that he knew the Mujahedin were the spearhead of the
10 7th Brigade and, as a result, of the 3rd Corps. And the Trial Chamber, if
11 it gives probative value to the witness's answers, should ask the witness
12 about the sources that allow him to claim that the Mujahedin spearheaded
13 the attacks. When this is done, we will decide on the probative value of
14 the answers provided.
15 Without wasting any further time, I will ask the usher to call
16 the witness into the courtroom so that I can ask him these questions.
17 [The witness entered court]
18 Questioned by the Court:
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, we'll continue where we
20 left off. As you heard, a minute ago, a while ago there was an objection
21 to one of the answers that you provided. To enable the Trial Chamber to
22 determine what the probative value of your answer is, I would like to ask
23 you some questions in order to determine the basis on which you came to
24 the conclusion that the Mujahedin were the 7th Brigade's spearhead and as
25 a result they were the 3rd Corps's spearhead.
1 You answered a question that was a general question, and you
2 spontaneously started to speak about the fact that they spearheaded it.
3 In military terms, what made you claim that the Mujahedin represented the
4 spearhead, spearheaded the attacks? Is this an inference of yours, or is
5 your claim based on specific facts, military intelligence, facts that
6 concern attending meetings, command meetings? Is it based on reports?
7 What exactly allows you to make such a claim? Could you answer my
8 question, please.
9 A. Yes. The -- the evidence that I gave came from the -- the
10 briefings that we were given from our own military information cell.
11 After we first encountered the foreign Mujahedin, our --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Could you just stop
13 there. You mentioned a military information cell. Perhaps you could
14 explain to us how these cells function, because this hasn't been mentioned
15 yet. So you had a military information cell. Could you please tell us
16 how this functions, unless it's a secret. But if not, you could perhaps
17 provide us with some explanations.
18 A. Normally, as far as the military is concerned, information of that
19 nature will be called "intelligence." But because we were working for the
20 United Nations, it was called "military information," as a less overt term
21 for what nevertheless was intelligence.
22 In each battalion, we had a military information cell, which was
23 commanded by a captain, and with a specialist staff sergeant, a senior
24 non-commissioned officer from our intelligence corps, i.e., someone who
25 was not -- who was a professional intelligence gatherer and collator and a
1 small number of gatherers, eight or ten, who were involved in the
2 gathering and soldiers of information. And their job was to learn as much
3 about the various warring factions as possible, both as much as they could
4 learn about the personalities commanding the various organisations, the
5 way in which those organisations were organised, the weapons and equipment
6 that they had, the tactics that they used on operations, and any other
7 information such as dress, equipment, rank badges, and that sort of
9 All of this information was collated by the military information
10 cell and then each evening at 6.00 the hierarchy of the battalion,
11 including myself as a company commander, would be given an intelligence
12 briefing from the military information cell as to what had been discovered
13 by the various elements of the battle group within the last 24 hours, and
14 also what things we should be looking out for.
15 Each patrol we were sent on had some form of military information
16 purpose to it. So even if we were escorting a convoy, we would be briefed
17 by the military information staff while we were in a particular village to
18 find out some information that they required. And it is from these
19 briefings that the information on the foreign Mujahedin was given to us by
20 our military intelligence officer.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you received this
22 information, but we can see how the information system functioned now.
23 But how did this information show that there was an attack force that
24 spearheaded attacks? How did this information allow one to say that the
25 Mujahedin were the 3rd Corps's spearhead? Do you remember when exactly
1 this was first mentioned and in relation to what sort of situation or what
2 sort of event?
3 A. After I met with the foreign Mujahedin on the 15th of May, this
4 was the first that our -- our battalion had heard of these people in our
5 area, and it then became part of our -- our patrol task was to find out as
6 much about these people as possible. So when we went to various areas,
7 one of the questions that would be tasked to ask various people were,
8 "What are these people doing here? What is their role," then. I can only
9 speak for myself. We asked this question to a number of people in
10 villages, both Muslim and Croat villages, and the information I was told
11 by villagers was that this was their role.
12 This was then passed on to the military information cell, who had
13 information from other patrols, of which there were very many, and that
14 led them to the conclusion that this was how these -- these people were
15 being used.
16 On the briefing that we were given, we were given a variety of
17 reasons why these soldiers were used in this particular role. And one was
18 because they were better trained and more aggressive. The second reason
19 was because they were foreign and, therefore, perhaps there was an element
20 of expendability about them. And the third reason was that their mere
21 presence and perceived fanaticism was guaranteed to make those HVO
22 soldiers perhaps without the stomach to fight run away before a shot had
23 been fired.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if I have understood you
25 correctly, it was only after the 15th of May that your battalion realised
1 that there was this problem. As of the 15th of May, you tried to collate
2 information of various kinds. You said that you had contact with Muslims
3 and Croats and you obtained information from them. Your captain, the
4 sergeant, and eight or ten soldiers also collated this information, and
5 you put all these various elements together and came to the conclusion
6 that this force spearheaded attacks. And you said that it was because
7 they were better trained than others. You said they were more aggressive
8 and that as they were foreigners, they were expendable in combat. This
9 didn't pose a problem for the local inhabitants. And these are the
10 reasons that you evoked.
11 A. Correct, yes, sir.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now continue after having
13 heard your explanations.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Q. Major Kent-Payne, earlier this afternoon you told us about your
16 first encounter with General Hadzihasanovic and mentioned that you
17 subsequently saw him on two or three other occasions and also on one
18 social occasion. Is -- is that an accurate reflection of your testimony?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Other than the social occasion, that is, the two or three
21 occasions other than the one that you told us about at length earlier, do
22 you recall the approximate dates or months when you met with
23 General Hadzihasanovic?
24 A. I don't recall the exact dates, but they would have been in the
25 first two months of the tour. And as I recall, I met him in 3 Corps
1 headquarters, once again asking for a piece of paper to be allowed to go
2 through a checkpoint. And I also carried him in my vehicle on his way to
3 a conference which had been brokered by Colonel Alastair Duncan.
4 Q. On how many occasions in total did you go to
5 General Hadzihasanovic asking for a piece of paper to be allowed through a
7 A. Definitely two that I can remember. The incident which I've
8 described and another incident later on in the tour, where we were stopped
9 at a checkpoint on the road to two villages called Putis and Jelinak
10 there. And the local BiH commander refused to let us through and I
11 eventually went to see the general to get a piece of paper to go through
12 this particular checkpoint.
13 Q. And Major, what was the result on this second occasion of getting
14 a piece of paper from General Hadzihasanovic?
15 A. We were, again, allowed to proceed through this checkpoint and to
16 carry on with our task, only to be stopped later on at another checkpoint.
17 But we'd given the first piece of paper away at this stage, so we had to
18 go back through the procedure again. By this time, it was too late; it
19 was getting dark, so we didn't go back to the corps headquarters.
20 Q. Thank you, Major Kent-Payne.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, at this time there are no further
22 questions by the Prosecution. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
24 Without wasting any more time, I'll now turn to the Defence. We
25 have another 50 minutes. I don't know whether that will be enough. We
1 will perhaps have to continue tomorrow. But the Defence knows how much
2 time they need. The Defence may now take the floor, but I would also like
3 to point out that the Trial Chamber will have a few technical questions to
4 put to the witness afterwards. You may proceed.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good evening, Major Kent-Payne.
8 My name is Edina Residovic, and I represent General Hadzihasanovic.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, given the position
10 that the major held at the time, the time which is relevant from the point
11 of view of the indictment, and for the defence of General Hadzihasanovic,
12 I'm going to put a lot of questions to the witness that have to do with
13 the general context, after which I will ask the major some questions is
14 that relate to the testimony he has given today.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Ask the witness all
16 the questions you like, but ask the major brief questions so that the
17 witness is not disoriented. Try to go stage by stage when putting your
18 questions to the witness.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'll follow your
21 Q. Major, today you met the lawyer Stephane Bourgon, who is
22 co-counsel in General Hadzihasanovic's Defence team; is that correct?
23 A. [No audible response]
24 Q. On the 10th of May, 2000, you were questioned by the
25 investigator --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is no answer. We haven't
2 heard the witness's answer.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Major Kent-Payne, could you please answer aloud. You nodded, but
5 this does not appear in the transcript. So I will ask you the same
6 question again: Would it be correct to say that you met the lawyer
7 Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel for General Hadzihasanovic? Is that correct?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. Is it also correct to say that in May 2000 you gave a statement
10 to the an investigator from the OTP and you signed that statement? Is
11 that correct?
12 A. That is also correct.
13 Q. In that statement, you said that you had only mentioned things
14 that you were familiar with and that were true in your opinion; is that
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. In response to a question from my colleague, you said that you
18 have served in the British Army since 1977.
19 A. That is also correct.
20 Q. In April 1993, you were assigned tasks in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
21 You were sent on a mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. You and the Prince of Wales Regiment and with BritBat and
24 UNPROFOR, you arrived in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Prior to going there, you spent a short period of time in Central
2 Bosnia in February 1993, when you were part of the reconnaissance
3 detachment mission; is that correct?
4 A. Yes. We spent approximately five or six days in February 1993 on
5 the reconnaissance.
6 Q. The mission you were on in February 1993 was led by high-ranking
7 officers from the Prince of Wales Regiment; is that correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. When you went to Bosnia and Herzegovina, you held the rank of a
10 major in the British Army; is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And today you also hold the rank of a major in the British Army.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Prior to this mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina - and this is the
15 conclusion we can reach from -- on the basis of your professional
16 experience - you had experience in areas of conflict.
17 A. Prior to going to Bosnia-Herzegovina, my experience of conflict
18 was in Northern Ireland, yes.
19 Q. You were a member of the regular army there, and they did not
20 perceive armed groups in Northern Ireland as friendly groups but they
21 perceived them as an enemy army; isn't that correct?
22 A. No, that is not correct. The way that the British government has
23 dealt with the terrorist situation in Northern Ireland is to treat the
24 terrorists as criminals and not members of a formed armed body. In this
25 instance, they do not apply the Geneva Convention and the -- the
1 terrorists, if they are caught, are tried in a criminal court, as opposed
2 to a military court. That is the difference.
3 Q. The difference consisted in the fact that this was the first time
4 that you were in an area where there was a war raging.
5 A. That is -- that is correct, yes.
6 Q. And similarly, you hadn't any -- you hadn't had any experience,
7 as far as the work of United Nations protection forces was concerned, in
8 other countries.
9 A. That is also correct.
10 Q. During your brief stay in February and afterwards, when preparing
11 to go to Bosnia in April, you had a few meetings to gain information about
12 the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
13 A. Yes, that's correct. We had a series of training courses, which
14 were run both at our base in Germany and at a military training area. And
15 on this course, we were lectured by specialists who were flown over from
16 Bosnia, both from the International Community and also from the Cheshire
17 Regiment, who we were to replace.
18 Q. At those training courses, you received information about the
19 situation in the field as well as about the tasks you were to have and
20 your mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina; isn't that correct?
21 A. That's correct, yes.
22 Q. Before those training courses, while performing your duties in
23 the British Army, you weren't in the situation -- you didn't have the
24 opportunity of gaining more detailed information about Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina and about the events that happened there or were happening
1 there; is that correct?
2 A. No, that's not true. Part of the training that we had was given
3 to us by our specialist military training officers, and as part of this
4 they gave us lengthy explanations as to the -- the history of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, both before and after the break-up of the former
6 Yugoslavia to enable all ranks to put into perspective the job that we
7 were going to be doing and to give us some understanding of the context of
8 the conflict and the various parties in that conflict.
9 Q. In response to a question put to you by the Prosecution, you said
10 that you arrived there before your company; that is to say, you arrived in
11 Bosnia around the 15th of April, 1993.
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. After your company arrived on the 6th of May, 1993, you replaced
14 the Cheshire Regiment that left Bosnia and Herzegovina on the 11th of May,
16 A. That's -- that's not entirely true. The change-over between
17 regiments does not go everyone arriving on one day and everyone from a
18 regiment disappearing the next day. It took place over several weeks.
19 The date which is important is the handover of command from one regiment
20 to another, which was the 11th of May. After the 11th of May, there was
21 still some Cheshire soldiers remaining for three or four days there, but
22 the majority had departed. But our official handover date was the 11th of
24 Q. Thank you. Your colleagues from the Cheshire Regiment during the
25 handover briefed you about your mission but also they told you about the
1 events that had taken place during their stay in the territory covered by
2 your regiment; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, they gave us an -- a concentrated briefing on what had taken
4 place throughout the whole of their tour and also during the period of our
5 handover, which as I explained earlier was some three weeks, they took us
6 around many of the -- the areas and indeed showed us where some of the
7 incidents had taken place, to give us a better feel for the background to
8 the -- both the incidents and to the aftermath of these incidents, which
9 we as the next battalion would be having to deal with.
10 Q. Their information was very detailed, very thorough, very
11 complete. You were thus in the position to continue the mission that the
12 previous regiment started. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, we were in a position to continue, but the problem was that
14 the information that the Cheshires had been able to gain was only
15 pertinent to certain parts of the area. The majority of the area,
16 particularly those villages off the main roads, they had not been able to
17 visit due to the difficulty of getting up the narrow tracks, due to the --
18 due to the deep snow and the winter weather conditions. Therefore, we
19 started with a basis of information but with a requirement to move out and
20 away from the main tracks to find out what was going on in the more
21 inaccessible parts of our region.
22 Q. Your mission was a peace-keeping mission of the United Nations.
23 Before that, you had gained some information about the UNPROFOR mission in
24 Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?
25 A. That's -- yes, that's correct.
1 Q. Given the importance and significance of the UNPROFOR mission, I
2 would like to ask you several questions. This will allow all of us,
3 including the Trial Chamber, to follow the events which were part of the
4 mission that you were involved in.
5 You were familiar with the fact that the Security Council
6 established this mission in February 1992, that this was based on the
7 Resolution, and that the mandate was for the mission to be active in the
8 five republics of the former Yugoslavia. Were you familiar with that
10 A. We were briefed on the United Nations Security Council Resolution
11 and on the mandate that had been given to -- to UNPROFOR. That's correct.
12 Q. The first mandate was relative to the events in the Republic of
13 Croatia. However, in order to prevent the escalation of the situation in
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UNPROFOR forces came to Sarajevo at the
15 beginning of 1992. Are you familiar with that?
16 A. Yes. By -- by my interpretation of "UNPROFOR," then, our
17 interest was more in the activities of the British Battalion, then, which
18 was deployed to the Central Bosnia region in around October of 1992, then.
19 I was aware that the initial deployment of the UNPROFOR headquarters and
20 the UN focus was in Sarajevo but due to the security situation this was
21 forced to move from there at some stage in 1992. We were briefed on this
22 as background, but the majority of the briefings that we had were those
23 that were pertinent to our particular area; in this case, Central Bosnia
24 and the area of the Lasva Valley.
25 Q. Is it correct, Major, that the UNPROFOR main mandate as of the
1 year 1992 up to the time of your arrival was extended and was added to?
2 A. That's correct. As I mentioned in my earlier testimony, the
3 commanding officer of the Cheshire Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Bob
4 Stewart, carried out a military procedure which we call "mission analysis"
5 to determine the exact nature of his task. What "mission analysis" means
6 in layman's term is that the commander gives a mission, in this case to
7 escort humanitarian aid convoys, but gives the commander the latitude to
8 work out exactly how he's going to carry out this mission. And
9 Colonel Stewart, followed on by Colonel Duncan, decided that the best way
10 to do this was to ensure that the -- as far as possible area was as
11 peaceful as possible and therefore the aid convoys could move freely
12 around without being disrupted by one militia or another and without the
13 need for a heavy escorting presence.
14 Q. Major, you have answered my next question; however, let's go one
15 step back. The first UNPROFOR mandate was to provide security for the
16 Sarajevo airport and the delivery of humanitarian aid via that route. Are
17 you familiar with that?
18 A. You are -- you are asking me questions which are way above my pay
19 grade here. I was a company commander in Bosnia, and my primary concern
20 was the mission that was given to our individual battalion. Of course we
21 had some understanding of where our battalion fitted into the larger
22 UNPROFOR picture, but as far as we were concerned, our mission was to
23 escort humanitarian aid convoys around the area of operation and that what
24 went on in Sarajevo was not necessarily of any bearing on what we did in
25 our own -- in our own area.
1 Q. Major, if you are not able to provide all of us with some facts
2 about the extension and expansion of the UNPROFOR mandate, I'm not going
3 to ask you such questions. I just wanted to see whether you're familiar
4 with the fact that the UNPROFOR went from the first mandate to the second
5 mandate. You were part of that at the end of the year 1992. That mandate
6 was to provide security for the land delivery of humanitarian aid via the
7 UN convoys, the Red Cross convoys, that it was also involved in the
8 exchange of prisoners and the movement of civilians. Are you familiar
9 with the fact that the at the end of the year 1992 this was also included
10 in the second UNPROFOR mandate? These are the things that I've just
12 A. Yes. But for us, as the second British Battalion there, the
13 second mandate was our only mandate and therefore that was the only one
14 that applied to us and that was the one which we were briefed on and which
15 we briefed down to our soldiers and the one in which we trained to carry
17 Q. I have just completed my questions about the role of the United
18 Nations and the UNPROFOR in Bosnia. Is it true that the UNPROFOR, when it
19 was given the mandate to escort humanitarian convoys, was still involved
20 in a peace-keeping mission, however, it was given the green light to use
21 fire in case they were attacked during their mission?
22 A. That's correct. Each of us was given a -- what we call in the
23 British Army a rules of engagement card, and this specified the -- the
24 situations in which we could -- we could return fire against any of the
25 warring parties. But basically in essence, this was -- if we were under
1 immediate threat of life and we were being fired at by local forces and
2 there was no other way to -- to remove ourselves from the situation, then
3 we were allowed to return fire. That's correct.
4 Q. The mandate that we have just described was the mandate that was
5 in place throughout your stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina; would that be
7 A. As far as I'm aware, the -- the mandate did not change; although,
8 as the area became more peaceful, then, and as we refined our procedures,
9 there was less need to physically escort some of the convoys. But as far
10 as I'm aware, the mandate remained the same throughout our tour.
11 Q. Thank you very much. As I have just said, this completes my
12 question put to you in order to explain the mission that you were involved
14 You said that your regiment had three companies, two of which
15 were stationed in Vitez or in the immediate vicinity of Vitez; is that
17 A. That's correct. There were actually four companies, as I
18 explained. One was attached from the light dragoon's regiment there. So
19 there were actually four companies: Two in Vitez, one in Tuzla, and one
20 in Gornji Vakuf.
21 Q. As you have said on direct, you were in Vitez. Throughout all
22 this time, Vitez was under the control of the Croatian Defence Council.
23 A. As I understand it, that's not, again, entirely true. In the
24 centre of Vitez was -- is an area known as Stari Vitez, and this remained
25 a Muslim enclave within the -- within the Croat-dominated area throughout
1 our tour. And despite several attempts from the HVO to attack and capture
2 the area of Stari Vitez, they remained there throughout the duration of
3 our tour.
4 Q. In Stari Vitez, the Muslim population lived together with some
5 troops of the BiH army, and within your mandate you often had to help
6 these people in Stari Vitez; is that correct?
7 A. Yes. Yes, that is correct. We did take humanitarian aid convoys
8 to Stari Vitez and also evacuate people who needed urgent hospital
9 treatment from there to other hospitals.
10 Q. Throughout your stay there, you witnessed a number of
11 obstructions that the HVO put against the UNPROFOR preventing them from
12 carrying out their mandate with respect to that area of Vitez, known as
13 Stari Vitez.
14 A. Yes, that's correct. And indeed, we had a liaison officer whose
15 task was to work closely with both the HVO and BiH forces in Vitez to
16 enable us to support the Muslim enclave in Stari Vitez as much as
17 possible. One example of his work would be that if we took an aid convoy
18 of three vehicles to Stari Vitez, at the same time we would take another
19 convoy of another three vehicles to the Croat part of Vitez as well. And
20 only by using such tactics were we able to negotiate the HVO checkpoint
21 without resorting to force.
22 Q. It was very important for you to have free and unobstructed roads
23 towards Central Bosnia and towards North-eastern Bosnia. That was very
24 important for the -- for your mission, for your task. Is that correct?
25 A. It was important for us to have unrestricted access to everywhere
1 within our area of operations so that we could not only escort
2 humanitarian aid convoys but also escort non-governmental organisations
3 there, both to deliver aid, to assess the areas to see whether they needed
4 aid, and to carry out articles such as delivering medical aid, evacuating
5 sick people, and organising prisoner exchanges.
6 Q. Within the training that you received before arriving in Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina and subsequently, once you arrived there, you were made
8 clear that as early as in 1992 any sort of communication between the north
9 of the state towards the central parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina was close
10 to impossible to the members of the army, the civilians, and even to the
11 UNPROFOR because already at that time these areas were under the control
12 of the Serbian forces. Would that be correct?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. The main roads that the -- all of the population in Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina depended on were the ones that led from Croatia via Banja
16 Luka, Bugojno, Livno, towards Split, the so-called M-16 road, and the
17 second road which led from Slavonski Brod via Doboj, Zenica, Sarajevo,
18 Konjic, Mostar, also towards the border with Croatia. Those were the two
19 main roads which are even shown on the map of the European roads. Is that
21 A. That's correct. Although, in our tour only one of those roads
22 that was actually open was the road from our area to Gornji Vakuf, down to
23 Prozor, and then to Tomislavgrad and then into Croatia. The fighting
24 around Mostar had effectively closed the -- the other of the roads that
25 you described, and we were not able to use that for the majority of our
2 When we went on our reconnaissance in February, this route was
3 open and was indeed the route we travelled from Vitez back to Split. But
4 for the duration of our tour, this road was closed.
5 Q. On your direct, you described the area where your regiment was
6 engaged. Would it be true to say that in the area of Central Bosnia these
7 two main roads were somehow interconnected? Bugojno was connected via
8 Donji Vakuf, Travnik, and Zenica, with the Lasva junction; and on the
9 other side, via Gornji Vakuf and Prozor, Bugojno was connected with the
10 second main road, which led on towards Jablanica? Would this be correct,
12 A. As I recall, the -- at some stage during our tour the -- the
13 Bugojno road became closed due to the fighting; although, this was not in
14 my company area, so I do not feel qualified to answer on this, then. But
15 I will happily answer questions on my own area, in the -- in the Lasva
16 Valley, which obviously I know something about.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Since the witness has already
18 answered most of my questions about the roads and confirmed that it was
19 very important to secure the roads, I would like to witness to be shown a
20 map of Bosnia-Herzegovina with the main roads and the way those two were
21 interconnected. This map was taken from the Auto Route Express, and this
22 is just one part of the usual European road maps. Can the witness kindly
23 be shown this map so as to enable me to put some additional questions to
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
1 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm just wondering if
2 perhaps a foundation can be laid with respect to when this map was made
3 and/or if the map reflects the situation at the time. Thank you.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the map can be
5 found on the Internet. This is a current map that shows the two main
6 roads, which have not changed geographically. They were like that during
7 the war, even before the war. And I'm going to ask some questions about
8 how accessible they were during the relevant period of time.
9 Geographically speaking, they have not undergone any changes.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may ask the questions.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Major, looking at this map, can you recognise the two main roads
13 that we have just discussed?
14 A. Yes. You're talking about -- you're talking about this road here
15 presumably and this one here, marked in green.
16 Q. Can you recognise the roads that linked up two main roads, the
17 road from Bugojno via Travnik towards the Lasva junction and the one from
18 Bugojno via Gornji Vakuf towards Jablanica?
19 A. You're talking about this one here and this road here, marked in
20 blue on this map.
21 Q. Yes. And you are familiar with these roads; isn't that correct?
22 A. Yes. Yes, I am familiar with them; although, the road from Donji
23 Vakuf to Travnik was closed because the Serb front line was at Turbe,
24 which on this map would be about there. So -- so I'm not familiar with
25 that road personally, because we were not able to travel up it due to the
1 Serb front line there.
2 Q. Yes. That was my next question, in fact. You were aware of the
3 fact that from Bugojno to Travnik it wasn't possible to get there through
4 Donji Vakuf and Komar, because that area was under the control of the
5 Serbian forces; isn't that right?
6 A. That's correct, yes.
7 Q. The area of these roads, which went to Gornji Vakuf through
8 Bugojno and from Gornji Vakuf through Prozor and Jablanica, this area was
9 under HVO control; isn't that correct?
10 A. Yes, that's correct.
11 Q. Major, would it be correct to say that these roads, which were
12 under the control of the HVO, were of inestimable importance for the
13 entire area of northern and north-eastern Bosnia?
14 A. Yes, that's correct. Because most of the area is impassable to
15 all but either people on foot or on horseback or with small all-terrain
16 vehicles. The major routes were the only ones with significant quantities
17 of aid and indeed military supplies could be used for.
18 Q. Would it be correct to say that the Republika Srpska army was
19 able to establish contact with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the
20 HVO could get through the Republic of Croatia? Is that correct?
21 A. Not strictly so, no. It depends, because parts of the road, for
22 instance, from -- from Gornji Vakuf to Novi Travnik were held by the BiH,
23 so the -- so to travel along this road depended on cooperation between the
24 two sides. This was in place for the first part of our tour but not for
25 the second. But in general, yes, it -- it would be possible for people
1 from most parts of the Lasva Valley to -- to make their way down to
2 Croatia via Prozor.
3 Q. Major, would it be correct to say that these main roads in the
4 area of Herzegovina were under HVO control and they were often used as a
5 mighty arm against the BH army?
6 A. That's -- that's -- our understanding of that was that the HVO
7 were using the restriction of free travel and the restriction of -- of
8 humanitarian aid convoys as a -- as a weapon to, if you like, starve the
9 BiH out of Central Bosnia. That's the understanding that I have.
10 Q. Would it be correct to say that the situation was even worse in
11 that in the area of Central Bosnia in 1992 and in 1993 thousands of
12 refugees arrived there from Krajina and Eastern Bosnia and later on from
13 areas under the control of the HVO? Is that correct?
14 A. There were a large number of refugees in our area, both from
15 HVO-controlled areas and also from areas such as Donji Vakuf, which had
16 people who had been forced to flee their homes and were bussed by the
17 Bosnian Serbs through the checkpoint at Turbe and into the refugee centres
18 in Travnik and Zenica. So there were a large number of refugees in our
19 area, both from HVO and Serb parts of -- of their controlled territory.
20 Q. You will certainly agree with me, Major, if I tell you that that
21 situation, the blockade of the roads for providing millions with supplies,
22 the fact that there were a lot of refugees in the area and the fact that
23 there was a war raging, you will agree that the conditions were very
24 difficult for BH army commanders to work in and to take decisions in.
25 Would you agree with this conclusion of mine?
1 A. I entirely agree. It was not easy for -- for any commanders, be
2 they from any side, when faced with that situation. I agree.
3 Q. You made attempts to do all you could so that the following
4 winter in Central and Northern Bosnia would be easier than the previous
5 one; isn't that correct?
6 A. The -- the supply of humanitarian food aid was nothing to do with
7 the -- with the British Battalion. We were the military organisation, if
8 you like, of UNPROFOR, and the United Nations High Commission for
9 refugees, the UNHCR, was responsible for the moving and the distribution
10 of food aid, then. What they brought into the Lasva Valley was entirely
11 organised by the UNHCR, and we simply escorted whatever was on the -- the
12 particular convoys or provided security so that those convoys should pass
13 through. I don't feel I'm qualified to talk about the -- the UNHCR policy
14 for feeding people in Central Bosnia.
15 Q. Thank you. In the course of the examination-in-chief, you
16 mentioned certain periods when cooperation was better or worse with
17 certain military structures in the Central Bosnia area, and you said that
18 in the first period of time the BH army was extremely cooperative and they
19 fully cooperated with UNPROFOR. Is that correct?
20 A. That's correct, yes.
21 Q. You obtained this information when you first went on a
22 reconnaissance mission and also later on, when you arrived on the 15th of
23 April, you obtained such information from your colleagues from the
24 Cheshire Regiment; is that correct?
25 A. That's correct. And I was able to see this for myself on the
1 initial patrols with the Cheshire Regiment that there was not only a good
2 level of cooperation from the -- from the BiH checkpoints but indeed in
3 some areas, particularly Travnik, there was still joint cooperation and
4 joint checkpoints, manned by both BiH and HVO soldiers.
5 Q. However, as a soldier you were also in a position to notice that
6 as of January 1993 there were fierce attacks carried out by the HVO which
7 pressurised the army and drove the army and the Muslims away from
8 Kiseljak, Vitez, and the BH army was concentrated between the Vlasic
9 Mountain and the Lasva Valley, an increasingly restricted area; is that
11 A. That's correct, yes.
12 Q. My colleague has told me that I mentioned some towns but Busovaca
13 has not appeared in the transcript. You would include in that area the
14 area of Busovaca from which the HVO, in fact, expelled the Bosniak
15 population; is that correct?
16 A. That's correct. On our reconnaissance, I was briefed by the
17 company commander who had been in the area of Busovaca, and he informed me
18 that there had been heavy fighting in the -- what we termed as the
19 Busovaca Valley, and that the HVO had launched a series of attacks with
20 the aim of driving the -- the Muslim population from their villages. And
21 on that reconnaissance in the -- February of 1993, I saw a number of
22 burned-out houses and villages which I was told were as a result of this
23 so-called ethnic cleansing, the attack by the HVO.
24 Q. When you arrived there, you were informed about a large-scale
25 massacre carried out not far from your unit's headquarters, that was
1 carried out in the village of Ahmici, and you mentioned this in response
2 to a question put to you from my learned colleague; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. We were made very familiar with the details of the Ahmici
4 massacre, and it occurred only a few days before we arrived in Central
5 Bosnia and myself and other members of our advance party were involved in
6 the recovery of some bodies from the outer parts of the village which had
7 been missed on the initial search of the village of Ahmici. So yes, I'm
8 well aware of the -- of the events surrounding that village.
9 Q. Major, I have just one other question for today: Events such as
10 the massacre in Ahmici further complicated this situation and the position
11 of the military commander when it came to preventing the population from
12 retaliating against the Croatian population. Is this opinion of mine
14 A. Again, you're asking for my opinion here, which is that there is
15 no excuse for retaliation like this but it was clear from talking to -- to
16 BiH soldiers at various checkpoints in the early part of our tour that the
17 massacre at Ahmici would not be tolerated and it was only a matter of time
18 before something was done, either to avenge that particular act or to
19 ensure that it did not happen again.
20 Q. However, you were familiar with the orders and the efforts made
21 by army commanders in order to prevent something like this from happening.
22 A. Yes. There is the -- as far as I'm aware, none of the -- none of
23 the commanders would actually order something like that to happen, then,
24 but at this stage the -- the massacre at Ahmici was still being
25 investigated, and at this early stage of the tour it was still unclear who
1 had carried out the massacre and under whose orders the massacre had
2 been -- had been carried out. This only emerged in later investigations.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, before I conclude,
4 as we have used a map that the witness recognised, I suggest that it be
5 admitted into evidence. If it is admitted into evidence, I would like to
6 ask the witness to make a note of the date on the map and to sign the map.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. What is the Prosecution's
8 position with regard to the request for admitting this map into evidence?
9 It's a map which we can obtain from the Internet. It's been taken out of
10 a tourist guide, and it depicts the roads in the area. What is the
11 Prosecution's position?
12 MR. MUNDIS: No objection, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Witness, could you
14 write down your first and last names on the map and make a note of today's
16 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, a minor request:
18 Could you draw the attention of the witness to a certain matter, because
19 the Prosecution has already told us about two other witnesses who
20 performed duties at the same time as this witness and their tasks were the
21 same. Perhaps you could tell the witness that he should not communicate
22 with these two other witnesses and discuss his testimony here. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's what I was going to do.
24 Could you show the document to the Defence, to the accused, to
25 the Prosecution, to the Trial Chamber.
1 And, Mr. Registrar, could we have an exhibit number.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be DH69.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the exhibit number will be
5 Is there anything else you would like to add?
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no further questions for
7 the witness. We will continue tomorrow. But my colleague, Mr. Bourgon,
8 wanted to raise another issue after the witness has left the courtroom.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your testimony hasn't been
11 concluded yesterday. You were informed -- you were told that it might
12 take two days. You will come back tomorrow. The hearing will start at
13 9.00. Try to arrive about ten minutes earlier. As you will be staying in
14 The Hague tonight, you should not have contact of any kind with the
15 Prosecution or with your colleagues, who are perhaps here. If you meet
16 them by chance, you should cross over to the other side of the road. You
17 should not speak to them. Since you have taken the solemn declaration and
18 we haven't finished with your examination, you shouldn't discuss your
19 testimony with your colleagues. So you will remain alone and we will see
20 you tomorrow at 9.00. Be here about ten minutes earlier so that we can
21 start at 9.00 precisely. Thank you.
22 And I will now ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
23 [The witness stands down]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Without wasting any more time,
25 I'll give the floor to Mr. Bourgon.
1 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
2 just like to inform the Trial Chamber with regard to the cross-examination
3 tomorrow the Defence will be putting forward a number of military maps.
4 It consists of 25 military maps of different sizes, different geographical
5 representations, different scales, from 1 to 25.000, to 1 to 50.000. We
6 have four series of maps. Mr. President, we suggest that we provide the
7 Trial Chamber with one series of maps; another will be provided to the
8 Registry; another to the Prosecution. These maps won't be tendered into
9 evidence but can be used by all the parties and by the Chamber too. This
10 will enable the witness to show us the precise areas he was in.
11 We have discussed this with the technical booth, and they have
12 told us that we can put -- take these maps and put them on a stand behind
13 the witness. The witness will then be able to point to the exact
14 locations on the map. This can then be transmitted to our screens.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If we had the model
16 too, it would be even better.
17 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the source comes
18 from the army, from the JNA. They used these maps at the time, and
19 they're still used today. I'll have all the information that you require
20 tomorrow. The Prosecution asked me to tell you what the source was.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there are no objections to
22 these maps that come from the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
23 Mr. Withopf.
24 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, this issue was amongst
25 the issues that have been discussed today with my learned friends from the
1 Defence side. There won't be any objections in using these maps along the
2 lines as just suggested by my learned colleague.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 We'll now adjourn, and I will see everyone tomorrow at 9.00.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.08 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 23rd of
7 March, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.