1 Tuesday, 23 March 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, will you call
6 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 Can we have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
12 Your Honours. Good morning, Counsel. For the Prosecution, Daryl Mundis,
13 Ekkehard Withopf, and Ruth Karper the case manager.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 And now the appearances for the Defence.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
17 behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane
18 Bourgon, co-counsel.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
21 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
22 Mulalic, legal assistant.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber bids welcome to all
24 those present, representatives of the Prosecution, the Defence counsel,
25 the registrar, and all those in the courtroom, without forgetting those
1 outside, that is, the interpreters and the technicians.
2 We need to continue today the hearing of yesterday's witness, and
3 I'm going to ask Madam Usher to be kind enough to bring the witness in.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Can you
6 hear me?
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Today's hearing will be devoted
9 to the continuation of the cross-examination, and I will give the floor to
10 the Defence counsel, who has questions for you.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 WITNESS: VAUGHAN KENT-PAYNE [Resumed]
13 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Major Kent-Payne.
15 A. Good morning.
16 Q. We broke off yesterday with questions regarding the general
17 situation in Central Bosnia at the time of your arrival and some other
18 general matters of significance for the defence of General Hadzihasanovic.
19 I should now like to go back to your testimony during the
20 examination-in-chief. In answer to a question from the President of the
21 Trial Chamber and my learned friends, you said that you drew your
22 conclusions on the basis of intelligence information gathered by your
23 intelligence officers; is that right?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. The source of information for you were your observations while
1 patrolling the region; is that right?
2 A. That's correct. From my own observations and that of all the
3 other vehicle commanders tasked with gathering information from our area.
4 Q. The source of your knowledge was also the conversations you had
5 with civilian and other authorities in the area of responsibility of your
6 battalion; is that right?
7 A. That is also correct.
8 Q. One of your sources were also data that you exchanged with other
9 international organisations and European monitors; is that right?
10 A. I'm afraid I'm not qualified to comment on that. That would have
11 taken place between the intelligence -- or the military information
12 officer and the agencies that you've mentioned. I was not personally
13 involved with that, so cannot comment on how often this took place or
14 whether indeed it did.
15 Q. Thank you. You also got some information from your interpreters
16 and the local staff employed by your battalion; is that right?
17 A. Again, I can't comment on whether that would be the case. As far
18 as information coming from the -- from the interpreters, they were
19 strictly briefed that they should not act as intelligence-gatherers
20 themselves but merely act as a mouthpiece for the commander to which they
21 were working.
22 Q. In any event, all the information that you and your colleagues
23 gathered during the day were summarised in the military reports, daily
24 reports; is that right?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. In any event, you had meetings every evening in the battalion,
2 usually held by Lieutenant Colonel Duncan; is that right?
3 A. That's correct. These meetings would happen at 6.00 each
5 Q. At the meetings, all of you would present your daily
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. In the milinfosum, your observations were contained, as well as
9 comments by the person tasked to analyse that information; is that right?
10 A. As I understand it, that's correct.
11 Q. These milinfosums also included information that Lieutenant
12 Colonel Duncan gathered from meetings with representatives of the army and
13 the Croatian Defence Council; is that right?
14 A. That is also correct.
15 Q. So this information contained in the milinfosums were a part of
16 your overall information on which you based your conclusions; would that
17 be right?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. However, you did not have the authority, nor the means and
20 resources, to verify what other colleagues were saying, nor what was
21 contained in the milinfosums; is that right?
22 A. I -- I'm sorry, I don't understand the -- the question. Yes,
23 there would be no means to verify this, but there would also be no --
24 there would be no way of thinking that's -- the information that was given
25 by military colleagues would not be correct to the best of their
1 knowledge. They certainly wouldn't make up details. Those details would
2 have been reported to them, and they took that in the best of faith.
3 Q. Yes, certainly. I'm not at all implying that any one of you
4 would pass on information differently from what it was originally. But
5 your sources could have been reliable or not reliable; is that right?
6 A. That is correct. But if a -- if a single piece of information
7 was given that we had not heard before, then the military information
8 staff would target patrols to verify that particular information. It's
9 most unlikely that any actions would have been taken on a single piece of
10 information. That's not the way the military works there, and we would
11 seek to verify any single piece of information before taking action upon
13 Q. In your area, in all the municipalities there were civilian
14 authorities and the civilian police; isn't that right?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. At times you communicated with them as well, but you didn't
17 devote any particular attention to the competencies that those bodies had
18 on the ground. Would it be right to say that?
19 A. As I said, that is correct, but each individual piece of
20 information would be verified before any action was taken on that.
21 Clearly some of the sources were much more reliable than others. One side
22 would say something against the other side, which quite often would be
23 completely untrue, which was why every statement was -- was verified to
24 the best of our ability before we either believed it or most certainly
25 took action on those statements.
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13 English transcripts.
1 Q. However, during your term of office, being military men, you most
2 often addressed military authorities, regardless of whether a particular
3 issue was within their terms of reference or not.
4 A. No, that's not the case either, because we would -- we generally
5 found that the military would not often give the correct situation. They
6 would give the situation that they wanted us to believe, and we would take
7 every step to verify what they'd said, usually by talking to the village
8 elders, be they the priest or the Imam or simply the older people in the
9 village, who in many cases could be more -- could be more relied upon to
10 give us the correct picture.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Let us now move on to the 15th of May,
12 about which you spoke in detail. You said that on the 15th of May you
13 decided to go with your company to areas in which you had assumed
14 representatives of the UNPROFOR had still not visited; is that right?
15 A. No, again, that's -- that's not entirely correct. I wish to once
16 more emphasise, as I did in my earlier testimony, that it was not a
17 question of me deciding, that these tasks were given to us by the
18 battalion operations officer and the battalion information officer, then.
19 It was they who decided where the patrols should go to, because as I said
20 earlier, they had the honesty traces of the Cheshire Regiment's patrols
21 and therefore they decided where we should go based on the information
22 that there were -- that they had and that they could identify the areas
23 where there had been no patrols in the last few months.
24 Q. Thank you very much for those points of clarification. I'm
25 obviously too much of a civilian, so I often forget that a soldier always
1 acts upon orders and assignments. But you have now explained that. Thank
3 At that point in time, you had been in Bosnia and Herzegovina for
4 a month already, that is, in the area of Vitez; is that correct?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. When going on assignment, in spite of all the above-listed
7 sources of information, you had no knowledge about the presence of
8 Mujahedin in the area, had you?
9 A. That is true.
10 Q. Before that, you managed to visit Travnik and the surrounding
11 locations close to the main road; is that right?
12 A. That's correct. During our period of familiarisation, we had
13 travelled extensively around our area, though in most cases this was the
14 main centres of population, so that we would be familiar with both the
15 routes through our areas to make it easier for us to escort convoys, and
16 also the locations of the various local headquarters. So if we had to
17 pick up a local commander, we would know where his headquarters was and
18 also know where he was if we needed to go and talk to him about something.
19 Q. After your arrival in Zenica, brigade commander -- a brigade
20 commander was kidnapped, the commander of the Jure Francetic Brigade, and
21 it was known that this kidnapping had been done by the Mujahedin. You
22 were aware of that, were you not?
23 A. No, this is the first time I've heard of this. If I was told
24 about it, I certainly don't remember it at this time.
25 Q. The Mujahedin could occasionally be seen on the streets of
1 Travnik. Did you see them in those days?
2 A. No, I did not.
3 Q. The HVO frequently spoke about the Mujahedin and addressed
4 protests to UNPROFOR. Were you aware of those protests?
5 A. No, again, I was not aware of those.
6 Q. On the 24th of April, 1993, in your area, in the village of
7 Miletici, a crime occurred and it was immediately known that it had been
8 committed by the Mujahedin. Did you know that?
9 A. No. As I said in my earlier testament, the first indication that
10 I personally had that there were Mujahedin in my area was when I met up
11 with these people on the 15th of May.
12 Q. So you will agree with me that in spite of the fact that you had
13 an elaborate system of information, you had received no information about
14 the existence of the Mujahedin prior to your going on assignment; is that
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. According to your own testimony, you were first stopped by
18 members of the regular Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Han Bila; is that
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. I would now like to ask you, as you have a map in front of you,
22 and for your movements to be clear to Their Honours, could you please
23 indicate the place called Han Bila, where you were stopped for the first
25 A. [Indicates]
1 Q. Thank you. You spent half an hour there talking and persuading
2 the commander to allow you to continue on your way; is that right?
3 A. No. I believe I said that it was much longer than that. We were
4 there for at least one hour, in -- both talking to people outside at the
5 checkpoint and then inside with the local commander.
6 Q. If I heard you correctly - and that can be found on page 25 of
7 the LiveNote - you said that when you went out, you saw that about 30 or
8 40 soldiers had gathered and about a hundred civilians, who were in a
9 friendly mood in relation to you. Is that what you stated yesterday?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. This was for you an event and a fact that you have remembered
12 because it was important for you; is that right?
13 A. Yes. It was unusual to see so many people there, and also it
14 appeared that for them also it was unusual to see -- see United Nations
15 vehicles, because in that -- in that early part of the tour, we were
16 clearly something of a curiosity.
17 Q. Even though this stop there for almost one hour was unusual for
18 you, nevertheless you didn't immediately inform your command about having
19 encountered a certain problem; is that right?
20 A. No, that would not have been the case, because in the second
21 vehicle was the patrol second-in-command, and his task was to give
22 constant updates back to the battle group headquarters as to our position.
23 I obviously could not do that myself, being in the local commander's
24 building and negotiating with him, but my -- the second-in-command of the
25 patrol, as what we call a standard operating procedure, would update the
1 battalion headquarters every few -- every few minutes with progress as to
2 what was happening. This could be in the form of a positive report, and
3 an example of that would be: We have now moved through the checkpoint and
4 our location is at the following village; or a negative report, which
5 would simply be we are still at the checkpoint and there is no progress at
6 the moment.
7 Q. Thank you. After finally gaining permission to move on, you
8 started off and 6 kilometres later you came across a checkpoint where
9 there was one guard and a regularly positioned barrier; is that right?
10 A. That's correct. Although, there were two guards, in fact,
11 because one stayed on the barrier and the second went off to fetch his
12 local commander.
13 Q. Yesterday, in answer to a question from the Prosecution, you said
14 that the soldier at the checkpoint wouldn't let you pass and that he said
15 that he had to ask his commander; is that right?
16 A. That's correct. He told us that he could not get us -- he could
17 not allow us through and the standard response to that from me or any
18 other patrol commander would be, "In that case, please will you fetch your
19 local commander so I can talk to him."
20 Q. When that person arrived, whom you thought to be the local
21 commander, you said that he informed you that you could pass through the
22 checkpoint only with the approval of the 3rd Corps; is that right?
23 A. Yes. He said we needed a -- a piece of paper, written permission
24 from the corps headquarters to move through to the north of that -- that
25 particular checkpoint.
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13 English transcripts.
1 Q. This answer is also something you remembered well because you
2 believed that UN forces had the right to free movement and that you didn't
3 need anybody's permission; is that right?
4 A. That's correct. On our training, we'd been told that the act of
5 going to get a piece of paper should not be done or should only be done as
6 a last resort because this was -- this would give a sort of legitimacy to
7 the perceived control over the United Nations that the local forces would
8 have if they were to give permission for UN forces to go to any location.
9 Q. Yesterday you confirmed that on the 10th of May, 2000 you gave a
10 statement to the Prosecutor of The Hague Tribunal. Is it true that these
11 important facts that you noticed during your first patrol, about which you
12 testified yesterday, that is, that when you left there were more than a
13 hundred people gathered there and that you had to have a permit from the
14 3rd Corps to pass, these were facts that you didn't tell the Prosecutor of
15 The Hague Tribunal on that occasion? Is that right?
16 A. I believe I did not tell him because he didn't ask the question.
17 Q. Yesterday you testified that these two or three guards at the
18 checkpoint were shortly joined by some civilians; is that right?
19 A. That's correct. Again, it would appear that we were a curiosity
20 and a number of people who appeared to be civilians, including some women,
21 appeared at the checkpoint to look at us.
22 Q. In Han Bila nor at this checkpoint, you did not see any insignia
23 of the soldiers who were present of the army or the brigade that they
24 belonged to; is that right?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Shortly a Toyota vehicle arrived, from which foreigners emerged.
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. They first chased away the civilians, and then they addressed the
4 local men in uniform and issued them some sort of an order; is that right?
5 A. That's correct. Although, the order was not a verbal order; it
6 was more of a -- a series of gestures, indicating what the individual
7 wished the militiamen to do.
8 Q. These local soldiers obeyed these orders given by gestures, and
9 it was quite obvious that they feared these foreigners; is that right?
10 A. That's correct. That -- that would be my interpretation of the
11 situation, that they were anxious to comply with the orders that were
12 being given to them.
13 Q. According to your testimony, there may have been between 40 and
14 50 foreign soldiers there; is that right?
15 A. Ultimately, yes. Although, they did not appear all at once.
16 They -- they filtered into the area over the time that I was negotiating
17 with both the local -- with the -- the local commander initially and then
18 the Arabic gentleman, who came out of the Toyota after a few minutes.
19 Q. In the evening, at your regular meeting you reported about what
20 had happened to you that day; is that right?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. At the time, it was your judgement that you were close to the
23 village of Fazlici, several hundred metres away from that village; is that
25 A. That's correct. We were -- our intention was to turn -- turn
1 down this small track here to the village of Suhi Dol, and we were stopped
2 just short of that.
3 Q. Very close to the place where you were stopped is a locality
4 called Poljanice; is that right?
5 A. That -- I can confirm that by looking at the map, yes.
6 Q. After this incident, you sought to find out who the foreigners in
7 the area were; is that right?
8 A. No, that's not correct either. The military information staff
9 sought to find out who the foreigners were, and they tasked their own
10 agencies to find out who these people were. They also tasked us, as in
11 the -- the patrols out on the ground, to ask questions about these people.
12 And the battalion ops officer also issued an instruction that there were
13 to be no more patrols into that area due to the obvious risk from these
14 particularly aggressive people.
15 Q. Your subsequent information led you to find out that in -- close
16 to Mehurici, in a location called Poljanice, was a camp of foreign
17 soldiers, that is, the Mujahedin; is that right?
18 A. That's correct. As more information emerged, we received more
19 regular briefings on these people, and we were told by the military
20 information officer that their role in this location was to train regular
21 BiH soldiers and that it was the -- the training camp that we had
22 blundered into inadvertently in the area north of Han Bila.
23 Q. Actually, the real information that you received at the time
24 indicated that a part of the local Muslim population was joining the
25 Mujahedin and that the Mujahedin were training them, especially younger
1 men; is that right?
2 A. That's not as I recall that, but I -- I would not confirm or deny
3 that, as I cannot -- I cannot remember those exact details. All I
4 remember is that we were told that it was a training camp and that the
5 Mujahedin were training soldiers there. Whether they were in fact local
6 population or not, we would have probably taken the view that if you train
7 the local population, then they, too, become soldiers. But I'm afraid I
8 do not recall the exact -- the exact details of this information.
9 Q. On the basis of military information, you certainly knew that in
10 the area a brigade of the BH army was active; that is, the 306th Brigade.
11 A. Again, I'm afraid I do not recall the exact number of the
12 brigade, but -- but yes, it would have been clear to us that there was a
13 BiH brigade in that area.
14 Q. This incident and event was something you did not try and inform
15 the brigade commander about, the commander of that particular brigade.
16 A. Again, personally that would not be my duty to do that. The way
17 that the battalion operated was that each location had a liaison officer
18 and that it was the liaison officer's task to liaise with the local
19 brigade commander. The company commanders, of whom I was -- I was one,
20 were in charge of the patrols and the convoy escorts, and it would not
21 generally have been our task to report such information to the brigade
22 commanders. The chain of command that we employed was for the patrol
23 commanders to report to the military information officer, who would report
24 to the operations officer and the commanding officer, who would task a
25 liaison officer to visit the relevant -- the relevant brigade
1 headquarters. And I'm afraid I can't confirm whether that happened in
2 this case.
3 Q. Yesterday, in answer to one of my questions, you said that when
4 you arrived in Vitez the HVO had already suppressed most of the Bosnian
5 population out of the Lasva River Valley; is that right?
6 A. [No audible response]
7 Q. From places of Vitez with the exception of Stari Vitez, Busovaca,
8 Kaonik, and other towns that were immediately close to the Lasva River.
9 A. That's correct. In fact, the majority of this movement had taken
10 place in the -- in the Busovaca Valley. However, there was still at this
11 stage some cooperation between the HVO and the -- and the BiH. And one
12 example of that would be the checkpoint at Dolac, which is here -- there,
13 and also the checkpoint at the -- the garage in Travnik, the petrol
14 station, which at the early stage of our tour were still joint checkpoints
15 with BiH and HVO soldiers.
16 Q. However, you can certainly confirm that after the massacre in
17 Ahmici the BH army could not pass along the main road via Vitez and
18 Busovaca towards the Lasva overpass; is that right?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. At the time, as members of the UNPROFOR, you started receiving
21 information that the HVO was starting to cooperate with Serb forces
22 against the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that right?
23 A. I cannot confirm whether I was told that or not. My recollection
24 of this period is that in the very early stages of our tour part of the
25 front line with the Serb forces in the area of Turbe was held jointly by
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 HVO and BiH troops. But due to the tension following the Ahmici massacre,
2 the BiH -- wrong, the HVO troops withdrew from this cooperation, then. If
3 there were reports of cooperation between the HVO and the Serbs, I'm
4 afraid I do not remember this.
5 Q. In addition to abandoning the front at Turbe, the HVO also
6 abandoned other front lines on Mount Vlasic, above the villages on the
7 slopes running down to the Bila River; is that right?
8 A. As I understand it, the HVO abandoned all their front line
9 positions with the Serbs at around the -- the late May, early June period.
10 So that would be correct. There would be, as I understand it, no HVO
11 troops on the front line with the Serbs, and the front line with the Serbs
12 was held solely by the BiH during this period.
13 Q. In view of the fact that this was a front line running along
14 several hundred kilometres, this created additional problems for the BH
15 army, which was anyway rather poorly armed; is that right?
16 A. That's correct. The -- as we were briefed, the problem that the
17 BiH had was not lack of manpower but lack of weapons and equipment for
18 that manpower. And we would often see soldiers going to the front line
19 and taking over a rifle from another soldier and then they would go back
20 to -- to a resting area without any weapons at all. So yes, there was
21 clearly a problem for the BiH in manning such a long stretch of the front
22 line once the HVO had ceased to cooperate in action against the Serbs.
23 Q. Within the framework of your tour of the area, you were also able
24 to see that HVO units were starting to dig in around Croatian villages and
25 especially on passes that linked Zenica with Travnik; is that right?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. The command of the 3rd Corps sent to UNPROFOR almost on a daily
3 basis protest reports because of this conduct by the HVO.
4 A. Again, I cannot comment on that, as those -- those protests would
5 not have come directly to me. But I can imagine that he would do so,
6 because he would want UNPROFOR to keep the roads open.
7 Q. You were also aware that at Ovnak an HVO checkpoint had been set
8 up and that the line had been fortified from Ovnak via Grahovcici with
9 trenches and dugouts placed there; is that right?
10 A. Yes, I'm aware of that. And I saw some of these defensive
11 positions myself when I visited that village. This was not unusual in the
12 area, and the front line at this stage was being fortified by both sides.
13 Q. You were also able to note that on elevations that controlled the
14 Bila Valley, such as Strmac, Usice, the HVO had positioned heavy weapons
15 on those features; is that right?
16 A. Again, I can't comment on that, because, as I mentioned earlier
17 in my testimony, at this stage the HVO were extremely uncooperative, and
18 in the majority of cases would not allow UNPROFOR patrols into areas which
19 they considered to be sensitive. And as a particular example of that, I
20 used the hill at Cifluk and the HVO front line along the -- the west --
21 sorry, the western side of the Bila Valley in the area of Pokrajcici.
22 Q. At your daily meetings, you were informed by the liaison officer
23 of your battalion that as early as the beginning of May the HVO had moved
24 its forces to heights above Travnik, that they had directed their heavy
25 weapons towards the town and had virtually surrounded the town of Travnik.
1 Are you aware of that?
2 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
3 Q. You were also informed that at checkpoints in Guca Gora and at
4 Ovnak the HVO is turning back members of the army who were going to take
5 up their shift on the front line, which resulted in the fact that soldiers
6 could not be replaced, even after three weeks.
7 A. Again, I have no recollection of that detail, but it would not
8 surprise me that that was an action taken by the HVO at that time.
9 Q. You are certainly familiar with the information that is contained
10 in your milinfosum of the 1st of June, number 33, that at the -- an HVO
11 checkpoint the commander of the operative group Bosanska Krajina was
12 stopped and harassed.
13 A. Again, I'm afraid I don't recall the individual details of this,
14 but what I do remember is that around this time we were tasked with
15 carrying a number of BiH commanders to various meetings because they could
16 no longer move freely through checkpoints manned by the HVO. So while I
17 don't remember the individual incident which you've just remembered, I do
18 remember that we had to carry out a number of escort duties for the
19 reasons which you describe.
20 Q. To remind you of this event, I would kindly ask you to look at
21 the milinfosum number 33, dated the 1st of June, 1993, in view of the fact
22 that these are facts about which you were informed at your regular
23 meetings. So could you look at this milinfosum which we received, Your
24 Honours, by examining the archives of the British Battalion.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] So could this milinfosum be shown
1 to the witness.
2 Q. Would you please look at the report concerning Travnik
3 municipality, the paragraph related to Travnik.
4 A. Yes. I'm reading this at the moment.
5 Yes, I've read the piece you're referring to.
6 Q. Would you agree with me, Major, that the arrest, disarming, and
7 harassment of a commander of an operative group for any army, including
8 the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was a very important incident?
9 A. Yes, it would be a most serious incident.
10 Q. Major, you certainly were aware that immediately after that, at
11 the Ovnak checkpoint, eight buses with members of the BH army were stopped
12 and turned back to Zenica, though they were going to replace soldiers who
13 were on the front line at Turbe? Is that a fact you're aware of?
14 A. No. I'm -- I was not aware of that fact. If I can explain
15 perhaps for the benefit of the Presidents of the Court. The preceding
16 item on this, the Maglaj incident, I was personally involved in that
17 incident, both in the initial shelling of the United Nations convoy and in
18 the operations to recover the bodies of the drivers. This operation
19 lasted for approximately two days, which would possibly explain why I
20 don't have any immediate recollection of the items which are referred to
21 in the paragraph on Travnik. However, I have no doubt that as this is in
22 our milinfosum, this is correct. But I'm saying this is the first that
23 I've seen this in this detail.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, Mr. President,
25 although the witness said that this is the first time that he sees this
1 incident described in detail, he did nevertheless confirm that this is a
2 milinfosum and that this is a serious incident that could have happened to
3 a particular military. We would like to move to have it admitted into
4 evidence as a Defence exhibit.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. The Prosecution has no
7 objection to this milinfosum being admitted into evidence.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 Major, would you please put your name and today's date on this
10 document that you have in front of you.
11 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. You will agree with me, Major, if I tell you --
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] One moment, please. Before you
15 continue, we need to give this document an exhibit number. This document,
16 drafted on the 1st of June, 1993, please let's have an exhibit number,
17 Mr. Registrar.
18 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ...
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Please continue.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation].
21 Q. Major, in view of the fact --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Mundis.
23 MR. MUNDIS: Excuse me for the interruption, Mr. President, but
24 the transcript did not capture the exhibit number of the last document.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, that's right.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit number is DH70.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
3 Continue, please.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation].
5 Q. Major, since the army could not use the road by Bila, the only
6 alternative route for communication between Travnik and Zenica was the one
7 across Guca Gora and Ovnak; isn't that right?
8 A. That's correct. And this was identified by our military
9 information staff as being an important main supply route for the BiH
10 linking Zenica and Travnik.
11 Q. Since the army, as you have already said while giving evidence,
12 was squeezed in the area between the Lasva Valley and Mount Vlasic, the
13 attacks of the HVO and the blockades they carried out on this road
14 practically rendered it impossible for the army to remain in that area;
15 isn't that right?
16 A. That's correct. And because of the interruptions to this main
17 supply route there, as I recall, the military information staff and the
18 commanding officer held meetings with both HVO and BiH commanders to
19 ensure if possible that this route remained open. When the HVO were
20 obstructive towards this, I believe that -- that the BiH were asked
21 whether they were going to do something about this road, and this was the
22 reason for the meetings between the commanders. As I said, I was not at
23 that meeting, but the result of that, which we were briefed, was that
24 there had been a cease-fire agreed and that this road would remain open.
25 Q. As an officer, you certainly find it much clearer than we
1 civilians can, the fact that when a military commander when faced with
2 such problems has to engage in long-term planning in order to be able to
3 respond to enemy attacks, those that make it impossible for him to control
4 his own territory, to carry out defence tasks, and to defend his own
5 people. Isn't that the way a commander would act under normal
7 A. That is entirely correct. And we, as the more senior officers in
8 the British Battalion, would try and put ourselves in the minds of the
9 local commanders to try and guess what they were going to do next. And it
10 was obvious that 3 Corps could not tolerate a situation where troops in
11 Travnik were cut off from troops in Zenica with no supply route between
12 the two, and it was obvious to us that if an agreement could not be
13 reached between the two sides, that one side or the other would have to do
14 something about this route.
15 Q. You can agree with me when I say that the orders of the military
16 commanders of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were to seek a peaceful
17 settlement but also that if there is an attack, they have to respond to
18 the attack and defend this major communication route; isn't that right?
19 A. Yes. And that would have been the case for any army in a similar
21 Q. You are aware that on the 4th of June the HVO attacked the town
22 of Travnik from the positions where the heavy artillery had been. Do you
23 know that? Are you aware of that?
24 A. Yes, that's correct. And we sent vehicles and patrols into that
25 area to monitor this situation.
1 Q. On the 5th of June, the HVO attacked the village of Velika
2 Bukovica as well, and from those positions they could also control the
3 town of Travnik; isn't that right?
4 A. That's correct. And I myself was in Travnik at this stage, being
5 shelled by -- from positions that we believed to have been held by the
6 HVO. And at the same time, our commanding officer and liaison officers
7 were doing their best to broker a cease-fire to stop this shelling of the
9 Q. The HVO attack against Velika Bukovica led to the imprisonment of
10 a large number of civilians, and according to initial information there
11 were 18 civilians killed but later it was established that it was 8
12 civilians who were killed. Are you aware of that?
13 A. No, I do not recall this fact. Although, if it is -- if it is
14 confirmed as being true, I would not be surprised if that was the case.
15 Q. According to previous plans of the defence that was being
16 prepared in case there would be an attack, the army did respond to these
17 attacks and the fighting spread to the entire area between Travnik and
18 Zenica; isn't that right?
19 A. That's correct. Although, that's not as I recall the -- the way
20 that it happened. As I recall, the attack in the -- in the Bila Valley
21 were a separate operation to that of -- of the area of Travnik there. But
22 again, my -- my actual recollection of this is not that distinct because
23 there was a lot of fighting going on, both in -- in Travnik and in the
24 Bila Valley. And my understanding of this was that there were two -- two
25 separate operations there, one going on in Travnik itself and one in the
1 Bila Valley.
2 Q. Could you please show on the map where Velika Bukovica is.
3 A. I have absolutely no idea. I would hope someone could show me to
4 jog my memory on this.
5 Q. I would kindly ask you to take a look at the map, and you can see
6 above Travnik, a bit lower in relation to Maljine, so between Travnik and
7 Maljine, that's where the village is. So to the west of Guca Gora.
8 That's where the village of Velika Bukovica is. And we discussed it
9 earlier on. As you testified yourself, this was a place that the attack
10 took place at on the 5th of June.
11 Is it true that on the 7th of June the Muslim village of Bandol
12 was attacked and burned down?
13 A. If I can go back to your earlier comment and just clarify this.
14 I'm afraid that as British soldiers our intimate knowledge of Serbo-Croat
15 was not great at this stage, and we would have referred to that village as
16 Bukovica, which is the way in which it is written on the map. I've no
17 doubt the actual name of the village is -- is Velika Bukovica, but it's
18 not written on the map, so that's not how we referred to it.
19 To move on to your second question, yes, I'm well aware of the
20 attack on Bandol. I was at that village perhaps four or five days before
21 the attack, and I asked the local militia whether they required any
22 assistance, whether they needed any help from UNPROFOR, and was told that
23 this was not the case.
24 And after the evacuation of Guca Gora on the 8th of June, I was
25 approached by -- by a local man -- by a local Muslim from a -- a village
1 close by, the village of - again, excuse my pronunciation - Krpeljici,
2 which is here, and told that there had been an attack on Bandol and that
3 UNPROFOR should -- should visit this because there was a chance that it
4 had been another situation similar to that in Ahmici.
5 Q. In view of my previous question, you can certainly confirm that
6 both Velika Bukovica and Bandol are villages that were in the broader area
7 of the Bila and that this took place a day after the defence activities of
8 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina continued on the 8th of June.
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. In view of the fact that you answered my questions that had to do
11 with your knowledge, in terms of what happened in the village of Bandol,
12 and you did this at your own initiative, could you please look at the 13th
13 of June milinfosum, which contains the information you provided about what
14 you saw in the village of Bandol.
15 Major, this is paragraph (e) that contains that particular
16 information provided by you.
17 A. Yes, and I recognise this information, because it would have been
18 provided by -- by me myself.
19 Q. Thank you very much. Could you please keep this milinfosum for a
20 while, because I will have additional questions with regard to that
21 particular document. Thank you.
22 So you said that on the 8th of June you were not in Guca Gora but
23 that there was another company of yours that was there; isn't that right?
24 A. No, that's not as I recall my testimony. What I believe I said
25 was that on the 7th of June the call signs from "A" Company were in Guca
1 Gora, commanded by Lieutenant Medley. On the afternoon of the 7th of June
2 I was tasked to take a convoy of lorries to Guca Gora but was advised to
3 turn back because of the firing and the shooting that was going on in Guca
4 Gora. I actually myself went to Guca Gora on the 8th of June, then, when
5 I took my convoy of 16 armoured vehicles
6 Q. Major, since in the statement you gave to the Prosecutor you
7 referred to the date of the 8th of June, when Company "A" received
8 information, and to the 9th of June, when you came to take over these
9 civilians from the monastery, is it possible that there was a mistake in
10 the date that you specifically referred to yesterday before the Trial
12 A. That is entirely possible. As I recall - and I would need to
13 check my diary, which I made at the time for the exact date of this, that
14 what I do recall was that one day, either the 7th or the 8th of June, was
15 when the incident took place with "A" Company and that my involvement in
16 this was the day after.
17 Q. When you left Guca Gora with civilians and some of the members of
18 the HVO and the clergyman, the monastery had not been damaged; is that
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. You took with you some important objects from the monastery.
22 This is what the clergyman asked you to do, but you knew that most of the
23 valuable objects from the monastery had been relocated to a safe location
24 earlier on; is that right?
25 A. I was not aware of that, no. All I recall was that the abbot in
1 charge of the monastery asked our regimental padre to move whatever items
2 he could from the church. And this is what we did by putting onto the
3 lorry that was carrying the baggage of -- i.e., the suitcases of those
4 people who were evacuated.
5 Q. Thank you very much. Now let us go back to your testimony
6 regarding the 13th of June of 1993, when you came to Guca Gora again. You
7 said that the task of your mission was to get to Maljine because according
8 to the information that you had received from several persons, at that
9 particular locality the Mujahedin had committed a crime and that there was
10 perhaps even a mass grave there; is that right?
11 A. Again, I do not know the exact source of this information. The
12 briefing that I was given by the -- by the UN civilian representative,
13 Randy Rhodes, and the liaison officer, Captain Mark Bower, was that
14 someone had been handed a sketch map and Captain Bower showed me this
15 sketch map and my task as the patrol commander was to take them to the
16 village of Maljine, to search and either verify or dispute this
18 Q. You were accompanied by Randy Rhodes, an officer in charge of
19 civilian affairs, and Captain Mark Bower; is that right? They accompanied
20 you when you were carrying out this task.
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. Also with you were some journalists and your interpreter; is that
24 A. That's correct. And a number of armoured vehicles, which I
25 recall as being six. So each vehicle would have contained five soldiers,
1 so we would have had with us approximately 30 soldiers, Randy Rhodes and
2 Mark Bower, one female interpreter, and as I recall, three members of the
4 Q. When you came to Guca Gora, you could notice that the Croat
5 population had left the village; is that right?
6 A. That's correct. Because I'd physically taken them out myself a
7 few days earlier, and so it came as no surprise that there were no Croat
8 civilians in this village any more.
9 Q. You noticed that there had been thefts, that the abandoned houses
10 had been looted.
11 A. No, I did not notice that. I was too busy negotiating with
12 the -- with the foreign soldiers to have any time to go into any of the
13 buildings. So if there was looting that had taken place, I was not aware
14 of it.
15 Q. However, it was quite clear - and that is what you reported at
16 the meeting, and that is stated in your milinfosum too - that there had
17 been no destruction of houses in Guca Gora at the moment when you arrived
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. When you came to Guca Gora, as you said in your testimony, you
21 noticed a group of armed persons, foreigners, in front of the monastery
22 and around it; is that right?
23 A. Again, that's -- I don't believe that's what I said. My
24 recollection is that there were a group of soldiers around the monastery
25 who were clearly foreigners, but mingled amongst them were soldiers who by
1 their appearance appeared to be both -- to both be Bosnians and also
2 members of the local militia.
3 Q. Your convoy had been stopped and a large number of these
4 foreigners were around your vehicle; isn't that right?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. They established that they had a machine-gun nest behind the
7 sandbags and it was obvious that their attitude was hostile; isn't that
9 A. That's correct.
10 Q. They refused to let you through; although, you explained the
11 purpose of your mission to them in detail; isn't that right?
12 A. That's correct also.
13 Q. These foreigners were wearing a variety of clothing. Some of
14 them had Arab headdress; others had trousers that reminded you of the
15 Turkish or Afghan-type of trousers. So this was a mix of civilian and
16 military uniforms. I mean, what these persons wore. Isn't that right?
17 A. That's correct. The people who were obviously foreigners were
18 dressed like that. Other people present there were dressed as -- in the
19 manner of normal BiH militiamen.
20 Q. When the Mujahedin saw journalists, that made them particularly
21 angry; isn't that right?
22 A. Again, I don't believe that's what I said. When the Mujahedin
23 saw the film cameraman, they became particularly agitated at the prospect
24 of being filmed. I then told the film cameraman to get into the back of
25 the vehicle and detailed one of my soldiers to ensure that he did not come
1 out of the vehicle again. The two -- the two written press reporters -
2 and by that, I mean newspaper reporters - continued to walk around at this
3 stage, and there was no aggression shown towards them.
4 Q. These foreigners started insulting both you and the United
5 Nations; isn't that right?
6 A. Again, if I can go back to how I recall my testimony of
7 yesterday. One individual foreigner insulted the United Nations, which
8 was the man who was clearly, in my opinion, from Yorkshire, and it was him
9 who insulted us, not -- not foreigners, plural.
10 Q. Thank you. I obviously didn't understand you quite correctly
12 After a lengthy talk with these foreigners, you asked whether
13 your vehicles were the problem or the fact that you were heading towards
14 Maljine; is that right?
15 A. That's correct. When the gentleman of Arab appearance appeared,
16 this was the -- the details of the discussion that I had with him, and it
17 was him who I asked whether, as you quite rightly say, it was the vehicles
18 or simply myself and the other officers who he objected to.
19 Q. However, before you asked him that, an incident occurred, that
20 is, a bullet was fired accidentally by one of the soldiers present, and
21 your marksman also pointed his weapon towards that group; is that right?
22 A. Again, I'm sorry to talk semantics about my statement of
23 yesterday. What you say is correct, that one of the militiamen did fire
24 his weapon. However, the term "marksman" is incorrect. I believe what I
25 said yesterday was that the vehicles traversed their turrets, i.e., the
1 part of the vehicle that hold it is armament - in this case, it would have
2 been to the left - to point at the militiamen and the -- the foreigners,
3 to -- to display a more aggressive posture in what we initially believed
4 to be a shot fired against our people.
5 Q. Thank you. I'm obviously not familiar with all the terms that
6 you are using as a soldier. But this was the most critical moment during
7 this conversation with the foreigners; isn't that right?
8 A. That's correct. If I can expand on this, perhaps for the benefit
9 of the nonmilitary people here: I myself was outside my vehicle at the
10 time, so I saw the incident and was immediately aware that this had been a
11 single bullet fired accidentally into the ground. However, the soldiers
12 in the other vehicles would have been inside the -- the turrets of their
13 vehicles, almost certainly with the hatches closed down, and to them all
14 they heard was a shot, and initially they would have no idea as to whether
15 that was an accidental discharge or directed at them. So they responded
16 in the manner of trained soldiers and traversed their turrets to counter
17 the perceived threat. As trained soldiers as well, they did not
18 immediately return fire but waited to assess the situation and also waited
19 from orders from me.
20 Q. After that, the situation calmed down and you were allowed to
21 start off in your Toyota, to carry out your assignment, while the vehicles
22 stayed on in Guca Gora; is that right?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Even though this situation that we have described was a very
25 dangerous one, you nevertheless decided to move on armed with only a
1 single pistol that was concealed; is that right?
2 A. That's correct. I myself only had a single pistol.
3 Captain Bower also carried a pistol. Randy Rhodes, being a civilian, was
5 Q. So you, Randy Rhodes, and Captain Bower set off in a Toyota truck
6 and with this Arab person, virtually without any more significant
8 A. Yes, that's correct. I would also like to clarify. There were
9 in fact three -- three foreigners in the front of the vehicle: The Arab
10 gentleman, the person who spoke broken English that I'd initially spoken
11 to, and the third person, who was driving the vehicle.
12 Q. You were aware of the risk you were running and which your
13 colleagues also were exposed to, that is, Randy Rhodes and Captain Bower,
14 going in an unknown direction with unknown people, people unknown to you.
15 A. That's correct. But the three of us decided that in this case
16 the risk was worth taking in order to -- to fulfil our task.
17 Q. How great the risk was is best illustrated by the fact that you
18 gave clear instructions to your second-in-command what he should do if you
19 should not return without [as interpreted] an hour or if anything should
20 happen to you; is that right?
21 A. That's also correct.
22 Q. The first time when you encountered foreigners on the 15th of
23 May, you realised that they had a hostile attitude towards the United
24 Nations and that they were not prepared to make any major concessions;
25 isn't that right?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. On that day too, the same person was present that you had met on
3 the 15th of May; is that right?
4 A. That is also correct.
5 Q. The decision that you took when you set off was not a customary
6 one for a soldier because he exposed himself and his co-combatants and
7 civilians to an uncertain fate and to danger; is that right?
8 A. No, that is only half correct there. The reason why I took that
9 decision was that the Arab gentleman was clearly in a more conciliatory
10 mode. When the first time I met him, he refused to give any ground
11 whatsoever. On this second occasion, he agreed to our request to let
12 us -- to let us visit the village of Maljine. I took this to be a sign
13 that he was willing to cooperate, and in the terms that we use in the
14 military, pushed open a door that was slightly open. By that I mean I
15 used the -- his cooperation to exploit that and go along with the task in
16 order to attempt to complete it.
17 Q. When you reached the village of Maljine, you noticed a group of
18 civilians who were looting. And when they noticed you, they started
19 running away. Is that right?
20 A. I do not recall making that statement in my statement of
21 yesterday. What I believe I said was that on the way to Maljine we passed
22 groups of civilians and the Arab gentleman in the front of the vehicle
23 shook his fist out of the window and shouted "Allah-U-Ekber," and the
24 civilians responded in kind. If there was any looting going on in
25 Maljine, I certainly didn't see this and I don't believe I mentioned this
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it is 10.30. Do
3 you think this would be a convenient moment for the break?
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed. We are going to
5 have a break now. It is 10.30. We will resume in 25 minutes, that is, at
6 five to 11.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may proceed.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation].
11 Q. Major, when you arrived in Maljine village, you noticed that
12 three houses had been set on fire; whereas, the others were not damaged in
13 any way; is that correct?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. You personally didn't know who, when, and how set those three
16 houses on fire; is that correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. When you returned to Guca Gora, you have already replied that to
19 my question you learned from a Bosnian Muslim from Krpeljici that it would
20 be good if you went to Bandol village.
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. You went there and established that the whole village was
23 completely destroyed and that all the houses had been set on fire; is that
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. You also established that the local mosque had been completely
2 destroyed. It was beyond recognition. You managed to establish where it
3 had been located, owing to the fact that you had a map of the village.
4 A. That's not entirely true. We managed to find the location of the
5 mosque because the mosque was marked on the map. We did not have a map of
6 the village; simply a map similar to the one I have in front of me now,
7 which showed there to be a mosque in the village, which is why we paid
8 particular attention to locate this building, because it was not obvious
9 when we arrived there where the mosque was.
10 Q. However, a mosque was no longer there. It had been razed to the
11 ground. Is that correct?
12 A. That is correct. The -- the building had been completely
13 destroyed and the highest part of the exterior walls of the building would
14 have been only perhaps one, one and a half metres high.
15 Q. In the village, you found a body of a member of the BH army, and
16 there were signs of the previous torture visible on the body; is that
18 A. That's correct. The -- the corpse was half naked. He was
19 wearing trousers and boots, no shirt. He had a -- what looked like a
20 washing line tied around his neck, then. There was evidence of -- that
21 he'd received a severe beating. There was two or three stab wounds in his
22 chest and what looked to me like cigarette burns on his chest. However,
23 the body was in a considerable state of decomposition and it was difficult
24 without medical training to say how long he'd been there.
25 Q. Major, can you please look at the document number 45, dated 13 of
1 June, and can you confirm whether the information that you provided us
2 with about your visit to Guca Gora, about your visit to Maljine and Bandol
3 village, which are all described here under (b), (c), (d), (e), can you
4 confirm that this is exactly what you have testified about today?
5 A. No, this is not exactly as I've testified, because the -- this
6 milinfosum would have been completed from a variety of sources, then. Not
7 just myself but Randy Rhodes would have had input into this and
8 Captain Mark Bower as well. As I said earlier, I did not notice myself
9 that there had been any evidence of looting in Guca Gora or -- although,
10 as this is written here clearly one of the other members of that patrol
11 did notice this. I did not notice this myself.
12 Q. However, you can confirm that this is a realistic description of
13 the things that you saw, and you can also confirm that this is a
14 milinfosum issued by your battalion.
15 A. That's correct. The milinfosum gives a precis of the -- of the
16 details that -- that we observed on this particular patrol. Clearly it
17 doesn't give every single detail on, this but it is a -- it is a precis of
18 the events that happened on that day, yes.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Since the witness has confirmed
20 the facts that he's familiar -- that he is familiar with and the fact that
21 this milinfosum was issued by this battalion, I would like this milinfosum
22 to be tendered into evidence as a Defence exhibit.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
24 MR. MUNDIS: No objection, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you please put your name on
1 this document, sir. But before we admit this document into evidence, I
2 have a question to put to the witness.
3 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Major, would you please look at
5 item (e) very carefully. Under item (e), you will see the village of
6 Bandol described. The Defence counsel has just asked you a question which
7 is reflected on page 35, line 9. And you replied that you found a body
8 there, the body of a BiH member. In this paragraph (e), is there
9 something here that indicate that this body was the body of a member of
10 the BH army?
11 THE WITNESS: No. That's absolutely correct, Your Honour. There
12 was no indication that -- that it was a BiH soldier. All I can confirm is
13 that it was a soldier or he was -- or it was -- it was a dead body wearing
14 combat trousers and military boots, then. As to which side he came from,
15 BiH or HVO, it is clearly impossible to say, and that he could have come
16 from either side.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. How come that
18 the Defence counsel said in their question that it was the body of a BiH
19 army soldier? What did you base your question on? This was a leading
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, as you know, we
22 prepare our questions based on the statements given by the witnesses, and
23 he said in his statement that the village was abandoned and that they
24 discovered the body of a BiH army member. And as the witness said
25 himself, not all the details are recorded in the milinfosums, but I just
1 wanted to confirm that the witness remembers this fact that he mentioned
2 in the statement and he indeed confirmed it before the Trial Chamber with
3 the additional explanation that he gave to your question.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Major, you said to the
5 investigators of the Tribunal that this was the body of a BiH member. And
6 today you're not absolutely sure about that. Would that be correct to
8 THE WITNESS: If I can clarify this point. The -- we came to the
9 assumption that the body was a BiH soldier based on the following
10 information: First of all, the village was -- was a Muslim village there;
11 secondly, it was surrounded by Croat soldiers. And when we spoke to these
12 Croat soldiers and told them there was a body in the village, they
13 expressed no interest in this whatsoever. We took -- having dealt with
14 the locals before in similar circumstances, they normally took great pains
15 to ensure that their own people were buried. The lack of interest in this
16 particular body led us to the conclusion that he was a member of the
17 opposing forces, i.e., the BiH, which was -- which was the conclusion we
18 came to. But you're absolutely correct, Your Honour, we have no way of
19 knowing which side that body came from for sure.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We are going
21 to give a number to this exhibit, please.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number is DH71.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You may proceed.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Major, yesterday on direct you said that based on certain
1 suspicions that had come from the HVO and allegations that a crime had
2 been committed in Grahovcici, you decided to visit Grahovcici on the 14th
3 of June; is that correct?
4 A. Again, if I may clarify this. I did not decide to go on this
5 patrol. I was tasked by the battalion operations officer to take a United
6 Nations field worker to the village of Grahovcici. Just so the Court
7 understands this, the individual company commanders and patrol commanders
8 did not just decide where they were going to go. The taskings came from
9 the battle group headquarters, then. And although I don't know the exact
10 way that this particular tasking was given, then, it is clear that the
11 initial request came from the United Nations there, which was why they
12 wanted one of their field workers to go to this area to investigate the
13 scene of a possible atrocity.
14 Q. Near Cajdras you were stopped at a checkpoint manned by the BiH
15 army during your mission; is that correct?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. The soldiers there told you that you wouldn't be allowed to go
18 through without a special permit issued by the 3rd Corps Commander.
19 A. No, that's not what they said. They said, "You can't come
20 through without a pass issued by 3 Corps."
21 Q. However, before that, you already knew that the command of the
22 3rd Corps had issued an order on the free movement of members of the
23 United Nations and other international humanitarian agencies; is that
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Because of that, you tried to convince the soldiers manning that
2 checkpoint to allow you to go through.
3 A. That also is correct.
4 Q. Since the soldiers could not be convinced, and you, however,
5 wanted to carry out your mission, you decided to pay a visit to the
6 command of the 3rd Corps.
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. First you met with Mr. Dzemal Merdan, the deputy commander, and
9 then Mr. Enver Hadzihasanovic himself.
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. Commander Hadzihasanovic told you that you did not need any
12 written permits because you had already been granted free passage.
13 However, given the problem that you had encountered, he told you that he
14 would give you some military policemen to escort you; is that correct?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. The commander of the battalion of the military police of the 3rd
17 Corps was also among those who escorted you; however, at the same
18 checkpoint where you had problems, he also had to argue with the local
19 commander in order to convince him that you should be allowed free
20 passage. Is that correct?
21 A. Not entirely, again. I don't believe yesterday that I said that
22 the military policeman was the commander of a battalion. I had never seen
23 the man before. He did not introduce himself as a commander of a
24 battalion. As far as I was concerned, he was simply a military policeman,
25 which I believe is what I gave in my evidence yesterday.
1 Q. If there is something else on the record, that may have been a
2 mistake in the interpretation of what you had said; wouldn't that be
4 A. No, I don't believe I said that. A -- a battalion commander
5 would imply to me as a military man. This was a senior military policeman
6 in charge of a large number of other military policemen. There was no
7 indication at the time that the military policeman that went with us was
8 anything other than a normal low-ranking policeman. As I said, he did not
9 introduce himself as anything other than a policeman.
10 Q. However, the soldier at the checkpoint was not happy. He was
11 actually very angry when he realised that he had to let you through.
12 A. Again, I'm sorry to dispute your exact wording here. I -- I
13 didn't say he was very angry. He was annoyed that we had obtained the
14 military policeman. To my interpretation, "very angry" means -- means
15 exactly those words there. He was annoyed but clearly realised there was
16 nothing he could do about this, which fulfilled our promise to him to do
17 what he asked us to do, and therefore he had no choice but to let us
19 Q. At the second checkpoint, although the military policeman
20 insisted on you being let through, it didn't work. They wouldn't let you
21 through, and you had to return to the command of the 3rd Corps.
22 A. Again, that is, as I believe from my statement yesterday, not
23 exactly what happened there. As I believe I said yesterday, the military
24 policeman enabled us to pass through some other checkpoints, but it was
25 only when we got to Novo Selo that we were stopped at the checkpoints
2 Q. At that checkpoint - I apologise, I may have been wrong about
3 their numbers - let's say that at that last checkpoint, despite the
4 insistence of the military policeman, you were not allowed to go any
5 further from there.
6 A. That is correct. And the reason that was given to us was that
7 the military policeman could have been a Croat spy and that in any event
8 they were soldiers from a different brigade to the ones which had stopped
9 us at the Cajdras checkpoint.
10 Q. During your attempt to reach Grahovcici, like on any other
11 occasion, you were able to establish that the real authority lay with the
12 local commanders, local military commanders; is that correct?
13 A. No, because in this case, when the commander of the checkpoint
14 told me that he was from a different brigade to the ones manning the
15 Cajdras checkpoint, I asked him what brigade he was from and he said 7
16 Brigade. And I said, "What do I need to get through?" And he said, "I
17 need written authority from the corps commander; otherwise, I will not let
18 you through."
19 Q. However, you as a professional soldier must have found it strange
20 that such a high-ranking officer such as the 3rd Corps commander should be
21 involved in the issues that pertained to the authorities of a simple
22 soldier manning a checkpoint.
23 A. Yes, I did find this surprising. And I mentioned this to the
24 general, and he said that it was because the -- the BiH was still -- still
25 suffering, if you like, from the -- the days of the former Yugoslav
1 National Army when only the man in charge was the one who was able to make
2 decisions. He said that as they were in the middle of a war, it was not
3 possible to change this way but hopefully when the situation was peaceful,
4 they could become more like a -- more like a Western army; for example,
5 the British Army.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With regard to this question -
7 and I believe that this is very important - it seems to me that you have
8 testified that in the JNA lower-ranking officers could only execute orders
9 that came from their direct superiors. In this particular situation that
10 you found yourself in on that particular day, it seems that this soldier,
11 this foot soldier, would only execute orders coming from his direct
12 superior, rather than from the corps commander. The Defence counsel's
13 question was very precise, and you were asked to give a very precise
14 answer. Can you please clarify for the Trial Chamber.
15 THE WITNESS: Yes. The soldier at the checkpoint said that we
16 could only pass through, that it didn't matter -- let me start again.
17 That he came from a different brigade to the ones at the Cajdras
18 checkpoint, and the only way he would allow us through is if we had a
19 piece of paper from corps headquarters, then, to give him permission.
20 When I spoke to the general, I made -- I made light of this in
21 a -- in a humorous way and said, "If you don't --" words to the effect of,
22 "If you don't mind me saying so, General, it's ridiculous that a man as
23 important as you has to sign this piece of paper to enable me to get
24 through one checkpoint." And that is when he used the analogy of the
25 former Yugoslav National Army to explain why that was the procedure that
1 unfortunately he had to follow.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You may
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. When you informed the general that you hadn't been let through,
6 he was not very happy; he was dissatisfied with the fact that you hadn't
7 been let through the checkpoint. Is that correct? Is that what you said?
8 A. That's correct. It was clear that he was unhappy that despite
9 having the military policeman, which he had authorised, with us that we
10 had not been allowed through this second checkpoint.
11 Q. As a professional soldier of a professional army, you must know
12 that the Yugoslav People's Army was a professional army and that it had a
13 very clear system of the unity of command and the way officers
14 communicated amongst each other. I'm sure you're aware of that.
15 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
16 Q. You're also aware of the fact that a corps commander was a
17 high-ranking officer of the Yugoslav People's Army before the war, this
18 particular corps commander.
19 A. Yes, I am aware of that.
20 Q. Would you agree with me if I said that a professional soldier
21 would feel embarrassed seeing that his subordinates were not executing
22 orders that he had issued a long time ago?
23 A. Yes, I would say that is true, and I believe that to be why the
24 general took time from what must have been a busy day for him to explain
25 to me why this had happened.
1 Q. Because of the fact that his army was being created and found it
2 difficult to follow orders at all times, the general gave you some sort of
3 explanation in order to justify the behaviour of his subordinates; is that
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. During your patrols in the area of responsibility and your
7 communication with the commanders, you could notice that very often
8 high-ranking officers such as commanders and deputy commanders, together
9 with their soldiers, negotiate things. They didn't issue orders because
10 of the stage of the development of this army, because the unity of command
11 was still not firmly in place. Would I be correct in saying that?
12 A. Yes, you would be correct. And to further expand on that,
13 another difference between the local forces and, for instance, the British
14 Battalion was an issue of communications. If I wished to speak to my
15 commanding officer, I would simply call him on the radio and talk to him a
16 few moments later. At very few of the checkpoints we went to were there
17 any form of communications. This was before the advent of -- of mass
18 mobile telephones, then, so communications was a problem for both sides.
19 Q. Thank you very much. During your conversation with
20 General Hadzihasanovic, when you explained the situation with the
21 monastery in Guca Gora, he and his deputy, Merdan, clearly told you that
22 the Mujahedin were not under the control of the BiH army and the 3rd
23 Corps; is that correct?
24 A. No, that's not correct. I believe in my statement that I said I
25 had this conversation only with Colonel Merdan.
1 Q. Were you shown a document by which the commander was addressing
2 the staff of the superior command asking them to do something about these
3 foreign soldiers who were out of his control?
4 A. No, I don't recall being shown any document to that effect.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I should like to ask the usher to
6 usher [as interpreted] the witness's memory, to show him milinfosum number
7 46 of the 16th of June, and a document by General Hadzihasanovic dated the
8 13th of June. And if the witness is able to answer my questions about
9 these documents, I will tender them into evidence. If not, I shall
10 suggest that they be marked for identification. Milinfosums, this one
11 like the others, come from the archives of the British Battalion that we
12 had access to. And General Hadzihasanovic's document was received from
13 the Prosecution, and it is also on the list for General Reinhardt's
15 Q. The question I put to you has to do with paragraph 1 of this
17 Major, having reviewed this milinfosum, have you been reminded of
18 the conversation that I asked you about, or did you learn subsequently
19 about this at your meeting or, rather, when reading the milinfosum today?
20 A. As I understand it, the conversation concerning the Mujahedin
21 refers to a conversation between the commanding officer and
22 Colonel Merdan, which took place on the 14th of June, 1993. The
23 conversation between myself and Colonel Merdan took place on a different
24 date, after this milinfosum was issued.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. I only have a few more questions for you.
1 You were finally given a permit and you entered Grahovcici, didn't you?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment, please. We need
3 to clarify a point. The document dated the 14th of June that you have in
4 front of you, and in paragraph 1, under the heading "Meetings," by the way
5 in which it has been drafted, were you referred to in PWO or someone else?
6 Does it apply to someone else?
7 THE WITNESS: No, Your Honour, the expression "CO 1 PWO"
8 specifically refers to the commanding officer, CO being military
9 abbreviation for commanding officer. And what this is saying that
10 Lieutenant Colonel Alastair Duncan today met Enver Hadzihasanovic. This
11 is no reference whatsoever to the conversation that I had with
12 Colonel Merdan at a later date.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So you're telling us
14 that the contents of this paragraph does not come from you and that we
15 cannot link this content with the order that you wish to produce, since it
16 doesn't come from the witness. What is actually stated is that it comes
17 from his superior in the hierarchy, and you're telling us that the
18 conversation that you had with Merdan took place before or after the 14th
19 of June?
20 THE WITNESS: After the 14th, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see, after the 14th of June.
22 Very well. Then regarding this document, what is the request of the
23 Defence? That it should be tendered? Placed in standby? In view of the
24 fact that the second document, the order by the general, was something
25 that the witness was not aware of and also this paragraph in the
1 milinfosum was not from him, what is the position of the Defence regarding
2 the two documents?
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to
4 ask a few more questions and then take a position regarding these
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Very well.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation].
8 Q. Major, in paragraph 1, in the middle, you can see that the events
9 linked to Guca Gora, in brackets the reference is to milinfosum number 45,
10 which you have recognised as being a part of your information and which
11 has already been admitted into evidence. My question is: The part of the
12 conversation conducted by your commander, were you informed about it at
13 your regular briefing on the same day that the commander had that meeting?
14 A. Yes, I would have been informed of this, and I would have seen
15 this milinfosum. All I'm saying is that in the evidence that I gave, I
16 believe I said that on the 16th of June I had a different conversation
17 with Colonel Merdan, in which he gave me an opposing opinion to the one
18 which is detailed in this milinfosum. And I believe I gave that in
19 evidence yesterday.
20 Q. However, Major, if I remember well, your visit to Grahovcici
21 occurred a day after the visit to Guca Gora, which means also on the 14th
22 of June. Am I mistaken?
23 A. Yes, I believe you are mistaken. Because if this milinfosum is
24 dated the 14th of June, then milinfosum number 045, the preceding
25 milinfosum, will presumably refer to the events of the 13th of June, then.
1 What this is referring to is my presence at the village of Bandol, then,
2 where it say that is the presence of Warriors prevented 3 Corps from a
3 planned -- or prevented a planned BiH attack. That, I believe, was my
4 vehicles going to the area of Bandol in response to the gentleman who I
5 met in Guca Gora. So the events of this are actually the day before.
6 Q. I'm sorry for dwelling on this for a moment longer, but if I
7 understand correctly, though a milinfosum is typed the next day but it is
8 dated according to the events that happened on that day, that is, the 14th
9 of June, because through your testimony we have just established that you
10 went to Maljine on the 13th of June, that on the 13th of June you were
11 also in Bandol and Guca Gora, and according to your testimony here in
12 court, on the 14th of June you were tasked to visit Grahovcici. So I
13 assume, Major, that it is possible that the first part of the report
14 contains information from your commander but there is reference also to
15 what you learnt the day earlier visiting Guca Gora and Bandol. Am I
16 interpreting this situation, which is rather complicated, correctly? In
17 view of the fact that in your statement for the Prosecutor and here in
18 court you specifically referred to the 13th when you went to Guca Gora,
19 Maljine, and Bandol, and on the 14th to Grahovcici?
20 A. Yes, this is absolutely correct, ma'am. As I understand this,
21 under the heading "Meetings," paragraph 1, where it says "CO 1 PWO" today
22 met Enver Hadzihasanovic, that event took place on the 14th of June. And
23 the comments made to him at the end of paragraph 1 also took place on that
25 During this conversation, it was mentioned that a BiH attack had
1 had to be cancelled due to the president -- due to the presence of Warrior
2 armoured vehicles in Bandol. That, I believe, to be reference to my own
3 presence in Bandol the day before, the 13th of June.
4 Q. Thank you. I think we've clarified things now.
5 Would you please also look at paragraph 11 of this same
6 milinfosum, and then I will have a couple of questions about it.
7 Actually, you said that when you finally received written permission you
8 managed to pass through this checkpoint as well; is that right?
9 A. I'm sorry, could you repeat the question, please.
10 Q. When you finally received this order, you visited the village of
11 Grahovcici as well -- not order, I'm sorry, this permission. Then you
12 managed to enter the village of Grahovcici; is that right?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Is it true that in Grahovcici, as well as in Novo Selo, you were
15 obvious -- you were able to see obvious signs of intensive combat?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Is it true that there was no evidence of ethnic cleansing and the
18 expulsion of Croat inhabitants?
19 A. I'm afraid I can't reply to that with sufficient detail. All I
20 can say is the person on the ground -- was that there was no evidence that
21 any -- any of the buildings in the village had been burned. I don't
22 believe I'm qualified to comment on whether so-called ethnic cleansing had
23 taken place. All I can say is there were no obvious signs of any
24 buildings being burnt. There was no indication as to what had happened to
25 the inhabitants.
1 Q. You reported about all this at your regular briefing; is that
3 A. That is correct.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness has
5 answered all my questions. In view of the fact that he cannot fully
6 confirm all the facts that took place at the meeting held by his
7 commander, I am suggesting that for the present both documents be marked
8 for identification only.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I had intended to
10 ask the Prosecution for their remarks a moment ago. Can we hear you.
11 MR. MUNDIS: No objection, Mr. President.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, we are going to
14 give two numbers to these documents, marked for identification, though
15 milinfosum is an official document. But we will do it on a provisional
16 basis. So please give us two numbers.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the milinfosum will get the exhibit
18 number DH72, marked for identification; the B/C/S version of the report
19 gets the exhibit number DH73, marked for identification; and the English
20 translation of the report gets the exhibit number DH73/E, marked for
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no further
24 questions for this witness.
25 Major, thank you very much for the answers you have given me.
1 THE WITNESS: Thank you, ma'am.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll now turn to the other
3 Defence team.
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
5 will have a few questions for this witness, and they will refer
6 exclusively to what the witness has been saying before this Chamber
7 yesterday and today.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Major, in the course of your testimony yesterday
10 and today, you spoke about your own experiences during your tour of duty
11 in Central Bosnia in 1993. You stayed in Central Bosnia, according to
12 your own statement, from April 1993 until the 31st of August, when you
13 were transferred to Tuzla; is that right?
14 A. No, that's not correct, sir. I believe I stated in my statement
15 that I spent -- that I spent the whole time of the tour as -- as the Vitez
16 company commander. What I believe I said was that "A" Company and the
17 Light Dragoon's Squadron swapped over the duties in Tuzla. I myself
18 didn't go to Tuzla at any point during the tour.
19 Q. So you were in Central Bosnia throughout your tour of duty in
20 Bosnia; is that right?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. During your testimony, Major, you spoke about your experiences
23 and your mission during your stay in Central Bosnia. Among other things,
24 as you yourself described yesterday and also today, you had some direct
25 contact with foreign fighters, the Mujahedin; is that right?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Your first contact, according to your testimony, was on the 15th
3 of May, 1993 near the village of Fazlici.
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. You were surprised, as you yourself said, before -- because
6 before that you had absolutely no awareness of the existence of these
7 foreign combatants in Central Bosnia.
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. You described your meeting with them in detail, and you told us
10 that it lasted roughly between one and two hours at that checkpoint at
11 Fazlici; is that right?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. On that occasion, there were no local soldiers with these
14 foreigners who described them as plastic Mujahedins, as you put it.
15 A. That's correct. I believe I testified that there were two groups
16 of soldiers there: Ones who were clearly local militia, and ones who were
17 foreigners. I do not believe that I said there were any of the so-called
18 plastic Mujahedin there.
19 Q. Your second encounter with these foreign combatants was on the
20 13th of June, 1993 in Guca Gora, when you were on your way to the village
21 of Maljine; is that right?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. You went to the village of Maljine under Mujahedin escort, as you
24 said. There were three foreign fighters with you; is that right?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. In your escort, there were no soldiers of the BH army on that
2 occasion, were there?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. On the 14th of June, 1993, according to your own testimony, after
5 receiving all the necessary permits and after describing to us how all
6 this happened, you were stopped -- I'm sorry, let me rephrase my question.
7 On the 14th of June, 1993, when you were on your way to Grahovcici, you
8 were stopped at a BH army checkpoint at a place called Novo Selo; is that
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. In order to pass through that checkpoint, you were required to
12 get appropriate passes; is that right?
13 A. That's right.
14 Q. You learnt at the checkpoint that these were members of the 7th
15 Brigade; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. On that occasion, you noticed some soldiers who were imitating
18 the foreign fighters in the way they dressed and in their appearance, and
19 it was then that you described them as so-called plastic Mujahedin, but in
20 fact they were all Bosniaks; is that right?
21 A. That's correct.
22 Q. On the basis of your own assessment that these were local
23 soldiers and Bosniaks, the appearance of the plastic Mujahedin for people
24 who were not familiar to the same extent as you were with the situation
25 could lead somebody to conclude that they were foreign soldiers.
1 A. I believe you're asking me to comment on other people's opinions.
2 However, I believe that from a distance to an untrained eye, yes, there
3 could be perhaps some form of -- some form of dispute as to the actual --
4 the actual ethnic group these people came from.
5 Q. After you acquired the pass from the 3rd Corps, you went to
6 Grahovcici unhindered; is that right?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. You inferred and learnt that they were members of the 7th Brigade
9 because that is what they themselves said; is that right?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. The date is indeed the 14th of June, 1993, isn't it?
12 A. That is -- if that is what I gave on my statement, then yes.
13 Q. On the day you arrived in Grahovcici, you did not notice any
14 damage or burnt houses, except that you did see traces of heavy fighting,
15 as you yourself said.
16 A. I don't believe that to be the case either. I believe what I
17 said was that there was some damage to the buildings which was consistent
18 with them having been shelled; however, there was no signs that buildings
19 had been set on fire deliberately as a means of simply destroying the
21 Q. Major, do you know that on the 11th of June, 1993 a battle
22 started with units of the HVO in the environs of Kakanj and in the town of
23 Kakanj itself?
24 A. I do not recall this incident because that was outside our -- our
25 own battle group's area; however, if this incident took place, it is
1 likely that we would have been briefed on that in the evening briefing as
2 an event of interest taking place in a neighbouring battle group's area.
3 Although, I'm afraid I do not recall any details of this incident.
4 Q. Thank you. Major, during your tour of duty in Central Bosnia,
5 you never met Mr. Kubura, the commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade; is that
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. During your stay in Central Bosnia, you never went to the
9 headquarters of the 7th Muslim Brigade either; is that right?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. And during that period of time, you had no other contact with any
12 high-ranking officer of the 7th Muslim Brigade, did you?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Your only contact with members of the 7th Brigade was the one you
15 described on the 14th of June, 1993 at the checkpoint in Novo Selo; is
16 that correct?
17 A. I cannot say that with any degree of certainty. What I can say
18 is the only time that I met a soldier who positively identified himself as
19 a member of 7 Muslim Brigade was on the incident which I've described on
20 the 14th of June, 1993.
21 Q. Major, during your testimony yesterday, in answer to questions
22 from the President you discussed how information was collected which you
23 used during your mission.
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. On that occasion, you indicated that one of the very important
1 segments of data collection was the information you gathered from the
2 locals of the villages that were inhabited by Croat farmers. This is
3 something you confirmed today during the cross-examination. And you also
4 referred to elderly people, civilians, who were living in those villages
5 as a source of information. Is that right?
6 A. I'm sorry again to pick words with you, sir. I do not believe I
7 mentioned the words -- the word "Croat farmers" in my testimony yesterday.
8 And when I gave my testimony, I believe that I made it clear that the
9 information-gathering process was the same for any villages, be they
10 Muslim or Croat, that we went to.
11 Q. In any event, they were local inhabitants of the villages from
12 which you collected information, be they Croat or Muslim villages; is that
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. Major, would you agree with me when I say that the information
16 that the local population had about the military situation and the
17 situation on the ground was absolutely limited and sometimes very
18 superficial? Is that correct?
19 A. Yes. The amount of information that we were given varied in
20 quality. Sometimes it was clearly true. And by that, it would be
21 something that we had intimate knowledge of ourselves. Sometimes it was
22 blatantly false and simply propaganda. And sometimes it was somewhere in
23 the middle, due to the informant being -- not having full possession of
24 all the factors, though, which was why we took every step to corroborate
25 any information that we were given from either other sources or, if
1 possible, independent sources.
2 Q. Yesterday you gave us some examples of what happened during your
3 mission, when the mission could not be accomplished fully because of the
4 information that was incomplete. For example, when you went to Maljine,
5 you used a map that was carried by Mr. Bower and that map was absolutely
6 incorrect; it was incomplete. Is that correct?
7 A. I did not say the map was incomplete. I said the map had no
8 scale and no north pointer on it, so therefore was impossible to orientate
9 with any recognisable feature in the village of Maljine. To the person
10 that drew that map, it may have been useful. But to us, as a third party,
11 trying to make use of that in this particular village, indeed it was
13 Q. Based on the information that you had received, you didn't find
14 any traces of crime in Grahovcici village; is that correct?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. During your testimony yesterday, you said that the UN camp was
17 only 2 kilometres away from Ahmici village; is that correct?
18 A. No. Again, I don't believe I said that. I said "several
19 kilometres." I do not believe I specified the distance 2, 2 kilometres,
20 because I know that to be incorrect.
21 Q. Okay. Let's agree that it was several kilometres. However,
22 despite the fact that it was only several kilometres away, you had no
23 information whatsoever of what would happen in Ahmici village and
24 subsequently you also didn't have any information as to who had committed
25 the crime or who had ordered the crime to be committed.
1 A. I can only comment on my own views and observations of this tour.
2 The events in Ahmici took place before I deployed to Bosnia, so the -- the
3 feelings and actions of the British troops at that time must be commented
4 on by someone who was there at the time. I believe I testified that at
5 the time that we arrived in Bosnia it was unclear who had carried out the
6 atrocity and why, and this was the subject of an investigation which was
7 ongoing when we arrived out in Bosnia.
8 Q. Major, during your testimony yesterday, you confirmed that you
9 had already given a statement to the investigators of The Hague Tribunal;
10 is that correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. You gave this statement on the 10th of May, 2000 in the presence
13 of Mr. Hackshaw and Mr. Stephan Obers, both of them investigators of
14 The Hague Tribunal; is that correct?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. In your statement, you spoke about the same events that you spoke
17 about yesterday and today before this Trial Chamber; is that correct?
18 A. That is correct. No, I would like to -- I would like to change
19 that. That is not correct. I spoke about the -- the parts of my tour
20 which I was asked questions about by the -- by the investigators. For
21 instance, I did not make as many comments about the -- the visit to the
22 village of Bandol. I made these observations and comments in response
23 to -- to questions posed to me by the Defence. These were not part of my
24 statement. At the time, I simply answered questions which were given to
25 me in this court.
1 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, can I please ask
2 the usher to give the major the statement that he gave to the
3 investigators in the year 2000, because I will have some questions that
4 stem from that statement.
5 Q. Major, is this the statement that you gave to the investigators
6 and signed yourself?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. Can you please look at the last page of that statement. It says
9 here that the statement has been read over to you in the English language,
10 which is your mother tongue, and that this statement is true. So is this
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. And you signed every single page of this statement.
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. Please look at page 9, line 6, starting with "From my observation
16 in Central Bosnia." You say clearly in this statement that you cannot
17 confirm whether the Mujahedin were involved or included in the 7th Muslim
18 Brigade or not.
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. When you gave this statement to the investigators, you used your
21 own log or your own diary.
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. Major, based on what you have said today about your contacts -
24 namely, you stated that you didn't have any contacts with the high-ranking
25 officers of the Muslim -- 7th Muslim Brigade and that the only contact
1 that you had with that brigade was at Grahovcici checkpoint on the 14th of
2 June - one may conclude that your knowledge and your information about the
3 structure of this brigade, of the 7th Brigade, is not sufficient. I'm
4 talking about your personal knowledge.
5 A. That is absolutely correct. In order to -- to gain the British
6 Battalion's detailed knowledge of the 7th Brigade, you would need to speak
7 to the particular liaison officer who was involved in frequent contact
8 with 7 Brigade.
9 Q. Thank you, Major.
10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no further questions
11 for this witness.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, any re-examination?
13 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, Mr. President. But before I do so, I'm
14 wondering to what purpose the Defence for Mr. Kubura was going to use this
15 statement of the witness, whether that needs to be withdrawn from the
16 witness or whether -- what their intention is.
17 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we do not tender
18 this statement into evidence. We just wanted the witness to have it and
19 to refer to it when we were checking the witness's credibility.
20 MR. MUNDIS: In that case, Mr. President, perhaps that statement
21 should be withdrawn from the witness.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Mundis:
23 Q. Major Kent-Payne, I just have a few questions for you. In
24 response to a question put to you by Mrs. Residovic, in the transcript
25 today, page 44, line 8, you indicated that you were aware that the accused
1 Hadzihasanovic was a high-ranking officer of the JNA before the war. Do
2 you remember saying that this morning?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 Q. How did you know that?
5 A. As I recall, we were given personality briefs of the major
6 commanders, then, and part of this included what -- what prior military
7 experience they had received. To give you some examples that I can
8 recall, General Hadzihasanovic had previous experience in the -- in the
9 JNA; General Alagic had been a tank commander; on the Croat side,
10 Brigadier Vlado Juric had been the pilot of a ground-attack aircraft. So
11 we were given this information to enable us to assess the actions of the
12 various combatants, some of whom had no senior military experience but
13 were simply local commanders because of their esteemed position within
14 society, not necessarily because they were efficient military soldiers in
15 a previous life. So we were briefed that. But I'm afraid I can't recall
16 any document that said that on; merely the fact that I remember that I was
17 told that in a briefing.
18 Q. Major, do you recall from that briefing any of the specific
19 experience of General Hadzihasanovic in the JNA?
20 A. No, I'm afraid I do not, other than the fact that he had been a
21 reasonably high-ranking officer. And by that I took that to mean of
22 around the rank of colonel.
23 MR. MUNDIS: With the assistance of the usher, I would ask that
24 the witness be shown DH71.
25 [Prosecution counsel confer]
1 MR. MUNDIS:
2 Q. Major Kent-Payne, I just have a couple of questions regarding the
3 technical format, if you will, of the milinfosum infosums of which DH71 is
4 an example. At the top of this document, the first line, the line that's
5 underscored says "1 PWO." Can you tell the Trial Chamber what that
6 abbreviation stands for?
7 A. This refers to 1st Battalion, the Prince of Wales' Own Regiment
8 of Yorkshire, which is the United Kingdom battle Group to which -- of
9 which I was a member of.
10 Q. If you look at the first paragraph, paragraph number 1, the final
11 sentence of that paragraph there is an abbreviation.
12 A. Are you talking about "C/S"?
13 Q. That's correct, sir.
14 A. Yes, this means "call sign." By "call sign," it's a military
15 euphemism for patrol. Each patrol -- each vehicle has a different call
16 sign painted on the side of the turret to enable easy identification of
17 one's own vehicle and also to enable the local people should they be
18 reporting any actions carried out by the United Nations to ensure that
19 they would be able to recognise the vehicle and that the battalion
20 hierarchy would then be able to know which vehicle was involved in any
21 particular incident.
22 Q. Major Kent-Payne, if you know, can you please describe for the
23 Trial Chamber how the milinfosums are physically produced; that is, are
24 they prepared on a typewriter or a computer or any other type of -- of
25 machinery? Do you know -- if you know the answer to that question.
1 A. I'm afraid I don't know exactly how the milinfosum was produced,
2 whether it was done -- whether it was typed or done on computer. I was
3 not involved with the production of this. My only involvement with
4 milinfosums would be to physically give my written patrol report, which
5 would generally be handwritten, to a member of the military information
6 cell, and they would collate that information and produce a milinfosum
7 similar to the one I have in front of me now.
8 Q. Thank you, Major.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, with your indulgence, I would ask
10 that the usher briefly escort the witness out of the courtroom. I would
11 like to address the Chamber in his absence before asking the final one or
12 two questions that I have for him.
13 [The witness stands down]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, yes.
15 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 In the cross-examination conducted by Defence for Mr. Kubura, the
17 witness obviously was shown his prior OTP statement. The Prosecution
18 submits that the question that was put to the witness was an entirely
19 proper question by the Defence; however, the -- the part of the sentence
20 from his statement that was put to the witness was only part of that
21 sentence from his witness statement.
22 In light of the Trial Chamber's prior rulings with respect to the
23 use of written witness statements by the Prosecution, prior to proceeding
24 I thought it was prudent to seek the Trial Chamber's guidance. What I am
25 proposing to do is to put the entire sentence that is in the witness'
1 statement to him. This would be the complete sentence of which my learned
2 colleague for the Defence put only a part of that sentence to him. And I
3 would propose to proceed in the following way: By simply reading the
4 entire sentence as contained in the witness statement to the witness and
5 asking him whether or not to the best of his recollection that is an
6 accurate and truthful sentence from his statement. And I simply do that
7 in the absence of the witness to seek guidance of the Chamber, in light of
8 the prior rulings with respect to use of prior statements by the
9 Prosecution. And that would, in fact, be my last question for the
10 witness. Thank you, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In any case, we have to make a
12 break. We are thus going to make a break, and we shall give you our reply
13 after this break.
14 However, Mr. Bourgon would like the floor for an intervention.
15 Before we give him the floor, we need to say that the document that was
16 given to the witness was something that he read. He familiarised himself
17 with this paragraph of the statement. And now the Prosecution is asking
18 whether they can remind the witness of the entire paragraph. So the goal
19 was to remind the witness of the entire paragraph.
20 However, since the witness was faced with the document, he read
21 it, and this was already resolved. But we will talk about it and we will
23 Mr. Bourgon, you wanted the floor?
24 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The question
25 that was put about this document was a very precise answer that called for
1 a very precise fact. The re-examination has to be limited to what was
2 said during the cross-examination. And if the Trial Chamber allows the
3 witness to go beyond that, at that moment the Defence is going to ask to
4 be able to put additional questions based on the witness's answers.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Of course. That goes without
7 Mr. Dixon, you have the floor.
8 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. In our submission, there's
9 no need for the witness to be shown his statement again. It wasn't
10 exhibited, the statement. He was shown it in order to answer a particular
11 question, which we put. We only put that question because it was raised
12 in the examination-in-chief yesterday. He had ample opportunity to -- to
13 read the entire paragraph. In fact, he was referred to the entire
14 paragraph. He took his time and he answered the question. And we believe
15 the matter has now been dealt with and there's no need for the statement
16 to be shown again to the -- the witness in re-examination. Thank you,
17 Your Honours.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to give the floor to
19 Mr. Mundis. But when the witness was given the document, he read the
20 paragraph in question.
21 Mr. Mundis.
22 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. In fact, if you -- if
23 Your Honours during the break would take a look at the precise question
24 that was put to the witness, the Prosecution would submit that's why he
25 gave a very precise answer to that question. I think over the past two
1 days we've seen that this witness tends to answer questions quite
2 precisely, and in light of the fact that it was a very precise question
3 and it related only to the 7th Muslim Brigade and the Mujahedin, he then
4 didn't elaborate or provide any additional information, which the
5 Prosecution asserts is in his statement. It is precisely for that reason,
6 the precise nature of the question, that the Prosecution would submit that
7 he gave the precise answer that he did in fact give.
8 We should also, in our submission, Your Honour, again, in light
9 of the Chamber's prior ruling on the use of -- of previously given written
10 statements, the Prosecution would submit that it -- that it is proper when
11 the Defence puts questions to witnesses based on the statement that if
12 they don't read directly out of the statement and read completely from the
13 statement that the Chamber in fact might get -- might be -- not have the
14 full picture with respect to what the witness said because the Chamber
15 does not have the written witness statements in front of them.
16 And finally, Your Honours, with respect to the submissions of
17 my -- my learned colleague Mr. Dixon, I -- I again stress we have no
18 intention of showing the witness his statement. We would simply read one
19 sentence from that statement to the witness and ask him to verify whether
20 or not that full sentence, a part of which the Defence put to him, is in
21 fact accurate and true to the best of his recollection sitting here today.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
24 MR. BOURGON: [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel.
1 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] I apologise.
2 Your Honours, since we are discussing this issue in the absence
3 of the witness - and we believe that this is a good procedure to follow -
4 maybe my learned friend could explain what kind of questions he wants to
5 put to the witness. We want to be advised in order to prepare ourselves
6 for possible objections.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe to avoid wasting time,
8 maybe Mr. Mundis would be able to tell us what lines he wants to read in
9 the presence of the witness. Without that, maybe we are just beating
10 around the bush. Maybe you can explain and tell us what line, what
11 sentences, what words you would like to read to the witness, and then we
12 will all listen to this sentence with a lot of interest.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, it comes from the sixth paragraph on
14 page 9, which is precisely the paragraph that Mr. Ibrisimovic referred the
15 witness to. It is the second and final sentence of that paragraph, and
16 the question that I would propose putting to the witness is the following:
17 Major Kent-Payne, in your statement of 10 May 2000 did you tell the
18 investigators of the Tribunal the following: "I cannot, however, say
19 whether the Mujahedin were attached to or under the control of the 7th
20 Muslim Brigade directly or that they reported directly to the 3rd Corps
21 Command"? Sir, did you in fact make that statement and sitting here today
22 is it a true and accurate statement to the best of your recollection?
23 That, Mr. President, is the precise question that the Prosecution
24 would like to put to the witness. If you compare the previous question
25 asked by the Defence with the question that the Prosecution would propose,
1 both of which come from his prior statement, the Prosecution submits it
2 will be clear to Your Honours precisely why that question is relevant and
3 why that question would be of great assistance to the Trial Chamber as it
4 makes determinations as to the ultimate issues involved in this trial.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now we know exactly what needs
6 to be clarified about this statement given in May 2000.
7 Does the Defence still object to the reading of this sentence
8 which basically arises logically from the question?
9 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to reply to my
10 learned friend. My learned friend said that my question was precise and
11 that I obtained a very precise answer. I believe that this is the goal of
12 the procedure before this Trial Chamber. I limited my question to what
13 the Defence of Mr. Kubura is interested in, because he was the commander
14 of the 7th Brigade, and we obtained a precise answer. I did not ask any
15 questions with regard to the subordination to the 3rd Corps, and I believe
16 that no such question can be asked during re-examination, because I never
17 asked any questions about the 3rd Corps.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I'm going to give the
19 floor to Mr. Mundis, because the discussion is getting really interesting.
20 The Defence tells us that they asked the witness whether the Mujahedin had
21 been subordinated to the 7th Brigade. The witness answered that he
22 couldn't answer that question. The Prosecution would now like to complete
23 this question by asking the witness whether he had said that he couldn't
24 reply whether they were subordinated to the 7th Brigade or not; however,
25 in the written statement, he also added to that that he also wouldn't be
1 able to say whether they were directly subordinated to the 3rd Corps
2 command. So this is the gist of the debate.
3 You want the witness to give us his opinion as to the
4 subordination to the 3rd Corps. And the Defence objects to that. Am I --
5 am I right?
6 MR. MUNDIS: Again, Mr. President, the -- the question -- and
7 we're not suggesting in any way whatsoever that the question as put by my
8 learned colleague Mr. Ibrisimovic is improper or incorrect. Clearly if I
9 were sitting on that side of the courtroom I would be asking exactly the
10 same question.
11 If you look at his question, page 60, line 2 of today's
12 transcript, and compare that with what's contained in the witness's actual
13 statement, as reflected by the proposed question which I just put to you,
14 which was a direct quote from his statement, you will see that the issue
15 is exactly as Your Honour has put it, that the precise question that was
16 put to the witness resulted in a very precise answer but the witness was
17 not then asked to go further. And the Prosecution would assert that
18 comparing what he actually said in his prior written statement with the
19 question -- the precise question that was put to him today could result in
20 a situation where the Trial Chamber does not have all the information
21 which the -- which the Prosecution submits it should have and which this
22 witness can testify to. That -- that, again, Mr. President, you've got
23 the precise question that I would put to the witness, and those are the
24 submissions on this issue for the Prosecution.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. I'm going to
1 give the floor to Mr. Bourgon. But before that, I would like to
2 summarise. The Prosecution says that the Defence has asked a certain
3 question. I can see it on the record on page 60, line 2 and further on.
4 And the Defence has asked the witness whether he was able to confirm that
5 the -- as it says in the statement, that the Mujahedin were a part of the
6 7th Brigade. The witness then replied that he was not in the position to
7 answer that question. The Prosecution submits that this question was
8 asked in such a way that the real situation was not represented in the --
9 the proper way, because what the witness stated in his statement is said
10 in such a way that one could infer that there was a link with the 3rd
11 Corps. This is something that should not be discussed in such a narrow
12 sense. He has to be given an opportunity to say what he meant when he
13 gave his answer.
14 Mr. Bourgon, you have the floor.
15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] The position of the Defence is very
16 clear. When the witness was asked a precise question, he gave a very
17 precise answer. And in that he had the entire statement in front of him.
18 And now the question that the Prosecution wants to put to the witness now
19 has already been put to the question during the examination-in-chief.
20 This issue was already the subject of our previous discussion. And -- and
21 the questions that were put to the witness by the Trial Chamber -- the
22 question put to the witness by the Trial Chamber was what sources he had
23 at his disposal when he put his positions forward.
24 So the Defence believes that if the Prosecutor is allowed to ask
25 this question, this will mean that they will be allowed to put a question
1 that doesn't stem from the cross-examination of this witness. The Trial
2 Chamber will do what they deem necessary.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. It is
4 twenty-five to 1.00. We will resume at 1.00.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
8 The Chamber deliberated the question whether the Prosecution
9 could put a question to the witness on the basis of the paragraph
10 contained in his written statement, the Chamber, referring to the Rules of
11 Procedure and Evidence, which allows parties to ask questions upon
12 authorisation of the Chamber, the Chamber authorises this question to be
14 Mr. Mundis, you may put the question to the witness, referring to
15 the content of the said paragraph.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President, Your Honours.
17 Q. Major Kent-Payne, in your statement of 10 May 2000, did you tell
18 the investigators of the Tribunal the following: "I cannot, however, say
19 whether the Mujahedin were attached to or under the control of the 7th
20 Muslim Brigade directly or that they reported directly to the 3rd Corps
22 Sir, did you in fact make that statement, and sitting here today,
23 is it a true and accurate statement to the best of your recollection?
24 A. What I believe I meant by that statement, in answer to the
25 question that was posed, was could I confirm that the -- that the
1 Mujahedin were attached to any particular organisation. And I answered in
2 my opinion truthfully that I could not confirm that that was the case. I
3 took that to be that confirmation would be, had I seen any members of the
4 Mujahedin in 3 Corps headquarters, for instance, which to my mind will be
5 evidence, which I do not believe that I had seen, so I answered that I
6 could not confirm this.
7 I believe earlier on in my statement I was asked my opinion on
8 this, and I said that we were told in a briefing that this was the -- was
9 the organisation. But in answer to the exact wording of my statement, no,
10 I could not confirm that.
11 Q. I guess, sir, my question was: Did you say that in your
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you, Major Kent-Payne.
15 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions,
16 Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Judges have
18 some questions for you, so, Witness, please listen carefully to the
19 questions, as you have done over the past two days, and you will give us
20 precise answers.
21 So I give the floor to my colleague.
22 Questioned by the Court:
23 JUDGE SWART: Good morning, Major. I would like to put to you a
24 few questions about mainly the matter of destruction of houses. You have
25 talked about it and I would like to have some clarifications on that
2 You told us that the first time you wanted to visit Guca Gora was
3 on the day of the attack. What you said yesterday was that BritBat, your
4 company, wanted to prevent a second Ahmici, so to speak, and you also were
5 interested in -- you had a policy, you said yesterday, if I quote you
6 correctly, of investigating the burning of houses. That was a very short
7 remark. And my first question is: What did this policy contain? What
8 did you mean by that statement?
9 A. It meant that if we were on a routine patrol and we saw a house
10 burning, then we were, in our opinion, duty-bound to investigate that if
11 at all possible. By that I mean driving to the location to see if we
12 could help anyone perhaps trapped inside the building or prevent any --
13 anyone being killed by -- by whoever had set fire that building.
14 JUDGE SWART: So that implies that you are patrolling in a
15 certain area and whenever there is a question or you see a house burning
16 or if there is something else that attracts your attention, you
17 investigate the matter.
18 A. Correct. Because we were given a considerable degree of latitude
19 to use our initiative, then, and this was one item where individual patrol
20 commanders were told, "If you are going from point A to point B and you
21 see this happening and if at all possible, then you are to investigate."
22 An example where it would not be possible to investigate would be
23 if -- if a patrol commander was escorting a convoy and clearly his primary
24 mission is to get that convoy from A to B safely. And what he would then
25 do is radio back to the United Nations base and if possible another patrol
1 would be sent to investigate the burning building or the sound of firing
2 or whatever.
3 JUDGE SWART: Yes. So this is basically reactive. You are on
4 patrol, and then you are confronted with certain phenomenon.
5 A. Correct, sir.
6 JUDGE SWART: I had yesterday and also this morning a slightly
7 different impression. This is my second question to you: You could also
8 imagine a policy of -- following the events consisting of visiting place
9 where fights have been -- where fights have occurred and on a regular
10 basis visiting those places and see what are the differences in -- in the
11 environment. Have new houses been burnt? Have new houses been destroyed,
12 et cetera? But that was not your policy.
13 A. It's not a question of policy, Your Honour. It's a question of
14 gaining information. So to go to one village that had been taken over by
15 a particular side, then -- and then perhaps if we visited that village a
16 week later, part of the information that we would send back was that
17 there'd clearly been looting, the windows in the church were smashed,
18 there was three houses burned down, there was a large quantity of refugees
19 that moved into this area, and all that would be information that we would
20 pass back to our -- to our headquarters.
21 JUDGE SWART: So the first time you wanted to go to Guca Gora and
22 you said "We have a policy of investigating the burning of houses," then
23 that day you did not succeed in reaching Guca Gora. You were turned back,
24 and the next day you returned, and then to -- you got involved in the
25 evacuation of the -- the Croatian civilians in the monastery.
1 A. That's correct, sir. But on the first day, there were actually
2 soldiers from my battalion but from the operations company stationed in
3 Guca Gora, and they were -- they, as part of their -- their interpretation
4 of the scene, took all the civilians from the village and put them for
5 safekeeping in the monastery, and it then took, as it -- as it transpired,
6 approximately 24 hours to actually organise the relief.
7 JUDGE SWART: All right. That's what you said also yesterday.
8 But when you came the second day, you yourself succeeded in
9 reaching Guca Gora and evacuating the Croatians in the monastery there,
10 which took quite a while. I think you thought -- said it took about -- a
11 process of some hours.
12 A. That's correct, sir.
13 JUDGE SWART: And you also said there was some fighting going on,
14 some shooting. What did you mean by that.
15 A. By that, I mean there was shooting going on which was close
16 enough to be concerned about but not close enough to react to. So there
17 were clearly hostile forces - by that I mean hostile to each other, as
18 opposed to necessarily hostile to us - in the area, and the presentation
19 of a large target, in this case a large number of civilians, could well
20 have made whoever was attacking then decide to do something about this,
21 which was why we -- we picked a route which was covered to move these
22 people from the doors of the monastery into the vehicles and why we only
23 filled one vehicle at a time. Had we just been able to take all the
24 people outside of the monastery and put into vehicles at the same time,
25 the whole operation would have only taken half an hour.
1 JUDGE SWART: Yes. Did you see any fighting yourself?
2 A. On this particular day, no.
3 JUDGE SWART: No. And one of your colleagues?
4 A. On the day before, yes.
5 JUDGE SWART: I mean in the process of evacuation.
6 A. We did not see any fighting as such, no, because -- because the
7 presence of our vehicles and the presence of the other companies' Warriors
8 in a defensive perimeter around this part of the village prevented any
9 ingress by the attacking forces into the village.
10 JUDGE SWART: What did you -- did you -- make you think that was
11 there was a fight? There was firing, of course, but was there a fight
12 between parties?
13 A. On the evidence of listening to the radio traffic of the day
14 before, when what is called a contact report - a contact report is a
15 report sent to the headquarters of the battalion giving the facts that
16 rounds have been returned and giving details of the target and the result
17 of the rounds being fired at the target, in this case casualties on the
18 attacking -- the attack forces. And so although I did not see it
19 personally, I was able to hear the shooting and identify the difference
20 between our own vehicle shooting and the -- and the opposition shooting
21 and draw my conclusions from that. And also, from talking to the
22 soldiers, who we relieved at the monastery the day I arrived.
23 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. Did you at that moment, on that day or
24 any of your -- your subordinates or colleagues in the same group you were
25 in do any investigation into the burning of houses or the destruction of
2 A. We -- our main mission for this particular operation was to
3 evacuate the -- the people from the monastery, then, and that was simply
4 what we did. There was no scope for -- for moving outside. And as -- as
5 militia forces had clearly shot at our own soldiers, and if you're shot
6 at, then there's clearly an intent to harm, then it was -- it was not
7 worth moving outside the cleared perimeter in order to investigate any
8 other buildings.
9 JUDGE SWART: You say militia building -- people shot at us.
10 What kind of militia was that?
11 A. From the reports that -- that I heard over the radio, these
12 were -- these were foreigners, people of Arabic or coloured origin, then,
13 as identified through the powerful gunnery sight of the Warriors that were
14 stationed in the -- in the square of the monastery at Guca Gora.
15 JUDGE SWART: And at that day when you went to Guca Gora or
16 crossed Guca Gora or came back from Guca Gora, did you see any houses
18 A. To my -- to my recollection, no.
19 But if I can clarify that, at this stage there had clearly been a
20 major offensive carrying on, and it would not have been unusual to -- for
21 there to be houses burning, then. But as I say, our primary mission was
22 to -- to escort those people to the safety of the -- of the refugee centre
23 for the Croats in Nova Bila.
24 JUDGE SWART: Then you went back on the 13th, I think. We have
25 discussed that matter in relation to a milinfosum, number 45, and you said
1 this morning - and this is also in the -- in this report of your unit -
2 there was evidence of looting but there had been no attempts to destroy
3 formerly Croat houses. And you confirmed that this morning also, I think.
4 How did you come to that conclusion?
5 A. As I believe I said earlier, sir, I -- I don't believe that I
6 made the statements for this milinfosum there, that there was evidence of
7 looting. I do not remember seeing that. But what I can confirm is that
8 the -- that the -- the houses in the village had not been burned, then,
9 and I used my experiences of at that stage of witnessing Ahmici and how a
10 concerted effort had been made by local forces to physically destroy the
11 village and this had not taken place in -- in Guca Gora at that time.
12 JUDGE SWART: When you write down something like the following:
13 "There has been no attempt to destroy formerly Croat houses," that could
14 mean that you have not seen at the moment you were there any attempt at
15 destructing --
16 A. That's correct.
17 JUDGE SWART: -- houses.
18 A. So from our position -- and bear in mind we did not leave the
19 road at any stage then. So from my position on that road, I could not see
20 either any houses burning or any burnt houses in -- in that location.
21 Clearly I could not confirm what went on after I left. But my view at the
22 time was that the village was largely intact and the only damage was --
23 was what I would call collateral battle damage.
24 JUDGE SWART: And how many houses would this concern, then?
25 A. Again, I don't recall the exact number, but there had been --
1 when our "A" Company were in the -- in the village, there had been some
2 firing at them, some firing of small mortar rounds, rocket-propelled
3 grenades. And while they won't normally destroy a house, they will --
4 they will put in windows, make small holes in the roof, and cause shrapnel
5 damage. Only on certain occasions would the hot shrapnel from such
6 devices set fire to the house. And it's -- it's fairly easy to tell
7 whether a house has physically been set on fire or not.
8 JUDGE SWART: What's the difference? Can you still explain it
10 A. Obviously I'm not a fireman, sir, but -- but a -- a house which
11 is set on fire deliberately normally starts burning at the bottom and then
12 the flames go upwards and the last thing to disappear is the roof. A
13 house that has been set on fire by a direct hit from shell fire normally
14 starts burning from the top floor and then burns down to the bottom, then,
15 because the explosion has been on the top floor or inside the roof space,
16 then. And --
17 JUDGE SWART: The final result may be the same, or is that not
19 A. The final result would be exactly the same, a burned-out shell of
20 a building, yes. That's absolutely correct.
21 JUDGE SWART: But you're also saying, if I understand you well
22 the sort of weaponry was not heavy enough to destroy a house directly.
23 A. The sorts of weaponry that was used on this particular occasion
24 in the attack against Guca Gora from this -- my conversations with
25 soldiers who were there at that time - and there were no heavy weapons, by
1 that I mean heavy artillery used in that attack and therefore there would
2 not have been buildings destroyed by those weapons.
3 JUDGE SWART: So returning back to your statement on the 13th,
4 when you have said and it was also said in the milinfosum "Have not been
5 any attempts to destroy formerly Croatian houses," that does not cover
6 only your -- the moment of your presence but goes back to the whole period
7 before you came; is that correct.
8 A. That's correct. So there were no what I would call burned-out
9 buildings, buildings that had been on fire but were no longer burning. If
10 there were, I did not see them.
11 JUDGE SWART: Okay. When you came back another time - I think,
12 if I'm correct, the day after that, the 14th or maybe the 15th - and you
13 then went to the church. You visited the church.
14 A. Yes, sir.
15 JUDGE SWART: You saw some harm having been done to the church,
16 broken windows, Arabic texts, et cetera. And I take it you reported that
17 also in one of these milinfosums.
18 A. I believe I did. Yes, sir.
19 JUDGE SWART: Did you also write a report or any other colleague
20 of yours on the church, on the situation in the church?
21 A. As I recall, I would have made a written patrol report, which
22 would have been handed in to the military information cell for them to --
23 for them to collate and to put if they saw fit onto the milinfosum
24 examples of which we've seen here. Clearly those documents are -- are
25 just that, a document, then, and every single item that was reported would
1 not normally be put on there. And it was a valued judgement made by the
2 military information officer as to what went on on these reports.
3 JUDGE SWART: Did these reports sometimes go higher up, to --
4 to --
5 A. Not sometimes. Sir, they should have always gone up to the -- to
6 the brigade headquarter, which was down in Split, and almost certainly to
7 the United Nations local headquarters, which was in Kiseljak.
8 JUDGE SWART: The United Nations, your central command in Split,
9 other -- European Union maybe?
10 A. The British command was in Split. So our immediate British
11 commander was the -- was the -- the UNPROFOR British brigadier and was
12 based down in Split.
13 JUDGE SWART: Were such reports also sent to -- to local
14 authorities, to the HVO or to the commanders of the ABiH?
15 A. Again, sir, with respect, this is outside of my pay grade and
16 knowledge, but I would not imagine that that would be the case. These
17 were military -- by the mere term "military information summary,"
18 milinfosum, would be for the -- the digestion of military personnel, be
19 they from the British Battalion, the British High Command headquarters,
20 indeed our own military defence, and also the UN military headquarters as
21 well. If there was any sharing of this informs, I do not imagine it would
22 have gone down any further than perhaps the -- the UNHCR, certainly not to
23 the locals.
24 JUDGE SWART: At this moment, when you visited the church and saw
25 the camouflage damage done to the interior of the building, did you have a
1 look also at the situation in Guca Gora? Did you again look at the damage
2 done to houses?
3 A. Not so much damage done to houses, but I did notice outside the
4 church that the graves of the Croats who had been killed in the fighting
5 and had been buried by our regimental padre had been desecrated. The
6 simple home-made wooden crosses which had been put on the graves had been
7 pulled out of the ground and smashed up, and that I did notice. I did not
8 notice that there had been more recent burnings of houses within the
10 JUDGE SWART: And then I understand you once more visited Guca
11 Gora at the end of June; is that correct?
12 A. Can you be --
13 JUDGE SWART: You saw some improvement on the interior of the
14 church. You saw that -- that the church was cleaned and then --
15 A. Yes. There was a group of -- a group of middle-aged and elderly
16 women there cleaning up the church under the supervision of a BiH military
18 JUDGE SWART: This would have been some two weeks after the
19 former visit.
20 A. That's correct, yes.
21 JUDGE SWART: Did you notice any change in the situation as far
22 as the houses were concerned?
23 A. I do not recall if that was the case. What I do remember is that
24 people were moving into the area and that looting was taking place. And
25 this was a common occurrence. And to be honest, something that we would
1 barely bother to report there, because as soon as -- as soon as
2 inhabitants ran out -- ran away from their buildings, then within a very
3 short space of time looting would take place indeed from all sides, though
4 it was not confined to any one particular side.
5 JUDGE SWART: Thank you very much.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have indicated that you --
7 when you went to Guca Gora there were three journalists who were with you,
8 one of whom was a cameraman. And these journalists, did they come upon
9 the initiative of your commander, at the initiative of the UN, or were
10 they journalists who sort of self-invited themselves?
11 A. Sir, if I may bore you with a slightly explanation of this -- of
12 this matter. At the initial part of our tour of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
13 journalists, of which there were a large number due to the international,
14 particularly Western European interest in the situation, would travel
15 around in their own vehicles, sometimes with United Nations vehicles but
16 other times on their own, in order to get their stories.
17 Then it became the situation that the HVO, the Croat militia,
18 then started to believe that the slant that the media was placing on their
19 television and newspaper reports was biassed towards the him side and
20 biassed against the Croat side. So they therefore made threats that they
21 would kill any members of the media who they -- who they would find going
22 about their duties.
23 It therefore transpired that the United Nations headquarters
24 issued a directive that in order to facilitate the -- the gathering of
25 media stories, that the media organisations would be pooled together and
1 that these would be tasked on United Nations patrols by the public
2 information officer, in our case Major James Miles. A pool system meant
3 that you could perhaps have a French cameraman, a BBC news reporter, and
4 an Italian newspaper reporter. And at the end of the day, they would pool
5 their stories together and each television channel would use the -- the
6 footage taken by the lone cameraman. So the -- the presence of the press
7 was not on my own initiative, it was not on their initiative; it was on
8 the initiative of the -- of the United Nations press information officer.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You also said that before
10 taking up your duties on the ground you were in Germany, where you had a
11 briefing on the situation from your colleagues who were there before you.
12 And during those briefings, did they ever mention the Mujahedin?
13 A. To the best of my knowledge, they were not mentioned to us at
14 this stage.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In the mission of
16 which you were a part, and at first one understood it was to escort a
17 humanitarian convoy, but later on your mission went beyond that and you
18 accomplished other tasks as well. You said that you also participated in
19 prisoner exchange. Did you personally participate in prisoner exchanges
20 as a representative of your own military unit and under the auspices of
21 the UN?
22 A. Yes, I did. Do you wish me to describe -- to describe an
23 example, sir?
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please give us an example.
25 A. One example was I was tasked to go to the village of Prustica
1 [phoen], which is to the south of Vitez, which was a Muslim-held visit --
2 village, and to negotiate the release of three Croat prisoners, then, who
3 were being held in a -- an iso-container, by that I mean a metal container
4 of the sort that would be carried on the back of a lorry. And I believed
5 when I arrived there that these people would be soldiers, but in fact they
6 turned out to be middle aged to elderly men who had simply been working in
7 their fields and had been captured. And their release was secured by a
8 representative of the International Commission of the Red Cross and we
9 carried these people into the Croat area of Vitez and then simply let them
10 go, and the representative of the Red Cross ensured that they returned
11 back to their houses. That is one such example.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A final question for me - and
13 Madam Judge to my right has a question for you too - but my last question:
14 You explained to us that when you were at the checkpoint you were not
15 allowed to pass and you had to go to the headquarters to obtain that
16 famous pass. Within the logic of your mission, which was to move freely
17 on the whole territory, and there was only a single soldier and yet you
18 were in a vehicle which provided protection, why did you go back to ask
19 for a pass when you could have easily passed a single soldier even if he
20 were to open fire at your vehicle, it wouldn't cause much damage, because
21 your vehicle was probably armoured. Why did you go back to ask for this
22 pass? Could you explain that for us, please.
23 A. Our instructions were very clear, Your Honour, that we were not
24 to become the -- in our area the third force in the conflict, then. So by
25 "third force" I mean the BiH, the HVO, and the United Nations. And our
1 instructions were very clear to wherever possible avoid damaging any --
2 any property. And by that we were instructed that that meant the fabric
3 of a checkpoint, then, and that the way to get through checkpoints was by
4 negotiation or if it was particularly important in the case of the escort,
5 this UN worker, by obtaining the piece of paper that would be required to
6 fulfil our mission.
7 Yes, of course we could have easily driven over the checkpoint
8 and absorbed any small arms ammunition, but that was not why we were there
9 and that would be provocation, then. And the next time we went to that
10 checkpoint and needed to go through, then clearly we -- the -- the
11 checkpoint would be mined with anti-tank mines and we would have even more
12 difficulty. We tried to be as -- as conciliatory as possible with the
13 local militias in order to make things as easy as possible for the -- for
14 any troops that went to the checkpoint on a subsequent day. We were there
15 to -- to keep the peace, to escort convoys, not to enforce the peace by
16 becoming involved as -- as peacemakers.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 In view of the fact that we have posed additional questions, do
19 the parties wish to ask the witness to clarify any points stemming from
20 the questions that we put to him?
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Just a
22 couple of questions.
23 Further cross-examination by Ms. Residovic:
24 Q. [Interpretation] His Honour Judge Swart asked you about some more
25 detailed information about the burning of houses in Guca Gora and about
1 what you saw. Please tell me: Is it true that on the 7th of June on the
2 radio and the other media as well - and also, this could be visualised in
3 the Bila Valley - that there was smoke seen in the area of Guca Gora? Is
4 that true?
5 A. It's entirely possible, given the facts that -- that
6 small-calibre mortars were being fired and indeed that other activities
7 were taking place in that area. It's entirely possible that some
8 buildings were being burned; although, I did not see that myself.
9 Q. Is it true that UNPROFOR units, your colleagues from other units,
10 representatives of the European Community and representatives of the army
11 went to check whether the monastery in Guca Gora had been set on fire
12 because the Croatian media brought stories about the monastery being set
13 on fire? Are you aware of the fact?
14 A. Yes, I'm well aware of that fact, which was why I personally was
15 tasked to accompany the regimental padre and the priest -- the Croat
16 priest from Vitez to the monastery. As I recall, I was on guard duty at
17 this time and would not normally have been required to do this, but the
18 commanding officer asked me to go myself, as perhaps the person who knew
19 more about the situation within that monastery and -- than anyone else.
20 And the sole reason for this visit was to show the priest there that the
21 damage had been conducted inside the monastery but that contrary to the
22 rumours which you mentioned, the monastery had not been burned down.
23 Q. Is it true that the investigations that were subsequently carried
24 out proved that the fire and smoke that could be seen above Guca Gora was
25 actually smoke that came from Bandol village, that was indeed burnt down,
1 rather than from the monastery?
2 A. That is entirely possible, if the observer was a -- was either
3 not familiar with the area or had not got the ability to look closely
4 with, for instance, binoculars there. It is entirely possible that smoke
5 from Bandol, which is to the south of Guca Gora, could be interpreted by
6 someone much further to the south, then, as coming from -- from Guca Gora.
7 That's -- that's my opinion. I was not there, but that's my opinion.
8 Q. Major, you have provided a detailed answer as to what damages you
9 see in Guca Gora as a result of war operations in Guca Gora, in Novo Selo,
10 and in Grahovcici. In response to a question by the Honourable Judge, you
11 said that you had had a previous experience with Ahmici. Can you please
12 tell us what you saw as war damages in Guca Gora, Novo Selo, and in
13 Grahovcici was -- was it anything like what you saw in Ahmici or anything
14 like what you see in Bandol village?
15 A. Completely different. The -- the situations in Ahmici and
16 Bandol, there had clearly been an attempt to systematically destroy, in
17 the case of Bandol, the whole village; in the case of Ahmici, the houses
18 which had previously been occupied by Muslims, then. That is to say, not
19 every house in Ahmici had been destroyed. There were some which were
20 occupied by Croat families that had not been -- not been destroyed by fire
21 in the same way.
22 The damage that I witnessed in Grahovcici, Novo Selo, and Guca
23 Gora was that, in my opinion, was consistent with -- with battle damage
24 and -- and perhaps looting but not as a concerted effort to burn the whole
25 village down. I did not see that at any time in any of those three
2 Q. Major, to a question put to you by the Honourable Judge, you have
3 also said that later on, which was customary after war operations, there
4 was some looting, some plunder, even large-scale looting; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, that's correct. The looting would -- that we witnessed all
6 over the area of Central Bosnia would start off by what I call
7 "opportunist looting." This is the low-level theft of valuable
8 possessions by some more unruly soldiers who happened to be there. So I'm
9 talking of going into a house and stealing a watch or -- or a painting or
10 something small that would easily be hidden.
11 Then the next stage would be for -- for local civilians to move
12 into the area and start to carry away the sort of things that they
13 could -- they could carry on something like a wheelbarrow or on their own
14 backs or carry between two people.
15 And the final stage was a more concerted effort, which would
16 involve vehicles and tractors arriving at the area and then larger items,
17 such as refrigerators, large pieces of furniture, such as a sofa or
18 whatever, motor cars and things like that would be removed from the area.
19 Q. Major, you also witnessed the situation in which the commander of
20 the 3rd Corps and other commanders invested a lot of effort in order to
21 prevent such things and to arrest those who were involved in looting;
22 however, due to the large scale of the looting, this was not always
23 possible. Are you aware of all these facts?
24 A. I'm not aware directly of any directives issued by either 3 Corps
25 or the HVO headquarters to stop looting; although, just because I did not
1 see it myself does not mean that this did not happen. We were constantly
2 at pains to point out to local commanders at all levels that looting
3 would -- would be seen by the international media as bad for their side
4 and they should wherever possible discourage people from doing that.
5 Q. Major, just one last question: Orders issued by the army, by the
6 3rd Corps, brigades, and operations groups were not delivered to the
7 UNPROFOR, so you were not in the position to see the contents of those
8 orders issued by those commanders. Would that be correct?
9 A. That would be half correct, then. In my experience there, orders
10 would be delivered to the UNPROFOR headquarters if it would be perceived
11 to show the people issuing the orders in a good light, then. For
12 instance, an order - and I use this as an example - that -- that UNPROFOR
13 vehicles should be given free passage through a particular area would be
14 delivered to the UNPROFOR headquarters. The reality on the ground,
15 however, could be something different. But as far as we were concerned,
16 the commanders at whatever level were doing the right thing and being seen
17 to be obeying the agreement with the United Nations. However, if a
18 military order was of a purely military nature or if the originator of the
19 order did not wish the United Nations to know the contents of that order,
20 then quite clearly they would not be given to anyone in UNPROFOR.
21 Q. And finally, my last question: In the conversation with my
22 co-counsel, you confirmed the fact that you were aware of the fact that
23 the 3rd Corps did take measures in order to prevent the large-scale
24 looting by both civilians and soldiers. Is that correct? Can you confirm
1 A. I believe I confirmed that I was aware that an instruction had
2 been issued. But in my opinion, in my experience in the military, there
3 is a big difference between the issuing of an instruction and the physical
4 checking and following up that that order is carried out. And in the
5 British Army, our procedure is that if you issue an order, then it is up
6 to you, the commander, to ensure that that order is carried out. The mere
7 issuing of an order cannot be seen as being -- as being to ensure that the
8 contents of that order is carried out. You have to issue the order and
9 then follow up.
10 Q. Thank you, Major, for the additional explanations.
11 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
12 have no additional questions for this witness.
13 MR. MUNDIS: No further questions from the Prosecution,
14 Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
16 Major, we would like to thank you for testifying before this
17 Trial Chamber for two days. You have responded very precisely, very
18 completely to the questions put to you by the Prosecution, by the Defence,
19 and by the Judges. I would like to thank you for having given your
20 contribution in revealing the truth. We wish you a happy journey back
21 home, and we wish you a lot of professional success in various
22 international activities, the ones that you mentioned at the beginning of
23 your testimony, when you mentioned all the countries where you served.
24 I'm going to ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
1 [The witness withdrew]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm now turning to Mr. Withopf.
3 Can you please advise us about the schedule of witnesses for tomorrow.
4 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, for tomorrow the
5 Prosecution will make available for testimony the witness Cameron Kiggell.
6 He will be available -- he would be available now, but it's our
7 understanding that this court session will be adjourned. The witness will
8 be made available tomorrow.
9 The third witness on our list for this week has arrived and he
10 will also be made available, certainly not prior to Thursday.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. So tomorrow,
12 Wednesday, we will have at our disposal one witness.
13 Is there anything that the Defence would like to say at this
14 stage? If there's nothing on the part of the Defence and on the part of
15 the Prosecution, I would like to thank you, and I invite you to come back
16 tomorrow at 9.00.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 24th day of
19 March, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.