1 Thursday, 22 April 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, will you
6 please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Madam Registrar.
10 Can we have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
12 Honours. Good morning, Counsel. For the Prosecution, Daryl Mundis,
13 Ekkehard Withopf, and Ruth Karper, the case manager.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf.
15 The appearances for the Defence, please.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.
17 Good morning, Your Honours. On behalf of Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina
18 Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Mirna Milanovic,
19 legal assistant. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
22 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
23 Mulalic, legal assistant.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Chamber wishes
25 to greet all those present, Mr. Mundis, Mr. Withopf, the Defence
1 attorneys, the accused, and all the staff of this courtroom, without, of
2 course, not forgetting the interpreters, the court reporters, and the
3 security officers.
4 We were a bit late yesterday because we had a witness who took
5 two days instead of one, but we have a new witness for today. Could you
6 introduce this witness, Mr. Withopf, who's going to be called this
8 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the first witness to
9 be called today is Peter Williams.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Madam Usher, will
11 you go and bring in this witness.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Let me make
14 sure that you can hear in your own language the translation of my words.
15 If that is so, please tell me that you can hear me.
16 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called as a
18 witness for the Prosecution so that we can hear your testimony today.
19 For that purpose, I need to know your first and last name, please.
20 THE WITNESS: My first name is Peter. My last name is Williams.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please tell me your
22 date of birth.
23 THE WITNESS: The 25th of June, 1951.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And where were you born? In
25 which country?
1 THE WITNESS: I was born in Windsor, in England.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current occupation
3 or profession?
4 THE WITNESS: I am head of the NATO military liaison mission in
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in 1993, what was the
7 position you held at the time?
8 THE WITNESS: In 1993, I was the commanding officer of the
9 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards serving in Central Bosnia.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you ever testified in
11 court about the facts that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993,
12 or is this the first time that you are testifying in court?
13 THE WITNESS: I testified on one previous occasion, sir.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In this Tribunal?
15 THE WITNESS: Indeed, sir.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you remember in which case
17 that was?
18 THE WITNESS: This was the trial of Dario Kordic.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Would you please
20 read the solemn declaration.
21 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
22 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may be seated.
24 WITNESS: PETER GAGE WILLIAMS
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you have already testified,
1 the information I'm going to give you will be very concise. As I was
2 saying a moment ago, you are a witness for the Prosecution. The
3 representatives of the Prosecution are seated to your right. Following
4 the examination-in-chief, which will be conducted by a representative of
5 the Prosecution, the Defence attorneys, seated on your left, will have
6 questions for you. The nature of those questions put by the Defence may
7 be quite different to those put to you by the Prosecution. You have in
8 front of you three Judges, who may when they consider it fit also ask you
9 questions either to clarify certain answers that you may have given to
10 questions put by either party or to fill in any gaps that the Judges may
12 Also, you have pledged to tell the whole truth, which excludes
13 all false testimony, and I need to remind you of something which
14 certainly doesn't apply to you, and that is if a witness during his
15 testimony gives evidence that could one day incriminate him, the witness
16 may refuse to answer that question, and according to our procedure, the
17 Chamber may compel him to answer, guaranteeing him at the same time a
18 kind of immunity from prosecution. Those would be in brief the
19 procedural elements of this hearing.
20 Please try to give as complete answers as possible to the
21 questions put to you because this is an oral proceeding and the Judges
22 have no written documents in front of them when you are being asked
23 questions. Hence, the importance of the answers you give to questions
24 which are desired to establish the truth.
25 I turn now to the representatives of the Prosecution, and I give
1 the floor to Mr. Mundis, whom I greet once again.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President, and good morning, Your
3 Honours, Counsel, and everyone in the courtroom.
4 Examined by Mr. Mundis:
5 Q. Sir, you told us just a few moments ago that you are the head of
6 the NATO mission in Moscow. In that capacity, are you a civilian or a
7 serving member of the military?
8 A. I'm still a serving member of the British military.
9 Q. And what is your current rank?
10 A. Major general.
11 Q. General Williams, can you please just briefly for the benefit of
12 the Trial Chamber relate your military career from the time when you
13 first joined the British Army up until the present day.
14 A. I joined the British Army in 1972, on leaving university. I
15 joined the Coldstream Guards, which is an infantry regiment and I've
16 served in that regiment since that time. I've served overseas in the
17 army of the Sultan of Oman, I served in Hong Kong, many times in Germany,
18 Belgium. I spent a year in Australia. And I have commanded troops in
19 Northern Ireland and then in the Balkans.
20 Q. Sir, during the time period in 1993, did your unit or part of
21 your unit serve in Bosnia?
22 A. The whole of my battalion served in Bosnia from the -- about the
23 12th of November or early November 1993 through until the beginning of
24 May 1994.
25 Q. And during this deployment from early November 1993 until the
1 beginning of May 1994, what was your capacity in the battalion?
2 A. I was the commanding officer of the battalion based in Vitez.
3 Q. And again, for the record, sir, the name of the battalion that
4 you commanded in Bosnia.
5 A. 1st Battalion, the Coldstream Guards.
6 Q. Thank you, General. Now, can you please tell us what training or
7 briefing you and your unit received prior to your deployment to Bosnia in
8 early November 1993.
9 A. The unit that I commanded was principally an armoured infantry
10 unit, and so the main part of the training for the first half of 1993
11 concerned the conversion of the battalion to become fully capable as
12 armoured infantry. We were then warned in May of 1993 that we would
13 become the third British battalion to serve in Bosnia, and our training
14 then moved from armoured infantry training, the conventional training, to
15 specialised training in advance of that tour in Bosnia.
16 Q. And what -- what were the aspects of this specialised training
17 that your battalion received prior to this deployment?
18 A. There was a specialised training package designed by the British
19 military authorities based to some extent at first on our experience in
20 Northern Ireland, in order to give officers and soldiers the right
21 background information and whatever specialised training was needed, for
22 example, in negotiation skills and so forth, that would be needed during
23 our deployment in Bosnia.
24 Q. And what type of briefings, if any, did you receive about the
25 situation on the ground in Bosnia, the parties to the conflict in Bosnia,
1 et cetera, prior to your deployment?
2 A. There were a number of briefings given, some given to all the
3 troops to try and give them a sense of what the situation was in
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and more detailed briefings were given to officers
5 and those who were going to be dealing with military information, which
6 was the term then used for what we would perhaps more conventionally call
8 Q. General Williams, how was this military information that you've
9 referred to, what was that -- what was done with that information? How
10 was it compiled, et cetera?
11 A. Military information that was compiled and that was available to
12 the battalion was collected by the assets that belonged to the battalion
13 on the ground in Central Bosnia. Within the battalion, we had, I think,
14 ten specialist liaison officers, young officers, mostly captains. Their
15 job was to move around the battalion area, speaking to the military
16 authorities of the warring parties, and to other civil leaders to try to
17 discover what was going on in the area. The purpose of collecting this
18 information was to give the battalion authorities, myself in particular,
19 enough information for us to make sensible judgements on when the
20 humanitarian task that was our principal task was safe to conduct.
21 Q. Sir, I'll return to these military-information process in just a
22 few moments. But before I do, did -- let me ask you a couple of other
23 questions: Did the 1st Battalion of the Coldstream Guards replace or
24 relieve any other British battalions upon arrival in Bosnia in November
1 A. Indeed. We were, as I said before, the third British battalion
2 to deploy to Bosnia-Herzegovina. The first had been the Cheshire
3 Regiment. And we replaced the second, which was the Prince of Wales' Own
4 Regiment of Yorkshire.
5 Q. So sir, what was the responsibility of the 1st Battalion of the
6 Coldstream Guards or the British battalion at the time your unit deployed
8 A. The area of responsibility stretched from the south of the border
9 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia through Tomislavgrad, through the area
10 between Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno, and then north to the area between
11 Travnik and Vitez and Zenica. And it later extended up -- further up the
12 Bosna Valley towards Maglaj.
13 Q. At the time your battalion deployed to Bosnia, can you briefly
14 tell us how many men you had, how those men were organised into
15 lower-level units, and what type of military equipment you deployed with.
16 A. The battalion was in fact a battalion group, rather than a
17 battalion as such, because it had in addition to the normal three rifle
18 companies and a support company, we also had one squadron of the Light
19 Dragoons, a medium reconnaissance regiment, attached to us.
20 Q. And approximately how many men were in the battalion and what
21 type of equipment did you have?
22 A. The number of people varied, obviously, but I would think --
23 around about 700 to 750 at any one time; certainly about 50 officers.
24 The infantry part of the battalion was principally equipped with the
25 Warrior armoured fighting vehicle, which weighs 27 tonnes, and the medium
1 reconnaissance regiment was armed -- elements were armed or equipped with
2 Scimitar, which is a light reconnaissance -- tracked reconnaissance
4 Q. Sir, what -- can you briefly describe for us what was the primary
5 mission of your battalion at the time and what were the subcomponents of
6 that mission. What were you there to do?
7 A. The mission of the battalion was never formally given to us,
8 strangely, but the mission that we inherited from the previous battalion
9 was to create the conditions for the delivery of humanitarian aid into
10 and within Central Bosnia.
11 Q. Can you briefly tell us -- you've told us a little bit about the
12 military information that you were able to receive from your liaison
13 officers and other sources. Can you briefly tell us how information was
14 received by yourself, how -- in other words, how the information came up
15 the chain of command and then how you disseminated that information back
16 down the chain to the various members of your battalion.
17 A. If I may, I'd start by saying that nothing came from above us.
18 We had no information given to us from higher headquarters within the UN
19 system. So all the information we needed, we had to collect ourselves.
20 The principal means of collecting information was through the ten or so
21 liaison officers, who worked closely with the headquarters, normally at
22 brigade level, of the warring factions, and the company commanders
23 themselves, who would be expected to crisis-manage as best they could by
24 visiting places where there were incidents going on and by trying to
25 negotiate the opening of -- in particular, of crossing points over front
2 There were a number of other organisations working in our area.
3 The UN military observers arrived early in our time, and the European
4 Community Monitoring Mission. Our aim was to bring together - and this
5 was normally done at the end of each day during a conference that we
6 held at about 6.00 each day - our aim was to bring together today's
7 current information, to talk about it. And then the military information
8 officer would put all that information together that evening in a
9 military-information summary, a milinfosum, and that was then passed
10 further up the chain in the UN.
11 Q. You told us, sir, that you didn't receive any information coming
12 from above you, from any higher headquarters within the UN. Did you,
13 however, receive any type of turnover briefing from any of the senior
14 leadership of the Prince of Wales' Own?
15 A. We had an extensive handover from the Prince of Wales' Own. Each
16 of the company commanders and myself were in theatre with our
17 counterparts from the preceding battalion for, on average, between five
18 and seven days.
19 Q. Do you recall what type of information you received during that
20 turnover or these turnover briefings concerning the parties to the
21 conflict that were in the area of responsibility for which your battalion
22 assumed responsibility?
23 A. The situation, of course, was very complex. And when we arrived
24 in -- around about the 10th of November, there was, of course, a crisis
25 in that there were no humanitarian aid being delivered. There had been
1 a -- I think a Norwegian had been killed in late October to the south of
2 Vitez in a convoy. So the situation was confused, but there were
3 inevitably maps marked up showing what the Prince of Wales' Own believed
4 to be the situation on the ground and which warring faction units,
5 brigades, and so forth were located in specific areas. And so although
6 the situation was confused, we felt that normally we had sufficient
7 information to be able to make reasonable judgements.
8 Q. And, sir, at the time you arrived, what were the warring factions
9 that were operating in your AOR?
10 A. The principal parties with whom we were obliged to deal were the
11 Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO, the Croat forces.
12 The Bosnian Serb army was also in evidence around the area and held the
13 area beyond Turbe and Travnik but was not in any sense influencing our
14 principal mission, which, as I would remind you, was to bring or in a
15 safe manner convoys from Split through Tomislavgrad up through Gornji
16 Vakuf and Vitez and to the principal distribution depot in Zenica.
17 Q. General, were there -- other than your humanitarian aid mission,
18 were there other issues that arose during the first, say, month or month
19 and a half that you were in Bosnia that more or less fell outside of your
20 primary mission but which you otherwise dealt with?
21 A. We tried as far as possible not to get dragged into issues that
22 were not linked to our principal task, ensuring the safe delivery of
23 humanitarian assistance of all sorts within Central Bosnia. It was
24 perhaps tempting to get involved in the war, but obviously it was
25 somebody else's war and we -- I was insistent that we should concentrate
1 on what we'd been sent there to do.
2 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber a little bit about what you
3 personally did while you were on the ground in Bosnia. In other words,
4 did you remain in your headquarters? Did you get out and travel around
5 the area? What primarily were you doing during the roughly six months
6 that you were deployed in Bosnia on this occasion?
7 A. Clearly I had a very competent team around me in the headquarters
8 in Vitez, and this enabled me to travel extensively and daily. I was
9 travelling around my battalion area visiting the companies and also
10 visiting the commanders of the warring factions in order to gain my own
11 impression of what was going on and in order to negotiate the freer
12 movement of humanitarian aid.
13 Q. During these times that you were moving around, were you also in
14 any way compiling any type of information?
15 A. Of course. Whenever I went to meetings, I would make short
16 notes before I went to the meetings as to topics that I wished and needed
17 to cover, and then I would make short notes afterwards to remind myself
18 of what had happened so that I could brief people at the 6.00 meeting in
19 the evening and could include the pertinent points in the daily
21 Q. These short notes that you took or either contemporaneously or
22 shortly afterwards to remind yourself, what did you do with those notes?
23 A. Well, I kept the notebooks as such, but I also -- at the end of
24 each day, I would compile a diary of sorts to tell my -- try and remind
25 myself of the principal points of the day in order that I should have
1 some record later on. This was the advice I'd been given by the
2 commanding officer of the 1st British Battalion, Colonel Bob Stewart of
3 the Cheshires, who said it was vital that one should keep a diary so that
4 a very busy situation should at least have some structure to it later on.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, with the assistance of the usher, I
6 would ask that the witness be shown what has been marked as PTW3085.
7 Q. Sir, you have before you a document which we've marked PTW3085.
8 Do you recognise this document?
9 A. I do.
10 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what this document is.
11 A. This document is a document I compiled in 1995 whilst in a less
12 than spectacularly interesting job in the Ministry of Defence, and it is
13 a summary of the diary entries from my diaries during the winter of
15 Q. So I take it from that answer, sir, that you took your previous
16 written diaries and transcribed them, if you will, or typed them into
17 this document.
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Since creating this document in 1995, have you had a chance to
20 review it or read through it?
21 A. I have indeed.
22 Q. And again, does it accurately reflect the situation as you
23 recorded it in late 1993, early 1994?
24 A. It is my best attempt -- a deliberate attempt to bring together
25 the facts as best I can from -- not only from my own diary but from other
1 documents that I retained at the time.
2 Q. Thank you, General.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution would tender PTW3085
4 into evidence.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Good
7 morning, Mr. President. Mr. President, I was wondering why my learned
8 friend was using this document and for what purpose he's showing the
9 document to the witness. The Defence feels that there's -- that this
10 document cannot be admitted into evidence.
11 As you have said on several occasions, Mr. President, this is an
12 oral procedure and the document proposed by the Prosecution is a
13 collection of personal documents, a diary compiled during the events. It
14 is not a personal diary, in fact. It's a summary of several personal
15 notes compiled during the events but produced in 1995, which means two
16 years after the events, and the witness appearing before this Chamber --
17 all the witnesses have compiled notes of one kind or another and when a
18 witness appears, he is never asked to produce those personal documents.
19 When a witness comes to testify orally, he is there to do so, and I
20 thought that my learned friend wanted to use these documents to refresh
21 the memory of the witness, which is a different thing altogether, and in
22 that case the Defence has no objection.
23 However, we have here the primary source of information, a
24 witness here in the court who can tell us what he saw, what he knows, and
25 how he formed his opinion. So why would we need to tender a document
1 when we have the primary source in front of us?
2 And if we look at the date of these notes, the witness speaks
3 about certain events that took place during the preparation of his
4 battalion for deployment in Bosnia, and then he goes on to talk of
5 events, most of which took place outside the scope of the indictment.
6 The witness arrived in Bosnia in November 1993, whereas the indictment
7 period ends on the 4th of November, 1993. For the accused that I
8 represent, it ends the 31st of October -- that is, the 1st of November,
9 when his position ended.
10 Therefore, these are notes of this witness who can give us his
11 opinion orally, and we don't think that the Chamber would benefit in any
12 way in having these notes after the testimony of this witness.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before giving the floor to the
14 Prosecution for their response to the observations made by the Defence,
15 the Chamber notes that this document is a document that was drafted by
16 the witness who is present today. This document begins on the 30th of
17 December, 1992, and the last date is the 14th to the 20th of May, 1994.
18 As has been indicated by the Defence, there is reference to periods which
19 are not covered by the indictment and which refer to a period when the
20 witness was not on the spot. Therefore, this document can be useful to
21 us only with respect to the period from November 1993 to March 1994.
22 In the opinion of the Chamber and the President of the Chamber,
23 it would appear that the Defence is asking this document to be admitted,
24 whereas the questions that may be usefully put and this document produced
25 to refresh the memory of the witness have not been put to the witness.
1 Do you intend to ask questions about certain sentences appearing
2 in this document? The most logical procedure, juridically, would be to
3 ask the witness questions regarding the periods referred to in this
4 document; the witness could confirm or deny certain statements in the
5 document, and after that you could ask for the document to be tendered.
6 So I give the floor to Mr. Mundis to tell me whether he intends
7 to ask questions of this witness about parts of the document or other
8 questions and ask -- does he intend to ask this document to be tendered
9 into evidence.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, before I respond both to Your
11 Honour's questions and those of my learned colleague from the Defence for
12 Mr. Hadzihasanovic, perhaps we should hear from the Defence for
13 Mr. Kubura, if they have any further observations to be made.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, indeed.
15 Mr. Dixon.
16 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. I was waiting to hear what
17 the Prosecution was going to say first about how they intend to use the
18 document, because my submission would be that it would be preferable that
19 the document at this stage only be marked for identification and that
20 once the witness is asked questions a determination can be made,
21 depending on what answers are made, whether it's necessary for the
22 document to be admitted. If the witness is to be asked questions about
23 the period which is inevitable, as Mr. Bourgon has said, the best
24 evidence would be the oral evidence that the witness is able to give. If
25 it's necessary to refer to a diary in order to refresh his memory, then
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that could be done upon application being made by the Prosecution. And
2 at that stage, if it is necessary for parts of the document to be
3 admitted, depending on what the answers are, that could be the course of
4 action that is then considered.
5 The danger of admitting the document wholesale, as Your Honours
6 have indicated, is one, that it covers periods that are not in the
7 indictment, firstly; and secondly, it can become a self-serving document,
8 in the sense that the witness's oral testimony is backed up or supported
9 by the document or vice versa. Usually in common-law jurisdictions a
10 document that simply serves to confirm the evidence that the witness is
11 able to give is not admissible. And it's for that reason that we would
12 suggest that the document first be marked for identification and the
13 evidence be given and then a determination be made thereafter if it's at
14 all necessary to admit the document into evidence. I'm grateful, Your
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
17 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Allow me to make just a
18 few preliminary comments prior to proceeding. First of all, clearly, the
19 Prosecution has no intention of relying on any of the material contained
20 in this diary after March 1994, that is, with respect to the material
21 after the indictment period with respect to both accused.
22 Second, the diary clearly reflects contemporaneous information,
23 that is, information which the witness compiled at the time, and although
24 it was typed up only subsequently, it still, the Prosecution submits,
25 reflects what the witness experienced on a day-to-day basis. And for
1 that reason, Mr. President, there might be aspects of this diary which
2 are more detailed or perhaps even more accurate than recollections of the
3 witness sitting here in the courtroom some ten years after the events in
5 Third, Mr. President, in fact the Prosecution will be asking the
6 witness some additional questions, some of which are covered in this
7 diary, and for that reason the Prosecution would agree to a process
8 whereby the document is simply marked for identification at this point in
9 time and we can discuss the admissibility of the document perhaps at the
10 end of the witness's testimony.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Let us give this document
12 a number, to be marked for identification, please, Madam Registrar.
13 THE REGISTRAR: P107, Your Honours, marked for identification.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Please continue, Mr. Mundis.
16 MR. MUNDIS: If that document has not been retrieved from the
17 witness, I would ask that it -- no, no, not that it be shown to the
18 witness, that it be taken away from the witness. Thank you.
19 I would ask at this point in time that the witness be shown P378.
20 Q. General Williams, you have before you Prosecution Exhibit 378.
21 Are you familiar with this document?
22 A. Yes, sir.
23 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber what this document is.
24 A. This document is an assessment made by the military-information
25 cell of my battalion, the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards. It's been
1 made by the military information officer, Captain Burrows -- I think his
2 name is given. And Corporal -- Sergeant Brown has made it for
3 Captain Burrows, who was his boss. It is a compilation and an assessment
4 based on the tactical-level information gathered by our predecessor
5 battalions and, indeed, by the Coldstream Guards during the initial
6 period of our time in Central Bosnia.
7 It reflects an attempt to put some structure and substance to the
8 organisation of the 3rd and 6th Corps of the Army of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina, given that those organisations were not exactly forthcoming
10 with information of this type.
11 Q. Sir, what was the purpose of producing the document which we
12 refer to here as P378?
13 A. The purpose is to try to assess the combat capability of the --
14 of these Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina formations in and
15 around the Vitez area, which was the central part of my battalion's area
16 of responsibility.
17 Q. And, sir, do you know during the time period, in particular from
18 November 1993 through December 1993, what unit or units of the Army of
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina were in and around the Vitez area?
20 A. This document as such is the best indication that we had, and
21 indeed that I would have today, of those units.
22 Q. Sir, during the time period that you were in Bosnia, how much
23 interaction did you have with the leaders of either the HVO units or the
24 ABiH units that were in your AOR?
25 A. The -- with the leadership of the 3rd Corps, for example, I would
1 estimate that I met with General Alagic on probably about 20 occasions
2 during the six months that I was in Central Bosnia. With -- and, on the
3 other hand, with the HVO, a similar number of times, either with Colonel
4 Blaskic, as he was then, or with Colonel Filipovic, his deputy.
5 Q. Sir, do you know or do you have a rough approximation as to when
6 General Alagic assumed command of the 3rd Corps?
7 A. Just after I arrived - I can't recall the date without reference
8 to the -- to my diary - I met then-Colonel Alagic, General Hadzihasanovic
9 and others in the headquarters of the 3rd Corps, and I was informed that
10 this was part of the handover process.
11 Q. Now, you've told us, sir, that there were about 20 occasions
12 during the six months that you were in Central Bosnia when you met with
13 General Alagic. Do you recall some of the subjects that were discussed
14 with General Alagic particularly in the first month or two months, that
15 is, November/December 1993?
16 A. The principal subjects that I was covering with him and indeed
17 with his Croat counterparts were the difficulties, indeed the problems,
18 of opening the front lines in order to allow for the arrival in Central
19 Bosnia of convoys which were stacking up in Metkovic and elsewhere to the
21 Q. Do you recall other than discussions about these principal
22 subjects, that is, convoys and the whatnot, any other subjects that you
23 discussed with Colonel or General Alagic?
24 A. There were understandable nervousness on the part of not only the
25 Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina but indeed on the part of the
1 United Nations forces concerning the potential demolition of the
2 explosives factory, the Vitezit factory near Vitez. And there were other
3 issues that were raised, in particular the disappearance of Mr. Popovic.
4 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber what you can recall
5 about the disappearance of Mr. Popovic.
6 A. Mr. Popovic, as I recall, was one of four people who were seized
7 in Travnik and effectively disappeared for a while. As I recall, I was
8 given a report by my -- one of my liaison officers about this to --
9 trying to summarise what we thought what we knew about the situation.
10 And then I received a letter, as did many other international authorities
11 in the area, from Mr. Popovic's wife asking for support in freeing her
13 Q. And as a result of this letter and this information that was
14 coming to you from, among others, one of your liaison officers, what
15 steps did you take to determine what had happened to Mr. Popovic?
16 A. I raised this issue with Colonel Alagic, as he was then, because
17 I felt that it needed to be raised. I didn't know much about the
18 details. I hoped that he would be able to give me some news, I hoped
19 good news, concerning the well-being of Mr. Popovic.
20 Q. And can you tell us what you discovered or what you were able to
21 determine based on these discussions with Colonel Alagic about
22 Mr. Popovic.
23 A. Colonel Alagic accepted or admitted that he knew Mrs. Popovic,
24 that this was not just a stranger who had written a letter; but he was
25 unable to give me any good news about the well-being of Mr. Popovic.
1 Indeed, he suggested that there was not going to be any good news about
2 Mr. Popovic and that he would prefer to give no answer to Mrs. Popovic
3 rather than have to tell her a lie.
4 Q. Did you -- during the remaining part of your tour in Central
5 Bosnia, did the subject of Mr. Popovic come up on any other occasions?
6 A. As I recall, it didn't. It subsided. I'm not sure what the
7 final outcome of the story was, although I have a strong suspicion that
8 it was a sad outcome.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, with the assistance of the usher, I
10 would ask that the witness be shown three documents, perhaps one at a
11 time, those documents being Prosecution Exhibits 379, 380, and 381.
12 Perhaps if we could start with 379, please.
13 Q. Sir, you have before you Prosecution Exhibit 379, which consists
14 of four pages. Are you familiar with the basically three documents that
15 are together as Prosecution Exhibit 379?
16 A. I am familiar with them.
17 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what these documents are.
18 A. These documents are a letter from Captain Guinness, who was the
19 liaison officer dealing with the area of Travnik, talking about the fact
20 that hostages were being held, according to the letter, by Mujahedin;
21 part of a military information summary dated the 1st of December
22 discussing the same issue; and my own letter, which I sent covering these
23 two documents to the chief of staff of Bosnia-Herzegovina command in
24 Kiseljak, General Ramsay.
25 Q. Sir, I would ask now -- with the assistance of the usher that you
1 now be shown Prosecution Exhibit 380. Sir, are you familiar with
2 Prosecution Exhibit 380?
3 A. I have seen it before.
4 Q. Are you looking, sir, at the English translation or at the
5 original in B/C/S?
6 A. I am looking at the English translation of the document.
7 Q. If you could take a look, sir, at the B/C/S version of this
8 document. Sir, do you read any or understand any Bosnian?
9 A. Only a small amount.
10 Q. If you look at the B/C/S version of this document, on the bottom
11 left-hand corner do you see any handwritten markings?
12 A. I see my own initials on the bottom left-hand corner.
13 Q. And did you in fact produce a copy of this document or this
14 document to the investigator of the Tribunal when you were interviewed?
15 A. I did indeed.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. MUNDIS: And I'd ask you that the witness be shown
18 Prosecution Exhibit 381, which consists of about ten pages.
19 Q. Sir, are you familiar with Prosecution Exhibit 381?
20 A. This is an extract from my diary.
21 Q. If you could, please, flip through that. Are there any other
22 documents in this bundle? And if so, can you please tell us what they
24 A. There is an initial draft of a report about a meeting between
25 Commander Alagic and myself on the 15th of December, 1993, and there is a
1 report that came from Bosnia-Herzegovina command about the same -- about
2 a meeting on the 16th of December at Visoko. All the other documents are
3 from my diary.
4 Q. Now, sir, when you make reference to an initial draft of a
5 report, would that be those pages within Prosecution Exhibit 381 that
6 begin with -- or the first page of which is -- appears to be your
8 A. Yes, indeed.
9 Q. Now --
10 MR. MUNDIS: Those documents can be returned to the registrar.
11 Q. -- sir, these documents have made reference to the Mujahedin.
12 Did you on any occasion discuss with senior leaders of the Army of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina the issue of Mujahedin?
14 A. Not directly as Mujahedin. There was often -- reference was made
15 by senior leaders to so-called uncontrolled elements.
16 Q. And what was your interpretation of "uncontrolled elements"?
17 A. Given the -- the clearly well-organised, well-structured form of
18 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was always, I have to say, sceptical
19 about the existence of so-called uncontrolled elements. They seemed to
20 pop up and disappear in a rather convenient fashion from the perspective
21 of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. Sir, can you please elaborate for us what you mean when you say
23 "the clearly well-organised, well-structured form of the Army of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina." What does that mean? How did you reach that
1 A. Along with the -- indeed, with the other two warring parties, all
2 the warring parties that we dealt with in Central Bosnia were what I
3 would describe as well structured and relatively well-organised military
4 forces. They all had weaknesses, in the case of the Army of the Republic
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the weaknesses were clearly to do with the amount
6 of equipment, war-fighting equipment that they had. But in my view, the
7 structures from the central general staff, as it were, down through the
8 corps level and ops groups and brigades and so forth and down to
9 battalion level, this was a conventionally and sensibly structured
11 Q. Based on your dealings with Colonel Alagic or others, other
12 leaders of the 3rd Corps of the ABiH, did you get a sense as to issues
13 relating to command and control within the 3rd Corps?
14 A. At no time during my time in Central Bosnia during those six
15 months, did I ever have a feeling that this was an organisation that was
16 anything other than well organised and, indeed, well commanded, given the
17 stringencies at the time.
18 Q. What type of communications equipment did the 3rd Corps have
19 available to them, if you are aware of any such equipment?
20 A. The only occasion when I was very clearly aware of the equipment
21 involved was an incident in December when I noticed that a message was
22 being sent on a H -- a high-frequency radio set that was identical to the
23 high-frequency sets that had been issued to my battalion. These were
24 produced by the British company Racal, and I understood had been
25 manufactured under licence during the time the former -- of the former
2 Q. Are you familiar with, at least on a basic level, the
3 capabilities of these high-frequency Racal radios?
4 A. The advantage of these high-frequency radios that they work well
5 in mountainous conditions, unlike most of the radio that is we had that
6 were very high frequency and had great limitations in mountainous
7 conditions. The actual use of these radios by the BiH on the occasion in
8 question, it was clear they were able to send a complex message from
9 Pavlovica, halfway between Vitez and Gornji Vakuf. The message was sent
10 to Bugojno and was received and presumably decrypted there before I could
11 reach Bugojno. So this suggested to me a well-organized and
12 smooth-running communication system.
13 Q. General Williams, I have a couple of follow-on questions based on
14 your last answer. You alluded to a message being decrypted. Can you
15 elaborate upon what you meant by "decrypted," particularly as it relates
16 to the capabilities of the Racal high-frequency radio system.
17 A. All I can say, if I may, is that it would be normal for military
18 communications containing sensitive information, which indeed this one
19 did - this one was a message about the -- a Croat convoy that had been
20 found carrying contraband military equipment - it would be normal for
21 this information to be sent other than in clear language and it would
22 therefore need to be deciphered at the far end before it could be
24 Q. So if I understand you, sir, this radio -- this Racal
25 high-frequency radio system was capable of sending secure information.
1 A. The information would have to be encoded before it would be sent.
2 In that sense, it would be secured. It's not an automatically secure
3 radio system, as per very modern radios.
4 Q. Now, I have a question, then, about this incident that you've
5 told us about where you became aware that the ABiH had this type of
6 system. You made reference to a message being sent to Bugojno which was
7 received before you got to Bugojno. Can you just describe briefly what
8 happened on that day so that we understand the situation as it unfolded.
9 A. This was an incident concerning the movement of two convoys;
10 one, a Croat-sponsored convoy; one, a BiH-sponsored convoy. These were
11 moving into Central Bosnia carrying humanitarian assistance in the period
12 immediately before Christmas in 1993. The complexities of this and the
13 security aspects were enormous and I involved myself, and most of my
14 senior commanders worked on the non-stop for about five days to try and
15 achieve the successful arrival of both convoys in Central Bosnia. The
16 unfortunate fact was that the Croat convoy, when it was searched by the
17 ARBiH was found contained military contraband and detonators and a number
18 of other bits of war-fighting equipment, and this was clearly in
19 contravention of the agreement that had been made concerning the
20 reciprocal movement of these convoys.
21 Q. And as a result of this incident, you then became involved in
22 discussions concerning this convoy and that's how you became aware of
23 this radio system.
24 A. Absolutely. The decision was that the leader of the Croat convoy
25 should be sent from Pavlovica to Bugojno, where there would be -- a,
1 ARBiH decision would be made on whether or not the convoy could
2 continue. And in the time it took us to get from Pavlovica, effectively
3 on the top of the mountain, down to Bugojno, this message had been sent
4 by the ARBiH element at Pavlovica and had been received and action had
5 been prepared in Bugojno.
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would kindly ask the speakers
7 to make pauses between questions and answers, please.
8 MR. MUNDIS:
9 Q. General Williams, I have just a few more questions for you.
10 You've told us about a meeting that you attended shortly after your
11 arrival with both Colonel Alagic and General Hadzihasanovic being
12 present. Other than that occasion -- on how many other occasions, that
13 would be -- on how many other occasions did you have any dealing with
14 General Hadzihasanovic?
15 A. I only had occasion to meet him I think on two other occasions.
16 Q. And, sir, what -- in what capacity was General Hadzihasanovic
17 serving on those two subsequent occasions, that is, after November 1993?
18 A. As I understood it, he was the chief of staff of the Main Staff
19 of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 Q. Did you, sir, on any occasion have the opportunity of meeting
21 with Amir Kubura?
22 A. I'm not aware that on any occasion I met with Amir Kubura.
23 Q. Thank you, General Williams.
24 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I turn to the Defence for the
1 cross-examination. The Judges will have questions too, but they'll put
2 them later. Madam Residovic.
3 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, General. We had a brief meeting
5 yesterday, but I will introduce myself nevertheless. I am Edina
6 Residovic, and with my colleague Stephane Bourgon and legal assistant
7 Mirna Milanovic, I am representing General Hadzihasanovic.
8 Is it true, General, that before today's testimony in this Trial
9 Chamber you gave two statements to the Office of the Prosecutor of the
10 Tribunal, on the 5th and 7th of June, 1998 and on the 18th and 19th of
11 September, 2001? Is that correct?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. In answer to a question from the President of the Trial Chamber,
14 you confirm that you testified in this Tribunal in the Kordic case and
15 that was at the end of January 2001; is that right?
16 A. I don't recall the exact date, but it -- I'm sure that's when it
17 was, yes.
18 Q. As you testified today, you were in Bosnia and Herzegovina from
19 November 1993 to May 1994; is that correct?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. Within the framework of your professional duties, you spent most
22 of your time as a staff officer, that is, you were working in the staff
23 of various military units or you were the deputy commander; is that
25 A. I was a normal infantry officer up until the time that I
1 commanded the battalion. Since that time, I have been employed as a
2 General Staff officer. And before becoming a commanding officer of a
3 battalion, I also spent some time as an officer on the staff.
4 Q. Actually, the position of battalion commander in Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina was your first command role in the British Army; is that
7 A. No. I had commanded troops at platoon level, company level and
8 battalion level in Northern Ireland before taking my battalion to Bosnia.
9 Q. Thank you. You took over your duties in Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 on the 8th of November, when you replaced the Prince of Wales' battalion
11 within the UNPROFOR forces in Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that right?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. However, you also said that you became battalion commander in
14 August 1992.
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. From that time on, you underwent various types of trainings and
17 you trained your battalion -- you exercised your battalion at the base in
18 Germany; is that right?
19 A. In August until the end of December, I was commanding the
20 battalion in Northern Ireland. We then moved back to Germany and started
21 training at the beginning of February 1993.
22 Q. When you learnt that you would be deployed in Bosnia, you
23 prepared the battalion according to a special programme to prepare your
24 troops for their mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that right?
25 A. Yes. That was a specific package of training designed by the
1 British military for battalions such as my own.
2 Q. Your battalion, before being given this assignment, was
3 considered to be a highly professional military unit; is that right?
4 A. Before I took over the command of the battalion, it had recently
5 returned from involvement in the Gulf War in Iraq, so I think it would be
6 considered to be a very professional organisation.
7 Q. The soldiers that were members of your battalion were
8 professional soldiers with considerable experience and military
9 knowledge; is that right?
10 A. For over 40 years all members of the British Army have been
11 volunteers and, therefore, professional military.
12 Q. However, in spite of that, your assignment in Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina was seen as being an additional challenge which required
14 additional training and a specific package of training, as you yourself
15 have said; is that right?
16 A. This is typical. In advance of all operational deployments,
17 units will be given specific to that -- training that is specific to that
18 operational deployment.
19 Q. Would you agree with me if I say that from the moment you took
20 over command of the battalion, for a year in practice in Northern Ireland
21 and during various other training courses you continued the professional
22 advancement of your battalion to make quite sure that they would be
23 capable of fulfilling the mission assigned to them?
24 A. That is very much the task of a commanding officer, to make sure
25 that all his men are ready.
1 Q. In view of your vast professional and theoretical knowledge and
2 experience, would you agree with me, General, if I say that you had to
3 train not a battalion but a corps for performing certain military
4 assignments -- should you have had to train a corps, you would have
5 needed much more time than you needed for preparing your battalion?
6 Would you agree with that?
7 A. The complexities of training a corps would obviously be greater
8 than those of training a battalion group, and because of the
9 complexities, it would be likely -- under the British system, you would
10 certainly need longer in order to reach those higher levels of command
11 and integrate the training throughout them.
12 Q. When in November 1993, General, you arrived in Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina, you came to an area that coincided with the area of
14 responsibility of the 3rd Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina; is
15 that right?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Perhaps even before, but then certainly, you must have learnt
18 that the 3rd Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had been in the
19 process of formation for less than a year. Were you aware of that fact?
20 A. I think I probably was aware at that time.
21 Q. You also must have known that the corps was being formed under
22 extremely unfavourable conditions for the formation of a military unit;
23 that is, under the difficult conditions of a battle being waged on two
25 A. Clearly the conditions were difficult, but actual structure of a
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 corps in itself is not anything that's particularly unusual.
2 Q. In answer to questions from my learned friend, General, you
3 mentioned that to the north of your area of responsibility there was the
4 front line with the forces of the Army of Republika Srpska, which did not
5 have a significant impact on your own mission. Do you recollect saying
6 that today?
7 A. I do indeed.
8 Q. However, during the performance of your duties, you knew that the
9 front line against the Serbs extended over some 250 to 300 kilometres and
10 that it engaged the 3rd Corps and its commander significantly in view of
11 the combat operations that were going on along that front.
12 A. I accept that that was probably the case.
13 Q. In the light of what you said in this Trial Chamber regarding the
14 preparations for your own battalion to perform its assignment in an area
15 of combat activities, I think you will agree with me if I say that Enver
16 Hadzihasanovic's task, as the commander of the 3rd Corps - to create the
17 3rd Corps, to structure the units consisting of some 30.000 men who were
18 not professional soldiers, unlike your own troops, and at the same time
19 to wage war on two fronts - was an exceptionally difficult military
20 assignment. Would you agree with this statement of mine?
21 A. I agree. It must have been an exceptional assignment.
22 Q. Proceeding from your own military knowledge and considerable
23 experience, could you agree with me in saying that the formation of a
24 unit and especially of a corps is a process that cannot be done through
25 issuing an order or writing an order on the formation of a corps and its
2 A. I'm afraid I would disagree to some extent. I think that it --
3 there is an aspect of this where it's a case of somebody setting down the
4 structure, authorising the start of a process. And thereafter the
5 difficulties lie not in creating the structure and identifying the
6 process, the difficulties lie in delivering what has been identified as
7 the requirement.
8 Q. Thank you very much. That was just what I expected to hear from
9 you. Actually, one can say that a corps is established by an order or by
10 the appointment or the formation of a structure, but it starts to
11 function properly when all the elements of that structure are actually
12 put into practice; is that right?
13 A. I think that's true to say that, yes.
14 Q. That is why I would like to ask you, General, to tell me whether
15 I am right in saying that the realisation of the intention as to what the
16 corps should be like and how it should operate is a process that differs
17 at the beginning from what the attained goal looks like a year later.
18 A. I think it's reasonable to expect that things will evolve during
19 the course of that year, but I would hope that the plan at the beginning
20 would have been a sound plan and that most of the elements would have
21 been delivered as envisaged at the beginning.
22 Q. You arrived in November 1993, and you told Their Honours what
23 your assessment of the corps was at the time you arrived. Would you
24 agree with me if I say that this was a far more developed and better
25 organised structure in practice than it had been a year prior to that
1 when the decision had been made to form the corps?
2 A. I can't speak for what the decision had been a year earlier, but
3 I do consider that the situation on the ground, which consisted of a
4 number of brigades working through operations groups to corps
5 headquarters and then on to the higher headquarters, had all the
6 structural strength of a proper corps.
7 Q. However, what you just said -- would I be right in saying that
8 you really cannot know the kind of problems the corps had from January to
9 October, prior to your arrival, and it is only after that that you can
10 testify about the structure of the corps?
11 A. I think that is correct.
12 Q. You confirmed here that before coming to Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 you received some basic information regarding the military situation in
14 the area you were being assigned to and you also had a general assessment
15 of the situation on the ground conveyed to you by the previous battalion;
16 is that right?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. Upon arriving in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you already were aware
19 that it was one of the six republics of the former SFRY which had been
20 granted independence and which had become a UN member in 1992; were you
21 aware of that fact?
22 A. Yes, I was.
23 Q. You also probably knew that Bosnia and Herzegovina on the day of
24 its recognition on the 6th of April, 1992 was attacked by the Yugoslav
25 People's Army and the Serb forces. Were you aware of that?
1 A. I had read news reports concerning this.
2 Q. As an experienced military man, you also knew that Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina went to war without having any armed force prior to that.
4 A. That is no doubt correct, but of course there were many people
5 within that force who had received military education of one sort or
6 another during the previous Yugoslav era.
7 Q. Answering a question from my learned friend, you said that you
8 were actually never given a military assignment but that you took over
9 the assignments passed on to you by the Prince of Wales' battalion, which
10 was your predecessor in the area, and those were the assignments that you
11 carried out; is that right?
12 A. That is correct. I asked the British brigadier in Split if he
13 wished to give me detailed orders, and his reaction was that the
14 situation changed so quickly in Central Bosnia that if he was to write an
15 operation order, it would be redundant before it could be implemented.
16 And so he just told me to carry on doing what he felt my predecessor
17 battalion had been doing very successfully.
18 Q. However, General, even though you were not given any such
19 assignment, you knew that the Security Council had passed a resolution on
20 the formation of UN Protection Forces, known as UNPROFOR, whose mandate
21 was regulated by Resolution 776 of the Security Council. Were you
22 familiar with that fact?
23 A. I was familiar with that fact.
24 Q. I apologise, General, because I only have one copy of that
25 resolution with me.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] So I would like to ask this
2 resolution to be given to the General, and would you please place it on
3 the overhead projector so that all of us could see it.
4 Q. By this resolution, the mandate was actually defined of UNPROFOR,
5 that is, "to secure protection of land convoys of humanitarian aid
6 organised by the UNHCR and also to protect the International Red Cross
7 mission in the exchange of prisoners when they request such aid and when
8 such assistance is approved." Is that right?
9 A. That is correct.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we will ask this
11 resolution to be marked for identification, though I do believe it
12 already exists as an exhibit. But as we don't have a sufficient number
13 of copies, we will tender it into evidence once we have copied it during
14 the break and provided copies to all participants in the proceedings.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment, please. Can we
16 hear the Prosecution regarding this document, Resolution 776.
17 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no objection to UN Security
18 Council resolutions being admitted into evidence.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So let's give it an
20 exhibit number, then.
21 THE REGISTRAR: DH127, Your Honours.
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps now would
23 be the appropriate time for the break and we can organise ourselves in
24 the meantime.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we have the break, you
1 haven't attached a B/C/S translation of that resolution. You probably
2 translated it for the benefit of the accused.
3 Madam Registrar, can you remind us of the exhibit number that you
4 just gave to this document.
5 THE REGISTRAR: DH127, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. It is 10.30. We're
7 going to have the customary break, and we will resume at five to 11.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.29 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 10.57 a.m.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall now resume the
11 hearing. I would like to give the floor to the counsel for Defence to
12 continue the cross-examination.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
14 Q. General, before the break, we saw the resolution of the Security
15 Council. Are you aware that following the adoption of that resolution
16 there was an enlargement of the terms of office of UNPROFOR in Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina but your basic mission remained within the mandate of
18 offering support to the humanitarian convoys there? Is that correct?
19 A. That is correct. The mission that we believed ourselves to have
20 conformed closely -- indeed, is exactly that in the UN Security Council
22 Q. Therefore, General, not at any moment while conducting your
23 mission you had no authority stemming from Chapter 7 of the UN charter;
24 that is to say, that you were not able to establish peace in the area and
25 to use force to that end. But you behaved in accordance with the
1 provisions of Charter 7, you were support of the humanitarian aid
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. That mission that you were performing did not make it possible
5 for you or give you the right to influence the rights and the positions
6 of the parties in the conflict; is that correct?
7 A. That is correct. It was notice in our interest to do so. We
8 simply wished to conduct operations in line with the mandate.
9 Q. In other words, you were able to conduct a mission only if there
10 was an agreement on both parties involved in the conflict in that area;
11 is that correct?
12 A. That is correct. It's particularly the case, for example, with
13 the crossing of front lines. Both parties, warring parties, needed to be
14 in accord with our plan before we would risk pushing convoys, largely
15 manned with civilians, across front lines.
16 Q. Your soldiers were able to use force only in the event of
17 legitimate defence and according to a specific procedure; is that
19 A. That is correct. It was largely a matter of self-defence.
20 Q. The parties were duty-bound to offer you a certain support, but
21 they were never under the obligation to enable you to access their
22 military secrets; is that correct?
23 A. That is correct. And I would say that all the parties were very
24 good at what we would describe as operational security.
25 Q. Whilst performing your duties, you did your best to avoid
1 activities which the parties to the conflict could assess as interference
2 in the positions of one of the parties or of favouring one of the parties
3 in the conflict; is that correct?
4 A. Theoretically that may have been correct, but in reality there
5 were activities going on around us which demanded our interest. In
6 particular, I would mention accusations by one party against another
7 party of massacres.
8 Q. Your battalion, however -- though as you had explained, obtained
9 some information, this was not done in a way as usually battalions to
10 engaged in a conflict should obtain. You did not act as a battalion in
11 conflict and you did not procure intelligence accordingly.
12 A. The only intelligence that we were able to gather was through
13 human means, through trying to first gain the trust of people and then to
14 ask their opinions and for whatever they wished to tell us about what was
15 going on.
16 Q. You explained to us the procedure whereby you drafted your daily
17 reports, milinfosums. Is it true that you had a soldier in charge of
18 this and who drafted the report on the basis of information received by
19 the liaison officer or officers which were on the ground in the field
20 with the companies? Is that correct?
21 A. In each company headquarters and then at the higher level at
22 battalion headquarters, there were officers and soldiers responsible for
23 the collation of military information and for passing this up the system,
24 further up the chain of command.
25 Q. Is it true, General, that the information you compiled as
1 milinfosums, you did not give to the parties in the conflict nor did the
2 parties have access to this kind of information?
3 A. This was very much viewed as confidential information that had
4 been given to us in trust by one party or other, and we certainly would
5 never have dreamt of exposing what one party had said to the other party.
6 Q. In other words, the parties to the conflict, either the command
7 of the ABiH army or the HVO, received only that information which were
8 given to them at meetings, directly.
9 A. I think we probably passed very little information to them that
10 was not information strictly about the business of the United Nations.
11 Q. On the other hand, is it true, General, that you nor the members
12 of other international organisations, you did not have access to the
13 orders from the staff of the Supreme Command of ABiH or the Main Staff of
14 the HVO to lower-level units?
15 A. Normally this was not -- we did not have access to such
16 information, although on one occasion we did receive via a humanitarian
17 organisation an order from General Delic that had been passed to three of
18 the corps headquarters, which reflected what we considered to be the
19 chain of command at work.
20 Q. I apologise, General. I have a warning. Someone is suggesting
22 [Defence counsel confer]
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. I apologise. We have just asked you whether it was your
25 possibility -- your ability to gain possession or come to orders that
1 went from the higher levels of corps to the lower units. Is it also true
2 that you did not have access to confidential military information which
3 the parties to the conflict had in their possession?
4 A. We had no access to any information other than the information
5 that people gave willingly to us, either from other UN or international
6 organisations or indeed from the warring parties. But on a routine
7 basis, the answer is no, we had no access.
8 Q. Thank you very much. In response to the question of the
9 Prosecution, you said that the aim of the information that you collected
10 was to assess the combat readiness in order to provide for the security
11 of your mission. Was that the purpose of the information that you
13 A. I think that "combat readiness" is a technical term and is
14 probably the wrong description. We needed information about the
15 warring -- the situation of the war in order that we could make informed
16 decisions on the safety or otherwise of the movement of humanitarian aid.
17 That was the principal purpose of the military-information system that we
18 had and the military information system existed only to serve the command
20 Q. In other words, if I understood you well, that you were not
21 interested in information or you were not predominantly interested in
22 information that would inform you of the true structure of the army and
23 of its combat readiness to conduct military operation that that army had
24 within its competence.
25 A. We did not have the need that an opposing force would have had
1 for as full a picture as possible for any one of the warring parties.
2 Our only requirement for information was to support decisions that we
3 were making to implement the mandate given to us.
4 Q. Thank you very much. You also briefly explained the way in which
5 you collected that information. You described the number of soldiers you
6 had in the field. And I would like to ask you now whether it is true,
7 General, that the means that you used to collect that information were
8 limited to personal observation from meetings with military officers or
9 civilian bodies or other persons who would be able to give you relevant
10 information for your mission on the ground.
11 A. That is correct. We had no technical means of gathering
13 Q. And actually, by using technical electronic means or satellites
14 would have been -- made it possible for you to receive more secure
15 information that you were collecting.
16 A. I have no doubt that technical, electronic and other means were
17 being deployed, but the information gathered in that way was not in any
18 sense passed down to the battalion level.
19 Q. In the course of our talk yesterday, General, if you recall, you
20 said that your intelligent agents were tactical intelligent agents.
21 General, could you perhaps, if you remember -- if you recall your
22 statement, could you explain to us what tactical information was -- what
23 a tactical intelligent agent is.
24 A. What I was suggesting by referring to it as "tactical
25 intelligence" was that this was information that could be processed into
1 intelligence that was useful at the battalion level and, therefore, at
2 the tactical level. This would -- this was information that would affect
3 our ability to act today or maybe tomorrow. This was not long-term
4 intelligence that we were seeking. It was simply the information
5 necessary to ensure safe humanitarian operations.
6 Q. If I remember well, General, you told us that the information
7 that you possessed were only the best indication of the situation with
8 regard to the purpose of your mission. Is it true that this is the way
9 in which you answered our question?
10 A. I don't recall exactly how I answered your question, but I would
11 repeat that we only needed information in order to make the best possible
12 decisions for tactical operations. Those are our own operations. We did
13 not need and did not seek information for its own sake.
14 Q. At the time you were aware of the fact that your information
15 depended on the reliability of the sources of that information provided
16 to you; is that correct?
17 A. Of course we could only use the information that was given to us,
18 but we were using information that was given to us by both of the warring
19 parties in Central Bosnia, that is the Army of the Republic of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Croat military, and we were using our best
21 judgement to assess whether the information we had been given was
22 reliable and probable or whether this was sometimes perhaps
24 Q. If then or today you were confronted with an information which
25 was far more important or far more reliable, you are sure that some of
1 the conclusions of your information would be different than the
2 conclusions that you had at the time. Would this be the right approach
3 to the -- to what you have just said now?
4 A. I have no doubt at all that with hindsight and with the
5 availability of much more information our assessments would probably have
6 been different. But the reality of life as a commander in the field is
7 that you cannot wait for all the information, you have to take what you
8 have. You have to make a sensible assessment, and then you have to make
9 decisions based on that. There is always a risk that you are making a
10 decision on poor information, but you need as much information as you can
11 possibly acquire.
12 Q. So you, so to speak, were confident that the information you
13 received from the officer in Split was correct because the events on the
14 field were evolving so quickly that very often an information would
15 become incomplete or unreliable and information as to subsequent events
16 would come from other sources which were accessible to you; is that
18 A. My British commander in Split, who was a brigadier, he, I think,
19 appreciated that it was very difficult for him to make decisions based on
20 the Adriatic coast and removed from the situation, and in the traditional
21 British way, the initiative was passed to commanders on the ground, in
22 this case myself in Vitez, and we were trusted to make the best
23 decisions. If we made a poor decision, it would be our funeral; if we
24 made a good one, then they would congratulate us.
25 Q. You took over considerable responsibility, but I believe that you
1 can be satisfied with your mission.
2 In connection with the information that we have just discussed, I
3 would like you to be shown Prosecution Exhibit 378 so as to be able to
4 ask you some additional questions.
5 Along with this document, there is an analysis of the activities
6 of the 3rd Corps. And on page 2, you can see the structure under point d
7 about the Operations Group Bosnia. Is that the document you have before
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. As you have said, this document was compiled on the basis of your
11 knowledge after a month's presence in the area, but also on the basis of
12 information that the previous BritBat battalions had in their possession;
13 is that correct?
14 A. Yes. This assessment was the best assessment that was possible
15 by the British Battalion after about one year in the area.
16 Q. You in fact answered in response to my question that there
17 were -- that if you had other information, the assessment would have not
18 been the same. In other words, if you had orders of the Supreme Command
19 or the 3rd Corps that the 301st, 303rd Brigade were manoeuvre units
20 within the structure 3rd Corps and that the conclusion, that it is only
21 about the 7th Muslim Brigade as a manoeuvre unit, would not have been the
22 same as what is written here; is that correct?
23 A. If I and my staff had had that information, I'm sure we would
24 have made a different assessment.
25 Q. I should like to ask you another question in that connection,
1 since your answers very correctly reflect an assessment of the
2 information that you had in your possession and the possibilities thereof
3 to conclude about the structure of the corps or other issues contained in
4 your report.
5 You can see under d that you -- that one of the brigades within
6 the Operations Group Bosna is the 301st Brigade. If you had the
7 development plan of the 3rd Corps where it says that the third group that
8 wishes to have as a manoeuvre unit a mechanised brigade of a manoeuvre
9 nature, then that brigade would not have figured within that part of the
10 OG Bosna.
11 A. I think that is a fair assessment. However, I would simply point
12 out that it was our assessment that the 3rd Corps didn't have the
13 equipment and certainly didn't have the fuel, the petrol, as it were, or
14 diesel in order to be able to create true manoeuvre groups that would
15 have required transport.
16 Q. So this in fact is my next question: The 301st Manoeuvre
17 Brigade, although it had been planned to be a part of the structure of
18 the 3rd Corps, given the fact that the 3rd Corps had no means of staffing
19 it and other means, that brigade existed only on paper or only in name.
20 Please do not comment my observation, but if, for instance, you
21 had the order of the staff of the Supreme Command of Sarajevo of
22 31st October 1993, where it is stated that that brigade is being
23 dissolved and that only one tank company will be created on that basis,
24 then your analysis made a month and a half would have created that
25 information and not information that this is a manoeuvre company within
1 the frameworks of the Bosna OG.
2 Is that the way in which you wish to indicate to us the
3 shortcomings and unreliability of the different information that you had
4 given on the basis of this kind of analysis?
5 A. I think there are shortcomings --
6 MR. MUNDIS: Objection.
7 Mr. President, this is a compound question, and it borders on
8 testimony by my learned colleague from the Defence.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the transcript the question
10 took almost two minutes. So your question raises a number of various
11 matters. It would be better for you to rephrase your question by
12 structuring it in a clear manner so that the witness is able to answer.
13 The thesis that you wish to develop in addressing the witness is to tell
14 him that there is a note regarding the organisation of the 3rd and
15 5th Corps [as interpreted] and that this report is not reliable, and if
16 the witness was aware of an order coming from the 3rd Corps, he would not
17 have made a very specific statement contained in this document. So it
18 would be better to put to him a simple question, instead of making a
19 lengthy speech of two minutes which the witness cannot follow without
20 having all the elements in his possession. So could you put the question
21 again in a way that everyone can follow and for the witness to be able to
22 answer clearly.
23 I give you the floor, Madam Residovic.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. General, I do apologise for this, which is my fault. In fact,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 I'm just following your answer that the sources of information were not
2 always reliable and that in that period of time had you had more reliable
3 sources your conclusions would reflect those more reliable sources. Is
4 that right?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. I have in front of me an order by the Supreme Command Staff of
7 the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina which has not been translated
8 into English because I had not intended to tender it into evidence. But
9 I have given a copy to the interpreters for them to be able to translate
10 my question to you.
11 The question is the following: Had you in November 1993, when
12 this document was compiled, had the order of the Supreme Command Staff of
13 the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina, dated the 21st of October,
14 1993, in which under paragraph E it says that "a tank company of the 3rd
15 Corps command is being formed on a provisional basis and the proposal
16 will be drafted and submitted to this headquarters for adoption," and in
17 paragraph K, on page 2, it is stated that "the 301st Motorised Brigade is
18 being disbanded and all elements of its mobilisational development are
19 being abolished"; in that case, you would have not concluded in your
20 analysis that the 301st Motorised Brigade was part of the operations
21 group mentioned here. Is that what you wanted to tell us?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment. I see
23 Mr. Mundis on his feet. But as far as we are able to understand the
24 question, the Defence is telling us that there is an order drafted on the
25 21st of October, 1993, which makes mention of the fact that the 301st
1 Motorised Brigade no longer existed, it is being disbanded; and that in
2 those conditions why is it that this subsequent document still mentions
3 the existence of the 301st Brigade.
4 So the question a simple one: If the witness had been aware of
5 this order of the 21st of October, would he have mentioned the continued
6 existence of the 301st Brigade? Is that the gist of the Defence's
8 Mr. Mundis, what is your objection regarding this question which
9 appears to me to be quite sensible?
10 MR. MUNDIS: There's two grounds for the objection,
11 Mr. President. In the first place, the witness has already said that if
12 he had access to such documents, the assessment would have been perhaps
13 different. So the question in that sense has been asked and answered.
14 But second of all, the Prosecution is objecting to the way in
15 which the question was put to the witness, in the sense that my learned
16 colleague is again testifying about a document which is not available for
17 Your Honours or the Prosecution in a language that we can understand so
18 that we can see precisely what this document is.
19 There's one thing to be asking questions based on the information
20 contained in a document or having possession of a document; it's another
21 thing to stand before us asserting this information and to read from a
22 document that no one else in the courtroom has access to. And I'm not
23 saying that the document doesn't exist. I'm simply saying,
24 Mr. President, that there are better ways to go about doing this.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the Prosecution is telling
1 us that this document of the 21st of October is not available to anyone,
2 but the Defence has it. You have it in B/C/S. Is that right? And you
3 haven't had time to have it translated?
4 Very well. We will not call in question the existence of the
5 document, but the Chamber is going to put the question to deal with the
7 General, the Defence has indicated that in this document that you
8 have in front of you the 301st Motorised Brigade is mentioned.
9 Hypothetically, had you known of an order coming from the 3rd Corps which
10 disbanded this 301st Brigade, would that -- this document then have
11 mentioned the existence of the 301st Brigade? So the question is a
12 simple one.
13 THE WITNESS: I think so. Had we been informed in any sense that
14 the situation had changed, the assessment would have been different.
15 This assessment is an attempt to bring together all the available
16 information and -- in order to use it to make a sensible assessment of
17 the organisation of the 3rd and 6th Corps. No information available to
18 the military information officer would have been excluded. The fact that
19 it's not here goes to show that the available -- that the information was
20 not available to us.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document which was drafted
22 by Officer Brown, when he drafted that document and when he mentioned the
23 Bosna Operations Group, 301st Brigade, 314th, 303, 318, 319, according to
24 you where did he get that information from? Is this visual information
25 that he observed because your soldiers and officers are on the ground and
1 collect information on the ground and noted down that on such-and-such a
2 day the vehicle belonging to the 301st Brigade passed going to Zenica, or
3 is it information coming from the HVO or perhaps even from a liaison
4 officer close to the 3rd Corps? According to you, from what source could
5 this type of information come from? Of course, if you know; because we
6 are asking you things about events that took place more than ten years
7 ago and we understand that you cannot give us precise answers. But if
8 you can answer, please do so.
9 THE WITNESS: I would say, if I may so, that in a descending
10 priority of likelihood, the first and most likely source of this
11 information would have been from ARBiH officers to one or more liaison
12 officers at some stage during the preceding year. The second possible
13 source of information would have been from the HVO, who had an interest,
14 of course, in trying to characterise the ARBiH in a certain manner. And
15 third, and probably least likely, would be observations on the ground,
16 because in fact there were very few vehicles and most soldiers look much
17 the same as other soldiers. So this would have been privileged
18 information, I suspect, from conversations conducted by liaison officers
19 and UNPROFOR commanders from within the battalion group.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please continue.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. General, am I right in view of your earlier remark as to why you
23 did not consider all brigades to be manoeuvre units, am I right, General,
24 if I say that for you the manoeuvre element is the element in the army
25 which has the capability of moving around and which has all the necessary
1 means of transportation for this and that your assessment was that the
2 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina lacked those means? Would that be one of the
3 grounds for your conclusion as to the manoeuvre element?
4 A. The non-manoeuvre elements were the elements that held specific
5 sectors of the front line. The manoeuvre elements were those that could
6 be deployed to certain points around the front line in order to
7 concentrate force in order to try to change the balance of the
9 To describe them as mechanised in any sense that we would
10 understand in a Western army would be unrealistic, given the lack of
11 vehicles and, in particular, the lack of fuel. The critical element was
12 not so much transport for the men. The men could march; the men did
13 march. The critical element was the transportation of the logistics
14 support, ammunition and other weapons systems to support such a
15 concentration of force.
16 Q. In answer to a question from the President of the Trial Chamber,
17 General, you just clarified what were your sources for information, be it
18 when preparing milinfosums or analyses of this kind. Prior to that, you
19 also said that one of your sources were often members of the army you
20 were talking to. Beba Salko is mentioned in this report, and if you
21 remember, he was a member of the Bosanska Krajina Operations Group.
22 A. Yes, I recall Mr. Beba Salko.
23 Q. The reliability of your information was actually directly linked
24 to the reliability of the information that that person gave your liaison
25 officer; is that right?
1 A. The information given to us by Mr. Beba Salko was, by our
2 standards, important but by no means the only source of information.
3 Q. On page 8 of this document, paragraph 8, the heading is "The
4 7th Corps of Bosnia and Herzegovina." In your assessment, you rely on
5 the information given to you by Salko Beba regarding the formation of the
6 7th Corps of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There isn't a page 8. You must
8 have made an error with the pagination. It's not page 8.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] There must be an error on my
11 Q. But anyway, look at page -- that is, entitled "Assessment," and
12 then subtitled "7th Corps of Bosnia and Herzegovina," paragraph 8 and 9.
13 Paragraphs 8 and 9 -- and 10, actually. Have you been able to find those
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Actually, according to what is stated in this assessment, Beba
17 Salko informed you about the possibilities for the formation of the
18 3rd Corps --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Of the 7th Corps, I'm sorry.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. -- but he pointed out that this should occur after the fall of
22 the town of Vitez; is that right?
23 A. That is what the report says, yes.
24 Q. In the course of your tour of duty in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you
25 were a witness that the 7th Corps was formed. But the reasons behind its
1 formation were not the reasons given to you by Beba Salko and on the
2 basis of which you made your assessment in this document. Is that right?
3 A. That is correct. At the time that he gave us the information, we
4 reported it as he gave it to us.
5 Q. So even a source which appeared to be reliable to you in a
6 certain period of time could with time become unreliable, or other
7 information that you may have gained would show you that the information
8 obtained from that source was not quite accurate; is that true?
9 A. I think it's true to say that all information we were given was
10 to some extent tainted. People do not give information to other people
11 in a situation of a war without some expectation that it's going to
12 create an impression on the person to whom they give it.
13 Q. Can you also testify before this Trial Chamber, General, that
14 very frequently the parties to the conflict used wartime propaganda,
15 which after some verifications you were able to establish that they were
16 not true; or, on the other hand, you may have relied on them considering
17 them to contain truthful information? So were there cases of propaganda
18 being used as a source of your information?
19 A. It's very difficult to tell what is propaganda and what is the
20 truth. But there were occasions, for example, when one side or the other
21 would cry that there had been a massacre and where the facts, when
22 investigated, proved to be rather less clear than the initial claim, and
23 other examples where a party would claim a certain action had been
24 carried out by another one of the warring parties, but in the event it
25 turned out to be self-generated in order to gain good publicity.
1 Q. Actually, you witnessed the fact that the HVO, for instance, on
2 two occasions accused the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina of having
3 committed a war crime, and when you checked it out, you were not able to
4 establish the existence of a war crime; is that true?
5 A. We were very sensitive from the beginning about the possibility
6 of war crimes. We were in no sense experts in the investigation of war
7 crimes, but it was my determination that my battalion would record in as
8 much detail as it was able the facts as we saw them on the ground when
9 and where people claimed that there had been an event that might be a war
11 Q. I asked you whether you recollect two cases: When the HVO
12 accused the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina of having committed a war
13 crime during combat activities, and you investigated and were unable to
14 confirm those allegations provided to you by the HVO. Do you remember
15 that situation?
16 A. Perhaps you could refresh my memory as to the two occasions. I
17 remember occasions. I could give you occasions. Whether they amount to
18 a total of two or the same two as you have in mind, I'm not sure.
19 Q. General, unfortunately though I had planned to put this question
20 to you, I didn't prepare the document that I could show you, so I'll be
21 satisfied with the -- your answer.
22 But my next question is: Did you also receive information from
23 the HVO that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was using chemical
24 weapons and this was something that you also verified; and your
25 investigation proved it to be incorrect?
1 A. Indeed. I think on two occasions we investigated the alleged use
2 of chemical weapons, and on both occasions our experts were unable to
3 confirm that there had been any use of a chemical weapon.
4 Q. Also, General, you were probably confronted with a situation in
5 which within UNPROFOR and even other international forces on the ground
6 there were frequently contradictory informations about the same events.
7 Were you a witness of that?
8 A. It is an inevitable fact that information coming from different
9 sources will paint a situation in different ways. There is also a risk
10 that several people will compound the problem by turning a rumour into
11 something more solid, by reporting it repeatedly.
12 Q. Answering questions from my learned friend, you said that you
13 collected and checked mostly the information which helped you to carry
14 out your mandate. You didn't, in fact, make any special effort to learn
15 all the facts about the army structure or its combat plans; is that
17 A. As I said before, it was not our business to understand in
18 complete detail the workings or indeed the plans of any of the warring
19 parties. Our interests began and ended where those warring parties were
20 going to influence and affect the implementation of our mandate.
21 Q. The position of the 7th Muslim Brigade in some situations was
22 described as a shock unit. General, could you explain what was the
23 source that prompted you to come to such a conclusion? And my second
24 question: Did you ever see the 7th Muslim Brigade in a so-called shock
1 A. If I may answer the second question first. The answer is no, I
2 never saw the 7th Muslim Brigade in a shock operation.
3 To try and answer the first question, our belief was - and this
4 was based on observation on the ground - that there were a number of
5 brigades whose responsibilities were primarily territorial. As I said
6 before, they were responsible for a fixed or normally fixed part of the
7 front line, and that's where they would conduct their operations. There
8 were other units and brigades that appeared to have more freedom of
9 movement and to be moved around the map in order to create a
10 concentration of force and had a shock effect. It was our assessment
11 that the 7th Muslim Brigade was such an organisation.
12 Q. However, your experience tells you that this applied not only to
13 the 7th Brigade but that there were other brigades also who were used on
14 a broader area and in several operations and not statically to defend the
15 front line; is that right?
16 A. My experience at the moment is based on the document I have in
17 front of me, which seems to suggest at paragraph 33 that it was our view
18 at the time that it was only the 7th Muslim Brigade that operated in such
19 a manner within the 3rd Corps area.
20 Q. However, General, in view of the mission of your battalion, would
21 you agree with me if I say that members of your battalion were not on the
22 battlefront and the battlefield and did not personally observe the
23 participation of units in battle?
24 A. I think it's impossible to be that black and white about it. A
25 number of members of my battalion, in particular the liaison officers who
1 crossed the front lines constantly and under considerable risk themselves
2 could very much describe as having been on the battlefront. They were
3 not there all the time in the way the fighting units were, but they had a
4 good chance to observe the effect of warfare on the front line.
5 Q. As an experienced military officer, you can certainly confirm
6 that it would not be normal for a corps of the size of the 3rd Corps to
7 have only one manoeuvre brigade.
8 A. I think it would be reasonable to expect there to be more than
9 one manoeuvre brigade, but as I said, there were from the beginning very
10 short resources available to the 3rd Corps, in particular in
11 transportation and in heavy weaponry. And so I think it was reasonable
12 for us to make an assessment that the corps could probably only manage
13 one manoeuvre brigade at that moment.
14 Q. Thank you. You've answered my second question as well. But in
15 connection with what you have just said, is it true to say that the HVO
16 had available to it much greater resources in terms of weaponry and
17 military power than the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had?
18 A. If you would allow me the indulgence, I think that there were
19 quite different versions of the HVO that were in evidence within the area
20 of my battalion's responsibility. The HVO forces that were operating in
21 the area of Prozor and further to the south in Herzegovina were notably
22 well equipped with things like artillery and with ammunition. These were
23 obviously things that they were receiving support from Croatia and
25 The HVO in Central Bosnia, trapped within the Vitez pocket, were
1 not in any way spectacularly well equipped. One advantage they had was
2 an advantage that they were largely unable to use, which was they
3 controlled the explosives factory, the Vitezit factory in Vitez. But the
4 HVO in Central Bosnia was not, I think, any more than the ARBiH in
5 Central Bosnia well equipped, by military standards.
6 Q. However, General, you can confirm that even the HVO in Central
7 Bosnia had alternative possibilities of supplies, that is, violating the
8 no-fly zone during the night weapons were delivered at night, on the one
9 hand, and also HVO wounded were transported by plane to Herzegovina or to
10 Split. Were you aware of such situations?
11 A. I was aware of reports that this was probably going on. It's
12 very difficult - without trying to be in any way flippant about this -
13 it's very difficult to tell what is happening on a helicopter that's
14 flying in the dark that arrives in your area and leaves in the dark from
15 your area. We could tell that injured people were disappearing from the
16 field hospital at Nova Bila, but we were not in a position to confirm
17 that there were night deliveries of weapons. There were some daytime
18 deliveries of ammunition that were parachuted in earlier during our time
19 in Vitez, but I think after one such delivery by helicopter by day, the
20 situation was considered by the Croats to be too dangerous and so flights
21 moved to the night-time. But I cannot confirm as a result what was
22 coming into the Vitez pocket at night in these helicopters.
23 Q. However, even the possibility for the wounded to be transported
24 to better-organised hospitals gave a psychological advantage to the HVO
25 in relation to the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which completely
1 depended on the humanitarian routes. And their openness.
2 A. There was undoubtedly some sense of advantage in this, but there
3 were also limited helicopter flights supporting the Army of the Republic
4 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And as my diary shows at one stage, UNPROFOR
5 spotted one of these helicopters unloading a Howitzer. So I don't think
6 that the advantage given by helicopters was all one-sided.
7 Q. Thank you. At the beginning of your testimony today, describing
8 the area of responsibility you said that it started on the border between
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Is it true that you came to
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina via Split and along the route which passed through
11 Livno, Gornji Vakuf, Novi Travnik, and Vitez?
12 A. That is correct. At the time, in the winter of 1993, that was
13 the only route available to the UN and other international agencies to
14 get into Central Bosnia.
15 Q. Is it true that that route from the border with the Republic of
16 Croatia, then via Prozor, Gornji Vakuf, Tomislavgrad was under the
17 control of the HVO forces?
18 A. No, that's not an accurate description of it. It was under the
19 control of the HVO as far as Prozor. Then it moved through an area that
20 was under the control of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 around Prozor -- around, sorry, around Gornji Vakuf. And then it moved
22 back into a Croat area when it reached the Vitez pocket.
23 Q. Would you agree with me, General, if I say that the entire
24 population in the territory under the control of the BH army in the area
25 of responsibility of the 3rd and 2nd Corps relied exclusively on
1 humanitarian aid coming along these routes from the direction of Croatia?
2 A. No, that's not a correct assumption. The purpose of humanitarian
3 aid, as envisaged by the UNHCR, was to give humanitarian aid to
4 identified groups at risk, refugees, other displaced persons, and groups
5 such as women and children and old people. But the United Nations was
6 never aiming to feed the entire population.
7 Q. However, I think you will agree that in this area of Central
8 Bosnia under the army's control, as well as in the area of Tuzla, which
9 was under the control of the 2nd Corps, there was the greatest
10 concentration of such population at risk, refugees and other populations
11 that needed such humanitarian aid. Is that right?
12 A. I'm not qualified to speak about where the largest groupings of
13 vulnerable persons were. You would have to ask an expert from the UNHCR.
14 Yes, there were many in Central Bosnia, but there were other areas, such
15 as Sarajevo and elsewhere, where there were large vulnerable populations
16 that were entitled to, under UNHCR rules, the support from humanitarian
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Allow me to intervene,
19 Madam Residovic. The Chamber, which is keeping track of the time, has
20 noted that the Prosecution took 52 minutes for its examination-in-chief.
21 We ruled quite recently that the Defence together should have 50 per cent
22 more time than the Prosecution. So theoretically you have 88 minutes and
23 you've already used them. In view of this concern of ours, how much more
24 time would you need? Although you've overstepped your limit. And also
25 the other Defence counsel may have questions for this witness. So could
1 you tell us how much more time you'll need, because the time allotted to
2 you has already elapsed.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] A maximum of 15 minutes,
4 Mr. President. But I'll do my best to do it in less.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And the other
6 Defence counsel? How much time would you need?
7 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. We have no questions for
8 this witness, so we won't need any further time. Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Take ten minutes,
10 then, and then we will move on.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. General, fully appreciating your answer, because I didn't have in
13 mind the other areas that humanitarian aid went to, is it true that the
14 only access, the only approach to humanitarian aid into
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina was from the border with Croatia, through areas
16 controlled by the HVO? That was the only way the aid could access
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that right?
18 A. Theoretically, it was possible for aid to come from Zagreb
19 through Banja Luka, and through the areas controlled by the Bosnian Serb
20 authorities. But at this stage of the war, aid was not getting in from
21 Banja Luka through to Central Bosnia. So the only route that was
22 available was the route through Split through Tomislavgrad and on through
23 Gornji Vakuf on up through to Zenica.
24 Q. Thank you. I have just one further topic that I would like to
25 cover with you, and for this purpose I would like the witness to be shown
1 Prosecution Exhibit 379, please.
2 General, this is a document which you sent to the chief of staff
3 of the command for Bosnia-Herzegovina in Kiseljak; is that right?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. In this letter of yours, in paragraph 1 you say that Mujahedins
6 had captured four HVO members in Travnik; is that right?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. In that same paragraph, on the basis of your information, you
9 infer that the release of two missing hostages could be beyond the power
10 of Mehmed Alagic, the commander of the 3rd Corps.
11 A. That is what I stated.
12 Q. This document, dated the 5th of December, 1993, also indicates
13 that it is not at all clear even in those days who controlled the
14 Mujahedin units. Did you write that as well?
15 A. I did.
16 Q. This assessment of yours was written down on the basis of
17 information that you had received from your liaison officer from Travnik
18 in a letter dated the 26th of November, 1993; is that right?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. This conclusion was made also on the basis of a subsequent
21 conversation with Commander Alagic, of whom you say that he did wish to
22 assist the Popovic family but that this was obviously beyond his power.
23 Is that right?
24 A. That's what I wrote.
25 Q. Actually, from the letter of your liaison officer in Travnik, it
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 also emerged that the operations group in Travnik also has no ability to
2 control the Mujahedin; is that right?
3 A. That's what I stated.
4 Q. Also, it followed from this that the brigade commanders of the
5 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina made it clear to you that they do not have
6 control over groups of Mujahedin; is that right?
7 A. I don't see myself here in writing having said exactly that.
8 Q. What you wrote down - or rather, what your liaison officer wrote
9 down, to be precise - is that all commanders are endeavouring to avoid
10 responsibility and the blame for what is being done by the Mujahedin.
11 That would be more precisely what is written in that letter; is that
13 A. That is correct. The paragraph in question mentions Commanders
14 Alagic and Cuskic but doesn't mention anything about brigade commanders,
16 Q. I apologise. In paragraph 2 it says: "The operations group in
17 Travnik have no power over the Mujahedin and there seems to have been
18 some considerable efforts by all commanders" and I thought that that
19 meant commanders beyond Cuskic. But if your understanding is that it
20 applied only to Cuskic and Alagic, then I accept that that is your
22 A. Well, that is my interpretation of what Captain Guinness was
23 saying. I can't put the words "brigade commander" into his text here if
24 he didn't use them.
25 Q. Thank you. Answering questions from my learned colleague, you
1 mentioned that while you were performing your duties you were aware of
2 the problems in connection with the HVO decision to blow up the Vitezit
3 explosives factory. Were you confronted with such an intention on behalf
4 of the HVO?
5 A. We were first aware of this when the HVO invited the
6 international television cameras to visit the Vitezit factory and
7 displayed or demonstrated that they had wired for demolition a number of
8 magazines full of explosive of one sort or another. We then asked to
9 conduct a visit and were invited along to see very similar signs of
10 preparations for demolition.
11 Q. This event attracted your attention and you invested additional
12 efforts by informing the higher command to bring their influence to bear
13 over the HVO to give up such an intention.
14 A. That is correct. We conducted a technical inspection by an
15 ammunition technical officer, who was part of our team. We assessed the
16 size of a potential catastrophe and invited our headquarters to put
17 pressure on the HVO authorities to make it clear that demolishing the
18 factory would be very dangerous for the civil population, as well as for
19 the UN forces.
20 Q. An event of that kind certainly fully engaged the corps commander
21 as well and influenced him to make changes in his plans in view of the
22 danger that you yourself identified.
23 A. I have no idea what the reaction of the corps commander was. I
24 didn't discuss it as such with him. I did at one stage discuss it with
25 people in the operations group headquarters in Travnik as to whether they
1 had a plan in the event of the Vitez pocket falling and a lot of refugees
2 coming out of the area. But the actual -- I have no idea what Commander
3 Alagic's view was on the explosion of the factory.
4 Q. And my last question, General, for you is: Would you agree with
5 me if I say that major or significant events such as the blowing up of
6 the factory in Vitez or some other significant events did have a major
7 impact on the behaviour and plans of a corps commander? Normally they
8 would affect the behaviour, plans, and engagement of a corps commander.
9 These were events that he could not ignore.
10 A. I think that's a fair assumption.
11 Q. Thank you very much, General, for answering my questions.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Mr. Mundis, any re-examination now?
15 MR. MUNDIS: No, Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, General, the
17 Judges that are before you have questions to put to you.
18 Questioned by the Court:
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If you allow me, I should like
20 to ask the registrar to give you the document that you just had before
21 you, P378.
22 In that document which the Defence asked you at length about, the
23 document which was compiled by Officer Brown, we have the question of the
24 7th Muslim Brigade at paragraph 14 and 15 and 16. There is an assessment
25 made in paragraphs 17, 18, and 19. Given what has been said today and to
1 the best of your recollection of that period, the 7th Muslim Brigade was
2 constituted from what elements?
3 A. The understanding that we had at the time was that the principal
4 component of the 7th Muslim Brigade were displaced Bosnian citizens but
5 that there was within this grouping a group of foreign fighters, known
6 collectively as the Mujahedin.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So it is an
8 affirmative answer. You say that in the 7th Muslim Brigade which you
9 described as one of displaced fighters, there were -- there was local
10 population and foreigners as well.
11 These foreigners, as far as you know, came from where?
12 A. It was hard for us to assess exactly where they came from. As I
13 recall, most of our contacts with them were verbally hostile, and
14 therefore they were not the sort of people who were willing to engage in
15 conversation with my liaison officers or with my company commanders.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In other words, you are saying
17 that your liaison officers actually saw these foreign elements with their
18 own eyes.
19 A. It's very difficult if you don't talk to someone to tell whether
20 they're foreign or local, but these were people who were dressed and
21 wearing beards and so forth, looking increasingly fundamentalist in their
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Your liaison
24 officers who were in contact with the ABiH when they spoke to Colonel
25 Williams, to yourself, this particular question, did they indicate to you
1 that those elements of the 7th Brigade seemed to them to be under some
2 sort of military tutorship?
3 A. My recollection is that we never assumed that the 7th Brigade was
4 anything other than a proper part of the Army of the Republic of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Mujahedin elements, their subordination to the
6 7th Brigade, their subordination to the military chain of command, was
7 much more difficult to assess, but our assumption was that all
8 organisations that called themselves operations groups or brigades fell
9 strictly within the formal structure of the army.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In other words, you are saying
11 that the 7th Muslim Brigade depended on the 3rd Corps.
12 A. When we arrived, the assumption was that it was at that time
13 subordinated to the headquarters of the 3rd Corps.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the document, in paragraph
15 15 it says, and it speaks about independent units of the Mujahedin who do
16 not belong to the 7th Brigade and that are directly subordinated to the
17 3rd Corps. What does that mean, militarily speaking? Is it possible
18 that in a situation of the time, a time of conflict, was it possible to
19 have units that escaped a link, a strong link with an entity having
20 military responsibility? How can you explain this in military terms? Is
21 it possible to have independent units? And if so, to whom would they
22 answer? Could one envisage that a group of individuals could be formed
23 and would simply escape the HVO or the ABiH?
24 A. My assessment of this is that the operations groups that you see
25 mentioned here are largely responsible, as are the individual brigades,
1 for territorial -- they have territorial responsibilities for the
2 operations group controlling a number of brigades within a specific area.
3 It's quite possible to have what one might describe as an independent
4 organisation but to have a brigade that answers not to an operations
5 group per se but to the next level up, so -- particularly if it's a
6 manoeuvre unit and needs to be able to be moved from one operations
7 group's territorial area into another.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In military terms, what has
9 been indicated in paragraph 15 is that the explanation of these
10 independent units would be that these were manoeuvring units that would
11 displace themselves in different geographical areas but which would in
12 case of need be subordinated to an authority which would not perhaps be
13 the 7th Brigade but would come from the 3rd Corps nevertheless.
14 A. It was very difficult, I would say, impossible for us to consider
15 that there could be a well-armed, indeed well-motivated unit such as the
16 7th Muslim Brigade or indeed the Mujahedin operating within the 3rd Corps
17 area with military capabilities that was not directly subordinate to the
18 commander of the 3rd Corps. It would seem a very curious situation to
19 have a heavily armed group of people wandering around inside your
20 operational area without you having them to some extent, to the greatest
21 extent possible, under your command and control.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In other words, you as a
23 military person, you rule out the possibility that a military unit
24 existing there could escape the control, military control, of the
25 3rd Corps. Is that what you're trying to tell us?
1 A. What I'm saying is that as and if and when they were in the area
2 of the 3rd Corps, I cannot envisage them operating in that area other
3 than under the direct control, albeit perhaps through the chain of
4 command, but from the headquarters of the 3rd Corps.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is very important. What
6 you are saying is very important. You are saying in that hypothesis of
7 having an independent unit the headquarters would have some sort of
8 contact with them.
9 A. There must have been. There must have been some sort of contact,
10 if only to pass them tasking.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In this document, at paragraph
12 19 it is the assessment -- it is an assessment made by your battalion, in
13 fact. In paragraph 19 you say that the 7th Muslim Brigade may be moving
14 away from a corps manoeuvre element to that of the army. And you're
15 saying that this has been identified in the Fojnica area, which is in the
16 6th Corps area. And when this was written, the 7th Muslim Brigade was
17 under a different corps. It is the 6th Corps that you have mentioned
18 here in the paragraph.
19 A. This is what the paragraph says. My view as a soldier is that if
20 it -- if the 7th Brigade or indeed elements of the 7th Brigade moved out
21 of the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps and into the area of the
22 6th Corps, they would come under the command and control of the 6th
23 Corps when they were in that area. And it -- for them to be able to move
24 from one corps area to another corps area, the clear implication is that
25 they must have been also under the control of the central army-level
1 staff of the Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in order to move
2 them from one corps's area of responsibility into another.
3 Although it says here "the brigade," I suspect that on
4 reflection, given that there were still elements, as I recall, of the
5 brigade in and around Travnik and so forth and Zenica in December, that
6 this was probably elements of the brigade that were seen in the Fojnica
7 area, if that is indeed the case.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have said a while ago that
9 when you took over your duties in November you considered that the ABiH
10 army was well structured and that, according to you, the structure of the
11 army corresponded to standards of other armies. Are you asserting what I
12 have just said?
13 A. I accept that that is -- that was what I said, and I do consider
14 that it had all the structure and all the evidence of being an army in
15 the formal sense.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In paragraph 18 of the
17 document, it is said that the 3rd Corps has expressed disapproval at
18 7th Muslim Brigade's methods. And this paragraph seems to say that the
19 7th Brigade seems not to obey the orders of the 3rd Corps. How is it
20 possible within the framework of such a structured army? How can this
21 have happened? How can you explain that?
22 A. I accept what the document says here. I can't argue with what
23 the document says. I think it -- it's hard to credit that there were
24 substantial elements of the ARBiH that were so-called uncontrolled
25 elements. We've seen in the other document how commanders were happy to
1 deny responsibility for things that were perhaps viewed as unpleasant,
2 and so there's a degree of deniability going on here. But I think in a
3 formal sense armed elements within the area of responsibility of the
4 3rd Corps should be viewed as under the command and control of the
5 3rd Corps, unless they can prove -- it can be proved to be otherwise.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since the Judges have other
7 questions to ask, we will take a break now and we will resume at five
8 minutes to 1.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
10 --- On resuming at 12.55 p.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us resume the hearing. The
12 Judges have additional questions to put to you, to the witness.
13 You told us that you had met on a number of occasions the
14 commander of the 3rd Corps. Did you meet him there where he was
15 performing his functions, or elsewhere? Did you visit him in his
17 A. On most occasions, sir, I met him in his headquarters in Zenica,
18 in the steelworks in Zenica. But on occasion I met him also in the
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the course of the meetings
21 that you had, was it your impression that the headquarters of the
22 3rd Corps and its officers were professionals, professional military
23 officers, or did you believe that these were persons that could not cope
24 with their responsibilities? What was your impression? As you were a
25 lieutenant colonel at the time, you were a superior officer; what was
1 your impression in the meetings you had with -- of the people that you
2 met from the ABiH? What could you tell us on that particular subject?
3 A. Well, the principal persons whom I met were Commander Alagic and
4 his deputy, Commander Merdan. But I also met with -- often with
5 Mr. Dugalic, who was the head of the security, and with a number of other
6 officers in the headquarters of the 3rd Corps; only rarely with the chief
7 of staff, Commander Mahmuljin. But on all occasions that I met with
8 commanders of the headquarters was that they were calm, fully aware of
9 their responsibilities, and when they made an undertaking to do
10 something, they were scrupulously careful in ensuring that they
11 implemented what they had agreed to undertake.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Did your battalion ever assist
13 in exchanges of prisoners?
14 A. My -- I don't recall, sir. I can't say yes on the exchange of
15 prisoner, but certainly the exchange of bodies was -- corpses of dead
16 military persons was a regular part of the work of my liaison officers,
17 and trying to arrange this.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So in other words, you're
19 saying that your officers would help in exchanges of bodies of soldiers
20 or of civilians who had been killed during combat; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, sir. This was the residual work of the commission in Turbe,
22 which is where Mr. Beba Salko, who we mentioned before, operated. And
23 the job of the commission there - and there was a commission that I think
24 was then by that stage defunct in the Gornji Vakuf area - but the
25 commissions had taken on the role of body exchanges and exchanges of
1 refugees and so forth.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And your officers, when they
3 were present during the exchanges of bodies, did they note the state of
4 the bodies? Did they take photos? Did they write reports on what they
5 had seen from these bodies, and were you informed of this? And did you
6 pass this information to the brigadier general who was in Split?
7 A. Normally when bodies were exchanged, although the young officer
8 would be present, it was not normally a routine, as I understood it, for
9 an inspection to be made of the bodies. These were bodies being
10 exchanged for a largely humanitarian reason, to get them back to their
11 families, and I think business was carried out as quickly and as
12 effectively as possible.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Another Judge has some questions to put to you.
15 JUDGE SWART: General, I have very few questions to follow up
16 what you said this morning already. In the beginning of this morning,
17 you were given a number of documents where -- in which reference was made
18 to Mujahedin and uncontrolled elements. And then you were asked whether
19 these issues were raised in your conversations with members of the ABiH
20 army, and then you started to comment on the matter of uncontrolled
21 elements and Mujahedin.
22 I understand from what you said this morning that you had also
23 personal conversations on the matter with officers of the ABiH army; is
24 that true?
25 A. I did have conversations with Commander Alagic and Commander
1 Merdan on this issue, yes.
2 JUDGE SWART: Alagic and Merdan, those were the commanders that
3 you had conversations with, not with other commanders?
4 A. No. I dealt almost exclusively with Alagic and Merdan.
5 JUDGE SWART: And what was the reason for you to discuss the
6 matter with the two commanders of the army?
7 A. One specific area which I needed to discuss this was the theft of
8 equipment from my camp in Gornji Vakuf. This equipment, largely
9 ammunition, disappeared, and also a -- an armoured vehicle was hijacked
10 in Gornji Vakuf by elements of the 3rd Corps and all the equipment,
11 including weapons, in the vehicle were stolen. The crew were delivered
12 back safely and slowly some of the equipment returned. When I asked how
13 this could have happened, I was assured that this was an act by the
14 so-called uncontrolled elements. This was not a very convincing
15 argument, and the lack of conviction in this argument was further
16 reinforced when some weeks later a machine-gun that had allegedly been
17 captured by "uncontrolled elements" turned up on the front line, was
18 captured by the HVO from a perfectly normal BiH unit.
19 So the deniability by using uncontrolled elements, the term
20 "uncontrolled elements" was, I think, I believe, a convenience rather
21 than a fact.
22 JUDGE SWART: Was it the case that every time you had some
23 criticism to voice or some difficult questions to put to the commanders,
24 that they had resorted to "uncontrolled elements"?
25 A. No. This was -- this was not the case. And -- for example, when
1 there was a sniping incident in Gornji Vakuf which killed a Croat, a
2 truck driver in a humanitarian convoy, the deployment of Commander Merdan
3 to Gornji Vakuf was instant and his investigation was meticulous, and
4 the -- it was quite clear that the 3rd Corps took very seriously what
5 happened along the front line, even as far away as Gornji Vakuf.
6 JUDGE SWART: Was the incident of Popovic also a reason for you
7 to discuss these matters?
8 A. I did have a conversation with Commander Alagic about this. As I
9 suggested earlier, it was a somewhat unsatisfactory conversation in that
10 Alagic implied that he probably knew what had happened to Popovic,
11 that -- and that the result was probably not going to bring any
12 happiness. The result -- further on, later on that -- I never had a
13 final conversation to discover what had happened to Popovic. The issue
14 was left hanging in the air as something which was probably not something
15 that Alagic wished to return to.
16 JUDGE SWART: But did he say to you that the disappearance of
17 Popovic was probably due to uncontrolled elements, or Mujahedin, or ...?
18 A. He was remarkably unexplicit about what had happened. He didn't
19 wish to be pressed on it.
20 JUDGE SWART: Did you ask him?
21 A. I asked it that one. I got an answer that the solution was
22 probably not a happy one and that there might be further news. There
23 never was any further news.
24 JUDGE SWART: And what made you think that he already knew the
25 outcome of the case?
1 A. What made me think it was his body language, which was such that
2 he quite clearly didn't wish to look at me when he said this and he
3 wished to move on to the next subject.
4 JUDGE SWART: Just before the break, we have been discussing this
5 report on the structure of the Army of Bosnia, of the Republic of Bosnia,
6 and the Presiding Judge has put a number of questions to you in this
7 respect on different paragraphs, notably 17 and 18. And in paragraph 18,
8 it says: "3rd Corps has expressed disapproval that 7th Muslimski
9 Brigade's methods." Is that something that you know from your own
10 experience? Is it something that comes to you personally? Is it from
11 other members of BritBat?
12 A. I'm not sure -- ten years on, I'm not sure what the basis for
13 this paragraph is. I'm sure it was based in some reporting, but it's not
14 obviously indicated what the reporting is there.
15 If I may just return to the remark earlier about what was meant
16 by a shock brigade. I think the -- the influence of 7th Muslim Brigade
17 was largely psychological. It was the Islamic factor and in some ways
18 this answered the HVO, which had some very extreme - perhaps "fascist"
19 would be the best term - but very extreme nationalist groupings, and both
20 sides appeared to be trying to frighten the normal foot soldiers on each
21 other's -- on the other's side by so-called special groupings that might
22 be particularly vicious or particularly effective.
23 JUDGE SWART: The report uses the word "methods." And you may
24 think of very different things when reading the word "methods." What is
25 the meaning of the word "methods" here?
1 A. I think the implication of the word "methods" is that the
2 fighting methods of these groups would be in some way more violent,
3 more -- less humane, if you can indeed be humane. But the shock effect
4 was greater from these units, these special units, than from normal
6 JUDGE SWART: Could you be more specific in this respect?
7 A. If I may refer to an incident that occurred in December of 1993.
8 There was a report from the Croat authorities that there had been a
9 massacre in the village of -- I think it's called Krizancevo Selo, but
10 it's between Poculica and Santici. It was reported by the Croats that is
11 more than 40 Croats had been massacred.
12 After some considerable effort and after my liaison officer had
13 been shot at the first time he tried to go to the area, I approached
14 Commander Alagic and asked if we could visit this village to investigate
15 the situation. We did so, and with his full cooperation 27 bodies I
16 think were dug up. These bodies had been very carefully buried, each one
17 wrapped in plastic. All of them -- as I reported at the time, all the
18 bodies were in uniform; all appeared to have died traumatically in what I
19 took to be combat circumstances. I then asked - and there were members
20 of the international media present - I then asked if I could visit the
21 three survivors of this incident, and I was taken to the prison in Zenica
22 immediately by Mr. Dugalic. I interviewed the three prisoners.
23 The interesting thing about this was that they reported that they
24 had been surprised effectively at dawn by a BiH unit and that through a
25 megaphone they had been given one chance to surrender. The three men who
1 survived had decided to take this offer. One of them had been a prisoner
2 of the BiH the year before. The three of them indeed survived, as they
3 had been promised, but all those others on the battlefield were killed.
4 Now, whether this is a massacre is another story. I viewed it as
5 a tactical success. But it -- to some extent it goes to show you that
6 what some might call uncontrolled elements, others might describe as
7 special units conducting an effective military operation.
8 But I think it was -- to me it was evidence on this occasion of
9 the 3rd Corps being quite open about its combat activities in response to
10 a direct question. It felt it had nothing to hide and that it had
11 conducted the operation in a -- in as decent a manner as you can conduct
12 a military operation. And they rejected absolutely the allegation that
13 there had been a massacre. And in my report to the UN authorities, I had
14 to say that I could find no evidence from -- that I could see that there
15 had indeed been a massacre.
16 JUDGE SWART: So this would not be something that would merit
17 disapproval, I would say, hearing your story.
18 A. It's hard to say what merits disapproval. The whole business of
19 war merits disapproval, and so this is -- in unfortunate circumstances.
20 But I think it was a -- when investigated, it proved to be a combat
21 operation that was justifiable in such terms as being a reasonable way to
22 conduct an operation. The fact that many people died was very
23 unfortunate, but there was no evidence that we could see they had been
24 murdered in cold blood, for example, after the end of the battle.
25 JUDGE SWART: And when this part of the report continues by
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 saying "the fact that the brigade attracts the more extremist and violent
2 members of the armija has resulted in it becoming almost out of control,
3 and constantly disobeys 3rd Corps's orders," to what reality does that
4 refer to? The same incident or to other incidents?
5 A. This report -- this assessment report predates that particular
6 allegation of a massacre. And I'm not in any sense suggesting that the
7 incident at -- Krizancevo Selo was linked to the 7th Muslim Brigade. I
8 have no idea which ABiH unit was concerned with that. I read the same
9 words, though, that you see at paragraph 18 about the allegations of it
10 being out of control and constantly disobeys 3rd Corps's orders. My
11 assumption, albeit ten years later, is that the main source of this
12 paragraph was Mr. Beba Salko in Travnik, in Turbe, and that he had an
13 extreme, I would describe, communistic view, as an old-style JNA
14 political officer. He had a very strong view against the arrival of
15 extreme Muslim influence in the ARBiH. So when he says that everybody's
16 out of control, I suspect this is to a large extent the words of Beba
17 Salko reflected in this paragraph.
18 JUDGE SWART: Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have just one more question,
20 and then I shall give the floor to the Prosecution and the Defence.
21 In answering a question from the Judge, you referred to an
22 element that -- an event that we were not informed of but which could be
23 of significance for the whole context. You explained that at a given
24 point in time a vehicle belonging to the battalion was robbed and the
25 weapons in the vehicle were stolen. Can you remember the circumstances
1 surrounding this event? How was it possible to do that, to take a
2 vehicle belonging to the British Battalion?
3 A. The circumstance is probably more accurately described in the
4 diary excerpts that were produced in the beginning of the morning. But
5 just before Christmas of 1993, an ambulance, a civilian-type ambulance
6 belonging to one side or the other - and I can't remember the exact
7 circumstances how this happened - but the ambulance I think belonged to
8 the ARBiH and was captured by the HVO. The ARBiH -- this is in Gornji
9 Vakuf. The Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina accused my company
10 in Gornji Vakuf of being responsible for the capture of this -- of this
11 ambulance, whereas in -- it was in no way our responsibility. It was --
12 I think the driver was lost and he crossed the front line by mistake.
13 The reaction was the following day I think that an armoured
14 vehicle that belonged to my battalion but not one with a large cannon on
15 it, simply an armoured taxi, with a group of men at a checkpoint was
16 hijacked by a group of BiH soldiers who were marching past it and
17 suddenly seized the vehicle and the soldiers in it. We immediately
18 protested, both at the company level in Gornji Vakuf and myself directly
19 to Commander Alagic that this was entirely unacceptable, and it was on
20 that occasion that Commander Merdan deployed extremely quickly to Gornji
21 Vakuf and the four soldiers involved were released within several hours
23 The equipment - which included a lot of mortar ammunition, since
24 this was a mortar vehicle - and I think three rifles and a machine-gun
25 went missing. I don't think we ever saw the mortar ammunition again, but
1 the machine-gun, as I say, despite this incident being put down by the
2 BiH authorities as being an act by uncontrolled elements, the machine-gun
3 turned up some weeks later, when it was captured by the HVO in the front
4 line at a village called Here not far from Gornji Vakuf.
5 The circumstances were such that I was somewhat suspicious of the
6 idea of uncontrolled elements at the time, and when the machine-gun was
7 recovered, my suspicions were perhaps confirmed in that this machine-gun
8 had very much been put under control and had been used against the HVO.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And as far as you know, the HVO
10 that captured this machine-gun, it was from which unit of the 3rd Corps
11 that held the machine-gun on the front? Do you remember that perhaps?
12 A. I don't remember, sir, the unit in question. The location was a
13 village called Here, spelled H-e-r-e.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 The Prosecution. Following the questions of the Judges and the
16 elements that may appear to be new to you, has the Prosecution any
17 additional questions for this witness? I give the floor to you.
18 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. The Prosecution just has
19 one question arising from questions put to the witness by the Trial
21 Further examination by Mr. Mundis:
22 Q. General Williams, you've talked about the professional nature of
23 the leadership within the 3rd Corps of the ABiH and also elaborated upon
24 what's in the document concerning uncontrolled elements. In light of
25 that professional nature of the leadership of the 3rd Corps, what steps
1 could they have taken if in fact there were uncontrolled elements within
2 the 3rd Corps?
3 A. It is my view, and it's my personal view, that there were not
4 uncontrolled elements within the 3rd Corps. Everything that I saw and
5 every time I asked for an investigation or we conducted one ourselves,
6 the impression I gained was that by the time we arrived in Central
7 Bosnia, by the end of 1993, the 3rd Corps had settled down to become a
8 well-structured, well-led, and by its own standards, an effective
10 Q. Thank you, General Williams.
11 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, I do have
13 several questions for the General.
14 Further cross-examination by Ms. Residovic:
15 Q. [Interpretation] General Williams -- I beg your pardon -- are you
16 familiar with the principle "under control for administration"?
17 A. Yes, I am.
18 Q. Does that mean that in an area under the control of a military
19 unit - shall we say a corps - in its area there may be units which have
20 some sort of administrative link to that corps? They receive
21 administrative assistance but are operationally under the control of
22 another corps or a higher command. For instance, the Supreme Command
23 Staff. Would that be the actual meaning of this principle?
24 A. That is one definition of it.
25 Q. If I were to give you an example of a British unit of the Royal
1 Marines which was situated in a location during operations and that
2 location was the area of responsibility of your battalion, is it true
3 that though they were a military unit they were not under the operational
4 command and control of the British Battalion?
5 A. I'm not clear if you're suggesting that there was a British unit,
6 part of the Royal Marines, in my area, but all units that were within my
7 area were, I considered, I was responsible for their combat actions and I
8 would consider that any commander should be responsible for the combat
9 actions of units operating within his area of responsibility.
10 Q. General, are you aware of the principle "unit in location"?
11 MR. MUNDIS: Objection, Mr. President. This goes beyond the
12 scope of questions put by Your Honours to this witness.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber is of the opinion
14 that the question is directly linked because the Defence is asking the
15 witness about the possibility of a unit that does not come under the
16 military authority in the area. The witness has answered. And if a
17 Royal Marines unit was operating in the area, then I would be
18 responsible. That was his answer. And then the Defence wants to
19 elaborate on the issue. So put your question to the witness, because
20 this is useful. We have a general in front of us. We are dealing with a
21 case concerning military -- the military, and we are talk about military
22 terms, so there's no reason why a general could not be asked a question
23 of a military nature.
24 So Madam Residovic.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, you conferred to me the principle of under "control for
2 administration". I'm now asking you about another principle, "unit in
4 A. I don't know this principle as such. Maybe this is a problem of
5 translation, but I don't know it as such.
6 Q. If I were to give you an example, perhaps that would clarify the
7 principle. Actually, do you know that in an area of responsibility of a
8 particular military unit - in this specific case, a corps - there may be
9 units which have nothing to do with the command of that corps?
10 A. I accept there may be units that are not directly under the
11 command of that corps. The point I've made before is that any unit that
12 conducts combat operations within that corps's area needs to be under
13 command for those operations. You cannot -- you simply cannot organise
14 things so that you have two different wars being fought within one area
15 of responsibility.
16 Q. However, if in accordance with this principle in the area of
17 responsibility of a corps there may be such a group which has nothing in
18 common with the corps command, then the corps should have information
19 about it; is that right?
20 A. That would very much be my expectation that the corps would know
21 exactly who was in its area of responsibility. If they were inactive,
22 maybe they were resting or training, then it would still be the
23 responsibility of the higher command above the corps to make sure the
24 corps knew who was in its area.
25 Q. General Williams, is the following situation feasible: That
1 there may be small armed groups who are totally out of control of the
2 commander of that unit? I will give you an example, because you said
3 that you were serving in Northern Ireland. Are there certain IRA cells
4 over there who are quite autonomous and are not even operating within IRA
5 frameworks? Is such a situation possible?
6 A. With respect, I don't think that Northern Ireland is in any sense
7 a useful analogy here. The point I'm making is that there may well be
8 small groups of people who are temporarily out of control; this is a
9 human failing. But where we're talking about proper combat operations, I
10 find it very difficult to accept that formed bodies of men are conducting
11 combat operations without doing so within a proper chain of command.
12 Q. Is it true that, General, that when you came to Bosnia you
13 believed or had the knowledge that the 7th Muslim Brigade was under the
14 command of the 3rd Corps?
15 A. As I recall, our assumption was that the 7th Muslim Brigade was
16 both within the area of the 3rd Corps and under its command at that time.
17 Q. If you didn't have any reliable evidence otherwise, you would
18 have no reason to change that opinion of yours, would you?
19 A. The situation would be constantly assessed. But unless there was
20 new information to contradict previous information, then the assessment
21 would probably remain the same.
22 Q. However, as of the 8th of November, when you arrived in Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina, until the 2nd of December, when this assessment was
24 compiled, you personally did not receive any information which could
25 affect the assumption with which you had come to Bosnia and Herzegovina;
1 is that right?
2 A. The only information that I would have received in that
3 intervening period is reflected in the assessment made in December by the
4 military-information office.
5 Q. However, that assessment applied to some information that existed
6 prior to your arrival; isn't that right? Rather than information that
7 you personally may have received during those 20 days.
8 A. The assessment is obviously not based simply on information
9 received in the preceding 20 days. It's an accumulative process based on
10 the whole process of about a year that the British unit had been based in
11 Central Bosnia.
12 Q. Answering a question from the Judge, you said that it would be
13 strange for a group to exist without being assisted by the 3rd Corps.
14 That is actually military logic. Your reply is fully in line with
15 military logic. Isn't that right?
16 A. I hope so.
17 Q. However, as a soldier and as a person with experience in the
18 area, you will agree with me if I say that the opposite is also possible,
19 the opposite to which military logic would tell you.
20 A. Quite possibly.
21 Q. Actually, when you were writing your letter of the 2nd of
22 December and even today you do not know what the real situation was with
23 regard to the existence of such armed groups; is that right?
24 A. I can't be absolutely certain. I can only give you what I
25 consider to be a sensible assessment.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like the witness to be
2 shown Defence Exhibit DH73, please.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please remind us what
4 this document is.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes. Could the General be kind
6 enough to put it under the overhead projector once he reads it. It is a
7 document of the 13th of June, 1993 which Commander Hadzihasanovic gave to
8 the command of Bosnia and Herzegovina with regard to the behaviour of the
9 Mujahedin in his area of responsibility.
10 Q. General, in November you did not know of the existence of this
11 letter by General Hadzihasanovic, did you?
12 A. No. I've never seen this letter before.
13 Q. You will also agree with me in saying that you didn't know that
14 the Supreme Command of Bosnia and Herzegovina in August 1993 issued an
15 order whereby it tried to place under army control foreign warriors.
16 A. No, I'm not aware of that.
17 Q. You also were not aware of the fact that the Supreme Command
18 authorised a negotiator, because the 3rd Corps could not communicate with
19 the foreign fighters, to try and find a way to place them under control.
20 That is another fact that you were not aware of, were you?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Answering a question from the President of the Trial Chamber, you
23 said that the logistics support for the Mujahedin for combat probably
24 came from the 3rd Corps; however, you don't know to this day in fact
25 where the logistics support for the Mujahedin came from. Is that right?
1 A. I cannot be certain, no.
2 Q. You also don't know where the Mujahedin's money came from, the
3 money they used to purchase weapons or for any other purposes.
4 A. No, I do not.
5 Q. You will agree with me if I tell you that at the time you did not
6 know what connections the Mujahedin had with the religious leaders in
8 A. No, I did not.
9 Q. At the time, you also did not know that the Mujahedin played --
10 paid the local population to join them and fight with them in their
12 MR. MUNDIS: Objection, Mr. President. First of all, I'm not
13 sure how that -- again, we've gone way beyond the issues raised by
14 questions from Your Honour; and B, sitting here at the moment, I'm
15 unaware of any evidence before this Trial Chamber that would support such
16 a question.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you asked a number
18 of questions related to paragraphs in the report related to the
19 Mujahedin, and the witness answered those questions. That is the basis
20 for me to check with the witness again that his information about the
21 Mujahedin and efforts of the 3rd Corps to place them under control were
22 such that his conclusions could not be considered final, and the witness
23 has already given me several answers. I don't know whether I have gone
24 beyond the scope within which I'm allowed to ask this witness questions.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The point is that you have --
1 we have another five minutes left. How many more questions do you have?
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Several.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which will fit within the five
4 minutes, because it's quite possible for the Prosecution to intervene
5 again. So do so quickly.
6 MR. DIXON: [Previous translation continues] ... to the other
7 questions that were raised by Your Honour.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. General, you don't really know what the combat methods used by
10 the Mujahedin were. You don't know that personally, what methods the
11 Mujahedin used in battle in Bosnia in 1993.
12 A. No, I do not.
13 Q. You personally never saw or spoke to Mujahedin, did you?
14 A. I did encounter them on one occasion, but I didn't speak to them
15 on that occasion.
16 Q. You will agree with me if I say that the officer who wrote this
17 assessment was not a person who directly talked to the Mujahedin?
18 A. No. His job was one level removed from the collection of
19 information. His job was to do with assessment information that had been
21 Q. In the course of my cross-examination, we discussed briefly your
22 letter written in December to the UNPROFOR command in Kiseljak. In that
23 letter, you said that the situation was extremely uncertain with respect
24 to the Mujahedin and that they were not under control. Do you remember
25 us reviewing that letter of yours this morning?
1 A. I remember.
2 Q. You will agree with me that this letter, which came after the
3 report that we have discussed about the situation with the Mujahedin,
4 comments on the Mujahedin differently than the report does? Would you
5 agree with that?
6 A. I'm not sure which sequence they were produced in, But there may
7 be differences in the assessment, yes.
8 Q. So, General Williams, even today could you agree with me if I say
9 that in view of the actual situation other solutions and other
10 conclusions could be made in relation to those contained in the mentioned
12 A. There are always possibilities of different interpretations of
13 the facts. I stand -- I still support the assessment made by my staff,
14 which I believe was a reasonable assessment based on the limited
15 information available to them.
16 Q. However, those informations did not give you a chance --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Residovic, try to
18 conclude, please.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. That information did not give you a chance to make a different
21 conclusion in December; is that right? Just tell me, please: Did you
22 ever see an order of the 3rd Corps addressed to the Mujahedin?
23 A. No.
24 Q. My last question, please: Can you today confirm without a shadow
25 of a doubt that the Mujahedin were under the effective control of the
1 3rd Corps?
2 A. No.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, General.
4 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. I only have a few
5 additional questions.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Dixon:
7 Q. General Williams, you said in response to questions from Their
8 Honours that the command-and-control situation was easier to assess
9 between the formal units in Central Bosnia but it was more difficult to
10 assess with regard to the Mujahedin?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. And the reason for that, would it be that, as you've said on a
13 number of occasions, you lacked hard intelligence about the subordination
14 structure with respect to the Mujahedin?
15 A. Yes, that's true.
16 Q. Turning to Prosecution Exhibit 378, then, which you were asked
17 questions about by Their Honours. Paragraph 15, if you could open up the
18 report kindly to that paragraph.
19 First -- the first general statement there that the "Mujahedin
20 are subsumed within the 7th Muslim Brigade," you would agree with me that
21 that general statement is subject to the remarks that you've made now?
22 A. I think the statement made in paragraph 15 may be a little too
23 concrete, given the evidence that was probably available at the time.
24 Q. Yes. Indeed, in the rest of the paragraph there is a caveat of
25 some sort which says that there are "some independent Mujahedin units"
1 that do not belong to the 7th Brigade.
2 A. Yes, that's what it says.
3 Q. Would one of the reasons for that assessment be, as is stated in
4 the rest of the paragraph, that there was some previous confusion
5 regarding the dress of different armed units?
6 A. I think this was a far-from-conventional battlefield, as it were,
7 where orders of dress and the finer points of uniform were concerned.
8 Q. Yes. You said earlier on in your testimony that it was difficult
9 to tell soldiers apart on the field.
10 A. Indeed.
11 Q. And another reason for this conclusion in paragraph 15, would it
12 be that there was information at the time of a separate independent unit
13 called the El Mujahed unit, which consisted of foreign fighters?
14 A. I don't recall that information.
15 Q. A lot of information in fact was gathered for these reports
16 before you arrived in Central Bosnia.
17 A. That's true.
18 Q. Turning to the following paragraph, paragraph 16, there is
19 information there that there was an attempted assassination on
20 Mr. Kubura, the commander of the 7th Brigade. Did you know about that at
21 the time?
22 A. I know nothing about that, other than what is written there.
23 Q. Did you know that there were substantial frictions between the
24 commanders of the local Muslims and the foreign Muslims?
25 A. I seem to recall that this was a topic of conversation, but I
1 can't give you any detail on that.
2 Q. So it would be correct to say that much of what was in this
3 report was indeed information that had been gathered by others before you
4 arrived there?
5 A. Certainly in the case of information from July, as is clearly the
7 Q. You don't feel competent to talk on incidents that occurred
8 before you arrival, I would expect.
9 A. No.
10 Q. Finally, you say you never met Mr. Amir Kubura. Did you ever
11 meet anybody from the 7th Brigade in the command structure or go to their
13 A. I'm not aware of having done so, no.
14 MR. DIXON: Thank you, General. I have no further questions.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, do you have any
16 additional questions? It is five minutes over time and there's another
17 hearing after us. I have to remind you.
18 Mr. Mundis.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I have one question arising from the
20 re-cross-examination, if I may.
21 Further re-examination by Mr. Mundis:
22 Q. General Williams, you mentioned in response to a question from
23 Madam Residovic that due to human failures there could be small groups of
24 people who were temporarily out of control.
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. What do you do as a commander when faced with such small groups
2 of people who were temporarily out of control?
3 A. Well, clearly you make the very quickest attempt possible to
4 bring them back under control to get the situation back under control,
5 and this was very much a feature, for example, this incident in December
6 when the vehicle was hijacked and the very commendable and rapid response
7 from the 3rd Corps headquarters and the deployment of Commander Merdan to
8 seize control of the situation.
9 Q. Thank you, General Williams.
10 MR. MUNDIS: No further questions.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Williams, we come to
12 the end of your testimony. We thank you for coming from afar to testify
13 in The Hague. We are grateful to you for answering questions from the
14 Prosecution, the Defence, and the Judges. We wish you a happy journey
16 And I'd like Madam Usher to escort you out.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution withdraws its tender
20 of Prosecution Exhibit 107, marked for identification.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Mr. Bourgon, very quickly, please.
23 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have to remind
24 the Chamber that there was a document used during the cross-examination
25 of the witness. This document has no status. It was not given a number
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 for identification purposes. I just wanted to ask what your instructions
2 are to the Defence, because we really do wish to produce that document
3 and we don't know what we should do.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You wish to produce that
5 document during a future testimony, or you have no other opportunity to
6 produce it?
7 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] No. The document is the letter.
8 And even if we had another occasion --
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Will you please remind us which
10 document you're talking about, because there are so many.
11 MR. BOURGON: [Microphone not activated]
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. Microphone, please.
13 [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Oh, yes, I remember now.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Bourgon, microphone, please.
16 MR. BOURGON: [Microphone not activated]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Microphone.
18 We are going to give this document a number to be marked for
19 identification because there are still some outstanding questions
20 relating to that document.
21 Give us a number, please, Madam Registrar.
22 THE REGISTRAR: [Previous translation continues] ... DH128
23 [Realtime transcript read in error: "DH28"].
24 Your Honours, for the record, this document was used with witness
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's DH128. Because on the
2 transcript it says "28."
3 THE REGISTRAR: You are correct, Your Honour, 128.
4 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Mr. Withopf, you have the floor regarding the witness for
8 MR. WITHOPF: Can we please for this purpose go into private
9 session, since I'm going to name the witnesses' names.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Let us go into private
11 session, please.
12 [Private session]
8 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.54 p.m.,
9 to be reconvened on Friday, the 23rd day of
10 April, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.