1 Friday, 7 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, case number
8 IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Apparently the technician tells
10 us they're not quite sure where the problem is coming from.
11 Will you please try and give us the appearances.
12 MR. WITHOPF: I will try to do so, Mr. President, Your Honours.
13 Good morning. Good morning, Counsel. For the Prosecution, Daryl Mundis,
14 Kyle Wood, Ekkehard Withopf, and Ruth Karper, the case manager.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf.
16 Can we have the appearances for the Defence.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.
18 Good morning, Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina
19 Residovic, lead counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Muriel Cauvin,
20 legal assistant. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Let us have the appearances for the other Defence.
23 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
24 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
25 Mulalic, legal assistant.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber bids good morning
2 to all those present, the representatives of the Prosecution, the Defence
3 counsel, the accused, as well as the staff in this courtroom.
4 Today we will complete the testimony of the expert witness, which
5 absolutely has to be completed today. We hope that the time that will be
6 given to the Prosecution and for the questions of the Judges and any
7 observations by the Defence will allow us to finish the hearing at a
8 quarter to 2.00. Should we finish earlier, we could in that case address
9 the outstanding issues; that is, the five documents that Mr. Bourgon has
10 to present, and the famous category of Mr. Dixon, which will also be the
11 subject of a presentation, but that is, of course, on condition that we
12 complete the testimony before we are due to adjourn.
13 Madam Usher, could you go and fetch the witness, please.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 THE WITNESS: Good morning, Your Honours.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, General. Let me
17 check first that you are hearing the interpretation of my words.
18 THE WITNESS: Sir, I hear you loud and clear.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 As you know, today is the last day of your testimony. You have
21 spent a whole week in The Hague. But lest assured, we have taken steps so
22 that the hearing will be finished by 13.45 on the outside.
23 Normally it would be the turn of the Prosecution to ask you
24 questions on the basis of the cross-examination of the Defence, and at the
25 end of that stage, if there is no response from the Defence, the three
1 Judges in front of you will also have questions for you.
2 So, Mr. Mundis, without further delay, I give you the floor.
3 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
4 Honours, and everyone in and around the courtroom.
5 WITNESS: KLAUS REINHARDT [Resumed]
6 Re-examined by Mr. Mundis:
7 Q. General Reinhardt, based on the documents you've reviewed,
8 including any material that was shown to you by the Defence, can you
9 please comment on the operational tempo with respect to combat within the
10 3rd Corps AOR throughout 1993.
11 A. I'll try to, because it's -- it's difficult, since I only
12 concentrated on those events which we are concerned of. I didn't look
13 into the overall campaign, and I must tell you that I didn't participate
14 so much in the overall campaign. But one thing is clear: There was not
15 constant war. There was not a constant campaign. There were short
16 periods of military operations and long pauses in between, and then the
17 fighting broke up again. So within that fighting phases, the tempo, I
18 think, was very high, but then it was reduced, not to normality because
19 the animosities were still going on. But it was not a constant military
20 battle one has to perceive here.
21 Q. General, in light of that response, can you tell us how that
22 operational tempo affected the ability of a commander to investigate
23 alleged crimes and/or refer alleged crimes to the appropriate legal
25 A. Well, first of all, the appropriate legal institutions were not
1 constantly involved in the military operations, so they were even during
2 the military operations free to investigate and do their legal
3 obligations. Besides that, the commanders who were very busy during the
4 operations in executing and controlling the -- the pursuit of the
5 operations were capable of turning their attention to those things which
6 they could not fulfil during the operations. And one of those things are
7 their legal obligations, investigations, and so on. So yes, they had the
8 chance to do that in those pauses I just mentioned.
9 Q. General Reinhardt, you told us, I believe it was either yesterday
10 or perhaps the day before, or even both of those days, that President
11 Izetbegovic placed great importance on adherence to international
12 humanitarian law. What impact, if any, would you expect such presidential
13 direction or guidance to have on commanders who became aware of possible
14 violations of that law by their soldiers or those under their effective
16 A. Well, first of all, the commanders had to adhere to the legal
17 obligations as they have been laid down in the legal obligations of the
18 laws of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the laws of the Republic of Yugoslavia as
19 far as they were adhered by the Bosnian forces. This is one thing.
20 The other thing is that this law was, I think, as every law, very
21 binding, in that you were obliged as a military commander of the forces
22 fighting in that area to make sure that your soldiers also prevented
23 from -- being prevented from breaking that law. And if they did, you had
24 to investigate why they did and had to do everything in order to prevent
25 further breaking of the international law.
1 So this was, on the one hand, a -- a legal obligation, and I think
2 a very strict one, which as we discussed before was, so to speak, the left
3 and the right boundary in which you could operate. On the other hand, the
4 breaking of the law, and especially breaking of the international law and
5 the humanitarian law has a big effect on the discipline and morale of your
6 own forces, so you are also based on this factor very much interested
7 to -- to keep the international law at a very high level and -- and to
8 make sure that your soldiers are really behaving appropriately according
9 to those legal obligations. And you would do everything to prevent them
10 from breaking that.
11 Q. I understand what you said, General, but my question is a
12 slightly different one. It has to do with the effect of President
13 Izetbegovic's policy, if you will, of requiring adherence to the law of
14 war. What impact, if any, would that have on soldiers or commanders in
15 the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. They have to obey his order. It's a political guideline for the
17 conduct of war for the Bosnian-Herzegovinian -- Bosnia-Herzegovina armed
18 forces, and therefore it is a key element you have to look for, that this
19 has been -- that this has been executed, because this is will of the
20 president, besides being expressed in the law.
21 Q. General, what effect, if any, does the fact that one side to a
22 conflict is in a defensive posture have on the responsibility or ability
23 of a commander to investigate and refer potential violations of the law to
24 the appropriate legal authorities?
25 A. I think it has no effect whatsoever, whether you are in an
1 offensive operation or defensive operation or retrograde operation, the
2 law has to be applied no matter what you are doing in a military
3 operation, so it's notwithstanding what kind of operations you are into.
4 Q. General Reinhardt, yesterday you were asked about the HVO and VRS
5 or Bosnian Serb army being unlawful armies under the domestic law of
6 Bosnia. Do you remember that question?
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. What effect, if any, would the fact that the opposing side may
9 have been an unlawful army under domestic law have on the ability or
10 responsibility of a commander to investigate alleged violations of the
12 A. I think it doesn't have any effect, because no matter what the
13 enemy is doing, the laws of your country are binding and obliging to you
14 to -- to adhere to the law. So this doesn't -- doesn't have any effect on
15 you as a commander of those Bosnian forces by that time.
16 Q. General Reinhardt, what effect, if any, does the fact that one's
17 opponents have committed war crimes have on the ability of a commander to
18 investigate and refer potential violations of the law committed by his own
19 forces to the appropriate legal authorities?
20 A. Again, it doesn't have any effect, rather than the moral effect
21 on your troops. And I think if -- if things happen on -- on the other
22 side, the more you are obliged to prevent things on your side; otherwise,
23 you come into a spiral of violence on either side where both sides
24 basically are breaking the rules of international law which will effect
25 your own soldiers in a very detrimental way. So I think you again, if the
1 enemy commits atrocities, you are not allowed to -- to answer in the same
2 way or just to -- to basically commit revenge on that. This is inlawful
3 or unlawful and you're not -- you're not allowed and you better don't do
5 Q. Thank you, General Reinhardt.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution has no
7 further questions in re-examination. However, before I sit down, the
8 Prosecution would ask that the documents which have been marked as DH
9 documents for identification - and I'm specifically referring to DH154 for
10 identification through DH163 for identification; that is, the first ten
11 tabs of the two binders that were produced - the Prosecution,
12 Mr. President, is asking that these documents be admitted into evidence
13 and be renumbered as Prosecution exhibits.
14 The Prosecution does this because we believe that these documents
15 are helpful to the Trial Chamber; we believe that these documents are of
16 assistance to the Trial Chamber in its important task of determining
17 exactly what happened. Although the Defence have indicated that they at
18 some point intend on tendering those documents, the time frame in which
19 they are intending to do that is unclear to the Prosecution, and the
20 Prosecution believes that these documents should be put into evidence so
21 that Your Honours may have the fullest possible picture as to events
22 occurring both within the 3rd Corps and within the legal institutions that
23 were operating in the area at the relevant time periods.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you're asking
25 that DH154 to 163 should be admitted into evidence, though they were
1 marked for identification by the Defence, because you feel that they
2 should be tendered and that they are admissible.
3 However, I want to ask you about the report of the expert witness,
4 the written report. Are you asking that it be admitted? Shall we give it
5 a number? I think it's already been done.
6 Is that right? Mr. Registrar, what number do we have for the
7 report of the expert witness? Apparently it is P108; is that right?
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes. I can confirm that,
9 Mr. President.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, I'm looking at
11 the Defence.
12 There are two issues here: Normally when there is re-examination
13 by the Prosecution after the cross-examination of an expert witness, the
14 usage was not to have additional questions except if the Chamber allows it
15 exceptionally, believing that it is of special importance. Therefore,
16 does the Defence have any additional questions for this witness in view of
17 the answers given during the re-examination?
18 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. The
19 Defence does not wish to ask the expert witness any additional questions.
20 On the other hand, we might have questions to put following the
21 questions of the Chamber. But at this stage, we have no specific reason
22 to ask for special permission to put additional questions to the witness.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding the second issue of
24 the documents, DH154 to 163, the Prosecution wants those documents to be
25 admitted into evidence. What is your position?
1 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] In our view, a number of these
2 documents cannot be admitted into evidence for the reasons that we set out
3 during the debate on the admissibility of documents proposed by the
4 Prosecution. Our intention was to have them marked for identification so
5 that when we call witnesses or when we hear future witnesses, we can pick
6 up those documents that have already been identified and in this way
7 facilitate our proceedings. However, what we are saying this morning is
8 that because the Prosecution agrees to the admission of certain documents,
9 this should not diminish the argument that we presented, because we feel
10 that many of those documents are in the same position as documents to
11 which we objected and for which we believe a witness will be required.
12 But if there is mutual agreement, then we have no objection.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will deliberate during the
14 break and give you our ruling.
15 We can now pass on to the stage of Judges' questions.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Reinhardt, there are
18 three Judges in front of you, and as I do not wish to monopolise the
19 proceedings, I will give the floor to the Judge on my right, then the
20 Judge on my left, and I will be the last
21 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 General, having reviewed the document provided to you by the
23 Prosecution, could you tell us whether General Hadzihasanovic was aware
24 that civilians were detained in various detention centres and did he take
25 steps to have them liberated.
1 A. Your Honour, I remember that there were reports about civilians
2 detained. I don't remember having read any document on any specific case
3 in which he basically interfered for liberating those, but he had issued a
4 lot of orders to his subordinate commands preventing them from doing that.
5 I mean, from -- from detaining civilians in -- in some of their
7 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] But you don't know whether he
8 issued orders to the wardens of those penitentiaries to have civilian
9 detainees freed.
10 A. Your Honour, not that I'm aware of. I -- I just don't remember
11 any of -- of those particular documents. I don't think I have seen one.
12 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Were General Hadzihasanovic
13 and General Kubura aware of the bad treatment that these detainees were
14 subjected to in the detention centres that were in the area of
15 responsibility of General Hadzihasanovic?
16 A. Your Honour, based on the orders given by General Hadzihasanovic
17 to his subordinate commands to treat the civilian population according to
18 the international law and to prevent them from detaining people, I would
19 conclude from that that he must have had some -- some evidence that there
20 was not all -- that this was not always the case. But as I have said
21 before, I don't remember any particular document expressing this to a
22 certain particular case. They were all very general in -- in their -- in
23 their contents, not related to a particular case.
24 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Maybe I'm going a little
25 fast. But we've come to the end of your testimony. Do you stand by the
1 conclusions that you expressed in your expert paper?
2 A. Your Honour, as I already tried to indicate yesterday, having
3 seen so many additional documents which prove that General Hadzihasanovic
4 did not only issue orders but also went through the whole circle of making
5 sure that the perpetrators were treated legally according to the law, I
6 would change, and I have changed my attitude, saying that he only
7 initiated the first step and didn't do the other steps. Obviously he did
9 Where I still have some problems is the question of the adherence
10 or the inclusion of Mujahedin in the military organisation of especially
11 the 7th Mountain Brigade. I think the evidence which I have put down in
12 my paper and which I discussed here shows that the cooperation was much
13 closer and much more detail -- detailed than the Defence thought it was,
14 and therefore I think once you plan and execute operations against an
15 enemy and if you include, no matter what kind of forces they are - in this
16 case, the Mujahedin - in your operations, you also take responsibility for
17 the conduct of those forces who were under your command during that
18 particular time, and in this regard I haven't changed my mind.
19 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
20 have no other questions.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Judge who is
22 sitting to my left also has some questions he would like to ask you.
23 JUDGE SWART: Good morning, General.
24 A. Good morning, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE SWART: When you came here this Monday, I had a long list
1 of questions, and most of these questions have been asked -- have been
2 answered by you in a very clear and convincing way, and I'm grateful for
4 I still have two sets of questions to put to you, first on the
5 treatment of prisoners; and secondly, on the situation of the Mujahedin.
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 JUDGE SWART: Now, regarding the treatment of prisoners, you have
8 not written much in your report. In fact, you have hardly mentioned the
9 topic at all, I think. Was there any special reason for it not to deal
10 with that topic specifically?
11 A. Yes, sir. The reason is that based on the document provided to
12 me, the question of -- particular question and particular cases of
13 handling the prisoners of war was not a case. The key case I looked into
14 was Miletici, where HVO soldiers who have surrendered have been killed
15 afterwards. But the overall question of prisoners came up only in two
16 additional -- in the documents I remember, in two additional cases, where
17 General Hadzihasanovic on one hand and the 7th Mountain Brigade, on the
18 other hand, asked for the -- for the exchange of prisoners whom they
19 called soldiers, and they were actually Mujahedin. So taking care of
20 prisoners and trying to get them back on your own side, saying these are
21 soldiers and getting to the other side and say, "We want to have them
22 back," and naming them, and telling the names and the country they were
23 coming from, also shows some kind of responsibility towards those soldiers
24 who became prisoners on the other side, i.e., by the HVO.
25 Besides that, sir, the question of handling of prisoners and
1 exchange of prisoners was not a very concrete one besides - I come back to
2 what I told the Madam Judge before - besides in those general orders by
3 General Hadzihasanovic and also by General Kubura that they should treat
4 prisoners according to the international law. But this was very general,
5 not specified on a specific case, sir.
6 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. Well, since you did not write
7 explicitly about that matter, I'm not going to ask you questions on the
8 basis of the least facts or the documents of the case, but I'm interested
9 in your opinion as a commander with regard to the treatment of prisoners
10 in general, and I hope you are able to tell me a few things about the
11 responsibilities of commanders in general, in the abstract, so to say.
12 A. Well, the legal obligations for a commander to take care of the
13 well-being of prisoners is based on -- on two major factors: One is the
14 legal obligation by the international law that prisoners have to be
15 treated according to the international law and The Hague Convention. And
16 I think he has to train his soldiers, to teach his soldiers that they know
17 what they're up to. This is to take care of the prisoners he is making.
18 On the other hand, you have to teach your soldiers how they have
19 to behave once they become prisoners. And I think the biggest protection
20 for your own soldiers once they become prisoners is that you treat your
21 opponent's prisoners the appropriate way, because if you don't do that,
22 you might have repercussions on your own soldiers, which you want to
23 prevent. So to keep the international law, as far as the treatment of
24 prisoners is concerned, according to the law is a key thing, I think, also
25 for the morale and the protection of your own soldiers. So it's in my
1 interest as a commander to do everything to treat my opponent prisoners
2 the best way possible.
3 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. Well, let's take the matter step by
4 step, then. First of all, I do not want to -- to put to you leading
5 questions or to act as a demagogue or whatever, but would you agree with
6 me that prisoners of war and civilian prisoners are a very vulnerable
7 category of persons in a battle situation?
8 A. Yes, sir.
9 JUDGE SWART: And why would you think that?
10 A. Because they are left to your will. They are left also to the
11 power you have over them. And you can mistreat them and you can treat
12 them the appropriate way. And they have no chance to do something about
13 it because they have delivered themselves to -- to me in this regard and
14 to my will to treat them accordingly or against them. So they have no
15 chance to fight. They have no chance to defend themselves. The only
16 chance they have is maybe a visit by some people of the Red Cross, and
17 this is not very helpful either.
18 So once you become a prisoner of war and once you believe you are
19 treated accordingly to the rules of the international law, I think it's --
20 it's just fair from the commander's point of view that this prisoner,
21 then, has been treated accordingly.
22 JUDGE SWART: I would like to review briefly with you the factors
23 that may make a prisoner vulnerable. I can imagine that one factor would
24 be that prisoners could be exposed to the wrath of the guardians or the
25 wrath of the army, desires of revenge, of retaliation, and that this would
1 provoke more easily physical violence than in normal prison situations.
2 Is that a factor of significance?
3 A. I think this is a factor. And we just see it in the real world
4 how much a factor this is. And I think this is one of the reasons, sir,
5 that you have also to train your wardens taking care of those prisoners,
6 that they know their legal obligations and that they don't extend their
7 power over those prisoners of war who cannot defend themselves any more.
8 JUDGE SWART: So you are in fact saying that once you have an
9 untrained army or a badly trained army or a not sufficiently trained army,
10 that increases the chances of ill-treatment of prisoners?
11 A. Yes, sir. May I give you an example of what I mean by that?
12 When I was the commander in Kosovo, we have no prisons, because all
13 prisons have been destroyed by the international air force. So I remember
14 that my German soldiers in prison had built up a prison with military
15 police which was not prepared for that job, and I just disbanded the
16 prison because I did not want to put my soldiers and jeopardise doing
17 something wrong towards the guys they had in prison. So I think you
18 really have to make sure that those who have -- who are given the mission
19 to take care of their inmates are well-trained and know how to do this;
20 otherwise, misdeeds are due.
21 JUDGE SWART: Another factor that could be important - but I'm
22 asking your opinion about it - is the following: The conflict in Bosnia
23 in 1993 had elements of an inter-racial or inter-religious conflict. Are
24 these circumstances that increases the chances of prisoners being
1 A. Yes, sir. I think civil wars like the one we have encountered in
2 Bosnia and other places are more revengeful and more bloody and -- against
3 the war than a normal war, because many people have known each other.
4 Sometimes people who lived in the same village were fighting each other,
5 and they were not only fighting for the military objectives but sometimes
6 also for their own objectives, fighting out things which have been there
7 for years. And I saw this all over in the Balkans again and again, how
8 bloody this fight was, and I think it was more atrocious than you would
9 normally believe a war would going on.
10 JUDGE SWART: So we have now reviewed three different factors
11 that may explain the vulnerability of prisoners in general or in a
12 specific conflict. Could you add other factors that are relevant in this
14 A. No, sir.
15 JUDGE SWART: I'd like to have your opinion in general on the
16 responsibility of commanders with regard to -- to prisoners taken, and I
17 also have a number of specific questions on that.
18 First, I would like to invite you to -- as a commander yourself,
19 based on your experience and your knowledge, what exactly should a
20 commander do when his troops take enemy soldiers as prisoners or civilians
21 as prisoners? What -- could you give a short impression of the
22 responsibilities of the commander in that field?
23 A. Yes, sir. I'll try. I never did it myself, because I never had
24 prisoners or -- or prisoners of war. But I think it really starts very
25 early once you take the first prisoners that you check back with those
1 commanders who have taken those prisoners and make sure that they know how
2 to deal with the prisoners and to make sure that they do the utmost that
3 the prisoners are not being mishandled. As I said before, otherwise you
4 might have a spiralling effect in a very negative way, which might then
5 affect your own forces. So as a commander, I would look and talk to the
6 commander on the ground by telephone, by radio, whatsoever, to make sure
7 that the appropriate measures are being taken.
8 JUDGE SWART: So you would not wait the moment of becoming
9 active -- you would not await complaints before becoming active?
10 A. Sir, there is a kind of prevention and precaution which is a very
11 sensitive one in that particular case. And as I said, it has a big effect
12 on my own soldiers, on -- on the morale of my own soldiers. If they know
13 that prisoners are being taken care of appropriately, because then they
14 also can expect the same will happen to them. Therefore, I think it's a
15 very key question for the morale. And again and again during this
16 testimony I tried to -- to say how important the morale for the
17 soldiers -- of the soldiers are for -- for the success I have as a
18 commander. Therefore, I would in a kind of a preventive mode try to --
19 not try. I would call the commander on the ground and tell him again how
20 important it is that the first prisoners of war and the following ones are
21 treated according to the law.
22 Once the things have been -- gone in the wrong direction, the
23 propaganda effect which will be the consequence of this can almost never
24 be settled again. It's out. The ghost is out of the bottle. So you have
25 to prevent this from the very first beginning that this will not happen.
1 JUDGE SWART: So in effect you are taking an outspoken proactive
2 attitude in this manner.
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 JUDGE SWART: Let me put to you some specific questions on
5 proactive approach of protection of prisoners. Would a normal commander,
6 or would you as a commander insist on knowing the numbers, the identity,
7 the places where prisoners are kept?
8 A. I think you would not know all the -- the places and the numbers,
9 depending, sir, on the rank of commander. If it's in my battalion, if I'm
10 a battalion commander and that happens within my battalion, I would be
11 very interested how it happened, where it happened, but I'm not so much
12 interested in the identity. Maybe I will have to interrogate some of them
13 to know what's going on on the other side. And I would also be very
14 interested where they are being held as prisoners of war afterwards. But
15 normally, again, sir, you prepare this; you don't go in the battle
16 unprepared for treating prisoners of war, because you know that happens,
17 so you have to -- you have to look for that, that you have some
18 installations in which you can put them. And the mission, the obligations
19 of the commander would be to do this beforehand and not once you have a
20 large group of prisoners of war you cannot deal with.
21 JUDGE SWART: Would you, in the second place, would you create a
22 system of -- of reporting, with regard to prisoners? Would you insist on
23 receiving reports every week or every now and then on where prisoners are
24 held, how are they being treated, et cetera?
25 A. Again, sir, it depends on what level you are commanding, I think,
1 and not every level would deal into that. But as the commander
2 responsible for keeping those prisoners, yes, sir, I would have that, and
3 I would have regular reports and I probably also would regularly go to
4 those prisons and watch them themselves, because talking to the prisoners
5 is a key factor also of -- of making sure that what you know is reported
6 is true, because we talked about the last day about reports.
7 One thing, sir, is absolutely true: About 50 to 60 per cent of
8 the reports, the contents of the reports you are getting, are somehow
9 coloured. I mean, they are being put in a positive way for them who are
10 reporting. If you don't go on investigating, as we saw investigating
11 teams checking the area of the 3rd Corps -- if you don't go there by
12 yourself and see by your own eyes and talk to the people, you only get 50
13 per cent of the truth. So you would do that.
14 And I think as the highest commander in this regard, I would get
15 regular reports not on a daily basis but regular summary -- summary
16 reports about the situation of the prisoners of war in my area of
18 JUDGE SWART: So you proceeded already my next question, that was
19 if you would institute a -- a system of inspection or if you would go
20 yourself or your deputy or whatever person you might make use of, and your
21 answer is in the affirmative, yes, that was an important aspect of
22 preventing and also of repressing crimes against prisoners.
23 A. Yes, sir. Coming back to my own experience. In Kosovo the only
24 prison which we had was an American prison in Camp Bondsteel, as it was
25 called, and I went there about once a month unannounced, just to come in
1 and look what the conditions were and to talk to the inmates, which were
2 not prisoners of war - which were criminals - but nevertheless, this was
3 at the end the only prison I had, and it was very important for me to see
4 with my own eyes about the situation, but also to make sure that the
5 wardens knew that I would be there at any moment checking what they were
7 JUDGE SWART: Would you agree with me or what is your opinion on
8 the following question: Is there a duty for the commander in general to
9 anticipate possible criminal behaviour of his troops against prisoners?
10 A. Sir, this is a very, very difficult question, because it is
11 concerned with your trust in the human being of your subordinates. We all
12 know that in wars powers are being set free in the human being which are
13 normally somehow covered by your cultural, religious background, and
14 therefore I think you are better to do something about this than trusting
15 that everything goes according to the law and according to the
16 regulations. In this regard, I would not trust anybody on the long run,
17 and I think you have to do -- and to provide preventive measures and
18 protective measures that this would not happen.
19 JUDGE SWART: And this, you are saying, for all armed conflicts
20 in which prisoners are taken?
21 A. I think, sir, this is the part of the human being, and we see
22 that in every country, and notwithstanding the cultural level, you find
23 people, once they get the power that they mistreat other people. I don't
24 know why they do that, but it seems that this is obvious, and
25 notwithstanding their educational level that people do that. Knowing that
1 and having been exposed to things like that, I lost my trust in this
2 regard, and I would do everything again and again to make sure that those
3 underdogs of the war - and these are the prisoners of war - are being
4 treated accordingly.
5 JUDGE SWART: This is about prisoners of war in general and
6 civilian prisoners in general. Are there circumstances in the case of
7 Bosnia - we have already discussed this a little bit - that make the
8 responsibility of a commander even more pressing or more important in this
9 field? I mentioned the inter-racial or inter-religious character, civil
10 war aspects you mentioned. We have briefly discussed the inexperience of
11 troops, new soldiers. Are these factors that also increase, so to speak,
12 the responsibility of a commander?
13 A. Yes, sir. I think it increases his responsibility, and the
14 commander knows about the situation because he has the overall knowledge
15 of what was going on in his area of responsibility, and therefore the
16 commander would do the utmost and take every measure possible under -- in
17 his effective command and control capabilities to prevent things from
19 If -- if you have soldiers who are not adequately treated, if you
20 have a situation in which ethnic groups clash with each other, besides
21 fighting each other at military -- as military, the violence is normally,
22 as I said before, higher, the atrocities tend to become more aggressive.
23 JUDGE SWART: Now, the treatment of prisoners may in some
24 situations be a matter for the army but also for other persons outside the
25 army. And I also have some questions on that matter. Sometimes it seems
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that the responsibility for the treatment of prisoners is shared among
2 different institutions or different groups of persons.
3 My main question or my most general question is the following:
4 Once you have taken prisoners as an army, I'm inclined to think - but
5 please contradict me if I'm mistaken - but my assumption would be that
6 your responsibility as a commander exists as long as they are prisoners,
7 or is there a moment in time where you may transfer your responsibility
8 to -- to other instances, other persons?
9 A. Sir, prisoner of war is always a burden to a military commander,
10 because you have to guard him, you have to feed him, and your main job is
11 not to guard prisoners; your main job is to fight. So everybody who is
12 preventing you from fighting, because you have to take care of him, is a
13 burden. And I think this is sometimes also the reason why prisoners of
14 war, once -- or soldiers, once they have surrendered, are being killed,
15 because people realise they become a burden afterwards, even so it's
17 So as a commander, I would do the utmost to transfer those
18 prisoners in any other authority -- to any other authority, the internal
19 authority of my country, who could take care of them, who would have
20 wardens, who would have -- probably also have prisons, so that I would be
21 relieved. So my mission would be to keep the prisoners, to treat them,
22 to -- to see, to identify them, and then move them appropriately into some
23 civil detention facilities. The earlier the better for me, because then I
24 can concentrate on my main mission again, and the main mission is
1 JUDGE SWART: And once this has happened, your responsibility as
2 a commander is --
3 A. I think it turns then to the ones who take the prisoners over
4 from me, and that ends my responsibility towards them.
5 JUDGE SWART: And does it make any difference whether these
6 authorities are within your area of responsibility geographically
7 speaking, or not?
8 A. Sir, if these are civilian responsibilities -- civilian
9 organisations, then it's not my responsibility any more, as I am not
10 responsible for the civil police or the -- the judges or whoever is
11 working in my area of responsibility. I just transfer this to them. And
12 whatever happens in the civilian field is not my responsibility as a
13 commander, as long as I'm not the military governor of that area and all
14 these things are under my command, which was not in that case.
15 JUDGE SWART: Yesterday you said in a different context, and
16 that's why I'm putting the question also: If civilians do not react to
17 crime in your own area of responsibility, you have to do it. But that is
18 apparently something that does not apply to this situation.
19 A. Sir, I said yesterday that if there are criminal activities going
20 on - and I referred yesterday to the Mujahedin - and if the civil
21 authorities are not willing to do something about this and if war crimes
22 are committed by these Mujahedin, I think I have to do something about it.
23 I have to -- I have different possibilities. I can go to the civil
24 authorities and insist that they do something. And if they don't have the
25 power to do this, I will do it in accordance -- and in concordance for
1 them, but you just cannot leave it open because this will create a very
2 adverse situation in my area of responsibility. This is what I was saying
3 yesterday and what I'm saying today too.
4 JUDGE SWART: If prisoners are held in an institution - let's say
5 a school or another building of civilian origin with normally civilian
6 authorities managing these establishments - but if the prisoner is held in
7 such institutions and the guardians are in fact members of your own army,
8 what would you consider to be your responsibility as a commander in that
10 A. First of all, it might happen very often that the prisoners are
11 being held in infrastructure which is not the normal infrastructure for
12 detention, because you have no other ones, so you have to keep them. And
13 if you can get them in a school, this is already a -- a big step forward,
14 because they are not exposed to wind and rain and snow, so they have a
15 roof over their head, and they are living under normal conditions
16 besides -- I would not call it maybe "normal positions" but improved
17 positions and most of the time in better positions than they lived before
18 while they were soldiers, living out in the trenches.
19 My responsibility would be that they are provided food, that they
20 are provided medical care, that they are provided the assistance they
21 need, and that the wardens taking care of them treat them appropriately.
22 I think this would be my responsibility.
23 JUDGE SWART: And if the wardens were members of your own troops,
24 you would still retain your power of -- of disciplining or punishing your
1 A. Sir, this would be a normal case, that they are under my
2 disciplinary command. And if they misbehave, I can take the whole variety
3 of disciplinary measures against them, and you would probably do that,
4 being a commander, if they don't do their job appropriately.
5 JUDGE SWART: And the fact that you have that power also obliges
6 you to take preventive measures.
7 A. First of all, the soldiers knowing I have that power is a
8 preventive measure by itself. Because they know if they misbehave, they
9 might be up to some disciplinary consequences. On the other hand, if this
10 doesn't help and if they misbehave, I would use my disciplinary power,
11 making sure that they're either -- either relieved and other soldiers are
12 coming in or that they are disciplinary taken care of in the way that they
13 not do this any more.
14 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. I would also like to put to you some
15 questions on a topic that we have been discussing for the last few days,
16 the situation of the Mujahedin. You have written about that in your
17 report. There have been a lot of questions being put to you in the past
18 few days. I have some questions that may or may not precede the questions
19 that have been put to you, and I would like to submit them to you --
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 JUDGE SWART: -- and I would like to hear your answer on that.
22 There was a situation in 1993 in Bosnia in which the commander,
23 either of the 3rd Corps or another part of the army, had, so to speak,
24 territorial command and -- and operational command, if I am correctly
25 summarising the discussion. There were two aspects of -- of the situation
1 of a commander: He had a command over a certain area, his area of
2 responsibility; and he had an operational command. Am I correct in
3 summarising the situation in this way?
4 A. Yes, sir. But it's very difficult to differentiate what is a
5 territorial and what is an operational command. Having been a territorial
6 and an operational commander, I must tell you once you have an area of
7 operations in which you concentrate all your forces available to you to
8 fight the battle, you are the operational commanders and those territorial
9 forces then are part of your operational forces and under your
10 responsibility, notwithstanding whether they are operational army,
11 territorial army, whatever you have.
12 The problem is that there was the territorial army first and the
13 other forces then joined them. But all together they formed the
14 3rd Corps. And even those 14 municipal defensive councils were part of
15 the 3rd Corps, notwithstanding how they called themselves. So this
16 distinction really doesn't matter for the operations and for the
18 JUDGE SWART: If you talk in your report about area of
19 responsibility, then I'm inclined to think that you refer to a
20 geographical aspect.
21 A. Yes, sir.
22 JUDGE SWART: Yeah. Now, if in your area of responsibility there
23 are soldiers of foreign origin, if these soldiers are prepared to fight
24 for the same cause as you yourself are fighting for but -- and if, on the
25 other hand, they are unwilling to be placed fully under your command but
1 prefer to have a rather loose horizontal relationship with you and your
2 troops, then that would be an awkward situation, I presume, for a
4 A. Sir, this is a very bad situation, because as we discussed it
5 before, unity of command in an area of responsibility is a key factor.
6 And whatever happens there during military operations will affect your
7 responsibility as a commander and it will be credited to you. And if
8 something doesn't go according to the way you want to fight the battle and
9 if these are the forces who are doing things against your interest of --
10 in the operations, then it's you who have to put up with that. Therefore,
11 you would do everything trying to clear this mess in order to have unity
12 of command and with this a clear-cut responsibility in the hierarchical
14 JUDGE SWART: So if you are faced with this situation, when
15 assuming command the first thing you would do is to try to stop this
16 situation as soon as possible.
17 A. Yes, sir. To stop or to solve it. It might be that there's a
18 possibility to solve it, rather than stopping it.
19 JUDGE SWART: So your choice might be either to force them to
20 accept your command fully and permanently or to force them to leave your
21 area of responsibility, or is that too --
22 A. Sir, I think this is very well put. These are the alternatives.
23 JUDGE SWART: These are the alternatives.
24 And if you don't do that as a commander, if you accept the
25 presence of the fighting forces in your area of responsibility, you in
1 fact accept also their presence as fighting forces.
2 A. This is my understanding, sir.
3 JUDGE SWART: From which you profit as a -- as an army.
4 A. You have probably seen the report of the 7th Brigade in which
5 they say the circumstances that the Mujahedin are fighting as advanced
6 forces for the old forces is a booster for the morale, and they're very
7 happy to have those Arabs and Turks fighting with them, because it
8 increases the morale of their own soldiers. So you see how close this
9 relation must have been. And coming back to what you just have said, I
10 only can subscribe -- subscribe to your conclusion.
11 JUDGE SWART: I don't know for certain whether these Arabs you
12 mention now or these Turks were part of the 7th Brigade or were outside,
13 so I'll leave that as it may be.
14 But my next question is the following: If you accept presence of
15 forces that are not fully integrated in your army, without forcing them to
16 accept your command fully and permanently, do you also accept by
17 acquiescing to the situation, do you also accept or assume
18 responsibilities for their acts and conduct, especially or even in
19 situations in which they would take independent action that you have not
20 ordered or in any way promoted?
21 A. Sir, this is my understanding of the situation. But I -- I just
22 wanted to say that the command of the 3rd Corps tried to solve this
23 situation but it took a while until they solved it, and at the end I think
24 they solved it by institutionalising this unit as the El Mujahedin
25 Detachment, but it took a while. And until that time, it's exactly as you
1 said; you just have a tacit understanding that you don't look too much
2 into that and you basically accept it as it is, maybe because you don't
3 feel that you can do something.
4 We heard yesterday that they were talking -- that General
5 Hadzihasanovic was talking about he doesn't want to open up a third front,
6 which might have been, if he had done something about this, I agree with
8 JUDGE SWART: There's an objection to my question, I suppose.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
10 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. No, it
11 is certainly not an objection to your question. It's simply for a point
12 of clarification.
13 The two or three last questions that were put to the witness, I
14 didn't quite understand whether the question referred to a legal
15 obligation, a moral obligation, or a military obligation, because the
16 has been prompted to ask -- to discuss a number of issues. But I would
17 like to know in what light he's providing his answers.
18 JUDGE SWART: [Previous translation continues] ... to my line of
19 questioning. But I'm trying to -- to establish firstly the -- the
20 responsibility of a commander in general for troops that are not
21 integrated within his army. And once I have received answers on that, I
22 would like to put questions in terms of criminal responsibility. But I'm
23 not yet that far, I must say. But it will come. Don't be disturbed.
24 So my question is, General, to -- and you have already answered.
25 It was a general question: If you in your area of responsibility are
1 confronted with forces that are not integrated in your command, that have
2 a sort of independent existence, and you acquiesce in that situation, this
3 may create forms of responsibility for what they are doing, even if they
4 act outside, do things that you have not ordered or do not follow from
5 your orders or whatever.
6 A. Yes, sir.
7 JUDGE SWART: And the next question that I would have is the
8 same: Does it also engage your criminal responsibility if they commit
9 within their activities, within their independent activities certain
10 crimes? Does that make you also -- does that also create an obligation
11 for you to -- to intervene, in terms of punishment, of investigations,
12 et cetera?
13 A. Sir, you address this question to me personally?
14 JUDGE SWART: Yes --
15 A. As a German -- as a German commander, I would be responsible,
16 criminally accountable for everything which happens and to -- in my area
17 of responsibility. And I think this is applicable to almost all NATO
18 countries, as far as I know. I was responsible for everything which
19 happened in my area of responsibility and I had to take actions
21 Now, in that particular case we're discussing, I thought that
22 some of the rules which were deducted or applied from the JNA forces,
23 especially the rules of applying the international law in which it says
24 the commander is responsible for everything in his area of responsibility,
25 I was told by the defence that this was not applicable to the Bosnian
1 forces and I -- maybe I did not -- not maybe. I just did not know this.
2 I thought it was applicable like other things as well. So I cannot tell
3 you in a paragraph or article whether this applies in the same way to the
4 Bosnian forces. For my forces, it would be an absolute must.
5 JUDGE SWART: You are right that there are, of course, a number
6 of questions of a legal nature involved here in this problem and in the
7 back of -- on the background, and we're all aware of these questions. But
8 I'm -- I'm not asking you for a legal opinion. I'm asking you your view
9 as a -- an experienced commander. What would you do? What would you
10 think your obligations were.
11 A. Yes, sir.
12 JUDGE SWART: And maybe if you underestimate or overestimate your
13 responsibilities in legal terms, that is not -- not something that I am
14 interested in in this moment.
15 A. Thank you, sir.
16 JUDGE SWART: So if you have troops which lead a rather
17 independent existence but find themselves in your area of responsibility,
18 you said, "I would have a responsibility to repress crimes that have been
19 committed by them."
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 JUDGE SWART: The other aspect is that if you accept a situation,
22 you are not in a position to -- to take preventive measures, or are you?
23 In the field of preventing crime.
24 A. It's -- it's very difficult. I think the only prevention you
25 really have in this regard is that you order your troops, who are
1 cooperating with these freelance forces, that they do the utmost, that
2 those troops are in accordance to the -- in accordance to the law. And if
3 they don't do, that you take actions accordingly in order to -- to punish
4 them and to prevent them from continuing to do what they have done before.
5 JUDGE SWART: So if I may resume your point of view. It doesn't
6 really matter so much whether legally speaking or criminally -- in terms
7 of criminal law speaking, whether the Mujahedin were a part of a certain
8 brigade or a certain corps or a certain battalion or were acting
9 independently from them. What -- what would be the differences, in terms
10 of responsibility of the commander to prevent and to punish?
11 A. I would prevent them in either case, sir, because as I said, this
12 would effect my operations the way they do their -- their way of
13 operating. And whether they are included as organic elements in some of
14 my units -- by elements, by individuals -- or whether they do it as
15 freelance, the consequences of the criminal activities of them are the
17 JUDGE SWART: Okay. Thank you very much for your answers,
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, in answer to a
21 question from the Prosecution, you said that you had a series of questions
22 to answer and you told us that the Prosecution provided you with numerous
23 documents and that your report was drafted on the basis of those
24 documents. Could you tell the Judges at what point in time you were
25 contacted by the Prosecution and asked to prepare this report. When did
1 this happen, if you remember? Which year and month?
2 A. Sir, I'm afraid that I don't have the exact date here. I think
3 it's one and a half years -- about one and a half years ago, and I was
4 contacted first not by the Prosecution but by my Ministry of Defence,
5 giving me the freedom to operate with the ICTY and asking me to support
6 the ICTY in a way I would be addressed to. But it's been about one and a
7 half years ago, but I don't know exactly when it was and I don't have all
8 these papers with me.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You also told us,
10 answering questions, that you met with the Prosecution and that after that
11 they gave you the documents. In general terms, how much time did you
12 spend? I'm not asking you for the number of days or hours. But in
13 general terms, how much time did you devote to the drafting of your
14 written report?
15 A. Sir, as we have said before, there were a couple of drafts which
16 I put forward, because at the beginning, since this is a total new
17 environment for me, I had just problems to know what I was supposed to do,
18 and therefore I came back to the Prosecution asking them, you know, what
19 exactly they expected me with the material provided to me and having gone
20 through the material and having got a global knowledge what was going on
21 there, how -- what was expected from me. Therefore, I would say I -- I
22 devoted much more time than I anticipated at the beginning to that case,
23 because it was difficult for me to analyse it and it was difficult for me
24 to re-analysing it based on new questions where I had to go through the
25 material again and again and again, just trying to find the appropriate
1 answers through going through the documents, because I had no idea what
2 was the proper answer. I just could deduct the idea out through -- from
3 the documents. And this was a very time-consuming and tedious process,
4 and I also -- I just know that I was always working one or two weeks,
5 depending on the size of the material, in a row, just leaving everything
6 else, in order to know where the documents are, how they would interfere,
7 and how I could put them into a written form.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In doing this work, did you do
9 it all alone or did you ask other people to help you with their opinions,
10 military people, technicians, specialists? Did you work alone, or as
11 experts do, did you consult other people as well?
12 A. Sir, I don't know how experts do, because this is my unique
13 experience in that. I've never done before. I was asked to give my
14 opinion as a former general, so I did not refer to anybody else, because I
15 think I only can give them my opinion as a former general, right or wrong.
16 Try the best to make out of it. And the only guy -- the only person I
17 contacted on that was my former translator in my headquarters at
18 Heidelberg, who has to polish my translation in the appropriate way. I
19 think he is the only one who has seen that paper besides myself.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have explained
21 that you spent weeks looking through the documents.
22 A. In looking for information --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In looking for information and
24 verification of information, were you prompted to consult documents that
25 were not provided to you by the Prosecution but articles, books, other
1 reports? Were you fishing for information, as they say, so that your
2 opinion could be formed and for you to be able to answer the very specific
3 questions put to you? Did you expand your field of research to include
4 other documents? We know that you're a historian, that you have written
5 about subjects, and you have the practice of judging and assessing
6 documents. So my question is: Did you consult other documents besides
7 those provided to you by the Prosecution?
8 A. No, sir, I did not.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you satisfied yourself with
10 the documents provided to you by the Prosecution to give your personal
11 opinion without using other documents as verification. Is that what the
12 Chamber should gather from your answer?
13 A. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. These were very specific questions
14 pertaining three general officers and in the meantime two general
15 officers, and I think about the questions given to me and the possible
16 answers expected or I had to give could be deducted only from the sources,
17 the documents given by me but by no other material, because they were very
18 specific, with the exception of the command and control relationship, as a
19 commander would have. And you know I -- I took the liberty to -- to
20 deduct this from my German laws just to have a background on that one.
21 But this was the only additional document sources I went to, and these
22 were the -- the German laws, the German military laws and a book on the
23 comparison of the military law within the NATO countries in order to give
24 me a better feeling whether my appreciation of what the commander is
25 responsible for would be similar in the British and the French and other
1 armies in the war -- in NATO, and these were the documents I went through.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Still discussing your CV, you
3 have told us that you held several command positions and in the Balkans
4 and within the territory of ex-Yugoslavia you held command posts so that
5 you are familiar with the territory. So you had the advantage of being
6 active on the ground there, in addition to being a general. The fact that
7 you were active in the Balkans and also in Kosovo, but more particularly
8 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, was the fact that you had a command position
9 there, did that have any effect on your written report, any bearing?
10 A. No, sir. Because by the time I became the national commander of
11 the German forces of UNPROFOR and then IFOR and SFOR had me very often in
12 the country supervising what my troops were doing, but this was after the
13 military operation have ceased between the warring factors. This was in
14 1994 and the following years. So I might have -- have had a better
15 appreciation of what was going on, depending on the terrain, depending
16 also on all these destructions I have seen, and talking to I don't know
17 how many people in the country about their experience of the war. And we
18 basically have established our headquarters and a former concern of the
19 Bosnian forces, in which both sides were fighting atrociously against each
20 other. So this might have been affected my general appreciation but not
21 the questions that were put forward for me to answer.
22 And if I may -- if I may add, sir, this was one of my first
23 answers to the Prosecution, that I told them I'm not and I'm not willing
24 to become an expert in the operations on the Balkans in that particular
25 time. I did not participate, and I'm not a historian. I don't want to
1 work it up. I just want to concentrate on specific questions given to me.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are telling us that you
3 took over your duties in 1994, which means after the facts. But before
4 1994, I think you were at NATO headquarters. Where were you exactly in
6 A. Sir? 1993 -- sir, in 1993, I was at the beginning of the year
7 the commandant of the German Command and General Staff College in Hamburg.
8 And in the second half of the year, I took over the 3rd German Corps in
9 Koblenz, and by doing that I basically prepared the German operations for
10 Somalia, which were then finished in 1994. And very shortly after we had
11 redeployed from Somalia, we got our first mission to prepare ourselves for
12 an UNPROFOR mission in Croatia, in Trojica [phoen].
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for that
15 My last question before the break: You have also explained at
16 the very beginning of your testimony last Monday that you attended an
17 educational institution in the United States, in Kansas, where you of
18 course met with American officers but also apparently officers from the
19 ex-Warsaw Pact countries. Can you confirm that in Kansas you were in a
20 position to have contacts with officers from the ex-Warsaw Treaty
22 A. Sir, if I may, I might clarify this. I had connections with
23 former -- with JNA officers, Yugoslav officers. One was sitting right
24 behind me. And they were not members of the Warsaw Pact. By that time,
25 the Warsaw Pact was still very efficient. And I had no other members of
1 the Warsaw Pact working with us. We had a lot of officers who had their
2 training before in Moscow, like officers from Afghanistan, from Ethiopia,
3 and in other countries with whom we could compare their experience there,
4 in Russia and the experience in the United States. And a lot of my
5 experience which I got with former Warsaw Pact countries, where once the
6 Wall came down, where I had to take responsibility for the unification of
7 the East German, West German army, and being the commandant of the Command
8 and General Staff College, I was the first NATO general to attend the
9 highest institutions, as far as educational institutions was concerned, in
10 Moscow, in Budapest, in Warsaw, in Prague, so again I had very good
11 installations and rapport with many of those officers from then, but this
12 was in 1990 -- in 1991 following. This was not at Fort Leavenworth,
13 Kansas in 1975-1976.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The JNA officer who was sitting
15 behind you with who you certainly conversed, did he give you the
16 impression of having the same kind of training as an officer in a Western
17 army or from a NATO country? Technically speaking, this officer from the
18 JNA, did he appear to you to have had the same kind of training as you
19 yourself? And being with you means that he was attending a specific
20 course, like you.
21 A. Sir, if I may, there were two general -- two officers, and they
22 were totally different. One officer was a young captain; this was the one
23 sitting behind me. An infantry officer -- by the way, a Muslim infantry
24 officer from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mehmed Bazic [phoen], a very nice and
25 very intelligent young officer, who basically I had the feeling had
1 similar experience in command and control as I had them in the German
3 The other officer was an officer of the Security Services of the
4 former Yugoslav army, Dusan Omerovic, who was just sent there to take care
5 of his younger brother, to -- to take care that this guy behaved
6 appropriately to the Yugoslav way of living. So he was the shadow, and he
7 was a -- a typical security officer I -- which -- and these people are
8 totally different from the normal officers who are fighting the battle.
9 So this was very interesting to see these two people harnessed in
10 the same course.
11 And just to give you an example how difficult it was for them,
12 once this Dusan Omerovic, who was a colonel in the Yugoslav army and had
13 to prevent to be a captain only in -- in Fort Leavenworth, once he came
14 back into Yugoslavia, he committed suicide because he just could not stand
15 the difference of what he had been learned and what he has went through in
16 Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This dichotomy of having been an officer of his
17 country and seeing that the situation was totally different from the one
18 he expected this made him commit suicide. And this was also a very bad
19 experience for me because I thought very highly of this officer, and we
20 had long, long evenings discussing things of our -- of our profession.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are confirming that,
22 a priori, the training of JNA officers was training, meeting the standards
23 required of a modern army.
24 A. Yes, sir.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 It is 10.30. We're going to have the break, and we will resume
2 at five to 11.00.
3 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Reinhardt, I'll
6 continue with my questions now according to the following plan: I will
7 ask you questions that are directly linked to your report, which you
8 should have before you. Having asked you some questions that relate to
9 paragraphs that I will mention in your report, I will ask you some general
10 questions, which will still be based on the documents that you have been
11 provided with, questions that will have to do with UNPROFOR, questions
12 that have to do with civilian and military authorities. I will then go
13 back to the subject of the Mujahedin, to the subject of prisoners, and I
14 will also deal with technical and military issues.
15 With regard to your report, you have already answered many
16 questions concerning your report, but I think that certain issues could be
17 better clarified.
18 In paragraph 2.2 of your report, you provided a definition of the
19 mission and responsibility of a superior. In paragraph 2.11, you said
20 that the superior is personally responsible for the conduct of all the
21 operations -- all the military operations in his area of responsibility.
22 When you say, "All military operations," does this term include operations
23 that would also be carried out by the corps, other than the 3rd Corps?
24 And I would like to point out that the 3rd Corps would have a
25 geographical -- territorial competence. If there is another corps which
1 had other territorial competence and it intervened in its territorial's
2 own responsibility, in such a case would these military operations be the
3 responsibility of the 3rd Corps?
4 A. Sir, this is a question which I would like to answer in two ways:
5 Once you have elements of another corps which support you in your
6 operations and which will be given to you, subordinated to you for that
7 particular operation, they are under your command and you have full
8 responsibility as far as the operations is concerned. It might not be
9 that you have full disciplinary power over them, because this -- they
10 might be attached to you only for a certain period of time and a certain
12 The other possibility is that if there is a larger part of your
13 area of responsibility in which your adjacent corps will take part of
14 that, you just change the boundaries, that this part of the terrain will
15 be taken away from you and given to your neighbouring commander and then
16 you coordinate with him, which you would normally do if this is a larger
18 These are the two possibilities, sir.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. With regard to this
20 term "all military actions," as a military expert, would you say that
21 military actions could concern operations carried out by units that might
22 be described as independent or that might have the appearance of military
23 units, although they are paramilitary units or have all the
24 characteristics of a military unit. So when you say "all military
25 actions," in your opinion does this term include paramilitary units or
1 other types of units that have military characteristics?
2 A. Yes, sir, this is my understanding and this is the way I've been
3 trained, that all the forces in the area I am responsible for in my
4 operations, which operate in my area of operations, for everything which
5 they are doing I'm responsible as the highest commander at the end.
6 That's unity of command. Because otherwise, it's very difficult
7 afterwards to distinguish who is responsible for what.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answer.
9 In your report in footnote number 13, you mentioned Article 87(3)
10 of the Supplementary Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions. This Article
11 provides that the party -- that: "High contracting parties to the
12 conflict shall require any commander who is aware that subordinates or
13 other persons under his control are going to commit or have committed a
14 breach of the conventions." When you say, "Persons under his authority,"
15 does this mean that you should consider that these persons could also be
16 the Mujahedin? Because in 2.14, you say the following: "A commander has
17 to investigate and to initiate appropriate actions as soon as he becomes
18 aware of alleged or de facto criminal activities in his area of
19 responsibility." Does this mean that individuals who are active in a
20 command area, would this mean that they come under the Article 87(3) of
21 Supplementary Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions in purely military
23 A. Sir, this is my understanding that all the forces under -- in the
24 area of responsibility of my control are then -- I'm taking responsibility
25 for what they're doing and I have to do something about this. Not only
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 for the forces which are under my direct command.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In paragraph 2.17 of your
3 report - and I'm still talking about the same matter - you refer to the
4 rules that concern the application of international humanitarian law by
5 military forces, and you inferred -- you extracted the following phrase
6 from this rule. It's contained in your report, but I will read it out for
7 the sake of the transcript and for the sake of those who are following
8 these proceedings via Internet.
9 This is what you said: "An officer shall be personally liable for
10 violations of the laws of war if he knew or could have known that units
11 subordinate to him or other units or individuals were planning the
12 commission of such violations and if he failed to take measures to prevent
13 such violations at a time when it was still possible to prevent their
14 commission." It seems that given this reference you have made -- the
15 rules in force in ex-Yugoslavia gave certain responsibility to an officer,
16 certain general and overall responsibility over all such units and
17 individuals who may have committed violations. This is what you said in
18 paragraph 2.17. Would you confirm what is stated under paragraph 2.17.
19 A. Sir, I quoted this because I thought this was a very key
20 paragraph for the basic understanding of the responsibility of a
21 commander, of everything going on in his area of responsibility.
22 Therefore, I quoted it. I think it's a key understanding for the way a
23 commander should react to things even by people who are not under his
24 direct command but acting in his area of responsibility.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In order to explain what you
1 said -- what you wrote, yesterday you said that the military situation was
2 very complex, given that there were a number of fronts; there were the
3 Serbs and the Croats; there was the problem of refugees. So, in fact, the
4 situation was extremely complex. No one would dispute this, given the
5 answers that you have provided, the questions you have asked yourself.
6 But in terms of military strategy, what took place at the time and in
7 light of the documents that you were provided with - because you told us
8 that you worked on the basis of these documents alone - the conflicts that
9 occurred and the military actions taken were these large-scale actions or
10 small-scale actions carried out by small units with very precise
11 objectives. For example, taking control of a village where there were
12 about 50 persons, or were these actions large-scale military actions? Did
13 military forces advance, take enemy positions, et cetera?
14 In military terms and on the basis of the documents you examined,
15 how would you assess the military action in the field, on the ground?
16 A. Sir, normally if you talk about corps operations, you talk about
17 large-size operations of heavy and large units. If I might turn to the --
18 unfortunately, it's the other side of the map, but we realised yesterday
19 that throughout the time the basic front lines have not changed very much,
20 so these were operations in which brigades, sometimes also more than one
21 brigade, were involved but the majority of those actions were rather
22 small-scaled actions, which was also normal because of the professional
23 capabilities. Small-scale actions were capable of being conducted;
24 large-scale actions were much more difficult to coordinate and also to
1 So this was not big movement back and forth; this was basically
2 fighting over individual terrain, features, villages, roads of
3 communications. Nevertheless, sir, I must say this was a very busy
4 operation, as far as the corps headquarters was concerned, because it was
5 a variety of skirmishes and operations going on parallel in the entire
6 area of responsibility.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for that answer.
8 I am still talking about operational matters. You came to the
9 conclusion on the basis of the documents that you had that there was the
10 operational group of Bosnian Krajina [as interpreted] that was in
11 existence, and in paragraph 36 of your report you said that this
12 operational group was a tactical centre.
13 A. Yes.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Its objective was to coordinate
15 the operations of various units. Does that mean that this tactical centre
16 was more or less independent of the 3rd Corps Command? Was it free to
17 manoeuvre as it saw fit or to coordinate units? Was this something that
18 could only be done under the control of the 3rd Corps, if it wanted to
19 coordinate the action of units? We should point out that this new BH army
20 was composed of a lot of officers from the former JNA and could function
21 as the former armies from the East functioned.
22 So my question is precise: This operational group, was it able
23 to take liberty when operating, or did it only take action under the
24 authority and command of the 3rd Corps?
25 A. Your Honour, you remember that we were talking about the span of
1 command yesterday. Taking into consideration that the 3rd Corps operated
2 between 17 and 19 brigades, plus 14 municipal defence councils, this is
3 just a span of command nobody can control.
4 Normally in the military we say maximum is six subordinate units
5 which you can somehow still control. Therefore, it was normal and logic
6 that between the corps and the brigades you had some organisation
7 coordinated on behalf of the corps, subordinate units. In normal -- in
8 other armies, this is normally a division, headquarters doing that. Here
9 it is an operational group, an ad hoc group with a rather small staff
10 which acts on behalf of the corps commander executing the operations and
11 the will of the corps commander. So this operational group will not act
12 independently; it will act only on behalf of a mission given by the corps.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 I'll now discuss the matter of professionalism within the BH.
15 It's paragraph 5.12 in your report. You said that there were deficiencies
16 in the command structure, that there were losses that they had in the
17 course of combat and that the BH was constantly being reorganised, and you
18 drew the conclusion that there was a low level of professionalism in
19 tactical military terms. So you said that when you take all the elements
20 into consideration, that in tactical and military terms you would say that
21 the level of professionalism was not very high. Would you confirm this
22 opinion of yours and did you make this assessment in relation to the NATO
23 standards? Is this your assessment of the level of professionalism?
24 A. Yes, sir. The former JNA officers were rather scarce. We have
25 read that only 9 per cent in the headquarters of the 3rd Corps were former
1 officers, and we also read that some of the brigade commanders were no
2 officers at all, had no command and -- and experience as soldiers. So
3 that shows that this was very, very difficult to organise complex
4 operations and that you had to do it very simple on the very low level, on
5 the very tactical level, and also control it from higher headquarters
6 maybe more than you would normally do just in order to make sure that the
7 lower headquarters not experienced as it should normally be could do it
9 So I think the corps command was under very, very adverse
10 situation because the other thing which you just mentioned is that he had
11 to build up more or less from scratch territorial forces which were in the
12 country and additional forces which were being built up during that time,
13 making them operational. And it always takes a time until they become
14 operational, and at the same time fighting an enemy.
15 And therefore, this flexibility and this constant flux that you
16 didn't have solid structures, which we in the military are normally used
17 to, that you have constantly different subordinate and superior factions
18 you had to rely upon made it very difficult, because military operations
19 very much rely on confidence, on loyalty to your subordinates and your
20 superiors, that you know each other, that you know how the other reacts.
21 If you don't know that, because this is this flux of situation, it makes
22 it very difficult.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] To take control of a location
24 where there are about 10 or maybe 100 inhabitants, in military terms is it
25 necessary to have a very high level of professionalism or is it sufficient
1 to have a small, determined unit in order to do this quite easily, and
2 particularly if they know in advance that the village is being defended by
3 civilians accompanied by some HVO soldiers? In order to take control of a
4 place - X, for example - is it really necessary to have a high level of
5 professionalism, a high level of competence?
6 A. Sir, for the soldier on the ground, the army, which is all about
7 his platoon commander, maximum, his company commander, because everything
8 above that is unknown to him. So the professionalism for the soldier is
9 his direct commander who leads him into fire. And everybody who is
10 attacking a village is scared to death whether he is a soldier or not
11 because he doesn't know the results. And nobody wants to go there to
12 become a hero or a martyr afterwards. So if you don't have a professional
13 leadership in which you trust, you probably don't leave your trench. And
14 therefore professionalism in this regard I think is even more important
15 than professionalism on higher headquarters, because that is what the army
16 really makes it all about. And you -- you can see in the documents and
17 some of the papers the 3rd Corps and the 7th Mountain Brigade have
18 prepared that they complain about the poor standards, especially on the
19 infantry level as platoon and company commanders being incompetent, being
20 not capable of doing their job in order to motivate their soldiers to do
21 what they're supposed to do. So the professionalism on this low level is
22 really what an army is all about, not the high brass.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Having -- bearing
24 in mind what you said, the superior levels of the command who are aware
25 that operations in the field, because of a lack of training or competence
1 of those involved in the action, and they know that this might result in
2 failings, in gaps, as a result, might the command have to be especially
3 careful in that they are aware of the fact that they don't have what they
4 need, as far as training is concerned?
5 A. Yes. And I think they -- they try to do as much as possible of
6 retraining them in the operational pauses and to prepare them for the
7 fight in front of them, which is possible, which has been done, and which
8 had to be done in every army to keep the level as high as possible.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm still referring to your
10 report, and then I'll move on to other issues.
11 Paragraph 9.4.10, in that paragraph you mentioned the --
12 Mr. Siber, the deputy of Halilovic, who having carried out an inspection,
13 reported the existence of criminal activities in the 3rd Corps area, and
14 you said - and this is contained in your report - that Siber proposed that
15 the deputy commander be dismissed; that is to say, that Merdan be
16 dismissed. And you said that Siber's report was thrown into the
17 wastebasket. These are the terms that you yourself used.
18 Within the NATO system, if a similar situation -- if an identical
19 situation had occurred, would it be logical to request that the
20 second-in-command be dismissed, not the first-in-command? Why the
21 second-in-command? Why not the first-in-command? How do you explain that
22 within this system one wanted to punish the second-in-command, not the
23 first-in-command? What military criteria are used when requesting that
24 the deputy be punished and not the first-in-command? How would you as a
25 general explain this? If you had had to deal with such a situation, what
1 position would you have adopted?
2 A. Yes, sir. If I may, the trash bin is not my word. I just quoted
3 it from that telephone conversation.
4 But it seems to me, also from other reports which I have read on
5 General Merdan, that some people in the area said that General Merdan has
6 been involved in illegal activities and that they were not very happy with
7 his way of doing business. There are also other reports in the documents
8 that -- from a municipal standpoint people said, "He is not doing his job
9 properly." And I think this is the main reason why Siber said, "If this
10 is the case and if he is replacing you and if he is covering up illegal or
11 criminal activities, he has to go."
12 Now, in the normal way of business in NATO countries, if you have
13 a deputy covering up things and if you are aware of that, if you -- if you
14 yourself are covering him up, then you are to do -- to go and you are due
15 to leave your job.
16 Now, I don't know how much General Hadzihasanovic knew about
17 these allegations, and probably it was the first time that he was
18 confronted himself with this kind of allegations in this telephone call.
19 As long as he takes the appropriate steps to relieve his deputy, because
20 his deputy is not acting according to the law and the military rules, then
21 I think it's all right. If he is covering up, he will be in deep trouble.
22 At least, he would be in deep trouble in my army.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The document mentioned in
24 paragraph 9.4.10, it was one which was relevant at the period in question.
25 I've checked this. You were provided with a declaration of war. It's
1 P362, but you were provided with this declaration of war, which was signed
2 by President Izetbegovic. Normally a declaration of a state of war gives
3 arise to a legal situation for an army, because we no longer have
4 peacetime; it is a state of war. In a state of war, if Mr. Siber suggests
5 that Halilovic dismisses someone, wouldn't you say that this is the
6 responsibility of the president in office, Mr. Izetbegovic? As a member
7 of the military, how would you assess this issue, if we are dealing with
8 wartime and not peacetime, if we are dealing with something that occurred
9 in wartime?
10 A. Sir, this report, which -- from which -- this telephone report
11 doesn't show that Mr. Siber actually wrote a report to the President
12 Izetbegovic and he advised him to replace Mr. Merdan, but I don't know
13 about the consequences.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I shall now address
15 another issue, and that is the question of UNPROFOR on the ground. There
16 are documents that were given to you which indicate that the UN through
17 its representatives - that is, the forces that were deployed there - did
18 play a role. In Exhibit P275, it is a document perhaps you don't have in
19 front of you, but you did have it in your possession, because I checked,
20 and it was signed by several parties to the conflict: General Mladic,
21 General Delic, General Petkovic, two other persons, and General Morillon,
22 who represented UNPROFOR.
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document speaks of
25 cessation of hostilities among the parties signing the document dated the
1 15th of June, 1993, at 15.07 hours, and it is also indicated in this
2 document that the parties pledge to respect the Geneva Conventions of the
3 12th of August, 1949.
4 In view of the fact who signed this document, wasn't it up to the
5 signatories to make sure that the Geneva Conventions are respected,
6 especially with regard to the question of prisoners, their conditions of
7 detention? And by signing this document, wasn't there a commitment on the
8 part of all the parties, including representatives of UNPROFOR, to make
9 sure that the Geneva Conventions are respected? If you had signed it --
10 first of all, would you have signed it? And what would you have done, if
11 you had signed it?
12 A. I know from discussions with my friend General Morillon how
13 difficult the situation was for him, because he really had no power to
14 execute some of the things he wanted to have executed, and I think
15 Srebrenica is the worst example of that, which then also led to the
16 situation that UNPROFOR was changed into IFOR, where we as the
17 International Community were capable of using the power in our hands,
18 which we were not during UNPROFOR.
19 But nevertheless, I would have signed it if I had been in the
20 position like that, and I would have looked -- I would have looked at the
21 prisoners of war would have been treated the best way possible, and by
22 doing that I would have gone to those prisons or had sent my
23 representative to those prisons to check how the prisoners of war have
24 been treated by that particular time and have taken the appropriate action
25 if they were not treated accordingly. And we know from many pictures that
1 this was not the case, notwithstanding which side took the prisoners.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a document which was
3 tendered and was not contested, and the number of the document is P289,
4 dated the 25th of April, and it is a document of the 3rd Corps regarding
5 the consequences of Miletici, and it is stated in this document -- no, I'm
6 sorry, it doesn't come from the 3rd Corps but from the Croatian side,
7 because it was drawn up by the Vitez Brigade. Therefore, this document
8 has to do with the Miletici case, because the brigade in question received
9 a telephone call from one of the persons who was on the spot.
10 And it is indicated in this document that in the afternoon
11 representatives of UNPROFOR visited the persons that had been arrested.
12 How can one explain that knowing that people had been arrested under
13 illegal conditions and when one represents an army belonging to NATO,
14 should one act and call on the parties responsible, remind them of their
15 rights? Shouldn't they be told, "You have no right to keep these people
16 in detention," because there is a specific reference to the Geneva
17 Conventions in the document that has been signed?
18 You told us that you would have visited those detention places,
19 and visiting places where civilians were being held, what would you have
20 done once you saw for yourself the conditions they were in? And wouldn't
21 you have demanded of those holding them to release them?
22 A. Sir, please allow to come back to the basic conditions of
23 UNPROFOR, which were very unhappy and unfavourable conditions, because
24 UNPROFOR by that time were allowed to use their power only in self-defence
25 and, on the other hand, to monitor. They were not allowed - and I think
1 this was the big mistake in UNPROFOR - to take active actions on their
3 What you said is absolutely right. I think if you see civilians
4 being taken hostage or prisoners, it would have been necessary to take
5 every action possible to relieve them -- to release them. But all I think
6 the commander of this UNPROFOR unit by that time was able to, to tell the
7 other side to do that, but he was not capable by that time to force the
8 other side to do that. He was deliberately dependent on the goodwill of
9 the other side. And we both know that at the end this was just very
10 insufficient and therefore the UNPROFOR regime did not -- did not do the
11 job they were supposed to do at the very beginning.
12 And I only can tell you that this is a very, very adverse
13 situation. If you know that something doesn't go according to your ideas
14 and your provisions given to you, but you are not able to execute this
15 because the regime under which you work - and this regime, the United
16 Nations regime of UNPROFOR - did not allow you to do more.
17 So I absolutely agree with you there should have been done more,
18 but politically by that period of time it seems not to have been possible
19 to do more.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I shall now move on
21 to another subject, and that is the mixture between the military and
22 civilian authorities.
23 You referred several times in your answers to this and I shall
24 rely exclusively on the documents that you had. I was referring a moment
25 ago to the declaration of the state of war, which was issued on the 20th
1 of June, 1992 and which led to the mobilisation for the defence of the
2 territory and calling on all citizens between 18 and 65 to respond, men
3 and women, and it is indicated in paragraph 3 of this decision that these
4 will be forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina which are authorised to take all
5 necessary measures to organise the resistance of the people in order to
6 put an end to the existing situation obviously. Therefore, this document
7 attaches a very important role to the army. And one could have the
8 impression that the civilian authority at that point in time could have
9 become dependent upon the military authorities.
10 What is your own impression looking through the documents? And
11 did you ask yourself the question as to the freedom that the military
12 command had - specifically the 3rd Corps - with respect to the civilian
13 authorities? What could you tell us and what additional explanations
14 could you provide the Chamber with in that regard?
15 A. Your Honour, I'm not quite sure whether my answer will be a
16 correct one. This is just a best guess. The way I see it, the civil
17 organisations within the area of responsibility of a corps still existed,
18 and there were independent organisations. But the corps commander was due
19 to cooperate with them to the utmost in order to synergise all the forces
20 and all the elements in his area of responsibility for the sake of the
21 defence of this area.
22 I don't think that he had command over these civil authorities,
23 but the way of persuasion of discussion of negotiation in a way to support
24 his military activities were very obvious, and he did this, and I think
25 the majority -- not the majority. I think all the organisations in that
1 area were eager to support him in his -- in his intentions to defend the
2 country. But I don't believe that one could say he was the military
3 governor or dictator in that area, everything under his control. I think
4 there was a lot of -- of negotiation and persuasion and discussion between
5 the institutions. And I think these civil organisations remained
6 independent through the operations.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] How could you explain -- if you
8 see a document. There's a document admitted into evidence. The number is
9 00809149, coming from the War Presidency of Zenica; that is, the
10 Municipality of Zenica, the War Presidency of Zenica, which is the place
11 where the 3rd Corps was situated. And I'm reading you Article 1 of this
12 document: "The commands in question must immediately order unconditional
13 cease-fire. All units must return to barracks." And this order, issued
14 by the War Presidency, was sent to the 3rd Corps of the army, and I have
15 evidence of that.
16 How would you explain this?
17 A. We had a -- a municipal defence council in a variety of cities.
18 I think there were 14 in the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. And
19 they commanded troops, and they commanded troops under the command of the
20 3rd Corps. And I think if this war council, which is probably running
21 this municipal defence staff, wants to cease actions, to cease actions at
22 that particular time, he was due to give an order like this.
23 Now, I don't think this was an order to the 3rd Corps. I think
24 this was probably making sure that the 3rd Corps knows about the orders.
25 I think this was -- but I don't have that paper in front of me. This was
1 at least not an order which a war council could give to the 3rd Corps to
2 make the 3rd Corps happen in a certain way. This was only for their
3 forces under the war council's command and control.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Still on this issue, there is a
5 document with the number P204, issued by the 3rd Corps and which has to do
6 with the military police of the 306th Brigade. And this military order
7 says that the MUP, which means the civilian police, and the military
8 police and other brigades are resubordinated to the 306th Brigade. How is
9 it that a military document can place under military authority a police
10 which is basically civilian, which is the MUP, depending on the Ministry
11 of the Interior, unless the military authority has extensive powers over
12 the civilian authorities? What do you think as an expert witness about
13 this particular situation?
14 A. Sir, whenever I hear the term "MUP," my hair grows up, raises up,
15 because most of the atrocity which I have seen in Kosovo were committed
16 not by the military but by the MUP. It's a paramilitary organisation
17 which created most of the atrocities I have seen, and it's a part -- they
18 are in uniform. They are also working with military equipment. They have
19 tanks. They have armoured personnel carrier, and they fought side by side
20 with the military. And I think they did the same thing on the other side
21 in -- in that particular case you're talking about. And therefore, it's a
22 blurred situation. I don't know, and I must tell you I just don't know
23 whether the corps was authorised to take them under their command. At
24 least, I think, there must have been a clear understanding between the
25 military -- between the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of the
1 Interior that these forces would synergise their efforts on the ground in
2 order to fight together side by side.
3 I think for you and for a layman there is no way to differentiate
4 between the military and the MUP by the way they operated on the ground.
5 And this is a thing which we are totally unfamiliar with in our armies,
6 but I think we just have to see this special status of the MUP, and I
7 assume based on the documents I have read that the conditions of the -- of
8 the MUP in Bosnia-Herzegovina, as far as the war capabilities, the
9 fighting capabilities were concerned, were similar to the ones which I
10 have encountered after I came to Kosovo between the Serb MUP and the Serb
11 armed forces. For me there was no way to differentiate what they were
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] A final question regarding this
14 question of military and civilian authorities: There is a document, P272,
15 dated the 28th of July, 1993, and it is the code for the units of the
16 3rd Corps and each unit has a number, a reference number. And reading
17 this document, I note that the civilian authority, the municipal authority
18 also has a number, and we find that the municipal authority had four
19 anti-sabotage detachments with a number given to each, and they appear in
20 this military document. What do you think of that? Have you seen that
21 document? And in your opinion, what would this anti-sabotage unit be?
22 A. These anti-sabotage units were units for irregular warfare,
23 like -- very similar to the guerilla. And we also saw that there were
24 guerilla warfare -- guerilla groups in some of the municipality defence
1 And, sir, if you remember yesterday, we got this organisational
2 chart by the Defence in which we saw the individual brigades commanded by
3 the 3rd Corps, and 14 - I think I remember from my work - 14 different
4 municipal defence councils which were military territorial organisations.
5 We remember that the 3rd Corps was based on the former
6 territorial organisation which had military forces responsible for the
7 defence of their area, of their villages, and in this regard these
8 military -- these territorial forces were put under the command of the
9 corps, therefore they had those numbers, and therefore they had forces,
10 including these sabotage forces, which are forces not familiar to us in
11 NATO, but they were doing irregular operations in the -- in the area of
12 operations of that municipality council, defence council.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 Still referring to this same document which refers to the numbers
15 of units, their equipment and weapons, which tells us how the 3rd Corps
16 was in fact armed. And under the number 018, there's a indication "sniper
17 rifle." Was it customary for competent armies, qualified -- proper armies
18 to have sniper rifles?
19 A. Yes, sir. And it still is. And we have in all our armies sniper
20 rifles, and we have soldiers specially trained as becoming snipers. And
21 we all might remember that the territorial organisation was very much
22 based on a partisan kind of warfare for the defence if Yugoslav should be
23 attacked and occupied. And for this kind of partisan movement, snipers
24 are very important, and also anti-sabotage troops are important to fight
25 an unconventional guerilla kind of warfare against an enemy. And
1 therefore, they were a logical part, from their point of view, within
2 their territorial army.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I shall move on to
4 another topic, which has already been broadly covered by questions of
5 Judges, and that is the position of prisoners. You responded to all the
6 questions, but I just have some minor details to discuss with you.
7 There is a document that you have had, P260, which is a document
8 written by the security sector of the 3rd Corps and addressed to all
9 brigade commanders and which has to do with the way in which they should
10 behave in the case of prisoner exchanges and the measures that need to be
12 It appears in this document that when there is a prisoner
13 exchange the released prisoner is debriefed and he has to answer a whole
14 series of questions according to a text, which is quite lengthy and
15 consists of several pages, and he is asked where he was captured, the
16 hour, the time, the place of his capture, was he armed, was he imprisoned,
17 his name, et cetera, et cetera. And therefore there's a number of
18 questions that have to be put to the prisoner. This document addressed to
19 the brigades should normally affect ABiH prisoners detained by the HVO and
20 who are debriefed. To the extent to which you saw this document - I
21 assume you did - when the ABiH detained HVO prisoners, shouldn't they have
22 also asked them just their name, the unit they belonged to, and shouldn't
23 the questioning be limited to this: According to the training that you
24 had and the training provided in all armies of the world, the questioning
25 of prisoners, how far can it go?
1 A. Sir, I don't have the document with me right now, but I remember
2 the document, and I -- I cannot find the numbers the way -- the PT
3 numbers, because I have them listed in another category; therefore, I'm
4 sorry, I don't find it so fast.
5 But basically the question is that if you become a prisoner you
6 are allowed to tell your name, your rank, and your serial number, and
7 that's it. You even are not allowed, based on the international
8 regulations, which unit you are coming from. So this also applied to the
9 HVO officers -- HVO prisoners of war coming into your area.
10 In addition to that, we -- we know that almost all armies do it
11 differently, trying to get more out of the enemy, as far as information is
13 Now, once your own soldiers, having been held prisoner on the
14 other side, come back - in this case, ABiH soldiers coming back, having
15 been released as prisoners of war from the HVO - I think it's normal
16 procedure that you would ask them the maximum, where they have been, how
17 they have been treated, what they have been up to, in order to get the
18 intelligence and also to make sure they have been treated appropriately.
19 I think this is not against the basic humanitarian law, because once they
20 are back, they are soldiers under your command again and then they have to
21 answer all the questions pertinent to that.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us take a specific case.
23 In a military operation, you capture prisoners, so you have enemy
24 prisoners. In concrete terms, what instructions would you give your
25 troops with regard to those prisoners? What is the minimum threshold and
1 the maximum one with respect to those prisoners? What instructions would
2 you yourself give regarding the management of these people who have been
3 made prisoner?
4 A. Sir, there's a clear legal obligation, and the legal obligation
5 is that you are not allowed to ask more than the three items I mentioned
6 before. And if you do that, you always already commit an illegal act
7 concerning the international law.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In a military operation, when
9 you capture prisoners, if there are prisoners who appear to be civilians,
10 should they be taken to a military prison when they are civilians and
11 possibly even minors? How would a modern army, which respects democratic
12 criteria, treat civilians, women, old people, and children that are taken
13 captive, according to NATO countries' rules and the rules of the ex-Soviet
15 A. I think if you occupy an area and you have civilian population
16 there, it can be evacuated. It has to be treated and supported. But they
17 cannot become prisoners, because they're civilians. Once they are treated
18 and have medical support and -- and logistic support, you have to make
19 sure that they are being transported in an area in which they are not
20 affected any more by the adverse conditions of a war. So you cannot put
21 them in the same conditions as prisoners of war. If you do this, you
22 basically jeopardise their well-being and you are against the law, no
23 matter -- no matter what country you're belonging to, because the
24 international law applies to all the nations who have -- have subscribed
25 to that.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So what you're telling us
2 applies virtually to all the armies of the world; is that right?
3 A. Yes, sir.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am going on now to address
5 the question of Mujahedin. You answered a series of questions about this.
6 You mentioned the Mujahedin in your report. But I should like to address
7 this issue solely in military terms.
8 The situation at the time, such as it appeared to be on the basis
9 of the documents and your report, there was the 3rd Corps, which had a
10 geographic area under its control and it constituted -- it consisted of
11 about 32.000 troops under its control, deployed on the ground under
12 difficult conditions. That is without doubt. However, in military terms,
13 could one envisage a unit of some 100 individuals being able to impose a
14 reign of terror; whereas, an army corps, which is fully equipped, has
15 mortars and everything else, cannot put an end to the activities of this
16 so-called independent unit waging war in its own way? Is this feasible,
17 in military terms? Is it a possibility?
18 A. It is, sir. As a military commander, I have the means and I have
19 the power to check what these people were doing, and if I am not agreeing
20 with what they're doing, if I disagree with their way of waging war, I
21 have the means to stop them from doing that. That might not be a very
22 easy way, but I have possibility to do that and I should have done that.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the basis of the documents
24 you were provided with, documents concerning the 3rd Corps units,
25 et cetera, on the basis of the material you were provided with, did the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 3rd Corps have the military means to disarm, to annihilate a unit composed
2 of about 100 individuals?
3 A. Yes, sir, they had it. And if I may -- might draw your attention
4 back to the basic order for the -- in which -- before the --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was going to address that.
6 A. Okay.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Because yesterday a document
8 was mentioned, a document which said that -- in a report that mentioned
9 various solutions, either to integrate them, or to refuse them
10 hospitality, or to disarm them. You must be referring to this document
11 that the Trial Chamber is perfectly familiar with, because we've been
12 working on this case for over eight months now.
13 The document that you are familiar with - and I'm speaking purely
14 in military terms - was it an order of some sort, an implicit or explicit
15 order to the 3rd Corps commander, ordering him to take action, an order to
16 take action against this unit which wasn't respecting the legitimate
17 authority of those who were in control of the 3rd Corps's area of
19 A. For me this was a clear order. Thank you, sir, for helping me.
20 And I think it also showed that there was a way, an alternative to do
21 something about it, rather than leaving it as -- as it was by that time.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the basis of the documents
23 that you have been provided with - I'm referring to P294, in particular, a
24 document from the 3rd Corps, and I'm referring to the intelligence sector
25 of the 3rd Corps and the part that concerns mercenaries - this document
1 requests that their names be provided, the location of the unit that they
2 are in, and it requests other details, et cetera. On the basis of the
3 documents you had, independently of the Mujahedin, who may have come not
4 to act as mercenaries or maybe for other reasons, were there any
5 foreigners or even local people who had the status of mercenaries?
6 Because if this document mentions them, it means that there was a problem,
7 as far as mercenaries are concerned.
8 A. Sir, it's not that I'm aware of that there were other mercenaries
9 in that area of the 3rd Corps. There certainly were civilians who had
10 weapons, as former trained soldiers in the JNA or in the territorial
11 forces who could not join the military in time and who were defending
12 their villages with the weapons available to them. But I think these
13 people could not be called mercenaries. These were just people trying to
14 defend their house or the house of their neighbour and their families.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to move on to the
16 last subject so as not to use up time unnecessarily, and I want to discuss
17 purely technical and military matters.
18 In the situation at the time, and bearing in mind the
19 difficulties of the 3rd -- that the 3rd Corps had to encounter, the
20 problem of the competence of the officers, given the geographical
21 problems, the problems of communication and transport, when an attack was
22 organised, in your opinion, and on the basis of the documents you were
23 provided with, should there have been before military action was taken a
24 preparatory phase for this action? Is it customary before launching a
25 military action to have a meeting to decide what one is going to do and
1 how one is going to act, in order to determine the objectives of the
2 action? Usually, and on the basis of the documents you were provided
3 with, is this how one proceeded?
4 A. Sir, I just take the level of a brigade or a battalion. You take
5 your commanders, you get your commanders together before you attack. You
6 give them your order. You basically discuss with them your concept of
7 operations. And on a lower level, very often, at least in my army, we
8 then war gamed this on a relief like this, or what we call a sandbox, in
9 which we try to run through the entire operation and tell on -- on the
10 sandbox or on the relief what unit was supposed to do what, because it's
11 normally a very complex situation and the biggest -- the biggest thing you
12 want to -- to prevent is that people shoot themselves, fratricide.
13 So everybody has to know who is where, at what time you have to
14 coordinate this, and coordination really means to go through step by step
15 with the individuals who are commanding these operations. And I think,
16 from the documents I have read, that this procedure was more or less the
17 same in the JNA and also in the ABiH.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the basis of the documents
19 that you have examined, when the BH launched an attack, would you say that
20 the units in the field, perhaps at the level of a section or a platoon, at
21 the level of a small unit, would you say that in view of all the
22 difficulties caused by the geographical situation -- should these units
23 have had permanent radio contact with either the operational group, which
24 was the tactical centre, or with the headquarters? Could you imagine
25 action being taken outside of the control of the headquarters?
1 A. Normally, sir, the communication which you have is with your next
2 level; i.e., the platoon commander with the company commander, except if
3 it's a special platoon, which then can talk also to the battalion
4 commander; the battalion, normally with the brigade; and the brigade with
5 the operational group or directly with the corps command; and the corps
6 operational centre, which has been established, as we have seen from many
7 documents. But normally the corps would not know all the details of the
8 ongoing battle down of the company and battalion level except that this
9 was very special, where the commander would say, "I want to know exactly
10 what was going on."
11 You normally don't fight the battle of the lower level because
12 you have, hopefully, a competent commander in whom you trust that he can
13 do that. So the information of what has happened then flows into your
14 headquarters by message forms, be it written messages, be it oral messages
15 from lower headquarters, but already screened by the operational group or
16 by the battalion or the brigade, depending what level has been intermixed
17 between the corps level and the executive level, which is normally the
18 company on the lowest level.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you are saying that
20 theoretically those at the lower level have to report to those above them
21 and at each stage they report on the advancement of the operations to the
22 authority immediately above them; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, sir.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So let's take an example: The
25 unit in a field takes 10 or 15 prisoners, for example. The unit that
1 takes these prisoners, will it report to the authority above them that
2 they have arrested these individuals or that individuals have surrendered?
3 Will this then go right up the chain of command? Will this information go
4 right up the chain of command?
5 A. Yes and no, sir. We have seen in Dusina that the company who has
6 taken prisoners has reported this, and this went up the command
7 immediately, because this was the first outbreak of war. I think after
8 two or three months of a war, if a company would take 10 prisoners, that
9 would probably not go up to the highest headquarters; therefore, I say it
10 really depends very much so. It would be up to the battalion commander
11 and the brigade commander -- actually, to -- to analyse the situation
12 whether he would report this to higher headquarters or whether he would
13 include this in his normal combat report, which is due during combat every
14 six hours anyhow, and then that would be a part in his report.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in such a report, should
16 one immediately inform the authority above one the number of wounded, the
17 number of killed, the number of people killed on the other side?
18 According to the military rules, is it necessary to have an almost
19 immediate report on the situation after the last shot has been fired?
20 A. Sir, there is a constant message flow going to higher
21 headquarters, and in that message flow the question about the enemy and
22 the situation of the enemy and prisoners and casualties is what we say
23 SOP, standard operation procedures, which you crank in. And as I said,
24 every six hours in the Bosnian army the commander was supposed to give a
25 message about the situation on the ground. And I think the same as it is
1 in our army, this would also be a part in their army to do that.
2 Now, if you have a very large number which you had not foreseen,
3 there might be a spot report which you give immediately high up. You say,
4 "Okay, we have 100 or 150 prisoners of war, a very high number of
5 casualties on the other side," which never happened during that particular
6 war. But again, you know, it's up to the commander how he sees the
7 situation, what he then brings up forward immediately or through his
8 routine report, and every six hours is a routine report.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If we take the example of an
10 enemy who had men who were killed. When the company in the field returns,
11 is there a debriefing stage, and the higher level authority that wasn't
12 present asks those who were fighting in the field about the conditions in
13 which the enemy was killed, et cetera? This stage that follows the
14 action, is this a phase about which a report is made and it is then
15 forwarded to the headquarters? This report is then forwarded to the
17 A. Yes, sir. After an action is over, you have a debriefing in your
18 own unit and you discuss the problems you ran into, about the good things
19 and also very often the bad things which you have done. I mean, which did
20 not -- which was not successful. And then the commander will write an
21 after-action report. And we have quite a few after-action reports in the
22 documents given to me in which a battalion or a company or a brigade would
23 basically go through the disposition of the operations, the execution, and
24 the problems they run into. And normally under conditions like this, they
25 also would treat the situation of the enemy and about possible casualties
1 on the other side and prisoners of war. And these after-action reports
2 are normally - and I saw this also in the Bosnian army - due very
3 immediately after the action has ceased, in order to inform higher
4 headquarters how it went.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Document 330, the 22nd of
6 December, 1992, which is a report from the 3rd Corps and concerns the
7 situation of various brigades under the command of the 3rd Corps. I'm
8 referring to this document, and I will read from it. It's been provided
9 to you. With regard to the 17th Brigade -- not the 7th; the 17th Brigade.
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It mentions the structure of
12 the troops, and the term in English is "the poor" and "criminals." On
13 criminals." Does this mean that in the 17th Brigade soldiers who were
14 delinquent had been incorporated or soldiers who were very poor? Do you
15 recall having read this document? It's dated the 22nd of December, 1992,
16 just before the 1993 period, and it mentions the state of each brigade or
17 company. With regard to the 17th Muslim Brigade, the following is
18 said: "This brigade had special recruitment circumstances. The brigade
19 was up to 75 per cent of full strength. The communications system was not
20 sufficient. Morale was good. As far as the transport of troops is
21 concerned, soldiers still had problems."
22 Do you recall having seen this document? Because this document
23 says that the 17th Brigade and the 7th Brigade are those most capable of
24 conducting offensive operations. Does this remind you of anything?
25 A. Sir, I remind the document. Having read the document, I don't
1 have it with me right now. But I myself asked a question on those
2 criminals, and I don't know whether they had delinquents or former
3 criminals in their units or not. I only know that the 7th Brigade and in
4 particular the 7th Mountain Brigade was seen as very capable and -- and
5 very thrusting organisation, military units in the 3rd Corps sector, and I
6 remember that there are reports of the 3rd Corps stating that the
7 commanding general would be happy to have other forces being as capable as
8 the 7th Mountain Brigade.
9 But again, the particular question you asked me on those
10 criminals, I -- I'm not capable of answering that to you. I didn't follow
11 it up any more.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the documents you were
13 provided with, which were very different, there are lists of arms too. On
14 the basis your assessment of the BH and the HVO, who in your opinion
15 seemed to be the best equipped in military terms? Who do you express an
16 opinion about, the state of the forces present in the field? In
17 particular, in the 3rd Corps's zone of responsibility. In military terms,
18 what your -- would your assessment be of the balance of forces involved?
19 A. I think, sir, the best forces, as far as the organisation and the
20 equipment was concerned were the forces of the Republika Srpska. And
21 that's obvious because they were former JNA forces which were just turned
22 into forces of the Republika Srpska. So these were organised forces based
23 on the same doctrine. They had all the equipment with them in country,
24 and they were organised and equipped to the state of the art of equipment
25 by that time in the Yugoslav army.
1 The Croatian forces basically had to build up, but there has been
2 a Croatian state before the Bosnia and Herzegovina state --
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina existed. They were supported very much also by the
4 Americans at the beginning in the training and also to some way in
5 providing them weapons. And I think the ones who had the poorest training
6 and the poorest equipment were the Bosnian forces, because they had
7 nothing to rely upon. They could take the weapons which were stored in
8 the territorial forces, which were basically spreading all over the former
9 Yugoslavia geography. They could use those. They could use the weapons
10 which they basically took from the other side. They also -- and that
11 becomes rather obvious -- got money from Arab countries to buy weapons on
12 the free market, which I think was one of the reasons Izetbegovic was
13 rather lenient towards the mercenaries, the Mujahedin in the area, because
14 this was quid pro quo that he got the money from them.
15 But I think the most difficult part of the three armies was on the
16 side of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina because it basically had to
17 start with almost nothing and try to incorporate all these elements which
18 they got from different sides into one reliable and -- and workable
19 organisation, and this was very difficult.
20 So heavy equipment, like heavy artillery, like tanks, like
21 armoured personnel carriers, like helicopters were almost non-existent.
22 There were some tanks but only in very scarce areas. And he hadn't had a
23 chance, the commanding general, to fight a combined-arms army, as we will
24 call this in NATO terms, where you have all these elements of the air, of
25 far-reaching artillery, of - excuse me - of helicopters fighting against
1 one objective. This was just not possible. He just had to take what he
2 was available for. And the majority were infantry weapons, rifles,
3 machine-guns, hand grenades, and mortars. And mortars are not a very
4 far-reaching weapon.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the basis of the documents
6 that you have examined did you find proof that the BH had supply routes
7 from abroad? Because you said that in your opinion that must have been
8 the case. Are you absolutely sure of this? And where could they have
9 obtained these supplies from, since it seems that there were lots of HVO
10 checkpoints on the routes, there was a Serb presence too. How could
11 weapons have arrived from the outside, given that the situation on the
12 ground could have made it difficult for such weapons to be delivered?
13 A. Sir, I had five battalions day and night in Kosovo guarding the
14 borders towards the surrounding terrain, also very difficult mountainous
15 terrain. And I think we were very competent in trying to prevent weapons
16 to be smuggled in. We were not very successful. To smuggle weapons in an
17 area is a rather easy thing, with cars driving around, with a very broken
18 terrain where you can take mules or -- or personal carriers getting this
19 in. So this was not very difficult. And weapons are to be bought all
20 over the world because there are many weapons dealers who are happy to
21 sell their weapons whoever gets the money from -- for.
22 So to get weapons in the country, even if you just air drop them
23 into the zone, is possible, but you have to have money. And there are
24 some documents which I went through where it says, "Do we have or do we
25 have to be nice to the Mujahedin because they are providing us weapons or
1 their countries are providing money with which we can buy weapons?" So I
2 only deduct from those documents that there must have been some relation,
3 and we know that -- how difficult it was at the beginning for the state of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina to have support from the outside, and they needed
5 support from the outside because they hadn't had -- they haven't had
6 anything by that time. So without the support from the outside, they
7 couldn't increase their -- their amount of weapons, and it's not only
8 weapons. What is even more important is ammunition. And ammunition
9 normally is very heavy, it's very expensive, and it has to fit your
10 weapons systems.
11 But again, to get this into a country, it seems that the
12 imagination and intuition of the ones who do that is much high higher than
13 we normally would anticipate.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, General.
15 I don't think the Judges have any other questions for you.
16 It's time for the break now. The Prosecution will ask questions
18 How much time does the Defence think that they will need for
19 additional questions after the break? Because if you have no other
20 questions, we could perhaps release the witness. But that depends on the
22 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
23 The Defence will have as many questions as the Trial Chamber,
24 Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The best solution
1 would be to have the break now.
2 It's half past 12.00. We'll resume at 1.00.
3 Mr. Mundis, how much time will you need for your re-examination?
4 We need to organise our time, because we only have 45 minutes.
5 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, thank you for the opportunity.
6 As of right now, the Prosecution has three questions for the
7 witness following directly from questions put to him by Your Honours. We
8 do believe that we should be permitted to be the final person or final
9 party to put questions to the witness. I -- it's very difficult to
10 predict what additional questions might arise from the Defence, but as of
11 right now, I would think I need five to ten minutes at the most,
12 depending, again, on issues that might arise during the
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
15 Mr. Bourgon, we have heard the Prosecution say that they would
16 need five or ten minutes. 35 or 40 minutes, would that be sufficient for
17 you? In any event, it should be sufficient.
18 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. That
19 will be sufficient.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Dixon.
21 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, at most we would need five minutes, but
22 it might not be that we even need that amount of time. But if we could be
23 reserved five minutes, that would be appropriate. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In theory, we'll
25 follow this plan -- we'll follow our plan, and we will adjourn at 1.45.
1 So we will resume at five to 1.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 12.59 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
5 Mr. Bourgon, I give you the floor for your questions.
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Before beginning with my few additional questions, I would like
8 once again to address my apologies to my colleagues in the interpretation
9 booth. They were rather angry yesterday, saying that I spoke too fast,
10 which made their work unbearable. I apologise, and I will do everything I
11 can to reduce the speed of my speech, and I wish to say that we in the
12 Defence have a lot of appreciation for the people who are assisting us in
13 these proceedings, and I will try to speak slowly.
14 Further cross-examination by Mr. Bourgon:
15 Q. General, it is difficult for me at this point in time to exactly
16 know where to begin after four days and so many good questions that have
17 been put to you. Maybe I can just begin by asking you if you can confirm
18 that fighting on two fronts is very difficult.
19 A. Very difficult. Yes, sir.
20 Q. And, General, when the two fronts you are facing, even though
21 they have different identities, different roles, nevertheless if both of
22 these fronts you are facing have the same objective, which is to defeat
23 you, it is a difficult situation.
24 A. It definitely is. Yes, sir.
25 Q. And where, General, these two fronts you are facing - in this
1 case, the HVO and the VRS - they both have territorial ambitions, and that
2 is to take away your land and to make you disappear.
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. The level of stress which is created by such a situation will
5 affect everyone at every level, from the president, down to the soldier at
6 the lowest level.
7 A. Yeah, I totally agree with you.
8 Q. And if we say that both of these enemies that you are facing, the
9 HVO and the VRS, are both supported materielly, from a logistic point of
10 view, but also from a political point of view by two big states, such as
11 Croatia, on the side of the HVO, and now -- under the new name Serbia, on
12 the side of the VRS, that this even makes things even more difficult.
13 A. Yes, sir.
14 Q. And if we look at the geographical situation of Bosnia and
15 Herzegovina, you fully understand that they had no access to the sea and
16 that they were surrounded by these two states; namely, the Federal
17 Republic of Yugoslavia and the -- and Croatia.
18 A. And they even had two different areas of operation; i.e., Central
19 Bosnia and the Bihac pocket.
20 Q. And in these circumstances, you will confirm probably once again
21 that the mission of General Hadzihasanovic, what he was asked to do would
22 be in the following order: One, to ensure that the line against the Serbs
23 would not move.
24 A. Yep.
25 Q. Two, to create the 3rd Corps; and three, to try and create the
1 necessary conditions to liberate Sarajevo.
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. Would that be a fair statement of what his mission was?
4 A. Yeah. I think so.
5 Q. And you would also agree that this mission not only would have
6 but that it should have been the main concern of the commanding general.
7 A. It definitely was his main concern.
8 Q. I'd like to divide my supplementary questions in four distinct
9 areas, the first one being the tempo of operations. And I must admit,
10 General, I have a bit of difficulty in following some of your answers
11 today. Would you agree together in the previous days I gave you many
12 circumstances which could impact on the exercise of command by General
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. Now, in your assessment and your answer today, you mentioned that
16 the tempo of operations was somewhat relaxed at times? Did you say that,
17 or is that your -- your words or your assessment?
18 A. I said there were operational pauses. There was not constant
19 fighting throughout the time day and night. There were operational
21 Q. And you've also said that the lines did not change very much
22 during this time, the confrontation line.
23 A. Yes, that's what I said, in comparison to other operations on the
24 corps-level size operations.
25 Q. But I did show you, General, the example of Gorazde, where the
1 complete land was taken and Gorazde was completely isolated. Did I show
2 you this example?
3 A. You did.
4 Q. Now, this example is not one that is in the 3rd Corps area, so
5 it's not really one that should concern General Hadzihasanovic; right?
6 A. I think it -- it will have concerned him very much so, because
7 it's a key part of the country he was defending with the 3rd Corps. But I
8 mean, the movement of operations, back and forward, as you would normally
9 have in -- in corps operation is very much reduced in this kind of
10 operations as we see it in Central Bosnia.
11 Q. And when we say, "Normal operations," are we talking normal
12 operations in the books or normal operations in real life?
13 A. I'm not talking about the books. I talk about the operations as
14 I have analysed them in -- in history. And as we see it, also as of today
15 when we see operations going on.
16 Q. Now, I did show you yesterday, General, the example of Zepce and
17 the pocket that was created up in the north and that it was clear from the
18 series of events that the object was to cut off completely the north to
19 the 3rd Corps.
20 A. Yeah.
21 Q. And you would agree that this is not only an operational
22 objective but that it is in fact a strategic objective not to lose the
24 A. And I also stated yesterday how important it was for General
25 Hadzihasanovic to keep those two shoulders at any cost in order to prevent
1 the breakthrough at that particular part of the terrain.
2 Q. And because if he lost those two soldiers, for example -- those
3 two shoulders, sorry, around Vares, that this would have been critical not
4 only for the 3rd Corps but for the state itself.
5 A. It would be a disaster for the state.
6 Q. And that down in the south there was a similar situation with the
7 two shoulders closing in, which would have completely cut the 3rd Corps
8 away from any route leading to Sarajevo.
9 A. Right, sir.
10 Q. And that as far as the HVO is concerned, we also could see from
11 the diagram - correct me if I'm wrong - but that in January these -- the
12 fighting between the HVO and the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was at its
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. But that by the time we reached the period from, I would say, May
16 to September there were ongoing front lines inside the area of the
17 3rd Corps.
18 A. Yeah. That's what I called inverted lines, when they had to
19 fight in different directions, even within the 3rd Corps sector.
20 Q. And the last map we saw yesterday, which was the end of August,
21 then you could see that by that time the area of operation of the
22 3rd Corps was encircled by three different corps of Serb forces. Would
23 you agree with that?
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. And would you also agree that the area was also occupied in the
1 inside by two operative zones of the HVO army?
2 A. I don't know exactly what forces were operating in -- within the
3 inside, but I assume that what you tell me is appropriate, so yes, sir.
4 But I have never checked on that.
5 Q. And would you agree with me, both on the documents that you have
6 read and your reading of the situation, that the flow of refugees would
7 have been non-stop throughout the -- throughout the war?
8 A. Yeah.
9 Q. And we discussed the issue of the lack of weapons, and you knew
10 that there was an embargo in place preventing people from getting weapons.
11 A. I know that.
12 Q. And you said that people are very -- have good ideas on how to
13 get and how to smuggle weapons.
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. But that would apply, for example, in your case in Kosovo, when
16 you have -- when you can smuggle a weapon from the neighbouring country,
17 that would make it possible, even though it's illegal and even though your
18 forces were guarding that border.
19 A. Yeah.
20 Q. Now, in the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina, not only did they
21 have to face the forces but they also have to go through a neighbouring
22 country before they can get access to the next one. You agree with that?
23 A. This is true.
24 Q. And that this would not make it, unless it was an air drop, but
25 there was a no-fly zone, this would have been absolutely impossible for
1 Bosnia to get weapons from the outside.
2 A. I wouldn't say absolutely impossible because otherwise -- there
3 were weapons available, and the corps was armed and other corps were
4 armed, not the appropriate way. But if they -- if it had been totally
5 impossible, even this would have probably not been possible. So somewhere
6 weapons came into the area, and ammunition.
7 Q. And now, if I mention to you on the tempo of operations, General,
8 some of the things that took place or some of the attacks that were led
9 not by the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina but attacks against which they had
10 to defend?
11 A. Yeah.
12 Q. And I simply refer here to a number of towns which were part of
13 the indictment laid against General Blaskic. Blaskic, of course, the
14 commander of the operative zone.
15 A. Yeah.
16 Q. And you knew, for example, that in Gornji Vakuf the fighting was
17 there throughout the year non-stop. Did you know that from the documents
18 that you had?
19 A. I know that.
20 Q. And in Busovaca, there was fighting both in January and later
21 throughout the year on at least three different occasions.
22 A. I also know that. But we also both know that these fightings on
23 those villages or cities were of limited forces amounted -- or being
24 bogged down in those fightings. These were smaller fightings, not
25 large-scale fightings.
1 Q. And if I mention to you the fighting in Ahmici in April --
2 A. Yeah.
3 Q. -- which was probably the single-most or biggest massacre which
4 took place, according to the evidence filed in other cases, was a very big
6 A. Yeah.
7 Q. Carefully planned and carefully executed. And then if I speak to
8 you of the attacks in Travnik, which started as early as April and went
9 out until the summer, would you agree with me that this is ongoing
10 fighting, even if it's not of a high level?
11 A. Yes, sir, I do.
12 Q. And if I speak to you of the towns of Nadioci, Pirici, Santici,
13 Stari Vitez, Rotilj, Kiseljak, Loncari, Grbavica, Svinjarevo, Gomionica,
14 Gromiljak, the complete Bila Valley, including Guca Gora, Maljine, and all
15 the sectors in Bugojno, would you agree that all these towns were the
16 object of armed conflict between the HVO and the Army of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina --
18 A. I think so. I --
19 Q. -- during that period.
20 A. I think so, sir. I must say I cannot agree to everything,
21 because I just don't know this and I was sworn in to tell the truth. But
22 I think there were many, many villages which were constantly encountered
23 by either side.
24 Q. And you understand that there were more than 300 kilometres of
25 front line between the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Serbian
2 A. Yeah.
3 Q. And you understand that to maintain the front line there is every
4 day when you maintain a front line some shooting?
5 A. No question about it.
6 Q. And that the use of sniper is a regular -- a regular happening on
7 front lines.
8 A. Yep.
9 Q. And that front line, even though it is not actual fighting on the
10 offensive, you need to place forces there?
11 A. Yeah.
12 Q. And you need to find the weapons and the ammunition for these
14 A. Absolutely.
15 Q. And you saw the reports from General Hadzihasanovic even saying
16 that some forces were on the defensive on the lines were actually using
17 more ammunition than other forces who were on the offensive.
18 A. This is very often the case like this.
19 Q. And General Hadzihasanovic was wondering whether this was a
20 consequence of the troops being less trained or whether this was a
21 consequence of really, because there was lots of activity on the front
23 A. I cannot answer the question.
24 Q. It could be both.
25 A. [No audible response]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Now, during that time, General, the -- you would agree with me --
2 you will agree with me that during that time, in order to fulfil his
3 mission, General Hadzihasanovic had to create the army, to train his
4 people, to recruit people, to find the necessary resources, to support
5 operations in other corps, and to keep his main supply routes open.
6 A. Absolutely true.
7 Q. Now, we've heard from the Judges, you were asked -- you were
8 asked questions concerning -- we all understand, and no one is disputing
9 that this was a tough situation. My question to you is: Is all of this
10 in one year, how tough was it? And should we just say, "Well, it's tough
11 but," or would we say, "It was really tough," and we have to take it into
13 A. Sir, I never doubted that this was really tough, and I always
14 said it was really tough, and it was very, very difficult to accomplish
15 the mission as the operational commander of the 3rd Corps. I never
16 doubted this a bit.
17 Q. Because you understand, General, you are -- you are the only
18 soldier in this room. You are the only one today who can ensure that this
19 trial will take into consideration the difficulty and the complexity and
20 the almost nightmare through which General Hadzihasanovic had to
21 accomplish his duty. Can you elaborate on this, please.
22 A. Sir, the deployment of my forces and my personal engagement in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina was to help those forces who were attacked from the
24 Serbs and the HVO. This was all about why we deployed there. And I have
25 nothing, just high esteem about the way this new government tried to
1 survive with its forces. And if you have the impression that I am in any
2 way against them, then I must tell you this is absolutely wrong. I am
3 absolutely unbiased in this way, rather than being pro-Bosnia-Herzegovina,
4 because this is why I went there.
5 So I see the difficulties. I always stressed the difficulties.
6 And I'm absolutely sure that the Chamber Trial will take this into their
7 considerations, because this is the key factor you have to take into
9 Q. Now, General, I would never even think that you were biassed. My
10 question was more simply related to what I said at the beginning. We are
11 of the view that we need the input of soldiers who can really explain what
12 it could have been like.
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. Now, you mentioned yesterday, General, that when you are shot at,
15 that this significantly reduces automatically your -- I'm not sure what
16 word you used --
17 A. Capabilities.
18 Q. Your capabilities.
19 Now, you understand from the documents that Zenica was being
20 shelled with artillery throughout the year, not constant fire but regular
21 fire by artillery in the town of Zenica.
22 A. Yeah.
23 Q. In the town that had grown and had more than doubled in
25 A. Because of the refugees, yeah.
1 Q. In a town that was starving.
2 A. Yeah.
3 Q. I'd just like to show you one quick map which refers to one
4 operation, which was lead by the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I only
5 have one of them in colour, and I would like you to use the one that is in
6 colour, this one here.
7 Now, General, this is a drawing of the attack on Vares or the
8 operations leading to the capture of Vares. You can see from this map,
9 General, that there are three corps involved in this operation: 1 Corps,
10 2 Corps, and 3 Corps. And you can also see by looking at the bottom of
11 this map, you see the involvement of the Operational Group Istok.
12 A. Mm-hm.
13 Q. And you know from reading your documents that the Operational
14 Group Istok was then -- was then under command of the newly formed
15 6 Corps.
16 A. Yep.
17 Q. So looking at the geography and bearing in mind that this is a
18 four-corps operation and the way it was handled, would you agree with me
19 at first that this is fighting at the operational level which requires
20 very sophisticated command and control planning and execution?
21 A. I don't agree with that, but let me tell you it's not a
22 four-corps operation; it's a three-corps operation, because the
23 Operational Group Istok by that period of time was given to the 1st Corps,
24 attached within the 1st Corps sector. So they were elements of another
25 corps, given to another corps to support them. But nevertheless it was a
1 complicated operation. And it was exactly what I tried to describe in my
2 statement, that over the time the corps became more and more proficient
3 and learnt more and more to execute more complicated operations, because
4 they had to learn it by doing. And this is a good example, a very good
5 example which you pointed forward, that shows that the Bosnian forces have
6 regained -- not regained, but have gained the competencies to do
7 operations like this, as far as the -- the professional capabilities, as
8 far as the weapons, as far as communications was concerned. So they have
9 improved over time.
10 Q. And given, General, the starting point of the Army of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina, and especially the 3rd Corps, if they succeeded in achieving
12 that kind of level of sophistication in mounting an attack or an operation
13 in early November, would you say that this can be attributed to the
14 leadership of the 3rd Corps and to the good work, both the sound military
15 work, training, planning, and preparing of General Hadzihasanovic?
16 A. This is to be attributed to the corps commanders of all the corps
17 involved, including General Hadzihasanovic. No question about it.
18 Q. I move on, General, to another topic, and that of - quickly,
19 because I don't want to run out of time - but first I'd like to confirm
20 that it is your understanding that the situation you were in in Kosovo was
21 different from the situation in Bosnia, both in respect of your
22 responsibilities that you had, the role that you had, and the applicable
23 law in Kosovo. Would you agree?
24 A. It's not to be compared. Total different scenarios and
1 Q. And if you make any comments about the MUP in Kosovo, this has --
2 could have nothing to do with the MUP in Bosnia.
3 A. You're right.
4 Q. And the main document which describes the relationship of the
5 civil authorities with the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which is the
6 decree having force of law on defence, was never shown to you. Am I
7 correct in saying that?
8 A. That's true.
9 Q. So today you are not able to comment on whether what was still in
10 force or what was not in force at the time these events took place.
11 A. I am capable of discussing the situation of the military district
12 command in this regard, because they were part of the 3rd Corps. And by
13 the other things, I said I only can assume that this was the way they
14 cooperated. I don't know, and I made very clear that I don't know it
16 Q. And you saw from documents that there was indeed the civil
17 authorities still operating.
18 A. Yeah.
19 Q. Am I correct in saying, General, that your position is that if
20 you are the governor or the military governor of an area, then you would
21 be responsible for anything in that territory? Those are your words
23 A. I think this is what goes with the term "military governor," that
24 you're responsible for everything.
25 Q. And it is your understanding that this was not the case of
1 General Hadzihasanovic in his area.
2 A. Yes, sir, this is my understanding.
3 Q. And in any event, whatever you may have said today, in terms of
4 responsibility, you would agree with me that the only thing that really
5 counts is what law was applicable.
6 A. Sure.
7 Q. And that if we find out later or by whatever means that the law
8 applicable was different from your answers, then you understand that --
9 that this is what is the matter.
10 A. You only can apply which -- the law which was applicable at the
11 particular time. And I was asked this morning how I would see it from my
12 point of view, and there might be a difference.
13 Q. And General Hadzihasanovic, as you mentioned, was not responsible
14 for civilians or for the law enforcement of common-law crimes.
15 A. This is true.
16 Q. And in the area of General Hadzihasanovic, we already confirmed
17 that whether there were members from BritBat, from HVO, from the ECMM,
18 from the ICRC, and from the Army of the Republika Srpska, that he was not
19 responsible for these people or for violations committed by these people.
20 A. I agree to that.
21 Q. Now, when you are in Bosnia at that time, would you agree with me
22 that you have a governmental army which can be referred to as governmental
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. And you have two other forces; namely, the HVO and the VRS.
1 A. Yeah.
2 Q. And you have a number of internationals which have various legal
4 A. Yeah.
5 Q. And that everyone else are civilians.
6 A. Yeah.
7 Q. And that the civilian police was responsible to take care of
8 those other people.
9 A. In principle, yes.
10 Q. And if the Mujahedin were not incorporated - we're not talking
11 cooperation - if they were not incorporated in the Army of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina, then their legal status was that of civilians who might have
13 been bearing arms and who were common-law criminals. Would that be a fair
15 A. I think they were irregulars and not just simple civilians, and I
16 think it's too easy to say a black and white -- black or white, yes or no,
17 because even so they might not have been in the -- incorporated in the
18 overall organisation, they worked very closely within them.
19 Q. But --
20 A. And therefore, they're different from normal civilians working or
21 doing things in the area. I think one really has to differentiate here.
22 Q. But their legal status -- they're not -- they're not a combatant
23 member of one of the three armies, so --
24 A. They're not a combatant member of one of the three armies.
25 Q. And when talking about cooperation, if we talk about, quickly, in
1 terms of the difference within multinational operations, the Germans and
2 the United States fighting together on the same front, in cooperation,
3 would you tell me that the Germans are criminally responsible for the
4 crimes committed by the United States?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And when the Russians defeated the Germans in the Second World
7 War, would you tell me that the Russians would be criminally responsible
8 for the illegal actions of the partisans?
9 A. There's no question about it.
10 Q. That they were responsible -- the commander was responsible.
11 A. Yeah, because the partisans were a part -- they were commanded
12 and integrated in the operations by the Stavka.
13 Q. And if they were not integrated, then --
14 A. I don't know whether they were not integrated, but they were even
15 used in -- in a very strategic way in the rear, and I know from my
16 knowledge of the Second World War that they were very closely connected
17 with the ongoing military operations and that the highest command of the
18 Russian -- or the Soviet Armed Forces by that time connected this and
19 there were even key military leaders flown in to -- to command and control
20 these partisan movements, which were on a very large scale.
21 So I think this is, in my opinion, a thing where the Russian
22 command was very much responsible for what was going on there.
23 Q. And, General, if we move to Iraq, you will agree with me that in
24 Iraq there are many factions fighting with the same goals but there is no
25 link between these forces, in terms of command and control, and that one
1 cannot be said to be responsible for the other one? Am I correct in
2 saying that?
3 A. Let me try to -- to think it over. I think the -- the army
4 headquarters is responsible for all the actions taken by the armed forces
5 but there are also civil organisations, security organisations involved in
6 what's going on, and they are not responsible for the -- for what they are
8 Q. And when I take -- I would have to give you many examples, but I
9 will -- risk running out of time. But you agree with me, and that was
10 your position yesterday and somewhat today, that to be criminally
11 responsible the forces would have to be under your command during an
12 operation for you to be criminally responsible?
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. Now, the ideal scenario into planning an operation, as you know
15 it from all your training and your experience, you first you plan an
16 operation and you identify who will attack and where. Would that be a
17 fair --
18 A. Yeah, yeah.
19 Q. And then you would issue orders for that attack.
20 A. Yeah.
21 Q. And again, the ideal situation is you assemble all those who will
22 be part of that attack into what we call an assembly area.
23 A. Yeah.
24 Q. And that then you will most likely have training, especially for
25 the leaders around a map like this, where you will play different
1 scenarios and what -- you will do what we call war game the attack?
2 A. That's what I said in explaining this morning. Yes, sir.
3 Q. And then, time allowing, you would even practice actions at
4 the -- at different RV points or actions at the objectives?
5 A. Yeah.
6 Q. Physical practice?
7 A. Yeah.
8 Q. And then each hour will come and you would launch the attack.
9 A. Yeah.
10 Q. That's the ideal scenario.
11 A. Yeah.
12 Q. Now, in a scenario like this, you know who you're fighting with
13 and who is on your left flank and who is on your right flank.
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. If unknown elements show up during that attack, towards the end
16 of the attack, and by force they take away from you detainees that you are
17 handling at this time, would that be an indication to you that those
18 forces are fighting together or that that force, kidnapping your own
19 detainees, is a force that is not fighting with you?
20 A. If this individual case is as you just stated, they would not be
21 fighting with me; they would be fighting against me.
22 Q. And if part of the detainees that were not successfully kidnapped
23 by this other force were placed into a school and guarded against any acts
24 committed by those Mujahedin to protect the civilians, would you say that
25 the Mujahedin and the army are fighting together or that this indicates
1 that on the contrary, they are fighting on different -- not together?
2 A. They are almost fighting each other.
3 Q. And if, General, I indicate to you that Mujahedin were using
4 money in all villages trying to recruit people to fight with them for two
5 reasons: One -- because they wanted Muslims to be -- to become
6 fundamentalist and have their own state; and, two, because they were using
7 the pretext that your government is not doing enough, join us and we'll
8 give you $2.000? Are they fighting with or against?
9 A. You know, this is for me now almost hair-splitting, because we
10 all know that the Mujahedin did not come into the country to fight against
11 the Muslims and not to fight against the Bosnian-Herzegovinian army. This
12 is not the reason why they came into the country, just the contrary. And
13 I think we both agree on that one.
14 You just mentioned individual cases, where on a case by case
15 there were clashes with them, but that doesn't mean that they were
16 constantly fighting against each other. We know that they were
17 spearheading their operations and that they're working with the
18 operations. And if a battalion commander tells me the cooperation which
19 we used to have with them really was a key thing for the -- for the morale
20 of my forces, it seems that they cooperated normally in a very smooth way,
21 rather than in a contradictory way.
22 Q. And that could be one group, and there were be other elements or
23 other groups --
24 A. Absolutely
25 Q. -- that we don't know about.
1 A. Absolutely.
2 Q. And you can't tell either from the documents or your
3 experience --
4 A. No, I can't tell --
5 Q. -- about the existence of how many groups there was.
6 A. No, I don't know.
7 Q. And you mentioned something about wanting to have some Mujahedin
8 released. And were you given any information about an exchange of
9 prisoners which took place where a commander of the HVO was kidnapped by
10 the Mujahedin?
11 A. Yeah.
12 Q. You had this information?
13 A. Yeah, yeah.
14 Q. And you know that when the exchange took place, first a ransom
15 was requested -- an exchange was requested by the Mujahedin themselves.
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. And you know that the Mujahedin did not address -- that they
18 addressed their request for an exchange to the ECMM, the European
19 Community Monitoring Mission.
20 A. Yeah.
21 Q. And that there was at that time all the exchange was organised
22 actually by the ECMM.
23 A. It was organised by the ECMM, but I know at least of one case
24 where the 7th Mountain Brigade addressed this particular case to the
25 international commission, asking them to look for the release of soldiers
1 which were Mujahedin.
2 Q. And that was before the kidnapping ever took place. This was --
3 A. This was somewhere I think 14 April, something like this, of
5 Q. And before the actual kidnapping.
6 A. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It's not connected --
7 Q. It's not --
8 A. -- particularly. But you said whether I know of any case. I
9 just said there is at least one case I'm familiar with where this
11 Q. Now, if I mention to you, General, that the leading figure of the
12 ECMM in Zenica had a meeting with General Hadzihasanovic and General
13 Hadzihasanovic agreed at that time to secure the place where the exchange
14 took place, he actually positioned his forces there to secure the
15 exchange --
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. -- and agreed that he would fire against the Mujahedin if
18 anything arose, would that be an indication to you that there was
19 cooperation between the Mujahedin and the 3rd Corps or that, on the
20 contrary, there was no cooperation between the two?
21 A. Again, this is not black/white. In that particular case, you are
22 absolutely right; it seems that General Hadzihasanovic was very -- oh, I
23 don't say that -- he was very angry with the way they did their business,
24 and he was willing to take the actions necessary that they -- that they
25 would convey with his plan of operations.
1 Q. Now, a question was put to you whether the 3rd Corps had the
2 necessary forces to take on the Mujahedin.
3 A. Yeah.
4 Q. And your answer was yes.
5 A. Yeah.
6 Q. But you have no idea what the extent of the Mujahedin problem
8 A. I don't know whether I have no idea. I know this were about a
9 battalion-sized formation broken up in different subunits. And seeing
10 about the size of the 3rd Corps, seeing the security forces, military
11 police forces available, I think there should have been a possibility to
12 do something, because you don't have to fight them all; you just have to
13 fight individuals, especially their leaders, to make them comply.
14 Q. And, General, am I right in saying that if you want to attack any
15 force, a minimum ratio of 3 to 1 must be applied to take on a military
16 unit --
17 A. No.
18 Q. And that is minimum.
19 A. No.
20 Q. So with less than 3 to 1 you can take on a military unit?
21 A. I think the 3 to 1 is a -- is a ratio which sounds nice, but it's
22 not the -- the key figure. And I'll just give you two examples: When --
23 when the Germans attacked Russia, they were far less than the Russian
24 forces. And if you see that the 1st Armoured Division attacked the Iraq
25 forces with the superiority of the Iraq forces of 10 to 1 against one
1 attacking division, you see the fourth ratio really doesn't say anything
2 in this regard.
3 Q. So it is your view that on a small-scale operation -- not a
4 small-scale but an immediate operation, if I want to take a company line I
5 don't need three times the men? Is that what you're saying? Because
6 that's my specific question. If I attack a specific battalion, I put it
7 to you that I need at least three battalions to take on this position.
8 A. Sir, it really is very hypothetical thing, and we both know that,
9 because it depends on the situation. If the whole battalion is in
10 defence -- I'm attacking, then I would say I need more than one battalion
11 to attack them. I need also artillery. I need other things to do that.
12 That's true. I just want to -- I just want to give away -- get away from
13 this 1 to 3 ratio, because again that doesn't normally say much. This is
14 very academic.
15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I can see that time
16 is running out. I need another 15 minutes to ask additional questions.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Make a selection of your
18 questions and only ask the most important ones, because Mr. Dixon needs to
19 ask questions, as well as the Prosecution, and we shouldn't be working
20 after 1.45, in fact.
21 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, how much more time
22 may I have?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Five minutes for you; five
24 minutes for Mr. Dixon; and five minutes for the Prosecution. And by that
25 time, it will already be 2.00.
1 MR. BOURGON:
2 Q. General, I have no time left. It's unfortunate. I would have
3 many questions to put to you arising from the questions of the Judges, but
4 I don't have the time and I cannot do it. I think it's very unfortunate,
5 but I have just a couple -- a few questions.
6 You mentioned the name of Siber today. Now, I'd like to know --
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could we go into
9 private session. It is necessary for this part.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's go into private session.
11 [Private session]
12 Page 6982 redacted, private session
12 Page 6983 redacted, private session
8 [Open session]
9 MR. BOURGON:
10 Q. You are aware, General, of a situation, a scandal which is now
11 ongoing where British forces and American forces have been mistreating
12 prisoners that they took in Iraq - and "mistreating" is a light word for
13 what we see in the papers - are you aware of this fact?
14 A. I'm aware, but I would say they are not all prisoners, because
15 most of them are civilians being detained and not military prisoners of
17 Q. And would you agree with me, General, that if I propose to you
18 that the commander of the corps who was there today in Iraq, that he
19 probably had no knowledge that this was going on until it hit the paper?
20 A. I'm aware that this is not the case, because he himself has
21 started investigation, having got information, and he has started
22 investigation already a long time ago, and therefore I think what you just
23 have alluded to is not the reality. General Sanchez started as soon as he
24 had got some information on that, but it might have been too late already.
25 Q. And you understand, General, that when we talk about the best
1 forces in the world, the German forces, the British forces, the American
2 forces, that things like that are very likely to happen and that it is
3 very difficult for any commander, especially at the corps level, to be
4 aware of what's going on in detention facilities down on the ground?
5 A. This is difficult. I know this from my own experience.
6 Q. And in your own experience, General, there was a report that was
7 made by Amnesty International that was -- a letter was sent to you when
8 you were a commander of KFOR, and this letter was saying that there was
9 allegations that people under your command were mistreating detainees. Do
10 you recall this letter being sent to you?
11 A. I recall this letter, and I started investigation right away.
12 Q. And before that letter, you knew nothing about these events.
13 A. Well, it also turned out that the allegations were wrong.
14 Q. Thank you, General.
15 MR. BOURGON: I have no further questions.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Mr. Dixon, you may take the floor.
18 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. On behalf of Mr. Kubura, we
19 have no further questions for General Reinhardt in addition to the ones
20 that we've asked already in our cross-examination.
21 Thank you, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon.
23 Mr. Mundis.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. The Prosecution has just
25 a few additional questions arising from questions put either by the Bench
1 or by my learned colleague for Mr. Hadzihasanovic.
2 Further examination by Mr. Mundis:
3 Q. General Reinhardt, with respect to detained persons, whether
4 prisoners of war or civilians, His Honour Judge Swart asked a number of
5 questions concerning detention facilities. My question is: Based on your
6 experience or knowledge, what branch or -- or military subspecialty would
7 you expect to be directly involved for the handling, security, and
8 treatment of prisoners of war or civilians who fall into the hands of the
10 A. I think the best ones to take care of the prisoners of war should
11 be military police forces to do the first handling, but we know that there
12 are scarce resources and therefore it's most of the time not only military
13 police but it's also regular forces who have to do that, and therefore
14 it's even more important to transfer them into civil detention facilities
15 as soon as possible.
16 Q. General, in response to a question from His Honour the Presiding
17 Judge, you told us how important professionalism was at the company or
18 platoon level.
19 A. Yeah.
20 Q. And I believe you said that that was perhaps even more important
21 than at the high brass level. And if I recall, you also said that if
22 soldiers didn't have confidence in company or platoon leaders, that
23 they "probably wouldn't leave the trench."
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. Based on the documents and other information that you possess
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 with respect to events in Central Bosnia in 1993, did ABiH soldiers in
2 fact leave the trenches?
3 A. There are quite a few indications that ABiH soldiers just went
4 home and did not continue, and this was one of the big problems for the
5 commanders, that their soldier just left the battlefield.
6 Q. General, I understand that this was a problem, but did in fact
7 soldiers of the ABiH engage the HVO during the period in 1993 in combat?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Also in response to questions by His Honour Judge Antonetti, you
10 mentioned partisan warfare for defence. Now, I understand that this might
11 be something that you're not familiar with. And if -- if that's the case,
12 please tell us. But what is your understanding of the former JNA or
13 former Yugoslav concept of partisan warfare? What does that entail? What
14 is it?
15 A. It is a -- a defence -- a local defence of territorial forces, a
16 prepared defence which basically is responsible for, as I said, the local
17 defence. In addition to those partisan kind of territorial defence, the
18 Yugoslav army had operational forces that could reinforce the Territorial
19 Defence, who could also create main thrusts in some area. So there is a
20 network of soldiers in the territorial defence all over the country. And
21 in addition, you have this mobile defence or mobile operational forces who
22 could reinforce and work with them.
23 [Prosecution counsel confer]
24 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, General Reinhardt.
25 That completes the Prosecution's examination. Thank you,
1 Mr. President.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General Reinhardt, this brings
3 your hearing to an end. We'd like to thank you for having come to
4 The Hague. We know that spending five days here and having to answer
5 questions continually is something you are not used to. We'd like to
6 thank you for your cooperation and your contribution to the determination
7 of the truth. We know you are a very busy person, and we would like to
8 thank you yet again for having testified here.
9 I will now ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll give the floor to
13 Mr. Withopf. But before I do so, there are two issues I would like to
14 address: The first one concerns the question of documents, which was
15 raised this morning. We mentioned this issue during the break, and we
16 think that it would be best if the Prosecution and the Defence reached an
17 agreement with regard to what should be done with this document. Because
18 the situation such as you have presented it means that the Defence has
19 presented documents to be marked for identification, but the Prosecution
20 would like a final exhibit number to be given to these documents. They
21 don't want a DH number to be given to these documents but a P number, and
22 this might give the impression that the Prosecution provided these
23 documents; whereas, the documents come from the Defence.
24 Try to sort this problem out. Discuss the matter. And next week
25 we will see what we should do with the documents from 153 to 164. That
1 was the first point.
2 We have a programme -- a schedule that we should be following
3 next week. That was the second point I wanted to address.
4 Mr. Withopf, I think that perhaps you wanted to comment on this.
5 Please take the floor.
6 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, that's exactly the
7 case. I wish to address a number of issues related to the next week's
8 schedule, and for that purpose could we please go into private session.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll go into
10 private session.
11 [Private session]
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.03 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Monday, the 10th day of
25 May, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.