1 Wednesday, 12 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case number IT-01-47-T, Enver
8 Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the appearances
10 for the Prosecution. Mr. Mundis, please.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, counsel,
12 and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the Prosecution,
13 Tecla Henry-Benjamin, Daryl Mundis, and our case manager, Ms. Ruth Karper.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 And could we have the appearances for the Defence, who aren't all
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Good
18 morning, Your Honours. On behalf of Enver Hadzihasanovic,
19 Edina Residovic, counsel, and our legal assistant, Alexis Demirdjian.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, and the other Defence
21 team, who are all present.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
23 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and
24 Nermin Mulalic, our legal assistant.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would like to
1 great everyone present, the members of the Prosecution, Defence counsel,
2 the accused, and everyone else in the courtroom, as well as the
3 interpreters who are outside the courtroom. We'll be hearing the witness
4 scheduled for today now, and I would to ask the usher to bring the witness
5 into the courtroom, please.
6 Mr. Mundis.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, if I may, while the usher is bringing
8 the witness into the courtroom, I would just like to announce,
9 Mr. President, that this is the only witness that we do have available for
10 today, and I do not anticipate this requiring the full allotment of time
11 that's scheduled for us. Thank you, Mr. President.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day. I would first like to
14 check that you're receiving the interpretation of what I'm saying. I will
15 ask that question again. Are you receiving the interpretation of what I'm
16 saying into English? No. It seems that we have a problem. And for the
17 third time, I'll ask you whether you're receiving the interpretation of
18 what I'm saying. If that is the case, please tell me.
19 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, I read you very well now.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called here as a
21 witness for the Prosecution. You'll be testifying about events that
22 happened in 1993. In order to do so, and before you take the solemn
23 declaration, you should inform the Chamber of your first and last names
24 and your date of birth.
25 THE WITNESS: My name is Rolf Weckesser. The date of birth is the
1 12th of August of 1937.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And could you tell me where you
3 were born, which town or village, and which country you were born in.
4 THE WITNESS: I was born at Freiburg which is in Germany, southern
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So I can conclude that your
7 nationality is German. Could you tell me what position you currently
8 hold. What is your profession?
9 THE WITNESS: I'm currently a pensioner. My former profession was
10 an officer in the air force.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What position did you hold, or
12 what duties did you perform in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993?
13 THE WITNESS: I was assigned by the foreign ministry of Germany to
14 the ECMM mission, and I was stationed at the time, from September until
15 the end of December 1993 at Zenica, and I was a member of the RC Zenica,
16 the Regional Centre Zenica, and under the RC Zenica, I was a member of the
17 CC, coordination centre, Travnik. I was assigned there the function as a
18 team leader, and the team was called V-4.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Have you already
20 testified before an international or national court with regard to the
21 events that took place in 1993 in Bosnia and Herzegovina or is this the
22 first time?
23 THE WITNESS: No. It's the second time I have to testify.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you remember the case in
25 which you testified, and were you a witness for the Prosecution or the
2 THE WITNESS: I was witness for the Prosecution, and it was a case
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I would now like to
5 ask you to read out the solemn declaration that the usher will show you.
6 WITNESS: ROLF WECKESSER
7 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
8 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.
10 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you have already given
12 testimony, it won't be necessary for me to give you lengthy explanations
13 of the procedure, as I have already said, you've been called here as a
14 witness for the Prosecution. You have taken the solemn declaration, and
15 that means that you should tell the truth and nothing but the truth. This
16 means that you should not give false testimony. If a witness gives false
17 testimony, he could be punished as a result. I wanted to point this
18 important factor out.
19 In addition, the provisions of this Tribunal state that if a
20 witness, when responding to a question, thinks that his response could be
21 used against him, he can refuse to reply to the question. In such a case,
22 the Trial Chamber can compel the witness to reply, but the witness
23 benefits from a form of immunity. You should provide clear and precise
24 answers to the questions put to you. We'll be discussing things that took
25 place over ten years ago, and your memory might not be accurate. If that
1 is the case, please tell us. As this procedure is an oral procedure,
2 which is sometimes supported by written documents, your oral testimony is
3 the most important element in these proceedings. That is why your answers
4 are that important.
5 Once the Prosecution has concluded its examination-in-chief,
6 Defence counsel, who are to your left, will also ask you questions in
7 order to verify your credibility, as a witness or to obtain answers to
8 questions that concern the political, military, or strategic context at
9 the time.
10 When the Defence has concluded its cross-examination, the
11 Prosecution may re-examine you, and the three Judges sitting before you,
12 in accordance with the Rules of the Tribunal, may ask you questions at any
13 point in time in order to clarify certain answers or to fill in any gaps.
14 As a rule, the Judges prefer waiting for the Prosecution and Defence to
15 finish with their examination in order to ask the witness questions. The
16 Judges' questions have only one -- questions in general have only one
17 purpose, that is, to help in determining the truth. So roughly speaking,
18 this is how we'll be proceeding, but this is no surprise to you, as you
19 have already testified in a case.
20 I will now let the Prosecution take the floor. I think Mr. Mundis
21 will be conducting the examination-in-chief.
22 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Examined by Mr. Mundis:
24 Q. Good morning, Mr. Weckesser. Can you please elaborate briefly
25 upon your experience in the German air force with respect to what types of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 assignments or jobs you did while serving.
2 A. I joined the German air force in 1957, and had the basic training
3 as an officer. And then I had the ranks, standard ranks at all unit
4 levels, at staff levels, to include international staff levels, all aiming
5 into the main area, objective, of air defence. I was member of an
6 international staff for a few years. I had also international positions
7 as chairman of an international forum to do the operations of the Awacs
8 aircraft and I had commander's functions. And my last function was
9 commander of the German interception school at Erntebruck. I left the air
10 force with the rank of a full colonel.
11 Q. Sir, what was the date of your retirement from the German air
13 A. The date of retirement was the end of March 1993.
14 Q. Mr. Weckesser, you told the Chamber that in 1993 you were working
15 with ECMM. What was the date you commenced your assignment with ECMM?
16 A. I commenced the assignment in May 1993, starting at the
17 headquarters of the ECMM, at Zagreb, and taking first missions as a field
18 observer south of Zagreb, in Croatia, then in the middle of Croatia, in
19 the area of Pozega. Then I had an assignment in summer in Slavonski Brod,
20 Eastern Slavonia. After that I had the assignment which is given
21 reference here to the case, in Central Bosnia, from September until
22 December. Then I took the function of a press advisor at the headquarters
23 during the German Presidency. And after that, I finished mission in
24 spring 1995 as the head of the coordination centre at Djakovo, which is
25 Eastern Slavonia, close to Osijek.
1 Q. Just for the record, Mr. Weckesser, the period you were in
2 Central Bosnia, you've told us September until December. What year was
4 A. This was in 1993.
5 Q. You've told us that you were the team leader of V-4. Can you
6 please describe for the Trial Chamber the structure of ECMM in
7 Central Bosnia.
8 A. The structure. I referred to the initial statement. We had a
9 regional centre at Zenica, regional centres were set up all over former
10 Yugoslavia to include neighbouring states, and below these regional
11 centres, we had at Zenica three CCs, three coordination centres. I think
12 it was Travnik, it was Mostar, and it was -- Travnik, Mostar -- oops. I'm
13 leaving the last. Travnik, Mostar ... I'm missing one now at the moment.
14 At least I belonged to the CC Travnik, and under the CC Travnik we had
15 four field teams, V-1 through V-4.
16 Q. Mr. Weckesser, what was the geographic area of V-4, the team that
17 you led?
18 A. The V-4 area was -- it was in the boundaries in the north, from
19 Maglaj, Zavidovici, Zepce, at the northern point, aiming to the south,
20 north of Zenica, excluding Zenica, going through the area of Kakanj, and
21 then to the east up to Vares, into the north-east.
22 Q. What was your primary mission within this area that you've
23 described for us?
24 A. The objective, the mission, the primary mission, was, I think,
25 threefold: To monitor, to assess, and to report the political situation
1 was number one; to monitor, to assess, and to report the military
2 situation was number two; and to monitor, assess, and report the
3 humanitarian and the situation of the international rights was the third
5 Q. Mr. Weckesser, how did you achieve these objectives? What did you
6 do to achieve these objectives?
7 A. We made all attempts just to gain ground, by talking with as many
8 people as possible from the military, from the civilian arena, to the
9 simple street people, in order to catch up feelings, developments, and
10 directions, and in order to gain findings from all areas, from all levels.
11 Basically, in my area, V-4, at that kind of field team, at the level of a
12 field, it was a contributing factor to the higher levels, but basically it
13 was aiming to the improvement of the conditions on the ground for the
14 people, for instance, in order to arrange tripartite meetings which should
15 finally lead then to some relaxation in regard to protection, in regard to
16 water, electricity, or even to food. So it was my priority in that area
17 at that time to open the area for free access in order to bring in food
18 into the northern part, into the area of Maglaj and Zavidovici. These
19 were enclaves surrounded, and they were really running into the danger to
20 run out of food during the coming winter at that time.
21 Q. Mr. Weckesser, can you tell the Trial Chamber what type of
22 vehicles you used to monitor this area?
23 A. Our field work was -- for the field work, we used normally jeeps
24 from different factories. Some were armed, some were armoured, and some
25 were not.
1 Q. And what colour were these vehicles, and can you tell us any
2 distinguishing features of these vehicles?
3 A. The cars were painted white, as we were wearing white clothes, as
4 white as possible, to include helmet, and there was the EU sign painted on
5 the cars. And we were wearing armbands, wearing the EU sign, and a
6 certain blue hat.
7 Q. Mr. Weckesser, you told us that part of your mission was to
8 report. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how you reported the information
9 that you obtained, including how frequently and at what times you reported
10 this information?
11 A. The timing of the reporting was every day the same, to include
12 Saturday and Sunday. We moved out, depending on the intention for the
13 respective day. Mostly very early, since we had, especially the team V-4,
14 we had long travel distances to cover. Then we took our observations over
15 the day, following a plan which was normally set up in the evening before.
16 And mostly my team, we arrived as the last team. I mentioned the travel
17 times that we had. So we arrived between normally 2000 and 2100 in the
18 headquarters, in the Zenica hotel. We did our reporting. We normally did
19 the report together, the two monitors were sitting together and were
20 putting it into the computer. This report from the individual team, from
21 the victor team, went then to the CC and it was there compiled in order to
22 do a daily report of the CC.
23 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber how many people were in the team
24 that you led?
25 A. The team consisted of four persons. It was one leading, team
1 leader, who decided actually about the aim of the day, and he also had the
2 decision to do -- to decide if something was to be done or not to be done,
3 to be continued or not to be continued, especially when the team was
5 The second monitor, the deputy, was also full-time monitor, when
6 we had a driver, and in addition changing interpreters going with us.
7 Q. Mr. Weckesser, at the time that you were in Central Bosnia, can
8 you tell us who was the head of the regional centre, and also who was the
9 head of the coordination centre?
10 A. When I arrived, for a few days it was just a matter of transition.
11 We had as the head of the RC, I think it was a French gentleman, Thebault,
12 I think was his name, and Sir Martin Garrod arrived and he was until the
13 end of my mission the head of the regional centre. The same on the side of
14 the CC when I arrived for a very short time. It was a gentleman, a
15 British gentleman, called Watkins, I think Philip Watkins, and he was
16 replaced by a Canadian gentleman, Stutt Happ as the head of the CC.
17 Q. Mr. Weckesser, can you describe for us any type of training or
18 briefings that you received either prior to your arrival in Central Bosnia
19 or shortly thereafter?
20 A. As a German monitor, I received a briefing at the foreign office
21 before I left for the mission, at the headquarters, when arriving at
22 Zagreb in May 1993, we got a very detailed briefing. It took almost one
23 week, to include all aspects of the field work. At the RC Zenica, when
24 arriving in September 1993 there, I got a very detailed briefing by the
25 ops officer, Mr. Beaumont, a British monitor. And I had several
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 inbriefings, as I may call it, get-together with Sir Martin, exchanging
2 views and also getting detailed findings which he had.
3 Q. Can you please tell us, Mr. Weckesser, the situation on the ground
4 in Central Bosnia at the time when you arrived there in September 1993
5 A. The situation on the ground was, in my area -- should I specify on
6 the area of V-4?
7 Q. Yes, please.
8 A. Yes. Thank you. Was, at the beginning, calm. It seemed to be
9 tense to a certain extent, as at that time the whole area was under
10 tension. But in the eastern part, north-eastern part of Vares area, it
11 seemed to be calm and nothing seemed to be moving. At least, it was not
12 obvious to me. In the north, at Zepce, it was more active, and in
13 Zavidovici there was a big tension. And therefore, we focused especially
14 on this area, in order to break the ice between these partners. It was
15 especially the Zepce Croatian-held enclave neighbouring the
16 Bosnian-Muslim-held enclave of Zavidovici which were fighting each other,
17 almost under the motherhood of surrounding Bosnian Serb forces. And it
18 was the intention to break this kind of confrontation in order to at least
19 get these two enclaves a possibility to peace, to settle down their fight,
20 and in order to allow an entry of food.
21 Q. Mr. Weckesser, during the period from September through December
22 1993, what military units were operating in the area patrolled and
23 monitored by V-4?
24 A. With the exception of the, as I may call it, HVO enclaves, Zepce
25 and Vares, on the other side, it was all certain Bosnian corps-held
1 territory, and I remember I had brigades in that area. It was the 303
2 Brigade, the 314 Brigade, and the 301 Brigade. But actually, I had mostly
3 to do with the 303 Brigade, which was controlling the area which gave us
4 access to the Zepce, Maglaj, Zavidovici pockets.
5 Q. Mr. Weckesser, you've told us about the situation being calm at
6 the beginning of your tour. Can you describe for us whether or not that
7 state changed over time.
8 A. The situation started to change I think at the end of October,
9 when we got surprisingly an information by the exiled government of Vares,
10 which was stationed at that time in the area of Dabravine, that there were
11 some atrocities taking place, done by HVO forces in a little village close
12 to Vares called Stupni Do. This was around the 22nd, 23rd of October, and
13 that was the time when really tension started in this area and was
14 followed by quite a few actions.
15 Q. Following this event in Stupni Do, you've told us quite a few
16 actions followed. Can you please be a little more specific.
17 A. Yes. It led to the -- that my team and myself, we were trying to
18 go to Stupni Do, following this cry for help. It was at the 24th, and we
19 saw, from the main street, which is leading from Prozor up to Vares, we
20 saw smoke over the hills coming out of the area where we expected
21 Stupni Do to be located. But we did not get access. It was blocked by
22 HVO forces in the town of Vares. It's the southern part of Vares. We
23 were not allowed to go up there and to check what was happening there.
24 At that date, I remember we met officers, BiH air force officers
25 at the CP, and they were bitterly complaining that the UNPROFOR was not
1 doing anything and was not helping. And they even set up an ultimatum
2 saying if UNPROFOR is not doing anything, we will have to do something.
3 Q. Mr. Weckesser, if I could briefly stop you for purposes of
4 clarification. You mentioned the 24th. Can you please tell us the month
5 and year that you were referring to.
6 A. It was the October in 1993.
7 Q. Sir, you've also used the abbreviation "CP". Can you tell the
8 Trial Chamber what CP meant.
9 A. CP meant command post.
10 Q. Thank you. Mr. Weckesser, following these events in Stupni Do,
11 what focus, if any, did you place on the community of Vares?
12 A. The focus was primarily to find out about the fate of the
13 inhabitants of Stupni Do and to try to rescue what was left. This was the
14 prime focus during that time period.
15 Q. Did there come a time after that where you spent a period of time
16 monitoring or patrolling Vares?
17 A. Yes. We did follow-up monitoring. We were continuously trying to
18 get access to this little village. At the 25th, for instance, we went
19 to -- we came together with HVO command people, the so-called
20 Bobovac Brigade people, north of Vares, and we tried to ask for access
21 from the commander there, and it was denied. So we again had no chance to
22 get access to this place.
23 Q. Mr. Weckesser, I'd like to focus your attention on the first few
24 days of November 1993. In the first few days of that month, were you in
25 Vares at any time?
1 A. Yes. I remember we had one day, one other day, at Vares, at the
2 3rd November. At the 3rd November, we wanted again to monitor the
3 situation at Vares. We entered the town early in the morning, and the
4 streets were somewhat out of order. Two houses -- not two houses, but one
5 apartment building in the main street was burning, and another one,
6 neighbouring one, was also smoke coming out. We met about 30 Muslim
7 inhabitants who were standing there lonely and lost in the marketplace.
8 These were detainees. They had been detained before from the HVO in the
9 elementary school. They were standing there, and I asked them if they
10 would not try to extinguish the fires, and basically they agreed. We
11 found one remaining Croatian fire brigade man who was still there. He was
12 very eager to help, and he said the fire extinguishing gear is still
13 available, so we could move out and we could fight the fire.
14 We divided the group, by the help of another monitor who was
15 coming on his transfer out from Tuzla. It was a man called
16 Rudiger Lehmann. And we divided them into groups. Then they asked for
17 cover, for protection, saying: Where are the PCs to protect us? Because
18 there was still heard some single fire, small-arm fire, not close but far
19 out. So they expected still having Croatian or HVO snipers, and since I
20 could not provide any armoured cars in order to bring them to the fire
21 scene, they said no, then they will not be helping us. And then we
22 stopped this.
23 Q. Mr. Weckesser, on the 3rd of November, 1993, when you were in
24 Vares, did you see any members of the HVO?
25 A. At the 3rd of November, I can't remember to have seen a single HVO
1 man at that time, with one exception. We had -- it must have been in the
2 afternoon, we had -- we went to the Franciscan monastery there and we
3 were -- we were really almost attacked by two soldiers, HVO soldiers,
4 trying to get out of town. They were obviously fleeing out and they tried
5 to take the monks with them, and they also tried to take the car
6 with -- our car. They were threatening us with weapons to give the car in
7 order to get out. And finally, the monk convinced them to leave us alone
8 and to leave them alone, and they cursed at us, but they went away.
9 Q. Mr. Weckesser, when were you next in Vares after the 3rd of
10 November, 1993?
11 A. It was already the next day, because when I reported at the
12 evening to Sir Martin, to the head of the RC about the situation at Vares,
13 he said he wanted to come with me so next day we went out again to Vares,
14 and that was obviously the date or the time when 7th Muslim Brigade was
15 moving into town, or had already moved into town. We went to the
16 churchyard, to the monastery, in order to have a look for the fate of the
17 monks there.
18 At that place, when we got out of the car, it was very heavy
19 small-arm firing into the tree on top of us. Leaves were falling down.
20 On our feet there was lying on the ground a UN soldier, aiming with his
21 rifle into nowhere. So we stood there for a few seconds, and Sir Martin
22 was also looking into this area. There was no fight. It was actually
23 just firing, because we didn't see any HVO soldiers at that time.
24 So since we felt the situation to be very uncomfortable, we got
25 into the car and we left the scene at that time.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Mr. Weckesser, approximately what time on the 4th of November,
2 1993 did you arrive at the monastery?
3 A. It must have been in the morning, around -- I assume it must have
4 been 10.00, 10.00, 10.30, something like this, and I may add that we had
5 before we left assured, through the UN soldier who was lying on the ground
6 in front of the monastery door, that the three monks were safe in the
8 After that, if I may add, we proceeded together then. We went out
9 of Vares and we proceeded to the CP mentioned before at Dabravine, where
10 Sir Martin and myself, we met another commander of the Bosnian forces,
11 commander called Zubaca, who had a lengthy discussion with Sir Martin.
12 Actually, I have no memory on this discussion, even if I was present.
13 Maybe I had something to do, I had done something else, because on that
14 discussion I have no memory left.
15 After that, we went at the last step on that day to the monastery
16 Kraljeva Sutjeska where Sir Martin took a chance to talk to the Guardian
17 or the boss of the monastery.
18 Q. Mr. Weckesser, you told us that on the 4th of November the 7th
19 Muslim Brigade was moving into town. How do you know it was the
20 7th Muslim Brigade?
21 A. Nobody ever told me that this is the Muslim Brigade. I think this
22 has happened I think to no monitor. But from the experience I had before,
23 being in this area and looking to the forces I met almost daily, either in
24 the area of Zepce/Zavidovici or in the area of Vares, there was a big
25 change when Vares was retaken by the Bosnian forces. In the appearance of
1 the military forces in this valley and at the town.
2 Before the appearance of the military forces can be characterised
3 by a kind of not-unique uniform. It seemed to be sometimes a little bit
4 almost as an emergency clothing. The mood of the soldiers, as I remember,
5 was, in general, not a very good one. There was fatigue. There was
6 actually a lack of willingness to fight. And this had changed right
7 before Vares was retaken by the Bosnian forces, and it was very -- it was
8 obvious for us, especially in the area around the CP at Dabravine at that
9 time, and at the entry of that valley, another one or two kilometres to
10 the north, where the confrontation line itself was. Suddenly there were
11 soldiers showing up who were eager, who were wearing clean uniforms, who
12 were wearing uniforms which were suited to their body, not oversized or
13 undersized, as we saw it before. And that led to the conclusion that we
14 said we have a different forces, we have different forces, and another
15 force. And the existence of the 7th Muslim Brigade as a spearhead was
16 common knowledge among the monitors, and later on I think it was also
17 underlined the assessment by my discussions which I had with the security
18 officer Dugalic at Zenica of the 3rd Corps. He never commented, actually,
19 when I said the 7th Muslim Brigade. I even tried to comment him -- to
20 compliment him on the success of Vares, but he also never denied it, that
21 the 7th Brigade was involved in the forces to take Vares.
22 Q. Mr. Weckesser, after the 4th of November, 1993, when was the next
23 time you went to the town of Vares?
24 A. This was quite a while later, a few days later, because I had
25 business at Zavidovici in order to prepare this humanitarian corridor. It
1 was -- I think it was the 8th of November where we met the new town
2 government at Vares.
3 Q. Now, sir, you told us earlier that you had met with the exiled
4 government of Vares. Can you describe for us whether that was the same
5 people that you subsequently met in Vares or if it was different people.
6 A. No. It was, especially I remember the lady, a very dominant lady.
7 She was the exile mayor. Her name was Mervana Hadzimurtezic. Very
8 difficult to express for me. We met her twice, before she was taking
9 charge again at Vares. She was very demanding, and asking us to help her
10 to get back into her position at Vares. She was at all times saying she
11 was trying to look for a multinational town, as it was before. She was
12 always indicating that when she will come back into power, everyone will
13 have the right to live there. And actually, after, at the 8th of
14 November, we found her in place. She was telling us her -- telling us
15 her -- as she was telling us this in advance. She had control.
16 Q. And what, for the record, sir, it's a bit unclear, but what was
17 her position when you met with her on the 8th of November, 1993?
18 A. She was the president of Vares, the town president.
19 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber what you observed when you
20 departed Vares. First of all, tell us where you were going when you left
21 Vares on the 8th of November, 1993.
22 A. It was, as I remember properly, if I remember properly, it was a
23 strange picture at that time, because the streets were filled with people
24 trying to loot, and even the roads leading towards Breza were covered with
25 people carrying looted stuff to the south. This was the overall
2 Q. Mr. Weckesser, who were these people that you saw carrying these
4 A. It was a mixture between soldiers and civilian people, and it was
5 a strange mixture, and it was very surprising to me that after this retake
6 of Vares and after these tensions which we had realised before and the
7 uncertainty from the Bosnian forces to attack, and we felt that there was
8 uncertainty about the future role of the Serbian forces, neighbouring, if
9 they would support the Croatian forces, or the HVO forces. It was very
10 strange that the army at that time could afford such a kind of
11 out-of-order situation.
12 Q. Mr. Weckesser, you told us it was a mixture between soldiers and
13 civilian people. My question is: How did you know some of these people
14 were soldiers?
15 A. They looked, from the uniform, soldiers, some, and I even
16 spotted -- I have clear in my mind, for instance, one soldier, which was
17 just a grotesque situation, having on one shoulder the Kalashnikov, on the
18 other one a vacuum cleaner, and just walking to the south, towards Breza.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Weckesser.
20 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution has no further
21 questions in direct examination.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
23 And now on to the Defence. I'm giving the Defence counsel the
24 floor for their cross-examination.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Weckesser. We had a brief
3 meeting yesterday. I would like to thank you for having given us an
4 opportunity to talk to you before your testimony. Although I already
5 introduced myself to you yesterday, I will do it again for the record.
6 I'm Edina Residovic and I represent General Hadzihasanovic.
7 Mr. Weckesser, the beginning of your tasks was in the Republic of
8 Croatia and then, at the beginning of September, you arrived in Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, this is correct.
11 Q. From the beginning of September up to mid-December, according to
12 your testimony, you were the leader of team V-4 in Central Bosnia and the
13 area of your responsibility was between Vares, in the east, and Maglaj, in
14 the west. Would that be correct? Or maybe north-west.
15 A. North-west is a better description.
16 Q. As a matter of fact, would it be correct if I said that in the
17 towns which were covered by your team, municipalities of Kakanj, Zepce,
18 and Zavidovici belonged to the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps,
19 whereas the municipality of Vares at that time belonged to the area of
20 responsibility of the 2nd Corps and the municipality of Breza at that time
21 belonged to the 6th Corps of the BiH army. Would this description reflect
22 the situation in which your mission had its duties?
23 A. With one exception. I could not accept your assessment that Vares
24 was belonging to the 2nd Corps. I think this was an uncertainty, at least
25 in my impression, between the two corps, who was really responsible for
1 Vares. At that time, when the tensions were arising, because the
2 reluctance to go for Vares from the 3rd Corps on one side, on the other
3 side, the eagerness to drive to the north in order -- in addition to use
4 the 7th Muslim Brigade for that, spoke for an area of interest of the
5 3rd Corps at Vares. And I think more than the 2nd Corps. We observed a
6 very, very slow move from the 2nd Corps from Tuzla coming down in order to
7 give some relaxation to the 3rd Corps in that critical situation where the
8 uncertainty about the participation, of the possible participation of JNA
9 forces were still pending. So with the exception of this comment, I think
10 I accept your statement.
11 Q. Since we have touched upon this issue, and you said that one of
12 your main tasks was reporting on the military situation in the area, I am
13 not going to talk about the specific events and the operation for the
14 liberation of Vares. However, you can confirm that the municipalities of
15 Kakanj and Vares are two neighbouring municipalities and that on the
16 border between the two municipalities, there was a separation line between
17 the two major corps of the BiH army, one whose headquarters was in Tuzla
18 and the other whose headquarters was --
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter apologises. Missed where the
20 headquarters of the other corps was.
21 A. The headquarters of the 3rd Corps? No. 2nd Corps at Tuzla --
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
23 Q. The 3rd in Zenica.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The witness has a document in
25 front of him. Are there any objections on the part of the Defence for the
1 witness's using this document that we don't know? First, the Defence.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. As far as I can see,
3 the witness is holding a map in his hands. I don't know whether the
4 Prosecution has discussed with the witness the utilisation of this map.
5 Again, the Defence has the same objection as yesterday.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, certainly the witness was not
8 instructed to rely upon a map or any other documents during the course of
9 his testimony.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Weckesser, you have
11 understood the discussion. Because our procedure is oral, witnesses are
12 not allowed to have any documents, unless the case is exceptional and when
13 their memory has to be jogged a little. Usually in a different courtroom,
14 we have a map. Unfortunately, today we are in a different courtroom and
15 we cannot have that map at our disposal today. So as much as possible,
16 avoid consulting the map. I'm turning to the Defence and I am giving them
17 the floor to continue their cross-examination.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. Mr. Weckesser, I'd like to move on to another area now. We'll
20 move on from geographical issues. In regard to the corps, we'd need a map
21 to discuss this matter. In response to a question put to you by the
22 Prosecution, you spoke about the main tasks and objectives of the European
23 monitors. Nevertheless, could you confirm that when carrying out your
24 mission, you had other tasks, for example, it was also your task to assist
25 in humanitarian actions of other humanitarian organisations, it was your
1 task to assist in establishing cease-fires. You were to assure liaison
2 with the UNPROFOR headquarters and other international organisations. You
3 were also to work on establishing trust between parties and to monitor and
4 to report on the situation of the economy and of the infrastructure in
5 your area. Were these additional tasks that you had?
6 A. No. I think that is a full catalogue of the mission and the
7 objectives in detail.
8 Q. Thank you. You mentioned Vares. Could you tell me whether Vares
9 was in an area that was of strategic importance for the 4th, 6th, the 1st,
10 the 3rd, and the 2nd Corps of the BH army, and if that is the case, could
11 you provide us with more explanations.
12 A. You asked me as if I would be a military expert. If you ask me as
13 a monitor at that time, to this aspect, yes, we thought -- it was a common
14 understanding that Vares would have been a centre point, a real, vital
15 point for the BH army, since it was the point where you actually could
16 link all the corps in one piece, and especially if you could really
17 support the Tuzla area on their own. So I agree that this was most likely
18 a highly interesting strategic point.
19 Q. Would you agree with me if I said that Vares is in a fairly
20 difficult geographic area? This is a mountainous region, and there are
21 mountain roads that go through this area, and these are not easy routes,
22 even when the area is quite free; is that correct?
23 A. It's fully correct, and I can just underline it that the middle of
24 my former V-4 area, the so-called mountain road which led from Kakanj
25 through the mountains to the southern suburb of Zavidovici, this was our
1 main concern that this little mountain road would not be usable in
2 wintertime, in bad times, and support of the 40.000 inhabitants of
3 Zavidovici could not be assured by this road. It was just an example for
4 the statement, for the assessment you just made.
5 Q. As you have already said in response to a question put to you from
6 the Prosecution, you said that before the BH operation to take over Vares,
7 there was an HVO brigade in Vares. It was called the Bobovac Brigade; is
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's what we called them.
10 Q. Would it be correct to say that initially that brigade was
11 attached to the 2nd Corps of the BH army, but at the end of September and
12 in October, it refused to be under their command and was attached to the
13 HVO in Kiseljak, or rather, to the Central Bosnia operations zone? Is
14 that correct?
15 A. I don't understand your question properly, because if you say
16 would it be correct to say that initially that brigade was attached to the
17 2nd Corps of the BH army. There's a mistake in it. Because the
18 Bobovac Brigade could not have been attached to the BH 2nd Corps. I think
19 that's really a definite mistake in the question, isn't it? If you
20 say -- I cannot comment on this if you ask me if the Bobovac Brigade,
21 which was an HVO brigade, would have been initially attached to the
22 2nd Corps of the BH army. It cannot work like this. This would have been
23 a big peace agreement.
24 Q. Mr. Weckesser, you arrived there in September. I understand that.
25 We won't pursue these questions any more. But just to clarify this, there
1 were HVO brigades in Sarajevo too under the command of the 1st Corps,
2 likewise in Tuzla, and they were under the command of the 2nd Corps. But
3 since the question is not that important for our case, and I'm not a
4 military expert either, we won't pursue the issue.
5 You said that the legal authorities in Vares had fled, taken
6 refuge in a village near Vares. Is it correct to say that those
7 authorities had been expelled from Vares by the HVO?
8 A. Yes. That is at least that what the exile mayor of Vares has told
10 Q. Would it be correct to say that at that time, the BH army was
11 afraid about the open operation between the HVO and the Republika Srpska
12 army, which had been in Travnik and Bugojno and in Zepce? This fear was
13 very real in the area of Vares itself. Were you aware of that?
14 A. Can I answer your question only in part? I cannot comment on the
15 situation in Travnik and Bugojno. I can comment on the situation in
16 Zepce. There it was definitely real. I myself saw the Serbian tanks
17 inside of Zepce. They tried to hide it, but I escaped once from my
18 monitor, from the HVO side, and run into a Serbian tank platoon carrying
19 the flag inside of Zepce. In Vares itself, I have not seen this
20 participation. It was not materialised. But when I talked to officers of
21 the BH army, they always gave me this indication that they were afraid
22 about this kind of cooperation, or possible cooperation.
23 On the other side, the HVO commanders from the Bobovac Brigade,
24 they always were trying to convince us to relay the message to the Bosnian
25 forces that they have still tanks and if they refer to tanks they refer to
1 the Serbian tanks standing by, and it was obvious to give the message, to
2 bring this message across that the BH forces should not attack Vares.
3 Q. If Vares hadn't been liberated in the operation that you
4 mentioned, and if the HVO and the Republika Srpska army had taken full
5 control of Vares, would this have meant that the Tuzla area would have
6 been completely cut off from all other areas under the control of the
8 A. If you consider the mountains to the south-west of Tuzla as a real
9 serious blockade of a reasonable connection, I would fully agree on this,
11 Q. When answering a question put to you by my learned colleague, you
12 spoke about Stupni Do. If I have understood you correctly, HVO forces
13 attacked Stupni Do. They completely destroyed the village and massacred
14 the civilian population there. Are you personally aware of this?
15 A. Since I was the first ECMM member on scene there, yes, I was
16 personally aware that a massacre had taken place. But I can't say that
17 HVO forces have done the massacre. We have strong indications they have
18 done it, but I have not seen them doing it.
19 Q. Did you then find out that several hundred Bosniak civilians were
20 imprisoned in a school in Vares?
21 A. Yes. It was right at the timing -- it was obviously at the time
22 when this happened at Stupni Do that quite a number of males, of Muslim
23 males, were arrested in the elementary school, and since we were afraid
24 that they would be hurt and we had rumours that there were even being men
25 killed, I went in Zenica to the ICRC and I convinced them to come on the
1 scene with me, I think it was the next day, which was not so easy to get
2 the ICRC involved. I had to declare these males as combatants before.
3 Q. When you spoke to HVO representatives, would it be correct to say
4 that on that occasion you heard that this was in fact revenge for the
5 crimes committed by the army in the Borovica and Kopjari villages, that
6 after the Nordic Battalion entered and had been in Kopjari too, they
7 determined that there were no traces of crimes there? Is what I have just
8 told you correct, and does it correspond to the facts that you were
9 familiar with at the time?
10 A. HVO representatives, after these tragic events, quite often were
11 referring to these so-called massacres at Kopjari and Borovica.
12 Personally, I also had a heated talk with -- after this happening, with
13 the Guardian of the monastery at Vares, and he openly and plainly told me
14 that, when I said, "Could you not avoid this thing in the suburb of your
15 town," and this priest told me plainly they did the same in Kopjari.
16 Q. Nevertheless, the investigation you carried out in Kopjari, as
17 well as the investigation carried out by the Nordic Battalion in Borovica,
18 didn't come up with any proof according to which crimes had been committed
19 against the inhabitants of those villages; is that correct? And you
20 reported on this in your daily reports?
21 A. We also tried to get access to Borovica and Kopjari, the security
22 officer of the 3rd Corps, Mr. Dugalic, denied the access. When the first
23 rumour was spread about the suspected massacre, and he delayed me for two
24 to three days, in order to get there. When we finally got there, we also
25 had no indication for a massacre. The village itself was completely
1 destroyed, but we saw no sign of massacre, and we did not realise any
2 smell which was at that time unluckily familiar to me, of a massacre.
3 Q. You mentioned Father Stjepan Duvnjak. He is a father from an
4 important religious institution, Kraljeva Sutjeska. Is it true to say
5 that when speaking to Father Duvnjak, he would often tell you that the HVO
6 was causing a lot of damage for the Croats in Central Bosnia because his
7 propaganda made it necessary for them to leave the area where they were
8 living and they went to live in Herzegovina as a result? Is that correct,
9 and is this something that you included in your daily reports?
10 A. I can't remember that that's what you are just asking was stated
11 Father Stjepan Duvnjak, but exactly this statement was given to me by
12 the -- not the mayor; by the priest of a Croatian town, Vukanovici, which
13 is north of Kakanj, high in the mountains. He gave me exactly that
14 statement, what you just referred to Stjepan Duvnjak. Actually, I can't
15 remember that Stjepan Duvnjak told me this.
16 Q. I may have made a mistake as far as the name is concerned, because
17 you mentioned Father Stjepan Duvnjak. Perhaps I've mixed up the names of
18 the priest. I apologise.
19 Are you aware of the fact that at the time, the HVO, by using
20 propaganda, and in other ways, in fact tried to have the Croatian
21 population move to parts which, according to the Vance-Owen Plan, in
22 inverted commas, was supposed to belong to Croats? They did that in order
23 to ensure a Croatian majority there, and as a result, this caused
24 significant damage for the people in Central Bosnia. Are you aware of
1 A. In general, I was aware of this. In specific, it was oriented to
2 the case of Vukanovici. I think they were given hard pressure to get out,
3 to move to Herceg-Bosna. And this village Vukanovici, guided by the
4 priest, I think, they went out. In the meanwhile, their village was
5 robbed by the neighbouring Muslim village, I think Zlokuca was the name.
6 And when they were coming back, and it was just wintertime coming, they
7 had nothing. They were living from the seeds, from -- given from UN, I
8 think, in the spring before, and the seeds were spoiled by chemicals. So
9 it was a very life-endangering situation for this village, and therefore,
10 we did everything and tried everything and succeeded to get some food up
11 to this lonely village. And I think it was interesting to see that the
12 neighbouring -- the robbing as I saw it, I saw it at Zlokuca village,
13 agreed to make a partnership with Vukanovici in order to protect them from
14 robbing, from the robbery from other villages around. So I think it was a
15 good partnership established, and Vukanovici, as I know, survived.
16 Q. Thank you. I have one more question in response to a question
17 from the Prosecution. You said that on the 8th you were returning from
18 Vares to Breza and you saw this strange column, composed of soldiers and
19 civilians, and they were carrying items with them. Could you confirm that
20 this trip from Vares to Breza, could you confirm that Breza at the time
21 was in the zone of responsibility of the 6th Corps?
22 A. No, I cannot. I'm very sorry.
23 Q. Thank you.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I've completed my
25 cross-examination of this witness.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. It's almost time for
2 the break. I think that the other Defence team will have some questions
3 for the witness. Would it be best to have the break now?
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
5 think this is a good time for the break, and we can start with our
6 cross-examination after the break.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Weckesser, we'll
8 have our so-called technical break now, and we will resume at about 5 to
10 --- Recess taken at 10.22 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now resume, and the other
13 Defence team will now conduct their cross-examination. They may take the
14 floor now.
15 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
16 only have a few questions for this witness.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Weckesser. On behalf of
19 Mr. Kubura's Defence, I will just ask you a few questions in relation to
20 your testimony today.
21 On the 4th of November, you and Mr. Garrod were in Vares; is that
23 A. That is correct, sir.
24 Q. You didn't notice anything unusual at the time, anything that was
25 outside the framework of military operations in Vares?
1 A. No, not as far as I remember.
2 Q. You returned to Vares on the 8th of November; is that correct?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. You noticed the military units and some civilians looting certain
5 property in Vares?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You didn't recognise the units in question?
8 A. No.
9 Q. If I told you that the brigade commander ordered that the entire
10 unit of the 7th Brigade should leave Vares on the 5th of November, would
11 you agree with me?
12 A. If that is correct, it would fit into my picture. If I may add,
13 because I did not expect this picture from members of the 7th Brigade,
14 since I had another picture before this happening.
15 Q. That means on the 8th of November, the 7th Brigade wasn't in
17 A. It is an assumption on my side.
18 Q. On that occasion, you met the representative of the civilian
19 authorities, Mrs. Mervana Hadzimurtezic, and the commanding officer,
20 Zubaca; is that correct?
21 A. As I stated before, I can't remember the meeting with this
22 gentleman. But since it was stated in one of the records, and the records
23 were always stating the reality, I'm sure I was within this meeting.
24 Q. If you assume that you were at the meeting, as you just said, the
25 officer, Zubaca, wasn't an officer of the 7th Brigade.
1 A. This might be true.
2 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. We have no further
3 questions for this witness, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, I'll let you take
5 the floor for re-examination.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Re-examined by Mr. Mundis:
8 Q. Mr. Weckesser, the soldiers that you saw leaving Vares on the 8th
9 of November, did they appear to you to be withdrawing pursuant to any kind
10 of military order?
11 A. No, not at all. They seemed to be almost, in a way, as if they
12 were working independent and almost dispersing from out of formation,
13 military formation. It looked very unorganised.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Weckesser.
15 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions,
16 Mr. President.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Weckesser, the Judges have
18 some questions for you. First of all, I would like to be clear about your
19 presence in Vares.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 Q. You have answered questions put to you by both parties.
22 Nevertheless, there are certain things that aren't quite clear. Let's go
23 back to the 3rd of November. You said that you arrived in Vares on the
24 3rd of November. When you arrived there on the 3rd of November, what was
25 the situation in Vares? First of all, do you remember this? Because
1 these events happened over ten years ago. Can you still recall with
2 precision what you saw? Do you have a clear memory of what happened?
3 A. Your Honours, may I ask, what kind of happenings you are referring
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] For the moment, the
6 Trial Chamber isn't referring to any events. We are just referring to
7 your arrival in Vares on the 3rd of November. When you arrived in Vares
8 on the 3rd of November, what was the context within which you arrived in
9 Vares on that day? Because you have told us that you arrived there on the
10 3rd of November. You then returned there. You asked Mr. Garrod to
11 accompany you and you returned there on the 4th of November. So the
12 Trial Chamber is interested in what you observed on the 3rd of November.
13 What time did you arrive there, when, how, and what did you do on the 3rd
14 of November, and at what time did you leave the town of Vares? If you
15 can't remember, don't answer the question. But if you do remember the
16 situation, please inform us of it. We don't want to cause any
17 difficulties for you, but we would like to know what a witness who was
18 present in the town on the 3rd of November was able to see.
19 A. I'm just thinking about the sequence of events during this day.
20 Sorry. I can't remember -- I can't answer the question in detail now,
21 referring to the specific events.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll try to refresh your memory.
23 When answering the question put to you by the Prosecution, you said that
24 on the 3rd of November there was disorder in the streets. You said there
25 were detainees in the elementary school. You even found Croatian fireman
1 there. Do you remember these events of the 3rd of November?
2 A. I didn't know that you referred to these events. I already have
3 detailed, Your Honours. Would you like me to repeat again in the way I
4 saw it or I remember?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Yes, please.
6 A. As I remember, there was -- yes, there was disorder in the
7 streets. UN soldiers were standing single, UN soldiers from the NordBat
8 Battalion were standing in the marketplace, actually, I had the feeling,
9 not knowing what they were protecting. We approached this elementary
10 school, where we assumed that the arrested Muslims were kept, and I
11 stepped forward and talked to the HVO soldier who was very unfriendly to
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In what language did you speak?
15 A. In English.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the HVO soldier spoke
17 English, he understood you when you spoke English?
18 A. No. It was transferred by the translator. And it obviously
19 went --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
21 A. It was by translator. An interpreter we had with us, and it was
22 obviously leading in a heated discussion to a point where the interpreter
23 told me: "We should better go. He's getting really serious now." And I
24 remember about --
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At this stage, was it confirmed
1 to you that there were Muslim detainees in the elementary school and that
2 these detainees were detained by the HVO? Was that confirmed to you by
3 that stage?
4 A. I did not see the detainees because they didn't let me enter,
5 because they didn't let me pass through the entrance. Three soldiers were
6 standing there in front of it and I was standing below and asking for
7 access, and they denied it. And about five metres to the right, out of a
8 bush, there were soldiers aiming to us with a gun, you know, the
9 interpreter warned me and said we should better go now. Because we had a
10 heated debate and I tried to force him to let me in and to have a look,
11 but it did not work.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you left Vares at what time,
14 A. I can't remember in detail. It must have been afternoon time.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The 3rd November, you saw
16 soldiers of the HVO. In the streets, did you also see civilians who were
17 there, or were they just HVO soldiers? Do you remember having seen
18 anybody else but the troops in the streets?
19 A. I cannot remember having seen anybody else.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move on to the 4th of
21 November. You went back to Vares with Mr. Garrod; is that correct?
22 A. It is correct, yes.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You arrived in Vares at what
24 time, approximately, as far as you can remember?
25 A. It must have been between 10.00 and 11.00, looking to the travel
1 time, it took us normally -- we departed normally at 7.30, 8.00, and it
2 took us one and a half hour, about.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you arrived in the town, did
4 you have to pass through any checkpoints or did you just drive in your car
5 straight to the town without stopping and having any problems?
6 A. I can't remember having been stopped by a checkpoint at that time.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You arrived, you went to the
8 centre of town. Where did you arrive? Where did you find yourself? At
9 what point in the town?
10 A. We right away went to the centre of the town, which is the church,
11 and also the housing of the monks, just associated to the church.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At that place, were the
13 buildings destroyed? Were they set on fire? Were there any civilians in
14 the streets? Were there any troops in the streets? What did it look like
15 to you?
16 A. I saw no buildings being destroyed. I saw smoke, but I don't
17 think that it was smoke coming from houses. It was just smoke from the
18 firing. I saw no civilian at that time, not a single one, yeah.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You arrived during the period of
20 tensions, and there was a conflict. Was there still shooting going on or
21 had that stopped by the time you arrived?
22 A. It was a very strange situation. Initially we saw there's a fight
23 going on, or I saw there's a fighting going on, looking to these big
24 small-arms fires, but I realised there was no enemy, there was no fighting
25 against an enemy. It was a kind of celebration of victory, and it almost
1 seemed as a big celebration of a victory, maybe an unexpected victory like
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there was celebratory
4 shooting. Those who celebrated, did you see them? Were they soldiers?
5 Did they wear uniforms? Did they have any insignia? What did you see?
6 A. I saw soldiers. I did not recognise insignia. I did not look to
7 the soldiers in detail, because I was really busy about our protection,
8 since we were afraid to get shot at by occasion, since we were actually in
9 the middle of a shooting into the trees right above us. And it looked
10 very strange, which led to the conclusion that we should better leave this
11 place. And it was also interesting to see that the UN soldiers were lying
12 flat on the ground and trying to protect himself from unintentional
13 shooting on him.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the UN soldiers were on the
15 ground, trying to protect themselves. You were in a white uniform, and
16 the soldiers who were celebrating their victory were shooting all the
17 time. These soldiers who were shooting, although it was a long time ago,
18 they wore uniforms. What kind of uniforms did they wear? Camouflage
19 uniforms? Did they wear military uniforms, or did they look like infantry
20 soldiers? You had a quick glance. I know that it was a long time ago,
21 but this was an unusual situation for a town like that. So what do you
22 remember about these men who were shooting? What did they look like?
23 A. It was at that time not my full concentration on the outfit. I
24 can't remember in detail, not in any aspect you just mentioned,
25 Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have told us that you
2 returned on the 8th of November. When you returned four days later, you
3 had information that the situation had calmed down, otherwise you would
4 not have returned. What were the motives that compelled you to go back to
5 that town on the 8th of November? Were there any new conditions in place
6 that made you return after four days?
7 A. There was not a special intention on this. It belonged to our
8 normal tasking to monitor continuously, as much as possible. We would
9 have gone even if the fighting would have still -- having been going on
10 and trying to get access to the situation. After the break, and I had
11 nothing different, other duties the days before, it was just time again to
12 look how the situation has settled, what are the changes, how are the
13 political situations, what kind of government is now in chain and what is
14 the situation of the population.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You saw the
16 situation there. Did you formulate that? Did you write that the
17 authorities were municipal authorities headed by Mrs. Hadzimurtezic? Did
18 you report to UNPROFOR or the military authorities after having seen all
19 that? What did you do? Did you do anything, having inspected the
20 situation there?
21 A. We, myself, I reported that I found the -- Mrs. Mervana
22 Hadzimurtezic in place, governing the town, being in deep sorrow about
23 feeding the population and asking at that time, in a very demanding way,
24 for access to warehouses, which were blocked by, as I remember French
25 legion forces which have come over from Sarajevo to help out the NordBat.
1 And as I remember, there was a gentleman in that meeting from Sarajevo.
2 He introduced himself as a minister. And he also was demanding the access
3 to give free the warehouse access. At that meeting was also present, as I
4 remember, Colonel Henriksson from the NordBat, the commander, and
5 actually, the pressure was from him to withdrew the troops because he was
6 the military representative. And as I remember, they made an ultimatum
7 saying either you give up the blockade of the warehouses or we will use
8 military pressure. And as I remember, Colonel Henriksson found a way by
9 asking for an ultimatum in order to ask for -- to gain -- asked for some
10 time to do the preparation to give up that blockade in order to avoid the
11 stressing ultimatum.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This depot, according to you,
13 there was a blockade, and those who were guarding the depot were the
14 NordBat troops; am I right? And in the municipality of Vares, you had
15 access, and you asked them to lift the blockade, and I believe that I
16 understood that it took some time, and the NordBat was reluctant to do
17 that. Did I understand you correctly?
18 A. Your Honours, maybe I have displayed it in the wrong way. The
19 depots -- I don't know. I can't remember what the depots were, was this
20 property of UN or was this property of the town itself. And as I said,
21 astonishing to me, the French Foreign Legion forces, they took immediately
22 when they came in, they obviously saw a task for them, to guard the
23 warehouses from looting, and they just blocked access for everybody, to
24 include the possible new owner of this warehouses, which were also the
25 town government now. So the government -- town government just claimed
1 her right to say, "I would like to have access to my warehouses. And now
2 you have forces there." And by asking this, it was assumed by the town
3 government that the NordBat is a superior military organisation running
4 the area, and the foreign legion company or squadron is just only an
5 add-on, and subordinate unit in that case, a helping unit.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this depot was guarded by the
7 French Foreign Legion troops. And finally, the municipality could gain
8 access to the depot, after a while?
9 A. I can't remember.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You don't remember, do you.
11 Very well, then. My last question, which does not concern the town of
12 Vares. To a question put to you by the Defence, you answered about the
13 importance of Vares with regard to the routes leading to Vares and the
14 supplies that could be brought to that town. You're a soldier who served
15 in the air force. Looking back at that area, what about the air lift?
16 Was that possible for the supply of humanitarian aid and food? Was an air
17 lift a possibility? Was that never envisaged for this particular location
18 that was not so easy to access?
19 A. That's a very difficult question, Your Honours. I think the UNHCR
20 didn't have the means to do an air lift in that -- or to envisage such an
21 air lift in that dimension because Tuzla is a big area and they were
22 really close to getting short of food. And as an example how necessary
23 this route actually was for the BiH was a convoy which we succeeded to get
24 through this area for Tuzla, just one or two weeks before, it was a convoy
25 of joy, it was called. And it started, I think, in Split, with around 100
1 trucks, and finally by taking away from all the transit partners which had
2 been passed, different warring parties, I think only 50 trucks were coming
3 to Tuzla. But it was keenly needed in Tuzla at that time. And this route
4 through Vares was used at that time, and at that time it seemed to me the
5 only way to give help to this area, or at least to get some help through
6 to this area. If there were plans for aerial support from the UNHCR, I
7 don't know, but I cannot imagine, because I think the means were not
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as the military means is
10 concerned, was it possible to engage planes to deliver medical aid or
11 other supplies? Would that have been possible or not, as an option?
12 A. Definitely it could have been an option, if the UN would have been
13 willing to do it, or another helping organisation. It would also have
14 been a possibility to include air drops or such things, which -- how they
15 have been done later on in Maglaj and in the other pockets. But actually
16 it was not part of our mission. It was not part of our planning. It was
17 not part of our thinking. We were concentrating on the things on the
18 ground, not in the air.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'm going to ask my
20 colleagues whether they have any questions to put to you.
21 JUDGE SWART: Just two small questions, Colonel, on what you saw
22 on the 11th of November, when you returned to Vares. You saw looting, you
23 saw people carrying goods to the south, and you saw that these people were
24 civilians, as well as military. When asked by the Defence, you said: I
25 don't think these were people from the 7th Brigade because I didn't expect
1 these things from that brigade. And earlier in the morning, you said: On
2 the 4th of November, I could distinguish the 7th Brigade from other
3 soldiers on the basis of the very different appearance. They were better
4 -- had better clothes, more spirit, and were more motivated than other
5 soldiers I used to meet.
6 Based on that description, on the difference you apparently
7 noticed between members of that brigade and other soldiers, could you go
8 back to the 11th of November and tell me, if possible, to what category of
9 soldiers those soldiers belonged that you saw on the 8th of November.
10 A. Yes. Thank you, Your Honours. You initially said -- you are
11 talking about the 11th, but you mean the 8th of November? You said first
12 the 11th of November, but it's the 8th. I have also the problem with the
13 sequence of the dates.
14 As I said, the behaviour was so much different that I could not
15 assume that this is any more the 7th Brigade. This was the formation, the
16 appearance which did not fit into the appearance of the formation which
17 was already to take Vares again, you know, just before it was taken. This
18 was very, very different. So I can assume, and I must assume, that there
19 has been a change of personnel or a withdrawal of this spearheading
20 7th Brigade. It did not fit.
21 JUDGE SWART: So if I may resume what you said just before, they
22 didn't like -- they didn't appear to be soldiers of the 7th Brigade. Is
23 that a summary of what you said?
24 A. Yes. Yes, exactly.
25 JUDGE SWART: Okay. The second question on the 11th is very
1 simple. When you observed people looting and carrying goods away to the
2 south, did you see any attempts to stop them?
3 A. Not at all. Not at all. I remember I saw the doors of the houses
4 open, people coming out, moving out, and then undisturbed a long string of
5 people moving out of town. So everyone was actually taking care of his
6 intentions on his own, so he was -- there was nobody trying to stop it or
7 to get it organised or whatever. It seemed to be very organised, a kind
8 of free movement of everyone trying to get what he could get.
9 JUDGE SWART: What made you think that this was well organised,
11 A. Not organised.
12 JUDGE SWART: Not organised? I'm sorry.
13 A. Nothing organised. It seemed to me as a matter of occasion, as
14 taking the chance now. It did not look -- not at all organised.
15 JUDGE SWART: I'm sorry. Was there any military presence that
16 would have been able to prevent this at the time?
17 A. There was military presence possible, but it would have been an
18 intervention which would not have been very wise after this tense area
19 before, tense time before, and the warehouse issue and all these things.
20 The NordBat Battalion could have done something, but if I would have been
21 the commander at that time, I would not have intervened in that kind of
22 undertaking of the population and of the people, because this was not
23 warring, there was nobody hurt at that time. There were, I think, more
24 difficult things now to look, that refugees and remaining Croatian people
25 had to be protected properly. This had more importance. And I
1 remember -- I can't exactly remember if it was that day when we were going
2 out, we were stopped by -- this was before, far before, during the
3 transition of the power, when the HVO was withdrawing. We were stopped by
4 Muslim ladies in front of a building in the entrance of Vares, and they
5 were trying -- "There are soldiers from the HVO harassing us." And so we
6 immediately went to the NordBat and I asked Colonel Henriksson to look for
7 these women in that apartment building, and he immediately sent some
8 soldiers with PCs down there in order to take care. I think these were
9 other priorities in the environment of that situation.
10 JUDGE SWART: My question was not to ask you whether NordBat or
11 any other international presence should have prevented or could have
12 prevented that, but it was more directed to the presence of the Bosnian
14 A. Yes. I understand. That is for me almost impossible to assess.
15 If I give you my impression, I think they were all busy to do this kind of
16 business at that time. There was very limited military reorganisation of
17 the whole environment. There was a kind of chaotic situation.
18 JUDGE SWART: Thank you very much.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges have asked certain
20 questions that may have revealed new elements arising from these
21 questions. Will the Prosecution have any re-examination?
22 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, again, the Prosecution's position is
23 that the party calling the witness should be the last one to put any
24 questions. Our view would be that the Defence, if they have questions,
25 should put those questions prior to the Prosecution.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Defence, please.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
3 General Hadzihasanovic's Defence does not have any additional questions to
4 put to this witness.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The other Defence counsel,
7 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, after the Judges'
8 questions, we do not wish to put any additional questions.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence doesn't have any
10 questions. Mr. Mundis, do you have any?
11 MR. MUNDIS: No, we don't, Mr. President. The Prosecution has no
12 further questions.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
14 Colonel, your testimony has come to an end. We would like to
15 thank you for having come to The Hague to testify, to have enabled us to
16 learn certain things about the events that took place in
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993, especially during the period when you were a
18 member of the European Monitoring Mission. Once again, we would like to
19 thank you. We wish you a happy journey back home. I'm going to ask
20 Madam Usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We still have some time before
24 we adjourn. Mr. Mundis, as regards the schedule for the rest of the week,
25 can you enlighten us as to what is going to happen?
1 MR. MUNDIS: I can try. Mr. President, we have one remaining
2 witness for this week, which is the witness whose name appears on the
3 schedule that has previously been provided to the parties and to
4 Your Honours. My understanding is that that witness will not require the
5 full two days and that there will be time remaining on Friday to deal with
6 at least part of the outstanding issues pertaining to the documents.
7 That's about as much enlightenment as I can provide for you today,
8 Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then, Mr. Mundis. So
10 tomorrow we are going to have this witness, and on Friday we are going to
11 discuss tendering of documents into evidence. At this stage, would the
12 Defence have anything to raise? Ms. Residovic.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we do not have
14 anything to raise. The registry has informed us that we will resume
15 tomorrow in Courtroom II. Since the witness is very important, you're
16 aware of his position from the Prosecutor's brief, we are going to try and
17 use only the map.
18 The second thing that I would like to ask you with regard to the
19 position that the witness held in Central Bosnia, the Defence is probably
20 going to ask the Trial Chamber to give them more time than usual.
21 And finally, due to some other commitments that I have in
22 preparation for my defence tomorrow and the day after tomorrow,
23 General Hadzihasanovic will be represented only by my co-counsel,
24 Mr. Bourgon, and our legal assistant. Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am also going to give the
1 floor to the other Defence counsel. But before that, I would like to ask
2 Mr. Mundis about tomorrow's witness, for which the Defence said that he's
3 very important. How much time do you think you will need to examine this
4 witness tomorrow? In your list, it says that you have a certain number of
5 documents that you wish to show to the witness. Maybe you're not going to
6 do it, but on your list this is what has been announced.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, my colleague, Mr. Withopf, will be
8 leading the witness tomorrow. My understanding is that he will be
9 proofing the witness, meeting with the witness this afternoon, and
10 consequently, it might be difficult to determine precisely how long or how
11 many documents will be dealt with through the witness. I do know that at
12 the last break, Mr. Withopf had a discussion with at least one of the
13 Defence counsel and indicated he thought he would require somewhere along
14 the lines of 75 to 90 minutes, subject, of course, to his meeting with the
15 witness this afternoon. So I would anticipate at this point that the
16 Prosecution would require one full court sitting, perhaps a little bit
17 more time than that, obviously subject to the discussion that is
18 Mr. Withopf has with the witness this afternoon. But I don't anticipate
19 that that amount of time would be substantially greater than one and a
20 half hours, although it might be slightly more than that.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So if the Prosecution takes an
22 hour and a half to two hours, the Defence will have three hours for their
23 cross-examination. We may be able to continue the testimony of this
24 witness on Friday. The Trial Chamber will decide on that after having
25 heard the testimony of this witness. I'm turning to the other Defence
1 counsel. Are there any issues to raise? Who is it who will be leading
2 the cross-examination? Mr. Dixon, can you please indicate approximately
3 how much time will you need for the cross-examination? Just give us a
4 rough estimate.
5 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, we estimate at this stage that we will
6 not need longer than 30 minutes for the cross-examination, of course,
7 depending on what is raised by the witness. But our estimate would be no
8 longer than half an hour for our cross-examination tomorrow. And there's
9 nothing else that we wish to raise at this stage, Your Honours. Thank
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And now on to Friday.
12 Mr. Dixon, you are going to monopolise most of the time regarding these
13 documents. How much time will you need for that? We need to know that in
14 order to decide what to do with the witness who will appear before our
15 discussion on documents.
16 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, we will not need longer, as we've
17 indicated before, than one hour to deal with our documents. Hopefully
18 shorter, about 45 minutes, but certainly not longer than one hour. We
19 only have about eight or nine documents to go through. Many of them are
20 documents that will not need to be looked at in much detail, but there are
21 particular points that we wish to refer Your Honours to to raise questions
22 about the reliability of those documents as to whether they should
23 therefore be admitted in the particular categories that we've outlined.
24 But no longer than an hour, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you will need an hour, and
1 Mr. Bourgon will have five documents, will need between 20 and 30 minutes,
2 that adds up to one and a half hours. As we have three hours and 45
3 minutes at our disposal on Friday, we'll have about two hours for the end
4 of the cross-examination and for the Judges' questions, for the witness
5 who is scheduled. So, roughly speaking, this is how we'll proceed.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And naturally, as the Defence
8 will need an hour, Mr. Bourgon will need an hour, and Mr. Dixon 30
9 minutes, that adds up to an hour and a half, and if necessary, that means
10 that the Prosecution will have time for the re-examination. But the
11 cross-examination of the witness tomorrow, and perhaps on Friday -- the
12 cross-examination of the witness scheduled tomorrow can only continue for
13 two hours on Friday. So I'd like to ask both parties to be very concise
14 so that we can follow this schedule, given that next week we'll have a
15 witness for each day.
16 Are there any other issues to raise? Mr. Mundis?
17 MR. MUNDIS: No, thank you, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Residovic.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No, thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrisimovic?
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
22 have no further questions, no further issues to raise.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will adjourn now,
24 and I will see everyone at the hearing that will start tomorrow at 9.00.
25 Thank you.
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.48 a.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 13th day of
3 May 2004, at 9.00 a.m.