1 Thursday, 13 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could the registrar call the
6 case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, case number IT-01-47-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 And could we have the appearances for the Prosecution.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
12 Honours. Good morning, Counsel. For the Prosecution, Daryl Mundis,
13 Ekkehard Withopf, and Ruth Karper, the case manager.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And the appearances
15 for the Defence, please.
16 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Good day, Madam Judge. Good day,
17 Your Honour. Good day, Mr. President. On behalf of General Enver
18 Hadzihasanovic, I'm accompanied by Mr. Alexis Demirdjian today, our legal
19 assistant, and an interpreter for the team who can enable us to
20 communicate with Mr. Hadzihasanovic if necessary in the course of
21 Mr. Duncan's testimony. Vedrana Residovic is the name of the
22 interpreter, and I am Stephane Bourgon.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the appearances
24 for the other Defence team, please.
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning. Your Honours.
1 On behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
2 Mulalic, our legal assistant.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Trial Chamber
4 would like to greet everyone present in the courtroom, members of the
5 Prosecution, the Defence counsel, and our registrar, who has returned to
7 I will now give the floor to Mr. Withopf, who will inform us of
8 the witness we will be hearing. Mr. Withopf.
9 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution will
10 call the witness Alastair Duncan. I anticipate, as already announced
11 yesterday by Mr. Mundis, that the examination-in-chief will last about
12 1 hour 30 minutes, maybe 1 hour 45 minutes. And I intend to use the
13 following documents: Exhibits P225, P216, P162, and DH72. Thank you
14 very much.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf.
16 Madam Usher has gone to bring the witness into the courtroom. We
17 are waiting for him now.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day. I would like to make
20 sure that you are receiving the interpretation of what I am saying into
21 your own language. If so, please tell me.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, I am.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've been called here to
24 testify about events that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993.
25 You've been called here as a witness for the Prosecution. Before giving
1 your testimony, you must take the solemn declaration. But before you
2 read out the solemn declaration, could you tell me your first and last
3 names. THE WITNESS: My name is Alastair Duncan.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you tell me your date of
5 birth, your place of birth, and your nationality, please.
6 THE WITNESS: I was born on the 22nd of October, 1952 at Toft
7 Monks in Norfolk in England, and I'm English.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What rank and what position do
9 you currently hold?
10 THE WITNESS: Major general, general de division. And I'm
11 currently commanding Land Warfare Centre in the British Army which is
12 responsible for all military training.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What duties did you perform and
14 what rank did you have in 1993, over ten years ago?
15 THE WITNESS: In 1993, I was a lieutenant colonel, the commanding
16 officer of the 1st Battalion, the Prince of Wales' Own Regiment of
17 Yorkshire. And I was based in Osnabruck in Germany as an armoured
18 infantry battalion. But I was deployed to Bosnia, to the Lasva Valley
19 area, in 1993.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you already testified
21 before an international or national court about the events of 1993, or is
22 this the first time?
23 THE WITNESS: Sir, I've been here twice before, once for the court
24 case against Tihomir Blaskic and once for the court case against Dario
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could you please
2 read out the solemn declaration.
3 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
4 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
5 WITNESS: ALASTAIR DUNCAN
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, General. You've may
7 sit down now.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, before the Prosecution
9 commences its examination-in-chief I would like to provide you with some
10 information about the procedure followed here. As you have already
11 testified in other cases, you are already used to the procedure followed.
12 Initially you will have to answer questions put to you by representatives
13 of the Prosecution, who are to your right. And you have already met
15 Once this stage has been completed - it should take between an
16 hour and a half and an hour and 45 minutes - and after our break, you
17 will be cross-examined. The cross-examination will be conducted by
18 Defence counsel for the accused. Two members of the Defence counsel will
19 conduct the cross-examination, the purpose of which is to verify the
20 credibility of the witness and also to clarify certain issues that might
21 make the situation at the time clearer.
22 Once the cross-examination has been completed, the Prosecution
23 will take the floor again to ask you additional questions, which will be
24 based on the questions put to you in the course of the cross-examination.
25 The three Judges who are sitting before you may ask you questions and
1 will ask you questions at any point in time. As a general rule, the
2 Judges prefer to wait for the examination-in-chief, the
3 cross-examination, and re-examination to be concluded, after which they
4 ask a witness questions. The purpose of the Judges' questions is to
5 clarify answers that you have provided to the parties or to obtain
6 additional information if necessary and to fill in any gaps they might
7 feel they have noticed in your answers. Once the Judges have asked you
8 their questions, both parties may ask you additional questions.
9 This hearing will go on until about 1.45, but if we don't have
10 time to complete the hearing, it will continue tomorrow. Sometimes the
11 questions might be a little confusing, but try to provide precise and
12 clear answers to the extent that this is possible. The Judges don't have
13 any documents relating to your testimony, and as a result we will be
14 counting on your oral testimony to understand the events in question. As
15 the proceedings are oral, it's necessary for the questions and answers to
16 be as clear as possible for the Judges.
17 I would like to inform you of two other factors: You have just
18 taken the solemn declaration, which means that you should not give false
19 testimony. False testimony is punishable. And there is another
20 provision which shouldn't apply to you, but I would like to point out
21 that if a witness answers a question and the answer could be used to
22 prosecute the witness at a subsequent date, in such a case the witness
23 can refuse to answer the question. If a witness refuses to answer such a
24 question, the Trial Chamber can compel the witness to answer, but the
25 witness benefits from a form of immunity in such a case.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 So generally speaking this is how the hearing will proceed.
2 Without wasting any more time, I will let the Prosecution -- I will let
3 Mr. Withopf take the floor now.
4 Examined by Mr. Withopf:
5 Q. Good morning, sir.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. Sir, can you please for the benefit of the Trial Chamber briefly
8 summarise your military career within the British Army from the time you
9 joined it up until now, with the emphasis on deployments abroad, if any.
10 A. Certainly. I joined the British Army in 1970, and I have
11 commanded at every level on operations and in training, at platoon, a
12 company, battalion, brigade, and division. In particular, I served on
13 operations in Northern Ireland as a platoon commander, a company
14 commander, and a battalion commander, and then in the Balkans as a
15 battalion commander and later as deputy commander of the multinational
16 division in Banja Luka, which I took over, a short time, as the
17 divisional commander.
18 Q. You already mentioned it, sir, but for the sake of the
19 transcript, can you please again inform us about your military rank
20 whilst deployed in Central Bosnia in 1993.
21 A. In 1993, I was a lieutenant colonel, commanding an armoured
22 infantry battalion which was based in Osnabruck in Germany. I had been
23 in command for two and a half years before we deployed to Bosnia. And I
24 then deployed with my entire battle group, consisting of armoured
25 vehicles and Land Rovers, to the area of the Lasva Valley. And in
1 slightly more detail, I had a company based in Gornji Vakuf, I had two
2 companies based on the Nova Bila School north of Vitez, and a company in
4 Q. And, sir, what's your rank today?
5 A. My rank today is as major general.
6 Q. General, can you please inform us briefly about your current
8 A. I'm currently commanding the Land Warfare Centre, which is based
9 on Salisbury Plain in the UK. My responsibilities are for
10 pre-employment training for individuals, so officers and soldiers prior
11 to taking over a specific appointment will come through my organisation
12 for training. More importantly, I am responsible for the training of the
13 entire British Army for operations. So every single soldier from the
14 British Army who deploys on operations will come through my organisation
15 of collective training before they deploy. I have training bases in the
16 UK on Salisbury Plain; in Canada, at Alberta; at Belize; at Kenya; and in
18 Q. General, let's talk about your deployment in Central Bosnia in
19 1993. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber from when to when and in
20 what exact function you were deployed in Central Bosnia.
21 A. I deployed as the commanding officer of the British Battalion,
22 which was part of UNPROFOR, from May till November 1993.
23 Q. Prior to being deployed with BritBat in Central Bosnia, did you
24 travel in the area for reconnaissance purposes?
25 A. Yes, sir. I did two reconnaissances before deploying with my
1 battalion many May. The first was, if I remember, the last week in
2 January, and then about three weeks later I came back with a much fuller
3 team for another week for a second reconnaissance.
4 Q. In addition to your two reconnaissance missions prior to being
5 deployed, did you receive a further briefing prior to taking over command
6 of BritBat?
7 A. Yes. I came out somewhat earlier than would be normal. In the
8 British Army, it is normal that the commanding officer - who at that
9 time was Colonel Bob Stewart - and I would change over when I had more
10 soldiers in theatre than he had, and we'd normally change over like that.
11 However, because of the complex nature of the task I was given in Bosnia,
12 I decided to deploy some six days earlier. This gave me the chance to go
13 round the whole of the British Battalion area, less Tuzla, to meet not
14 only the people who were doing the job on the ground but also to meet
15 representatives from the BiH and the HVO that I would be working with for
16 the next six months.
17 Q. General, would it be fair to say that at the point in time you
18 took over command of BritBat on the 11th of May, 1993 you were already
19 fully aware of the military situation in the area of responsibility of
21 A. That would be entirely true. I'd spent a great deal of time.
22 They were very long day, those six days, out first thing in the morning
23 and back last thing at night, and then following on a series of
24 discussions about things I'd seen and heard during the day.
25 Q. You already mentioned it, but for the sake of the transcript can
1 you please inform the Trial Chamber where exactly you were based whilst
2 you were the commanding officer of BritBat.
3 A. I was based in the school in Nova Bila, which was formerly
4 obviously a local school. We set up base there. I had my headquarters
5 there with two companies. And further down the road, I think there was a
6 location we called the garage towards Vitez, was where my echelon, which
7 was responsible for replying and sustaining the battalion.
8 Q. And, General, can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the
9 chain of command within BritBat and the structure. How was the operation
11 A. We kept our normal chain of command. I was required to report
12 directly to UNPROFOR in Kiseljak. That is unusual in the British Army,
13 that you go straight through from battalion right through to what is
14 effectively a theatre headquarters. And UNPROFOR was laid out with a
15 series of battalions across Bosnia at that stage, each with a unique
16 area, but each, I believe, with a common task of making sure that aid was
17 delivered. That command structure, then, I was given direction from
18 Kiseljak, came down to me, and in turn I gave orders down to my company
19 commanders, and they were responsible for organising the patrolling below
21 Q. General, you already touched on it briefly. Can you please
22 inform us about your mission whilst deployed in Central Bosnia.
23 A. My mission was to create the conditions whereby aid could be
24 distributed into and through my area of responsibility. This mission I
25 kept very short and simple. The reason for that was that it was very
1 important that every single soldier under my command understood what my
2 mission was. As we were so widely dispersed, it was very important that
3 they were able to take decisions when out of contact. And the rule was
4 if what I'm going to do is to help my commanding officer and his mission,
5 then I can do it; if what I'm about to do would not help him, then I
6 shouldn't do it.
7 Q. Can you please inform us, General, about the essentials and the
8 keys to guarantee the success of your mission.
9 A. I considered that to guarantee success of my mission I had to
10 know exactly what was going on in my area, and so I established an
11 information-gathering system across the whole of my area. And it was
12 based on a series of levels, the first level being myself as commanding
13 officer, the senior officer in the battalion, talking directly to the
14 senior commanders of the BiH and the HVO, and it was important that I was
15 seen to be speaking to them because they were influential people. So
16 that was what I called the first level of gathering information.
17 Below that I had my company commanders who were responsible for
18 various areas within my area of responsibility, and they would deal with
19 the brigade commanders from the HVO and BiH. That is the second level.
20 The third level was achieved with about eight or nine young
21 captains who were deployed out to specific formations within the two
22 armies that were deployed there or to areas. And that was the third
23 level of information gathering.
24 The fourth level was done by patrols on the ground either in Land
25 Rovers or the Warrior armoured vehicles that we had, and they gathered
1 information as well.
2 That information was then all brought back to my military
3 information cell in Vitez and put together by my military information
4 officer. And he was responsible for collating that information and, if
5 necessary, making comment on what it thought. As a result of that, I was
6 able to get a complete picture of what was going on in my area in order
7 that I could influence events, ensure my mission of getting aid through
8 was complete, and know what was going on if possible to pre-empt any
10 Q. Would it be fair to say, General, that you had a complete
11 intelligence-gathering system that was covering all military aspects
12 within the area of responsibility of BritBat?
13 A. That would be correct, but I would add that I also had
14 relationships with the UNHCR as well; and we also, if you like, plugged
15 into some of the local dignitaries, the mayors of towns, normally it was
16 my captains. So what I was trying to do was pick up every scrap of
17 information I could.
18 Q. Was the information-gathering system you just described in very
19 detail, was it already in place when you arrived in Central Bosnia in May
21 A. Parts of it were in place, and in particular the young captains
22 were in place. But I don't think my predecessor had actually formally
23 defined it. I should add another reason why I formally decided -- my
24 apologies -- why I formally designed the system was prevent other people
25 within the United Nations coming -- who may have come into my area, if
1 you like, upsetting things. And I told them, "Please do not come in and
2 upset things."
3 And to give you an example, sir, if I may: On one occasion I
4 discovered that three different agencies had visited prison in Zenica
5 from the UN. That was clearly ridiculous and upsetting the prison. So
6 with this system I was able to make sure that the right person was
7 talking to the right person.
8 Q. Based on this, would it be fair to say that it was a very
9 effective information-gathering system?
10 A. I think it was very effective, yes.
11 Q. Did you immediately, after your arrival, implement the
12 intelligence-gathering system you just described?
13 A. Yes, I did. It was something we had discussed back in Germany
14 after my reconnaissances with my company commanders. We designed the
15 system then with the knowledge of the area and the problems of it.
16 Q. And was this system in place throughout the six months you were
17 deployed in the area?
18 A. Yes, it was.
19 Q. Were you, as the commanding officer of BritBat, were you
20 satisfied with the results this intelligence-gathering system produced?
21 A. I was satisfied that the system gave me what I believed to be the
22 best possible knowledge of what was going on, very satisfied.
23 Q. Whilst you were the commanding officer of BritBat, did you have a
24 system of daily meetings?
25 A. We had a system of meetings at 6.00, 1800 hours every evening,
1 where the liaison officers, the young captains I'd sent out, the company
2 commanders, the intelligence and military-information officers, in fact
3 everybody, would gather in the conference room when there would be a full
4 debrief of the day's activities from every level. So I would explain
5 what I'd done; the company commanders at the second level, third level,
6 fourth level would all go through what had happened in their area. This
7 was to enable what was going on. Of course, some people missed that
8 meeting because they were unavoidably detained elsewhere. But as a
9 result of the meeting we produced a formal report for the day, a
10 milinfosum. And this was put together every day as a formal document and
11 sent to the various agencies in the UN, and sideways to our sister
12 battalions in the UN and also to the UK. This ensured that everybody,
13 whether they were at the meeting or not, firstly knew what had gone on
14 that day; secondly, knew what we were doing about it; and thirdly, had
15 some idea of my plans and ideas for the future.
16 Q. General, who at the time was responsible for putting together the
18 A. On my -- within my battalion in Germany, I had an intelligence
19 officer who was trained in the UK. He was a very bright young captain
20 called Simon Harrison, and I immediately knew that he was the right
21 person to run this organisation, and he headed up my military information
22 cell and collated all this information.
23 Q. Captain Simon Harrison, was he a trained, a professional, and an
24 experienced intelligence officer?
25 A. Very much so, yes. Not only had he been on the course in the UK
1 for all intelligence officers, but he had been working with me and my
2 battle group for the last 18 months. So he knew how we worked and we had
3 worked together as a team.
4 Q. What are your views, General, first in respect to the skills of
5 Captain Simon Harrison; and second, in respect to the quality of his
7 A. He was a very intelligent and bright officer. Sadly, he has left
8 the army and gone on to greater things in civilian life. But his power
9 of analysis was enormous. He had a very good brain. He was able to
10 remember scraps of information and put them together to come to some
11 opinion and conclusions and analysis, which I found hugely helpful.
12 Q. I understand, General, that the information which was shared
13 during the 1800-hour meetings became part of the milinfosums. Was there
14 anything else what was incorporated in the milinfosums?
15 A. There were two parts in the milinfosum: The first part was the
16 facts which were outlined. And then under the title "Comment," was
17 either mine or Captain Simon Harrison's opinion of what this meant. So
18 whilst the facts were there, we also made an opinion, and clearly the
19 opinion was based on facts but it was not facts itself.
20 Q. What was the purpose, sir, what was the purpose of the
21 milinfosums? Who was supposed to read the milinfosums?
22 A. Everyone was supposed to read them at some stage. That might be
23 the next morning if they came in. But it was to enable the maximum
24 amount of knowledge as to what was going on across my command to get down
25 to everybody. It was -- I felt it was very important that everybody knew
1 what we were doing with our successes and failures, and it was to convey
3 Q. And to whom were the milinfosums disseminated?
4 A. They were disseminated down within my command through the normal
5 command structure and to all those captains and the layers I've talked
6 about. They were also sent to the battle groups or battalions in my
7 area, the Canadian in particular. And they were sent off to Kiseljak to
8 the UN headquarters. And a final copy went back to the UK to the
9 Ministry of Defence.
10 Q. Did the warring factions get to know about the contents of the
12 A. They were the subject of the milinfosums, so they probably knew
13 what was in them. But it wasn't usual to disclose what we put in them
14 for the main reason of the comment, because whilst the comment wasn't
15 fact, it was what we were thinking. And sometimes I thought that would
16 be inappropriate.
17 Q. To conclude this line of questioning, General, would you consider
18 the information which was contained in the milinfosums as reliable
20 A. I would say it was reliable information.
21 Q. General, let's move on to a different subject, namely the
22 military situation within the 3rd Corps -- ABiH 3rd Corps area of
23 responsibility, in particular the ABiH-HVO conflict.
24 My first question is, General: What was actually the
25 geographical area of responsibility of BritBat?
1 A. BritBat was responsible effectively from the Lasva Valley,
2 running from Travnik and slightly to the west of that, where the Serbs
3 were -- had a front line, and then across the entire valley as far as
4 what call the Zenica flyover, which was a considerable way down towards
5 Kiseljak. The area also extended north to take in Zenica. And beyond
6 that we had a route north up to Tuzla, but the Tuzla company was very
7 much independent.
8 To the south-west we had the road which ran from Travnik down to
9 Gornji Vakuf, where my last company was based, and that is where the
10 area went down. But I think officially the area went down as far as
11 what I believe is a placed called Romboci, which is above some lakes
12 lower down on the map.
13 Q. Was there an overlap between the AOR of ABiH 3rd Corps and
14 BritBat? And if so, to what extent?
15 A. There was a considerable overlap between the ABiH 3rd Corps and
16 British Battalion, particularly in Travnik and Zenica. If you like,
17 their forces were -- and in Gornji Vakuf -- their forces were around the
18 Lasva Valley area.
19 Q. How would you describe, sir, for the information of the Trial
20 Chamber, the military situation within the area of responsibility of ABiH
21 3rd Corps at the time you arrived in May 1993 in Vitez?
22 A. When I arrived, I think the incident at Ahmici had occurred some
23 10, 15 days before, where a number of Muslims had been killed, almost
24 certainly by HVO forces. As a result of this, the delicate balance
25 between the BiH and the HVO in the Lasva Valley was very much under
1 threat and starting to crumble. At that stage, I think it would be fair
2 to say that the HVO were the dominant partner of the two partners running
3 there, but this began to change as the BiH were hugely upset about, if
4 you like, being let down by their ally. They had worked extremely well
5 together against the Serbs, but this fracture that occurred was starting
6 to break down that balance of power.
7 Q. You were saying, General, that first it was the HVO who was the
8 dominant military force and then later on the situation changed. Would
9 it be fair to say that at some point in time the ABiH -- the ABiH 3rd
10 Corps became the predominant or the dominant military force?
11 A. That, I believe, would be fair to say, in that during the six
12 months I was there there was a steady and continuous advance by the
13 3rd Corps, until they became at the end of my tour very much the dominant
14 partner, as it were, in this situation.
15 Q. General, you are using the term "dominant military force." What
16 is implied by saying "the dominant military force"?
17 A. What I imply by that is they were the ones, put in vernacular,
18 who were running the show. They were the people who were driving events.
19 So when I first arrived there, the HVO were very confident and the BiH
20 felt a little under pressure. But by the time I left, it was reversed,
21 in that the HVO were not confident at all and the BiH were extremely
22 confident and capable.
23 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber as to when, if you can
24 tell us, as to when this change took place.
25 A. That's that not an easy judgement to take, because it happened
1 over a period of time. But I would say it was precipitated by Ahmici,
2 and then when the BiH effectively took control of the Travnik area - and
3 I can't remember exactly which month that was off the top of my head -
4 but when that happened, I felt that the balance of power had shifted, if
5 you like.
6 Q. General, what sort of facts made you conclude that the ABiH
7 became the dominant military force?
8 A. The facts that enabled me to come to that conclusion was that
9 they moved a number of brigades out of the Zenica area in order to
10 conduct offensive operations, and those offensive operations took place
11 in the Travnik area, and that was combined also with activity later on
12 down near Gornji Vakuf. The result of that -- so what I'm saying,
13 effectively, is the BiH turned their attention to gaining more territory
14 and expelling, if you like, the HVO from that territory.
15 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, with the permission of
16 the Trial Chamber, can the witness please be provided with a copy of
17 Prosecution Exhibit P225. Prosecution Exhibit P225 is the milinfosum of
18 8 June 1993.
19 Q. Sir, if I may please draw your attention to the first page of
20 this milinfosum and to the portion under "2," where it says: "The
21 expected BiH offensive in the area has begun." And then the villages of
22 Guca Gora, Brajkovici, Bukovica, Radonjici, and Maljine are mentioned.
23 And then it is said that such forces "have been captured by the BiH."
24 This statement in the milinfosum, is it a reflection of what you
25 just described, that the ABiH became the more dominant force within ABiH
1 3rd Corps?
2 A. Yes, that is entirely correct. These advances and capturing of
3 various towns and villages is the tangible evidence of that change.
4 Q. And, of course, I understand, General, that this is a milinfosum
5 that was produced by BritBat whilst you were in Vitez.
6 A. Yes, that's entirely true.
7 MR. WITHOPF: Can the exhibit please be removed from the witness.
8 Q. General, how would you describe the military equipment, or what
9 do you think -- which army, which force was the stronger force, in terms
10 of military equipment?
11 A. I would prefer, if I may, to answer that in a more rounded way
12 and not just go for military equipment. What I'd like to go is --
13 describe is the capability of each force. They were very different. In
14 my opinion, the HVO had less soldiers but they had more sophisticated
15 equipment, in terms of artillery and -- a large artillery capability.
16 They also, certainly further south, had access to HV artillery from
17 Croatia to back up their fire power.
18 On the other hand, the BiH had an awful lot more soldiers and
19 they were, if you like, a people-heavy army, but they had very little
20 artillery at all. But they did have a number of 120-millimetre mortars.
21 So in terms of equipment, I think the HVO were less equipped but
22 they had less soldiers and the BiH were not so well equipped but they had
23 more soldiers.
24 In terms of morale, which is a very important factor, I thought
25 the BiH were much more determined than the HVO, and also in some cases
1 better trained.
2 Q. General, you were just saying that the HVO 3rd Corps had more
3 soldiers. Would it be fair to say that the ABiH 3rd Corps significantly
4 outnumbered the HVO, in terms of manpower?
5 A. In the Lasva Valley area, sir, I would say that's correct.
6 Q. If we talk about the Lasva Valley area, does this include, in
7 your view, also the area of Travnik and Zenica?
8 A. Yes, it would. Yes, sir.
9 Q. Whilst you were headquartered in Vitez, did you get to know
10 whether Muslim refugees arrived in the area of 3rd Corps?
11 A. I did, because on a number of occasions we deployed to the
12 Travnik and Turbe area, to the west of the Lasva Valley, and we set up
13 the conditions to enable refugees who had been expelled - some from the
14 Banja Luka area, Muslims, and they came across front lines. There were a
15 considerable number of refugee centres in Travnik, and I was aware that
16 people were coming in that way.
17 Q. Amongst the refugees, were there men of military age?
18 A. Yes, there were.
19 Q. What was considered being of military age?
20 A. I think "of military age," it's difficult to put exact dates on,
21 but if you could -- if you were fit and you could carry a rifle and
22 provisions and you were motivated, then you were of military age.
23 Q. Very well. Were Muslim refugees who were of military age, were
24 they to your knowledge incorporated in ABiH 3rd Corps military units?
25 A. I believe they were. And in particular, I think, if my memory
1 serves me correctly, the Krajina Brigade in Travnik had a number of
2 people who had been expelled from the Krajina and specifically formed
3 with their friends to form a brigade there.
4 Q. From a military perspective, does it make sense to incorporate
5 refugees in military units?
6 A. To incorporate refugees who have been expelled from their homes
7 and had their families killed in some cases I think was entirely
8 legitimate and reasonable. It formed a strong, well-motivated fighting
10 Q. General, what is your impression about the professionalism of
11 ABiH 3rd Corps? And at this point in time I'm only talking about the
12 issue whether you got to know whether the ABiH 3rd Corps had incorporated
13 former JNA officers.
14 A. I was aware there was a number of former JNA officers within the
15 3rd Corps. They were sort of sprinkled around all the way through. I
16 knew that a number of 3rd Corps soldiers, as with the HVO soldiers, had
17 done military service of a few weeks or even a few months. So there was
18 considerable expertise within that corps, yes.
19 Q. What impact, if any, did the considerable expertise of the former
20 JNA officers within ABiH 3rd Corps have on the discipline within the ABiH
21 3rd Corps units?
22 A. I think the 3rd Corps genuinely wanted to form an army which had
23 the highest possible standards, and clearly, if you looked at them, their
24 equipment was poor, their uniforms were scruffy. But that's not
25 important in an army. What was important was that they were organised
1 and trained. And everywhere I went I saw people organised and trained.
2 I know they produced a certain amount of documents to help their
3 soldiers. Indeed, they produced a little soldier's booklet, which
4 helped, again, with the training.
5 Q. Let's move on, General, to the next item, to the next subject I
6 would like to cover with you, namely the so-called operational tempo.
7 How would you describe, General, the operational tempo within the area of
8 responsibility of ABiH 3rd Corps during the period you were deployed in
9 Central Bosnia, meaning from May 1993 to November 1993?
10 A. Operational tempo would normally be used as a term to describe
11 the pace of activity of a military organisation. Within the BiH during
12 that period, they would plan, I believe, very carefully, and they would
13 take a move or a bite forward, if you like. They would then consolidate
14 and plan for the next phase. They had to do this because they didn't
15 have particularly good resupply systems. So it was a question of attack,
16 move, and then pause; consolidate what you have, consider the next move,
17 which would probably be already planned in the greater scheme; and then
18 attack, move. So you get periods of intense activity interspersed by
19 really quite quiet periods when the front lines are very quiet. It's a
20 question of violent activity which gets you your success, and then you
21 pause and hold and make sure it's consolidated before you move on. No
22 commander would rush into a continuous movement, because he would soon
23 run out of logistics and resupplies. So it was a measured tempo.
24 Q. The pauses and breaks you were just mentioning, were they a
25 repeated occurrence in between the different military actions?
1 A. Yes, it was the normal between each military action. It gave
2 people time to recuperate, to refresh, to get new soldiers forward if
3 required, for the wounded to be sorted out. It just -- and everything to
4 be planned for the next phase.
5 Q. Such repeated pauses and breaks in between military operations,
6 were they often and long enough to allow the 3rd Corps commander,
7 General Hadzihasanovic, to deal with disciplinary matters, if necessary?
8 A. Yes, I would think he had time to do that. It would be one of --
9 I mean, in any army, one of the things you would wish to do.
10 Q. And were these repeated operational breaks and pauses often and
11 long enough to allow the 3rd Corps commander, General Hadzihasanovic, to
12 fulfil his legal obligations to initiate steps to investigate and to
13 follow up investigations in respect to allegations of crimes, including
14 war crimes?
15 A. I would estimate there would be sufficient time for that, on the
16 basis that the action time is quite small, compared with, if you like,
17 recuperation time. You do your violent actions, which may last one or
18 two or three days, and then there would be a pause.
19 Q. Sir, let's move on to the next issue, namely your direct contact
20 with General Hadzihasanovic. Did you have direct contact with General
22 A. Yes, I did. I met him before I took over as the BritBat
23 commander, and then on a number of occasions throughout the six months.
24 It was a personal meeting with my aides as well, normally in his
25 headquarters in Zenica.
1 Q. You were saying you had meetings on a number of occasions. For
2 the benefit of the Trial Chamber, can you please be a bit more concrete.
3 Do you have still a rough guess as to how often you met
4 General Hadzihasanovic?
5 A. Probably about 18 to 20 times during those six months. So if you
6 like, an average of per month is about three or so. It would depend on
7 events. If I was away or if he was away, we wouldn't meet. But I tried
8 to meet at regular intervals because it was important to keep that
9 relationship going.
10 Q. Was General Hadzihasanovic your main contact within ABiH
11 3rd Corps?
12 A. Yes, he was. I mean, as the commanding officer, my main contact
13 was with the senior BiH officer and the senior HVO officer.
14 Q. You already mentioned, General, that the meetings regularly took
15 place in the ABiH 3rd Corps headquarters in Zenica. Who was actually the
16 one who requested the meetings?
17 A. It was a shared business. I often requested and occasionally
18 Colonel Hadzihasanovic requested a meeting as well.
19 Q. What was discussed in the course of such meetings? What was the
20 purpose of the meetings?
21 A. The purpose of the meetings was for me to discuss with
22 Colonel Hadzihasanovic what was going on, and we discussed politics in
23 broad terms, the political situation, and then perhaps in more detail
24 what was going on on the military side, both from the HVO point of view
25 and the BiH. We then discussed any problems that might occur to do with
1 the capture of prisoners, prisoner exchanges, problem areas, routes which
2 we couldn't go along because they were blocked and I needed them to
3 deliver the aid. All sort of -- not routine business, but it was
4 business where I'd like a solution or we could move forward on.
5 Q. I think you already mentioned it. Did you take somebody with you
6 when meeting Hadzihasanovic?
7 A. I would take routinely Warrant Officer Burton, who was my
8 bodyguard, and also - particularly with Hadzihasanovic - the captain who
9 was assigned to him, and my military information officer, Captain Simon
10 Harrison, who I mentioned previously.
11 Q. And who was the captain who was assigned to Hadzihasanovic?
12 A. It was originally Captain Cameron Kiggell for the first half of
13 the tour, and then he was replaced by Captain Andrew Jackson for the
14 second half of the tour.
15 Q. Whenever you had meetings, the 18 to 20 meetings within your
16 six-month tour in Central Bosnia, were there any time limits, was there
17 any pressure in terms of time when you had such meetings?
18 A. No, there wasn't. The meeting went on for as long as we both
19 felt it was suitable. And when we'd run out of topics, we would then
20 break up and move on.
21 Q. You were already mentioning, General, that a liaison officer was
22 assigned to Hadzihasanovic. Did there come a time when there were any
23 problems with the liaison officer, in the sense that Hadzihasanovic was
24 not happy with the liaison officer?
25 A. I think initially he thought it was very useful to have a direct
1 link with the British Battalion through a liaison officer. As time went
2 on and he also realised I had liaison officers in the various locations
3 and brigades of the area, he was less happy because he realised we were
4 getting the full picture of what his army was doing. And at one stage he
5 requested that I removed the liaison officers from those brigades, which
6 I did; but I then reassigned them to come back into areas, as opposed to
7 brigades. And I must say there was a slight cat-and-mouse business we
8 played, in me wanting to get information from my liaison officers and him
9 quite frankly, and quite understandably, not wanting to give me perhaps
10 all the information I needed.
11 Q. But do I understand you correctly, General, that playing this
12 little cat-and-mouse game after you changed the assignment, you still
13 received the very same amount of reliable information as prior to the
14 change of assignments?
15 A. Yes, we did.
16 Q. Do you have any knowledge about the JNA background of
17 Hadzihasanovic, if any?
18 A. I knew him to be a former officer of the JNA. I believe he was a
19 colonel. Apart from that, I didn't have -- no specific knowledge, no.
20 Q. Having met him between 18 to 20 times and having been in the area
21 for six months, General, what is your and what was your impression at the
22 time about the competence of Hadzihasanovic, his military abilities, and
23 the control of his troops within the ABiH 3rd Corps area?
24 A. My assessment of Hadzihasanovic as an officer was that he was an
25 extremely intelligent and capable commander. He had his headquarters in
1 Zenica particularly well organised, with a number of functions to enable
2 it to command. He had the communications and the staff, and that was his
3 initiative, because he was the commander. He was very cool and calm. He
4 was a thinker. He was not given to taking action without considering all
5 the consequences. I had a huge respect for him as a commander.
6 One criteria we use -- or criterion, rather -- we use in the
7 British Army is whether somebody is at peace with himself as a commander.
8 He knows where he wants to go and what he's got to do. And I would say
9 that Colonel Hadzihasanovic was entirely that. He was a very, very
10 proficient and capable officer.
11 Q. Colonel Hadzihasanovic at the time, was he in your assessment and
12 in your views, in full control of his subordinates?
13 A. Very much so. I think he was in complete control of his
15 Q. To your knowledge, did he ever appear to be stressed?
16 A. No, he never appeared to be stressed. He was particularly calm.
17 Q. During your time in Central Bosnia, did you also meet the
18 counterpart of Colonel Hadzihasanovic at the time, namely
19 Colonel Blaskic?
20 A. Yes, I did. And in a similar fashion to speaking to
21 Colonel Hadzihasanovic, I would speak on the same matters to
22 Colonel Blaskic.
23 Q. And how would you describe the differences, if any, between
24 Hadzihasanovic and Blaskic?
25 A. Colonel Blaskic always gave me the impression of being a hunted
1 man, as it were. He was quite nervous about things. He was a competent
2 officer but not a brilliant officer. He was capable of doing his various
3 tasks and commanding his area in not a very dynamic way, but he was a
4 capable officer.
5 Q. In terms of being calm and at peace with himself, was there a
6 difference in comparison to Hadzihasanovic?
7 A. Yes, there was. And as events of the six months unfolded, he
8 became more and more -- Blaskic became more and more perturbed.
9 Q. Talking about Hadzihasanovic again, was Commander Hadzihasanovic,
10 to your knowledge, was he aware what was on -- what was going on on the
12 A. I think he had a very effective machinery for gathering
13 information and the communications to go with it. He was always, when I
14 visited, very much up to date with what was going on on the ground and
15 things that we discussed. If I opened a new line of thought, he would
16 generally say, "I know about that, yes," and agree or disagree.
17 Q. This answer, General, implies that Hadzihasanovic was informed to
18 the very detail you would expect a corps commander to be informed.
19 A. That's exactly what I would expect, and he certainly was well
21 Q. General, you already touched briefly on the next issue I wish to
22 discuss with you. Did Hadzihasanovic, at the time you've been in Central
23 Bosnia, did he have at his disposal the necessary staff to effectively
24 command and control ABiH 3rd Corps, such as planning staff,
25 administrative staff, military police, and communication abilities?
1 A. Yes, he did. He had, as I mentioned before, a very effective
2 headquarters, which covered the planning functions; he had a very able
3 deputy, in the shape of Colonel Merdan, Dzemal Merdan, who was his
4 second-in-command; he had administrative staff, and I often saw military
5 police dressed with their white bandoliers and white boot covers on the
6 streets and also at checkpoints; he had the equipment for
7 communications. And if I could run through that, because I think it's
8 quite important, for a corps commander.
9 We had his satellite telephone number and a fax number as well,
10 so we could communicate directly. In addition, he had a system of
11 Motorola, a VHF radio, a hand-held radio, which he commanded his troops
12 with. And initially we had telephones, but unfortunately as events
13 unfolded, after the first month they were cut off. But I was quite clear
14 that it was a good system of communication, including the ability to talk
15 to Sarajevo and also to talk to his troops. And, for example, when some
16 helicopters landed in Novi Travnik, that information got back to him very
18 Q. General, you were just describing the effective and efficient
19 communication equipment and communication abilities within 3rd Corps, and
20 in particular, the ones Hadzihasanovic had at his disposal. And one item
21 were obviously satellite phones. And you are mentioning faxes as well.
22 Was this a satellite fax?
23 A. This was a satellite fax, yes. We had the telephone number to
24 speak at voice, and also the fax number.
25 Q. Had you ever been provided with the satellite phone and satellite
1 fax numbers?
2 A. Yes, we were. We were given this is them directly. It wasn't
3 withheld at all.
4 And perhaps I should add, just to complete the picture, I also
5 knew there were a number of ex-JNA radio trucks available, and we saw
6 them from time to time.
7 Q. The satellite phone and satellite fax numbers, do you still
8 recall as to who provided you with the numbers and as to when you were
9 provided with the numbers?
10 A. In all honesty, I cannot remember when, but I know we had the
11 numbers, because they're in my notebook.
12 Q. It's obviously some time ago, but was it more at the beginning of
13 your tour or at the end of your tour?
14 A. It was at the beginning.
15 Q. The communication abilities and the communication equipment you
16 just described in some detail, did such communication equipment and such
17 communication abilities, did they meet the military standard at the time?
18 A. The satellite phones were obviously very efficient. The ex-JNA
19 VHF and HF communication, whilst they in Western terms were quite old,
20 they were extremely efficient and reliable. The Motorolas - that is, the
21 hand-held equipments - required repeaters up on the hills, and it was, I
22 think, it was to everyone's advantage to leave those repeaters switched
23 on. So both the HVO and the BiH used the same repeaters in the hills.
24 It was a good system. It was the best available at the time. It
25 wasn't perfect. No communication system is perfect. But it worked.
1 Q. General, you just used a number of abbreviations. For the
2 benefit of the Trial Chamber, can you please explain what these acronyms
3 stand for, like VHF communication and so on.
4 A. I'm sorry, I do apologise. It was "very high frequency" and
5 "high frequency" communications. Very high frequency would be used over
6 a short range of something like 10 to 15 kilometres. But high frequency
7 can be used either for short range or for hundreds of kilometres.
8 Q. Thank you very much, General, for this clarification. That
9 certainly helps a lot.
10 Were these sophisticated means or the means of communications
11 which met the military standards at the time, to your knowledge were they
12 available to Hadzihasanovic throughout your time in Central Bosnia?
13 A. Yes, they were.
14 MR. WITHOPF: Can the witness please be provided with a copy --
15 or with Prosecution Exhibit P162.
16 Q. P162 is the milinfosum dated the 25th of June, 1993. General, if
17 I may, please, draw your attention to page 3 of this milinfosum and to
18 the portion under "4". The portion starts with: "CO 1 PWO." Can you
19 please explain for the benefit of the Trial Chamber who is CO 1 PWO.
20 A. Yes. CO 1 PWO is the acronym for the commanding officer of the
21 Prince of Wales' Own Regiment Yorkshire, i.e., myself, the commander of
23 Q. The portion under "4" addresses a meeting you yourself had with
24 commander 3rd Corps, Enver Hadzihasanovic, and it is making reference
25 that he was in excellent spirits and that he "claimed that he had good
1 comms with the area through a series of rebroadcast stations set on the
2 hills." What does the abbreviation "comms" stand for, please?
3 A. It stands for "communications."
4 Q. What is written in this portion of the milinfosum, does it
5 reflect the information -- the evidence you just provided the Trial
6 Chamber with?
7 A. Yes, it does, yes.
8 Q. Thank you very much, General.
9 MR. WITHOPF: Can the exhibit please be removed from the witness.
10 Q. These communication equipment and communication abilities, were
11 they sufficient to enable Hadzihasanovic to gather all information he
12 wanted to get and he needed to have as a corps commander?
13 A. I think they enabled him to gather -- it certainly enabled him to
14 gather information as a corps commander. It wouldn't be the only way he
15 gathered information. He would clearly have his own liaison officers
16 working within his corps and the chain of command within the corps. But
17 although they weren't the most perfect means of communication, I believe
18 they worked very efficiently.
19 Q. And did these means of communication enable Hadzihasanovic to
20 gather and to receive information in both directions, meaning within
21 3rd Corps and outside 3rd Corps, meaning information from other corps and
22 information from the Supreme Command in Sarajevo?
23 A. Yes, certainly.
24 Q. I think you earlier on mentioned that there were also portable
25 communication equipment available. Can you please a bit elaborate on
1 this one.
2 A. The portable equipment would be hand-held radios, which normally
3 are a very short range, 2 or 3 miles. But if you have a repeater station
4 on the hill, they will then boost the signal and enable it to go further.
5 With a chain of repeater stations, you can actually communicate over
6 quite long distances.
7 Q. Thank you, General. The issue about communications we discussed
8 in the context of the staff which Hadzihasanovic had at his disposal at
9 the time. Let's come back to this issue in broader terms.
10 General, was the quantity and the quality of staff at the
11 disposal of Hadzihasanovic, was it sufficient to enable him to fully
12 fulfil his duties as a corps commander?
13 A. I believe so. And the evidence for that I would take from my
14 visits, when I found to -- my visits to Zenica, to 3 Corps - when I found
15 industrious and capable staff officers, who invariably - even if the
16 commander wasn't there - were able to brief me and tell me what was going
17 on. And there was never ever problem with that. They were, to my mind -
18 and it goes with Colonel Hadzihasanovic's character - he had assembled a
19 very capable team. You had to be good to be in his corps headquarters.
20 Q. Your last answer, General, that you had to be good to be in his
21 corps headquarters, does this answer imply that Colonel Hadzihasanovic at
22 the time, that he was able to use his staff as good as possible?
23 A. Yes. I think he had good staff. He was a natural leader. He
24 was hugely respected by his headquarters staff and, actually, the staff
25 in the various elements on the ground. He was a very effective and
1 capable commander.
2 Q. You already mentioned the name earlier on, namely the name of
3 Dzemal Merdan. Who was Dzemal Merdan at the time? What was his function
4 and his duties?
5 A. I think -- I mean, I never had it described to me exactly, but I
6 think he was the deputy commander of the 3rd Corps. I think his duties
7 were to -- not only to deputise in the absence of Colonel Hadzihasanovic
8 but also to look after things like communications, logistics, and all
9 those bits and pieces that enable an army to work properly.
10 Q. How close was Merdan to Hadzihasanovic and vice versa?
11 A. Professionally, they were very close. I would say that in terms
12 of command, that Hadzihasanovic was the dynamic commander, and Dzemal
13 Merdan was the extremely loyal and capable second-in-command, who would
14 fix things for his commander. Funnily enough, I don't think Dzemal
15 Merdan would have made a good commander. He was the number two, he was
16 the loyal number two that kept it going.
17 Q. Also, you think, General, that Dzemal Merdan would not have made
18 a good commander. What are your views in terms of his professionalism?
19 A. He was a very experienced and professional officer. He certainly
20 knew what to do and his jobs. When I say he wasn't a great commander,
21 you're comparing with somebody who was very good. That's -- you know,
22 this was a good team.
23 Q. And you obviously are comparing Merdan with Hadzihasanovic, who
24 was very good?
25 A. Yes, indeed.
1 Q. Dzemal Merdan, being the deputy of Hadzihasanovic, was he
2 informed -- was he informed on what was going on on the ground?
3 A. Yes, he was. If I'd -- on the odd occasion when I'd called in,
4 if Hadzihasanovic wasn't there, then I'd get a full description of what
5 was going on from Dzemal Merdan. He was also I know on a number of
6 occasions would be dispatched out to deal with specific problems or to
7 find out what was going on. So he was occasionally out in the field
8 gathering information.
9 Q. To your knowledge, did Hadzihasanovic get to know what Merdan got
10 to know, meaning did you get the impression that Merdan briefed
11 Hadzihasanovic about everything he needed to know?
12 A. I got the impression that within the whole headquarters there was
13 a very good system in 3rd Corps headquarters in making sure everybody
14 knew what was going on, and that would include the relationship and the
15 communication between Hadzihasanovic and Merdan.
16 Q. General, was there a certain nickname BritBat or others may have
17 used for Colonel Hadzihasanovic at the time?
18 A. I called him once "the cunning fox" because a fox is a very wily
19 and very clever animal and very cunning, and I think that caught on
20 within the British Battalion. I hope it didn't get out, but it might
21 have done.
22 Q. Obviously now it's out.
23 In your view, was it the right nickname? And if so, why?
24 A. I think it was the right nickname. A fox works on his own; he
25 know what is he wants to do; he's very clever, he's fit, he's active,
1 he's doing things. And that was Hadzihasanovic; he was a very capable
3 Q. General, what did you get to know, if anything, about activities
4 Colonel Hadzihasanovic at the time enjoyed during his leisure time? For
5 example, were there times when he was visiting his family?
6 A. Yes. There was an occasion when he went away and told me he was
7 visiting his family. I think he went up north. I wasn't sure.
8 MR. WITHOPF: Can the witness, with the permission of the Trial
9 Chamber, be provided with Prosecution Exhibit P216.
10 Q. Sir, if I may please draw your attention to page 2 of this
11 milinfosum dated the 18th of October, 1993 and to the portion under "4"
12 small letter "b." Arabic "4" starts with: "CO 1 PWO," and I understand
13 that's you yourself.
14 A. That's correct, yes.
15 Q. Under "b," there is written that Hadzihasanovic himself provided
16 information in respect to his absence in Tuzla and that this absence had
17 been a visit to his family. And there in brackets there is written
18 "around 1 x week." What does it actually mean? Was it for a full week
19 or was it once per week? Can you elaborate on this?
20 A. That would be for a full week, seven days.
21 Q. And in the portion which follows this statement, it says that
22 Hadzihasanovic was seen visiting 2nd Corps. Did you get to know about
23 this visit?
24 A. Yes, I did. The reason it appears as a comment is because it is
25 taken from the fact of another milinfosum or a report at some other date.
1 But my OC A Company was based in Tuzla, in the north, where 2nd Corps
2 were, and he had seen Colonel Hadzihasanovic up there in 2nd Corps.
3 Q. General, did you get to know, since this visit was obviously in
4 the second half of October 1993, about a combined 3rd Corps-2nd Corps
5 operation in the area of the 2nd Corps?
6 A. Yes. If you put the facts together that we disassembled in the
7 various milinfosums, it became apparent to me that there was some
8 cooperation between 3rd and 2nd Corps, and I assumed that that was going
9 to be military cooperation at some stage.
10 MR. WITHOPF: Can the exhibit please be removed from the witness.
11 Q. General, you just informed the Trial Chamber that Colonel
12 Hadzihasanovic at the time had the free time to visit his family for a
13 full week in October 1993. What else, if anything, General, did you get
14 to know about any activities Hadzihasanovic enjoyed during his leisure
16 A. He invited me to a picnic on the banks of a river where his other
17 officers -- his corps commanders were assembled, which was a very
18 relaxed and present event in very cordial and relaxed. We had a full and
19 delicious, beautifully prepared meal. We sat on the grass. The sun was
20 shining. It was a very pleasant afternoon.
21 Q. Obviously in a very relaxed atmosphere.
22 A. Very relaxed.
23 Q. Is there anything else you got to know about activities or sports
24 Hadzihasanovic enjoyed in his leisure times?
25 A. Well, actually, before I went on my rest and recuperation, which
1 is a two-week period away from the operational theatre - I went home to
2 Germany - I asked him whether he'd like me to bring anything back. And
3 he asked if he could have a fishing reel, because I think he'd broken his
4 fishing reel on his fishing rod, and I brought one back for him. So I
5 assumed, because he wanted it, that he was quite a keen fisherman.
6 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, I note it's 10.25.
7 There's one further issue I would like to discuss with the general. I
8 would suggest, if the Trial Chamber agrees, to cover this issue after the
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine, Mr. Withopf.
11 We shall make a break now at 10.25, and we shall resume at five
12 minutes to 11.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 10.59 a.m.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf.
16 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
17 Mr. President, Your Honours, there's one last issue I wish to
18 discuss with the general, and I anticipate that I won't need longer than
19 15 to 20 minutes at the very maximum. And the issue I'm going to discuss
20 with General Duncan is the issue of Mujahedin.
21 Q. General, what did you get to know in respect to the Mujahedin?
22 Did you get to know whether Mujahedin were operating within the 3rd Corps
23 area of responsibility?
24 A. I had reports that the Mujahedin were operating within the
25 3rd Corps area of responsibility, but of all the information I got,
1 information on the Mujahedin was probably the most difficult to prove,
2 the most difficult to verify.
3 Q. I understand, sir, that you in your commanding position as the
4 BritBat commanding officer, you yourself did not come across a Mujahedin,
5 did you?
6 A. That is correct. I came across a number of what I call local
7 Mujahedin, who were locals who dressed up and tried to make out they were
8 Mujahedin, but not the proper thing.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
10 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 The Trial Chamber has certainly noted, Mr. President, that my
12 colleague is leading the witness. It would perhaps be better to ask
13 questions of an open kind so as to avoid leading the witness.
14 Thank you, Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, please continue.
16 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, I certainly do acknowledge that was a
17 leading question, and it was a deliberate leading question in order to
18 shorten the examination of the witness. I will ask the question again.
19 Q. General, did you yourself ever personally see a Mujahedin?
20 A. No, I did not.
21 Q. On what basis is the information you will provide the Trial
22 Chamber with about the Mujahedin? On what is it based?
23 A. Information is based on my information-gathering machinery, which
24 enabled me to know what was going on throughout the area. And there
25 were, during the time we were in BritBat, in those six months, a number
1 of reports, many unconfirmed, that Mujahedin were operating within the
2 3 Corps area.
3 Q. What information did your information-gathering machinery provide
4 you with in respect on how Mujahedin were used within the ABiH 3rd Corps
5 area of responsibility?
6 A. The subject of how the Mujahedin were used by 3rd Corps was a
7 subject that I discussed at length with Captain Simon Harrison, my
8 military information officer, and also my second-in-command, Richard
9 Watson. It was something that for us was not entirely clear, and it was
10 something that we would sift through every ounce of information we had to
11 try and find out what was going on. Some aspects of the Mujahedin I
12 could not understand. What I couldn't understand was their business of
13 being told that they were operating out of control. That was very often
14 a comment which was picked up from the ground and from information that,
15 these people were not under command of 3rd Corps. I found that very
16 difficult to swallow because from a military sense, any commander has a
17 limited number of assets which he can use, and if you are allowing
18 somebody who's not under your command to consume ammunition, supplies and
19 food, you are diverting your main effort. And therefore, I assumed that
20 those Mujahedin must be under 3rd Corps command, because if they wasn't
21 under the command -- or rather, if they weren't under the command, then
22 they would be diverting assets from 3rd Corps. And this in military
23 terms is something that a senior military officer would not is not the
24 way to do business, and certainly when I teach and instruct on brigade
25 and corps commander courses that we run, maintenance of a very clear
1 focus and the maximum use of assets and not diverting your assets is very
3 Q. General, did you ever discuss the issue of the Mujahedin with
4 Hadzihasanovic and/or Merdan?
5 A. Yes, I did. It came up on a number of occasions because I never
6 really knew whether they existed or not. In many ways, I thought whether
7 they existed or not somebody would need to invent them because in terms
8 of a very effective weapons system, their presence was enormous. If
9 people knew that Mujahedin were about to arrive, villages would be
10 immediately evacuated. They had a massive effect. And I believe they
11 were used as a very effective propaganda tool by 3rd Corps. It was
12 something you could deny but actually encourage. And that was a very
13 useful weapon system, because at the end of the day you win a battle by
14 defeating people's minds, not their physical beings. And the Mujahedin
15 were particularly good at that. It was an impressive, very careful, and
16 carefully orchestrated use of them.
17 You could deny at times; you could admit at times. But in terms
18 of running a campaign, having those Mujahedin, whether they existed or
19 not, was extremely useful.
20 Q. Do I understand you correctly that the issue of Mujahedin was
21 used as a propaganda tool; but do I also understand you correctly that
22 Mujahedin were in the area of 3rd Corps?
23 A. I believe they were both used as a propaganda tool and there were
24 reports - although I personally didn't see them - from my people on the
25 ground referring to the presence, just occasionally, of Mujahedin.
1 Q. Whenever you discussed the issue of Mujahedin operating within
2 the 3rd Corps area of responsibility, either with Colonel Hadzihasanovic
3 at the time or his deputy, Dzemal Merdan, what was their response in
4 terms of commanding and controlling the Mujahedin?
5 A. Nobody admitted to commanding and controlling them, but I do
6 remember one occasion when Dzemo Merdan said he had instructed Mehmed
7 Alagic to sort out the Mujahedin in Travnik.
8 MR. WITHOPF: With the permission of the Trial Chamber, can the
9 witness please be provided with Defence Exhibit DH72.
10 Q. DH72 is the milinfosum dated the 14th of June, 1993.
11 General, if I may please draw your attention to page 1 of this
12 milinfosum, paragraph 1, towards the end of paragraph 1, towards the
13 portion which reads: "When questioned about the activities of the
14 Mujahedin, Merdan claimed that they were outside the effective control of
15 3rd Corps. Hadzihasanovic showed a letter he had written to his higher
16 command seeking authority to deal with what he considered to be a
17 problem." And reference is made at the very beginning of this portion
18 again to CO 1 PWO, who is obviously you yourself.
19 Do you recall, General, this conversation?
20 A. I do recall the conversation, yes.
21 Q. And does what's written in this milinfosum, does it reflect the
22 usual attitude and response of Hadzihasanovic and Merdan in respect to
23 the issue of Mujahedin?
24 A. Yes, it does.
25 MR. WITHOPF: Can this exhibit please be removed from the witness
1 and can, with the permission of the Trial Chamber, the witness please be
2 again provided with Prosecution Exhibit P216.
3 Q. Prosecution Exhibit P216 is the milinfosum dated 18 October 1993.
4 And if I may draw your attention, General, to page 2, paragraph 4. At
5 the very end of paragraph 4 or at the end of paragraph 4, under "e," it
6 says: "Questioned on the actions of Muslim extremists toward remaining
7 Croat minorities in BiH controlled areas, Hadzihasanovic side-stepped the
8 issue completely" and "did not acknowledge that there was a problem."
9 Again, reference is made to CO 1 PWO, who is obviously you.
10 Do you recall this meeting, this conversation with Colonel
11 Hadzihasanovic at the time?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. And does this statement of Hadzihasanovic again reflect his
14 attitude towards the problem of Mujahedins?
15 A. Yes, it does.
16 MR. WITHOPF: Can the exhibit please be removed from the witness.
17 Q. Did you, General, at the time whilst you've been in Central
18 Bosnia and do you believe today, do you believe the statements made by
19 Hadzihasanovic and Merdan in respect to the Mujahedin?
20 A. I do not. I believe that the Mujahedin were used as a very
21 efficient propaganda system, as an efficient weapons system, which is
22 easily deniable. And I think it was part of the campaign plan to use
24 Q. How would you judge, General, on the statement that they were out
25 of control?
1 A. I don't think they were out of control. I think they were
2 specifically tasked, in terms of the overall campaign plan that 3rd Corps
3 had produced to be used, with great efficiency to speed up attacks and to
4 cut the way forward. It is the planning and use of the Mujahedin, I
5 think, was very carefully controlled. I thought at once they were
6 controlled by Merdan; I can't prove that. But that was a feeling. I
7 think they were controlled at the highest level by 3rd Corps as a very,
8 very efficient means of doing business. The JNA as an army are very well
9 trained in the art of deception and this sort of business, with deception
10 and moving people and minds and getting influence like that, is very
11 characteristic. It is also the characteristic of a very good commander
12 and it doesn't surprise me that Hadzihasanovic would use them like that,
13 because he's got that bigger picture of using whatever assets he can to
14 get what he wants to do.
15 Q. Thank you very much, General.
16 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, this concludes the
17 examination-in-chief of the Prosecution.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Withopf.
19 I shall consequently give the floor to the Defence team.
20 Mr. Bourgon, you have the floor.
21 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Bourgon:
23 Q. [In English] Good morning, General Duncan. Let me first
24 introduce myself, because we did not have the opportunity of meeting
25 before. I am present before you this morning with my colleague
1 Mr. Alexis Demirdjian and my colleague, Mrs. Vedrana Residovic, and my
2 name is Stephane Bourgon, counsel representing General Hadzihasanovic.
3 General, I have, of course, my questions ready for you this
4 morning, but I'd like first to begin by asking you a quick question:
5 Coming here this morning, I thought that from a two-star general we would
6 discuss something else than fishing reels who were bought for the son of
7 your friend General Hadzihasanovic. What do you think about that?
8 A. I never mentioned being bought for his son. I mentioned being
9 bought for him. He was -- this is a very good commander. I wouldn't
10 expect Hadzihasanovic to be rushing round. You know, you need your rest.
11 It's one of the characteristic things. Commanders pace themselves very
12 carefully. And you asked me whether we had quiet moments. Yeah, there
13 were quiet moments when -- things happen very quickly in war and then
15 Q. And according to your story, we can come to two conclusions: The
16 first conclusion, of course, is that everything was perfect. Two
17 professional armies; one has weapons, one has manpower. They both have
18 professional staffs. They both have the necessary communications. And
19 they are involved in the war. And there's nothing more to it. Is that
20 your opinion, General?
21 A. With the greatest respect, I regard that as a very naive
22 statement. And I'm sorry I've said that, but I think this was an
23 extremely complex business. Ethnic issues were involved. It was not
24 simple. My position in the middle of this war was very unique. I was in
25 somebody else's war, but not at war. And we were trying to get aid
1 through at the same time. This was a complex, tricky, and difficult
3 Q. So then it was not the best and -- the best of both armies and
4 the best of worlds, was it?
5 A. No, I haven't said that. I said that both armies had their
6 limitations in kit and supplies on one side and in manpower on the other
8 Q. Nevertheless, General, you will stick to your story, I imagine,
9 about the efficiency, the intelligence, the planning, and the exercise of
10 command by General Hadzihasanovic in the toughest of circumstances, would
12 A. I would -- yes. He was a very capable commander.
13 Q. And the circumstances were indeed very difficult for any
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. If I may just quote you before I get to my first question. I'd
17 like to quote you from a couple -- this is an article I have with me
18 which you wrote in 1994, coming out of Bosnia. And I would like to quote
19 you from this article. Would you agree with me that it is your
20 impression that this six months was in fact for yourself the most unusual
21 six months in all, your entire time spent in the British Army?
22 A. To that date, yes. I have spent a very unusual six months since
23 then in Sierra Leone with the United Nations, which was the most
24 demanding thing I've ever done.
25 Q. And would you agree with me, General, that you once said that
1 "There was no logic to this conflict, that a whole group of people could
2 suddenly change their allegiance and would be fighting alongside another
3 ethnic group and that even today in the north end of Tuzla" - now you're
4 talking 1994 - "at the tip of the finger there are still Serbs fighting
5 against Serbs and that the Muslims and the Croats throughout my tour in
6 Bosnia and well after my battalion had left were very much at odds in
7 Central Bosnia"? Is that a fair statement?
8 A. Yes. Your Honour, could I ask what the document is being quoted
9 is exactly? I mean, you're saying I wrote this and said it. I'd like
10 to know when and what, please. Is that all right, sir? Sorry.
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Maitre Bourgon, could you
13 give us your reference, please.
14 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Could I be helped by the Usher,
15 please, because there's a whole series of documents that I shall be
16 presenting in the course of my cross-examination, so that I can ask some
17 of these documents to be tendered into evidence when I've finished. Some
18 of these documents have already been tendered; others have not. At the
19 end of my cross-examination, I shall ask some of these documents to be
20 withdrawn and others to be tendered so that things are quite clear.
21 I have three binders, Your Honour: One for the witness and all
22 the documents can be made available to all the people present in the
23 courtroom, including the interpreters.
24 MR. BOURGON: [Microphone not activated]
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 MR. BOURGON: [Microphone not activated]
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MR. BOURGON:
4 Q. I'm sorry, General. I'm informed that the tabs could not be put
5 in time, so this is the before-last document in your binder. And this is
6 a paper which you wrote in 1994 in some magazine called "Defence and
7 International Security." Do you recall writing this paper, General?
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. I would like to quote -- if you look at this paper, I would like
10 to go to the third paragraph, and I will quote you as saying: "I will
11 concentrate on two areas, the first being the British Battalion and its
12 tasks; how we did that task, our deployment"; and then after that I will
13 pick up on some themes: "from what for me was a most unusual six months,
14 perhaps the most unusual six months of my entire time in the British
15 Army." So we went over this one already, and you agreed with me that
16 this was your thought.
17 A. At that time, yes.
18 Q. And if I move, General, to the last paragraph on this first page,
19 six lines from the bottom, where you say that: "On reflection back in my
20 battalion's base in Germany, I realised that Bosnia was a very unique
21 area and the task equally unique. There was no template to be drawn from
22 my experiences in the army and the easy solution of -- 'if it has worked
23 somewhere else, so it will work here' was clearly a non-starter. It
24 wasn't a task the British Army had done before. It was unusual to be in
25 a war but not at war. We were effectively sitting right in the middle of
1 somebody else's civil war." Is that your statement, General?
2 A. Yes. And that refers to the position obviously of myself and my
4 Q. If we can move to the second page. And I'll finish with this
5 document so then we can move on. I would like to move to page -- sorry,
6 if you look at the bottom of the document.
7 A. There are page numbers, yeah.
8 Q. This is the page where we speak about normality in Bosnia, and
9 there's no -- to page 17. And page 17 on the right side, General, where
10 it says: "Normality in Bosnia."
11 A. Yeah.
12 Q. Then you say: "I would just like to finish with some comments on
13 a number of areas. The first one is the effect of living on the front
14 line." And you say: "Both Vitez and Gornji Vakuf were effectively in
15 no man's land for between four and six months, so it does become a little
16 bit of a problem. Everyone was shot at, shelled, or mined at some stage.
17 Normally in the army everything is reported very calmly. But in Bosnia
18 there was so much fighting we had to be a bit selective."
19 If we move down to the last page of this document --
20 A. Could I make an observation before we move?
21 Q. Absolutely, General.
22 A. You've just read out a section which refers to the way we
23 reported things. What you didn't read out is the lines below that. What
24 I was referring to there is if we were fired at generally and bullets
25 were not coming near us, that was quite normal and we didn't report it.
1 What we did report was the serious attacks that were life-threatening or
2 wounding. And the selection, therefore, is nothing to do with general
3 business; it's just specifically concerned with reporting incidents that
4 happened to us while we were in there for six months.
5 Q. So am I to understand from this comment, General, that the
6 incidents that are reported in the milinfosums are all serious incidents
7 that are above what you've just described?
8 A. Milinfosums are there to record major events and as much as
9 possible as we can put down. In terms of length, you have to be as
10 concise as possible in your speech when you do a milinfosum.
11 Q. And if you had to write everything that happened to you in the
12 milinfosums, it would take many more pages; would that be true, General?
13 A. That would be true, but that was one of the purposes of the
14 meeting at 1800 hours, to make sure people understood the background and
15 the situation to what was in the milinfosums.
16 Q. Let me move on, General, to some of the questions I have for you
17 this morning. But as a preliminary, I'd like to confirm that you've
18 testified as a Prosecution witness in both the Blaskic and the Kordic
20 A. Yes, I have.
21 Q. And that the basis for this testimony was a statement that you
22 provided to the investigators of the Office of the Prosecutor, and that
23 was in August of 1996 and April of 1997. Do you recall meeting the
24 investigators on both of these occasions?
25 A. I do recall meeting investigators, and I recall having made two
1 statements prior to the one that we've used already.
2 Q. And in May of 2000, General, you were requested to provide a
3 further statement focussing more specifically on the events related to
4 this case.
5 A. That's correct, yes.
6 Q. And yesterday, General, you met with the Prosecution to prepare
7 for your testimony today; is that correct?
8 A. That is correct, yes.
9 Q. And at the time you met with the Prosecution, you were asked
10 whether you were willing to meet with counsel for the Defence of
11 General Hadzihasanovic and General Kubura, and you refused.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. May I ask why you refused to meet Defence counsel, General?
14 A. As I recall, I had not met the Defence counsel on the previous
15 two court cases, and I decided I didn't wish to meet with the Defence
16 counsel in this case. It's a personal decision.
17 Q. And what is that personal decision based on, General?
18 A. It's based on the fact that I was appearing here and had been
19 asked to appear here as a witness for the Prosecution, and that's what I
20 was going to do.
21 Q. So as such, you are biased and you have taken already the side of
22 the Prosecution and you come here not to give facts but, as a matter of
23 fact, to testify against General Hadzihasanovic; is that correct,
25 A. I find that comment unusual from somebody in your position, which
1 implies that an officer from the British Army, who specialises in ethics
2 apart from anything else, would deliberately come here to lie and cheat
3 and et cetera.
4 Q. I take it, General, that you believe in the rule of law and the
5 presumption of innocence, do you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, in that article that we just reviewed, I refer your
8 attention to page 12. In page 12, at the bottom on the left side, where
9 it says "Local commanders," it says at the end, five lines from the
10 bottom: "On one occasion, we received a phone call in the base at half
11 past 8.00 in the morning, and I was not there. Enver Hadzihasanovic, the
12 commander of 3rd Corps, would not leave a message. When I saw him the
13 next day, I asked him for what the phone call was about. He just said 'I
14 had promised you to ring you before we attacked and I like to keep my
16 This, General; you recall this event?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. And you also recall, General, a similar event where on one
19 occasion General Hadzihasanovic told you, "Are you not seeing my
20 counterpart today," to which your answer was yes? Do you recall this
22 A. No, I don't recall that particularly, no.
23 Q. Well, then we'll read a little further down in this text. And
24 I'd like to quote you where you talk about the chess match that is going
25 on between you and General Hadzihasanovic. And I quote you on the right
1 side of page 12, in the middle of the page, where it says: "'Do you see
2 my opposite number? I said 'of course I do. I'm seeing him this
3 afternoon'. He said 'what time?' 'about 4.00.' 'Where?' 'Hotel Vitez."
4 He then said" -- we're talking about General Hadzihasanovic -- at least,
5 it is my understanding -- "'okay, make sure you are out by half past
6 5.00.'" And you were not out at half past 5.00, you left at 25 minutes
7 to 6.00. And at that time the shelling of the hotel began.
8 You can leave the document aside. Did General Hadzihasanovic
9 actually inform you of this attack on Hotel Vitez, which as we both know,
10 was the headquarters of General Blaskic? Is that correct, General?
11 A. He didn't inform me he was going to attack it. He just asked me
12 to be out by a certain time, which I failed to do.
13 Q. And from your previous conversation, where he had promised to
14 inform you, if I take it from this text, you took this as being a warning
15 or did you disregard it?
16 A. I left late.
17 Q. And did the attack begin while you were still there?
18 A. Yes, it did. And I certainly wouldn't volunteer to be shelled,
19 as I'm sure you're aware.
20 Q. Now, General, you said all these nice things about
21 General Hadzihasanovic. And this man on two occasions as a minimum
22 informed you of incoming or intended operations by the ABiH in order to
23 facilitate your job, did he not?
24 A. He informed me on many occasions of -- of forthcoming operations
25 by the BiH, yes.
1 Q. And you understand that he had no obligations whatsoever to
2 inform you of such attack, did he?
3 A. No. I merely asked him and we agreed and we had an agreement on
4 that particular subject.
5 Q. And when your battalion deployed out of the area sometime in
6 November, did you not have a conversation at which time
7 General Hadzihasanovic assured you that he would do his utmost to ensure
8 that you would have an easy way out with your battalion? Do you recall
9 this moment?
10 A. I don't particularly recall that moment, but I do remember that
11 Mehmed Alagic made some promise to that effect.
12 Q. Well, General, we'll quote again from -- if you just read that
13 text. And it's on the same page, at the bottom of that same paragraph,
14 just above. And you say on this paragraph: "Despite -- we were actually
15 very good friends." And then you say: "In another incident before the
16 end of my time in Bosnia, he said to me, 'When are you leaving with your
17 troops?' I replied I would be out on 15 November and added that it would
18 be nice to have a peaceful time to move out because the move is quite
19 complicated. Hadzihasanovic laughed and added in turn, 'We entirely
20 understand and we will not attack or intimidate any British/UN soldiers
21 until the 16th, and then we'll give hail to the incoming battalion.'"
22 Is that -- do you recall this conversation?
23 A. I do recall it now, yes.
24 Q. Now, if I recall, in your Blaskic statement that you provided
25 when you testified, you said that this was Alagic who had done this. So
1 who is it? Are we supposed to take this article that you write in a
2 magazine or are we supposed to take what you say in a court of law?
3 A. You would have to make your decision on that. I can't remember
4 exactly. I mean, I've written it down here. I believed it was Alagic or
5 Hadzihasanovic. I can't exactly say which. What I can say is that
6 certainly a senior commander agreed from the BiH that that's what would
8 Q. And, General, if I ask you for your personal opinion, a man such
9 as General Hadzihasanovic, with whom you've had many relationships during
10 six months, a man who tried to make your job easier, a man who warned you
11 of his attacks, a man who went beyond the call of duty to facilitate your
12 work; wouldn't you agree with me that a man like that, General, deserves
13 at least that you will agree to meet his Defence counsel to facilitate
14 your testimony before this Tribunal?
15 A. I don't think there's a linkage between the two, no.
16 Q. Thank you, General.
17 Now, General, I'd like to know if prior to coming here, if you've
18 had any discussions with your former officers. And I will specifically
19 name three names, Major Kent-Payne.
20 A. I haven't spoken to Major Kent-Payne for a number of years, since
21 he was asked to resign from my regiment and move to another regiment.
22 Q. And what about Major Bower?
23 A. I haven't spoken to Major Bower for possibly two or three years.
24 Q. And what about Mr. Cameron Kiggell, who has left the service?
25 A. I haven't spoken to him since he left the service.
1 Q. Thank you, General.
2 Now, prior to your deployment, it is my understanding based on
3 what you said in the Blaskic case that you had been in command of your
4 battalion for some 30 months.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is that correct?
7 A. That's correct, yes.
8 Q. And I take it from that that you knew the officers well and that
9 you trusted them and that they trusted you.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Would that be a fair statement?
12 A. That would be a fair statement, yes.
13 Q. And would you agree with me that this is a very important basis
14 which is necessary for effective command and control?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And that if, as you say, General Hadzihasanovic had a solid
17 headquarters, there must have been some kind of similar relationship
18 between him and his subordinates and his subordinates towards him?
19 A. Yes. I would agree with that.
20 Q. In your statement, you mention that you were informed about your
21 deployment to Bosnia in 1993 as part of Operation Grapple 2. Is that --
22 A. I was informed officially in 1993. I was warned unofficially,
23 which was not recorded, in 1992 that I'd be going.
24 Q. Because I myself was surprised that you would only be informed in
25 1993 because of the necessity to prepare for your battalion and because
1 the next rotation, at least in my limited knowledge of the military, is
2 usually informed before the first one actually deploys. Is that a fair
4 A. It is a fair statement, yes. And I was aware when the Cheshire
5 Battalion deployed that we would be deploying after them, although I was
6 not allowed to broadcast that at all.
7 Q. Now, you did train your battalion before deploying, did you not?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. And such training included individual training, collective
10 training, as well as mission-specific training, did it not?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And would you agree with me that such training is not only common
13 practice within professional armies, such as that of the United Kingdom,
14 but that it is also an absolute necessity directly linked to the success
15 of a military mission?
16 A. That's correct, yes.
17 Q. And, General, would you also agree that for an army, an army
18 formation, let's say the size of a corps, that to be thrown in combat -
19 that is, in real combat as you saw it in Bosnia - without having had the
20 opportunity to train, would you agree that this would have serious
21 consequences on the accomplishment of the mission and that it would
22 impose a heavy burden on the chain of command as a whole but even more so
23 on the commanding general of such formation?
24 A. If you're comparing a British Army unit with a Bosnian army unit,
25 I thinks that a comparison you can't make. There is a difference between
1 apples and pears. We were trained specifically for that task and spent a
2 lot of time preparing for that task. Based on our experience of
3 counterinsurgency operations in the past in Malaya and considerable
4 experience from Northern Ireland. I was a force moving into that
5 theatre. You're comparing me with a force that's already in theatre. I
6 don't think it's a like comparison.
7 Q. Now, General, if I take this forces that in theatre but that is
8 throw in combat without having had the opportunity to train, would that
9 be a serious impediment to the accomplishment of the mission?
10 A. It depends entirely on -- I mean, the training of a force is but
11 one element of preparation, and you know that I think as well as I do.
12 The motivation of a force is a very important element. And the BiH, as I
13 think I've already said this morning, were a hugely well-motivated force.
14 And I believe they had a very good command structure.
15 Q. Now, General, you are in charge or responsible for the training
16 of all the land army in the UK.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I'm asking you to concentrate and to focus on one criteria, which
19 is training, and I'm asking you a very specific question: If an
20 untrained army is thrown into combat, does that make it difficult for
21 this army?
22 A. It makes it initially quite difficult. But if you are thrown
23 into combat, you learn very quickly. And I can tell you one example:
24 From the British Army, we arrived in Vitez and up until then we had been
25 driving around in our armoured vehicles with quite a lot of our body and
1 head exposed. After you get fired a lot at, you realise to keep your
2 head down. You learn very quickly.
3 Q. This is exactly what one of your officers said before this
4 Tribunal, when he said that you did not agree with the posture adopted by
5 your predecessor, Colonel Stewart, whom you thought was too aggressive
6 when you landed in Bosnia. Is that correct?
7 A. I have not heard that comment from that particular officer.
8 Every commanding officer in the British Army will command in the way that
9 he thinks appropriate. I organised myself command to deal with the
10 situation I found in Bosnia.
11 Q. And that is why, General, if you take two commanders at whatever
12 level and the two may command in a different manner and yet both be very
13 effective; would you agree?
14 A. I would agree with that, yes.
15 Q. And if the training or the lack of training makes it more
16 difficult - we've agreed on that - does it also make the job, the work of
17 the commanding general more difficult?
18 A. It is one task he will have to turn his eye to.
19 Q. Amongst many other tasks, of course.
20 A. Amongst many other tasks. And commanders are busy but commanders
21 have staff and commanders issue directives.
22 Q. And General, if under such circumstances the commanding general
23 takes the necessary steps to train his troops, despite the adverse
24 condition - you've described yourself the adverse conditions - would this
25 illustrate to you that this commander is placing an emphasis on the
1 accomplishment of his mission?
2 A. Naturally it would, yes, if he's trying to get his mission
3 achieved and he requires extra training to achieve it, then that will be
4 part of his plan.
5 Q. And would you also agree with me, General, that this such
6 training is also a powerful measure towards the prevention of crimes or
7 of violation of discipline by untrained troops?
8 A. It would help, yes, if the training has been effective, if the
9 training has covered everybody it should do, and if the rules and
10 regulations are published to back up that training.
11 Q. Thank you, General.
12 As for yourself, you found it necessary, as you've explained,
13 before deploying to Bosnia and Herzegovina to conduct two detailed recces
14 in early February and then again in early March; is that --
15 A. That's correct, yes.
16 Q. It was important for you --
17 A. Sorry, it was late January and early February. We deployed in
19 Q. I have the exact dates here in your statement, which says from
20 30 January until 6 February and then again from the end of February to, I
21 guess, the 6th of March. But I'm not here to argue on dates.
22 A. I think -- sir, could I just clarify this? I did two
23 reconnaissances each week and then deployed early, on the 6th of Marc h,
24 took over on the 11th. That is quite important because the time spent on
25 those reconnaissances was for me hugely important.
1 Q. That's exactly my point, General. It was important for you to
2 familiarise yourself with the area, to get an understanding of the
3 conditions on the ground, and to prepare to accomplish the mandate given
4 to you by the United Nations.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Is that a fair statement?
7 A. Yes. Because I was moving into the area, into an area which I
8 hadn't been in before. Those forces that were deployed in the area had
9 lived and grown up with the situation, so they were hugely aware of what
10 was going on. As an outsider, I needed to spend a lot of time, hence my
11 two reconnaissances.
12 Q. And you would agree with me therefore that getting to know not
13 only the area but also the military forces in this area was paramount to
14 the success of your mission?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And this is important because of course the conditions, the
17 situation, and the circumstances in which these forces operate have a
18 direct bearing on the exercise of command by the commanders you would be
19 dealing with on the ground.
20 A. Could you repeat that. I'm sorry.
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. I'm not entirely clear --
23 Q. I will split the question into two.
24 A. I can't quite fathom the point you're getting at.
25 Q. Would you agree with me that the conditions, the situation, and
1 the circumstances in which the forces operate on the ground have a direct
2 bearing on the exercise of command by their commanders?
3 A. Yes. But I would add that command goes with a number of
4 principles which you do, and nothing is templated. You would therefore
5 apply those principles to the conditions, situations and circumstances
6 you find. But command as a function doesn't change. It is there. You
7 are the commander. You exercise command. You adjust your methods; your
8 keep your principles.
9 Q. And for you, General, the fact that if you could familiarise
10 yourself with the conditions, the situation, and the circumstances, you
11 would also be in a better position to understand the counterparts you
12 would be dealing with.
13 A. I agree. That's correct.
14 Q. And it would have also been important for you and for the
15 accomplishment of your mission to know and understand the role, the modus
16 operandi of the other players present on the ground, namely the ECMM, the
17 ICRC, the UNHCR, and maybe other NGOs; is that correct?
18 A. That is correct. And I visited all those agencies on my
20 Q. Now, if I take a look at the law applicable, the law of the land,
21 would that also be something that would be important to understand in
22 order to deal with your counterparts in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
23 A. It was important that I understood entirely military law; British
24 law as it applies, because that applies to a soldier wherever they are;
25 and I was not aware of some of the laws of the land, because that -- in
1 preparation for coming to Bosnia or deploying to Bosnia, that was an area
2 I did not touch, the law.
3 Q. And is it an area that it was important for you to consider when
4 dealing with the military commanders on the ground?
5 A. Yes. And I've recognised that in hindsight, because I now have
6 in my organisation for training a bunch of lawyers who are particularly
7 engaged in operational law. At that time, we hadn't done a deployment
8 like this before. It was totally unique. If I had to go back and do it
9 again, I would have probably taken a lawyer with me on day one.
10 Q. And now, General, today you are testifying - and you are
11 testifying against General Hadzihasanovic on behalf of the Prosecution -
12 and I put it to you that you still don't know what the legal regime
13 applicable was in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time.
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. So you don't know what the platform of the government was and
16 what instructions General Hadzihasanovic was receiving from his
18 A. I was the military officer sent to Bosnia to complete a military
19 task. There was a civil affairs officer who was deployed with me, and
20 there was a civil affairs set-up that dealt with what I call "the
21 political side of things." My task was to get that aid through to
22 people, people under command of the HVO and people under command of the
23 BiH. That was my primary task. I think we were successful in that task
24 and I took the measures and trained my troops in order to make sure we
25 had success in that task. It was a unique task.
1 Q. That's exactly what I was referring to, General. I wanted to
2 ensure that we both understood that your mission remained a military
3 mission and that all these civil matters that were taking place in
4 Bosnia, you did not pay attention to because it wasn't your area of
5 responsibility. Is that correct?
6 A. It's not correct I say I didn't pay attention to them. I was
7 aware of them. But in terms of apportionment of my tasks and time, it
8 was not as important as commanding my troops, which was my first
10 Q. Now, General, in your statement, you mention that during all your
11 time in Bosnia you did not meet with civil authorities other than for
12 once when you met with the mayor of Zenica; is that correct?
13 A. I met with -- yeah, I met with the major of Zenica -- Zenica,
14 pardon. I also met on occasions by chance with some of the officials
15 from Vitez .
16 Q. Is that the time when those rumours about offering you money for
17 weapons was mentioned?
18 A. That's one of the occasions, yes.
19 Q. And this is -- you mentioned this in your article that you wrote,
20 but you also referred to that in your statement. Please correct me if
21 I'm wrong, but you were at that time sitting in a meeting with officials
22 from the Zenica Municipality; is that correct?
23 A. That's correct, yes.
24 Q. And at some point this gentleman decided that he needed to speak
25 to you one on one.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And he had everyone leave the room; is that correct?
3 A. That's correct, yes.
4 Q. And at that time, he said, "You seem to understand the situation
5 of Muslims. What about if I offer you 2 million to get some weapons in
6 Central Bosnia." Did he ask you that question?
7 A. He did, yes.
8 Q. And when he answered -- your answer was, "2 million is not
9 enough," at which point he left the room and went to see his counterpart
10 into another room; is that correct?
11 A. That is correct, but I would add that it was just so surreal for
12 me because I'd never been off the record a bribe like that before and my
13 reaction was that wasn't enough. I didn't think they could possibly do
15 Q. And by leaving him leave that room, did you not imply that you
16 were ready to take such a bribe?
17 A. If I'd given that impression at the time, it was wrong. I hadn't
18 consciously given that impression.
19 Q. Now, if I move on, General --
20 A. Could I -- could I add that when he came back -- could you just
21 follow that through and when he came back I said, "I'm sorry, a British
22 officer would never take a bribe." I made that quite clear to him at
23 that stage.
24 Q. I have no doubt about that, General.
25 If I move on to the fact of the legal situation in which
1 General Hadzihasanovic was operating. We mentioned instructions he might
2 have received from his government. But we should also mention the legal
3 regime in terms of the fact that in Zenica at the time the local
4 government was still operating, was it not?
5 A. I believe so, yes.
6 Q. And that there was a sharing of responsibilities between
7 General Hadzihasanovic, as commander of the 3rd Corps, and what was going
8 on in town. Would you agree?
9 A. I would agree, yes.
10 Q. And if I mention to you that it was the civil police who was
11 responsible for any civil disturbance or from any common-law crimes in
12 town, would you agree with me?
13 A. I would agree that was possibly the case, but I don't know under
14 what status in Zenica martial law prevailed, because there were an awful
15 lot of military police on the ground as well, both in the city and in the
16 surrounding area. And they were not -- I don't know if they were in the
17 jurisdiction of the civil or the military side. I assumed the military
19 Q. And you don't know --
20 A. This was a nation of war.
21 Q. And General, you didn't feel it was required for you, as the
22 senior military figure on the ground, to understand this relationship
23 before you could testify against General Hadzihasanovic?
24 A. It's not a question of my understanding the relationship. I was
25 aware that there were military police on the ground and civilian police.
1 I would be very interested to know what that relationship between those
2 two things -- people were.
3 Q. And at the time, you did not feel it was necessary to -- to learn
4 what this relationship was so you could understand the counterpart you
5 were dealing with.
6 A. I understood from the presence of military police that they had
7 some influence in keeping the situation under control. I would be very
8 interested to know if there was an agreement between civil and military
9 police or who was in control. If you could tell me that, that would be
10 quite helpful.
11 Q. Thank you, General.
12 Let's move on to your own mission as UNPROFOR as commander of
13 BritBat, which was, as you just stated a few minutes ago, to escort
14 humanitarian convoys from UNHCR.
15 A. No. I gave the task as to create the conditions whereby aid
16 could be delivered into and through my area of operations.
17 Q. Now, that was your interpretation --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- of the mission you were given; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. Your mission was to escort --
22 A. I'm sorry, whose mission.
23 Q. Your mission?
24 A. That was part of my mission, yes.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please pause between question and
1 answer for the interpreters. Thank you.
2 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
3 MR. BOURGON:
4 Q. Was it your mission to escort humanitarian convoys from UNHCR?
5 A. It was. And I was given the discretion which I discussed with
6 General Morillon as to how I would achieve that. When you are given a
7 mission by commander, you will go straight back to him and discuss to
8 make sure he is entirely happy with what you are doing.
9 Q. Sorry, General, the -- I'm informed that I need to slow down and
10 that we need to pause between our questions and answers.
11 A. I'm sorry.
12 Q. And I will endeavour to --
13 A. I will indeed, yes.
14 Q. -- to slow down.
15 Now, of course, you know that your mission was authorised
16 pursuant to Chapter 6 of the United Nations Charter.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And, of course, you know the difference between a mission
19 authorised under Chapter 6 and a mission authorised under Chapter 7 of
20 the United Nations Charter. You understand the difference?
21 A. Yeah. In broad terms, yes.
22 Q. And you understand, General, that under Chapter 6 of the United
23 Nations Charter there are three conditions for a peacekeeping mission.
24 Do you recall these three conditions?
25 A. I don't -- I have to admit that I don't off the top of my head,
2 Q. If I suggest to you that as follows: One, the consent of the
3 parties; two, that you are to focus on your mission without interfering
4 with the warring factions or in any other words to conduct your
5 operations with impartiality; and three, that you are limited in terms of
6 the force which you can use to self-defence. Would those be the three
7 conditions of a normal peacekeeping mission?
8 A. I don't know. And I'll have to take it that you have taken them
9 correctly from the Chapter 6.
10 Q. Now, when you give those courses to the battalion commanders that
11 you were referring to, is that not a topic that you cover?
12 A. Sorry, what isn't?
13 Q. You mentioned a little earlier that you give training to
14 battalion commanders and senior officers. Is that not a topic you cover?
15 A. It is a topic that I cover, and what is very important is to
16 translate UN mandates and missions into fact on the ground. That is very
17 important. And I'll give you an example. At one stage I was asked by
18 the UN to monitor a convoy. What does that mean? Does it mean to
19 protect it? Does it mean to guard it? Does it make sure nobody is
20 killed, does it help it along, take some stuff off it. You have to
21 interpret things applicable to the ground. And that is what we did.
22 That is why I changed the mission of my battalion in agreement with
23 General Morillon, my commander, to be that creating the conditions. And
24 you will agrees that a slight change to the original mission given. But
25 my commander at the time, General Morillon, was entirely happy with that.
1 Q. Thank you, General. Now, to put it another way, where you were
2 in Bosnia, would you agree with me that this was not your war and unless
3 you were attacked you were not authorised to use force, despite the
4 superiority of your equipment such as, for example, the Warriors you were
5 driving in?
6 A. Yes. I would agree with that, and you may or may not be aware,
7 but my Warrior is equipped with machine-guns and a cannon. And
8 throughout that tour, despite all that happened, we never fired that
10 Q. But you mentioned in this paper that nevertheless - and you
11 regret doing so - that you did kill quite a number of people.
12 A. Yes. And every single case where people were killed has been
13 documented by the military police. And all witnesses to that event have
14 been recorded.
15 Q. Now, when you talk about those Warriors, you would agree with me
16 that this is a powerful combat vehicle which imposes respect by its mere
17 presence, does it not?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And --
20 A. That why I was spent with those vehicles.
21 Q. And I'm looking at this, again, your article, where it says --
22 I'm looking at the exact place where you talk about the Warriors and the
23 use of force. And you mention in there that you considered yourself to
24 be, whether you like it or not, the most powerful man in the land.
25 A. Yes. But having the power is important; using it is a very
1 different matter.
2 Q. Now, notwithstanding your limited mission, General, officers of
3 your battalion have explained before this Chamber that you had the
4 views - and this is reflected also in that paper - that your mandate was
5 creating the necessary conditions for the delivery of humanitarian
6 assistance, and that included for you close liaison with the parties and
7 getting the information related to their operations which could impact on
8 the convoys passing through Central Bosnia.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And in this article - I just used what they put into square
11 brackets - on page 12, where it says: "I believe that if we knew exactly
12 what was happening in every last square inch of our area, then we will
13 hold an element of power." Those are your words.
14 A. Yes. I can't see it on the page, but I take it you've read it
16 Q. Page 12 in the big square.
17 A. Yeah. Thank you. Yes. That has been taken by the -- that is
18 taken by the editor of that page. I did not put that in as it stands
19 there. It is taken to enhance or de-hance the script, by the -- I mean,
20 I have proved the script. The way it's been laid out there is an
21 editorial trick which you are well used to of taking a sentence out and
22 putting it in a little page in order to create impact. It's taking it
23 out of context, is it not?
24 Q. Well, actually, it's quoted straight into the paper, But I have
25 limited time, so let's on --
1 A. No, hang on. I'd like to be quite clear on this. The little box
2 in the middle which has a sentence is part of another bit of the script,
3 is it not, and you've taken it out and said -- and stated that as a
4 statement on its own. And I would suggest to you that an incorrect way
5 of using it.
6 Q. I will find the exact place where it is in the script and come
7 back to that a little later.
8 Now, you knew, General, that because this was a Chapter 6 mission
9 and that you were supposed to be impartial; that you were not supposed to
10 gather intelligence as you would do it if you were a party to this
11 conflict. Did you know?
12 A. Yes. And our intelligence-gathering was put under the concept of
13 military information.
14 Q. So you would agree with me that there's a big difference between
15 intelligence-gathering and the type of military information you were
17 A. There is -- the principles and the way we collect it would be
18 very similar.
19 Q. So what is the difference between the two? Would you agree with
20 me that in the first case you need to know everything because you have to
21 defend yourself and your life depends on it; and in the second case,
22 where you collect military information, the idea is to know what's going
23 on so that you can do your job.
24 A. That's correct, yes.
25 Q. Which is very different.
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And even though you did not have the necessary resources to
3 gather intelligence - you would agree with me on that?
4 A. I had fairly good resources.
5 Q. You had human resources but not electronic resources, did you?
6 A. No, I didn't have electronic resources, but I thought I had
7 explained earlier on the system we had for gathering information, which
8 given the resources I had I believed was the most efficient way to have
9 doing it.
10 Q. So given the resources you had was the most efficient way.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. But of course, if you had been in a war situation, the resources
13 deployed for intelligence-gathering would have been much more
15 A. Not necessarily. The American Army has deployed to Iraq and it
16 is sadly missing human intelligence and resources at the bottom end being
17 picked up from their soldiers. They have a big gap in their
19 Q. Nevertheless, General, you will agree with me that even the
20 Americans in Iraq deploy with satellites, satellite imagery, radio
21 interception, telephone interception.
22 A. Yes. And --
23 Q. Radar?
24 A. Yes and that's all things I didn't have access to.
25 Q. Thank you, General. That was my only point.
1 A. That's fine.
2 Q. Now, even though you did not have the necessary resources that
3 I've just mentioned, you did obtain some information by deploying the
4 people you did, as you mentioned, and that your aim was to know what was
5 happening for the next days of activities.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, even though it was standard operating procedure, or SOP as
8 you may refer to this term, for BritBat personnel not to leave the
9 compound at night -- is that a fair statement?
10 A. It's a fair statement, yes.
11 Q. And that of course impeded on your ability to observe the true
12 story, because as you know, most troop deployments take place during the
13 night and attacks are always launched before first light. So this, the
14 fact that you were not --
15 A. Or last light.
16 Q. Or last light. But the fact that you were on the ground -- that
17 you were not on the ground at that time impeded on your ability to find
18 out the true story and to identify which units took part in the combat,
19 did it not?
20 A. Yes. I would accept that, but I would also qualify it by saying
21 if you arrive back to go and visit a unit that was there yesterday and
22 it's gone, you had the intelligence that it's moved. And it pops up
23 somewhere else during the daytime and you find it.
24 Q. So you have the information to do your job, in terms of convoy
25 protection, but you have no information of who might have attacked such a
2 A. Not always, no.
3 Q. Unless you see it.
4 A. Unless I see it, yes.
5 Q. And also understood -- you also understood that you had an
6 obligation, of course -- sorry that, General Hadzihasanovic had an
7 obligation to guarantee freedom of movement for humanitarian convoys but
8 that no freedom -- he was not under any obligations to give you freedom
9 of movement to look around and gather intelligence.
10 A. That's correct. And I therefore focussed on making sure that we
11 were concentrating for a lot of the time on making sure the route was
12 open and clear, because the trucks that were driving down there were
13 driven by civilians, mainly, who were not protected by armour, and
14 therefore it was quite important we had a good picture of what was going
15 on. I often directed my soldiers not to go away from that aid route.
16 Q. And, General, you were also well aware, of course, that in this
17 context the commanders you were dealing with did not always tell you the
18 truth, or at least not all the truth, as you would have done the same if
19 you had been in their position?
20 A. I wasn't in their position; therefore, I can't say whether I
21 would have done that or not. What the commanders told me, we would
22 gather and then sift and compare it with something else. And it was --
23 you will imagine it -- can imagine, the concept of constructing a jigsaw.
24 You have certain components and you link them together.
25 Q. And sometimes, General, a counterpart may give you true
1 information, and in other instances not at all, because they have no --
2 are under no obligation to reveal secrets as to where they are going to
4 A. Yeah.
5 Q. I would just like --
6 A. But at the same time it's sometimes to their advantage to let me
7 know where they were going to attack. Because then we wouldn't be there.
8 Q. Now, you also knew that -- you mentioned that all this
9 information that you collected from the people that were deployed and
10 meeting with people, that this was all put into a milinfosum; and that in
11 this case you had Captain Harrison, who would prepare a milinfosum and
12 forward this to many people, amongst others United Nations Central
13 Command in Kiseljak.
14 A. That's correct, yes.
15 Q. And you also knew that all UNPROFOR battalions, your
16 counterparts' battalions, were following the same procedure; that is, the
17 Canadian Battalion was also providing milinfosums and so was the French
18 Battalion and the other battalions in the area.
19 A. They were providing milinfosums, but I was not aware as how they
20 were gathering the information. They may have had a completely different
21 system unique to them as to how they gathered information. I certainly
22 wasn't aware as to whether they had liaison officers talking directly to
23 units. It was their territorial patch and it was therefore not my
25 Q. And, General, you would agree with me that from the information
1 that was forwarded to BH central command in Kiseljak, a weekly milinfosum
2 would then be produced and forwarded to everyone, including United
3 Nations command in Zagreb.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And then from United Nations command in Zagreb the information
6 would come back down in some type of summary form for all the United
7 Nations missions on the ground. Do you recall that?
8 A. I don't recall getting that feedback, but I'm sure it was there.
9 Q. And you knew that in parallel to this we had the European
10 Community Monitoring Mission, where the monitors had a similar reporting
11 mechanism from the monitors to coordinating centre, to regional centre,
12 and to ECMM headquarters in Zagreb, and then the same type of information
13 coming back down. Do you recall such a system?
14 A. Yes, I do. And we had a very close relationship with the ECMM
15 people in our area.
16 Q. And not only did you have a close relationship; there was also a
17 direct exchange of information between UNPROFOR and ECMM through ECLO,
18 ECLO being the European Community liaison officer. Do you recall this?
19 A. I don't, actually. I don't recall that at all. Was he a member
20 of the ECMM or ...?
21 Q. He was a member of ECMM who was posted with UN headquarters.
22 A. Right. Well, I wasn't aware of that existence. We dealt purely
23 on the tactical level with the ECMM teams in our area.
24 Q. Now, you were able to observe in all the reports that you saw,
25 General, that some incidents were reported more than once.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And that some incidents were reported with a different
3 interpretation and that a lot of information was recycled in this way,
4 was it not?
5 A. Yes. And we took great pains to make sure that our milinfosums
6 had that word "comment." Comment was not fact. Comment was analysis, a
7 thought, an idea. And that was not to be passed on. And if other people
8 were using that as fact, then I'm afraid they got it wrong.
9 Q. And that was one of my next questions. But in relation to that,
10 you are familiar with the danger that a particular information, a rumour
11 in some cases, might become a belief due to the fact that it is repeated
12 many times in many documents. Are you aware of this danger?
13 A. I am. As Shakespeare said, "Rumour is the great traveller." We
14 were extremely careful to make sure that pieces of information that we
15 got were substantiated by other pieces.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down for the interpreters.
17 THE WITNESS: I do apologise.
18 We made sure that we substantiated the information we were
19 getting in order to build that jigsaw. And a piece of information, no
20 matter how spectacular it might seem at the time, couldn't be really
21 counted on until it was corroborated by other sources.
22 MR. BOURGON:
23 Q. And General, those milinfosums in which this information was
24 collated, you mentioned in your statement that you personally reviewed
25 them at night before they were sent out; did you?
1 A. Yes, I did. Either myself or, if I wasn't there, my
2 second-in-command; and if he wasn't there, my senior ops officer, Major
4 Q. Not always yourself?
5 A. Not always myself, but there was system to make sure they were
6 reviewed by a senior officer of the battalion, either the
7 second-in-command or the senior major.
8 Q. So, just because you said you reviewed every single milinfosum,
9 so I was just wondering.
10 A. Technically, yes; practically on the ground, I didn't see every
11 single one, but I had a system in place to make sure somebody senior did
12 see them.
13 Q. So when Captain Kiggell, or Mr. Kiggell now, stated before the
14 Chamber that the commanding officer may have seen some of the milinfosums
15 before they were dispatched --
16 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President.
17 MR. BOURGON:
18 Q. -- this was --
19 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf.
21 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, I noticed for the third time today
22 that my learned friend from the Hadzihasanovic Defence is quoting from
23 testimony that has been given by other witnesses before this Trial
24 Chamber. I don't think that this is the right manner to proceed, and I
25 do request the Trial Chamber, respectfully do request the Trial Chamber,
1 to instruct my learned friend from the Defence side to not continue with
2 quoting prior testimony of other witnesses before this Trial Chamber.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, you mentioned the
4 testimony of witnesses who have already testified before the Tribunal,
5 and you asked the witness what he thought about their testimony. The
6 Prosecution has raised an objection and stated that this is not the way
7 one should proceed, all the more so in that you quote the testimony of
8 witnesses that the witness hasn't seen for years, according to this
9 witness here. And as he wasn't present -- as this witness wasn't present
10 when the testimony was given and he hasn't seen the witnesses for years,
11 is it really a useful and efficient way of proceeding?
12 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Mr. President, there's a direct link between the excerpts from the
14 testimony that I've been using in the course of my cross-examination and
15 the persons who were this witness's subordinates, this witness who is now
16 before the Trial Chamber. And there is no rule against such a
17 procedure - contrary to what my colleague says - because when these
18 persons testified they mentioned a number of events that happened within
19 the BritBat. We now have the BritBat commander before us, and it is
20 quite customary and useful in order to determine the truth to allow the
21 battalion commander to tell us what his impression is, what his opinion
22 is, or to correct certain events related by other witnesses. And the
23 easiest way to do this is to inform him of this testimony.
24 Nevertheless, Mr. President, I will restrict my use of their
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It would be best to limit your
2 use of the testimony to the minimum.
3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. In English] [Previous translation continues] ... Now, General,
5 coming back on this issue, these milinfosums prepared by your battalion,
6 I believe you said in one of your statements that they were to be
7 considered as snapshots at a particular point in time and that the
8 situation as portrayed in one milinfosum may have changed or evolved in
9 the following days. Is that a fair statement?
10 A. Yes. Because otherwise there would be no point in producing a
11 milinfosum every day if you were just repeating the same business.
12 Clearly you wish to reflect events, update your milinfosum, compare the
13 information you've got with the information you're getting, give greater
14 authority to some things that you've said in that you now have them
15 confirmed. It was a living document which went on every day, and we kept
16 them all together.
17 Q. And for this reason, General, you mentioned that they should not
18 be considered, that is, the milinfosums, as being the truth at any one
19 time but, rather, the perception of an individual at a specific moment.
20 A. That's a reasonable statement. I would have been delighted if
21 could produce the absolute truth, but the reality is that doesn't happen.
22 Q. And, General, to come back just quickly on the issue you've
23 mentioned. Wherever the word "comment" appears in those milinfosums, you
24 mentioned that this was not a fact but, rather, a speculation or an
25 educated guess of the person who drafted the report.
1 A. That's correct, yes, an educated guess gained from his overall
2 picture of seeing all the information come in, his experience in that
3 appointment, his knowledge of what was going on. It is all put together.
4 Q. And you also said, General, that when you read these comments,
5 you either agreed with them or simply disregarded them because they were
6 not facts.
7 A. I didn't -- what, the comments?
8 Q. The comments.
9 A. The comments were useful for triggering people's minds and
10 thoughts and patterns.
11 Q. Now, I'd like to - again, on this issue of information - because
12 my learned colleague from the Prosecution said or suggested that the
13 milinfosums were a reliable source of information. And it is my
14 understanding that you said yes.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Now, you will agree with me, General, that when we say "reliable
17 source of information," this will depend on the purpose for which the
18 documents are used. Would it not?
19 A. Yes, it would. And they were the best shot at what we believed
20 was going on.
21 Q. So they may have been reliable to allow you to do your job with
22 the convoys, but they were not reliable in order to identify specifically
23 which unit would conduct an attack at a specific moment.
24 A. If a unit was identified in a milinfosum by its title and because
25 a commander had been met and they were attacking something, that would be
1 put down as fact, and that was reliable.
2 Q. And this was if an attack was seen by someone.
3 A. And witnessed, et cetera and we knew who it was.
4 Q. And if in the milinfosum we have information that a village is
5 attacked by the ABiH, we don't know which unit was there, do we?
6 A. No. And we would probably put "it is attacked by ABiH. Comment:
7 This could probably be Brigade X or Brigade Y."
8 Q. And brigade X or Brigade X is speculation?
9 A. It is comment. As I said, it was speculation on fact.
10 Q. And when we talk about reliable milinfosum, we must also take
11 into consideration the truth of the information. And if you know that
12 your commanders on the ground may not be telling the truth or are likely
13 hiding from you their operations, then they're not very reliable, are
15 A. You're talking both my commanders or the BiH commanders?
16 Q. The people you meet.
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. Your liaison officers go out.
19 A. Yeah.
20 Q. They gather information, and they know, for example, that the
21 information they get might not be accurate.
22 A. No. And they weren't only restricted as talking to commanders on
23 the ground. They would move round the area and observe for themselves.
24 Q. And --
25 A. And again, we had a system which I believed at the time was a
1 very efficient method of gathering information.
2 Q. And what you mention in this article - and I don't have time to
3 quote it - but you said that you had young liaison officers and that you
4 gave them no directions, in terms of how to gather information.
5 A. That's correct. Because in the British Army we have a philosophy
6 called "mission command" which says this is what I want you to do and you
7 will do it in the way you find best. And each individual young officer
8 who went out there knew what his task was; how he achieved that task, I
9 left to him. Because the situation he was in at the time, the unit he
10 was trying to find or to report back or the terrain he was in will be
11 completely different. And for me to put down a set standard way of how
12 they got it would be completely wrong. I wanted to know, you know -- you
13 tell me what's going on in that area, how you find that information is up
14 to you.
15 Q. And you mentioned in this article also that the information you
16 succeeded in collecting gave you the possibility to anticipate what would
18 A. I think -- because I was catching information from HVO and BiH
19 and everybody in that area, particularly of the Lasva Valley, I think I
20 was probably the best informed person in that Lasva Valley.
21 Q. But it --
22 A. Because I had many more sources than just the resources of my
23 battalion. I had everything else. And I put it together. And I would
24 suggest that of all the people in that Lasva Valley, my milinfosum crew
25 and myself probably had a pretty good handle on what was going on in the
1 whole area; probably the best of any of the commanders.
2 Q. Well, I'll take your word for it, and we will confirm this with
3 some documents that I will show you, General. But would it not be true
4 that when you arrived on the ground, you were provided with an org chart
5 of the warring factions?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And that this org chart by the time you left had been modified on
8 a weekly basis, because even at the end when you left you still could not
9 put together how the 3rd Corps was composed and how the Central Bosnia
10 Operative Zone of the HVO was composed. Is that a precise statement?
11 A. It wasn't precise, but we deliberately modified it to keep up
12 with events as we learnt them.
13 Q. Now, because you gave all this latitude to your liaison officers,
14 some of them ran into difficulties, did they not?
15 A. Possibly. And you're going to refer to a specific, I'd be
17 Q. And we referred to the specific case of Cameron Kiggell. Now, is
18 it not a fact, General, that why General Hadzihasanovic requested
19 specifically for Mr. Kiggell to be removed and replaced was because
20 Mr. Kiggell was going beyond what he was supposed to do and he was
21 looking and trying to look in military operations and military secrets,
22 and this was mentioned to you by General Hadzihasanovic? Is that a fair
24 A. If General Hadzihasanovic thought my liaison officer was going
25 too far in his, you know, access to the corps, which he effectively had
1 and he said he wanted him removed, I took him away.
2 Q. And --
3 A. And actually, Mr. Kiggell at that stage was then moved up to
4 Tuzla, and I put a new lieutenant captain, Andrew Jackson, I believe,
5 came in as a liaison officer there.
6 Q. And do you feel, General, it would have been your responsibility
7 to inform Cameron Kiggell of what he should and should not do so that you
8 would accomplish your mission and maintain an impartial view in this
10 A. He was aware of the need to be impartial. He was also aware of
11 the need to talk to commanders. And as I said before, I don't tell
12 people how to do things that they take in from the training and the
13 instruction we give them. I tell them what I want to do. If they
14 doesn't work, and they get rejected, we say okay we're not getting the
15 information we expect to get from that area. I'll try somewhere else.
16 Q. But isn't the commander responsible for everything?
17 A. Ultimately, I was responsible for everything and I will take
18 responsibility for everything that happened with my battalion.
19 Q. Now, I'd like to move on to show to you, because you mentioned
20 you had the best source of information on the ground in the Lasva Valley.
21 A. At the time.
22 Q. At the time. Now, I'd like to refer you to one document, and
23 that is in the -- the documents that were given to you. This would be,
24 General, the fourth document in your binder. Again I apologise, because
25 I was not able to put the tabs in the information.
1 Now, this report, General, is --
2 A. Are we looking at the same report?
3 Q. This is a document by ECMM called "A road for survival in Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina."
5 A. All right.
6 Q. And it is a special report.
7 A. I have it now, yes. Thank you.
8 Q. And in the top right corner, you should see the numbers R, for
9 Romeo, 020-5993.
10 A. Yes, I see them.
11 Q. Now, this is a report drafted by Ambassador Thebault. You in
12 your article say that Thebault was a French ambassador who was
13 "particularly effective, very clever, able career diplomat but he had a
14 nasty habit of teeing up a meeting and leaving at the last minute for me
15 to chair a crucial debate." Do you recall those words?
16 A. He did that on two occasions, yes.
17 Q. I'd like you to look at this document, General. And let's take a
18 look together to see whether Ambassador Thebault and the ECMM information
19 collection machine had the same reading of the situation as you had. And
20 I quote the first paragraph, where we talk about the total blockade of
21 the roads coming from the south is "since about three months it is most
22 efficient weapon used by the HVO to strangle Central and North Bosnia and
23 to force the Bosnian Muslims to surrender."
24 I bring to your attention, General, that this is 22 July, at a
25 time when you say that the ABiH has the upper hand and is on the
2 I quote the second paragraph, where it goes on to say: "The
3 economical weapon has greatly contributed to the degradation of the
4 social and political situation in all ethnically mixed areas, raising
5 mistrust amongst the communities."
6 The next paragraph, where we talk: "Due to total lack of fuel
7 and spare parts, the all-industrial system has now collapsed, slowly
8 followed by all the vital infrastructures."
9 The next paragraph: "People are literally desperate, as shown by
10 the last riots in Tuzla around the UNHCR storage."
11 If we move to the next page, it says here: "This situation is
12 clearly one of the major incentives for today's BiH army attacks,
13 securing a road to the sea has become for them an obsession. The failure
14 of the International Community to realise till now the problem and to
15 solve it in enforcing freedom of movement for emergency supplies is used
16 as an excuse for continuing the fight."
17 I move on, General, to the third paragraph, where it says: "But
18 continuing such a road blockade, which is only due to HVO, has also
19 effects on the life conditions of the Bosnian Croats living in Central
20 Bosnia, leading them to desperation and doing something would also have a
21 clear positive interest for a large part of the Croat community."
22 I'd like to move on to the third paragraph from the bottom.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before having a break, which is
24 very soon.
25 MR. BOURGON:
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... [In English] Aimed at
2 obtaining concrete, and quick results for the freedom of movement and
3 goods would be a major recommendation."
4 If we move to the next page, where we say: "After several
5 discussions with UNPROFOR BH command their estimation is that the idea is
6 militarily sensible and could be connected to the implementation of safe
7 areas if there were a political impulse."
8 General, I'd like you to comment as to whether this description
9 of the situation is: One, as you saw it when you were in Bosnia on the
10 22nd of July; and two, that it is a fair representation that is different
11 from what is depicted in your milinfosum information-gathering machine.
12 A. This is a report which was produced, as you said, by
13 Ambassador Thebault. It is produced for, I assume, civil affairs and
14 that sort of line. It is a completely different report to any reports I
15 would produce. It talks about things at the operational and strategic
16 level, which were well above me. It talks about concepts and it talks
17 about ideas. It was presumably generated by Ambassador Thebault for an
18 aim to inform people as to how things are going, and he suggests a number
19 of ideas and initiatives. It is completely different in purpose, layout,
20 intention to a milinfosum, and I don't -- my milinfosum was to achieve my
21 tactical aim; this is a completely different report. And what is in this
22 report will go further in strategic terms than ever I would dream about
23 in my tactical reports. And therefore, what is depicted here is a
24 completely different scenario and business to the business of my
1 Q. General, do you agree that this clearly illustrates the
2 prevailing circumstances in Central Bosnia when you were there?
3 A. It illustrates a viewpoint from Ambassador Thebault taken as a
4 snapshot at that time.
5 Q. So --
6 A. And his -- and if we take that he has gathering sources and as I
7 have gathering sources, he will have a jigsaw puzzle as well that he's
8 trying to fill in. It is then a snapshot in the same way.
9 Q. Thank you, General. We will stop here, I guess.
10 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Are we taking a break, Your Honour?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, for technical reasons we
12 shall be having a break and resume our hearing at 1.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 12.35 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maitre Bourgon, we have
16 three-quarters of an hour. You have the floor.
17 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
18 Q. [In English] General, I would like to move on to ask you a few
19 questions in relation to corps operations as they were conducted in
20 Central Bosnia. First I'd like you to confirm that - and I believe you
21 mentioned this a few minutes ago - that when we talk about military
22 operations, they can be classified as tactical, operational, or
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you will agree with me that a corps works at the operational
1 level, of course, with some input at the tactical level and some input at
2 the strategic level, although on a limited basis.
3 A. Yes. Well, I would qualify that by saying that your aim would be
4 tactical, operational, or strategic. The means you achieve that doesn't
5 necessarily latch exactly to the -- you can't put exactly there. You may
6 achieve an operational effect by one soldier on the ground, for example.
7 Q. Thank you, General. Would you agree with me that the commanding
8 general at the corps level usually looks ahead at the battlefield
9 96 hours ahead or more?
10 A. At least, yes.
11 Q. Hence, in normal circumstances, it is difficult for a commanding
12 general of a corps to have a direct influence on the conduct of
13 operations as they take place.
14 A. That would be strange if he didn't have a direct effect, because
15 he would have decided how they were going to be done and then put them
16 into place. If they weren't running true to course, he would therefore
17 -- having got feedback and back briefs from his staff, may need to
18 correct them and put them on track.
19 Q. Let me make my question a little more precise. After going
20 through this cycle, when the operation is actually taking place, it will
21 be seldom would the corps general intervene in an operation as going on.
22 A. But if it's not going on according to his plan, he would
24 Q. Thank you, General.
25 Now, you would agree with me, then, that the corps commander's
1 duty is to translate the strategic objectives that he received from the
2 state and which are communicated to him by army headquarters into
3 operational directives, which will then be accomplished on the ground by,
4 for example, operational groups and brigade commanders so that they know
5 what they have to do.
6 A. If that's how he wishes to command his corps, yes. There are
7 different ways of going that business.
8 Q. Now, when we talk about the responsibility of any commanding
9 officer, but even more so for a corps commander, I would suggest to you
10 that there are three types of responsibilities: Responsibilities towards
11 the state and the chain of command; responsibilities towards
12 subordinates; and legal responsibilities. Would that cover grosso modo
13 the responsibilities of a commanding general of a corps?
14 A. It is brief, yes, but ...
15 Q. And if we look at upward responsibility, this simply means that
16 the army will always be -- will always answer to the political organs of
17 the state, at least in the kind of armies that are in mostly the Western
18 world; and that any commanding officer owes his loyalty first and
19 foremost always upwards towards the chain of command. Would you agree
20 with me?
21 A. Yes. But he has the right to come back on what the chain of
22 command has asked him to do and discuss it, if necessary. And that is
23 enshrined in the British Army tradition of mission command. You do not
24 blindly follow orders. That has never been what we've done in out army,
25 in my army. And that is not what a commander should do. And if you
1 disagree violently with what you have been given to do, you either put up
2 with it or resign.
3 Q. Thank you. Now, as far as responsibility towards soldiers or
4 towards subordinates, the loyalty -- some people say there is not even
5 such a thing as loyalty, but there is a responsibility to ensure that the
6 soldiers will make it alive after battle ask that that really the
7 responsibility of the commanding general. Would you agree with such a
9 A. He cannot guarantee that soldiers will be alive after the battle,
10 but it's in his plan he should aim to produce a plan that has the minimum
11 impact upon his own troops in terms of death, and wounding.
12 Q. And with respect to legal responsibilities, you will agree with
13 me, General, that as in the specific circumstances we are dealing with,
14 that General Hadzihasanovic, as a commanding general, had to abide by
15 national laws, by international laws, and also by the directives within
16 his own army?
17 A. Yes. And I would add that he should also abide by his own
18 ethical guidelines and moral philosophy as to what is right and what is
19 wrong with what he does.
20 Q. Thank you, General. Now, would you agree with me that when we
21 talk about the responsibilities of a commanding general towards the chain
22 of command, towards subordinates, as well as legal responsibilities,
23 there is one word that comes back and that can join the three together,
24 and that is "discipline"? Would you agree with this statement?
25 A. I think it's a rather wide statement, but if you wish to make it,
2 Q. Would you agree that maintaining discipline within a military
3 unit will allow the unit to accomplish its mission; it will allow for the
4 soldiers to protect themselves; and it will also allow to avoid
5 violations of the law?
6 A. Yes, I'd accept those.
7 Q. Now, in terms of a commander, his responsibility with respect to
8 discipline is to ensure that any violations of the law are taken care of;
9 would you agree?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And in such circumstances -- it may be disciplinary violations or
12 it may be criminal acts, what is important is that the commander wants
13 his soldiers to abide by the law; would you agree?
14 A. I'd agree.
15 Q. And things such as, for example, desertion or leavings -- or
16 leaving one's post, leaving one's duty during wartime, those are very
17 serious offences, which in peacetime would not have the same meaning.
18 A. Yeah.
19 Q. And if we talk about stealing a bag of flour or -- simply, the
20 offence of stealing would be as important if you're talking about
21 stealing a fellow member of your force or stealing in the civilian world.
22 Stealing is bad and both of them are as bad.
23 A. Yes. But they should be taken each individual case on its merits
24 and to do entirely pertinent the circumstances prevailing at that time.
25 So it would be impossible to say one is equally bad. Yes, stealing in
1 general is bad; but you would have to be specific time, place, intention,
2 et cetera.
3 Q. So the prevailing circumstances at the time are indeed very
4 important when we talk about discipline.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you must be familiar, General, with -- when we conduct
7 military operations, with what is called "the principles of war."
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that there are 10, 11, or 9, depending on the army, but that
10 there's one which is the most important principle of war, and I take it
11 that that this is the one that is the most important in your army, that
12 is, the army of the United Kingdom, and that is selection and maintenance
13 of the aim.
14 A. I have had over the years many discussions on the composition of
15 the principles of war, which is more important and which isn't. I
16 wouldn't select any particular one, because they are pertinent to
17 circumstances. The selection and maintenance of the aim is important to
18 achieve your aim at the end of the day, but I'm not saying it's
19 overriding. There may be other conditions that undermine it or make it
21 Q. And if you take General Hadzihasanovic with the mission that he
22 was given, would you agree with me that his focus at the time should have
23 been selection and maintenance of the aim and that the mission was --
24 A. I do not know what his mission is.
25 Q. And if I propose to you that General Hadzihasanovic's mission
1 was: One, to hold the line against the Serb forces; two, to create a
2 corps, which was non-existent; and three, to create the necessary
3 conditions to put a force together which can be used to free Sarajevo,
4 would you agree with me that in the circumstances ruling at the time
5 General Hadzihasanovic, it was his duty to focus on his mission?
6 A. Yes, and you've told me what his mission is. And I wasn't aware
7 of the requirement to free Sarajevo, but I would say that he was
8 particularly success informal the first two elements of that mission;
9 that is, to hold the line against Serb forces and to create a corps,
10 which is non-existent. Those were achieved with huge success.
11 Q. Now, General, we had an expert witness not too long ago before
12 this Chamber. I'm not going to quote his words. But there's an issue
13 that was discussed then which I would like to put to you, and that is the
14 difference between accountability and criminal responsibility. I would
15 like to propose to you that there is a difference between the two, and to
16 use your example, your example being you are, or you were, the commander
17 of the BritBat; as the commander of BritBat, you were responsible for
18 everything that related to BritBat. Would you agree?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And as such, you were accountable and if you do -- if you did a
21 good job, you would be promoted, and if you did a bad job, you would not
22 be promoted, or there could be various other circumstances; is that
24 A. That's possible, yes.
25 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President. Mr. President --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf.
2 MR. WITHOPF: The Prosecution objects to such line of
3 questioning. It's very obvious that my learned friend from the
4 Hadzihasanovic Defence is asking questions to this witness which an
5 expert witness should be asked. He's using this witness as a sort of a
6 second expert. And I point out what I already did recently: There's a
7 difference -- there's a huge difference between two situations. The
8 first situation is that we have a fact witness who was on the ground,
9 testifies on facts, and based on his or her expertise is in a position to
10 draw conclusions on the facts he or she has seen.
11 What my learned friend from the Defence is now doing, he's using
12 this witness who is a fact witness as a pure expert. The line of
13 questioning we have seen for the last two minutes are not related to the
14 facts on the ground. These are purely theoretical questions an expert
15 should be asked, and I object against this line of questioning.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The objection raised by
17 the Prosecution relates to the fact that we have a fact witness and we're
18 not dealing with an expert witness here.
19 Mr. Bourgon, what do you have to answer with regard to this
21 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] The question which is asked to the
22 witness is not something which is a question relating -- which would be
23 asked to an expert witness. It's a question I ask him because he was a
24 commander of the BritBat in that region in 1993. So it was a question
25 relating to the fact and pertaining to his military knowledge of the
1 situation. Therefore, I think it should be allowed.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think that your question
3 should be put against the backdrop of a more general context. I think he
4 did say during his testimony that he was in charge of training all the
5 soldiers of the British Army that are being sent to theatres of war
6 outside their country, and therefore he's entitled to these questions.
7 A question of a general nature, please.
8 MR. BOURGON:
9 Q. General, I would ask you to, in light of the comments made by the
10 Presiding Judge of the Trial Chamber, whether you agree generally with
11 the fact that commanders are responsible generally for everything that
12 takes place in their unit.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And they are accountable for what goes on, and if something does
15 go wrong, it may lead to consequences which may be related to career
16 measures or administrative measures.
17 A. They are accountable, but I think to trace a line of consequences
18 to career or administrative is one of a number of scenarios you could
19 paint. But I don't think it's linked. Yes, we are responsible; yes, we
20 are accountable. Full stop.
21 Q. And when we talk about accountability, General, you will agree
22 with me that there is a distinction with your criminal liability and that
23 in the case of a commanding officer who has not committed himself any
24 offences, that his criminal liability should only be involved when there
25 is on his part gross negligence amounting to personal dereliction of
1 duty. Would you agree with me?
2 A. Are you suggesting that criminal liability doesn't apply until a
3 certain thing happens? Because criminal liability is there whatever
4 with a commanding officer. It doesn't go away. And it starts from the
5 word go. And I'm -- if I as a commanding officer make a criminal
6 action, I am responsible and accountable for that. It doesn't switch on
7 and off. It's something that is there at all time. The behaviour of
8 your army if you're an army commander; if you're a battalion commander,
9 if the behaviour of my battalion. It's my responsibility and I'm
10 accountable. That doesn't go away. You can't switch it on and off.
11 It's there all the time.
12 Q. This is exactly my point, General. If a commanding officer
13 commits offences, and you've seen that happen before because you
14 testified in the trial of General Blaskic who was found guilty for
15 ordering an unlawful attack on civilians. He committed a violation and
16 he was found guilty for his participation in this violation. You are
17 aware of this fact.
18 A. Well, I'm aware he was found guilty. I'm not aware of the
19 details, apart from the evidence I gave at the time on behalf of the
21 Q. Now, has the Prosecution in this case explained to you the
22 difference between this case and the Blaskic case?
23 A. No, and I wouldn't expect them do, because this case stands on
24 its own. And I think making linkages is -- you've got to be very careful
25 about. Different force, different army, different people, different
1 mission, different tasks. If you're trying to chuck everything together
2 and get something out of it, I think that's wrong.
3 Q. And, General, from a legal perspective, I take it, then, that the
4 Prosecution did not explain to you that in this specific case
5 General Hadzihasanovic was not accused for having committed any crime,
6 participated in any crime, planning any crime, instigating any crime,
7 aiding any crime, or abetting in any crime? Did the Prosecution explain
8 that to you?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And if I suggest to you now that the difference between this
11 trial and another trial, not on the facts, because I agree that you don't
12 want to mingle the facts - Blaskic is Blaskic; General Hadzihasanovic is
13 a completely different matter - but as a matter of legal responsibility,
14 General Hadzihasanovic is accused for violations which were allegedly
15 committed by subordinates, not for his own violations. Do you understand
16 the difference?
17 A. I understand that. And I'm aware of that.
18 Q. Now, given that General Hadzihasanovic is accused for violations
19 committed by subordinates and not for his own, would you agree with me
20 that in such a case the question is whether, in line with what you said
21 earlier, General Hadzihasanovic acted reasonably in the circumstances
22 prevailing at the time.
23 A. If, as you say, General Hadzihasanovic is here to answer to the
24 actions of his subordinates, then what his subordinates did he is both
25 responsible and accountable for, because that the duty of a commander.
1 Q. I understand, General. But my question to you is: To what
2 extent is he criminally responsible if your subordinate committed a
3 violation and committed theft, you would not want to be responsible for
4 theft, would you?
5 A. But I am responsible for making sure something is done about
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. And it's not swept under the carpet.
9 Q. And --
10 A. And if -- and if it proves in the system that it -- my criminal
11 negligence that has resulted in that theft, then I'm responsible for
12 that. And you can't switch that off.
13 Q. So you agree with me, then, General, that the difference in this
14 case is that -- the accusation is that General Hadzihasanovic did not
15 take the necessary and reasonable measures in the circumstances to punish
16 or prevent. That's the accusation. Would you agree with me?
17 A. Yeah.
18 Q. And that given that we are talking about the necessary and
19 reasonable measures, that what we are talking about is we are talking
20 about the exercise of command by General Hadzihasanovic.
21 A. I would agree with that, but I would say again that that exercise
22 of command covers everything. A commander, as you've said before, is
23 responsible for the actions of his troops, the way they behave, and he's
24 accountable for that as well. I will keep coming back to that, because
25 you are accountable. I am accountable for the way my current command
2 Q. And, General, if he took the necessary and reasonable measures in
3 the circumstances prevailing at the time - and we discussed this - then
4 he should not be criminally responsible. You understand the difference?
5 A. I do understand the difference. And --
6 Q. Now, General, let me move on to the vertical responsibility,
7 chain of command. You will agree with me that the chain of command will
8 go from the lowest level up to the highest level in what we call unity of
9 command and vertical chain of command.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Would you agree?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And that if a soldier commits a breach, it is not every commander
14 at every level that will be responsible or that will be found guilty of
15 this breach? Would you agree with me?
16 A. I would agree with that. But I would also add that it's
17 important -- right from the very top, there is a transparent system that
18 we know works and is in place and enforced.
19 Q. And, General, you will agree with me that this vertical chain of
20 command means that different commanders at different levels have
21 different responsibilities regarding a fact which is committed by a
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And you don't expect the company commander to have the same
25 implications with regards to a breach committed by a soldier than the
1 corps commander or the army commander.
2 A. He will have a responsibility to that company commander to make
3 sure that the system in place is adhered to and followed.
4 Q. So --
5 A. And if he fails to follow that system which is adhered to and in
6 place, then he is in breach.
7 Q. And, General, if the general -- if the commanding general of a
8 corps did take the necessary measures to put the system in place, to give
9 the necessary orders, and if he has fulfilled his responsibilities at his
10 level, then you will agree with me that he should not be found criminally
12 A. Provided he has put in -- not only put the system in place but he
13 has checks and balances to ensure that the system he has put in place is
14 working, is practical, and has worked throughout. It is no good just
15 putting a system in place and stepping back and saying, "Hey, I've done
16 it. Not my problem." Wrong. You put a system in place and you make
17 very, very sure that that system is workable, manageable, et cetera, et
18 cetera. You can't just leave it to lie.
19 Q. And, General, when the commanding general does take action, does
20 put the system in place, we spoke earlier of the trust amongst the chain
21 of command. It is not, you will agree with me, for the commanding
22 general to go and look all the way down where the soldier has committed
23 the breach to find out if something went wrong unless he is being
24 informed by his chain of command that something went wrong. Will you
25 agree with me?
1 A. I will agree. But you've got to make sure he has a system in
2 place to make sure his chain of command reports.
3 Q. Absolutely, General. That's exactly my point.
4 A. And he needs to check up on that. And he does needs to go with
5 his telescope and poke down. He is responsible for everything in it. If
6 he is not happy with the system, he should change it to make it work. If
7 there is a risk that he has exposed, then he should fill that gap.
8 Q. Now, General, when the commanding general is leading a war and he
9 is involved in the kind of situation we are talking about - and you know
10 all the obligations that we are talk about in terms of leading a war,
11 planning the activities, directing the activities - and then you will
12 agree with me that the commanding general, if he did take all the
13 measures that were necessary in the circumstances at his level and
14 that -- then he should not be found criminally responsible.
15 A. So what you are saying is that if it's a very intense war and
16 it's all a bit busy, he can just forget some things.
17 Q. Absolutely not.
18 A. That's what you said.
19 Q. Absolutely not.
20 A. You just said he's a very busy commander, he's planning,
21 directing the rest of it. And you're saying this somehow changes
22 circumstances. I'm sorry, it doesn't. You have the responsibility. It
23 doesn't matter whether you are doing peace support operations in one
24 state, Northern Ireland, you have the responsibilities of the command.
25 You can't wish it away because circumstances are difficult. You can't do
2 Q. But the test, you will agree with me, General, is necessary and
3 reasonable measures in the circumstances?
4 A. Provided you have a system that's made sure they're realistic.
5 If you haven't put -- if you personally haven't got a system that work,
6 then -- then that you are to blame for that.
7 Q. Now, General, if I indicate to you -- and you mention that you
8 were aware of the disciplinary law in force in Bosnia, were you?
9 A. Military of civilian?
10 Q. Military. In the way for General Hadzihasanovic to deal with any
11 violations inside the 3rd Corps.
12 A. I believe there was a code of conduct published by 3rd Corps. I
13 didn't see it, but I believe there was a code of conduct, because I
14 believe --
15 Q. And you're not aware of any mechanism that was made that was put
16 in place, are you?
17 A. I am aware that certain mechanisms were put in place by the 3rd
18 Corps because they wanted to make sure they had those mechanisms in
19 place. And I believe that the then-Colonel Hadzihasanovic was very
20 diligent in putting those things in place, to make sure that they
22 Q. So you know that General Hadzihasanovic did put a system in
24 Now, did you know that this system was a three-level system which
25 was disciplinary offences within the units, which was disciplinary court
1 within the corps, which was a military court which was separated from
2 the 3rd Corps, and that was also a special military court that would
3 entitle a brigade commander to sentence one of his soldiers to death?
4 Were you aware of that?
5 A. I wasn't aware of the penalties involved, no. I was purely aware
6 that there was a code in place.
7 Q. And were you aware, General, that during the time that General
8 Hadzihasanovic was commanding the 3rd Corps there were more than 1.000
9 criminal reports which were filed from the chain of command, from the
10 lowest level up to his level, more than 1.000 criminal reports were filed
11 at all levels following the orders issued by General Hadzihasanovic?
12 Were you aware of this fact?
13 A. There's no reason why I would know of it and I'm not aware of it.
14 Q. And if you would be aware of this and you know the circumstances
15 in which General Hadzihasanovic was operating, would you agree with me
16 that this was a commander -
17 THE INTERPRETER: Can you please slow down for the benefit of the
19 THE WITNESS: You'll have to -- Can you please ask me that again
20 because I haven't heard it because the interpreter interrupted. We're
21 going too fast.
22 MR. BOURGON: Sorry, it's my mistake. I was speaking too fast.
23 Q. General, if I simply tell you that in the circumstances ruling at
24 the time, and we both agree, that a commander cannot forget what is going
25 on; right? We agree?
1 A. Yes. But --
2 Q. And if I tell you that in what was going on in Bosnia General
3 Hadzihasanovic issued a number of orders which led to more than 1.000
4 criminal complaints filed against members of the 3rd Corps, does that
5 indicate to you and would that be not surprising to you given all the
6 qualities that you've mentioned about General Hadzihasanovic as a
8 A. I was not aware that that number of cases were brought up and
9 documented. But you're going back on this -- you're taking the scale of
10 the thing and saying that excuses everything. To me that is the line
11 that coming across from you. You are saying different circumstance,
12 really different, lots and lots of complaints, and therefore it doesn't
14 Now, if there were lots of complaints, I'm afraid you have to
15 move to put things in place. The situation has changed. And has the
16 commander, you must recognise the situation has changed. There is a
17 problem. I do not have an efficient system of dealing with these
18 complaints because there are so many. I must put something in place and
19 I must do it now because otherwise it will bite me in the back later on.
20 Q. And if you -- if the commander is seen to take such measures,
21 then he is fulfilling his responsibility as a corps commander.
22 A. Provided the measures he takes are effective, can be enforced,
23 and are policed.
24 Q. Yes. So we agree that if he takes such measures and is seen to
25 take such measures by issuing the orders, by complaining against a court
1 system that is not his, that he is taking all the measures that are
2 possible at the time to ensure that violations are prevented taken and
4 A. I am not qualified to comment on the Bosnian Military Code and
5 whether he had taken the appropriate measures because I don't know what
6 they were and I'm not qualified to answer that. But unless -- the system
7 has failed because of that, then the system needs adjustment.
8 Q. And what I'm saying to you, General, is that you've met
9 General Hadzihasanovic many times. You mentioned a lot of qualities
10 about him. And you mentioned that he did act diligently to put a lot of
11 things in place. Now, in such circumstances, if I tell you that he did
12 take measures to enforce discipline, without going into the measures,
13 would you be surprised knowing the man?
14 A. I would not be surprised. I would expect him to have taken
15 measures to enforce discipline. And I'm sure he did.
16 Q. Now, General, if we move on to the fact of the situation on the
17 ground. And if I talk about -- you knew that the -- where you were
18 fighting was Bosnia and Herzegovina. And you knew that this territory or
19 if there was one governmental army or governmental forces, that was the
20 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. You understand that?
21 A. Are you saying that was the only army in -- the only army? That
22 was the state army?
23 Q. That was the army or the legitimate army of Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina. There was only one. And that was the Army of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina. Do you agree with this?
1 A. I wasn't aware of that. I was only aware of the fact that when I
2 got there there were three armies fighting, Serbs, Croats, and
3 effectively Muslims.
4 Q. And you were not aware that actually the Army of Bosnia and
5 Herzegovina was defending its own territory, like if you would be
6 defending London, against rebel groups inside the state? Did you
7 understand that?
8 A. I understood that. But if you take the view that it was taken
9 from the Bosnian-Herzegovinian army, you can take the same view if you
10 talk about the Serbs or the Croats. This was --
11 Q. But General --
12 A. And I'm not saying it's all the same. I'm not saying that the
13 whole thing is neat little boxes. What I'm saying is that when I arrived
14 there, there were three warring armies. Their war was something I had to
15 put up with and was in my cases obstructing my aim. But that's what I've
16 been sent to do, to get the aid through.
17 Q. And what you're telling me --
18 A. I was not going to be able to influence the outcome of that war.
19 Q. So what you are telling me, General, is that to you it made no
20 difference whether the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was on the
21 defensive defending its territory against two aggressors who had been
22 declared illegal by the constitutional court of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
23 That did not matter to you.
24 A. At the time it did not matter, no.
25 Q. But you understood that in part of this conflict there was
1 initially the Serbs, who were the aggressor against the Army of Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina, which was working with the HVO. You understood that.
3 A. Yes, I understood that. And clearly I had been briefed on the
4 events that had come to get to the situation that I found myself in
5 Bosnia at the time. But you are now talking about business. I was a
6 battalion commander in the Lasva Valley. I was collecting information to
7 make sure that I could get my aid through.
8 Q. Thank you, General. That's what I wanted to get from you, in
9 terms of information.
10 Now, when we look at the facts of the case, you will agree with
11 me that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was a new army that was
12 created in November of 1993. By the time you got there, this army was
13 less than eight months old. Did you know that?
14 A. I knew it was a new army, yes.
15 Q. And you knew that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina did not have
16 weapons, did not have access because of the embargo to any weapons,
17 unlike the HVO; because you do mention this in your statement, that the
18 HVO did get access to some weapons.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you knew that the roads in the Lasva Valley were completely
21 blocked, in terms of the Lasva Valley and Central Bosnia with you
22 actually under siege with no access to the sea, no access to the south,
23 and no access to the north.
24 A. For the Bosnian --
25 Q. Muslims.
1 A. Muslims. Yes.
2 Q. Did you understand that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you provided a third statement to the Office of the
5 Prosecution talk about the issue of refugees. You are able to testify
6 that the issue of refugees was indeed a very important issue which
7 created lots of problems for all the people there, but especially for the
8 commander of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Can you please --
9 because I needs to have your --
10 A. Yes, I can confirm that, because the number of refugees were
11 coming into his area of control and he clearly had to look after them and
12 made sure they had shelter as best he could.
13 Q. And, General, can you confirm that in Gornji Vakuf and area,
14 there was fighting throughout your stay in Bosnia, there was fighting
15 before and fighting continued after you left? Can you confirm this?
16 A. Yes, except there was quite a lull for about three months, I
17 think. There was certainly fighting before, with the regiment before.
18 There was only a break, and then we had a lot of fighting towards the end
19 of my time there.
20 Q. Now, in one of the documents that was shown to you, General, you
21 mentioned the Maglaj finger, and you mentioned that as of July the Army
22 of Bosnia and Herzegovina was moving -- at least that they were -- there
23 was a shift in the operational tempo where they were on the offensive.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Were you able to see what happened to the Maglaj finger from the
1 time you arrived to the time you left and that as a matter of fact the
2 complete Maglaj finger was taken, that this territory was lost to the
3 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that this created a serious strategic
4 and operational problem for the state as a whole? Did you understand
6 A. I am certainly aware of the changes of the military dispositions
7 in the Maglaj finger during the time I was there.
8 Q. Now, you -- based on your reading of the geography of Central
9 Bosnia, did you understand that if there was to be a solution to this
10 conflict, in terms of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it could only come from
11 Central Bosnia?
12 A. No. I didn't understand that. There was no reason day to day
13 where I would start to think about these things.
14 Q. And, General, in one of your milinfosums - and I will show you to
15 you in a minute - you did mention that you could not understand the
16 difference in situation between 2 Corps and 3 Corps, whereas in 2 Corps
17 they seemed to be friends and in 3 Corps it's like as if they are enemies
18 and we are at a loss to understand that. Is that a fair statement?
19 A. What I was surprised at was in my understanding 2 Corps consisted
20 of HVO and BiH units, who seemed to be fighting side by side up in the
21 north in the Tuzla area. But I didn't understand why down in the Lasva
22 Valley area we'd had this huge split and rift between the HVO and the
23 BiH. That difficult to comprehend how, you know, part of the country
24 you've got people fighting side by side and yet further south they're at
25 odds with each other. That was difficult to understand.
1 Q. Now, if we think about Vares, you mentioned the fact that -- or
2 in response to a question that the General took some leave in the later
3 part. You didn't belief General Hadzihasanovic, did you, when he told
4 you that he was going to see his family?
5 A. Well, I had no reason not to believe him.
6 Q. But that -- in your report then you say that there was something
8 A. When he's been seen going into 2 Corps? That's --
9 Q. Did you understand at that point why he went to 2 Corps?
10 A. I can understand why he went to 2 Corps. And I have no problem
11 with the BiH's military plan and the actions they took. The problem may
12 come in the way they've done it.
13 Q. Now --
14 A. All I'm saying is that whatever war plans 3 Corps had, they
15 executed them and that was absolutely fine. I do not have a problem with
16 that. The fact that they managed to overcome the initial dominance of
17 the HVO was acceptable. I'm not -- that's not a problem. This was their
18 war which they were conducting and they were conducting, I thought, very
20 Q. And, General, did you understand --
21 A. But we are here on the business, and you keep coming back to
22 this. You can sort of strike off because it's all too difficult..
23 Q. General, did you understand that when talk about Vares --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Because you mentioned that --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- also, Vares was an important objective, it was actually a
3 strategic objective, and that without taking Vares the risk was losing in
4 the same way they had lost the Maglaj finger, as you called it, and
5 cutting completely the north. Did you understand that?
6 A. I did understand that, and I also understood, and I was shown, a
7 route round to avoid Vares in order to enable a link-up, as it were,
8 without using the Vares route.
9 Q. And --
10 A. So it was an attempt to go round the Vares route.
11 Q. And, General, you mention in your statement the cooperation
12 between the Serbs and the HVO. You were conscious of this, were you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And when we talk about human superiority or soldier superiority
15 of the ABiH, in terms of numbers over the HVO, that is discounting the
16 fact that the HVO was working with the Serbs.
17 A. I'm not sure the point you're trying to make there. Because what
18 I am saying is that I thought the BiH were extremely well motivated.
19 They did not have outside assistance as the Serbs and the Croats had, and
20 it was quite amazing what they managed to achieve.
21 Q. And, General, you will agree with me that in terms of the number
22 of troops, we have the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which may have
23 been superior in numbers to the HVO; but if you put the HVO and the Serbs
24 together, it was not superior in number, was it?
25 A. No. But that's just a mathematical thing with the three warring
1 factions there. You can put it any way you like.
2 Q. And, General, were you aware that -- because you don't mention
3 this very much in all of your statements -- that General Hadzihasanovic
4 had to keep up more than 300 kilometres of front line with the Serbs in
5 his own area of operations?
6 A. And I had a front line from Tuzla down to Romboci which was about
7 300 kilometres. And I had to put up with that the whole time.
8 Q. So you compare your responsibilities as a BritBat commander with
9 holding the line against the Serbs?
10 A. I don't compare them at all. You've mentioned a scale saying
11 it's 300 kilometres, which is unusual for a corps. I mentioned then to
12 you that I was given an area of 300 kilometres, which is unusual for me.
13 I'm not comparing the two, I'm just saying -- you know, these things
15 Q. Do you realise, General that having 300 kilometres of front line
16 to hold against the Serbs was very demanding on the army of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina both on the General, on the commanding general, but in terms
18 of numbers of soldiers to man this line?
19 A. I wouldn't deny that at all and I haven't denied it and I've said
20 they did a fantastic job.
21 Q. And, General, when we talk about the fact that this line was at
22 one point manned jointly by the HVO and the ABiH and that as the HVO was
23 pulling out and leaving the line, that created very big difficulties for
24 the commanding general.
25 A. Yes. And I saw that when -- I believe in the Travnik area a
1 whole HVO unit pulled out and very quickly, the BiH in that area had to
2 fill that gap. And I know for a fact that the HVO walked straight round
3 into Serb hands and came back down south again.
4 Q. Now, I'd just like to show you three documents before we end for
5 today. And the first one, I'd like to look at the documents number 5 in
6 your -- the fifth document in the binder.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, we have three
8 minutes until we should adjourn. How much time do you need for your
10 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] I have three documents,
11 Mr. President. And it will take me five minutes to deal with them. I'll
12 then have completed my examination.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Go ahead.
14 MR. BOURGON: [In English] [Previous translation continues] ...
15 Document in your binder, and this is a document dated the 6th of July,
17 A. Is that the number 03041866?
18 Q. Yes, that the document.
19 A. All right. I have it in front of me.
20 Q. And can you just read the first paragraph below the word "order,"
21 where it says: "Having seen for myself the state of communications in
22 units and the wasteful and non-functional use of available means at the
23 operative group level and the partial concealing of some equipment and
24 with the aim of better functioning and establishing an integrated
25 communications system, I hereby order."
1 This paragraph, General, does that indicate to you that
2 communications were as good as you say so?
3 A. It indicates to me that the commander, Mehmed Alagic, who I
4 assume signed at the bottom and that's his -- has decided that he's got a
5 problem and he's put a team to do something about it.
6 Q. I'd like to --
7 A. It's merely the level.
8 Q. I'd like to --
9 A. What described by the commander may be very different on the
10 ground. Perhaps he's not happy as an ops group but he hasn't got the
11 communications he might need on the basis that the ops group has just
12 been formed. I don't know. You are taking a document, one document and
13 trying to put it in -- and I'm trying to put it in a context, which is
15 Q. And General --
16 A. One man's view of poor communications may not be the view of the
17 next man.
18 Q. And when you say you don't know, General, actually you did not
19 know when you were there the state of communications down to the company,
20 the battalion, and the brigade level. You did not know.
21 A. When I went and was stopped at a -- a crossing by military police
22 because I was going to visit the then-Colonel Hadzihasanovic, they phoned
23 through and yes, I went through and they allowed me to get through. On a
24 number of occasions we could get a very quick reply.
25 Q. Now, General, I'd like to refer you to document number 3, the
1 third document on your list, dated 21 August. And I would like to quote
2 page 10.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. This is a document -- this is a report that was sent by the
5 commander of the 3rd Corps, General Hadzihasanovic, to his superior
6 headquarters to say exactly the state of the 3rd Corps in August.
7 If we look on page 10, "Command and control problems." The first
8 paragraph states: "Command and control problems are complex and at this
9 stage of the execution of combat operations they are the result of
10 consequences of three very important factors: Competence of personnel,
11 communications equipment, and motivation."
12 Does that indicate to you that communication is a problem within
13 the 3rd Corps at that time?
14 A. It -- well, I don't know the context in this was written. I see
15 the date is August. I don't know what the whole report says or what the
16 report conclusions came to. But the sentence you have picked out states
17 that he believes -- or that the author believes there is a problem with
18 communications, yes.
19 Q. And with that sentence, General, would you also say that
20 motivation that you thought was very, very strong also appears at least
21 to be a problem?
22 A. It appears to be. But my perception from reports gathered in my
23 area from the ground told me that the motivation was pretty high.
24 Q. And if I go down this page, General, to the last paragraph, where
25 it talks about communications more specifically and where it says:
1 "Another problem is communications equipment in the command and control
2 system. This problem again exists at the lower levels, that is, at the
3 squad, platoon, and company levels. So, for instance, a company is
4 carrying out an attack or organising defence and the company commander
5 does not have radio or wire communications with the platoon commanders
6 but only courier communication." Does that indicate to you, without
7 going into more details, that communications was not all that good in the
8 3rd Corps?
9 A. Well, no, because I turn over the page and I see that
10 "Notwithstanding --" if you turn to page 11; yes?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. It says "not withstanding the following types of communication
13 have been established." And there is a list of communications which are
14 working. There is a list, as I said, and this the first I've ever seen
15 of it -- and there is a list of communication planned and established and
16 more planned and established. So that was taken to improve that even
17 before this report was written.
18 Q. And, this General, is what you would expect of a competent
19 general like General Hadzihasanovic because his responsibility to work
20 towards establishing a communications system.
21 A. Yes, and it's apparent for me that General Hadzihasanovic has
22 put in place a process to sort this out.
23 Q. And one last question --
24 A. I would ask whether that process has been transferred to other
25 areas to sort it out.
1 Q. General, a big issue was made out of the satellite phone which
2 was used or which -- the number which was given. Can you confirm that
3 this number was given to you by Mr. Merdan?
4 A. Yes, it was.
5 Q. Can you confirm, General, that you did not know that this
6 satellite phone was actually the satellite phone of the Bank of Bosnia
7 and Herzegovina, which was exceptionally put at the disposal of
8 General Hadzihasanovic because he was expecting communications from his
9 superior headquarters? Did you know this fact?
10 A. That doesn't alter the fact that the communications is there. If
11 I've been given a phone number to ring, I'll use it. I'm not bothered
12 whether it's Vodaphone, some other cell not working. If it work, I'll
13 use it.
14 Q. And General --
15 A. Where it comes from is immaterial. The communication link was
17 Q. And General, one last question. If we talk about a satellite
18 phone like this, you understand that in order to communicate with anyone
19 you must have another satellite phone?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You maybe had one, but nobody else had one in Bosnia; would you
22 agree with me?
23 A. The various liaison officer teams had them.
24 Q. In your --
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Because you had the equipment.
2 A. But we stilled that that link --
3 Q. But not equipment inside the 3rd Corps for command and control
5 A. I wasn't aware of that.
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I have
7 finished for today.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, yesterday you were
9 not in the courtroom, but we discussed the length of the testimony which
10 could be carried over tomorrow, and you have mentioned that you needed
11 two hours, you will -- the Defence team has required two hours all in
12 all, because we did say that we had to discuss the issue of the documents
13 after the hearing. In other words, how much time will you require
14 tomorrow to complete your cross?
15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] If I had 30 minutes tomorrow, I'd
16 be very happy.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what about the other
18 Defence counsels?
19 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. I might only require a very
20 short time, no more than five to ten minutes. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. General. I'm sure
22 you've understood that the hearing is not finished for today, fortunately
23 or unfortunately, I don't know. You will have to stay overnight and come
24 back tomorrow morning and be here at 9.00 in this courtroom. So we shall
25 proceed with the rest of the cross-examination tomorrow at of 9.00
1 onwards tomorrow morning.
2 And I shall ask the usher to accompany you outside the courtroom
3 and ask you to be here tomorrow morning at 9.00, please.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
5 [The witness stands down]
6 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, since we anticipate
7 that tomorrow we will have the continuing discussion on documents, I wish
8 to draw the attention of the Trial Chamber and Defence counsel to the
9 fact that we today filed the further detailed consolidated Prosecution
10 exhibit list in chronological order containing all the information the
11 Chamber requested by its order of 29th of April.
12 The exhibit list is filed in an A3 format for the only purpose to
13 make it readable to all parties involved. It may be helpful for the
14 tomorrow's discussions.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the Defence team
16 has noted the fact that the Prosecution has prepared a document in line
17 with the instructions we had given on the filing of documents. So we
18 will be able, if necessary, to use this A3 format document, which I have
19 not seen yet. If there are no further issues to be raised.
20 [Trial Chamber and legal officer confer]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So our legal assistant has
22 stated that this is an A3 format document. We will not be able to have
23 these documents in a paper format tomorrow, Mr. Withopf, unless you were
24 able to make a copy in paper. I shall give you the floor back. It will
25 be difficult otherwise.
1 MR. WITHOPF: This is exactly what I'm going to say, Your
2 Honours. The Prosecution is very willing and prepared to provide both
3 the Trial Chamber and Defence counsel with a copy of this document later
4 on this afternoon.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So Mr. Bourgon I'm
6 sure will agree with your suggestion. That will avoid him having to turn
7 to the electronic version of the document. Thank you, Mr. Withopf.
8 That said, I shall now adjourn and ask you to come back tomorrow
9 morning at 9.00, please.
10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.52 p.m.,
11 to be reconvened on Friday, the 14th day of
12 May, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.