1 Thursday, 27 May 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you call the case, please,
6 Mr. Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can we have the appearances for
10 the Prosecution, please.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning, Your
12 Honours, Counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
13 Prosecution, Mr. Mathias Neuner, Daryl Mundis, our case manager, Andres
14 Vatter, and we are accompanied today by our intern, Mr. Kyle Wood. Thank
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 And the appearances for the Defence, please.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.
19 Good morning, Your Honours. On behalf of General Enver Hadzihasanovic,
20 Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Alexis
21 Demirdjian, legal assistant. Thank you.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
23 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin
24 Mulalic, legal assistant.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
1 [Interpretation] This morning we have a witness on the agenda.
2 Mr. Mundis wasn't hearing. I was saying that on the agenda we
3 have the hearing of a witness. Is this witness at the disposal of the
4 Chamber, Mr. Mundis? Is he available?
5 MR. MUNDIS: He is indeed available, Mr. President, and I believe
6 he's waiting in the witness waiting room.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Usher, will you be kind
8 enough to go and fetch this witness.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, sir. Let me
11 check that you are hearing the translation of my words. If that is so,
12 please tell me so, that you are hearing me.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, that's okay.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As it's okay, we can continue.
15 You have been called as a witness for the Prosecution. You will
16 therefore take the solemn declaration. Before you do that, I need to
17 know your identity. So will you please tell me your first and last name,
18 date and place of birth, and nationality.
19 THE WITNESS: My name is Mats Torping. I am born 16th of April,
20 1943 in Stockholm, Sweden, and I am a Swedish citizen.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
23 THE WITNESS: At present I am retired, but I still am an officer,
24 lieutenant colonel, in the Swedish Army Reserve.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in 1993 in Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina, what were your positions in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
2 THE WITNESS: I was monitor of the ECMM, December 1992 to March
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you previously testified
5 in a national court of law or in an international court on the events
6 that occurred in Bosnia and Herzegovina, or is this the first time for
7 you to testify in court?
8 THE WITNESS: I haven't testified yet. This is the first time.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please be kind enough to read
10 the solemn declaration.
11 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
12 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You may
14 be seated.
15 WITNESS: MATS TORPING
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before giving the floor to
17 representatives of the Prosecution, I should like to provide some
18 information regarding the proceedings here.
19 As this is the first time that you are testifying in an
20 international court of law, it is my duty to provide some explanations
21 regarding the way we will proceed today during your testimony.
22 During the first stage, you will be answering questions that will
23 be put to you by representatives of the Prosecution, who are seated to
24 your right, and who will have questions for you within the framework of
25 the procedure defined by the Rules of Procedure, that is known as the
2 This examination will last a certain amount of time, and upon the
3 completion of the questions of the Prosecution, whom I'm sure you have
4 met before this morning, the Defence attorneys, who are seated on your
5 left and in two rows and who represent the two accused, who are also in
6 the courtroom, will have questions for you as part of the
7 cross-examination. This cross-examination gives the Defence counsel the
8 opportunity to verify the statements of the witness or to clarify certain
9 elements of the background which may throw additional light and support
10 to the position of the Defence, and you will see that their questions
11 will be quite different from those put to you by the Prosecution.
12 Upon the completion of this stage, the Prosecution may have some
13 additional questions for you.
14 The three Judges, seated directly in front of you, may ask you
15 questions at any stage of the proceedings, but the Judges prefer to wait
16 until the end of the three previous stages - that is, the
17 examination-in-chief, cross-examination, re-examination - to put their
18 questions to you, because frequently the questions that the Judges may
19 have in mind may be put by either of the parties, so there's no point for
20 the Judges to intervene, so it is better to allow the parties to go
21 first. And if the Judges need further clarification or certain areas
22 that are unclear, they will have questions for you.
23 As you know -- no, you don't know, but I wish to let you know
24 that the procedure is basically an oral procedure. Sometimes it is
25 complemented with written documents which are produced during the
1 testimony of a witness. But as the procedure is mainly oral, what is
2 crucial are the answers given by the witness to questions put to him.
3 Hence the importance of the answers that you are going to give. Try and
4 be precise and concise at the same time.
5 If you don't remember something, as the events took place more
6 than ten days ago [as interpreted] and one's memory may fail one, please
7 let us know f a question appears to be complicated or confused, then ask
8 the person asking you the question to rephrase it. It is very important
9 for you to understand the meaning of a question. So if you don't
10 understand it, ask the party to reformulate it in an understandable
12 I have two other points to draw your attention to: You have made
13 the solemn declaration to tell the whole truth, which excludes the
14 possibility of false testimony, because as you know, false testimony is
15 an offence which can be sanctioned; there is another provision that
16 certainly won't apply to you but which I need to refer to, is that should
17 a witness be asked a question that could incriminate him, he may refuse
18 to answer it. Should that occur, as envisaged in a number of countries,
19 common-law and civil-law countries, the witness may refuse to answer. In
20 that very particular case, the Chamber may compel the witness to answer;
21 however, at the same time the Chamber guarantees the witness a type of
23 So in very general terms, that would be the way in which these
24 proceedings will evolve. I wanted to tell you in advance so that your
25 hearing and testimony may take place under the best possible conditions.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Mr. Mundis, as you are alone, I assume you will start with the
3 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Examined by Mr. Mundis:
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Torping.
6 A. Good morning.
7 Q. You told the Chamber that you are a retired lieutenant colonel in
8 the Swedish Army. Can you please tell us from the time you joined the
9 Swedish Army until the time of your retirement the various positions and
10 assignments that you held in the Swedish Army, with particular emphasis
11 on international deployments.
12 A. Okay. I started my military service as a conscript, as all male
13 Swedes did at that time, 1962. I was promoted second lieutenant
14 colonel -- second lieutenant after officer's training in 1965. In the
15 beginning I served with my regiment, which is an armoured regiment,
16 training soldiers and conscripts officers. After that, I have been
17 instructor in war academy, military staff college for becoming officers,
18 cadets, as well as young officers. I've also been corps commander for
19 armoured corps of two years.
20 My military international experience started when I passed the
21 Nordic training for military observers in Finland, 1984, and then I left
22 for the Middle East, where I -- in Israel in the organisation UNTSO,
23 United Nations Troop Supervision Organisation. Was military observer for
24 one year in the area of Golan and south of Lebanon.
25 1989 to 1991, one and a half years, I was chief of the observer
1 group of UNTSO on Golan, stationed in Damascus, also with some tasks in
2 south of Lebanon and Beirut.
3 1992, I was selected being a monitor of the European Commission
4 Monitor Mission, one of the Swedes there, and I had some additional
5 training in the Swedish UN centre before going to December to Zagreb, and
6 then I stayed for three months with ECMM as a monitor, all time in Bosnia
7 except one week in Split.
8 My next international commitment was when I was chief of the
9 observer group in UNTSO, both sides of Golan area for one year, 1995 to
10 1996. When I was chief of this observer group, I had a lot of liaison
11 duties with the other UN forces, UNDOF, as well as both Israeli and
12 Syrian as well as Lebanese military authorities.
13 My last international task was to be a chief instructor of an
14 observer course in Germany with Bundeswehr 1997, when I was for one and a
15 half months in Hammelburg, the German UN centre, training, becoming
16 military observers from different countries of Europe.
17 Q. Sir, you told us about being an ECMM monitor in late 1992, early
18 1993. Other than that experience, did you have any deployments in Bosnia
19 and Herzegovina?
20 A. Yes. After returning home spring 1993 - I really forgot it - I
21 became a member of the becoming 1st Nordic Battalion, the training of the
22 1st Nordic Battalion belonging to UNPROFOR in spring and summer 1993, and
23 I was the senior liaison officer to this Nordic Battalion of UNPROFOR in
24 September 1993 to April 1994. That battalion had its main area of
25 responsibility in the Tuzla region.
1 Q. Thank you, Mr. Torping. I'd like to focus your attention now on
2 the ECMM deployment. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what type of
3 specific briefings regarding the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina you
4 received prior to that deployment.
5 A. There was some strange in here -- okay.
6 Before going to former Yugoslavia, I, like other becoming
7 monitors - we were two at that time, going together - we received a lot
8 of information briefings concerning the situation in former Yugoslavia in
9 the UN training centre in Sweden in Almnas. We didn't know at that time
10 to which part of former Yugoslavia we should go, if it was Croatia,
11 Bosnia, or Serbia, or whatever; so we had a general briefing. But we
12 were informed of the military situation as long it was known, the
13 political situation, the social situation, also the ethnical situation.
14 So I think I had a rather good, general impression of the situation as
16 When we came to the HQ of ECMM in Zagreb, we got additional and
17 the latest news concerning the situation during -- I think it was two,
18 two and a half day of different briefings.
19 Q. Where did you go following the briefing at the headquarters of
20 ECMM in Zagreb?
21 A. After these approximately three days in Zagreb, I left for Split,
22 because I was supposed to be stationed with the Regional Centre Split.
23 And in Split I stayed for an additional three, four days, getting more
24 detailed information, briefings concerning the situation in the area of
25 responsibility for Regional Centre Split and Regional Centre Split area
1 of responsibility was that part of Bosnia controlled by the Bosnian
2 government and -- yeah, I think so.
3 Q. Mr. --
4 A. I also got briefings concerning the SOPs, standard operating
5 procedures, of ECMM and the staff work of Regional Centre Split. So I
6 was acquainted with the terrain as such.
7 Q. Mr. Torping, what date did you arrive in Split?
8 A. It was just before Christmas eve, if it was 22nd or 23rd -- 22nd,
9 I think, December 1992.
10 Q. And how long did you remain in Split?
11 A. I arrived in Zenica, which was the next station, 27th of
12 December, so it should be four or five days.
13 Q. At the time you arrived in Zenica, was there an ECMM regional
14 centre established in Zenica?
15 A. No. The only presence of ECMM in Central Bosnia in the Zenica
16 region, that was Team Zenica, consisting of two monitors, one of them
17 team leader. And this time it was Jim Guilford, a Canadian officer. And
18 I replaced another monitor who was to go home. Additionally, there was
19 another ECMM driver, a non-commissioned driver from the French forces.
20 And then we had some local interpreters, but that was all of ECMM
21 presence in Zenica region.
22 Q. So I take it, then, from your answer that the regional centre
23 Zenica was established some time after your arrival and you reported to
24 RC Split.
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. How long did you remain in the Central Bosnia region on this
3 A. I spent my three months with ECMM in Central Bosnia, but it was
4 in two parts. The first part was from 27th of December to 1st of
5 February, when I left going back to Split for the leave. And at that
6 time I didn't know if I should return to Team Zenica or some other
7 activities in Zenica. After two weeks, one week leave plus some staff
8 work in Regional Centre Split, I was ordered to go back to Zenica, and I
9 returned to Zenica, I think, the 17th of February.
10 Q. And again, which year was that, sir?
11 A. 1993.
12 Q. Following this return on 17 February 1993, how long did you
13 remain in Zenica?
14 A. I remained in Zenica to the end of my tour with ECMM, and that
15 was -- I think I left Zenica 28th, maybe 27th of March, 1993, going via
16 Split back to Zagreb and then home to Sweden.
17 Q. During the entire time period that you were in Zenica - again, I
18 understand you were out of Zenica for two weeks in February - but during
19 the period from late December 1992 until the end of March 1993, what was
20 the area of responsibility that your team monitored?
21 A. The area of responsibility for our team in the beginning and then
22 for the UN commission -- sorry, not UN commission but becoming regional
23 centre of Zenica was the Central Bosnia controlled by Bosnian government.
24 That means the region, Zenica, east to Kladanj, Visoko, south, Kiseljak,
25 Konjic, direction west, including Gornji Vakuf; direction north, Tesanj,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 and as far possible to go to the front line to the Bosnian Serbs, north
2 of Travnik. Travnik also, and Grude belonged to our area of
3 responsibility, but north of that area. The Bosnian Serbs had control
4 and we couldn't go into that direction because then we were fired at.
5 Q. Mr. Torping, you've mentioned the Bosnian Serbs. Can you tell us
6 what other parties were active in the area that you monitored during the
7 time period you were there.
8 A. Well, in the area of our responsibility, we have the HVO, the
9 military organisation of the Bosnian Croats; we had their HQ in Vitez.
10 Of course, as a monitor, we didn't only monitor the military situation
11 but also the political situation, the social, economical, even ethnical
12 situation, so we had also interest in having contacts with the political
13 organisations. I am referring in that case, concerning the Bosnian
14 Croats, to HDZ.
15 Q. Other than the Croat military organisation and political parties,
16 what other groups were in the area that you monitored?
17 A. Except HVO, from the military point of view, it was the BiH army.
18 Also there were some small organisations on the Croat -- Bosnian Croat
19 side, HOS, very limited but existing.
20 Q. Mr. Torping, which unit or units of the BiH army were in the area
21 you monitored?
22 A. Concerning BiH army, the unit of control of that area was
23 3rd Corps BiH army.
24 Q. Sir, can you tell us a little bit about the first, say, week to
25 two weeks that you were in Bosnia. What efforts were undertaken to
1 introduce you to the key leaders in the area that you monitored?
2 A. I can say that my first impression was that situation inside the
3 area was rather calm. We, the team, had a large area and we were just
4 two persons, two monitors, one vehicle. So it was a huge area to know.
5 I was by the team leader introduced to, had meetings with 2nd Corps, of
6 course, with HVO, with the mayor of -- sorry, 2nd Corps -- I meant 3rd
7 Corps, of course -- with the mayor of Zenica. Also I met the Serb
8 Orthodox priest in Zenica, as well as Roman Catholic priest in Zenica,
9 and also we had a meeting with the imam or the representative of the
10 imam in Zenica. Also we had meetings with the local Red Cross of Zenica,
11 and I met the chief of police in Zenica, who provided a national or a
12 civilian national ID card to us, which we never used.
13 Q. You told us you met with -- or you had meetings with the
14 3rd Corps. Do you recall whom in the 3rd Corps you met with during the
15 first, say, two weeks of your deployment to Bosnia?
16 A. As a matter of fact, I think it was the second or maybe the third
17 day of -- after my arrival in Zenica. We had a meeting with Selmo
18 Cikotic, and he was the liaison officer of 3rd Corps. Also he spoke very
19 good English compared to many others.
20 Q. Other than the liaison officer, with whom did you meet?
21 A. Other than the commanders, local commanders and commanders
22 different levels. What I can remember now, it was just another liaison
23 officer -- I can't remember his name exactly, Husic or something like
24 that. And he didn't speak too good English, but Selmo, he was definitely
25 much, much better.
1 Q. You told us that you met with local commanders and commanders at
2 different levels. How senior were the leaders that you met with in the
3 3rd Corps?
4 A. After some days - I don't remember exactly the date, if it was
5 the 6th or something like that January - a meeting was organised by Selmo
6 with commander 3rd Corps, Mr. -- at that time Mr. Hadzihasanovic, and it
7 was, so to say, a social meeting in that way that he should know us or
8 should know me and I should know him, and we discussed in general the
9 situation or so. If his deputy, Mr. Merdan, was present at that time, I
10 can't remember.
11 Also I would say I had a meeting with the local HVO commander in
12 Zenica. He was said to be a brigade commander.
13 Q. Do you recall that individual's name?
14 A. I have it in my notes. And if I hear a name, I should remember
15 it. But sorry, I can't remember it myself now.
16 Q. Mr. Torping, throughout the period that you were in Central
17 Bosnia on this ECMM deployment, approximately how many times did you have
18 any type of meeting or direct exchange with Mr. Hadzihasanovic?
19 A. Six or seven times.
20 Q. And throughout the period that you were in Central Bosnia on this
21 ECMM deployment, approximately how many times did you have any type of
22 meeting or exchange with Mr. Merdan?
23 A. In the beginning, it was not too often, but later on, when the
24 joint commission was formed, he became a member of this joint commission,
25 and I met him, I would say, every day because we worked rather tight
1 together in this joint commission, he and the Bosnian -- other Bosnian
2 officers, as well as the HVO officers, Mr. Nakic, me myself and my other
3 monitor. So in the later part every day.
4 Q. I'll ask you some questions about the joint commission in just a
5 few moments. Before I do that, however, I'd like to ask you a little bit
6 about overall responsibilities and duties that you had, particularly in
7 the time period until you went on leave in early February, that is, from
8 your arrival through the month of January 1993. What were your primary
9 duties and responsibilities?
10 A. I as a member of this team - we were two - had a responsibility
11 to supervise, to monitor the situation - as I said earlier, militarily,
12 politically, socially, from ethnical point of view and also from a
13 humanitarian point of view. We had a lot of cooperation with UNHCR as
14 well as some cooperation with ICRC. We reported to Regional Centre Split
15 every evening, and we felt our responsibility was to know the area, the
16 situation, and when possible try to help in solving problems between the
18 Q. Mr. Torping, you've told us that you met with a number of
19 political leaders as well as military leaders. Do you recall some of the
20 political leaders that you met in the area that you monitored?
21 A. I had a meeting with the mayor, Besim Spahic I think was his
22 name. We discussed the situation, and also he, like other local leaders,
23 passed to us the needs of the society, for the population, concerning
24 food, medical care, and so on.
25 Q. If I could ask a clarification question. You mentioned a meeting
1 with the mayor, whose name you think was Besim Spahic.
2 A. Mm-hm.
3 Q. Do you remember what town or village or city he was the mayor of?
4 A. He was the mayor of Zenica.
5 Q. Other than the mayor of Zenica, did you meet with any other
6 mayors or political leaders?
7 A. Yes. When we were in different areas, we normally met the
8 military local commanders, as well as the political leaders. And, for
9 example, we were in Zavidovici in the at the. We met the brigade
10 commander of BiH army at that area as well as the local leader, which --
11 whose name I have forgotten.
12 Another important area was, of course, the Bosnian
13 Croat-dominated Vitez area, and we had some meetings with the mayor of
14 Vitez, who was also, he said, the local commander of the Territorial
15 Defence of Vitez. He was a person -- I forgot the name, but I remember
16 he spoke rather good German, and that meant that we could communicate in
17 German directly. Normally we used our interpreters. We had four
18 interpreters, one on duty each day. And more or less all communication
19 with others than this mayor was in, what I say, Serbo-Croat language,
20 which I can't understand, so -- as well as Jim Guilford and the other
21 monitors didn't understand it either. So we had to rely on our own local
23 Q. Mr. Torping, do you recall any of the subject matters of the
24 discussion that you had with the mayor of Vitez?
25 A. Yes, I remember that rather clear. A meeting was requested and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 we went for Vitez from Zenica, but when we came to Vitez to meet him, he
2 wasn't there. He had left for Travnik for some reason. We left also for
3 Travnik where we met him in the local HVO place in Travnik, and he said
4 he was very concerned because there were, according to his opinion, a lot
5 of Mujahedin fighters. He said -- he mentioned a figure of approximately
6 2.000. We had heard earlier - but I don't recall exactly from whom -
7 that there could be some Mujahedin fighters, but he was the one pointing
8 out more strongly these accusations.
9 Q. Mr. Torping, if I could briefly interrupt. Do you recall
10 approximately when this meeting was with the mayor of Vitez, the
11 approximate date?
12 A. Sometime mid-January, but I don't remember exact date if I don't
13 look in my notes.
14 Q. And again, that would be 1993?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Do you recall whether or not he gave you some additional
17 information about the location of these foreign fighters that he told you
19 A. Yeah. He said not exactly but could be in Travnik -- could be
20 east of Zenica, it could be north of Vitez. And after ending the meeting
21 with him, we went around in Travnik trying to find -- to see ourselves if
22 there were any trace and to find some military HQ where we could check
23 the situation, and we found the building where soldiers went in, so we
24 followed some soldiers into this building in the centre of Travnik and
25 went up one or two floors. We met some soldier. He asked what we were
1 doing, and -- via the interpreter -- and then came a person, and he
2 presented him as a commander or instruction officer, and we passed a
3 question to him and looked around ourselves if there were some Mujahedin
4 fighters or foreign fighters. He stated that there were no foreign
5 fighters; it was just Bosnians in the brigade, and he stated it was part
6 of the 7th Muslimanski Brigade.
7 Q. Do you recall the name of the individual you spoke to?
8 A. No. And he didn't want to present himself and I got the general
9 opinion he was not too happy seeing us in that building, but he didn't
10 force us out. But he didn't want to have any long discussion, but he
11 stated no foreign fighters were hidden in his unit.
12 Q. And again, for purposes of identification, he identified himself
13 as the commander or instruction officer?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you recall what he was wearing?
16 A. Not exactly, but he was dressed like most other BiH soldiers.
17 What I can remember, he had no badge, because we looked at the badges
18 here. It was one of the few ways to try to identify different units, but
19 he had no one. But there were a lot of soldiers having no badges and so
20 on, and they had no ranks at all during this time.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, for the record, when the witness
22 indicated "here," he was pointing to his left shoulder -- upper shoulder
23 on his jacket.
24 Q. Now, Mr. Torping, in addition to this meeting or encounter, if
25 you will, in this building in Travnik, what steps did you take, if any,
1 to verify or to ascertain additional information concerning these foreign
2 fighters with other people in the 3rd Corps?
3 A. Later when we met corps commander 3rd Corps, I brought up this
4 matter, and the answer was, "There are no foreign fighters with
5 3rd Corps. It's only local Bosnian soldiers." And this statement I got
6 in other situations from other persons also; among others, from
7 Mr. Merdan, but others too.
8 Q. Do you recall approximately how many times you raised this issue
9 with leaders of the 3rd Corps?
10 A. It's difficult to say, but I would say maybe five times.
11 Q. And, sir, when you say "later when we met corps commander
12 3rd Corps I brought up this matter," whom were you referring to?
13 A. I was referring to the commander 3rd Corps, Mr. Hadzihasanovic.
14 Q. Let me now turn to the joint commission that you mentioned
15 earlier. What was the formal name of the joint commission that you
16 referred to?
17 A. The first name, I think it was 28th of January, we were ordered
18 by the head Regional Centre Split to form a Joint Commission for
19 Cease-fire, and that was cease-fire between BiH army and HVO because of
20 the fighting in the area mainly around or north and west of Busovaca.
21 Q. Can you tell us a little bit more information about how this
22 joint commission in Busovaca was established.
23 A. In the beginning, it was the Team Zenica getting this task, and
24 we organised ourselves in the neighbourhood of the Dutch-Belge transport
25 battalion location in Busovaca, and we got members from both BiH army and
1 HVO in Central Bosnia to participate in this joint commission. And the
2 idea was that we should together try to, when happens -- happenings came,
3 solve the problem locally and calm down the feelings and -- the hostile
4 feelings between, for example, different villages, Croat village, Muslim
5 villages shooting to each other.
6 Q. Sir, you told us that there were members from both BiH army and
7 HVO in Central Bosnia participating in this joint commission. Do you
8 recall the names of the individuals from those two parties who regularly
9 attended these commission meetings?
10 A. From 3rd Corps, Mr. Merdan, the deputy, was participating; and
11 from HVO Central Bosnia, it was Mr. Nakic. He was also the deputy or
12 Chief of Staff HVO Central Bosnia. So it was to our opinion high-ranking
13 members of the two parties, which we considered very positive.
14 Q. Was this joint commission up and running before you went on your
15 leave in early February 1993?
16 A. Yes. As far as I remember, it was organised 28th and some day --
17 and we had, so to say, regular meetings each day -- some day two, days
18 after - I don't remember exactly - there were some information. It was a
19 very tense situation in some village or between some villages, I think,
20 in north-west of Busovaca, and we left for this area. We were supported
21 because of it was rather dangerous going around among shooting people --
22 we were supported by the Danish HQ company of UNPROFOR in Kiseljak with
23 an armoured personnel carrier, an APC, and we left, Mr. Merdan,
24 Mr. Nakic, me myself and another monitor, to go directly to this village,
25 and the first one we came to was a Bosnian Croat village, and we tried to
1 find out what was going on. We couldn't find any actual fighting. It
2 was mainly rumours or people were very afraid of the other side should
3 attack them and so on. It was when these Bosnian Croat members of the
4 village - and they were at the same time members, some males, of the HVO,
5 the local HVO militia - when they found out it was a BiH army member,
6 they were very critical, hostile, and they didn't want us to go.
7 Mr. Nakic, from their own side, HVO, he had a lot of work trying
8 to convince them that it was a good solution and we tried to solve the
9 problems. And we came out without any problem. But definitely, the two
10 sides - in this case the Bosnian Croat side - were very, very hostile
11 too, afraid of the other side.
12 Q. Mr. Torping, if I could again interrupt you. Let me take you to
13 the time after you returned from your leave. Do you recall the
14 approximate date you returned to Central Bosnia?
15 A. I returned the 17th of February, and at that situation I was
16 supposed to be a staff member of the becoming RC Zenica, so I started
17 working with some staff matters, but also I took part in the activities
18 in the field by the joint commission, because we were short of manpower.
19 Q. Can you tell us how your responsibilities changed with respect to
20 the joint commission after your return from leave.
21 A. Yes. If I go back slightly. The first chairman of the joint
22 commission was an English monitor, Jeremy Fleming. After a while, he was
23 replaced when he went for leave, I think, by a Dutch monitor, Kees van
24 der Pluijm. But the 24th of February we got the message that I was from
25 25th of February to become the new chairman of the Joint Commission of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Busovaca, which was the name at that time.
2 Q. And again, what exactly did the joint commission do in this
3 period of late February and into March 1993?
4 A. In general, we had the same tasks as earlier. We met every
5 morning in Busovaca in the beginning, then we moved to Vitez afterwards,
6 to inform each other of the situation and where there were hot spots and
7 where it was necessary to be present, take action, and so on. So we
8 were, so to say, an organisation supposed to work ad hoc when needs came
9 up, which it did.
10 Q. How were the parties to these joint commissions, how did they
11 travel to the joint commission meetings?
12 A. At this time, the joint commission consisted of the ECMM parts,
13 normally two monitors; and from BiH army, Mr. Merdan, plus two other
14 3rd Corps Staff officers. From HVO, Mr. Nakic remained, and he had also
15 two staff officers from HVO HQ in Vitez. So we were totally
16 approximately eight, plus the driver and so on. And concerning the
17 transports, the situation was that we had our place, our small HQ, in
18 Busovaca next to this Dutch-Belge transport battalion. This was inside
19 HVO-controlled area. And because of that I had to arrange - either
20 myself driving or another monitor - to collect the BiH army
21 representatives, Mr. Merdan and two others, each morning and transport
22 them to Busovaca, and the same when the work ended in the evening; we
23 transported them back to Zenica. And normally the contact point was next
24 to 3rd Corps HQ.
25 Q. So, again, for clarification, you would pick them up --
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. -- next to the 3rd Corps HQ and return them to that same
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. You mentioned two BiH staff members who were members of the
6 commission and accompanied Mr. Merdan. Do you remember the names of
7 those two individuals?
8 A. One was Mr. Veser [phoen] and the other Mr. Sefer -- Sifir --
9 Sefat [phoen], I think. And he was replaced in the end of my tour by
10 another one. I have forgotten the name.
11 Q. Were these two individuals that accompanied Mr. Merdan junior to
12 Mr. Merdan or senior to Mr. Merdan?
13 A. They were junior concerning duty, because he was the deputy of
14 the corps. He was the head of the BiH army representatives in this joint
16 Q. You told us that the pick-up point was next to the 3rd Corps
17 headquarters. Can you please tell us where the 3rd Corps headquarters
18 was located.
19 A. The 3rd Corps HQ was located next to the big steel factory in
20 Zenica in the northern part of the city in a building which I believe
21 belonged to or had belonged to the steel factory earlier. It was a
22 building for, if I say so, administrative matters normally, I think.
23 Q. Were you ever inside the 3rd Corps headquarters building?
24 A. Each time we had a meeting, me and my teammate - we were always
25 two - we had it inside. When we met Mr. Hadzihasanovic, we met inside
1 the building, normally I think all times in the room where
2 Mr. Hadzihasanovic worked normally.
3 Q. Now, sir, you've told us that on approximately six occasions you
4 met with Mr. Hadzihasanovic. Do you recall some of the subject matters
5 that were discussed with him at those meetings?
6 A. Yes. I think after the first introduction, if I call it like
7 that, one serious matter we had a meeting - it could have been
8 mid-January - was that HVO, chief of HVO, Tihomir Blaskic, had threatened
9 to shell Zenica if 3rd Corps reinforced their forces in the area north
10 Busovaca-Vitez. And he threatened, so to say, to shell the town if this
11 reinforcement continued and was not stopped.
12 Q. Do you recall any other subjects that you discussed with
13 Mr. Hadzihasanovic?
14 A. Another subject was -- and that was, as a matter of fact, just
15 after, when we, the team, was contacted by the local HVO HDZ in Zenica,
16 and they told us that four -- sorry, 14 Bosnian Croats in three villages
17 east of Busovaca had been captured and after that killed by Muslim
18 forces. And the corpses had been brought to the hospital of Zenica and
19 some relatives, refugees, had been brought by bus to Zenica, where they
20 were accommodated by relatives and other Bosnian Croat families.
21 And now the HDZ HVO wanted us to help in clarifying the situation
22 and most important, to organise and transport these refugees to Vitez,
23 which they thought were more secure for these people. And this matter we
24 discussed with Mr. Hadzihasanovic in his HQ.
25 Q. Mr. Torping, of these approximately six meetings that you had
1 with Mr. Hadzihasanovic, were all of these professional meetings or were
2 any of them or could any of them be characterised as social events?
3 A. As a matter of fact, at least one -- or I would say one was a
4 typical social event because of -- I think it was the 6th of March, we,
5 the joint commission -- or the ECMM part of the joint commission, as
6 well, of course, as the BiH army part of the joint commission, we were
7 invited to a dinner hosted by corps commander 3rd Corps in a dining hall
8 next to the HQ 3rd Corps. And we were offered good food, something to
9 drink, and it was a nice, friendly atmosphere.
10 Later in the evening, we were invited by the corps commander to
11 visit the underground part of 3rd Corps building where corps commander
12 showed us what we -- what I should call was command central, with
13 capacity for staff work and so on, as well as communication and so on.
14 That was what I understand the command post for commander 3rd Corps when
15 he, so to say, commanded and controlled his forces.
16 Q. Mr. Torping, let me again ask you some questions by way of
17 clarification. You've told us this was on the 6th of March. Again, what
18 year was that, sir?
19 A. 1993.
20 Q. Can you please tell us approximately how many ECMM personnel were
21 present at this dinner and then accompanied you to this command post.
22 A. I think we were -- I think we were three. It was me myself; it
23 was monitor Canadian Brad Koski; and I think Danish monitor Erik
24 Friis-Pedersen was with too. I'm not sure, but I think he was with. Of
25 course, we had our interpreters with too, because we have to use them for
1 communication, even concerning the social part of the life.
2 Q. Can you tell us a little bit about what the purpose of this
3 dinner was, and, if you know, why you were then taken to this command
4 post following the dinner.
5 A. My impression was that 3rd Corps wanted to build up and keep a
6 good atmosphere, relation with us as ECMM members. If it was because
7 commander 3rd Corps believed that this joint commission had a positive
8 effect on the situation or not, I do not know, but I think it was to
9 create a good, positive working climate and maybe an understanding from
10 our point to the situation of the Bosnian side 3rd Corps, and also the
11 situation of the area of Zenica, controlled by Bosnian government.
12 Q. Can you --
13 A. Also, maybe this -- because you asked about the visit
14 underground -- maybe it was a way to show that the corps commander had
15 some resources for his job to command and control the forces; compared to
16 in the beginning the first meetings when we were briefed of the situation
17 I got the opinion that the corps commander, his point of view was that
18 the resources totally were very limited for 3rd Corps and he had maybe
19 problems in totally controlling all parts all the. I don't know, because
20 I got the impression 3rd Corps had very limited resources for
21 communication in the beginning. Maybe now they had better, in early
22 March, better resources as such. And we saw a lot of radios, not
23 familiar to me, because it was former Yugoslavian radios or Russian type,
24 I do not know. But it was a lot of radios. And as a matter of fact, I
25 saw a fax too at that situation. We saw a lot of maps, of course covered
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 so we couldn't see the actual situation. But it gave me an impression of
2 a professional place for command and control of a commander of a corps.
3 Q. Can you tell us approximately how large this room was?
4 A. My opinion is, but I'm not sure exactly, but let's say 5 or 7
5 metres square, 10 or 15, something like that. Let's say 6 square 12,
6 something like that. It was a rather large room, and it was said to be
7 proof for shelling.
8 Q. When you say "it was said to be proof for shelling," who told you
9 that and what does that mean?
10 A. I don't remember exactly who told me. Maybe it was Mr. Merdan,
11 because often he and I, we walked together talking, okay, through the
12 interpreter. Concerning shelling, I presume he meant -- or who said it
13 meant there could be some auxiliary shelling of that area, which happened
14 from time to time, not too often, but it happened.
15 Q. Do you recall if this underground command post had windows?
16 A. No. My impression is there were no windows. My impression is it
17 was underground, but I didn't check this specifically.
18 Q. Approximately how long were you in this command post?
19 A. I would believe ten minutes perhaps; maybe 15, I don't know. But
20 it was a not a long stay, but it was not rushed, so we could go around
21 and look and talk about different things.
22 Q. You also told us that you saw a fax at this location. On how
23 many occasions did you ever send any kind of faxes to the 3rd Corps
25 A. In the beginning, before my leave in Split, I never used fax. I
1 didn't know they had eventually fax. I don't know if they had it.
2 Afterwards at least once I used fax. I would say it was not used too
3 often, because we, the ECMM, didn't have a fax, so I used the fax of the
4 UNHCR office when I faxed to 3rd Corps.
5 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber about the status of land-line
6 telephones within the area that you monitored.
7 A. My impression is that inside the Zenica region - and with that I
8 mean down to Kiseljak, down to Visoko, up north to Tesanj - the PTT that
9 worked often -- not always, definitely not always -- inside the Zenica
10 area. The city of Zenica and the villages around, it worked more often,
11 but definitely not every time. And when we were to phone, for instance,
12 3rd Corps, we knew that we needed to be prepared if the phone didn't work
13 to go with a message by car to HQ 3rd Corps. So it was no efficient
14 communication means to us or to others using the PTT net. That was what
15 they said in the hotel where we were accommodated, as well as UNHCR told
17 Concerning communication to, for instance, Sarajevo, our opinion,
18 because the information was that there were no PTT line at all there were
19 no possibility to phone with normal telephone to or from Sarajevo.
20 Q. Other than this communication equipment that you saw in the
21 underground command post, were you aware of any other communications
22 systems or means of communication that the senior leadership of the
23 3rd Corps had at their disposal?
24 A. I didn't see any equipment myself. I know that at some occasion
25 Mr. Merdan told me that Mr. Hadzihasanovic was called to some meeting
1 with supreme commanders in Sarajevo. And I asked how he could get it,
2 because according to my belief there was no possibility to use the land
3 line, the PTT. So I asked if they had other means of communication, for
4 instance, satellite phones. He -- Mr. Merdan said no, they didn't have,
5 but they had some means of communication by air. What that was he didn't
6 say, or he didn't want to say and he didn't say it. And this was, if I
7 say so, in January 1993.
8 Q. At any point later in your deployment or even into the subsequent
9 NordBat deployment, did anyone from 3rd Corps ever provide you with any
10 kind of telephone numbers that you could use?
11 A. As a matter of fact, when I was senior liaison officer in NordBat
12 in 1993/1994, occasionally I saw Mr. Hadzihasanovic and some other
13 high-ranking BiH army commanders in Hotel Tuzla, which I visited because
14 I had some matters with the ECMM in Tuzla, having their HQ in this
15 building. And at that time I went to Mr. Hadzihasanovic and said hello
16 and said that -- presented myself via the interpreter that I had this
17 situation with senior liaison officer in NordBat in Tuzla region. Also I
18 said I had intention to go to Zenica to visit 3rd Corps because we had
19 some liaison needs. And I got from Mr. Hadzihasanovic - at that time
20 General Hadzihasanovic - or through some adjutant to him a satellite
21 telephone number so I could call 3rd Corps to arrange this meeting.
22 Q. And, sir, did you ever attempt to communicate with 3rd Corps via
23 this phone number that you were provided?
24 A. I did so, but it didn't work. If I did it only once or twice,
25 I'm not sure, but it didn't work, so I used another means of
1 communication through the UNPROFOR lines, via BritBat, to come in contact
2 with the 3rd Corps, which worked.
3 Q. Now, sir, based on your encountered and meetings with
4 General Hadzihasanovic, were you able to form any kind of an opinion as
5 to his military professionalism?
6 A. Yes. I think I got an opinion - if it's correct or not, not too
7 easy to say - but my impression of General Hadzihasanovic was that he was
8 as a commander 3rd Corps a professional officer. He was calm. He never
9 became irritated or surprised when we had meetings and we passed
10 informations or questions. He always kept a balanced manner. He gave
11 the impression of being in control of the situation, or at least he
12 didn't want to show us he wasn't. He had in general a positive
13 appearance to us. He never used any hard words, at least what we heard
14 through the interpreter. But I think it was no hard words; it should, I
15 think, have been seen in his face. A very professional, balanced
16 officer, having control of the situation. That's my short opinion.
17 Q. Thank you, sir. I'd like to turn now to your second deployment
18 to Bosnia. You told us earlier that following the ECMM deployment you
19 returned to your regiment. Do you recall approximately when you received
20 information or orders that you would be redeploying to Bosnia?
21 A. My regiment -- and the brigade commander of that regiment, it's a
22 special organisation in Sweden, got the orders to organise the 1st Nordic
23 Battalion in April 1993, just after I had returned from Bosnia. And the
24 preparations started with staff work, and that means that when I returned
25 and got some leave, I was involved in these preparations from, I would
1 say, early May. At that time, we didn't know to which part of the former
2 Yugoslavia this battalion should go, and this battalion consisted of the
3 main part Swedish and the Danish tank company. It was supported by a
4 Norwegian field hospital and the Norwegian helicopter unit too. But we
5 started the preparation, the training of the officers in May. And I took
6 part, of course, in that because I had some experience of at least
7 Central Bosnia and the situation there.
8 Q. Sir, when did you find out where you would be going in Bosnia for
9 this second deployment?
10 A. I think it was -- I don't know exactly, but in early August. Up
11 to then, we didn't know, and UNPROFOR most probably hadn't decided.
12 Q. And where was the battalion that you were assigned to stationed
13 when you did in fact deploy?
14 A. Sorry, I didn't catch your question exactly.
15 Q. When your battalion did deploy to Bosnia, where did you go?
16 A. Okay. We went to the Tuzla region, and the battalion was
17 deployed with the HQ company in what we called the factory building,
18 west-south-west of Tuzla, north of Zavidovici, with one company next to
19 the Tuzla air field south of it, with one company up to Srebrenik,
20 north-north-west of Tuzla; and with one company to the Vares area,
21 deployed in some fabric building just east of Vares.
22 Q. Sir, when you say "fabric building," do you -- can you elaborate
23 on what that was, if you know.
24 A. Well, I may be not using the right word. I mean an industrial
25 building. It was some industry. I don't know exactly what they had done
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 earlier, but it was closed down, and it was located on the road from
2 Vares, direction east, after having passed through a rather long tunnel.
3 Q. Sir, who was the commander of the Nordic Battalion that you
4 deployed with?
5 A. The commander of the Nordic Battalion was Colonel Ulf Henricsson,
6 who was normally the brigade commander of the training brigade of my
8 Q. And, sir, what was the time period that you were deployed with
9 NordBat in the Tuzla region?
10 A. That was in September. We -- part of the battalion HQ, with the
11 commander of course, made a recce tour some days before, and then we left
12 with the battalion from Denmark, where we had the final training in a
13 training area in the south-west of Denmark, and we went by car on the
14 road all the way through Hungary and via the place -- or base next to
15 Belgrade. So we came into our area of responsibility via Zvornik.
16 Q. When did you arrive in Tuzla?
17 A. Sorry, I've forgotten the date. I have it in my notes.
18 Q. What's the approximate month and year?
19 A. That was in, I would say, late September.
20 Q. How long were you in the Tuzla area?
21 A. I stayed with the battalion up to mid-April 1994.
22 Q. And, sir, when you say you arrived in late September, was the
23 full Nordic Battalion deployed and on the ground in the region by late
24 September 1993?
25 A. No. It was not. We had some problems in deploying all of the
1 battalion, especially the Danish tank company didn't arrive until spring
2 1994 because the Serbian government didn't allow the company to go via
3 Serbia, via Bosnian-Serb-held territory in Zvornik. So they had after
4 months in Serbia to go another way, to Venice and then by boat to Split,
5 and then by road from Split up to Tuzla. So they stayed most of that
6 time waiting, waiting, waiting for coming to the deployment area.
7 Q. Mr. Torping, can you briefly tell us, first of all, where you
8 physically, you yourself personally, were physically stationed and what
9 your duties were as a senior liaison officer during this NordBat
11 A. I was a part of the battalion HQ, and I was accommodated together
12 with the other staff officers in this, what we called the factory
13 building. My normal place for work were around, meeting different parts.
14 And my tasks were to have liaison with the 2nd Corps BiH army, also with
15 the different operational groups under the command of 2nd Corps, also
16 with the HVO units existing. There was some brigade unit from HVO in the
17 Tuzla region under the control, they said, of commander 3rd Corps --
18 sorry, commander 2nd Corps.
19 Also, I had the responsibility to have normal contacts with the
20 political establishment in Tuzla region, mainly the mayor of Tuzla,
21 Mr. Beslagic. Also with the president of the regional government. I've
22 forgotten his name, but the contacts with him were very few.
23 Also, I maintained some contacts with the different religious
24 leaders in Tuzla region, especially to mention is that we tried to have a
25 contact with the remaining part of the Serb Orthodox Church in Tuzla
1 region. The bishop, he had left, but there were a contact person or some
2 contact persons.
3 Also, I had the responsibility for normal liaison with the other
4 international organisations in this area: UNHCR, with all of their
5 different non-governmental organisations, as well as with ICRC, having an
6 office in Tuzla.
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. Torping.
8 A. As a matter of fact, also I had some contacts with different
9 mayors of other cities, for instance in Zavidovici, because there were
10 some troubles from time to time there. Okay.
11 Q. Thank you, Mr. Torping.
12 MR. MUNDIS: I note the time, Mr. President.
13 Just for Your Honours and for the Defence, I note that I will
14 take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete the examination.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. It is half past
16 10.00. We shall resume around five to 11.00. Thank you.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.58 a.m.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you may continue.
20 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 And for the record, as the witness was returning, he attempted to
22 speak to me before I could tell him to stop and the usher could put him
23 in the booth.
24 Q. Witness, I apologise for that, but as I explained to you
25 yesterday, once you've taken the declaration, neither party is allowed to
1 speak with you. But I will give you the opportunity, if there was -- if
2 what you wanted to say was to clarify a previous answer, I will certainly
3 give you the opportunity to do that right now.
4 A. Okay. I just wanted to say, because I clarified my memory with
5 my notes. The battalion arrived late September 1993 to Tuzla region,
6 namely the 30th of September. Thank you.
7 Q. Witness, you told us immediately before the break that you in
8 your capacity as senior legal officer with NordBat met with the commander
9 of the 2nd Corps of the Bosnian army. Do you recall the name of that
11 A. I just have to say I was senior liaison officer, not legal
13 Q. Sorry.
14 A. The name of commander 2nd Corps at that time was Hazim Sadic.
15 Q. Mr. Torping, you've also told us that one of the NordBat
16 companies was in Vares. Do you know which corps of the ABiH, the Army of
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina, had responsibility for Vares?
18 A. As a matter of fact, we didn't know exactly. There were some
19 different opinions. And I can't give an exact answer because of that.
20 But it was in the area between 2nd and 3rd Corps. Our opinion was that
21 it was 2nd Corps responsibility. But to say also is that concerning the
22 HVO organisation, the HVO brigade in Vares, according to our information,
23 was under the command and hopefully control of HVO commander Central
24 Bosnia, Blaskic. So it was not an exact situation concerning the
25 different borders, according to our opinion.
1 Q. Mr. Torping, do you recall if you had any discussions with any
2 senior Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina military leaders about this issue?
3 A. As far as I remember, when we first time had a meeting with corps
4 commander of 2nd Corps, we informed about our deployment, also the
5 company in the Vares area, and then we discussed this matter. And I
6 think I got that answer that it was more or less 2nd Corps
7 responsibility, but I'm not remembering the wording exactly.
8 Q. Mr. Torping, you also told us shortly before the break about HVO
9 units that were part of the 2nd Corps; is that correct?
10 A. That's correct. It was a brigade or what was called a brigade,
11 HVO brigade, in the -- sorry, in the Tuzla area, and that was under the
12 control of 2nd Corps BiH army.
13 Also, I would say maybe that the Chief of Staff 2nd Corps at that
14 time was a Bosnian Croat, Maka [phoen].
15 Q. Mr. Torping, if you know, can you explain to the Trial Chamber
16 why it was that the 2nd Corps had HVO units within it.
17 A. I think the situation in North-East Bosnia, the Tuzla region, as
18 we called it, was not the same ethnically, politically, as in Central
20 In the north-east part, the Tuzla region, the Bosnian Croats were
21 much fewer, according to our opinion and knowledge, compared to in
22 Central Bosnia. They were weaker, and because of that they didn't
23 believe they had a chance to be as independent, if I call it independent,
24 as in Central Bosnia with the Bosnian Croat-dominated, Vitez, and so on.
25 They were in the Tuzla region more loyal to the Bosnian government and
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the 2nd Corps because of the real situation in that region. That's our
2 opinion in NordBat.
3 Q. Mr. Torping, I'd like to draw your attention to the first few
4 days of November 1993. During the first few days of that month, can you
5 tell us about any discussions or communications you had with the
6 commander of the 2nd Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 A. This was, I think, the 6th or maybe 8th of November. And in the
8 Vares area, there were fighting and the situation was not clear at all.
9 I was in the Tuzla region. The battalion commander, Colonel Henricsson
10 himself, was in the Vares area. I was called by CO 2nd Corps, and he
11 passed a demand or a wish. He wanted NorBat to redeploy from its present
12 deployment to the area between 2nd Corps and 3rd Corps to, as he
13 expressed it, try to stop the looting of 7th Muslimanski Brigade, which
14 according to information we had was a part definitely of 3rd Corps, and
15 fighting in the area of Vares and east of Vares.
16 Q. Let me attempt to clarify one thing that you've said earlier,
17 sir. At this point in time you were not in Vares.
18 A. Not personally, no.
19 Q. Okay. You told us that the 7th Muslim or Muslimanski Brigade, as
20 you put it, was definitely part of 3rd Corps. How do you know that?
21 A. How, I don't know exactly. It was stated that it was a part of
22 3rd Corps; I can't recall why. I presume that was information from
23 8th Company, our battalion in Vares, but also we had that information in
24 the BH command, UNPROFOR documents concerning fighting factions,
25 different units, and since long 7th Muslimanski Brigade was told to be a
1 part the mobile unit of 3rd Corps. That's the reason I stated it was a
2 part of 3rd Corps.
3 Q. Mr. Torping, during the time you had previously been in Central
4 Bosnia, that is, when you were an ECMM monitor in the first few months of
5 1993, what corps did the 7th Muslim Brigade belong to then?
6 A. It belonged, according to our opinion in the ECMM and Team
7 Zenica, to 3rd Corps.
8 Q. Sir, you told us a moment ago that the 7th Muslim Brigade was a
9 part of the mobile unit of 3rd Corps. What does that mean?
10 A. I believe the part of 3rd Corps which was mobile. I would say
11 that most of BiH army units, both during my ECMM period but also when I
12 was with NorBat, were, if I call it, Territorial Defence units deployed
13 normally along the front line between Bosnian-government- controlled area
14 and by Bosnian-Serb-controlled area. Then they had part of the units
15 home; for instance, a brigade in Zavidovici had a part of the frontier,
16 and they sent soldiers maybe weekly or monthly to the front and replaced
17 the other ones in that brigade.
18 But our opinion concerning 7th Muslimanski Brigade was that that
19 brigade didn't have any own part of the front against the Bosnian Serbs;
20 it was a unit possible to use where and when needed, and it consisted of
21 several battalions recruited in different parts of Central Bosnia. There
22 was a part in Zenica, a part in Travnik, a part, I think, in Kladanj, et
23 cetera, et cetera.
24 Q. Mr. Torping, you told us a few moments ago about this discussion
25 you had in November with the commander of the 2nd Corps. Do you recall
1 asking him the basis of the information he was relaying to you or how he
2 knew this information?
3 A. No, I didn't. I presumed if he passed this information and this
4 wish, he had, so to say, sufficient information. I didn't ask him in
5 what way he had got it and so on. No.
6 Q. Sir, what did you do with that information you received from the
7 2nd Corps ABiH commander?
8 A. I passed this information by radio to the battalion commander
9 down in Vares, and he was in the middle of it. He said - and it was a
10 real mess in Vares and east of violations of the -- Vares - and he said
11 there were no possibilities for NorBat to redeploy immediately and to
12 solve this situation.
13 Q. Sir, I'd like to return now to the final few questions I'd like
14 to ask you. After this event in Vares, did you have any other
15 communication with anyone from the 3rd Corps of the ABiH?
16 A. Yes. As a matter of fact, referring to what I said earlier
17 concerning I got the telephone number from General Hadzihasanovic in
18 Hotel Tuzla, that was just some days after these events, if I remember
19 correctly. And after that I had two visits during the rest of my tour in
20 Zenica to cooperate and have liaison with the 3rd Corps, as well as I met
21 Colonel Blaskic in HVO HQ in Vitez, because of -- we had the Vares area,
22 which was under the control of HVO Central Bosnia.
23 Q. Mr. Torping, on these occasions or at this occasion in Hotel
24 Tuzla, do you recall what you spoke to General Hadzihasanovic about?
25 A. It was a very short, if I -- I shouldn't call it a meeting, but
1 we met. I said hello and presented myself as being now the senior
2 liaison officer to NorBat, and also I said I had the intention to visit
3 3rd Corps in Zenica, among others, or mainly because of we could have
4 some interest in the Vares area where we had a company and most probably
5 3rd Corps had the responsibility from BiH army point of view. But I
6 don't remember exactly the wording of that.
7 And as I said earlier, General Hadzihasanovic gave a positive
8 appearance and said yes, and to arrange this meeting he passed to me this
9 telephone number for what I understood was a satellite telephone. Then I
10 left because -- I saw the president, Izetbegovic, was appearing and I
11 think I had no reason to remain there when high-ranking Bosnian
12 personalities were gathering.
13 Q. So is it clear from your answer, sir, that President Izetbegovic
14 arrived at the Hotel Tuzla while you were present?
15 A. He was in the hotel, and I think I saw him coming down some
16 stairs. So this was in the lobby ground floor. Obviously he had been
17 some floor up before.
18 Also, the major, Mr. Beslagic, came at the same time. If they
19 had had some meeting or not, I do not know.
20 Q. Shortly after this event in Tuzla, did you have any further
21 contact with senior leadership of the 3rd Corps of the Army of
23 A. Yes. I tried to use this telephone number to arrange with this
24 meeting, and it didn't work, as I said earlier. So I tried to arrange a
25 contact via UNPROFOR BritBat in Vitez, and it succeeded. So me myself,
1 as well as the company commander of 8th Company, Major Hakan Birger -
2 some other also was present - we left for Zenica and had a meeting in
3 Zenica with General Hadzihasanovic -- no, with at that time the CO of
4 3rd Corps, Mr. - or was it General at that time, I don't know - Alagic.
5 Also at that time in the HQ building, when we had the meeting
6 with Mr. Alagic -- or sorry, General Alagic, General Hadzihasanovic
7 entered that room, so we met him there too in his function as Chief of
8 Staff, I understand. Chief of Staff, BiH army.
9 Q. And, sir, do you recall the approximate date you had this meeting
10 with General Alagic?
11 A. If I don't remember wrong, it was in the beginning of December.
12 But sorry, I do not have the date in my head. I have it in my papers.
13 Q. And again, Mr. Torping, what year would that be?
14 A. 1993.
15 Q. Do you recall any of the topics of conversation with General
16 Alagic at this meeting in the beginning of December 1993?
17 A. Yes. Because that was the first time we - me myself and the
18 company commander of Vares NorBat - met him. We presented ourselves, and
19 the deployment of NorBat and said that we had an interest of having a
20 calm situation in that area, which obviously at this situation -- in the
21 situation was controlled by 3rd Corps. And what I remember, what he said
22 was that there will be no problem in that area. Yeah, that was what we
24 I think when that had been said -- I'm not sure exactly, but I
25 think in this phase of the meeting General Hadzihasanovic entered the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 room. And then came some social talk of that -- because of that.
2 Q. Two last questions, sir: Where was this meeting held?
3 A. It was held in the HQ building 3rd Corps, and that room which --
4 what I understood was the room of commander 3rd Corps. I believe it was
5 the same room as we had had meetings with Mr. Hadzihasanovic earlier, but
6 I'm not exactly clear of that. But it was in that building and in the
7 room of CO 2nd -- sorry, 3rd Corps.
8 Q. And finally, sir, just to clarify: This meeting that you had
9 with General Alagic, you said that you discussed having an interest in
10 having a calm situation in that area. What area were you referring to?
11 A. The area of Vares, which was of common interest to us, NorBat,
12 and to 3rd Corps. The Vares area.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Torping.
14 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions,
15 Mr. President.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As the
17 examination-in-chief is over, I give the floor to the Defence for the
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Colonel Torping. We met already
22 yesterday, and I wish to thank you for giving representatives of the
23 Defence a chance to discuss the events which you could be a witness and
24 which happened during your mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 For the record, I will introduce myself once again. I am Edina
1 Residovic, and I am Defence counsel for General Hadzihasanovic. I will
2 have a few questions for you in connection with the topics and events
3 that you were asked about by my learned friend.
4 After some training, you arrived in Zenica on the 26th or 27th of
5 December, 1992; is that right?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. At the time in the area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European
8 Monitoring Mission had three teams: One deployed in Tuzla; another one
9 in Zenica; and a third in Tomislavgrad. Is that right?
10 A. That's correct, concerning this area of course. There were
11 others in Knin, et cetera.
12 Q. I'm talking about Bosnia and Herzegovina now.
13 All three teams were actually subordinated to the regional centre
14 located in Split in a neighbouring state, that is, the Republic of
15 Croatia. Is that right?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Answering a question from my learned friend, you told us that
18 your area of responsibility or where you performed your mission was very
19 large, going in the north from Konjic, Tarcin, Kiseljak, Breza, Kakanj,
20 Maglaj, Tesanj; in the west Turbe and Travnik; and south as far as Gornji
21 Vakuf, including Vitez, Busovaca, Fojnica, Visoko, and Tomislavgrad. Is
22 that right? Was that your area?
23 A. That was correct, except not Tomislavgrad. That was that other
24 team in Tomislavgrad.
25 Q. Is my understanding right that your area in the north and in the
1 west and partially in the east was delineated by the confrontation lines
2 between the Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Army of
3 Republika Srpska?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Upon your arrival in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you knew, Colonel,
6 that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina was the legitimate armed force of
7 the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which had already become a member of
8 the United Nations. Were you aware of that?
9 A. Yes, I was.
10 Q. As you have told us, during your mission, from the 25th of March
11 in 1993, you didn't have occasion to go into the area under the control
12 of the VRS because the VRS would not allow European monitors to perform
13 their mission in territory under their control; is that right?
14 A. I would say that we in Team Zenica couldn't come into -- or
15 penetrate the line of confrontation. We were not accepted on the other
16 side. They shot at us. If there were other teams in the territory of
17 the Bosnian Serbs, I'm not exactly sure, but there were no other teams
18 near the confrontation line on the Bosnian Serb side; that's correct.
19 Q. Thank you, Colonel. You have already described in detail that as
20 members of the European mission you were interested in grasping the
21 social, political, and security situation in the area and that for that
22 reason from the very beginning you established contact with the civilian,
23 political, religious, and military officers in the area. Is that right?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. You have described in detail all the meetings that you had, and
1 you met the commander of the 3rd Corps at the beginning of January 1993;
2 is that right?
3 A. That's correct. I think 3rd of January.
4 Q. From the first meeting you had with the officers and commander of
5 the 3rd Corps, you were able to note that the 3rd Corps and the Army of
6 Bosnia and Herzegovina have an extremely positive attitude towards the
7 Monitoring Mission and immediately expressed their willingness to
8 cooperate; is that right?
9 A. They expressed directly willingness to cooperate and a positive
10 attitude to us. That's our opinion, yes.
11 Q. In those days, because of the seriousness of the situation and
12 the need to fully perform your function, towards the end of February the
13 regional centre that was responsible for the territory of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina was formed in Zenica, and its first leader was the French
15 diplomat Jean-Pierre Thebault; is that right?
16 A. That's correct. Ambassador Thebault.
17 Q. Thank you. You have already said that in executing your duties
18 you would frequently be in the field together with representatives of the
19 army and HVO, and you were able to see on the ground how the Army of
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina was organised; is that right?
21 A. It's right from that point of view that when the joint commission
22 was organised, we in the commission including BiH army and HVO
23 representatives were going together in the field. Before that, the
24 team -- the team leader and me myself and then with another monitor -- we
25 went around in the field and we got some impression of the situation.
1 Definitely. Yes.
2 Q. You said that when you arrived in Zenica, in your judgement the
3 situation was quite peaceful. However, is it right, Colonel, that
4 shortly after that, that is, sometime in mid-January, there were open
5 conflicts between the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Croatian
6 Defence Council in the areas of Novi Travnik, Gornji Vakuf, and Busovaca?
7 A. That's correct. And I would say in the Gornji Vakuf area it
8 started slightly before the problems - if I call them problems - came to
9 the Busovaca area. The Gornji Vakuf area were more tense earlier than
10 the other areas you mentioned.
11 Q. As soon as you became aware of armed conflicts in Gornji Vakuf,
12 you attempted to get in touch with the command of the 3rd Corps and to
13 learn from them what they could do; however, your impression from that
14 period was that the 3rd Corps Command had very poor links and knew very
15 little about what was happening in Gornji Vakuf and that the army units
16 in Gornji Vakuf were relatively independent in their combat operations.
17 Was that what you learnt?
18 A. I would express it like this: We understood, me and my teammate,
19 that the possibilities to get the information from Gornji Vakuf were
20 slightly limited and maybe it was some difficulties for the commander of
21 3rd Corps to directly get orders to the sub-commanders. But we were not
22 too sure of this situation. In general, it seemed very complicated and
23 difficult situation. So I can't state that there were very limited
24 resources, but I can accept the wording "limited resources." Definitely,
25 yes. It was not an easy situation for the corps commander 3rd Corps, I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
2 Q. What you could see while observing members of the BiH army and
3 comparing them with the Croatian Defence Council was that they were not
4 as well equipped, that not all the troops had weapons, that some soldiers
5 didn't have uniforms or had only parts of the uniforms. So your
6 conclusion was that the HVO at that point in time was stronger than the
7 BiH army. Would that be correct?
8 A. I would say the word "stronger" I am not sure. But they -- the
9 separate units gave an impression being better dressed, better equipped,
10 and better managed. If the conclusion of that totally is, they - HVO -
11 was stronger than 2nd -- sorry, 3rd Corps, I have no opinion.
12 Q. I am not going to ask you about the Joint Busovaca Commission,
13 because you have spoken in great detail about its position,
14 establishment, and tasks. However, I wish to ask you the following: Is
15 it correct that when you went on field missions together with the Deputy
16 Commander Merdan, you could see that local commanders wanted to be
17 independent in their combat operations and they were reluctant in obeying
18 commands from their superiors and that very often Deputy Merdan took a
19 lot of time and effort in order to convince local commanders to obey
20 orders? Would that be the knowledge that you got from the personal
21 contacts that you had?
22 A. Yes. In general, I would say that the problems we faced often
23 was passing through checkpoints. I had believed when we had a
24 high-ranking 3rd Corps representative, the deputy, as well as Chief of
25 Staff HVO Central Bosnia, it shouldn't be too difficult to pass the
1 checkpoints. But we had often problems.
2 And of course when we should pass the checkpoint manned by a unit
3 of the 3rd Corps and we were not allowed immediately to pass, I asked
4 Mr. Merdan to explain to them the situation and, if possible, order them
5 to open the checkpoint. And what I could understand and see, he really
6 tried hard to do so. Sometimes he succeeded; sometimes not. And that
7 gave me the impression that local commanders, different levels, were not
8 too happy to obey orders from their own higher ranking officers. Why
9 could be discussed; it's to say that sometimes we got the answer when I
10 asked the interpreter what the local commander said, they said, "We can't
11 contact our commander. And without our commander's admission, you can't
12 pass, even if it's some high-ranking person from above."
13 They gave the impression of trying to be, as you mentioned,
14 independent. It was not easy to convince them that this was the order of
15 the high levels of 3rd Corps.
16 What is to say also is that Mr. Merdan had, as no one in BiH army
17 at that time, what I understand, no ranks. They had just a badge stating
18 they belonged to BiH army, the governmental army. He had no
19 identification card as well as was the situation for HVO, no
20 identification cards either. So it was not too easy, maybe, for a local
21 commander if he didn't recognise the face of this person, to believe this
22 is a high-level officer. And this was a practical part.
23 But definitely it was difficult and I think Mr. Merdan did what
24 he could do to convince them that it was an activity definitely accepted
25 by and supported by the corps commander 3rd Corps.
1 Q. You have already stated that Commander Hadzihasanovic and his
2 deputy, Merdan, were professional, good soldiers and that they did what
3 they could do in such situations. Would you agree with me that it was
4 the period of time when they did their utmost to discipline the troops
5 and to create a professional army; however, that the chain of command at
6 that time was not fully established and that for that reason you
7 encountered the problems that you have just described to us?
8 A. I'm not in the situation I can judge if they did their utmost to
9 discipline their units, so I can't answer that question in that way. I
10 can say that there were no indications, as far as I could see, when I met
11 Mr. Hadzihasanovic and when I worked together with Mr. Merdan, that they
12 should ignore these parts of the command. But I was not in that position
13 I could judge so generally as you expressed it. I understand they had a
14 difficult task in a difficult situation, yes.
15 Q. Thank you. You have also said that in your conversation with
16 Commander Hadzihasanovic you had the impression - or at least this is the
17 impression that he wanted to create - was that he was in control of the
18 situation, that he had the upper hand. Would you agree with me that it
19 would be normal for a commander to try and create an impression that he
20 controlled the situation because he is aware that this fact would have an
21 impact on you in your position, as well as on representatives of other
22 international organisations, and that the word would spread?
23 Also, this impression that he controlled the situation was
24 important for him because of his main mission and the message that this
25 would convey to the enemy. And even if he hadn't controlled the
1 situation, he wanted to convey this message that he did have the upper
2 hand. Would that be a normal role that a commander would wish to play,
3 as far as you understand it?
4 A. In general, I think that's a normal way. I would add maybe that
5 my impression is that Mr. Hadzihasanovic in the later part of my period
6 gave more the impression of controlling the situation compared to the
7 first part, the first weeks of my tour. If that depends on that the
8 situation for 3rd Corps improved during this period of three months or
9 not, I do not know.
10 Q. In answering my learned friend's questions, you spoke about
11 several occasions when you get by -- got by some information and you
12 wanted to check this information. The first such case was the
13 information that you had received from the mayor of Vitez, a Bosnian
14 Croat. According to him, there were 2.000 Mujahedins in the area. Is it
15 true, Colonel, that you paid a visit not only to this army unit in
16 Travnik but that you also went to other areas mentioned by the mayor;
17 meaning the areas north of Vitez, and then you went to the areas east of
18 Zenica? You wanted to locate these Mujahedins, however, you could not
19 get hold of any evidence about the presence of Mujahedins in the 3rd
20 Corps units.
21 A. That is correct. And I can say that I -- after the visit to
22 Travnik, we - I think the next day - left for checking the area east of
23 Zenica, east of the river, and also had some short discussions with UNHCR
24 if they had seen something, and there were no real information. It was
25 only that, some few rumours. And we checked part of the area east of
1 Zenica, didn't find anything. We returned to Zenica, and then we dove to
2 the area north of Vitez, where this Bosnian Croat mayor of Vitez had
3 pointed out it should be a lot of Mujahedin fighters. We drove a lot,
4 for a long distance, until we came what we believed near the
5 confrontation-line area, where we met a position of BH army people and we
6 asked them, and they said there were no foreign fighters, no Mujahedin.
7 They belonged to the unit of the 7th Muslimanski Brigade, and they didn't
8 allow us to go further because they said it was dangerous and, as a
9 matter of fact, we said we can go ourselves, but they didn't allow us,
10 and we returned. But we during this period didn't find any evidence of
11 any, if I say so, real foreign fighters, Mujahedin, in 3rd Corps area.
12 Q. Let me just repeat, Colonel Torping. You raised this issue with
13 Commander Hadzihasanovic and then with Mr. Merdan and other officers.
14 All of them and all the foot soldiers clearly told you that there were no
15 Mujahedins in any of the units of the 3rd Corps. Is that correct?
16 A. Concerning the foot soldiers, I don't know. But concerning the
17 officers, Mr. Hadzihasanovic, Mr. Merdan, and other commanders, they
18 stated there were no foreign soldiers in 3rd Corps; it was just, as they
19 said, local Bosnian soldiers.
20 Concerning the foot soldiers, we didn't discuss with them too
21 much and we didn't get any real answer concerning this matter.
22 Q. Thank you. I thought that in Travnik and north of Vitez you had
23 spoken with some soldiers who told you the same. Maybe I didn't
24 understand you correctly. Did you indeed say that these soldiers told
25 you that there were no foreigners amongst them?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Okay. You are referring maybe when -- to the situation when we
2 drove from Vitez direction north towards the confrontation line to this
3 BiH position. It was a platoon or something like that. We talked to
4 what I believe was the local commander, and he said there were no foreign
5 soldiers in the units there. But if that complied [sic] to all of
6 3rd Corps, I don't know. But in that area he stated "no foreign
8 Q. Thank you. When describing a meeting that you had with Commander
9 Hadzihasanovic, you told us that at that meeting you discussed a threat
10 issued by Colonel Blaskic that he would shell Zenica if the Army of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina continued to reinforce its troops. Do you
12 remember that particular meeting and that particular conversation?
13 A. I think it was mid-January, maybe 15th, 17th of January, and it
14 was a message from HVO Colonel Blaskic that they, HVO, should shell
15 Zenica; that means the town, or city of Zenica, I presume. If the
16 reinforcement of BiH army units, 3rd Corps, of course, in the area north
17 of Busovaca and Vitez, I presume, continued to increase, because the
18 opinion of HVO - and I think that was correct - was that the units of 3rd
19 Corps had increased in that area. And this was a response obviously
20 from HVO. And that matter we discussed with Mr. Hadzihasanovic.
21 Q. I have just consulted your statement, and I can see that this
22 conversation took place on the 25th of January. Would that be correct?
23 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
24 Q. Is it correct that two days later you heard shelling from the
25 direction of Busovaca to the south-west of Zenica?
1 A. Well, if the day is 25th, in my statement that is correct, yes.
2 Concerning the shelling, it happened -- if it was one or two days
3 after, I don't remember exactly, but just after. And that we were the
4 Team Zenica in Zenica and we heard in the morning - I think it was around
5 11.00 - approximately 20 explosions, and we found out with our experience
6 it should be explosions of shells, and that the sound of these explosions
7 was in direction south, direction Busovaca from Zenica. From where these
8 shells were shot, we couldn't find out at all, but the shelling was south
9 of Zenica, direction Busovaca, and that could be a connection to this
10 threat from Blaskic soldiers. We don't know.
11 Q. According to what you know, there really was fighting going on in
12 that area, and given the sound of shelling, you could have concluded that
13 there was fighting in that area; is that correct?
14 A. At that exact time, that day, I didn't know if there was some
15 fighting in that direction, south of the city of Zenica. But I was not
16 astonished and because the shelling, I believed, there were some
17 fighting, yes.
18 Q. Looking at your statement, I can see that on that same day you
19 were invited by the HVO from Zenica and you were told that allegedly in
20 three villages east of Busovaca 14 Croats had been killed and that they
21 were transported to the hospital in Zenica and that their friends and
22 families, people who had left the area, were also in Zenica and they
23 asked for assistance with their transportation to Vitez. Is that what
24 you said in your statement?
25 A. I said approximately that, but it was so that the local HDZ HVO
1 in Zenica phoned us and told us that there had been 14 Croats, Bosnian
2 Croats, captured and after that killed in three villages, no names given,
3 small villages east of Busovaca, and that the corpses were transported to
4 the hospital of Zenica and these people from HDZ HVO wanted us to go to
5 the hospital to control the condition of the corpses. Also, they said
6 that some relatives to these killed persons, refugees at present, had
7 left -- had had to leave the villages and were transported to Zenica, and
8 it was approximately one load -- bus load. And they were at present
9 accommodated with Bosnian Croat friends and relatives in Zenica, but they
10 wanted these refugees to be transported safely out of Zenica as fast as
11 possible to Vitez, and that was the subject for a meeting with the corps
12 commander 3rd Corps that day.
13 Q. The reason for which you spoke to Commander Hadzihasanovic was to
14 ask for the 3rd Corps assistance in transporting these families safely to
15 Vitez and in burying the bodies of those people who had been killed; is
16 that correct?
17 A. It's correct that we presented the problem and said that it's
18 needed for safe transport of these people to Zenica -- sorry, from
19 Zenica to Vitez, as well as decent burial of the corpses, because that
20 was what the HDZ HVO had asked for. That's correct.
21 Q. However, during your conversation with Commander Hadzihasanovic,
22 you never told him what the HDZ told you about the alleged killing of
23 these people. You never told him where these people were allegedly
24 killed. The only thing you mentioned was that you needed his assistance
25 with the transportation of these families and the burial of the bodies.
1 Is that correct?
2 A. I gave the story that they were killed. I didn't know the names
3 of the villages, so I couldn't pass it to corps commander. And the most
4 important thing in this situation was to solve the problem with the
5 refugees. That's correct. So that was what I, we, concentrated on.
6 Q. The commander provided you with all the requested assistance. He
7 only asked you to inspect these people before they left to see whether
8 they had any arms on them. This was indeed done, and these people left
9 Zenica safely, after having been inspected for arms.
10 A. That's not exactly correct, but in reality, yes. The corps
11 commander was positive for the transport of these people to Vitez; no
12 problem with that. But he said that they could have some weapons and
13 because of that it was needed to check this. And he said, if I remember
14 correctly, that 3rd Corps military police can check that. I said that
15 they were very afraid, these people, and if they had some weapons and
16 3rd Corps military police should come and check them, it could be very
17 hostile and they were very afraid. And then corps commander, what I can
18 remember, said, "Okay, then we can combine a military police patrol of
19 both 3rd Corps military police and some HVO military police from the HVO
20 brigade in Zenica. " And that was to me a good solution. So I said I
21 will pass this to HDZ HVO as well as I passed it to ICRC.
22 Also, when I passed it, I said the day after, because it was
23 late, we, the team, should go to the hospital to check the bodies,
24 because the HDZ HVO stated it could be so they were mutilated or
25 something like that. But the next day we got another order creating a
1 joint commission, so we never had the time, chance, to go to the
2 hospital. And what I understand concerning the transport to Vitez, it
3 worked; otherwise, I'd have got some report concerning that. So I think
4 it worked without any complaints. But I do not know. I didn't get a
5 report stating that. Okay.
6 Q. When talking to Commander Hadzihasanovic, you told him that you
7 had been provided with this information by the HDZ, that the bodies were
8 in the hospital; however, you didn't tell him what your intentions were.
9 You didn't tell him what you were going to do next during that
10 conversation that you had with him.
11 A. That's correct. Because I didn't at that time knew exactly what
12 the next step should be.
13 Q. Although you remained there up to the 25th of March with a 15-day
14 break, you remained in Zenica; that is, your numerous tasks prevented you
15 from returning and re-addressing that issue and from checking whether the
16 events unfolded in the way you were told by the HDZ. In other words, you
17 did not spend any time investigating this incident.
18 A. That's correct. I didn't do it myself, because of the day after
19 this situation, we in Zenica was ordered to form a joint commission for
20 cease-fire, and that was organised with representatives of the BiH army,
21 Mr. Merdan, and HVO, Mr. Nakic. And I believe, as a matter of fact, one
22 of the issues at the meeting - which could be the 28th or 29th of
23 January, 1993, I don't remember exactly - was we discussed this matter.
24 And if I remember correctly we found out together, including the HVO
25 members, that this matter was not of highest priority compared to other
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 matters to deal with in that situation.
2 Q. As far as you can remember, during that meeting and at the
3 request of the HVO, Mr. Merdan provided a certain report about the
4 information that the army had as to what was going on in the area and how
5 the persons mentioned were killed. Do you remember that?
6 A. No, sorry, I do not know. But it could also be so that I was
7 personally not present all time of this meeting. I had some other matter
8 also. So maybe my teammate in this commission was chairing that part. I
9 do not know. But that report was never mentioned to me. I have no idea
10 of it.
11 Q. Even though the cease-fire agreement concluded at the end of
12 January had envisaged freedom of movement, in answer to questions from my
13 learned friend you said that you transported Deputy Merdan and other
14 officers of the 3rd Corps on a daily basis from Zenica, who had come to
15 attend joint commission meetings. Is it right that during your tour of
16 duty members of the Armija did not have freedom of movement through the
17 areas controlled by the HVO?
18 A. That's my opinion, and definitely it was not safe for members of
19 BiH army in the joint commission to go themselves into the area of
20 Busovaca, which was HVO-controlled. That was not safe. So we had to
21 protect them by this transportation service. And I would say the same
22 when we were out in the terrain; we normally used either Danish armoured
23 personnel carriers, as I described before the break, or British armoured
24 personnel carriers to provide security to the members of the joint
25 commission when we were in HVO-held area for the BiH part, and vice
2 Q. You mentioned an incident arousing dissatisfaction by members of
3 the HVO when they saw that a member of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 was in your vehicle and when Mr. Nakic had to invest a great deal of
5 effort to avoid an incident from breaking out.
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. In the course of your sojourn in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you are
8 aware that the Bosniak population was expelled in large numbers from
9 Kiseljak and Busovaca and in order to have the people returned to their
10 homes, you had a meeting with Dario Kordic; is that right?
11 A. I had a meeting with Mr. Kordic, yes. That was one of the
12 subjects. There were other subjects too. That's correct.
13 Q. Your proposal was that the local authorities assist in repairing
14 houses so that people could go back to their homes, and Dario Kordic told
15 you on that occasion that they would repair the houses of Bosnian Croats
16 but not those of Bosnian Muslims, because those who had been expelled
17 should not come back. Is that what you learnt during that meeting?
18 A. I don't remember exact wording, but that's the general message,
19 yes. Mr. Kordic was not positive at all for repatriation of Bosnian
20 Muslim families and persons into the present HVO HDZ-held areas. That's
22 Q. In answer to a question from my learned friend, you referred to
23 one of your visits to the 3rd Corps; that is, in the former
24 administrative building of the Zenica ironworks, when Commander
25 Hadzihasanovic took you to the basement of that building and showed you
1 the communications centre and the operations centre. When you arrived in
2 the basement, were you told that these were premises built by the Zenica
3 ironworks as a nuclear shelter for that particular administrative
5 A. That, I can't remember. What I can remember is, but not the
6 wording, that it was built or it was corrected to be shellproof. But
7 what purpose, I can't remember, was given to me. No. But it could be
8 so, but I don't remember.
9 Q. You said that you saw radio stations there. Did you take a
10 closer look to see what kind of radio stations they were?
11 A. No, I didn't took a closer look because of it was a social
12 visit. I didn't want to misuse the hospitality of Mr. Hadzihasanovic.
13 Also, I am not an expert of Yugoslavian radio stations, so I couldn't get
14 too much knowledge. But I understood they were rather many and of
15 different types -- that means for different purposes.
16 Q. If I were to tell you that these were not military radio stations
17 but amateur radio stations of Kenwood and BICOM brands, would you agree
18 with me that such radio stations for such wartime conditions were not
19 reliable and they were not are reliable communications system for
21 A. I think I saw this type of stations you mentioned also, but I can
22 remember also, what I saw, some military radio stations. Concerning the
23 capacity for these stations, you mentioned for military purposes; I do
24 not know. But if they are useful for peacetime, they should have some
25 use during wartime too, I believe.
1 Q. What you saw and what you learnt from contacts with the 3rd Corps
2 could lead you to conclude that the 3rd Corps was in communication with
3 the Supreme Command, but on the basis of that information you cannot
4 testify as to the quality of the communications between the 3rd Corps and
5 subordinate brigades and units; is that right?
6 A. That's correct. I can't have any contact opinion of that, no.
7 That's correct, as you say.
8 Q. If communication with subordinate units depended on ground links,
9 then you will agree that such PTT links were often down and that they did
10 not ensure reliable communications.
11 A. That's correct. They were for us, and I presume for 3rd Corps
12 also, as others, unreliable.
13 Q. The offer of Commander Hadzihasanovic and the invitation for you
14 to visit the communications centre and the operations centre was of
15 significance to you because it was a demonstration of the confidence that
16 the corps commander had in the Monitoring Mission, as he was showing
17 premises which usually an army would keep secret; is that right?
18 A. I agree.
19 Q. The enemy forces to the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, that is,
20 the HVO, never showed you any such premises or facilities.
21 A. No.
22 Q. During your tour of duty in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a member of
23 the Monitoring Mission, there were discussions about a political
24 settlement to the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This was the period
25 when the Vance-Owen Plan was a current topic of discussion. Is that
2 A. As a matter of fact, I'm not now exactly sure of timing of the
3 Vance-Owen Plan. I haven't checked in my notes, because this was on a
4 much higher level than I worked as a monitor. So I can't answer yes or
5 no to that question.
6 Q. In response to a question from my learned friend the Prosecutor,
7 you explained why relations between the HVO in Tuzla and the BH army were
8 different than elsewhere, explaining this by the difference in the
9 situations. Would you agree with me that a certain policy of the HVO and
10 the HDZ in Central Bosnia to have full control over territories which
11 they considered to be historically theirs was also one of the reasons
12 which led to the conflict with the ABiH and the beginning of the
13 offensive against units of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Would
14 this be one of the reasons?
15 A. Yes, I think that could be one of the reasons. Definitely.
16 Q. If you can remember some details regarding the Vance-Owen Plan
17 discussions, would you agree with me that the proposals for a settlement
18 very frequently did not take into consideration the actual situation on
19 the ground, so that, too, was one of the reasons for the heightening of
20 tensions and subsequently for the conflicts in Central Bosnia.
21 A. I have to say I'm not updated enough to have an answer to that
22 question. Sorry. I can't say either yes or no. And it was not, so to
23 say, a matter for us in the Team Zenica to consider too much. We had
24 much more low-level practical problems to deal with.
25 Q. Perhaps just one more question in that area. I don't know to
1 what extent you are -- you know this. Do you know that on the 15th of
2 January the HVO issued an ultimatum to army units to place themselves
3 under command of the HVO within five days and because the units of the
4 BH army rejected this ultimatum, the HVO launched major operations in the
5 area of Donji Vakuf, Novi Travnik, and on the 25th of January also in the
6 area of Busovaca? Were you familiar with these facts at the time, or
7 perhaps subsequently did you learn about them during your mission?
8 A. That ultimatum you referred to, I can't remember I was aware of.
9 The fact that fighting started or increased 25th -- around 25th of
10 January I am aware of. But this ultimatum from HVO, I do not know
11 exactly about.
12 Q. We have already addressed this matter several times before this
13 Court. I'm just asking you whether during your time there, were you
14 aware that roads were one of the most important issues for the survival
15 of the area and that control of roads was one of the main means of
16 struggle in that period?
17 A. I am aware of -- was aware that roads and controlling the roads
18 were very important for the different parties and that from time to time
19 several roads were cut off by one of the parties, yes; with all the
20 consequences for the other it had. That's correct.
21 Q. And finally, I hope you will agree if I say that all the problems
22 emanating from the position of the HVO in forcibly implementing the
23 Vance-Owen Plan and all problems linked to the blockade of roads and
24 other problems that the population and the army in the area were
25 confronted with had a decisive impact on the tasks of the commander of
1 the 3rd Corps and he could not neglect them if he wanted to carry out his
3 A. I can agree totally in that these problems were of great
4 importance to the commander of the 3rd Corps and he could, of course, not
5 neglect them because of the task he was given to fulfil. No, he
7 Q. Thank you very much, Colonel.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I have no more questions for this
10 Thank you, Mr. President, that ends my cross-examination.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I give the floor
12 now to the other Defence team.
13 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
14 only have a few questions for today's witness.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Torping, could we go back briefly to
17 mid-January, when you visited the headquarters of the Workers Battalion
18 of the 7th Brigade. You came to the battalion headquarters unannounced;
19 is that right?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. The reason for your visit were the rumours that you had heard
22 about the presence of foreign fighters in the area.
23 A. That was the main reason. Of course, we in the team also had an
24 aim to ourselves check the situation in the Travnik-Novi Travnik-Grude
25 area, and the best way to find out was to go around looking yourself,
1 meet people, asking, talking, discussing. That's correct.
2 Q. The battalion headquarters was in the centre of town; could you
3 confirm that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. On that occasion, you spoke to the local commander of the
6 7th Brigade; is that right?
7 A. We entered this building where we saw soldiers enter, and we went
8 up to, I think, first or second floor, and we met some soldier coming out
9 of a room. He asked what we were doing. And directly afterwards came
10 another man dressed in uniform - no ranks, and so on - and he presented
11 himself as the instruction officer, the commander, of this unit which I
12 think he said was a battalion of the 7th Muslimanski Brigade, yes.
13 Q. He told you that the unit consisted exclusively of local
14 soldiers; that is, Bosnians?
15 A. Yes. We asked concerning what unit it was and if he knew
16 anything about the Mujahedin fighter, foreign fighters, and he stated
17 that his unit was a battalion or unit of 7th Muslimanski Brigade and it
18 was only Bosnian soldiers in it, no foreign fighters.
19 Q. Let us go back to the events that happened the next day, just to
20 clarify something you said on page 49. When you were in the area of
21 Northern Vitez, you came across members of the 7th Brigade and the local
22 commander you spoke to was also an officer of the 7th Brigade, wasn't he?
23 A. It was in the terrain north of Vitez, direction confrontation
24 line area, and we came to some platoon or what it was checking the road,
25 and we asked for the commander of that unit and a person came and he said
1 he was the commander. He didn't give any name and so on. He had no
2 rank, they didn't have, but he said he was the chief, the commander on
3 that spot, and that this unit belonged to the 7th Muslimanski Brigade.
4 And we asked if they had seen any Mujahedin fighters or so on, because
5 there were rumours. And he stated that there, in this unit in his area,
6 north of Vitez -- house locally it was, we didn't ask - there were no
7 foreign fighters, no Mujahedin fighters. And he also stated that we
8 couldn't go any further because then it was dangerous because of the BSA,
9 or the Bosnian Serb firing.
10 Q. Would you agree with me that the first time when you visited the
11 battalion headquarters in Travnik and again the next day you didn't find
12 any evidence of the presence of foreign fighters during your tours or
13 inspection or whatever you like to call it?
14 A. During this days, I didn't find any evidence of foreign fighters.
15 And if I understood your question correctly, during my tour, this month
16 up to March 1993, when I was in ECMM, I didn't find any evidence of
17 foreign fighters, Mujahedin fighters, in the area of 3rd Corps.
18 Q. Let us go back to the period when you came to Bosnia again as a
19 member of NordBat. At the beginning of November, you were in Tuzla.
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. And you confirm that while the military operations were ongoing
22 around Vares you didn't travel to Vares, nor were you ever in Vares?
23 A. During that period, I was not in Vares, no, because the battalion
24 commander was there and I had my tasks in the Tuzla area.
25 Q. The information that you received about problems in Vares came to
1 you from the commander of the 2nd Corps; is that right?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. After that, you got in touch with officers of NordBat in Vares
4 and they told you about the problems that they had in the town itself.
5 A. I contacted by radio the battalion commander because this was a
6 direct requisition of the help of NorBat. So he, the battalion
7 commander, Colonel Henricsson, had to take a stand concerning this, and
8 he was in the place or in the area. I passed this wish and message from
9 commander 2nd Corps and Colonel Henricsson said he was on the spot and it
10 was a mess and his judgement was that NorBat 1 Battalion could not solve
11 these problems between 2nd Corps and 3rd Corps. So the result was this
12 request was denied, which I passed to corps commander 2nd Corps.
13 Q. He confirmed that the situation in Vares was chaotic.
14 A. Yes, he did; in Vares and in the terrain east of Vares, along the
15 road, direction east.
16 Q. Did you know at that point in time that there were other units in
17 Vares in addition to the 7th Brigade, as well as several thousand
19 A. I knew there were several thousand civilians because that was the
20 population of the town. Some of them, the Bosnian Croats at this
21 situation, refugees; among others, some hundred in the camp or near the
22 camp of 2nd -- sorry, of 8th Company. I was aware of that it was not
23 only 7th Muslim Brigade which had attacked from west direction Vares and
24 east of Vares, but I didn't have any information about that and that was
25 not my interest because of the battalion commander and the information
1 officer of the battalion HQ who were on the spot dealing with these
3 Q. Thank you very much.
4 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] We have no further questions of
5 this witness. Thank you.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, have you any
7 additional questions, as it is half past 12.00 and time for the break?
8 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no -- no questions at this time
9 for the witness, Mr. President.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We're going to have
12 the break, because the Judges have some questions, and we will resume at
13 quarter to 1.00.
14 --- Recess taken at 12.27 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Judges have some questions
17 to ask you. I am going to give the floor to Judge Swart, who is going to
18 put questions to the witness.
19 Questioned by the Court:
20 JUDGE SWART: Good morning, Witness. I would like to put to you
21 firstly a few questions on the general situation during your first stay
22 in Bosnia, that is, from December 1992 until March 1993.
23 I understand you were among the first monitors from the ECMM in
24 Central Bosnia; is that right?
25 A. I don't know how many were before me, but I think there were very
1 few. And we were just two monitors in Central Bosnia totally, so it
2 could be, but I don't know, maybe three, four others before me, because
3 we had short tours of duty, three -- sorry, three months, normally.
4 JUDGE SWART: You also mentioned the name of Ambassador Thebault.
5 Was he at that time also in Zenica?
6 A. Ambassador Thebault? He became during my period the second head
7 Regional Centre Split, and he went to Zenica, I think, the Regional
8 Centre Zenica was created out of Regional Centre Split last days of
9 January, 30, 31st or something like that and then he came to Zenica some
10 days later. But I was not at that time present, because I had leave from
11 1st of February to -- I returned to Zenica 17th of February. Then he was
12 there. When he arrived personally in Zenica, I do not know.
13 JUDGE SWART: [Microphone not activated]
14 At that time, did you already have this reporting system that the
15 ECMM developed later on, a system of daily reports mentioning the
16 basic -- the most important facts of the day?
17 A. That system existed when I started, and before that, I presume,
18 in very late December 1992. So we had routine of writing down and
19 sending by CAPSAT, our means of communication, a daily report to the
20 centre. I think it should be done before 19 -- 1900 hours each day.
21 JUDGE SWART: So in these reports your main findings would also
22 be included of the period?
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 JUDGE SWART: The other question I have in this respect: In the
25 first three months of your stay, did you have contact with other
1 international organisations on a regular basis or not?
2 A. I had regular contacts with UNHCR in Zenica I would say at least
3 once a week, often depending on the situation, several meetings each
4 week. Also, but not as regularly, I had -- not me personally but the we,
5 the team, had contacts with ICRC head in Zenica.
6 JUDGE SWART: That was the International Red Cross or the local
8 A. No, ICRC, International Red Cross organisation. Concerning the
9 local Red Cross, we had an initial meeting with the head in Zenica, and
10 then I think I met him once or twice when he passed requests concerning
11 help with medicaments and so on to us. But that was not regular.
12 JUDGE SWART: Did you also have contacts with UNPROFOR, if that
13 was already there at the time?
14 A. There were no UNPROFOR in Zenica, but there was an UNPROFOR part,
15 a BH command with HQ in Kiseljak, as well as some units, the BritBat in
16 Vitez, the French unit in Kladanj, a Canadian unit in Visoko, and the
17 organisation was as such in the BH command in Kiseljak there was a
18 so-called ECLO, a liaison officer of ECMM, as a direct link to the
19 BC command, and we got information from him. We visited often Kiseljak
20 and the HQ of BC command; as well as I visited rather often, especially
21 during the later part of my tour, BritBat in Vitez, as well as I said it
22 was a Dutch-Belge transport battalion with HQ in Busovaca, and we had,
23 when we had our small HQ of the joint commission, next to this
24 Dutch-Belge battalion we had, of course, daily contacts.
25 JUDGE SWART: If you say daily contacts with UNPROFOR, you
1 probably also include daily exchange of information, or not?
2 A. That's correct.
3 JUDGE SWART: So BritBat would know what you were doing or what
4 were your findings and, on the other hand, you would know what BritBat
5 was doing and what kind of information it had.
6 A. I would say that when we had something which could, according to
7 our judgement, be interesting for BritBat, as well as Dutch-Belge
8 battalion, we passed it directly to them. We took part when we wanted in
9 the daily briefings of BritBat, getting information from them as well as
10 from Dutch-Belge battalion, and we had, I would say, nearly a daily
11 contact with the ECLO down in Kiseljak, so we got information from the
12 UNPROFOR BH command. I believe the direction of information from
13 UNPROFOR was slightly greater than in vice versa, because we didn't have
14 as much information as they had totally. But it was to me very positive,
15 open exchange of information. No problem at all with the contacts with
16 the BH command and the units in that area.
17 JUDGE SWART: Now, you told us that the Busovaca Joint Commission
18 was established and it started, if I'm correct, on the 28th of January;
19 is that correct?
20 A. Yes. But at that time, it was called, if I don't remember wrong,
21 the Joint Commission for Cease-fire. But it started in Busovaca. Then
22 it switched name during my leave period to the Joint Commission of
23 Busovaca. Sometimes it was referred to as Joint Commission of Central
24 Bosnia. There were different names, but the same commission.
25 JUDGE SWART: And was a cease-fire concluded shortly afterwards?
1 A. If I remember correctly now, the 28th of January, 1993, it was an
2 agreement between -- in Vitez between the 2nd Corps -- sorry, the
3 3rd Corps, of course, and HVO Central Bosnia of a cease-fire, as well as
4 the creation of this joint commission. So it was an agreement signed, if
5 I don't remember wrongly, of both parts.
6 JUDGE SWART: But you were a member of the commission.
7 A. Not at that time. When I left for my leave the 1st of February,
8 I left Zenica and I didn't know if I should go back after my leave to
9 Zenica or get another position, and when I returned after leave, I stayed
10 with the Regional Centre Split for some days with staff duties before
11 going back to Zenica. Then the idea was I should be an operation officer
12 of the newly created RC Zenica. But I in reality provided myself to the
13 joint commission because it was need of manpower inside that, before I
14 24th of February got the order to become the next chairman of the joint
15 commission from 25th of February.
16 JUDGE SWART: At what date did you become an active participant
17 in the commission, then? Because you said, "I then left Split beginning
18 of February." When did you return?
19 A. I returned the 17th of February to Zenica.
20 JUDGE SWART: The 17th.
21 A. But then I, so to say, was a staff member operational officer of
22 the regional centre, but cooperated very intensively with the commission.
23 JUDGE SWART: Did you have any active role to play in the
24 establishment of the commission before the 28th? Were you involved in
25 the process or not?
1 A. I was partly involved in the process, if I don't remember wrong.
2 The order of organising this joint commission for cease-fire was given
3 the 28th of January, 1993. And then I, as one of the two members of Team
4 Zenica, which was to create this joint commission ECMM part, took part,
5 of course, in the practical preparations, and also I think one of the
6 days - if it was 28th, 29th, or 30th - I was out as ECMM member together
7 with at least Mr. Merdan, Mr. Nakic to solve some local problems in some
8 village. I think that has been discussed earlier here. So I took part
9 in the practical work of the commission before I went for leave.
10 JUDGE SWART: My final question on this matter is: Were other
11 international bodies involved in creating this commission, or was the
12 ECMM the only one?
13 A. No. There were discussions briefly before the 28th on a higher
14 level than my level between ECMM and the BH command, UNPROFOR, and my
15 understanding is that the commanding officer of BritBat, Colonel Bob
16 Stewart, he took an active part in these discussions. So I would say it
17 was a joint preparation and decision by ECMM and definitely UNPROFOR, BH
19 JUDGE SWART: Would that have been reported in documents that you
20 would get normally?
21 A. Sorry?
22 JUDGE SWART: Would you get information of that negotiation
23 process from BritBat or from any ...?
24 A. The 28th of January. I have to try to recall my memory where I
25 got -- as a matter of fact, the official order came as a message from RC
1 Split, from the ECMM, that we should create this joint commission and
2 cooperate with UNPROFOR units in the area, and we had a direct contact
3 and cooperation with the Dutch-Belge transport battalion concerning
4 mainly the practical administrative matters, because we should be housed
5 in the building next to this battalion. But concerning the operational
6 part, our most important link was to the ops cell of BritBat HQ in Vitez.
7 So we got a lot of detailed information from BritBat, but also of course
8 from BH command in Kiseljak and from RC Split. But the closest link, I
9 would say, direct link was to BritBat in Vitez.
10 JUDGE SWART: Do you know by any chance - you mentioned the name
11 of Colonel Stewart as a member of UNPROFOR who was involved in
12 negotiations on a very high level, higher level than yours, on a
13 cease-fire or something - do you know who were the participants from the
14 Croatian and the Bosnian side in that process?
15 A. No, I do not have the names of these persons. Colonel Stewart,
16 he was the battalion commander in Vitez, and -- sorry, I can't give you
17 any names concerning that. Most probably it was representatives of the
18 commander 3rd Corps as well as of commander HVO Central Bosnia, Blaskic.
19 But I was not involved or informed of the details concerning these
20 initial discussions before the creation of the joint commission. As a
21 matter of fact, the team leader at that time of Team Zenica was
22 Mr. Jeremy Fleming, a British monitor, and I think he was deeply involved
23 in these discussions, but he ran that business and I ran the business on
24 the field during these days.
25 JUDGE SWART: Thank you. Now, on a very different topic: You
1 told us about your inquiries with respect to foreign fighters, Mujahedin.
2 You told us that you had raised this issue five times or that your
3 estimate of it with commanding officers of the ABiH army. And you also
4 told us that you made visits to the north of Vitez and the east of
5 Zenica. And when I was listening to you, I was wondering why this
6 enormous interest in the foreign fighters? Why do you go north of Vitez,
7 east of Zenica? Why do you raise this issue five times with the
8 high-ranking officers? What were your reasons for doing so?
9 A. The reasons were several, I would say. The first, maybe not the
10 strongest reason, was the HVO, or the Bosnian Croats, especially in Vitez
11 as well as in Travnik, raised this question and this fear of these
12 foreign, very dangerous soldiers, fighters, with, as they indicated,
13 maybe no command, no control, no normal rules of how to perform the war.
14 Also, as has been said earlier here, the Bosnian government was
15 the legal representatives of the state and, of course, 3rd Corps BiH army
16 was, so to say, the legal army.
17 If there were other armed units, formations with no control or at
18 least not enough control participating in this war, it was important to
19 us to know because we were as monitors tasked to supervise not only the
20 military but also the political situation, so it was, according to our
21 judgement, of great importance to clarify if there were some foreign
22 fighters, Mujahedin fighters, inside our area of responsibility the same
23 as 3rd Corps area of responsibility.
24 But I think, to go back to the first reason, it was a way to --
25 if we could find evidence there were no foreign fighters, it was a way to
1 calm down the situation, especially for the Bosnian Croat people and, if
2 I say so, disarm some Bosnian Croat leaders who used these rumours as
3 weapons to higher the tension in the area.
4 JUDGE SWART: When you went to north of Vitez until you couldn't
5 go further close to the front line, was there a specific reason for going
7 A. We were told that in that direction there could be Mujahedin, and
8 this was the most probable road to go to that area. So we, without
9 having any other options, checked that road. That was also the first
10 time I had a chance to look at that area of our area of responsibility,
11 but there were no exact indications there should be anything particular.
12 But it was a chance we took.
13 JUDGE SWART: Do you remember the places where you have been, or
14 is that too much to ask?
15 A. It's too much to answer if I'm just sitting here to give the
16 names. I need a map to clarify that. The only thing I can say, it was
17 Vitez, direction north or north-north-west towards the confrontation line
18 area, and it could have been maybe 10 kilometres or something like that.
19 JUDGE SWART: And who told you that you could find something
21 A. Sorry?
22 JUDGE SWART: Who told you to go there?
23 A. I think it was this Bosnian Croat mayor of Vitez with his people
24 indicating there could be Mujahedin in that direction.
25 JUDGE SWART: You also told us - and this is a different subject,
1 the last subject I would like to discuss with you - that you were
2 approached in Zenica at the end of January by members of the Croatian
3 community telling you that 14 Croats had been captured and afterwards
4 killed. That's about the words you used. Captured and killed after
5 that, you said.
6 A. Yes. That was the information we got, that they were first
7 captured and then killed. And, of course, if they are captured and
8 should be prisoners of war, you are not allowed to kill them; if they are
9 killed during combat, it's quite another thing. But according to this
10 HDZ HVO people, they said these people were captured and then killed, and
11 that should be - if it's correct, which we didn't know - a crime of war.
12 JUDGE SWART: I agree with you there. But my question is first:
13 Did you meet the person who -- or the persons who told this personally,
14 or did you get the information ...?
15 A. We was called by phone and informed of this, and this HDZ person,
16 HVO HDZ, he was both the political and some local defence commander - I
17 don't know exactly - he requested with his other comrades, Croat --
18 Bosnian Croat comrades, a meeting with us in their building where they
19 had their HDZ HVO office in Central Zenica, and we went to that place and
20 met this person eye to eye with his comrades, and they presented this
21 thing, what they said. But I didn't meet anyone or no one was presented
22 as a refugee from these villages. So it was the, so to say, HDZ people
23 in Zenica giving this information, coming with these requests.
24 JUDGE SWART: Do you remember whether they or not told how they
25 obtained the information?
1 A. No, I don't remember that. But they said that some refugees,
2 approximately a load -- a bus load from these villages, because they
3 talked about three villages, had arrived in Zenica and were accommodated
4 with friends and relatives, Croat -- Bosnian Croat friends, relatives in
5 Zenica. So I presumed they have got the information from these people,
6 but I didn't raise that question specifically.
7 JUDGE SWART: You just said that if the persons were killed after
8 being captured, that would be a very serious matter, a war crime, you
9 said. How serious did you take the information at that moment?
10 A. I took the information serious because of if it was so - I didn't
11 know - it should escalate the tense situation even more, and this was in
12 the period -- before, it was rather calm; this was maybe the start of a
13 more tense, hostile situation. So to me it was very important to
14 clarify, if possible, the situation. But even more important was to get
15 rid of the practical information, having these refugees feeling they were
16 threatened in Zenica. If they could be transported to Vitez, that should
17 be good for all parts. And that's the reason I thought this was very
18 important to deal with as fast as possible.
19 JUDGE SWART: Was that the main reason why you had a talk on the
20 same day with the commander of the 3rd Corps?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE SWART: Now, you said, when asked about this the following:
23 "I gave the story that they were killed" and then I started to discuss
24 the problem of the refugees. My question is the following: When you say
25 "I gave the story that they were killed," these 14 people, the story that
1 you heard the Croatian people, did this story also include the allegation
2 that they were killed after being captured?
3 A. Yes, that was the information I or we got; they were captured and
4 then killed.
5 JUDGE SWART: But my question is whether you told this also to
6 the commander of the 3rd Corps.
7 A. That's my opinion, I did, yes. But I do not remember exactly the
8 wording when I passed this information or when we passed it, because we
9 were always two; and who said what exactly, I do not remember.
10 JUDGE SWART: Who was the other person present?
11 A. At that time -- I am not exactly sure if it was maybe so that the
12 new monitor Kees van der Pluijm, a Dutch monitor, had arrived or not. I
13 have to see if I noticed that in my notes.
14 JUDGE SWART: But you mean anyhow the second representative from
15 the ECMM.
16 A. Yes.
17 JUDGE SWART: What was the reaction of the commander at that
18 message, of that story?
19 A. What I can remember, he was calm; he didn't react specially. And
20 I think he said he didn't know about the situation. I got the impression
21 after this talk he knew maybe not that 14 or a figure of Croats, Bosnian
22 Croats, were killed, but I got the impression he knew about the fighting,
23 if he was in just these three villages - which maybe wasn't three
24 villages, I don't know exactly - or in the Busovaca area, I do not know.
25 My impression is that when I presented this problem with the
1 refugees we concentrated on that, to try to find a practical solution for
2 that transport, and my impression is that Mr. Hadzihasanovic was positive
3 to solve -- to help to solve the problem. There were some practical
4 things concerning these people could be armed and so on. But I think we
5 found practical solutions. So it was a meet which ended in a positive
6 atmosphere, and after that I went to inform ICRC, because mainly they are
7 the organisation involved concerning refugees to be repatriated and so on
8 and so on. And I also had contacts with HDZ HVO.
9 JUDGE SWART: When you left and when the issue of the refugees
10 was settled, did you discuss the event with, if he was already present,
11 with Ambassador Thebault?
12 A. No. As far I can remember, when I met Ambassador Thebault, a lot
13 of other things had passed, so this was not too actual. But of course I
14 sent or we sent a daily report to RC Split concerning this situation, so
15 he should be -- or the HQ of RC Split should be aware of the situation.
16 JUDGE SWART: So there would be something in some report from the
17 ECMM on your conversation and on your doings that day.
18 A. Sorry?
19 JUDGE SWART: There would be, is my question, something reported,
20 in a report of the ECMM on the events that you have told us.
21 A. There should be.
22 JUDGE SWART: Your meeting with the Croats, your conversation
23 with the general.
24 A. How detailed, I don't know. But the incident or the situation,
25 I'm quite sure, was in that daily report.
1 JUDGE SWART: [Microphone not activated]
2 You told us also that you were able to organise transport to
4 A. As a matter of fact, it was not me organising this transport,
5 because other things happened just afterwards; we got other orders. But
6 what I understand, the transport was organised and done because there
7 were no further demands, requests for this thing to us. But we were not
8 the -- so to say, the organisation --
9 JUDGE SWART: Okay.
10 A. -- to practically organise this transport.
11 JUDGE SWART: And then you said, if I have taken correct notes,
12 that the team should go to the hospital to check the bodies, whether they
13 were mutilated. I take it that was another statement made by Croatian
15 A. I would say that the Bosnian Croat representatives, HDZ in
16 Zenica, they requested us to go to the hospital to, if I say so, control
17 the corpses. And the reason for that was that often in these type of
18 situations rumours very fast increased and were spread that the corpses
19 were -- or the persons were mutilated, tortured, whatever, before they
20 were killed. And most probably HDZ wanted to have that confirmed. We
21 wanted to ourselves have an, exact, objective understanding, so we could
22 either -- so we could say it was or say they were not mutilated, and
23 because of that we could maybe try to calm down the tension, which
24 otherwise should go very high very fast. So that's -- it was an
25 interest, both from HDZ and from us ourselves, but of different reasons,
1 to check the bodies or the corpses.
2 JUDGE SWART: But you yourself never visited the place.
3 A. No, because --
4 JUDGE SWART: Okay.
5 A. -- the day after, other activities came and we got other orders
6 which had higher priority than this matter.
7 JUDGE SWART: You also said us that you left on the 1st of
8 February and that you returned after a while back to Zenica. You also
9 said before the break about the joint commission that the matter was
10 discussed there of the death of the 14 Croats. You said something like
11 the following: "I remember well we found that this matter was not of the
12 highest priority," and that was also the opinion of the HVO
13 representative in the commission. Was that before you left to Split or
14 was it afterwards?
15 A. That was before I left for Split. It was, if I remember
16 correctly, the first meeting after the joint commission was organised,
17 when we had both parties, and we checked what the situation was in -- or
18 in totally and also different hot spots and so on. And this subject was
19 raised, but there were no demands from the HVO representative, Mr. Nakic,
20 to continue with this examination of the corpses. There were other
21 things which we together found more important to deal with. So we felt
22 in the ECMM part of the commission we shouldn't use the time for the
23 thing, because it was not as important as other more, if I say so, more
24 complicated or difficult questions at that time. The events came very
25 fast, so we had to change our planning from day to day, what to do, what
1 to concentrate on.
2 JUDGE SWART: And apparently this was also your opinion, I think.
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE SWART: Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a few minor
6 clarifications to ask of you, though really I would need several hours to
7 ask all the questions that I would wish. But as our time is limited, I
8 will limit my questions too.
9 You said a moment ago that you met the commander of the
10 3rd Corps, in answering a question from Judge Swart. Could you tell us
11 at what time this meeting took place with the commander of the 3rd Corps.
12 Was it in the morning, the afternoon, at midday? Roughly about what
14 A. Well, I'm just sitting now trying to figure out which exact date,
15 which exact hour. Well, I believe, but I do not know exactly, it was
16 afternoon, maybe in the afternoon, early in the afternoon, but I'm sorry
17 to say I do not know exactly.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you met the commander, you
19 were not speaking the B/C/S language. You must have had an interpreter
20 with you.
21 A. Yes. The system was that we always had one of our four --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm not asking you the system.
23 Was an interpreter with you during the meeting that you had with the
24 commander of the 3rd Corps? Was there an interpreter?
25 A. That's correct.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do you remember the name of the
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you referred to the fact
5 that there were 14 dead, 14 killed - after all, this is a significant
6 number - in the political, military, strategic analysis, did you ask
7 yourself whether this event, when 14 people were killed, did it fit into
8 a more broader context and did you endeavour to find out what actually
9 happened on the 26th of January in that part of the country? Because you
10 were a monitor; therefore, a monitor is there to monitor, to observe.
11 What was your conclusion as to what had happened on the 26th of January?
12 A. My conclusion was that something had happened, either a fight
13 between HVO people and 3rd Corps people. When I say "people," I mean
14 soldiers. Or it was some form of attack from soldiers from 3rd Corps
15 against these three villages, which I didn't know at that time exactly
16 where, to try to get control of that part of the terrain. But I also
17 said to myself or we two in the team discussed and found out it was most
18 important to try to solve the problem with these refugees in Zenica first
19 and then try to find out the situation on the spot. And because of that,
20 I think I had a meeting -- you asked earlier -- with Mr. Hadzihasanovic
21 in the afternoon. Time was running fast in the afternoon, and it was not
22 too positive to go in the terrain when it was dark because of security
23 reasons, so we didn't have too much time that day to do everything.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said in answering a
25 question from the Defence or the Prosecution - I'm not sure - that you
1 heard on that day shells that were falling somewhere. According to your
2 recollection, were these shells coming from 122-millimetre mortars or
3 from a gun? You're a specialist, because you were in an armoured
4 regiment. The number of shells, judging by the sound, were coming from
5 how far from Zenica? And what did this mean to you, in military terms?
6 A. I remember that these shells, approximately 20 explosions came at
7 approximately 11.00 and maybe five minutes -- a period of five minutes.
8 The sounds came from south of Zenica, and we were in the centre or in
9 Zenica. And the direction, south of Zenica, that was the direction of
10 Busovaca. That was what we could conclude. If it was 12.2-centimetre
11 Howitzer shooting or some other things, couldn't be clarified. But I can
12 just say that with my experience from tanks, it was no tank shelling,
13 because it's another sound. Most probably it was artillery or maybe
14 mortars. And we could just find out the place, so to say, by sound for
15 the hitting ground. We couldn't hear any sound of -- from where these
16 shells were fired. It was too far away, I presume. So we couldn't find
17 out from which area these shells were fired. And the distance from our
18 place in Zenica to the area where the shells exploded were very difficult
19 to say, but they were some kilometres. So it was difficult to more
20 exactly find out the details concerning this.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
22 I'm looking at the time, and to my great regret I will stop with
23 my questions.
24 I turn now to the Defence counsel.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 Further cross-examination by Ms. Residovic:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Colonel, yesterday, when we were discussing this
3 event, I drew your attention to the fact that in two of your statements,
4 the statement you gave in 1997 and the second one in 2001, there are
5 certain differences with respect to this event. At the time we looked at
6 those statements together and we saw that in your statement of 1997 you
7 just said that on the 27th of January there was shelling of the
8 south-east of Zenica from the direction of Busovaca.
9 "I heard at least 20 explosions. They called us from Zenica HVO
10 and asked for assistance. We went to meet with the leader of the HDZ in
11 Zenica. They informed us there that several men had been killed, Bosnian
12 Croats in villages east of Busovaca."
13 And in your statement of 2001, you spoke at what greater detail,
14 so I'll leave out the part referring to the shelling. I shall just read
15 a few excerpts from that statement: At the HDZ in Zenica, you learnt
16 that on the previous day 14 Croats had been captured and then killed in
17 three villages east of Busovaca. No names of villages were mentioned.
18 "The relatives of the Croats were brought to Zenica by bus and they
19 stayed in relatives' and friends' houses in Zenica. I remember wondering
20 why the relatives had come to Zenica, a town dominated by Muslims,
21 whereas Busovaca was much closer and the dominant population were
23 And then you go on to say that they asked you for transportation
24 assistance and then you said: "In a meeting with Hadzihasanovic at 14.30
25 that day, we didn't go to the hospital to see the bodies. We informed
1 Hadzihasanovic about the killing of Croatian villagers that we had learnt
2 about from representatives of the HDZ."
3 Is it true that you checked through your personal notes and that
4 you established that the more correct version was the one you gave in
5 2001, because in your notes you had noted that the HDZ had informed you
6 that these Croats had been captured and then killed; that is, 14 persons,
7 which you hadn't said before, and that also you had a note about your
8 meeting with Commander Hadzihasanovic? Did you do that yesterday during
9 our conversation?
10 A. Did I do what yesterday?
11 Q. Check these facts in your own personal notes and found that in
12 fact what you said in your statement of 2001 corresponded to what you had
13 noted down in your personal notes.
14 A. I did that check, and what is stated 2001 is according to my
15 notes. The reason may be for what I said or what was written down in the
16 statement from 1997 is that in general that statement is shorter, fewer
17 details, because it was the first interrogation and it was a lot said
18 concerning different things in Bosnia and not every detail was written
19 down by the people doing these interrogation.
20 Q. Is it true, Colonel, that you also checked to see what you said
21 to Commander Hadzihasanovic during that conversation and that your note
22 said that you asked him to assist in the transport of refugees and in the
23 burial of these dead bodies? Is that what you found in your notes?
24 A. I found in my notes that I said that I wanted to have the
25 assistance or help, or cooperation, from Mr. Hadzihasanovic or 3rd Corps
1 concerning the transport of refugees and assuring that these bodies
2 should be decently buried, yes. That's my notes.
3 Q. Could you also confirm that in answer to my question as to
4 whether you spoke to the Commander Hadzihasanovic at the time about
5 killing, crimes and other matters that you were told about in the HDZ,
6 your answer was that you didn't discuss this with Commander
7 Hadzihasanovic but that you only requested his assistance for the
8 transportation of the relatives and the burial of the bodies. Was that
9 the answer that you gave me?
10 A. I informed Mr. Hadzihasanovic of this request and this
11 information, true or not true, from HDZ people. I didn't in these
12 discussions with Mr. Hadzihasanovic discuss if it should be a crime of
13 war. I did not do that. And rather fast we came to that part of this
14 discussion concerning how to solve this practical problem with the
15 refugees and concentrated on that matter, where in that matter
16 Mr. Hadzihasanovic gave a positive attitude to solve the problem
17 practically. But I didn't discuss if it was a crime of war or not. That
18 was not in this situation any reason to do that.
19 Q. Also, when you checked through your notes, you didn't find any
20 note saying that you informed Hadzihasanovic about the killing of these
21 people, that is, that you had informed him that those persons had been
22 captured and then killed. This is a fact that is not to be found in your
23 notes; isn't that right?
24 A. No, that's not correct. In my notes I written the information I
25 got from the HDZ people, is that these 14 Bosnian Croats had been
1 captured and then killed. That was what the HDZ people told me. I am
2 not controlled it myself. I had no chance to do that. But I was told
3 they were captured and then killed.
4 Q. You personally don't know whether there were 14 people; you don't
5 know whether they were killed; you don't know where that event took place
6 nor how it took place, because you did not have a chance to verify any of
7 those facts. Isn't that right?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Thank you, Colonel.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have the other attorneys any
13 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We
14 have no additional questions for this witness.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And Mr. Mundis?
16 MR. MUNDIS: No further questions from the Prosecution.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
18 Colonel, we wish to thank you for coming to testify in The Hague.
19 You have answered questions put to you by the Prosecution, the Defence
20 counsel, and the Judges. We thank you for your contribution to the
21 establishment of the truth, and we wish you a safe journey home.
22 I'm going to ask the usher to be kind enough to escort you out of
23 the courtroom.
24 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, I shall give you
2 the floor for your to tell us about tomorrow's hearing. You have the
4 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 The witness who's on the letter that was previously provided to
6 the Trial Chamber and the Defence will be here tomorrow for purposes of
7 cross-examination by the Defence and, of course, to answer any questions
8 from Your Honours on perhaps any issues arising from that
9 cross-examination or examination by the Bench he will be available for
10 re-examination by the Prosecution.
11 Mr. President, with your leave and with the assistance of all of
12 the hard-working people who assist us in and around the courtroom, if I
13 could just address Your Honours on an issue for just a couple of moments.
14 I was informed yesterday by the Chamber's legal officer to be
15 prepared to put onto the record information concerning a meeting that was
16 held between the Chamber's legal officer and the senior trial attorney,
17 Mr. Withopf, concerning the Trial Chamber's oral order of 17 May 2004. I
18 am prepared to do that perhaps tomorrow, time permitting. Alternatively,
19 I can reduce that information to writing and file that, if that would be
20 of greater assistance.
21 There is one issue, however, that I wanted to alert Your Honours
22 about as quickly as possible; that concerns some of the additional
23 witnesses that we have been ordered by Your Honours to produce in order
24 to testify.
25 My colleague, Ms. Benjamin, next week will be in Bosnia
1 interviewing these individuals. It is unlikely, Mr. President, that all
2 of these individuals will be available for testifying in the following
3 week, that is, the week of 7 June. And I'm simply seeking some guidance
4 from the Trial Chamber - perhaps we could get that tomorrow prior to
5 Ms. Benjamin's departure - as to whether or not the Chamber would prefer
6 to have those witnesses in effect made available as they are available or
7 if we might be in the unfortunate situation of having to have a brief
8 adjournment, perhaps for a week or even longer, and then bring all of
9 those witnesses so that they can testify consecutively, rather than
10 perhaps one on the 7th and one on the 10th and one on the 14th.
11 I hope you see the point I'm trying to make, Mr. President. I
12 don't want to be in a position where we have only one or two witnesses
13 per week for the next couple of weeks. And I simply raise that issue so
14 that perhaps we could have some guidance so that when Ms. Benjamin meets
15 with these witnesses they can be properly informed as to when they might
16 be here and she can then give them clearer information as to the way that
17 the Trial Chamber wishes to proceed.
18 I thank Your Honours for the opportunity to bring this up.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding this point, the
20 Judges have discussed it amongst themselves. Of course, it is up to the
21 Prosecution to see at what appropriate time it would call these
22 witnesses, to have absolutely freedom of manoeuvre regarding the dates
23 when you wish to have these witnesses testify. If you feel that they
24 should also appear at the same time - a priori it seems like a good
25 idea - the only question that the Chamber is concerned about is to make
1 sure that the Prosecution case should close sometime in June, and of
2 course one shouldn't have holes in the timetable of witnesses. What you
3 could perhaps do, together with the Defence, to have a provisional chart
4 filling in the boxes for the weeks to come, and then you will let us know
5 and we will say, "Yes, there's no problem there." But I know that you
6 have a lot of problems, scheduling problems, whether the witnesses will
7 be available or not. These are real problems. And it's a good idea to
8 send a Prosecutor to interview those people on the spot, to see how and
9 when they are available.
10 So we will talk about it again, but I am telling you in very
11 general terms what our views are.
12 Has the Defence any observations to make in this connection,
13 though these are Prosecution witnesses? But any observation is always
15 You have the floor.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, of course the
17 Prosecution must propose how they intend to complete their case. It is
18 up to them and they're quite aware of that.
19 The problem that my learned friend has mentioned does affect the
20 work of the Defence as well, however, so if possible we would like to
21 agree on hearing the witnesses in continuity, rather than having breaks
22 of one day in between. If we need to have a break, we believe it would
23 be better to have a break of several days, which would give the Defence
24 an opportunity to devote its attention to the preparations of its own
25 case and to be able to plan accordingly.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. We have no observations
3 those matter. It's really a question of when the witnesses are going to
4 be available. And that's something that is difficult to speculate about
5 now. We'll know once the investigations are complete, which witnesses
6 and when, and then it will be clearer what the schedule could be.
7 Thank you, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In any event, the
9 parties should continue their dialogue, and one of the solutions would be
10 to have a provisional table to allow both parties to have a clearer idea.
11 But we will deal with it when you let us know.
12 I apologise again to the interpreters. We have overstepped the
13 time once again. I thank everyone for their contribution, and I invite
14 you to come back for the hearing tomorrow, which will start at 9.00 a.m.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.58 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Friday, the 28th day of
17 May, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.