1 Tuesday, 7 December 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
5 call the case, as soon as the accused enter the courtroom.
6 [The accused entered court]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They're here.
8 Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This is
10 case number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor against Enver Hadzihasanovic and
11 Amir Kubura.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 Appearances for the Prosecution, please.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your
15 Honours, counsel, and to everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
16 Prosecution, Tecla Henry-Benjamin, Daryl Mundis, and we're assisted today
17 by our intern Jaspreet Saini, and our case manager, Andres Vatter.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
19 The Defence teams appearances, please.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. On
21 behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, counsel, Stefane
22 Bourgon, co-counsel, and Muriel Cauvin, legal assistant. Thank you very
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The other Defence team, please.
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
1 On behalf of Mr. Kubura today, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin Mulalic,
2 legal assistant. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On Tuesday, 7 December, the
4 Chamber would like to greet everybody, the Prosecution, the Defence teams,
5 the accused, as well as all the staff present in this courtroom.
6 Today we shall continue the hearing of the witness that we started
7 yesterday, but the Defence, before that, wanted to make a few remarks.
8 That's why I'm going to give them the floor.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
10 I would just briefly like to address Your Honours with regard to
11 the testimony of our witness Mr. Mirsad Mesic. He is supposed to appear
12 on -- he appeared on Friday. During the testimony of this witness, the
13 Trial Chamber put several questions to the witness, and I would like to
14 draw the attention of the Trial Chamber to a fact in that regard.
15 During his testimony, Witness Mesic also spoke about the
16 testimonies heard before. I would like to say that, with regard to the
17 witnesses that he mentioned during his testimony, there were certain
18 problems with regard to a possible -- their possible -- a possible
19 suspicion of their credibility.
20 I would just like to draw the attention of the Trial Chamber that
21 some questions that went to the credibility of these witnesses were
22 already put before. On the 20th of May, 2004, during the testimony of
23 Witness ZO, during the cross-examination of this witness, which is
24 recorded in the transcript on 20 May, on pages 7777 through to page 7780,
25 a few issues were raised that might go towards the credibility of these
2 I'm mentioning this because the Defence is trying to bring before
3 this Trial Chamber only credible witnesses. All of us in the courtroom,
4 obviously, reserve the right to put questions that go to their
5 credibility; however, we are very clear, Your Honours, that the testimony
6 of every witness will be heard according to the Rules and regulations, and
7 will be evaluated by the Trial Chamber according to the Rules and
8 regulations. And we don't have any reservations or doubts about that.
9 However, we would like to tell you that so far we have expected
10 that, and I believe that the Trial Chamber has enabled us to -- for every
11 one of our witnesses to be heard, in keeping with Rule 21, and for every
12 witness not to be more or less -- have more or less credibility than any
13 of the witnesses brought before this Trial Chamber by the Prosecution.
14 I believe that you will appreciate that the Defence is in a very
15 difficult situation. None of the witnesses find it easy to appear before
16 this Trial Chamber. Please bear that in mind. This was why we had
17 decided to address you particularly with regard to this witness.
18 Thank you for having heard this Defence team, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to give the floor to
20 Mr. Mundis. But if I understand well the position of the Defence, the
21 Defence has indicated to the Trial Chamber that there were questions put
22 to the witness which went towards his credibility, and that with regard to
23 these questions, the witness -- the Defence has told us that the witnesses
24 that come as Defence witnesses are credible at least to the extent that
25 the Prosecution witnesses were credible. I believe that this is what the
1 Defence has stated in their address.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, you have understood
3 well that every witness that we bring is credible. However, this
4 particular witness doubted the credibility of the other two witnesses, and
5 this is what I wanted to -- the Trial Chamber to be aware of. This was
6 not the first witness that questioned the credibility of these two
7 witnesses. These two witnesses' credibility was already tested on the
8 20th of May, and this is recorded in the transcript on the pages that I
9 have mentioned a little while ago.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 The Prosecution at this point will just make two very brief
13 comments, the first being that we have no doubts about the intention of
14 either Defence teams with respect to calling witnesses that they believe
15 will be credible. Of course, one of the primary purposes of both
16 cross-examination and, in certain circumstances, questions put to the
17 witness by the Trial Chamber within the scope of its latitude in examining
18 witnesses can go to the credibility of a witness.
19 The primary reason why I rose to my feet, though, Mr. President,
20 is to put forward our position that the proper time for arguing the
21 credibility of specific witnesses is not at this point of trial. These
22 type of arguments are best served, in our humble submission, at the end of
23 the trial, after all the evidence has been heard. And for that reason,
24 the Prosecution position is that it's improper for any of the parties to
25 be commenting on or arguing about or cross-referencing witness testimony
1 at this stage of the proceedings. There's a time for that, and that is
2 during closing arguments, once all the evidence is in. And our respectful
3 view, Mr. President, is that it's inappropriate at this time to be making
4 the types of comments that my learned colleague has made, and it is, in
5 fact, a form of argumentation which, in our submission, is best left for
6 the end of the trial, once all of the evidence is in. And Your Honours
7 will then be able to assess the credibility of individual witnesses in
8 light of the entirety of the testimony. In that respect, the parties will
9 be able to fully brief and argue the credibility of all the witnesses and,
10 in fact, all of the evidence which is placed before Your Honours.
11 Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to give the floor to
13 Mr. Bourgon in a couple of minutes. But if I understand the position of
14 the Prosecution well, they say that, as regards the credibility of the
15 witnesses, it is going to be at the end of this trial that the Trial
16 Chamber will be able to assess the credibility of the witnesses. So all
17 the elements have to be integrated, and it would be premature at this
18 stage to say or think or speculate about the credibility of any one
19 witness. The witnesses have to be assessed within the entirety that
20 arises from all the testimonies of all the evidence, and that is only
21 going to be possible at the end. I don't think that there are any
22 particular problems in this regard.
23 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
24 just like to provide a clarification. Perhaps my colleague didn't
25 understand the objective of our arguments, our submissions, this
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 afternoon. We're not arguing about the credibility of such a witness;
2 that's not our objective. We simply want to draw the attention of the
3 Trial Chamber to the following fact, and we want this to be included in
4 the transcript: The witness who testified last Friday was not the first
5 witness to draw the Chamber's attention to the issue of the credibility of
6 the two Prosecution witnesses.
7 That's the only comment we want to make. We're not saying whether
8 these witnesses are credible or not. But what we believe is that it is
9 important that the Chamber take note of the fact that this isn't the first
10 witness who has put into question the credibility of these two witnesses.
11 Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have taken note
13 of what you have just said. As far as the issue of credibility is
14 concerned, I would personally say that the term "credibility" contains a
15 number of conceptions within it. There can be a witness who is credible
16 and who is a witness in good faith. He believes that an event took place
17 in a certain manner, although that might not be the case, so one might
18 consider such a witness to be a witness on the basis of what the witness
19 says. But there's also the issue of credibility which is affected when
20 the truth isn't actually what the witness has said, and this is a
21 different issue. So this is a very broad concept which can cover a number
22 of situations. And naturally, it's for the Judges to assess these
23 situations but, naturally, in light of all the evidence presented.
24 And as you have said, because a witness mentioned something on
25 Friday that contradicts what other witnesses said, this doesn't mean that
1 certain conclusions should be drawn, even though someone's testimony was
2 contradicted by several other witnesses. It's only at the end that we
3 will see these issues clearly. I think everyone agrees, but it was
4 necessary to emphasise this issue.
5 Thank you for the submissions that both the parties have made.
6 We'll now call the witness into the courtroom.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General. I hope
9 you had a good evening, a good night, that you're rested. As you know, we
10 shall be working until 7.00 this afternoon. Tomorrow you will be free;
11 there will be no hearings on account of the Plenary Session of the Judges.
12 So we will invite you, after this evening, to come back on Thursday.
13 If you hear the interpretation of my words, I'm going to give the
14 floor to the Defence who are going to proceed with their
16 I believe that you will base your examination-in-chief on the
17 binders that you provided us with yesterday, unless there are some new
18 binders. I don't know.
19 WITNESS: DZEMAL MERDAN [Resumed]
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 Examined by Ms. Residovic: [Continued]
22 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, General.
23 A. Good afternoon.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, let me just adjust
25 the -- my headphones.
1 Mr. President, it is correct that before I start putting my
2 questions to the witness, I would kindly ask the usher to give you the
3 other set of documents that we adjusted according to your suggestions. In
4 order to facilitate the work of all of us in the courtroom, we adjusted
5 our documents. We managed to do that for the witness, for the Trial
6 Chamber, and for myself, as I will be putting the questions to the
7 witness. I apologise to my learned friends, who will still have to make
8 an effort to find the document that I will be referring to during my
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we have a binder with tabs.
11 This is very good. I hope that Mr. Mundis has the same binder, with the
12 same tabs? If not, I'm prepared to offer you my binder, Mr. Mundis.
13 MR. MUNDIS: It appears as though I've received a stack,
14 Mr. President. We'll try to make due. If my learned colleague is
15 proceeding too quickly, I'll just have to ask her to slow down. We'll do
16 the best we can.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Q. General, yesterday, at the end of our day, we started talking
20 about the political goals of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna that
21 you were aware of. And we also were talking about behaviour of the HVO in
22 the course of 1992, and you told us about some of your personal
23 experiences and knowledge arising from your relationship with the HVO in
24 the course of 1992. Is that correct?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Now I'm going to ask you, General, to refer to the binder and look
2 at documents number 1, 2, and 3. Document number 1, under tab A, bears
3 the Defence number 0366; number 2 is Defence number 0369; and number 3
4 bears the Defence number 0381.
5 The first document is a document that originates from the HDZ of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The date is 21st July 1991. I would kindly ask you,
7 General, to look at the last page of this document in B/C/S, and read
8 paragraphs 2, item 16 and item 17. These paragraphs speak about the
9 recommendation to the Croatian population of the Travnik region and
10 Herzegovinian municipalities to join the Croatian Community of
11 Herceg-Bosna. And then look at number 18, which speaks about the
12 initiative launched in the Travnik region to establish the Croatian
13 National Council of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Have you been able to look at these two paragraphs?
15 A. Yes, I have.
16 Q. In the second document, which is also a document that originates
17 from the Croatian Democratic Union of the Herzegovinian region, and
18 represents conclusions from a joint meeting which was held on 12 November
19 1991, I would like to draw your attention to the first paragraph in which
20 in the conclusions, people are invited to accept conclusions adopted at
21 meetings with Franjo Tudjman on the 13th and 20th June 1991, in Zagreb.
22 These two regional communities, starting from the conclusions and meetings
23 in Zagreb, through special conclusions that were reached in Grude, and
24 then on the 22nd of October in Busovaca, and on this day, on 12 November
25 1991, unanimously and jointly decide that the Croatian people in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina have to finally engage in a decisive and active
2 politics that would lead to the realisation of our long dream to have a
3 joint Croatian state.
4 In the next paragraph - can you see it - there is mention of the
5 proclamation of the Croatian banovina name in Herzegovina. Under item 2,
6 it is pointed to the existing forces which opposed the historical
7 interests of the Croatian people, and here Bosnia and Herzegovina is
8 proclaimed in the second sentence, saying these forces are advocating the
9 non-existing sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina. And later on, in the last
10 sentence of this paragraph, it says: "We have to show Europe and the
11 world what are the Croatian areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and where we're
12 going to build our future."
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
14 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I'm wondering if there's a question
15 anywhere in the past couple of pages. But I'd also note for the Chamber
16 that the three documents which my learned colleague has now drawn the
17 witness' attention to do not appear on the list of documents dated the
18 29th of November, 2004, which were likely to be shown to this witness.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] As far as the second question is
20 concerned, we have already explained that we could not provide this last
21 week, and we could not put it on the list of our documents. However, we
22 provided our colleagues with the entire list on the 3rd, showing all the
23 documents that we were going to show to the witness. And these documents
24 are on our additional list.
25 My question, and now I'm referring to the first part of the
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 question --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis posed the same
3 problem yesterday.
4 Prosecution, did you get the documents on the 3rd of December that
5 were provided to the Registry? I've had these documents. Do you have all
6 these documents that were provided to you on the 3rd of December?
7 Yesterday you already raised this problem, and the Defence has told us
8 that these documents are among the documents that were provided to you on
9 the 3rd of December. There is a list that was provided to you on the 3rd
10 of December. Is that not so?
11 MR. MUNDIS: I have not seen a list dated the 3rd of December that
12 specifically relates to this witness. We have over the weekend and
13 yesterday a large number of additional documents that relate to the
14 exhibit list of the witness. But I am unaware of any specific list of
15 documents to be used with this witness after the 29th of November.
16 [Defence counsel confer]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But the Defence has explained
18 that before the 29th of November, they made an additional list. The date
19 of this list is the 3rd of December, and it was registered with the
20 Registry on the 3rd of December. According to the Defence, the documents
21 that you have just mentioned are on that list. Maybe the Prosecution
22 should refer to the list that they got on the 3rd of December and see what
23 the new documents are.
24 So what about the first part of the question? You wanted to
25 enumerate the paragraphs that are going to be mentioned in the question.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have just
2 reminded the witness what he told us yesterday about, about the political
3 goals of the Croatian Community of Bosnia-Herzegovina which wanted to
4 separate parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina from the state. And now I'm showing
5 the witness three documents, and I'm asking him to tell me whether these
6 documents actually confirm what he himself told us yesterday without
7 having the opportunity to refer to these documents. This is my only
8 question arising from these documents that I'm putting to this witness
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
11 A. Your Honours, I cannot say whether I've ever had the opportunity
12 to see these documents, because when I testified before, before this
13 Tribunal, I was shown a number of documents originating from the Croatian
14 Defence Council and the Croatian Democratic Union. But I can be sure of
15 one thing, and that is that in 1991, in 1992, 1993, as well as 1994, I did
16 not have an opportunity to see these documents.
17 Your Honours, yesterday I was testifying about the things that I
18 experienced during that time. At that time I was not aware of these
19 documents. I didn't see them; I was not aware of them.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. General, were you aware of this politics being implemented, the
22 politics that is mentioned in these documents? That's my question.
23 A. Yes. I could see that they were trying to implement the policies
24 adopted by the HDZ.
25 Q. Could you please have a look at the following documents:
1 Documents under section B; number 1, DH36; number 2, 0396; number 3,
2 DH35/ID; number 4, DH410; number 5, 412; number 6, 413; number 7, 417.
3 And if you can have a look at them, could you first tell me whether these
4 documents reflect the situation you mentioned yesterday; namely, that the
5 HVO had declared the BH army illegitimate, it introduced Croatian
6 currency, and it was trying to establish parallel bodies of power.
7 And document 0396, is this document, in fact, an order on the
8 basis of which you yourself were arrested and maltreated?
9 A. Yes. This is what I, in fact, experienced during this period of
10 time, and I mentioned this yesterday.
11 Q. General, yesterday you also spoke about the establishment of
12 parallel organs of power. Could you please have a look at document DH453,
13 under number 9; and then have a look at DH0459, document number 0459,
14 under number 10; under number 11, have a look at document 464;
15 document 12, 474, which you signed yourself; under number 13,
16 document 485; and have a look at number 14, DH489.
17 Do these documents reflect what you testified about yesterday;
18 namely, that in 1992 you experienced a number of incidents, you were
19 prohibited from passing through, you were controlled, weapons of the
20 Territorial Defence were taken away, the legitimate organs of power were
21 disbanded, as stated in the announcement for the public, under number 13.
22 And as said in document 0474, did you inform your superior command of all
23 these events, and did you inform them of the immense problems that you had
24 to confront in the field? Do these documents that, in fact, confirm what
25 you testified about yesterday?
1 A. Yes. All these documents confirm what I was saying yesterday.
2 Yesterday I provided you some specific examples, and these documents show
3 that that is, in fact, what happened in the field.
4 Q. General, yesterday you also said that General Hadzihasanovic's
5 task to gather forces and set off towards Sarajevo wasn't a task he could
6 carry out immediately; this task had to be postponed. After the corps was
7 formed, did the 3rd Corps do what it could in order to prepare some of the
8 forces to make another attempt at lifting the blockade of Sarajevo?
9 A. Yes. I said the first attempt to gather the necessary number of
10 troops to lift the blockade of Sarajevo failed. But in the regional
11 staff, and in the 3rd Corps, and especially after the establishment of the
12 3rd Corps, we didn't abandon the task to gather forces that could be used
13 to lift the blockade of Sarajevo.
14 Q. General, do you remember, or do you know whether at the time the
15 3rd Corps also suggested to the HVO that, as an armed force, it should
16 participate in the fight to lift the blockade of Sarajevo, that they were
17 an armed force fighting this aggressor. Do you know what their attitude
19 A. Yes. I know that the 3rd Corps command, in December 1992,
20 forwarded an official letter to the command of the Central Bosnia
21 Operative Zone, and it requested that they participate with units of the
22 Territorial Defence in lifting the blockade of Sarajevo. After a short
23 period of time, we received a reply stating that the HVO units were not in
24 a position at that time to participate in lifting the blockade of
1 Q. General, could you please have a look at the following documents:
2 Document number 7, DH224/ID; then document number 8, 0537; and document
3 number 9, 0536.
4 A. Are those documents under section C?
5 Q. Yes, I apologise.
6 A. Could you please repeat what you said.
7 Q. Documents number 7, 8, and 9.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as document 7 is
9 concerned, we don't have the translation into English, or at least I don't
10 have the translation of this document. It's document 417; is that
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this is under
13 section C; section C, document number 7, and the number is DH224/ID.
14 Unfortunately there is no translation of document number 8, whereas
15 document number 9 has been translated. I would first like to ask the
16 General to answer my question that concerns the first document.
17 Q. Is this a document from the 3rd Corps in which they requested that
18 the HVO participate in lifting the blockade of Sarajevo?
19 A. Yes. I can recognise this document. It's a document drafted by
20 the 3rd Corps, and the document states exactly what you just said.
21 Q. As far as document number 8 is concerned, since there is no
22 translation, could you tell us who sent this document? Could you tell us
23 the number of the document? And since it's a short document, perhaps you
24 could read the entire document out loud.
25 A. This document is being sent, or was sent by the command of the
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 Central Bosnia central zone. It was sent to the HVO headquarters in
2 Mostar. The number of the document is 1917/92. The date is the 29th of
3 December, 1992. The time, 1730 hours. The title of the document
4 is "Request for Agreement to Use Units."
5 "In written request, dated the 28th of December, 1992, this
6 command was contacted by the command of the 3rd Corps of the BH army, who
7 requested that our units participate in offensive actions on the following
8 axis: 1: Kobiljaca, Vela, Crkvice, Veliki Zovik; axis 2: Kobiljaca,
9 Rakovica. In relation to the above, we request your agreement," signed by
10 Colonel Tihomir Blaskic.
11 Q. Under number 9, do you recognise the document that you received as
12 a response to your request?
13 A. Yes. I do recognise this document, and it is a response to our
15 Q. General, I would now like to ask you about what happened as far as
16 the HVO's attitudes towards the army is concerned after the corps was
17 established. Did they continue to pursue the same activities that you
18 have told us about, that you told us about yesterday, while you were the
19 commander of the regional staff?
20 A. After the 3rd Corps of the BH army was formed, relations with the
21 HVO became even more complicated, and there was the risk of a large-scale
22 armed conflict breaking out with them.
23 Q. Please have a look at document 0502, document number 2; 0505,
24 document number 3; 0506 - this is all under section C - document number 4;
25 DH513; document number 6 -- in fact, I think we've already had a look at
1 that one. Yes, number 6, 0532. And could you tell me whether these
2 documents confirm what you have just said? These documents from the HVO,
3 which show that they continued to establish parallel organs of power -
4 that can be see in DH505, for example - or rather, did they confirm that
5 there was a zone of responsibility in which the 3rd Corps was operational.
6 And in document DH513, did you inform your superior command of such
8 A. Yes. I recognise these documents, and that is what I was just
9 speaking about a while ago.
10 Q. Could you please have a look at document number 6. This is a
11 document from the Jure Francetic Brigade command. Could you tell me where
12 the headquarters of this HVO brigade were located?
13 A. I'm sure that the headquarters of this HVO brigade were located in
15 Q. In item 1 of this order, the zone of responsibility of this
16 brigade is established, is defined. General, could you tell me whether
17 the brigade tried to take control of the main axis and the main strategic
18 locations in the area of the 3rd Corps, which was around Zenica.
19 A. Yes. These are the strategic locations and strategic axis are
20 around Zenica, which at the time was within the 3rd Corps zone of
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, there is no
23 translation of this document either. Therefore, I would like to ask the
24 General to read out item number 1.
25 Q. And could the General also tell us who signed the document and the
1 title of the document. Who issued the document?
2 A. The document is from the Jure Francetic Brigade command. The
3 number of the document is 813/92. It is dated the 22nd of December, 1992.
4 I think it's the 22nd. My copy is not very legible. I think the date is
5 the 22nd of December, 1992. This order was signed by the president -- by
6 the deputy commander of the Jure Francetic Brigade, Zoran Covic. It was
7 signed personally by him. And the first item in the order is as
8 follows: "An order to the 1st Battalion. The zone of responsibility will
9 be as follows: The area of the town on the left bank of the River Bosna,
10 Zenica, village of Cajdras, Vjetrenica road, the Kuber pass, the Lasva
11 junction, the Lasvanska Petr, village of Drivusa, village of Raspotocje,
12 Zenica road."
13 That's the end of item 1.
14 Q. Thank you. Towards the end of 1992, immediately after the
15 3rd Corps had been established, were you able to observe that the
16 Jure Francetic Brigade was establishing positions on the main roads around
17 Zenica? And to what extent did this directly affect the combat situation
18 of the 3rd Corps?
19 A. Yes. This confirms the fact that the HVO in Zenica not only
20 blocked the main roads from Zenica to the Lasva Valley, but the HVO also
21 took over key strategic locations from which this entire area could be
22 controlled. Since we can see this order, and in the field we managed to
23 see that the HVO was taking such action, it was necessary for the
24 3rd Corps command to take the necessary counter-measures. As far as I can
25 remember, we told the units in these parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina to
1 remain in a state of readiness.
2 Q. General, you said that in 1992 there were two conflicts in the
3 area of Gornji Vakuf. Tell me, what was the situation like in January
4 1993 in the area of Gornji Vakuf?
5 A. At the beginning of January 1993, the 3rd Corps was in the process
6 of being formed. We had information, according to which the situation in
7 Gornji Vakuf was extremely complex, and it was becoming more and more
8 complex by the day. There were a number of incidents at some checkpoints,
9 and the HVO in Gornji Vakuf deployed its units at elevated positions
10 around the town of Gornji Vakuf. And as far as I can remember, a
11 commission was formed to go to Gornji Vakuf to deal with the situation.
12 Q. General, were you personally involved in trying to diffuse the
13 situation in Gornji Vakuf?
14 A. Yes. I was appointed as a representative of the BH army. I was
15 part of a state organisation, formed of civilian organs of power and of
16 certain military structures. It was a political and military delegation
17 which went to Gornji Vakuf in order to negotiate there.
18 Q. Given the situation, did the 3rd Corps commander and you yourself
19 inform the superior command of the situation? Did you ask for
20 instructions? Did you conduct yourselves in a responsible manner, as any
21 responsible commander would have done?
22 A. I informed my superior of what was happening in Gornji Vakuf. I
23 informed General Enver Hadzihasanovic, the 3rd Corps commander, of what
24 was happening. I asked for assistance when dealing with the problem,
25 because, if I'm not mistaken, about the 12th or 13th of January, the
1 conflict escalated and an ultimatum was issued to me, requesting that the
2 3rd Corps units in the area of Gornji Vakuf surrender. I know that my
3 superior, General Enver Hadzihasanovic, said that he could not authorise
4 such a course of action, and he asked the superior command in Sarajevo for
5 instructions as to how we should act. All I know is that at the time
6 General Hadzihasanovic, my commander, ordered me to do all I could to
7 prevent the conflict in Gornji Vakuf from escalating.
8 Q. General, were you able to notice that in that area, in addition to
9 the HVO forces from Gornji Vakuf and Bugojno, there were other, more
10 numerous forces arriving from the wider area, the greater area of western
11 Herzegovina, and even from other areas too?
12 A. As the commander of the regional staff, as long back as 1992, I
13 had information about the strength and the composition of the HVO unit in
14 Gornji Vakuf. As for what was going on at that particular time, from the
15 beginning of the conflict, I noticed that there was an increased number of
16 tanks, that fire was being opened from heavy artillery. And my
17 intelligence also told me that, in Gornji Vakuf, there were other units
18 engaged, those that did not hail from Gornji Vakuf. Those were HVO units.
19 So at that time I did not have reliable information as to what units those
20 were and where they came from.
21 Q. General, I would kindly ask you to look at the documents which are
22 here listed under number 10, this is 0551; 11, 0552; 12, 0554; 13, 0555;
23 14, 0557; 15, 0558; 16, 0559; 17, 0561; 18, 0562; 19, 0564; 20, 0565; 21,
24 0566; 22, 0568; then the document under 27, 0576; number 28, 0577;
25 number 29, 0578; number 30, 0581. Please look at number 32, 0589;
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 number 33, 0592; number 34, 0600. Can you also please look at number 35,
2 0604; number 36, 0615. Can you please look at number 40, 0620; and
3 number 56, which is number 0705.
4 Kindly look at these documents. But before that, can you tell me
5 whether, at the end of their work, the task force that had been
6 established, did they draft a report? And is this report the Defence
7 Exhibit 56, bearing the Defence number 0705?
8 A. Yes, I recognise all of these documents. These documents are
9 orders, reports, and information clearly speaking of the situation in
10 Gornji Vakuf.
11 Q. Some of the documents, could you tell that they were also
12 referring to you and the requests that you've already testified about,
13 namely, that you asked for urgent instruction so as to avoid any further
14 escalation of that conflict in Gornji Vakuf?
15 A. Yes. This is precisely what these documents confirm.
16 Q. Do these documents also demonstrate that, in every request of
17 yours, in every order and instruction issued by the commander of the
18 3rd Corps, a special emphasis is made on everything being done in order to
19 avoid any further escalation of the conflict?
20 A. Yes. I've already said that, and these documents confirm it.
21 Q. Can you please look at the document under number 21, although you
22 have already seen it briefly. The Defence number is 0566. Tell me, did
23 Commander Hadzihasanovic instruct all of his subordinate commands and
24 brigades and warn them that these issues would be raised at the highest
25 level, and that it would be President Izetbegovic and Dr. Franjo Tudjman
1 who would have to make the final decisions on these issues.
2 A. Yes. I recognise this document, and this is precisely what this
3 document confirms.
4 Q. Thank you very much. Such a behaviour on the part of the corps
5 commander, namely, the fact that he asked all of his subordinates --
6 subordinate units to avoid any further conflict, the fact that he
7 contacted his superior command asking for further instructions, the fact
8 that he instructed his subordinate units to only use force when absolutely
9 necessary, is such behaviour the kind of behaviour that would be
10 demonstrated by a serious and responsible commander who found himself in a
11 serious and demanding situation?
12 A. Yes, I have to confirm that. Yesterday during my testimony I was
13 talking about the year 1992, and this goes on and repeats in 1993, only
14 with the situation being even more complex. So Commander Hadzihasanovic
15 found himself even in a more complex situation than I was in that area.
16 Q. You've told us, General, that when you were in the field, you were
17 given an ultimatum. Can you tell us, despite all of your efforts, how did
18 the Croatian Defence Council behave in Central Bosnia? And what did this
19 ultimatum mean at all?
20 A. The way I understood this ultimatum was that the units of the BH
21 army had to place themselves under the command of the Croatian Defence
22 Council, and that units of the Territorial Defence and units of the BiH
23 army, in other words, all units of the 3rd Corps, had to be disarmed. I
24 have to say that on behalf of the Croatian Defence Council, the delegation
25 was headed by Colonel Zeljko Siljeg.
1 Q. What was your response to that ultimatum?
2 A. I informed my superior commander, because I did not have any
3 authority to issue an order to the effect of the arms of the BiH army
4 units in that area to be surrendered.
5 Q. As a professional soldier, what was your assessment? Was it
6 normal for an -- for a legitimate army to be given an ultimatum with such
7 a tight deadline, for a legitimate army to be asked to surrender their
8 weapons? How would a military, any other military, react to that,
9 especially if such a ultimatum was given to them in their own country?
10 A. Obviously, the BiH army was at that time the armed force of the
11 internationally recognised state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and if anybody
12 were to issue an ultimatum to disarm such a force, it would be absolutely
13 preposterous, it would be absolutely unheard of. And every soldier would
14 find it impossible to do.
15 Q. In a normal situation, every military force would launch a
16 military reaction. You yourself went to great lengths to alleviate the
17 situation and to avoid any conflict. Was that an additional problem to
18 you as a commander, meaning how did you explain to your soldiers that you
19 were willing to retreat before an ultimatum that was contrary to all the
20 laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
21 A. It was an impossible situation. At that time the 3rd Corps hadn't
22 enough strength to even embark on an armed conflict with the Croatian
23 Defence Council. But as I've already said, in our view, the opening of
24 the second front line and the creation of a second enemy would have been
25 very difficult for us, because we did not have any means or strength to
1 put up resistance against one enemy, let alone two enemies at a time. It
2 was almost impossible to explain that to our subordinate commanders.
3 However, we tried to curb this conflict in Gornji Vakuf and prevent it
4 from spreading into other areas of the 3rd Corps.
5 Q. General, let us be clear on that. When you said you had enough
6 strength, and later on you said that you didn't have enough force, what
7 did you mean? Did you mean that you did not have enough troops, or did
8 you mean that you had ample troops and means to enter a conflict of that
10 A. Let me explain. If we were to rally all the forces that were
11 facing one enemy, we would have been able to put up a resistance against
12 the other enemy. But at that time our main task was to defend ourselves
13 against the aggression, and that means that at the time we did not have
14 any means to militarily resolve the situation in Gornji Vakuf.
15 Q. General, can you look at documents under number 23, this is DH47;
16 number 24, DH2/ID; number 25, DH45; under number 26, DH46; under
17 number 37, DH44/ID; under number 38, DH48.
18 Can you please look at these documents which originate from the
19 Croatian Defence Council. Tell me, please, while you're trying -- while
20 you were trying to avoid any possible conflict, do these documents
21 demonstrate a somewhat different behaviour on the part of the Croatian
22 Defence Council, namely, that they gave you an ultimatum that they wanted
23 to lead this army, and so on and so forth?
24 Secondly, while you were in Central Bosnia, in the territory
25 covered by the 3rd Corps, did you yourself experience these intentions of
1 the Croatian Defence Council which wanted, at any cost, to gain control
2 over one part of the territory of Central Bosnia?
3 A. When I look at these documents, I can say that I recognise them as
4 being documents issued by the Croatian Defence Council. They originate
5 for various levels. I have to draw your attention to the fact that these
6 documents are not documents that I saw during that particular period of
8 Your Honours, I will have to go back, saying again and again, for
9 one reason: When I testified before this Tribunal in the past, I had an
10 occasion to see a number of documents issued by the Croatian Defence
11 Council; however, the documents that I have before me at this moment show
12 me that the Croatian Defence Council in Central Bosnia undertook
13 activities aimed at gaining control over the territories that were
14 mentioned in the political goals of the Croatian Defence Council.
15 Q. General, can you please look at document 23, which is DH47, which
16 was issued by the administration of the military police. This document
17 shows in its paragraph 3 that all cargo should be seized irrespective of
18 the person that the cargo is intended for, and that members of the BH army
19 should not be allowed to enter the area.
20 Does this behaviour of the Croatian Defence Council, in January
21 1993, pose a threat only for Central Bosnia, or was it the kind of
22 behaviour that posed a threat for the entire Republic of Bosnia and
23 Herzegovina? Tell me, the border crossings towards Croatia, were they the
24 only channels via which food, arms, and any other necessities could enter
25 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 A. I've managed to have a look at this document, and one may conclude
2 that this meant a total blockade of Bosnia and Herzegovina, because it is
3 a well-known fact that during that period of time, the only way the
4 Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina could exit its territory was via the
5 Republic of Croatia. And if all those roads were blocked, this meant that
6 the entire territory of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina was under
7 blockade, not only the territory of the 3rd Corps. And these measures
8 were aimed not only against the members of the BH army but all the
9 citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
10 Q. Can you please look at document number 37, which is DH44/ID. Do
11 you know which territory is depicted in this map?
12 A. This map depicts one part of the municipality of Zenica, one part
13 of the municipality of Vitez, and one part of the municipality of
15 Q. Witness Zivko Totic, who testified before this Trial Chamber --
16 A. I apologise. And also one part of the municipality of Travnik.
17 In other words, Zenica, Travnik, Vitez, and Busovaca, parts of these four
18 municipalities. I apologise.
19 Q. A witness before this Trial Chamber, Zivko Totic, put these
20 markings on this map based on the orders that he received on the 16th of
21 January that we just saw a little while ago.
22 In January 1993, General, did you witness the fact that the town
23 of Zenica was encircled by the units of the Croatian Defence Council in
24 this particular way?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. As a soldier, what can you tell us about the situation of Zenica
2 and the BiH army? At the time the BiH army was stationed in Zenica and
3 was supposed to go to the defence lines facing the Serbs from Zenica.
4 A. Such a deployment on the part of the Croatian Defence Council
5 disabled the BiH army to go to their positions facing the Serbs in the
6 area. And there were cases when members of the BiH army were disarmed
7 when they wanted to pass through the checkpoints established by members of
8 the Croatian Defence Council.
9 Q. General, can you please tell me, did there come a time in January
10 1993 when the conflict in Central Bosnia spread? And if that was the
11 case, can you tell me in what way did this conflict spread, and onto which
13 A. In the second half of January, the conflict in Central Bosnia
14 spread onto the municipality of Busovaca, the incidents when members of
15 the BiH army were disarmed, those members from the brigade of BiH army in
16 that territory of Busovaca and other activities undertaken by the HVO.
17 And according to our intelligence, they were taking their most dominant
18 points. And after the incident which took place at the checkpoint in
19 Busovaca, all this led to an armed conflict which spread across the entire
20 municipality of Busovaca in a very short time.
21 Q. General, can you please look at documents number 39, which is
22 DH0619. Does this document speak about the beginning of these conflicts,
23 the disarming of Muslim citizens and other incidents that you were aware
24 of in 1993 and that you have just described for us?
25 Since this document does not have a translation, can you please
1 read who was it who drafted the document, what this document refers to,
2 and can you please read the second paragraph of this document.
3 A. This document was drafted by the command of the 3rd Corps. It
4 bears number 02/33-202. The date is 22nd January 1993. The document was
5 sent to the staff of the Supreme Command of the armed forces of the BiH
6 army in Sarajevo. This document was signed by Enver Hadzihasanovic. It
7 was stamped.
8 In the second paragraph of this document, one can read: "The
9 ill-treatment of the Muslim population in Busovaca continues, as well as
10 in Vitez, Novi Travnik, and other places. On the 21st of January, 1993,
11 around 10.00 in the morning, at a checkpoint in the municipality of
12 Busovaca, robbers in uniforms and insignia of the HVO seized a Mercedes
13 owned by Beganovic from Zenica, who was then forced to cross the Lasva
14 River. A similar case repeated when four passengers from Tesanj were
15 armed from firearms. They were all Muslims."
16 Q. Have a look at document number 41 now, 1624, and then under 42,
17 1730. Since we don't have a translation for the second one, could you
18 tell me who drafted the document, what is the document about, and could
19 you read out the second and third sentence in the first paragraph.
20 A. I recognise this document. It's a document from the 3rd Corps.
21 You said it was document number 1730, if I'm not mistaken.
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. The number of the document is 02/31-142. It's dated the 24th of
24 January, 1993. It's addressed to the Supreme Command staff of the armed
25 forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo.
1 The second paragraph is as follows:
2 "At about 1713 hours --"
3 Q. I apologise, but could you read out the two last sentences in the
4 first paragraph.
5 A. "However, in the UNPROFOR column, there was an armoured personnel
6 carrier and an HVO jeep. The personnel carrier opened fire on the
7 positions of the members of the ABiH army. Fire was returned, and on that
8 occasion two members of the HVO in the jeep were killed and the personnel
9 carrier drove off."
10 Q. Thank you. Please have a look at document number 43 now; the
11 number of the document is 0631. And then number 45; 1734 is the number of
12 that document. Since there's no translation for this document either,
13 could you just tell us a little about the document. Give us the basic
14 information. Who drafted it, and what's the date of the document?
15 A. The first document that you have mentioned is document number
16 0631. It's a document from the 3rd Corps.
17 Q. We have the translation of that document. But as far as document
18 44 is concerned, document number 1735, and document 45, which is document
19 1734, could you just tell me who drafted the document, could you tell me
20 about the date, and who signed these two documents.
21 A. Document 1735, the first document, was issued by the 3rd Corps
22 command. It's a combat report from the Supreme Command staff of the armed
23 forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and it was signed by
24 Commander Enver Hadzihasanovic.
25 The second document is document number 1734. It was issued by the
1 3rd Corps command, and it's an order to the command of the 333rd Mountain
2 Brigade and to the 2nd Battalion of the 17th Krajina Brigade. It is
3 signed by Enver Hadzihasanovic. In fact, I signed the document on his
5 Q. Before the break, could you have a look at document 46. We don't
6 have a translation of this document. Could you tell me who issued this
7 document, and could you read out item 4 in this order.
8 A. This is a document from the command of the Central Bosnia
9 Operative Zone. The number is 01-167-SB/93. It is dated the 25th of
10 January, 1993. This is an order signed by Colonel Tihomir Blaskic. I
11 can't see his signature, though. Item 4 is as follows: "Destroy the
12 Zenica-Busovaca road, and defend the obstacle with all available means."
13 Q. General, with regard to this document, I would like you to tell us
14 whether this road, the Zenica-Busovaca-Vitez-Travnik road, because it's a
15 road to both places, was this road -- did this road collapse, was it
16 destroyed, and was it possible to use this road -- was it possible for
17 members of the BH army to use this road in the Lasva Valley?
18 A. Well, I personally noticed that the road had been damaged and no
19 one could use the road at that time. The BH army couldn't use it, nor
20 could anyone else.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps we could
22 have our break now.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's a quarter to 4.00. It's
24 time for our break. We'll resume at about 10 past 4.00.
25 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 --- On resuming at 4.18 p.m.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now resume.
3 But before we continue with examining the witness, the Chamber
4 would like to ask the Defence to inform the Chamber how they will use the
5 time that remains for them in order to address issues other than those
6 that concern the relations with the HVO or the structure of the BH army,
7 because you have so far used up half of your time, and it's Tuesday, 4.20.
8 We haven't yet addressed the substantial issues so we are somewhat
9 concerned. Could the Defence provide us with some clarification.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I think that
11 perhaps in the next half an hour, or 45 minutes at the most, I'll be able
12 to conclude the issue of the relations with the HVO. And I think I'll be
13 able to deal with the General's knowledge of Dusina and the events in
14 Dusina by the end of the day. On Thursday, I intend to move on to other
15 matters that the General is personally familiar with, Miletici, Maline,
16 Guca Gora, and, to a certain extent, the issue of the presence of
17 foreigners in the area of the 3rd Corps.
18 The relations that we have discussed are important, but as for
19 what the General knows about specific events that relate to counts in the
20 indictment, this is a field that we would perhaps embark on after the
21 second break. And I think that we'll have more time to deal with these
22 matters on Thursday. But the relations with the HVO are important,
23 because other issues arise from these relations, which is why we've used
24 about half of our time on this matter.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Please go ahead.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, you've already spoken about the conflicts in January and
3 about the relations that developed, the attempts to prevent an escalation
4 of tension between the army and the HVO. Tell me whether, during that
5 period of time, there were incidents of violating international
6 humanitarian law by the HVO. What do you know about the attitude towards
7 the civilian population, about the attitude towards individuals who were
8 arrested? What do you know about such events in January 1993?
9 A. As far as I knew, the HVO, or rather, members of the HVO, or it
10 would be better to say, individuals from the HVO, violated international
11 humanitarian law. We, from the 3rd Corps, informed the international
12 community of the fact. And I know that the international community became
13 aware of the fact that international humanitarian law was being violated
14 by members of the HVO.
15 Q. Could you please have a look at documents under 48, 51, and 61.
16 0653 is number 48; 51 is 0659; and number 61 is 0762. The first two
17 documents are from the HVO. Do they confirm what you knew about that
18 period? And document 61 is the result of the Joint Commission's
19 investigation into damaged buildings in Busovaca, and it refers to the
20 buildings that had been destroyed in the course of the events in Busovaca.
21 General, do these documents reflect what you knew about the
22 attitude of the HVO towards the civilian population?
23 A. Yes. I was present in the area and was able to take stock of this
24 situation, together with representatives of the international community.
25 Q. You mentioned the international community. General, at any point
1 in time, given the escalation of the conflict in Busovaca, did the
2 international community create some sort of a body whose responsibility
3 was to try to prevent the conflict from escalating and to try and deal
4 with any conflict situations?
5 A. The corps command tried to contact the HVO in order to prevent the
6 conflict from escalating in the territory of Busovaca municipality. When
7 we failed in doing this, we also contacted the international community.
8 At the time, in the area of Zenica, there was the European Monitoring
9 Commission, and they became actively involved in forming a joint
10 commission, the name of which was the Busovaca Joint Commission. It was
11 composed of representatives of the international community, led by EU
12 Mission Monitors; there were UNPROFOR members, Red Cross and UNHCR
13 members, and members of other international organisations who were in the
14 area. And on behalf of the BH army, I was the BH army's representative,
15 as the head of the mission. And on the other side, on the HVO side, there
16 was Franjo Nakic, who acted in the capacity of the deputy commander of the
17 command of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia; there was Tihomir
18 Blaskic. That was the mixed Busovaca commission, the Joint Commission.
19 Q. General, where did you meet? And were you free to go to the
20 meetings of that commission?
21 A. Well, the Joint Commission had its headquarters in Busovaca. And
22 I went to those meetings under UNPROFOR escort. I wasn't able to go there
23 in any other way because of the combat in the area.
24 Q. General, as a commission, was it possible for you to discuss
25 various issues, and at the time was that, in fact, the only place where
1 you, as an army representative, were able to complain on behalf of the
2 army and have other bodies in the area under the control of the army?
3 A. At the time it was the only means of communication between the BH
4 army and the HVO in that area, naturally, with the international community
5 acting as a mediator. At those meetings we tried to put an end to the
6 hostilities, we tried to render the situation normal, we tried to get the
7 parties involved in the conflict to withdraw and to get the trenches
8 filled in. But naturally we used this opportunity to inform each other.
9 I would tell the HVO what was happening, how members of the BH army were
10 being treated, how civilians who were being captured on a large scale were
11 being treated. And I mentioned -- I was able to talk about people who
12 weren't Croats, I was able to talk about how they were being treated in
13 that area. This concerned the entire territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 The HVO also took advantage of the opportunity to inform me about
15 what was happening on the other side. They informed me of whether there
16 were similar situations on the other side.
17 Q. Thank you. In response to my question about the work of the
18 Busovaca commission -- well, as far as this issue is concerned, I'll put
19 questions to you when I ask questions about the events in Dusina.
20 But now, given the tension that was calmed down to an extent, tell
21 me, after some time, the conflict escalated, and what was at stake?
22 What happened, in fact?
23 A. Well, the initial results of the Joint Commission in Busovaca were
24 visible. The intensity of the clashes dropped. Up until the Washington
25 agreement, an end wasn't put to the conflict, but from time to time there
1 was more intense fighting in the Busovaca municipality. But in April
2 1993, there was a new problem. First there were some incidents, and then
3 some clashes between the HVO and the BH army in the area of Vitez.
4 Q. What was the attitude of the BH army when these conflicts broke
5 out? And did the army adopt a different perspective with regard to these
6 events? Did it continue to try and find a way of avoiding an all-out
7 conflict? Were attempts made to find a joint solution to the escalation
8 of the conflict?
9 A. The BH army, given the overall situation -- well, I must tell you
10 what the main mission of the BH army was again, and this was also the
11 mission of the 3rd Corps: It was to fight the aggressor. All the orders
12 that we received from our superior command were issued in relation to this
13 main mission. We didn't have sufficient forces to become engaged in some
14 other battlefield, at some other front. We had insight into the overall
15 policies of the BH republic, and that was to avoid conflict with the HVO
16 at whatever the cost. And the 3rd Corps command, together with its
17 commander, General Hadzihasanovic, made huge efforts to avoid such
18 conflicts, or to ensure that such conflicts did not become even more
20 Q. Did the HVO officially accept such attempts, or did they really
21 accept such attempts? Or rather, how did the HVO act during that period
22 of time?
23 A. Well, we took advantage of the existence of the Busovaca Joint
24 Commission so that we could inform the HVO of the attitudes and the
25 positions of the 3rd Corps. But this didn't bear any fruit, because from
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13 French transcripts correspond
1 day to day the fighting grew more and more intense, until a conflict broke
2 out in the area of Vitez municipality.
3 In the area of Vitez, the Busovaca Joint Commission, together with
4 the international community, concluded that the focus of the commission
5 should be transferred to the Vitez municipality.
6 Q. In April, in the fighting around Vitez, were there any events that
7 put the 3rd Corps commander and all the commanders in a particular
8 situation in which they had to calm soldiers down and prevent them from
9 retaliating against HVO members? If that was the case, could you describe
10 these events for us.
11 A. In April, in the fighting in the area of Vitez municipality, there
12 was a terrible tragedy. War crimes were committed on a very large scale.
13 Relations between the BH army and the HVO deteriorated even more. The
14 corps command again did everything it could to explain to its subordinates
15 and to inform their superiors of the fact that the situation in the zone
16 of responsibility of the 3rd Corps was becoming increasingly complex. And
17 it was very difficult to explain to a soldier who had lost all his family
18 and lived in the municipality of Vitez that this is how one should act.
19 Q. General, did you then find out that the HVO, who officially said
20 that they wanted to cooperate with you, was simultaneously establishing
21 close cooperation with the Serbian forces?
22 A. Yes. At the time we had intelligence, according to which the HVO
23 was talking to and negotiating with representatives of the
24 Republika Srpska army. And they were trying to agree on how they should
25 act if the conflict in the Lasva Valley escalated.
1 Q. General, towards the end of April and May, were additional efforts
2 made at the highest political level, and then within the 3rd Corps too, to
3 finally put an end to this conflict and to try and liberate the territory
4 of Bosnia and Herzegovina by using joint forces? If that was the case,
5 could you tell us which bodies were formed, and what do you personally
6 know about all of this?
7 A. Given the way that the situation developed in the Lasva Valley, as
8 far as I know, at the time I had information, according to which there
9 were political talks at the highest level in Zagreb between
10 representatives of the BH government, or including representatives of the
11 BH government. And it was agreed that a joint command should be formed so
12 that the forces of the BH army, acting together with the HVO forces,
13 fought the aggressor in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. Did you become involved in some of the bodies of the joint
16 A. Yes. In the area of the Lasva Valley, a joint command was formed
17 composed of representatives from the BH army and HVO representatives. As
18 I was appointed as head of the BH army, as their representative, and as an
19 HVO representative, Mr. Franjo Nakic, was appointed by an order issued
20 from -- by the commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, Tihomir
21 Blaskic. The headquarters were to be in Travnik, in the post office
23 Q. General, at the time did you become seriously engaged in a task?
24 Where were you located? And were you monitoring the situation in Travnik
25 and in the Bila valley?
1 A. Yes. I took this task very seriously, and I believed that these
2 high-level political agreements would bear fruit. And I thought that the
3 tactical and operations level would be able to agree on joint action
4 against the aggressor in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I believed that our
5 combined force would be used to fight the aggressor in Bosnia and
7 During that period, I, as a representative of the BH army, or
8 rather, Franjo Nakic, as the representative of the HVO, we, in that joint
9 command, had very good information on what was happening in the Lasva
10 Valley and around the Lasva Valley. Naturally, the international
11 community helped us a lot, together with the European Monitors and
13 Q. The existence of this joint command, did it solve the problems
14 that had escalated before? What was the position of the army at that
15 time? Was it allowed a free passage through the Bila valley and the Lasva
16 Valley, or did you witness a somewhat different situation?
17 A. Regardless of the fact that the joint command had been
18 established, in military terms, it could not function. Let me just give
19 you one example to prove that.
20 This joint command did not have any communications means, so we
21 could not function as a true command, in the true sense of that word, in
22 the sense command functions in modern armies. However, we tried as much
23 as we could to draft a plan for joint operations. We failed, however,
24 because the situation deteriorated by the day, and our attention, instead
25 of being channeled towards the aggressor, had to be channeled towards
1 problems in the Lasva Valley because of the new checkpoints springing up,
2 new incidents occurring, and their numbers getting bigger by the day.
3 Q. Can you please look at a series of documents testifying to the
4 behaviour of the HVO and the BiH army - you have just testified about
5 that - and those documents are number 64, 0857; number 65, 0858; number
6 66, 0878; number 67, 0894; 68, 0927; number 69, 0930; number 70, 0935;
7 number 71, 0937; number 72, 0940; 73, 0964; number 74, 0966; number 75,
8 0991; number 76, 0997; number 79, 1067; number 80, 1859; number 81, 1108.
9 I know that you don't have much time. Please look at the
10 documents. My questions are as follows: Do these documents reflect part
11 of the behaviour, on the one hand, of the BH army, and, on the other hand,
12 of the Croatian Defence Council during that period of time between April
13 and June?
14 A. Yes. This is a set of documents drafted by both the HVO and by
15 the BiH army, as well as the documents issued by the joint command from
16 Travnik. They all speak of the situation deteriorating. They say that
17 members of the HVO continued blocking the roads, they continued blocking
18 the passage of BiH army units. They speak of the HVO taking elevation
19 points around Travnik. Here there is a document testifying to the
20 shelling of Travnik, a document testifying to the cooperation with the
21 aggressor, all of the things that I have already mentioned.
22 Q. Thank you very much.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just for the record, I would like
24 to state that among these documents, 0878, 0927, 0935, there are documents
25 without translation, and the Defence will endeavour to have these
1 documents translated by the end of the testimony of this witness so as to
2 enable the Trial Chamber to inform themselves of these documents before
3 putting their questions to the witness.
4 Q. You have just told us that some of these documents demonstrate the
5 cooperation between the HVO and the Serbian forces. Can you please look
6 at the documents numbered 77, bearing the Defence number 1030; number 82,
7 bearing number 1123; document number 83, bearing number 1124; number 84,
8 1130; number 85, 1133.
9 Since you have told us that you had intelligence testifying to the
10 cooperation between the HVO and the army of Republika Srpska, my first
11 question would be whether these documents confirm whatever intelligence
12 you had at the time.
13 Second question: Did this put the BH army in a situation to
14 change its defence plans? In other words, did they now assume that they
15 would have to put up a defence against two enemies at the time?
16 A. Obviously every command has to assess the current situation and
17 plan according to these assessments. Based on the intelligence that we
18 had at the time already in April, we had to draft different plans of
19 defence in the territory of the 3rd Corps.
20 We had various plans. One of them envisaged the attack by just
21 one aggressor; the other envisaged a simultaneous attack by the aggressor
22 and the HVO. There were all different variations, which is only normal in
23 the process of the work of any one command.
24 Our intelligence that we had at the time is confirmed by these
25 documents. What we had at the time was confirmed in practice. During
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 these periods, we saw that the HVO was acting in concert with the Serbian
2 aggressor, with the army of Republika Srpska. They abandoned their
3 position facing the aggressor and ceding these positions to the aggressor.
4 This made the situation in the territory of the 3rd Corps even more
5 complex. These are the indicators that the Serbian aggressor, or the army
6 of Republika Srpska, was acting together with the HVO.
7 This was the worst situation that we could envisage, and it was
8 already in place in mid-June. And the 3rd Corps was facing an extremely
9 difficult situation. At the beginning, we didn't know how to deal with
10 that terrible situation.
11 Q. General, since you were a member of this joint command, and you
12 acted in the territory of Travnik, can you please tell me, the documents
13 demonstrate various problems that the army had to face at the time, one of
14 them being the total blockade. What was the situation at the Bila valley?
15 What was the situation that the 306th Mountain Brigade faced in the Bila
16 valley? In this regard, can you please look at document number 80,
17 bearing the defence number 1859.
18 A. Together with UNPROFOR, and together with a representative of the
19 Croatian Defence Council, Mr. Franjo Nakic, I had an occasion to visit
20 some parts of the Bila valley. I did it on several occasions. And
21 together with Franjo Nakic, I convinced myself that all the roads were
22 totally blocked. When you look at the map, and when you see where those
23 obstacles were and where the positions of the HVO were at the time, you
24 can conclude, as I could at the time, that the 306th Brigade was in very
25 dire straits. Its position was very difficult because it was completely
1 intersected. It was so intersected that, for example, the company
2 commands could not cooperate. They were completely broken up. The
3 battalions could not communicate. The brigade command could not link up
4 with anybody else in the Bila region.
5 We had a case that I want to share with you. The command of the
6 306th Brigade was very close at the time to the Croatian defence lines in
7 the building of the mine, and it was directly exposed to the fire opened
8 by the HVO. We had a situation that a member of the army was killed in
9 the headquarters of the command. Together with UNPROFOR, we inspected the
10 site where this happened.
11 Q. When I showed you the document number 8C - this is number 1859,
12 the date is 30 May 1993, and this order shows -- do you have this document
13 before you?
14 A. Yes. I have it in front of me.
15 Q. This shows that the 306th Brigade was completely broken up and
16 encircled in the villages which are mentioned here.
17 A. Yes. This document confirms precisely that.
18 Q. General, just briefly tell us what is your information about the
19 developments in June 1993. The situation when the main elevation points
20 had been taken by HVO, when the BH army was completely broken up, did it
21 lead to certain conflicts in Travnik and the Bila valley?
22 A. The efforts on the part of the joint command to resolve the
23 situation in the Bila valley and Travnik at the beginning of June 1993
24 failed, and the Croatian Defence Council took up the main elevation point.
25 Very strange situations took place, and we could not find any solution to
1 these situations.
2 For example, at the beginning of June, the commander of the
3 operations group, the commander of the brigade were arrested. Members of
4 the brigade command and the battalion command were put in a very difficult
5 situation. They were disarmed. And all of a sudden one didn't know how
6 to react to these strange situations.
7 At the beginning of June 1993, Travnik was shelled. I was in
8 Travnik at the time, I was in the post office building, and I could see
9 the first shells falling around the post office building, around the
10 barracks, and in other parts of the town of Travnik.
11 Q. Thank you. Simultaneously with these military activities, during
12 this period of time, did HVO engage in some propaganda activities aimed at
13 portraying the BiH army, in the eyes of the world, in a different way, in
14 a way different than the one you advocated and fostered? Did they start
15 introducing a certain name for you who were members of the BH army, a name
16 that was first used unofficially and then it became the official way
17 members of the BiH army were addressed? Are you aware of that? Do you
18 have any information about that?
19 A. I had an opportunity on several occasions to talk to members of
20 the HVO. They started using the words "Muslim armed forces." They
21 started addressing me as the deputy commander of the Muslim armed forces.
22 They started addressing me as a Mujahedin, as an Arab. I don't know what
23 other names they used. They accused me of being an aggressor against the
24 Croatian people; they accused me of wanting to destroy the Croatian
25 people. There were some official meetings, and they said that they were
1 talking to representatives of the Muslim forces. We protested. We said
2 that we didn't -- we were not the command of any Muslim forces, that we
3 were not the command of the Muslim armed forces; we said that we were the
4 command of the 3rd Corps of the BiH army.
5 There were also situations at official meetings when the HVO
6 addressed members of the Supreme Command as commanders of the Muslim
7 forces. I remember one situation which took place in mid-June when a
8 representative of the Main Staff of the armed forces of the Republic of
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Stjepan Siber, was addressed as commander of
10 the Muslim forces, and General Siber obviously protested against such
12 I also had occasions to hear in the media the HVO always said that
13 they were being attacked by the Muslim forces; that the Muslim forces
14 wanted to subdue them, to destroy them, to launch an aggression against
15 the Croatian people.
16 Q. Can you please look at document number 86, bearing number 1175.
17 Tell me, please, is this one of the documents that confirms the things
18 that you have just testified about?
19 A. Yes. It is very clear that under item 1 of this document, it is
20 not the term "army" that is being used. The term being used is "the
21 Muslim forces."
22 Q. After the attack on Travnik and the fighting in Travnik, did this
23 spread on to the Bila valley? Were there any attacks and fighting in the
24 Bila valley?
25 A. According to the information that we had in the joint command in
1 Travnik, the conflict between the BiH army and the HVO, which started in
2 the town of Travnik, was spreading. And when you look at the map, you can
3 see that this conflict was spreading on to the Bila valley.
4 Q. Since we will have to go back to the conflict in the Bila valley,
5 I would like to ask you now: After these combat activities in the Bila
6 valley, did the Croatian Defence Council, during the month of June,
7 independently, or together with the Serbian forces, attack some other
8 strategic areas where units of the 3rd Corps could be found?
9 A. Obviously we monitored the developments very closely, especially
10 on the defence lines facing the Serbian aggressor. And we had the
11 intelligence, according to which similar situations and things were
12 happening in other areas where the contact between the HVO and the
13 aggressor against the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina were very
14 obvious, and especially those contacts were very close with the
15 representatives of the army of Republika Srpska.
16 Q. Can you please tell me what happened in Kakanj? And I would also
17 like you to provide us with some more details as to what problems did the
18 3rd Corps face in the area of Zepce. And also, what was the strategic
19 value of Zepce and Maglaj, not only for the 3rd Corps but for the entire
20 defence of the entire Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
21 A. In the first half of June 1993, we had combat activities around
22 Travnik and in the Bila valley. There were also incidents at the same
23 time, or approximately around the same time, in Kakanj. We had
24 information that at the HVO checkpoints there, members of the BiH army
25 were being stopped, that the civilians were being arrested, that the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 Croatian Defence Council was behaving very badly towards members of the
2 BiH army. And soon after the first incidents at the checkpoints, there
3 was an escalation of this conflict in the territory of Kakanj.
4 As far as I can remember, this all was taking place sometime
5 around the 8th of June. On the 11th of June, we had a fully blown
6 conflict in the territory of Kakanj. So on the 10th, 11th, and 12th of
7 June, this was all happening. The subsequent information told us that the
8 situation in Maglaj and Zepce was very complex. The Croatian Defence
9 Council already cooperated and negotiated with the army of
10 Republika Srpska about joint activities. And the blockade was lifted from
11 the general area of Bosnia and Herzegovina around Maglaj, around Tesanj,
12 and one part of Teslic. All this was a very strategic area, a very
13 strategic territory.
14 And the command of the 3rd Corps, at that time, in the month of
15 June, was given the mission to channel all of its forces towards lifting
16 the blockade from this area, irrespective of the fact that Maglaj and
17 Tesanj were not in the zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. However,
18 once you received a task, you have to follow through.
19 The corps command was still in a situation which was getting more
20 complex by the day, and this was an impossible situation for the command
21 of the 3rd Corps. The commander of the 3rd Corps received his task, moved
22 his command post towards Zepce in order to be as close to the area where
23 his next task was going to be.
24 Q. General, in view of all of these developments that you have just
25 briefly described for us, were you yourself engaged in the attempt to
1 resolve the situation in Kakanj, in the attempt to set up joint commands
2 there? And what were the results of all of these efforts?
3 A. The corps command and myself really made great efforts to find a
4 solution, to reach an agreement, because we knew that if a new front was
5 opened facing the HVO, we, as soldiers, would find ourselves in an
6 impossible situation. The width of the front that we had, the length of
7 the front that we had before, well, it was over -- it was several hundred
8 kilometres long; sometimes it was between 450 and 500 kilometres long. We
9 had a long line facing the aggressor. And if we were to open a new front,
10 the line would be even longer. We were in an impossible situation.
11 Through Catholic members of the clergy, we tried to influence the
12 HVO and the Croatian population. We tried to ensure that a conflict was
13 avoided. We tried to avoid casualties. But naturally, we weren't very
15 Q. General, since, throughout that period of time, in the 3rd Corps
16 area, there were peace forces that were present - UNPROFOR, the European
17 Monitors, et cetera - did you also contact them and inform them of the
18 problems with the HVO? Did you ask them to become involved to ensure that
19 agreements were respected?
20 A. Yes. Throughout this period of time, we tried to obtain the help
21 of all the UN organisations in that area, or rather, we tried to obtain
22 the help of the international community.
23 Q. I will now ask you to go through the following documents under
24 section D. Could you have a look at the documents 1 to 39. And could you
25 tell me whether this is how you tried to inform the other party in the
1 conflict, and especially the international community, of everything that
2 was happening in that area.
3 A. Yes. I've had a look at all these documents, and they do confirm
4 what I was just saying a minute ago. I've seen some documents that were
5 sent both to the international community and to the command of the Central
6 Bosnia Operative Zone, to the command of the HVO.
7 Q. Thank you, General.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would now like to
9 move on to certain specific events referred to in the indictment.
10 With the help of the usher, could the Chamber and members of the
11 Prosecution be provided with another series of documents, these documents
12 which I want to show to the witness, and they relate to Dusina and
13 Miletici. This time we didn't discriminate against our colleagues from
14 the Prosecution; we have managed to use tabs.
15 Q. As you have heard, I would like to talk to you about the knowledge
16 you have of certain events that relate to the counts in the indictment in
17 this case.
18 General, tell me whether you ever heard about allegations of
19 crimes having been committed in the village of Dusina.
20 A. Yes. The first time I heard about crimes that may have been
21 committed in the village of Dusina was at a meeting. I obtained this
22 information from Colonel Tihomir Blaskic.
23 Q. Who attended the meeting, and where was the meeting held?
24 A. After the events and the combat in Busovaca, in an attempt to end
25 the fighting in Busovaca, and as suggested by the international community,
1 a meeting was held in Kiseljak, on the 26th of January, 1993. It was in
2 the UNPROFOR command in Kiseljak. And there were representatives of the
3 BH army and HVO representatives; the international community acted as a
4 mediator. At that time I was the representative of the BH army, and
5 Tihomir Blaskic was the HVO representative.
6 Q. Do you remember who the representatives of the international
7 community were at the time?
8 A. The main representative of the international community at the
9 meeting was General Cordy-Simpson, if I'm not mistaken. I think he's an
10 Englishman. I don't know what his position was in the UNPROFOR command in
12 Q. What was the main objective of the meeting? What were you
13 supposed to agree on? What were you supposed to reach an agreement on
14 when these discussions between the army and the HVO were held?
15 A. Well, we were to agree on putting an end to the fighting in
16 Busovaca; we were to agree on finding a peaceful solution to the conflict,
17 which already seemed to be turning into a large-scale conflict.
18 Q. Did you have any success in trying to establish a cease-fire
19 before Colonel Blaskic informed you of the allegations about the crimes?
20 A. I reached Kiseljak and Zenica in an armoured personnel carrier
21 from the UNPROFOR BritBat, which was located in Vitez at the time. The
22 trip from Zenica to Kiseljak was difficult, especially when passing
23 through Busovaca municipality where fighting was ongoing.
24 We started the meeting in Kiseljak, but towards the end of the
25 meeting, Colonel Blaskic informed us of the information he had received on
1 the crimes committed in Dusina.
2 Q. The information that you were provided with by Colonel Blaskic,
3 did this information affect the way the meeting developed? And was there
4 an agreement on signing a cease-fire?
5 A. As far as I could assess the situation at the time, that was the
6 key information that was provided. Although towards the end of the
7 meeting, we had almost managed to agree on a cessation of hostilities.
8 They were prepared to sign such a document. But Colonel Blaskic refused
9 to continue working at the meeting. I remember very well that at the time
10 General Cordy-Simpson tried to ensure that the meeting came to an end, and
11 tried to ensure that a cease-fire was signed, but Colonel Blaskic wouldn't
12 agree to this. And the meeting came to an end on the 26th of January,
13 1993, in the afternoon.
14 Q. Where did you go after the meeting?
15 A. After the meeting, in the afternoon, I returned to the 3rd Corps
16 command in Zenica.
17 Q. General, did you inform Commander Hadzihasanovic of what had
18 happened at the meeting?
19 A. Yes. At that time I provided the 3rd Corps command and General
20 Hadzihasanovic with a detailed report on what had happened. Naturally, I
21 said that the meeting would continue the following day.
22 Q. When preparing for the meeting that was to be held on the
23 following day, did you and the commander request that all the reports on
24 the situation in Dusina be provided to you? And did you have the
25 opportunity of seeing what subordinate units had reported to you with
12 Blank page inserted to ensure the pagination between the English and
13 French transcripts correspond
1 regard to the events?
2 A. As far as I can remember, the corps commander immediately informed
3 the superior command of the events in Kiseljak, and naturally within the
4 corps we took measures to find out what was happening at the time in the
5 village of Dusina. We received reports a little later, because
6 communication links were very poor. As I have said, it was very difficult
7 for us to contact units in the field. And I know that the units that were
8 in the field found it very difficult to establish contact with its first
9 superior command, with its immediate superior command.
10 So the reports we received on that day showed that, in the area of
11 Dusina, there was fighting. Individuals had been killed on both sides;
12 the HVO and the BH army had sustained casualties. There was fighting, and
13 men were killed on both sides.
14 Q. General, could you now have a look at the documents under
15 number 14, P251.
16 A. Could you please refer to these numbers a little more slowly,
17 because I don't have all the references here.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, the wrong documents
19 were shown to the witness. I think we have solved the problem now.
20 Q. I was referring to the document under number 14, Exhibit P251.
21 This is a document that the Zenica municipal defence staff provided to the
22 regional staff in Zenica, the regional defence staff; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Tell me whether this confirms what you, in fact, knew; namely,
25 that there was fighting in that area and that casualties were sustained by
1 both sides.
2 A. Yes. What you said is, in fact, confirmed in this document.
3 Q. Have a look at document number 16, P130.
4 A. I've had a look at the document.
5 Q. Does this document also refer to the disposition in the combat
6 zone, and does it refer to fighting?
7 A. Yes. This is a regular combat report, and it does refer to
9 Q. Have a look at document number 17 now; that's document P131.
10 A. I've had a look at it.
11 Q. Is this document also forwarded to the operations centre of the
12 3rd Corps, and is this one of the documents that you examined, together
13 with the commander, that shows that there was combat?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Have a look at document 19, please, P200. It's also a document
16 from the Zenica region, and it also refers to combat but in a somewhat
17 different way.
18 A. Yes, I've had a look at the document. And it is from the regional
19 staff. It's addressed to the 3rd Corps command, to the duty operations
21 Q. General, although we have already seen similar documents,
22 yesterday we were discussing whether you had a military position or not.
23 At the end of the document your name is printed. But who would sign the
25 A. Dugalic Ramiz, and it says "For the commander, Dugalic Ramiz."
1 Yesterday I tried to explain such situations. I didn't have a dual role.
2 I was the deputy commander of the 3rd Corps at the time, because the
3 regional defence staff had not yet been disbanded. I wouldn't go into
4 this again, but if the Chamber has any other questions, I could clarify
5 the issue.
6 Q. Have a look at document number 22, Exhibit P346. This is also a
7 document from the Zenica region. The signature is the same. It's
8 addressed to the 3rd Corps. Does this document also mention the fact that
9 in the area of Dusina there was fighting and casualties were sustained by
10 both sides?
11 A. Yes. This document confirms that.
12 Q. Please have a look at document number 26 now, P828. It's a report
13 from the 7th Muslim Brigade to the duty operations centre in the
14 3rd Corps. Does this document also reflect the situation?
15 A. Yes. This document also confirms what you were just saying and
16 what I have already testified about.
17 Q. In response to one of my questions a while ago, you said that
18 communications were fairly poor, and you said that information would
19 arrive a little too late sometimes. In this document, although the same
20 day is concerned, the description of the events is different. In the
21 previous document we had a look at, reference was made to an HVO attack
22 and the Bosniak population being arrested, whereas the other document
23 states what is said in documents from the 7th Muslim Brigade and in
24 documents from the municipal staff.
25 Tell me, given the poor communications at the time, was it
1 possible for reports from certain commands to be inaccurate? Was it,
2 therefore, necessary to carry out further verifications or wait for
3 additional reports? Were there such situations as far as your units and
4 command in January 1993 are concerned?
5 A. Yes. These situations -- such things did occur in the field.
6 Apart from the fact that there were poor communications at all levels of
7 control and command - and I've spoken about this already in detail - but I
8 would also like to inform the Chamber or remind the Chamber of a very
9 important factor, something that I mentioned yesterday, and this factor
10 concerns the level of training of our members of staff.
11 If you have someone who's involved in communications but isn't
12 trained in military terms, he's not a very well-educated person, in such
13 cases it's very difficult for such an individual to provide a clear combat
14 report in accordance with the standards of the 3rd Corps.
15 So we have two important problems here, and I mentioned them
16 yesterday: The problem of communications and the problem of the level of
17 qualifications of the staff members who forward information.
18 Q. You said when you informed General Hadzihasanovic, who was the
19 commander of the 3rd Corps at the time, when you informed him about what
20 had happened in the meeting, he informed the superior command. Could you
21 please have a look at document 18 now, P133. No, I apologise, it's --
22 P133, yes. A 3rd Corps document dated the 26th of January, 1993.
23 A. I've looked at the document, although I found it very difficult to
24 find this number at the bottom. Normally all these numbers are on the top
25 of the page.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you sure that it was 11?
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] No. No, not 11, 18.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right, then.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. In the middle paragraph, you can see that Commander Hadzihasanovic
6 is informing the Supreme Command staff of what had occurred during the
7 meeting. Is this a document which truthfully conveys the message that you
8 had given to Commander Hadzihasanovic after you returned from this meeting
9 in Kiseljak?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. In view of your general military experience as an officer, could
12 you tell the Trial Chamber whether the truthful informing on the part of
13 the Supreme Command on any information they may have is one of the major
14 elements of the responsible performance of the commander's duties.
15 A. Yes. That is a principle that any commander should respect.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to stop here
17 because it is 25 to 6.00. We are going to make a break, and we shall
18 resume around 1800 hours. Thank you.
19 --- Recess taken at 5.35 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 6.02 p.m.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I give the floor to the Defence.
22 You may repeat the question that you put to the witness just before the
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
25 Q. General, before the break, I put a question to you which I'm now
1 going to repeat. I would kindly ask you to tell me, as a professional
2 officer, what was your professional military experience with regard to the
3 reporting? Is truthful reporting of a superior command one of the
4 important characteristics and responsibilities of the commander which show
5 that this commander is responsible in the exercise of his duties?
6 A. This report, which was spent to the superior command by the
7 commander of the 3rd Corps, is truthful, and it was drafted in the way I
8 reported to the commander of the 3rd Corps, General Hadzihasanovic. And
9 it shows the character of this commander. It is true, what you have just
10 said, that one of the important characteristics of every commander is
11 truthful reporting to the superior command.
12 Q. Can you please look at the document number 20, which is P211;
13 number 21, P212; and number 25, which is P237. These are three reports to
14 the staff of the Supreme Command of the armed forces.
15 Tell me first, in the command of the 3rd Corps, was there a
16 defined way of reporting? Do these documents, when you look at them,
17 represent a meeting of the obligation on the part of the 3rd Corps to send
18 all the information to its superior command within a given period of time?
19 A. Yes. This is a customary procedure within the system of command
20 and control. The documents that you have just shown me confirm precisely
22 Q. Where would the information from the field arrive in the command
23 of the 3rd Corps?
24 A. The information from the field from the duty operations officers
25 of the subordinate unit would arrive in the duty operations centre of the
1 3rd Corps command.
2 Q. The operations centre, or the duty operations officer, is that the
3 person that prepares information for the superior command? In practice,
4 is there such a situation in which the information from the duty
5 operations centre, signed by the commander of that command, goes to the
6 superior command without the signatory of this report seeing this
8 A. Let me explain briefly the so-called regular reports and interim
9 reports. The 3rd Corps of the BH army tried to honour this customary
10 procedure. Regular reports which are drafted in the operations centre can
11 be daily reports or can be interim combat reports. They are sent to the
12 superior command, and they have to be given to the commander if the
13 commander is at the command, because reports should not be sent to the
14 superior command with any delay. When the corps commander is absent, this
15 information has to be checked by the person that is standing in for the
16 corps commander at the time. Those were mostly his deputy, which was
17 myself, the Chief of Staff, and very rarely it did occur that these three
18 persons were not at the command, they were not able to check those reports
19 that were sent to the superior command. There are such reports that the
20 commander himself may sign and directly send to the superior command,
21 which is left to the commander's assessment and up to him to decide
22 whether to do that.
23 Q. When you were informed about the combat report of the 7th Muslim
24 Brigade, which reached you through the normal channels, and when you were
25 informed about other reports that came from the municipal staff and the
1 regional defence staff of Zenica, in this particular concrete situation,
2 was it normal for the 3rd Corps to receive the reports on the same events
3 from the resubordinated units, as well as the report from that command to
4 which one part of this unit was resubordinated in this specific case and
5 for this specific combat mission?
6 A. Within the system of command and control, if this system functions
7 normally, and if this system is equipped with all the necessary equipment,
8 and if it is professionally staffed, then it would not be possible for
9 such a thing to happen. However, I already said yesterday that our
10 personnel was not trained, that our means of communications were very
11 poor. So it would be possible for the second subordinate to send a report
12 to his superior who is at a higher level. This could happen, but it was
13 not part of the customary practice.
14 Q. Thank you very much. When you were at the meeting in Kiseljak,
15 and especially when you looked at all the combat reports, did you at all
16 know what was going on in the area of Lasva? Did you know why these
17 forces were deployed in the area of Lasva in the first place?
18 A. I've already said that combat activities in Busovaca, on the 25th
19 of January, were of such proportions that they gave rise for concern. On
20 the 25th, the Croatian Defence Council had a significant tactical
21 advantage, had a lot of successes in the field. They took some of the
22 facilities which were in the territory of Busovaca municipality. And
23 already during that period, all members of the army were either arrested
24 or expelled from the town, and the Croatian Defence Council had a lot of
25 successes in two technical positions, or on two technical axes; one
1 followed the Lasva Valley towards Zenica, and the second axis was south
2 from that axis.
3 Obviously, from the field we received very unfavourable
4 information, and it was normal for the command to take measures in order
5 to strengthen the defence lines in those areas. According to my
6 intelligence, the intention was to occupy the Lasva junction and to
7 intersect the main road from Zenica towards other places in the region.
8 Q. General, can we please now look at document number 3, which is
9 Prosecution document number 406 [Realtime transcript read in error "46"],
10 dated 19th January, which is the time, as you have testified earlier, when
11 the conflict escalated and when you received this ultimatum from the
12 Croatian Defence Council. Line 18 --
13 THE INTERPRETER: Correction, it is not 46 but 406.
14 A. What number is that?
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Number 3. Let me first ask you: Is this the reaction of the
17 3rd Corps commander to the ultimatum that was given to you? When was the
18 deadline of the ultimatum; can you remember? The ultimatum that was given
19 to you by the HVO.
20 A. I believe that it was around the 15th. But in any case, it was
21 before the 19th of January.
22 Q. Is this order the reaction, or the normal reaction of the
23 3rd Corps command? Is it normal for them to deploy their forces in order
24 to prevent the attack of the HVO on these areas?
25 A. Yes, this is a normal reaction.
1 Q. Since you've already told us something about the Lasva junction
2 and its significance, can you please look at item 10 in this order.
3 I would like the usher's assistance in providing you with a map,
4 and I'm going to ask you to show us on this map what was the task as
5 specified in item 10 of this order.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] For the record, the witness has
7 been provided with a part of the map that has already been admitted. The
8 title is "Dusina - Set 4." This is a part of the map Zenica 4, 1:50.000.
9 At the same time I would like the General to be provided with another map.
10 For the record, this is from the set 3 of the maps that have already been
11 admitted. This -- the part of Zenica 144, 1:100.000.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Just for the record, as
14 the maps are being distributed, I note on the 1:50.000 map, that the
15 village of Dusina has been highlighted with an oval. I don't believe that
16 was on the previous version of the map. We don't have an objection to
17 this, but simply for the record, we indicate that that has been
18 highlighted on the map, as provided to the witness.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have noticed that. The
20 Defence is going to explain why is that the case.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I really don't know what to say,
22 Your Honours. Today we have requested for these two maps to be taken from
23 the set of maps, since the title Zavjetnica [phoen] and Dusina, it is for
24 that reason that these two places have been marked specially. I have
25 these maps on A4 format, and there are no markings on them. If there's a
1 problem, I can provide the witness with my copies. And it is obvious that
2 this is not part of the original map.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
4 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, we don't have an objection. I just
5 simply note that for the record, because my learned colleague has
6 indicated that this is part of a map that's previously in evidence, and I
7 don't believe those markings were on the map as it was previously
8 admitted. So just simply to avoid any confusion on down the road, we
9 simply wanted to put that on the record. We have no objection.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. And just for the
12 record, since my technical knowledge is very modest, my colleague has just
13 warned me that the main places referred to in here are marked on the CD
14 programme. We can have them removed tomorrow. But I believe that with
15 these explanations, the map will be of use to you, Your Honours.
16 Q. I'm now going to ask the witness to take the map 1:100.000, also
17 to take a marker, and mark the places where the municipal staff of Zenica
18 and one company of the 7th Muslim Brigade were deployed. It is being
19 deployed on a certain line. Can you please mark those places mentioned
20 under item 10. Can you mark them on this map, obviously, if you can see
21 them. Before that, can you please put a circle around the Lasva junction,
22 and can you put number 1 next to that circle.
23 A. [Marks].
24 Q. There's the village of Guvna [phoen] here.
25 A. Gumanci.
1 Q. Could you mark the location of that village. You could encircle
2 it and mark it with number 2.
3 A. [Marks]. Saracevica?
4 Q. Saracevica is on the map.
5 A. [Marks].
6 Q. Defence number 3 marks the location of Saracevica.
8 A. Kuber is a wider area. We have this elevation. It's at 860
9 metres above sea level, if I can see this correctly. [Marks].
10 Q. So you have marked Kuber with number 4. Could you mark the
11 location of Vjetrenica now.
12 A. [Marks].
13 Q. Vjetrenica has been marked with number 5.
14 And could you mark the location of Vranjaca.
15 A. [Marks].
16 Q. That's number 6. I don't know whether it can be seen here, but
17 elevation 952, Ovnak, perhaps you can find it.
18 A. I'm marking the area of Ovnak. But as for elevation 952, I can't
19 find it.
20 Q. Very well. But mark the area of Ovnak with number 7.
21 A. [Marks].
22 Q. General, could you tell me, where the units of the municipal
23 Territorial Defence staff deployed, which were supported by one company of
24 the 7th Muslim? In which area were they deployed in relation to the local
25 commune of Vranjaca or, rather, in relation to the village of Dusina?
1 Were they deployed in the area of Dusina?
2 A. The disposition of the forces is towards the north-west from the
3 village of Dusina.
4 Q. What separates these positions from the area in which Dusina is
5 located? Is there a mountain, a river, or something like that, which in
6 fact separates these two areas?
7 A. Yes, of course. There is a river, and there is a road that passes
8 through the Lasva Valley, or rather, passes along the Lasva River.
9 Q. Thank you. Keep the maps with you. We might be needing them
10 later. But have a look at document number 4 now, Exhibit P479. It's a
11 document from the 7th Muslim Brigade. In military terms, is this a normal
12 sort of order which is a result of the previous order on their
13 resubordination? I draw your attention to item 2.
14 A. Yes, it's quite normal. The sequence is quite normal.
15 Q. Have a look at the document under number 5, Exhibit P236. It's
16 dated the 22nd of January, 1993. Have a look at item 3 in the order and
17 tell me what the attitude of the 3rd Corps, or rather, of the command of
18 the 3rd Corps was with regard to the deployment of forces in this area.
19 A. It's quite clearly his position that defence positions should be
20 taken and fire should not be opened without authorisation from the
21 superior command, or rather, the units should not go into action on their
22 own initiative.
23 Q. Please have a look at document number 6, P310. Is this a normal
24 report of the subordinate command to the corps which informs them of
25 carrying out -- which informs them of the implementation of some of their
2 A. Yes. They're reporting on the fact that units have assumed their
4 Q. Have a look at document number 7, P825. Have a look at item 2.
5 And does this document also provide information, according to which the
6 subordinate unit under the command of the Zenica municipal defence staff
7 is, in fact, subordinated, as ordered?
8 A. What was the number?
9 Q. It's under number 7. It's a regular combat report from the 7th.
10 For the sake of the transcript, the exhibit number is P825. You
11 can't see that number on the B/C/S version.
12 A. Yes. This is what is clearly stated in item 2.
13 Q. Have a look at document number 8, P210. And could you first tell
14 me who this document is addressed to?
15 A. Could you please repeat the number?
16 Q. Number 8. It's a document dated the 23rd of January, 1993.
17 A. Is the number P210?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. I have that document.
20 Q. Who is the document addressed to?
21 A. This document is addressed to municipal defence staffs in Zenica
22 and in Kakanj.
23 Q. Were the municipal defence staffs resubordinated to the command of
24 the 3rd Corps at that time?
25 A. Yes. They were part of that corps, but they weren't directly
1 resubordinated to the 3rd Corps.
2 Q. As you said yesterday, at the time there was a regional staff too,
3 and it was through the regional staff that they were connected to the
4 3rd Corps, that they were linked to the 3rd Corps; is that correct?
5 A. Yes. During this period of time, that was the situation.
6 Q. On the map that we had a look at a minute ago, could you just mark
7 with the felt tip the axis assigned to the Kakanj municipal staff.
8 Perhaps it's not visible on the map, but could you just indicate this axis
9 with an arrow, if possible. Could you indicate the line that the Kakanj
10 staff was supposed to secure, if it's visible on the map. If not, we have
11 a different map.
12 A. Well, that was the valley of the River Bosna.
13 Q. Could you mark the location of the River Bosna?
14 A. I'll have to mark it in the opposite direction, because Kakanj is
15 in the opposite direction of the River Bosna. [Marks].
16 Q. Well, just indicate it with an arrow so that we know that that is
17 the axis that the Kakanj municipal staff had to secure.
18 Tell me, what sort of task was assigned to the Zenica municipal
19 staff? What does it say under item number 2 in this order? Could you
20 draw a line indicating this route referred to in the order. Perhaps it
21 would be better to use the map of the scale which is 1:50.000.
22 A. I can do it on this map. You can see the features indicated in
23 item 2 of the order.
24 Q. Can you draw a line indicating these features.
25 A. [Marks].
1 Q. Perhaps the line you have just drawn, perhaps you could put a
2 number in the middle of the line, number 8. This indicates the line
3 referred to in this order, P210.
4 A. [Marks].
5 Q. We've already spoken about an HVO document, and the document said
6 that it was necessary to obstruct a road in the Lasva Valley. Can you
7 indicate the area where the main road in the Lasva Valley was obstructed,
8 which made it impossible to reach Busovaca, or rather, Vitez.
9 A. [Marks].
10 Q. Could you please mark that location with number 9.
11 A. [Marks].
12 Q. And for the sake of the transcript, let's say that number 9
13 represents the site where the road through the Lasva Valley was completely
15 General, line number 8 referred to in this order, or route
16 number 8, was that the only route that could be used to go from Zenica via
17 the Lasva junction to the free territory in the area of Busovaca and
18 Kacun? Or were there any other routes that units and the population might
20 A. At the time, this was the only route connecting these areas.
21 Q. Thank you. Could you now have a look at document number 9, P199.
22 Again, this is an order from the Zenica regional defence staff. As you
23 have already said, was this a document signed by the acting commander of
24 the regional staff?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Have a look at item 3. Does this order follow on an order from
2 the 3rd Corps, according to which units should be deployed as ordered by
3 the corps commander; and these units should not be used or should not go
4 into action unless they were first attacked?
5 A. Yes, that's correct.
6 Q. Have a look at document number 10, P127. The date is the 24th of
7 January. Tell me, what sort of position did the corps commander adopt
8 with regard to the possibility conflicts? It's in item 2 that this is
9 referred to. The date of the document is the 24th of January, 1993, as we
11 A. This is an order on agreement, in principle, on the cease-fire and
12 on the separation of the BH army forces and the HVO units and cessation of
13 hostilities with the HVO. Further on it says: "Do not initiate any
14 conflicts until further notice. The previously issued orders are still in
16 In the third item of the order, it states that the commander of
17 the 3rd Corps should immediately be informed of incidents.
18 Q. General, use the previous map, the scale of which is 1:100.000,
19 and could you mark it with today's date and could you sign it. And then
20 I'll ask you to have a look at the other map that you have before you.
21 A. You're going to have to tell me the date.
22 Q. I think it's the 7th.
23 A. [Marks].
24 Q. Could you please place the map, the scale of which is 1:50.000, on
25 the ELMO. And have a look at document number 11, P128.
1 Before I ask you something about this document, you said that one
2 day before, and over that period of time, the HVO had penetrated in
3 certain areas. Tell me, what sort of situation was Merdani in?
4 A. Merdani was on the main axis of attack of the HVO in the direction
5 of the Lasva Valley.
6 Q. If you can see Merdani on the map, could you please mark it with a
8 A. [Marks].
9 Q. Either a cross or a circle, and mark it with number 1.
10 A. [Marks].
11 Q. Please have a look at the order I have just referred to, P128.
12 And could you tell me -- could you draw the line referred to in item 1,
13 which states that "a reinforced company from the 303rd Mountain Brigade
14 shall move towards Zenica-Lasva and towards Merdani and Dusina." Could
15 you please draw that line, the Lasva-Merdani-Dusina line.
16 A. [Marks].
17 Q. Thank you. Can you put number 2 somewhere in the middle of that
19 A. [Marks].
20 Q. This will indicate to us that this is the axis indicated under
21 item number 1 of this order.
22 I would also kindly ask you to show us the direction or axis
23 indicated at the bottom of this item, where it says that "the unit will
24 follow the Lasva junction, Stara Pruga, Crna, TT852." Can you find all
25 that, please? Yes, this is the local commune of Lasva. Can you see it?
1 A. It says here the Lasva junction, Stara Pruga Crna. This is a more
2 wider section.
3 Q. I apologise. Start with the Lasva junction, go to Stara Pruga,
4 the old railway, and then go to TT Crna.
5 A. Are you referring to the railroad, the old railroad which went
6 along the Lasva River?
7 Q. But of course. There is no other old railroad, there is just the
8 new one toward Sarajevo.
9 A. The old railroad follows the right bank of Lasva in this area.
11 Q. And then on towards the Crna trig point. What is here requested
12 from the unit? How should it get to this line of defence? Did the
13 commander order to do it in combat, or were they supposed to get that line
14 in some other way?
15 A. It says here that the unit should reach the defence line without
17 Q. Can you mark this axis by number 3, and this axis is the one that
18 follows the route from the Lasva junction along the old railway to the
19 Crna trig point.
20 A. [Marks].
21 Q. The next document, and for that document we will have to go back
22 to the previous map; the document is number 12, the exhibit number
23 is P129. It describes the deployment of a mortar battery in the centre of
24 Janjici village. Can you please mark the village of Janjici on this map.
25 A. [Marks].
1 Q. Mark it by the following number. Our previous number was 9, and
2 the next one is 10.
3 A. [Marks].
4 Q. And now in relation to Dusina village, where is this village of
5 Janjici? Is it on the same bank of the Lasva and Bosna rivers, or is it
6 somewhere else, on another axis?
7 A. It is on the same bank of the Bosna River.
8 Q. On the same bank of the Bosna River. And is it north or south
9 from the village of Dusina?
10 A. It is north-east from the village of Dusina.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Can you please sign this map as well, the
12 second map with all these different axes of movement. Can you please put
13 your name, date, and sign the map.
14 A. [Marks].
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, while the witness is doing that, I
17 don't know if the Defence is planning on tendering these, but it might be
18 helpful if they were to be given numbers now, rather than later, simply
19 because we did switch back and forth between the two maps. And it just
20 might make matters clearer if they were given numbers at this point rather
21 than sometime later.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, I believe that it would be
23 best. There are two maps; one is 1:50.000, the other is 1:100.000. And
24 the 1:50.000 is 74. Can you please give us a number for this,
25 Mr. Registrar?
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] This map will be admitted as
2 DH1980; this is 1:50.000. And the map, the scale of which is 1:100.000,
3 will be admitted as DH1980, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, there is a
5 problem. You've given us the same number for two maps. Since the Chamber
6 notices everything, I've noticed that as well. Can you please repeat.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The first map will be admitted as
8 1980; this is 1:50.000. And the second one will be 1981. There you go.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
10 The Defence may proceed.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
12 Q. General, we have now seen the orders given by the commander and
13 the positions intended to defend the Lasva junction. Tell me, please, did
14 the information that you receive regarding combat operations from your
15 subordinate commands and units indicate to you at that time that there had
16 been fighting in that area that went beyond the commander's orders; in
17 other words, that lines should have been taken in the areas indicated by
18 the orders, without any combat?
19 A. Yes, without combat. However --
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.
21 MR. MUNDIS: Objection; those were leading questions,
22 Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Defence, please rephrase your
24 question so that it is not leading.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. General, my first question would be as follows: Based on the
2 documents that you have just seen, which were combat reports for that day,
3 did you realise that there were combat activities in the area of Dusina?
4 A. Yes. I did understand that from the reports.
5 Q. The reports themselves, did they give you -- provide you with an
6 answer as to under which circumstances and how these combat operations
7 take place?
8 A. I did not pay any attention to that; however, I believe that there
9 were combat operations there. I don't know anything about the
10 circumstances of those combat operations. I was not there.
11 Q. The previous orders that we have just seen, did they indicate that
12 these units were engaged in combat in those areas where they were ordered
13 to be deployed?
14 A. In the orders that I've seen here, it says clearly that the
15 positions should be taken without any fighting or combat.
16 Q. General, do the orders sometimes envisage a situation where units
17 may be engaged and are allowed to be engaged in combat; for example, as a
18 situation when the unit has to defend itself?
19 A. The basic military rule in any military force in the world, which
20 includes the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, says that in case of attack while
21 units are being deployed, the necessary resistance should be put up. It
22 is possible that when the units are being transported and deployed, a
23 sabotage unit of the enemy may be infiltrated, and that's why all the
24 armies in the world say that if fire is opened, the unit should respond
25 with fire.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will allow myself to say
2 something at this point.
3 General, I have followed what you have just told us, and I would
4 like you to tell me, following what you have just said, in document P129,
5 in paragraph 1, it is indicated at the end of this paragraph, in the
6 English translation, "readiness for action." How do you explain "action"
7 at 4.00 in the morning? What kind of action is this in military terms?
8 When an order says "action," how would you interpret this word "action"?
9 What is it? The date on the order is 25 January 1993, and the reference
10 is made to an action which is supposed to take place at 4.00 in the
11 morning on the 26th of January. So how do you interpret that phrase?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It is a customary military
13 procedure, not only in the BiH army but in the armies of other countries,
14 for an order to be issued on the 25th of January, and further on it is
15 said that the march should take place during the night between the 25th
16 and the 26th so that the position could be taken on the following day at
17 0400 hours. And this phrase, "combat readiness" at 4.00 on 26 January,
18 says that the units should be prepared for action. Not to act, not to
19 engage in combat, but should be ready to be engaged at that time.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that this
21 phrase should be read as follows: "The unit has to be ready to be engaged
22 at 4.00," but it doesn't mean that it should be engaged in combat at that
23 time. Thank you for your clarification.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours, this is precisely
25 the way it should be interpreted.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
2 Q. General, one more question following on the Honourable Judge's
3 question. Under item 1 the tasks are referred to. In order for a unit to
4 be ready for combat, as you say, is it ordinary to carry out some tasks
5 prior to that and to get to the final point specified in this order?
6 A. Yes. The unit has to be ready to carry out the tasks as indicated
7 here. It has to get ready to carry out the task.
8 Q. In other words, it has to carry out all the tasks specified under
9 item 1 so as for its combat readiness is to be absolute if it is indeed to
10 be engaged in combat, if that is ordered.
11 A. Yes, this is precisely the case.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, I
14 believe that I should ask one more question that I did not understand as
15 somebody who is not very well-versed in the military, so I would like to
16 continue with the General on that topic.
17 Q. General, on the following day, did you go back to the meeting of
18 the Busovaca commission?
19 A. On the following day, which was the 27th of January, I went back
20 to Kiseljak, to that meeting.
21 Q. When you saw the combat reports, and having been aware of Colonel
22 Blaskic raising the issue, did General Hadzihasanovic take this issue
23 seriously? And according to your information, did he issue an order for
24 all the information that had reached you to be verified?
25 A. Yes. This was the first time that we officially received
1 information that possibly an army unit had committed a war crime, which
2 meant that the command should have checked all the details in order to
3 verify whether there was, indeed, a crime committed in Dusina.
4 Q. Who would it be among the members of the corps command who should
5 have investigated all the facts? Did your military police have all the
6 capabilities at that moment to carry out that task on its own?
7 MR. MUNDIS: Objection; leading. That's a leading question,
8 Mr. President.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You came to the military police
10 directly. Maybe you should have taken it a different way. So can you
11 please rephrase your question. Rephrase, please.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. The military police of the 3rd Corps, in January 1993, was it
14 capable of performing all the tasks of the military police?
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That was the same thing. You
16 should have asked him, but maybe I can do that.
17 General, the Defence has asked you a question. If a crime was
18 committed, who was in charge of doing investigations? Can you answer
19 that, of course, as much as you were aware of that.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If the crime was committed by a
21 member of the military organisation, of the military, then it was the task
22 of the military police to take the initial steps.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. It has been
24 asked and answered. You may proceed.
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Did the commander task the military police to perform the part of
2 their job that would result in the checking of this information?
3 A. Yes, he did. He wanted a detailed investigation, as I've already
4 said. The initial activities should have been carried out by the military
5 police of the 3rd Corps, and the military police of the 3rd Corps did
6 start doing that. However, they did not have enough personnel or
7 equipment to do a high-quality investigation which would lead to a
8 positive conclusion as to whether the casualties happened during combat or
9 whether a crime had been committed. At that time the military police was
10 not capable of doing that; they did not have any capabilities.
11 Q. General, do you know if anybody else performed the verification of
12 the facts? Did anybody else carry out the investigation?
13 A. I don't know whether, on that day, there was anybody else who
14 performed those tasks. On that day, I left for Kiseljak; that was on
15 the 27th. And when I returned, I received information that the civilian
16 police would help with that, in other words, professionals from the
17 civilian police.
18 Q. General, at the meeting which you had in Busovaca, did you provide
19 the attendants with the information that you had at your disposal? And
20 was the cease-fire agreement signed on that day?
21 A. Based on the reports that had reached us from the field, I
22 received information that there had been combat operations in Dusina, and
23 that there had been casualties on both sides during combat, on the side of
24 the HVO and on the side of the BiH army. And this is the information that
25 I have provided the attendants of the meeting with on the following day,
1 on the 27th of January.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Maybe
3 we should stop here. I have endeavoured to finish the topic of Dusina,
4 but I haven't been able to. I will continue on Thursday.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, there have been a
6 lot of changes. Could you please tell us exactly when is your next
7 sitting? The register is going to tell me -- he has just told me that it
8 will be on Thursday morning.
9 General, as I have already told you, there is no sitting tomorrow.
10 You may take a rest, because you have to come back on Thursday morning.
11 As I have already indicated to you, you are not entitled to meet with
12 anybody either from the Prosecution, from the Defence, or from the Bench.
13 We shall see you on Thursday, at 9.00. And I will see everybody else on
14 Thursday, at 9.00. Until then, I thank you all.
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
16 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 9th day of
17 December, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.