1 Wednesday, 2 February 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
6 call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. This is case
8 IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Appearances for the Prosecution,
11 MR. MUNDIS: Good morning, Your Honours, counsel, and everyone in
12 and around the courtroom. For the Prosecution, Matthias Neuner and Daryl
13 Mundis, assisted today by Mr. Andres Vatter, our case manager.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis. Defence,
15 please, appearances.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. On
17 behalf of Enver Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane
18 Bourgon, co-counsel; and Alexis Demirdjian, legal assistant. Thank you
19 very much.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The other Defence team, please.
21 MR. DIXON: Good morning, Your Honours. On behalf of Mr. Kubura,
22 Rodney Dixon, and Nermin Mulalic. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon.
24 On Wednesday, 2nd February 2005, the Chamber bids good morning to
25 everybody present in the courtroom; to the Prosecution, to the five
1 Defence lawyers, the accused, as well as the staff of this courtroom,
2 outside and inside of it.
3 We have to continue our work today. I don't have the text, but
4 Mr. Registrar is going to help me. The text on my computer. I don't have
5 the text on the screen.
6 Before we introduce the witness into the courtroom, there is a
7 certain detail that we have to deal with regarding the interpretation. We
8 had a discussion regarding a document in -- that's document P662, and the
9 question was whether the interpretation or the translation of this
10 document was good, and the issue in question was the Mujahedin in the 7th
12 In the transcript, in the English and the French transcript -- in
13 the French transcript, I have asked the CLSS to provide us with the
14 translation. In the English transcript this is not reflected. We have
15 issued a memo on the 25th of January -- 27th of January, and we have been
16 provided with an answer. The -- it has been indicated to us that the
17 translation of the B/C/S word into English is "in other words."
18 Do you all have this letter from the CLSS? Mr. Dixon is nodding.
19 The Prosecution should also have it. The Defence of General
20 Hadzihasanovic should also have it. Are there any remarks in this regard?
21 Mr. Dixon.
22 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have understood that the
24 translation is not in your favour.
25 MR. DIXON: Yes, Your Honour, and it's for that reason that I wish
1 to address Your Honours on the matter. We did raise this matter with Your
2 Honours, and if Your Honours recall, at the time Your Honours checked the
3 dictionary meaning of the word and also spoke to the translators at the
4 time about the issue, and you will recall, and it's recorded in the
5 transcript, that Your Honours stated that the word could have a number of
6 meanings. It could mean "in other words," but it could always equally
7 mean "and." So it could read "The 7th Muslim Brigade and the Mujahedin."
8 And it very much depends on the context in which the word is used and also
9 the reason why the person who wrote the document used the word as well.
10 Your Honours, we can refer to the transcript where Your Honours
11 made those comments, and we were in full support of the interpretation
12 given to the words by Your Honours.
13 In addition, the witness was then asked, following that remark by
14 Your Honours, about what he meant when he wrote the document. We were
15 very fortunate in that case to have the author of the document, Mr. Sipic,
16 here in court, and he stated that what was meant was the 7th Brigade and
17 the Mujahedin. He said he never meant "in other words."
18 So in our submission, the matter has both been clarified by Your
19 Honours investigating and looking into the matter and by the witness
20 concerned. In our submission, that brings the matter to an end, save to
21 say that we find it somewhat surprising that the CLSS have interpreted
22 this word in this context to mean "in other words," but further down, as I
23 pointed out to Your Honours, where it has the "HVO and their commands,"
24 they haven't interpreted that to mean "the HVO in other words their
25 commands." They have used the other meaning of the word, which is "and."
1 In our submission it is the same a few lines above and it should be read
2 like that, especially in light of the evidence we heard on this matter.
3 So in our view the matter has been sufficiently clarified and
4 should not be taken any further given the comments that Your Honours made
5 and the comments that the witness made.
6 Thank you, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would still like to remind you
8 that when a problem arises, I look at the transcript. We had a break, and
9 after that we resumed at 12 minutes past four, and during the break we
10 looked at the dictionary, B/C/S into Dutch and B/C/S into English, the
11 Benson dictionary that was printed in the United States, and according to
12 Benson, the -- this word could be translated as "in other words." This
13 dictionary also said "more exactly" for the same word.
14 The two dictionary -- during the break, the interpretation service
15 also told us that we could also interpret it as "and." I said on line 21
16 that at that stage, it was not possible to decide. We asked the Registrar
17 to ask the CLSS to provide us with their view.
18 In the reply that we received, it doesn't state that this word
19 could be translated as "and" but "in other words," which is by no means
20 the same thing. This is where we stand.
21 Mr. Dixon, do you understand? And I know that you are very quick
22 on the uptake.
23 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. If this document is to be
24 regarded as a final resolution of the matter, then we would seek to take
25 it further. My understanding of the discussion that we'd had earlier on
1 was that Your Honours had, in looking into the matter, noted that it could
2 be read either way and that it depended very much on also what the witness
3 said. But if Your Honours are to regard this, having referred it to the
4 CLSS, as a final word on the matter, a final decision and would seek to
5 admit the document as an exhibit potentially of the Chamber, then we would
6 ask for the matter to be further clarified as we have done with another
7 translation matter, and we would ask them to indicate, that's the CLSS,
8 whether there is an alternative meaning, whether it could also be read as
9 "and the Mujahedin" in much the same way as the words further down are
10 read as "and," "The HVO and the command," and to explain why there is a
11 difference between, if there is one. We say there isn't, but if there is
12 one, why there is a difference between the way the word is used a few
13 lines up and then a few lines down. So we would ask for a further
14 clarification, whether there is another meaning and what that meaning
15 could be.
16 Thank you, Your Honours.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution has heard and
18 understood that the issue has been raised and that the -- if this exhibit
19 is admitted, it will be with the explanation from the CLSS. The Defence
20 now wants us to have another view on the interpretation of this word.
21 Mr. Mundis, what is your view?
22 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, it's the Prosecution position that
23 that in fact was what CLSS was asked to do and in fact what CLSS has done
24 as reflected on the memo dated the 27th of January, 2005. They were, in
25 fact, asked to look at this issue. They have done so.
1 I don't intend on engaging in a long discussion as to linguistics,
2 particularly in a language that I don't know, but I will note,
3 Mr. President, that as I'm sure Your Honours are aware, words can be
4 interpreted differently depending upon the context. So it might not be
5 surprising that CLSS would interpret the same word in two different ways
6 depending upon the context in which the word appears on the document.
7 If the Chamber deems it necessary to send the document back to
8 CLSS and ask them to look at it again, that certainly is within the Trial
9 Chamber's purview, but our position is, as it was previously, that the
10 CLSS has been asked to do this, they have done so. We would object, as we
11 indicated when this issue arose, that we don't believe that CLSS should be
12 particularly notified or pointed to the testimony of the witness and some
13 12 years later explaining what he meant in the document. We believe that
14 the document, in effect, speaks for itself. The Defence have raised an
15 issue as to some ambiguity in the document. CLSS was asked to take
16 another look at it, and they have come to a conclusion.
17 Furthermore, we would object if the Defence either now or in the
18 future seeks to have some outside translation service look at the
19 document. I will simply note at this point in time that we would object
20 to that and if that's the course the Defence seeks to go down, we would
21 like to be heard further on that particular issue. But our view is,
22 Mr. President, this has been requested, and it's been done, and the result
23 is before you, and we believe that that settles the matter. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. I'm turning
25 towards the Defence. I -- we have discussed this among the Judges, and we
1 think that we should take into consideration this quote, this disputed
2 quote, and I believe that we could obtain further information about the
3 word "odnosno." We will forward all that to the CLSS who will, after
4 having been informed of the position of the Defence and after having
5 looked at the document itself, will provide us with another opinion.
6 The Prosecution has just told us that he would object to any
7 outside interpretation. We can appreciate that, because in this
8 institution there is a service. The translators are professionals,
9 experts in a number of languages.
10 Mr. Dixon, I'm going to give you the floor as the last speaker on
11 this subject, and after that the Judges will deliberate.
12 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. I would request -- it
13 appears that Your Honours are indicating that this will be sent further to
14 CLSS for a further inquiry, that the discussions that we've had today are
15 forwarded to the CLSS as well, because all this document says is that this
16 is a revised translation. There's no explanation given, and we would
17 request that there is some explanation given as to why that word can have
18 such different meanings, if at all, and certainly to look at whether there
19 can be an alternative meaning and to what extent the context of the whole
20 sentence comes into play. So a further explanation is required. And if
21 they could also look at how that compares to the way the word is used a
22 few lines down. I think that would be helpful for -- for the Court in
23 considering this matter.
24 Leaving aside what the witness has said, I agree with my learned
25 friend that we have to resolve the translation separately at this stage.
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. The three
3 Judges will discuss the issue, and we will inform you about our decision
4 on this matter.
5 We're going to go into private session, please.
6 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We continue in open session. We
1 have to deal with the issue of exhibits, of Defence exhibits and maybe
2 Prosecution exhibits as well.
3 Defence, you have the floor.
4 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. After
5 the testimony of Colonel Stewart that finished yesterday during which we
6 used a series of documents, the Defence would like the following documents
7 to be admitted. I have a list before me. This list was at the beginning
8 of the binder. A number of these documents have already been admitted.
9 The Defence wants the following to be admitted into evidence: Document
10 number 5 under tab 5. This is document 1721 for which we seek admission
11 into evidence.
12 The next one is document under tab 6, DH630 ID.
13 Then under tab 7, DH648, which has already been given a mark for
15 Document under tab 8. This is a new document which was used with
16 the permission of the Chamber. The date of the document is 25 January
17 1993, and the title of the document is Situation in Gornji Vakuf, in
19 Document under tab 9 is DH612. This document has already been
20 marked for identification.
21 Document under tab 10, 1732.
22 Document under tab 11, number DH632 ID, again a document marked
23 for identification already.
24 Document under tab 12, DH633 ID, for identification.
25 Document under tab 13, DH634 ID -- ID, another document that has
1 been marked for identification.
2 Document under tab 14 is a new document which was used with the
3 Chamber's permission. The date of the document is 26 January 1993, and
4 its title is Milinfosum Number 87.
5 Document under tab 15, number 1 -- DH1738 ID for identification.
6 The following document is under tab 22. This document bears the
7 number DH726 ID.
8 The document under tab 23, DH740 ID, for identification.
9 Document under 26. The number is 1783.
10 And finally, the document under tab 27, a new document used with
11 the Chamber's permission. The date on this document is 24 April 1993, and
12 its title is HVO Information.
13 The Defence would like all these documents to be admitted into
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
16 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. The Prosecution has no
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you.
19 Mr. Registrar.
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. These
21 are being admitted as exhibits under the following numbers: The first
22 document, DH1721. It doesn't have a B/C/S version. The original is in
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You made a mistake. You said
25 1720, but it is 1721.
1 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The document DH630 is admitted
2 into evidence, with its English version, 630/E.
3 DH648 is admitted into evidence under the Exhibit number DH648/E.
4 A new document, dated the 25th of January, 1993, entitled UNPROFOR
5 Situation in Gornji Vakuf, is admitted as DH2009, the document being in
7 DH612 is admitted into evidence, and its English translation,
9 DH1732 is admitted into evidence, and the English version, 1732/E.
10 DH632 is admitted into evidence, and its English version DH632/E.
11 Document DH633 is admitted into evidence, and its English version
12 bearing the number 633/E.
13 Document DH634 is admitted into evidence, and its English version
14 bearing the number 634/E.
15 The document dated the 26th of January, 1993, entitled Milinfosum
16 87 is admitted as DH2010, the original being in English.
17 Document DH1738 is admitted into evidence, and its English version
19 DH726 is admitted into evidence, and its English version bearing
20 the exhibit number 726/E.
21 DH740 admitted into evidence, and its English version DH740/E.
22 Document DH1783 is admitted into evidence, and the English version
24 And finally, at the end of this list, the document dated the 24th
25 of April, 1993, entitled HVO Information is admitted into as an exhibit,
1 DH2011, and the English version being DH2011/E.
2 Thank you, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. You
4 have given us the exhibit numbers for these documents now.
5 I turn to the Prosecution now to see whether they have any
6 documents to tender.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. We have three documents
8 that we would simply request at this point in time be marked for
9 identification and not admitted into evidence. The first of these was the
10 Milinfosum dated 27 January 1993. The second document was the Milinfosum
11 dated 11 March 1993. And the third document is the HVO document dated 18
12 April 1993 that was signed by Colonel Blaskic. All three of these
13 documents the witness -- these documents were all put to the witness
14 yesterday, and at this point in time, Mr. President, we would simply ask
15 that they be marked for identification and attached to the record of these
17 And before I give the floor to the Defence, Mr. President, we do
18 have two other issues relating to this witness that we would like to raise
19 perhaps after the documents but before the next witness comes into the
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Prosecution is
22 asking to tender three documents to be marked for identification.
23 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. No
24 objection on the part of the Defence for these documents to be marked
25 identification. If these documents may be tendered into evidence finally,
1 then the Defence reserves the right to make certain statements,
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon.
4 MR. DIXON: Your Honours will be aware of my submissions
5 yesterday. In our submission, none of these documents can be used to
6 strengthen the case of the Prosecution. They were used as
7 memory-refreshing documents. But as the witness was not able to comment
8 on them as documents that did refresh his memory, in our view they are not
9 documents that should become part of the evidence in this case and
10 therefore we would oppose them being marked for identification even at
11 this stage. They have been referred to on the record and the witness has
12 commented on them and there is no need for the documents to be entered
13 into evidence in any form whatsoever, including identification. Thank
14 you, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber will subsequently
16 deliberate on the fate of these documents.
17 Yes, Mr. Bourgon.
18 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
19 simply like to make a point of clarification, as the Defence of
20 Hadzihasanovic takes the same position as the Defence of the accused
21 Kubura only we expressed ourselves differently. In our opinion, when a
22 document is marked for identification, that document cannot be used with
23 another witness because it is in the file, but it would always be a new
24 document. It does not lose its status of a new document.
25 Therefore, in our view, marked for identification really doesn't
1 mean anything. However, as a document has been admitted and marked for
2 identification, it cannot be used with another witness. It always remains
3 a new document if it is to be used with a subsequent witness.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I think the Prosecution wishes
5 to respond.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Our view is -- is a very
7 different one in an important aspect. Our view clearly, Mr. President, is
8 that a document that's marked for identification is not evidence and is
9 not something that the Trial Chamber could rely upon until and unless the
10 document is tendered and admitted by Your Honours into evidence. The sole
11 purpose of marking the document and appending it to the record is so that
12 later, either during the remaining course of the trial or perhaps in any
13 appeal, if recourse needs to be had to the document to compare it, for
14 example, with what the witness testified about, the document is readily
15 available for everyone because it's part of the proceedings.
16 Let me just address one final issue. And for that very reason, to
17 address the point raised by my learned friend Mr. Bourgon, if we wanted to
18 show the same document to a subsequent witness, the fact that it has a
19 number makes that much simpler to follow in the subsequent proceedings by
20 way of the transcript. It doesn't mean by showing it to one, five, or ten
21 witnesses down the road that the document becomes part of the evidence.
22 Is simply means it's a shorthand way of referring to a document so that
23 throughout the remainder of the proceedings everyone knows that the
24 document with this date from this person to that person has a number.
25 We very well might seek to show some of the documents that have
1 been marked for identification to subsequent witnesses, but it doesn't --
2 the document doesn't become evidence, in our view, until we tender it and
3 Your Honours admit it into evidence. It's simply a shorthand way of
4 marking a document so that everyone knows what document we're talking
5 about when we refer to it by a number. That's all that it means, in our
6 view, to mark a document for identification. It's marking it for
7 identification. It doesn't become evidence.
8 And our view would be, as the Defence have done with documents
9 that have been previously marked for identification, you show them to
10 witnesses. If the witness has nothing to add, perhaps the document
11 doesn't go into evidence. But it's simply a shorthand way of marking the
12 document. It's not evidence until it's tendered and admitted, and I think
13 that I everyone agrees on that. It's simply a shorthand way of marking a
14 document and our view is we should be able to show these documents to
15 subsequent witnesses and perhaps even in reopening our case or in rebuttal
16 we'll seek to tender them, perhaps not.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution explained why
18 they would like documents to be marked for identification. The
19 Prosecution tells us that there are two fundamental reasons, the first
20 being that during a cross-examination to test credibility, the Prosecution
21 may show a document to a witness to hear his comments.
22 In the future, should the Appeals Chamber perhaps be approached -
23 I am talking about a hypothesis for the future - for the Judges to be able
24 to appreciate the content of the transcript and what the witness said,
25 they need to compare it with the document. So there is this final
1 requirement, judicial requirement, hence the position of the Prosecution
2 that the document be marked for identification and be part of the record
3 to allow the Judges to check the substance of the witness's statement.
4 That is the first consideration.
5 And the second is that if there is a number, when future witnesses
6 come it will be easier for the Prosecution to say, "I'm going to show to
7 Witness X a document, PY ID," and then instead of the registrar spending
8 minutes looking for it, he will be able to find it easily.
9 So those are the two considerations. And as this is something
10 quite new, I would like the Defence to convey their opinion to us.
11 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I think
12 there is no dispute when we're talking about the use of a document filed
13 in this way. That is why we have no objection for a document to be marked
14 for identification, and that remains our position. However, when those
15 documents were shown to the witness, they were discussed, that is, why a
16 new document which does not appear in the file could be shown to a
17 particular witness.
18 In the hypothesis that a new witness appears and we want to use
19 that document once again, the same discussion will arise, that is the
20 conditions imposed by the Chamber regarding the use of new documents arise
21 again, that is, permission is required to be able to use that document
22 with that new witness.
23 As for the use of the Appeals Chamber of these documents, I don't
24 think we need to go into that at this stage, and I would not like to
25 present any arguments of substance regarding the use of documents by the
1 Appeals Chamber. I would prefer to reserve my right to make my
2 submissions on that point at a later stage.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Dixon, you will certainly
4 provide clarifications for the Chamber.
5 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. There's no problem from our
6 side giving the document a number so that it can be retrieved or used in
7 the future, but in our submission it should be given a number for
8 identification but marked as a new document to distinguish it from the
9 other documents. In other words, this is a document which was not
10 introduced during the Prosecution case. It's a new document. So that
11 when it is retrieved, that is the status of the document. And as my
12 learned friend has said, Mr. Bourgon, at any time when it is to be used
13 for a new witness proper grounds have to be established, either
14 credibility or memory refreshing, and that is an entirely separate issue,
15 as Your Honours have indicated, as to whether it is to be admitted or not.
16 And even if it is to be admitted at some point, in our submission it can
17 only be admitted for the purposes of credibility or memory refreshing as
18 has been done in the past.
19 Of course it's a different question if my learned friend seeks to
20 open his case or bring it in rebuttal, but our main point is that it
21 cannot be introduced at this stage to strengthen the case of the
22 Prosecution or to go to the individual criminal responsibility of the
23 accused in this case.
24 That is the thrust of Your Honours' ruling, and we wish that to be
25 respected. Thank you, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have heard the opinions of
2 all parties, and the Judges will decide as to what should be done as you
3 have had occasion to express your views at length on these points.
4 I shall now give the floor to the Prosecution, but we will go back
5 into private session once again, please.
6 [Private session]
11 Page 15361 redacted. Private session.
2 [Closed session]
11 Pages 15363-15368 redacted. Closed session.
4 [Open session]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your testimony will start
6 shortly. Before that, I have to provide you with some information as to
7 how your testimony will develop. First of all, you're going to be given a
8 piece of paper on which you will put your first name, your last name, and
9 XC and today's date -- I'm sorry, HC and today's date. Can you do it
11 THE WITNESS: Do you want me to put my first name and last name
12 plus HC?
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And today's date. Today we are
14 the 2nd February, 2005. The 2nd February.
15 We will show this piece of paper to the Prosecution, to the
16 Defence teams, to the accused. This document will be given a number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The number will be admitted as
18 DH21 -- 2013 under seal.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You will be asked to answer
20 questions put to you by the Defence within the frame of their
21 examination-in-chief. This will last about an hour. After that stage,
22 which will last for an hour, the Prosecution, on your right, will also put
23 questions to you within the frame of what we call cross-examination. This
24 is something that you should be familiar with because it's part of the
25 common law procedure. The Prosecution will also be given an hour. After
1 that, the Defence lawyer will be given an opportunity to ask you
2 additional questions during re-examination. The questions that will be
3 put to you during that stage will be directly connected with the questions
4 put to you by the Prosecution during their cross-examination in chief.
5 In order to avoid problems that we encountered yesterday,
6 questions put in redirect should not be leading questions. This is how
7 your testimony should develop.
8 After these stages, the Judges that are in front of you, according
9 to the rules and procedures of this Tribunal, can ask you any questions
10 they might think are useful for establishing the truth. The Judges are
11 independent, and they ask their questions in order to establish the truth.
12 After the questions put to you by the Judges, the two parties can
13 show you documents in order to refresh your memory and to obtain your
14 views on these documents to the extent that you may be familiar with them.
15 I would also like to inform you two other elements. First of all,
16 you have taken the solemn declaration to tell the truth, which means you
17 are not to give us false testimony because this is punishable by the law.
18 This is what I tell all the witnesses. And there is another thing that I
19 tell all the witnesses, although this may not apply to you. A witness may
20 object to making any statement which might tend to incriminate him or her.
21 The Chamber may, however, compel the witness to answer the question and
22 the testimony compelled in this way shall not be used as evidence in a
23 subsequent prosecution against the witness for any offence other than
24 false testimony. This is something that is common practice in the United
25 States but also in your country.
1 We are in the so-called accusatory proceedings, which are oral
2 proceedings complemented by the documents provided during the hearings.
3 We do not have any prior documents, so your words are very important.
4 Before you answer any questions, take your time to think about the
5 question and answer only if you believe that you have understood the
6 question. If a question seems to be too complicated, you can always ask
7 the person who has put it to you to rephrase it. If you have any
8 difficulties, do not hesitate to signal to the Chamber that you are
9 experiencing those difficulties.
10 And finally, for the reasons of interpretation and the logistics
11 of this courtroom, we are obliged to make a break every hour and a half.
12 Since we started at 9.00, we will have to make our first break in 15
13 minutes, and after a 25-minute break, we shall resume and we shall go on
14 for the next hour and a half. To -- we are certain that we will be able
15 to finish your testimony today, which will enable you to go back home
17 This is more or less what I am supposed to tell you before your
18 testimony begins. I'm going to give the floor to the Defence lawyer who
19 is going to be putting questions to you.
20 Mr. Bourgon, you have the floor.
21 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Examined by Mr. Bourgon:
23 Q. Good morning, Witness HC. Although we have had the opportunity of
24 meeting before your testimony today, for the benefit of the transcript,
25 allow me to introduce myself. My name is Stephane Bourgon, and this
1 morning I am accompanied with my colleague Mrs. Edina Residovic from
2 Sarajevo and Mr. Alexis Demirdjian from Montreal, and together we
3 represent the accused General Hadzihasanovic.
4 I have some questions to put to you today with respect, as we have
5 discussed previously, your deployment to Bosnia in 1992/1993. Before I do
6 that, I would like to ask you a few questions which I will basically lead
7 through your career, and if you can just acknowledge whether these issues
8 or these facts that I'm about to mention correspond to your career.
9 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to go
10 into private session just to check the identity of the witness.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
12 [Private session]
11 Page 15373 redacted. Private session.
17 [Open session]
18 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,
19 Mr. President.
20 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Witness HC, you mentioned a little earlier that you had deployed
22 in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992. Can you first provide us, which dates
23 exactly did you deploy to Bosnia and Herzegovina?
24 A. Deployed actually on the 7th November 1992 to Bosnia via Split and
25 then returning on the 6th of May, 1993.
1 Q. And who did you work for during this mission?
2 A. I deployed as the direct liaison officer interpreter to the
3 command of British forces for the former Yugoslavia, Brigadier Andrew
4 Cumming, initially in Divulje barracks in Split before them moving later
5 on into Central Bosnia to work alongside the Cheshire battle group, and
6 then in Eastern Bosnia along with General Morillon.
7 Q. Now, you mentioned the commander of British forces. Could you
8 explain to the Trial Chamber what -- who exactly is the commander of
9 British forces and whether there is a link between the commander of the
10 British forces, or what is the link between the commander of British
11 forces and UNPROFOR?
12 A. As part of the UN mandate, Britain was requested to provide a
13 British Battalion. That was to be in the form of the 1st Battalion of the
14 22nd Cheshire Regiment, however all national contingents deployed
15 supporting elements in the form of a formation level headquarters, in this
16 case a brigade that will deploy from Germany to essentially provide the
17 national link between the United Nations and our permanent joint
18 headquarters based in English itself.
19 And so essentially the British Battalion deployed as part of the
20 UN mandate although the British element was not formally part of the UN
21 mandate, it was there in a supporting role. So essentially the chain of
22 command was from BritBat directed back to the United Kingdom where the
23 British Battalion, in the case of the Cheshires, had two chains of
24 command; one to UNPROFOR and one then back to BRITFOR.
25 Q. Witness HC, can you further explain whether this is a procedure
1 that was followed by other states or was this a procedure that was unique
2 to the United Kingdom?
3 A. It was followed by other states. Certainly Divulje barracks was a
4 compound in Split which had a number of national contingents based there
5 from which they were commanded. Some contingents only had minor staff who
6 actually integrate as part of the UN headquarters, be they in Sarajevo or
7 elsewhere, but essentially we had a brigade sized formation headquarters
8 in Split to coordinate British activities at that time.
9 Q. And what were your duties working with the commander of British
10 forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. Initially we obviously deployed -- the brigade deployed itself
12 towards the end of October. I was deployed to be the interpreter and main
13 liaison officer for the brigadier himself, essentially speaking -- having
14 knowledge of the language, the culture and the geography, I was his asset
15 in terms of facilitating meetings, acting as an interpreter when required,
16 and basically doing activities to facilitate operational deployments and
17 so forth.
18 Q. Now, was there a reason why you were selected for this deployment
19 working with the commander of British forces in Bosnia despite the fact
20 that you were relatively, I guess, a junior officer at that time?
21 A. When Britain was informed that we would send troops to the former
22 Yugoslavia, we had a shortage of fluent linguists to support the operation
23 itself, so as has been previously mentioned, I was already in Northern
24 Ireland on operational deployment and essentially it was found out I could
25 speak the language because of my cultural upbringing, knowing the people,
1 the geography, essentially speaking, was seen to be a valuable assess to
2 the army, and so I was one of three people deployed to Bosnia at that time
3 to act as interpreter and liaison officers.
4 Q. And if I ask you in terms of upon deploying with the British
5 forces at that time, how much did the British forces really know before
6 deploying about the situation they were getting into?
7 A. In reality very little. It was a very confused situation. We had
8 very little warning of actually when we were going to be deploying and
9 where we were to go. I certainly recall in October being notified the
10 original plan was to move through Serbia via Loznica and establish
11 ourselves in the Tuzla area, and basically the plan changed on a regular
12 basis. Really it was at the last minute that we actually found out what
13 we were doing, but across the army as whole there was very little
14 knowledge about what was going on in Yugoslavia and it was for that reason
15 we were called in to assist commanders to provide the background
16 knowledge, the advice, and really the expertise based on our experience,
17 albeit relatively junior officers, in terms of actually what was going on.
18 Q. Now you yourself, Witness HC, did the commander of British forces
19 in Bosnia and Herzegovina was looking to benefit from your linguistic
20 ability or from your cultural knowledge of the area?
21 A. It was both, really. I mean, at the end of the day we were
22 totally reliant, in most cases, to locally employed interpreters and
23 translators, and therefore having an officer who could speak the language
24 and then essentially you could deal on a one-to-one basis purely military
25 aspects and therefore you were trusted, as opposed to trusting solely an
1 interpreter whose integrity could not always be relied upon necessarily.
2 Q. And how important was this to the commander of British forces?
3 A. It was fundamental not only from a perspective of the
4 presentational aspects to be able to go into a military headquarters with
5 one of your own officers who could speak the language and therefore in a
6 closed session be bound by the terms of what was agreed at the meeting, it
7 was a great advantage. Also, at the end of the day, you know, I could be
8 deployed, or one of the other two individuals could be deployed as
9 individuals to act independently to basically ensure that the day-to-day
10 in the command was carried out.
11 Q. Now, during your tour in Bosnia and Herzegovina and during that
12 period, did you always work with commander of British forces or were you
13 also -- did you also have the opportunity to work with other organisations
14 in theatre?
15 A. With other organisations. Basically, we were in quite short
16 supply and therefore were sent around the whole of the country where we
17 were actually required. As said, initially we deployed, worked
18 exclusively for the command of British forces, we then deployed with the
19 engineer element to establish the routes from Croatia into Bosnia from
20 Tomislavgrad back to Prozor, I was involved in negotiations there. As
21 soon as the Cheshire battle group deployed into Central Bosnia the need
22 was felt that I should be with them to basically act as a liaison officer
23 interpreter, and then in the beginning of 1993 when the situation around
24 Eastern Bosnia, particularly Srebrenica, was becoming tense I was then
25 deployed into that region to establish the mission there to facilitate the
1 aid convoys from Belgrade to Tuzla, and then I was attached to General
2 Morillon in his exploits in the Srebrenica area around March 1993, before
3 then returning again back into Central Bosnia, again used by the chief of
4 staff of UNPROFOR, Brigadier Roddy Cordy-Simpson, as his interpreter on
6 Q. Thank you, Witness HC.
7 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm looking at the
8 time. I believe the -- it is now the time for our technical break.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. We should resume around
10 five to eleven.
11 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
12 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed. I give
14 the floor to the Defence counsel.
15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Welcome back, Witness HC. Just before I ask you my next question,
17 I would just like to remind you, at the break I was warned that we are
18 both speaking way too fast.
19 A. Okay.
20 Q. So let us both try to make an effort for the sake of the
21 interpreters and the people taking the transcript.
22 Before the break, Witness HC, you mentioned that you had been,
23 during your tour in Bosnia, working with -- at times with BritBat, at
24 times with General Morillon, and of course with your main employer
25 commander of British forces. My question, then, is when working for these
1 people, did you have the opportunity to attend any meetings with the
2 representatives of the warring factions?
3 A. Whenever a meeting was held, I would either go, depending on the
4 situation, as an interpreter to the meeting -- for example, if it was
5 between two sides who didn't get on, and at the time we were employing
6 predominantly Bosnian Muslim locals as our interpreters, so on some
7 occasions, particularly with the Serbs, no one could go therefore I would
8 go to these meetings. When the problems then started to build up between
9 the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Muslims again we couldn't take certain
10 interpreters onto the ground. That was my responsibility. But
11 essentially if I was in a particular area at any one time, the commander
12 would normally ask for my presence at these meetings, not necessarily to
13 interpret but to sit there to listen to what was being said on the
14 sidelines and provide advice and assistance to, you know, the individual
15 officers in the course of their duties. So if I was in the area I would
16 tend to be invited to these meetings, yes.
17 Q. Looking at the HVO in 1993, did you have -- did you attend any
18 meetings with high-level representatives of the HVO; and if so, who?
19 A. The majority of our meetings at that time were conducted around
20 the Lasva Valley area, so on the regular basis we would meet with Colonel
21 Tihomir Blaskic who was in the operational command of the elements in
22 Central Bosnia there. On a political level we would tend to meet with
23 Dario Kordic, who was obviously operating in that area also, particularly
24 around the Busovaca area. Only really at later stages in our tour did we
25 actually then engage in conversations and negotiations with the likes of
1 General Petkovic, who was brought into the region to be sure that the
2 various agreements were adhered to by local commanders. So on a
3 day-to-day basis the British themselves and myself would deal with the
4 likes of Kordic and/or Blaskic.
5 Q. Now, with respect to Mr. Kordic, can you, without going into too
6 many details, provide the Trial Chamber with your assessment of his
7 contribution to the situation in 1993.
8 A. His contribution, whenever we met with the HVO, it was very much a
9 political and a military meeting in many respects. So if ever we met with
10 Kordic, Blaskic would be there or one of Blaskic's subordinates, and vice
12 Kordic himself was a political figure, certainly when speaking to
13 local Bosnian Muslims. They blamed him for many of the problems that were
14 associated with that region and certainly stoking up the flames in many
15 respects in terms of causing the various problems. Very outspoken at all
16 times, wasn't a particularly likable man. To a certain extent he was very
17 right wing, racist towards the Bosnian Muslims, and when meeting him he
18 was very difficult to work with.
19 Q. And if we look at Blaskic, in the meetings when you had the
20 opportunity to see him, can you describe him without going into too many
22 A. Certainly in those early days he was by rank a colonel although in
23 terms of his rank he attained that rank quite quickly once the war
24 started. He was a relatively junior officer in what was the Yugoslav
25 People's Army. And he lacked, towards personally, that operational
1 knowledge in terms of the wider context of command and control in warfare.
2 He's probably a very good tactical commander but heavily influenced by the
3 political aspect to the HVO who really, in our view, held the real purse
4 strings in terms of what people could or could not do, and certainly
5 towards the latter stages of April, he was a very nervous individual
6 because the events that transpired in Central Bosnia at times were
7 backfiring against the Croats and therefore they feared for their future
8 in many respects because they realised their actions were causing more
9 problems than they were worth. So you know, he was perfectly amicable to
10 deal with but obviously he had higher echelons who actually dictated what
11 was going on to him.
12 Q. And with respect to the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, if you
13 attended any meetings, who were they with?
14 A. On a daily basis, we would really deal with local commanders,
15 normally at brigade level, on the grounds that they were physically in
16 command of the elements on the ground themselves. Quite regularly we
17 would have meetings with 3 Corps, with the general or the general's
18 subordinates, an individual by the name of Merdan, but on a daily basis it
19 tended to be at the lower levels because they're the ones who were
20 actually holding the ground who we obviously need to speak to on a daily
21 basis to find out what was going on in their areas in the same way as the
22 local Croatian commanders, but predominantly with local Bosniak
24 Q. You mentioned the general. Which general are you talking about?
25 A. General Enver Hadzihasanovic.
1 Q. Did you have the opportunity to meet on a regular basis, or how
2 many times did you have the opportunity to meet with General
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could there be a pause, please, between question
5 and answer. Please.
6 MR. BOURGON:
7 Q. How many times would you have met with General Hadzihasanovic?
8 A. We met on a regular basis. The problem I had was I was flitting
9 at that time between operations in Central Bosnia and Eastern Bosnia, so
10 if I was in the right place at the right time and Colonel Bob Stewart
11 would go to a meeting in Zenica or the general visits Vitez or other
12 areas, if I was there I would go to those meetings, so met on a very
13 regular basis but sufficient to get the know the general reasonably well.
14 Q. And how would you assess or describe General Hadzihasanovic in his
15 capacity as commander of the 3rd Corps in 1993?
16 A. Obviously not knowing the general before the conflict, first
17 impressions count. He actually made the effort to come visit us in Vitez
18 on -- soon after the arrival of the battle group in the area, and you
19 know, first impression was that he was a classic officer of the mould of
20 the Yugoslav army at the time; very decent, professional individual, very
21 respectful, and straight away offered his full cooperation in terms of our
22 mission there, which was for us a great advantage. I think more
23 importantly he said his office was always open to the planning office of
24 the battle group and he never refused our sort of approaches to him to
25 find out what was going on, and if he was in Zenica when we were there,
1 we'd either call in or certainly the colonel would call in and he'd always
2 be there or provide an officer to meet us. So very cooperative and a very
3 decent man.
4 Q. Now, you mentioned the name Merdan. Can you tell the Trial
5 Chamber, who is Merdan and what is your assessment of Merdan in terms of
6 when you had meetings with him?
7 A. I think you'll appreciate on a day-to-day basis it wasn't always
8 possible to drag the general away from his duties and so our main point of
9 contact at the battalion level was Merdan himself. He was obviously a key
10 subordinate to the general himself, and certainly when we started doing
11 more and more work in terms of joint work with the commission to do with
12 the Croats and the Bosnian Muslims, he was the point of contact who would
13 be responsible for ensuring that what was ordered from the corps was
14 carried out on the ground itself, and he was always at the disposal of
15 ourselves, you know, if we required him.
16 Q. And based on your experience in 1993, was Merdan respected in and
17 out of the 3rd Corps of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
18 A. Yes. I mean I don't ever recall, certainly from the HVO side, any
19 complaints being made about Merdan himself or General Hadzihasanovic. It
20 was always one of respect in that respect.
21 Q. Now, quickly, can you tell us, because you mentioned the name a
22 little earlier, I believe you said Cordy-Simpson. Can you tell us who he
23 is and what his function was in 1993.
24 A. UNPROFOR itself at that time was commanded by General Philippe
25 Morillon, who was a French officer. Morillon's style was very much to be
1 on the ground, literally everywhere, meeting with politicians, commanders.
2 This was an absolute nightmare for the headquarters in Kiseljak on the
3 grounds that the general who commanded the operation was rarely in his
4 headquarters, so the role of the chief of staff of Bosnia-Herzegovina
5 command was fundamental to the day-to-day running of the United Nations
6 mission in Bosnia. For whatever reason, the chief of staff was always a
7 British officer and during the time that we were there, it was Brigadier
8 Roddy Cordy-Simpson and he was a crucial player in terms of actually
9 facilitating physical operations on ground while the general was really
10 going around making sure all the various parties involved in the conflict
11 were doing what they should be doing, so on a day-to-day basis, Brigadier
12 Roddy Cordy-Simpson was fundamental to the operation.
13 Q. Again, Witness HC, I'm going to ask you to try and slow down a bit
14 when you speak. And my next question is whether you had any dealings with
15 lieutenant colonel or then Lieutenant Colonel Stewart.
16 A. He was the commanding officer of the British Battalion based in
17 Vitez, and as I've already said, initially deployed specifically to
18 support Brigadier Cumming in Split, but as soon as the mission was
19 established in Central Bosnia on a day-to-day basis I was working under
20 the operational control of the British Battalion but command of the
21 BRITFOR element. So if I was in Vitez, I would always be with the colonel
22 at various meetings or deployments onto the ground.
23 Q. Did you have the opportunity of assessing from your point of view
24 and experience Lieutenant Colonel Stewart as commander of the British
1 A. Colonel Stewart was a very senior lieutenant colonel. In fact
2 he'd been promoted to the rank of full colonel, I believe, immediately
3 prior to the deployment, but requested to remain as a commanding officer
4 as a lieutenant colonel for the duration.
5 Very professional officer, very charismatic. The right officer
6 for the job at that time in terms of ensuring that the job was done but
7 also, more importantly, in terms of the public perception of what we were
8 doing back in England, and so he became very much a personality. He was
9 always on the news. Became very, dare I say, emotionally involved in
10 terms of the plight of the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina, was not shy in
11 going forward, would berate people publicly, would tell them exactly what
12 he thought, and made a lot of enemies, I believe, in Bosnia, particularly
13 with some local commanders, and there was a great deal of jealousy back in
14 England, certainly amongst our seniors officers who at times were very
15 critical of him but because of his public standing could do very little
16 against him. I know of two occasions where basically he was brought for
17 interviews without coffee, as we say, for his actions but on every
18 occasion he was able to demonstrate exactly why he carried those actions
19 and what benefit it made on the ground. So the right man for the job at
20 the time.
21 Q. Now, Witness HC, can you tell from the times you were with Colonel
22 Stewart whether he was the kind of man who would hesitate to bring forward
23 any complaints to any of the warring factions in Central Bosnia?
24 A. No. I mean, he was very, you know, emotional. He was obviously a
25 human being and if he thought something was wrong or a crime had been
1 committed, he literally told as it was and therefore would have no
2 hesitation in exposing the facts to individuals concerned and trying to,
3 you know, achieve justice in that area.
4 Q. Now, Witness HC, Colonel Stewart actually testified before this
5 Trial Chamber yesterday, and he mentioned an incident arising close to
6 Kacuni in Central Bosnia on the 25th of January having to do with a
7 roadblock established by the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Would you
8 recall whether you were with Bob Stewart on that occasion?
9 A. I was. One of the criticisms levelled against the colonel was the
10 fact that he on many occasions personally led operations on the ground
11 where normally as a commanding officer he would sit back to allow
12 subordinates to get on with the job, but his style was to be there on the
13 ground himself and so because at that time the whole Lasva Valley was a
14 tense area, pockets of Croats and Muslims basically from one end to the
15 other, in Kacuni itself it was a tense situation because of the situation
16 resulting in the Bosnian Muslims being surrounded by Bosnian Croats. The
17 actual route from Busovaca to Kiseljak was blocked by a roadblock
18 established on the bridge in Kacuni. The roadblock itself was a lorry
19 full of logs, and we'd already received from 3rd Corps assurances from
20 General Hadzihasanovic that the roadblock would be lifted. However, the
21 soldiers on the ground testified to us that the roadblock was still in
22 place. We repeatedly went back to 3 Corps to demand that the roadblock be
23 lifted and were given assurances that order had been given to the local
24 commander that the roadblock would be lifted, and again it never happened.
25 We then personally went to the ground and it was clearly the commander on
1 the ground who was refusing to obey the order given to him by General
2 Hadzihasanovic on the grounds that he felt threatened by the situation
3 physically on the ground there and by removing the roadblock he would
4 expose essentially the entry into the Kacuni area to the HVO. So despite
5 assurances given us to by 3 Corps we eventually managed -- I can't
6 remember exactly when happened, but to convince the Bosnians to move the
7 roadblock to allow our vehicles through and they then closed the road
8 again with the same obstacle, and it was at that time that we were
9 essentially berating the local commander, telling him that he should be
10 listening to the orders from 3 Corps, that one of his soldiers had a
11 negligent discharge, he fired into the ground accidentally with his rifle,
12 we thought we were under fire from the HVO positions, we clearly weren't,
13 and interestingly, my toe of my boot was shot off in the process, so a
14 memorable incident in that respect, but illustrated the problem we had on
15 the ground at that time in terms of the passage of information from a
16 corps level to a brigade level down to, you know, physical soldiers on the
18 Q. And Witness HC, would you recall what you did on that occasion or
19 following this event after going through that roadblock.
20 A. We remained, if I recall, on the ground for a while, and shortly
21 afterwards we were visited by Brigadier Roddy Cordy-Simpson, and I can't
22 remember the exact circumstances but for whatever reason then I found
23 myself in Kiseljak with the brigadier working for him for a short period.
24 Q. In the days that followed, do you remember attending any specific
25 meeting where the parties were discussing any specific issue of
2 A. At that time, because of the fighting between the Croats and the
3 Muslims, all the various discussions were about acts that had been
4 committed by one side or the other or essentially, you know, the breaking
5 down of any agreements that were in place. And so I attended a meeting
6 chaired by the brigadier in the presence of Colonel Blaskic as well as
7 other officers and political figures. I wasn't an interpreter. I was sat
8 by his side and to basically let him know what was being said in the
9 sidelines because, as the interpreters will verify, they can't essentially
10 interpret everything that is said in the meeting, it's only the official
11 aspects of it, so my role was to basically feed the brigadier with
12 additional information that was being said, either in the written form or
13 verbally, about that was -- you know, what was being said on the
14 sidelines. And during the course of that meeting, when things were going
15 particularly well for the Bosnian Croat delegation, I recall distinctly
16 someone entered the room with a written note, gave it to one of Blaskic's
17 subordinates, I can't exactly remember the words that were said apart from
18 to the extent that tell them that Busovaca has been attacked, it's on
19 fire, and we should end the meeting. At that point I quickly informed the
20 brigadier what had been said before the interpreter could actually say
21 anything, and it was then that the brigadier, who quite often would lose
22 his temper, lost his temper on that occasion and basically told the Croats
23 to remain seated while he verified exactly what was going on in Busovaca
24 at that time. He obviously sent word to one of our call-signs, our units
25 in the Busovaca area, who shortly afterwards returned to say that actually
1 the accusation of attacking Busovaca and that Busovaca was in flames
2 actually wasn't true, and therefore the meeting continued. And if I
3 recall, as a result of that meeting the agreement was established for the
4 establishment of a joint commission to go from one area to another to
5 basically work out what was going on and to basically stop the fuel on the
7 Q. And do you remember why you were at that meeting?
8 A. I don't, I don't recall why I was asked to go there, but clearly
9 having witnessed this event it was clear that the brigadier intended me to
10 inform him what was going on and therefore him not to be ambushed by the
11 other side in that respect in terms of their intent.
12 Q. I would like now to show you a document which deals with this
13 meeting. This is document DH0664, and I have sufficient copies for
14 everyone in the courtroom. There are only four documents or five which I
15 wish to use today and they can be distributed in a bundle to all the
16 parties. They are being given to you in the order in which they will be
18 Now, Witness HC I will ask you to look at this document and tell
19 me whether this is the meeting you are talking about.
20 A. Yes, that's the meeting.
21 Q. Now, looking at the meeting itself, do you recall what happened at
22 points 4 and 5 of the meeting?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, we have an
24 illegible text here.
25 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it is the best we
1 could do. The original is also very poor. It is just as bad, in fact. I
2 think, Mr. President, that we're going to ask another version to be
3 produced so that we can read it to read the paragraph that we need,
4 paragraph 5.
5 Q. Sir, are you able to read paragraph 4 and 5 and do you recall
6 these events being discussed?
7 A. Paragraph 5 is quite difficult to read. I wasn't present at the
8 meeting referred to on the 26th of January. I was only present at the
9 meeting on the 27th. But I recall both sides at the meeting referring to
10 incidents that had taken place but I had no knowledge of those at the time
11 and the fact that essentially speaking as a result of that meeting it was
12 agreed that the situation as summarised in paragraph 6 was the case and
13 that the joint commission would be established in accordance with
14 paragraph 7.
15 Q. And if I bring to you paragraph 8 -- sorry, paragraph 9 of this
16 document, can you tell us if this is the incident that you described a
17 little earlier?
18 A. That's the incident. And Brigadier Cordy-Simpson's view was that
19 the incident was a deliberate ploy to derail the meeting when it was
20 obviously becoming quite crucial and by really sort of, you know, stopping
21 them before they could act. We basically ensured that the meeting was
22 completed and obviously that the findings were within this report.
23 Q. I now refer you to paragraph 11 of the same document and can you
24 recall the actions that are described at paragraph 11 of this document?
25 A. The key factor at that time was that both sides were alleging that
1 the other side was breaking all the rules of any agreements and were in
2 violation of various cease-fires, and therefore what we required was
3 independent verification on the ground. At the end of the day it got to
4 the stage where we couldn't believe certain sides in terms of what they
5 were saying and so it was agreed that both of the HVO and the 3rd Corps
6 would have members attached to a joint commission run by the ECMM and also
7 a British officer who would essentially go around mapping where the front
8 line was and going to incidents which had occurred to basically pacify the
9 situation. So that was a positive step which we then took further
10 forward, as a result, throughout the whole of Bosnia towards 1993, 1994.
11 Q. Do you recall, Witness HC, this commission being tasked to report
12 to a further meeting, as described in paragraph 11?
13 A. Yes. The plan was that as a result of their initial reports their
14 findings would be given to the UN at a subsequent meeting few days later.
15 Q. I now ask you to look at the next document, which is P922, and
16 tell me if you recall this meeting.
17 A. Yes, I recall this meeting. This was a meeting that took place
18 after the meeting in Kiseljak, which is really the first opportunity for
19 the monitoring mission to report. It took place in the British camp in
20 Vitez with quite a lot of sort of fanfare, a lot of media interest, and as
21 a result they reported. Although I personally for that occasion wasn't in
22 the meeting because it wasn't -- I wasn't physically needed.
23 Q. And if you did not attend the meeting, why would you remember the
24 holding of this meeting?
25 A. Purely because, you know, it was the first time that the ECMM had
1 arrived in the camp and there were a lot of journalists there at the time
2 and at home I've got a photograph of it in my photo album.
3 Q. I now move on to the next issue, and I was wondering if in your
4 capacity as advisor to commander of British forces you developed any
5 knowledge of the Vance-Owen Plan during your stay in Central Bosnia.
6 A. I did. As I already mentioned, there was across the army a lack
7 of understanding what was going on in terms of the situation in the whole
8 of Yugoslavia. Right from the beginning, because of my personal
9 background and my family connections, I really made it my business to know
10 what was going on there, and there were so many different initiatives with
11 a view of bringing the war to an end that had failed, and really the
12 Vance-Owen Peace Plan that was put forward by Cyrus Vance and David Owen
13 was really the first step in terms of trying to get an agreement in place.
14 But when you looked at the actual plan in terms of whether it was
15 achievable on the physical ground, those who knew anything about the
16 conflict knew that not all sides would agree to it. The prospect of
17 establishing ten cantons based on ethnicity was going to cause all sorts
18 of problems. From a Serbian perspective, it meant that the east would not
19 be linked to the west because between them in the Brcko area would be a
20 Bosnian Muslim canton and therefore, as far as the Greater Serbian aims
21 were concerned, they would therefore be broken, and so as a result of
22 that, you know, critics will say straight away that the plan was going to
23 fail. However, the principles were accepted but, regrettably, the Serbs
24 then rejected it later on.
25 Q. Now, Witness HC, can you recall the attitude of the HVO towards
1 the Vance-Owen Plan?
2 A. As soon as the Vance-Owen Plan was mooted and being discussed one
3 of the first actions we saw on the ground was instead of talking about
4 Bosnia as a state, all of a sudden Herceg-Bosna was being established
5 particularly in the southern areas. It was as if the Croatian cantons
6 were therefore going to be permanent and their requirement was that any
7 Bosnian Muslim forces that well within the cantonal areas were to be then
8 integrated within the HVO and those who refused to integrate would
9 surrender their weapons and leave, and clearly this caused a great deal of
10 tension, particularly in Central Bosnia.
11 The other drama, of course, as a result of that, the increased
12 tension in those areas where the Croats themselves were finding themselves
13 in the Bosnian Muslim cantons, and so it was a recipe for disaster and it
14 was one of the reasons why -- in fact, it was a catalyst for the violence
15 that we suddenly found ourselves in in Central Bosnia around that time.
16 Q. Now, Witness HC, what were you told before deploying as to the
17 relationship between the HVO and the ABiH? What did you find out on the
18 ground, and what were the consequences for the army of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina in your view?
20 A. Clearly across the world the Serbian side was seen to be the main
21 aggressor, the victims in Bosnia were therefore perceived to be the
22 Croats, the Muslims, who themselves were fighting together to repel the
23 Serbs. Those who know anything about the past will recall that
24 essentially Serbs had by this stage, by September, October, managed to
25 capture about 6 per cent of the territory to consolidate. They were
1 therefore very stretched in terms of their front line and couldn't
2 physically hold the entire front line all the time. We then deployed,
3 still assuming that the Bosnians and the Muslims were obviously friendly
4 towards each other, but shortly after our deployment Prozor, a town very
5 close to Central Bosnia, was ethnically cleansed by the Croats and the
6 Muslim population driven out, which came was a shock to the British forces
7 at that time. That then had repercussions particularly in the area around
8 Bugojno and elsewhere and then we suddenly realised that the underlying
9 tensions were always going to be in that region itself, and so from our
10 perspective that tension was a surprise.
11 As far as the Serbs are concerned, this suited their aims on the
12 ground, so that rather than doing the fighting themselves, they could
13 leave the Croats and Muslims to kill themselves, which suited them.
14 Bizarrely enough, on many occasions, particularly around the Bugojno area
15 and also towards Mostar, the Serbs themselves supported the Croats by
16 either donating military equipment -- and I'll never forget on the road to
17 Sarajevo seeing Serb tanks being handed over to the Croats for 24 hours
18 and seeing them then being returned, and also fire missions are requested
19 quite often by the Croats from the Serbs to support their attacks against
20 the Bosnian Muslims. So it was a very bizarre situation. And for the
21 Muslims themselves, we felt sorry for them because they not only had a
22 front against the Serbs but now also had a front against the Croats and
23 were pretty well landlocked.
24 Q. Now, Witness HC, what was the status of the army of Bosnia and
25 Herzegovina at that time? How would you describe it?
1 A. It wasn't particularly good. With great respect to them, they
2 were pretty well unprepared for the war, although from my own personal
3 belief, you know, the war was inevitable based on what their political
4 aims were in terms of breaking away from Yugoslavia. However, very few
5 people felt the war was going to happen whereas the Bosnian Serbs
6 themselves were able -- able to sort of to maintain that the integrity of
7 what was the Yugoslav army within Bosnia, the Croats are supported very
8 much so from Croatia proper, but the Bosnian Muslims themselves were badly
9 equipped. A great deal of manpower but in terms of military capability,
10 particularly in terms of the commanders on the ground, were very limited.
11 It was also a bizarre organisation whereby you had corps commanders
12 basically working directly to brigade commanders and field commanders on
13 the ground. We would normally have, in the Western society, divisional
14 headquarters to basically be linked between the various aspects but in
15 that case it was very much personality based, and the drama the Bosnians
16 had was in terms of their culture and psyche they weren't necessarily
17 militarily focused in terms of their attitudes and therefore local
18 commanders held a significant amount of power in their respective
19 brigades, autonomous to do what they wanted within those area, would then
20 conform a general principle as dictated by a corps.
21 Q. Now, Witness, can you comment on your experience on whether -- the
22 state of communications and the size of the territory for which the 3rd
23 Corps was responsible.
24 A. Throughout the whole of Bosnia communications were poor, not only
25 were road lines of communication broken because of the front lines, the
1 traditional means of military communications were now in different hands.
2 Therefore, for secure communications they relied entirely on land line;
3 i.e., you know, a line physically on the ground itself. They were often
4 broken, therefore words of command were either normally given in person,
5 in formal orders groups, or by individuals going on the ground, but quite
6 often also on radio, and there were very little secure radio
7 communications available at that time, therefore there was a great deal of
8 intercepts between one side and another. So maintaining communication,
9 maintaining command and control was therefore always going to be
11 Q. Speaking of command and control, from your own observations in
12 1993, can you comment on command and control within the 3rd Corps,
13 starting with the commander and going down.
14 A. I think generally speaking it was a very difficult situation to be
15 in. We ourselves weren't fully aware of what was going on on the ground.
16 At the same time I doubt that they were fully aware of what was going on
17 on the ground itself. I personally believe that General Enver
18 Hadzihasanovic ran an efficient headquarters, but again, he was probably
19 limited in terms of the quality of his officers further down the chain of
20 command and at any one point if that chain was broken, then he would have
21 serious problems. However we felt that, you know, he would give orders
22 that would be either carried out or not carried out and depending on the
23 individual receiving the order would depend entirely what action they
24 took. Also we found, because of the nature of the Bosnian army, Bosnian
25 Muslim army at that time, it was very localised in terms of attitudes and
1 therefore individuals would carry out actions if it suited themselves to
2 basically defend the position or attack a position to basically
3 consolidate their lines. So, you know, no one was quite aware of actually
4 what was going on all the time and that was one of the problems.
5 Q. Now, you referred a little earlier to a situation near Kacuni.
6 Was that, based on your experience, an isolated incident or did this
7 happen often?
8 A. That was a classic example of a situation we always found
9 ourselves in. Orders were given and either disobeyed because, not out of
10 disrespect to the commanders but it didn't suit their needs at that time
11 and therefore in many cases an order simply wasn't delivered. It may have
12 been issued from the headquarters but because of the poor lines of
13 communications at times they were either ignored or not delivered, so the
14 incident at Kacuni was one example.
15 Q. Now, talking about the commander, did he commit when required to
16 do so, and when he did commit did you see the follow-up action on the
18 A. Yes. As far as we were concerned, if ever we had a problem we'd
19 go straight to the general, or Merdan or one of the subordinates would
20 raise the issue. He would either get on a telephone or the radio or give
21 us an officer to accompany us to the situation to resolve the matter, so
22 they really bent over backwards. The same must be said also for the
23 Croatians when they had the opportunity. So the commanders would do their
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could there please be pauses. The interpreters
1 are finding it difficult to follow.
2 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Could you please answer for the sake of the transcript.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And could you provide the Trial Chamber with a definition of the
6 term "Mujahedin" from your own experience.
7 A. It's been discussed a great deal, I'm sure. The situation in
8 Yugoslavia at the time it was like a magnet to many individuals who were
9 either giving military or humanitarian support. In our area of
10 responsibility we never came across Mujahedin in any formal sense. We
11 heard that elements from Islamic countries, also from Turkey, were coming
12 into Bosnia. We didn't know physically where they were or under whose
13 command and control they actually were. My interpretation of what
14 Mujahedin is, it's a fighter of Islamic faith who sees himself fighting a
15 Holy War, a Jihad in support of Islam. We knew that people were
16 supporting the Bosnian government from the East but we weren't aware of
17 their activities in our area of responsibility.
18 Q. Witness HC, do you believe, based on your experience, that the
19 Mujahedin actually existed in Central Bosnia in 1993?
20 THE INTERPRETER: It would assist everybody in the courtroom if a
21 pause was made between a question and an answer. Thank you.
22 THE WITNESS: Okay. We physically saw no evidence, as a
23 battalion, of Mujahedin in any formal sense operating in our area of
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please slow down. The
1 interpreters do not -- are not able to follow you properly.
2 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We shall
3 try and do that.
4 THE WITNESS: Again, we had no physical evidence and we didn't
5 physically see any Mujahedin operating in our area of responsibility. We
6 heard that there were elements there. Certainly one of the commanders in
7 3 Corps in the Novi Seher area himself was complaining about elements
8 further to his north in the Maglaj area and that they were essentially
9 making that area more Islamic and causing problems but they weren't
10 within, you know, his chain of command and could do nothing about them.
11 We never -- I personally and I don't recall any of the members of BritBat
12 seeing any foreign fighters from Middle Eastern countries within the ranks
13 of the Bosnian army, but we did see a number of former British soldiers,
14 Germans and the like there, but we always heard of reports of extremist
15 activity or Mujahedin, we physically didn't have anything in our area that
16 affected our operation.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There is a considerable delay in
18 the French interpretation. You are too fast. The witness is too fast.
19 The interpreters simply cannot follow you.
20 THE WITNESS: Sorry. Sir, do you want me to repeat that?
21 MR. BOURGON:
22 Q. Witness HC, we will have to definitely slow down. My next
23 question to you is, in your view, based on your own experience, did the
24 3rd Corps of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina exercise command and
25 control over those Mujahedin that were in Central Bosnia --
1 A. We had --
2 Q. -- in 1993?
3 A. We had no evidence that they were within the order of battle of
4 3rd Corps. As I mentioned, we physically saw no physical Mujahedin
5 presence in the area. The only time we heard of their activities was from
6 the HVO or, in that one particular case in the Maglaj area, from one of
7 General Hadzihasanovic's subordinates. But again, you know, we had no
8 physical evidence that they were part of 3rd Corps, and whenever we
9 challenged commanders about their activities, they said they were not
10 within their -- they were not within their control. It was simple as
12 Q. And, Witness, was the issue of Mujahedin discussed at the Orders
13 Group held by Colonel Stewart within BritBat?
14 A. We -- we'd hold a daily -- well, not Orders Group. It was a
15 briefing at 5.00 every day where the day's activities were summarised by
16 the liaison officer on the ground and also milinfosums were read out in
17 terms of what was going on on the ground, and I don't recall Mujahedin
18 activity ever featuring in any of the meetings I took place in. There
19 simply wasn't an issue in our area. I think the term "Mujahedin" was used
20 quite loosely. Whenever you spoke to the Bosnians -- or the Croats would
21 often refer to the Serbs as "Chetniks," the Croats would be referred to as
22 "Ustasha," and anybody who was seen to be, let's say devote in respect to
23 Islam was referred to as "Mujahedin," but normally they were referred to
24 in other derogatory terms. So I'm not sure whether, you know, it was a
25 loose term, but that was what people were using and therefore it can get
1 quite confusing in terms of what was actually going on on the ground, but
2 as I mentioned, we had no physical evidence of who they were, who they
3 were under the command and control of, or physically where they were.
4 Q. Now, Witness, was the Mujahedin a major issue or an issue when you
5 were in Central Bosnia in the spring of 1993?
6 A. I don't recall it being an issue. I never recall any incident
7 where Colonel Bob Stewart would go to General Hadzihasanovic or to Merdan
8 to complain about the activities of the Mujahedin. In the same way, later
9 in 1994, when working for General Rose, the only foreign fighters we had
10 any dealings with in terms of the political aspect was with the Serbs,
11 i.e., foreign fighters within their ranks in and around Sarajevo. So from
12 a Bosnian Muslim perspective I can honestly say that we had no dealings
13 with any aspect to do with Mujahedin. Maybe later on it became an issue
14 but certainly while we were there it was not.
15 Q. Now, Witness HC, when you attended meetings with Blaskic, did he
16 ever complain about Mujahedin in Central Bosnia?
17 A. He would normally complain about extremist activity, but I -- the
18 term "Mujahedin" was never really mentioned if at all. But again, we
19 couldn't independently verify any of these activities. You have to
20 appreciate that our role wasn't there to gather intelligence or
21 information about what the warring factions were doing. Our role was to
22 facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid and that all our information
23 gathering activity was to have that situational awareness, the picture of
24 what was going on on the ground, and because their activities weren't
25 influencing anything in terms of our area of responsibility, we had very
1 little information on them and whoever we spoke to couldn't tell us the
2 realities of what was happening on the ground with regard to their
4 Q. Witness HC, can you comment on the reliability of complaints made
5 by Blaskic and by the HVO in general.
6 A. Every side would open every meeting with a whole series of
7 complaints. It was the accepted form. And again, you know, nine times
8 out of ten we would verify that the complaints were actually untruths or
9 were overexaggerated, and so whenever we went to meetings we'd always try
10 independently to verify any complaints and if there were obviously
11 falsehoods, we would then tell them, so you had to take everything with a
12 pinch of salt, as we say.
13 Q. My next question, Witness HC, pertains to our knowledge of
14 intelligence. Do you hold any qualifications in the intelligence world?
15 A. Because of my work in two tours in Bosnia, and then after the war,
16 once peace came into that region, I was identified to take over the role
17 as the brigade and then divisional intelligence officer for the 1st
18 Mechanised Brigade and then the multinational division south-west, based
19 in Banja Luka. Prior to that appointment, I went on a divisional brigade
20 level intelligence course to prepare me for the appointment and then spent
21 18 months prior to deployment with an intelligence organisation preparing
22 the unit for the deployment. So that was my training and background. And
23 then in 1999, between March and September, I was the divisional
24 intelligence officer, Chief G2, in Banja Luka.
25 Q. Now --
1 THE INTERPRETER: Please pause, Mr. Bourgon.
2 MR. BOURGON:
3 Q. In 1999, when you were the chief intelligence officer for the
4 multinational division south-west in Banja Luka, how did you gather
5 intelligence? What resources did you have for this purpose, and were you
6 successful in obtaining meaningful intelligence?
7 A. The situation in 1999 was very different to the situation we faced
8 in Bosnia during the war. We were now operating within a NATO chain of
9 command. We were therefore there in essentially a war fighting capacity,
10 although at peace, and therefore we had at our beck and call all the
11 national intelligence resources and well as NATO resources at hand.
12 Although I'm an infantry officer with an intelligence background now,
13 working to me I had a team of 14 intelligence operatives who were
14 analysts, trained analysts. Each of those had responsibility looking at
15 military, political, criminal, and other activities in our divisional
16 area. We also had a whole series of liaison officers on the ground, both
17 overt and covert. We relied heavily on human intelligence. We relied
18 heavily on radio and telephone intercepts, and basically we were resourced
19 for the task. At that time, the threats of airstrikes against Serbia as a
20 result of what was going on in Kosovo was paramount and therefore our role
21 was to identify what the Bosnian Serb army was going to do in the event of
22 airstrikes to preempt any of their actions and also to identify what the
23 forces of the federation were going to do in the event of the Serbs moving
24 first, and therefore it was fundamental that the intelligence push, as
25 it's been referred to, was there.
1 THE INTERPRETER: We would appreciate a pause, thank you.
2 MR. BOURGON:
3 Q. Witness HC, could you compare the intelligence gathered in 1999
4 when you were the chief intelligence officer with the information gathered
5 in 1993 and found in the document called Milinfosum, if you know this
7 A. Yes. Milinfosums were military information summaries. They were
8 essentially a summary of what liaison officers had found on the ground
9 through their daily work in terms of what they felt was going on and from
10 reports received from the various warring factions or political leaders.
11 The difference is that in 1999, not only were we resourced to gather real
12 intelligence but essentially speaking we could call on other information
13 that could corroborate information from one source and another and
14 therefore it was a true intelligence effort, whereas in the early days it
15 was literally find out what was going on and report it and not necessarily
16 always going to be true.
17 Q. So how would you -- how would you assess the reliability of the
18 documents produced in 1993?
19 A. The documents produced at that time provided an overview of what
20 the feeling was on the ground, provided an overview of what we were being
21 informed by the various commanders on the ground or the situation that the
22 troops found themselves in, but the problem was that we were very reliant
23 on individuals within the entities providing that information, and in many
24 cases, you know, what they found out was put on there. Everything was
25 then sent further up the chain of command where we assumed they would then
1 be corroborated with other information but nothing ever came back down to
2 us in terms of direction or strategic intelligence at that time. So it
3 was just simply a one-way flow of information, not intelligence.
4 Q. Now, a quick question, Witness HC: Gathering intelligence, in
5 your professional opinion, is that something that requires qualifications
6 and resources or can anybody do that, to gather meaningful intelligence?
7 A. Anyone can gather -- anyone can gather information but then how
8 that information is then used and turned into intelligence is an art in
9 many respects. That's why we had trained intelligence operatives working
10 in divisional headquarters for that task. Within battle groups,
11 intelligence staff are simply individuals plucked from the ranks and they
12 are not resourced in the same way as a modern army would be in terms of a
13 divisional level. It's just basically information gathering.
14 Q. And why did this system change in 1999?
15 A. Well, the system really changed in 1996 when NATO took over in
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Up until then, we were not -- the UN up to 1995,
17 1996, was viewed as an impartial element. We had no real power or
18 influence on any of the warring factions, but of course when the mandate
19 changed and it became a NATO operation, all the sides had to be compliant
20 to the rules and regulations laid down by the Dayton Accord, and of course
21 we were now part of the problem in Bosnia. Of course we had complete
22 control over the activities of the entities, we had complete freedom of
23 movement and we were able to bring additional assets to fulfil the
24 mission. So the whole operational situation had changed completely. The
25 two can't be compared in that respect as being alike.
1 Q. Witness HC, I have one last question for you, and that is can you
2 confirm that in your second tour in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you mentioned
3 you were there in 1994, who you had dealings with in terms of the high
4 level representatives of the warring factions. And I'm talking of
5 personal access and dealings with.
6 A. I was the personal aid and interpreter to General Sir Michael Rose
7 and so I acted on his behalf, either independently or in his presence,
8 with all the main political and military leaders of Bosnian Serb army, the
9 Bosnian Croats, and the Bosnian Muslims part of the federation, so from a
10 Serb side, personal access to General Mladic, General Gvero, General
11 Milovanovic, as well as their subordinates. On the political level, all
12 the meetings attended by General Rose and the UN with Karadzic, Krajisnik,
13 Koljevic, Plavsic; on the Bosnian Muslim side, access to President
14 Izetbegovic, General Delic on occasions when we deployed on the ground
15 around Visoko, with General Hadzihasanovic who was at that time chief of
16 staff, as well as corps commanders and brigade commanders; and then on the
17 Croatian side again returning to General Petkovic and Prlic who was the --
18 who was the political aspect. So full access to all these individuals.
19 And I was the interpreter at all these meetings.
20 Q. Now, I'm sorry, Witness HC, that was my before last question. My
21 last question is --
22 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would like to notify everybody
23 in the courtroom that there is a significant delay in the French
25 MR. BOURGON:
1 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... in your dealings with all
2 these top level personalities from all the warring factions, whether the
3 Mujahedin issue, whether it was an issue and whether it was discussed as
5 A. It was never discussed. The only elements of foreign fighters
6 that caused concern were those on the Serb side in Sarajevo who again,
7 according to the Serbs, were out of their control and actually they were
8 then eliminated but what we feel were elements from within Serbia itself
9 brought in to destroy that element in around the Jewish cemetery. So to
10 the best of my knowledge and recollection, the issue of Mujahedin was not
12 Q. Thank you very much, Witness HC, I have no further questions.
13 MR. BOURGON: [No interpretation]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I was waiting because there was
15 four minutes' delay between what the witness was saying and the
16 interpretation. I think in the B/C/S booth it must have been a similar
17 situation. And the interpretation hasn't ended yet.
18 The other Defence team, do you have any questions for this
20 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honour. We do have just a few
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Dixon:
23 Q. Witness HC, is it correct that you left Central Bosnia in early
24 May of 1993?
25 A. Yes, I left on the 6th of May.
1 Q. You've mentioned a number of personalities that you met. It is
2 correct, is it not, that when you were on the ground, up until early May
3 1993, you never met anyone from the command of the 7th Brigade of the 3rd
5 A. I didn't meet anyone from the 7th Brigade, no.
6 Q. And it's also correct that you had no reason to seek a meeting
7 with the command of the 7th Brigade; is that right?
8 A. That's correct. We heard of their activities in certain areas,
9 but we had no -- I physically had no dealings with them.
10 Q. In fact, you had very limited information about their composition,
11 their operations, and their activities; is that right?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. This was the same for many of the brigades within the 3rd Corps;
14 is that right?
15 A. Correct, yes.
16 Q. If you were, therefore, shown any documents from the 7th Brigade,
17 either internal documents or documents between the brigade and its command
18 in the 3rd Corps, you would not be able to comment on the accuracy of any
19 of the information contained in those documents or any of the matters
20 referred to; would that be fair to say?
21 A. Unless I was involved with any of the incidents referred within
22 the documents, then I couldn't be able to comment, no.
23 Q. You said in your evidence-in-chief that you never saw any of these
24 Mujahedin elements; is that right?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Would it therefore be right that you have no evidence that any of
2 these different Mujahedin elements were ever effectively controlled by the
3 3rd Corps Command or any of the brigades within the 3rd Corps including
4 the 7th Brigade? Would that be correct to say?
5 A. That would be correct. The only time we heard about them being
6 physically active was in the area around Maglaj, and that came from
7 Colonel Jozic, who was the commander there, and he stated they were not
8 part of his chain of command.
9 Q. You never had any opportunity to meet that particular group of
10 Mujahedin in that area, did you?
11 A. No. We had no reason to go and see them.
12 Q. Thank you very much, Witness HC. I have no further questions.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am now looking at the
14 Prosecution for their cross-examination.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Neuner:
16 Q. Good morning.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. Witness HC, my name is Matthias Neuner, and along with my
19 colleagues I am appearing here on behalf of the Prosecution, and I am
20 going to put a couple of questions to you.
21 First of all, let me start off with your 18-month intelligence
22 training. Can you tell the Trial Chamber again, in what year did you
23 engage in that intelligence training?
24 A. I started the appointment in 1997, and I actually deployed in
1 Q. So my question is, before you came to Central Bosnia, did you also
2 have any training in intelligence?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Just to clarify the dates of your stay in the Central Bosnia area,
5 I have written down here that you came to the Central Bosnian area in
6 November 1992 and left at some point in February 1993 for Eastern Bosnia.
7 Can you please clarify the dates, from when to when --
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. -- of your first stay?
10 A. Basically having deployed in November of 1992, most of activities
11 were in Central Bosnia. Around the 7th of December of 1992, that's when
12 we started moving to the eastern area, particularly around Tuzla because
13 of the situation there, and essentially on a weekly basis between January
14 1993 and April of 1993 I would spend either all of my time in Vitez or all
15 of my time in Tuzla on an exchange between two offices. On certain
16 occasions we would be in Tuzla for two or three days and then go back to
17 Central Bosnia. So in terms of the overall operational picture, at times
18 we were away from the activities in Central Bosnia and so we were
19 literally flitting from one area to the next.
20 Q. I understand that. So -- but can you tell the Trial Chamber the
21 majority of your time you either spent in Eastern Bosnia or in Central
22 Bosnia, meaning the Vitez area --
23 A. It was probably --
24 Q. -- Vitez area?
25 A. It was probably half and half. There were two of us and we would
1 literally do time in Vitez and time in Tuzla on exchange.
2 Q. And you testified already on 6 May you left the area. I'm
3 referring to 1993. And you returned in January 1994; is that correct?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. To stay until what time in Bosnia, please?
6 A. The exact date I can't recall, but it was the beginning of July.
7 So literally either -- either -- I left probably Sarajevo in the last week
8 of June and then returned back to the UK first week of July.
9 Q. And during that stay in 1994, did you also go to Vitez area
10 frequently or did you, rather, stay in other areas?
11 A. Very infrequently. The only time we went to Vitez was when we
12 established the federation as a result of the negotiations that took place
13 in around March of 1994. That was then the occasion. I then met General
14 Blaskic, as he was then, and so we probably visited Vitez, in that six
15 months, probably four or five times. Most of our activity was directed in
16 around Sarajevo and Gorazde.
17 Q. I understand you said you visited Vitez four or time times. For
18 long stays or just for temporary stays, like for one meeting and then you
19 returned to Sarajevo?
20 A. Very short meetings.
21 Q. Very short meetings?
22 A. So a few hours.
23 Q. If I may ask, from November 1992 towards 6th of May, 1993, you
24 stayed in Central Bosnia for a longer time, not only for short meetings.
25 Where were you stationed, please?
1 A. We were in the Nova Bila base within Vitez. Obviously living in
2 houses there within the old school building area, and then whenever we
3 were in Tuzla we were in the air base in Dubrava.
4 Q. So on a weekly basis from November 1992 to May 1993, how many days
5 on average would you spend in Nova Bila base? Just approximately.
6 A. From -- from December through to January I'd probably spent five
7 days in Nova Bila and then probably two days in Tuzla. When the situation
8 around Srebrenica became tense and at Cerska in around February-March time
9 I spent probably a solid month in Tuzla around March, working from Tuzla
10 to Srebrenica.
11 Q. Thank you. I just want to ask a little bit about your tasks. You
12 said already you translated. How many international translators were with
13 you employed at the time in Central Bosnia?
14 A. How do you mean international? From --
15 Q. As opposed to local translators coming from the area.
16 A. None.
17 Q. So you were the only international translator?
18 A. No, there was two of us, both of us were British army officers.
19 The third was compromised in Croatia right at the beginning of the
21 Q. And this first person or international translator, do you know his
22 name, please?
23 A. Well, he was compromised.
24 Q. Not the one in Croatia but --
25 MR. NEUNER: Can we go into private session, please,
1 Mr. President?
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Let us go into private
3 session, please.
4 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session, Mr.
19 MR. NEUNER:
20 Q. Witness HC, I was just asking, you have met Mr. Blaskic. You have
21 met Mr. Kordic and other high-ranking personalities from the ABiH and from
22 the HVO, and this was in the capacity of translating for your colleagues,
23 meaning the colleagues on behalf -- the colleagues of ECMM or mostly
24 probably BritBat?
25 A. Mostly BritBat but again I say nine times of out of ten I wouldn't
1 necessarily translate, I would listen to what was being said because they
2 preferred to use their own people.
3 Q. And within BritBat you stated for a certain point in time you were
4 the only translator. Did you then perform these translations or did local
5 colleagues perform these translations? Please just clarify.
6 A. I only times I did physically the translations themselves if a
7 local colleague wasn't available or a local colleague couldn't go to a
8 meeting because the other side doesn't allow the other faith to be there
9 or the other party. So in peaceful situations the locals do the
10 interpreting. I would be there present within the meeting to listen in
11 and provide advice and inform our commanders what else was being said
12 apart from that being interpreted.
13 Q. So in your capacity attending the meetings as interpreter or not,
14 would you -- would you appear as part of the delegation when you were
15 going there?
16 A. The normal form was that the delegation would be the principal
17 officers attending. Whenever we went to a meeting we'd have our
18 interpreters and also liaison officers and nine times out of ten we
19 wouldn't be part of the official delegation and therefore minuted on the
21 Q. I understand from your answer that probably - and this is actually
22 a question - you were appearing on the meeting minutes as part of the
23 delegation, or probably not?
24 A. Probably not.
25 Q. So only the high-level people would be mentioned while you in
1 person wouldn't be mentioned?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Neither as interpreter nor as --
4 A. It was never the form. You'd only really state on the form who
5 was present in terms of the actual parties themselves.
6 Q. Mr. Stewart has testified here. You heard already from my learned
7 friend. And he has testified about 5.00 p.m. meetings within BritBat.
8 Can you report for the purpose of these 5.00 p.m. meetings?
9 A. As you can probably imagine, throughout the day we had officers
10 deployed in the countryside gathering information, obviously on patrol
11 trying to resolve any situations. So every day at 5.00 the commanding
12 officer would have his O Group, his Orders Group, where everyone came
13 back, everyone would report on their activities and information would be
14 passed. The intent for the next day would be given and we would then
15 break up. So it was the opportunity for the command to be made fully
16 aware of what was happening on the ground as far as they were concerned.
17 Q. So is it a fair summary it was a kind of brainstorm meeting about
18 the information gathered, and you said later on information was passed on?
19 A. Basically the meeting would take the form of -- a situation report
20 would be given by the battalion intelligence officer in terms of the
21 reports that had been presented to him from the liaison officers. Once
22 that had been completed, the operations officer would then inform
23 everybody what task had been completed that day and what the next tasks
24 were for the following day. At the end the commanding officer would say a
25 few words in terms of his summary on what was going on on the ground and
1 provide his own intent for the next day.
2 Q. Who would write reports, the so-called Cheshire milinfosums? Who
3 would write these reports?
4 A. Every single patrol that went on the ground had to come back and
5 the formal report had to be written by the patrol commander in terms of
6 what information they had gathered. That information would then be given
7 to the intelligence officer who was a member of the battalion who would
8 then consolidate that information in the Milinfosum report itself; on the
9 operations side, the Operations Officer would then write the current
10 operations paragraph of the daily situation report.
11 Q. So I take it from your answer an intelligence and an operations
12 officer within BritBat were involved in producing the milinfosums.
13 A. The intelligence officer was responsible for producing the
14 milinfosum. The operations officer was responsible for producing the
15 situation report. There were two distinct reports.
16 Q. I understand that. And what was the education of that
17 intelligence officer usually?
18 A. He was just a battalion officer who had been selected by the
19 commanding officer to be the IO, the intelligence officer for the
20 battalion. He may have attended a six-week course but had no -- he didn't
21 have -- he didn't have intelligence staff working to him; it was simply
22 his own staff and within the battalion. So it was very low-level
23 intelligence as opposed to strategic intelligence.
24 Q. You're referring to a six-week course. Was this course in the
25 former Yugoslavia? Was this course in Britain? Was this course somewhere
1 else? What was the content of such a course?
2 A. It's a six-week battalion and brigade level intelligence officers
3 course. It's really looking at how intelligence is gathered, and the
4 majority of the course is directed towards what was formally Soviet
5 doctrine in terms of -- so from a war fighting perspective, how to fight
6 the intelligence war in modern western armies.
7 Prior to any deployment to the former Yugoslavia, the intelligence
8 officer would receive essentially information summaries from the high
9 headquarters keeping him abreast of what was going on so he could prepare
10 himself and his staff for the deployment, but there was no specific
11 intelligence gathering training for intelligence officers deploying to the
12 former Yugoslavia.
13 Q. I understand that. And you just said before the intelligence
14 officer would be used in -- for a particular task in terms of putting
15 these milinfosums together. He would already read, digest, so to speak,
16 analyse previous reports, probably milinfosums or other information? What
17 type of information would he have access to?
18 A. That was a key to all his work. The key thing is to gather the
19 information, look at it, compare it with other information, look at where
20 the information came from, who was the source and make an assessment on
21 the information. If you produce a report without an assessment or a
22 comment, it's useless. And therefore the key to any work of that nature
23 is to be aware of all of the facts and corroborate it. In terms of
24 resources, all he had was what the patrols were seeing and hearing on the
25 ground and bringing back to him. So that was the limitation of the
2 Q. We're just talking about the important part being the assessment.
3 In the milinfosums would that be the comment field, meaning first there is
4 a kind of factual description probably of what the intelligence officer
5 had learned and then there is a comment field? Would that relate to the
6 analysis, the analysis of the intelligence officer?
7 A. That's the key part. The first part, the information, is just
8 information. The comment is, therefore, the intelligence officer's
9 summary of that information in context with everything else. Quite often
10 there wasn't a comment, and therefore a few days later, once more
11 information was gathered, a comment would then be made because all the
12 facts were then available. So it was the comment aspect that was critical
13 to provide commanders the assessment of the situation.
14 Q. If I can just - with the assistance of the usher - show an exhibit
15 to you. And this is actually a document from 27 of January. So we have
16 enough copies for everybody available.
17 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt at this point but
18 we might be back to the earlier discussion we had this morning. This, I
19 suspect, is the new document that may be marked for identification, but in
20 our submission it can only be shown to the witness if it is going to be
21 used to seek to refresh his memory or challenge his credibility. The way
22 I understand the evidence being given now is for the purposes of obtaining
23 information about how military information summaries were prepared, and I
24 don't see how this can be shown to the witness under Your Honour's ruling.
25 Thank you.
1 MR. NEUNER: I'm prepared to ask some -- to lay a foundation to
2 ask some more questions and then try to pursue the matter further or drop
4 Q. Witness HC, we were just talking about the reports, milinfosums,
5 and do you have any recollection from the time you have been on the ground
6 in Central Bosnia that these milinfosums contained also information on
8 A. If it was ever mentioned by any of the field officers who was on
9 the ground, it would be mentioned within the actual milinfosums.
10 Q. So the basis for such a Milinfosum was a prior mentioning. Would
11 this prior mentioning usually be done in the 5.00 p.m. meeting at the
12 BritBat headquarter or was it some -- could that mentioning be, let's say,
13 in every daily life or the daily tasks of the --
14 A. If anything was mentioned in the course of an officer's normal
15 activity out on the ground - for example, the liaison officer who was
16 working in the Novi Seher area would receive from the commander the
17 presence of, let's say, Mujahedin or extremists in the area - then that
18 information would be given at that end of that patrol to the intelligence
19 officer who would then include it as a comment within the intelligence
21 Q. Yes. In late January there was a Milinfosum information report
22 about the Travnik area and this mentioned also the 7th Muslim Mountain
23 Brigade in one of its sections. Do you recall any Milinfosum being
24 written about foreigners or Mujahedin in the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade?
25 Do you remember this being ever subject of a Milinfosum from your unit?
1 A. Without reading the Milinfosum I can't recall. The 7th Muslim
2 Mountain Brigade was always, in many respects, highlighted by the fact
3 that it always had that label "Muslimanski" in that respect. And so
4 people automatically assumed that it was more Islamic than the rest of the
5 elements within 3 Corps or the Bosnian army.
6 We knew that in the Travnik area that there were foreign fighters
7 from Britain, from other nations, apparently from the Middle East. But
8 again, I don't recall any of our officers reporting seeing any formed
9 Mujahedin elements in that area. But whether it was confused with the
10 Muslimanski Brigade, I don't know.
11 Q. Would it help you if I show you a report? Would that refresh your
13 A. Yes.
14 MR. NEUNER: With the assistance of the usher, can I please have
15 the document distributed. It's in the binder you find then in front of
16 you. It's actually tab 3.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
18 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Mr. President, it is quite clear that the Prosecution is endeavouring once
20 again to use the decision of the Chamber for purposes that were not
21 envisaged by that decision. When the Chamber rendered its decision that
22 the document can be used to refresh the memory of the witness, that is in
23 the case that the witness does not remember an event and then he is
24 reminded of that event. If you ask a witness, "Have you seen a report on
25 such-and-such an event" so much later, this is a way of bypassing the gist
1 of the decision.
2 The Prosecution could have easily tendered this document as a
3 Prosecution Exhibit, and I think that because this is being done we are
4 wasting a lot of time.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is the Prosecution going to
6 tell us? Since the document you wish to show is the dated the 27th of
7 January, it is Milinfosum 88. So the first question that should have been
8 put to the witness is whether the witness was present at that meeting of
9 the 27th of January. Then if he said yes, we could refresh his memory.
10 If not, you are going along the lines suggested by the Defence. You are
11 showing him a document to make him discuss an event which was not the
12 subject of the examination-in-chief or which is not linked to questions
13 put by the Defence.
14 Can the Prosecution clarify us as to the purpose of showing him
15 this document, which is in English tab 3, in view of the objection made by
16 the Defence.
17 MR. NEUNER: Certainly, Your Honour. When asked by my learned
18 friend Mr. Dixon, this witness has said he had very little information on
19 the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade available at the time. On the 27th of
20 January, the witness has also testified that he was in the area attending
21 a meeting. So I discussed with him at 5.00 p.m. -- at the 5.00 p.m.
22 meetings basically issues relating to milinfosums were also discussed, and
23 I asked him whether he was familiar with any reports being written in
24 milinfosums about the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade, and the witness himself
25 asked me to show him a report and refresh his memory. I was actually not
1 pushing that point further, I was even asked by the witness to do so.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Major, on the 27th of January,
3 were you present at this 5.00 meeting which preceded the drafting of
4 Milinfosum 88, to the best of your recollection? Were you there or not?
5 THE WITNESS: [Previous translation continues] ... in Vitez at the
6 time, I would have been, yes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You do not exclude the
8 possibility of being present at that meeting?
9 THE WITNESS: I do not exclude the possibility.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, the Prosecution,
11 you may try to refresh the memory of the witness on the understanding that
12 he may have been present at that meeting.
13 MR. NEUNER:
14 Q. Witness HC, if you please look at tab number 3 and you see the
15 Milinfosum is number 88 from 27 January. Just look at the third passage,
16 is mentioned in the header Travnik, and there please just read the second
18 A. "A normally reliable source -" and it's got 1 Cheshire, 27 of
19 January 1993 - "has provided additional information on the 7th Muslimanski
20 Brigade. He confirmed that this brigade is commanded from Zenica with
21 battalions deployed within 3 Corps area. A battalion from 7 Brigade is
22 deployed on the front line in the Travnik area. Members of the battalion
23 consider themselves Mujahedin in every sense. The majority of members are
24 staunch practising Muslims recruited from the local area. Although this
25 particular battalion was instructed by two Iranians the source commented
1 that external Mujahedin from Islamic countries within the brigade numbered
2 at the most 100 to 150. A number of 7 Brigade soldiers on checkpoints
3 north of Vitez were noted wearing a cap badge consisting of a green Muslim
4 crescent, insert --"
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please read more slowly.
6 Slowly, please.
7 THE WITNESS: I apologise. "A number of 7 Brigade soldiers on
8 checkpoints north of Vitez were noted wearing a cap badge consisting of a
9 green Muslim crescent insert with a gold star. They stated that this was
10 the insignia for the Muslimanski Brigade."
11 MR. NEUNER:
12 Q. Thank you very much. Having just read this out, does this refresh
13 your recollection in any event?
14 A. Yes. This confirms that at these meetings whenever someone
15 mentioned the presence of the extremist Mujahedin it would have been
16 mentioned -- it would have been included in the report.
17 Q. You testified earlier about the knowledge within BritBat about,
18 yes, Mujahedin being involved or being not involved with the ABiH. Does
19 this show to you that there was indeed information available at the time?
20 A. This is just one report. It's not come from one of our soldiers
21 on the grounds that if I quote "a normally reliable source," that would
22 have been an external element. And again, from an intelligence
23 perspective, there is no comment. So this report in itself doesn't prove
24 anything, with great respect. A normally reliable source is somebody who
25 will provide information routinely that will prove to be accurate. That's
1 not to say that occasionally the information wasn't accurate. What would
2 now normally happen is that this information would be held, if possible
3 investigated, and then subsequently a comment would be given in terms of
4 the truth of the actual report itself.
5 Again, from experience, it's quite difficult to take everything as
6 a truth. One of the issues that was always exaggerated in Bosnia by all
7 sides was numbers. To say, you know, a hundred, 250 soldiers from Islamic
8 countries, you know -- I'll give you one example: We were told once that
9 there were 1.500 wounded in one particular area and we only found 75. So
10 numbers can be exaggerated. But this in itself is just one piece of
11 information that's part of a jigsaw and it would have been briefed but it
12 in no way to me confirms the presence of Mujahedin in the area because, as
13 I mentioned, we physically didn't see them.
14 MR. NEUNER: Mr. President, I think this is a convenient time for
15 the break.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it is half past twelve. We
17 will have our customary break and resume work about five to one.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have 45 minutes left.
21 MR. NEUNER:
22 Q. Good morning, again. Witness HC, you testified today on page 66,
23 line 22, that in relation to the 7th Muslim Mountain Brigade, you heard
24 about their activities in certain areas. Can you elaborate a little bit
25 what you mean by certain areas?
1 A. Sorry. I can't see anything on the screen. Should I be able to
2 see something on the screen here? Thank you.
3 We knew that the brigade was based in around Zenica. I don't
4 recall any of our call-signs on the ground ever coming across them or
5 seeing them actually operating in the area, but what was always drawn to
6 our attention was the fact that their title had the "Muslimanski" aspect
7 to it and that was always therefore -- seemed to be different to the rest
8 of the 3rd Corps units. But personally I never came across any members of
9 the Muslimanski Brigade.
10 Q. You say seems to be different in relation to other 3rd Corps
11 units, what do you mean by different?
12 A. I think the perception was that the majority of the soldiers
13 within the 3rd Corps and the Bosnian army were just normal people who
14 happened to be Muslims. This brigade looks like to be a manoeuvre element
15 who were drawn from let us imagine all of Bosnia who had, you know,
16 particular beliefs stronger than the rest of the army, and they were
17 therefore titled Muslimanski Brigade. Because of that title, it drew our
18 attention. But as I said, you know, they weren't physically operating or
19 operating when we were physically there at the time.
20 Q. You just testified about -- that this brigade was a kind of
21 manoeuvre element. Can you elaborate what you mean by manoeuvre element?
22 A. We had very little information on the brigade as I've already
23 mentioned. But, you know, by the nature of its organisation -- the
24 majority of the brigades were geographically based. To that extent, many
25 soldiers were reluctant to move from one area to actually act somewhere
1 else because by doing so they would relieve, you know, -- well, they would
2 essentially vacate the area they were responsible for and therefore, in
3 many respects, would be vulnerable to attack.
4 From the information I recall at that time, because the
5 Muslimanski Brigade wasn't necessarily geographically located defending a
6 particular area of the line, it had the ability to move to different areas
7 if it was required as a -- I can't imagine if it was an all-arms
8 formation, but certainly it was not geographically static like the vast
9 majority of the Bosnian army at the time.
10 Q. Do you remember what its commander, the name of the commander when
11 you arrived in Central Bosnia in November 1992?
12 A. I never met the commander, so no.
13 Q. I want now to switch to what you said on page 60 of the
14 transcript, around line 23 about complaints during negotiations or
15 meetings. And you said every side complained to us or to the audience at
16 these meetings, and nine out of ten claims which were made on these
17 meetings proved to be unfounded. Does this apply to both complaints of
18 the HVO and of the ABiH?
19 A. As I said, we'd go to a meeting and the first thing that would
20 happen is that every side would explain what the other side had been doing
21 in violation of any agreements, and of course the majority of times this
22 information was passed up from its units on the grounds and then
23 articulated to us. But we had no opportunity to independently verify what
24 was going on, and whenever we did verify what was going on we often found
25 that the complaints were unfounded.
1 Q. So and you're referring with complaints -- complaints of ABiH and
2 the HVO.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. I want to turn to what you said on page 54, around
5 line 20. You talked about secure communications of the ABiH and that they
6 relied entirely on land lines. With land lines you're referring to
7 telephone lines which are physically in the ground, I assume?
8 A. This is it. I mean, it's difficult to communicate at the best of
9 times, and therefore both sides were predominantly using insecure radio
10 communications for routine information at a local level, but they knew
11 that could be intercepted quite easily by the opposing forces. Therefore,
12 the only guaranteed means of communication was by using the telephone
13 network. But again, if that telephone network crossed a front line, it
14 could be tapped into. And so, you know, at the end of the day
15 communications could not be relied on to be secure at all times. The same
16 applied to us as well. They were listening to what we were doing.
17 Q. Did you yourself ever visit the 3rd Corps communication centre
18 while you were --
19 A. No.
20 Q. So the information you got about the land lines, did you get this
21 information from the ABiH itself or --
22 A. We just knew from our own intelligence in terms of how the former
23 Yugoslav army operated. Essentially, if you imagine, when the war started
24 they would have carried on as they would have done had they still been in
25 Yugoslavia. That's how the system of defence was organised. If you
1 imagine historically, the Yugoslav army was there very much organised to
2 defend its borders and its interior from external attack and therefore all
3 infrastructure was in place for that purpose. What they never envisaged
4 was the attack coming from within and therefore breaking down the normal
5 communication that would have been established.
6 Q. Do you recall giving or providing information to the ICTY in 1997?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If you wish, we can go into private session.
9 A. Okay.
10 MR. NEUNER: Let me ask the President to go into private session.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar.
12 [Private session]
11 Pages 15431-15433 redacted. Private session.
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are back in open session.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 MR. NEUNER:
18 Q. Witness HC, on 25th of January, 1993, you encountered -- you
19 describe the encounter at the barricade in Kacuni.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you also mentioned that you spoke to a couple of local
22 soldiers there. Do you remember from which unit the soldiers were?
23 A. I'm afraid I don't.
24 Q. What unit patches they were wearing? Do you recall any specifics?
25 A. No. I mean, at some stage around that time in the Kacuni area I
1 recall seeing while I was with Colonel Bob Stewart and the regimental
2 sergeant-major two individuals, not necessarily at that time who were
3 wearing green bandannas, but again they didn't have any insignia on them.
4 At the time I wasn't aware whether they were part of the Muslimanski
5 Brigade or what. But whoever was a local unit in that area, they were the
6 soldiers from there.
7 Q. And you're referring to green bandannas. Green bandannas would be
8 worn at the time by the ABiH, I take it?
9 A. Not across the board. And these were just two individuals. They
10 weren't of any eastern origin. They were local individuals who were
11 wearing a sort of green headband.
12 Q. Local individuals from the ABiH?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. You said that the barrier was there because otherwise
15 it would -- the area would be essentially exposed to entry for the HVO
16 into the Kacuni area. You testified to that extent on page 46. Do you
17 recall that a place called Lasva, a place called Dusina wasn't that far
18 from the Kacuni barrier at the time?
19 A. That was the whole Lasva Valley essentially, and it was a single
20 road that was going through from Busovaca to Kiseljak. So that's why the
21 barrier was that.
22 Q. So do you recall the distances? How far was it to go to Lasva
23 from Kacuni -- from the Kacuni barrier?
24 A. Top of my head, without looking at a map, I wouldn't be able to
25 give an accurate answer.
1 Q. If I would show you a map --
2 A. Yeah.
3 Q. -- would that help you?
4 MR. NEUNER: With the assistance of the usher. This can please be
5 placed on the ELMO.
6 THE WITNESS: This was the area of the Kacuni checkpoint in
7 relation to the road going from the Vitez area down to Kiseljak. And
8 essentially the main area of fighting that we were concerned with were all
9 the pockets of resistance, be they Bosnian Croat or Bosnian Muslim, from
10 Busovaca, down to Kacuni and beyond. And this was known as the Lasva
12 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We don't
13 know what documents -- document is being used by the witness and the line
14 that he has indicated, we don't know what they are. Maybe my learned
15 friend could provide us with some information. What is the line that is
16 across the map?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can the Prosecution tell us
18 something about the map? Is that a map that has already been admitted?
19 Is it a new map? And the line across the map, what does it represent, the
20 line that cuts the map in two halves? What is that line all about?
21 MR. NEUNER: The whole map about the whole area has been tendered
22 into evidence. My understanding - and I talked to the mapping unit about
23 it - is that this line is a kind of support line which is in the ground.
24 So it's below the surface. That's what the mapping unit explained to me.
25 It has no other relevance.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is document P98. Could
2 you, Mr. Registrar, give us document P98.
3 THE WITNESS: This was the standard map that we were using at the
4 time. Not only did it show the geography and features on the ground but
5 also telegraph lines, power cables and everything else. So you'll see in
6 this area here the articulation of masts which were either radio
7 communications masts or telegraph lines. So if I recall, they were
8 probably either underground or over ground telegraph lines or power lines.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please show this map to
10 Mr. Bourgon.
11 The Defence, are you satisfied?
12 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes. Thank you, Mr. President.
13 MR. NEUNER:
14 Q. As you -- can you please mark where the Kacuni checkpoint was on
15 that map.
16 A. The Kacuni checkpoint was in this region here and the Busovaca
17 area is there. This is the main road going to Zenica from the Kiseljak
18 area. Turning left takes you to Vitez where the British base was.
19 Turning right takes you on towards Zenica further to the north. And as
20 you've asked, Merdani is in the area here, and the Lasva area is there.
21 But that was known as the Lasva Valley to ourselves.
22 Q. Could you point to Dusina, please.
23 A. Dusina is there.
24 Q. How far away from Kacuni is Dusina?
25 A. Every one of these grid references is approximately a kilometre,
1 so that's five or six kilometres away.
2 Q. So this checkpoint was -- not checkpoint. This barricade was
3 established five kilometres away from Dusina; is that correct? As the
4 crow flies.
5 A. As the crow flies, and in order to get there, clearly that was a
6 lot further.
7 Q. Can I please ask you to mark where the Kacuni barrier was on the
8 25th of January, 1993, and place -- and circle the location and place a 1
9 next to it.
10 A. Off the top of my head, and it's not necessarily accurate as far
11 as my memory goes, I imagine it was probably in this area here.
12 Q. And can you now encircle, please, Dusina.
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. And make a 2 next to it, please.
15 A. [Marks]
16 Q. Thank you. I want to move on. I want to move on, go back to the
17 issues of Mujahedin. You yourself said you didn't see physically any
18 Mujahedin, did you?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. And you said that basically members of your BritBat battalion
21 didn't also encounter any Mujahedin.
22 A. I don't recall any encounters with Mujahedin.
23 Q. If I state to you that BritBat Commander Stewart, who has
24 testified earlier, said that he had personally seen Mujahedin at
25 roadblocks of the mountain road between Zenica and Dubrovac - this is on
1 page 83 of the LiveNote transcript from Monday this week - do you recall
2 that he ever mentioned having seen Mujahedin on the roadblock between
3 Zenica and Dubravica?
4 A. I personally have no recollection.
5 Q. You also said that Mujahedin were never mentioned on any meetings
6 which you attended between the parties, ABiH and HVO. Did you attend
7 joint commission meetings?
8 A. Not necessarily joint commission meetings, no. The only meeting I
9 held at that time, was present at, was the meeting in Kiseljak afterwards
10 which the joint commission was established. They were solely the meetings
11 organised by ECMM, the two sides and also what we referred to as United
12 Kingdom liaison officers who were sent from the UK into the area
13 specifically for that role.
14 Q. Is this the meeting on 30th of January which was attended by
15 Mr. Fleming?
16 A. That's right. I wasn't present at that meeting, within the
17 meeting itself.
18 Q. Within the meeting itself you weren't present. And have you seen
19 the minute meetings maybe?
20 A. I don't recall.
21 Q. Would it help you if I show the meeting minutes?
22 MR. NEUNER: This is P922, Prosecution Exhibit P922, if I may ask
23 the usher.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This is part of the Defence
1 MR. NEUNER: It should be tab 2, then, I assume. Actually, this
2 is the Prosecution -- these are the Prosecution documents.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, it is a Prosecution
4 document, but it seems that the Defence have provided us with that in
5 their binder.
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes. This is something that I have
7 discussed with the witness. He said that he was not at the meeting but he
8 remembers the meeting. This is a document that he had not seen, that he
9 was not at the meeting. So maybe the -- my learned friend should
10 establish the foundation, legal foundation for this question and showing
11 the witness this document.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This document will probably
13 serve to refresh the witness's memory, but can you use some introductory
14 questions in order to introduce this document because the witness doesn't
15 know it and he was not present at the meeting.
16 MR. NEUNER:
17 Q. I understand you have not been present at the meeting but you
18 testified earlier you saw a picture about the meeting and you were in the
19 vicinity; is that correct?
20 A. I was there when they all arrived, because there was a huge media
21 circus essentially because of the significance of the meeting, and once
22 the meeting started they all moved inside the building and those of us who
23 weren't privy to the meeting stayed outside, and again I've -- I've never
24 seen these minutes prior to coming here to The Hague.
25 Q. I understand you've never seen those minutes. And did you speak
1 to anybody else after the meeting - for example, your colleagues - about
2 what has been discussed on the meeting?
3 A. Not really. I don't recall, to be honest with you.
4 Q. Okay.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel speak directly into the
6 microphone, please.
7 MR. NEUNER:
8 Q. In this instance I guess if I refer to mentioning made by
9 Mr. Fleming that the Mujahedin had been in the hills, which is drawn from
10 his -- from the minutes of this meeting here, this wouldn't say anything
11 to you?
12 A. No. The point is if they're in the hills, we weren't because we
13 were limited to the lines of communication physically on the roads, which
14 was again a weakness of our operation there.
15 MR. NEUNER: I will move on.
16 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it would be good to
17 know whether this person knows Mr. Fleming, because he was not at the
18 meeting. And if he had spoken with Mr. Fleming, does he know what
19 position was Mr. Fleming at. We don't know anything.
20 This document has been admitted into evidence but this witness is
21 not well suited to talk about the document.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] He's not familiar with the
23 contents of the document, he doesn't know what Mr. Fleming said, and he
24 doesn't know him.
25 You may proceed.
1 MR. NEUNER:
2 Q. Were you ever at the joint Busovaca commission meetings?
3 A. No, I wasn't, no.
4 Q. You were never. So, therefore, you probably did also have no
5 knowledge about the issue of Mujahedin discussed there. Maybe some of
6 your colleagues went back from these meetings and mentioned something
7 about the issue of Mujahedin being discussed?
8 A. As the report says on page 3, "He requested restraint in spreading
9 the rumours of increased tensions." There was a lot of talk at all these
10 meetings about extremists and the like, but we couldn't physically confirm
11 their presence. You know, I physically didn't see any Eastern soldiers
12 operating within the area of responsibility, and as already mentioned, in
13 Kacuni the only two individuals I saw who were wearing green bandannas
14 were the Bosnians themselves. So they may have been, let's say, from 7th
15 Muslimanski Brigade, I don't know because they had no unit insignia on
17 Q. So I was just asking you for meetings which were going on at the
18 time about the -- which also dealt with Mujahedin issues. What I actually
19 tried to explore was the basis on which you said today that the Mujahedin
20 were out of control of the ABiH at the time. Did you learn that
21 information from the 3rd Corps itself or from which sources did you learn?
22 A. Ultimately the information came from our liaison officers. We
23 could not establish any direct link between 3rd Corps and any of those
24 elements operating within Bosnia itself in 3rd Corps area or elsewhere,
25 and certainly when the liaison officer spoke to the commander of the Novi
1 Seher area he was the individual who informed him of the presence of
2 Islamic elements in the Maglaj area who were out of his control and could
3 do nothing about them. So all our information came from the various
4 warring factions themselves, which is why we had to rely on the sources
5 because the information provided by the sources wasn't always going to be
7 Q. At the time, were you yourself tasked in getting information on
8 the Mujahedin or were other colleagues tasked with that?
9 A. I don't recall a specific task. I certainly wasn't tasked to
10 gather information on Mujahedin activities. I don't recall any specific
11 direction being given to any of the liaison officers to gather
12 intelligence. Anything they gained was purely through conversations or
13 their own reports, because at that time there were many people operating
14 in and around Bosnia. There were many aid convoys moving through and
15 therefore it was difficult -- they weren't there, in my view, as a group
16 on the side of the road advertising themselves as Mujahedin. It just
17 didn't happen.
18 Q. So in other words, since you weren't tasked with this, others were
19 tasked with this probably sensitive job, and in a way that's all you know,
20 that others were tasked in gathering intelligence on Mujahedin?
21 A. I don't believe people were physically tasked to do it. In terms
22 of their routine actions on the ground they may have found out information
23 and then, as you saw with the Milinfosum, reported it "from a normally
24 reliable source," but as I mentioned with that Milinfosum, there is no
25 comments and therefore it will be interesting to see subsequent reports
1 whether or not that was actually confirmed.
2 Q. Since you weren't the commander of BritBat at the time, you did
3 not necessarily need to know whether people were tasked within --
4 A. I didn't need to know.
5 Q. -- BritBat?
6 A. It would have been mentioned at a 5.00 briefing for that
7 particular tasking, but of course if I wasn't there for that 5.00 meeting
8 and it was mentioned, I wouldn't know, clearly.
9 Q. You testified briefly about Hadzihasanovic, about Merdan, about
10 Blaskic and Kordic. You all met them at meetings. But my understanding
11 is at these meetings basically you were accompanying other high level
12 members of BritBat. So your own capacity in which you appeared on this
13 meeting was not an exposed capacity but was more or less an assisting
15 A. That's right. I had no formal directed role to play in these
16 meetings which is why I never appeared on any of the minutes of the
17 meeting as taking part. I was there because I was in the area and it was
18 always useful to have one of your own officers who speaks the language to
19 be able to verify what's been said, and with all the best in the world,
20 interpreters do make mistakes, and it's those mistakes that can be
21 critical in any meeting and I was there to --
22 Q. I understand.
23 A. -- reinforce in that respect.
24 Q. So in other words, from November 1992 throughout May 1993, you
25 didn't perform any superior role within BritBat?
1 A. Not within the BritBat area, but I did in Eastern Bosnia.
2 Q. In Eastern Bosnia. I leave it here. Thank you very much.
3 A. Thank you.
4 MR. NEUNER: No further questions on behalf of the Prosecution at
5 this point in time.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Does the Defence
7 have any additional questions?
8 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
9 Re-examined by Mr. Bourgon:
10 Q. Witness --
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have another ten minutes
13 MR. BOURGON:
14 Q. Witness HC, I have a few short questions for you, the first one
15 being: Did your intelligence training in 1997 help you to understand the
16 value of the gathering of information and the production of milinfo
17 summaries in 1993?
18 A. We were obviously trained to do things properly in terms of
19 intelligence assessments. There is a difference between intelligence
20 assessment and a Milinfosum.
21 Q. Can you describe, Witness HC, the procedure that you would follow,
22 you and your staff in 1999, when obtaining a piece of information from
24 A. The information would be received. It was read by an analyst
25 operating on that particular speciality. He would then add a comment.
1 That would then be cross-referenced against an intelligence database that
2 would be maintained on individuals' activities to see if there is any
3 linkages towards that information. Once that information was therefore
4 corroborated with evidence that we already had, or if it wasn't, we would
5 then issue an intelligence tasking to a call-sign on the ground, a unit
6 who would go onto the ground to confirm or deny the reports. Occasionally
7 that wasn't possible so that would then be stored and then if subsequent
8 information was released, it would then be cross-referenced and again an
9 intelligence assessment would be made on that. We never used a single
10 piece of evidence as an example of fact on the ground.
11 Q. And would you obtain some information as to the origin of the
12 information or on the source of the source?
13 A. Each piece of evidence had to be referenced in terms of who
14 provided it and the source would be graded in accordance with their
15 reliability. So for example, a perfect source would be an A1 source and
16 therefore you would then grade it A, B, C and so on and so forth. We
17 wouldn't grade, from an intelligence perspective, a normally reliable
18 source, it would be a physical A1 to E5 grading.
19 Q. And Witness HC, what is the value, in your opinion, of single
20 source information obtained if it is not verified?
21 A. It can be dangerous. Therefore it shouldn't be used in isolation
22 but however it does, as previously mentioned, add to the jigsaw of the
23 picture, but the important thing is that every piece of information has to
24 be corroborated with more than one source to be of value.
25 Q. You mentioned in response to a question from my colleague that
1 there were lots of rumours in 1993. In your opinion, can a rumour
2 unfortunately become an erroneous fact simply because it is repeated many
3 times in documents?
4 A. I think people will start --
5 MR. NEUNER: Objection. This was a leading question.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. In the re-examination, the
7 party asking questions is not allowed to ask leading questions, because we
8 are not in the cross-examination stage.
9 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] But it is a question about the
10 opinion of the witness. Does erroneous information which appears several
11 times in documents could unfortunately become a fact even though it is
12 erroneous. This is a question. It is not a leading question. It is
13 simply asking the witness for his opinion.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Why in your opinion is the
15 question a leading one?
16 MR. NEUNER: It suggests the answer as the question as such was
17 put, and in addition, this is a fact witness, Your Honour, and inasmuch an
18 opinion. The Prosecution is of the opinion that it is not the right
19 moment to ask from a fact witness an opinion about how things are or how
20 things are not. This is certainly an issue which is left to Your Honours
21 to decide.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, the Prosecution
23 tells us that this is a fact witness, and in fact indeed he was an
24 interpreter who was present on the ground and that you're asking him a
25 question that goes facts.
1 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, with all due respect
2 for the opinion of my learned friend, he has asked several questions about
3 the process of collecting information in the cross-examination, and my
4 question has to do with this process, and the witness is able to give a
5 general opinion, not as an expert. But I'm in your hands.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, yes. Go ahead, as the
7 Chamber can authorise you to put such a question, we are doing that. So
8 please proceed.
9 MR. BOURGON:
10 Q. The last issue concerning an information appearing in many
11 documents can it unfortunately become a fact even though it is erroneous?
12 Is this something you are familiar?
13 A. It's could quite easily be a fact. But that's the job, therefore,
14 of the trained intelligence analyst to look at the facts as they are and
15 provide an assessment on the reality. The problem was in a battalion they
16 would not necessarily have the training to make that assessment, and with
17 so much such information, or let's say misinformation flowing around the
18 command, it's quite easy for these facts to be sort of misconstrued as the
19 truth or not the truth.
20 Q. Witness HC, you mention in response to a question from my
21 colleague that there was a difference between mil information summary and
22 daily information report. Can you bring a little more information on this
24 A. I think you refer to a daily situation report as opposed to
25 information report. The reason why they were called milinfosums was
1 because we were not in a war fighting capacity, we were not there to
2 gather intelligence, and therefore we couldn't present intelligence
3 reports in that sort of operation. They were therefore called information
4 summaries. They basically provided feedback to the chain of command on
5 what was going on on the ground in accordance with entities involved with
6 the fighting. The situation report would have a very short summary of the
7 intelligence or information picture and then concentrate more on our own
8 activities in terms of what we were doing today and what will be happening
10 Q. Witness HC, in response to a question from my colleague, you
11 mentioned that both sides would sometimes complain and that when the
12 complaint was verified, it was shown to be unfounded. My question to you
13 is did this happen more often with one side than the other, and if so,
14 what side?
15 A. Again, it's a generalisation, but quite often the majority of the
16 complaints came from the HVO side about activities of the ABiH and again
17 most of the time they were found to be unfounded.
18 I recall a particular incident in Kula, which again is on this
19 map, whereby we were asked to investigate activities by the Bosnian army
20 against the Croat positions in Kula in breach of the cease-fire. When we
21 arrived on the position, there was no fighting going on. We then moved on
22 to the Bosnian position, and while we were actually on there we were
23 attacked by the Croats. So that was one example where they used Bosnian
24 activity to force us into an area and while we were in that area we were
25 then attacked.
1 Q. Witness HC, you were asked whether when you attended meetings with
2 high officials such as Hadzihasanovic and Merdan whether you were
3 accompanied by some persons. My question is very simple: Did you -- did
4 the persons who were leading those meetings, the high-level officers that
5 you were accompanying, in your view, did they share your assessment of
6 General Hadzihasanovic and Merdan?
7 A. Completely.
8 Q. Two more questions and I'm done. You were mention something about
9 the federation being set up and attending a meeting in Vitez in March
10 1994. My question to you is: Was the Mujahedin an issue of contention
11 between the Bosnian Muslims and the Bosnian Croats when establishing the
13 A. No, it wasn't. The only time I then recall subsequently as part
14 of the Dayton Accord was withdrawal of any foreign forces from the
15 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina. But in terms of the establishment of the
16 federation itself, again that wasn't part of any of the negotiations that
17 was taking place at that time chaired by Brigadier Wreath who was the
18 commander of MND south-west at that time.
24 Q. Thank you, Witness HC. I have no more questions.
25 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. The Prosecution
2 wishes to take the floor.
3 MR. NEUNER: The Prosecution just wishes to state that the last
4 two issues didn't arise directly out of the cross-examination of the
5 Prosecution, meaning the two meetings including the negotiations about the
6 establishment of the federation. At no point in time did the Prosecution
7 ask any questions in relation to this, and we just want to have this
8 stated for the record.
9 And in addition, there was also a withdrawal mentioned. This is
10 page 107, line 13. After the Dayton Accord about the withdrawal of any
11 foreigners. These are completely new issues which haven't been touched
12 upon at all by the Prosecution during its cross-examination.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, the Prosecution is
14 telling us that these two issues, according to them, do not emanate from
15 the cross-examination.
16 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. In the
17 opinion of the Defence, those questions did emanate from the intention of
18 the Prosecution to show that the witness did not have occasion to hear
19 discussions of the Mujahedin. The Defence is showing that if there was
20 one place where he could have heard about the Mujahedin it was then, and
21 he was present then.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Chamber takes
24 Mr. Dixon.
25 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. Only a few questions
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is that two minutes, three
3 minutes, because we're overstepping our time already.
4 MR. DIXON: [Previous translation continues] ...
5 Further cross-examination by Mr. Dixon:
6 Q. Sir, you mentioned in your testimony that there was something of a
7 difference between the 7th Brigade and you mentioned that had it was a
8 manoeuvre brigade. To some extent we are again covering old ground that
9 was dealt with in the Prosecution case. You won't know this, but there
10 have been international witnesses including, you might know this person,
11 Mark Bower, who have confirmed that there were various manoeuvre brigades
12 within the 3rd Corps. Could you confirm whether you knew that there were
13 other manoeuvre brigades including -- and I'll name a few you might know
14 them, the 17th Krajina Brigade, the 314 Brigade, and the 303 Brigade?
15 A. With all the best will in the world it was so long ago that the
16 only thing that sticks in my mind was the 7th Muslimanski Brigade purely
17 because of its title. We never physically saw, I never physically saw the
18 actual manoeuverings taking place but we knew by the nature of the
19 composition of the brigade that it was deployable in more than one
20 location, whereas the majority of the brigades were ground holding
21 brigades as opposed to manoeuvre elements.
22 Q. But did you know that there were other brigades with the same and
23 manoeuvre characteristics as the 7th Brigade within the 3rd Corps area of
25 A. I can't honestly say that I knew that directly but assumption was
1 clearly there.
2 Q. Sorry could you just repeat the answer question?
3 A. I can't directly say that, yes, I knew but I would assume there
4 was more than one manoeuvre brigade because a brigade in itself can't
5 achieve an impact on the battlefield in that environment on its own.
6 Q. Yes. Thank you. You also mentioned that the name Muslim for the
7 brigade was something that drew your attention. Were you aware at the
8 time that there were other brigades within the Bosnian army that were
9 called Muslim brigades providing a place for members of the Muslim faith?
10 Were you aware of that?
11 A. Not outside 3 Corps. We didn't receive information from other
12 divisions or locations within Bosnia itself. As I mentioned, all our
13 information went up the chain of command but nothing came down in terms of
14 the rest of the activities of the armies of the HVO or the ABiH elsewhere
15 in Bosnia.
16 Q. So you were aware that it was a common usage within the Bosnian
18 A. I wasn't aware.
19 Q. All of the statements that you've about the 7th Brigade today,
20 could I just confirm that they are based on a limited amount of
21 information which you had and more on assumptions and rumours at the time?
22 Would that be fair to say?
23 A. Actually on the information that we received from the liaison
24 officers on the ground, and again rumours that we obviously heard during
25 the course of meetings of activities, but again we couldn't confirm that
1 they were actually the truth.
2 Q. Just two questions about the incident in Kacuni on the 25th of
3 January. It's correct that you cannot say which brigade of the 3rd Corps
4 those persons belonged to; is that right?
5 A. That's correct. Very few of the Bosnian units themselves had any
6 distinguishing marks on their uniform denoting their unit insignia. They
7 all tended to have the common Bosnian flag as insignia.
8 Q. Were you aware at the time, you may not have been, but were you,
9 that there were various brigades of the 3rd Corps operating in that area?
10 A. We knew there were, yes.
11 Q. Lastly, on the document that was shown to you, the mil information
12 summary of the 27th of January, it was shown to you for the purpose of
13 refreshing your memory. I'm not sure whether the Prosecution clearly
14 asked this, but can I confirm that you cannot remember being at that
15 meeting and discussing this particular issue that was referred to you; is
16 that right?
17 A. Again I can't physically remember if it was at that meeting but
18 the way in which the report is written, it could have been one of the
19 comments that was made in terms of, you know, we have information that
20 suggest X, Y and Z but because there is no comment on the actual report
21 it's not corroborated and that's the problem that we have.
22 Q. Looking back now, you can't remember actually being there and
23 discussing that issue; isn't that right?
24 A. I don't recall that issue being discussed while I was there.
25 Q. I don't want to take the matter any further then. Suffice to say
1 that is it not right that a single secondhand source as we see there could
2 be wrong, could be confused, could be exaggerated?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. You mentioned it may be a piece in a jigsaw, but it could be an
5 inaccurate [Realtime transcript read in error "accurate"] piece in the
6 puzzle; is that right?
7 A. That's right, yes.
8 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, there is one correction in the transcript
9 and that's at page 112 line 3. It's not accurate but inaccurate piece in
10 the jigsaw puzzle if that could be corrected, please.
11 Q. Lastly, sir, you mentioned that it would be necessary to look at
12 follow-up reports and see what occurred. You were not involved in any
13 such matters, were you?
14 A. No, unless I was part of a group on the ground who were asked to
15 carry out one of those tasks but in this case I don't recall that being
17 Q. We have heard evidence from a Major Guy Chambers who was in the UN
18 command in Kiseljak. He was much later than you in November 1993. He was
19 responsible for receiving military information summaries and summarising
20 them and passing them further along and he received a number of those
21 summaries which were shown to him during the course of his evidence. You
22 of course won't be aware of that, but could you comment on something that
23 he said in his evidence which was that at the end of the day, they had no
24 hard evidence that the Mujahedin element was subordinated to the 7th
25 Muslim Brigade. Would that accord with what you knew at the time?
1 A. That's correct. We had no hard evidence. We could not physically
2 make the link.
3 Q. Thank you very much. I have no further questions, sir.
4 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As the Judges have no questions
6 for you, we wish to thank you for making your contribution to the
7 establishment of the truth, and I'm going to ask the usher to accompany
8 you out of the courtroom, but once the blinds have been lowered.
9 Yes? You want to tender the map?
10 MR. NEUNER: Yes. If the witness could please sign it and add
11 today's date.
12 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] No objection, Mr. President.
13 THE WITNESS: Could I apologise for speed of my speech at times
14 and I hope it hasn't inconvenienced the Court.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment.
16 Mr. Registrar can we have an exhibit number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, it will be admitted
18 as Prosecution Exhibit P943. I see that it has been initialed, so it
19 doesn't have to be admitted under seal.
20 [The witness withdrew]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are in open session. The
22 Chamber is going to render two very quick oral decisions.
23 Concerning the request of the Prosecution for admission of three
24 documents into evidence, the Chamber orders that the documents should be
25 admitted with the following note: For the purpose of refreshing the
1 memory and the credibility of the witness. So these are three documents:
2 Milinfosum of the 27th of January, 1993; of the 13th of March, 1993; and
3 the HVO order of the 18th of April, 1993. So this decision is a logical
4 follow-up of a previous decision that we rendered under similar
5 circumstances. That is that these three documents will have a P number,
6 and Mr. Registrar will give us the number, but it will be noted that they
7 were used simply to refresh the memory and credibility of the witness.
8 Can I have three numbers, Mr. Registrar.
9 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you. The numbers for these
10 exhibits will be: The first Milinfosum of the 27th of January, 1993,
12 The second, dated the 11th of March, 1993, is admitted as P945.
13 And the document dated the 18th of April, 1993, is admitted as
15 The first document has an English version, P44/E [as interpreted],
16 P945/E for the English version -- no, I apologise. The first two
17 documents are in English so they have no other versions, and the last
18 document, P946, does have an English version, so it's P946/E.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And we wanted you to say that
20 there's this point made that these three documents are being admitted
21 pursuant to the order of the Chamber under the terms that you yourself
23 Now the Chamber is going to render its second decision.
24 Mr. Usher, can you raise the blinds.
25 Concerning the question of translation of the word "odnosno," the
1 Chamber requests that CLSS, through the Registrar, should first -- are you
2 taking a note of this, Mr. Registrar? -- to familiarise themselves with
3 the transcript.
4 Secondly, to familiarise themselves with document P662 in which we
5 come across twice across the word "odnosno," which was translated
6 differently in the original translation in each case, either as "in other
7 words," or with the word "and."
8 Thirdly, the Chamber requests the translation service to explain
9 to us why there were two different translations for the same word.
10 And fourthly, the Chamber requests that the service in question
11 provides with us a new translation, making all the necessary
12 clarifications regarding the word "odnosno," either by reference to
13 dictionaries or any other convenient or appropriate sources.
14 These requests will be specified in a memo which should be
15 addressed to the Chamber and then communicated to all the parties.
16 It is 2.00. I apologise to all those who are required to stay a
17 quarter of an hour longer, but I turn to the Defence to hear about the
18 plan for tomorrow.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Previous translation continues] ... Could we go
20 into private session, please, Mr. President.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, let's go into private
23 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,
22 Mr. President.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Concerning the previous witness,
24 I didn't ask whether there were any documents to be tendered. No, there
25 aren't. Fine. So it's almost five past two, so I'll see you all again
1 tomorrow at 9.00 a.m.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.03 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 3rd day of
4 February, 2005, at 9.00 a.m.