1 Thursday, 24 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, would you please
7 call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case number IT-01-47-T, The
9 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Thank you Mr. Registrar.
11 The appearances for the Prosecution, please.
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning,
13 Your Honours, counsel, and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
14 Prosecution, Daryl Mundis, assisted by our case manager, Andres Vatter.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And for the Defence, please.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Good
17 morning, Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina
18 Residovic, counsel, Stefane Bourgon co-counsel, and Alexis Demirdjian,
19 legal assistant.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 And the other Defence team.
22 MR. DIXON: Good morning, Your Honours. On behalf of Mr. Kubura,
23 Mr. Rodney Dixon, assisted by Mr. Nermin Mulalic. Thank you.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And on this day the 24th of
25 March, 2005 the Chamber bids good morning to all those present in this
1 courtroom, which is cosier than hall number 3, but unfortunately we don't
2 have the model that we had yesterday, and the maps. But we will do our
3 best to make up for this. So I bid good morning to representatives of the
4 Prosecution, the Defence counsel - I see that one is missing; I hope we
5 will see him next week - the two accused, as well as the General, the
6 expert witness. I do not wish to forget Mr. Registrar, the usher, the
7 legal officer, the court recorders, and all those assisting us. We need
8 to continue our work with the continuation of the examination-in-chief
9 and, for this purpose, I shall give the floor to Mr. Bourgon to continue
10 with his questions.
11 WITNESS: VAHID KARAVELIC: [Resumed]
12 Examined by Mr. Bourgon: [Continued]
13 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Good
14 morning Madam Judge, good morning, Your Honour.
15 Q. [In English] Good morning, General. Further to our review
16 yesterday of both the model of Bosnia-Herzegovina and of some of the
17 annexes to your report, I have a number of questions for you this morning.
18 And if at all possible, I would invite you to try and, once again, keep
19 your answers as short as possible where, of course, this is possible for
20 you to do.
21 The first topic I would like to address with you this morning is
22 that of the events in Dusina. Yesterday you did explain to the Trial
23 Chamber for what reason General Hadzihasanovic, a corps commander, was
24 involved in fighting at this level in the Lasva Valley.
25 I refer you to paragraph 677 of your report, and I would ask that
1 you take a look at 677 of your report. In paragraph 677, you explain
2 what, in your opinion, would be expected to take place. And then you
3 say, "in the knowledge of the corps commander and possibly at his
5 So before we go into each category I would like to -- you to
6 explain what you mean exactly by "In the knowledge of the corps commander
7 and possibly at his initiative." What did you mean by these words?
8 A. In this paragraph, 677, I wanted to indicate the measures that the
9 3rd Corps commander should have taken as well as all others in the chain
10 of command in connection with the steps that needed to be taken in
11 connection with the event.
12 Q. And I will follow up to this question by asking you, when we
13 say "in the knowledge of the corps commander," what are we to understand
14 in terms of measures taken by others in the chain of command?
15 A. Upon learning about a certain criminal act and depending at what
16 level that criminal offence occurred, meaning which level of unit and at
17 which level in the chain of command. Depending on that, the unit and the
18 commander, in whose unit this occurred, in whose area of responsibility
19 this happened, is duty-bound to take the first steps. And briefly I could
20 list those first steps as follows: Having learnt about a certain event,
21 steps need to be taken as quickly as possible to carry out the
22 identification and on-site inspection to learn as much as possible about
23 the event. Then to take steps to protect, secure and possibly halt the
24 continuation of this adverse event. If it's over, then it's over. But if
25 it is still underway, it has to be stopped and its continuation prevented.
1 That same commander, at a certain level, needs to take measures to
2 report to his superiors up the chain of command. With the assistance of
3 his security service and his military police, he needs to take measures
4 once he has learned the facts of the event in order to institute criminal
6 After that, it is the duty and obligation of the commander to
7 prevent the possibility of such events being repeated. How? By issuing
8 orders to his subordinates down the chain of command; by learning a lesson
9 from the event of the event that has already taken place, so that nothing
10 like it could be repeated; making it quite clear that such things would
11 not be tolerated in the future either. Also taking measures to educate
12 and train people, as far as possibilities allow, and providing certain
13 instructions and guidelines additionally and, again, regardless of how
14 many times the commander may have issued such instructions down the chain
15 of command to his subordinates, and so on.
16 Q. Thank you, General. My next question deals with, or relates to
17 what you said yesterday about the level at which the corps commander
18 exercises his duty. And my question to you is: When an event like this
19 occurs, is it more likely that the measures will be taken at various
20 levels within the chain of command, or that the corps commander will take
21 such measures himself?
22 A. In answer to your previous question, I think I have already
23 answered that question in part. An event, a criminal event, if it occurs
24 in a battalion, in a brigade, an operations group, or at the corps
25 command, at whatever level, so each commander at those levels has the duty
1 to take steps first, together with all his services and bodies that he has
2 at his disposal. And then to undertake all the other steps that I have
3 just listed.
4 Q. Thank you, General. I would like now to ask you a question or for
5 your opinion on an answer which was provided by General Cordy-Simpson,
6 whom I mentioned yesterday. The following question was put to him. In
7 your view, General, what should a corps commander do to prevent violations
8 from happening, bearing in mind what you just said as to what he can and
9 cannot do.
10 And his answers was -- his answer was he can only lay down to his
11 battalion commanders or, in the case of a corps commander, to his
12 divisional commander and his brigade commanders how he wishes operations
13 to be conducted and on what sort of code of behavior. Having passed that
14 information, he must either expect that his subordinates will carry out
15 his orders, or if he finds subsequently that they haven't carried out his
16 orders, then he must order an investigation into why that has not
17 happened. But he cannot influence the individual actions of soldiers on
18 the ground at a particular moment in time.
19 Do you agree with this answer provided General Cordy-Simpson, and
20 can you provide your opinion on this topic?
21 A. To the greatest extent I agree with the answer given by
22 General Simpson, namely, each commander, at whatever level, has the
23 possibility of command and control over units and dealing with problems
24 that occur in the units exclusively along the chain of command. He has no
25 other possibility. Therefore every commander must trust his staff in his
1 chain of command. If that is lacking, it is impossible to run a unit and
2 such a unit would soon fail. It could not function at all.
3 Each commander, and especially at higher levels, at operative
4 levels, is too far removed from a group of soldiers to be able to control
5 what a single soldier or a group of soldiers are doing. He's so far
6 removed that even if he wanted to have control over each and every
7 soldier, in a corps numbering 40.000 men, or my corps which had more than
8 75.000 men he just couldn't do it.
9 That is not [Realtime transcript read in error "now"] how control
10 and command function. Every commander - I will repeat again what I said
11 in my previous answer - has the task and duty to pass on all the orders
12 and instructions he receives from a superior command or those that he
13 himself issues to forward them down to the lowest level within the
14 structure of his unit and he must daily place emphasis on those matters
15 because every military unit is a living organism and it has to be urged
16 from one day to the next, to consistently implement all those regulations
17 and rules and practice. And they must be told that no deviation will be
19 And as soon as the commander becomes aware of a violation,
20 sanctions will be enforced.
21 Q. Thank you, General. I would like just to make a correction to the
22 transcript on page 6, line 3, where the transcript reads "that is now how
23 control and command function". My understanding is that what you said
24 was "that is not how control and command function". Can you confirm?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. General, you mentioned a few minutes ago the existence of
2 operational groups. And this brings the following question: How many
3 levels down is an officer or commanding officer, from a structural point
4 of view, how many levels down is he expected to have contacts with his
5 subordinates in the chain of command?
6 A. I don't quite understand. What level are you referring to?
7 Q. Sorry. I will make my question more precise. If I take the
8 commander at the corps level, how many levels down from the corps is he
9 expected to have contacts with his subordinate? Is it one level, just the
10 operational group? Would it be two levels, operational group and brigade.
11 Would it be three levels, operational group, brigade, and battalion? To
12 your experience, as a corps commander, how many levels down are you
13 expected to have contacts with your subordinate commanding officers?
14 A. How many levels there are in a corps, as in operative unit, is
15 that the question? The corps level. The next level is the operative
16 brigades level. The third lower level are the brigades. The fourth level
17 down are battalions. The fifth level are companies. The sixth are
18 platoons and the seventh are squads. And then the eighth level is the
19 soldier, the private. Those are the levels.
20 The corps commander has the duty of having contact with his
21 immediate subordinate and those are the assistants in his own corps
22 command and the commanders of units that are directly on the line with the
23 corps commander. In his corps command, on an average, he has eight to ten
24 assistants. And as many unit commanders as we saw on one of the charts of
25 the structure of the 3rd Corps of the ABiH.
1 I can give you my own example. In the course of 1993, I had more
2 than 30 connections. To me, this is beyond the number envisaged by any
3 military theory and doctrine, including foreign military doctrines from
4 one state to another. The maximum connection that one commander should
5 have would be five to seven. The maximum being up to ten. I had 30, and
6 I believe that the 3rd Corps commander must have had 20, if not more. I
7 don't know whether I answered your question.
8 Q. Yes. Thank you, General. As a follow up to that, first I must
9 ask you, are you familiar with the testimony of General Reinhardt who was
10 the Prosecution expert in this case?
11 A. Yes. Most of it, yes.
12 Q. In response to a question put to him, General Reinhardt said that
13 the fact that General Hadzihasanovic created operational groups to reduce
14 the number of people or subordinate commanders answering directly to him,
15 General Reinhardt said that this was a very clever commander. Can you
16 comment on this?
17 A. That is precisely the question stemming from my previous answer.
18 Namely, the gentleman said that the 3rd Corps commander was a very wise
19 and clever man, for the simple reason that military theory does not allow
20 a commander, especially a senior commander, to have a large number of
21 connections. Not just the higher level commander. So this requires
22 reducing the number of those connections in the formation of operative
23 groups and this is something that he welcomed. And these were formed with
24 one single aim in mind, to reduce the number of connections, to reduce the
25 number of people reporting directly to the corps commander, so that he
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 would be more operational, successful and effective in his mission. And
2 he noted that very well. And I agree with that.
3 Q. Thank you, General. I move on to the event of Dusina itself. And
4 in the event of Dusina itself, as you know, there were a series of
5 reports, combat reports from various level on the ground, which were
6 forwarded to the corps headquarters. My question to you is: Did
7 General Hadzihasanovic, and his deputy, General Merdan, give proper
8 consideration to those reports and how important would those reports have
9 been to you, in a similar situation?
10 A. Reviewing all the documents I had access to, I can provide the
11 following answer. All the documents that arrived to the 3rd Corps in
12 those days, the Municipal and District Staff of defence of Zenica were
13 exchanged and all of them were disclosed that very moment, or rather
14 forwarded up the chain of command so that information was given to others
15 who were entitled to having such information so as to deal with the
16 problem and to take appropriate measures.
17 Having reviewed not just this event in Dusina, but all the events,
18 and on the basis of all the documents and information I had, my answer
19 would be to say that I never noticed, in any document that there may have
20 been subconscious -- a subconscious event to avoid the truth about the
21 event, not to mention to conceal the truth about those events. The fact
22 that in some cases the response differed from one to another, I am deeply
23 convinced, on the basis of my own experience, that this was due simply to
24 the lack of relevant information at a given point of time, and the lack of
25 proper information and lack of control over the situation at a given
1 moment. Regarding the event itself and all the information about the
2 event, and informing all entities about the event, which is very important
3 for all -- for the most effective measures to be taken in response. But
4 this, again, is a problem resulting from many other shortcomings and
5 omissions typical of that time period about which I could have much to
7 Q. Thank you, General. You mentioned something rather interesting,
8 in the sense of -- that there was no -- you mentioned -- I will try to use
9 your exact words: "A subconscious event to avoid the truth" and that
10 there was "not to mention to conceal the truth about these events."
11 Now, General, my question to you is: Isn't that the basis for
12 the trust relationship that must exist in a chain of command whereby the
13 commander of the army expects that what he receive from
14 General Hadzihasanovic would be, to the best of his knowledge, the
15 situation on the ground, as General Hadzihasanovic would expect to receive
16 information from his subordinates which would reflect the situation on the
17 ground to the best of their ability?
18 A. I believe that that is the only way and I would say the only
19 possible way. Even if the commander wanted, through other channels and
20 other ways to learn about certain events, in the given circumstances, he
21 didn't have any such chance to do that. So I repeat what I have already
22 said. The only thing the commander can rely on is his own chain of
23 command. Everything he receives from below is his only source. Whatever
24 it may be, he must take it as being a relevant source. But every
25 commander at whatever level is entitled to verify the source, to check out
1 the source. But even that checking, which may be made at any point in
2 time and regarding any event, must, again, be done through the chain of
4 Q. Thank you, General. Can you look at footnote 134 in your report.
5 And I believe footnote 134 refers to one of the steps which may be taken.
6 Now, this step is "If the allegations are founded, ensure that measures
7 will be taken by the appropriate subordinate commander, which would
8 normally be the filing of a criminal report before the District Military
9 Prosecutor." This takes us to footnote 134, where you say that:
10 "Concerning the filing of criminal reports, these reports can be done by
11 the military police, whether at the brigade, operational group or corps
13 So that is my first question, the levels at which criminal reports
14 may be filed.
15 And the second question is, you say that once a criminal report
16 has been filed, the obligations of the commander are limited to providing
17 assistance to the competent authorities, if requested to do so.
18 Can you provide or confirm that this is still your -- those are
19 still your views today?
20 A. Absolutely. A corps commander, as you have said, when he
21 establishes within the chain of command that an offence has been
22 committed, that there has been a criminal act, regardless of who
23 institutes criminal proceedings, certain relevant facts are established as
24 a result of which criminal proceedings are instituted. In such a
25 procedure, the commanders have a lot of obligations and you can't exclude
1 a corps commander. But once a criminal report has been forwarded to the
2 District Military Prosecutor, from that point in time the corps commander
3 is only duty bound in the sense that his military police and security
4 service must be at the service of the District Military Prosecutor, or the
5 court. When it comes to further dealing with the case -- well I wouldn't
6 say the corps commander shouldn't attach an importance to this, but from
7 the time that criminal proceedings are instituted, from the time that
8 Prosecution takes over the case or the district military court then the
9 corps commander no longer has to deal with this. He has far more
10 important issues to resolve and to deal with on a daily basis.
11 Q. Thank you, General. Now, General Reinhardt, when testifying,
12 noted that, that "the system of justice," meaning the District Military
13 Prosecutor, and "the district military court were slow," and he gave his
14 opinion that the fact that General Hadzihasanovic complained about the
15 fact that this system was slow showed that this is a commander who cares
16 about discipline and the investigation of possible wrongful acts committed
17 by his subordinates. Would you agree with General Reinhardt in this
19 A. Knowing General Hadzihasanovic, well that's one factor. But since
20 he was a JNA officer, and attained the highest military rank one can
21 attain in the army - he was a brigade commander in the JNA - any officer,
22 any general who knows anything about the JNA, if you asked any such
23 officer what it meant to become a brigade commander, a commander of a
24 brigade that -- such as the brigade he was in command of in the JNA, your
25 answer would be that he was an extremely conscientious man, a disciplined
1 man, a diligent man, a moral man. And I won't go on to list all of the
2 virtues required because if he hadn't been such a man he wouldn't have
3 been able to be a brigade commander. And I know General Hadzihasanovic
4 from the JNA and he was fully aware of what it meant to conceal, pass over
5 in silence a certain truth and especially the truth about crimes that may
6 have been perpetrated. And he was fully aware of the fact that discipline
7 in a military unit can only be established by respecting all the legal
8 rules and regulations. And that if someone didn't respect the
9 regulations, that person should be punished. And that is why he wanted
10 the District Court to be involved, to deal with cases, to solve cases. He
11 didn't want cases that hadn't been solved to remain and in the field it's
12 the corps commander who suffers the consequences. Cases aren't solved.
13 Soldiers believe that there is no punishment and subconsciously they may
14 still continue to think that they can do whatever they want to do, if I
15 may put it this way.
16 Q. Thank you, General.
17 A. And I absolutely agree with the opinion that you quoted.
18 Q. My last question with respect to Dusina, General, refers to your
19 conclusion, and we find those at paragraphs 687 and 688 of your report.
20 And my question to you is: When the facts in your report, some of the
21 fact that you note in your report, were mentioned to General Reinhardt, he
22 said that, in his view, the commander had done everything and even more of
23 what he was supposed to do.
24 Would you agree?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I would like move on to a different section, and I need to ask you
2 a few questions before I begin on the notion of effective control. My
3 first question to you is: What is, in your knowledge and experience, the
4 meaning of the exercise of effective control of a commander over a
5 military unit?
6 A. There are a number of cases or examples of the kind of effective
7 control a certain commander has over a certain military unit. I perhaps
8 will first deal with the first case of effective control. What does it
9 mean to have fully effective control? It means that a certain unit, let's
10 take an example, a brigade, is an organic part of the ABiH 3rd Corps. On
11 the basis of documents, it is integrated, it has its place within the
12 organisational structure of the 3rd Corps. In that case, the brigade is
13 under full, 100 per cent effective control of the 3rd Corps commander.
14 There is another version of effective control. For example, the
15 second kind of effective control would be -- well let me go back to the
16 first version, the corps commander has the right to issue orders. He has
17 the tasks and the mission to support the unit. He has to -- has a right
18 to take disciplinary measures, to punish, et cetera, et cetera. But in
19 the second version of effective control, for example, a central 1st corps
20 brigade and resubordinate it to, let's say, the 3rd Corps. In the second
21 version, what most frequently happens is the brigade that arrives in the
22 3rd Corps carries out a certain task, during a certain period of time.
23 The 3rd Corps commander usually has the right to command to issue
24 orders to that unit, to support the unit, he has to support the unit.
25 Whereas he doesn't have the right to take disciplinary measures, to
1 punish. He doesn't have the right to change the men, replace the men
2 within the unit who have been temporarily placed under his command. He
3 doesn't have the right to have financial resources at his disposal,
4 because resources, personnel, discipline, these are things that the mother
5 unit remains responsible for. This is what we call resubordination. This
6 is the second kind of effective control, effective control of certain
7 elements, in certain fields but not in all fields, not in all areas.
8 For example, the third kind of effective control is as follows:
9 If a unit comes from another unit and participates in combat and
10 cooperates at the left or right flank of the 3rd Corps, and then the 3rd
11 Corps commander is told that he should give fire support to some other
12 unit that isn't part of his structure, but cooperates with him. And
13 providing fire support is also a kind of effective control, but only in
14 that area.
15 Then in these three versions of effective control commanders at
16 higher levels can have certain other combinations of effective control.
17 The person sending a unit, the person resubordinating it to another unit
18 is -- well, this is in fact something that is regulated in a document, the
19 responsibilities of the original unit are regulated and the rights of the
20 new commander to whom a unit has been resubordinated is also defined and
21 established in documents. I think I have been sufficiently clear.
22 Q. Thank you, General. I would like to ask for your opinion on a
23 question --
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, I apologise for
25 interrupting, but the question seems extremely important to me. With
1 regard to a brigade that is temporarily subordinated to the 3rd Corps,
2 that's the example that you provided, you said that the 3rd Corps
3 commander did not have the capability of dealing with questions concerning
4 personnel, discipline, and you said he didn't have financial resources.
5 What article, what text, what document is this based on from the military
6 rules? Was this a matter of practice? Or was it based on specific
7 documents and, in particular, I'm referring to disciplinary measures.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In this case, I would say that it
9 was mostly a matter of practice; however, I'm fully persuaded that there
10 are documents about this in the JNA. I'm not sure whether any of these
11 documents were adopted in the course of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I
12 don't know whether any of these documents from the JNA were adopted. I
13 would need time to find these documents, to see how all of these matters
14 are regulated, but I stand by what I said.
15 All officers would confirm this from the JNA and from ABiH. And
16 most officers from foreign armies would confirm this because the situation
17 is very similar in all armies.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. [In English] General, my next question is, I would like to ask you
21 or to ask for your opinion on a question which was put to General Sir
22 Martin Garrod, who was the commander of the Royal marines in the United
23 Kingdom and who testified before this Trial Chamber.
24 The question that was put to you [sic] was as follows: "I would
25 like to ask you something about the subject of control. On a number of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 occasions, in answering questions, you refer to the question of Mujahedin
2 and as to whether they were under control or out of control. As a
3 military man and a very high ranking officer, could you define control.
4 When one has a command over a particular geographic area, how would you
5 define that control?"
6 Sir Martin's answer was as follows: "I would say that the
7 elements of the forces in your area were doing, carrying out your orders
8 and that they knew exactly what they were doing and they were not doing
9 something" - sorry - "anything which was unacceptable to you."
10 Can you comment on this answer by General Sir Martin Garrod?
11 A. Yesterday we could see on the relief how large the zone of the
12 responsibility of the 3rd Corps was. In the military sense, when you're
13 defining the zone of responsibility of a unit, and I am referring to a
14 corps in this case, you usually take certain prominent features in the
15 land, the tops of those features. And then the line of the zone of
16 responsibility is drawn from one elevation to another elevation, to
17 crossroad, to the following elevation, et cetera, et cetera, and this is
18 how you define the zone of responsibility of, let's say, a corps. I think
19 this is important. The fact that you usually draw a line from one
20 elevation to another elevation. This is important because in military
21 terms, military units are important, military units engaged in combat.
22 Their objective is to take prominent features, elevations, because from
23 such elevations you can monitor the situation, see what the conditions are
25 Your position is better than the position of those who are at a
1 lower geographical point. What do I want to say? When you define the
2 zone of a corps, when the area is encircled, this doesn't mean that the
3 corps commander has the task and obligation to deal with all possible
4 problems in the zone of responsibility, whatever the problems may be.
5 That is not the case. That is not the case. In any army anywhere in the
6 world, unless an occupation is to be carried out and you arrive in a new
7 territory, a military occupational system is established, in such cases
8 the unit commander has all the rights, and he is the greatest authority in
9 the territory for the civilians, for the military. He's the supreme
11 In this case, the zone of responsibility, the sort of zones of
12 responsibility that we had in the course of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 was such that the corps commander in that zone of responsibility had
14 effective control only over his own units, or rather over the military
15 potential. That was part of the corps. Men, resources, or something
16 else, or perhaps other factors that had an influence on how the daily
17 tasks of the corps were carried out. All other matters were the
18 responsibility of someone else.
19 The corps commander, in legal terms, didn't have any obligations
20 with regard to the civilian population. The corps commander didn't have
21 any obligations or any influence on the civilian police on the civilian
22 police, on the work of the civilian. The corps commander had no influence
23 over the civilian protection, over the bodies of power, municipalities,
24 local communes, cantons, districts, et cetera. So that one shouldn't
25 think that, if you have the zone of responsibility of the corps,
1 everything that happens in that zone of responsibility is something that a
2 corps commander is responsible for.
3 If I may provide you with an example. I do apologise, but in my
4 own case, in the case of Stanislav Galic the Prosecutor put a question to
5 me. I was asked, "Mr. Karavelic, a group of people, at the beginning of
6 1992 in the summer was in Sarajevo, et cetera." I answered the question
7 and then there was another case, and I said "Well, I apologise, but this
8 has nothing to do with me or with my corps," because this concerned the
9 civilian police and other people. It didn't concern a corps, soldiers.
10 Then I was told, "Mr. Karavelic, if you knew what the responsibility of a
11 commander of a unit in war was, in accordance with international military
12 law, you would never accept such a role."
13 I then explained to him, I said, "Does -- the civilian protection,
14 I had nothing to do with them." There were others and everything that I
15 have just mentioned. And then finally I said, well if I wouldn't have
16 accepted the role of the commander of the 1st Corps to defend Sarajevo I
17 would have accepted different -- someone else would have accepted the role
18 and he would have been in the same situation that I was in, et cetera, et
20 Q. Thank you, General. You mentioned a little earlier various
21 types of forms of subordination. I would like to give you a document and
22 ask you to comment on this document which has to do with forms of
23 subordination, and I have copies for everyone in the courtroom.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
25 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Just for the record, I
1 don't believe we have seen this document before. And I'm also wondering
2 if my learned colleague can inform us as to who produced this table and
3 what the source of the information contained on the table, where the
4 source material came from for the table.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Defence counsel.
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President my
7 colleague will see that it is not very complicated. The witness produced
8 it when I met him over the weekend. He could explain the source of the
9 document and he could tell us who produced the table.
10 Q. [In English] General, you will recall that when we met during the
11 weekend, you produced this table for me and I would like you to explain
12 what you meant, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, in terms of forms of
13 subordination. So what this chart illustrates.
14 A. It actually illustrates what I have been saying. We have
15 different forms of subordination or effective control. In the top left
16 square, it says "type of subordination, type of control".
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can the document be placed on
18 the ELMO, please.
19 MR. BOURGON: Can we use the ELMO and put the document ...
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the top left-hand corner, we have
21 the type of effective control or subordination. And then
22 under "operational command," then under "operational control," there we
23 have the two concepts of command and control, which I will explain later.
24 Then we have, under "control," in the sense of support that I have
25 just spoken about, and then under "control" for administrative support,
1 and the fifth example is in "location." If a support is deployed in a
2 large area and if, in that area or location there are some smaller units
3 coming from other units, that is what this refers to.
4 So in the second heading, going from the left to the right, we
5 have the issuing of orders. And the Xs indicate in which case of control
6 or command orders can be issued. And we know what issuing orders and
7 implementing orders me.
8 Then, in the next column, we have the heading "responsibility for
9 providing support of that command or commander," and again it is marked
10 with Xs, where this is given and where it is not. And in the last column,
11 authority to discipline and to take appropriate measures, where this
12 authority exists and where it doesn't.
13 But I could ask myself, when talking about this second point
14 under "operational control" and discipline, one should distinguish between
15 disciplinary measures and criminal liability. But I would just point out
16 that only if a unit has been resubordinated to another unit and a criminal
17 offence is committed, then the superior is duty-bound to inform the
18 authorities that a criminal offence has been committed for them to be able
19 to process the matter further, that is the commander of the original unit
20 and his superiors can take steps.
21 Q. Thank you, General. I would like to ask you if a few examples so
22 that you can tell us where these examples fit into this chart. And my
23 first question would be: What is the relationship between the HVO an the
24 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina when they are fighting on the same territory
25 and before, of course, they became enemies. What kind of relationship
1 would exist on this chart between the HVO and the army of Bosnia and
3 A. On this table, the HVO does not exist. And earlier, when speaking
4 about control and the responsibility of the corps commander in his area of
5 responsibility, in his territory, in addition to everything I listed, I
6 omitted to mention a major problem that existed for the 3rd Corps
7 commander in his area. The HVO had his own area and these two areas
8 overlapped. So it is impermissible, and I stand by what I'm saying, that
9 a corps commander in any army in the world would confirm what I'm saying,
10 that the situation, such as it existed in the 3rd Corps, to the effect
11 that within its area of responsibility there was another military
12 structure which also was doing what the 3rd Corps was doing, but as an
13 opponent and as an enemy. And at the same time, the 3rd Corps commander
14 had no authority over them. That is absolutely impermissible according to
15 military doctrine and the theory of war, and one should point out that the
16 3rd Corps commander was not to blame for this. The political and military
17 top leadership in the state should have, in time, by political means or in
18 some other way, regulated the status of the HVO and they should have
19 prevented the armed conflict that proved to be inevitable after the things
20 that happened and it actually occurred in the summer of 1993. May I just
21 add a sentence?
22 The political and military leadership at the giving was explicit
23 with respect to the Yugoslav People's Army, the Army of Republika Srpska,
24 and the Yugoslav army later on was proclaimed an aggressor. Then the
25 front lines were established the lines of defence and the territory to be
1 defended. So, similarly, the political and military leadership of the
2 state should have much earlier made it clear to the 3rd Corps commander
3 what and how he should act with respect to the Croatian defence council.
4 And they didn't do that.
5 Q. Thank you, General. The next example I would like you to comment
6 upon is, if we have two armed forces from different states participating
7 into an international operations, for example, Canada and the United
8 States taking part into a NATO operation under command of the United
9 States in Somalia, just to use an example, what would be the relationship
10 between the contingents from Canada and the contingents in the United
11 States, based on your chart, would Canada be under operational command of
12 the United States? Is that possible, or would Canada be under operational
14 A. In my view, it would most probably be in the second group; that
15 is, under operational control.
16 Q. I would like to move on, General, to your report, the section
17 dealing with the presence of foreigners in the area of responsibility of
18 the 3rd Corps and I refer specifically to paragraphs 619 to 642 -- sorry,
19 to -- refer to 662.
20 In this section, you describe what a corps commander should do.
21 And that -- I refer to 632 specifically, where you say that: With respect
22 to individuals or groups of individuals who are not under his command, the
23 actions expected on the corps commander would depend on what the status of
24 these individuals or groups are. And you highlight four scenarios:
25 Enemy forces; units from the same army; units from a different army; and
1 the fourth scenario, unknown groups.
2 And my question to you is: When a commander has, in his area of
3 operations, unknown groups which are not under his command, can you
4 explain, based on your report, what he is expected to do, based on your
6 A. The corps commander is, in the first place, responsible for his
7 corps, for all the personnel, all the resources and everything that he is
8 doing in the execution of the mission assigned to his corps.
9 Everything else that is outside the corps, regardless of what it
10 may be, if it has no direct impact on the corps's mission, the corps
11 commander, in my view, should have nothing to do with it. If, in the
12 execution of the mission of the corps, anything may happen in the area of
13 responsibility of the corps, that may affect or begin to affect the
14 execution of the corps's mission in any respect and to any extent, the
15 corps commander, depending on what it is - and in this particular case we
16 are talking about groups of foreigners - he must ask himself what it is
17 and, depending on the degree of their influence over the execution of the
18 corps's mission, to that extent he must show interest in the problem and
19 try to deal with it.
20 However, I mention these four scenarios here, which are the most
21 frequent regarding the status of various groups, should unknown groups
22 appear and they still don't have any particular affect on the corps's
23 mission and it is up to the corps commander, once he learns about those
24 groups, to inform the civilian police about them and for them to take the
25 necessary measures.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Thank you, General. My next question deals with -- in your
2 report, and I refer specifically to paragraph 638. Can you confirm that
3 what you have just explained is found in paragraph 638 and 639 of your
5 A. That is confirmed in paragraph 638 mostly what I've just said.
6 Q. Now, General, in paragraph 639 at the end, the last measure,
7 there's a word that attracted my attention where it says amongst the
8 things that the corps commander can be expected to do. You mention, "In
9 consultation with his superior command, take measures proportional to the
10 problems created by these individuals or groups of individuals to ensure
11 that the accomplishment of the mission of the corps will not be hampered."
12 I'm curious about the word "proportional", and can you explain, further,
13 what you mean by this paragraph.
14 A. The problem, with respect to the presence of foreigners,
15 individuals or groups within the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps,
16 their activities, and, as time passes their activities change and, in
17 time, they become more and more conspicuous, more and more noticeable, so
18 that all of their acts, in a certain time period, become increasingly
19 complex and the problem of the conduct of those foreigners in time becomes
20 greater and more complex. To that same extent, this affects the mission
21 of the corps. And with the growth or the increase of the problem of
22 foreigners, and with the degree of threat that they represent to the
23 corps, to that same extent, the corps commander, in order to protect the
24 corps's mission will focus on the problem of foreigners and take certain
25 steps. Or to -- in simpler terms, for as long as those people were
1 engaging in humanitarian people in various locations, and they may have
2 offended somebody or stopped someone in the street, or hit someone, I
3 don't know what other illustrations to use, these are all minor matters
4 which do not directly affect the corps' mission. And the corps commander,
5 therefore, he can say, quite correctly - and I would do the same - those
6 are people doing something for which the civilian police is responsible
7 and I don't have time to bother with them.
8 But at a certain point in time, when these excesses or incidents
9 become so serious as to directly affect the authority and rating of the
10 corps commander and the corps as a whole and the nature of struggle of the
11 corps, then their conduct has palpable affect on the corps' mission. In
12 that case the corps commander must take certain steps to protect himself
13 and his position, his authority and the nature of the struggle of his
15 Q. Thank you, General. I would like to ask you to comment on an
16 answer to a question which was put to General Cordy-Simpson on this issue,
17 and to provide your opinion as to whether this corresponds to your own
18 opinion which you expressed in your report. And the question was as
19 follows: "What do you expect the corps commander to do about crimes
20 committed by people who are not his subordinates?"
21 And the answer which was provided was as follows: "Yes, I
22 understand your question clearly. I think it depends entirely whether he
23 has any influence on that particular organisation which, accordingly, is
24 not part of his subordinates. All he can do is report the matter higher,
25 that there is some force that is behaving outside control in his area. He
1 has no ability because he has no command function over someone who is not
2 under his command. It is a fundamental military principle and one that we
3 certainly, wherever I have been, you have to establish exactly your
4 command relationships with everyone in your area. And I don't want to
5 confuse people, but there is a huge difference in being opcon, operational
6 control, and opcon, operational command. And for me it would be one of
7 the first things I would establish whether forces in my area were opcom to
8 me or not. Now that's easy because I come from an organisation that has
9 been brought up under Staff College trainings and all the rest. It isn't
10 quite so easy in the confused situation that we are talking about in
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina. I don't believe that if a force is operating
12 which is not under your operational command, there is much you can do when
13 they get out of control."
14 Can you comment, General, on this answer provided by
15 General Cordy-Simpson.
16 A. I can comment on it, by saying that I agree with his comments to
17 the greatest extent. It is an exhaustive and complete comment. If you
18 want me to comment more specifically on certain points, please let me
20 Q. Well, maybe, General, I would like to address the fact that
21 General Cordy-Simpson appears to say that there is not much you can do,
22 whereas you appear to say that there is actually more you can do. How
23 much can you do and what determines what you will or will not do?
24 A. The only thing that the corps commander can do in such a situation
25 is, once he learns about such groups which are not under his command and
1 within his corps, but are in the area of responsibility of the corps, is
2 to order his security service to pay more attention to this and to collect
3 as much information about them as possible regarding their location, their
4 numbers, who they are, what they are, what they're doing, what their
5 intentions and objectives are and so on. But this is a lengthy process.
6 It's something that cannot be done in an hour or a day or two. To collect
7 intelligence takes time. And that is the kind of measures he can take.
8 That's all he can do.
9 At the same time, he can exchange that information with services
10 in the civilian police if the system is functioning. And of course give
11 the primacy in dealing with that problem to the civilian police because it
12 is part of their competence.
13 Q. Thank you, General. There is one concept which was -- which has
14 been raised during this trial on a couple of occasions. The first time I
15 guess it was raised was with General Reinhardt an then again it was raised
16 with General Merdan, deputy commander of the 3rd Corps, and it's an issued
17 call horizontal cooperation. Are you familiar with this term of
18 horizontal cooperation and what does this mean to you, and could that be
19 applied to the issue of foreign fighters in Central Bosnia?
20 A. In my view, horizontal cooperation represents cooperation between
21 two entities at the same level. Or, cooperation of two entities on a
22 particular task, without any relationship of superiority or subordination
23 between them. To be more specific, I will give you an example or two.
24 If the defence line is taken control of by two brigades, and at
25 the point where the left flank of one brigade connects with the right
1 flank of another brigade, these may be two battalions, as lower level
2 units within a brigade. In order to control this point, that could be an
3 example of horizontal cooperation. Those two battalion commanders are
4 cooperating horizontally to be in contact at the point of linkage. This
5 could be raised to the higher level between brigade commanders, or even to
6 corps commanders where they have contact with each other, because the
7 enemy, in executing his mission, is looking for weak points in the enemy's
8 defence. And those weak points are precisely the points where these two
9 units touch. That is an example of horizontal cooperation.
10 Another example could be given with this particular case. When
11 the military security service of the 3rd Corps or the 3rd Corps as such
12 may cooperate horizontally with the civilian police, as the corps is
13 territorially responsible for the area of central Bosnia, there was also
14 the security services centre in Zenica, that is the civilian police which
15 roughly was responsible for the same area of Central Bosnia.
16 So when talking about foreigners, then this concept of horizontal
17 cooperation may be applied between the security service of the 3rd Corps
18 and the civilian police security service.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Unless you have a follow up
20 question, we could break.
21 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes, a very brief question,
22 Mr. President.
23 Q. [In English] General, I followed you right up until the last three
24 lines and I don't understand the last three lines when you say when
25 talking about foreigners this concepts of cooperation may be applied
1 between security service of the 3rd Corps and the civilian police security
3 I don't understand. Can you please explain just this last part.
4 A. It's simple. In a state, if the overall defence system is
5 functioning and that defence system is comprised of many entities. One of
6 those is certainly the army, the defensive armed force. Another entity is
7 the civilian police, not to mention the entities within the defence
8 system. Then both these two entities within the defence system have to be
9 in the service of the struggle for a single goal and that goal is to
10 defend the state. And all the information available to the civilian
11 police, which might be of use to the 3rd Corps, it is duty-bound to pass
12 on to the security service of the 3rd Corps. And similarly and
13 simultaneously all the information available to the security service of
14 the 3rd Corps or the 3rd Corps as such and which may be of interest to the
15 civilian police, it is duty-bound to pass on to the civilian police.
16 This is an example of horizontal cooperation and exchange of
17 information. Similarly, in America, the CIA and the FBI, the CIA is
18 responsible for the external aspects and the FBI for the internal aspects.
19 And there is a common interest between them. Both of them, both of those
20 organizations exist with a view to achieving the same goal and that is the
21 protection of the United States and they are duty-bound to exchange
22 information amongst themselves.
23 MR. BOURGON: Thank you very much, General.
24 [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think we can now have the break.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It is 10.32, we will
1 resume at 11.00.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's five seconds to 11.00.
5 Mr. Bourgon, you may take the floor.
6 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Q. [In English] General when we left just before the break, you
8 provided some clarification with respect to your answer on horizontal
10 Now, my question to you is: My understanding, based on your
11 answer, is that horizontal cooperation could be something like cooperation
12 at the same level which exists within an organisation, but cannot exist
13 outside of an organisation. So can you explain whether it is possible to
14 have this concept of horizontal cooperation between a unit of the army and
15 a group which is outside of the army.
16 A. In principle, no, it's not possible; however, I won't provide you
17 with any specific examples. But depending on whether a higher level
18 designates a group or an entity, and says that for a given period of time
19 it is necessary for a certain task to be carried out, and then the
20 possibility is given to establish such horizontal cooperation, in such
21 circumstances we can't exclude this possibility, but that's very rare.
22 It's so rare that I'm not even sure that I have ever experienced any such
24 Q. To follow up on your answer, General, I would like to know if
25 horizontal cooperation is possible between a unit of the 3rd Corps and a
1 group of foreign fighters, to be very specific.
2 A. In my opinion, I don't think this is possible.
3 Q. Now, General, in the case of horizontal cooperation, even when it
4 does exist, so I take the example that you raised earlier, that of being
5 two brigade acting side by side, which are units of the 3rd Corps. Who is
6 responsible for the actions of the members of both brigades who are into
7 this mode of horizontal cooperation?
8 A. The high level, the superior.
9 Q. My next question, General, refers to information we found in the
10 evidence, and you may or may not be aware of this, some witnesses have
11 said that as 3rd Corps units took part in some combat activities, some
12 foreign fighters, known as Mujahedin, as you referred to them in your
13 report, appeared during -- as the combat activities were taking place.
14 What status do these foreign fighters or Mujahedins have in
15 relation to the army?
16 A. In the initial period and based on all the documents that I have
17 read and up to the time when these foreign combatants started committing
18 serious crimes, which had a direct and immediate influence on the way in
19 which the corps' mission was being carried out, up until that point in
20 time the 3rd Corps commander had no particular obligations in relation to
21 them, apart from doing what we have already spoken about, what we spoke
22 about a while ago. Having obtained information about individuals, about
23 their groups, he should then try to establish horizontal cooperation with
24 the civilian police to identify them, et cetera, et cetera.
25 When their acts started interfering with the corps' mission, then
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the corps commander had to find certain solutions, and had to determine
2 how to act with regard to them in order to accomplish the mission.
3 Q. Thank you, General. I will say my question over again. Maybe I
4 was not very clear. If you were a commander involved in combat activities
5 on the ground, and a group of Mujahedin showed up as the combat activities
6 were going on, and they happened to be shooting in the same direction as
7 you are shooting, basically firing on the same enemy that you are firing
8 on, what -- how do you assess such a situation as a military commander?
9 Are there good sides to it? Are there down sides to it? And how would
10 you react?
11 A. In such a situation as the 3rd Corps commander -- well, above all
12 I have to address the issue as a man and as a corps commander, in that
13 period of time, not from this perspective 12 years after the events. At
14 that point in time, whoever joined in firing on the enemy together with
15 myself, whoever did this would have been more or less helping me. This
16 would have been welcomed. However, there's another thing. As a corps
17 commander, after one such event, or immediately after the first event or
18 perhaps after the second event, I'd have to ask myself who this group of
19 people were. Are they army members, civilians, something completely
20 different? Why are they here? On the basis of whose instructions,
21 directives and orders are they doing what they're doing? The fact that
22 their acts are helping me instead as the corps commander is one matter.
23 They're helping me to fight an enemy and I'm fighting for my survival, so
24 any assistance is, in that sense, assistance that I would more or less
25 accept. But on the other hand, I would immediately have to take the steps
1 I have mentioned afterwards.
2 Q. Before I follow-up on those steps that you are talking about, I
3 would just like to come back to the combat activities on the ground, and
4 if you were that commander on the ground, not the corps commander, but if
5 you were that commander on the ground and you saw these people showing up
6 during the combat activities, is that only good for you, or can that also
7 be -- have a different affect on your combat activities?
8 A. I must admit that I don't quite understand the question.
9 Q. I will try once again. You are a battalion commander and you are
10 involved in combat activities. As you are involved, Mujahedin show up
11 uninvited and unplanned where you are conducting your combat activities.
12 You mentioned earlier that there was a good side to this, because
13 if they are fighting in the same direction or firing their weapons in the
14 same direction, that could be of assistance. Are there also some negative
15 consequences to these people showing up in the middle of your combat
16 activities? Would you like that as a military commander? And how would
17 you react and what would you tell your superior commander after as to what
18 should or should not be done with this group?
19 A. Yes, there is this danger, if I don't know who this group is, the
20 group firing in the same direction that I am at a given point in time or,
21 rather, that my troop are firing in. This does not mean that under other
22 circumstances and at some other point in time this group might not open
23 fire on me, if I don't know the identity of this group. This is a threat.
24 This is a danger that is constantly present for a corps commander let's
25 say for a battalion or brigade commander. However, if this happens, the
1 corps commander has to request that information be obtained about the
2 truth, that is to say he has to request that he be provided with as much
3 information and facts as possible about this group.
4 I mentioned a while ago that he had to find out who they were,
5 what they were, what their real objective was, how many of there were,
6 what they were doing, et cetera. And having obtained that information
7 within the chain of command, it's then his duty to inform his superior.
8 He must submit a request to regulate the status, to define who they are
9 and then to regulate their status. Or, he has to request authorisation
10 for him to deal with it or for the civilian police to deal with it
11 exclusively or for him to help the civilian police to deal with it and, if
12 necessary, to use armed forces to deal with them, to eliminate them.
13 Q. Now, General, based on your experience - and I would like to
14 follow exactly on what you just mentioned - on the possibility to use
15 armed force to deal with this group, at what point does seeking
16 information become not enough and you need to make -- to take further
17 action, whether it be to fight them, or something else as you mentioned in
18 your report? What's the trigger point where you say: "Information is not
20 A. The trigger point is the point in time when that group starts
21 causing so many problems that they're seriously interfering with the
22 corps' mission. The question then arises, as to the possibility of
23 carrying out the corps' mission, as to the character, the nature of the
24 corps mission. Then the corps commander, if he wants to pursue his
25 mission, has to ask his superior to take certain measures, to deal with
1 their status, or to eliminate them by having recourse to arms; however, on
2 the basis of all of the information that the corps commander would send to
3 the superior -- to his superior -- or having sent all of this information,
4 how his superior will react is a different matter and how he will respond
5 to the corps commander is a different matter. It is possible to have an
6 exchange of correspondence that can go on for a while. That concerns
7 information. But with regard to the use of force, the corps commander
8 should not use force in those circumstances without having previously
9 obtained the authorization of his superior. I can provide you with an
10 example which is perhaps similar. It concerns a case I had in Sarajevo.
11 It might be appropriate for this case.
12 In the course of 1993 I had a problem with two brigades. The 9th
13 Motorised Brigade and the 10th Mountain Brigade. At the head of the 10th
14 mountain brigade there was Tupalovic, Musan, aka Caco. Under the head of
15 the 9th there was Sulejman Imsirevic, but his deputy was Ramiz Delalic,
16 also known as Celo. He was the deputy, but he was in fact the commander.
17 In spite of the fact that he was the deputy, he acted as if he were the
18 commander. Those two brigades, from the beginning of 1993, and from the
19 spring of 1993, really started to show disrespect for the chain of
20 command. Documents were sent from the 1st Corps commander who preceded me
21 then when I assumed that command, documents were sent from me. I sent
22 documents to deal or rather solve the status of the commanders of those
23 brigades or rather of those brigades. However the situation was
24 different. Those two brigades were under my full command. They were part
25 of the organic structure of my corps. And no one else had any rights over
1 them, apart from myself as the corps commander apart from the corps
2 commander. This is not the case when you have foreign combatants. They
3 don't form the part of anyone's structure. I couldn't say that this was a
4 task of the civilian police.
5 In this case, after numerous problems encountered I won't go into
6 them all, we come to the 26th of October, 1993 when I requested, from the
7 supreme commander and from the General Staff and from the president and
8 from the commander of the General Staff, to forward to me a written
9 document authorising me to use armed force to remove two commanders, the
10 deputy of the 9th and the commander of the 10th. In order to place those
11 brigades under my full command again, to integrate them within my chain of
12 command. I didn't want to proceed in this manner without having obtained
13 the document I am referring to. When I received the document the document
14 stated that in cooperation with the civilian police and others, in
15 cooperation with other entities, but naturally I had to accomplish most of
16 the tasks. I was told I could do this. On the 26th of October 1993 I
17 used armed force to remove two commanders and to place two brigades under
18 my full command by using force. In this fight, Sarajevo was encircled. I
19 had to form another circle within that circled around those two brigades.
20 On that occasion, about 20, almost 20 of my policemen from my military
21 police company were killed. Quite a few policemen from the civilian
22 police force were killed.
23 I'm only talking about how serious the problem was. And that
24 actual action I organised, the son of the minister of police died, was
25 killed. As a policeman this shows how serious this was. It was so
1 serious that now, 12 years later, from this perspective, it's difficult to
2 go back to the situation that prevailed at the time and assess it. I was
3 able to do what I did with the two brigades because they were in a small
4 area, because Sarajevo doesn't cover a very large territory, the territory
5 of Sarajevo that was encircled by the Republika Srpska army. I knew the
6 exact locations. They were under command, et cetera. But in the case of
7 this group of people that we are discussing, the situation was different.
8 They were individuals, people scattered throughout the territory of
9 Central Bosnia. They would move around, not in accordance with any
10 particular schedule. They weren't responsible to anyone. They themselves
11 would plan what they would do, et cetera, et cetera. The situation was
12 quite different, and in such a situation the 3rd Corps commander was not
13 in a position to act in the way that I acted.
14 Q. Thank you, General. To follow up on this situation, you talked --
15 you did mention about the serious character of the problem. I'm curious
16 to know whether you had forces available to conduct such combat
17 activities, if there was combat activities, or if you had the forces
18 available, and what information you had on this group, in terms of
19 location, numbers, identity, weapons, ammunition, timings, whatever
20 information you had on those groups before any mission was launched.
21 A. We're talking about my two brigades? In this case that I have
22 just been telling you about, I have to admit that I had a lot of the
23 information that I required at that time to take such a decision and to
24 carry out that task, to remove those commanders and their followers. Or
25 rather, to place the brigades under my full command again. And I was in a
1 position to act in this way for the reasons I have mentioned. Up until
2 the end of 1992, perhaps up until the spring of 1993, I had some form of
3 contact with their commander or rather with them, and I had enough time to
4 gather all the relevant information that I needed to ensure that I didn't
5 make any mistakes and that I didn't fail. I knew where one of the
6 commanders -- I knew where the commanders were, I knew where the groups of
7 people who supported the commanders were located, et cetera. So on the
8 26th of October, 1993, in the morning, at five o'clock in the morning, I
9 went into action and as of midnight, with specially prepared units, units
10 that had been prepared over a one-month period, I sent them in certain
11 directions, without anyone's knowledge, to encircle and block all the
12 locations where they were deployed, from the brigade commands to their
13 battalion commands, some company commands, their logistics centres where
14 they had logistics supplies, communication centres, et cetera, et cetera.
15 So at that point in time at five o'clock in the morning when the
16 signal was given everything was in place, we started encircling them we
17 started carrying out an armed attack, but the fight with the commander of
18 the 10th Mountain Brigade continued until the evening. It lasted
19 throughout the day. So a lot of men were killed on both sides. But all
20 of these men were my men, men of the ABiH 1st Corps. And in the evening
21 the commander of the 10th mountain brigade surrendered. He was then
22 eliminated, et cetera, et cetera.
23 Q. Now, General, would you have launched this attack without all the
24 information that you had?
25 A. What I can say is the following. I wouldn't have gone into this
1 action without having obtained the written authorization and an order from
2 the supreme commander from my commander because I requested such
3 authorization from President Izetbegovic. I wanted it to be put down in
4 paper, and I said I would then go into action.
5 If I didn't receive anything in writing from my supreme command, I
6 wouldn't go into action because of the overall political situation. I
7 shouldn't take the initiative to go into action independently, because
8 afterwards, the situation in Sarajevo would have been chaotic and as a
9 result Sarajevo could have imploded from inside without an external
10 attack. An aggressor on the outside could just walk into Sarajevo. It's
11 a very complex issue and it would be necessary to expand on it at length.
12 But I wouldn't have acted without such authorisation and I wouldn't have
13 acted without having sufficient information on these two brigades, on
14 these commanders, on their groups. I wouldn't have acted without having
15 all the information I needed to go into such action.
16 Q. You mentioned a little earlier, General, that the problem related
17 to these brigades had been brought to the attention of the supreme command
18 before by your -- the commander who was in place before you.
19 Now, what I would like to know is, how much time was there between
20 the identification of the problem as these brigades being out of control
21 and the activities that you launched to take them back into control?
22 A. I can say that my predecessor, the commander of the 1st Corps,
23 Mustafa Hajrulahovic -- I don't know the exact date but I think it was
24 probably in May or maybe beginning of June. Anyway, around then he sent a
25 document - which exists in the archives of the Army of the Federation
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 today - requesting that the General Staff and the supreme command urgently
2 replace the commander of the 10th mountain brigade, Mustafa Caso [phoen]
3 and Ramiz Delalic, Celo, the deputy commander. And I think that this
4 document contains one or two other names. And we didn't launch the
5 operation before the 26th of October, so you can see, from May until
6 October, which makes it just under five months. If the sending of the
7 document requesting their dismissal was sent in June, but the problem
8 existed even before then.
9 Q. Thank you, General.
10 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] For the transcript, there is an
11 error. The name on page 40, line 19, it is not Mustafa, Alivocic [phoen],
12 but another name, which I would -- which I will correct in the transcript
13 a little later. Also, there may also be another error in the
14 interpretation when the witness said in line 25: [In English] "We didn't
15 launch the operation before the 26th of October." [Interpretation] I think
16 that the witness did not use the word "operation".
17 Q. General, I would like to continue by asking you, very quickly,
18 what did the VRS around Sarajevo think of what was going on in the city
19 which was besieged, of seeing you fighting your own men? How did the VRS
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I beg your pardon.
22 Mr. Registrar.
23 THE INTERPRETER: No, the interpreter apologises. Failed to switch
24 on the microphone.
25 MR. BOURGON:
1 Q. General, if you can start your answer over again. There was a
2 technical difficulty.
3 A. The Sarajevo Romanija Corps of the VRS, which held Sarajevo under
4 total blockade and under siege, at the time, through communication means,
5 which we managed to intercept by tapping and in other ways, reacted by,
6 first of all, wondering what the Balijas, as they usually called members
7 of the ABiH, or the Muslims, what are they doing down there? They keep
8 saying they have nothing, no men, no weapons, yet they're fighting among
9 themselves. So there were comments along these lines. They were
10 surprised. They were astonished.
11 And then at the same time, having learnt about this, to take
12 advantage of the situation, they carried out certain attacks to take
13 advantage of our internal problems and weaknesses, and to benefit from
15 Q. And General, was it difficult to obtain the authorization from
16 your president to conduct these activities?
17 A. I think it was, to a great extent. I can also take this as an
18 example. That is, when I was talking to President Izetbegovic about this,
19 because I said something like that in connection with the Tribunal here.
20 I think that we need to check the documents in the archives. I think that
21 this was some 20 or so days before the 26th of October, 1993, when I
22 simply didn't know what to do in terms of control and command of my corps.
23 I had an operative group and all the forces of the corps that were
24 defending the city of Sarajevo from within, and two such operative groups
25 with a large number of brigades outside the town of Sarajevo which were
1 defending the territory around the town of Sarajevo, endeavouring from the
2 outside to lift the blockade around the city.
3 The year 1993 was of key significance for the defence of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. To give you just an example of the problems that we
5 were having at the time, at the beginning of 1993, when an attack on Azici
6 [phoen] as deputy commander of the corps at the time and who was deciding
7 on the deployment of equipment, a corps of 75.000 men was left with 800
8 bullets. They didn't have a single bullet in reserve, not to mention a
9 shortage of food, no electricity, no water, no way to prepare food for the
10 army, humanitarian aid wasn't coming, et cetera.
11 So throughout 1993, these enormous problems arose and one might
12 ask why those problems arose, but that would be a different matter.
13 Anyway, the time came when I spoke to President Izetbegovic and said, "I
14 can no longer continue being corps commander until I resolve these
15 problems. Otherwise, please replace me. I will become a regular
16 soldier." His brief answer was, though we had had several prior
17 conversations, he said, was I really serious? I said that I was very
18 serious and I said: "Please put it in writing that I am allowed to use
19 armed force to normalise the situation in the corps and to place
20 everything under my command."
21 His answer then was: "Wait 10 or 15 minutes for me to carry out
22 political preparations." Those were his words. Probably with the other
23 members of the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Hercegovina and many
24 other political entities and then you will get a written document. And
25 that is when I started serious preparations for that action, which
1 actually occurred on the 26th of October.
2 Interpreter's correction: 10 to 15 days and not minutes.
3 Q. Thank you, General. At the time these activities took place, on
4 the 26th of October, can you compare the state of organisation of the 1st
5 Corps with the state of organisation of the 3rd Corps? Which one was more
6 advanced in its organisation and why?
7 A. It's rather a difficult question. I can speak about my own corps,
8 but to compare the 1st with the 3rd corps and to say which was more
9 organised, perhaps the commander of the General Staff or our superior
10 would be able to answer that question. They were better able to see that.
11 But in any event, I can tell you what my thoughts were. We
12 were more or less comparable.
13 Q. I will try to be a bit more specific, General. When was the 1st
14 Corps created and how long had it been in existence by 26 October, 1993?
15 A. The 1st Corps of the ABiH was formed on the 1st of September by
16 the order when all the corpses were formed. We consider the date to be
17 the 1st of September, 1992. And from then on, until the end of 1993, the
18 1st Corps was constantly in a stage of transformation and reorganisation.
19 This went on continuously. And two days ago, I think, I said here that I
20 believe that the 1st Corps stood on its feet as a corps, as an operational
21 unit at the end of 1993. Only then.
22 Q. And in its organisation, did the 1st Corps meet all the
23 difficulties that you describe in your report, those difficulties that
24 were encountered by the 3rd Corps? Did you meet more, less, or the same
25 difficulties as General Hadzihasanovic encountered in setting up the 3rd
2 A. It is impossible to give a generalised answer to say that we were
3 in the same position in every respect. In certain respects, I had a more
4 favourable status and in other respects, the 3rd Corps was in a worse
5 position and vice versa. So I can give you endless examples. If we're
6 talking about food, for instance, the 3rd Corps was in a far more
7 favourable position, because they had a large territory, a large
8 population, and food production was available in the area from which they
9 could feed their units and the corps.
10 However, I, in Sarajevo, in such a small area, with a large
11 population and a large number of soldiers, I had close to 40.000 troops
12 within the city of Sarajevo alone and these had to be fed, et cetera. So
13 every spring, I had to form special companies in each brigade to sow
14 potatoes, onions, et cetera, so that that when there was space somewhere
15 for this to be done, we had to make up for the shortage of food.
16 However, generally speaking, comparing the problems that I was
17 encountering as commander of the 1st Corps and General Hadzihasanovic as
18 commander of the 3rd Corps, I think these were comparable. And if I'm
19 talking about 1993, I think the overall situation was more complex in the
20 3rd Corps than in the 1st.
21 Q. Now, General, you mentioned a little earlier the difference
22 between what you decided and ended up doing in Sarajevo, and you made a
23 comparison with the situation of the foreign fighters in Central Bosnia.
24 And my question to you would be as follows: From a military standpoint,
25 based on your extensive military experience, which action would be more
1 difficult. To take on, as you did, a brigade with all of the information
2 and the resources and the authorization that you had, or to try and take
3 on a group of foreign fighters, as you describe in your report, without
4 the necessary information in the situation that General Hadzihasanovic was
6 A. The question is a rather broad one. I think I understand it, but
7 to avoid a lengthy answer, could you put the question in shorter terms?
8 Q. How difficult would it have been if General Hadzihasanovic had
9 wanted to do similar actions as you did in Sarajevo to solve the foreign
10 fighters' problem? How can you compare the two, from a military
12 A. When I said "then", that is in 1993, that I would not launch the
13 action to depose two of my brigade commanders without an appropriate
14 decision by the political leadership of the state, I had plenty of reasons
15 why I wouldn't have done that. And that is because, after that, the
16 political turmoil in the city of Sarajevo could have climaxed to such a
17 point as to lead to -- lead me into a position when the whole corps would
18 fall apart and Sarajevo would fall from within, as I said a moment ago.
19 And I stand by what I said. That is why I needed such a political
20 decision, which the president probably prepared. And once we completed
21 the action, and despite the number of casualties, the number of our
22 soldiers who were killed, there were no special political consequences.
23 On the contrary, the corps emerged much more powerful and much
24 more stable from this action. Now, let us take the situation of the 3rd
25 Corps commander. These groups of men were not part of the 3rd Corps, and
1 actually, have nothing to do with the 3rd Corps.
2 The 3rd Corps commander doesn't have confirmed and reliable
3 information which he would need and which were essential for him to plan a
4 possible action against those people. So the differences were
5 enormous. Next, these men judging from all the documents I have
6 read and the basis of my knowledge during the war and after the war,
7 everything I have read and heard, when those men appeared, they pretended
8 to be humanitarians, they had plenty of food, they had money, they had
9 clothing, and they would give all of this to the population in certain
10 parts of Central Bosnia. Their probable main goal was for the civilian
11 population to accept them and for them to do well. And that is how, to
12 put it bluntly, they were buying the civilian population. They were
13 buying the attention of the civilian population. And what happened in
14 time, what happened was that as time passed, they were winning more and
15 more attention from the civilians. And let me make my own conclusion,
16 which may not be the correct one, that at some point in time - it's
17 difficult to say whether it was April, May, June or July, 1993 - that a
18 certain number of the civilian population in certain areas more or less
19 equally respected these men as they did their own army, not to mention
20 that certain individuals and groups even had greater feelings for these
22 All of this shows that if the 3rd Corps commander was were to take
23 armed action against those men, without the permission of the political
24 leadership it is highly questionable what the upshot would be. Could he
25 have, as I could have had, internal problems as a result, political
1 problems and problems within the civilian population as well who -- which
2 might have had a negative impact on the overall structure of the 3rd Corps
3 and of course on the 3rd Corps's mission. And this would only benefit the
4 VRS and the HVO. So these are matters that the 3rd Corps commander had to
5 have in mind and he, in fact, did give these matters thought. It was very
6 difficult in those days to take decisions of this kind.
7 Q. General, a quick technical question. How big is a detachment?
8 A. A detachment, as a formation, is most frequently used in the
9 territorial defence, the component of the armed forces called the
10 Territorial Defence. And "battalion" is the term used in the army. A
11 battalion is numerically larger than a detachment. A detachment numbers
12 300 to 500 men and a battalion is about 500 to 700 men. I've just made a
13 comparison between the two.
14 Q. My next question, General, is, you are aware -- in your report you
15 mention the creation of the El Mujahid detachment, and this is not in your
16 report, but I would like to have your opinion on this: If they use the
17 word"detachment" with "El Mujahid" would there be a relationship between
18 the number of people that they imagine could be in this unit, such as you
19 say for a detachment, between 300 to 500?
20 A. Under normal circumstances, the two should be connected. However,
21 under circumstances in which the ABiH army was living and working, this
22 was just a role in principle, in declaration. But in reality there was a
23 very large diversity to the effect that, especially in 1992 and up to a
24 point in 1993 as well, there was a brigade that was called a brigade
25 because the commander appointed himself as commander and was later
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 confirmed as such by the superior because he had to be confirmed because
2 the troops were listening to him and the brigade only had a couple of
3 hundred of men in it. Or up to 1 thou men so there were many such
4 examples. And all brigade in principle had two, three, to 5.000 men,
5 depending on the type of brigade.
6 The same applies to detachment, there they may be called
7 detachments, there were detachments that had only up to 100 men, or a
8 battalion that had 200 or 300 men. So this was the reality in all the
9 corps of the ABiH.
10 Q. My next question General deals with your assessment of the
11 situation in respect of the presence of foreign fighters in Central
12 Bosnia. And you highlighted the measures that were taken and that is in
13 your report at paragraph 643, right up until 650. And then your
14 conclusion is at 651, right up until paragraph 662. I would like to have
15 your opinion as to whether General Hadzihasanovic, his assessment of the
16 situation and the measures taken, were that of a reasonable commander in
17 the circumstances at the time.
18 A. I've said most of it in the relevant paragraphs in my report on
19 the basis of the numerous documents I had access to. I think, therefore,
20 that your question, and in answer to that question, I believe that to the
21 greatest possible degree any commander, as commander of the 3rd Corps,
22 would have acted very similarly, if not in an identical way as he did.
23 Q. I have one more question in respect of taking on the foreign
24 fighters or fighting the foreign fighters. In many occasions during this
25 trial a question was put to witnesses as to whether they had the necessary
1 resources to fight the Mujahedin. Basically, in the terms of saying:
2 How can a corps of more than 30.000 men, is it possible that such a corps
3 did not have the resources to undertake activities to fight the Mujahedin?
4 What would be, one, your opinion on the facts, but also your opinion based
5 on your experience?
6 A. I think, if I may say so, that this is a very good question. Why
7 do I believe that it is a good question? Because many people -- and I
8 don't want to offend anyone -- many lay men who know very little or
9 nothing about the military, many such people just accept examples, for
10 example, here the 1st Corps had 75.000 men. A layman will immediately
11 say, well look, if you have 75.000 men, you can liberate territory and you
12 can reach Belgrade. But this is just a matter of deceiving someone. It
13 is deceptive. Why? Because I as the 1st Corps commander with so many
14 men, real combatants -- what do I men when I say real combatants? I mean
15 somebody who was ready to take a rifle and go into action against the
16 enemy, to kill the men mi or to be killed out of the enemy. Out of those
17 75.000 men, I don't know whether I had -- well, it's difficult for me to
18 provide you with a real number, but I'm not sure whether I had 10.000 such
19 men out of the 75.000. So as for the other men, you can call them
20 soldiers, that was the case in the ABiH. And in all corps, you just use
21 the term "soldier". But this soldier didn't have a uniform. He didn't
22 have a rifle. And he was entrenched at the line, two metres underground,
23 and he would just observe and occasionally when it was his shift he would
24 be given a rifle and, if there was a serious attack launched by the enemy,
25 then serious problems would immediately arise because many men weren't
1 prepared to wait for the enemy. When the enemy headed in his direction
2 with a rifle, I wouldn't want to be too critical here, but at the same
3 time I would like to explain a certain situation.
4 Why am I telling you about this? At any point in time, at some
5 point in time the 3rd Corps commander in mid 1993 and I think that this is
6 contained in my report, had a defence line that was almost 300 kilometres
7 long, facing the Republika Srpska army. At the same time, When the lines
8 were established he had about -- he had a line of about 100 kilometres
9 facing the HVO. So let's say that the defence lines were about 400
10 kilometres long, roughly speaking. If we say -- according to the rules, 8
11 eight metres between two soldiers let's say there is even ten. Sometimes
12 it is denser. Sometimes it is not so dense. But if you have a soldier
13 every ten metres, that means if you have a 400-kilometre long defence
14 line, the corps commander needs 400.000 -- needs 40.000 soldiers just to
15 man the defence lines. But he often had fewer men. I'm not sure whether
16 he ever had more than 40.000 men at any point in time. That's one thing.
17 But if we take into consideration the case that I have mentioned,
18 well in the 3rd Corps the situation was no better, if it was the same as
19 in the 1st Corps and if we assume that it's necessary to attack such men
20 who are ready to die if someone threatens them, then the question is:
21 How many such men did the 3rd Corps commander have? He had very few such
22 men. And the question now is, if such a situation arose, would it be
23 better to keep such can you remember age us soldiers in reserve in the
24 direction of Maglaj, in the direction of Travnik, Turbe, Bugojno, Gornji
25 Vakuf, to prevent the HVO from descending above, on Vlasic, to prevent the
1 Republika Srpska descending into Travnik, wouldn't it have been better to
2 have them at critical locations? And critical locations assessed by the
3 command, and the commander.
4 I don't know if I've been sufficiently clear.
5 Q. Thank you, General. I would like to move on by asking you a few
6 questions, still on the issue of foreign fighters. Now, these were
7 questions that were put to General Reinhardt. And I would like to, in as
8 few words as possible, say whether you agree or you don't and why.
9 The first question was: "In your area of responsibility, there
10 are soldiers of foreign origin. If these soldiers are prepared to fight
11 for the same cause as yourself, are fighting for, but and if, on the other
12 hand, they are unwilling to be placed fully under your command, but
13 preferred to have a rather loose horizontal relationship with you and your
14 troops, then that would be an awkward situation, I presume, for a
15 commander?" And General Reinhart's response was: "Sir, this is a very
16 bad situation because, as we discussed before, unity of command in an area
17 of responsibility is a key factor." What do you think of the response?
18 A. Well, I share General Reinhart's opinion almost fully.
19 Q. And another question was: "So if you are faced with this
20 situation, when assuming command, the first thing you would do is to try
21 to stop this situation as soon as possible." General Reinhart
22 responded: "Yes, sir, to stop or to solve it. It might be that there's
23 a possibility to solve it rather than stopping it."
24 Your opinion, please.
25 A. Well, I think that in this case too, General Reinhardt was quite
1 clear. And I absolutely agree with that position he expressed. When
2 General Hadzihasanovic assumed his duties, when he found out about the
3 existence and the problem concerning these groups, he kept insisting on
4 dealing with this problem, on solving the problem. Numerous documents
5 bear witness to the fact.
6 Q. Now, General, in his response, General Reinhardt did not address
7 one part of the question which was: "When assuming command, the first
8 thing you would do is to try to stop this situation." Do you agree that
9 when assuming command of the 3rd Corps, the first thing that
10 General Hadzihasanovic should have done was to stop this situation as soon
11 as possible?
12 A. I think that General Reinhart was speaking in general terms. He
13 wasn't referring to any specific dates. As far as I know the problem of
14 foreign groups wasn't a matter of attention when the 3rd Corps commander
15 assumed his duties. This is a problem that arose later on. But
16 General Reinhardt was speaking about such things in general terms and I
17 wouldn't agree with what you have just focussed on, although perhaps in my
18 previous answer I said that I did agree. But when you said, if there is a
19 problem, if there are problematic groups and when the corps commander
20 assumes his duty, is that the first thing he would do? No. I would not
21 agree with that part.
22 Q. My next question that I would like to ask your opinion on is the
23 following. Again a question put to General Reinhardt. "If you accept
24 presence of forces that are not fully integrated in your army, without
25 forcing them to accept your command fully and permanently, do you also
1 accept -- by acquiescing to the situation, do you also accept or assume
2 responsibilities for their acts and conduct, especially or even in
3 situations in which they would take independent action that you have not
4 ordered or, in any way, promoted?"
5 And General Reinhart's answer was: "Sir, this is my
6 understanding of the situation."
7 Would you agree?
8 A. Again, it's a very broad question and it contains many details.
9 The following is at issue. A group appeared which attempted in one way or
10 another to join in certain combat action, which the 3rd Corps commander
11 welcomed at one point in time. The question is whether they were doing
12 this in sufficient coordination with the 3rd Corps, or rather in
13 accordance with certain guidelines or were they acting haphazardly on
14 their own initiative? That's one issue.
15 Regardless of how this takes place, the corps commander is only
16 responsible for his men who are an organic part of the 3rd Corps. And he
17 is responsible only for the chain of command, for himself, his deputy, and
18 for all the soldiers down to the very last soldier who are registered in
19 the mobilisation documents of the municipal defence secretariat and who
20 are registered and who have been assigned to one of the units of his
21 corps, or rather to his corps as a whole.
22 Q. Thank you General I'm curious about one part of your answer where
23 you say that: "Which the 3rd Corps commander welcomed at one point in
24 time." I'm just curious, because this seems to be somewhat different from
25 what you said earlier. Did you see any evidence, in all the material that
1 you saw that at any point in time General Hadzihasanovic welcomed any
2 assistance from those foreign fighters?
3 A. No, I didn't.
4 Q. Now, the issue which was raised in this question, that's my
5 previous question, if I try to be more precise and focus, the question was
6 something like this: If you have forces that are not integrated in your
7 army and you don't force them to accept your command, then you accept
8 responsibility for whatever they do. And General Reinhardt said: This is
9 my understanding of the situation.
10 Do you agree with that?
11 A. I wouldn't agree with that. A minute ago I described the
12 situation that I, as the 1st Corps commander was in, in Sarajevo, and I
13 described what I had experienced and what I finally did, from the time
14 that this commenced in the spring of 1992 -- I apologise, in the spring of
15 1993 or at the beginning of 1993, I told you what had to be done in order
16 to do what was done on the 26th of October, 1993.
17 Everything was done. Everything was attempted. But these units
18 were my units and I had to do that. I had to. That's a huge difference.
19 Sarajevo was a small area. My situation in Visoko and Olovo was quite
20 different. The situation I had in Furcin [phoen] was quite different. In
21 territory outside the town of Sarajevo.
22 There could have been all sorts of things, but I was responsible
23 for my units in Visoko and Olovo and Tarcin. If we have such a situation,
24 responsibility is one thing, or rather temporal authorisation for action
25 taken by, for example, one group. A group accomplishing a task in the
1 interests of the defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, because as I have said,
2 subconsciously this might suit the corps commander or not because they're
3 firing in the same direction that the corps commander, or rather his
4 troops are firing in.
5 But this doesn't mean that he is responsible, that he has
6 responsibility. But if they commit a crime and the commander finds out
7 about it, that's another matter. It is his obligation to take measures to
8 deal with the crimes and to inform the institutions that are responsible
9 to process those crimes. So this is the same responsibility that each and
10 every citizen of a state has. If a citizen sees in the street that a
11 crime is committed, a criminal offence, then the citizen has the
12 obligation of picking up the phone and informing the relevant institution,
13 an institution that is responsible for processing the crime. And this is
14 the case with the corps commander as well.
15 The situation should have been better. These men should have been
16 united and this was subsequently done, for these problems -- because of
17 these problems, because that's a process. It is impossible to deal with
18 such a situation even now, or I don't know in how many weeks or in how
19 many months. This is a process. Because the situation is so specific,
20 that it's quite simply very impossible to clarify it. You need a lot of
21 time to clarify the situation, who knows when we'll be very clear about
22 everything, especially with regard to these foreign combatants. Who knows
23 when this point will be reached.
24 Q. My next question, General, is another question which was put to
25 General Reinhardt and it goes as follows: If you, in your area of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 responsibility, are confronted with forces that are not integrated in your
2 command, that have a sort of independent existence, and you acquiesce in
3 that situation, does it also engage your criminal responsibility if they
4 commit, within their activities, within their independent activities,
5 certain crime?
6 Now, General Reinhardt is not a lawyer, but the question was put
7 to him and I know you're not a lawyer and I'm just asking you nevertheless
8 for your opinion on this question, and that was: Does it also engage your
9 criminal responsibility if they commit, within their activities, within
10 their independent activities, certain crimes, because General Reinhardt
11 said, his answer was: "I would be responsible, criminally accountable."
12 A. At the very beginning, General Reinhardt said, that's how the
13 question was formulated, "if the 3rd Corps was in a conflict with those
14 groups," that's how the question started. At the very beginning the
15 question is whether the 3rd Corps was in a conflict with those groups, or
17 Q. General I'll have to start the question over again, because I
18 think there may be -- may have been a problem with the interpretation.
19 The question was as follows: If you -- in your area of responsibility,
20 there are forces that are not integrated in your command, that have a sort
21 of independent existence and you acquiesce in that situation, does this
22 engage your criminal responsibility if they commit, within their
23 activities, within their independent activities, certain crimes?
24 General Reinhardt said: "I would be responsible, criminally
1 A. If I may ask a different sort of question, then I could ask
2 whether General Hadzihasanovic is responsible. In this case, as in the
3 case of the group you've mentioned -- for the HVO as well because the HVO
4 was also in his zone of responsibility. So my question would be: Would
5 he also be responsible for the HVO? General Hadzihasanovic would have the
6 same responsibility he had towards the HVO, towards those groups.
7 Q. Thank you. General, I have one last question with the Mujahedin
8 and with what you said in your report when you were talking about the
9 various measures that were taken. And this deals with an order which was
10 received from the Supreme Command Staff to send the Mujahedin to Mount
11 Igman, to report to a unit or to disarm them. And you say at paragraph
12 648 that General Hadzihasanovic informed his superiors that it would not
13 be possible to disarm the Mujahedin, as this would amount to opening a
14 third front. And he attempted to have the order modified.
15 Now, my question relates to the order itself, from the Supreme
16 Command. Do you know which document I'm talking about?
17 A. I think so.
18 Q. How would you qualify this document, which is sent from the
19 supreme command to General Hadzihasanovic? Was it a formal order? Was it
20 something else? And how should General Hadzihasanovic have reacted to
21 this document? In the way he did, was it appropriate in the
23 A. I've been speaking about how risky it was for the 3rd Corps
24 commanders to do anything on his own initiative because of the
25 consequences of such an act. The document you are referring to is in fact
1 one of a series of measures taken by the 3rd Corps commander to deal an
2 solve the problem of those foreigners.
3 The superior command, if it was to issue an order, in the sense
4 that it should be sent to Mount Igman, in the sense if they weren't sent
5 to Igman they should be disarmed that's what it states in the document as
6 far as I know, if the supreme command was to do this, they should have
7 issued an order in a completely different manner, not in this manner. The
8 document I have examined is in fact - and I have to tell you what my
9 opinion of the document is - it is in fact a formal, an official document,
10 although it fulfils all the legal conditions that an order has to fulfil.
11 The document just says, "Send them to Igman and if you don't disarm them."
12 The corps commander doesn't know how many men there are, nor does he know
13 where they're located, nor does he know how to do this. And they probably
14 didn't ask the corps commander whether he had any reserve forces who could
15 carry out the task and I already said what it meant if you had 75.000
16 soldiers and I've already mentioned how many real combatants there were,
17 combatants who were ready to fight.
18 And secondly, an order from the General Staff couldn't be
19 forwarded to the corps commander without involving the civilian police,
20 because this was primarily a task for the civilian police and only then
21 for the 3rd Corps commander. If the General Staff really wanted to do
22 what was stated in official terms in the order -- and I apologise, but
23 this task, since it concerns men who are not part of the ABiH, or who are
24 not part of the 3rd Corps, this action should be led by the civilian
25 police with the assistance of the 3rd Corps. In Sarajevo, the situation I
1 had was completely different. It was the reverse.
2 I was in charge of the action with the assistance of the civilian
3 police, because these brigades were my brigades.
4 Q. Thank you, General. One last question. Also with this order, --
5 and you discussed this in your report, I cannot find the exact paragraph,
6 but would you expect the corps commander to abide by all the orders he
7 gets from the Supreme Command Staff, or is it different for a corps
8 commander that, on the contrary, you expect him to discuss whether the
9 order is possible and whether the order is in line with the accomplishment
10 of the mission in his assessment?
11 A. One character that characterised the chain of command in the ABiH
12 is that numerous orders were issued. And the preconditions for carrying
13 out most of those orders didn't exist. I think that I said at one point
14 in time that occasionally there would be a sort of hyper production of
15 orders, too many orders were issued. Perhaps I was in such a situation
16 and I issued such orders to my subordinates, but that meant that there was
17 a desire to liberate the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina as soon as possible
18 and to put an end to the war as soon as possible, et cetera, et cetera.
19 And reality wasn't borne in mind. One didn't bear in mind the possibility
20 of carrying out the order. And in our military documents it is stated
21 quite clearly, the following fact is quite clearly stated and emphasised.
22 When a superior issues an order to a subordinate, he has to know all the
23 relevant facts, all the elements that he needs to know in order to issue
24 an order so that that order can be carried out completely. And a day or
25 two ago, I think I mentioned the situation when the 3rd Corps was formed,
1 General Hadzihasanovic was appointed as the corps commander and was
2 immediately issued two orders, to liberate the entire zone of the
3 corporation and to participate in lifting the blockade of Sarajevo. It is
4 not only that he didn't carry out those orders at the time, he didn't
5 carry them out right up until the end of the war. Who knows whether he
6 could have ever carried them out. I have just mentioned this as an
7 example in response to your question.
8 Q. Thank you, General after the break we will address the issue which
9 is at paragraph 743 of your report, and that is the events which allegedly
10 took place in the elementary school and the blacksmith shop in Mehurici.
11 If I may ask General that you review this section of the report so report
12 so that we have enough time to cover all aspects of this section. Thank
13 you, General.
14 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think it is time
15 for the break now.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will resume at
17 1.00 p.m.
18 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 1.04 p.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
21 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Q. [In English] General, we will now look at the paragraph 743 and
23 others of your report which is a section called the events which allegedly
24 took place in the elementary school an the blacksmith shop.
25 And my first question that I would like to ask is: If I look at
1 paragraphs 755 of your report - sorry, 756 - you establish in this
2 paragraph 3 scenarios and I take it that these scenarios refer to or three
3 categories, sorry, the first one being prisoners of war, the second one
4 being persons detained because they are suspected of having committed a
5 criminal act, and you also talk about subordinates detained by order of
6 the commander.
7 Now, I would like to ask you a few questions on these paragraphs,
8 which I believe shed some light on the situation. Let me begin with the
9 subordinates which are -- who are detained by order of a commander because
10 they were punished and they received either a prison or a detaining -- or
11 they were detained.
12 You say in your report that every brigade is expected to have a
13 detention facility, I think you used the word "detention barracks."
14 Can you explain exactly what are the responsibilities of all the
15 brigade commanders in respect of setting up detention facilities for their
16 own soldiers who are disciplined.
17 A. Each brigade commander is obliged in accordance with the location
18 of the brigades, where the brigade is living and performing its duties and
19 mission, if it is in peacetime or in wartime. If no space is provided,
20 which is called a detention facility, to detain his subordinates who make
21 a disciplinary offence or violation, in peacetime conditions, that
22 detention facility is usually common to a large territory and is common
23 for all brigades. However, as war was a specific situation which placed
24 all the brigades in a specific situation, no such facilities exist and
25 then the brigade commanders, in accordance with their own particular
1 circumstances, if they are housed in stationary facilities, can set aside
2 a room or a premise and, by a certain document, proclaim it as a detention
4 If the brigade is in the field, then that same brigade may find a
5 wooden hut, or even a tent in the middle of a field can be put up, as I
6 have myself done, and put a table and chair in the tent and the
7 subordinate, who has been sanctioned is placed in that tent with a
8 military policeman standing guard outside.
9 So that is the way each brigade commander would act.
10 Q. Now, General, considering that, as you mentioned earlier, you had
11 30 brigade if not more in the 1st Corps, does that imply that there were
12 30 detention facilities for the soldiers of your own corps? That's my
13 first question. The second question is, did you know where these
14 detention facilities were?
15 A. First of all, the fact that I had so many units doesn't mean to
16 say that I had to have so many detention facilities. These detention
17 facilities is something decided upon by the brigade or unit commander. It
18 is formed when necessary and it can be abolished if it is unnecessary,
19 such a detention facility. So there is no need, in wartime or even in
20 peacetime. In peacetime usually there exists such a facility for a wider
21 area because it is assumed that someone will always be in detention.
22 However, in wartime conditions, you don't have to have such a facility
23 non-stop. And your second question, I never enquired really, nor did I
24 request to know exactly where each of the detention facilities was
25 situated. I didn't know where most of them were. I may have known of
2 Q. My next question deals with the end of paragraph 757 when you say
3 that, "depending on the availability of a facility or the duration of the
4 punishment of detention or imprisonment that was imposed, subordinates
5 could be transferred to a military prison." Can you provide further
6 information on this aspect.
7 A. Yes. Quite. That is something that is applied in wartime
8 conditions, because previously I spoke about peacetime conditions. So in
9 wartime, if we have the preconditions to group people together, then it is
10 always desirable for several reasons. One of the reasons being, among
11 other things, that it is normal to expect that the treatment of all
12 prisoners, regardless of which category they belong to, that the treatment
13 at a higher territorial level will be better, though this should not be
14 the rule. But for objective reasons that I referred to a moment ago, if
15 my brigade commander doesn't have any other possibility except to set up a
16 tent in the middle of a field and there is such a detention facility 50
17 kilometres away in Sarajevo or in Zenica, some sort of central facility
18 where the conditions are much better, then it is better to put them there.
19 Otherwise, they cannot be expected to be given equal treatment.
20 A second reason that makes this always desirable is to relieve
21 lower levels of command of the obligations and duties which, in relation
22 to the brigade's mission, may be of secondary significance. If the
23 brigade commander issues a punishment of 15 or 30 days of detention, it
24 would be desirable for such a person to be moved to a detention facility
25 at a higher level. When he completes his term he joins the unit again.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 This is just -- these are just some of the reasons why this is desirable.
2 Q. Let me move on, General, to the -- the issue of members of the
3 enemy who are detained as a result of the armed conflict. Something like
4 prisoners of war.
5 You mentioned that these persons can be kept in detention until
6 the end of the conflict, or until they are exchanged. Who decides whether
7 they will be kept until the end of the conflict or whether they will be
9 A. Due to the very fact that prisoners of war are a consequence of
10 combat, those same prisoners of war enjoy the status of a prisoner of war
11 for one basic reason, and that is that they shouldn't be on the other side
12 and should not fire at me, if I am the party that has captured them and
13 placed them in this status of prisoners of war. And whoever captures them
14 also decides how long they will hold them, the maximum being until the end
15 of the conflict or the war. The aim being to prevent them from opening
16 fire at me or my forces.
17 Q. And the third category, General, you referred to are those persons
18 who are detained because they are suspected of having committed a criminal
19 act. Who are these persons and who would detain them?
20 A. There are two potential categories of people in that group. The
21 main category are prisoners of war. From among the ranks of the prisoners
22 of war, if there is a possibility that some of them may have committed
23 criminal offences, then the superior, through his security service and
24 police, can retain such a person up to 72 hours in some sort of a
25 detention facility, upon which it is his obligation to institute criminal
1 proceedings against such persons through the competent military court. If
2 that is not done, that category of people will either be released or they
3 can be returned to the status of prisoners of war.
4 Q. And the second -- you mentioned two potential categories. I take
5 it this is one, and what about the second category?
6 A. The second category would consist of all those people that one may
7 hear about or assume or learn about and then the initiative is taken to
8 institute criminal liability, who may not be currently present as
9 prisoners of war.
10 Q. Now, let me move on to the end of paragraph 757 where you then go
11 on to say that: Civilians may be accommodated in a facility for safety
12 reasons. Which civilians are we talking about? And what is the
13 justification for this?
14 A. We are talking about a situation such as, for example, in a
15 particular area there might be combat action. And then that area is swept
16 up in combat.
17 In that same area, there may be a certain number of civilians.
18 And due to the overall development of the combat situation in that region,
19 due to actions taken by the enemy to make a breakthrough, deep within the
20 territory of the defend error the enemy may have already been infiltrated
21 into the defender's ranks or for some other reasons, such as the existence
22 of these groups of foreigners in the area, et cetera, in a part of the
23 area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps and many other reasons could be
25 The a unit commander may, and it is even desirable, depending okay
1 his own assessment of the overall situation to channel the civilian
2 population, gather them together to have greater supervision over the
3 civilian population with a view to preventing any untoward events which
4 might happen and which might be taken by someone -- a measure that might
5 be taken by somebody against those civilians.
6 Q. I move on, General, to paragraph 758 of your report, where you
7 mention three basic levels of responsibility in relation to the handling
8 of prisoners of war, and you say that there are the capture level, the
9 holding level, and the area level. Is this something that is -- comes
10 from the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or is this something that is based on
11 practice over time? Can you explain those three levels?
12 A. I would say that both is applicable, but if you were to ask me
13 which regulations I relied on, I couldn't give you the source. I would
14 need time. But I touched upon this issue partly in my previous answer.
15 The level at which a capture is made is very important. When speaking
16 about potential inappropriate treatment of prisoners, this is a crucial
17 issue. And it is certainly important to see at what level the prisoners
18 were captured, were they at the level of a platoon, a company, battalion,
19 or brigade. Who was the first to establish contact with the prisoners?
20 After that comes the greater or lesser chance of inappropriate
21 treatment of prisoners of war. Then the level of holding prisoners of war
22 is something that I have already described. It's not the same if you keep
23 prisoners of war in conditions available in the field or in a regional
24 area where, in the area of responsibility of the 3rd Corps there was such
25 a facility that is the KP Dom in Zenica.
1 Q. My next question, General, is whether this transfer, if I may use
2 this word, from the capture level to the holding level to the area level,
3 is this an obligation, or is this a military -- I hate to use the word --
4 operational way to deal with prisoners of war? And why are prisoners of
5 war channeled from the capture, to the holding, to the area level?
6 A. There's a simple reason for this. I can give you a brief example
7 from my own experience. When heading towards a combat assignment, when it
8 is normal to expect that there may be prisoners of war, I always insisted
9 that my assistant for security be always near at hand, that is for him to
10 have, along his chain of command, lower level officers in the operations
11 group, brigade command, and battalion command. So that all the police
12 forces at those levels be mutually connected so that if a commander
13 reports to me from the front line that, shall we say, a group of enemy
14 soldiers has been captured, my main concern was that my security service
15 should reach those prisoners of war as soon as possible and to collect
16 them and take them away from the front line into the rear.
17 The reason being that the greatest problems arise precisely then,
18 when the soldiers are on the front lines and when, during combat
19 activities, people are angry, nervous, many -- depending on whether there
20 were many casualties within one's own ranks simply cannot control
21 themselves. And such people can often commit very serious offences. And
22 that was my main motive for pulling the people out, after which the
23 security service knows what their duties are with respect to the 72 hours
24 detention, to collect information and, after that, they are immediately
25 transferred to the regional level or the central prison in Sarajevo that
1 we had, a similar category of prison as the KP Dom in Zenica.
2 Q. At paragraph 762, you provide a number of actions which could be
3 expected to take place, whether these, of course depending on the
4 circumstances, and then you say, "directed by or with the knowledge of the
5 corps commander." Where does the foremost responsibility lie, in terms of
6 taking these actions with regards to prisoners of war?
7 A. It's difficult to say who has the greatest responsibility. The
8 chain of command is most responsible in the case of prisoners of war.
9 From the time they are captured, from the time that POWs are captured up
10 until the time that they are placed in certain satisfactory conditions, a
11 certain process has to be followed. This process can't be carried out by
12 an individual. It's the chain of command that is in charge of this
13 process. If you ask me who is most responsible for the overall processing
14 of POWs and for the status of POWs, it's the chain of command. As you go
15 up the chain of command, the level of responsibility increases. But
16 everyone has to have full responsibility at their own level when it comes
17 to the treatment of POWs and when it comes to their status.
18 Q. Let me move on to the issue of interrogation. And is it allowed,
19 when a unit captures prisoners of war, to interrogate them in order to
20 gain some intelligence?
21 A. I don't know whether it's allowed or not, but that's something
22 that I did. I believe that it should be allowed. And I think it is
24 Q. And if someone is a prisoner of war, is there information that a
25 prisoner of war should give and nothing more? Or can the prisoner of war
1 say everything he wants?
2 A. A POW has to provide key information concerning himself, his name,
3 place of birth, his rank, if he had a status in his own army; he has to
4 provide this essential information. Anything additional is for the POW to
5 decide whether he should provide information about such things. But
6 whoever interrogates a POW can't use force in order to obtain anything
7 from the POW that the POW does not want to give.
8 Q. And looking at the responsibilities of a corps commander, in
9 respect of the handling of prisoners of war, based on your answers in your
10 report, what should a corps commander do in respect of prisoners of war?
11 A. A corps commander has to do the following: All the legal
12 regulations on POW status, all the legal regulations on POWs have to be
13 respected so that everyone in the chain of command are aware of the
14 regulations. Everyone has to be aware of the regulations. The
15 regulations have to be provided to everyone in the chain of command.
16 That's one thing. Secondly, he must ensure that additional education and
17 training is provided given that there are already educated officers who,
18 in certain circumstances have direct contact with the POWs. There are the
19 people guarding the POWs, who are keeping the POWs, who have contact with
20 the POWs, et cetera, et cetera. So it's necessary at intervals to inform
21 the chain of command of those documents and additional training has to be
22 provided. And then the corps commander has to make sure that through his
23 assistant for security, and in the military police and others, he has to
24 ensure his assistant for security takes upon himself the major part of
25 responsibility with regard to the status of POWs. And finally the corps
1 commander has to ensure that within the chain of command those who must
2 frequently deal with the status of the POWs are controlled. One has to
3 control how the legal regulations governing the status of POWs are being
4 respected and to what extent they're being respected.
5 I think that those would be the main tasks of a corps commander
6 when it comes to this issue.
7 Q. Would you expect, General, to see the corps commander visit the
8 detention facilities at various places in his area of responsibility,
9 first in peacetime and in wartime?
10 A. Detention units in prison facilities, whether in peacetime or
11 wartime, one never really a matter of focus. This was just one of a
12 series of issues and in the chain of command in accordance with the
13 regulations, within the chain of command these issues should have been
14 dealt with. The corps commander would very rarely, in peacetime and even
15 more rarely in wartime have the occasion to visit and to control detention
16 facilities. It's not something to be excluded. A corps commander can do
17 anything. But in such complex wartime conditions, this is not something
18 that a corps commander would have paid that much attention to, nor would
19 he have spent a lot of time on such an issue.
20 Q. Now, General, when General Reinhardt testified, some questions
21 were put to him concerning the issue of prisoners of war and persons
22 detained. And one of the questions which was put to him was. I will read
23 you the question and his answer and I would like you to comment on it.
24 This is about prisoners of war in general and civilian prisoners
25 in general. "Are there circumstances, in the case of Bosnia, that make
1 the responsibility of a commander even more pressing and more important in
2 this field? I mention interracial or interreligious character, civil war
3 aspects, he have briefly discussed the inexperience of troops, new
4 soldiers, are these factors" - sorry - "are these factors that also
5 increase, so to speak, the responsibility of a commander?" An General
6 Reinhart's answer was: "I think it increases his responsibility." And I
7 would like to have your opinion on this.
8 A. I can't agree with General Reinhart's opinion for the following
9 reason. A corps commander has one single duty that is indivisible. He
10 has a responsibility that one shouldn't say that, because of the conflict
11 between the Croats and Bosniaks this increases his responsibility. He is
12 not the cause of such a conflict. The corps commander is not the cause of
13 such a conflict. And secondly, a corps commander throughout his zone of
14 responsibility had a mixed population in all parts of the territory.
15 Croats and Bosniaks. Although there was an open conflict in Zenica that
16 commenced in 1993 there were a lot of Croats there and very few Croats
17 left and moved out of Zenica.
18 What does this mean? If you were to pay attention to where there
19 was a Bosniak, in particular building or where there were Croats in
20 particular buildings, or in Central Bosnia, well the entire Central
21 Bosnian areas like a leopard's skin, there is a Bosniak village and then a
22 Croat village. The situation is impossible. That would have been
23 impossible. Had the corps commander paid attention to such issue, he
24 would have become involved in -- if he had become involved in dealing with
25 such a problem, he would have become totally lost and the corps mission
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 which was facing the Republika Srpska army would have been sidetracked.
2 However, I wouldn't say that what you have mentioned had no influence at
3 all, naturally it's a very serious question and something that the
4 commander must bear in mind. But in this case, in this specific case, the
5 3rd Corps commander -- in 1993, in the zone of responsibility, whether the
6 conflict between Bosniaks and Croats couldn't have acted in this way. It
7 was impossible because of that situation -- because of the situation. It
8 was above the level of the 3rd Corps commander. Given the situation with
9 the HVO, you can't say that the 3rd Corps commander had increased
11 Q. Thank you, General. Now I have another question which was --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The last question.
13 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I thought I could
14 work until 2.00 p.m., that was my mistake. I will have time for one last
16 Q. [In English] General, in the binders you have beside you, your
17 binders that you brought from Sarajevo, did you find a lot of measures
18 which were taken either by General Hadzihasanovic or by his subordinate
19 commanders to ensure that his duty would be respected; that is, his duty
20 to prevent and punish and to fulfil his duty as a commander. If you look
21 at your binders, how many of those measures do you have beside you, or how
22 many binders of measures do you have beside you?
23 A. I saw numerous documents that concerned the measures that you have
24 just mentioned. Most of the documents in these binders are entitled:
25 Measures. There are 6 binders, from 1 to 6, and the title given to these
1 binders is "measures". As I was in a similar situation to that of the 3rd
2 Corps commander, I can't say that I'm sure that I issued this many
4 Q. I would just like to have one quick comment on the conclusion,
5 which was made by General Reinhardt where he said: "Having seen so many
6 documents which prove that General Hadzihasanovic did not only issue
7 orders but also went through the whole circle of making sure that the
8 perpetrators were treated legally, according to the law, I would change.
9 And I have changed my attitude, saying that he only initiated the first
10 step and did not do the other steps. Obviously he did this."
11 My question is: On the basis of this opinion, and all the
12 measures you have seen in the material provided to you, did
13 General Hadzihasanovic fulfil all of his responsibilities as a corps
14 commander in Bosnia in 1993?
15 A. I'll repeat what I said a while ago. I said I was in a very
16 similar situation to the situation that the 3rd Corps commander was in.
17 And also given the fact that I believe that I have very good knowledge of
18 the overall political and military situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In
19 the course of 1993 and throughout the war, I read through numerous
20 documents that I was provided with, had a brief look at some of them,
21 consulted numerous and diverse sources. I spoke to a sufficient number of
22 people whom I considered to be cleverer than I am, in order not to
23 overestimate or underestimate certain things. If I try to go back to 1993
24 now, I must admit that I don't know whether I would have been in a
25 position to do anything better, and I personally don't believe that there
1 is some other general, from any army in the world, I don't believe there
2 is any politician or anyone else who would have acted in a way that was
3 better than the way in which General Hadzihasanovic acted as 3rd Corps
4 commander. And I have one more sentence I would like to say.
5 I am fully persuaded that, given the example that the 3rd Corps
6 commander provided, given his knowledge his courage his ability, et
7 cetera, given his moral nature, his fight for Bosnia-Herzegovina and
8 everything that is specific to Bosnia-Herzegovina, given all of these
9 factors, given the work he carried out, he quite certainly prevented, in
10 my opinion, far worse things from happening in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in
11 Central Bosnia. And everything of a negative nature, because it was ugly
12 and it happened in his zone of responsibility is something that was the
13 result of certain objective factors and if everything had been ideal, that
14 would have been the best solution. But unfortunately, there was nothing
15 ideal at the time. There is no adequate word that one could use to
16 describe the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1993.
17 Q. Thank you, General.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone please.
19 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, I wanted
20 to finish at five to, but I failed to do so. But thank you,
21 Mr. President.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] General, unfortunately you will
23 have to remain here for a few days, unless you'll be leaving for a few
24 days, but in any event you will be returning on Tuesday, next Tuesday and
25 the hearing will commence at 2.15 p.m. I invite everyone to attend the
1 hearing on Tuesday at 2.15 p.m.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.53 p.m.,
3 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 29th day of March,
4 2005, at 2.15 p.m.