1 Thursday, 31 March 2005
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case number, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Case
8 number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir
10 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning,
11 Your Honours, counsel and everyone in and around the courtroom. For the
12 Prosecution, Matthias Neuner, and Daryl Mundis, assisted today by Andres
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have the appearances
15 for Defence counsel, please.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Good
17 morning, Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina
18 Residovic, lead counsel, Stephane Bourgon co-counsel, and Muriel Cauvin,
19 our legal assistant. Thank you.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the appearances for the
21 other Defence team, please.
22 MR. DIXON: On behalf of Mr. Kubura today, Mr. Rodney Dixon
23 assisted by Mr. Nermin Mulalic. Thank you, Your Honours.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to greet everyone
25 present, the Prosecution, our expert witness, who is appearing for the
1 last time, I hope. That depends on the Defence. I greed members of the
2 Defence and I greet General Hadzihasanovic and Mr. Kubura. On behalf of
3 the Chamber I would also like to greet everyone else in and around the
4 courtroom. As I have already said as I said yesterday, we should be
5 concluding with the testimony of the expert witness today. I have a
6 series of questions to put to him and I will then give the floor to the
7 Prosecution and to the Defence. So if we can then complete this witness's
8 week of testimony.
9 WITNESS: VAHID KARAVELIC: [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 Questioned by the Court: [Continued]
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation]
13 General, I have a few preliminary questions that concern yourself.
14 In annex 1 of your report, you said that you were in the United States in
15 1997, 1998 and 1999. And I believe that you attended an American military
16 school. Could you provide us with a little information about -- of the
17 course that you followed in the United States.
18 A. Two-thirds of the time that I spent in the USA I spent in Texas,
19 in Los Angeles and an American school for learning American English. I
20 spent the remainder of the time that I was there in the postgraduate naval
21 school in Montero which is between Los Angeles and San Francisco. And I
22 studied the subject of material resources, or rather I studied the use and
23 planning of material resources that the state has to defend itself.
24 When attending that course, there was a 15- to 20-day visit to
25 Washington, Washington DC, the state bodies in that town were visited, and
1 we visited the UN building in New York.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Yesterday, in
3 response to a question, you said that you were currently working on a
4 doctoral thesis. What is the subject of your Ph.D. Thesis? Does it have
5 to do with military matters or does it concern some other subject?
6 A. My masters thesis concerned political and military preparations
7 for an aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina and its implementation in the
8 territory of north-eastern Bosnia. This naturally included the entire
9 political and military status of the former Yugoslavia in the pre-war
10 years, the break up of Yugoslavia and the course of the aggression against
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And now, since I didn't touch on the subject of
12 Sarajevo as the capital in that thesis, I am now trying to obtain
13 permission to deal with the subject, or to deal with the subject of
14 Sarajevo and its role and, naturally, I would compare this with the
15 political and diplomatic situation that would be the subject of my Ph.D.
16 thesis and I might thus contribute to clarifying the overall political and
17 military situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and, in particular, in Sarajevo
18 in the course of the war by dealing with such a subject.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question that concerns
20 yourself. In annex 52 of your report, there's a reference to page 133.
21 It's a footnote and the footnote is entitled "aggression against
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina". This page, which is in your report, has it been
23 extracted from an article, or a book?
24 A. I apologise, I'd have to have a look at that paragraph.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Have a look at annex 52.
1 A. Yes. This is in fact my statement and it's contained in the book
2 that I published, in this form. This is my statement with regard to all
3 the events from the time an attack was launched on the republic of
4 Slovenia, because in 1990 I was serving in Ljubljana, the capital of
5 Slovenia and I was the commander of a motorised battalion there. After
6 that military situation had been resolved in Slovenia I then received an
7 order from Belgrade to move with my battalion and my equipment from
8 Ljubljana to Bosnia and Herzegovina, to the Zenica barracks. That was on
9 the 20th of August 1991.
10 And then, two months later, on the 20th of October, 1991, in the
11 same way, by order from Belgrade, I was moved from Zenica together with my
12 entire battalion, men and equipment, to the Tuzla barracks, which is in
13 the north-eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I was supposed to go
14 with my battalion from there and launch an attack against the Republic of
15 Croatia, to be more specific, against the town of Vukovar. A few days ago
16 I mentioned this. Up to that point in time many of my subordinate
17 officers, non-Serb officers, Macedonians, Croats, Slovenians, Muslims,
18 Bosniaks, Albanians, had already deserted en masse, as well as a large
19 number of soldiers.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will interrupt you there. Was
21 your book translated into English or is it only available in your own
23 A. At the moment it's only available in the Bosnian language. If
24 possible, it will be translated in the future.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I will move on to
1 another subject. As a corps commander, could you describe a typical day
2 for a corps commander starting by what a corps commander does in the
3 morning, and right up until the late afternoon. What does a corps
4 commander do? Could you split this up into two parts? Could you describe
5 his role when the day has come and could you describe a day when there is
6 intensive action as in defensive, authentic action, so that we can be
7 familiar with the sort of activities that a corps commander is involved
8 in, in the course of an average or typical day.
9 A. You yourselves have said it would be best to break this question
10 up into two versions. Firstly, to deal with what a corps commander does
11 in peacetime conditions and the second version would be what the corps
12 commander -- what a corps commander does in wartime conditions. And there
13 would be certain sub-versions, for example, what a corps commander does in
14 the course of offensive or defensive action.
15 In peacetime conditions, a corps commander, just like all other
16 officers in peacetime, goes to work, just like all the other officers and
17 like all other citizens or workers who go to work in a factory. When he
18 arrives at work the corps commander has to receive a report when he enters
19 the barracks, the garrison where his command is located, where his office
20 is located, and one of the barracks of his units. If the corps is big he
21 has a number of barracks and a number of units and somewhere in the
22 central part of the area where his corps is deployed he has his office.
23 He receives a report from the duty officers as soon as he enters the
24 barracks. The duty reports to him with the unit lined up, with the guard
25 and military police lined up and the duty officer reports to him on the
1 situation in the entire corps over the last 24 hours, or rather --
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This report from the duty
3 officer, is it an oral report? Or is there a written report as well?
4 A. Both a written and an oral report. The oral report is given in
5 the morning --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what time is this report
8 A. This depends on when one starts working. If one starts working at
9 7 or 8 that's when the report is provided. The corps commander has to
10 arrive punctually at a minute to 8.00. If works start at 8.00, he has to
11 arrive at the gate at that time, and that is where he is welcomed by the
12 duty officer.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And this is the case for all the
14 corps in Bosnia-Herzegovina, or was this a situation that was specific to
15 the 1st Corps?
16 A. I'm talking about the corps commander in peacetime conditions.
17 Not a single corps commander had such possibilities until after the war.
18 I'm speaking about corps commanders when the JNA existed, in peacetime
19 conditions. Later I will talk about the conditions in the course of the
20 war. In peacetime conditions, when the JNA existed, the commander would
21 receive an oral report that related to the situation over the last 24
22 hours. This takes about ten minutes. He then briefly reviews the units
23 or the guards and then naturally he goes to his office. When he reaches
24 his office there is a written report waiting for the corps commander.
25 That's what you just asked me about. It's waiting for him on his desk.
1 It's a far more detailed report. He first takes the report and reads it.
2 Having read the report, he notes all positive elements and if there is
3 anything he feels is negative, he makes notes on the document and issues
4 instructions as to what should be done in order to deal with any
5 weaknesses or any problems that have arisen over the last 24 hours.
6 And having read the report, the corps commander usually if one
7 starts working at 8.00, at half past nine -- at half past 8.00 or 9.00 the
8 corps commander gathers his assistants from the corps command. This
9 depends on the structure of the corps command, but there could be seven to
10 ten assistants. They come to his office and this is the morning working
11 meeting and we discuss the daily tasks and duties. We discuss what has
12 been done, what has to be done on that day, and what might have to be done
13 in the future. We discuss tasks that might have to be carried out in the
15 So this meeting lasts for at least -- or it lasts for up to one
16 hour. The corps commander issues tasks on the basis of the morning report
17 to all his assistants. If there are any problems that concern morale,
18 legal issues, logistics, he has his assistants for all these sectors and
19 he issues tasks to them so they can remove any shortcomings. And at the
20 end of the working day his assistants gather again.
21 Having read the morning report, the corps commander also has the
22 duty to speak to his immediately subordinate officers. If one starts
23 working at 8.00 or half past 8.00, by 10.00 the corps commander has to be
24 in contact with or rather has to be contacted by all the brigade
25 commanders, or division commanders and OG commanders within the corps.
1 They have to contact him and brief him, report to him about any important
2 matters that might not be contained in the duty officer's report.
3 At the same time that these brigade commanders report to the corps
4 commander, he assigns them certain tasks, gives them certain guidelines as
5 to what they should do on that day, as to what they should do in the near
6 future. Usually after 10.00, when all of this has been dealt with, the
7 corps commander who finds it very difficult to find a day that is not very
8 busy because of all these activities -- well, there are monthly plans that
9 are made, and then from 10.00 to about 2.00 p.m. the corps commander,
10 according to the established plan, is engaged in certain activities.
11 There might be some meetings that have already been organised and certain
12 civilian bodies and it is his duty to attend them. He might have to give
13 lectures, perhaps, as the corps commander, to his units or in cooperation
14 with other bodies. He may be involved in carrying out inspections,
15 controlling the units. He might be involved in drafting plans, documents,
16 short-, mid-term, long-term plans. These are significant duties.
17 He has to plan on what should be done in one year, two years and
18 five years because the corps commander is an operative unit. We continue
19 to use this term, and it's in very close contact with the top military
20 leadership in the state, with the Ministry of the Defence and the Supreme
21 Command who draft these plans. They can't draft these plans without the
22 corps commander. When it comes to drafting these plans, they have the
23 greatest responsibility. A short-term plan is not very problematic. A
24 monthly plan or plan for three or six months or even a one-year plan
25 that -- long term plans for developing or arranging the territory, arming
1 one's self, improving training, et cetera, and education. These are very
2 complex issues and it is necessary to continually study the literature,
3 the documents, foreign and local documents and literature so that a corps
4 commander can deal with all of these issues and keep abreast of military
5 science and military doctrines throughout the world.
6 We all want to follow those who are the best and that is the case
7 today, we're trying to follow the NATO alliance and keep abreast of their
8 developments and certain other -- we're trying to keep abreast of certain
9 other armies in the world, for example the USA army, et cetera, et cetera.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let's now deal with
11 wartime conditions.
12 A. Unlike the situation that I have just described, there is also a
13 situation of war. In 90 per cent of the times during the peacetime, the
14 corps commander knows exactly what to do. The corps commander knows in
15 advance what he will be doing every day. The situation, however, is much
16 different during the war, quite contrary to what the commander was doing
17 during the peacetime, for one simple reason. The corps commander during
18 the peacetime, for one simple reason. The corps commander cannot envisage
19 or foresee what might happen the following day and this was especially
20 difficult to do in Bosnia-Herzegovina for a number of reasons. First and
21 foremost most in the war situation there are no working hours. I myself
22 as the corps commander for four years, I slept everywhere else but in my
23 own house. In the four years of war, I did not spend 20 or 30 days at
24 home or I didn't spend 20, 30 nights at home.
25 All the time I slept in my office, because I had a bed there. And
1 if I was not in my office, then I would be in different units and I would
2 sleep in the offices of my subordinate officers, commanders of OGs or
3 commanders of various brigades, or I would sleep in my forward command
4 post. Whenever there were combat operations going on, I would spend a lot
5 of nights under the clear sky in the forest as a corps commander. I
6 repeat, this is not what corps commanders normally do, but in Bosnia this
7 is what all the corps commanders did. And when it comes to describing a
8 day, a typical day of wartime corps commander, I have to say that there
9 are surprise attacks by the enemy which normally starts early in the
10 morning and the main objective of the enemy is to surprise their opponent
11 by such an attack.
12 If I can give you a rough estimate, I would say that out of the
13 four years of the war, at least two years, if not more, every morning I
14 would receive a report on an attack from the east, from the west, or north
15 of Sarajevo; attacks on the lines outside of Sarajevo in Olovo, Fojnica,
16 Tarcin, and so on and so forth. I don't have a map to show these places
17 to you.
18 As soon as a corps commander receives such a report, he gets up
19 immediately and he tries to see how far he is from the place of attack.
20 And, if possible, he tries to establish some sort of communication.
21 In our case, our communication means were -- left a lot to be
22 desired and did not match the communication means of the average, let
23 alone state-of-the-art militaries of the world.
24 First the corps commander tries to establish communication and
25 find out what kind of an attack is going on, and where is it that the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 enemy wants to break up the line. The corps commander then reviews the
2 status of his own units, how many of them are close to that sector, how
3 many of them could help the units on the ground. The biggest problem in
4 our units was the fact that we always had very few units in the barracks
5 readily available. We always worked in shifts, in the three shifts that I
6 mentioned. One-third of the men would be on the lines; one-third would be
7 on reserve, if possible; and one-third would be on leave. However, due to
8 the lack of food and accommodation the enemy had destroyed all of our
9 facilities and burned them to the ground and that's why we did not have
10 the facilities to accommodate our men, and that's why we were forced to
11 let our men go and spend the time with their families. In such
12 circumstances it was very difficult to gather our men for a rapid
14 So let's say in the morning when an attack had started, a fierce
15 attack, a corps commander is in a situation that I am trying to explain;
16 however, it is difficult to put it in words and tell you what really
17 happens in such a situation. If, in such a situation, I was at my main
18 command post in Sarajevo where there were a lot of civilians coming to my
19 office, trying to get a permit to pass through the tunnel to get food for
20 their children and if they didn't get that permit, they would immediately
21 complain to the politicians, complaining about the corps commander who
22 didn't give them the permit.
23 However, I must say that it was not up to the commander to do
24 that. The commander was in charge of those attacks, trying to defend the
25 town. And it was not -- he was not concerned with whether somebody is
1 going to be able to pass through the tunnel and get food. I'm trying to
2 describe the most complex day that I witnessed. Dr. Vahid Kljajic,
3 K-l-j-aj-i-c who is still a professor at the school of political sciences,
4 he -- during the war he was of president of the committee on the
5 distribution of humanitarian aid in Sarajevo. This is humanitarian aid
6 that was air-dropped at the city airport of Sarajevo. At one moment the
7 humanitarian aid channels were interrupted and he reported to me as the
8 corps commander because I cooperated with him very closely. Around 10
9 o'clock he reported to me that there was no more food and that he couldn't
10 give me anything on that day.
11 My response to him was, how come you can't give him -- me
12 anything? I am just telling you how we spoke. Maybe this is not
13 something that should be said at this level. I told him, doctor, I'm
14 going to kill you. You have to give me food. Later on I had realised
15 that he couldn't give me any because there was none to be had. Then I
16 said to Dr. Kljajic, "I have to be given the last gram of food. If
17 somebody has to starve, it has to be the elderly. The elderly who should
18 be the first to not be given food. It is their turn to die. The last to
19 die is the soldier who is defending the line around the city of Sarajevo."
20 And this is the -- exactly the conversation we had. And also food had to
21 be secured for the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the police. And
22 those were the three bodies that had to be provided with food at all
24 These were the conversations that, in given circumstances, take a
25 toll on any person, that disturb any person's balance and no matter how
1 reasonable a person is, how sensible, all of a sudden you start losing ...
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's concentrate on typical
3 military problems. During the war, in the -- is there an office where
4 there are maps and similar things from which a corps commander can conduct
5 operations? How -- is there a plan or a map based on which a corps
6 commander can review the situation on the ground? How did you do that
7 during the war?
8 A. Absolutely. At the moment when I said that the corps commander
9 tries to establish communication with the units under attack, he does that
10 from the operation centre. That is, if he is in his main command post.
11 If he is not in his main command post, if he is somewhere else, then he
12 goes to the operation centre or the command post of his subordinate units.
13 And from that place he tries to establish communication through his
14 subordinate officers. He tries to put the situation under control. The
15 first person to be contacted is the brigade commander or two brigade
16 commanders who are in charge of the line through which the enemy is trying
17 to breakthrough.
18 If the situation is very difficult or if the line has already been
19 broken, then the corps commander establishes contacts with other unit
20 commanders and he asks for assistance. Depending on the distance, he
21 orders the units to be engaged in advancing towards that area in order to
22 help those brigade commanders. In doing that he encounters a lot of
23 problems, a lack of fuel, a lack of vehicles and a shortage of troops
24 which would be readily deployable. If he encounters huge problems,
25 multiple problems, which was often the case, then the corps commander has
1 to go to the spot -- the corps commander was expected to do everything,
2 although when you look at it from a human angle, this is not correct.
3 However, a corps commander was expected to do everything.
4 Most of the officers were not trained, were not professionals,
5 were not skillful. They did not have the ability to command their units.
6 They did not have the ability to react quickly, and that is why they
7 tended to pass on the buck upwards to the corps commander. And it was
8 then that the corps commander -- in my case I was on my own in a number of
9 situations, and I had to go directly to the lines 100 metres away from the
10 enemy forces. I would go from one soldier to another to tap them on the
11 shoulder to encourage them to provide them with a guarantee that they
12 would ammunition, food, and reinforcement.
13 What does a corps commander do in such situations? First of all,
14 he contacts his subordinates and asks for them to prevent further advance
15 of the enemy. And when that happens, either on that day or on some of the
16 following days, because the attack may last for seven or ten days, after
17 that there is a continuous activity, a daily activity in order to prepare
18 new troops, quality troops that would engage in a counter attack in order
19 to regain the territory that might have been lost during the attack.
20 When we're talking about- --
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] At that moment, if you realised
22 that there are problems in communication with the brigade commanders,
23 either because of the problems with the communications or you have
24 problems between yourself and the brigade, what do you do at that moment?
25 A. In normal circumstances, such a brigade commander would have
1 everything at his disposal and, in such a case, the corps commander would
2 have a much easier time. However, in Bosnia, every corps commander knew
3 that no brigade commander had the minimum that was required in terms of
4 communication means, ammunition, weapons, equipment, food, and so on and
5 so forth. A corps commander should be in the position to say to his
6 subordinate: You are a brigade commander. You should deal with it. Full
7 stop. However, please, two-thirds -- or up to 1994 most of the brigade
8 commanders in the entire BiH army were people who were self-appointed to
9 that duty and I can claim with full responsibility here that there was a
10 formal accountability in the chain of command. However, if the brigade
11 commander received an order from the corps commander, and if that order
12 was contrary to his views and understanding, he did not carry out that
13 order. And I, as the corps commander in that situation would be faced
14 with the problem whether to remove such a brigade commander.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you inspected documents
16 from the 3rd Corps, did you face this type of problem when the corps
17 commander might have had problems with his brigade commanders? Did you
18 establish that in the 3rd Corps? I'm not talking about your corps, about
19 the 1st Corps. Did you come across any such problems when you were
20 studying documents from the 3rd Corps?
21 A. Of course I did. One of the documents that the commander of the
22 3rd Corps, General Hadzihasanovic, when he was appointed to that duty --
23 in one of his reports that he sent to the General Staff -- I could locate
24 this document for you and you would see for yourself that this document
25 illustrates my words very well.
1 He's saying in this document that he could not command over the
2 brigades that already existed. He speaks about the influence of the
3 civilian structures on the brigade commanders and brigade commanders
4 tended to listen to the civilian structures more than to the corps
5 commander, because he could get food from them. He says in this document
6 that there are a lot of people in Bosnia called Celo and Caco. Celo and
7 Caco, I believe that I spoke about these two people against whom I
8 instituted measures on the 26th of October 1996 in order to place them
9 under my command and Caco was executed at that point in time.
10 And I believe that this document was issued towards the he had of
11 November, beginning of December 1992. And in this document
12 General Hadzihasanovic speaks about a number of such people existing in
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina. He says in this document that it was very
14 difficult for him to link up all of his units, because he didn't have the
15 communication means. He didn't have enough officers. The officers that
16 were scent to him by the General Staff From Sarajevo were sent to him
17 because somebody wanted to get rid of them. And when they arrived in
18 Zenica, General Hadzihasanovic could not use them for anything. They did
19 not have qualifications. They didn't have skills. They didn't have any
20 knowledge to be officers.
21 I have just tried to summarize one report that runs over two
22 pages. There are many similar documents in which General Hadzihasanovic
23 reported of such and similar problems.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With regard to the difficulties
25 that you have just explained, between the corps commanders, the 1st, 2nd,
1 3rd, 4th, and 5th, did you meet amongst yourselves or, given the situation
2 of war, you did not have the possibility to meet or maybe you just
3 contacted over the telephone. How did that go?
4 A. Up to August 1993 we never met. And the main reason for that was
5 the fact that the tunnel had not been broken through under the Sarajevo
6 airport. Once this tunnel was constructed, I could leave Sarajevo,
7 although I did that even before the tunnel. I ran across the runway,
8 against the express orders of UNPROFOR. They shot after me, but I had to
9 leave Sarajevo in order to save Mount Igman, I-g-m-a-n, in the vicinity of
10 Sarajevo. This was in the summer of 1993 and the tunnel was broken
11 through on the first of August 1993.
12 Before then, none of us corps commanders met. After August 1993,
13 up to the end of the war, from time to time we did have meetings of corps
14 commanders. Up to the end of 1995, there might have been four, five, or
15 six such meetings. I don't know exactly how many. But the 5th corps
16 commander was never there. He could never attend such meetings.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Let's move
18 to the Main Staff. You said you were in Sarajevo and the other corps
19 commanders were not there. And how did the Main Staff have contacts with
20 them? Was it done by telephone, by courier, by fax? As far as you know,
21 how did the Main Staff establish contacts with other corps commanders?
22 A. At the beginning of the war in 1992, it's very difficult to say
23 how it managed to maintain communications. The communications equipment
24 used was very poor and there were various types of communications
25 equipment used. However, later on during the last three years of the war,
1 we tried to establish repeaters, the dominant features of the most
2 elevated points that were under our control. And we used Paket
3 communications. And that means communicating by a computer system. We
4 had our own special codes to ensure that the enemy could not intercept our
5 communications and decrypt our communications.
6 And later, this means of communications functioned quite well.
7 But this was the highest level of communication. When we're talking about
8 the communication between the Main Staff and the corps commanders. But
9 the corps commander didn't have such communications with his OGs, his
10 operative groups. This form of communication is expensive and we didn't
11 have sufficient men who were capable of using such systems.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you know did the Main
13 Staff have good -- a good level of control over the corps commanders? I'm
14 not talking about you, but with regard to corps commanders who were
15 outside the town. For example in the 3rd Corps, did the Main Staff have a
16 good view of activities of the corps? What do you think about this?
17 A. Let me first say my main command post was in Sarajevo. But at the
18 same time, the main command post of the Main Staff was in Sarajevo because
19 that was requested by the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The forward
20 command post, my forward command post, and the Main Staff forward command
21 post, after the tunnel in Sarajevo had been made, when Visoko and in
22 certain other places, in Kakanj, and a certain number of officers were
23 deployed from the central -- from the main command post to the forward
24 command posts the Presidency made the following requests. When the
25 commander of the Main Staff was in Sarajevo, had to be outside of
1 Sarajevo. If I was outside of Sarajevo then the command of the Main Staff
2 had to be in Sarajevo. That was one request. But when you mentioned the
3 issue of control, I can provide you with an example.
4 It's difficult for me to say how much control they had. At the
5 beginning, after I had been arrested in Tuzla on the 27th of April 1992
6 and after I had been taken to Belgrade, I was replaced by
7 Colonel Zeljko Knez as commander of the district staff or soon afterwards
8 as commander of the 2nd of the ABiH. He was appointed naturally by the
9 Presidency by the minister of defence of the Republic of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He's a Croat, the commander -- a corps commander in
11 the ABiH.
12 In 1992, things went smoothly. I don't know when he transferred
13 his duties in 1993. When he handed over his duties, it seemed that
14 communications between the Main Staff commander and the 2nd Corps
15 commander were functioning adequately. However, later, we found out that
16 Zeljko Knez was in direct contact with Franjo Tudjman and there is
17 evidence to support this. And he did contribute to the defence of
18 north-eastern Bosnia. Things should have been done in a different way.
19 That came to light after on. Later, Zeljko Knez after he had handed over
20 his duties as corps commander, was replaced because people realised that
21 things weren't going well. And in the background he seemed to be working
22 for the interests of Franjo Tudjman. He fled to Croatia and never
23 returned to Bosnia again.
24 So I'm just providing you with an example to describe the
25 situation. All other commanders were Bosniaks. There were Serbs and
1 Croats at lower levels, there were commanders, et cetera, but not that
2 many. Those corps commanders and naturally with the 2nd Corps
3 commander --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I want to focus on the Main
5 Staff again. Could you tell us, again, the name of the supreme commander
6 that you were in contact with.
7 A. There was the Chief of Staff, Hasan Efendic, the chief of the
8 Territorial Defence Staff, and then towards the end of May 1992 his duties
9 were taken over by Sefer Halilovic. And on the 8th of June, 1993, Rasim
10 Delic took over the duties of Sefer Halilovic and he remained in that
11 position until the end of the war.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The supreme
13 commander, from June, was Delic. Did he have daily contact with his corps
14 commanders, over the phone, was there daily contact between the supreme
15 commander and his corps commanders?
16 A. According to many of the rules he should have had daily contact
17 with them. However, and I'm telling you about my own case, I didn't have
18 daily contact. However, the longest period during which I had no contact
19 with the supreme commander was two or three days, unless he left
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina because of certain tasks. But then I would have
21 contact with his deputies.
22 Why didn't I contact the commander of the Main Staff every day?
23 Because I could never obtain anything from him. It's difficult to put it
24 in this way. It's difficult to say I could never obtain anything from
25 him, but I couldn't obtain the quantity of weapons and ammunition that I
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 needed especially in 1992 and 1993. In the same part of 1994 and in 1995
2 the situation somewhat improved. In the course of 1992 and 1993, and
3 partly in 1994, too, the Main Staff was more or less completely excluded
4 from plans for combat activities. It was the corps who were mostly
5 engaged in planning combat activities. They lived in the territory. They
6 would feed themselves in that territory and they would obtain supplies
7 from the territory they were in.
8 The situation was such that the corps commanders had to act in an
9 independent manner to a significant extent. However, a corps commander
10 never refused to obey an order from the Main Staff commander, because
11 these people were all officers. All the corps commanders had come from
12 the JNA and they were well aware of what it meant to be a good commander,
13 a good officer, et cetera.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I want to go to a superior
15 level. As a Ministry of Defence above the supreme commander, who was the
16 Ministry of Defence in 1992 -- in 1993?
17 A. I'm not sure that I know the exact dates. The first minister of
18 Defence was Jerko Doko, in 1992, at the beginning of the war. Then, he
19 was succeeded by -- I don't know if he was the ministry or deputy
20 minister, he was always a Bosniak or Croat, I can't remember his name.
21 For a certain period of time there was has Hasan Cengic. I don't know if
22 he was the minister or deputy minister. I'm not sure. That was in 1993.
23 And then there was someone from Visoko, whose name was ...
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As the commander of the 1st
25 Corps, were you visited by the minister of the defence? Did he go and
1 visit you in the field? Because you yourself said that you would go to
2 the lines to encourage the soldiers. Did the minister of defence visit
3 you to see what you were doing and to see what the situation was like?
4 Did you meet the minister of defence?
5 A. The commander of the Main Staff would appear. The minister of
6 defence, never a single minister of defence throughout the war ever went
7 to visit any part of the army and I can tell you the Ministry of Defence
8 is also a sort of superior command, not my direct superior command, but
9 it's an indirect superior command at another level and I had no particular
10 form of contact with the Ministry of Defence, absolutely none. Because
11 it's difficult for me to say this --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm asking you this question
13 because in your report, in paragraph 282 you mentioned the principle of
14 subordination of militaries with respect to the government. That is
15 paragraph 282. And further on in paragraph 287, you said that the
16 exercise of command by generals was carried out under the control of the
17 Presidency and of the Supreme Command. You have just said that the
18 minister of defence is someone that you yourself never met, never saw. So
19 how was political control exercised over military bodies that, according
20 to you, were controlled by civilian and political bodies? How did the
21 Presidency establish control, exercise control if they never went into the
22 field? Can you explain this?
23 A. A while ago I said that the Ministry of Defence never went into
24 the field. But the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina did. On countless
25 occasions, Alija Izetbegovic, the president of the Presidency of Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina, visited the units of my corps. He came to my corps
2 command and even went to the front line in the vicinity, he even went to
3 the front line or a few hundred metres from the front line and he even
4 went to the front line itself, at the Zuc feature in Sarajevo. He went to
5 visit the soldiers in the first trenches. And I can claim that that was
6 also the case with the second member of the Presidency of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mirko Pejanovic. He also went to the corps command on
8 countless occasions. He didn't go to the front line that often but he did
9 that on a couple of occasions too. And the Croat, the third member of the
10 Presidency, Kljujic also did that on a few occasions.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
12 President Izetbegovic visited you on a number of occasions. As part of
13 your responsibilities as the corps commander, did you feel that the
14 supreme political authority was perfectly well informed of what was
15 happening in the field?
16 A. I can't confirm that. I wouldn't say that they were perfectly
17 well informed. Had they been perfectly well informed, they wouldn't have
18 come to visit the unit. The reason for such visits was usually to
19 discover what the situation was like in the units, to find out the truth
20 about the situation. The Supreme Command was perhaps informed in general
21 terms with regard to the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina and its relation
22 to international bodies. But as to the situation at the front lines in
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Supreme Command came to such information through
24 the Main Staff.
25 Very often groups of various people were formed. There would be a
1 member of the Presidency at its head and they would then go to visit
2 units, or rather the corps, especially in 1994 and 1995, there would be
3 members of the Main Staff with them and there would be the corps
4 commanders and his assistants, there were such visits.
5 The Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina as the supreme commander of
6 the army had contact with the prime minister. The prime minister did his
7 work in the sense that he would supply or obtain food for the army, for
8 the civilians. But as far as military issues are concerned, the Supreme
9 Command had contact with the command of the Main Staff and the Main Staff
10 had contact with the corps commanders.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for that information.
12 I would now like to go down to the level of operations in the field.
13 There are a number of situations. We have offensive operations, defensive
14 operations or operations to hold the lines facing the enemy. So we have
15 various situations. If there is an event, if for example the enemy
16 attacks the unit in the field which is engaged in military terms by the
17 enemy, how does it draft a report on the situation for its superior. Can
18 you tell us how information is circulated in such situations and how
19 information is forwarded up the chain of command? Let's take a basic
20 unit, part of a company is attacked by the enemy. What happens in such a
22 A. We are talking about a minor attack by the enemy. In such an
23 attack, the platoon commander, if his platoon was attacked he will report
24 to his company commander, because there is no way for him to report to
25 anybody else. The company commander reports to the battalion commander.
1 It was very uncommon for a company commander to be able to report to
2 somebody else, save for his head of municipality, and there are such cases
3 especially during the first months of the war.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If the attack is of a large
5 scale rather than a minor attack, which might result in the line being
6 broken through, and if there is danger facing other units as well, will
7 the corps commander be aware -- made aware of that?
8 A. If the attack is of a larger scale, which means that an entire
9 brigade has been attacked or even more than one brigade, then this is a
10 very serious situation and the corps commander has to be informed about
11 such a situation because this will require a much bigger engagement of all
12 the parts of the corps. The attack in this case involves a bigger line
13 and engages more than one brigade. The corps commander will then alert
14 his entire chain of command, all of his subordinates and he has to start
15 thinking at the operational level.
16 For example, if this happened in Turbe near Travnik in the area of
17 the 3rd Corps, for example if Travnik and Bugojno have come under attack,
18 the corps commander immediately has to start thinking where another attack
19 may ensue. Because when the enemy launches an attack, it will not happen
20 only on one axis. The attack will be gradual and it will attempt to
21 engage the entire 3rd Corps.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's talk about a different
23 situation. For example, the corps is engaged in an offensive operation.
24 The corps starts moving forward in order to take the positions which are
25 occupied by the enemy, again we're talking about a large-scale operation.
1 At which moment, at the end of the operation, is the -- the outcome of the
2 operation evaluated?
3 A. At the moment when the person who issued the order to start the
4 attack or assault, when that person issues an order to stop such an
5 operation, this is when the evaluation starts. Depending on the scale of
6 this attack, which may last anything between a couple of hours to a couple
7 of weeks, when this stops and the attack has to be stopped at one point,
8 then the results are evaluated in terms of the success of this operation.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The evaluation of the results,
10 is it done in a direct contact between the corps commander and commanders
11 of his brigades?
12 A. Yes, more or less this is how it's done. After the end of such an
13 attack, the corps commander gathers a number of his assistants and
14 commanders of the units which participated in the attack. And they are
15 gathered. There is a debriefing. And the debriefing will go along these
16 lines: I started the attack at this and that hour. The attack lasted for
17 two hours. I took certain facilities. I took a certain line. And there
18 are also assistants who follow all that and they enter all that
19 information into the maps which exist in the operation centre. I had
20 problems and finally the commanders who participated in the attack will
21 come forth with some requests.
22 For example, I request a certain number of additional men because
23 I had so many dead and wounded. I request replenishment of food,
24 ammunition, fuel and so on and so forth.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If there is collateral damage
1 during the attack, if there are civilian casualties, would such collateral
2 damage be assessed and would the corps commander ask about the sources of
3 such collateral damage, or not? When I say "collateral damage," I mean
4 houses that had been torched, shells falling where they shouldn't have
5 fallen, civilians who were killed during the armed conflict.
6 A. In most cases, yes. If collateral damage has been noticed and
7 recorded, yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And now I would move on to
9 another problem. When there were foreigners, volunteers, people who came
10 from Arabic and African countries according to you were the foreigners,
11 from Bosnia-Herzegovina, people who came from all over the place in order
12 to help the BiH army, did you, in your corps, have anybody from abroad
13 that served in the area of your responsibility?
14 A. In my corps, I didn't have any such people. Anybody carrying
15 arms, anybody engaged in any shape or form together with my units, under
16 my command, no. I didn't have such men.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But what about other corps? Did
18 you have any information about the possibility of foreigners being on the
19 strength of other units? For example, a witness testified here - and I am
20 speaking from memory - this witness said there was a Russian doctor who
21 was a member of a unit. Were there foreigners who might have been engaged
22 in the BiH army?
23 A. Now that you have put this second question to me, I can tell that
24 I was not correct in my first answer. When I said that there were no such
25 men in my corps I men that there were no larger groups, there were no
1 groups of five, ten, or larger groups of such men. I did have one case in
2 my corps, however, in 1992, a German came, either through UNPROFOR or I
3 don't know how. He was a German who came to Sarajevo and he became a
4 member of the 102nd motorised brigade in Stup, S-t-u-p, in the western
5 part of Sarajevo and he fought as a foot soldier for a year and after that
6 he was killed and we know exactly where his grave is in Sarajevo. These
7 were individual cases to which I don't assign any significance.
8 What I meant when I gave you my first answer was that there are no
9 larger groups of such men. There are no larger groups of men of that sort
10 in the 1st, 2nd, or 4th, or 5th Corps the only exception being the 3rd
11 corps, as far as I know.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On several occasions you
13 mentioned the issue of weapons. In your report in paragraph 104 you
14 mention the types of weapons that existed in the JNA. For example, you
15 mentioned tanks, and you say that the JNA had 2.100 tanks, 2.000 pieces of
16 artillery pieces and so on and so forth. In paragraph 331 of your report,
17 again you are talking about weapons and you mention weapons in paragraph
18 111. However, in your report we did not come across a precise figure, or
19 no figure at all about the weaponry at the disposal of the BiH army.
20 Could you just briefly tell us whether the BiH army had tanks as far as
21 you know? Did you have tanks?
22 A. Let me just give you a brief introduction and then I will move on
23 to tanks. When it comes to the JNA weaponry, I used certain sources and I
24 also used sources when I spoke about the BiH army. I don't know whether
25 this information is precise, whether these sources were accurate.
1 Secondly, the BiH army was on my mind when I was preparing this
2 report and I did have an overview of the BiH army weapons, and I took the
3 year 1993 as an example, and I also singled out a 3rd Corps. However, it
4 is very difficult for me to give you any of the figures off my head.
5 Now, tanks. The BiH army did have tanks. However, if we look at
6 the situation in different corps, the 1st Corps which had over 70 or
7 75.000 men, throughout the entire war I had no more than five tanks.
8 The -- and I also captured seven new tanks towards the end of
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there were no more than five?
11 A. Three could be used. Two could never be used.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I will come back to that in a
13 minute. In paragraph 369 you are talking about the problem of the fifth
14 column. What is the fifth column?
15 A. Historically speaking, the fifth column first came about during
16 the Second World War, if not before. And historically speaking I believe
17 that the history books say that the fifth column first came into existence
18 in the former Yugoslavia north of Belgrade. And at that time the fifth
19 column implied people who collaborated directly with the Nazi troops. And
20 this notion still exists in Bosnia and Herzegovina, when we say the fifth
21 column, we mean people, groups of people or individuals who collaborate
22 with the enemy and who can be found in the area of responsibility of the
23 BiH army or under the control of various corps of the BiH army.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The last time when we had a map
25 or a relief at our disposal in the courtroom, you explained what the
1 situation was on the ground. And in my view the situation was very
2 complicated and complex. At one point you told us that there was a man
3 whose name was Fikret Abdic. Who is that man? What did he represent what
4 is he a threat what kind of threat was he? It was then that we heard, for
5 the first time his name. It was the first time for me to hear his name.
6 Who is that person, Fikret Abdic?
7 A. I will try to be very brief and up to the point. Fikret Abdic was
8 a person who was engaged in politics before the war. At the very
9 beginning of the war, in the elections that took place in 1990, he got a
10 majority of votes and he was supposed to be elected in place of Alija
11 Izetbegovic. When Alija Izetbegovic was captured in Lukavica near
12 Sarajevo, as he was returning from negotiations abroad, at that moment he
13 wanted to carry out a putsch in the state.
14 His intention was to keep Bosnia and Herzegovina in the greatest
15 Serbia, although he is a Muslim, Bosniak by ethnic origin. After that, he
16 was eliminated from the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He returned
17 to his native Krajina, which is the north-western part of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the name of the place is Velika Kladusa in the
19 north-western part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
20 Before the war, he was a prominent person in his area. He was a
21 well-known businessman. Since he didn't agree with Alija Izetbegovic and
22 his policies, he, as a Bosniak Muslim, established his own army which
23 consisted of Bosniaks and Muslims and he proclaimed this part of territory
24 his own autonomous region called Western Bosnia.
25 I'm referring to the north-western part that was coloured
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 differently in one of my annexes. This was in the area of responsibility
2 of the 5th Corps of the BiH army, which was headquartered in Bihac.
3 Fikret Abdic directly collaborated with Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade and
4 Franjo Tudjman in Zagreb. He had direct contacts with the two of them,
5 and he worked directly with the army of the Republika Srpska and the HVO.
6 He established an army, as I already told you, and he had several thousand
7 troops. I don't know how many. Maybe even more than I think he did.
8 During the year 1993, when there was fighting in Central Bosnia
9 with the HVO and the Republika Srpska army, he also activated his troops
10 in Krajina and he wanted to be become the third enemy to the BiH army. I
11 can tell you that when he was engaged in fighting against the 5th Corps of
12 the BiH army, several thousand men got killed on both sides. Fikret Abdic
13 had also established camps, detainee camps. After the war, when the war
14 was over, he moved to Croatia. He took Croatian citizenship and he did
15 that with the support of the Croatian president Franjo Tudjman. There
16 were criminal charges against him by The Hague Tribunal, and The Hague
17 Tribunal then agreed that Fikret Abdic should be tried in Croatia, in
19 A few years ago he was sentenced to a prison sentence of 20 years.
20 And a few months ago, there was another hearing on appeal and I believe
21 that his sentence was reduced from 20 years to 15 years in prison. And
22 currently he is serving his prison sentence in the Republic of Croatia.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 It is 10.32, we shall have our first break. After the break I
25 will have only two more questions and then I will give the floor to the
1 parties. We shall resume at around 11 o'clock.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.03 a.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a few more questions, but
5 we should be able to proceed very rapidly.
6 General, in paragraph 312 you mentioned the fact that the command
7 post, the forward command post of the Supreme Command at Mount Igman had
8 opinion captured. That is in paragraph 312. With regard to forward
9 command posts, could you tell us how many elements it contains. Is the
10 forward command post positioned as close as possible to the enemy and is
11 the purpose of a forward command post the possibility of obtaining
12 relevant information, is that the purpose for a forward command post?
13 When the command post at Mount Igman was captured, where was it
14 transferred? And secondly, can you describe a command post for us, how
15 many men did it consist of and could you provide us with any other
16 relevant information.
17 A. Your question in fact contains the answer. Most of the answer is
18 implicit in your question. A forward command post, any command at any
19 level forms a forward command post for the reasons that you have just
20 mentioned in your question. The main reasons for forming a forward
21 command post are as follows: To approach, to have a certain number of
22 officers from the command in the vicinity of the front line in order to
23 see what the situation is, how the situation develops and in order to
24 control all the combat activities in that area, in the area covered by the
25 forward command post.
1 The senior officer to forward command post usually has direct
2 contact with the commander of the unit representing him at the forward
3 command post. If the corps commander establishes a forward command post,
4 then the command of the forward command post is in direct contact with the
5 corps commander. Since in paragraph 312 I mentioned one such command post
6 in 1992 on Mount Igman, in military terms it should be just a forward
7 command post, but in terms of the number of men and in terms of the way in
8 which this group of three officers operated, it would be difficult to
9 claim that this was in fact a forward command post because a forward
10 command post requires more men. You need at least one officer from each
11 sector, from each body of the corps command, if the corps command is
12 deploying a forward command post.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. My penultimate
14 question, which is rather long. If necessary, note down the paragraphs
15 I'm going to quote. This question will be almost as long as the questions
16 put to you by Mr. Bourgon, but I don't think that it will be longer than
17 his questions.
18 Paragraph 625. You mentioned three events, Totic's kidnapping in
19 April in 1993. Six Croats in Miletici who were killed and the kidnapping
20 and murdering of a number of individuals on the 8th of June 1993.
21 Individuals who had been escorted by the 306th brigade. That is what you
22 said in paragraph 625.
23 Paragraph 629, in that paragraph you explained that the corps
24 commander was not responsible for the activities of individuals or groups
25 of individuals. Further on, you explained what the corps commander had to
1 do. In paragraph 634, you said that the corps commander had to obtain as
2 much information as possible on individuals, weapons, resources, et
4 In paragraph 635 you said that the corps commander had to inform
5 his superiors of the presence of these individuals. In paragraph 639, you
6 also said that if the activities of such individuals had an affect on the
7 corps's mission, the commander had to consult his superior command and
8 take measures to deal with the problem that had arisen. With regard to
9 these events Totic, Miletici, and the 8th of June, 1993, you said, in
10 relation to Totic, in paragraph 644 an order was issued to the military
11 police to cooperate with HVO military police and with the civilian police
12 in Zenica. As far as Miletici is concerned, you said in paragraph 646
13 that measures were taken in order to obtain information on their
14 activities and you said that the corps commander had informed the Supreme
15 Command at a meeting.
16 As far as Maline is concerned, in paragraph 647 you said that on
17 the 13th of June General Hadzihasanovic wrote a report and forwarded it to
18 the Supreme Command, a report in which the presence of the Mujahedin was
19 mentioned. And you said that he received an order to disarm them or to
20 send them to Mount Igman.
21 So my question is as follows: With regard to these three events,
22 Totic, the five Croats in Miletici and the people who were kidnapped on
23 the 8th of June 1993, you said in your report - and perhaps this is
24 something you referred to elsewhere too, but I would like to hear about
25 this - you said that at no point in time was the intervention of the
1 civilian authorities mentioned as a possibility. The civilian authorities
2 were not involved in these three events, with the exception perhaps of
3 Totic, in which case the civilian police conducted an investigation with
4 the military police. But in two other cases the civilian authorities are
5 not referred to.
6 Did you simply fail to mention them? Is this an omission? Or is
7 this a result of certain other circumstances? How is it that the civilian
8 authorities were not mentioned in your report? Could you provide us with
9 an explanation of any kind. And in your zone of responsibility, did you
10 ever have contact with the civilian authorities in order to conduct
11 investigations into certain events, certain activities? How would you
12 analyse situation?
13 A. With regard to the events when the civilian authorities intervened
14 or the civilian police, these events have been mentioned and enumerated,
15 that's a positive example. And it's good in terms of the way in which the
16 overall social system functioned or rather defence system in the state of
18 In the case of the events where no reference was made to this or
19 when there was only a brief reference, well, for example, in Mehurici
20 there was a forward civilian police station, if I may call it in that way,
21 that in fact it was just there as a passive observer. In other events
22 there is no reference to such bodies, since this was never the case. It
23 was only subsequently, if commissions were formed in someone from the
24 civilian organs or bodies participated as a member in the commission when
25 the consequences of certain events were subsequently established, either
1 in Miletici or Maline. And that's where the problem lies.
2 There were foreigners, such as they were, and the 3rd Corps of the
3 ABiH had no power over them, was not responsible for them and they were
4 present in the territory of the zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps.
5 But I said that the entire territory was not covered by the corps. So
6 it's not only that they weren't responsible for the appearance of these
7 foreigners, but they also weren't responsible for the civilian police or
8 the civilian protection or for the political bodies that were there, et
9 cetera, et cetera.
10 On the other hand, the civilian authorities, those who had
11 political power, and those who were in control of the civilian police were
12 more or less passive in relation to foreign combatants. The question is,
13 why? If I tried to answer the question I might be biased because I don't
14 have reliable information and I don't have such information because I
15 still don't know who these foreigners were, where they came from, what
16 their real names were, what their objective was, why they had come to
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, what they wanted, who sent them, and where they are
18 today, at least most of them. To this very day, this is still a riddle
19 throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina and beyond.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for that answer. My
21 last question is as follows: A number of witnesses who have appeared here
22 before you mentioned that there were investigations that had been
23 successfully conducted that related to individuals who handed themselves
24 over to the commission for violations. The witnesses mentioned three
25 examples. One concerns the green league, there were members of the 314th
1 brigade, elements from the 7th brigade, that were part of what one witness
2 called "the mountain guerilla," and reference was also made to the
3 "Turkish guerilla." Foreigners who had handed themselves over for the
4 Commission for Crimes or Misdemeanours, and the witnesses told us the
5 military police, thanks to the investigations carried out and thanks to
6 the military logistics, made it possible for these individuals to be
7 arrested, especially members of the Turkish guerilla who were apparently
8 individuals carrying arms and they were neutralised.
9 In response to a question you said that the army was not capable
10 of carrying out military operations against the Mujahedin. It was not in
11 a position to do that. But you yourself, at the head of the 1st Corps,
12 you said that you carried out an operation, a military operation against
13 two brigades or the leaders of two brigades. So my question is as
14 follows, in purely military terms, leaving aside all political or other
15 considerations, in purely military terms, in 1993, was the ABiH in a
16 position to neutralise 10 or 100 individuals if these individuals only had
17 light arms, rifles, assault rifles, revolvers of various kinds, et cetera.
18 Did the ABiH, or was the ABiH capable of neutralising such individuals, or
19 not. It seems a few days ago you said this was not possible. In military
20 terms could you tell us whether it was possible, or not. And a minute ago
21 you also said that the army had five tanks. Everyone knows the sort of
22 damage that a tank can cause. So in military terms, was it possible for
23 the army to neutralise these individuals, or not? Or was the problem of
24 an entirely different kind?
25 A. This is a very complex question.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That's why I have put it to you.
2 A. First of all, if I may reply briefly by saying that I was not
3 exclusive when I said that the ABiH army could not institute measures
4 against the foreigners. I said that under the circumstances it would have
5 been very difficult for the 3rd Corps or the army to do that. I did not
6 rule out that possibility completely, as you have put it.
7 In order to be very clear, let me say this. During the year 1993,
8 the BiH army had five corps and I will repeat the first one was in
9 Sarajevo, the second one in Tuzla, the third one in Zenica, the fourth in
10 Mostar, and the fifth in Bihac. Up to the year 1994, that is the summer
11 of 1994, there was no possibility whatsoever and there was no cooperation
12 or assistance between the various corps of the BiH army.
13 This is a very important fact. This was not possible for several
14 reasons, and such a cooperation was not in place. It was only in the
15 summer 1994 and throughout 1995 when the conditions were put in place for
16 one corps assisting another corps by way of resubordination of some of its
17 units. In 1993, this was not feasible. This was not possible. And it
18 wasn't done. I am saying this because we are dealing with the notion of
19 the BiH army and now we're talking only about the 3rd Corps and the zone
20 of responsibility of this corps and its units. This corps could not have
21 been assisted by anybody in the year 1993. They could not have been
22 assisted with a single soldier, a single rifle, a single tank.
23 Secondly, you said that the BiH army had five or seven tanks. It
24 was not the army. My corps had the tanks, that's what I said in my
25 answer. We had five tanks, three of which could be used and I captured
1 the additional seven towards the end of 1994. The tanks that I had at my
2 disposal in 1993, three usable and five on the stock, they were in the
3 town of Sarajevo. And they did not mean a thing to the 3rd Corps. They
4 could not leave Sarajevo. I don't know how many tanks the 3rd Corps had.
5 Very few, I presume. A couple maybe. And I'm not taking into account any
6 of the other armourment. Whatever there was, it was not available to the
7 3rd Corps. And as for the 3rd Corps and its overall situation that
8 prevailed and I tried to explain to you, with the use of the map, the
9 relief, and the slides that I showed to you, illustrates the most
10 difficult year when they had to man lines facing the Republika Srpska
11 army, when they had a number of Croatian enclaves within its zone of
12 responsibility, when it had a large fifth column in its zone of
13 responsibility and, on top of that, they had Fikret Abdic in Western
15 What I did in Sarajevo with my two brigades is not important. I
16 was very precise when I said that it was much easier for me to do that
17 because my two brigades in Sarajevo covered two neighbourhoods in the town
18 of Sarajevo. And I knew exactly where the commands of those brigades
19 were, where the commands of their subordinate battalions were, and other
20 units within those brigades and so on and so forth.
21 I had all of that information, all of the information. When I
22 launched an attack, it was in a limited area, in a limited zone. And in
23 addition to that, in Sarajevo, I had enough men. I had even too many men.
24 When the tunnel was made, I could send my men on a daily basis from
25 Sarajevo to fight on the outer circle of Sarajevo. I had many more men in
1 Sarajevo than outside Sarajevo and I was able to do that.
2 However, the command of the 3rd Corps had a different problem. In
3 1993 his troops were stretched to the maximum and because he was attacked
4 from all sides, and because he had about 400 kilometres of line facing the
5 Republika Srpska army, and the HVO and given the number of troops that he
6 had in his corps, he could not secure his line of defence by deploying one
7 soldier at every ten metres of his defence line, and he could not expect
8 assistance from anybody.
9 In addition to that, there was no cooperation or practically no
10 cooperation between the 3rd Corps and the civilian police. Enver
11 Hadzihasanovic, as the corps commander, had very little information about
12 foreign citizens. He didn't know who they were, where they came from, and
13 where they were located. A group would appear in Mehurici, another one
14 would appear in Miletici, a third one would appear in Zenica. They
15 captured Totic and then another group appeared in Travnik. It was a very
16 complex and complicated situation for a corps commander. A military is an
17 instrument which calls for a clarity of a vision in order to launch an
18 which calls for a clarity, a vision in order to launch an operation. The
19 troops and their commanders are not allowed to embark on any random
20 adventures, so to speak. And, if I may add another sentence, please.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, go ahead.
22 A. In my view, engaging a number of military police and special
23 units, companies or platoons in order to arrest them in such a huge area
24 from Zenica to Travnik, this would have called for a lot of energy and a
25 lot of troops without a certain outcome. He wouldn't know how many troops
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 he might have lost. He did not have the approval from the top political
2 echelons like I had in Sarajevo.
3 In Sarajevo, the Supreme Command ordered me to cooperate with the
4 civilian police. He did not have such instructions there.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You've mentioned the green light
6 by the Supreme Command that you had in Sarajevo. In paragraph 648, you
7 mention an order that was sent by the Supreme Command, either to send the
8 Mujahedin to Mount Igman or to disarm them. What -- was that the green
9 light for an action against them? How would you analyse this order? You
10 saw that order because you mentioned it in paragraph 648. How would you
11 analyse this? Is this the green light? Or is this a pre-order which
12 calls for a military reaction? How would you analyse this document?
13 A. First of all, I don't have those documents here. I would like to
14 show it to you, but I have it in Sarajevo. The order that I received from
15 the supreme corps and the Main Staff when I was supposed to send out my
16 two brigades on the 26th of October, 1993. This is an entirely different
17 situation to the order that was given to the 3rd Corps commander by the
18 Supreme Command to either disarm foreigners or to send them to Mount
19 Igman. How did I understand this order?
20 My understanding of this order was as follows, and I will try to
21 be very short and up to the point. Why did the Supreme Command issue that
22 order? Because the 3rd Corps commander complained on a number of
23 occasions, and he asked for assistance. He asked for the problems of
24 foreign citizens to be resolved by civilian police, primarily. However,
25 this did not bear any fruit. He put it on paper as well, although he
1 didn't do it willingly, I suppose. Because he wrote about something that
2 was not part of his mission and still it posed him a lot of problem in
3 carrying out his mission. Due to the lack of information about foreign
4 citizens that one should have had in order to deal with that problem, in
5 the document that the 3rd Corps commander sent to the Main Staff there is
6 a lack of information based on that scarce information the 3rd Corps
7 commander -- the supreme commander sent this document to the 3rd Corps
8 commander. The document that you're talking about. That's how I analyse
10 The problem of foreign citizens was not taken seriously, I
11 believe. Not because the commander of the Main Staff was not serious, but
12 because nobody had the exact information as to how the -- how serious the
13 problem was in the first place. I said the other day that this order
14 looked to me as a formal order and it was drafted in that sense by the
15 commander of the Main Staff. He ordered the 3rd Corps commander to disarm
16 those people or to send them to Igman. I see this like a situation when
17 two people meet each other or come across each other at a traffic light
18 and they don't have the time to discuss an issue at great length, so they
19 say something to each other just passing by. He probably believed that
20 there were very few such people, but that was not the case.
21 In addition to that, the commander of the Main Staff should not
22 have taken upon himself the responsibility of issuing such a document. He
23 should have asked the Supreme Command to do that or the Presidency of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He should have waited for them to issue an order to
25 the civilian police and to himself, and then the civilian police with the
1 security service of the 3rd Corps should have gathered enough information,
2 they should have located these people and so on and so forth. And after
3 that the order should have been issued and the action should have been
4 launched to eliminate that. However, this would have been a lengthy
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you for your answer. I'm
7 now going to ask the Prosecution if they wish to ask any additional
8 questions and then I'm going to give the floor to the Defence.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. We do have a few
10 additional questions that arise from those put by Your Honour to the
12 Further cross-examination by Mr. Mundis:
13 Q. General, earlier this morning reflected at page 14, lines 3 and 4
14 of the transcript, you were answering a question about the quality of, or
15 the level of training and professionalism of soldiers in the ABiH. And
16 part of your answer was as follows: "Most of the officers were not
17 trained, were not professionals, were not skillful."
18 And my question to you, sir, is: Would you include
19 General Hadzihasanovic as being among the officers who were not trained,
20 not professional, and not skilled?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Would you include Brigadier Kubura among the officers who were not
23 professional, not trained, or not skillful?
24 A. No, I wouldn't, but just a little remark. Both of them were
25 relatively young for the positions that they held. They had enough
1 knowledge that they acquired in the previous army. I would have to
2 calculate to see how old Brigadier Kubura was when he was appointed the
3 brigade commander. I believe that he was in his 30s. He was very young.
4 In the previous army, for somebody to become a brigade commander
5 under the age of 40, it was not possible. And the same goes for
6 General Hadzihasanovic. And in that sense, they did lack certain
7 experience for command activities and I was the same case. I am even
8 younger than General Hadzihasanovic, but I'm talking about them.
9 This is what we lacked. We lacked experience, but we gained
10 experience in practice, so to speak. I was talking generally and I
11 said "no" because all of us officers were formed and trained in the BiH
12 army. And the officers, like me, they're only about two and a half per
13 cent in the entire BiH army and if I, as the corps commander, was an ideal
14 professional, but if all the other of my officers were not the same, then
15 I, at the top, would mean very -- very -- would mean very little, because
16 I as an individual without the support of my subordinate officers, could
17 not do anything on my own.
18 Let me give you an example. I had two brigade commanders in
19 Sarajevo, in Dobrinja, D-o-b-r-i-n-j-a, and later on one of the brigade
20 commanders in Hrasnica became a division commander in Sarajevo when I
21 established three divisions in my corps. One of my divisions was in
22 Sarajevo and two were outside of Sarajevo. This person in Sarajevo,
23 Fikret Prevljak, and the brigade commander of that division in Sarajevo
24 Ismet Hadzic, were civilians. One of them was a policeman before the war
25 he was Fikret Prevljak, and Ismet Hadzic was a religious official before
1 the war. They had only secondary school degrees.
2 At the beginning of the war, they proved themselves to be very
3 good fighters and they were able to lead the troops in the defence of the
4 town. The brigades were formed and later on I had problems with them when
5 I gave them command positions because they could not carry out my orders
6 precisely. And they had direct contacts with the president of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina or some other people. They bypassed me. In 1995, at
8 one point, they made such a huge mistake that I, as the corps commander,
9 decided to remove them from their respective positions. Both Fikret
10 Prevljak and Ismet Hadzic, as division commander and brigade commander
11 respectively, and I did that with the approval of Rasim Delic. And I
12 instituted criminal proceedings against both of them with the military
13 district court in Sarajevo. At the same time I issued an order appointing
14 people as acting commanders until the moment I was able to appoint new
16 Two days later President Izetbegovic requested that my order
17 should be made null and void, my order on their removal from their
18 respective positions. On the order of President Izetbegovic,
19 General Delic made my decision null and void, because he could do that.
20 He had the right to do that. They were returned to their respective
21 duties. However, the criminal proceedings that I instituted with the
22 military district court could not be made null and voided, because it was
23 within my exclusive purview. And in order for this to be made null and
24 void and for them not to be prosecuted by the military district I had to
25 be removed from my position of the corps commander and this was done a
1 month later. And which I was replaced by a new commander, he then decided
2 to cancel the criminal proceedings before the military district court.
3 I'm just giving you one example which is corroborated by all the relevant
4 documents in the archives of the BiH army.
5 Q. General Karavelic, I appreciate that answer and I also the example
6 you've given. Sir, I think all of us here in the courtroom would like to
7 get you back home as quickly as possible, so I'm going to ask you if you
8 could try to keep the answers as short as possible, because once I'm done
9 both of the defence teams will have a further opportunity. And if --
10 if -- if we need an example, I will certainly ask you if you can recall an
12 But let me ask you this, with respect to the situation in the 3rd
13 Corps. You have -- both in your written report and in your testimony, you
14 have demonstrated the extremely complex and extremely difficult conditions
15 that existed in the 3rd Corps during 1993. Let me ask you this, sir. Did
16 the situation, during 1993, in Central Bosnia, in the 3rd Corps area of
17 responsibility, did the situation completely collapse?
18 A. This is a very good question, if I may say so. In my view, in
19 the summer of 1993, the situation in Central Bosnia was such as it was and
20 it ended at the top of the pyramid of the state in both political and
21 military terms. I'm talking about an Egyptian pyramid and I am talking
22 about its top, and it was just a matter of time or a new political or
23 military event for the situation to change for the better, or for the
24 disappearance of the BiH army and the Bosnian state. Luckily enough the
25 situation changed for the better, or started changing for the better.
1 Q. I guess that's my point, General. The fact that the corps had the
2 3rd Corps had, as you've told us, some officers who weren't fully trained
3 who lacked experience, who lacked certain skills, the fact of the matter
4 is that the 3rd Corps of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not collapse
5 during 1993 and they were successful in defending that territory and
6 holding that territory throughout 1993, notwithstanding the fact that
7 within that corps there were individuals who lacked experience, who lacked
8 professional training, and who lacked the requisite military skills that
9 one would have hoped for in a peacetime corps structure and organisation.
10 Would you agree with that?
11 A. Generally speaking, this is close to my way of thinking. But
12 there were two reasons for that, two key reasons for that. The first one
13 is the fact that these people, these officers starting with the corps
14 commander and other people in the chain of command, who were aware of the
15 situation and who were aware that this was the top of the pyramid, that
16 this was the make or break of the situation, they worked around the clock
17 and working around the clock they could put as many as 72 hours into the
18 24 hours that they worked. They made huge sacrifices. They worked very
19 hard and that is the case. I'm not being biased when I say that, because
20 this is not the case. The case is what I'm talking about.
21 And the second reason is the fact that the 3rd Corps, at that time
22 realised that it was at the top of the pyramid and that it decided to
23 embark on the process to re sol of the situation with the HVO. If this
24 had not been done, if it did not create the real situation with the HVO,
25 if they hadn't asked them whether they were the enemy or an ally, and if
1 this had not been done in Central Bosnia, if the situation had not been
2 clarified, if the new lines of defence facing the HVO and the Republika
3 Srpska army had not been established, and they should have been only so
4 lucky to be able to do that with the foreigners, and that is when the
5 situation started changing for the better, gradually, step by step.
6 Q. But again sir my only point is, that the 3rd Corps, despite all
7 the problems and despite all the complexities, the 3rd Corps held its
8 ground. The territory in the 3rd Corps area of responsibility did not,
9 for the most part, fall into the hands of either the HVO or the VRS in
11 A. Excellent. In one of my annexes a few days ago I mentioned the
12 objective of the Republika Srpska army in 1993 and the objective of the
13 HVO, and you may have seen in one of the annexes when one of the colours
14 changes into another colour. The Republika Srpska army in the course of
15 1993 took upon itself the task to act together with the HVO and to focus
16 on eastern Bosnia on the entire eastern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina from
17 the south to the north, from Bijeljina and down to Dubrovnik, to
18 Trebinje. And that is what they did. And as you have seen in the course
19 of 1993, you saw how much territory the Republika Srpska army occupied in
20 the eastern part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 How much territory they took from the ABiH? They took a lot of
22 territory. And they turned Gorazde and Zepa and Srebrenica into enclaves
23 in the course of 1993. And we reached an agreement with the HVO, they
24 said "the HVO should operate in the central part of Bosnia because we
25 share the same objective." And the HVO tried to do this in central part
1 of Bosnia. And the credit should be given to the 3rd Corps commander for
2 having recognised the fact, so the Republika Srpska army didn't attack the
3 3rd Corps to a significant extent because they had taken their forces to
4 eastern Bosnia and they were only holding lines towards the 3rd Corps
5 here. Because the HVO was to focus in on the territory of Central Bosnia
6 and the zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps and that is why I'm saying
7 that credit should be given to the 3rd Corps commander for having acted
8 without decision from the state leadership and in order to deal with the
9 situation. And they were very successful in dealing with the sayings.
10 Q. And just to follow up from the end of your last answer, you said
11 "credit should be given to the 3rd Corps commander for having acted
12 without decision from the state leadership and in order to deal with the
13 situation." Isn't that kind of autonomous, if you will, action; the type
14 of thing one would expect from a corps commander? Not to have to wait for
15 direction from the leadership?
16 A. When someone is to die, when someone drowns in a river or is
17 drowning in a river and is struggling to obtain enough oxygen to survive,
18 well I wouldn't say that that was the situation, but the situation was
19 similar to that kind of a situation. The political and military
20 leadership in April of 1992 said the HVO is an integral part of the armed
21 forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The HVO said "we won't recognize the
22 Territorial Defence and the armed forces of the legal government, the
23 legal state of Bosnia and Herzegovina." In spite of that fact, in August
24 1992 President Izetbegovic went to see Tudjman in Zagreb, went to see the
25 president of the Republic of Croatia. And together they reached an
1 agreement and Tudjman was allegedly to order the HVO in Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 to participate as a separate component on an equal footing with the ABiH,
3 and they were to form the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- they were
4 to be under the control of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina. And
5 I think that there is even a legal document to that effect.
6 However, these were just empty promises. And in fact it was an
7 attempt on the part of the Croatian leadership to gain time. Later on,
8 the leaders in Bosnia-Herzegovina felt that they could not declare that
9 Croatia or the HVO was an aggressor because then the political leadership
10 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the ABiH would have been encircled, fully
11 encircled. And it would only have been a matter of days as to when the
12 army and the political leadership and the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina
13 would disappear. So they could never tell the commander of the Main Staff
14 or the 3rd Corps commander that as of today you should consider the HVO as
15 the aggressor and that you should open fire on them. That was the reason,
16 because there would be -- they would have been acting against their own
17 interest. They would have condemned themselves to death.
18 That is why the 3rd Corps commander continually strove to avoid a
19 conflict with the HVO. He did everything that he could to avoid such a
20 conflict. He didn't want to open fire on them, although they were firing
21 on him and after, after Ahmici after such a serious, after such a
22 catastrophic crime had been committed, well to kill or to execute five
23 individuals is one thing. And to set people on fire is another thing. To
24 burn them to ashes is another thing. This is the highest form of
25 genocide, when you set people on fire, when you destroy everything. After
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 such an event the 3rd Corps commander took no action. He could not engage
2 in a conflict with the HVO. But when things came to a head in the summer
3 of 1993, when the HVO declared its intentions openly and we could see what
4 they wanted and they wanted to occupy Bosnia and divide Bosnia together
5 with the Republika Srpska army, well, this was the last straw, the last
6 drop. So then the 3rd Corps tried to deal with the situation and save the
7 corps, prevent the corps from completely falling apart.
8 Q. Thank you, General. Let me turn to a different topic. Earlier
9 this morning, and again this is page 22, lines 20 through 23, in response
10 to a question from the Presiding Judge, you told us about
11 President Izetbegovic visiting some of the positions held by units of the
12 1st Corps.
13 And my question to you, sir, is: Were you aware of any visits by
14 President Izetbegovic to the 3rd Corps area to include any of its
15 subordinate units during the period late 1992 or 1993?
16 A. I said that I know that in 1993 and later he visited the 1st
17 Corps, my corps. President Izetbegovic left Sarajevo and returned to
18 Sarajevo very frequently without my knowledge. I'm not sure whether this
19 should be said or not, but it's not a secret, he did it with Fikret
20 Prevljak, the commander of the division who I replaced, probably because
21 the president did not completely trust me, President Izetbegovic. I know
22 that later on, in 1994 and 1995, he visited all corps with the exception
23 of the 5th Corps. This was never concealed. This was always information
24 relayed by the television, by the radio. There was also information
25 provided on visits of the president of the state in order to raise combat
1 morale. There were such visits. I can't really tell you when and where,
2 but there were such visits. But in 1994 and 1995, they were particularly
4 Q. Well, General, I asked that because you've referred in your report
5 to having access to the Prosecution exhibits, and one of those exhibits is
6 actually a video segment which has been burned on to a CD. Did you look
7 at any of those videotape segments on any of the material that you were
8 provided by the Defence?
9 A. I saw some videos of conversations in which leaders of foreigners
10 were involved but I'm not quite sure what you're referring to.
11 Q. I will move on, sir. You mentioned -- this is the final area I
12 believe that I had a couple of questions about. You mentioned earlier on
13 a couple of occasions forward command posts. And you also, in passing,
14 mentioned, I believe, a Supreme Command Staff forward command post in
15 Kakanj, and I'm wondering if you can tell us when that forward command
16 post was established to the best of your recollection.
17 A. I know for sure that throughout 1992 and up until the summer of
18 1993 there was a forward command post of the Supreme Command Staff in
19 Visoko. And then after the tunnel had been made on the first of August,
20 1993 I believe that after that date in the second half of 1993 or at the
21 end of 1993, this forward command post in Visoko was transferred to Kakanj
22 and certain number of officers from the Supreme Command Staff in Sarajevo
23 went there via the tunnel. But it was established in Kakanj in the second
24 half of 1993 or later on, but I can't tell you when exactly. I don't know
25 the exact month.
1 Q. Thank you, General. The Prosecution has no further questions.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon.
3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation].
4 Further examination by Mr. Bourgon:
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. General, I would like to come back on
6 some of the questions which were posed to you by the Presiding Judge in
7 these proceedings. And the first issue I would like to cover is the
8 activities of a corps commander or the normal or typical day of a corps
10 My first question relates to the peacetime situation, when you
11 mentioned that the commander of the corps, when he arrives at work, after
12 receiving an oral report and then a written report which was waiting for
13 him on his desk, he would gather his assistants. I would just like to
14 confirm with you whether these assistants are his commanders or whether
15 they are his principal staff officers, meaning G1, G2, G3, G4, and G5.
16 Who are these assistants?
17 A. The latter. Assistants and commanders is two separate things.
18 Commanders of units are commanders of units. A commander of a brigade can
19 be far removed from the location of the corps command. So when I was
20 mentioning that meeting that the corps commander had in the morning his
21 assistants come from his command assistant for legal issues, the assistant
22 for morale, the Chief of Staff, the assistant from mobilisation and other
23 assistants. The assistant for logistics, et cetera, et cetera.
24 Q. Now, in your report, General, you have annexes 97, 98, 99, 100,
25 and 101, where you describe the role or the activities which are played by
1 the G1, G2, G3, G4, and G5. My first question to you is, this -- the use
2 of these acronyms from G1 to G 5, when did this begin and was this in use
3 in 1993?
4 A. No, it wasn't in use in 1993 and we started using this in
5 accordance with NATO standards only after the war.
6 Q. And the use of these acronyms from G1 to G5, is that standard use,
7 for example, in NATO, because you mentioned that you were trying to get
8 the best from the NATO military.
9 A. Yes, exactly.
10 Q. Now, you said that by 10.00 the commander would likely be
11 contacted by his commanders this time. And his commanders, you mentioned
12 brigade commanders, division commanders or Operational Group commanders.
13 I would just like to confirm so that the Trial Chamber is very clear, what
14 was the organisation initially when the 3rd Corps was created, what was
15 the structure, the unit structure. There was a change with the creation
16 of the Operational Groups. And in your report you mention that later
17 Operational Groups were replaced by divisions.
18 Can you just say from year to year what exactly was the structure
19 in the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina so that the Trial Chamber is clear
20 on this.
21 A. In 1992 and perhaps in part of 1993, all of the corps were
22 organised in terms of brigades, that means that they were composed of
23 brigades and of other smaller independent units in contact with the corps
24 command. The corps commander had direct contact with brigade commanders.
25 They had direct contact with the corps commander.
1 In the course of 1993 and in part of 1994, operative groups were
2 formed as temporary groups, and that means that in each operative group
3 there were a number of brigades, three, four, five or six brigades. And
4 each corps had roughly speaking two, three, or four operative groups.
5 Within that system of organisation, the commanders of OGs had direct
6 contact with the corps commander, or rather the corps commander in this
7 system of organisation had direct contact with the commanders of OGs. And
8 not with brigade commanders, because they were at a level which was
9 further down. In 1994 and 1995, OGs were transformed and they became
10 permanent groups called divisions.
11 Nothing in particular was changed within the context I have been
12 describing, the relationship between the division commander and the corps
13 commander remained the same. The corps commander still had direct contact
14 with the division commanders and that system remained in place up until
15 the end of the war, with the exception of the 5th Corps. That was a small
16 corps so it was organised in a somewhat different manner. But in all the
17 other corps, this is how the system was organised.
18 Q. Thank you, General. Now just to make clear while you're here,
19 because I want to make sure that the Trial Chamber understands the
20 difference between an Operational Group and a tactical group. Can you
21 explain the difference between the two for the benefit of the Trial
23 A. We're talking about OGs and tactical groups, was that your
25 Q. My question relates to, you gave a briefing to the Trial Chamber
1 and you mentioned at one point that a tactical group had been formed
2 within the 3rd Corps to launch combat activities in a specific area in the
3 Ovnak region. The tactical group that was formed then, where does that
4 stand in the structure so that we are -- we provide the maximum
5 information to the Trial Chamber.
6 A. A tactical group, are we excluding formations such as brigades and
7 OGs and divisions and corps. This is a structure within the vertical
8 organisation of the entire ABiH. A tactical group is similar to these
9 other bodies in terms of organisation, but a tactical group is formed for
10 a particular task, in order to carry out a particular task. Once the task
11 has been carried out all the units that are formed as a tactical group
12 return to their original units. A tactical group can be formed by a
13 commander of an OG or a commander of a division, and it can also be formed
14 by a corps commander or the Main Staff commander. It depends on who forms
15 the tactical group, at which level tactical group. But depending on who
16 forms it you have various levels of units that form the tactical group.
17 The size of the tactical group can vary. A tactical group is
18 established by order of a command, or groups of battalions can be part of
19 a tactical group, or brigades. A commander of a tactical group is
20 appointed. He is given a certain number of men from various units,
21 Able-bodied men and capable officers. A command post is formed. The
22 commanders of the units in the tactical group report to the commander of
23 the tactical group. They are given tasks, or a task, a combat task, carry
24 out the task, and once the task has been carried out the tactical group is
25 disbanded and a report is then sent to the person who established the
1 tactical group, or a report is sent to him on the task that has been
2 carried out.
3 Q. Thank you, General. I now move on to the wartime scenario, in
4 terms of a typical day of a commander. And you mentioned that the major
5 difference was that a commander of a corps in wartime does not know what
6 he will be doing the next day. And you also said that -- and you gave a
7 lot of information concerning where you slept during the four years that
8 you were a corps commander.
9 What I would like to know from you is, how many hours a night does
10 a corps commander sleep in wartime, and when you say that the commander
11 does not know what he will be doing the next day, can we reduce down to
12 the commander does not know what he will be doing the next two hours or
14 A. It depends on the degree of combat activities. Very often a corps
15 commander would find himself in the situation in which he wouldn't know
16 what he would be doing in the -- within the next couple of hours. That
17 was a very common situation. And when I look what I did - and again I
18 will go back to the issue of sleeping - I spent a lot of time sleeping in
19 various vehicles, in the jeep which was our command vehicle. I was
20 constantly on the move from one unit to another. I would sleep in the
21 vehicle, or if I was on the way to the central part of Bosnia, I would
22 sleep in the helicopter from Zenica to Tarcin, this area was accessible to
23 the helicopter. So I slept wherever I could.
24 Q. Thank you, General. Now, in respect of the time schedule of the
25 corps commander in wartime I would like you to -- you say that, or you
1 said that the corps commander would have to meet with civilians who would
2 come to his office or who would complain to politicians even though
3 that you-- the corps commander was not responsible for the problems they
4 brought to him.
5 Now, on the issue of civilians, did it happen to you or did you
6 meet with internationals or representatives of the international
7 community, and did that take a lot of your time as the corps commander?
8 A. I would like to give you an example. In one part of your
9 question, you mentioned the context of relationship between civilians and
10 the corps commander. For example, in June and August -- July and August,
11 1993, when I was to be appointed the commander of the 1st Corps, I was
12 amidst combat activities on the mountain of Igman near Sarajevo, and I
13 didn't know that I would be appointed a corps commander. I heard it on
14 the radio and I was surprised, I was taken by surprise.
15 Before that, I saw a list that my predecessor had, my predecessor
16 who wanted to be removed from the position of the corps commander. The
17 list contained the names of 20 people and it was drafted by somebody from
18 the Main Staff, or politicians and I was in the 20th place, the last
19 place. And the 19 preceding names were civilians, politicians.
20 Presidents of municipalities, ministers and so on and so forth. Later on
21 I found out that none of the 19 civilians on the list wanted to take the
22 responsibility of being the commander of the 1st Corps. And then an issue
23 was -- an order was issued saying: Karavelic, it is you. And that is the
25 Later on a number of these people who were involved in politics
1 and who were sitting in their offices or in the cellars, did the things
2 that I mentioned as an example. For example, presidents of municipalities
3 would give money to their respective brigades, bypassing me. I had
4 meetings with civilians. They wanted to meet with me. I would call such
5 meetings and those meetings were worthless. There were no results out of
6 these meetings. And I also had a number, a huge number of meetings with
7 international bodies and individuals representing international
8 organisations in Sarajevo in 1994 and 1995 I met with a number of
9 ambassadors who had arrived in Sarajevo. They came to my office with --
10 to meet me. I had a number of meetings with attaches of foreign embassies
11 and so on and so forth.
12 Q. Thank you, General. With respect to the activities of the corps
13 commander of course this would include the activities of the command of
14 the corps, and the expert for the Prosecution, General Reinhardt said
15 that, from his reading of the evidence, there were some down time in the
16 activities of the 3rd Corps where the corps could catch up and basically
17 had more time to look at routine matters going on in 1993.
18 Now, I would like to know, from you, from your reading of the
19 documents and the material that was given to you, whether you would agree
20 with General Reinhardt that there were such downtime or times where we
21 could catch up with routine activities in the 3rd Corps command.
22 A. If I understand your question well, I can say that from time to
23 time in other corps there were such intervals of low activity or no combat
24 activity. In my corps, in the 1st Corps, this happened very rarely, so
25 rarely that it's even not to be mentioned because there was constant
1 fighting around Sarajevo and in Sarajevo for years. And even if there
2 were such periods of low activity, every corps commander prayed to God for
3 such periods to happen so that he could catch up with things that he
4 couldn't do during the times of combat. And this was to do with the
5 manoeuvre and deployment of units, the logistics of his units and so on
6 and so forth.
7 Q. Now, my question in this respect, General, is, I would like to get
8 your opinion, as an expert, based on the material that you have seen, and
9 was the situation -- what was the situation like in the 3rd Corps command,
10 if you can tell from the documents that you've seen. Were there such
11 downtime or some times where they could catch up?
12 A. It's very hard for me to say that. In order for my answer to be
13 very precise, I would have to read all the reports of the corps command
14 sent from the operation centre on every day during these four years. I
15 have not read these reports. These reports cover the 24-hour periods
16 indicating the things that happened during those 24-hour periods. I
17 believe that there must have been such lower activity periods. There must
18 have been. But even when there were such periods, such short periods, the
19 corps commander and all the other commanders at lower levels tried to use
20 that time in order to deal with other numerous issues that were directly
21 related with the mission that either the corps of that particular unit
22 had. This had to do with providing for logistics, improving
23 communications in the corps, conversations and contacts with the civilian
24 bodies and institutions, meetings and briefings with their subordinates in
25 the command and in subordinate command; training, replenishment,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 reinforcement, ammunition, weapons, and so on and so forth.
2 Let me just give you an example. In 1993, I issued an order
3 according to which a group was established that was to go around Sarajevo
4 and put down all the traffic signs and iron gate around the sport centre
5 called Skenderija. I wanted to use the iron bars to cover them and have
6 hand grenades made out of them. I had to do that as the corps commander
7 there were similar such situations elsewhere, depending on the area. The
8 others had to do the same things.
9 Q. Just before the break I have a few questions after the break for
10 you, but just I would like to clarify one thing, because when you said
11 something about not reading the -- that you had not read these reports.
12 Now, I'm a bit surprised, because a lot of those reports were given to
13 you. Which ones did you not read? Or can you clarify this part. Maybe I
14 did not get it right in the interpretation.
15 A. I did not read all the reports issued by the operation centre of
16 the 3rd Corps command.
17 Q. You did not read -- you read those that you have, but there's some
18 that you did not have? I don't understand. I would like you to clarify
19 whether there are some that you did not have, or is it that you did not
20 read some of the material that you have?
21 A. Precisely what you say. When you asked me how many periods of low
22 activity there were in the 3rd Corps, I told you that I would have to
23 consult the reports issued from the 1st of January to the 31st of
24 December, 1993. And then I would be able to come up with the periods of
25 time when there was no combat engaging the 3rd Corps units. This is what
1 I said and this is why I told you that I cannot answer your question,
2 because it would be only these 24-hour reports that would give me an
3 insight into that.
4 Q. Thank you, General.
5 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I believe that it is
6 the time for another break. And after the break I believe that I will
7 need only 30 minutes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After the break we will have
9 only 45 minutes and you're saying that you need 30 minutes and I hope that
10 Mr. Dixon will not need more than 15 minutes in that case.
11 MR. DIXON: No, Your Honour. I will need only two minutes. There
12 is only one matter that we wish to clarify. Thank you.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We shall
14 resume at five to one.
15 --- Recess taken at 12.30 p.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.56 p.m.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Bourgon, you have 30
19 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
20 spoken with my client and with the General, and I will try to be as short
21 as possible.
22 Q. [In English] General, this is the last stretch. My next question
23 simply has to do with what you mentioned concerning the possibility for a
24 corps commander where he may have to "go on the spot," to use your own
25 words. And you mentioned that you yourself actually went very close to
1 the front lines and that you actually spoke to soldiers. Now in this
2 respect, I would like to know what, if you can make a difference between
3 the situation of the 1st Corps in this respect and the possibility for the
4 commander of the 3rd Corps to go to the front lines and, I would like you
5 to address, in this respect, the difference in size of the corps area and,
6 even more importantly, the difference in freedom of movement, whereas
7 whether it was possible for the 3rd commander to travel to the front line
8 and also if you can add rest the issue of the risk, whereby, is it better
9 for a corps commander to go himself or to send representatives due to the
10 risk of the commander being captured. Can you speak about this issue?
11 A. In principle commanders and particularly commanders of operations,
12 formations such as a corps, should spend most of the time in their main
13 command posts. I don't rule out a possibility of the corps commander
14 visiting his immediately subordinate units for a number of reasons.
15 However, in normal circumstances, it is very rare for a corps commander to
16 go to visit a brigade, battalion, a company, or a platoon. They simply
17 don't do that.
18 In the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the circumstances were
19 different and I myself had to do it in a number of situations. I simply
20 had to do it, to avoid disastrous consequences. And I did it of my own
21 accord. Nobody asked me to do that. I simply knew I had to do it. Very
22 often I would send somebody to represent me, but very often people on the
23 ground asked to see the commander and nobody else but the commander. And
24 in such cases no representative could do what I could do. At the same
25 time, it was not popular and it was not militarily feasible for the
1 commander -- for the corps commander to ramble around as he wanted. And
2 it was not good for them to be exposed to danger, to the danger of being
3 killed or to become a target of the fifth column or somebody else, of
4 being captured or stopped at checkpoints by somebody. All this would have
5 put the corps commander in the situation of being removed from his ranks
6 and from the corps, being left without a leader.
7 This is a very dangerous situation in the times of war, and that
8 is why the rules of service do not foresee such a situation, for a
9 situation in which the corps commander would be exposed to risks and
10 danger. However in Bosnia-Herzegovina, things were ought of the ordinary
11 and that's why I did the things that I did. I believe that the other
12 commanders did the same to a greater or lesser extent. Maybe I would have
13 done it even to a bigger extent, but every time did I it, I had a problem
14 leaving Sarajevo. I had to do it during the night.
15 When I used the tunnel under the airport in Sarajevo, I would
16 reach a slope at the foot of Igman, and this area was constantly shelled
17 by the enemy and nobody could cross it during the day. The 3rd Corps
18 commander had HVO checkpoints especially when they became engaged in
19 fighting against the HVO and all of these checkpoints posed a danger for
20 the corps commander to be captured or to be kidnapped, like Totic was in
21 Zenica. And this would not have been good for the 3rd Corps commander.
22 Q. Thank you, General. Specifically related question: When you said
23 that, in response to a question by the Presiding Judge, that it was not
24 possible for the corps commanders to meet before August of 1993 and you
25 said specifically that the commander of 5 Corps could never be there. In
1 very short terms, why could the commander of 5 Corps, why could he not be
3 A. Because in territorial terms, physically he was completely
4 separated from the territories of the other four corps. The 5th Corps was
5 in control of Bihac and its surroundings, the four or five municipalities,
6 the 6th was taken by Fikret Abdic and the only way he could access the
7 area was by means of the international forces' helicopter.
8 Q. Thank you, General. That meeting that you mentioned of the corps
9 commanders in August of 1993 was convened at the initiative of General
10 Hadzihasanovic and that the creation of the seventh corps is something
11 that was discussed on that occasion.
12 A. Which meeting are you referring to, please?
13 Q. The meeting of the corps commanders, the one you referred to when
14 you responded to the question of the Presiding Judge, which took place in
15 August of 1993. Do you remember who -- at whose initiative was this
16 meeting convened and whether that the issue was of the creation of the 7th
17 corps was discussed on this occasion?
18 A. I believe that this was the only meeting in Zenica in August and
19 it was also the first meeting at which corps commanders, without the 5th
20 Corps commander, reported to the commander of the Main Staff about all the
21 elements of combat readiness for their respective corps and the objective
22 was to look at the current political and military situation. And to
23 decide on the elements and goals in the forthcoming period and I suppose
24 that this meeting was called at the initiative of the commander of the
25 Main Staff. I believe that that was the case and this meeting was held in
1 Zenica, in one of the buildings in Zenica.
2 Q. Thank you, General. I move on to the issue of communications,
3 which was raised by the Presiding Judge. And the question related to the
4 way in which the Supreme Command Staff or the Main Staff could contact the
5 corps commands.
6 And you did give -- you provided a reply as to how it was done.
7 Now, my question to you is: You've seen a lot of the communication or the
8 reports which were exchanged between the Supreme Command and the corps.
9 But we have a witness who appeared before this Trial Chamber, a
10 communications specialist, and that is Zivko Sakib and he mentioned that
11 in respect of the Paket communications, which you referred to, that it was
12 regularly necessary to try up to ten times before we could succeed in
13 getting one message across. Is that a situation that you are familiar
15 A. More or less so. Due to the poor quality of communication links I
16 was talking about the repeaters where they were placed, at what angles,
17 what was the radio access range to these repeaters, what their par was,
18 what was the reception of radio signals, and so on and so forth. These
19 were all problems, huge problems and if you add to that the influence of
20 the enemy in interfering with these communication lines, this compounded
21 the situation even more.
22 Q. Now, this is a very important question, General. We have in the
23 material which was given to you a number of pieces of paper or
24 communications which were exchanged between the 3rd Corps and the Supreme
25 Command. Now I'm asking you as both an expert and someone who was --
1 lived through this situation, what should we conclude by the number of
2 communications between 3rd Corps and the Supreme Command? Does that mean
3 that there were communications as much as they would have liked? Or
4 actually what you saw is only the tip of the iceberg, in terms of what
5 should have taken place between the Supreme Command and the 3rd Corps?
6 A. I would sooner say that it was a very low hill, when it comes to
7 the communications between the 3rd Corps and the command. My situation
8 was much more favourable. When I was in Sarajevo, I could go to the
9 commander of the Main Staff or even to the members of the Supreme Command
10 in order to seek a device or talk to them. What I'm saying here is that,
11 a direct contact between two commanders, a superior and a subordinate, is
12 the best way of communication, and the safest way of communication.
13 Although a contact may be through a physical presence or by
14 telephone, the 3rd Corps commander did not have the opportunity to have
15 either of the two. The 3rd Corps commander did not have the opportunity
16 to talk to the Main Staff. On the 21st or 22nd of August, when there was
17 a meeting in Zenica, he was -- his first contact from the time when he
18 left Sarajevo. Even when he spoke to the Main Staff on the telephone, he
19 could not talk about any serious security issues, because all the
20 telephone lines were intercepted. There was no way for anybody to use
21 telephone to talk about any serious military issues or combat operations,
22 and the only means that he had was Paket communication. And we know that
23 a thought can never be conveyed in writing as it can be in a direct
24 personal contact.
25 Q. Thank you, General. The Presiding Judge put a question to you
1 with respect to paragraphs 283 and 287 of your report, in terms of how
2 political control was exercised.
3 I would just like you to confirm, based on your report, that there
4 is a difference between the principle of subordination of the army to the
5 state, and the exercise of command and control over military units, that
6 this is two different things. Based on your report, do you agree with
7 this statement?
8 A. Could you please repeat the question.
9 Q. I will say again. The principle of subordination of the army to
10 the state, based on your report would mean that the army does not decide,
11 the army does what the state wants it to do. And also in your report you
12 discuss what is effective control and what is the exercise of command and
13 control over a command, over military units. Is this two different
15 A. Again, I'm not sure I have fully understood your question. While
16 the Supreme Command Staff existed, the very term "Supreme Command Staff"
17 points to the fact that it was the staff that had operative and staff
18 functions to perform on behalf of the Supreme Command of the armed forces
19 of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Later it was transformed, the Supreme Command
20 Staff was transformed into the Main Staff of the Army of Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina in order to provide it with more responsibility when it came
22 to command and control. When it came to the command and control of
23 military units of the ABiH and, to be more precise, the Supreme Command,
24 as the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina is the supreme military
25 authority. It is responsible for issuing orders, political orders,
1 issuing political directives, and by issuing political directives from the
2 Supreme Command the Main Staff of the ABiH takes action. And then this is
3 forwarded lower down the chain between the Supreme Command of the
4 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Main Staff. We also have the
5 government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Ministry of Defence attached
6 to these bodies, and they have their own responsibilities and powers.
7 Q. Thank you, General. An issue which was raised by the
8 Presiding Judge is that of civilian casualties or collateral damage,
9 following combat activities. I would like to know from you, as an expert,
10 when there are combat activities, whether there are people whose
11 responsibility it is to gather this information, and that whether this is
12 something that would -- that the corps commander would be looking for
13 before he gets the reports from those who are responsible from collecting
14 this information.
15 A. Within the corps command and the corps as a whole, there are no
16 specific individuals who have the duty of looking into collateral damage.
17 And at the same time with regard to the second part of your question,
18 collateral damage is not a particular issue, in that it would be a subject
19 of -- corps command would focus on and ask for reports about such damage.
20 If collateral damage, serious collateral damage has been observed, the
21 commanders of the units in the field have to report --
22 Q. Thank you, General --
23 A. -- on the fact.
24 Q. The Presiding Judge put a question to you looking for foreigners
25 who came to Bosnia, and I will say in French the exact words,
1 [Interpretation] "to provide assistance to the ABiH."
2 [In English] Now, you said that in the 1st Corps you did have a
3 German who came, who became a member of the 1st Corps, stayed for a year
4 and then he left. But then you said -- no, no. You said he was killed.
6 Then you said that there were no larger group of this kind, and
7 you said the only exception was 3rd Corps ^^^. So my first question is,
8 did you know that there were foreigners in Tesanj in the 3rd Corps, in
9 Bacilja [phoen], and also in the 2nd [sic], in Guzin [phoen] in the 5th
10 Corps, and in other areas in Bosnia?
11 A. Now that you have mentioned the fact, I do remember it. But what
12 you said about the 2nd Corps is something that I thought concerned the 3rd
13 Corps in the Central Bosnian area, although that is in an area that
14 divides the territory of the first and 2nd Corps. But I heard about
15 something of that kind in relation to the 5th Corps, but I don't have
16 reliable information.
17 Q. Now when you said there was an exception for the 3rd Corps and I
18 compare with your report, did you mean that these groups were cooperating
19 with the army? Or as you said in your report, that they were not
20 cooperating with the army? I'd just like to clarify what you said when
21 you responded, the only exception was in the area of the 3rd Corps. What
22 did you mean?
23 A. I meant that the 3rd Corps was covering most of the territory of
24 Central Bosnia, if not all of the territory. At the same time that
25 territory was a more suitable area in which one could obtain information
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 on these foreign volunteers. And they were mostly concentrated in that
2 central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. That is where their main
3 sanctuary was located, and that is what guided me in terms of the question
4 that you've just put to me.
5 Q. You're saying there were some groups of foreign volunteers on the
6 territory of the 3rd Corps, but not in the units of the 3rd Corps because
7 the presiding -- the questions from the Presiding Judge was "in the
8 strength of units of the 3rd Corps"?
9 A. I didn't mean that they were in 3rd Corps units and that is not
10 something that I am claiming now. They were not part of the 3rd Corps
12 Q. My next question, General, deals with the issue of weapons. And
13 specifically with the question of tanks. Now, of course, if we want to
14 use a tank, we need fuel and we need ammunition. For example, we have a
15 witness called Ribo Haso who said that in any one time he could no
16 longer -- he could not have more fuel or he could not have fuel to run a
17 vehicle for more than one hour. Did you have the ammunition and the fuel
18 to run the tanks that you had in the 1st Corps?
19 A. Allow me a minute or two. In spite of the fact that we're running
20 out of time, in the last four to five years, I had very serious problems
21 with investigators from The Hague Tribunal, because they would come to
22 Sarajevo and they would try at any cost to find -- well, let's say, ten or
23 a hundred tanks, because let's say they would receive information from the
24 Serbian side. On the basis of those reports that were drafted at the time
25 in the course of the war they would go to Sarajevo. Several hundred times
1 when these investigators came to Sarajevo I had to show them various
2 places in Sarajevo. And I had to explain to them that there weren't more
3 than five tanks in Sarajevo. They couldn't understand that. They
4 probably heard other information from the other side. And that is
5 understandable, but out of those five tanks could not be used because we
6 had no spare parts and three tanks that we had were always kept as firing
7 positions, that's how we put it in military terms. It would be dug in, to
8 a -- at a certain position because we had no fuel for the tanks. If I
9 wanted to move the tank, then I would move the tank from one position to
10 another position. That would be once a month or perhaps every two months,
11 provided that I had obtained a sufficient amount of fuel to do this.
12 In addition, throughout the war in Sarajevo, and in particular in
13 1993, I as the corps commander drove around in a golf. I spent a lot of
14 time driving around in a golf, not to say -- in a golf car, not to say the
15 entire year. And this vehicle used oil from transformation stations, from
16 all transformation stations. In all of those transformation stations,
17 they have 20, 30 or 100 litres of oil in -- there are a lot of such
18 transformation stations in Sarajevo and this is the fuel we would take
19 from those stations and this is the fuel that we would use for the golfs,
20 which turned out to be extremely appropriate and a significant
21 contribution made by civilisation to the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. Thank you, General. If you go to 513 and 514, you say that the
23 army was extremely poorly armed and that there was an average of one
24 weapon for three soldiers, and that regarding ammunition, the most
25 difficult period was in 1993. Do you agree with what you said in your
1 report? Can you confirm that?
2 A. Absolutely. Absolutely. That was the case in my corps and the
3 situation was no better in the other corps. On average we had one rifle
4 for three men or one rifle for even more men and as far as ammunition and
5 other equipment is concerned, 1993 was the most difficult year because
6 nothing arrived from outside Bosnia-Herzegovina because the HVO had sealed
7 off all the borders and had established control over all the roads. That
8 is the problem that the 3rd Corps commander and the 3rd Corps and the
9 entire army in summer of 1993, to reach the point at the top of the
10 pyramid that I described a while ago. And local production was simply not
12 Q. Thank you, General. I would like you to turn to your report at
13 paragraphs 638 which is an issue that was raised by the Presiding Judge,
14 where you said that if - I will wait until you have paragraph 638 --
15 A. 138? I found it.
16 Q. 638. Now, in this paragraph, you say that "if unknown
17 individuals" - and later you say that this includes foreign fighters, or
18 groups of individuals - "are present in the area of responsibility without
19 being under his command and control, a corps commander is not responsible
20 for their actions."
21 Now, you said this and other witnesses have confirmed this. What
22 I would like you to comment on is paragraph 642 where it says that: "All
23 of the above shows that the presence of individuals or groups of
24 individuals who were not under the command and control of the corps, is
25 not an issue which should distract a corps commander from the
1 accomplishment of his mission." And then you go on to say: "On the
2 contrary, in accordance with the accepted principles of armed combat, what
3 is expected from a corps commander in such circumstances is that no more
4 than the absolute necessary attention, time and resources to ensure that
5 the presence of such elements will not impede the accomplishment of the
6 mission of the Corps will be devoted to this issue."
7 Can you elaborate on this paragraph specifically, in as few words
8 as possible.
9 A. In my opinion, the last sentence in this paragraph, 642, is the
10 key sentence which clarifies everything. A corps commander cannot and
11 does not have to focus on something that has no direct bearing on the
12 accomplishment of his mission. If a problem arises such as the problem
13 with the foreigners, as this problem becomes increasingly serious, and as
14 the way they affect the way in which the corps mission will be
15 accomplished, as this happens the corps commander starts focussing on this
16 problem, or starts to focus increasingly on this problem. So it depends
17 on the extent to which they pose a threat to the mission of the corps.
18 If the threat becomes increasingly serious, the corps commander
19 has to start paying more and more attention to this problem.
20 Q. Thank you, General. My next question is again a problem raised by
21 the Presiding Judge and also by my colleague, and that is: Did the 3rd
22 Corps successfully accomplish its mission or did it barely survive and
23 avoid catastrophe in 1993?
24 A. If you want a very brief answer, then I would say that it barely
25 survived and managed to avoid an even more serious catastrophe.
1 Q. And my last question is: In ensuring that a catastrophe was
2 avoided, did General Hadzihasanovic, in your expert opinion, exercise his
3 command in a responsible manner and did he neglect any of his duties as a
4 corps commander?
5 A. Knowing General Enver Hadzihasanovic, I couldn't even imagine that
6 he acted in an irresponsible way or that he failed to act in a serious
7 manner. And similarly I can't imagine that General Hadzihasanovic, given
8 his character, would allow himself to act in violation of the rules and
9 regulations, in spite of the fact that -- or regardless of the fact that
10 there were tasks he had to carry out and he had to respect all the rules
11 and regulations when carrying them out.
12 Q. Thank you very much General. I have no further questions.
13 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This
14 concludes my re-examination that arises from the Judge's questions.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Dixon.
16 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours.
17 Further cross-examination by Mr. Dixon:
18 Q. General, just one question. You mentioned that the forward
19 command post of the Supreme Command was moved to Kakanj town. Do you know
20 the location within the town that it was moved to?
21 A. The forward command post was moved to three buildings. There was
22 a DC building that had some office space and that is where equipment and
23 supplies were kept for the town of Kakanj, and across the road from that
24 building there was a petrol station which is where, in the course of 1993
25 and 1994, we had frequent meetings and subsequently the Sretno Motel was
1 also used. I don't know the exact dates, though. So that is a compound,
2 in a circle of about 200 or 300 metres.
3 Q. Thank you, General. Just for the transcript the motel that you
4 mentioned, could you just spell that out as it hasn't been recorded
5 properly in the transcript.
6 A. Sretno motel. The S-r-e-t-n-o motel. Sretno.
7 Q. Thank you, General. Your Honours, I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, General. This brings
9 your testimony to the end. You have spent two weeks in The Hague and you
10 have answered the questions put to you by Defence counsel, the Prosecution
11 and by myself.
12 I would like to thank you for your contribution to establishing
13 the truth. And on behalf of the Trial Chamber, I wish you all the best
14 when returning to your country and I will now ask the usher to escort you
15 out of the courtroom.
16 [The witness withrew]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we adjourn, there are two
18 issues I would like to raise. There is a problem that concerns the 92 bis
19 procedure I believe, the procedure has not yet been carried out and there
20 are certain translations problems. According to what I have been told,
21 you won't have the statements before next Friday. Next Friday is when you
22 will provide us with your motion. As a result, there is the question of
23 the Prosecution's position, but I believe that there are no difficulties
24 that we have encountered and before we start hearing General Kubura's
25 witnesses, the Chamber has to render a decision with regard to tendering
1 into evidence these 92 bis statements. If the Prosecution does not
2 object. But the Prosecution will inform us of their position. But if
3 there are no objections, just before we hear the first witness for Mr.
4 Kubura, we could render an oral decision because obviously we won't have
5 the time to render a written decision.
6 Mr. Mundis, what is the Prosecution's position?
7 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. We've been provided with
8 copies of a number of proposed 92 bis witness statements. We have
9 indicated to the Defence that we have no objection to those 92 bis
10 statements being admitted into evidence, nor do we seek the leave of the
11 Trial Chamber to have those witnesses appear for purposes of
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Defence counsel is
14 then in a position to confirm that by next Friday we should have
16 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] That's quite right, Mr. President.
17 Could we go into private session very briefly.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar.
19 [Private session]
11 Page 18159 redacted. Private session.
11 Page 18160 redacted. Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session, Mr.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now that we are in
14 open session, we should be resuming our work, not next Monday but the
15 Monday after that. Mr. Dixon, could you confirm that all the witnesses
16 will be available by that time?
17 MR. DIXON: Yes, Your Honour. We have already given our list of
18 witnesses to Your Honours and the Prosecution for the first week. They
19 will all be arriving next week, so they will be available to testify. I
20 should just clarify, Your Honour that we will use our opportunity to make
21 an opening speech on Monday, the 11th of April. After the 92 bis matter
22 has been finalised. It won't be a lengthy opening, but it will take up
23 some time and we expect the first witness to at least start on Monday, but
24 probably then continue on Tuesday. Thank you, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. As I have another
1 hearing at 2.15, are there any other issues you would like to raise? But
2 it is necessary to adjourn very soon.
3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Very briefly. Very briefly,
4 Mr. President, we forgot to tender this document into evidence. I don't
5 know if my colleague objects. It's the table and forms of subordination
6 that is based on the witness's knowledge.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Mundis.
8 MR. MUNDIS: No objection.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, could
10 we have a number for this document, please.
11 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. This is
12 Defence Exhibit DH2089, and we have an English version, I believe. It's
13 just one document, very well. DH2089. Thank you Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If there are no
15 other issues to be dealt with, I invite you all to return at the hearing
16 that will commence not next Monday but the Monday after that at 2.15.
17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.49 p.m.,
18 to be reconvened on Monday, the 11th day of April,
19 2005, at 2.15 p.m.