1 Tuesday, 18th January, 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario
8 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
10 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, just one minor
12 Yesterday we referred to a milinfosum dated
13 the 21st of April, 1993. I had thought that it had
14 been introduced by the Prosecution with a "Z" number.
15 Apparently it has not, so I would just like to have
16 that marked as the next Defence exhibit by the
17 registrar, if that's possible. Thank you.
18 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
21 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Sir.
22 WITNESS: ROBERT ALEXANDER STEWART
24 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
25 Q. Mr. Stewart, good morning.
1 A. Good morning, sir.
2 Q. [Interpretation] I will be speaking Croatian
3 in this case. My name is Bozidar Kovacic and I come
4 from Rijeka, and today with my colleague Mr. Mikulicic
5 from Zagreb, I represent Mr. Cerkez.
6 Due to differences in language, we must both
7 take care to make a short break to give the
8 interpreters time to finish their interpretation.
9 Thank you very much.
10 Mr. Stewart, from your testimony in the
11 Blaskic case, I gather that there is no doubt that
12 Blaskic was the immediate superior to Cerkez in the
13 course of 1993.
14 A. I think that he was a superior to
15 Mr. Cerkez. I don't quite know whether he was the
16 immediate superior to Mr. Cerkez.
17 Q. So we can agree that Blaskic was the
18 commander of the Operational Zone of Central Bosnia?
19 A. That is my opinion.
20 Q. And that Cerkez was a brigade commander that
21 comes under that zone?
22 A. That is also my opinion.
23 Q. Blaskic's headquarters was in the hotel in
24 the centre of the town of Vitez, was it not?
25 A. Yes, it was.
1 Q. And Cerkez' headquarters was a couple of
2 hundred metres away in another building, was it not?
3 A. I'm not sure of that. I don't think -- I'm
4 not sure whether I visited that headquarter, unless it
5 was in the town hall, which I did visit.
6 Q. But I do believe that from general
7 information, you do know that his headquarters was in
8 the town of Vitez, regardless of the fact that you may
9 not know the precise location.
10 A. That is correct, and I normally met
11 Mr. Cerkez around about the Hotel Vitez.
12 Q. Thank you. In the summary given to us by the
13 Prosecution and which served as a guideline for the
14 examination-in-chief, I think due to some error,
15 point 9 was not read out of the summary, and I should
16 like to read it. It says: "According to the
17 Prosecution, can you confirm that you agree with the
18 statement," and let me read it in English, "...
19 consider Cerkez to be an apparently decent enough,
20 likable man, on the face of it, who was commander of
21 Vitez town."
22 A. That is exactly what I think.
23 Q. Thank you, sir. But could we devote a little
24 time to this assessment of yours that Cerkez was the
25 commander of the town? First of all, did he ever tell
1 you that or explain that to you? Did you ever ask him
2 what his exact position was?
3 A. I can't remember exactly. I think that most
4 likely it became apparent that that seemed to be the
5 case. I don't think I would have asked him directly,
6 that question.
7 Q. To make things quite clear, let me ask you
8 whether you ever saw a written document or third person
9 addressing Cerkez in a certain way which would confirm
10 that he was the commander of the town.
11 A. I believe it was the assessment of some of my
12 liaison officers. I believe it was the assessment of
13 the intelligence section. I believe that it was my
14 opinion that he was probably influential in the HVO
15 organisation. "Influential," by that I mean I imagined
16 and thought him to be the commander. But later on, he
17 had moved, and I thought he went to Novi Travnik as
18 well. But it was just an impression.
19 Q. Thank you very much. In your opinion and in
20 view of your experience, and when I ask a witness for
21 an opinion, I think that is acceptable, from the
22 military standpoint, what would it mean for a military
23 commander to be the commander of the town? Would that
24 mean that he was commander of the civilian authorities
25 in town as well?
1 A. I don't think so. I think the organisation
2 of the so-called, as we described it, Vitez government
3 was a combination of many different authorities, and
4 that just didn't apply to the military and the
5 civilian. There was also police -- military police
6 there who complicated the matter. They had made it
7 very difficult for us to assess exactly who was
8 responsible for what.
9 For example, on one occasion my sentries at
10 my fuel dump were attacked by people in a car. The car
11 fired shots at my soldiers, and then they reported the
12 fact to me. I was in the operations room, and I was
13 angry with them because they had not been quick enough,
14 quick enough to fire back, because it's bad for
15 professional soldiers to lose the initiative.
16 Unfortunately for the people in the car, they decided
17 to have another go and they drove past again. One man
18 died in consequence, I'm sad to say.
19 But when I went to the Vitez government the
20 next day, I was directed to the military police or the
21 police. This was not Cerkez. And the police chief
22 complained to me that my soldiers had fired. But I
23 gave him a full report, minute by minute, of exactly
24 what had happened and said, "It's your responsibility
25 to stop HVO soldiers," and it was one, "from attacking
1 my soldiers, and they deserved what they got, although
2 I'm sad, of course, that one of them subsequently died
3 in hospital."
4 But there is an example, I contend, that
5 makes it very difficult for people who, like myself,
6 have come into the area largely ignorant, and we accept
7 that, largely ignorant, but doing our very best to try
8 and work out a situation, at the same time having to
9 deal with a very hostile environment.
10 So I say that because, you know, your
11 question was, "Was Mr. Cerkez responsible for
12 everything military in the town?" I suspect he was
14 Q. [In English] Thank you, sir.
15 [Interpretation] I will speak Croatian. I beg your
17 So I take it that this term, "commander of
18 the town," does not cover any broader competencies
19 beyond the military, in the sense that you use it
21 A. I took it that he was the commander of the
22 HVO in the town area of Vitez, the HVO.
23 Q. From the example you have given, it seems to
24 me that there is also no doubt that you made a
25 distinction within the HVO between the military and the
1 civilian sections.
2 A. In some cases, yes. It depended on what we
3 found. The problem was to try and find the correct
4 authorities when going to make a complaint. For
5 example, you know, when a vehicle was hijacked, I
6 didn't know who to go to, so in one case I went to the
8 Q. Thank you. Mention was made here, and with
9 the assistance of the registry, could we find D36/2.
10 You will see the document in a minute, but by way of
11 introduction, let me say that a document was mentioned
12 linked to a meeting held on the 16th of April, 1993
13 organised by your second in command, Mr. Bryan Watters,
14 in the early afternoon of the 16th of April.
15 Could you please take a look at that document
16 to refresh your memory. It was mentioned indirectly
17 yesterday, this first HVO officer, Marko Prskalo was
18 wounded coming out of the Warrior near the hotel
19 returning from the meeting, but that is not relevant
20 just now. What I would like to draw your attention to
21 is that in the paragraph after listing the names, one
22 can see that the subject of the meeting was the
23 conflict in Vitez; can we agree on that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. From this document, it is also evident that
1 there were two parties to the negotiations; would you
2 agree with that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The HVO side, the Croatian side, was
5 represented by officers Marko Prskalo and Zoran
6 Pilicic, and we know without any doubt, and we will
7 produce many exhibits to confirm this, that they
8 represent Blaskic, that both of them are members of the
9 Blaskic command. Do you know this and can you confirm
10 that? Would you agree with that?
11 A. I can't recognise the names; therefore, I
12 can't confirm it.
13 Q. Do you remember the names and positions of
14 the representatives of the BH army side? And their
15 positions are stated here in full, Mr. Dzidic and
16 Mr. Sivro.
17 A. I think I remember Mr. Dzidic. Mr. Sivro, I
18 don't know.
19 Q. Colonel, judging by the titles and what you
20 can remember, there is no doubt that representatives of
21 the BH army are representatives of the local military
22 forces quartered in Vitez; can we agree on that?
23 A. That looks likely.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you. We don't need that
25 document anymore.
1 If I may go on to another topic. Colonel, I
2 have been told that as a sign of goodwill you made a
3 gift of a wooden coat of arms of the Cheshire Regiment
4 to Cerkez, and even later on when your book was
5 published, that you sent him a copy.
6 May I ask you, was that something that you
7 did as a rule in your dealings with the officers you
8 had contact with during your tour of duty in Bosnia, or
9 was this some kind of a sign of appreciation for those
10 you considered to be acceptable, correct people, decent
12 A. I think it was a mixture of both. But with
13 regard to Mr. Cerkez, I believe Mr. Cerkez to be a
14 decent man and an honourable man, and I never saw
15 anything in his behaviour whatsoever that caused me to
16 change that view.
17 Q. [In English] Thank you, sir.
18 [Interpretation] Let me now go on to another issue with
19 a few questions only.
20 In your testimony in the Blaskic case, and
21 I'm referring to an issue covered by pages 23823
22 through to 23824, the next page, let me briefly remind
23 you that the Defence in the Blaskic case put to you
24 questions comparing the HVO to NATO standards. First
25 of all, he spoke about the chain of command structure,
1 professionalism, the chain of command and control, then
2 about the training and discipline standards, ranks, and
3 other things.
4 Do you remember what I'm referring to?
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Or perhaps we
6 need to show that part of the transcript to the
7 witness. It was tendered yesterday as Z2791.
8 A. I don't need to see it, I can remember,
9 unless there's some tricky point in that.
10 Q. If you do remember the issue, my question is
11 a simple one. This assessment that you gave in the
12 Blaskic case in answer to a question by the Defence,
13 does that also apply to the unit known as the Vitez
15 A. Of course it does, yes.
16 Q. There's no difference.
17 A. No. I mean, it's very difficult for people
18 to suddenly go to war from a civilian situation, and it
19 was clear to me that many of the leaders, maybe I won't
20 use the word "officers," and I don't mean that in a
21 derogatory way, many of the leaders of the HVO and the
22 BiH were cast into the situation by the circumstances
23 of the time.
24 Just let me take a case -- a point that has
25 nothing to do with it. The commander, the leader of
1 the BiH in the town of Turbe was a schoolmaster one day
2 and a leader the next. This could well have been the
3 case with Mr. Cerkez or, indeed -- well, as we know
4 with Dario Kordic. You know, I have sympathy and
5 sadness for that situation for them.
6 So, of course, they didn't have the same kind
7 of background or the same kind of discipline, the same
8 kind of rules, but what they tried to do was to adapt
9 what they could in the circumstances of the time, and
10 by no means do I imply in this a criticism of any man's
11 courage. I mean, I'm just talking about procedures and
13 Q. [In English] Thank you, sir.
14 [Interpretation] Among other things, with respect to
15 this issue, you said at one point [In English] "... at
16 the time his officer said that the rank and file, most
17 certainly the majority of them had not ..." You
18 include Cerkez there, don't you?
19 A. I think so. I don't know Mr. Cerkez's
20 background. I suspect every single man of a certain
21 age had done military service in the JNA, but that
22 doesn't necessarily qualify them to lead a war with
23 limited resources, with no organisation.
24 Q. Colonel, to round off this topic with a final
25 question, in your contacts, and I'm not referring to
1 your personal contacts only but those made by your
2 liaison officers as well, did you obtain information
3 about the level of development of the organisation of
4 the Vitez Brigade? I bear in mind the fact that it was
5 established only some 20 days prior to the conflict.
6 Did you learn that this was a brigade in the process of
7 formation, that it was still not a fully developed and
8 organised brigade; did you know that?
9 A. I didn't know it. I suspected it. I
10 suspected that the reason -- and I can tell you that
11 the reason why we went to Blaskic the whole time is
12 that I knew him to be a regular officer of the JNA, as
13 indeed Mr. Merdan was, and therefore would understand
14 the requirements. I tended to go to that kind of
15 person because, apart from anything else, the rules of
16 war would be totally understandable to a regular
17 officer. Mr. Cerkez tended to be co-located in my mind
18 at Mr. Blaskic's -- or Colonel Blaskic's headquarters,
19 and of course I would deal with Mr. Cerkez, and I don't
20 mean "deal with," go and see Mr. Cerkez in the absence
21 of Colonel Blaskic because I assumed him to be someone
22 in authority in the HVO within the Vitez area.
23 Q. Colonel, may I take it from that, or rather
24 does that concur with a military principle that I
25 understand very well as a layman, and that is that if
1 in an area we have two commanders of different levels,
2 a higher and a lower level one, clearly the higher
3 level commander is the most important, and as a third
4 party, we would go and deal with this higher level
5 commander. Would that be part of this picture that you
6 have just portrayed?
7 A. Yes, but the military principle is of
8 delegated command. If you think of an admiral on a
9 battleship, he's often not the captain of the ship. In
10 certain areas of responsibility like action, the
11 admiral may well be told to go to his cabin and shut up
12 while the captain deals with the enemy, and I'm using a
13 surface fleet analogy to make my point.
14 It may well be that there is a situation
15 where Blaskic is -- his headquarters is superimposed on
16 the organisation, but actually the day-to-day running
17 of the brigade is left to the appropriate commander,
18 and that is the way I assumed brigades in the HVO
19 worked. Blaskic could not command everything directly,
20 he had to go through subordinate commanders and also
21 had to delegate responsibility to those commanders as
22 best he could in the circumstances that this was a
23 nascent, a very young military force.
24 So, therefore, for example, a problem with a
25 roadblock outside Vitez, it would properly be dealt
1 with by going to see Mario Cerkez. A problem with the
2 whole of the Lasva Valley apparently going to war, it
3 must be dealt with by going to see Blaskic.
4 Q. Thank you. But having used this as an
5 illustration, for the sake of illustration when talking
6 about this example that you mentioned, a roadblock in
7 the town or in its vicinity, you would normally address
8 the brigade commander. You would go to the commander
9 to which the troops at the roadblock are accountable,
10 of course, on condition that we know whom they belong
11 to. If it is the police, we would go to the police
12 commander; if it is the brigade, the brigade commander;
13 if it is the Bosnian army, we would go to the Bosnian
14 army commander. We agree on that?
15 A. Absolutely, but we would start by going to
16 see the roadblock itself to say, "Why are you doing
17 this and who has given you orders to do it?" And then
18 we would follow up the chain of command. It's a
19 standard way of dealing with it.
20 Q. There is one other issue that I would like to
21 discuss from your previous testimony on page 23826.
22 You stated, in response to a question which
23 was as follows:
24 [In English] "... on the 16th of April, as of
25 the evening of the 15th?"
1 [Interpretation] Your answer to that question
2 was as follows:
3 [In English] "... was because I anticipated
4 that unless the problem in Zenica was resolved, there
5 could be serious repercussions, and I suppose I was
6 right, sadly."
7 That was the answer.
8 [Interpretation] My question for you is the
9 following: You know what the circumstances were at the
10 time. Do you know whether Cerkez had any reason to
11 believe that there would be a war on the following
13 A. We are talking the 15th of April? We're
14 talking of the date of the 15th of April?
15 Q. Yes, on the eve of the conflict.
16 A. I don't think that he would necessarily think
17 that the 16th was going to be the D-Day, the start. I
18 think that the whole of the HVO and the whole of the
19 BiH would have been extremely blind if they hadn't
20 realised there was trouble coming.
21 And going to the next question, if you had
22 one, I don't know how much Mr. Cerkez would have known
23 about any preparations for attacks in the Lasva
24 Valley. I suspect he would -- if he didn't pick up
25 something was going on, I would be surprised. But as
1 to his degree of authority or responsibility for what
2 was happening, I don't know.
3 Q. Thank you. I understand. If I may follow up
4 with a clarification or, rather, a question.
5 From all the BritBat reports and other
6 evidence that we heard here, it follows that there is
7 no basis for conclusion that during the days that
8 preceded the 16th of April, that troops had been
9 reinforced in terms of personnel and equipment. You
10 also spoke about a tension which was due to a range of
11 incidents that took place before that. However, I know
12 that there were no reports about any reinforcement of
13 troops. We do not have such documents. We do not
14 dispose of such evidence.
15 Would you agree with that assessment? One
16 could feel it in the air. However, it was not stated
17 in any of the military documents. Would that concur
18 with your conclusions at the time?
19 A. The way I ran my battalion was as follows: I
20 always tried to be in my headquarters at 5.00 each
21 night. At 5.00 each night for at least half an hour, I
22 listened to the reports of the previous 24 hours. We
23 had an intelligence assessment, we had an operational
24 assessment, we had reports from the United Nations
25 agencies and sometimes the International Committee of
1 the Red Cross.
2 The military infosums, which have been
3 produced in evidence so far, I didn't normally read
4 because I wanted to listen to the reports of the people
5 who wrote those things and correct or modify them at
6 that conference. So when they went out, they were
7 normally not with my sighting of them, because I was
8 concerned with actually dealing with matters on the
9 ground, not reporting back.
10 For some days prior to the 15th, there had
11 been serious tension in the whole of the Lasva Valley,
12 and by that I mean going into Novi Travnik, Travnik,
13 Vitez, going down the valley to -- all the way to
14 Kiseljak and into Zenica. There was very great tension
15 there, and tension is sometimes difficult to
16 communicate in reports anyway.
17 But I had given instructions to my liaison
18 officers, who were divided by sectors, and they dealt
19 with areas like Novi Travnik or -- to actually keep in
20 contact with the relevant headquarters, find out if
21 something was going to be happening so that we could
22 try and stop people losing their lives by action
23 immediately, and in any case to report to me instantly
24 if they saw a situation which might develop which would
25 cause people to lose their lives. Those are the
1 instructions that happened prior to the 15th.
2 And it was for this reason that I was in
3 Travnik actually at the time when the Totic kidnapping
4 and murders took place by apparently Mujahedin in
5 Zenica. I was actually walking the streets at the
6 time, talking to soldiers, who were operating on the
7 ground, of the BiH or HVO, if I could find them.
8 So your question, I'm sorry if it's been
9 long-winded in reply, but I wanted to explain the
10 circumstances. Your question is quite right. In the
11 British military information summaries or whatever, the
12 tension would not be communicated, necessarily.
13 Q. If I understood you correctly, if I may
14 summarise what you have said, according to the way I
15 understand and according to the information that you
16 had at the time, you all felt tension in the air.
17 However, there were no military indications as to the
18 possibility of an oncoming conflict in the following
19 days. Would that be an accurate conclusion?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. During the days prior to the conflict, and
22 you mentioned something to that effect before, the HVO,
23 in the area of Turbe, still held the line together with
24 the Bosnian army, and they had contacts with Lajko
25 Sulejman, a BiH army commander who you mentioned
1 yesterday, I believe. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes. What was worrying me was the apparent
3 withdrawal of HVO forces from the area of Turbe at this
4 time. The HVO and the BiH were disengaging from one
5 another. This was a serious worry to me, because it
6 implied the break-up of the coalition.
7 Q. Can we agree that according to the
8 information we have, the HVO had decreased its presence
9 in that area; however, the Vitez part, there was no
10 significant withdrawal in the Vitez area? Would that
11 be your recollection today?
12 A. Yes. I mean there might be a redeployment
13 from Travnik to Vitez, might have been. I'd like to
14 know where the people from Travnik and Turbe went, but
15 I suspect they went to the Vitez area.
16 Q. While we are still in that area, on the first
17 day of the conflict between the Croat side and the
18 Muslim side in Vitez, that is, on the 16th of April,
19 you had just arrived from Zenica on that morning, and
20 you went back to Zenica a couple of hours later. You
21 already told us about that. Can we say that in the
22 town of Vitez and in its surroundings, can we say that
23 there was a chaos in that area?
24 A. Yes, I think that would be accurate. It was
25 just fighting. People were trying to keep off the
1 streets. People were very, very frightened. When I
2 drove through Vitez that day, I remember seeing some
3 bodies. And, of course, I think the 16th was the day
4 that the bomb in the mosque went off in Vitez, which
5 also killed a number of people. And, quite frankly,
6 when you say it was chaos, I would say it was an
7 absolute war zone at the time and no one, absolutely no
8 one, was safe.
9 Q. [In English] Thank you, sir.
10 [Interpretation] Yesterday you testified briefly about
11 the road that leads through the valley, and you
12 indicated on the map the road going through the valley
13 and the mountain road from Zenica to Vitez. I have to
14 ask you something about that road.
15 The portion of the road that is going through
16 the valley, linking Zenica and Vitez, of course, goes
17 on in both directions, eastward and westward. As a
18 soldier, would you agree with me that from the
19 strategical point of view, that was a very important
20 road, not only for the Vitez and the Lasva River
21 Valley, not only for Central Bosnia as a whole, but
22 beyond that as well? Could we agree that it was one of
23 the very important routes going westward and eastward
24 through Bosnia, linking up with the roads that lead to
25 the coast and northward towards Croatia? Would you
1 agree with that?
2 A. Absolutely, yes.
3 Q. Therefore, that road was not only of a local
4 significance. In the Lasva River Valley, bearing in
5 mind where the town of Vitez is located exactly, again
6 from the strategical point of view, can we say that the
7 army that wishes to control the area has to hold the
8 elevations that surround the town of Vitez and its
9 surroundings? Would that be accurate?
10 A. In order to control a route, one must control
11 the whole of the route. Vitez was a part of the route,
12 particularly the bypass, of course, but so too was that
13 you could break a route like that at any point and
14 dislocate it absolutely, as I gave in evidence
15 yesterday with regard to the fact of the roadblock on
16 that road.
17 So, yes, you know, you can talk in terms of
18 big towns on the route that are vital to be held for
19 the route, and Vitez was one, although I have to say
20 the route didn't go necessarily into the centre of
21 Vitez, it bypassed Vitez and still does. So yes and
22 no. You can break a route any way you like. It's like
23 breaking a straw. If you break a straw anywhere along
24 its length, it doesn't join. So I'm not so convinced
25 that it's absolutely essential to say that any one part
1 is superior to any other, in strategic terms.
2 But, yes, you know, I think I understand your
3 question better. Vitez was an important part of
4 Central Bosnia. It was important that if anyone -- you
5 know, whoever held Vitez, it was important for
6 dominating the area.
7 Q. And therefore it is important to hold vital
8 peaks around it? As a layman, do I understand it
10 A. It's an old-fashioned concept that you have
11 to hold a vital peak. It doesn't necessarily follow
12 that you have to. But the answer is, in these terms,
13 probably, yes.
14 Q. One other issue that has been frequently
15 discussed here and I would like to clarify. The
16 British base camp, you said it was located in Vitez or
17 in the surroundings of the town of Vitez. To be
18 specific, the exact location is called Bila; would that
19 be correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Colonel, I apologise for taking too much time
22 for that, but as a person who spent some time there
23 locally, you're familiar with the fact that Nova Bila
24 is another location, a different one?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And one more question in relation to that and
2 then I'm done.
3 Did you know that, administratively-speaking,
4 the town of Bila was under the municipality of Travnik
5 and not the municipality of Vitez, although you did not
6 necessarily have to know that?
7 A. No, I didn't, actually. I didn't know that,
8 which would explain why people complained so much when
9 after the mosque bomb I took everyone I found to the
10 Travnik hospital. I had complaints from the government
11 of Vitez that I had taken everyone and I hadn't taken
12 the Croats to a Croatian hospital, Bosnian Croat
13 hospital. But that would explain why -- a reason why
14 people would complain to me.
15 Q. Yesterday you talked about an incident
16 involving a kidnapping of a Mercedes that belonged to
17 the Dutch contingent, and you personally intervened at
18 that time and you went to the Vitez Hotel. Is it true
19 that you spoke to Pasko Ljubicic, the commander of the
20 4th Battalion of the Military Police there, or was it
21 some other unidentified military policeman that you
22 spoke to? Do you have any recollection of that?
23 A. I don't know the name. I think I went to the
24 Hotel Vitez, and I went to the mayor as well. And then
25 almost immediately, I went to the Mafia, and I had some
1 dealings with the so-called Mafia.
2 Q. However, in the hotel, as far as the hotel is
3 concerned, you remember that you were there in order to
4 speak to the military police of the HVO?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Colonel, in your prior testimony, in the
7 testimony that you gave in the Blaskic case, you
8 mentioned a couple of times a place referred to as the
9 Swiss Chalet or Bungalow which was situated not far
10 from Ahmici, near the road in the vicinity of Nadioci.
11 I would like to ask you the following: According to a
12 number of documents from the British Battalion, you're
13 probably familiar with the fact that for a very long
14 time the place had been a base for a unit of the HVO
15 military police, that they would gather there
16 frequently, and that this fact is frequently
17 mentioned. Do you have any recollection of that?
18 A. Yes. I know the place exactly.
19 Q. Therefore, the soldiers you saw, and you gave
20 a very graphic description of that, you said according
21 to the behaviour of those policemen, one could tell
22 what had happened. While you were speaking about that,
23 you were referring to that particular location, the
25 A. I did not know whether they were policemen or
1 what they were. I just know that they exhibited signs
2 of extreme aggression towards me as I drove past.
3 Q. Past the Bungalow?
4 A. Past the Bungalow. And at the time I didn't
5 really understand why.
6 Q. Colonel Stewart, thank you very much for your
7 answers. This concludes my cross-examination.
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I
9 have finished. Thank you.
10 MR. NICE: There's a matter that might be
11 dealt with now rather than deal with my re-examination
12 in two parts. Perhaps we can go into private session
13 and discuss the procedure -- not private -- yes,
14 private session.
15 JUDGE MAY: Well, if it's the matter you were
16 discussing yesterday --
17 MR. NICE: Yes, it is.
18 JUDGE MAY: -- would it not be convenient to
19 deal with that after your re-examination, to re-examine
20 the witness if there is anything arising from
21 cross-examination and then to deal with the new
23 MR. NICE: Entirely as the Court prefers.
24 I'll deal with it that way.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
1 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
2 Q. Colonel Stewart, you've been asked a number
3 of questions, but there's been no actual challenge to
4 the conclusions you've reached in respect of Kordic.
5 In light of the things that you've discussed with
6 counsel for the Defence, do your conclusions about
7 Kordic change at all?
8 A. No.
9 Q. You were asked about opinions on some of your
10 liaison officers, and you indicated there might be a
11 difference between the opinions as expressed in the
12 book and the opinions expressed elsewhere. In respect
13 of which liaison officers, I must ask you, does that
15 A. I had some excellent liaison officers and I
16 had some poor liaison officers. The excellent liaison
17 officers were generally moved into the situation from a
18 top-class job, and I refer to the likes of Captain
19 Martin Foregrave, and some of the lesser liaison
20 officers who actually took the job because we didn't
21 have anyone else, and I refer to Captain Matthew
22 Dundas-Whatley, for example.
23 Q. Any others who fall into that category?
24 A. I think in terms of -- not only liaison
25 officers, I had some pretty mediocre officers as well
1 serving with me. I think Dundas-Whatley was probably
2 the weakest in the field as a liaison officer, and I
3 think within my staff I had some other officers whose
4 judgement was sometimes suspect.
5 Q. Right. We --
6 A. The reason why I didn't indicate that in the
7 book is because I don't, I'm loyal, and I'm now under
8 oath. In the book, I don't actually run down people if
9 I can avoid it. In a court, I have to give my honest
11 Q. We can't know which, if any, officers of your
12 battalion may be called by the Defence, just this: If
13 given notice of any officer who may be called, would
14 you be in a position to give your opinion of his
15 abilities and reliability?
16 A. Yes, I would. I would prefer that to be in
17 closed session --
18 Q. Yes. Very well.
19 A. -- because, you know, I don't like people
20 being publicly ...
21 Q. You said yesterday that you might have asked
22 Blaskic about the chain of command, on several
23 occasions you dealt with that. With the passage of
24 time between yesterday and today, have you any further
25 or better recollection of whether you did, and, if so,
1 what, if anything, he may have said?
2 A. No, I don't change what I said yesterday. I
3 might have asked him.
4 You see, I got on very well with Mr. Blaskic
5 and, you know, I had no real axe to grind with
6 Mr. Kordic either. These people treated me with
7 dignity and honour, and, you know, I find it rather sad
8 that after that they are in a court of law, I just feel
9 very sad. But, of course, what I feel and actually
10 what they did are two different matters.
11 Q. You had various passages summarised to you
12 from earlier testimony concerning your understanding of
13 the chain of command. Do you take it from me that at
14 each time, pages 749, 764, and 855, you expressed your
15 conclusions in cautious terms, saying such things as
16 "At times we were confused about the chain of
18 A. Yes, absolutely. I tried to demonstrate that
19 in testimony this morning, that most of the time I had
20 to make a judgement as to who I would go to. In Vitez,
21 for example, you know, was it the military police? Was
22 it the mayor? Was it the political side? Was it the
23 HVO? I mean, who was representing who as well? It was
24 extremely difficult.
25 I didn't have on arrival a history of
1 organisation in the area. I was thrown into the area
2 almost naked with regard to intelligence, absolutely
3 naked, and we had to do it as we were running, and
4 therefore I didn't have the resources to dedicate to
5 saying, "Right. Let us find out exactly what the
6 organisation of the HVO, BiH is. You know, it's a
7 matter of crucial concern." It never was a matter of
8 crucial concern. The matter of crucial concern to me
9 was to try and stop the situation deteriorating so that
10 people who had died -- my, as the Germans would call
11 it, schwer punct, point of concentrated effort, was
12 that, not trying to work out exactly how Mr. Kordic,
13 Mr. Cerkez, Mr. Blaskic, or anyone else fit into an
14 organisation, unless it was part of that concentrated
15 effort, which perhaps it should have been.
16 Q. Which brings me to the next question. You've
17 been asked on several occasions about whether you asked
18 Kordic or others whether they had authority. Was there
19 ever any need to ask the people you were dealing with
20 whether they had authority delegated or otherwise?
21 A. I'm sure there was. When I said, "Are you
22 responsible? Can you help me?" Of course I had to ask
23 that kind of question at times, and I don't know when
24 those occasions were.
25 Q. But if someone presented as having and acted
1 as having authority, was there any need to go on and
2 ask him whether he had it?
3 A. No, no. I mean, that was enough for me. I
4 mean, going to see Mr. Kordic in Busovaca, you know, I
5 knew Kordic, he was apparently in command, and I didn't
6 waste time worrying about that. You know, I just
7 wanted to get the job done, I just wanted to get things
8 organised so that actually we could carry on and try
9 and stop people dying principally.
10 Q. You had your attention drawn to some extent
11 to the existence of the special brigades, I suppose.
12 You've given an expression yesterday of opinion about
13 the existence of political control or supervision
14 generally. Does what you say about political control
15 and supervision generally apply also to the special
17 A. God, I hope so. The trouble is I don't
19 Q. Very well.
20 A. You know, I really don't know. I mean --
21 Q. I'm going to cut you short --
22 A. Okay.
23 Q. -- in the interests of time. If you think
24 I'm being unfair, tell the Judges and they will, no
25 doubt, allow you to go on.
1 A. I certainly will.
2 Q. You've been asked about Blaskic's authority
3 to act at Kordic's absence from particular ceasefire
4 discussions. One way or another, do you know yourself
5 whether Blaskic had to refer elsewhere for the
6 decisions he made or not?
7 A. Sometimes he did and sometimes he didn't.
8 Q. Thank you. You've been asked about Merdan
9 and Dusina and Lasva and so on. What was Merdan within
10 the arc of those who were honourable and reliable and
11 those who may be otherwise?
12 A. Merdan was a man who the HVO considered to be
13 a decent, straight, and honest man, and I think
14 Mr. Kordic would have said that. He certainly
15 suggested that when they were talking on the 20th of
16 October, that he wouldn't deal with anyone else.
17 Merdan had previous experience in the JNA and was known
18 to Blaskic personally prior to the war, and Merdan was
19 in many ways the person I thought was the broker for
20 the BiH. He was the deputy commander of the corps that
21 was based in Zenica.
22 So in the terms of Bosnia at the time, it
23 seemed to me a very personality-driven situation. You
24 know, Merdan for the BiH, Blaskic for the HVO, and that
25 simplified for me the situation. So, you know, if it
1 was an HVO matter, I would generally try to go to
2 Blaskic and if it was a BiH matter, I'd go to Merdan.
3 Q. Did each of those fall within your
4 description of decent and honourable men?
5 A. Yes, they did.
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. That's it. Yes, they did.
8 Q. And the other decent men of the Busovaca
9 Joint Commission, because you've referred to the decent
10 men on the Busovaca Joint Commission, just to help the
11 Judges, can you name those, in your judgement, who fell
12 into that category?
13 A. I can't remember all their names.
14 Q. Very well.
15 A. And please don't think I'm implying that
16 Mr. Kordic wasn't a decent man, it's just he wasn't my
17 kind of man. I don't wish to say -- he and I weren't
18 great at hitting it off, I thought, but other officers
19 of mine did hit it off with Mr. Kordic.
20 What I'm trying to say, and I won't be cut
21 off on this, what I'm trying to say is I found it very
22 difficult that people who had treated me well
23 apparently, and the evidence that I saw, were the
24 commanders of such atrocities, and I think that's the
25 real dichotomy that I have always felt and I always
1 will feel. Now I'll stop.
2 Q. The Ahmici -- sorry. I'm listening to the
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, will you have an eye on
5 the clock, please?
6 MR. NICE: Yes, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MAY: We must try and have this
8 evidence finished by the adjournment, and that includes
9 the additional matter. I don't know how long you're
10 going to be with that.
11 MR. NICE: I've got five more questions, I
12 think, maybe six.
13 Q. The first question. You said that
14 preparation for Ahmici might be half a day. If, and
15 it's for the Chamber to decide, of course, there were
16 co-ordinated attacks on more than one target, does that
17 time for preparation increase?
18 A. Oh, yes.
19 Q. You were asked whether you were speaking just
20 from memory about the Kordic interview of the 26th of
21 April, it was suggested you hadn't recorded it
22 earlier. In your statement of 1995, you gave the same
23 account. You set out at page 7 his reaction and you
24 said when you gave your reaction, that he was subdued
25 and concerned about the safety of himself. "He
1 suggested I go to Jelinak and Putis because he claimed
2 there was quite a Muslim offensive in progress. When I
3 got there, things were relatively quiet."
4 Do you stand by that passage set out in 1995?
5 A. Yes, I do, and I confirm that, in fact,
6 Bosnian Croat houses had been destroyed in Putis.
7 Q. The 28th/29th of April convoy hijacking that
8 is not referred to in your notes in any way, if a
9 man -- did you know a man called Morsink, an ECMM
11 A. I can't recall.
12 Q. If a monitor sought the assistance of one of
13 your Warriors through another officer, was there any
14 absolute need for that to come to your personal
16 A. No. If an ECMM man of any description sought
17 assistance from any of my soldiers, that soldier was at
18 liberty to give it, he made his own mind up. He didn't
19 need to be an officer.
20 Q. An ultimate question, I think -- a
21 penultimate question. May the 9th, the Blaskic and
22 Kordic encounter, Blaskic saying he was in charge of
23 the military, did he say that before or after Kordic
24 arrived, or don't you remember?
25 A. According to my diary, it was before.
1 Q. Does his saying that have any significance
2 for your judgement about the existence of external
3 political supervision or influence?
4 A. No. As I explained at the start of my
5 testimony, I believed there was kind of a joint
6 command, political/military, and I don't see that
7 that -- in the evidence I've given, I can't see any
8 reason to change that, having revisited it in my mind
9 over the last two days.
10 Q. Cerkez, did you know personally one way or
11 another the degree of his involvement in the local
12 command structure?
13 A. I think I've given evidence that I didn't --
14 I wasn't -- I'm not solid on that.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 A. I assumed him to be the commander of the HVO
17 in Vitez.
18 Q. Finally, when you spoke of Blaskic having
19 overall authority and you gave the admiral on the ship
20 analogy, where he was executing orders, by whom was he
21 executing his orders or decisions?
22 A. Of course. I mean, brigades must be
23 commanded by the leaders or the commanders, and so
24 orders sent down from Blaskic would be passed on
25 through the brigade commanders. So there's the chain
1 of command.
2 Q. Thank you.
3 MR. NICE: May we go into private session.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 [Private session]
13 pages 12490 to 12524 redacted – in private session
15 [The witness entered court]
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
22 WITNESS: WITNESS AB
23 Examined by Mr. Nice:
24 Q. May the witness see this piece of paper with
25 the name on it. Please confirm without reading out the
1 name that that is your name.
2 A. Yes, that is my name.
3 Q. In these proceedings, you'll be known as
4 Witness AB.
5 Witness AB, have you seen a summary of eight
6 paragraphs setting out one or two matters relating to
7 your involvement in these affairs?
8 A. Yes, I have.
9 Q. Is what is said there by way of your
10 background accurate?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. In the preparation of a report, were you
13 responding to requests from various people, ECMM,
14 British Battalion, and others?
15 A. Yes, I was.
16 Q. As to the scope of the report, was there a
17 request that you should effectively conduct a criminal
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could we ask counsel to
20 speak into the microphone, please.
21 A. I'm sorry. Could you repeat the question?
22 JUDGE MAY: A request that you speak into the
23 microphone, Mr. Nice.
24 MR. NICE: So sorry.
25 Q. Was there a request that you conduct
1 effectively a full criminal report --
2 A. Yes, there was.
3 Q. -- full criminal investigation? Your
4 response to that being what?
5 A. The response was that we do not have the
6 authority or the know-how to be able to conduct such an
8 Q. So the report you prepared was in accordance
9 with your existing reporting practices and
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Nevertheless, with those limitations, was the
13 report prepared, to your knowledge, only
14 contemporaneous and an independent report prepared at
15 the time?
16 A. According to my information, yes.
17 Q. Have you reviewed that report, have you
18 reviewed your testimony in another case at this
19 Tribunal, and are you in a position to adopt the report
20 and your earlier testimony?
21 A. Yes, I have and yes, I am.
22 Q. As to the report, with which the Chamber may
23 be familiar from another witness, do you note that the
24 terminology is specific and guarded with use of terms
25 like "allegedly" and "reportedly"?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You split the work between you, you and the
3 other man, you dealing because of your background with
4 Bosnian speaking witnesses?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. So I come to just the two points that I want
7 you to deal with.
8 One, did you use a tape recorder at some
9 stage to deal with witnesses?
10 A. Yes, I did.
11 Q. The result?
12 A. It was unsuccessful. The idea was
14 Q. And the tape not retained?
15 A. No, no.
16 Q. Second point. At the cinema in Zenica, I
17 think; is that right?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Muslims gathered following the atrocity in
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. A list or lists may have come into
23 existence. First, was there a list of missing people?
24 A. Yes, there was.
25 Q. How many names?
1 A. Originally there were 103 names, but that
2 list at one point was then cut down to 101 names
3 because two individuals from that list had been
5 Q. Do you know how that list of 103 names was
6 originally prepared or by whom it was prepared?
7 A. I'm not really clear on who prepared the
8 list, but it was presented to us as a list of missing
9 from the village of Ahmici.
10 Q. And presented, do you even now remember, by
12 A. No. No, I do not.
13 Q. Perpetrators, was there a list, were there
14 lists maybe of perpetrators?
15 A. There was a list of approximately 18 names.
16 I think there were actually 18 names that were on a
18 Q. Provided by whom?
19 A. Once again, it wasn't on letterhead or
20 anything like that which would indicate the source, and
21 I really wouldn't know who provided it. It came at the
22 same time as the list of the missing or shortly
24 Q. That list, does it exist anymore, to your
1 A. No, not to my knowledge.
2 Q. Did you rely on it in your report to the
3 extent of naming people?
4 A. No, I did not.
5 Q. For the reason?
6 A. The list was not reliable. It was a list
7 that was presented to us without a source, and it
8 really wouldn't be fair to name individuals from that
9 list when we were not in a position to conduct an
10 investigation or speak to anyone from that list and so
11 on. So it wasn't something that we were involved in.
12 And also, for the most part, we were not investigating
13 perpetrators per se, it wasn't a part of our mandate to
14 go to look for individuals.
15 Q. The names, we know, were supplied to Colonel
16 Stewart as possibly involved in the massacre. Do you
17 know where those names came from?
18 A. We met often with Colonel Stewart. It's very
19 possible that it came from us. We discussed many
20 issues related to what we were doing with the Colonel,
21 and it is very possible that in the course of those
22 discussions he saw the list and actually even received
23 the list from us. It's very possible.
24 Q. If the names came from you, were they
25 therefore, as it were, a subgroup of names coming from
1 the 18 perpetrators?
2 A. I would imagine so, yes.
3 Q. And subject to the same limitations, in your
4 judgement, as any other name on that list?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. Thank you very much. Will you wait there,
8 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President. I
9 wonder if the usher --
10 JUDGE MAY: Just one matter, Mr. Sayers,
11 before you begin. The report should be identified. My
12 notes suggest this is Exhibit 942.
13 MR. NICE: My mistake for not having -- my
14 oversight for not having dealt with that. Yes,
15 Ms. Verhaag confirms it is 942.
16 JUDGE MAY: Good.
17 Yes, Mr. Sayers.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:
19 Q. Witness AB, you gave testimony in another
20 case in October of 1998, did you not?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. I take it your recollection then was clearer
23 than it is today, after the passage of a couple of
25 A. Perhaps.
1 MR. SAYERS: I wonder if the usher would
2 simply put this page on the ELMO, please.
3 Q. Before we go to that passage, Witness AB, let
4 me just correct a lack of courtesy on my part. My name
5 is Stephen Sayers and I'm one of the attorneys who
6 represents the accused Dario Kordic. Behind me are
7 Mr. Kovacic and Mr. Mikulicic, and they represent the
8 second accused, Mr. Mario Cerkez. Thank you.
9 Two years ago when you were asked whether you
10 gave any names to Colonel Stewart, your response was
11 that you did not believe so, that you didn't think
12 so, "No. No, I don't believe so."
13 What has occurred in the intervening two
14 years to change your testimony in that regard?
15 A. I have it in front of me, and actually line
16 9, it says, "I'm not sure. It's possible that
17 something was handed over but I don't recollect any
18 piece of paper," which is -- I still believe is the
20 It was often in the evenings, after dinner or
21 so, that we would sit and discuss many issues,
22 including our fact-finding mission, and it is possible
23 that during those conversations we discussed
24 perpetrators. I think that there were those that were
25 very interested in the names of perpetrators, and it
1 very well could have come up as a topic.
2 I don't recollect officially handing over a
3 piece of paper and stating, "This is a list of
4 perpetrators," no, that, I can't remember. But did it
5 come up in a conversation? It's very possible.
6 Q. But you don't recall it coming up in a
7 conversation, though, do you?
8 A. No. No, I do not.
9 Q. Very well. Now, you're not a trained
10 criminal investigator yourself, are you, sir?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. In fact, I believe that your background is,
13 you have a business degree from an American
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. All right. And you've never had any criminal
17 investigation or forensic training at all, have you?
18 A. No, I have not.
19 Q. Similarly, you've never had any military
20 training, have you, sir?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. What you were trying to do was to come up
23 with factual findings, if you like, which would then be
24 communicated to the Special Rapporteur, and your hope
25 was that this would convince a government or an
1 institution then to conduct a full-scale investigation,
2 wasn't it?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. To your knowledge, did such a full-scale
5 investigation ever -- was it ever conducted by any
6 government or any institution?
7 A. Other than the investigation that was
8 conducted by the ICTY, I'm not aware of any other
10 Q. Your mission, I believe, was to do a
11 fact-finding exercise, and you were not instructed to
12 do any kind of investigation at all, were you?
13 A. A fact-finding mission, yes.
14 Q. Did you consult anyone with professional
15 criminal investigative techniques or forensic training
16 in connection with the conduct of the fact-finding
17 mission that you undertook?
18 A. It's very difficult to answer. We were
19 surrounded by officers from the British Battalion and
20 other organisations in the field such as the ECMM and
21 so on. We did ask questions of them. Yes, I would say
22 we did consult.
23 Q. Right. But you're not saying that the
24 British soldiers to whom you spoke had any kind of
25 criminal investigative training, or forensic training,
1 or anything like that, are you?
2 A. I would answer, no, I mean not specifically.
3 But as being military personnel, they are knowledgeable
4 in military issues, so they have ballistics and they
5 know about military tactics and so on. I think that
6 seeking out a specific expert, I think that was never
7 done, but there are people that conveyed knowledge to
9 Q. Witness AB, were you aware that, in fact, a
10 forensic investigation was done of certain sites at
11 Ahmici to determine whether any combustible accelerant
12 substances such as petroleum had been used in the
13 fighting in Ahmici on April the 16th?
14 A. No, I was not aware.
15 Q. Were you aware that an analysis was done of
16 the size or the calibre of shell casings found outside
17 various houses in Ahmici on the 16th of April and
18 conclusions were reached regarding the weapons type
19 from which those weapons had been fired?
20 A. No, I am not.
21 Q. You met a number of individuals on various
22 occasions. By my count, sir, and correct me if I'm
23 wrong, you interviewed people at the cinema facility in
24 Vitez on two separate occasions. I think that's
25 correct, is it not?
1 A. Yes, that is correct, two or even more.
2 There was actually four -- I visited the cinema four
3 different occasions, but I conducted interviews, yes,
4 on two occasions.
5 Q. You conducted interviews in the city of
6 Zenica on two separate occasions as well. May the 2nd
7 and May the 5th, I believe.
8 A. I'm sorry, the cinema is in Zenica. I'm
9 sorry. In the cinema building itself, that is correct,
11 Q. The cinema building to which I spoke, maybe
12 we're crossing --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Are you saying that your understanding is
15 that the cinema building is in Zenica as opposed to
17 A. That is absolutely correct. I never visited
18 the cinema building in Vitez. I automatically assumed
19 that it was in Zenica. The only cinema that was
20 visited was in Zenica.
21 Q. The confusion is entirely mine, sir, and
22 absolutely not your responsibility.
23 My understanding is that on these four
24 occasions when you were interviewing people who
25 ultimately turned out to be eyewitnesses to some of the
1 events about which this case is connected, you took
2 contemporaneous notes. Correct?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. They are all lost, aren't they?
5 A. They were never retained. They are lost,
6 yes, in fact they are lost. Excuse me.
7 Q. And the tape-recordings that you took, they
8 are gone too, aren't they?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. You yourself, in connection with the division
11 of responsibilities averted to by counsel of the
12 Prosecution, you yourself took onto your shoulders a
13 responsibility for identifying people actually -- or
14 interviewing people actually in the city of Zenica;
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. You yourself, therefore, did not actually
18 interview anybody in the Vitez area?
19 A. No, I did not.
20 Q. When you actually heard this errant
21 tape-recording, the tape quality was very poor, there
22 was lots of background noise, and in your view, the
23 tape quality was virtually useless; is that correct?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. I think, sir, there's no controversy about
1 this. You spent a total of one week in Bosnia from
2 April the 30th to May the 7th of 1993?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. Now, isn't it also true that you and your
5 colleague got most of what information you were able to
6 obtain about what had happened in Ahmici from the
7 British army in various briefings and conversations
8 with British army soldiers?
9 A. Did you say "most"?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. No, I couldn't agree with that statement.
12 Q. Very well. From what other sources, other
13 than the people that you've interviewed yourself in
14 Zenica and the British army, did you acquire
15 information about Ahmici?
16 A. Well, there's the initial contact with the
17 European Community Monitoring Mission. That was our
18 first point of contact even before we deployed to the
19 field, when they had requested that we do a criminal
20 investigation. I think that -- well, there was a
21 number of other sources; refugee -- UNHCR, High
22 Commission for Refugees, there were interpreters,
23 people that we met along the way. There is a number of
25 Q. In connection with the perpetrators about
1 which you were asked by the Prosecution, there was no
2 way that you could have got those names from the Red
3 Cross because the Red Cross, as I understand it, is
4 prohibited from releasing information of that type.
5 Would you agree with that?
6 A. I would agree. I don't think that I ever
7 said that.
8 Q. And the same thing is true for the UNHCR; you
9 never got any names --
10 A. That is correct as well.
11 Q. Now, in connection with your trying to find
12 out some background information, you did, in fact,
13 attend a fairly extensive briefing at the BritBat
14 facility in Bila, just outside of Vitez; correct?
15 A. Yes, that is correct. That's the school?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. I don't know those -- yes.
18 Q. And you spoke with a number of soldiers who
19 had actually been on patrol in Ahmici on April the
20 16th; for example, then Lieutenant Wooley and then
21 Lieutenant Dooley, correct, or do those names not ring
22 a bell?
23 A. Those names do ring a bell, but I believe
24 that they were interviewed by my colleague.
25 Q. And not by you?
1 A. Not by me, that's correct.
2 Q. Very well, sir. In that case, let's move
4 Did you have available to you information or
5 written reports from the European Community Monitoring
6 Mission about which you or upon which you relied in
7 order to gain an understanding as to the basic
8 background of events that had occurred immediately
9 prior to the dreadful events in Ahmici?
10 A. There was a report, but I believe that that
11 report came much later, at a much later date. But I am
12 aware of a report and I did read a report, but I don't
13 believe that I read it while we were there or before we
14 arrived. I think it came actually months later, if I'm
15 not mistaken.
16 Q. Very well. Just to cut through this, there
17 is no other written documentation from the European
18 Community Monitoring Mission or from the British army
19 of which you're aware that you relied upon in preparing
20 your interim report and ultimately the final report; is
21 that fair to say?
22 A. That is correct, yes.
23 Q. All right. Now, as I understand it, you
24 initially paid a visit to Ahmici during a trip around
25 in an armoured fighting vehicle that was taking you all
1 around the area, and the total trip lasted about two or
2 three hours; is that right?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. And you had no communication with the tank
5 commander, you were simply having things pointed out to
6 you, but there was no dialogue as to the significance
7 of what you were seeing; is that right?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. You did not see any houses on fire that day
10 at all, did you? This is May the 1st, I believe.
11 A. I don't believe so, not in the village of
12 Ahmici, but there were -- no, the answer is "no."
13 Q. Right. Let me turn to the interviews that
14 you've described. The first one was at the cinema or a
15 cinema building in Zenica, and it would be fair to say,
16 sir, without any flourish or exaggeration, that that
17 was a completely unproductive meeting, wouldn't it?
18 A. Yes, yes, that's correct.
19 Q. The reason is because the people who you
20 interviewed viewed you with intense suspicion, didn't
21 they; they didn't trust you?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. Therefore, they didn't communicate any
24 information substantively to you whatsoever, did they?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. In fact, they were completely unwilling to
2 speak to you?
3 A. There was a mass of people. It was very
4 difficult to talk to anyone, and it was one of those
5 things that you just have to give up on. It just would
6 not work.
7 Q. All right. You paid a second visit to
8 Ahmici, along with your colleague and representatives
9 of the British army, I believe, some days later after
10 May the 1st of 1993; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, but I don't recall anyone there from the
12 British army, other than transport.
13 Q. Right.
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. You took the opportunity yourself to tour
16 around the area and were shot at by some unidentified
17 soldiers; correct?
18 A. Yes, that is correct.
19 Q. And you found, in Ahmici on that day, a
20 burned green Muslim flag with Arabic writing on it, did
21 you not?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. You also found large quantities of spent
24 shell casings in front of the destroyed houses, did you
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. And many bullet strike holes in the houses
3 themselves visible to you?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. All right. And that's perfectly obvious to
6 you, wasn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Let me turn to the second visit that you paid
9 to the cinema some time later. Can you recall
10 approximately when it was, how many days later, or one
11 day later, or you're just not able to remember after
12 this large lapse of time?
13 A. No, the second visit was -- let's see. It
14 would be on the third or on the fourth day that we were
15 with British Battalion.
16 Q. And you had, during your second visit to
17 Ahmici, picked up someone's identification card, and
18 that was seen as imbuing you, if you like, with added
19 reliability, and so people were prepared to speak with
20 you, having seen that you had actually paid a visit to
21 Ahmici; is that correct?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. I believe, sir, that on this second occasion
24 you interviewed 12 to 15 people. Correct?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. And there were lots of children running in
2 and out of the interview. It wasn't a particularly
3 useful situation in order to conduct formal interviews
4 with these people, wasn't it?
5 A. Not particularly good, good circumstances,
7 Q. Can you recall, sir, in connection with the
8 18 names that you identified, was it on this second
9 visit to the cinema that you were given this list of 18
10 names or that these 18 names were given to you, or do
11 you just not remember?
12 A. I don't recall exactly, no.
13 Q. All right. I wonder if I could just ask the
14 usher to put this document on the ELMO, and I would
15 just like to ask you if this is, indeed, the list of 18
16 names that you referred to. Thank you.
17 A. I really can't say for sure.
18 Q. Very well. And in your view, it's impossible
19 to authenticate any such lists -- thank you, Mr. Usher,
20 we're done with that. You simply cannot remember who
21 gave it to you or where it came from; is that correct?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. Sir, we were given a document that appears to
24 be dated May the 2nd, 1993, that appears to be
25 typewritten summaries of interviews that apparently you
1 conducted. Do you recall seeing that document in the
2 recent past?
3 A. Yes, I've seen that document. I'm not sure
4 it's interviews conducted by me. There were three
5 attempts at transcribing the tapes -- the tape that I
6 tried to make at the cinema in Zenica. I'm aware of
7 that document.
8 Q. There's also a map that you were -- that was
9 attached to the documents that you were given. Do you
10 recall seeing that map at all? I'll have it put on the
11 ELMO, if I may. Thank you. I wonder if we could --
12 A. Yes, I remember this document, this map.
13 Q. Who gave you this map, sir?
14 A. I believe it's a photocopy that I had made
15 from a newspaper or a journal.
16 Q. And this was during your trip to Zenica in
17 early May of 1993; correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 MR. SAYERS: I wonder if we could just
20 increase the scale of the magnification, please. Is
21 that possible? Actually, no, the other way. There you
23 Q. Now, there are a number of black arrows that
24 are showing right at the top of the picture there, two
25 pointed towards Vitez and to the east of Vitez, two
1 pointed essentially either side of Busovaca. And
2 according to the legend, it says, "Direction of BH army
3 attack." Did you ever have any discussions about this
4 particular map or plan with anybody, sir?
5 A. No, I did not.
6 Q. In connection with the interviews that you
7 conducted in Zenica on May the 2nd, 1993, you asked
8 whether there were any armed forces in Ahmici, and you
9 were told that there were a few but very few; is that
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. According to the survivors that you
13 interviewed, all of the soldiers were wearing normal
14 camouflage HVO uniforms and none of them were actually
15 wearing black uniforms; is that correct?
16 A. I don't remember, I don't recall.
17 Q. Let me just read you a statement from an
18 interim report that's already in evidence, Your
19 Honour. This was prepared by Witness AB and the other
20 witness. It's Exhibit D66/1, and on page 6 of that
21 interim report, which you participated in writing, did
22 you not, Witness AB --
23 A. If that's the document, I would imagine so,
25 MR. SAYERS: Maybe it would be better if --
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness see it.
2 MR. SAYERS:
3 Q. Unfortunately, Witness AB, this document
4 doesn't have any page numbers on it, but if you could
5 turn to the sixth page, I think that's the one I'm
6 interested in. It says:
7 "The team did not receive any eyewitness
8 accounts of their involvement in atrocities --"
10 "Because of their distinctive black uniform,
11 soldiers belonging to HOS can be easily distinguished
12 from HVO or other soldiers."
13 And you did not receive any reports, as far
14 as you can remember, of any of these distinctive black
15 uniforms being seen by any of the eyewitness survivors
16 in Ahmici, did you, sir?
17 A. That's page 6?
18 Q. Yes. It's about four or five inches up or
19 five inches up from the bottom of the page.
20 A. I don't understand the context of the whole
21 question. I'm a bit confused. How does it relate to
22 this report and --
23 Q. That's entirely my fault. You do not recall
24 any of your eyewitnesses survivors telling you that
25 they saw people wearing black uniforms in Ahmici?
1 A. No, I do not recall.
2 Q. Thank you. That's the only point I wanted to
4 Now, sir, several of the people you
5 interviewed mentioned that there had been shelling on
6 the morning of April the 16th, didn't they?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. In fact, this was a fairly consistent theme
9 in the reports that you received from the eyewitnesses?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. In connection with the question of snipers at
12 Ahmici, no conclusions whatsoever were reached by you,
13 or your team, or the people to whom you spoke regarding
14 the presence of snipers on the morning of April the
15 16th; would that be fair to say?
16 A. I'm not really sure, actually. If you could
17 repeat the question, please, because it's -- the way it
18 was --
19 Q. That's all right. Obviously, it was a
20 poorly-phrased question.
21 You never actually concluded anything with
22 regard to the presence or absence of snipers in Ahmici
23 on the morning of April the 16th, 1993, did you, sir?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. You also paid a visit to the village of
1 Miletici, did you not?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. You yourself?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. Are you aware of any investigations having
6 been done into the terrible events that occurred in
7 that village, sir?
8 A. No, but we tried to report on that, on what
9 we saw there.
10 Q. You're not aware of any punitive acts or any
11 punishment being meted out to the people that were
12 responsible for that massacre, are you?
13 A. No, I'm not.
14 Q. Or of any military officers being relieved of
15 responsibility as a result of it?
16 A. No, I'm not.
17 Q. It's fair to say, sir, is it not, that during
18 all of the interviews that you conducted in the city of
19 Zenica, you cannot recall Mr. Kordic's name ever coming
20 up once; that's fair to say, isn't it?
21 A. That is fair to say.
22 Q. Now, in the briefing that you received from
23 the British Battalion, your briefing was that
24 Mr. Kordic was a politician, the vice-president of the
25 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna; is that right?
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. You weren't ever told that he was ever any
3 kind of a military commander, were you?
4 A. No, I was not.
5 Q. In fact, you were briefed to the contrary,
6 that Colonel Blaskic was the overall military commander
7 of all HVO military forces in the Lasva Valley;
9 A. Yes, I believe that that would be correct,
11 Q. In connection with the draft report that you
12 prepared, sir, Exhibit D66/1, you say that there were
13 101 confirmed dead as a result of your fact-finding
14 mission, 96 Muslims and 5 Croats; right?
15 A. I don't know if we actually said "confirmed
16 dead." I believe that we did try to confirm the list,
17 the original list that was submitted to us to the best
18 of our ability, and with all the information gathered,
19 that that number was approximately accurate.
20 Q. All right. That's fair enough. You never
21 saw any videotapes of Mr. Kordic, for example, giving
22 press conferences, did you?
23 A. No, I did not.
24 Q. You've never read any articles that summarise
25 speeches given by Mr. Kordic, have you, or at least
1 before you prepared this report?
2 A. I have since, yes. That is accurate.
3 Q. And you'd never seen any videotapes of
4 speeches given by Mr. Kordic, other than in press
5 conferences, if there were any, before you wrote your
6 report, did you?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. In fact, insofar as Mr. Kordic is concerned,
9 you basically had no information yourself at all, did
11 A. That is correct.
12 MR. SAYERS: I have no further questions,
13 Your Honour.
14 Thank you very much, indeed, Witness AB.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
16 Q. Good afternoon, Witness AB. My name is Goran
17 Mikulicic, and in this case, together with my
18 colleague, Mr. Kovacic, I represent the second accused,
19 Mr. Mario Cerkez. I'm sorry to have my view obstructed
20 like this but this is for security reasons, obviously.
21 Witness AB, you stated that in the Zenica
22 cinema hall, you had spoken with persons who had been
23 accommodated there after the events in Ahmici and who
24 were still in a state of shock. In relation to that, I
25 would like to ask a couple of questions.
1 You spoke with two women and you recorded
2 those conversations, and you have also described their
3 fate today. One of them, Mrs. Sadeta Ahmic, was asked
4 by you to give you names of perpetrators, to the best
5 of her knowledge, perpetrators of the crimes in
6 Ahmici. Did she actually do that? Did she give you
7 any names? Do you have any recollection of that today?
8 A. I'm sorry, but I don't necessarily recall
9 actually asking that question per se. I think that --
10 it's difficult to answer the question the way it was
11 phrased. If you can just be a bit more specific. I
12 believe that she did mention names, but with that
13 particular person, I believe that she basically spoke
14 into the tape recorder and that was just a small piece
15 of information that I -- I'm not really clear, if you
16 could rephrase it.
17 Q. I apologise. It was entirely my mistake. I
18 will try to be as brief as possible in my questions.
19 But let us first establish something as a
20 preliminary matter. As an official of the United
21 Nations who worked in the service of human rights, you
22 did not go to Ahmici in order to investigate individual
23 responsibility of possible perpetrators; is that
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Your main task was to establish whether there
2 had been any violation of human rights, and if so to
3 what extent, and whether the authorities in Vitez and
4 in that area could be possibly held accountable for
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. Therefore, would it be right to conclude that
8 you did not go there in order to identify the
9 perpetrators of the crime as individuals?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. However, while speaking to the persons in the
12 Zenica cinema hall, to your best recollection, those
13 persons, and I have three persons in mind, Mrs. Puscul,
14 Mrs. Ahmic, and Mr. Ahmic, did give you certain
15 indications as to who the perpetrators had been; is
16 that correct?
17 A. That is correct, but also I did not speak to
18 Mr. Ahmic at the cinema, it was at a different
20 Q. I understand. Is it correct, since you've
21 mentioned Mr. Ahmic, that he said that he had
22 recognised individuals who had been there that morning
23 in the attack on Ahmici and that he had recognised them
24 as his neighbours?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. On the other hand, Mrs. Puscul also named
2 certain individuals whose names can be found on the
3 list that you have just been presented with; is that
4 correct as well?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. I have a question in relation to your arrival
7 in Ahmici and the fact that you mentioned a certain
8 flag that you had found there. Is it correct that it
9 was a green flag with some Arabic inscription on it?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. Do you know by any chance anything about that
12 particular type of flag? Was that an official flag
13 that was used at that time in the area or was it some
14 different flag?
15 A. I'm not really clear. I don't believe
16 that -- it is an official flag. I don't know if it was
17 there officially.
18 Q. Do you think, and is it your statement, that
19 the official flag in the territory of Bosnia and
20 Herzegovina was a flag with an Arabic inscription on
22 A. No, no, no, I didn't mean that at all. I've
23 seen that flag before, but its presence in that area
24 and why it was there, it was not an official flag of
25 the area.
1 Q. Do you have any recollection, Witness AB, as
2 to the circumstances in which you had seen that type of
3 flag before that?
4 A. There wasn't much left of that particular
5 flag, but I have seen -- I have seen that in, oh, I
6 don't know, newspapers or in areas. I mean, I've seen
7 the flag before. I really couldn't tell you exactly
9 Q. Very well. Thank you.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I would
11 kindly ask the usher to show the witness Z942 which has
12 just been tendered into evidence so we can use it as
13 the basis for several questions. I'm referring to the
14 report with the attachments that we discussed.
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mikulicic, it is coming up to
16 1.00. If you're going to embark on another area, are
17 you going to be more than a few minutes or would it be
18 more convenient to adjourn now?
19 MR. MIKULICIC: I think it's better to pause
21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now,
22 we'll take the break.
23 Before we do, I want to mention something
24 about Thursday's Status Conference. We have to plan
25 the work of the Trial Chamber for the year, and in
1 order to do that, we need to know how long this case is
2 going to take because there are other cases, as you
3 know, which the Trial Chamber has to deal with and it's
4 a question of fixing dates for them. Now, the
5 Prosecution, I hope, will be able to give us a clear
6 indication of a date.
7 MR. NICE: Certainly.
8 JUDGE MAY: So far we haven't called on the
9 Defence for any information, I think, but the time is
10 coming when that's going to happen. It would be
11 helpful to know an estimate, you won't be held to it,
12 of course, but an estimate as to how long it is
13 anticipated that the Defence might take, how long they
14 would require. I know you can't estimate the length of
15 cross-examination and that sort of thing, but it's a
16 normal thing for counsel to give us an estimate of how
17 long they think their cases may take. So we would be
18 grateful on Thursday if that can be done so that we can
19 plan for the rest of the year.
20 Half past two, please. Could you be back
22 THE WITNESS: Yes.
23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour. With
4 your permission, Mr. Naumovski and myself have changed
5 places for better communication with the witness.
6 Thank you.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
8 Q. Good afternoon, Witness AB. I will keep you
9 for a very brief time, with a few questions linked to
10 these lists that we have already referred to.
11 For that purpose, I should like to ask the
12 usher to show the witness Exhibit 942, which was
13 tendered today.
14 Would you be kind enough, Witness AB, to open
15 the document and the section referring to the list of
16 victims in Ahmici. More than 100 names are on that
18 A. I'm sorry, I don't have that list.
19 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I believe there may
20 be confusion here. I may be able to resolve it. 942
21 was, I think, the interim report and did not come with
22 any attachments. The witness is being examined on some
23 attachments, both the lists which were shown to him by
24 Mr. Sayers and a record of interviews that he had. I
25 was going to put these documents in in re-examination
1 in any event because it seemed that they would probably
2 be helpful. We've given them the number 788, and if
3 that would help Mr. Mikulicic, then he could have that
4 as a document, and I'm happy to be counted as the
5 producer of it. The list he will find towards the end
6 are what I propose might become Exhibit 888, not 788.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: That's the one.
8 MR. NICE: It hasn't yet been formally
9 produced. May I hand in enough copies for the Chamber
10 and the other defendant.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: Sorry for this confusion,
12 Your Honours.
13 Q. Witness AB, you have the document in front of
14 you now, so will you please look at the document marked
15 0074648. That is the beginning of the list of names.
16 A. I have a document which is listed 649. Oh,
17 excuse me, yes, I do have it here.
18 Q. Can the same be said of this document as what
19 you said a moment ago, that you don't really know who
20 gave it to you and under what circumstances?
21 A. I'm not really sure exactly who gave me the
22 document, but I'm fairly confident that I received this
23 document in Zenica at the cinema building.
24 Q. This document was written in Croatian and the
25 title was added in English. Can you explain? Was this
1 something that you did or that was already indicated on
2 the document when you received it?
3 A. I can't recall, but I can tell you that this
4 is not my handwriting. I did not write this on the
6 JUDGE MAY: There's something which I have
7 for the legal officer, please. Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Would you be kind enough to look at the
10 document marked 0074653. It comes a little later in
11 this batch. Would you say that this list was given to
12 you by the same person as the previous one, if you can
13 remember, of course?
14 A. I can't remember, but I can tell you very
15 clearly -- I haven't seen this in such a long time, but
16 clearly it's my handwriting in between the above text
17 and the bottom text where I write, "This is a list of
18 war criminals." That is my handwriting. I did scratch
19 that onto this page.
20 Q. Witness AB, you envisaged what my next
21 question would be. So the words in English in between
22 the two paragraphs was written by you in the English
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. In that case, can you perhaps recollect what
1 prompted you to say that this was a list of war
3 A. If I recall, there was a difference between
4 the lists, and I would have said, "Right, so what is
5 this now," to the person who handed it to me, "What is
6 this?" And at that time, they said, "Well, this is a
7 list of the perpetrators," or something like that, to
8 that effect, and then I would have just quickly written
9 on top, which I obviously have.
10 Q. I see. Be so kind as to look at the previous
11 list marked 00074654.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. (redacted)
20 A. That is very possible.
21 Q. Witness AB, will you please examine a
22 photograph that was tendered today into evidence and
23 tell us whether, perhaps, on this photograph you can
24 recognise the woman as the person we have just referred
25 to? So could this photograph be placed on the ELMO,
2 MR. NICE: Out of an abundance of caution, I
3 wonder if that name is one that ought to be allowed to
4 go out in public. I have no instructions to protect
5 the name, but given the sensitivity of the matters that
6 we are dealing with, I wonder if a source of
7 information of that type ought to be redacted from the
8 transcript, if possible, and asked about in a discreet
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
11 A. So the question, do I recognise the person
12 from a photocopy of a photograph labelled D160/1, this
13 one here?
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Yes.
15 A. No, I don't believe that this is the person.
16 I remember this lady being a little bit heavier set.
17 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Very well,
18 thank you. That brings to an end my cross-examination,
19 Your Honours. Thank you, Witness AB.
20 [In English] Your Honour, if I might return
21 on my place.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
23 MR. NICE: May document Z888 be under seal
24 for reasons of sensitivity, and I have, I think, two
25 questions to ask the witness in re-examination, the
1 first relating to Z888.
2 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
3 Q. If you'd just look at that document, please,
4 Witness AB, that you've just been looking at, the typed
5 pages that start at the bottom with 74639 --
6 A. I have it here.
7 Q. Are these working -- what are these? Because
8 we can see that they are the documents on which you've
9 been cross-examined as to interviews. Can you remember
10 now what these typed sheets are?
11 A. Well, there's actually -- there's a
12 difference between the first two pages, 639 and 640 --
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. I believe that this is where we tried to type
15 up some of our notes. We weren't required to do this,
16 but we believed that there would be an investigation, a
17 proper criminal investigation that would be conducted,
18 so we attempted to put it together. I know this
19 because we added a number of footnotes which helped to
20 verify --
21 Q. Coming to the footnotes, as, indeed, I was --
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. -- starting at 641, we can see your methods
24 revealed in the footnotes where, for example, as item
25 number 1, you visit a location and confirm something
1 that's told to you, and if we turn over several pages,
2 we can see similar entries, in particular, at 644,
3 footnote 7 --
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. -- where a particularly nasty incident was
6 spoken of and then confirmed by a finding of yours.
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. Could you just, to complete the explanation
9 to the Chamber, turn over two more pages. There's the
10 map you've already spoken of, and then at 647 there's a
11 hand-drawn plan. In case anybody wants to know what it
12 was, what was it?
13 A. This would have been one of the first from --
14 the first contacts or the first interviews that I had
15 in the Zenica cinema. This would be a piece of paper
16 that I presented to one of the witnesses to get an idea
17 of the village, the location of that individual's home
18 on a rough map because I didn't have a proper map, so
19 to put into perspective where that individual lived
20 versus the road and so on. This is what that served.
21 If I might add one thing, if I could.
22 Q. If it's on the point.
23 A. These documents are assembled here as an
24 entirety; in fact, I can't recall ever -- these
25 documents were all separate. They really were not
1 compiled as a report and here they're presented as a
2 report. The first two pages --
3 Q. They are not necessarily being presented as a
4 report; they are simply being presented as documents
5 provided by --
6 A. Right. Okay, but we never issued this as a
8 Q. These documents that we've just been looking
9 at show something, in any event, of the notes that you
10 made --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- and of the system that you were
14 A. Yes, absolutely.
15 Q. You've been asked questions about your
16 experience and methods and so on. Do you stand by the
17 report that you prepared with the other witness?
18 A. The report that was submitted to
19 Mr. Masowiecki?
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. Absolutely.
22 MR. NICE: That's all I ask of this witness.
23 JUDGE MAY: Thank you for coming to give your
24 evidence. You're free to go.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
1 MR. SAYERS: Before the witness --
2 MR. NICE: While we're preparing for the
3 witness's departure, the next witness is --
4 JUDGE MAY: Before we go on to the next
5 witness, there may be a point about this witness.
6 MR. SAYERS: Just one very minor point, Your
7 Honours. It's on page 96, line 4 of the transcript.
8 I'd just like to clear something up with the Trial
9 Chamber's permission. The question was:
10 Q You've never read any articles that
11 summarise speeches given by Mr. Kordic,
12 have you, or at least before you
13 prepared this report?"
14 And the answer says:
15 A I have since, yes. That is accurate.
16 I just want the record to be clear that the
17 witness was agreeing with what I said, and that was
18 that prior to preparing his report, he had not read any
19 articles that summarised any speeches or consisted of
20 speeches given by Mr. Kordic.
21 JUDGE MAY: Is that right, Witness?
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, that is correct.
23 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
24 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much, Your Honour
25 [Closed session]
11 Page 12566 redacted. Closed session.
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the
5 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
8 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a
10 Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
11 WITNESS: WITNESS AC
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
14 Q. Witness, you have been asked for protective
15 measures which have been granted; therefore, the
16 pseudonym "AC" will be used in addressing you. But
17 first of all I would like you to tell us whether this
18 is, indeed, your name that is written on this document
19 that will be shown to you.
20 A. Yes, that is my name as is written.
21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
22 Mr. President, paragraphs 4 to 7 of the summary
23 submitted to you have to do with identifying
24 information regarding the witness. So I would like to
25 ask, if possible, for us to go into private session to
1 deal with these paragraphs, 4 through 7.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
3 [Private session]
9 [Open session]
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness, we're going to cover the facts that
12 occurred between the 18th and the 22nd of October, 1992
13 at the time when there was a conflict in Novi Travnik.
14 You recall that on the 18th of October, 1992
15 a conflict broke out in Novi Travnik, and the next day,
16 on the 19th of October, around 22.00, you attended a
17 meeting at the headquarters of the Territorial Defence,
18 a meeting at which the accused Mario Cerkez
19 participated, as well as the mayor of Vitez, Ivan
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. In the course of that meeting, Mario Cerkez
23 and Mr. Santic requested the Muslim representatives to
24 allow free passage for forces coming from Busovaca to
25 reinforce the troops stationed in Novi Travnik.
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. KOVACIC: May I ask my colleague not to
3 lead for the next three paragraphs. Thank you.
4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Witness, could you tell us about what
6 Mr. Mario Cerkez and Mr. Santic said in the course of
7 that meeting, and also what happened in the course of
8 that meeting.
9 A. The meeting, as you said, was held on the
10 19th of October, 1992. Mr. Mario Cerkez, the accused,
11 and Mr. Ivica Santic made an ultimatum to allow passage
12 to HVO units from Busovaca to Novi Travnik to support
13 HVO units which were in Novi Travnik. So the exclusive
14 demand was to lift the blockade on the Busovaca-Vitez
15 road at the section near Ahmici.
16 Q. What was the reaction of the Muslim
17 representatives, and I'm having in mind the military
18 representatives of their delegation, to this request?
19 A. Since it was an ultimatum, the
20 representatives of the Muslim party were not willing to
21 talk at that level about that specific problem. Fuad
22 Kakjno, as one of the most prominent representatives of
23 the Bosniaks in Vitez, suggested that the question
24 should be debated during the following day. However,
25 Cerkez and Santic insisted on their request, and they
1 insisted that the blockade of the road be removed.
2 Q. Bearing in mind this refusal of the Bosnian
3 representatives, what was the decision that Mario
4 Cerkez took during that meeting?
5 A. During the meeting, faced with such a
6 response of the Muslim side, Cerkez said that he had to
7 consult with his boss, Mr. Kordic, who at that time was
8 somewhere in the area of Novi Travnik. So he made a
9 telephone call, and we could tell by that telephone
10 conversation that Mr. Kordic was abiding by his
11 ultimatum and that he was insisting that the road in
12 Ahmici should be deblocked.
13 At one point in time after that, sometime
14 after that, Fuad Kakjno approached the telephone, and
15 he also spoke to the accused, Mr. Kordic. And at that
16 moment, we could hear -- from the receiver, we could
17 hear Kordic, who said that there would be no
18 negotiations until the ultimatum was respected, that
19 there should be no talk, and that there was only one
20 thing that could be done. Otherwise, we would not be
21 responsible for what could follow. He requested that
22 the BH army commander, Refik Lendo, be turned over to
24 Q. Did he speak about the commander of the BH
25 army in Novi Travnik during that telephone
2 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Sorry, I
3 did not get that answer in the French translation, and
4 now that I'm looking at the transcript of the English
5 interpretation, I can see that the witness has already
6 answered that question.
7 Q. Following that telephone conversation, there
8 was a refusal by the Muslim side, and Mr. Cerkez and
9 Mr. Santic withdrew at that point.
10 A. Yes. They withdrew and returned to the HVO
12 Half an hour later, approximately, they again
13 called the Muslim representatives and again issued an
14 ultimatum to the same effect, that the route be
15 deblocked, since they did not get a satisfactory answer
16 once again.
17 Immediately after that, the location where
18 they were was hit by a hand grenade, which fell a few
19 centimetres -- a few dozens of centimetres from the
20 entrance to the room, and one can conclude that the
21 person who was targeting the building knew exactly who
22 was in the building at that time and that the building
23 was actually -- that representatives of the Muslim
24 community were at the building at the time. However,
25 the grenade did not hit its target, because it fell
1 several centimetres away from the window.
2 Q. You spoke about a new ultimatum which was
3 conveyed by the telephone to Mario Cerkez and Ivan
4 Santic. Was it said, during that ultimatum, that the
5 village of Ahmici would come under attack if the
6 blockade was not removed?
7 A. Yes, that's exactly what was said. Cerkez
8 said that if the barricade is not removed, the village
9 of Ahmici will come under attack.
10 Q. As regards this grenade that fell near the
11 building, you don't know what the source of it was, you
12 don't know where it had come from?
13 A. I could not confirm anything, because --
14 although later on, there were rumours around the town
15 as to the perpetrators of that act. However, there is
16 no reliable information about that because no
17 investigation was conducted later on, and I do not wish
18 to accuse anyone for that attack.
19 Q. On the following day, on the 19th of October,
20 which took place on the -- that is, in the morning of
21 the 20th of October, the village of Ahmici was
22 attacked, and you know that the attack had been
23 conducted by the local commander of the Ahmici area.
24 His name was Nenad Santic, and he was therefore
25 responsible, in charge of the area of Ahmici, Zume, and
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. One of your cousins, your brother-in-law, to
4 be precise, told you that Nenad Santic had personally
5 used a grenade launcher and that he was the person who
6 targeted the Ahmici mosque, who hit the minaret of the
7 Ahmici mosque?
8 A. Yes. He was killed later on during the
9 events in Ahmici. He lived in the immediate vicinity
10 of Nenad Santic, the cousin of mine, and he had such
11 information, and that was what he told me once.
12 Q. On the 22nd of October, 1992, two days later,
13 a ceasefire agreement was finally signed.
14 I would like now to show you a document which
15 has already been produced in this case, Exhibit number
16 Z246. Witness, could you please tell us whether this
17 document is the document which consists of the
18 ceasefire agreement you spoke about?
19 A. Yes, that's the document I referred to.
20 Q. The name of Mario Cerkez appears as the name
21 of one of the signatories of this agreement, does it
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. In early 1993, on the 26th of
25 January, 1993, sometime after midnight, you were
1 attacked at your home, you and your family, by HVO
3 A. Yes. This took place on the 26th of January,
4 after midnight. Two armed soldiers of the Croatian
5 Defence Council forced their way into my apartment.
6 They were asking for weapons, and they also wanted some
7 other information. They abused me in front of my
8 family. They maltreated members of my family. They
9 also physically attacked me, and they spent some two
10 hours at my place torturing all of us all the time.
11 They took away all valuables, all money and jewellery
12 which they could find at my place. But I happened to
13 survive the attack.
14 However, they spent the whole night in an
15 orgy, those soldiers of the HVO, because later on, on
16 the next day, we were informed that the same happened
17 to about 20 other Muslim families in the same part of
18 the town.
19 I reported the event to the authorities of
20 the Bosnian police. However, no investigation was ever
21 conducted, of course, and I am not aware -- I do not
22 know who the perpetrators of this criminal act were.
23 However, what I can tell with certainty was that one of
24 them was a local member of the HVO, because he was
25 wearing a mask on his face, which indicated -- which
1 testified, actually, to his desire not to be
2 recognised. And aside from that, he spoke in such a
3 way that it was possible for me to conclude that it was
4 someone from the area, from the immediate vicinity.
5 However, I cannot say exactly who it was.
6 Q. Sometime later on, on the 3rd of February,
7 1993, a murder was committed in the village of
8 Nadioci. (redacted)
11 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I am
12 saying this for the benefit of the Defence, and I would
13 like this to be excised from the transcript because the
14 name of the witness could be disclosed.
15 Q. A TV crew from the Vitez TV, where you worked
16 at the time, was sent to film the scene of the crime.
17 During that crime, the house of that person, of the
18 victim, was also destroyed in an explosion?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. You have handed over to our office a
21 videotape which is actually a documentary that was made
22 at that time. You were able to view this tape during
23 your interview yesterday with the representative of our
25 A. Yes. That is the material in question.
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] It is a
2 videotape which was exhibited as Exhibit Z559, and it
3 was used during the examination of another witness
4 sometime earlier on.
5 Q. Witness, you had some information according
6 to which the perpetrator of the incident was an
7 individual by the name of Miroslav Bralo, also known as
9 A. Yes. That information was provided to me by
10 my brother-in-law, my sister's husband, who lives in
11 the immediate vicinity of that location.
12 Q. Miroslav Bralo apparently bragged about being
13 the perpetrator of that crime, according to the
14 information you had at that time?
15 A. Yes, yes, you could say so, because -- the
16 incident in question was a murder, and it would only be
17 logical for a perpetrator to cover all the traces of
18 the crime. However, this is not what happened in this
19 case. The individual in question bragged about this on
20 several occasions in the village where he lived at the
21 time, and he also said that he had been the perpetrator
22 of the crime to the members of the Bosniak community in
23 the area. He said that he was the person who had
24 killed the victim we spoke about.
25 Q. You learned that there had been a meeting
1 chaired by Mr. Pero Skopljak, who was the president of
2 the Vitez HDZ. During that meeting, Mr. Skopljak
3 suggested that a joint investigation should be
4 conducted into the killing that had been committed, and
5 according to your knowledge, the individual named Bralo
6 was never a suspect in that investigation concerning
7 this particular incident?
8 A. Yes. The individual -- the way the incident
9 was -- the crime that was perpetrated was very cruel,
10 and this, of course, caused tension in the area. You
11 have to bear in mind the political activity of the
12 authorities who were in power at that time in Vitez,
13 and a meeting was held which was attended by Mr. Pero
14 Skopljak, as a representative of the Croatian side, and
15 he did promise an investigation into this incident, and
16 he promised that adequate measures would be taken to
17 punish this individual. However, no report was ever
18 made on that investigation, and according to what I
19 know, Miroslav Bralo was never indicted and was never
20 punished in any way.
21 Q. During 1993, you yourself were arrested and
22 detained. We shall speak about that later on. During
23 your detention at the Kaonik camp, you heard the name
24 of Miroslav Bralo mentioned again, and apparently a
25 friend of yours who was digging trenches under the
1 control and command of Miroslav Bralo on one occasion?
2 A. Yes. While I was in Koanik, that is, from
3 the 5th until the 15th of May, 1993, I had contact with
4 certain individuals who, because of their ethnicity,
5 because of their Bosniak ethnicity, were detained
6 there, and a person who had been taken to dig trenches
7 told us that a certain individual nicknamed Cicko --
8 and this man was not from our area, he was not from the
9 area of the Busovaca or Vitez municipality so he was
10 not quite sure who the individual in question was.
11 However, he remembered the nickname of Cicko, and he
12 told us that he had bragged about killing a family, a
13 whole family, that is, two families, families Cerimic
14 and Salkic, in the village of Nadioci. Those people
15 apparently lived in his neighbourhood.
16 Q. Those two families were killed during the
17 attack on Ahmici on the 16th of April, 1993.
18 A. Yes, the incident took place on the 16th of
19 April, 1993.
20 Q. You personally knew Bralo. He could have
21 been easily recognised by the authorities in Vitez
22 because of the way he dressed.
23 A. Yes, I do remember him but not very well. I
24 remember him from a period of time where he had no
25 importance whatsoever in the municipality of Vitez,
1 nobody was ever really interested in him. But what I
2 remember was the very extravagant way he dressed, he
3 always wanted to be somehow special, and that is why he
4 stood apart from other people in that town.
5 Q. According to your knowledge, Witness AC, the
6 individual named Bralo belonged to the HVO in Vitez.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. I would like to show you a photograph which
9 is marked Z1600.
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] The
11 photograph should be found in one of the new exhibits
12 that have been tendered.
13 Q. Could you please tell us whether the person
14 you have mentioned, Miroslav Bralo, nicknamed Cicko, is
15 the person on this photograph.
16 A. Yes, that's him.
17 Q. Thank you, Witness.
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] A
19 clarification for the record. Speaking of the
20 videotape, it is the videotape exhibited 2559.
21 Q. At the beginning of April 1993 --
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
23 I apologise, I waited for my colleague to reach this
25 First of all, I would like to ask that
1 everything related to Mr. Kordic be without leading
2 questions. However, I have one additional objection,
3 if you will permit me.
4 In relation to paragraphs 42, 47, and 51, we
5 do object because it calls for speculation or hearsay
6 at least, although it could be termed as rumours as
7 well, and there are no foundations whatsoever for these
8 allegations. I believe that in respect of these
9 paragraphs, Rule 89(D) should be applied because I
10 believe that the need to ensure a fair trial outweighs
11 the probative value and the quality of what is being
12 discussed in these paragraphs. Thank you.
13 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness, could you please tell us if, at the
15 beginning of April 1993, the accused Dario Kordic gave
16 any statements in the media concerning the passage of
17 the Bosnian army units in the territory under the
18 control of the HVO?
19 A. Yes. That was the issue that was debated at
20 that time, and this is what Kordic said in the media.
21 This was also broadcast on the radio and television of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina. It had to do with the --
23 JUDGE MAY: Let me interrupt the witness.
24 Did you hear this, Witness AC, yourself?
25 A. Yes.
1 JUDGE MAY: You did. Very well. Tell us
2 what you heard said.
3 A. I heard in the media, and this was broadcast
4 on the Bosnia-Herzegovinian television, that in the
5 period around the 15th of April, in parts of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina which were predominantly Croat, units of
7 the BH army were supposed to be placed under the
8 command of the HV [as interpreted] units.
9 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
10 Q. So that the record can be clear, you referred
11 to the HVO units and not the Croatian army units.
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] The
14 witness said command of the HVO units. I just want the
15 record to be clear.
16 Q. Witness, what was the reaction of the BH
17 authorities to that request which was made by Kordic in
18 the media?
19 A. There was no official reaction because this
20 was not officially conveyed in any way, not in writing
21 or in any other form, this ultimatum or this request,
22 rather; however, the response of the Bosniak community
23 and the leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina was such that
24 it excluded all such possibility.
25 Q. Following that ultimatum that you referred to
1 which was formulated by Dario Kordic, were there any
2 incidents that took place as a result of that in the
3 municipality of Vitez? Were there any arrests of
4 Muslims, for example?
5 A. During the said period, because the ultimatum
6 was running by the 15th of April, members of the BH
7 army, it was clear, were not going to accept the
8 ultimatum. So a few days before the 15th, a lot of
9 pressure was exerted on the members of the Bosniak
10 community, and those residents were arrested in the
11 municipalities of Novi Travnik and Busovaca, for
13 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
14 Apparently, we do not have simultaneous interpretation
16 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Very well.
17 Thank you. The witness should be asked to repeat the
18 passage that has not been interpreted.
19 A. The ultimatum which the accused Kordic sent
20 out and which was to be met by the 15th of April, 1993,
21 as it was obvious that the members and the leadership
22 of the army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina would
23 reject such an ultimatum, for a few days before the
24 expiration of the ultimatum, very forcible pressure was
25 brought on individual Bosniaks, especially those who
1 held prominent, eminent positions, eminent posts, among
2 the Bosniak people.
3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
4 Q. On the 15th of April, the request for a
5 meeting, was this formulated by the representatives of
6 the Croats and put to the representatives of the
7 Bosniak population?
8 A. The repression against the members of the
9 Bosniak people was growing those days, and Bosniak
10 representatives asked that a meeting be convened so as
11 to try to solve the problems which were accumulating;
12 however, representatives of the Croat side proposed
13 that a meeting of such a nature and of such a level be
14 held on the 16th of April, that is, the next day,
15 around 12.00.
16 Q. You yourself were informed about the
17 arrangement of that meeting by Muslim representatives
18 in Vitez. Could you tell us who it was who told you
19 about that?
20 A. About the meeting and the outcome of the
21 meeting, I was given information by the late Saban
22 Mahmutovic and Sefkija Dzidic, who was the commander of
23 the Territorial Defence staff.
24 Q. The day set for the meeting, the 16th of
25 April, it was the day when the HVO launched an attack
1 on Vitez, isn't it?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did this attack come as a surprise to you?
4 A. Yes, to me personally and all the other
5 members of the Bosniak people, all the more so as we
6 expected, I could say, that a meeting would be held
7 that day which would resolve the problems that had
8 accumulated in the municipality of Vitez.
9 May I also remind you that the massacre in
10 Ahmici took place that morning at around 5.30.
11 Q. Why did the HVO withdraw its proposal to hold
12 this meeting and on that same day, that is, on the 16th
13 of April, launch an attack on the village of Ahmici?
14 Isn't that contradictory, calling a meeting and then
15 conducting an attack?
16 A. Well, it could be a contradiction, unless we
17 knew what would happen the next day. The butchery in
18 Ahmici was a major tragedy which could not have
19 happened just like that, which could not have been a
20 spontaneous one. It showed that there was a
21 well-organised plan behind it. Therefore, the proposal
22 to hold a meeting that would be presumably held on the
23 16th of April was intended to undermine the vigilance,
24 the alertness of the Muslim population and thus mask
25 the attack on the members of the Bosniak people.
1 Q. You yourself met surviving refugees from the
2 massacre in Ahmici. Did these persons speak to you
3 about Nenad Santic who had, according to them, taken
4 part in the massacre?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did they tell you anything about the role
7 that Nenad Santic played there?
8 A. Yes. The survivors all testified that the
9 operation was headed by Nenad Santic, that he was in
10 one of the houses in Santici, and those who survived
11 were taken for interrogation by him.
12 Q. Did you get any information at the time about
13 the Ahmici attack, about the attack on Ahmici in the
14 area of Vitez?
15 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour --
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Go carefully and we'll hear
17 what the evidence is.
18 A. Could you repeat the question, please.
19 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
20 Q. At the time that we are talking about, that
21 is, April 1993 and in the days after that, did you get
22 any information regarding the attack on Ahmici and the
23 attacks launched by the HVO in the area of Vitez?
24 A. I and my family were in the town which was
25 formerly controlled by the HVO, and our movement was
1 restricted, that is, we could not leave that area. But
2 I knew what had happened in Ahmici that very morning
3 and I knew about the crimes committed by the HVO in the
4 town, having killed seven civilians in the part of the
5 town controlled by the HVO.
6 Q. According to the information that you could
7 collect, some of it you also learned yourself, this
8 attack had been prepared.
9 A. No doubt, I think, one can claim with
10 certainty that it was an organised and planned attack
11 and that its launching and its preparation involved the
12 highest ranking structures of the Croatian Defence
13 Council, not only in Vitez but throughout the Lasva
15 When I say that, I mean that the accused
16 Kordic was the top-most military and political
17 representative of the Croat people, that he --
18 JUDGE MAY: I must interrupt you,
19 Witness AC. We do have our rules about evidence and we
20 have to deal with it very carefully.
21 Now, who told you about Kordic in this
23 A. What I'm saying now is the result of my
24 analysis which is, if I may call it that, an
25 intellectual analysis, an analysis of a man who was
1 present in the military and political life in the
2 municipality of Vitez. In other words, Dario Kordic --
3 JUDGE MAY: No. What we want to hear really
4 is your evidence. Did you see Dario Kordic at all in
6 A. That morning, you mean?
7 JUDGE MAY: At about this time.
8 A. No, I did not. No, I did not see him.
9 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Witness AC,
10 did you have a document in your possession or did
11 anyone speak to you specifically about the
12 responsibility of the accused Kordic for the events
13 that you have just told us about?
14 A. I can only refer to a large number of people
15 who thought about those things and who came to the same
16 conclusions about the event as I did. But a document
17 that would be charging the accused with the
18 responsibility, no, I do not have such a document.
19 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment.
20 [Trial Chamber confers]
21 JUDGE MAY: No, Mr. Lopez-Terres, we shall
22 not admit the evidence, 47 or 51.
23 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation]
24 Mr. Lopez-Terres, you should know in this case, and
25 also whenever you're preparing some testimony, this
1 objective, that individual analysis of various
2 individuals simply are of no concern to us, individual
3 analysis or impressions. We cannot use these
4 impressions, and you should know that.
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] If I may
6 draw attention to the fact that there is a second part
7 of paragraph 47 which concerns another name, and that
8 the witness has simply had no opportunity of telling us
9 anything about that.
10 JUDGE MAY: Did you hear anything about a
11 name for the operation?
12 A. Yes, I did.
13 JUDGE MAY: And who did you hear that from?
14 A. The first time that name -- 48 Hours of Ashes
15 and Dust, the first time I heard it was at the time of
16 my stay in the Kaonik prison.
17 JUDGE MAY: And who told you that that was
18 the name of the operation?
19 A. It was a member of the BH army who had also
20 been detained, and in the passages -- who had been
21 detained before me and who even was in prison before
22 the attack on Ahmici, that is, a man who at the time
23 was not outside, and he mentioned that name. It meant
24 nothing to me, because at that moment I knew nothing
25 either. But when I came out, after I was exchanged, I
1 was told that that name -- the name of that operation
2 was also used by the intelligence of BH army from the
3 detained HVO members at the time.
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
6 Q. The 18th of April, 1993, at the time where
7 you were still at home, you heard a very powerful
8 explosion which took place in Stari Vitez. Do you
9 remember about half an hour before that explosion that
10 you and your family and other inhabitants of the
11 building were told -- were asked to seek refuge in the
12 cellar of the building?
13 A. Yes, that is true. Since my family and I
14 were in the part of the town controlled by the HVO and
15 it was Sunday, the 18th of April, half an hour before
16 that detonation an armed HVO member was going from one
17 flat to another, warning the tenants to go down to the
18 cellar. We did not have a clue as to what it was, so
19 we simply blindly complied with that order. And when
20 we reached the cellar, that is, my family and I, we saw
21 already very many people there.
22 About half an hour later, a terrible
23 explosion took place. The size of that explosion, I
24 can tell you that its aftermath was terrible, because
25 even -- because we were about one kilometre from the
1 site of the explosion, and nevertheless some of the
2 window panes in our building were also shattered and
4 Q. Witness AC, that soldier who warned you about
5 the imminence of that event, when he told you to go to
6 the cellar, it was a local soldier from the Vitez
7 Brigade, wasn't he?
8 A. He was a local soldier and he had the HVO
9 flashes, but one could not really say whether he was a
10 member of the Vitez Brigade or not from those flashes.
11 But since he was a local man, a man from that place, I
12 believe that he indeed was its member.
13 Q. On that same day, on the 18th of April, you
14 were arrested and taken to the cinema in Vitez?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Could you tell us, who were the persons, or
17 at least which units did the persons who arrested you
18 belong to?
19 A. They were members of the HVO military police.
20 Q. And those military policemen, were they the
21 regional military police or the military police of the
22 Vitez Brigade?
23 A. Those members were from Vitez, but I don't
24 know the hierarchy or how those military police were
25 organised. I don't know, but I believe it was the
1 local military police which made part of the Vitez
3 Q. You were taken to the cinema. That cinema,
4 was it far from the Central Bosnian headquarters in the
5 Vitez Hotel?
6 A. It was in the immediate vicinity, perhaps a
7 couple of dozen of metres from it.
8 Q. And was that cinema a place envisaged for the
9 admission of prisoners?
10 A. No, of course not.
11 Q. Was there a particular reason for which you
12 were incarcerated in that particular place?
13 A. The probable reason for which 600 Bosniaks
14 were taken into custody and incarcerated in the cinema
15 and the SDK and the chess club could be the fact that
16 in this manner they prevented certain operations, that
17 is, operations undertaken by the members of the BH army
18 against the HVO units after the Ahmici massacre. That
19 is, the real reason for which we were put there could
20 be found in the fact that we served as a kind of a
21 shield that was to protect that particular command.
22 That is what I will say about that.
23 Q. In the cinema, you tell us you found several
24 hundred detainees. You were put in different
25 precincts, in different rooms. There was the
1 central -- the big central hall where the majority of
2 prisoners were kept, and there were other places as
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Which unit guarded the cinema, as far as you
6 can remember?
7 A. The members of the HVO military police.
8 Q. I shall ask you once again the same
9 question. Would you know if this was the military
11 MR. KOVACIC: I object now. It is the third
12 time consecutively, and I was quiet. It is really more
13 than leading a witness. Each time -- on the first
14 question, he said, "HVO military police." Then on the
15 second, he said, "Well, I'm thinking it may be," but it
16 is the third time consecutively that he's led to say
17 Viteska Brigade, not to mention that his summary, it
18 was Viteska Brigade, which was not repeated on the
19 normal reaction and first answer of the witness.
20 JUDGE MAY: Let's ask the witness. Did you
21 know, Witness AC, where these military policemen came
22 from who guarded the cinema?
23 A. I knew, because I knew some men. I know the
24 full names of some of them.
25 JUDGE MAY: And where was it they came from?
1 A. From Vitez.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
4 Mr. President, just an observation. To remind, I'm not
5 really trying to lead the witness, to prompt the
6 witness. And, secondly, my question was simply, "Do
7 you know which unit guarded the cinema?" I wasn't
8 prompting -- I wasn't leading the witness in any way.
9 Q. You said that you know some names, names of
10 men of the unit who guarded the cinema. Could you give
11 us those names, if you still remember them?
12 A. Yes, I do remember. Those were men I knew
13 well, and the name of one of them was Anto Kovac,
14 nicknamed Sabac, and Zlatko Nakic.
15 Q. Very well, thank you. Now I should like to
16 show you a document, Witness AC, Z591.
17 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, we have objections
18 on this document, and that is for several reasons.
19 First, this document was not disclosed to the
20 Defence, so we did not have any opportunity to check
21 and to see about this document.
22 Second and more important, there are no
23 identifications on this document; like there is no
24 number of the document, no date, no signature. We are
25 not even sure whether it is a complete document.
1 There's no stamps, which usually appear on HVO
2 documents; very untypical by its format, letters,
3 matters of numbering. And even on top of it, we can
4 see added writing, handwriting, in the Dutch language.
5 So for us, we would really ask the
6 Prosecutor, if he wants to use this document as an
7 authentic document, that it should be identified in the
8 proper way. It is the first time we are raising the
9 issue of authenticity, because this one is really out
10 of appearance because of the reasons I've stated.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
13 Mr. President, this document, as you can see, comes
14 from the Vitez Brigade, to begin with. It is a list of
15 290 persons in that brigade. Why do we want to show it
16 to the witness is to show that his name is on this
18 As for the origin of -- as for the source of
19 the document, as my learned friend has noted, yes,
20 indeed, there is something in Dutch for the simple
21 reason that this document was filed with the Office of
22 the Prosecutor by a witness who already testified and
23 who is an officer, Henk Morsink, a Dutchman who was
24 with the European Mission. This document was submitted
25 to us by Mr. Henk Morsink, and in view of the large
1 number of documents which the witness Morsink could
2 show to this Chamber, it's simply at the time of his
3 testimony it did not seem particularly important to
4 join a document containing a large number of Muslim
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, the document
7 can be shown to the witness. He can be asked if he
8 recognises his own name and, indeed, any others on the
9 list as being people who were detained in the cinema.
10 But he can't go any further than that in the way of
11 producing it or authenticating it.
12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Witness, this document is now being shown on
14 the ELMO. Witness, do you recognise your name under
15 206 of the document?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And is that your date of birth and is that
18 the name of your father?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Do you recognise any other names, especially
22 A. Yes, 212. And here, as you were talking, I
23 was looking through it. I recognise quite a number of
24 names, so for people who had been taken into custody
25 together with me and then detained with me.
1 Q. Could you, and we shall finish -- do you
2 recognise the name 263?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. That is the name of Mr. Edib Zlotrg, isn't
6 A. Yes, that is so.
7 Q. And 212, which you mentioned, it is the name
8 of a person called Baktija Sivro, isn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Thank
12 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I may, we never
13 opposed the fact that those particular mentioned
14 persons were there, and if I may remind the Prosecutor,
15 there is already a document numbered D28/2 on which all
16 the names he's just mentioning appear. So there is no
17 need to try to show that this document is true in such
18 an indirect way. It's simply not a true document.
19 JUDGE MAY: You dispute that this is an
20 accurate document, Mr. Kovacic?
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I'm disputing
22 the document itself. Yes, these three or four names,
23 yes, it is quite true, they were there, but we can see
24 that from other documents, even from documents which
25 the Defence produced. I think that now, in this way,
1 by recognising some of the witnesses from this list of
2 299, yes, the witness will recognise five, six, or ten,
3 and I think that it is an attempt to authenticate a
4 document by introducing it at the back door, and we are
5 against that.
6 JUDGE MAY: The fact is the witness is able
7 to identify his own name on the list. He said, in
8 general terms, that he could identify quite a number of
9 the names, and he specifically identified three. We'll
10 admit the document insofar as it goes, that he's
11 identified those names. If the Prosecution want to
12 call more evidence about it to authenticate it, that's
13 a matter for them, but it's sufficient at this stage
14 that it's identified in the way in which it is.
15 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, may I just -- in
16 order to --
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation]
19 Mr. Lopez-Terres, I speak in my personal name, I do not
20 quite understand what is the interest of this whole
21 matter regarding this document.
22 There are two elements that Mr. Kovacic has
23 just referred to. Either you're producing the
24 document to authenticate it as such and you told us
25 that that was not your objective and, therefore, the
1 document is not being produced as an authentic document
2 as such, it is a document brought by a Dutch officer,
3 as you have told us, but which had not been disclosed
4 earlier on; or you're producing it to ask the witness
5 to recognise his name.
6 Maybe I'm not very lucid this afternoon, but
7 I do not understand what is the point in producing a
8 document to make the witness recognise his own name.
9 Of course he knows his own name. Because what is the
10 purpose of the document? That is the only basis on
11 which we can discuss it. Otherwise, we're just looking
12 in the dark. I don't quite know whether it will be
13 well-translated. It means opening doors, leaving doors
14 open regarding evidence.
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Quite.
16 You know, Your Honour, how difficult it is to produce
17 documents coming from the Defence or, in any event,
18 from the accused and the HVO, and it is difficult for
19 the Office of the Prosecutor to reach people who could
20 authenticate this list because we do not have many
21 witnesses who are former members of the HVO, and the
22 accused themselves have refused to testify in their own
23 case. Therefore, we are forced to produce documents
24 coming from the HVO with great difficulty and to ask
25 witnesses at least to comment on them.
1 As for this document, the principal interest
2 of this document is that apart from the fact that there
3 are at least 299 persons being under the control of the
4 Vitez Brigade --
5 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Sorry,
6 you're not answering my question. It is not to comment
7 on the contents of the document. Do you wish this
8 document to be authenticated by the witness; yes or
9 no? That is the first question that you have to
11 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] The
12 interest of this document, Your Honour, is, I would
13 say, the title of this document.
14 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] No. I
15 apologise for interrupting you. I'm not talking about
16 the content of the document. Do you wish to
17 authenticate the document as such by this witness as a
18 document belonging to the Vitez Brigade or produced by
19 the Vitez Brigade?
20 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Not
21 particularly to have it authenticated.
22 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] In that
23 case, let us leave aside the authentication of the
24 document which is contested by the Defence so that the
25 problem of authentication is not being raised.
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] The
2 interest of the document, Your Honour, is to show that
3 the Vitez Brigade recognised through this list that it
4 was detaining persons. The Vitez Brigade, we have the
5 commander of the brigade here in detention, Mario
7 The interest of the document is also to show
8 that the Muslims of Vitez were, according to the
9 Defence, not detained or arrested but were held in
10 various places in Vitez in order to protect them, and
11 for the Office of the Prosecutor, it seemed of interest
12 to produce such a document.
13 JUDGE MAY: I don't think -- we're going to
14 go round and round on this. Look, if you want to
15 authenticate this, you are going to have to call the
16 Colonel back. I think that's the only way in which it
17 can be done. If the document was given to him and it's
18 his writing on it, then he will have to authenticate
19 it, or if you have some other evidence on the topic.
20 This witness clearly can't do it. He can merely
21 identify various names.
22 But if that's the point, to show that it's a
23 Viteska Brigade document, and it's not accepted as
24 such, then you're going to have, I think, to call some
25 other evidence on it.
1 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Let us
2 finish with this document. The document itself cannot
3 be tendered as a document that has been authenticated
4 here. This does not prevent you from asking the
5 witness about names which he may recognise or the
6 certain number of persons on this list. It doesn't
7 matter whether it comes from the Vitez Brigade or not
8 but simply whether he recognises persons named on this
9 list as prisoners held by the Vitez Brigade. That is
10 not authenticating the document. We will, in that
11 case, have testimony based on this list, and the basis
12 of that testimony is something we can rely on rather
13 than the contents of the document as such.
14 Mr. Kovacic appears to want to add
16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Very briefly
17 and linked to what you have just said. I suggest that
18 it should be entered in the record that the Defence is
19 denying that this is a document issued by the Vitez
20 Brigade. It is contesting that.
21 JUDGE MAY: I think the simplest course is
22 not to admit it in evidence, unless there's some other
23 questions you want to ask about it, but to wait until
24 we have the evidence on it.
25 Do you want any more evidence about it,
1 Mr. Lopez-Terres?
2 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] No.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will return the
5 It's ten past four. Would that be a
6 convenient moment to adjourn?
7 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Yes,
8 quite, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MAY: I see there's another document
10 coming up. Perhaps you better have a think about
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now.
14 Witness AC, could you be back, please,
15 tomorrow morning at half past nine to finish your
16 evidence. Could you remember during this adjournment
17 not to speak to anybody about your evidence until it's
18 over, and that does include members of the
19 Prosecution. If you would be back tomorrow at 9.30.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
21 4.10 p.m., to be reconvened on
22 Wednesday, the 19th day of January,
23 2000, at 9.30 a.m.