1 Wednesday, 26
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.42 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. Kovacic.
10 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: DZEMAL MERDAN [RESUMED]
12 [Witness answers through interpretation]
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
14 Q. General, good morning. May we continue where
15 we left off yesterday. I hope we weren't going on for
16 too long.
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I should like
18 to have document Z908/1, and perhaps to speed things up
19 perhaps another document, Z903, 963.1, and 1226.1. If
20 they could all be on the witness's table so that we
21 could get through them quicker.
22 Q. While we're waiting for the documents,
23 General, may I just remind you that the first document
24 we're going to look at is the information about the
25 joint command for Central Bosnia and the headquarters
1 for Vitez, the joint commission for Vitez, as UNPROFOR
2 refers to it. 908.1, please is the first document,
3 Z980.1. This one here.
4 You have already seen the document. It was
5 on the table before you several times. It contains the
6 names from both sides of people delegated and appointed
7 to the joint command. We discussed this -- there were
8 discussions on this before these proposals were finally
9 defined, and there was a general position taken at
10 different meetings that the two sides should put
11 forward officers to become members of this joint
12 command who had not been compromised in conflicts up to
13 that time, particularly not in the ethnic sense, not
14 ethnically compromised. Do you agree with that?
15 A. No. No. That was not a subject discussed at
16 the meetings.
17 Q. So according to you, conditions were not laid
18 down -- I use the term "conditions" in a broad sense --
19 as to which individual should become a part, a member
20 of this joint command?
21 A. No. There was no discussion about that. We
22 accepted the proposals put forward by the two sides.
23 Q. And as we're talking about the Vitez joint
24 commission, do you agree that this included Mario
25 Cerkez, and although the time isn't -- the correct date
1 isn't quoted, and Marijan Skopljak, which says -- and
2 for him it says "Chief of Defence of Vitez." Can you
3 confirm that these two names were in this joint command
4 from the Vitez side?
5 A. The joint command was located in the post
6 office in Travnik, and the local joint commissions were
7 established at the level of the municipalities and
8 brigades. At meetings of a local level, Mario Cerkez
9 would come to those meetings, and I think Marijan
10 Skopljak was there too, but I remember that Mario
11 Cerkez was always there.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you. So we can agree that
13 these were the names in these commissions.
14 A. Yes, for the most part.
15 Q. Thank you, General. And that is how
16 co-operation started. And we're only talking about the
17 Vitez level; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. That's correct.
19 Q. Will you please now take a look at document
20 Z903, 903, and take a look at the last page and the
21 signatures on that page. It says "Cerkez" and
22 "Kalestura". And from this order on the 11th of May,
23 that is to say, soon after this commission was
24 established, I think it was on the following day, in
25 fact, this joint commission, the Cerkez/Kalestura one,
1 set up a commission, and it stipulates the names of the
2 members of that commission, to deal with outstanding
3 questions, and there we have them liberating the
4 prisoners, the state of the wounded, and so on and so
6 First of all, can we agree that these four
7 names of members of the commission are two from the
8 Croatian side and two from the Muslim side; that is to
9 say, from the ABiH?
10 A. Yes. That is correct.
11 Q. That commission started work, did it not?
12 A. Meetings were organised at which we had
13 Mr. Franjo Nakic and myself from the joint commission,
14 and there were meetings at a local level, yes.
15 Q. So we can agree -- let us try and be as brief
16 as possible, without any comments when they're not
17 necessary -- the commission started functioning. And
18 do you agree that it did get through a very serious and
19 difficult piece of business?
20 A. The commission worked on the ground. Whether
21 it functioned as is stated in the document, I cannot
23 Q. But can you confirm that it worked
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. For illustration purposes, we have another
2 document compiled by the commission later in the course
3 of its work, and it was Z965.1. That is that
4 particular document. And if we take a look at the
5 signatures on that document, you will agree that that
6 is the commission in question, is it not, from the
7 previous order?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And when we read this document, although it
10 is self-explanatory, so we don't have to waste time on
11 it, but we can see that on the basis of their work,
12 they give an explanation of the competencies of the
13 work of the commission. Do you agree that that is that
14 particular commission?
15 A. I do agree, yes.
16 Q. And do you agree that we can see that the
17 joint commission was, in fact, functioning?
18 A. The joint commission worked on the ground,
20 Q. Yes. Thank you very much. Have you had
21 occasion to see other reports compiled by that
22 commission during that period?
23 A. There were reports, but I cannot say at the
24 moment what the reports actually were because it was a
25 long time ago.
1 Q. Well, thank you. You can put down those
2 documents. We have finished looking into them. At one
3 point of your testimony, I think it was on the first
4 day of your testimony, you said that on the 15th of
5 April, on the road from Vitez towards Zenica, you saw
6 somewhere at Kaonik, on the road by the Sunce Cafe,
7 that you saw 30 to 50 HVO soldiers wearing black
8 uniforms; that they had rallied around that particular
9 establishment. Do you remember saying that?
10 A. Yes, I do.
11 Q. Witness, that particular locality, in view of
12 your knowledge of the area, do you agree that it was
13 outside the Vitez municipality?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Thank you very much. Let us move on.
16 Further in your testimony you stated that the village
17 guards were not under the control of the BiH army. And
18 I'd like to ask you two or three questions for
19 clarification purposes in that regard. Do you consider
20 that the village guards were self-organised?
21 A. At the level of the village, yes.
22 Q. At the level of the village. I see. And
23 above that level it was the Territorial Defence, was it
24 not, which tried to place the village guards under its
25 control, and I am talking about the Territorial Defence
1 which was controlled by the Muslim side, at least in
2 the Vitez municipality.
3 A. The Territorial Defence never dealt with the
4 question of village guards.
5 Q. Tell us, please, the initiative to organise
6 village guards, and we are talking about both sides,
7 the Croatian and the Muslim side, was that initiative
8 taken by the sides themselves, the parties?
9 A. I cannot say. I don't know.
10 Q. And a direct question to wind up. According
11 to your knowledge, and your opinion, who organised
12 village guards in the course of 1992? Who was it who
13 organised them?
14 A. I assume that they were organised by the
15 villages themselves, in view of the crime that took
16 place and was prevalent during that period.
17 Q. So the villages themselves, to protect
18 themselves from any criminals on the lurch?
19 A. I think so, yes.
20 Q. General, tell us, please, the village guards,
21 at least in a considerable number of villages, and in
22 the Vitez area, I don't know outside this area, but
23 they were mixed, were they not, mixed in composition;
24 that is to say, all the villages, all the population of
25 the villages organised these village guards, and that
1 it was not only the Croats or the Muslims? I think
2 you'll agree.
3 A. In some villages that is true, yes, but
4 afterwards I think those village guards became a
5 separate --
6 Q. You mean on a national basis, nationality
7 basis, ethnic basis?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you hear about this, that there was a
10 regrouping of these village guards, and then that they
11 were dismantled, and then they met again, that is to
12 say that these village guards reacted to current events
13 taking place in their micro community?
14 A. Well, I don't know about that. I haven't got
15 any information on that, but possibly that did happen
16 on the ground, yes.
17 Q. Thank you. At one point in your testimony
18 you stated that before April, 1993, the HVO had high
19 calibre artillery and that you thought that it was
20 located in the quarry in the Vitez area. And I have
21 two or three questions for clarification purposes in
22 that regard, in connection to the artillery. The BiH
23 army in the broader area of Vitez, that is to say the
24 Vitez municipality, also had artillery weapons; is that
25 not so?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Furthermore, by saying what you've said, were
3 you thinking about the howitzers of 152 and 122
4 millimetres which existed in the area? Is that what
5 you had in mind?
6 A. I don't know what side you are talking about.
7 Q. I am first asking whether the HVO had
8 artillery of this calibre and category, howitzer 152
9 and 122.
10 A. Yes, it did, that it had these howitzers.
11 Q. Tell us, please, do you recall that between
12 the 3rd Corps and the operative zone, and we are
13 talking about the time before April, 1993, and you
14 mentioned this, that between these two commands, in
15 order to support the front line at Vlasic, it was
16 decided that each side should give one howitzer, which
17 it did, and that two 152 howitzers were positioned in
18 the quarry at Mosunj; is that correct?
19 A. We attempted, in the autumn of 1992, to
20 establish a joint artillery, but that never came about.
21 Q. So you claim that there was never a pair of
22 howitzers, a place there, each side providing one, and
23 an agreement on giving support and reinforcement to
24 Vlasic, between the operative zone and the 3rd Corps,
25 that an agreement of that kind had been reached and
1 that the effects of it were placed at the front lines
2 there? Do you claim that that never took place?
3 A. We agreed that that should be so, but there
4 was no use -- no use was reaped from it.
5 Q. Do we agree, and you are a military man, I am
6 not, that looking at it from the aspects of utilisation
7 and the justification for having this, the fact that
8 this was at a distance of 125 kilometres to the front
9 line at Vlasic, that this would have been an ideal
10 position for placing artillery of this 152 and possibly
11 122 calibre weapons?
12 A. In the talks that we had, we proposed other
13 positions for the artillery, but this was never
14 accepted by the HVO, because the HVO deployed the
15 artillery as it saw fit. It never took into account
16 the proposals we made.
17 Q. Well, tell me something else in this regard,
18 General. The artillery of this type and this calibre,
19 this power, it was evidently not intended for fighting
20 in the -- around the narrow area where it was located.
21 That is true, isn't it?
22 A. Yes, that is true, because it is a long
23 distance artillery.
24 Q. So it was not required for the support and
25 reinforcement of troops in the town of Vitez proper?
1 A. Well, I don't agree with you there, because
2 it depends where the artillery was deployed and
4 Q. But you do agree that in principle it was
5 long-range weaponry?
6 A. If you place long-range artillery far enough
7 away from Vitez, it can be used to target Vitez.
8 Q. Thank you. Yes. Tell us, please, from the
9 talks and agreements that you had, do you agree that
10 this particular artillery of this calibre was under the
11 control of the operative zone of Central Bosnia?
12 JUDGE MAY: Can you answer that, General, as
13 to who the artillery on the other side was under the
14 command of? Or is it something that you can only
15 speculate upon?
16 A. Your Honour, I don't know who was in command
17 of that artillery. I can only assume that the command
18 -- it was the command of the artillery unit. But I
19 don't know his name and surname. I don't know who was
20 in command, no.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Q. Let us move on. Document Z1226,1. It is
23 this milinfosum document. That's right. That's the
24 one. I should like to draw your attention to the
25 first, second, third paragraph. It is the third
1 paragraph on that first page, and it is "CC Travnik,"
2 the title, and in brackets it has point 1, and it
3 begins with the words "HCC met Mr. Merdan."
4 I think we should have a translation of this
5 document somewhere.
6 Your Honours, I seem to have mixed something
7 up, because this document was tendered by the
8 Prosecution, and I thought we had a Croatian
9 translation, but we don't. So let me take a little
10 time to explain what it's about to the witness.
11 I apologise, General, I thought you had a
12 translation of the text. But in this excerpt, this
13 excerpt mentions the talks between the representative
14 of the ECMM with you, and in the last sentence of this
15 paragraph it states that you spoke about, went on to
16 speak about the efforts or attempts made by Mr. Abdic
17 to establish an autonomous province in Western Bosnia,
18 and that his endeavours were motivated by some
19 personal, private expectations and gains. And that it
20 was fated to failure.
21 Tell us, please, who was Mr. Abdic, the
22 Mr. Abdic that you mention here?
23 A. I don't know what period you're thinking
25 Q. It is the period of the 30th of September,
1 1993. You spoke about the events at the time.
2 A. At that time, as far as I know, Fikret Abdic
3 was located in Western Krajina. The Western Krajina
5 Q. That means the far western part of Bosnia,
6 around the Bihac area?
7 A. Yes. As far as I know, that's correct.
8 Q. Tell us, please, is it the part of Bosnia, to
9 avoid any misunderstanding, that is called Cazinska
11 A. It is part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 Q. You mean the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
13 where the Cazinska Krajina area is located; is that
15 A. It is the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
16 people there of Cazin call it the Cazinska Krajina, as
17 far as I know.
18 Q. Very well. Thank you. Tell us, there was a
19 conflict there between the forces of Abdic, which he
20 had recruited, and the BiH forces; is that correct?
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. Thank you so much about that. My colleague
23 has just cautioned me, because we know a name but you
24 do not know. Mr. Fikret Abdic is a Muslim by
25 ethnicity; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. That is correct.
2 Q. Thank you very much. Furthermore, in your
3 testimony, General, at one point you state that you had
4 communications via Paket link, and I have just a brief
5 question in that regard. Is that a sophisticated
6 system of links or is it a primitive system of
7 communication? At what level of the present
8 technology, communications technology used in Bosnia?
9 Where was this, at the top level, the lower level, at
10 the bottom?
11 A. At that time it was a top level, top quality
13 Q. You mean sophisticated?
14 A. Yes. At that time it was a sophisticated
15 means of communication.
16 Q. Thank you. Do you know that the Operative
17 Zone of Central Bosnia also used this kind of link in
18 respect to the other enclaves such as Kiseljak and
19 Vares? Did you know that then or did you find out
20 about that later?
21 A. The HVO had similar communications, and I
22 think at that time the HVO had a more modern means of
23 communication. It was better equipped than was the BiH
24 army at the time.
25 Q. Thank you very much. General, tell me,
1 please, whether -- let me put it this way: A number
2 of -- many numbers are mentioned when we speak of the
3 numerical composition of the 3rd Corps during the
4 summer of 1993. So for July or August. One figure
5 mentioned, which seems to be realistic, is 20.000
6 soldiers of the 30th Corps -- I'm sorry, 3rd Corps in
7 the summer of 1993. Is that correct? Would that be
9 A. I cannot tell you exactly, but I think there
10 were around 20.000 men, yes.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Will you please look at
12 another document.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] And could the
14 usher assist me in distributing this document, please?
15 [In English] It is Croatian text on the top and
16 translation in English on the bottom.
17 Q. Please be kind enough to look at the first
18 two pages which are in Croatian, and the signature, the
19 number, the date. General, can you confirm that this
20 is the document issued by you?
21 A. If I may be allowed to read through the
22 document, please.
23 Q. Yes, of course.
24 MR. KOVACIC: In the meantime, could I ask
25 for the number?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D55/2.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could a copy be placed
3 under the ELMO, please.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. I don't want to interrupt you, but let us
6 know when you've read it.
7 A. I've read it.
8 Q. General, as a layman, I understand this to be
9 preparations of the army for conflicts for a war and
10 for a long winter. Is that correct?
11 A. What you are saying is correct, but I have a
12 comment to make regarding this order. I always signed
13 this as a Commandant, and the word zapovjednik is used,
14 both meaning "commander."
15 Q. Would you say this is not your document?
16 A. This was drafted by my staff, and I did sign
17 it. This is my signature.
18 Q. So we agree this was a circular letter to
19 several commands, but this particular one is addressed
20 to the command in Vitez; is that correct?
21 A. It is correct.
22 Q. Thank you. Does that mean that this was
23 addressed to the units that you mentioned yesterday,
24 the parties of the 325th that were located in Vitez?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Then to some other unit?
2 A. To municipal Territorial Defence staffs.
3 Q. Oh, I see. Thank you. Just one more
4 question, General. Yesterday, on a number of
5 occasions, you mentioned the 3rd Corps, its structure.
6 What about the 7th Corps, which was also operating in
7 this area or, rather, from what date onwards was the
8 7th Corps present in the area?
9 A. I cannot remember the exact date, but there
10 is an order in the archives of the army of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the exact date of the formation of
12 the 7th Corps. It was established by a division of the
13 3rd Corps. A part of the forces of the 3rd Corps
14 formed the 7th Corps, and it had a different zone of
15 operations than the 3rd Corps. There was a division of
16 the areas of operations between the two corps.
17 Q. General, is it right that parts of the
18 7th Corps stayed on at places along lines bordering
19 with the Lasva enclave or the Lasva Valley? Would it
20 be correct to say that?
21 A. It is partly true, yes.
22 Q. Can we agree that around the whole enclave of
23 the Lasva Valley covering the municipalities of Novi
24 Travnik, Vitez, and Busovaca was surrounded by units of
25 the 3rd Corps and later of the 7th Corps of the BH Army
1 as well?
2 A. Prior to the formation of the 3rd Corps --
3 no, I'm sorry, the 7th Corps, units of the 3rd Corps
4 were partly there. And after the 7th Corps was formed,
5 units of the 7th Corps were partly there. I say
6 "partly," because the bulk of the forces of the
7 3rd Corps and the 7th Corps were deployed toward the
8 aggressor against Bosnia-Herzegovina; that is, the
10 Q. So can we agree that this was roughly at the
11 beginning of August of 1993?
12 A. I'm afraid I cannot confirm the date. So
13 could we please check with the documents or the orders
14 referring to this matter, and they can be found in the
16 Q. But let me put it in broader terms. We can
17 agree that it was sometime in the summer, but we don't
18 know the exact date. The summer of 1993.
19 A. I'm afraid I cannot assert that.
20 Q. Tell me, General, one further matter in this
21 connection. Toward the end of the summer or, rather,
22 the beginning of September, 1993, the personnel of the
23 3rd and the 7th Corps, or the part of the 7th Corps
24 that was in the vicinity of the Lasva Valley, that is,
25 BH Army forces located around the Lasva enclave or the
1 Lasva Valley, were of some 30.000 strength?
2 A. I don't know whether you are referring to the
3 number of inhabitants or the number of troops.
4 Q. The number of troops.
5 A. I do not agree with that estimate.
6 Q. You think there were fewer?
7 A. Certainly much fewer.
8 Q. Thank you. That brings to an end my
9 cross-examination. Thank you Your Honours.
10 A. Thank you too.
11 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
12 Q. General, a few questions. Some of them will
13 be capable of very short answers. Tisovac, did you go
14 there yourself? If so, what did you see?
15 A. During the conflicts, I didn't personally go
16 to Tisovac, but I am very familiar with it, because I
17 visited it several times prior to the conflict.
18 Q. In short, is it a fairly remote place in
19 woodland near a fish farm?
20 A. Yes. I think it is about four kilometres
21 from Busovaca, and there was a fish farm there at the
23 Q. You told us that after your arrest and
24 beating, Glavocevic brought you words of apology. We
25 know that Exhibit 100, which we haven't had to look at,
1 was the warrant for your arrest signed by Kordic. At
2 least we haven't had to look at it in detail for the
3 arrest. Was anything said, by way of explanation for
4 your arrest, or any apology for your arrest, when
5 Florijan spoke to you?
6 A. No, no apologies were addressed.
7 Q. What indeed did he say on Kordic's behalf,
8 when he came to you?
9 A. I cannot remember all the details, but he did
10 say that he was sorry that it had happened and that it
11 should not have happened.
12 Q. No explanation for having you arrested in the
13 first place?
14 A. No, no explanation. I was not given any
15 explanation at the time.
16 Q. You spoke of the man, Bruno Susnja. In a
17 word, explain who he was and why you say he should be
18 called to the Chamber.
19 A. Bruno Susnja is an inhabitant of Busovaca
20 municipality, with whom I used to associate before the
21 war. I know for sure that Bruno Susnja is the founder
22 of the HDZ party in Busovaca. I think he was also the
23 first president of that party for Busovaca
24 municipality. I had several contacts with him, in the
25 course of 1991. I think that he was a person with very
1 realistic opinions regarding the danger that was
2 looming of aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina,
3 something we discussed several times. I also talked to
4 him in the course of 1992. I think that for a time he
5 was influential among HDZ members.
6 Later, he told me that all power had been
7 taken over by Dario Kordic and that Dario Kordic was
8 the alpha and omega not only of the HDZ in Busovaca,
9 but further afield, and that he was the person making
10 the decisions.
11 Q. You've spoken on several occasions of the HVO
12 having control of any Arabs that entered the
13 territory. Can you just explain whether there could be
14 any advantage to the HVO in allowing Arabs in at that
15 time, and if so, what advantage?
16 A. May I go back briefly to the question of
17 Bruno Susnja. I had another meeting with Bruno Susnja
18 in Zenica, I recollect very well now, when he was
19 fleeing from Dario Kordic, who, according to Bruno's
20 allegation, had tried to kill him. And he fled to
22 Now, to come back to this other question that
23 you put to me. I am still convinced that the HVO knew
24 how many Arabs were entering Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was
25 aware at the time that the Arabs brought money. I
1 don't know how and from where. This was outside
2 anyone's control. That they used very expensive
3 vehicles and they were always stopped at HVO
4 checkpoints, arrested, taken into custody and looted.
5 Q. So what, if any, advantage could there have
6 been to the HVO in permitting them in at all?
7 A. In my statement I have already said that the
8 kidnappings were also organised by a group of Arabs.
9 These Arabs who came, as far as I know, via charitable
10 organisations, and that is why they probably brought
11 with them large amounts of money. I cannot assess what
12 the interests of the HVO at the time was, in letting
13 them into Bosnia-Herzegovina, but I assume that the
14 exclusive motive was to seize money and expensive
15 vehicles from them.
16 Q. The closing of communications between
17 Busovaca and Kiseljak before January the 25th, can you
18 say by what events that closure of communications was
20 A. Prior to the 25th of January, 1991, I think
21 that the exact date was the 19th of January, 1991,
22 Dario Kordic was stopped at the checkpoint, as well as
23 Kostroman. As far as I was informed at the time, Dario
24 Kordic threatened to kill the family members of the
25 personnel at the checkpoint. And, as far as I know,
1 Dario Kordic and Kostroman were allowed to pass towards
2 Busovaca. And in the night, between the 20th and the
3 21st, a terrible incident occurred in Busovaca, when
4 all private shops were blown up by the HVO, and then I
5 think it was on the 21st, or the 22nd, when a part of
6 the units of the HVO started off towards Kacuni, and in
7 front of a roadblock they were stopped. And I think
8 there was an exchange of fire.
9 And then on the 24th, or the night between
10 the 24th and the 25th, a roadblock was put up which
11 could not be opened until I arrived there, together
12 with Bob Stewart, who escorted me, and we opened the
14 Q. Give me just one minute, please.
15 There was a passage of what Colonel Stewart's
16 evidence was said to be that was put to you, and you
17 said you didn't think he could have said that. I am
18 just finding that passage, so that you can have it
19 accurately read over to you. I'll come back to that.
20 And I turn to the next passage of material
21 which was put to you, which was from the Washington
22 Post. You confirmed that a journalist had indeed
23 spoken to you, but the passage that was put to you was
24 based on what other sources were said to have said
25 about you, and the article contained no comment from
1 you on what those other sources had said.
2 First of all, did the journalist, to your
3 recollection, challenge you with what these other
4 sources had said about your being the liaison with
5 foreign Islamic fighters and matters of that sort?
6 A. It is true that I did give a statement to a
7 journalist of the Washington Post, who came to my
8 office. It is also true that he saw a small Iranian
9 flag, and not a big one, as he reported, in my office.
10 This flag was positioned between a flag of the United
11 States of America and the flag of the Republic of
12 Turkey. In my office, at the time, there were about 25
13 flags of other countries. These were delegations who
14 officially came to my office and who gave me these
15 flags. The journalist did not report that there's a
16 big Coat of Arms of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
17 in my office and a big Coat of Arms of the Army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina in my office --
19 Q. General, I don't want your comments on the
20 article generally, at least I don't. But I do want to
21 know, did the journalist put to you a passage, that was
22 read out by Defence counsel, about your being the
23 liaison with Islamic fighters, and matters of that
24 sort? And if so, did you either accept what he said or
25 did you deny what he said?
1 A. It is true that the journalist asked me
2 whether I had any connections with the Iranian fighters
3 and the Islamic world. I said I did not have any
4 connection with them.
5 Q. The Court will notice that that wasn't set
6 out in the article. One thing that was set out in the
7 article was this, General Merdan: That the journalist
8 says that you said that the names of brigades weren't
9 important, and that you could have a Muslim brigade, a
10 Croat brigade, or a Serb brigade in the new army, so
11 long as they fight for Bosnia. Was the report accurate
12 to that extent?
13 A. I did discuss that issue with the journalist,
14 that the name was not important, but the purpose of the
15 brigades who were fighting for the maintenance of the
16 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the preservation of the
18 Q. You were asked about a passage of Colonel
19 Stewart's evidence. In fact, what happened was he was
20 asked the question, this is page 12371, he was asked by
21 Defence counsel whether he had told General
22 Hadzihasanovic and yourself that they were at least
23 responsible for the outbreak of the fighting that
24 occurred on the 25th of January. And he was asked
25 whether they both agreed, to which he said, in
1 evidence, "I think I certainly told them. Whether they
2 necessarily agreed, I can't remember."
3 He was then asked about a passage in his book
4 "Broken Lives," wherein he recorded an exchange with
5 you, where, in his book a passage was read out. It's
6 at page 12372. And I better read it slowly for your
7 comment. The passage in the book said:
8 "I felt at this time, at least, the Muslims
9 had been responsible for causing much of the trouble by
10 killing two Croat soldiers. Did the Bosnian Muslims
11 really want a full-scale war in the Kiseljak valley?
12 It seemed to me they were going the right way about
13 it. If they did, it was simply not good enough and
14 something must be done. Merdan agreed, apologised, and
15 said he was ready to come himself and try and sort the
16 problem out."
17 Now, that's the full quotation of what was
18 dealt with by Colonel Stewart. Do you have any comment
19 on any of that, as to its accuracy or otherwise?
20 A. Regarding the incident you mentioned, Bob
21 Stewart did visit me, and he blamed me and
22 Hadzihasanovic for interrupting communications. At the
23 time, I realised that the communication had to be
24 opened for a series of reasons, the most important
25 being for the free passage of humanitarian aid and
1 UNPROFOR units. Since at the time I was in contact
2 with Bob Stewart when he blamed us for the barricade, I
3 said that we would lift the barricade. And I asked him
4 to be kind enough to drive me there in his armoured
5 vehicle to the barricade, and I ordered the roadblock
6 to be removed. About half an hour or an hour later,
7 communication was re-established.
8 If Bob said that we were to blame for the
9 all-out conflict in the Lasva Valley -- I don't know
10 all the things that Bob Stewart said, but I think that
11 on the whole, Stewart knows well that we really did try
12 to avoid a conflict, that we did our best to avoid
13 incidents so that a broader conflict would not flare
14 up. And we had discussed this repeatedly, what it
15 would mean for Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather, the Army
16 of Bosnia-Herzegovina to have to fight on two fronts.
17 That did not suit our interest, nor the interest of any
18 single soldier, to have two different fronts. That was
19 what we had discussed.
20 Q. A very short passage of an exhibit that was
21 not initially produced but was eventually provided,
22 D163/1, was put to you. It's a document -- I'm not
23 going to ask you to look at it again. It's a document
24 dated the 4th of October of 1993. So reporting on the
25 position at that time. The passage which the Chamber,
1 if it wants to find for reference, is on serial number
2 040225, was that in the area controlled by the
3 3rd Corps, not a single Croat village had been burnt,
4 according to you, and not a single church destroyed.
5 What do you say about whether you said that and whether
6 that was accurate as at the 4th of October, 1993?
7 A. Yes. I said that not a single Croatian
8 village had been destroyed and that not a single church
9 had been destroyed either.
10 Q. Was that accurate?
11 A. Yes, accurate.
12 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm not going to go
13 through the artificial exercise of drawing this
14 witness's attentions to other passages of that
15 document, but Chamber will find that the same authors
16 expressed a wide range of views on a number of things,
17 including upon the defendants. And the document has
18 now been produced.
19 Q. It's been suggested to you -- one other
20 document. You were shown a document it's D1A/1. The
21 Chamber will recall it. It's the instructions to the
22 Muslim fighter which originally came to the Chamber in
23 extract but was ultimately provided in full form.
24 You were shown just a couple of extracts from
25 this book or booklet, General. Had you ever seen that
1 book or booklet before? If you remember, it was the
2 instructions to the Muslim fighter, and a couple of
3 pages were put to you about what should be done,
4 whether civilians could be killed and matters of that
5 sort. It was a religious book.
6 A. Yes. I saw that book for the first time
7 here. I did not have occasion to see those
8 instructions previously given to Muslim fighters. I
9 also said that the author of that book is a highly
10 educated man in religion, and he can interpret
11 religious customs much better than I can. I am a
12 believer, but I said that God knows who is the most
13 faithful believer.
14 Q. Was there any practice of distributing
15 religious booklets or pamphlets to guide soldiers in
16 the BiH Army or not?
17 A. The fighters of the Army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina of Islamic faith were spoken to by
19 imams about religion. We also made it possible to
20 members of other religions to express their religious
21 feelings. We never prohibited that, and we are not
22 doing so today in the Army of the Federation.
23 I explained to people who asked me about
24 religion that I believe that religion should be present
25 in the army. To what extent the imams managed to
1 distribute such religious materials among fighters, I
2 don't know, but I do know that the imams did profess
3 the faith among believers in the ranks.
4 Q. Two other questions and one concluding
5 issue. Filipovic, you said, wasn't able to stand up to
6 Kordic. I can't immediately put my finger now on the
7 context, but do you remember that answer?
8 A. I do, yes, very well. In the beginning of
9 1992 or, rather, as early as May, late April or early
10 May, Filipovic was with the district staff of the
11 Territorial Defence of Zenica. At that time, the
12 commander of the Zenica district Territorial Defence
13 staff was Ramiz Suvalic. Now he's a retired Brigadier,
14 Brigadier-General. And Mr. Ramiz Suvalic and I spoke
15 to Filip Filipovic as we knew that he was an HVO
16 representative from the Lasva Valley or, rather,
17 Central Bosnia. We were talking about setting up a
18 joint command headed by Filip Filipovic, and I would
19 then be his deputy.
20 Mr. Filip Filipovic said that Dario Kordic
21 did not go along with this proposal, and that he could
22 not enforce it. He said he regretted that that was
23 so. And I know that he was removed from that post,
24 because I contacted him repeatedly after that, and for
25 a while he was made a company commander in order to
1 debase him from such a high duty. He was degraded to a
2 company commander. During the fiercest conflicts, I
3 believe he was an operative man in the Operative Zone
4 of the Lasva Valley.
5 Q. Did he explain in any detail why he wasn't
6 able to stand up to Dario Kordic or not?
7 A. No. He did not explain it in detail why he
8 could not stand up to Dario Kordic. He simply said
9 that he disagreed with Dario Kordic's concepts.
10 Q. It's been suggested to you that in your
11 evidence you've minimised the real co-operation there
12 was on the ground with the HVO, and I think, by
13 implication, it's been suggested that you were pursuing
14 non-peaceful objectives in the war or warfare that you
15 were, in part, conducting. First of all, have you, in
16 any sense, minimised the co-operation that you actually
17 had with the HVO?
18 A. I never minimised co-operation with the HVO.
19 I always did what I could to establish the co-operation
20 at the highest level, and I was quite ready to
21 subordinate myself; that is, to be Filip Filipovic's
22 deputy. Also that we could stand up to the aggressor
23 against Bosnia-Herzegovina. And I always promoted a
24 reasonable understanding between the HVO and the Army
25 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, sometimes even against my
1 convictions. I would see some points so that peace
2 could come about. All that my family went through, I
3 never spoke about that because I really desired peace
4 to set in.
5 What the Defence said about how I minimised
6 the possibilities for this is not true. What I also
7 said, HVO military potential was insufficiently or very
8 little used to fight the aggressor against
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Lasva Valley, and elsewhere in
10 Bosnia. I do not know what happened elsewhere.
11 Q. You've even been asked questions about the
12 commission of war crimes by those with whom you -- with
13 whom you are associated or in respect of whom you may
14 have had authority. Please tell the Chamber this:
15 Have you come here voluntarily? Have you at any stage
16 sought the advantage of protective measures in respect
17 of giving evidence?
18 A. No. I never asked for any protective
19 measures ever, when I was on the front line or now. I
20 think that truth must triumph, and I'm positive that
21 the truth will triumph and that my life is quite
22 insignificant. I am not afraid for my life, regardless
23 of what will happen in future. I do believe that the
24 truth must come out.
25 MR. NICE: No other questions in
1 re-examination of this witness.
2 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. General, that
3 concludes your evidence and you are released. Thank
4 you for coming to the International Tribunal to give
5 your evidence. I'm sorry you weren't able to finish it
6 and had to break in the middle, so you had to come
7 twice, but thank you very much.
8 THE WITNESS: I should also like to thank
9 you, Mr. President and members of this august Chamber.
10 I was happy to come to testify, and it was an honour
11 for me to be called as a witness. I came of my own
12 free will, and I was quite happy to present the facts
13 and views as I know them. I should also like to thank
14 you for allowing me to comment on some statements on
15 some assertions made here. I do believe that the
16 Tribunal will act upon this and other testimonies and
17 rule as the whole world expects them. Thank you once
18 again for calling me to testify before the court.
19 MR. NICE: If the witness can now leave with
20 the usher, and if we could have a short private session
21 before the next witness, I'd be grateful.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 [Private session]
13 pages 12998 – 13006 redacted – in private session
10 [Open session]
11 THE REGISTRAR: Pseudonym for this witness
12 will be Witness AD.
13 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the
15 A. I solemnly declare that I will speak the
16 truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: AD
18 Examined by Mr. Nice:
19 Q. Witness AD, for that is the name by which you
20 will be known in these proceedings, please look at this
21 piece of paper, and without reading the name out,
22 confirm that that is your name.
23 A. That is correct. That is my name.
24 Q. May the witness have a copy of the summary
25 prepared and served some time ago before him.
1 MR. SAYERS: While the witness is looking at
2 that, Your Honour, we would appreciate that if the
3 Prosecution not lead in respect to paragraph 6.
4 There's also a matter of double or worse hearsay
5 contained in there, 8, 11, 16, and 17.
6 MR. NICE: I'm much obliged. The witness
7 will, in addition to matters referred to in the
8 summary, produce a number of documents, in nearly all
9 cases for very short points of reference. I've got
10 stacks of documents in chronological order that have
11 been provided. No doubt given the proximity of this
12 hearing to the morning break, it will help the Defence
13 to have them all in advance now.
14 JUDGE MAY: I notice the clock is coming up
15 to 11.00, but the witness having just started, we'll go
16 until ten past if that's agreeable to all.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. Witness AD --
19 MR. NICE: Have the Defence had their
20 exhibits? The Defence can have them, of course. And
21 one for the witness himself if that's possible.
22 Q. Witness AD, by background and first
23 occupation, what were you?
24 A. I served in Her Majesty's forces as a member
25 of the Royal Horse Artillery. I served for eight years
1 as an officer and left in the rank of Captain.
2 Q. Yes. You worked for the ECMM between 1993
3 and 1995, (redacted)
8 A. That is correct. (redacted)
11 Q. Rather than put it at the end as a flourish,
12 I think the position is that for your services in the
13 former Yugoslavia, you were honoured in England; is
14 that correct?
15 A. That is correct. I received an award from
16 Her Majesty the Queen.
17 Q. That's the MBE, I think, you were given.
18 A. Yes, Member of the British Empire.
19 Q. In 1993, were your dealings principally with
20 Blaskic or with Kordic?
21 A. They were principally with Tihomir Blaskic.
22 Q. So far as Blaskic was concerned, what, if
23 anything, did he say about his authority for places
24 like Zepce and Vares?
25 A. In establishing his area of authority, he
1 explained to me that he was the commander of
2 Operational Zone Middle Bosnia, and that included the
3 brigades in Vares, the Bobovac Brigade, and the brigade
4 in Zepce, also the brigades in Kiseljak, Vitez, and
5 Travnik, although Travnik had then, by this time that I
6 met him, moved to Vitez.
7 Q. In general -- we may see reflections of this
8 later in your evidence, but in general, as pockets of
9 Croats became isolated or more firmly isolated, what
10 happened to the authority of people in Blaskic's
12 A. Well, Blaskic and other commanders became
13 increasingly more physically isolated. They could not
14 move from their locations to all of the pockets. For
15 instance, Blaskic was unable to go to Zepce or to
16 Vares. Therefore, while on paper those brigades were
17 under his command, it was the case that leaders, both
18 political and military in those pockets, began to take
19 authority themselves and increasingly took independent
21 Q. Did that change the formal lines of authority
22 or not, in your experience?
23 A. It didn't alter the organigramme lines of
24 authority, but certainly it altered the effectiveness
25 of command to actually ensure that their orders were
2 Q. I'll deal with the first sentence of
3 paragraph 5, and the second part of it goes to a later
4 date in the chronology. Was there information about
5 whether the HV were ever involved in the area from time
6 to time?
7 A. There were consistent rumours that HV were
8 involved, and this was, of course, of interest to the
9 leadership both of my mission and those in Vienna --
10 sorry, Geneva, who are carrying out --
11 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, we would object to
12 any rumours of this type. I don't think that's
13 particularly helpful to the resolution of the issue
14 that's before the Court.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's move on.
16 MR. NICE: Yes.
17 Q. General Praljak, when did you first meet him
18 and where?
19 A. I met General Praljak in March or April. I
20 met him briefly in a field position on the Makljen
21 ridge above Prozor. I then met him later --
22 Q. We'll come to that later. Thank you.
23 Paragraph 6. In June of 1993, were you
24 involved with the evacuation of wounded people from
25 Travnik hospital?
1 A. Yes, I was.
2 Q. Can you tell us about that, how the agreement
3 was made, if there was an agreement, and what
5 A. Having visited the hospital in Travnik, there
6 was a desperate need to evacuate the worst casualties.
7 The situation was particularly bad in the hospital.
8 Therefore, we began, that is, ECMM and the U.N., to try
9 and broker an agreement by which the Muslim and Croat
10 leadership would allow us to evacuate the hospital.
11 This was achieved through meetings with General Blaskic
12 and Dzemal Merdan from the Armija 3rd Corps. So we had
13 a paper commitment that we should be allowed to
14 evacuate from the hospital from Travnik and take the
15 casualties to two hospitals. The Croat casualties
16 would be taken to Nova Bila, and the Muslim casualties
17 would be taken on through to Zenica.
18 The actual coming out of the task though
19 moved more difficulty. Having arranged transport, as
20 we left the Travnik hospital and came to the first
21 Croat checkpoint, the first HVO checkpoint which was at
22 Dolac, we were stopped. We had something like
23 14 seriously wounded, and I had deliberately selected,
24 although it may be rather callous, that we should have
25 a mixture of people. That would be women, children,
1 men, and also from -- ensuring that we had Croats and
2 Muslims in order that we should be successful and at
3 least alleviate the misery for these individuals.
4 However, at the Dolac checkpoint, we were
5 stopped by the HVO there who refused to let us pass. I
6 began negotiations, making, obviously, reference to the
7 agreement that we had from senior leadership in the
8 Croat community, but this was not going to sway the
9 individuals at the checkpoint.
10 In the course of protracted negotiations, I
11 persuaded the Dolac HVO commander to go back to his
12 leadership, because he had told me he didn't respect
13 the orders of Tihomir Blaskic, he was not -- Blaskic
14 was not his commander. So he left the area. He
15 departed for a long period. We waited. I carried on
16 trying to negotiate, to see if those left at the
17 checkpoint would allow me to pass in the absence of
18 their commander. That, in fact, wasn't the case.
19 The individual, the commander, returned,
20 having seen somebody, I don't know who, and said it
21 would not be possible to allow the whole convoy to go
22 through, although I would be allowed to take just the
23 Croat members of the convoy.
24 I refused to do this. I began negotiations
25 but the situation deteriorated. There were direct
1 threats against the personnel who were with me, and I
2 decided to turn the convoy around and take it back to
4 MR. NICE: Can the witness have perhaps map
5 2781.2 again, the one we've used before. I'm sorry not
6 to have made arrangements to have that made available
7 to him right at the beginning.
8 Q. While that's being produced, Witness AD, was
9 there any evidence available to you of groups which had
10 influence in this particular area? Was there any
11 evidence to whom they were connected?
12 MR. SAYERS: Objection to the phraseology of
13 that question and the substance of the offer of proof
14 contained in the last part of paragraph 6 there. It
15 appears that the evidence is double hearsay, at least,
16 from people who were apparently employed by the
17 witness, not monitors but, rather, others, I believe.
18 I think in the absence of a better foundation, this
19 sort of rumour-type evidence is particularly damaging,
20 so we object to it under Rule 89(C) and (D).
21 JUDGE MAY: Lay the foundation, Mr. Nice.
22 MR. NICE: I'll deal with it in two parts.
23 Q. First of all -- let the witness see if he can
24 find the checkpoint. When he's placed the checkpoint,
25 if he could lay it on the ELMO for us. Lay it on the
1 ELMO. The usher will show you how we use the ELMO.
2 I'm sorry you haven't had an opportunity to look at the
3 courtroom before coming in.
4 A. We need to see that part of map. Okay. Do I
5 point on it?
6 Q. That's right. If you point out there, we can
7 see it on the screen.
8 A. Travnik is off the map. It's off the
9 left-hand edge of the map, the road leading from
10 Travnik down to Vitez [indicates]. There is a junction
11 where a road diverts north and leads by circuitous
12 route to Zenica. This was known us to as the Dolac
13 checkpoint, and it was just to the west of that road
14 that I met the HVO checkpoint.
15 Q. Thank you. The question I previously asked
16 you I'll break in to two parts. Just yes or no: Was
17 there evidence of the influence of groups -- don't name
18 the groups -- operating in this particular area?
19 MR. SAYERS: Objection, Your Honour. That's
20 the whole point, evidence. And I hate -- I'm sorry to
21 interrupt, but I think that that's not the proper way
22 to lay the foundation. We need to know what it is --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down,
24 Mr. Sayers, please.
25 MR. SAYERS: -- what court documents, what
1 monitors, what reliable sources were consulted or
2 relied upon by the witness in concluding that that was
3 evidence of a connection with these groups that we're
5 MR. NICE: To that I'm coming, and I'm quite
6 happy to do it by the other way.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. In relation to any groups having authority
10 there, was this something you knew yourself or
11 something that was told to you by others?
12 A. I knew that there were elements belonging
13 loosely to the HVO.
14 Q. How did you know about it? Before we hear
15 what you're going to tell us about it, how did you
16 learn about it? Did you learn about it from what you
17 did yourself and from seeing people there, from talking
18 to people?
19 A. There were certain locations where we saw
20 groupings of armed individuals, often quite well
21 equipped, often wearing the same uniform, which was not
22 the case throughout the whole of the HVO. They
23 naturally drew our attention to inquire as to who these
24 individuals were. And the names of two groups --
25 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me. Could you make
1 a break between question and answer, please.
2 Q. -- what was distinctive about that?
3 JUDGE MAY: There is a complaint by the
4 interpreters; no break between question and answer.
5 Could you bear in mind, Witness AD, that everything is
6 having to be interpreted --
7 A. Yes. I'm sorry.
8 JUDGE MAY: -- and slow down if you would.
9 MR. NICE: Entirely my fault, and my
10 apologies are due to the interpreters.
11 Q. What uniforms, what distinctive uniforms did
12 they wear?
13 A. It wasn't so much the distinctiveness of the
14 uniform but the fact that they were all wearing the
15 same uniform. In some areas, you would find that the
16 HVO may possibly -- an individual would be wearing
17 combat trousers but a civilian top. As the month
18 progressed uniform became more established, but in the
19 early times it was clear that not everybody had access
20 to uniforms. However, there were some groups that
21 appeared to be better equipped and better uniformed
22 than others and seemed to have a coherence about them
23 that was lacking in some of the HVO units. Those,
24 naturally, were of interest to us.
25 Q. Were these groups, yes just yes or no, known
1 by a particular name or names?
2 A. Yes, they were.
3 Q. How did you learn the names? Don't tell us
4 the names. How did you learn the names?
5 A. We learnt the names through inquiry, through
6 inquiries with locals, and also through my contacts
7 with the UNPROFOR forces.
8 Q. Did the soldiers themselves ever tell you
9 their name or use their names?
10 A. No. Not to me.
11 Q. Was there consistency in the information
12 coming to you from the different sources you spoke of
13 as to the names of the groups?
14 A. Yes, there were.
15 Q. Next separate part of the same general
16 issue: Did -- just yes or no. Did information come to
17 you, or did you become aware of any connection between
18 these groups and any particular individual? Just yes
19 or no.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Again without naming individuals, what was
22 the means by which that information came to you?
23 A. Through inquiry with locals, sometimes
24 through cross-checking with our contacts with the
25 Armija forces, in any way that we could sort of
1 triangulate to get information about the names, the
2 make-up, and who these people worked to.
3 Q. Again --
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Who are these locals?
5 A. I'm sorry, was that addressed --
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. Who were these locals, Witness AD?
8 A. The locals were typically staff employed by
9 us. These were of varied background, some Croats, some
10 Muslims, some Montenegrins, and some Slovenians.
11 Q. What tasks, if more than one, were these
12 locals doing for you?
13 A. Interpreting, driving, general
14 administration. They were one source.
15 JUDGE MAY: I think it's admissible. Yes,
16 we'll admit this. I take it, there is no dispute about
17 the fact that these groups were operating locally? No
18 dispute about that, Mr. Sayers, presumably? The
19 dispute is about the second part of the evidence?
20 MR. SAYERS: That's exactly right,
21 Mr. President.
22 JUDGE MAY: Well, we will admit it, in any
23 event, having heard the background. And then we'll
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. Before I just ask you for the detail, one
2 other question. The information coming to you from the
3 various sources about the person to whom these groups
4 were connected, did that have consistency about it or
6 A. Yes, it did.
7 Q. Then, please, the name of the groups and the
8 person to whom they were connected?
9 A. The groups were known as the Jokers and the
10 Apostoli, and the person that was most often connected
11 was Dario Kordic.
12 Q. Finally, on this topic, at the time that you
13 were there, and apart from Blaskic and Kordic, was
14 there any other local leader of whom you were aware to
15 whom Blaskic could have turned or any other local
16 commander could have turned for guidance or authority?
17 A. Not located within Central Bosnia, but there
18 was a chain of command outside of Central Bosnia.
19 Q. Yes.
20 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn. Half an hour,
21 please. By that clock, quarter to.
22 --- Recess taken at 11.15 a.m.
23 --- On resuming at 11.50 a.m.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. Paragraph 7. It may be desirable for the
2 witness to have Exhibit 1031, which has already been
3 produced. It's not in the stack. 1031. While that's
4 being produced, is it right that on the 8th or 9th of
5 June you visited an area north of Guca Gora?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. We know, and the Chamber has already seen,
8 that Mr. Morsink prepared a report in relation to
9 that. Did you have a view at that time as to the
10 reality, understatement or overstatement, of atrocities
11 alleged by Bosnian Croats?
12 A. The Bosnian Croat leadership had suggested
13 that there had been mass ethnic cleansing, atrocities
14 committed, and desecration of cultural sites. We had
15 difficulty getting access to the area, but in order to
16 try and determine validity of their claims, we entered
17 into negotiation with Armija, and I succeeded in
18 getting through to villages around Brajkovici, an area
19 between Guca Gora and Zenica. We visited the church
20 there and found that the church was in good order.
21 There had been no desecration, although there was no
22 members of the Croat population left. Clearly,
23 everyone had left the village. But the destruction was
24 in the form of looting and not of destruction of
25 houses. Our overall assessment on that visit and
1 visits to other villages, I am thinking of the area
2 around Dolac and also Guca Gora itself, that the claims
3 of destruction were exaggerated. But clearly there had
4 been large movements of the population.
5 Q. If the Chamber has Exhibit 1031 before it, as
6 does the witness, it can remind itself that the broad
7 summary on page 1 was prepared by (redacted)
8 (redacted). This witness's entry, starting at page 2 of
9 the document, and in paragraph 1 of page 2, Witness AD,
10 did you refer in particular to the village of Ovcarevo,
11 that's five lines up from the bottom, of that
13 A. Yes, I did. I found it, yes.
14 Q. So that village was deserted, being looted by
15 Armija. Then you went on to say that the -- a further
16 report that the Croat village of Dolac was deserted and
17 over 100 houses burnt. You did say there was evidence
18 of some houses still burning?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Third and last page under "comment," you set
21 out there that the movement of Croat civilians -- I
22 apologise to the interpreters. I suspect this document
23 is not before them. And it can't, I'm afraid, be
24 placed on the ELMO because of the witness protection.
25 I'll read these four lines very slowly:
1 "The movement of Croat civilians to the area
2 of Vitez and subsequently to Busovaca and Novi Travnik
3 is large and significant. The reasons for the move are
4 less clear but appear to relate to a wildly voiced
5 belief that Mujahedin forces were committing
6 atrocities. When investigated, evidence was not
8 And was it your position that there was some
9 evacuation of Croat villages brought about by
10 allegations of Mujahedin atrocities?
11 A. Yes, it was clear to us, particularly in the
12 village of Ovcarevo, that the movement of the Croat
13 population had been organised. In the case of
14 Ovcarevo, they actually moved north through Serbian
15 lines, which was of interest to us, because it
16 demonstrated contacts and a degree of trust in
17 relationship with the Serbs. In other areas,
18 particularly the villages I mentioned earlier, between
19 Guca Gora and Zenica, it appeared that the population
20 had moved prior to the fighting, which is possibly --
21 well, is definitely understandable. But we believe
22 that in some cases the population was told to move.
23 The reasons for them being told to move was because it
24 was often voiced to us that the Mujahedin would carry
25 out atrocities, and therefore the population should
1 leave before that happened.
2 Q. Paragraph 8 I deal with really by one
3 question only, in light of the considerable quantity of
4 material already presented. At the Tuzla convoy
5 incident, on the 11th of June, by whom on the Croat
6 side was the problem resolved?
7 A. The problem was resolved by direct
8 negotiations with Dario Kordic. Tihomir Blaskic was
9 also involved. He had given the initial guarantees of
10 movement, but those had clearly broken down, and
11 Jean-Pierre Thebault entered into direct negotiations
12 with Dario Kordic.
13 Q. Paragraph 9, and the first of the exhibits in
14 the stack, the small stack I have to say. This will
15 become Exhibit 1076.1, and is a Travnik special report
16 of the 19th of June, prepared by you and one other.
17 And we can see on the second sheet at page -- paragraph
18 4, where you set out that Guca Gora set a pattern that
19 was to recur in all future allegations. The first was
20 large scale ethnic cleansing, the second was mass
21 destruction, the third were widespread atrocities.
22 And then you set out the inquiry and
23 something about population movements.
24 Do you want to comment further on that?
25 A. Well, I simply stated that the inquiry into
1 Guca Gora set the pattern that, first, the population
2 moves had occurred but often in suspicious
3 circumstances. By that I mean that it appeared that
4 the Croat leadership had ordered the evacuation of the
5 villages prior to the actual combat.
6 I also stated that the war damage to houses
7 was minimal, and that we had not, at that time, found
8 any proof of atrocities. My final comment was that
9 press reports appeared to be grossly exaggerated.
10 Q. The next exhibit in the bundle, I think, is
11 the 17th of August. Do you have that?
12 A. Yes, I do.
13 Q. This picks up from something that you said
14 earlier. Under paragraph 2, this being a daily summary
15 of yours, rather than just read the paragraph there,
16 summarise its effects for the Chamber, please, with
17 reference to General Praljak and who he was.
18 A. I met General Praljak in a long meeting. I
19 note here it says around about two hours. We discussed
20 his position and the situation in the area in which he
21 was operating.
22 General Praljak had served with the HV forces
23 in Vukovar. I believe that his background is actually
24 one of an actor rather than military, but he had, by
25 reputation, established himself as a capable soldier,
1 and he was, at this time, commanding the forces in the
2 area of Prozor, although he claimed that he had, in
3 fact, assumed a much wider responsibility but saw that
4 his need was to be where, at that time, the action was,
5 which was on the Prozor-Gornji Vakuf front.
6 I asked about his background, having served
7 with the HV, and also about allegations and persistent
8 reports that we had of HV involvement. General Praljak
9 denied that there were any HV forces operating in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but did state that individuals like
11 himself, who were from Bosnia-Herzegovina, had
12 returned, seeing it was their duty to fight for the
13 Croat cause.
14 Q. In the passage in your report that we've
15 looked at in general, the reference to the HV stopping
16 at nothing to defeat the Muslims, including the
17 blocking of all aid during the winter and cutting off
18 water supplies, and then there's reference further down
19 to -- that if the valleys could not be won back by
20 negotiations, then a military alliance with the Serbs
21 would be formed and they would be retrieved by force
22 and so on. Are these quotations or inferences or
24 A. This is what he -- this is my interpretation
25 of what he said. I mean, I haven't put it in quotation
1 marks, but it was clear to me that this was his
3 MR. NICE: My shortcoming not to have asked
4 already that all exhibits will be under seal, please.
5 I'm grateful to the registrar for reminding me.
6 Q. Next exhibit, please 1176.2, the last one
7 having been 1172.2. This exhibit, Witness AD, is one
8 you first saw recently, yesterday.
9 A. Correct.
10 Q. There's another report of which you have a
11 memory, which we've been trying to find, so far
12 unsuccessfully, which is referred to in the summary.
13 One part of this particular document chimes
14 with your recollection of that other report, I think,
15 but --
16 A. Well, the -- I had a meeting with Dario
17 Kordic sometime at the end of August, and this
18 particular exhibit is dated 21st of August. So this
19 meeting here was before the one I recollect, but for
20 some reason there is no ability to retrace the special
22 The reason I went to see Mr. Kordic was
23 because there had been a shelling incident in Zenica.
24 Q. Just a minute. Are you dealing with this
25 report? I would like you to deal with this report
2 A. Right. In the case --
3 Q. We'll come to the other report in due
5 A. In the case of this report, it was clear from
6 what I've written that I was having a general meeting
7 with him, discussing command structures, seniorities,
8 cross-checking with information that I'd had from other
9 sources, including my meeting with General Praljak.
10 I made an assessment towards the end that
11 Dario Kordic appeared to be out of touch. My feeling
12 during that meeting was that he had not displayed
13 necessarily the stature of a politician of his
14 seniority. I gained the impression that he seemed to
15 be rather isolated. That, to a certain extent, may
16 have been something to do with the surroundings in
17 which we had the meeting. I went to Mr. Kordic's
18 lodge, which was near Busovaca and fairly isolated in
19 itself. But I gained the impression that I was
20 hearing -- reading from a script which really didn't
21 bear much reality to what was going on on the ground,
22 and I felt that he was rather out of touch and
23 believing his own propaganda.
24 Q. We see from your report of the 21st of August
25 that he blamed General Merdan as the main war
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. He made an assessment of HVO capability,
4 which you regarded as unrealistic.
5 A. Yes. And this led me to make my conclusion
6 at the end that he was out of touch, because there was
7 a suggestion during this meeting that the HVO would
8 regain territory that they had lost and link the
9 Kiseljak pocket with Vares and also the Zepce pockets.
10 This was very unrealistic. At that time, the HVO had
11 been very much on the defensive and had shown no
12 ability whatsoever to take offensive action,
13 particularly across the distances that were being
14 discussed here. It seemed not to be the assessment of
15 someone who really had a grasp on the military
16 realities. But I accept that he had a position and a
17 statement to make, and that's what he said to me, but
18 it wasn't realistic with what could be achieved by the
19 HVO forces at that time on the ground.
20 Q. He did give you an order of military
21 seniority going Boban, Praljak, Petkovic, Tole, and
23 A. Yes. General Praljak's arrival in territory
24 had created a question of his seniority to General
25 Petkovic, who was the commander of the HVO, and
1 Petkovic's record had not been particularly good,
2 certainly seen from outside of Central Bosnia. His
3 forces had lost territory, and General Praljak's
4 arrival seemed to be in some way a replacement. So I
5 was keen to establish what the orders of seniority
6 were. And as stated in my report, Dario Kordic said
7 that the order was Boban, Praljak, Petkovic, Tole, and
8 Martic. Tole had been an officer, I believe in command
9 of forces in Travnik, but I might stand corrected
11 Q. Before we turn from this document, we should
12 look at paragraph 8, which I forecast earlier when
13 dealing with the developing isolation of areas in
14 pockets, because you make some comments there, which we
15 don't need to go into extensively, but I draw them to
16 everyone's attention for their assistance, about the
17 feeling of isolation displayed by the Vares HVO
18 command, who previously stated they suppose they came
19 under the command of Blaskic more than anyone else.
20 A. Yes. That is correct. And this reinforces
21 what was stated earlier, that the isolation of the
22 pockets meant that the commanders didn't have much
23 information about what was going on in those pockets.
24 They certainly had some, and there was other evidence
25 that they had links with those pockets but not the
1 ability to visit them. They were always very keen,
2 because the organisation that I was with had good
3 access, to find out what was happening in those pockets
4 as an organisation that wasn't delivering anything
5 other than information and the ability to give
6 individuals a chance to say and state their position.
7 We often traded information for access. Therefore,
8 when we met people such as Dario Kordic and
9 Colonel Blaskic, they were very, very keen to have our
10 impression of the actual situation on the ground in
11 those pockets.
12 Q. A quick look at the next Exhibit 1178,1,
13 dated the 23rd of August. At this time, if we look at
14 paragraph 8, "Assessment" first, we see your comments:
15 "The lack of any publicised map on the
16 Geneva proposal is almost farcical."
17 Perhaps that provides the setting. And you
18 make the point that the detail that is available is
19 that Vares and Zepce have become under Muslim
21 And so when we come back to paragraph 2,
22 "Political Activity," the reference to somebody
23 meeting Pejcinovic, is that you?
24 A. No, this is one of my team's, Victor 3.
25 Q. But they reported back to you?
1 A. Yes, they did. I was in -- I was the office
2 to whom they reported.
3 Q. And we see that at that stage there was
4 bitter recrimination about the future of Vares, as
5 decided in Geneva?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. The next Exhibit 1185,3, for the 28th of
8 August. A report of yours. And at the foot of the
9 first sheet. This was, I think, a meeting with you,
10 wasn't it?
11 A. Yes, this was. And I had taken the Deputy
12 Head of the regional centre, who was a new appointee,
13 to try and introduce him to some of the key
14 personalities in the area. And I spoke to Colonel
15 Blaskic and asked him about the Geneva proposals,
16 which, as stated in the previous Z1178,1, was causing
17 enormous confusion on the ground, as to what was being
18 discussed in Geneva and the implications on the
19 ground. And when I asked Colonel Blaskic about these,
20 he stated that Dario Kordic spoke on the matters
21 concerning ideas, while he dealt with the reality.
22 I went on to make a comment, that:
23 "Dario Kordic is the key HDZ political figure
24 in Central Bosnia, and has long been suspected of
25 controlling the HVO. It is assessed that his influence
1 over Blaskic is significant, if not total."
2 May I add something?
3 Q. If it's on that topic, yes.
4 A. It is on the topic, but it relates to the
5 previous Z1178, the visit of Victor 3 to Vares. That
6 Victor 3 was given a letter by the mayor of Vares
7 concerning these Geneva proposals, and the suggestion
8 that Vares was to come under Muslim control. He gave
9 this to ECMM. And the letter was addressed to
10 Mr. Tudjman, Mr. Boban and to Mr. Kordic.
11 Q. Yes. Thank you. I was in error for
12 overlooking that. You told me about that yesterday.
13 The next exhibit is the 30th of August, I
14 think. Or is it the 31st? It's the 31st, 1187,2.
15 Second sheet, paragraph 6, subparagraph that begins
16 with Victor 1. Tell us about that, just very briefly.
17 A. Victor 1 was my team that operated in the
18 area of Vitez and Travnik and Busovaca. And they were
19 trying to get to Kruscica, a village which was near to
20 Vitez, a village which was occupied by Muslims. It was
21 an important village because the water supply for the
22 area of Vitez and also, actually, onto Zenica was --
23 the source was in Kruscica. We regularly tried to get
24 to the village, sometimes succeeding.
25 On this occasion we were unable to get past
1 the HVO checkpoint, which led to the village. And we
2 made representation to the HVO command in Vitez and
3 were told by the Liaison Officer -- his name is not in
4 this paragraph, but it was Darko Gelic. And he stated
5 that Colonel Blaskic had problems with the Viteska
6 Brigade Commander, Mario Cerkez, who wasn't obeying his
8 Q. We then move to paragraph 11 in the summary
9 to an event for which we do not have the report,
10 although efforts have been made to locate a copy of
11 it. The report itself may be dated the 1st or the 2nd
12 of September, or thereabouts. And is this the report
13 of which you have a memory, and in respect of which the
14 memory chimes to some degree with the detail of an
15 earlier report?
16 A. That is correct, yes. This particular
17 meeting took place after an incident of the shelling of
18 Zenica. My organisation was based in Zenica, and in
19 the early evening, I don't recall the exact date, a
20 shell landed outside a cafe, and there were
21 casualties. And we decided that we would visit the
22 scene and see if we could get any evidence about the
23 nature of the cause of death.
24 Clearly, it was an explosion, but the request
25 was: Anyone with artillery experience, would they,
1 perhaps, go and analyse the -- see what could be seen,
2 and see if there were any shell craters that could be
4 The person that actually carried out this
5 particular investigation, I recall as being a Belgian
6 monitor, and artillery officer. He was able to find
7 two shell scrapes, and it is possible, in some
8 circumstances, to determine the angle from which the
9 round came, by the way it strikes the ground and causes
10 a furrow, known as the furrow fuse. Sorry, the fuse
11 furrow. And he did find two such fuse furrow
12 indications, from which he was able to take a bearing
13 and determine the direction from which the shells had
14 been fired. He also found some shell casing, which
15 gave him the calibre of the round.
16 So, with those two pieces of information, it
17 was possible to determine, certainly the direction from
18 which it came and, by drawing a line, to the extent of
19 the range of that particular weapon that fired that
20 shell, a rough idea of where it had come from.
21 And that gave us the information that it had
22 come from -- could have come from an area which was
23 controlled by the Croatian forces. We did, in fact,
24 come up with something a little bit more specific with
25 regard to a village that was near. Now, I believe that
1 this was the village of -- to the north of Busovaca
2 known as Granice, but that is only a recollection by
4 And I took the opportunity to ask Mr. Kordic
5 about this, and asked him why he was shelling Zenica.
6 He denied that he was shelling Zenica. I remember
7 specifically saying I had a certain advantage over
8 Mr. Kordic, because I had the information, and also
9 that I myself had been an artillery officer. And so I
10 argued and explained why it was clear to us that the
11 origin of the shot had been in Croatian territory. And
12 I gave him the names of the village.
13 He then said that it was possible that an
14 errant gun crew, frustrated by the situation, the
15 difficult situation that the Croats were in in that
16 area, out of their own volition, fired the round, but
17 certainly that no order had been given that they should
18 do so. That was one of the topics that was discussed
19 at the meeting. I do recall one other, if that's of
21 Q. Tell us what else you remember, because we
22 don't have the minute to hand at the moment.
23 A. It related to the water supply. And again to
24 the village of Kruscica. When the Muslims in Kruscica
25 chose to, they would cut off the supply. And this
1 directly affected and very adversely affected the Croat
2 population of Vitez. And so we were in constant
3 negotiations, usually successful after two to three
4 days, but the problem would recur again, of getting the
5 water supply switched back on. And Mr. Kordic was very
6 concerned about this. And I listened to his concerns
7 and had sympathy with his concerns and explained that
8 we were trying to resolve the problem, but that our
9 access to the village was critical.
10 And I asked for his support, in getting us
11 through to the villages and not to obstruct us. I
12 believe on this occasion, as with others, we were
13 successful, after a few days, in getting the water
14 switched back on. Ironically, it was the same source
15 of supply which affected Zenica, which was a largely
16 Muslim town. And so there was probably a limit to
17 which the Muslims in Kruscica were willing to make
18 their own kind suffer in Zenica. But this was
19 regularly a weapon used, water supply being cut off.
20 And by both sides.
21 Q. Finally, before we turn from this document,
22 which may turn up and hasn't yet. Which bit of it, in
23 your recollection, chimed with an earlier report? You
24 may not have heard of that yet.
25 A. The feeling of isolation, the feeling that
1 Mr. Kordic was reading from script, was not
2 interpreting -- was not in reality with what was
3 happening on the ground.
4 Q. Next Exhibit 1245 is dated the 12th of
5 October. Again, we can deal with this one, I think,
6 quite briefly. I think it's on the second sheet that
7 there may be some relevance here. There may be not.
8 The second sheet, paragraph 8, something on which you
9 want to comment?
10 A. This --
11 Q. This is not your report?
12 A. This is not my report, but it is a report of
13 one of my teams, Victor 3. And it was about a road
14 which had been blown up by the HVO, a road running
15 from -- if I remember rightly, from Visoko to
16 Kiseljak. Somewhere near the headquarters of UNPROFOR,
17 and it affected everyone's access to it. And we were
18 obviously keen to find out why the road had been blown,
19 and also to get it repaired.
20 Colonel Blaskic had been given -- had given
21 an order that the road should be repaired, but this
22 order seemed to be ignored. And it was being ignored
23 by the Brigade Commander, who was Ivica Rajic. And I
24 comment here -- sorry, the Victor 3 team comments here
25 that Colonel Blaskic gave a direct order to Rajic to
1 repair and open the road, and he also went on to say
2 that there should be no connection between this and
3 another issue at the time, which was evacuation of Nova
4 Bila. But Rajic did not instantly obey that order, and
5 we went several days of toing and froing in trying to
6 establish when this road was going to be repaired, and
7 being informed on regular occasions that Rajic was not
8 following the orders issued by Blaskic.
9 Q. Next Exhibit 1246. A report of who is this?
10 A. It's a background report by Victor 3 again.
11 This is the team that covered the area of Kiseljak, and
12 also Vares at one point.
13 Q. It fits into the sequence of things for the
14 13th of October. In the middle of the first sheet
15 there is an analysis of what had happened at Rotilj, I
16 think. Is that right?
17 A. Yes, there is. It talks about the situation
18 with regards to the remaining Muslims having -- it
19 says: "Almost all the remaining Muslims," and it gave a
20 figure of 800, "have been taken to the village of
21 Rotilj. They were effectively being held as hostages
22 for some future ethnic exchange.
23 There remained some Muslims in the village of
24 Palez, and in general the situation for the Muslims was
25 very bad. They said -- the team said that ethnic
1 cleansing continued and the Muslims were not safe in
2 that particular area.
3 Q. The next exhibit is 1284,2, the 3rd of
4 November. This is one of a series, I think, of
5 documents that deal with, amongst other things,
6 Kordic's position. Is that right?
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. Developing position perhaps would be a
9 better --
10 A. Yes. I myself had moved now from being the
11 head of the co-ordination centre in Travnik to the head
12 of the co-ordination centre in the Mostar area, covering
13 an area from Livno, Tomislavgrad, Siroki Brijeg, and
14 Mostar itself, up to Jablanica, and I was interested in
15 the development then of the Croation Republic of
16 Herceg-Bosna and the transformation of the Croatian
17 community into the Croatian republic. We were very
18 keen to establish seniority, who was taking key
20 In this particular meeting, I met, along with
21 one of my teams, in fact, two of my teams, Ivan Bender,
22 who was the President of Neum, a town down on the
23 Dalmatian coast, and he gave me an outline of some of
24 the key positions. The President was Mate Boban, and
25 the Vice-President, stated at that time by him, was
1 Dario Kordic.
2 Later there seemed to be some doubt as to the
3 exact position which Mr. Kordic was taking in this new
4 republic, and it was the course of investigation by
5 both us and Central Bosnia to see whether Mr. Kordic
6 was in favour or out of favour, so to speak.
7 Q. Let's turn to the next document, which is
8 1289,1. This is a special report on the Croatian
9 republic, dated the 8th of November. And the second
10 sheet again sets out the known positions as Mate Boban,
11 Vice-President Kordic, secretary Kostroman. Is that
13 A. That is correct, yes.
14 Q. Fitting things into a chronology and with
15 apologies for not having been able to identify these
16 exhibits earlier than last night and giving more
17 advance notice of them, paragraph 13, I think, of the
18 summary comes next. When was the attack on Stari Most
19 in Mostar?
20 A. This was, I believe, on the 9th of November.
21 Q. Your judgement as to the nature of the
23 A. We had dealings both East and West Mostar,
24 the East Mostar authorities being the Muslim
25 authorities. During one visit we had been alerted to
1 the fact that the bridge was being attacked. This is
2 the Stari Most bridge, a UNESCO protected site.
3 As a result of that information, I went to
4 the military leadership in West Mostar and asked what
5 was happening. They said that a renegade tank crew was
6 responsible. I made reference and pointed out it was
7 an UNESCO protected bridge and that the International
8 Community was watching.
9 A few days later -- and I recall it was the
10 9th of November. I might have to -- I might stand
11 corrected on that, but it was certainly in that --
12 around about then. The bridge was actually destroyed.
13 And again, the explanation was offered to me that this
14 had been a renegade gun crew, but it was really not a
15 credible answer, because we had seen the attack on this
16 bridge over a period of days. If it had been a
17 renegade gun crew and if people had wanted, in command
18 positions, to take action and stop that, they could
19 have done that. They didn't, and the final destruction
20 occurred and was, in fact, captured on video, I
22 Q. Returning to the chronology of events as
23 revealed in documents, the next one is Z1306,1, a
24 report for the 16th of November, the first sheet of
25 which at its foot reveals how your understanding --
1 this is your own report -- your understanding was that
2 Kordic and Valenta were no longer holders of office but
4 A. Yes. I'd been informed by my interlocutor,
5 Mr. Slobodan Lovrenovic, who was the press advisor to
6 Mate Boban, that the two individuals, Dario Kordic and
7 Valenta, although they had appeared in earlier
8 discussions with other people as holding positions, he
9 said that they no longer held positions of office but
10 remained delegates. Their exact position within the
11 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna was, of course, of
12 interest to us but -- in Mostar, but also to the teams
13 that were still operating in Central Bosnia. And so I
14 made a comment that this information about Kordic and
15 Valenta needed cross-reference, and this was, you know,
16 the continuing investigation to find out exactly where
17 it fitted in the new scheme of things.
18 Q. So that brings us to 1311,1 dated 18th of
19 November. Slightly different topic. Second sheet.
20 "Assessment," helicopters. Can you tell us about
22 A. Yes. The issue of helicopter and helicopter
23 movement had been of concern to my organisation because
24 we were part of enforcing a no-fly zone. However,
25 there had been agreements that we should try and link
1 an evacuation of Croats from Nova Bila hospital in
2 Central Bosnia with that of Muslim casualties in East
4 These had not been easy negotiations, but
5 finally there had been an arrangement that this should
6 happen concurrently. Two helicopters belonging to the
7 Muslim Armija forces flew to Medjugorje in order to
8 receive the casualties from East Mostar hospital. I
9 was actually at East Mostar hospital. We got as far as
10 loading the casualties on to the ambulance --
11 ambulances when we received information from monitors
12 in Medjugorje that an incident was developing around
13 the landing site, where women and children had gathered
14 around the helicopters that had already landed, and the
15 information we received was that they were not going to
16 allow the helicopters to leave this area. We,
17 therefore, cancelled the evacuation for that day and
18 the wounded were taken back into the hospital.
19 Q. Use of women and children, is that the only
20 event -- time that happened or did it happen more than
22 A. It happened more than once, and certainly by
23 the communities, both Muslim and Croatian communities.
24 When necessary, in order to highlight a particular
25 problem or grievance, they -- women and children would
1 often be used to either blockade or block access in
2 order to draw attention. It also made it very much
3 more difficult for international organisations clearly
4 to deal with women and children. It makes the whole
5 issue much more sensitive. And everyone was aware of
6 this, and the media was obviously interested in how we
7 reacted to this situation. This is one occasion on
8 which it was used. It was certainly orchestrated.
9 Q. You make a point in your assessment that by
10 detaining two aircraft, they had tied up 50 percent of
11 the army's air force.
12 A. Yes. We were interested in the motive, why
13 they had -- they were so keen that Nova Bila hospital
14 should be evacuated, why the Croats had taken this
15 action which was going to stop this occurring. One
16 simple explanation to a military mind was that in one
17 swift action approximately half of the BiH Armija
18 helicopter force had been neutralised. Whether that
19 was -- it's a comment and it's an accurate comment. It
20 may not be the only motive.
21 Q. I'll return briefly to helicopters later.
22 Only four more documents, I think. Three. 1330 for
23 the 15th of December. In the first sheet, and this is
24 a report of yours, has you meeting Lovrenovic again,
25 and on this occasion asked about Kordic, saying he
1 definitely no longer held presidential office but was
2 an ordinary member of the House of Representatives,
3 although there was a discussion about his taking a
4 position in the presidency. You went on to say this:
5 "As a full-time presence in Mostar was required and to
6 extract somebody who was a war hero in Central Bosnia
7 would send the wrong message."
8 A. Yes. That is what Lovrenovic said to me.
9 Again, this is furthering the inquiry into status and
10 future positions of Mr. Kordic, and he gave the
11 explanation, as stated there, that a senior appointment
12 for Mr. Kordic would mean that he'd have to leave his
13 location in Central Bosnia and go and work in Mostar.
14 And this would send the wrong signal to the Croat
15 community in Central Bosnia that they were being
16 abandoned. That was Lovrenovic's position.
17 Q. Next document, 1342,1. First sheet, middle
18 of the page. A report of a meeting between HCC and M2
19 with Drago Maric, recording in the middle of the page
20 again Kordic's former Vice-President of the Croatian
21 community is a Member of the House, not holding office;
22 likewise, Valenta.
23 A. That is correct. Drago Maric was the
24 Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna head of the Office Of
25 Information and worked with -- from the same building
1 or the government building of Mr. Jadranko Prlic and
2 Mr. Kresimir Zubak. Again, we were still trying to
3 find out the position. We were interested to know
4 whether there Kordic was being rewarded, or otherwise,
5 for events that had happened in Central Bosnia. Here
6 the information was that he did not hold any positions
7 of office but was a Member.
8 There was constant reference to the
9 information which the teams in Travnik were getting,
10 which was that Mr. Kordic was still, as he'd been a
11 Vice-President of the Croatian community, was also
12 going to be a Vice-President of the Croatian Republic
13 of Herceg-Bosna. My information consistently in the
14 Mostar area was that he was a delegate but did not hold
15 office. The Travnik information was that he did still
16 hold office.
17 Q. Paragraph 14 of the summary. Again, without
18 reading from it, telling the Judges in your own words,
19 on a day in January 1994 -- you'll be able to date it
20 from a document if you have no recollection yourself --
21 that on a day in January 1994, did you see something of
22 a military unit on the road from Zenica to Mostar?
23 A. Yes. I had been attending, as the head of
24 Mostar, a meeting in Zenica of all the regional centre
25 heads, and I returned from Zenica to Mostar with the
1 then head of the regional centre, Sir Martin Garrod,
2 and on the road known as Route Triangle, we were
3 delayed. We had to actually stop, pull over to let a
4 formed military unit go past. We saw both vehicles and
5 soldiers bearing HV insignia.
6 This was the first time that I personally had
7 definitive proof from my own observation of the rumours
8 that had been extant for many months of HV
9 involvement. And there was a considerable sized
10 convoy. I'd estimate, by recollection, although I did
11 write a report on this, I'm not sure whether that is
12 available, that there were approximately 50 vehicles
13 and that we were delayed in our own journey by at least
14 20 minutes, maybe more, for this convoy to pass, and
15 that the equipment that we saw included towed
16 artillery, the D130 -- 120 millimetre artillery piece,
17 and a number of other weapons including multi-barrel
18 rocket launchers. And we did note an HV insignia on
19 vehicles, as I said, including a tiger's head. And we
20 believed this to be a unit -- an HV Unit from Split.
21 And a report was written of what we had seen.
22 Q. Roughly, how many soldiers would that unit
23 support, would the equipment you saw support?
24 A. Certainly, my assessment would be that this
25 would be certainly of a battalion plus size. So
1 somewhere in the region of 800 to 1.000 men.
2 Q. Although we haven't been able to find that
3 report, if you turn to the next document 1361. This is
4 a report dated the 19th of January. Is it yours or is
5 it from one of those reporting to you?
6 A. It is from one of those reporting to me, Mike
7 4, which is a team covering Tomislavgrad area, north
8 and east.
9 Q. If we stay on the first sheet, foot of the
10 first page. What does that help us both about, the
11 date of your observation and the report itself?
12 A. It states that Mike 4, the team, confirmed my
13 own observations and that of the head of the regional
14 centre. And it states that the report is dated 18th of
15 January. So that gives us the date on which we had
16 seen the activity. They too had seen HV movement on
17 the same route, route triangle. They reported seeing
18 approximately 20 vehicles loaded with soldiers. The
19 registration plates had been removed, but the words
20 Hrvatska Voijska was written on the vehicle cabs. And
21 they reported seeing an artillery gun, 15 well-dressed
22 HV soldiers, which they assessed to be Officers, and
23 they had been standing on the side of the road and
24 wearing HV badges.
25 Obviously, some very observant team member
1 here noticed that one was wearing a rank of
2 Lieutenant-Colonel. They state that all these vehicles
3 and soldiers were heading towards Prozor.
4 Q. Do you have enough language to tell us what
5 Hrvatska Voijska means or not?
6 A. Army of Croatia.
7 Q. Okay. Generally, helicopter movements.
8 What, if any, did you see?
9 A. I personally saw a helicopter descending in
10 the area of Vitez. There was a quarry just to the
11 north of Vitez, which was in HVO held territory. And I
12 saw a -- we had first of all heard many reports and
13 UNPROFOR had said they had seen a helicopter landing,
14 and then I personally saw one landing, descending
15 rapidly into this quarry. It was an HV or HVO
16 helicopter, I don't know which. It was certainly a
17 Croatian helicopter. It was taking people and
18 presumably bringing supplies to and from secure Croat
19 territory. And by that I mean down in Herzegovina.
20 I know that two people used this. One was
21 Mr. Jozo Leutar, who, when I first met him, was
22 commander of the Travnicka brigade, HVO Commander of
23 the Travnicka brigade. But the Travnicka brigade had
24 disintegrated after engagements with the Armija and had
25 withdrawn, and including the leader, Mr. Leutar, into
2 And on a number of occasions I saw
3 Mr. Leutar, who looked rather despondent, and I asked
4 him what he was doing there. And he said that he was
5 going to move to Mostar. And I asked him how he was
6 going to get there, considering it was cut off. I
7 can't honestly say that he replied that he is going to
8 use the helicopter. There was a knowing smile.
9 However, when I was in Mostar, and attending
10 one of the first meetings of the Croatian Republic of
11 Herceg-Bosna, I was invited by Mr. Jadranko Prlic, the
12 Prime Minister, to attend and observe at that meeting,
13 which was addressed by Mate Boban. Mr. Kostroman
14 appeared, and I knew Mr. Kostroman because when I had
15 had meetings with Mr. Kordic, Mr. Kostroman had always
16 been in attendance. He was a political adviser, but
17 also appeared to have some position, I believe, as
18 secretary in the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna,
19 and was one of those persons we were interested to
20 see -- his position in the Croatian Republic of
21 Herceg-Bosna. But the point is that he addressed
22 the -- before he addressed the audience in this Mostar
23 conference, the person introducing him said that he had
24 arrived by secret means from Central Bosnia. Central
25 Bosnia, the Croatian community there was enclaved and
1 you could not drive from there to outside of the area.
2 The only way you could get out of that area was either
3 by arrangements for specific meetings with UNPROFOR, in
4 which case UNPROFOR would provide the transport, or
5 through this use of this helicopter.
6 In this case, UNPROFOR had not been involved
7 in moving Mr. Kostroman to Mostar. Again, he didn't
8 state that he had used the helicopter, but it's -- my
9 assumption was that that was his mode of transport out.
10 Q. Before I turn to any other meetings you had
11 with Mr. Kordic. In November in 1994, I want your
12 assessment of the positions of Blaskic and Kordic and
13 also Mr. Valenta. Before you deal with that in your
14 own words, something that isn't on the summary, because
15 you remembered it very recently, I think, something
16 about Stari Vitez as an incident that may fit in here.
17 A. Yes, Stari Vitez was an enclave of Muslims --
18 Q. We've heard about Stari Vitez.
19 A. Well, we needed to have access to these
20 isolated communities, whether they be Muslim or Croat.
21 We had difficulty in getting access to Stari Vitez, and
22 I had asked Blaskic for permission to get in to see
23 what was going on there. And he did not seem to be
24 able to give me the authority to go in, but said that
25 he would have discussions and would get back to me.
1 And, in fact, we did, the next day, gain access. But I
2 don't -- he had to make reference to somebody else.
3 Shall I move on --
4 Q. Yes, please.
5 A. My understanding of the position of
6 Mr. Tihomir Blaskic, he was quite open in stating that
7 he was the head of the operational zone, middle
8 Bosnia. And his area of responsibility I asked. He
9 said that this operational zone was divided into
10 through three operational groups, and that this area of
11 responsibility included Travnik, Kiseljak, Busovaca,
12 Vares, and also Zepce. There never seemed to be any
13 doubt, and certainly as earlier evidence suggested,
14 that the people in Zepce also considered that he was
15 their commander.
16 I believe on paper he also had command over
17 the forces in Sarajevo, although, again, as an isolated
18 area, and very specific dynamics of its own. We never
19 made any reference or indications as to his control
20 over what was going on in Sarajevo.
21 With regards to Mr. Kordic, he had on
22 occasions used the title of Colonel himself, but in my
23 dealings with him, it was always as a vice-president of
24 the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna, and the key
25 political and senior political figure in Central
2 At a later stage in the chronology, I met him
3 in a slightly different capacity. I believe we are
4 going to come onto that.
5 In the case of Mr. Valenta, Mr. Valenta again
6 held a position within the Croatian community of
7 Herceg-Bosna. I believe it was a Vice-President. I
8 might stand corrected. But certainly in my meetings
9 and capacities of discussions with him, was always
10 political. It was always about demography, the
11 movements, the anticipated movements, the historical
12 movements, the future movements of populations. He was
13 based in the headquarters of the operational zone,
14 which was in the hotel in Vitez, and on occasions would
15 be with Mr. Blaskic when I had meetings with
16 Mr. Blaskic. He certainly appeared to be a political
17 appointee within that headquarters.
18 I think that's all I have to recall.
19 Q. The second meeting with Kordic. When and
20 what do you recall of this; there being no report that
21 we've been able to track down to help you.
22 A. Most -- in fact, all of our discussions so
23 far have been about my time in Bosnia in 1993. I later
24 moved out of Bosnia and spent some months in Croatia,
25 but was then appointed as the head of the regional
1 centre in Bosnia, which meant I had authority over all
2 ECMM activities in Bosnia, from Tuzla, Central Bosnia,
3 down to Herzegovina. And in that capacity I met
4 Mr. Kordic in Mostar, and his appointment then was
5 beyond doubt. He was the President of the HDZ. That
6 is the President of HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I met
7 him. At that particular time I also was accompanied by
8 a member of the British Foreign Commonwealth office,
9 who was visiting, and we met Mr. Kordic and one other
10 person, whose name I forget, and discussed various
11 activities. By this time, the Croatians and the
12 Muslims had formed the Federation, and we were
13 interested to see the degree to which both sides were
14 going to commit to this Federation. And I discussed a
15 number of topics with Mr. Kordic.
16 I remember him clearly stating that he judged
17 success and willingness of the Muslims to embrace the
18 ideas of the Federation by judging how much autonomy
19 they would allow for isolated communities; in other
20 words, communities such as Zepce and Usora, an area
21 near Tuzla, whether they would be allowed to have their
22 own police forces, by that I mean Croatian police
23 policing the Croatian community.
24 And I also, of course, asked him about the
25 Croatian commitment to the Federation. And he said
1 that it was -- that there was a commitment. I remember
2 asking him about one particular canton, which was an
3 exclusively Croatian canton, and I asked why the
4 government of that canton had not been established, if
5 there was a commitment by the Croats then. Clearly, it
6 would be easy for them to form this canton.
7 And he said that there was progress and it
8 would be step by step.
9 I also discussed about his position as
10 President of the HDZ, and what links the HDZ had in
11 Bosnia with the HDZ in Croatia. I can't honestly
12 accurately record what his answer was. I did write a
13 special report, and I would expect to have included it
14 in that, but it didn't -- if it had been particularly
15 illuminating, I think I would have remembered a bit
16 more. But that was one of the questions I asked of
18 If it's of interest, I do remember being
19 asked afterwards to make a statement to the Croatian
20 press, but I declined that.
21 Q. Well, again, we'll try and track that report
22 down and make it available. If we can get it. Your
23 belief is that the ultimate location for some of these
24 reports may be in Denmark. If we can't get them there,
25 we may not be able to get them anywhere else?
1 A. Yes. They were certainly widely
2 distributed. Who holds them now, I don't know.
3 Q. Did you have any or many dealings with
5 A. I certainly met him on occasions, but
6 primarily my dealings were with the more senior
7 leadership, and I would have delegated that
8 responsibility to the team level, which was Victor 1
9 operating in the Vitez area, of which Cerkez was the
10 Commander of the Viteska Brigade. So my dealings -- I
11 certainly met him, but they were not extensive.
12 Q. Then there is just one detail out of sequence
13 relating to Zenica shelling and the date of it. I put
14 to you something about a date in September. Can you
15 remember, and you said, I think, you can't recall the
16 date necessarily, but can you remember either the date
17 or the approximate date of the shelling or the date of
18 the report for which we are searching?
19 A. Yes. I believe that the shelling was towards
20 the end of August, and I believe that the meeting I had
21 was at the beginning of September, 1st, 2nd, 3rd,
22 somewhere in that area. We were also trying to get
23 access to Zepce at the time, at the beginning of
24 September, and my exact recall of the dates are loose.
25 But it was in that area.
1 MR. NICE: That concludes my examination
2 of this witness.
3 JUDGE MAY: That would be a convenient
4 moment. We will adjourn now until half past two.
5 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
3 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:
5 Q. Good afternoon, Witness AD.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. My name is Stephen Sayers. I'm one of the
8 attorneys representing Dario Kordic, and I'll be asking
9 you some questions this afternoon. Behind me, and I
10 think you can see him, is Mr. Mikulicic. He represents
11 the second accused, Mr. Cerkez. I don't believe he's
12 going to have any questions for you, but if he does,
13 they'll be extremely brief.
14 Let me start out, sir, on one very minor
15 matter of detail. I've put on the ELMO a document that
16 was previously marked as Exhibit D52/2, and I'd like
17 you to trace the main supply route from Travnik, just
18 down about two inches to the south-east, and you get to
19 a village called Dolac. Do you see that?
20 A. Yes, I do.
21 Q. Isn't it true that that's where the
22 checkpoint was that you encountered when you were
23 exiting Travnik in connection with the convoy?
24 A. That's correct. Yes.
25 Q. So it's actually considerably closer to
1 Travnik than you actually indicated in your
2 direct-examination; isn't that right?
3 A. I believe it's the same junction. We're not
4 looking at quite the same map, because on the map we
5 looked at this morning we didn't actually have Travnik
6 there. It was off to the west of the map. I pointed
7 that out, and I traced down to what I believed was the
8 junction at Dolac, but to be absolutely clear, it was
9 the Dolac junction at which I was stopped.
10 Q. And to be absolutely clear, on Exhibit 52/2,
11 where I just identified the village of Dolac, that's
12 exactly where the checkpoint is, and you can actually
13 see the name "Dolac" on the map, can you not?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. That was actually in Colonel Filip
16 Filipovic's area of command. At that time he was in
17 the -- in command, I believe, of the Travnicka Brigade;
19 A. He was in command of the Travnicka Brigade,
20 and at that time the HVO had moved out of Travnik, some
21 through the northern boundary with the Serb -- boundary
22 front line with the Serbs and the others back into --
23 into Vitez and that was the front line.
24 Q. And the reason for the move was because of
25 the large Muslim forces offensive, I believe, from
1 June the 8th to the 12th in the Travnik area, and that
2 was immediately initiated or pretty much immediately
3 initiated as you assumed your duties as the head of the
4 co-ordination centre in Travnik; is that correct?
5 A. I arrived in Travnik just before the fighting
6 broke out and was, in fact, involved trying to get some
7 sort of agreement between a joint command structure
8 which existed in Travnik of which Filip Filipovic was a
9 member. That failed, the fighting broke out, and the
10 Armija forces pushed the forces out of the Travnik
12 Q. It would be fair to say, sir, would it not,
13 that when you made your first excursion with the convoy
14 and when you encountered this checkpoint as you
15 described in your direct-examination, this was a time
16 of military confusion and turmoil, was it not?
17 A. It was certainly a time of military activity
18 and, yes, there was some confusion.
19 Q. All right. And do you recall, sir, that, in
20 fact, immediately prior to the --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Could both the counsel and
22 the witness slow down, please.
23 MR. SAYERS:
24 Q. -- as you described, immediately prior to the
25 initiation of offensive activities by the Muslim
1 forces, General Hadzihasanovic had actually refused to
2 attend a meeting of the joint commission stating that
3 it was too late for negotiations?
4 A. I don't remember that specifically, although
5 I can say that I hadn't met Hadzihasanovic in Travnik.
6 His representative was Commander Mehmed Alagic, and he
7 was my main interlocutor.
8 Q. Let me just show you a milinfosum and it may
9 help jog your memory on that particular point.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, before you do that,
11 the interpreters are asking both of you to slow down.
12 MR. SAYERS: We will attempt to accommodate
13 their --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Sayers.
15 MR. SAYERS: -- both speak the same
16 language. It's important for us to have a little bit
17 of a break between the question and the answer, and
18 I'll try to do the same. Thank you.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Document will be marked
21 MR. SAYERS: Mr. Usher, I'm finished with the
22 map. If you could put the page numbered 00273957 on
23 the ELMO, please. Just for the record, this is a
24 Prince of Wales' Own Regiment at Yorkshire milinfosum
25 number 38 dated June the 6th, 1993.
1 Q. If you would turn to the page, Witness AD,
2 there is a reference to a village that you visited of
3 Ovcarevo, where approximately 3.000 displaced persons
4 had been encountered by British troops, and it was for
5 the reason that they were being fired on from BiH
6 positions in Turbe that they articulated to the British
7 troops that they wished to move to Nova Bila. Were you
8 ever informed of this by the British forces, sir, just
9 after you started your duties (redacted)
11 A. I had close links with the Prince of Wales
12 own BritBat but I don't remember being given that
14 Q. If you could just turn to the next page,
15 sir. There's a recitation of some of the events which
16 immediately preceded the outbreak of conflict,
17 specifically paragraphs 11 and 12. In paragraph 11 the
18 observation is made that both sides wished for
19 Colonel Blaskic and General Hadzihasanovic to attend a
20 later meeting and that this was constantly reiterated.
21 And then in paragraph 12, the observation is
22 made by the British army that Blaskic was willing to
23 attend but Hadzihasanovic, despite the intervention of
24 the BHC, maintained his previous position by stating
25 that it was now too late for negotiation, and he
1 claimed that he had the full support of General
2 Halilovic in this regard. Were you aware of this,
4 A. No, I wasn't aware of that specifically.
5 Certainly discussions were continuing in Travnik itself
6 with the appointed joint command officials of both the
7 HVO and the Armija, but I wasn't aware of what was
8 happening at that level.
9 Q. Just to terminate this particular line of
10 questions. You were not aware, as you were conducting
11 your investigations in the first and second week of
12 June, that the ABiH forces had actually refused to
13 negotiate with, or that senior representatives of the
14 ABiH forces has refused to meet with and negotiate with
15 the Croat contingent?
16 A. I wasn't aware of that specifically, no.
17 Q. Fine.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, if you are moving
19 from that document, I notice it's already got a Z
20 number. Is it one that's been produced by the
22 MR. SAYERS: It is actually within the large
23 quantity of documents that I referred to earlier, but
24 it has not yet been introduced, Your Honour. I'm
25 perfectly happy for it to be admitted as Z1201,2, or
1 for it to have a Defence Exhibit number.
2 JUDGE MAY: It may be as well to have a
3 Defence Exhibit number, to make sure it gets in.
4 MR. SAYERS: Sorry, I actually recited the
5 wrong name. It was Z1020. If the Registrar would be
6 good enough to give it a D number. Very well.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Document number D164/1.
8 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
9 Q. Witness AD, let me just ask you a few general
10 questions, and I'll try to refer to the documents that
11 you were shown today. Please forgive me if I fumble
12 around a little bit, but I only saw them for the first
13 time this morning.
14 My understanding, sir, is that you spent
15 eight years in the British army and the Royal Horse
16 Artillery, and resigned in January of 1993, becoming a
17 monitor with the European Community Monitoring Mission
18 one month later; is that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. Did you have any prior experience with the
21 history or politics of the Balkans, or the Balkans
22 generally, sir?
23 A. Only general interest in history, but no
24 prior experience. I had not visited the region before.
25 Q. It would be fair to say, other than in the
1 broadest academic sense, you actually knew nothing
2 about the Balkans prior to actually arriving there?
3 A. Prior to arriving, I knew less than perhaps
4 as an educated person I should.
5 Q. All right. Now, it's true, is it not, that
6 the European Community Monitor Mission actually had no
7 military mandate itself?
8 A. That is correct. It had a memorandum of
9 understanding, which was very broad.
10 Q. The ECMM did not operate at night, did they?
11 THE INTERPRETER: Will the counsel please
12 slow down.
13 A. Sorry, could you repeat that question. A
14 request from the interpreters interrupted it.
15 MR. SAYERS:
16 Q. Yes. I wonder if the witness could be shown
17 a document that's previously been marked Exhibit
19 JUDGE MAY: Is this about the ECMM operating
20 at night?
21 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MAY: Well, if that's the point.
23 What's being put is that the monitors didn't operate at
24 night. Was that your experience?
25 A. I did not drive around the area at night,
1 Your Honour.
2 MR. SAYERS:
3 Q. I can just put to you three propositions,
4 sir, and this is -- these are all derived from
5 documents that are already in evidence from the ECMM.
6 Exhibit Z1012 on page 2, says the ECMM does not operate
7 by night. It's the first one. And then the second one
8 is that military intelligence is strictly forbidden to
9 the ECMM. Would you agree with that?
10 A. Forbidden from whom? We had our contacts
11 with military leaders, and we passed that information,
12 but we were not receiving military intelligence from
13 any government, but we did have our interaction with
14 UNPROFOR, and we had their assessment on what was going
15 on in the area.
16 Q. A document previously introduced into
17 evidence, marked Z1151,1, was a July the 30th, 1993,
18 ECMM document, a special report on HV involvement in
19 BiH. And on the first page it says:
20 "It is very difficult for ECMM teams to
21 provide a definite answer to questions involving HV
22 involvement in south-western Bosnia-Herzegovina, as
23 military intelligence is strictly forbidden to them for
24 their safety on the field."
25 Is that news to you, sir?
1 A. Well, I mean, in our daily activity we were
2 forever trying to establish whether there was HV
3 involvement. And I wasn't aware of a pool of
4 information to which we didn't have access. I mean, we
5 had extremely good access as an organisation, and I
6 would ask, as I demonstrated this morning, the senior
7 leadership of the HVO, what was going on, and we had
8 our eyes and ears and through our contacts made our
9 assessments. But I wasn't ever aware of being denied
10 any information that existed at a higher level.
11 Q. All right. Nothing wrong with using any
12 avenue of information available to you, but I take it
13 that that particular comment, which was made in a
14 document authored by Jean-Pierre Thebault, is not one
15 with which you would wholeheartedly agree. Let's put
16 it that way.
17 A. I am a little confused as to what exactly he
18 meant by that, military intelligence, unless he was
19 referring to some national access.
20 Q. All right. In another document, sir, that
21 was previously introduced into evidence, Exhibit
22 Z1040. That's a document entitled "Excerpts of
23 Political Material in ECMM Team Reports." I take it,
24 that you were aware that these documents were collated
25 by the headquarters in Zagreb and distributed to
1 whomever was felt to be appropriate as a recipient?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. All right. An observation is made, this is
4 June the 10th, sir, on page 9, that:
5 "The longer term objectives of the ABiH could
6 well be the capture of Busovaca and even Novi Travnik.
7 It is beyond doubt in this area that a war, which began
8 as a common fight against a common foe, the Serbs, has
9 degenerated into an outright civil war."
10 I take it, sir, those are comments with which
11 you agree?
12 A. Yes, broadly I would agree with that.
13 Q. Just so I have, and the Trial Chamber has a
14 good picture of where you were, at what particular time
15 during your tour in Bosnia-Herzegovina, sir. My
16 understanding is that you arrived on the 26th of
17 February, 1993, after spending two days in Zagreb
18 receiving a briefing. Is that correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. And the first place that you were assigned as
21 a basic monitor, if you like, was in the Gornji Vakuf
22 region, right?
23 A. I was actually due to be located in
24 Tomislavgrad, and indeed I spent a little bit of time
25 there. But the main activity of the ECMM was centred
1 on forming a commission in Gornji Vakuf. And so it
2 very soon became clear to us that that's where the main
3 point of our duty should be. So I then based myself in
4 Gornji Vakuf and worked back to Tomislavgrad as
5 necessary. To give you an indication, probably
6 visiting it once for one day a week.
7 Q. And you reported to the co-ordination centre
8 in CC Mostar, which was actually located in Siroki
9 Brijeg; correct?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. (redacted)
15 A. Yes, that is correct. (redacted)
23 Q. And I believe that you took over for
24 Mr. (redacted) on the 14th of June of 1993; is that
1 A. It would be about then, but I can't honestly
2 remember the exact date.
3 Q. I appreciate that it's a long time, Witness
4 AD, (redacted)
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. All right. And then you remained in that
9 position, I believe, until October the 17th, 1993,
11 (redacted), which was then the seat of the
12 government of the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna; is
13 that right?
14 A. Approximately that date. I would have said
15 perhaps the 27th of October, but I'm not sure whether
16 that is important. And, yes, it was to the seat of the
17 self-proclaimed Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
18 Q. All right. And I will be asking you some
19 questions about the government of the Croatian Republic
20 of Herceg-Bosna. Believe it or not, you are one of the
21 first witnesses who has testified in this case who
22 actually knows a considerable amount about it, and I
23 commend you on your studies.
24 I believe, though, sir, just finishing up the
25 chronology of your involvement in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 you left your duties (redacted)
2 (redacted) on February the 3rd of 1994. Does that sound
3 approximately correct?
4 A. That is correct. That was the end of my
5 first year.
6 Q. And then I believe that you were -- you spent
7 a number of months in Croatia, from April of 1994 until
8 August of 1994, and then you took up the position of
9 (redacted), in August of
10 1994, and stayed there until February of 1995; is that
12 A. After a reselection process with the foreign
13 office, I deployed again to former Yugoslavia, as you
14 said correctly, in April, and started again at the
17 (redacted). And then in August
18 I was appointed as (redacted)
19 (redacted), and that then, at a later stage, changed its
20 name to (redacted)
21 Q. All right. When you were performing your
22 functions, sir, (redacted)
24 (redacted), were you familiar with the
25 provisions of the Vance-Owen Plan, which was being
1 advocated by the International Community at that time?
2 A. The formation of the Vance-Owen Plan was
3 really taking place during the period that I was in
4 Gornji Vakuf. And by the time I had moved to Travnik,
5 we had reached a critical stage. There had been --
6 the Serbian element had decided not to endorse the
7 plan, so on the ground we were told that we would try
8 and implement the plan, where possible. And that is
9 the task that we began to try and undertake in June,
10 which was somewhat interrupted by the military
12 Q. This international plan advocated the
13 establishment of 10 ethnically based cantons, did it
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. And is it true, sir, that in the Travnicka
17 province, canton number 10, the governor was supposed
18 to be a Croat, as far as you can recall; the vice
19 governor, a Muslim; and then there was to be an interim
20 provincial government, with initially five Muslims,
21 four Croats, and one Serb on the government.
22 A. You flattered me earlier on with reference to
23 my knowledge of the political -- I would be
24 hard-pressed to remember the exact division of
25 leadership. However, I do remember that the canton in
1 which Bugogno fell was due to be headed by a Croatian,
2 and I believe it was somebody called Soljic. I
3 actually forget the exact boundaries of the proposed
4 cantons, if Bugogno falls within canton 10. And I'm
5 sorry that I can't recall it exactly. Then I would
6 endorse your statement that it was to be led by a
8 Q. Witness AD, I think you have a first rate
9 memory. I think Bugojno fell in province 10, and
10 there's a reference in Exhibit Z1013, which is an ECMM
11 special report dated June the 3rd of 1993, which we can
12 show you if you feel you need to see it, which actually
13 says the mayor of Bugojno, Mr. Soljic, HVO, has now
14 been appointed as governor by the Bosnian Croats, and
15 it seems for everybody, including the Bosnian Muslims
16 to be a good beginning. And that's the Travnicka
17 province, province 10 under the Vance-Owen Plan. Does
18 that refresh your recollection?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you ever have occasion yourself to
21 discuss the implementation of that plan with the
22 political authorities on the Bosnian Croat or the
23 Bosnian Muslim side, sir?
24 A. Yes, I did. I distinctly remember setting up
25 a meeting for the head of the regional centre,
1 Jean-Pierre Thebault, and this was, in fact, in
2 Bugojno. We went and we met Mr. Soljic. I believe he
3 had been appointed only that day or the day before, and
4 we also met some of the leadership both of the Croat
5 and Muslim communities in Bugojno. I recall that
6 Dzevad Mlaco was the Muslim mayor of Bugojno. He was
7 there. And the only other person that I can remember
8 was Branko Raguz, who was a Croatian -- leader of the
9 Croatian community, and I believe went on to become
11 Q. I take it that Mr. Kordic was not invited
12 down to that meeting between the head of the regional
13 centre; you; Mr. Soljic, the newly appointed governor;
14 and others?
15 A. He may have been invited by Jean-Pierre
16 Thebault, but I personally didn't invite him.
17 Q. You don't know whether he received an
19 A. I do not know.
20 Q. Very well, sir. The next question I've got
21 concerns the Stoltenberg-Owen Plan that was approved by
22 the International Community in August of 1993. Is that
23 broadly consistent with your recollection?
24 A. Yes. This is HMS Invincible and all of the
25 negotiations. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And this plan, sir, envisaged the creation of
2 three constituent ethnically based republics, did it
4 A. Yes, it did.
5 Q. And this was given the sanction of the
6 International Community, was it not?
7 A. Yes. This is this morning when I was giving
8 evidence. We referred to the discussions in Geneva,
9 and you will recall me saying that on the ground, we
10 had little information as to exactly what the shape of
11 the map looked like, and indeed the speculation on the
12 ground as to what those boundaries were of the three
13 distinct republics that were proposed. I was unaware
14 of those exactly.
15 Q. I believe, sir, that the Croatian Community
16 of Herceg-Bosna was formed in precisely that month,
17 August of 1993, the same month in which the
18 International Community approved of the plan. Is that
20 A. Yes, it was. Although, I would add that when
21 I arrived in Mostar and began to try and discover a
22 little bit more about it, clearly it was only then
23 taking shape. So, yes, it may have been announced
24 then, but I'm not sure the degree to which it had
25 transferred from the Croatian Community to the Croatian
1 Republic of Herceg-Bosna.
2 Q. We may have some documents that may shed a
3 little bit more light on that for you.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, I wonder what the
5 value of this cross-examination is. Insofar as there
6 are disputes about documents and that sort of thing,
7 you will have every opportunity to call evidence to
8 prove what was in the Croatian political entities, when
9 they came into force, and all that sort of thing, every
10 opportunity during your own case. You've told us that
11 you're calling a hundred witnesses. I imagine that one
12 of them can produce some of these documents.
13 Now, time is going by, and what I am concerned
14 about is whether there's any point cross-examining this
15 witness about matters which he may have a recollection
17 Cross-examine him, by all means, about the
18 documents that he's produced and the matters about
19 which he's given evidence, but other matters, I judge,
20 are better dealt with in other ways, and as you know,
21 our Rules provide that cross-examination should simply
22 take place upon the matters which have occurred in
23 chief or as to credit or you have to ask the leave of
24 the Trial Chamber. So I think we can move on.
25 MR. SAYERS: Of course, I'm in the Trial
1 Chamber's hands in that regard, but if I may respond to
2 the question, questions have been raised about, I
3 think, both de facto and de jure status and these
4 questions definitely go to the de jure aspect of the
5 witness's testimony, Your Honour. There has been quite
6 a bit of testimony, I believe, concerning the function
7 or supposed function of Mr. Kordic in the Croatian
8 Republic of Herceg-Bosna, and I think that I can
9 demonstrate to the witness precisely what that function
10 was. Maybe it will jog his memory, maybe it won't, but
11 I think that we will jog his memory.
12 JUDGE MAY: No. I'm not going to allow
13 this. His evidence in relation to Mr. Kordic's
14 position is opposed to his evidence about Mr. Kordic
15 and his view of Mr. Kordic. His evidence about his
16 position started, I think, on the 3rd of November,
17 1993, with the conversation with Mr. Bender.
18 Now, you can ask questions, of course, about
19 his connection with the Jokers and the Apostoli, which
20 the witness gave, and you can ask questions, of course,
21 about those matters about which he gave evidence, that
22 he assessed in August that your client was isolated and
23 out of touch. But detailed questions about the make-up
24 of the BiH in -- or the -- I'm sorry, the Croatian side
25 in the earlier part of the year were not part of his
2 MR. SAYERS: Well, I --
3 JUDGE MAY: You must stick to the evidence.
4 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.
5 Q. Witness AD, you gave some testimony about the
6 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, which was the
7 immediate predecessor to the republic. You knew, of
8 course, that the president of that republic was Mate
9 Boban; correct?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. Did you have the occasion to meet -- I think
12 you said you did -- Mr. Boban, while you were (redacted)
13 (redacted) correct?
14 A. Yes. I met him, if I recall, on two separate
16 Q. And he became the new president or the first
17 president of the Croatian republic; correct?
18 A. Yes. He became the new president.
19 Q. You identified Mr. Kordic as a vice-president
20 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Were you
21 aware that there were two vice-presidents, sir?
22 A. Yes. I actually would have said there were
23 more. I seem to remember that there were many stated
24 vice-presidents, but certainly I knew there was more
25 than one.
1 Q. All right. Did you ever inquire of anybody
2 within the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna what the
3 stated powers or delegated powers of the vice-president
4 of that entity was, sir?
5 A. No. I don't believe that I did that. I
6 certainly did inquire about the reasons why the
7 Croatian community had formed and who held command
8 positions in it. And in those discussions -- and I
9 believe, quite frankly, that Mr. Kordic may have
10 introduced himself as the vice-president of the
11 Croatian Community, but the extent of exactly what
12 those powers were delegated to him, no, I don't know
13 the extent.
14 Q. All right. And in your November the 8th
15 report, it's previously been marked as Z1289,1, you
16 make a reference to Mr. Vladimir Pogarcic in Mostar.
17 Did you ever have any discussions with him concerning
18 the nature of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
19 sir, as a temporary expedient in time of war?
20 A. I had many discussions with Mr. Pogarcic, and
21 yes, I certainly discussed the whole way that the
22 Croatian Community organised. I would have thought
23 that by the time I was having these discussions, which
24 is after or in the area of November-December, I was
25 more interested then in the leadership questions and
1 the support that was being drawn around Mr. Boban, and
2 I do recall that a favoured seven or nine people, of
3 which Mr. Pogarcic was one, were loosely forming, and
4 that's -- my main discussion was him, centred around
6 The only other issues of substance that I can
7 definitely remember discussing with Mr. Pogarcic was
8 the Stupni Do incident. He was particularly interested
9 in the area because the derivation of his name,
10 Mr. Pogarcic, Poga is a village in the area of Stupni
11 Do. He explained to me that's where his predecessors
12 came from and was naturally interested in what
13 information we had and my opinions on what had happened
14 in Stupni Do.
15 Q. You were asked some questions in connection
16 with the HVO. Are you aware that Mr. Kordic never held
17 any formal official office or position within the HVO,
18 sir, as a president or a vice-president, for example?
19 A. Well, I know he referred to himself on
20 occasion as Colonel Kordic, and I certainly saw him in
21 uniform, and I do remember seeing him visiting patients
22 in Nova Bila, on a newsreel, in which he was wearing a
23 uniform. I understood that he had not had a military
24 background, but in such times many people assume rank,
25 but I understood that he did have a military rank.
1 Q. You were aware, I take it, though, that
2 Dr. Jadranko Prlic, about whom you gave some testimony,
3 was the president of the HVO; correct?
4 A. Yes, he was the president of the HVO.
5 Q. And were you aware that the HVO actually had
6 three vice-presidents, Mr. Stipo Ivankovic,
7 Mr. Kresimir Zubak, and Mr. Anto Valenta?
8 A. I knew that Mr. Anto Valenta was a
9 vice-president, and I met Mr. Zubak, but I wasn't aware
10 of his status at that time. I believe that when I met
11 Mr. Zubak for the first time, he was Deputy Minister of
12 Defence, although I may be wrong there. I may be
13 getting him mixed up with Slobodan Bozic.
14 Q. All right. You referred to Mr. Valenta. And
15 in connection with your testimony that Mr. Kordic would
16 have been the only person to whom Colonel Blaskic could
17 have turned to consult with in making the decisions
18 that he needed to make, let me just ask you, are you
19 aware of any report drafted by your superior, I guess,
20 Mr. Thebault, on the 1st of May, 1993, referring to, on
21 page 9, and this is Exhibit Z859.1, Mr. Valenta, as the
22 HVO vice-president, that is the real number two after
23 Mate Boban, of the HVO as a political body. This is on
24 page 6 of that report.
25 A. I don't have a copy of that. May I have a
1 look at that?
2 Q. Absolutely. Let's put this on the ELMO.
3 JUDGE MAY: If the legal officer could come
4 up, please.
5 MR. SAYERS:
6 Q. If you would just put that on the ELMO, sir.
7 That's Exhibit Z859,1. I just read out to you a part
8 of page 6 which says -- describes Mr. Valenta as the
9 HVO vice-president, that is the real number two after
10 Mate Boban, of the HVO as a political body. Were you
11 aware of that assessment as you came up to Travnik to
12 assume your duties?
13 A. I wasn't aware that he'd written that. I
14 understood Mr. Valenta was vice-president of the -- a
15 vice-president of the HVO but that was at a later
16 stage, and I had several meetings with Mr. Valenta.
17 Q. Witness AD, I was going to ask you about the
18 HRHB government, but in view of the Trial Chamber's
19 comments I'll pass over that.
20 There's a reference -- well, were you aware
21 that Dario Kordic was actually appointed to the
22 commission on appointments and nominations to the house
23 of representatives of the Croatian Republic of
24 Herceg-Bosna and that that appointment was made
25 effective on September the 30th, 1993?
1 A. No, I wasn't aware. As you will understand
2 from my statement this morning, his exact position
3 during this period of transition was of interest and
4 this business of whether he held office or delegate
5 status was what we were trying to find out. So no, I
6 wasn't exactly aware of that.
7 Q. To clear up the confusion, did you ever pick
8 up the telephone and call Mr. Kordic to ask him,
9 "What's your position"?
10 A. I don't think the telephone was working at
11 that time. I'm sorry to say. It wasn't quite as
12 simple as that.
13 Q. I appreciate that, sir, these were difficult
14 times, but did you ever ask anybody at the coordination
15 centre in Travnik to ask that question of Mr. Kordic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And did they?
18 A. We constantly -- in fact, I believe on the
19 side of one of the documents that we saw this morning,
20 you will see some handwriting which is suggesting that
21 Travnik should try and corroborate the information that
22 we had. So certainly, yes, they were interested in
23 knowing and so were we.
24 Q. All right?
25 A. And I believe that they would have gone to
1 ask the situation. In fact, I can elaborate a little
2 bit because I do remember having a discussion, a
3 capsat, a discussion via satellite communications with
4 the deputy head of the regional centre, Mr. Jeff
5 Beaumont, and he was adamant of the positions being
6 held by Mr. Kordic in the new Croatian Republic of
7 Herceg-Bosna which, as I said, differed from the
8 information we were getting. So we were constantly
9 trying to find out what was going on.
10 Q. Suffice it to say that you had a dissidence
11 in the information that you were receiving in Mostar as
12 opposed to the information that you were receiving from
13 people in the Travnik Coordination Centre?
14 A. We had a different perception from the people
15 in Central Bosnia, Mr. Kordic from Mr. Valenta, as to
16 what their role was as opposed to what we were being
17 told by the leadership in Mostar.
18 Q. Were you able to verify the information that
19 appears on some of your reports, that, in fact,
20 Mr. Kordic was just a delegate, one of 70-odd
21 delegates, to the House of Representatives in Mostar
22 prior to the first appointment that he actually
23 received. And I'll ask you about that shortly.
24 A. I recall, from reading the documents
25 presented this morning, that the last sort of
1 understanding that I had, as I left in early February,
2 was that from the Mostar end he was a delegate.
3 Q. Right. And were you aware that he was
4 appointed as a vice-president of the House of
5 Representatives on February the 17th of 1994, one of
6 two vice-presidents?
7 A. No, I was back in England by then, and didn't
8 recall that. But when I reappeared, he at that time
9 had been made President of the HDZ.
10 Q. There's also a reference in some of your
11 reports to a body known as the presidential council.
12 Do you recall discussing that particular body with
13 representatives of the HRHB government in Mostar?
14 A. Yes. That is the council to which I was
15 referring earlier of my discussions with Mr. Pogarcic.
16 And he was one of the people I discussed it with. I
17 probably would have discussed it with the Prime
18 Minister of the CRHB, Mr. Jadranko Prlic.
19 Q. And, as far as you know, and I think this is
20 not going to be contested, Mr. Kordic never sat on that
21 presidential council? Were you aware of that?
22 A. I don't recall his name being one of the key
24 Q. All right. And just one final question in
25 this regard, sir. You were told, I believe, by,
1 perhaps, Mr. Lovrenovic, that there were no
2 vice-presidents in the HRHB, unlike the HZ-HB, the
3 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna? Do you recall
5 A. Not definitively. I do recall, and again it
6 is in the statements, one of the statements this
7 morning, that we were given a breakdown of the
8 presidential leadership, and that did include
9 Mr. Kordic as a vice-president. And I believe that
10 Mr. Kostroman was named as a -- as the general
11 secretary. And at that time that information was the
12 same as the information that CC Travnik was giving us.
13 It was only with further discussions. And I believe
14 you are right then, when we say that we go on to meet
15 Mr. Lovrenovic -- sorry, mispronunciation. And he was
16 the first person that suggested otherwise, as to what
17 was our perceived understanding.
18 Q. And I think that the reference that you were
19 referring to is in Exhibit Z1330, your report dated
20 September -- sorry, December the 15th, 1993. Where you
21 discuss the presidential council with Mr. Lovrenovic,
22 and he, I believe, informed you that its function was
23 advisory, but its exact authority has yet to be
24 defined. And the council was formed because, without
25 vice-presidents, an alternative mechanism was needed to
1 support the presidential office in President Boban's
2 absence. Does that ring a bell?
3 A. Yes. Could you name the number of the
4 document again, please, so that I can refer to it.
5 Q. Yes. Z1330. December the 15th.
6 A. Yes, I have that document, to which you are
7 referring, in front of me now. But there is another
8 one where we have a more specific named list, in which
9 Mr. Kordic does appear as a vice-president.
10 Q. All right. You do not -- well, the last
11 question on this subject, and I'll just put it to you,
12 sir: Mr. Kordic was never actually a vice-president of
13 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna. And did you
14 know that that was a fact?
15 A. No. As I said when I left --
16 JUDGE MAY: It's not put yet. You can't put
17 it as a fact. You are merely putting something to the
18 witness. It's not by any means a fact. Do you know
19 anything about this, witness?
20 A. What we are experiencing today is -- takes me
21 back, as it is exactly the same discussions that we
22 had. Did he or didn't he have a senior position? He
23 said to the teams in Travnik -- our information from
24 them was that he was a vice-president. Our initial
25 information from Mostar was that he was a
1 vice-president. Only later did we get any deviation
2 from that. But that deviation excited an ongoing
3 interest. By the time I left in February, it was still
4 an unanswered question.
5 MR. SAYERS:
6 Q. Very well. I think that takes us as far as
7 we can go, Witness AD. Let me move to another
8 subject. The armed forces chain of command. You were
9 aware, I take it, that the supreme commander of the
10 armed forces, before the foundation of the HRHB, was
11 Mate Boban; correct?
12 A. Yes. Although his exact relationship with
13 the Croatian government was something of interest.
14 Q. And you never got any firm answers to that
15 particular inquiry that you just raised yourself, did
16 you? You never clarified Mr. Boban's precise
17 relationship with the government of Croatia yourself?
18 A. No, I didn't.
19 Q. All right. Now, isn't it true that the
20 general staff of the Croatian armed forces was located
21 in Mostar?
22 A. I think, more accurately, it was located in
23 Posusje, near Mostar.
24 Q. I stand corrected. That was the headquarters
25 of the Croat armed forces in Herzegovina; correct?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. I believe, sir, that initially the chief of
3 the general staff was Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic; is
4 that right?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. To be replaced by General Slobodan Praljak at
7 some point in the middle of 1993; correct?
8 A. This was an area that we were unsure of,
9 Mr. Praljak's exact position.
10 Q. All right.
11 A. I think on paper Mr. Petkovic remained in
12 command, and that Praljak came under him, but I think
13 Praljak had a different view.
14 Q. And is it right that General Ante Roso became
15 the commander in chief of the Croatian armed forces in
16 November of 1993, and that you were informed of his
17 appointment by Mr. Bozic, the Minister of Defence of
18 the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna?
19 A. Yes, that is correct. And I went to see him
20 and established a relationship, a working relationship
21 with him. The headquarters had by then moved. You
22 will forgive me for forgetting the name of the town.
23 But it had moved further west.
24 Q. Very well. Did you ever make inquiries, sir,
25 regarding whether there was a disciplinary code within
1 the Croatian armed forces?
2 A. I didn't ask specifically about disciplinary
3 codes. I certainly did ask about the relationship of
4 certain commanders within the chain of command. After
5 the fighting in Central Bosnia, it was clear that the
6 position of the HVO was not in high standing. There
7 was arguments between the political leadership and the
8 military leadership, and there was some concern that
9 both Mr. Petkovic and also the Minister of Defence of
10 the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Stojic, was
11 going to -- that they may be moved and replaced. And
12 so at the time of uncertainty we were interested to see
13 whether they actually held their positions or not.
14 Q. One final question in this regard. Did you
15 ever make any inquiries as to whether there was any
16 district military prosecutor or some sort of court
17 martial system in place to discipline formally soldiers
18 who had committed infractions of any military laws,
20 A. I didn't ask directly, but I could be led to
21 believe there was such a system, because in the
22 incident of the shelling of Stari Most by the supposed
23 renegade crew, there was later a statement that
24 individuals had, in fact, been arrested and were being
25 processed by military law, so I -- by the military
1 authorities. So one would assume, and it's the normal
2 case in military organisations, there is some sort of
3 discipline structure.
4 Q. And you never saw anything to lead you to
5 reach conclusions to the contrary, I take it, during
6 your tour of duty in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
7 A. The only comment I will state is that most of
8 the authority, it would not have been as coherent as
9 perhaps one would expect in a differently organised
11 Q. Turning now, sir, to Central Bosnia
12 particularly. I believe you will agree that Colonel
13 Blaskic was the overall military commander of all HVO
14 armed forces or Croat armed forces in Central Bosnia
15 throughout the time that you were there; is that
17 A. Yes. He was the commander of operational
18 zone Central Bosnia.
19 Q. He directly controlled all military activity
20 in the Vitez-Busovaca pocket specifically, didn't he?
21 A. He did, but of course there were times when
22 the political military interface was very important,
23 and I believe, during my period there, there were times
24 when he made reference to political leadership rather
25 than simply military leadership.
1 Q. Let me just ask you one question in that
2 regard, sir. It's true, is it not, that Colonel
3 Blaskic never once told you that his military authority
4 was limited, and that he had to consult Mr. Kordic for
5 permission to do certain things? He never said that to
6 you, did he?
7 A. He did, in fact. And I believe that the
8 statement that was said this morning was quite clear on
9 one of the documents. He said to me, with regard to
10 what was going on in Geneva, this is a political
11 aspect, and he is the man you must ask about this.
12 And, of course, as I said earlier, the politic military
13 interface is very interesting in that area.
14 Q. But I am talking about specific particular
15 military decisions that had to be undertaken in the
16 Vitez-Busovaca pocket. Colonel Blaskic never told you
17 that he had to receive Mr. Kordic's permission to do
18 anything that he needed to do in that particular area
19 of his responsibility, did he, sir?
20 A. He never told me that specifically, but I do
21 know that Mr. Kordic was leading in certain military
23 Q. Colonel Blaskic never related to you that
24 Mr. Kordic had any kind of military authority at all,
25 did he? To be fair.
1 A. Well, it was -- when I said earlier, my
2 understanding that Mr. Kordic held the rank of Colonel,
3 which was at the time was equal to that of Mr. Blaskic,
4 but I don't believe that Mr. Blaskic saw, as a
5 professional soldier, deference in military matters to
6 Mr. Kordic, but certainly did refer at times to
7 political requirements to discuss with Mr. Kordic,
8 rather than himself.
9 Q. But just to cut to the heart of the matter.
10 You always saw Mr. Kordic as representative of a
11 political authority in the pocket, and Colonel Blaskic
12 as the embodiment of the military authority; isn't that
13 fair to say?
14 A. That is fair to say, yes.
15 Q. All right. In fact, sir, I think it's true
16 that you never saw or heard Colonel Blaskic actually
17 consulting Mr. Kordic specifically before making a
18 military decision of his own; isn't that right?
19 A. Yes, I think that's probably correct.
20 Q. And I think that also, to be fair, you did
21 refer to one occasion upon which Mr. or Colonel Blaskic
22 said that he needed to have consultations before making
23 a particular decision, and I don't particularly
24 remember what context that was in. But you do not know
25 whether he consulted his commanding officer within the
1 military chain of command to make that decision, do
3 A. It was about access to Stari Vitez. No, I
4 don't know to whom he referred.
5 Q. That's fine. Just one question about Colonel
6 Siljeg, to whom you referred in your testimony. He was
7 the Colonel Blaskic figure, if you like, the commander
8 of the northwest Herzegovina operative zone while you
9 were in Gornji Vakuf; isn't that true?
10 A. Yes, he was the commander of -- and based in
12 Q. Yes. And there is no question that he was
13 the senior military commander in that region either; is
14 there, sir?
15 A. No. That was the person to whom we had all
16 our dealings.
17 Q. And would it be fair to say, sir, that there
18 was no suggestion that Mr. Kordic had to be consulted
19 before decisions were made in the Gornji Vakuf area?
20 A. No, there weren't.
21 Q. In other words, his political influence
22 didn't extend down as far as Gornji Vakuf, as far as
23 you were able to tell?
24 A. It's difficult to -- unlike a military
25 situation where people do have defined boundaries, I'm
1 not sure how one defines the boundaries of political
2 responsibility. But certainly operational zone, middle
3 Bosnia, which Blaskic was commanding, did not include
4 Bugogno or Gornji Vakuf, and I made reference to or had
5 to make reference to any of the dealings in that valley
6 to Mr. Kordic.
7 Q. Just one more question in that regard,
8 although not that particular area. The same would be
9 true of your time in Mostar. Mr. Kordic's political
10 influence certainly didn't extend to military matters
11 in Mostar, did it sir?
12 A. There would appear to be more senior
13 leadership in Mostar, and they probably made the
14 decisions, rather than referring to the isolation of
15 Mr. Kordic in Central Bosnia.
16 Q. You gave some pretty graphic testimony,
17 Witness AD, regarding the -- your perception of the
18 increasing isolation of the Croat pockets that were
19 left as the summer of 1993 went on. I think it's true
20 that the Croats were squeezed into four pockets,
21 essentially, the Vitez-Busovaca pocket first; second,
22 the Zepce pocket; third, the Kiseljak pocket; and
23 fourth, the Vares pocket. Would that be fair to say?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. I take it, sir, that your perception was that
1 the isolation increased with the passage of time, with
2 the increasing success of the Muslim offensive in the
3 summer of 1993 against the Croat forces; is that right?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. And so your report regarding that perception
6 of isolation in August of 1993, would certainly be even
7 more accurate as of late October of 1993, wouldn't it?
8 A. Yes, the isolation and freedom of movement
9 was increasingly more difficult. And the position of
10 certain pockets, particularly at the time that I moved
11 from Central Bosnia to Mostar, was critical. The Vares
12 pocket being the most critical. The Zepce pocket was
13 very much more secure, but for different reasons.
14 Certain allegiances and alliances and agreements had
15 been reached with the Serbian forces in that area, and
16 their position was much less tenuous.
17 Q. Turning just to the Vares pocket for one
18 moment, sir. A considerable degree of frustration had
19 been expressed to you by the political and military
20 leadership in Vares, expressing to you, I think, as of
21 August of 1993, expressing to you the view that they
22 had essentially been cut adrift by the Croat political
23 leadership; isn't that right?
24 A. I would say that they have -- their main
25 concern was what was going on in Geneva, that they were
1 going to be sold out, their territory would be handed
2 over. Again, referring to one of the documents
3 produced this morning. We were given by the mayor this
4 letter, saying that they felt -- to be addressed to
5 their leadership. That they felt that they were being
6 let down.
7 Q. Right. And one final question in that
8 regard. You gave some testimony regarding trading
9 access for information. Would it be fair to say that
10 all of the Croat leadership that you interviewed, both
11 political and military, were always hungry for
12 information about an isolated area, such as Vares?
13 A. Yes, that is true. And it was also true of
14 the Muslim leadership, wanting to know what was
15 happening to their isolated minority communities. It
16 was the only tool we had with which to carry out our
17 work, was utilising that need for information. And,
18 obviously, we never passed anything sensitive or
19 anything military, but certainly, in the case of Vares,
20 I do remember discussing with General Blaskic the
21 civilian situation, and their fears and anxieties.
22 Q. So it would be fair to say that, from Colonel
23 Blaskic's perspective, it was difficult to get
24 information about the situation of Croats in Vares,
25 just as it was for the Muslims to get accurate
1 information about the situation of the residents of
2 Stari Vitez?
3 A. Yes, it was difficult. But there was
4 certainly some communication between the two. I do
5 remember seeing a data transmission sheet, which I
6 assume had been a satellite system of communication
7 between Zepce and the HVO headquarters. So there was
8 ability to communicate, but not ability to travel.
9 Q. All right.
10 A. Sorry. If I could add one extra bit. There
11 was the ability, at a later stage, and I would allude
12 to the period from roughly beginning of August, where
13 people in the Kiseljak pocket were able to move, and,
14 in fact, anywhere where there was a Croatian community
15 that had a front line with Serbian authorities.
16 The difficult situation and the isolation of
17 Croat pockets led them, as I said in the case of Zepce,
18 to agreements, and also in the case of Vares. So it
19 would have been physically possible for some people who
20 have moved from Kiseljak to Vares, but getting, for
21 instance, from Busovaca to Kiseljak was difficult if
22 not impossible.
23 Q. Thank you, sir. Let me just turn to one of
24 the subjects that the Presiding Judge raised; the
25 Jokers. The Trial Chamber has already heard extensive
1 evidence concerning the command and control of this
2 unit, which was a sub-unit of the military police. Did
3 you ever actually yourself speak to any of the military
4 police commanders in Vitez? First let me ask you about
5 Mr. Zvonko Vukovic, who was the commander of the
6 military police until January 19, 1993, I believe. Do
7 you ever remember speaking with him, sir?
8 A. I don't recall the names. I certainly met
9 the leadership, both -- and then it changed, and I'm
10 trying very hard. Somebody, it wasn't Petar, but his
11 successor, I also met him briefly.
12 Q. This is not a memory contest, sir. Let me
13 just suggest to you the names and this may jog your
15 Do you recall that Pasko Ljubicic became the
16 chief of the military police, the 4th Battalion of the
17 military police, headquartered in Vitez from January
18 the 19th, 1993 until the end of July of 1993?
19 A. The exact dates -- I don't know the name
20 now. I do recall. But I must say at the time I may
21 not have made a distinction between the fact that he
22 was military police. He was just the head of the
23 police, as far as I was concerned, and most of the
24 dealings with him would have been at my team level,
25 which would have been Victor 1.
1 Q. Would it be fair to say, sir, that as far as
2 you're aware -- well, as far as you're aware, the ECMM
3 generated no reports whatsoever concerning the command
4 or control structure of this Jokers sub-unit of the
5 military police?
6 A. I'm not aware of any special reports being
7 written, and I did not give any -- as a task to any of
8 my teams to discover more about that structure.
9 Q. Very well, sir. And I take it that it
10 follows from that that you yourself never wrote any
11 reports on that subject?
12 A. I may well have mentioned them as their names
13 and being present at certain places but I don't ever
14 recall writing a special report, whereas I do recall
15 writing special reports about Mujahedin, for instance.
16 Q. Right. And the same goes for the other group
17 that you mentioned, the Apostoli, I believe. Is it
18 your recollection that that group was located in
19 Kiseljak and was supposed to be affiliated particularly
20 with the gentleman that you mentioned, Ivica Rajic?
21 A. I don't remember their location, to be
23 Q. Suffice it to say though, sir, to hand you
24 haven't been shown any notes or memoranda,
25 contemporaneous memoranda or anything that you wrote in
1 connection with either these Jokers sub-unit or the
2 Apostoli contingent; is that correct?
3 A. That is correct, and they may -- as I say,
4 they may well have been mentioned as part of a report,
5 but I definitely did not write any special reports.
6 Q. Right. And just so we finish up this, you
7 never spoke to any Joker or Apostle yourself, did you?
8 A. Well, I understand that the leadership was
9 the policeman to whom we've referred and I spoke to
10 them. So the answer is yes, I did speak to them.
11 Q. All right. Did you ever speak to Marinko
12 Palavra, who was the chief of police following Pasko
13 Ljubicic, from August 1st, 1993 up until the end of the
15 A. I can't recall. I'm sure if he was a key
16 leader then I met him.
17 Q. None of these gentlemen, Mr. Vukovic,
18 Mr. Ljubicic, or Mr. Palavra said that they had -- were
19 subordinate to or had to take the orders of Mr. Kordic,
20 did they, sir?
21 A. I don't remember asking that specific
22 question, so you're correct.
23 Q. Now, you've referred to the source of
24 information that you gave about this connection. I
25 think you described it as being, between Mr. Kordic and
1 these two groups. Do you know what the source of
2 information used by your interpreters or drivers or the
3 other locals that you spoke to was? You don't, do
5 A. Well, I do -- as I said this morning, we
6 never rely on one source, and so most of my information
7 on these groups and their linkage would have come from
8 UNPROFOR. The statements made by our interpreters were
9 just their opinion on who these people were and who
10 they reported to.
11 Q. And when you say "UNPROFOR," Witness AD, what
12 you're referring to is the British Battalion component
13 of UNPROFOR at Bila; correct? They're the people with
14 whom you principally dealt?
15 A. They're the people with whom I principally
16 dealt, but you remember that the UNPROFOR component
17 organisation in that area included other nationalities,
18 the Dutch based in Busovaca, the Belgians, and we
19 always utilised the national connections we had in
20 ECMM. So my personal contact would have been with the
21 BritBat, but we would not have relied on that
23 What was of interest to these groups was that
24 things happened at times when we had agreement of the
25 official HVO command structure, but things didn't
1 happen because of the interventions of others, so we
2 wanted to know to whom these others reported. And the
3 consistent belief and understanding was there were
4 groups who were outside of Mr. Blaskic's command who
5 were under the authority of Mr. Kordic.
6 Q. All right. But your basis for that was
7 really upon all of this secondhand information that you
8 were receiving from other people, and you don't really
9 know what their information was based on, do you, sir?
10 That's fair to say, I believe.
11 A. I think it would be fair to say that all my
12 information in the ECMM fell into that category.
13 Q. Very well, sir. Let's move on. Just to
14 return to the time when you came back into the
15 Travnik -- or came up to the Travnik area for the first
16 time, was this the first time that you actually had any
17 dealings with events in Central Bosnia, sir, when you
18 came up in the first week of June of 1993?
19 A. No. I had been up to the headquarters of
20 Mr. Blaskic on an earlier inquiry into individuals,
21 particularly Croats, who were being abducted on the
22 route between Gornji Vakuf and Travnik. There had been
23 several disappearances. Initially exclusively Croat
24 community. And as part of trying to resolve what was
25 happening, I remember taking Mr. Zrinko Tokic, who was
1 the commander of the Dr. Ante Starcevic Brigade in
2 Gornji Vakuf, up to Central Bosnia and meeting various
3 people en route. We stopped and actually spoke to the
4 Armija in Opara, a village along that route, and I went
5 to Central Bosnia in that capacity. That was my one
6 recollection. I also went up to a social function. So
7 I went a couple of times into Central Bosnia.
8 Q. But it would be fair to say that your
9 principle concentration was Gornji Vakuf, the Gornji
10 Vakuf area, and you didn't hold yourself out as an
11 expert in the Travnik-Vitez-Busovaca area at the time
12 that you went up to Travnik in the first week of June;
14 A. That is correct. Yes.
15 Q. All right. And when you arrived in the first
16 week of June, that was immediately before the beginning
17 of the summer offensive by the ABiH forces in the
18 Travnik area; correct?
19 A. It was the beginning of the fighting between
20 the Croats and the Armija, which later turned into
21 something of an offensive.
22 Q. That offensive was also launched on a second
23 prong, if you like, in Kakanj area, was it not? Do you
24 recall that, sir?
25 A. Yes, I do, but it had also happened prior to
1 Travnik, in the area around Zenica, when the Croatian
2 brigade that was in Zenica, in fact, under the command,
3 I believe, of Mr. Tolic [sic] --
4 Q. Zivko Totic?
5 A. Totic, yes. I'm sorry. ECMM had been
6 involved in securing his release. So it had happened
7 in Zenica. We then had an attempt to put out the fire
8 in Travnik. That failed. Then later there were
9 offences in Kakanj area.
10 Q. Just so the record is clear, in April of
11 1993, your understanding is the HVO sources in Zenica
12 had been defeated and essentially the military HVO
13 presence in Vitez had been expunged; is that right?
14 A. Yes. That's correct. What initiated that
15 fighting and the reasons why it took place, of course,
16 is a broader question of interest.
17 Q. I understand, sir. And then in June, the
18 military presence of the HVO in Travnik was expunged as
19 a result of military defeats suffered by the HVO at the
20 hands the ABiH and, similarly, almost simultaneously,
21 the HVO was being defeated in Kakanj as well; is that
23 A. Yes, but there was a gap between what was
24 happening in Kakanj and what happened in Travnik. But
25 I think it's true to say that really starting in the
1 north of the Lasva Valley, sorry, north-west of the
2 Lasva Valley in Travnik. Fighting moved further south
3 down to Kakanj.
4 Q. Just so that we have an idea for the total
5 numbers of displaced persons or refugees, do you have
6 an estimate of the total number of refugees that were
7 generated as a result of the Travnik offensive? We've
8 heard numbers ranging from 5.000 to 20.000. What would
9 be a fair number of the Croats that were expelled from
10 their homes as a result of that offensive, sir?
11 A. I would say it was nearer the 20.000 more
12 than the 5.000. I do recall more accurately the
13 numbers of people who remained in Travnik and other
14 areas such as Bugojno, which was somewhere between two,
15 two and a half, and 4.000 initially, but that, in the
16 case of Travnik, depleted.
17 Q. And do you have an estimate or did the ECMM
18 have an estimate as to the number of displaced persons
19 and refugees expelled from their homes as a result of
20 the Kakanj offensive? We've heard numbers of 15.000.
21 Does that sound broadly accurate?
22 A. I honestly can't remember.
23 Q. Very well. And --
24 A. It was significant.
25 Q. Yes, sir. One final question. In the later
1 months, in August and September, I believe, there was
2 another offensive in the area from which you've just
3 come, Bugojno. Do you recall that?
4 A. I recall it very clearly, yes.
5 Q. And do you recall that there was an atrocity
6 committed at Uzdol, I believe, in September of 1993,
7 involving 35 Croats who were executed?
8 A. Yes, I remember that, although I must say I
9 was in England at the time. But it certainly occurred,
10 and we did have ECMM presence. My team in Gornji Vakuf
11 went to the site and, I believe, took the BBC. It was
12 well documented.
13 Q. Do you know whether any formal investigations
14 were started by the ABiH and whether any people were
15 brought to justice or any military commanders removed
16 from their command as a result of that massacre, sir?
17 A. I'm not aware of any formal inquiry,
18 investigation, and I don't remember any changes of
19 leadership because of it.
20 Q. You were taken very briefly through the
21 so-called Convoy of Joy, sir, and you'll be happy to
22 know that I'm not going to ask you any questions on
23 that, because we've heard a lot of that already.
24 Turning to the detailed meetings that you
25 described in your direct-examination, one of the
1 meetings that you had with Mr. Kordic was on September
2 the 1st of 1993. Do you recall that? And that was
3 the -- where you said that there was a discussion about
4 a shelling incident.
5 A. It was around that time. I'm not sure that
6 it was September the 1st, but it was certainly around
7 there, yeah.
8 Q. All right. We actually -- we have an ECMM
9 document dated September the 1st, 1993. I'm the first
10 to say that it's somewhat elliptical, but let me see if
11 it can jog your memory, sir.
12 MR. SAYERS: And we'd like this as the next
13 Defence exhibit, please. And just for the witness's
14 information and the Trial Chamber's information, I'm
15 going to do my level best to finish up this examination
16 in about ten minutes if I can.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document will be marked
19 MR. SAYERS:
20 Q. And we'll try to get you out of here,
21 Witness AD. This document, sir, is a daily summary
22 prepared by the regional centre in Zenica. There's a
23 reference on page 2, paragraph 3, to the HRC and DHRC
24 having a long meeting with Mr. Kordic, who is
25 identified as the vice-president of Herceg-Bosna, and
1 they both express very clear views about the future
2 according to this summary, and a special report was to
3 be prepared the next day. Is the DHRC you?
4 A. No. I believe -- I don't believe -- this is
5 not the meeting to which I went. I believe this was
6 Jean-Pierre Thebault, and the deputy -- I can't
7 remember who it was at the time. I don't believe this
8 is the meeting that I was at.
9 Q. Witness AD, that document need detain us no
10 further. Thank you. I'm through with it. Just a few
11 final matters. You gave some testimony about spotting
12 vehicles with Hrvatska Voijska marks on the side or HV,
13 and people dressed in uniforms bearing HV insignia.
14 Did you ever speak to any of them?
15 A. No, I didn't speak to any of them.
16 Q. All right. And, in fact, it's true, is it
17 not, that the existence and extent of HV involvement
18 had always been difficult to define in your view,
19 involvement in Central Bosnia or south-western
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that many of the ABiH reports
21 regarding alleged spottings of HV troops were seldom
22 confirmed; isn't that right?
23 A. It was an area of continued interest. What
24 was different about this sighting was the quantity and
25 quality, and my personal sighting. This was a
1 professional unit. This was unlike anything in my
2 years' experience in ECMM that I had seen of the HVO.
3 This was well equipped, good equipment, large scale.
4 This was something different.
5 Q. Yes, sir. I understand. Would it be fair to
6 say, though, that in all the time that you spent in
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, this was the only time that you
8 ever spotted troops that you concluded were HV troops?
9 A. On this scale, yes. I mean, I certainly saw
10 individuals, but there was no way of confirming -- who
11 were wearing HV insignia. There was no way of
12 confirming whether they were there just as volunteers
13 or as a unit. That was the only time I saw anything on
14 this scale.
15 Q. Did you do anything to try to find out where
16 these troops were going, what they were doing, what
17 their mission was or did you just leave it up in the
19 A. No. No. This was a very interesting, and I
20 wrote a special report. You will note that the date
21 was sort of middle of January, and you'll know that I
22 left in early February. But I did see this with the
23 head of the regional centre at the time, Sir Martin
24 Garrod, who was travelling down to Herzegovina with
25 me. So we wrote this special report, and it was
1 then -- became part of the team's responsibility
2 covering that area, which was Mike 4, to find out where
3 these were going. I mean, clearly they couldn't have
4 gone any further than Prozor at the time, but it was
5 something which I believe that the head of the regional
6 centre would have continued investigating after my
8 Q. Would it be fair to say, though, that you
9 don't know whether he did, in fact, continue those
10 investigations, and if he did, what the results of
11 those investigations were, if any?
12 A. That is correct. I don't know whether he
13 definitely did continue.
14 Q. So the conclusion is that you yourself do not
15 know what these troops were doing, what their mission
16 was, where they were going, isn't that right?
17 A. No. I think that's an overstatement. They
18 were on one road. That one road only led to Prozor.
19 They were going in the opposition direction to me.
20 They were going into Central Bosnia. I had not seen
21 anything like it. I had been serving in the military
22 myself. I had some understanding of what I was seeing
23 here was different, as I said, to anything I'd seen
24 before. And there seems to be no major attempt, with
25 the exception of removing number plates, to disguise
1 the fact that this was something coming from outside.
2 I could not be more definite -- this was an
3 HV unit -- short of interrogating individual soldiers
4 in some way, but I didn't.
5 Q. All right. You never saw any HV units,
6 though, in the Vitez-Busovaca pocket or anywhere in
7 Central Bosnia during your time (redacted)
9 is that fair to say?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. All right. Just two final areas, sir. Your
12 meeting with Colonel Blaskic after the war, he actually
13 informed you that Ivica Rajic had been removed from
14 command and would be punished as a result of his
15 activities during the war, did he not?
16 A. Can you jog my mind as to when this meeting
17 happened? Was this when Mr. Blaskic had assumed the
18 command of the HVO and replaced Mr. Roso?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. I can't honestly recall that, but I'd be
21 prepared to -- it's a likely sort of question that I
22 would have asked because of what happened in Stupni Do
23 and the various allegations as to who was involved
25 Q. Right. One final question in connection with
1 your meeting with Mr. Kordic in November of 1994. He
2 never said anything to intimate to you that in his view
3 the Croats were not committed to the development of the
4 Federation of Croats and Muslims that resulted from the
5 peace agreement, in fact, quite the reverse. He told
6 you that the Croats were committed to the development
7 of the Federation, did he not?
8 A. That is true. He told me they were
9 committed. And I asked evidence of that commitment,
10 pointed to the disparities between what he was stating
11 and what might be achieved if he were to send the
12 signal to the International Community that they were.
13 But he certainly did not give me any other indication,
14 other than that the Croats were supporting the
15 Federation --
16 Q. All right.
17 A. -- have been embarrassed by some of the
18 questions I asked.
19 Q. He told you that these were tough things to
20 achieve, that small steps were necessary, and that
21 those small steps were being taken towards the ultimate
22 goal, didn't he?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Thank you very much indeed, sir. I have no
25 further questions, unless the Trial Chamber has any for
1 me. Thank you.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: The Cerkez Defence has no
4 questions, Your Honour.
5 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
6 Q. Just a few matters arising, Witness AD. The
7 Mostar delegates, generally, just help us with this.
8 Were they, in any sense, elected or were they appointed
9 to their positions?
10 A. There were no elections held. They were
12 Q. You've been asked questions about military as
13 opposed to political function. First, in relation to
14 Stari Vitez. In your judgement, was there any need for
15 a matter of that scale and at that location to be
16 referred outside of Central Bosnia?
17 A. I don't think that the -- anyone outside of
18 Central Bosnia would have been particularly familiar --
19 well, they would have been familiar, but I don't think
20 they would have been consulted. I think this was
21 something that would have been sorted out within the
22 leadership, within Central Bosnia.
23 Q. And within Central Bosnia, no one superior to
24 Blaskic on the military chain. Is that the position?
25 A. Within Central Bosnia, that is correct.
1 Although, it might be that Mr. Kordic, with equal rank,
2 in military rank, may have at times sought military
3 intervention, but primarily Mr. Kordic was dealing with
4 the political side.
5 Q. Now, generally, where a military man doesn't
6 make a decision himself but refers elsewhere, if he is
7 simply referring upwards in a military line of command,
8 or chain of command, is there any reason for him not to
9 say so, that you can think of?
10 A. No.
11 Q. But, in Blaskic's case, when he referred
12 matters elsewhere, did he ever volunteer where he was
13 referring matters to?
14 A. No, he didn't.
15 Q. The Mostar military leaders, you were asked
16 some questions about them, and about Kordic's
17 involvement or not, so far as they were concerned. But
18 just this: Are you saying, in one way or another, that
19 the Mostar military leaders did or didn't have
20 political influence or control to which they were
22 A. I believe that the professional elements
23 within the military would defer to the political
25 Q. In Mostar, were there political leaders at a
1 level senior to that of Kordic, in your judgement or
2 not? Or don't you know?
3 A. Yes, there would be political leaders senior
4 to Kordic. For instance, Mr. Boban and Mr. Prlic.
5 Q. You were asked about the source of
6 information of interpreters, drivers, and so on. You
7 spoke of how you relied on SFOR but also gathered
8 information from your interpreters and drivers.
9 Speaking generally, are you able to help us with where
10 the interpreters and drivers said they got their
11 information, or was it too general or too varying for
12 you to be able to specify?
13 A. It was pretty general.
14 Q. As between interpreters, drivers, and SFOR,
15 which was your principle source of information, if
16 one? Put another way, which was the subordinate source
17 of information, if one?
18 A. I wouldn't want to give the impression that
19 we didn't do our own investigations on things
20 generally. So, UNPROFOR would have been a point of
21 reference. And if I had to state with which spoke with
22 most authority about military matters, without a shadow
23 of a doubt it would have been UNPROFOR and not a
24 reliance on local staff's interpretation or
25 interpretation of, for instance, Armija commanders. It
1 would have all been cross-referenced.
2 Q. But in the event, did you find consistency
3 between the sources of information?
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. However many it was trucks that you saw going
6 to Prozor, marked in the way you've described, in your
7 experience, would that movement have to be documented?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The state from which it came and even in the
10 state to which it went, if it was passing into a
11 different state?
12 A. It would have been documented at a military
13 organisation level. Whether it was documented because
14 it was crossing into another state -- when the borders
15 of the Croat dominated territory of Bosnia was linked
16 to that of Croatia, I'm not sure about political
17 contacts or clearance, but certainly there would be
18 military -- you don't carry out a movement of that
19 scale without there being military orders and
21 Q. Indeed, such movement would have to be
22 supported by fuel and by food and all sorts of other
23 things of a comparatively mundane type?
24 A. Absolutely. There's an administrative tale
25 to these movements, and that would have been the case
1 in this particular observation of these HV movement.
2 Q. On the assumption that those vehicles came
3 from Croatia, which is what you are saying in your
4 evidence, documents will exist showing the real, or at
5 least the stated purpose of those, or would have
6 existed, showing the real or stated purpose of that
8 A. Yes, they would have. Whether they still
9 exist, I don't know.
10 Q. All right. Ivicia Rajic, do you have
11 actually any recollection of the conversation with
12 Blaskic about him?
13 A. No. It's a topic I may have discussed. I
14 don't recall discussing it with him.
15 Q. Therefore, you recall -- do you recall
16 anything about whether he was punished, whether he
17 returned from punishment, anything of that sort?
18 A. I mean, I do have some vague recollection of
19 discussing it, but I honestly can't give you any more
20 detail than that.
21 MR. NICE: That concludes what I want to
23 JUDGE MAY: Witness AD, that concludes your
24 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International
25 Tribunal to give it. And you are now released. We'll
1 adjourn until tomorrow morning, unless there is
2 something anybody wants to raise.
3 MR. NICE: I know the difficulties of dealing
4 with administrative matters with a protected witness
5 present. There are just two things I can say, and I
6 can deal with them without his leaving.
7 As to the possibility of a video-link, I
8 think I've opted for the other course, at least for the
9 time being. I'll speak to the witness concerned and,
10 providing I can be sure he will be here before our case
11 may end, however early that may be. They are not going
12 to take us until the 10th of March, if I can possibly
13 deal with it earlier than that, although I think that
14 may be very difficult. So, for the time being not him.
15 There has been a skeleton argument filed in
16 relation to one witness, for whom a skeleton had
17 already been filed.
18 In relation to the other witness, the
19 skeleton that I would serve is no more than I've
20 already put on the transcript. I've extracted the
21 transcript, and there are copies of the extract that
22 will be made available to my learned friends and the
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 MR. NICE: And trying to make sure that we
1 are ahead of problems, the Defence have indicated to
2 us, in respect of a witness who gave evidence in
3 Blaskic on the 8th of December, 1997, protected
4 witness, that they require his attendance. If we are
5 now -- we are not in private session, are we? We are
6 just in open session.
7 I'm not sure that they are in a position to
8 require it, as it's a witness for whom there is
9 testimony in another case. It may be a matter that
10 could again be usefully ventilated this week. I don't
11 require -- I don't seek to have skeletons. I can deal
12 with the matter as it is raised. But it might be
13 useful to look at that as something else that we can
14 deal with this week, if by chance we run out of
15 evidence, and we can deal with that.
16 Similarly --
17 JUDGE MAY: We'll just interrupt you there.
18 We may need a copy of that transcript, if you want us
19 to rule upon it.
20 MR. NICE: Yes, of course. I'll make
21 inquiries with your legal officer, to ensure that that
23 Similarly, speaking somewhat elliptically,
24 there is outstanding an application effectively to call
25 as an additional witness a superior in position and
1 rank to the last witness but one. Indeed, he was
2 referred to. There was objection taken to that
3 witness. I'm not sure that he is going to be asking
4 for any protection, but I am speaking elliptically,
5 just in case he does. Again, can we deal with that
6 issue, if it turns up this week.
7 In that case, a statement and an unsigned
8 statement was served, along with a transcript of
9 evidence, he being a witness who was called by another
10 Chamber. He wasn't called by a party. And so again it
11 -- although we may want that witness for only a very
12 small amount of evidence, it may be that the Chamber
13 will want to either have access to or at least know
14 where to find the material that's available in relation
15 to him.
16 That's probably all I need raise now, to keep
17 things moving and to avoid time being wasted later.
18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you. Half past
19 9 tomorrow morning.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
21 at 4.12 p.m. to be reconvened on
22 Wednesday, the 27th day of
23 February, 2000 at 9.30 a.m.