1. 1 Tuesday, 27th July, 1999

    2 (Open session)

    3 (The accused entered court)

    4 (The witness entered court)

    5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 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. Nice.

    10 MR. NICE: Before the witness takes the

    11 solemn declaration, we considered last night whether

    12 the few additional questions in chief for the last

    13 witness justified his coming here at half past 9.00 and

    14 being here perhaps for five or ten minutes, and we

    15 thought that that wasn't sensible in all the

    16 circumstances, and so there would just be a couple of

    17 outstanding questions, as I indicated, there might be

    18 for him upon his return.

    19 There is one witness for today, Major Rule,

    20 and he will be taken by Mr. Lopez-Terres.

    21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let the witness take

    22 the declaration.

    23 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    24 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

    25 truth.

  2. 1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.


    3 Examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:

    4 Q. Are you Mr. Alistair Rule, born on the 20th

    5 of August, 1958?

    6 A. Yes, I am.

    7 Q. You are now a major in the British Armed

    8 Forces; is that correct?

    9 A. Yes, it is.

    10 Q. How long have you been in the British army?

    11 A. About 22 years.

    12 Q. Major Rule, you arrived in Bosnia in

    13 mid-October 1992. At that time, you were an officer at

    14 the 1st Cheshire Regiment, which was under the command

    15 of Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Stewart?

    16 A. That is correct.

    17 Q. Did you leave Bosnia on the 16th of January,

    18 1993?

    19 A. Yes, I did.

    20 Q. Before you were stationed with the unit under

    21 your command, that is, Company B in the regiment in

    22 Gornji Vakuf, did you stay for a few days in Nova Bila,

    23 which was close to Vitez, where the headquarters of

    24 your regiment were set up; is that correct?

    25 A. That's correct, yes.

  3. 1 Q. Major Rule, I'm going to show you a map of

    2 Central Bosnia on which I'm going to ask you to

    3 indicate the various villages that you're going to

    4 speak about during your testimony. The map is

    5 Z2612-7.

    6 You can see the map close up that way.

    7 Major Rule, in your testimony, you're going

    8 to mention various villages. You're going to speak

    9 specifically about the town of Split in Croatia. Could

    10 you show us on the map where that city is?

    11 A. It's not actually on the map here. Split

    12 itself is -- I suppose if I move it this way. Here.

    13 Here is Split (indicating).

    14 Q. It's on the shore, that's right. You're also

    15 going to mention the cities of Gornji Vakuf --

    16 A. Here (indicating).

    17 Q. The city of Bugojno?

    18 A. (Indicating)

    19 Q. Prozor?

    20 A. (Indicating)

    21 Q. You're going to speak about the Makljen Pass?

    22 A. (Indicating)

    23 Q. Lastly, you're going to speak about Novi

    24 Travnik?

    25 A. (Indicating)

  4. 1 Q. Vitez, Jajce?

    2 A. (Indicating)

    3 Q. Lastly, Mostar?

    4 A. Here (indicating).

    5 Q. Thank you. Could you say what area was under

    6 your responsibility at the time that you carried out

    7 those duties within the Cheshire Regiment?

    8 A. My company's responsibility went from Bugojno

    9 in the north down as far as Jablanica in the south,

    10 including Prozor and Gornji Vakuf, so this area here.

    11 Q. Thank you. We're going to leave the map

    12 aside for a little while.

    13 Before you set up in Gornji Vakuf, did you go

    14 to Vitez with a unit of your regiment, and during that

    15 trip you noted that there were conflict areas between

    16 the Muslims and the Croats? Could you speak to us for

    17 a few moments about what you saw during that trip?

    18 A. Yes. Before the whole of the battalion

    19 arrived in Bosnia, about four weeks beforehand, there

    20 was a reconnaissance party of the key officers in the

    21 battalion which was led by Colonel Stewart, the

    22 commanding officer. A group of about 15 officers and

    23 about five or six Land Rovers drove into Bosnia, up to

    24 Vitez, to have a look at what tasks were required and

    25 where the various locations -- where the various

  5. 1 companies would be located in that area.

    2 I was given the task of setting up my company

    3 base in Gornji Vakuf, and as the reconnaissance party

    4 travelled into Central Bosnia, I was detached to Gornji

    5 Vakuf to have a look at the town and try and find a

    6 location for my company. Whilst I stayed in Gornji

    7 Vakuf, the remainder of the reconnaissance party went

    8 on up to Vitez to carry out their task up there.

    9 We found what we thought was a suitable

    10 location in Gornji Vakuf, and we stayed overnight in

    11 that location. We then drove up to Vitez the following

    12 day to meet up with the main group of the

    13 reconnaissance party.

    14 On the road between Gornji Vakuf and Novi

    15 Travnik, a small -- at the time, a small and narrow

    16 track with a number of villages along the road, we

    17 realised that tensions were very high and there were

    18 lots of roadblocks preventing our way up to Vitez. We

    19 had to negotiate our way through each of the roadblocks

    20 until we came to a small village called Bugojcici just

    21 before we got to Novi Travnik, and we were unable to

    22 pass through this roadblock.

    23 There was an incident where there was a short

    24 gun battle which we were involved in, but we were told

    25 that Novi Travnik -- and we could clearly hear fighting

  6. 1 in Novi Travnik, and we were told that it was unsafe

    2 for us to pass through.

    3 Q. Who held the roadblock? Who was manning it?

    4 A. The town of Bugojcici was a Muslim town, and

    5 it was armed by local inhabitants, local people from

    6 Bugojcici, and they were Muslim.

    7 Q. Did you notice whether the inhabitants of

    8 Bugojcici were wearing uniforms? Did they look like

    9 regular soldiers? Were they armed?

    10 A. They didn't look like regular soldiers. They

    11 were armed. They were wearing a variety of combat

    12 clothing, but they didn't look like a formed unit of an

    13 army. They appeared to me to be local people who had

    14 armed themselves.

    15 Q. What kind of weapons did they have?

    16 A. They were carrying automatic weapons, light

    17 automatic weapons.

    18 Q. When you were blocked at the roadblock in

    19 Bugojcici, what happened? Do you remember what

    20 happened then?

    21 A. It was a truck, in fact, bore down on the

    22 roadblock, and there was a short gun battle. I didn't

    23 see any casualties. But immediately after that

    24 incident, I was able to quickly pass through the

    25 roadblock and travel on up to Vitez, and that was

  7. 1 really our first knowledge that there was trouble there

    2 at all. I mean this came as a complete surprise to us,

    3 as we expected to have a fairly easy trip into Vitez to

    4 be able to carry out our task.

    5 Q. When you arrived in Vitez with the members of

    6 your detachment, did you note or notice that the

    7 situation in that city or that area was also very

    8 tense, that is, in Vitez?

    9 A. Initially, we didn't notice anything

    10 particularly untoward in the Vitez area. We

    11 travelled -- that afternoon, after I had travelled up

    12 to Vitez, we went up to Nova Bila, which was just

    13 outside of Vitez. We travelled into the town itself of

    14 Vitez to meet up with the UNHCR representative, I

    15 believe he was Anders Levinsen, to discuss UNHCR

    16 issues. Although we believed it to be slightly tense,

    17 it seemed to be quite normal there because there were

    18 children running around the street and coming up to the

    19 vehicles and saying hello to us.

    20 Q. Did you notice whether there were any armed

    21 HVO soldiers in the city?

    22 A. We saw a number of armed soldiers in and

    23 around the town of Vitez, yes.

    24 Q. When you went to what was going to be your

    25 regiment's headquarters in Nova Bila, did you notice

  8. 1 there was a roadblock that had been set up nearby?

    2 Could you speak to us about that roadblock?

    3 A. I can't hear properly through these -- it

    4 doesn't seem to be loud enough. I can't hear the

    5 translation.

    6 Could somebody speak --

    7 Q. Is that better now? Can you hear?

    8 A. No, please speak louder. Again?

    9 Q. Do you hear better now?

    10 A. That's much better, yes. Thank you.

    11 Q. When you went back to what was going to be

    12 your headquarters in Nova Bila -- that is, your

    13 regiment -- did you notice that a roadblock had been

    14 set up nearby, and could you speak to us about the

    15 roadblock?

    16 A. On the first day we went into Vitez, we

    17 travelled -- after we had spoken with the UNHCR, we

    18 travelled back to the school in Nova Bila where the

    19 battalion was based, and then we returned that night to

    20 Vitez to have some food. We noticed more roadblocks

    21 that evening, but no fighting as such. But again, we

    22 felt that the situation was becoming more tense.

    23 The following day, we went back into Vitez

    24 to -- well, Colonel Stewart led the recce,

    25 reconnaissance party, back into Vitez to try and meet

  9. 1 up with the local commanders in Vitez. During that

    2 time, we realised that something was very wrong. There

    3 were roadblocks all the way into Vitez, and we could

    4 hear sporadic bursts of gunfire. Whilst we were in the

    5 town of Vitez, and Colonel Stewart was speaking with

    6 one of the local commanders, there were a number of

    7 bursts of fire which caused us to take cover ourselves

    8 and to make ready our own weapons.

    9 Colonel Stewart continued to speak to some

    10 commanders and was basically led to the impression that

    11 the problems were centred on the town of Novi Travnik,

    12 and so at about lunchtime, we travelled back to

    13 Vitez -- sorry, to the school in Nova Bila. On the way

    14 back, we came to a number of checkpoints which were

    15 difficult to get through.

    16 Q. In respect of those roadblocks, were there

    17 both HVO fighters and Muslim fighters?

    18 A. Yes, on separate roadblocks. Depending on,

    19 obviously, the areas, one would be an HVO roadblock;

    20 the next one might be a Muslim checkpoint.

    21 Q. You said a few minutes ago that when you went

    22 to Vitez for the first time, that you saw soldiers who

    23 were walking about on the streets, and I was asking you

    24 whether these were HVO soldiers or not. Could you

    25 indicate whether you saw any insignia, HVO insignia on

  10. 1 those uniforms that the soldiers were wearing?

    2 A. When we were in the centre of the town of

    3 Vitez, in the actual town itself, the soldiers were

    4 HVO, and indeed, that evening, when we went into a

    5 restaurant to eat, the soldiers that came into the

    6 restaurant and that were in the vicinity of the

    7 restaurant were also HVO soldiers.

    8 Q. The roadblock that was set up near your camp

    9 in Nova Bila, you said that that was manned by people

    10 who were wearing clothes that were a little bit strange

    11 for that region. Could you tell us about that, please?

    12 A. There was a considerable checkpoint in Nova

    13 Bila itself just before you turn off on to a dirt track

    14 which took you up to the school where the base was.

    15 There was a large bus parked across the road with a

    16 number of anti-tank mines. There was quite a lot of

    17 sporadic shooting going on as we tried to negotiate our

    18 way through that checkpoint, and as soon as we arrived

    19 there, there didn't appear to be anybody manning it,

    20 because, obviously, of the danger of small-arms fire.

    21 So we had to try and find somebody to come and move the

    22 bus so that we could continue on our way.

    23 Eventually we did find somebody who we had to

    24 remonstrate with quite firmly to let us go through, and

    25 he was wearing the Eastern garb that you would expect a

  11. 1 Mujahedin fighter to be wearing. He was wearing -- and

    2 he looked of a sort of Middle Eastern origin.

    3 Q. Was the roadblock manned exclusively by

    4 people who come from the near East? Were there other

    5 local soldiers who were Muslims as well?

    6 A. We saw only two or perhaps three people

    7 actually on that roadblock, and they were only

    8 Mujahedin, or wore the garb or the clothes that the

    9 Mujahedin would wear. Eventually, he jumped into the

    10 driver's seat of the coach, drove it away, moved the

    11 anti-tank mines, and we were allowed to pass through

    12 and then on up to the school. As we passed through,

    13 more fire came from that vicinity.

    14 Q. The facts that you're speaking about refer to

    15 the visit to Vitez, the roadblocks that you've

    16 mentioned. Was this all around the 20th of October,

    17 1992? Is that the right time period?

    18 A. Yes, round about then. Yes.

    19 Q. You said a few minutes ago that the main

    20 problem in that region was the one that was centred in

    21 Novi Travnik. Could you speak to us a little bit about

    22 the incidents that occurred in Novi Travnik?

    23 A. From the discussions that Colonel Stewart and

    24 I -- on not all occasions, but on some of the occasions

    25 I was with him, we were led to believe by those people

  12. 1 in Vitez that the main fighting was in the town of Novi

    2 Travnik. Because all this fighting was preventing us

    3 from carrying out our main, our principal task, which

    4 was to reconnoitre the area so that we could prepare

    5 the way for the arrival of the main British force, we

    6 felt it necessary to try and calm the situation so that

    7 we could get on with our principal task, and Colonel

    8 Stewart made the decision to visit Novi Travnik that

    9 afternoon to try and find out what was going on there,

    10 to try and broker some kind of ceasefire. I didn't

    11 travel with him with that small party, but I know he

    12 went there, and I know that he witnessed quite a lot of

    13 fighting in the town of Novi Travnik.

    14 Q. Did Colonel Stewart mention anything that he

    15 had seen in Novi Travnik, specifically the result of

    16 the brokering that he was able to conduct?

    17 A. He was not successful in brokering a

    18 ceasefire at that stage, and so he returned back to the

    19 camp at Nova Bila, just north of Vitez.

    20 Q. After that short stay there, you were

    21 commander of various liaison officers of your regiment,

    22 which meant that you would move about in the region

    23 between Gornji Vakuf, Split, and Nova Bila; is that

    24 correct?

    25 A. Correct. After we had had our not

  13. 1 particularly successful reconnaissance, the main group

    2 of officers from the regiment returned to Split, where

    3 they went back to Germany to meet up with the regiment

    4 that was in Germany and preparing to deploy into

    5 Bosnia. We left behind a number of liaison officers in

    6 the area, particularly based in Vitez, and I, as the

    7 senior officer left behind with the regiment, was made

    8 responsible for the liaison officers. I therefore had

    9 a coordination role between the regimental liaison

    10 officers, who were based in Vitez, and also our British

    11 headquarters, which was based in Split.

    12 So I travelled between Gornji Vakuf, Split,

    13 and reconnoitred a number of different routes during

    14 that period to see what was available to us to use,

    15 what routes were available to us to use. And so I went

    16 through Mostar, I saw Prozor, I went to Jablanica, and

    17 obviously the road that we used from Gornji Vakuf,

    18 Vitez, and Prozor, back into Tomislavgrad and then into

    19 Croatia itself.

    20 Q. During that period -- that is, around the end

    21 of October, 1992 -- you were informed by one of your

    22 liaison officers, Captain Hughes, that there had been

    23 fighting in Prozor -- Captain Hughes, that is; is that

    24 correct?

    25 A. It was Captain Hughes. Captain Hughes was my

  14. 1 own company liaison officer, and he also had a role to

    2 stay in touch with this isolated group of British

    3 officers who were based in the school, and he also had

    4 his own task of trying to discover what was going on,

    5 particularly in my own company's area in Gornji Vakuf.

    6 On one particular journey, he was travelling

    7 from Gornji Vakuf back down to Split and drove through

    8 or attempted to drive through the town of Prozor. He

    9 was unable to get through. He was prevented from

    10 getting through by, I believe, a roadblock. But also,

    11 he could see that there was quite a lot of fighting

    12 going on there. He could hear the fighting, and so he

    13 chose to try and find another route around to the north

    14 of Prozor and eventually discovered a track which could

    15 bypass the town.

    16 Whilst he was driving along this track, he

    17 was actually engaged by mortar fire and small-arms

    18 fire, and he managed to successfully get around this

    19 route and then bypass Prozor and then travel down to

    20 Split, where he reported the incident to me. He was

    21 obviously in quite an excited state, because he had

    22 been in quite a lot of danger as he had driven around

    23 Prozor.

    24 Q. Was he able to say what the source of the

    25 mortar fire was?

  15. 1 A. No, he wouldn't have been able to locate

    2 where that fire was coming from.

    3 Q. Did you, yourself, have the chance to go to

    4 Prozor at the time that we're speaking about, and could

    5 you tell us what you saw when you were able to get into

    6 the city of Prozor?

    7 A. Well, clearly, it was in our interests to be

    8 able to have free passage through Prozor, and so the

    9 fact that Prozor was closed off affected our potential

    10 plans for deploying into Central Bosnia because our

    11 major route passed through Prozor. So it was important

    12 that I went to try and find out what was happening in

    13 Prozor. I did pass through Prozor -- perhaps a day or

    14 two days later; I can't exactly remember -- and found

    15 damaged property, evidence of fighting, and -- yes, I

    16 mean, I went to Prozor a few days after the fighting.

    17 Q. And about the destruction of property which

    18 you saw, did you also see that perhaps some things were

    19 destroyed more than others?

    20 A. I mean, it was very clear that the whole of

    21 the town hadn't been destroyed at all. It was, in

    22 fact, in a pretty good state. What I did see, and was

    23 very marked, was that properties had been selectively

    24 destroyed. You know, you would get a group of three

    25 buildings which were perfectly intact and then a fourth

  16. 1 building which was burnt out. And that's what I saw.

    2 That was the destruction that I saw in the town of

    3 Prozor.

    4 Q. In your statement, you told about signs of

    5 ethnic cleansing in Prozor. Could you perhaps

    6 elaborate on that point?

    7 MR. SAYERS: I object to any reference to the

    8 witness statement, Your Honour. Obviously, that's not

    9 in evidence. The witness is here to give his own

    10 testimony. I also object to the leading nature of that

    11 question.

    12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, perhaps you

    13 could rephrase that question.

    14 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)

    15 Q. You have just told us about selective

    16 destruction of the town. Did you also see any

    17 particular signs which might make you think that Muslim

    18 property was particularly targeted?

    19 A. When I passed through the town of Prozor, it

    20 was -- I was not able to -- I am not able to say that

    21 the properties which I saw that had been destroyed were

    22 specifically Muslim properties. However, obviously as

    23 head of the liaison officers, it was my task to speak

    24 to people in the local community, and the general

    25 impression that I gained from the Muslims that I had

  17. 1 spoken to was that their properties had been targeted

    2 in Prozor and it was, in fact, the Muslim population

    3 that had been driven out of the town.

    4 Q. On that occasion, you met Anders Levinsen,

    5 whom you just mentioned, whom you had already met in

    6 Vitez. Could you share with us the conversation that

    7 you had with Mr. Levinsen?

    8 A. During that three- to four-week period, I had

    9 quite a lot of dealings with Mr. Levinsen, and

    10 obviously it was my job to make sure that we had a good

    11 working relationship with the UNHCR.

    12 On a discussion I had shortly after

    13 travelling through Prozor, he stated to me that

    14 families, Muslim families, had been driven out into the

    15 hills south of Prozor as a result of the fighting that

    16 had gone on, the recent fighting that had gone on.

    17 Q. When you entered the town of Prozor, did you

    18 have the feeling that the town was in the hands of the

    19 HVO?

    20 A. I know that the town was completely in the

    21 hands of the HVO and the police. I went to the HVO

    22 headquarters and spoke to the local commander to try

    23 and find out from his side what had happened, and there

    24 were absolutely no BiH soldiers at all in the town and

    25 the town was completely controlled by the HVO.

  18. 1 Q. At the time that we are talking about, the

    2 town of Jajce also fell; is that correct?

    3 A. Yes. Although I had responsibility for all

    4 the liaison officers of the battalion, I was also very

    5 interested in my own company's area of responsibility,

    6 which was Gornji Vakuf, and I met all the local

    7 commanders and spoke to all the important people in the

    8 town.

    9 During that period, the town of Jajce fell,

    10 and this was a significant -- it appeared to be

    11 significant to me, because I could see a real dip in

    12 the morale of the Muslim people in Jajce. Jajce wasn't

    13 expected. They didn't -- at the time, they didn't

    14 expect Jajce to fall, and when it did do, they were

    15 very, very depressed when they heard the news that

    16 Jajce had fell.

    17 Q. As we are talking about the fall of Jajce, we

    18 are evidently talking about its falling into the Serb

    19 hands?

    20 A. Yes. The Serbs captured the town of Jajce,

    21 and the belief within the Muslim community was that a

    22 previously-strong position had been made untenable

    23 because of the withdrawal of the HVO soldiers in the

    24 Jajce area, and that was their belief and that is why

    25 they felt the town of Jajce had fallen.

  19. 1 Q. Thank you very much for these things that you

    2 told us, and now let us move to the period of time when

    3 you were on duty in Gornji Vakuf.

    4 As you told us at the beginning, you were

    5 posted to Gornji Vakuf in November 1992 until the 16th

    6 of January, 1993, is that so, and you also told us that

    7 your company, B Company, was quartered in that town and

    8 that it was in an old factory which was originally used

    9 by the Bosnian army; is that so?

    10 A. That's correct. In fact, it wasn't an old

    11 factory, it was a very new factory, and it was ideal

    12 for our purposes. It had all the services.

    13 Electricity and power were very modern and very good,

    14 and it was just the location I needed. So we entered

    15 into negotiation with the BiH, who were controlling the

    16 factory at that time, as to whether or not we could use

    17 it.

    18 Q. I will now show you a map of the Gornji Vakuf

    19 area, and here we have the 17th of January, 1993, and

    20 we have here the HVO positions and Bosnian army

    21 positions. It was a map which we used at the time.

    22 Could you please show us, where was your company in the

    23 town of Gornji Vakuf? It is Z227A.

    24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, have we got

    25 this map?

  20. 1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) It is at

    2 the end of the list of documents that was handed over

    3 to you this morning. You do not have it?

    4 JUDGE MAY: No, we have got it. It's 2761.

    5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)

    6 Q. Will you please show us, where is the place

    7 that your company used at the time?

    8 A. It is actually ringed there (indicating).

    9 It's a little bit unclear because it's a photocopied

    10 map, but this was the factory which we used here

    11 (indicating).

    12 Q. Please show us where the HVO headquarters

    13 was.

    14 A. This appeared to be some sort of light

    15 industrial area of the town (indicating), and

    16 immediately adjacent to my barracks was the HVO

    17 headquarters, which was just here (indicating), and

    18 there was an area of land around my location, a small,

    19 relatively insubstantial fence, which then led directly

    20 onto the HVO headquarters and the factory that they

    21 were using. Just to give you an idea, the centre of

    22 town is on this crossroads here.

    23 Q. How far were you from the centre of Gornji

    24 Vakuf?

    25 A. Well, as the crow flies, from right in the

  21. 1 centre, we were no more than 800 metres from the centre

    2 of town.

    3 Q. Thank you. As for this factory that you

    4 used, you told us that in the beginning, that there was

    5 a dispute in the beginning about the payment, wasn't

    6 there; about the rent, actually?

    7 A. Yes, and which did continue sporadically.

    8 Obviously, I was extremely keen to secure this factory

    9 as a base for my company for the reasons I've told you,

    10 and I entered directly into negotiation with the people

    11 that were occupying the building at that time, who were

    12 the BiH. And as such, we dealt directly with them and

    13 the agreement we came to was directly with them, and we

    14 agreed to pay them 10.000 Deutschmarks a month for the

    15 use of the factory.

    16 Q. The local HVO, did they also ask for a share

    17 of this rent?

    18 A. One of the problems that I had in the early

    19 stages of my tour in Gornji Vakuf was to try and

    20 reconcile the problems that the HVO had raised, because

    21 they believed that they should have a share of the

    22 money that we were paying to the BiH. To my knowledge,

    23 that was never resolved, and we continued to pay the

    24 10.000 marks to the BiH and not to the HVO.

    25 Q. At the time we are talking about, you mostly

  22. 1 focused on reconciling the parties and bringing closer

    2 together local commanders, the HVO commander and the

    3 Bosnian army commander, and you conducted numerous

    4 negotiations with them, didn't you?

    5 A. It was always an implied task set upon me, as

    6 the company commander in Gornji Vakuf, to certainly try

    7 and create an atmosphere within my area of

    8 responsibility which allowed for the easy transit of

    9 humanitarian aid through the area and to those areas

    10 that needed it, and, you know, that was more than just

    11 putting a vehicle in front and at the rear of a

    12 convoy. It was maintaining an atmosphere within the

    13 area where vehicles could transit freely. Because of

    14 that, and clearly allowed to by my commander, I was

    15 involved in a lot of discussion, almost daily

    16 discussion, with the various commanders in the area.

    17 Q. You also met the commander of the HVO,

    18 Mr. Tokic, and the commander of the Bosnian army, and

    19 his name was Agic, wasn't it?

    20 A. Yes. I got to know both Agic and Tokic

    21 extremely well, and I would say that I had a good

    22 working and friendly relationship with both men.

    23 Q. Those two men, did they know one another

    24 before the conflict broke out in Gornji Vakuf?

    25 A. I believe that they had known each other

  23. 1 before, before the conflict in Bosnia, and had

    2 previously served in the JNA together.

    3 Q. Your conciliatory mission between the local

    4 protagonists, was it successful and were you able to

    5 set up your information teams which were able to

    6 collect as much reconnaissance information as possible

    7 in the area? Could you please tell us something about

    8 that?

    9 A. As I was fortunate -- well, I had the -- I

    10 was the company with its own territorial area of

    11 responsibility. Therefore, I was responsible for

    12 knowing what was going on in the area in which I

    13 operated. And it is certainly a well tried and tested

    14 system within the British army which sets up or which

    15 has set up, in operations in other parts of the world,

    16 procedures for gathering low-level information.

    17 My own battalion and my own senior

    18 non-commissioned officers and junior non-commissioned

    19 officers would have had experience in Northern Ireland

    20 in looking for -- looking, as they were out in the

    21 area, looking for interesting occurrences, looking for

    22 unusual things that were happening, and we set up our

    23 own military information cell which was headed up by a

    24 colour-sergeant who was in my company. It was very

    25 much one of our first priorities, to find out exactly

  24. 1 what was happening in the area, and because of this all

    2 patrols, and this is a standard procedure within the

    3 British army, particularly at company level where you

    4 are responsible for an area, it is a well-known and

    5 well-practised procedure to set up such a military

    6 information cell. So each individual soldier, for

    7 example, would be issued with an aide-memoire of

    8 equipment so that he could pick out equipment that he

    9 spotted perhaps when he was out on a patrol and report

    10 it back.

    11 Every patrol, before it went out, would have

    12 been briefed by my military information sergeant. He

    13 would give them tasks to look out for certain things,

    14 and at the end of a patrol, when they came back in

    15 again, the whole patrol would be sat down and he

    16 personally would then debrief them to get out all the

    17 sightings that they had seen, any interesting

    18 equipment, any interesting shoulder badges, any

    19 interesting insignia which they had spotted. So we had

    20 these permanent eyes and ears, as it were, using my

    21 soldiers and also using my liaison officer and myself,

    22 who conducted liaison with the local commanders and

    23 picking up information from them. So that would be

    24 brought together and then sent off daily in the form of

    25 an information -- a military information summary to my

  25. 1 battalion headquarters.

    2 Q. So summaries of military information were

    3 known commonly as infosums; is that so?

    4 A. That is the abbreviated form, infosum, yes.

    5 Q. How many men did you have, more or less,

    6 under your commander in order to gather all this

    7 information?

    8 A. Well, under my immediate command, I had about

    9 140 soldiers, and obviously they formed the -- when

    10 they were tasked to carry out, you know, a particular

    11 patrol, they would form the basis of all the military

    12 information that I gained. But also a lot of

    13 administrative traffic were passed through us; you

    14 know, resupply from Split. They drove up through

    15 Prozor, sometimes they drove up through Mostar and

    16 Jablanica, and if they had seen anything interesting,

    17 they would have reported it to me as well.

    18 So whenever a British soldier was out on the

    19 ground driving a vehicle, conducting a patrol, he would

    20 be automatically looking around him, looking for

    21 interesting pieces of equipment, you know, any unusual

    22 things that were going on, and it's almost, you know,

    23 inbred into them to be inquisitive like that.

    24 Q. The system of information gathering was

    25 applied throughout the area of responsibility, wasn't

  26. 1 it?

    2 A. Yes, yes.

    3 Q. So there were daily reports which were drawn

    4 up in every municipality under your jurisdiction?

    5 A. Yes. I produced -- (French interpretation)

    6 JUDGE MAY: We're getting French.

    7 Let's see if we can get on.

    8 A. Yes. I would have been responsible for

    9 gathering information from my area of responsibility,

    10 and the other companies, wherever they were operating,

    11 would have also been responsible for providing a

    12 milinfosum to battalion headquarters, who would put it

    13 together and pass it then on further up the chain of

    14 command.

    15 MR.LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I should

    16 like the usher to show you a map which we used in the

    17 beginning, Z2612. This is a coloured map.

    18 Q. Could you show us the town of Gornji Vakuf on

    19 this map?

    20 A. (Indicating)

    21 Q. The location at which this town was situated

    22 was of strategic value, was of strategic importance,

    23 wasn't it?

    24 A. Yes, certainly we believed it to be. As you

    25 can see, it sits on two routes, one coming from the

  27. 1 Travnik-Vitez area and one passing up to Bugojno. This

    2 route itself, at the time, was really the only route

    3 which people could pass up and our own administrative

    4 transport could pass up, because this road here between

    5 Bugojno and Novi Travnik, the Serb front lines were up

    6 here somewhere, and so it was always very dangerous

    7 passing along this route. So all administrative

    8 traffic would go up here (indicating), and this route

    9 was constantly under threat, and I myself would only go

    10 up that route in armoured vehicles.

    11 So if you sit on this area here, then it's of

    12 key importance. It was certainly of key importance to

    13 us, as a battalion, as well to ensure that we could

    14 keep these routes into the main battalion area, up

    15 here, open.

    16 Q. Thank you. And the Gornji Vakuf population

    17 was mostly Muslim, wasn't it?

    18 A. The majority was Muslim, yes, but there was a

    19 significant Croat, but also a small Serb population as

    20 well.

    21 Q. During your stay there, you noted a number of

    22 incidents in the municipality of Gornji Vakuf, and in

    23 particular, you reported an incident which happened in

    24 November 1992, an incident in which an HVO soldier

    25 beheaded a man?

  28. 1 A. Yes. This was the first real major problem

    2 that I had as a company commander in Gornji Vakuf. The

    3 Muslim authorities and the Muslim commander came to me

    4 the day -- the morning after the event, telling me

    5 about this incident that had happened the night

    6 before. Apparently -- none of my soldiers witnessed

    7 it, but apparently the night before, a Croatian soldier

    8 who had been on the front line near to Gornji Vakuf,

    9 above Gornji Vakuf, on the mountain of Radusa, had come

    10 back, was drunk, and had cut off the head of a Muslim,

    11 a paraplegic, someone who was in a wheelchair, and

    12 tossed his head into a Muslim-owned bar.

    13 Now, whilst none of my soldiers witnessed it,

    14 the HVO commander also came to my headquarters, and

    15 they admitted that yes, this had happened, and that the

    16 soldier in question had been removed to Mostar for

    17 investigation. The problem was that the Muslims wanted

    18 to take the soldier to Zenica to try him there and to

    19 deal with him in Zenica, whilst the soldier himself was

    20 in Mostar, and the HVO were stating that he would be

    21 dealt with in Mostar. The Muslims didn't feel that he

    22 would be dealt with properly in Mostar.

    23 Q. A while ago, you mentioned the reports which

    24 were drawn up in Gornji Vakuf, the milinfosums, and I

    25 will now show you the report of the 18th of November,

  29. 1 1992. Could you tell us if this report covers this

    2 incident that you spoke about? It is Z2981. Will you

    3 please look at pages 2 and 3 of the report.

    4 A. Right. This is the milinfosum from the

    5 battalion headquarters, so it's not the milinfosum that

    6 would have come from Gornji Vakuf to Vitez. It was the

    7 one after all the information had been correlated and

    8 then passed on to the superior headquarters.

    9 This section here is dealing with Gornji

    10 Vakuf and Bugojno, and there is an extract of a

    11 conversation I had had with the commander in Bugojno,

    12 and his -- his concerns with Serbs -- with the Serb

    13 objectives in and around Bugojno. But it also deals

    14 with the occurrence in Gornji Vakuf, here: "In Gornji

    15 Vakuf, tensions are reported to be high due to the HVO

    16 taking over a building belonging to the Bosnian army.

    17 This was escalated when" -- this individual here,

    18 Rajic -- "beheaded a local Muslim with a sheet of glass

    19 while drunk and possibly on drugs. The victim was

    20 reported to be a paraplegic. The Muslims wanted Vlatko

    21 to go on trial in Zenica while the HVO said they would

    22 put him on trial in Mostar. The Muslims are now

    23 reported to have taken 10 Croats prisoner, and tensions

    24 are still running high."

    25 So that accurately reflects what happened,

  30. 1 and it was written -- you know, either on that day or

    2 the following day of that incident.

    3 Q. The report mentions, the report you've just

    4 read out, on the last part of page 2, that a building

    5 was taken by the HVO, a building which belonged to the

    6 BH army. Could you speak to us about that, give us

    7 some clarification about the taking of that building?

    8 A. I'm afraid I can't. My memory is -- I don't

    9 recall that particular incident, I'm afraid.

    10 Q. The soldier who was taken to Mostar,

    11 according to what was said to you by representatives of

    12 the HVO, do you know whether he was prosecuted

    13 criminally for having killed that Muslim?

    14 A. I don't know, and the -- you know, over time,

    15 the tensions that were raised as a result of that

    16 particular incident did calm down. However, I did hear

    17 it later reported to me from the Muslim side that

    18 this --

    19 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, I don't mean to

    20 interrupt Mr. Lopez-Terres's presentation, but I think

    21 that the witness is actually reciting hearsay, not from

    22 something that he heard, but several times removed,

    23 from unidentified sources, who themselves may have

    24 heard it from other sources. So I think that that sort

    25 of unreliable evidence really doesn't have any use

  31. 1 before this Tribunal.

    2 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's a matter for us to

    3 say. Let's move on.

    4 A. Yes. Remembering that I did have daily

    5 discussions with commanders, and it was my -- you know,

    6 it was my job to find out exactly what was happening in

    7 the local region, then it was reported to me that this

    8 soldier had been seen back on the front line,

    9 apparently free.

    10 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)

    11 Mr. Lopez-Terres, to bring us closer to the facts in

    12 this testimony, could we ask Major Rule what the exact

    13 terms of his mission on the ground were? What

    14 instructions did he, himself, have in respect of what

    15 he had to do in the field? He would give out certain

    16 information, but he received instructions, conduct that

    17 he had to maintain. Could we have some ideas about

    18 that, please?

    19 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation).

    20 Q. Would you answer that question, Major Rule,

    21 about the specific nature of the mission assigned to

    22 you?

    23 A. Well, the specific nature of the mission

    24 assigned to me was to aid the delivery of humanitarian

    25 aid to -- through my area and to those locations in my

  32. 1 area that needed it. And clearly it was therefore an

    2 implied task set upon me that if I could possibly do

    3 it, I would have to create, if it was within my power,

    4 to create an environment in which humanitarian aid

    5 could pass freely through my area of responsibility.

    6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Yes, but,

    7 Major Rule, did you have a function which was to

    8 maintain order? Or to try to carry out your

    9 humanitarian work, did you use force yourself in order

    10 to ensure that the humanitarian mission could be

    11 conducted properly?

    12 A. We never used force at all.

    13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Could you

    14 use your weapons in self-defence?

    15 A. We would only use our weapons in

    16 self-defence. In no other scenario.

    17 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)

    18 Q. I would like us to go back to the incident of

    19 the 18th of November and the death of the Muslim who

    20 had been killed by the HVO soldier. You had just told

    21 us that after the information that you had at that

    22 time, the soldier was seen again in the field in the

    23 Gornji Vakuf region, that is, some time after the crime

    24 was committed. Is that correct?

    25 A. That's correct, yes.

  33. 1 Q. And did you receive that information before

    2 you left Gornji Vakuf?

    3 A. I was aware of that information before I left

    4 Gornji Vakuf, yes.

    5 Q. So that was around the 18th of November, and

    6 the information was prior to your departure in January

    7 of 1993; is that correct?

    8 A. Yes. And I believe it to be fairly -- it was

    9 shortly before I left.

    10 Q. So this is now the end of 1992. While you

    11 were in Gornji Vakuf, did you have the feeling that the

    12 HVO was putting increasing pressure on the Muslim

    13 population of the city?

    14 A. It was reported to me on numerous occasions

    15 that the checkpoint on Makljen -- I don't know if you

    16 wish me to point that out -- there was a high pass to

    17 the south of Gornji Vakuf which was the only route from

    18 Prozor into Gornji Vakuf. This was held by the HVO

    19 from Prozor, and they frequently would close the road

    20 off, not allow Muslims to pass through, would attempt

    21 to charge them tolls for passing through, through the

    22 checkpoint. And also, on numerous occasions, I

    23 dispatched myself and my own liaison officer to try and

    24 discover what was going on. But it was a frequent

    25 occurrence, on this particular checkpoint, where access

  34. 1 was denied to Muslims.

    2 There were also numerous other sightings,

    3 sightings of soldiers, sightings of equipment which --

    4 and my soldiers would have daily passed over this

    5 route -- reported back to me, which led me to believe

    6 that there was a certain amount of reinforcing that was

    7 going on in the Prozor area, and specifically in and

    8 around the Makljen area as well.

    9 Q. Did you also see, in the buildings or around

    10 the buildings of the HVO headquarters in Gornji Vakuf,

    11 did you see that there was construction, or that things

    12 were being reinforced?

    13 A. Yes. There was a particular occasion where

    14 we saw, because the barracks was immediately adjacent

    15 to us, reinforcing, trenches being dug, more activity,

    16 more vehicular activity in and around the barracks.

    17 And that happened some time before Christmas. We also

    18 -- for example, my soldiers spotted what appeared to

    19 be a regular -- regular troops, with a Tiger badge on

    20 their soldiers, a Tiger badge which they would have had

    21 in their aide-memoires, so they would have realised the

    22 significance or otherwise of the individual badges.

    23 They were well equipped.

    24 They were also seeing, I think, up to about

    25 two platoons, I believe, were seen -- that's about 60

  35. 1 soldiers -- were seen in the Makljen area. And these

    2 soldiers stuck out particularly because they weren't

    3 like the irregular soldiers which they had become used

    4 to. They were well equipped, tidy, and wore a proper

    5 uniform as opposed to a mishmash of uniforms.

    6 Q. After the information -- according to the

    7 information that you had at that time, did the Tiger

    8 Regiment soldiers that you've just spoken about, would

    9 you say that they were HVO soldiers or soldiers from a

    10 different army?

    11 A. Our deduction from the sighting -- the fact

    12 was that the soldiers were seen with this badge, they

    13 were dressed in a certain manner, our deduction from

    14 that, our military information deduction from that, was

    15 that these were regular HV [LiveNote read in

    16 error "HVO"] soldiers from the Tiger Brigade.

    17 Q. I would like to be sure that the

    18 interpretation was correct. Here it says that they

    19 were regular soldiers, or professional soldiers, of the

    20 HVO.

    21 A. HV.

    22 Q. All right. So there is a mistake in the

    23 French transcript, and in this transcript, it says

    24 "HVO," but when you're speaking -- you're speaking

    25 about "HV," but when you say "HV," you mean the

  36. 1 Croatian army soldiers; is that correct?

    2 A. (Inaudible)

    3 Q. I'm going to ask you to review another

    4 milinfosum report. This is the one, 45, which is the

    5 16th of December, 1992. This exhibit is Z298,2. Could

    6 you have a look at the second page of the document,

    7 please.

    8 Does this report suitably represent the facts

    9 that we're speaking about? Are you able to read it?

    10 A. Yes. Do you wish me to read it? Sorry.

    11 Q. No, no, don't read it out loud. I just want

    12 to know whether this mentions the facts that you were

    13 speaking about.

    14 A. Yes, it does.

    15 Q. You spoke about the Makljen pass that had

    16 been reinforced and about the fact that the soldiers

    17 wearing the Tiger Brigade (sic) were seen; is that

    18 correct?

    19 A. That's correct. And that refers to this,

    20 here.

    21 Q. More or less at the same time -- thank you,

    22 Mr. Usher -- at the time that we're speaking about,

    23 that is, December of 1992, do you remember whether in

    24 Gornji Vakuf there were HOS soldiers?

    25 A. We had numerous sightings of HOS soldiers,

  37. 1 both from my own soldiers and reported to me by the

    2 Muslim commanders. The HOS were quite easy to pick out

    3 because they were -- they always wore black, and in

    4 fact they wrote "HOS" on their vehicles, and so it was

    5 relatively easy to spot them when they were around.

    6 And yes, we had numerous sightings on them on the

    7 leadup to Christmas and after Christmas as well.

    8 Q. Around Christmas 1992, specifically around

    9 the 21st of December, do you remember that the HVO

    10 reinforced its positions near Prozor in the village

    11 which is known as Kovacevo Polje?

    12 A. No, it wasn't reinforced. My liaison

    13 officer -- I believe it was my liaison officer, but it

    14 was certainly one of my patrols -- reported military

    15 equipment, more military equipment and heavy equipment

    16 in the area of -- I think it's Kovacevo Polje. Yes,

    17 that was reported to me, and I dispatched my liaison

    18 officer to go and confirm whether or not that was,

    19 indeed, the case, which he did do.

    20 Q. He was able to see that, in fact?

    21 A. Yes, he was.

    22 Q. Did your soldiers also see that there was

    23 vehicle movement, communications in the area?

    24 A. Yeah. Yes, again, the significance of

    25 certain items of equipment would have been well known

  38. 1 to my soldiers. They would have been shown pictures of

    2 it. They would have had their own individual

    3 aide-memoires. And I know that in particular, a

    4 command vehicle was spotted, a six-wheeled command

    5 vehicle was spotted by one of my patrols at around that

    6 time.

    7 Q. In respect of this communication system that

    8 the HVO had available to it, did you notice that they

    9 had a very effective, even sophisticated communication

    10 system?

    11 A. There are two specific incidents that lead me

    12 or showed me that actually the systems of

    13 communications available to the HVO were extremely

    14 effective. The first one was that on a visit to the

    15 HVO headquarters, I was asked -- we were discussing

    16 nonmilitary matters, and I mentioned my own wife and

    17 family back in Germany and how my soldiers were a bit

    18 frustrated because they had been in Gornji Vakuf for so

    19 long and were unable to speak to their families because

    20 we didn't have the communications available to us. He

    21 was very surprised when he heard this, and said, you

    22 know, "When was the last time you spoke to your wife?"

    23 I said, "About six weeks ago." He said, "Come in

    24 here," and he took me into a communications room which

    25 had various items of communication equipment. And I

  39. 1 was able to pick up a phone, dial my wife in Germany,

    2 and speak to her for the first time in six weeks. So

    3 that was one. I had immediate communications outside

    4 of Gornji Vakuf, where we had been told that none such

    5 existed. Certainly the infrastructure didn't allow

    6 that. Obviously we had our own military systems of

    7 communications, which we were unable to use for our own

    8 personal use.

    9 So that was one thing that I personally

    10 witnessed. The second was much later on, after

    11 fighting had broken out in Gornji Vakuf. We -- I had

    12 both commanders in my headquarters who -- and we were

    13 attempting to arrange a ceasefire, and we in fact had

    14 tacitly agreed that a ceasefire would take place at a

    15 given time; I can't remember the exact time. The time

    16 passed with both these commanders in my headquarters.

    17 There was a flurry of mortar rounds, of small-arms

    18 fire, immediately after the deadline, and the HVO

    19 commander picked up a small hand-sized commercial-type

    20 radio -- a UHF, I believe, type radio -- and got on to

    21 the radio immediately, in a very angry manner, that

    22 people were not obeying his command, and ten other --

    23 about ten other stations answered up immediately to his

    24 call.

    25 Now, that was certainly better communication

  40. 1 than I had available to me using the VHF radios that I

    2 was operating, VHF and HF radios that I was operating.

    3 I certainly couldn't communicate in and around Gornji

    4 Vakuf that effectively.

    5 Q. Major Rule, in January 1993, there was an

    6 incident which had to do with the raising of a flag in

    7 Gornji Vakuf by the HVO. Could you speak about that,

    8 please?

    9 A. Yes. The -- and I saw the flag myself; I

    10 remember quite clearly that right on the crossroads, on

    11 a lamppost at the crossroads, an Ustasha flag was

    12 raised in the -- or somebody put a Ustasha flag up in

    13 the centre of town, and I drove past it and realised

    14 straightaway that that was going to cause quite a lot

    15 of tension in the town. Later on it was reported to me

    16 that a Muslim soldier went up and took the flag down,

    17 and whilst he was doing that was actually shot at,

    18 whilst that was happening.

    19 And that was just one incident which

    20 generally and gradually increased the tension that we

    21 were perceiving was happening in the town. And I

    22 believe that shortly after that, Muslims put up their

    23 own checkpoints to control movement.

    24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) If the

    25 usher would show the witness Z2983. The document is

  41. 1 another milinfosum. This is number 67, dated the 6th

    2 of January, 1993.

    3 Q. Could you have a look at this document,

    4 specifically paragraph 2 of page 1? Does this refer to

    5 the incident that you've just spoken about?

    6 A. No, that's another incident. In fact, that

    7 call sign was my own vehicle.

    8 Q. I'm speaking about paragraph 2, where it has

    9 to do with a Ustasha flag.

    10 A. Sorry. Got it, yes.

    11 Q. Does this refer to the incident?

    12 A. Yes. It just cut out for a second there.

    13 Yes, it does.

    14 Q. So this was the 5th or 6th of January, 1993;

    15 is that correct?

    16 A. Yeah.

    17 Q. You have just told us that checkpoints were

    18 set up, -- thank you, Mr. Usher -- that is, checkpoints

    19 were set up in the city after that incident. Were

    20 there many of those checkpoints?

    21 A. I can't be absolutely specific, but all I

    22 recall is that there were a number of checkpoints

    23 that -- of course, this is what always happened

    24 whenever there was a raising of tensions, and it was

    25 always indicative that tensions had been raised, when

  42. 1 these roadblocks suddenly appeared, and that was

    2 certainly an indicator to us that things weren't --

    3 that tensions were rising.

    4 Q. Do you remember a bomb or some kind of

    5 explosives in the hotel that was used by the Bosnian

    6 army?

    7 A. Yes. Leading up to the major breakout of

    8 fighting that I witnessed in Gornji Vakuf, the incident

    9 that seemed to spark it off, the final incident that

    10 seemed to spark it off, was a bomb which was planted in

    11 a hotel again on the crossroads in Gornji Vakuf, which

    12 was a Muslim-owned hotel and was some form of

    13 headquarters which they used. A bomb went off, I

    14 believe, in the early hours of the morning. I seem to

    15 remember that it was the early hours of the morning.

    16 It was after that that a general outbreak of fighting

    17 actually happened, after that incident.

    18 Q. During the night that you're speaking about,

    19 was there shelling of some of the city of Gornji Vakuf?

    20 A. Throughout the day, there was sporadic

    21 fighting which got more intense, and I remember, during

    22 the night, walking around my company position. It was

    23 quite a large area, fenced area, and I, with my

    24 sergeant major, were walking around the position,

    25 because I had lots of sentries out, obviously, because

  43. 1 I was concerned for the security of my camp. And

    2 whilst I was walking around, we saw and witnessed heavy

    3 shells coming into the town, and we heard the

    4 detonations and the flashes of heavy-calibre artillery

    5 which was coming into the town.

    6 Q. Do you remember shelling that the Serbs did

    7 on the city?

    8 A. When that shelling occurred and from where I

    9 stood, it appeared that the shelling was coming from

    10 the north of the town because you could hear the sound

    11 of the shell coming in, and I assumed at that stage

    12 that -- or my deduction was at that stage that it was

    13 actually HVO shelling. But I discovered the next day,

    14 and it was the Muslims themselves that said this to me,

    15 that actually it wasn't HVO shelling at all, it was the

    16 Serbs shelling from the other side of the mountain and

    17 that it was actually they that had engaged the town of

    18 Gornji Vakuf with heavy artillery.

    19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, it's now

    20 11.00. Is that a convenient moment to adjourn?

    21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Yes,

    22 absolutely, Your Honour.

    23 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll take a break

    24 for half an hour.

    25 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.

  44. 1 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.

    2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

    3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)

    4 Q. Major Rule, before this short break, you

    5 spoke about the shelling of the town of Gornji Vakuf,

    6 shelling by Serb forces. This shelling which you

    7 witnessed, was it the only one in the town of Gornji

    8 Vakuf at the time when you were there?

    9 A. At the time that -- I can't say whether or

    10 not that was the only shelling that I witnessed. That

    11 was the most -- because the town was quiet at the time,

    12 that the shelling seemed much more vivid, you know, and

    13 I could single it out very clearly. But in subsequent

    14 days, there was a lot of mortar fire, and it would be

    15 very difficult for me to differentiate between what was

    16 mortars and what was shelling in that particular

    17 situation. That night was a quiet, clear night, and it

    18 was very evident of what it was.

    19 Q. But it was therefore the only time --

    20 according to information that you received at the time,

    21 it was the same time when it was alleged that the Serbs

    22 aimed their fire at the town during your stay there?

    23 A. During that period, that was the only time

    24 that it was reported to us that the Serbs were

    25 shelling -- had shelled the town, yes.

  45. 1 Q. Was any particular part of the town aimed at

    2 by those who carried out the shelling?

    3 A. It was very clearly evident to where I stood

    4 with my sergeant major that the shells were landing in

    5 generally the northern part of the town, the

    6 northwestern part of the town.

    7 Q. Who lived in that part of the town? Which

    8 ethnic community was the majority there?

    9 A. I believe it to have been Muslim, a majority

    10 Muslim area of the town.

    11 Q. During that period of time around the 12th of

    12 January, 1993, you also took note of various troop

    13 movements, in particular again, around the area of

    14 Makljen and in the locality of Podgrade?

    15 A. Yes. We continued -- throughout the

    16 conflict, we continued to conduct patrolling obviously

    17 in our armoured vehicles, and we continued to gather

    18 information, as far as we could, as to what was

    19 happening in the area. Certainly, it was reported to

    20 us that Podgrade, which was to the northwest of Gornji

    21 Vakuf, had been reinforced by HVO, and indeed the

    22 Makljen itself was reinforced also by HVO equipment and

    23 soldiers.

    24 Q. According to you, was there any particular

    25 military reason to undertake those reinforcements?

  46. 1 A. Podgrade is immediately to the north, Makljen

    2 is immediately to the south. That seals off those two

    3 routes into the town, so one encircled Gornji Vakuf,

    4 and also one would presume that Bugojno -- there was a

    5 large concentration of Muslim forces in Bugojno, and

    6 that it would form some sort of barrier to prevent

    7 reinforcement of Gornji Vakuf from soldiers from

    8 Bugojno, Muslim soldiers from Bugojno.

    9 Q. You already told us, and you told us now

    10 again, about various movements of HVO troops in the

    11 area under your responsibility. Troops, vehicles which

    12 were moving about, could you see or did your

    13 soldiers see that any of these vehicles were carrying

    14 ammunition, or anything like that, either in Gornji

    15 Vakuf or between Novi Travnik and Vitez?

    16 A. It would have been very difficult to discover

    17 the nature of the loads that were being carried on

    18 vehicles that were in enclosed -- you know, under

    19 canopies and in the bodies of a vehicle. So, yes, we

    20 would have spotted the vehicles, but we would have been

    21 unable to know what was actually inside the vehicles.

    22 Q. Major Rule, to your knowledge were there 120-

    23 or 148-millimetre mortars used by the HVO in Gornji

    24 Vakuf?

    25 A. There was a lot of mortar fire. Certainly,

  47. 1 our deductions would have been that there were two

    2 principal mortars available to the HVO. One was a

    3 120-millimetre mortar and one was an 82-millimetre

    4 mortar, and we believe both were used during the

    5 fighting.

    6 Q. I will now show you a document, Major, which

    7 is Z2481A. This document is dated 10th of January,

    8 1993, and it is Major Luka Sekerija, who was one of the

    9 commanding officers of the Ante Starcevic Brigade in

    10 Gornji Vakuf. Would you look at this document? It is,

    11 in point of fact, a request for the supply -- for the

    12 procurement of shells requested by Major Luka Sekerija

    13 from his superior, Colonel Blaskic, and from the

    14 vice-president of Herceg-Bosna, Dario Kordic.

    15 At the time that we are talking about, that

    16 is, January 1993, if I understood you properly, it was

    17 quite easy for the HVO to secure the supply of

    18 ammunition from Vitez to Gornji Vakuf?

    19 A. Yeah. That amount of shells wouldn't have

    20 been particularly difficult to transport. It wouldn't

    21 have required a lot of vehicles at all; one or two

    22 perhaps. So, yes, that would have been relatively easy

    23 for them to resupply their forces in Gornji Vakuf with

    24 that number of shells, mortar bombs.

    25 Q. Do you know, did you meet Mr. Luka Sekerija

  48. 1 during your posting there?

    2 A. I did know Luka, yes. Most of my discussions

    3 were with who I believed to be the commander, Zrinko

    4 Tokic, but I certainly met, on numerous occasions,

    5 Luka, who I believed to be a senior officer within his

    6 organisation.

    7 Q. After the conflict broke out around the 11th,

    8 12th, or 13th of January, you explained that the local

    9 brigade commanders tried to arrive at a ceasefire

    10 between the two parties?

    11 A. On the second day of the fighting, I had a

    12 visit actually in my location by Zrinko Tokic, who I

    13 believed to be the commander of the HVO forces in

    14 Gornji Vakuf, and he told me that he had a direct field

    15 telephone link with the Muslim headquarters and that he

    16 had spoken to the Muslim commander, who had agreed that

    17 they needed to come and speak, and they obviously chose

    18 my location to speak because it was a neutral

    19 location.

    20 Although there was a lot of fighting going on

    21 in the town at the time, I agreed that I would provide

    22 my armoured vehicles to go down into the town and to

    23 speak with the Muslim commander and bring him back to

    24 my location in the factory so that we could discuss

    25 some sort of ceasefire. I did that. I went down

  49. 1 myself with my vehicle and two other vehicles. We went

    2 into the Muslim headquarters. There was a certain

    3 amount of discussion. He wasn't absolutely convinced

    4 that he should come, but in the end I persuaded him to

    5 come with me, and we came back to my location, where

    6 they had discussions about how to negotiate a

    7 ceasefire.

    8 Q. At that particular moment, the negotiations

    9 were being undertaken only by local commanders; is that

    10 so?

    11 A. Only by Zrinko Tokic and Fahrudin Agic, who

    12 were in command of the opposing forces in Gornji Vakuf

    13 at that time. The negotiations were, indeed, friendly

    14 and constructive, and there seemed to be no antagonism

    15 between the two men.

    16 Q. During the negotiations, it was decided to

    17 call upon other authorities outside the town, and it is

    18 how, I'm sure, that your superior was invited to join

    19 in the negotiations?

    20 A. It became apparent during the negotiation

    21 that although both men were committed to restore peace

    22 in the town, that it was outside or it was beyond their

    23 command status. They needed to raise it in importance,

    24 and, in fact, they suggested that there should be a

    25 meeting the following day again at my headquarters of

  50. 1 more senior officers from the HVO and from the BiH.

    2 When they suggested that to me, it was at that stage

    3 that I felt that it would be appropriate to also ask my

    4 commanding officer, Colonel Bob Stewart, to come down

    5 and also represent the U.N. at those talks, and it was

    6 agreed that that would take place at 10.00 the

    7 following day.

    8 Q. At the date of meeting, when was it that

    9 Colonel Edwards and his soldiers were killed?

    10 A. Yes. That morning, Colonel Stewart, with a

    11 platoon from my company that had been attached to

    12 Colonel Stewart, drove down from Vitez to Gornji Vakuf

    13 and arrived early in the morning at my location.

    14 Shortly after he arrived, a civilian ambulance arrived

    15 at the front gate of my barracks. There was a driver,

    16 who stated that he had two casualties in the back of

    17 his ambulance, two civilian casualties, and he wished

    18 to be able to drive his ambulance through the town so

    19 that he could get these casualties to Prozor, because

    20 there was a functioning hospital in Prozor.

    21 I agreed to this request and allocated and

    22 instructed one of my platoons to escort that ambulance

    23 through the town. As they approached the centre of

    24 town, crossing a bridge over a river, one of the

    25 drivers of one of the vehicles was shot in the head and

  51. 1 was killed, and that was Corporal Wayne Edwards.

    2 Q. And the negotiations began with Colonel

    3 Stewart; do you remember the names of persons

    4 representing the HVO in those negotiations?

    5 A. I remember the names. The names that I

    6 remember clearly were Merdan from the Muslim side, from

    7 Zenica, and Andric from the HVO side, from Mostar. And

    8 the other name, it was Siljeg, as well, from the HVO

    9 side; and the other member of the Muslim side was, I

    10 believe, called Seljo. I remember him as Seljo. So it

    11 was Merdan and Seljo on the Muslim side and Andric and

    12 Siljeg on the HVO side.

    13 Q. So, according to you, who was the head, who

    14 was the one who conducted negotiations on behalf of the

    15 HVO that day?

    16 A. The person that was doing all the talking was

    17 Andric.

    18 Q. Could you recount in a few words, what did he

    19 say, what were his requests during those negotiations?

    20 A. The negotiations went on for some time, and

    21 then eventually he read out a statement requiring the

    22 Muslims to lay down their arms, and I'm -- you know,

    23 I'm paraphrasing what I believe to -- what I

    24 remember -- to lay down the Muslim arms and basically

    25 accept that the HVO were going to assume control of the

  52. 1 town.

    2 Q. I understand, of course, that it was a long

    3 time ago and that you therefore have difficulty in

    4 remembering the exact words of Colonel Andric, but I

    5 will show you a document which is a milinfosum which is

    6 of the 16th January, 1993, and which is document

    7 Z298,5, the 16th of January, 1993, milinfosum. I

    8 should like to ask you to look at page 3, and it is a

    9 paragraph at the bottom of that page and on top of

    10 page 4, that is, the end of page 3 and beginning of

    11 page 4.

    12 Would you then look at the end of it on

    13 page 4.

    14 Does this report speak about the terms laid

    15 by Colonel Andric that you just spoke about?

    16 A. Yes, that's absolutely it. And, at one

    17 stage, Andric used slightly more blunt language and

    18 actually stated that if the BiH didn't agree to the

    19 demands, he would flatten Gornji Vakuf. And I heard

    20 that myself.

    21 Q. How did the Muslim party respond to those

    22 threats or those terms?

    23 A. The Muslim party were very concerned. They

    24 were -- you know, attempting to broker a ceasefire, but

    25 these demands that were laid upon them, on their side,

  53. 1 they were unacceptable demands and they were unable to

    2 agree with them.

    3 Q. So the negotiations continued, they went on

    4 for several hours, or for several days, or for how

    5 long? Because you were still there.

    6 A. That day, they went on for several hours.

    7 They then adjourned; Merdan went back to Zenica and

    8 Andric reported back to Mostar. They then reappeared

    9 the following day to conduct further negotiations, and

    10 that, again, happened during the morning. It was the

    11 morning where the body of Wayne Edwards was evacuated

    12 from Gornji Vakuf down to Split.

    13 Again, I presided -- at the same time that

    14 all this was going on, I was in the process of handing

    15 over my company, my command, to my successor, because I

    16 was being posted to Major Alun Jones, and so he had

    17 been there for the previous week, during all the

    18 build-up of tension and the fighting, and so that

    19 afternoon was when I actually handed over command of my

    20 company to Major Alun Jones and then departed up to

    21 Vitez, and then the following day leaving Vitez, back

    22 to Split, and then eventually out of theatre.

    23 Q. On the basis of your observations during the

    24 negotiations, did you have the feeling that the local

    25 bosses really wanted a ceasefire, whereas persons who

  54. 1 came from the outside -- that is, who represented

    2 Mostar -- took a much more rigid view and had many more

    3 demands in that regard?

    4 A. It was certainly -- and I was present at all

    5 the negotiations that took place, and it was always my

    6 impression that when the two local commanders were

    7 together, there was a determination to succeed in

    8 bringing about peace in Gornji Vakuf. And in fact,

    9 both showed quite a lot of personal courage, because on

    10 a number of occasions, at night -- they believed that

    11 the only way that they were going to stop the fighting

    12 was to go in person up to checkpoints, up to the front

    13 line, and actually instruct their soldiers not to

    14 fight. And so, along with some of my soldiers and

    15 they, themselves, approached checkpoints in the middle

    16 of the night and put themselves at risk to try and calm

    17 the situation down and try and implement some sort of

    18 ceasefire.

    19 Also, another thing that they tried to do was

    20 we also agreed to have negotiations with the lower

    21 commanders from the brigades, and so we arranged for --

    22 what we believed to be the battalion commanders from

    23 the HVO side and the BiH side were all brought into the

    24 headquarters. We sent out armoured vehicles to pick

    25 them up, and they sat at each side of the table, fully

  55. 1 armed, tired, excitable, but trying, trying to get some

    2 sort of ceasefire.

    3 And so that, as far as I was concerned, that

    4 showed, that reflected a determination at the local

    5 level to come to some sort of ceasefire. It was not

    6 successful, and my interpretation, my conclusion from

    7 that was that there was outside pressure that was

    8 preventing, you know, that from happening.

    9 Q. For you, that outside pressure was from the

    10 Mostar people who were intervening at that point; is

    11 that correct?

    12 A. Certainly, during the negotiation, the more

    13 forthright and the more forceful demands were made by

    14 Andric, and there were threats made by him. And the

    15 reports that there were build-ups of brigades in Prozor

    16 of heavy equipment, we had sightings of tanks, we

    17 certainly saw tanks firing at the southern end of the

    18 town. This led us to believe that there was

    19 significant outside influence coming into the town of

    20 Gornji Vakuf.

    21 Q. As far as you know, these were outside HVO

    22 forces that were being used during the fighting in

    23 Gornji Vakuf; is that correct?

    24 A. Yes. I mean, it was reported to me on

    25 numerous occasions that there was a build-up of forces

  56. 1 in the Prozor area, and certainly some of the equipment

    2 that we saw had not been there in the past. It was new

    3 equipment which was being used, and we hadn't seen it

    4 before.

    5 Q. You have just said, Major Rule, that you were

    6 present in Gornji Vakuf during the days and weeks that

    7 preceded the conflict. I'm going to ask you to read

    8 two documents that I'm going to give you, the two last

    9 ones that I'm going to use this morning, and these both

    10 refer to the same facts. These are documents Z382,1

    11 and --

    12 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, the interpreter

    13 did not get the last document number.

    14 JUDGE MAY: What are these documents,

    15 Mr. Lopez-Terres?

    16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) The two

    17 documents refer to a same press conference that was

    18 held on the 19th of January, 1993, in Busovaca, by the

    19 accused Dario Kordic, Colonel Blaskic, and Ignac

    20 Kostroman. The first, which has only one page, is an

    21 excerpt of that press conference as it was reproduced

    22 by the BBC. The second document comes from a magazine

    23 called Bojovnik, and this was an HVO magazine of that

    24 time in which there was a photograph of those who

    25 participated in the press conference, including Dario

  57. 1 Kordic.

    2 JUDGE MAY: The document which we have, one

    3 document we've been given, is numbered Z59,3.

    4 Something must have gone wrong with the translation.

    5 That appears to be the extract from Bojovnik. We've, I

    6 don't think, got the other item, which is numbered -- I

    7 forget.

    8 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) That's

    9 Z3821. Do you have them both, Mr. President?

    10 JUDGE MAY: We do. Let me just have a look

    11 at them. I think there may be some challenge.

    12 Do you object?

    13 MR. SAYERS: Well, we have not seen these,

    14 Your Honour.

    15 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's have a look at them

    16 first.

    17 MR. SAYERS: The actual objection is that

    18 both documents appear to refer to a press conference

    19 that was given on January the 19th, 1993, which is

    20 three days after Major Rule left his area of

    21 responsibility. So I don't -- in the absence of a

    22 foundation that he actually saw this press conference,

    23 we would object to it, yes.

    24 JUDGE MAY: Let me look at it.

    25 (Trial Chamber confers)

  58. 1 JUDGE MAY: It's right, Mr. Lopez-Terres,

    2 that the witness obviously was not present at the press

    3 conference or anything like that. But are you going to

    4 invite him to comment on the claims which are made

    5 about the number of armed soldiers and Mujahedin? Is

    6 that the purpose of what you want to --

    7 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Yes, that

    8 is, Your Honour.

    9 (Trial Chamber confers)

    10 JUDGE MAY: Well, clearly the witness can't

    11 give evidence about the press conference. He wasn't

    12 there; he doesn't know anything about it. But he can,

    13 it seems to us perfectly properly, make a comment about

    14 the claims which are being made about incidents in

    15 Gornji Vakuf which he does know about. So if you'd

    16 like to ask the witness if it was suggested that the

    17 BiH army sent to Gornji Vakuf about 2.000 armed

    18 soldiers as well as groups of Mujahedin, what would his

    19 comment be? You can put that.

    20 Well, Major Rule, you've heard the question.

    21 Perhaps you'd like to give us an answer.

    22 A. During the whole conflict, we maintained a

    23 presence in and around the area. We patrolled local

    24 villages, we patrolled the town. At no stage were

    25 significant reinforcements to the BiH ever reported to

  59. 1 me whilst I was in Gornji Vakuf.

    2 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation).

    3 Q. I have an additional question which is

    4 related to the press conference. During the time you

    5 were in Gornji Vakuf, did you see, were there any

    6 Muslim fighters that one ordinarily calls Mujahedin?

    7 A. I never saw that, no, and nor was it reported

    8 to me by my soldiers either.

    9 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I have no

    10 further questions for this witness, Your Honour.

    11 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Cross-examination.

    12 MR. SAYERS: Good afternoon, Mr. Rule. My

    13 name is Steve Sayers, and I represent Dario Kordic, and

    14 I'll be asking you some questions. If anything I ask

    15 you is unclear, just tell me and I'll rephrase the

    16 question so that we get a clear transcript and accurate

    17 factual testimony.

    18 THE WITNESS: Absolutely.

    19 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me, Counsel. If you

    20 could just keep your microphone closer. Thank you.

    21 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:

    22 Q. Now, Major Rule, it's about six and a half or

    23 seven years since you left the theatre, your area of

    24 operations; would that be about correct?

    25 A. Yes.

  60. 1 Q. You've never previously testified before this

    2 Tribunal, I understand.

    3 A. No.

    4 Q. This is the first time you've given testimony

    5 in any case related to your experiences in the Gornji

    6 Vakuf area from October 1992 to January the 15th, 1993,

    7 when you left?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. You have previously, though, given a

    10 statement to an investigator representing the Office of

    11 the Prosecutor, and I believe that statement was given

    12 about two months ago.

    13 A. Yes, correct.

    14 Q. Had you had conversations with investigators

    15 or representatives of the Office of the Prosecution

    16 before that time?

    17 A. I came here a number of months ago to discuss

    18 certain aspects of the previous trial.

    19 Q. It was two months ago?

    20 A. No, longer ago than that. I think it was

    21 around about March time. I actually came here to

    22 discuss certain aspects of the previous trial that took

    23 place here.

    24 Q. All right. In the March time frame, did you

    25 discuss with the Prosecution the facts that you've

  61. 1 related to the Trial Chamber today?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. So the Office of the Prosecution knew, in

    4 March, what your proposed testimony would be,

    5 essentially?

    6 A. Well, I don't know how this -- I was dealing

    7 with the previous trial, which it was decided not to

    8 call me to, so whether or not there's any link between

    9 the two, I'm not aware of that.

    10 Q. You're talking about the trial involving

    11 Colonel Blaskic, I take it.

    12 A. Correct, yes.

    13 Q. All right. In your testimony today, you've

    14 testified with considerable and commendable, indeed,

    15 precision regarding dates. Did you review any

    16 materials to enable you to refresh your recollection of

    17 events that occurred six and a half or seven years ago?

    18 A. I read the military information sums that the

    19 battalion produced at the time.

    20 Q. Did you make any contemporaneous personal

    21 notes at the time that you were in Gornji Vakuf, sir?

    22 A. No, I didn't.

    23 Q. Did you review any situation reports?

    24 Sitreps, I believe they are called.

    25 A. In my last visit here?

  62. 1 Q. At any time.

    2 A. No, no.

    3 Q. Sitreps, though, are prepared in the ordinary

    4 course of the operations of the 1st Cheshire Regiment,

    5 are they not?

    6 A. As an incident occurred, if it was required

    7 to be reported to the senior commander, then, yes,

    8 a sitrep would be produced, but that would be

    9 invariably done verbally over a radio or over a

    10 telephone rather than written down.

    11 Q. All right. Does the 1st Cheshire Regiment or

    12 any of its battalions keep a war diary?

    13 A. I believe -- I wasn't with the battalion

    14 headquarters, but, yes, a battalion is required to keep

    15 a war diary, yes.

    16 Q. Suffice it to say that if such a document is

    17 kept, you've not consulted it?

    18 A. I've not, no.

    19 Q. Have you consulted any radio logs that the

    20 1st Cheshire Regiment prepared during the course of

    21 your tour of duty in the Gornji Vakuf area?

    22 A. No, I haven't. The only thing that I have

    23 referred to are the military information sums. That's

    24 the only -- and other than perhaps reading parts of

    25 Colonel Stewart's book and discussing it with my

  63. 1 colleagues subsequently.

    2 Q. That's the book I hold in my hand here,

    3 "Broken Lives", I take it.

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. All right. Now, all of your training and

    6 experience, Major Rule, I take it, has been as a

    7 military man.

    8 A. Correct.

    9 Q. You speak Croatian?

    10 A. No, I don't.

    11 Q. Do you have any political training or

    12 training in political science?

    13 A. Absolutely not.

    14 Q. Do you have any training as a historian,

    15 Major Rule?

    16 A. I don't have any training as a historian, but

    17 I'm a keen amateur historian.

    18 Q. Very well. Who did you use to interpret the

    19 communications that you were having with the local

    20 commanders and political figures in the Gornji Vakuf

    21 area?

    22 A. I had one interpreter, and she was called

    23 Belma Ljuta, and she was my interpreter for the whole

    24 period.

    25 Q. Do you know whether she was a Croat or a

  64. 1 Muslim or a Serb?

    2 A. She was a Muslim.

    3 Q. All right. Now, you were in Central Bosnia,

    4 I take it, Major Rule, for a little less than 12 weeks.

    5 A. I think it was 91 days.

    6 Q. All right.

    7 A. The reason I know that is because you need 90

    8 days to get a medal, and I did 91, so I was able to get

    9 a medal.

    10 Q. Congratulations. I believe that you were

    11 left behind in Gornji Vakuf by Colonel Stewart's

    12 deputisation, if you like, on October the 18th of 1992.

    13 A. The exact -- that sounds about right, yes.

    14 Q. All right. You left, I think, on January the

    15 15th, when you handed over command of Bravo Company to

    16 Major Alun Jones?

    17 A. Correct, yes.

    18 Q. That was about halfway through your tour?

    19 A. Well, it was about -- I mean I had done a

    20 month longer than anybody else, so it was probably

    21 about just over a third of the way through the

    22 battalion's tour.

    23 Q. Did you return to Germany or were you

    24 redeployed elsewhere in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    25 A. No, I returned to my family in Germany and

  65. 1 then was posted to another appointment in Germany.

    2 Q. So it would be fair to say that your

    3 experience and knowledge of Central Bosnia generally

    4 and of the road essentially from Gornji Vakuf up to

    5 Vitez and south to Jablanica is derived exclusively or

    6 pretty much exclusively from your 91 days in your area

    7 of responsibility?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Thanks. You have had, I take it, no reason

    10 to study the political or military situation in Central

    11 Bosnia after your departure.

    12 A. Not in any detail, no.

    13 Q. Other than reading Colonel Stewart's --

    14 A. Well, I didn't read it all, I read parts of

    15 it, and following the news reports.

    16 Q. All right. Let me just turn for a minute to

    17 the situation that you found confronting you when you

    18 arrived in Central Bosnia in the middle of October,

    19 1992. Would it be fair to say that you arrived in the

    20 middle of a bitter, bloody, and vicious civil war?

    21 A. Well, we certainly arrived in a -- when we

    22 passed through Novi Travnik, what was a bitter, nasty,

    23 local conflict. There was certainly no sign, on our

    24 journey up, even in Gornji Vakuf, which is not that far

    25 away, that there were any problems in those towns. You

  66. 1 know, the impression that we got and what we understood

    2 was that at that stage in October, the fighting was

    3 limited in the main to Novi Travnik, although there

    4 were sporadic outbursts in the surrounding villages and

    5 towns of Novi Travnik.

    6 Q. Major Rule, I'm sure that that's an accurate

    7 description of the situation that confronted you in

    8 your immediate area, but in the country as a whole,

    9 there's no question that the country was embroiled in

    10 the middle of a civil war?

    11 A. Yes. Well, there were obviously, certainly

    12 on the front lines with the Serbian forces, there was a

    13 great deal of fighting, yes.

    14 Q. In fact, Serbian front lines, confrontation

    15 lines, existed between just to the northwest of Novi

    16 Travnik and south of Travnik; is that right?

    17 A. To the northwest of Novi Travnik, to the

    18 north-northwest of Travnik as well, yes.

    19 Q. Serbian artillery was located all along the

    20 Mount Vlasic Ridge which overlooked the town of

    21 Travnik; right?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. You've also described a shelling incident in

    24 which Serbian artillery shelled Gornji Vakuf. I

    25 believe that you said it was on January the 13th or

  67. 1 January 12th, 1993.

    2 A. Around about then, yes. The exact evening, I

    3 don't precisely recall. My initial impression was that

    4 it was HVO, but it was reported to me by other people

    5 the following morning, Muslims and HVO, that in fact it

    6 was Serbian artillery.

    7 Q. So both sides agreed that it was --

    8 A. Both sides agreed that it was definitely

    9 Serbian artillery.

    10 Q. So Serbian forces were deployed, if you will,

    11 in the immediate area of Gornji Vakuf?

    12 A. I wouldn't say the immediate area. The front

    13 line actually was quite a long way away from Gornji

    14 Vakuf, and in fact there was an extensive area of no

    15 man's land between the HVO and the BiH front lines and

    16 the Serbian front lines. In order to engage the town

    17 of Gornji Vakuf, the Serbians had to move artillery

    18 into this no man's land, fire it very quickly, and then

    19 withdraw it out quickly so that it wasn't captured or

    20 it wasn't attacked by HVO or Muslims. BiH, sorry.

    21 Q. You weren't aware of any facts that led you

    22 to believe that this shelling was not the product of

    23 Serbian artillery, as being reported to you by the HVO

    24 and the Muslim forces; is that right?

    25 A. Sorry, could you just --

  68. 1 Q. Sure. Let me rephrase that question, because

    2 that wasn't the most artfully-phrased question.

    3 Are you aware of any facts that led you to

    4 believe that what you had been being told by the Croat

    5 forces and the Muslim forces, i.e., that this was

    6 Serbian artillery, are you aware of any facts that

    7 would lead you to disbelieve that?

    8 A. No.

    9 Q. All right. Would it be fair to say also that

    10 during this time period, there were large numbers of

    11 refugees flooding out from, for example, fairly

    12 heavily-populated towns like Jajce that were under

    13 intense attacks and assaults by Serbian forces?

    14 A. Yes. Gornji Vakuf had a significant refugee

    15 population, both from Jajce and from Donja Vakuf, which

    16 had also fallen to the Serbs.

    17 Q. There's an ECMM document that's actually

    18 dated November the 17th, 1993, and I would be delighted

    19 to show it to you, if you wish. There's a report in

    20 that document that there were 2,1 million refugees in

    21 Bosnia-Herzegovina by that time in 1993. What was the

    22 magnitude of the refugee problem that you saw in your

    23 immediate area of operations when you were on the

    24 ground in Gornji Vakuf, Major?

    25 A. The magnitude, it was a problem. There were,

  69. 1 I think -- we, at one stage, thought there was

    2 something like between 20 and 30 thousand refugees

    3 within Gornji Vakuf. There were no refugee camps, as

    4 such, and whilst it was a problem, and the principal

    5 problem was keeping them fed, they were all housed, and

    6 it wasn't as significant a problem as it was elsewhere

    7 within Bosnia; for example, in Travnik where there were

    8 refugee camps. There was no such refugee camps in

    9 Gornji Vakuf.

    10 Yes, there were large numbers, but they were

    11 swallowed up by the community. At that time, the

    12 community seemed to be able to cope with the extra

    13 refugees that they had.

    14 Q. That means, I take it, that both the Croats

    15 and Muslims were taking in this flood of refugees from

    16 other areas of the country at this time.

    17 A. Yes, but I'm not sure I would refer to it as

    18 a flood in Gornji Vakuf.

    19 Q. Well, you said that there were 20.000

    20 refugees or so in the Gornji Vakuf area?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Do you know what the population of the town

    23 was before the refugees arrived?

    24 A. I think the number is between 40 and

    25 50 thousand.

  70. 1 Q. Forty and fifty?

    2 A. Yes. That's what I believed was the size at

    3 the time.

    4 Q. Let me turn to a different subject, if I

    5 may. It's the military information cell that you set

    6 up and the military information gathering, analysis,

    7 and reporting functions that you've described.

    8 I understand, Major Rule, that you yourself

    9 tasked Bravo Company patrols with gathering as much

    10 information as possible.

    11 A. I personally wouldn't have tasked them. I

    12 would have instructed the colour-sergeant that I had,

    13 who was specifically responsible for gathering and

    14 collating military information, to carry out that

    15 function for me.

    16 Q. That was Colour-Sergeant Andrew Williams?

    17 A. Correct.

    18 Q. He would typically instruct the soldiers that

    19 served under your command to look for particular areas

    20 of interest; right?

    21 A. He would -- prior to patrols, he would

    22 formulate a strategy, and he would require them to

    23 perhaps concentrate on one certain area but obviously,

    24 you know, not to the detriment of the general

    25 information gathering that a soldier might, you know --

  71. 1 he would still be aware of what was going on around

    2 him. It wouldn't be the sole purpose of that mission.

    3 Q. Right. His job was to pass the information

    4 that he had collated, assessed, and summarised up the

    5 chain of command along to your battalion headquarters

    6 in Vitez?

    7 A. He would have collated it. He probably would

    8 have done a certain amount of low-level assessment, but

    9 the majority of the assessment and comment would have

    10 come at the battalion level.

    11 Q. All right. Then that gets put together with

    12 other reports, similar reports, from different areas in

    13 which other companies or detachments from your

    14 battalion were operating and assembled into a single

    15 document popularly referred to as a milinfosum, I take

    16 it?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. And that's a military information summary?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. You would agree, I take it, that these

    21 milinfosums are regularly consulted and relied upon by

    22 you and your colleagues to inform yourself of key

    23 developments and significant information in your area

    24 of operations.

    25 A. Yes. We would use it to update our general

  72. 1 awareness of what was going on on the ground, and we

    2 would use it in order to inform local patrols that were

    3 being tasked, people that were operating in our area,

    4 of the local situation, yes.

    5 Q. So it is important, I take it, for all of the

    6 information contained in milinfosums to be accurate.

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. Your colour-sergeant, Sergeant Williams, and

    9 the patrols that reported to him were instructed about

    10 the importance of making sure that accurate information

    11 was reported?

    12 A. They were required to report fact and nothing

    13 more.

    14 Q. Very well, sir. You would also agree with me

    15 that Colour-Sergeant Williams was very capable and

    16 experienced in performing this intelligence-gathering

    17 and reporting function, wasn't he?

    18 A. He had done similar jobs in the past in other

    19 areas of operations.

    20 Q. The information-gathering and analysis

    21 techniques and procedures that you have described were

    22 standard techniques which your regiment used generally;

    23 was that not the case?

    24 A. Yes. When operating in a certain scenario,

    25 yes.

  73. 1 Q. But the point is that your soldiers, the

    2 soldiers under your command, that is, knew this

    3 procedure well, they had practised it well, and they

    4 had lots of experience in that regard?

    5 A. There would have been some soldiers who were

    6 new recruits, who were new arrivals, that perhaps

    7 wouldn't have been as practised as others, but

    8 certainly the junior NCOs, the junior commanders, and

    9 the more senior commanders would have been well

    10 rehearsed and well practised in that method of

    11 gathering information, yes.

    12 Q. All right. When you arrived in the area of

    13 operations, Major Rule, did you take any effort to

    14 investigate, research, or understand the political

    15 framework and the military framework that you found in

    16 the Gornji Vakuf area, in your immediate area of

    17 responsibility?

    18 A. Yes. I mean, it would have -- you know,

    19 certainly it would have been a requirement and it would

    20 be expected of me to be aware, certainly prior to

    21 deployment and during employment, to keep very well

    22 aware of the general situation, yes.

    23 Q. All right. And in that regard, could you

    24 tell us, please, what was the Croatian Community of

    25 Herceg-Bosna?

  74. 1 A. The term "Herceg-Bosna" was, in my belief,

    2 was an area of Bosnia which was referred to by senior

    3 politicians as an area which was -- should be and

    4 naturally should be under the influence of the Croatian

    5 Community.

    6 Q. Who was its president?

    7 A. The president was -- I do know who it is.

    8 The president was --

    9 JUDGE MAY: If you can't remember, say so.

    10 A. I -- it is a name that is very familiar with

    11 me, and it is a name that I just cannot grasp at the

    12 moment. It will come back to me.

    13 JUDGE MAY: This is not a test of Central

    14 Bosnia and your recollection.

    15 MR. SAYERS:

    16 Q. Do you know what the HDZ BiH was? Do those

    17 initials ring a bell?

    18 A. The BiH was the army B, the --

    19 Q. No, I mean the HDZ, the Croatian Democratic

    20 Community?

    21 A. Yes, as far as we were concerned, that was

    22 the political wing, if you like, of the HVO.

    23 Q. The HVO, as you understood it, was a purely

    24 military organisation; right?

    25 A. Well, it's difficult to say that, because it

  75. 1 obviously -- it was involved in military activity, but

    2 it was not a regular army. It involved local

    3 citizens. So to say it was solely military, it would

    4 not be accurate.

    5 Q. Well, do you know who the head of the HVO

    6 was?

    7 A. The overall head of the HVO, no, I don't. I

    8 can't remember. I may have been made aware at the

    9 time, but now, I can't remember who that was.

    10 Q. That's fine. Now, who was the local

    11 political leader in Gornji Vakuf for the Croats?

    12 A. I don't remember.

    13 Q. Did you ever deal with him?

    14 A. I may have done. I may have done. The

    15 majority of my dealings were with the military

    16 commanders, and the people I dealt through were the

    17 military commanders. I did deal, on occasion, with

    18 civilians, when they asked to speak to me, but I

    19 didn't, as a matter of course, go direct to the civil

    20 community; I operated through the military community.

    21 Q. Sure. You're a military man, and you dealt

    22 with your peers on the Croat side and the Muslim side;

    23 right?

    24 A. Yeah.

    25 Q. And you had very limited dealings with the

  76. 1 civilian political authorities in Gornji Vakuf or the

    2 surrounding areas; isn't that true?

    3 A. Sorry. Just run that question again, please.

    4 Q. Sure. You had limited dealings with the

    5 civilian political authorities in the town of Gornji

    6 Vakuf itself and in the surrounding areas?

    7 A. Yes. Limited, but -- you know, not

    8 insignificant.

    9 Q. I'd just like to turn to a different topic,

    10 if I may, and that's the command structure within the

    11 HVO in your region. The Gornji Vakuf area is within

    12 the Northwest Herzegovina Operative Zone of the HVO; is

    13 that not the case?

    14 A. It was always -- you know, it was something

    15 that we never finally worked out. There was a certain

    16 amount of direction, we believed, that came from the

    17 Vitez/Busovaca area, as well as from the Tomislavgrad

    18 area, as well as the Mostar area, and it was our view

    19 that -- you know, it was fairly near a border of

    20 responsibility, and so we never finally ascertained

    21 directly where the direction was coming from. It

    22 seemed to come from various locations at various

    23 different times.

    24 Q. So are you telling the Trial Chamber that you

    25 just don't know what the chain of command was within

  77. 1 the HVO forces that operated in Gornji Vakuf during the

    2 91 days or so that you were in your area of operations?

    3 A. No, I'm not saying I don't know at all. What

    4 I'm saying is that at various times, the influence that

    5 was placed upon the local forces seemed to vary,

    6 depending on the importance of what was actually

    7 happening.

    8 Q. Well, have you ever heard of the Ante

    9 Starcevic Brigade?

    10 A. Well, that -- yes, I have heard of the

    11 Ante -- but it was never -- you know, because of its --

    12 for a soldier's tongue, an English soldier's tongue,

    13 it's quite difficult. It was never referred to as

    14 that. It was always referred to as the Gornji Vakuf

    15 Brigade.

    16 Q. And the commander of the Gornji Vakuf Brigade

    17 was Zrinko Totic (sic); right?

    18 A. It had always been represented to me that

    19 Zrinko Tokic was the commander, and all the dealings I

    20 had with them were through him, and the negotiations

    21 that we led were with him in the lead, certainly at the

    22 local level.

    23 Q. Major Rule, it's just been pointed out to me

    24 that I butchered the name of this gentleman, referring

    25 to him as "Totic" instead of his real name, which was

  78. 1 "Tokic."

    2 A. Yes.

    3 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down,

    4 please, Mr. Sayers?

    5 MR. SAYERS:

    6 Q. Have you ever heard of the Edvard Kvaternik

    7 Brigade?

    8 A. Again, I know that the HVO referred to or

    9 gave titles to brigades. It was always our method of

    10 linking the brigades with the location which they came

    11 from.

    12 Q. That's fair enough. Who was Mr. Tokic's

    13 commanding officer?

    14 A. I don't know. I mean, I referred to before

    15 that this -- the difference in -- you know, who they

    16 seemed to be reporting to, you know, it is my belief

    17 that there were some -- you know, changing of

    18 boundaries, possibly, during the period I was there.

    19 But certainly sometimes we felt it was Mostar,

    20 sometimes it may have been Tomislavgrad, sometimes it

    21 was Busovaca/Vitez.

    22 Q. Who was the chief of staff of the HVO?

    23 A. The -- because these people -- these aren't

    24 the people that I dealt with daily; they are names that

    25 I don't recollect six and a half years on. The reason

  79. 1 that I can recollect the other ones, these are people

    2 who I got to know well, and so I can recollect their

    3 names quite easily.

    4 Q. All right. Does the name Brigadier Milivoj

    5 Petkovic sound familiar to you?

    6 A. It rings a bell, but you know, I certainly

    7 couldn't link him with any particular appointment.

    8 Q. All right. Well, let's move on.

    9 You have described in your testimony a visit

    10 that you made to the town of Vitez on October the 19th

    11 or 20th of 1992. Do you recall that?

    12 A. Yes, I do, yes.

    13 Q. And do you recall the name of the HVO

    14 commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone?

    15 A. No, I don't. I don't. Colonel Stewart was

    16 leading the negotiation there, and I was simply on the

    17 periphery, so I didn't have any detailed knowledge of

    18 those negotiations that were going on there.

    19 Q. So you cannot remember the name of the

    20 commander of the Croat forces in Vitez, I take it?

    21 A. No. No. I didn't operate in Vitez.

    22 Q. That's fine. Do you know who the overall

    23 military commander in the Operative Zone that covered

    24 Gornji Vakuf was?

    25 A. At the time, I would have been aware of the

  80. 1 general command structures, the individuals that were

    2 involved within that, because we would have received

    3 briefings, we would have read other people's

    4 milinfosums. But now, I don't recall the names, no.

    5 Q. Very well. Do you know who Colonel Blaskic

    6 is?

    7 A. Again, a name which is familiar with me, to

    8 me, but certainly I couldn't link directly to an

    9 appointment.

    10 Q. All right. Have you ever spoken directly to

    11 Colonel Blaskic?

    12 A. I don't believe I have, no.

    13 Q. Have you ever even met him?

    14 A. I don't believe I have, no.

    15 Q. All right. Let's turn our attention to

    16 Colonel Siljeg, one of the names that you mentioned.

    17 Do you know anything about the professional background

    18 of Colonel Siljeg?

    19 A. No, I don't. I don't. I remember him as a

    20 very memorable character, and that's why it sticks

    21 firmly in my mind. But all I knew was that he

    22 represented a senior command in the HVO.

    23 Q. And you can't tell the Trial Chamber whether

    24 or not this gentleman was a professional military

    25 officer before the civil war?

  81. 1 A. I certainly wouldn't know that, no.

    2 Q. All right. Well, let me move on.

    3 You described in your testimony your visit or

    4 your travels up to the town of Vitez in October of

    5 1993. You also described encountering multiple

    6 roadblocks and checkpoints. Do you remember that?

    7 A. Yes, I do. Yes.

    8 Q. And it's true, I take it, that these multiple

    9 roadblocks and checkpoints were set up both by the HVO

    10 and also by Muslims?

    11 A. Absolutely, yeah.

    12 Q. Depending on which area they controlled?

    13 A. Correct, depending on the village, yeah.

    14 Q. Do you find that a sort of confusing factor?

    15 A. No, not at all.

    16 Q. Really?

    17 A. No, because I have operated in other areas

    18 where the delineation is equally as defined.

    19 Q. So would it be fair to say that you would be

    20 driving along the road, you'd come to one village that

    21 happened to be a Muslim village, and that would have a

    22 Muslim roadblock in front of it?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. And then, when you had successfully

    25 negotiated that, if you came along to a Croat village

  82. 1 after that, you would expect to see a Croat roadblock

    2 there?

    3 A. Correct, yes. Absolutely.

    4 Q. And there was no way to predict whether it

    5 would be Muslim or Croat going up the road?

    6 A. In the first instance, no, but very quickly,

    7 because of military information, we would be aware of

    8 which sectors were controlled by whom.

    9 Q. Sure, as you became more familiar with the --

    10 A. Yes, but it would have been -- it wouldn't

    11 have been a general sort of an osmosis of information,

    12 it would have been a key requirement, very early on, to

    13 ascertain exactly where the various lines of

    14 confrontation were, where the potential areas of

    15 conflict were, so we would have focused a lot of our

    16 gathering, our information-gathering, on that

    17 particular ...

    18 Q. All right. And as you were travelling up the

    19 road between Vitez, I believe, and Nova Bila, you

    20 encountered a bus blocking a road with several

    21 anti-tank mines placed around it?

    22 A. Correct, yes.

    23 Q. And you also encountered three -- I believe

    24 that you said two or three people dressed as Mujahedin?

    25 A. Yes. I think -- yes, and I think I would

  83. 1 also say that they had a sort of Middle Eastern -- you

    2 know, look about them, yes.

    3 Q. In your statement, you say that they looked

    4 like they came from Afghanistan or somewhere like

    5 that. Is that what you mean by that?

    6 A. Yes. I mean, if you told me they were from

    7 Afghanistan, I would say yes, that could certainly be

    8 the case, yes.

    9 Q. As you drove your vehicles through the

    10 checkpoint after the bus had been moved, an intense gun

    11 battle between Croat forces and Muslim forces started

    12 after that?

    13 A. Right. It was quite interesting, really.

    14 There was an L4070, a Bofors gun, a 40-millimetre

    15 anti-aircraft gun, which was mounted on the hillside

    16 above that checkpoint, which was obviously manned by

    17 the HVO, who engaged it with 40-millimetre ammunition.

    18 And it went on all afternoon, that the engagement would

    19 take place from this gun. It would fire at it, it

    20 would then -- the people, after a pause and after they

    21 had -- they had got out from under whatever cover they

    22 had taken, they would return small-arms fire. So there

    23 was an intense fire, at which point it occurred to us

    24 that the people that were manning the Bofors gun would

    25 suddenly take cover, and when it had calmed down, they

  84. 1 would leap onto their Bofors gun again and fire at the

    2 checkpoint. So this went on for most of the afternoon.

    3 Q. It would be duelling Bofors guns?

    4 A. Well, it was Bofors gun on one side but small

    5 arms on the other.

    6 Q. You've also said that you encountered a

    7 mishmash -- I think that that was your word -- of

    8 uniform styles while you were in the area of

    9 operations?

    10 A. Oh, yes, yes. I mean there was --

    11 absolutely. You know, it was any combat equipment that

    12 was available, yes.

    13 Q. And when you refer to uniforms, people

    14 wearing uniform, what you really mean is people wearing

    15 a sort of mix-and-match outfit of sort of camouflage

    16 fatigues?

    17 A. Yes, you know, various types of

    18 disrupted-pattern clothing, yes.

    19 Q. And would it be fair to say that these

    20 camouflage fatigues that you saw came from a rather

    21 wide variety of sources?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. Occasionally, for example, people were seen

    24 wearing German uniforms, with actually German flashes,

    25 weren't they?

  85. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Other times, people were actually seen in

    3 British uniforms which were second-hand?

    4 A. Yes, yes.

    5 Q. In fact, some still had rank slides and name

    6 tags on them, didn't they?

    7 A. I can't individually remember. It wouldn't

    8 surprise me if that was the case, though.

    9 Q. Well, there's a military information --

    10 MR. SAYERS: If I might, Your Honour, I have

    11 one military information summary -- it's milinfosum 70,

    12 from the 9th of January, 1993 -- that I'd like to show

    13 Major Rule.

    14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

    15 THE REGISTRAR: Document D45/1.

    16 MR. SAYERS: Yes, if the usher would like to

    17 put that on the ELMO.

    18 Q. Let me just draw your attention to a few

    19 entries on this milinfosum, Major Rule. Under the

    20 "Travnik" entry on the first page, it says that the

    21 BiH headquarters in Travnik stated that 23 shells

    22 landed in that town the night before. Do you see that?

    23 A. Yes, sorry, yes, the first line. I was

    24 looking in the main body.

    25 Q. So there was very significant fighting going

  86. 1 on between Serbian forces, I take it, and Muslim forces

    2 and Croat forces, up in the area of Travnik on the 9th

    3 of January, 1993; right?

    4 A. Yes, there may well have been. I was limited

    5 to my area of responsibility, which was not Travnik,

    6 and so --

    7 Q. I understand.

    8 A. -- I'm unaware of the Travnik locality.

    9 Q. Sure. If you would just look at the final

    10 sentence of the first entry, the liaison officer

    11 reports a BiH heavy artillery piece, of 152 millimetres

    12 or larger, located to the north of town.

    13 A. Yeah.

    14 Q. Did you ever see similar artillery resources

    15 in your area of --

    16 A. I never saw artillery of that calibre,

    17 personally --

    18 Q. Did you know that --

    19 A. -- at any time.

    20 Q. All right. Sorry to interrupt.

    21 Did you know that the Muslim forces had

    22 artillery pieces of up to 152 millimetres or larger in

    23 their inventory?

    24 A. Yes. No, I was aware of that, yes, and I

    25 certainly was aware of, through -- you know, because I

  87. 1 used to travel to Vitez, because it was my battalion

    2 headquarters, and I would pick up things there, and

    3 they would certainly tell me of heavy artillery pieces,

    4 because I believe there was one in around the location

    5 of Vitez itself that was used.

    6 But yes, no, I mean, I was aware that they

    7 had -- you know, items of that calibre, yes.

    8 Q. The question that I asked you about reports

    9 of people running around in British uniforms is

    10 actually drawn from the next page, under item 5,

    11 Vares. In interpreting these military information

    12 summaries, the abbreviation "C/S" I take it refers to a

    13 call sign?

    14 A. Call sign, yes.

    15 Q. Which refers to a particular radio located in

    16 an armoured vehicle?

    17 A. Not so much the radio, but the individual

    18 operating it. So a call sign would refer to a

    19 commander of a certain unit or subunit, or -- and where

    20 that call sign was referring to a particular vehicle,

    21 it would be apparent to anybody dealing with it, yeah.

    22 Q. In some of your testimony, you've stated that

    23 troops known by the abbreviation "HOS" could be readily

    24 identified because they sported black uniforms.

    25 A. My soldiers would have picked out what they

  88. 1 believed to be HOS because they were wearing black

    2 uniforms and driving around with vehicles with "HOS"

    3 painted on them, yes.

    4 Q. But black uniforms weren't simply the domain

    5 of the HOS troops, were they?

    6 A. Not simply, but I think, in terms of formed

    7 bodies wearing all the same clothing, then, you know, a

    8 possible or a safe deduction to be made was that they

    9 were a formed group of HOS. That would be a deduction

    10 from the factual sighting, yes.

    11 Q. Very well. Could you just turn to the last

    12 page of this milinfosum.

    13 Turning your attention right to the bottom of

    14 the page, Major Rule, one of your recce --

    15 reconnaissance, I gather -- call signs passed the 8th

    16 brigade headquarters and stopped at the main

    17 headquarters at the Hotel Borac. There were 40 or 50

    18 soldiers in black uniforms. They were called the Black

    19 Swans and referred to themselves as special forces.

    20 It's also reported that these were more professional

    21 looking than the average BiH soldier and that a large

    22 Muslim flag was flying at the headquarters soon after

    23 the recce call sign arrived.

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. So --

  89. 1 A. Again, that doesn't overly surprise me.

    2 Q. Right. The point is there were people

    3 dressed in black uniforms, essentially, on both sides?

    4 A. Yes. Yeah. I think there is a difference.

    5 I mean, the fact that -- the presence of a large

    6 Bosnian flag may have led people to believe that they

    7 had something to do with that, and that the link

    8 wouldn't have purely been black uniforms. It would

    9 have been related to the vehicles that they were

    10 travelling in, and, indeed, related to the area in

    11 which they were operating as well.

    12 Q. Well, it doesn't say a large Bosnian flag; it

    13 says a large Muslim flag.

    14 A. Okay.

    15 Q. Do you know what that flag would have been,

    16 or would that just be speculation?

    17 A. I'm just trying to -- I can't actually

    18 find --

    19 Q. It's right at the bottom.

    20 A. Right at the bottom?

    21 Yeah, I mean, I don't think this is my area,

    22 so it's not an area I would have been familiar with.

    23 Q. Actually, I don't think you are looking at

    24 the right page.

    25 A. No. No. Yeah. What page? Sorry.

  90. 1 Q. It's the next one.

    2 A. We're looking for the Black Swan reference

    3 and the black uniforms. Sorry, what page is it? Is it

    4 the very first?

    5 Q. In mine, it's the last page.

    6 JUDGE MAY: The third, in our copy.

    7 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

    8 Q. Take a look at the third page, right at the

    9 bottom of the page.

    10 A. Right, right, yes, now I've got it, yeah.

    11 Q. All right.

    12 A. Can I just read it, please, and --

    13 Q. Oh, absolutely. Absolutely.

    14 A. I don't believe that was within my area of

    15 responsibility.

    16 Q. All right. And you can't tell us what the

    17 Muslim flag was, can you?

    18 A. No, but I -- you know, I would have been

    19 aware of a number of different insignia which Bosnian

    20 units may have used.

    21 Q. All right. Now, you say that you saw, on the

    22 6th of January, 1993, a Ustasha flag flying?

    23 A. Yes. Well, I saw a black flag with a "U" on

    24 it.

    25 Q. Do you know what the flag of the Croatian

  91. 1 Community of Herceg-Bosna looks like?

    2 A. I can't recall now, no.

    3 Q. Now, you gave some testimony regarding the

    4 strategic value of Gornji Vakuf in the 1992, early

    5 1993, time period. Do you remember that?

    6 A. Yes, I do, yes.

    7 Q. All right. And I take it that the strategic

    8 value of that town's location is that it essentially

    9 controls one of the main north/south roads from Bugojno

    10 and points north, if you like, to Mostar and points

    11 south?

    12 A. Yes, but at the time, it was also the only

    13 safe route for people to pass through to the Novi

    14 Travnik, Travnik, and Vitez areas as well. That's the

    15 small mountain track which was in fact gradually

    16 widened whilst we were there and made into a more

    17 substantial road.

    18 Q. I'd just like to give the Trial Chamber some

    19 notion of what the terrain is like in this area.

    20 JUDGE MAY: Before you do that, it's now

    21 1.00, which is the time for us to adjourn. Are you

    22 going to be more than a few minutes?

    23 MR. SAYERS: With this particular subject, or

    24 with the rest of my --

    25 JUDGE MAY: Generally.

  92. 1 MR. SAYERS: I would think I would be about

    2 40 to 45 minutes, Your Honour.

    3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now.

    4 We'll adjourn until half past 2.00.

    5 Major, would you be back then, please.

    6 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.




















  93. 1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.

    2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.

    3 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Your Honour.

    4 Two minor matters before I resume. The first

    5 is that the report that I referred to as an ECMM

    6 report, which contained the description of the numbers

    7 of refugees, is actually a UNHCR report.

    8 Secondly, the Prosecution and the Defence

    9 would like to stipulate as to the precise population

    10 figures of the municipality and the town of Gornji

    11 Vakuf in 1991, and the figures are, for the

    12 municipality, 25.181, and for the town, 5.344, in

    13 1991.

    14 Q. Now, Major Rule, if I might just return for a

    15 second to the subject that we were discussing just

    16 before the lunch break, which was the strategic value

    17 of the location that Gornji Vakuf occupied, would you

    18 agree that the area of Central Bosnia in the vicinity

    19 of Gornji Vakuf and to the north, including Vitez,

    20 could be characterised as generally mountainous and

    21 inaccessible, except for roads which ran through

    22 valleys and passes, essentially?

    23 A. Yeah, large parts of it were inaccessible and

    24 very mountainous, yes.

    25 Q. Would you agree also that the conflict that

  94. 1 was going on in 1992 and 1993 could pretty accurately

    2 be characterised as a fight for control of strategic

    3 roadways?

    4 A. I wouldn't say that particular -- no, I

    5 wouldn't necessarily say that. I would say that a

    6 large element was the securing and the key to it was

    7 securing routes, but I wouldn't necessarily say that

    8 that was the only thing that people were fighting over.

    9 Q. But the predominant factor in the fights was

    10 a fight for control of the strategic roadways,

    11 junctions, main supply routes, or MSRs, I believe they

    12 are referred to in military parlance?

    13 A. Yes, they would have been perhaps the key

    14 military objectives, but through that, one's

    15 influence -- you know, by owning those locations, one's

    16 influence would spread, obviously.

    17 Q. Yes. Now, would it be fair to say that in

    18 October of 1992, Gornji Vakuf was really under joint

    19 HVO and Muslim control, with the Muslim commander being

    20 a gentleman by the name of Fahrudin Agic that you

    21 identified, and the HVO commander, the person that

    22 we've already referred to as Zrinko Tokic?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. Just so the Trial Chamber has a sense of the

    25 ethnic division, I believe that the Muslim component of

  95. 1 the total population of the town of Gornji Vakuf was in

    2 the region of 50 to 55 per cent.

    3 A. Yeah, that's the figure that I'm familiar

    4 with.

    5 Q. With the Croat population being about 40

    6 per cent, or in that range, and then the residue being

    7 a variety of other nationalities, principally Serbian?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. All right. You discussed the fighting in

    10 Prozor in October of 1992 in your examination in

    11 chief. Would it be fair to say that the civilians in

    12 Prozor were essentially pushed out of the area of

    13 combat?

    14 A. I wouldn't say all civilians. I mean there

    15 were still signs of civilians, you know, certainly as I

    16 passed through it shortly after the fighting, I could

    17 see evidence that civilians still lived there, yes.

    18 But, you know, subsequently having discussed it with

    19 people, it would appear that a certain element of the

    20 population had been pushed out of the town, yes.

    21 Q. Right. There was heavy fighting going on

    22 actually in the town, wasn't there?

    23 A. Yes. Yes, I believe that there was heavy

    24 fighting. It was reported to me that there was heavy

    25 fighting, yes.

  96. 1 Q. When the fighting died down, the civilians

    2 returned to the town, didn't they?

    3 A. I don't know exactly when. I don't believe

    4 that it was straightaway, but I believe that gradually,

    5 over the coming weeks, civilians did return to the

    6 town, yes.

    7 Q. Right, and they were permitted to do so by --

    8 A. Absolutely, yeah.

    9 Q. Okay. I would like to turn to the

    10 milinfosums that you spoke about during your

    11 examination in chief. The first one was the one that

    12 was identified -- it wasn't clear from the record -- as

    13 Z2981 or Z298,1. I think that it's Z298,1, the

    14 November 18th, 1992 incident.

    15 Now, you described this incident. Do you

    16 have a clear recollection of that incident right now,

    17 or are you relying primarily, to refresh your memory,

    18 upon what the milinfosum actually says?

    19 A. Not at all, and I was very -- we're talking

    20 about the beheading incident, presumably. No, it's not

    21 something that one forgets, you know, and I clearly

    22 recollect the incident and it being reported to me.

    23 Q. Now, as I understand it, what happened in

    24 this incident was that a drunken HVO soldier, fresh

    25 from the front, supposedly beheaded a soldier or a

  97. 1 disabled person with a sheet of glass.

    2 A. That's what was reported to us, yes.

    3 Q. You didn't see it yourself, did you?

    4 A. No, not at all.

    5 Q. You certainly have no recollection of any of

    6 the reports being made to you that it was actually a

    7 retarded child that was killed instead of a man, do

    8 you?

    9 A. It was reported to me that it was a

    10 handicapped man, yes.

    11 Q. Right.

    12 A. But I would say that, you know, this was -- I

    13 also had visitations from the Croatian side as well,

    14 who certainly didn't deny that this had happened and

    15 had actually informed me that the individual involved

    16 had been removed to Mostar, so there is a

    17 tacit acceptance that such an incident did take place

    18 on their side.

    19 Q. Who told you about the return of this

    20 culprit?

    21 A. As I said before, it was reported to me

    22 through my liaisons, through -- basically through my

    23 liaisons that this person had been seen, and of course

    24 again I didn't physically see him myself.

    25 Q. Right. Do you know whether your liaison

  98. 1 officers physically saw the gentleman --

    2 A. No, they wouldn't have seen him, no.

    3 Q. So you have no idea whether, in fact, this

    4 gentleman had, in fact, returned to the Gornji Vakuf

    5 area or not?

    6 A. No, absolutely not. It was reported to me

    7 that it had been seen. I can't corroborate that any

    8 further.

    9 Q. All right. Now, how far away from Gornji

    10 Vakuf is Bugojno?

    11 A. Roughly, without looking at the map, I would

    12 say about six or -- seven or eight miles, something

    13 like that.

    14 Q. All right. In all events, relatively close?

    15 A. Yes, certainly. When it was being shelled,

    16 we could very, very clearly hear the shelling that went

    17 on.

    18 Q. All right. On the 18th of November, it was

    19 reported that -- and I'm reading from Z298,1, on the

    20 second page under the heading of "Gornji Vakuf and

    21 Bugojno". The comment is that there are two brigades

    22 in Bugojno. One of them was an ABiH brigade, one of

    23 them an HVO brigade, and they both together seemed to

    24 be producing an effective and coordinated defence of

    25 the Bugojno area?

  99. 1 A. Absolutely, and it was certainly in my area

    2 of responsibility and in my interest to find out

    3 exactly what was happening in Bugojno, and that was the

    4 impression at that stage, certainly.

    5 Q. Now, did the BiH launch a coordinated attack

    6 on two axes two days later in the Gornji Vakuf area

    7 against Croats?

    8 A. In the Gornji Vakuf area?

    9 Q. Yes.

    10 A. No.

    11 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, I would just like

    12 to show Major Rule one other milinfosum, milinfosum

    13 number 19, dated 20 November 1992.

    14 THE REGISTRAR: Document D46/1.

    15 MR. SAYERS:

    16 Q. Now, Major Rule, I would just like to draw

    17 your attention to the very last page, page 6 of this

    18 document, under the heading "Gornji Vakuf." It says

    19 here that, "The OC of B Company, --" and that means the

    20 commanding officer; right?

    21 A. Yeah, officer commanding.

    22 Q. "-- Major Rule, spoke with the Bosnian army

    23 commander," and then in brackets "GV," and I guess that

    24 means "Gornji Vakuf."

    25 A. Correct.

  100. 1 Q. " -- this morning. He claimed that the

    2 Bosnian army had mounted an offensive last night on two

    3 axes. The first axes was towards Gornji Vakuf, and the

    4 second to the village of Radanovici." Where is

    5 Radanovici?

    6 A. I'm not sure, but that's in error. What he

    7 means is "Donji Vakuf," not "Gornji Vakuf." Donji

    8 Vakuf was to the north of Bugojno. It had always been

    9 an objective of the Muslim army, BiH, to recapture

    10 Donji Vakuf, and that is a misinterpretation of what I

    11 reported. I clearly remember being briefed on this

    12 offensive which apparently pieces out into nothing, and

    13 I believe that that "Gornji Vakuf" is in error on his

    14 part and actually it should read "Donji Vakuf."

    15 Q. The person who fills out this milinfosum goes

    16 on to say that the Bosnian army forces had received HVO

    17 artillery support on their offensive towards Donji

    18 Vakuf. Do you see that?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Then the comment is, "The forces cutting the

    21 main road are alleged to have been led by the

    22 Mujahedin"; right?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. Were you ever able to assess the accuracy of

    25 that information?

  101. 1 A. The only time I ever saw Mujahedin, you know,

    2 in the true sense, was on that roadblock in Vitez. I

    3 never saw, at any other stage, Mujahedin.

    4 Q. Fair enough.

    5 A. But this was an issue that sort of bubbled

    6 along whilst we were there. There was always a lot of

    7 talk about offensives to Donji Vakuf to try and

    8 recapture it, but actually, at the end of the day, not

    9 a great deal happened. And we, right at the end of it,

    10 came to the conclusion that they were just trying to

    11 frighten the Serbs out of Donji Vakuf by creating all

    12 this traffic and -- all this signal traffic, and that

    13 they would be able to walk into Donji Vakuf unopposed.

    14 Q. So the Serbs were actually occupying Donji

    15 Vakuf --

    16 A. Yes, they were.

    17 Q. -- at this point?

    18 A. Yeah. Yes.

    19 Q. With what kind of force? Do you know?

    20 A. I don't know. I don't know.

    21 Q. Do you know whether they had artillery

    22 support?

    23 A. They would have definitely had artillery

    24 support. It was very close to the front line of

    25 Bugojno, and Bugojno was a -- you know, a centre of --

  102. 1 it was certainly a main objective. We felt it was a

    2 main objective for the Serb forces, yes. But Donji

    3 Vakuf is very close to there, so, you know, any Serb

    4 troops in that vicinity would have been influential in

    5 that area.

    6 Q. All right. Passing on to the next item,

    7 which is the testimony that you gave about the HOS

    8 troops; do you recall that?

    9 A. Yes. Yeah.

    10 Q. Who was it that saw these HOS troops?

    11 A. It could have been any one of a number of

    12 patrols that reported back through Colour-Sergeant

    13 Williams, who then reported to me, and indeed, to

    14 battalion headquarters.

    15 Q. But do you know if any of your patrols

    16 actually saw these people, themselves?

    17 A. I believe they did. I believe that those

    18 sightings were sightings by my own soldiers, my own

    19 liaison officers.

    20 Q. All right. Let me show you, if I may -- I'll

    21 ask the usher to pick this up -- it's milinfosum number

    22 33, on the 4th of December, 1992.

    23 THE REGISTRAR: Document D47/1.

    24 MR. SAYERS:

    25 Q. Before we look at this document, was it usual

  103. 1 in milinfosums to report when a call sign, a C/S, was

    2 the source of the report, or when there may have been

    3 other sources of these reports?

    4 A. Not necessarily. Not necessarily.

    5 Q. All right. If you would just turn to the

    6 last page of this document, under the "Gornji Vakuf"

    7 heading; it's page 3. The observation is made that

    8 the credibility of these forces cannot be assessed in

    9 reference to reports about the HOS soldiers. Do you

    10 agree with that?

    11 A. Yeah, I mean that's -- yes, that's a battalion

    12 perspective that is being put on that. I wouldn't

    13 necessarily agree with that statement. You know, that

    14 was an assessment that was made above me.

    15 Q. Right. But you would agree that you didn't

    16 see these units yourself?

    17 A. I personally didn't see them, no.

    18 Q. You don't know whether any of the soldiers

    19 under your command personally saw them either, do you?

    20 A. I can't give you names, no, but it is my

    21 impression they were seen by subunits from my company,

    22 yes.

    23 Q. All right. Let me turn to the next subject,

    24 which was your testimony about the two platoons from

    25 the 1st Tiger Brigade. You did not see these soldiers

  104. 1 yourself, did you?

    2 A. No, I didn't. No.

    3 Q. Do you know whether any of your soldiers, any

    4 of your subordinates, actually saw these units?

    5 A. Yes, I believe that they were reported by my

    6 subunits.

    7 Q. All right. I would like you -- or the usher

    8 to show you the document that was marked as milinfosum

    9 45; I think it's Z298,2.

    10 Now, if you take a look first at the document

    11 that was marked as Z298,2, which is milinfosum number

    12 45, on December the 16th. The second page says that,

    13 quote: "This cell cannot confirm the presence of HV

    14 troops north of Mostar." Do you see that?

    15 A. Absolutely, yeah.

    16 Q. Is that true?

    17 A. Absolutely, yes.

    18 Q. The observation also is that, quote, "A

    19 number of soldiers were noted to be wearing a Tigers

    20 badge on the left sleeve." Do you know who observed

    21 that?

    22 A. Again, I believe it to be soldiers from my

    23 company, but you also must remember that this road was

    24 the only route, the only admin. route in to my

    25 location, and so there would have been considerable

  105. 1 military -- as well as military, administrative traffic

    2 along that route, and they certainly would have been

    3 spotted by British soldiers.

    4 Q. Do you know whether they were or they were

    5 not?

    6 A. I can't precisely remember whether they were

    7 soldiers from under my command, but my recollection is

    8 that they were, yes.

    9 Q. Now, these people were lightly armed,

    10 according to this milinfosum?

    11 A. Yeah.

    12 Q. All right. Is that true?

    13 A. Yes, it must be. Yes.

    14 Q. And do you know what the number of soldiers

    15 was in this milinfosum?

    16 A. Again, you're referring to an individual

    17 milinfosum. It was my perception that there were --

    18 two platoons is a number that I recollect as being the

    19 number of soldiers that were wearing this type of

    20 uniform and wearing combat clothing which could be

    21 considered, perhaps, smarter than one would normally

    22 see in that area by the more irregular troops.

    23 Q. And do you know when these troops, if they

    24 were indeed there, supposedly left the area?

    25 A. No, I don't.

  106. 1 Q. I'd just like to show you milinfosum

    2 number 65, dated January the 4th, 1993, if I may.

    3 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked

    4 D48/1.

    5 MR. SAYERS:

    6 Q. Now, Major Rule, I apologise in advance that

    7 the type on this is faint, but this is the best copy

    8 that we've got. What I'd like to do is just turn your

    9 attention to page 2, under "Gornji Vakuf." It says the

    10 HVO checkpoint just to the north of Prozor is reported

    11 to have been decreased greatly in strength. The more

    12 professional-looking soldiers, many of whom had been

    13 seen wearing a Tigers head badge, were reported to be

    14 no longer present.

    15 A. Yes, I remember that. Yes.

    16 Q. So by January the 4th, these detachments were

    17 no longer in your area of operations?

    18 A. I don't think you could say that. They

    19 certainly weren't apparently in view to us at that

    20 particular point, no. Whether they were elsewhere in

    21 the region, we don't know.

    22 Q. All right. Let me just read you a part of a

    23 statement that Major-General Roderick Cordy-Simpson has

    24 provided to the Prosecution, and let me lead off,

    25 before I ask you that question: Who was Major-General

  107. 1 Roderick Cordy-Simpson?

    2 A. He was at Kiseljak. I believe his correct

    3 title was he was the deputy U.N. commander. He wasn't

    4 in the national United Kingdom chain of command. He

    5 was in the United Nations chain of command, based at

    6 Kiseljak.

    7 Q. Well, Major-General Cordy-Simpson says, on

    8 page 7 of his statement, quote: "I heard that HV

    9 soldiers were operating in the Gornji Vakuf and Mostar

    10 areas in December 1992 and January 1993. We had heard

    11 that they were wearing a different badge to those

    12 normally worn by Croatian regular forces. This

    13 information came in the form of rumours, and I had no

    14 proof of this."

    15 Did you have any proof of the fact that HV

    16 soldiers had been seen north of Mostar?

    17 A. I never stated that I knew of HV soldiers

    18 being north of Mostar. It was reported by my subunits,

    19 and it was certainly more than rumour, that soldiers,

    20 properly dressed, were wearing a Tigers badge. And

    21 that is what was reported to me; that is what my

    22 soldiers saw. Whether or not they were HV or not, I

    23 don't know.

    24 Q. Turning to the next item chronologically in

    25 your testimony, you described an incident where a bomb

  108. 1 went off at the ABiH headquarters on January the 11th

    2 of 1993.

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. Isn't it true that you have no proof of who

    5 was responsible for that?

    6 A. No, although it was outside a Muslim

    7 building, which ...

    8 Q. When you say "no," you mean you have no proof

    9 of it, or it's not true?

    10 A. Sorry.

    11 Q. It's all right.

    12 A. I have no proof, although the bomb itself was

    13 planted outside a Muslim building.

    14 Q. All right. Now, you described the fighting

    15 that flared up on January the 12th. Have you actually

    16 read the description of that in Colonel -- or

    17 Lieutenant-Colonel Stewart's book?

    18 A. I may have done. I can't recall the passage

    19 now.

    20 Q. On page 205, he says, "It was 12 January that

    21 a full-scale battle between the Croats and Muslims

    22 developed in and around the town of Gornji Vakuf. This

    23 flareup just happened spontaneously, and we never

    24 discovered its cause." Would you agree with that?

    25 A. No, I would definitely not agree with that.

  109. 1 And Colonel Stewart and myself often didn't agree about

    2 things.

    3 Q. All right. Would it be fair to say that you

    4 have never met Dario Kordic?

    5 A. Yes, that would be fair to say.

    6 Q. And you've obviously, therefore, never spoken

    7 to him?

    8 A. I don't believe I have, no.

    9 Q. When you needed a problem solved in the

    10 Gornji Vakuf area, who would you go to?

    11 A. It was normally the other way around. If

    12 there was a problem, they came to me.

    13 Q. But if you ever needed a problem solved, who

    14 is it that you would go to on the Croat side?

    15 A. On the Croat side it was Zrinko Tokic, if he

    16 was available, and then the next senior commander if he

    17 wasn't.

    18 Q. Would it be fair to say that you're not aware

    19 of Mr. Kordic ever having been in the town of Gornji

    20 Vakuf, or the municipality, or in your area of

    21 operations?

    22 A. I'm not aware that he was there, no.

    23 Q. You know nothing about him; right?

    24 A. I know very little -- yes, I know nothing

    25 about him.

  110. 1 MR. SAYERS: I think that concludes my

    2 questioning, Your Honour. Thank you.

    3 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

    4 Yes, Mr. Kovacic.

    5 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

    6 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:

    7 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)

    8 Q. Major Rule, let me introduce myself. My name

    9 is Bozidar Kovacic. I'm an attorney from Rijeka, and

    10 alongside Mr. Mikulicic, I represent Mr. Mario Cerkez

    11 in this matter. Please, because of interpretation, if

    12 I'm going too fast or if I'm not clear enough, please

    13 stop me, and I will rephrase or repeat the question.

    14 Major Rule, you arrived in Vitez for the

    15 first time 19 or 20 October, 1992, if my understanding

    16 of what you've said is correct; is that correct?

    17 A. Yes. Yes, I believe so.

    18 Q. Thank you. I'm not sure that I understood

    19 what route your unit took in order to get there, so

    20 with the usher's assistance, or perhaps you have a map

    21 there, to your right, you have the map which we've been

    22 using. Could you please show us the route which you

    23 took when you first came to Vitez.

    24 A. From Split, up this road (indicating),

    25 crossing the border here (indicating), and then -- yes,

  111. 1 it was around the southern part of the lake. This main

    2 road obviously went into Serb-held territory, and we

    3 went over the mountain road. Tomislavgrad, and then

    4 over the mountain road to Rumboci, to Prozor, over

    5 Makljen, down into Gornji Vakuf, where I stayed the

    6 night, and the main party moved on up this road here

    7 (indicating) to Novi Travnik, up to this main junction

    8 here (indicating), and then down to Nova Bila and

    9 subsequently on to Vitez. And that was the route.

    10 Q. Thank you. So the first section of the road,

    11 around Busko Lake, when you crossed over from Croatia

    12 into Bosnia, you bypassed or you went around the area

    13 controlled by the Serbs?

    14 A. Absolutely. We went to the south of the

    15 lake. We never crossed any front lines at any stage.

    16 Q. So the eastern route which you took, the

    17 Tomislavgrad, was controlled by the Croats; right?

    18 A. I mean, I can't absolutely say for sure that

    19 it was, but yes, as far as we were concerned, it was in

    20 Croatian-controlled territory, yes.

    21 Q. You had no problems all the way clear through

    22 Gornji Vakuf; is that correct?

    23 A. No, no problems.

    24 Q. The last portion of the road, between Gornji

    25 Vakuf and Travnik, along this mountain road, over

  112. 1 Pavlovica, do you know who controlled most of that

    2 territory, most of that area?

    3 A. I don't think it was controlled mostly by one

    4 side. Each village seemed to be of a different ethnic

    5 makeup. One was Croatian, one was Muslim, and that was

    6 generally the feeling, you know, it wasn't controlled

    7 by one particular area. It was very small, local areas

    8 which were controlled by various factions, yes. But I

    9 don't believe, strategically, the whole valley was

    10 controlled by anybody.

    11 Q. We have not actually reached the valley yet,

    12 but let's say the northern part of the road, between

    13 Pavlovica and Rankovici: Was not that portion of the

    14 road almost exclusively under the control of the

    15 Muslims? That is, the northern section of that road,

    16 say, from Gornji Vakuf to Novi Travnik, so between

    17 Pavlovica to Novi Travnik, that portion of the road was

    18 almost completely controlled by the Muslim side?

    19 A. Yes, if you said that, I would have to agree,

    20 but I can't recall that that particular section was

    21 almost completely dominated by the Muslims. But I

    22 really can't remember.

    23 Q. Can we then conclude that the Croatian side

    24 never put up any obstacles to your passage all the way

    25 to Gornji Vakuf?

  113. 1 A. Roadblocks were relatively frequently erected

    2 along that route, depending on how secure the

    3 communities were feeling at that time. I was stopped

    4 at many roadblocks, but I was never, finally, after

    5 sometimes protracted negotiation, I was never finally

    6 prevented from passing through a roadblock.

    7 Q. Could you define how you use the words

    8 "blockade" or "roadblock" or "checkpoint"? Would you

    9 make a distinction between the two, "roadblock" and

    10 "checkpoint"?

    11 A. I will make a distinction, but it's not

    12 necessarily a distinction that somebody else might

    13 make.

    14 Q. Certainly.

    15 A. A roadblock is where your path is physically

    16 blocked; i.e., you are physically prevented from

    17 passing through it. A checkpoint may be a soldier

    18 standing at the side of the road who may wave you down

    19 but not physically place something in the road that

    20 will prevent you from passing through, like a mine, or

    21 a barrier, or something like that.

    22 Q. So you can pass the roadblock too, but once

    23 the force that controls it let's you through?

    24 A. Correct, yes. They move aside the barriers

    25 that are preventing us getting through, like mines. We

  114. 1 would never touch a mine, for example. We would always

    2 insist on the other forces moving the mines to allow us

    3 through.

    4 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Thank you. May

    5 I ask for the usher's assistance for the introduction

    6 of a map, please?

    7 THE REGISTRAR: Document D35/2.

    8 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)

    9 Q. When you entered Vitez itself, you mentioned

    10 that barrier in Bila, and the way you describe it, it

    11 was near the Bosna Construction Company. That's where

    12 you mentioned those couple of Mujahedins were and the

    13 bus which was placed across the road. On the map, on

    14 the extreme left, I marked the position as you

    15 described it. Is that mark accurate?

    16 A. Roughly accurate. It may have been one or

    17 two hundred metres north or south of -- probably south,

    18 but that's roughly as I remember. It was certainly

    19 before the turn-off to the school, a dirt track which

    20 led up to the school, yes, and before -- I think there

    21 was a river bridge as well, and it was slightly before

    22 that, yes.

    23 Q. Very well. So roughly plus or minus 100

    24 metres. So this was the barricade controlled by the

    25 Muslim forces, that is, the northwestern part and

  115. 1 controlling the road to Bila, and this was on the main

    2 thoroughfare going through the Lasva River Valley; is

    3 that correct?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. The other troops obviously could not pass

    6 through this point?

    7 A. Which other troops?

    8 Q. Croatian, Serbian, any other, not your own.

    9 A. We were the only people that were moving on

    10 the roads at that time.

    11 Q. You were allowed to pass after some

    12 negotiations. After some convincing, you finally got

    13 permission to get through?

    14 A. I wouldn't quite call it "threatening," but

    15 it took, by Colonel Stewart himself, quite forthright

    16 negotiations to allow him to get through there.

    17 Q. I know that it is hard for you to remember

    18 all the details, but approximately how much did you

    19 have to wait in order to be given this permission;

    20 five, seven, three hours, how long?

    21 A. No, no, no, not hours. Ten, fifteen

    22 minutes. The individuals were very wary about being

    23 engaged by the Croat position that was above them, and

    24 when he moved out to speak to us, he was taking cover.

    25 I was actually standing beside Colonel Stewart as he

  116. 1 spoke to him, but he sort of ran out, dismissed us, ran

    2 back in again, and after a couple of more times, he

    3 eventually ran out, jumped into the driver's seat of

    4 the coach, drove the coach across, and I can't remember

    5 whether he actually moved -- I remember clearly mines

    6 with tilt switches on them. I think he may have moved

    7 one of those as well and then allowed -- which allowed

    8 us to go through and drive up to the school.

    9 Q. This fire which came in the direction of this

    10 Muslim position, from which position was it coming,

    11 what cardinal point, I mean; north, south? Could you

    12 show it on the map?

    13 A. Well, we were sitting in the school which --

    14 I'm trying to find exactly where the school is. It

    15 must have been about here, I suppose, about here

    16 (indicating). I can't make that out. It was about

    17 there, and we could see from over this area here

    18 (indicating) just off the map, on a piece of high

    19 ground, a knoll, a small hill, was sitting this gun

    20 which we could see, and we saw the trace of fire come

    21 down into the general vicinity down here. We couldn't

    22 actually see the roadblock itself from where we were,

    23 but we could certainly see that the Bofors gun and saw

    24 that the rounds were coming in in this direction.

    25 Q. So the fire was coming from the direction of

  117. 1 north-northwest?

    2 A. Yes. Very roughly, yes. If I had a proper

    3 map, I could probably be more accurate.

    4 Q. Did you ever hear, sometime later, how long

    5 did this Muslim checkpoint exist in 1993? Since you

    6 left after a while, did you ever hear about how long it

    7 actually was in existence altogether?

    8 A. The following day, the recce party left the

    9 area of Vitez, but we left two liaison officers --

    10 well, a small detachment of up to about five men,

    11 including two liaison officers and signallers, in the

    12 school. I probably came back up there four or five

    13 days later, and it was certainly gone by then.

    14 Q. Did you have an opportunity to see whether

    15 the BH army units remained at this location of this

    16 Bosna Construction Company premises, the plant, whether

    17 they were fortified there, around that area? Did you

    18 receive any reports in that regard or did you make your

    19 own observations?

    20 A. I wasn't based in Vitez, and you would

    21 probably be better asking somebody who was permanently

    22 based in Vitez about that. But certainly during the

    23 period immediately before the main regimental body

    24 came, I went up to Vitez on a couple of occasions and I

    25 didn't notice any significant military presence in that

  118. 1 location.

    2 Q. Thank you. Can you now tell me, please, this

    3 same day when you first arrived there, when you found

    4 that barricade near Bila, that is, Mosunj, did you have

    5 any information that there was also a barricade erected

    6 by the Muslim forces due east, near the village of

    7 Ahmici?

    8 A. No, no, and the recce party wouldn't have

    9 been aware of that at all. It was certainly beyond the

    10 scope of the task that the recce party was attempting

    11 to conduct, so we wouldn't have been aware of that.

    12 Q. Did you learn, within the framework of your

    13 overall security considerations, whether there ever was

    14 a barricade erected in that area at that time?

    15 A. Again, I wouldn't have been aware of that,

    16 because my zone of operations was to the south, and it

    17 wouldn't have been something with which I was concerned

    18 with, certainly not in that detail.

    19 Q. Did you ever, later on during your stay in

    20 Central Bosnia, see any Mujahedin units or any other

    21 units which also had Mujahedin elements in them?

    22 A. That was the only time that I remember seeing

    23 Mujahedin, in the pure sense of the word, i.e., wearing

    24 the Mujahedin clothing, the hat or whatever they call

    25 it, and being of sort of that ethnic grouping.

  119. 1 Q. If I can only take a step back to the

    2 markings of the barricade at Bila, could you, on the

    3 map -- perhaps I can ask the usher's assistance to give

    4 you a marker so that you can mark it for us. Could you

    5 please give the witness a marker so he can mark the

    6 location of the barricade which we just talked about so

    7 that we can have it in the transcript.

    8 A. I remember that it was adjacent to some sort

    9 of cafe, because there was a television journalist who

    10 was attempting to drive through there and had been shot

    11 at and was taking cover in the cafe, and he assumed the

    12 cover of our convoy to drive out with us. His name was

    13 Dan Damon of Sky News. But I would say that that must

    14 be -- that the mark here looks pretty right to me,

    15 about there (indicating).

    16 Q. This would be, more or less, the exact

    17 location where this Muslim barricade was?

    18 A. I would rather look at a proper map in

    19 colour, but that is as accurate, I believe, as I can

    20 make it.

    21 Q. Of course. Since you mentioned Mr. Dan Damon

    22 who filmed in that area, did he take any footage of the

    23 Mujahedin at that time, if you know?

    24 A. I don't believe he did. I think he was too

    25 concerned with getting out of that tight situation he

  120. 1 was in. I think he was with his wife as well, but I

    2 don't believe they were filming at that stage, but I

    3 don't know. I can't remember having seen any news

    4 reports or anything.

    5 Q. Perhaps we can remove the small map and go

    6 back to 2612, the large colour map.

    7 Major, you're a professional soldier, so I am

    8 just going to assume that you read maps better than I

    9 do. But looking at the roads through the Lasva River

    10 Valley near Vitez, there are markings, two different

    11 numbers. This is in green. Do you know what these

    12 markings are? In the green box, there is an "E." Does

    13 that stand for "Europe" or "European route"?

    14 A. Yeah, I assumes it just stands for -- whether

    15 it stands for "Europe," I don't know, but it is a

    16 numerical and alphabetical designation for a specific

    17 road, yes.

    18 Q. May I conclude from it, and by also the way

    19 the road was marked, that this was a major road, that

    20 this was a thoroughfare?

    21 A. Yes, very much so. This was a major road

    22 which could take large vehicles passing each other,

    23 tarmacked. Yes, a principal route.

    24 Q. Would it be correct to assume that when you

    25 look at all of it, that it controls the main passage

  121. 1 through Central Bosnia and that it connects through

    2 Bugojno and Jajce, connects to the major north-south

    3 routes?

    4 A. Yes, yes.

    5 Q. Do I conclude that and can you, as a soldier,

    6 say that this was a strategically-major road, that

    7 those who controlled this road controlled the entire

    8 area, the territory that the road covered?

    9 A. I'm slightly outside my area of expertise

    10 here, because this is an area which I didn't operate in

    11 on a daily basis. But certainly it is a significant

    12 route, control of which would be important.

    13 Q. Do you recall, either from personal

    14 observation or from reading about it, that there is

    15 major high ground surrounding this road, in other

    16 words, that there are mountains and hills?

    17 A. It's a wide valley. It's not a

    18 highly-precipitous valley. It is not like the valley

    19 that you see, sorry, coming up this road, for example

    20 (indicating), which is very, very steep on either

    21 side. It's almost, you know, sheer faces on either

    22 side. Here the valley is much wider (indicating).

    23 There are small hills, but the principal ranges are set

    24 further back from the road.

    25 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to another area.

  122. 1 You said something about uniforms, but I

    2 think that you gave a response to my colleague, counsel

    3 for Mr. Kordic, so I will skip that.

    4 Now, I would like the usher to please show

    5 the witness 2983. Let me point you to the last

    6 paragraph above the sketch.

    7 From your previous responses in

    8 cross-examination, I concluded that there were all

    9 kinds of uniforms, that people were wearing whatever

    10 they could find. Could I conclude that the same sort

    11 applied to the vehicles as well?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. Is it true that neither of the two sides in

    14 the Muslim-Croat conflict, or perhaps we can even

    15 include the Serbian forces, as a rule could not be

    16 recognised necessarily by the uniforms, by the weapons,

    17 and by vehicles? I'm talking about uniforms as part of

    18 the standard equipment or apparel.

    19 A. I wouldn't say that with regard to the

    20 Serbs. However, with regard to the HVO and BiH, there

    21 was generally a different uniform. The HVO had a sort

    22 of American-style, disruptive-pattern material

    23 generally, -- this is very general and it is a general

    24 rule -- whereas the BiH, their style of disruptive

    25 pattern was different and, I think, probably more

  123. 1 reflected of what had been produced locally and perhaps

    2 what the Yugoslav national army may have worn. But I

    3 mean if you showed me the two varieties of combats, I

    4 could tell the difference. But it wasn't a hard and

    5 fast rule. It was only a general rule.

    6 Q. Thank you. As for the insignia on those

    7 uniforms worn by either army, were they always visible,

    8 were they always very clear? Or let me rephrase it.

    9 Your liaison officers, could they really draw

    10 reliable conclusions on the basis of the insignia which

    11 they saw?

    12 A. Yes, yes. I mean there were people that did

    13 not wear insignia. If soldiers were spotted without

    14 insignia, then no comment would have been made about

    15 it. I would say the majority, however, of soldiers did

    16 wear some form of insignia and which, you know, on

    17 reasonably close examination, you could tell one from

    18 the other. Again, not an absolute hard and fast rule

    19 but a general rule.

    20 Q. Is it then fair to conclude from all this

    21 that one needed to be more cautious when identifying

    22 and defining various groups, various troops, that is,

    23 whether one needs to pay more attention in order to

    24 determine which army some soldiers belonged to, to take

    25 a closer scrutiny of the insignia or uniforms or

  124. 1 whatever; would that be true?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. We didn't mention explicitly, neither you nor

    4 me, that we are talking about the Austrian markings on

    5 the -- Austrian flags and army signs on the vehicles;

    6 is that correct?

    7 A. These were two vehicles which obviously had

    8 been -- I don't know how they were got hold of, but

    9 they obviously had recently been used by the Austrian

    10 army and they had somehow fallen into -- I remember

    11 this incident or this occurrence quite clearly, and

    12 they obviously hadn't even changed the tactical

    13 markings on them by that stage. I think they even

    14 still had Austrian number plates on them.

    15 Q. To clarify it, the Austrian army was not part

    16 of the UNPROFOR in Bosnia?

    17 A. No, absolutely -- well, I don't believe they

    18 were. They certainly weren't operating in my area, and

    19 those vehicles were being used by HVO.

    20 Q. So I can conclude that the Austrian armed

    21 forces were not involved in any manner as a sort of

    22 assistance to the HVO or something?

    23 A. No, I certainly don't believe so, and

    24 obviously secondhand military equipment, you know, can

    25 be got hold of.

  125. 1 Q. So I can conclude that these vehicles were

    2 bought at some army dumps or something; could one say

    3 that?

    4 A. I don't know where they came from, but it is

    5 a safe -- well, it could be assumed that they were

    6 purchased from some discarded military depot, you know,

    7 that the vehicles had passed their use within the

    8 Austrian army and had been sold on, which does happen,

    9 I know, certainly in the British army.

    10 Q. As if probably the case with those uniforms

    11 that you spoke about when my learned friend, Steve

    12 Sayers, asked you about them?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 Q. That is also part of what we already talked

    15 about, and that is that insignia were not really a

    16 reliable indication, various badges and insignia. They

    17 could not really be taken as a reliable sign, could

    18 they?

    19 A. No, I wouldn't agree with that statement. I

    20 would say that where badges were shown, they were a

    21 clear indication that they represented who they were

    22 required to represent.

    23 Q. I see. But, for instance, the German flag on

    24 a soldier's uniform wasn't really a good basis for a

    25 conclusion that it was a German soldier, a member of

  126. 1 the German army, was it?

    2 A. Yes. The German surplus army uniform always

    3 carries a German flag on it, and it is worn all over

    4 Europe. What people don't wear, of course, is a BiH

    5 flash or an HVO flash, and where they were worn, then

    6 that was a clear indication to us that they represented

    7 the troops -- the badge represented the troops who wore

    8 them.

    9 Q. Thank you. Major Rule, may I read out to you

    10 just one sentence from your statement? I don't think

    11 we need to waste time in giving them to all.

    12 In your statement to the Tribunal

    13 investigators on the 27th and 28th of May, 1999,

    14 page 8, the first whole paragraph, you say that on the

    15 13th of January, 1993, around 10.00 a.m., the meeting

    16 took place of the senior commanders, and that Colonel

    17 Andrijevic and Zeljko Siljek represented the HVO. You

    18 also said that Andrijevic was an HV officer from

    19 Tomislavgrad, whereas Siljek had come from Mostar, and

    20 that the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was represented by

    21 General Merdan. You also told us today in your

    22 testimony.

    23 Then I also have a statement, also given to

    24 investigators on the 22nd of May, 1995, by Mr. Andrew

    25 David Williams, and he was your subordinate, and he

  127. 1 said that he was your superior and that you were

    2 succeeded by Alun Jones. On page 3 of his statement,

    3 he said, "For the military in the northwest region of

    4 Herzegovina."

    5 If I may, just one more thing. Today you

    6 said explicitly that Merdan and Seljo represented the

    7 army of B and H and then Andrijevic and Siljek the HVO,

    8 and I should also like to show you 59/3, if it could be

    9 shown to the witness, Z59/3. Could you also get Z2985,

    10 please, Z298,5.

    11 If I may draw your attention to the last

    12 sentence in this second fragment.

    13 Please, before we begin, usher, will you

    14 please take also this document, 298,5, so as to have it

    15 at hand. Page 3, but will you just keep it at hand?

    16 We shall first finish with the first one.

    17 (In English) ... when we finish this, or

    18 maybe we can continue with the next one.

    19 (Interpretation) Major Rule, the document

    20 that you have before you --

    21 A. Is that correct, this one here?

    22 Q. It is, yes. The last sentence of this second

    23 paragraph, could you please read it?

    24 A. "Although Gornji Vakuf is not in the zone of

    25 responsibility of the Central Bosnia regional staff,

  128. 1 Colonel Blaskic gave some information about the

    2 conflicts in this town."

    3 Q. Thank you. Now will you look at the second

    4 document, Z298,5, page 3?

    5 These two lines first.

    6 A. Sorry, which two lines? The first two

    7 lines? "Colonel Andreivitch, the HVO Ops Zone

    8 commander, read the following message from his

    9 commander, a general in Mostar."

    10 Q. And on the basis of what we just saw and

    11 those two lines that you've just read out, would it be

    12 fair to conclude that Gornji Vakuf is not an Operative

    13 Zone in Central Bosnia, like Vitez and the whole area

    14 northeast of Gornji Vakuf? I hope I've jogged your

    15 memory with those two documents.

    16 JUDGE MAY: Unless the witness knows the

    17 answer to that, which I suspect he won't, it isn't

    18 really a matter for him. We shall have to hear

    19 evidence about it.

    20 Major Rule, do you know the answer to that

    21 question, or not?

    22 A. No, all I know is that the two commanders

    23 representing the HVO were -- I believed was a Colonel

    24 Andric, not Andrijevic, and I think there may have been

    25 a miswriting of it, and a Colonel Siljeg, who, I

  129. 1 believed, came from Mostar. That is my memory of that

    2 time.

    3 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)

    4 Q. In other words, these papers did not remind

    5 you of anything more than what you already said when

    6 you were examined in relation to the accused Kordic,

    7 did they?

    8 A. They haven't changed my mind, no.

    9 Q. Fine. Good enough.

    10 Tell us, wasn't it natural -- rather, wasn't

    11 it necessary -- I correct myself -- for an officer of

    12 your rank to be acquainted, to be familiar with

    13 operative zones, at least in your area: Which was the

    14 chain of command, what was the hierarchy, who accounted

    15 to whom? Wouldn't it have made your job easier?

    16 A. I was, in the first instance, concerned very

    17 clearly with my immediate area of operations, and I've

    18 said before that I do believe, and even the HVO may --

    19 I can't answer for them, but there was -- this was at a

    20 juncture where a number of areas of responsibility met;

    21 and whilst it may have sat in one particular zone, then

    22 it was influenced by a number of other zones as well.

    23 So I believe that other senior officers from other

    24 zones would have been very interested in what was

    25 happening at that location, and that shows -- or it

  130. 1 would describe why this area was confusing in terms of

    2 the chain of command, and it was confusing to us as

    3 well.

    4 Q. Okay. Thank you. And tell us, in the course

    5 of the negotiations between the Muslim and the Croat

    6 side -- and you told us about them; you told us that

    7 you tried to mediate and help -- did any of the HVO

    8 commanders mention that perhaps Blaskic should come, as

    9 the senior officer, or that they needed an

    10 authorisation from Blaskic as senior officer, or that

    11 Blaskic was his or their superior, or did Blaskic ever

    12 appear at such negotiations in Gornji Vakuf?

    13 A. I don't remember the name "Blaskic" being

    14 mentioned. And it was my feeling that the people

    15 representing the HVO were reporting directly back to

    16 Mostar.

    17 Q. Then tell me, please, Major Rule, if, in your

    18 area of responsibility, in Gornji Vakuf, did you ever

    19 meet the accused Mario Cerkez?

    20 A. Mario Cerkez is a name that doesn't mean

    21 much -- it's not a name I know, and I don't remember

    22 having met anybody of that name.

    23 Q. In Central Bosnia as such, or in Gornji Vakuf

    24 alone?

    25 A. I don't know that name at all. If you showed

  131. 1 me a photograph, I might recognise him; on the other

    2 hand, I might not. I don't know.

    3 Q. (In English) This gentleman in the courtroom

    4 who is sitting on the right side to the security

    5 officer: Have you ever seen him?

    6 A. I can't be sure. The face does ring a vague

    7 bell, but I can't remember when. It does seem slightly

    8 familiar to me.

    9 Q. (In English) Perhaps from the newspaper?

    10 A. Possibly.

    11 Q. (In English) Thank you. Thank you.

    12 (Interpretation) Does "Djemal Merdan" mean

    13 anything to you? Does it remind you of anything?

    14 A. Yes, I met him, and I would recognise him if

    15 I saw him.

    16 Q. Is it true that he was the commander of the

    17 3rd Corps of the ABiH, or the Bosnian army?

    18 A. I believe he was the deputy at that time.

    19 Q. Is it true that the 3rd Corps operated in the

    20 territory of Central Bosnia, including Gornji Vakuf and

    21 Vitez?

    22 A. Yes. That was my understanding, yes.

    23 Q. In other words, they operated over a very

    24 large territory?

    25 A. Yes. And a corps is a large military

  132. 1 organisation.

    2 Q. Tell us, you already told us about that

    3 horrendous incident in November 1992, and if I

    4 understood you properly, you told us that this soldier

    5 came back from the front at Radusa. What kind of a

    6 front was that? Was it the front which the Muslims and

    7 Croats kept against the Serbs?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. So at that time, in late 1992 and early 1993,

    10 you were aware that the Muslims and Croats jointly had

    11 a joint defence against Serbs at several places at

    12 different locations?

    13 A. I don't believe that the defence was joint.

    14 It was certainly a defence line, but the two areas were

    15 separate, and certainly, during that time, there wasn't

    16 significant fighting in that region.

    17 Q. So they had different sectors along the front

    18 line against the Serbs, against the Chetniks, JNA; that

    19 is what I mean.

    20 A. I went to visit, to observe the front line

    21 once, and it was clear that the two -- certainly that

    22 where I saw, there were two separate areas. They

    23 didn't operate together; they operated separately.

    24 They had two different sectors, or perhaps a number of

    25 different sectors.

  133. 1 Q. As a civilian, were those sectors -- did all

    2 those sectors serve as a defence against the Serbs,

    3 regardless of whether they were separated or not?

    4 A. I'm a little bit unclear exactly as to what

    5 actually took place up at that front line. I knew that

    6 there had been fighting, but certainly whilst I was in

    7 Gornji Vakuf, there wasn't a great deal of fighting at

    8 that time. But ostensibly, I was aware that there was

    9 a joint front line held by both HVO and BiH, as there

    10 was in Bugojno.

    11 Q. Have you ever heard that they held a joint

    12 defence line separated into sectors, that is true, on

    13 Vlasic, west of Travnik, at Turbe?

    14 A. Again, outside of my area of intimate

    15 knowledge, but I believe that there was some sort of

    16 joint defence up there.

    17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, it's now 5 to 4.00.

    18 The witness has been cross-examined for about the same

    19 time as he was examined in chief, and I really think

    20 it's probably time to call it a day. Is there very

    21 much more you want to ask him about?

    22 MR. KOVACIC: No, Your Honour, I don't think

    23 really too much, only a couple of questions, and more

    24 or less only of clarifying nature.

    25 Q. Major Rule, very briefly, please, will you

  134. 1 try to be as succinct as possible. Did you personally

    2 visit local commanders, either of the HVO or the ABiH?

    3 Did you ever visit them on their premises? Were there

    4 any such instances? "Yes" or "No," please.

    5 A. Yes, frequently.

    6 Q. And on those occasions, your safety was

    7 presumably one of the factors, I mean, your personal

    8 safety? Was it a matter of concern?

    9 A. Yes, I had to be aware of placing myself in a

    10 dangerous position, yes. Sometimes --

    11 Q. But tell me, if you used a vehicle to go

    12 there, would it be an APC or some other type of

    13 armoured vehicle?

    14 A. Where in particular? Are you talking about

    15 the headquarters, or going to a front line?

    16 Q. I'm referring to headquarters.

    17 A. Yes. I would generally go in a Land Rover,

    18 if I knew that there wasn't any report of fighting in

    19 the area.

    20 Q. And would you have armed escort? I don't

    21 know, one, two, soldiers, with you, escorting you?

    22 A. Yes, I would always take an escort with me.

    23 Q. And the escort would be with you right to the

    24 door of the office in which you had those meetings?

    25 A. Yes, but the escort wouldn't be involved in

  135. 1 the meetings. I would -- yes.

    2 Q. Yes, naturally.

    3 A. They would be outside the door, but sometimes

    4 I would take my company sergeant-major or my company

    5 liaison officer with me.

    6 Q. Is it true it is from some other meetings,

    7 from meetings with (indiscernible), and as to the

    8 escort, these guards, these soldiers usually had

    9 rifles, not only pistols and small arms?

    10 A. They would be carrying rifles, yes.

    11 Q. (In English) Sir, may I conclude that

    12 security was really actually highly visible?

    13 A. There were two British soldiers, wearing

    14 uniforms that were clearly British, and carrying

    15 long-barrelled weapons, yes.

    16 Q. (In English) Certainly the policy was not low

    17 profile?

    18 A. No. No.

    19 Q. (In English) Thank you. Okay. Let's go

    20 further.

    21 A. If I drove to Bugojno when I knew it was

    22 shelling, I would make sure that I was in an armoured

    23 vehicle. If I was going near a front line, I perhaps

    24 wouldn't be quite so visible.

    25 Q. You mentioned this unit, the unit belonging

  136. 1 to the Tiger Brigade, and my learned friend on Kordic's

    2 defence team asked you about this. But just one

    3 question: After that, have you ever again received an

    4 information, a report, about spotting any unit with HV

    5 insignia north of Mostar? "Yes" or "No" only, please.

    6 A. No.

    7 Q. Thank you. At some point, you told us -- and

    8 let's not go back and waste any time; it is

    9 Exhibit 2481, and it was a request for the

    10 authorisation of 250 shells of 120 millimetres from the

    11 SPS factory; you remember what it's all about. You

    12 were asked about it, and you told us that it was quite

    13 possible to transport, those 150-or-so shells could be

    14 very easily transported. How many vehicles does one

    15 need for 150 120-millimetre shells? One, two, three,

    16 or how many?

    17 A. It depends how they are packaged, but if they

    18 are in their normal packaging, I would estimate that --

    19 two, possibly three vehicles.

    20 Q. Trucks, you mean?

    21 A. Trucks.

    22 Q. And let me ask you, which route would you

    23 take to do this? You said that they would be going

    24 from Vitez to Gornji Vakuf; which route would they

    25 take?

  137. 1 A. I'm not aware of -- I was only shown that --

    2 that message today, and I'm not sure what -- exactly

    3 where they were coming from.

    4 Q. Yes, but before, you hypothetically said it

    5 was possible, I mean trucks, that is, they could be

    6 transported. Did I understand you properly?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. But I'm wondering -- I just wonder, again,

    9 hypothetically, was it possible in terms of road, in

    10 terms of an accessible route, of an open route, whether

    11 there was such a free passage for them?

    12 A. I just don't know. I don't know of the

    13 vehicles, I don't know where they would have come from,

    14 I don't know what routes they might have used. There

    15 were a number of very circuitous routes that could have

    16 been used.

    17 Q. So you think that in early 1993, there were

    18 possible routes which the HVO could use to transport

    19 weapons to another HVO area without --

    20 JUDGE MAY: I think, Mr. Kovacic, we've heard

    21 enough about this.

    22 MR. KOVACIC: (In English) Thank you.

    23 JUDGE MAY: Now, have you got anything else?

    24 MR. KOVACIC: (In English) I'm just checking,

    25 Your Honour. I'm asking just for one minute to check.

  138. 1 Your Honours, I believe I have no further

    2 questions. Thank you.

    3 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

    4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I have a

    5 few clarifications, very rapidly, Your Honour.

    6 Re-examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:

    7 Q. Major Rule, on several occasions, mention was

    8 made of the population of Gornji Vakuf. I looked at

    9 the numbers, the figures for that population, and the

    10 census of 1991 gives us some figures. Would you agree

    11 to say that the following figures, that the Croatian

    12 population of Gornji Vakuf was 42,5 per cent, the

    13 Muslim population was 55,8, and the Serb population

    14 was 0,4? Would you agree with those figures?

    15 A. The Serb population was 0,4? Certainly I

    16 agree with the Muslim and the Croatian figures. I

    17 certainly remember being told at Gornji Vakuf that the

    18 Muslim population was higher than that; it was more

    19 like 6 or 7 per cent.

    20 Q. The Serbian population?

    21 A. The Serbs, yes. But I may have been wrong.

    22 Q. In respect of the incident of the 18th of

    23 November and the beheading of the handicapped person, I

    24 thought that I understood that during the negotiations

    25 which you conducted with the HVO and representatives of

  139. 1 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that the incident was

    2 mentioned on several occasions, and even undermined, to

    3 some extent, the negotiations. During those

    4 negotiations, was any mention made of the return of the

    5 soldier to the front, and if so, did the HVO deny the

    6 fact that the soldier had gone back to the front?

    7 A. Are you talking about the stage of the

    8 initial -- when it was reported to me, and then the

    9 initial negotiation? No, that wasn't reported to me.

    10 Q. Subsequently?

    11 A. It was subsequently. I can't remember the

    12 exact date. It was subsequently reported to me, I

    13 think, shortly before I left, that this individual had

    14 been seen on the front line.

    15 Q. Were you able to question the officials of

    16 the HVO about that return, or that possible, alleged

    17 return of the soldier to the front lines?

    18 A. No, I never did.

    19 Q. In respect of the bomb that was placed near

    20 the BH army headquarters in that hotel that it occupied

    21 on the night of the 11th of January, I believe it was,

    22 is it possible, in your opinion, that the bomb was put

    23 there by Serbs?

    24 A. Highly unlikely.

    25 Q. Is it plausible, in your opinion, that the BH

  140. 1 army would itself have put the bomb into its own

    2 institution?

    3 A. Highly unlikely.

    4 Q. As regards the presence of those soldiers

    5 wearing the Tiger insignia on their left sleeves -- I

    6 think it was the left sleeves of their uniforms -- when

    7 you learned about that information, in the reports that

    8 were given, did it state that those were uniforms that

    9 were similar for all the soldiers? Were they new

    10 uniforms or surplus uniforms?

    11 A. I certainly recall at the time that it was

    12 more than simply a Tigers badge. The patrols reported

    13 that they appeared to be more professional-looking;

    14 they appeared to be smarter, neater, and equipped

    15 uniformly, as a regular soldier would look. And a

    16 regular soldier would be able to pinpoint another

    17 regular soldier. He would also be able to

    18 differentiate between an irregular soldier as well.

    19 Q. Do you remember whether at that time it might

    20 have been mentioned that it was excess gear, excess

    21 uniforms, surplus?

    22 A. No. I mean, I mentioned before that

    23 generally, as a general rule, the Croatians wore this

    24 U.S.-style -- I don't know whether it was manufactured

    25 there or manufactured locally, but this disrupted

  141. 1 pattern was the same style as the United States

    2 disrupted-pattern material, and that is generally what

    3 Croatian soldiers, Croatian HVO, wore. The Muslims

    4 were far less uniform in what they wore, but they

    5 generally wore one thing or another. These people were

    6 wearing, I believe were wearing webbing equipment, were

    7 wearing a combat uniform that was matching.

    8 Q. Were you told at the time that beyond -- or

    9 beside the Tiger insignia, the soldiers also were

    10 carrying an Austrian, a German, or a British flag on

    11 their uniforms?

    12 A. No. No, I'd just like to say that, you know,

    13 if there was a German flag, then it was obviously --

    14 you know, worn because the uniform that they were

    15 wearing was from German surplus requirements. If

    16 somebody was wearing a Croatian insignia or a Muslim or

    17 Bosnian, BiH insignia, it was very clear to us that

    18 they -- what side they were on.

    19 Q. As far as you know, is there a Tiger Regiment

    20 in the HVO military organisation?

    21 A. In the HVO military organisation? I don't

    22 believe so. We were aware of the Tiger formation in

    23 the HV army, and we were aware that it had a

    24 reputation, but I wasn't aware of any HVO unit that

    25 wore a Tigers badge, no.

  142. 1 Q. Do you know where that Croatian army unit was

    2 stationed, the one that had the Tiger insignia?

    3 A. I can't be specific. I think -- possibly --

    4 possibly Split.

    5 Q. Major Rule, on two or three occasions, I

    6 believe, the Defence asked you what your comments were

    7 about the civil war that was going on in the region. I

    8 also would have a question about that. Are you an

    9 expert in international criminal military law? Are you

    10 an expert in the question of international armed

    11 conflicts?

    12 JUDGE MAY: We're going to have to deal with

    13 all these problems. The witness gives the evidence.

    14 There's no need to answer, Major Rule.

    15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Thank you,

    16 Your Honour. I have one further question.

    17 JUDGE MAY: All right.

    18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I believe

    19 that the witness had located the name that he was

    20 looking for in the morning.

    21 Q. Could you give it to us, please?

    22 A. Mate Boban.

    23 Q. Thank you very much. My last question, about

    24 the Lasva Valley, referred to Colonel Stewart's book,

    25 "Broken Lives." You said, and I think I understood

  143. 1 you, that you didn't always agree with Colonel Stewart?

    2 A. That's certainly -- you know, certainly

    3 nothing unusual in a unit.

    4 Q. My last question would be the final one

    5 referring to this book, page 207, on the part that has

    6 to do with the Gornji Vakuf battle, which is, as I say

    7 on page 207, Colonel Stewart said: "It seemed that the

    8 Croats were trying to take the city from their

    9 positions in the hills." Would you agree, for once,

    10 with Colonel Stewart about that way of looking at the

    11 conflict in Gornji Vakuf?

    12 A. Yes. Yes, from the southern hills, yes.

    13 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) No further

    14 questions, Your Honour.

    15 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

    16 Major Rule, that concludes your evidence.

    17 You are released. Thank you for coming to the

    18 International Tribunal to give your evidence.

    19 Half past 9.00 tomorrow morning.

    20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

    21 4.10 p.m., to be reconvened on

    22 Wednesday, the 28th day of July,

    23 1999, at 9.30 a.m.