1 Wednesday, 28th July, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.30 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. Let the witness take the
10 declaration, please.
11 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Scott.
15 WITNESS: DAVID NIGEL PINDER-KOEHNK
16 Examined by Mr. Scott:
17 Q. Mr. Pinder, as we start here, for the record,
18 your full and complete name is -- and forgive me if I
19 don't pronounce all these correctly -- David Nigel
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. The last part of the hyphenated last name
23 being "K-o-e-h-n-k"; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct. It's actually "K-o umlaut,"
25 but it's normally written "o-e," yeah.
1 Q. Just so the record is clear and so people
2 know exactly how to refer to you, but you typically
3 simply go by the last name "Pinder"; is that correct?
4 A. That's correct. Most Britons can't actually
5 pronounce the last part.
6 Q. Mr. Pinder, is it correct that you were a
7 career officer in the British armed forces from May of
8 1965 until February of 1994, when at that time you
9 retired from the British army with the rank of major?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And during this time of service you received
12 five medals in connection or in relation to various
13 campaigns or combat operations; is that correct?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. And you are currently the director of the
16 Council for Education in World Citizenship; is that
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. How long have you been in that position?
20 A. Since March this year.
21 Q. Now, in connection with the events that bring
22 us to court today, is it correct, sir, that you arrived
23 in Central Bosnia as part of the UNPROFOR headquarters
24 unit in October 1992?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. And to jump to the other end of your tenure,
2 you left Bosnia then in approximately early March of
3 1993 and returned to NATO duties in Germany; is that
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. As I understand it, sir, is it correct that
7 you were the head of public affairs for UNPROFOR, based
8 at the headquarters of the Bosnia and Herzegovina
9 command, which at that time, and I think thereafter,
10 was based in Kiseljak?
11 A. That is correct. Initially we went to
12 Zagreb, then Belgrade, and from Belgrade to Kiseljak.
13 Q. How long did you spend in Zagreb?
14 A. Only a matter of a week, and about a week in
15 Belgrade as well.
16 Q. And then you were based, for the remainder of
17 your duty, in Kiseljak?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Is it correct, sir, that the chief of staff
20 at UNPROFOR headquarters at that time was British
21 Brigadier Cordy-Simpson?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Is it correct that your main task was to
24 establish a press centre and a system for informing the
25 international press, which also involved you in
1 contacts with the local media and public officials in
2 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
3 A. That is correct. That was the main part of
4 the task. But equally, as the press spokesman and
5 advisor, I was required, when possible, to inform the
6 commanders of what was happening and being said in the
7 local media.
8 Q. So in that respect, is it fair to say that it
9 was -- part of what you tried to do was keep yourself
10 pretty well informed as to what was happening on the
11 ground, both in terms of events on the ground and in
12 terms of local media and local information?
13 A. That's entirely correct.
14 Q. Your primary -- well, excuse me; your area of
15 responsibility covered UNPROFOR's entire mission area,
16 but is it correct that your main involvement was in
17 Central Bosnia and Sarajevo?
18 A. Technically that's correct. I was
19 responsible for the whole UNPROFOR area, but because of
20 the terrain, various operational situations, in
21 practice, most of my time was spent with Central Bosnia
22 and Sarajevo, yes.
23 Q. Now, you've already told us, Mr. Pinder, you
24 had approximately almost 30 years service in the
25 British army; is that correct? The British armed
2 A. Probably nearer 25 than 30, but yes, that's
4 Q. And in connection with carrying out the task,
5 some might say, well, it was a public-information role
6 as opposed to a combat role, but did your task, your
7 assignments, require you to be knowledgeable and keep
8 yourself informed of the day-to-day events on the
9 ground in Central Bosnia?
10 A. It was considered essential that I did, and
11 to that extent I was a member of the inner command
12 group of -- now General Cordy-Simpson, but then
14 Q. When you say "inner command group," can you
15 just, for us not in the military, give further
16 explanation as to what that meant?
17 A. It was a small group of officers who daily met
18 with Cordy-Simpson, discussed and gave opinions on the
19 activities on the ground and the operations of
20 UNPROFOR. So it was in fact a very small group around
21 the brigadier.
22 Q. Now, Mr. Pinder, is it correct that the first
23 time you heard the name or heard of Dario Kordic, it
24 was in a political context, and you came to understand
25 that he had a high position in the hierarchy of
1 something called the Croatian Community of
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. Is it also correct, then, in about October
5 early November of 1992, you were invited, in your role
6 as chief of public information or public affairs, to
7 attend press or information conferences which were
8 organised and presented by the Bosnian Croats?
9 A. That's correct. I had begun to develop
10 contacts essentially around the Kiseljak area. As a
11 result of that, Colonel Blaskic invited me to attend
12 conferences held by themselves, and it was at one of
13 those that I was introduced to Dario Kordic.
14 Q. Can you recall briefly how you first came to
15 meet Colonel Blaskic?
16 A. The headquarters in Kiseljak appeared to fall
17 under the operational area of Colonel Blaskic, so from
18 the very first, as we moved in and negotiated that move
19 in, Colonel Blaskic had been involved.
20 Q. All right. And I think you just mentioned a
21 moment ago that -- it's correct, is it not, sir, that
22 it was Colonel Blaskic who invited you to the first of
23 these press conferences?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. And can you tell the Court, was it also
1 Colonel Blaskic who introduced you for the first time
2 to Mr. Kordic?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. Did you in fact, subsequent to this first
5 press conference, attend a number of similar press
6 conferences over the next few months put on, if you
7 will, by the Bosnian Croats?
8 A. From time to time, that's correct, yes. I
9 didn't attend all of them, of course.
10 Q. What was your understanding of the purpose of
11 these press conferences?
12 A. It varied. Most of the ones that I was
13 invited to were obviously directed to some extent
14 against outside media, international media, but also
15 they discussed domestic events. And the very first one
16 I attended, in fact, was primarily domestic events.
17 Q. Can you tell me, when you first met
18 Mr. Kordic, and when you saw him in connection with
19 these press conferences, did you come to any
20 assessments, reach any opinions as to what he was, in
21 terms of a person to deal with and interact with?
22 A. By necessity, that's to some extent
23 subjective, but my impression was that he was extremely
24 capable, and had an impact on the people around him,
25 and was a major player. I didn't see much sign of a
1 sense of humour.
2 Q. Can you give the Court a little better feel
3 for the kind of things, the actual observations you
4 made that caused you to come to those conclusions?
5 What did you see happening, or hear in front of you,
6 that caused you to come to some of those conclusions?
7 A. Dario Kordic had a very aggressive way of
8 speaking when he was speaking before the media, quite a
9 harsh tone. The people around him seemed to look at
10 him with a mixture of respect -- not always based upon
11 liking the guy -- there was a certain atmosphere around
12 him. And again, this is very subjective: the whole
13 demeanour, the eyes, made you believe that this was a
14 person who was quite passionate about what he was
16 Q. Now, is it correct, sir, that at about the
17 end of October, 1992, there began to be a series of
18 informal meetings, which were located at the Sarajevo
19 Airport, involving three factions in Bosnia, that is,
20 the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, and that the purpose of
21 these meetings was to provide essentially a forum for
22 these groups to discuss issues among themselves?
23 A. That's correct. It began very informally,
24 and then a sort of evolution or momentum took over and
25 they became progressively more formal as the situation
2 Q. In fact, was it the case that it was the view
3 of UNPROFOR that these meetings were sufficiently
4 successful that they were more formalised into
5 something that came to be called the Mixed Military
6 Working Group?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. This group continued to meet from time to
9 time at the Sarajevo Airport?
10 A. That's correct, and in fact it became, at one
11 stage, the only means by which the various sides and
12 the United Nations were talking to each other.
13 Q. Why the Sarajevo Airport?
14 A. There were several reasons for that. Again,
15 part of it was evolutionary, in that if I can call them
16 all three sides, although that's an oversimplification
17 perhaps, they were all relatively close to the airport
18 and therefore could meet there, but also, of course,
19 because the airport was kept open most of the time,
20 external prominent people like, for instance, Lord
21 Owen, could actually reach the airport, irrespective of
22 the ground situation across the whole of
24 Q. As you may have mentioned a moment ago, is it
25 fair to say that these meetings for a time were really
1 the principal means or certainly one of the principal
2 means for keeping the three groups talking and trying
3 to stop the hostilities in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
4 A. At the direct [realtime transcription read in
5 error "correct"] level, that's true, yeah.
6 I actually said "at the direct level", not
7 "at the correct level".
8 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour.
9 Your Honour, Mr. Nice reminds me to mention
10 to the Court the witness does not, as has been the past
11 practice, does not have a copy of the outline that's
12 been provided to counsel and the Court. He has, in the
13 course of reviewing his testimony yesterday evening, he
14 has a copy of his statement, and if that presents a
15 problem for anyone, that can certainly be retrieved
16 from him. But I wanted to make it clear that there was
17 no mystery or problem, that he did take a copy of his
18 prior interview statement with him to the stand.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers.
20 MR. SAYERS: We don't have a problem with
21 Mr. Pinder reading from his statement, if he wishes.
22 But I just wanted to point out to the Court that we
23 received this 15-page document about five minutes
24 before the proceedings started today. I thought we had
25 an agreement that we would be served with these at
1 least 24 hours in advance, especially with a witness
2 like this, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let's deal with that after
4 the witness has given evidence.
5 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 MR. SCOTT: All right. Thank you, Your
8 Q. Mr. Pinder, is it correct that in your
9 capacity as head of public affairs, you attended almost
10 all of the meetings of the Mixed Military Working
12 A. That's correct. I wasn't a direct player in
13 it, that wasn't part of my role, but I was an observer
14 at those meetings.
15 Q. Is it correct that these meetings were
16 normally attended by high-ranking military commanders
17 of the three groups and also the representatives of
18 UNPROFOR, and that these meetings dealt primarily with
19 military issues?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Now, just to put some time frames on these
22 meetings we're going to talk about in the next few
23 minutes, the particular meetings that you were involved
24 in started in approximately perhaps late October or so,
25 as they became more formalised, and continued up until
1 approximately the time that you left in early March of
2 '93; is that correct?
3 A. From my point of view, yes, but obviously
4 they continued after I had left as well.
5 Q. All right. Now, in this series of meetings,
6 is it correct to say that the usual representatives of
7 the Serbs was General Gvero, who was a subordinate of
8 General Ratko Mladic, and is it also true that on some
9 occasions, General Mladic personally attended the
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. In a similar fashion, is it correct that the
13 usual representatives of the Croats was Colonel
14 Blaskic, who was the commander of the HVO Central
15 Bosnia Operative Zone and, as time went by, also Dario
17 A. That is also correct.
18 MR. SAYERS: I'm afraid I must object to the
19 leading nature of that, Your Honour. Insofar as it
20 deals with our client, I think that we need to deal
21 with these matters in the most --
22 JUDGE MAY: That's a matter that's in
23 dispute, as to whether he attended those meetings?
24 MR. SAYERS: No, it's not in dispute, Your
1 JUDGE MAY: Then he can lead, if it's not in
2 dispute. But if there's a dispute about the contents
3 of the meetings, then of course he can't.
4 Mr. Scott, don't lead, please, about the
5 contents of the meeting as far as they relate to
6 Mr. Kordic.
7 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
8 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Pinder, that another
9 person who came from time to time, representing the
10 Croat parties, if you will, was General Petkovic?
11 A. That is correct, but very seldom.
12 Q. Then finally as to the Bosnian Muslim group,
13 the primary representative was Colonel Shiber; is that
15 A. That is also correct, yes.
16 Q. Was it your experience that it often happened
17 that the military officers involved in the meetings, in
18 these Mixed Military Working Group meetings, would have
19 to go back and meet with their superiors before
20 agreements could be reached or finalised, or at other
21 times that the particularly important meetings would be
22 attended by more-senior officials?
23 A. That's correct. It was very often said that
24 they could only take back to their respective masters
25 what was being discussed or proposed. That may have
1 been true; at other times it may have been a tactic.
2 We weren't in a position to know.
3 Q. Can you tell the Court that as time went by,
4 in terms of the Croat representatives, did you see --
5 JUDGE MAY: No. This is where you stop
7 MR. SCOTT: All right.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Pinder, could you tell the
9 Court about Mr. Kordic's role at the meetings?
10 A. As I had said earlier, initially the meetings
11 were attended by Colonel Blaskic. When the meetings
12 became more formalised and there was a prospect of
13 actually reaching agreements that were going to be
14 signed by the various parties and the level of decision
15 making therefore became perhaps more critical, Colonel
16 Blaskic was replaced and at times accompanied by Dario
17 Kordic. On those occasions when both were together, it
18 was Dario Kordic who took the lead.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. Can you tell the Court, in terms of your last
21 answer, did that continue to be the case at these
22 meetings, except in the instances when General Petkovic
23 would attend?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. Did you come to any conclusions or make any
1 observations of any differences that you observed
2 between the two men, Colonel Kordic and Colonel
4 A. They were two different characters, but on
5 those occasions when the two were together at the Mixed
6 Military Working Group meetings, Colonel Blaskic at no
7 time that I saw attempted to cause difficulties or to
8 contradict Dario Kordic. However -- and again what
9 I've mentioned is slightly subjective -- there were
10 times when the body language suggested that Colonel
11 Blaskic did not always agree with what was being said.
12 Q. Can you tell the Court how Mr. Kordic
13 presented himself at these meetings in terms of his
14 physical attire, the way he held himself out to the
16 A. At these meetings, he attended in uniform,
17 and on those occasions when he was addressed as
18 "Pukovnik", which I take to understand as "Colonel", he
19 responded to that address.
20 Q. And in terms of these other groups attending
21 the meetings, the Serbs, the Muslims, perhaps any
22 others, how did they, again in your observation, how
23 did they perceive and react to Mr. Kordic?
24 A. I never perceived anything that suggested
25 they felt he shouldn't be there or that he was being
1 incorrectly addressed.
2 Q. And did they address him by any particular
3 title or term?
4 A. They certainly used the term "Pukovnik".
5 Q. Now, getting into a series of these specific
6 meetings, is it correct, Mr. Pinder, that by November
7 of 1992, the Bosnian Croats and the Muslims still
8 appeared to be allied against the Serbs, although, can
9 you tell the Court did you observe any increasing, or
10 what you perceived to be growing problems or tensions
11 between the Croats and the Muslims?
12 A. There had always been tensions between them,
13 but as the meetings developed, the HVO delegation
14 constantly strove to show themselves as the more mature
15 and statesman-like, at times taking a mediation role.
16 But as time went on, this became even more pronounced
17 so that at times they actually ignored the presidency
18 delegation and spoke directly with the Serbian
20 Q. Now, on that point that you just mentioned,
21 when you refer to the presidency, can you say a little
22 more, for the record and for the Court, what group or
23 interest was that identified with?
24 A. We were very keen, not always with success,
25 to demonstrate, at least to the outside world, that
1 this was not a straight three-cornered fight, it was
2 more complex than that, and we went to great lengths to
3 always refer to the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina as
4 the presidency to try to demonstrate that this was not
5 just, as was often perceived, a Muslim government.
6 Q. In fact, can you tell the Court what ethnic
7 group the person General Shiber or Colonel Shiber --
8 A. Shiber?
9 Q. Shiber, excuse me, yes, who represented the
10 presidency or represented the -- yes, represented the
11 presidency, what ethnic group he was from?
12 A. Colonel Shiber was a Croat, a Bosnian Croat.
13 Q. Now, I'm going to direct your attention to a
14 meeting of the Mixed Military Working Group on the 12th
15 of December, 1992. Do you recall the particular events
16 of that meeting or, basically, the agenda, what
17 happened there, who the participants were?
18 A. Unless I can refer to my notes, I can't speak
19 particularly about that meeting from memory now. Is
20 that permitted?
21 JUDGE MAY: When were the notes made,
22 Mr. Pinder? When did you make the notes?
23 A. When I gave my statement two months ago or
24 two or three months ago.
25 JUDGE MAY: Is there any objection to
1 referring to the notes? It's not a memory game.
2 MR. SAYERS: I understand it's not a memory
3 game, Your Honour, but we have received some notes in
4 accompaniment to the statement that Mr. Pinder gave two
5 months ago. I don't know whether those are the notes
6 to which he's now referring. The notes that were
7 attached to the statement that we received appear to be
8 notes that were made contemporaneously when he was in
9 attendance at the Mixed Military Working Group meetings
10 for a number of dates between December 12th, 1992, and
11 December the 22nd, a ten-day period, 1992. Those
12 appear to be contemporaneous. But if he's referring to
13 notes that we --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down,
15 please? Could the counsel slow down, please?
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, what is the position?
17 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, they are a
18 combination. There are notes attached to his
19 statement, which are the most relevant excerpts of the
20 notes that refer to these particular meetings, and when
21 the interview statement was made, they were attached to
22 that statement and they were provided to Defence
23 counsel. It is not every note that he ever took, but
24 it is notes that relates to his statement, describing
25 these particular meetings.
1 (Trial Chamber confers)
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Pinder, refer to your notes,
3 if you wish.
4 A. That's very kind, thank you. They were notes
5 taken at the time.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. All right. In reference, then, back to the
8 12th of December, 1992 meeting, if you have references
9 there that will remind you, who were the participants
10 for the various groups at that meeting?
11 A. This was the one that was attended by Lord
12 Owen. The Bosnian Serb delegation was General Gvero,
13 for the HVO Colonel Kordic, and for the Bosnian
14 presidency, as normal, General Shiber. Brigadier
15 Cordy-Simpson was also there, as were the various
16 members of the small group from UNPROFOR.
17 Q. As to General Gvero, representing the Serbs,
18 did he have some concerns that the agenda for that
19 meeting, in his view, was too complicated and that the
20 meeting should focus on only two issues, those being
21 the cessation of hostilities and increased freedom of
22 movement for civilians?
23 A. That's correct. It was felt trying to
24 achieve too much too early from his point of view would
25 be too difficult.
1 Q. And can you tell the Court how Mr. Kordic or
2 Colonel Kordic held himself out or announced himself at
3 that particular meeting?
4 A. He announced himself as the representative of
5 the Croatian Defence Council.
6 Q. And did he provide his own personal statement
7 or assessment, if you will, of the progress of meetings
8 up to that time?
9 A. He formally greeted Lord Owen and said he was
10 grateful for the contribution to the peace process, and
11 he said that the meeting progress was good and asked
12 the other sides to join the HVO in acknowledging the
13 goodwill expressed at the last meeting.
14 Q. And did he display or state any particular
15 position toward General Gvero's concerns about the
17 A. He stressed that the military were servants
18 of the politicians and that he supported the general
19 points put forward by Brigadier Cordy-Simpson.
20 Q. Now, you indicated earlier that Lord Owen
21 participated personally in this particular meeting?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. Is it correct, sir, that Lord Owen addressed
24 the meeting and said that he and Mr. Cyrus
25 Vance attached great importance to the Mixed Military
1 Working Group meetings, was glad to hear of the
2 progress being made, he insisted that the four most
3 important points, including the withdrawal of heavy
4 weapons from around Sarajevo and civilian freedom of
5 movement, should be included in one agreement; is that
7 A. That is correct. The very reason for Lord
8 Owen's presence was, in fact, that the Mixed Military
9 Working Group was making progress and they were very
10 excited and saw this as the catalyst for further
12 Q. There is a reference here to four points or
13 four important points. Can you relate to the Court, as
14 best you recall, what the four key points that were
15 being discussed at that particular time were?
16 A. These were the four points that the agreement
17 that we hoped to bring in were based upon. One was
18 cessation of hostilities, removal of all heavy
19 weapons. I can't remember the exact order of the other
20 two, but it was freedom of movement of civilians and
21 trying to get the civilian power, infrastructure, and
22 communications up again.
23 Q. In connection with the discussions around
24 those four issues, do you recall anything further that
25 Colonel Kordic stated about his position or the Croat
1 position on these issues?
2 A. I don't think I quite understand the
4 Q. All right. In connection with the four
5 issues or four points that you just related, do you
6 recall, in the course of that meeting, whether Colonel
7 Kordic expressed any other views as to the Croat
8 positions on those four issues?
9 A. He said that they agreed to all four points
10 and would be willing to sign immediately on those.
11 Q. In connection with the freedom of movement
12 for civilians, can you relate to the Court whether, in
13 some days around this meeting, there had been an
14 agreement or at least a tentative agreement about
15 providing three corridors of access into and out of
17 A. This was actually one of the reasons that got
18 the Mixed Military Working Group going on a practical
19 footing. We had been trying to get some --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness slow
21 down, please? --
22 A. From Sarajevo, and three groups had been
23 worked out in some detail on the map. That had been
24 provisionally agreed but had not yet been formalised.
25 Q. Mr. Pinder, you don't have your head set on,
1 since we're all speaking primarily in English at the
2 moment, but the interpreter has asked if you can slow
3 down your testimony a bit for purposes of translation.
4 A. I understand. Would you like me to wear the
5 head set?
6 Q. You will get instructions occasionally,
7 perhaps. Now, directing your attention to the next
8 meeting, there was a meeting sometime between the 12th
9 and the -- the meeting on the 12th that you just
10 mentioned and another meeting on the 17th of December,
11 which we'll get to in a moment, and can you tell the
12 Court who the principal participants in this meeting,
13 that meeting, were, please?
14 A. Again, they were General Gvero, Colonel
15 Kordic and Colonel Shiber.
16 Q. Do you recall, and again can you just give us
17 a general synopsis, if you will, of what took place at
18 that meeting, in terms of what happened at the last
19 meeting and then the continuation of the discussions?
20 A. The meetings had started to take on a sort of
21 routine where the various sides would try to open with
22 a statement of some sort. General Gvero opened that
23 particular meeting with a statement that primarily was
24 wanting to know why Lord Owen wasn't actually present.
25 To the best of my recollection, Colonel
1 Kordic did not make a statement but said that the
2 delegates had agreed to consult their political
3 masters. He said he had done that and that the HVO
4 absolutely supported the cessation of hostilities.
5 Q. Did he make any more specific reference to
6 the people that he particularly had consulted with?
7 A. To the best of my recollection, he didn't
8 name anyone, but said the HVO military top level.
9 Q. And what was the position of -- well, I think
10 there's no dispute, probably, here: Is it correct that
11 Colonel Shiber stated that the presidency of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina also agreed to the four-point plan?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Can you relate to the Court whether Colonel
15 Kordic made any statement about additional approvals or
16 authorisations that he would have to receive to make
17 this agreement absolutely final or binding?
18 A. He made, as he very often did, reference to
19 Herceg-Bosna as the supreme body to examine them from
20 the Croatian side, but also said that the HVO were not
21 only ready to announce an end to the hostilities and
22 would respect it, they were ready to make it in written
24 Q. Is it correct that Colonel Shiber said that
25 he also supported Brigadier Cordy-Simpson's position,
1 and that in his view, an agreement on moving the heavy
2 weapons out of range of Sarajevo would be enough to
3 secure an agreement?
4 A. Removal of the heavy weapons was and
5 continued to be one of the sticking points to any
6 agreement. It was considered essential, certainly by
7 ourselves and the presidency, that heavy weapons should
8 be moved back out of range of bombarding Sarajevo.
9 Q. Let me direct your attention, then, to the
10 next meeting, on the 17th of December, 1992, unless
11 there is a dispute. Is it correct that the principal
12 participants at that meeting for the Serbs were General
13 Ratko Mladic, and Colonel Kordic for the Croats?
14 A. That is correct. The presidency forces had
15 difficulty getting there because of local conditions
16 within the Sarajevo perimeter.
17 Q. And is it correct that for UNPROFOR, the
18 principal participants or representatives were General
19 Morillon and Brigadier Cordy-Simpson?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. Can you relate to the Court -- I take it that
22 General Morillon was not one of the people who attended
23 these meetings on a regular basis?
24 A. Not on a regular basis, no. It was thought
25 best to leave these to Brigadier Cordy-Simpson, as we
1 were actually talking about military matters and were
2 anxious to show that we were not trying to usurp the
3 political process. General Morillon did have a more
4 political role.
5 Q. And can you recall and can you tell the Court
6 why General Morillon appeared at this particular
8 A. It was because it was hoped that at this
9 meeting, the agreement to end the war and to have
10 movement of civilians returned might be agreed.
11 Q. Can you tell the Court whether there was any
12 recognition of any connection or linkage, if you will,
13 between the discussions that the Mixed Military Working
14 Group in Sarajevo and the -- if I can use the word
15 "larger" -- peace discussions that were taking place
16 in Geneva at that time?
17 A. There was certainly a very real connection,
18 in that we reported progress or lack of it on a daily
19 basis, but also it was seen that this was the interface
20 at which movement was being made.
21 Q. Is it correct that one of the things that
22 General Morillon expressed particular concern about
23 was, in terms of civilian movement, that the roads in
24 Central Bosnia at that time were principally controlled
25 by the Serbs and the HVO?
1 A. Essentially, that's correct, yes.
2 Q. And can you relate to the Court any comments
3 or suggestions that Colonel Kordic made in reference to
4 those matters or about the corridors to Sarajevo?
5 A. Colonel Kordic was very supportive, to the
6 extent that he proposed mixed checkpoints with HVO
7 forces, to best of my recollection, police, and
8 UNPROFOR, and was quite happy -- in fact, seemed
9 enthusiastic -- to have that cooperative checkpoint
11 Q. And can you also relate to the Court, had
12 there been discussion around this time about evacuating
13 some 1.500 civilians from Sarajevo, if possible, before
15 A. That's correct. That had been one of the
16 supporting moves that we felt would get things going.
17 Q. And do you recall whether Colonel Kordic made
18 a reference to that plan at that particular meeting?
19 A. He was particularly keen to know what had
20 happened to it, as although it had been provisionally
21 agreed, nothing further had been heard on it. The idea
22 had been to do this before Christmas.
23 Q. And is it accurate that General Morillon
24 responded that it had been discussed with the BiH --
25 that is, the Bosnia-Herzegovina presidency -- that the
1 first convoy would be Croats and that it would take
2 place before New Year's Eve?
3 A. That is correct, and that the Red Cross would
4 organise it, not UNPROFOR.
5 Q. Is it correct that the Serb representatives
6 at the meeting had stated that Mr. Karadzic had agreed
7 to the three corridors but wanted to be sure that they
8 would not be abused to move military equipment?
9 A. That is also correct. There was great
10 suspicion on all sides as to the other sides' motives,
11 and there was a concern -- perhaps justified -- that
12 military equipment and reinforcements would be moved
13 around through these corridors.
14 Q. Do you recall whether Colonel Kordic made any
15 reference in these discussions to international law and
16 whether -- anything in connection with possible
17 military abuses?
18 A. He made the point that according to
19 international law, once cessation of hostilities had
20 been signed, it was deemed to have begun, and that the
21 ceasefire should exist throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 They were not altogether happy with the very simplified
23 form of demilitarised corridors, mainly on the basis of
24 terrain and communications, that in some areas only one
25 road existed, and therefore, if it were to be barred to
1 military vehicles, it would create a problem.
2 Q. Was part of the concept with these corridors
3 that along the corridors, there would be something like
4 a one-kilometre-wide demilitarised zone?
5 A. That was being proposed, again, because of
6 the mutual suspicion of all sides. However, again,
7 because of terrain, the communication difficulties,
8 that would have meant effectively barring certain roads
9 to any form of military movement at all.
10 Q. And can you recall again whether Colonel
11 Kordic had any specific reaction or response to the
12 question of the one-kilometre-wide demilitarised zones?
13 A. He said it hadn't been in the earlier
14 suggestions, and I specifically remember he said as a
15 soldier, he said that all these roads would be very
16 difficult to control because of people living there and
17 the realities of trying to move around.
18 Q. Now, in this particular meeting, did you see
19 any evidence that, as you testified earlier this
20 morning, that in fact the Croat party and the Serb
21 parties seemed to be increasingly working directly
22 together, to the exclusion of the Bosnia-Herzegovina
24 A. This was a process that had been evolving,
25 again, over some time. There had been instances where
1 the Serb delegation and the HVO delegation would
2 actually go away, normally during the breaks, and pore
3 over a map together, at times excluding the presidency.
4 On this particular meeting, it was so pronounced that
5 one of the presidency representatives was so annoyed he
6 made the point that he insisted on being recognised as
7 the representative of the whole army of
9 Q. Was this -- the individual you just
10 mentioned, was this Mr. Verschinkovic?
11 A. Verschinkovic, yes.
12 Q. Verschinkovic; excuse me.
13 And was there any particular -- when he
14 stated this position or made the presidency's position
15 known, was there any reaction from Colonel Kordic or
16 the Croat side?
17 A. Again, it's slightly subjective, but it was
18 faintly amused that they had caused this reaction. I
19 made an observation at the time that the HVO delegates
20 were enjoying their role as the power brokers.
21 Q. When you say -- I'm not sure, I'm looking at
22 the transcript -- when you say "amused," who acted
24 A. Colonel Kordic.
25 Q. Directing your attention, then, to the
1 meeting on the 20th of December, 1992, is it correct to
2 say that the principal representatives at that meeting
3 of the Mixed Military Working Group was, again, Colonel
4 Kordic for the Croats, General Gvero for the Serbs, and
5 Colonel Shiber for the Muslims?
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. And is it correct that on this particular
8 occasion, Graham Masservy-Whiting attended the meeting
9 as Lord Owen's personal representative?
10 A. Graham Masservy-Whiting was one of the
11 principal assistants to Lord Owen, and on this
12 particular occasion, because he was in Sarajevo, he
13 attended the meeting, yes.
14 Q. Is it correct that at this particular
15 meeting, the Serbs presented a paper they had prepared
16 on a number of issues, including freedom of movement?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. And can you relate to the Court whether you
19 recall Colonel Kordic having any particular reaction or
20 response to the Serb proposal?
21 A. He said he had consulted military political
22 authorities and he had no remarks to make from their
23 side, but he was keen that hostilities should be
24 stopped and that all parties should take the concrete
25 steps proposed by Brigadier Cordy-Simpson to show that
1 they were really achieving something.
2 Q. All right. Going on to the 21st of December
3 of 1992, were the principal, again, representatives at
4 that meeting Colonel Kordic for the Croats, General
5 Gvero for the Serbs, and Colonel Shiber for the
7 A. That is correct.
8 Q. And on his arrival at that meeting, or as the
9 meeting started, can you relate to the Court any
10 particular statement or announcement that Colonel
11 Kordic made about his position or authority?
12 A. He announced at the very start that he was
13 the representative of the Croatian Council and defence
14 delegation. It wasn't immediately significant to us as
15 to why he had said that, but it became more obvious
16 during the course of the meeting, as they were able to
17 get round the map and actually agree on the spot where
18 the various lines of separation and military positions
19 should be.
20 Q. In the course of that meeting, can you tell
21 the Court, did Mr. Kordic have to defer or delay the
22 meeting to seek any other approvals or authorisations
23 from any other Croat authority?
24 A. No. That was where the significance of what
25 he had said became apparent. He appeared to be able to
1 take those decisions on the spot.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, just pause a moment; I
3 want to make a note.
4 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. Mr. Pinder, I'll also take advantage of the
8 break to say that again, I think we're both getting
9 some requests to slow down a bit for the translation.
10 A. I apologise. I haven't forgotten
11 sufficiently that I was an officer.
12 Q. I think I'm more the offender than you.
13 Now, going on to this same meeting, did you
14 have any -- can you relate to the Court any
15 observations that you made in terms of your perception,
16 your visual perception or observations at the meeting,
17 as to any facility that Colonel Kordic displayed in
18 reference to the military matters, the military maps,
19 those sorts of issues?
20 A. Other than the fact that he was obviously
21 well aware of the situation on the ground and
22 understood the military significance of what was being
24 Q. All right. Let's go on to a meeting on the
25 22nd of December of 1992. Is it correct that this was
1 a meeting where it was anticipated that a final
2 agreement on a ceasefire, as a culmination of all these
3 preceding meetings, would take place?
4 A. That was the intention, yes.
5 Q. And on this particular occasion, the senior
6 participant or representative, if you will, for the
7 Croat side was General Petkovic, and the senior
8 representative on the Serb side was General Ratko
9 Mladic; is that correct?
10 A. That is also correct.
11 Q. Now, can you just relate to the Court, is it
12 fair to say that these two senior officers essentially
13 were there to sign or take advantage of the work that
14 had been done by other representatives of their
15 respective parties?
16 A. That is correct. The work had been done,
17 obviously, by the previous meetings, and the intention
18 of this meeting had been that the very senior level
19 would set their -- if you like, their seal of approval
20 on what had been negotiated.
21 Q. And in these previous meetings, again, the
22 principal representative for the Croats being Colonel
23 Kordic and the principal representative for the Serbs
24 being General Gvero?
25 A. That is correct. They had led their
1 respective delegations.
2 Q. If I could ask the usher, please, to show you
3 Exhibit 331.2.
4 MR. SCOTT: I state for the Court and counsel
5 and the witness, Your Honour, there is a package of
6 three exhibits, actually, and for ease of reference,
7 they're attached together in the order in which they
8 will come up in Mr. Pinder's testimony.
9 Q. Do you have that in front of you, Mr. Pinder?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. Now, from time to time, as the head of public
12 affairs, would you prepare various press statements, or
13 what people might refer to as press releases, for
15 A. Correct. That was an essential part of my
17 Q. Looking to the cover page of Exhibit 331,2,
18 or the first page, in any event, directing your
19 attention in the box to the lower right corner, does
20 that indicate that you had some involvement -- any
21 involvement with this particular documents?
22 A. I was the releasing officer, which meant I
23 gave the authority for it to go.
24 Q. And directing your attention to the second
25 page, is it fair to say that this was your attempt to
1 publicise some of the developments at the preceding
2 Mixed Military Working Group meeting?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. And directing your attention to the second
5 paragraph, can you tell the Court whether -- did you --
6 did you focus on any particular aspects, any particular
7 participants in these prior meetings as to something
8 that you wanted to have publicly presented, if you
10 A. There were obviously a whole raft of reasons
11 why one drafted press releases. On this particular
12 one, we were trying to emphasise that various sides
13 were working together; and on this particular one, we
14 wanted to give prominence to the fact that it was an
15 HVO initiative that had proposed this scheme.
16 Q. All right. Moving on, then, from that, are
17 you familiar with the fact, sir, that in approximately
18 January of 1993, a more open armed conflict emerged
19 between the Croats and the Muslims in Bosnia?
20 A. That is a matter of record, yes.
21 Q. And can you relate to the Court whether -- do
22 you recall there being an effort to establish a
23 meeting, on about the 1st of February of 1993, to deal
24 with these issues?
25 A. There were a whole series of attempts to
1 establish meetings, but yes, there was one on that
3 Q. I direct your attention to Exhibit 422,1.
4 Can you relate to the Court, was there an effort made
5 by UNPROFOR, through the headquarters command in
6 Kiseljak, to invite a senior -- at least one senior
7 representative from both sides; in this case Colonel
8 Kordic for the Croats and General Hadzihasanovic for
9 the Muslim or ABiH side?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. And you can tell the Court, looking at
12 Exhibit 422, just by way of explanation, for the
13 record, what these documents relate to or what they
14 essentially constitute?
15 A. If you mean the one I have on the screen,
16 which is the signal --
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. -- dated 20th of January, the reason for
19 proposing escorts was that it was considered by both
20 ourselves and the opposing factions extremely unsafe
21 for senior commanders of the factions to risk
22 travelling around, certainly to come to meetings on
23 supposedly neutral territory; therefore we felt that
24 there might be an escort requirement. We wanted to get
25 the people together, of course, who could actually take
1 decisions and get something to change on the ground:
2 i.e., to stop.
3 Q. Do you recall who it was that made the
4 decision as to who to invite to this meeting?
5 A. I can't recall, but it would have been either
6 General Morillon or Brigadier Cordy-Simpson.
7 Q. Was Cordy-Simpson still the chief of staff at
8 that time?
9 A. Yes, he was.
10 Q. And directing your attention to the second
11 page of Exhibit 422.1, is that essentially a letter of
12 invitation to Colonel Hadzihasanovic?
13 A. That is correct, who was commander of the 3rd
14 Bosnian Corps.
15 Q. And looking to the last page, I'm afraid at
16 the moment I have no particular explanation as to why
17 one is in English and one is in Serbo-Croatian, but is
18 the third page of this document essentially a similar
19 invitation to Colonel Kordic?
20 A. That's correct. Obviously the actual letters
21 we sent out would normally be, as a matter of courtesy,
22 in the languages of the respective sides. We would
23 always have a translation available to show to others.
24 Q. Now, by this time, had you also heard
25 Mr. Kordic referred to not only as colonel, but as
1 vice-president of the Croatian Community of
3 A. I had been aware for some time that he held
4 that office, yes.
5 Q. And directing your attention back to the
6 first page, the cover sheet, or fax, if you will,
7 paragraph 1, can you confirm for us that the UNPROFOR
8 communication invitation to Mr. Kordic addressed him
9 both in his title as colonel and vice-president?
10 A. That is correct. We were also aware that
11 Dario Kordic held command in the immediate Busovaca
12 area in respect of his position.
13 Q. When you say "held command," what do you mean
14 by that?
15 A. That he was the military commander in the
16 Busovaca area.
17 Q. In the course of your work, and being, as you
18 said, part of the inner command, inner group of the
19 UNPROFOR command, did you have any assessment or
20 conclusion -- not only you, but Brigadiers
21 Cordy-Simpson and others -- as to why at this
22 particular time conflict had broken out between the
23 Croat and Muslim sides?
24 A. I had a personal view, and to some extent
25 that would have been supported by the others. I accept
1 that my view may have been slightly more extreme, but
2 the general view accepted was that the conflict had
3 come to a head because of planned negotiations in
4 Geneva on the canton system. I personally felt more
5 strongly about that, because I had been present at a
6 meeting in Sarajevo where those canton lines had been
7 drawn and had made the observation then that I felt, on
8 the ground, such broad lines would create [Realtime
9 transcription read in error "Croat"] problems.
10 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honours. I'm
11 looking at my outline because some of the things I
12 think we've already -- in the course of discussion have
13 already been covered.
14 Q. Did you come to any assessment -- did you --
15 A. I'm sorry, can I interrupt for a second? On
16 the transcript --
17 MR. SCOTT: Please.
18 A. -- I did not say, "Such broad lines would
19 Croat problems"; I said "create problems."
20 Q. Very well. Now, during this time period, did
21 you continue to interact or see, in various meetings or
22 contexts, both Colonel Kordic and Colonel Blaskic?
23 A. That is right, both formally and informally.
24 Q. Can you tell the Court, did you come to any
25 conclusion or observation of these two in terms of what
1 their reaction was to the strength or effectiveness of
2 the Muslim or Bosnian government army at that time?
3 A. There was no doubt that when the 3rd Bosnian
4 Corps started to move, it brought a new dimension to
5 the conflict. Speaking as a professional soldier, they
6 were the first of the indigenous formations I had met
7 who, perhaps in an arrogant way, I would have
8 considered truly professional. They had that impact on
9 the ground, and there is no doubt that both Blaskic and
10 Kordic were both startled and alarmed at both the speed
11 and professionalism of the reaction.
12 Q. Did you reach any conclusions or assessments
13 at that time as to who, in connection with those
14 events, appeared to be most in charge on the Croat
16 A. It seemed to be Dario Kordic who was the more
17 senior of the two.
18 Q. Now, can you relate to the Court, please,
19 whether --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: May I?
21 MR. SCOTT: Yes, absolutely.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Could I ask the witness
23 whether there was anything in particular that indicated
24 that to him?
25 A. There were several things. Part, of course,
1 was related to the Mixed Military Working Group, where
2 whenever the two were together, it had actually been
3 Dario Kordic who had been the senior very openly. But
4 also events on the ground and the odd remark that had
5 been made to me by local officials or civilians
6 indicated that the senior command, whether political or
7 military, rested with Dario Kordic.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. Now, did you observe, around or shortly after
10 this time, what you perceived to be a potential
11 conflict, disagreement, between Colonel Kordic and
12 Colonel Blaskic?
13 A. I never observed a direct disagreement
14 between the two, but there were a number of occasions,
15 particularly when I was talking to Colonel Blaskic,
16 when remarks led me to believe that Colonel Blaskic
17 regarded himself as the professional soldier, and
18 therefore the real expert on military matters, and some
19 dislike of Dario Kordic's handling of the situation. I
20 would also say, and it is subjective, I agree, that
21 there was also some enjoyment of the fact that he,
22 Blaskic, was not ultimately responsible for what was
24 Q. Well, what do you base that on? I anticipate
25 perhaps another question from Judge Robinson. What did
1 you see or hear that would cause you to come to that
3 A. That allowing for the somewhat wry and
4 sardonic sense of humour in that part of the world that
5 was prevalent, Colonel Blaskic was enjoying the fact
6 that the situation in the general area was not going
7 well and that he, as I say, was happy that he did not
8 have the ultimate responsibility.
9 Q. Did it appear to you then, in the next
10 several weeks or while you were still there in Central
11 Bosnia, that this conflict or any of these
12 disagreements appeared to sort themselves out, or did
13 you see anything different develop?
14 A. To be honest, it seemed to vary. It was
15 quite difficult to be aware at any one time which of
16 the two might be senior or was most in favour, and by
17 the time I left, as far as I'm aware, officially we
18 didn't know exactly who might be in charge. At the
19 time I left, it did appear to me personally that
20 Colonel Blaskic was coming out of it with more credit
21 than Dario Kordic.
22 Q. You say "more credit". Can you explain that
24 A. His reputation as a soldier was not being
25 quite so damaged.
1 Q. Did you observe, between the two of them,
2 whether there was any direction in which they evolved
3 in particular realms of authority in relationship to
4 each other or in relationship to events?
5 A. No. As I say, it was very confused. We were
6 not perfectly informed, of course, and the situation
7 seemed to change from week to week.
8 As far as I'm aware, we had not come to a
9 final conclusion as to who held the ultimate authority
10 at any one time. As near as we could come to it, and
11 again it was an assessment, was that although Colonel
12 Blaskic had authority in the field as a military man,
13 Dario Kordic, possibly because of the mixing of
14 political and military functions, which was not
15 uncommon, held the ultimate authority and held the
16 widest strategic direction of whatever campaign was
17 going on, but it was an assessment.
18 Q. Did you have an assessment whether in any
19 particular localised areas, Colonel Kordic continued to
20 have any particular military or police authority?
21 A. It had never been in any contention, as far
22 as we were concerned, that whatever other authority he
23 might have held, Dario Kordic had ultimate authority in
24 the Busovaca area.
25 Q. Let me direct your attention to a different
2 Can you relate to the Court whether it's
3 correct that in late '92, you saw soldiers in uniform
4 in the Gornji Vakuf area which appeared to you to have
5 some modified HV insignias on their uniforms?
6 JUDGE MAY: I think that's probably in
7 dispute, so don't lead on it, please.
8 MR. SCOTT: All right, very well.
9 Q. Did you observe something about insignias on
10 uniformed soldiers in the Gornji Vakuf area that came
11 to your attention in late '92?
12 A. At the time, there was considerable
13 disruption in that area, and travelling through that
14 area and to various meetings around Gornji Vakuf, I
15 noticed several soldiers, occasionally even ones who
16 attended the meetings, who had "HV" in embroidered or
17 stamped epaulettes with a Biro'ed "0" put on the end,
18 that this seemed a combination of, to us, rather
19 bizarre and almost naive attempts. I am, of course,
20 not able to say whether these were merely epaulettes
21 that had been provided because of shortage of military
22 uniform and equipment and modified or whether they
23 represented people who were from the HV who had merely
24 changed, in a very childish way, their own existing
1 Q. You say "Biro'ed", or what's the word for how
2 you described the way they were?
3 A. They were put on with a pen. It was
4 perfectly obvious. It was dark blue.
5 Q. In the course of your tenure or tour of duty
6 in Central Bosnia, did you come to any conclusions
7 about the state of the HVO's communication
9 A. By and large, they were extremely good.
10 Compared to ours, they were excellent. They had mostly
11 control of the telephone networks, and they obviously
12 had military radio communication. I wouldn't say they
13 were perfect, and there were times when those
14 communications may have been cut by hostile action, but
15 by and large, their communications were extremely
17 Q. Now, directing your attention to late '92 or
18 early 1993, can you relate to the Court a particular
19 episode involving a Land-Rover-type vehicle that was
20 owned or used by the ITN news organisation?
21 A. Very well. I was personally involved in it,
22 although I wasn't the only person involved in it. An
23 ITN maroon armoured vehicle used by its reporters and
24 camera teams had been -- I think the term would be
25 "hijacked", certainly taken away from them. It had a
1 heavy machine gun mounted on it and had been used in
2 several incidents around the area. I was asked by the
3 ITN --
4 Q. Excuse me. When you say "hijacked", by who
5 or what group?
6 A. That was never completely established, but it
7 was being used by Croatian defence forces subsequently,
8 with a heavy machine gun mounted on it.
9 Q. All right. Can you just continue on with the
10 story, please?
11 A. Attempts went on, I think amounting to over
12 several weeks, to recover that vehicle. Ultimately, it
13 was returned at a meeting which I had with Dario Kordic
14 in his Busovaca headquarters. At the end of that
15 meeting, the vehicle was waiting outside. I then drove
16 it back to Kiseljak and handed it to the ITN
18 Q. What caused you to think or to initiate a
19 meeting with Colonel Kordic on the subject?
20 A. We had had several attempts, both myself and
21 by the British Battalion, to recover that vehicle, and
22 various people we had spoken to had either said they
23 couldn't do anything about it or that we ought to talk
24 to other people. Ultimately, the process led to Dario
25 Kordic, who was able to secure the return of that
2 Q. When you refer to meeting Colonel Kordic at
3 his headquarters, can you tell us approximately where
4 those headquarters were located?
5 A. Over this span of time, I couldn't tell you
6 exactly, but it was a little out of the town, as I
7 drove out of the town, up a hill on the left-hand side.
8 Q. What did you observe in terms of any troops
9 or armed people that may have been around Colonel
10 Kordic at the time?
11 A. As was normal at any headquarters of an
12 authority in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there was an armed
13 presence around it, both outside the --
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters are
15 asking the witness to slow down, please.
16 A. I apologise. I think, psychologically, with
17 headphones on, I start to speak as if I were still a
18 soldier in a tank, and I tend to speak very quickly. I
19 apologise for that.
20 Like all headquarters in that part of the
21 world at the time, it was protected both by soldiers
22 outside the building and inside the building and in the
23 office itself.
24 Q. Now, returning then finally to the part of
25 your duties involved as the head of public affairs in
1 which you had indicated earlier you attended or
2 monitored the press conferences and events in the area,
3 who, over time, did you know to be some of the people
4 who were involved in the press conferences on the
5 Bosnian Croat side?
6 A. There were a variety of people, but certainly
7 Blaskic and Kordic were very prominent in giving those
8 press conferences.
9 Q. Do you recall, sir, that it was in connection
10 with one of these press conferences, in fact, where you
11 first learned that Mr. Kordic was one of the
13 A. As I said, Colonel Blaskic invited and took
14 me to one of those conferences. It was at that
15 conference that I was introduced to Dario Kordic, and
16 he was introduced to me as the vice-president.
17 Q. Now, was there a particular press conference
18 involving Mr. Kordic that came to your attention around
19 the 1st of February, 1993?
20 A. Not immediately, but we got reports of it
21 mainly from western journalists, and subsequently I was
22 able to speak to other people and get a rather fuller
23 view, although I didn't have at any time a full text of
24 that particular press conference. It did cause some
25 alarm at the time because of the very explosive
1 statements which were used at the end of that by Dario
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, at this time we
4 would seek to play a video marked as Exhibit 431. I
5 think it's already been given to the booth.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
7 MR. SAYERS: I don't have any objection to
8 the video, obviously, Judge May, but this particular
9 document that is attached as a purported translation,
10 Document Z431A, has been the subject of discussions
11 between myself and the Prosecution, specifically
12 Mr. Nice.
13 Several translations of this particular press
14 conference have been provided to us by the
15 Prosecution. This is one of them. We have put a list
16 of stipulations, provisional stipulations, and
17 objections together and delivered them to the
18 Prosecution covering all of the core documents. A
19 rather extensive exercise, as you can imagine. This is
20 one of the documents that we have challenged and
21 objected to as an inaccurate translation of what was
22 said at the press conference. We don't object to the
23 second translation, but we certainly object to this
25 JUDGE MAY: Well, is the sensible course to
1 play the video for the moment, we will have the best
2 translation we have, and we will note that it's in
3 dispute and the matter must be resolved in due course?
4 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. We've
5 double-checked the translations ourselves, obviously,
6 but we recognise they take a different position.
7 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's deal with that in due
8 course. We'll have the video first and the best
9 translation you've got. Where is the transcript?
10 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Your Honour. It had
11 been attached to the set of exhibits, I hope. The last
12 attachment in the bundle.
13 JUDGE MAY: 431A. Yes, we have it.
14 MR. SCOTT: Perhaps the booth can proceed.
15 (Videotape played)
16 MR. SCOTT: It improves in a moment, Your
18 (Videotape played)
19 THE INTERPRETER: (Voiceover) Today, as we are
20 talking, General Morillon is holding a meeting in Vitez
21 with two supreme commanders for Central Bosnia, Colonel
22 Tihomir Blaskic, HVO commander of the operations area
23 in Central Bosnia and war criminal, commander of the
24 3rd Muslim Corps, Enver Hadzihasanovic.
25 The HVO is asking that the ceasefire
1 agreements signed two days ago be complied with, the
2 roads for humanitarian convoys opened, as it has
3 already been agreed.
4 The HVO is asking that telephone lines for
5 Busovaca which Zenica local authorities have
6 disconnected be reconnected, that power be turned on.
7 I'm certain that our side will be cooperative, and our
8 men have been ordered not to fire a single bullet.
9 Furthermore, we will not return fire if our positions
10 are shelled. Should there be infantry attacks, we will
11 certainly defend ourselves.
12 However, I have to express my personal
13 suspicions regarding the Muslim side. I am not certain
14 that the Muslim forces will not attempt to play the
15 same scenario. They seem to have chosen the war
16 option, having refused the negotiations in Geneva under
17 the given conditions. They want to seize as much
18 territory as possible, to the detriment of the Croat
19 population, because they realise they failed to seize
20 territory from the Serb aggressor. They believe it is
21 easier with the Croats and it is possible to do. But
22 to their deep regret, I once again warn the Muslim
23 people, do not play with fire. If you attack other
24 municipalities, not only that there will be no
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, there will be no Muslim people
2 Thank you.
3 MR. SCOTT: I have no further questions, Your
5 JUDGE MAY: Just give us some more
6 information about this press conference. When is it
7 said to have taken place?
8 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Your Honour, I was
9 shuffling papers. I apologise.
10 The press conference, to the best of our
11 knowledge, took place on the 1st of February, 1993.
12 JUDGE MAY: Where was it?
13 MR. SCOTT: I believe, Your Honour, it was in
15 JUDGE MAY: Can you tell us where the tape
16 comes from?
17 MR. SCOTT: It was provided by -- to us, Your
18 Honour, it was provided by the Ministry of the Interior
19 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, so we've got the
21 outline of the dispute, I mean first of all is there
22 any dispute that it does represent the press
24 MR. SAYERS: I believe that there was
25 obviously a press conference, Your Honour. The
1 particular objection that we have concerns the very
2 last sentence of this document.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
4 MR. SAYERS: We have a translation, and we
5 believe it to be the correct translation provided to us
6 by the Office of the Prosecution, which says not "do
7 not play with fire," but "do not play with it," and we
8 believe that to be the accurate translation. This,
9 obviously, is both literally and metaphorically more
10 inflammatory than the other translation which the
11 Office of the Prosecution has provided to us.
12 I don't have my two big binders of the core
13 documents with me. I didn't realise that this was
14 going to be an exhibit. We've received no prior notice
15 of that. But if I had access to that document, Your
16 Honour, I believe in one single set of exhibits there
17 were the two translations, and you could see for
18 yourself the difference.
19 JUDGE MAY: Well, we have methods here of
20 resolving disputes about translations such as this.
21 It's certainly occurred in other cases. I forget
22 precisely what's done. We'll find out and we'll
23 resolve it.
24 Meanwhile, it's time for the break.
25 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, before we conclude,
1 I apologise, my associates are reminding me there is
2 one additional document which I think we can finish
3 very quickly, if possible. I can do it before or after
4 the break.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, do it now.
6 MR. SCOTT: If I can ask the usher to hand
7 you what's been marked as Exhibit Z297.
8 Q. Mr. Pinder, do you have Exhibit 297 in front
9 of you?
10 A. I do.
11 Q. Now, this is titled "Report On The Ninth
12 Mixed Military Working Group Meeting". By way of
13 explanation of the document, the reference to the
14 "Ninth", is that a reference to this was the ninth in
15 a series of meetings?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Do you recall whether you participated in the
18 particular meeting on the 28th of November, 1992?
19 A. No, I do not.
20 Q. You don't remember or -- I'm sorry, my
21 question wasn't very good. Do you remember whether you
22 were there or you don't remember one way or the other?
23 A. I can't remember if I was there or not.
24 Q. All right. Referring to the item 3,
25 "Participants", would those be the people that you
1 expected during this time period who would have
2 participated in such a meeting?
3 A. I could only say that they were the normal
4 people for a routine meeting.
5 Q. If I can direct your attention to paragraph 5
6 below the opening.
7 Well, before I ask you the next question,
8 whether or not you were at a particular meeting, was it
9 the normal course of business that you would review the
10 minutes of each of the meetings?
11 A. I would normally be present when the
12 discussions took place afterwards, because those
13 invariably took place back at Kiseljak.
14 Q. Again going back to paragraph numbered 5, do
15 you recall there being a particular item of business or
16 something that was noteworthy on that particular day
17 concerning Colonel Kordic's appearance?
18 A. To be quite honest, I don't recall this
19 particular incident, but neither do I recall that I was
20 not informed that Colonel Kordic had introduced himself
21 as such.
22 Q. Your testimony here is that in the course of
23 the fall of 1992, Mr. Kordic, if you will, came on the
24 scene as the senior representative?
25 A. I think I've already said that that was the
1 case, and when Kordic and Blaskic appeared together, it
2 was obvious that Kordic was the superior.
3 MR. SCOTT: No further questions, Your
5 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now. Half past
7 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
9 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Sayers, you've got the
10 rest of the day, I should think.
11 MR. SAYERS: I would anticipate, Your Honour,
12 that I would take approximately three hours with this
13 witness; I hope considerably less.
14 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
15 MR. SAYERS: To clear up one matter, we've
16 actually located the documents that I was referring
17 to. Let me give you the core bundle reference.
18 Page 5491 is the English translation, and we actually
19 have the Croatian, the original Croatian here, at
20 page 5504. And if I may, I'd just like to have a
21 slight translation of the phrase that I've pointed
22 out. I believe that the Croatian for "fire" is
23 "vatra," and that word does not appear here. I'd just
24 ask the usher ...
25 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Mr. Sayers, I guess that
1 it's only this sentence which is in dispute in the
2 translation, or is there any other thing in this ... ?
3 MR. SAYERS: Well, there are a couple of
4 other things that are in dispute, Your Honour. First
5 of all, this document, page 5491 of the core bundle,
6 says that the conference occurred in the middle of
7 February, 1991, not the 1st of February. And there are
8 some relatively significant deviations from the version
9 that has been presented to the Trial Chamber as well.
10 JUDGE BENNOUNA: But the translation problem
11 you have is with the last sentence?
12 MR. SAYERS: This specific translation
13 problem, yes, it is.
14 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Okay.
15 JUDGE MAY: I have asked the registry to look
16 into this, and we'll get it resolved one way or
18 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much indeed, Your
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:
21 Q. Mr. Pinder, my name is Steve Sayers, and I
22 represent Dario Kordic. I'm going to ask you a series
23 of questions. If any of them are unclear or you don't
24 understand them, just tell me, and I will rephrase
25 them, because it's important to get an accurate
1 transcript here. Do you understand?
2 A. Understood.
3 Q. Now, as I understand it, you arrived in
4 Central Bosnia in mid-October, 1992?
5 A. That's correct, yeah.
6 Q. And then you started to work in the UNPROFOR
7 headquarters, working for the staff of Brigadier
8 General Roderick Cordy-Simpson in Kiseljak?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. And you worked as the head of the public
11 affairs for UNPROFOR, I take it?
12 A. At the headquarters in Kiseljak, yes.
13 Q. How many people worked for you?
14 A. It varied and built up as time went on.
15 Initially a very small group, perhaps about four;
16 ultimately, nearer 15.
17 THE INTERPRETER: May we ask the counsel to
18 please speak closer to the microphone for the benefit
19 of the interpreters. Thank you.
20 MR. SAYERS: Yes, indeed. I will try to do
22 Q. When did you first speak with representatives
23 of the Prosecution, Mr. Pinder?
24 JUDGE MAY: Sorry, the interpreters were
25 asking for something.
1 MR. SAYERS: The interpreters were asking for
2 me to stand closer to the microphone, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MAY: And can you have in mind,
4 Mr. Sayers, the interpreters when you're asking the
5 questions; and Mr. Pinder, if you could bear in mind to
6 leave a gap after the question so it can be interpreted
7 before you reply --
8 A. Right. I understand.
9 JUDGE MAY: It makes life slightly more
10 difficult, but it is much easier for those having to
12 A. My apologies. I understand.
13 MR. SAYERS:
14 Q. I think we are both equally --
15 A. Reprimanded.
16 Q. Now, when did you first speak with
17 representatives of the Prosecution, Mr. Pinder?
18 A. I don't quite understand the term. I was
19 interviewed, I think, in May, early May, back in the
20 U.K., by someone I understood to be one of the
21 investigators. Am I allowed to say the name?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. Carry Spork.
24 Q. And that resulted in a statement that was
25 dated May the 29th through May the 31st, 1999?
1 A. That's right.
2 Q. So do I take it that you actually met with
3 representatives of the Prosecution during those three
4 days, and not in early May?
5 A. I think I was originally approached in early
6 May, but it was actually over the bank holiday period
7 that the actual interview took place.
8 Q. On May the 29th, 30th, and 31st?
9 A. If that was the bank holiday weekend, yes.
10 Q. Just two months ago?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And did you have your notes with you at that
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. All right. You didn't make copies of all of
16 your notes available to the Prosecution, did you?
17 A. No, I did not.
18 Q. Just selected snippets of them?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I believe that you left Central Bosnia at the
21 beginning of March of 1993?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. So you were in the theatre, if you like, for
24 a grand total of about five months?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. Just to ask you a few questions about your
2 background, training, and experience, sir, did you
3 receive any higher education after leaving grammar
4 school in Yorkshire?
5 A. I didn't go to university, if that's what you
6 mean, but I did subsequently earn two degrees.
7 Q. From where?
8 A. One from the equivalent of the civil service
9 foreign office, interpreter exam, and the final diploma
10 of the Institute of Linguists.
11 Q. What was the subject that you studied there?
12 A. German.
13 Q. Do you speak Croatian?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Have you had any political training at all?
16 A. Political training in the sense that I was
17 trained and qualified as a staff officer, and of
18 course, when I took over the job of chief of public
19 information for NATO in northern Germany, I did the
20 NATO press officers' course, which included political
22 Q. When you were in Central Bosnia, was your
23 rank major?
24 A. Yes, it was.
25 Q. How long had you held that rank?
1 A. I would have to think about that.
2 I would think close on eight years.
3 Q. What is the Council for Education in World
5 A. It's an independent educational charity
6 formed in 1939, originally by those people who went on
7 to form both the League of Nations and UNESCO, and its
8 primary role today is to try and produce material and
9 seminars and events, including Internet work, for young
10 people around the world to understand other cultures,
11 and hopefully, through that, find a more peaceful way
12 of coexisting.
13 Q. Your job as head of public affairs involved
14 setting up a press centre, I believe?
15 A. Yes, it did.
16 Q. And a system for informing the international
17 press of things that were going on in Central Bosnia?
18 A. That was the aim, yes.
19 Q. And your job required you, therefore, to
20 liaise with journalists; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the press systems of various countries,
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. And to the extent possible, you were also
1 required to liaise with local media; right?
2 A. That's also correct.
3 Q. And local public officials?
4 A. That's also correct.
5 Q. Now, I believe that you set yourself the task
6 of gaining a comprehensive understanding of the
7 political and military situation in Central Bosnia when
8 you first took up your job?
9 A. That was what we set out to do, yes. We
10 were, of course, thrown in at the deep end.
11 Q. What did you learn about the Croatian
12 Community of Herceg-Bosna? What was it?
13 A. That's quite difficult to answer in several
14 sentences. They were possibly -- and this is obviously
15 a generalisation -- or seemed to be the more
16 sophisticated of the various communities, and by that I
17 mean, I suppose, subjectively, westernised; not to
18 suggest the others were not, but they seemed more at
19 home with the western concepts. They seemed to have
20 more people who understood the larger dimensions of
21 what the implications might be of the conflict there.
22 They were -- perhaps they would say, with justice --
23 completely paranoid about the so-called Muslims and
24 what would happen if the Muslim government, as they
25 frequently called it, took over.
1 Q. What can you tell us about the massacre that
2 occurred at the villages of Dusina and Lasva on the
3 26th and 27th of January, shortly before the press
4 conference that concluded your testimony, sir?
5 A. I can say nothing direct. I wasn't present,
6 nor did I visit it.
7 Q. Did you know that in fact numerous civilians
8 had been shot to death?
9 A. Of course.
10 Q. Did you know that Mrs. Zeljka Rajic's husband
11 had been shot to death with about a dozen bullets and
12 had the heart cut out of his body?
13 A. You may not like me for saying this, but I
14 have long since stopped being shocked by what human
15 beings do to each other, and I was not aware directly
16 of that.
17 Q. Who was the president of the Croatian
18 Community of Herceg-Bosna? Do you know?
19 A. It's a long time ago. I think it was Boban.
20 Q. How many vice-presidents were there of that
22 A. More than one. I can't remember at this
23 stage how many.
24 Q. What were the functions of the office of
25 vice-president of the Croatian Community of
1 Herceg-Bosna, sir?
2 A. At this distance, I can't remember. I would
3 have known at the time.
4 Q. You don't know?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. You can't tell the Trial Chamber?
7 A. Of course not. It's seven years ago.
8 Q. Could you tell the Trial Chamber what the HDZ
9 BiH was?
10 A. HDZ -- there were a whole range of
11 abbreviations used to describe various parties. I
12 think the HDZ was the Croatian Community in
14 Q. Do you know who the national president of
15 that political party was during the time that you were
16 in charge of press affairs for UNPROFOR?
17 A. No longer. I repeat, it's seven years ago.
18 Q. Do you know who the local president was in
19 Kiseljak, where you were based, sir?
20 A. I would have known at the time. I don't know
22 Q. Do you remember who it was in Busovaca?
23 A. As I say, I would have known at the time. I
24 don't know now.
25 Q. Well, you know it was not Dario Kordic?
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please space out
2 questions and answers?
3 A. I don't know now; I would have known then.
4 MR. SAYERS:
5 Q. So you can't tell the Trial Chamber whether,
6 for example, Mr. Kordic held any position in the HDZ
7 BiH in Busovaca -- or Kiseljak, for that matter?
8 A. I know from memory that he held the
9 equivalent of what we would have called garrison
10 commander of the local defence forces in Busovaca.
11 Q. And where did you derive that information
13 A. From information we had at the time. It
14 wasn't contested.
15 Q. Did you ever consult military information
16 summaries regarding the chain of command in the HVO,
18 A. At the time, I would have done indirectly,
19 but that wasn't my direct mission. That would have
20 been done by the information section. There was
21 confusion, always, in the U.N., because they used the
22 word "information" for what I, as a military officer,
23 would have used as "intelligence." I wasn't involved
24 in intelligence.
25 Q. Do you know what the name of the military
1 brigade of the HVO that was stationed in Busovaca was?
2 A. No longer.
3 Q. Does the brigade Brigada Nikola Subic
4 Zrinjski sound familiar to you?
5 A. No.
6 MR. SAYERS: If I might just show the witness
7 a milinfosum, Your Honour, it basically summarises the
8 HVO chain of command in the Central Bosnia Operative
10 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
12 MR. SAYERS:
13 Q. I would like to turn your attention, if I
14 may, to page 2. In the HVO Central Bosnia Operative
15 Zone, the commander is identified as Tihomir Blaskic;
17 A. This is paragraph 3?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Yeah.
20 MR. SAYERS: If you could just move the --
21 that's correct.
22 Q. And for the HDZ, Dario Kordic is identified
23 as a significant person?
24 A. Yes, I see that.
25 Q. Do you know what position he held in the
1 HDZ? I think you've already said that you do not.
2 A. I think -- I think that's correct, and I
4 Q. If you could just turn to the next page,
6 In the Second Operative Zone group, reporting
7 to Colonel Blaskic, was the Nikola Subic Zrinjski
8 Brigade in Busovaca; is that correct?
9 A. I haven't found it yet, but let's look.
10 Which paragraph is that under?
11 Q. 2.
12 A. Forgive; me, I haven't actually found that
13 yet. Could you give me the name again?
14 Q. Right at the top of the screen, sir.
15 A. Subic Zrinjski?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. Okay. Sorry. I misheard you.
18 Q. What's the name of the commander of that
20 A. Niko Jozinovic.
21 Q. Deputy commander?
22 A. Anto Sliskovic.
23 Q. Did you ever meet commander Niko Jozinovic of
24 the Nikola Subic Zrinjski Brigade based in Busovaca,
1 A. I can't recall that I did. I do recall once
2 meeting Sliskovic.
3 Q. The deputy commander of the Nikola Subic
4 Zrinjski Brigade in Busovaca; correct?
5 A. That's what it says he is here, yes.
6 Q. Now, turning back to the HDZ, do you know how
7 many vice-presidents there were of this political
8 party, sir?
9 A. I think I've already said that. At this
10 stage, I do not.
11 Q. Would it surprise you if I suggested to you
12 that there are five vice-presidents, and that
13 Mr. Kordic was one of them?
14 A. It would not surprise me.
15 Q. Could you tell me what the HVO was, sir?
16 A. The HVO was the Croatian Defence Council.
17 Q. That was a military organisation, I believe?
18 A. Primarily, yes.
19 Q. Do you know who the president of the HVO was
20 at the time of your tour through Central Bosnia,
22 A. I can't recall at this stage, no.
23 Q. I'll just show you a document, if I may.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document D50/1.
25 MR. SAYERS: My colleague tells me, Your
1 Honour, that we apparently do not have a number for the
2 previous document, the milinfosum number 98 -- oh, it
3 was 49/1? Thank you.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, what's the point of
5 showing the witness this document unless he's actually
6 seen it before?
7 MR. SAYERS: I just want to see if it jogs
8 his memory, Your Honour, as to who the president of the
9 HVO was. Just turn to the last page, Your Honour, and
10 Mr. Pinder.
11 Q. Have you ever heard of Dr. Jadranko Prlic?
12 A. I have recollection of the name; I quite
13 honestly wouldn't recall that he was president of the
14 HVO HZ -- HB.
15 Q. Do you know a gentleman by the name of Zoran
17 A. The name is not familiar at this stage.
18 Q. Do you know that he was the president of the
19 HVO in Busovaca?
20 A. At this stage, I don't know.
21 Q. Do you recall that there was a change in
22 command of the Nikola Subic Zrinjski Brigade in
23 February of 1993?
24 A. At this stage, no, I do not.
25 Q. Have you ever met commander Dusko Grubesic?
1 A. I don't recall the name.
2 Q. Did you know that he was actually appointed
3 as the commander of the Nikola Subic Zrinjski Brigade,
4 and that he replaced commander Niko Jozinovic?
5 A. I don't know that. I notice, though, that
6 some of these materials are from one battalion group in
7 the UNPROFOR zone. I was responsible for the areas of
8 eight battalions, and therefore I wouldn't necessarily
9 have known the day-to-day transitions in each area.
10 Q. You would concede, therefore, that the
11 regiment that was actually stationed in the area which
12 had responsibility for Busovaca would know more, much
13 more, about the military chain of command and the civil
14 chain of command, than you did?
15 A. In that particular area, we could expect them
16 to know and to provide us with information, yes.
17 Q. All right. Let me just show you the next
18 milinfosum, if I may, dated February the 26th, 1992.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Document D51/1.
20 MR. SAYERS:
21 Q. Now, Mr. Pinder, I do not need to detain you
22 too long with this document. This is a milinfosum
23 prepared by the 1st Cheshire Regiment, and I'm sorry
24 that we don't have a better copy. But just as a matter
25 of background, the 1st Cheshire Regiment actually had
1 responsibility for the areas of Vitez and Busovaca, did
2 it not?
3 A. It did.
4 Q. All right. Do you see that by this time, in
5 the middle of the page, the commander of the Nikola
6 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade is now Dusko Grubesic?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. And that the deputy commander did not change,
9 it was still Anto Sliskovic?
10 A. I see that.
11 Q. Have you ever spoken to Commander Dusko
13 A. I don't recall that I have.
14 Q. All right. Now, do you know who the chief of
15 staff militarily was for the HVO in Central Bosnia?
16 A. At the time, I might have done. I don't now.
17 Q. Was it Brigadier General Milivoj Petkovic?
18 Does that jog your memory?
19 A. Well, the name obviously does, as I met him
20 several times. But at this distance, I can't recall
21 exactly what his title was, and these titles did
22 change. It was an evolutionary process.
23 Q. But there's no question that on the 22nd of
24 December, 1992, Brigadier General Milivoj Petkovic
25 turned up at the Mixed Military Working Group meeting
1 as the military supreme commander of the HVO in all
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina; isn't that true?
3 A. That's absolutely true, yes.
4 Q. All right. Now, do you know, sir, how the
5 HVO chain of command was broken down?
6 A. To be quite honest, that was one of our
7 difficulties. They seemed to be evolving and our
8 information was not always perfect, nor was it my
9 direct responsibility to know the military chain of
11 Q. Is the answer to my question, "No"?
12 A. The answer is, "No."
13 Q. Do you know where the headquarters of the
14 Central Bosnia Operative Zone was?
15 A. At this stage, no.
16 Q. I understand that the British army or the 1st
17 Cheshire Regiment had its local headquarters in the
18 village of Nova Bila, just outside Vitez?
19 A. That's substantially correct, yes.
20 Q. Colonel Stewart was the commanding officer of
21 the 1st Cheshire Regiment?
22 A. He was.
23 Q. Would you agree, then, that it would be
24 Lieutenant Colonel Stewart who would be in the best
25 position to give us all insights into the actual HVO
1 command structure and chain of command in his area of
3 A. In his direct area of responsibility, he
4 would know, but he would not know and he did not know
5 the larger picture.
6 Q. You say that Colonel Blaskic was the
7 commander of the 1st Operative Zone on page 3 of the
8 statement that I think you've been consulting
9 throughout your testimony?
10 A. That's right.
11 Q. Are you sure about that?
12 A. That is what I wrote at the time.
13 Q. Did you know that, in fact, Colonel Blaskic
14 was actually the commander of the Central Bosnia
15 Operative Zone and that the 1st Operative Zone was one
16 of the levels of command underneath him?
17 A. I would not know at this stage whether that
18 was true or not.
19 Q. Now, with respect to Mr. Kordic, you say that
20 you first heard of him when you arrived in Central
21 Bosnia and that you heard of him in a political context
22 initially; is that correct?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. Did you know that he had actually been a
25 journalist before the outbreak of the civil war in
2 A. I heard various versions of what he had been
3 before. Journalist was one of them, yes.
4 Q. When you arrived in Central Bosnia, there's
5 simply no dispute, and I don't think that you would
6 dispute this, that there was a vicious, bitter, and
7 bloody civil war going on between the various
8 constituent peoples in that country; right?
9 A. I would not have --
10 MR. SCOTT: I object to the characterisation
11 of "civil".
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please,
13 Mr. Scott.
14 MR. SCOTT: I object to the characterisation
15 of "civil". He can talk about what the conflict was.
16 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry, what are you saying?
17 I can't hear. I'm sorry.
18 MR. SCOTT: I'm so sorry, Your Honour. I'm
19 not speaking very well today. We object to the
20 characterisation of it being a civil war. That's a
21 characterisation by counsel. He can ask just a neutral
22 question about the conflict.
23 JUDGE MAY: I think that's the very point
24 that we're going to have to decide, yes.
25 MR. SCOTT: Of course.
1 JUDGE MAY: So let's move on.
2 MR. SAYERS:
3 Q. There was a conflict going on between the
4 Serbs in Bosnia-Herzegovina; right?
5 A. I don't know that there was a conflict going
6 on between the Serbs in Central Bosnia.
7 Q. I'm talking about Bosnia-Herzegovina, sir.
8 You were aware that the Serbs had attacked their Croat
9 and Muslim compatriots, were you not?
10 A. It was a very complex situation. There were
11 Serbs on both sides, there were Croats on both sides,
12 there were Muslims on all sides.
13 Q. Everyone in the country was fighting each
15 A. There was internal conflict.
16 Q. Amongst the inhabitants of the country;
18 A. Very much so.
19 Q. All right. I'll move on.
20 You say that when you first arrived in
21 October of 1992, you heard that Mr. Kordic held, to use
22 your words, a relatively-high position in what the
23 Croats termed Herceg-Bosna?
24 A. That's correct.
25 Q. What position?
1 A. At first, I only heard that he held a high
2 position. When I was actually introduced to him, I was
3 told that he was a vice-president. I agree with you, I
4 was told "a vice-president". I never assumed there was
5 only one of them.
6 Q. I mean I think that you just don't know how
7 many vice-presidents there were of HZ-HB --
8 A. Absolutely not. I had several years as chief
9 executive of chambers of commerce. Sometimes we had
10 six vice-presidents, sometimes we had two.
11 Q. You also viewed it as quite a breakthrough, I
12 believe, that you were permitted to attend press
13 conferences that were given by the Croat authorities.
14 A. Very much so.
15 Q. I think you would agree with me that at those
16 press conferences that you attended, three, I believe
17 it was, there would first be a briefing on the military
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. It would be Colonel Blaskic who would give
21 that briefing, wouldn't it?
22 A. Normally, yes.
23 Q. Then there would be a presentation followed
24 by Mr. Ignac Kostroman, I believe.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Finally, for the political perspective,
2 Mr. Kordic?
3 A. I wouldn't disagree with that.
4 Q. I believe that you have stated that you do
5 not recall whether you saw Mr. Kordic wearing any kind
6 of a uniform at these press conferences.
7 A. No, I honestly can't remember.
8 Q. Fine. Do you know whether Mr. Kordic had a
9 military background at all?
10 A. I never heard that. I know there was
11 national service, but I don't know whether, at this
12 stage, he had done the full service or not.
13 Q. You don't know whether he actually held any
14 officer's rank in the JNA, the former Yugoslav People's
16 A. At this stage, no, I don't know that.
17 Q. Did you ever know that?
18 A. I can't remember if I ever knew that. I'm
19 sorry, I'm not being deliberately difficult.
20 Q. It was Colonel Blaskic, I believe, that you
21 said who was the person who first introduced you to
22 Mr. Kordic. Is that right?
23 A. That's right.
24 Q. He introduced you to "Mr. Kordic", not
25 "Colonel Kordic"; right?
1 A. I think that would be correct. Certainly,
2 it's true I didn't have any indication of military rank
3 at that stage.
4 Q. All right. Do you know when Mr. Kordic was
5 first introduced to you as a colonel, as having some
6 kind of military rank?
7 A. I think it was actually on the Mixed Military
8 Working Group.
9 Q. Now, let me ask you this: In the British
10 army, anyway, how do you actually become a colonel?
11 A. I'm resisting cynicism and saying that you
12 get promoted through qualifications and experience and
13 commands you've held before.
14 Q. It usually takes an extremely long time to
15 travel up the chain of command, if you like?
16 A. Not in wartime.
17 Q. But, nonetheless, normally --
18 A. Under normal circumstances, there would be a
20 Q. Is there any such thing in the British army
21 as an honorary colonel, to your knowledge?
22 A. Yes, there are, of regiments.
23 Q. Can you tell us a little about that? What
24 kind of military function does an honorary colonel
25 have in the regiments in the British army?
1 A. With the actual regiments themselves, very
2 little. What function he actually has would determine
3 what he or she might normally do. It is possible, for
4 instance, for a field marshal to be an honorary
5 colonel in a regiment and be chief of the general
6 staff. Equally, Princess Anne is an honorary colonel
7 of several regiments.
8 Q. Right, but you agree that this is a position
9 that's frequently reserved for, for example, political
10 figures, prominent political figures?
11 A. It is normally exclusively denied to
12 political figures.
13 Q. But the people that are given this title, if
14 you like, they don't actually have the ability to
15 command troops and --
16 A. No, it's an honorary title.
17 Q. They don't have the ability to give orders?
18 A. Not as a result of being an honorary
19 person. But this is a purely peace-time, ceremonial
20 rank. It is not the same --
21 JUDGE MAY: If you're suggesting, and I don't
22 know if this is the suggestion, that Mr. Kordic was an
23 honorary colonel in the same way as a field marshal or
24 somebody of a similar rank is an honorary colonel in
25 Britain, I think you better put that directly to the
1 witness to hear what his reaction is.
2 MR. SAYERS: I will get around to that, Your
3 Honour. I think we may as well do it right now. No
4 time like the present, I guess.
5 JUDGE MAY: This is as good a time as any.
6 MR. SAYERS:
7 Q. You were first introduced to Mr. Kordic as
8 "Colonel Kordic" in the Mixed Military Working Group
9 meetings in December of 1992, I believe.
10 A. That's probably correct. Certainly towards
11 the end of that year.
12 Q. Right. You had never heard of him as a
13 colonel before that?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Never been introduced to him as a colonel
16 before that?
17 A. Not specifically with rank. However, I would
18 have to put a distinction to say that by that time, we
19 knew that he was responsible for the defence forces
20 around Busovaca, or we believed that to be the case.
21 Q. Well, let's put it -- well, where did you get
22 that information from?
23 A. From a variety of sources, and we assessed
24 it, rightly or wrongly -- we may have been wrong --
25 more in the context of earlier European conflicts
1 where, for instance, the town mayor might have been
2 made local defence commander. But it could be wrong.
3 Q. What sources?
4 A. At this stage, I wouldn't be aware what those
5 sources were, but they would almost certainly have been
6 local sources, which may or may not have been reliable.
7 Q. Did you know that Zoran Maric was the mayor
8 of Busovaca?
9 A. I can't recall at this stage.
10 Q. To get back to Judge May's point, the Mixed
11 Military Working Group, I think you said in your direct
12 examination, and I don't think there's any dispute
13 about it, was the only forum in existence in the
14 December 1992 time period which provided an active
15 dialogue for the three main participants in this
16 internal conflict, the Serbs, the Muslims, and the
17 Croats; right?
18 A. I don't agree with your last part of that
19 definition, but I accept that the Mixed Military
20 Working Group was where the various factions were
21 getting together to talk.
22 Q. Right. So you had to have a military rank in
23 order to participate, didn't you?
24 A. I personally would not have seen that as
25 being necessary, but I can see why it would have been
2 Q. Right. Thank you. Now, do you know whether
3 Dario Kordic was in fact formally appointed as a
4 colonel of the HVO?
5 A. No, I have no knowledge of that.
6 Q. You've never seen any orders of appointment?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Any publications which announced that
10 A. No.
11 Q. You've never seen Dario Kordic sign a
12 military order, I take it.
13 A. I've never seen him physically sign one, no.
14 Q. Now, to turn to a different subject, your
15 superior --
16 JUDGE MAY: Before you do, I would like an
17 answer to the question which I posed. Mr. Pinder, if
18 the suggestion was made that the role which Dario
19 Kordic was carrying out when you observed it was
20 similar to that of an honorary colonel in the British
21 army, what would your answer be to that?
22 A. I can't conceive, in the local situation as
23 it then was, there would have been any reason for
24 people to be honorary colonels.
25 MR. SAYERS:
1 Q. But to complete the thought, Mr. Pinder, and
2 I think you've already said this, you don't know
3 whether, in fact, Mr. Kordic was actually an HVO
4 colonel, do you?
5 A. No, I don't.
6 Q. Now, to get back to the subject I was about
7 to raise, your superior officer, I take it, was
8 Brigadier Roderick Cordy-Simpson then, now Major
9 General Cordy-Simpson?
10 A. Major General Sir Cordy-Simpson, yes.
11 Q. He was the principle negotiator representing
12 the British army, anyway, at the Mixed Military Working
13 Group meetings?
14 A. He was most definitely not representing the
15 British army. He represented UNPROFOR.
16 Q. But he was a senior ranking British member of
17 the UNPROFOR negotiation team, if you like?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. He served, I believe, as chief of staff under
20 Lieutenant General Philippe Morillon.
21 A. That is correct.
22 Q. And also under Brigadier General
23 Martinez-Coll, as General Morillon's second in command?
24 A. Right.
25 Q. So at least on the British side, you would
1 have to concede, would you not, that Major General
2 Cordy-Simpson would be the most knowledgeable about the
3 actual negotiations, what went on at the negotiations
4 that occurred in the Mixed Military Working Group
6 A. Of course.
7 Q. Now, you've spoken at some length upon your
8 claim that Mr. Kordic or Colonel Kordic, as you have
9 described him, was clearly superior in the chain of
10 command to Colonel Blaskic?
11 A. That wasn't only my opinion.
12 Q. You stated that it would have been obvious to
13 anyone present at the meetings; right?
14 A. It would have been normally obvious, yes.
15 Q. Now, the earlier meetings that were attended
16 only by Colonel Blaskic, do you recall whether he
17 brought along with him a political commissar at all?
18 A. The term's an interesting one, and it's one
19 we unofficially used as well. Normally, it was
21 Q. Let me just read to you from the statement
22 that Major General Sir Roderick Cordy-Simpson submitted
23 to the Prosecution. It's on page 6.
24 "Within the HVO, there was evidence of a
25 structure where people, such as the mayor or his
1 military equivalent, sat alongside each other. Dario
2 Kordic was not military but a politician.
3 "For a period, Kordic was the representative
4 of the HVO at the MMWG meetings in the absence of
5 Blaskic, but I am not sure of the relationship between
6 the two or who was superior to the other. Blaskic
7 always seemed to be able to deliver on military
8 decisions, if he wished to, but with Kordic it was more
10 Would you agree with that?
11 A. I wouldn't disagree with that, depending on
12 the time it was written, of course.
13 Q. He also stated that Brigadier General
14 Petkovic was older, a professional soldier, and he was
15 definitely the commander. Would you agree with that?
16 A. I would agree, over the whole area, yes.
17 Q. Now, did you ever speak to Lieutenant Colonel
18 Robert A. Stewart regarding his perceptions of Dario
19 Kordic's role within the military?
20 A. We would have discussed that several times,
22 Q. Isn't it true Lieutenant Colonel Stewart told
23 you that he never considered Dario Kordic to be a
25 A. I don't recall him saying that.
1 Q. Let me just cite to you page 23855 of Colonel
2 Stewart's testimony in Blaskic just a month ago. He
4 "Colonel Blaskic was, in my opinion, the
5 real commander of the HVO in Central Bosnia. I never,
6 ever thought that Kordic was the commander. I never,
7 ever referred to Kordic as the commander, or anybody
9 Do you agree with that?
10 A. If he said that, then that's obviously what
11 he believed. I don't think we ever thought Dario
12 Kordic was a professional soldier.
13 Q. He also elaborated, on page 23871, as
15 "Kordic always spoke in political terms. He
16 always talked, you know, of destiny and, you know, the
17 sort of grand picture. Certainly, the soldiers
18 naturally followed Colonel Blaskic, not Kordic, to whom
19 I gave no rank, because I don't think he had one."
20 Do you agree with that?
21 A. That was obviously his opinion. The fact
22 that he was addressed as "Pukovnik" both by his own
23 people and the other negotiating parties as some stage
24 is what I'm basing my assessment on, but of course that
25 is my assessment from the fact that he was called
2 Q. Of course, you would have to agree that even
3 between the upper echelons of the command structure in
4 the British forces present in Central Bosnia at the
5 time that you were there, there would be room for
6 disagreement --
7 A. Absolutely.
8 Q. -- where you're not absolutely sure --
9 A. I think I said that.
10 Q. Right. There's doubt as to the command
11 structure in your mind, isn't there?
12 A. There was certainly doubt at the time.
13 Q. And there still is, isn't there, sir?
14 JUDGE MAY: That's a matter that we're going
15 to have to resolve in due course.
16 MR. SAYERS: Yes. Let me move on.
17 Q. Now, turning to the Mixed Military Working
18 Group meetings that you've described, when did this
19 group first convene?
20 A. Again with time, I can't recall exactly
21 when. I thought it would have started an informal
22 process towards the end of October, early November, and
23 it sort of grew. It wasn't planned. There wasn't any
24 great master plan. We were all trying to find our way.
25 Q. We have been given a copy of some snippets of
1 notes that you prepared when you were in attendance at
2 some of these meetings. I believe that you gave
3 anything that contained any relevance or reference to
4 Mr. Kordic to the Prosecution when they interviewed you
5 two months ago, sir.
6 A. That's correct.
7 Q. The very first one of these notes that we
8 have is dated the 12th of December, 1992; right?
9 A. That could be, yes.
10 Q. The last meeting that was attended by
11 Mr. Kordic, I believe, was December the 21st.
12 A. I don't know if that was the last meeting or
14 Q. Well, why don't you take a look at your
16 A. They would only record those meetings which I
17 had been asked to discuss, but I'll certainly take a
19 Q. Please do.
20 A. I can't see anywhere where I say that's the
21 last meeting.
22 Q. Did he attend the meeting on the 22nd?
23 A. Of?
24 Q. December 1992.
25 A. No, because that was the one between what
1 should have been the three generals.
2 Q. Your notes don't reflect that he ever
3 attended any meetings after December the 21st, 1992;
4 isn't that a fact, sir?
5 A. That's a fact from my notebooks, but neither
6 did I attend every single meeting after that period.
7 Q. I understand. But your notes only show
8 Mr. Kordic in attendance at these meetings over a
9 nine-day period; correct?
10 A. My notes, as such, yes.
11 Q. Now, you say that Mr. Kordic turned up at
12 some of these meetings in uniform?
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. What do you mean by that?
15 A. There was, of course, a lot of wearing of
16 combat kit by people on all sides, whether they were
17 military or not. Some people might have worn a combat
18 jacket, others might have been wearing combat
19 trousers. But on this particular occasion, it was
20 significant to us that this was a proper uniform. It
21 was actually quite a new jacket. I remember there was
22 an HVO slash to it. I don't recall, as I said in my
23 evidence, whether that was on the chest or on the
24 shoulder, but I do recall the patch was there.
25 Q. You're telling us, I think, that he turned up
1 in camouflage clothing with an HVO patch somewhere?
2 A. And the full boots, and the panoply, if you
3 like, of the aides around him.
4 Q. Including a rosary bead and a crucifix that
5 he habitually wore; right?
6 A. We noticed that he always wore that, yes.
7 Q. He did not wear any rank insignia that you
8 recall at all, did he?
9 A. No, but many of them didn't.
10 Q. Right. He didn't have a name tag or a rank
11 slide that said "Pukovnik Kordic", did he, sir?
12 A. I can't recall that, no.
13 Q. I believe that you would agree with me that
14 Mr. Kordic, and the Croats generally, acted as
15 mediators during the Mixed Military Working Group
16 meetings held in December of 1992. Isn't that right?
17 A. That appeared to be the line that they were
18 taking, yes.
19 Q. They liked and, in fact, relished and enjoyed
20 the role as mediators in these meetings?
21 A. I made that observation, yes.
22 Q. Mediating between the Muslim or BiH side, on
23 the one hand, and the Serb side, on the other?
24 A. It was not a benign mediation.
25 Q. But mediation, nonetheless?
1 A. It appeared to be, yes.
2 Q. An attempt to stop conflict rather than
3 ferment it; wouldn't you agree with that?
4 A. To a certain extent, yes, but deliberately
5 talking separately to the Serb delegation and excluding
6 the Bosnian presidency was not helpful.
7 Q. Well, wouldn't you agree that the matter of
8 maps and cantons and ethnic divisions, things of that
9 variety, were topics of the most vivid and lively
10 conversation amongst all of the political and military
11 figures in Bosnia-Herzegovina in December of 1992?
12 A. Absolutely.
13 Q. In fact, the Vance-Owen Plan, I believe, was
14 being actively discussed and thrashed out at that
16 A. Yes, it was.
17 Q. Those were negotiations occurring in Geneva;
19 A. Ultimately in Geneva, yes.
20 Q. Do you know who attended the Geneva
21 negotiations representing the HZ-HB and the Croat
23 A. I believe on certain occasions it was Mate
25 Q. Mr. Boban. Anyone else that you can recall?
1 A. I don't recall at this distance, no.
2 Q. You don't know whether Mr. Kordic ever
3 attended any meetings in far-off places like Geneva, do
5 A. No, I don't. But if I can make a point, with
6 your permission, at the time of the Falklands War, I
7 would have known the names of all the Argentinian
8 cabinet and most of their commanders on the ground. I
9 don't know them now.
10 Q. All right. Now, turning to the notes that
11 you prepared for a minute, I believe that you went
12 through them carefully and extracted only the ones that
13 were, to use your words, specifically relevant because
14 of the role that Mr. Kordic was fulfilling at the MMWG
16 A. The books are general. They include orders,
17 groups, my instructions to various people, and of
18 course records of various meetings that took place,
19 and, yes, I extracted those which seemed relevant.
20 Q. It would be fair to say, then, that
21 Mr. Kordic, or Colonel Kordic as you describe him,
22 assumed no significant role in the negotiations before
23 December the 12th, 1992?
24 A. No, he didn't turn up until then.
25 Q. When the time came to actually -- sorry.
1 When the time came actually to sign a written
2 agreement, it wasn't Mr. Kordic that signed the
3 agreement or was prepared to do so, it was Brigadier
4 General Milivoj Petkovic, wasn't it, sir?
5 A. At the time, that was the intention, yes.
6 Q. In fact, you don't know whether any peace
7 agreements at all were ever signed by Mr. Kordic, do
9 A. No, I don't.
10 Q. We'll go over some of those in just a
11 second. But let me go through each one of these
12 meetings, and I just have a few questions, if I may.
13 I think there were three or four meetings
14 that you discussed specifically. The first one was on
15 December the 12th, 1992?
16 A. Umm-hmm.
17 Q. In this meeting, I believe that you say that
18 Mr. Kordic stressed that goodwill should be shown
19 before the Christmas holidays to all; right?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. Especially to children, women, and the
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. That was because the children, women, the
25 elderly, and the other components of the population
1 were expecting some kind of progress in the discussions
2 at the MMWG meetings; right?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. That's the point that Mr. Kordic made?
5 A. We were all making that point.
6 Q. He later emphasised to you that it would have
7 to be political negotiations that would bring an end to
8 the civil war; right?
9 A. Yes, he did.
10 Q. He told you that or he told the participants
11 in the meeting that they should all express better
12 goodwill and work towards the peace process?
13 A. Yes, he did.
14 Q. There was little discussion, if any, of the
15 military intricacies behind the ceasefire proposal,
16 wasn't there?
17 A. On that particular meeting, yes.
18 Q. But Mr. Kordic turned up and indicated a
19 willingness, on the part of the HVO, to sign any
20 ceasefire agreement and to sign it immediately?
21 A. That's correct, but at that time he was
22 styling himself "Colonel Kordic".
23 Q. I understand. But actually the ceasefire
24 agreement that ultimately eventuated from these nine
25 days of negotiations in which he participated was not
1 signed by one side; is that correct?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Which side was that, sir?
4 A. That was the presidency.
5 Q. You mean the BiH presidency, the Muslim side?
6 A. Yes. It was one of about 30 ceasefires.
7 Q. Well, do you know whether Mr. Kordic signed
8 any of those 30 ceasefires?
9 A. I can't recall at this stage.
10 Q. Now, there was reference to another meeting
11 that occurred sometime between December the 12th and
12 the 17th of 1992. Do you recall that?
13 A. Yes, I do.
14 Q. What date; do you know?
15 A. No, I don't, because in my notes,
16 unfortunately, I didn't actually put anything more than
17 "December" on that particular instance, so it's
18 bracketed between a meeting on the 12th and some facts
19 that I put in of a totally unrelated event on the
21 Q. And you didn't provide a copy of that to the
22 Prosecutors, and therefore to us?
23 A. I certainly provided a copy of that meeting.
24 I merely said I didn't know on which day it took place
25 between the 12th and the 17th.
1 Q. All right. Well, let's see if we can go over
2 what was said at this meeting. I believe Mr. Kordic
3 told the attendees that he had spoken with the Croat,
4 quote, "political masters"?
5 A. Correct. That's what I wrote.
6 Q. That's straight from your notes; right?
7 A. That's straight from my notes.
8 Q. And who were they?
9 A. It wasn't said.
10 Q. And the political masters told Mr. Kordic
11 that there was complete support at the top for a
13 A. Correct.
14 Q. But you don't know who was at the top, I take
16 A. No, at this stage, not.
17 Q. Mr. Kordic indicated a willingness on behalf
18 of the HVO to freeze all military activity?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that there would be no new deployments of
21 any forces; right?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. But he emphasised nonetheless that
24 Herceg-Bosna was the supreme body to examine these
25 decisions from the Croat side?
1 A. That was the point he made, yes.
2 Q. You don't know who in Herceg-Bosna had to do
3 that, do you?
4 A. No.
5 Q. All right. The next meeting occurred, I
6 believe, on December the 17th, 1992?
7 A. Correct. The next meeting that I attended.
8 Q. Absolutely. You didn't attend all of the
10 A. No, I didn't, no.
11 Q. Now, I believe that General Morillon told the
12 attendees that the Muslim side could not be
13 represented, that would be late, because they had been
14 detained at a roadblock?
15 A. That's right.
16 Q. And General Morillon also emphasised that it
17 would be wise to establish a practical framework for an
18 agreement so that a higher-level process could begin?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And those are the words that he used?
21 A. Yeah, yeah.
22 Q. And you recorded that?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. And with respect to the matter of HVO road
25 blockades, it's true, is it not, that Mr. Kordic said
1 that as to the HVO road blockades, that UNPROFOR could
2 take control of them all?
3 A. That's correct.
4 Q. There's one comment in your notes, sir, that
5 is rather intriguing. It says, quote, "We have to have
6 professional interpreters," followed by an exclamation
8 A. Yeah.
9 Q. Could you give the Trial Chamber some insight
10 on why that was important or necessary?
11 A. Yes. If I can explain, I am also a
12 professional interpreter, English/German, and therefore
13 I had some knowledge of the difficulties of trying to
14 interpret. I have been increasingly concerned, and had
15 made those concerns known, and they'd been accepted,
16 that we were actually dealing with very sensitive and
17 complex matters. Whether those belonged in the
18 political or military area didn't matter; the Mixed
19 Military Working Group were the ones discussing them,
20 and we were relying on people who were not, by and
21 large, professional interpreters. They were local.
22 Some were even teachers of English, but there's a great
23 difference between being able to teach and speak a
24 language and being able to interpret it.
25 We were also concerned that, being local,
1 those people could come under pressure to do things or
2 to say things that were not accurate because of,
3 perhaps, where their relatives were.
4 And those were the reasons why we made those
5 representations that we needed fully professional
6 interpreters. It was getting too complex, I felt.
7 Q. Thank you. Now, you also refer to a comment
8 that was made by a gentleman by the name of
9 Verschinkovic, I believe?
10 A. Mm-hmm.
11 Q. And in your notes it says, quote, "Presidency
12 lack the mil. expertise to even understand the
13 implications of their plan," unquote.
14 A. Yeah.
15 Q. What did you mean by that?
16 A. I'll answer it first in a general sense, if I
17 may. One of the concerns we had mainly was that a lot
18 of the people who had got high-level appointments,
19 whether they were military or political, were not
20 actually professionals in their particular field -- and
21 that is in no way to be arrogant; it certainly isn't
22 intended to be -- that they were in an incredibly
23 difficult situation, one that we could only partially
24 relate to, and they were trying to gain experience of
25 high-level diplomatic matters, of trying to talk to
1 each other and establish procedures of which they
2 themselves had no great personal experience.
3 And that was our concern. And one of the
4 ways the Mixed Military Working Group tried to help
5 that was to suggest and bring along a knowledge of how
6 to talk to each other.
7 Q. Thank you for that explanation.
8 If we could turn very briefly to the next
9 meeting on December the 20th, 1992, I believe that
10 Mr. Kordic told all of the attendees, and you, that he
11 had consulted the military and political authorities
12 and had actually no remarks to make regarding the
13 pending suggestions from the Croat side?
14 A. That's correct, because they had already
15 agreed to them previously.
16 Q. Once again, he urged all parties to agree to
17 the immediate cessation of all hostilities, did he not?
18 A. He did.
19 Q. And he also urged all participants at this
20 meeting to take the concrete step, to use your notes,
21 proposed by Brigadier, then --
22 A. Cordy-Simpson.
23 Q. -- Cordy-Simpson, to show that they had
24 achieved something. What was that concrete step?
25 A. At this stage I can't remember, but they were
1 obviously the four points, but there had been technical
2 discussions on where particular lines should be drawn,
3 even down to going the left side of particular
4 districts; which roads and junctions should be included
5 in which part. And there were time frames attached to
6 that. Certain things were to be achieved by the 21st
7 of December, by the 23rd, and so on.
8 Q. And there's another reference in your notes
9 to Mr. Kordic emphasising that the Christmas
10 celebrations were coming up --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- and that this was a good opportunity --
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. -- a perfect opportunity to achieve
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you find Mr. Kordic to be a religious
18 man, in your experience with him?
19 A. We had assumed that he had a reason for
20 wearing a crucifix. I have no idea of his religion.
21 Q. All right. Let me turn to the next meeting,
22 now. December the 21st, 1992, is the last meeting that
23 you attended -- the last Mixed Military Working Group
24 meeting that you attended -- at which Mr. Kordic spoke;
1 A. Sorry, which date?
2 Q. December 21st.
3 A. Yes, correct, yeah.
4 Q. All right. Now, I saw a reference in your
5 notes that say as follows: "LO feels sufficient
6 political progress now made to leave mil. to mil.
8 A. Mm-hmm.
9 Q. Is that an accurate rendition --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. -- of what your notes say?
12 A. Yes. "LO" would mean "Liaison Officer."
13 Q. Would it mean "Lord Owen"?
14 A. It could have done. In that --
15 Q. It did, didn't it?
16 A. Yeah. It probably did, actually, in that
18 Q. Have you ever read Lord Owen's book, "A
19 Balkan Odyssey"?
20 A. I did scan it. I didn't buy a copy.
21 Q. Did you know that the name "Dario Kordic"
22 does not appear in this book once?
23 A. No, I did not.
24 Q. There's a dramatis personae right at the
25 beginning of the book containing maybe a couple of
1 hundred names. Did you know that Dario Kordic's name
2 doesn't appear anywhere in that dramatis personae?
3 A. Neither does mine, and I helped Lord Owen on
4 several occasions.
5 Q. Do you know who it was that made the
6 suggestion that Mr. Kordic should actually turn up to
7 these Mixed Military Working Group meetings in the
8 first place?
9 A. No, I don't. I assumed -- we had all assumed
10 some consultation process had gone on within their own
12 Q. If I might just show you one document, I'd
13 like to see if this jogs your memory.
14 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
15 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
17 MR. SAYERS: This actually comes, Your
18 Honour, from the core bundle, page 5582; that is, the
19 Prosecution's core bundle.
20 Q. I'd just like to turn your attention to
21 paragraph 4 of Colonel Blaskic's recommendations, where
22 he says, "I propose that our side is represented by
23 deputy president of HZ-HB, Mr. Dario Kordic, and
24 secretary Ignac Kostroman."
25 Did Mr. Blaskic ever relate that suggestion
1 to you?
2 A. No, he didn't.
3 Q. You have mentioned in your direct testimony a
4 visit down to the area of Gornji Vakuf?
5 A. Mm-hmm.
6 Q. Was that around the same time, the winter and
7 -- beginning of 1993?
8 A. It would have been around -- around the turn
9 of the year, yeah.
10 Q. Do you know that a ceasefire order was
11 actually signed on January the 20th, 1993, and that it
12 was signed in the Gornji Vakuf area by Brigadier
13 General Milivoj Petkovic?
14 A. At this distance in time, I don't recall
15 that; but there were frequent ceasefire agreements and
17 Q. All right. If I might just show you a
18 document that was attached to milinfosum 82.
19 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
20 THE REGISTRAR: Document D53/1.
21 JUDGE MAY: This is virtually illegible.
22 MR. SAYERS: It is indeed, Your Honour, but
23 I'm actually referring to the last two pages of this
24 document, which is perfectly legible.
25 Q. This January the 20th, 1993, order: Have you
1 ever seen it? The order that was signed by Brigadier
2 Milivoj Petkovic, and commander of the 4th Corps of the
3 BiH army, Arif Pasalic?
4 A. I can't say with 100 per cent certainty, no.
5 Q. Did you know that joint orders had been
6 issued for the cessation of all hostilities in the
7 Gornji Vakuf area on January the 20th, 1993, by the --
8 at the very -- signed by the highest commanders in the
10 A. I don't recall at this stage the exact date,
11 but I do recall that they were signed.
12 Q. Thank you. Now, did you attend high-level
13 ceasefire negotiations in Kiseljak on January the 26th,
14 1993, that were conducted between Lieutenant Colonel
15 Stewart, Colonel Blaskic, and General Merdan, the
16 second in command of the 3rd Corps?
17 A. I was only sporadically present at those
18 because I was actually running the press centre --
19 Q. Right.
20 A. -- for the journalists who were interested in
22 Q. But it's true, is it not, that on January
23 26th, high-level negotiations occurred between
24 highly-placed military figures aimed at producing a
25 ceasefire in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And Mr. Kordic didn't attend those
3 negotiations at all, did he?
4 A. No, he didn't.
5 Q. And indeed, those negotiations actually went
6 on to the very next day, January the 27th, didn't they?
7 A. They did.
8 Q. And at the conclusion of that meeting,
9 Brigadier General Cordy-Simpson actually brought the
10 negotiators before the TV cameras?
11 A. He did.
12 Q. To cement, if you like, the agreement that
13 had been -- or the informal agreement that had been
14 reached there?
15 A. I organised that.
16 Q. Right. That's your bailiwick, I take it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. And he made the negotiators shake
20 A. I don't think he made them, but they did.
21 Q. All right.
22 THE INTERPRETER: Once again, will you please
23 try to space out questions and answers.
24 JUDGE MAY: Did you get that, Mr. Sayers?
25 MR. SAYERS: I'm afraid I stand chastised
1 once again, Your Honour. I will do my best to slow
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, please.
4 MR. SAYERS:
5 Q. And Brigadier Cordy-Simpson also made the
6 parties reaffirm their commitment to a ceasefire,
7 didn't he?
8 A. They did, yeah.
9 Q. And do you know that a ceasefire agreement
10 actually was signed as a result of this meeting that
11 was presided over by Brigadier Cordy-Simpson?
12 A. I believe that is the case, yes.
13 Q. Have you ever seen it before?
14 A. I can't remember. I would have done at the
16 Q. If I may, I actually have a copy of that.
17 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
18 THE REGISTRAR: Document D54/1.
19 MR. SAYERS:
20 Q. All right, Mr. Pinder, is this actually a
21 copy of the ceasefire agreement that was signed on
22 January the 30th, 1993?
23 A. That's right. It wasn't signed at Kiseljak;
24 it was signed further into Central Bosnia.
25 Q. It was actually signed at the BritBat
1 headquarters in Nova Bila, wasn't it?
2 A. Nova Bila; that's right.
3 Q. On behalf of the HVO, Franjo Nakic signed the
5 A. Correct, yeah.
6 Q. Do you know who he was?
7 A. At this stage, no.
8 Q. If I suggested to you that he was Colonel
9 Blaskic's second in command, would that sound right?
10 A. It could well be. I can't say at this stage.
11 Q. And it was also signed, on the Muslim side,
12 by Colonel Dzemal Merdan?
13 A. That's right. I recall Merdan.
14 Q. And he was actually the second in command to
15 General Enver Hadzihasanovic?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Commander of the 3rd Corps, headquartered in
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. The document is also signed by Lieutenant
21 Colonel Stewart; right?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Also by Jeremy Fleming from the ECMM?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And who is Jeremy Fleming?
1 A. The ECMM had been taking an increasingly
2 active part in the various negotiations, and in fact
3 had set up a team -- I can't remember where it was
4 based; somewhere between Vitez and Kiseljak -- who were
5 actually monitoring, in a joint task force
6 organisation, the various moves that were going on.
7 Q. At all events, the document, I think we can
8 all see, is not signed by Mr. Kordic at all, is it?
9 A. You said yourself they are signed by
11 Q. It's true, is it not, that implementing
12 orders, joint orders, were to be one obtained from the
13 commanding officers of the Croat forces and the Muslim
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. SAYERS: I might just ask the usher to
17 show Mr. Pinder a document which has already been
18 identified as defence exhibit D17/1,17.
19 Q. Mr. Pinder, you are being shown the signature
20 page only of this agreement. If you actually flip it
21 around, it says, "Joint order from commander, 3 Corps,
22 BiH army, and commander of HVO, Middle Bosnia
23 Operational Zone"?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And it's signed by Colonel Tihomir Blaskic on
1 behalf of the HVO; correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And also signed by General Enver
4 Hadzihasanovic, the commander of the 3rd Corps?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And it's countersigned by Jeremy Fleming, the
7 chairman of the joint commission; do you see that?
8 A. Correct, yes. This is the one that was
9 setting up the monitoring teams.
10 Q. Do you know what the joint commission was?
11 A. This is the group I was referring to.
12 Q. I'll show you the charter of that in just a
13 second, but before I do, let me show you another
14 document, which is a series of implementing orders
15 signed by the joint commanders of the HVO and ABiH
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document D55/1.
18 MR. SAYERS:
19 Q. Now, Mr. Pinder, I think there's a linkage
20 between these two exhibits. In fact, the first order
21 contained in exhibit D17/1,17 is that joint orders
22 signed by both commanders are to be confirmed with --
23 the following orders are hereby issued. And then there
24 are a number of different orders.
25 If you would take a look at the exhibit
1 that's just been put before you, would you agree with
2 me that those are in fact the implementing orders?
3 A. That is correct, yeah.
4 Q. Regarding a variety of things, they're pretty
5 self-explanatory, and there's really no need to go over
6 them. But you would agree with me that each one of
7 these orders is signed by Colonel Tihomir Blaskic,
8 commander of the Middle Bosnia HVO Operative Zone, and
9 by General Enver Hadzihasanovic, the commander of the
10 3rd Corps?
11 A. As a former soldier, I would say these
12 represented field army orders for the field army
13 commanders, not necessarily the commanders of the armed
14 forces. But yes, I agree with you.
15 Q. But they are signed by the commanders of the
16 forces in the area, aren't they?
17 A. Of the field forces, yes.
18 Q. Yes. Now, you mentioned the joint
19 commission. Are you referring to something that was
20 initially known as the Busovaca Joint Coordination
22 A. That, I think, is what it progressed from
24 Q. Did you know that the commission actually
25 moved from Busovaca to Vitez in March of 1993?
1 A. I had forgotten that, but it could well be.
2 I think I said I didn't know exactly where it had been
3 located all the time.
4 Q. That's fine.
5 MR. SAYERS: If I could just ask the usher to
6 show Mr. Pinder an exhibit that's already been marked
7 as exhibit D23/1.
8 Q. Now, do you recognise the document that's
9 just been put on the ELMO? And I believe it may be on
10 the screen before you.
11 A. Yes, it is. And although I can't recall it
12 word for word, yes, I recognise the document.
13 Q. This is an agreement that -- it's entitled
14 "Busovaca Joint Coordination Commission Charter"?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And the whole aim of this body was to monitor
17 and record the situation in the Busovaca area?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. All right. And Mr. Kordic was not a member
20 of the joint coordination commission at all, was he?
21 A. No, he wasn't, but I don't quite understand
22 the relevance of that.
23 Q. Well, let's see. The joint coordination
24 commission, to monitor activities in the entire
25 Busovaca area, consisted of a committee; right?
1 A. Yeah.
2 Q. And that committee consisted of the
3 following. First, the commanding officer of BritBat?
4 A. Yeah.
5 Q. Lieutenant Colonel Stewart; right?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. Second, the ECMM chairman, which is --
8 A. Mm-hmm. Yes.
9 Q. -- Jeremy Fleming?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Third, the commander of the BiH 3rd Corps,
13 which was General Enver Hadzihasanovic?
14 A. Mm-hmm.
15 Q. Right?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. And fourth, the commander of the HVO central
18 command, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic?
19 A. Yes. Yeah.
20 Q. And in turn, there was a subordinate body?
21 A. Mm-hmm.
22 Q. Consisting of the ECMM chairman, who we've
23 just identified?
24 A. Yeah.
25 Q. The chief of staff of the joint commission;
1 do you know who that was?
2 A. I can't remember.
3 Q. A BritFor major; do you know who that was?
4 A. I can't remember at this stage. I'd remember
5 the name if you told me.
6 Q. The deputy commander of the BiH 3rd Corps;
7 that was --
8 A. Mm-hmm.
9 Q. -- Colonel Dzemal Merdan, I believe?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And, finally, the deputy commander of the HVO
12 central command, who would be Colonel Franjo Nakic?
13 A. Yeah.
14 Q. All right. Thank you.
16 Indeed, both sides of the signatories to this ceasefire
17 agreement on January 30th, 1993, agreed to broadcast
18 this agreement to the local media, didn't they?
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. And did you assist in this regard since that
21 was your bailiwick?
22 A. I didn't generally assist in that, but of
23 course BritBat had their own public information
24 establishment, as did the other battalions.
25 Q. And in fact Mr. Kordic did not appear at that
1 conference, did he?
2 A. Neither do I recall General Morillon or
3 General Cordy-Simpson being there.
4 Q. Let me turn, if I may, to what you've
5 referred to as the commanders' meeting of February 1st,
6 1993. The purpose of this meeting was what, exactly?
7 A. I'm afraid I can't recall that.
8 Q. Well, this is the meeting that you say an
9 invitation was issued to Dario Kordic in both the
10 capacity as a colonel, right, and as deputy president
11 of the HZ-HB?
12 A. Yes. I can't recall the meeting, because I
13 honestly don't recall at this stage whether it took
14 place or not. I recall the invitations.
15 Q. You didn't attend the meeting, did you?
16 A. No, I didn't. I can't even remember if it
17 took place.
18 Q. You don't even know whether Mr. Kordic
19 participated in that meeting, do you?
20 A. I think he would --
21 JUDGE MAY: He can't recollect whether there
22 was a meeting or not.
23 MR. SAYERS: All right.
24 Q. Do you know whether this was a -- well, by
25 this time, the ceasefire agreement had actually already
1 been signed, hadn't it? You had seen the order?
2 A. Yes, it had.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. It didn't mean people weren't still shooting
5 at each other.
6 Q. Let me just show you an entry, if I may, from
7 Lieutenant Colonel Robert A. Stewart's diary for that
8 day and see if that jogs your memory.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Document D56/1.
10 MR. SAYERS:
11 Q. I would just like to turn your attention,
12 sir, to the entry for Monday, the 1st of February,
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The second paragraph deals with this meeting
16 which had apparently been called, supposedly, by
17 Lieutenant General Morillon. Do you know whether it
18 had been called by Lieutenant General Morillon or not?
19 A. I can't recall, but I think it did, or was,
20 rather, called by him.
21 Q. There is reference in here to the fact that
22 it was clearly obvious that Lieutenant General Morillon
23 had nothing further to add to what had already been
24 agreed, that the conference was held for selfish
25 reasons, and he wanted to associate himself with the
1 ceasefire. Would you agree with that?
2 A. That's what it says here.
3 Q. I know, but would you agree with that?
4 A. I wouldn't be in a position to know.
5 Q. All right. Do you know who actually
6 initiated this commanders' meeting?
7 A. I can't remember at this stage.
8 Q. Now, after February the 1st of 1993, could
9 you just tell us where you were?
10 A. To be quite honest, I wouldn't know.
11 Sometimes I was moving around, sometimes I was in the
12 headquarters. I wouldn't have kept, I'm afraid, a
13 daily record of where I was.
14 Q. Were you familiar with the military situation
15 just a few kilometres north of Kiseljak?
16 A. I would have been at the time, as far as we
17 were informed of it.
18 Q. You knew that the main road, the main
19 arterial road, between Kiseljak and Busovaca and
20 through Busovaca up to Zenica or to Vitez, off to the
21 left, was actually cut off by a large Muslim checkpoint
22 between the village of Kacuni and the village of
24 A. I met them, yes.
25 Q. That prevented communications between
1 Busovaca and Kiseljak; didn't it?
2 A. It certainly prevented road communications,
3 yes. There were many occasions when, in all fairness,
4 Dario Kordic would not have been able to get safely out
5 of Busovaca.
6 Q. You also referred in your testimony to what
7 you termed as reports, reports of some sort of a power
8 struggle between Colonel Blaskic and Kordic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You don't really have any personal knowledge
11 of any such phenomenon, do you?
12 A. Not at all. I merely passed on the report.
13 Q. You are not in a position to assess the
14 credibility of those reports --
15 A. No.
16 Q. -- or who actually made them, even?
17 A. I don't remember at this stage. I would have
18 passed the reports back to our military information
20 Q. Now, who was the head of the civil government
21 in the town that you spent five months in, Kiseljak?
22 A. I don't recall at this stage.
23 Q. Have you ever met a gentleman by the name of
24 Ivica Rajic?
25 A. I did once meet that gentleman, yes.
1 Q. He was in charge of Kiseljak, the civil
3 A. I'm not being evasive, but I genuinely do not
5 Q. Do you know what the name of the HVO brigade
6 that was stationed in Kiseljak was?
7 A. Not at this stage. I was just glad to get
8 out of the whole situation. I didn't exactly wipe my
9 mind blank, but I wouldn't have kept those small
11 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, if it would be
12 convenient, this might be a convenient time to break,
13 and I'm delighted to report that I believe I only have
14 about 15 minutes more of questions.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
16 Mr. Pinder, we're going to adjourn now.
17 Could you be back at half past 2.00 for the rest of
18 your examination. Would you remember, please, during
19 this adjournment, not to speak to anybody about your
20 evidence, and that includes, of course, the
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, of course.
23 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much. Half past
25 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
3 MR. SAYERS: Good afternoon.
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Pinder.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. Do you know Mario Cerkez?
7 A. I wouldn't say I know Mario Cerkez. I know
8 the name.
9 Q. Have you ever spoken to him?
10 A. I can't recall.
11 Q. Have you ever met him?
12 A. I can't recall.
13 MR. SAYERS: Those are my questions, Your
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic?
16 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour. We will
17 not have any questions.
18 Re-examined by Mr. Scott:
19 Q. Mr. Pinder, when Dario Kordic arrived at the
20 Mixed Military Working Group meeting on the 12th of
21 December, 1992, and was introduced as "Colonel Dario
22 Kordic," did he correct anyone and say, "Well, in fact
23 you're wrong, I'm not a colonel"?
24 A. Not to my recollection, no.
25 Q. When Mr. Kordic came -- Colonel Kordic came
1 to the meeting between the 12th and 17th of December,
2 1992, on behalf of the HVO, did he correct anyone
3 during that meeting and say, "I'm really not
5 A. I'm certain I would have recorded that had it
6 been the case.
7 Q. Did he make any such correction at the
8 meeting on the 17th of December, 1992?
9 A. To my knowledge, he never corrected that.
10 Q. When he met with senior UNPROFOR officials
11 and senior representatives of the Serbs and senior
12 representatives of the Muslim BiH presidency, did he
13 ever correct them and say, "I'm really not a colonel"?
14 A. I would have to say that from the
15 translations, I never heard him say that. But of
16 course there were conversations that were not
17 translated between the parties.
18 Q. Well, in the meetings themselves, when the
19 minutes would be taken and the type of record that
20 would be kept that we have seen at least one example
21 of, as an official part of the meeting, did he ever go
22 on record and say, "Really, for future reference, you
23 should not address me as a colonel"?
24 A. No, I don't recall that at all.
25 Q. Directing your attention to Exhibit 422.1,
1 which is -- if the usher could ...
2 The invitation, the fax to invite Colonel
3 Kordic, also Vice-president of Herceg-Bosna, to this
4 meeting on the 1st of February, 1993, and the attached
5 letter, if I can direct your attention to the third
6 page of Exhibit 422.1.
7 Directing your attention to the address
8 information in the upper left side, do I understand
9 correctly it's your understanding that the
10 Serbo-Croatian word "Pukovnik" is "Colonel"?
11 A. Yes, that's my understanding.
12 Q. And the invitation to Colonel Kordic from
13 UNPROFOR headquarters is to Pukovnik Dario Kordic; is
14 that correct?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. As part of, as you testified this morning,
17 the inner command group of Brigadier Cordy-Simpson, to
18 your knowledge, did Colonel Kordic ever contact anyone
19 at UNPROFOR headquarters and say, "You probably should
20 not send invitations to me addressed as 'Colonel
22 A. Not that I'm aware of.
23 Q. Did it ever come to your attention that
24 Mr. Kordic was subsequently promoted to the rank of
1 A. I'm not aware of that.
2 Q. Mr. Sayers asked you several questions about
3 Colonel Bob Stewart's book. Referring to, for counsel,
4 in the book, to page 77 of the book, would you agree
5 with Colonel Stewart's position that Dario Kordic was
6 an HVO military commander? Is that --
7 A. I think --
8 Q. I'm sorry.
9 A. I think that's more or less what my opinion
10 would be, from the time I was there. I have read
11 Colonel Stewart's book.
12 Q. Would you agree with Colonel Stewart's
13 assessment on page 249 that Dario Kordic, the deputy
14 president of the Croats, was also the commander in
16 A. Yes, I would agree with that.
17 Q. Would you agree with Colonel Stewart's
18 assessment at page 311 of his book that Dario Kordic
19 was, quote, "a fanatic"?
20 A. That was my initial assessment, yes. I
21 didn't change that during the time I was there.
22 MR. SCOTT: No further questions, Your
24 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
25 Mr. Pinder, that concludes your evidence, and
1 you are now released. Thank you for coming to the
2 International Tribunal to give evidence.
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much indeed,
4 Your Honour.
5 (The witness withdrew)
6 JUDGE MAY: Let me deal first of all with the
7 translation matter, because I have made inquiries of
8 the registry and am informed that the procedure which
9 we should follow is that the Defence should submit the
10 areas which are in dispute, a document containing what
11 is in dispute, and then the original or the current
12 translation, plus the proposals, plus the tape, can go
13 to the translators for review, and we'll get an answer
15 MR. SAYERS: Judge May, the Croatian version
16 has already been identified to the Registrar, and it's
17 page 5504 of the Prosecution's core documents, and the
18 translation, which we believe to be an accurate
19 translation, is page 5491 of the Prosecution's core
21 JUDGE MAY: It may be easier if you submit
22 that formally with a new document.
23 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
24 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
25 MR. NICE: And we'll ensure that the tape is
1 submitted as well so that that can be listened to.
2 The forecast of cross-examination taking
3 three hours, plus the fact that the cross-examination
4 of an earlier witness was postponed, means that I don't
5 have another witness immediately available for you this
6 afternoon. I can qualify that in a minute.
7 The next witness, Colonel Watters, who is due
8 to start tomorrow morning at half past 9.00, doesn't
9 get in until later this afternoon, and obviously I
10 can't take him.
11 I've had, as a form of reserve, a witness who
12 works in the institution called Payam Akhavan. I've
13 told my learned friends about him, and he's very
14 substantially prepared for the giving of evidence but
15 he's not immediately available, and if it's possible to
16 call him, say, in chief this afternoon, I might be able
17 to do that starting at about a quarter past 3.00 and
18 thus perhaps use an hour of time. But I have, first of
19 all, finally to track him down and also to check that
20 the summary that has been prepared in draft is one with
21 which he agrees. It may need a few minor alterations.
22 I think all that's probably being worked on at the
23 moment, but until I leave the room, I can't know
24 whether it would be possible to take him, as I suggest,
25 in chief this afternoon, with the balance of his
1 evidence and cross-examination perhaps deferred to a
2 later date. It might be Friday morning, if Colonel
3 Watters finishes in a day, or it might be one day next
4 week when there will be some difficulties about filling
5 the two and a half days with evidence. When I say
6 "difficulties", difficulties more in the timetabling
7 than in the quantity of evidence, I think. So I'm in
8 the Chamber's hands as to that.
9 JUDGE MAY: Three days next week, surely.
10 MR. NICE: We've only got a half day on
11 Tuesday, we were informed. Monday, half day Tuesday,
12 Wednesday, and then a status conference all day
13 Thursday. That's what we were told at one stage.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MR. NICE: Perhaps I can seek the Chamber's
16 views on calling evidence, if it's available this
17 afternoon for an hour, to use the time most
19 (Trial Chamber confers)
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll hear the witness, if
21 available, at 3.15. We would normally prefer to get
22 the cross-examination in as soon as possible.
23 MR. NICE: The reason I make the different
24 proposal, namely, that his cross-examination might be
25 deferred, is that Colonel Watters is a witness whose
1 testimony is likely to be a little longer than the
2 witness yesterday or today and therefore could extend
3 beyond one day. He has to go back to England on
4 Friday, and, in any event, we would finish evidence on
5 Friday at lunchtime. He's not resident in the
6 institution. It seemed to me perhaps preferable that
7 we should give priority to concluding Colonel Watters'
8 evidence by the end of the week.
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well, we'll follow that.
10 MR. NICE: Can I, before the Chamber
11 adjourns, mention two things?
12 First, just generally, the status conference
13 that the Chamber has said is for next Thursday and all
14 day, might we --
15 JUDGE MAY: Not all day.
16 MR. NICE: In which case again we
17 misunderstood you, because we thought if it was going
18 to be all day, we couldn't immediately forecast why it
19 was going to take all day, and --
20 JUDGE MAY: No. The proposal is that at the
21 end, possibly, of that day, provided there's time, we
22 might review things.
23 MR. NICE: In which case that's very
24 helpful. We'll work on the basis which we
25 provisionally allowed for, that some or the majority of
1 Thursday is available for evidence.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
3 MR. NICE: That's very helpful.
4 Two matters to correct, if I may. They both
5 arise from questions asked by the Defence on the basis
6 of documents that were referred to but which were not
7 produced. It's unfortunate when errors creep in, for
8 although, of course, it's the answers that count, the
9 words of the question sometimes linger in the mind.
10 On the 22nd of September [sic], as the final
11 question of Mr. Donia, I think, Mr. Stein said: "Were
12 you aware that Colonel Stewart also told us that the
13 HVO was totally unprepared for the events in the Lasva
14 Valley on April the 15th?" What Colonel Stewart
15 actually said was restricted to Zenica, because he was
16 asked a question about Zenica: "Were they prepared for
17 conflict with the BH army to begin on the morning of
18 the 16th of April or were they not prepared?" His
19 answer was, "I don't know the answer, but I can give an
20 opinion. My opinion was that the kidnapping of the man
21 called Totic came as a severe shock to the HVO, and the
22 HVO brigade commander, the second one, was extremely
23 concerned, so I suspect that my opinion was the answer
24 is 'No'."
25 Question: "But they were not prepared; is
1 that correct?"
2 Answer: "That is correct. It's an opinion,
3 it's not my fact."
4 So that related specifically to Zenica.
5 The second correction relates to a document
6 referred to initially as an ECMM document by Mr. Sayers
7 a couple of days ago in which it was suggested that by
8 1993, there were 2,1 million refugees in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina. The document was in fact a
10 document of the Commission of Human Rights and neither
11 the ECMM document initially referred to or a different
12 version of the document subsequently identified, and it
13 was not a question of there being 2,1 million refugees
14 in Bosnia-Herzegovina by 1993, for what the report said
15 at paragraph 13 of introductory remarks was that: "Over
16 2,1 million people have been displaced from their homes
17 since the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina began, nearly
18 50 per cent of the population recorded in the census of
19 1991. Some 800.000 of them are estimated to have
20 sought refuge outside Bosnia and Herzegovina. The rest
21 are seeking refuge inside the country. Tens of
22 thousands have gone to save areas such as Gorazde,
23 Zepce, Srebrenica, Tuzla, Bihac and Sarajevo," and that
24 is the way the document actually recorded matters.
25 Your Honour, if I find that I am incapable of
1 locating or dealing with the witness by 3.15, would you
2 prefer that I deal with it formally or informally?
3 JUDGE MAY: Send word through. Otherwise,
4 we'll sit again at 3.15. But before we do and while
5 it's in my mind, let me mention some revisions for the
6 calendar in the autumn brought about by my having to
7 sit on another case.
8 I shall not be available to sit on this case
9 in the mornings of the 8th to the 10th of November. We
10 shall sit the afternoons of those days only, and of
11 course we will sit as normal on the 11th and 12th.
12 That's November.
13 In October, I shall now be available in the
14 mornings of the weeks beginning the 11th of October and
15 the 18th of October, so we will be sitting the mornings
16 of those two weeks as well as the afternoons.
17 MR. NICE: I've been told that Payam Akhavan
18 is available. There are summaries for the Court,
19 copies for the Defence. May I, nevertheless, have
20 until 3.15 just to check a couple of exhibits with
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. 3.15.
23 --- Recess taken at 2.55 p.m.
24 --- On resuming at 3.25 p.m.
25 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry we've kept you. We
1 were engaged in another matter.
2 Yes, let the witness make the declaration.
3 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
4 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
6 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a seat,
7 Mr. Akhavan.
8 WITNESS: PAYAM AKHAVAN
9 Examined by Mr. Nice:
10 Q. Full name, relevant recent education, and
11 employment, please.
12 A. I beg your pardon?
13 Q. Full name, relevant recent education, and
14 relevant recent employment, please.
15 A. My full name is Payam Akhavan. I'm presently
16 legal advisor with the Office of the Prosecutor. I
17 have law degrees from Osgoode Hall Law School in
18 Toronto, Canada, and from Harvard Law School in the
19 United States.
20 Q. Before working, as we know you did, as a
21 United Nations human rights officer, what had been your
22 then most recent employment?
23 A. Prior to joining the United Nations Centre
24 for Human Rights, I was working at the Danish Centre
25 for Human Rights in Copenhagen; and in my capacity as
1 expert, I was appointed to two missions of the
2 Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe, both
3 dealing with investigations of humanitarian law
4 violations in the former Yugoslavia.
5 Q. What period of time did those missions
7 A. They occupied a period roughly from September
8 of 1992 to April of 1993, when I joined the United
10 Q. For that work, did you have any training? If
11 so, what?
12 A. Yes, well, these were both high-level
13 missions, and I was appointed to these missions by the
14 European Community presidency. The preparation for
15 these missions involved extensive debriefing sessions
16 with Foreign Ministry officials, various officials who
17 were situated on the ground in the former Yugoslavia,
18 and of course the experience gained through the mission
19 itself, which involved meeting various officials,
20 investigating various sites where alleged atrocities
21 had taken place, and the preparation of analytical
22 reports for submission to the international community.
23 Q. So with that education and background, on the
24 30th of April of 1993, you were working for the United
25 Nations as a human rights officer in Vitez?
1 A. Correct.
2 Q. Were you tasked with on-site investigations
3 of human rights violations?
4 A. Yes, I was hired specifically in order to
5 open a field operation in the former Yugoslavia for the
6 then-U.N. Human Rights Commission Special Rapporteur
7 for the former Yugoslavia, Prime Minister Tadeusz
8 Mazowiecki of Poland. My colleague and I at that time
9 were responsible for monitoring human rights violations
10 in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and to send reports
11 back to Geneva for incorporation in reports which were
12 submitted to the Commission on Human Rights
14 Q. Your colleague at the time being ... ?
15 A. Mr. Thomas Osorio.
16 Q. On the 1st of May, 1993, where were you
17 precisely, and initially what happened on that day?
18 A. I believe that we arrived in Sarajevo on the
19 30th of April, in the evening -- I'm sorry; we arrived
20 in Sarajevo and were taken to Vitez that same evening.
21 And on May the 1st, the members of the British
22 Battalion who were responsible for our presence in the
23 region took us on a tour of Vitez, Ahmici, to give us
24 an overview of the destruction which had taken place.
25 We also were debriefed by members of the British
1 Battalion about their general impressions of the
2 situation in the Vitez region.
3 What we observed during the first day was
4 extensive destruction of property --
5 Q. Just pause for a minute. Before we come to
6 what you observed, was it a question of your being
7 debriefed or briefed by the British Battalion? And
8 which officers by name, or other ranks by name, spoke
9 to you?
10 A. Yes, we were at that point trying to develop
11 general familiarity with the situation in the region,
12 so we asked pertinent questions, largely from Bryan
13 Watters, who was, I believe, a sergeant within the
14 ranks of the British Battalion; to a certain extent,
15 Colonel Stewart, Bob Stewart; as well as other members,
16 including the padre of the British Battalion, and other
17 soldiers whose names I can't recall. And our purpose
18 for that particular day was to get, as I said, a
19 general impression of what the situation was in the
20 Vitez region.
21 Q. A matter of detail before we turn to
22 paragraph 3 of the summary: What was Watters' rank at
23 the time?
24 A. I believe it was major, or sergeant; I don't
25 recall. I recall the name but not the rank.
1 MR. NICE: I'm so sorry if they didn't reach
2 the Court; I distributed them before the short break,
3 but it may be that if the Court was occupied on other
4 business, it couldn't have read them in advance in any
6 Q. And I am down to paragraph 3, but I'm
7 correcting the rank attributed to Watters in paragraph
9 A. I recall that he was the second in command --
10 Q. Thank you.
11 A. -- from Colonel Stewart.
12 Q. You saw damaged property; tell us about that.
13 A. Well, on the 1st of May, we visited Vitez,
14 and we drove around Ahmici but did not actually enter
15 the village. We saw extensive damage to homes. The
16 evening before, when we had arrived in Vitez in the
17 evening, we had also seen, driving into the city, a
18 number of homes being put on fire. In Ahmici, we also
19 noticed that there were several soldiers we saw from a
20 distance who were apparently looting property from
21 homes which had been destroyed.
22 Q. Were you given an account of casualties in
23 Vitez during the attack?
24 A. We were told by the padre, who had been
25 involved in facilitating the burial of several
1 casualties, that there had been in the Vitez
2 municipality, as opposed to outlying areas,
3 approximately 5 Croatian dead and 96 Muslim dead. And
4 he knew that based on his involvement in facilitating
5 the return of the bodies and their burial.
6 Q. From Vitez to Ahmici itself, you've spoken of
7 the looters; did anybody suggest who the looters were?
8 A. The members of the British Battalion seemed
9 to think that they were the local HVO soldiers.
10 Q. Could you see from your position whether the
11 looters were in civilian clothes or uniform?
12 A. They appeared to be wearing military fatigue,
13 camouflage uniforms.
14 Q. What was the level of damage or destruction
15 to properties and other -- domestic properties and
16 other buildings in Ahmici?
17 A. The level of damage was extensive. This is
18 something which we appreciated more fully after May the
19 1st, when on subsequent occasions we visited the
20 village of Ahmici and were engaged in a much more
21 thorough investigation. It appeared that the
22 overwhelming majority of homes and property in the
23 village had been destroyed; almost all had been burnt.
24 In certain cases it appeared as if they had been burnt
25 using some sort of flammable liquid, perhaps petrol,
1 and that was apparent by the dark charcoal colour left
2 behind in various buildings.
3 All animals --
4 Q. I'm going to just interrupt you for this
5 purpose: On the 1st of May, then, a somewhat distant
6 view of the village; your next return on what day?
7 A. I believe that the return was on the 2nd or
8 3rd of May, and there was a return about two days after
9 that together with the European Community ambassadors.
10 Q. If you can partition your memory up into what
11 you saw on that first return the 2nd or 3rd of May and
12 tell us what you saw there, so much the better.
13 In addition to seeing damage to property, and
14 you've described by what method the property appeared
15 to have been damaged, did you see any evidence of the
16 nature of the attack in the forms of shells, bullets,
17 and so on?
18 A. You refer here to May the 1st?
19 Q. May the 2nd or 3rd.
20 A. I see. Our impression was, based on
21 explanations given to us by members of the British
22 Battalion and based on the physical evidence that was
23 available and based on subsequent interviews with
24 victims, that the attack on the village had commenced
25 early in the morning on April the 16th, possibly at
1 5.30 or 6.00 in the morning, and that the attack had
2 commenced from the main road, the Vitez-to-Busovaca
3 road, which crosses Ahmici.
4 There was evidence that artillery fire had
5 been used in order to scare many of the inhabitants
6 from leaving their homes into the open, where they were
7 shot. There was evidence that mortar shells had been
8 used, that rocket-propelled grenades had been used.
9 Q. What evidence was there that you yourself
10 saw, as opposed to evidence related to you by others?
11 A. Well, the evidence were the spent casings,
12 shell casings of mortar rounds and rocket-propelled
14 MR. SAYERS: Just one objection, Your Honour,
15 if I may to this line of questioning. I think what the
16 Prosecution is trying to do is to elicit from one of
17 their employees military opinions, and I don't believe
18 that they have adequately laid a foundation for this
19 gentleman's possession of any military expertise
20 whatsoever. In fact, his testimony is to the reverse,
21 and therefore I think that he's just expressing
22 opinions without any foundation or competence to be
23 able to do that, rather than telling the Court about
25 MR. NICE: The characterisation of this
1 witness as an employee of the Office of the Prosecutor
2 is unworthy, irrelevant, and inappropriate. The
3 witness will deal with his expertise later. At the
4 moment, he's dealing with evidence of fact, what he
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
7 MR. NICE: Thank you.
8 May the Tribunal find -- I'm sorry not to
9 have given advance notice -- the map of Ahmici, which
10 is Z1585,1. It's not a map, it's an aerial view.
11 If the witness is allowed to mark the copy on
12 the ELMO at present, then that will, of course, become
13 a different exhibit number, but we can replace the
14 original exhibit with another one in unmarked form.
15 Q. One of the things that you found was in the
16 area, I think, of a cemetery. Can you tell us about
17 that, please?
18 A. There was --
19 Q. My mistake. First of all, with a marker, if
20 you would be so good, and I'm not sure which one shows
21 up better -- it may be the bright orange one is better
22 than the purple one. Try the purple one. You may be
23 right. Can you just put a mark for where the cemetery
25 A. (Witness complies)
1 Q. Thank you very much.
2 A. Is that sufficiently clear?
3 Q. Yes, that's clear. What was it that you
4 found there?
5 A. Well, across the road from the cemetery in
6 this location approximately where you, I think, can see
7 a sort of depression (indicating), we found a large
8 number of spent shell casings apparently from a gun, a
9 machine gun, whatever the case may be. And in the
10 proximity of this area, somewhere in this field where
11 I've marked an "X" (indicating), the members of the
12 British Battalion had found, I believe, 20 or so
13 bodies, and their impression was that many of these
14 people who were fleeing their homes after the artillery
15 fire began had been ambushed in this area and had been
16 shot by snipers. So the spent casings which we found
17 in this depression or hollow, which would appear to be
18 an ideal place for them to hide, gave us an indication
19 that that may have been where they had shot the 20
21 Q. What approximate number of shell cases did
22 you find?
23 A. I would say anywhere from 150 to 200,
24 something to that effect.
25 Q. The size of the spent shell cases? If you're
1 able, from expertise or experience, to give a technical
2 definition, do so. If you're not, use your fingers and
3 show us how big.
4 A. Yes. I don't think it would take too much
5 expertise to figure out the difference between the
6 spent casing from a rifle or machine gun and that from
7 a rocket-propelled grenade. On average, the spent
8 shell casings coming from ordinary weapons would be to
9 the tune of, I would say, four, five centimetres,
10 something to that effect (indicating).
11 There were also much larger casings which we
12 were told belonged to anti-aircraft machine guns which
13 for some reason were often used, and they tended to be
14 somewhat larger. But I think in terms of the cases
15 from rocket-propelled grenades or from mortars, they
16 were considerably bigger, and it was very clear that
17 they could be distinguished from ordinary weapons such
18 as machine guns or rifles.
19 Q. Did you see, yourself, or handle any of the
20 casings apparently associated with anti-aircraft
21 machine guns?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. Again, approximately, with your fingers or by
24 size, what size were they?
25 A. I would say they were anything from one and a
1 half to two times the size of an ordinary bullet coming
2 from a rifle. I would say their casings were roughly
3 this big (indicating). I'm not sure if that is ten
4 centimetres or thereabouts. And they were, of course,
5 also much wider.
6 Q. Then finally, did you see, yourself, cases
7 from any rocket-propelled grenades or mortars at any
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. In case the Tribunal needs assistance,
11 approximately what size are the casings of those
13 A. The rocket-propelled grenades, to the best of
14 my recollection, were probably so big (indicating), the
15 spent shell casings. I don't know, 15, 20
16 centimetres. Mortar shells tended to be more or less
17 the same size, sometimes bigger, but I think often it
18 was also a question of their width.
19 I, of course, was instructed by the soldiers
20 who accompanied us, and they would very often explain
21 to us what the difference is between the various
22 casings. Our main concern was to try and understand
23 how the attack had taken place, what was the pattern of
24 victimisation, and who was responsible.
25 In the nature of a human rights
1 investigation, one is not dealing with individual
2 criminal accountability. One does not pay heed perhaps
3 to the same details as one would in a criminal
4 context. But what we had to prove to our satisfaction
5 was that people were killed not in combat but as a
6 result of the deliberate targeting of civilians and
7 civilian objects, and then to determine which party to
8 the conflict was responsible for those atrocities.
9 Q. Before we turn back to your account of events
10 that day and in order not to overlook it, can you just
11 mark a "C" beside the outline that you've given for the
13 A. (Witness complies)
14 Q. Thank you. Then indicate the small circle
15 beneath the cemetery -- between the cemetery and the
16 mark "X" is the small hollow you've referred to?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You needn't mark that further.
19 Was there a smell?
20 A. Yes. It was apparent that there were still
21 bodies under the rubble. There was a stench of rotting
22 flesh which I think came both from the livestock and
23 other animals, dogs and cats, all of the animals which
24 had been killed, some of which somehow were still alive
25 several days after the event. But as we found out
1 subsequently, there were also still human bodies in the
2 remains of the buildings.
3 Q. Did you and Thomas Osorio approach three
4 apparent local residents at one stage?
5 A. Yes. As we were going from house to house,
6 trying to assess the damage, we noticed that there was
7 an old lady with two young boys walking through the
9 Q. Are you able, from the plan or on the plan,
10 to tell us with any precision where this was?
11 A. To the best of my recollection, it was
12 somewhere in this general area (indicating).
13 Q. Perhaps you would mark that with a circle, if
14 you're no more precise about it than that.
15 A. (Witness complies)
16 Q. In case we're going to have further markings
17 on this plan, can you just put a "1" beside that?
18 A. (Witness complies)
19 Q. Thank you. When you approached this woman
20 and the two young boys, were you alone or in company
21 with any soldiers?
22 A. We were alone. The soldiers remained behind.
23 Q. How far behind?
24 A. I would say between 150 to 200 metres. We
25 had been wandering through the village for some time,
1 and the soldiers were, I think, on the road around
2 their APCs somewhere in this area which I've marked
4 Q. Very well. How were you dressed?
5 A. We were wearing civilian clothes, but in
6 particular we had a blue -- light blue flak jackets,
7 which was, of course, the U.N. colour, if you like,
8 together with U.N. arm bands and a blue U.N. helmet.
9 Q. How were the soldiers from the U.N. dressed?
10 A. The soldiers from the U.N. were in their
11 military fatigues but also wearing -- I don't recall if
12 they were wearing U.N. helmets or not, but they were in
13 their military uniforms.
14 Q. Were you and Thomas Osorio dressed
15 effectively identically? If not identically, were you
16 similarly dressed?
17 A. Yes, we were.
18 Q. If you would put Thomas Osorio beside one of
19 the United Nations uniformed soldiers, would you have
20 been able to tell the difference between one and the
21 other, in terms of uniform and clothing?
22 A. I believe so.
23 Q. The woman and the two boys, when you
24 approached them, was there any other person, and in
25 particular was there any other soldier or any soldier
1 anywhere near them?
2 A. No. We virtually saw no one in the village
3 because most of the homes had been destroyed, and one
4 of the reasons why our curiosity was aroused is exactly
5 because there were so few people that we could speak
6 with in order to get some sort of possible explanation
7 as to what had transpired on the 16th of April.
8 Q. As you spoke to them, or perhaps earlier, --
9 I'm not sure, you must tell us -- when you approached
10 them, did something happen?
11 A. My colleague, Thomas Osorio, approached them,
12 since he was a translator and could speak the local
13 language, and I stayed a few metres behind, also in
14 part because there was a television crew which was
15 trying to follow us, and I was trying to discourage
16 them from following us. At that point, we heard some
17 sort of gunfire, and we realised that we were being
18 targeted by snipers.
19 Q. Were you able then to locate where the
20 snipers may have been?
21 A. It was very difficult to determine
22 specifically where they were firing from, but based on
23 the direction of the bullets, it was possible to get a
24 general idea where they were coming from.
25 Q. Can you now translate that general idea on to
1 this map, or not?
2 A. Yes, I believe that the bullets were
3 coming -- I will --
4 Q. I think -- we've used one; you put a little
5 cross above one, but we'll leave that. If you now go
6 to the next area and use a figure "2" to mark it.
7 A. The area where the bullets were coming from?
8 Q. The snipers were, apparently.
9 A. Yes, I believe this is roughly the direction
11 Q. You've drawn two arrows some 30 or more
12 degrees apart?
13 A. Yes, because it was difficult to tell
14 specifically where they were coming from, and based on
15 the direction of the bullets, they could have come from
16 anywhere within those two arrows.
17 Q. Perhaps you would put a "2" beside each of
18 those arrows. You have put it beside one at the
19 moment, I think and on the other arrow as well, the one
20 to the right?
21 A. Yes, there is a "2" there. It's probably not
22 visible, but there is a "2" there.
23 Q. How near did these bullets get to you, as you
24 could judge?
25 A. Well, there were several bullets fired, and
1 since we had to run some way in an open field to get to
2 the APC, I think the snipers had an opportunity to fire
3 several times. Some of them came to us as close as
4 maybe half a metre, or possibly closer. It was
5 difficult to tell under the circumstances.
6 Q. And as you were running to the APC, did you
7 come to be closer to any soldiers, or were there no
8 soldiers until you got to the APC?
9 A. There were no soldiers until we got very
10 close to the APC.
11 Q. And apart from you in blue helmets and other
12 U.N.-attired soldiers, were there any other soldiers
13 around, or any other people in military or apparent
14 military uniform?
15 A. None that we could see.
16 Q. Your sources of information for what had
17 happened at Ahmici were what?
18 A. The sources of information included
19 international peacekeeping forces, such as the British
20 Battalion, as well as members of the U.N. High
21 Commission for Refugees, on some occasions
22 nongovernmental organisations, media people, others who
23 had been in the area and had some familiarity; but of
24 course, first and foremost, in the case of Ahmici, they
25 included the survivors who we managed to interview in
1 Zenica at a refugee camp.
2 Q. I'll come to the product of your inquiry in
3 due course. Did you visit the survivors in Zenica
4 before your third visit, which you think was, I think,
5 on the 4th of May or thereabouts, or was it only after
6 that that you visited and spoke to the survivors?
7 A. We visited the survivors in between our
8 second and third visits. The first visit allowed us to
9 familiarise ourselves with the physical context and
10 evidence of the humanitarian law violations, following
11 which we interviewed a number of survivors, which
12 allowed us to go back to the village on a third
13 occasion, together with three European Community
14 ambassadors who happened to be on mission at that
16 And based on -- based on instructions which
17 we were given by one of the survivors, we were actually
18 able to locate a home in which we found the remains of
19 four individuals who apparently had been killed.
20 Q. Again, I'm going to put everything in its
21 sequence, if I can, and we'll come to that in its
22 proper place.
23 On, then, the second visit -- that's on the
24 2nd or 3rd of May -- you approached the old lady or the
25 lady and the two boys. Just "Yes" or "No": Was she
1 able to give you any information at any stage?
2 A. No, she was reluctant to speak with us.
3 Q. Did you speak on that occasion to any other
4 villagers, or not?
5 A. No, there were no other villagers that we
7 Q. In Zenica, approximately what number of
8 survivors did you speak to?
9 A. I, of course, spoke to fewer survivors than
10 my colleague, Thomas Osorio, who spent more time there
11 and who returned, actually, on one occasion. I would
12 say I had spoken to anywhere from 10 to 20 survivors.
13 Q. And did Thomas Osorio's information, or did
14 the information he gathered from the people to whom he
15 spoke, did that come to you? Did the two of you share
16 information you were receiving?
17 A. Yes, we were part of a team, so we readily
18 shared all the information that we had.
19 Q. Before we come to the product of your
20 inquiries and your visit to the village, on the 4th of
21 May, did you also visit another village, Miletici?
22 A. Yes, we did.
23 MR. NICE: If the Court finds this exhibit,
24 which is 2612,2, helpful, we may be marking it. If I
25 can just lay mine on the ELMO, we'll get the usher to
1 help me, for a reason that will become obvious. Rather
2 than to corrupt -- just leave it there; that's fine.
3 Q. If you look at the map with the yellow
4 sticker and the red arrow on it, serving the purpose
5 simply of identifying a village, is that Miletici, the
6 village, or indeed hamlet, to which you went?
7 A. Correct. That is.
8 Q. And if the camera could now be -- or if a
9 wider view of the map could now be shown, then we'll
10 see the relationship of Miletici to, first, Zenica, and
11 can you point out on this map Ahmici for us, please,
12 Mr. Akhavan?
13 It may be a bit further down, even, sir. You
14 may have to open it up.
15 A. Yes, here is Busovaca, so I --
16 Q. If you move it up a bit more and just point
17 to Busovaca, that will do, I think, for the purposes of
18 reminding the Tribunal of the relevant geography.
19 There is Busovaca.
20 A. Here -- here it is.
21 Q. And then going back up, we see that Miletici
22 is to the northwest of Zenica?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Did you, at Miletici, conduct an inquiry to
25 discover what had happened there?
1 A. Yes, we visited Miletici, which was a hamlet
2 in which a number of Croatian inhabitants were living.
3 And apparently there had been an attack on that hamlet,
4 not in the form of an assault, but in the form of three
5 or so young Croatian men being taken out of their
6 homes, tortured, and beheaded.
7 Q. And the perpetrators of this atrocity being,
8 apparently, who?
9 A. According to the local inhabitants, they were
10 the so-called Mujahedins, which, according to what we
11 gathered, were a combination of foreign mercenaries and
12 local extremists who engaged in these sort of
14 Q. Dealing now with the accounts you received
15 from survivors in Ahmici, did you and Mr. Osorio look
16 for points of similarity, and indeed for points of
17 inconsistency and dissimilarity in the accounts given?
18 A. Yes, indeed, that was a standard method by
19 which we established the veracity of testimony. We
20 generally would ask a number of people apart from each
21 other, so they could not necessarily share the same
22 story, their version of the events, often focusing on
23 specific details such as when, for example, the firing
24 began in that morning; in which location certain people
25 were killed; so on and so forth. And we were satisfied
1 that the stories were, for the most part, quite
2 consistent and credible.
3 Q. You told us part of that account at an
4 earlier stage. What was the account of who mounted the
6 A. According to basically all the witnesses that
7 we spoke with, those who mounted the attack were
8 members of the HVO. And many of them were able to
9 identify particular individuals by name who were either
10 from their own village, in Ahmici, or from neighbouring
11 villages. So in addition to being able to identify the
12 HVO insignia on the uniforms of those who were
13 performing the attacks, I believe we collected about 18
14 or 20 specific names. Of course it was not our task to
15 gather individual names; we were not involved in a
16 criminal investigation. But we gathered those names in
17 any event, in order to establish in our subsequent
18 meetings with HVO leaders that indeed, the victims
19 could identify particular individuals.
20 Q. Did any of the accounts point to any other
21 grouping apart from the HVO?
22 A. We did not receive any information to that
23 effect from the witnesses.
24 Q. Did you visit Blaskic in Hotel Vitez?
25 A. Yes, I did.
1 Q. What day was that?
2 A. I believe it was the 4th or 5th of May, to
3 the best of my recollection. It was towards the end of
4 our stay.
5 Q. When you got there, what, if any, military
6 presence was there at the hotel?
7 A. There were quite a few soldiers in front and
8 inside the building. Some of them were wearing
9 ordinary military uniforms; others were wearing a
10 distinctive black uniform.
11 Q. How easy or difficult was it to have a
12 meeting with Blaskic?
13 A. It was not terribly difficult. I think that
14 the British Battalion had arranged a meeting, and we
15 didn't really encounter any difficulties.
16 Q. Can you summarise, please, what was said by
17 him, giving questions asked by you, if appropriate,
18 about the Ahmici attack?
19 A. I asked --
20 MR. SAYERS: I'll object to that, Your
21 Honour, on the grounds of hearsay. We have no access
22 to Colonel Blaskic, for the same reasons that we had no
23 access to Zlatko Aleksovski. So I object to trying to
24 get in through the back door what they should not be
25 able to get in through the front.
1 JUDGE MAY: What difference does that make in
2 terms of hearsay?
3 MR. SAYERS: Well, it's hearsay because we
4 have no opportunity to --
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, it's hearsay, and it's
6 admitted in the Tribunal, as you know. Now, what is
7 the particular point of the objection?
8 MR. SAYERS: We have no means of being able
9 to test whether or not this gentleman actually said
10 what this witness is going to say that he said.
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, you can go and ask Colonel
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. Mr. Akhavan, can you answer my question,
17 A. Yes. I asked Colonel -- then-Colonel Blaskic
18 firstly about the structure of the military in that
19 region, what was the zone of his control, and what were
20 the armed forces which were under his command. He
21 explained to me, in general terms, that he was
22 responsible for the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, and
23 that he was in clear control of that area, despite the
24 existence of certain irregular elements, such as the
25 HOS, and other paramilitary formations.
1 I then discussed with him what we had seen at
2 Ahmici, explaining to him that apparently a large
3 number of civilians had been killed and that virtually
4 all Muslim homes and property had been destroyed, and
5 asked him for an explanation.
6 The reason for my meeting with Colonel
7 Blaskic and other Bosnian Croat leaders in the region
8 was to afford them an opportunity to provide their
9 version of events, so that the eventual report which we
10 submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Commission would
11 have heard both sides and would have been in a position
12 to be balanced, fair, and impartial.
13 Colonel Blaskic at no time admitted that his
14 soldiers were in any way involved in the attack, but at
15 the same time was not willing to offer any explanations
16 as to who was responsible. He simply denied that he or
17 his soldiers had anything to do with it but did not
18 respond in any credible fashion to the fact that,
19 according to all the available testimony, members of
20 the HVO had been responsible for the attack.
21 Q. Was the question of investigating the attack
23 A. Meaning to say ... ?
24 Q. Investigating locally.
25 A. Yes. I had informed Colonel Blaskic, as I
1 did on all occasions when I met commanders, that it was
2 his responsibility to investigate the matter and to
3 ensure that those who were responsible are brought to
4 justice, and that his failure to do so would result in
5 his criminal liability.
6 Of course, this was not, strictly speaking,
7 part of our mandate, as I've explained on several
8 occasions. We were not engaged in a criminal
9 investigation. The mandate of a human rights Special
10 Rapporteur is to look, in general, at state
11 responsibility; and where state responsibility cannot
12 be established in the context of armed conflict, where
13 there are several para-state entities who have perhaps
14 de facto control of an area but which are not
15 legitimate states or governments, one has to look at
16 which party to the conflict controlled a particular
17 area and which party to the conflict may have been
19 So the emphasis of my questions was to try
20 and determine whether there was any other plausible
21 explanation other than the one offered by all
22 witnesses, that the HVO had been responsible. But part
23 of the mandate of the human rights Special Rapporteur
24 also was to engage in preventive action which, in many
25 respects, involved persuading local villagers to
1 enforce humanitarian law principles, if necessary
2 through conducting investigations and prosecuting those
4 Q. Some time later, did you see a man called
5 Ante Valenta?
6 A. Yes, I believe that during the meeting with
7 Colonel Blaskic, somewhere in the middle, Mr. Valenta
8 joined us, and he briefly interjected --
9 Q. His contribution being to what effect?
10 A. His contribution largely being a dose of
11 apparently what happened to be the official ideology of
12 the HDZ or HVO regarding the -- the presence of the
13 Muslims in the area, and how the Muslims had different
14 values from the Christian Croats, and how they were a
15 menace and somehow uncivilised peoples who had to be
16 gotten rid of, in general terms, and at one point,
17 Mr. Valenta suggested that although the International
18 Community was often condemning acts of brutality
19 against Muslims, that in reality there was sympathy
20 throughout Europe for getting rid of Turks and Muslims
21 and others who really did not belong in the European
23 That was, in essence, what I got from his
25 Q. How, if at all, was his intervention linked
1 to the attack you were investigating?
2 A. Well, I think it gave us a sense of the
3 general policy or attitude prevailing at the time, and
4 of course others were not as outspoken as Mr. Valenta.
5 Others would be much more subtle or apologetic. But
6 the clear sense was that there was considerable
7 animosity against the Muslims in the region.
8 MR. NICE: If this witness's evidence is to
9 be -- I'm so sorry, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MAY: I was going to raise the time,
12 MR. NICE: Yes. If the witness's evidence is
13 to be broken in any event, and in light of the content
14 of paragraph 15, this might be a sensible moment.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 MR. NICE: If the Court will allow me to
17 discuss with my learned friends opposite their probable
18 time for cross-examination of the witness Watters who
19 comes next, and assuming that both Mr. Watters and
20 Mr. Akhavan are fully available tomorrow morning, it
21 may be that it would be preferable to continue with
22 this evidence in chief if there's a realistic prospect
23 of what is being concluded in the balance of the time
24 to the end of the week. Alternatively, I would seek
25 your leave tomorrow morning to interject Watters in
1 order to complete him in a day and a half.
2 JUDGE MAY: Clearly, the next witness has to
3 be considered in terms of his availability. But, on
4 the other hand, if we can finish this witness in chief,
5 so much the better, I should have thought.
6 There is one other matter, that the
7 air-conditioning seems totally to have failed. I will
8 ask the registrar to take the matter up on our behalf
9 again, please.
10 Mr. Akhavan, you are giving evidence. Would
11 you please remember, in this adjournment and any others
12 there may be, not to speak to anybody about your
13 evidence, and that, of course, includes the members of
14 the Prosecution here, apart from matters concerning
15 your own availability and the arrangements. Thank
16 you. If you would be back otherwise when you're
18 We'll adjourn now until half past 9.00
19 tomorrow morning.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
21 4.15 p.m., to be reconvened on
22 Thursday, the 29th day of July,
23 1999, at 9.30 a.m.