1 Thursday, 30th September, 1999
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.33 p.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your
7 Honours. Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor
8 versus Dario Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
10 WITNESS: LARS BAGGESEN [Resumed]
11 MR. SAYERS: Good afternoon, Major. As I
12 said yesterday, I have about five minutes of questions
13 left for you.
14 On the subject of orders issued by Colonel
15 Blaskic, I would like to show you two others, and these
16 will be the last two exhibits that I will have for
17 you. The January the 16th, 1993 order should be marked
18 as the next exhibit, and then the April the 16th, 1993
19 order, the one after that, please.
20 THE REGISTRAR: They will be Exhibit D91/1
21 and D92/1.
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:
23 Q. Major, turning your attention first to the
24 January the 16th order, this order could be
25 characterised fairly as an Operative Zone order issued
1 pursuant to instructions from Mostar HVO headquarters;
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You conclude or would it be fair to conclude
5 from this that all of the addressees are units over
6 which Colonel Blaskic had the power to issue military
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You don't have any facts available to you to
10 suggest that Mr. Kordic was a member of the Mostar HVO
11 headquarters, do you?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Right. The next exhibit, Major, is the April
14 the 16th, 1993 combat order to the Nikola
15 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade. It would be fair to
16 characterise this as a theatre combat order, would it
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You conclude from this or it would be fair to
20 conclude that obviously the person that signed the
21 order had the power to issue military commands to the
22 addressee, the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade and its
23 commander, Dusko Grubesic; correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. The final series of questions that I have for
1 you concern Mr. Kordic. As I understand it from the
2 statement you gave three years ago in your Blaskic
3 testimony, you only ever met him on one occasion, and
4 that was at an Easter celebration at Colonel Blaskic's
5 headquarters on April 12th, 1993. Is that fair to say?
6 A. Yes, sir, I met him there, and then I have
7 seen him on other occasions.
8 Q. You said that Mr. Kordic gave a speech at
9 that function, but you didn't understand a word of it
10 because you didn't actually have a Croatian interpreter
11 with you; is that right?
12 A. That's right, yes.
13 Q. You had previously been briefed, I think you
14 said, that Mr. Kordic was the vice-president of
16 A. Right.
17 Q. It would be fair to say that you were not
18 present when Mr. Kordic and Colonel Blaskic conversed;
19 isn't that correct?
20 A. Can you give me that question again?
21 Q. Yes. That was a terrible question and I
22 apologise for it. You were never actually physically
23 present when Mr. Kordic and Colonel Blaskic discussed
24 what was actually going on in the theatre, did you?
25 A. No.
1 Q. You don't know if Mr. Kordic attended the
2 Vitez headquarters of Colonel Blaskic for a military
3 briefing, do you?
4 A. I would suppose that he did because he had
5 the political power in that area, and it's normal that
6 men who had the political power in an area and the men
7 who had the military power in an area are discussing
8 matters like that.
9 Q. Yes, sir. In fact, it's completely usual for
10 political figures to get military briefings in times of
11 war, isn't it?
12 A. Yes, because all military units and military
13 commanders are having their orders from the
15 Q. Of course. And when high-ranking political
16 figures attend press conferences or briefings with
17 military authorities in your country, for example, and
18 in other situations where you've seen that phenomenon,
19 it's perfectly normal to see the military figures defer
20 to the political figures, isn't it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Now, there's a difference you would concede,
23 I think, between individual members of a government and
24 a government collectively as a political entity, isn't
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And while the government may have power
3 collectively to issue instructions to its military,
4 individual politicians don't have the power, in your
5 experience, to issue military orders to member of the
6 army, do they?
7 A. It all depends on the organisation, because
8 in some organisations, political organisations -- i.e.,
9 Mr. Boban could ask Mr. Kordic to see if the orders
10 that came from top HVO were carried out by Colonel
11 Blaskic, so you could have that and --
12 Q. But that would be complete speculation on
13 your part, would it not? You never saw that happen?
14 A. No, but we discussed it in that time.
15 Q. In your experience, investigations into
16 infractions of military law are carried out by the
17 military authorities, aren't they?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You've never heard of a situation where a
20 political figure has been involved in a military
21 investigation, once the investigation has been
22 initiated and it's under way, have you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. "Yes" or "No"?
25 A. Can I have the question again?
1 Q. Have you ever been aware of a situation where
2 once a military investigation has been initiated and
3 it's under way, there has been continued involvement by
4 a political figure in monitoring or somehow becoming
5 involved in the actual military investigation?
6 A. No, I don't.
7 Q. The last question I've got for you, the last
8 couple of questions, would be these:
9 Would it be fair to say you viewed Mr. Kordic
10 as a very influential local politician in the Busovaca
11 area while you were present as an ECMM monitor in
12 Central Bosnia?
13 A. He was.
14 Q. He had, to use the vernacular, a lot of pull;
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. But you've got no factual basis to conclude
18 that despite this influence, he actually had the
19 authority to issue military orders, or to initiate
20 military investigations, or to control military
21 operations, have you?
22 A. I didn't find anything on that.
23 MR. SAYERS: Right. Thank you very much
24 indeed, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, yes.
1 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
3 Q. Good afternoon, Major. My name is Bozidar
4 Kovacic. I represent the second accused in this case,
5 Mr. Mario Cerkez, together with my colleague,
6 Mr. Mikulicic.
7 I speak a different language from you, so
8 both of us have to bear in mind the time the
9 interpreters need between the questions and answers.
10 So, please, let's pay attention to that, both of us.
11 You said briefly, regarding your curriculum
12 vitae, that among other things, earlier on, you
13 specialised in the Warsaw Pact countries, didn't you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you know whether the ex-Socialist Federal
16 Republic of Yugoslavia was a member of the Eastern
17 Block or, rather, the Warsaw Pact?
18 A. They were not a member of the Warsaw Pact,
19 but they had cooperations with the Warsaw Pact.
20 Q. Do you know that the ex-Yugoslavia also
21 cooperated with the Western European countries?
22 A. Part of it, yes.
23 Q. The military doctrine in the army of the
24 former Yugoslavia, was it the same as that of the
25 Warsaw Pact countries?
1 A. It was very difficult to say, because we
2 didn't see the military actions when they were carried
3 out. Therefore, I was not able to see what doctrine
4 they were using. But we suppose that they were using
5 the doctrine they have learned -- or the military
6 officers had learned while they were in the JNA, and
7 all the equipment used by the HVO were military
8 equipment from Russia, most of it.
9 Q. As an officer who participated in
10 intelligence, did you know that ex-Yugoslavia also
11 procured a series of weapons from the United States and
12 other Western countries that other Eastern European
13 countries, members of the Warsaw Pact, had no access
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Regarding doctrine, military doctrine of
17 ex-Yugoslavia, could we agree that it changed, so that
18 later on in the 1980s, it approached increasingly the
19 concepts of the NATO countries?
20 A. It seems to, yes.
21 Q. You voluntarily reported to your authorities
22 in Denmark to go on mission to Bosnia-Herzegovina as a
23 part of the ECMM team. May I ask you, what were your
24 motives to apply for this post?
25 A. At that time, it seems that all officers in
1 the Danish army had to go to the former Yugoslavia, and
2 if you volunteered to go to Yugoslavia, you were able
3 to decide at what time you had to go. So that was one
4 of the reasons for me to volunteer was then I could
5 decide which period I could go. If I didn't volunteer,
6 then the army will say to me when to go.
7 Q. Would it be correct to say that you did not
8 volunteer because you had any particular knowledge
9 about Yugoslavia?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Thank you. Would you agree with me if I say
12 that before reaching the territory of the former
13 Yugoslavia -- when you reached it, it was already the
14 former Yugoslavia -- that you knew nothing about the
15 former federal structure, the history, the
16 inter-republican relations, the various ethnicities,
18 A. Only very briefly. We had a briefing on that
19 matter before we went out to a mission.
20 Q. After the briefing you were given when you
21 reached the ground, could we agree that the situation
22 you found on the ground was rather chaotic and unclear?
23 A. It seems to us, after we had received the
24 briefing in Denmark and we had the briefing in Zagreb,
25 as we were shown here the other day in one of the
1 exhibits, at that time, we were briefed on the
2 situation, and it seems to be -- I would not say
3 chaotic, but we were able to see that there was work to
4 do for us, to monitor the situation.
5 Q. Major, could it be said that in the first
6 days, upon your arrival on your tour of duty in Central
7 Bosnia, that the situation corresponded to what you
8 were told at the briefing and that you immediately knew
9 who was who?
10 A. Yes, after the briefing, I did.
11 Q. Could you please also tell me, the briefing
12 that you were given in Denmark, how long did it take?
13 How long did it last? One, two, five days, ten days?
14 Roughly, if you remember.
15 A. We had some written material sent to us, and
16 just before we were sent out of the country, we had two
17 days' briefing.
18 Q. And in Zagreb again?
19 A. And in Zagreb again, yes.
20 Q. One, two, three days?
21 A. In Zagreb, I think we had one day.
22 Q. Thank you. You said that you always had
23 interpreters attached to the monitoring teams. Who
24 were the interpreters that you used in terms of their
25 ethnic background?
1 A. We normally used interpreters from both Croat
2 and Muslim ethnic background. Normally, when we're
3 going to discuss matters with the HVO, we were bringing
4 a Croat interpreter with us, and when we were going to
5 a Muslim area, we were having a Muslim interpreter with
6 us. That was the normal picture. Sometimes we have to
7 use a Croat interpreter going into a Muslim area and
8 the opposite, but normally we were using the same
9 ethnic interpreter as the area we went to.
10 Q. Was this approach adopted for practical
11 reasons, to establish better communication with your
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, some reference
15 has been made to this but not in detail. Within the
16 territory of Vitez municipality, that is, in the
17 surroundings of Vitez itself, judging from your
18 testimony, you came across several names of several
19 different units, and you considered them to be part of
20 HVO units. Do you recall the name "Viteska Brigade"?
21 A. I can recall the name, yes.
22 Q. Did the interpreter ever explain to you what
23 the word "Viteska Brigada" actually meant?
24 A. We didn't ask.
25 Q. Did you notice that other HVO brigades which
1 you came across, as a rule almost, used as their names
2 the names of certain historical figures?
3 A. Yes, we were told that, that all the names of
4 the brigades have a connection to the history and the
6 Q. And as for Viteska, nobody explained to you
7 what the word means?
8 A. Not that I can recall.
9 Q. Did you know that HVO brigades, as home guard
10 units, were organised on the basis of their affiliation
11 with a particular municipality?
12 A. As far as we could see, it was very difficult
13 to see how the different brigades were organised. Some
14 of the brigades had a lot of companies; other brigades
15 had only a few companies. So I don't think that there
16 were two equal brigades. We didn't look at how the
17 brigades were manned, things like that. Things like
18 that were up to UNPROFOR to look at because we were not
19 there as military observers.
20 Q. Major, you had contacts with local
21 politicians. Didn't you learn from those contacts that
22 a Domobran or home guard brigade is always linked to
23 the municipality?
24 A. Yes, and that's normal for the home guard.
25 Q. In Vitez, mention was made of other units
1 too. You mentioned them as well. For instance, a unit
2 that acted under the name of the Vitezovi; does that
3 name ring a bell today?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. It was said to have been a special unit.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. As a foreigner, as somebody who's not
8 familiar with the language, the similarity between the
9 names "Vitezovi" and "Viteska," was it difficult for
10 you to distinguish between them?
11 A. No.
12 Q. How did you make a distinction between the
13 information you received; for instance, the Viteska
14 Brigade was in such and such a place and the Vitezovi
15 somewhere else?
16 A. As I told you, we were a civilian
17 organisation. The ECMM was not a military observer
18 corps, so everything concerning the military units was
19 provided to us by UNPROFOR. So when we had questions
20 to the different units, we asked UNPROFOR for their
21 opinion. It was not our job to discuss the strength
22 and the name and the ability of the different military
23 units. We had meetings with the commanders, but we
24 didn't discuss military matters, how their units were
25 built up, or things like that.
1 Q. From a series of documents, it emerges that
2 UNPROFOR, and particularly the British Battalion in
3 Bila, used in its reports both these terms, the Viteska
4 Brigade and Vitezovi; the Vitezovi not frequently, but
5 it was used. Did they use on certain occasions, in
6 communication with you, the names of both these units?
7 A. I cannot recall.
8 Q. Could I ask you to confirm for me the
9 uniforms worn by local armies on both sides? To judge
10 by everything we have heard so far, they obviously were
11 not a reliable sign as to whom a soldier belonged to;
12 is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. In other words, if somebody wore a uniform,
15 we cannot be sure that he was a military man. He could
16 be a private individual.
17 A. It's correct that there were a lot of
18 civilians wearing uniforms, not full uniforms but a
19 part of a uniform, the trousers or the jacket, but it
20 was difficult for us to see on the uniform if the man
21 was from one unit or another unit, because there were a
22 lot of different uniforms, even old uniforms from East
23 Germany. So there were a lot of different uniforms.
24 Q. Thank you. You told us that ever since the
25 briefing in Zagreb, and on the ground too, you were
1 able to see for yourself that HVO forces in Central
2 Bosnia were, in principle, better armed and better
3 equipped than the BH army. In that connection, allow
4 me to put several questions to you for the sake of
6 This was a general assessment. A moment ago,
7 you yourself said that there were considerable
8 differences between Croatian brigades in one
9 municipality as opposed to another. Can we agree on
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. We mentioned that there were Domobran, home
13 guard, units and special units. We agree on that,
14 don't we?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you learnt about the existence of HOS
17 units, which appeared in certain municipalities as
18 independent units ...
19 A. Can I have that question again, please?
20 Q. Did you, in the course of your work, learn
21 that in some municipalities that you moved in, there
22 were independent units of the HOS, H-O-S, as
23 independent units?
24 A. It would be difficult for us to see if the
25 HOS units there were under the command of the local HVO
1 brigade. We could not see that.
2 Q. Let us make this quite clear. Were you able
3 to make such a conclusion on the basis of anything at
5 A. No, but when we saw a HOS unit in that
6 area -- normally, when one unit is operating in another
7 unit's area, i.e., if the HOS unit is operating in the
8 brigade's area of responsibility, it's normal that this
9 unit is under the command by the brigade. But I don't
10 know if that was the case in Central Bosnia.
11 Q. When you say "normal," you mean normal
12 according to NATO doctrine or the NATO organisation?
13 A. Both organisations.
14 Q. Didn't we have occasion to see, in the course
15 of yesterday, orders issued by the commander of the
16 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia from which we could
17 see to whom they were addressed, from which we can
18 infer who he commanded?
19 A. Yes, but to those units that could have been
20 attached. Other units were not mentioned because only
21 the mother units were mentioned, but not all the
22 subunits in those units, and a subunit in one of those
23 units could be a HOS unit.
24 Q. You had occasion on the ground, and also
25 during the past few days, to see a certain number of
1 orders within the HVO at various levels addressed to
2 various units.
3 My question is: Did you ever, at any time,
4 see an order in which the Viteska Brigade, that is, the
5 brigade headquartered in Vitez municipality, issues an
6 order to a unit called the Vitezovi, the HOS, or any
7 other unit with a particular name?
8 A. Not in the orders that I have seen here in
9 the court.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you have occasion to meet the
11 commander of the Viteska Brigade, who is here present,
12 Mario Cerkez?
13 A. I think during my period in Bosnia, together
14 with joint -- sorry, to the Busovaca joint commission,
15 we had meetings with a lot of the brigade commanders,
16 but I cannot recall one meeting from another. But I
17 think during those meetings with the Busovaca joint
18 commission, where we were doing fact-finding missions,
19 we had meetings with most of the brigade commanders,
20 but I cannot recall a specific meeting with
21 Mr. Cerkez.
22 Q. So it would be correct to conclude that you
23 were aware of the unit, the Viteska Brigade; you had
24 occasion to meet the commander of that unit. Did you
25 ever see that unit outside the territory of Vitez
2 A. It was difficult to see, when you met a
3 soldier, what unit he was belonging to. So if we were
4 outside of the municipality of Vitez and we met
5 soldiers there, we were not able to see what units they
6 were belonging to.
7 Q. Major, I believe that you may agree with me
8 if I say that in no report or other type of documents
9 of either the ECMM or the UNPROFOR that there was any
10 mention of the Viteska Brigade operating outside of the
11 Vitez municipality.
12 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour --
13 JUDGE MAY: The witness can't answer on
14 behalf of UNPROFOR; I doubt that at this length of time
15 he can answer on behalf of the monitors. Mr. Kovacic,
16 no doubt that is a point you can make from the
17 documents in due course.
18 MR. KOVACIC: No problem, Your Honour.
19 Q. Let us just try to clarify another point.
20 You mentioned that you probably have seen, that is, met
21 Cerkez in one of the meetings of the Busovaca
22 commission. From the documents we saw regarding the
23 Busovaca commission, I inferred that it was not
24 involved only in issues of Busovaca but in a wider
25 context of the Lasva River Valley; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. The Busovaca joint commission, we
2 operated in an area that was bigger than the Lasva
3 River area.
4 Q. Thank you. During your evidence, you
5 mentioned that the HVO had to control the PTT system.
6 As a layperson, I see that the public
7 telecommunications system consists of a network which
8 may be above ground or underground, that it has a
9 central exchange, and it has outlets to which they can
10 then link up. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You said that the HVO had control over this
13 system. Could you tell me, in which way could the HVO
14 control the PTT communication lines when there were, as
15 you call them, there were pockets which were controlled
16 by the ABiH and the whole area is criss-crossed by
17 these telecommunication lines, whether over ground or
18 underground, so anybody could disrupt these lines at
19 many points?
20 A. When I was saying that the HVO were
21 controlling the PTT lines, they were controlling the PT
22 buildings and all the equipment in the building.
23 Normally, you have all the electronic equipment in
24 those PTT buildings. But there were problems on the PT
25 lines in the area, and several times when the PTT
1 people want to repair the PTT line, we had to -- ECMM
2 and UNPROFOR had to provide them with a security team
3 so they were able to repair those lines. That was
4 something that was carried out by the Busovaca joint
6 Q. In other words, the PTT communications were
7 not reliable?
8 A. No, they were not.
9 Q. Tell me -- I'm not going to belabour the
10 issue of the communications with you, because you spoke
11 to that quite a bit, at some length, but there was one
12 point that I want to establish. Could you specify, by
13 a description of equipment, what type of more
14 sophisticated systems the HVO had? You said that you
15 had an opportunity to see certain equipment but that
16 the HVO had had some more sophisticated equipment, so
17 could you clarify what you meant by "more sophisticated
19 A. When I said "more sophisticated system", I
20 was able to see that it was new radio equipment. It
21 was not some old radio, it was new radio equipment as
22 normally used in a Western army. And some of this
23 radio equipment is more sophisticated, of course, than
24 the old one was. That's why I said that.
25 Q. The BH army had the inferior communication
1 systems, from what you were able to see?
2 A. They had similar systems as well, yes.
3 Q. Can you tell me, based on what you saw and
4 heard on the ground, did the BH army, at the local
5 level, let's say, for instance, in Stari Vitez, the Old
6 Vitez town, have communication which it could use for
7 eavesdropping on the ABiH?
8 A. You have to use another word than
9 "eavesdropping". Do you have another word for that?
10 Q. Unfortunately, there is no distinction in the
11 Croatian language for the military term, but I can just
12 explain it.
13 Did the army have equipment which it could
14 use to monitor and follow the communications between
15 different HVO units?
16 A. Not to my knowledge, but it's normal that
17 armies had equipment like that. But I haven't seen
18 equipment like that.
19 Q. Major, given the kind of equipment needed for
20 this job and the training required and some other
21 conditions, could you give us your estimate whether the
22 BH army was in a position, for instance, to have had
23 such ability in Stari Vitez?
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. Very well, you don't know.
1 Let us stay with this communications issue.
2 You said that at some point you heard that the HVO was
3 eavesdropping or monitoring your communications. It is
4 not a major problem to do so, and you don't need much
5 equipment and much personnel for that; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, and specific on the PTT line, that's
7 what we mentioned.
8 Q. Correct. Does that mean that the ECMM
9 mission relied mostly on the open, public communication
11 A. We had our satellite communications and used
13 Q. So to you it was fairly irrelevant whether
14 the PTT system was in operation or not and whether
15 somebody could monitor your communications on it or
17 A. No, actually, because using the satellite
18 communication is very expensive, and when we wanted to
19 have contact, i.e., from our house in Vitez to Colonel
20 Blaskic's office, it would be a lot easier to use the
21 local PTT line, including if we're going to send a
22 telefax or something.
23 Q. So it was for economic and practical reasons,
24 really, that you were using it?
25 A. Yes, but we were aware, when we were using
1 the land line, the PTT land line, that it was not a
2 secure line, so you could not discuss classified things
3 on the telephone, and that's normal.
4 Q. Major, now that you mentioned your base in
5 Vitez, this building was in a village called Bila, in
6 the immediate vicinity of the UNPROFOR base; is that
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. This was also close to the so-called "T"
10 junction where the road to Novi Travnik meets the main
11 highway going due east and west?
12 A. Yes, it was. There was -- I can't remember,
13 but there was several kilometres to that, but it was in
14 the neighbourhood.
15 Q. While you were coming here, near Grbavica
16 there was also a headquarters [as interpreted] of the
17 BH army; is that correct?
18 A. I cannot --
19 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry, there is a mistake
20 in the transcript. Not the "headquarters" but contra
22 THE INTERPRETER: A checkpoint.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, that's being
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Shall I repeat the question?
2 A. No. I can remember there was a checkpoint in
4 Q. Grbavica.
5 A. Yes, and -- but I need to see on the map,
6 because I can remember there was a checkpoint there,
7 but I can't remember if it was HVO or BiH. But if you
8 could allow me to see the map, then I could --
9 JUDGE MAY: We have had, I think, plenty of
10 evidence about this checkpoint. Unless there's
11 something which is particularly relevant to this
12 witness, I suggest you move on.
13 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour, you're
14 correct, but I don't have a feeling that ever exactly
15 that contra point just off Grbavica was, but there is
16 other means to introduce that.
17 JUDGE MAY: If you want to ask about the
18 exhibit, no doubt the Prosecution could tell us what
19 exhibit number it was.
20 MR. KOVACIC: Let's make it simple, Your
21 Honour, just a simple question.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
23 MR. KOVACIC: And then we can later locate
25 Q. Do we agree that this checkpoint was about
1 some 150 metres on the main road away from the building
2 where you were housed, your mission was housed? If I
3 can just assist you, you first had to cross a very
4 small bridge?
5 JUDGE MAY: Major, if you can't remember, say
6 so. It would not be surprising after all this time.
7 A. Thank you.
8 MR. KOVACIC:
9 Q. You addressed Mr. Franjo Nakic as the deputy
10 commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, and
11 Mr. Nakic was part of the Busovaca commission. Was he
12 not rather the chief of staff of the Central Bosnia
13 Operative Zone? If you recall, of course.
14 A. As far as I can remember, he was maybe both.
15 It's normal that the chief -- there's a chief of
16 staff. That's normal that the chief of staff is a
17 deputy in the unit.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, I see Mr. Scott has
19 got the exhibit which shows the checkpoint, if you want
20 to ask any questions about it.
21 MR. KOVACIC: If the Prosecutor is kind
22 enough, I would appreciate that, even though there are
23 many documents later on that, I guess.
24 JUDGE MAY: What number is it, please,
25 Mr. Scott?
1 MR. SCOTT: 2193, Your Honour.
2 MR. KOVACIC: Could I ask the Registry to
3 show that?
4 MR. SCOTT: It's easier. You can use this
6 MR. KOVACIC: Could I ask the usher to put it
7 on the ELMO so we all can see it?
8 Q. Could you please show where your base was so
9 that we may all get oriented? [In English] I don't
10 think that we see Grbavica on this picture.
11 JUDGE MAY: Which direction is it in? Just
12 help us.
13 MR. KOVACIC: It should be towards the west,
14 towards Busovaca.
15 JUDGE MAY: If you were going out from the
16 checkpoint number 2 on the aerial photograph, as it's
17 marked, which road would you go along?
18 MR. KOVACIC: Towards Travnik.
19 JUDGE MAY: That's if we take the road going
20 up the aerial photograph, you would turn right at the
21 checkpoint; is that right? Is that the "T" junction?
22 MR. KOVACIC: It's a picture that, frankly, I
23 cannot identify. I suggest we drop this.
24 JUDGE MAY: No. Now you've started it. I
25 want to know. I think this must be the "T" junction.
1 MR. KOVACIC: It is not on this picture.
2 It's out of that frame.
3 JUDGE MAY: What, the "T" junction is out of
4 the frame?
5 MR. KOVACIC: The "T" junction is not here.
6 JUDGE MAY: Which way would it be on the
7 picture towards the "T" junction?
8 MR. KOVACIC: Up.
9 JUDGE MAY: I see.
10 MR. KOVACIC: If it is geographically
11 oriented, then it would be northwest, but it is not
12 because it is the other angle.
13 MR. SCOTT: May it please the Court --
14 MR. KOVACIC: If we have a break, I could
15 produce one.
16 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if it assists the
17 Court, Exhibit 2613, which is a map, not an aerial, but
18 it's a much larger scale, for the purposes of answering
19 the Court's question about a "T" junction, it might be
20 easier to finds it on this. 2613, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Perhaps the simplest thing
22 is to deal with this after the break. Let's go on to
23 another topic.
24 Have you very much more for this witness,
25 Mr. Kovacic?
1 MR. KOVACIC: I guess, Your Honour, that I'm
2 about in the middle, maybe a little bit more than
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll take a break in about
5 a quarter of an hour.
6 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.
7 Q. When you spoke about the Busovaca commission,
8 where Nakic represented the Croatian side, that is, the
9 HVO, and Mr. HVO [sic] the BH army, you also said that
10 Mr. Merdan, the BH army representative, as a rule, did
11 not need to ask his superior, Mr. Hadzihasanovic,
12 before he could take a decision, whereas Mr. Nakic
13 always did. So I would like to ask several questions
14 in that context.
15 From the military standpoint, during the
16 military operations, an army which is involved in
17 military operations has to consider that it is critical
18 that the military information is kept confidential,
19 secret; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would you agree that the information
22 regarding the troop morale, the level of equipment, its
23 deployment, are the type of information that any army
24 which is actively involved is protecting as
25 confidential information?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Isn't it normal, Major, that a smart officer,
3 such as Nakic was, first consults with his superiors
4 before he brings members of the opposing army to a
5 particular location?
6 A. It was the same problem if it was only ECMM
7 going to that area. Mr. Nakic sometimes had to get
8 this written authorisation just to get ECMM to that
9 area without any members of the BiH.
10 Q. Thank you. Did you, through your
11 conversations of this kind during the period when the
12 Busovaca commission was active, the commanders of the
13 3rd Army Corps and the Central Bosnia Operative Zone,
14 ever have an agreement which was established to monitor
15 the movements and passage of troops through the
16 respective zones of responsibilities which, by its very
17 function, that is, the commission, would have to be
18 involved in taking decisions about where the commission
19 was to go?
20 A. I cannot recall that we were used to monitor
21 movement of troops, if that's how your question is.
22 Q. No. In fact, did you, through those talks
23 regarding the visits and taking them to individual
24 points to the zone of responsibility, did you get to
25 know precisely, because of the problems that the
1 representatives Nakic and Merdan could have had, that
2 there was another commission, their commission,
3 established between the two armies without the presence
4 of the ECMM, which should have been in charge of the
5 question of passage through the territory, mutual
6 passage through this territory? Didn't someone mention
7 this, either Merdan or Nakic?
8 A. I cannot recall that there was a joint
9 commission on a high level. But I can recall that in
10 the joint operation command, that was the party that we
11 placed at the Busovaca joint commission, at that time,
12 the HVO and the BiH had some SUP commissions without
13 members of the ECMM, but I cannot recall if there was
14 something similar during the period in the Busovaca
15 joint commission.
16 Q. In this regard, my final question: The
17 observation that you have made that Merdan did not have
18 to ask and Nakic had to ask when he wanted to go, do
19 you want to say by that that they had different
20 mandates, or quite simply that one of them was more
21 cautious or wiser perhaps?
22 A. I think that Mr. Merdan had more of a mandate
23 to solve problems than Mr. Nakic.
24 Q. I see. Thank you. You told us about the
25 reception in Vitez at Blaskic's during Easter, and you
1 said that Ambassador Thebault came, that he was worried
2 because he had been stopped, but also that the Croatian
3 flags were put up in Travnik and that this went against
4 the grain of Muslim feelings, that this raised
5 tensions. So that was, without a doubt, on the eve of
6 Easter or during the Easter holidays, was it not?
7 A. I cannot recall that the flag raising started
8 just before Easter.
9 Q. Major, without going into what religion you
10 are, in the field, did you learn that, at least for the
11 Croats in Central Bosnia, Easter is perhaps their most
12 important national holiday, more of a national holiday
13 and ethnic holiday rather than a religious one? Is
14 that true? Did you have a chance to see that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it not natural then -- well, I don't think
17 that customs are more different in Denmark than they
18 are in Bosnia, that when you celebrate something, you
19 put up your national flag.
20 A. Yes, you do.
21 Q. Immediately before Easter, in the same area,
22 the other great Muslim holiday is Bajram, and at that
23 time, in 1993, it was at the beginning of April. Did
24 you see any Muslim flags put up at that time?
25 A. I saw the flag of Bosnia-Herzegovina, yes.
1 Q. Did you perhaps have occasion to see, during
2 those days of Bajram, the Bajram festivity, a little
3 off from the hotel, on the main road to Vitez, leading
4 to Stari Vitez, a little further from the petrol pump,
5 if you recall, by the hotel, there was a flag put up
6 right across the road. It spanned the road and it was
7 about 20 metres long. It was a green flag. Did you
8 have occasion to see that perhaps?
9 A. I cannot recall.
10 Q. Did you hear from somebody about this
12 A. I cannot recall.
13 Q. Thank you, sir. Can we change the subject
15 You said that the HVO maintained, claimed
16 that behind the kidnapping of the four officers, the
17 members of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade from Novi
18 Travnik, that behind that kidnapping were the
19 Mujahedins and that the 7th Muslim Brigade was linked
20 to that incident.
21 Was that not confirmed, that this was
22 correct, the allegations made and conveyed to you, that
23 they were correct?
24 A. In the beginning, the HVO claimed that the
25 7th Muslim Brigade were behind this kidnapping, and
1 when we started the investigations, the first
2 headquarters we visited was belonging to the 7th Muslim
3 Brigade, near Bugojno, and we didn't find anything
4 there and we had no -- what happened after that, when
5 we went back to the brigade commander in Travnik.
6 But it was correct that the HVO claimed that
7 the 7th Muslim Brigade were behind it, but the first
8 sign actually we saw of a link between the Mujahedin
9 and the 7th Muslim Brigade was when the messenger came
10 to us with a letter. His car was observed close to the
11 Mujahedin -- not to the Mujahedin, to the 7th Muslim
12 Brigade. They had a company headquarters in Zenica.
13 Later on, when the other Mujahedins were
14 released in Zenica, we saw members of -- or members we
15 expected to belong to the 7th Muslim Brigade were there
16 during the release.
17 JUDGE ROBINSON: Major, can I ask, how did
18 you distinguish the --
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Judge.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: How did you distinguish the
21 Mujahedins? How were you able to identify them?
22 A. They were looking very Arabic and they were
23 having -- they were normally not dressed like normal
24 soldiers. They were having long beards; they were
25 using scarves around their heads with Arabic words on
1 them. So it was easy to see a Mujahedin and be able to
2 see if he was a Mujahedin or not.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. That means that when you got the information,
6 then you saw that that first suspicion of the HVO
7 turned out to be correct.
8 A. In the beginning, there was from the HVO side
9 a lot of information, including the messenger who was
10 driving the car during one of the kidnappings. We
11 investigated that as well, and it seemed to be a
13 Of course, the HVO thought that the 7th
14 Muslim Brigade was behind the kidnapping because
15 everyone, specifically in the HVO, were a little afraid
16 of the 7th Muslim Brigade, and they were known to --
17 maybe to do other things than a normal military unit.
18 But I don't think they have anything specific to put it
19 on, that it was the 7th Muslim Brigade, because if they
20 had anything specific, they would have been able to
21 provide us with that, and they didn't do that for
22 sure. So it was just a guess that it was the 7th
23 Muslim Brigade.
24 Q. Those speculations were ultimately
25 corroborated, that is to say, it was true?
1 A. At the end of the day, it was true, yes.
2 Q. Apropos speculation, is it not natural for an
3 army and for a police force, and even for us lawyers,
4 for one to safeguard the sources of one's information,
5 not to compromise them? And if this was a military
6 piece of information, would it be normal for the HVO to
7 uncover, disclose the source of that information?
8 A. I think in this case, everyone was doing
9 their best to find the kidnapped officers and to have
10 them released, and if the HVO had information like
11 that, I think they would do their best to provide us
12 with that information so we were able to release the
13 officers as quick as possible, but they didn't. So I
14 think that if the HVO had that information, then they
15 would have used it, instead of waiting for months
16 before we were able to release the kidnapped persons.
17 Q. Very well.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I should now
19 like to tender a piece of evidence and a copy to be
20 shown to the witness in connection with this event.
21 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Major, as you have seen, this is a report
25 signed by the commander of the Stjepan Tomasevic
1 Brigade, Mr. Zeljko Sabljic, in Novi Travnik, and it is
2 in connection with what you mentioned; that is to say,
3 that after Bugojno, after visiting Bugojno, you stopped
4 off in Novi Travnik and had a meeting with Zeljko
5 Sabljic because you were collaborating in this
6 investigation; is that correct? Can you link that up?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Looking at point 2 of his report, is what he
9 says correct? Because he states that the
10 representatives of the imam said that there was no use
11 for them carrying on in the work of the commission
12 because any further action should -- that all further
13 action should be undertaken by professional
14 organisations. Was that a correct conclusion on his
16 A. I cannot recall that conclusion.
17 Q. Furthermore, in this regard, something that
18 isn't quite clear: You told us that you were in
19 Bugojno, but with you in Bugojno, there was also the
20 representative of the HVO, was there, in that
21 investigation, the HVO, I mean, of Novi Travnik?
22 A. Yes, I think.
23 Q. So you really did do that as a mixed team.
24 Major, mention is made here in point 1 of the
25 fact that a trace was found, that one of the possible
1 participants was a Vahid Catic from Drvetine, from
2 Bugojno. Is that the trace that led you to Bugojno or
3 is it the result of your visit to Bugojno?
4 A. The reason for us to go to Bugojno was to
5 visit the headquarters of the 7th Muslim Brigade and to
6 see if we were able to confirm that this man was the
7 driver of the vehicle.
8 Q. Mm-hmm.
9 A. And I cannot recall if he actually was the
10 driver of the vehicle.
11 Q. With respect to the talk, the discussion
12 about the need to include professional investigators, I
13 should like to draw your attention to point 5, where
14 the brigade's attitude is expressed of the 17th, that
15 is, the meeting that you mentioned, that in future,
16 qualified professional institutions should be
17 included. And in this regard, from point 6, it would
18 stem that Sabljic had already asked for that to be
19 done, he asked that of the 4th Battalion of the
20 military police headquartered in Vitez, and that he was
21 refused. Did you receive that information from him at
22 the time?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Did he ever mention that he would be asking
25 the military police to be included via their main staff
1 from Mostar? And I'm referring to point 8.
2 A. I cannot recall.
3 Q. You don't recall. Very well. Thank you.
4 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours, perhaps that
5 would be a good time.
6 JUDGE MAY: I'm reminded now that, in fact,
7 we have to rise at half past four. So we will go on
8 with your examination and then have a break, if there's
10 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, sir.
11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic,
12 how much more time do you need, roughly?
13 MR. KOVACIC: I would say, plus/minus, half
14 an hour, not more. I will try to be brief.
15 JUDGE MAY: Make it less.
16 MR. KOVACIC: Okay. Could I ask the
17 registrar to produce the Exhibit Z550?
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Major, you saw these documents yesterday
20 during the direct examination, and the Prosecutor, when
21 asking his questions, he went in order of the
22 addressees, but he jumped over the artillery unit.
23 Would you tell us about this LARB unit mentioned by
24 Blaskic as a subordinate unit, whether you had occasion
25 to see on other occasions in the Central Bosnia
1 Operative Zone the existence of this unit, the light
2 artillery battalion?
3 A. I cannot remember something specific on this
5 Q. In the Croatian language, "LARB" is the light
6 artillery rocket battalion. You didn't hear of it?
7 A. I can remember there was artillery units, but
8 I cannot recall this unit.
9 Q. But one particular artillery unit is
10 mentioned in that order, and we jumped over it the
11 other day when we were looking into this matter.
12 A. I'm not sure that I can understand your
14 Q. The day before yesterday -- well, I don't
15 think we need go into it. The document speaks for
16 itself. Thank you very much. We'll move on.
17 Major, when we spoke about the artillery, you
18 also said on one occasion during the
19 examination-in-chief that the BiH army did not have any
20 artillery in that area, in the area of Vitez. Giving
21 your explanations, you said that you, the ECMM
22 monitors, did not see it. Will you agree with me when
23 I say that if we take a square metre -- if we look at a
24 square with Travnik and Novi Travnik, and then to the
25 east -- to the southeast of the square, Busovaca, and
1 then the northeast, we have Zenica, if we look at this
2 area, then that -- and I calculated it from the map --
3 is over 400 square kilometres, and in that area, how
4 many monitors did you have at the time you were there,
5 the ECMM monitors; three, five, how many? Who worked
6 in this particular area, this zone, the Novi Travnik/
7 Travnik/Busovaca/Zenica zone?
8 A. I would say we had four or five teams in that
9 area, and then UNPROFOR were patrolling in that area as
10 well. As I mentioned, at that time we didn't have any
11 information on artillery positions from BiH. We found
12 artillery positions from BiH later on, but I cannot
13 recall that we had any positions marked on our map at
14 that date.
15 Q. Have you ever heard of informational claims
16 by the HVO that the BiH army had two tanks, one a T-34
17 and one was a T-55, at Poculica, and that one was used
18 as an artillery piece because it was not mobile, that
19 is to say, that it was probably not mobile? Did you
20 ever hear about these tanks?
21 A. I can recall that the HVO claimed that BiH
22 had tanks, and I can remember once in Zenica I saw a
23 T-54 tank on a tank transporter, and we saw this tank
24 on a tank transporter on several occasions in the
25 Zenica area. That's the only tank I saw in the area.
1 Q. From time to time, you used the mountain road
2 between Vitez and Zenica. The ECMM and UNPROFOR called
3 it the mountain road. Did you ever see a Muslim tank
4 on that road of the BiH army?
5 A. No, I cannot recall to have seen tanks in
6 that -- close to that --
7 MR. KOVACIC: I would ask the Registry to
8 help us with distribution of the document.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, now, are you going to ask
10 him to comment, before you do this, on the statement of
11 somebody, Mr. --
12 MR. KOVACIC: My plan was just to read the
13 last part of the last paragraph on page 4.
14 JUDGE MAY: Well, there's no need to put it
15 to him. What have we got here? Page 4 --
16 MR. KOVACIC: Page 4, which is the three last
17 pages, the last paragraph, and the problem is, Your
18 Honour, that this witness is not on the list -- on the
19 current list of the Prosecution witnesses, so I will
20 lose any opportunity to introduce that document, and
21 that is what the witness obviously said.
22 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, they can call the
23 witness if they want to call the witness. Excuse me.
24 JUDGE MAY: Well, this is a gentleman who was
25 in the British army, he was an UNPROFOR soldier, and he
1 says that he saw a T-55 tank along that road. Is that
2 the point?
3 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, and it's very interesting,
4 his --
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, it doesn't matter about
6 that. But as far as this witness is concerned, he
7 probably can't comment on what somebody else saw. He
8 said that he's not seen the tank, so I think there's
9 little point going on with asking him about it. If, in
10 due course, you want to call a witness or have the
11 statement put in, well, of course, you can apply to do
12 so, and that might be the best way around it.
13 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Sir. Let's go
15 Your Honours, could I then move and ask that
16 this statement should be taken as the evidence?
17 JUDGE MAY: Not at the moment. Let's finish
18 this cross-examination before we do anything else.
19 MR. KOVACIC: Okay. Thank you, Sir.
20 Q. [Interpretation] Talking about artillery, did
21 you personally have occasion, when you reached Vitez,
22 to see visible damage caused by artillery, for example,
23 on the post office building, the building of the
24 headquarters, that is, the cinema, the hotel, and some
25 other buildings? I think many of those damages can
1 still be seen today. Did you personally notice them?
2 A. I saw a lot of damage in Bosnia. I cannot
3 recall all the damages and I cannot recall the damages
4 in Vitez, but there were a lot of damage.
5 Q. Will you agree that there was damage in Vitez
6 as well?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You told us, during the first day of your
9 examination-in-chief, that at the HVO checkpoint near
10 Dubravica, you came across five Muslims lying on their
11 stomach on the road, and that HOS soldiers tried to
12 hide behind a building, but you spotted them, and in
13 the end they opened fire at you and your colleague
14 Landry. Here in court, you said that the HVO opened
15 fire at you. But if I may remind you and ask you to
16 explain, in your previous statement to the
17 investigators of this Tribunal, and this was in August
18 1996, you said the same about this incident, but you
19 specified that at that moment, HOS soldiers opened fire
20 and that is when you left, so that in your previous
21 statement, you were specific and said that it was the
22 HOS that opened fire, whereas the day before yesterday,
23 you said it was the HVO who opened fire. Could you
24 tell us who actually opened fire at you?
25 A. Both answers were correct because HOS was a
1 unit of the HVO, but it was soldiers in black uniforms
2 that opened fire at us.
3 Q. So now you do distinguish the soldiers in
4 black uniform; at least on this occasion you did?
5 JUDGE MAY: The witness has answered the
7 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.
8 Q. [Interpretation] You said that on the 16th of
9 April, in the evening, passing by, you tried to turn
10 towards the village of Ahmici off the main road, to the
11 village itself, and that at the checkpoint you were
12 stopped by HVO soldiers who would not let you proceed.
13 Are you able to identify which HVO unit that was or
15 A. I'm not able to identify the unit.
16 Q. But you are sure it was the HVO?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Two or three points from your diary, if I
20 MR. KOVACIC: We have a diary which is
22 Q. [Interpretation] Two or three points which I
23 would like to ask you to explain for me. To speed
24 things up, perhaps, could we prepare [In English] ...
25 207, which is a set of photographs?
1 [Interpretation] I draw your attention for a
2 moment to the page which says "Tuesday, 15th of June".
3 The second paragraph in the chapter devoted to the 15th
4 of June, the last paragraph at the bottom of the page.
5 So you mention there that in the cinema
6 building, there were five Muslim detainees, and you
7 discuss this conflicting situation with Pero Skopljak.
8 May I also draw your attention to the fact that on that
9 same page above, in the third paragraph, and that is a
10 note made on the previous day, the 14th of June, you
11 mention a joint humanitarian commission in a different
12 area, clearly, not in Vitez, and mention is made of
13 people who have nothing to do with Vitez, who were
14 never near Vitez, and Pero Skopljak, who is from
15 Vitez. Could that have been some kind of mix-up? Is
16 it Kiseljak or Vitez?
17 A. This joint humanitarian commission consists
18 of members of BiH and HVO over the whole area, not only
19 just this area, if that's your question.
20 Q. And Mr. Pero Skopljak was a member of that
22 A. Yes, he was.
23 Q. Are you sure of this note, in which you say
24 that the HVO police chief and his command is in the
25 cinema building? Let me assist you to refresh your
1 memory. In Z2207, this set of photographs --
2 JUDGE MAY: How is this going to assist us in
3 deciding this case?
4 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I think that it
5 really did not happen in Vitez, and if we just show the
6 pictures to the witness, he will probably find out the
7 error, because in Vitez there was no -- at that time,
8 June 15, there was nobody detained in that. Even the
9 Prosecution did not claim that.
10 JUDGE MAY: Well, then I doubt if the
11 Prosecution don't claim it, you need trouble any more
12 about it, it's not an issue in the case.
13 Major, can you remember now precisely where
14 this occurred, six or seven years ago?
15 A. This occurs, because I can remember this
16 specifically, because those five civilians were sitting
17 in this small room. I can specifically remember this
18 situation, because after they were released from Vitez,
19 I took them to Zenica and gave them to ICRC, and they
20 were not able to take care of them in the beginning,
21 and then I had to discuss with ICRC to help the
23 ICRC didn't want to help them, because when
24 ICRC visited the cinema in Vitez, they were told that
25 there were no prisoners in the cellar; and they have
1 some special rules in ICRC. If you haven't registered
2 them as prisoners, you're not able to help them.
3 But I can remember that they were searching
4 in that room, and it was in Vitez, in the cellar.
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's the answer which the
6 witness gives.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Yes.
8 JUDGE MAY: If you have evidence to
9 contradict it, of course, you're free to call it.
10 MR. KOVACIC: No, Your Honour, but could I
11 ask just one thing? It's very simple.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 MR. KOVACIC: The picture under number 4,
14 which is the police building, could we just ask the
15 witness to confirm or deny that that is the police
17 JUDGE MAY: It's the Vitez police station?
18 MR. KOVACIC: Right, and that was introduced
19 as the Vitez police station, as the evidence.
20 JUDGE MAY: Can you help, Major, as to
21 whether that's the Vitez police station or not?
22 A. I would like to see if you have a picture of
23 the cinema in Vitez, because as I can recall, they were
24 not released from this building but from another
1 JUDGE MAY: Where are we going with this?
2 MR. KOVACIC: 11th, 12th, and then 15th to
3 19th, different pictures of the same building, and that
4 is the building --
5 JUDGE MAY: It's called the Workers'
6 University, but also it's the cinema?
7 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, but we didn't know what it
8 is, because police headquarters are mentioned here as
10 A. Yes, I think that's from that building there
12 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.
13 A. I'm not 100 per cent sure, but I can remember
14 that there was an entrance like this [indicates], and
15 it could be that building, but it's many years ago.
16 MR. KOVACIC: Of course. Thank you, sir.
17 Q. [Interpretation] You drew us a sketch here of
18 the organisational chart, that is, how you saw the
19 military police was organised within the HVO. I'm not
20 quite sure that you explained to us whether you gained
21 possession of that knowledge on the basis of your
22 briefings before you came there or was it based on what
23 you learned during your stay on the ground. Could you
24 tell us, more specifically, how you gained the
25 knowledge on the basis of which you drew this chart?
1 A. These charts were made to show how normally
2 you are using the military police units, and I don't
3 know if that was done like that in the HVO, but that's
4 the normal way to do it.
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 Thank you very much. My last subject matter, I have
7 only two or three questions about it.
8 Could the registrar show the witness Exhibit
9 Z553, please, which he had before him yesterday, and
10 554, please, together. 553 and 554, please.
11 Q. So what we have here are two documents that
12 have been entered into evidence. The first is dated
13 the 18th of March, 1993, signed by Mario Cerkez as
14 brigade commander, and the other document, 554, is a
15 document dated the 19th of March, 1993, signed by
16 Mr. Anto Bertovic, battalion commander, which was
17 subordinate to Cerkez's command.
18 From the numbers of the brigade in the first
19 order, and I draw your attention to the introductory
20 paragraph in Bertovic's order, dated the 19th of March,
21 in the first row, he's obviously referring to the
22 number of the order received from his higher command.
23 Is it visible from this that the higher
24 commander issues orders to lower level commanders, and
25 then the lower level commander, obviously, issues an
1 order to units subordinated to him? Can that be
2 inferred from these documents?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you know, at the time, the 18th of March,
5 was there only one or several battalions in the Viteska
7 JUDGE MAY: Well, again, Major, if you can't
8 remember, say so.
9 A. I can't remember, but I do see from the order
10 the address to the first battalion and the two other
11 battalions I mentioned, but I cannot recall how many
12 battalions there were in the brigade at that time.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Tell me, please, Major, was it customary when
15 you visited a lower level unit, such as a battalion or
16 a company, for the commander of that unit to show you
17 orders he received from a higher level commander?
18 A. Sometimes we asked them to show us a written
19 order, but in most of the cases, they didn't want us to
20 see the written order.
21 Q. So you draw the conclusion from this that
22 orders at a high level were issued and they never
23 reached the lower level unit; is that the conclusion?
24 JUDGE MAY: That's not what the witness
1 MR. KOVACIC: I'm afraid that that was
2 somehow the implication of that.
3 A. They didn't want to show us their orders. So
4 if they have a written order, they didn't want to show
5 it to us.
6 We were very keen on this matter because we
7 wanted to try to follow the orders to see if the
8 brigade commanders were doing what Colonel Blaskic
9 asked them to do, and then we would like to see if the
10 battalion commanders did what the brigade commanders
11 ordered them to, just to be sure -- specifically when
12 we were trying to implement a ceasefire agreement, we
13 would like to see that everything in this ceasefire
14 agreement was known from the higher level to the lower
15 level. Therefore, we often asked them to see if they
16 had got any written orders, but normally, they told us
17 they had orders, but they didn't want to show us the
18 written orders.
19 Q. When you say "normally," does that mean that
20 they sometimes did?
21 A. I can only recall one time.
22 Q. In this order by Bertovic to the lower level
23 unit, it is visible that he is sending it further down
24 to lower level units. It is stated in the order.
25 A. Yes, on the paper, but I cannot sit here and
1 say that this order came to the man. It could go down
2 to a unit or it could go down to wherever. I don't
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I should like
5 to tender this document as another example of the chain
6 of command. Two documents: There's one going from the
7 higher level and the next one is at the lowest level,
8 which quotes in its preamble the number and date of the
9 order received from a medium level command.
10 JUDGE MAY: Is it related to these two
11 documents at all?
12 MR. KOVACIC: Perhaps in a way that since the
13 witness said that in some cases, he saw them, and here
14 we are dealing with a lower ranking officer in Bila,
15 which was quite near to --
16 JUDGE MAY: Well, I don't think it's a matter
17 for this particular witness. You can prove it, no
18 doubt, in some other way.
19 MR. KOVACIC: No problem, Your Honour. Thank
20 you. Could I perhaps just ask for ten seconds to check
21 whether I left something out? Because I was trying to
22 be short. Just a short question, if you allow me, of
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
25 Q. You were telling us about your meeting in
1 Novi Travnik with a commander when you were
2 investigating the kidnapping case.
3 In the course of that investigation and the
4 conversation you had, did you learn that the Mujahedin
5 had a local headquarters in the Ravno Rostovo Motel,
6 not far from Novi Travnik?
7 A. Yes, and I have been there.
8 Q. Did you ever learn that the Mujahedin would
9 occasionally operate in the territory of Vitez as
10 well? I don't mean the town, but the municipality of
12 A. I learned that after I had been there, yes.
13 Q. Thank you, sir.
14 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honours. I'm
15 sorry for the delay.
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, you've got five
18 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, it puts us in
19 the position, with apologies to the witness, there's no
20 way we can finish redirect in this time.
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Scott, in my view,
22 re-examination is a much overemphasised art. I really
23 think it's unnecessary to bring this witness back.
24 We've heard him over three and a half hours -- four and
25 a half hours in chief. Now, with respect to you, I
1 don't think you're going to improve on that very much.
2 Now, what do you want to ask him about?
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, it's been a
4 wide-ranging, an extremely wide-ranging
5 cross-examination, with opinions, global opinions about
6 issues, and we simply cannot complete this man's
7 redirect in any responsible way in five minutes.
8 JUDGE MAY: Well, I'm not with you on this.
9 Let's think about this.
10 [Trial Chamber confers]
11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott,
12 we all know what re-examination is after the
13 examination-in-chief. You examined this witness for a
14 very long time, we heard the cross-examination in
15 detail, and you should now limit yourself to a few
16 points, very specific aspects that you wish to
17 emphasise. Since you have had opportunity to question
18 this witness for hours, you heard the cross-examination
19 that followed, and therefore we cannot allow you to
20 bring this witness back again.
21 So you must make the best of what time we
22 have left, that is, some ten minutes, and raise only
23 the points that there is still cause to raise. After
24 that, we insist that this be done.
25 We cannot allow this Tribunal to bring the
1 same witness, keep him for several weeks, and then
2 bring him back. Therefore, you have to organise
3 yourself that we can finish this hearing and finish
4 with this witness.
5 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, we were told today
6 that the cross-examination would be an hour and five
7 minutes, and it's gone on for two hours. I'm not
8 casting any stones against the Defence, but at the same
9 time, we have extensive questions that were not asked
10 on direct examination. They are new questions.
11 JUDGE MAY: To do with what?
12 MR. SCOTT: A number of questions that
13 Mr. Sayers asked about the witness and being told not
14 to talk to Defence counsel, questions about the
15 military chain of command that were not covered during
16 direct, questions --
17 JUDGE MAY: Well, I don't even remember the
18 question about not talking to Defence counsel. I can't
19 think it is going to assist us at all.
20 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, he obviously
21 asked it for the purpose of implying that the
22 Prosecution had instructed this man not to talk to the
23 Defence, which is not true.
24 JUDGE MAY: You needn't worry about
25 allegations of that sort. You needn't trouble about
2 MR. SCOTT: I won't argue with the Court.
3 We'll try to take ten minutes, but I think that that's
4 all we can do.
5 JUDGE MAY: You're quite right. I'm afraid
6 the time is going by. What is the main area that you
7 want to ask him about?
8 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I can't say that off
9 the top of my head. I will have to go through my
10 outline as fast as I can, and I guess it will fall on
11 me to use the ten minutes the best that I can.
12 JUDGE MAY: It's now been reduced to five
13 because we have to get away. Yes.
14 Re-examined by Mr. Scott:
15 Q. Mr. Baggesen, you were never instructed by
16 this Prosecution team not to talk to Defence counsel;
17 is that correct?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. The military units that you've been involved
20 in as a senior officer for the last number of years,
21 sir, those are essentially part-time civilian forces;
22 is that correct?
23 A. For the last ten years, yes.
24 Q. In fact, they are not full-time professional
1 A. No, they are not.
2 Q. And yet they are trained in military tactics
3 and discipline?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. They are trained in the laws and customs of
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is that an army officer's, a senior officer's
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Concerning the document that was signed, it
12 was a letter about flying the flag and about some
13 protests -- excuse me. It was about protests of
14 alleged Muslim atrocities. It had Mr. Kordic's name on
15 Exhibit 696.
16 Did you ever hear from Mr. Thebault or any of
17 your ECMM colleagues or anyone from UNPROFOR that
18 Mr. Kordic disputed his involvement in the issuing and
19 communication of that statement?
20 A. No.
21 Q. I want to direct your attention, please, to
22 Exhibit D80 and D81, D80/1 and D81/1.
23 Sir, given the limits of time, for which I
24 apologise, if you could look at Exhibit 80/1, if you
25 could just review that momentarily, and 81/1.
1 MR. SCOTT: For the Court, if I can move us
2 along, Your Honour, by representing that -- I don't
3 think that -- these are orders that were tendered by
4 the Defence on the 15th of April, 1993, the day before
5 Ahmici, and the 16th of April, 1993, the day of
6 Ahmici. These are ABiH, not HVO, orders.
7 Q. Major, can you tell us, from looking at those
8 orders, is there any indication in these ABiH orders of
9 any planned offensive action in the area of Vitez or
10 Ahmici at that time?
11 A. No.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, with respect, that is
13 precisely the sort of point which does not need
14 evidence and can be made through the documents.
15 I'm going to have to stop you now because we
16 have to adjourn. It's beyond half past four. I
17 propose to release the witness. It must be understood
18 that examination of witnesses is not something which
19 can be conducted freely without regard to the
20 convenience of others, particularly in an international
21 tribunal where witnesses have to come from abroad to
22 give evidence. Now, I'm not criticising you
23 particularly, Mr. Scott, but it's for the benefit of
24 all counsel that I say that.
25 If you feel, on consideration and looking
1 through the entire evidence, that there are new points
2 of evidence, not argument, but evidence which this
3 witness can give, which it is worth bringing him from
4 his duties back here to give, then you can make an
5 application and we will consider it, but it is one
6 which I would ask you to look at very carefully,
7 indeed, before you make it, and it will only be granted
8 with the greatest reluctance.
9 Major Baggesen, thank you for coming. I'm
10 sorry that you've had to come back to give evidence,
11 but you are now released.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
13 JUDGE MAY: Just one final point, and that is
14 that next Wednesday, because there is an overrunning
15 case which members of the Court are concerned with,
16 it's possible that there will not be a sitting. I say
18 MR. NICE: Yes, we have two witnesses for
19 next week, one confidential and one other. I shan't
20 now make any arrangements to bring a third in.
21 JUDGE MAY: No.
22 MR. NICE: I hope that we will be able to
23 conclude one witness on the Monday afternoon.
24 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
1 4.35 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
2 the 4th of October, 1999, at 2.30 p.m.