1 Monday, 18 October, 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
11 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
12 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
14 WITNESS: LEE WHITWORTH
15 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a
17 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, sir.
18 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before I start the
19 evidence of this witness, I just remind the Court that
20 he's available only for today. He's now a
21 schoolmaster, and it's very difficult for him to take
22 time off, and indeed the financial consequences of his
23 being here fall on the school, not on the U.N., because
24 there are no provisions for dealing with it.
25 The second thing is, as a result of
1 discussions had with the witness yesterday and this
2 morning, I have reordered the summary and very slightly
3 added to it. So I hope you've now got a different
4 version, which is in a slightly more logical order, to
5 help in the presentation of evidence.
6 With this witness, I regret to say there are
7 one or two additional documents -- not very many, just
8 a couple -- that we must produce. Unfortunately, the
9 relevant printer for that particular type of document
10 is not disgorging its material at the moment, so unlike
11 the most recent witnesses, it won't be quite as smooth
12 in the presentation of documents as it could be. Some
13 documents will have to be handed out as they arrive
14 through the door.
15 I've been helped by my learned friends
16 indicating, in relation to the earlier version, what is
17 not objected to and can be led, and that will enable me
18 to save time and deal with the evidence in chief, I
19 think, quite swiftly.
20 Examined by Mr. Nice:
21 Q. Your full name, please, Mr. Whitworth?
22 A. It's Mr. Lee Kent Whitworth, sir.
23 Q. Formerly a captain in the Prince of Wales Own
24 Regiment of Yorkshire, presently a teacher at a school
25 in Leeds, or Yorkshire in any event?
1 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
2 Q. Arriving in Vitez early in May 1993, were you
3 first a regimental signals officer performing the
4 duties of establishing and maintaining the
5 communications network?
6 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
7 Q. In June 1993, were you assigned as liaison
8 officer for the Vitez area, with the boundaries at Novi
9 Travnik T-junction and at the south at Busovaca?
10 A. That's approximately correct, sir, yes.
11 Q. Were your functions to develop good relations
12 with people on the ground in order to facilitate the
13 delivery of aid transports in the Lasva Valley
15 A. That is correct, sir, yes.
16 Q. Did you assess the communication ability of
17 both major warring factions?
18 A. As regimental signals officer, it was the
19 sort of thing I noticed as I was doing my business
20 around the Lasva Valley area, sir.
21 Q. So far as the ABiH was concerned, did you
22 assess that they had access to a rechargeable type of
23 transceiver radio with which they were able to
24 communicate within Stari Vitez but also with the
25 regular forces on nearby hills?
1 A. That is correct, sir, yeah. They had good
2 internal communication with hand-held radios, and they
3 could also reach 325 Brigade headquarters in Poculica
4 on the hillside.
5 Q. Did it appear that they relied on generator
6 power in order to recharge the batteries of those
8 A. Yeah, in the absence of any form of resupply,
9 which we didn't see they had, it seemed common sense
10 that they were using a hand portable generator of some
11 description there, one which had been seen in there
12 previously by somebody else.
13 Q. Did you observe at a later stage that the
14 ABiH had a PTT communication in Poculica linking them
15 to Travnik?
16 A. That's correct, sir, yes. They
17 re-established the telephone lines, and brigade
18 commanders had a landline through to the ABiH
19 headquarters in Travnik.
20 Q. I turn then to your overall assessment of the
21 communication ability of the HVO. First, was there, in
22 your judgement, any interference by any party, the HVO
23 or anybody else, with your communications systems? If
24 so, what?
25 A. There were several incidences where white
1 noise was used to jam and block out the UNPROFOR radio
2 communications, and it was strongly suspected that the
3 HVO were responsible for those, as there were --
4 members of the HVO actually came upon the net at some
5 point and used my Hotel 21 call sign and started
6 mocking our use of the airwaves. So we strongly
7 suspected that it was them that was transmitting white
8 noise in order to disrupt our communications up and
9 down the Lasva Valley area.
10 Q. Their communications within the HVO were how
11 good or bad?
12 A. I witnessed hand-held portable radios. In
13 the Hotel Vitez itself, there was some type of telex
14 machine. They had PTT landlines laid connecting
15 Busovaca to Vitez, and, in general, communications
16 seemed pretty thorough up and down the Lasva Valley
17 area. They also received faxed or telex-type messages
18 from other areas out of the Lasva Valley that they
19 didn't have direct road contact with, and that was how
20 the likes of Colonel Blaskic, as their commander, kept
21 himself informed. They were using possibly local
22 satellite communications of some description.
23 Q. To be specific, what communications did they
24 have to Kiseljak and also to Kordic's Eagle's Nest
25 retreat, as it's been described?
1 A. There was a landline. There was a PTT
2 telephone line that had been surface laid or through
3 trees that ran all the way along the river into the
4 Busovaca area, and there were telephones in use in the
5 Eagle's Nest. So there was obviously a complete PTT
6 line into Busovaca and, in all likelihood, out along
7 the river line connecting to Vitez, which is what we
8 had found at one point.
9 Q. And Kiseljak?
10 A. I'm not aware of any -- because it went
11 through ABiH territory, I'm not aware of any PTT
12 facility. But there were -- they did have radio
13 communications in the form of telex machines of some
15 Q. I think you saw one particular manifestation
16 of communication ability strung up in central Vitez.
17 A. Yes. HF is a commonly-used type of radio.
18 It's not technical or difficult. It's commonly used in
19 mountainous terrain. I saw one or two examples of what
20 looked like HF antennas in various parts, which could
21 quite easily have been used to transmit extremely long
22 distances. In fact, HF will go around the globe
23 without a lot of difficulty.
24 Q. Thank you. I turn to a different form of
25 communication; helicopters.
1 Can you tell me what, if anything, you
2 observed yourself by way of helicopter movements?
3 A. There was supposed to be a no-fly area in
4 Central Bosnia, but that was regularly breached. There
5 were HIP helicopters that landed for a brief phase on
6 almost a weekly or daily basis in, I think it was, June
7 or July, and they were landing in the quarry/motion
8 area around the back of Vitez, the ammunition factory.
9 They would spiral in very, very quickly because
10 obviously they were in danger of being engaged by ABiH
11 forces, land, stay for half an hour, an hour, and then
12 disappear again. That's the type of helicopter
13 movement in and out. I would say it took place
14 relatively regularly over a short period of time.
15 Q. You say "HIP helicopters." To which body did
16 these helicopters belong, if you were able to establish
18 A. They came in at high altitudes, so it's very
19 difficult to discern from which direction they came.
20 But assuming that they were landing in HVO territory,
21 they must have -- I assume they came from Croatia.
22 I witnessed similarly marked helicopters that
23 landed at Kiseljak, HV helicopters that landed at
24 Kiseljak, and similarly at Split.
25 MR. NICE: Your Honour, there is, I think, in
1 the bundle of materials to be provided, although it's
2 got to be added to, as I've indicated, at the back of
3 it there are a collection of colour photographs and
4 then some black and white photographs. They, I hope,
5 all have numbers on them. There's a photograph to be
6 produced, 2641,2.
7 It may be helpful if the Judges have the
8 whole bundle themselves and it will save time, and if
9 the witness could have a bundle as well and the usher,
10 then although things won't be quite as smooth as they
11 have been with recent witnesses, we should save time.
12 If it's possible for the witness to have a bundle
13 himself and then he can do the selection himself, and
14 the usher can put the appropriate photographs on the
16 Q. While you're finding the appropriate
17 photograph, Mr. Whitworth, the position is your own
18 notes, which might have enabled you to deal with
19 matters in strict chronology, are no longer available
20 to you because you provided them to someone in the
21 military and you haven't had them back. But you did
22 take your own photographs, a large number of them, and
23 they do help you with recollection of detail. Is that
24 the position?
25 A. That's correct, sir. Our extensive notes
1 that were taken as liaison officers were handed over to
2 the milin on completion.
3 Q. We're now looking at 2641,2, and this is --
5 A. This is one of the helicopters coming in to
6 land near the quarry area at the back of Vitez.
7 Q. Thank you. One other small matter of general
8 description, paragraphs 9 and 10.
9 Right from the beginning, did you have
10 several meetings with the defendant Mario Cerkez, and
11 does photograph 2516 give a general picture of the sort
12 of meetings, negotiations, that you had? Can you
13 identify people there?
14 A. Yes. That was one of the meetings that was
15 chaired by the ECMM early on in the tour when we were
16 still trying to broker some form of relationship
17 between the HVO and the ABiH, and there's Colonel
18 Blaskic on the far right there and several of his staff
19 officers at the table waiting for the ABiH
20 representatives to arrive.
21 Q. Can you give any of the names of those other
22 staff officers or not?
23 A. I think, if my memory serves me correctly,
24 the chap in the grey hair on the left could be
25 Mr. Filipovic, but my memory is not that clear on that.
1 Q. Very well. Paragraph 11, and I think this is
2 something I can lead, but I'll wait for Mr. Kovacic to
3 confirm. It was paragraph 10.
4 MR. KOVACIC: 10 in your version or in our
6 MR. NICE: In your version.
7 MR. KOVACIC: I would appreciate if you will
8 not lead the questions here.
9 MR. NICE:
10 Q. Mr. Whitworth, did you go to Cerkez's
11 headquarters in the cinema, and if there, what did you
12 see of a broadcasting facility?
13 A. Yes, I visited Commander Cerkez quite
14 frequently, and he was usually quite a pleasant and
15 welcoming host. On one particular occasion, he
16 actually asked me to listen to the local radio which he
17 had on his desk, and he banged on the wall and shouted
18 something through to the adjacent room, and up came the
19 latest hit record that was being broadcast on the
20 radio. That was a very sort of stirring and
21 nationalistically-based pop song that I assume was to
22 rouse the local people in their determination to resist
23 further military attacks. It was basically a bit of a
24 rebel song probably used as a form of propaganda. I
25 didn't understand the lyrics, but there were certain
1 key words in there which made it quite clear that
2 that's what it was.
3 Q. And the output of that local radio programme
5 A. It covered all the local matters happening in
6 the Lasva Valley/Vitez area and was used as a supply --
7 to supply the local people with information to keep
8 them updated on what matters were actually happening in
9 the Vitez pocket there.
10 Q. Can I turn to the 11th of June of 1993 and to
11 the Convoy of Joy? Was there an encounter or meeting
12 at the Dubravica checkpoint just to the east of Vitez?
13 A. There was, sir, yes, involving Ambassador
14 Thebault, one of the senior ECMM ambassadors, Colonel
15 Alastair, and Colonel Blaskic.
16 There had been a large convoy, I think it's
17 about eight to ten kilometres long, that had been
18 heading up with various forms of humanitarian aid. The
19 convoy had been put together by the people in the north
20 of Bosnia and had journeyed south to collect various
21 resources and forms of aid and then was making its way
22 back north to supply the local population.
23 Once it got into the Lasva Valley/Vitez area,
24 it had been stopped, interrupted, and there had been a
25 major confrontation between the local population and
1 the convoy itself, during which time the convoy was
2 broken up, vehicles were disseminated and looted.
3 Several of the drivers were killed, and the progress of
4 the convoy was completely halted.
5 I was involved, as the liaison officer for
6 the area, in trying to facilitate the onward movement
7 of the convoy, but earlier on it was similar brokering
8 the cessation of aggressive activity towards the
9 convoy, getting people like Colonel Alastair and
10 Colonel Blaskic together to agree that the convoy
11 should move onwards.
12 Q. Did you see anything of Mario Cerkez at this
13 event or encounter?
14 A. The day -- the convoy had been halted late
15 one evening, and a lot of the looting had taken place
16 that night, in the early hours the following day. We
17 got Ambassador Thebault, Colonel Alastair and Colonel
18 Blaskic together, and despite assurances by the HVO
19 Croat authorities that the convoy would be allowed to
20 move on, that wasn't the case. It was being stopped by
21 the local population. All the vehicles had
22 disappeared, and some of the drivers and occupants of
23 the convoy were being held hostage.
24 So basically what I had to do was get the
25 commanders on the ground, along with Colonel Alastair
1 as the senior U.N. representative, to go to the area at
2 the Dubravica checkpoint where one of the major
3 blockades, the blockade of the Convoy of Joy, was
4 happening, and there was a large gathering of Croat
5 civilians there preventing any onward movement and the
6 reassembly of the convoy. I got Ambassador Thebault,
7 Colonel Blaskic, and Colonel Alastair together and
8 physically got people to break up and allow the convoy
9 to move on its way.
10 Mario Cerkez was in the crowd, and I could
11 observe him what looked like to me doing his best to
12 stay out of public view, or out of the view of Blaskic
13 and Thebault, and watching what was going on without
14 actually assisting or taking part, as such, himself.
15 On that particular occasion, I remember Blaskic
16 recognising Cerkez.
17 Karlo Grabovac was also in the crowd of
18 people, and we strongly suspected that it was being
19 orchestrated at that particular time.
20 Q. Did --
21 A. Colonel --
22 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you.
23 A. General Blaskic --
24 Q. No, I'm sorry to interrupt you, but --
25 A. Right.
1 Q. -- we have to leave a gap in interruptions to
2 allow the interpretation to catch up.
3 You said that -- wasn't taking part, Cerkez,
4 and you mentioned Grabovac. Do you mean weren't taking
5 part in the demonstration, or weren't taking part in
6 controlling and stopping the demonstration?
7 A. In the latter. We had been given assurances
8 by Colonel Blaskic, and I think by Dario Kordic at the
9 time, to Colonel Alastair that the convoy would be
10 allowed to move on uninterrupted and that it would be
11 reassembled in order to do that. But that actually,
12 physically, wasn't happening on the ground, which is
13 why we had to drag Colonel Blaskic and Ambassador
14 Thebault and Colonel Alastair out in front of the
15 people to say, "Look, this shouldn't be happening."
16 Q. And then, as you were about to tell us,
17 Blaskic did something in relation to Cerkez?
18 A. He did. He spotted him in the crowd and
19 called him out, and it was obvious that commander
20 Cerkez didn't want to come out. He then -- when
21 commander Cerkez was addressed by Blaskic, it was done
22 so in a very reprimanding way, and it looked to me that
23 he was being reprimanded, to say, "These are your local
24 people, your local soldiers. I've issued my orders.
25 Let's get on with it and let this thing move on out of
1 the area."
2 I think Blaskic was losing face in front of
3 Ambassador Thebault and Colonel Alastair, so there was
4 a certain amount of disagreement, or so it appeared to
5 me at the time, between what Cerkez wanted to happen
6 and what Blaskic had given orders to happen.
7 Q. Did you form a view as to what part, if any,
8 Cerkez may have had in the original detention of the
9 vehicles, or their retention?
10 A. My impression was that -- certainly that
11 there had been an orchestration of the civilian
12 people. They had no real way of knowing what was going
13 on at the far end of the Lasva Valley other than that
14 which was broadcast on the radio or passed deliberately
15 by word of mouth. It just seemed at the time that
16 these large gatherings of crowds and this resistance to
17 the convoy moving on, despite the fact that it
18 contained both Croat and Muslim people, moving through
19 the Lasva Valley to the north, it just seemed that it
20 had been orchestrated by the local senior dignitaries
21 in the area, i.e., both military and political.
22 Q. So that if we now turn to Exhibit 1044, which
23 is a milinfosum dated the 11th of June, do you have
24 that document?
25 It can be looked at in two parts. First, did
1 you contribute directly to this milinfosum, and in
2 particular, which paragraphs?
3 A. Yes. It was my job during the night and
4 during the day to go around and identify where people
5 and vehicles actually were that had been separated from
6 the convoy, so there are several references in here to
7 mines being laid, people being held, vehicles
8 disappearing. Those were contributed by the likes of
9 myself and other --
10 Q. And that's paragraph 1?
11 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
12 Q. Paragraph 2 refers to a chronological account
13 which one can find -- and I'm not going to go through
14 it in detail -- at the back of this five-page document,
15 the last two pages being a summary of events. Is that
17 A. Correct, sir.
18 Q. If we come back to the first sheet of this
19 document, paragraph 3, was that a passage that you
21 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
22 Q. Perhaps you would just like to read that
24 A. It makes reference to the dissension towards
25 Colonel Blaskic, and Dario Kordic being cited as the
1 only respectable authority in the Lasva Valley area.
2 And this is typical of the comments that were directed
3 at times towards Colonel Blaskic. I think he was seen,
4 as far as certainly the people in Vitez were concerned,
5 as an ineffective military commander, although, to his
6 credit, he had quite an area of responsibility, and the
7 overall military command of the Vitez area fell locally
8 to commander Cerkez.
9 It was our opinion at the time, because of
10 how quickly things had happened and the nature of what
11 had happened, that it had been orchestrated and
12 coordinated. Vehicles had been ferried off to various
13 quarters. There had been HVO troops involved in the
14 stopping of the convoy and in the shooting of some of
15 the drivers.
16 Q. Two other points about paragraph 3. Answer
17 them briefly, if you will. Karlo, who was he, what's
18 his reference? And secondly -- I'm going to ask you
19 both questions at once because of the delay that we
20 have to have between question and answer otherwise --
21 secondly, the conclusion that it was Dario Kordic who
22 had orchestrated the attacks. Comment on that,
24 A. "Carlo" is Karlo Grabovac; he was one of the
25 battalion commanders under the command of Mario Cerkez,
1 so he was quite an influential figure locally in Vitez,
2 and I had several dealings with him throughout my time
3 in the Vitez area.
4 Kordic was seen as the key political and
5 executive decision-maker in the Lasva Valley pocket,
6 whilst the military commanders, obviously, were the
7 executors of the political will.
8 Q. And the conclusion that was expressed there,
9 was that your conclusion at the time?
10 A. The comment, you're referring to?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. Yes, it was. It was my and several of the
13 other liaison officers' opinion.
14 Q. I turn then to the probable next event,
15 something that happened on the 11th and the 12th of
16 June involving some U.N. armoured vehicles. I think
17 I'm allowed to lead on that. So far as that's
18 concerned, was there an incident on the 11th and 12th
19 of June, at night, where some seven to eight U.N.
20 armoured vehicles were taken hostage by Croat
21 civilians; all access routes out of Vitez being mined;
22 the ABiH started shelling the area, and a man called
23 Darko Kraljevic, whom you met, threatened to kill you;
24 you then went to the Hotel Vitez, where you found ECMM
25 monitors who had been brought there, apparently, for
1 their own safety; you were successful, by negotiation
2 with men called Gelic and Grabovac, to arrange the
3 release of the United Nations vehicles and of the ECMM
4 observers. Is that all correct?
5 A. It is, sir, yes.
6 Q. The perception at the time of this incident,
7 by you and perhaps your fellow soldiers, was what?
8 A. That this was another orchestrated move on
9 behalf of the HVO to draw attention to their --
10 partially to the plight of the Croat population in
11 Vitez. Also, it was relatively early on in our tour;
12 it was assessed to be possibly an exercise by the HVO
13 in testing our resolve, to see what methods we were
14 going to use in comparison to our predecessors, who
15 experienced very different circumstances.
16 So it was again -- it again looked very much
17 like it had been contrived and orchestrated by the
18 military commanders on the ground, and it was the likes
19 of Karlo Grabovac and Colonel Blaskic who I negotiated
20 with at the time for the release. But it did seem, on
21 reflection, that it was more locally orchestrated than
22 at Colonel Blaskic's level. He gave assurances that it
23 wasn't happening and it wouldn't happen, but it took a
24 lot of pressure in negotiation on the local battalion
25 commander, Karlo Grabovac, and again with Darko
1 Kraljevic, who appeared to be the senior HVO authority
2 responsible for the surrounding and mining of the
3 vehicles in the centre on the particular night.
4 Q. We will return to Kraljevic shortly, but
5 meanwhile, two points upon which I would like your
6 succinct assessment. First, Cerkez's approach to and
7 respect for Blaskic's orders; and second, the relations
8 between Blaskic and Cerkez generally.
9 A. Colonel Blaskic never appeared to be held in
10 particularly high regard by commander Cerkez, and there
11 were occasions when commander Cerkez was demeaning of
12 Colonel Blaskic's authority, position, and
13 effectiveness as a military commander. To be fair to
14 commander Cerkez, he was engaged in more local matters,
15 i.e., the defence of the Vitez pocket, as opposed to
16 Blaskic, who had wider, more strategic concerns. So it
17 was easy to see how maybe a local commander could
18 perceive his high commander's ineffectiveness. But
19 there were times when commander Cerkez was
20 condescending towards the efforts and authority of
21 Colonel Blaskic.
22 Q. Their relations generally, co-operation
23 between them?
24 A. There was a reluctant co-operation between
25 them. I think I saw Cerkez only once visit the Hotel
1 Vitez, and there were occasions when Blaskic's
2 authority was -- or instructions and orders were
3 ignored by commander Cerkez and his subordinate
4 commanders, i.e., the likes of Karlo Grabovac, for
5 whatever reason.
6 Q. Was there any coincidence of co-operation and
7 the movement of the troops of the Vitezovi?
8 A. My experiences were that commander Cerkez was
9 very familiar and had a good relationship and rapport
10 with the commander of the Vitezovi, Darko Kraljevic.
11 Kraljevic was cited as one of the 3rd Op Zone effective
12 fighting units, and under the command of Colonel
13 Blaskic, such units were used by the HVO and deployed
14 up and down the Lasva Valley pocket to execute
15 offensive action in their defence of the area. I know
16 that commander Cerkez and Kraljevic worked together on
17 several military actions that took place on the south
18 of Vitez and spoke of each other in high regard,
19 particularly of Mario Cerkez towards Kraljevic. I
20 think Mario saw Kraljevic as a very, very useful asset,
21 military asset, that allowed him to undertake and
22 complete his mission with great success.
23 Q. When the Vitezovi were being deployed, what,
24 if anything, did you notice of co-operation between
25 Cerkez and Blaskic?
1 A. Other than being familiar with the fact that
2 the Vitezovi were part of the military units under
3 Colonel Blaskic's overall command, nothing immediately
4 springs to mind --
5 Q. Very well.
6 A. -- of them being delegated to commander
7 Cerkez's command.
8 Q. Nevertheless, I think it's your position that
9 Blaskic was the overall military commander in respect
10 of both brigades and military police in the Lasva
11 Valley area?
12 A. That's correct, sir.
13 Q. And that the local commanders were more
14 interested in defensive matters in their own areas of
15 operation but were obliged to follow Blaskic's orders?
16 A. Albeit reluctantly at times, yes, sir, that's
18 Q. Can the Exhibit 1087 be turned up, please.
19 It's the milinfosum for the 20th of June.
20 Does this document, Mr. Whitworth, include
21 and contain an assessment of Blaskic's position?
22 A. It does so, yeah, part 10B --
23 Q. On the second sheet.
24 A. -- lists the organisations that Blaskic cited
25 as -- on the official paperwork that he released -- as
1 under his command, and included in that is the 4th
2 Military Police Battalion, the Vitezovi, and Tvrtko
4 Q. I think that the Chamber will be assisted if
5 you just run through, very swiftly, the titles for
6 which letters -- initials are given, in (i) to (vi),
8 A. (i) and (ii), I have to be honest, escape
9 me. I think one of them is an artillery stroke
10 indirect fire weapon unit, rocket launchers, that type
11 of thing. (iii), (iv), and (v) are -- (iii) is 4th
12 Military Police Battalion that was co-located in Hotel
13 Vitez; (iv) is the Vitezovi, the Vitez Knights,
14 commanded by Kraljevic; and (v) is the Tvrtko 2nd
15 Battalion, which is, from my experience, based more
16 towards the Travnik end of the Lasva pocket; and Zuti
17 was a local criminal, black marketeer, who was also
18 quite influential in the area, was known to have his
19 finger in all sorts of different pies, from wheeling
20 and dealing cigarettes, vehicles, drugs, weapons, and
21 was quite a key influential figure in the Travnik
23 Q. The last sheet of this document sets out in
24 table form those conclusions, does it?
25 A. Yes. This was the result of several weeks of
1 liaison work. We actually managed to put together an
2 OrBat, an order of battle, what we thought -- where we
3 thought people fitted in to the overall structure of
4 the HVO based in the Lasva pocket, with commander
5 Blaskic the overall 3rd Op Zone commander. There were
6 two or three other HVO brigades in the Lasva pocket,
7 one of which was Busovaca, one of which was Vitez, and
8 there had been previously one in Travnik, before the
9 fall of Travnik. As the Vitez LO, I managed to get all
10 the information together there on the personalities
11 involved in the Vitez Brigade.
12 Q. Right. Thank you very much.
13 Paragraph 17, and I think almost the last
14 paragraph that I'm not going to lead, apart from
15 concluding paragraphs. Was there a high-level meeting
16 in Kiseljak which you think occurred probably in June?
17 A. That's correct, sir. We were asked by the
18 U.N. headquarters in Kiseljak to provide transport and
19 facilitate the occurrence of one of their high-level
20 meetings between the ABiH and the HVO that they were
21 going to chair in Kiseljak. So we provided armoured
22 vehicle protection from Vitez for all the local senior
23 political and military dignitaries in Vitez through
24 ABiH territory into Kiseljak for the meeting to take
1 Q. And they travelled there by prior
2 arrangement, in Warriors, through ABiH territory?
3 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
4 Q. If we turn to the photographs that you took,
5 starting at 2507, perhaps you can tell us or inform us
6 -- or remind us, rather -- of the names of people
7 insofar as you can now recall them.
8 A. The three gentlemen in military uniform,
9 front right, with the sunglasses on, is Anto Valenta
10 leaving with his briefcase and no intention of coming
11 back. The gentleman to his left, his name escapes me.
12 Q. And then there is Mr. Kordic behind that?
13 A. Behind that is Mr. Kordic, behind him.
14 Q. Is this part of the gathering of the local
15 dignitaries before you loaded them in the Warriors and
16 took them into Kiseljak?
17 A. That's correct, sir, yeah. Mr. Valenta was a
18 very key political figure at the time, and Mr. Kordic
19 was seen as his representative on his departure.
20 Q. So 2508, I think it's simply more of the
21 same, without any additional names for you to give us;
22 is that right?
23 A. Yes, sir. The names escape me,
25 Q. 2509: This is, is it, with the Hotel Vitez
1 itself in the background on the right?
2 A. That's taken in central Vitez, sir; that's
4 Q. With the pointer, to avoid any ambiguity, if
5 you would just point out names that you can identify,
6 names of people you can identify.
7 A. Yes. Colonel Blaskic [indicates], Dario
8 Kordic [indicating]. There's the gentleman, again,
9 whose name escapes me [indicates].
10 Q. Yes. Up at the back, by the corner of the
12 A. This gentleman here [indicates], I'm
13 reasonably confident that is Darko Kraljevic, but it's
14 not a very clear photo. I didn't actually know him at
15 the time, but retrospectively now, it could well have
16 been him. He was of that build and -- and of look.
17 Q. You were photographing these people from the
18 back of a truck or something like that, were you?
19 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
20 Q. Back of a vehicle.
21 Next photograph, 2510, still, I think, more
22 of the same, still at Vitez; yes. A couple more names
23 here I think you may be able to help us with. The man
24 in the yellow shirt?
25 A. That's Mr. Skopljak. He was the local
1 political representative, i.e., based in Vitez. The
2 gentleman in the blue T-shirt is mayor Santic.
3 Q. Thank you. Then we can just go on to
4 Photograph 2511. Does that relate to this event, or to
5 another event?
6 A. No, sir. That's General Petkovic visiting
7 Nova Bila hospital.
8 Q. Yes, I thought so. It's my mistake; I've put
9 it in the wrong place in the summary. So withdraw that
10 photograph for the time being, and we'll go back to the
11 events of the trip to Kiseljak.
12 Having gathered these people up, did you take
13 them to Kiseljak for their meeting?
14 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
15 Q. Did you offer them return facilities in order
16 to get back to Vitez?
17 A. That was arranged by U.N. headquarters in
18 Kiseljak, yes, that we would go back at a specified
19 time and date and return to Vitez.
20 Q. In fact, did they all come back in the
22 A. No, sir, they didn't. If I remember
23 correctly, there was about seven or eight people who
24 didn't return short of the list.
25 Q. Including?
1 A. Mr. Valenta, Colonel Blaskic. I think -- I'm
2 quite sure Dario Kordic didn't come back as well.
3 Q. You brought these people then back through
4 enemy lines to Vitez?
5 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
6 Q. Did you see, in Vitez, those who had not
7 availed themselves of the offer of a lift?
8 A. At a later date, sir, yes, I did, and met
9 with Mr. Kordic in Busovaca at a later time as well.
10 Q. To your knowledge, had they been provided
11 with any safe transport from British Battalion or
12 anything of that sort?
13 A. No, they hadn't, sir. They must have really
14 gained access into the pocket by some other means, as
15 the Lasva pocket was obviously surrounded by ABiH
16 troops and they hadn't been provided by transport at a
17 later date, to the best of my knowledge.
18 Q. So by what means, in your judgement, may they
19 have returned?
20 A. It was strongly suspected at the time that
21 people like Colonel Blaskic could have been using the
22 HIP helicopters to move in and out of the area, and
23 there was no reason to suspect why key senior
24 dignitaries like Kordic didn't have access to similar
25 types of transport to be able to move south to Croatia
1 and back again.
2 Q. Meetings of the kind that had been organised
3 at Kiseljak, did they become less effective after a
4 while, with the consequence that British Battalion
5 liaison officers dealt at a different level of
7 A. That's correct, sir, yes. Kiseljak became
8 more and more ineffective. The commanders in the Lasva
9 pocket, along with their ABiH counterparts, were less
10 and less interested in brokering any sort of
11 relationship with a view to ceasefires, et cetera, and
12 so it became a more locally-agreed thing. The likes of
13 myself and the other liaison officers were involved in
14 brokering local ceasefires or prisoner exchanges or
15 casualty evacuations. It was all done through us,
17 Q. Paragraph 18. Did you meet Valenta at
18 Blaskic's headquarters, where Valenta had an office
19 which was covered with maps outlining Croat areas in
20 the country and population charts showing ethnic
21 composition, Valenta himself being clear in his
22 objective that Croat areas should be cleansed of
23 Muslims, he suggesting that this was something that
24 would happen in the near future and was something over
25 which he had influence?
1 A. That's correct, sir, yes. As far as Valenta
2 was concerned, he had two or three maps on the wall
3 with pie charts showing the pre-population breakdown
4 and said that as far as he was concerned, what was
5 happening in the Lasva Valley was inevitable and would
6 result in it becoming a Croat enclave.
7 Q. Santic, who we've seen on the photograph,
8 mayor of Vitez, was somebody you met and who appeared
9 to have good relations with Valenta, Cerkez and
10 Skopljak, although I think you assessed that Cerkez
11 eventually played a role of different significance, is
12 that right, in Vitez?
13 A. That's correct, sir, yeah.
14 Q. A greater or smaller role than Cerkez?
15 A. A more significant role, a greater role,
16 really, in Vitez. As things became more and more
17 desperate after the fall of Travnik and the HVO being
18 forced into an ever-decreasing area, the ABiH to the
19 south of Vitez and to the north put a lot of pressure.
20 There was several military actions which put the Vitez
21 Brigade under a lot of pressure, and obviously their
22 commander likewise. So I think he became a more
23 important and influential figure as far as the Croat
24 people were concerned and under a lot more pressure as
25 a consequence of all the action that was taking place.
1 Q. Paragraph 20 you've dealt with substantially
2 already. A couple of supplementary points on Cerkez
3 being in company with Kraljevic and appearing close
4 with him. Was he often or not in company with
6 A. I think I only actually physically saw them
7 in each other's company on one or two occasions, but on
8 several occasions when I went to visit Commander Cerkez
9 towards the end of the tour, his staff officers in the
10 cinema would cite him as being in the Donja Vecerska
11 area, looking at the military situation there. Then I
12 would attempt to visit Kraljevic, and his own troops
13 would say he's working with Mario and he's up country
14 with a view to whatever military activity they were
15 planning at the time. So rather than seeing them on
16 several occasions, although I did witness them on one
17 or two, they were referred to by their own troops as
18 being together on several occasions.
19 Q. Cerkez appearing to have overall
20 responsibility for what extent of Vitez and its
22 A. Commander Cerkez was responsible for the
23 defence of the Vitez pocket. He was a local man and
24 held in high regard by the local population, and he was
25 responsible for the command of all the militia troops
1 on the ground that were defending the pocket against
2 ABiH military activity and, as any commander would be,
3 undertaking whatever action to re-establish their
4 military position on the ground, and that included the
5 use of offensive action and the use of the likes of the
7 Q. In your assessment, did his responsibility
8 extend to Donja Vecerska or areas like that?
9 A. Yes, that was part of his brigade areas.
10 Q. Thank you. Paragraph 21. The Vitezovi were
11 well equipped with automatic weapons and uniforms,
12 Kraljevic himself being feared, you would have judged,
13 but revered by the HVO and Croat population, he having
14 taken over the headquarters in Donja Vecerska sometime
15 in the middle or end of 1993. The ABiH held him
16 responsible for many of the early HVO offensive
17 actions, and indeed Kraljevic once boasted that he had
18 mined an HVO complex itself in Donja Vecerska when the
19 HVO were withdrawing from the area and the ABiH were
20 moving in, the explosion killing soldiers and
21 demolishing a substantial part of a hillside; is that
23 A. Just to explain, sir, yes, the complex was
24 actually a trench complex which was high on the hill
25 initially occupied by the HVO. The BiH were trying to
1 assault from the south into Vitez on that particular
3 Basically, what happened was the HVO troops
4 withdrew from the trench positions that had been mined
5 by Kraljevic and his troops. As the HVO withdrew, the
6 ABiH occupied the trench positions. Then they blew the
7 trenches up, and they claimed losses of between two and
8 three hundred ABiH troops on that particular occasion.
9 Kraljevic provided us with a film showing the
10 explosion, and he was quite proud of his handiwork on
11 that particular occasion.
12 MR. NICE: Alas that film, which was shown in
13 Blaskic, has not yet surfaced, so I'm not in a position
14 to play it.
15 Q. Paragraph 22. Do you recall two incidents
16 involving Cerkez and the exchange of prisoners and
17 Muslim refugees?
18 I've reordered them from the earlier version
19 so that they are probably chronological, although the
20 text hasn't been appropriately amended.
21 Was there one involving some 20 to 30 Muslim
22 refugees who wanted to go to Zenica and were detained
23 by the HVO close to the front lines, and did you
24 approach Cerkez about this?
25 A. Yes. I spoke to Pero Skopljak about it and
1 to Mario Cerkez about it at the time. There were 20 to
2 30 family groups -- 20 to 30 people, rather, as family
3 groups located in some humble accommodation near, I
4 think it was the Rijeka area, a couple of hundred
5 metres from the front line. They were actually DPs,
6 displaced persons, that had moved into the Lasva Valley
7 area sometime earlier.
8 That was information relayed to me by Pero
9 Skopljak at the time. I said to Mr. Skopljak that it
10 wasn't really in their interests to be accommodated so
11 close to the front line, and he said that they were
12 staying there because they didn't want to facilitate
13 the removal of more Muslims from the areas than had
14 already taken place. I said to him that it would be in
15 everybody's interests if they were seen to be released
16 and allowed out of the area as a gesture of goodwill by
17 the HVO/Croat population in Vitez. They didn't want to
18 stop there. They wanted to go to Zenica, where they
19 had relatives. He agreed with that.
20 Then I tried to -- I spoke to Mario Cerkez
21 about it, and he said, no, that they had to stay where
22 they were. Eventually, I went up and -- as the U.N.,
23 we weren't allowed to put them in vehicles and move
24 them, so I walked with them. I said, "If you're as
25 free to move as I'm told you are, then you can walk out
1 of here," and walked with them.
2 Q. That was despite Cerkez's reluctance or
4 A. That's correct, sir. We were stopped by
5 military police and local HVO militia as we left, and
6 they got quite aggressive and waved guns around and
7 said they weren't going anywhere, they had to move back
8 to where they were being accommodated.
9 I went to see --
10 Q. I think we must cut this short, but
11 eventually they had to go back, and you only discovered
12 that they were released three months later?
13 A. That's correct. Well, they disappeared when
14 I went back some time later. I had heard they had been
15 somehow or other moved to Zenica, although I never
16 confirmed that.
17 Q. Yes. Then the other exchange you think in
18 the period of July to August of 1993; two civilians
19 taken out by the Red Cross from Stari Vitez for medical
20 treatment, kept temporarily in Cerkez's basement
21 headquarters, his attitude, and again deal with it as
22 briefly as you can. It's his attitude to this that
23 we're interested in, being what?
24 A. We were rather incensed by the fact that he
25 had stopped the ICRC and removed two chronically-ill
1 people as they were being casevaced to Zenica. He was
2 adamant that they weren't going anywhere and he wasn't
3 going to allow what he called the free movement of
4 people in and around the area because organisations
5 like the ICRC were obviously providing weapons and
6 ammunition to the ABiH pocket in Stari Vitez. He did
7 get quite aggressive about it, and we eventually went
8 into a conversation that involved if I could release
9 troops that had been captured by the ABiH in the
10 Kruscica area, that we could come to an agreement and
11 he would subsequently release the two people being held
12 by the HVO in Vitez.
13 I visited them both. They were both kept in
14 a cell, so -- I'm not quite sure whether it was
15 actually in the cinema. It was in a building in the
16 centre of Vitez -- one of whom who was chronically ill
17 with something like TB or something like that.
18 We went on to do an exchange later on of
19 three young boys that had been captured by the ABiH for
20 the two prisoners, and that nearly didn't take place
21 because Mario Cerkez said that he wanted, as well as
22 the three boys in exchange, he wanted three members of
23 the special forces that I assessed to be the Vitezovi
24 at a later date that had been captured in some military
25 action earlier.
1 Q. Right. That was resolved how?
2 A. Eventually, I managed to bring the three boys
3 back into Vitez, the three Croat boys, and the two
4 members of the -- the two chronically-ill Muslims were
5 released into the possession of one of our liaison
6 officers and taken to Zenica for their medical
8 Q. Before I turn on, I realise I overlooked just
9 producing three photographs for a quick consideration
10 in relation to paragraph 21, the Vitezovi. If you
11 would be good enough to turn up, please, the photograph
12 of the sniper rifle, 2641,8, and then later in the
13 pack, the two photographs, 277,3 and 277,4. Very
14 swiftly, just comments on those three as they relate to
15 the Vitezovi.
16 A. That's one of the American sniper rifles,
17 12,5-millimetre long-range sniper rifles. They are an
18 expensive and rare weapon. That type of weapon was one
19 we suspected had been involved in the death of Boris,
20 the UNHCR driver.
21 Q. To which we'll be coming in a minute.
22 A. That happened earlier on in the year. These
23 photographs, the ones I took, that's the Vitezovi
24 headquarters in Donja Vecerska and members of the
25 Vitezovi brandishing this particular firearm.
1 Q. The next photograph. Comment?
2 A. That's one of the Vitezovi soldiers comparing
3 weapon sights on one of our weapons with the one they
4 were in possession of, the American sniper rifle.
5 Q. Likewise, 277,4, the next photograph, again
6 the Vitezovi?
7 A. The gentleman in British military garb that
8 stood in the middle is the intelligence officer, so I
9 periodically took him out to introduce him to
10 personalities, and he confirmed the calibre of weapon
11 with the weapons and the theories I had originally come
12 up with. He was an expert on weapons.
13 Q. Thank you. Very well, then. Let's, in the
14 summary, go to paragraph 23, which I can lead, and it's
15 photograph 277,5 that we may look at.
16 Was there a group you judged an extremist
17 group called the Jokeri, with whom you had several
18 contacts, they been located in an alpine-like hut near
19 Nadioci, shown in photograph 277,5?
20 A. Yes. I think I met them twice there and then
21 they disappeared. That was what we call the Swiss
22 cottage or the alpine hut in the Nadioci area. That's
23 Captain Mark Bower, another fellow liaison officer.
24 Q. In fact, it's photograph 2775. I cited it
1 The Jokeri were mostly young men wearing
2 black, heavily armed, some 30 to 40 in number being
3 based at this alpine hut, and some of them boasting to
4 you that they were the spearheads of any HVO attack,
5 claiming it to be an elite group of military police
6 with a history of successful military operations in the
7 Lasva Valley. Their commander was the commander of the
8 HVO military police, Pasko -- the name isn't said
9 there, but it's Ljubicic, isn't it?
10 A. Yes, sir. At the time, they didn't betray to
11 me his surname. They just said he was called Pasko.
12 On subsequent investigation, I tied Pasko Ljubicic in
13 to the Jokeri.
14 Q. HOS, to your knowledge, were based in Novi
16 A. Yeah. As a unit, I don't recall ever seeing
17 them. I saw several individuals throughout the tour
18 bearing HOS insignia and saw one or two badges worn by
19 troops that were involved in the Grbavica feature. But
20 as a unit, I never saw them intact.
21 Q. Not that numerous. You saw them as an
22 adjunct to the HVO troops, their typical dress being
23 high-tech Magnum boots and clean wind-cheater-style
24 jackets, and you saw some of them in the attack on Nova
25 Bila, which we'll deal with a little bit later?
1 A. That's correct, sir.
2 Q. Turning to the Stari Vitez problem, Sefkija
3 Dzidic was the ABiH commander there. Your judgement
4 was that Stari Vitez was fairly well equipped with
5 weapons and ammunition, although there was no official
6 ABiH headquarters there, and you judged, I think, that
7 the HVO in a sense used Stari Vitez as a bargaining
8 chip whenever the BiH from Zenica was behaving in a
9 strong or too-strong a way. What you mean by that,
10 rather than me putting it into your mouth, can you just
11 explain that in a sentence?
12 A. In the absence of the BiH pocket in Stara
13 Bila, there would have been nothing, really, to stop
14 the ABiH mounting major military campaigns and assaults
15 onto the Vitez area and shelling it heavily with
16 mortar, artillery fire, et cetera, et cetera.
17 With the communications between Stara Bila --
18 sorry, Stari Vitez and 325 Brigade, if there was any
19 major military activity going on, then there were
20 direct communications between the two, and there was
21 one occasion where Sefkija actually called for a
22 cessation of ABiH activity on the north side in 325
23 Brigade because they were coming under increasing
24 pressure themselves in Stari Vitez.
25 So it was quite easy for HVO to apply
1 pressure to ABiH forces throughout the Muslim pocket in
2 response to any ABiH activity elsewhere in the Lasva
3 Valley and for Commander Sefkija to bleat about it up
4 the chain of command to 3rd Corps and Zenica.
5 Q. Having communications with the commander of
6 325 Mountain Brigade on the hills above Vitez, any
7 sniping or the throwing of improvised mortar bombs was
8 immediately communicated to Zenica?
9 A. That's correct, sir.
10 Q. We're going to see a little bit more what
11 these improvised mortar bombs were able to do and what
12 they amounted to in a couple of minutes, but to
13 conclude what I want you to help us with about Stari
14 Vitez, is it right that on one occasion an armoured
15 vehicle carrying what was thought by British Battalion
16 to be bandages and medical supplies to Stari Vitez, in
17 fact had ammunition wrapped within it, and that was
18 discovered and led to a problem?
19 A. Yes, sir, it did. We worked very hard at
20 having good relations with both the HVO/Croats and the
21 ABiH/Muslims, and there was a constant accusation by
22 the HVO that we were substantiating the Muslim
23 positions in Stari Vitez by supplying them with weapons
24 and ammunition. Obviously, this wasn't in our mandate,
25 and we went out of our way to try and prevent this type
1 of thing happening. We had a liaison officer in the
2 UNHCR building and the ICRC to make sure things were
3 monitored what were happening in Zenica.
4 On one particular occasion when I brought
5 some medical supplies in, and this was quite early on
6 in the tour, I had a habit of wandering around and just
7 assessing the situation in Stari Vitez and came across
8 them unpacking the medical supplies, and within each of
9 the cartons of 20 -- sorry. Within each carton of
10 bandages was wrapped a package of 7,62-millimetre
12 To be fair, there wasn't actually that much
13 small-arms ammunition in the package that we had taken
14 in, but nevertheless if that was a trickle feed on a
15 regular basis, it could amount to quite a large
17 On discovering this, I had a considerable
18 sense-of-humour failure with Commander Sefkija. I told
19 him that he betrayed my trust and left, and I told him
20 that I would no longer supervise and facilitate the
21 movement of medical supplies or food in unless it had
22 been personally checked by myself, because he
23 jeopardised my relationship with the HVO and the Croats
24 to his own ends.
25 Q. Exhibit 1147,1 is a milinfosum for the 19th
1 of July which I want in respect of only one small
2 passage. Is the Vitez contribution on the first page
3 of this exhibit something contributed to by you?
4 A. That's correct, sir, that was contributed by
6 Q. This deals with a conversation you had with
7 Sefkija Dzidic, the commander, it says there -- this is
8 under paragraph 3 -- of Stara Bila town defence, not
9 Stari Vitez. But can you deal with what is said in
10 subparagraph B in particular about the claim for HV
12 A. He -- actually, the information included here
13 was relayed to myself by the likes of Sefkija, and he
14 was adamant that at least troops dressed in Croat
15 military garb, as he recognised as HV, had been
16 involved in the assault, and one of our suspicions at
17 the time was that if not equipment then possibly men at
18 times could have been moving into the area by the use
19 of helicopters that we had identified previously. So
20 it wasn't an unreasonable assumption on his part,
21 although it remained unconfirmed. We had no way of
22 confirming that they were actually Croat forces as
23 opposed to local HVO militia involved. They could
24 quite easily have been just in complete HV uniforms,
25 but he was adamant of the fact that they were HV.
1 Q. We see that the comment in respect to this
2 particular attack says that, "Whether they will
3 attack," that is, whether the HVO will attack, "Stari
4 Vitez again is difficult to assess after an initial
5 failure," and then goes on to conclude, in the
6 assessment of those preparing the report, there must
7 have been some stockpiles of weapons?
8 A. If I may, sir, there was the ammunition
9 factory, and one of our suppositions was that it was
10 high-tech devices that were being brought in by the HIP
11 helicopters. General munitions, in theory, could have
12 been manufactured in the ammunition factory in Vitez,
13 but things of a technical nature like the percussion
14 caps to artillery shells, for example, couldn't be
15 manufactured there, and so those typically were the
16 things we suspected as being brought in by helicopters.
17 Q. Not entirely in chronological order but to be
18 dealt with at some stage are the two killings in
19 respect of which you became specifically involved.
20 Was there first the killing of a UNHCR driver
21 who had been attempting to get an armoured vehicle into
22 Stari Vitez; had a sniper round been fired from a
23 position a considerable distance away, and did the
24 sniper round go through the vehicle, the flack jacket,
25 and kill the driver, you being in a position to examine
1 the impact point and the vehicle; the HVO denied any
2 involvement, saying that they had no access to such
3 kind of weapons which were, indeed, rare; that this is
4 the type of weapon that you've shown us on the
5 photograph as being available to Kraljevic, and the
6 photograph, if we've got it, 433/18, as it was
7 called -- I think it might be in black and white
8 only -- it's Z2015. Forget the earlier number. It's
9 in black and white. Thank you very much.
10 Interpret this for us, please.
11 A. That's a picture of the 12,7-millimetre round
12 embedded in the bulletproof glass at the front of the
13 vehicle. It had entered from the right-hand passenger
14 side, gone through the Kevlar armour plating, then
15 through the back of the chair and through the driver's
16 chest and embedded itself in the front window. That's
17 the -- 12,7 millimetre is the calibre of the American
18 sniper rifle we saw earlier.
19 Q. The assessment of the position from where
20 that round had been fired was made by you?
21 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
22 Q. It was about a thousand metres away?
23 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
24 Q. So it's a whole kilometre. Was that an HVO
1 A. It was indeed, sir, yeah.
2 Q. I think we must have been talking too fast.
3 We must give the interpreters time to catch up.
4 The second killing was that on the 5th of
5 July of a BritBat interpreter called Dobrila, the
6 killing being close to the BritBat base itself and
7 being by a 7,62 round, fired from what distance and
8 from whose position?
9 A. It was fired from approximately 100, 150
10 metres away, from the HVO side of the road.
11 Q. Tell us what -- again, in short order -- what
12 happened so far as the HVO position and investigation
13 is concerned.
14 A. Just background to the shooting, first of
15 all. There was the captains and Dobrila, or some of
16 the interpreters, occupied one of the houses on the
17 ABiH/Muslim side of the road. On exactly the opposite
18 side of the road, 10 metres away, were
19 HVO/Croat-occupied houses. We even stood out on the
20 balcony one night and a small-arms exchange had broken
21 out, as often happened in the evening. We'd taken
22 cover inside of the building, heard Dobrila cry out,
23 and she had been shot through the head by one of
24 several rounds that had hit the side of the building.
25 I was asked by the colonel to investigate it,
1 and when I studied the path of the round, it had quite
2 obviously -- from where Dobrila had been situated, it
3 had quite obviously come from the HVO side. Colonel
4 Blaskic knew Dobrila and was himself -- appeared upset
5 by the shooting of a U.N. interpreter, and he
6 commissioned a group that came from the Vitez Brigade,
7 if I remember correctly, who were responsible for
8 investigating it with a view to punishing those
9 responsible, which was the assurance given by Colonel
10 Blaskic at the time.
11 The conclusions of the two, three-day
12 investigation that I led with the HVO was that an ABiH
13 soldier must have gained access to the HVO positions
14 during the firefight, sniped the round at Dobrila, and
15 then gone back onto their own territory. They refused
16 to acknowledge that it would have been a HVO or Croat
17 soldier responsible for it.
18 Q. When you say that's the conclusion of the
19 investigation that you led, was that your conclusion or
20 the conclusion of others?
21 A. That was the conclusion of the HVO
22 investigative team. My conclusion was that it had been
23 shot -- we identified the firing point; it was the top,
24 as you look at it, left-hand window, from one of the
25 houses regularly occupied in HVO territory by HVO
1 snipers, and it had come from that particular window.
2 Q. Do you think it was realistic and possible
3 that an ABiH would have infiltrated that position,
4 sniped, and then crossed back to his own territory?
5 A. Not within the realms of possibility under
6 the circumstances.
7 Q. If we turn to Nova Bila and an attack on that
8 location: Was that a running problem?
9 A. Would you repeat the question, please?
10 Q. Nova Bila, the attack on it: Was it a
11 running problem?
12 A. It was a problem that got worse as far as the
13 HVO and the Croat population were concerned. The HVO
14 and BiH lines were in very close proximity, with the
15 camp sitting in between, and the BiH had a hillside,
16 i.e., the Grbavica feature, from which they would snipe
17 over the top of the BritBat camp into the Croat and HVO
18 positions on a nightly basis, and of course the HVO
19 would return fire.
20 So the HVO were at a considerable tactical
21 disadvantage and were incurring considerable casualties
22 as a result of this sniping exchange that regularly
23 took place. It did get considerably worse towards the
24 end, until at one particular occasion, Mario Cerkez
25 said to me that it was going to get sorted out, that
1 they had had enough of it, they had taken enough
2 casualties. I, personally, as the LO, had tried to
3 appeal to the BiH local commander to cease the sniping
4 activity, told him that he was going to lose a lot of
5 goodwill from the UNPROFOR camp, as he was jeopardising
6 the safety of our soldiers as well. But --
7 Q. Slow down.
8 Was the attack one which included the use of
9 anti-aircraft guns positioned by the HVO near the
10 BritBat camp?
11 A. It was about 800 metres away, yes, on the
12 high ground facing Grbavica feature.
13 Q. Did Cerkez tell you that Nakic was involved?
14 A. I can't remember the name of the staff
15 officer he named at the time. I went down there and
16 complemented him and massaged his ego as to how
17 successful a military operation it had been, as the
18 assumption by me was that the Vitez Brigade had been
19 heavily involved in it. He said yes, it was a good
20 attack, and that he hadn't been -- but he hadn't been
21 responsible for the staff work and planning of it,
22 although he had obviously been involved in it to a
23 certain degree. The troops that were identified on the
24 day were from various units, i.e., had been brought in
25 specifically for the operation, but included Vitez
1 Brigade troops and troops from further down towards the
2 Travnik end.
3 Q. Was the one particular group that was
4 identified as being involved another elite fighting
6 A. At the time, I thought I identified gentlemen
7 who might be seen as part of the Vitezovi, involved in
9 Q. What about Tvrtko?
10 A. There were people wearing Tvrtko insignia on
11 the jackets, and there were people wearing local HVO
12 militia badges as well.
13 MR. NICE: I'm now in a position to
14 distribute the documents that weren't available
15 earlier, in packs for everyone. Just four documents to
16 look at.
17 Q. If you've got the first document, which is
18 Z1175, the milinfosum for the 20th of August, under
19 "Vitez," is this your contribution to the milinfosum?
20 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
21 Q. Does that deal with a matter we've already
22 touched upon, over halfway down the "Vitez" entry,
23 Cerkez threatening to resolve the Grbavica problem in
24 the near future?
25 A. Correct, sir, yeah.
1 Q. I don't think we need to dwell on that any
2 more at the moment.
3 If we turn to the following day, the next
4 exhibit, 1176,1, 21st of August, does this deal with
5 the same problem -- I'm sorry, I've temporarily lost my
7 Under "Vitez," just interpret that for us,
8 please, if that has any --
9 A. This is just citing one of the regular
10 small-arms and sniping exchanges that took place
11 between Stari Vitez and Central Vitez, the ABiH and HVO
12 territories respectively, and it records the death of
13 Boris Jozic. He was the exchange officer whom I worked
14 with to organise body exchanges between the ABiH
15 counterpart and the HVO.
16 Q. Can you make -- or help us a little bit with
17 the Boris Jozic death. Was that the subject of comment
18 at the time?
19 A. It was, yes, sir. It was commented by people
20 on both sides that Boris was actually essentially a
21 nice guy, which I had born witness to myself, but he
22 wasn't particularly an enthusiastic supporter of the
23 current regime in the centre of Vitez, and it was
24 offered to me as an -- that he was possibly knocked off
25 by his own troops, assassinated by his own troops, or
1 offered up, as it were, because of his lack of empathy
2 with the current situation in Vitez. That was
3 unsubstantiated, of course.
4 Q. Of course.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, is that a convenient
7 MR. NICE: Certainly, Your Honour. I've very
8 nearly -- well, as you can see, I've only got a few
9 paragraphs to go, but it will take us 10 or 15 minutes.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, we'll adjourn now for
11 half an hour.
12 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.30 a.m.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. Paragraph 33. You have already summarised
16 the attack on Grbavica, I think you viewed as a
17 legitimate military target; correct?
18 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
19 Q. However, after the attack, was there
20 destruction of civilian houses and looting?
21 A. Yes, sir. There appeared to be systematic
22 destruction of the property after the attack had taken
24 Q. If you take the colour photographs, we can
25 deal with what they show of this quite quickly. The
1 first photograph yet to be looked at doesn't relate
2 specifically to Grbavica. It's 2039, and it depicts a
3 photograph of the "baby" bombs held by --
4 A. I think it's Mirad.
5 Q. Held by?
6 A. I think it's a chap called Mirad, who is one
7 of the local commanders in Stari Vitez.
8 Q. Yes. Rebisic; is that the name?
9 A. It could be. I just knew him as Mirad.
10 Q. This is an example of the bomb, the "baby"
11 bombs, the home-made bombs, is that right?
12 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
13 Q. If we pass on in this stack of photographs to
14 2641,9, and then we just quickly go through those and
15 the following photographs --
16 A. I don't think I have those.
17 Q. To save time, simply, take mine. The first
19 A. Yes, that's a picture I took on leaving
20 Vitez, looking towards the Grbavica feature, as I was
21 returning to the BritBat base.
22 Q. And it shows?
23 A. It shows a large number of buildings burning,
24 and that's during the daytime of the Grbavica assault
25 by the HVO.
1 Q. The next photograph, this, I think, shows up
2 to those looking at the photograph directly better than
3 on the ELMO, and in one version of this photograph you
4 can even see the point of firing of a "baby" bomb. Can
5 you point out what should be visible and may be visible
6 on original copies?
7 A. The assaulting HVO troops were using the rear
8 of the house as a launch point for the "babies" that
9 were being launched from here, and there is a better
10 photograph showing the flash, and the bombs were then
11 tumbled straight over the building and land two or
12 three hundred metres further forward where they'd
13 explode when the fuse burnt down.
14 Q. On this photograph, you've actually captured
15 the "baby" bomb in midair; have you not?
16 A. Yes, that's correct, sir.
17 Q. It shows up as a small point above the
19 The next photograph, please. This is where?
20 A. This is within the houses of Grbavica. These
21 are troops immediately after the assault, if not while
22 the assault is taking place, further up the Grbavica
23 feature. These are just troops going through the area
24 doing a bit of looting, by the looks of things. These
25 are HVO troops responsible for the attack.
1 Q. You can see the radio in the left hand of the
2 left-hand man.
3 A. The chap has got a big chopper, butchers
4 knife, of some description.
5 Q. The next photograph?
6 A. That's the same Grbavica village, and
7 burning. You can see all the buildings are being
8 gutted by fire.
9 Q. Next, please? The same again?
10 A. Yeah, the same again.
11 Q. Subsequent? Keep going on, please. Another
12 house being burned?
13 A. Yeah. Again, these are all photographs I
14 took at the time. This was as I was driving through
15 Grbavica on my return from the Hotel Vitez and my
16 conversations with Darko Gelic about the incident.
17 Q. The next photograph, please. More burning.
18 And again. Now we see what about the house on the
20 A. Those are the two houses we saw originally.
21 They were the original launch point for the infantry
22 attack, and they now have the Croat flag flying on the
24 Q. Thank you. The next photograph?
25 A. Those are some of the troops involved in the
1 assault, one of whom I knew personally, who is
2 difficult to make out on that. It was part of the
3 Tvrtko Brigade battalion structure.
4 Q. Thank you very much.
5 A. Some of them wore military police insignia.
6 They were wearing -- some of them didn't wear any
7 insignia or badge at all, and that's Supa or one of
8 their girl friends in front.
9 Q. Thank you very much. If I could have those
10 photographs back, please.
11 Did you discuss this event with Cerkez and
12 did he say who had planned it?
13 A. He said that he hadn't been responsible for
14 the staff work in planning. The name escapes me. It
15 may have been Filipovic or Nakic who had been involved
16 in the actual staff work and planning of the actual
17 exercise, but there were Vitez brigade troops involved
18 in it.
19 Q. Thank you. The two milinfosums that deal
20 with this are, respectively, numbers 1198,1 and
21 1201,1. Do you have those? As to the 9th of
22 September, 1198,1 under "Vitez," is that your entry?
23 A. It is, sir, yes. I did not personally
24 witness the decapitated body. That was -- we sent an
25 armoured vehicle into the village because it wasn't
1 particularly safe immediately after the battle, in case
2 of any reprisals from the ABiH, so we sent an armoured
3 vehicle in to go have a scavenge around and see what
4 the situation was inside. It was they that identified
5 a dead ABiH soldier.
6 Q. Decapitated and disembowelled?
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 A. As stated there, the other -- this was tied
10 in with a report from the Dutch transport battalion who
11 had witnessed -- who were based towards Busovaca, who
12 had witnessed this decapitated head being passed
13 around, as it were.
14 Q. Thank you. I think perhaps we can just look
15 at the next exhibit, 1201,1, milinfosum for the 14th of
16 September. I think that's the one. In any case, the
17 one for the 14th of September under Vitez, is that your
19 A. Yes, sir, it is.
20 Q. You deal there with what Darko Gelic had
21 said, that the HVO troops involved in the recent
22 fighting to capture Grbavica had come from the 2nd
23 Battalion Vitez Brigade?
24 A. That's correct, yes. That was the battalion
25 based around the Grbavica -- just further west of the
1 Grbavica feature, and I think the battalion commanders
2 name was actually on the order of battle that we looked
4 Q. You declined to comment on the suggestion
5 that troops may have come from Busovaca?
6 A. As stated there, sir, yes.
7 Q. And then gave the reasons to negate the
8 constant sniping, reasons for the attack?
9 A. Correct, which had been offered to me
10 similarly by Commander Cerkez earlier.
11 Q. I can obtain by this afternoon, but for some
12 reason it hasn't yet surfaced, there was a milinfosum
13 dated the 15th of September, 1993, dealing with an
14 ultimatum about Stari Vitez. Do you recall that? If
15 not, I'll have to seek leave to put it in later.
16 A. I have recollection that there was an
17 ultimatum given at some point, yeah.
18 Q. Made by --
19 A. I think it was Commander Cerkez.
20 MR. NICE: I'll, with leave, produce what I
21 hope before Mr. Kovacic starts his cross-examination.
22 Q. Before I ask your other conclusions, can we
23 just look at the few remaining photographs to explain
24 things? We'll take the stack of photographs, passing
25 beyond those that dealt with the departure of the
1 people for Kiseljak.
2 We then come to 22511, which is the first of
3 a couple of photographs showing Petkovic and Blaskic.
4 Just explain that, if you will. These are a miscellany
5 of points.
6 Again to save time, I just hand mine in
7 quickly. Have a look at that. Don't worry about going
8 through your stack. I'll deal with it.
9 A. That's General Petkovic, who was one of the
10 senior Croatian military commanders at the time based,
11 I think, in the Mostar area. He had been brought up to
12 Kiseljak and then been brought in by ourselves in
13 armoured vehicles along with the U.N. representatives.
14 He had come up to negotiate with us regular helicopter
15 flights in and out of the area, with a view to using
16 them for casualty evacuations.
17 We discussed this with Colonel Alastair, the
18 liaison officers and myself, and decided that it would
19 open us up to all sorts of accusations from the ABiH if
20 we allowed this to go ahead, and so Colonel Alastair
21 told me to attend the meeting and prevent the
22 helicopter flights from coming in, so I was sent along
23 to negotiate with General Petkovic. Colonel Blaskic
24 met him as the senior HVO commander on the ground. We
25 visited the Nova Bila hospital, which is where that
1 photograph was taken.
2 Q. The next photograph, please, and that really
3 tells that story?
4 A. Yeah. The Nova Bila hospital was
5 unfortunately the only medical facility that the Croats
6 had in the Lasva pocket, and as you can see there, a
7 bed was made up of two hospital -- sorry, two church
8 benches pushed together, and the crypt was used as an
9 operating theatre. It was quite something, really.
10 We didn't allow the helicopter flights in,
11 but what we did do is I organised regular road
12 evacuations to Kiseljak, where later, helicopter
13 flights were allowed out off to Croatia with the
15 MR. NICE: Could I have those photographs
16 back, please. Thank you. Then there are a few more.
17 Can you take that one, and have you got these two?
18 Q. These are just for personalities who we may
19 need to identify -- well, one is of you, and the others
20 are personalities. Thank you.
21 First the view.
22 A. That's looking north from HVO trench
23 positions. That's not in the Vitez Brigade area;
24 that's further toward the Travnik end. I can't
25 remember the name of the place, but those are HVO
1 trench positions.
2 Q. All right. Next photograph, please. This is
4 Yes, who's that?
5 A. That's Pasko Ljubicic, commander of the
6 military police, and he was overseeing the inspection
7 and searching of a UNHCR convoy that was going partly
8 to Kruscica, partly to Vitez.
9 Q. Next photograph, please.
10 A. That's -- the gentleman to the far left, with
11 the military uniform on, is Darko Gelic, liaison
12 officer to Colonel Blaskic. Two gentlemen are local
13 civilian police, because they operated the checkpoint
14 where the vehicle was stopped. And the gentleman
15 centre, or right-hand side, in the military uniform, is
16 Pasko Ljubicic, and that's --
17 Q. Again --
18 A. -- the same incident. Liaison between
19 military police and Colonel Blaskic's liaison officer,
20 which is the function of Darko Gelic.
21 Q. Last photograph of this type?
22 A. That's the -- that's Karlo Grabovac,
23 battalion commander, one of the Vitez Brigade battalion
24 commanders, stood on the road out to Kruscica. You can
25 see a mine bottom right there; that's a sniper screen,
1 and that's when I was trying to organise a body
2 exchange and aid delivery to Kruscica and Vitez.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. NICE: This is only for personalities, so
5 that we can know who people are if it becomes
6 necessary. Then there are four black-and-white
7 photographs, and that's it. Thank you very much.
8 Q. Again, this one relates, I think, to Stari
9 Vitez, does it not?
10 A. Yeah, that's -- initially, when we arrived,
11 we had access along the main road into Vitez, i.e., we
12 could get into Stari Vitez from both sides. Quickly
13 this vehicle was erected with TNT on the side, and
14 mines were placed across, so we only had access through
15 HVO-controlled territory; we didn't have access
16 straight into Stari Vitez, so the HVO could control
17 access of ICRC, UNHCR vehicles, myself, in and out of
18 Stari Vitez a lot more effectively with that one end
19 mined off.
20 Q. Thank you. Next photograph, which I think
21 again relates to Stari Vitez.
22 A. That's --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could you please slow
24 down. It's very difficult to follow.
25 A. My apologies.
1 JUDGE MAY: There's a request to slow down
2 for the interpreters.
3 MR. NICE: Sorry.
4 A. That's a photograph taken inside Stari Vitez
5 looking out towards Vitez town centre, and those are
6 ABiH troops on their front-line positions, and there's
7 a concrete wall that's whited out, that you can't see,
8 that marks the beginning of HVO territory, as it were.
9 Q. This photograph and the signs above the door,
10 the significance?
11 A. That's a photograph taken on the steps of the
12 Hotel Vitez, myself and one of my soldiers, some of the
13 local HVO militia and police based in the hotel. The
14 signs above the door on the left say "Op Zone Vitez,"
15 and the one on the right is "HVO Military Police." So
16 there were -- headquarters of both were co-located in
17 the Hotel Vitez.
18 Q. The last photograph?
19 A. That was a visit to the brigade commander,
20 whose name escapes me at the moment.
21 Q. It's the man in the white shirt, isn't it?
22 A. That's correct, yeah. I can't remember his
24 Q. And the significance of --
25 A. That's --
1 Q. Just a moment. The significance of the
2 brigade commander and his brigade and its location, in
3 your judgement, being ...?
4 A. That it was pretty much co-located with
5 Mr. Kraljevic's -- sorry, Dario Kordic's Eagle's Nest.
6 That was the brigade headquarters. I can't remember if
7 it was in the same building; if it wasn't, it was very
8 close, down the same valley feature. That's Darko
9 Gelic, who was, again, the liaison officer of Colonel
10 Blaskic there, who had taken me to meet the same people
11 in the photograph.
12 Q. Last question.
13 MR. NICE: We're finished with the
14 photographs; many thanks.
15 Q. Your assessment of Kordic's position in
16 relation to Blaskic?
17 A. Mr. Kordic was seen as the key political and
18 executive decision-maker in the area, the -- shall we
19 say the understudy of Mr. Valenta, who had since left,
20 and very influential, and in terms of the local
21 population, he was highly regarded. Colonel Blaskic
22 was the key military figure in the area, responsible
23 for the overall strategic command of the Lasva Valley
24 pocket, and further north, other HVO territories; but
25 Dario Kordic was seen as the key -- shall we say
1 policy-maker in the Lasva Valley pocket.
2 Q. As to both Kordic and Blaskic, what was their
3 attitude towards speaking to officers of your rank?
4 A. They were pretty indifferent and saw us as
5 insignificant. The likes of Kordic wouldn't really
6 talk to anybody of my rank or the liaison officer based
7 in Busovaca, but he would have audiences with Colonel
8 Alastair, who was obviously the senior U.N. figure in
9 the Lasva Valley area and quite influential from that
10 point of view.
11 Q. I think you only saw Kordic at the Hotel
12 Vitez on the one occasion?
13 A. Yes, and I met him maybe two or three times
14 more than that, but not at a personal level; just
15 simply through organising meetings between himself,
16 maybe the ECMM, or himself and Colonel Alastair.
17 Q. Thank you very much.
18 MR. NICE: Subject to producing the
19 milinfosum of the 15th of September a little later, if
20 I am allowed to, that's all I ask of this witness.
21 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, we do not object to
22 Mr. Nice posing further questions to Mr. Whitworth
23 regarding the additional milinfosums.
24 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:
1 Q. Good afternoon, or nearly afternoon,
2 Mr. Whitworth. My name is Stephen Sayers, and along
3 with my colleague, Mr. Naumovski, we represent Dario
4 Kordic. I will be asking you some questions first, and
5 then I'll be followed by counsel for Mario Cerkez,
6 Bozidar Kovacic and Goran Mikulicic.
7 One of the first things that I have to cover
8 is you tend to speak quickly, as do I, and it is
9 important to leave a gap between the question and the
10 answer so that the interpreters can catch up. I'm
11 confident we'll run afoul of that rule, but let's do
12 our best to try to observe it.
13 Let me ask you general questions first, sir.
14 My understanding is that you first arrived in the Vitez
15 area in early May of 1993.
16 A. Yeah, I think it was the middle of May, sir.
17 Q. Middle of May?
18 A. Yeah.
19 Q. And you left your area of operations in early
20 November of the same year?
21 A. Yeah, the 7th or the 8th, that's correct.
22 Q. So essentially you were in Central Bosnia for
23 five months?
24 A. It felt like a lot longer, but ...
25 Q. All right. I believe that you have given a
1 statement to investigators for the Prosecution
2 initially on August the 14th, 1996, three years ago?
3 A. (Inaudible).
4 Q. And you did not sign that until about a year
5 later, on May the 14th; is that correct?
6 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
7 Q. You testified for two days in the Blaskic
8 case, giving about 290 pages of testimony, from July
9 the 13th to the 14th, 1998?
10 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
11 Q. And then later in the year, in October -- on
12 October the 9th, to be precise -- you gave further
13 testimony in the Kupreskic case; correct?
14 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
15 Q. All right. Now, I believe that you are 35
16 years old at this point.
17 A. I'm getting older, sir, yes.
18 Q. As are we all. And therefore you were 29
19 years old when you were in Central Bosnia?
20 A. That's correct, sir.
21 Q. This is no criticism of you, Mr. Whitworth,
22 but apparently -- I believe that the interpreters are
23 having trouble picking up your words, so if you could
24 speak up a little bit, that would be appreciated.
25 A. Okay.
1 Q. You do not, yourself, speak Croatian, sir?
2 A. I picked up one or two words, but no, I
4 Q. You couldn't carry on a conversation?
5 A. Absolutely not.
6 Q. When you arrived in mid May of 1993, you've
7 previously told us that you were the regimental signals
8 officer for a while, and then, on the orders of your
9 CO, Lieutenant-Colonel Duncan, you became the liaison
10 officer for Vitez; correct?
11 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
12 Q. Your predecessor in that position, I believe,
13 had been then-Captain Angus Hay?
14 A. Yes, he covered the whole of the Lasva Valley
15 area. When we arrived, Colonel Alastair soon
16 ascertained that it was a fundamentally important job,
17 and so he put more people in liaison officer jobs and
18 gave them specific areas of responsibility,
19 geographically speaking.
20 Q. Colonel Duncan, I believe, felt that the area
21 covered by Captain Hay was basically too much for one
22 person to handle and therefore split it into two
23 separate areas?
24 A. That's correct sir.
25 Q. Isn't it true that the liaison officer for
1 Busovaca was Boris Kalen?
2 A. That's true, sir, yeah.
3 Q. All right. So he handled affairs in
4 Busovaca, and you were responsible for affairs in
6 A. The approximate geographical limits were the
7 Busovaca T-junction to the Travnik T-junction.
8 Q. All right. Would it be fair to say that you
9 were responsible for the area to the west of the
10 T-junction, and Mr. Kalen was responsible for the area
11 to the south of the T-junction?
12 A. Yeah.
13 Q. All right. During the course of your tour, I
14 believe you were with the 1st Battalion of the Prince
15 of Wales Own Regiment?
16 A. That's correct, sir, yeah.
17 Q. You have testified that you found that
18 ceasefire agreements and checkpoint agreements became
19 increasingly -- that's not a correct way to put it --
20 became decreasingly effective or increasingly
21 ineffective as time wound on; is that correct?
22 A. Would you rephrase that, please?
23 Q. Happy to. You testified, I believe, that
24 during your tour, your perception was that ceasefire
25 agreements and checkpoint agreements became
1 increasingly less effective, and that's why you made
2 the decision to deal with lower-level commanders?
3 A. Yes. Whatever agreements were broken proved
4 to be very fragile and very locally based, and so we
5 ended up dealing with people on a more local basis. We
6 always dealt with people on a local basis anyway, to
7 ensure that the passage of orders and instructions from
8 high commanders had taken place. It was too large an
9 assumption to assume that because Colonel Blaskic or
10 commander Cerkez had issued an order, that it would
11 have reached a checkpoint or something later on on the
12 ground. So we always did that anyway, but it became
13 more of a focus. We had to build up the rapport and
14 relationship with local people, because they did tend
15 at times to take things into their own hands, so we had
16 to win their confidence as well as that of their
18 Q. I think you said in your statement of
19 three-or-so years ago that that was essentially a
20 bottom-up approach?
21 A. "Bottom-up" meaning that we had to cover
22 everybody, not just the commanders.
23 Q. Would it be fair to say that the superior
24 commanders in the chain of command were not
25 particularly happy with your decision to deal directly
1 with their subordinates?
2 A. I think that was the case, on one or two
3 occasions, the likes of commander Cerkez might have
4 reprimanded not myself, but his commanders on the
5 ground. I was aware that he had reprimanded several
6 commanders on the ground which I had brokered local
7 agreements, and people had -- I had managed to talk
8 people into allowing me through into Kruscica, for
9 example, and that was not commander Cerkez's orders.
10 Q. The events that we have been discussing cover
11 events that occurred over six years ago. You have
12 testified that you kept a contemporaneous journal or
13 diary, but that that is no longer available because it
14 was turned over to your regiment at the end of your
15 tour; is that correct?
16 A. No, sir. We were actually issued with police
17 notebooks, and those were the things that we kept notes
18 in. When we finished with a notebook, they were handed
19 in, because they were, to all intents and purposes,
20 legal documents, and they were used for us to refer to
21 at the end of the day, when we were discussing matters
22 with the intelligence officer. They were also, at the
23 end of the tour, taken back in, disposed of in whatever
24 way, filed away, so the information didn't go out of
25 theatre, as it were, or into the wrong hands.
1 Q. All right. In your statement three years
2 ago, you told the investigators that because you had
3 not been provided with copies of those notebooks, it
4 was difficult for you to be able to recall a strict
5 chronology of events. Have you had access to those
6 notebooks in preparing for your testimony today?
7 A. No, sir. I've refreshed my memory using the
8 milinfosums, some of which I can't recall, others of
9 which, depending on the nature of the incident, I have
10 very clear recollections about.
11 Q. That's perfectly understandable. The
12 milinfosums were based in part, I believe, upon the
13 notes that you wrote down in the police books that you
14 were issued?
15 A. That's correct, sir. At the end of each day,
16 we would have a thorough debrief with the intelligence
17 milinfo officer, so that any information that we had
18 collected during the day could be centralised and help
19 to build up the picture of the situation in our
20 tactical area of responsibility. Then everybody was
21 briefed accordingly so the colonel was fully aware of
22 what was happening throughout.
23 Q. All right. Have you had the opportunity to
24 consult the milinfosums to prepare for your testimony
1 A. I've read through one or two of them, yeah,
2 and refreshed --
3 Q. All of the ones that you needed to review
4 were made available to you, I take it?
5 A. I've read through quite a number of them,
6 some of which, as I said earlier, don't strike a chord
7 with me, I can't recall having said those things,
8 others of which I have vivid recollections about.
9 Q. We've had quite a bit of testimony from other
10 officers regarding milinfosums, but would it be fair to
11 say that, generally speaking, they provide a
12 contemporaneous chronicle of any major event of
14 A. Yes, they are a document containing all the
15 key issues, and then added to the factual information
16 is usually a comment provided by the intelligence
17 officer who is trained to assess and rationalise that
18 information as to future activities or the likelihood
19 of various things happening.
20 Q. Because they provide a contemporaneous
21 chronicle of significant events and meetings and so
22 forth, they are very useful to consult in order to
23 refresh your memory, just to order your recollection
24 chronologically of those events and meetings; correct?
25 A. Yes. Actually I have very vivid
1 recollections of certain key events, and the -- where I
2 find fault in myself is actually at which point during
3 the tour those things happened, or which one happened
4 before another, as it were. So yes.
5 Q. Whenever you consulted one of these
6 milinfosums, I take it, Mr. Whitworth, that you took a
7 look at the full document and not just snippets of it?
8 A. Usually I just read the Vitez bit, and that
9 was the bit that I contributed. So not the whole
11 Q. I think that you testified in the Blaskic
12 case -- and there's absolutely nothing wrong with this,
13 but from consulting the milinfosums, they assisted you
14 in, on occasion, working out memories which had been
15 jumbled into a more systematic and sensible fashion and
16 actually made you realise that some of the statements
17 contained in your 1996 and 1997 witness statement were
18 in fact not accurate?
19 A. I can't -- anything -- any -- anything that
20 wasn't accurate, I think the only questions that arose
21 were my initial statements I gave in 1996, I think --
22 Q. Right.
23 A. -- where I got one of the two events jumbled,
24 chronologically speaking; i.e., some things took place
25 earlier or later than I had originally said.
1 Q. Very well. You corrected that when you were
2 asked the questions in the Blaskic case?
3 A. I think so, yes.
4 Q. All right. Turning to the situation that
5 confronted you when you arrived in Central Bosnia in
6 May, isn't it true that, in your view, just about
7 everyone was armed?
8 A. Yeah. It was an unusual set of
9 circumstances, the likes of which myself and the rest
10 of the soldiers hadn't come across before, and those
11 people who weren't actually physically bearing arms
12 usually had access to some arms or another, so it was
13 difficult to differentiate at times between those who
14 were actually regular troops, those that were militia,
15 and the different units, because they weren't always
16 bearing arms, as it were, but nevertheless had
17 affiliations, maybe not just to one military unit, but
18 maybe to others, as well as responsibilities to their
19 own village, the defence of their own village,
20 et cetera.
21 Q. You also saw women bearing arms occasionally,
22 didn't you?
23 A. I can't recall an example in the Lasva
24 Valley. The only example that springs to mind is a
25 visit to Sarajevo, and a Serbian female soldier.
1 Q. Didn't you see women bearing arms in Stari
2 Vitez, sir?
3 A. Could possibly have done, as most people in
4 Stari Vitez at some time or another took responsibility
5 for guarding a bit of the perimeter. So that's -- I
6 could have well commented to that effect, yes.
7 Q. Well, you say "possibly," but you actually
8 did see women bearing arms --
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, this isn't a memory
10 game. If you've got some information that the witness
11 said on an earlier occasion that he saw a woman with
12 arms, just put it to him, rather than taking it round
13 the houses.
14 MR. SAYERS: That's fair enough,
15 Mr. President. I'll do exactly that.
16 Q. You were asked in the Blaskic case, at page
17 10.378, on July the 14th, whether men and women were
18 active in the defence of Stari Vitez, and you said, "I
19 saw women bearing arms as well, if they were of that
21 I don't think it's a big point,
22 Mr. Whitworth, but it would be fair to say that --
23 that's accurate, isn't it?
24 A. Yes, sir, I would say that, bearing in mind
25 they represented 50 per cent of the population.
1 Q. Very well.
2 Did you participate in any of the meetings of
3 the joint operations command or the Busovaca joint
4 commission that used to meet in Vitez?
5 A. During the early part of our tour, we
6 facilitated the occurrence of such meetings, one of
7 which I think we organised, and I moved people around,
8 and it took place in one of the ECMM buildings, and
9 another one -- one of the later ones, I think -- was
10 one of the photographs that you would have seen there,
11 where we actually arranged for it to take place in
12 Vitez. But that was during the very early part of the
13 tour, and that stopped quite soon after we arrived.
14 It's the same meeting, I think.
15 Q. Would it be fair to say that whenever
16 incidents occurred and you spoke to representatives of
17 the warring factions, it was absolutely routine for one
18 side to blame the other?
19 A. Absolutely, and to exaggerate the
20 circumstances that had actually happened. That was
21 part of our job, to try and visually confirm and get
22 several accounts of the same thing, and that's why the
23 job of the intelligence officer in writing the milinfo
24 reports was vital, because he was getting opinions from
25 quite a few different people. We ourselves would do
1 that, as well, on the ground, from both sides, locally
2 speaking, and we would tend to err on the conservative
3 side, as opposed to the exaggerations that each of the
4 respective commanders would come up with.
5 Q. One other general question, if I may.
6 You found yourself basically on the front
7 lines of a war zone. Would you agree, Mr. Whitworth,
8 that it's a sad but factual reality that burned out
9 houses were a regular sight in Central Bosnia
10 throughout your tour in both Muslim and Croat
12 A. No, I wouldn't agree with that. I think I
13 personally witnessed -- what I personally witnessed was
14 very much based on the Lasva Valley, so I don't feel
15 able to comment on the surrounding areas. I certainly
16 didn't see a lot of derelict and burned-out buildings
17 when I transited to Zenica and visited the ABiH area.
18 But it always appeared systematic when there was any
19 military activity taking place in the Lasva Valley
20 area. There is no reason why buildings should set on
21 fire when subjected to small-arms fire, and so the
22 number of buildings that were ablaze strongly suggested
23 to us that it had been done deliberately to remove the
24 possibility of anybody being able to move back into the
25 area and reinhabit those houses.
1 It was remarkable how the Croat-occupied
2 houses within Grbavica remained untouched during the
3 military assault, so it did very much appear it had
4 been done on a systematic basis.
5 Q. We'll talk about the Grbavica incident or the
6 operation in September of 1993 later in your
7 cross-examination, but isn't it fair to say that one of
8 the principal reasons for the military operation on
9 that hill was to eliminate a sniper nest, if you like,
10 or a sniper position that was regularly used by the
11 Muslim forces?
12 A. Yes, sir, that's correct. It did appear to
13 us to be, from that point of view, a legitimate
14 target. I had made several appeals to local ABiH
15 myself that they were going to get themselves into deep
16 trouble, they were losing a lot of goodwill from
17 ourselves, and that an attack of some description was
18 inevitable unless they actually withdrew and ceased the
20 Q. You would agree there were snipers in
21 abundance on both sides?
22 A. Well, any soldier is a sniper.
23 Q. Both sides carried out regular sniping
24 activities aimed at the opposition, did they not?
25 A. That's correct, sir, yeah.
1 Q. In fact, sniping was a daily occurrence, in
2 your experience?
3 A. It was indeed, sir, yeah.
4 Q. You gave some testimony regarding the
5 military structure of the HVO armed forces and where
6 the military police fit into that structure. I would
7 like to ask you just a few questions in connection with
8 that. I don't think there's any dispute about any of
9 this, but tell me if there is.
10 You found out, for example, that the Jokers
11 sub-unit was actually an integral part of the military
12 police, did you not?
13 A. That's what they told me themselves, yes,
15 Q. In fact, based upon your conversation with
16 the gentleman at the building, the Swiss-chalet-looking
17 building that you mentioned, you travelled to Vitez and
18 interviewed the civilian police there to find out who
19 the commander was; correct?
20 A. Yeah. That was during the early days. My
21 assumption was to go to the only building I knew as the
22 police headquarters.
23 Q. That's exactly where they sent you, to the
24 police headquarters; correct?
25 A. Well, that was where I went because that was
1 the only building I knew to have any involvement with
2 the police at the time. I was then directed that the
3 military police activity was coordinated at the Hotel
4 Vitez, which is where I first met Mr. Santic, who was
5 second in command to Pasko Ljubicic.
6 Q. You say that you were sent over to the Hotel
7 Vitez, and I believe one of the photographs that you
8 were shown, Z2176, actually shows "Vojna Policija HVO"
9 on the hotel. There was a big sign actually at the
10 hotel announcing that that was the headquarters of the
11 military police; correct?
12 A. Not necessarily the headquarters, but that's
13 where the military police -- some of the military
14 police were situated.
15 Q. That's where you met the subordinate
16 commander, the gentleman that you just identified?
17 A. When I went to speak, they -- Mr. Santic
18 introduced himself and was very reluctant to speak to
19 me. I just introduced myself as the new liaison
20 officer in the area, trying to got to know all the key
21 figures to facilitate the U.N. mission, and he was
22 indifferent. And we left it at that.
23 Q. That's Mr. Vlado Santic as opposed to
24 Mr. Ivica Santic, who was the mayor of Vitez?
25 A. That's correct, yes.
1 Q. All right. The gentlemen that you
2 interviewed at the Swiss chalet were not actually
3 wearing any insignia, patches, or badges, were they?
4 A. No. They were dressed in black combat gear,
5 armed with various types of pistols, Uzis,
6 Kalashnikovs, knives. One or two of them exhibited
7 signs that they looked like they were involved -- they
8 could have used at some point intravenous drugs. They
9 had marks on their arms. They were all quite young,
10 athletic, fit chaps.
11 Q. Just to wind up this area of your testimony,
12 it was clear to you that the gentleman that you've
13 identified, Mr. Ljubicic, was the overall commander of
14 the military police and all of their sub-units,
15 including the Jokers; correct?
16 A. That's correct, sir, yeah.
17 Q. And that remained clear to you throughout
18 your tour until November of 1993?
19 A. It was a fact that we confirmed at several
20 points during the tour, that he was referred to as the
21 head of the military police battalion, yeah.
22 Q. All right. You would agree that it is
23 relatively common, in military units, for the military
24 police headquarters to be located in the same place or
25 building as the battalion headquarters, wouldn't you?
1 A. From a regular army point of view, military
2 police are usually a high-level asset, and so it didn't
3 surprise us at all that the military police battalion
4 was co-located with 3rd Ops Zone command and Colonel
6 Q. And there was no doubt in your mind that
7 Colonel Blaskic, as the commander of the Central Bosnia
8 Operative Zone, had overall command of the assets in
9 his theatre, including the military police?
10 A. As to his finite control over individual
11 tasks, that was in question on one or two occasions
12 because of the relationship with, for example,
13 Mr. Cerkez. But we saw him as the overall strategic
14 commander for HVO forces in Bosnia.
15 Q. Right, commanding all of the assets under his
16 command, the brigades and the military police; correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. All right. You gave some testimony about a
19 unit called the Vitezovi, commanded by Darko
20 Kraljevic. Did you know that Darko Kraljevic was
21 actually a colonel?
22 A. He referred to himself as Pukovnik
23 Kraljevic. As to his official military rank, I don't
24 know where you got the title "colonel" from, but, yes,
25 that's how he liked to refer to himself.
1 Q. Let me just turn to the general command
2 structure within the HVO armed forces as you perceived
3 them, sir.
4 You would agree that the principle of
5 subordination is absolutely vital to the existence and
6 functioning of any military chain of command, wouldn't
8 A. Pretty much so, yeah.
9 Q. Would it be fair to say that you did not
10 encounter any problems passing checkpoints whenever you
11 took Colonel Blaskic's liaison officer, Mr. Gelic, I
12 believe you've identified him as, with you?
13 A. Having Darko Gelic, Blaskic's LO, was a
14 greater facilitator for moving around, but there were
15 times when he himself, particularly when we were moving
16 out of the area to the extremes of the Vitez area, I
17 might run into problems. Either a local checkpoint
18 commander would say, you know, "I'm not interested in
19 what Blaskic or you have to say," you know, and the
20 likes of the local battalion commander would be cited
21 or the likes of Mr. Kordic or the brigade commander
22 would be cited as the ultimate authority.
23 Q. But generally speaking, when Mr. Gelic was
24 present and gave an order, it was followed, wasn't it?
25 A. Yeah, I would say 50/50, because I didn't
1 actually use him on that many occasions. There was a
2 few key issues when he proved to be useful, but there
3 were also lot of occasions when he didn't seem to hold
4 a lot of authority.
5 Q. All right. In your view, the HVO had a very
6 comprehensive command structure, didn't it?
7 A. It was a command structure that you would
8 assume one would have in place, bearing in mind the
9 number of troops, the circumstances they were in, and
10 the fact that there were several professional ex-JNA
11 soldiers occupying senior command appointments.
12 Q. Colonel Blaskic was an ex-JNA officer, was he
14 A. To the best of my knowledge, he was, sir,
16 Q. And so was General or Brigadier Petkovic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Brigadier Petkovic was the chief of the
19 general staff of the HVO, with his headquarters in
20 Mostar; isn't that correct?
21 A. I couldn't tell you, to be honest. But if
22 that's the case, then it wouldn't surprise me. I was
23 aware that he was a senior officer, superior to Colonel
24 Blaskic, and was from out of the area, and I thought he
25 was from Mostar. We referred to him as a general
1 simply because it was the next rank up, but their rank
2 structure terms are slightly different to us.
3 Q. So from your perspective, as the Vitez
4 liaison officer, Colonel Blaskic was the key military
5 figure in the Lasva Valley area?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All of the subordinate brigade commanders
8 reported directly to him?
9 A. In theory, yes.
10 Q. In general, did you not find that the HVO
11 brigades were basically organised on the territorial
12 principle, with members of the brigades coming from the
13 local municipality?
14 A. That's correct, sir, yes, they were.
15 Q. And also men from a particular village would
16 generally provide manpower for a company within the
17 brigade, or a Sepnija [phoen] As it was called, I
18 believe; is that correct?
19 A. I can't remember, to be honest, sir. But
20 yes, that is how it works. There was basically the
21 front line positions. Each brigade commander had his
22 area for which he was responsible, and the local people
23 formed the militia that maintained the defence of those
24 lines. Any offensive military activity usually
25 involved these groups they refer to as special forces,
1 the likes of the Tvrtko, the Vitezovi or the Jokeri,
2 and these were these mobile troops drafted from all
3 over the place. They were well equipped and highly
4 mobile and usually, it appeared to us, very well
5 resourced and led by their own subordinate commanders,
6 their own commanders, under the direction of various
8 Q. Just to use one example of the command
9 relationship, you've identified Mr. Cerkez as the
10 commander of the Viteska Brigade. One of his
11 subordinate company commanders was Mr. Karlo Grabovac,
12 I believe. Did you know the area for which
13 Mr. Grabovac was responsible?
14 A. He was [indiscernible] of the area around
15 Rijeka up towards Kruscica area, so it was the
16 southeastern portion in defence of the Vitez area, if I
17 remember correctly.
18 Q. Just one final question on this subject. Is
19 it fair to say that at the end of the working day, the
20 soldiers would go back to their own houses rather than
21 the central barracks? At least you never saw a
22 barracks while you were present; isn't that true?
23 A. There were central training places, places
24 like the wood yard, we used to house important
25 resources at times. There were areas, blocks of flats,
1 where large numbers of troops might be held, and I
2 think those were the groups like the Jokeri or the
3 Vitezovi that would take over and occupy certain
4 areas. But the local militia obviously worked a duty
5 system, duty rota, and returned to their own houses,
7 Q. You would agree that with respect to the men
8 in the regular HVO brigades, they generally lived in
9 their own houses and they did not live in a military
10 barracks; isn't that fair to say?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And upon returning to their houses when they
13 were off duty, they would take their weapons and
14 uniforms with them, wouldn't they?
15 A. Not necessarily. It depended on the
16 availability of weapons. Weapons could also be passed
17 on to the chap taking over the duty. It would depend
18 on the availability. People like the local militia
19 didn't tend to have the pick and choice of weapons
20 systems, whereas people like members of the Vitezovi,
21 the specialist units, would have a couple of pistols
22 and their own rifle and knives and all the rest of it,
23 so they seemed to be well resourced as opposed to the
24 local militia, who were just bearing a single firearm
25 of some description.
1 Q. You testified in the Blaskic case, at page
2 10.337 and 38, that generally the brigade members had
3 their weapons and uniforms in their homes when they
4 were not actively on duty, and you agree with that?
5 A. Yeah. Like I said, there would be examples
6 when depending on the availability of weapons, some
7 would be handed over to the next guy on duty. But
8 weapons were openly borne by everybody in the area if
9 they had them available.
10 Q. You gave some testimony regarding Darko
11 Kraljevic. I believe that you beat him in a pistol
12 competition, and he awarded you a pistol as a result;
14 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
15 Q. The first encounter with him, though, I
16 imagine you remember particularly well because he held
17 a gun up to your head, did he not?
18 A. Yes, he did, and also threatened to kill me.
19 Q. That was on June the 11th or 12th, 1993, at
20 around the time of the Convoy of Mercy or the Convoy of
22 A. It was around that time. It was the night
23 when I had been asked by the colonel to go in and try
24 and negotiate the release of the vehicles that had been
25 captured. And at the time, I didn't know who it was at
1 the time, but subsequently when I met him officially,
2 his face was very familiar to me, and we laughed and
3 joked about the incident retrospectively.
4 Q. That incident involved ABiH mortaring, and
5 everyone scattered after the mortar bombs began to
6 fall; correct?
7 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
8 Q. Did you know that the Muslim forces in Stari
9 Vitez had fired weapons into the Vitez area that night,
10 on the night of the 10th of June, and actually killed
11 eight little boys and girls?
12 A. I wasn't aware of such. Had I received such
13 information from the local Croats/HVO populous, that
14 would have been included in the milinfosums that we
15 published. There had been several instances where --
16 there was one particular one that I bore witness to
17 because I was in the town at the time it was shelled,
18 when the ABiH did actually shell at lunchtime period
19 and several civilians, women, children and males, were
20 injured during the shelling, and I was involved in
21 moving them to the medical facility in the centre of
22 Vitez. So it was a regular occurrence on both sides,
24 Q. You would agree that, as sad as it is, both
25 sides had artillery assets and, unfortunately, used
1 them regularly upon one another?
2 A. That's correct, sir, yes, and we also had
3 suspicions that when things were quiet from that point
4 of view, that the Serbs would lob one in to kick them
5 off firing at each other again. That was never proven,
6 but it was a strong suspicion on our part, because it
7 was to the Serbian advantage, obviously, that the
8 conflict continued, as far as their intentions were
10 Q. And indeed that would be a significant
11 tactical advantage to the Serbs, if you like, from
12 doing that, since they were actually engaged in
13 conflict with the ABiH and the HVO to the west and
14 north of the town of Travnik; correct?
15 A. That's correct, sir, yeah.
16 Q. And the Serbs suddenly had the artillery
17 assets to be able to shell Vitez when and if they
18 desired to do so; correct?
19 A. We did employ forward air controllers who
20 were specifically trained in the identification of that
21 type of artillery fire, and it was never confirmed that
22 that actually occurred, even though we specifically
23 tasked troops with finding that out.
24 Q. During the evening of June the 10th and the
25 ensuing day, it's true that there were BBC film crews
1 in the area actually filming events?
2 A. There was press around us all the time, yes.
3 Q. Just a few questions on Colonel Blaskic. His
4 headquarters was in the Hotel Vitez; correct?
5 A. That's correct, sir.
6 Q. And on the evening of June the 11th, the HVO
7 headquarters was actually hit by artillery fire, wasn't
9 A. Yes, sir. I was in the building at the time.
10 Q. In your view, the commander of the Central
11 Bosnia Operative Zone was an active and well-informed
12 commander, wasn't he?
13 A. Yes, he appeared so.
14 Q. He appeared to have a comprehensive grasp of
15 the military situation in his operative zone, at least
16 in your view?
17 A. Yeah. He was mobile up and down the Lasva
18 Valley. I came across him on a few occasions when he
19 was in transitory headquarters, as it were, further up
20 towards the Travnik area with specialist soldiers.
21 Q. You were asked this question by Judge Riad in
22 the Blaskic case. You would certainly agree that he
23 couldn't be reasonably viewed as a token or a puppet
24 commander in any way, could he?
25 A. No, I don't think so.
1 Q. You gave some testimony regarding the
2 military command structure in Vitez and Busovaca. I'm
3 going to let Mr. Kovacic ask you about the structure in
4 Vitez, but just a question or two regarding the
5 Busovaca situation.
6 It's true, is it not, that the commander of
7 the HVO military forces in Busovaca was Commander Dusko
9 A. Grubesic.
10 Q. And indeed he's the gentleman that you
11 identified as wearing the white T-shirt on Exhibit
13 A. Correct, sir, Grubesic.
14 Q. I don't know if you can see it from here, but
15 the gentleman sitting to his left is Darko Gelic,
16 Colonel Blaskic's liaison officer; correct?
17 A. Sir, that's wrong. It's the chap on the
18 right in the T-shirt.
19 Q. Very well. Do you recognise the fellow on
20 the left here?
21 A. Yeah. He was -- I can't remember his name.
22 He was one of Grubesic's staff officers. On the two
23 occasions I went to visit Grubesic, he was present with
24 him, so I assumed he was a deputy commander of some
25 description or a subordinate.
1 Q. Thank you very much for clearing that up.
2 Mr. Grubesic was the commander of the brigade called
3 the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade that was stationed in
4 Busovaca; correct?
5 A. That sounds correct, yes.
6 Q. And he reported to Colonel Blaskic as his
7 commanding officer?
8 A. In all likelihood, yes.
9 Q. You referred very briefly, in passing, to a
10 gentleman with the nickname of Zuti. Do you remember
11 him at all?
12 A. I think I only met him once in passing, but
13 he was quite well known in the Lasva Valley area by the
14 locals and by -- I think Angus Hay met him on several
15 occasions, as he was the liaison officer for that
16 particular area.
17 Q. Would it be fair to describe him as a fairly
18 notorious mafioso who could generally be found involved
19 in any of the mayhem that was going on in and around
20 the Novi Travnik area?
21 A. Like I say, I only had occasion to meet him.
22 He seemed quite affable to me. We were sitting in a
23 cafe at the time. So that would agree with the
24 impressions that had been given by other people about
1 Q. You were asked some questions about the
2 people shown in two photographs that were identified as
3 Exhibits Z2510 and Z2509. I wonder if you could just
4 get those in front of you, Mr. Whitworth. There were a
5 lot of photographs there.
6 All right. Just some questions in connection
7 with the photograph that was marked as Z2509. Do you
8 recognise the gentleman on the extreme right as
9 Mr. Stipac, a politician from Busovaca?
10 A. Is this the chap in the white striped shirt?
11 Q. Yes.
12 A. I don't recognise him, no. The name sounds
13 familiar, but it wasn't a character that I bumped into
14 on this occasion.
15 Q. The gentleman that you identified as
16 Mr. Kraljevic, who is next in from the left --
17 A. I didn't actually identify him as -- I said
18 the quality of the photograph wasn't distinct but that
19 could have been him.
20 Q. The photograph is pretty indistinct, sir, but
21 let me just ask you to take a close look at it and
22 suggest to you that that's actually Zoran Kapetanovic
23 who was Colonel Blaskic's personal bodyguard.
24 A. It could have been. I could have been
1 Q. All right. In the front row, the next person
2 over in the striped shirt, do you recognise that
3 gentleman as Mr. Spajic, a politician from Travnik?
4 A. No, sir. Again, it was out of my area of
5 responsibility, so --
6 Q. Very well. And the gentleman on the
7 left-hand side in the purple shirt, carrying a
8 briefcase, do you recognise that as Mr. Niko Grubesic,
9 a politician from Busovaca?
10 A. Which photograph are we looking at now?
11 Q. 2509.
12 A. I see a purple shirt. I'm slightly
14 Q. All right.
15 A. Is it this gentleman here you're talking
17 Q. Yes.
18 A. Yeah, I don't recognise him.
19 Q. Very well. Looking at Exhibit Z2510,
20 immediately to the left of Mr. Santic, who you have
21 identified as the mayor of Vitez, do you recognise that
22 gentleman as Mr. Zoran Maric, the president of the HVO
23 government in Busovaca?
24 A. Which gentleman are you referring to?
25 Q. The gentleman in the dark suit carrying a
2 A. No, I don't recognise the gentleman. I
3 didn't come across him at all --
4 Q. All right. Did you ever meet any of the
5 local politicians in Busovaca?
6 A. I didn't, sir, no.
7 Q. Very well.
8 A. I spent a very brief period of time there
9 just arranging meetings between Colonel Alastair and
10 Mr. Kordic on one or two occasions, and I stood in
11 there a week while Boris was away on R & R. But other
12 than that, let's say, it was out of my area of
14 Q. Turning to Mr. Anto Valenta, you have given
15 some testimony about this gentleman. Do you know what
16 his political position was throughout the time that you
17 were present in the Lasva Valley?
18 A. Other than knowing he was a key political
19 figure, when I first met him, I wasn't aware of who he
20 was. I was just introduced to him, or he, rather, on
21 being aware of my presence in the building, introduced
22 himself to me and we sat down and had a conversation,
23 and he ran through his ideas of how things were going
24 to take place in the Lasva Valley pocket. But I wasn't
25 aware of who he was until I'd reported back.
1 Q. What was his political position?
2 A. As far as I can recall, he was a senior
3 member of the Croatian government of some description.
4 I can't quite remember which political affiliation he
5 was part of.
6 Q. You saw him in the same building as Colonel
7 Blaskic, in the Hotel Vitez, on occasion, I believe?
8 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
9 Q. Your view was that Mr. Valenta was superior
10 to Mr. Kordic; correct?
11 A. That was the impression that we had, yes,
12 over a period of time, was that Mr. Kordic was, shall
13 we say, an understudy to Mr. Valenta; i.e., on
14 Mr. Valenta's departure, Mr. Kordic was the key
15 political figure in the area.
16 Q. Yes, you've said that, but where did you get
17 that information from?
18 A. Just -- it was based on the fact that people
19 commented on Mr. Kordic's authority and influence in
20 the area.
21 Q. Did you ever hear Mr. Valenta say that?
22 A. I can't recall doing so, having only met him
23 twice and at the beginning of the tour.
24 Q. Did you ever hear Mr. Kordic say that he was
25 the understudy or subordinate to Mr. Valenta
2 A. No, I didn't.
3 Q. Did you ever hear Colonel Blaskic ever
4 describe the relationship between Mr. Valenta and
5 Mr. Kordic?
6 A. I can't say I did, no. I think one of the --
7 I think Colonel Alastair, as he was then, is probably
8 better qualified to make comment on that, as he had
9 more personal conversations with Mr. Kordic and might
10 have better recollection.
11 Q. Suffice it to say, though, that your
12 information was that Mr. Valenta was the most senior
13 political Croatian figure in the Lasva Valley; correct?
14 A. At that time, yes.
15 Q. Now, you say that he left Vitez at some
16 point; did I understand that correctly?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. When did he leave?
19 A. During the U.N.-arranged meeting in Kiseljak
20 when we provided all the armoured vehicles, escorts,
21 Mr. Valenta didn't come back. He left then, along with
22 Mr. Kordic and Mr. Blaskic and the people that you saw
23 there on the list. There were, if my memory serves me
24 correctly, I did a head count; there were eight people
25 who didn't come back. From the approximately 25 people
1 that we took, there was two or three Warriors with
2 nobody left in at the end of the day.
3 Q. You have talked about that meeting; do you
4 recall when that meeting actually occurred?
5 A. I think it was quite early on in the tour. I
6 think it was around the beginning of June time, maybe.
7 I was still feeling my way, getting to know the key
8 personalities. Hence, as far as I was concerned, I was
9 familiar with Mr. Skopljak, Mr. Santic, as the key
10 civilian authorities in the area, and wasn't aware of
11 the military people as such. We were trying to deal at
12 that level to start off with.
13 Q. Were you aware that prominent Croat
14 politicians from the Lasva Valley area had been
15 helicoptered by UNPROFOR from Kiseljak to the town of
16 Medjugorje at the end of August of 1993 for the
17 inauguration of an entity known as the Croatian
18 Republic of Herceg-Bosna?
19 A. I wasn't aware of that -- well, I don't
20 recall it. It was probably given to us at a briefing
21 at the end of the day, but no, I don't recall that.
22 Q. The pictures that you spoke about or that you
23 identified showing Mr. Kordic specifically, do you know
24 when they were taken?
25 A. Again, it's at the same time that we arranged
1 the meeting in Kiseljak, and I'm surprised that there
2 is not a date in the milinfosums detailing that
3 particular meeting. But I would have thought it was
4 around June time.
5 Q. Is it possible, sir, that it would have been
6 at the end of August?
7 A. It could have been.
8 Q. All right.
9 A. Sir, my recollection, chronologically, of
10 events is not perfect, bearing in mind the time.
11 Q. All right. Let me turn to one other subject
12 now, the defence of Stari Vitez about which you
13 testified. There's no question that the Muslim
14 commander in Stari Vitez, Sefkija Dzidic, was in
15 communication with the 325th Mountain Brigade
16 headquarters in Kruscica, is there?
17 A. No, he was in direct communication with them,
18 and as a consequence, probably to 3 Corps in Zenica.
19 Q. And Mr. Dzidic was able to call down mortar
20 and artillery support from ABiH positions above Vitez
21 whenever there was an attack on Stari Vitez, wasn't he?
22 A. I wouldn't have said that was the case, no.
23 There were occasions when mortars and artillery fell on
24 Vitez, and I would doubt very much whether the plight
25 of the people in Stari Vitez would have held that much
1 sway on the decision to use resources as important and
2 scarce as artillery and mortars by 325 Brigade, but
3 there were instances when activity in Stari Vitez
4 corresponded to when shells and mortars, which is what
5 they usually were, were falling in Vitez centre itself.
6 Q. All right. You and your colleagues concluded
7 that military and other supplies must have been getting
8 through to Stari Vitez; correct?
9 A. We suspected that there must have been, but
10 that was not based on any observation. There were
11 actually -- they did have a stockpile of munitions in
12 Stari Vitez, because during the initial conflict, when
13 the Croats and Muslims were resisting the Serb push
14 down the valley initially, they were actually fighting
15 on the same side, and Stari Vitez is an old part, big
16 cellars, et cetera, and so there'd been weapons
17 stockpiled in there. There must have -- we strongly
18 suspect there must have been a trickle of some
19 description getting in somehow; hence it was finding
20 the 7,62 millimetre round cartons in the -- wrapped up
21 in the bandages that got in on that particular
22 occasion. But it must have only been a trickle.
23 Q. It is true that the Croats made several
24 offers to the citizens of Stari Vitez to permit
25 civilians to be evacuated, isn't it?
1 A. There was an offer made that civilians could
2 leave, but as the situation in Stari Vitez was the same
3 as in Vitez itself, is that the local -- the militia
4 were local people that would be giving up their homes
5 and --
6 Q. I don't mean to interrupt you, but it was a
7 pretty simple question. The Croats did make several
8 offers to citizens of Stari Vitez to permit civilians
9 to be evacuated. That is true, is it not?
10 A. I can recall one such instance when an offer
11 was made, yes.
12 Q. You were asked on page 10.375 of the Blaskic
13 transcript: "During your tour of duty, did you become
14 familiar with the offers made by the Croat community in
15 Vitez to the citizens of Stari Vitez to temporarily
16 evacuate Stari Vitez and get out of the war zone?" And
17 your answer was: "Yes, I was aware of those offers."
18 A. All right.
19 Q. And those offers were actually rejected,
20 weren't they?
21 A. For the reason I was trying to elaborate to
22 earlier, that the people defending Stari Vitez were
23 actually the occupants of Stari Vitez. They were the
24 militia on the same base that the people in Vitez were
25 militia; i.e., they lived there and didn't see why they
1 had to give up their homes.
2 Q. You never, yourself, saw any "bebes," I think
3 they were called, b-e-b-e-s, fall on Stari Vitez?
4 A. Mirad showed me the one that I took the
5 photograph of. I came across the ironmonger that was
6 welding the base plates in Vitez where they were making
7 the launch.
8 Q. Once again, simple question: You didn't
9 actually see any fall in Stari Vitez, did you?
10 A. No. Heard a few.
11 Q. You, yourself, were permitted by the HVO to
12 evacuate a number of old and injured people from Stari
13 Vitez, weren't you?
14 A. Can you -- I can't recall -- I can recall
15 doing so, but are you referring to a particular
17 Q. Well, you testified in the Blaskic case, on
18 page 10.443: "We were eventually allowed to remove
19 maybe a dozen or so people who were old or injured or
20 required regular medical attention that they couldn't
21 get within the limited confines of Stari Vitez."
22 A. [Inaudible]
23 Q. You -- sorry, Mr. Whitworth, the translator
24 says the response was inaudible.
25 A. Would you like to repeat the question? I'll
1 repeat the answer.
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think we've had enough.
3 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
4 JUDGE MAY: Now, have you got much more,
5 Mr. Sayers, for this witness?
6 MR. SAYERS: I would think, Your Honour, I
7 have about another 40 minutes, maybe.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, because we must try and
9 finish him today. He's been brought here from his
10 duties in England, and it's not right that he should be
11 kept here longer than today, so could you speed up,
13 A. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
15 Q. With respect to the smuggling incident that
16 you have previously testified about involving commander
17 Dzidic in Stari Vitez, you actually confronted him
18 personally about being tricked and deceived into being
19 used as a conduit for ammunition into Stari Vitez;
20 isn't that right?
21 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
22 Q. He basically shrugged his shoulders and said,
23 "What do you expect"; is that correct?
24 A. That's correct, sir.
25 Q. In fact, he told you that these things were
1 necessary; right?
2 A. Yeah, he could well have done. I remember
3 him saying that -- you know, in his position, you
4 couldn't expect him to do anything else, basically.
5 Q. Just a few questions in connection with the
6 Convoy of Mercy or the Convoy of Joy incident. It's
7 true -- and I don't think there is any dispute about
8 this -- that there was a major Muslim offensive
9 underway on the town of Travnik in the period June the
10 8th through June the 12th of 1993; isn't that correct?
11 A. The dates escape me, but there was a major
12 ABiH offensive.
13 Q. It would be fair to say that the HVO was
14 defeated in Travnik and that the town was captured by
15 ABiH forces; right?
16 A. The HVO -- yeah, withdrew.
17 Q. And that there were many thousands of
18 refugees that came out of the town as a result?
19 A. I didn't bear witness to that many, but I'm
20 sure there were quite a few, yes.
21 Q. The Convoy of Joy was actually a purely
22 private convoy; it was not a UNHCR- or U.N.-sponsored
23 convoy at all, was it?
24 A. That's correct, yeah. It was done on the
25 initiative of -- the name of the town up north escapes
1 me, but it was done on the initiative of the local
2 people, and --
3 Q. Tuzla?
4 A. Yeah, it was Tuzla. That's correct, yeah.
5 Q. Now, the mandate of the BritBat forces in
6 Nova Bila and in the Lasva Valley area was to
7 facilitate the passage of humanitarian aid through
8 U.N.-sponsored agencies, was it not?
9 A. Yeah, I believe that's part of the mandate,
11 Q. And are you aware of several Croats having
12 been shot to death during the Convoy of Joy incident by
13 UNPROFOR forces?
14 A. There was a conflict that arose, I think, at
15 the time the decision was taken by Colonel Alastair
16 that minimum force was needed to try and prevent
17 further deterioration of the situation.
18 Q. And that involved the death of several
19 Croats, did it not?
20 A. I can't tell you as to how many, but there
21 was one or two -- there was a few people killed, yeah.
22 Q. Now, with respect to the Convoy of Joy
23 incident, you would agree that there is no mention of
24 Mr. Kordic's name in connection with that episode as
25 related by you in your statement of August the 14th,
1 1996, is there?
2 A. Without referring to the statement, probably
3 not, no.
4 Q. We can put the pertinent page on the ELMO.
5 JUDGE MAY: No need to do that; I'm sure the
6 witness will accept it.
7 MR. SAYERS: Yes, I think there is no doubt
8 about that, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MAY: The reference, as I recollect, to
10 him, came, did it not, in a milinfosum?
11 MR. SAYERS: It did.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 MR. SAYERS:
14 Q. You did not give any testimony in connection
15 with Mr. Kordic, insofar as the Convoy of Joy incident
16 is related, in the Blaskic case, did you?
17 A. I think I was concentrating on Colonel
18 Blaskic's part in the thing, yes.
19 Q. And the same is true in the Kupreskic case,
20 isn't it?
21 JUDGE MAY: He probably wasn't asked about
23 A. I wasn't, Your Honour, no.
24 JUDGE MAY: Now, this isn't being very
25 helpful at the moment. The reference is in the
1 milinfosum. If you've got a question about that, ask
2 it, Mr. Sayers; otherwise, let's move on.
3 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. With respect to the apprehension of the
5 convoy, it was actually stopped by a large crowd of
6 Croat civilian women and children, wasn't it?
7 A. To the best of my knowledge, yes, it was. I
8 didn't bear witness to it myself.
9 Q. And the presence of Ambassador Thebault, in
10 your view, caused immediate action on the part of
11 Colonel Blaskic to order the release of the convoy,
12 didn't it?
13 A. Ambassador Thebault had been brought into the
14 area on short notice to try and assist in resolving the
15 situation, yes.
16 Q. On page 3 of your 1996 statement, you say:
17 "I also clearly recall that the presence of Thebault
18 caused immediate action on the part of Blaskic to order
19 the release of the convoy."
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. That's accurate, is it not? All right.
22 I think that you testified in the Blaskic
23 case that based upon orders issued by Colonel Blaskic,
24 Mr. Gelic, his liaison officer, and you were successful
25 in getting a large number of vehicles released so that
1 the convoy could actually continue on to Tuzla.
2 A. Eventually, yes, we went and trolled around
3 the area, collecting vehicles.
4 Q. All of the local HVO commanders obeyed
5 Colonel Blaskic's orders as relayed to them by
6 Mr. Gelic, did they not?
7 A. This is after the incident at the Dubravica
8 checkpoint with Commander Cerkez and when Karlo
9 Grabovac was present. Yes.
10 Q. In fact, you testified in the Blaskic case
11 that because of the problems, you decided to go
12 straight to the top and deal with the head man; right?
13 A. [No audible response]
14 Q. Yes?
15 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
16 Q. And the head man was Colonel Blaskic, wasn't
18 A. As the overall military commander on the
19 ground, yes.
20 Q. Now, were you actually present when either
21 General Petkovic or Mr. Kordic or any other military or
22 political figure was involved in the negotiations
23 relating to this incident?
24 A. I was present -- General Petkovic wasn't
25 there. I was present when Mr. Kordic was there.
1 Q. All right. Now, the civilian crowd that
2 apprehended the convoy and stopped it and looted it was
3 highly agitated, wasn't it, sir?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. In fact, shells were falling in the centre of
6 Vitez as this convoy was being apprehended; isn't that
8 A. Not to my knowledge, no. You're talking
9 about a different instance. The Convoy of Joy, to the
10 best of my recollection, was unimpeded by artillery or
11 mortar fire, whereas that did occur when the U.N.
12 vehicles were held in the centre of Vitez.
13 Q. In the milinfosum that you authored, Z1044,
14 number 43, did you actually author the comment that is
15 contained on page 1 of the document?
16 A. Which one are we referring to again? Sorry.
17 Q. I'm sorry. It's 1PWA milinfosum number 43,
18 looking particularly at the comment that appears in
19 paragraph 3.
20 A. No, the comment comes from the intelligence
21 officer who's drawn in all the experiences and the
22 witness accounts from the liaison officers throughout
23 the day.
24 Q. Do you know who the intelligence officer was?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And who is that?
2 A. Captain Simon Harrison.
3 Q. Simon Harrison, and that's his conclusion, I
4 take it.
5 A. That's correct, sir. It would have been
6 based on information that we'd have fed in to him and
7 our opinions.
8 Q. Did you ever hear anybody tell you that
9 Mr. Kordic had taken any part in the planning of that
10 convoy apprehension?
11 A. No, sir, I don't have any recollection of
13 Q. Right. Certainly Colonel Blaskic never said
14 any such thing, did he?
15 A. I don't have any recollection.
16 Q. And Mr. Kordic didn't while you were present
17 at the negotiation?
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and the
19 witness slow down, please.
20 A. I think I've stated on several occasions I
21 don't have any specific recollection about the
22 conversations at the time. I was more interested in
23 physically getting the convoy back together and
24 facilitating its safe passage on. And it was Colonel
25 Alistair who was chairing the meetings and discussions
1 with Blaskic and Mr. Kordic at the time.
2 JUDGE MAY: Would that be an appropriate
4 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, if you and
6 Mr. Kovacic could so organise the time between you that
7 the witness finishes this afternoon, that would be
8 useful and also necessary.
9 MR. SAYERS: I fully understand,
10 Mr. President, and I will do my level best to ensure
11 that that occurs.
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
13 Mr. Whitworth, we're going to adjourn now
14 until half past 2.00. Please don't speak to anybody
15 about your evidence during the adjournment and any
16 others there may be. Don't let anybody else speak to
17 you about it, and that includes the members of the
19 Half past 2.00.
20 --- 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:
4 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Whitworth.
5 A. Good afternoon, sir.
6 Q. In keeping with the Presiding Judge's
7 instructions, I'm going to try to be through with you
8 in about 20 minutes, if I can, so let me just cover a
9 few topics that you raised during your direct
10 examination with some degree of alacrity.
11 The incident in which Ms. Kolaba was shot on
12 July the 5th, 1993, she was actually shot as she was
13 inside the house in which you were, I believe, as a --
14 A. That's correct, sir.
15 Q. A round actually went through a wall and hit
16 her in the head and killed her; correct?
17 A. That's not correct, sir, no. She stood in a
18 doorway to the house when a round went through her.
19 Q. All right. And you did a three- to four-day
20 investigation yourself; correct?
21 A. With the assistance of HVO representatives
22 provided by -- I think they were from the Vitez
23 Brigade, at Colonel Blaskic's initiation.
24 Q. In the Blaskic case, you described this
25 incident by saying that several rounds hit the side of
1 the buildings, and one of the rounds was the one that
2 went through Ms. Kolaba's head and killed her. Were
3 you actually upstairs or downstairs at the time the
4 incident occurred, sir?
5 A. I stood on the balcony above her when the
6 incident occurred.
7 Q. Did you actually see the incident?
8 A. I wasn't actually looking at the firing
9 point, no, sir.
10 Q. And I believe that your commanding officer,
11 Colonel Duncan, actually tasked you to head up an
12 investigative team to find out what had happened, and
13 you conducted a three-day investigation; correct?
14 A. That's correct, sir, yeah.
15 Q. And reached no definitive conclusions, I take
17 A. The conclusion that I reached, along with
18 members of our own military police who assisted, was
19 that the firing point was from one of the Croat houses
20 on the opposite side of the road to where we were
21 actually located.
22 Q. During the course of your investigation, you
23 tried to enlist the assistance of the 325th Mountain
24 Brigade personnel; correct?
25 A. I did indeed, sir, yes.
1 Q. And you found them to be not particularly
2 cooperative; isn't that fair to say?
3 A. That's correct, yeah.
4 Q. All right. You're not saying that Ms. Kolaba
5 was deliberately targeted; she was just an unfortunate
6 victim in the middle of a firefight. Isn't that
8 A. I think as I described in the Colonel Blaskic
9 case, there was a small-arms exchange taking place at
10 the time, and Colonel Alastair's intent was that
11 somebody would be brought to justice for it, because it
12 had been deliberately -- the small-arms exchange had
13 taken place in an area that was known to occupy [sic]
14 U.N. troops, and she was effectively a U.N. employee at
15 the time. We had made several attempts to broker local
16 ceasefire agreements to protect -- for the safety of
17 our own people, and that obviously wasn't the case
19 Q. Did you ever share the results of your
20 investigation with the HVO, or the ABiH, for that
22 A. I did indeed, sir, yes. I didn't share them
23 with the ABiH, because of their indifference at the
24 time, but I shared them with the HVO.
25 Q. With whom did you do that?
1 A. If I remember correctly, it was with Darko
2 Gelic, because the report went back to Colonel Blaskic
3 at the time.
4 Q. Turning to the second incident that you
5 described, the shooting of the UNHCR driver, isn't it
6 true that you attempted to gain admission to Stari
7 Vitez to investigate the actual point of impact but
8 that commander Dzidic prohibited anyone from entering
9 Stari Vitez to investigate the impact point?
10 A. No, sir, I actually stood at the impact
11 point. The impact point was a road junction on the way
12 to commander Sefkija's house. So that's not correct,
14 Q. On page 10.264 of the Blaskic case, you said
15 that the investigation quickly ground to a halt because
16 commander Sefkija, the BiH commander in Stari Vitez,
17 would not let any member of the HVO enter the area to
18 investigate the impact point.
19 A. That's correct, sir, yes. You asked me about
20 my access to the impact area, and that wasn't denied at
22 Q. All right. With respect to helicopters, did
23 you ever see the markings on any helicopter?
24 A. The ones that landed at Kiseljak were not --
25 didn't have any military insignia on them. They were
1 simply plain, with a blue stripe down. They were
2 similar markings to the ones we'd seen in Split, and
3 also were similar in markings to the ones, as best we
4 could identify, as they came into motion.
5 Q. The testimony that you gave about assumptions
6 that these helicopters were used to carry people of
7 importance are just that, assumptions, aren't they?
8 A. It's an assumption, sir, yes.
9 Q. In all of your six months in the theatre, you
10 never saw any evidence of civilians being used to dig
11 trenches, did you?
12 A. Not -- no, sir, not that I can recall.
13 Q. You have referred to Mr. Kordic's offices as
14 located in a building called the Eagle's Nest. Who
15 called it that?
16 A. It was just a nickname passed on to me by the
17 Busovaca LO. I'm not quite sure where he picked up the
18 title from. I think it was -- I got the impression,
19 when I visited it on the one occasion that I did, that
20 it was because of its situation. It was down the end
21 of a very quiet, isolated valley as you went in towards
22 the mountains out of Busovaca.
23 Q. Did you ever hear of any other Eagle's Nests?
24 A. No, sir.
25 Q. Did you know that there was a building in
1 Vares referred to by the NordBat commander as Eagle's
3 A. I'm not aware of that.
4 Q. Have you ever heard of the building referred
5 to as the Wolf's Lair, as opposed to the Eagle's Nest?
6 A. No, sir, I haven't.
7 Q. Just a couple of concluding questions
8 regarding Mr. Kordic. Do you know what his position
9 within the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was?
10 A. No, sir, I don't. I don't know what his
11 particular political affiliation was or of which party,
12 or --
13 Q. All right. Do you know whether he ever had a
14 position within the Croatian Republic of Herceg-Bosna?
15 A. Not officially, sir, no, I'm not aware of
17 Q. Do you recall that Croat politicians and
18 military leaders held regular press conferences in the
19 summer of 1993, sir? Weekly, in fact?
20 A. In all likelihood they did, but I can't
21 recall any of such that spring to mind.
22 Q. Do you recall ever attending any of them?
23 A. Not that I can recall.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness speak
25 into the microphone, please.
1 MR. SAYERS:
2 Q. Thank you very much indeed, sir.
3 MR. SAYERS: That concludes the questions I
4 had, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE MAY: Thank you, Mr. Sayers.
6 Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Whitworth, my name is
9 Bozidar Kovacic. I'm a lawyer from Rijeka, and
10 Mr. Mikulicic and I represent Mr. Mario Cerkez. The
11 problem of interpretation or, rather, the language,
12 continues to be topical, even though we speak different
13 languages, and we have to be slow enough so that the
14 interpreters can follow us. Of course, if you fail to
15 understand any one of the questions, please tell me so,
16 and I shall repeat it.
17 You are a captain, aren't you, by rank?
18 A. I was indeed, sir, at the time, yes.
19 Q. Mr. Whitworth, because of the linguistic
20 problems, is it true that in your daily communication
21 with the HVO, and I suppose the BH army as well, that
22 you used a nickname, "Perry"?
23 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
24 Q. So can I then assume that the local HVO
25 commanders, and that is what I should like to know, who
1 communicated with you that knew you by that nickname?
2 A. That was my first name, and it was used. I
3 was referred to as "Captain Perry" by all the people I
4 knew in Bosnia, that's correct, yes.
5 Q. Thank you very much.
6 Now, a few questions about the convoy that
7 you dwelt in considerable detail on, because I'm not
8 quite sure that everything is quite clear and to avoid
9 any misunderstanding.
10 Reports mention three names given that
11 convoy. In some places, it is called the Convoy of
12 Joy, then a Convoy of Mercy, and the third term applied
13 to the convoy is the Tuzla Convoy. But do all these
14 names refer to one and the same convoy?
15 A. To the best of my recollection, sir, yes,
16 that's the case. The Convoy of Joy was the name that
17 we in BritBat referred to the convoy by. I think the
18 Convoy of Mercy was one used frequently by the press.
19 And the Tuzla reference, of course, was the one used by
20 members of the convoy themselves because that was their
21 origin, although I think there was more than one convoy
22 that originated from Tuzla and so it's quite possible
23 that different names were used. But this particular
24 reference is about the major, long, 80-vehicle convoy
25 that was transiting from Split up to Tuzla. We
1 referred to it as the Convoy of Joy.
2 Q. And there is no doubt that it happened on the
3 10th/11th of June, 1993?
4 A. My specific recollections of dates are very
5 hazy as a consequence of the time that's passed since.
6 The best reference from which to draw those conclusions
7 are the milinfosums, as they were completed on a daily
8 basis, and so they are probably, in some cases, a
9 better recollection of what actually happened than I
10 might give when referring to specific dates.
11 Q. Yes, I see. Of course, quite reasonable.
12 Milinfosums do mention the 10th and 11th of June,
13 saying that a convoy had reached Central Bosnia on
14 those two dates.
15 The convoy itself, according to the
16 information available, first General Petkovic that you
17 mentioned, as it was being prepared, had personally
18 promised -- had personally given his word that that
19 convoy would be allowed to pass through. Did you have
20 that information at the time?
21 A. I might have done so, but I don't recall at
22 this moment.
23 Q. That convoy was first blocked in the Novi
24 Travnik area; is that correct? That is when the
25 difficulties began?
1 A. I think that's correct, sir, yes.
2 Q. And so when the difficulties began, do you
3 know that at some point in time, General Petkovic was
4 in Vitez and that negotiations were conducted then and
5 contacts were established with the highest-ranking
6 UNPROFOR officers or, rather, ECMM representatives so
7 as to resolve the situation after the convoy was
8 intercepted in Novi Travnik?
9 A. I don't have any specific recollection about
10 that. My recollections cover only those that involved
11 with BritBat, where Colonel Alastair was involved and
12 Ambassador Thebault at the time. I was unaware if
13 General Petkovic was involved or, rather, I can't
14 remember him being involved at any stage.
15 Q. I'm looking at an ECMM report of the 13th of
16 July, 1993 -- 13th of June, and it has "4040" on
17 page 5. The author of that part of the report says
18 that he will go to Vitez and try to talk to General
19 Petkovic, who spent the night there. That note refers
20 to the 10th of June, and the subtitle is "HVO Attack on
21 the Tuzla Convoy," although you do not remember whether
22 Mr. Petkovic was there or not. But those negotiations
23 were conducted at a very high level, one might say.
24 Don't you think so?
25 A. I would say so, yes, obviously.
1 Q. Is it a military standard that the
2 highest-ranking officer on the ground at the time takes
3 over the principal role or has the main say in whatever
5 A. Yes. There's no reason why -- if he's the
6 executive officer present, then obviously his
7 subordinates would fall in line with his wishes.
8 Q. In relation to those negotiations, the
9 solution that was arrived at was that the convoy should
10 be put together again so as to proceed on its way in
11 the area near the Impregnacija factory, that is, on the
12 outskirts, on the edge of the town of Vitez, the
13 Impregnacija where they treated timber for the use by
14 railways or whatever, and that is where the convoy was
15 put together, where everybody gathered? But will you
16 please not just nod your head but tell us "Yes" or "No"
17 for the record?
18 A. That was where a major obstacle prevented the
19 convoy moving on, in terms of there was a large
20 collection of the civilian population, and it was at
21 the Dubravica checkpoint adjacent to that wood yard
22 that you're referring that the confrontation took place
23 between Commander Cerkez, with Ambassador Thebault
24 present, and Colonel Blaskic.
25 As far as the vehicles being present at that
1 point, they weren't -- they had been distributed,
2 disseminated, through the Vitez town itself and were at
3 various points along the road, and on the agreement
4 that the civilian population should break up and move
5 away sometime later, it was at that point that we
6 started moving vehicles back together and forming
7 packets of vehicles to form the convoy.
8 Q. So we agree that that was where an attempt
9 was made to form the convoy again so that it could
10 proceed on its way?
11 A. That was where the final obstacle occurred.
12 Once that had been removed, then it allowed, as I said,
13 the packets of vehicles to be formed and to move up on
14 the road towards the Zenica area and out of the Lasva
15 Valley area. But the convoy wasn't actually formed up
16 at that point. That was just the last major barrier to
17 the convoy's reformation and subsequent movement out of
18 the Lasva Valley area.
19 Q. So the chief obstacle -- the chief difficulty
20 originated with civilians, you said. Did they put
21 forward some reasons, I mean those civilians who were
22 protesting for some reason or another, did they
23 explain, give you some reasons why they were opposed to
24 the reformation of the convoy and its further movement?
25 A. The comment that was repeated was that the
1 contents of the convoy should be targeted equally to
2 the Lasva-Vitez area as well as to the Tuzla area.
3 There were no militia or soldiers present in these
4 groups of people blocking. They were ostensibly just
5 women and children; i.e., people whom we, as soldiers,
6 have great difficulty in moving or getting to break up
7 to allow a convoy to move on. There was a notable
8 absence of any militia in the area where all this was
9 taking place.
10 Q. But, at that time, in Vitez and around it, in
11 the Lasva Valley, all the difficulties notwithstanding,
12 there was some civilian police, wasn't there, and you
13 had the opportunity to see them?
14 A. There was two members of the civilian police,
15 that's correct, sir, yes.
16 Q. Thank you. Now that you mention that site,
17 because that school in Dubravica is only a little bit
18 further away, it was where the Vitezovi unit, Darko
19 Kraljevic's unit, had its headquarters. Did you know
21 A. I wasn't aware of that particular location,
23 Q. You did not know it, identify it, as one of
24 the places where they met?
25 A. Sorry. Can you repeat the question, please?
1 I didn't understand whether I did or I didn't.
2 Q. No. I was only asking if you were aware that
3 that was one of their meeting places, not the principal
4 meeting place, but one of their meeting places.
5 A. I'm not quite sure which particular building
6 and area you're referring to. There was an area on
7 towards Nova Bila that's like a short block of flats
8 that I know had been used for meetings between Colonel
9 Blaskic and various other military commanders, but the
10 only confirmed location I'm aware of that the Vitezovi
11 had was towards the end of the tour when they used the
12 place in Gornji Vecerska. They obviously had their
13 headquarters somewhere else prior to that, but I was
14 unaware of any others.
15 Q. Thank you very much. You mentioned the
16 presence of Cerkez among those civilians. Are you
17 saying that he was issuing orders, that he was
18 commanding those civilians in any way, that they were,
19 to all intents and purposes, under his control,
20 subordinated to him?
21 A. No, I'm not. I'm just saying that there was
22 a notable absence of any military or civil presence who
23 could have taken -- made efforts to take the situation
24 in hand there to support Colonel Blaskic, and I think
25 that was the basis of Colonel Blaskic's reprimand, or
1 what appeared to me a reprimand as far as I was
2 concerned, when he espied Commander Cerkez doing
3 nothing to facilitate the carrying out of Blaskic's
4 orders in the removal of the blockade, the blockade to
5 the convoy, and the reformation of the convoy.
6 There was little or -- there was no
7 involvement of the civilian police. There was no
8 involvement of the militia. As I said earlier, there
9 was a notable absence.
10 Q. When Blaskic spoke to Cerkez, did you
11 surmise -- did you assume that you knew the contents of
12 their conversation on the basis of their gestures and
13 their faces or did somebody tell you about what they
14 had talked about?
15 A. To me, it was surmised by myself at the time
16 that the body language, the terms with which Colonel
17 Blaskic spoke to Commander Cerkez, Commander Cerkez's
18 reaction, was that Blaskic was reprimanding him or
19 verbally cajoling him into supporting Colonel Blaskic's
20 orders in terms of having the human blockade removed to
21 allow the convoy to move on.
22 Q. Does that mean that you think that a
23 Domobran, a home guard unit, an HVO unit, was
24 responsible for the control of order and civilian
1 A. Can you repeat which unit, please, you
2 referred to?
3 Q. Any HVO unit. Or this brigade, do you think
4 that it is responsible for controlling and establishing
5 order among civilians?
6 A. I would have expected that the military hold
7 considerable power and influence over the local
8 population, bearing in mind the circumstances in the
9 Lasva Valley. Commander Cerkez was highly respected by
10 the Croat population in Vitez. There were civilian
11 police present who were recognised as a suitable
12 authority at the Dubravica checkpoint. As most of the
13 male population of a serving age were members of the
14 local militia and therefore under the command of
15 Commander Cerkez, it seemed that he would be an
16 influential figure able to support Colonel Blaskic's
17 aims of allowing the convoy to move on.
18 Q. You said that there was an insignificant
19 number of HVO soldiers, so even if this was Cerkez's
20 duty, how could he do anything about those civilians,
21 that is, make them disperse, and take over or
23 A. For the reasons that I stated earlier.
24 Firstly, he was a well respected and well known local
25 figure in Vitez whom people referred to, and, secondly,
1 it wouldn't have been unreasonable, if he was
2 supporting Colonel Blaskic's aims, to have local
3 militia there that would lend support to what should
4 have happened in terms of the blockade being removed.
5 Likewise, the civilian police were there as well, who
6 should have been -- I have no doubt were informed of
7 the situation and should also have been supporting the
8 control of the human blockade, and that would have
9 helped greatly in facilitating the removal of the
10 blockade and the movement of the convoy.
11 Q. Thank you. I believe we've rounded off this
13 Now, if I may draw your attention to another
14 subject about which I should like to ask you several
15 questions, something that has to do with the chain of
16 command. In some place, you say that Cerkez looked
17 like the commander of all HVO units in Vitez, but let
18 us try to establish certain facts.
19 HVO brigades were formed on the territorial
20 principle and they were associated with the
21 municipalities in which they were formed; is that
23 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
24 Q. Thank you. You also said that for instance
25 in Busovaca -- no, sorry -- well, in Busovaca and in
1 Vitez, in both those places, in the same, therefore,
2 Operative Zone, and they had one and the same
3 commander, not to mention other adjacent
4 municipalities. I'm trying to simplify matters. Is
5 that true?
6 A. From a simplistic point of view, yes.
7 Q. Specifically in Busovaca, Mr. Grubesic is the
8 commander of the local brigade there, and you spoke
9 about him, and in Vitez, it is Mario Cerkez. We've
10 also talked about them, and both of them are
11 subordinated to Blaskic as the commander of the
12 Operative Zone; there are no doubts about that?
13 A. Are you asking -- I'm sorry --
14 Q. Do you agree with that?
15 A. Yes, that's how it appeared to us at the
17 Q. In your testimony, you also said that the
18 Jokers unit which was in Busovaca was not under
19 Grubesic's command, who was the brigade commander in
20 Busovaca; is that correct?
21 A. That's correct. I think the commander of the
22 military police, Pasko Ljubicic, had overall command of
23 the Jokeri.
24 Q. The Jokers were a special-purpose unit of the
25 HVO; is that correct?
1 A. Of the military police, yes.
2 Q. But Vitezovi were another special unit within
3 the HVO?
4 A. Yes. I don't think they were members of the
5 military police as such; they were a specialist unit of
6 the HVO. "Special forces," they liked to refer to
8 Q. Correct.
9 A. Thank you.
10 Q. Isn't it logical then, that Blaskic should
11 apply the same model of organisation or the chain of
12 command to Busovaca, Vitez, and probably other locales
13 under his command?
14 A. Which particular bit are you referring to?
15 Q. I'm specifically referring to the fact that
16 if, in Busovaca, the brigade commander is not in
17 command of a special unit, then obviously that cannot
18 be the case in Vitez either, or vice versa. If he is
19 in command of a special unit, then he must be in other
20 places too, because they all belong to the same zone of
22 A. That's not true, sir, no. Basically a
23 military unit is made up of regular militia units, and
24 within a large corps or divisional structure, based on
25 formal army structure, there will be specialist units
1 within that. The responsibilities and command for
2 those units can be delegated by the high commander,
3 i.e., Colonel Blaskic, to his subordinate commanders in
4 order to effect particular military operations.
5 I speak -- based on my own experiences, for
6 example, we have specialist engineers, we have our own
7 special forces, and they will be attached -- detached
8 from one commander and attached to another in order to
9 effect a successful military operation in particular
11 Q. Tell me, please, have you ever seen an order
12 from which it is possible to infer that the Vitezovi
13 was subordinate to the brigade, that they were a
14 special unit within the brigade?
15 A. The command would not be delegated as a
16 subordinate. The expertise and knowledge of one
17 commander would be used alongside with the local
18 commander's knowledge to achieve an aim, and so a --
19 for example, a specialist engineer commander, who might
20 only be a captain, would be the chief advisor to a
21 colonel undertaking a particular task involving
22 engineering. So we envisaged similar relationships
23 occur within the specialist units of the HVO structure,
24 where commanders such as Kraljevic would be used, and
25 his specialism and expertise and familiarity of his men
1 and soldiers would be used alongside with the local
2 knowledge of a commander. I'm confident, Kraljevic,
3 his ego wouldn't allow him to be subordinate to the
4 likes of commander Cerkez anyway, and as it's not a
5 formal army structure, it's more a collegiate affair in
6 such operations.
7 Q. Document Z1087, milinfosum number 52, dated
8 the 20th of June: Do you have it in front of you,
10 A. I do, sir, yes.
11 Q. In Z1087, I should like to draw your
12 attention to paragraph number 10, section B. You use
13 here, obviously, an example of the existence of special
14 units, or independent units, as they are called here,
15 under the command of Blaskic. Among others that are
16 mentioned here, the Vitezovi are specified. According
17 to a normal military structure and the theory of chain
18 of command, the higher commander with his written
19 orders is addressing lower-level units under his direct
20 command; is that correct?
21 A. You could say, yes.
22 Q. If the Vitezovi are subordinated on a
23 permanent basis to the brigade, would Blaskic then be
24 addressing the Vitezovi with his written orders?
25 A. Specialist units like that would never be
1 permanently detached. They were what we refer to as
2 mobile surgical forces, who were very mobile and used
3 for particular jobs, and so would remain under the
4 constant command of Colonel Blaskic, but whom, for
5 periods of time, would be delegated for the use of
6 brigade commanders. The likes of the Vitez Brigade,
7 which was under a lot of pressure at the time, which is
8 a key geographical area in the 3rd Op Zone, bearing in
9 mind the proximity of headquarters, that would be what
10 we classify as a main effort, and therefore resources
11 such as specialist units would be farmed out to the
12 local commanders on the ground to help them
13 substantiate and maintain their current position if
14 under threat.
15 Q. Thank you. Let us mention in passing, in
16 June or July, during your tour of duty as a liaison
17 officer in that area, did you have occasion to see that
18 all units operating in Vitez had a certain area of
19 responsibility regarding holding the front lines
20 against the adversary, each had a specific area of
21 responsibility, each individual unit? Did you have
22 occasion to see that?
23 A. I was aware that there were essentially
24 brigade areas, and there were at times points that were
25 very volatile because of the level of confrontation
1 between the BiH where the front line positions were
2 substantiated, the local militia positions were
3 substantiated with such troops as the Vitezovi, in
4 order to repel any further military action in that
5 particular area.
6 As for the existence of regular defensive
7 lines occupied by the likes of the Vitezovi and the 4th
8 Military Police Battalion, I'm not aware of any such
9 existence. To the best of my knowledge, we were always
10 of the opinion that, as I said earlier, they were
11 mobile forces committed in response to offensive
12 military plans or to substantiate defence during times
13 of particularly aggressive action by the ABiH in
14 certain areas of the valley, as any commander would do
15 to maintain a flexible response.
16 Q. Thank you. My colleague, defence counsel for
17 Mr. Kordic, mentioned something, and I would like to
18 follow on to that. During your stay in Central Bosnia,
19 did you notice that the Vitez Brigade had any kind of
20 training grounds or compound where the troops were
21 housed, except for the cinema building where the
22 headquarters was?
23 A. I have a photograph here somewhere showing a
24 group of 30 troops amassed and marching along the main
25 street by Nova Bila. There was a young training -- a
1 group of young soldiers, and they were brought together
2 for training. I don't know whether they actually
3 resided in a building that formed a training
4 establishment or whether they were just part of the
5 young militia being trained upon a daily basis, which
6 would be perfectly understandable.
7 Q. Sir, my question had to do with Vitez
8 municipality. Nova Bila is another municipality; that
9 is Novi Travnik. I'm talking about Vitez municipality
10 and the Vitez Brigade. Did you ever see any kind of
11 base or compound where troops of the Vitez Brigade were
12 using -- which they were using as a barracks or a
13 training centre, some kind of buildings or facilities
14 where they were based? I'm talking about the Vitez
15 Brigade exclusively.
16 A. No, sir. As we talked earlier, they were all
17 local militia as such, and under the circumstances, it
18 would have been quite foolhardy to house them all in
19 one building.
20 Q. Earlier, using the term "local militia," you
21 said that when they were not on the front, they were
22 allowed to go home. You did have occasion to see that
23 and to realise that for yourself?
24 A. Yes, there were occasions when I met troops,
1 Q. In your testimony, you mentioned that Darko
2 Kraljevic used the term "colonel" to describe himself,
3 and that is how others addressed him, I think. Tell
4 us, please, did you ever hear Cerkez having a rank, or
5 anyone addressing him by rank?
6 A. No, other than "commander," which is a
7 generic term.
8 Q. So they addressed him using the generic term,
9 but you never heard his rank being used?
10 A. He was, as far as we were concerned, commonly
11 known as the brigade commander for Vitez Brigade, and
12 we just referred to him as "commander Cerkez."
13 Q. The rank of colonel in any army is a very
14 senior rank, isn't it?
15 A. Subordinate to brigade commander, yes.
16 Q. Following on that logic, the brigade
17 commander would have to have a rank above colonel?
18 A. A brigade commander is a brigadier. But the
19 rank structure we became aware of in the HVO paralleled
20 our own experiences in some cases and not in others.
21 In terms of -- we tended to name people in terms of
22 their -- the command of their geographical area and the
23 number of troops under command, and hence, why it was
24 called the Vitez Brigade. It was approximately a
25 brigade area, and the term "brigada" was used by the
1 HVO themselves.
2 Q. Since you mentioned this, you're aware that
3 the surrounding brigades in places around Vitez had a
4 name usually taken from history, of a historical
5 figure, and it was only the Viteska Brigade, as you
6 called it, was officially called the Viteska Brigade,
7 the brigade belonging to town of Vitez. Can we agree
8 on that?
9 A. That's very interesting. I wasn't aware of
10 that, no.
11 Q. Thank you. Since you had to use the services
12 of an interpreter, did you ever have the problem of the
13 two terms being confused, the Vitezovi and the Viteska
14 Brigade, as the root word is the same?
15 A. No, the interpreters we employed were both
16 Croat Muslim, and in Dobrila's case, Serbian, and the
17 Vitezovi was a significant name which everybody was
18 familiar with, and so there was no danger of confusion
19 on that particular issue.
20 Q. Thank you. I have several questions
21 regarding the patients who were transferred from Stari
22 Vitez that you referred to. Towards the end of the
23 cross, you said that they had been held in the basement
24 of a building. Do you know where the reserve position
25 was of the medical centre, in a basement of a building
1 in the very centre of town? Did you ever have occasion
2 to visit it?
3 A. Yes, sir, I took several casualties there
4 during a mortar attack on one particular occasion.
5 That's correct.
6 Q. Is this the place you're referring to when
7 you say that those two people were detained there?
8 A. My recollection is not as such, no, but
9 it's -- my recollection is not particularly good about
10 that particular issue. It could have been, but I do
11 have distinct memory that one of them was being held in
12 a cellar area of some description.
13 Q. And the other one was at home?
14 A. I can't recall where the second one was.
15 They were held separately. One of them might have
16 actually been held in the hospital, but one was
17 definitely held in a cellar. I can picture it now.
18 Q. Apart from this medical centre that you said
19 you visited, were there any other medical facilities in
20 Vitez that were operational at the time in the town
22 A. There was the hospital church at Nova Bila,
23 but that's not part of Vitez.
24 Q. That's Nova Bila, but not in the town itself?
25 A. The one I'm familiar with is the one that was
1 underneath the -- I think it's like a shopping arcade,
2 underneath, down in what looked like some cleared-out
3 cellars. It was an improvised medical centre for
4 treating people in Vitez, and a lot of medical
5 treatment was given there to the local people which ...
6 Q. So in fact that was a cellar, a basement?
7 A. Not the likes of which I'm thinking about.
8 It was very large, open, white painted, with pillars
9 inside it. I have quite a distinct recollection about
10 that particular type of building.
11 Q. With windows at the top, level with the
12 ground, if you can recollect that?
13 A. That's correct, yes.
14 I do also recall that initially, when the two
15 Muslims were taken from the ICRC, I visited them in the
16 Nova Bila hospital initially, if my memory serves me
17 correctly, where they were initially checked by the
18 medical and surgical staff at Nova Bila hospital and it
19 was 28 -- 48 hours later that I revisited one of them,
20 one of -- the other one could have been kept in the
21 medical facility we were referring to in Vitez but my
22 recollection is vague, to say the least.
23 Q. Mr. Whitworth, since you mentioned the Nova
24 Bila hospital, can it be said to have been in good
1 A. I think it was an outstanding achievement by
2 the local medical staff who'd erected a hospital
3 there. It was far from ideal. They were working under
4 very difficult circumstances, and treated a lot of
5 casualties and did a lot of good work there. Hence
6 our -- my involvement in trying to secure regular
7 evacuation from the area. They were working under very
8 difficult circumstances there and were poorly equipped,
9 despite help from us in the ICRC, to deal with the
10 number and the nature of some of the casualties that
11 they received.
12 Q. Let us go back to the exchange. Actually,
13 the agreement on one exchange between the two parties
14 had already been underway when this request of the Red
15 Cross appeared for these two patients, and through your
16 mediation, you heard and understood that an exchange
17 had already been negotiated, hadn't you?
18 A. That's not -- not as far as I remember. My
19 recollection is that I'd been taken to see a family
20 whose three sons, age range from 10 to 14 years, had
21 been captured by the BiH whilst involved in some
22 farming or collection activity. Commander Cerkez
23 appealed to me to try and identify the whereabouts of
24 these three children. I went to -- I was allowed
25 passage to Kruscica to do so. I visited the three
1 boys. I think the ICRC had also visited them, and then
2 at some point during the proceedings before we'd
3 managed to secure an exchange, these two people were --
4 two Muslims were removed from the ICRC one particular
5 evening as they were departing Stari Vitez and
6 subsequently when I talked with commander Cerkez and
7 the local authorities with reference to them releasing
8 these two people who were chronically ill in one case
9 back into the hands of the ICRC stating quite clearly
10 that what they had done was unacceptable. What was
11 offered to me was to secure the exchange and release of
12 these three young boys and then the two members taken
13 from the ICRC would be released. That's my
14 recollection. That's not quite what transpired or
15 nearly didn't transpire towards the end when on the day
16 that I actually had arranged the exchange.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] May I ask the
19 usher for his assistance for us to distribute a
21 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. The English translation is on the second
25 page. When you look at the date, which you couldn't
1 see before, does it correspond, does this jog your
2 memory? I should like to draw your attention to the
3 persons mentioned under 6, 7, and 8, with the date of
4 birth indicated. Could they be the boys you are
5 referring to?
6 A. They could indeed, sir, yes. I would think
7 that they are, bearing in mind the ages. That
8 corresponds with my recollection.
9 Q. This is a document that you did not have
10 occasion to see during those contacts and negotiations
11 when you were trying to agree on the exchange?
12 A. No, sir, I haven't seen this before.
13 Q. In your testimony, you mentioned Mr. Borislav
14 Jozic, who was killed and whom you described as an
15 honourable person who was held in high esteem. Did you
16 have occasion to meet or hear about Stipo Krizanac?
17 A. In all likelihood, I did meet him, but I
18 don't have any recollection. I met an awful lot of
19 people whilst I was out there, and it being so long
20 ago, my recollection of names is just the key figures,
21 limited to the key personnel whom I saw on a very
22 regular basis or who were obviously key to the
23 functioning of the BritBat unit.
24 Q. Yes, of course, understandably so. I was
25 just checking to see whether perhaps you still
1 remembered the name.
2 I should now like to go on to the issue of
3 Grbavica, even though it has been discussed at length,
4 but I have only a few brief questions for the sake of
6 Can we agree that the described position of
7 the ABiH army at Grbavica, in military terms, was of
8 strategic importance for the very forces that wanted to
9 have control of the road running through the valley
10 between the town and Bila?
11 A. Yes. It is of strategic importance, yes.
12 Q. You were aware that until Grbavica fell, that
13 is, until the HVO captured Grbavica, the only route
14 going from the town towards the hospital at Nova Bila,
15 for instance, was a roundabout dirt road rather than
16 the main road?
17 A. Yes. It would have been the road round back
18 of Mose.
19 Q. That was a dirt road, wasn't it? Most of it
20 did not have an asphalt cover?
21 A. No. It was regularly transited by the likes
22 of myself in a Land Rover. It was easily passable.
23 But having said that, to be fair, it wouldn't be the
24 sort of place that you would want to send an ambulance,
25 if you could avoid it, but --
1 Q. Thank you. Immediately after Grbavica was
2 captured, could you just help me to see whether you
3 recollect the fact that on the 8th of September, in the
4 morning, a group of the civilian police started
5 working, touring houses and making a record of what
6 they found after the capture? Did you come across
8 They examined the situation to establish the
9 state of affairs after the military had captured it, to
10 establish what supplies there were, et cetera. In
11 their report, they say that they had a meeting with you
12 after having examined the first three houses. Does
13 this remind you of this?
14 A. Yes. I'm fully aware of this, yes.
15 Q. They go on to say that you opposed at the
16 time their continuing their work, but when they came
17 the next day, after quite a bit of talking, it was
18 agreed that a joint group, a mixed group, should do the
19 checking, and the group again consisted of the same
20 civilian police members of the HVO, but there were your
21 men in it, and together they toured a number of
22 buildings and established what they thought were
23 interesting facts; is that correct?
24 A. That is correct, sir, yeah.
25 Q. We can agree that even though the locality
1 was not under the control of the military police during
2 that night, nor under any other organised force,
3 nevertheless even the next day some weapons and
4 ammunition were found and that military positions were
5 evident, such as trenches, defence positions, sniper
6 nests, et cetera; would you agree with that?
7 A. No, sir, I wouldn't.
8 Q. So some weapons and ammunition were not
10 A. They were, sir, only to the same extent as
11 you would expect to find in any Croat or Muslim or
12 Serbian residence. There was one or two -- there was
13 one house that had several arms in that, and if you
14 wish, I can explain the situation that led to the
15 discovery of those weapons. That would probably
16 clarify the matter.
17 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours, I'm sorry, I
18 don't have a translation of this document because I was
19 able to locate it only during the weekend. Of course,
20 I would be happy to provide a translation
22 JUDGE MAY: Well, does it assist us at all,
23 Mr. Kovacic? Does it take the case any further
25 MR. KOVACIC: I think, yes, it is only for
1 the practical reasons it would be good to have it with
2 the same evidence which were introduced with one
3 witness, but of course it could be --
4 JUDGE MAY: Let's not waste any more time.
5 Have it put on the ELMO, please, and we'll see what it
6 says. Could the usher put it on the ELMO, please.
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I really have
8 no further questions in connection with this. All the
9 questions in this regard have already been put. The
10 document is regrettably only in the Croat language.
11 JUDGE MAY: Can we get it so we can see the
12 top? What is it supposed to be, Mr. Kovacic?
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] This is a
14 report. It has a number and it has a date, the 10th of
15 September, and one can see from the heading that this
16 is the HVO of Vitez. The signature on the third page
17 shows that the document was signed by the commander of
18 the uniform police, a certain Kresimir Garic. The
19 stamp shows that this is the police station in Vitez.
20 JUDGE MAY: Well, what I suggest we do is
21 that you get it translated, and then in due course you
22 can apply to have it put it in as an exhibit when it is
24 Thank you. That's all, as far as the exhibit
25 is concerned. Have you much more for this witness,
2 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I'm sure I could
3 be finished before 4.00.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Whitworth, we saw quite
5 a few photographs, and you said that you took quite a
6 few of them as well. Let's be quite clear on this.
7 Cerkez is not on a single one of these photographs;
9 A. I'm assuming that we've changed and you
10 didn't want an explanation to your earlier question
11 about the document.
12 JUDGE MAY: I wouldn't go back for the
13 moment. If Mr. Nice wants to ask you any questions
14 about it, he can do so.
15 A. All right, Sir. My apologies.
16 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Can you answer the question related to the
18 photographs? Mr. Mario Cerkez is not on a single one
19 of the photographs shown today; right?
20 A. That's correct, sir, yes.
21 Q. Also today we saw quite a few documents,
22 milinfosums. Not in a single one of these documents is
23 Mario Cerkez mentioned, except for one place where you
24 mention the names of the commanders of all the units.
25 But he's not mentioned in any descriptions of events;
2 A. Not in the ones that we've seen, no, sir.
3 Q. What does "no" mean, that you do mention him
4 somewhere in your reports?
5 A. He's mentioned in some milinfo reports, none
6 of which we've seen today. This is only a very brief
7 number of milinfo reports. They were produced normally
8 once, sometimes twice a day, based on whatever was
9 taking place and the level of activity, and it was --
10 the material was condensed down because it was for
11 publication and telexed throughout the Central Bosnian
12 area, so details about local commanders was often
14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Whitworth, please, in respect
15 of convoys, we have quite a bit of material given here
16 in the milinfosum 1043. While you were preparing this
17 testimony, did you see the report of the ECMM in
18 relation to the detention of the convoy?
19 A. I haven't, sir, no.
20 Q. In any of the reports that concern the
21 convoy, did you see Cerkez's name mentioned?
22 A. Sorry. In the ones that we actually wrote?
23 Q. [In English] Correct.
24 A. No.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Thank you. Now Z1087, you
1 had it in front of you. I don't think it's been
2 removed. That is milinfosum number 052. It is Z1087.
3 I don't know which page this was, but I think it's the
4 last page. You give a survey of persons, contacts, and
6 As for the Vitezovi, you mentioned the
7 Vitezovi as a special unit, and in the footnote you
8 said that it's known to exist but no further details
9 known as yet. But today you said that you knew that
10 Darko Kraljevic was commander of this unit, so wouldn't
11 it be natural to mention here that you knew Darko
12 Kraljevic, Colonel Darko Kraljevic? I mean, what is
13 the reason why no names are mentioned here?
14 A. Throughout the tour, we were building a
15 detailed picture of the military and civilian
16 structure. It wasn't very forthcoming from either of
17 the adversaries, and so it took time. This particular
18 milinfo is dated the 20th of June, which is relatively
19 early on. At this particular time, I had had no formal
20 dealings with an organisation of the Vitezovi, though
21 we were aware of their existence because we had seen a
22 badge detailing an organisation of such. I can't
23 remember whether this, date-wise, was before or after
24 the convoy that was trapped in the centre of Vitez, but
25 it was only later that I came to meet, formally, Darko
1 Kraljevic, and he introduced himself as the commander
2 of the Vitezovi to me. That information was not
3 available at this particular time.
4 We weren't in the habit of going up and
5 asking brigade commanders for detailed pictures of
6 their commanders and military structure. We were only
7 interested in that from the point of view of
8 facilitating our U.N. mission. So this was over a
9 period of time.
10 Q. So the core of the matter was that at that
11 point you still did not have a clear picture with
12 regard to the relevant data that you otherwise entered
13 in such documents; is that right?
14 A. We added details as we found them, and then
15 we confirmed them in later reports via other source
16 material and again republished it and corrected it as
17 we updated each particular order of OrBat and military
18 organisation. As I say, it wasn't information easily
19 come by, and we were constantly updating it.
20 Q. I would like to draw your attention to the
21 other footnote on that same page related to the Viteska
22 Brigade. That confirms what you just explained to us.
23 You needed quite a bit of time before you received
24 information, then checked it out, and then only when
25 you were sure, you would enter what you entered; is
1 that correct?
2 A. To the best of our ability, that's what we
3 did, yes.
4 Q. So on this basis, I can conclude that not
5 later than the 20th of June, you knew for sure that the
6 Viteska Brigade was a completely separate new brigade
7 in relation to the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade that
8 previously existed in the area; is that correct?
9 A. No, sir. We had been aware of the existence
10 of the Vitez Brigade effectively since our arrival.
11 Its development had been passed on to us from our
12 predecessors, the Cheshires, and this is just one of
13 the occasions when the intelligence officer sought to
14 keep everybody informed as to what the likes of
15 ourselves and the Colonel would have known on a daily
16 basis, but it generally wasn't known to the rest of the
17 soldiers, so that people could help in building and
18 clarifying the picture as we went along.
19 As to the time scale over which these type of
20 things were published, it varied on the input of
21 information, when we were able to confirm such things.
22 Q. All right. This concerns the unfortunate
23 death of your translator, Dobrila. I have only one
24 question. When this investigations commission was
25 appointed, only one of the investigators who was
1 appointed was from the brigade; is that right? Not the
2 commission, only one person; is that right? Can you
3 remember that?
4 A. I'm not quite -- one person from Vitez
5 Brigade? I can recall there was a representative from
6 the Vitez Brigade. If I remember correctly, there were
7 three, maybe four people involved in the commission and
8 myself, and notably no member representing the ABiH.
9 That's my only recollection.
10 Q. I just wanted to clarify the situation. Only
11 one person from the brigade, regardless of the capacity
12 in which this person was there? It wasn't the entire
14 A. I can't recall it being as so, but neither
15 can I recall it not being as so.
16 Q. Thank you. Then finally you said, and you
17 explained why, that you could not have agreed with that
18 report. Did you yourself learn some other facts,
19 except for the assessment that you gave us, that showed
20 to you that the conclusion of the commission on the
21 infiltration of the ABiH soldiers was impossible, or
22 was this just the result of your analysis, what you
23 told us, that is?
24 A. My analysis, and that of the BritBat military
25 policemen, was that the firing point was quite clearly
1 on the HVO territory. My frustration was with the fact
2 that the HVO representatives in the commission denied
3 any possibility whatsoever that it could have been a
4 Croat or HVO soldier responsible for it, and as far as
5 they were concerned, their only explanation was that it
6 must have been a BiH soldier responsible who had moved
7 across no man's land, taken a shot, and moved back.
8 Our frustration was that we were just intent
9 on bringing somebody to justice. From whichever side
10 that came was irrelevant. We wanted somebody to be
11 held responsible for it so it didn't happen -- to
12 prevent it happening again.
13 In the absence of any other evidence, and in
14 the presence of the supporting ballistic evidence, it
15 was quite clearly identified from an HVO firing point,
16 and yet there was an utter denial by the HVO commission
17 that any Croat or HVO soldier could have been
18 responsible. There was not even a subsequent inquiry
19 to find out if it was possible that somebody could have
20 been involved. Even though we accepted that there was
21 a small arms exchange and that in all likelihood it had
22 happened by accident, we wanted to bring it to people's
23 attention that that was a U.N. building that had been
24 effectively engaged by both sides and caused the death
25 of a U.N. representative.
1 Q. You explained this to us once again now, but
2 did you ever receive any documents? Did you ever
3 receive any reliable statements from someone to that
4 effect, that the shooting came from the HVO side? I
5 agree with the analysis, but it's an analysis, isn't
7 A. It is, based on first-hand experience and
8 knowledge on the ground.
9 There was a formal report made by the
10 commission that was waved in front of me by Darko
11 Gelic, the liaison officer to whom I think the report
12 was submitted, i.e., to Blaskic, and I said I was
13 unhappy with the conclusion of the commission, as to
14 their explanation, because they denied any possibility
15 that it could have been anybody else other than the
16 BiH, despite the fact that I reiterated to them that we
17 were not interested in --
18 Q. Thank you. A brief question. When you
19 discovered that the BH army had manipulated you, that
20 is to say, that you were bringing military equipment
21 unwittingly into Stari Vitez together with medical
22 supplies, until then there had been a few visits
23 already; is that right?
24 A. That was one of only one or two visits that I
25 made that brought medical supplies, and the number and
1 quantity of medical supplies that I personally brought
2 in was very insignificant and would have only
3 facilitated the moving of small arms ammunition. But
4 there were other movements in and out by the ICRC on an
5 infrequent, irregular basis. I couldn't give you the
6 time scale of that. But as I think I said earlier, we
7 employed liaison officers with the ICRC and the UNHCR
8 to employ --
9 Q. Of course. For you personally, you said this
10 was your first or second time, but then UNPROFOR or,
11 rather, your unit had been there several times to bring
12 in medical supplies; right?
13 A. I couldn't give you a figure, and it was
14 always with my knowledge and permission that they were
15 allowed into the area, so I could keep a rough handle
16 on what was happening in my area of responsibility.
17 Q. Thank you. Let us just confirm the
18 following; it hasn't ever been said quite clearly.
19 Darko Gelic, whom you mentioned a few times,
20 was liaison officer in relation to Colonel Blaskic,
21 from Colonel Blaskic's side.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, that was clear.
23 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry, Sir.
24 Q. [Interpretation] You talked to us quite a bit
25 about communications and equipment. Tell me, please,
1 since you are a specialist in this area and since you
2 had the relevant knowledge with the communications
3 equipment that the BH army had, and you already
4 mentioned it, could they listen to the radio
5 communications of HVO units, in your opinion, on the
6 basis of what you knew they had? Just talking about
7 Stari Vitez. I'm sorry about that.
8 A. The types of radios I saw being used by the
9 ABiH in Stari Vitez, it wouldn't have been possible to
10 listen in to the HVO unless they had the identical same
11 handset, and, even in that case, it required the same
12 frequency fill in order for it to do that. If, on the
13 other hand, they had military-type radios which are
14 simply a frequency-tuning device, as we found they
15 tuned into ours, they would have been able to listen to
16 ours as well as the HVO if they were using VHF or HF
17 communications. But I didn't see any evidence of that
18 in Stari Vitez.
19 Q. VHF?
20 A. Very high frequency.
21 Q. Thank you.
22 Not to waste any time, we saw a picture here
23 where a BH army soldier held a "baby." We know what we
24 are talking about, don't we? Is this a "baby" that was
25 made by the BH side, or was it manufactured by the HVO
1 side, that is to say, this particular example that we
3 A. That was one that had been fired into Stari
4 Vitez and had not gone off. The fuse had obviously
5 been damaged. You can see the damage occurred to it as
6 it had fallen. But they were home-made, improvised
7 devices and therefore not 100 per cent reliable. But
8 that one was manufactured by the HVO.
9 Q. Did you hear about the Muslim side in the
10 conflict manufacturing this same device? It was
11 actually their invention which the HVO had later taken
12 over. Did you have the opportunity of hearing that or
13 seeing that they had a similar weapon?
14 A. I could well believe that's true, but I have
15 no knowledge or experience of that.
16 Q. You mentioned that little anecdote was in
17 connection to Cerkez and Radio Vitez in the sense of
18 propaganda. Please, isn't it customary in any conflict
19 for the parties involved in the conflict to use
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did both sides resort to propaganda in this
23 conflict as well?
24 A. Because of the nature of the geographical
25 area I was working in, I am not familiar with any ABiH
1 form of propaganda as such, but I don't doubt that it
2 took place on a similar basis. Under the -- because of
3 poor communications, rumours were rife and in great
4 abundance, and it was quite easy to spread such
5 propaganda by word of mouth.
6 Q. Thank you. You said at one point that it was
7 difficult at times to distinguish between the regular
8 and irregular units. Could you please tell me whether
9 it was easier, perhaps, to distinguish between regular
10 units? I mean, according to insignia, weapons,
11 whatever, could you distinguish between different
12 regular units of the HVO? Did you know exactly which
13 ones were which?
14 A. It's not always easy to clearly define
15 membership to one unit or another. It depends whether
16 they're wearing any insignia. Unless they were wearing
17 insignia, then we took them to be members of the local
18 geographic militia of that particular area. Those who
19 wore insignia tended to wear it with pride and were
20 usually part of the specialist units. Those were the
21 one that we usually saw worn. Although the HVO militia
22 badge was very commonplace, it wasn't in ample supply
23 so everybody had one, and people obviously -- not
24 everybody was equipped with uniforms.
25 So the short answer would be no, it's not
1 always easy to identify which unit people are
2 affiliated to.
3 Q. Can we say, generally speaking, that these
4 special units -- for example, the Jokeri, the Vitezovi,
5 the Tvrtko units -- were well-armed in terms of the
6 quality and quantity of the weapons they had, as
7 compared to the Viteska Brigade that was poorly armed
8 with dated weapons, et cetera? Would that be a way of
9 making a distinction between them?
10 A. I wouldn't have said the Vitez Brigade were
11 poorly armed with dated weapons. They had modern
12 weapon systems amongst them, but yes, the general rule
13 would be that the specialist units would be better
14 equipped and have a more ample supply of more modern,
15 up-to-date weapons, handguns, automatic machine guns,
16 that type of thing. And examples the likes of which
17 you saw with the sniper rifle; that wouldn't -- it's
18 not the sort of thing that would be found in the Vitez
19 Brigade armoury, as it were, or I wouldn't have thought
21 Q. Thank you.
22 Karlo Grabovac, whom you mentioned as the
23 local commander of the HVO in the territory of Rijeka,
24 that is to say, a member of the brigade, you said that
25 you knew him relatively well and that you had a lot of
1 meetings with him. Would you agree if I say that he
2 was relatively cooperative in his relationship with
4 A. Karlo and I got to know each other very, very
5 well. He was well-liked and respected by the people in
6 his brigade area, and he had a good rapport and
7 relationship with commander Cerkez, and for the most
8 part he was very pleasant and affable. But as far as
9 co-operation was concerned, that was very dependent on
10 what I was trying to achieve at the end of the day.
11 For example, if I wanted to move an aid convoy through
12 to Kruscica, then the answer would be a firm but polite
13 no. As I say, we had several meetings; we got on very
14 well. We drank coffee and Slivovitz together, and I
15 made every effort to get on well with the chap in order
16 to facilitate my movement through the area.
17 Q. Mr. Whitworth, will we agree if I say that he
18 never cheated, that he would never promise you one
19 thing and do another thing? I meant fair-minded in
20 that sense; he was also building a relationship, as you
21 were. Right?
22 A. He was building a relationship; I think
23 that's correct. I can't recall any such instance, in
24 which he said one thing and did another. If he'd been
25 told by commander Cerkez that my movement wasn't to be
1 allowed in a particular area, then he would be polite,
2 but would deny my access as such.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 At one point you said that the HVO was in a
5 way afraid of Kraljevic, if that's the right word; that
6 they had some reservations vis-a-vis Kraljevic. What
7 about the civilians in Vitez? Did they share that
8 feeling? Is that the picture you had?
9 A. To a certain degree, yes. He was seen as a
10 very effective military commander and a local hero as
11 far as the people of Vitez were concerned. But my
12 impression was that he was also a very volatile and
13 unpredictable character, a little bit unstable in some
14 respects, and that the people I spoke to about him were
15 aware of that volatility and that element of
16 unpredictability. But he was still held in high regard
17 as one of the key figures in the Lasva Valley area
18 responsible for their continued safe existence in the
19 Vitez pocket.
20 Q. You said that it seemed that Cerkez and
21 Kraljevic had relatively good relations, but that you
22 saw them together only once, and that you heard on a
23 few occasions that they were somewhere together; is
24 that correct?
25 A. That's correct. So there was --
1 Q. Sorry.
2 A. It was just -- there were two or three
3 occasions when I went to visit commander Cerkez, and I
4 was told by his officers in the cinema building that he
5 was out on the grounds somewhere and unavailable to
6 speak to me. Then I would visit the commanders
7 adjacent to him, and Kraljevic was one of those in the
8 Gornji Vecerska area, and when visiting his
9 headquarters in Gornji Vecerska, there were a couple of
10 occasions when Kraljevic wasn't present, and it was
11 told to me by the people present that he was up
12 country, planning a military activity, and that
13 Cerkez's name was involved alongside.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 Stari Vitez --
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, it is 4.00. How
17 much longer are you going to be now, do you think?
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I actually have
19 another short topic with perhaps two questions.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Not more than
22 three or four minutes.
23 Q. Stari Vitez, we know where it is situated
24 geographically, a narrow valley surrounded by heights
25 to the north and the south. Generally speaking, this
1 whole area of Vitez, the town itself and Stari Vitez,
2 are actually surrounded by BH army units that were
3 holding certain positions, strongholds, overlooking the
4 valley, both to the north and the south; is that
6 A. That's correct, sir. The HVO were at a
7 geographical and tactical disadvantage because of the
8 nature of the terrain.
9 Q. Is it true, in military terms, is it
10 strategically normal for the BH army to try and cut
11 across the valley, at least at one point, and later on
12 in the war that was its aim? Did you come to the same
13 conclusion, as an observer and an analyst of the
15 A. Correct me if I'm wrong: You are saying that
16 it would be advantageous to the BiH to sever the main
17 road across the valley, cut across the valley and sever
18 the main road and the link between Vitez and Busovaca?
19 Q. My question is whether, at any stage during
20 the war, that was one of the aims of the BH army, to
21 sever the valley, to cut across the valley.
22 A. I'm not aware of the specific aims of the
23 ABiH, but from my analysis and from our analysis, it
24 would go a long way to breaking the resolve of the HVO
25 forces in the Lasva Valley if they were then isolated
1 into pockets of Busovaca, Vitez, Travnik. But our
2 suspicions were that the ABiH weren't fully committed
3 to such a military operation, and that from their
4 tactical advantage on the hills, they were effectively
5 doing something very similar without committing a
6 considerable amount of military resources to doing so.
7 Q. And my final question. Can we agree, without
8 going into the details, but generally speaking, that
9 the situation, as time went on through the summer and
10 the autumn, that the situation worsened for the HVO,
11 that the ABiH was gaining in strength and the HVO was
12 losing? Generally speaking, would that be a correct
14 A. I think the HVO and the likes of commander
15 Cerkez and Blaskic were put under increasing pressure
16 because of various ABiH military successes; for
17 example, the fall of Travnik. Obviously their ability
18 to sustain themselves was under threat because of the
19 increasing number of people in an ever decreasingly
20 small area. So yes, they were under a considerable
21 amount of duress and pressure towards the latter half
22 of the tour, of our period of time there.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I have no
24 further questions for this witness, Your Honours.
25 Q. Thank you, Mr. Whitworth.
1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you, Mr. Kovacic.
2 Re-examination by Mr. Nice:
3 Q. Mr. Whitworth, a few questions for
4 monosyllabic answers if you can. Did the HVO offer for
5 Stari Vitez residents to leave with any guarantees to
6 them of return to their property, preservation of
7 property, or any such guarantees?
8 A. No, it came with no such guarantee, sir.
9 Q. You spoke of Kordic being present at the
10 Convoy of Joy at some stage. We may have heard about
11 this from elsewhere, but to identify the time when you
12 saw him, what, if anything, was he doing? In a word,
13 or at most, a sentence.
14 A. I can't -- I couldn't -- I could only say
15 that he was present, and not actually -- I can't recall
16 him actually doing anything other than being --
17 Q. All right. That's all.
18 Milinfosum number 43, please; can you have it
19 in front of you? Two questions about the form of these
21 Paragraph 3, "Comment" is underlined. Before
22 that we have a reference to Kordic being a power, and
23 so on; after that we have a conclusion. Is the format
24 that the material coming before "Comment" is raw
25 material from people on the ground, and that "Comment"
1 is the analysis of the intelligence officer that
2 follows the word "Comment"?
3 A. Yes, sir, the bit before "Comment," in all
4 likelihood, is from me, because I had regular dialogues
5 with Karlo. The bit afterwards is the intelligence
6 officer's assimilation.
7 Q. The second-to-last page on the same document,
8 again, a question of form. If we look up to the
9 second-to-the-last paragraph, for example, where there
10 is a reference to direct personal orders of Dario
11 Kordic, was that a conclusion, or was that information
12 being presented to the intelligence officer?
13 A. Sorry, can you elaborate on which --
14 Q. Second-to-last page, part of the Convoy of
15 Joy summary, second-to-last or third-to-last paragraph,
16 the bit that refers to direct orders of Dario Kordic.
17 Is that analysis or is that intelligence?
18 A. That would have been intelligence, based on
19 comments on the ground, and in all likelihood, was
20 based in part on the comment I made in the general
21 report at the front.
22 Q. Back to the front page, the last question on
23 this document, at the end of paragraph 3, there is
24 reference to human barricades being contrived. Did
25 that fit with, or not, your own observation?
1 A. Yes, it did so, yes.
2 Q. Did the HVO have HIP or any type of
3 helicopters, to your knowledge?
4 A. They used them -- they organised and used
5 them for the casualty evacuations from Kiseljak, so
6 they had -- if they didn't have them, they had access
7 to them, yes.
8 Q. To your knowledge, did they actually own any
9 or have any of their own?
10 A. I'm not aware of the HVO in Vitez
11 having their own access to them.
12 Q. Dealing with the specialist groups, your own
13 military experience, just this question. If specialist
14 groups were working in an area like Vitez, would it, in
15 your judgement, be with -- even if they weren't
16 directly seconded to the local brigade commander, would
17 it be with the knowledge of or/and co-operation of the
18 local commander?
19 A. It would have to be, to ensure any success,
20 or else there would be major organisational problems
21 and a potential blue on blue.
22 Q. People kept in Cerkez's cellar before
23 exchange, were you aware of the conditions, physical or
24 psychological, of any one of those particular people?
25 A. One of them, the one of whom I have a
1 recollection had a chronic illness, something like TB
2 or something like that, was in poor health but was not
3 kept in an adequate medical facility.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I think I should
6 object. The witness never said "Cerkez's cellar."
7 MR. NICE: Sorry.
8 JUDGE MAY: No, I think that's right.
9 MR. NICE: Yes.
10 JUDGE MAY: It was Mr. Nice who claimed that,
11 but I don't think it was supported by the evidence.
12 MR. NICE: So be it.
13 Q. One other point on Cerkez and his position.
14 You've been asked about brigades and brigadiers. Is it
15 sensible to match Cerkez's position with a conventional
16 rank or not?
17 A. He was a brigade commander in their terms,
18 and as I said earlier, he had a similar rank, but he --
19 so we assumed he was a brigade commander. But that is
20 always subordinate to Colonel Blaskic, who was
21 effectively a divisional commander.
22 Q. So that in conventional terms, Blaskic would
23 have held a senior rank to the rank he actually held?
24 A. Absolutely, yeah.
25 Q. Thank you. The document -- no, perhaps just
1 this. You wanted to add something about the joint
2 civil and criminal groups' finding of weapons; you
3 wanted to explain how they found weapons. In a
4 sentence, if it's significant, just tell us.
5 A. On the particular night, the attack on
6 Grbavica, the assault by the HVO was mounted from the
7 barracks side of Grbavica, so they used our barracks as
8 a launch point for the assaults. The houses
9 immediately outside the barracks were actually occupied
10 by the likes of myself and the other liaison officers
11 and were actually Muslim-owned houses that we were
13 That particular night, as we've previously
14 stated on numerous occasions, a lot of the local people
15 held arms, and because of the nature of the assault,
16 all the local Muslims who did a lot of chores around
17 the camp and who lived in the houses outside took
18 shelter in one particular house. They had with them
19 their own personal firearms. There were a couple of
20 local civilians shot and killed in my house personally,
21 and in order to try and defuse the situation, I
22 arranged for their movement to Travnik, to a Muslim
23 area, told them to leave all the weapons where they
24 were, but they claimed they were under the protection
25 of the U.N. because they were actually in U.N.-rented
2 Q. And it was those weapons that were found?
3 A. And it was those weapons that were found.
4 Q. The HVO report, for which we will in due
5 course have a translation, were you aware of that being
6 prepared at the time or not?
7 A. No. I wasn't familiar with the policeman who
8 is a respectable character, and he was quite affable
9 when I informed him of the situation and that we
10 were -- what I was planning to do.
11 MR. NICE: Thank you.
12 That remains only, then, the one exhibit,
13 Your Honour, that I said I would produce. I
14 distributed it just after lunch, I think. May the
15 witness produce the milinfosum for the 15th of
16 September? It will be Z1201,2.
17 Does the witness have it before him? Maybe
18 not. He's the one person who hasn't got it. It's
19 coming. I think the Defence have had it.
20 Under "Vitez," it refers to the HVO issuing
21 the ultimatum to the Muslims in Stari Vitez to leave
22 the area or face the consequences. And in the comment
23 that follows the raw material:
24 "Although less fiercer than their earlier
25 attack on Grbavica, this HVO attack has again met with
1 little response by the BiH. It is becoming apparent
2 that despite Alagic's recent claims, there has still
3 not been any effective BiH counterattack on the Croat
4 pocket. Indeed, the HVO are capitalising on their
5 recent success and continuing to push forward. The
6 reasons for this are many and varied, but it is
7 possible that at present the BiH in the Lasva Valley
8 are more heavily committed elsewhere than originally
10 Thank you very much.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Whitworth, that concludes
12 your evidence. Thank you for coming again to the
13 International Tribunal to give your evidence. You are
14 free to go.
15 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Sir.
16 MR. NICE: If I could have two or three
17 minutes' private session with the Chamber, I would be
18 grateful. If it's straining --
19 JUDGE MAY: Two minutes, two minutes.
20 [Private session]
7 pages 8710-8718 redacted – private session
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
13 4.30 p.m., to be reconvened on
14 Tuesday, the 19th day of October, 1999,
15 at 9.30 a.m.