1 Wednesday, 20th October, 1999
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 IT-95-14/2-T, The Prosecutor versus Dario Kordic and
8 Mario Cerkez.
9 JUDGE MAY: Everybody seems to be standing
11 Mr. Jennings, would you like to take a seat
12 for the moment, please, while we deal with these
13 matters. Yes, Mr. Sayers.
14 MR. SAYERS: Very briefly, Your Honour. The
15 Prosecution was kind enough to send us over last night
16 the final version of the outline of the testimony of
17 this witness, and I would just like to inform the Court
18 that we do not object to the Prosecution leading a
19 large part of the evidence, with the exception of
20 certain specified paragraphs, which I would like to
21 relate to the Court right now, if I may.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
23 MR. SAYERS: 19, 21 to 23, 26 to 40, 42, 43,
24 48 to 53.
25 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
1 Mr. Sayers. Did you say, if I heard well, 26 to 40,
2 from 26 to 40?
3 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 JUDGE MAY: Is there any objection to the
6 witness having a copy of the summary?
7 MR. SAYERS: I don't think so, Your Honour.
8 MR. NICE: May the witness take the solemn
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice,
12 THE COURT: If you would like to take the
13 declaration, Major.
14 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
15 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
17 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a seat
19 WITNESS: PHILIP JENNINGS
20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, there is a small
21 number of exhibit --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
23 MR. NICE: There is a small number of
24 exhibits to be produced by this witness. I've had them
25 put together in chronological order. May they now be
1 distributed to the Chamber.
2 Examined by Mr. Nice:
3 MR. NICE: The Chamber may find it helpful,
4 without otherwise disturbing the selection of exhibits,
5 to look a little over halfway through for a
6 black-and-white, a three-sized map, and possibly to
7 take it out, although it may in due course return to
8 its position in the sequence.
9 JUDGE MAY: Number?
10 MR. NICE: It's 2781,1.
11 The reason I suggest to take it out is this:
12 As you'll hear from the witness, this is part of a map
13 that was provided to him by Mr. Kordic, and he keeps
14 the original of it. It happens to be a very good map
15 in terms of the detail it provides. I've asked the
16 witness, with the help of the usher, to leave the
17 coloured original on the ELMO so that it can, I think,
18 now be seen. It may prove a useful, regular point of
19 reference for us.
20 It's worth noting immediately, that although
21 the map is, I think, thought by the witness to be
22 accurate, it bears different grid lines and different
23 grid line numberings from the other map, with which we
24 are more familiar.
25 Q. Your full name, please?
1 A. Philip Francis Andrew Jennings.
2 Q. And you are presently a Major?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. A career officer?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. With the Cheshire Regiment?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Presently studying within your career for a
9 master of philosophy degree at Newcastle University?
10 A. That is correct.
11 Q. Being deployed in the former Yugoslavia in
12 the early part of 1993, taking command of a company
13 there on the 13th of January?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. The operations area that was your
16 responsibility, can you show it on the ELMO?
17 We'll just check that our video is working.
18 It wasn't working earlier. Your Honour, I don't know
19 if the Court has a picture. We don't.
20 JUDGE MAY: No.
21 THE WITNESS: No.
22 JUDGE MAY: What are they doing? It's
24 MR. NICE: Thank you.
25 A. The map which you can see shows part of the
1 area, of my area of operational responsibility. You
2 can just bring it out more and do a slight refold.
3 Excuse me a moment, please. If I go from west to east,
4 the area of operational responsibility covered past
5 Vitez, which is shown here, up to the town of Travnik,
6 past it to Turbe, which was actually the front line
7 between the opposing forces at the time and down to a
8 place called Novi Travnik. Through Vitez itself, down
9 towards a bridge which I called the Kaonik Bridge, and
10 then going south on this road through Busovaca, and
11 down on that road to where it met Sarajevo just south
12 of Kiseljak. A mountain road going over the top to the
13 town of Zenica and the road which went from the Kaonik
14 Bridge through a place called Luke, which then -- it's
15 just off the map here -- looped around and was the main
16 approach route to Zenica.
17 That, and just off the road, were the main
18 areas of my responsibility.
19 Q. Was the UNPROFOR mission to support UNHCR in
20 the delivery of humanitarian aid?
21 A. Yes, the UNPROFOR mission was to conduct
22 operation in support of UNHCR in order to -- that being
23 the key; those are the key words: deliver humanitarian
24 aid. And it was up to us to interpret at that mission
25 to ensure that that aid was delivered.
1 Q. Very well. Incidentally, Major Jennings, the
2 reason I pause is to ensure that interpreters catch
4 Were there two main approaches, one from
5 Mostar via Busovaca and the second via Prozor and
6 Gornji Vakuf?
7 A. That is correct. These were the two main
8 supply routes from the coast.
9 Q. Your commanding officer was Colonel Stewart.
10 With his approval, although you were commanding a
11 company, did you carry out certain liaison officer
12 functions, concentrating those functions on Busovaca,
13 Kacuni -- and if you want to point them out as I speak
14 them, do -- Busovaca, Kacuni --
15 A. Just a moment. I'll move the map again.
16 Q. Thank you. Merdani?
17 A. So Busovaca, Kacuni [Indicating].
18 Q. Merdani, and Katici, the purpose of these
19 liaison functions being to learn about local commanders
20 on both sides, HVO and ABiH, and pursuant to what the
21 army calls an implied task to negotiate with them?
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. Although you were performing some of these
24 liaison functions, the official liaison officers at the
25 time were Martyn Forgrave, for Novi Travnik and
1 Travnik, and Matthew Dundas-Whatley for Zenica?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. Did you meet the BiH commanders, Kulenovic
4 for Travnik, Refik Lendo for Novi Travnik; the HVO
5 commander, Colonel Filipovic?
6 A. I did.
7 Q. And on the 20th of January, at a meeting
8 attended by Forgrave, did Kulenovic inform you that the
9 situation in Travnik was tense, such that a small
10 incident could spark off a Muslim/Croat clash?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. And you or all of you assessed this as being
13 probably a genuine depiction of the position?
14 A. That is what we felt at the time.
15 Q. The HVO had a checkpoint on the main
16 Travnik/Novi Travnik junction -- which you can just
17 identify for us, if it's shown on that map --
18 A. I think it's just --
19 Q. It's just off, is it?
20 A. It's just off the map.
21 Q. We know it, in any event; we're familiar with
22 that -- which was reinforced with HVO soldiers and a
23 twin 30-millimetre gun mounted on a flat-bed truck?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. On the 21st of January, in Vitez, at a
1 conference, was it stated that the ABiH had set up a
2 new checkpoint in Busovaca, and this was interpreted as
3 an increase in tension; and that day or night, were
4 there eight explosions recorded within the Muslim
5 enclave, the HVO having set up checkpoints at either
6 end of the town?
7 A. That is correct. All of this was reported at
8 the daily 5.00 conference by the milinfo section, which
9 I remember at the time.
10 Q. You travelled to Tuzla on the 22nd, returning
11 on the 24th of January, to discover that the situation
12 in Kacuni was serious, two Croats having been killed
13 when a gun was fired at their vehicle which had slipped
14 into a convoy?
15 A. That is correct.
16 Q. You heard of this, I think, from the adjutant
17 who had gone to Kiseljak?
18 A. I heard it on the high-frequency net on my
19 Land Rover, and I listened to the reports, as did
20 everyone else on the net, as they were coming in, as
21 the situation unfolded.
22 Q. You went to collect the bodies and assessed
23 that in the two days you'd been away, tension in the
24 area had risen from tolerable to high?
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. Were you informed of a lorry placed across
2 the road at Kacuni by Muslims?
3 A. I was informed of this on the evening of the
4 24th of January at the time that I was tasked to go out
5 and collect or to supervise the collection of the two
6 Croat bodies.
7 Q. And when you got to the junction -- which you
8 might point out for us --
9 A. The junction in question, please?
10 Q. Yes. Sorry. You headed on the road south to
11 Busovaca to get to Kacuni, and I think at a T-junction,
12 you came across a firefight?
13 A. That's correct. This was very early on the
14 morning of the 25th. I was informed that the lorry,
15 which contained logs, had been placed across the road
16 -- in the headquarters in Vitez I was informed of
17 this, but we decided not to actually go out until first
18 light on the morning of the 25th, and the incident in
19 question took place here [indicates], at this
20 T-junction, where there was a bridge. The name place
21 is Kaonik.
22 And the firefight was intense, an intense
23 amount of single machine-gun fire, and quite a large
24 number of soldiers on either side of the river.
25 Q. You returned to Vitez to discuss the
1 situation with Colonel Stewart; both of you headed for
2 Kacuni the same day, to discover buildings on the main
3 northern approach to Busovaca on fire, the evidence
4 suggesting a hurried departure by residents: For
5 example, laundry was smouldering, left outside
6 smouldering, along with houses that were burning;
7 things like that?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. Busovaca had been subject to explosion and
10 fire, recent explosion and fire, and your assessment
11 was that explosions had occurred there prior to the
12 outbreak of fighting on the 24th of January; you
13 discovered new roadblocks, manned by the HVO, which it
14 was not possible to bypass, one at the north and one at
15 the south of the town?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. As recently as the 11th to the 16th of
18 January, you having travelled the same area and found
19 it safe to travel in a single armoured Land Rover?
20 A. That's correct.
21 A point worth making is that we felt safe
22 travelling in a Land Rover on its own, and we had clear
23 guidelines as to what type of vehicle could go out on
24 the road, whether it was a Warrior or a Land Rover,
25 whether it could go on its own or in pairs, dependent
1 on the assessed situation and how dangerous it was
2 deemed to be. And at that time, between the 11th and
3 the 16th, there was free movement of single vehicles.
4 Q. On the 25th of January, did you, in convoy
5 with Colonel Stewart, reach Kacuni --
6 A. Yes, I did.
7 Q. -- stopping some 40 metres short of the
8 bridge to discover that a lorry with flattened tires
9 blocked the road to anyone approaching from the north?
10 If you would just like to indicate again on the map,
11 and I'll read on.
12 A. [Indicates]
13 Q. Could you see HVO soldiers who had moved into
14 buildings no more than two to three hundred metres away
15 in the northern outskirts of Kacuni, and some time
16 later, did then-Brigadier Cordy-Simpson arrive from the
17 south, he, with Colonel Stewart, negotiating the
18 removal of the lorry, which was eventually removed; but
19 during this time, did you see HVO soldiers move into
20 position with a Wombat-type weapon which the HVO then
21 fired directly at civilian houses in Kacuni with very
22 destructive effect, the houses being targeted
23 effectively for summary destruction, there being no
24 justification for the military action taken, apart from
25 a single and apparently accidental or negligent
1 discharge of one rifle by one ABiH soldier in the area?
2 A. Yes, that is the opinion that I made.
3 JUDGE MAY: What is a Wombat type of weapon?
4 A. Your Honour, the expression is actually the
5 description of a weapon that was in the British armed
6 services when I first joined, but I was subsequently
7 shown pictures of types of weapons, and I identified it
8 as a ZIS-2. This is a wheeled, long-barrelled
9 anti-tank weapon.
10 Q. If the Court would turn now to its bundle of
11 exhibits, and if you'd just look at them again with
12 us. The first one is a map which has been marked,
13 which we can probably put on one side. It was marked
14 by you on an earlier occasion, I think?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And identifies various places. I'll
17 endeavour to remember to deal with it right at the end
18 of your evidence, see if there is anything we've
20 Does the second sheet, Exhibit 862,2, show
21 the ZIS-2 Wombat type weapon to which you've referred?
22 A. Yes, that is the weapon which I identified.
23 Q. Paragraph 12. Did you intend to accompany
24 Colonel Stewart to Kiseljak, but for mechanical reasons
25 had to stay for some eight hours before your Warrior
1 vehicle could move, and during that time was there
2 intense fighting consistent and increasing, or
3 increased between the HVO and the ABiH until
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. On the following day, the 26th of January,
7 did you return to Kacuni to see the commander, on
8 instructions to clear the bridge, knowing in advance
9 that it would not have been cleared because the dispute
10 had not been resolved? Was there a large explosion
11 next to your vehicle, which skidded across or off the
12 road? Did you find the lorry still blocking the road,
13 and were the BiH refusing to move it, saying that they
14 anticipated an attack? Colonel Stewart arrived with
15 the 3rd Corps Deputy Commander Merdan, an agreement was
16 reached that BritBat would man the bridges as an U.N.
17 checkpoint, allowing only U.N. and ICRC vehicles to
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. You stayed at the bridge with the ABiH
21 Commander Sabit, who told you that they were expecting
22 an HVO offensive, three rounds of heavy artillery
23 exploded some 10 metres from you, only half an hour
24 after Colonel Stewart's departure, and one Warrior,
25 indeed, was hit from high ground to the north of Kacuni
1 by machine-gun fire?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. Were you able to judge, from your experience,
4 the gauge of artillery?
5 A. Using my experience in training, I was able
6 to judge it was on or around at least 120 millimetre,
7 because I had observed at close quarters such type of
8 fire during training.
9 Q. Were there any obvious military targets in
10 this area? Was there any need for the HVO to use
11 military force in this area?
12 A. Whilst there were some BiH in the houses, and
13 this is the north end of Kacuni next to the bridge
14 where we had established a checkpoint, there were no
15 obvious defensive and certainly no obvious offensive
16 positions. And in my opinion, I felt that the use of
17 such heavy indirect fire, weapons, was not justified.
18 Q. What did you judge to be the intended
20 A. As is related in my testimony, when I
21 actually first arrived on the morning of the 26th,
22 there was an explosion next to my Warrior as I
23 approached the bridge, which caused me to skid off the
24 road. Following the three rounds of artillery fire,
25 again related in my testimony, the indirect fire
1 actually continued for an hour or so, of an intensive
2 nature, falling on or around my positions. I had four
3 Warriors with me. I drew the conclusion that I was
4 probably the target of this artillery fire.
5 Q. Did you think that there were no Muslims
6 residing in the houses which you'd seen being
7 destroyed, identifying them nevertheless as Muslim
8 because of their four-sided as opposed to ridged-roof
9 structure? The damage to these houses effected by
10 long-range artillery and Wombat-type small-calibre
11 anti-tank weapon that we've seen being fired at a range
12 of a few hundred metres had some Croat houses,
13 apparently, being caught and incidentally damaged, none
14 actually showing signs of being targeted?
15 A. I saw no Croat-styled houses being targeted
16 by this ZIS-2 weapon. I observed firing on the 25th of
18 Q. You identify in your summary that it was at
19 Proscica, north of Busovaca-Kacuni road, that you had
20 actually seen the gun being fired?
21 A. That is correct. It was positioned about 50
22 to 60 metres off the main road, but clearly visible.
23 Q. The ABiH, to your knowledge, had no artillery
24 pieces in the area, and prior to the shelling, from the
25 25th to the 29th of January, had you seen one artillery
1 piece in Busovaca belonging to the HVO, a
2 long-barrelled weapon folded and ready to be moved?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Did you deem the use of artillery totally --
5 on Kacuni to be totally unwarranted, and with your
6 knowledge of the way armies operate, did you assess
7 that instructions for such a shelling could not have
8 come from a junior, but must have come from a senior
9 commander, not least because the HVO artillery had
10 limited artillery fire power, and a decision to deploy
11 limited resources could not have been taken at a junior
13 A. That was my opinion.
14 Q. Now, what you observed was at a time when it
15 was dangerous to get out of the vehicle, but despite
16 that, were you able to make an assessment, based on
17 experience, of where the artillery was being fired
19 A. I was able to make a rough assessment, and I
20 must stress, a rough assessment. This was based on
21 specific training that I had received, which I could go
22 into detail if you wished.
23 Q. For the time being, can we have the
24 conclusion, in case the matter is not challenged, and
25 then we needn't trouble. What was your conclusion as
1 to this source of the artillery?
2 A. I believed that it was coming from the north,
3 northwest from the area of Busovaca itself.
4 Q. However, just tell us this: As part of your
5 method of assessing the source of the artillery, did
6 you look at the craters left by artillery shells?
7 A. When I felt it was safe to do so, I got out
8 of my vehicle and inspected the craters.
9 Q. Was Lieutenant Fooks an officer reporting to
11 A. Lieutenant Fooks was directly under my
12 command in C company. He was my troop commander.
13 Q. Did he have any particular skills?
14 A. Yes, he did. He commanded a light
15 reconnaissance troop, one of whose roles is to go out
16 and seek out information. Part of this training is to
17 be able to make a rough assessment of the likely
18 direction of incoming artillery or mortar fire.
19 Q. Did he report to you on his conclusions about
20 the source of this incoming artillery fire?
21 A. That is correct. When I returned to Vitez,
22 as I did as regularly as I could during this three- to
23 four-day period starting from the 25th of January, he
24 had been out on the ground in the rough area carrying
25 out some information duties and had observed this
1 artillery fire and reported to me his conclusion.
2 Q. Which were?
3 A. He believed that he was able to hear the
4 sounds of either artillery or mortar fire actually
5 going off and took a compass bearing towards it. He
6 was able to observe from where he was the artillery or
7 mortar fire landing. He also timed the time of flight,
8 and from this was able to make out a rough assessment
9 of where he felt the fire had come from and gave me a
10 grid square, one square kilometre.
11 Q. Which was where?
12 A. Just to the northwest of Busovaca.
13 Q. Is it convenient to show that on this map?
14 A. I can show the rough area on this map, but I
15 believe that the area is actually on the map that you
16 referred to, which was the first exhibit.
17 Q. Let's take the first exhibit, lay that on the
19 A. It relates to these four lines of writing
20 here where I've put in a grid square. And there is an
21 arrow, and going to the right of that, pointing to the
22 grid square, which is an area to the northwest of
24 Q. Thank you. The distance from Busovaca to
25 Kacuni being about how far?
1 A. In that area, if that was the area, about
2 five-and-a-half kilometres.
3 Q. Whoever was in Busovaca at the time, in your
4 experience, would they have been aware of this use of
6 JUDGE MAY: I am not sure that we are going
7 to be helped by evidence of that sort. Anybody is
8 going to be aware that artillery is firing if they are
9 near it.
10 MR. NICE: Yes. So be it.
11 Q. This artillery firing went on for how long?
12 A. Sporadically, it went on for two to three
13 days, commencing the 25th of January.
14 Q. Thank you very much. Paragraph 26, please.
15 On the 26th of January were you patrolling in
16 Donji Polje? Please mark it on whichever map you find
17 convenient. If you find it convenient, mark it on this
19 A. It's not marked on this map, but the rough
20 area --
21 Q. It may be convenient to go to the larger
22 scale map.
23 A. It is okay with this one that I am showing
25 Q. We can see it, I think, on our own versions
1 because it's been highlighted for us. Thank you.
2 Was that a predominantly Muslim village where
3 you saw two or three HVO soldiers identified by
4 chequerboard red and white patches in camouflage
5 uniform walking out of a Muslim house which, some five
6 minutes later, you saw to be on fire, the location of
7 the house being between Donji Polje and Kacuni? And in
8 that area were some 40 houses over approximately 800
9 metres, houses that had been systemically burned
10 between the 26th and the 29th of January, there being
11 no ABiH in that region, was your conclusion that the
12 burning must have been by HVO?
13 A. That is correct. The incident is something I
14 personally observed. That is related in my testimony.
15 I had been briefed on the architecture of houses and
16 told that a four-sided roof was a Muslim style. That
17 is where I drew my conclusion. And that it was in the
18 course of patrolling along that specific stretch of
19 road that I saw the steady destruction of these
20 houses. I may not have actually observed every single
21 one being set fire to in the same way, but I did see
22 the end results as I returned every so often each day
23 over several days. And I can say categorically that
24 there were no BiH in that area, none whatsoever. None
1 Q. Without looking at your summary, please, just
2 help us now in relation to the 27th of January. Did
3 you on that day return to the bridge?
4 A. I did, as I did every day during that
6 Q. What did you see of the BiH, if anything?
7 A. Well, during that period there were very few,
8 I would say probably no more than about 20 to 30, in
9 individual houses. They were a variety of ages. They
10 were only lightly armed. In fact, I only saw one small
11 anti-tank weapon during that period. This is what I
12 would describe as a light anti-tank weapon which is
13 placed on the shoulder. I remember it clearly because
14 it was pointed at me, on the first day I went up to the
15 log lorry itself. But other weapons ranged from
16 Kalashnikovs to shotguns.
17 Q. Where was the BiH command at that time, or in
18 that locality?
19 A. I discovered that the actual headquarters,
20 the name of which I later learnt to be 333 Brigade, was
21 to the south-southwest of where the roadblock had been
22 established and where we had placed a Warrior as a
23 U.N. checkpoint.
24 Q. Efforts to meet the officer in command led to
25 your meeting whom?
1 A. I was introduced to a person who was
2 described as a deputy commander. I know that probably
3 his first name was Edin, without referring to my notes.
4 Q. Right. It may be the name is not challenged;
5 if not, I'll lead it: Veganovic?
6 A. Yes, that's correct.
7 Q. And via him, to whom?
8 A. To the commander himself, whose name, without
9 recollection, I can't recall at the moment, but was
10 clearly the commander of 333 Brigade BiH.
11 Q. Again, if there is no challenge, I'll put the
12 name to you: Anto Sliskovic?
13 A. Anto Sliskovic was not -- was -- may I --
14 JUDGE MAY: Unless there is any objection --
15 is there any objection to these names?
16 MR. SAYERS: Absolutely none, Your Honour.
17 JUDGE MAY: No. Let's --
18 MR. NICE:
19 Q. He was the assistant commander; is that
21 A. Of the HVO.
22 Q. Yes. And you met also Marko Prskalo?
23 A. Of the HVO, described to me as a staff
25 Q. And you actually met these, I think, or you
1 met Sliskovic the following day at DutchBat
2 headquarters in Busovaca; is that right?
3 A. It took some time to establish who was who
4 during this period, and I did this mainly with the help
5 of the Dutch transport battalion, which were based just
6 south of Busovaca, my intention being to establish who
7 was in charge locally on each side, to try and bring
8 them together to resolve the dispute.
9 Q. Now, at a meeting with Sliskovic, were things
10 said which you interpreted as some form of promise or
12 A. Certainly not a promise, but the atmosphere
13 in the room where I brought together representatives of
14 both sides -- I would describe the BiH representative
15 as a -- definitely a junior deputy commander. The
16 atmosphere from Sliskovic was definitely threatening.
17 I had an interpreter, a very good interpreter, next to
18 me who conveyed exactly what was being said, and the
19 mood, which I could see myself, and the remarks were
20 certainly not helping the situation, which was to
21 establish a sensible discussion between the two sides.
22 Q. Was something said about civilians detained
23 at Kaonik?
24 A. One of the things which had been said by both
25 sides was the business of people -- civilians being
1 detained. At that meeting, Sliskovic did admit that
2 some Muslims were being held in a camp near Kaonik, and
3 I was able to establish through my milinfo section that
4 there were about 300 of these.
5 Q. And were these people civilians, or military?
6 A. They were civilians.
7 Q. Was anything said at this meeting by
8 Sliskovic about the Kacuni shelling which you had seen?
9 A. Yes, I clearly remember, it was the only
10 occasion I really brought the subject up about the
11 shelling, which certainly made a powerful impact on
12 me. I inquired why the area had been shelled, and
13 Sliskovic stated that that area where we were had been
14 shelled by the BiH. And I made the comment at the time
15 that I thought it was a ridiculous thing to say.
16 Q. By this stage, had you met Dario Kordic?
17 A. If we're relating to meetings which took
18 place on and around 28, 29, 30 January, no.
19 Q. And just yes or no: Was anything said at
20 these meetings in relation to Kordic?
21 A. No.
22 Q. So the penultimate sentence of paragraph 21
23 is slightly out of order, and I'll return to it later.
24 In due course, I think you were to form a view about
25 the relationship between Sliskovic and Kordic, but at
1 this stage, it was too early to form such a view?
2 A. Yes. My views were on the basis of what I
3 observed over following weeks, going through February.
4 Q. Next exhibit, please, and the 30th of
5 January. Tell us about this document --
6 A. I have to remove this.
7 Q. -- swiftly.
8 A. This was a document that was --
9 Q. Just going -- before you speak --
10 A. I beg your pardon.
11 Q. Not at all. I'm just going to inform the
12 Court, most of this document, but not quite all of it,
13 has been produced as Defence Exhibit 54/1.
14 Yes, Major.
15 A. This was a document in English, and also in
16 translation, with signatures, which related to a
17 meeting that was held at the school at Bila, the
18 headquarters of U.N. BritBat, chaired by
19 Lieutenant-Colonel Bob Stewart, my commanding officer,
20 on the 30th of January. The significant thing about it
21 is that it details the terms and conditions that were
22 agreed, and that a ceasefire should take place.
23 Q. As to the Kacuni checkpoint, by whom was that
24 to be manned?
25 A. This actually had been agreed on the 25th of
1 January, so therefore it had already been in place.
2 This was the sixth day it had been in place. It was
3 something that was agreed on the ground by Merdan, that
4 the log lorry would be removed if we actually placed a
5 Warrior on that bridge to control the flow of U.N.
6 traffic only, or associated ICRC.
7 Q. The second sheet of this exhibit has the
8 signatures of various people, self-explanatory. The
9 third sheet, which is new to the Chamber, has the
10 printed list of those present -- not printed, the
11 written list of those present at the peace
12 negotiations; is that correct?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 On the 28th of January, did you learn of a
16 DutchBat report concerning Muslim prisoners? Again,
17 don't read from the summary, if you would be so good;
18 just tell us about it.
19 MR. SAYERS: Just an objection to that, in
20 the absence of laying a proper foundation that this is
21 just first-hand rather than several times removed, Your
23 JUDGE MAY: If the witness read the report,
24 he can tell us about it.
25 A. Sorry, can I be clear to exactly what you're
1 relating to, please?
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. Yes. There were some Muslim prisoners
4 referred to in a DutchBat report, and you yourself may
5 have seen some Muslim prisoners?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. Now, before we move on, did you yourself read
8 the report from DutchBat?
9 A. The report was a verbal report. It was
10 delivered to me in the car park of the Dutch battalion
11 transport headquarters, where I happened to be at the
12 time, and therefore my presence there was
13 coincidental. I was happening to, as it were, be doing
14 my rounds.
15 Q. And --
16 A. And I was given a report of a number, 10 to
17 15 Muslims who were being forced to dig graves in a
18 local graveyard with HVO soldiers standing over them.
19 Q. Did this accord with any observations that
20 you had already made or were thereafter to make?
21 A. Well, having located the area of the
22 graveyard in question, in answer to your question,
23 having located the area, I did not observe them in the
24 actual act of digging graves with HVO soldiers standing
25 over them. This is what had been stated to me by Dutch
1 transport battalion personnel. But I did see Muslim
2 civilians standing around, about 10 or 15, with HVO
3 soldiers with weapons nearby.
4 To go on to answer your question, yes, I did
5 see other instances of Muslim civilians, specifically
6 an incident that took place on the southern approach to
7 the Kaonik bridge. I can't give a precise date, but it
8 will have been at that time, where I observed them
9 digging trenches. There was a -- what was clear to me,
10 a trench system, and they were digging them with armed
11 HVO soldiers standing over them. And I can recall at
12 least one elderly person there, an elderly man;
13 possibly a woman as well.
14 Q. Thank you. And the arms that the HVO had,
15 what type?
16 A. These were Kalashnikov rifles, slung over
17 their shoulder.
18 Q. Can you please point out, on whichever map
19 you find convenient, either the place where you saw
20 people that related to the DutchBat complaint or the
21 other incident to which you have referred?
22 A. In relation to where I saw Muslims after
23 having been told that they were being made to dig
24 graves, it was actually adjacent to a graveyard to the
25 northeast, the northeast area of Busovaca, around here
1 [Indicates]. There were actually two or three
2 graveyards, and I actually visited about three before I
3 found the right one.
4 The second incident, at the Kaonik [Realtime
5 transcript read in error "Konjic"] bridge, it was to
6 the south, actually in the area where I had witnessed
7 the firefight I related to on the morning of the 25th
8 of January.
9 Q. Thank you. Major, although you were there
10 for some time and know it live, if you call it "the
11 Konjic [phoen] bridge," it comes out slightly strange
12 on our LiveNote system; but if you can call it
13 "Kaonik," then it will make the note easier for us to
14 follow. Did you make subsequent attempts to get the
15 sides together in Busovaca, that being work that was
16 later taken over by Jeremy Fleming?
17 A. That is correct. I would say that the last
18 meeting I held between what I would call these local
19 level commanders was on or around the 30th, perhaps the
20 31st of July, but when I saw the ceasefire agreement on
21 the 30th, I knew that this had been formally taken
22 over. What I was conscious of then was ensuring that I
23 wasn't interfering with or causing some confusion,
24 particularly to HVO and BiH representatives, as to who
25 was leading this. So I felt that I'd finished the
1 initiative that I had taken up from the 25th of
3 Q. On the 1st of February, did General Morillon
4 chair a meeting at the Bila school and was an agreement
5 signed by Blaskic, Hadzihasanovic and Morillon that all
6 external forces should be withdrawn from Busovaca,
7 there having been troops such as the Ludvig Pavlovic
8 from Capiljina stationed in Vitez involved in clashes
9 there and in Novi Travnik, and had there been
10 references in this meeting to external HVO groups, such
11 as the Alpha Force in Gornji Vakuf, the Black Shirts in
12 Kiseljak, and on the Muslim side, Mujahedin?
13 A. To the best of my recollection, that is
14 correct. I would state that I was not present at that
15 meeting, nor would I have been. It was a high-level
16 meeting chaired by General Morillon, and I was told
17 that an agreement had been made and had been signed.
18 But it was largely picking up from the agreement which
19 had been signed on the 30th of January.
20 As far as the formations which you mentioned
21 there are concerned, I can recollect being told about
22 them at the time, as indeed I would have read about
23 this and other things in milinfo summaries and at the
24 daily 5.00 conferences.
25 Q. Was Busovaca at the time occupied by a
1 Kiseljak HVO battalion?
2 A. To the best of my recollection, having been
3 briefed at the time, that is correct.
4 Q. Did you, in the course of your duties, keep
5 notes of various important events?
6 A. Yes, I did. I kept two notebooks.
7 Q. Have you eventually been able to find those
8 notebooks in your house or your temporary house in
10 A. I found them, I think, about ten days ago.
11 MR. NICE: And extracts of those have, Your
12 Honour, been provided to the Defence. If and when the
13 witness refers to those notes, it may be helpful to the
14 Chamber if he puts them on the ELMO in the way I think
15 another witness did, without them necessarily becoming
16 an exhibit, unless anybody wants them to.
17 Q. So if you can shuffle the papers, as is
18 appropriate. You don't necessarily need to take one
19 document off; you can lay one on top of it quite
21 Did you on the 3rd of February find yourself
22 tasked to go to Busovaca?
23 A. Yes, I did. I was requested by the
24 operations room, the operations officer, to go and see
25 a man named Dario Kordic in relation to some things
1 that he wanted to state.
2 Q. What had led to your going there? What had
3 been the initial request?
4 A. He had requested to see Colonel Stewart. He
5 did not know me, and I, as I've already testified, was
6 not aware of him. The nature of my duties -- in other
7 words, I wasn't occupied at the time -- allowed me to
8 go out as the senior representative in the battalion at
9 the time. The commanding officer and the second in
10 command were otherwise engaged.
11 Q. Following this first meeting, did you
12 maintain regular contact with Kordic thereafter?
13 A. Yes. I then had a period between that day,
14 the 3rd of February, and the 27th of February, and I
15 saw Mr. Kordic for the last time. And whilst I have
16 not recorded all the meetings, I would say I saw him
17 approximately 15 to 20 times. Sometimes I saw him
18 twice in one day, dependent on what might have been
19 happening. So I would include those in the total.
20 Q. What was your approach to Kordic, generally,
21 and why?
22 A. Well, my approach to Dario Kordic was based
23 on two things: Firstly, what I had experienced to date
24 in my dealings with all commanders on all sides that
25 I'd had to negotiate with; and secondly, on the first
1 impressions which I gained from the first meeting on
2 the 3rd of February.
3 Would you like me to elaborate?
4 Q. Yes.
5 A. Relating to the first, that is the general
6 impression I made. There was very little trust around
7 on all sides. It was very difficult to get any form of
8 negotiation going whatsoever. You had to work
9 extremely hard at it, and you had to look for any angle
10 that you could, to a degree exploit, to get people
11 talking. You had to be -- you had to go out of your
12 way to establish your credibility. The main thing was,
13 if I said I was going to do something, I went to all
14 lengths to try and get it done, so that I could
15 establish some form of trust with the person who I was
16 talking with; they would take me as a credible person,
17 as a person of my word.
18 So that was my approach to things in general
19 with any, and I stress "any," person I was dealing
21 With regard to Mr. Kordic, from the
22 impressions of my first meeting, I saw that almost
23 immediately -- I had been there in my fifth week of
24 constant operations -- that he was one person who I
25 could definitely do business with. It was clear to me
1 that he exercised a lot of power, potentially a lot of
3 Q. How did you respond to your assessment that
4 he had power? How did you approach him?
5 A. Well, I decided that I needed to establish a
6 good working relationship with him. And because I saw
7 he was in a position of influence, power, then I
8 actually treated him with a great deal of respect in
9 the way that I addressed him, in my manner towards
11 On the first meeting, certainly, and maybe on
12 some subsequent meetings, I saluted him when I entered
13 what was his working office in the basement of the PTT
14 building in Busovaca.
15 Q. Did this approach pay dividends?
16 A. I would say that if I looked at the whole
17 period, it paid dividends. It was a successful,
18 professional relationship in terms of what I was able
19 to achieve from the meetings.
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I wonder whether
21 the witness could give us some of the indications that
22 suggested to him that Mr. Kordic was a man of power.
23 MR. NICE: Certainly, Your Honour.
24 Q. I think some of them will emerge later, but
25 it would be helpful if the witness dealt with the first
1 meeting and your first assessment.
2 Before you come to that first assessment, I
3 think it's fair to note that you actually made a nearly
4 contemporaneous assessment of the man that is not
5 included in either your statements or your summary, it
6 is included in another document to which you've
7 referred overnight; is that right?
8 A. That is correct. Yes.
9 Q. And, indeed, I haven't got it written down,
10 although you've told us about it. Tell us what the
11 document is first that you've been able to refer to.
12 A. It's a letter to my wife.
13 Q. Sent when in relation to this first meeting?
14 A. On the evening of the day that I had the
15 first meeting with Dario Kordic.
16 Q. Well, now, with what may be contained there
17 in mind, can you answer His Honour Judge Robinson's
18 question about, first of all, early indicia of power,
19 linking it, as you find it appropriate, to what you
20 would discover later in general terms, recognising we
21 are going to go through matters in detail?
22 MR. SAYERS: Just two things, Your Honour.
23 We were provided last night with some extracts from
24 Major Jennings' diary, for which of course we are
25 grateful. We have not been provided with a copy of
1 this letter, and in the absence --
2 JUDGE MAY: That's not surprising. You are
3 not going to see his letter to his wife. If he's going
4 to refer to any part of it, then of course it will be
5 necessary to put it on the ELMO, something of that
6 sort, but there is no need for the letter to be
8 MR. SAYERS: Of course, Your Honour, just the
9 pertinent extracts, of course.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. I think that letter may still be in the hotel
12 opposite, but it can be retrieved, or is it with you?
13 Explain where it is.
14 A. It is in my house back in England, Your
16 Q. My mistake. And you refreshed your memory
17 from it before coming here?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. Then I return to the previous question, early
20 indicia of power.
21 A. This is in answering His Honour's question?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. In answer to Your Honour, the -- relating to
24 the impression which I made -- and I will try and be
25 general, because there are instances of detail which I
1 am going to go on to discuss. With regard to the first
2 meeting, when I actually got down to what I would call
3 a bunker, it was a reinforced with sandbags command
4 centre. That was the immediate impression which I
5 gained in the lower basement of the PTT building.
6 Mr. Kordic sat at the head of the table, with uniform
7 personnel down either side. There was a radio on the
8 desk, and I believe a separate handset. And there was
9 a room off to one side. I later discovered there was a
10 fax machine in there, because that's where a fax came
11 from that I was shown at the time.
12 In terms of his manner, whilst being very
13 correct and courteous, as he always was to me, as I was
14 to him, in what he said and in how things were carried
15 out with practically no discussion, I quickly formed
16 the impression that he was clearly in charge. I was
17 very interested, because he was a man that I felt that
18 I could have negotiations with, dealings with, to get
19 things done, an impression which I had not gained from
20 any meetings that I'd had with other commanders, some I
21 would describe as disappointing, almost shambolic in
22 terms of the way conversation towed one way or the
23 other. These are the meetings on the 27th, 28th, 29th
24 of January with the lower-level commanders.
25 Q. How did the other uniformed -- the uniformed
1 men in the room approach or react to Mr. Kordic?
2 A. At this particular meeting?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. Very little was said by them, either in
5 response to anything I had said -- I wouldn't say there
6 was complete silence, but during the course of a
7 meeting, which I believed certainly took place within
8 an hour, probably about 40 minutes, the people who were
9 doing all the talking were Mr. Kordic and myself. And
10 they sat and listened very attentively. There was not
11 much opinion offered. And this is in contrast to a
12 number of meetings I'd had both with army BiH and HVO
13 lower-level commanders, where sometimes it was -- I
14 could describe a free-for-all, and arguments between
15 various people at the table.
16 Q. What communication systems appeared to be
17 available to him?
18 A. Well, there were two handsets, and I'll be
19 clear about what I mean by that, because you can have a
20 handset which may be connected to a telephone or it may
21 be connected to a radio. But I believe there was one
22 of each: certainly a telephone in there, and also what
23 I believed to be a radio. There was this fax machine
24 which was next door, because I do recall on one
25 occasion -- I haven't a date for it. I haven't a note
1 for it in the notes which I made which have been
2 presented to you, but I can recall a fax being brought
3 through. I would say this was not in common in some
5 Q. Had you been informed in advance of any
6 position apparently held by him?
7 A. Yes, I had. And I routinely went to the
8 milinfo section before I went on any task to see if
9 there was anything they could tell me about an
10 individual I was going to meet or, indeed, an area that
11 I was going to visit; what had happened in the last few
12 days; who had said what; what, if anything, had been
13 agreed. This was standard procedure.
14 Q. So you knew what of his position or believed
15 what of his position?
16 A. I was told by the NCO, who was on duty in the
17 milinfo section that morning, that he was known to be
18 the vice-president of the HDZ; that he was young; an
19 ex-journalist; that he had also been known to style
20 himself or respond to the title "Colonel."
21 Q. What did you do by way of addressing him or
22 deciding how to address him?
23 A. When I went into the room, you had to go down
24 two flights of stairs to get to the basement where what
25 I would call his operations room was. As I entered the
1 room, he was at the head of the table. It was a long
2 room, with him -- a long table, with him at the far end
3 of the room from the entrance you came in. So I
4 assumed that it was him because of the layout of the
5 room, but I wanted to confirm who I was talking to.
6 And he stood up as I entered the room, so I got the
7 feeling that it was him. So I addressed my question to
8 him and I said, "Is it Colonel Kordic or Mr. Kordic?"
9 And he said, "Da." He didn't answer the question.
10 And I've been asked this many times, and that
11 is my definite recollection. And it was -- I decided
12 to call him Mister -- "Is Mister okay?" "Da." It was
13 not referred to again.
14 Q. How was he dressed?
15 A. On this occasion, as indeed on many other
16 occasions, he, like everyone else, wore the dark, drab
17 camouflage that I associated with HVO wearing trousers
18 and would usually wear a dark t-shirt, not always,
19 olive colour. He invariably wore what I would call a
20 large crucifix, largish crucifix around his neck. No
22 Q. Was anything said about whether he was in any
23 sense a formation commander?
24 A. If it had not been at that first meeting, it
25 would certainly have been at a subsequent meeting that
1 I would have tried to determine what his position was.
2 And my recollection is I asked him, was he the HVO
3 commander? And he said, "No."
4 And I'm sure that I asked one or two more
5 questions, but I never established from him by word of
6 his own mouth what position he had, in terms of a
7 title. He did refute that he was the HVO commander in
9 Q. Two other questions for short answers:
10 whether, A, you met him alone; and B, just the detail
11 of the protection before you ever got into the room.
12 A. I was never alone in the room with him on any
13 occasion. You had to get through two layers of
14 protection. The first was the actual entrance to the
15 PTT building, manned by armed HVO soldiers. You
16 established who you were and you were told to wait
17 inside at the top of the stairs. And then usually a
18 wait of no more than one or two minutes and then you
19 were led down the stairs and into the room that I
20 described previously.
21 Q. Using the notes that you made, as you need,
22 and laying them on the ELMO, if you do, can you tell
23 us, please, quite swiftly, what was the nature of the
24 complaints made at this meeting?
25 A. Dario Kordic had, after we had exchanged
1 courtesies, Dario Kordic -- and he also asked me who I
2 was and what my position was and what I had in terms of
3 numbers of Warriors. He then went on to make a number
4 of complaints, which I listed in my notebook in his
5 presence at the table. I think it would be easier if I
6 laid these on the screen.
7 Do you think it would be possible to get-- we
8 may need to do them one at a time.
9 I think it's easier, Your Honour, if I just
10 relate to it, rather than making -- because these are
11 notes I actually took at the time.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if you go through them
13 fairly briefly, Major.
14 A. Just very briefly, the first one related --
15 basically he stated -- he was aware of the 30th of
16 January ceasefire, and I actually had the document with
17 me -- which is an exhibit, which we've already been
18 through -- and he said, "Da, da, yes, yes, I'm aware of
19 that. The BiH are the ones who have broken the
20 ceasefire. I wish to make the following complaints."
21 And they are serial numbered. The first
22 related to three HVO soldiers who had been killed by
23 army BiH, where they had been killed, where he believed
24 the BiH soldiers had come from.
25 In 2 -- can you move that, please -- a
1 shelling that had taken place. So the first is
2 actually a time, 15.45 hours on the 1st of February;
3 the next one a shelling, that two civilians had been
4 killed, Croat civilians, and a child.
5 Another incident on the 3rd. This is
6 probably the one which caused the most activity
7 afterwards, because actions were taken as a result of
8 these protests. And this, and over on the following
9 page, relates to an incident or incidents in the area
10 of the villages of Merdani and Katici, very close
11 proximity to each other, which really purported to say
12 that BiH dressed as HVO, with HVO emblems, had come and
13 had taken up to 100 women, children, forcibly taken
14 them away. They had lists of these people he could
15 make available.
16 And at this stage, the -- when I say
17 "roadblock," because we're going to come on to discuss
18 it, this is the blockage of the main Vitez/Zenica road,
19 a significant blockage; about 100 metres of road was
20 blocked as a result of an explosion. Efforts had been
21 ongoing as part of the ceasefire agreements gauged
22 first of all by Colonel Stewart and then General
23 Morillon, the 1 February meeting; a precondition was
24 the opening of that roadblock.
25 He stated the HVO engineers had gone to look
1 at it and they had been fired on by BiH. And as a
2 result of these instances, he then said that he wasn't
3 going to give any further assistance to removing the
4 roadblock until their protection, the HVO engineers'
5 protection, could be guaranteed, and that he was
6 delaying the exchange of prisoners detailed in the
7 ceasefire document by 48 hours.
8 And these relate to notes I took at the
10 Q. Very well.
11 A. I then actually made a summary of the notes,
12 and indeed a second summary. And this I actually made
13 when I went back to the school prior to giving my
14 information to the operations room and to the milinfo,
15 which was a routine procedure.
16 Q. And you set out there the taking of the women
17 and children?
18 A. He'd also talked about telephone
19 communications --
20 Q. I'm just coming to that, yes?
21 A. I'm sorry. I beg your pardon.
22 Q. Go on, then.
23 A. The telephone communications, this was a
24 dispute that was probably going into its second week.
25 The power had been supplied in some areas but not in
2 Q. Now, please, deal with item 4 of this report.
3 A. We'll move up to -- and this is relating to
4 the extensive roadblock which I just described. I
5 realised -- we all realised this was a major stumbling
6 block. It was going to take a significant effort to
7 open this roadblock. It was a precondition to a
8 ceasefire taking place. He said to me it was possible
9 that assistance could be given to open this roadblock.
10 And of all the things that were stated, whilst they
11 were all very important, very important, this was the
12 one that interested me in particular, as a company
13 commander whose task was specifically to keep these
14 roads open for the safe passage of humanitarian aid, as
15 well as satisfying a major precondition which would
16 have acted as a confidence-boosting measure to all
18 Q. Was prisoner exchange delayed?
19 A. To the best of my knowledge, the prisoner
20 exchange was delayed for 48 hours, but an exchange of
21 prisoners did take place subsequently. I was not
22 involved in that -- the detail of that exchange of
24 Q. Turn to the last page of this part of the
25 report. I think it continues on one further sheet.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Summarise the effect of that, please.
3 A. There is a degree of repetition in this.
4 It's a summary of a summary, actually. It all relates
5 to the same 3rd of February meeting.
6 You'll see in certain questions I've put a
7 subsequent question; the question was for myself. In
8 other words, I was taking the material and I was trying
9 to work out what were the implied tasks; as a result of
10 being given this information, what did I then have to
11 go on and do? Because I wasn't just listening to
12 protests and doing nothing about them.
13 Q. Now, as a result of this first meeting, what
14 assessments did you make? You told us about them in
15 summary already, as supplemented by what you wrote to
16 your wife and that you reminded yourself of before you
17 came here.
18 A. Well, as I've already stated, and I will try
19 and elaborate: As a result of having finished the
20 meeting and pondered on what I'd been told, and also on
21 my recollections of the meeting later that day, Dario
22 Kordic was the first person that I had come across in
23 five weeks of operations, dealing with a whole host of
24 people, who gave me a good feeling that there was
25 someone that I could deal with on a one-to-one basis,
1 and if I could establish my credibility, I could get
2 certain things done. I could, with his assistance,
3 open the roadblock; open humanitarian aid; build up
4 confidence between each side. And I saw it as part of
5 my duty to cement that relationship.
6 I have to say that the impression which I
7 gained at that meeting, and in all subsequent meetings,
8 was I did not like the person of Dario Kordic, in terms
9 of how he conducted himself. He was a very loud
10 person, a very arrogant person in approach -- and that
11 is my personal opinion -- not somebody who I would have
12 chosen to have dealings with subsequently, but I
13 decided that I would, in order to get things done.
14 Q. And your assessment of his military or civil
15 powers and authority?
16 A. At that stage, I was yet to see something
17 happening on the ground. We had had a meeting and a
18 conversation, if we are talking specifically about the
19 3rd of February.
20 Q. Very well.
21 A. I was yet to -- to actually have concrete
22 evidence of something that he had done that I could
23 take or gain an opinion of, other than -- the
24 impression I gained was that I went to see someone who
25 had been described as the deputy president of the HDZ,
1 and from my experience, five weeks' worth at that
2 stage, I walked into what I took the impression of
3 being a functioning operations room, with military
4 personnel in there.
5 Q. And a last question, if this is convenient to
6 the Chamber, before what may be a break: What, if
7 anything, of the fact that he said what he did about
8 prisoner exchange, given the signatories to the
9 ceasefire and so on?
10 A. Well, he stated to me --
11 MR. SAYERS: Objection to this, Your Honour,
12 and that is that there is no deadline for prisoner
13 exchanges imposed in the document that has been marked
14 as Exhibit Z421,1A, and I would certainly hope that the
15 Trial Chamber has that in mind as this testimony is
17 JUDGE MAY: Do you want this piece of
18 evidence, Mr. Nice? If so, perhaps you could rephrase
19 the question to make it plain what point you're
20 making. The point, I understand, is that he wasn't a
21 signatory to the ceasefire, and yet he was talking
22 about prisoner exchange; is that the point?
23 MR. NICE: Yes.
24 Q. What, if any, significance did you find in
25 his ability to talk about prisoner exchange, and why?
1 A. Mr. Kordic stated to me that he was delaying
2 the exchange of prisoners by 48 hours. What we were
3 trying to establish, all of us, was who was actually in
4 charge. This was not a straightforward thing. It
5 wasn't up to that stage; it wasn't for the remainder of
6 the tour I was there. And it was my belief, based on
7 the chain of command I'd been told about, and the
8 signatures to it, that that's what had been agreed, and
9 suddenly this -- for the first time in my experience,
10 certainly, there was a new name. There was a person
11 there who had come into the equation, stating, "Well, I
12 am delaying it by 48 hours."
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn now for half
14 an hour, so that will be 11.35.
15 Mr. Nice, I notice there's a lot of material,
16 but it would be helpful if you could get through the
17 witness's evidence in chief by the luncheon
19 MR. NICE: I certainly hope to. There is a
20 lot of material, and I'll just do my very best --
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
22 MR. NICE: -- and lead wherever I can.
23 JUDGE MAY: If you can deal with that. Of
24 course, the material at the moment is dealing directly
25 with one of the accused, but one hopes it can be dealt
1 with as briefly as possible.
2 Major, could you please be back in half an
3 hour, and could you remember, in this and any other
4 adjournments there are in your evidence, not to speak
5 to anybody about it, and that does include the members
6 of the Prosecution.
7 A. Yes, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
9 --- Recess taken at 11.05 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.35 p.m.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. Major Jennings, bearing in mind we must move
14 at a slightly brisker pace, if we can. Next paper
15 exhibit in the stack, the two photographs, very
16 quickly, if you can just take them. In the stack.
17 Tell us what they show.
18 A. Excuse me. I'm sorry. This is not on. It
19 doesn't need to be.
20 Q. It is on, but -- yes.
21 A. This relates to my activities subsequent to
22 the 3rd of February, and I decided to make the opening
23 of the roadblock on the Zenica road my main objective.
24 I discussed this with Colonel Stewart. I had his
25 approval. It was done properly.
1 Q. This picture shows what?
2 A. And this picture shows a lorry which had been
3 drawn across the road about 500 metres from the road
4 blockage itself, actually denying me access to get at
5 the road to even look at the lorry. I am there in the
6 top picture talking to a HVO representative -- I don't
7 know his name -- with my interpreter and a member of
8 the ECMM.
9 The bottom one is the same place, but from a
10 slightly different angle. It shows the countryside
11 around. I had to negotiate to get even the lorry
12 removed before I could then actually move on to have a
13 look at the roadblock itself.
14 In my discussions with the engineer
15 commander, I said that I had had a meeting with Dario
16 Kordic. I was trying to establish the roadblock
17 itself, where it was, what I needed to do to it.
18 Q. Did you have any success with the lorry?
19 A. Eventually, yes. It was typical of something
20 that could take up to two or three hours.
21 Q. Paragraph 31, paragraph 30 being slightly out
22 of order. Paragraph 31, again without looking at your
23 summary, if you would be so good. On the 6th of
24 February, did you have a meeting?
25 A. Yes. I requested a meeting with Dario
1 Kordic. I had, by that stage, been able to look at the
2 roadblock and actually work out a military plan for its
3 removal, which was heavily dependent on engineer
4 support, the use of engineer equipment.
5 My problem was assuring the HVO engineers and
6 Dario Kordic himself that I would give the necessary
7 protection to his HVO engineers. And the reason for
8 this was that part of the blockage was probably between
9 two and four tilt mines which had been placed under a
10 lorry at the scene, not dissimilar to the lorry that
11 you just looked at.
12 The BritBat policy was not to use British
13 engineers to remove mines. Dario Kordic had agreed
14 that his men would remove them, but only if I could
15 guarantee protection.
16 So I had specifically gone to see him because
17 I was not clear in my own mind where the front lines
18 were, where I actually had to put my outer cordon of
19 men. And we got down to the nitty-gritty of where
20 positions were. Mr. Kordic, not unlike any commander I
21 had dealings with, was reticent about giving
22 information away, of where front line positions were.
23 And this I could understand. Everyone was very cagey
24 about getting information of where their troops were.
25 It was all a matter of trust. And it became apparent
1 that the map I was looking at was not very good; it
2 wasn't very detailed.
3 It was then that Mr. Kordic offered me a map
4 to assist in identifying the specific villages, ridges,
5 contours, tracks, streams, what have you. He gave an
6 instruction, and a man went to another room and very
7 quickly returned with the map which we've already used
8 this morning in evidence. It's the map that I have
9 here by my side. And this is the map which I then
10 subsequently used, not only in this roadblock clearance
11 operation, but for other operations subsequently.
12 Q. That's Exhibit 2781 and, as the Chamber can
13 see, it has JNA at the top of it.
14 On that same 6th of February, did you hear
15 anything of Muslims in the area of Katici?
16 A. I cannot say that the passage which is
17 related there, that is, immediately after the incident
18 relating to the map, actually took place on the 6th of
19 February or whether I was told about that on the 6th of
20 February. What I can say is I did not observe such an
21 incident taking place, that is, the use of the
22 civilians as human shields. I was told about it at the
23 headquarters in the course of my briefings.
24 Q. We'll deal then with a meeting, if there was
25 one, where reference was made to what was happening in
1 Gornji Vakuf. Explain briefly how such topics came to
2 be discussed.
3 A. This passage relates to a conversation that
4 took place probably later, in February. I have not a
5 date for it. And the reason it is there is that as
6 part of trying to develop a relationship with Dario
7 Kordic, I tried to end meetings by inviting him to talk
8 about things of a more general nature; I mean, more
9 generally in the area of operations; to try and talk in
10 a more relaxed way. And the subject of Gornji Vakuf
11 came up. And I merely stated and had noted with
12 interest that he seemed to be aware that there were
13 difficulties with ongoing negotiations to try and
14 achieve a ceasefire in the Gornji Vakuf area. It
15 seemed to me to be a long way outside of what I
16 perceived to be his area of responsibility.
17 Q. I'll return to paragraph 32 later. Paragraph
18 33, again, without looking at the document yourself,
19 when did you start the removal of the roadblocks?
20 There may be a date error that we've got to correct.
21 A. Well, I definitely started it on the 7th of
22 February, the following day. It was a Sunday. And I
23 started it as soon as possible after first light,
24 because I envisaged it was going to be a long
25 operation. And as soon as I had got my cordon in place
1 -- what I mean by that is my soldiers in armoured
2 vehicles in, as it were, a ring around the area we were
3 going to do it -- I then commenced the operation.
4 Q. Did you discover from the HVO engineer who
5 was there something about the condition of the vehicle
7 A. Yes. The things that -- the things had
8 proceeded very well. The first thing we had to do was
9 remove the tilt mines from underneath the lorry and
10 then we had to actually drag the lorry away. After we
11 had removed the tilt mines, the HVO engineer -- I would
12 say commander, the person who had been shown to me to
13 be in charge of the engineers in that particular party,
14 that's the title I would give him, then talked about
15 some form of assistance in moving an object or building
16 or what have you, and was pointing to things on the
17 ground. And I said, "Well, I don't know anything about
18 this. We are moving a roadblock." And he then said,
19 "Well, there is still an explosive in the bonnet."
20 Q. What did you do?
21 A. Well, I realised -- well, everyone left the
22 area immediately, because we were right next to the
23 lorry, and we obviously had to ensure the safety of all
24 personnel, so all British, French -- because there were
25 French U.N. there assisting us -- and the HVO engineers
1 themselves, all left the area. We went about 100, 200
2 metres away. It was clear to me that something had
3 gone wrong and I wasn't going to get any further with
4 the HVO engineer representative there. So as it was
5 Dario Kordic who I had gained the approval of to assist
6 in removing the roadblock, I decided to go and see him
8 I have to say I was slightly concerned
9 because I felt that if things went wrong and we
10 stopped, we would not clear the roadblock. There had
11 been so many occasions where it had come to a halt.
12 Q. All right. Press on.
13 A. I then went to see Dario Kordic in his
14 headquarters and gave him a brief resume of where we
15 had got to. He then started talking about putting an
16 object in place. Actually, there was a very small
17 T-junction next to the roadblock itself, and I wasn't
18 clear what this was, and this is when he actually drew
19 an object in a notebook which I was carrying.
20 Q. The next two sheets of the notebook, please.
21 Explain, please.
22 A. The object at the bottom of the two pages --
23 this is a different notebook to the one you saw
24 before -- was a hand drawing, you can see it there at
25 the bottom in outline, a hand drawing of what turned
1 out to be what I would call a prefabricated concrete
2 object. I got the dimensions of it and the approximate
3 tonnage, and what Dario Kordic was requesting was
4 BritBat's assistance in moving this and putting it on
5 the T-junction next to the roadblock.
6 Now, at this stage I was in a very difficult
7 position, because I had something in the region of over
8 200 French and British personnel on the ground, in
9 position, the promise of getting a roadblock opened
10 which had been blocking the road for nearly two weeks,
11 and the prospect of things coming to a grinding halt.
12 And I therefore took the decision on my own initiative
13 to say -- and the words I used, "I will see what I can
14 do about it." As a result of that, he then said,
15 "Okay, we can press on." I then returned to the
16 position, and when I returned, the HVO clearly had
17 received some message to the effect that the unblocking
18 of the road operation could continue.
19 I omitted to say that in saying I would see
20 what I could do, I said I couldn't do anything that
21 day; I would look at it the following day.
22 Q. Did you in fact have any intention of giving
23 the help he required?
24 A. When I looked at that, there was no way I
25 could give any assistance with regard to what would
1 have been, in effect, establishing the infrastructure
2 of a checkpoint -- as I would have to neither side, to
3 maintain impartiality.
4 Q. Two questions to be dealt with: How long did
5 it take you to get back to the roadblock? What, if
6 any, indications of communications were available to
7 Mr. Kordic at that time?
8 A. It took me about twelve minutes in my Warrior
9 to get from the PTT building back to the roadblock
10 itself. I was unhindered on the way back.
11 As I have previously said, there were two
12 handsets, one definitely a telephone, on the table.
13 Q. Knowing the deployment, or in general knowing
14 the deployment of troops at the time, what effect would
15 this roadblock have had on the potential advance of
17 A. It's something which I considered some time
18 after removing the roadblock. As I've said, my primary
19 concern was to clear a road, but when I was
20 subsequently asked why I thought the roadblock was
21 there in the first instance -- if you will recall, Your
22 Honour, it was blown up and established on the 25th of
23 January, at the start of the outbreak of intense
24 hostilities between the two sides -- and this is only
25 my assumption: I believed that the road had been
1 blocked because it was the main road from Zenica, where
2 any likely BiH attack with vehicles or what have you
3 could have taken place, could have come on that road
4 round and then down into the area around Busovaca. But
5 I wasn't considering that specifically at that time.
6 Q. Did you ever obtain any direct evidence, or
7 any evidence, in the form of somebody saying something,
8 as to who had instructed the creation of the roadblock?
9 A. I can't specifically say that -- or indeed
10 definitely recall that a specific person had given the
11 direct order to establish the roadblock.
12 Q. Paragraph 34.
13 MR. NICE: Incidentally, the passage to
14 the -- the passage relating to the object that was
15 drawn in the pocketbook got omitted from the summary in
16 error; it's contained in the earlier witness
18 Q. Paragraph 34. I think we may be turning to
19 the next of your pocketbook entries, please.
20 There's a reference there to the 11th of
21 February. Just explain that, if you can.
22 A. This -- there is an incident, which I
23 recorded in my notebook on the 11th of February, which
24 is not actually related to the diagram I've just put up
25 on the screen.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. I was called to Dario Kordic's headquarters.
3 I would just add, at this stage, I was being requested
4 in person. And when I arrived, Dario Kordic stated
5 that an attack had, within the hour or so, taken place
6 on his soldiers by soldiers of the BiH who had
7 approached -- his soldiers were in -- I'm not sure if
8 I've got the pronunciation correct -- Podjele, but that
9 is what I recorded in my notebook, and that BiH
10 soldiers had attacked them, unprovoked, from the north,
11 from the area of Katici, Modani, that area, and that
12 two of them had been killed, and that he had the
13 identity card of one of the Muslims which showed him to
14 have come from outside of the area, from actually well
15 outside of the area of Central Bosnia, and made a
16 protest about it. I was given a photocopy of the
17 documents, which I subsequently took back to Vitez and
18 reported to milinfo.
19 Q. Paragraph 35, which is out of order; 34
21 Did you find some explosives on one occasion?
22 A. Yes, that's correct. Having opened the
23 roadblock, my daily activities involved driving around
24 the area of responsibility that I showed to you
25 previously, particularly on the road to Busovaca, the
1 road to Zenica; what I would call troubleshooting, to
2 see if there was any problems.
3 It was actually a soldier in my Warrior who
4 noticed what we term a "command wire." This wire was
5 across the road, and I dismounted and very carefully
6 followed the command wire to a small girder bridge.
7 And underneath the bridge I saw what I can only
8 describe as an enormous quantity of explosives.
9 Q. Can I just interrupt you there for a minute
10 so that the Chamber can make better use of the
11 summary: The date of this event?
12 A. I believe it to have been on or around the
13 12th of February.
14 Q. Can we look at the next -- right, you
15 think -- yes, right. Press on, then. My mistake.
16 A. There is on the screen at the moment a
17 drawing. At the top, it's actually a rough drawing
18 showing the road, a river below it, and then the
19 bridge, and then the layout of the command wire, "CW,"
20 and then underneath it a cross-section of underneath
21 the bridge, showing the quantity of explosive.
22 I have to say that this was a diagram drawn
23 by an explosives/ordnance/demolition EOD expert, a
24 captain in the Royal Engineers; he actually drew this,
25 because I obviously reported this when I went back to
1 the base, and an expert was sent out to look at it, and
2 he drew this drawing.
3 Q. What happened when you found this and saw
4 some men?
5 A. Well, I was very surprised to see this. I
6 was also aware that since the main road had been opened
7 on the 7th of February, organisations such as the Red
8 Cross, UNHCR, had been driving around the area and
9 using this small girder bridge to visit the hamlets of
10 Katici, Merdani, and others, pursuing the claims of
11 hostage-taking, civilians being kept against their
12 will, which had been made by Dario Kordic -- and,
13 indeed, other representatives from the BiH side -- and
14 I was actually angry because no one had spoken about
15 this, and I was aware that these organisations were
16 using this bridge unaware of the fact that this
17 demolition was in place.
18 I had seen some of the HVO soldiers; I saw
19 them on a day-to-day basis and would wave to them, what
20 have you, and I saw some nearby, so I went up to them
21 and exchanged greetings and then, very firmly and very
22 clearly, said, "I'm talking business now. I've just
23 seen an enormous amount of explosives, and I want to
24 know what's going on and who's put them there."
25 They were immediately uneasy and shifting
1 from one foot to another, and I didn't give up, and I
2 pressed them. I said, "They haven't just appeared out
3 of nowhere. I want to know who's actually put them
4 there, how they got there."
5 And one of the men said to me, "Don't tell
6 Dario Kordic what I'm about to tell you." I remember
7 that very clearly. I said, "Okay," or words to that
8 effect. He then said that they had been ordered to put
9 the explosives underneath the bridge; they, the HVO
11 I then went on to ask them why on earth,
12 firstly, there was such a quantity of explosive under
13 it and what was the purpose of putting it there. They
14 said because they were afraid of an attack or the HVO
15 were afraid of an attack from Muslims, from the other
16 side of the river, to which I said that was a
17 ridiculous thing to say.
18 Q. Can you just, while we've got the picture
19 drawn by your colleague of the bridge, the river, and
20 the road in mind, can you just locate it for us on the
21 larger map, which is the one that deals with it most
23 A. Can you close in on that area there as much
24 as you can. Right. Here we have, as you can see, the
25 villages of Katici, Merdani very close to each other;
1 the roadblock cleared on the 7th of February was just
2 here. You can actually see a small dotted track
3 leading up. This was a small T-junction. This is
4 where I had been requested to assist in placing a
5 structure to establish a checkpoint.
6 Just underneath it, just at the top of my
7 pointer now, you can see a small diagonal black line
8 going from slightly top left to bottom right, which
9 crosses the river here. That's actually the bridge in
10 question, a very small girder bridge.
11 Q. You've given us your opinion on the
12 plausibility of the explanation offered by the
13 engineers. What effect would blowing up that small
14 bridge have had?
15 A. The only thing I can think of was that it
16 would have left the only crossing point on that stretch
17 of road. I am hesitating. I am trying to remember the
18 correct pronunciation of the Kaonik bridge.
19 Q. Kaonik.
20 A. The Kaonik bridge. It would have been the
21 only crossing point then to the south to Busovaca. It
22 was what we would term, in military terms, a reserve
23 demolition; in other words, the explosive is being put
24 in place with a command wire and it's being left there
25 so that they can very quickly blow it if they wish to.
1 Whether that's plausible or not, I don't know, but
2 that's the only explanation I could think of, from a
3 military point of view.
4 Q. A few supplementary questions. Were these
5 engineers civilian or military?
6 A. They were military. They were wearing
7 military uniform.
8 Q. Then if you'd put these questions together in
9 a single answer: Did you complain to Kordic? If not,
10 why not, and to whom did you complain, and with what
12 A. I had to make a very careful decision here as
13 to how I was going to deal with the situation. I had
14 to ensure that the explosives were removed. That was
15 the number one priority, so that any organisations that
16 were going around could no longer be in danger. I also
17 had to ensure that I maintained what was becoming a
18 delicate balance of relationships in terms of getting
19 things done, negotiations.
20 Therefore, I decided to use the ECMM as the
21 appropriate channel for making a complaint. So I gave
22 a brief statement to Mr. Jeremy Fleming of the ECMM
23 stating what I had found, in brief what the HVO
24 engineers had said; the fact that the thing existed and
25 it was needed to be removed. That way it passed over
1 to the work of -- the ongoing work of the ECMM
2 commission. And I knew -- I was satisfied that it
3 would be dealt with.
4 I did not report it to Mr. Kordic, bearing in
5 mind that the HVO engineers had said to me, "Don't tell
6 Dario Kordic what we are about to tell you." I could
7 not have easily related to him the circumstances of how
8 it had been found, how I had found out about it,
9 without revealing the identity of these individuals.
10 And I decided not to do so because I was finding their
11 help, even at a lower level, was assisting me in my
12 day-to-day work. That is why.
13 Q. Paragraph 36. Again, don't read the
14 summary. Speak from memory, please, until I say
15 otherwise. Was there at one stage a question of a
16 joint ABiH-HVO checkpoint?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you date it and summarily tell us about
20 A. I cannot date it. What I can say is it is
21 one of the initiatives that was put forward by the
22 ECMM. This was a commission with three representatives
23 on either side from the BiH and the HVO. In order to
24 restore confidence, their proposal was to identify
25 certain checkpoints where there would be equal numbers
1 of BiH and HVO. And this was a common aspiration for
2 all the main checkpoints.
3 In a conversation on a day I cannot recall,
4 in the context of which I cannot recall, I can recall
5 Dario Kordic saying he would not continue with this
6 initiative until certain conditions, certain things had
7 been achieved.
8 I have to say that I, in part, understand the
9 reason why. Because he didn't -- he, in his own mind,
10 didn't feel that the situation on the ground had
11 reached the stage where such a measure could be put
12 into place, but he was saying it wasn't going to
14 Q. Did you remain in contact with Mr. Kordic
15 after the matters you've told us about?
16 A. Yes. I saw him on as frequent a basis as I
18 Q. Paragraph 37, which should be linked with
19 paragraph 48. And in your pocketbook it's the next
20 page, I think. 22nd of February. Was there a meeting
21 on that day?
22 A. There was. I had wanted to go and see Dario
23 Kordic. He actually had wanted to see me as well. I
24 had wanted to see him because I came across a
25 particular incident of an UNHCR convoy which had been
1 stopped somewhere in the vicinity of Busovaca, I think
2 to the north. He had wanted to see me because, from
3 his point of view, Busovaca was not getting its fair
4 share of aid. And when we sat down, he then gave me
5 the detail of what he believed to be the number -- of
6 the amount, the tonnage of aid that had been received
7 by Busovaca. Without referring to my notes, I think it
8 was 39 tonnes in a period of time.
9 Q. If you'd look at your notes -- just a
11 A. It was 60 tonnes.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Please go ahead.
13 MR. NICE: I'm sorry.
14 Q. If you look at your notes, I think the "39"
15 may be misplaced with another number.
16 A. Yes. It was 50/50. I did it the wrong way
17 around. It was 60 tonnes in a 39-day period.
18 Q. Perhaps you would like to put your notes on
19 the ELMO, if that would help.
20 A. It's point number 2. The first part of it
21 relates to our conversation. I was stating, "Why is
22 this U.N. convoy being stopped?" Mr. Kordic said, and
23 I think fairly, "Look, there are hundreds of vehicles
24 going past. They are not escorted by U.N. We've got
25 to exercise some control." I thought that was
1 reasonable. And, actually, that specific one was
2 cleared up.
3 He then went on to say, "Now, I want to say
4 something to you. Busovaca is not getting its fair
5 share of aid, which is coming up from Kiseljak in that
6 direction. We've only received 60 tonnes in 39 days.
7 We are not getting enough. We want more."
8 He then, actually, went on to say that a
9 meeting was taking place, a civil meeting in Busovaca,
10 and they were discussing a proposal to physically block
11 the road with civilians, I presume Croat civilians, if
12 something wasn't done about it. I can continue if
13 you --
14 Q. I think that's probably sufficient. As to
15 the roadblock, and as to the checkpoint, does a man
16 called Jorge de la Mota fit in here?
17 A. Yes, he does. He was the head of UNHCR in
18 Zenica, and I knew of this and his appointment. And I
19 decided that -- and this was all to do with the
20 business of maintaining a relationship, do what you
21 promised to do. So I actually went, after that
22 meeting, to Zenica and went in to see -- I tried to see
23 Mr. De la Mota. I didn't see him straightaway. I saw
24 his operations officer, which is actually on the next
25 page. I could put it up.
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. I took these notes, actually, in the UNHCR
3 office. There it is. "Kim, UNHCR ops officer, Zenica."
4 They said, from their point of view, Busovaca last
5 received aid on the 15th of February. It was 55 tonnes
6 and it's scheduled for another 20 tonnes on the 25th of
7 February. Mr. De la Mota then said, "I am going to go
8 and see Dario Kordic myself." I then returned to
9 Mr. Kordic's headquarters, and this was later the same
10 day, I believe. I haven't got the time to be exact.
11 And a meeting then took place which was really between
12 Mr. De la Mota and Mr. Kordic. And I just sat and
13 listened to it.
14 Q. All right. In which case we can move on to
15 the 23rd of February. First of all, do you have notes
16 for the 23rd of February meeting or not? Your notes at
17 this stage may be hard to interpret, if it ever becomes
18 necessary, in detail.
19 A. There were three or four meetings between the
20 22nd and the 23rd of February. They were either in
21 Dario Kordic's headquarters or they were in the UNHCR
22 headquarters in Zenica. And, very briefly, my
23 recollection is that I had the meeting with Mr. Kordic,
24 which I have already related, I went to Zenica to speak
25 to Mr. de la Mota. He returned separately, but we
1 arrived about the same time, and he had a frank,
2 business-like conversation with Mr. Kordic about the
3 distribution of aid. He then said he was going to have
4 a meeting the following day and he intended to have the
5 meeting at 4.00 at the UNHCR headquarters with
6 representatives of all those in fold, where they would
7 attempt to thrash out what was perceived to be the
9 On the morning of the 23rd, so prior to that
10 meeting at the UNHCR headquarters in Zenica, I called
11 unannounced, which I sometimes did, at Mr. Kordic's
12 headquarters, really to talk further to him about
13 aspects of this distribution of aid and other things.
14 And I didn't walk into the room every time. I had to
15 wait until I was escorted downstairs. And when I
16 entered the room, this was in the morning of the 23rd,
17 I saw two youngish-looking men sat down who were
18 dressed in black uniform with distinctive patches on
19 their arms with HOS on them. Mr. Kordic seemed quite
20 at ease with me coming down and seeing them there. And
21 he introduced them to me as the commander and deputy
22 commander of the HOS in Zenica.
23 The other person who was present in that
24 room, the only other person, was Mr. Sliskovic. This
25 is part of the opinion I gained later, that he must
1 have had some form of influence, above others, to have
2 been present in that room, to have been deemed
3 important enough or worthy to be in that particular
4 room. The other thing is that Mr. Sliskovic had shaved
5 his beard off, which I commented on at the time.
6 I then subsequently went to the planned
7 meeting, the 4.00 meeting at Zenica, where I saw the
8 HOS representatives, but, to the best of my
9 recollection, I did not see Dario Kordic.
10 Q. I have our copy of Exhibit 2116. What can
11 you say about that?
12 A. That is definitely largely the type.
13 Certainly the fact that it's a circle, that it has what
14 I call the red and white chequered emblem on it. It
15 had the words "HOS." I cannot recall specifically
16 seeing the initials which are underneath, the words
17 "HSP," et cetera.
18 Q. By this stage, then, a matter we touched on
19 earlier and said we'd return to: Your assessment, if
20 any, of the relation between Kordic and Sliskovic?
21 A. Having found that the person who had been
22 sent to represent the HVO in Vitez when I was first
23 trying to get leaders of both sides to get together,
24 this is the meetings, 28th, 29th or so of January, I
25 had remembered that it was Sliskovic who was actually
1 chairing these meetings. And when I saw him again on
2 his own, the only HVO representative in that room,
3 bearing in mind everyone I'd seen on various occasions
4 when I had been down into his headquarters, I felt that
5 he must have had quite a close relationship with Dario
6 Kordic. But those are the only two instances on which
7 I base my opinion.
8 Q. A stolen Mercedes, there is a long story
9 here, but tell us, if you can, really quite
11 A. Yes, I will.
12 Q. I've been referring to an error in dating. I
13 think it's probably at paragraph 41. I think.
14 A. Right. In essence, on or around the 22nd of
15 February we were informed that a Dutch Mercedes, U.N.
16 Land Rover, had been taken at gunpoint. There was a
17 single driver in it, and the pair had escaped with a
18 radio and a weapon. And Colonel Stewart placed a very
19 high priority on its return. I believe that part of
20 the reason for this was to demonstrate we were not
21 going to accept instances of hijacking and, as such,
22 attacks on U.N. personnel. And I therefore believed it
23 was a high priority for myself too, to try and do
25 I decided to put this to Dario Kordic. And I
1 bluntly said to him, "Now, we've done a lot of work
2 with each other. We've had some success opening the
3 roadblock, trying to ease the movements of convoys and
4 what have you. This is important to me as a
5 representative of the United Nations. It's important
6 that we must demonstrate that we can't tolerate
7 instances like this. You are a man of influence. Can
8 you help me?" And he agreed to help me.
9 This vehicle was subsequently recovered and
10 seen by me on the 27th of February.
11 Q. When it was recovered, the circumstances of
13 A. Briefly, the circumstances were I was in the
14 headquarters of Vitez, I was called to the operations
15 room, a telephone call that had come from Dario
16 Kordic's headquarters stating that they had the
17 Mercedes and the key. The Dutch had seen this and had
18 surrounded it, but they were refusing to give the key
19 to them. He would give the key only to Major Philip
20 Jennings or Captain Martin Forgrave. Captain Martin
21 Forgrave was not available, so I went immediately to
22 his headquarters.
23 Q. Noticing what about the arrangements of the
25 A. For the first time, Dario Kordic's office was
1 not in the basement. It was actually on the ground
2 floor immediately to the right-hand side of the
3 entrance. Also, there was virtually no sandbagging, so
4 you actually had open windows, although they had logs
5 diagonally placed -- all buildings had logs diagonally
6 placed in front of the windows. And when I went in, I
7 saw the Land Rover outside, which had Dutch vehicles
8 blocking it on either side, and a number of Dutch
9 personnel, Dutch military police were there as well.
10 I went in. Dario Kordic was expecting me.
11 He sat in this room, as I say, with a number of people
12 I recognised by face, and had the key, not -- the key
13 on its own on the desk in front of him, which I was
14 very pleased to see, and expressed my thanks
16 And he then stated, briefly, the
17 circumstances in which he had been able to recover it.
18 And when I thanked him, he said, "Well, don't thank
19 me. The person you have to thank is the chief or the
20 policeman, chief policeman in Vitez, Mr. Pasko." I
21 wrote it down at the time.
22 Q. Was that somebody you would recognise?
23 A. Well, I did go and see Mr. Pasko to extend my
24 personal thanks later that day. I thought it was
25 proper to do so. And after an enormous amount of
1 machine gunfire had finished, a separate incident, I
2 was able to locate him and thank him.
3 Q. And that machine gunfire, does that relate to
4 this vehicle?
5 A. Yes, I believe it directly relates to the
6 vehicle. I wasn't aware that this had happened, but
7 the group that the vehicle had been taken back from had
8 driven, I believe, from Travnik, where they were based,
9 to Zenica, a faction of the HVO, to express their
10 displeasure, which they did by -- they confronted HVO
11 who were there, brandishing weapons, shouting insults
12 at each other, then drove off firing their automatic
13 weapons into the air.
14 Q. So the key being returned to you, not to the
15 Dutch, who were available to collect it if -- it could
16 have been handed over to them?
17 A. I believe it could have been handed over to
18 them, yes, but he had stated that he was not going to.
19 MR. NICE: If the registry could very kindly
20 find Exhibit 2778 for us.
21 While that's being found, can the witness
22 look at the last of the paper exhibits, Z502 and
24 Q. Tell us first of all about the paper
25 document, and then we'll look at the photograph.
1 A. This is a document -- this is a document that
2 was drawn up at the time of the meeting, and I believe
3 I'd seen a translation of it. I had an interpreter
4 with me, as always, and it was a covering note to a
5 list of items from the vehicle, which said -- I believe
6 it said, "I, Dario Kordic, am handing over this
7 vehicle, in the state found, to Jennings of the British
8 Battalion." And that was brought in and we both signed
10 Q. And then 2778, please, the photograph.
11 MR. NICE: Perhaps that can be placed on the
12 ELMO; thank you.
13 Q. What, if anything, about the man in the
15 A. I can't quite see him.
16 I can't positively identify this particular
17 individual, although I met him, because I recognise the
18 features of his face. And it was certainly connected
19 with this incident.
20 Q. Paragraph 45: On the 9th of March, did you
21 pass through Prozor on the way to Split?
22 A. That's correct.
23 Q. There seeing houses in the Muslim area of the
24 town destroyed by Croats, some houses being side by
25 side with Croat houses which had been left intact?
1 A. That is correct. I was actually on my way
2 down to Split. I had not come up through Prozor; I had
3 come up via Mostar, when that route was still open.
4 And I remember seeing destruction to -- in terms of
5 architecture, Muslim houses, which were very close to,
6 almost side by side with other buildings which were
7 untouched which were not of Muslim architecture.
8 Q. Can you place the map, please, back on the
9 ELMO. Paragraph 46.
10 A. Could I ask which area it's in relation to,
11 so I can --
12 Q. Kula, Krcevine.
13 A. I think actually the larger --
14 Q. Yes, it's marked on the smaller-scale map, so
15 as I read the text, perhaps you would point things
17 By the third week of March, was the HVO
18 trench system well-established, with HVO soldiers in
19 the trenches in the Busovaca/Kacuni area around Kula
20 and Krcevine?
21 A. Is it possible to increase the --
22 Q. I think the -- don't forget, we've got our
23 own copies. If you just point it out, so in case the
24 Judges haven't found it already, we can find it. It's
25 to the east of Busovaca, I think.
1 A. It would be somewhere around here
3 Q. Yes. Thank you.
4 At that stage, was ABiH infantry limited in
5 number, lacking heavy infantry weapons, although they
6 had one -- or they showed one light anti-tank weapon?
7 A. Yes. That is the case throughout all these
8 instances I have related; that is, from the start of
9 fighting on the 24th, 25th of January. The specific
10 reference to the light anti-tank weapon, the LAW, was a
11 weapon displayed -- indeed, pointed at me -- on the
12 25th of January.
13 Q. At the beginning of this period, had there
14 been a preponderance of simply personal weapons,
15 shotguns and hunting rifles, amongst the BiH, whereas
16 the HVO was much better equipped, in your assessment?
17 A. Yes, in my assessment, that was correct.
18 Q. And you saw a group of 40 or 50 who appeared
19 to have had what appeared to be field training?
20 A. Yes, this is correct. This relates to the
21 morning -- late morning of the 25th of January. This
22 was when Colonel Stewart was on the bridge with
23 Brigadier Cordy-Simpson, and also when I had seen the
24 ZIS-2 weapon firing some 40 metres or so -- I looked
25 behind me -- that is, back up north, ultimately towards
1 Busovaca, and I saw soldiers -- and this was a rare
2 event; I saw soldiers what we would call "shake out" in
3 a military formation. They were moving across ground,
4 clearly tactically aware, using cover, ground.
5 Q. And this was 40 or 50 of what group?
6 A. HVO.
7 Q. Thank you. And overall, to what artillery
8 pieces, if any, then, did the ABiH in this area have
10 A. I'm sorry, could you repeat the question,
12 Q. Yes. To what artillery pieces, if any, did
13 the ABiH have access during this period?
14 A. To -- as far as I was aware, none. Certainly
15 as far as anything I had seen.
16 Q. Before I move to one or two concluding
17 paragraphs, I think I have omitted two matters of
18 detail. I think you told us about seeing the two HOS
19 commanders on a second occasion; is that correct?
20 A. Yes, I did see this -- these were the two HOS
21 commanders who I saw at the UNHCR meeting that had been
22 called by and chaired by Mr. de la Mota.
23 Q. Was there a crossing of refugees at Turbe,
24 paragraph 41, that you want to refer to?
25 A. Yes. I think its main significance was that
1 this marks more or less the end of my intense area of
2 operations in the area around Busovaca, Kacuni, and
3 that area. Not that the situation had been solved, but
4 really, as troubleshooters, very thinly spread on the
5 ground, this was then the next main effort. This was a
6 scene of ethnic cleansing on a very large scale, where
7 some two to three thousand Muslims who had lived to the
8 south of Banja Luka were bussed up to the Bosnian
9 Serb-controlled area, the front lines, and had to walk
10 across, and I was involved in that.
11 Q. The one paper exhibit I haven't yet got you
12 to produce -- out of order, I'm afraid -- 862, the
13 small photograph, just for completeness, relates to, in
14 a sentence?
15 A. This is a photograph that was taken on the
16 morning of the 7th of February, where -- I believe that
17 this was taken early in the day, when I was discussing
18 points of detail about the removal of the obstacles
19 that made up the roadblock with HVO engineers.
20 Q. Thank you. Just yes or no to this: Were you
21 aware of the terms of the Vance-Owen Peace Plan?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Paragraph 32, but before we come to that,
24 paragraph 49, I turn to -- again, don't read, because
25 these are conclusions, please.
1 What, if any, pattern of behaviour did you
2 detect in Kordic as between any public or private
4 A. Well, as an example, it was interesting to
5 note that to the best of my recollection, Mr. Kordic
6 was not present at the meeting called by Mr. de la Mota
7 on the afternoon of the 23rd of February. As an
8 example, it was typical of a pattern of his name being
9 mentioned in connection with things happening on the
10 ground but him never actually appearing at a formal
11 meeting, such as the ones at the school, to the best of
12 my memory, or to -- as the signatory to a document such
13 as the one that was shown earlier, the 30th of January
14 ceasefire agreement. Of course, you've seen a document
15 that he signed where I signed as well, but that's in
16 relation to the return of a vehicle, which I hardly
17 think is of the same scale.
18 Q. Your assessment of his power in the area, and
19 the assessment of whether there was anybody superior to
20 him in that area?
21 A. My assessment is that certainly with regard
22 to the conduct of day-to-day operations, so things
23 happening in real time, there was practically nothing
24 which occurred without his name being mentioned out on
25 the ground, or instances which I can relate where he
1 will have stated something, and in very short time,
2 I've seen the end result of it actually out on the
4 Q. Your assessment in relation specifically to
5 military and/or police matters?
6 A. I would say both.
7 Q. And over what area? Use the map if that will
9 A. Yes. Instances that I saw where his
10 influence was related to, starting from Busovaca
11 itself, in the -- all the area down to what was more or
12 less the front line between the Bosnian Croats and the
13 army BiH, at the front edge of Kacuni itself and areas
14 to either side. Now, "to either side"; I cannot be
15 specific, as I cannot for either of the opposing
16 forces. I stuck to the main routes. All the way up to
17 Kaonik, going east from Kaonik up to a roadblock that
18 we cleared on the 7th, and, indeed, along this road
19 here [indicating], towards this place name, "Luke,"
20 and then going from the bridge, again, past a number of
21 checkpoints, up to a checkpoint which was on the main
22 road just to the east of Vitez itself.
23 Sorry, I'm up here now. Up to the east of
24 Vitez. I would say Vitez itself because of the
25 reference to Mr. Pasko, and I would also say -- by
1 implication, I have to say -- up to Travnik, because
2 that is where the vehicle actually came from, although
3 it could be argued that that was Mr. Pasko's doing on
4 his behalf.
5 Q. You spoke of or were asked by me about
6 police; was there an incident involving a head of
7 police at Busovaca?
8 A. Yes, on a date that I cannot recall -- nor do
9 I have anything in my notebook, so this is memory -- I
10 was travelling on the road. I came across a lorry with
11 two Muslim civilians standing by the side of it, and
12 this was, I would say, no more than about 50 to 100
13 metres from the PTT building. I inquired -- as always,
14 through the interpreter -- what was wrong, because they
15 looked uncomfortable, and they -- were told that they
16 were driving some supplies, were heading for Zenica and
17 had been stopped, and they had been told that they were
18 going to be detained.
19 This was contrary to the spirit of freedom of
20 movement that we had discussed on a regular basis. I
21 must admit I was annoyed, so I went in to Mr. Kordic's
22 headquarters. I think some people in the room were a
23 bit irritated to see me, because I had been in there on
24 a regular basis and had interrupted a meeting, and I
25 was forceful and angry about the incident which I had
1 come across, and wanted to know why they had been
2 stopped, what was going to happen to them.
3 Mr. Kordic said he would then get a chief of
4 police. He then appeared. I didn't get his name. I
5 can recall that he was shortish, had a dark moustache,
6 quite fleshy about the face, and that he was wearing
7 the uniform of the HVO -- not the HVO; I beg your
8 pardon -- the Croat police, the civil police. It's a
9 dark -- distinctive dark blue uniform.
10 He looked unsettled, out of breath, and
11 clearly he had dropped everything to get to the
12 headquarters as quickly as possible, where Mr. Kordic
13 basically told him to sort it out and assured me that
14 these people could go on their way. And I observed
15 this happening.
16 Q. In addition to what you've already told us
17 about checkpoints, is there one other incident in
18 relation to a checkpoint that you recall?
19 A. Yes, there is. I would call this a fairly
20 typical incident. I was driving south from Busovaca, I
21 think on my way to look at Kacuni, and I was stopped at
22 a checkpoint by two HVO soldiers, and I remonstrated
23 that I had authority as U.N. for free passage on the
24 road. They denied me access, so I went back to the PTT
25 building -- this was a separate occasion to the one
1 I've just related -- and said, "If we're going to work
2 together, I must be allowed to go about my daily
3 business unhindered."
4 And he said, "I will sort it out." And by
5 the time I'd got back, and this is literally two
6 minutes, they had received a message that I was to be
7 let through, and I went on my way.
8 Q. Was there any checkpoint that you came across
9 that appeared to be susceptible to the control of
10 anyone else in the time you were there?
11 A. Not specifically by name, no, as far as I can
13 Q. Then, overall, you say you were aware of the
14 terms of the Vance-Owen Plan; how, if at all, did what
15 you saw fit with any aspects of that plan?
16 A. Well, the first thing I would say -- and
17 again, in brief -- there was widespread concern amongst
18 the population, the opposing forces, about the
19 consequences of implementation of this plan, in that --
20 in how it related to the establishment of cantons and a
21 change of boundaries. And specifically, tensions were
22 created by representatives on both sides, army BiH and
23 HVO, who were making declarations right -- well, prior
24 to, we believe the date is such-and-such a date, "I
25 want to make it quite clear that all Muslim or Croat,"
1 dependent on who was saying it, "are to come in and
2 stockpile their weapons; furthermore, the existing
3 heads of police or commanders will be replaced by those
4 according to who should have been predominant in the
6 This caused an enormous amount of tension,
7 before the proposed date of the implementation of
9 Q. The attack you witnessed and spoke of,
10 however at all did that fit in?
11 A. Could you refresh my memory, please?
12 Q. The attack on the 6th of February. Did you
13 make any conclusions about the attack that you'd seen?
14 A. I'm afraid I'll have to --
15 Q. It doesn't matter. I'm not going to take it
16 further. It's probably a matter for the Chamber, in
17 any event.
18 Thank you. Will you wait there, please.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:
20 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, by agreement with
21 counsel for the co-defendant, Mr. Cerkez, I will be
22 asking all of the questions of this witness, in view of
23 the fact that there was not a mention of Mr. Cerkez
24 during the direct examination.
25 Q. Good afternoon, Major Jennings.
1 A. Good afternoon.
2 Q. As I told you, my name is Steve Sayers. This
3 is Mr. Naumovski, and together we represent Dario
5 I would just like to give you an outline, if
6 I may, of where I am going in the cross-examination,
7 both actually for your purposes and also for the Trial
9 First I am going to ask you a series of
10 general questions connected with the duties of liaison
11 officers and the military chain of command, things
12 within your area of expertise and competence.
13 Secondly, I am going to focus fairly
14 carefully on the fighting that occurred in the Busovaca
15 area between January the 20th and the date of the
16 ceasefire, January the 30th, that 10-day period.
17 Third, I am going to ask you some questions
18 in connection with the ceasefire agreements that were
19 signed and the other agreements.
20 Fourth, I am going to cover each of the
21 meetings that you had with Mr. Kordic, which I think
22 you've agreed all occurred over a three-week period in
23 February. Correct?
24 A. That's correct, yes.
25 Q. Finally, and I'll try to cut this down, I
1 have some miscellaneous questions on the specific
2 testimony that you've given today, and I will try to
3 ask you as few questions in that area as possible.
4 The first question, sir: You, I believe, do
5 not speak any Croatian; is that correct?
6 A. That is correct.
7 Q. The principal interpreter that you used, I
8 believe, was Sergeant Thornton?
9 A. One of the three interpreters that I used, I
10 would say, during this period.
11 Q. Who were the other two?
12 A. Well, one is deceased. Dobrila Kolaba, who
13 was killed in July '93. And the other I'm not happy to
15 Q. All right. Would that be because he or she
16 is a member of the British armed forces?
17 A. No. Because the person in question was a
18 member of the local population, and is still alive.
19 Q. Fair enough. I don't think we need to press
20 that. Would it be fair to say that you used Sergeant
21 Thornton's services mostly?
22 A. I would say that I used, if we talk about the
23 period that we've been through this morning, I would
24 say that I used Sergeant Thornton about a quarter of
25 the time.
1 Q. Which one of the interpreters did you take
2 along with you during your three weeks of visits to
3 Mr. Kordic's office?
4 A. All three. One of all three.
5 Q. And you have no way now of determining which
6 one was with you in any one particular meeting, I take
8 A. That would be difficult, although there are
9 certain instances, if you wish to discuss, I could try
10 and recollect who was there.
11 Q. We'll see if that's important as we go
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. I take it, sir, you have given two prior
15 statements to the investigators for the Prosecution:
16 one on April the 25th and 28th of 1995?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. And one on February of 1997 and March of
19 1997, which was, apparently, signed on April the 29th,
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. Have you given any other statements to
23 representatives of the Prosecution?
24 A. To the representatives of the Prosecution,
1 Q. Anybody else?
2 A. To a counsel for the Defence, I believe, of
3 Mr. Blaskic, a Mr. Russell Hayman.
4 Q. And that concludes the number of people that
5 you have spoken to?
6 A. That is correct. Or I've given a statement
7 which I've signed and agreed.
8 Q. Are there other instances --
9 A. That would be very difficult, because it's a
10 subject which, of course, one doesn't forget and you
11 have conversations about it. But if we could be
12 specific in terms of what would arrive here as evidence
13 or as a witness statement, no other one, no.
14 Q. Very well. Now, you've stated, and I don't
15 think there is any dispute about this, that you've
16 essentially been a military man your entire adult life?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Your rank is currently Major?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that is a rank that you have held since
21 September of 1990?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When you arrived in the areas, as unfortunate
24 and tragic as it may be, it's a fact, nonetheless, that
25 it was not unusual to see burned out Serb, Muslim or
1 Croat villages; isn't that correct?
2 A. That is correct. There was a degree of
3 destruction already there related to all three parties,
4 shall we say.
5 Q. Would it be fair to say that, once again, as
6 reprehensible as it may be, the technique of burning of
7 houses and villages was a relatively standard technique
8 used by the three warring factions, in your
10 A. Well, I never actually witnessed a specific
11 act of the burning of a house by an identifiable BiH
13 Q. Let me just read you an entry from milinfosum
14 111 on the 18th of February, 1993, which was during
15 your tour in the area. In the Kacuni area it was
16 reported that approximately 50 BiH soldiers in the area
17 were with an armoured truck, and the comment was that
18 the commander reported that two houses were Muslim, and
19 the third a Croat house, had been set on fire in
20 retribution for the two Muslim ones.
21 Once again, sir, as reprehensible as it may
22 be, there was basically tit-for-tat house burning, to
23 use a vernacular, going on on both sides?
24 A. Can I make it clear that my statement related
25 to my personal experience, in other words, what I
1 witnessed. I am not saying that such instances did not
2 take place.
3 Q. Right.
4 A. On the basis of milinfosums and the fact that
5 we received daily briefings about things that were
6 going on, we took them to be correct.
7 Q. That's exactly what you heard from the
8 intelligence that had been gathered by the British
9 forces in the area, that this was not an isolated
10 one-way phenomenon, if you like; it was --
11 A. Oh, no. No. No.
12 Q. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that is correct. Yes.
14 Q. Very well. Now, did you know that the total
15 population of the town of Busovaca, according to the
16 1991 census anyway, was 3.899?
17 A. I did not know that fact.
18 Q. Well, it would be fair to describe Busovaca,
19 would it not, as a pretty small town?
20 A. Smallish, but I believed it also had been a
21 very significant place as well. But in terms of
22 population size, that would not surprise me.
23 Q. Please forgive the delays in the questions.
24 A. I understand.
25 Q. We are routinely cruel to the interpreters by
1 failing to have breaks between the question and the
2 answer. So if you would help me out, I'll try to do
3 the same.
4 Your predecessor, I take it, was Major Andrew
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You have previously described that you were a
8 liaison officer. Would it be fair to say that it was
9 perceived that there had been a gap in coverage,
10 essentially, between the western Lasva Valley that was
11 the primary area of responsibility of Captain Forgrave,
12 and the Zenica area which was the primary area of
13 responsibility of Captain Matthew Dundas-Whatley, and
14 so for a period of time you basically plugged the gap?
15 Would that be fair to say?
16 A. Yes, it would. This was a very temporary
17 gap, and I think it's also worth adding, to give this
18 balance, that resources were extremely thinly spread at
19 any one time and activities had to be directed to where
20 main events were taking place. At that stage, the main
21 events were in Gornji Vakuf, with fighting and
22 associated fighting, I believe, in Novi Travnik and
23 Travnik. That's where the tension was, not in
25 Q. All right. Now --
1 A. I'm sorry. Excuse me. As a point of detail,
2 you described me as a liaison officer. I carried out
3 certain liaison officer duties in my capacity as a
4 company commander and indeed ensured and went out of my
5 way to ensure that I did not blur the edges of any
6 responsibility and ensured that any information I
7 gained, I passed to the liaison officer in question.
8 Q. Who was the liaison officer in question?
9 A. Well, actually, it was covered by Captain
10 Martin Forgrave as well. He had quite a large area to
11 cover. And with Captain Dundas-Whatley. They actually
12 worked as a pair to a degree at times, although
13 officially these were their designated areas of
15 Q. I understand that you were the CO of Charlie
17 A. I was the officer commanding of C company,
19 Q. You realise that during the time that you
20 were performing your visits to the Busovaca-Kacuni
21 area, that you were ultimately to be posted up north to
22 Tuzla, the Tuzla region; correct?
23 A. That's correct, yes.
24 Q. All right. Now, you've told us that one of
25 the first things that you tried to do when you assumed
1 control of your company on January the 13th was to find
2 out who the local commanders of both the HVO and the
3 Muslim forces were; correct?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. Well, didn't you already know that, because
6 your regiment had actually been stationed in the area
7 for three months?
8 A. But I had only arrived on the 13th of
9 January. And one of the most important things is to
10 put a face to a name. And, also, to introduce myself.
11 It was an equal thing. It was very important that I
12 established my credentials as the new company commander
13 so that they saw my face too.
14 Q. And, as I understand the information
15 reporting regime, if you like, the liaison officers
16 would report back to the milinfocell every day any
17 significant meetings, any significant events, anything
18 that was noteworthy, and that the people who were in
19 charge of preparing milinfosums would put those
20 significant meetings and events into a military
21 information summary that was prepared by the milinfosum
22 every day?
23 A. If they could.
24 Q. And the officer in charge of your milinfocell
25 was Captain Christopher Leyshon?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. Assisted ably by Sergeant Jim Connelly, I
3 take it?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. You relied upon these milinfosums to give you
6 a view of what was going on in your area of
7 responsibility to a large degree; isn't that fair to
9 A. Yes, we all did.
10 Q. Just one brief background question on the
11 mission of UNPROFOR, of which BritBat was a part. The
12 primary role, in fact the almost exclusive role of the
13 U.N. forces in Bosnia, was to escort UNHCR convoys into
14 an area where humanitarian aid was needed. Would that
15 be fair to say?
16 A. That is a significant task, but it wasn't the
17 primary mission.
18 Q. Were you authorised ever to provide armed
19 escorts to purely private convoys, sir?
20 A. There were -- when you say "private," do you
21 mean non-governmental organisation, NGOs?
22 Q. I mean organisations not affiliated in any
23 way with the United Nations, or with the UNHCR.
24 A. No. We were working in support of the
25 UNHCR. And, indeed, on matters of such policy, we took
1 our direction from them.
2 Q. So you would not be permitted to provide
3 UNPROFOR weaponry and armed force to a purely private
4 convoy? That's what you are saying, correct?
5 A. Well, we would not, no.
6 Q. Now --
7 JUDGE MAY: When you get to a convenient
8 moment, we'll adjourn. It's 1.00.
9 MR. SAYERS: It seems like a perfectly
10 convenient time, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Major, would you be
12 back, please, at half past 2.00.
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
14 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 MR. SAYERS:
3 Q. Major, good afternoon.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. Now, addressing the initial researches that
6 you testified about, it's true that you never met the
7 commander in chief of the ABiH forces, General Sefer
8 Halilovic; is that correct?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. Similarly, you never met the commander in
11 chief of the HVO forces, Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic;
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Similarly, would it be fair to say that you
15 never met the 3rd Corps ABiH commander, General Enver
17 A. I met or was introduced to him, no.
18 Q. And you never actually met Colonel Blaskic,
19 either, did you?
20 A. I recall seeing Colonel Blaskic at an
21 occasion at the school, on a date I can't remember, at
22 a distance. I was not introduced to him.
23 Q. And you've never spoken --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Would counsel please slow
1 MR. SAYERS:
2 Q. Have you ever spoken to Colonel Franjo Nakic,
3 his second in command?
4 A. No, I have not.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Could counsel please slow
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, if you haven't heard,
8 "Could counsel please slow down," from the
10 MR. SAYERS: I stand justly upbraided.
11 Q. Have you met Colonel Dzemal Merdan, the
12 deputy commander of the 3rd Corps?
13 A. I was briefly introduced to him on the
14 morning of Tuesday, the 26th of January, at the bridge
15 at Kacuni, and watched him being interviewed by Kate
16 Adie of the BBC.
17 Q. That was in the episode where Colonel Stewart
18 and you went down to the Kacuni checkpoint?
19 A. That was -- that occurred early that day, all
20 within about an hour or so.
21 Q. Now, would you agree, or tell me if you don't
22 know -- and that's true, by the way, of all my
23 questions -- the 3rd Corps in Zenica, under the command
24 of General Hadzihasanovic, had approximately ten to
25 twelve thousand line troops available to them; would
1 you say that's a fair approximation?
2 A. As memory serves me, yes, and I'm pausing to
3 try and recollect if I could remember an exact figure
4 that had been quoted to me at the time.
5 Q. Very well. As you reviewed the milinfosums
6 available to you, do you remember coming across one
7 specifically dated January the 18th, 1993, milinfosum
8 number 79? And I have a copy if you need to see it,
9 but the point I want to draw to your attention is a
10 report that the ABiH had 11.000 troops in the town as
11 opposed to 1.000 HVO troops.
12 A. Which town, please?
13 Q. Travnik.
14 A. I do not recall that.
15 Q. If you need to see the milinfosum, I'd be
16 happy to show it to you; but in the interests of time,
17 let me read you, from page 1: "The LO team visited the
18 BiH exchange officer for Travnik, who stated that the
19 situation was tense." And then it goes on to say: "He
20 claimed that the BiH were much stronger than the HVO in
21 Travnik, having 11.000 BiH soldiers in the area in
22 comparison to only 1.000 HVO soldiers." Is that
23 dramatically different from your recollection of the
24 state of affairs, or does it reflect your understanding
25 of the --
1 A. It's difficult to say so, based on my
2 memory. May I say as well, briefly, that in the period
3 immediately after taking command, there was an
4 initiative to examine whether some of our forces could
5 assist with resupplies in Sarajevo, and that was one of
6 the first things that I was actually involved with in
7 the period 15, 16, 17, 18 January, which came to
8 nothing. It was only after that that I was able to
9 turn my attention in detail to what was going on. I
10 had been there less than a week at that stage. I'm
11 sure you can appreciate it was a very steep learning
13 Q. Believe me, Major, I genuinely appreciate how
14 steep that learning curve is.
15 How long did you spend trying to climb or
16 rappel your way up that learning curve?
17 A. I would say that I was climbing all the
18 time. I think that it was an enormous amount to deal
19 with. The battalion had been in position for about
20 eight weeks, deploying in November of the previous
21 year. I came out on a rotation of -- a planned
22 changeover of company commanders. I would say it took
23 me the best part of about the first ten days, two
24 weeks, to have what I could say a genuine understanding
25 of what was going on, or what I believed was going on.
1 MR. NICE: I think, Your Honour, I wonder if,
2 when documents are quoted from, even if the Chamber and
3 the witness isn't bothered with them, if I could be
4 provided with a copy. It would make life easier, and I
5 can deal with matters swiftly then.
6 MR. SAYERS: We'd be more than happy to do
7 that, provided, in the interests of equality of arms,
8 that is reciprocated, Your Honour.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, we're not going to go into
10 a quarrel about this. If you quote from a document,
11 then you must show it to the other side.
12 MR. SAYERS: Very well.
13 JUDGE MAY: If you are going to, Mr. Sayers,
14 you should have a copy, and when you quote from it,
15 hand it over.
16 MR. SAYERS: Very well.
17 Just handing to the usher a copy of
18 milinfosum number 79, Your Honour.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D101/1.
20 MR. SAYERS:
21 Q. Major, as the Prosecution has requested, you
22 are now able to see what I was quoting from in
23 milinfosum number 79. And you have no reason to
24 believe that that information is incorrect; would that
25 be fair to say?
1 A. No, I would not.
2 Q. The next document I would like you to look at
3 is milinfosum number 112, which has already been marked
4 as Exhibit D62/1.
5 A. Thank you.
6 Q. Specifically, sir, I want to draw your
7 attention to a comment made by General Hadzihasanovic
8 on the 19th of February, 1993, or thereabouts,
9 assessing the strength of the -- the troop strength of
10 the ABiH at 52.000. And the comment is that this
11 figure is believed to be a fair assessment of the
12 strength of BiH forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Would
13 that be a fair assessment of the troop strength, as far
14 as you are aware?
15 A. I would have to say, as far as I was aware,
16 and also that I would take the judgements of the
17 milinfo centre in that. I would have no reason to
18 disbelieve that.
19 Q. Would you agree that in the Lasva Valley
20 area, and in Bosnia-Herzegovina generally, the ABiH
21 forces outnumbered the -- sorry, the ABiH forces
22 outnumbered the HVO forces?
23 A. From what I personally saw?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. It would be very difficult to say.
1 Q. You just don't know?
2 A. Well, to be honest, if we are talking about
3 what I personally saw, what I personally believed.
4 When I described this morning my area of operational
5 responsibility, I did specify that it was on or around
6 the main supply routes. Now, if a formation, which I
7 would understand tactically would be well off a road,
8 in the countryside, camouflaged, it wouldn't be my
9 business to be going in there. I therefore wouldn't be
10 in a position to be able to say if they were of those
12 And in all these things, as far as the
13 milinfosums are concerned, if there is a comment, the
14 comment is on the basis of the milinfo centre assessing
15 a vast amount of information coming in and making a
16 comment, a judgement. That is what I would go with.
17 Q. All right. On the subject of ABiH artillery,
18 were you aware that in early January ABiH
19 152-millimetre artillery pieces had been seen in the
20 area of Travnik?
21 A. If this had been reported in a milinfosum, I
22 may have read it at the time, but obviously I can't
23 recollect it --
24 Q. All right.
25 A. -- right now.
1 Q. Just quoting you from a document that's been
2 marked as D45/1, milinfosum number 70, 9th of January,
3 1993, it says:
4 "The LO reported that a BiH heavy artillery
5 piece, 152-millimetre or larger, is believed to be
6 [inaudible] 900 metres to the east of the hospital and
7 the north of town."
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please
9 slow down, especially when he reads a document.
10 A. [Inaudible] -- on the 20th of February.
11 Q. I would be more than happy to show you mine,
12 if the usher wishes. Just give this to you, D45/1.
13 It's been identified.
14 JUDGE MAY: Where is this, Mr. Sayers, that
15 we are dealing with?
16 MR. SAYERS: Under the entry for Travnik,
17 Your Honour.
18 A. Well, this, of course, relates to a date when
19 I was not actually in the theatre of operations. I
20 took over the company on the 13th of January and I
21 actually arrived -- in fact, on the day this was
22 produced I was still making my way via Zagreb to
24 Q. I understand, sir. But one day before you
25 arrived in the area of operations, this artillery piece
1 was actually spotted in the area, wasn't it?
2 A. If this document says that it was spotted in
3 the area, then I have no reason to disbelieve it. But
4 I certainly can't recall it.
5 Q. All right. Maybe we can cut through this.
6 You basically confined your attention to the main
7 supply routes themselves? You didn't actually travel
8 out to the outlying areas, did you?
9 A. Not on a routine basis. If it was part of a
10 specific task that I was involved with, then I would do
11 it. But the nature of the specific liaison officers,
12 as opposed to myself as a company commander, were quite
13 different. And as I've said earlier, I would liase as
14 part of my general duties as a company commander.
15 But at the end of the day, I had 120 men,
16 some 14 Warriors, a troop of Scimitars, and it was my
17 responsibility to assist the UNHCR in getting aid up
18 the main supply routes.
19 Q. Yes. But if tanks had been moving, for
20 example, in the Zenica area, you never saw any, did
22 A. No, I did not.
23 Q. All right. Just to clarify in my own mind,
24 you weren't actually formally a liaison officer; you
25 were a company commander?
1 A. That's correct. And I've made it quite clear
2 in all my testimony that was the case.
3 Q. But you just filled in as an LO doubling up,
4 if you like, in the Busovaca area?
5 A. For a specific period of time I concentrated
6 more on liaison-type duties. Never at any stage did I
7 formally become the liaison officer for the Busovaca
8 area. No.
9 Q. Now, turning our attention to just a few
10 questions on the military chain of command, sir. There
11 is no doubt that Colonel Blaskic was the overall HVO
12 military commander for the entire Central Bosnia
13 operative zone, is there?
14 A. At the level at which I was working, I was
15 quite clear that Colonel Blaskic was the named person
16 who was in charge of operations in that area.
17 Q. He commanded all HVO military operations in
18 the Central Bosnia operative zone, didn't he?
19 A. It was stated that he was the nominated
20 commander, yes. That's what I was told and that's what
21 I believed.
22 Q. And you saw nothing to indicate that he had
23 less than full command over his troops, did you?
24 A. Well, I would say that there were occasions,
25 which I related this morning, where I was surprised at
1 some of the things that I believed purported to have
2 come from him, with his agreement, seemed to have been
3 overridden by another person. I was surprised.
4 Q. Now, at the time that the conflict
5 broke out --
6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me.
7 Mr. Sayers, regarding the previous answer of the
8 witness, could the witness please explain in more
9 detail what other person? You spoke about the
10 responsibility. You said you were surprised. What
11 other person? That things that should have come from
12 or the order should have come from Colonel Blaskic
13 came, as a matter of fact, from another source, from
14 another person. You mentioned there was another
15 person. What other person did you have in mind?
16 A. Yes, Your Honour. To answer your question,
17 the person that I had in mind was Dario Kordic, but, if
18 I could be specific, it wasn't that an order had come
19 from him. The instances which I related to, the one
20 specific one, was it seemed that an order or an
21 agreement, an agreement that had been previously made,
22 had been overridden by Dario Kordic. And this
23 specifically is the delay in the exchange of prisoners
24 by 48 hours.
25 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 MR. SAYERS:
2 Q. And we'll get to that, Major, in due course.
3 Did you understand that the commander of the
4 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in Busovaca was commander
5 Niko Jozinovic?
6 A. Yes, I believe I was introduced to this
7 person by Captain Martin Forgrave on or around the 20th
8 of January.
9 Q. All right. And the deputy commander of that
10 brigade was the gentleman that you've described, Anto
11 Sliskovic; correct?
12 A. Yes, I understood him to be the deputy
13 commander. In fact, he introduced himself. He said he
14 was the deputy commander.
15 Q. Did you understand that the HVO forces under
16 the command of Colonel Blaskic were divided into three
17 operational zones containing nine brigades?
18 A. I couldn't be clear on this information. I
19 have to be honest.
20 Q. Turning to the civilian political structure
21 in Busovaca, did you ever gain any understanding of who
22 the President of the HVO government in Busovaca was?
23 A. Not the President, no.
24 Q. Did you ever meet Mr. Zoran Maric?
25 A. No, I did not.
1 Q. Did you know who the head of the local HDZ,
2 BiH party was?
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. Do you recognise the name Florijan
6 A. No, I do not.
7 Q. How about on the Muslim side, just south of
8 Kacuni, Major Jennings; who was the leading political
9 figure on the Muslim side, please?
10 A. I would not know the name of the leading
11 political figure.
12 Q. I would just like to have another milinfosum
13 marked, sir, and ask you whether you consulted this
14 before you started to meet the principal military
15 figures. It's milinfosum number 75, dated January the
16 15th, 1993.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document D102/1.
18 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
19 MR. SAYERS:
20 Q. The two things that I would like to ask you
21 about are really under the first heading in Busovaca.
22 It says: The HVO brigade, Nikola Zrinjski, is
23 commanded by Niko Jozinovic. Was this information that
24 was available to you before you started to meet the
25 local military figures, sir?
1 A. I'm sorry, can you just go to where it is,
2 that name is?
3 Q. Yes. It's under heading (1), Busovaca,
4 subparagraph (b).
5 A. (b). I do have recollection of this. I will
6 have read this document; how much time I had to read it
7 -- I would have read this document, in retrospect,
8 because, as I said earlier, I was actually on that
9 day -- is it the 15th of January?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. I was preparing to go into Sarajevo, and
12 reading documents relating to that.
13 Q. And as you can see under the next entry, a
14 number of BiH tanks were noted being transported or
15 moving under their own power towards Zenica. Were you
16 aware of that, that the BiH actually had tank assets?
17 A. Well, I believe I would have looked at this
18 at the time.
19 Q. And therefore you would have been aware that
20 the BiH army had tank assets, would you not?
21 A. It would have been reported as such, that
22 they had tank assets.
23 Q. Yes. I will have some more questions on this
24 particular subject more as we go along, but I just
25 would like you to confirm, Major, that at the command
1 level of the Nikola Subic Zrinjski Brigade, during the
2 period of time that you were having your meetings with
3 Mr. Kordic, the brigade was actually undergoing a
4 change of command; isn't that correct?
5 A. I am aware that there were details
6 disseminated about a change of command, yes.
7 Q. In fact, in the first week of February or so,
8 commander Niko Jozinovic was actually replaced by
9 commander Dusko Grubesic; do you remember that?
10 A. No, I don't, but if that was the case, I'm
11 sure it took place.
12 Q. All right. Let me turn to the subject of the
13 fighting that occurred in January. The precipitating
14 factor for the fighting that occurred, at least in the
15 Busovaca area, was the erection of a checkpoint by the
16 ABiH forces at Kacuni, right on the main road; isn't
17 that true?
18 A. I'm not sure that that is the case. Are you
19 saying that that was the catalyst that started off the
20 fighting that took place?
21 Q. Well, let's just go through it piece by
22 piece, if I may.
23 MR. SAYERS: The next milinfosum is
24 milinfosum 81, on the 20th of January, 1993.
25 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
2 MR. SAYERS:
3 Q. Just one very brief question about this, on
4 page 3, under Item 4, "Busovaca." It's right at the
5 bottom of the page, Major.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. It says: "The BiH in Busovaca area have
8 erected a new checkpoint at Kacuni. This is the only
9 BiH checkpoint en route from Vitez to Kiseljak and is
10 located just north of the BiH brigade headquarters."
11 A. Mm-hmm.
12 Q. That, I take it, is a reference to the
13 brigade headquarters of the 333rd Mountain Brigade.
14 A. I believe it would be, yes.
15 Q. And this checkpoint was reported to be well
16 manned by soldiers equipped with both automatic weapons
17 and an RPG-7; correct?
18 A. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
19 Q. Just for the record, that's a
20 rocket-propelled anti-tank weapon, is it not?
21 A. Rocket-propelled grenade.
22 Q. And do you recall that the purpose of that
23 checkpoint, sir, according to the British army, was to
24 prevent reinforcements of HVO troops coming from
25 Kiseljak and Kresevo?
1 A. I can't recall that specifically, no.
2 Q. All right. If I could just show you the
3 document that's marked as Exhibit D53/1.
4 A. Thank you.
5 Q. It's on page 2, Major, the item that I want
6 to discuss with you, under "Busovaca."
7 The document says: "The new BiH checkpoint
8 placed in Kacuni was put in place to prevent HVO
9 reinforcements coming from the Kiseljak/Kresevo" -- I
10 guess it means "area." And in fact, on January the
11 20th, reinforcements attempting to pass the checkpoint
12 were actually turned back. Do you see that?
13 A. Just about.
14 Q. It's not a very good copy --
15 A. No.
16 Q. -- I admit.
17 That was information that was known to you
18 contemporaneously, was it not?
19 A. Only in the sense that all milinfos were
20 available to you to read. And this is an important
21 point, because I have had many milinfos presented to me
22 about events pertaining -- of some six-plus years ago.
23 And these I take, as I have already said, as accurate
24 because they are produced by the milinfo centre. But
25 to answer a question, I therefore knew that to be the
1 case, I would have to place the caveat: It depends on
2 whether I had actually had the time, given the nature
3 of my duties, where at times, even in my own notebook,
4 there are gaps of two or three days, I'd been out on
5 the ground spending hours, literally, on a specific
6 task, and there are only so many hours in a day.
7 Q. I take your point fully, Major.
8 A. I mean, that is -- I'm not trying to be
9 defensive; I'm trying to explain what it was actually
10 like, operating at company commander level, not back in
11 the headquarters at Vitez, where one could take a
12 measured look; my job was to ensure that things
13 physically happened on the ground, and I obviously
14 assimilated as much information as I could. So
15 therefore I can't say that I can say I definitely would
16 have known that.
17 Q. Let me just ask you to agree, Major, that the
18 erection of a checkpoint blocking access along the main
19 supply route from Busovaca to Kiseljak was an event of
20 extreme significance --
21 A. Oh, yes.
22 Q. -- was it not?
23 A. Oh, yes.
24 Q. So from a military perspective, this would
25 have been certainly one of the most significant things
1 that was happening at this particular point in time;
2 you would have to agree with that, wouldn't you?
3 A. It was important.
4 Q. Right.
5 A. At the same time, as recorded in my notebook
6 of events at the time, there was a report of eight
7 explosions reported to be in the Muslim enclave in
8 Busovaca, close to the main supply route. All of these
9 things were very important.
10 Q. All right. Now, in this time period, did you
11 come to have information that detachments of a
12 specialist unit by the name of the 7th Muslim Brigade
13 had been deployed in the Kacuni area right at the end
14 of January of 1993 and immediately prior to the
15 massacre in the village of Dusina on the 26th of
16 January, sir?
17 A. I do recall the name of the brigade in
19 Q. We could have --
20 A. I can't say it was definitely -- my memory
21 doesn't recall that "Yes, and it was in connection with
22 that specific date." But I do recall conversation,
23 discussion, in and around the 5.00 daily briefings,
24 where we were updated about such outside forces.
25 Q. I wonder if the usher would show you Exhibit
1 D61/1, which is a milinfosum dated February the 2nd of
2 1993. And although this may seem to be somewhat out of
3 chronological order, I think you will see that it
4 really fits in.
5 A. Thank you.
6 Q. First of all, Major, on the first page --
7 this is the day before you actually had your first
8 meeting with Mr. Kordic -- it's confirmed that the
9 commander of the Nikola Subic Zrjnski Brigade, as of
10 February the 2nd, is still Niko Jozinovic; do you see
12 A. I do, on the first line, yes.
13 Q. And the deputy commander is Anto Sliskovic;
15 A. Yes, I've got that, yes.
16 Q. And the area immediately to the west of
17 Busovaca was controlled by the 325th BiH Broska Brigada
18 -- which means "Mountain Brigade," I believe -- that
19 was information that was known to you; correct?
20 A. Within the outlines of -- without repeating
21 myself, within the outlines of what I previously said
22 about milinfos.
23 Q. Now, the specific question that I want to ask
24 you is on page 2, under note 4. At the bottom of that
25 page, it states, or at least the British
1 intelligence-gathering organs of the army
2 said: "Separate sources state that elements of the 7th
3 Muslimski Brigade are deployed north of Kacuni. This
4 is a mobile brigade controlled directly from Zenica.
5 Reliable information indicates that at least 80
6 soldiers from the 7th Brigade were moved to the area
7 approximately five days ago."
8 And there are also complaints in this note to
9 the effect that the commander of the 3rd Corps was
10 claiming that he had little control over these groups,
11 and that they did not in fact report to Kacuni. Does
12 that ring a bell of any familiarity to you?
13 A. The only bell that it rings is the general
14 question about the accountability of outside, sometimes
15 referred to as extremist forces. And I do recall,
16 because of course there were such elements on both
17 opposing sides, about the -- specifically the question
18 of who they were accountable, who they took their --
19 their chain of command through.
20 But I don't -- I can't say to you, reading
21 these lines, "Yes, I remember that, yes, I read that, I
22 digested this information."
23 Q. And I wouldn't expect anything else, Major.
24 After all, it was six years ago.
25 You make another reference to some explosions
1 that occurred in the town of Busovaca on the night, I
2 believe, of the 24th of January, was it?
3 A. No, I believe that the explosions actually
4 occurred -- in my notebook, it has the 21st.
5 Q. All right.
6 A. Therefore it will have related to the
7 previous 24 hours; therefore it will have been the
8 night of the 20th/21st, during the night.
9 Q. All right. And this kind of bombing of
10 businesses, if you like, was taking place on both
11 sides, both Croat businesses and Muslim businesses, in
12 towns such as Vitez, was it not?
13 A. In general, yes, it was.
14 Q. In fact, on the 23rd of January, 1993, do you
15 recall hearing about a Croat cafe and another business
16 being bombed?
17 A. In Vitez?
18 Q. In Vitez.
19 A. Yes, I have recollection of that.
20 Q. All right. Now, turning to the immediate
21 flashpoint of the conflict, if you like, on the 24th of
22 January, 1994, you were actually not present in the
23 area when that conflict broke out; correct?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. So what you are relating to us is what you
1 understand from other people?
2 A. No. I listened to it on the high-frequency
3 net, live, as it happened.
4 Q. All right.
5 A. But I did not witness it.
6 Q. My understanding is that on the 24th of
7 January, two vehicles tried to slip into a convoy and
8 were targeted by rocket-propelled weapons fired by ABiH
9 forces, and that in the ensuing destruction, two people
10 were killed.
11 A. That is my understanding, yes.
12 Q. Do you know who they were?
13 A. The individuals?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. No, I do not.
16 Q. Do you know that one of them was a
17 policeman -- and tell me if I jog your memory or not --
18 by the name of Nikica Petrovic?
19 A. No, I cannot recall that.
20 Q. I'm sorry, I'm corrected: Ivica Petrovic.
21 All right.
22 Do you know a gentleman by the name of Ignjac
23 Kostroman? Did you ever meet him?
24 A. No, I cannot recall that name.
25 Q. Can you recall whether any reports were
1 received by the British intelligence units of the army
2 that attempts had been made to abduct Mr. Kostroman and
3 Colonel Blaskic in the Kacuni area on January the
5 A. No, I cannot recall that.
6 Q. Would it be fair to say that the killing of
7 the two Croat citizens at Kacuni on the 24th of
8 January, 1993, sparked about five or six days of
9 fighting that was eventually brought to an end by a
10 negotiated ceasefire?
11 A. I believe that was the principal catalyst.
12 Q. And Mr. Kordic took absolutely no part in the
13 negotiations that led to the conclusion of the
14 ceasefire, did he?
15 A. Not as far as I'm aware, no.
16 Q. I would just like to show you a
17 contemporaneous entry, if I may, in the diary of your
18 CO, Colonel Stewart, where he describes the outbreak of
19 hostilities, and I'd just like to ask you if you agree
20 with it.
21 A. Excuse me, please: Is this his book --
22 Q. No.
23 A. -- or a diary?
24 Q. It's his diary.
25 A. His diary.
1 Q. I've had excerpts made, which I would like to
2 show to you, if I may.
3 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Is the Prosecution
4 going to call Colonel Stewart at the moment?
5 MR. NICE: He is certainly on our list, but I
6 haven't seen his diary.
7 JUDGE MAY: You haven't seen the diary?
8 MR. NICE: I haven't seen the diary. I
9 haven't seen it myself yet.
10 THE REGISTRAR: Document D104/1.
11 MR. SAYERS: This is a document that we
12 actually received from the Prosecution.
13 Q. With respect to the conflict on January the
14 25th, here is what Colonel Stewart has to say. And
15 this is on the bottom of page 9 and the top of page
17 A. All right.
18 Q. "All hell was happening on the road to
19 Kiseljak. Apparently a HVO vehicle following Sergeant
20 Smith's two Warriors was attacked by Muslims in the
21 village of Kacuni and in the resultant events two
22 soldiers were killed. Both sides, Croats and Muslims,
23 were having a go at one another, with the Croats based
24 in Busovaca and the Muslims based in Kacuni."
25 It's phrased in a fairly wry manner, I think,
1 Major Jennings, but would you agree that's a fair
2 characterisation of what was going on?
3 A. The expression, "having a go at one another,"
4 I can understand and sympathise with the frustration
5 that the commanding officer was feeling at the time;
6 that despite all efforts to try and prevent things,
7 yes, they were having a go. I think it is certainly a
8 phrase I would identify with.
9 Q. All right. He also describes a visit to the
10 commander of the 3rd Corps, General Hadzihasanovic, and
11 complained that the BiH had started the trouble, if you
12 see that on the bottom of page 9, about halfway through
13 the concluding paragraph.
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. All right. Did you have any discussions
16 about who was actually responsible for the outbreak of
17 the fighting?
18 A. About the specific instance that led to it?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. To be perfectly honest with you, I was
21 dealing with the situation at the time.
22 Q. On the next page, page 10, and this is the
23 last question I have on this, Colonel Stewart contends
24 that in some anger he had telephoned Colonel Merdan in
25 Zenica and told him that this time the Muslims were at
1 least in some way to blame.
2 You would not disagree with that
4 A. I would say yes. I would say that when I
5 arrived on that morning, the morning of Tuesday the
6 26th of January, the Muslims controlling the roadblock,
7 this log lorry, weren't prepared to listen to a single
8 word I was saying. They were being extremely
10 Q. All right, sir. The next document that I
11 would like to draw your attention to, and I am going to
12 have to put this one on the ELMO and make copies
13 available in due course, is milinfosum number 86, dated
14 January the 25th, 1993. I would like to have this
15 marked, anticipatorially as the next exhibit, please,
16 and we will produce it tomorrow morning.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D105/1.
18 MR. SAYERS:
19 Q. If you would just turn to page 2, Major. In
20 the "comment" the preparer of this milinfosum observes
22 "Several of the houses around the two
23 checkpoints in Kacuni were reported to be burning. It
24 is believed that these houses may have belonged to
25 Croats, the occupants having been ethnically cleansed
1 by the Bosnian army."
2 That was, indeed, an accurate encapsulation
3 of what you saw yourself with your own eyes; correct?
4 A. Not just specifically that. There were a
5 number of houses, houses belonging to both sides.
6 Q. And if we could just orient the Trial Chamber
7 to what we were talking about. I believe that you've
8 previously stated that a map marked Z2781,1 depicts the
9 area where you were principally involved, and it might
10 make some sense to put this on the ELMO so that you can
11 point out a couple of locations to the judges.
12 If you could just move the map a little
13 westward, please, and southward, please. I wonder if
14 you would point out for Their Honours the location of
15 the village of Dusina with the pointer, Major. I think
16 you will find it northwest or northeast of Busovaca.
17 A. You need to come down.
18 Q. That's right. It's on the top right of the
20 A. Sorry, please bear with me.
21 Q. Certainly.
22 JUDGE MAY: Well, no doubt counsel can help
23 the witness with it. Whereabouts is it, Mr. Sayers?
24 MR. SAYERS: If you go out about 30 degrees
25 from Busovaca, Your Honour, Dusina is approximately, it
1 looks like it's four inches on the screen.
2 A. I've now located where you are referring to.
3 Q. Thank you. You also referred to seeing a
4 number of houses burning at Donje Polje. If you could
5 point that out to the --
6 A. [Indicates].
7 Q. Now, could you tell me how many -- your
8 understanding was that this was a Muslim village?
9 A. There were Muslim houses within it. I think
10 I used the phrase "predominantly Muslim." I was not
11 therefore saying it was a Muslim village.
12 Q. And your conclusion relating to the fact that
13 this was a predominantly Muslim village was based upon
14 your observation that it contained houses which had
15 four roofs, correct?
16 A. Yes. That is the basis on which I went, and
17 I don't suppose it's inconceivable that someone else
18 could live in them. You know, I have to be quite clear
19 about this. I always said: Now, here, Muslim houses
20 have four sides to the roof. That's the basis on which
21 I took it. So it was an assumption that it was a
22 Muslim family that lived in there.
23 Q. I don't think this is going to be contested,
24 Your Honour, but according to the 1991 census, the
25 total number of Muslims living in --
1 JUDGE MAY: You can make the point in due
2 course. You say there is -- what do you say the
3 figures are?
4 MR. SAYERS: The number of Muslims living in
5 the village were zero and the number of Croats living
6 in the village, Your Honour, were 709, with five Serbs
7 and about 15 others.
8 JUDGE MAY: As far as the witness is
9 concerned, can you comment on that, Major, or not?
10 A. I can't dispute on the census which is there,
11 which obviously was taken and must be correct. I go on
12 the basis of my memory of what I saw in that area.
13 MR. SAYERS:
14 Q. Major, I have absolutely no criticism of
15 you. Let's continue on, if we may.
16 You yourself were in Busovaca on the 25th
17 upon your return to the BritBat compound at Novi Bila,
19 A. I went to the Dutch transport -- you are
20 referring to Busovaca? I went to the Dutch transport
21 battalion headquarters, to the compound, once I had --
22 or my vehicle had been repaired. This was when it was
23 out of action for about eight hours. I think this was
24 at least 8.00 or 9.00 at night --
25 Q. Actually, let me take you back a little bit
1 to the morning of January the 25th. Isn't it true that
2 you were not sure even where Kacuni was on the morning
3 of the 25th of January, 1993?
4 A. I knew where I was going with regard to a
5 map, a grid reference that was placed on the map.
6 Bearing in mind that I had returned from Tuzla on the
7 Sunday evening, it was reported, which was correct,
8 that I was tasked to go and recover the bodies, and I
9 had gone to see and looked in the operations room where
10 Kacuni was. I had started working out a plan. But a
11 decision was made -- it's actually not reported in any
12 of this -- that because it was after dark, it was
13 considered to be too dangerous to send anybody out at
14 that particular stage.
15 So when I set off on the morning of Monday
16 the 25th -- I'd actually been through Kacuni when I'd
17 gone to Sarajevo weeks previously as part of this
18 reconnaissance, but I'd not taken specific note of this
19 village, indeed, any other of the villages going down
20 on the route. But I do not think it's fair to say I
21 did not know where Kacuni was, and what that might
23 Q. Let me just read you from your statement
24 given to the investigators for the Prosecution four
25 years ago. On page 4 you described leaving in your
1 Warriors. That's an armoured fighting vehicle?
2 A. That's correct, yes.
3 Q. On the morning of the 25th, 1993. You
4 encountered a fire fight at the T-junction. "I stopped
5 on the bridge itself. I was not exactly sure where
6 Kacuni was. And in view of the fire fight, I informed
7 the ops room of the situation."
8 A. Indeed. Well, I have to say -- I mean, it is
9 a choice of words. Fine. But I am sticking with what
10 I was saying, that I knew I had to continue to where
11 Kacuni was marked on my map. But bearing in mind that
12 I had actually entered into what was an extensive fire
13 fight, on the 25th of January, and that what we were
14 doing was we were going to investigate an obstacle that
15 had been placed across the road. I actually had four
16 Warriors with me, and I was about to enter a period of
17 intensive fighting between two opposing factions. I
18 had to consider, bearing in mind that I had not been at
19 Kacuni, I was not present in the incidents the previous
20 day, whether it was worth me pressing on, perhaps
21 endangering British lives. Bearing in mind, of course,
22 there had been the recent death of Lance Corporal Wayne
23 Edwards in Gornji Vakuf on the 13th of January.
24 I therefore decided to call a pause and
25 return to Vitez.
1 Q. Would it be fair to say that your -- well, we
2 can move on. Turning to the incidents of the 26th and
3 27th of January, were you aware that there had been a
4 series of attacks in the Dusina area and to the
5 northeast and east of Busovaca in the region of
6 Nezirovici and Gusti Grab, and that a significant
7 number of Croat civilians had been executed?
8 A. I can't recall that right now. Here,
9 speaking to you answering that question, I can't recall
11 Q. All right. I would just like to show you or
12 ask the usher to show you Exhibit D58/1, which is a
13 milinfosum dated the 29th of January, 1993, and this
14 might refresh your memory, Major.
15 On page 1, a reference is made to the fact
16 that a LO team visited the HVO HQ in Busovaca on that
17 day, the 29th of January, and spoke to the commander
18 Niko Jozinovic. Were you amongst those people?
19 A. No.
20 Q. All right. And then the HVO commander goes
21 on to identify the villages that have been attacked and
22 destroyed by the BiH, including the villages that I
23 just mentioned?
24 A. Uh-huh.
25 Q. He goes on to describe the fact that 12 old
1 people between 65 and 70 years old had been killed and
2 that a further 30 people had been arrested. Did you
3 ever have the opportunity to investigate the
4 circumstances under which those Croat civilians had
5 been detained?
6 A. No, I did not.
7 Q. Did you know that there was a detention
8 facility in Kacuni called the silos where all of these
9 people were cooped up?
10 A. I was aware that there was a detention
11 facility at Kacuni. And the area I went to [indicates]
12 here is -- this is where the blockage was. You then
13 get to this T-junction here. There was a BiH
14 checkpoint on it, a very small one. I then travelled
15 up this. This is actually related to in the diary or
16 book written by Colonel Stewart as well. In fact, I
17 think it's actually -- I had a very quick glance --
18 it's related in that previous piece of evidence. I
19 would say about one and a half, one, one and a half
20 kilometres up here was the centre of 333 brigade.
21 That's where I met the Commander Mekic, his name was.
22 And I was shown the compound.
23 And I saw two ICRC Land Rovers there at the
24 time and -- well, they were clearly dealing with it.
25 They were doing some form of verifying and
1 documentation. But I was there to see the commander at
2 333 brigade with regard to the ongoing -- my desire to
3 get sides together with regard to the various disputes
4 in Busovaca and Kacuni.
5 Q. Thank you. Could you turn to the second page
6 of the exhibit that you have, Exhibit D58/1. And right
7 at the bottom there is a reference to a Zvonko Razic.
8 I think it's actually Rajic. It's misspelled. Did you
9 ever come to know the circumstances under which
10 Mr. Rajic was executed and --
11 A. Well, I mean, it said -- it does say he was
12 killed there, so to use the word "executed," you know,
13 I would go by what is stated in the milinfo, and that
14 states that he was killed. So was I aware of the
15 circumstances in which he was killed? No, I am not.
16 Q. Very well. Then I'll move on. The next item
17 that I would like to cover with you in this is on the
18 very next page, right up at the top, where Commander
19 Jozinovic from the brigade in Busovaca reports the
20 circumstances under which civilian detainees had been
21 released and then rearrested after numerous incidents
22 of sniping. Were you aware of these facts or not?
23 A. I can't say that I can recall those facts at
24 the time. I may have had the opportunity to read this
25 milinfo. Again, I was dealing with preparations for
1 negotiations to deal with specific points that were
2 holding up a ceasefire in and around the
3 Busovaca-Kacuni area.
4 Q. All right. Would you agree that from January
5 the 20th, 1993, when the roadblock in Kacuni went up,
6 until the time that you left the Busovaca area, and
7 thereafter, as far as you are aware, the Muslim forces
8 actually controlled the stretch of the main supply
9 route between Kacuni and the village to the south by
10 the name of Bilalovac?
11 A. Yes, they did.
12 Q. All right. And this effectively cut off the
13 municipality of Busovaca from the municipality of
15 A. Yes, there was a blockage. We did set up a
16 second U.N. checkpoint at Bilalovac subsequently, yes,
17 I remember that.
18 Q. All right. Turning now to your meeting with
19 Deputy Commander Sliskovic on January the 30th, about
20 which you spoke. It would be fair to say that you took
21 an immediate dislike to this gentleman --
22 A. Not an immediate dislike, no.
23 Q. Really?
24 A. Not an immediate dislike.
25 Q. You told him immediately, however, in your
1 first meeting, that his version of events was, in your
2 view, ridiculous; right?
3 A. No. This was one specific comment that he
4 made on the only occasion where I said why were we, in
5 my opinion, why were we being shelled. And, please, I
6 ask you to bear in mind that these events had only
7 taken place two or three days before. I was still,
8 shall we say, very cross about the fact that people had
9 been trying to kill me and my soldiers in the course of
10 my duty. But, carrying on professionally, I stated why
11 were we being shelled, by what I believed, on the basis
12 of examination of shell crater, et cetera, to come from
13 Busovaca. My comment was in reply to his statement
14 that it must have been the Muslims. I just couldn't
15 see that.
16 Q. Right.
17 A. So it was only that one specific thing. I
18 think it would be wrong to say that I took an instant
19 dislike and immediately said that this was ridiculous.
20 It's not the case. These meetings took hours, days to
21 bring together. It was a torturous process. And there
22 were always, to a degree, formalities and courtesies.
23 If anything, it was very important to ensure that both
24 sides felt settled at the table. You had to go through
25 who is who, who is representing who, and get all that
1 down. And then you would actually start on the points
2 of detail.
3 Q. All right. But you did, nonetheless, express
4 your view to him that his explanation of the chronology
5 of the shelling was ridiculous; correct?
6 A. What I said to him was I believed it was a
7 ridiculous statement to say that we on those days had
8 been shelled by the Muslims, the army BiH.
9 Q. And in your statement you say that you
10 considered Mr. Sliskovic to be a specifically
11 unfriendly and sinister person --
12 A. Yes. I did use those words, yes.
13 Q. And that was your reaction the first time
14 that you met him?
15 A. That was the reaction, which I ended up with,
16 the meeting having been concluded. And it was as a
17 result of watching how he conducted himself during the
18 course of a meeting that lasted at least two hours.
19 Q. Very well. You also testified that Jeremy
20 Fleming from the ECMM took over the negotiating
21 process, if you like, principal responsibility for
22 liaising with the various representatives of both
23 sides, once he put in an appearance?
24 A. No. This is not the case. To be specific,
25 the initiative to set up a commission, to investigate
1 the ongoing disputes over power supply, telephone
2 lines, what have you, was suggested by Brigadier
3 Cordy-Simpson, the chief of staff at HQ Kiseljak, who
4 suggested to Colonel Stewart that they should now
5 formally take this on. And, to be honest, I thought it
6 was a very sensible decision, because I was starting to
7 get bogged down in meetings.
8 Q. And that decision ultimately led to the
9 genesis of the Busovaca Joint Commission?
10 A. At Brigadier Cordy-Simpson's initiative,
11 yes. That's my understanding.
12 Q. That was a commission that met in February on
13 a fairly regular basis at the Hotel Tisa in Busovaca;
14 isn't that correct?
15 A. Yes, it did. I think there was a very odd
16 occasion it met -- certainly the first meeting, what
17 one might say is the inaugural meeting, took place in
18 Bila at the school, which is documented. And then the
19 regular place was the Hotel Tisa.
20 Q. And the purpose of this commission was to
21 create a forum, if you like, for a dialogue between the
22 sides and a resolution of all of the problems that were
23 erupting in the Busovaca area, without further
25 A. That is correct. With, as I remember, three
1 representatives from each opposing side.
2 Q. And Mr. Kordic was never one of those?
3 A. He was not.
4 Q. And he didn't attend any of the sessions of
5 the Busovaca Joint Commission, as far as you are aware,
6 did he?
7 A. Not to the best of my knowledge.
8 Q. Very well. Just a few questions in
9 connection with the general ceasefire agreement that
10 was marked as Exhibit Z421,1A. That may find itself in
11 the tidal wave of papers --
12 A. That's okay.
13 Q. Two things with respect to this agreement.
14 First, paragraph 6 states that the release of all
15 prisoners on both sides shall be organised by the
16 International Red Cross. Do you see that?
17 A. I do.
18 Q. All right. There is no time limit for the
19 release of prisoners, as far as you are aware, was
21 A. I have to say in layout this may be a little
22 different from a document which I had --
23 Q. How do you mean?
24 A. It is in the tabulation.
25 Q. Well --
1 A. It says at the top "translation."
2 Q. That's fine. But you are aware that the --
3 let me just put it to you.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. The first time that any deadline for the
6 release of prisoners was actually prescribed by any
7 joint order of General Hadzihasanovic and Colonel
8 Blaskic was actually February the 13th, 1993, was it
10 A. I can't immediately recall that.
11 Q. Very well. Could I just ask the usher to
12 show you Exhibit D55/1. Maybe that will jog your
14 Major, this is a copy of a series of orders
15 signed by Colonel Blaskic and General Hadzihasanovic.
16 I think that the one that interests us is on the 4th
17 page in, where the command is made that "all imprisoned
18 and kept persons should be released unconditionally and
19 immediately by February 15, 1993, not later than 1200
20 hours." Do you see that?
21 A. I can see that, yes.
22 Q. All right. You are not aware of any order
23 that was signed by anybody that contained a deadline
24 before this February the 13th, 1993 order, are you?
25 A. Well, looking at the 30th of January
1 ceasefire, I had an impression from memory that there
2 was a date. But looking at this piece of paper, there
3 is no date or time.
4 Q. Very well, sir. Let me just move on to the
5 next point. The provision that appears in paragraph
6 7(d), I think you gave some testimony about this, but I
7 just want to make sure that this is the provision that
8 you --
9 A. I'm sorry, can I just make sure that I am
10 back to the --
11 Q. That's Z421,1A and paragraph 7(d) requires
12 the joint commission to supervise the withdrawal of all
13 units which are not from the local municipality and to
14 complete their withdrawal by 1600 hours on Monday, the
15 1st of February, 1993.
16 That's the particular provision that
17 Mr. Kordic was complaining about when he showed you
18 identification papers taken from BiH soldiers hailing
19 from the Banja Luka region?
20 A. Right.
21 Q. All right. We can move on.
22 A. I can see a connection there, yes.
23 Q. Yes. In terms of the ceasefire negotiation
24 and agreements, just a few final questions. You made a
25 reference in your 1998 statement, specifically on page
1 8, to the fact that Colonel Stewart knew the importance
2 of getting the higher commanders of the warring
3 factions together in order to give more authority to
4 the agreements of the 30th of January, 1993. Right?
5 A. Uh-huh. Yes.
6 Q. And the higher commanders were actually
7 Colonel Blaskic, right, and General Hadzihasanovic?
8 A. That is what I believed to be the case.
9 Q. I've shown you the orders dated February the
10 13th, the whole series of them signed by both of those
12 A. Uh-huh.
13 Q. All right. In fact, as I understand it,
14 Major -- and you may not have a memory of this, maybe
15 you do; just let us know -- there was a summit meeting
16 held in the town of Kakanj on February the 13th, and
17 that's where the joint orders were actually signed, in
18 the presence of both General Morillon and also General
19 Petkovic and General Halilovic, the very highest
20 level --
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. -- of the military --
23 A. Those names are all highest level, yes.
24 Q. All right.
25 You gave some testimony relating to the
1 Vance-Owen Plan, and you said that you were familiar
2 with it. I don't propose to go through these
3 documents, because they are relatively complicated, but
4 do you have any recollection of the constitutional
5 principles that were embedded into that agreement?
6 A. My understanding is of this at the time, and
7 still is -- it is not a document with which I am
8 intimately familiar -- was that it cut across existing
9 lines of demarcation of responsibility. It changed the
10 emphasis in particular areas, throughout Bosnia, not
11 just in the area in which I was operating, the result
12 of which was that the balance of power was going to
13 change from the status quo that had existed at the
14 time. And this was causing concern to all parties.
15 Wherever I went and spoke, no one had a good word to
16 say about the implications of implementing this
17 particular plan, both army BiH or HVO.
18 Q. Let me just ask you one question on this:
19 Were you aware that prior to the signature of that
20 plan, there was considerable doubt whether any one of
21 the three sides -- or actually whether two of the three
22 sides were actually going to sign it?
23 A. I possibly can recollect that, yes.
24 Q. Do you recall when the plan was actually
25 signed, sir, by all three sides?
1 A. Well, it was certainly after the events that
2 we have been going through during the course of today.
3 Q. Let me just suggest to you that it was
4 actually January the 30th, after the fighting had
5 already occurred.
6 A. Mm-hmm.
7 Q. Does that ring a bell?
8 A. Well, then, it slightly surprises me, because
9 I thought it was afterwards.
10 Q. No problem.
11 Turning now to the meetings that you had with
12 Mr. Kordic over the three-week period in February of
13 1993, you actually asked DutchBat, I believe, between
14 the 24th and 27th of January, to help introduce you to
15 the local HVO commanders; correct?
16 A. Between the -- I would say the earliest I
17 started that was the 27th.
18 Q. All right. And the first person to whom you
19 were introduced was actually the HVO press officer by
20 the name of Marko Prskalo?
21 A. No, I remember Marko Prskalo, who -- my
22 memory is, because I asked everybody who they were,
23 everybody who I met, and sometimes I might get the
24 right answer, and he said -- and sometimes they were
25 reticent, actually; I'm not being flippant. Sometimes
1 they were reticent to say what their responsibility was
2 until they were certain of your credentials.
3 A staff officer working within the HVO
4 command in Busovaca was how he described himself.
5 Q. And it was Mr. Prskalo, the staff officer,
6 who proceeded to introduce you to the deputy commander
7 of the Nikola Subic Zrinjski Brigade, Mr. Sliskovic;
9 A. I think that's correct, yes.
10 Q. All right. And actually the brigade
11 commander, Mr. Jozinovic, declined to meet with you --
12 A. I think that's correct, yes.
13 Q. And that wasn't a one-sided thing, because
14 the brigade commander from the 333rd Broska Brigada --
15 A. Mekic.
16 Q. -- Mekic, Dzevad Mekic, referred to meet with
17 you as well --
18 A. Declined to. They all declined.
19 Q. All right.
20 Let me turn, if I may, to the first meeting
21 that you had with Mr. Kordic, on February the 3rd,
22 1993. There is in your April 1995 statement an entry
23 that you were tasked to go to Busovaca, quote, "as a
24 Dario Kordic had telephoned with a number of complaints
25 and asked to see the colonel," unquote.
1 Would it be fair to say that you had not
2 heard the name "Dario Kordic" before this time?
3 A. Well, in the same way as I may or may not
4 have recalled milinfos which were there on a daily
5 basis, I may have come across the name of Dario
6 Kordic. This was the first time it had any
7 significance for me.
8 Q. All right. Now, actually, sir, Jeremy
9 Fleming was present at this meeting as well, wasn't he?
10 A. On the 3rd of February?
11 Q. Yes, sir.
12 A. I can't rule that out. He may well have
14 Q. And it was actually, I put it to you,
15 Mr. Fleming who did most of the talking, and not you;
16 isn't that right?
17 A. Well, I'm not sure if that's exactly the
18 case, based on memory.
19 Q. All right.
20 MR. SAYERS: Let me just ask the usher to put
21 Mr. Fleming's --
22 JUDGE MAY: You're going to ask him to
23 comment on what some other witness has said?
24 MR. SAYERS: No, Your Honour. I'm just going
25 to ask him whether this version of events is consistent
1 with his recollection. And if it's --
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, you're going to ask him to
3 comment on what some other witness has said. Is that
5 MR. SAYERS: I'm actually not going to ask
6 him to comment on what Mr. Fleming said, Your Honour,
7 no. I'm just going to ask him to take a look at this
8 version of events and see if that's consistent with his
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That's a comment on what
11 the other person said.
12 Is Mr. Fleming going to give evidence?
13 MR. NICE: He's listed. It's my present
14 intention still to call him, but as you know, I'm
15 reviewing the position of witnesses generally. But at
16 present, he's still on the list.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, Mr. Fleming said
18 something along the lines that you've put; is that
20 MR. SAYERS: It's actually a very short --
21 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter whether it's
22 short or not.
23 MR. SAYERS: That's correct, Your Honour,
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
1 Does that help your recollection at all,
2 Major, or not?
3 A. Your Honour, as I've said, I can't definitely
4 say that Mr. Fleming was not there.
5 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
6 MR. SAYERS:
7 Q. During this first meeting, there were
8 complaints about soldiers from outside the local
9 municipality, weren't there, sir?
10 A. These related to the attacks on HVO soldiers,
11 which, when I looked at them on my map, several
12 kilometres to the northwest, west of Busovaca, I
13 took -- dare I say I took particular care and attention
14 to plot on my map and have a look at all of the grid
15 references which I was given to see if I could make
16 some sense of it.
17 Q. Well, suffice it to say that Mr. Kordic made
18 a complaint, at paragraph 7(d), the January 30th
19 ceasefire agreement had actually been violated; isn't
20 that fair to say?
21 A. I have to say I think that you are referring
22 to a complaint that he made to me on the 11th of
23 February with regard to a BiH soldier who had been
24 killed, and he was able to show me his identity card,
25 that he came out of the area. On the 3rd of February,
1 there was no such evidence.
2 Q. Are you saying that Mr. Kordic did not
3 complain about externals?
4 A. No, I'm not.
5 Q. Now, you had been briefed that Mr. Kordic was
6 a vice-president of the HDZ, briefed by an NCO;
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was that NCO Sergeant Connelly?
10 A. No, it was a lance corporal.
11 Q. Lance corporal? All right.
12 A. They weren't always there in the office.
13 Q. You were told that he was the local
14 representative for the HDZ, were you not?
15 A. No, I seem to recall I was told that he had a
16 title of vice-president of the HDZ, which really had
17 effect in Central Bosnia.
18 Q. Let me just ask you to take a look at the
19 next exhibit, milinfosum 87, dated January the 26th,
20 1993, please.
21 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Document D106/1.
23 MR. SAYERS:
24 Q. If you would just turn to page 2, halfway
25 down the third paragraph, the comment says: "Dario
1 Kordic is the local representative for the HDZ. He
2 claims to be the deputy to Mate Boban and has
3 considerable influence in the local area with
4 Croats/HVO." Do you see that?
5 A. I do see that, yes.
6 Q. All right. Now you're saying that you were
7 told that he was the vice-president of the HDZ?
8 A. And wrote it in my notebook at the time.
9 Q. Yes. What is the HDZ? Did you know?
10 A. I -- I didn't know a great deal about it,
11 other than it was a political organisation, alongside
12 the HVO, which was a military organisation.
13 Q. All right. And he stressed to you that he
14 was not a formation commander; he was not affiliated
15 with the military. Correct?
16 A. No, he did not.
17 Q. Well --
18 A. If you are referring to a briefing which I
19 received on the morning of the 3rd of February, prior
20 to going out to see Dario Kordic for the first time, a
21 verbal briefing from this young NCO, I base my memory
22 largely on the notes which I took.
23 Q. I think we've got our wires crossed, Major.
24 A. Okay, sure. Sure. Yes.
25 Q. What I'm talking about is what you were told
1 by Mr. Kordic. He actually stressed to you that he was
2 not a formation commander; isn't that correct?
3 A. In one occasion, when I was trying to
4 establish what his role and his responsibility was --
5 Q. Yes.
6 A. -- he did use the words he was not a formation
7 commander; he was not the -- as I say, I think I said
8 to him, "Are you the HVO commander?"
9 Q. And he said no?
10 A. And he said no.
11 Q. All right.
12 A. And I think I put that in my testimony.
13 Q. Yes. And you had been briefed that he was an
15 A. Ex-journalist, yes.
16 Q. And you met him at an office in the basement
17 of the PTT building; that's the postal telegraph and --
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. -- communications building? All right.
20 Did you have a discussion with your
21 colleagues at the milinfocell about what you've
22 described as a very significant conversation with
23 someone who obviously had a lot of local influence?
24 A. Subsequently.
25 Q. Yes?
1 A. If it wasn't that evening, it would have been
2 very shortly afterwards.
3 Q. I'd just like to show you the milinfosum for
4 that day, February the 3rd, 1993, dated -- number 95.
5 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document D107/1.
7 MR. SAYERS:
8 Q. And while that's being put in front of you,
9 do you recall the name of the interpreter that you had
10 present at that meeting?
11 A. No, I cannot.
12 Q. The only purpose of this exhibit, sir, is,
13 I'd just like you to agree -- and we don't need to
14 spend two seconds on it -- there is no mention of the
15 February 3rd conversation in this milinfosum, is there?
16 A. Mm-hmm. It doesn't completely surprise me.
17 It depends on the time of day that you had actually had
18 the meeting. And this is actually a not-infrequent
19 occurrence, because when I was going through these
20 milinfos at various stages over the -- you know, in
21 1995, and then again in 1998, because I was obviously
22 shown them to refresh my memory, there were certain
23 things that I was puzzled -- not just in this
24 particular instance, but in others. And I think that
25 this boils down to the time of day that you actually
1 brought this information in. Because it worked on a
2 24-hour cycle, and they had to get out milinfos by a
3 certain time of the day so it was fresh for everybody
4 to read, as part of a routine.
5 The other thing is that at the end of the
6 day, it was down to the judgement, ultimately, of
7 milinfo, who will have discussed this with the
8 operations officer, as what was considered to be
9 important enough to be included in the milinfo; and
10 perhaps someone on the ground, who felt something was
11 interesting or relevant, it was not perceived to be so
12 back at the headquarters. So I'm not surprised to see
14 Q. Very well. Did you know that --
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: Major, may I just ask you,
16 if you were late in bringing the information and missed
17 a particular day, was there a system where it could be
18 carried over to the following day's milinfosum?
19 A. Yes, Your Honour, there should have been. I
20 will have actually passed the details of my meeting,
21 but thereafter, how it was assimilated, I didn't have
22 any part in. But if it missed something, it was then
23 collected for the following day.
24 MR. SAYERS:
25 Q. Picking up on that point, Major, we actually
1 have the milinfosum for the next day.
2 MR. SAYERS: Let me have that marked as the
3 next exhibit.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Document 108/1.
5 MR. SAYERS:
6 Q. Major, if you take a look at Item 1 in
7 "Busovaca," you will see that there is a discussion of
8 the recent Mujahedin attack on the village of Kula, but
9 there is no reference to the conversation that you had
10 with Mr. Kordic; isn't that right?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. All right. Thank you.
13 Now, did you know that Mr. Kordic held weekly
14 meetings with the media, the press, the TV, and so
16 A. Yes. I'm aware of that because on one
17 occasion, when we were talking about the frequency of
18 meetings, Dario Kordic did say there was a particular
19 day that was not a good day, and would I please avoid
20 it if I could, because he would be busy having what I
21 remember as press conferences.
22 Q. In fact, on several occasions when you tried
23 to telephone him, you couldn't reach him because you
24 were informed that he was at briefings with the media;
25 isn't that right?
1 A. That could have been the case. I don't
2 recall making -- I don't recall making that many
3 telephone calls to him. What I might sometimes do is
4 go to the ops room and say, "If it's convenient, I'd
5 like to see Dario Kordic today. If you get a chance,
6 could you get through and see if it is convenient to do
7 so?" Because I didn't want to pester him.
8 Q. Well, I don't think there is any dispute
9 about this. On page 17 of your statement one year ago,
10 you said, "When I telephoned Kordic to get appointments
11 to see him, on two occasions I was informed that Kordic
12 was at briefings with the media"; is that correct?
13 A. That's correct, yes.
14 Q. All right. And in fact, your opinion was
15 that Dario Kordic showed the Croat people in Busovaca
16 that he was their patron and that any action taken by
17 him was to the advantage of his people; isn't that
19 A. I believe I used those words in the previous
21 Q. Yes.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that's your view, isn't it?
24 A. I believe that he represented the people of
25 Busovaca. If you take an incident like the dispute
1 over the amount of aid that was coming into Busovaca,
2 he was speaking on their behalf. If you're talking
3 about the freedom of movement between Kiseljak and
4 Busovaca, he was speaking on their behalf. And he
5 obviously was trying to do his best to ensure that such
6 freedom of movement and fair delivery of aid took
7 place. I think that's a fair comment.
8 Q. Did he ever let you know that his wife and
9 three children lived in a house in the western part of
10 Busovaca, about 100 metres from the front lines, and
11 that his house had actually been struck by gunfire in
12 fighting in January 1993?
13 A. He may well have told me that. I can't
14 recall it.
15 Q. Just a few background questions regarding his
16 position. Did you know that he was actually the
17 vice-president of an entity by the name of the Croatian
18 Community of Herceg-Bosna?
19 A. Would that have a -- initials, like HDZ?
20 This was something different, I take it.
21 Q. HZ-HB. HZ-HB.
22 A. I have heard the organisation HZ-HB -- no, I
23 have heard of it, but I can't say specifically within
24 the context of a position that Mr. Kordic may have
1 Q. One of the exhibits that you identified was a
2 document or a receipt that you were asked to sign, and
3 this is signed by Mr. Kordic, or by Pukovnik Kordic, as
4 the --"Du presidnik [phoen] HZ-HB," which is the
5 vice-president of the HZ-HB.
6 I don't want to make a meal of this, Major,
7 but would it be fair to say that you really don't know
8 what the HZ-HB is?
9 A. Oh, I don't know, no. I mean, I -- I've
10 never said that I have a full understanding of what the
11 organisation is.
12 Q. Would it be fair to say that you don't know
13 about the internal organisation of the HVO: Who was
14 its president, who was the head of the Department of
15 Defence, and so forth?
16 A. If I can answer in, shall we say, two parts:
17 Firstly, if you're asking me right now, I don't think
18 that I can recall such matters of detail of events
19 which occurred such a long time ago. I am confident
20 that I had a reasonably good grasp, as much as anybody
21 could, of the lower-level organisation, those levels
22 that I was dealing with on a day-to-day and a weekly
24 And affiliated to that, in reference to the
25 last question, I didn't spend much time finding out
1 about political organisations.
2 Q. Once again, Major, no criticism of you.
3 You're a military man.
4 Let me turn to the next meeting that you had
5 with Mr. Kordic, on February the 6th of 1993, or at
6 least I believe it was February the 6th.
7 A. I believe it was, yes.
8 Q. All right. After this meeting, isn't it fair
9 to say that Mr. Kordic prepared and issued a press
10 release, and that he actually spoke with the press on
11 the telephone and announced the removal of a road
12 obstruction with your help?
13 A. That is correct, yes. This is a recollection
14 that came to me, sincerely, in the last 24, 48 hours.
15 I recalled being there and asking the interpreter what
16 was happening, because it was all actually happening
17 very fast. He was preparing, just as you've said,
18 et cetera, et cetera.
19 Q. Thank you.
20 Turning to the issue upon which I touched
21 briefly, the change in the command at the Nikola Subic
22 Zrinjski Brigade, do you have any recollection of when
23 that change in command actually occurred?
24 A. I can only say that it was on or around the
25 period of the events that we have been describing in
2 Q. And Mr. Sliskovic remained the deputy
3 commander of the military forces of the HVO in Busovaca
4 throughout the transition?
5 A. To the best of my recollection.
6 Q. Let me just suggest to you that -- well,
7 let's have this marked as the next exhibit: Milinfosum
8 Number 103, 11th of February, 1993.
9 THE REGISTRAR: Document D109/1.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, how much longer do
11 you think you're going to be in cross-examination?
12 MR. SAYERS: If I can task the interpreters,
13 Your Honour, I hope to be through by the end of today,
14 if at all possible. And if not, then I would have
15 probably an additional 10 minutes for the major
17 JUDGE MAY: Let's go on for another ten
19 [Trial Chamber confers]
20 JUDGE MAY: Ten minutes.
21 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Mr. President.
22 Q. Showing you the milinfosum, it's reported
23 there that commander Dusko Grubesic has replaced
24 commander Jozinovic, and the date of that is February
25 the 11th, 1993. It's at paragraph 5, sir, or part 5.
1 Is that correct?
2 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Which page is it?
3 MR. SAYERS: Page 3, Your Honour, item
4 number 5.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And you don't know what the reason for the
7 change in command was, do you?
8 A. I cannot recall what the reason was.
9 Q. Very well. Now, turning to the next meeting,
10 by my count the third that you had with Mr. Kordic, on
11 the 7th of February, this is the meeting in which you
12 indicated Mr. Kordic indicated a desire to have a
13 concrete structure placed at the Kaonik intersection,
14 and he wanted the assistance of UNPROFOR, and you made
15 a decision, quote, "to half-promise that this would be
16 done," unquote, didn't you?
17 A. I did. I think the words I used were, "I
18 will see what I can do about it."
19 Q. All right. On page 9 of your statement five
20 years ago, you stated, quote: "I made the decision to
21 half-promise that this would be done." Is that
23 A. If those are the choice of words I used at
24 the time, then yes.
25 Q. And actually, in reality, you had no
1 intention at all of giving any practical assistance to
2 the establishment of that checkpoint, did you?
3 A. Or of any other checkpoint on any of the
4 opposing sides, no.
5 Q. Next exhibit for the usher is milinfo number
6 79 on the 7th of February, 1993.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D110/1.
8 MR. SAYERS:
9 Q. I just would like you to agree with me, and I
10 don't think there is any dispute about this, that there
11 is no reference to this conversation that you had with
12 Mr. Kordic in this milinfo --
13 A. I wouldn't expect there to be any reference
14 to something that took place, literally in about ten
15 minutes in the morning, to ensure that the operation
16 went ahead successfully; and indeed, on this day I know
17 I didn't return to the headquarters until about 1900,
18 2000 hours.
19 Q. Let's turn to the incident regarding the
20 mines or the enormous quantity of explosives about
21 which you testified. Would you agree, sir, that there
22 is absolutely no reference to that incident in your
23 diary, the contemporaneous diary that you kept?
24 A. Yes, I have no notes that I took at the
1 Q. All right. One item that you discussed was
2 that you said that these gentlemen, these HVO engineers
3 with whom you conversed, stated that they were acting
4 under orders.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. But you deliberately decided to refrain from
7 asking them under whose orders, didn't you?
8 A. I didn't want to press them at the time.
9 Q. I know, but you deliberately made the
10 decision not to ask them that, didn't you, sir?
11 A. That's correct, yes.
12 Q. All right. And again, you decided again
13 deliberately not to ask Mr. Kordic about that?
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. So the fact of the matter is that you just
16 don't know under whose orders those explosives were
17 placed on the bridge, do you?
18 A. I don't believe I've ever said that they were
19 definitely placed there under the orders of Dario
20 Kordic in any of my testimonies.
21 Q. You also stated that you made a formal
22 complaint to the ECMM. Was that in writing?
23 A. I reported to the ECMM. I believe I must
24 have given the circumstances in writing. I can't rule
25 out that I may have passed it verbally to an ECMM
1 official, if I'd found one.
2 Q. All right. And the interpreter that you used
3 on that occasion -- and we know who that was, because
4 we have a photograph of it -- and that was introduced
5 in the Prosecution's exhibits, that was Sergeant
7 A. That's correct.
8 Q. How fluent is he in Croatian; do you know?
9 A. I certainly believed him to be good enough to
10 accompany me on that particular occasion. A caveat I
11 would put to that is that you couldn't always have your
12 choice of interpreters, because there were many
13 important things happening, and it was the perception
14 of the person who dealt them out as to who had the most
16 Q. Thank you. I don't need to ask you any
17 questions in connection with the fifth meeting that I
18 believe you had on February the 22nd. But let me go
19 over to the sixth meeting on February the 23rd. This
20 is the incident when you dropped in on Mr. Kordic
21 unannounced and you saw two gentlemen in black uniforms
22 with HOS markings on their leather jackets. Did you
23 know that one of them was Matija Brajinovic, who was
24 actually the head of the HSP party in Zenica?
25 A. No names were mentioned.
1 Q. Very well. Did you know that the HOS forces
2 at this time were actually part of the -- in Zenica,
3 anyway, were actually part of the ABiH, not the HVO?
4 A. That I cannot recall.
5 Q. Do you know what the HSP party is?
6 A. No, I do not.
7 Q. That's fine. If I could just ask the usher
8 to show you Exhibit D17/1,20.
9 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn after that.
10 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.
11 Q. This is an April the 5th, 1993 decision to
12 merge the HOS with units of the HVO, and it states that
13 HOS units that were a part of the units of the ABiH
14 shall merge completely with the HVO. This is in
15 Zenica, sir. Were you aware that in fact the HOS
16 forces in Zenica were part of the ABiH rather than the
18 A. When I'd first arrived in theatre at the --
19 in the middle of January, I had an occasion to go into
20 Novi Travnik -- it was one of my familiarisation visits
21 -- and was shown the layout of forces in that area.
22 And I was shown where the HVO positions were, where the
23 BiH were and where the HOS were, and definitely took it
24 that they were on the same side.
25 Q. Would it be fair to say -- and this is the
1 last question, Mr. President -- that the position of
2 the HOS remained something of a conundrum in your
3 experience in the theatre?
4 A. Yes. I can certainly recall that their
5 position was not completely clear.
6 Q. Thank you very much indeed, Major.
7 A. Thank you.
8 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll adjourn now.
9 Major, could you be back, please, tomorrow,
10 half past 9.00, to conclude your evidence.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, Your Honour.
12 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at
13 4.10 p.m., to be reconvened on
14 Thursday, the 21st day of October, 1999,
15 at 9.30 a.m.