1 Monday, 4th October, 1999
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case IT-95-16-T, the
7 Prosecutor versus Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,
8 Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic, and
9 Vladimir Santic.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Before we start
11 with our next witness, just for the record, I would
12 like to point out that, of course, with reference to
13 Exhibit P310, 310, of course, the pages concerning the
14 opinion of the witness about the activity and role of
15 Vladimir Santic on the 15th and 16th of April must be
16 struck off the record. This is in keeping and actually
17 a consequence of our ruling on Thursday. So I'm
18 referring to this document so that we will not take
19 into account anything relating to that particular
21 All right. We may now move to our next
23 Good morning. Could you please stand and
24 make the solemn declaration?
25 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
1 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
5 Mr. Blaxill?
6 MR. BLAXILL: Mr. President, Your Honours,
7 good morning. Thank you. Learned counsel, good
9 WITNESS: CHARLES MCLEOD
10 Examined by Mr. Blaxill:
11 Q. Mr. McLeod, good morning to you.
12 A. Good morning.
13 Q. Sir, could you just briefly indicate what
14 your present occupation is and confirm your date of
16 A. I was born on the 27th March, 1963, and at
17 the moment, I work as a business manager for a
18 construction company.
19 Q. After you'd completed formal education, sir,
20 what profession did you take up?
21 A. I was an army officer. I joined the British
22 army in 1982 and left in 1992 with a rank of captain.
23 Q. During that time, sir, in what branch of the
24 army did you serve? Were you army or infantry or which
1 A. I was in the infantry, in the heavy
2 infantry. I served in Germany at the point where we
3 still thought there was a threat from the Russians, and
4 I also served in Northern Ireland on two tours as a
5 counter-terrorist officer.
6 Q. When you left the British army, what
7 particular occupation did you follow then?
8 A. For the following two years, I worked in the
9 former Yugoslavia. For the first year, I was working
10 for the British foreign office as a monitor in the
11 European Community Monitoring Mission based in Zagreb,
12 and then for the second year, I worked for
13 Mr. Stoltenberg in the International Conference on the
14 former Yugoslavia.
15 Q. Did you take up any particular appointment
16 towards the end of 1992?
17 A. Yes. For the bulk of my year with the ECMM,
18 I was assigned to the humanitarian section, based in
19 Zagreb but then working across Croatia and Bosnia.
20 Q. Coming to May of 1993, did you perform any
21 specific commission or particular function at that
23 A. Yes. Between the 3rd and the 12th of May,
24 1993, I was sent by the headquarters of ECMM, by the
25 deputy head of the political mission, Ole Brix
1 Andersen, down to Central Bosnia, to Vitez and Zenica,
2 to carry out an investigation into what had happened
3 there in the middle of April, particularly on the 16th
4 of April, and I was told to go down and meet with
5 political and military leaders and civilian leaders on
6 both sides of the confrontation line that had been
7 established between the Croats and the Muslims, to talk
8 to them, to ask them what had happened, and to then
9 write a report, and while I was there, also to stress
10 to them that whatever had happened, it was not to
11 happen again because, quite clearly, it was
12 fairly horrific.
13 Q. Was that the first physical contact you'd had
14 with that particular area of Central Bosnia?
15 A. No. In fact, I'd spent the preceding
16 Christmas and New Year based as the ECMM's liaison
17 officer at Kiseljak. So I was the ECMM liaison officer
18 at General Morillon's headquarters then.
19 Q. So, firstly, when you undertook this mission
20 in May of 1993, what did you actually do upon arrival?
21 Did you go and inspect any locations or do anything of
22 that nature?
23 A. Having arrived, the first thing that I was
24 concerned to do was to build the picture for myself of
25 what had happened. So I met with the ECMM, who were
1 based in Zenica, my own colleagues there; I met with
2 the BritBat, UNPROFOR, who were based just outside
3 Vitez. I collated all of the reports they had written
4 and plotted it on a map to see what had happened and
5 when, according to our own information.
6 On the 4th of May, I accompanied Jean-Pierre
7 Thebault, who was the head of the ECMM mission in
8 Zenica, across to meet Colonel Bob Stewart, the CO of
9 BritBat, and I accompanied them as they went to look
10 around Ahmici, which was not a particularly pleasant
11 thing to do under the circumstances. I spent the next
12 couple of days continuing to collate information, work
13 out for myself what had happened before then, meeting a
14 range of people and interviewing them.
15 Q. So you say you visited Ahmici; that was an
16 on-site location. What do you recall observing when
17 you visited the village of Ahmici?
18 A. The village was just outside Vitez. It was a
19 village going up on the side of a hill, gently sloping
20 up the side of a hill. It appeared that it had been a
21 mixed village with probably Croatian houses lower down
22 the hill and Muslim houses then stretching up the
23 roads, going up the hill.
24 There was a mosque in the village which had
25 been attacked and the minaret had been blown up. It
1 was characterised by the fact that some of the houses
2 were still occupied, and the people living in the
3 houses came out to look at what was going on, and then
4 the majority of the houses going up the hill had been
5 burnt. Their roofs had obviously been burnt and had
6 collapsed inside the houses. There was some signs that
7 there had been shooting, with bullet holes in the
8 walls, for example.
9 So I think one could characterise this as a
10 village which had been ethnically cleansed, and I'd say
11 that based in light of various other villages that I
12 had seen in Northern Bosnia and Croatia, which had
13 pretty similar characteristics.
14 Q. Did you carry out any other kind of on-site
15 inspections during that few-day mission that you
17 A. While I was there, as well as meeting various
18 people, I also visited the Croatian prison in
19 Busovaca. I didn't get a chance to visit the Muslim
20 prison in Zenica, although I think my success rate in
21 getting people released from that prison was better
22 than my success rate in Busovaca.
23 Q. So in addition to those physical inspections,
24 you have mentioned meeting persons. Could you give us
25 an indication of the kind of persons you met and the
1 kind of bodies or authorities they may have
3 A. Certainly. As I said, during my
4 introduction, I was basically trying to meet the key
5 military and political leaders. So on the Muslim side,
6 I met the mayor of Zenica and the commander and one of
7 his deputy commanders of 3rd Corps, so that was the
8 local Muslim military formation, and also in Zenica, I
9 met a couple of the Croatian Catholic priests who were
10 effectively the local -- well, not the only, but they
11 were certainly people who one could have access to,
12 leaders of the -- in the pastoral sense, of the
13 Croatian population in Zenica.
14 On the other side, I met the mayor of Vitez,
15 I met then Colonel, now General Blaskic, who was the
16 military commander on the Croatian side. I met some of
17 the Muslim military leaders in one of the villages just
18 outside Vitez, and then in Busovaca, I met the imam, so
19 pastoral leader of the Muslim population in Busovaca, a
20 Croat-controlled town, and I met the man who's running
21 the Croatian prison and a number of Croatian policemen
22 in Busovaca.
23 Q. What was the methodology of your meetings
24 with these people, and were you accompanied by anybody
25 else when you went to these meetings?
1 A. Yes, for every single meeting that I had, I
2 was accompanied either by Eric Friis-Pedersen, who was
3 an ECMM monitor based in Zenica, or by Jean-Pierre
4 Thebault, who was the head of the regional centre in
5 Zenica, and an interpreter. The methodology that I
6 used was --
7 Q. If I may interrupt you for a second. Since
8 we are both on the same language channel, I understand
9 we're being a little fast for the interpreting
10 services. So perhaps you can slow down just a bit.
11 Thank you. Please carry on, Mr. McLeod.
12 A. Certainly, and I apologise to the
14 The methodology that I used for my interviews
15 was fairly simple. I explained in each case who I was,
16 that I had been sent from the headquarters of the ECMM
17 in Zagreb specifically to speak to these people. I
18 asked them to explain, in their own words, what had
19 happened on the 16th of April leading up to that and
20 then immediately thereafter.
21 I took with me to each of the meetings a
22 photocopied map of the area and some coloured pens and
23 invited each of the people that I was talking to to
24 explain to me on the map what had happened, which made
25 it far easier to work out when they were describing
1 events where they were, and then to start relating what
2 they were saying to the picture I built up in my mind
3 of where either the ECMM or UNPROFOR had said that
4 things had taken place.
5 Because I was working in each case through an
6 interpreter, as in the courtroom will get it right,
7 there was a delay between what they were saying and
8 then when I was coming back and asking my next
9 question, which gave me a chance to write down what
10 they were saying, in most cases or in many cases,
11 virtually the datum as it was coming from the
12 interpreter. I then used those handwritten notes,
13 typed up to form the basis of the report that I wrote
14 when I got back to Zagreb.
15 Q. I would like to show you a document now,
16 please, Mr. McLeod. Perhaps the exhibit could be
17 shown, please. Can you say whether you recognise that
18 document, Mr. McLeod?
19 A. Yes, this looks like a complete copy of the
20 report which I wrote.
21 Q. And what format does that report take?
22 A. What one has is my covering letter
23 distributing it, a list of the contents, a one-page
24 summary of my thoughts, having written the report, a
25 note on how I actually produced the report, and then a
1 series of annexes which are my typed notes, sometimes
2 with the odd comment which I added later on, and then
3 as appendices to the annexes, documents which I was
4 given by various people during the meetings.
5 At the back of the report is a table which
6 was the summary which I produced for myself at the
7 beginning of my tour out there of events as noted in
8 the daily reports or weekly reports of either UNPROFOR
9 or ECMM, and at the very back, there's a photocopy of
10 the map which I annexed to the back so that people
11 could, again, just identify where things had taken
13 Q. Now, Mr. McLeod, at page 1 of the report
14 document itself, you actually set forth a text
15 containing a number of observations on your part.
16 Could you just briefly talk us through this and
17 indicate upon what bases you drew those conclusions
18 that you included in that report? Again, sir, I would
19 ask you to be mindful of the interpreters.
20 A. Certainly. The conclusion that I reached was
21 that on the 16th of April, the Croats had launched a
22 coordinated attack against the Muslim villages around
23 Vitez, of Old Vitez, which was the Muslim part of
24 Vitez. At the same time, it appeared that they had
25 arrested 13 leading members of the Muslim community in
1 Vitez --
2 Q. If I could interrupt at that point. Did you
3 look into that question of the supposed arrest of 13
5 A. Yes. I was given a list of people whom the
6 Muslims were keen to trace by the mayor of Zenica. I
7 discussed the list with the members of the Muslim
8 military that I met just outside Vitez and they told me
9 what they thought had happened to some of them. I then
10 met a number of men who had been arrested in the prison
11 in Busovaca, and I met one of the men who had been
12 arrested and then released in his house in Vitez.
13 Q. Thank you. Sir, you said you made the
14 observation that the Croats launched a coordinated
15 attack. Can you just explain why you drew that
16 particular conclusion?
17 A. It was quite clear from all of the reports
18 and what I was being told by both parties that early in
19 the morning of the 16th of April, fighting had broken
20 out in a number of places at the same time, and that in
21 itself suggested that there had been a coordinated
22 attack on somebody's behalf.
23 So the issue was then to work out -- I think
24 there was no dispute about the fact that this had taken
25 place, so there was no dispute about the fact that
1 events had started in a number of places at the same
2 time. It was then a matter of working out whether the
3 events had been started by one party or the other
5 The most significant event which would
6 suggest that it was started by the Croats rather than
7 by the Muslims was that a number of people were
8 arrested early in the morning in their beds, and having
9 had personal experience of trying to pick people up in
10 Northern Ireland, I'm aware that you have to put quite
11 a lot of thought and effort into going in to collect
12 even one person, as opposed to a number of people.
13 So that event in itself appeared to me to be
14 coordinated, and, therefore, it struck me that if, as
15 the Croats suggested, the Muslims had attacked them and
16 they had been caught completely by surprise, then they
17 would have been defending their positions rather than
18 going out in a coordinated manner and arresting people
19 in their beds. Equally, if the Muslims had launched
20 this coordinated attack against the Croats, then the
21 very people that were arrested would have been at least
22 prepared for this and probably not asleep in their
24 Therefore, my conclusion was that since
25 nobody was disputing the fact that something had been
1 clearly coordinated, that one side was coordinating it
2 and one side was reacting to it.
3 Q. When you spoke to the various people,
4 however, whom you interviewed, did you get any
5 differing, as it were, theories or schools of thought
6 as to what had actually happened?
7 A. Yes. Basically, there were three theories
8 that were going around; two of them one can find fairly
9 easily attributed within the report, the third one
10 clearly I had picked up at that point, although it's
11 not attributed within the report, and those were, first
12 of all, that perhaps the Croats had launched an attack
13 on the Muslims. This was the Muslim point of view.
14 Secondly, that the Muslims had attacked the Croats.
15 This was one of the Croatian points of view, and
16 Colonel Blaskic, for example, said he had been
17 surprised by this attack and woke up in his bed.
18 There was also a theory being put about that
19 it was -- well, Ahmici particularly was actually the
20 work of Serb agent provocateur who were attempting to
21 stir up a conflict between the Croats and the Muslims,
22 but that, frankly, didn't seem to hold much water.
23 Q. You have clearly, in your report, opted for
24 one of those versions, so can you just give us an
25 indication as to why you -- what factual grounds you
1 ascertained to discount the others? Firstly, the Serb
2 one, I mean.
3 A. While it was quite clear that the Serbs who
4 had been attacking southwards from Northern Bosnia were
5 against both the Croats and the Muslims for a very long
6 time, were continuing to shell, for example, I think
7 Muslim areas and probably Croat areas before and after
8 these events took place, and therefore they would have
9 been quite happy if they could have found some way of
10 destabilising what, up until then, had been a fairly
11 satisfactory military alliance between the two
12 parties. I find it hard to believe that they could
13 have mounted a series of coordinated, covert attacks
14 and made them look like the work of one or other of the
15 parties without really having realised what was going
16 on. Therefore, as to whether it was a series of Muslim
17 attacks, while the Muslims could clearly have mounted a
18 series of attacks, and indeed there what I would see as
19 their counterattack was very nearly successful, so they
20 had the capability of doing something like that, then I
21 can't believe the Croats would have had the time to go
22 around arresting people in Vitez, amongst other
24 Also, for example, having looking at Ahmici,
25 it was quite clear that the battle damage was all to
1 the Muslim houses as opposed to the Croat houses. I
2 think that if the Muslims had been attacking, then it
3 would have been the other way around, and therefore I
4 was left pretty much with the conclusion that I
6 Q. Sir, in the third paragraph of your
7 observations, you mention movement of Croat population
8 through propaganda. How do you reach that observation?
9 A. Well, this is based on what I was told by the
10 ECMM, by the UNPROFOR, and indeed by both the mayors of
11 Zenica and Vitez. There was no dispute about the fact
12 that a large proportion of the Muslim population of
13 Zenica had requested and attempted to move from Zenica
14 to Vitez. The overriding impression which I had,
15 having talked particularly with Jean-Pierre Thebault,
16 was that this was something which the Croats were
17 attempting to orchestrate possibly for a couple of
18 reasons; one, to make sure that it would not seem
19 unreasonable when there was a return of Muslim
20 population from the Vitez area, and a number of
21 different reasons all stemming from the same point.
22 But it would also, if there was a movement of
23 population, justify their view that therefore in order
24 to have an equitable balance, there shouldn't be any
25 Muslims on the Croatian side.
1 Q. Subsequent to the preparation and submission
2 of your report, have you come across or have you had
3 cause to look into any further matters that would in
4 any way alter your view or change anything that you
5 have placed in that report?
6 A. Well, having written the report and filed it,
7 I then simply carried on working in the theatre for
8 another year and a bit, and without actually going back
9 to the region or looking at these particular events
10 again, nothing that I learned over the subsequent year
11 would lead me to change my view.
12 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Mr. McLeod. That
13 concludes my questions. Thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Blaxill.
15 Counsel Pavkovic, who is going to
16 cross-examine this witness?
17 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Mr. President.
18 Counsel Jadranka Slokovic-Glumac will cross-examine the
20 THE REGISTRAR: The Prosecution exhibit will
21 be 393, Prosecution Exhibit 393.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel
24 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Good morning,
25 Mr. President. Good morning, your Lordships.
1 In this annex marked Annex R, it is evidently
2 a report submitted by the U.N. and the ECMM.
3 Cross-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
4 Q. Are these the integral versions of these
5 reports? These reports are referred to in Annex R on
6 your report.
7 A. If I understand the question correctly,
8 you're asking whether this is the verbatim text of the
9 original reports.
10 Q. No, not whether it is verbatim, but is it the
11 integral version of the report? Is it the full text of
12 the report for these days? You're covering the period
13 between the 13th of April until the 30th of April. I'm
14 asking if these are full texts of these reports.
15 A. No. What I was doing was taking full daily
16 reports or weekly reports which would have a wide range
17 of information, some of it administrative, to do with
18 the ECMM, for example, and then highlighting those
19 elements of the reports which were relevant to building
20 up a picture of what had happened. So I think it's
21 safe to say that these were all of the key elements
22 which were reported by ECMM and UNPROFOR but certainly
23 not all the information in the reports.
24 Q. These are the key events, in your view, in
25 your eyes, is it, because you made the selection?
1 A. I think these are all the items -- I think
2 these are all the items which were reported, other
3 than, for example, administrative matters. It's rather
4 difficult, without having originals here, to be able to
5 make a comparison, but I think that is the case.
6 Q. And in that report, you cover a period --
7 you're covering the latter half of April; is that so?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. And the report opens with an event in
10 Travnik, where a conflict broke out between the HVO and
11 the BH army, in the centre of the town. That is what
12 it says. When you say here, if you look at the 13th of
13 April, you say, "Uncontrolled forces within the HVO and
14 the BH fought in the centre of the town or clashed in
15 the centre of the town." Does that "BH" mean the army
16 of BH?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Throughout the text, is it whenever you
19 mention "BH", referring to some military formations,
20 you mean the BH army; is that so?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And that day, it was reported that four HVO
23 officers were abducted in the Travnik area, allegedly
24 by members of the 7th Muslim Brigade; is that so?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. As for the 15th of April, 1993, in Zenica, a
2 rather important meeting was held related to the
3 security in the town and the investigation related to
4 the abduction of HV officers. Why is it that Zivko
5 Totic's abduction and the murder of his escorts are not
6 mentioned here? You must have heard or read that Zivko
7 Totic was the HVO commander in Zenica, that he was
8 abducted on the 15th of April, and that his escorts
9 were killed.
10 A. Yes, I had heard about that, but that was not
11 one of the items in the reports which were written by
12 ECMM or UNPROFOR. So I was aware of the event, people
13 were certainly talking about it, but it didn't occur in
14 the reports which I was going through.
15 Q. After that, on the 15th of April, there came
16 the report of the shelling of Putis in the Busovaca
17 municipality, an incident in Kacuni, and on the 15th of
18 April, fierce fighting broke out in the area of Vitez.
19 That is what your report says. After that, after a
20 period of time, several reports come in covering the
21 16th of April, saying that there is fierce fighting in
22 villages around Vitez, Rijeka, Vranjska, among the
23 villages mentioned, and then they describe fighting
24 around the sports stadium in Vitez and some combat
25 activities in Gornja Veceriska. Also on the 17th of
1 April, there is a report that ECMM is reporting about
2 some combat activities in Vitez which lasted almost
3 throughout that particular day.
4 Now, in view of these reports that you went
5 through and singled out, and in view of the interviews
6 that you had with a large number of people, did you
7 come to the conclusion that the BH army was present in
8 the Lasva Valley on the 16th of April, 1993?
9 A. Yes. It was quite clear that the two parties
10 had been working together, that a degree of tension had
11 then built up. This had broken down into fighting, I
12 believe, in the October of the year before. Then again
13 in January of that year, tension was clearly very high
14 and there were, as you have highlighted, a number of
15 incidents going on in the days leading up to the 16th.
16 And then on the 16th, the -- if you like, the
17 pace of the battle changed, it accelerated, and what
18 had been serious tension -- it was clear that people
19 had been digging trenches, for example, in villages
20 leading up to that point and people had been trying to
21 restabilise it, that all of that broke down for a few
22 days. And then, as you can see at the bottom of that
23 page, are three -- or over the next page, that there
24 was a ceasefire then signed on the 20th. So for about
25 four days, there was intense fighting.
1 Q. Right. So you concluded that it is beyond
2 dispute that the BH army was in the Lasva Valley on the
3 16th of April, 1993, that they were in Vitez and around
5 A. Yes, and I saw members of the BiH just
6 outside Vitez and in Stari Vitez, for example. So,
7 yes, they were there.
8 Q. In view of these developments, isn't it true
9 that on the 20th of April, a ceasefire was signed, and
10 does this mean, in your view, that the BH army was
11 quite strong in that area, that is, forces were quite
12 strong in that particular area?
13 A. Yes, and indeed it was, as it says in my
14 report, the view of Colonel Blaskic that if there had
15 not been a ceasefire between -- brokered by the ECMM
16 and UNPROFOR between the two parties, then the Muslim
17 forces would certainly have cut off, in his view, the
18 road between Vitez and Busovaca, and he was not quite
19 sure what would have happened thereafter.
20 Q. Does that mean, therefore, that the BH army
21 forces were stronger than the HVO forces? You are
22 saying that one doesn't know what could have happened
23 had it not been for the ceasefire. Is that what it
25 A. I think Colonel Blaskic had been surprised by
1 the strength of the, in my view, counterattack. In any
2 case, he had been surprised by the strength of the
3 attack which the BiH forces were able to launch against
4 his troops following the 16th. That was the impression
5 I had.
6 Q. Did you believe General Blaskic at that
7 moment, when he told you that, about the strength of
8 the BH army?
9 A. I'm not sure that I made a value judgement
10 about the strength of the army, but I certainly
11 recognised that his description of what had happened
12 and his evaluation of the tactical situation was almost
13 exactly the same as that which UNPROFOR had given me a
14 couple of days before. So what he was saying matched
15 almost exactly what UNPROFOR had thought as well.
16 Q. I should like to ask you to have a look at
17 the annex to your report relative to the conversation
18 with the then Major Bryan Watters. Let me just find
19 it. It is annex J. You met him on the 9th of May,
20 1993. Have you found the text?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You say you had a long conversation with
23 Major Watters about the events of the 16th of April and
24 the following days. You do not have your conversation
25 recorded here in detail, but you drew four principal
1 conclusions from what he told you; is that so?
2 A. I think these were his four conclusions which
3 I noted, rather than my four conclusions. Certainly,
4 his second point was his view, and I had no way of
5 recognising whether that was true or not.
6 Q. Right. So when you go to the first item, it
7 says there -- he speaks about the attacks on Stari
8 Vitez, Vitez, Kruscica, and Ahmici and that these
9 attacks were coordinated, or, rather, looked
10 coordinated and that they were all carried out by the
11 HVO. That is something that we also saw in your
12 report, so you took over his conclusion.
13 Under 2, it says that it seems that Ahmici
14 was a very carefully chosen target because of the
15 determination of the holy land and because there was a
16 large number of imams there. Did you hear this
17 conclusion or this definition from anybody else but
18 Major Watters?
19 A. I'm afraid that now, six and a half years
20 later, I simply can't remember whether anybody else had
21 mentioned that. He certainly is the only person that I
22 have noted in my report, from memory, as having said
23 something like that.
24 Q. So you did not hear from anyone else that
25 Ahmici was attacked for religious reasons, to destroy
1 houses of worship or to destroy a village which had a
2 particular religious significance?
3 A. No, I can't remember anybody else saying
4 that, although clearly Major Watters must have heard it
5 from somebody or other people. But, no, I can't
6 remember anybody else saying that.
7 Q. In the third conclusion, it is said that
8 Croats evidently demonstrated the intent of removing
9 the Muslim population from Vitez but that they were not
10 prepared for the quick and efficient response of the BH
11 army. This is what you told us, that the BH army was
12 in the Lasva Valley and that, evidently, according to
13 Major Watters, it responded very well to the Croat
14 attack; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. That was his view and the general
16 consensus which UNPROFOR and ECMM seemed to have
18 Q. Fourthly, according to him, the HVO escaped,
19 the HVO was saved only owing to the ceasefire
20 concluded, owing to the good offices of the U.N. and
21 the ECMM. That was the fourth conclusion.
22 A. That was his fourth conclusion. It was also
23 a conclusion that I had reached.
24 Q. Does that mean this also would tally with
25 what General Blaskic told you; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And that means that the HVO forces were
3 evidently weaker or less strong than the BH forces in
4 that area.
5 A. I simply don't know how many troops there
6 were on both sides, but it was clear at that tactical
7 moment that the -- or it appeared clear at that
8 tactical moment that the ABiH were reacting more
9 forcefully and being more successful. That was the
10 impression which one got.
11 Q. Did the BH army have enough troops in that
12 area to launch an attack; that is, could it launch an
13 attack, an attack on the Croats, on the HVO?
14 A. Yes.
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Could the usher please
16 show the witness P92? Could P92 be shown to the
17 witness so that I can find it? Excuse me. P82; it is
18 P82. I'm sorry.
19 Q. It is a report by the Human Rights
20 Commission. It was drawn up at about the same time
21 when your report was done, and it was based on the
22 conclusions of Payam Akhavan and [redacted]. Are
23 you familiar with that report?
24 A. No, I haven't seen this before.
25 Q. Had you met Payam Akhavan and [redacted]
1 at the time when you were in Bosnia, in May 1993? Did
2 you meet them then?
3 A. Yes, I did.
4 Q. Did you work together, or, rather, did you
5 meet with the same people or similar people and cover
6 similar topics? Did you also exchange your views or
7 the news that you had received, or the information that
8 you had received, did you exchange with them?
9 A. Yes, I met [redacted] before I went down
10 to the Lasva Valley, and it was his intervention with
11 the deputy head of the ECMM, which, in part, led to my
12 being sent down there to see what had gone on. I think
13 that both of them were present in Ahmici when I was
14 there on the 4th of May, and I then bumped into the two
15 of them again from time to time when I was working for
16 the International Conference because they had an office
17 in the compound. But I'm not sure that I actually met
18 them again while I was in Vitez, I simply can't
19 remember, in Vitez and Zenica.
20 Q. But you do remember being with them in Vitez
21 on the 4th of May, 1993? In Ahmici, I'm sorry.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And who else was with you on that occasion?
24 A. So there were, I think, three ECMM
25 ambassadors who were doing an even more rapid report
1 than I was doing who were there, and they went to
2 Vitez, Ahmici, and then they went straight down to
3 Mostar where things were also bubbling over; Bob
4 Stewart, who was providing the security; I think that
5 Payam and [redacted] were there; certainly, one of
6 them -- I think [redacted] was -- I think both of them were
7 there; Jean-Pierre Thebault, who was hosting the ECMM
8 ambassadors; and I was very much in the background.
9 Q. Was a SkyNews TV team with you also on that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Who was behind such a high level visit to
13 Ahmici? Who organised it and what was the purpose of
15 A. I think that Bob Stewart had organised it.
16 I'm simply not sure now whether Jean-Pierre Thebault
17 had asked for the ECMM ambassadors to be allowed to
18 visit Ahmici. I think that that was probably the case,
19 but I'm simply not sure what arrangements had been
20 made, since I arrived the night before and this was my
21 first day in the theatre.
22 Q. On that occasion, were some human remains
23 found in one of the houses and whether then it was
24 recorded on tape?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Did [redacted] say then that there were
2 human remains in the house and that one should go
3 there, see what it was about, and record it? Do you
4 remember that, that he was referring to the
5 communication from a witness from whom he had heard
6 that it was his family there?
7 A. Yes. I believe that [redacted] knew that there
8 was a house, and having walked up to the top of the
9 village, we then walked down through the village, and
10 he was attempting to find the house. They then located
11 the house and a number of people, including, I think,
12 the ECMM ambassadors, and Bob Stewart and [redacted] went
13 into the house. I felt that there was no need to go
14 and look myself at something quite as horrific as that,
15 so I didn't go into the house.
16 Q. What did you see there, after you entered it?
17 A. Well, I didn't go into the house because I
18 didn't particularly want to see human remains that had
19 been burnt. I stood next to the cattle barn, which was
20 actually outside the house, and one of the cows had
21 obviously been burnt, so it was still quite smelly.
22 Q. I should like to ask you kindly to have a
23 look -- even though you did not see this report, but it
24 refers to the same period of time and the same area --
25 to look at item 9, segment B. It says: "The town of
2 Will you please have a look or, rather, read
3 that passage?
4 A. I'm not sure how much you'd like me to read.
5 Q. Only this fragment, where it says: "Early in
6 the morning on the 16th of April, armed conflicts broke
7 out between the BH army and Croat HVO forces in the
8 town of Vitez."
9 I believe you agree with this wording. That
10 is what you confirmed to us, that there is no doubt
11 that there was an armed conflict between the BH army
12 and the Croat forces in the town of Vitez; is that
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. It is also said that there was a simultaneous
16 and, obviously, concentrated attack of Croat forces on
17 adjacent villages. You will agree with that too, won't
19 A. I'm not sure if it was the translator or
20 perhaps going from English to Croatian and back again,
21 but in the original report, it's a concerted, rather
22 than a concentrated attack, and therefore concerted
23 would be coordinated. But basically I would agree with
24 what's written.
25 Q. Then it says that it seems that the majority
1 of villagers managed to put up a defence, that fighting
2 went on and lasted for a while, with the exception of
3 Ahmici which is referred to later. Would you agree
4 with this part too, that is, that the majority of
5 villagers managed to fend off?
6 A. I think that in many cases, and I saw a
7 couple of villages, there was fighting which had gone
8 to and fro, and in some cases, the ABiH had mounted an
9 offence and, therefore, was still actually there and
10 present, and it did seem that Ahmici had been
11 completely run over.
12 I'm not sure to what extent there had been a
13 defence, but as I described earlier on, the majority of
14 bullet holes appeared to be and the destruction
15 appeared to be of Muslim houses rather than the Croat
16 houses, which were still intact.
17 Q. I'm sorry. There's been a misunderstanding.
18 I just wanted to ask you whether you agree with the
19 statement made that most villagers managed to defend
20 themselves and that fighting was still going on in
21 those villages. That's my question.
22 A. By the time that I was there, the fighting
23 had largely stopped because a ceasefire had been
24 signed. I'm not sure when this report was written, but
25 again there had been fighting. Many of the villages
1 remained under either Muslim or Croat control,
2 depending on which side was in control. Ahmici seemed
3 to be different.
4 Q. Very well. Thank you. There's another
5 sentence. I'm going to read it to you in the original
6 because there's a problem with a bit of the translation
7 of this text, but I would like you to read it just in
8 case. It reads as follows:
9 "... it seems to have changed hands,
10 although the town of Vitez is now split by the
11 confrontation line between the two forces which runs
12 through it."
13 So do you agree that it is primarily in those
14 areas where a certain party had a majority, that that
15 particular side managed to keep that area; that is to
16 say, Muslims managed to keep under their control where
17 they had a majority and the Croats managed to keep
18 those territories where they had a majority, again with
19 the exception of Ahmici?
20 A. I'm not sure in practice, given what various
21 people had said, whether a number of Croatian villages
22 were lost on the original contact line, as the Muslims
23 had pushed further south to try and cut the road --
24 that would be a possibility -- but, in principle, yes.
25 Q. Have you heard of the village of Poculica, a
1 Croat village, a village with a Croat majority before
2 the war? There is a report of the ECMM stating that
3 there is a prison somewhere in the area of Poculica
4 where there are Croat detainees and that nobody has had
5 access or control over that. Have you heard of that?
6 A. Forgive me. Since it's such a long time, is
7 that one of the things that's referred to in the back
8 of my report?
9 Q. All right. At any rate, from this part of
10 the report of the Human Rights Commission, you mainly
11 agreed with this, didn't you, with a few exceptions on
12 the Croat side and the village of Ahmici? This means
13 that villagers were defending themselves, that there
14 was a village defence that was organised in various
15 villages; that is to say, that there were some BH army
16 forces in these villages, is that correct, or, rather,
17 any other military organisations?
18 A. Without referring back to this report, which
19 I'm not sure actually states it, I think that I'm quite
20 clear that on both sides, villages were generally
21 defended, and one could see this pattern of digging
22 trenches around villages and then refilling trenches
23 around villages. That was just the pattern of the war
24 as it was progressing over those months.
25 Q. Trenches are not sufficient to defend a
1 village. People are needed too. So there was some
2 kind of a defence in every village, wasn't there?
3 A. I'm sorry. By saying the trenches were dug,
4 I was implying that, therefore, people had dug the
5 trenches and were then sitting in the trenches with
6 their weapons to defend the village.
7 Q. I'm talking about the period that refers to
8 an earlier stage, but we don't agree on all points.
9 However, we do agree that there was a defence.
10 Do you agree that in Ahmici, there was no
11 defence, and was that the only village in the territory
12 of the Vitez municipality that had no defence
13 whatsoever and that that is why what happened in Ahmici
14 happened, that is to say, the crime in Ahmici? What
15 was the position of Ahmici?
16 In your opinion, in view of all these other
17 villages and all these other examples, was there a
18 defence in Ahmici as well?
19 A. I'm not certain, since I was there after the
20 events took place. I can't imagine that there was no
21 defence of Ahmici. All I can conclude is that the
22 defence of Ahmici was not as robust as in other
23 places. I have no idea why that might have been the
24 case, but I find it hard to imagine that there would
25 have been no defence of the village, given the events
1 which I could see everywhere else. But, clearly,
2 whatever happened there overwhelmed whatever defence
3 there might have been.
4 Q. All right. There's also a factor of
5 surprise, and other military factors that I wouldn't
6 want to go into, that could be involved, but you
7 believe that there was a defence, don't you?
8 A. [No audible response]
9 Q. Thank you. I have completed this part now,
10 but I'd just like to go into a few other things.
11 Mr. McLeod, I would be interested in the
12 following: You said that the objective of your trip
13 and the objective of your investigation was to
14 ascertain what happened in the second half of April
15 1993. You are referring to the 16th only, but your
16 report shows that you actually covered a longer period,
17 that is to say, the entire second half of April.
18 A. Sorry. There was a question there. The 16th
19 of April was clearly the trigger which set off a series
20 of events. I went down to find out why that event had
21 taken place. In order to understand that, one had to
22 try and understand the context in which those events
23 had taken place.
24 Q. And your task was probably to give a report
25 on inter-ethnic relations and the conflicts in Vitez,
1 Busovaca, and Zenica in April 1993; at least, that is
2 the title of your report, isn't it?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. You said that you talked to a large number of
5 persons belonging to various structures. You also said
6 that you received information from the military
7 authorities, the political authorities. I wonder if
8 you checked these data.
9 A. No. By and large, what I had was various
10 bits of paper which were given to me, and in order to
11 give as full a picture as possible, as rapidly as
12 possible, I think I kept just about everything that I
13 was given and attached it to the report, but given the
14 time, it was impossible to actually verify most of what
15 I was given, and I hope that that was clear from the
16 way I described my report.
17 Q. You said that one of the reasons why you
18 concluded that the 16th of April involved an attack of
19 Croats, the HVO, on the BH army was the fact that 13
20 prominent members of the Muslim community in Vitez were
21 arrested. I can't find this now. Is that right?
22 A. That is correct, and I think you'll find the
23 list you're looking for at A2-1, so that's appendix 2
24 to annex A.
25 Q. These pages are marked in a strange way, I
1 think, so that's why I have a problem all the time.
2 The report shows that you talked to Hasan
3 Sadibasic. He was the only person that you talked to,
4 is that right, out of the 13 Muslims arrested; is that
6 A. No. I believe that I actually met some of
7 these gentlemen in the prison in Busovaca, although at
8 this stage, to go back and cross-reference between the
9 list of people that I met in Busovaca and this list
10 would take a couple of minutes. We could do that if
11 you wanted to.
12 Q. I'm interested in the following: You met
13 Sadibasic at his home. He had been released; is that
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. Did you check these other people out? In
17 view of their importance and in view of the
18 significance of this information, did you try to
19 establish contact with these other persons mentioned in
20 the list?
21 A. With the exception of meeting some of them in
22 the prison, no.
23 Q. It says here that Munib Kajmovic, president
24 of the SDA in Vitez, was also arrested on that
25 occasion. Did you believe that piece of information?
1 A. I think so at the time because that's what I
2 was told. I think it's quite clear that under the
3 circumstances, one couldn't be aware of whether
4 everything one was being told was correct or not, which
5 is why I tended to write everything down and present it
6 so one could later on draw a conclusion when one had
7 better facts.
8 Q. You talked to Santic, who was the mayor of
9 Vitez, and Pero Skopljak. You were told that they were
10 trying to organise a meeting with Munib Kajmovic, who
11 was president of the SDA in Stari Vitez. This was a
12 man who had actually never been arrested. Did you put
13 the two facts together?
14 A. No.
15 Q. We heard the testimony of a certain witness
16 the other day, for example, that Batija Sivro, as
17 member of the war presidency, was arrested on the 19th,
18 the 19th of April, 1993, not, as it says here, on the
19 16th of April. The same goes for Nedim Zlotrg.
20 I wonder if this changes your perception or
21 your conclusion that the attack took place in the early
22 morning and that obviously it was an attack of the HVO
23 against the Muslim forces, if all of this is not
24 correct, that is to say, if these Muslims were arrested
25 three days later, after the conflict broke out?
1 A. My understanding is that if not all, then a
2 majority of these people were arrested early in the
3 morning on the 16th. If that is correct, and I suspect
4 that you have far better ability to verify whether it
5 is or not than I do, then my conclusion holds.
6 Q. All right. So this is a conclusion on the
7 basis of the facts as they were presented to you and
8 that you did not check out.
9 I'm also interested in the meetings that you
10 had with some of these persons. First of all, you
11 mentioned that you met the mayor of Zenica, Besim
12 Spahic. You talked to him about the situation in the
13 area and you got his description of the events after
14 the 16th of April, 1993. Tell us briefly, so that we
15 don't go into all of these details now, how did he
16 describe the situation, that is to say, the position of
17 the Croats from the 16th of April, 1993 onwards, that
18 is to say, until you had this conversation with him on
19 the 15th of April, 1993? What was the position of
20 Croats in Zenica?
21 A. There had been tension. There was fighting
22 going on. A large number of Croats who had been within
23 the HVO in Zenica had been arrested. A number of them
24 were still being detained. A number of -- a
25 significant, I think, number of people had been either
1 moved out or had left their houses. A number of houses
2 had been destroyed, things had been stolen, and clearly
3 this was a far-from-imperfect [sic] situation.
4 What he said he was trying to do about it was
5 that he was trying to stabilise the situation. He was
6 trying to arrange joint patrols to go out and monitor
7 events, and he was trying to encourage people to go
8 back to their houses. So therefore the impression was
9 that things were far from right and a number of things
10 had taken place which were clearly wrong, but he was
11 attempting to stabilise the situation. What he said he
12 wanted was to return to a multi-ethnic community. That
13 was what he was saying he was trying to achieve.
14 Q. In his report, it says that 2.000 people had
15 fled -- this is concrete data related to what you had
16 said -- that after the conflict 40 Croat houses were
17 torched and looted, that 16 persons were killed, but
18 not in a massacre. That is to say that there is quite
19 a bit of information related to this very bad position
20 of the Croats in Zenica.
21 Is it your assessment that the Croats in
22 Zenica at that time felt unsafe and insecure and that
23 they thought that it was not safe for them to remain
25 A. I think that quite clearly the Croatian
1 population in Zenica had felt very insecure. As you
2 can see further on in the report, I had a very
3 difficult public meeting with a group of Croats just
4 outside Zenica who were quite concerned. You can see
5 the details that I was given by the two priests that I
6 met, and so it was quite clear that the Croatian
7 population in Zenica were unhappy, were not completely
8 confident. But again the impression that I was given
9 by the two priests was that things were trying to get
10 back to normal and that they were trying to get access
11 and were being given some access to the prisons, and
12 that bit by bit, the local authorities were attempting
13 to stabilise the situation. I would certainly not
14 characterise it as being perfection, and I would not
15 attempt to hide the fact that things were done to the
16 Croatian population which were quite wrong; not at
17 all. That's why I included all the information I was
18 given by the priests, for example.
19 Q. In the reports that were given to you by
20 these priests, there is a meeting with Father Stjepan
21 on the 7th of May, 1993. It says that 21 young men
22 were missing; that they were not in prison; that they
23 were probably in the music school; no one had access to
24 the music school; it was under the authority of the 7th
25 Muslim Brigade, that's what it seems, and also some
1 people were burned to their deaths in their houses in
2 Miletici; 250 families went in Nova Bila and
3 Grahovcici; that another 14 houses were burned; that
4 during the night, people were being taken away, so I
5 would be interested in the following.
6 You said the situation was not all that bad,
7 that efforts were being made to stabilise the
8 situation. However, from this report, we can see that
9 this was on a massive scale, and you said yourself that
10 quite a few persons remained detained, that is to say,
11 members of the HVO remained detained in the prison in
12 Zenica. After all of that, there is your conclusion
13 that the Croats moved out of Zenica only and
14 exclusively for propaganda reasons. Do you think that
15 it is really propaganda reasons that made Croats leave
16 Zenica, not all these events?
17 A. The conclusion that I reached at the time was
18 that the large majority of the people who were moving
19 were moving clearly because what was going on was very
20 unsettling. I would certainly not want to go through
21 that myself, and I doubt that anybody here would.
22 However, that there was a concerted effort being made
23 to move a large number -- to persuade a large number of
24 people to move, and at the time I believe that a large
25 number of those people were actually attempting to get
1 back to Zenica. This is something which Bob Stewart
2 was aware of and the ICRC were aware of, as well as
4 Q. Tell me about these Croats that wanted to
5 return to Zenica and could not have, probably due to
6 propaganda reasons as well. Which Croats did you talk
7 to? Who are these persons who told you that they
8 wanted to come back and could not?
9 A. I didn't speak to the people who were trying
10 to come back, but I did speak to members of BritBat,
11 who had been talking to them. Now, I'm afraid it's so
12 long ago that I can't remember the precise details, but
13 even at this length, that is an impression which is
14 still quite firm in my mind.
15 Q. So you think that primarily the reasons for
16 Croats to leave Zenica were of a propaganda nature and
17 that they were not threatened to such an extent that
18 they really had to leave; is that right?
19 A. I think what I said was that the majority of
20 people or a large number of people were being moved
21 amongst other things because of propaganda. I think it
22 is quite clear that a number of people were being
23 terrorised, some of them were killed, which is the most
24 extreme form of terrorism, and that for that reason,
25 some of them were leaving. I think there's no doubt
1 about that whatsoever. But I do think that there was
2 also -- the impression I was given and the conclusion
3 that I reached, and therefore that's what I thought at
4 the time, was that a large number of people moved,
5 amongst other things, because there was propaganda
6 being put out -- "propaganda" is possibly the wrong
7 word. It's a very strong word. There were messages
8 being sent out from Vitez, suggesting that people
9 should move.
10 Q. Do you perhaps recall through which channels
11 these messages were sent?
12 A. At this stage, not precisely, but I imagine
13 it would have been on the radio.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, this
15 is probably a convenient time for a break. Do you have
16 many more questions?
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Half an hour.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Good. So we'll take a
19 30-minute break.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.28 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.
23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
24 Mr. President.
25 Q. The last question, Mr. McLeod, you answered
1 had to do with the manner that propaganda was conducted
2 among the Croat population in Zenica, and you said that
3 you thought that it was done by radio. That was what
4 you said.
5 Did you trust, did you believe those priests
6 you talked to during those meetings? Fra Bozo and
7 Stjepan, you believed them, you trusted them, you
8 believed what they said?
9 A. Yes. I have no reason to think they were
10 telling me other than what they thought was going on.
11 Q. In your report of the 8th of May, 1993, your
12 interview with Fra Bozo, at the end of page 2, you
13 said, and these are Father Bozo's words, that many
14 people who did not have houses wanted to leave but that
15 he was against it, that is, that Fra Bozo was against
16 it, but that they were not getting any information from
17 the local television and radio and that they were under
18 a complete media blockade. That is E-2, bottom of page
19 2 of that meeting. So, evidently, the propaganda was
20 not conducted in that way.
21 These reports, the ECMM's and U.N.'s, show
22 that some people try to go back to Zenica several
23 times, but that return never took place. Do you know
24 if those Croat refugees did go back to Zenica?
25 A. No, I have no idea whether eventually they
1 were able to get back or not.
2 Q. In view of the information you received about
3 the status of Bosnian Croats in Zenica, I should like
4 to know, how is it that you did not take note of this
5 in your report? Why is it that in your report you did
6 not say anything about the status, about the lot of the
7 Croat population in that part of the Bosnian territory?
8 A. In respect, I think I actually said in my
9 report -- because as far as I was concerned, the entire
10 document was my report -- exactly what I was told by
11 the Croats I met on the Muslim side of Zenica. The
12 conclusion that I reached, which is what was
13 highlighted on the first page of my report, was who had
14 started that particular round of events.
15 Q. I don't really mean to be boring, but just
16 now, you said you did not know if any part of the Croat
17 population returned to the territory of Zenica, that
18 is, any one of that large group of people, and you said
19 in your report, the fourth passage, that the majority
20 of the Croat population went back to their homes in the
21 Zenica municipality.
22 So your report is not quite accurate, is it?
23 You can see it also in the fourth passage of your
25 A. I apologise. I thought that your question
1 was referring specifically to the people that we were
2 discussing earlier on who were being held outside
3 Vitez, close to the BritBat camp which we had
4 discussed. I refer back to our earlier conversation.
5 I don't know whether those people actually managed to
6 get back to Zenica.
7 I apologise if I had misunderstood your
9 Q. But we were not talking about people who were
10 near the BritBat. We were talking about people in
11 Zenica, at least so far, and I ask you about them
13 But tell me, please, at that time, you must
14 have known already that there was a brief lasting
15 conflict between the BH army and the HVO in Zenica on
16 the 17th of April, 1993? You did learn about that,
17 didn't you? On that occasion, the HVO surrendered and
18 on that occasion also, HVO members were arrested. Did
19 you know about that?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. In relation to your interview with Mayor
22 Spahic, you attached a conclusion which he made as the
23 president of the wartime presidency. It is A-4. He
24 says there that -- he orders there to set up joint
25 checkpoints, joint patrols made of MUP, BH army, and
1 HVO members.
2 Don't you think that it is a rather strange
3 conclusion, since at that time the HVO had already
4 become by that time an illegal and adversary army whose
5 officers had been captured? That is A-1 of the
6 conclusions -- item 1, sorry, item 1 of the
8 A. Annex 1, I believe. I think that there were
9 still -- I'm not quite certain, but I think that in the
10 area to the northwest of Zenica, there was still some
11 fighting going on, that there had still been some
12 fighting going on.
13 I think you're quite correct that the
14 majority of the HVO had been arrested and were being
15 held in prison; however, what I was told was that they
16 were attempting to set up joint patrols to go out and
17 monitor the situation.
18 Q. How can one organise joint patrols if one of
19 the armies is detained?
20 A. Well, I'd conclude that you let some of the
21 people out of prison and say, "Right. Let's now go and
22 carry out joint paroles." I can't remember exactly how
23 it was working. There was a very strong impression
24 that they were trying to set up joint patrols and that
25 the ECMM were involved in this process.
1 Q. Don't you think that they told you one thing
2 and doctored their conclusions and said a different
3 thing on the ground? Because from these reports, what
4 transpires is from the time you talked to them, 450 HVO
5 members were detained at the outset, another 280 were
6 in prison, and it was Fra Bozo who told you that. So
7 don't you think that they were saying one thing and
8 doing a different thing?
9 A. They were saying one thing, they were doing
10 something else, but I think they may have been
11 attempting to do a third thing. Again, I'd have liked
12 the benefit of having been there for a further month to
13 see what actually happened thereafter.
14 Q. Right. Thank you. But could you tell us, if
15 you know -- you told us that you had been to the Kaonik
16 prison and spoken to its administrator, Zlatko
17 Aleksovski. Did you also visit prisons in Zenica at
18 the time, that is, the penitentiary, the music school,
19 and the police prison?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Why not?
22 A. In practice, members of the ECMM had been
23 into one of the prisons, the details of which are noted
24 in the report, I believe, and I suspect that had I
25 pushed, I would have had the opportunity to do it. In
1 practice, I was running out of time. What I did do was
2 present a case to the ABiH, which suggested that they
3 would have a better negotiating position if they
4 started to unilaterally release prisoners rather than
5 holding prisoners, and this, indeed, is what they did.
6 Again, the details of that are contained in the report,
7 and the release of prisoners by the ABiH was witnessed
8 by the ICRC.
9 Q. You talked to Hadzihasanovic, the BH 3rd
10 Corps commander, and it was on the 7th of May, 1993.
11 One of the topics addressed there was access to prisons
12 for your organisation, the ECMM, and priests.
13 Hadzihasanovic said that he knew nothing about those
14 prisons, such as the music school or the police, so,
15 evidently, you did ask to be given access to those
17 A. Yes. The issue was simply having enough time
18 to physically do that while I was there.
19 Q. But it doesn't transpire from this that you
20 were granted access to them. It even says that the 3rd
21 Corps commander knew nothing about those prisons, that
22 those prisons existed.
23 Could you please look at D-1? Could you look
24 at D-1, the contents of that particular meeting?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You were not curious about their denial of
2 the existence of the prisons? Because you must have
3 heard from Croats that they existed, that in the music
4 school, there were Croats detained, that the conditions
5 there were very bad, and that also there were cases of
6 very serious harassment, ill-treatment of Croats
7 there. Didn't that make you wonder?
8 A. It was precisely because we had heard that
9 people were being detained in these places that we
10 asked for access to them. I'm not sure whether I would
11 be surprised at him saying that they didn't exist or
12 not. The fact of the matter was that we were pressing
13 to get access to what was clearly there, and again I'm
14 not sure whether later on, during the following weeks,
15 my colleagues at ECMM were actually able to get
16 access. What I do know is that members of the ECMM and
17 the priests did have access to the main prison.
18 Q. Do you remember who had the control over the
19 music school, who had it under his control? Was it the
20 police, was it the BH army, was it parts of the BH
22 A. I'm not sure that we actually established
23 that. I know that there was a debate going on as to
24 whether it was controlled by 7th Muslim Brigade, and
25 there was also a debate going on as to whether they
1 were controlled by the ABiH directly or not. And it's
2 clear from what -- this little bit of the report says
3 that Hadzihasanovic was attempting to distance himself
4 from it. Again, in practice, I'm not sure exactly what
5 the chain of command was.
6 Q. In relation to your meeting with
7 Hadzihasanovic, there is one thing which raises
8 doubts. He says that he would like the 7th Muslim
9 Brigade to be under the BH army control. Does that
10 mean that the 7th Muslim Brigade was not under the BH
11 army's control and that it was an army unto its own?
12 A. As I said, there was a debate within the
13 ECMM, as far as I can remember, about exactly what the
14 chain of command was. Clearly, what he was attempting
15 to say was that they were not under his control. I
16 don't know -- I suspect that it would be easy enough to
17 establish, but I simply don't know whether that was a
18 fact or not.
19 Q. Would you know who were members of the 7th
20 Muslim Brigade and where was it quartered, if you know
22 A. Again, I don't know precisely. I seem to
23 remember that the discussion was that they were
24 sitting -- people suggested that they were sitting in
25 the music school and that perhaps there were members of
1 the Mujahedin being part of that formation. But,
2 again, these were what other people were saying. I'm
3 not sure I've actually met anybody from 7th -- excuse
4 me, 7th Muslim Brigade to establish whether that was a
5 fact or not.
6 Q. It also says here -- that is, Hadzihasanovic
7 says that he wants the 7th Muslim Brigade under his
8 control and that the Mujahedin are not under control.
9 Have you come across the term "Mujahedin" or did you
10 meet any people going by that name in the Lasva Valley?
11 A. People certainly talked about the Mujahedin
12 as being a group or groups in Central Bosnia at the
13 time. I don't think that I ever met anybody that
14 either claimed to be or that I would term as being
15 Mujahedin. It was one of those things that was fairly
16 hard to try and verify.
17 Q. Hadzihasanovic says that the Mujahedin are
18 one of the uncontrollable groups. Did Croats mention
19 the Mujahedin to you?
20 A. I'm sure that they did, and I suspect that
21 you probably have a reference in my report which I
22 can't remember at this stage.
23 Q. Could you also tell us, apart from these two
24 priests, Father Stjepan and Father Bozo, which other
25 Croats did you meet and talk to? Did you try to talk
1 to HVO commanders in Zenica, perhaps, or
2 representatives of political structures in Zenica,
3 because I see that on several occasions the mayor
4 mentioned the HDZ president to you, President Sakic,
5 and according to Besim Spahic, he asked to be detained,
6 to be arrested. That is what your report says,
7 annex A-2, page 2. Did you talk to those people?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Do you think that you gained an objective
10 picture of all the developments without talking to all
11 the representatives of the political or military power
12 there in an area which was the object of your
14 A. I think that under the circumstances and
15 given the time constraints in which I was operating, I
16 produced a reasonable report. That's for various other
17 people to judge. I certainly regret not meeting some
18 of the personalities that would have been able to give
19 further insight. But under the circumstances, I did
20 the best that I could.
21 Q. But you talked to several people on several
22 occasions, and my only question is how is it that you
23 never met with the Croat political people there,
24 because on the Muslim side you met with several people
25 on several occasions, and that is why I'm asking you
2 But just a few things more related to your
3 visit in Stari Vitez. You were there, weren't you?
4 You did go there once; at least that is what your
5 report says.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In Stari Vitez, did you see any houses
8 destroyed or damaged?
9 A. Yes. On the contact line between Stari Vitez
10 and the rest of the town, there was significant battle
11 damage to buildings on the perimeter, so one noticed
12 that when you drove into the enclave and then again on
14 Q. So these were the contact lines of Stari
15 Vitez, and presumably the Croat part of Vitez, you are
16 talking about the bordering areas, about the border
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. [No interpretation]
20 A. I'm sorry, I seem to have lost the
22 Q. What kind of damage -- I'm sorry -- what kind
23 of damage did you see from firearms? I'm asking what
24 kind of damage did you see on those houses in Vitez?
25 A. There was clearly damage from shooting,
1 small-arms fire and machine guns, and I'm sure there's
2 a video somewhere which would actually show you more
3 accurately than my memory.
4 Q. So houses were damaged during armed conflict,
5 isn't it, so marks of infantry weapons? There was no
7 A. I can't remember seeing shell holes, although
8 there were numerous reports, and some were included, I
9 think, in my report, of the fact that Stari Vitez was
10 being attacked with mortar and artillery fire. So I
11 can't actually remember seeing a shell hole. It was
12 the case that Stari Vitez was being shelled.
13 Q. But was there damage in other parts of
14 Vitez? I mean were houses in other parts of Vitez
15 damaged too? As far as you could see, of course.
16 A. It would be far easier if you could get hold
17 of some of the SkyNews video. However, there was
18 certainly a lot of damage on the outskirts, and then as
19 one drove through the town, it was clear that you were
20 crossing a contact line or what had been a contact
21 line, because there was a lot of battle damage, craters
22 in the road and so on. I'm not sure that there was
23 battle damage around the Croatian military headquarters
24 that I went into, which was in the middle of the town.
25 And then driving out to the southwest, again
1 it was clear that one went across a contact line as one
2 crossed from Croatian-controlled territory through to
3 the village in the southwest that I visited.
4 Q. When you were in Stari Vitez, did you see
5 members of the BH army, do you remember seeing them,
6 and do you also remember who you were staying with who
7 you possibly talked to? Did you perhaps talk to any of
8 the top military people in Stari Vitez?
9 A. I certainly saw armed soldiers in Stari
10 Vitez, ABiH. I didn't actually go into the meeting
11 that took place. I sat on top of a Mercedes and had a
12 look to see what was going on.
13 Q. You also attended a meeting with Hakija
14 Halilovic, commander of the 1st Battalion in Kruscica,
15 on the 8th of May, 1993. Can you say -- that is Annex
16 H, H-1. Can you say what it looked like? How was
17 Kruscica -- or rather how many military men were there,
18 and were there any trenches there?
19 A. I can't remember seeing trenches. I probably
20 met half a dozen or a dozen soldiers.
21 Q. Did you know what happened to the Croat
22 population in Kruscica?
23 A. I would imagine that they had left the
24 village and moved into Vitez.
25 Q. Do you think that that was also due to
2 A. I have no idea. I would suspect that they
3 decided it was the safest thing for them to do, under
4 the circumstances.
5 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Very well. Thank you,
6 Mr. McLeod. I have no further questions, Your
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Blaxill.
9 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Mr. President. I
10 just have a few questions.
11 Re-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
12 Q. Mr. McLeod, we've heard reference to your
13 seeing troops of the ABiH in Stari Vitez. Did you see
14 troops in other parts of the town of Vitez at that
16 A. Yes. The only other soldiers that I actually
17 saw in Vitez then were Croatian military.
18 Q. Can you give any indication of the respective
19 numbers in Vitez, taking account of Stari Vitez as
20 well? Was one or another force predominant in numbers?
21 A. Yes. I'm quite sure that the Croatian
22 military were in the majority in the Vitez area.
23 Q. So you've described what -- in your report,
24 you refer to the action by the Croatian forces. Can
25 you offer us any further information as to the facts
1 upon which you were able to ascertain and form a view
2 that the first strikes came from that side?
3 A. Parties on both sides said that the other
4 side had started it. A number of people gave fairly
5 lucid descriptions of what had happened, suggesting
6 that either they had been caught in their beds asleep
7 or, indeed, they had been caught in their beds asleep
8 by the other side.
9 The U.N. observation posts, I think, were
10 fairly clear about when fighting had started, because
11 they had reports, they could hear what was going on, so
12 there's no doubt about what time events started because
13 you could hear the gunfire, I assume. I think that the
14 U.N. reports were fairly clear, where they could see
15 it, about who seemed to be attacking whom.
16 In terms of who actually started things in
17 Vitez and in Ahmici, since one has opposing views on
18 both sides, from my point of view the most compelling
19 evidence would be the fact that people appeared to be
20 being arrested in the morning, and as I've said a
21 number of times, I'm not quite sure that I can tie that
22 back to a surprise attack by the Muslims on the Croats
23 since there were a large number of Muslims who were
24 arrested by the Croats.
25 Q. If I can move on from that, you've also
1 referred to the actions of the Bosnian army as being a
2 counterattack. Is there anything further you can add
3 in that respect as to why you say that was specifically
4 a counterattack?
5 A. I think it was the conclusion which had been
6 drawn by BritBat and my discussions with them, and it
7 was also that the nature of what happened was
8 consistent with the story that I was given by Colonel
9 Blaskic, in terms of the way that they had responded,
10 the only difference with his story being that as far as
11 he was concerned, they had actually started, so he said
12 it had been an attack as opposed to a counterattack.
13 If my conclusion is correct, then clearly it was a
14 counterattack rather than an attack. If my conclusion
15 is wrong, then it could have been an attack.
16 Q. You've been asked about what political
17 leaders you may have met on the other side, i.e., the
18 Croat side. Isn't it correct that you spoke to the
19 mayor of Vitez --
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. -- and a gentleman called Mr. Skopljak?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I would refer now to your penultimate
24 paragraph on page 1 of your report, where you make a
25 statement regarding the apparent aims of the Croats in
1 Vitez. Could you, sir, just explain a little further
2 how you reached the conclusion that you state in that
4 A. The conclusion that I reached there was
5 largely distilled from the conversation that I had with
6 Mr. Santic, where he had set out, I think very clearly,
7 what the Croatian political objectives were, and he
8 said very clearly what they had been attempting to do,
9 what he believed ought to happen was that the
10 International Community should form a buffer between
11 Zenica and Vitez and that the populations should be
12 balanced with a majority of Croats or, indeed, just
13 Croats on the Vitez side and Muslims on the Zenica
14 side, and that once that had happened, then they could
15 implement the Vance Plan because they could have
16 democracy, as he put it, elections, which would
17 demonstrate, because of the way the populations were
18 then balanced, what people wanted.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. McLeod.
20 MR. BLAXILL: I have no further questions,
21 Your Honours.
22 Mr. President, if I may, sir, I would like to
23 formally move into evidence Exhibit 393, which is the
24 report prepared by Mr. McLeod.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Any objection? No
1 objection. It is admitted into evidence.
2 I have one question, Mr. McLeod. It's about
3 your meeting with [redacted] when you went to
4 Ahmici. Actually, I take up the question which was put
5 to you by Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, and I have the
6 feeling that part of the question was not answered.
7 You went with Mr. [redacted] and an ambassador
8 and other people to visit a house. You didn't enter
9 that house where there were corpses, burned corpses and
10 so on, and Counsel Slokovic-Glumac asked you whether
11 you had heard from [redacted] that he had been told
12 by a witness that that was his family's house, his
13 family was there, the corpses were of people belonging
14 to his family.
15 Did [redacted] tell you that this
16 particular witness had spoken of his own family?
17 A. What [redacted] said, not to me but to the
18 various people that were there, was that he had heard,
19 having interviewed somebody -- I have no idea who that
20 person was -- that they believed that in this
21 particular house, there would be bodies of, I can
22 assume, his family -- I'm not sure what the connection
23 was between the person that [redacted] had spoken to and
24 that house -- and, indeed, what he was then attempting
25 to do was to identify the house that he had had
1 described to him, which he did, and then in that house,
2 as evidenced, I think, by what various people saw and
3 the video footage, they found some bodies. I thought
4 that for the benefit of my mental health, I wouldn't
5 actually go and have a look for myself.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Thank you so much
7 for giving evidence in court, Mr. McLeod. You may now
8 be released.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you, sir.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 [Trial Chamber confers]
12 JUDGE CASSESE: This is the close of the
13 rebuttal case. You don't have any more witnesses. We
14 may now then call Vlatko Kupreskic as a rejoinder
15 witness, only on the rebuttal evidence.
16 Counsel Krajina.
17 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, I can say to you
18 that the Defence of Vlatko Kupreskic will not call
19 Vlatko Kupreskic to the stand again. Thank you.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So we are now
21 left only then with the court witness who is coming
22 tomorrow, I understand, and is not here in The Hague.
23 Yes, Counsel Krajina.
24 MR. KRAJINA: Mr. President, we have been
25 informed by the witnesses unit that this witness should
1 arrive in The Hague tonight.
2 We shall try to establish contact with that
3 witness tonight in order to interview him, which is
4 necessary; however, if the witness arrives too late
5 tonight in The Hague, and if we are not in a position
6 to talk to him, then we would kindly ask the Trial
7 Chamber to postpone this witness's testimony tomorrow.
8 It can take place tomorrow, but perhaps later, after
9 the break, so that we could have contact with the
10 witness before that. However, we do hope that we will
11 be able to talk to the witness tonight and that it
12 won't be necessary for any postponement. Thank you.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE CASSESE: First of all, let me ask you
16 whether you confirm that this is the only rejoinder
17 witness the Defence is calling. So you don't have any
18 witnesses, any other witnesses. All right.
19 MR. KRAJINA: I do not, Mr. President. That
20 is the only witness.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Since you need
22 some time to interview the witness, I think we could
23 start tomorrow, say, at 10.00 or 10.30. So you would
24 have some time in the morning. What do you prefer,
25 10.00 or 10.30? Shall we say 10.15?
1 MR. KRAJINA: 10.30, that is what we would
2 really prefer.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Good. We will adjourn now
4 until tomorrow at 10.30.
5 Counsel Radovic.
6 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I would just
7 like to put a question to the Prosecutor. Could he
8 finally state his views on whether his case has finally
9 been completed and concluded now and that he has no
10 further witnesses or material evidence? Please.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier.
12 MR. TERRIER: Yes, I can confirm that we have
13 no further witnesses.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Please, Counsel
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, could
17 you please allow me to inform the Court that we are
18 going to have two witnesses after all but both will be
19 very brief. One is (redacted) and the other one is
20 Liljana Sapina; both will be related to the statement
21 made here by (redacted). Tomorrow, we are going to
22 present a report on the interview that was held with
23 them, and we are going to give this to our colleague,
24 the Prosecutor.
25 This other witness will not be heard as an
1 expert witness but as a fact witness related to the
2 army and the functioning of the army at that time, and,
3 indeed, it is going to be a very brief statement. We
4 assume that on Wednesday we will have finished within
5 two hours.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Wednesday, yes,
7 it is agreed. All right. So tomorrow we just have one
8 witness, the Court witness, starting at 10.30, and on
9 Wednesday, two witnesses, but then again, we will start
10 at 9.00 so that by 1.30 we must be through.
11 There are no other matters to be discussed?
12 All right. We will adjourn now until tomorrow at
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
15 11.45 a.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
16 the 5th day of October, 1999,
17 at 10.30 a.m.