1 Wednesday, 15 May 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.26 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Mladen Naletilic and Vinko Martinovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik. Are you ready?
10 MR. KRSNIK: Yes, Your Honour.
11 WITNESS: ZELJKO GLASNOVIC [Resumed]
12 Examined by Mr. Krsnik: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Glasnovic. Let us continue
14 with the questions. I will begin with the following question: The
15 Prosecution affirms that the HVO began, in April 1993, a systematic and a
16 widespread cleansing, or rather, a campaign of persecution of Muslim
17 civilians, with the goal of obtaining ethnically cleansed territories on
18 which Croats live. What would you answer to such a claim, answer to Their
19 Honours in that respect?
20 A. Based on my observation, and on my experience in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1991 and until up to now, I would say that there
22 is an error in this theory. It's a false -- it's false.
23 Q. Why? What is your knowledge in connection with that? That is
24 what the Chamber would be interested in hearing. What is your knowledge
25 concerning that, and why?
1 A. For one thing, the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina was not one
2 conflict; it was a series of conflicts that sometimes made renaissance
3 Italy look like Disneyland. I would like --
4 Q. Could you --
5 A. -- to add that the date is also an enigma to me, why that date is
6 stated as start of the Muslim/Croat antagonism, because to my knowledge,
7 the first conflict started at the local level, in the summer of 1992, in
8 the municipality of Uskoplje. The next -- I can list all these
9 chronologically if you wish.
10 Q. [In English] Yes, please.
11 A. The next conflict that I'm aware of is a split in the Croat/Muslim
12 alliance during the defence of Jajce. While reinforcements were rushed to
13 Jajce in the fall of 1990, the beginning of October, to be exact, Muslim
14 roadblocks -- and here I will use the terminology MOS.
15 Q. [Interpretation] What does it mean?
16 A. -- which means Muslim armed forces, and not the army of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because then it did not exist as such, and no attempt
18 was made to integrate the Federation army until after the signing of the
19 Dayton Agreement. So in the beginning of October 1992, MOS units blocked
20 reinforcement routes to Jajce.
21 The next conflict started in Prozor.
22 Q. Excuse me.
23 A. -- on --
24 Q. Excuse me. We must explain to the Chamber who blocked the road
25 and why were the Croatian forces coming to defend Jajce?
1 A. -- [Previous translation continues] ... road was blocked. There
2 was only one way into Jajce, and it was blocked.
3 Q. And why? Also Muslims live in Jajce, don't they?
4 A. [Previous translation continues] ... make an assumption.
5 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. Deduct any assumptions or speculation,
6 Your Honour.
7 A. The road was blocked. That is a fact.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, we have difficulties because of the previous
9 translations is continued, so the answers and the questions mingle
10 together. We cannot make a proper judgement from the transcript.
11 Yes, Mr. Scott.
12 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, first of all, the question itself asked
13 the witness to speculate why these Muslims, why these MOS forces, as he
14 called them, did this, which there is no basis to believe -- any reason to
15 believe he knows or he can speculate as to why the Muslims did something.
16 Secondly, again, the witness himself said, "I can only assume." I
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik --
19 MR. KRSNIK: No. Sorry, Your Honour. I'm not saying no to you.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think you have to rephrase your
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I went through the
23 questions and the translations of the transcript. I wasn't asking the
24 assumptions, for the assumptions, but the knowledge, personal knowledge.
25 I wanted to hear whether you personally went to Jajce with your units.
1 A. [Previous translation continues] ... when I say "assume," I mean
2 that I was not there directly at the time, but I know these things took
3 place because at my headquarters we had a daily situation report and a
4 daily briefing.
5 Q. Please, so personal knowledge or the basis for the assertion.
6 Please, your personal knowledge once again, and no assumptions, or if
7 somebody -- a person with a name and surname stated something which would
8 be the basis of your assertion.
9 A. [Previous translation continues] ... numerous officers, because I
10 was interested in the start of the -- I say the early start of the
11 polarisation, and I received concrete answers from the commander of the
12 defence of Jajce, Mr. Simunovic, and also I believe General Pilipovic.
13 I can continue. Excuse me. After the Prozor conflict, the fighting
14 started in Uskoplje in January of 1993. I was personally involved in the
15 Prozor conflict, and also the one in Uskoplje.
16 Q. The first question: Who was the first to attack in all these
17 incidents you've listed?
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT: I object, Your Honour, both on the basis of tu quoque
20 and to relevance. It's nothing to do with this case.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think at the beginning of this
22 trial we also said that this Trial Chamber cannot accept the tu quoque
23 defence, unless you show that this incident has something to do with what
24 happened later here with the testimony of this witness. Otherwise we have
25 some doubts as to the relevance of this evidence to the case.
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, bear with me. I will
2 begin thinking that I'm doing a futile job. Because in the indictment we
3 have a clear statement and also with the evidence connected, that the HVO,
4 from the month of April, began attacking and began carrying out ethnic
5 cleansing of civilians. That is a crucial moment of this trial. We are
6 presenting evidence that we did not begin attacking, that this all began a
7 year earlier. But in order to arrive to the April -- to the 5th of May
8 and June, and if the Chamber doesn't receive the evidence of this witness,
9 who gave an oath, we will not be able to come to the truth of it. It's
10 not the question of tu quoque, and we cannot, under the mantle of tu
11 quoque, not to allow the Defence to -- not to attack the indictment in its
12 key points. Mostar, on the 9th of May, or the 14th of April, it's not
13 something that came out of the blue. We have a witness who has been in
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1992 to the present day, with the highest
15 rank, and, as with other witnesses, he is under oath. That is for the
16 sake of fairness, of justice, and the truth, to hear the truth. And then
17 why is the Prosecutor, through his cross-examination, from Stolac and
18 Prozor, carrying out cross-examination of witnesses? And here is a man
19 and a witness who was in Prozor, and he will be able to cross-examine him.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, first of all, I would like to say
21 that this Trial Chamber is addressing the personal responsibility rather
22 than the responsibility of an organisation like HVO. Secondly, I must say
23 that the evidence you present must be related to the specific counts
24 charged in the indictment. Thirdly, since you claim that the testimony of
25 this witness will be related to the widespread and systematic attacks of
1 the Muslims, we'll let you go for a while, to see how far you can reach.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in addition to that,
3 here we have personal responsibility, and that the campaign was headed by
4 my client, and it's connected with all the items in the indictment. So it
5 is linked on the personal basis. Because you know perfectly well what the
6 Prosecution said, President Tudjman ordered and then he quoted who was
7 carried it out [as interpreted].
8 Q. So you were in Prozor. The Prosecution is saying that the houses
9 were burned down, people were persecuted.
10 A. But I would like to say first, is that the theory of ethnic
11 cleansing, planned terror, to me is an enigma.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
13 MR. SCOTT: I'm going to object to this. First of all, there's no
14 question pending about this. Number 2, this witness is not an expert.
15 He's not.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Would you come closer to the microphone, please.
17 MR. SCOTT: He has not come here as a political expert or an
18 historian or a sociologist. I certainly have not objected to things that
19 reasonable within his military, direct military experience. But since we
20 started today, he has gone into a number of simply nothing more than
21 personal opinion, matters on which has not been tendered or recognised by
22 the Chamber as an expert.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, you know, in the live testimony, we
24 only want to hear what you saw and what you heard at that moment. So
25 there's no speculation and assumption of any events. Just tell us what
1 you saw and what you did at that time.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
3 Q. Did you as a commander, you, from 1992 onwards, did you receive an
4 order or execute ethnic cleansing?
5 A. If someone lets me finish to the end, I will explain.
6 MR. SCOTT: I object, Your Honour. It's not up to this witness to
7 decide what's appropriate testimony. It's up to the Chamber to decide,
8 and my objection stands.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll hear what the witness is going to tell us,
10 whether his testimony is relevant to the issue or not.
11 A. Before I start to talk about the details in Prozor, I would like
12 to say one thing. The basis for successful military campaign, a planned
13 campaign, two things are needed: Mission, a clear mission; and clear
14 intent. And, I, as a brigade commander, during the Prozor conflict, would
15 have had to have known the intent of my commander, not just one level up,
16 but two levels up. That means not only that zone headquarters, but also
17 via HVO headquarters. No order, verbal or written, was given, nor any
18 warning order, which precedes any operation, to do what you're suggesting
19 was done in Prozor. I was in Prozor on the 22nd. I was there the day
20 before the conflict started. I was there on a formal visit because my
21 right wing was covered by the Rama Brigade. At the time, there were two
22 headquarters in the city of Prozor, the town of Prozor. The formal TO,
23 so-called, and the HVO. I spoke to both commanders and I saw no warning
24 signals that a conflict was about to begin.
25 The next day I received a communique from the chief of staff of
1 the Rama Brigade, which I gave to this Tribunal my last visit here,
2 saying that fighting had broken out in Prozor. He had learned this at a
3 joint meeting between the two staffs, the TO and the HVO. During the
4 course of the meeting, an HVO member, Franjo Zadro, was killed by a
5 Muslim soldier. That is when the conflict escalated. I learned later
6 that the TO had left the positions which they held together with the HVO
7 against Republika Srpska, and I also -- I visited that line also in the
8 previous week, and both components were still on the line. Weapons and
9 equipment had started to disappear from stores, and the town, during my
10 visit, was practically divided into upper and lower parts. The request
11 for Mr. Zelakavic, the chief operative in the Rama Brigade, asked for
12 help from the neighbouring brigade. We were the nearest there. I
13 mobilised the brigade. I informed my superiors, who was Mr. Siljeg, and
14 gave him a 24-hours' notice to move. That is, I gave 24 hours' notice to
15 my soldiers to be ready to move.
16 I arrived there on the night of the 24th. I entered the town,
17 myself and a few staff members. In the town itself, it was nightfall. I
18 saw no serious collateral damage except for one burning house in the
19 centre of town and one body with -- in fatigues, laying in the middle of
20 the street. However, I still heard fighting in the -- on the outskirts of
21 the town itself, and on the hills surrounding the town. I liaisoned with
22 the Rama Brigade commander, and it was decided, because the deteriorating
23 situation in the vicinity and for security measures, to send in the
24 brigade, or parts of my brigade, which arrived the next day, set up our
25 perimeter, a security perimeter, because we then had no clear idea of
1 troop disposition.
2 We started to take fire from the villages of Here, Scipe and Kute.
3 That is the first time that members of the brigade were killed, my
4 brigade, killed and captured and wounded in the conflict, Muslim/Croat
5 conflict. That night, I called HVO headquarters and I spoke personally
6 to General Praljak, and my exact words to him is: "We have to stop this
7 madness before it escalates."
8 He informed me that "pregovori," the English translation escapes
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Objections?
11 A. -- negotiations --
12 THE INTERPRETER:
13 A. -- between the HVO and the TO and he informed me as quickly
14 as possible on when a decision was made. The next morning I took a column
15 of armoured vehicles. There was a tank in the column. It was actually --
16 it was a small task force of company size. With me went the Rama Brigade
17 commander. The commander at the time was Mr. Beljo.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
19 Q. And after that, did the conflict calm down? Did the delegation
20 arrive? Did they visit Prozor?
21 A. [Previous translation continues] ... testimony. Had we had any
22 intention at that time of cleansing the Muslim population, we could have
23 clearly gone to Jablanica, at least the tunnel, the tunnel leading into
24 Jablanica, because the "Reci" party I had sent out before, it's
25 reconnaissance parties, notified me that there were no forces holding that
1 route. I stopped the column at the first village south of Prozor, got out
2 of the armoured vehicle, took a local man with me, and went to the first
3 few villages to pacify the civilians, both Croat and Muslim, to tell them
4 the talks were progressing, they would find a political solution to this
6 I also have to say that there's a Chinese proverb which says:
7 Burning water won't save -- distant water won't save your burning house.
8 Had I known that a conflict was about to ensue, had there been a joint
9 plan of some kind to take the town of Prozor, I would have that night
10 mobilised forces and moved them to striking distance to intervene as
11 quickly as possible.
12 Q. And did the conflict in Prozor stop? Did the delegations come?
13 Do you have any personal knowledge of that?
14 A. Yes. That same day, a joint delegation came up from Jablanica
15 with representatives, both civilian and military. I recall that the
16 army -- the Muslim general, Arif Pasalic, was there, as was Martin Zaric,
17 the head of the HDZ in Jablanica. This ended that conflict.
18 Q. Tell us: What did you mean when you said -- when you were last
19 time in the Tribunal? Have you already testified?
20 A. Yes. I was here in February of this year.
21 Q. You testified in a courtroom? Oh, you mean this statement that
22 you gave to the Prosecutor?
23 A. [Previous translation continues] ... yes.
24 Q. Right. I meant -- but we know that. We'll come to that.
25 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
1 Q. We'll come to that later on. But please be so kind. My next
2 question: You, personally, your personal knowledge, do you have any
3 whether the HVO ever conducted any offensive actions against the TO or MOS
4 or the BH army, whatever the name might be, that is, any components of the
5 Muslim people?
6 A. I have no indications that this actually happened.
7 Q. And were you attacked by those forces? In these incidents that
8 you spoke about, who attacked whom? Who caused the conflict?
9 A. A radicalisation of the military and civilian leadership, in joint
10 Muslim/Croat municipalities, led to the polarisation and the conflict.
11 The arrival of Muslims from Sandzak, Iran, Morocco and other countries,
12 plus I would say the ethnic occupation, with some previously Croat
13 communities, led to the destabilisation and conflict.
14 Q. General, I will now show you two exhibits marked D174 and D175.
15 MR. KRSNIK: First D174.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Will you please be so kind as to -- Witness, will
17 you please be so kind as to read out this one sentence in Croatian, and
18 the year and the month, because we have not yet translated it now.
19 A. [Interpretation] The incidence of the BH army against the HVO in
20 1992, from May to December.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Now let's have it on the ELMO. You
22 have the pointer.
23 Q. Does this show, according to what you personally know, the
24 incidents which caused -- which were caused by the army of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina against the HVO? Were these the ones, and how did they
1 all start, based on your personal knowledge?
2 MR. SCOTT: Again, we object to both the relevance of this
3 testimony and to the basis of this witness's testimony. We are again back
4 -- this is nothing more than expert opinion. If he was in a particular
5 action, as he did when he said it was in Prozor, and if he wants to say
6 about what he did and what he knows of personal knowledge, certainly the
7 Court has observed we have not objected to that. But now he's being
8 tendered to talk about conflicts all over the map, and he's not an expert
9 and he's is simply here expressing opinions now.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, we will see what this witness is
11 going to tell us and to see whether it's related to the subject-matter of
12 this case.
13 Mr. Krsnik, you have to bear in mind the objections raised by the
14 Prosecutor and try to concentrate your questions which might be relevant
15 to this case.
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
17 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] ... hear what the
18 witness has to answer the question rather than you give the answer by
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Absolutely, Your Honours. That is
21 why I brought the witness. I merely wish him to give us his position from
22 1992 to 1993, until the 30th of June in Mostar. And we seek personal
23 knowledge to hear only about things where the witness was personally
24 present or his officers.
25 THE WITNESS: First, I think it's vital to underline, to describe
1 the routes of the Muslim/Croat conflict, which any chronology would show,
2 any logical chronology, the traces -- from the outset, as I described in
3 a -- as I described, from the summer of 1992 until the signing of the
4 Washington Agreement, would show that many of these conflicts started at
5 the local level. They were spontaneous, and later they snowballed into a
6 larger conflict. I believe I came to the conflict in Uskoplje, which was
7 the first serious, I think it was a war, which ended in January of 1993.
8 The graphics here, I don't want to describe every incident, but prior to
9 the start of the conflict in Mostar, which I don't see clearly on the map
10 here --
11 MR. KRSNIK: You have another map, 75.
12 THE WITNESS: Part of that conflict, as I've mentioned, in Mostar,
13 the entire municipality, Croat municipality -- the majority of Croatians
14 were cleansed from the municipality of Konjic, by the end of -- by the
15 start of that conflict in Mostar. Other conflicts simultaneously broke
16 out, or in that same time frame, in Central Bosnia. People that I speak
17 to sometimes about this fail to realise, because the majority of them were
18 never on the terrain itself, where the fighting took place. Much of it
19 took place in inaccessible terrain, ranging from 300 metres to 2.000 above
20 sea level. And any cursory examination, any military historian, would
21 understand that the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina was not one or two
22 conflicts, although the Republika Srpska was the main aggressor, backed by
23 forces from Yugoslavia. It was a series of conflicts in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Some where Muslim fought Croat. In some areas there
25 was no Muslim/Croat conflict, for example, the Posavina area, in Bihac.
1 In Bihac, Muslim fought Muslim.
2 In many of these separate conflicts, the common denominator was
3 biological survival. Croatians, as the smallest minority, could not wage
4 a war on two fronts, nor was there any tension to fight their Muslim
5 neighbours. But as I explained before, the Muslim leadership clearly had
6 plans, and there are documents available --
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
8 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, again, I apologise for interrupting, but
9 I must object. Now the witness says "the Muslims clearly had plans." I'd
10 like to know the basis for his personal knowledge to assert that, what the
11 Muslim plans were.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, give us an explanation about that,
13 whether you have personal knowledge about the existence of those plans.
14 THE WITNESS: Yes. I've seen document that are dated, for example,
15 one of numerous documents that are dated in early 1993, I believe the
16 third month, which clearly show Muslim intentions. One of those documents,
17 signed by the SDA representative in Mostar, and now a deceased general,
18 Arif Pasalic, spoke of forming a united Muslim front.
19 There's one thing I would like to add, which I saw as the first
20 indicator that dialogue between Croatians and Muslims had broken down
21 completely. In the summer of 1992, I took my headquarters to Jablanica to
22 start joint operations with the TO there, the Territorial Defence. They
23 were asked to make a return visit to Tomislavgrad. They never arrived.
24 Joint plans were also made for the liberation of Kupres. Officers
25 from the TO in Uskoplje, General Praljak, myself, and others, were also at
1 a meeting in Uskoplje in the summer of 1992. Nothing of this
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
4 Q. These were joint operations -- Serbs?
5 A. Republika Srpska.
6 Q. You have mentioned that Uskoplje, there was a real war in
7 Uskoplje, and how did that end? You wanted it tell us that.
8 A. The war started in the municipality itself and escalated. Again,
9 attempts were made to stop the fighting. I sent up my 2 IC to Bugojno.
10 Juergen Schmidt, with another officer, and they successfully stopped,
11 through negotiations, the conflict then from spreading north to Bugojno.
12 With the help of BritBat, I believe the Cheshire Regiment, constant talks
13 were -- there were ongoing talks at the local ball-bearing factory, which
14 led to a final ceasefire agreement towards the end of January. During
15 that conflict, my 2 IC, three other members of my staff, were captured by
16 MOS - these MOS were from Jajce, people we had fed, clothed, armed - and
17 they were captured and executed, with shots to the head.
18 Q. And what happened with Bugojno?
19 A. The conflict in Bugojno did not escalate until November of 1993.
20 Then the scenario was the same as in Konjic. The entire Croat population
21 was cleansed from the Bugojno municipality. As you know, there were caps
22 at the stadium and other places, just as they were in Jablanica museum and
23 other areas where my brigade was stationed to the south.
24 Q. Here often the name of Mr. Zarko Tole was mentioned. Do you
25 personally know Mr. Zarko Tole? Can you tell Their Honours where he came
1 from, what kind of an officer, what rank and what was he?
2 A. To my knowledge, I first met Zarko Tole in Kupres at the start of
3 the conflict in the April of 1992. I assumed that he was a member of the
4 improvised headquarters in Grude, and I knew he was an ex-JNA officer. I
5 know he was born in Ljute Dolac.
6 Q. And where is Ljute Dolac?
7 A. And that's the last I saw of him until after the war, because he
8 was captured, and the details of his capture are still unclear, because
9 before the start of the Muslim/Croat confrontations, it was rumoured that
10 he was sold to the Republika Srpska side by Muslim extremists in Bugojno.
11 Q. And for how long was he detained, and where?
12 A. I know this also because my brother was also captured, and he saw
13 Tole, his driver Ugrin, and another man which I don't -- I know his
14 name, but I can't remember. It escapes me at the moment. Where they were
15 tortured, starved, and disfigured for over a year. When I saw him after
16 the war, I had serious doubts about his mental state.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we come to Mostar area in 1992.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I wanted to come close
19 to the era of Mostar, and I wanted him -- he wasn't --
20 JUDGE LIU: Try it again.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I wanted to explain all these
22 operations which were carried out by the ABH [as interpreted], and so if
23 he didn't have the personal knowledge, because the witness didn't --
24 wasn't personally there in Mostar.
25 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] ...
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] And I wanted to ask him what was the
2 final operation of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina or of the Muslim
3 component in 1993, and why was Mostar an important strategic point for
4 them, including Konjic and along Neretva River, and whether you personally
5 participated in the defence.
6 A. [Previous translation continues] ... is such that the road from
7 Jablanica to Mostar, every square inch is almost vital for defence,
8 basically a lifeline. And it's also an outlet to the sea. As the final
9 operation of the MOS forces proved, at the beginning of August/end of
10 September 1993. That operation was called Operation Neretva. I'm
11 familiar with the terrain which surrounds Jablanica, because I held the
12 line from Strop, which is to the right of Doljani, to Boksevica, which
13 is on the left, which is a dominant feature that overlooks Jablanica.
14 Q. Were there preconditions in order to ensure and implement the
15 plan in Jablanica in 1993? What were the Muslims to hold in order to
16 implement this plan, and what did they have to conquer? What do you
17 personally know about the plan itself?
18 A. They had to clear the eastern side of the Neretva River, enforce
19 the road, communication Jablanica/Mostar, and thereby create the
20 conditions for further progression towards the coast.
21 Q. Does Sovici and Doljani have any strategic importance in this?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Explain it to the Chamber.
24 A. Sovici is actually -- would be the -- is the gateway to the
25 plateau of Risovac, which leads to all the communications that tie in
1 western Herzegovina and the sea.
2 Q. Do you know who held the strategic point in this area of
3 Sovici -- of Sovici?
4 A. MOS.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm looking at the
7 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me. Could we have a clarification of the
9 THE INTERPRETER: Would you come to the microphone, please.
10 MR. SCOTT: Are we still talking August/end of September 1993 now,
11 about the Sovici answers that the witness just gave, that he could assist
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Krsnik, please answer the question.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Which year and at what period you're
15 talking about?
16 A. [Previous translation continues] ... start in September --
17 August/September 1993. They started earlier.
18 Q. No, Sovici was held by MOS. What time period are you referring
20 A. At the beginning -- at the beginning of April 1993, or perhaps
22 Q. And tell us: Do Sovici and Doljani, do you have personal
23 knowledge of that, since you were close to Doljani? And do they also
24 protect the flank of Jablanica in the Neretva operation?
25 A. Yes, they do.
1 Q. And did it represent a very important or maybe the most important
2 strategic point for the Muslim forces?
3 A. In that area of operations, Boksevica, Oklanica, or Pisvir,
4 better known as Pisvir, which runs through Doljani, and Sovicka Vrata,
5 which are the door that leads us, as I said, to the plateau of Risovac.
6 Q. And the last question prior to the recess: You were personally in
7 Jablanica. What were the quantum of forces in MOS, and what is the
8 distance between Jablanica and Doljani?
9 A. I can give you a fairly accurate battle order of the MOS forces in
10 Jablanica at the time, because I held that line from almost the end of
11 April 1993, until the signing of the Washington Agreement. There was a
12 local brigade called Brigada Neretvica. At times, components of the
13 Prozor Battalion were also stationed there, as were other units, so-called
14 "Special Units," like, for example, Crni Labudovi, Handzar Divizija,
15 which is not actually a division, but probably a company side, also
16 "Zuka's criminals," who were the actual force and the actual -- they
17 decided what happened in Jablanica. There were also volunteers from
18 Sandzak, and also Eastern Bosnia.
19 Q. [In English] Where is Sandzak?
20 A. Sandzak is the Muslim enclave within -- excuse my geography, but
21 I believe within Serbia itself. From my experience, from talks with
22 individuals, like Samo Siketic, the chief of staff for the MOS forces in
23 the Bugojno area and the chief negotiator during the fighting in
24 Uskoplje - he was also from Sandzak - and these individuals represented
25 some of the members, apart from those from North African countries, Iran,
1 and Pakistan, who presented the most radical wing of the MOS.
2 Q. [Interpretation] And what was the force?
3 A. Minimum two and a half thousand; maximum men that are armed, three
4 and a half thousand.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] And now we will have a recess.
6 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume 10 minutes after 4.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.39 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.12 p.m.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik. Please continue.
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
11 Q. One question for the end, and then we'll move towards your zone.
12 Do you know what the -- personally what the fate was, namely, in the
13 indictment, it's been asserted that HVO carried out ethnic cleansing of
15 A. Can I answer this?
16 Q. [In English] Yes, please.
17 A. Well, I think, Mr. Krsnik, you will find that Jablanica itself is
18 a microcosm of the general Croatian population. At the end of the
19 conflict, Muslim/Croat conflict, because at the beginning of the war, the
20 Croatian population was about 18 per cent of the total population of
21 Jablanica. And if you go to Jablanica now, you will find that there's
22 probably 6 per cent, or less, of the Croatian population remaining.
23 Q. [Interpretation] In April, May, and June, do you know what was
24 happening in Jablanica?
25 A. The Jablanica municipality, yes.
1 Q. The fate of the Croats, what, in truth, happened?
2 A. 1993, Doljani was attacked by MOS, and 40 or 50 people were
3 killed, half of them civilians, I believe.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
5 MR. SCOTT: Maybe we could have a bit more specificity as to date,
6 except for all of 1993. Thank you.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Witness. Would you please tell us the time
9 THE WITNESS: Yes.
10 JUDGE LIU: Which year and which month?
11 THE WITNESS: Yes. In the summer of 1993, on the feast day of
12 Ilinden -- I may need some help here, because it's the seventh month.
13 It was the seventh month.
14 THE INTERPRETER: July.
15 A. [Previous translation continues] ... attacked from three sides by
16 MOS. The end result of that action was the death of approximately 50
17 people, half of them civilians. The rest were soldiers, the majority who
18 were killed after they were captured.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
20 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I do apologise. I don't want to try
21 the Chamber's President, but again I must object to tu quoque nature of
22 this. We have said from day one of this trial that bad things were done,
23 committed by all sides. My personal sympathies, and I'm sure the Office
24 of the Prosecutor's personal sympathies and condolences go out to all
25 victims on all sides, but this is simply tu quoque and is not relevant to
1 the issues before the Chamber.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
4 JUDGE LIU: Just tell us the facts, the population ratio at that
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the indictment says
7 that the HVO cleansed Jablanica, and I asked what had happened in
8 Jablanica. That is, I am questioning the indictment. Doljani is a
9 municipality of Jablanica. But let us move on to another subject.
10 Q. What happened to Croats living in Jablanica? Did they cleanse
11 anyone? What was their lot, of the Croats in Jablanica?
12 A. I was there because we liberated the area later. Approximately
13 220 civilians, men, women, and children, were taken to the Jablanica
14 museum and incarcerated there, in inhuman conditions.
15 Back to your original question: During my visit to Jablanica to
16 start the joint Muslim actions, joint Croat actions, against Republika
17 Srpska forces in the municipality of Konjic, there was still a semblance
18 of cooperation between the civilian authorities, that is, Croat, Muslim
19 civilian authorities. By the time the conflict broke out, I think I
20 mentioned before that by the end of the third month, 1993, the majority of
21 Croatians from Opstina Konjic - and this also includes Jablanica -- I
22 don't wish to belabour the Tribunal here with details, but every village,
23 the ethnic population of that village is well documented. I have given to
24 this Tribunal. The concluding answer -- the conclusion to the answer is,
25 is Croatians were jailed, ethnically cleansed, and removed from positions
1 of any type of authority, not just authority, but from normal -- they were
2 not to direct work, of course. They were marginalised. And the end
3 result is, as I said, which is evident today, is the population has
4 dropped from 18 per cent to 6 per cent.
5 Q. And what about the lot of villages between Konjic and Jablanica?
6 A. [Previous translation continues] ... torched. I can only mention
7 Trusina for one, Vrce, other villages. One look at the situation, the
8 situation map, in the summer of 1993, of Opstina Konjic and Jablanica
9 would show exactly how many villages were burnt, plundered, and the
10 population run off.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, you still did not answer the question
12 put by the counsel. The issue is not whether the Muslim ethnically
13 cleansing of the Croats. The question is whether the HVO ethnically
14 cleansed the Muslims in that town.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
16 Q. In the municipality of Jablanica, in the municipalities of
17 Jablanica, Prozor, Konjic?
18 A. [Previous translation continues] ... possibility. First, they had
19 neither the weapons nor the organisation, nor the numbers to do this.
20 Q. Look at the transcript. You'll see that we've again lost
21 something because you are just too fast, and I think that the question is
22 missing from the transcript. And your answer, I believe, when you said
23 that it was physically impossible to do. Will you slow down, please.
24 Just look at the transcript. Look at the transcript. See what it looks
1 A. I can continue with the conclusion. My answer was that the
2 Croatians neither had the weapons, nor the organisation, nor the numbers
3 to attempt to ethnically cleanse members of the Muslim minority.
4 Q. [In English] Minority?
5 A. Majority.
6 Q. [Interpretation] Tell me: When did these attacks on Croat
7 villages happen, and all that that you told us about? Which month, which
8 year, in the municipalities of Jablanica and Konjic?
9 A. The start was in the middle of, approximately, the third month of
10 1993. And the last Croatian was cleansed by the end of the seventh month
11 of that same year. The last village that fell into MOS hands was Klis.
12 I was in Boksevica when the civilian population fled, and we loaded them
13 on trucks and turned them over to the authorities in Prozor.
14 Q. It is also claimed here, namely, the indictment alleges that you,
15 the brigade, the HVO, enjoyed the support of the Croatian army from the
16 Republic of Croatia throughout. Now you can answer.
17 A. -- assumption.
18 Q. Tell us what you know about it.
19 A. I can quote a document which I saw as an example, a document
20 showing the battle order of HVO forces in the municipality of Uskoplje
21 from Crni Vrh on the right, to Turajci on the left. Those are dozens and
22 kilometres of difficult territory. This order -- actually, it's a
23 report. It's a report of -- battle readiness report by Zeljko Siljeg, the
24 OZ commander, and it shows that he had no more, at that critical time, the
25 summer of 1993, than 4.000 men, approximately, to hold that difficult
1 line, defence line. It shows every unit by name and number. A lot of
2 those men were wounded, physically broken, and had been on the line for
3 months, with no relief in sight. They were outnumbered in every sector.
4 They suffered heavy casualties. Close to 500 HVO troops died in and
5 around Uskoplje, and almost three times as many were wounded. Neither the
6 unit indication or the number of men there indicates that the HV was
7 present there.
8 I will ask a rhetorical question. A war in Croatia ended, except
9 for several operations, which lasted weeks, in January of 1992. Up to the
10 time period which I mentioned, almost a year and a half, in which the
11 Croatian army armed, trained, and consolidated its forces, how many
12 reserve brigades, not professional, did they have available to send to
13 that critical area of the front? At that time, I remind you, they had
14 seven fully professional brigades in the HV.
15 To continue the answer, in my sector, there were never any HV
16 troops. The Kralj Tomislav Brigade held the line, which I mentioned
17 already, from Strop on the right, to Kucani almost. On the left was the
18 Jajce Brigade, or the remnants of it, and on the other side was the
19 Domobran unit, the Doljani Battalion, Mijat Tomic.
20 Q. General, we heard here three or four representatives of the
21 international community, European monitors, ECCM. I believe there was one
22 representative, and Sir Martin Garrod. They did not speak much about
23 the Mostar area, did not say they saw all that many HVs, but your area,
24 and I say that was Uskoplje, in your area they saw HV troops. It is very
25 difficult to believe, once you have a member of the international
1 community in this Court and he says that before this Honourable Court. Of
2 course, we asked what -- they said we saw vehicles with HV plates. Of
3 course, they don't know who was in those vehicles. That a general,
4 Andric, sir Martin who said that, some General Andric, who represented the
5 Croatian army there. I'm telling you this in order to elicit from you
6 what you personally know about this, or that they saw HV insignia on the
7 plates. I do not think that they talked about troops, but that these were
8 merely some indications?
9 MR. SCOTT: Objection, Your Honour. This was a --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
11 MR. SCOTT: [Previous translation continues] ... by Mr. Krsnik and
12 characterising the testimony of other witnesses is completely improper and
13 I object.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I merely wanted to explain what we
15 heard in this courtroom. I wanted to invite the witness to comment. I
16 must say what representatives or witnesses said here in open sessions.
17 Your Honours, I know what kind of a battle I'm waging here, and that is
18 why I wish to clarify it.
19 JUDGE LIU: Just ask him the question.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. What will you say to that?
22 A. Mr. Krsnik, I will say, and I said earlier in yesterday's
23 statement, that the majority of people that I saw, that may have been
24 formerly in the HV, were people that were born in the municipalities in
25 western Herzegovina or other towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. As a commander, did you have any difficulties or did those
2 soldiers arrive with HV patches when they came, and how did they come to
3 say your brigade or your zone, your municipality?
4 A. [Previous translation continues] ... my command, who were not
5 Croatian citizens --
6 Q. Now, excuse me. My question was: People who gave, people who
7 gave -- I mean not leave -- [As interpreted] were they people who had come
8 from the Croatian army and kept their Croatian army patches?
9 A. Yes. [Previous translation continues] ... case, yes.
10 Q. And what did you do then? Did you allow it? What was done about
12 A. [Previous translation continues] ... voluntary basis. From my
13 perspective as a commander, if a soldier showed up as willing to
14 participate actively in the brigade, I accepted his participation.
15 Q. Did you allow them to wear different patches on your uniforms?
16 I'm sorry. Let me ask you first. Did the HVO have any official insignia?
17 A. We finally introduced a formal rank structure, and earlier many
18 units wore unauthorised patches on their shoulders showing their unit,
19 which usually had the brigade emblem which ... But as for HV patches, I
20 personally don't recall anyone in my brigade wearing HV patches.
21 Q. It is not in the transcript again, so please look at the
22 transcript. Which year did you say it was?
23 A. [Previous translation continues] ... My structure and its
24 corresponding ranks which were worn on the uniform, was not introduced, in
25 early 1994.
1 Q. Thank you. Now I've forgotten the question. Oh, yes. This is
2 what I wanted to ask you: The Prosecutor has produced many orders and
3 shown them to many witnesses here. Not going into whether those orders
4 were authentic, but various witnesses testified about them, that they were
5 orders to remove HV patches in order to disguise their affiliation. Do
6 you know of any such orders to remove HV patches, and why would such
7 orders be made?
8 A. Again, my answer is I don't recall such an order, and to be
9 truthful, the position that I was in, as a commander, that topic, to me,
10 was not a priority.
11 Q. Now, General, the next question. The Prosecutor here alleges that
12 following the 16th of April, 1993, in different areas, that the HVO
13 arrested and disarmed Muslims who were in the HVO only because they were
15 A. Again, I have to accentuate what I said earlier.
16 Q. Sorry. So did you have any Muslims in your brigade, in your zone?
17 A. Yes, I did.
18 Q. Did you disarm them?
19 A. Yes, I did.
20 Q. And why?
21 A. In the seventh month of 1993.
22 Q. Why?
23 A. The situation was such at the time, in the summer of 1993, the
24 Muslim/Croat conflict had reached catastrophic proportions. In the unit
25 itself I had approximately 400 to 500 soldiers of Muslim faith who were,
1 until that date, an integral part of the brigade. I treated them no
2 differently than any other member of that brigade. When weapons started
3 to disappear and when refugees from other cities that had fallen poured
4 into Tomislavgrad, there was at one point, I believe, 13.000 from Jajce
5 alone - the security of the town itself became questionable. I wanted to
6 avoid the same scenario that had been repeated elsewhere, and I took the
7 decision to disarm the Muslim component.
8 Q. Did you incarcerate them? Did you expel them? So they stayed in
9 Tomislavgrad? And what happened in the neighbouring community,
10 municipality, in Livno? Was there any disarmament there?
11 A. [Previous translation continues] ... my answer to your first
12 question was no, they were not jailed, cleansed. Their property
13 wasn't pillaged. As for Livno, a conflict broke out there the next day,
14 the following day, and there were dead and wounded on both sides. I
15 believe the decision I made was correct at the time, because to understand
16 the situation then, you have to realise there was only one route in and
17 one route out, through Central Bosnia, where conflicts were taking place,
18 and troops returning from the front line could very easily turn on the
19 Muslim population to create an incident. There would be retaliation and
20 then we'd have fighting in the villages.
21 There was one incident which was more -- nothing to do with
22 planned ethnic cleansing, but a mindless crime, which I believe you were
23 informed about.
24 Q. What were you referring to?
25 A. In the summer, shortly after the disarmament, I was called by the
1 UNPROFOR commander, Major Bauer, who was stationed in Tomislavgrad, and
2 he mentioned to me that people had been killed in a village on the
3 northern part of the town. I arrived there with the UNPROFOR commander
4 and I noticed there were seven people killed. This was not done by
5 members of the brigade but transients, who later crossed the border in one
6 of the 350 illegal crossings, or legal crossings, and escaped.
7 Q. And do you personally know that these people had been apprehended
8 and also tried?
9 A. [Previous translation continues] ... found out later. Yes. I
10 found out later that there were citizens of the Republic of Croatia, and
11 they were tried in Croatian courts.
12 Q. We are coming to the close, Mr. Glasnovic. I would like to wind
13 up and come to the close of your testimony. Here it's also being alleged,
14 namely, the Prosecution claims that HVO did not allow the passage of
15 humanitarian convoys with humanitarian aid, neither of the national and
16 international convoys. What can you tell us about that?
17 A. I can tell you, as I said before, that the only road into Central
18 Bosnia was "route triangle," that went from Tomislavgrad, through Prozor,
19 and then Bugojno and the rest of Central Bosnia. And all classes of
20 equipment, from food, clothing, and of course weapons, ammunitions, went
21 along that route. This went on, from what I know, until even until 1993,
22 and after.
23 For example, again, at the height of the Muslim/Croat conflict, a
24 convoy of 350 tractor and trailers used that route to go to Tuzla.
25 Q. Were the convoys examined? Did you examine these convoys and did
1 UNPROFOR participate in weapons smuggling? And if you have any personal
2 knowledge of that?
3 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Your Honour, but again I object to
6 relevance. My concern is also that the reason this goes on and on is
7 that -- I don't know how long this is going to take us into tomorrow, but
8 if we go on and on with this sort of testimony, then I will not be rushed
9 to finish my cross-examination within some deadline set for tomorrow, if
10 this testimony just simply goes on and on and on about, in our view,
11 irrelevant matters, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think Mr. Krsnik says that his direct
13 examination will come to an end very soon.
14 And Mr. Krsnik, we believe that your question has some relevance
15 to the issue. The question you asked especially concerning the
16 international organisations smuggling weapons. It's a leading question.
17 Drop that question.
18 MR. KRSNIK: Yes, Your Honour. [Interpretation] You're right, Your
19 Honour, it was a lead, because, Your Honour, I've been working for 20 days
20 every day, [As interpreted], and I apologise if some lead question comes
21 out, but it's not intentional. It's due to fatigue.
22 Q. But to cut the story short, I will show you a document which was
23 translated into English, and it bears the figure D1/331.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] And I would kindly ask the registrar
25 to distribute this document.
1 Q. Have you read this document? Tell us the date, whether you've
2 been acquainted with it. I see it's Tomislavgrad, and who is the
3 gentleman who wrote it?
4 A. My answer is yes.
5 Q. The date?
6 A. 27th of July, 1993.
7 Q. The document speaks for itself, but tell us: Did this occur
9 A. [Previous translation continues] ... report. This report I'm
10 holding is from an intelligence operative who was not directly under my
11 command, but which I worked with, and it describes weapons parts and
12 packing found --
13 Q. Don't speak about the document. It speaks for itself.
14 A. Canadian Battalion.
15 Q. And you know that personally, except for its written in here?
16 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
17 Q. Did it happen frequently?
18 A. Weapons, communications equipment were smuggled on a regular
19 basis, especially after the embargo was imposed on the former Yugoslavia.
20 Q. But General, but this is a UN convoy.
21 A. [Previous translation continues] ... my answer. We found
22 weapons -- my answer is we found weapons on other convoys carrying
23 so-called humanitarian aid, for example, bags of flour. We found
24 communications equipment, welded into other -- into vehicle parts. As for
25 the UN convoy, that file, that individual file, was passed on to Mostar.
1 Q. Did the convoys have free passage, unobstructed passage, or was
2 there a permanent examination and control of that, and if so, why?
3 A. Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think it's logical when you enter or depart
4 from a zone where there's a conflict raging, you have to be extremely
5 careful of personnel and equipment and weapons that are entering that
7 Q. And then reports come in from monitors, and I'm -- the UN reports,
8 or of the observers, that the HVO does not allow the passage of UN
10 A. My answer: Tomislavgrad was the centre -- central headquarters
11 and base, the main logistics base, from where the UN forces that pushed
12 supplies, humanitarian supplies and others, into Central Bosnia. As a
13 matter of fact, most of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. Did you ever prevent them in that?
15 A. I was directly responsible in negotiations with the BritBat in
16 Tomislavgrad that gave them access to a base, base facilities, to be more
17 exact, quarters where they held their men. The base was our logistics
18 base, which we gave to them. The elementary school served as their
19 quarters. From the beginning of "Operation Grapple," which was the name
20 of the operation, to push supplies into Bosnia-Herzegovina. Every effort
21 was made, at that end of the supply route, to help with this mission.
22 Q. And the last two questions in connection with Tomislavgrad and
23 then we'll pass on to the final questions. The witness, Allan Knudsen, at
24 a public session testified here that he was a soldier in your ranks, that
25 President Tudjman came to Tomislavgrad and that he lined up your men there
1 to inspect them, and that you refused to be present because you disliked
3 A. First of all, the name, Allan Knudsen. I can't recall at the
4 moment because I had a platoon, reinforced platoon of over 50
5 internationals in my brigade. As for not liking President Tudjman --
6 Q. The question -- first question: Was President Tudjman ever in
7 Tomislavgrad and was there ever a line-up of your men for him? And he
8 came to you --
9 JUDGE LIU: Wait. We did not get an answer. I'm sorry.
10 Witness, would you please repeat your answer.
11 THE WITNESS: That is pure fiction. President Tudjman did come to
12 Tomislavgrad. He was there for half an hour, there for lunch, and
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. When was that? What month and what year?
16 A. My answer is: I believe, because I can't remember the exact
17 month, it was after the meeting between UN officials, Mr. Izetbegovic,
18 and Mr. Tudjman, in Medjugorje.
19 Q. The next witness, it was not a public session, therefore I will
20 describe him as Witness X, stated that he was, during his travels,
21 arrested, incarcerated in Tomislavgrad, that he was tortured there, held
22 captive about a month, and taken down from a bus as one of the travellers
23 on the bus, and that in some monastery, be it of monks or nuns, but that
24 it was a monastery in Tomislavgrad that many Muslims were also there and
25 that they were being tortured.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 11357 to 11370.
1 A. My answer would be: On whose order, what time period, what place,
2 and all the other elements that go into writing an incident report.
3 JUDGE CLARK: The question really is: Do you know anything about
5 THE WITNESS: I know nothing of this incident.
6 JUDGE CLARK: Well, that's what your answer should be.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Was there any prison or camp for Muslims in Tomislavgrad? Did
9 BritBat and the UN organisation --
10 MR. SCOTT: Once again, Tomislavgrad is not in the indictment,
11 even on that basis, and again it's simply no more than tu quoque.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Krsnik. Skip this question.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] That is the case, Your Honours. I
14 kindly request the Prosecutor, when his witnesses -- where he said, this
15 is very relevant, that the Court should hear that, and he invoked Article
16 5 of the Statute in connection with that. And now he is contradicting
17 himself already on a number of occasions. Why did we have to listen to
18 all of that from the Prosecutor, but we're not allowed to give the side --
19 to hear the defence? He, in fact, said that crimes were widespread
20 throughout Bosnia. And when the Defence said it's not relevant to the
21 indictment, he said something else.
22 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, you're allowed to ask all the questions
23 by the Trial Chamber which we deem to be relevant, and so far the
24 President has said they are relevant. My interjection at that stage
25 was that it was obvious, that a simple answer was possible instead of a
1 series of questions. Now, don't get excited. Just get on with the case.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I wish to offer you the
3 entire truth, and that is why I've invited -- I'm bringing in all these
4 witnesses. This Court must know what the truth is, to hear what happened
5 in Tomislavgrad. I don't have any other witness from Tomislavgrad, and
6 there's nobody else from -- that was my idea, to give a picture. The idea
7 was to refute the indictment, the items, and to challenge it, and to have
8 you hear the truth of the events there.
9 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, all we're saying is there's a way to do
10 it. You've asked this witness whether he was aware that such a -- whether
11 he was aware of the incident. He was unaware. The next obvious question
12 is: Do you know of any monastery or nunnery that was used as a Detention
13 Centre for Muslims. And if he says no, well then we move on to the rest
14 of it. But you haven't posed that question yet.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I've asked. I've asked whether
16 prisons or camps existed. Then the Prosecutor interjected. And the
17 witness said -- answered no. And I've ended -- I will end with that, and
18 we come to the concluding questions. But let me ask once again.
19 Q. Witness, was there a prison or a camp for Muslims in Tomislavgrad?
20 A. No, there was not.
21 Q. Thank you. And now to the final question. Witness, do you
22 remember when you talked to me for the first time?
23 A. To the best of my recollection, it was in the winter of 2000.
24 Q. Do you remember when we met the next time, the second time after
1 A. February of this year.
2 Q. Did you, on both occasions, give your approval to testify on
3 behalf of the Defence? Did you?
4 A. [Previous translation continues] ... when I was here for the first
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, we missed the answer again, Witness.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
8 Q. During our first meeting, did you accept to be the Defence
10 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
11 Q. Did we have --
12 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] ... not said the
14 Witness, wait at least for 30 seconds after the question.
15 THE WITNESS: My answer to the question is --
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, no, we've lost everything.
18 Q. Did you, during the first meeting we had, did you accept to become
19 a Defence witness for this trial, during our first meeting?
20 A. Yes, I did.
21 Q. Did we have, the two of us, any contact from that moment up to
22 February 2002?
23 A. No, we did not.
24 Q. When did I then establish contact with you in February, did I ask
25 you then to meet with you again? Did I invite you then to come and
2 A. Yes, you did.
3 Q. And did you give any other statement to somebody else meanwhile,
4 and if yes, to whom, and when? In this Tribunal, I mean?
5 A. [Previous translation continues] ... February of this year.
6 Q. And who was it that you gave a statement to?
7 A. [Previous translation continues] ... of the Tribunal
8 [Defence counsel confer]
9 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, we're curious. Why would somebody who
10 makes a decision to be a Defence witness in the year 2000, then offer
11 himself as a Prosecution witness in 2002?
12 MR. KRSNIK: Because of that I ask him.
13 JUDGE CLARK: Okay. Well, we're interested to hear the answer.
14 And what value would he be to the Prosecution? Why do we need to know
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] He was. You'll hear it all. Don't
17 let me answer that.
18 Q. Did you give a statement to the Tribunal or the Prosecutor? Do
19 you know who you gave the statement to?
20 A. [Previous translation continues] ...
21 Q. And what happened?
22 A. My answer --
23 JUDGE LIU: No, no, no. Wait, wait, wait. We still have not
24 catch up the answer. You answered too fast, Witness. The question is:
25 Did you give a statement to the Tribunal or the Prosecutor? Do you know
1 who you gave the statement to? You may answer.
2 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.
3 JUDGE LIU: To whom?
4 THE WITNESS: One of the 13 investigating teams that are organic
5 to the Tribunal.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
7 Q. And what happened? Where did you get this statement? Where did
8 you go? Did you give a statement? What happened? Tell the Court.
9 A. I was contacted in January -- 12th month of 2001, by a member of
10 the team, and they asked me to speak to them in Sarajevo. At the time, I
11 was assistant to the Minister of Defence for military matters, and I
12 answered to them that if the minister approved my meeting the team, that I
13 would do so. They sent a letter to the minister approving my interview
14 with them. He approved the request. We had one preliminary meeting in
15 Sarajevo, and they asked me where I wished to hold the interview. I told
16 them it didn't matter to me, and they suggested that I come to The Hague,
17 since it was cheaper, me coming here, than the whole team going there, to
18 Sarajevo, that is. The exact date escapes me, but I remained here for
19 three days, answered questions, flew back to Sarajevo and waited for the
20 final rendition of my witness statement. I was presented with a witness
21 statement, I read the witness statement, and I immediately contacted two
22 individuals within the Ministry of Defence to serve as witnesses to verify
23 that I would not sign the witness statement.
24 Q. Why?
25 A. Well, I believe I gave you the letter later. I can, not verbatim,
1 but I can --
2 MR. KRSNIK: Madam Registrar, if you would be so kind this is the
3 proof, Exhibit 330. No B/C/S. Just English.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Will you give us the reasons why you refused to
5 sign it?
6 A. Well, the witness statement was totally subjective. The majority
7 of what I had said was left out, what I thought was important. And
8 actually, I was a bit disappointed, because I assumed that a witness
9 should be someone who tries to tell the objective truth and not a useful
10 idiot. If you wish, I can read the letter.
11 Q. No, no, no. We have it. Tell us: Were you threatened during the
12 interview, that you would be sent to gaol, for instance, or something like
14 A. The answer is: I worked in a correctional system for almost a
15 decade, and there was a small -- there was an attempt to play the "Mutt
16 and Jeff" routine with me, but I more or less shrugged it off and spoke
17 what I assumed to be the truth. That's why I gave the statement.
18 Q. Was it perhaps taped?
19 A. Well, I was told that the interview would not be taped, and when I
20 read the witness statement, I asked myself: What does "substantially
21 verbatim" mean in the introductory page to my statement? My conclusion is
22 that a witness statement should be just that, a statement, given by the
23 witness, and not a creative writing project, which terms like "style" --
24 term like "style" were mentioned in the writing of this statement. I
25 don't know what style has to do with giving evidence. Therefore, I was
1 more disenchanted than frustrated, actually. The first thing I asked the
2 interviewers is: "What took you so long?"
3 Q. So long for what?
4 A. I think I had a proper -- I think I had a front-row seat to the
5 events that transpired in the former Yugoslavia. By that I mean there
6 were theatres of operation, zones of interest where I was engaged --
7 Q. Did I get you right? When I asked you why did it take them so
8 long, did you mean why did they wait so long to contact you and invite you
9 to make a statement?
10 A. Basically, that was it, yes.
11 Q. And did you say the same thing or things that you said before the
12 Court? Did you provide them with some documentation?
13 A. I basically stated the same things that I'm stating now. I gave
14 numerous documents and other pieces of evidence which I considered crucial
15 to my -- to back my statement.
16 Q. Did anyone ask you - and if yes, then yes; if not, then not -
17 whether you would be coming to testify here in The Hague? You did not
18 tell them?
19 A. I was not asked that question.
20 [Defence counsel confer]
21 JUDGE CLARK: Did you volunteer that information? Because, after
22 all, you couldn't be a witness on two sides, could you?
23 THE WITNESS: Can I answer?
24 JUDGE CLARK: I'm asking you to answer.
25 THE WITNESS: Yes, I did, voluntarily.
1 JUDGE CLARK: So are you saying that you told someone that you had
2 already agreed to give evidence for the Defence?
3 THE WITNESS: No, I did not, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE CLARK: Well, what did you understand by my question?
5 THE WITNESS: From my -- let me explain the background to this, if
6 I may.
7 JUDGE CLARK: No. I asked you a very simple question. I asked
8 you whether, when you were being interviewed, you told the interviewers
9 that you had already decided to give evidence for the Defence. Because,
10 as an army man, and somebody who has worked in a correctional institution,
11 you know you can't give evidence on two sides. So did you tell them that
12 you had already met with the Defence and that you were giving evidence for
13 the Defence?
14 THE WITNESS: No, I didn't, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Why didn't you?
16 THE WITNESS: I was approached for the last -- since 1996 to be
17 called as a witness, a potential witness.
18 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry. That's not an answer. Why didn't you tell
19 them? Because your first question was: What took you so long?
20 THE WITNESS: I thought I had something to say as far as the
21 criminal acts committed in my zone of operations, and I would have gladly
22 given my statement had they asked.
23 JUDGE CLARK: Colonel, or General, you're used to dealing with
24 subordinate officers. I'm asking you a very simple question. Why did you
25 not deem it appropriate to tell the Prosecution, first off: I have
1 already agreed to give evidence as a witness for the Defence? Because you
2 know you cannot give evidence on two sides.
3 THE WITNESS: Again, Your Honour, I at the time assumed I would
4 never be called as a witness for the Defence.
5 JUDGE CLARK: Well, did you tell Mr. Krsnik, you know, there may
6 be problems about my giving evidence for you because I might be a
7 Prosecution witness? Did you think to tell Mr. Krsnik that?
8 THE WITNESS: We only spoke once, and I spoke through an
9 intermediary, to be a witness for the Defence. I didn't meet Mr. Krsnik
10 or talk with him at any length or ask for legal advice until after the
11 witness statement I gave here.
12 JUDGE CLARK: I see. Thank you.
13 THE WITNESS: Can I add something else, Your Honour?
14 JUDGE CLARK: Feel free.
15 THE WITNESS: He called me -- notice to witness here was on very
16 short notice, I believe several days, I think, several days before I
17 arrived here.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is indeed how it
19 was, because when I was told that he had refused to sign the statement, I
20 decided to take it as if he had not ever given the statement. And I'm not
21 ashamed of that. I am glad. Perhaps that is the difference between our
22 legal systems. I have nothing against witnesses giving their statements
23 to Prosecutions, even as far back as seven years ago. If everybody
24 behaved that way, perhaps everything would look differently. So this was
25 not objection. I merely wanted to show how certain things were happening
1 here. I have nothing against that. And I tell every witness of mine:
2 Well, if the Prosecutor approaches you, feel free to give any statement
3 you like. I rejoice at that. And I have to tell you that we shall have
4 more witnesses like that, when you will see that the Prosecutor treated
5 them with regard to Muslim witnesses 1 to 100. Thank you, Your Honours.
6 I do not have any further questions and I apologise if I took too long.
7 But you see, I can never envisage what will happen, either problems with
8 interpretation or -- and every witness is a problem unto himself. I can
9 hardly wait for the break to get some rest, and I am now being very honest
10 with you. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we have to have a break now. We'll
12 resume at 6.00.
13 --- Recess taken at 5.36 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 6.04 p.m.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott:
17 Q. Good evening, sir.
18 A. Good evening to you.
19 Q. Sir, my name is Kenneth Scott. I represent the Prosecutor in
20 this case. And in light of some of the testimony you've given, perhaps I
21 should point out: It's correct, is it not, sir, that you and I have not
22 met until you came and began testifying yesterday? Is that correct?
23 A. This is true.
24 Q. Sir, you've told us that you served in the Princess Patricia's
25 Canadian Light Infantry from 1975 to 1979, and you left the service at
1 that time with the rank of corporal; is that correct?
2 A. No, I did not. I served from 1975 to 1979. After leaving, I
3 joined the Royal Edmonton Regiment.
4 Q. In the reserve force?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Forgive me if I -- you were in active service from 1975 for 1979,
7 and left with the rank of corporal; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And from 1979 to 1989, you were again a corporal in the reserve
10 forces attached to the Royal Edmonton Regiment; is that correct?
11 A. No, that is not correct.
12 Q. All right. Please tell me in what way it's incorrect.
13 A. I joined the RER briefly in, I believe, 1982.
14 Q. And how long did you serve in it?
15 A. I was there for approximately a month and a half.
16 Q. And then is this when you were a correctional officer, as you've
17 told us?
18 A. I worked with Alberta Corrections, which is part of the Alberta
19 provincial government.
20 Q. And how long --
21 A. From 1980 to about 1989.
22 Q. And did you have any rank or position during that employment?
23 A. I started out as a CO 1.
24 Q. What does that mean in layman's terms?
25 A. Correctional officer 1.
1 Q. And?
2 A. As a CO 2. And then I served as the tactical team commander.
3 Q. And for how long were you in that position?
4 A. Approximately two years, or probably even longer. I believe from
5 1985 until about 1988.
6 Q. Then when did you do your service in the French Foreign Legion? I
7 would suggest some years, but so far you've been correcting me, so I'll
8 just ask you to clarify it, please. What years were you in the French
9 Foreign Legion?
10 A. I left for Europe in 1989. I joined the legion at the beginning
11 of 1990. And when the war broke out, I returned to Croatia in August of
13 Q. And what rank or position did you hold in the French Foreign
15 A. Legionnaire premier class.
16 Q. And if you can compare this to the Canadian army or if you're more
17 familiar with it, perhaps the US military. What rank would legionnaire
18 first class compare to?
19 A. It's a legionnaire, you have first-class legionnaire and you
20 have deuxieme class.
21 Q. Sir, would it be correct to say that it's like a private first
22 class in the British -- excuse me - the Canadian or American army?
23 A. That's correct. My answer is: Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. So before you returned to Croatia, following your service with the
25 French Foreign Legion, the highest military rank you had ever held was
1 corporal; correct?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Now, it's true, is it not, that you left the French Foreign Legion
4 before you completed your obligation of service, didn't you?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Why did you leave at that time?
7 A. At the time, the war had broken -- we returned from the Gulf, and
8 we saw Yugoslavian tanks burning in Slovenia, and myself and other
9 individuals of Croatian background decided to return.
10 Q. Were there other, as you just said, persons of Croatian background
11 in your particular unit or close by you in the French Foreign Legion who
12 left and went to Croatia at that time?
13 A. Well, there were a large number of Croatian nationals in the
15 Q. Perhaps you'll answer my question. Were there people close to you
16 or in your unit that left and went to Croatia at the same time or about
17 the same time?
18 A. There were several individuals that I knew, and I met more later
19 in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
20 Q. Who were the ones who you knew that left about the same time you
22 A. There was the 2 IC of the Zrinski Battalion in Croatia.
23 Q. Well, sir, you've used that military jargon before, and I don't
24 know that it's ever been clarified. I assume when you say "2 IC," you
25 mean second in command; is that right?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. And what was the name of this individual?
3 A. Aldo Lucev.
4 Q. Anyone else with you at that time to Croatia?
5 A. Yes. There was a Michael Surevic and other individuals that
6 were in my unit, or who I met later, had served in the Legion. For
7 example, General of the HV, Ante Roso.
8 Q. Did you serve are Ante Roso, who later became the senior commander
9 officer after Praljak of the HVO? Did you serve with Roso in the French
10 Foreign Legion?
11 A. He was in a different regiment.
12 Q. Did you know him when you were in the French Foreign Legion?
13 A. No, I did not.
14 Q. What was his rank in the French Foreign Legion?
15 A. I believe he was a senior non-commissioned officer.
16 Q. Approximately at what time did he leave -- not a day, sir, but
17 approximate month or time of year and the year that he left the French
18 Foreign Legion to join the forces in Croatia.
19 A. Oh, I believe he arrived in 1990.
20 Q. In Croatia?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So is it correct, sir, would it be correct, then, that General
23 Roso went from being a non-commission the officer in the French Foreign
24 Legion in 1990, to become the most senior officer over all the HVO
25 military by approximately October/November of 1993.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will try to ask for
3 the floor as little as possible, but I'd like to know the relevance of
4 this question. Is it the credibility or what is it? Why are all these
5 questions relevant?
6 JUDGE LIU: I think the person doing the cross-examination is
7 entitled to ask about the background of this person.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, but I fail to understand --
9 JUDGE LIU: The witness may answer the question, and if he has no
10 knowledge of that, he may refuse to answer it. It's up to the witness.
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. Sir, let me rephrase the question and ask it this way: You
13 continued to be an active HVO by the late fall of 1993? That's clearly
14 been your testimony; correct?
15 A. I remained an active HVO member until I resigned in the fourth
16 month of this year.
17 Q. So the answer to my question was a simple yes?
18 A. I would just question the date, why late fall of 1993. I didn't
20 Q. Sir, and isn't it true, and didn't you know, that the senior HVO
21 officer, the person who took over from Slobodan Praljak, in approximately
22 the end of November 1993, was Ante Roso?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. Sir, what is the value of leadership in a military unit?
25 A. Well, leadership at every level is the most important component of
1 a military organisation.
2 Q. Why is that?
3 A. Going back to my original statement in the beginning of yesterday,
4 to me, with my humble military background, I think it would be fair to
5 say, from my observations, that a military unit or an organisation again
6 is one where leadership and initiative, and therefore command and control,
7 are present at the lowest levels.
8 Q. How would you define the most important characteristics of
10 A. In my experience on different continents, different types of
11 leadership styles. Not one is the same as the other. There is lead --
12 there is a style called "say as I do," and a style called "do as I say."
13 In other words, there are officers, who I've met personally, who ascribe
14 to that law that there's nothing impossible as long as you yourself don't
15 have to do it. I think I can sum it up in one phrase, is lead by example
16 is basically the ... And that hasn't changed since time of Gideon.
17 Q. So you would say, sir, that the example that a leader sets for his
18 troops in a military sense, the soldiers around him, is a very important
19 aspect of leadership?
20 A. Yes, it's important.
21 Q. And that would apply, sir, would it not, to both, if we can say,
22 positive aspects of behaviour and also negative aspects of behaviour,
23 wouldn't it?
24 A. Leadership can be abused or misused.
25 Q. You said a moment ago that leadership had something to do with,
1 your words, command and control. What is the connection between
2 leadership in a military sense and command and control?
3 A. The primary difference between Eastern and Western styles, for
4 military doctrines, is that the Western style provides a professional, a
5 non-commissioned officer corps, which ensures leadership at those levels
6 where the battle is fought, and that is below battalion level.
7 Q. Sir, I'm not -- I'm going to try not to interrupt you any more
8 than necessary, but because we want to cover some ground tonight, my
9 question to you is this --.
10 INTERPRETER: [Interpretation] Your microphone, Mr. Scott?
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. What is the connection, please - I'm not asking for different
13 styles between East and West - what is the connection between leadership
14 and command and control?
15 A. The two elements are interrelated, and one influences the other.
16 A good leader makes an effort to train his men, he cares for their
17 well-being, and I'm not too sure exactly what else I can add.
18 Q. Well, sir, in your business, in the military business that you've
19 now been engaged in for some years, do you -- when you look at other
20 officers around you, do you consider someone to be a good officer,
21 professional officer, who does not have command and control of his
23 A. That question, I think you have in armies that are professional
24 armies, that have a tradition of several centuries long, that have a
25 military justice system --
1 Q. Sir, I'm going to cut you off. In the Canadian army, in the
2 French Foreign Legion, in the Republic of Croatia army, and in the HVO,
3 you saw other officers around you, did you not?
4 A. I personally didn't have a very high opinion of higher ex-JNA
6 Q. Sir, you saw some officers you considered to be good officers and
7 some people, I assume - correct me if I'm wrong - and some officers who,
8 in your assessment, were not very good officers; correct?
9 A. Yes, that's true.
10 Q. And coming back to my earlier question, sir, isn't part of that
11 assessment in whether someone is a good officer or a bad officer or, for
12 that matter, a good leader or a bad leader, is that they exercise command
13 and control effectively over those subordinate to them?
14 A. Essentially, in theory, in a military organisation that supplies
15 all the requirements for a well-organised and disciplined force, which
16 also means trained, this naturally is true.
17 Q. Sir, is it not often the case, in your military experience, that
18 with special or elite units, the personal role or figure of the commander
19 or leader is even more important?
20 A. As I said, leadership is the most vital component of battle
21 readiness, but I'm not too sure if I understand in what sense you mean the
22 role of --
23 Q. Well, for instance, sir, isn't it often the case that such a unit,
24 a special unit or an elite unit, derives in some measure its identity or
25 even its name from the leader of that unit?
1 A. I think that question is for -- there are regiments in the British
2 army that have the name of monarchs, kings --
3 Q. Sir, I'm talking about current leaders. I'm not talking about a
4 deceased monarch. I'm talking about the current leader. Let me give you
5 some examples from the most relevant conflict and that's the one in
6 Yugoslavia at the time. Did you ever know of a leader, commander, called
8 A. Yes, I have.
9 Q. And was it not true that his unit was often known as Arkan's
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Was it not true, sir, that his unit, his units, were often
13 referred to as "Arkanovci"?
14 A. That is also correct.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I was fervently
17 objected to by the Prosecutor that I was inviting speculations and some
18 hearsay knowledge, and now the witness is being examined about Arkan or
19 "Arkan's boys" without any knowledge, without the witness having any
20 personal knowledge about that. So what is the foundation for these
21 questions. The witness can only speculate.
22 JUDGE LIU: No. The witness said that that's correct. It's a
23 definite answer. He knows about that. We have to wait until the
24 following questions that will be put forward by the Prosecutor.
25 JUDGE CLARK: And I have to say that we're having a very effective
1 and interesting cross-examination.
2 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge Clark.
3 Q. Sir, let me cite you another example. Are you aware of another
4 Serb commander name - and forgive me if I mispronounce it, please -
6 A. Yes, Vojislav Seselj, the ... yes, the Serb, I presume, extremist,
7 from --
8 Q. Sorry. Excuse me, sir. He had a unit that was often called the
9 "White Eagles"; correct?
10 A. Again, I don't believe that was his unit.
11 Q. Well, perhaps you don't remember that name, sir. Do you remember
12 that his again, his soldiers, were often called "Seseljvici" [phoen], or
13 forgive me if I --
14 A. "Seseljovci."
15 Q. Yes, exactly. Thank you. Is that true, sir?
16 A. Well, I don't -- I believe again -- since they were not in my zone
17 of operations, I don't know they were one and the same unit.
18 Q. Sir, do you remember a Serb -- a group of Serb forces who were
19 known -- commonly referred to as the "Seseljovci", or the name you just
20 said? And again, my apologies.
21 A. Yes, I've heard of that group. If I could add also: There are
23 Q. Such as?
24 A. "Walter's Guard." There were other paramilitary units in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina who used animal names or other names from their
1 mythology. For example, the Black Swans, "Sejtani". As I mentioned
2 before, Handzar Divizija, and other units which I can name, but I think
3 it's counterproductive.
4 Q. Sir, there were a number of units throughout the theatre of the
5 conflict in the former Yugoslavia where the unit and the soldiers were
6 closely identified by the name of the commanding officer; correct?
7 A. Again, I think a systematic -- the word I'm looking for escapes me
8 at the moment. I think a systematic examination of the units and the
9 order of battle of the warring parties would confirm a positive -- or a
10 negative answer.
11 Q. Sir, that wasn't my question to you. You can -- I suggest you to
12 you, you've been here and you've told us, you've claimed extensive
13 knowledge of the war. You know it to be true, don't you, that many units,
14 on all sides - Serb, Croat, Muslim - are identified by the name of their
15 commander; correct?
16 A. Well, I will give you the name of the four HVO guards brigades.
17 Q. That wasn't my question, sir. I'll move on.
18 What you described in your testimony as "Serbinisation," that
19 happened to both the Croats and the Muslims, did it not?
20 A. Excuse me, sir. I don't understand the question.
21 Q. Do you recall using the term, and you were describing something in
22 responses to questions by counsel, "Serbinisation"? If I misheard you, I
23 apologise, but I believe you used either that term or one very similar?
24 JUDGE CLARK: Well, he was talking about the JNA, and it might be
25 fair to say Serbinisation of the JNA.
1 THE WITNESS: That's correct, Your Honour.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Well, that's my question, sir.
4 A. I mentioned the Serbinisation of the JNA, whereby the outbreak of
5 hostilities, the majority of the officers, which is over 80 per cent, and
6 weapons and equipment were practically in Serbian hands.
7 Q. And my only point, sir, is: It's true, isn't it, that that
8 phenomenon applied both equally to the Croats and the Muslim? They were
9 both at a disadvantage because of the Serb domination of the JNA, were
10 they not?
11 A. Yes, most definitely, except the Muslims were in a worse position.
12 Q. In fact, indeed, what you've told us about the lack of military
13 training, the lack of military organisation, that all applied at least as
14 much to the Muslim or Bosniak side, as it did to the Croats, didn't it?
15 A. I think that question -- not I think, but the question, it's a
16 factual statement, is the majority of the present-day Muslim component of
17 the Federation army and also the MOS component during the Croat/Muslim
18 conflict was composed of ex-JNA officers. And not just ex-JNA officers,
19 but people who were closely tied to the former apparatus in the former
20 Yugoslavia, and by that I mean, KOS, the military counter-intelligence
21 service, and the internal security organisation.
22 Q. Sir, my question to you is a simple one: Those facts, those
23 circumstances, applied equally, at least equally, to both the Muslims and
24 the Croats; correct?
25 A. I think, I, in the earlier answer, I said that the Muslims were in
1 a worse position when war broke out in April of 1992, because --
2 Q. Please.
3 A. And this is because they made no attempts, or there was very
4 little effort made, to prepare for the oncoming aggression. If I may give
5 you one example.
6 Q. No, sir. I think that's sufficient. I'll have a second question
7 for you. Based on what you say, isn't it true, sir, that of the three
8 ethnic groups - the Serbs, Croat, and Muslims - the Muslims were the least
9 militarily prepared for the conflict; correct?
10 A. Again, sir, it depends on what year you're making your -- basing
11 your statement on.
12 Q. Well, sir, you've just said the beginning of the conflict, and
13 that's what I'm talking about, at the beginning of the conflict, or as
14 the conflict, in your view, was imminent, of the three ethnic groups, the
15 Muslims were the least prepared; that's true, isn't it?
16 A. At the beginning of the conflict.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the witness wanted to
19 explain why it was so. I think it would be fair and just to allow him to
20 explain why they were the least prepared. I think it's not an irrelevant
21 question, that he should be allowed.
22 JUDGE LIU: The witness should be allowed to explain why. He
23 hasn't finished yet. We only heard the witness tell us: "At the
24 beginning of the conflict."
25 THE WITNESS: Well, Your Honour, the Slovenians managed to --
1 managed to capture, I think, almost 30 per cent of the weapons from the
2 former TO, Territorial Defence. As one of the former Yugoslav republics,
3 they captured the most weapons and were able to defend themselves. In
4 Croatia, large stockpiles were also captured by the Croatian army that
5 also belonged to the Territorial Defence forces. Since the force
6 structure of the former JNA was partially based on the territorial
7 principle, this means these weapons were stored in the municipalities of
8 the republics, where they were to be used. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
9 central government, which -- who Mr. Izetbegovic represented, took no
10 steps to retain those weapons, despite the clear signal that had been sent
11 from Croatia and Slovenia. As a result, by the end of March 1992, the
12 Serbs -- actually, what was to be the Republika Srpska had handed out
13 100.000 rifles to Serbian volunteers and Serbian members of the SDS. All
14 heavy weapons were taken from municipal stores in Bosnia-Herzegovina prior
15 to the -- in 1990, after the first round of elections in the country, or
16 republic. So I have my own personal views, and I think that
17 Mr. Izetbegovic did not heed the lessons of the past. Unfortunately,
18 neither did the international community.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Witness, I have to cut you off. We are not
20 going to hear your personal views. We want to hear the factual issues.
21 Mr. Scott, you may continue with your question.
22 THE WITNESS: Your Honour, if I could just finish that statement.
23 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, we've gone on for four minutes now on an
24 answer which is non-responsive.
25 JUDGE LIU: Witness, we understand what you are going to tell us.
1 Let the Prosecutor ask the next question.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Sir, did you consider yourself a good officer?
4 A. I think an appropriate question ... my answer would be subjective.
5 Q. Sir, I'm putting the question to you in a courtroom. You're under
6 oath. No one is going to complain if you're a bit immodest, if you wish.
7 Just answer my question, please. Do you consider yourself a good officer?
8 A. I think I did the best I could in a difficult situation, but I
9 think the men I served with and fought with could better answer that
10 question, not only the men I fought with, but the members of UNPROFOR,
11 IFOR, SFOR and RRF, the Rapid Reaction Force.
12 Q. Did you have command and control of your soldiers?
13 A. In the circumstances, it would be more a positive answer than a
14 negative answer.
15 Q. Well, can we understand that, sir, to mean that you had more
16 command and control over your soldiers than you did not? It was more the
17 case that you had command and control than that you didn't?
18 A. I never had complete command and control to that level that I
19 would have wanted to see in my units, even after the formation of the
20 professional brigades, because, as I said in the outset of my statement,
21 the conditions at the time were not available.
22 Q. Well, sir, in terms of the conditions and the time, would you
23 agree with me, sir, that leadership, the way we've talked about it this
24 evening, leadership does not always depend on a formal position on an
25 organisational chart, does it?
1 A. I would agree with you, because in any organisation, even this
2 courtroom, I presume, exists a formal authority and a real authority, in
3 other words, respect between the people that work here.
4 Q. And real leadership does not often count or depend upon an
5 official appointment or a piece of paper, does it?
6 A. That's a difficult question for me to answer. It's not in itself
7 difficult, but I think any organisation, whether it's the army or a
8 company, for that matter, needs a formal chain of command in the
9 doctrinal -- in doctrinal knowledge that's present at all levels of
10 command. And I don't know if that answered your question or not.
11 Q. Sir, I put it to you: In your experience, you've known
12 individuals, haven't you, that exercised tremendous leadership with very
13 little formal authority; correct?
14 A. The people that had authority, again from my experience, and I
15 don't think I'm generalising, are people who fought the battle at the
16 tactical levels. And 90 per cent of the war in the former Yugoslavia was
17 fought at the tactical level. So tactical leaders were respected, because
18 they led by example. In my brigade, for example, there was no battalion
19 commander, or even in the brigade staff, there were few people that
20 weren't wounded, some more than once. In my brigade headquarters, I had
21 six people killed and eight wounded.
22 Q. Sir, again I'm going to suggest you're getting a bit far afield.
23 My question to you, and I'll move on. This will be the last -- in your
24 experience, sir, you've known people in formal positions who in fact were
25 very poor leaders, and you've known other people who had very little
1 formal authority but in fact were very effective leaders; now, isn't that
3 A. Well, I explained to you, in, sir, that people that led in battle
4 usually had authority over their men and were respected.
5 Q. Sir, the conditions that you've described to this Chamber, in a
6 situation involving a lack of training and a lack of discipline, is it not
7 all the more dangerous to put such forces into a volatile situation and,
8 if I can put it this way, light a match?
9 A. The conflict in the former Yugoslavia was inevitable. It
10 basically snowballed, and for every action there was a reaction. So I
11 think your question is -- I don't fully understand the meaning.
12 Q. Sir, if you set such forces, such ill-trained and ill-disciplined
13 forces in motion, there is a greater danger of things getting out of hand;
14 isn't that true?
15 A. Many numerous times during the war -- again, I don't want to get
16 into my own personal experience here - I didn't really expect to see the
17 next day.
18 Q. Sir, that's not my question. With all due respect to your
19 military experience --
20 A. No. I'm coming --
21 Q. Well, please come to it quickly.
22 A. I'm coming to what I'm trying to say here.
23 Q. Please.
24 A. When your village, when your village, your family, your home,
25 friends are endangered, when biological survival is at stake, you don't
1 think -- you don't ask questions; you take the best steps you can to
2 defend yourself and your community. It's basically a "fight-or-flight"
4 Q. Sir, that's not my question. Let me put it to you this way: I
5 submit to you, sir, and indeed we all know now you did talk to the Office
6 of the Prosecutor, is it not true, sir, that you take great pride in the
7 fact that you exercised, in your view, quite good command and control over
8 your soldiers; contributing?
9 A. I take a certain amount of pride, yes; naturally.
10 Q. So even in these difficult situations, sir, you made an effort to
11 exercise command and control and you feel you did it more or less
12 successfully; correct?
13 A. Again, I can only say that that would be left up to a military
14 analyst or a military historian to decide.
15 Q. Well, sir, again I'm going to suggest to you you're being a bit
16 too modest, and contrary to what you've said today, what you've told us
17 before is you were basically pretty successful at exercising command of
18 your forces. Now, isn't that true?
19 A. I think the results speak for themselves. I formed two brigades
20 and led thousands of men, especially in the last six months of the war,
21 and I think I did so successfully.
22 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm about to change gears a bit. That
23 might be a good time to stop.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, in this case, we'll have the break.
25 Yes. Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
1 MR. KRSNIK: Nothing. [Interpretation] I merely wished to inform
2 the Chamber that perhaps my client is not feeling well, so perhaps he will
3 not be coming tomorrow, and he will sign it of his own will, if he doesn't
4 feel better, because today he is not feeling all that great, but he
5 doesn't want me to tell you about this. But nevertheless, perhaps he will
6 not be attending tomorrow.
7 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, I have to make sure whether your client
8 agrees that we'll continue the proceedings even without his presence.
9 MR. KRSNIK: Yes.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you very much.
11 MR. KRSNIK: I just wanted to inform about this, that he will --
12 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Naletilic has indicated that maybe you haven't
13 asked him yet.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Well, be that as it may, he does not
15 come, we shall be able to continue with the proceedings. That is all I
16 wished to say, nothing else.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
18 Yes, Mr. Seric. No. Yes. We'll resume tomorrow afternoon.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.59 p.m.,
20 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 16th day of May
21 2002, at 2.15 p.m.