1 Thursday, 16 May, 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours, this is case number
7 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Before we have the witness, there are two
9 administrative matters I would like to announce. The first one is that we
10 are not going to hear any more witnesses after the present witness this
11 afternoon. Which will also mean that we have to finish the present
12 witness today, but we are not going to hear any more witnesses this week.
13 The second matter is, as for the next Tuesday's schedule, we will start
14 from 3.30 in the afternoon instead of 2.15 because this courtroom will be
15 used for another proceedings at 2.15.
16 So next Tuesday afternoon, we will have two sittings. Each for 90
18 Yes, could we have the witness, please?
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
21 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon, sir.
22 JUDGE LIU: Can you hear me? Of course.
23 Yes, Mr. Scott.
24 WITNESS: ZELJKO GLASNOVIC [Resumed]
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
1 Q. Good afternoon, sir.
2 A. Good afternoon, sir.
3 Q. Sir, in your military experience as you've described it to us in
4 the past day or two, did you notice this as a matter of what had been JNA
5 military doctrine or practice, this pattern, that what would happen is
6 actions would be taken to alarm the local population, the local population
7 would be armed, then an incident would be created and that incident would
8 be used as a pretext for further action?
9 A. That was a scenario that was -- that started in Croatia and was
10 repeated in Bosnia-Herzegovina, but this was more, I think, of Serb army
11 dominated doctrine than actual JNA doctrine.
12 Q. Well, sir, the Serb-dominated JNA doctrine and the JNA were, as
13 you told us, largely one and the same thing, weren't they? Because the
14 JNA was Serb-dominated?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. And to the extent that there were, I say to the extent, that
17 there were previous professional JNA officers, either Croat or Muslim, it
18 is from the JNA and its military doctrine that they came, correct?
19 A. I think, sir -- actually I know, that doctrine varied in the HVO
20 component and the Muslim component.
21 MR. SCOTT: Can I have the usher please show you P904 which is the
22 organisational chart, if you will of the HVO military and the English
23 translation is P904. Perhaps it's just as well if the English version be
24 put on the ELMO, please, P904.
25 Q. Sir, based on what you have testified to so far, looking at this
1 chart, where would you put the "Convicts Battalion"?
2 A. I mentioned before that it would have been attached either to the
3 Ministry of Defence or at the main headquarters level.
4 Q. All right. Now, I should ask, and I'm sorry if I've caused some
5 confusion, but Mr. Usher, if you could show him the coloured version as
6 well, the -- it's defence Exhibit D1/82, sir, if the usher can be so kind
7 to it assist you, provide you with a marker, looking at the chart, then,
8 can you mark in the box or however you'd like to do it, an arrow where you
9 would fit the Convicts Battalion on this chart?
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. Now, for -- in the English, looking at your markings and then
12 comparing it to P904, you have marked the box that is in English titled
13 HQ or headquarters units, correct?
14 A. It's in the box sir, of subordinate units, units directly
15 subordinate to the headquarters.
16 Q. All right. And when you say headquarters in this instance, just
17 so the record is very clear, are you talking about the HVO Main Staff?
18 A. The HVO -- this is a schematic diagram of the HVO head quarters
19 I believe, and the organisation.
20 Q. I just want to be clear, when you say they were directly
21 subordinated to headquarters, who in headquarters are you talking about?
22 A. Well, the Chief of Staff or the commander of the headquarters.
23 Q. All right.
24 A. Although I mentioned before in my testimony that there were times
25 during the war that units such as the Convicts Battalion, because there
1 were many, not just one, were attached to a sector in the Ministry of
2 Defence called the command for special units.
3 Q. Well, when was that command established, sir? As best you can
5 A. I would say most of the reforms took place in late or mid--- they
6 started in 1993, mid-1993, and continued right until -- for the year,
7 until the beginning of the joints operations against Republika Srpska in
8 the 10th month of 1994.
9 Q. So you're telling us that these reforms, various reforms, began
10 in approximately mid-1993, but if I hear you correctly, you cannot give us
11 any more specificity as to what point any sort of central command was put
12 over the so-called "special units"?
13 A. The date for when the exact command relationships changed I'm not
14 too certain.
15 Q. Now, you've said just a moment ago that it was not just the
16 Convicts Battalion, there were other such units and again I want to be
17 clear, please, there was a unit called the "Bruno Busic unit," correct,
18 brigade, I'm not sure the force sides but perhaps a brigade, a battalion?
19 A. It was a regiment originally, yes, there was such a unit.
20 Q. And was also another similar unit called the "Ludvig Pavlovic"; is
21 that correct?
22 A. Yes, that's correct.
23 Q. And briefly, and I don't want to go too much into this but are
24 there are other similar ones that I haven't named that you would care to
25 name that were similar to those two, Bruno Busic and Ludvig Pavlovic?
1 A. There were units in the operative zones which performed a similar
3 Q. Did you have any units in your operative zone that performed such
4 a function?
5 A. I had a similar unit, yes.
6 Q. What was it called?
7 A. It was an international platoon.
8 Q. What do you mean by international?
9 A. It was formed of four nationals that joined the brigade during
10 the course of the conflicts.
11 Q. And how was this in some way a special unit, or how do you compare
12 it to the units were you telling us about a few moments ago?
13 A. For language purposes, since they came from a variety of western
14 countries, I amalgamated them in one unit and the majority of them were
15 ex-professional soldiers who -- were the ranks from -- ranging from
16 colonel to major NCO or senior NCO.
17 Q. All right. Now --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and witness please break
19 between question and answer.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Now, looking back at the organisational chart, either one, there
22 are actually two boxes on the upper right part of the chart, the
23 headquarters units which you I believe marked with an "X" to the right of,
24 there is another box immediately above that called "units for special
25 assignments and professional units". Now, how is that different than the
1 box that you marked as headquarters unit?
2 A. Well, I clarified before that during the course of the war, that
3 unit would have been attached to one of the two sectors. The headquarters
4 sector, however, in late 1993, had to it attached also as an asset a
5 communications company, artillery battalion and a logistics battalion.
6 There were other units subordinate to the headquarters but this varied.
7 Q. Let me suggest to you, sir, and I'm sure you know more about
8 military charts than I do, but when it says head quarters units here,
9 isn't that in fact meant to indicate what you just said, those were
10 support units, the kind of units needed to run a headquarters staff a
11 logistics component, an administrative component, even a clerical
12 component. Isn't that what's typically referred to it as a headquarters
14 A. Well, sir, there is a headquarters structure with its five sectors
15 or four sectors, personnel, your headquarters staff, and there were units
16 attached to that headquarters, where assets are grouped at that level, at
17 that high level so they could be used as an asset at lower levels.
18 Q. All right. Well, let me ask you this, going back to the Bruno
19 Busic and Ludvig Pavlovic units, would you put those in the headquarters
20 unit box or would you put it in the units for special assignments and
21 professional units box?
22 A. During the outset of the war, I'm fairly certain that they were
23 attached to the then embryonic structure of the Ministry of Defence, but
24 later they were used as a fire-fighting unit, from the -- used by the
25 headquarters, main headquarters.
1 Q. All right, sir, so we can move on, can I understand then that what
2 you said in the last few minutes about the Bruno Busic and the Ludvig
3 Pavlovic units would apply equally to the Convicts Battalion? Is that
4 what you're telling us?
5 A. Yes, they were used in a similar role.
6 Q. Now, if the usher could please show you what's been marked very
7 early in the trial as Exhibit P2 which is a map, I think the easiest thing
8 to do, Mr. Usher if we put just one version on the ELMO, you can use this
9 one, if you like, P2.
10 I'm going to focus primarily on the left half of the page,
11 Mr. Usher, and with the video booth or audio booth's assistance if we can
12 -- yes, there we go. I think that's for these purposes fine.
13 Q. Now in terms of your principal area of responsibility or that is,
14 perhaps I should say your headquarters, to the extent you had one, that
15 you were managed to stay in for any length of time, you've talked about
16 Tomislavgrad. Can you show us on the map where Tomislavgrad is located.
17 If it assists you on this map it's also been called "Duvno"?
18 A. Yes. Duvno.
19 Q. You're pointing. Is that where your principle base of operations
20 was, in the city or town of Duvno, in the municipality of Duvno?
21 A. That was the main headquarters but as the situation changes there
22 were tactical headquarters elsewhere.
23 Q. All right. And can you tell the Judges when the name was changed
24 from Duvno to Tomislavgrad?
25 A. I'm not too certain but I believe it was during the old
1 Yugoslavia. It was named after -- not King Tomislav that was crowned
2 there, the Croatian king, but after the son of the Yugoslav royal monarch.
3 Q. Sir, is it not true that Duvno was commonly considered an old
4 Muslim name and that Tomislavgrad was considered a Croatian name?
5 A. Most place names in Bosnia-Herzegovina have two names.
6 Q. So for the purposes of your brigade and your testimony, when the
7 HVO referred to it, they referred to it as Tomislavgrad and not Duvno,
9 A. I didn't really pay too much if I can attention to the name. It
10 was called -- I heard it called both terms over the past ten years.
11 Q. Now, if I heard your testimony correctly, sir, you've testified
12 that there were no ATGs in your area of operations; is that right?
13 A. Within my command structure, there were no ATGs, that's what I
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honours, but I'd like
17 to hear the foundation for assertion that Duvno is an old Muslim name, as
18 the Prosecution suggests, because the Defence puts it to the Court that it
19 has never been the case, and how can the witness, who has never been --
20 who is not an expert, and I was objected to because of that, how can the
21 witness be examined about this by the Prosecution? The defence claims
22 that Duvno is definitely not a Muslim name of that town.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we have already passed this issue
24 and this name of the town is not the main subject matter of this
25 cross-examination. We will move on.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Sir, I believe you said that there were no ATGs in your command
3 structure but I also understood you to say, and perhaps I misheard you,
4 there were no ATGs that you had experience with during the war in 1992 and
5 1993. Now did I mishear you?
6 A. Not misheard me, maybe you misunderstood me.
7 Q. All right. Did you have experience working with, if you will,
8 fighting along side, ATGs in the time period from late 1992 to early
10 A. There are units that come to mind but again, the term ATG may not
11 apply to them.
12 Q. All right. Well, sir, I'll just have to represent to you for
13 purposes of these proceedings that we realise there could be other units
14 of a similar nature, but ATG in this proceeding has particular reference.
15 So my only question to you at the moment is were there any units that you
16 operated with that used that terminology, or that were called an ATG?
17 A. There was an ATG Livno, actually a special unit.
18 Q. Sir I'm not sure what you're saying, was it called ATG or are you
19 saying it was a special unit called Livno, please listen to it and answer
20 my question. I'm not asking about special units. I'm asking about units
21 that used the name ATG?
22 A. If I may answer the question --
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Your Honours, may I ask
24 Your Honours to request from the Prosecutor to perhaps calm down a little,
25 change the tone, because in this case, it has not been yet clearly defined
1 what is an ATG and what is a special unit, and let's have a witnesses
2 clear this up. That is why we are calling witnesses. I do not know at
3 which point in this case it has been clearly establish what was an ATG and
4 what was a special unit, because we were talking that there were units
5 called special purpose units, special units, ATG units. That is why we
6 have been producing evidence all the time in this case.
7 JUDGE LIU: At this moment we would like to hear from the witness
8 to tell us what is the ATG Livno.
9 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, the term ATG in my opinion is very
10 loosely used. I've heard other terms. It was not a standardised term in
11 the HVO. There were -- the term more appropriate was the term used in the
12 graphic presentation, [Interpretation] Special purpose units, special
13 assignment units.
14 Q. I understand that, and you've given your answer. I'm asking you a
15 very specific question. Did you have experience with any unit that in its
16 name, just like the HVO or just like the 1st Brigade or the 115th
17 regiment, did you engage with any units in your experience that used the
18 name in its name the word or indication ATG?
19 A. [In English] No, I did not.
20 Q. Did you ever hear of an ATG group called the "ATG Baja
22 A. Yes, I have heard that name.
23 Q. In what context did you hear it?
24 A. I believe they were also one of the units, amalgamated into the
25 2nd Guards Brigade in the beginning, end of 1993, beginning of 1994.
1 Q. What was it before it became part of the 2nd Guards Brigade?
2 A. It was one of the units, one of the smaller units, in the -- in
3 the Mostar zone that were amalgamated in the 2nd Guards Brigade.
4 Q. Whether it was in the Mostar zone what larger unit was it a part
6 A. I thought they were an individual unit named after the name
7 itself, is a connotation to a member killed during the taking of the
8 Mostar barracks so they were formed I would again presume, from people
9 from Mostar in the area.
10 Q. Did you not hear, sir, that that ATG Baja Kraljevic was part of
11 the Convicts Battalion?
12 A. I'm not aware of that fact, sir.
13 Q. Did you ever hear of an ATG called either the "Mrmak" or "Vinko
14 Skrobo ATG"?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What can you tell us about that?
17 A. Directly what I heard in dispatches or after the conflict in
18 1994. I believe there were individuals also amalgamated into the 2nd
19 Guards Brigade from those units.
20 Q. Where did that unit operate in 1993, if you know?
21 A. I believe in the Mostar area.
22 Q. Do you know who the commander of that unit was?
23 A. I can't -- I've never individually met him. I heard that it was a
24 Mr. Stela. I don't know. This was in the newspapers.
25 Q. Going back to these special units of the type that we were talking
1 about earlier, the ones on the organisational chart, the Convicts
2 Battalion, the Bruno Busic, the Ante Pavlovic, during any time that you
3 and your unit was engaged in fighting in 1993, and I'm now referring
4 specifically to the calendar year 1993, did you ever have occasion to
5 request the assistance or, to use a word that seems often used in
6 connection with these units, the "intervention" of one of those units?
7 A. No, sir, no, I did not.
8 Q. So, sir, is it fair to say that you have nothing to tell this
9 Chamber in terms of firsthand knowledge about how such one of those units
10 would be called up and put into action, is that right?
11 A. I think I earlier explained the process of requesting an asset
12 from higher headquarters.
13 Q. But you yourself, during 1993, never engaged in that process
15 A. During that time period, my brigade held a static position or the
16 position shifted over the months but there was no need to request
18 Q. All right. Perhaps in that regard, sir, before we put the map P2
19 away could you show us where this position primarily was? Can you point
20 to the place on the map, please?
21 A. Which date are we referring to, which --
22 Q. You just told us this during most of 1993, were you in a quote
23 "static position," so can you show us that position?
24 A. The majority of the brigade held a position towards Jablanica and
25 it's not too well shown on the map, but it would be to the north west of
1 Jablanica from approximately the village of Kucani, which is not on
2 the map, and that was on the left and on the right Strop, which goes
3 through -- it crossed -- the position mainly crossed the main road of
4 Jablanica Prozor.
5 Q. Sir with a pointer, I don't know if perhaps the pointer is too
6 broad, but you were pointing in the are of Sovici Doljani. Now did your
7 position encompass Sovici Doljani?
8 A. It encompassed Doljani, yes.
9 Q. In what time period was that the case? By that I mean, sir,
10 beginning point when that was your area of responsibilities and the end
11 point if there was one?
12 A. That would have been towards the end of April, 1993.
13 Q. When you started?
14 A. When the position was set, when we -- the position shifted
15 slightly but we basically took over the defence from the Rama Brigade on
16 the left side and the Mijat Tomic and Siroki Brijeg unit on the right
17 who held the position from -- in the valley of Doljani from Ilijin Grude
18 to Strop, which is basically across the canyon in which Doljani is
20 Q. And what was the end point, if you will, of that assignment? When
21 did you stop holding a position in that area?
22 A. We were basically there, although other units were detached to, on
23 the Uskoplje front, but we were basically there until the second month of
25 Q. And where was your headquarters, your personal base of operations,
1 during that time period?
2 A. My tactical headquarters was in the village of Gracac, which is
3 not on the map, I believe.
4 Q. You've mentioned a couple of other places so I'd like to cover
5 that before we go on. You said the Rama Brigade a few moments ago. Now,
6 is Rama again, another name for what's also called Prozor?
7 A. Yes. It was actually a unit from the Prozor Brigade, a
8 battalion. Actually two oversized companies, I believe.
9 Q. And, sir, is it also correct again that Rama, as opposed to
10 Prozor, Rama was the preferred Croatian name?
11 A. Again, I -- if -- not to be insolent, I paid more attention to
12 troops on the ground than to place names from what I know, Rama and
13 surroundings were Croatian, Catholic majority for centuries since the 9th
14 century at least.
15 Q. You've also mentioned in the last few minutes and in fact
16 yesterday, Uskoplje. Now the Chamber has heard quite a bit of testimony
17 about another place called Gornji Vakuf. Is Uskoplje the Croat name for
18 Gornji Vakuf?
19 A. Yes, sir.
20 Q. And Your Honours Gornji Vakuf is not on this particular map, just
21 to avoid any confusion. It would be roughly just north of the Prozor
22 municipality on the map.
23 Did you ever have any dealings or experience with a Minister of
24 Defence Bruno Stojic during your military activities from late 1992 to
25 early 1994?
1 A. I met Mr. Stojic once, in any detail. We had there was one only
2 longer meeting.
3 Q. And what was that meeting about, please?
4 A. It was in Mostar in the summer of 1992, where I paid a visit to
5 Mr. Stojic with Mr. Siljeg.
6 Q. All right, sir, it may just be a misunderstanding the parameters
7 of the question I gave a moment ago was between late 1992 and early
8 1994, I believe, unless I misspoke, so when you say you met with him in
9 the summer of 1992, did you mean to say summer of 1993 or are you just
10 going back to an earlier time?
11 A. My official business with Mr. Stojic or unofficial, I've only met
12 him at any length personally once.
13 Q. And what was the occasion again of that meeting? What was it
15 A. Well, we wanted to coordinate the zone which was being formed in
16 Tomislavgrad so we asked for advice and for logistical support.
17 Q. Sir, you actually never answered the question that --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Scott.
19 MR. SCOTT:
20 Q. You didn't answer the question I tried to clarify so I will come
21 back, the meeting was it in the summer of 1992 or the summer of 1993?
22 A. It was, sir, in the summer of 1992.
23 Q. All right. What understanding, if any, did you have of the
24 control and responsibility of Mr. Stojic as the Minister of Defence with
25 the operation of the HVO military units?
1 A. Well, I knew Mr. Stojic was the Minister of Defence. That was his
2 position, but apart from the details in the Ministry of Defence, I'm not
3 familiar with --
4 Q. Well, for instance, who would report, who would report or be his
5 direct subordinates, to put it the other way around, to Minister Stojic?
6 A. Well, in the structure, I assume that the commanders would report
7 -- would have -- there would be a synergy between the headquarters and the
8 Ministry of Defence, as in any other organisation.
9 Q. Is it correct, sir, then that Mr. Stojic would interface with the
10 HVO Main Staff, the general staff?
11 A. That's -- I would assume, again, I say I don't know the -- I don't
12 know what tactical SOP they had for this or how the Ministry of Defence
13 worked, how its sectors were structured.
14 Q. Well, let me move on very quickly. I assure you and the Chamber,
15 but just to make it a bit more concrete, when we have talked about people
16 such as Mr. Praljak and Mr. Petkovic, was it your understanding that those
17 two senior officers would report to Mr. Stojic?
18 A. They would have more contact with him than myself, yes.
19 Q. In your experience at your level in, again, focusing -- I can tell
20 you, sir that I'm focusing my questions primarily on the time frame late
21 1992 to early 1994, if that can just assist you or focus you. During that
22 time period, was there a regular reporting mechanism that you followed or
23 practised? Did you have to write any sort of regular, that is daily,
24 weekly, regular reports to any superior that you were -- who you were
25 responsible to?
1 A. I avoided paper work as much as possible.
2 Q. Don't be a lawyer, sir, to avoid paper work.
3 A. Well, there was -- no, there is a standard, there is an unwritten
4 SOP in any army which says that no one reads anything longer than two
6 Q. All right, so that was your rule in writing reports and now my
7 question to you is what kind of reports did you write?
8 A. The reports I wrote were mainly sent after an action, an ammo and
9 casualty report and a situation report. The internal reporting system
10 within my brigade was based on personal contact between me and my
11 battalion commanders, and the majority of the time it was based -- not the
12 reporting, I should say, but instructions were based on the standard
13 five-paragraph field order.
14 Q. All right. Well, let me approach it perhaps from a slightly
15 different angle. Who was your immediate superior during this time period,
16 from late 1992 to early 1994?
17 A. It would have been Mr. Siljeg.
18 Q. And was it Mr. Siljeg's practice to require regular periodic
19 reports from you and other units? Did you have to do a daily report, a
20 weekly report?
21 A. We had a briefing, almost on a nightly basis, on a regular basis,
22 at the -- the tactical headquarters of the zone in Prozor.
23 Q. And who did Mr. Siljeg, by the way, who did he report to?
24 A. It would be logical he reported to the main headquarters in Mostar
25 wherever they were located at the time, I believe in Posusje.
1 Q. Again to be a bit more concrete, at least for instance August
2 1993, you're saying that to your knowledge, Mr. Siljeg would have reported
3 to Mr. Praljak?
4 A. Mr. Praljak or Mr. Petkovic or whoever was in a position of
5 leading the -- being the Chief of Staff at the time.
6 Q. I'd like to ask you a few questions about communications which
7 have come up in the trial at one time or another. What kind of field
8 communications did you have available to you?
9 A. In my zone, we were fairly well equipped with field telephones and
10 wire, because there was a cable factory in the town of Tomislavgrad. We
11 used radio to an absolute minimum because it was an unsure means of
12 communication and it was rudimentary and it was a security issue. So we
13 used it to an absolute minimum.
14 Q. Did you have something in the field that was known as a --
15 sometimes called a "packet communication"?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you describe what that is to the Judges, please?
18 A. That was a radio relay system between the zones and the main
19 headquarters, mostly.
20 Q. How did it function, just how do you operate a packet
22 A. The message is sent and received at the other end.
23 Q. Are you talking about voice communications or written
24 communications or what types of communications?
25 A. Well, this is a voice communication which is later translated into
1 the written.
2 Q. Well, and again, how does that work, then, if it's sent by voice
3 and then how does it get transformed into a written communication or the
4 written document?
5 A. The RTO takes the message puts it in his logbook and writes the
6 message down.
7 Q. What's RTO?
8 A. Radio telephone operator. And he takes the message to whomever it
9 was sent to.
10 Q. And then what happens at the other end?
11 A. There would be a confirmation that the message had been received
12 and depending on the headquarters, there is usually -- there is a number
13 by which it is registered, there is a stamp designated the headquarters
14 and it is logged either the -- depending what level it was received at,
15 the zone headquarters or the higher headquarters.
16 Q. And what -- at the other end at the receiving end, so to speak, is
17 it once again converted from a voice message or a written message to text?
18 A. Yes, the same procedure would follow.
19 Q. Assuming, sir, assuming, then, that the operators follow the
20 procedure that you just discussed, it would not be unusual to have one
21 form of a message written in one hand at one end and another -- sorry,
22 Judge Diarra, I'll try to slow down. And another version of roughly very
23 similar, the same content, perhaps, in another hand, and a record at the
24 other end; is that correct?
25 A. Well, again it depends on the type of correspondence, I think
1 or actually depends on the type of correspondence.
2 Q. Was there another type of communication that was perhaps -- that
3 operated something along of what might be called a field fax or a
4 telecopy, a telefax type of apparatus?
5 A. Yes there was, there were fax machines in some of the
7 Q. And was it just called a fax machine or was there some other
8 military jargon or word customarily used in that regard?
9 A. At the time the time period you're speaking of we had just the
10 ordinary fax machines.
11 MR. SCOTT: If the usher could please provide you with Exhibit
12 P299.2, it should be in the bundle of exhibits that were prepared for this
14 JUDGE CLARK: Are you sure, Mr. Scott, it's 299?
15 MR. SCOTT: I've just been told, perhaps it was added later, but
16 yes, it should be -- or distributed, P, there is actually there may be --
17 yes, I think so, Judge Clark, 299.2. Perhaps it's loose, sorry. Sorry.
18 Q. Now, what I'd like you to do, sir, looking at the what we call the
19 B/C/S original, as opposed to the English translation, looking at that
20 document, sir, the form of it and what you see on that sheet of paper,
21 now, what kind of a document or, excuse me, communication would you call
22 that, along the lines we have been talking for a few minutes now?
23 A. It looks to me like a photocopy.
24 Q. Of?
25 A. Of a typed -- of a typed report or a -- it's a copy of a
1 communication from -- from the defence -- defence organ from Travnik.
2 Q. All right. Let me direct your attention. For the moment, I'm
3 going to refer to, even though we can't all -- most of us, or some of us
4 at least, can't read the B/C/S version -- so I'm going to refer for the
5 moment to the original. You see the box roughly in the middle of
6 the page on the right side it starts the very first entry in the upper
7 left corner of the box appears to be "ECV." You see what I'm referring
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And so what is that box all about?
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would only
13 request this is a new document, I don't know what the source of this
14 document is, and in particular what -- and also what surprises me there is
15 no source of the Zagreb archive, and particularly what surprises me is
16 what has been added by hand in the B/C/S version, you can see that Travnik
17 has been entered by hand, upside down. And that is why I'd be really
18 interested in knowing the -- what is the source and the origin of this
20 JUDGE LIU: I think during the cross-examination, the Prosecutor
21 will tell us some information about the sources of this document. Let's
22 continue with this question. What is that "ECV" mean in that box?
23 THE WITNESS: It's either the sending or the receiving organ, the
24 abbreviation is not familiar to me.
25 MR. SCOTT:
1 Q. Well, all right. Let's go to the next line down, not to the right
2 but next line down appears to have the words, perhaps, Predete, but in any
3 event that's the line I'm referring to and to the rights of that, there is
4 a handwritten number. Can you tell the Judges what that number would
6 A. That again, I assume, is the number of the receiving fax.
7 Q. And?
8 A. Or receiving organ where it was sent, the number where this
9 message was sent.
10 Q. And the next line below that, to your knowledge, what does that
11 information, particularly the part written in, what does that indicate?
12 A. The date and the time.
13 Q. The next line that starts TLP, what information is meant to be
14 indicated by that line?
15 A. The type of communication.
16 Q. What would a "TLP" be?
17 A. Telephone, telegraph, or the radio, there was pocket, meaning the
18 radio which is circled here, written.
19 Q. How about RRV to the right of the written packet?
20 A. That would be the radio communications.
21 Q. And ZV?
22 A. That is wire communications, meaning field phone.
23 Q. And how about the next item, the last in that row, what would that
25 A. A signature of the individual.
1 Q. I'm sorry, sir, before we get to the next line, the end of that
2 row of initials, there is one after ZV and what is that?
3 A. On my copy, it's a little illegible here. I'm not too sure.
4 Q. Then you began to tell us below that those series of letters or
5 acronyms -- what is meant or indicated below that?
6 A. That is the individual, I assume again, the signature of the
7 individual that received the message.
8 Q. And so far as you can tell us, then, sir, is this a document, is
9 this a fax communication of the type that you told us existed a moment or
10 two ago or some other type? That's my question?
11 A. The communique to me looks like a fax, a copy of a faxed message.
12 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, before I forget and I don't think it's
13 critical the content of the document itself, what's above it I haven't
14 even asked the witness about because I was interested in the form of the
15 document, but so the record is clear, this is a seized document, seized by
16 the Office of the Prosecutor in an investigation in Vitez of the sort that
17 Mr. Von Hecke testified to in the beginning days of the trial.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Is this document admitted?
19 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, I believe it's a new document.
20 Q. Sir, as a military man you're familiar with the term or terms or
21 phrase perhaps, I should say, "rules of engagement"?
22 A. Yes, I'm familiar with the term.
23 Q. Did you, in your own unit, put any rules of engagement into
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to ask if
2 you could ask what does the number Z 658.2 mean on this document we were
3 just referring to a bit earlier.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, I thought we had passed this issue already. Is
5 that of crucial importance to this?
6 MR. KRSNIK: It's important.
7 MR. SCOTT: I better tell you it's the Exhibit number of this
8 document when it was admitted into evidence in the Kordic case.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Did you have rules of engagement in your unit, sir?
12 A. This may be take a little longer to answer if you permit me.
13 Q. My first question is not to explain what they were. Did you have
14 something called rules of conduct. I think that can be answered yes or no.
15 Did you have rules of engagement in your unit, yes or no?
16 A. The rules of engagement are contained in doctrinal material.
17 Q. Did your unit follow them or not?
18 A. To the best of my knowledge and to the best of my capability as a
19 commander I tried to reinforce the so-called rules of engagement.
20 Q. So the answer to my question is yes?
21 A. Yes, with a written tactical with a written SO -- written
22 individual skills manual, a written individual skills manual and this was
23 underlined at every briefing.
24 Q. In your unit, sir, did you have any rules of engagement dealing
25 with the burning of houses?
1 A. Well, the burning of houses is not only a humanitarian -- breaking
2 of humanitarian and international law, it is also tactically unwise
3 because it gives the enemy a target reference point, so for both reasons,
4 this was -- this is strongly opposed in my unit.
5 Q. What did you do, sir, if one of your soldiers burned a house,
6 Muslim or Croat, if one of your soldiers burned a house, what did you do?
7 A. Well, I never individually, with my own eyes, saw a member of my
8 unit burn a house.
9 Q. Is that because, sir, you'd made it very clear that that conduct
10 would not be tolerated?
11 A. Well, there are other reasons for this.
12 Q. Sir, my question -- answer my question, please?
13 A. Well, I explained before I had good work I had people that were
14 experienced, that had leadership capabilities. I could not be everywhere
15 at once but my subordinates, my subordinates relayed my intentions
16 successfully, I like to believe, to my soldiers.
17 Q. Sir, was it a rule of conduct in your unit that houses were not to
18 be torched?
19 A. That was clearly understood.
20 Q. What disciplinary measures did you follow with soldiers in your
22 A. I think the offence dictated the punishment.
23 Q. Given us some examples, please.
24 A. For example, if someone did not show up for muster at the
25 appropriate assembly area, at the appropriate time, if he did not want to
1 carry a rifle, he carried a shovel, or went on mine-laying detail.
2 Q. Sorry went on what detail?
3 A. Mine-laying detail.
4 Q. Why would you consider that a disciplinary measure?
5 A. It was more effective than jailing someone, especially when men
6 were needed, and it was not practical always to -- when we had no
7 clear-cut guidelines or a system of military law, it was more pragmatic
8 and it worked.
9 Q. All right. I understand your answer to be why that was a
10 substitute or alternative, if you will, for a -- perhaps a trip to the
11 brig, but my question to you is why would being engaged in laying mines be
12 considered a disciplinary measure? Is it more dangerous?
13 A. Well, it is high risk operation, also digging a defensive line
14 is also not a high risk operation, so to speak, but it's effective.
15 Q. And that was one example. Other examples of disciplinary measures
16 that you took in your unit?
17 A. Sometimes there is a -- sometimes in extreme measures, in extreme
18 measures, and this was rarely, you would revert to wall to wall
20 Q. Meaning?
21 A. Meaning the Legion way.
22 Q. Meaning?
23 A. If a NCO has a problem with a subordinate, the problem is solved
24 in a physical manner.
25 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that indeed you, in fact, caught one of your
1 soldiers burning a house once and you beat him physically?
2 A. I've had numerous altercations, not as a bully, but as for -- as
3 for burning a house, I don't recall any one of my soldiers ever burning a
4 house. I remember one, if I can clarify the incident which I think you're
5 speaking of.
6 Q. Please?
7 A. If you wish me to.
8 Q. Please.
9 A. I was on the line almost regularly for years and I walked the
10 ground, I know every rock from -- in every area of operations and zone of
11 interest where my units were employed. So I saw an individual on a roof
12 with a hammer, breaking tiles on the roof, so I asked him what his
13 intention was and he was clearly intoxicated and his answer was, "You said
14 not to burn the house." So that -- maybe that was that incident that
15 you're speaking of.
16 Q. And what did you do to this soldier, sir?
17 A. Went into a room, closed the door and solved it in the Legion way.
18 Q. Did you find that to be an effective form of discipline?
19 A. Again, I think, if I may use a Chinese proverb, which says there
20 is no medicine for a fool except one, sometimes.
21 Q. I'll have to caution you, sir, because we have a President here
22 who may know more about Chinese proverbs than the rest of us.
23 A. I was told it was a Chinese proverb and if not I excuse myself.
24 JUDGE LIU: I never heard of that, but I heard the first one you
25 used. Yeah, there was such a Chinese proverb, but not this one.
1 MR. SCOTT: I apologise, Judge.
2 Q. Sir, in your military training and experience, did you ever
3 receive training and education in the law of war?
4 A. I did, but it was a quarter of a century ago in the Canadian army,
5 and my memory of the details were somewhat clouded.
6 Q. At any time, sir, during your service in the army of the Republic
7 of Croatia, that is the HV army, did you receive any training or education
8 in the law of war, such as the Geneva Conventions?
9 A. There was no formal training along the line of the Geneva
10 Conventions, but my zone commander Zeljko Siljeg at numerous briefings
11 underlined the proper way to behave, the soldierly way to behave.
12 Q. Was it your impression, sir, from that that Mr. Siljeg, whatever
13 his rank at the time was, and I don't mean discourtesy, Colonel Siljeg,
14 perhaps, that he was familiar with and knew at least to some degree, the
15 laws of war, including the Geneva Conventions?
16 A. I would assume he did because I believe the JNA was a signer or
17 signed the Geneva accords, and he was an ex-member of the JNA.
18 Q. I'm going to ask you the same question or similar question to what
19 I asked you a moment ago specifically in connection with the HV. When you
20 transferred your services to the HVO, at any time during your -- well,
21 strike that. Not any time but during the time of 1992 to early 1994, did
22 you receive any training in the law of war or humanitarian law?
23 A. No formal training, no.
24 Q. All right. Well I'm going to clarify, sir, you've qualified your
25 answer twice by saying no formal training. Did you receive some sort of
1 training that wasn't formal?
2 A. Well, as I said, instructions were given and I recall two orders
3 being given, written by, you say Colonel Siljeg, that underlined steps to
4 be taken for proper behaviour that fall under the same category as
5 humanitarian law, which is how to prevent and how to prohibit such
6 behaviour contrary to the Geneva Convention.
7 Q. Let me move up a level or so, sir, if I can. Did you ever have
8 any experience or knowledge during the war that either Mr. Praljak,
9 General Praljak or General Petkovic had training or knowledge in the laws
10 and customs of war?
11 A. Again, I would assume that Mr. Petkovic, who was an ex-JNA
12 officer, he in all probability had such training. As for Mr. Praljak, I
13 think -- I don't think he had an extensive military background. I would
14 assume that his was -- his knowledge was minimal.
15 Q. Can you assist us, sir, and I don't want to be oversimplistic
16 about this, but can you assist us by indicating how much does the law and
17 customs of war vary from what many of us would consider common sense
19 A. I basically, the human being that you are, depends on your
20 upbringing. That's maybe an a difficult -- not the answer you're looking
21 for, but standards of behaviour worldwide are standardised, I believe,
22 proper behaviour.
23 Q. Would you consider covered by, if you will, if I can just use the
24 shorthand phrase, I don't mean it to be anything technical, a common sense
25 rule of war is that you do not kill civilians?
1 A. Not only it's not only a law, I think it's a humanitarian -- it's
2 a -- the word I'm looking for escapes me, but it's common sense.
3 Q. All right. Now, sir, moving on to another topic, you testified, I
4 believe yesterday, that you did not know of any HVO political or military
5 plans to engage in ethnic cleansing in April, 1993. Do you recall that?
6 A. I mentioned that in my previous -- yesterday's statement and I
7 still say, and the two main components for such an operation would be
8 mission and intent, and I never verbally or written or in a written order
9 received such an order.
10 Q. Sir, can you tell the Judges whether at any time in the first half
11 of April, 1993, were you present or engaged in any meetings with the
12 senior Herceg-Bosna leadership?
13 A. Could you repeat the time period again, please?
14 Q. Of course. In the first half of May -- excuse me, April, 1993.
15 A. Not that I can recall. I -- they were stationed in, I believe,
16 Grude again and I didn't go there until almost after 1994.
17 Q. During the month of May -- excuse me again, April or May, 1993,
18 did you engage in any meetings with, for example, Mate Boban?
19 A. I met Mr. Boban twice in my life. The first time was in prior to
20 the start of hostilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in Grude, in the second
21 month of 1992. And the last time I was close to Mr. Boban was whether I
22 was a pall bearer at his funeral.
23 Q. How did you come to be a pall bearer for Mr. Boban after his
25 A. I was asked at the time, I'm trying to remember the year that he
1 died. I was asked, and I -- there were other HVO officers there, seven
2 others, I believe, and I was one of them.
3 Q. Who asked you?
4 A. I think then it was -- I'm trying to remember, it was General
5 Budimir, who was head of the -- he was second in command to General
6 Dudakovic of the Federation Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina --
8 Q. And do you recall who any of the other pall bearers were?
9 A. Yes, I do. There was General Nakic or Brigadier Nakic, at the
10 time. There was Brigadier Milic, my second in command of the brigade.
11 There was, I believe, General Curcic. There was General Sopta was there.
12 And that's all I can recall at the moment.
13 Q. Would it sound roughly right to you, sir, if I suggest, just so
14 we have some mark in the record, and probably I hope it would be disputed
15 we can establish it in any event, Mr. Boban died sometime in July, 1997?
16 A. That's the date, I presume.
17 Q. All right. But going back to the -- Mr. President I see it's
18 about time for a break, if I can just finish this question or so.
19 Going back to the question where we started, sir, during the
20 months of April and May, 1993, you didn't meet with Mr. Boban and you
21 didn't meet with Jadranko Prlic or Bruno Stojic either, did you?
22 A. No, sir, I did not.
23 Q. So when you testified yesterday that you did not receive any
24 orders to carry out ethnic cleansing, what you meant to tell this Chamber
25 is that no such orders were given to you, correct?
1 A. Well, as I said, I think I said before, is that to understand a
2 mission you need to know the intent of a commander two levels up, and to
3 me that would be either General Petkovic or General Praljak or Mr. --
4 Whoever was a commander of the HVO at the time -- would be the intent
5 would be passed on to the zone headquarters, all four of them. It would
6 be a coordinated action. And other -- am I speaking too quickly here? A
7 third element necessary for any type of action, apart from the two I
8 mentioned, is lateral cooperation. And to my knowledge, in my area, my
9 zone of operations, there was no such lateral cooperation to carry this
10 mission out, this mission of ethnic cleansing.
11 Q. Sir, before we break, can I just follow up on that specific point,
12 not necessarily in connection with ethnic cleansing, but during your
13 military experience in 1993, did you always know who was giving you
14 support on the left and right?
15 A. That, sir, is the first part of your situation report, which is
16 the first part of your paragraph -- five-paragraph field order, in your
17 situation report.
18 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, that's a good time, if it suits you.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will resume at 4.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 3.32 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott, please continue.
23 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Judge.
24 Q. Sir, during your military activities in the year 1993, you came to
25 know of the existence of prison or detention camps at the Heliodrom, a
1 place called Dretelj and Gabela, correct?
2 A. What I know of those camps, I learned after 1994, mostly of the
3 details or from newspapers and articles mostly.
4 Q. You said mostly, sir. Are you telling the Chamber that during
5 1993, you had no knowledge of the existence of those camps?
6 A. At the time, I was preoccupied with holding a sector and the
7 details of what transpired in the other operative zone, the details were
8 to me for -- the mission, for completing my mission were not vital to my
9 mission accomplishment.
10 Q. Sir, you've given us a reason why perhaps it was not your top
11 priority, but my question remains: Are you telling this Chamber that you
12 have no knowledge of the existence of those camps in 1993?
13 A. I cannot tell you honestly the first time I heard of the camps,
14 the actual date that I heard the camps mentioned, whether it was
15 television or newspapers, the picture I formed was basically formed by, as
16 I said, the media.
17 Q. Sir, I'm raising a matter that we may get into later perhaps,
18 given time and other considerations, but are you saying then that you did
19 not tell representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor at the end of
20 February of this year that you knew it was general knowledge in 1993 that
21 those camps existed and that terrible things were happening there?
22 A. The reason I gave -- the reason I'm giving this statement is
23 because I'm speaking of things that I directly know. The reason I did not
24 sign that statement is because for the letter that was presented in the
25 first part of the -- this -- my testimony.
1 Q. Well, sir, I assure you that we will get to that, but you talked
2 very -- sir, very expansively during your direct examination about things
3 all over the region of Yugoslavia, and I'll ask it this way. Using the
4 same measure of information, the same type of information on which you
5 voiced a number of opinions during your direct examination, based on that
6 same type of information, are you telling this Chamber that you did not
7 know of the existence of the camps and the conduct that was happening
8 there during 1993?
9 A. I stand behind my original statement a few questions ago that I
10 had no direct knowledge of the details in those camps at the time you're
11 speaking of in 1993, and I do not recall the first time that I heard of
12 the camps.
13 Q. Well, sir, I'm looking at your testimony I'm going to suggest to
14 you that you are being very, very careful about what you're saying. You
15 say you had no direct knowledge. Did you have indirect knowledge?
16 A. Again, I said I'm not too sure of the time or the date. I had
17 knowledge naturally, but the date that I first received the news of the
18 camps, no one ever confronted me with any type of eyewitness testimony or
19 would have any reason to speak to me about those camps in my zone of
21 Q. Sir, what kind of knowledge naturally did you have?
22 A. Well, the knowledge based, as I said, I formulated my opinion of
23 what I read, what I saw on the television the newspapers.
24 Q. What did you read and see? What did you read in the newspapers
25 and see on television?
1 A. There were -- the camps existed, physically, there were -- people
2 were interned there, there were human rights abuses, investigations were
3 taken, the details of those abuses or the perpetrators I'm not familiar
5 Q. Sir, I'll ask you again, and I promise I'll move on: Didn't you
6 tell the investigators of the Office of the Prosecutor in late February of
7 this year, just a few weeks ago, that the camps and the horrible things
8 that were happening in the camps were a matter of common knowledge in
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not think that one
12 can raise the question of a statement which the witness does not recognise
13 as his own, that one cannot take parts of that statement out of the
14 context, seeing that the witness has completely rejected that statement,
15 disowned the statement. And it is still not quite clear how did he make
16 this -- how did he give his statement because yesterday I heard from the
17 Prosecutor that he was interviewed here as a suspect.
18 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President --
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Now, if I'm correct, judging on the
20 basis of this paper that I was given yesterday by the Prosecution.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we are not going to debate of the
22 nature of this interview. Here we just -- the Prosecution is asking a
23 question. I think the witness has the full right to answer this question
24 or to deny everything he said in that statement, and we also received the
25 document you submitted to us, which is D1/330, which is the letter written
1 by this witness. When we evaluate all the evidence, we will take that
2 into consideration. Yes, Mr. Scott, you may continue.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Sir, my question to you was, just to come back to it a final time,
5 did you not tell representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor a few
6 weeks ago that the existence of these camps, Heliodrom, Dretelj, Gabela,
7 and the horrible things that were happening in those camps, was common
8 knowledge in 1993?
9 A. What I recall saying, sir, and if I may go back to the original
10 witness statement, there were 64 pages in that statement, and I again
11 repeat the majority of what I said was deleted, and for that reason, I
12 refused to sign the statement. What I recall seeing, I will tell you what
13 I recall seeing, I said that such conduct, if it was true was
14 reprehensible and against the law of nature and God.
15 Q. Was it likewise the case sir that it was common knowledge that
16 prisoners, Muslim prisoners, were being taken from the Heliodrom and used
17 for forced labour?
18 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I like to base my evidence on direct observation,
19 not on hearsay.
20 Q. Well, sir, again I'm not going to argue with you, I assure you and
21 I will assure the Chamber I do not intend to argue with you but I do --
22 I will make -- I will point out to you that I'm asking for you to answer
23 my questions on the same basis, the kinds of information, direct or
24 indirect, that you answered the questions on direct examination.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours?
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as you know, I
3 insisted, and all my questions were directed at the direct knowledge, and
4 that is what this honourable court also insists upon. It was said on
5 numerous occasions that no hearsay or double -- and moreover double
6 hearsay would not be admitted and the witness has repeated, now several
7 times over, that he had no direct knowledge of this, so I see no purpose
8 in trying to drag some answers out of this witness, since he has repeated
9 four times over that he had no knowledge of that. Thank you.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, we quite understand that the witness said that
11 he was not there, he did not see, and he did not participate anything like
12 this. We understand that. But the question asked in a different way.
13 The question is, is it common knowledge that prisoners, Muslim prisoners
14 were being taken from Heliodrom and used for forced labour. The
15 Prosecution is asking about common knowledge. The witness could agree
16 with the Prosecutor, but he also could deny it that it is common
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, if it was common knowledge.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Let's hear the answer from this witness?
20 THE WITNESS: May I answer, Your Honour?
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
22 THE WITNESS: Sir, in my zone of operation, in my brigade, at the
23 time it was not common knowledge. It was not a priority topic in my zone
24 of operations or in my unit. And I stand behind what I said in the first
25 several answers.
1 MR. SCOTT:
2 Q. Excuse me a minute, sir. Sir, I'm looking now at -- [French
3 interpretation coming through]
4 JUDGE LIU: We have some disruptions -- [Wrong translation coming
6 THE INTERPRETER: One, two, three.
7 MR. SCOTT: Mr. Usher if I could have your assistance, please? If
8 this could be placed on the ELMO, please?
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated].
10 MR. SCOTT: I believe that's D174.
11 MR. SCOTT: Top right corner of that, is it 1992? Yeah, that's
12 all right. Go ahead.
13 Q. Sir, you, during your direct examination gave testimony on a wide
14 range of things far away from your area of operations, and you've told us
15 today, for instance, that you spent most of 1993 in a holding a part of
16 the line around to the west of Jablanica. Now, sir, should these Judges
17 -- are you telling that -- telling us that these Judges should assess all
18 your testimony on the same basis of what you just said now, that if it
19 isn't based on your personal knowledge what you saw and heard with your
20 own eyes and your own ears, then it should be discounted?
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I shall repeat, look at
23 the transcript. We -- when you said are we going to Mostar? I said that
24 we would not ask him about Mostar as he did not have direct knowledge
25 about it. We -- I said we would be moving to the Neretva operation, and
1 that is why I did not ask about Mostar, because he has no personal
2 knowledge. I think that is fair. And that is why that was the reason
3 that I moved from this in my direct examination and I don't see why the
4 Prosecutor is focusing on it in his cross-examination. We want to hear
5 about the direct experience, participation, of the general, and the causes
6 which brought about, and resulted in the events in Mostar, and resulted in
7 the operation of Neretva 1993 by the Muslims. And I also emphasise that
8 the gentleman -- the witness has -- cannot enlighten us on Mostar because
9 he has no personal experience and personal knowledge on that, and I would
10 kindly ask you to take that into consideration.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, your question is not directly related
12 to what this witness saw and did during that period, so try to rephrase
13 this question another way.
14 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, my original question was directly
15 related to an issue in this case and that is the use of Muslim prisoners
16 to perform forced labour in Mostar, which the Chamber of course has heard
17 extensive knowledge of. I'm putting it to this witness that such practice
18 was well known and common knowledge in 1993. And he has disputed that,
19 saying, "Well, I won't say anything about something I didn't see with my
20 own eyes." I will move on. I told you Mr. President, I wouldn't argue
21 about it and I won't --
22 THE INTERPRETER: Will you slow down, Mr. Scott.
23 MR. SCOTT: -- except to respond to Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par?
25 MR. SCOTT: May I finish?
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course, yes.
2 MR. SCOTT: -- simply to explain to Your Honour to answer your
3 question, Mr. President, as to why the relevance of the questions. I
4 think that the Chamber has heard and of course can draw its own ultimate
5 observations is the difference in the answers given in direct examination
6 and the answers given on cross-examination and with that I won't belabour
7 it further.
8 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Par?
9 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I object to the type of
10 examination, where we call into generally and commonly known fact, I
11 believe that generally -- commonly known facts will not be here assessed,
12 so it's wrong, I believe, to -- there is no reason to demand and request
13 from the witness to say whether this was something which was common
14 knowledge or not. So if something is common knowledge, it will not be
15 here, the validity of it will not be demanded of it, so I object to this
16 type of cross-examination.
17 JUDGE LIU: I think the Prosecution has promised to move on. We
18 will not spend much more time on that debate at this moment.
19 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President, thank you very much.
20 Q. If I could have the usher's assistance in putting before the
21 witness Exhibit P599.4?
22 Q. Sir, this is a commendation that was given to several units,
23 including, I believe, your own, on about the 4th of August, 1993, by the
24 Minister of Defence, Bruno Stojic. Do you see that?
25 A. Yes, I do.
1 Q. And can you tell the Chamber for what action or conduct were you
2 and your unit being commended at this time?
3 A. The direct translation is for courage, combativeness and morale in
4 successful battles in Northern Herzegovina.
5 Q. And it says the number one or the first unit is the King Tomislav
6 Brigade from Tomislavgrad led by Commander Zeljko?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Now, can you just explain to the Chamber how a commendation like
9 this would come about? And to be more specific, how would the information
10 on which this commendation is based, come to the attention of minister
12 A. Again, in the army there is a common procedure for commending
13 subordinate, so again I can only assume that Zeljko Siljeg commended the
14 brigade for the above-mentioned and passed on the request to the minister,
15 or Mr. Stojic.
16 Q. So it would have gone up from your superior, Mr. Siljeg, to
17 Mr. Stojic, correct?
18 A. Yes, I don't remember myself writing such a request.
19 Q. In your unit, did you receive only this one commendation from late
20 1992 to early 1994, or did you receive other similar commendations or
22 A. For that time period, I don't recall, most of the decorations came
23 after the Washington Agreement was signed, when the rank structure
25 Q. Were you proud to receive this commendation?
1 A. At the time, I think pride was -- took second seat to combat
3 Q. In a second seat capacity, were you proud to receive this award?
4 A. Looking at it now, I would say I was, yes.
5 Q. Did you think it was justified?
6 A. I think it was.
7 Q. You testified yesterday that you knew Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, or
8 knew of him, and really I wasn't sure, so let me ask you now, do you know
9 him as someone -- as a person you know or do you only know of him?
10 A. Well, both.
11 Q. How do you know him?
12 A. I know of him from what I've heard.
13 Q. My first question was, how do you know him personally?
14 A. We met several times.
15 Q. And can you tell us those occasions, please?
16 A. We met. The first time I met Mr. Naletilic was at the change of
17 command dinner in Grude that we spoke in any detail. I believe that was
18 when General Blaskic took over from Mr. Petkovic or General Petkovic.
19 Q. And when was the approximate date of that?
20 A. That would have been the beginning of 1994 or late -- the
21 beginning of 1994, I believe. And previous to that, or after that, I met
22 him in the summer of 1994.
23 Q. Is it correct then for us to understand, sir, that prior to early
24 1994, you had never met the man, Mladen Naletilic, Tuta?
25 A. We have never -- we never had contact.
12 Bank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 11442 to 11448.
1 Q. And just to be clear, when you say that, sir, I take that to mean
2 not only had you not met him in a face-to-face, eye-to-eye way, but you
3 had not talked to him on the telephone, you had not corresponded with him,
4 you simply had no contact with the man; is that right?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. Now, I'm going to go back to the second part, and you started to
7 say not only did you know him later, but you knew of him. What did you
8 know of him?
9 A. Well, as I mentioned before in the beginning of the interview or
10 my testimony, I understood that he came from, I believe, Germany, that he
11 was one of the founders of the so-called "Kaznjenicka Bojna." I knew he
12 was respected in Siroki Brijeg, and that he partook in the early battles
13 in Mostar in 1992, and that's -- that's about the limit of my knowledge,
14 and also, in -- another is that he was under surveillance in the previous
15 system from the previous internal security apparatus as an immigrant, as
16 part of the Croatian immigration.
17 Q. Well, sir, I'm going to ask this only because the answer you just
18 gave and I want to make that clear, didn't Mr. Naletilic at that time have
19 a widespread reputation for being a terrorist?
20 A. Again, I have no -- what you mean by terrorist or I have no idea
21 what you mean by that statement, sir.
22 Q. That he'd been involved in political bombings and killings in
23 various places in the world?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes? Well, Mr. Krsnik.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would like to know the
1 foundation for such an utterance. Do we have any sentence, and what is
2 the source for the Prosecution of this knowledge, because otherwise, I
3 will say that the Prosecution is setting up.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, we are a little bit surprised by the
5 term "terrorist," "political bombings" and "killings around various places
6 in the world."
7 MR. SCOTT: I'll answer your question, Your Honour, and the
8 witnesses, I was very careful to say, the only reason I'm saying this is
9 because of the answer that the witness gave and he tried in my opinion, I
10 respectfully submit to the Chamber, to suggest that there was some bad
11 reason why he might, and assuming it's true, might have been under
12 surveillance by the previous government. That's why I followed it up with
13 the question I did. As to the answer to Mr. Krsnik's question, it is
14 based upon repeated news interviews given by Mr. Naletilic.
15 THE WITNESS: Could I comment on my statement?
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, you may do that.
17 THE WITNESS: It's a well known fact that the former Yugoslav
18 internal security service, the UDBA waged a war against Croatian emigres,
19 from 1945 until 1990, in which approximately 90 Croatians were
20 assassinated abroad. I mentioned this fact because I myself saw a list,
21 an UDBA list, on which Mr. Naletilic was mentioned and the agents that
22 were appointed to track his movements, but not as far as I know a
23 terrorist, but as a political activist.
24 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Scott, you and I come from the same legal
25 background. Do you think that this evidence would be allowed either at
1 home or in my country? Would it not be attacked for being more
2 prejudicial than probative and wouldn't you get your knuckles rightly
3 smacked by the trial judge.
4 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, I don't believe so.
5 JUDGE CLARK: Certainly in my country you would be in big trouble.
6 MR. SCOTT: I respect that, Your Honour. I've never practised,
7 I'm sad to say, I've never practised in Ireland. Maybe some day I'll have
8 the opportunity.
9 JUDGE CLARK: It certainly sounds like something that is more
10 prejudicial than probative and I think in the interests of justice you
11 should not proceed with it.
12 MR. SCOTT: And I did not intend to, Judge Clark, on that part I
13 can assure you we are in agreement.
14 Q. Sir, you had known of him, but again as you told us, you did not
15 meet him until sometime perhaps as early as or late as early 1994; is that
17 A. The first conversation we had that lasted more than five minutes
18 was at his -- by swimming pool in Siroki Brijeg in the summer of 1994. Or
19 excuse me, 1995, I meant to say.
20 Q. And what was the occasion?
21 A. At the time I was forming the 1st Guards Brigade in Capljina.
22 We had passed -- I had passed through the town of Siroki Brijeg on the way
23 to Tomislavgrad, to visit my 3rd Battalion and we met an individual that
24 knew Mr. Naletilic from the Siroki Brijeg Battalion, the number 1
25 Battalion, and we went up for a visit.
1 Q. When you say you went up to a visit, you went up to a visit where?
2 A. To his house which overlooks Siroki Brijeg.
3 Q. You also testified, if I heard you correctly, sir, that you were
4 not aware of Tuta having a military function. Did I hear you correctly?
5 A. As I said before, the only direct contact I had with members or
6 parts of the unit of the so-called Kaznjenicka Bojna was during the summer
7 or late fall of 1995, when they were part of my defence line holding
8 against Republika Srpska on the Glamoc battlefield.
9 Q. Sir, I'm not going to ask you at that point about 1995, at least
10 at this point in time. You had no other dealings with him as you've told
11 us then, you can't say anything more about him or his role prior to
12 January 199-- or early 1994; is that correct?
13 A. In any detail, apart from what I said, I can't add anything
15 Q. All right. During the time period, sir, from late 1992 to early
16 1994, were you ever present at the Convicts Battalion headquarters?
17 A. I was not.
18 Q. You know where that headquarters was located?
19 A. The main headquarters, the -- which headquarters are you --
20 Q. Main headquarters of the Convicts Battalion, if you know?
21 A. I do not know. I assumed it was either in Siroki or Mostar.
22 Q. During the period from late 1992 to early 1994, did you ever
23 attend or participate in any command meetings of the Convicts Battalion?
24 A. Any which meetings?
25 Q. Commands, briefings, planning sessions, meetings of the commanders
1 of the Convicts Battalion?
2 A. Could you repeat the time period again, please.
3 Q. From late 1992 to early 1994.
4 A. At this time I can't recall that I did.
5 Q. Did you ever attend any after-action debriefings at the Convicts
7 A. No, I did not.
8 Q. Were you ever --
9 A. Excuse me, you mean an after-action review, after an
11 Q. Yes, sir?
12 A. No, I did not.
13 Q. Were you ever present at any time when discipline was imposed in
14 connection with a member of the Convicts Battalion?
15 A. I didn't -- I distinctly don't know of which case you're speaking
16 of, but I had individuals in my brigade that had crossed over from the
17 Convicts Battalion to my brigade. I had several such individuals.
18 Q. Who were they?
19 A. There was a Canadian and I believe another fellow. I know I know
20 them by name.
21 Q. The name of the Canadian, please?
22 A. Ronnie Persera. [phoen]
23 Q. And the other -- any other men you can tell us, names you can give
25 A. There maybe a German, but again, both of these individuals were
1 killed in 1994, and one in 1994 and one in 1995.
2 Q. And the name of the German, please?
3 A. We called him Bismarck.
4 Q. At what time did they join your unit coming from the Convicts
6 A. Bismarck joined the unit in the King Tomislav Brigade in the -- he
7 was killed in Uskoplje in 1993 and he joined in, I believe, mid-1993 and
8 Ronnie Persera [phoen] joined the 1st Guards Brigade in Capljina in the
9 spring of 1994. He was killed in Kupres that same year.
10 Q. All right. But he did not make any transfer to your knowledge
11 from the Convicts Battalion until sometime in the spring of 199-- I'm
12 sorry, spring of 1994?
13 A. You mean Mr. Persera [phoen] or the -- yes, Mr. Persera [phoen],
15 Q. Okay. All right. Just to go back because perhaps my question
16 wasn't clear, sir, apart from these two men coming to your unit later,
17 were you ever present at any time when an existing member of the Convicts
18 Battalion was disciplined in any way by the command of the Convicts
20 A. I don't recall such an incident.
21 Q. Sir, you and your unit, as you told us yesterday, were directly
22 engaged in the fighting around Gornji Vakuf or as you called it, Uskoplje,
23 in 1993, correct?
24 A. Parts of the unit were engaged there, yes.
25 Q. Were you engaged there?
1 A. I was engaged in the peace talks and in the outset of the
3 Q. Well --
4 A. But in actual fighting I was not engaged.
5 Q. All right. Where were you physically located at the time that
6 fighting was going on?
7 A. At times I was in Prozor. At times some of the surrounding
8 villages visiting members of my unit that were attached to the operational
9 group that was there, and at other times I was in Tomislavgrad.
10 Q. Sir, I've been reminded to ask you, so let me backtrack for one
11 moment. You said at one point yesterday you had no knowledge of Tuta
12 having a military function and, yet, if not yesterday at least today,
13 you've said that you knew that he was involved in the battles around
14 Mostar in 1992. Now, what did you know about that?
15 A. As one of the founders of the Convicts Battalion, I assumed that's
16 where he'd started his military career or his -- I was told he was one of
17 the founders of the Convicts Battalion.
18 Q. Who told you that?
19 A. The exact individual, the time and the place, I can't recall.
20 Q. And who told you that he was involved in the liberation of Mostar
21 in 1992?
22 A. It could have been Ivan Andabak oar Romeo Cavar or any of the
23 other members of the 22nd -- the Resumski Oderid [phoen] Commando Sector
24 or section.
25 Q. Just so the record is clear, wouldn't it be fair to say contrary
1 to what you said yesterday you have no knowledge of his having a military
2 function, in fact you did know that he did have a military function at
3 least in the spring and summer of 1992?
4 A. Again, I say it's for -- his role in the founding of the battalion
5 to me was not clear.
6 Q. Well, what were -- we have moved back just a moment, let me ask
7 you this: You've said that Mr. Naletilic was respected in Siroki Brijeg.
8 What was his role in Siroki Brijeg at that time?
9 A. Again, as I say, having not been a member of the municipal
10 government there, or the Domobran unit that was stationed there, I can
11 only assume that his management skills, which he learned overseas, his
12 numerous contacts which he probably had, he was a businessman, that he --
13 he contributed to the defence of the town, it's more the town itself,
14 because I believe the majority of the members from the unit were basically
15 from Siroki Brijeg, and Western Herzegovina so again I can only assume
16 that he had talents that could be used in a positive manner in the defence
17 of his town and community.
18 Q. When you said experience and talent, you mean that could be used
19 in -- you mean military and fighting experience, correct?
20 A. Well, as far as I know, sir, he is he is not a soldier and he
21 does not have a pedigree. I don't know what unit he served in.
22 Q. Sir, I didn't say formal military training, and we spent a lot of
23 time talking about training or the lack thereof. He had fighting
24 experience that you thought you assumed could be helpful to the cause,
1 A. Again, my impression of Mr. Naletilic, which I learned -- which I
2 based my observations on, is that he was more or less a logistician, an
3 administrator and a man who worked hand in hand with the municipal
4 government in Siroki Brijeg.
5 Q. What do you base that on, sir?
6 A. From speaking to him about certain topics.
7 Q. At times, after the beginning of 1994, right?
8 A. As I said, yes, when I met him in the first conversation was at
9 the change of command and the second was in the summer of 1994, I'm sorry,
11 Q. The full -- you've been very careful to say you want to base your
12 testimony on direct knowledge, so the full scope of your direct knowledge
13 in this regard is based on two conversations with Mr. Naletilic, both
14 after early 1994; is that correct?
15 A. I think, sir, you're asking me that if I know whether
16 Mr. Naletilic was an operational or tactical commander in a military
17 unit. All I can say to that question is that I've never seen him in a
18 military uniform or on a confrontation line.
19 Q. And that's exactly it, sir, isn't it, you don't know one way or
20 the other. The only thing you can tell this Chamber is that you haven't
21 seen him on a confrontation line in a military uniform, correct?
22 A. That assumption is correct.
23 Q. Who was the overall -- going back, and forgive me for the detour,
24 sir, going back to Gornji Vakuf, were you there and can you tell the
25 Chamber who was the overall commander of the HVO forces in connection with
1 the fighting at Gornji Vakuf in January, 1993?
2 A. For that time period, Zeljko Siljeg was the zone commander.
3 Q. Do you know at that time who Mr. Siljeg was reporting to as his
5 A. Again, it would have been the main headquarters, Mr. Petkovic or
6 Mr. Praljak or whoever was appointed by those two men whoever they
7 delegated authority to.
8 Q. Do you recall sir what other HVO units were engaged in that
9 fighting in addition to yours?
10 A. The order of battle is such formally, I can't name every unit but
11 I can mention some. The parts of the King Tomislav Brigade, the Domobran
12 Brigades from Prozor, Gornji Vakuf, and with all certainty, that's all I
13 can say for -- that I saw when I -- when I toured the line were those
14 units, because Prozor was the main logistics base and the tactical command
15 centre of the HVO at the time.
16 Q. Sir, isn't it correct that Tuta's unit fought along side your unit
17 in the fighting in Gornji Vakuf in January of 1993?
18 A. That, sir, I do not know.
19 Q. Well, sir, you told us before the last break that one of the most
20 important things was to know who was on your left and who was on your
22 A. The brigade I'm speaking of, I had two platoons, deployed in the
23 villages of Drenjski [phoen], Orasje, and parts of armoured battalion.
24 They were in direct control of the commander on the terrain and he used
25 them as his asset. That commander it then was Zeljko Siljeg in that zone.
1 Q. All right, sir, I'm sorry I'm looking at the transcript and I
2 didn't get the names and I apologise, the names of those three villages
3 but can you assist me, please, and more importantly assist the Judges.
4 The first village you mentioned what was the name again?
5 A. Orasje.
6 Q. And which of your forces or deputy commanders were in charge or
7 located around Orasje?
8 A. That would have been a platoon commanded by so-called "Schwabo."
9 Q. Can you spell that name for the record, please?
10 A. It's an abbreviation, it's S-C-H-W-A-B-0.
11 Q. Do you know his full name?
12 A. Ivan Stanic.
13 Q. What was his position?
14 A. He was a commander at the time of a special platoon formed for
16 Q. And who was his direct superior, sir?
17 A. At the time, he was part of the -- an overall unit that originated
18 from the MUP, which was the civilian police, and his commander at the time
19 was another nickname, Kule.
20 Q. Kula?
21 A. Kule, as far as I know.
22 Q. And his full name, if you know?
23 A. I'll recall it in a minute if you give me time. Last name was
25 Q. Sir, unless we misunderstood each other my question was, your
1 forces, so can you take us to what point why these forces were they
2 subordinate to you?
3 A. There were -- the battle in Gornji Vakuf took place for a month.
4 It lasted for a month and it ended at approximately somewhere in early
5 February. And over that time period, certain units were sent and rotated
6 from that area. The last unit that was there in the town of Uskoplje
7 itself, in the centre of the town before the ceasefire was the Kupres,
8 parts of the Kupres Battalion, and the commander was Krsto.
9 Q. If I could ask the witness please to be shown Exhibit 235.2, if
10 you can put the English on the ELMO, please? Sir, on the 1st of January,
11 excuse me, my mistake, on the 26th of January, 1993, did you not issue an
12 order or a request quote for all weapons seized in Gornji Vakuf by Tuta's
13 unit to be returned to Tomislavgrad and put in use at the front lines over
14 the command of commander of King Tomislav Brigade, Colonel Zeljko
16 A. Sir, this order I don't recall, nor do I recall the reason why I
17 would write such an order or a request. There is no signature here, I
19 Q. Sir, there wouldn't be a signature on an electronic communication,
20 would there?
21 A. If a request is sent, to authorise this request here, I would
22 delegate a member of my staff and I made a point of this, I would delegate
23 authority anywhere I'd sign his name so I could identify who signed the
24 document. I see no signature here. A delegate from headquarters is a
25 representative of the commander and I did this to avoid abusing the
1 system, because it was abused.
2 Q. [Microphone not activated] Could I ask that the witness please be
3 shown Exhibit -- this is previously -- I don't believe it's in the bundle.
4 It was previously admitted but I do have a couple of extra copies here.
5 One can be put -- it's Exhibit 221.1.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the booths get a copy as well, please?
7 MR. SCOTT: I just you put it on the ELMO. If you put it on the
8 ELMO, I'll be very brief, but --
9 Q. Sir, this appears to be a report from the 18th of January, 1993,
10 coming from Gornji Vakuf and HVO officer named Ivan Kraljevic and
11 directing your attention to about the middle of the document, does it not
12 say "it was reported that two members of the Convicts Battalion were
13 killed in the village of Uskoplje today," which is the very village, the
14 very village that you told us about a moment ago where your units were
16 A. I had two people killed there and they were members of the
17 Tomislav brigade, from what I know, not the Kaznjenicka Bojna.
18 Q. Well, sir, I won't argue with you that perhaps you did have
19 members of your brigade killed there, unfortunately. Does not this report
20 indicate that there were also two members of the Convicts Battalion killed
21 around that same time in that same location?
22 A. As I said, I know the general outcome of the fighting in Gornji
23 Vakuf, but the task organisation in that sector, I -- different phases of
24 the battle I can't say with any certainty. The line shifted, I know the
25 relay which you're speaking of here was taken, because I was there after
1 it was taken and I know my engineer was there to disarm the mines, but I
2 can't say with any certainty which units were there at the time. As I say
3 the battle lasted for a month.
4 Q. Sir, you cannot say with any certainty that the Convicts Battalion
5 was not involved at Gornji Vakuf, can you?
6 A. I can say neither positively nor negatively whether they were
8 Q. And it's also true, is it not, sir, you cannot say either
9 positively or negatively, if Mr. Naletilic was commanding those troops
10 when they were engaged in Gornji Vakuf in January of 1993, correct?
11 A. That's correct.
12 Q. Did you ever have a subordinate officer called Ivan Brago?
13 A. The name is not familiar to me.
14 Q. All right. How did you come to be engaged, you and your unit, how
15 did you come to be engaged in the area of Sovici Doljani in April 1993?
16 A. The fighting had broken out again, the situation had escalated,
17 and we took over our defence line as I mentioned before, that was
18 established sometime towards the end of April.
19 Q. Can you tell us who ordered -- what superior officer ordered your
20 assignment or disposition?
21 A. It was Zeljko Siljeg, I believe it was on the spot when we took
22 the line over.
23 Q. And was there a HVO officer around this time also named Mico
25 A. At the time that they took the line over.
1 Q. Well, around, in April 1993, was there another HVO officer in that
2 general area called Mico Lasic?
3 A. No, there was not.
4 Q. Do you know a Mico Lasic?
5 A. Yes, I do.
6 Q. Who was he?
7 A. He was earlier the commander or zone commander, sometime in
8 Mostar, I believe.
9 Q. What time?
10 A. During -- from start -- I'm sure he -- he changed roles with
11 General Obradovic or Mr. Obradovic, but for that time period he was a zone
12 commander at one time or another from 1992 to 1994 of Mostar.
13 Q. Are you telling us, sir, that sometime, is it correct, that are
14 you saying that he was the head of the defence zone in Mostar continuously
15 from 1992 to 1994 or sometime during that period?
16 A. Those details to me are not clear. I know he was there
17 generally. The direct dealings I had with Mico Lasic were in Kupres for
18 the Jajce operation, where he was wounded on part of the line that my
19 troops held in the fall of 1994.
20 Q. Sir, there were operative zones, the HVO was organised according
21 to various operative zones, correct?
22 A. Yes, four operative zones which were formed in late 1992.
23 Q. And the commander for example of the Central Bosnia operative zone
24 was Tihomir Blaskic, the commander of the northwest operative zone was Mr.
25 Siljeg, and who was commander of the southwest zone?
1 A. Again, as I said, command changed, I think between Mr. Lasic and
2 Mr. Obradovic. Mr. Obradovic was towards the end of, I believe, 1993.
3 Q. So in early 1993 from what you're telling us it's likely that
4 Mr. Lasic had that position, correct?
5 A. From dispatches it would seem so, yes.
6 MR. SCOTT: If I could have the usher's assistance in showing, and
7 again, it may not have been in the bundles, Your Honour, and my apologies,
8 Exhibit 299.1. Mr. Usher? I -- Madam Registrar, I don't believe you'll
9 have it, you can check, but I think it may have been omitted. 299.1.
10 It's a prior -- my apologies. It's a prior exhibit. It wasn't in my
11 bundle is what I meant to say. My apology. It wasn't in the bundle but
12 it's a previous exhibit in the case. If that could be placed on the ELMO,
14 THE INTERPRETER: Could the booths have the document as well,
16 MR. SCOTT: Of course. If one of the extra copies or some of the
17 extra copies I just tendered could be given to the booths, please?
18 Q. Sir, is it not correct that as reflected by Exhibit P299.1,
19 previously admitted in this case, an order was issued on the 15th of
20 April, 1993, quote, "Pursuant to the agreement with commander of the
21 southwest zone of the Herzegovina or HZ," I'll simply just say HZ
22 community, "Brigadier Mico Lasic; with coordinator for Herceg-Bosna,
23 Mladen Naletilic, Tuta; representative of the Main Staff, Colonel Ivan
24 Andabak; I, issue, hereby the following order, PDV platoon and
25 reconnaissance squad are to be on 15 April, 1993 at 1000 hours in the area
1 of Sovicka Vrata." Do you recall that order, sir?
2 A. I do not recall this order.
3 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that in fact, not only the Convicts Battalion
4 but Mr. Naletilic himself personally was engaged in the fighting around
5 Doljani and Sovici in mid-April and following, 1993?
6 A. There is a problem with this document I would just like to point
8 Q. All right.
9 A. The first, the Posusje Battalion was not an organic unit of the
10 King Tomislav Brigade. They were --
11 Q. Perhaps you better tell the Chamber what an organic unit is?
12 A. They were not in the structure of the HVO brigade at this time
13 that this order was written, 15/04/93. They were detached to the area of
14 Konjic in the third month by Zeljko Siljeg. And I find it inconceivable
15 that if they were part of an organic part of a King Tomislav Brigade that
16 the commander of the battalion, Ivan Brago would sign this order without
17 my knowledge.
18 Q. Sir, you told us a few minutes ago in connection with Gornji Vakuf
19 that units were coming and going all the time and different units would be
20 detached and different units would be subordinated and they would come and
21 go, and yet you told us in connection with Gornji Vakuf that were you the
22 superior officer of those units, correct?
23 A. This was not the manner in which I worked or which -- the way I
24 delegated authorities.
25 Q. Sir, apart from the document, I come back to the question I put to
1 you and I put it to you again, isn't it true, sir, that Mladen Naletilic,
2 Tuta, and his unit, the Convicts Battalion, were engaged in the fighting
3 in Sovici Doljani in mid-April, 1993?
4 A. The date for the taking of not Doljani, but Sovici, proceeded the
5 arrival of our brigade to that sector.
6 Q. When did you arrive in that sector?
7 A. The third week of April or the end of April.
8 Q. And you're telling the Chamber then that you don't know what
9 happened in the previous several weeks of fighting in Sovici Doljani,
10 again one way or the other?
11 A. When I took the line over towards the end of April, the Jajce
12 Brigade, which was mentioned in one of your reports was on my left. On my
13 right was an unit from Siroki Brijeg, the Domobran unit or the home guard
14 unit. And to their right was the Mijat Tomic Battalion and on that line
15 which I already stated which stretched from Kucani on the left to Strop on
16 the right.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness has
18 repeatedly said that Domobran, the home guard unit from Siroki Brijeg.
19 Now I look at this, it is never translated. A home guard unit means --
20 can the interpreters help?
21 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry I only interrupt because I don't want the
22 testimony coming from counsel. If the interpreters can assist us, that's
23 fine and, of course, if the witness can answer it, that's also fine.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Krsnik, you may raise that issue but we want
25 to hear the answer from the witness or some corrections from the
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Your Honours. As you
3 see, I made only two objections today. I disrupted in no way the
4 proceedings. And far be it from me. But the objections from the
5 Prosecutor, Your Honours, I will not allow. I will not allow objections
6 on my account. Because we've broken any communication with Mr. Scott and
7 Mr. Stringer any way. And you've heard this comment too, haven't you?
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, we don't have the time to debate on that issue.
9 Shall we move on, Mr. Scott?
10 MR. SCOTT: Yes, sir.
11 JUDGE CLARK: Perhaps the witness will tell us what a home guard
12 brigade is. Sorry, unit.
13 A. The home guard units was the unit based in the town from which it
14 originated from the inhabitants of that town, based on the previous
15 territorial system of the JNA.
16 JUDGE CLARK: My knowledge of military matters, I think is
17 perfectly obviously limited but I understood that a home guard brigade are
18 usually older, non-combat troops, men over 45 or something like that. Am
19 I wrong about that.
20 THE WITNESS: No. The assumption is not correct. The King
21 Tomislav Brigade was a home guard unit. The nomenclature was changed in
22 1994. They went from brigades -- There was a restructuring but they were
23 the basis of the -- before the professional formation of professional
24 brigades in the HVO the four professional brigades, they were the backbone
25 of defence of the HVO and they employed all members of military age. If I
1 can just comment on the use of these brigades, younger men were used in
2 offensive actions and older men were used usually for holding a line. And
3 basically, the whole municipality was engaged from -- and all resources
4 within that municipality were poured into the brigade which means tactical
5 sustainment depended on the municipal level which changed later in 1994
6 when logistics bases were formed at the zone level.
7 MR. SCOTT: Could the witness please be shown Exhibit 301.1?
8 Q. Sir, this is an interim report by Mr. or Colonel Siljeg, your
9 superior or the 16th of April, 1993 and I direct your attention to the
10 middle of the second page, or in any event, item numbered 7, not your
11 superior, Mr. Siljeg, report coordinating with Tuta is being done through
12 the Posusje unit on Sovicka Vrata.
13 A. Do you wish an answer?
14 Q. Yes, sir.
15 A. As I said, the Posusje unit was not an organic part of the King
16 Tomislav Brigade.
17 Q. That was not my question, sir, I don't think I asked you that?
18 A. I'm not too sure of your question.
19 Q. Didn't your superior, sir, by this communication, indeed reflect
20 that Tuta and his unit was involved in the action at Sovici Doljani in
21 April, 1993.
22 A. The man that can best answer that question is Zeljko Siljeg.
23 Q. And you have no information to the contrary; is that right?
24 A. My information of the placement of the Posusje Battalion or it was
25 not a battalion then at that time, was in the municipality of Konjic, and
1 I understand they were there for the majority of the third month, of the
2 third month and a good part of the fourth month of 1993.
3 Q. Can you tell us who Mile Curic was, please?
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Could you tell us who he was?
6 A. He was a staff officer in the operative zone of Herzegovina --
8 Q. Where was he based?
9 A. Well, originally he was in my brigade, the King Tomislav Brigade
10 and after the formation of the zones, he was redeployed to the Prozor
11 tactical headquarters as a staff member in the G3 section.
12 Q. What's G3?
13 A. Operations section of the zone.
14 Q. What's the abbreviation or letters chief of ONO stand for?
15 A. Literally, that means the officer responsible for operational --
16 operational order writing, reporting and so on. He organises the G3
17 sector, the headquarters staff in any operation reports and carries on
18 other duties assigned to him by the commander which is Zeljko Siljeg.
19 Q. I ask the witness please be shown Exhibit P469. Sir, this is a
20 regular combat report coming from indeed the headquarters in Prozor on the
21 20th of June, 1993, from Mile Curic and in his paragraph number 2, our
22 forces, does he not report, "At about 1600 hours, Tuta launched an attack
23 in the sector of Boksevica, with the support of our units holding
24 positions." It goes on to say in about the middle of that paragraph, this
25 was on the basis of radio communications between Tuta and his men that we
1 heard. Continuing through the paragraph, "While Tuta targeted Jablanica,
2 we provided support with our artillery as needed and as requested by
4 Now, that's what Mr. Curic, exactly the officer, in exactly the
5 place that you put him -- said, correct?
6 A. That's the correct translation of this report I have in my hand.
7 Q. And you have no information to the contrary, do you, sir?
8 A. I have none to the contrary.
9 Q. Sir, it was widely known, I put it to you it was widely known, it
10 was known to you, that the Convicts Battalion was Tuta's unit, that they
11 were Tuta's men, often known as "Tutici," that Tuta was in command of them
12 and the HVO Minister of Defence knew it, Colonel Siljeg knew it, Mr. Curic
13 knew it and you knew it, didn't you?
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honours, it may be
16 common knowledge to the Prosecutor, but I'm afraid it is not common
17 knowledge accessible anyone else so.
18 JUDGE CLARK: I think he has to answer that, not you, Mr. Krsnik.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm objecting.
20 JUDGE CLARK: You cannot object to.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm not going to answer. I want to
22 object and say that one cannot exam somebody about the generally known
23 facts, same thing as Mr. Par objected to earlier. That is all.
24 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, he's putting in my view a perfectly
25 reasonable and permitted answer -- question in cross-examination. The
1 witness can respond negatively or positively but he's permitted to put it,
2 having laid the ground.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Sir, it was known to you and by a number of senior HVO officers,
5 whom you identified and testified about at length, it was known to them
6 and it was known to you that the Convicts Battalion was Tuta's unit,
8 A. The names you've mentioned, the names you've mentioned, the only
9 name that I'm familiar with in dispatches that was used was Kaznjenicka
10 Bojna. This is dated, if I may comment on this order or this report?
11 Q. Go ahead, sir.
12 A. This is dated, I believe, the 20th of June, 1993. The first
14 Q. Exhibit P469?
15 A. The last four digits are 6051.
16 Q. Sorry. There is -- there should be a P number, sir, on the
17 document if you can find the exhibit, it says Exhibit P and the number
18 unless they've come apart, I believe it's the number the document the
19 sheet that's come apart underneath that one I believe I can see from --
20 the usher can help you.
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters comment the witness had just
22 quoted the number on the original and he was correct, 6051, that was the
23 number on the original document.
24 THE WITNESS: This action on Boksevica I can speak my unit was in
25 Boksevica, because I was there. I mentioned the previous testimony. And
1 I can name the units engaged when we tactically withdrew from Boksevica.
2 There was a tactical withdrawal which I led. And that was in the seventh
3 month of 1993. So that is the only time that my units were on the
4 Boksevica plateau.
5 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President I see it's about time for the break and
6 I believe we will not get a further answer so if you could like to break
8 JUDGE LIU: I'm just curious to know how long you will take in
9 your cross-examination.
10 MR. SCOTT: I expect to finish it but it will still take at least
11 35 to 40 minutes.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will break. We will resume at quarter to
14 --- Recess taken at 5.21 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 5.47 p.m.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
17 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, [Microphone not activated].
18 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, just so the Chamber knows I'm making an
19 effort. I have skipped over a few topics so that we can hopefully finish
20 as soon as possible.
21 Q. Sir, I believe you testified that it was in the winter of 2000
22 that you first agreed to be a witness for Mr. Naletilic; is that right?
23 A. Mr. Krsnik contacted me about a year and a half ago.
24 Q. And I believe that you testified yesterday that initially or at
25 some point this was through, I think it was your word, intermediary.
1 Who was that?
2 A. It was actually my driver.
3 Q. Who was that?
4 A. Mr. Popic.
5 Q. Can you give us his full name, please?
6 A. Jozo.
7 Q. Jozo Popic. Is that his first and last name?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. He's your driver or was your driver in your position as assistant
10 or an adviser to the Minister of Defence?
11 A. He was my driver for the last year of the war, from October, 1994,
12 until actually October 1994 until November, 1995 and the following years
13 after in increments.
14 Q. And if you know, how was it that Mr. Krsnik and Mr. Popic had come
15 to be in communication with each other?
16 A. There is a number I leave when I'm not available at work, a
17 Mobitel number and he was more or less a message service, he was more or
18 less an adjutant, not just a driver.
19 Q. And through this Mr. Popic, then, did you ever direct contact with
20 Mr. Krsnik as you said about 18 months ago?
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. And where was that?
23 A. In Siroki Brijeg at the restaurant, at the local sports centre.
24 Q. And your testimony is, sir, that you agreed at that time to be a
25 witness for Mr. Naletilic?
1 A. I agreed over the years, because I was approached by other defence
2 council to be a witness for other individuals. For example, a character
3 witness for General Blaskic and others, from 1997 on. This was not the
4 only request.
5 Q. All right. And thank you for that, sir, but my question remains,
6 at that contact with Mr. Krsnik, you agreed to be a witness for
7 Mr. Naletilic, correct?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Now, you said the second time you had contact with Mr. Krsnik
10 about being a witness was in February of this year, 2002; is that right?
11 A. I had not heard from him since, yes, since that time, that's
13 Q. And please think hard, sir, and help the Judges. When in February
14 was it that Mr. Krsnik contacted you? Was it in early February,
15 mid-February, or approximately when?
16 A. No. I contacted Mr. Krsnik, not vice versa.
17 Q. When did you contact Mr. Krsnik in February?
18 A. The exact date, it was several days after returning from The
20 Q. And -- all right. If you'll give me a moment, sir?
21 A. I believe the end of February, February 26th. I don't recall the
22 exact date. It was several days after reading the statement and making my
24 Q. Sir, you returned from The Hague via Schipol, to Sarajevo on the
25 1st of March, 2002; is that correct?
1 A. I believe that was the date, if that's -- I can't recall the exact
2 date. I was here in February for four or five days.
3 Q. And how long was it, then, after your return to Sarajevo that you
4 contacted Mr. Krsnik?
5 A. It was several days later. It was after reading the statement
6 that was given to me by the Tribunal.
7 Q. So prior to the time that you had -- you rejected or refused to
8 sign the statement that you had given, you had contacted Mr. Krsnik and
9 you had talked about the statement with him; is that right?
10 A. That's incorrect. I think your sequence is a little mixed up,
11 sir. I gave the --
12 Q. Go ahead. Please, maybe restate it, sir, maybe one of us
13 misunderstood -- communicated. You said that after returning from The
14 Hague, on approximately the 1st of March, some couple of days or so after
15 that, you had contact with Mr. Krsnik. Now, we agree on that, correct?
16 A. That's not exactly the sequence of events.
17 Q. Please tell us.
18 A. As for the time frame, I can given you the sequence of events, but
19 exact dates at the moment I'm not certain of.
20 Q. Please give us the sequence of events.
21 A. I was -- from the beginning, I was contacted by a member of the
22 Tribunal, ICTY, in -- before Christmas of 19 -- or 2001, before the new
23 year, and he wished -- well the first information I got is that someone
24 from UNPROFOR wished to speak to me. I returned the call and the
25 individual introduced himself and I realised he was from ICTY and not
1 UNPROFOR and he asked me when a meeting would be appropriate and I left
2 that up to his initiative.
3 Q. Sir, I'm sorry --
4 A. Yes, I'm getting.
5 Q. I've represented to the Chamber, I've committed to the Chamber,
6 sir, that I would try to finish you in the next half hour or so?
7 A. Because of his work load that was put off until the exacts time we
8 met was in Sarajevo on the 9th floor of the ICTY building in Sarajevo and
9 there were two members present and they wished to -- they basically asked
10 me if I wanted to give a statement to the ICTY. I agreed to that, and as
11 previously in the testimony, I also mentioned that -- they requested the
12 entry be done in The Hague and not in Sarajevo for logistical reasons. I
13 came here on a date which you have, which I don't have in front of me
14 here, the exact date of the interview escapes me.
15 Q. Sir, I can represent to you that you arrived at Schipol on the
16 25th of February, 2002.
17 A. It was after my birthday, I recall that summer. And I gave the
18 interview. The logistical part of writing the interview was not finished
19 here. I was asked to look at the interview and sign it in Sarajevo on a
20 agreed upon date and that date you may also have, when I delivered that
21 letter, I believe the several days after writing that letter I contacted
22 Mr. Krsnik.
23 Q. All right, sir. Let's go back then. You told us yesterday in
24 your testimony that you saw Mr. Krsnik a second time, or contacted, had
25 communication with him, a second time in February 2002. Now, is that true
1 or was that a misunderstanding?
2 A. It's a misunderstanding. Following the sequence of events not the
3 dates and I mentioned to you that I saw Mr. Krsnik several days after
4 reading the witness statement and after delivering that letter to the ICTY
5 after reading the statement.
6 Q. All right. And isn't it true, sir, that in the course of your --
7 all of your dealings with the representatives of the Office of the
8 Prosecutor, that you were treated in a professional and courteous manner?
9 A. Well, depends on your, I think, connotation of courteous and
10 proper. I could add something here without offending any one here in the
12 Q. Please go ahead, sir.
13 A. My service in the correctional department of province of Alberta
14 aside, I'm not a legal expert. Without lengthening this any further my
15 decade in Bosnia-Herzegovina I had an open door policy. I worked hand in
16 hand with the military organisations there, with the NGOs and I saw no
17 reason not to speak to the people from the Tribunal and there were two
18 reasons I spoke to the Tribunal. The first main reason was the picture
19 that I had formed of the picture that was being represented, that I'd seen
20 in the paper and the media of what happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina did not
21 correspond to my experience during that decade. The second reason was,
22 naturally, I was interested in my status with the ICTY during that period.
23 Q. And I come back to my question, sir. You were treated in all
24 respects in a professional and courteous manner and in fact, sir, isn't it
25 true that up until the time that you refused to sign your statement on
1 about the I believe it was about the 12th of March, just a few weeks ago,
2 you had in fact quite cordial and friendly and cooperative dealings with
3 the representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor and you were treated
4 with respect and courteously, correct?
5 A. The cooperation was there, but again I say the main bone of
6 contention was the witness statement itself and I explained why I didn't
7 sign it in the letter.
8 Q. We will come to the letter, sir. Isn't it true that when you
9 raised your concerns about the draft statement -- and let's get the facts
10 straight here. You indeed did come to The Hague, not only after you
11 agreed to it, but after the Minister of Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 agreed to allow to you come here?
13 A. I asked for his permission, yes.
14 Q. And he gave it?
15 A. Yes, he did.
16 Q. And in fact, the Office of the Prosecutor asked for his permission
17 and he gave it. You came to The Hague, you were interviewed for several
18 days, you were absolutely correct, the statement could not be prepared,
19 typed, processed by the time you left The Hague. You returned home. The
20 representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor returned or came --
21 travelled to Sarajevo on approximately the 11th of March, 2002, and gave
22 you that statement and, in fact, gave it to you that you could take it
23 with you and you could review it at your leisure and make any changes or
24 additions that you wanted, correct?
25 A. I would like to correct a few details in your statement. First of
1 all, I was asked to come here incognito, and I did not want to come here
2 incognito because I have nothing to hide. The second detail is, I asked
3 them to ask the Minister of Defence to write a letter, because I wanted
4 him to be aware that I was coming here.
5 Q. And they did?
6 A. Yes, they did.
7 Q. All right. You came here, you gave a statement, you gave an
8 interview, they came to The Hague, excuse me they left The Hague, came to
9 Sarajevo on the 11th of March, gave you the statement, correct?
10 A. Yes, they did.
11 Q. Told you to take it with you, review it at your leisure, and make
12 any changes or additions that you wanted, isn't that true?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. You next saw the representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor
15 on the 13th of March, two days later, and that is the time when you
16 refused to sign your statement, correct?
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. And is it not true, sir, that throughout that meeting, you were
19 once again urged to rewrite the statement, make any changes or additions
20 that you cared to make and repeatedly invited to do that, isn't that true?
21 A. Well, sir, I'd like to add something here.
22 Q. Well, first answer my question. I'll let you add something but
23 first answer my question, please. Were you not repeatedly offered the
24 opportunity to rewrite the statement in any way that you wanted?
25 A. In the beginning, no. I was told to leave. The first -- the
1 first -- the first statement from one of the gentlemen, which I don't want
2 to name by name, perhaps his job is on the line, is -- his first comment
3 to me was, "Why don't you leave right now?" And I said, "I certainly
5 Q. Wait a minute, sir. When was this said?
6 A. It was said as soon as I made my statement that I would not sign
7 this. I made a comment that I would not sign the witness statement for
8 the reasons I mentioned in my letter. There are 64 letters or there are
9 64 pages to that statement or more, I believe.
10 Q. That's correct, sir, and you told us that most of you what said
11 was left out and yet it's a 64 page statement?
12 A. Sir, I firmly believe that a witness should be credible and
13 objective, which I tried to be in the statement, and not a chess piece on
14 a chess board, which is how I felt after that whole after reading only the
15 first 8 pages of the statement. There were so many inaccuracies, there
16 were so many false assumptions and the statement was worded -- every
17 answer was worded so were not my words. Again I mention to you the
18 preceding part of the statement which said this. This is a substantially
19 verbatim statement which again I mentioned at the beginning of this
20 statement -- my statement two days ago. I do not understand what that
21 means. The word style was used. This for me is a verbatim statement is
22 what I'm saying here. Not the statements that I gave. That's why I
23 refused to sign it.
24 Q. I'm not sure, sir. You said are you refusing to sign it because
25 it was not a verbatim statement? I'm not sure what you just said?
1 A. Sir, again in the letter I'll repeat what I said, it was
2 inaccurate. It was leading. It formulated theory and a thesis which I
3 do not accept. In principle, it does not correspond to my view of what
4 happened here from 1992 to 1995 and after perhaps, if there were any
5 questions dealing with after. That is why I did not sign the statement.
6 Q. Sir, I don't know of any verbatim statement of any sort except
7 perhaps the one that's made in a courtroom with a reporter taking down.
8 This is a statement. So, is it not true, and is it not accurate for the
9 person to represent to you that it was a substantially verbatim statement?
10 Is that not in fact an accurate description of the statement?
11 A. I will remind you again, sir, that the main points which I
12 accentuated, which I found important in that statement were deleted.
13 Q. And did you offer to add those statements when you were repeatedly
14 asked to make any changes or additions that you wanted to make?
15 A. I did not, sir, because I saw from the line of questioning, the
16 way the answers were formulated, what the thesis was of the people that
17 questioned me and I had no intention of doing someone's homework by
18 rewriting 64 pages of statement again.
19 Q. I'd like the witness to please be shown Exhibit 921: I'd like you
20 to direct your attention, sir, first of all, to page 36?
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour?
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I don't see the relevancy of this
24 questioning and my objection is that again in the cross-examination, he
25 has explained once again, and I'm glad that the Chamber has heard, under
1 conditions how statements are taken, how this is being done and that now
2 the statement is being presented which was totally refuted. Are we going
3 to elicit now comments on this statement? What is to be attained with
4 that? In what sense is that relevant?
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, during the direct examination, I
6 think you mentioned this issue first and showed us the letter written by
7 this witness.
8 MR. KRSNIK: Yes.
9 JUDGE LIU: You aroused our interest in this very matter. We want
10 to know what is in the statement, and we want to know what he is examined
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
13 MR. SCOTT:
14 Q. Page 36, sir, at the top part of the page the questions are
15 actually numbered in this particular statement or draft statement, I will
16 say. Question 218: You were asked the question, and again substantially
17 verbatim form, "As brigade commander what did you do in order to ensure
18 compliance with LOAC, the law of -- to be honest at the moment, the
19 abbreviation -- Law of Armed Conflict -- and GC, Geneva Convention by your
20 personnel. Answer: As stated I discussed this issue with Siljeg several
21 times at the operative zone level, also made this known to my battalion
22 commanders. My awareness, LOAY and GC was not so much familiarity with
23 the exact wording of law but more based on my own moral standards and a
24 sense of what was right and what was wrong. This was only common sense."
25 Now, isn't that exactly what you testified to this Chamber today?
1 A. No different from what I said on this statement. If I can add
3 Q. Now, sir, I only have a few minutes of time and if the Chamber
4 would like to hear from you, then you can extend the time. I can direct
5 your attention, please, to page 45. Question 296?
6 JUDGE CLARK: Just a moment, can I say something to you or can I
7 ask something, Mr. Scott? Isn't it normal for an exhibit to be a clean
8 copy? Who has put all those comments and marks and that sort of thing
9 here? I hope you would explain that to us first before we actually look
10 at the --
11 MR. SCOTT: My mistake Judge Clark. You're absolutely right of
13 Q. Sir, when you look at Exhibit 9212 and the notation that is have
14 been put on here, the circling of sections on page 45, the words "total
15 B/S" circled around question 300, question mark, who made those
16 annotations, sir?
17 A. I did. If I may answer the question in --
18 Q. Sorry, do we --
19 JUDGE CLARK: Judge Lieu appears to have a clean copy and I have a
20 decorated one.
21 MR. SCOTT: There is two, there is 920, which is the clean version
22 and 921, which is the copy the witness annotated.
23 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you, that explains things.
24 MR. SCOTT: I should have made that clear at the outset and I
1 THE WITNESS: Could I please finish answering my questions.
2 MR. SCOTT: I'll just answer this way, Mr. President. I will not
3 finish tonight if we have long, continuous non-responsive answers on these
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, you may answer the question in a very
6 concise way.
7 THE WITNESS: Sir, I'll be brief. The statements was so full of
8 inaccuracies and fallacies that I circled this myself and on page 45 you
9 will see such one circled statement which says excuse my language, "total
10 BS." All 64 pages are full of this.
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. Sir, on page 45, one of the ones -- one of the items you circled
13 question 296 you were asked a question about the preparation by the HVO,
14 but in fact, you gave an answer about preparations by the ABiH during
15 mid-April, 1993 there had been an incident where the ABiH had attacked one
16 of our barracks and this resulted in the death of 26 -- sorry, HVO
17 soldiers, et cetera. Now, sir, once again isn't that exactly what you
18 told the Chamber in the course of your testimony the last two days?
19 A. It's common knowledge, sir, that the fighting in Mostar started, I
20 know this from dispatches, is when soldiers of the HVO were attacked in
21 the same barracks they shared with the army BH or the MOS and they were
22 killed. The details of that operation I'm sure Mr. Krsnik knows better
23 than I do. I see no inconsistency with this.
24 Q. Exactly, exactly. Page 46, question 302: This is the only last
25 example I will give. It's just talking about the use of prisoners in
1 forced labour in connection or coming from the Heliodrom. I will simply
2 go to it the last line. Does the statement not say, "It was further known
3 that Muslim forces were subjecting Croat prisoners of war to this illegal
4 treatment resulting in the death of many Croat prisoners"? Now, sir,
5 isn't that a balanced presentation of exactly what you said?
6 A. Sir, it's not so much the details in the -- it's the thesis of the
7 whole statement, sir, which I do not agree with and that is why I refused
8 to sign.
9 Q. And you were repeatedly, sir, given the opportunity to write the
10 statement in any way you wished and of course you know that the
11 investigators that you conversed with, you can certainly come and testify
12 about what happened as well?
13 A. I'm fully aware of that fact.
14 Q. You -- the letter that is marked as excuse me -- the letter -- and
15 if it will assist you, sir, the usher may, if you don't still have it, the
16 usher may show you Exhibit D1/330, your 12th of March, 2002 letter. Now,
17 sir, please tell the Chamber after leaving the Sarajevo office of the ICTY
18 on the 11th of March of this year, having been given a copy of the draft
19 statement to take with you and to review, when did you first come in
20 contact with, forgive me with the first name, Ivan Jurilj and Mr. Miro
22 A. I believe it was the next day. The exact date is shortly after
23 reading the agreement or reading the statement.
24 Q. And where was this letter prepared, sir?
25 A. It was prepared in the Ministry of Defence, and in the sector for
1 the train and equip programme of the federation army or the Ministry of
2 Defence level, I should say.
3 Q. Whose office, in whose office was it prepared?
4 A. In Mr. Grbavac's office.
5 Q. Who typed it or word-processed it?
6 A. Ivan Jurilj did. I dictated the wording and he typed it for me.
7 Q. Who is Mr. Ivan Jurilj?
8 A. Uric. He's the operative in the office, the MPRI office, in
9 Sarajevo, the assistant to Mr. Miro Grbavac.
10 Q. Mr. Grbavac's assistant?
11 A. Yes, that's correct.
12 Q. And had you had dealings with him before this occasion?
13 A. I had previously, yes, but briefly he was a member of my unit
14 before, this was in the 1st Guards Brigade, I believe, five years ago.
15 Q. Now, did you know this man, Grbavac, before 2002?
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. How did you know him?
18 A. He was the -- he was in the G3 sector of the HVO headquarters, the
19 training sector, from 1998 on, I believe.
20 Q. In what general location. In Sarajevo?
21 A. No, at the time I was in Posusje. It was earlier.
22 Q. And how long had you known Mr. Grbavac prior to the 12th of March,
24 A. Since approximately 1997 or perhaps earlier.
25 Q. And can you tell me, sir, looking, directing your attention to the
1 -- well let me back up. Did you show Mr. Jurilj, my apology, I have
2 trouble with that one and Mr. Grbavac, did you show them the draft
3 statement before this letter was prepared?
4 A. We discussed the statement. I voiced my disagreements with what
5 was written and my reasons for not signing it. I showed other people the
6 statement, however, in the intelligence sector of the Ministry of Defence,
7 people that I work with.
8 Q. Who in the intelligence sector did you show it to?
9 A. It was Mr. Peric, I believe or one of his associates in the
10 Ministry of Defence.
11 Q. Who is Mr. Peric?
12 A. He's one of the members, operatives employed in the security
13 sector in the Ministry of Defence.
14 Q. You say he's an operative. What does he do?
15 A. It's self explanatory. His concern is security and information
17 Q. Is he a field intelligence operative? Is that what you're telling
19 A. Field? He's more or less, not so much a field operative but he's
20 an analyst.
21 Q. Do you know him before that time?
22 A. No, I did not.
23 Q. When you were sitting in Mr. Grbavac's office writing this letter?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes?
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] May I? Your Honours, may I now --
1 will you please enlighten me, what does this investigation lead to about
2 who wrote this letter, who typed it, about these persons and how relevant
3 is this to our case? This looks like -- this smacks of an investigation
4 to me, but we do not know about what.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think this matter is closely related to the
6 credibility of this witness, since this issue was mentioned during the
7 direct examination and the cross-examination, we have to know what's going
8 on there. Yes, Mr. Scott.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. Sir, as you sat Mr. Grbavac's office or presence, I don't know if
11 you were sitting or not, as were you in Mr. Grbavac's office preparing
12 this letter, who picked in the very first line, who picked the words
14 A. I dictated every word of this statement.
15 Q. Every word is your word?
16 A. That's correct.
17 Q. Now, isn't it correct, sir, that then you -- you had you indicated
18 to the representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor on the 12th of
19 March -- I'm sorry, on the 13th of March, I think now, yes, that you would
20 not sign the statement, they again repeatedly invited you to rewrite the
21 statement in any way you wished, then you saw them again on Friday, the
22 15th of March, 2002, primarily for the purpose of providing, if you will,
23 the travel papers in connection with your trip to The Hague so you could
24 be properly reimbursed; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. I was asked to bring over my airline ticket.
1 Q. And approximately what time did you leave the Sarajevo field
2 office on Friday, the 15th of March, after doing that?
3 A. I can't recall the exact -- the time or the place or the -- I
4 can't recall the time.
5 Q. Not exact minutes sir, but was it the morning, the afternoon,
6 evening, early evening?
7 A. I believe it was the afternoon.
8 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President I'm going to direct the Chamber's
9 attention now to, not to put on the ELMO, I'm not going to mention any
10 names at the moment, but Exhibit P923, if that could be given to the
11 witness, again not to be broadcast at this moment.
12 Mr. President, perhaps we could go into private session just for a
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
15 [Private session]
12 Pages 11490-11495 – redacted – private session
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry to interrupt you, witness, you may answer
4 that question.
5 THE WITNESS: I had no certainty or knowledge that I was going to
6 testify here at this trial. I was contacted by Mr. Krsnik two days before
7 my arrival here, and in all fairness to Mr. Krsnik, it was a bit short
8 notice. I had other serious personal problems to contend with, but I
9 assumed this was the most important, and I came here on short notice. For
10 over a year and a half or since I met Mr. -- The first contact, I did
11 not truthfully expect to be called here as a witness.
12 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I am finishing. I have a couple of
13 more questions.
14 Q. Sir, isn't it true that this Miro Grbavac is the head of an
15 organisation called the Croat defence council or HVO volunteers and
16 veterans of the homeland war often known as the UDIVDR.
17 A. I think, sir, you ever the wrong Grbavac. There are two
18 Grbavac's. The one you're referring to is nicknamed "Titan" and he's head
19 of the so-called association of volunteers or the name escapes me. There
20 are two different individuals, two different names. The Miro Grbavac, I
21 mentioned was an ex-JNA officer, artillery officer employed now in the
22 NPRI sector in the federation.
23 Q. Are you telling the Chamber that your being involved in this
24 statement or rejecting this statement had nothing to do with this
25 organisation, the association of volunteers and veterans of the homeland
2 A. Yes, sir, that's correct.
3 Q. And are you aware, sir, that Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, is the
4 honorary lifetime president of that organisation?
5 A. I'm not aware that he's a lifetime -- no I'm not aware of this
6 fact. I never attended one meeting of this organisation.
7 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, thank you for your patience. In the
8 interests of time, I will conclude. Thank you.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, re-examination, Mr. Krsnik?
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'd only like to use
11 three documents, the same ones that the Prosecutor used. Could the
12 witness be shown first P299.4?
13 Re-examined by Mr. Krsnik
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Let me tell you witness the document -- I won't want to be
16 cautioned by the Chamber, the defence's position is that it does not
17 recognise these documents. We challenge them. Will you please look at
18 this. Does this document have a signature and a -- no, sorry, first
19 question, did you receiver this on the 4th of August, 1994, this
20 documentation, this commendation from the Minister of Defence?
21 A. If I may mention the precautions taken against the abuse of the
22 system of writing orders and requests within the commands of the HVO
23 military commands, every unit had a stamp with its unit emblem that was
24 kept under lock and key it was used only by three or four people
25 authorised to use that stamp. I didn't see these stamps on any of these
1 documents. Also in my headquarters, there were only three people that I
2 delegated that were allowed to sign any order or request when they
3 represented me as a -- in a liaison with another unit so these -- this is
4 not the way I would have done things, nor can I certify or say anything
5 about these orders that were shown to me. Whether they are accurate or
6 inaccurate but this to me is a -- it's highly informal and it could be --
7 I've never seen anything like this.
8 Q. So you've never received this commendation, this one, the 4th of
9 August, 1993? Was it handed to you, ever? Did you ever see it before
10 the -- before today? This document you have in front of you.
11 A. I stated Mr. Krsnik, that I did not recall seeing this. The only
12 commendations and medals were given to me that I remember are ones that is
13 were given to me after 1994.
14 Q. And tell us, such documents, wouldn't they bear a -- the
15 ministerial signature and the seal of the ministry in order to make it
17 A. Well, Mr. Krsnik, I mentioned the stamp is vital. If it was
18 abused, documents were forged, stamped, and this enabled many people to
19 gain material advantage from the situation. For example, someone would
20 masquerade as a logistician, go to a store and with a stamp present an
21 order, pick up material, equipment and so on. We took precautions at
22 command levels and brigade in my brigade and the zone level that this
23 system was not abused.
24 Q. Thank you. And now the document 299.1, P299.1. I will show you
25 this document once again as the Prosecutor didn't allow you to clarify it
1 to the end and therefore I will give you -- I will be the one to give you
2 this opportunity.
3 In the upper left-hand, we have HVO-brigade King Tomislav the 4th
4 Posusje Battalion. That is the brigade that you were commanding?
5 A. Mr. Krsnik, I mentioned before in a statement that the Posusje
6 Battalion, as such, was not an organic unit of the King Tomislav Brigade.
7 Therefore this heading is inaccurate. I mentioned before they were
8 detached to the Konjic area in 1993 by General Siljeg, Zeljko Siljeg
9 and they were not under my direct command. This can be verified by
10 dispatches, by witnesses. I don't know what else I can say.
11 Q. Is it an authentic document, Witness?
12 A. I would not receive such a document because the stamp is missing,
13 there is protocol here, military protocol, that's missing. To me it's not
14 an authentic document. I would not see it as such.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] That would be all, Your Honours.
16 Only one point, please.
17 Q. When coming to The Hague, Witness, you were invited to come here
18 as a witness or were you under -- a suspect?
19 A. As I said before, I mentioned my reasons for coming here. The
21 Q. Did at any moment the investigators, any of the investigators, say
22 that you were a suspect?
23 A. There was a passing comment in the original interview where one of
24 the members of the team made a comment, not a -- not verbatim but to this
25 effect, that, "We have enough on you for -- that you will be doing a
1 certain amount of time, incarceration, but if you cooperate, we can
2 made -- we can do some damage control here." To that effect, which I
3 did -- maybe he was joking, maybe he was not. I didn't take it as a joke.
4 I just carried on until the end, which was the final witness statement. I
5 had serious moment -- I had serious -- at the time, I had serious doubts
6 about going through, but not being familiar with the procedure, and
7 knowing there were three warring parties or more in the former -- in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was curious to see exactly what information was
9 needed in, as I mentioned before, I wanted to see -- I was curious to see
10 the finished product.
11 Q. Do you -- the last question, Your Honours: Do you remember that
12 you signed for me personally your -- that you will be a defence witness?
13 A. Yes, I remember.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not have the
15 translation of that document. I will have it translated and submit it to
17 Witness, I thank you for coming and for helping us and this Court
18 to come to the truth of the matter.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Judge Diarra?
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Witness, I followed your testimony with great interest. However,
23 when you left the HV in Croatia in order to join the HVO in Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina, did you do it on your own? Did you take that decision? Or
25 was it a follow-up on your engagement in the Croatian Army?
1 A. I left of my own initiative, Your Honour, as did most of my
2 members of my platoon. There was no written order or otherwise, or verbal
3 order. We did it on our own initiative after the -- after January, after
4 the UNPROFOR zones were set up in Croatia.
5 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] And you left the French foreign
6 legion in order to come to Croatia because, to your mind, your homeland
7 was in danger, but when you went back to Bosnia-Herzegovina, was that
8 again your homeland in danger?
9 A. My grandparents were originally from Bosnia-Herzegovina. I also
10 had family there, but as I explained, my intentions of going to or Orasje
11 and Bihac did not materialise because through the chain of events I ended
12 up as the commander in Tomislavgrad and I stayed there for the duration,
14 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] But after that, you went back to
15 Croatia, did you? After the war, did you go back to Croatia?
16 A. No, I did not. I stayed on as -- I -- first, for the train and
17 equip programme, I was programme manager for the programme
18 state-department backed train and equip programme. I was commander of the
19 HVO component of the federation army. I was training and doctrine
20 commander of the federation army and my last appointment was this
21 assistant to the Minister of Defence for military affairs, which I
22 resigned on April 4th or 5th, I believe, of this year.
23 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness.
24 JUDGE CLARK: I have one question. I thought I was not going to
25 ask anything but this. Before you came to The Hague to testify and meet
1 with -- sorry, before you went to Sarajevo and then arranged to come to
2 The Hague, did you speak to Mr. Peric about your intention to talk to the
4 A. The person I spoke mainly to was the Minister of Defence,
5 Mr. Ranic, I believe in transparency. I wanted him to know I was going
6 there, and I also spoke to his cabinet, Major Franjcevic who was a member
7 of Mr. Ranic cabinet. I may have mentioned it to someone but that's the
8 only two people I -- oh, no, correct, I talked to another individual
9 because I was curious about his experience in -- was Mr. -- was general --
10 the name escapes me at the moment. General Dragicevic.
11 JUDGE CLARK: So did Mr. Peric know of your intentions to talk to
12 the investigators from The Hague?
13 A. Well, I spoke to him after I returned. I didn't speak to him
14 prior to the -- to going. I spoke to him after the -- after reading the
16 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you very much.
17 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judges' questions? I see none?
18 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm sorry. If you give me just one
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. SCOTT: I want to be as accurate as possible, Mr. President,
22 so that's why I -- my apology.
23 Further cross-examination by Mr. Scott:
24 Q. Sir, when you last saw the investigators on the 15th of March,
25 that Friday before you left them, they came back from Sarajevo to The
1 Hague --
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] From what is the base of the Judges'
4 questions for the question of the Prosecutor?
5 MR. SCOTT: It's related to Judge --
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott has not finished his question. I
7 think he will establish the relationship between that.
8 MR. SCOTT: It arises, Your Honour, out of Judge Clark's question
9 in terms of Mr. Peric.
10 Q. Did you not tell the investigators, the last time you saw them,
11 and when they continued to ask you about rewriting the statement in any
12 way you wanted, did you not say to them, "Listen, I'm in a no-win
13 situation, no matter what I do"?
14 A. The statement I made, I don't recall that exact line. I mentioned
15 to them that I wouldn't sign the statement and that I was departing. The
16 conference followed into the hallway of the 9th floor, and I continued on
17 my way. It was a bit of a heated conversation so the exact details of
18 what I said then, I don't recall verbatim, but, again, --
19 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President, I appreciate that.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The
21 Hague to give your evidence. We appreciate that very much. We hope you
22 have a good future.
23 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much for having me.
24 JUDGE LIU: The usher will show you out of the room.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, we are at a very late hour at this moment so I
2 hope the both parties will submit a list for the documents you are going
3 to tender through this witness. This Trial Chamber tried its best to
4 change the practice, but it seems to us we make the best use of the time
5 for the direct and cross-examination of the witnesses so we don't have
6 time to admit the evidence at this moment.
7 Are there anything that both parties want to raise at this moment.
8 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, thank you very much.
9 JUDGE LIU: I see none so we will rise until next Tuesday
10 afternoon at 3.30.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
12 7.00 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
13 the 21st day of May, 2002, at 3.30 p.m.